The problem is that we think we can solve every problem with a government program

“While our country remains untainted with the principles and manners which are now producing desolation in so many parts of the world; while she continues sincere, and incapable of insidious and impious policy, we shall have the strongest reason to rejoice in the local destination assigned us by Providence. But should the people of America once become capable of that deep simulation towards one another, and towards foreign nations, which assumes the language of justice and moderation while it is practising iniquity and extravagance, and displays in the most captivating manner the charming pictures of candor, frankness, and sincerity, while it is rioting in rapine and insolence, this country will be the most miserable habitation in the world; because we have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” — John Adams, address to Massachusetts militia unit, Oct. 11, 1798

We have become so tolerant of anything and everything that we will not tolerate any intolerance.

In today’s newspaper column, economist Walter E. Williams describes this country as one doomed by moral and economic decay.

TSA has a 95 percent failure rate. (Getty Images via USA Today)

“For nearly three-quarters of a century, the nation’s liberals have waged war on traditional values, customs and morality. Our youths have been counseled that there are no moral absolutes. Instead, what’s moral or immoral is a matter of personal opinion,” Williams indicts.

He then answers his own question about how massive government spending will bankrupt the nation. “The answer would have to be Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Over 50 percent of today’s federal budget is spent on these programs. Around the time when many in the so-called Greatest Generation were born (1920), there were no such programs, and federal spending was $53 billion. In 2014, federal spending was $3.5 trillion.”

He concludes that we might be able to survive the economic decline, but the moral decline “spells our doom.”

Or is it a combination of the two, as well as a heaping dose of unwarranted self-confidence in our ability to fix everything with just one more government program.

Take that Social Security program for example. The CBO this week reports it will be insolvent by 2029, two decades earlier than projected in 2008.

We socialized medicine, and the cost keeps rising.

We socialized airport security, and the result is a 95 percent failure rate in catching guns and bombs.

We socialized veterans’ medical care, and veterans died waiting for the bureaucracy to act.

We socialized education, and test scores stagnated. But the media bemoan any attempt at introducing competition and choice.

The EPA is trying to take control of the air we breathe and the water we drink.

Federal land agencies want to protect wildlife, but let the land burn and refuse to kill predators.

Our state government spends our money on charging stations for electric cars that can’t make the seven-hour Las Vegas to Carson City trip without having to stop and recharge for several hours.

We socialized home mortgages and caused a recession.

The problem is all that problem solving.

There is too much heavy-handedness and not enough invisible hand.





164 comments on “The problem is that we think we can solve every problem with a government program

  1. Bruce Feher says:

    If everyone gave “government” every thing do you think anything would improve?

  2. Rincon says:

    “We socialized medicine, and the cost keeps rising”. So far as I know, hospitals and doctors’ offices are privately owned. Same with pharmaceutical companies, nursing homes, insurance companies, etc. Not even close to socialism. By your definition, medicine was socialized when I was a boy, since the indigent received free health care in ER’s.

    “We socialized airport security, and the result is a 95 percent failure rate in catching guns and bombs”. Should we privatize police and fire departments while we’re at it? I can also criticize freedom of speech on this one. Thank the press for reporting the test results to encourage and enable any potential terrorists. Does the press think they’re doing us a favor?

    “We socialized veterans’ medical care, and veterans died waiting for the bureaucracy to act”. So when was veteran’s care private? I can point out numerous preventable deaths in private hospitals starting with nosocomial infections.

    “We socialized education, and test scores stagnated. But the media bemoan any attempt at introducing competition and choice.” We’ve been gaining about 3 IQ points per decade.

    “Federal land agencies want to protect wildlife, but let the land burn and refuse to kill predators.” Until the government got involved, rivers caught fire and the air in Gary, Indiana was orange. You long for the good old days?

    Along a similar vein: We privatized airlines and now, we’re all treated like cattle.

    We privatized telephone companies and now our home phones last 2 years if we’re lucky and the sound quality is worse than it was fifty years ago, despite major technological advances.

    Private television has given us cable companies with service so bad, it’s become a given.

    We tried to privatize war with the likes of Halliburton and have paid dearly for it.

    We are constantly harassed by telephone marketers (private enterprise) because of a lack of government regulation.

    It’s easy to take pot shots without any analysis.

  3. Vernon Clayson says:

    And lurking in broad daylight is president-in-waiting Hillary Clinton, who intends larger, more demanding government, more redistribution, and a total socialist nation. In a campaign deviously plotted, broadcast to sugar coated perfection by a willing and unquestioning liberal news media, this woman will push socialism far beyond any predecessors efforts.

  4. Vernon Clayson says:

    To continue, socialists in government, open and secret, allied with POTUS Obama, believing he was one of them; they were wrong but they opened the door for his real interests, racial divide, unfettered immigration, Muslim encroachment, and reducing American influence in the world. History will tell how this happened and will call it a revolution.

  5. Barbara says:

    Very well said Thomas. It is Rincon’s words that are without analysis or historical prospective. The United States established a Republic based on restricting the power of government, recognizing the unique opportuntiy to “being the world anew” and declare all men equal.

    France who underwent a revolution just after ours, but their outcome was very different. They relied on a central authority, at first a monarchy, then a military dictatorship. France did not have the moral underpinnings in their culture to fully believe in the equality of men.

    History can judge which country was more successful in providing for the citizenry.

  6. Patrick says:


    Was there more or less government after the Constitution was adopted? And, as a follow-up;

    Doesn’t the fact, that there was more government after the Constitution was adopted, demonstrate that the founding fathers clearly understood that whatever hopes for liberty, and economic progress, existed in this country, were dependent on a system of more government, rather than the less government that existed prior to the passage of the Constitution?

  7. Barbara says:

    More government than what? Are you comparing the constitution to the Articles of Confederation or the Monarchy under British rule? I would not agree that there was less government before the Republic was established, just a different form.

  8. Patrick says:

    Before the Constitution was adopted, there was no federal government (or at least any of the size that was called for by the Constitution) so, without question, the founders, by drafting then adopting the Constitution, recognized that the government that existed prior to the adoption of the Constitution, would not ensure the liberty, or economic viability, of the country.

    Which means, they recognized that more government was a good thing.

  9. Barbara says:

    Patrick the basis of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is to restrict the scope and power of the central government. The Founders did not establish the Constituion to expand the power of the government, but to clearly define its scope and restrict its reach.

  10. nyp says:

    And that’s why Medicare is unconstitutional and should be abolished.

  11. Patrick says:

    Barbara: The adoption of the Constitution was a recognition that the country needed a central government with more centralized authority than had existed previously.

    Powers that did not previously exist, were “created” and granted to this central government, and thus, arguing that the Constitution did anything other than creating more and bigger government is really…silly.

  12. Steve says:

    Rincon lost me when trying to say the press should “stop reporting” on things.

    The ostrich solution is no solution.

  13. Nyp says:

    Tonight’s 2d Amendment moment: 8 people shot in a Charlston church.

  14. Steve says:

    prejudging and convicting on little to no evidence is nyp’s stock in trade.

  15. Rincon says:

    Saying you want smaller government is far different than saying you want no government. Most of us agree that some government programs are poorly run, wasteful and sometimes counterproductive. Most also agree that some parts of a strong government, such as defense, are worthwhile. The conflict is in the details. Ranting about the size of government is fun, I’m sure, but does not provide the basis for meaningful discussion.

    Yes, let’s eliminate waste in government. So far, we all agree.

  16. Nyp says:

    Good point, Steve– turns out there were 9 dead, not 8.

    My bad.

  17. Steve says:

    Trying to label this a result of any of the amendments in the Bill of Rights is simply asinine, nyp.

    Whatever made that guy kill people, it was not due to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and I posit no law would have or could have prevented it.

  18. nyp says:

    Right — no connection between 2d Amendment and the once-every-two-weeks frequency of mass shootings in America.

    BTW – I wonder if this guy agrees with Athos and some of Mr. Mitchell’s other frequent contributors about the genetic inferiority of African-Americans?

  19. Winston Smith says:

    In 1787, many Americans felt that the Articles of Confederation did not create a strong enough central government, and a convention was called to “amend the articles”. However, Madison and the Virginia delegation, and a few others, believed that the Articles needed to be replaced with the Virginia Plan, and worked for four months to bring us our Constitution. Many people, even a few at the convention, ultimately believed that the framework created a too centralized government, one that would usurp power from the states.

    During the succeeding ratification process, these two sides, the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists, fought a war of words to sway the populace for or against ratification. Eventually, the Federalists won out, but the Anti-Federalists were at least able to get the Bill of Rights added to the Constitution.

    In a sense, the Articles of Confederation were about a 2 on the 1-10 scale of Anarchy -> Tyranny. The Constitution was about a 3, as of 1789, by 1865 it had moved to about a 5, and by 1945, a 7. No, we aren’t at the Hitler/Stalin/Mao level of 10, but we keep moving towards that point.

    So, I guess if the Founders wanted a central government to go from a 2 to a 3, that certainly means they’d be happy with a continuous 230 years of centralization to our current 8, and would welcome a 10, right DARPA and patrick?

    Please, don’t continue to insult us with your re-writing of history.

    “All societies must be governed in some way or other. The less they may have of stringent state government, the more they must have of individual self-government. The less they rely on public law or physical force, the more they must rely on private moral restraint. People, in a word, must necessarily be controlled, either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet. It may do for other countries and other governments to talk about the state supporting religion. Here, under our free institutions, it is religion which must support the state.” – Robert Charles Winthrop

  20. Patrick says:

    Difficult to understand a libertarian arguing that a Constitution written so as to exclude an entire race from recognition, which was later amended to include recognition of the rights of that race, was initially at a “2” on some created scale of “tyranny” but, after the Amendment recognizing the rights of that race. Somehow increased to a “5”. And of course, this doesn’t even mention the total exclusion from “representation” of the voting rights of half the population.

    Strange world.

  21. Steve says:

    We are certainly learning a lot of stuff about those victims of that crazy killer. But we are getting precious little or even no, information about that P.O.S. who should face Utah’s firing squad for committing that crime.

    So we really have ZERO way of determining what effect the Bill of Rights had on “its” decision…(that killer doesn’t qualify as human..or even subhuman after this) Kill it.

  22. nyp says:

    We know that he was a white racist terrorist who proudly displayed the flags of apartheid South Africa and Rhodesia.

    And that his dad bought him a gun for his 21st birthday.

    What a nice way to celebrate the 2d Amendment.

