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Thread: What If the Government Followed Its Own Constitution?

  1. #1

    What If the Government Followed Its Own Constitution?


    What If the Government Followed Its Own Constitution?

    By Laurence M. Vance

    April 19, 2016



    Conservatives hold sacred the Constitution, or at least they maintain they do. Republicans profess to be the “party of the Constitution.” They claim to revere the Constitution, to love the Constitution, to honor the Constitution. They castigate “activist” judges for broadly reading the Constitution. They criticize those who advocate a “living Constitution.” They talk about the necessity of discovering the “original intent” or “original meaning” of the Constitution. Conservatives and Republicans even insist, with a straight face, that they believe in following the Constitution, when, of course, they do nothing of the kind.

    Libertarians know that the Constitution is not a libertarian document. The taxing and taking power the Constitution gives to the federal government is troubling. Libertarians recognize that the Constitution is a flawed document. The ambiguous clauses in the Constitution—the “general welfare” clause, the “commerce” clause, and the “necessary and proper” clause—have been abused almost from the very beginning.

    Libertarians believe history makes abundantly clear that the fears the Anti-federalists had about the Constitution allowing the national government to become too centralized and too powerful were tremendous understatements. The Constitution has utterly failed to limit the size and scope of the federal government.

    Libertarians argue that the Constitution was designed to expand government power, not to limit it. The Constitution means only what the Supreme Court interprets it to mean. As Lew Rockwell reminds us in Against the State: “The Constitution creates a government that is the judge of its own powers.”


    Nevertheless, even though the Constitution is not without its problems, it would be better for the cause of liberty and property if the government at least followed it in those areas where it currently doesn’t. This is because most everything the government does is unconstitutional. Now, although it would be better still if the government also didn’t follow the Constitution in those areas in which the document is problematic, first things first.


    The United States was set up as a federal system of government where the states, through the Constitution, granted a limited number of powers to a central government—not the other way around. As James Madison succinctly explained in Federalist No. 45:

    The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the Federal Government, are few and defined.

    Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.

    There are about thirty enumerated powers congressional powers listed throughout the Constitution.

    Everything else is reserved to the states—even without the addition of the Tenth Amendment.


    Most of these powers are listed in the eighteen paragraphs found in article I, section 8. Four of them concern taxes and money. One concerns commerce. One concerns naturalization and bankruptcies. One concerns post offices and post roads. One concerns copyrights and patents. One concerns federal courts. One concerns maritime crimes. Six concern the military and the militia. Once concerns the governance of the District of Columbia. The last one gives Congress the power “to make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers.”


    Congress may also propose amendments to the Constitution or call a convention for proposing amendments, admit new states into the Union, make or alter state regulations concerning national elections, establish courts inferior to the Supreme Court, direct the location of the place for the trial of a crime not committed within any state, declare the punishment for treason, provide the manner in which the public acts and records in each state are accepted by the other states, dispose of and regulate the territory or other property belonging to the United States, give the states consent to lay imposts or duties on imports or exports, and provide by law for the case of the removal, death, resignation, or inability of the president of vice president.


    If one simply compares what the Constitution authorizes the government to do with what it currently does, it is obvious that the government hardly follows its own Constitution at all. For if the government did follow its own Constitution—


    1. There would be no Social Security.
    2. There would be no food stamps.
    3. There would be no Medicare.
    4. There would be no Medicaid.
    5. There would be no Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
    6. There would be no student loans.
    7. There would be no Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).
    8. There would be no Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
    9. There would be no AMTRAK.
    10. There would be no Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
    11. There would be no Department of Agriculture.
    12. There would be no Head Start.
    13. There would be no federal prohibition on organ sales.
    14. There would be no National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
    15. There would be no National School Lunch Program (NSLP).
    16. There would be no Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
    17. There would be no Pell Grants.
    18. There would be no refugee assistance programs.
    19. There would be no block grants to the states.
    20. There would be no Department of Health and Human Services.
    21. There would be no federal job training programs.
    22. There would be no federal family planning programs.
    23. There would be no Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
    24. There would be no Small Business Administration (SBA).
    25. There would be no AmeriCorps.
    26. There would be no National Flood Insurance program.
    27. There would be no Department of Labor.
    28. There would be no federal war on drugs.
    29. There would be no Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
    30. There would be no National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
    31. There would be no farm subsidies.
    32. There would be no school breakfast programs.
    33. There would be no U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
    34. There would be no federal anti-discrimination laws.
    35. There would be no Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
    36. There would be no Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).
    37. There would be no Export-Import Bank.
    38. There would be no Minority Business Development Agency.
    39. There would be no Department of Education.
    40. There would be no federal adoption assistance programs.
    41. There would be no refundable tax credits.
    42. There would be no Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
    43. There would be no Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).
    44. There would be no Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
    45. There would be no Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program.
    46. There would be no Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
    47. There would be no Department of Housing and Urban Development.
    48. There would be no Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae).
    49. Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac).
    50. There would be no Department of Energy.


