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Some meandering, spontaneous reflections about the Black Quest site . . .
The site was brough to my attention by an unsolicited email. Not that its arrival was unwelcome, just unexpected.
I almost didn't visit the site based on the thought that an AfroCentric site was not necessarily germane to a site about the Constitution.
But, the historical record of events that comprises the American experience is germane to the Constitution.
And that includes the experience of Black people, by whatever route they may have happened to arrive on this continent.
Somewhere on my site, there is a link to another site entitled "Lies My Teacher Told Me". Yes, it's true. The version of American History taught in public schools is fraught with omissions, misleading information, and downright lies.
The most astonishing omission is that in 15,000 hours of class time required to obtain a high school diploma, less than 10 is devoted to conveying information directly related to the Constitution. I include this statement here to illustrate how diverse groups are similarly affected/deprived by the same awful mess that presently passes itself off as our government.
So my site attempts to make it possible for interested individuals to fill in this gaping hole in their public (so-called) education.
A visit to the Black Quest site can contribute positively to that effort.
If any of the information available on that site is revised history or embellished, as well it may be, trust me, it is not one bit more so than what you were told in public schools.
Part of the widely accepted mythos surrounding the Constitution is the notion that somehow, everything was suddenly different after the Constitution was ratified.
In support of this statement, I invite you to skim the reader review at The Rape of the American Constitution Also, a light skimming of accounts of events related to the Alien and Sedition Act will show that not even high ranking white individuals were unfailingly protected by the Constitution, not even in the early days.
Of course, blacks at that time were largely unaffected since they were already about as far down in material economic terms as anyone could get. And let's not even think about the American Indians.
More recently, in Waco, Texas, 80 people died as a result of a goverment operation.
Even though nearly all were caucasian, they hung a sign out that alluded to Rodney King.
NOTE: Lest I be labeled an anti-government nut or a racist (and some will label me as such anyway for what I am about to say. Others, it should be noted, may well view me as a race traitor for even linking to an AfroCentric site, much less for what I am mulling over here), I invite you to click Insert to view a list of book titles that support my assertions.
What the Davidians shared with King is the misfortune of being born into an underprivileged class and to live in a way sufficiently different from accepted norms as to be vulnerable to demonization.
The same government that went out of its way in the 60's to further civil rights for everyone, got out of hand in the 90's and began to threaten everyone.
Jesse Jackson, recently arrested during his protest over the expulsion of black students who arguably rioted at a high school football game, is probably already aware of the entrenched national education bureaucracy that was so helpful in the 60's as it was establishing itself. Now entrenched, it does not have to respond to the matter at hand.
I doubt that it can.
I doubt that it will.
I gather that Louis Farrakahn is skeptical of the benefit of government help.
I think he is right.
I hope that We the American People will find a way to shed ourselves of this awful beast that has been created in the name of that promised good, that American promise of the day when all God's children can say "Free at last! Free at last! Thank GOD almighty, I'm free at last!!!" (without having to die first).
But I digress. What that awful beast does to history in public schools deadens the natural interest and curiosity of many students. The rote memorization of huge numbers of facts (?) to be regurgitated and forgotten inspires no one.
And there is something missing in all those facts, assuming they are facts. And what is missing is the truth. And maybe there is a measure of that truth in the AfroCentric history contained in the BlackQuest CD-ROM.
That kind of truth can't be written on a test. Nor can it be easily forgotten once found, once heard, once seen.
That kind of truth can be tested only in its direct application to real life followed by a frank assessment of the results.
This kind of truth will never be allowed to exist in public schools controlled by this awful bureaucracy in Washington, D.C. that passes itself off as our government.
To the extent that C. Arthur Blair researches, produces, and distributes this work using his own resources, and that others acquire it using theirs, and apply it peacefully toward their own betterment, to that extent, I applaud this work and its author.
The following two lists of books are included to make a point.
Books in the first list speak of a time when the federal government did not interfere in non-violent conflicts among competing factions.