  23. Winston Smith says:

    As usual, patrick, you fail to understand the context of the times, and that the reduction of states rights and the creation of the 14th Amendment citizen was a move towards centralized tyranny, despite the freeing of the slaves. I swear, you must not read anything but leftist approved history books. And while the 19th Amendment increased freedom, this was not nearly enough to neutralize the New Deal’s slide towards tyranny, not to mention the infamous year 1913.

  24. Steve says:

    “The father of the Marysville school shooter was charged Tuesday with buying the gun the teen used — even though an order of protection barred him from owning firearms.
    Raymond Lee Fryberg, 42, purchased the Beretta PX4 Storm — and four other guns — at a Cabela’s on the Tulalip Indian Reservation in January 2013. Federal prosecutors allege he lied on a disclosure form, declaring he was not subject to any restrictions even though he had admitted to a trial court just three months earlier that he violated the order of protection.”

    hmm, those “instant background checks” worked really well….smh.

    Another illegally obtained weapon, nyp.

    Lets pass even more laws against things because, as drug laws have shown, banning things with laws works so well…..unbelievable.

    EXISTING law failed…so your answer is to pile on with even MORE false advertising?

  25. Steve says:

    Patrick and Nyp read only what they want to read…blocking all else out. Rincon is better but shows the same comprehension adequacy issues on a relatively regular basis.

  26. Patrick says:

    A man claiming that the Articles of Confederation, a document that recognized no rights at all of slaves, or people as we call them now, was a “2” on some made up “tyranny” scale, and then argues that a Constitution, that did later recognize the rights of those people, was a “5” on the fictional “tyranny” scale, can not be taken seriously as a libertarian, much less as a human.

    And I surely will not. No matter how he would try to justify such absurdities by claiming “it was how things were back then.”

  27. Steve says:

    Sure…you read only those bits you wished to read. And that is shown by what you choose to write about what was written. There was more in that than what you choose to see.

  28. Patrick says:

    “At least Mussolini made the trains run on time”

  29. Steve says:

    You keep proving my statement, Patrick.

  30. Barbara says:

    Patrick, could you explain what you mean by your statement ” a Constitution written so as to exclude an entire race from recognition”. The US Constitution, even from it’s founding, excluded no race. What race are you referencing and how were they excluded?

  31. Patrick says:

    Barbara: I was inelegant, but I trust you understood what I intended. But, if not, the original Constitution (and more so the Articles of Confederation) deemed blacks to be “worth” (at least for purposes of representation if not for any other, including with regard to any “rights” recognized by the document) 3/5’s of any other person.

  32. Rincon says:

    Since the Constitution essentially dictates a two party system and enables the rich to dominate those of lesser means in the political process, I suppose it could be equated with some kind of tyranny, but it’s stretching a point.

  33. Patrick says:


    Perhaps Justice Taney said it best:

    “It is difficult, at this day, to realize the state of public opinion in relation to that unfortunate race which prevailed in the civilized and enlightened portions of the world at the time of the Declaration of Independence, and when the constitution was framed and adopted. But the public history of every European nation displays it in a manner too plain to be mistaken. They had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior race, and altogether unfit to associate with the white races, either in social or political relations; and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect, and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit.”

    Although, I’m quite sure you knew that.

  34. The Constitution does not dictate a two-party system. It is silent on parties.

  35. nyp says:

    Perhaps he is thinking of Art. 4, sec. 2, cl. 3, which requires the return of fugitive slaves.

    Or maybe it’s Art. 1, sec. 2, cl. 3, which says that for purposes of apportionment, black slaves shall be counted as three-fifths of a white person.

    Or maybe it is Art. 1, sec. 9, which prohibited Congress from banning the African slave trade for twenty years.

  36. Steve says:

    “but I trust you understood what I intended.”

    Why should anyone “trust what you intend” when you selectively spin every word written by every conservative on this site?

    I know this was directed at Barbara but I needed to respond.

  37. Steve says:

    You may not like how it recognizes that particular race, nyp. The fact is it did then and still does so.

  38. Barbara says:

    Ah Patrick. I see you have succumbed to leftist propaganda. The infamous “3/5″ clause” had nothing to do with the “worth” of blacks as persons or in restricting rights or equality. In fact it came about because a majority of the Founders abhorred slavery and wanted to restrict the power of namely three states (North and South Carolina and Georgia) who had slaves from greater power in the House of Representatives based on population count. These three states did not want to abolish slavery and threatened to walk out of the convention and not become part of the Union. As a compromise to keep them in the Union, the convention voted to count slaves as only 3/5 of a person as a means to decrease the number of representatives allowed from slave states. If slaves were counted as a full person, slave states would have gained more House seats and more power due to population count. The fact that slaves were counted at all for the purposes of allocating house seats was in itself a concession to the slave states. The 3/5 provision applied only to slaves, not to free blacks in either the north or the south.

    Slaves were brought to the colonies by Dutch, African, and British slave traders two hundred years before the revolution as allowed under British rule. Many colonies tried to pass laws abolishing the importation of slaves, but these laws were not allowed by the British. Thomas Jefferson, in his justification of the rebellion against the British Crown, included the following:

    He [King George III] has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. . . . Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce [that is, he has opposed efforts to prohibit the slave trade].

  39. Patrick says:


    You seemed to have missed what I wrote about the Constitutions “valuation” (and the quotation marks here are used to denote my colloquial use of that word, and not a literal usage) of blacks, as having been counted “at least for purposes of representation”. (As I state above) as 3/5’s of a “real” person.

    Was this inaccurate? And I appreciate your aspersions about falling pray to some leftist something or other but it seems unnecessary since I said nothing more than the facts (a little flowery but nonetheless accurate.

    And, yes Barbara, as “Justice” (there are those quotation marks again) Taney stated in Dred Scott with regard to the attitudes of “civilized people” at the time, and as expressed in the Constitution, blacks were:

    “… so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect,”

  40. Patrick says:

    And Barbara:

    Quoting a hypocritical Thomas Jefferson, about the “sins” of King George with regard to slavery (and even freedom and liberty) seems inapt; don’t you think?

  41. nyp says:

    Until I read Barbara’s comment I had no idea that in 1789 Virginia was not a slave state.

    Similarly, I did not realize that the Declaration of Independence contained a condemnation of African slavery. That paragraph must have been dropped from my copy.

    The things you learn from reading Thomas Mitchell’s blog. To think that I once thought that the 1789 Constitution had something to do with the continued institutionalization of African slavery in America!

  42. Barbara says:

    NYP – so glad you now having an appreciation of how unique our Constitution is among legal documents.

    Patrick you can now try to spin your words but you clearly wrote, “the original Constituion…deemed BLACKS to be “worth” 3/5s of any other person”. The 3/5’s clause had nothing to do with BLACKS. It addressed SLAVERY and limited the number of house seats for slave states. The fact that you substitute the word BLACK for SLAVERY is evidence of your racist’s bias. You want the Founders to be racists so your change words to make them so. Is is an historical FACT that FREE blacks in both the North and the South were counted for reasons of apportionment and your attempts at racist revisionism will not change history.

  43. nyp says:

    “You want the Founders to be racists so you change words to make them so.”

    Yes, why would we ever believe that people who owned slaves and who wrote protections for slavery and the slave trade into the consitution were racists? I mean, come on!

    As Barbara also notes it is almost as bad as thinking that American slavery had something to do with black people. The two had absolutely nothing to do with one another.

  44. Winston Smith says:

    Remember, I defined my 1-10 scale as the level of tyranny that is centralized in a government. Obviously, the numbers I assigned are entirely subjective. Anarchy is no centralized government, NAZI’s and Communists are total tyranny, perhaps the worst in history.

    I’d like to see Patrick’s idea of how governments should be rated. I suspect he values safety over freedom, and his scale would be entirely different.

  45. nyp says:

    BTW, I wonder just why it is that jefferson’s condemnation of slavery (as cited above) does not actually appear in the official text of the Declaration of Independence? Must have been a computer glitch or something.

  46. Patrick says:


    Maybe it’s a communication problem, and maybe my inelegant phraseology and punctuation are to blame. I can accept my share of the responsibility (although again, these personal attacks seem necessary and just cloud the discussion) I will try once again to communicate with you.

    When I wrote that:

    “the original Constitution (and more so the Articles of Confederation) deemed blacks to be to be “worth” (at least for purposes of representation if not for any other, including with regard to any “rights” recognized by the document) 3/5’s of any other person.” I defined “worth” with the caveat phrase contained inside the parenthesis. Specifically “at least for purposes of representation”.

    This is not my “spin”; this is what I wrote, and it is what I meant. Which was that the original Constitution recognized that blacks were “worth” for purposes of representation 3/5’s of other people.

    The far right wing attacks on people, like me, who just point out the clear meaning of the words demonstrates either their own ignorance, or guilt, or worse.

    Most likely, in my opinion, these attacks are borne from the deification of the founding fathers, and the understanding that no man, deserves such credit, when they are capable of writing into law, the heinous language we’re discussing. Causes a schism in their egos.

  47. Patrick says:

    One thing I will say about rating governments; I am, I suppose like most people, in that I like the kind that let me do what I want to do, and dislike the ones that don’t.

    But, truth be told, most people, wanting to do what they like, aren’t the type of people, most other people, want their government to leave alone to do those things.

  48. Barbara says:

    Patrick if the Constitution counted blacks as 3/5s of a person, then how were free blacks counted as a person, allowed to hold office and title to property and to vote?

  49. Patrick says:


    The Constitution didn’t guarantee any “rights” for blacks that whites were bound to respect, at least according to the Supreme Court.

    As I pointed out twice above.

  50. nyp says:

    1. Because the Constitution did not deal with state voting or property-holding requirements,
    2. Because the Constitution counted black people as 3/5 of white people for the purposes of apportionment, so that slave states could maintain disproportionate power in the Congress;
    3. Because in most states blacks were unable to vote.

  51. Rincon says:

    “The Constitution does not dictate a two-party system. It is silent on parties.”

    “For example, in the United States, Jamaica, and Malta, the sense of two party system describes an arrangement in which all or nearly all elected officials only belong to one of the two major parties, and third parties rarely win any seats in the legislature. In such arrangements, two-party systems are thought to result from various factors like winner takes all election rules.”

    I said the Constitution essentially dictates a two party system, which it does as interpreted over the years, but in truth, it merely enables. Our election rules cement the two party system. As I said, it’s certainly stretching a point, but no more than Winston has. Every President since 1852 has been a Republican or Democrat. Do you think it’s due to customer satisfaction?