    And these are just fifty things off the top of my head. I could list fifty more. And then fifty more. Then, after doing some research, I could list 500 more.


    What this means is that if the government followed its own Constitution, there would be no subsidies, no redistribution of wealth, no corporate welfare, no income transfers from those who work to those who don’t, no welfare state, and no nanny state. In other words, the United States would be a free society.

    There yet remains two other things to be said.

    One, anyone who calls himself a constitutionalist or a constitutional conservative and supports any of the above fifty things is a liar, a fraud, and an enemy of the Constitution.


    And two, anyone who thinks that we need a constitutional convention to propose new amendments to the Constitution—including a balanced budget amendment—has rocks for brains. The government currently violates its own Constitution in 10,000 ways. Why would anyone possibly think that government would follow any new amendments to the Constitution? Why would anyone possibly think that congressional spending would be reigned in by a balanced budget amendment?


    Although the Constitution has utterly failed to limit the size and scope of the federal government, it would still be a good thing for the cause of liberty and property if the government made some attempt to follow it.


    The Best of Laurence M. Vance



    Laurence M. Vance [send him mail] writes from central Florida. He is the author of The War on Drugs Is a War on Freedom; War, Christianity, and the State: Essays on the Follies of Christian Militarism; War, Empire, and the Military: Essays on the Follies of War and U.S. Foreign Policy; and many other books. His newest book is the second edition of King James, His Bible, and Its Translators. Visit his website.



    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2016/04/laurence-m-vance/feds-followed-constitution/



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  3. #2
    +rep. Thanks Ronin. Haven't been keeping up with Vance lately and he has always been one of my favorites.

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by phill4paul View Post
    +rep. Thanks Ronin. Haven't been keeping up with Vance lately and he has always been one of my favorites.
    You're welcome and thanks for the Rep.

    I particlarly enjoyed and appreciated this Vance article.

  5. #4
    Good post- Vance is always on top of it.
    There is no spoon.

  6. #5
    What about Article One- Section One?

    All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
    Aren't legislative powers the ability to write laws? Discuss.



    http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/cha...ranscript.html
    Last edited by Zippyjuan; 05-01-2016 at 01:04 PM.
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    I am Zippy and I approve of this post. But you don't have to.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    What about Article One- Section One?

    Aren't legislative powers the ability to write laws? Discuss.

    http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/cha...ranscript.html
    Agencies and Apparatchiks

    by eric • April 28, 2016

    http://ericpetersautos.com/2016/04/2...-apparatchiks/

    Why is the government even involved in dictating “safety” standards for new cars?

    Did the EPA ever get put to a vote?

    These are legitimate questions. But rarely asked – and forget about answered.

    The Constitution lists – enumerates – the specific powers the government is supposed to have.

    The Constitution also clearly states that the specific powers not enumerated are “reserved” to the people and the states.

    Well, where does it say in the Constitution that the federal government shall have the power to lay down bumper impact standards?

    Or require that cars be fitted with air bags and back-up cameras?

    Just asking…

    VW – and all the rest of them – have to bend knee to this “agency” (NHTSA) which no one that I am aware of ever elected. Isn’t the process supposed to be that we elect representatives who then write laws – which we have some degree of veto power over via removing from office representatives whom we decide no longer represent us?

    How do we get rid of apparatchiks within an “agency” who never submit to an election – who are effectively tenured for life – but who have assumed the power to write laws? How did they get this power? And – better question – why do we defer to it, accept it as legitimate?

