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HISTORICAL QUOTE OF THE WEEK - "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other." ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

THE CONSTITUTION PART XI - LIMITED GOVERNMENT

George Washington - "Towards the preservation of your government, it is requisite, that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles. One method of assault may be in effect alterations which will impair the energy of the system and thus undermine what cannot be directly overthrown."

This statement made by Washington was a warning to future generations of Americans. Warning each generation that followed away from the temptation of undermining the principles of the Constitution, the very foundation of our Republic. It was also a warning that , "alterations, " on these principles would in effect change the fabric and meaning of the very laws established in the Constitution and as such the building blocks of our nation.

The vast size and scope of the Federal Government is one glaring instance in which the warning given by George Washington was ignored. While the, "size, " of the Federal Government is not specifically mentioned in the Constitution, the authority, responsibilities and duties of the Government are. In each case this authority is limited in its scope and size by that fact that the Framers established specific obligations that the people should expect from government.

While the Framers could not anticipate the tremendous growth that this nation has experienced since it founding, they did anticipate that a government that exists by the authority of the governed must be limited in its power over the citizenry lest it cease to be a government of the people but one that dictates to and controls the people.

Each Branch of the Federal Government has specific Constitutional responsibilities that are outlined for that Branch.

Article I, Section 8 - Congress, ( Legislative Branch), has power to: collect taxes, pay debts, borrow money, regulate commerce with foreign nations, establish rule of naturalization, coin money, provide punishment for counterfeiting, establish Post Offices, promote Science, constitute tribunals, punish piracy on the seas, declare war, raise and support armies and Navy and have exclusive legislative authority over the District of Columbia.

Article II, Section 2 - The President, ( Executive Branch), Commander in Chief of the military, power to make treaties, nominate and appoint Ambassadors, public Ministers, Judges and all other offices, grant reprieves and pardons, recommend to Congress Measures necessary and expedient, convene or adjourn Congress, receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers, Commission all Officers of The United States and see that laws are faithfully executed.

Article III, Section 2 - The Courts, (Judicial Branch), power to extend to all cases of law arising under the Constitution and treaties, the trial of crimes and treason.

These are the specific powers granted to the Federal Government by the Constitution. While the scope of these powers can vary, understanding their limitations in size and power, the history of this nation and its founding and Founders must be taken into consideration.

While Great Britain governed America as colonies of the British Empire, the original 13 Colonies were subject to a myriad of oppressive regulations, harsh policies, unrepresentative and oppressive taxation , excessive laws and violations of personal freedoms such as speech, property holdings, protection against unwarranted searches and seizures, just to name a few of the oppressive governance by Britain over the Colonies.

To prevent similar authoritative and oppressive power from controlling the United States as a nation in the manner that Britain controlled the Colonies, the Founding Fathers envisioned a government that would be limited in its power and authority and would be given that authority by the people of The United States thus directly answerable to the citizenry.

This very pretext of government established by the Constitution and envisioned by the Framers created a government limited in size, scope and power to prevent needless and oppressive regulation and legislation, the trampling of individual freedoms and liberties and to allow the individual States the power and freedom to handle situations particular to that State.

The Federal Government was designed in fact by the Framers only as a central authority with limited power whose main responsibility was to protect the nation by providing for its defense, institute a nationally regulated form of law and justice so that every citizen would be allowed the same rights and privileges throughout the land, establish commerce between states and foreign nations and also establish diplomatic relations, commerce, trade and treaties with foreign powers.

The size, power and authority of today's Federal Government far exceeds the vision established in the Constitution and by its Framers. Slowly and surely over the decades many of our freedoms have been regulated, legislated and controlled by an unfettered growth and power from a government that in many ways no longer answers to the authority of the people but to the power of those elected.

The Federal Government was established to guard and secure our freedoms not to legislate, tax and regulate the people into dependents and in a very real sense servants of the government.

In 1788 during the Constitutional ratifying Convention in New York, Alexander Hamilton described the Federal Government as follows:

"The great leading objects of the federal government, in which revenue is concerned, are to maintain domestic peace, and provide for the common defense. In these are comprehended the regulation of commerce that is, the whole system of foreign intercourse; the support of armies and navies, and of the civil administration."

Hamilton described a government limited in power yet created for the security and cohesiveness of the nation.

In 1821 Thomas Jefferson warned of the consequences of an unfettered and limitless government:

"When all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another."

