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Forming a More Perfect Union

MrMonroeMrMonroe Registered User regular
edited March 2012 in Social Entropy++
So it'll be two hundred and twenty four years this June since the United States Constitution was ratified. Thomas Jefferson, principal author of the Declaration of Independence, third President of these United States, and all-around swell guy except for the owning humans and raping them thing, had this to say about the permanency of the foundational document of the nation:
I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.

I couldn't agree more!

Here are some things that have happened since the Constitution of the United States was ratified:
Spoiler:

Since that document was written, we've had a war over mercantilism, a war over slavery, a war over some dumb shit no one can really make heads or tails of that we call the "Great" war for some reason, a war over fascism, a war over communism, and a couple other wars over some even less sensible bullshit. Suffrage has extended to the unlanded, women, and non-whites.

We've got an internet now. What would Thomas Jefferson think about that? Who fucking knows, probably nothing of worth since the telegraph would have been to him indistinguishable from magic.

And yet more than one of the nine people who determine how our laws stack up against this foundational document are fond of breaking out the two-century-old dictionary to determine what exactly the "Founding Fathers" were thinking when they wrote the damned thing in order to determine how to interpret it. Why they ignore the part where those same people thought that was exactly the sort of behavior we should avoid in order to have a reasonable jurisprudence is beyond me but I've given up arguing with them and figure it's easier to just give the document a once-over with track changes on. That way they have to start being honest about thinking for themselves rather than claiming they are impartial.

So what should be in a Constitution? Should we have a Constitution? Lots of other countries don't have one and they seem to get by pretty OK going without. It's not like ours actually stops us from going to war or spying on our civilians or regulating religious beliefs or what have you, so maybe it's just a political expedient that helps unscrupulous individuals cloak their political ideology in more defensible constitutional "principles."

So what would you do if you had a magic wand? If they let you into the National Archives with a red pen and a highlighter, what would you do change about the Constitution? Or would you change nothing?

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Posts

  • JoeUserJoeUser Registered User regular
    MrMonroe wrote:

    So what would you do if you had a magic wand? If they let you into the National Archives with a red pen and a highlighter, what would you do change about the Constitution? Or would you change nothing?

    Draw a picture of Hank Williams, Jr. on it!

    PSN: JoeUser80 Steam
  • BroloBrolo Broseidon Lord of the BroceanRegistered User regular
    only perfect union is butt fucking

  • mensch-o-maticmensch-o-matic Registered User regular
    15th ammendment: giveth mensch a hundered dollarse so she can buyeth a cute doll she saweth online

  • Skull ManSkull Man Registered User regular
    thomas jefferson and sally hemmings were married

  • BroloBrolo Broseidon Lord of the BroceanRegistered User regular
    15th ammendment: giveth mensch a hundered dollarse so she can buyeth a cute doll she saweth online

    1cVZC.jpg

    here u go

    happy birthday mensch

  • JoeUserJoeUser Registered User regular
    Why is the interstate commerce clause used to justify so much federal stuff?

    PSN: JoeUser80 Steam
  • mensch-o-maticmensch-o-matic Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Rolo wrote: »
    only perfect union is butt fucking

    who invited the swede

    mensch-o-matic on
  • BroloBrolo Broseidon Lord of the BroceanRegistered User regular
    also Jefferson is awesome

  • UbikUbik i am a god in a french-ass restaurantRegistered User regular
    right when i'm leaving to go to the store

    CleezusSig_zpsfa821add.png
  • MrMonroeMrMonroe Registered User regular
    for bonus points, call the spread at SCOTUS on Obamacare better than I do and I'll make a post that reads
    <YourName> is smarter than I am

    I say 6-3 in favor of the constitutionality of the "mandate" provisions and 7-2 in favor of the constitutionality of the medicaid requirements

  • mensch-o-maticmensch-o-matic Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Rolo wrote: »
    15th ammendment: giveth mensch a hundered dollarse so she can buyeth a cute doll she saweth online

    1cVZC.jpg

    here u go

    happy birthday mensch

    that

    doesnt look like le petit prince.......

    mensch-o-matic on
  • FirmSkaterFirmSkater Registered User regular
    Lets get a USA chant going in here

    sig2.jpg
  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal Flo-ridaRegistered User regular
    the constitution has a lot of problems that mostly deal with the fact it was written when communication between states took days, weeks, months, etc -- there was no such thing as airplanes, nobody really knew what germs were, etc

    and politicians interpret these flaws as anachronistic or the UNDENIABLE TRUTH OF EXISTENCE whenever it supports them



    this is a basis for a surprising amount of politics

  • LuvTheMonkeyLuvTheMonkey High Sierra Serenade Registered User regular
    See I was gonna say 6-3 on both. Are we going to get to the nitty gritty of calling who votes which way and who writes the opinions?

