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A Letter from Janine Turner re: Analyzing the Constitution

Constituting America Presents

Analyzing the Constitution

A 90 in 90 Day Forum

 

What an amazing journey! Ninety days on Constitutional studies initiated, executed and now archived on Constituting America.org! I want to thank all of the distinguished men and women who wrote essays for our forum and those who joined our blog. You brought awareness and clarity to our United States Constitution and reinforced its profundity. Your dedication to the document adds dignity to not only our country, but our cause.

It is immensely imperative that Americans both young and old introduce themselves and/or re-introduce themselves to our great American heritage and founding principles. Our United States Constitution took a confederacy of vast and varying states to a union of vision, inspiration and hope. The cobblestones that were laid with the Revolutionary War were sealed with the cement of the Constitution.  It was and is the standard from which a government, “of the people, by the people and for the people” shall never perish – as long as we seek its wisdom, respect its reason and value its principles.

As long as our words to “preserve, protect and defend the United States Constitution” fall on true intentions and knowledge of its purpose, our Republic – our freedoms and our blessing to seek life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – will remain.  If we forget, falter or forge its meaning – our country will perish. Mission critical is the call of our heritage. We must inspire and educate one another to commence and treasure civic duty, for it is, “We the People,” who will carry the torch of freedom to our posterity.

Janine Turner

Founder and Co-Chair of Constituting America

http://www.constitutingamerica.org

April 28, 2010 – Federalist No. 1 – Janine Turner

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Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Howdy from Texas. Speaking of Texas, be sure to watch tonight’s behind the scene Video Podcast! I filmed it at my ranch with Juliette. It’s fun.

So today is our first day of the Federalist! Federalist Paper #1 by the brilliant Alexander Hamilton! I wrote about his mother, Rachel Lavien Fawcett in my book, “Holding Her Head High.” Historians have not been very kind to her, but read my version. It is from a woman’s point of view. There is no doubt that she planted the seeds of greatness, determination and an entrepreneurial spirit in Alexander’s character.

I want to thank Horace Cooper for writing our wonderful essay today! Thanks, Horace. I love the quote from Benjamin Franklin when asked by a woman, “What have you given us?” and Benjamin replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

This is our challenge today. We must step forward and stand up for our founding principles and demand that our Republic be vital and strong and that our Constitution be protected preserved and defended. The best way for us to do this is with a basis of knowledge about our country’s thesis. How lucky we are that it is so well documented in copious documents and books – the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution and The Federalist being the foundation. (We will have to continue our scholastic adventure – the same forum with different documents and books!)

I hope you read today’s reading of the Federalist with your children and/or loved one and don’t forget to sign your children up for our contests! The high school students get a trip to Philadelphia, an appearance on Governor Huckabee’s show and $2000.00 scholarships – and we have cool categories such as: best short film, best hip song, best PSA and best essay about how the Constitution is relevant today! Spread the word. Entries due July 4th!

Speaking of relevant today, we are going to be amazed at the relevancy of the Federalist papers. For those who think the Constitution is antiquated and obsolete, I dare them to read the Federalist papers with us!!

The first thing that I love is that Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay came together for the good of the country. They did not agree on many things, and later became quite divided, but they united to accomplish the magnificent miracle of the Constitution and “The Federalist.” They saw the bigger picture and were able to forfeit their egos to better their country – and they had vision! They had vision and wisdom and determination and a sense of service. Great qualities that I dare say all of you have who are participating in our National Conversational/Blog Reading!

Another thing that I love is that they wrote it under the name of Publius after Publius Valerius, a founder of the Roman Republic. A Republic. They knew that they all had reputations that proceeded them for better or worse and they did not want the objectivity of their thesis to be tainted by preconceived notions. Smart. These men were very smart and they truly loved the United States of America.

This is what it’s going to take to awaken, educate and propel Americans to undertake the journey of Constituting America – a love for the United States of America and all she embodies – nobility, greatness of character, philanthropic communities with a genius for creativity and a gut for survival. We have a Republic and God save the ones who try to strip American’s of our inherent rights, rights that exist in the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution and embody Americans today. God bless America.

And God bless our forefathers who sacrificed so much for their posterity – all of the great men and women who have fought throughout our history to maintain our dignity, freedom and inalienable rights.

Blessings and goodnight!

Tomorrow it’s Federalist Paper #2!

Janine Turner

6 Responses to “April 28, 2010Federalist No. 1Janine Turner

  1. I agree that once we are done with the Federalist Papers we should keep on going with other documents. Maybe the Anti-Federalist papers would be a good choice. I can’t say for sure, not having read them myself yet.

    But the Federalist Papers argued for a central government strong enough to be able to protect our country and be effective. That was in a time when the opposition wanted a more limited government, which might not have been much better than the government provided in the Articles of Confederation.

    Now our situation is different. Our government is much too large and has power over far too many aspects of our lives. It ignores our will, violates many principles that we and the founding fathers hold dear, and takes actions which weaken and endanger us.

    Maybe the arguments presented in the Anti-Federalist Papers would apply today.

  2. Susan Craig says:

    I will second Harry’s motion to do an reading of the con side to this argument!

  3. Louis Palermo says:

    Federalist #1 Excellent!!!!!!!!

  4. Louis Palermo says:

    Federalist #2 Excellent!!!!!

  5. Fredda R. Wigder says:

    I would sincerely doubt that the authors of the Federalist papers envisioned the type of big, bloated Federal Government that we have today. I have difficulty believing that they would have been in favor of that.

  6. Jesse Vardaman says:

    The founders would not be in favor the bloated government we have today. They were definitely against any form of government that tread on the inherent rights of its people. And they would definitely be aghast at the blatant disregard that our current representatives show for our Constitution and Bill of Rights today.

    As Janine quoted Ben Franklin, and I will repeat here. ” A republic if you can keep it.”

    Can we keep it America?

    “Anyone who trades liberty for security deserves neither liberty nor security” – Ben Franklin

April 29, 2010 – Federalist No. 2 – Janine Turner

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Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Howdy from Texas! I thank you for joining us today! I am thoroughly enjoying this process and I am learning so much from the readings, our exceptional scholar’s essays and from all of you who are blogging. I want to say how appreciative I am that Marc S. Lampkin joined us today as our “guest scholar” and I thank him for his wonderful interpretation and explanation of Federalist Paper #2 by John Jay. Thanks Marc!

There are many aspects in our readings of the United States Constitution and “The Federalist” that are relevant today. However, as I was juggling many pertinent points from Federalist Paper #2, suddenly a more general observation manifested.

Our forefathers were intent on explaining the Constitution to the people of the United States. They wanted the Republic to understand what was in the “bill,” and they undertook great pains and efforts to make sure that happened – 85 different Opinion Editorials published in newspapers and spearheaded by Alexander Hamilton.

Not only did they go to great pains to explain the contents of the Constitution, which was only seven pages, they knew that the American public would demand to know what was in it before they ratified it. This brings about two conclusions:

1. The American people of the 18th century wanted to know what their government was doing, felt very much involved in the process, and were passionate about the direction of their country
2. Publius and the signatories of the United States Constitution felt obligated to explain it to them, and did so in great detail and they could – as they had written it and they understood it.

A very different atmosphere exists today. Both the American people and the United States government are to blame for the obscurity in which we wander. The bloated bills and ignorance of their intentions are the fault of both the governor and the governed. We, as collective countrymen and women, grew discordant and lax in the affairs of the state, and like a child pushing the boundaries with their parents, the United States government got away with what they could. It’s human nature. Men are not angels – hence, the Constitution.

But times have changed. Our country’s woes are like trying times for the soul. Difficult times are God’s way of shaping our character – making us into the people He wants us to be – a light, a leader. Now Americans are waking up and realizing that we must once again demand to understand. What is really in the bill and what is really the direction of our country? We are realizing that we must vet, vote and find our voice. In our blood is the ancestry of righteousness.

We must stress to our elective officials that we will accept nothing less than clarity. In Federalist Paper #62 James Madison zeros in on this point:

It will be of little avail to the people, that
the laws are made by men of their own choice,
if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before
they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes, that no man who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known or less fixed.

The title of John Jay’s Federalist Paper No. 2, “Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and Influence,” is applicable today as well. If we do not gain control of the economy we are going to be like Greece and times of economic stress are ripe for tyranny.
If we do not gain control of our spending and deficit then we are a sitting duck for the hunters who wait in the night – “Dangers From Foreign Force and Influence.” As Benjamin Franklin said, “Think, when you run into debt, you give to another power over your Liberty.”

John Jay’s ends this paper, from over two hundred years ago, with a Shakespearean quote, it echoes eerily across our current environment. It is a battle cry and ominous warning of something we do not want to ever shout, “FAREWELL! A LONG FAREWELL TO ALL MY GREATNESS”

As the present necessity of unity prevails, we the people will gather with the mission of preserving our great country and we will be spurred by our patriotism and launched by our learning.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

6 Responses to “April 292010 – Federalist No2 – Janine Turner

  1. Richard Gruver says:

    Janine, Those are great thoughts on our current state of government. When the press and the governed decided that character no longer mattered but only progressive press aligned political ideology and many of the governed became incessantly dependent on government handouts and fixated on class envy promoted by progressives and the media we lost our way. The Bible says don’t covet thy neighbor’s property, wife, goods…etc. but preogressive envy everything of those who work hard and want it all taken and redistributed to the envyors. It will take dedication, courage and a divine hand once again to re-establish our nation to its’ founders principals. It starts a the ballot box and voting for elected officials who put the constitution and the people above themselves. I hope we can be sucessful as the alternative is not very good for our future generations.

  2. Seij De Leon says:

    I find it very interesting how when the country was being constructed, the people were so ready and willing to learn about the constitution. Nowadays I think this overall involvement in the direction of the country has definitely weaned, which is understandable as they are not dealing with the insecurity and troubles of forming a new system of government after the relatively ineffective and weak Articles of Confederation. If more people were to take an active role in examining politicians and seeing what they put first, instead of trusting the news media, then the nation could start to head in a better direction, like how Gruver says, it starts at the ballot box.

  3. Kellie says:

    Given this new passion sweeping the country, which our current leadership has so graciously created, I am anxious and excited to see what happens in November. I am hoping and praying that it will be the catalyst for the people of this country to continue to pay attention, spread the word and make their voices heard. We may be on the eve of a scary, yet possibly exciting, new revolution…

  4. Charles Babb says:

    Janine; you and Cathy have provided a wonderful service by making this educational tool available.

    How, and why has the practice of writing such confusing and lengthy bills evolved? Was it just to confuse the electorate so that we would have less control over our legislators?

    How we go about demanding clarity in the way legislation is written will be another story, but with the armor of knowledge and the weapon of truth, we will prevail.

  5. tommy says:

    Just wanted to say I really liked the post. You have really put a lot of energy into your posts and it is just awesome!

  6. Jim S says:

    Charles & All,

    Legislation has become more lengthly because we expect it to be specific. The Constitution, on the other hand, is simply the framework for our government. If we wanted to fairly compare the two, we should include with the Constitution Congress’ rules of order, the Uniform Code of Military Justice and all military regulations, rules of decorum for the Supreme Court, and Executive procedures. This compendium would outline exactly how the government should be run, as the healthcare bill outlines for its role. Then we may complain about our 2000+ page Constitution.

    Jim

 

 

April 30, 2010 – Federalist No. 3 – Janine Turner

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Friday, April 30th, 2010

Howdy from Texas. I thank you for joining us today and I thank today’s guest scholar, William B. Allen, for his words of wisdom about Federalist Paper #3. Thanks William!

What I continue to find fascinating is how the Federalist Papers are consistently relevant today. John Jay’s Federalist Paper #3 is one that really motivates contemplation. Publius speaks about how the unity of the country, the states, is the best way to combat an enemy or foreign intrigues. Unity, a house united, is definitely more advantageous than a house divided. Objectivity trumps subjectivity.

Yet, if the states are to acquiesce their rights and inclinations to defend themselves, then it is the duty of the Federal government to adequately protect the states. The father must protect his children. The Federal government needs to pay heed.

John Jay provides examples of how domestic disputes amongst small countries in Europe often lead to major battles – battles that then enveloped several nations for many years. We have certainly seen this repeat itself subsequently and most recently in the 20th century yielding morbid and tragic devastation.

During our country’s infancy, unity amongst the states was paramount for a strong and unilateral defense.
However, ironically, the same principle applies today. With the current situation in Arizona, we should remain first and foremost unified in dealing with the crisis at hand. Brother against brother, state against state, breeds contempt and failure.

It is prophetically proposed by our founding fathers that a unified action yields the best result for the nation.
Let us remember that unity will reign victorious and gather wisdom to deal with all obstacles.

We are the United States of America.

God Bless,

Janine Turner
April 30, 2010

P.S. Don’t forget to check out our “We the People 9.17 Contest” for kids, my daily Video Podcasts and the archive of the daily essays written by Cathy and me and our daily guest scholar!

Responses to “April 302010 – Federalist Paper No3 – Janine Turner

  1. Maggie says:

    I have found it fascinating that the reading of Federalist #3 is so timely with what is happening in AZ today. This reading has, thus far for me, presented the greatest corellation to current events. What was true to life when the constitution and Federalist papers were written is true today and will continue to be so. That is why we must continue to learn and protect the great gifts that were given to us with the writing of these documents.

  2. Jessica D. Hicks says:

    .

  3. Marc W. Stauffer says:

    The wisdom of this Founding Father continually astounds me. His comments are as relevant today as when he first put pen to his thoughts. The old adage of; “a house united stands strong, but a house divided falls”, rings true in Jay’s dissertation of the need for unity. I must admit that it makes me nervous to hear states give thought to succession as this tears at the fabric of our unity. We need to continually use the strong material of historical knowledge to weave the cloth of unity, repair its holes of strife, and keep it fresh and new!

  4. Nancy Wujcik says:

    I am enjoying this project and want to thank you all. I especially enjoyed your comments today about how the Arizona law and things that divide us make us more vulnerable to outside forces just as was written in this FederalistPaper. I think relating these to present day events make them mean more to the reader. Thanks!

  5. Bob Greenslade says:

    You wrote:

    “Yet, if the states are to acquiesce their rights and inclinations to defend themselves, then it is the duty of the Federal government to adequately protect the states. The father must protect his children.”

    Are you asserting that the States surrendered their “rights” to the federal government?

    “The father must protect his children.” Are you asserting that the States spring from the federal government?

    Thanks.

  6. Hi Bob – Thank you for your question! Ours is a federal system. Often people are confused about it, and this is one of the reasons we initiated this project – to try to address concerns just as you mentioned. If you look at the preamble, our Constitution makes clear that the beginning and the end of the government’s authority comes from the consent of the people. We the people desire to form “a more perfect Union; establish Justice, insure domestic tranquility and provide for the common defense…. ordain and establish this Constitution.”

    By ratifying the U.S. Constitution the people caused the State to cede certain powers to the federal government. Both the Constitution itself and the founders who drafted and confirmed it imply only that states ceded the powers enumerated and listed in the U.S. Constitution as powers belonging to a federal government. All other authority continues to rest with the people and the states respectively. When the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution, both the 9th and 10 amendments reaffirmed this principle.

 

 

May 3, 2010 – Federalist No. 4 – Janine Turner

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Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Howdy from Texas! Welcome to our third week of “90 in 90 – History Holds the Key to the Future.” I can’t believe it is the third week. I thank you for joining us and for all of your thought provoking blogs!! I thank William B. Allen for his wonderful, insightful essays. How lucky we are to have his participation. Thanks William!

This is such an important collaboration! Spread the word about our national conversation and don’t forget to do the readings of the day with your children and/or loved ones! Also, don’t forget to encourage your children to join our We the People 9.17 Contest. Scholarships, Travel, Public Appearances!!

My interpretation of John Jay’s Federalist Paper No. 4 is unity provides strength and strength provides a strategic defense. A strong defense promotes peace, respect and profitable commerce. If a foreign country senses weakness or internal strife then it will be more likely to strike.
The wolf waits for a sheep to separates from the herd before it attacks, attacking only when the sheep is defenseless and without aid.

Relevant today? I say yes. Are we, as patriots, adequately united for the common good? Are we strong economically? Are we strong militarily? Are our representatives ready to face our adversaries with competence and preparedness? Are we truly united as brothers and sister, counties, regions, states? Are we so myopic in our domestic mire that we have lost sight of the wolf? On the wave of the wind wails the wolf. Do we hear it? Are we listening?

God Bless,

Janine Turner

2 Responses to “May 32010 – Federalist No4 – Janine Turner

  1. The news coming out of New York at this very moment about the arrest of a suspect in the attempt to detonate a car bomb in Times Square indicates just how relevant John Jay’s Federalist Paper No4 is today. We must never let our guard down.

    That our enemies all over the world are willing to and want to wage war as soon as we show weakness was demonstrated this weekend.

    As the famous flag says so succinctly, ‘Unite or Die’.

  2. Well said Janine Turner!!! and thanks for this opportunity.

 

 

May 4, 2010 – Federalist No. 5 – Janine Turner

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Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Howdy from Texas. What a great conversation today. I have to tell you guys, or y’all, I am really learning from not only our guest scholars, but from you who blog. Today was a most thought provoking dialogue. I thank you for joining us and for spreading the word about our “90 in 90.” A great civic discussion, based on the founding principles of our country, is just what our country needs.

I thank Horace Cooper for his wonderful essay today. Thanks Horace!

I related to what Tricia said in her blog today regarding the fact that a union gives us the ability to disagree yet to unite in times of trouble. An analogy would be a family. Families may bicker but – watch out – because they will defend each other when one is confronted or in danger.

In relation to the founding era and Federalist No. 5, there was still so much to be imagined, discovered and resolved. There was an abundance of mystery in America. This is one of the brilliant aspects of Publius – they had such foresight, almost prophetic. They knew there were differences amongst the peoples of America, with a vast portion of America yet to be discovered and claimed, but they also new that it was better to be with each other rather than against one another; to be governed by a unified vision.

As our two hundred thirty -four years have evolved, it has become apparent that our differences did drive stakes into our passions but they did not dismember us. If we had not found stability as a burgeoning union then we would never have been able to survive the challenges that were to be wrought by the civil war and the great depression.. to name a few.

So what is the relevancy of Federalist No. 5 today? It is in defining the boundaries between the federal government and the states in the twenty first century. It is in the understanding of how much power our founding fathers really intended the federal government to have. It is in the reckoning and reconciling of the autonomy the states were intended to have and should have today. The answers to these questions are complex, especially because it is inordinately hard to rein back leniencies that have already been dispersed. Once one foot is in the door, it is very hard to close it again.  Has the federal government planted its boots upon our thresholds too boldly?

I dare say many of us would answer yes. I dare say many of us agree with Arizona in regard to the fact that she has the right to make her own laws, yet look at how her autonomy is disrupting the union. Is this not exactly what Publius was predicting? However, today, is the fault with the state or with the Federal government who failed to protect her and her people?  Or is it the state’s right to defend herself? Is this not addressed in the Constitution in Article I Section 8.16?  I, personally, would like to hear some thoughts from our scholars as to what exactly Article 1 Section 8.16 means in relation to Arizona.

It is only in the educating of America about the United States Constitution that these questions may be answered. Knowledge is power. We cannot appreciate what has been taken away if we have never known what was rightfully ours in the first place.

The monarchies of Europe didn’t want their “people” educated. An educated people meant that they would be able to see the truths. These truths are self-evident: If we don’t utilize our educated voice someone else will speak for us. And all of our rights will be lost.

God bless,

Oh, we have fixed it so all of the comments will be in the same place.. so please comment in the main essay’s comment box  (the guest scholar of the day’s  essay) from now on.. )

Janine Turner

 

May 5, 2010 – Federalist No. 6 – Janine Turner

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Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Howdy from Texas! I thank y’all for joining us! Federalist No. 6 is yet another fascinating reading. Yes? I want to thank our Constitutional scholar, W.B. Allen, for breaking down Federalist Paper No. 6 with such superb detail.
Thanks Mr. Allen!

The complexity of this particular paper is mesmerizing.
I am enthralled by the examples of former empires, the rise and fall of these republics, and the reasons why. The relevancies in today’s reading are many but the warnings are simple and the question singular. How to we keep the United States of America from failing?  The warnings from history provide wisdom. The republics of Sparta, Athens, Rome and Carthage were ruined by wars and greed, Holland was overwhelmed in debt and taxes and England and France were beleaguered by antipathy toward one another.

It is interesting to reflect upon the fact that one of the reasons Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison could make such brilliant observations is because of their superb education. Alexander Hamilton should be an inspiration to many who believe that one has to be born into wealth to receive such an education. I wrote about Alexander Hamilton’s mother in my book, “Holding Her Head High.” Alexander was raised by his single mother, who by example, taught him at an early age the art of business and the spirit of tenacity. Yet, he was very poor. When his mother died he was in desperate need of a new pair of shoes. He may have had no shoes but he had spirit, determination and true grit.

Are these not qualities that Americans hold “Near and Dear” – spirit, determination and true grit. These  American characteristics were why we won the Revolutionary war and these are the qualities that keep America great today. We are a country, a republic, where one may dare to dream. We are a country where, according to our Constitution, no one may receive titles of Nobility. We are a country where a boy born in a single room log cabin becomes President, where men raised by single mother’s become President, to name a few examples. We are a country where vision, perseverance and willingness to work hard can nurture the seeds of talent, in any man or woman, to fruition. In this respect we are all equal. In this respect we must hold “Near and Dear” our free enterprise, which yields the vast fruits of commerce, industry and personal ingenuity keeping America vibrant, solvent and safe.

God Bless,

Janine Turner
5.5.10

P.S. If you want to blog about this piece please do so on the main blog on our guest scholar of today’s essay. We want to keep all comments there to promote a better flow of conversation. ☺

 

May 6, 2010 – Federalist No. 7 – Janine Turner

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Thursday, May 6th, 2010

Howdy from Texas. I thank you for joining us today! I, also thank Professor W.B. Allen for his essay. As I was reading his essay today I realized how grateful I am that he has graced us with his wisdom and that he, and our other guest scholars, have so deftly interpreted the meaning of the Federalist Papers. Isn’t it wonderful?

I hope you are checking out the Daily Behind the Scenes Videos that I am filming, editing and uploading every night! They are on the website – it’s the box on top of the “90 in 90 = 180” box – the top, center of the home page. I am wearing a red dress. I am really enjoying filming this every night and writing the daily essays, but I am getting no sleep!!!

Cathy, my co-chair, has written such inspirational essays. Thanks Cathy. You are a true American Patriot – as are all of you who are joining us! Please spread the word about our “90 in 90” and our “We the People 9.17 Contest” for kids!!

Today’s reading continues to focus on union and the danger we would face from Europe if we did not unite.

Strength in numbers and unity through diversity is a true American-ism.

One of the greatest miracles is that America won the Revolutionary War, but also, and no less importantly, that America survived her infancy and was directed by brilliant forefathers who were touched by Divine Providence. The United States Constitution was a miracle as well.

There are a couple of Alexander Hamilton’s phrases that caught my attention today:

The spirit of enterprise which characterizes the commercial part of America, has left no occasion of  displaying itself unimproved.

“The spirit of enterprise..” this is the heart and soul of Americans. We were hard working survivors with an independent streak that gave us the courage to cross the oceans to live in an inconceivable wildernesses and the adventurousness to cross the plains in covered wagons to endure an untamed land. Americans were of a fearless stock driven by an unbridled spirit.

And we still are.

This is why Samuel Adam’s words still ring true to the American soul – a soul that was built upon generations of mavericks:

The redistributing of wealth and pooling of property are despotic and unconstitutional.

Americans thrive on the spirit of free enterprise and the freedom to pursue it.

The government must not cripple America’s genius.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

5.6.10

P.S. If you would like to respond to this essay please go back to the guest scholar of the day’s blog. We may converse together as one there…

 

May 7, 2010 – Federalist No. 8 – Janine Turner

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Friday, May 7th, 2010

Today was yet another stimulating reading. Your blog comments have been thought provoking as well. I thank you and I, also, once again, thank Professor W.B. Allen for his astute interpretation. After reading both Federalist Paper No. 8 and Professor Allen’s essay here is what I have gleaned:

With the birth of the Republic of the United States came the birth of a new type of republic. Republics in the past all eventually lent themselves to the art of war, instead of the art of commerce and free enterprise, as its focus. Our new republic would be monitored and governed by the people instead of military figures.

This was truly an enlightened and inspired experiment.
Yet, safety would have to be secured in order to offer the opportunity of these pursuits and the art of war delineated. If the people did not feel safe, and if war were to spring from internal hostilities, then the focus would shift away from the remarkable aspects of American ingenuity to the colossal attentions war and/or petty skirmishes demanded.

To quote Alexander Hamilton:
“Even the ardent love of liberty will, after a time, give way to its dictates..”

“To be more safe, they, at length, become willing to run the risk of being less free…”

If war were to become the dictate then the executive branch would broaden and the legislative branch, the people’s branch, weaken.

“They would, at the same time, be obliged to strengthen the executive arm of government; in doing which, their constituents would acquire a progressive direction towards monarchy. It is of the nature of war to increase the executive, at the expense of the legislative authority.”

War was thus incompatible with the new industriousness of the American people:

“The industrious habits of the people of the present day, absorbed in the pursuits of gain, and devoted to the improvements of agriculture and commerce, are incompatible with the condition of a nation of soldiers, which was the true condition of the people of those republics.”

Once again our forefathers had the wisdom and wherewithal to prophesy the necessities for a free people to flourish – freedom from dictators, tyranny, war, conquests and internal squirmishes.

Which begs the next big undertaking: replacing the dictator with the wisdom of the people. If the government were to heed upon the whims of the people then how does one educate and inspire the people? The checks and balances of the Constitution were thus both a check against the leaders and the people – a republic instead of a democracy.

In this respect how have Americans fared? I would say on the broad scale, remarkably. I believe our forefathers would be mesmerized with the scope of growth, scientifically, industriously and humanitarianly. They would be in a state of awe. The experiment of liberty and union, though bruised along the way, has remained vital.

Yet, a new generation and movement are upon us. Our founding fathers, I believe, would be a bit wary regarding the modern day wisdom of the people. There was such a hunger for education and inspiration in the blossoming days of the United States because the repression of such liberties had left a formidable and everlasting impression.

Today, do we take for granted the freedoms that have made our country great? I believe that the lack of voting would be a disappointment to our forefathers, as would the seeming unawareness of the founding principles of our country.

If we, as citizens, and our children, do not understand the dignified rights and principles we have then we, and our children, will not know when they are subtly taken away from us. The success of the progressive movement is a prime example.

Thus, the reading and comprehension of the United States Constitution and the Federalist Papers are paramount. I, personally, feel blessed to be having this dialogue with our daily scholars, Cathy and all of you who blog. I thank you for your involvement. Spread the word! Let us all be educated citizens with a knowledge rooted in the thesis of our country so that we may then step forward, voice our opinions and make a difference as informed citizens.

God Bless!!

Janine Turner

 

May 10, 2010 – Federalist No. 9 – Janine Turner

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Monday, May 10th, 2010



Howdy from Texas. I want to thank you for joining us today and I thank Professor Knippratch for his most insightful essay today!!! Thank you, Professor Knippratch.

I am in the middle of tornados whirling through

our ranch so I have to make this brief. I am once again amazed and inspired by the intellectual tenacity of our forefathers. It is my hope, through our foundation, that we may encourage our youth to read, read, read.

History truly is the key to our future.

