To observe Constitution Day, our local Junior College had a forum on the Patriot Act. One of professors contacted the local Republican Party looking for someone to speak for the act and I drew the assignment. The forum consisted of four professors, a local retired judge, and the token Republican, me. Most of the attendees were students getting extra credit for a class and there were some faculty as well. Each panelist was given 10 minutes to present some aspect of the Patriot Act. One compared it to the Alien and Sedition Act, another talked of the danger to privacy, and another discussed the detainees and the search warrants. The Judge zinged me about Republicans having once favored limited government. I had maneuvered to speak last (read Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar). I opened with a joke about the parking and the students who so far were mostly bored perked up a little. I discussed that the Constitution was written because the central government under the Articles of Confederation did not have enough power to manage the needs of the country. The founders were concerned with giving too much power to government so they submitted the Bill of Rights. There was and is a tension between effectiveness and liberty. I argued that the Patriot Act shared that tension and that the government needed the tools to fight terrorism.p>The professors and judge who participated in the forum were very civil. They were not your MOVEON.org types at all. I only wish that all political discourse was as civil. br> — Mike Bergsma /p> p> While I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment in “An Unconstitutionally Teachable Moment,” my copy of the 10th Amendment does not include the word “specifically.” A similarly narrowing adverb, “expressly,” was “specifically” excluded by the framers of the Bill of Rights. Madison objected during the congressional debate on the amendment that that word (included in the old Articles of Confederation) would unduly constrain the federal government’s powers. That distinction set the stage for the argument that the feds have not only those powers expressly — or specifically — enumerated, but also those arising by necessary implication from the enumerated ones. This argument, already advanced in the Federalist Papers by the Constitution’s supporters and variously attacked by its opponents, was taken up by the Supreme Court in McCulloch v. Maryland
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?