The vision of the Founders and Framers of the Constitution for the Federal Government have been left behind in the regulatory, burdensome, exhaustive, over reaching and over taxing government that now leads this nation. Its power is limitless, and its influence and intrusion in the lives of We the People have already begun to crumble the foundational principles on which this nation was founded.

Ken Taylor

36 Comments:

Blogger Jenn of the Jungle said...

It's not even so much the government as it is "groups". Small yet seemingly powerful groups that dictate to the rest of us how to live our lives.

There are groups against words (no racial words, no percieved racial words, no words that could ever possibly offend anyone), against actions (gun owners,dog owners, suv drivers, joggers, jet skiers, smokers, drinking beer on the beach etc.) and groups formed to give crap to other groups.

And underlying it all is this notion that somehow through politically correct BS, we can and will some day live in fantasy la la land where everybody lives unoffended all day everyday in a socialist utopian society.

I miss America.

12:02 PM, April 24, 2007  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

I gotta agree with Jenn.

I miss America too.

1:24 PM, April 24, 2007  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

While Great Britain governed America as colonies of the British Empire, the original 13 Colonies were subject to a myriad of oppressive regulations, harsh policies, unrepresentative and oppressive taxation , excessive laws and violations of personal freedoms such as speech, property holdings, protection against unwarranted searches and seizures, just to name a few of the oppressive governance by Britain over the Colonies.


Why does this sound so familiar?

Oh yeah, this resembles the Democrat plan for America.

1:38 PM, April 24, 2007  
Blogger Gayle said...

Marie makes an awesome point!

Ken, perhaps this should be sent to every member of the Senate and the House. Nevermind... they wouldn't read it anyway. Too many of them are far to busy undermining our country. :(

3:24 PM, April 24, 2007  
Anonymous mudkitty said...

Name one sentence in the entire U.S. Constitution where it says Government should be limited, even if that means it's no longer meeting the needs of it's people?

Activist/Interpretist Rightwingers...you're not fooling anyone.

8:32 PM, April 24, 2007  
Anonymous mudkitty said...

Jenn, in case you didn't know, Socialism isn't a Utopian system. You never could tell the difference between communism and socialism.

Notice, also, that Jenn couldn't name, officially, any group against "words." But she runs a group who are officially against my words, that's for sure. It's called her treehouse.

8:35 PM, April 24, 2007  
Anonymous Henry said...

Behold, liberal hypocrisy from one of their finest:

"Cato, if you've been banned 4 times, what are you doing here already? Are you a glutton for punishment, or a cyberstalking disrupter? I know you say you agree with 90% of what is said here, but I'm not buying it - that's not your pose, or your tone at all.

You make think your a libertarian, but I see no evidence of that.
mudkitty | 05.22.06 - 11:21 am | #"


Just pathetic.

10:03 PM, April 24, 2007  
Blogger Jenn of the Jungle said...

Just for fun:

Groups that have banned words or are trying to get words banned:
http://www.lssu.edu/banished/current.php

http://allhiphop.com/hiphopnews/?ID=6442

This guy passed a resolution in New York:
The New York City resolution was sponsored by Councilman Leroy Comrie, who says the "N-word" was derived solely out of hate and anger://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6406625.stm

Don't forget the EU:EU seeks to ban words "jihad", "Islamic" and "fundamentalist"…
Religion – The European Union has drawn up guidelines advising government spokesmen to refrain from linking Islam and terrorism in their statements.
http://religion.netscape.com/story/2007/04/04/eu-seeks-to-ban-words-jihad-islamic-and-fundamentalist-in-discussing-terrorism/

10:44 PM, April 24, 2007  
Anonymous mudkitty said...

Henry, Jenn...yoo hoo...I never said I'd ban Cato. I said I wasn't buying his schtick. Big dif. Jenn - buzzer sound - wrong again. How can any single human being be wrong so many times.

*****

The hip hoppers are responding to the Bill O Reallys and Limpbaughs - don't cha know. These are voluntary compliances...not government censorship, or even the equivilant of banning liberals, one by one, at rightwing websites.

11:17 AM, April 25, 2007  
Anonymous mudkitty said...

It's really odd how Jenn chooses to address my posts here (and else where) but bans them on her site. Makes you want to go hmmmmm. It's going to make for an interesting chapter.

Talk about hypocrisy...

11:21 AM, April 25, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...

Don't forget the democrati crongress who instructed their party and aides not to use the phrase "Global war on terrorism".

3:26 PM, April 25, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...

Mud, the entire Constitution was created to restrict the size and scope of government.