My favorite passage of Federalist No. 9 is:

The regular distribution of power into distinct

departments; the introduction of legislative balances

and checks; the institution of courts composed of

judges, holding their offices during good behaviour;

the representation of the people in the legislature, by

deputies of their own election; these are either

wholly new discoveries, or have made their principle

progress towards perfection in modern times

“..or have made their principle progress towards perfection in modern times.”

This line captures my attention. Through out history many empires and republics had been formed but became lost in the mire of war, conquests or tyranny, as mentioned in earlier essays. Now, according to Alexander Hamilton, The United States Constitution, by analyzing the annals of history and recalculating and reinventing the basis of former Republics, offered “progress towards perfection in modern times.”

Our forefathers, guided by the hand of Divine Providence, etched onto the new sphere of political science a masterpiece, a stroke of genius that would be embraced and cherished by Americans and emulated throughout the world – even today.

How sad it is that we Americans have such little time to devote to the revolutionary and relevant thesis of our country; that we have forgotten to cherish such a gem. We, as a modern society, have forsaken our great founding principles, as a kitten is forsaken on the side of the road.

It is Cathy’s and my goal to reach out to the schools across America and by this September 17th have 20 minute DVDs (or downloads) available of the winners of our contest – hip, cool and contemporary – discussing the United States Constitution in all her glory.

Then when a 7th grader gets in your car, he or she won’t say, “What’s the Constitution?”

And we, as parents, as adults, as citizens, through our “90 in 90 = 180,” will be re-stimulated, re-educated and fortified to take on whoever wants to challenge, defy or ridicule the validity of the United States Constitution. We will be ready to teach our children, our families, or our friends about the “perfection of modern times.”

God Bless,

Janine Turner

10 Responses to “May 102010 – Federalist No9 – Janine Turner

  1. Janet Drennan says:

    Bless you for this remarkable site and your commitment to First Principles! I had NO IDEA that this is what you’ve been up to~way to go!

    Blessings,
    Janet

  2. K. Fegert says:

    I heard you on Mark Levin today, and, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate finding out about another conservative from the entertainment industry. I just saw a bumper sticker that read “God Bless John Wayne”, and I think “God Bless Janine Turner” would be as appropriate. Best wishes and God’s speed in your incredibly prescient endeavour. There is very little in our country of as pressing importance as properly educating our future leaders.

  3. Davis Northnagel says:

    Just heard about this remarkable project on the Mark Levin show today. Keep up the good work! Davis Northnagel

  4. HI, I AGREE WITH JANET, WAY TO GO, LADIES!! I HEARD YOUR INTERVIEW WITH MARK TONIGHT AND I JUST FELT SO PROUD OF YOU!! I WRECKED MY CAREER, AS WELL, WITH MY INABILITY TO SIT STILL WHILE PEOPLE TRASH EVERYTHING WE STAND FOR!! DEPOSITING SO MUCH JUNK, THAT I JUST CAN NOT BELIEVE WHAT PEOPLE ARE THINKING! THE FIRST THING I DID WAS LOG ON TO YOUR SITE, SIGN UP AND STAND UP TO BE COUNTED! PLEASE CONTACT ME AND LET ME KNOW WHAT I CAN DO TO HELP THE CAUSE!!!! I KNOW A FEW PEOPLE!! YOURS, D.B.

  5. WAY TO GO! HEARD THE INTERVIEW WITH MARK TONIGHT, SO PROUD OF YOU! CONTACT ME, I CAN HELP. YOU HAVE MY INFO. UNABLE TO STAND ALL THE JUNK AND TRASHING OF WHAT WE STAND FOR! TEACHING IS THE KEY! I CAN’T SAY ENOUGH! GOD BLESS YOU, LADIES! D.B.

  6. Way to go; heard the interview with Mark tonight. so proud of you! Contact me, I can help. Unable to take all the junk and trashing of what we stand for! Education is the KEY to stopping the destruction!! GOD BLESS YOU, LADIES. D.B.

  7. Randy says:

    I found this website by listening to Mark Levin’s radio show. I really like the educational content. There is another website http://www.TheseSelfEvidentTruths.com that also has good history on the Constitution, plus some occassional commentary on current events. It is heartening to see a renewed interest in our founding documents. It is truly sad that the principles of freedom are not taught in our public schools, but instead, students are sent home because they wore a t-shirt with an American flag. Let’s hope it is not too late to save our republic. Keep up the good work, Janine and Cathy.

  8. Bill in Dallas says:

    I had no clue, I heard you on Mark Levin show, was so thrilled to find this site and what you and Cathy have been upto. God bless and keep you. I’ve asked my 11 year old granddaughter to start following you. Thank you for what you do. Pray for Mark, I worry about his health, we need his voice and his love for the constitution.

  9. Debbie Beardsley says:

    I have really enjoyed reading the Constitution and Federalist Papers. It is too bad the rest of the country won’t take the time. This may be a little off topic, but it is related, I was shocked yesterday when I heard Obama’s nominee for Supreme Court say we are a Democracy. How can we expect the Court to uphold the Constitution when they don’t even know it? She should know we are a Republic and not a Democracy. Time to pull her nomination and put someone in place that has actually read the document.

  10. Barb Zakszewski says:

    Well that would basically leave anyone reading this website as possible nominees to the Supreme Court. I don’t have a law degree so that leaves me out…Anyone else? Seriously though, Debbie you are absolutely right…How can people swear to uphold and defend a document that they have never read, or see as antiquated or worse, irrelevant? I’m reading the Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution and find it amazing and appalling how the Supreme Court went so quickly from interpreting the Constitution to ignoring it, or recreating it to suit their own personal agendas and belief systems. Barack Obama is the Woodrow Wilson of our times..This country has strayed so far from the founding principles as to be almost unrecognizable…We have to get back to where we started!!

 

May 11, 2010 – Federalist No. 10 – Janine Turner

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Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant. Mesmerizing. I agree with Professor Knipprath words, “Federalist No. 10 is a masterpiece of political theory and insight into human psychology. Almost every sentence is worth studying.”

Well said, Professor Knipprath and your essay today is quite brilliant, too, and thought provoking, as well. I thank you for your devotion to “Constituting America” and for all of your esteemed guidance.

I thank all of you who have blogged with us today and for your stimulating dialogue.

There is so much wonder, scope, knowledge, perspective and vision in this paper that I do not even know where to begin. I do believe I may have to meditate upon it before I can give it the respect it deserves.

What am I learning is the difference between a democracy and a republic and through these papers, and this paper in particular, I am getting a clear vision about why we are a republic. Passions, individual perspectives and political factions breathe life into liberty but they must be channeled and curbed. The answers to this challenge lie in our representative form of government.

To quote James Madison:

“Liberty is to faction, what air is to fire, an aliment, without which it instantly expires”

I am sharpening my insights regarding Republican virtues. These virtues deserve to be studied in school and taught in the home. We, as citizens, would be wise to delve into the psyche of the Revolutionary patriots, imbue their sense of virtue and wear their armor of valor. Ah, to breath the air they breathed, to feel the electricity they felt – the enlightment, the courage, the inspiration, the determination.

Knowledge is power. How fabulous that we are on this journey, this path of understanding – for if we do not know what we have, we will not know what is being taken away. Spread the word. Let’s get as many Americans to join us as we discover the thesis of our great land – to preserve it we must observe it.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

May 12, 2010 – Federalist No. 11 – Janine Turner

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Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Well, I had great fun reading Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist Paper No. 11, especially toward the end of the paper, where he makes a statement regarding Europe:

“The superiority she has long maintained, has tempted her to plume herself as the mistress of the world, and to consider the rest of mankind as created for her benefit. Men, admired as profound philosophers, have, in direct terms, attributed to her inhabitants a physical superiority; and have gravely asserted, that all animals, and with them the human species, degenerate in America; that even dogs cease to bark, after having breathed a while in our atmosphere…. It belongs to us to vindicate the honor of the human race, and to teach that assuming brother moderation. Union will enable us to do it. Disunion will add another victim to his triumphs.”

This statement, once again, exhibits the vision of our Constitutional founding fathers and Publius; strength in numbers, success with unity. They envisioned a United States that could, with her richness, vastness, intellect, unsurpassed spirit of enterprise, and republican virtue compete with Europe and do so with dignity and in a way that would, “vindicate the honor of the human race.”

Other points that I found to be of interest were regarding a strong and unified navy. “The rights of neutrality will only be respected, when they are defended by adequate power. A nation, despicable by its weakness, forfeits even the privilege of being neutral.”

This statement is relevant today and is applicable to our current situation regarding 9/11 and terrorism. It is, also, represented by human nature. Bullies only attack the weak. Other nations watch our administration and our country’s stance on defense. If they sense any leniency, or lack of response to attacks on American soil, which is “despicable by its weakness,” then we, as Americans forfeit our privilege of being neutral. Peace is no longer an option for us if we do not exhibit and execute strength – strength politically (a congress that thinks in terms of what is best for America and not factiously), militarily, (readiness and response), and financially (solvency). Strength, also, lay in our resources – our own oil and advances in new fuels.

It is best illustrated by Alexander Hamilton’s own words regarding unity and strength:

“The unequalled spirit of enterprise, which signalizes the
genius of the American merchants and navigators, and which is in itself an inexhaustible mine of national wealth, would be stifled and lost; and poverty and disgrace would overspread a country, which, with wisdom, might make herself the admiration and envy of the world.”

As a final note of relevancy – the many mentions of the phrase, “spirit of enterprise” in the Federalist Papers, in this case, “unequalled spirit of enterprise.” America was built on this spirit – a can do, true grit American determination. The greatness of America will cease with the continuance of a “nanny state.” America was not built with her hand out. America was built with her hands at work.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

5 Responses to “May 122010 – Federalist No11 – Janine Turner

  1. Billy Statkiewicz says:

    Janine i think this is a great thing you are doing with this Blog on the Constitution.

    I loved your character on Northern Exposure and any one who has ever watched the show would realize that with hard work , determination and will. You can accomplish great things in the harshest of conditions.

    I dont know what has happened to America over the last 25 years or so but it has to change quick. We as a nation cannot go on in the direction that we are headed. This nanny state and its ideologues behind it will forever injure this once great Nation.

    As someone in his mid forties , i remember on Flag day in 1976 at my grade school ” South School” in Stoughton, Massachusetts. I read the entire Gettysburgh address to a packed lawn of k-6 graders and all of the parents that could attend , including my mother Mary. She and i were never so proud as to what i accomplished that day, with such a beautiful Speech written by a great american and Former President. Abraham Lincoln.

    As much as i like President Obama , i dont agree with a large , MANY of his Policies to date, and i also dont believe someone like himself who has read and studied this great man as i have ,Obama doesnt have Lincolns spirit at heart in his policies. I Think Abe would be quite upset with him if he was alive today. I believe he would even go back to the Cooper Union to give another speech against many of Obamas policies.

    Giving Speeches at the places of your idols , does not make you a great President .Obama should consider forging his own History with reasonable policy , that the majority of Americans are behind.

    This is a troubling time we live in , and i hope it changes soon. I have met President Clinton and spoken to him. I live my life on the road less traveled and have experienced meeting many great people. I do this because i believe in my country and the path that Great Americans have forged for us in this Nation .

    We can only continue when our leaders have a genuine true interest in their hearts and intellect for this Great Nation .

    With the help from you and others i have faith that our path will be Righted soon enough.

    Janine Keep up the great work and i hope everybody loves to read the History that you have set for us. As much as i have.

    Remembering back on Flag Day in 1976 , i cant believe students were suspended for wearing a tee shirt displaying our Precious Flag. The one where brave young men and woman for hundreds of years have shed their precious blood and given up their lives for the country they were taught to believe in and the country i am sure they believed in.

    God Bless you and this great nation

    William Statkiewicz
    Stoughton, Massachusetts.

  2. Truely ….. I am past being concerned about the current direction of my beloved country.I am overwhelmed and actually fearfull that it is moving so fast that we may not be able to reverse the damage of this Administration coupled with the inertia of these past 20 or 30 years has done. These words of our founding fathers are so inspiring. I am thrilled to read them.

  3. Susan Craig says:

    You said: “America was not built with her hand out. America was built with her hands at work.”
    To that I say: AMEN!

  4. Jeff Hill says:

    Your fifth paragraph states our situation accurately and concisely.

  5. Jocelyn White says:

    Janine, I really enjoyed your essay on Hamilton’s paper. The line that grabbed me by the throat? Bullies pick on the weak. I am not by any means a “Hawk” but I do believe our country’s strong Defense is our best Offense. And I think it is shocking the way we don’t support our military monetarily, spiritually, emotionally and physically. It was also interesting to note in today’s news that former astronauts and moonwalkers Neal Armstrong and Gene Cernin are wholeheartedly AGAINST the Obama adminstration’s proposals for our space program. They warn that if that program proceeds, we will lose our place in the space race. And this is about much more than further moon landings and Mars expeditions. Think of satellites, space stations, etc. Were our Founding Fathers seers? Did they have crystal balls much more clear than ours? Sometimes, reading these papers, it would seem so.

 

 

May 13, 2010 – Federalist No. 12 – Janine Turner

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Friday, May 14th, 2010

As I read each day one of the Federalist Papers, my goal is to see the true intention of our Constitutional forefathers and also to see how it is relevant today.

Their wisdom and foresight continue to astound me.

“A prosperous commerce is now perceived and acknowledged, by all enlightened statesmen, to be the most useful, as well as, the most productive, source of national wealth and has accordingly become a primary object of their political cares.”

A prosperous commerce is the most productive source of national wealth. How is this relevant today? Is America’s prosperous commerce being compromised? When the Federal government becomes a source of income, care and resources, when they seize control of her commerce, American enterprise and inspiration are stigmatized. This stigmatization stifles the prosperity of commerce because citizens lose their motivation and one of their most precious American traits – ingenuity.

“The genius of the people will illy brook the inquisitive and peremptory spirit of excise laws.”

This is very relevant today in regard to businesses being heavily taxed.

And lastly, “A nation cannot long exist without revenue. Destitute of this essential support, it must resign its independence, and sink into the degraded condition of a province.”

Our debt is surpassing our ability to recover. How long will we be able to survive economically, politically? How will we be able to protect ourselves? When destitute of support will we then resign our independence and sink into the degraded position of, yet again, a province?

These are serious times. Our forefather’s words serve as warnings. They documented it for us in our United States Constitution and the Federalist Papers. They provided the answers. Will we heed their wisdom? To do so we must know about it. We must understand it. Knowledge is power. Spread the word.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

P.S. I thank our fantastic scholar today, Paul S. Teller, and yesterday’s scholar Dr. Joe Postell. How lucky we are to have their insights and educated opinions!

 

May 14, 2010 – Federalist No. 13 – Janine Turner

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Friday, May 14th, 2010

What a great dialogue today. I thank all of you for joining and I also thank Dr. Will Morrisey for his wonderful interpretation of today’s paper and The Federalist in general. It was super grand that Dr. Morrisey revisited our blog throughout the day! Thank you, Dr. Morrisey!

I feel lucky to be having this national conversational/blog regarding something as important as the founding framework of our country. Understanding this foundation will be the basis for maintaining our great republic. By great, I don’t simply mean powerful or rich, but I mean virtuous and free – free to think, free to live, free to express, free to fail, free to succeed, free to speak, free to worship.

There truly is a “180” movement in our country. Recently, a candidate was ousted and it was revealed by the constituents that it wasn’t because of the usual concerns such as: the economy or terrorism. It was because he didn’t heed the United States Constitution. Posing these questions, pondering these truths may lead our present and future congressmen and women to pause, pause upon the principles of our country and hence reflect principled behavior. We shall insist upon it as the future of our country depends upon it.

Through this process, our “90 in 90,” I am gleaning a deeper understanding of my, until recently mostly intuitive and instinctive, aversion to big government.

Publius argues forthrightly about the benefits of a strong union. This makes perfect sense as they lay out their arguments, most compellingly by their comparisons to Europe. The United States could have easily succumbed to a similar scenario, mirroring the divided countries of Europe. Our founding father’s persuasive passions to unite the colonies were truly Providential.

Yet, never do I interpret the United States Constitution, or the Federalist Papers, with the objective of obtaining a strong, overbearing Federal government. They wanted focus, fortitude and fluidity – yet never to be a tourniquet impeding the states’ rights – the states’ rights to diversify in spirit, make decisions best representing their local domain and maintaining the wherewithal to do so.

The question thus begs: how do we cut the line of dependency, dependency on federal bait and bargain?

Like a fish caught on the bait, we are flapping in the wind. If only, “catch and release” were an option perhaps then we could swim in the big pond together yet maintain our different stripes.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

May 17, 2010 – Federalist No. 14 – Janine Turner

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Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Howdy from Texas. I hope you had a nice weekend. I started reading a wonderful book this weekend, which I have found to be a great companion piece to our “90 in 90 = 180.” It is entitled, “Miracle at Philadelphia,” by Catherine Drinker Bowen. Check it out!

I thank Professor W.B. Allen for his thought-provoking essay today. I really appreciate his time and talents. I thank you, Professor Allen. And I thank all of you who are joining us! Please spread the word about our important mission here and read it with you children and/or family members or friends. Please also spread the word about our contest for kids. The “We the People 9.17 Contest.” Our children are in desperate need to be educated about our founding principals. It is up to us to teach them. Check out tonight’s behind the scene video. It is my daughter informing other kids about the contest!

Tonight’s reading once again reveals our Constitutional founding fathers’ amazingly brilliant ingenuity. It is obvious from the Constitution that they did not want any resemblance of class warfare or “Nobility.” The art of a Republic was the perfect balance for a democratic state. James Madison makes a striking point regarding the complaints that there was no precedent for a Republic. Was there a precedent for the Declaration of Independence, that courageous and biting document that sparked and validated the Revolutionary War? Was there a precedent for the Revolutionary War?

Regarding relevancy today, how many modern day citizens really know that we are a Republic? Do our children know that we are a Republic? Do they understand and value our freedoms, rights and free enterprise? In one of Cathy’s recent essays, she included a link to a statistic that I found to be alarming. A Rasmussen poll in 2009 stated that 13% of people over 40 years of age believed that socialism was better than capitalism, yet in the group of people under the age of 40, 33% believed socialism was better than capitalism. I find this statistic to be very alarming! Imagine what the statistics would be today?

Thomas Jefferson words send us a timely warning, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”

James Madison states in Federalist No. 14, “The kindred blood that flows in the veins of American citizens, the mingled blood which they have shed in defense of their sacred rights, consecrate their union, and excite horror at the idea of their becoming aliens, rivals, enemies.”

May our kindred blood unite in preserving our truly magnificent country and may we focus on both the founding principles that shaped our country and the goodness of the people that made it be. May we set the precedent for rekindling the flame of awareness about the brilliant framework of our country and its relevancy today.

God Bless!

Janine Turner

 

May 18, 2010 – Federalist No. 15 – Janine Turner

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Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Relevancy today. It is very clear in Federalist Paper No. 15 that cohesion between the states was necessary in order to preserve our union in a viable way.

Our guest scholar, Professor Allison Hayward, (I thank you Professor Hayward for your wonderful essay!) speculates about the future of today’s European Union, “I suspect that the EU may fail, because its constituent nations will be unwilling to yield the necessary sovereignty to create a sufficient federal government.”

The potential failure of the European countries to render themselves to a singular government speaks volumes about why the United States was able to succeed. Americans had the foresight and the fortitude to unite after the Revolution, rendering brilliant results. Thus, two miracles birthed the United States of America, one the success of the Revolutionary war, the other the success of the United States Constitution.

Homage must be paid to our Constitutional forefathers who tirelessly, tenaciously and methodically gave their time and talents to achieve the three pertinent steps: the Constitutional Convention, the rendering of the Constitution and the eventual ratification. This was no easy feat, yet it proved to be our rallying point and the launching pad for realizing the potential of our countrymen and the wealth of the land.

Yet, today, we must question if the confines of our great Constitution have been stretched beyond what our forefathers intended. A federal government to persevere and preserve is very different than a federal government to control and contrive.

Here are some of Alexander Hamilton’s words that I find relevant today and thought provoking:

“I have unfolded to you a complication of dangers to which you would be exposed, should you permit that sacred knot, which binds the people of America together, to be severed or dissolved by ambition or by avarice, by jealousy or by misrepresentation.”

“We may indeed, with propriety, be said to have reached almost the last stages of national humiliation. There is scarcely any thing that can wound the pride, or degrade the character, of an independent people, which we do not experience.”

“Do we owe debt to foreigners, and to our own citizens, contracted in a time of imminent peril, for the preservation of our political existence?”

“Is public credit an indispensable resource in a time of public danger?”

“Because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice, without constraint.”

“The rulers of the respective members, whether they have a constitutional right to do it or not, will undertake to judge of the propriety of the measures themselves. They will consider the conformity of the thing proposed or required to their immediate interests or aims; the momentary conveniences or inconveniences that would attend its adoption.”

Are we not experiencing all of the above today?

God Bless,

Janine Turner

One Response to “May 18, 2010 – Federalist No. 15 – Janine Turner”

William Statkiewicz says:
May 19, 2010 at 3:18 pm
I am so motivated every morning when I wake up. Looking ” Forward” to when I will log onto a computer and read todays Essays on the Constitution.
I Think I will be an expert by the time this is all over.
The Checks and Balances of the Constitution ensure us that we dont have chaos
” Because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice, without constraint.”
Therefore , this is why we are a CIVILIZED society in the United States.

May 19, 2010 – Federalist No. 16 – Janine Turner

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Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

I want to let you know that I have begun a short film with my daughter for my “Daily Behind the Scenes Videos.” Tonight is Part 1. Check it out. The link is on the website on the home page or the link to the YouTube version is on the Constituting America Facebook Page. It’s going to be fun! I direct these and edit them on my computer nightly – with the help of my daughter, of course. The goal of these videos is to enlighten American citizens about our great United States Constitution, our “90 in 90” and our “We the People 9.17 Contest” so, spread the word!

Here we are at Federalist Paper No. 16!  I want to thank Marc S. Lampkin for joining us again today. We are so lucky to have your scholarly insights, Mr. Lampkin!

Alexander Hamilton’s quote, “When the sword is once drawn, the passions of men observe no bounds of moderation,” speaks volumes. First of all, it is how Alexander Hamilton died, in a dual of passionate discord with Aaron Burr. Secondly, I can’t help but find relevance in these words regarding the situation in Arizona. The more I read, absorb and learn about our United States Constitution, the more I start seeing all aspects of our current political environment through Publius’ eyes –their reasoning, their framework – which, of course, is the whole point of our “90 in 90.”

“When the sword is once drawn, the passions of men observe no bounds of moderation,” starts to make more and more sense to me when I witness, with the rest of America, the friction between our “United States”, Arizona and California. It was experienced over two hundred years ago, has happened throughout our history and it is happening today – “faction.” What we are experiencing as a country is a sample of what would have happened if we had not ratified our Constitution. There would have been no way to keep the peace and find a unity in vision and mutuality of purpose.

Thus, my current assessment is that the cohesiveness of a Federal government served and should continue to serve its purpose in certain areas – one of those areas is the defense and protection of her states.

Thus, the question begs the answer. Why hasn’t the Federal government protected her border states? Yes, states have rights, and yes, the Federal government has grown way beyond our founding father’s intentions but in this instance regarding defense, the federal government should have stepped up to the plate. Arizona has been left to fend for herself and is getting abuse from all angles.

Consequentially, we are witnessing state against state – accusations, misinterpretations – faction. Will California boycott her ally? Will Arizona turn her brother’s  lights?

“When the sword is once drawn, the passions of men observe no bounds of moderation.”

Let us experience the freedom, uniqueness and independence as individual states yet, the unity of brotherhood as a country. Once the sword is drawn where will the passions end? Discourse is an enticement. United we stand. Divided we fall. Has this not been the theme of these Federalist Papers?

God bless,

Janine Turner

 

May 20, 2010 – Federalist No. 17 – Janine Turner

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Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Where did we go wrong as a country that we let the Federal government overtake the states? This was obviously not the intent of our founding fathers. As explained in Federalist Paper No. 16, the communities and local passions were to always be the stronghold against the homogeneous nature that springs from a Federal formation.

Obviously, Alexander Hamilton could envision great commerce and industry from such a fastidious people as Revolutionary Americans, but how could he see the vast transformation of communication and transportation? From his post in the 18th century, the local influences and perspectives were dominant, and the national sways were secondary.

He could not imagine the amazing feats in engineering that would revolutionize transportation broadening the horizons of the people. Nor could he foresee the formidable transformations resulting from the inventions of the telephone, radio and television. With this occurrence, the states lost their uniqueness, the people their distinctness and the federal government gained power – a shift occurred.

But was this enough to open the door for the Federal government to eat away at the core of the states’ powers?
What gave the Federal Government the power to encroach? Perhaps it was the Constitutional Amendment XVI – Income Taxes. What was the incentive that enticed the people to forfeit their individuality and their rights? Subsidies – the spoon-feeding mentality that usurped the American “can do” spirit.

The slippery slope began. Alexander Hamilton stated in Federalist No. 15, “When the sword is once drawn, the passions of men observe no bounds of moderation.”
Perhaps it should be, “When the sword of taxes is drawn, the passions of government observe no bounds of moderation.”

Knowledge is power. With the awareness and education of the true intention of our United States Constitution, the American spirit will be revived and the people will recognize the power of their vote. Our Republican form of government offers the way to rectify.

To quote Alexander Hamilton, “There is one transcendent advantage belonging to the province of state governments, which alone suffices to place the matter in a clear and satisfactory light.. I mean the ordinary administration of criminal and civil justice.”

The criminal and civil justice belong to the states.. something to ponder.

God Bless,

Janine Turner
May 20, 2010
P.S. I thank William C. Duncan for joining us today and for his insightful essay!  Thank you, Mr. Duncan!

2 Responses to “May 20, 2010 – Federalist No. 17 – Janine Turner”

Susan Craig says:
May 20, 2010 at 9:35 pm
While I don’t agree with the founding fathers, that only those who own property should have the vote, I see where it has led to some of today’s ills. I think it was Benjamin Franklin who said the republic would be in trouble once people discovered that they could vote themselves other peoples money.

Tim Shey says:
July 21, 2010 at 5:13 pm
If a man abuses his power, the people rise up and fight against that man. If the Federal Government is too powerful and abuses its power, then the people rise up and fight against it (e.g. King George III and Great Britain in 1776).
This Christian lady told me that there was a prophecy given a while back and the prophecy said that “the South shall rise again.” I am sure that it does not mean that the Confederacy will rise again, but that the issue of States’ Rights will rise again. This is happening right now with the Tea Party Movement and all the other people sick and tired of our over-reaching Federal Government.
When the Germans counter-attacked in the Ardennes Forest in December 1944, many people were alarmed and there was general panic. But General Eisenhower saw it as an opportunity for ultimate victory. If Jimmy Carter was a gift to Ronald Reagan, then Barack Obama will be a gift to the Republican who takes the White House in 2012.
Have faith in God and we will see victory.

May 21, 2010 – Federalist No. 18 – Janine Turner

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Friday, May 21st, 2010

Today my 12-year-old daughter read Federalist Paper No. 18 to me as I was driving her to ballet class after school. As she was reading, she would stop to look up words she didn’t know and yet had some understanding of the culture because she has been studying Latin and Greek this year. Her first comment was, “Wow, he knew all this and he didn’t even have Google!”

