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I realise that I’ve not written anything on any of my blogs since…it must be four months, and I’ll stipulate to profuse apologies, so that I may begin today’s blog-entry with the following (important) primer on the United States Constitution and the United States Code:

USC Amendment XIII

(Ratified December 6, 1865)

1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

USC Amendment XIV

(Ratified July 9, 1868)

Section 1

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section 5

The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

USC Amendment XV

(Ratified February 3, 1870)

Section 1

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Section 2

The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. § 1973–1973aa-6)

(Effective 6 August, 1965)

I’ve listed the specific section of the United States Code where this Federal legislation, an Act of Congress may be found, both to emphasise that it is, in fact, not a Constitutionally guaranteed right as an Amendment, and to provide a set of coordinates where its text may be examined on many law websites.

(F.Y.I.: USC stands for United States Constitution, whereas U.S.C. is the abbreviation for United States Code.)

Civil Rights Act of 1964

(Effective 2 July, 1964)

I’m certain that we’ve all (99+%) seen the black-and-white films of unarmed protesters facing attack-dogs, water-cannon and baton-wielding police in “Bull” Connor’s Birmingham, Alabama. Those “American-Apartheid” tactics, along with the terrorist deaths of four black girls in the bombing of Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church and the murders of three workers engaged in registering Mississippi blacks to vote are why the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed both houses of Congress.

The Act’s power principally derives from three sources:

1—The power to regulate interstate commerce, pursuant to USC, Article One, Section 8.

The Congress shall have power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the

common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the

United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

2—USC Amendment XIV, Sections 1 and 5 (Listed at the beginning of this blog.)

3—USC Amendment XV, Section 2 (Listed at the beginning of this blog.)

Going back to slightly before the Constitution, I would also like to enlighten you on the United States of America’s turbulent childhood.

It was actually born on 19 April, 1775, not 4 July, 1776, and it was a Confederation. (You didn’t think the Southerners pulled that term out of their butts, did you?)

In fact, the original blueprint of the U.S.A., the Articles of Confederation, was completed in June, 1776 and sent to the states for ratification.

Under the Articles, the Congress of the Confederation—not the United States Congress—had the power to negotiate diplomatic treaties and raise an army, but not the power to levy taxes or encroach upon the sovereignty of the individual states, including the regulation of commerce, foreign and domestic.

The result was that as 1787 arrived, the United States was actually disunited to the extent that its currency was worthless, its military starved of funds, a rebellion had almost succeeded in toppling the Massachusetts government, there was no uniform system of weights and measures—including time, so that it might be fifteen minutes later in the next town and a pound three ounces lighter.

The U.S.A. was rapidly dying, so at the suggestion of James Madison and others, a convention was held in Annapolis, Maryland, where delegates from each state were given the authority to meet in Philadelphia and rewrite the Articles of Confederation.

A funny thing happened. When the delegates arrived, they decided to go rogue and create a completely new document. They were determined that this document would invest upon Congress the powers of taxation, regulation of commerce and the ability to enact Federal laws, irrespective of a particular state’s objection.

Recognising the propensity of politicians to stall and argue, upon the delegates’ entry, the doors were chained shut and boards nailed over the windows—a fact which may be noted when touring Independence Hall—so that everyone sweltered in the May heat.

Despite heated and intricate arguments, the constitutional delegates cranked that damn thing out in record time!

In doing so, the world’s first true Federal Republic had been created. Prior to this, nations either had strong central governments—empires, kingdoms and national assemblies—or were collections of sovereign states, known as confederations.

The U.S. Constitution entered into force after being ratified by eleven of the then-thirteen states, the others soon following, the U.S. Congress took over from the Congress of the Confederation and an entirely new head of state, the President took office upon election, presiding over a union.

Okay, boys and girls…Now, I’ll explain the abbreviated U.S. Government class:

There are presently—and regrettably—on the political landscape a group of halfwits, quarterwits and proudly ignorant people, whose colloquial name is the Tea Party.

The “Tea-Baggers” as they are also known—although I prefer term synonymous with an article of hygiene equipment—became pissed, irate, livid and altogether apoplectic when last-years health-care legislation was enacted, using the same Article One raison pour l’autorité as the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

If there’s anything card-carrying Republicans and Tea-Baggers hate more than what they see as overarching Federal legislation, it’s spending. The “tea” in the Tea Party stands for “Taxed Enough Already.”

Here’s where the march of the ignorant and intellectually-impaired kicks-off:

An idiot had the bright idea of introducing a proposed amendment allowing any or all of the states to repeal—actually, to disregard—any Federal legislation which doesn’t come close to leaving its politicians in writhing orgasm.

More idiots championed the proposed amendment, even as six of the states passed “sovereignty acts,” of which all were thinly-disguised proposals to secede from the U.S.A. Of the four gubernatorial candidates in the 2010 Republican primary, only Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison didn’t mention secession. Rick Perry, only two days away from a term which will make him Texas’ longest-serving governor, mentioned it twice during the campaign.


Here’s where we are:

The number of idiots has snowballed, giving the “repeal amendment” a damn good chance of exiting Congress, rather than dying on the floor.

When it was pointed out that this would effectively repeal Amendment XIV and gut Amendment XV, the response was profound indifference.

When it was pointed out that the proposed piece of constitutional scatology would effectively send us back to the Articles of Confederation, the response was—to quote the late Douglas Adams—“the look of a man trying to convert Fahrenheit to Celsius while watching his house burn.”

Few, if any, had a damn clue what was being said, so the matter was handed over to such capable people as Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck.

For the love of God! Will someone with an I.Q. higher than my cat’s please step in front of a camera, speak clearly into a microphone and explain, using small words and short sentences, why we cannot do this! Please explain why the proffered “fruit-punch” of sovereignty is actually cyanide-laced Kool-Aid!

Will some responsible adults please storm the room, take control and threaten to cane the children if they don’t go outside to play and leave the task of governing to the grown-ups?


One Comment

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