Suffice it to say, that in my view, many of the changes that occurred would have happened anyway, and maybe even sooner, without government "help". See comments
But if the movements of the 60's were unified, look how fractured these subsequent movements are - there are separate groups for the deaf, for those with multiple sclerosis in particular, and still others for those in wheelchairs.
Divide and conquer.
Ambulance chasing at its worst. Even worse, because there is not really an emergency here. Just an opportunity waiting to be created.
One group adversely affected by all this is the small merchant. Handicap accessibility laws and regulations require expensive modifications that owners can never hope to recoup from the slight increase in volume that might result. The burden of compliance rests on the individual. No need citing private land for public use or any such Constitutional nonsense like that.
Can there be any doubt that most, if any benefits, accruing from all this go to the professionals listed above moreso than to the sufferers of these afflictions?
As you can tell by other comments on this site, my views of government have been deeply affected by events that occurred at Waco, Texas in early 1993.
As deeply as I was affected by those events, I was equally, or maybe even slightly more affected by the subsequent Congressional hearings - the aftermath.
I was not satisfied by the outcome of the Congressional hearings.
One of the results of those hearings was that high ranking officials closely involved, after being suspended without pay, were re-instated and compensated with back pay.
If the results of the hearings were unsatisfactory, then perhaps the analysis was faulty.
But if nothing could be found wrong with the analysis, then perhaps one should ask, "What is missing from the analysis?"
In answer to that question, I offer that the hearings made no effort to address the Constitutionality of the initial raid.
Congress (or its various members directly involved in the hearings) could cite separation of powers and say, "Let's leave that to the courts."
But I doubt these issues will ever be addressed by the courts. Certainly not any time soon.
Hence, until the Courts address it, let us, you and I, We the People, ponder over this just a bit. Here is a very basic set of questions based on the Preamble of the United States Constitution.
How could the initial raid:
NOTE: For the sake of these arguments, let us assume that the initial raid went well, and that no shots were fired at all, no one was injured, and in fact, illegal weapons had been seized:
Would the orderly seizure of any such illegal weapons serve to establish, maintain, or further Justice as alluded to in the Preamble? Of course not. Not in any sense of the phrase.
In their letter, the Constitution and Bill of Rights fairly insist on the observance of due process in cases involving murder, kidnap, property violations, peace violations, rights violations, or treason.
One of the possible outcomes of due process is the separation of the accused from his (or her) life, liberty, or property, as provided in previously enacted legislation . . . legislation which, presumably, has prescribed a penalty which is balanced against the offence.
As such, Justice is socially sanctioned revenge.
Revenge is retribution for an act that has already occurred.
In Waco, no act of murder, kidnap, property violations, peace violations, rights violations, or treason had occurred prior to the initial raid.
That being so, how could the Constitutional (or any commonly held) concept of Justice be served by the initial raid, no matter how orderly such a raid might have proceeded?
If an orderly seizure of illegal weapons cannot establish, maintain, or further Justice, then what of an extremely disorderly attempt to do so, such as occurred at Waco?
Would the orderly seizure of any such illegal secure the Blessings of Liberty as alluded to in the Preamble? Of course not. Not in any sense of the phrase.
If that is so, you may be asking, then what does the author imply by use of the term Liberty?
Liberty is a social contract (or compact) expressed in the Constitution somewhat, and further clarified in the Bill of Rights.
If it is true, as stated above, that to establish Justice, the Constitution, in its letter, fairly insists upon penalizing acts fitting rather severe criteria, it is also true that to secure the Blessings of Liberty, the Constitution, in its spirit, asserts that no interference be offered toward activities that do not meet these rather severe criteria.
By their observance of these very permissive standards (in as much as they had not committed any act fitting the severe criteria stated above), the Davidians had every right to expect to be left alone by the government, and everyone else for that matter. That's what Liberty is.
Even orderly efforts at so-called pre-emptive law enforcement measures, no matter how well intended, deny the targets of such "investigations" (and, by example, everyone else) the Blessings of Liberty.
If an orderly seizure of illegal weapons cannot secure the Blessings of Liberty, then what of an extremely disorderly attempt to do so, such as occurred at Waco?