  52. Barbara says:

    The wording of the 3/5s clause:

    “Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.”

    Nothing about blacks. The issue was SLAVERY which the majority wanted to abolish outright but could not get the three southern states of N and S Carolina and Georgia to accept. The Virginia delegation was divided on the issue, but never threatened to walk out. It is unknown how its delegation would have eventually voted if the other delegates had not compromised. The vote was split 8 to 3 in favor of abolishing slavery according to Jefferson’s notes to Mason.

    In resolving the issue of slavery, compromises were made in many areas to keep the three southern states a part of the union. If the solid 8 colonies against salvery had stood their ground and let the three southern states leave, it is unknoweable what would have occurred or how Virginia would have voted.

    Ten states had outlawed the importation of slaves, and wanted the Constition to make it illegal in any state. The compromise reached would outlaw the inportation of slaves in 20 years (extended to 1808). The Northwest Ordinance enacted in 1787 made slavery illegal in the new states.

    Clearly any reading of the facts surrounding the Constituion and laws enacted by subsequent Congresses, make clear the majority of the Founders intended to do away with slavery.

    Ironically, these compromises (3/5s clause, extension of the slave trade until 1808) strengthened the southern states and slavery and eventually lead to the Civil War. Could the War (and the loss of 500,000 American lives)been overted had the 8 strong colonies stood their ground on slavery?

    I’ve never been a fan of bi-partisianship where principal is concerned. It never seems to work out well.

  53. Patrick says:


    In 1803 the Supreme Court, in Marbury v Madison decided that it had the ultimate authority to say what the Constitution said.

    In 1857 Justice Taney, speaking on behalf of a 7-2 Supreme Court majority, said that the Constitution recognized no rights of blacks, that whites were bound to respect.

    Accordingly, at least as of that date (and at least until 1866, the Constitution said that blacks (and not just slaves) had no rights which were bound to be recognized in this country.

  54. nyp says:

    Nope, the Constitution had nothing to do with slavery. Nothing at all.

  55. Barbara says:

    This just shows you how the Supremes can be wrong…just as they were in many rulings including Obamacare. It in no way reflects the intent of the Founders or the Constitution. Indeed the Dred Scott ruling was one factor is the establishment of the Republican party and the subsequent election of Lincoln. One could say it was the firing shot of the Civil War.

  56. Barbara says:

    Patrick you really should get your termininolgy correct. You keep using “blacks” when “slave” is more accurate. There were free blacks even before the Civil War and you do them an injustice not to acknowledge this fact.

  57. nyp says:

    not only that, Patrick — think of all those white slaves your terminology leaves out.

  58. Patrick says:


    Sadly, what you or I “think” about what the Supreme Court says the Constitution says is, for purposes of the Constitution; really irrelevant.

    According to the guys who decide what the Constitution said, it said that BLACKS (and I emphasis the word here so you will understand that the word is not mine, but rather the word used by the guys who decide what the Constitution says) had NO rights recognized by the Constitution.

    Given the rules of “statutory construction” used by the guys on the Supreme Court, this means that the founders intended that BLACKS had no rights under the Constitution.

    This included “free” blacks because, as Taney wrote for the majority, they couldn’t be considered “citizens” because they were from Africa. (paraphrasing)

  59. Barbara says:

    Patrick you are really determined to paint the Founders and the Constitution as racist. Do you not realize how asisine it is to use a Supreme court ruling from 1857 that was invalidated by the deaths of over 500,000 Americans fighting in a war to repudiated such a ruling as justification that the Founders never intended to do away with slavery?

    According to the US Census Bureau of 1860, there were 488,070 free blacks living in the United States – 226,152 lived in northern free states and 261,918 lived in southern “slave” states.

  60. Steve says:

    Great point Nyp!

    “The Irish slave trade began when James II sold 30,000 Irish prisoners as slaves to the New World. His Proclamation of 1625 required Irish political prisoners be sent overseas and sold to English settlers in the West Indies. By the mid 1600s, the Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat. At that time, 70% of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves.

    Ireland quickly became the biggest source of human livestock for English merchants. The majority of the early slaves to the New World were actually white.

    From 1641 to 1652, over 500,000 Irish were killed by the English and another 300,000 were sold as slaves. Ireland’s population fell from about 1,500,000 to 600,000 in one single decade. Families were ripped apart as the British did not allow Irish dads to take their wives and children with them across the Atlantic. This led to a helpless population of homeless women and children. Britain’s solution was to auction them off as well.”
    “African slave trade was just beginning during this same period. It is well recorded that African slaves, not tainted with the stain of the hated Catholic theology and more expensive to purchase, were often treated far better than their Irish counterparts.”

  61. nyp says:

    no one said that the “founders [whatever that means] never intended to do away with slavery.” That’s a red herring. Some were against slavery. Some were for it or didn’t care one way or another. A whole big bunch, including some of the biggest names, owned black slaves, derived their wealth from black slavery, bought and sold black slaves and whipped them when they tried to escape to freedom. Some, not anticipating Whitney and his cotton gin, thought black slavery might fade away naturally. Others wanted it to last forever, and insisted on a Constitution that gave them the voting power to preserve what they saw as their natural way of life.
    On the whole, the Constitution helped legitimate slavery in America for decades to come. The clause that counted black slaves as three-fifths of white people gave the South a hammerlock over Congress. That is why the
    great abolitionish William LLoyd Garrison called the Consitution a “covenant with death and an agreement with hell.”

    The truth hurts sometimes.

  62. Steve says:

    I see Nyp now needs to be racist in calling out the “type” of slave he wants to discus.

  63. Steve says:

    “England continued to ship tens of thousands of Irish slaves for more than a century. Records state that, after the 1798 Irish Rebellion, thousands of Irish slaves were sold to both America and Australia. There were horrible abuses of both African and Irish captives. One British ship even dumped 1,302 slaves into the Atlantic Ocean so that the crew would have plenty of food to eat.”

    “There is little question that the Irish experienced the horrors of slavery as much (if not more in the 17th Century) as the Africans did. There is, also, very little question that those brown, tanned faces you witness in your travels to the West Indies are very likely a combination of African and Irish ancestry. In 1839, Britain finally decided on it’s own to end it’s participation in Satan’s highway to hell and stopped transporting slaves. While their decision did not stop pirates from doing what they desired, the new law slowly concluded THIS chapter of nightmarish Irish misery.

    But, if anyone, black or white, believes that slavery was only an African experience, then they’ve got it completely wrong.”

  64. nyp says:

    Ha, ha, ha.
    You funny.

  65. Steve says:

    Simply historical fact…glad you like to laugh at human suffering, nyp.

    More fact…had it NOT been for the British, there would have been no slave trade to supply the new world with multiracial slaves.

  66. Patrick says:


    Judge a man by his actions I say.

    “The founders” drafted, and adopted, a Constitution that, as interpreted by the institution responsible for deciding what he said/intended to mean, found that blacks (the race as a whole and not “merely” just one part of it) had no rights that needed to be respected by the white race.

    The “founders” drafted this document. They were responsible for the document being adopted with the terms used, knowing full well the consequences that would result. Many of the founders did indeed own slaves, and while I can’t know whether they were, in their “hearts”, “racists” or not, their actions tell me that they did indeed act in a racist fashion with regard to blacks (not to mention Indians, and Chinese).

    I thought that I have seen you write derogatory things about “RINOs” that do not act consistently with their expressed “intentions” before, and your current postings seem contradictory with regard to “the founders” actions, and what you believe “their intentions” were. How do you explain that?

  67. nyp says:

    actually, it is not so funny. The source of your citation is a website that regularly features anti-Jewish conspiracy theories and Holocaust denials, which claims (like some people here) that 9/11 was an inside job, that served as a western apologist for Slobodan Milosovic’s attempted genocide in Bosnia, and which claims that the US government has weapons that can influence climate change. That is your source.

    As for the mythical idea of massive “irish slavery,” your sources conflate chattel slavery with indentured servitude. The idea that there was a wave of “white slavery” in the Americas is dismissed by every reputable academic who has looked into the matter. See, e.g., WTM Riches, “White Slaves, Black Servants and the Question of Providence: Servitude and Slavery in Colonial Virginia 1609-1705”, Irish Journal of American Studies, Vol. 8 (1999)

  68. Steve says:

    “The source of your citation is a website that regularly features anti-Jewish conspiracy theories and Holocaust denials”

    Really….DailyKos? You are saying that about DailyKos?

  69. Barbara says:

    There were many prominent abolitionists who supported the Constitution, chief among them Frederick Douglas, once a protege of Garrison, who proclaimed the Constitution a “glorious liberty document”.

    This is a perfect example of unintended consequence that Tom writes about. Slavery had become institutionalized in every country hundreds of years before the American Revolution, and as Steve points out, slavery encompassed all races, not just blacks.

    A complete reading of history would lead to the conclusion that the majority of the signers of the Constitution (Founders to you NYP) felt that slavery was incompatible with natural law and desired to make it illegal in the United States. Laws were written to do away with the slave trade thereby making it illegal to import any new slaves into the States. New states would not be allowed to have slavery as evidence by the passage of the Northwest Ordinance. It was thought these laws would lead to the natural cessation of slavery and insure slave states would not have as much power in Congress as free states.

    Unfortunately, the importation of slaves between the Founding and 1808 resulted in the spill over of slavery into Louisiana, Alabama, and other states. By 1820 when Missouri applied for statehood, there were an equal number of free and slave states. The House passed the Talmadge Amendment mandating that children of slave parents would gain their freedom on attaing the age of 25 and no one would be allowed to bring new slaves into Missouri once it gained statehood. The Senate, being controlled by the South defeated this Amendment. The compromise admitted Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a free state to maintan an equal balance and established what came to be referred to as the Mason-Dixon Line where slavery would be allowed south of this line and not allowed north of the line. Jefferson could forsee problems stating of the Missouri compromise, “…aroused and filled me with alarm…I have been among the most sanguine in believing that our Union would be of long duration. I now doubt it much.”

    Ultimately, it took the Civil War and the shedding of thousands of American lives to finally resolve the issue. No other country has paid the price we have paid to guarantee liberty to all its citizens regardless of race, class, gender,or religion, and it pains me greatly to have these sacrifices disparaged.