I agree with our guest Constitutional scholar, Mr. Andrew Langer, (I thank you for blessing us with you scholarly insights again today, Mr. Langer!) that one of the Providential aspects of our country’s founding and birth of the United States Constitution is that the deliberators and creators were so well read and prolific in their knowledge.

In the book I mentioned earlier this week, Miracle at Philadelphia, it recounts how James Madison asked Jefferson for a few books, “Whatever may throw light on the general constitution and droit public of the several confederacies which have existed.” Jefferson sent some, by the hundreds. Madison instantly threw himself into the study and wrote essay after essay in preparation for the challenge that lay ahead.

Thus, coupled with extreme knowledge and intellect was another most needed ingredient, passion. Carolyn Attaway quoted Churchill in her blog today about how people don’t rise to the occasion until it is too late.
In this regard I actually have a spark of hope. I see and sense an awakening of the American patriotism, passion and practicality. Americans are taking action, speaking out and yearning for truths and our founding American principles – just like all of you great patriots who are dedicating your time to join our “90 in 90.”

Americans have a keen sense of right and wrong, justice and injustice. It is in our blood. We will rally and rise to the occasion. The prevailing theme of these Federalist Papers – union – stimulates our cause and fortifies us with knowledge and inspiration.

I thank you for joining us. Please continue to spread the word and please reach out to your children and/or a child you know and teach them about the history of our great country. History proved to be a beacon for Publius and our American history will prove to be the beacon for us.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

9 Responses to “May 21, 2010 – Federalist No. 18 – Janine Turner”

Dawn says:
May 21, 2010 at 8:08 pm
Well said, Janine! Your point about the depth of learning and knowledge of the Founders is something I was pondering just the other day. These were men who did not have the equivalent of today’s High School diploma, and yet they were scholarly, well read, most well informed and excellent critical thinkers. I think we would do well to look at not only how these men thought, but also how they learned: as you said, by extensive reading for “extreme knowledge and intellect” plus that potent catalyst; passion.

Marc W. Stauffer says:
May 21, 2010 at 11:45 pm
Actually, they were very well educated, with most of the founding fathers having degrees, many in law. Many also held degrees in Ministry. The educational philosophy of the time included religion, morality and knowledge and was far more rigorous and demanding than today’s. Have you ever read The New England Primer? This was the introduction book to reading…a first grade equivalent book. Spelling was up to six syllables and there was much memory work. By fourth grade, complex math problems were calculated without the use of pen and paper (head math). Webster’s “Blue Back” speller was being used; creating the first “spelling bee’s” competitions. It was not uncommon for young people to enter the university system at the young age of 14. Fisher Ames (First Amendment creator) entered Harvard at 12, Charles Carroll of Carrolton (a Declaration signer) entered college at 12, Benjamin Rush (Declaration signer) graduated from Princeton at 14, Jonathan Trumbull (Con. Supreme Court Justice) passed the Yale entrance exam at 7 1/2 but was held back to enter with his peers at 13. James Iredell (Supreme Court Justice) was appointed to the North Carolina office of the Treasury as their Secretary at 17, the list goes on and on.
When you read about the lives of the Founders you suddenly realize what extraordinary men they were.

Dave says:
May 22, 2010 at 10:10 am
Thanks Marc for making me feel really stupid:) I remember reading a letter of Thomas Jefferson to a friend discussing a course of study for this friend’s son. Jefferson listed the required reading list and thought that with a modicum of dedication the son should finish the course of study in about three years. How did Jefferson define “a modicum of dedication?” Fourteen hours of reading a day! Contrast that with the results of a study done in 2003 of the reading activity of any kind done by 15- to 24-year-olds. This age group, our future leaders, read a whopping 8 minutes per day. Source: The Dumbest Generation by Mark Bauerlein.

Barb Zakszewski says:
May 24, 2010 at 6:41 pm
I have a book I bought a couple years ago, called “The constitutional Convention”, which is comprised of James Madison’s detailed notes of the proceedings, including many of the arguements for and against each article and phase of the Constitution. I started reading it, then put it aside, but guess what, I’ve picked it back up again!!

Carolyn Attaway says:
May 24, 2010 at 7:20 pm
I think it is up to the parents to instill the love of reading into their children, it is not a natural pasttime for most. When our children were born, Sunday became reading day, first to them, then later by themselves. The TV could not be turned on before 6pm, and only after 2 hours minimum of reading was done and discussed. Now our children are avid readers, and read everything. We still have table discussions on what we read, and debate our point of views. They have an immense vocabulary and can talk knowingly on most topics. And now, reading is done daily, their choice.

Susan Craig says:
May 24, 2010 at 7:58 pm
I saw an 8th grade graduation exam from back in the late 1800′s and if most ‘College’ graduates didn’t flunk it, I’ll eat my hat.

barb Zakszewski says:
May 24, 2010 at 8:19 pm
Shameful, isn’t it?? What isn’t being taught in our schools anymore. I remember having to memorize the Preamble to the Constitution in my 7th Grade History class. Now the kids are barely aware we even has a governing Constitution. Most kids think our Constitution is what the Supreme Court and Obama says it is..Sad indeed..That is why this site is SOO important!!

Mireille Cantrell says:
June 8, 2010 at 2:46 pm
Researching the trend toward homeschooling is growing year by year to become the fastest trend in education. The government is controlling what is taught in public schools and parents are concerned about the truths in our history that is being left out of our textbooks.
If America’s history is removed from the minds of its people, not only honor and pride will be lost, but the very freedoms for which our founding fathers fought and died for. Without liberty there remains only slavery and the will of the people will be removed by the government. We need to remember the past in truth because we are the result of this past.

Clarity Brown says:
June 8, 2010 at 4:33 pm
I think more people would do home-schooling if they weren’t so afraid of ‘how’ to. I know when my kids were just about ready to start school, I didn’t even consider it an option at the time. I was too afraid, and assumed there was no way I could teach my kids. Plus, I had no idea on where to get the information to know how and what to home-school them with.
Of course at the same time, I had no idea that the government was using schools in most places to push an agenda. If I had known that, I probably would have gone out of my way to find out this information.
They’re both in high school, now. I wouldn’t think of pulling them out, since they’ve been in the system too long. But I did make sure to keep them informed on everything happening, and fortunately for me, they both have an open mind on politics and what’s going on.

May 24, 2010 – Federalist No. 19 – Janine Turner

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Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Howdy from Texas! I hope “y’all” had a great weekend. I hope you had a chance to start reading, ‘Miracle at Philadelphia.” It is such a great companion piece to what we are doing and did y’all watch the History Channel’s, “America: the Story of US?” It is fantastic!

I thank you for joining us today and I thank Professor Knipprath’s words of wisdom!

I hope you have a chance to check out my daily video today, (it’s on the website or the link to YouTube is on Facebook), and my daughter’s weekly video as National Youth Director, Week #2

Please spread the links via e-mail and Facebook. Today’s videos encompass quotes from Senator Patrick Moynihan and President Ronald Reagan and highlight the 1st Amendment and William J. Bennett’s book, “America: The Last Best Hope.”

As I read Federalist Paper No. 19 by Alexander Hamilton today I was intrigued with the following quote regarding sixteenth century Germany, “Military preparations must be proceeded by so many tedious discussions, arising from the jealousies, pride, separate views, and clashing pretensions, of sovereign bodies, that before the diet can settle the arrangements, the enemy are in the field.”

I find this phrase to be remarkably relevant today. We are experiencing so much “discussion” regarding threats to our country from foreign countries, so much “discussion” with foreign countries, so much dissension amongst our political parties and so much clashing pretensions from our Congress and Executive Branch that our vision is being obscured in regard to the fact that our enemy is in the field.

And Alexander Hamilton’s words about the lack of military alertness echoes forth a warning, too.

“The small body of national troops which has been judged necessary in time of peace, is defectively kept up, badly paid, infected with local prejudices, and supported by irregular and disproportionate contributions to the treasury.”

Are we prepared?

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

May 25, 2010 – Federalist No. 20 – Janine Turner

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Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

The Ransom of Reason

Reason be and reason we
Away our distant shores
Wander not and wanton trot
Afraid of written mores

Did we not through seasons see
The meaning, yet for many
We forgot the how,
We riddled out the penny

“I know this and I know that
Believe me for I’ve the vision
Follow me and listen now
For I rewrite the mission

We is the forgotten us
It matter not for you
I seek your best and vest my truths
It is I who reap the view.”

Freedom this and Freedom that
Ring in empty vestibules
History renders ghosts forgotten
Lost the written tools

“I seize the rapture
Seek doleful and the bane
Meeker making spirit spree
I linger not in vain

Feed the weakness, starve the heart
Watch the soul regress
Rhyme and reason take their toll
Happy opportune the guess.”

By Janine Turner

 

May 26, 2010 – Federalist No. 21 – Janine Turner

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Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Well, small business profits are on the decline and government provided benefits are on the rise. Carolyn, I read your blog and I also heard about these frightening statistics today. Socialism is rearing its ugly head. Next will be the general demise of spirit and motivation in our country. This exact scenario was predicted by Samuel Adams in his warning over two hundred years ago, “The pooling of property and redistributing of wealth are both despotic and unconstitutional.”

As duly noted in last night’s reading of Federalist No. 20. We must learn from the experience of history. It makes no sense, and has been proven by history, that if a country becomes a nanny state and feeds the people’s every whim, punishes the hard working enterprising people, snuffs the spirit of business by taking over their free enterprise then the country and her citizens become mired down with a lack of motivation.

If motivation is at a minimum, productivity ceases to prevail and if productivity ceases to prevail then there is no money for the nanny. If the nanny does not provide then the people rebel. When the people rebel then there is a need for a strong force to control. Enter Tyranny. Good-bye Democracy. Good-bye Republic.

Carpe Diem. We must seize the day and reverse course while we can. This begins with knowledge and fortification. Wisdom whispers in the words of Publius.
The answers are in the United States Constitution.
Spread the word.

God Bless,

Janine Turner
P.S. I thank you Horace Cooper for joining us today and for your brilliant insights

 

May 27, 2010 – Federalist No. 22 – Janine Turner

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Friday, May 28th, 2010

Why write many paragraphs when a few lines will do, three lines to be exact, from Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist No. 22?

1. Though the genius of the people of this country..

2. Its opposition contradicts that fundamental maxim of Republican government, which requires that the sense of the majority shall prevail.

3. The fabric of American empire out to rest on the solid basis of THE CONSENT OF THE PEOPLE.

Are these words being honored in our American government today?

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

May 28, 2010 – Federalist No. 23 – Janine Turner

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Saturday, May 29th, 2010

Today, our guest Constitutional Scholar of the day, Mr. Troy Kickler’s, insightful essay states, “Hamilton and other Federalists believed, write constitutional scholars Colleen A. Sheehan and Gary L. McDowell, that interest, reputation, and duty would bind the representatives to the Constitution and public opinion.”

I find this quote intriguing, especially the section ”..duty would bind the representatives to the Constitution and public opinion.” This singular line encapsulates wisdom and inspires reflection.

The first reflection is upon the word, “duty.” Duty seems to be a word that is lost in our American culture today. As the decades descend from World War II, the sense of duty to ones country appears to be diminishing. I looked up the word, “duty,” and found the following definition: ”a social force that binds you to a course of action demanded by that force. ” The definition was followed by a quote by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., ”every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity an obligation, every position, a duty.”  Today the focus of America’s representatives as well as many Americans and the American culture seem to be one of self-interest. With the blessing of the Providential rights that are secured for us in our Constitution lay a responsibility. One of those responsibilities is to know, respect and understand the United States Constitution, as well as to encourage others to do so. The same should apply to the American Culture. How far we have drifted from the days when patriotism and love of country were, as President Ronald Reagan said, “in the air.” Is our country perfect? No. But as the Former Senator Patrick Moynihan said, “show me a better one.” We, as patriots who love our country and appreciate the founding principles upon which she was founded, need to rise to counter the palpable negativity that permeates our air today.  One has to question whether our Congressional representatives are bound to their duty of their country and constituents, or to themselves.

The second reflection is upon the statement that duty would bind representatives to the “Constitution.” “..bind one to the Constitution.” The more I read the United States Constitution and the Federalist Papers, the more I realize how much we have strayed from the Constitution in cultural thought, personal awareness, legislative acts and supreme court rulings. This slow usurpation is due to a lack of knowledge and by a lack of pressure applied on our representatives to uphold the Constitution’s principles.  As a Republic we rule through our representatives, thus, our vote is our voice. The checks and balances of our government begin with us. Thus, I suppose, there is a responsibility that we, as patriots, must own – if our representatives have grown callous and irreverent regarding the Constitution, it is because we have allowed it by our lack of diligence and duty to hold them accountable. How well do they know the United States Constitution?  How do they intend to abide by its stipulations? These should be the questions of paramount importance.

The third reflection is upon the two words, “public opinion.” “Duty would bind the representatives to the Constitution and public opinion.” Public opinion seems to be virtually ignored by our representatives today.  As mentioned in Federalist Paper No. 22 and in previous papers, Publius had a respect for the “genius of the people.” The American people have a genetic disposition and inherent ability to seek the truth and know the truth and American patriots rise to the challenge of duty. ”The experience of history” has proven this to be a tried and true trait of  Americans. All of the attempts by the current branches of government to “reason” their way around the Constitution and govern a Republic without respecting the Constitution, and the history of the American spirit, will do so in vain. Duty to preserve our great country, founding principles, bill of rights and free enterprise will be the Paul Revere ”call to action” of our day.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

June 1, 2010 – Federalist Paper No. 24 & 25 – Janine Turner

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Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

On this Memorial Day season, I think it is appropriate to truly contemplate and think about the soldiers and families who have sacrificed their lives and loved ones, and given their time and dedication to our country.

Sometimes it is beyond reach to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes and feel, to the most heightened sense, what it would be like to say good-by to our loved ones for perhaps the last time. Do we take the time to feel empathy for the soldier who has to walk away from his family – mother, father, wife, husband, daughter, son – to be potentially killed out in the field – to die away from family – in perhaps some distant land, in enemy territory, on foreign soil? How frightening this would be.

It is difficult in our daily lives that are hectic with work, pressures, commitments and family responsibilities to really pause to think about the sacrifice our men and women in uniform have made and are making to protect us. Our men and women in uniform were and are the brave, the special, the few and the truly great patriots. Without these soldiers, we, America and Americans, would not be here – plain and simple. The air we breathe, the land we walk, the sky we sketch, the country we call home, is because of the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform.

No matter which war they called their own, they all fought the enemy, whether near or far, whether boots were on the ground, in the air or on the sea, whether the enemy was present or premeditating. As Alexander Hamilton expressed in Federalist Paper No. 24, “ cases are likely to occur under our governments, as well as under those of other nations, which sometimes render a military force in the time of peace, essential to the security of the society.”  Thus, an actual battle or a state of ready alert has served the same purpose – the enemy was to know and knew that he would not prevail against men and women who had the Divine right of liberty in their soul, passion in their hearts and the supreme strength of military readiness.

Memorial Day is the day to set aside time and sit down with our children and teach them about our wars and war heroes. It is a time to teach them about the Revolutionary War and the reasons why we fought it. They should know about the soldiers who walked barefoot in the snow, leaving the stain of their blood on the ice and about those soldiers who died miserable deaths as POWs in the stifling bowels of the British ships at sea. They should know about heroes such as Paul Revere, Israel Putnam and Nathan Hale who said, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”

We should take a moment during our Memorial Day season, and everyday, to pray for our men and women in uniform. We should teach our children about those who served in the War of 1812 when the British returned, how they burned down the White House and how President James Madison’s wife, Dolly Madison, ran to save the portrait of President George Washington.

They should know about the Civil War, why we fought it and how thousands of our soldiers died from a new type of bullet that shattered their bones. They should know about the horrors of slavery, how it had permeated the world throughout history and yet how, according to William J. Bennett, “the westerners led the world to end the practice.” They should know about how Americans fought Americans claiming hundreds of thousands of soldier’s lives.

They should know about World War I and how the soldiers lined up in rows, one after the other, to be shot or stabbed by swords. They should know about World War II and the almost inconceivable bravery of the soldiers who ran onto the beach to endure the battle of Normandy, which claimed thousands of American lives. They should understand what history has to teach us about the mistakes in politics that bred the tyrants who led millions to slaughter. As Publius teaches us, we should not rule with reason but upon the strong foundation of the lessons of history.

They should know about the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Communist Regimes that ripped the souls from its people. They should know that our soldiers did not fight or die in vain in Korea or Vietnam because even though the enemy was physically in their field, the enemy’s propaganda permeated and thus threatened our field.

They should know about the soldiers who stood on alert during the Cold War and their willingness to die. (My father is a West Point Military graduate and served in the Air Force. He was one of the first to fly twice the speed of sound, Mach II, in the 1960’s. He flew the B-58 Hustler and was ready to die on his mission to Russia when his country called him to do so.) The cold war was won by the ready willingness of our brave soldiers in uniform and a country who was militarily prepared.

A prepared state is a winning state. Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist Paper No. 24, “Can any man think it would be wise, to leave such posts in a situation to be at any instant seized by one or the other of two neighboring and formidable powers? To act this part, would be to desert all the usual maxims of prudence and policy.”

Today, we fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. We fight the insurgencies at our borders most especially in Arizona, Texas and California and we fight an elusive enemy that is creeping into our fields. They are creeping both from abroad with violence and from within with the slow usurpation of our founding principles. Alexander Hamilton warns in Federalist Paper No. 25, “For it is a truth which the experience of all ages has attested, that the people are commonly most in danger, when the means of injuring the rights are in the possession of those of whom they entertained the least suspicion.”

A strong and honest government based on the Constitution and ruled by the people through the Constitutional Republic will prevail but only if we, as citizens, know about it and only if our children are raised on the fruits of this knowledge. As Alexander Hamilton states in Federalist Paper No. 25, “It also teaches us, in its application to the United States, how little rights of a feeble government are likely to be respected, even by its own constituents.”

Wars are fought physically and wars are fought mentally. As civil servants we must be alert to the enemy that is amongst us. Alexander Hamilton states in Federalist Paper No. 25, “…every breach of the fundamental laws, though dedicated by necessity, impairs that sacred reverence, which ought to be maintained in the breast of rulers towards the constitution of a country…”

On this Memorial Day season, we begin our mission with an education of the thesis and basis of our country – what we fight for – the United States Constitution and the wisdom, freedoms, righteousness and structure that it upholds.

May God bless all of our service men and women past, present and future, who have fought valiantly for these principles.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

June 1, 2010 – Federalist No. 24 & 25 – Janine Turner

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Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

On this Memorial Day season, I think it is appropriate to truly contemplate and think about the soldiers and families who have sacrificed their lives and loved ones, and given their time and dedication to our country.

Sometimes it is beyond reach to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes and feel, to the most heightened sense, what it would be like to say good-by to our loved ones for perhaps the last time. Do we take the time to feel empathy for the soldier who has to walk away from his family – mother, father, wife, husband, daughter, son – to be potentially killed out in the field – to die away from family – in perhaps some distant land, in enemy territory, on foreign soil? How frightening this would be.

It is difficult in our daily lives that are hectic with work, pressures, commitments and family responsibilities to really pause to think about the sacrifice our men and women in uniform have made and are making to protect us. Our men and women in uniform were and are the brave, the special, the few and the truly great patriots. Without these soldiers, we, America and Americans, would not be here – plain and simple. The air we breathe, the land we walk, the sky we sketch, the country we call home, is because of the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform.

No matter which war they called their own, they all fought the enemy, whether near or far, whether boots were on the ground, in the air or on the sea, whether the enemy was present or premeditating. As Alexander Hamilton expressed in Federalist Paper No. 24, “ cases are likely to occur under our governments, as well as under those of other nations, which sometimes render a military force in the time of peace, essential to the security of the society.”  Thus, an actual battle or a state of ready alert has served the same purpose – the enemy was to know and knew that he would not prevail against men and women who had the Divine right of liberty in their soul, passion in their hearts and the supreme strength of military readiness.

Memorial Day is the day to set aside time and sit down with our children and teach them about our wars and war heroes. It is a time to teach them about the Revolutionary War and the reasons why we fought it. They should know about the soldiers who walked barefoot in the snow, leaving the stain of their blood on the ice and about those soldiers who died miserable deaths as POWs in the stifling bowels of the British ships at sea. They should know about heroes such as Paul Revere, Israel Putnam and Nathan Hale who said, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”

We should take a moment during our Memorial Day season, and everyday, to pray for our men and women in uniform. We should teach our children about those who served in the War of 1812 when the British returned, how they burned down the White House and how President James Madison’s wife, Dolly Madison, ran to save the portrait of President George Washington.

They should know about the Civil War, why we fought it and how thousands of our soldiers died from a new type of bullet that shattered their bones. They should know about the horrors of slavery, how it had permeated the world throughout history and yet how, according to William J. Bennett, “the westerners led the world to end the practice.” They should know about how Americans fought Americans claiming hundreds of thousands of soldier’s lives.

They should know about World War I and how the soldiers lined up in rows, one after the other, to be shot or stabbed by swords. They should know about World War II and the almost inconceivable bravery of the soldiers who ran onto the beach to endure the battle of Normandy, which claimed thousands of American lives. They should understand what history has to teach us about the mistakes in politics that bred the tyrants who led millions to slaughter. As Publius teaches us, we should not rule with reason but upon the strong foundation of the lessons of history.

They should know about the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Communist Regimes that ripped the souls from its people. They should know that our soldiers did not fight or die in vain in Korea or Vietnam because even though the enemy was physically in their field, the enemy’s propaganda permeated and thus threatened our field.

They should know about the soldiers who stood on alert during the Cold War and their willingness to die. (My father is a West Point Military graduate and served in the Air Force. He was one of the first to fly twice the speed of sound, Mach II, in the 1960’s. He flew the B-58 Hustler and was ready to die on his mission to Russia when his country called him to do so.) The cold war was won by the ready willingness of our brave soldiers in uniform and a country who was militarily prepared.

A prepared state is a winning state. Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist Paper No. 24, “Can any man think it would be wise, to leave such posts in a situation to be at any instant seized by one or the other of two neighboring and formidable powers? To act this part, would be to desert all the usual maxims of prudence and policy.”

Today, we fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. We fight the insurgencies at our borders most especially in Arizona, Texas and California and we fight an elusive enemy that is creeping into our fields. They are creeping both from abroad with violence and from within with the slow usurpation of our founding principles. Alexander Hamilton warns in Federalist Paper No. 25, “For it is a truth which the experience of all ages has attested, that the people are commonly most in danger, when the means of injuring the rights are in the possession of those of whom they entertained the least suspicion.”

A strong and honest government based on the Constitution and ruled by the people through the Constitutional Republic will prevail but only if we, as citizens, know about it and only if our children are raised on the fruits of this knowledge. As Alexander Hamilton states in Federalist Paper No. 25, “It also teaches us, in its application to the United States, how little rights of a feeble government are likely to be respected, even by its own constituents.”

Wars are fought physically and wars are fought mentally. As civil servants we must be alert to the enemy that is amongst us. Alexander Hamilton states in Federalist Paper No. 25, “…every breach of the fundamental laws, though dedicated by necessity, impairs that sacred reverence, which ought to be maintained in the breast of rulers towards the constitution of a country…”

On this Memorial Day season, we begin our mission with an education of the thesis and basis of our country – what we fight for – the United States Constitution and the wisdom, freedoms, righteousness and structure that it upholds.

May God bless all of our service men and women past, present and future, who have fought valiantly for these principles.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

June 2, 2010 – Federalist No. 26 – Janine Turner

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Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

“…the state legislatures, who will always be not only vigilant, but suspicious and jealous guardians of the rights of the citizens, against encroachments from the federal government, will constantly have their attention awake to the conduct of the national rulers, and will be ready enough, if anything improper appears, to sound the alarm to the people, and not only to be the VOICE, but if necessary, the ARM of their discontent.”

When I read these words of Alexander Hamilton, I think to myself, “ WHAT HAPPENED?” This is one of the absolute best paragraphs in the Federalist Papers! When one wants to know what’s the big deal about the Federalist Papers, when someone wants to know why the United States Constitution important, when someone says, “We haven’t strayed that much from the Constitution,” I would direct them to this paragraph in Federalist Paper No. 26.

These are the words that define the vision of our founding fathers, and the structure of the United States Constitution, in regard to restraining the federal government.

“the state legislatures, who will always be not only vigilant, but suspicious and jealous guardians of the rights of the citizens”

“against encroachments from the federal government, will constantly have their attention awake to the conduct of the national rulers”

“and will be ready enough, if anything improper appears, to sound the alarm to the people, and not only to be the VOICE, but if necessary, the ARM of their discontent.”

Have we proceeded too far to save America? Will we ever get back to the true intention of our Constitutional government? Will American’s ever cut the umbilical cord?
Are we to watch our flag burning in the street as citizens insist that the government owes them benefits? Will the age of entitlement ever be replaced by the original age of entrepreneurial vigor? Are we to sink on the same ship as Greece? Our GNP is projected to meet Greece’s GNP by 2020.

How will America survive?

If American’s do not know what they have they will not know when it is slowly being taken away from them.

As Alexander Hamilton states,“Schemes to subvert the liberties of a great community, require time to mature them to execution.”

The time has come and the alarm must sound before it is too late. What are our state legislatures doing? They are not representing us in the U.S. Congress anymore and the federal government has tied their hands.

The tenth amendment needs to be revisited and rekindled.

We must act now before America’s great liberties are swallowed into the great abyss of socialism and democracy fails – but this will happen only if we let it. We must be the VOICE and the ARM of discontent. The best way to do this is by education. We must educate our friends, our family, our neighbors, our CHILDREN about the United States Constitution, the Federalist Papers and our country’s founding principles.
We must be vigilant!

It begins with YOU. Spread the word about our website and “90 in 90,” and our contest for kids!

God bless you!!
God bless America.

Janine Turner

 

June 3, 2010 – Federalist No. 27 – Janine Turner

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Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

“Man is a creature of habit. A thing that rarely strikes his senses, will have but a transient influence upon his mind.”  Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Paper No. 27.

Bingo. Once again, from the minds of Publius rings relevancy today. The United States Constitution is a thing that rarely strikes the senses because it is so infrequently discussed or taught. Consequently, it has but a transient influence upon American’s minds and passions. The mainstream American culture is basically void of any mention or remembrance of the United States Constitution. Hence, our calling, as concerned American’s who value our Constitutional Republic, is to rally our Republic and curb the tide of irreverence that is engulfing the United States Constitution.

We must make it prevalent and relevant to the senses of our citizens. Knowledge is power. Culture is contagious. The United States Constitution is critical. Actually, it is in critical condition and its survival is the antigen to the disease of socialism. It embodies the vaccine that needs to be boosted in American society.

Man is a creature of habit and without the awareness of the basic structure, the true intent and the proper application of the principles of our United States Constitution then our Republic will be but a fleeting memory.

It is projected that by 2020 our economy will match the failing economy of Greece and democracy as we know it, America as we know it, will meet its demise. The spending must cease and the only way to accomplish this is to reinvigorate the can do spirit that built America. As John F Kennedy said, “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”

We must counter the culture. One way to do this is to have parties in your home to study the Constitution and encourage people to join our “90 in 90” or refer people to the essays that are in our “90 in 90” archives. Cathy and I want to build a library that will provide a richness of resources to be utilized at any time.

Another way to counter the culture is with our children, the youth of our country. The culture is sending them the wrong message and the awareness of the Constitution is either vague, repugnant or nil. I thank you for getting your child, or a child you know, to join our contest. Taking the time out of “summer time slumber” or “summer time frenzy” is the first step to requisite better habits.