    It’s palpably not.

    We’re told as kids that we live in a country run by the consent of the governed.

    Really?

    Did any of you consent to any of this?

    Were you even asked?

    Or did it just kind of happen – and now you’re required to accept it?

    Just because?

    It is very odd. Or rather, at odds with what we’ve been told.

    Remember the line about “no taxation without representation”? Well, uhm … what else is it when the government adds a cost to a new car that you’re forced to pay, but never asked you – never asked anyone – whether they thought it was a good idea, but rather simply decreed that it will be so?

    If it walks like a duck…

    The “safety” stuff is particularly obnoxious because the “safety” of an adult human being is clearly no business of anyone’s except that adult human being and perhaps his immediate family, who may exert emotional pressure on him to do – or not do – this or that. But there is no issue of the commons. A man not wearing his seat belt may get hurt as a result of this choice, but he hurts no one else as a result of his choice. A man who drives a 1,600 pound pre-air bag/crumple zone Beetle may regret it if he drives it into a tree – but that is his business, is it not? His driving the old Beetle doesn’t hurt anyone else, at any rate. And is therefore his business – assuming we are free adults and not livestock owned by others who have an interest in safeguarding their property.

    Think about it.

    Government decreeing that you must have air bags in your car is exactly the same as a nosey fishwife neighbor showing up on your doorstep with elbow pads and helmet and insisting that you wear them.

    No one elected the neighbor, either.

    As a practical consequence of these illegal (because, hey, it is not in the Constitution and therefore proscribed by the Constitution) and ever-escalating fatwas for “safer” and “safer” cars, we have heavier and heavier cars… steel being the primary practical way to achieve this. These government-mandated overweight cars then have a tough time passing muster with another nowhere-authorized-in-the-Constitution federal fatwa insisting that they deliver “x” miles-per-gallon.

    Where did that come from?

    Well, they will say they have authority via various evasions, euphemisms and legerdemain. But in plain English the fact is that Congress – which has the legal authority under the Constitution to write and pass laws – illegally transferred its legislative authority to these created-by-fiat “agencies” (Nixon simply decreed the EPA into existence) and the unelected apparatchiks within them. A general authority to (effectively) legislate as they please.

    This is what EPA and NHTSA do every year – several times a year. They issue regulatory fatwas that have the same force and effect as any law passed by Congress. And yet, they are not legislators, never required to submit to a popular vote of yea or nay regarding what they do in our name but never once with even the slimmest pretext of our consent.

    This is the argument car companies ought to present to the people. Not whether air bags and back-up cameras and so on are cost-effective or “work.” That is neither here nor there as regards the fundamental constitutional legitimacy of “agencies” arrogating unto themselves a legislative power nowhere authorized by the Constitution.

    We’d almost certainly have fewer in the way of fatwas if Congress were tasked with doing its job – the job specified by the Constitution – the writing and passing of laws. Proposed laws might be debated, for one thing.

    And – ye gods – they’d be put to a vote.

    Imagine that.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    What about Article One- Section One?



    Aren't legislative powers the ability to write laws? Discuss.



    http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/cha...ranscript.html
    Certainly.

    But laws about what?

    Only those laws exercising the Constitutionally-granted powers of the federal government are valid. Any law attempting to exercise a power not explicityly granted in the Constitution is unconstitutional, illegal, and invalid.

    The specific powers about which laws may be written, are found mostly in article 1 sections 8 and 10. There are a few ancillary powers to be found, such as in Article 4, and a few clauses in Article 6, and in the several Amendments.

    If the authority for a given law is not found explicitly in the text, then the federal government has no power to do it, and therefore any laws it may make to that effect are null and void.

  9. #8
    How will the government ever know when/that they have finally made enough laws?
    Last edited by Ronin Truth; 05-01-2016 at 02:43 PM.



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  11. #9
    The Constitution really should have outlined penalties for representatives that failed to abide by the original intent. Like public hanging. Drawing and quartering. Burning at the stake.

  12. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by phill4paul View Post
    The Constitution really should have outlined penalties for representatives that failed to abide by the original intent. Like public hanging. Drawing and quartering. Burning at the stake.
    I agree that this is it's biggest weakness. I say that the Constitution should have proscribed some kind of harsh penalty for the violation of the oath of office. The oath swears or affirms to uphold and defend the Constitution. I would that a mechanism were provided for the people to prosecute an official for a violation of their oath.