    At the time America was conceived, no other country recognized that an individual had rights just because he existed as a human. The Founders could have established any kind of government. They broke with common ideology and culture and created an original political system. They recognized that they had a unique opportunity to “begin the world anew”. At considerable risk to their fortunes, lives, and honor, they gave us this unique Republic. I weep with sorrow at what we have done with It.

  70. Patrick says:

    Again, although expressed intentions are all well and fine, its the actions of a person that are easiest to judge as evincing a particular quality.

    Was Thomas Jefferson just a racist in deed, or indeed in intention?

    “A scientist, Jefferson nevertheless speculated that blackness might come “from the color of the blood” and concluded that blacks were “inferior to the whites in the endowments of body and mind.””

    “Jefferson claimed he had “never seen an elementary trait of painting or sculpture” or poetry among blacks and argued that blacks’ ability to “reason” was “much inferior” to whites’, while “in imagination they are dull, tasteless, and anomalous.” He conceded that blacks were brave, but this was because of “a want of fore-thought, which prevents their seeing a danger till it be present.”

    “Jefferson told his neighbor Edward Coles not to emancipate his own slaves, because free blacks were “pests in society” who were “as incapable as children of taking care of themselves.” And while he wrote a friend that he sold slaves only as punishment or to unite families, he sold at least 85 humans in a 10-year period to raise cash to buy wine, art and other luxury goods.”

  71. Steve says:

    Patrick, you are trying to use an opinion piece to make claims of historical fact.

    Trying to make opinion into fact is literally revisionist history.

  72. Nyp says:

    Your idiotic Hibernian slavery meme comes from this fringe site:

  73. Steve says:

    Incredible….. (Patrick, in your reference)…even the links showing Jefferson in the minority of the ranks of the Founders who did free their slaves (Washington being the only one mentioned in the body of that opinion piece) are 404’s!

  74. Steve says:

    Among other links, mostly Wikipedia. I like to use liberal sites when sparing with word spinning liberal like you.
    The link is about 2/3rds down the DaliKos page.

  75. Winston Smith says:

    Sometimes, it seems, liberals just can’t seem to admit that there have been other nations besides the U.S. to have slavery. And other peoples besides Africans to be enslaved.

    And once again, the context around the creation of the Constitution gets lost…

  76. Barbara says:

    Patrick – The opinion you cite fails to mention that Virginia passed as very liberal manumission law in 1782 which allowed masters to free their slaves in his last will or deed. It was because of this law that George Washington was able to free his slaves in his last will and testament in 1799.

    In 1806, the Virginia Legislature repealed much of that law, and it became more difficult to emancipate slaves in a last will and testament:

    “It shall be lawful for any person, by his or her last will and testament, or by any other instrument in writing under his or her hand and seal . . . to emancipate and set free his or her slaves . . . Provided, also, that all slaves so emancipated, not being . . . of sound mind and body, or being above the age of forty-five years, or being males under the age of twenty one, or females under the age of eighteen years, shall respectively be supported and maintained by the person so liberating them, or by his or her estate.

    Furthermore, Virginia law did not recognize slave families. Therefore, if a slave was freed, the law made it almost impossible for him to remain near his spouse, children, or his family members who had not been freed, for the law required that a freed slave promptly depart the State or else reenter slavery:

    “If any slave hereafter emancipated shall remain within this Commonwealth more than twelve months after his or her right to freedom shall have accrued, he or she shall forfeit all such right and may be apprehended and sold.”

    It was under much more difficult and restrictive laws that Jefferson operated than Washington. Nevertheless, as a slave owner (he, like Washington, had inherited slaves), Jefferson maintained a consistent public opposition to slavery.

    Jefferson’s efforts to end slavery began years before the American Revolution. As he explained:

    In 1769, I became a member of the legislature by the choice of the county in which I live [Albemarle County, Virginia], and so continued until it was closed by the Revolution. I made one effort in that body for the permission of the emancipation of slaves, which was rejected: and indeed, during the regal [crown] government, nothing [like this] could expect success.

    In 1784, as part of a committee of three, they introduced a law in the Continental Congress to ban slavery from the “western territory.” That proposal stated:

    That after the year 1800 of the Christian era, there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in any of the said States, otherwise than in punishment of crimes, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted to have been personally guilty.

    Three years prior to that proposal, Jefferson had made known his feelings against slavery in his book, Notes on the State of Virginia (1781). That work, circulated widely across the nation, declared:

    The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other. Our children see this and learn to imitate it; for man is an imitative animal. This quality is the germ of all education in him. From his cradle to his grave he is learning to do what he sees others do. If a parent could find no motive either in his philanthropy or his self-love for restraining the intemperance of passion towards his slave, it should always be a sufficient one that his child is present. But generally it is not sufficient. . . . The man must be a prodigy who can retain his manners and morals undepraved by such circumstances. And with what execration should the statesman be loaded who permits one half the citizens thus to trample on the rights of the other. . . . And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep for ever. . . . The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in such a contest. . . . [T]he way, I hone [is] preparing under the auspices of Heaven for a total emancipation

    Jefferson eventually recognized that slavery probably would never be ended during his lifetime. However, this did not keep him from continually encouraging others in their efforts to end slavery. For example, in 1814, he wrote Edward Coles:

    Dear Sir, -Your favor of July 31 [a treatise opposing slavery] was duly received and was read with peculiar pleasure. The sentiments breathed through the whole do honor to both the head and heart of the writer. Mine on the subject of slavery of Negroes have long since been in possession of the public and time has only served to give them stronger root. The love of justice and the love of country plead equally the cause of these people, and it is a moral reproach to us that they should have pleaded it so long in vain. . . . From those of the former generation who were in the fullness of age when I came into public life, which was while our controversy with England was on paper only, I soon saw that nothing was to be hoped. Nursed and educated in the daily habit of seeing the degraded condition, both bodily and mental, of those unfortunate beings, not reflecting that that degradation was very much the work of themselves and their fathers, few minds have yet doubted but that they were as legitimate subjects of property as their horses and cattle. . . . In the first or second session of the Legislature after I became a member, I drew to this subject the attention of Col. Bland, one of the oldest, ablest, and most respected members, and he undertook to move for certain moderate extensions of the protection of the laws to these people. I seconded his motion, and, as a younger member, was more spared in the debate; but he was denounced as an enemy of his country and was treated with the grossest indecorum. From an early stage of our revolution, other and more distant duties were assigned to me so that from that time till my return from Europe in 1789, and I may say till I returned to reside at home in 1809, I had little opportunity of knowing the progress of public sentiment here on this subject. I had always hoped that the younger generation, receiving their early impressions after the flame of liberty had been kindled in every breast and had become as it were the vital spirit of every American, that the generous temperament of youth, analogous to the motion of their blood and above the suggestions of avarice, would have sympathized with oppression wherever found and proved their love of liberty beyond their own share of it. But my intercourse with them since my return has not been sufficient to ascertain that they had made towards this point the progress I had hoped. . . . Yet the hour of emancipation is advancing in the march of time. It will come, whether brought on by the generous energy of our own minds or by the bloody process. . . . This enterprise is for the young; for those who can follow it up and bear it through to its consummation. It shall have all my prayers, and these are the only weapons of an old man. . . . The laws do not permit us to turn them [the slaves] loose. . . . I hope then, my dear sir. . . . you will come forward in the public councils, become the missionary of this doctrine truly Christian; insinuate and inculcate it softly but steadily through the medium of writing and conversation; associate others in your labors, and when the phalanx [brigade or regiment] is formed, bring on and press the proposition perseveringly until its accomplishment. It is an encouraging observation that no good measure was ever proposed which, if duly pursued, failed to prevail in the end. . . . And you will be supported by the religious precept, “be not weary in well-doing” [Galatians 6:9]. That your success may be as speedy and complete, as it will be of honorable and immortal consolation to yourself, I shall as fervently and sincerely pray.

    As a final note on Jefferson’s personal views and actions, Jefferson had occasionally offered the view that blacks were an inferior race to whites. For example, in his Notes on the State of Virginia in which he had expressed his ardent desire for the emancipation of blacks, he also offered his opinion that:

    Comparing them by their faculties of memory, reason, and imagination, it appears to me that in memory they are equal to the whites; in reason much inferior. [T]he blacks . . . are inferior to the whites in the endowments both of body and mind.

    Notwithstanding such opinions, Jefferson was willing to be proved wrong. In fact, when Henri Gregoire in Paris read Jefferson’s views on the intellectual capacity of blacks, he sent to Jefferson several examples of blacks for the purpose of disproving Jefferson’s thesis. Jefferson responded to him:

    Be assured that no person living wishes more sincerely than I do to see a complete refutation of the doubts I have myself entertained and expressed on the grade of understanding allotted to them by nature and to find that in this respect they are on a par with ourselves. My doubts were the result of personal observation on the limited sphere of my own State, where the opportunities for the development of their genius were not favorable, and those of exercising it still less so. I expressed them therefore with great hesitation; but whatever be their degree of talent it is no measure of their rights. Because Sir Isaac Newton was superior to others in understanding, he was not therefore lord of the person or property of others. On this subject they are gaining daily in the opinions of nations, and hopeful advances are making towards their reestablishment on an equal footing with the other colors of the human family. I pray you therefore to accept my thanks for the many instances you have enabled me to observe of respectable intelligence in that race of men, which cannot fail to have effect in hastening the day of their relief

    And to Benjamin Banneker (a former slave distinguished for his scientific and mathematical talents, the publisher of an almanac, and one of the surveyors who laid out the city of Washington, D. C.), Jefferson wrote:

    I thank you sincerely for your letter . . . and for the almanac it contained. Nobody wishes more than I do to see such proofs as you exhibit, that nature has given to our black brethren talents equal to those of the other colors of men. . . . I have taken the liberty of sending your almanac to Monsieur de Condorcet, Secretary of the Academy of Sciences at Paris, and member of the Philanthropic Society, because I considered it as a document to which your color had a right for their justification against the doubts which have been entertained of them.

    When considering Jefferson’s views on the capacity of blacks (views apparently not stridently held), Jefferson’s actions to end slavery must be seen as even more remarkable. His efforts to achieve full freedom for a race he perhaps considered inferior indicate not only the sincerity of his belief that all men were indeed created equal but also his abiding conviction-expressed at the age of 77, only five years before his death-that “Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be free.

