09 July, 2011

Another Peaceful Green Hippie From Wisconsin

Is it something in the water there? Any WI readers, what are you doing to breed these people? Whatever it is, please stop!

Here’s Graeme Zielinski, Democrat Party spokesman.

He deleted the tweet later, but the good folks at Legal Insurrection have captured it for posterity.

Graeme isn’t very bright. Here’s another tweet he decided to keep around:


Goldbricking Republicans?

Hey, Graeme, remind me again, which party’s representatives left the state to avoid doing their job? Or perhaps the word goldbricking means something different to you.

Economic Freedom

This was making the rounds last week. You’ve probably already seen it, but I like to preserve these things here as well, so I can find them later.

It’s a vid that shows the correlation between economic freedom and quality of life. It also mentions where the United States is headed (not in the right direction). The information used comes from the data here.

The Undefeated

Friday, I’ll be going to see this movie at the AMC on the south side of Indianapolis. If you have a chance, you should go see it as well.

The Undefeated Teaser Trailer from Dain Valverde on Vimeo.

July 9, 1868

The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution is adopted.

This is a famous one, but I find that very few have any idea what it says.


Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Overall, this is one of the more powerful amendments, but it still has some flaws, mostly in the area of ambiguity. The founding fathers, even up until the middle of the 19th century were big on ambiguity because they were still trying to avoid a strong central dictatorial government. I think the unintended side effect of this is that we have a judiciary with more power than it deserves. We as a nation have granted the courts the power to resolve these ambiguities (note that this too is an usurpation of power—the founders clearly did not envision an all powerful SCOTUS deciding what is and what is not permissible for Congress and POTUS to do).

However, I do think the writers of this amendment missed a perfectly good opportunity in Section 1 to address an ambiguity that is still causing us problems today. Nowhere in the Constitution or amendments does it specify the definition of “natural born citizen”, even though it’s a Constitutional requirement to hold the offices of President and Vice President. As I have mentioned earlier, this is set by statute and has been changed many times. Had it been defined Constitutionally, the question of President Barack Obama’s (D-USA) and even Senator John McCain’s (R-AZ) eligibility for the office would likely not have been in question (of course, it’s very possible that there would have been no question because both are ineligible as well).

08 July, 2011

July 8, 1960

Gary Powers is charged with espionage by the Soviet Union. His Lockheed U-2 spy plane had been shot down by the Soviets in May. Powers initially received much criticism for not activating the self-destruct on his plane. It was recovered nearly intact by the Soviets, who were able to examine the equipment.

06 July, 2011

July 6, 1957

Rock-n-Roll history is made when 16 year old John Lennon and 15 year old Paul McCartney meet for the first time at St. Peter’s Church Hall.

05 July, 2011

July 5, 2001

President George W. Bush (R-USA), disturbed by the intelligence reports he’s been receiving on Al-Qaeda planning a large scale attack, directs National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice to “figure out what [is] going on domestically.”

That same day, 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta is pulled over for speeding in Delray Beach (!!), FL is only given a warning. Police do not notice there’s a warrant out for his arrest.

July 5, 1975

Arthur Ashe becomes the first black man to win the singles title at Wimbledon, defeating Jimmy Connors. He had won the U.S. Open and the Australian Open earlier in his career. He remains the only black man to win any of these three events.

04 July, 2011

July 4, 1776

There have actually been quite a few happenings in American history on this day. More than I can reasonably post about. But this one stands out, of course.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

On this day, in 1776, those words, along with a few hundred more that are less well known, but equally important, were approved by the Continental Congress. It’s called the Declaration of Independence, but this was, in fact, a Declaration of War against Great Britain.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Happy Independence Day, America. Take a moment to think about what it’s about, and what those fireworks actually represent.

03 July, 2011

July 3, 1886

The very first automobile, the Benz Patent-Motorwagen is unveiled to the public.

This gasoline powered automobile was capable of 2/3 HP @ 250 RPM and an astounding 10 miles per hour.