How about the part which states that the powers not specifically designated to the federal government are reserved for the states? How about the intent of the document which is to establish jusstice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defensee, and promote the general welfare of the people?

Is there some reason that the entire population of the US benefits from a $10 million payout to spinach farmers in California? Or how about filling a mason jar with a crucifix and urine as funding arts?

I have a Jr. High civics book I can send if you need to go back to the basics.

8:56 AM, April 27, 2007  
Anonymous mudkitty said...

False. Where in the constitution do you see any references to the size of government.

The size of government is meant to expand and contract according to the needs of the people.

It is you, Robert - who needs to get over some silly thing you thought you figured out when someone introduced you to Ayn Rand and Ronnie Reagan. What? Are you still in college?

10:20 AM, April 27, 2007  
Blogger Indigent A-hole said...

Washington also said the following;

"I do not mean to exclude altogether the idea of patriotism. I know it exists, and I know it has done much in the present contest. But I will venture to assert, that a great and lasting war can never be supported on this principle alone. It must be aided by a prospect of interest, or some reward."

What's the reward for Bush's War of deception? What interest do we have in allowing MORE of our sons and brothers to leave their lifeblood in the desert?

2:11 PM, April 27, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...

Nice try, Mud.

I looked for the reference to the "Expansion and contraction of government base don the needs of the people" and couldn't find that in the Constitution.

I did, however, find the part about how government powers are limited to those specifically enumerated in the Constitution.

Care to share your reference? I shared mine....

5:45 PM, April 27, 2007  
Anonymous mudkitty said...

Yes - the rights of the people are enumerated in the Constitution, as well as the outlines for the functioning of the government. I suggest you try rereading the preamble, and really take it in - all of you. Also learn the difference between tenses and plurals and singulars.

Now I suggest that government should be the right size, according to the Constitution, and you Robbie would like it to be too sizes too small.

8:52 PM, April 27, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...

Mud, you are a complete and total moron. The rights of the people are not enumerated in the Constitution.

Protection against large government, intrusive government, and meddlesome government are enumerated in the Constitution. The Bill of Rights codifies the specific rights that people were denied under the Crown. Unfortunately, you probably don't even know what the basis for Paul Revere's famous right was without a google search. You probably don't know that British troops were quartered in American homes, or that the British marched to seize the arms of citizens.

You probably donb't know that if someone spoke against the crown, or published a newspaper, they were subject to arrest and in time of war, death.

I don't have to read the preamble, I memorized it when I was about 10. THe problem is that the general welfare mentioned int eh consitution does not include funding for the arts, the Department of Education, welfare, and all the programs initiated over the last century.

I would like it too small. I would prefer my tax monies go to the state, where I can exert some manner of control over it.

9:15 AM, April 28, 2007  
Anonymous mudkitty said...

You lose the debate, right away, for starting out with an insult.

And who gave you, the sole right to define what the general welfare is?

The "large government" that you refer to was a foreign occupier, and a totalitarian dictator in the form of a monarchy.

We the people have the right to decide what ever size government we choose. You're small government ideology is complete utter bull shit. You can pin that one on the founding fathers.

As for knowing my American History - it's been my favorite subject for 35 years - buzzer sound - you're wrong again.

You're like Jenn; wrong every time out the gate. How can any two people be so wrong so much of the time. It's incredible.

12:21 PM, April 28, 2007  
Anonymous mudkitty said...

Sorry - you CAN'T pin that one on the founding fathers.

12:22 PM, April 28, 2007  
Blogger Concerned Citizen said...

mudkitty: "You lose the debate, right away, for starting out with an insult."

Well, if that isn't the pot calling the kettle black, I don't know what is.

12:12 AM, April 29, 2007  
Blogger Concerned Citizen said...

Oh and to support Robert on his point. The Constituion was drafted to establish and limit the scope and reach of the centralize federal government. If not acutally regulating the size, since they could not begine to imagine the size of the nation they were creating, the spirit of the document would tend to support a smaller centralize government with more powers left to the States.

While there was an understanding that the establishment of the central government was vital, one of the biggest fears of the time was the heavy handed oppression of a powerful central government.

muddkitty is right to point out that the constitution does not specifically restrict the size of the federal government, but she should remember that the First Amendment dowes not specifically address the interpreted right of freedom of expression, only the implictly stated one of freedom of speech. You cannot one minute hail the constitution as a living, breathing document and the next minute base your argument on the fact that something is not explicitly definded in its text.

12:43 AM, April 29, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...

Please show me where each of my rights are listed in the Constitution.

