Nemo me impune lacessit

No one provokes me with impunity


No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

Article 1, Section 9, Constitution of the United States

If this is the law of the land...why in a republic (little r) and as republicans, do we allow mere POLITICIANS to the right to use a "title of office" for the rest of their lives as if it were de facto a patent of nobility. Because, as republicans, this should NOT be the case...just saying...

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The US Constitution: Freedom For Everyone...

I was reading some of the JournoList emails that have surfaced recently. One thing that struck me rather forcefully was when of the members wanted to get the FCC to revoke Fox News' broadcasting license because he didn't like the content of the opinion shows that are aired by the network. I found this very disturbing on a number of different levels.

First of all, the FCC doesn't control content on cable and thus can't revoke the license of Fox News. But that wasn't what really bothered me. What really awakened my ire was how easily someone could dismiss the fundamental right of freedom of speech. Freedom of speech means that you have to allow those whom you disagree with, the right to voice their opinions, howsoever repellent you may find their views to be personally. While there are clearly some limits on speech, you can't for instance, shout "fire" in a crowded theatre, but you can give your opinions upon current events to your heart's content.

How a "journalist", "editorialist" or "professor" who makes their living by reporting, commenting or teaching s could summarily discharge out of hand, someone else's right to voice their opinion merely because they disagreed with it, is shocking at the very least. I think this goes to a fundamental problem with how many people have come view the Constitution.

The Constitution doesn't "give" us freedoms. The Constitution gives us nothing at all. What the Constitution does, at its heart, spells out the limits of governmental powers. It derives those powers from the consent of the people. Those powers limit its ability to interfere directly in our lives. The Constitution isn't a "positive" document, it's a negative one. It sets negative limits on just what the government is permitted to do. The 10th Amendment clearly spells this out, when it says that "all those powers not contained herein, are reserved to the states or the people."

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