    Say a really high bar like 25% of a district signatures sets a public referendum of "should this person be tried?" A majority "Yes" opens up a trial by grand jury. Twelve juries of 12 persons, each 12 person jury sequestered unto itself apart from the other 12 person juries. Individual 12-person juries must be unanimous to render a guilty verdict, but only a majority of the 12 juries finding guilty are necessary to render a guilty verdict. In the event of a 6 jury to 6 jury tie, then the question of guilt yes or no goes again to public referendum. If a finding of guilt is returned, then a series of types of crimes against the Constitution is defined, and a spectrum of punishment is laid out for each. They can range from high treason to middlin graft to incidental misuse of office. Array the fines and severity of imprisonment on a spectrum and let the people vote on the punishment. Center the average and the mean and then impose that punishment on the faithless elected.

    If a Congressman could potentially get 25 to life, or even the death penalty for failing to obey the Constitution, then it might change his perspective a little bit.

  13. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by GunnyFreedom View Post
    I agree that this is it's biggest weakness. I say that the Constitution should have proscribed some kind of harsh penalty for the violation of the oath of office. The oath swears or affirms to uphold and defend the Constitution. I would that a mechanism were provided for the people to prosecute an official for a violation of their oath.

    Say a really high bar like 25% of a district signatures sets a public referendum of "should this person be tried?" A majority "Yes" opens up a trial by grand jury. Twelve juries of 12 persons, each 12 person jury sequestered unto itself apart from the other 12 person juries. Individual 12-person juries must be unanimous to render a guilty verdict, but only a majority of the 12 juries finding guilty are necessary to render a guilty verdict. In the event of a 6 jury to 6 jury tie, then the question of guilt yes or no goes again to public referendum. If a finding of guilt is returned, then a series of types of crimes against the Constitution is defined, and a spectrum of punishment is laid out for each. They can range from high treason to middlin graft to incidental misuse of office. Array the fines and severity of imprisonment on a spectrum and let the people vote on the punishment. Center the average and the mean and then impose that punishment on the faithless elected.

    If a Congressman could potentially get 25 to life, or even the death penalty for failing to obey the Constitution, then it might change his perspective a little bit.

    I agree wholeheartedly.

  14. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by phill4paul View Post
    I agree wholeheartedly.
    It is for this reason that while I 100% vehemently oppose a Convention of the States in the current climate, if there unfortunately is one, then I want to go and present my "make violating the Oath a felony" Amendment.

  15. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by GunnyFreedom View Post
    It is for this reason that while I 100% vehemently oppose a Convention of the States in the current climate, if there unfortunately is one, then I want to go and present my "make violating the Oath a felony" Amendment.
    I'd go with you but, as you say "in the current climate", if there was a Convention I'd be stocking up on...things.

  16. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by phill4paul View Post
    I'd go with you but, as you say "in the current climate", if there was a Convention I'd be stocking up on...things.
    Yeah. You and me both. I just figure if the idiots are going to give us an unmitigated disaster, there ought to be at least someone pointing out the correct path if only for the historic record.

  17. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by GunnyFreedom View Post
    Certainly.

    But laws about what?

    Only those laws exercising the Constitutionally-granted powers of the federal government are valid. Any law attempting to exercise a power not explicityly granted in the Constitution is unconstitutional, illegal, and invalid.

    The specific powers about which laws may be written, are found mostly in article 1 sections 8 and 10. There are a few ancillary powers to be found, such as in Article 4, and a few clauses in Article 6, and in the several Amendments.

    If the authority for a given law is not found explicitly in the text, then the federal government has no power to do it, and therefore any laws it may make to that effect are null and void.
    You'd think he just joined the forums today. Well maybe this version of Zippy is new here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    Ron Paul know some weird people...



    Quiz: Test Your "Income" Tax IQ!


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    The Federalist Papers, No. 15:

    Except as to the rule of appointment, the United States have an indefinite discretion to make requisitions for men and money; but they have no authority to raise either by regulations extending to the individual citizens of America.