Would the orderly seizure of any such illegal weapons establish, maintain, or further the "more perfect union" alluded to in the Preamble? Of course not. Not in any sense of the phrase.
To what does this phrase refer? More perfect than what?
Commonly, this is considered to imply a more perfect Union than existed among the American Colonies under the Articles of Confederation.
For the purpose of this discussion, I will say that it refers to a better relationship between the people and their government than existed between the people and the King of England.
In the Declaration of Independence, one complaint (of many) lodged against the King is:
"FOR protecting them (British soldiers), by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States."Arguably, since I have already supported the invalidity of the initial raid at Waco, I can further assert that the subsequent hearings resembled such "mock trials" alluded to in the Declaration.
The initial raid was bad enough.
The subsequent failure to identify and punish those in the government who planned and executed this fiasco is worse.
The relation between We the People and "our" government is not much better than that that existed between American inhabitants and the King of England.
These events do not contribute positively to the state of the Union.
They would not have contributed positively to the state of the Union even if the raid had gone well, although, had not several people died, and had not considerable attention been given to the awful aspects of this raid, that would have only been worse.
Even if the initial raid had proceeded in an orderly fashion, would anybody outside the BATF be better off for the raid?
Well, the raid didn't proceed in an orderly fashion, and not even they benefitted.
Is what's good for the BATF good for the country?
Not in this case.
So, is what's bad for the BATF good for the country?
No. Especially not in this case!
So, the initial raid is not supported by the general welfare clause of the preamble.
Would the orderly seizure of any such illegal weapons "insure domestic tranquility"? Of course not. Not in any sense of the phrase.
Interstate trade disputes threatened Domestic Tranquility some four years after the cessation of hostilities at the end of the first American Revolution.
These trade disputes, had they escalated, could have undone the rickety alliance of the American Colonies that had barely defeated the British after a protracted war. This slim victory had been obtained with much support from France, Britain's rival.
This threat to domestic tranquility (and thus to the perceived self-interest of those who lived in America) was addressed in the Constitution by clauses that amount to a trade agreement (various in Article I Sections 8, 9, and 10) and the "full faith and credit" clause of Article IV Section 1.
It was not addressed by any attempts at pre-emptive law enforcement or by any attempt at gun confiscation.
Although statements attributed to David Koresh conceivably contain threats of violence, local authorities did not view them seriously enough to take action, nor did local or State authorities (see Aricle IV Section 4) request Federal intervention.
Hence, in addition to the constitutional ambiguity created by attempts at pre-emptive law enforcement, serious questions of jurisdiction, or constitutional authority, are raised by the "domestic tranquility" clause in the Preamble and the "domestic violence" clause of Article IV Section 4.
On this statement alone, and upon the results of that ill-conceived raid, one could assert very weak Constitutional basis for the raid, if not Constitutional preclusion of the raid.
Suffice it to say that the statements above for "insure domestic tranquility" largely apply here.
To "provide for the common defence" meant to establish mechanisms by which invasion or uprising in one State could be dealt with by resources of the Union.
Again, such marshalling of the resources of the Union, involving Federal intervention, requires a request from State authority.
No such request preceded the initial raid.
Hence, the initial raid is not supported by the common defence provisions of the Constitution.
The failure of any government official or agent to be punished for this fiasco is terrible.
This link was discovered as I attempted to address a question emailed to me by a high school junior in November of 1998. Prompted by the arrival of this question, I did a seach on AltaVista Advanced Query using the entire clause in quotes. This link is among some 400 that were yielded by this query.
One essay of interest on Jesse Reynolds' site is entitled Parking Lot. It talks about a side of Confucianism called Hyo and its contribution to commonplace everyday events in South Korea. This essay is at the top of the page. At the bottom of the page (the essay in the middle sounds like a 10-minute spot on PBS radio) is an essay called Confucianism's Democracy in South Korea. This essay is a blunt description of failings of South Korea's Constitution in the area of separation of powers. It has other ideas relevant to American Constitutionalism.