Our sense of pride in our country needs to be rekindled, and the paramount awareness of our rights and our basic foundation needs to be reaffirmed, by infusing the culture the American grassroots way. If not by the culture or mainstream media, then by the sheer will of dedicated Americans, like you.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

June 4 , 2010 – Federalist No. 28 – Janine Turner

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Saturday, June 5th, 2010

Howdy from Texas! I want to thank Mr. Will Morrisey for joining us today and for his wonderful interpretation of Federalist Paper No. 28. I underscored Alexander Hamilton’s quote, “If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense, which is paramount to all positive forms of government; and which, against the usurpation of the national rulers, may be exerted with an infinitely better prospect of success, than against those of the rulers of an individual state.”

I find this to be relevant to today in the respect that so many representatives in our United States Congress are betraying their constituents and they are doing so with arrogance, and a condescension, that is disturbing. I refer once again to the often-repeated phrase of Publius, “the genius of the people.” Our current Congress is paying little heed to this phrase and their underestimation of the patriots of America, and that Americans rule through her elected officials, is an action that, I believe will hinder and surprise many currently elected officials in November.

Publius is reaffirming the collective strength of the people and their right to take action. This is a comforting reinforcement for the passions of the many Americans who are now finding their voice and utilizing it. As predicted by Alexander Hamilton, the unity of the states, the brothers and sisters of America, as opposed to individual states, are reaping resounding results.

“The usurpers, clothed with the forms of legal authority, can too often crush the opposition in embryo,” is another source of wisdom from Alexander Hamilton. Relevant to today too often lawyers seem to be “usurping” our democratic process and the United States Constitution. Teams of lawyers are constantly poised and ready to redefine the process of protest by squelching it before it has begun with intimidation and coercive measures. Double speak and mind games prevail.
Americans are tiring of this game and the continual twisting of the true intentions of our Constitution and our rights.

However, in order to be a true guardian of the gate, we must carry forth our journey to be a people who protest with a basis of formidable knowledge in our principles. Knowledge is power.

Alexander Hamilton states in this paper, “The obstacles to usurpation, and the facilities of resistance, increase with the increased extent of the state: provided the citizens understand their rights and are disposed to defend them.”

“Understand their rights and are disposed to defend them.” Hence, if Americans do not know their rights then they will not know when they are being taken away.
The counter measures of our current culture are imperative. The Constitution needs to be the theme that is prevalent and prevails, as does the readiness and willingness of Americans to stand up, take a stance and go the extra mile. When we are too tired, or too busy, or too distracted by the mundane, this is when it is of the most importance to rally our wills and wits to carry on and carry forth the torch of our forefathers and foremothers who sacrificed so much and stopped at nothing to underscore and manifest what was right, what was worthy and what was the true intent of our God.

God Bless you for your willingness and courage,

Janine Turner

 

June 7, 2010 – Federalist No. 29 – Janine Turner

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Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Greetings from NYC. I am here, with Cathy and Juliette, and we are Constituting America. Be sure to tune in tomorrow to Fox News midday as I am going to be a guest on Megyn Kelly’s show.  I will, also, be on Glenn Beck’s Show, the Founding Father’s Friday, on Friday! Yea! Great exposure for Constituting America and our “90 in 90” and our We the People 9.17 Contest for kids. Deadline for our contest entries is July 4th  – so please continue to spread the word!

I am glad to have Marc S. Lampkin back with us today, thanks Mr. Lamkin for your wonderful insights and I was also really happy to see some of our regular bloggers back today, such as Maggie and Carolyn, as well as some new bloggers…welcome!

I find that I agree with Carolyn Attaway’s blog entry today. My favorite quote from today’s reading was the following:

“Where in the name of common-sense, are our fears to end if we may not trust our sons, our brothers, our neighbors, our fellow-citizens? What shadow of danger can there be from men who are daily mingling with the rest of their countrymen and who participate with them in the same feelings, sentiments, habits and interests?”

As Carolyn said, our military fights for our love of country not for the love of a leader. Our military also fights for a love of his countrymen. We are brothers and sisters, neighbors and fellow citizens. Our unity through diversity is what makes us unique. Our Constitutional forefathers gave us a brilliant structure, and roadmap, to keep us that way, to keep us unencumbered by the weight of heavy-handed government. Our freedoms have given us our opportunities and identity and breathed life into our bond as a brethren working together. Our limited government has given us the ability to dream. Our sense of adventure has flourished and made America great because Americans have not been censored. Rooted in this spirit is a moral compass that has guided our way. If we loose this, we loose everything.

Alexis de Tocqueville summed it up best:

“I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there; in her fertile fields and boundless prairies; and it was not there; in her rich mines and her vast commerce, and it was not there. Not until I visited the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

June 8, 2010 – Federalist No. 30 – Janine Turner

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Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Howdy from NYC! Today Cathy, Juliette and I had a very successful day promoting Constituting America! It is such a joy to promote the United States Constitution and the brilliant Federalist Papers. We were on Glenn Beck’s radio show this morning and then on Megyn Kelly’s show on Fox News this afternoon. Check out the links on our Facebook sites to view and they will be up on our site shortly.

How lucky we are to be able to study these great works together and I thank Janice R. Brenman for her wonderful insights today on Federalist Paper No. 30! I am also thrilled that we have many new bloggers today. Join us today and visit our archives if you desire to reflect upon our essays from the past 35 days.

There were, once again, many powerful and relevant points made in Federalist Paper No. 30 by Alexander Hamilton.

“I believe it may be regarded as a position, warranted by the history of mankind, that in the usual progress of things, the necessities of a nation, in every stage of its existence, will be found at least equal to its resources.”

The relevancy for America, and Americans, today is obviously our tremendous debt. We have built a huge conglomerate of necessities that are certainly not equal to our resources. This statement serves as a warning to us.

We have accumulated so much debt that our liberty cannot be sustained.

Another quote from Alexander Hamilton echoes our current dilemma.

“But who would lend to a government, that prefaced its overtures for borrowing by an act that demonstrated that no reliance could be placed on the steadiness of its measures for paying.”

What happens when we are so in debt that we cannot repay our lenders, such as China? What happens when we cannot pay our bills or even borrow money because we have “demonstrated that no reliance could be placed on the steadiness of its measures for paying.”

It is easy to spend other people’s money. This is what many of our Congressman and Representatives are doing. They are spending our money with absolutely no regard as to how it will be repaid – long after they are out of office. Our massive expenditures and social programs have no financial foundation.

May Alexander Hamilton’s dream not vanish, the “..hope to see the halcyon scenes of the poetic or fabulous age realized in America..”

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

June 9, 2010 – Federalist No. 31 – Janine Turner

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Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Howdy from Boston! It is thrilling to be here in a city that has so much revolutionary history! Juliette and I walked around in the rain and saw State Hall and Park Church. (Be sure to watch our behind the scene video!) We also saw the graves of Samuel Adams, Paul Revere and John Hancock. I spoke Samuel Adam’s words over his grave, “The pooling of property and redistributing of wealth are despotic and unconstitutional.” The bells then started to ring from Park Church so I said recited it again!

As I read Federalist Paper No. 31, I felt such a since of wonder and also such a sense of gratitude that I am having this opportunity to read the words of Publius. Understanding their interpretation of the United States Constitution and their vision of the country is empowering and incredibly relevant.

I am most intrigued with how the structure and checks and balances of our then newfound government were founded with such reason and based on the guidance and wisdom of history. As I read and digest their words, I am realizing how far we have strayed from their original intent. One of the ways is with the seventeenth amendment. This was a pivotal part of the balance of government. The seventeenth amendment was one of the ways that the states could keep their power. The senate was to represent the states and the house the people.

I wonder if the healthcare bill would have ever passed if the Senate had been left in its original intent? I also wonder if the Federal Government would ever have had the opportunity to become so vast and powerful if the Senators had continued to be elected by the state legislatures? Who has been looking after the states’ interest since the passing of the 17th Amendment?

The Federalist Papers reveal that Publius and our Constitutional forefathers never intended for the federal government to become so intrusive into the states’ rights, the states’ affairs or citizens’ lives. Alexander Hamilton writes in Federalist Paper No. 31, “I repeat here what I have observed in substance in another place, that all observations, founded upon the danger of usurpation, ought to be referred to the composition and structure of the government, not to the nature and extent of its powers. The state governments, by their original constitution, are invested with complete sovereignty.”

Do our states have complete sovereignty today?

Another interesting statement in Federalist Paper No. 31 is: “As in republics, strength is always on the side of the people; and as there are weighty reasons to induce a belief, that the state governments will commonly possess most influence over them, the natural conclusion is, that such contests will be most apt to end to the disadvantage of the union; and that there is greater probability of encroachments by the members upon the federal head, than by the federal head upon the members.”

Is this true today? I say it is not true today.

Alexander Hamilton’s last paragraph of Federalist Paper No. 31, is our call to action, “Everything beyond this, must be left to the prudence and the firmness of the people; who, as they will hold the scales in their own hands, it is to be hoped, will always take care to preserve the constitutional equilibrium between the general and the state governments.”

“Everything beyond this must be left to the prudence and the firmness of the people; AS THEY HOLD THE SCALES IN THEIR OWN HANDS..” This quote has a tremendous amount of treasure. We, the American people must have prudence and firmness in regard to our governmental affairs. Publius talks often about the “genius of the people.” We should not underestimate ourselves. We should call upon our prudence in governmental affairs and we should be firm. The best way to do this is to be vocal and to vote. We the people rule… through our elected officials.

When I think about the shift in power in our governmental structure and checks and balances, I think about how our founding fathers would be greatly distressed. I, also, ponder upon the political environment during the years around 1913. Why was this amendment allowed to happen? Were our predecessors not firm, informed or prudent?

Of course, this will very likely be the thought process that our grandchildren may have about our generation? “Why did they allow our liberties to be constrained, our country to be diminished, by living beyond their means?”

It was we, the American people, who were to hold the scales in our hands. It was we who were to preserve the constitutional equilibrium between the general and the state governments. We the people. If our country fails it is because we the people have let it. Benjamin Franklin, when asked what he had constructed for the people during the Constitutional Convention, responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

Do our children know that they are the, “we the people?”
Or do they think it is the, “we the government?”

It is by our actions, education and involvement that they will see the true intent of our founding fathers, our United States Constitution and a government of the people, by the people, for the people. May it not perish from the earth.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

June 10, 2010 – Federalist No. 32 – Janine Turner

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Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Howdy from Boston, well, really Quincy and Cambridge!
Juliette and I had an amazing day. It was a day devoted to one of our most influential founding fathers, John Adams.

We started our day with a trip to Quincy, sections of which used to be named Braintree. We visited John Adam’s very modest childhood home and then a few cobblestones away, the small, simple home where John lived with his brilliant wife, Abigail.

I was mesmerized when I saw the tiny desk where Abigail wrote all of her letters to John throughout the Revolutionary war. My sense of awe was rekindled when the Park Ranger recounted the story of how Abigail, realizing her son’s promise, and realizing the needs of her future country, sent her ten-year-old son abroad with John. She knew the experience would give him a wealth of knowledge  – a knowledge that America would need in her future leaders. John and John Quincy traveled across the Atlantic in February. Their ship hit hurricane force winds and was struck by lightning and four crewmen died.

Abigail was and is an example of a wife and mother who knew no bounds of fortitude and selflessness. This is why I wrote about her in my book, “Holding Her Head High.”
A statue of Abigail Adams with her son John Quincy, who would become our 6th President, was in the town square. Inscribed on the statue were her words: “Improve your understanding for acquiring useful knowledge and virtue such as will render you an ornament to society an honor to your country and a blessing to your parents.” She is an inspiration for me as a patriot and a mother.

In John and Abigail’s first home was an even smaller desk than Abigail’s It was on this desk that John wrote the Massachusetts’s Constitution. Included in his draft of the Constitution for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts were: three branches of government, a bi-cameral legislature, a supreme court of the land, as well as, a list of “rights”. I would like to study the Massachusetts’s Constitution. The fact that the states had their own constitutions before the United States Constitution holds a revelatory poignancy to the modern day debate regarding states’ rights.

In Federalist Paper No. 32, Alexander Hamilton argues a point regarding the levies of money and the states’ power:
“because I am persuaded that the sense of the people, the extreme hazard of provoking the resentments of the state governments, and a conviction of the utility and necessity of local administrations, for local purposes, would be a complete barrier against the oppressive use of such a power.”

This statement illuminates, once again, the original intent of the federal government, which was to respect the state’s rights and to be a federal power held to accountability through the checks and balances of both the people and the states.

After Juliette and I visited the original homestead of John and Abigail Adams, we visited Peacefield. Peacefield was the home of John and Abigail Adams after the war. In this home I saw the original furnishings: dishes, chairs, paintings and thousands of John Quincy’s original books on exhibit in the land’s first library – the John Quincy Adam’s Library. A poignant point that resonated through the experience of visiting their homesteads was sacrifice – a sense of duty for their country. John and Abigail were willing to put themselves in great peril – a peril based on value, faith and righteousness.

It is worthy to note that John Adams was chosen to be the one to represent America in England as our first ambassador. John Adams walked in to greet the king, the king who wanted to hang him, and announced that he was there to represent our new country – the United States of America. I am also in awe of the fact that it was John Adams who so valiantly fought for the Declaration of Independence and suggested that Thomas Jefferson write it. It was John Adams who nominated George Washington to be the General of the Revolutionary army. It was John Adams who, on his own accord and literally on his own, traveled to Amsterdam and negotiated a 3 million dollar loan for the our revolutionary army who had no shoes and were suffering tremendously. It was John Adams who was one of the five who negotiated the magnificent Treaty of Paris that ended the Revolutionary War. It was John Adams who predicted that the French revolution would be a bloodbath that would end in tyrannical government. The list goes on and on.

John Adams is truly an American hero. May we teach our children about his great genius, sacrifice and dedication to our country. May he be an example of what it is to be a selfless American patriot. When Juliette and I visited the room, which held the tombs of John Adams and Abigail Adams, John Quincy Adams and Louisa Catherine Adams, I was overcome with emotion. In this room, as tears flowed down my cheeks, the director of the Church of the Presidents, Arthur W. Ducharme, told me how important “Constituting America” was to the future of our country. It was a moment I will never forget.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

June 11, 2010 – Federalist No. 33 – Janine Turner

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Friday, June 11th, 2010

Howdy from Boston! Juiette and I continued our walk down the red lined path of the Freedom Trail today. (Check out today’s video either through our Facebook link to YouTube or the Video Box on the top of our website.) Boston is an incredibly beautiful city and the history is so well preserved! The city and its people have exceeded all of my expectations and it has been an absolute joy to visit.

We were actually able to walk into the Old Granary Burial Ground today. We saw the graves of Paul Revere, John Hancock, Samuel Adams and the men who were killed in the Boston Massacre. It was truly mesmerizing to be able to see the resting places of such heroes! It was also insightful to see how humbly they were buried. Paul Revere’s initial headstone was just a tiny headstone inscribed, “REVERE’S TOMB.” Everywhere we walked there was a statue of an American hero. If only every city could revere our Revolutionary history in such a reverent way.

Juliette and I were in awe as we gazed upon the beautiful Old State House. It was in this house that the Stamp Act was debated and it was from the East Balcony where the Declaration of Independence was first read to the people. Can you imagine such a moment?

FYI, I handed out Constituting America business cards and bracelets to fellow tourists along the way! Constituting America in Boston! (We are going to have bumper stickers soon so if you are interested in one, or even extras to pass out, e mail us!)

In regard to Alexander Hamilton’s essay today, I feel like I should say, “Same Subject Continued,” It is just remarkable to me how often Publius refers to the fact that the states would continue to have their rights, the federal government would remain small, and that the American people would be vigilant if the government ever started to cross its bounds. In today’s reading, Federalist Paper No. 33, Alexander Hamilton states:

“If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority, and make a tyrannical use of its powers; the people, whose creature it is, must appeal to the standard they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the constitution, as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify.”

Need I write more? Spread the word of the pertinent relevancy of our United States Constitution and Federalist Papers! It a “measure to redress the injury done to the constitution.”

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

June 14, 2010 – Federalist No. 34 – Janine Turner and Cathy Gillespie

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Monday, June 14th, 2010

Howdy from Independence Hall in Philadelphia! Actually we just entered Interstate 95 South! Cathy, Juliette and I are returning from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. Cathy is driving, Juliette is editing the behind the scene video and I am typing tonight’s essay on Federalist Paper No. 34 which Cathy and I are doing in tandem.

Cathy, Juliette and I were in Philadelphia scouting locations for our Constitution Day celebration of our Constituting America, “We the People 9.17 Contest” winners. It is going to be so much fun!! We are planning our events, which will include press opportunities, regional and national; entertainment;  historical enlightenment and a bevy of educational wonders.

We visited the brilliant National Constitution Center, and we are excited to reveal the news that they have offered to exhibit ALL of the winners’ works at the center. Our winners’ works will be a part of the legacy honoring the United States Constitution. Our winners will also stand as a tribute to American citizens and other children regarding the value of knowing and respecting our Constitution.

The minute we walked into the doors of the Constitution Center we were enveloped by the magnificence of our founding fathers’ document. The details about the Constitution, exhibited in both a formal and modern way, instantly intrigued our senses. They had mesmerizing movies and interactive information at our fingertips and we wanted to stay for days.

One of our favorite places was the Signers’ Hall, which had statues of all of the signers of the United States Constitution, in animated conversation. It was so cool!! (Be sure to watch our Philadelphia behind the scenes video!) David Eisner, the President and CEO of the Constitution Center, has offered to have a screening, reading and performance of our winners essays, songs and short film (and the behind the scene documentary we are going to film of the winners) in the Kirby Theatre in front of a distinguished audience and press.

We then joined our Constitutional colleague and friend, Rochelle, who guided us through other visually stimulating opportunities in front of momentous monuments such as Independence Hall!! The winner’s trip to Philadelphia is going to be an enriching experience for all of us and an inspiring event for the country.

If you haven’t yet encouraged your children or children you know to join our “We the People 9.17 Contest” then please do so. There still is ample time! Entries are due July 4th.

Now we turn our attention to Federalist Paper No. 34.
The topics are varied in this paper but there were a couple of Alexander Hamilton’s statements that captivated Cathy’s and my interest.

“Let us recollect, that peace or war will not always be left to our option; that however moderate or unambitious we may be, we cannot count upon the moderation, or hope to extinguish the ambitions, of others.”

“To judge from the history of mankind, we shall be compelled to conclude, that the fiery and destructive passions of war reign in the human breast with much more powerful sway, than the mild and beneficent sentiments of peace; and that to model our political systems upon speculations of lasting tranquility, would be to calculate on the weaker springs of the human character.”

These two paragraphs represent Alexander Hamilton’s
genius and foresight. However “mild and beneficent” we may be, we are powerless to “extinguish the ambition of others.” How relevant is this statement to the challenges we face today with terrorism. A strong defense is the only rational choice when up against the “fiery and destructive passions of war” that weave within the fiber of human nature. If we do not remain vigilant then we will be basing our decisions along side the “weaker springs of the human character.” History has proven this time and time again and our forefathers always based their decisions upon the lessons of history.

When one doubts the timely application of the writings of the Federalist Papers and the resiliency of the Constitution, one needs to simply become acquainted with the phrases such as these by Alexander Hamilton in Federalist Paper No. 34.

America is under attack, and unfortunately will continue to be. We must not align ourselves with the weaker side of human nature. We must always be readily prepared to carry the torch of peace, freedom and prosperity with the wiser forces of human nature: wisdom, willingness, and a watchful eye that is buoyed by a strength and fortitude that defies the enemy.

God bless from now Mount Vernon, Virginia!

Janine Turner &
Cathy Gillespie

 

June 15, 2010 – Federalist No. 35 – Janine Turner & Cathy Gillespie

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Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Hello from Virginia, three miles from Mt. Vernon!  The Gillespies are so glad to have Janine and Juliette staying with us for a few days during their East Coast Constituting America Tour!  They began in New York last week, travelled to Boston, and yesterday we visited Philadelphia (with a side trip to the Jersey shore)!

Today began with Janine and Juliette taping a radio interview with Laura Ingraham!  Stay tuned to this site for news as to when it will air!

We then walked the halls of Congress, and visited several Members, including Congresswomen Michele Bachmann and Marsha Blackburn, and Congressman Scott Garrett, the Chair of the Congressional Constitution Caucus.   We saw many groups of young people touring the Capitol Complex, and we took the opportunity to talk to as many of them as possible, and invited them to enter our We The People 9.17 Contest!  We got a great reaction from them, and many indicated they would enter! Remember, entries are due July 4th!!!!

We were excited to learn about the Congressional Constitution Caucus.  We should encourage our elected Representatives to join this caucus, and assist Congressman Garrett in his mission of educating members of Congress about the original intent of the Founding Fathers.

Tonight, the Gillespie house is buzzing with Constitutional Activity!   Janine is preparing for an interview with Fox News, Juliette and my daughter Mollie are editing the Behind the Scenes Video of our trip yesterday to Philadelphia, and Janine and I are writing our Federalist Paper No. 35 essay together, since we are in the same place.

Thank you to Joseph Postell for an excellent analysis of Federalist No. 35:  a continuation of Publius’s discussion of taxes, and reflections on the nature of representative government.  How fitting we are blogging on this subject, on a day we walked the halls of Congress!

Publius begins his essay by stating several maxims regarding taxes, including:

“All extremes are pernicious in various ways.”

“Exorbitant duties on imported articles would beget a general spirit of smuggling; which is always prejudicial to the fair trader, and eventually to the revenue itself.”

“When the demand is equal to the quantity of goods at market, the consumer generally pays the duty; but when the markets happen to be overstocked, a great proportion falls upon the merchant, and sometimes not only exhausts his profits, but breaks in upon his capital.”

“The maxim that the consumer is the payer, is so much oftener true than the reverse of the proposition.”

“Necessity, especially in politics, often occasions false hopes, false reasonings, and a system of measures correspondingly erroneous.”

And, most importantly: “It might be demonstrated that the most productive system of finance will always be the least burdensome.”

The theme of these quotes is that the consumer, the merchant, and ultimately the economy suffers when taxes become oppressive.  When raising taxes to address “necessities,” false reasonings do not render the hoped for results.   For example, the stimulus bill was supposed to lower the unemployment rate to 8 percent or below, but despite all the money spent, unemployment has not reached that target.  Would a less “oppressive” means, such as cutting taxes, have yielded better results?

In Federalist 35, Publius also responds to various criticisms the anti-federalists made regarding the makeup of Congress.  The ratification opponents argued that only a Congress reflective of the public at large, with the same percentage of merchants, landowners, manufacturers, etc  as exist in the general population of the country, could truly represent the interests of the people.  Publius explains that this will never happen if people are free to vote for whoever they choose.  He goes on to point out that the nature of a representative government is to look past the faction that the Representative may personally hail from, and work toward the greater good.  Because members of Congress are dependent upon the votes of their constituents, Publius states that Congressmen will take care to inform  themselves of the opinions of all their constituents, seeking out the best policies for all, and not just individual factions.

Publius ends with a description of qualities that he feels those who make decisions on tax policy for the country should have:

“There can be no doubt that in order to a judicious exercise of the power of taxation, it is necessary that the person in whose hands it should be acquainted with the general genius, habits, and modes of thinking of the people at large, and with the resources of the country. And this is all that can be reasonably meant by a knowledge of the interests and feelings of the people. In any other sense the proposition has either no meaning, or an absurd one.”

And calls on each citizen to judge for himself who best meets that criteria:

“And in that sense let every considerate citizen judge for himself where the requisite qualification is most likely to be found.”

As “considerate citizens,” our next turn to “judge” will be November 2, 2010.  May we all exercise our judgment, and our precious right to vote!

God Bless,

Janine & Cathy

 

June 16, 2010 – Federalist No. 36 – Janine Turner

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Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Howdy from Washington, D.C. and Mt. Vernon! Cathy, Juliette and I had another busy day Constituting America. We meet with some grassroots groups to get the word out about our Constitution and then we traveled to Fox News to tape a segment for Fox News Sunday! So be sure to set your Tivo to Fox News Sunday. It will air on local Fox and the Fox News Channel this Sunday!

I know that Federalist Papers N0. 35 and 36 are primarily dealing with taxes but I am rather intrigued with some other statements that are made by Alexander Hamilton about the prerequisites of a Congressional representative. I am struck by the lack of bias in his predetermination of the qualities of a representative.

“But even if we could suppose a distinction of interest between the opulent landowner, and the middling farmer, what reason is there to conclude, that the first would stand a better chance of being deputed to the national legislature than the last.”

“Where the qualifications of the electors are the same, whether they have to choose a small or large number,
their votes will fall upon those in whom they have the most confidence; whether these happen to be men of large fortunes or of moderate property or of no property at all.”

“There are strong minds in every walk of life, that will rise superior to the disadvantages of situation, and will command the tribute due to their merit, not only from the classes to which they particularly belong, but from the society in general. The door ought to be equally open to all.”

This paragraphs, and especially the last, best represents the greatness of America – that in America any person of a strong mind may rise superior to the disadvantages of situation, and command the tribute due to their merit.
This, of course, was the personal journey of Alexander Hamilton. (I wrote about his mother in my book, “Holding Her Head High.) This was, also, the promise for the American people from a new nation in its embryonic stage. This was the promise that had germinated in the minds of our forefathers, men who, in their own right, deserve merit and study. They were men who had the brilliant insights, the reverence for Divine Providence and the fortitude to bring both the awareness of inalienable rights and the freedom to dream to fruition.

It is hard for us, who experience our freedoms daily with an ease that parallels the involuntary rhythm of breathing, to fathom the journey our ancestors bridged into the age of enlightenment. We have to stand back and really absorb their air to truly comprehend the magnitude and genius of their visions.

It is an honor to read our United States Constitution and the Federalist Papers. It is a door equally open to all, as are opportunities of every genre.

Let’s keep it that way.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

June 17, 2010 – Federalist No. 37 – Janine Turner

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Friday, June 18th, 2010

Howdy from Washington, D.C. Cathy, Juliette and I visited the Supreme Court today and Senator Scott Brown at the Capitol. I wanted to talk with him about laying a wreath at President John Adams grave since Senator Brown is from Boston and John Adams is from Quincy, just outside of Boston. As it so happened he already had that on his books! Yea! Be sure to watch our behind the scene video tonight! It is fun. Juliette worked really hard on it.

Be sure to show it to your kids as it may give them ideas for our contest!

Tonight’s Federalist Paper No. 37 by James Madison was just brilliant. I am going to simply transcribe some of my favorite statements because they are so thought provoking and wise and well, what more do I need to add, except that every member in Congress today should be required to read them.

“It is a misfortune, inseparable from human affairs, that public measures are rarely investigated with that spirit of moderation, which is essential to a just estimate of their real tendency to advance, to obstruct, the public good.”

“Nor, will they barely make allowances for the errors which may be chargeable on the fallibility to which the convention, as a body of men, we liable; but will keep in mind, that they themselves also are but men, and ought not to assume an infallibility in rejudging the fallible opinions of others.”

“The genius of republican liberty, seems to demand on one side, not only that all power should be derived from the people; but that those intrusted with it should be kept in dependence on the people, by a short duration of their appointments; and that, even during this short period, the trust should be placed not in a few, but in a number of hands.”

“But no language is so copious as to supply words and phrases for every complex idea, or so correct as not to include many, equivocally denoting different ideas.”