  18. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by GunnyFreedom View Post
    I agree that this is it's biggest weakness. I say that the Constitution should have proscribed some kind of harsh penalty for the violation of the oath of office. The oath swears or affirms to uphold and defend the Constitution. I would that a mechanism were provided for the people to prosecute an official for a violation of their oath.

    Say a really high bar like 25% of a district signatures sets a public referendum of "should this person be tried?" A majority "Yes" opens up a trial by grand jury. Twelve juries of 12 persons, each 12 person jury sequestered unto itself apart from the other 12 person juries. Individual 12-person juries must be unanimous to render a guilty verdict, but only a majority of the 12 juries finding guilty are necessary to render a guilty verdict. In the event of a 6 jury to 6 jury tie, then the question of guilt yes or no goes again to public referendum. If a finding of guilt is returned, then a series of types of crimes against the Constitution is defined, and a spectrum of punishment is laid out for each. They can range from high treason to middlin graft to incidental misuse of office. Array the fines and severity of imprisonment on a spectrum and let the people vote on the punishment. Center the average and the mean and then impose that punishment on the faithless elected.

    If a Congressman could potentially get 25 to life, or even the death penalty for failing to obey the Constitution, then it might change his perspective a little bit.
    At least we could do a recall election.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    Ron Paul know some weird people...



    Quiz: Test Your "Income" Tax IQ!


    Short Income Tax Video

    The Income Tax Is An Excise, And Excise Taxes Are Privilege Taxes

    The Federalist Papers, No. 15:

    Except as to the rule of appointment, the United States have an indefinite discretion to make requisitions for men and money; but they have no authority to raise either by regulations extending to the individual citizens of America.



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  20. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Danke View Post
    At least we could do a recall election.
    I'd like to work on making recall elections possible in NC. However, if the idiots are going to muck about with the Constitution, then I'm going to go for the gold. I'd like to see the corrupt bastards swinging on a pike. No retroactive prosecution of course however, we aren't savages.

  21. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by GunnyFreedom View Post
    If a Congressman could potentially get 25 to life, or even the death penalty for failing to obey the Constitution, then it might change his perspective a little bit.
    It's probably what you want, but no one in his right mind would ever run for office if he knew he could be second-guessed on his votes by a bunch of people many of whom may never have read the Constitution.
    We have long had death and taxes as the two standards of inevitability. But there are those who believe that death is the preferable of the two. "At least," as one man said, "there's one advantage about death; it doesn't get worse every time Congress meets."
    Erwin N. Griswold

    Taxes: Of life's two certainties, the only one for which you can get an automatic extension.
    Anonymous

  22. #19
    I can appreciate how some people like to trace back and look at the US Constitution and figure out where it went wrong.

    Unfortunately, that approach will never work.

    I have had to revise programs in excess of 10,000 lines of code before. This is well in excess of the length of the constitution. In a few cases, I had to perform some pretty deep surgery to a) get to the root of the problem, b) fix the problem, and c) make sure it still runs correctly. I would end up reading through and understanding the whole thing prior to trying to make a change. So I have a bit of experience in taking a huge, complex document that does something, and changing it, sometimes fundamentally. Here are some things to consider.

    1) When modifying a program, there are a ton of other rules and other structure involved. You have to know the byte size of an integer on the platform you're working on. You have to know how to terminate lines of code. You have to know what documentation scraper you're using and how to format for it (and this is completely irrelevant to its actual function).
    It's the same way in the US Constitution. It's a short program, sure. Written in 18th century code. If you change the byte size of an int in a program, pretty soon all sorts of unpredictable things start happening. Same as if you redefine the words "among" and "invasion".
    One tiny change in one of the non-explicit rules has big effects and they are never beneficial.

    Now think about all the other things that we take for granted in the constitution, which one little change can modify.


    2) More importantly, the first step in solving any problem is..... to accurately define the problem.
    Anyone who has been in IT for any length of time should have warning sensors that go off the minute someone goes out of scope. Say, for instance, that someone new took over Facebook and decided to make it start doing personal accounting for users. IT professionals would go ape$#@! at the idea. Facebook does what it does and it does it well enough to be squarely on top of its market. If you go screwing around with it in order to try to fill another market niche, it has to be done in a way that accommodates the original system running as intended and incorporates the new functionality as an add-on, or it has to be done as a completely separate project. Trying to simply repurpose FB as an accounting package in one big rollout is doomed to failure.