    Significantly it was the efforts of both Washington and Jefferson, and especially the documents which Jefferson had written, that were so heavily relied on by later abolitionists such as John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, and Abraham Lincoln in their efforts to end slavery. For example, John Quincy Adams, called the “Hell Hound of Abolition” for his extensive endeavors against that institution, regularly invoked the efforts of the Virginia patriots, particularly Jefferson, to justify his own crusade against slavery. In fact, in a speech in 1837, John Quincy Adams declared:

    The inconsistency of the institution of domestic slavery with the principles of the Declaration of Independence was seen and lamented by all the southern patriots of the Revolution; by no one with deeper and more unalterable conviction than by the author of the Declaration himself [Jefferson]. No charge of insincerity or hypocrisy can be fairly laid to their charge. Never from their lips was heard one syllable of attempt to justify the institution of slavery. They universally considered it as a reproach fastened upon them by the unnatural step-mother country [Great Britain] and they saw that before the principles of the Declaration of Independence, slavery, in common with every other mode of oppression, was destined sooner or later to be banished from the earth. Such was the undoubting conviction of Jefferson to his dying day. In the Memoir of His Life, written at the age of seventy-seven, he gave to his countrymen the solemn and emphatic warning that the day was not distant when they must hear and adopt the general emancipation of their slaves.

    I could go on and on citing other instances. Many of these examples came from the website Wallbuilders.

    History is replete with examples of both Washington and Jefferson’s desire to end slavery contrary to modern revisionist.

  77. nyp says:

    except that Jefferson had nothing to do with the enactment of the Constitution. Didn’t sign it; didn’t attend the Constitutional Convention.

    The Constitution recognized and accepted African slavery, and helped institutionalize slavery for generations.

  78. nyp says:

    Irish indentured servants were not chattal slaves.

  79. Steve says:


  80. Steve says:

    And the DailyKos link simple does not refer to “indentured servitude”. It blatantly refers to slavery.

  81. Steve says:

    Oh…another source to be “discredited”

    Last I heard that is an Ivy League University with a reasonably secure reputation.

  82. Steve says:

    “Before the Civil War, slaves and indentured servants were considered personal property, and they or their descendants could be sold or inherited like any other personalty. Like other property, human chattel was governed largely by laws of individual states.”

  83. Steve says:

    William James was right, Nyp. Specially as regards this discussion.

  84. nyp says:

    No. Indentured servants were not slaves. Irish indentured servants, no matter how poorly they may have been treated, were not chattel slaves. Your argument is nuts.

  85. Steve says:

    No nyp. You are plainly wrong.
    You even take pains with the library of congress for crying out loud!

    “Before the Civil War, slaves and indentured servants were considered personal property, and they or their descendants could be sold or inherited like any other personalty. Like other property, human chattel was governed largely by laws of individual states. Generally, these laws concerning indentured servants and slaves did not differentiate between the sexes.”

    A difference which makes no difference IS NO DIFFERENCE AT ALL!

  86. nyp says:

    An academic study by the historian Liam Hogan of the crazy internet meme idea that Irish indentured servants were actually chattel slaves can be found here:

    From the essay: “Recent years have seen the marked growth of the “Irish slaves” narrative, which is itself a subset of the “white slavery” myth. This myth has been currency in ultranationalist, white supremacist and neo-Nazi circles for decades and their promotion of it frequently occurs on their websites and across social media. The myth has recently entered the mainstream, partly due to the decision by national newspapers and popular websites to endorse a spurious “Irish Slave Trade” article that conflates indentured servitude or forced labour with chattel slavery. …Confusion over the servile status of some of the Irish in the colonies has led, disturbingly, to their condition being conflated with that of the chattel slave. This use of the phrase “white slavery” or “irish slave trade” in the same context as actual chattel slavery or the actual slave trade, is a political act, for it has no historical justification. This sophism makes the co-option of the legacy and truth of the Atlantic slave trade a logical next step. At its best this conflation is ignorance. At its worst it is an attempt to diminish responsibility for one of the greatest crimes committed in human history. It is vital that this mythology is challenged by historians in the public domain.

  87. nyp says:

    It is a sign of the derpiness of this site that the person who relies upon “Wallbuilders” for her understanding of American consitutional history is the relatively less crazy one.

  88. Barbara says:

    Wallbuilders was founded by David Barton. David is the author of numerous best-selling books, with the subjects being drawn largely from his massive library of tens of thousands of original writings from the Founding Era. He also addresses well over 400 groups each year.

    His exhaustive research has rendered him an expert in historical and constitutional issues and he serves as a consultant to state and federal legislators, has participated in several cases at the Supreme Court, was involved in the development of the History/Social Studies standards for states such as Texas and California, and has helped produce history textbooks now used in schools across the nation.

    A national news organization has described him as “America’s historian,” and Time Magazine called him “a hero to millions – including some powerful politicians. In fact, Time Magazine named him as one of America’s 25 most influential evangelicals.

    David has received numerous national and international awards, including Who’s Who in Education, DAR’s Medal of Honor, and the George Washington Honor Medal from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. His work in media has merited several Angel Awards, Telly Awards, and the Dove Foundation Seal of Approval.

    So NYP – what is your objection to Wallbuilders?

  89. Nyp says:

    His work is a joke. So much so that his own publisher, — a Christian book publisher — had to pull from publication his book on Thomas Jefferson because it contained so many false, unsupportable and unverified factual assertions.

  90. Barbara says:

    The publisher, Thomas Nelson, pulled the book due to a threatened boycott of the publishing firm from black pastors in Cincinnati that objected to the books description of Jefferson’s stance on slavery.

    Barton uses only primary sources (defined as “an original fundamental and authoritative document pertaining to an event or subject of inquiry; a firsthand or eyewitness account of an event.” ) rather than secondary sources “any document that describes an event, person, place, or thing, usually not created contemporaneously.”)

    I have read many of Barton’s books including his book on Jefferson and have found them well sourced. I doubt that you have read any of his work and are only repeating critics that can be found in an internet search.

  91. Winston Smith says:

    So, in the context of 1787, the separate states came together to “amend the articles”, and some of the states specified that only to their representatives. To have returned with three less states under a brand new federated government would have been seen as failure, so they compromised, but agreed to end the slave trade in the future, and use 3/5 to calculate representation.

    Like it or not, those slave states considered slaves property, and for a new government to abolish slavery would have been tantamount to massive theft, not a realistic way to start out and even non-slave states may have not ratified under that situation. Not exactly all states coming in on equal footing.

    Besides, all federal powers were to be specifically delegated by the states, who would remain superior to D.C. See the long-ignored 9th and 10th amendments for proof of that. (Usurpation, BTW)

    Afterwards, millions of people came to America to enjoy religious and economic liberty, at a level never experienced before on such a scale. Even though it was a 3 and not a 2 on my spectrum. 🙂

    So yes, the Founders approved of a bigger, more centralized government, but not the 1866 version, not the 1913 version, not the 1945 version, and certainly not the 2015 version.

  92. “So yes, the Founders approved of a bigger, more centralized government, but not the 1866 version, not the 1913 version, not the 1945 version, and certainly not the 2015 version.”

    That’s the point. Government at all levels have grown too much and try to do too much.

  93. Barbara says:

    It would have been a monumental task to have obtained ratification from the southern states if slavery had been immediately made illegal. The northern states had very little slaves, but as much as 40 percent of the population of Virginia was slaves at the time of the Revolution. Commerce in all the southern states depended on slave labor unlike the northern states. Great social changes are never achieved by legislative fiat, but the Founders certainly did recognize that this change had to take place and tried to put in place strictures to move the country in that direction.

    It amazes me how progressives malign Jefferson and other Founders but adore President Wilson.

  94. Steve says:

    See what nyp is doing?
    It’s the same tactic used in all their arguments.
    Anyone who does not toe the line is summarily dismissed as “derpiness” and “nutty” and “crazy”

    The ONLY allowable opinions in lib land are those approved by liberals.

  95. Steve says:

    OH, facts must be approved before they can be accepted. Otherwise those, too, are thrown away and swept under the rug.

    A difference which makes no difference is no difference. Indentured=slave.

  96. Nyp says:

    Barton’s book was pulled after a group of conservative scholars and evangelical theologians demonstrated that it was filled with inaccuracies and misrepresentations. The chief complainant was a professor at that hotbed of Marxism, Grove City College.

  97. Nyp says:

    Gosh, I always thought that the federal government did indeed have something to do with the “great social change” of abolishing slavery.

  98. Barbara says:

    The professor at Grove City College you refer to is Dr. Warren Throckmorton, a psychologist, not a historian. Mathew D. Staver vice-president of Liberty University was asked by Nelson Publishing to look into Throckmorton’s allegations concerning the inaccuracies of Barton’s . Dr. Staver came out in support of David Barton:

    “I have not had the opportunity to look at all the allegations, but I have looked at some of Throckmorton’s claims and Barton’s responses. I would put my money on David Barton any day. Herein lies a serious issue for Thomas Nelson. I was asked to review Throckmorton’s arguments, but before I could respond, Thomas Nelson shocked everyone by its knee jerk reaction to criticism by non-experts only two weeks or so after ask[ing] for my response. I am very disappointed in the way Thomas Nelson handled this matter.”
    Staver also noted that Dr. Roger Schultz, dean of Liberty’s colleges of arts and sciences and an expert on American history, and Rena Lindevaldsen, associate dean for academic affairs at the university, both back Barton. In speaking of critics, Staver warned that they should “be prepared to eat crow.”

    NYP – instead of quoting other people why don’t you read the book, studying its sourcing, and make your own decision. Are you incapable of thinking for yourself?

  99. Patrick says:

    The 10th Amendment? The one that the founders themselves understood was a redundancy? The one the very drafter of the document admitted was a redundancy?

    “I find, from looking into the amendments proposed by the State conventions, that several are particularly anxious that it should be declared in the Constitution, that the powers not therein delegated should be reserved to the several States. Perhaps words which may define this more precisely than the whole of the instrument now does, may be considered as superfluous. I admit they may be deemed unnecessary: but there can be no harm in making such a declaration, if gentlemen will allow that the fact is as stated. I am sure I understand it so, and do therefore propose it.”

    James Madison

    And oddly enough interpreted in precisely the fashion intended by the people that get to decide. In United States v. Sprague (1931) the Supreme Court asserted that the amendment “added nothing to the [Constitution] as originally ratified.”

    Heck, there’s so much evidence out there you can only miss it if you really try to.

    But it gets better, even though the founders, or at least some of them, suggested that the language of the 10th Amendment be amended to include language restricting the federal government to ONLY being granted those powers which were EXPRESSLY provided for in the Constitution, the guy most responsible for the drafting said no way Jose! That this was an unreasonable restriction that unless people wanted a 5000 page Constitution, that this would NOT be made part of the Constitution.