“.. delineating the boundary between the federal and state jurisdictions…”

“The real wonder is, that so many difficulties should have been surmounted; and surmounted with an unanimity almost as unprecedented, as it must have been unexpected. It is impossible for any man of candor to reflect on this circumstance, without partaking of the astonishment. It is impossible for the man of pious reflection, not to perceive in it a finger of that Almighty hand which has been so frequently and signally extended to our relief in the critical stages of the revolution.”

“.. we are necessarily led to two important conclusions. The first is, that the convention must have enjoyed in a very singular degree, an exemption from the pestilential influence of party animosities; the disease most incident to deliberative bodies, and most apt to contaminate their proceedings. The second conclusion is that all the deputations composing the convention, were either satisfactorily accommodated by the final act; or were induced to accede to it, by a deep conviction of the necessity of sacrificing private opinions and partial interests to the public good and by a despair of seeing this necessity diminished by delays or new experiments.”

THIS IS THE WISDOM WE NEED IN THE LEGISLATIVE AND EXECUTIVE BODIES TODAY. (AND NOTICE HE WAS NOT AFRAID TO MENTION “THE ALMIGHTY.”)

God bless,

Janine Turner

 

June 18, 2010 – Federalist No. 38 – Janine Turner

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Friday, June 18th, 2010

Howdy from Hollywood! Cathy and her daughter, Mollie, Juliette and I are in Hollywood, “Constituting America!” We met with a producer today regarding many things, including ideas for television specials and our game show! Tomorrow we are meeting with many, many people in the Hollywood industry to spread the word about our “90 in 90” blog and our “We the People 9.17 Contest!!”

Juliette and I have had a whirlwind trip starting in Texas. We traveled to New York City, Boston,  Washington, D.C., New Jersey, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and now to Hollywood – all in the span of less thank two weeks!! We are “Constituting America” from the Atlantic to the Pacific!

I thoroughly enjoyed our Federalist Paper No. 38 today by the splendid James Madison. As he mentioned last night, it truly was the miraculous power of the “Almighty” that brought the new Constitution to fruition. I do believe we all agree, that with the rancor and division in our current Congress, we will never be able to achieve such levels of genius as that exhibited by the distinguished members of the Constitutional Convention.

Yet, I believe we are at as equally a dangerous crossroad now as we were in 1787. Sickness strikes our generation and it is permeating to our posterity. Will we heed the call of the doctor? Vision appears to be the most potent medicine necessitated by our current crisis. Sacrifice appears to be the most needed human virtue and bravery the highest knock at the door. Who will answer?

I believe it will be the genius of the people.

Common sense seems is my summary of today’s Federalist Paper. The array of history recounted by James Madison, which describes how other countries gave the construction of their Constitutions to the power of one man, is stunning. “Fears of discord and disunion” blinded their best interests. Once again this reflects the amazing feat of unity in our historic Constitutional Convention.

James Madison’s following argument is also striking:

“..They have proceeded to form new states, to erect temporary governments; to appoint officers for them;
and to prescribe the conditions on which such states shall be admitted into the confederacy. All this has been done; and done without the least color of constitutional authority. Yet no blame has been whispered.; no alarm has been sounded. A GREAT and INDEPENDENT fund of revenue is passing into the hands of a SINGLE BODY of men, who can RAISE TROOPS to an INDEFINITE NUMBER, and appropriate money to their support for and INDEFINITE PERIOD OF TIME.”

Once again, it is common sense. Common sense reveals the tremendous burden of debt that is threatening our liberty – on all levels – social, spiritual, financial, physical. Is this going to be dealt with by our Congress? Do their hearts beat with that of pride or with that of the patriot? Will we be saved from “the dangers threatened by the present impotency of that assembly?”

We the people must prevail. We must sound the alarm with our voices and our votes. Many good men and women serve in our current Congress. May God bless them yet, “…a consultation is held: they are unanimously agreed that the symptoms are critical.”

James Madison speaks a truth that all Constitutionalists believe. It is spoken here in this Federalist Paper. He warns about the “discord and ferment that would mark their own deliberations” and that the Constitution would not stand a fair chance for “immortality.”

“Immortality.” The Constitution was written for immortality! Our current dire straights, discord and ferment threaten our Constitution’s immortality. Ironically, it is only with our Constitution’s breath that our country will be saved. It is common sense.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

June 21, 2010 – Federalist No. 39 – Janine Turner

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Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Howdy from Texas!  We are home, after a whirlwind trip Constituting America, up and down the east coast – the birthplace of our country. I was still Constituting America today though – in the grocery store check out line. The woman behind me had two children and I told her all about our Contest!

I want to thank our Constitutional scholar, Professor John S. Baker, for his insightful essay today and for all of you who are blogging with us. Isn’t this an amazing and insightful journey?

Federalist Paper N0. 39 is stimulating. I am, once again, intrigued by Publius’ knowledge of history. James Madison’s detailed description of other republics compared to the one they constituted in the Constitution was a treasure to read. It is powerful to ponder upon the dichotomy of the roadmap our founding fathers constructed for us, as well as how it differed from other countries who claimed to be republics.

Our Constituting founding fathers truly experienced a profound profusion of ideas and their compromise, their willingness to see the bigger picture, proved revolutionary in an intellectual and spiritual way. Their
“balance of powers” were delicate, yet firmly planted upon the bedrock of the “genius of the American people.”

Their virtue, insightfulness, valor, willingness, foresight, bravery and determination have a reach upon the American spiritual landscape like a long branch of a Live Oak tree. Sturdy and protective and evergreen was their love for the country and their roots were immersed in the waters of wisdom.

I do believe, for those of you reading this who are of faith, that we should pray for these attributes to guide our leaders, representatives and “genius of the American people” today. If you are reading this and not of faith, then a meditative thought picturing a people who rise to meet our country’s challenges with dignity and grace will be powerful. It will meet with the prayers and lift America into a realm of enlightenment.

It begins with prayers and thoughts, and resonates with action. Awareness, Acceptance, Action. We are aware of the greatness that birthed our country, has kept it thriving and holds the seeds of hope. We accept the mission put in front of us – the mission to hold our representatives accountable to the “genius of the American people” and to fight to maintain a Republican America for our children – a Republic that holds the values, the rights and the structure of free enterprise we enjoy today. We take action by spreading the word about the United States Constitution because it is the glue that holds our freedoms together.

When the President and Congressmen and women take office, they swear to uphold the United States Constitution. They swear to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. I marvel that it does not say preserve, protect and defend “the people.” I now know that it states, “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution,” because it is the Constitution that protects the people.

Without the preservation of the Constitution, without the respect of the Constitution, without the awareness and utilization of the Constitution, “We the People,” lay vulnerable to the dangers of tyranny, socialism, and being stripped of our rights. Without representatives that respect our Constitution, without a people who are informed about the Constitution – we are not protected.

Spread the word.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

June 22, 2010 – Federalist No. 40 – Janine Turner

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Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Howdy from Texas! What a glorious day for the Constitution! My daughter and I marveled as we heard that a Federal judge had struck down President Obama’s six month moratorium on the drilling of oil in ocean waters. Whether one agrees or disagrees with President Obama’s decision, it is just awesome to see our Constitution’s checks and balances at work. Truly. My daughter and I discussed how the checks and balances keep tyranny from rearing its ugly head. It will be interesting to see what the Judge’s decisions will be through the appeals court process.

This is, of course, an example of why it is tremendously important that we, as citizens and guardians of our country, and our children, our future, know that we have a government of checks and balances. We, America’s citizens, are a delicate, yet vital, part of that balance. Within our voice and our vote is the weight of reason.

I thank you for joining us today and I thank Joseph Postell for his insightful essay! James Madison’s Federalist Paper No. 40 encompasses many pearls of wisdom. I found the following passage to be particularly intriguing:

“..the latter (the convention) have accordingly planned and proposed a constitution which is to be of no more consequence than the paper on which it is written unless it be stamped with the approbation of those to whom it is addressed.” By this he means, the people, through representation. One of the Federalist Paper’s phrases that repeats and repeats in my ear is, one they use quite frequently, (and I do too!) “the genius of the people.”

Awareness, Acceptance. Action. “We the People,” through people like you, are going to spread the word about the United States Constitution and Federalist Papers. We will accept our calling and then “We the People,” will take action, making educated decisions based on a foundation of knowledge. Based upon the principles of our founding fathers we, the modern day, “genius of the people” will persevere and transcend the wills of those who chose to bring America down. Knowledge is power. History is the key to the future. Our Constitutional founding father’s believed this then and we believe it now. They based our Constitution on the trials and errors of history, not ideology or rhetoric. Our Constitution has withstood the test of time. We must preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. It starts with you. It starts with your children. It starts with you family, friends and acquaintances. Spread the word!

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

June 23, 2010 – Federalist No. 41 – Janine Turner

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Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Howdy from Texas! I thank you for joining us today and I thank Professor Knipprath for his most insightful essay!

James Madison’s Federalist Paper No. 41 is full of profundities.

“It is in vain to oppose Constitutional barriers to the impulse of self-preservation. It is worse than in vain: because it plants in the Constitution necessary usurpations of power, every precedent of which is a germ of unnecessary and multiplied repetitions.”

I know that James Madison was referring to the defense of the country but I believe this statement is applicable to today’s cultural attack on the Constitution. To oppose the Constitution to serve one’s ego, or one’s personal agenda, is vanity. If fact, it is worse than vanity, it is a misuse of power and with every small misuse, with every defiant gesture disregarding the Constitution or with every action usurping the Constitutional limitations placed on one’s power, one chips away at the Constitution. This defiance infects the Constitution with a germ, a conduit, which multiplies, misappropriates, and jeopardizes our country’s structure, our liberties, and our future.

The Constitution isn’t an ideology to be twisted to fit one person’s, or one’s party’s, ambition. The Constitution is the foundation upon which our country was built and the tracks upon which our country has traveled through days, years, decades and centuries. The engine on this track is the principals and vision laid out in the Constitution. The conductor is the people. To manipulate, dismiss or disregard the Constitution is to derail the train, running it into the edge of a precipice.

Does the future of our country dangle on the edge of a cliff today?

As James Madison says, “A bad cause seldom fails to betray itself.” To dismiss the United States Constitution is a bad cause.

“Every man who loves peace; every man who loves his country; every man who loves liberty, ought to have it ever before his eyes, that he may cherish in his heart a due attachment to the union of America and be able to set a due value on the means of preserving it.” James Madison words and our Constitutional founding father’s actions reflect their belief that the Constitution would preserve America.

Today that preservation starts with the citizen’s knowledge of the Constitution and the Constitution’s  pervasive prevalence in the American culture.

As John Adam’s said, “Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge of the people.

Spread the word.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

June 24, 2010 – Federalist No. 42 – Janine Turner

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Friday, June 25th, 2010

Howdy from Texas!!!
“But the mild voice of reason, pleading the cause of an enlarged and permanent interest, is but too often drowned before public bodies as well as individuals, by the clamours of an impatient avidity for immediate and immoderate gain.”
– James Madison

The rising voice of the American people is mild, by this I mean reasonable, and it is being drowned out by a clamorous Congress and Administration seeking immediate gain. It is not unreasonable that the people want to be heard: Our forefathers had a great respect for the “Genius of the People.” It is not unreasonable to want:
A solvent budget
An economy based on honest,  free enterprise,
Borders that are secured,
States supporting each other,
States regaining adequate sovereignty,
Terrorism taken seriously,
Respect for our allies,
Health care that remains in the hands of the caregiver and not in the  grips of the Government,
The respect and adherence for the Constitution and its principles,
A government that does not prohibit the religious freedom of the people.

We as citizens plead for a selflessness from our leaders that reflects the magnificence, sacrifice, vision, and love of country and country men that embodied our founding fathers.

Our liberty, our Republic, our sacred honor, relies upon it.
God Bless,
Janine Turner

 

June 25, 2010 – Federalist No. 43 – Janine Turner

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Friday, June 25th, 2010

Howdy from Texas. I thank you for joining us today and I thank the amazing Professor Knipprath for his diligent and intelligent contributions as one of our regular and treasured scholars! Isn’t it rewarding, this process of reading through the Federalist Papers?

I must admit that some nights, I am plowing through the night’s reading with such fatigue that I discover that my eyes are crossing. And yet, I persevere with the indefatigable spirit of our forefathers because I am constantly challenged by their sacrifices and tenacity and their marvelous wisdom. This is what our “90 in 90” is providing, a window of wisdom.

As I start the nightly reading I, at times, wonder how I will get through the pages and yet by the time I am finished with the reading, I am always exhilarated by the revelations I have encountered and most especially by the relevancy to today’s issues.

There are many aspects to tonight’s paper that are worthy of notation. One paragraph in particular:

“promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for a limited time, to authors and inventors, the exclusive right to their writings and discoveries.”

These words, freedoms and rights were the engine to the ingenuity and entrepreneurial genius in our country. Great minds were no longer restricted by the limits of ownership. The great ideas and industry of men were no longer chained by the denial of the fruits of their labor.

Men could now dream, fly and hope without being tethered. Free enterprise. The acknowledgment of hard work, tenacity and brilliance with the rewards that naturally align to such achievements are what led the likes of Thomas Edison to try again and again, at least a thousand times, until he successfully created the light bulb.

This is human nature, a psychology of the mind and soul, which our forefathers truly seemed to understand. Men will soar on eagle’s wings when they are free to pursue life, liberty and happiness.

This is one of the greatest arguments against Socialism and Communism, an argument that has been proven by the disastrous accounts of history. To stifle the hope, the industry, by withholding the rewards, is to kill the drive, the spirit.

To see the success of such freedoms and ownership of accomplishments, one has to only look around and see the vast array of astonishing accomplishments in our country from trains, planes, telephones to the heart transplants of modern medicine. Human nature thrives on incentives. Human nature flies on Providential inspiration.

Yet, men are not angels. Hence the check and balances that were intrinsically woven into our Constitution and founding principles. The modern day, knee jerk reaction is to concur with the prevalent belief that the checks and balances were solely to govern the rise of greed and quest for power. This is one reason.

Another reason, it seems, was to govern the jealousies and quest to dominate. Domination dresses in many guises. One that is less obvious in today’s culture, because citizens so quickly and conveniently forget the horrors of history, is an attempt to dominate through a permeation of the cultural thought: that the desire to succeed and flourish is unfair.

It is hard to get many balloons, filled with air, into confinement. It is easy to get many balloons under control when the air is out of the balloon. A flat spirit cannot rise. Why else would communism deny God, squelch creativity and punish free enterprise?

The trend of today is to teach our children that to succeed is bad. The trend of today forgets to teach our children their rights. Why else would the United States Constitution be touted as irrelevant and locked into trunks in dusty attics? Better yet, how many schools have copies of the United Stated Constitutions in their classrooms or libraries? How many households have a copy in their home?

“From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” Polls reflect that most American’s today believe these words are in our Bill of Rights. They are the words of Karl Marx. Is it any surprise this is becoming the mantra of America?

It is because American’s do not know. It is because America’s children and college students are not required to read and study the United States Constitution.

Our saving grace will be the rise of our educated voices and the prevalence of our vote. Our saving grace begins with educating our nation’s children. It starts with knowledge. It starts in the hearts of Americans. It starts in the home. Spread the word. Talk with your children.
Teach them the words of Emily Dickinson,

“We never know how high we are
Till we are called to rise;
And then, if we are true to plan,
Our statures touch the skies.”

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

June 28, 2010 – Federalist No. 44 – Janine Turner

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Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Howdy from Texas. I thank Professor Knipprath for joining us today, and all of you who have joined us on our blog.

When Juliette and I were in Boston we ran into a semi- circle of statues surrounding the American flag. One of the statues was inscribed “Religion” and the statue was of a man praying as he looked up to the flag. The other statue was inscribed “Industry” and it was a man at work. The other statue was inscribed “Learning” and it was a young man reading a book.

These are the three virtues that keep America great.

1. Religion – a moral basis for our lives and a moral compass for our country
2. Industry – the great American work ethic, free enterprise
3. Learning – as John Adams said, “Liberty can not be preserved with out a general knowledge of the people.”

I say, “Liberty can not be sustained with out a general knowledge of the United States Constitution.”

Americans are grossly void of such knowledge, even with the “Cultural Elite.” Recently, a respected political analyst stated that the Constitution denied him and women the right to vote.

This statement represents the negative knee jerk reaction to the Constitution and why the “irrelevancy” aspect permeates our society. The rest of the panel piped in about the Amendments, saying that they are a part of the Constitution, to which this particular analyst commented that they should then be taught with the Constitution.

Well, the Amendments ARE the Constitution, the continuation of our Constitution. They tell the history of our country, warts and all, in an honest and forthright way. Why wouldn’t it be taught? The continuing pages of our Constitution mirror our country’s continuation. The amendment process was stipulated in the Constitution because our founding fathers knew the “genius of the people” would want to make changes. It is there for all of us to see – past, present and future generations – the growth of our country and thus the relevancy that the Constitution imbues.

The most ironic question begs, why would this political analyst assume that Cathy and I would want to start a foundation that stresses the learning of a Constitution that would deny African Americans the right to vote, deny women the right to vote? Not to mention, deny the Bill of Rights – the first ten amendments?

This is the great challenge that we Constitutionalists encounter today – the misinterpretation of the Constitution – the easy, convenient dismissal of the Constitution as antiquated – the mantra that it is a document that is to be tossed aside.

When we, as Americans toss aside our Constitution, we toss aside our individual liberties. Tread on the Constitution and we tread on our freedoms.
Disregard our roadmap and we lose our way.
Dishonor the principles and we lose our dignity.
Renounce its structure and we lose our footing.
Blight its flame and we die in the darkness of a people who knew not, sought not, her own country’s light.

The learning of our Constitution is the moral industry of our day.

Janine Turner

 

June 29, 2010 – Federalist No. 45 – Janine Turner

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Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Howdy from Texas and wow, wasn’t today’s reading of Federalist Paper No. 45 a wild ride? If anyone ever suggests that the Federal government is not bigger than originally intended I will simply refer them to the following words of James Madison.

Federalist Paper No. 45.
“The powers delegated by the proposed constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the state government, are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several states will extend to all the objects, which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people; and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the state. The operations of the federal government will be most extensive and important in the times of war and danger; those of the state governments in times of peace and security.”

The above paragraph provides a mountain of evidence concerning the true intentions designated for the federal government.

Federal Government                                    State Government
1. Powers are few and defined                     1. Powers are numerous and indefinite

2. Powers are exercised principally              2. Powers extend to
on external objects, as war, peace                lives, liberties,
negotiation and FOREIGN                          and properties
commerce; power of taxation                      of the people
connected primarily only to                         and the internal
these powers                                                order, improvement and prosperity of the state.

3. Operations most extensive                       3. Operations most
in times of war and danger                           extensive in times of peace and security

The Federal powers of today are most certainly not few and defined. They overshadow and overwhelm the state governments with many unfunded mandates and manipulations. The Federal powers have spread their presence beyond war, danger and foreign commerce. Federal powers have muscled their way into every aspect of American’s lives.

It is obvious that the true intention of regulation regarding commerce was for FOREIGN relations only. The modern day usage of the word “commerce” has been twisted into many renderings invading the states rights and rerouting the true intention of the federal governments original purpose, which was to manage and negotiate FOREIGN commerce.

The states’ powers were to extend to the areas of life, liberties, properties, internal order, improvement and prosperities.

Today’s Federal government has taken the sovereignties of the states and the individual rights of the citizens into their domain. The usurpation of state’s powers are tangible. The cast was thrown and the states hooked with the bait of benefits. The tide of control rose and never
abated. American citizen’s let it happen as they were sunbathing, napping on the beach.

The American people, however, have now awakened, and have discovered that they have been burned by the noonday sun and are drowning in the tide of commerce. They have discovered that their liberties are hooked in the “commerce” of the government.

The balm for the burn lies in the checks and balances and true intentions of the United States Constitution. The life raft of liberty lies with the passion and the purpose, the learning and the voice of the “genius of the people.”

We the People have independence bred into our blood. We have true grit written in the genetic code. We have the generational work ethic embedded in our family tree. We have the wisdom of our Providential faith that yields the prevailing power of our survival.

We, “the forgotten man,” have not been forsaken. Our Constitutional forefathers blazed the trail. We will once again set upon the path of our Constitution, which will balance our checks. The road may be rocky and the path may be steep but obstacles have never stymied the American’s spirit and it won’t now. A new turning has begun.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

June 30, 2010 – Federalist No. 46 – Janine Turner

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Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Republic For Which It Stands

The states will sound the general alarm
And the people with sufficient storm
Will rally against all usurpation
That Federal forms against the norm

The genius of the people reign
And will forever be the mindful stance
Fervor will forsake the season
And be quieted by right circumstance

The Federal will know its place
And knowledge will be the armor
The people wear to venture forth
Reasoned passion is the banner

They know their rights, stand by law
The branches right all wrongs
With checks they witness righteous measures
And balance out the demigods

Hail the unity, Hail the purpose
Hail the mighty temperate pride
Raise the calling for all posterity
Deny not your inherent stride

Be the voice, be the vote
Continue your living legacy
Be the evergreen of scene
Ring true the blessed liberty

Janine Turner

 

July 1, 2010 – Federalist No. 47 – Janine Turner

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Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Howdy from Texas. I thank Professor Baker for joining us today and for his wonderful essay! I also thank all of you who are joining us for our “90 in 90 = 180 History Holds the Key to the Future,” whether by reading or by blogging!

After reading Federalist Paper No. 47, I am awestruck by our Constitutional founding father’s tenacity and brilliant attention to detail. It is truly obvious that they loved their country. It is truly obvious that they loved their fellow countrymen. It is truly obvious that they knew their history and political theory. It is truly obvious that they had a reverence for the Republican form of government. It is truly obvious that they respected the “genius of the people.” (I just can’t say “genius of the people” enough times!) It is truly obvious that they feared, condemned, and yearned to triumph over tyranny. It is truly obvious they wanted the triumph to be pervasive and permanent.

Tyranny. This is an ugliness and cruelty that we have never, thanks to our Constitution, which has proven to uphold our Republican principles, had to experience. Yet, it was fresh in the hearts, minds and souls of our founding fathers and it was fresh in the spirits of the people.

The checks and balances have served us well. Tyranny has
yet to rear its ugly head, though, at times, the Constitution has been tested and continues to be tested.

After reading, Federalist Paper No. 47, I am more aware of the definitions of both the words, “checks” and “balances,” just as I am keenly becoming aware of the true meaning of “big government.”

“Checks” is obvious. The different branches must keep each other separate and accountable. “Balance” has a new meaning to me, however. The different branches must have a fluidity amongst each other. The branches must flow into the trunk to gather their nourishment from their roots.

The roots are the people and the roots need the rain. They reach across the ground in search for their nourishment. The nourishment is the knowledge, the information. Without the knowledge and information the people have no power and knowledge is power. Here is the most impressive aspect of early America, the representatives were not afraid to give the people the information. There was an honesty and transparency coupled with an intelligence and integrity.

This would answer the question of why our modern day representatives withhold so much of information, including what is in the bill and how they vote. The information is hardly transparent. But have the people demanded it? It is time we do.

I am struck by the intensity, desire and fervor with which the revolutionary citizens participated in the process. I am awed by the respect the representatives gave the citizens. They wrote 85 essays explaining a 7 page Constitution.

What do we get today?

Checks and balances are the delicate framework of our governmental structure. Yet, constituents should check their representative’s actions and balance the political process with the scales of participation and inquiries.

The republic stands on the balance beam of questions and answers for all.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

July 5, 2010 – Federalist No. 48 & Federalist No. 49 – Janine Turner

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Monday, July 5th, 2010

WOW. It’s REALLY getting good now isn’t it? Howdy from hot Texas! I have a billions dog ears and stickies on Federalist Papers 48 & 49!

I want to thank Professor John S. Baker and Professor Colleen Sheehan for their insightful essays and I also want to thank all of our Professors and Scholars who have dedicated their time, talents and energies to inform and educate us about our United States Constitution and Federalist Papers. Each and every one of you are great Patriots!

In Federalist Paper No. 48 it was refreshing to have Thomas Jefferson enter the dialogue. Understanding our Constitutional Founding Father’s vision and true intent of the Branches of Government is powerful. The separation of the branches of government coupled with the need for fluidity is a timeless lesson learned.

A prerequisite for all elected officials and civil servants should be to read, or reread, the United States Constitution and the Federalist Papers. I wonder, if a poll were to be taken today, how many of our elected officials and civil servants have read the Constitution and better yet, the Federalist Papers? Would that not be revealing? They swear to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. Should they not understand it? It is TRULY represent the dismal state of our country that so few really read, understand and revere the United States Constitution.

We, as the informed voice of our country, shall make noise and make sure that our elected officials read these documents, yes? Our vote is our voice!

I love how James Madison describes the American people in Federalist Paper No. 49, “The people are the only legitimate fountain of power.”

The entire paragraph in Federalist Paper No. 49, in its entirety, reads with equal revelation:

“As the people are the only legitimate fountain of power and it is from them that the constitutional charter, under which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived; it seems strictly consonant to the republican theory, to recur to the same original authority, not only whenever it may be necessary to enlarge, diminish, or new model the powers of government; but also whenever any one of the departments may commit encroachments on the chartered authorities of the others.”

Should Vice-President Biden reread these words and perhaps think again or at the very least, hold his tongue, when one of “the people” asks about lowering taxes? To respond to the owner of the custard shop that he, the owner, should not “be a smartass” is certainly not worthy of an American leader or representative of a respect for the people who are the “legitimate fountain of power.”

What I find to be the absolute joy in reading and studying these papers is that my inner instincts as an American, my gut, are finding validity. Now my voice is rooted in the wisdom, facts and quotes of the United States Constitution and the Federalist Papers.

Before closing, I want to mention one other paragraph that rings in relevancy: Federalist Paper No. 48.

“A great number of laws had been cast violating, without any apparent necessity, the rule requiring that all bills of a public nature shall be previously printed for the consideration of the people; although this is one of the precautions chiefly relied on by the constitution against improper acts of legislature.”

ISN’T THIS AMAZING? Please spread the words of these quotes from Federalist Paper No. 48, regarding the PUBLIC’S RIGHT TO READ THE BILLS and Federalist Paper No. 49 regarding THE PEOPLE ARE THE ONLY LEGITIMATE FOUNTAIN OF POWER.

Knowledge is to power what action is to results.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

July 5, 2010 – Federalist No. 48 & Federalist No. 49 – Janine Turner

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Monday, July 5th, 2010

WOW. It’s REALLY getting good now isn’t it? Howdy from hot Texas! I have a billions dog ears and stickies on Federalist Papers 48 & 49!

I want to thank Professor John S. Baker and Professor Colleen Sheehan for their insightful essays and I also want to thank all of our Professors and Scholars who have dedicated their time, talents and energies to inform and educate us about our United States Constitution and Federalist Papers. Each and every one of you are great Patriots!

In Federalist Paper No. 48 it was refreshing to have Thomas Jefferson enter the dialogue. Understanding our Constitutional Founding Father’s vision and true intent of the Branches of Government is powerful. The separation of the branches of government coupled with the need for fluidity is a timeless lesson learned.

A prerequisite for all elected officials and civil servants should be to read, or reread, the United States Constitution and the Federalist Papers. I wonder, if a poll were to be taken today, how many of our elected officials and civil servants have read the Constitution and better yet, the Federalist Papers? Would that not be revealing? They swear to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. Should they not understand it? It is TRULY represent the dismal state of our country that so few really read, understand and revere the United States Constitution.

