Great power comes with great responsibility. And, so it is with the American people, who have been since the time of our founding entrusted with the rarest form of responsibility in all of human history: Self-governance.
Citizens of the United States of America pride themselves on their perception that they are among the freest people ever inhabiting this earth. Our freedom has given way to great achievements and successes. From rocky Great Experiment to shining savior of Europe, our nation forged ahead to become the most prosperous, the most powerful, the most influential. We once reached for the sky and eventually landed on the Moon. We are capable of achieving anything we put our mind to.
But our freedom has also given way to dramatic failures and atrocities. We grew our nation through rape, pillage and murder. We enslaved millions. We slaughtered each other, as the spilled blood of our brothers and the memories of division still soaks the land beneath our feet. It has been so because, in all our glorious freedom, we voluntarily disregarded that all-too-essential second ingredient: Our responsibility, to ourselves, to each other and, most importantly, to our children and future generations. Continue reading this post…
For the life of me, I’ll never understand why some people believe the Constitution’s guarantee of free speech grants them a carte blanche right to say or do anything they like without the least bit of criticism or negative feedback from other citizens.
The recent brouhaha over Chick-fil-A’s sponsorship of an anti-LGBT seminar in Pennsylvania has the LGBT blogosphere, mainstream media and Christian media in a frenzy. Some college students have even organized to get Chick-fil-A thrown off their campuses. The seminar isn’t the first time Chick-fil-A has sponsored or supported conservative, right-wing causes. The anti-gay, evangelical views of the company and its leaders have been well-known for an awfully long time. I guess some folks just got tired of it, found the right blog to on which to speak out and hit the news cycle at just the right time.
In a New York Times piece by Kim Severson, however, a conservative Chick-fil-A customer and supporter says the corporation has every right to say or think anything they please. Continue reading this post…
An interesting Twitter convo:
It’s so nice to know our compassionately conservative friends answer true, honest and civil debate (along with completely valid questions) with ad hominem attacks. Wait. I thought only liberals did that. I’m confused.
And none of that even adds up to being the tiniest bit of a tip of the iceberg. Obama, the dictator? That notion is just about as crazy (and, yes, I mean crazy as in clinically delusional) as Liberty Counsel’s claims that Obama is planning to ‘subvert’ the Constitution.
Neo-cons are weird sort of creature. People with Alzheimer’s have better memory function than these folks.
P.S. — There’s no such thing as “The Liberal Media.” I highly recommend Glenn Greenwald’s excellent piece: “Octavia Nasr and what The Liberal Media allows.”
P.P.S. — Again, I’ll repeat: “I’m telling you: The right wing agenda is evil, insidious and pernicious. Nothing more. Nothing less. (Although the words “sick” and “twisted” come to mind, too.)”
Although it is no secret that I’m a bit displeased with the timing of this DOMA challange in Mass., the suit itself raises some important constitutional issues. Slate chooses to call it “state sovereignty;” that DOMA is unconstitutional because it infringes on states’ rights, namely, the right to decide marriage and family law:
On Tuesday, a gay rights organization filed a lawsuit in Boston whose import and importance are likely to be misunderstood. Filed on behalf of eight married same-sex couples and three people who survived their same-sex spouses, the complaint in Gill v. Office of Personnel Management challenges a congressional statute that refuses to recognize same-sex marriages under federal law. Much of the media coverage will probably focus on the gay rights angle of the case. But Gill also raises the broader issue of how far the federal government can intrude on state sovereignty—in this case, how states define marriage. It is worth distinguishing between the two takes on the case, because the lens one chooses could easily determine the result.
I feel for D.C. residents. Really, I do. It is a shame that in our Republic the citizens of its capital city are not represented in its legislative bodies.
This week, the U.S. Senate passed a bill that would give one vote in the U.S. House to the representative of the District of Columbia. Currently, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton has the right to speak, among other actions, but has no vote.
But the Senate-passed bill is likely unconstitutional:
The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states, and the electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislature.
No person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty five years, and been seven years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state in which he shall be chosen.
~U.S. Constitution, Article I, Sec. 2.
There’s no doubt in my mind, at least from what I understand from the reading above, that the Constitution is clear: The members of the House of Representatives must be elected by the people of a state. The District of Columbia is not a state.
Through the harrowing, frightening eight years of the Bush Administration, progressives and Constitution-lovers cringed at the various presidential actions that served to only shred our founding documents. It is a shame that Democrats, now in majority power, seek to do the same thing.
The best way for the citizens of D.C. to gain a vote in Congress is to petition the Congress for statehood. Either that, or seek an amendment to the Constitution allowing a voting member from the capital district. That makes the most sense and it is the most constitutional, ethical and moral means to achieving the goal of fair representation of the District of Columbia’s residents.