The article accessed by clicking Against Republicanism is a frank and open description of how power actually operates in the real world, regardless of the labels attached to it. The article describes the abuses of power that can occur under the auspices of Constitutional Republicanism. What it says in that regard, I consider to be true. Nowhere does the article claim that power under the guise of communist economic paradigms acts differently. Nonetheless, the non-critical reader will most likely infer this. Reader beware.
Links to sites stating diametrically opposed viewpoints are maintained on the TCN site. At the School Prayer site, a similar practice is observed. By examining the arguments made by individuals holding opposing positions, common ground can sometimes be found. But not always. Examination of the "Prayer in Public Schools" issue leads me not to any common ground, per se', among opponents, but instead to
Think of the plethora of current hot button issues such as racism in public schools, prayer in public schools, violence in public schools, sex education in public schools, guns in public schools, and drugs in public schools. What do all the items in this list have in common? Public Schools. Would this list of items exist were not the children forced to attend? And who does that forcing? Big government.
My point - when the issue of big government is addressed, many current ills of society will vanish. My own examination of the issue of prayer in public schools leads me to this conclusion. So does my examination of other current issues.
Religion-based sites are definitely under-represented on my site. Yes, I am not God. I am human. I have prejudices - many brought on by my attendance to "mainstream" media. This is a price I pay for years of non-critical listening and watching, but I digress. Any credible attempt to interpret the Constitution must include an attempt (and some success therein) to get a credible picture in one's own mind regarding the mind-set of the general population at the time the Constitution was written and ratified. For the statement, "That government which governs least, governs best," to be true, individuals pursuing happiness under such a government must possess some degree of competence to live. This degree of competence must involve the learning of a widely accepted and observed set of values. If the government itself did not disseminate such a system of values before the first American Revolution, then who did? The churches. Their belief in their ability to conduct their affairs (personal and commercial) without the guidance (make that interference) of the king is reflected in the writings of the 18th century ministers available on this site. It's well worth a stop.
I placed links to this essay about American Civil Religion on the Resource Links page, the Top Sites page, and the Web Guide page. I did this because the essay is well written and addresses numerous aspects of the US Constitution. The maintainer succeeds rather well in establishing a viable description of American Society within which the clauses of the Constitution (not just those related to "religion") are applied. He does this by asserting that the American Civil Religion is based upon the dual foundation of Christianity and Capitalism. This is probably the greatest achievement of the essay. The author discusses several starting points of Constitutional interpretation and describes flaws. He introduces the supremacy clause into his discussion of the first amendment. This combination of Constitutional clauses is unique in my surfing. From my reading of this essay, the author and I are in sympathy to the extent that neither religion nor liberty are unconditional license. I think the author's words also advance the idea that the accepted tenents of the American Civil Religion must be observed by both "the government" (or its agents) and "We the People" (the private Citizenry).
You may think that you already know what Federalism is. And maybe you do. Then again, I doubt that you've spent 28 years mulling this over. If not, you should visit F.A.C.T.S. You may have to browse around a little bit to get a sense of all the things that are going on that are related to the maintainer's concept of federalism, but, whatever your thoughts on the topic may be, it's worth it. That's what got this site placed on my Top Sites list.
This site came up in the quasi-daily search for new pages containing the word "Constitution". The maintainer has posted a proposed Constitution that I find a great deal of agreement with. But that's not the page that rendered the award of a "Top Site" link. The "Universalism" philosopy page was. On this page, the maintainer has posted an outline of that philosopy. The posted outline sketches some of the potentials and as well as some of the limits of human understanding in any field of study. This is relevant to Constitutional government because to the extent that individuals can understand themselves and each other with certainty, rules can be established and maintained spontaneously by individuals, and no (or little) government is necessary. Also, to the extent that individuals cannot understand themselves and each other with certainty, no (or little) government is possible. More succinctly stated, if individuals are competent to live, then why do they need government? (Answer, they don't.) If individuals are not competent to live, then how can they produce a government to compensate? (Answer, they can't.) Whatever else the signers of the Declaration of Independence believed in at the outset of the (first) American Revolution, they believed in themselves and they believed in each other. This is reflected in the last sentence of the Declaration. I think the content of the "Universalism" philosopy page helps guide the visitor around the limits of human understanding to achieve its potential. That is competence. That individual competence is at the core of what made America possible in its beginning, and what must be rediscovered en-masse by its current Citizenry if it is to continue in a "good" (for lack of a better term) direction. At the bottom of the page, the maintainer invites comments and questions. I took him up on that and feel that I have benefitted from a rather lengthy series of exchanges with him.