We, as the informed voice of our country, shall make noise and make sure that our elected officials read these documents, yes? Our vote is our voice!

I love how James Madison describes the American people in Federalist Paper No. 49, “The people are the only legitimate fountain of power.”

The entire paragraph in Federalist Paper No. 49, in its entirety, reads with equal revelation:

“As the people are the only legitimate fountain of power and it is from them that the constitutional charter, under which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived; it seems strictly consonant to the republican theory, to recur to the same original authority, not only whenever it may be necessary to enlarge, diminish, or new model the powers of government; but also whenever any one of the departments may commit encroachments on the chartered authorities of the others.”

Should Vice-President Biden reread these words and perhaps think again or at the very least, hold his tongue, when one of “the people” asks about lowering taxes? To respond to the owner of the custard shop that he, the owner, should not “be a smartass” is certainly not worthy of an American leader or representative of a respect for the people who are the “legitimate fountain of power.”

What I find to be the absolute joy in reading and studying these papers is that my inner instincts as an American, my gut, are finding validity. Now my voice is rooted in the wisdom, facts and quotes of the United States Constitution and the Federalist Papers.

Before closing, I want to mention one other paragraph that rings in relevancy: Federalist Paper No. 48.

“A great number of laws had been cast violating, without any apparent necessity, the rule requiring that all bills of a public nature shall be previously printed for the consideration of the people; although this is one of the precautions chiefly relied on by the constitution against improper acts of legislature.”

ISN’T THIS AMAZING? Please spread the words of these quotes from Federalist Paper No. 48, regarding the PUBLIC’S RIGHT TO READ THE BILLS and Federalist Paper No. 49 regarding THE PEOPLE ARE THE ONLY LEGITIMATE FOUNTAIN OF POWER.

Knowledge is to power what action is to results.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

July 6, 2010 – Federalist Paper No. 50 – Janine Turner

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Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Howdy from Texas. Cathy and I are so excited that we have had so many contest entries! I thank all of you who have actively participated in spreading the word about our We the People 9.17 Contest.

I encourage all of you to spread the word about our necessity as citizens to know the United States Constitution and our rights!

I do it throughout the day, with these essays but also I take advantage of every moment to share my enthusiasm. Yesterday, I was quizzing the guys at Starbucks about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It was amazing to watch their wheels turn as they tried to remember. They were clear on a few things. I promptly gave them my RAPPS acronym about the First Amendment: Freedom: of Religion, to Assemble, to Petition, of Press and of Speech! I pulled out my Constitution App on my phone and we continued to talk about other aspects of the Constitution.

At my nephews 18th birthday party last night, I asked the young 17 year old next to me if he knew about the United States Constitution. He seemed a bit dazed and confused. I handed him a business card with our website and told him that he was the future of the country and he was going to HAVE to know his rights!!! ☺

So see, all day long we can plant the seeds. Someday, a few years from now, that young man will remember the “crazy, Constitution lady” and will reflect, when his rights are impeded and his country is broke, “oh, so, THIS is what she was talking about!”

We MUST educate our children. They are the future “genius of the people” and they must have the knowledge of our country’s foundation and thesis in order to take action.

As John Adam’s said, “Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge of the people.”

I say, “Knowledge is to power what action is to results.”

So today’s reading was fascinating, as always.

In Federalist Paper No. 50, James Madison talks about how reason was, “distracted by the rage of the party.”

This is certainly relevant to today. Our representatives lack the cool, calm, pacific stage of reason that reaps crucial objectivity; an objectivity that holds within its breast the future of our country and the future of our children’s lives.

However, at times, the salt and pepper of parties is a necessary seasoning.

In Federalist Paper No. 50, James Madison says, “an extinction of parties necessarily implies either a universal alarm for the public safety, or an absolute extinction of liberty.”

If there is no diversity of thought then that means the singular thought is under the persuasive power of tyranny.

James Madison thus concludes that diversity of party is a necessity, though passions should be unified in purpose for a continual, everlasting respect for the Constitutional constructs and for the governing of the people and preservation of liberty.

Being a realist, however, he recognized that passions of men die-hard. Thus, the men of Congress, who are intrinsically involved in the process, the predicament, may not be the best to resolve the situation regarding the Constitutional violation assessment or the Constitutional amendment process.

He then calls on outsiders who are educated on the constructs and crisis at hand and thus better able to serve the cause because they are removed from the passions of the legislature. Hence, a convention of the people may at times be the answer such as the Constitutional Convention of 1787 which was made up of men who were not all necessarily at the time employed by Congress.

This leads us back to James Madison’s words in Federalist No. 49, “The people are the only legitimate fountain of power.”

It is dangerous to think about calling a Constitutional Convention because of the dangerous route it may take. An honest assessment may turn into to a stranglehold by attorneys, and men of disrepute, who could swerve the Convention away from its original intent. Yet, it is empowering to know that the option is available.

Knowledge is to power what action is to results.

God bless,

Janine Turner

 

July 7, 2010 – Federalist Paper No. 51 – Janine Turner

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Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Howdy from Texas. Here we are at Federalist Paper No. 51! I want to thank Professor John S. Baker for his wonderful essay and gracious time. I also thank all of you who are blogging with us. Isn’t the conversation stimulating? Isn’t it wonderful to have this forum to discuss and interpret the United States Constitution and the Federalist Papers?

I am very intrigued with Federalist Paper No. 51. I feel as if I need to read it again and again. It is filled with perpetually profound paragraphs.

As I read through these papers, many of Publius’ explanations are starting to gel in my mind. One is the importance of faction and the meaning of James Madison’s words, “Liberty is to faction what air is to fire.” Faction not only exists between states but it is essential that faction exist within the government. As Professor Baker stated, so often we hear that we should have harmony in our congress, yet total and complete accordance represents a tyranny and a monopoly, a trumping so to speak, of the diversity of voices in America.

In Federalist Paper No. 51 James Madison states:
“In framing a government that is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”

Faction is a function of this control.

Another intriguing point of James Madison’s is:
“In a free government, the security for civil rights must be the same for that of religious rights. It consists in one case in the multiplicity of interests, and in the other in the multiplicity of sects.”

Security for civil rights and religious rights represent free government. I wonder how James Madison would view our religious rights in America today?

However, the most stunning, revealing and relevant statement of Federalist No. 51 is the following:

“Justice is the end of government. It is the end of civil society. It ever has been and ever will be, pursued until it be obtained, or until liberty be lost in the pursuit.”

We, as citizens, as humans, as spiritual beings must be allowed to seek, succeed, stumble and rise again. It is only through the hard times that we truly learn and grow. I teach my daughter that failure is an essential element of life. She must not fear it. She can only succeed if she can run the risk of failing. True genius requires true grit.
If we take away the freedom to rise and fall, then we take away our primary principle of liberty.

Liberty will be lost in the pursuit of the great cultural equalizer.

Spoon feeding justice to all Americans will not only sap the soul, it will sap our economy which will lead to a decline of industry, a debilitating debt which will jeopardize our freedoms.

Capitalism must be allowed to succeed, fail and rise again.
These are the great ingredients of success: ambition, hunger, drive, competition. This is human nature. Defy human nature and the riddle will unravel.

“Justice is the end of government. It is the end of civil society. It ever has been and ever will be, pursued until it be obtained, or until liberty be lost in the pursuit.”

Wise, prophetic words that need to be heard now. As John Adams said, “Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge of the people.”

History holds the key to the future.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

July 8, 2010 – Federalist No. 52 – Janine Turner

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Friday, July 9th, 2010

Howdy from the air! I am traveling to Boston for an historic event! For those of you who watch our videos and read these essays, you know that Juliette and I traveled to Boston in June. We visited the birthplace and homes of my favorite forefather and foremother, John and Abigail Adams!

We visited the burial place that holds the crypts of John Adams, Abigail Adam, John Quincy Adams and Louisa Catherine Adams. When we walked into the crypt, I wept. It was wondrously moving to be standing that near to the great beginnings of America and to the great human beings who sacrificed so much to make it happen.

While I was there, I was informed by Arthur, the Director of the Visitors, that no President, Vice-President, Senator, Congressman or woman, or Governor had ever come to pay respects and lay a wreath on their graves.

I was shocked. I decided then and there I was going to try to do something about it. Graciously, Senator Scott Brown from Massachusetts, agreed to meet with me – this crazy Texan who wanted to have homage paid to the heroes of our Revolution, patriots whose lives are beyond compare.

To my joy, Senator Scott Brown was familiar with my cause and was aware of a ceremony for the Adam’s family that he had been asked to attend in October. “Wonderful!” I shouted. We proceeded to reminisce about the Adam’s legacy.

A week later, I called Arthur at the Church of the Presidents and told him about my mission and my meeting with Senator Scott Brown. That same moment I received an e-mail from Senator Scott Brown’s office that the Senator was going to lay a wreath on John Quincy Adam’s grave in July. “Fabulous!” I exclaimed.

Hence, this is why I am on the plane! Juliette and I are traveling to Boston to be a part of this historic moment.

John Adams, Abigail Adams, John Quincy Adams and Louisa Catherine Adams are shining, brilliant treasures in our American history. Homage is due to them on a large scale.

My next mission is a monument for John Adams in Washington, DC and a portrait of Abigail Adams in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.!

The memories of John and Abigail are calling to me. They were not infallible, as men are not angels, but they had a devotion to America that was remarkable in its scope and a work ethic that I may only aspire to emulate.

As I like to say, Knowledge is to power what action is to results.

In regard to our great Constitution and Federalist Paper No. 52, the awe continues, not only in its enlightenment but with the continued precedent it sets. Publius’ mission was to educate the public on the Constitution and it is rich with the historical references. Not to mention that  their willingness to explain the “bill,”  exhibited a respect for “the people.”

There is another interesting aspect to the process of the Federalist Papers. In the written word, it is hard to deceive and deviate away from the question or explanation of intent. In speeches, our modern day equivalent, doublespeak prevails and “spin” prohibits true assessment of the meaning.

Not only should all bills written by our legislature be published for public consumption, as mentioned in Publics 48, but our representatives should write an essay, or two or three, on why they believe in it and how it best represents their state and America.

It was interesting to read about other countries and how their legislatures worked and did not work. Our Constitutional forefathers were very intent that our representatives remain accountable to the people knowing that a frequent asking of the people for justification, by their vote, would keep the Representatives humble and accountable.

We should reflect as modern day patriots the voter turnout for midterm elections. They are as valuable and viable as Presidential elections, yet so few Americans vote. Our vote is our voice! Let us reach out to inspire our fellow citizens to vote this midterm. To presume that they do not matter is the surest way to continue the downward spiral of our liberties and our Republic.

The Adam’s family is calling to us. Their intellect, honor, dignity and love for America illuminate the path for us. Let us take the road less traveled. Let us journey forth in the pathway of their sacrifices. What a privilege to walk in the shadows of their sublime statures.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

July 9, 2010 – Federalist No. 53 – Janine Turner

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Saturday, July 10th, 2010

Howdy from Boston! Today was an historical day! Juliette and I had the great fortune to witness Senator Scott Brown lay a wreath on John Quincy Adams crypt, marking our 6th President’s 243rd birthday. It was the first time a sitting Senator has ever done so.

Senator Scott Brown delivered a very inspiring speech and his wife Gail is a beautiful, dedicated American patriot.

It was an honor to meet Peter Boylston Adams! He is a seventh generation Adams. It was a momentous event for me. I handed him a copy of my book, “Holding Her Head High,” because I have a chapter dedicated to Abigail Adams! I told Mr. Adams that I had met with Senator Scott Brown about honoring the Adams legacy and that my next mission was to help facilitate the building of a monument dedicated to John Adams in Washington, D.C. and to have a portrait of Abigail Adams hung in the National Portrait Gallery!

There were many great patriots present at the event today. Patriots who volunteer their time and energies to preserving the legacy of John Adams, Abigail Adams, John Quincy Adams and Louisa Catherine Adams.

Arthur W. Ducharme, the director of the Visitor’s Program of the United First Parish Church, (the Church of the Presidents) is one of the great patriots who were present today. He is a passionate American and is a shining example of one who understands the importance of history. He carries the torch of the Adam’s legacy with dignity and grace.

John and Abigail are smiling from heaven on Arthur Duscharme.

The church has a rich history. The Reverend Sheldon W. Bennett serves as the church’s minister. He is also a descendent of the Adam’s family – from Henry Adams, John Adam’s great, great grandfather. His presentation and prayers were wonderful and afterwards he showed us the cemetery where many of the Adams family are buried, including Henry Adams!

On the tombstone of Henry Adams, John Adams wrote the following words:

“This stone and several others have been placed in this yard, by a great, great grandson from a veneration of the piety, humility, simplicity, prudence, patience, temperance, frugality, industry and perseverance of his Ancestors, in hopes of recommending an imitation of their virtues to their posterity.”

Reverend Bennett said that he finds the words, “personally inspiring.” I find them to be not only inspiring but representative of a legacy that changed America.

Without John Adams we would have not had a Declaration of Independence. Our country’s birth stemmed from John Adam’s perseverance and it was his prudent and industrious habits that guided our country to victory and fruition.

He laid the foundation for our United States Constitution with his brilliant construction of the Constitution for the Great Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the understanding of the importance of, as mentioned in Federalist Paper No. 53, “a Constitution established by the people and unalterable by the government.”

His frugality, temperance and piety as our nation’s first Vice President and second President, tempered a rising nation through its infancy. Without his patience and virtue America would have not prevailed.

His son, John Quincy Adams, mirrored all of these virtues with his astonishing and tireless dedication to his country. He served as a young diplomat beside his father, then as U.S. Minister to Holland, Prussia, Russia and Great Britain, U.S. Senator, negotiator of the Peace Treaty of Ghent, (War of 1812), Secretary of State under President Monroe, promulgator of the Monroe Doctrine, the 6th President of the United States and finally as Congressman in the U.S. House of Representative.

God Bless Henry Adams for the great example he set for his posterity and for John Adams and John Quincy Adams who recognized it and honored it with their lives and legacy.

Today, Peter Boylston Adams and Reverend Bennett are a rich reflection of their heroic heritage.

Never may we take for granted the impact we may have on our country and our children. Daily we are the servants to a great cause, America, our country and Americans our children.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

July 13, 2010 – Federalist No. 55 – Janine Turner

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Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

I am still reading the fabulous Contest Entries!! I want to thank all of the students who have taken the time to blend creativity with the Constitution. They are all fantastic!! I am reading the wonderful essays, watching all of the cool videos, PSAs, and listening to the fabulous songs in preparation to sending them to our judges.

Thus, I will have to write my essays for Federalist Papers 54,  55 and 56 starting on Thursday night. I will catch up!!!

In the meantime, I have been pondering a realization:

With our national debt, I do believe we have found ourselves on the cusp of a new age of national sacrifice. These are the times when we are to bridge our thoughts, our motives, our missions with the evaluation: is this best for me or for my country?

Are we, a country of such plenty, able to delay our addiction to immediate gratifications? Without a new national sense of sacrifice –  we will have no life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. We will have no rights at all. They will disappear with our national entitlement mentality.

We, the “genius of the people” must prevail against this debt that will doom us. We will.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

July 13, 2010 – Federalist No. 55 Part 2 – Janine Turner

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Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Howdy from Texas! Juliette and I have returned from our second trip to historic Boston! I have been immersed in the joyous task of reading the hundreds of our We the People 9.17 Contest essays, as well as watching the creative videos, PSAs and listening to the
wonderful songs.

How fabulous it is to see these great young patriots combine their Constitutional knowledge with creativity. The fact that they are thinking about the Constitution is a great step. The fact that they now have the realization that they may influence their peers with their knowledge and passion about our country’s foundation, and cultivate the culture in the process, bodes well for our country’s future.

As I have been speaking across the country, I have been encouraging a new movement among the youth. It is to form, Patriot Clubs! One of the missions of the Patriot Club is to gather and read the Constitution, as well as, discuss the possibility of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at the flagpole outside of the schools in the morning. This may be incorporated into the prayer time that is currently occurring around the outside flagpoles at schools across the country.

In Federalist Paper No. 55, James Madison once again refers to the genius of the people in regard to the fact that the people would be well guarded by the Federal legislatures.

“I must own that I could not give a negative answer to this question, without first obliterating every impression which I have received with regard to the present genius of the people of America, the spirit which actuates the state legislatures, and the principles which are incorporated with the political character of every class of citizen.”

The next paragraph is equally as revealing:

“I am unable to conceive, that the people of America, in their present temper, are under any circumstances, which can speedily happen, will choose, and every second year repeat the choice, of 65 or an hundred men, who would be disposed to form and pursue a scheme of tyranny or treachery.”

These words resonate both a wisdom and a warning. We the people must awaken and pay heed to the affairs of Washington, D.C. As James Madison writes, “which can speedily happen..” Our liberties may be taken from us before we even know it is happening.

The wisdom and subsequent warnings in James Madison’s former paragraph may be broken down to three steps:

1. The genius of the people – we must immerse ourselves in learning and knowledge and then we must act. Our vote is our voice. A discussion regarding the 9th Amendment is one of note on this topic.

2. “The spirit which actuates the state legislatures” – the states must rise and defend the rights of Americans and the states to stop the encroachment of the Federal government upon the states. A complete and thorough study of the 17th Amendment is applicable as well as the revitalization of the 10th Amendment.

3. “Principles which are incorporated with the political character of every class of citizen” – this is our battle cry, so to speak. We MUST become a people whose character is etched with a political desire, relevancy, fervor and savvy.

A national turning of perspectives regarding prerogatives is upon us. Instead of putting footballs in the tiny hands of newborn boys, we should put the “Constitution.” Instead of visualizing our daughters as singers, and such, we should visualize and encourage them to be future leaders of our country. Patriots. Political character. Principles. Leaders of Liberty.

As John Adams said, “Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge of the people.”
God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

July 14, 2010 – Federalist No. 56 – Janine Turner

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Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Howdy from Texas! I was a guest on a radio show this morning and I then completed reading the High School essays. Yea!! They are wonderful!! I just read Federalist Paper No. 56 and I am dashing out to feed the horses, clean stalls and drive an hour into town to pick Cathy up at the airport at 2:00. Whew! (We have meetings for Constituting America in Texas this week.)

I am on a time clock here because Cathy and I are going to be organizing all of our contest entries tonight so that we may mail them to our distinguished judges. I will not have time to write an essay tonight! Thus, I am going to quickly comment on the statement that I found to be thought provoking in Federalist Paper No. 56.

James Madison wrote:

“What are to be the objects of federal legislation? Those which are of most importance, and which seem most to require local knowledge, are commerce, taxation and the militia.”

Simply stated. Obvious intentions. The Federal government was intended to be small. The states were intended to be sovereign. The voice of the people viable.

Time to reclaim our country.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

July 19, 2010 – Federalist No. 59 – Janine Turner

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Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Howdy from Texas! Well, I am back at the essay desk after an intense week of having the great joy of reading so many essays! Cathy and I read through each one judiciously, as well as the poems. We also had fun listening to the fabulous songs, watching the PSAs, short films and looking through the artwork. However, it was a time consuming, intensive work and just today are the works off to the judges! Thus, there were absolutely not enough hours in the day to peruse all of the generous entries and write essays!

Wonderful results. We thank each and every one of you who helped spread the word. Cathy and I are presently working on our next phase, which is the Constituting America Winners Behind the Scene Documentary and the Celebration for the winners in Philadelphia – an exciting program, interviews with the press, tours, etc. More to come!

Regarding Federalist Paper No. 59, I find that I am still confused over the “places, times and manners” of then and now – other than the fact that the senate was changed all together with the 17th Amendment.

What is obvious, as our distinguished Constitutional Scholar, Professor Kyle Scott, mentioned today, is the necessity and spirit of debate and a wise, well- informed premise. Hence, the reason for our foundation!
I concur wholeheartedly.

To quote Professor Scott, the need for Americans to, “take our cue from the founding generation—and not just Publius—but all of those who took it upon themselves to embark on a high-minded political debate that touched upon perennial questions of political significance,” is essential now. Now are the times that warrant the awareness, dedication and perseverance of citizens that reflect the deep love of liberty and country.

A paragraph that caught my eye in Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist Paper No. 59 is:

“It ought never to be forgotten, that a firm union of this country, under an efficient government, will probably be an increasing object of jealousy to more than one nation of Europe; and that enterprise to subvert it will sometimes originate in the intrigues of foreign powers, and will seldom fail to be patronized and abetted by some of them.”

Could this be more relevant to today?

The antidote to the “intrigues of foreign powers” is a government with a firm resolve to be vigilant and quick against these sly insurgencies of malice. As mentioned in an earlier Federalist Paper, “The enemy is in the field.” This is true whether it be as obvious as a terror attack or as insidious as the over zealousness of “political correctness” that paralyzes common sense.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

July 20, 2010 – Federalist No. 60 – Janine Turner

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Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Howdy from mighty hot Texas! I want to thank Mr. Best for joining us today and for his insightful essay!

Federalist Paper No. 60 once again reiterates the importance of checks and balances and the separation of power. If only all Americans were required to read the United States Constitution and the Federalist Papers. How timely they are to our current trials and tribulations and how full of wisdom are their pages.

How can anyone state that the United States Constitution is irrelevant? It is my summation that one can only make such a statement if they lack the education on its principles, power and profundity. Have they read it? The United States Constitution and the corresponding Federalist Papers offer the wake up call that we American citizens need.

Perhaps there should be a prerequisite that all members of Congress, Presidents, Vice-Presidents, etc. take a “People’s Representative” test on the principles of the Constitution. Some representatives have a clear, concise understanding of the Constitution; some do not. Thus, before our representatives  are allowed to take the oath that they are to, “Preserve, Protect and Defend the Constitution of the United States” should they not understand it?  Isn’t this common sense?

This would be similar to a drivers test. One must take a driver’s test, written and literal, before one gets a driver’s license. Should not our elected officials, who are going to represent Americans and uphold the basis, the foundation of our country understand, truly understand, the “handbook?” Should we not ask this of them? Would we put our children in a car with a driver who did not know how to drive? We are talking about the future of our country. We are talking about our children’s future. An oath to protect the Constitution rings hollow if the oath is based on ignorance.

The 17th Amendment is a serious flaw in the balance of power. Why would the American people allow such a thing to happen? Interestingly, the only state that did NOT ratify the 17th Amendment was Utah.

Alexander Hamilton states in Federalist Paper No. 60:

“The collective sense of the state legislatures, can never be influenced by extraneous circumstances of that sort: a consideration which alone ought to satisfy us, that the discrimination apprehended would never be attempted. For what inducement could the senate have to concur in a preference in which itself would not be included?”

He also states:

“As long as this interest prevails in most of that state legislatures, so long it must maintain a correspondent superiority in the national senate, which will generally be a faithful copy of the majorities of those assemblies.”

The states lost their power with the 17th Amendment. The people lost the balance of power necessary to maintain a republic as our founding fathers intended it.

Yet, the genius of the people will still prevail if they base their genius on the founding principles of our country. A learned people will rise to resuscitate their country with a breadth of spirit and passion that wisdom warrants.

Alexander Hamilton in Federalist Paper No. 60, states the call to action,

“Would they not fear that citizens not less tenacious than conscious of their rights, would flock from the remotest extremes of their respective states to the places of election, to overthrow their tyrants, and to substitute men who would be disposed to avenge the violated majesty of the people.”

The majesty of the people. The genius of the people.

Our founding fathers believed in us.

We the people.

Spread the word. Teach your children. Tell your family. Call your friends.

We are the roots of the Live Oak tree. The government represents the branches. The government need not feed us. We nourish the government.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

July 21, 2010 – Federalist No. 61 – Janine Turner

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Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Howdy from Texas! I want to thank you for joining us today and I want to thank Professor Kyle Scott for his insightful essay. We are so blessed to have such esteemed scholars donating their time to Constituting America and to all of us who are reading, blogging and eager to learn.

I always strive to find what it is in the Federalist Paper of the day that is relevant to today. I am never without a loss, as there is always something that is brilliantly and passionately poignant.

Today, in Federalist Paper No. 61 by Alexander Hamilton, I was captivated by his arguments, which are consistently coherent and colorful. How much fun it would have been to have watched him in action and listen to his orations. His mind was active, alert, educated and astute. His intellectual reasoning and educated acumen, when paired against his opponent, was like a chess game and Alexander Hamilton was always saying, “check mate.”

The obvious relevancy of Federalist Paper No. 61 to today is in regard to his comparisons that the federal rules of the government regarding elections were no different than the rules of the state. Flip this and we have Arizona.

Arizona’s law is no different than the Federal law.

If anything, the state law is more lenient than the Federal law. Oh, if only, we had Alexander Hamilton here with us today to reveal this absurdity with his eloquent and searing charm.

My friend, Mark Joseph, writes about American’s knee jerk reaction to issues without taking the time to understand them. The link to his essay is at the end of this essay.

Many people in America have lost all reason, all desire to check the facts. One just jumps on the ideological bandwagon of the “party line.”

Political activism without preparation is like a powder keg. It only leads to dangerous incitation.

Corrupt or devious officials in power feed on the naiveté of the people. This is their trump card.

The genius and majesty of the people prevail only with an inquisitive and hungry appetite for the truth.

As John Adam’s said, “Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge amongst the people.”

I say, “Liberty cannot be sustained without a general knowledge of the United States Constitution.”

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

July 22, 2010 – Federalist No. 62 – Janine Turner

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July 22, 2010 – Federalist Paper No. 62 – Janine Turner

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Howdy from Texas! The day is finally here! Federalist Paper No. 62. The first Federalist Paper I ever heard quoted. The Federalist Paper that stimulated my 90 in 90 = 180 essay. This Federalist Paper that started it all.

I thank you for joining us today and I thank Professor Will Morrisey for his wonderful essay!

Federalist Paper No. 62 offers so many pearls of wisdom. James Madison was absolutely remarkable.

Here are some of the mind-boggling relevancies.

Dare anyone read these and state that the United States Constitution and Federalist Papers are not applicable to today?

Federalist Paper No. 62 states:

“In this spirit it may be remarked, that the equal vote allowed to each state, is at once a constitutional recognition of the portion of sovereignty remaining in the individual states, and an instrument for preserving that residuary sovereignty.”

This is how our founding fathers intended the checks and balances to be. This statement of James Madison is one of the reasons why everyone should read the Federalist Papers. It reveals the real intention of the structure of our government and empowers one with an understanding of the thesis for our government. By acquainting oneself with the facts, one becomes aware of how drastically our founding structure has changed.

Knowledge is power.

“No law of resolution can now be passed without the concurrence, first, of a majority of the people, and then of a majority of the states.”

Healthcare would never have passed, nor many of the unfunded Federal mandates if the sovereignty of the states had been maintained and represented in the Senate.

“Excess of law making seem to be the diseases to which our governments are most liable..”

Relevant.

“It is a misfortune incident to republican government, though in a less degree than to other governments, that those who administer it may forget their obligations to their constituents, and prove unfaithful to their important trust,”

Relevant.

“In this point of view, a senate, as a second branch of the legislative assembly, distinct from, and dividing the power with, a first, must be in all cases a salutary check on the government. It doubles the security to the people, by requiring the concurrence of two distinct bodies in schemes of usurpation or perfidy, where the ambition or corruption of one would otherwise be sufficient.”

Relevantly revealing as to why we needed the Senate to be representatives of the state.