    “After the Constitution was ratified, South Carolina Representative Thomas Tudor Tucker and Massachusetts Representative Elbridge Gerry separately proposed similar amendments limiting the federal government to powers “expressly” delegated, which would have denied implied powers.James Madison opposed the amendments, stating that “it was impossible to confine a Government to the exercise of express powers; there must necessarily be admitted powers by implication, unless the Constitution descended to recount every minutia.”

    And of course the government has grown, with the country, as is to be expected. Should the Post Office be of the same size, with the same number of buildings and employees as existed in the 18th century?

    Just plain old fashion lack of common sense to suggest that a country, which has grown as this one has, ought to have the same government (in size) as the one that existed when we didn’t even have 50 states.

  100. Steve says:

    If out of control growth is so good then this cancerous growth in the size and control of the federal monster must be great!

  101. Barbara says:

    NYP – I doubt anyone else on this forum is interest in Jefferson’s stance on slavery. I tend to go overboard when discussing the time period surrounding the founding of our nation. The original topic of Tom’s article was that we think the government can solve all problems by creating a new government program when ample evidence exists that government programs always have the opposite intended effect. A related article discussed the unintended consequences of government action.

    These articles immediately brought to mind the compromise to extend the slave trade and how the ultimate result was the Civil War. You referenced the Dred Scot decision which I see leading moderates to flock to the newly established Republican party, the election of Lincoln, and the Civil War.

    I’m wondering if we will see history repeat itself should the Supremes declare gay marriage is a civil right. This might be the straw that causes the pendulum to swing the other way to elect a truly conservative president. Be careful what you wish for….

  102. “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.” Madison in Federalist No. 45

  103. Winston Smith says:

    The liberals, I mean, socialists, have been attacking Barton for years because he dared attempt to bring Christianity to the forefront of the discussion of the founding of this nation. I read “The Myth of Separation” years ago, and found it quite informative on how the redefinition of the First Amendment was gradually implemented, primarily through questionable court decisions.

    As also with “The Marketing of Evil”, by David Kupelian, socialists do not like their machinations to change society exposed, especially when using the Hegelian Dialectic Process, because that is such a primary tool. They like to pretend that, “the time had come” or “opinions began to change”, as if the changes were entirely natural and organic.

    With academia, the mainstream media and government constantly attempting to alter society, is it any wonder younger people accept the latest trends which the older generation tends to reject?

  104. Winston Smith says:

    Madison seems to have disagreed with himself. Maybe his opinion changed depending on whether his buddy, Jefferson, was in town. Jefferson seemed to keep Madison leaning more towards small government…

  105. Anonymous says:

    The Constitution does not give the power of judicial review to the Supreme Court. James Marshall’s opinion in Marbury vs. Madison established this doctrine, but it is not a power granted to the Court by the Constitution. The judiciary is not a co-equal branch of government with the legislative branch. As Congressman Steve King has correctly observed, Congress has the power to reduce the Supreme Court to John Roberts sitting at a card table (or something to that effect).

  106. Barbara says:

    Sorry, I post the above.

  107. Barbara says:

    I should have said John Marshall’s opinion, not James Marshall.

  108. Winston Smith says:

    You mean, John “The Usurper” Marshall?

  109. Barbara says:

    That would be the one.

  110. Patrick says:

    I wonder how Madison’s opinion of what the Constitution intended would be if he saw what the Constituion is today? I wonder how different his opinion about Federal government power would be when he saw that all the additional Amendments passed since the Constitution was originally adopted.

    I doubt that such an intelligent man would hold the opinion, general and after the fact as it was when uttered and above quoted by Thomas, given the markedly changed language of the Constitution today, as opposed to in his day.

    And Barbara, what you believe the Constitution says, or ought to say about the Supreme Court being the final arbiter of that document is all well and fine, but it surely isn’t the law of the land, but the counter to your position is, and has been, for more than 210 years.

  111. Barbara says:

    The language of the Constitution is the same today as when it was first written. It isn’t about what I or you Patrick or anyone else believes. We either have a rule of law or we don’t. To believe that the Supremes are the final arbiter of what is the law is to reduce the United States to an oligarchy.

  112. Steve says:

    That might explain what we have today, Barbara!

  113. Barbara says:

    Both Madison and Jefferson declared that the States (or people) had the right through nullification to set aside any judicial decision that did not uphold the Constitution. Many argue that Marbury did not establish the concept of judicial review but the concept of Constitutional supremacy i.e. the Constitution as the law of the land was to be followed and was above any law or opinion issued by any branch of government. See the link below:

  114. Barbara says:

    Admittedly Steve we have Federal Judges at all levels who believe they have the power to say what is the law of the land, and sadly, Americans do not understand their own Constitution enough to say NO, that power belongs to We the People. The people may finally be waking up to this fact though. The decision on the ACA is very unpopular and will become more so in January of 2016 as health insurance premiums rise further. A finding that gay marriage is a civil right might be enough to coalesce a solid majority of moderates and conservatives. I see one Presidential candidate positioning himself to capture this solid majority. And I would love to see him debate Hillary.

  115. Patrick says:


    I’m sure you realize that the Constitution has been amended several times, and thus it does not now say, in total at least, what it said when it was first written and adopted.

    And, as I said, the Supreme Court has, since the Constitution was adopted (Marbury v Madison was a declaration of “existing law” which means that, according to the Supreme Court in 1803, meant that the Constitution did, since it was originally adopted, provide that the Supreme Court was the final arbiter of what the Constitution says) decided that it determined what the Constitution said, and no contrary legal opinion has ever been the law of the land in this country.

    And whatever Madison, or Jefferson, or you or I say about what was intended or what is best, the rule of law is as I wrote above.

    And no where, within the express language (or even by implication) does the Constitution recognize any “right” of “we the people” (other than as constituted by the judges in this country) to say what the Constitution says.

  116. Barbara says:

    The ninth and tenth amendments make clear the people are sovereign, not a Supreme Court. The American Revolution was fought on just this issue, who was sovereign. It was not just a tax rebellion. The Founders would never have turned over their sovereignty to unelected judges. Some argue that Marshall established the concept of judicial review and others argue that he did not, but did elevated the Court as a co-equal branch of government which it is not. In any event, Marbury did not change the plain meaning of the 9th and 10th amendments.

  117. Barbara says:

    Patrick, Hillsdale College has an excellent course on the Federalist Papers. The above link will take you to an interview of Dr. Paul Moreno discussing the role of the judiciary.

  118. Patrick says:

    As pointed out above, the 10 Amendment is a redundancy and no one ever claimed that the Supreme Court was a “sovereign”. Or that the people, or the founders, turned their sovereignty over to anyone other than whatever “sovereignty” was delagated to the federal government by the states.

    And since I I originally pointed this out, to no apparent effect, I will assume that the point was missed, or not understood and give it one more go here;

    Whatever I think, or whatever Tom thinks, or whatever Jefferson thought, about what the Constitution said, those opinions are irrelevant to the fact, which is that, since the adoption of the Constitution, it says no more and no less, than what the Justices on the Supreme Court say it says.

  119. Barbara says:

    Obviously Patrick you did not listen to Dr. Moreno’s interview concerning the judiciary. I believe he is very qualified, more so than either of us, to discuss this topic.

  120. Barbara says:

    Please listen to the Q & A discussion. It is not that long and I think you will find it interesting.

  121. Patrick says:

    Barbara: you’re correct in that I did not listen however I did research Moreno and discovered that he as no legal background, although he doesn’t let that stop him from expressing his opinion about subjects beyond his credentials. His specific opinions about corporations being people and other issues of law, that I did see, significantly reduce any credibility about other legal subjects and thus I am not inclined to spend much time reading about those opinions.

    And, I hesitate to bring this up but, didn’t our somewhat wide ranging discussion, that including touching on racism, give you any pause when deciding to cite a professor from Hillsdale?

    Wouldn’t the statements made by their president (“they were only here to count the dark ones”) regarding an investigation into the schools diversity practices give a solid basis to disregard opinions offered by faculty the president presumably approved of?

  122. Barbara says:

    Hillsdale College was the first American college to prohibit in its charter any discrimination based on race, religion, or sex, and became an early force for the abolition of slavery. It was also the second college in the nation to grant four-year liberal arts degrees to women.

    A higher percentage of Hillsdale students enlisted during the Civil War than from any other western college. Of the more than 400 who fought for the Union, four won the Congressional Medal of Honor, three became generals, and many more served as regimental commanders. Sixty gave their lives.

    Because of the College’s anti-slavery reputation and its role in founding the new Republican party (Professor Edmund Fairfield was a leader at the first convention), many notable speakers visited its campus during the Civil War era, including Frederick Douglass and Edward Everett, who preceded Lincoln at Gettysburg.

    Hillsdale’s modern rise to prominence occurred in the 1970s. On the pretext that some of its students were receiving federal loans, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare attempted to interfere with the College’s internal affairs, including a demand that Hillsdale begin counting its students by race. Hillsdale’s trustees responded with two toughly worded resolutions: One, the College would continue its policy of non-discrimination. Two, “with the help of God,” it would “resist, by all legal means, any encroachments on its independence.”

    Following almost a decade of litigation, the U.S. Supreme Court decided against Hillsdale in 1984. By this time, the College had announced that rather than complying with unconstitutional federal regulation ( i.e. counting students by race), it would instruct its students that they could no longer bring federal taxpayer money to Hillsdale. Instead, the College would replace that aid with private contributions.

    Paul Moreno is professor of history at Hillsdale College and holds the William and Berniece Grewcock Chair in Constitutional History. He earned his B.A. and M.A. at the State University of New York and his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. Dr. Moreno teaches Western and American civilization, American diplomatic history, and American constitutional history.He recently held a visiting professorship at the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, and is a member of the James Madison Society.He has won research awards from the Earhart Foundation, Olin Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.He is the author of From Direct Action to Affirmative Action: Fair Employment Law and Policy in America, 1933-72 (Baton Rouge, 1997) and Black Americans and Organized Labor: A New History (Baton Rouge, 2006).His is working on books about the Michigan Supreme Court and a constitutional history of the New Deal. He has published articles in numerous journals, including the Journal of Southern History, Journal of Policy History, Labor History, and Academic Questions.
    AIHE Faculty | American Institute for History Education
    Paul Moreno, Ph.D.CEO of the American Institute for Historians and History Educators and Chairman of the AIHE Advisory Council of Historians and Scholars

    So Patrick you refuse to open your mind to anyone or anything that doesn’t conform to your preconceived ideology. Of course Dr. Moreno is qualified to discuss the Constitution and the Judiciary. You refuse to listen to the Q & A because you are afraid of what you might learn.