    So what was the problem that the US Constitution was solving, to begin with? Everything I've read on it boils down to a power grab. They even say that outright in public school, like it's something to be proud of: the Articles didn't allow for the federal government to do much, so they scrapped it for a more powerful government.

    That is its original purpose: a power grab. It was put in place as a power grab. If you want to repurpose the US constitution as an anti-power-grab document, you are changing the fundamental nature of the constitution in a way which is more radical than trying to turn FB into an accounting software... because you're not just making a severe left turn, you're expecting it to start having the exact opposite effect of what it was ratified to do.

    But it's still a project, and just like with a large IT project, you're not going to succeed unless you can roll it out the same way. But the nature of the US government is that it is a monopoly. No other federal state can exist at the same time. You can't roll out your anti-constitution in tandem and leave the original system running - it's all or nothing. The odds of a project that large succeeding on its first go are not favorable.

    3) So what is success, anyway? How do we determine if the project was a success?
    Here you're going to run into classic state economics. In the market, if you succeed you get more money, and if you fail you go bankrupt.
    In the state, if you succeed you get your budget slashed, and if you fail you get more money.
    There is a built-in incentive for the state to fail at the everyday things it does. There is no fundamental difference between Kelly Thomas' face, and the F-35 program. Both are complete failures that have been baked into this from the get-go.

    No matter what you do with an anti-constitution, no matter how carefully you lay your plans, no matter how successful the rollout is, you're still going to have that reverse incentive. The only way to use market incentives in the state is to use the market. And the moment you do that we are nowhere within miles of the US Constitution.
    There are no crimes against people.
    There are only crimes against the state.
    And the state will never, ever choose to hold accountable its agents, because a thing can not commit a crime against itself.

  23. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by fisharmor View Post
    I can appreciate how some people like to trace back and look at the US Constitution and figure out where it went wrong.

    Unfortunately, that approach will never work.

    I have had to revise programs in excess of 10,000 lines of code before. This is well in excess of the length of the constitution. In a few cases, I had to perform some pretty deep surgery to a) get to the root of the problem, b) fix the problem, and c) make sure it still runs correctly. I would end up reading through and understanding the whole thing prior to trying to make a change. So I have a bit of experience in taking a huge, complex document that does something, and changing it, sometimes fundamentally. Here are some things to consider.

    1) When modifying a program, there are a ton of other rules and other structure involved. You have to know the byte size of an integer on the platform you're working on. You have to know how to terminate lines of code. You have to know what documentation scraper you're using and how to format for it (and this is completely irrelevant to its actual function).
    It's the same way in the US Constitution. It's a short program, sure. Written in 18th century code. If you change the byte size of an int in a program, pretty soon all sorts of unpredictable things start happening. Same as if you redefine the words "among" and "invasion".
    One tiny change in one of the non-explicit rules has big effects and they are never beneficial.

    Now think about all the other things that we take for granted in the constitution, which one little change can modify.


    2) More importantly, the first step in solving any problem is..... to accurately define the problem.
    Anyone who has been in IT for any length of time should have warning sensors that go off the minute someone goes out of scope. Say, for instance, that someone new took over Facebook and decided to make it start doing personal accounting for users. IT professionals would go ape$#@! at the idea. Facebook does what it does and it does it well enough to be squarely on top of its market. If you go screwing around with it in order to try to fill another market niche, it has to be done in a way that accommodates the original system running as intended and incorporates the new functionality as an add-on, or it has to be done as a completely separate project. Trying to simply repurpose FB as an accounting package in one big rollout is doomed to failure.

    So what was the problem that the US Constitution was solving, to begin with? Everything I've read on it boils down to a power grab. They even say that outright in public school, like it's something to be proud of: the Articles didn't allow for the federal government to do much, so they scrapped it for a more powerful government.

    That is its original purpose: a power grab. It was put in place as a power grab. If you want to repurpose the US constitution as an anti-power-grab document, you are changing the fundamental nature of the constitution in a way which is more radical than trying to turn FB into an accounting software... because you're not just making a severe left turn, you're expecting it to start having the exact opposite effect of what it was ratified to do.