“A good government implies two things: first, fidelity to the object of government, which is the happiness of the people; secondly, a knowledge of the means by which that object can be best attained.”

Relevant: we need representatives that are devoted to the people and best understand the ways of congress, laws and legislation.

“What indeed are all the repealing, explaining and amending laws, which fill and disgrace our voluminous codes, but so many monuments of deficient wisdom.”

Relevant: Vet our candidates. Do they know the United States Constitution? Do they have the adequate requisite humility, heart and knowledge sufficient for the job?

“One nation is to another what one individual is to another.”

Profound.

“The internal effects of a mutable policy are still more calamitous. It poisons the blessing of liberty itself. It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action n; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?”

Really, really relevant. This is the quote that started it all for me.

“Another effect of public instability is the unreasonable advantage it gives to the sagacious, the enterprising, and the moneyed few over the industrious and uniformed mass of the people.”

Relevant.

“The want of confidence in the public councils damps every useful undertaking..”

Relevant.

“What prudent merchant will hazard his fortunes in any new branch of commerce when he knows not but that his plans may be rendered unlawful before they can be executed?”

Really Relevant.

“What farmer or manufacturer will lay himself out for the encouragement given to any particular cultivation or establishment, when he can have no assurance that his preparatory labors and advances will not render him a victim to an inconstant government?”

Relevant.

“But the most deplorable effect of all is that diminution of attachment and reverence which steals into the hearts of the people, towards a political system which betrays so many marks of infirmity, and disappoints so many of their flattering hopes.”

Brilliant.

“No government, any more than an individual, will long be respected without being truly respectable; nor be truly respectable, without possessing a certain portion of order and stability.”

Sagacious.

Relevant. Relevant. All so very relevant.

Spread the word.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

July 23, 2010 – Federalist No. 63 – Janine Turner

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Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Howdy from Texas. I thank you for joining us today and I thank our friend, Professor Morrisey, for his wonderfully insightful essay.

Responsibility. Reasonable Responsibility. These were and are the qualities needed in the Senate. These were and are the qualities needed in the American public. We, the “genius of the people,” hold in our hands the direction of our country and we either fail, or do this well, depending on our level of responsibility.

Our representatives have responsibilities but so do we.

Educating ourselves on the Constitution and the engine of our government, seeking to understand the issues of the day and future, inspiring family, friends and children to be active patriots, being vocal and voting – these are the responsibilities of the people of a Republic.

I am encouraged because there appears to be an awakening and we, the citizens of America, are getting more involved in the affairs of our government – governing through our informed choices. This is rather vital as it is, “we the people,” who govern. The Congress is a reflection of our voice, our vote. We must take responsibility for it.

In America we are still are able to do just this – take responsibility for our government. We want to keep it that way.

Publius felt that it was important that the people’s passions were kept in check by the cool meditations of the Senate – a check. This was also a check against tyranny.

“Before such a revolution can be effected, the Senate, it is to be observed, must in the first place corrupt itself; must next corrupt the State legislatures; must then corrupt the House of Representatives; and must finally corrupt the people at large. It is evident that the Senate must be first corrupted before it can attempt an establishment of tyranny.”

James Madison talks about the vulnerabilities that Senates had faced throughout history – the vulnerability of being taken over by the people’s branch. One such example was from the British.

“The British history informs us that this hereditary assembly has not been able to defend itself against the continual encroachments of the House of Representatives; and that it no sooner lost the support of the monarch, than it was actually crushed by the weight of the popular branch.”

James Madison, ever ready with an historical reference or two, mentioned past Republican examples: Sparta, Rome and Cathage.

“As far as antiquity can instruct us on this subject, its examples support the reasoning which we have employed. In Sparta, the Ephori, the annual representatives of the people, were found an overmatch for the senate for life, continually gained on its authority and finally drew all power into their own hands. The Tribunes of Rome, who were the representatives of the people, prevailed, it is well known, in almost every contest with the senate for life, and in the end gained the most complete triumph over it. The fact is the more remarkable, as unanimity was required in every act of the Tribunes, even after their number was augmented to ten. It proves the irresistible force possessed by that branch of a free government, which has the people on its side. To these examples might be added that of Carthage, whose senate, according to the testimony of Polybius, instead of drawing all power into its vortex, had, at the commencement of the second Punic War, lost almost the whole of its original portion.”

All I want to know is – what happened in 1913? How was the 17th Amendment allowed to happen?

James Madison seemed to believe that if an usurpation ever were to happen, it would be restored by the people.

“We are warranted in believing, that if such a revolution should ever happen from causes which the foresight of man cannot guard against, the House of Representatives, with the people on their side, will at all times be able to bring back the Constitution to its primitive form and principles.”

James Madison is referring to the Senate becoming an aristocratic or independent body. Yet, is not the usurpation of the Senate by the 17th Amendment, (foregoing the states), not an equal violation of our founding father’s intended balance of powers? Is it not reminiscent of James Madison’s British, Sparta, Rome and Cathage examples?

Are we able to bring back the Constitution to its “primitive form and principles?”

Caution must be taken in regard to the new movement to do away with the Electoral College. There is a movement to do this through state legislatures. Only an informed and “responsible” people can prevent this from happening.

We must pay heed and take action so our posterity does not say, “What Happened in 2012 or 2014? How was the removal of the Electoral College allowed to happen?”

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

July 26, 2010 – Federalist No. 64 – Janine Turner

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Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Howdy from Texas.

Publius speaks in Federalist No. 64

“That the attention and votes will be directed to those men only who have become the most distinguished by their abilities and virtues.”

Virtue. Virtue is a very beautiful word. Virtue. It is a word used quite often in the Federalist and is obviously a word that carried with it tremendous power and necessity in both the course of human endeavors and the political sphere. Do we still revere it today?

Virtue: the quality of doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong. 2. Any admirable quality or attribute; “work of great merit” 3. A particular moral excellence.

An acronym of the word virtue lists what we should look for in our representatives and in our future candidates.

Verify

Identify

Responsibility

Trust

Understand

Engage

1.Verify our Representative’s and/or candidate’s claims.

2. Do we identify and agree with our Representative and/or candidate’s mission?

3. Does our Representative and/or candidate have a record of civic responsibility?

4. Do we trust that our Representative and/or candidate will uphold our Constitution?

5. Is our Representative and/or candidate’s mission thoroughly transparent and do we thoroughly understand his/her mission beyond the, as John Jay states in Federalist No. 64, “brilliant appearances of genius and patriotism, which, like transient meteors, sometimes mislead as well as dazzle.”

6. Do we feel that our Representative and/or candidate will engage in proper behavior and maintain a steady course to establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity?

Virtue in our leaders is most definitely a necessity that our present times warrant.

The preamble mentioned above is profoundly pertinent to our struggles today.

Establish Justice – a Republic promises this to what extent and at what price?

Ensure domestic tranquility – do not our borders need to be defended in a prudent, precise manner that prevents a spark from becoming a bonfire?

Provide for the common defense – the enemy is in the field – is due diligence being paid to this omnipresent fact?

Promote the general welfare – are not the definitions of this statement at a fevered pitch? Promote the general welfare to the point of a Republic’s and its people’s demise?

Secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our prosperity – Are our children guaranteed life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Will our Republic still stand for them?

“However useful jealousy may be in republics, yet when, like bile in the nature, it abounds too much in the body of politics, the eyes of both become very liable to be deceived, by the delusive appearances that the malady casts on surrounding objects.”

John Jay says it best. Relevant? I say, “yea.”

“They who have turned their attention to the affairs of men, must have perceived that there are tides in them; tides very irregular in their duration, strength, and direction, and seldom found to run twice exactly in the same manner or measure. To discern and to profit by these tides in national affairs is the business of those who preside over them; and they who have had much experience on this head inform us, that there frequently are occasions when days, nay, even when hours, are precious.”

Ominous, foreboding and motivating is John Jay’s wisdom.

Who will pay heed?

God Bless and I thank you for joining us and I thank Professor Morrisey for his true commitment and patriotism.

Janine Turner

 

July 27, 2010 – Federalist No. 65 – Janine Turner

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Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Howdy from Texas.

“Where is the standard of perfection to be found?”

Alexander Hamilton pragmatically points to the fact in his Federalist Paper No. 65, that no man, no country, no government, no Constitution is perfect.

“Who will undertake to unite the discordant opinions of a whole community, in the same judgment of it; and to prevail upon one conceited projector to renounce his INFALLIBLE criterion for the FALLIBLE criterion of his more CONCEITED NEIGHBOR?”

Is this premise not the kindling that lights the fire of faction and prejudice in not only our government but the people of our country?

Yes, James Madison wrote, “Liberty is to faction what air is to fire.” However, faction may be overzealously utilized to the point of destruction.

Alexander Hamilton states,

“Yet it ought not to be forgotten that the demon of faction will, at certain seasons, extend his sceptre over all numerous bodies of men.”

Where are we in our country today? To determine that our country be perfect is to beset upon her an unattainable projector and thus a disillusionment. Are not our dogged factions a determination from one conceited party to derail the other conceited party? This conceit becomes a prejudice. Prejudice is the vice of evil. Evil seeks to destroy all good.

And America is good. America may not be perfect but she is good. America may not be without blemish but she is exceptional.

All parties should lay their swords upon the battlefield of propriety and pray for wisdom to unite. A unity based on the foundations of principles lain in our Constitution, principles that give free reign to faction but yield for reflection upon the broader purpose – A Republic that imbues her people with integrity, freedom to speak and seek, rise and fall, succeed and fail at one’s own determination. A call of the wild protected by civilized citation.

Diversity is to freedom what unity is to foundation.

Perfection renders failure. Virtue renders victory.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

July 28, 2010 – Federalist No. 66 – Janine Turner

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Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Howdy from Texas.

To those of us who worry that the basic structure of checks and balances within our government have been tampered with, such as with the 17th amendment and may continue to be tampered with in the future, such as with the rumblings of the removal of the electoral college by circumventing the Constitution and doing it through the State Legislatures, I quote Abigail Adams, my favorite foremother in a letter that she wrote to her young son:

“These are the times in which a genius would wish to live. It is not in the still calm of life, or in the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues. When a mind is raised, and animated by the scenes that engage the heart, then those qualities which would otherwise remain dormant, wake into life and form the character of  the hero and the statesman.”

Inspire your children with this beautifully insightful passage about life, bravery, duty and patriotism. Share it with your friends and family.

I thank you for joining us. I thank Horace Cooper for his constant dedication and I thank Cathy Gillespie for being the best friend a person could ever dream of having and for being absolutely mesmerizingly devoted to Constituting America.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

July 29, 2010 – Federalist No. 67 – Janine Turner

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Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Howdy from Texas! It is overpoweringly evident by reading Federalist Paper No. 67 that the volley of political spin has always existed. The ever so baneful attempts to manipulate words, laws and situations to best fit the perspective of the beholder, or party, was as evident then as it is now. The art of this twisting of truths in the political realm, where the sphere of influence is so broad and the outcome so tenuous, is dangerous because of its power to shape history.

The incomprehensible drone and tactics of trying to redefine facts is certainly tangible today.  The best fortification against such an enterprising realm of humanity is knowledge. This is why my ever so favorite forefather, John Adams, stated, “Liberty cannot be sustained without a general knowledge among the people.”

This is why the education of our children is so important in the schools and in the home. What are our children learning in school? Do we agree with what is being taught? Knowledge is power. Are we discussing the foundation of our country with our children? They are never too young. Never. Keep a copy of the Constitution in your pocket, in your purse, on your kitchen table, on your phone. Pull it out; discuss the relevancy in regard to today’s events and news topics. Relish in the awe that such a document written over 200 years ago still holds within its words the guidance we need today.

Discuss how the rights that are embossed in the papers are ingrained in our American spirits.

Why? Because they were Providentially inspired. The United States Constitution was the springboard from which leapt the giant, transformational inspirations of justice, liberty and human dignity. We need it to preserve these God given attributes today. If we toss it aside like an old sock, then we toss aside our rights. With the Constitution’s demise we, as a country, as a free people, die.

Our United State’s Constitution is the world’s oldest Constitution still in use today – for good reason. Let’s keep it that way.

I thank you for joining us today and I thank Mr. Troy Kickler for his insightful essay!

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

August 2, 2010 – Federalist No. 68 & Federalist No. 69 – Janine Turner

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Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Howdy from Texas! As I read Federalist Papers No. 68 and 69 it becomes evident in a factual way how earnestly and tenaciously our founding Constitutional forefathers strove to protect our liberties and our Republic. Once again, they based their decisions, not on rhetoric or reason but on the wisdom wrought by history.

In no circumstance was this more evident than in regard to the election of the President of the United States. In Federalist Paper No. 68, Alexander Hamilton, states this with precision and clarity.

“Nothing was more to be desired, than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue and corruption. These most deadly adversaries of Republican government, might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one quarter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils.”

Could this be more relevant throughout our history and even today? We, and democracy, have been under continuous attack from varied countries for the past two centuries and we are under attack today. “The enemy is in the field,” whether it be via the insidious silencing by an overzealousness of  “political correctness” or a literal attack on our soil.

America represents hope and hope is the envy of the enemy.

Our founding fathers wanted to protect our Republic from intrigue and corruption with the establishment of the electoral process. This provided a sort of perspective permeating through the passions of the people as well as a balance of power throughout the country. In times of peace and prosperity the perspective of an electorate seems redundant. Never have we seen, nor experienced the horrors that our forefathers endured that warranted and verified the need to establish such a window of wisdom laid in the hands of a few. Tyranny can easily slide in our backdoor while we slumber. Today, soldiers don’t beckon at our door to spend the night in our homes – this doesn’t mean it may not happen yet again.

Our only guarantee lies within the guarding and respecting and understanding the premise and principles upon which our Constitution was established.

We must never let ourselves be so far removed from the history or teaching of tyranny that we relinquish the reigns to the horse that pulls the cart. If we do this, our horse will pull our cart over a cliff into an oblivion of despair that will then be beyond our control.

“Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people.” John Adams.

Liberty cannot be sustained without a general knowledge of the United States Constitution.

The Electoral College is also important because it balances the power between the states. If we abolished the electoral process then the more populated states, such as California, Texas and New York would control the policies and direction of the country. One has to wonder about the “winner takes all” policy regarding the electorate that exists presently in all of the states except Maine and Nebraska. My understanding of “winner takes all” is that it undermines the electoral process. It also may falsely represent the political inclination of the states and eliminate electoral votes from certain regions that could, when added all together, actually determine an election. Is, “winner takes all” a violation of the United States Constitution? Does it circumvent the amendment process?

Federalist Paper No. 68 is enlightening and intriguing. Federalist Paper No. 69 is a smart, insightful comparison of our United States Constitution with the British rule of the king. Revealing are the nine points Alexander Hamilton makes by this exercise: Term limited, Impeachment possible, Checks by the legislative body, Power to command the military but not declare war or raise arms, Treaties made with concurrent power of the legislature, Appointment of officers with approval of the legislature, No power to convey privileges, Can prescribe no rules concerning commerce or coins, No particle of spiritual jurisdiction.

The comparison of the United States Constitutional restrictions to those of the British crown are awesome and revealing. Brilliant were the checks instilled upon the Executive branch of the United States’ government. This, of course, begs the question how have these limits prevailed today?

My curiosity is peeked by Alexander Hamilton’s statement about the President’s power of nomination being just that – a nomination – approved by the Senate – in ALL categories.

“The President is to nominate, and, WITH THE ADVICE AND CONSENT OF THE SENATE, to appoint ambassadors and other public ministers, judges of the Supreme Court, and in general all officers of the United States established by law, and whose appointments are not otherwise provided for by the Constitution.

The President’s nominations of ambassadors, public ministers, judges, and in general all officers of the United States established by law and whose appointment are not otherwise provided for by the Constitution must be held to the scrutiny and “consent of the senate.”

How does the bloating of our modern day federal government, with unapproved and unchecked “bureaucrats and czars,” fair under this Constitutional scrutiny? These are the bleeds that rupture the heart of a Republic and threaten a seizure of the people.

Thoughts to ponder.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

August 2, 2010 – Federalist No. 68 & Federalist No. 69 – Janine Turner

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Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Howdy from Texas! As I read Federalist Papers No. 68 and 69 it becomes evident in a factual way how earnestly and tenaciously our founding Constitutional forefathers strove to protect our liberties and our Republic. Once again, they based their decisions, not on rhetoric or reason but on the wisdom wrought by history.

In no circumstance was this more evident than in regard to the election of the President of the United States. In Federalist Paper No. 68, Alexander Hamilton, states this with precision and clarity.

“Nothing was more to be desired, than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue and corruption. These most deadly adversaries of Republican government, might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one quarter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils.”

Could this be more relevant throughout our history and even today? We, and democracy, have been under continuous attack from varied countries for the past two centuries and we are under attack today. “The enemy is in the field,” whether it be via the insidious silencing by an overzealousness of  “political correctness” or a literal attack on our soil.

America represents hope and hope is the envy of the enemy.

Our founding fathers wanted to protect our Republic from intrigue and corruption with the establishment of the electoral process. This provided a sort of perspective permeating through the passions of the people as well as a balance of power throughout the country. In times of peace and prosperity the perspective of an electorate seems redundant. Never have we seen, nor experienced the horrors that our forefathers endured that warranted and verified the need to establish such a window of wisdom laid in the hands of a few. Tyranny can easily slide in our backdoor while we slumber. Today, soldiers don’t beckon at our door to spend the night in our homes – this doesn’t mean it may not happen yet again.

Our only guarantee lies within the guarding and respecting and understanding the premise and principles upon which our Constitution was established.

We must never let ourselves be so far removed from the history or teaching of tyranny that we relinquish the reigns to the horse that pulls the cart. If we do this, our horse will pull our cart over a cliff into an oblivion of despair that will then be beyond our control.

“Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people.” John Adams.

Liberty cannot be sustained without a general knowledge of the United States Constitution.

The Electoral College is also important because it balances the power between the states. If we abolished the electoral process then the more populated states, such as California, Texas and New York would control the policies and direction of the country. One has to wonder about the “winner takes all” policy regarding the electorate that exists presently in all of the states except Maine and Nebraska. My understanding of “winner takes all” is that it undermines the electoral process. It also may falsely represent the political inclination of the states and eliminate electoral votes from certain regions that could, when added all together, actually determine an election. Is, “winner takes all” a violation of the United States Constitution? Does it circumvent the amendment process?

Federalist Paper No. 68 is enlightening and intriguing. Federalist Paper No. 69 is a smart, insightful comparison of our United States Constitution with the British rule of the king. Revealing are the nine points Alexander Hamilton makes by this exercise: Term limited, Impeachment possible, Checks by the legislative body, Power to command the military but not declare war or raise arms, Treaties made with concurrent power of the legislature, Appointment of officers with approval of the legislature, No power to convey privileges, Can prescribe no rules concerning commerce or coins, No particle of spiritual jurisdiction.

The comparison of the United States Constitutional restrictions to those of the British crown are awesome and revealing. Brilliant were the checks instilled upon the Executive branch of the United States’ government. This, of course, begs the question how have these limits prevailed today?

My curiosity is peeked by Alexander Hamilton’s statement about the President’s power of nomination being just that – a nomination – approved by the Senate – in ALL categories.

“The President is to nominate, and, WITH THE ADVICE AND CONSENT OF THE SENATE, to appoint ambassadors and other public ministers, judges of the Supreme Court, and in general all officers of the United States established by law, and whose appointments are not otherwise provided for by the Constitution.

The President’s nominations of ambassadors, public ministers, judges, and in general all officers of the United States established by law and whose appointment are not otherwise provided for by the Constitution must be held to the scrutiny and “consent of the senate.”

How does the bloating of our modern day federal government, with unapproved and unchecked “bureaucrats and czars,” fair under this Constitutional scrutiny? These are the bleeds that rupture the heart of a Republic and threaten a seizure of the people.

Thoughts to ponder.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

August 3, 2010 – Federalist No. 70 – Janine Turner

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Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Howdy from really hot Texas! Federalist Paper No. 70 is a rich read. Within its pages lay a thought provoking instructive that once again finds its measures readily applicable to today.

Big government. This is a phrase that I had always heard, and new instinctively was a negative, but I never really understood its premise until I delved into the Federalist Papers. What a mint of invaluable information and directives are the essays of the Federalist. I do hope that our forum here, and time together as Americans, reading and blogging about the Federalist Papers have perhaps diffused the awareness of them amongst our great land.

Our founding fathers believed in a small federal government encumbered by checks and balances. Alexander Hamilton makes the case by quoting examples of how deceitful enterprises rise from an executive branch that is not singular. When accountability rests on the few instead of the singular, evasion becomes the norm.

“But one of the weightiest objections to a plurality in the Executive, and which lies as much against the last as the first plan, is, that it tends to conceal faults and destroy responsibility…”

Alexander Hamilton further denotes:

“It often becomes impossible, amidst mutual accusations, to determine on whom the blame, or the punishment of a pernicious measure, or series of pernicious measures, ought really to fall. It is shifted from one to another with so much dexterity, and under such plausible appearances, that the public opinion is left in suspense about the real author.”

This is one of the reasons why Americans throw up their hands in disgust and walk away from the duties beholden to a citizen of a Republic. Where does one begin to know the truth of an issue? Where does one begin to know who really is the culprit?

Yes, our Executive Branch is represented by a singular person, but the bureaucracy surrounding it, the lawyers, the administration instructing it, have become a huge machine. Transparency has become close to nil. The Executive Branch has become a branch governed by the“councils,” a process of which Alexander Hamilton both denounces and warns. This plurality of our modern day Executive Branch befuddles the citizens. How does one take action?

“The people remain altogether at a loss to determine by whose influence their interests have been committed to hands so manifestly improper.”

Alexander Hamilton states that it is plurality that most threatens a Republic and robs her citizens of, “the two greatest securities they can have for the faithful exercise of any delegated power.” These two securities of a Republic are: public opinion and discovery.

“The plurality of the Executive tends to deprive the people of the two greatest securities they can have for the faithful exercise of any delegated power. First. The restraints of public opinion, which lose their efficacy, as well on account of the division of the censure attendant on bad measures among a number, as on account of the uncertainty on whom it ought to fall; and secondly, the opportunity of discovering with facility and clearness the misconduct of the persons they trust, in order either to their removal from office, or to their actual punishment, in cases which admit of it.”

The office of President of the United States is a thankless job and certainly the President is still help accountable today for the state of the union. Yet, because the Executive Branch is so big and because laws are being made by bureaucrats behind the scenes, and not by the Legislative branch, enterprising schemes take place such in ways that render American citizens without the adequate resources to respond and take action.

As Alexander Hamilton astutely observes:

“An artful cabal in that council, would be able to distract and to enervate the whole system of administration.”

All of this intrigue begs the question: what are we, the genius of the people” to do? Where do we begin and how will we make a difference? Alexander Hamilton even asks the question:

“Who is there that will take the trouble, or incur the odium, of a strict scrutiny into the secret springs of the transaction? Should there be found a citizen zealous enough to undertake the unpromising task..”

Our forefathers were most certainly examples of men who were zealous enough to undertake the unpromising task. They were willing to lose “their lives, their fortune and their sacred honor” to combat the intrigues and unscrupulous behavior of the British Empire. They fought to secure liberty and justice for all American citizens.

America today has within its bosom men and women who are willing to, “incur the odium,” in order to preserve our Republic and all for which she stands: honor, dignity, freedom. Obviously, our men and women of uniform have risked and lost their lives throughout our history to maintain our rights and continue to do so today.

However, these men and women also start with you, you who are reading the Federalist Papers, you who are writing on our blog, you the Professors and scholars who are dedicating your time to Constitute America, you who are willing to stand up, seek the truths and speak your opinions. You are, “the majesty of the people.” On you, our Republic rests.

America stands because of the diligence of your actions, because you are, “a citizen zealous enough to undertake the unpromising task.”

God Bless,

Janine Turner

August 3, 2010

 

August 5, 2010 – Federalist Papers No. 71 & Federalist No. 72 – Janine Turner

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Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Howdy from, cooler because we had a mighty storm, Texas!

Federalist Papers No. 71 and 72 are fascinating as they represent Alexander Hamilton’s perspectives regarding the Constitutional lack of term limits for the office of the Presidency. Even with the lack of limits, it is amazing, upon reflection, that only one of our Presidents ever surpassed two terms and even then, it was due to the  Great Depression and World War II. George Washington seems to have, once again, paved the way. By stepping down after two terms, he set the pace.

I don’t consider the readings of Federalist Papers No. 71 and 72 redundant, however. There are always pearls of wisdom within these hallowed pages. Federalist Paper No. 71 makes an interesting statement regarding maintaining the balance of the constitution.

“The tendency of the legislative authority to absorb every other, has been fully displayed and illustrated by examples in some preceding numbers. In governments purely republican, this tendency is almost irresistible. The representatives of the people, in a popular assembly, seem sometimes to fancy that they are the people themselves, and betray strong symptoms of impatience and disgust at the least sign of opposition from any other quarter; as if the exercise of its rights, by either the executive or judiciary, were a breach of their privilege and an outrage to their dignity. They often appear disposed to exert an imperious control over the other departments; and as they commonly have the people on their side, they always act with such momentum as to make it very difficult for the other members of the government to maintain the balance of the Constitution.”

This is a thought-provoking paragraph especially when I size it up to the relevancy of today. Our forefathers were greatly concerned about the power of the legislature. Yet, it appears that the legislature, the people’s representative branch, is being diminished by a more powerful executive branch and competing with the judicial branch  – a branch that is more and more regularly legislating from the bench instead of merely interpreting the law.

Thus, the question is: how is the “balance of the Constitution” faring?

There is another statement that I find intriguing in Federalist Paper No. 71. It is stimulating in its simplicity.

“What but that he might be unequal to the task which the constitution assigns him.”

This is the maxim for all representatives of all branches to remember. Their mission, their task, is to serve their terms in relation to what the constitution assigns them.

The Constitution is to be their conscience.

The Constitution is the conscience of America.

One of the most important elements of the Constitution is the balance of power. If a representative in any branch of the government, whether elected or administrative, is not abiding by this preeminent principle of the Constitution then that representative is disregarding the constitution for his/her own benefit – which would be for none other than that all encompassing vice – power.

As for Federalist Paper No. 72, Alexander Hamilton prophesies a modem of operandi that is ever present within every changing of the guard in our country and is not always to our best interest.

“To reverse and undo what has been done by a predecessor, is very often considered by a successor as the best proof he can give of his own capacity and desert;”

Rare is the President who can say, “My predecessor did this very well, to him I give due credit and continue its course.”

Ego – the undoing of greatness.

To close, I underscore a statement of Alexander Hamilton’s, from Federalist Paper No. 72, that is both pertinent and amusing.

“Would it promote the peace of the community, or the stability of the government to have half a dozen men who had had credit enough to be raised to the seat of the supreme magistracy, wandering among the people like discontented ghosts, and sighing for a place which they were destined never more to possess?”

Hamilton had a sense of humor, yet this passage is painted with profundity. The peace of the community is best served when a former President leaves the country in the hands of the new one – for his legacy as President will be either be reduced or redeemed by history not by “wandering among the people like a discontented ghost.”

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

 

August 6, 2010 – Federalist No. 73 – Janine Turner

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Friday, August 6th, 2010

Howdy from Texas! Are we not the luckiest people in the world to have these precious Federalist Papers archived and at our disposal? Is it not remarkable that our founding fathers wrote 85 essays for print in their local newspapers explaining the Constitution? Are we not so very fortunate to have this guidebook to the United States Constitution? Is it not worth recognizing that our founding father’s believed in the genius of the people and viewed them with the respect that prompted them to write these papers?