Click Ship of Theseus for a discussion. Or go to a search engine such as AltaVista and use "Ship of Theseus" (with quotes) as a search key for 31 related pages as of August 16, 1998.
Did the oversize section heading catch your eye? It was intended to.
The way this paragraph is read is absolutely pivotal to support your position on a major issue of Constitutional interpretation.
Because of the way the original document is penned, certain ambiguities are created.
Because the major issue involves the "elastic clause" and thus the validity of expansion of powers exercised from the Federal level, this ambiguity is troubling. Check out a photogenic copy of the original and see what I mean.
In November of '96 or so, a site related to the 3rd amendment was found on a search engine. It was sort of a joke, a lawyer with not much to do except put something on the web about an obscure and little-used portion of the Constitution.
Though an immediate attempt was made to contact the maintainer of that site, he had cancelled his subscription to that server and the e-mail was returned. Shortly thereafter, the htm files were also deleted.
An excellent book with an entire chapter devoted to the 3rd amendment is In Our Defense - The Bill of Rights in Action, circa early 1990's. It is co-authored by Caroline Kennedy (yes, JFK's daughter) and Ellen Alderman.
After scouring the web intensely for a period of several weeks and finding only a half-dozen or less descendant-generated bio's of signers, I finally resigned to the decision of linking to the National Archives and Records Administration's (nara) pages. If a non-nara bio exists, the signer's name is the highlighted hyperlink. If not, nara is highlighted. If both are found, the nara link is placed at the end of the descriptive text for the other link. No description is provided for nara links; however, the bio's are brief if nothing else. Most have portraits.
Upon the proposal and passage of the CDA act in early 1996, the web became flooded with "free speech" campaign sites. Free Speech issues are addressed by the first amendment, but with all the stuff still out there in early 1997, you probably will have no trouble finding it. In fact, the trick is to avoid it. Whatever, this section will focus on links related to other than free speech issues for now. Check out the included Yahoo Browse section link if free speech is what you are interested in.
Concening the current "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy relating to sexual orientation of those serving in the military, whose policy is this to make? With whom, or to what branch of government, or with what agency is this policy most often associated when discussed in the main stream media?
There is no shortage of websites with information relating to this amendment. You can find them on the major search engines using keywords such as tax, detax, untax, IRS, etc.
Is it true that only Congress can build a Railroad? Not according to the James J. Hill story. Then what of the space program? An individual who at one time wrote software reviews for national publications once returned a submission of the TCN program explaining that he had quit writing software reviews to join a movement for the privatization of the space program. The organization's pet peeve was "billions and billions spent NOT to explore space". Then what of participation (interference) in other major economic endeavors? The corporate plutocracy link addresses that side of the question. Sadly, all this abuse and waste grows out of what was considered a necessary power to cede to the central goverment proposed in the Constitution and created by its Ratification.
If you've heard something about a 13th amendment that was ratified and then mysteriously disappeared, the links under this heading provide a lot of information about that topic. Links to both sides of the argument are provided. Happy hunting.
Barefoot Bob's Web Home: The site with 800+ relevant links and more. Not only does this maintainer have a lot of good information about the Constitution, he also points the way to a vast array of information of value to any person seriously intent upon a legitimate personal "pursuit of happiness." Yes, this site contains a lot of material describing ails and abuses of those acting (present and past) in the name of "our government". But other information on this site points to the vast possibilities of life that "our government" is decidedly NOT supposed to interfere with. GO THERE NOW!!!