    But it's still a project, and just like with a large IT project, you're not going to succeed unless you can roll it out the same way. But the nature of the US government is that it is a monopoly. No other federal state can exist at the same time. You can't roll out your anti-constitution in tandem and leave the original system running - it's all or nothing. The odds of a project that large succeeding on its first go are not favorable.

    3) So what is success, anyway? How do we determine if the project was a success?
    Here you're going to run into classic state economics. In the market, if you succeed you get more money, and if you fail you go bankrupt.
    In the state, if you succeed you get your budget slashed, and if you fail you get more money.
    There is a built-in incentive for the state to fail at the everyday things it does. There is no fundamental difference between Kelly Thomas' face, and the F-35 program. Both are complete failures that have been baked into this from the get-go.

    No matter what you do with an anti-constitution, no matter how carefully you lay your plans, no matter how successful the rollout is, you're still going to have that reverse incentive. The only way to use market incentives in the state is to use the market. And the moment you do that we are nowhere within miles of the US Constitution.
    So after a 200+ year test run, does it work, or does it fail?

  24. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Ronin Truth View Post
    So after a 200+ year test run, does it work, or does it fail?
    It's my contention that what we all come here to bitch about is exactly that: the US Constitution doing what it's supposed to do.
    It was a power grab. That was the original requirement.
    It did that well.
    We ought not be too upset to find out that it's been continuing to do the thing it was supposed to do.

    In short, it's a wildly successful experiment. But almost nobody recognizes it, because they think it's supposed to do something else.
    Last edited by fisharmor; 05-02-2016 at 08:49 PM.
    There are no crimes against people.
    There are only crimes against the state.
    And the state will never, ever choose to hold accountable its agents, because a thing can not commit a crime against itself.

  25. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by fisharmor View Post
    It's my contention that what we all come here to bitch about is exactly that: the US Constitution doing what it's supposed to do.
    It was a power grab. That was the original requirement.
    It did that well.
    We ought not be too upset to find out that it's been continuing to do the thing it was supposed to do.

    In short, it's a wildly successful experiment. But almost nobody recognizes it, because they think it's supposed to do something else.
    The anti-Feds were both prescient and correct.

  26. #23

    "Our forefathers, in contrast, risked their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to give birth to a nation whose glory was liberty and whose march was the march of the mind. The ultimate goal of the United States would not be power, domination or conquest; it would be a fair opportunity for citizens to develop their faculties and pursue their ambitions free from domestic or foreign predation. President Thomas Jefferson elaborated in his First Inaugural Address: “[P]eace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.” ...

    But for the last 70 years, we have crucified the Constitution on a cross of multi-trillion dollar gratuitous presidential wars that have crippled liberty; empowered the President to assassinate citizens at will based on secret evidence; impoverished the people; turned genius from production to destruction; and, awakened enemies who would otherwise self-destruct in internecine warfare. At present, we are engaged in nine (9) presidential wars in Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and against ISIS and Al-Qaeda everywhere on the planet. Their collateral damage has included making children orphans, wives widows and fathers dig graves for their sons. President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s worst nightmare of a multi-trillion dollar military-industrial-counterterrorism complex bestriding the corridors of power has come true.
    "

    "Let it not be said that we did nothing." - Dr. Ron Paul. "Stand up for what you believe in, even if you are standing alone." - Sophie Magdalena Scholl
    "War is the health of the State." - Randolph Bourne "Freedom is the answer. ... Now, what's the question?" - Ernie Hancock.

  27. #24
    The writewrs of the Constitution expected impeachment to be commonplace and the remedy for out of scope politicians.

    Where did it go bad?

    Ploitical parties, which supplanted duty to the country as the operating principle. When these guys have more loyalty to the party than the country (as washington predicted would happen) the people would be ruined.

    And so it has come to pass.
    Out of every one hundred men they send us, ten should not even be here. Eighty will do nothing but serve as targets for the enemy. Nine are real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, upon them depends our success in battle. But one, ah the one, he is a real warrior, and he will bring the others back from battle alive.