    Molten variables hiss and roar. On my mind-forge, I hammer them into the greatsword Epistemology. Many are my foes this night.
    STEAM | GW2: Thalys
  • JoeUserJoeUser Registered User regular
    MrMonroe wrote: »
    for bonus points, call the spread at SCOTUS on Obamacare better than I do and I'll make a post that reads
    <YourName> is smarter than I am

    I say 6-3 in favor of the constitutionality of the "mandate" provisions and 7-2 in favor of the constitutionality of the medicaid requirements

    5-4 in favor of the mandate, 6-3 in favor on Medicaid.

    PSN: JoeUser80 Steam
  • a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Well to write it from a modern perspective, you'd have to throw everything out and just integrate the amendments into the main document using modern legal language. It would probably be 300+ pages to replace the current, fairly simple document D: . I think I would keep most of the basics the same, just add some stuff saying:

    A) That Congress has the power to impose any restriction on corporations as they are not people and therefore do not have the same protections as them
    B) Congress has the power to make laws governing the financing of political campaigns (aka "money is not speech")
    C) Clarify the meaning of and the means to attain citizenship. I'm undecided on whether this should make it more or less restrictive, though.

    a5ehren on
  • JoeUserJoeUser Registered User regular
    I propose the people write the new Constitution: presenting Constitutipedia

    PSN: JoeUser80 Steam
  • MrMonroeMrMonroe Registered User regular
    JoeUser wrote: »
    Why is the interstate commerce clause used to justify so much federal stuff?

    because there's fuck all else in there they can use to justify it

    in short, blame FDR and his threat to stack the Court

  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    what would Captain America say!

  • UbikUbik i am a god in a french-ass restaurantRegistered User regular
    if you guys want to see how letting "the people" write a constitution would turn out, check out what happened when Iceland recently tried to do that

    CleezusSig_zpsfa821add.png
  • a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular
    MrMonroe wrote: »
    JoeUser wrote: »
    Why is the interstate commerce clause used to justify so much federal stuff?

    because there's fuck all else in there they can use to justify it

    in short, blame FDR and his threat to stack the Court

    Yeah. I was going to say "because at a certain point we decided to have a functional federal government and had to find a way to justify it".

  • BroloBrolo Broseidon Lord of the BroceanRegistered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Ubik wrote: »
    if you guys want to see how letting "the people" write a constitution would turn out, check out what happened when Iceland recently tried to do that

    Við sem byggjum Ísland viljum skapa réttlátt samfélag þar sem allir sitja við sama borð. Ólíkur uppruni okkar auðgar heildina og saman berum við ábyrgð á arfi kynslóðanna, landi og sögu, náttúru, tungu og menningu.

    Ísland er frjálst og fullvalda ríki með frelsi, jafnrétti, lýðræði og mannréttindi að hornsteinum.

    Stjórnvöld skulu vinna að velferð íbúa landsins, efla menningu þeirra og virða margbreytileika mannlífs, lands og lífríkis.

    Við viljum efla friðsæld, öryggi, heill og hamingju á meðal okkar og komandi kynslóða. Við einsetjum okkur að vinna með öðrum þjóðum að friði og virðingu fyrir jörðinni og öllu mannkyni.

    Í þessu ljósi setjum við okkur nýja stjórnarskrá, æðstu lög landsins, sem öllum ber að virða.

    god it's like these idiots don't even know how to write english

    Brolo on
  • MysstMysst King Monkey of Hedonism IslandRegistered User regular
  • mensch-o-maticmensch-o-matic Registered User regular
    Ubik wrote: »
    if you guys want to see how letting "the people" write a constitution would turn out, check out what happened when Iceland recently tried to do that

    can you summarize it please because the last article i read on it gave me no clue on whether what had happened was badass or just a clusterfuck

  • PiptheFairPiptheFair Registered User regular
    w. e. b. dubois owned

    STEAM
    Spoiler:
  • StaleghotiStaleghoti Registered User
    Aww I thought this was gonna be the Assassins Creed 3 thread

    tmmysta-sig.png2wT1Q.gifYAH!YAH!STEAMYoutubeMixesPSN: Clintown
    Dear satan I wish for this or maybe some of this....oh and I'm a medium or a large.
  • mensch-o-maticmensch-o-matic Registered User regular
    oh my god someone i follow on tumblr just got a huge influx of followers so they turned into a homestuck roleplay blog as a defense mechanism is this