  123. Barbara says:

    Patrick has chosen to remain willfully ignorant of any ideas which upset his statist ideology. But as Dr. Moreno points out, it was not until 1958 that the Supreme Court said that it’s interpretation of the Constitution was the law of the land.

    Lincoln, in his campaign for President, ran on a platform that stated Dred Scott would not become precedent. After being elected, Lincoln’s State Department continued to issue passports to free Blacks in defiance of the ruling. Congress also outlawed slavery in the western territories which would not have been allowed under the ruling. (All actions I presume that would carry Patrick’s approval notwithstanding his belief that the Supremes do indeed have the final say on what is Constitutional.)

    So were Lincoln’s actions unconstitutional or did the Supremes get it wrong? Patrick buries his head in the sand and says, “Don’t bother me with historical facts”.

  124. Patrick says:


    I wonder how often you thoughtfully consider points of view contrary to your own. I wonder how often facts lke, that at the Constitutional Convention, judges having final say regarding the meaning of the Constitution was raised by 15 attendees, with founders, including George Mason stating “that federal judges “could declare an unconstitutional law void” and James Madison saying: “A law violating a constitution established by the people themselves, would be considered by the Judges as null & void. Luther Martin saying “As to the constitutionality of laws, that point will come before the judges in their official character. In this character they have a negative on the laws.”

    In all, fifteen delegates from nine states made comments regarding the power of the federal courts to review the constitutionality of laws. All but two of them supported the idea that the federal courts would have the power of judicial review. Some delegates to the Constitutional Convention did not speak about judicial review during the Convention, but did speak about it before or after the Convention. Including these additional comments by Convention delegates, scholars have found that twenty-five or twenty-six of the Convention delegates made comments indicating support for judicial review, while three to six delegates opposed judicial review. One review of the debates and voting records of the convention counted as many as forty delegates who supported judicial review, with four or five opposed.

    In the federalist papers, Hamilton said, about judicial review that:

    “[T]he courts were designed to be an intermediate body between the people and the legislature, in order, among other things, to keep the latter within the limits assigned to their authority. The interpretation of the laws is the proper and peculiar province of the courts. A constitution is, in fact, and must be regarded by the judges, as a fundamental law. It therefore belongs to them to ascertain its meaning, as well as the meaning of any particular act proceeding from the legislative body. If there should happen to be an irreconcilable variance between the two, that which has the superior obligation and validity ought, of course, to be preferred; or, in other words, the Constitution ought to be preferred to the statute, the intention of the people to the intention of their agents.”

    Mr. Moreno may be a fine man, and is certainly an educated one, but I wouldn’t depend on a plumber to teach me about physics and I wouldn’t trust a historian to tell me about the law.

  125. Barbara says:

    I wouldn’t trust a historian to tell me about the law”. I guess you would have thrown Washington and Franklin, and other delegates who were physicians, planters, scientists, etc. who were not attorneys, out of the convention. The Father of the Constitution, James Madison, attended was is now Princeton, and later studied under Rev. John Witherspoon. Some biographies mention he studied law, some do not, but in any event he was never admitted to the Virginia bar so I guess he would not be qualified to give an opinion as to what is/is not Constitutional.

    I noticed you ducked my question as to whether Lincoln and Congress acted legally. Your position cannot have it both ways. Either you support Dred Scott as the law of the land in which case Lincoln and Congress acted outside the Constitution, or you have to admit that the Supremes are not the exclusive arbiter of what the Constitution says and Lincoln and Congress were correct in issuing passports to free blacks or other laws contradicting the opinion.

    A teacher once told me that a proof text taken out of context is merely a pretext to arriving as a predetermined position.

    Publius (Hamilton) in Federalist 78 makes it clear that all branches of government are subject to the Constitution and the fact that the judiciary, as a matter of course in settling cases, must do so by holding the Constitution as the supreme law of the land. This however does not elevate the judiciary above the Constitution or any other branch of government or above the people. He assures the Anti-Federalist that there are safeguards contained within the Constitution to keep this from happening.

    Finally, as a child of the south, I grew up being taught (and believing) that the proper terminology when discussing the Civil War was to call it The War Between the States. I was taught that the South succeeded from the Union because they were defending the Constitutional doctrine of State’s Rights and State Sovereignty and slavery was only an ancillary factor of the war.

    Had I closed my mind to the writings of Dr. Barton and Hillsdale College on-line courses, I probably would still believe this to be the case. How ironic that Patrick and NYP our resident statists attack both as racist and unworthy of even the slightest consideration. Patrick and NYP will always suffer from shallowness as they only entertain thoughts compatible with their world view.

  126. Winston Smith says:

    “I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground that ‘all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people.’ To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, not longer susceptible of any definition.” – Thomas Jefferson, who apparently appreciated the power of the 10th Amendment

    “If [as the Federalists say] ‘the judiciary is the last resort in relation to the other departments of the government,’ … , then indeed is our Constitution a complete felo de so. … The Constitution, on this hypothesis, is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they may please. It should be remembered, as an axiom of eternal truth in politics, that whatever power in any government is independent, is absolute also; in theory only, at first, while the spirit of the people is up, but in practice, as fast as that relaxes. Independence can be trusted nowhere but with the people in mass. They are inherently independent of all but moral law …” – Jefferson letter to Judge Spencer Roane, Nov. 1819

    It is obvious that the Founders disagreed with each other at times, during and after the Convention of 1787. The fact is, Federalists won sometimes and anti-Federalist Jeffersonians won at others. When the Supreme Court essentially declared itself top dog, without that specific role outlined in the Constitution, there was no real opposition. Since then, the SCOTUS has gone around declaring federal law to one extent or another, interfering in the laws of sovereign states and acting just as Jefferson predicted in 1819. The fact that the populous has allowed that to happen is not validation of SCOTUS actions, but is a demonstration “that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

  127. Steve says:

    In other words;
    As long as the general populace is OK with its lot in life the people in charge and control will get away with whatever they want.

  128. Barbara says:

    I would venture to say that the general populace believes that SCOTUS does in fact have the exclusive power to determine what is Constitutional. How much of the general populace even understand the concept of natural law and how unique this country was in asserting that rights are conferred by God and not the government.

  129. Steve says:

    For generations, public schools have taught the three branches in US history.

  130. Barbara says:

    I say this because, despite history being my favorite subject and receiving As in the subject in college, I never was taught or knew the full story of the founding of this nation. It is only through extensive study and reading over perhaps the last decade, that I have come to this realization.

  131. Steve says:

    My family history goes a very long way back in the country. Look up Admiral White Moore and you will find he is credited with battleship grey because he used the mud in the Mississippi to camouflage Union battleships and anchor chains as an early form of ships armor.
    More recently we have an ancestor who was an adviser to the Eisenhower administration. We found the place settings in a box when going through Mom’s stuff.
    We have a couple of officers commission documents signed by Lincoln.
    Our family is well attached to the US throughout its history.
    My own family did not talk much about its history. We only found this stuff out when some of our older family members began dying off.

    And in searching this stuff out we find things like those commissions were more often then not, bought and paid for.

    Stuff we have found in our own family history tends to bear out what you have found in your own searches.
    As much as things change, they stay more the same than anyone knows. And that is what the founders really built, the most unchanging and hard to change government ever created. THIS is why we don’t see much difference but have plenty to argue about!

  132. Winston Smith says:

    I have long said that 10% of the population are freedom-oriented, 10% are control freaks, and those two groups continually fight for the hearts and minds of the 80% sheep in the middle. In other nations, present or past, those numbers may vary. Apparently, 240 years ago, our nation had a higher percentage of the freedom oriented, perhaps 30% or more. We are lucky enough to have enjoyed, “the Blessings of Liberty” as envisioned by the Founders, but have not done our part to vouchsafe those blessings for our posterity.

    I was just telling some people that I read the three most famous dystopian novels (1984, Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451) by the time I was 18, and knew it would be my generation’s responsibility to assure that those things did not happen to us. Unfortunately, like boiling the proverbial frog, much of it is slowly coming to pass, and only some people see it, and other people even welcome it.

    I’ve taught my children to recognize tyranny for what it is, but they have never had the same fervor I have to protect liberty for future generations. Inevitably, the two sides always clash, and the sheep in the middle will have to sudden wake up and make decisions that they really aren’t prepared to knowledgeably make.

    The manipulative machinations of the control freaks, backed by the MSM, academia and government at all levels have managed to undermine our foundational roots and confuse the issues. American political truths have been ignored, dismissed or replaced with Marxist/secularist dogma, and we currently stand, perhaps, on a precipice, waiting to see which way the sheep will go, towards liberty or tyranny.

    Time will tell…

  133. Barbara says:

    My daughter will be leaving the end of July for a 2 week course at Hillsdale College entitled, “The Roots & History of American Liberty”. From the brochure:

    Course study begins on the Hillsdale College campus in southern Michigan and continues at the College’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship. Interim destinations include:
    •Washington’s Mount Vernon
    •Jefferson’s Monticello

    Even though she is in honors classes in public school, she is getting only a cursory understanding of her American heritage. I hate to send her to DC in August, (humidity) but one does have to make sacrifices. Ha!

  134. Steve says:

    Be careful, Barbara.

    She may become “gentrified”!

  135. Barbara says:

    With SCOTUS poised to deliver 2 momentous decisions, and the upcoming Presidential election, the country should begin to engage in a serious national discussion on the people’s sovereignty and what role the government should play in our lives. Of course any real discussion will only be on blogs such as Tom’s.

    My daughter will be 18 by the time the election roles around. The only indication she has given to me is that if Hillary or Bush are her only choices, she will not be voting.

  136. Steve says:

    Yeah,,,not voting is a vote…but it’s a bad one. It should be the last choice. I have left blank boxes on ballots but those were only because I simply could not hold my nose on any of the choices.

    There will be other party options that could use some support.
    If she does not read a little about those then she will be missing the point.

  137. Barbara says:

    She will register as a Republican so she can vote in the primary, but she is not wedded to any party. The young girls in my office also say they will not vote for Hillary or Bush. Two of them would vote, one probably for the Democrat and one for the Republican, the third does not even want to register.

