Friday, March 13, 2009

Slavery and the Constitution

With our current President and the talk of race and with Pook's comment I thought we should look at the issues of slavery and what the Constitution really says. No commentary, let's just deal with facts.

In 1776 the U.S. was one of hundreds of nations that had slaves. At that time there were approx. a half million slaves mostly in 4 southern states. The practice of slavery was brought to the US from Britain where it had been practiced for centuries. It was a way of life. That doesn't make it right it's just the way it was. Many of our founding fathers including John Adams, Ben Franklin and Alexander Hamilton spoke out against the practice. Many others owned slaves but as seen in their writings were conflicted about the practice.

In 1774 Thomas Jefferson in his draft to the First Continental Congress wrote "The abolition of domestic slavery is the great object of desire in those colonies where it was unhappily introduced in their infant state." By the time of the U.S. Constitution, every state (except Georgia) had at least denounced or suspended the importation of slaves.

However, like politics today there are opposing sides and when it came time for the final draft of the Constitution compromises were made. The southern states wanted the slaves counted as "whole" persons so they could keep their House seats (up to 40% of the population in many states were slaves). The northern states wanted to penalize the slave practice by not counting them and thus make the practice less attractive. The 3/5's of a person was the compromise. Compromise #2 was that after 1808 no more slaves could be brought in. This was the compromise between abolishing it then to never ending it.

The term slave and slavery were kept out of the Constitution and as Madison's notes state the delegates "thought it wrong to admit in the Constitution the idea that there could be property in men".

There is no doubt slavery was indeed the imperfection that marred the American founding. Those who founded this nation chose to make practical compromises for the sake of establishing in principle a new nation dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. In 1837 John Quincy Adams said "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 and they saw that before the principles of the Declaration of Independence slavery, in common with every mode of oppression, was destined sooner or later to be banished from the earth."

So the slavery compromises included in the Constitution can be understood to be compromises needed to establish a new nation rather than a surrender of principle. But in the end it took a bloody civil war to bring about the original intention of the Constitution by many of it's founders. How you view this country will ultimately color how you view this issue of slavery. Was slavery a US institution established and practiced by a majority meant to dehumanize another race for economic gain or was it a long held world practice that came to our land with deep roots that took the lives of many men to overturn? Reading many of our founders notes I choose to believe the latter. Slavery was never meant to be the law of this land.

Liberal Hypocrisy?

Maybe I'm a mind numbed robot or have my head too far up the conservative behind but I hope someone can explain something too me. The current administration and their groupies continue to tell us that we can't be all we can be without the government. Government controlling our health, our finances, our schooling and our retirement. We are told we should give up our individual rights for the good of the collective. Then how does it make sense that these are the same people who tell us a woman has the right to her body and all that goes on with it? They say we should not interfere with a woman's right to choose (abort).

So as I see it: The government will tell us what to eat, what doctor to see, how much we can earn, what car we can drive and where we can pray but it's hands off to tell a woman she can't abort. Someone show me the light.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What is the role of government?

Here's a question posed by Anonymous on the Rush thread. I figured I'd leave it an open column with no comments...let's see what everyone thinks.

Islamic mortgages

In the land of equality and opportunity for all it is great to see that The Land of 10,000 Lakes is coming to the aid of the religion of peace. Islamic law forbids, except under certain circumstances, interest to be paid. So the state that voted for Al Frankin now is promoting Islamic mortgages. The home price is raised and fees are paid up front. Raising the home price is supposedly to act as if interest was paid. Isn't that wonderful!

What can we look for next?

Islamic hospitals where men are treated by men and the women get treated in the basement.

Judge Hussein's divorce court where a women can literally lose her mind.

McAllahs fast food which only serves Yak and slurpies. And our favorite.

Family Feud the Islamic version where one family member tries to sneak over to the other families side and blow himself up.

It's nice to be so inclusive of a religion that wants to kill you.

Let's take a break!

Let's all take a breather and remember what life was like before we cared about all this crap! back to reality. Kind of reminds me of Obama...bouncing from one issue to the next, not really knowing what he's doing!

We need more Pook's!

Poor Pook is all by himself on this blog, minus a few posts by GiveOaChance. I don't know how many people are reading this blog, and out of those, I have no idea how many have opposing views. It's been great reading these comments and I'd really like to see more! Anybody can post comments, don't be scared...we don't know who you are. Somebody get Pook's back...he's going down hard!