    Duty is the most sublime word in the English language. Do your duty in all things. You can not do more than your duty. You should never wish to do less than your duty.



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  29. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    What about Article One- Section One?



    Aren't legislative powers the ability to write laws? Discuss.



    http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/cha...ranscript.html

    of course. Legislators write laws. Those laws are bound by the powers afforded to them. See article 1 section 8.

  30. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Ronin Truth View Post
    So after a 200+ year test run, does it work, or does it fail?
    It works. We the people fail. We as a group of citizens stopped caring and turned over our government to politicians

  31. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by fisharmor View Post
    So what was the problem that the US Constitution was solving, to begin with? Everything I've read on it boils down to a power grab. They even say that outright in public school, like it's something to be proud of: the Articles didn't allow for the federal government to do much, so they scrapped it for a more powerful government.

    That is its original purpose: a power grab. It was put in place as a power grab. If you want to repurpose the US constitution as an anti-power-grab document,

    A big problem with the articles is that it didn't account for funding a federal war. So to pretend it's all and only about power is misdleading.
    And I don't agree it was a power grab at all. It's written clearly that the powers the federal government has are Few and Defined. It's designed to be a uniting force in war so each state doesn't have to fight along as in Europe. It's involved in negotiating treaties with the collective (aka united) states. It has the ability to tax states to fund its very limited and defined powers (articles didn't offer this which is a main failure of the articles). And it leaves all other powers Not listed, to the states.

    So unless you're suggesting that the states were the ones using the constitution as a power grab, I can't understand this point.

  32. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Pericles View Post
    The writewrs of the Constitution expected impeachment to be commonplace and the remedy for out of scope politicians.

    Where did it go bad?

    Ploitical parties, which supplanted duty to the country as the operating principle. When these guys have more loyalty to the party than the country (as washington predicted would happen) the people would be ruined.

    And so it has come to pass.
    Source?
    Quote Originally Posted by Torchbearer
    what works can never be discussed online. there is only one language the government understands, and until the people start speaking it by the magazine full... things will remain the same.
    Hear/buy my music here "government is the enemy of liberty"-RP Support me on Patreon here Ephesians 6:12

  33. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by heavenlyboy34 View Post
    Source?
    Read the federalist papers - you can start with 65 A well-constituted court for the trial of impeachments is an object not more to be desired than difficult to be obtained in a government wholly elective. The subjects of its jurisdiction are those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself. The prosecution of them, for this reason, will seldom fail to agitate the passions of the whole community, and to divide it into parties more or less friendly or inimical to the accused. In many cases it will connect itself with the pre-existing factions, and will enlist all their animosities, partialities, influence, and interest on one side or on the other; and in such cases there will always be the greatest danger that the decision will be regulated more by the comparative strength of parties, than by the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt.
    Out of every one hundred men they send us, ten should not even be here. Eighty will do nothing but serve as targets for the enemy. Nine are real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, upon them depends our success in battle. But one, ah the one, he is a real warrior, and he will bring the others back from battle alive.

    Duty is the most sublime word in the English language. Do your duty in all things. You can not do more than your duty. You should never wish to do less than your duty.

  34. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by TommyJeff View Post
    A big problem with the articles is that it didn't account for funding a federal war. So to pretend it's all and only about power is misdleading.
    And I don't agree it was a power grab at all. It's written clearly that the powers the federal government has are Few and Defined. It's designed to be a uniting force in war so each state doesn't have to fight along as in Europe. It's involved in negotiating treaties with the collective (aka united) states. It has the ability to tax states to fund its very limited and defined powers (articles didn't offer this which is a main failure of the articles). And it leaves all other powers Not listed, to the states.

    So unless you're suggesting that the states were the ones using the constitution as a power grab, I can't understand this point.
    ....You just validated what I said. The Articles didn't let the federal government fund wars. The new government gave itself that POWER.
    If you stop right there, and don't examine anything else, then it was a power grab.
    But you know as well as I that it does not stop with war funding.

    They may have tried to keep things contained to just the power they were grabbing in 1789, but that doesn't make what they did not a power grab.
    There are no crimes against people.
    There are only crimes against the state.
    And the state will never, ever choose to hold accountable its agents, because a thing can not commit a crime against itself.

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