Having not read the Communist Manifesto since high school (more years ago than I care to admit) when I was forced to and had other, much more compelling interests, I was pleased to find this page. The document is large (160K), but the server was fast (3k/second and better), so it didn't take long to load. The document was written in 1847 according to a date cited within itself. This is between the Mexican-American War (remember the Alamo!) and the Civil War on this continent, between 50 and 60 years following the Ratification of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I mention this because some comments within the manifesto seem to refer to the US Constitution, in the phrase political constitution. The manifesto contains a synopsis of then-current events in Europe, many of which resemble those covered in contemporary headlines, the more striking issue being that of women's rights. The analysis of history in the Communist Manifesto is based on events that go as far back as the plagues, after which the workers experienced a sudden improvement in socio-economic status. Even though the USSR, based more or less upon the communist economic paradigm, collapsed earlier this decade, thus leaving the vision for the future expressed by the manifesto in doubt . . . Even though this may be true, the analysis of the status quo offered therein is on the mark, and is well worth a read. In addition to women's rights and history in general, the document makes pertinent comments regarding the significance of rights of association, education, judiciary and government, private property, and democracy.
The word Constitution appeared in the "Pundit Pap" section for November 17, 1997 Pap 11/17 and that is how this site was found. Although the managing editor (Jeff Koopersmith) is a well known liberal (it frankly escapes me why anyone bothers to use that term or its alleged opposite), there is a healthy dose of truth-seeking visible around the site in general, which is what got its link placed on the resources page instead of the politics page. True, you may find your favorite "conservative" celebrity taken to task here, but look a little further and you'll find that "liberal" celebrities receive similar treatment for their slip ups or if their strongly-held positions are at odds with Koopersmith's. Also, Koopersmith will occassionally applaude comments made by "right-leaning" media personalities when they express views that he agrees with. "Pundit Pap" itself is a digest of the Sunday "News" shows with summaries of comments not unlike the soap opera summaries in the Sunday paper inserts. Maybe you think you know how to read, and maybe you do know how to read. But visit this site and you'll be able to read (and hear) the "news" just a little bit better.
I like the "chain of events" graphic at the top page on this site. Also, by coincidence, I found the following link about the same time I found the Canadian Constitutional Abolition link: Political Philosophy and the Unwritten Constitution I find the impact of parameters among current events in Canada as it pertains to the maintainer's analysis interesting. There are arguments, supported by a few clauses, to the effect that the US Constitution was not expected to last 20 years.
In addition to the equal rights concept mentioned in the main link description to the Slaughterhouse decision site, I find numerous Constitutional concepts emerging as relevant to this decision. Not the least of these is the distinction between State and Federal powers. Can either protect individual liberties? Clearly, those who found their livelihoods cutoff by this legislation saw little need in appealing to the State body that had brought about this change. Where else could they go but to the Feds? And where did that get them? Nowhere. It is interesting that the chain of events that led to this ruling grew out of the early days of "reconstruction". Bribery and corruption, ever present in all government and politics, had to be increased by the economic conditions created during the war and worsened by post war policies. As the text on this site relates, that corruption was a key element in getting the challenged legislation passed in the first place. Even in the Constitution, allusion is made to "office of honor, Trust, or PROFIT". In light of the Slaughterhouse decision, any remaining vestiges of "the government" looking out for the individual . . . any thoughts along those lines evaporate.
This is an amazing speech. I found two places to reference it in the Web Guide page and placed it also on the resource page. As an escaped slave, hoping to end that institution [somewhat established in the Constitution, at the very least tolerated by it as an expedient compromise during the Ratification process], Douglass learned the Constitution very well, indeed. His passionate discourse touches on separation of powers and the Amendment process, plus the perils of Direct Democracy as opposed to Republicanism, and a few other fundamental Constitutional concepts.