Also, please show me where "foreign occupier" is mentioned in the Consitution.

And last but not least, general welfare is a definition easily found in 3rd grade vocabulary tests.

12:43 AM, April 29, 2007  
Anonymous mudkitty said...

No the constitution was not drafted for the purposes of limiting the government. That is a rightwing myth.

I see I'm going to have to take you guys through the articles one at a time, maybe word by word. It's what you get for not paying attention in civics class, that is if you took one after all: those of you who entered high school after Reagan became president were deprived of civics courses in high school. It's part of the dumbing down of Americans due to Republicanomics.

1:37 PM, April 29, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...

Mud wants to teach us history, yet has apparently missed the lesson on the Connecticutt, or Great Compromise because of the fear of an expansive and heavy handed federal government.

10:35 PM, April 29, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...

Mud wants to teach us history, yet has apparently missed the lesson on the Connecticutt, or Great Compromise because of the fear of an expansive and heavy handed federal government.

10:35 PM, April 29, 2007  
Blogger Concerned Citizen said...

No. You are absolutely incorrect. I will reffer to a Wiki article dealing with the Federalist Papers and their opposition to the bill of rights.

"The idea of adding a bill of rights to the constitution was originally controversial because the constitution, as written, did not specifically enumerate or protect the rights of the people, rather it limited the rights of the government and left all that remained to the states and the people. Alexander Hamilton, the author of Federalist No. 84, feared that such an enumeration, once written down explicitly, would later be interpreted as a list of the only rights that people had."

Is is just one example. It is clearly understood and taught in civics and law coursed that the constituition was framed to establish and limit the power of federal government.

I beleive it is you who needs a refresher course on history.

12:33 AM, April 30, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...

Thank you, CC. I was amazed at the assertion that the Constitution enumerated our rights. It seems as if Hamilton was correct, in a way. From the postings on this blog and others, some believe those rights to be granted by the government, when the founders explicitly denied this claim. They knew that these rights were granted by God, and that if government remained unchecked, then government would seek to deny them when it was deemed politically appropriate.

The current gun control mood is one example. I thought I would never see it, but even the Alabama legislature (in a political move, not really aiming for success) introduced legislation to require registration for everything except muzzle loaders.

Our government was intended to preserve the rights of the people, not dictate which liberties were valid. Neither was it intended to be the great babysitter.

9:26 AM, April 30, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...

And I should mention that government classes are still in place after the evil Ronald Reagan. In fact, government was one semester, economics the other.

And I turned 18 in 1984, just in time to vote for Reagan in my first election.

9:28 AM, April 30, 2007  
Anonymous mudkitty said...

Oh brother - you guys just figured this stuff out, didn't you. And you still misinterpret it.

12:14 PM, May 01, 2007  
Blogger Concerned Citizen said...

No. The misinterpretation is all yours.

If you seriously think that the Constitution ennumerates the rights of the people and is not meant to limit the scope and power of federal government, then you prove your ignorance right there.

That was the very purpose of the document. It was the heart and the soul of the matter before the Continental Congress. It was the purpose behind a great many of the articles in the Federalist Papers.

Establishing a centralize government was one of the biggest fears that the freed colonies had. Not only does the document limit the power and scope of the government, it specifically limits the power and scope of each branch of it.

You are absolutely wrong in your assesment and, once again, I challenge you to provide supportable proof to the contrary.

12:41 PM, May 01, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...

This part of our history is not even a subject that can be debated. The Boston Tea Party is an example of the arguments that raged in the time of the colonies. Most people know (I have stopped saying everyone knows) that the Tea party was to protest british taxes on tea. What most do not know is that by rebelling against the British tax, tea was actually going to be more expensive than by accepting the tax! The colonists chose to pay higher prices out of principle against the Crown than take the cheaper way out.

The entire debate, and the compromises that were included in the Constitution, revolved around the role of a centralized government versus the role of the individual states. The Articles of Confederation failed because it was not strong enough and provided no real authority to the central government, and the colonists knew that they needed more than was provided. However, this did not meant that they wanted a large, powerful, central government to dictate everything. After all, the colonies had their individual interests. For example, Pennsylvania was very conservative, while Georgia began as a penal colony. The needs of the southern colonies were much different than those of the northeastern.

Some will say anything they can make up in an effort to troll.

2:42 PM, May 01, 2007  
Anonymous mudkitty said...

Any reasonable reading of the constitution would be that the government needs to expand and contract to meet the needs of it people.

10:50 PM, May 03, 2007  
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