  • MrMonroeMrMonroe Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    JoeUser wrote: »
    MrMonroe wrote: »
    for bonus points, call the spread at SCOTUS on Obamacare better than I do and I'll make a post that reads
    <YourName> is smarter than I am

    I say 6-3 in favor of the constitutionality of the "mandate" provisions and 7-2 in favor of the constitutionality of the medicaid requirements

    5-4 in favor of the mandate, 6-3 in favor on Medicaid.

    you're on

    I'm betting your 4 in the case of the mandate are Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Roberts, but who is your third in the Medicaid slot? (after the obvious Scalia/Thomas bullshit dissent)

    and no, mr @LuvTheMonkey, I don't really want to place bets on who writes the opinions, although I'd like to express my personal hope that Justice Scalia writes for the minority on both issues, as I love hating his opinions. However, I would expect him to cede the driver's seat in one or both as a strategic matter if he can, although not to Thomas.

    (I edited the Oxford comma back in)

    MrMonroe on
  • BroloBrolo Broseidon Lord of the BroceanRegistered User regular
    Ubik wrote: »
    if you guys want to see how letting "the people" write a constitution would turn out, check out what happened when Iceland recently tried to do that

    can you summarize it please because the last article i read on it gave me no clue on whether what had happened was badass or just a clusterfuck

    as far as I know the supreme court of iceland rejected it because there were a bunch of privacy and permissions issues with the actual drafting process, and even then 2/3rds of iceland didn't actually view or access the constitutional proposal when it was available for suggestions online

  • BeastehBeasteh THAT WOULD NOT KILL DRACULARegistered User regular
    is it bad that i had a big cuddly golliwog as a kid and didnt understand that it was racist and still kind of love it because it was my childhood thing

  • LuvTheMonkeyLuvTheMonkey High Sierra Serenade Registered User regular
    Fair enough. I, too, enjoy disliking Scalia.

    Molten variables hiss and roar. On my mind-forge, I hammer them into the greatsword Epistemology. Many are my foes this night.
    STEAM | GW2: Thalys
  • BeastehBeasteh THAT WOULD NOT KILL DRACULARegistered User regular
    i think my dad got it from collecting golden shred stamps

  • JoeUserJoeUser Registered User regular
    Ubik wrote: »
    if you guys want to see how letting "the people" write a constitution would turn out, check out what happened when Iceland recently tried to do that

    Hmm

    Icelanders hand in draft of world's first 'web' constitution
    A group of 25 ordinary citizens on Friday presented to Iceland's parliamentary speaker a new constitution draft, which they compiled with the help of hundreds of others who chipped in online.

    The group had been working on the draft since April and posted its work on the Internet, allowing hundreds of other citizens to give their feedback on the project via the committee's website and on social networks such as Facebook.
    Most of the suggestions had to do with an economic model for the island nation of 320,000, committee member Silja Omarsdottir told AFP.

    "The other proposals ... that form a noticeable trend have to do with the Internet, web neutrality, transparency and freedom of access to the Internet," she said.

    PSN: JoeUser80 Steam
  • mensch-o-maticmensch-o-matic Registered User regular
    i wish my country was good enough that we were able to waste our lives on making a federal internet constitution

  • FirmSkaterFirmSkater Registered User regular
    Iceland has a lot of problems though, they were basically the first country whose banking system collapsed.

    sig2.jpg
  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal Flo-ridaRegistered User regular
    edited March 2012
    "The other proposals ... that form a noticeable trend have to do with the Internet, web neutrality, transparency and freedom of access to the Internet," she said

    So by "the people", they meant unemployed 27 year old males

    Jasconius on
  • BroloBrolo Broseidon Lord of the BroceanRegistered User regular
    Beasteh wrote: »
    is it bad that i had a big cuddly golliwog as a kid and didnt understand that it was racist and still kind of love it because it was my childhood thing

  • PiptheFairPiptheFair Registered User regular
    FirmSkater wrote: »
    Iceland has a lot of problems though, they were basically the first country whose banking system collapsed.

    that what happens when you have fishing as your major money maker for centuries and then hey banks run by people who don't really know how to run banks but LOANS LOANS LOANS

    STEAM
    Spoiler:
  • AneurhythmiaAneurhythmia Registered User regular
    Jasconius wrote: »
    the constitution has a lot of problems that mostly deal with the fact it was written when communication between states took days, weeks, months, etc -- there was no such thing as airplanes, nobody really knew what germs were, etc

    and politicians interpret these flaws as anachronistic or the UNDENIABLE TRUTH OF EXISTENCE whenever it supports them



    this is a basis for a surprising amount of politics

    Well, that's a somewhat compelling generalization. We should look at a specific instance of a condition of communication limitations, though. That might be more interesting.

    1LRdqui.png
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