These two links are made available so you can see a page supporting both sides of this issue. The Constitution is involved by the fact that related amendments and legislation are presently proposed and the fact that recently, a supreme Court case regarding this issue has occurred. I sympathize with those who believe that the Constitution and the flag represent wonderful things. I also sympathize with those who are troubled by current/recent policies and actions of "government" officials/agents who are supposed to observe/support/protect/defend the Constitution. The odd thing about this issue is, in my view, that parties arguing either position regarding toleration of public flag burning contradict themselves as they develop their "cases". I remember my reaction to televised depictions of flag burning in the 60's. As a naive teenager, I bought the myth, the old party line, about how the American government was different/better than any of the governments that had preceded it in history. Witnessing these events turned me against those who opposed the war. I turned 40 the year that individuals acting in the name of "our" government burned 80 people to death in Waco. By that time, I had been actively involved for 4 years in an on-going study of the Constitution and the development of the TCN program. Before that happened, I believed that government in this country deserved the support of the people. When I woke up on April 19,1993, I also believed that stories about Ruby Ridge had been made up. When I went to bed on April 19,1993, I began to believe that stories about Ruby Ridge might be true. In the aftermath of Waco, I have learned that stories about Ruby Ridge were NOT just stories. And I have come to feel that government must re-earn the trust I once invested in it. The part of me that remembers that old party line about how "our" government was better, even the best, that part of me cringes when a flag is burned. The part of me that is aware of current/recent policies and events cringes every time the issue of flag burning is raised, regardless of the position advocated. To the extent that I associate the flag with the ideals of the Constitution, I remain opposed to flag burning. At the same time, to the extent that I associate the flag with the actual policies and actions of contemporary government, and to the extent that I find these actions and policies at odds with the ideals of the Constitution, I can support reasonable demonstrations against those actions and policies. I find it odd, even difficult, to associate the term reasonable with the act of burning a flag in public. But in light of the un-necessary murders of 80 people (innocent or otherwise), I find it equally difficult to call the act of burning a flag in public unreasonable.
"No generalization is worth a damn," or so wrote noted cynic Oscar Wilde. Hence the mention of two opposing generalizations, "Keep an open mind," and "Yeah, but don't let your mind be so open that your brains fall out!" which leads to the decision to link to this page. The mission of this site is to promote self study of the Constitution. At best, the content of these pages can inform the diligent surfer. It cannot persuade. Though my efforts with the TCN program began at a time when I believed in the Constitution, I have become persuaded over time that it is at least flawed, at worst a fraud. My particular point of departure toward this view involved the banking clauses. On the ANTI-Constitutonalist page, the author addressed more the idea of Union than banking. Fine. Judy Collins sang a song named "Both Sides Now" in the late 60's. As she sang of viewing clouds, love, and life from both sides, I invite you to look at the Constitution from both sides. Entertain the skeptical view. Visit this site. Laugh it off, or recoil in disgust if you must. But go there. Maybe I would have argued a different point, and maybe I would have taken a different tack on the issues the author chose. However weak or strong you may find his case to be, I consider the sentiment to be on track. Entertain the skeptical view of the document itself. And entertain a skeptical view toward the actions of anyone presently charged with enforcing whatever you believe the Constitution obligates them to enforce.
For a long time, I believed that the Federal "Government" could promote the interests of the individual. In my own thoughts, I trace the origins of this notion to the 60's. During that time, the Federal "Government" participated in a series of policy/legislative/media maneuvers and campaigns under the guise of "protecting civil rights". Media coverage of the Civil Rights campaign created that impression (i.e., government could help the individual) in the minds of many, not just yours truly. Much of the authority assumed in order to accomplish all this originates in the "incorporation clauses" of the Civil War amendments (13, 14, and 15). Before Waco happened, and until I knew the full story of Ruby Ridge, I bought into the idea that the Federal "Government" could protect the interests of the individual. Since then, I cannot accept that as true. I mention all this because the maintainer of the Domestic Violence Clause site apparently still buys into this idea. (Not that I would think the less of him for that.) Observe the paraphrase on the main page of his site, "In essence The United States shall protect us against Violence." I think the natural order of things is that the individual must look out for himself or herself. The State cannot do that at any level. In the aftermath of Waco, I have observed those acting in the name of government in the act of looking out for their own. Except for the sniper who killed Vicki Weaver (at Ruby Ridge, Randy Weaver's wife), none of those government employees or agents who participated in Ruby Ridge or Waco has faced a Jury. (And that was carried out at the State, not the Federal, level.) As worthy, even vital, an interest as environmental quality may be, assigning that to the Federal "Government", even using Constitutional language, will only give those thusly empowered another means (excuse) to advance their own interests.