  138. Patrick says:


    The constant personal attacks are really unnecessary.

    I’m not a statist, I’m not unwilling to consider contrary viewpoints, and I don’t dodge any questions you asked, even if I didn’t answer them.

    The opinions I expressed were, substantially anyway, all supported by citations and reasoned authority whether you agreed with them, or understood them. I pointed out that the founders, and the delagated to the Constitutional convention, and the vast majority of them, recognized that it is the courts in this country, and ultimately the Suprem Courts province, and exclusive one at that, to finall decide what the Constitution says. Furthermore, this precedent is long established by by a Supreme Court decisions and, as you could find out yourself, by decisions from state and federal courts issued prior to Marbury.

    I appreciate that this does damage to your emotional attachment to the contrary position but that does not change that it is, the fact.

    You suggested some reading and I respectfully declined after a brief review regarding the author and some of his positions, along with his credentials. I expect we all decide who we will trust to form our opinions and for me, I will not typically ask advice about fixing my car, from a painter UNLESS that person demonstrates a competency not typical from a painter. No aspersions against painters, who I’m sure are fine human beings, but when I want advice about my car, I go to a trained mechanic. And when I want advice about the law, I go to a lawyer. Perhaps when you have legal issues in your life, you see fit to seek out others, and good luck to you with that.

    As to your questions, in spite of you not answering several of mine (does the fact that the president of Hillsdale uttered such racist remarks give you any pause when considering the opinions of faculty members he presumably approved of) I will address yours:

    No, I do not support the Dred Scott decision. Yes, it was the law of the land. And no, I do not have to, logically anyway, admit that the Supreme Court is not the final arbiter as (of course they are, as I pointed out above) and Congress and the president did, what they in their capacity as the executive and the legislature were entitled to do.

    The jurisdiction and duties of the separate branches are well defined and the judiciary is not seized with the authority to interfere, practically anyway, with the actions of the other branches. As a president said. “John Marshal made his decision, let him enforce it”

    Demonstrating very well I would say, that no one, as far as I know, and maybe other than you, has suggested that the power of judicial review elevates the a Supreme Court above any other branch of government.

  139. Steve says:

    Starts with denial.

    Launches into a diatribe.

  140. Barbara says:

    ” I expect we all decide who we will trust to form our opinions.” Here is the real crux of the problem with leftists. They are unable to think for themselves. No Patrick, I do not allow others to form my opinion. I read, analyze, research, study, and contemplate and then I form my opinions. I even draw insights from people I disagree with which is why I don’t dismiss them outright.

    “As to your questions, in spite of you not answering several of mine (does the fact that the president of Hillsdale uttered such racist remarks give you any pause when considering the opinions of faculty members he presumably approved of)” I did answer your question, you just didn’t like the answer. Hillsdale does not count students by race. When told by the government they would have to submit a report giving the racial breakdown of its students, the administration told the government they would not. The government then sent its worker to the campus to categorize the students by race apparently by looking at the color of their skin. Hillsdale, rather than allow the government to interfere in its internal policies, refused to accept any government money including students who rely on government grants or loans. This money is replaced with private donations. Since all this happened back in the 1970s and 1980s, and it’s current president, Dr. Arnn, has been at Hillsdale since 2000, he was not the person you have tried to malign.

    By the way, Dr. Arnn just received the 2015 Bradley award for outstanding achievement.

    “No, I do not support the Dred Scott decision. Yes, it was the law of the land”
    “and Congress and the president did, what they in their capacity as the executive and the legislature were entitled to do”

    So you believe that the Congress and the President are allowed to violate the “law of the land”. Wouldn’t that tend to make the US a lawless nation if our leaders could disregard any law they wanted? Do you not see the shallowness of your thoughts?

    “The jurisdiction and duties of the separate branches are well defined and the judiciary is not seized with the authority to interfere, practically anyway, with the actions of the other branches. As a president said. “John Marshal made his decision, let him enforce it””

    This statement proves my point. The Supreme Court is not the exclusive authority on what the Constitution says and the other branches and indeed the American people also, constitutionally, have this authority if they choose to exercise it.

  141. Patrick says:

    And so it begins:

    Barbara, I have endevored, throughout our discussion here, to neither label or personally attack you. In spite of this, you continue both labeling me with terms you believe are derogatory, and attacking me personally. I have asked that you refrain several times, but you have demonstrated that you are unwilling or unable. And so I will no longer ask, and will instead join the fray.

    You far right wing lunatics are all the same. You bray constantly about some reverent love for our Constitution, then, when the Constitution is contrary to your cherished, nonsensical hope for a religious theocracy, you dismiss it and claim to know what the deities, you lunatics like to call “the founders” intended. After being told, and shown, evidence that the founders were, like other people, just humans, with faults and hypocrisies like the rest of us you stammer, and wail, and whine, things like “you don’t understand the times” or “just because they owned slaves, doesn’t make their positions on liberty hypocritical” or “I often ask my plumber for legal advice because I don’t trust lawyers to know the law”. How dumb can you be?

    Yes Barbara, the separate branches of government are, pursuant to the authority granted to them, within the Constitution, entitled to do what the Constitution says they are entitled to do. For the legislature that means making laws, for the executive that means enforcing the laws and for the judiciary that means interpreting the law. And the judiciary does not have the executive power to carry out the law, which is why I quoted the patron saint of the lunatic right Andrew Jackson, who, so angry that Justice Marshal interfered with his desire to wipe out the Indians (racist? Genocidal? Liberty and justice for all?) let the country know that the Supreme Court was not seized with the authority to carry out the law by telling the world “Marshal made his decision, let him enforce it”. I wonder how far right wing lunatics, like you Barbara, might feel about President Obama making a public statement like that today?

    And no Barbara, you didn’t answer the question I posed. Perhaps you didn’t nderstand that the question called for a yes or no answer. Maybe you “thought” that giving a non-responsive answer was best since the answer called for by the question would have damaged what little credibility you have remaining. See, for us “lefties” when we decide who to put some trust in, as to the validly of their opinions, we tend to take a bigger picture view; I’m not giving much credibility for the opinion about slavery of the person is a known racist and a person who calls blacks “the dark ones” as the president of Hillsdale did….TWICE, gets zero points.

    Finally Barbara, I figured you for a person hat didn’t really use what other people say as a basis for your opinions; you seem like most of your opinions were formed using only what you think. (Which was why I asked you earlier if you ever read and thoughtfully considered the opinions of anyone else.

    The answer is pretty clear how though, and like most other far right wing lunatics, we are all worse because of the answer.

  142. Patrick says:

    And Barbara:

    Should you wish to return to a discussion absent of personal attacks and labeling, I am MORE than happy to do that, and you can, if you choose to reply to any of my comments make that clear to me, or not.

    You can choose for both of us.

  143. Barbara says:

    Goodbye Patrick.

  144. nyp says:

    I take a weekend off for Father’s Day, and, upon surfing back to this site, discover people supporting the nullification doctrine and asserting that Marbury v. Madison was wrong.

  145. K. Martin says:

    From a “far right-wing lunatic” – just so everyone knows.

    It would be pointless to add my two-cents worth to the arguments cogently presented. In fact, it would probably be worth much less than two cents.

    Therefore, I have a question I would like to ask.

    Considering how unlikely it is for the right-wing lunatics and their counterparts on the left to change each others opinions and beliefs, considering our irreconcilable political differences and worldviews, is an amicable separation possible?

    Ignoring all the political, legal, technical, and practical considerations, if one or more of the current states of the United States, containing all of the right-wing lunatics who opposed sodomite unions, abortion, etc., were allowed to live their lives under laws governed by their political and worldview persuasion, would those of you on the left object?

    Would you agree to “losing” one or two states of the union to us if we all moved there and you were totally free to pursue the implementation of your political and worldview agenda (as we would be) with absolutely no interference or objection from us (since we would be gone)?

    Remember, ignore all the attendant difficulties associated with this proposal, I’m merely asking if you would find this solution acceptable (an amicable “divorce” if you will).

  146. nyp says:

    “sodomite unions”

  147. Patrick says:

    K. Martin:

    No, I would not agree. .

  148. Steve says:

    K. Martin…..if that were to happen who would they (IE: Left wingnuts or Right wingnuts) have to argue silly points at each other with?

    Witness how silly a bunch of the ones on this thread alone have been! (From both ends of the silly stick!)

  149. K. Martin says:


    Why not?

  150. Patrick says:

    I. Martin:

    Mostly because if anyone feels like it, at any time, they can leave the country. But that right doesn’t carry with it any right to take any part of the land with them.

    If someone wants to leave, then it’s up to them.

  151. Winston Smith says:

    So, a voluntary entry of a state into the union, made decades ago, can never be reversed, no matter how high the percentage of the state’s population desire it.

    Sounds like freedom to me…

  152. Winston Smith says:

    DARPA, I’m sorry, when did the term “sodomite” become disallowed? Or was it “union” you were commenting about?

  153. Barbara says:

    They need the hard working tax paying far right-wing lunatics to support the far left welfare state.

  154. nyp says:

    Not really. In general, the blue states subsidise the red states.

  155. K. Martin says:


    Perhaps “losing” was the wrong word to use. I didn’t mean to imply that land was being taken.

    Let me rephrase the question:

    If ALL the right-wingers lived in Idaho and ALL the left-wingers lived in the remaining 49 states, would you be willing to sever all political and governing ties between the two entities?

    No one is taking any land. Everyone already lives where they want according to their political persuasion; ALL right-wingers in Idaho, ALL left-wingers in the other 49.

  156. nyp says:

    Sure wouldn’t be good for the people of Idaho. For every dollar they currently pay in federal taxes they receive $1.21 back.

  157. K. Martin says:


    Assuming right-wing Idahoans don’t care about the money they receive back and don’t want it, would you be willing to separate? The remaining 49 states would have more money to spend on themselves.

  158. nyp says:

    the answer is “no”

  159. Patrick says:

    K Martin:

    For me, the newer is still no because the country includes all parts of it, and giving up a part, so as to allow people that don’t want to be a part of it, strikes me as wrong.

    I’m wondering why you ask the question?

  160. Patrick says:

    Should be “answer”, not “newer”.

    Stupid machine.

  161. […] This blog in 2015: There were about 470 postings on this blog garnering 110,000 views and more than 7,000 comments — the most frequent commenters were Rincon, HFB, Patrick, Winston Smith and Barbara. The most commented on posting, more than 160 comments, was “The problem is that we think we can solve every problem with a government program.” […]

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