Is it not worth mentioning that the people wanted to know about it, read about it and demanded it?

Why do many of our representatives not want to coherently lay out the laws for us today? Is it that they do not believe in the genius of the people? Is it that they do not care to be truly open and forthright due to intrigue and manipulative measures? Is it because they do not read the laws and thus do not have the wherewithal to write about them? Or is it that they would rather spin the web by witnessing with words?

The written word is not permeable. The written word requires time and thought and tenacity and truth. The written word does not lie.

Speaking of the written word, today’s reading of Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist Paper No. 73 exhibits our founding father’s savvy. What our founding fathers truly understood, in an astonishing way, was human nature. They studied the temptations that befell the psyche of men and recognized the vulnerabilities that weaken even the best-intentioned individual.

Alexander Hamilton gives a mesmerizing breakdown in regard to a scenario where a President may be wary do the right thing in certain circumstances because he fears the perception of it. Having thought of this potentiality the founders of the Constitution gives the President a way to both make the right choice and save face.

“A man who might be afraid to defeat a law by his single VETO, might not scruple to return it for reconsideration; subject to being finally rejected only in the event of more than one third of each house concurring in the sufficiency of his objections. He would be encouraged by the reflection, that if his opposition should prevail, it would embark in it a very respectable proportion of the legislative body, whose influence would be united with his in supporting the propriety of his conduct in the public opinion. A direct and categorical negative has something in the appearance of it more harsh, and more apt to irritate, than the mere suggestion of argumentative objections to be approved or disapproved by those to whom they are addressed. In proportion as it would be less apt to offend, it would be more apt to be exercised; and for this very reason, it may in practice be found more effectual.”

Brilliant.

Alexander Hamilton also sums up the rationale for the Constitution’s checks and balances, the cement of its foundation, in one concise, astute and profound paragraph.

“When men, engaged in unjustifiable pursuits, are aware that obstructions may come from a quarter which they cannot control, they will often be restrained by the bare apprehension of opposition, from doing what they would with eagerness rush into, if no such external impediments were to be feared.”

This is the crux of the creed.

Man is subjected to the pull of evil vices – power, greed, shortsightedness, impatience, imprudence.

The Constitution is the conscience of America, Americans and its leaders.

The Constitution is the governor upon the men who govern.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

August 15, 2010 – Federalist No. 74 – Janine Turner

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Sunday, August 15th, 2010

Howdy from Texas. I thank you for joining us! I have been absolutely swamped prepping pre-production for Constituting America’s RV road trip across the country!! Our winners are going to revealed throughout the next few weeks as we travel to the winners home states and film them for our documentary! Our first winner is revealed today.

He is Jacob Wood from California. He won Best Song High School. Jacob is very talented. Our judge, John Rich, chose his entry as the winner. Jacob is a talented songwriter, musician and has a wonderful voice!! Please check his out his song on our site and if all goes according to my mission, you will soon hear his song on the radio!!

Thus, with all the prep for our cross-country tour, I have been unable to keep up with our Federalist Paper’s daily read. Today, however, as I am on the plane to California, I am attempting to catch up on my reading and blogging.

Federalist Paper No. 74, by Alexander Hamilton, once again resonates the importance of being most vigilantly informed about the candidates we choose as President. Yes, we have a masterful system of checks and balances, but there are powers inherent in the office of Presidency and to those we must take note.

Knowledge is power. As I continue to read these papers. I am continually impressed by the fact that we must know our Constitution and understand the distinct powers that are given to our representatives. This is the only want that they may be kept in check and the majesty of the people protected.

The power of pardoning is one to be taken seriously. Thus, knowing the deeply rooted intentions of our President is essential, as he has the power to pardon anyone. We are so far removed from tyranny, and intrigue from foreign countries, that we grow lazy regarding the potential far-reaching and destructive powers a pardon may present.

Yes, at times, solitary wisdom may prevail over a mob of passions. Yet, power in one is always dangerous. Our Constitution goes to great lengths to prohibit powers from being invested in either one or the few.  However, in the instance of pardoning, the power is solely in the President.

History of our country has proven that this power has been treated with respect and dignity most of the time. However, there have been times when people who are most undeserving of a pardon have been pardoned. Up to now, they may have been benign in regard to how they affect our Republic but they may not always be.

We must thoroughly vet our candidates. Some day, a Presidential pardon may override the genius of the people and our Republic may be jeopardized.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

August 15, 2010 – Federalist No. 75 – Janine Turner

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Sunday, August 15th, 2010

Howdy from the Constituting America RV! We are on the road from California to Arizona!! We filmed Jacob Wood and he is a truly special young man. Check out his music on our site and our behind the scene footage and photos.

I am determined to catch up on the Federalist Papers as I have yet to fall behind until I was in pre-production for our Cross Country RV Road Trip!!

Alexander Hamilton and our Constitutional forefathers had such a remarkable insight into the human psyche and even better, a realization as to how important a role it played into the art of politics. Inalienable rights, they taught us, are given by God, not government and the powers of government are being delegated to men, who are not angels. They understood the fallibilities and temptations of men and these weaknesses were the driving force in their insistence on separation of powers.

Hence, the C0nstitutional designations regarding the negotiating of treaties.

Alexander Hamilton states in Federalist Paper No. 75,

“But that a man raised from the station of private citizen, to the rank of chief magistrate, possessed of but a moderate or slender fortune, and looking forward to a period not very remote, when he may probably be obliged to return the station from which he was taken, might sometimes be under temptations to sacrifice duty to interest, which it would require superlative virtue to withstand. An avaricious man might be tempted to betray the interests of the state for the acquisition of wealth.”

Checks and balances. Temptations never die, whatever the age. We fool ourselves if we think our representatives are immune to them. Human nature is eternally flawed and even though we are not under the rule of a monarchy our Republic is still, and always will be at risk.

Alexander Hamilton states it best,

“The history of human conduct does not warrant the exalted opinion of human virtue, which would make it wise in a nation to commit interests of so delicate and momentous a kind, as those which concern its intercourse with the rest of the world, to the sole disposal of a magistrate created and circumstanced as would the president of the United States”

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

August 15, 2010 – Federalist No. 76 – Janine Turner

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Sunday, August 15th, 2010

Howdy from Arizona! We just pulled into a bus stop to get gas and our Constituting America RV Bus caught a lot of people’s attention! They love the Constitution in Arizona.

Federalist Paper No. 76 enthralls me. Once again the relevancy is amazing! Who says the Constitution is not relevant today or the Federalist Papers are antiquated?

I dare say, they have not read them or they would never dream of uttering such words!

In relation to the appointment of officers the wisdom of Alexander Hamilton is timely.

“Hence, in every exercise of the power of appointing to offices, by an assembly of men, we must expect to see a full display of all the private and party likings and dislikes, partialities and antipathies, attachments and animosities, which are felt by those who compose the assembly. The choice which may at any time happen to be made under such circumstances, will of course be the result either of a victory gained by one party over the other, or of a compromise between the parties.”

Relevant? I say, yes! The following phrase is fascinating.

“In either case, the intrinsic merit of the candidate will be too often out of sight. In the first, the qualifications best adapted to uniting the suffrages of the party, will be more considered than those which fit the person for the station.”

Alexander Hamilton’s political savvy is revealed in the following phrase.

“In the last, the coalition will commonly turn upon some interested equivalent: “Give us the man we wish for this office, and you shall have the one you wish for that.” This will be the usual condition of the bargain.”

This phrase of Alexander Hamilton is revealing and relevant.

“And it will rarely happen that the advancement of the public service will be the primary object either of party victories or of party negotiations.”

Rare are the men who put country before self-interests.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

August 15, 2010 – Federalist No. 77 – Janine Turner

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Monday, August 16th, 2010

Howdy from Arizona! As I read Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist Paper No. 77, I have such an appreciation and gratitude for our founding fathers and revolutionary heroes, great and small. They fought for our independence and dignity of soul. Their bravery was no less when they had the fortitude to gather at the Constitutional Convention and construct a document that furthered the principals of the Declaration of Independence. The following paragraph by Alexander Hamilton in Federalist Paper No. 77 reveals the genius of their collective vision.

“Does it also combine the requisites to safety, in a republican sense, a due dependence on the people, a due responsibility? The answer to this question has been anticipated in the investigation of its other characteristics, and is satisfactorily deducible from these circumstances; from the election of the President once in four years by persons immediately chosen by the people for that purpose; and from his being at all times liable to impeachment, trial, dismission from office, incapacity to serve in any other, and to forfeiture of life and estate by subsequent prosecution in the common course of law. But these precautions, great as they are, are not the only ones which the plan of the convention has provided in favor of the public security. In the only instances in which the abuse of the executive authority was materially to be feared, the Chief Magistrate of the United States would, by that plan, be subjected to the control of a branch of the legislative body. What more could be desired by an enlightened and reasonable people?”

Our founding fathers fiercely desired our President and our representatives to be held accountable and that they represent the people with the solemnity and dignity that the office deserves.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

August 16, 2010 – Federalist No. 78 & Federalist No. 79 – Janine Turner

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Monday, August 16th, 2010

Howdy from Arizona! We are Constituting America across the great states of America via our Constituting America RV in celebration of our winners of our We the People 9.17 Contest. We are filming a documentary and a reality television show! Check out our winners and their works on our site. They are going to be unveiled as we travel from state to state.

Arizona is a rather appropriate place to be during the discussion of Federalist Papers 78 & 79 because it is almost certain that the new immigration lawsuit that the United States government filed against the state of Arizona will end up in the Supreme Court.

As I read Federalist Papers 78 & 79, I am intrigued by Alexander Hamilton’s following statement regarding the judicial branch of the United States government.

“A constitution is in fact, and must be, regarded by the judges as a fundamental law.”

If this is the requisite then how is it that the Supreme Court recently upheld the fundamental right to bear arms in Chicago, a basic right for all Americans stipulated in the 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution, by only ONE vote. This is truly astonishing.

One of the primary reasons that the Supreme Court exists is to make sure that the laws that are legislated and executed by the other two branches of the government are constitutional. Thus, how is it that upholding the 2nd Amendment could ever be in question? No matter what lofty interpretation the suit in Chicago may have received by the four Supreme Court dissenters, it is flawed by their blatant lack of respect for their constitutional restraints.

“A constitution is in fact, and must be, regarded by the judges as a fundamental law.”

This begs the question: is the Supreme Court, and other courts across America, overstepping their Constitutional bounds and legislating from the bench? This was never the intention of our founding fathers and they do not have this right in the Constitution.

Alexander Hamilton explains the dangers:

“The judiciary is beyond comparison the weakest of the three departments of power [1]; that it can never attack with success either of the other two; and that all possible care is requisite to enable it to defend itself against their attacks. It equally proves, that though individual oppression may now and then proceed from the courts of justice, the general liberty of the people can never be endangered from that quarter; I mean so long as the judiciary remains truly distinct from both the legislature and the Executive. For I agree, that “there is no liberty, if the power of judging be not separated from the legislative and executive powers.” [2] And it proves, in the last place, that as liberty can have nothing to fear from the judiciary alone, but would have every thing to fear from its union with either of the other departments;”

  1. Is our judiciary the weakest of the three departments of power? If it is not, then the general liberty of the people are endangered by the Supreme Court and other courts across America. Is this not evidenced by the Supreme Court’s recent reluctance to uphold the basic fundamental right to bear arms? By one vote, the people of Chicago almost lost this right.

2. We Americans have every thing to fear from the Supreme Court’s union with            the  other two branches of government. Publius wrote the warning in this Federalist Paper 78.

“And it proves, in the last place, that as liberty can have nothing to fear from the judiciary alone, but would have every thing to fear from its union with either of the other departments;”

Publius further implores the warning:

“The complete independence of the courts of justice is peculiarly essential in a limited constitution…whose duty it is to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the constitution void.”

“The manifest tenor of the constitution.”

We, as American’s, must hear the Constitution’s music. We must understand the melody and heed the conductor, which is the Constitution. If we have this song in our hearts we will protect and defend its majesty.

And we will make sure that our government does so too.

Our power is in our knowledge, our voice and our vote.

Please make sure that your families, friends and children know the song, sing the song, and rise to the swell of the calling of the music. We must protect the,

“Manifest tenor of the constitution.”

God Bless,

Janine Turner


August 16, 2010 – Federalist Paper No. 78 & 79 – Janine Turner

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Monday, August 16th, 2010

Howdy from Arizona! We are Constituting America across the great states of America via our Constituting America RV in celebration of our winners of our We the People 9.17 Contest. We are filming a documentary and a reality television show! Check out our winners and their works on our site. They are going to be unveiled as we travel from state to state.

Arizona is a rather appropriate place to be during the discussion of Federalist Papers 78 & 79 because it is almost certain that the new immigration lawsuit that the United States government filed against the state of Arizona will end up in the Supreme Court.

As I read Federalist Papers 78 & 79, I am intrigued by Alexander Hamilton’s following statement regarding the judicial branch of the United States government.

“A constitution is in fact, and must be, regarded by the judges as a fundamental law.”

If this is the requisite then how is it that the Supreme Court recently upheld the fundamental right to bear arms in Chicago, a basic right for all Americans stipulated in the 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution, by only ONE vote. This is truly astonishing.

One of the primary reasons that the Supreme Court exists is to make sure that the laws that are legislated and executed by the other two branches of the government are constitutional. Thus, how is it that upholding the 2nd Amendment could ever be in question? No matter what lofty interpretation the suit in Chicago may have received by the four Supreme Court dissenters, it is flawed by their blatant lack of respect for their constitutional restraints.

“A constitution is in fact, and must be, regarded by the judges as a fundamental law.”

This begs the question: is the Supreme Court, and other courts across America, overstepping their Constitutional bounds and legislating from the bench? This was never the intention of our founding fathers and they do not have this right in the Constitution.

Alexander Hamilton explains the dangers:

“The judiciary is beyond comparison the weakest of the three departments of power [1]; that it can never attack with success either of the other two; and that all possible care is requisite to enable it to defend itself against their attacks. It equally proves, that though individual oppression may now and then proceed from the courts of justice, the general liberty of the people can never be endangered from that quarter; I mean so long as the judiciary remains truly distinct from both the legislature and the Executive. For I agree, that “there is no liberty, if the power of judging be not separated from the legislative and executive powers.” [2] And it proves, in the last place, that as liberty can have nothing to fear from the judiciary alone, but would have every thing to fear from its union with either of the other departments;”

  1. Is our judiciary the weakest of the three departments of power? If it is not, then the general liberty of the people are endangered by the Supreme Court and other courts across America. Is this not evidenced by the Supreme Court’s recent reluctance to uphold the basic fundamental right to bear arms? By one vote, the people of Chicago almost lost this right.

2. We Americans have every thing to fear from the Supreme Court’s union with            the  other two branches of government. Publius wrote the warning in this Federalist Paper 78.

“And it proves, in the last place, that as liberty can have nothing to fear from the judiciary alone, but would have every thing to fear from its union with either of the other departments;”

Publius further implores the warning:

“The complete independence of the courts of justice is peculiarly essential in a limited constitution…whose duty it is to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the constitution void.”

“The manifest tenor of the constitution.”

We, as American’s, must hear the Constitution’s music. We must understand the melody and heed the conductor, which is the Constitution. If we have this song in our hearts we will protect and defend its majesty.

And we will make sure that our government does so too.

Our power is in our knowledge, our voice and our vote.

Please make sure that your families, friends and children know the song, sing the song, and rise to the swell of the calling of the music. We must protect the,

“Manifest tenor of the constitution.”

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

August 22, 2010 – Federalist No. 80 – Janine Turner

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Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

Howdy from Nebraska! We have been traveling across America in our Constituting America RV, filming our winners! We have filmed Jacob Wood in California, (check out his new video on the website – it is produced by Constituting America and directed by me and edited by me and my daughter, Juliette!) Next, we traveled to Arizona where we filmed Jorey Cohen (check out the photos on the website – scroll down). We then traveled to Colorado and filmed Joseph Valencia and onward to the bottom of the Rockies, the great Continental Divide, to film Halley Moak! Check out our website for updates.

We are trying to keep the site up to date as we travel in the RV – as much as the phone service and electrical outlets will allow. The electrical outlets keep popping! It is rather crazy to be on this tiny RV with six people traveling thousands of miles across the country – literally all across the country – up, down, everywhere. However, when times are exhausting, the absolutely darling children who are our winners light up the whole process.

I pray to God to guide us, as we are servants of His and of America. This is how I feel. This is my purpose – to be of service. As I travel across our great country I am reminded how beautiful it is and I love America and Americans. We are blessed!

Regarding Federalist Paper No. 80. – all can says is “wow!” I wish I had all of the time in the world to study it but I am filming, directing, editing and traveling so I am a wee bit busy. As I read the paper I realize how huge our country has become since its inception and how large our government has become. I have to question whether it is still the “weakest” branch of the government. When Juliette, Cathy and I visited the Supreme Court recently, the guide talked about how John Jay left his position as Supreme Court Chief Justice, to become governor of New York.

Today, we consider this decision with incredulous wonder. Why would he leave the Supreme Court to become governor of New York? It is because at that time, the office of governor was more powerful than that of a Supreme Court Justice – and this was the intention of the Constitution.

In modern times, the office of Supreme Court Justice is considered one of the highest in the land and one of awe.

The only way this misplacement of powers may be revisited is by becoming aware of the true intention of the court. Knowledge is power.

In Federalist Paper No. 80, Alexander Hamilton writes of the importance of the uniformity of reason within a nation, hence, the importance of the Constitution. A nation must have a reference point, a synchronicity of laws. Without this, there is no center, no focus. It is on this very point that I believe the writing of our United States Constitution was just as monumental of a miracle as our victory in the Revolutionary war. Unity is important in all endeavors but most importantly in worthy endeavors.

In Federalist Paper No. 80, Alexander Hamilton expresses his opinion:

“The mere necessity of uniformity in the interpretation of the national laws, decides the question. Thirteen independent courts of final jurisdiction over the same causes, arising upon the same laws, is a hydra in government, from which nothing but contradiction and confusion can proceed.

Alexander Hamilton thoughts and words in his fourth point of Federalist Paper No. 80 is mesmerizing:

“The fourth point rests on this plain proposition, that the peace of the WHOLE ought not to be left at the disposal of a PART. The Union will undoubtedly be answerable to foreign powers for the conduct of its members. And the responsibility for an injury ought ever to be accompanied with the faculty of preventing it.”

Two phrases stand out in this phrase,

“The peace of the WHOLE ought not to be left at the disposal of a PART.”

And

“And the responsibility for an injury ought ever to be accompanied with the faculty of preventing it.”

With the difficult times that we are facing as a nation, a focus upon the true intentions of our founding principles is paramount.

Understanding the intrinsic values of our foundation as a country will be the only thing that will sustain us in times of attack, whether external or internal, physically or culturally.

I thank you for joining us. Please read the Constitution with your children, family and friends and for that matter, anyone you encounter.

God bless,

Janine Turner

August 16, 2010

 

August 23, 2010 – Federalist No. 81 – Janine Turner

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Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Howdy from Wisconsin! We filmed beautiful Evita Duffy, our Best Artwork winner, in Wisconsin yesterday and now we are traveling, in our Constituting America RV, to Illinois to film our Best Essay winner! Wow. Lost of miles on the road!! We get many honks from drivers as they pass us on the road – fellow Constitutionalists! Our transportation, FYI, is provided by Voyager Executive Sedan, (www.takeavoyage.com).

Please check out the striking photos, photographed by the awesomely talented Doug DeMark, on our website, check out our videos, the winners works, and be sure to watch our New Music Video of Jacob Wood.

These efforts would not be possible without all of you who have been our patriotic donors.

Federalist Paper No. 81: Alexander Hamilton was a force with which to be reckoned. On his contributions – his drive, determination and brilliant foresight – rests our Constitution and its manifestation. He knew we would need a national constitution even during the Revolutionary war. He had an uncanny way of seeing the big picture. His visionary mind, coupled with the other brilliance of our forefathers, built America.

How is our vision today? Myopia is the mire of a Republic and its democratic faculties. How do the actions we take today, both as citizens and in our government, affect the future of our country? Sacrifice is the one word that best describes our revolutionary forefathers, foremothers, and colonial citizens.

Today, we must also sacrifice, in order to preserve our great country and we must also have vision. Crucial are the efforts and decisions we make as the genius of the people, the roots of the government.

As I travel America the beautiful, and see all of the small rural towns, I realize, that we should

 

August 28, 2010 – Federalist No. 82 & Federalist No. 83 – Janine Turner

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Saturday, August 28th, 2010

“By increasing the obstacles to success, it discourages attempts to seduce the integrity of either.”

Alexander Hamilton Federalist Paper No. 83

Howdy from North Carolina! We just finished filming our We the People 9.17 Contest winner, Katie Strawinski, who won the Best Short Film Category. We filmed her at her school in Georgia and watched her in action as she filmed her football game as the school’s official video photographer. Be sure to check out her short film on our site. She is very talented. Her work was selected by Michael Flaherty, President of Walden Media.

Even though we are officially finished with our “90 in 90,” I realized that I had not written an essay for Federalist Papers No. 82 & 83 because we have been wildly preoccupied on this road trip across America. Thus, I am writing about them today as we journey through North Carolina.

As I read these particular papers, I think about our nation’s youth. Our judicial system is a wonder. It is very easy to take things for granted, such as trial by jury, and forget the many reasons that why this system of government is vitally important – one of the reasons being a fortification against tyranny.

Alexander Hamilton says it best:

“The friends and adversaries of the plan of the convention, if they agree in nothing else, concur at least in the value they set upon the trial by jury; or if there is any difference between them it consists in this: the former regard it as a valuable safeguard to liberty; the latter represent it as the very palladium of free government. For my own part, the more the operation of the institution has fallen under my observation, the more reason I have discovered for holding it in high estimation; and it would be altogether superfluous to examine to what extent it deserves to be esteemed useful or essential in a representative republic, or how much more merit it may be entitled to, as a defense against the oppressions of an hereditary monarch, than as a barrier to the tyranny of popular magistrates in a popular government.”

Our Constitution and our legal system are designed to keep those in power in check.

“Willful abuses of a public authority, to the oppression of the subject, and every species of official extortion, are offenses against the government, or which the persons who commit them may be indicted and punished according to the circumstances of the case. The strongest argument in its favor is, that it is a security against corruption.”

Alexander Hamilton comments on the necessity of a Constitution, which is a boundary for all potential miscreants of power.

“It may be added that these encroachments have generally originated with the men who endeavor to persuade the people they are the warmest defenders of popular liberty, but who have rarely suffered constitutional obstacles to arrest them in a favorite career.”

Another statement of Alexander Hamilton’s from Federalist Paper No. 83 reveals our forefather’s intention to honor each state’s uniqueness and their desire to remain sovereign.

“It may be asked, Why could not a reference have been made to the constitution of this State, taking that, which is allowed by me to be a good one, as a standard for the United States? I answer that it is not very probable the other States would entertain the same opinion of our institutions as we do ourselves. It is natural to suppose that they are hitherto more attached to their own, and that each would struggle for the preference.”

Only by knowledge of such wisdoms such as these may we have the power to preserve our liberties – awareness, acceptance, action.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

August 28, 2010

 

August 23, 2010 – Federalist No. 84 – Janine Turner

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Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Howdy from Indiana! We filmed Spencer Kollsak yesterday in Illinois. He is absolutely darling, very bright and we thoroughly enjoyed meeting him and his family. We filmed in front of the oldest log cabin in Illinois, which we thought was very fitting for Illinois, since it is the home of President Abraham Lincoln. Our footage is BEAUTIFUL from all over the country. Our documentaries are going to be awesome in its message, its diversity and its photography. Juliette and I are going to edit the documentaries. It is going to be a huge job but most worthwhile!

We are now on our way to Alabama with a stop through Nashville.

I just read Federalist Paper No. 84. I can’t believe we are on Federalist Paper No. 84!!!! What a journey this has been – amazing, inspiring, educational, and passionately patriotic!

In Federalist Paper No. 84, Alexander Hamilton wraps up the last remaining details regarding the Constitution.

They may be last but they are by no means the least, as a matter of fact, Alexander Hamilton expresses what he believes to be the most important elements.

Alexander Hamilton states in Federalist Paper No. 84:

“The establishment of the writ of habeas corpus, the prohibition of ex-post-facto laws, and of TITLES OF NOBILITY, TO WHICH WE HAVE NO CORRESPONDING PROVISION IN OUR CONSTITUTION, are perhaps greater securities to liberty and republicanism than any it contains.”

When one denounces the Constitution as irrelevant or antiquated, they need only look at Federalist Paper No. 84 and these three basics of Republicanism.

Habeas Corpus: the civil right to obtain a writ of habeas corpus as protection against illegal imprisonment.

A violation of this basic right is a major tactic of a dictator, a principle of tyranny. The dictator imprisons anyone he wishes for any reason and in this way he stifles opposition, maintains control and dwarfs inspiration, creativity and advancement of mankind. Fear is the great silencer of life and intimidator of spirit.

The subsequent preserver of freedom is the prohibition of ex-post facto laws. The prohibition of ex-post facto laws is a vital principle of liberty. It protects Americans from the threat of reprisal of punishment. Dictators use this to perpetually punish or create ways to twist the laws and entrap a citizen in the mire of concentrated confinement.

Nobility, which is the secret wish of any man due to the weakness of human nature which falls prey to the call of power, would then and certainly now, murder liberty and the Republican form of government, if he could do so.

We are so used to our protection from these threats that we know not of the dire straits we would have to contend with if we did not have them. Does this make it not relevant to today? No. It actually makes it very relevant to today, as it protects us against the potential usurper of our liberties. How easily we forget. Yet, we need only look to the recent horrors of Communism, Hitler or modern day dictators, for example, to see the consequences of the violation of these, our brilliant Constitutional, rights.

Knowledge is power. These words from our Constitution and the Federalist Papers call to us. They preserve and protect us. We need only pay heed. Are Americans listening?

Spread the word. America as we know it, depends upon it.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

August 23, 2010

 

August 28, 2010 – Federalist No. 82 & Federalist No. 83 – Janine Turner

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Saturday, August 28th, 2010

“By increasing the obstacles to success, it discourages attempts to seduce the integrity of either.”

Alexander Hamilton Federalist Paper No. 83

Howdy from North Carolina! We just finished filming our We the People 9.17 Contest winner, Katie Strawinski, who won the Best Short Film Category. We filmed her at her school in Georgia and watched her in action as she filmed her football game as the school’s official video photographer. Be sure to check out her short film on our site. She is very talented. Her work was selected by Michael Flaherty, President of Walden Media.

Even though we are officially finished with our “90 in 90,” I realized that I had not written an essay for Federalist Papers No. 82 & 83 because we have been wildly preoccupied on this road trip across America. Thus, I am writing about them today as we journey through North Carolina.

As I read these particular papers, I think about our nation’s youth. Our judicial system is a wonder. It is very easy to take things for granted, such as trial by jury, and forget the many reasons that why this system of government is vitally important – one of the reasons being a fortification against tyranny.

Alexander Hamilton says it best:

“The friends and adversaries of the plan of the convention, if they agree in nothing else, concur at least in the value they set upon the trial by jury; or if there is any difference between them it consists in this: the former regard it as a valuable safeguard to liberty; the latter represent it as the very palladium of free government. For my own part, the more the operation of the institution has fallen under my observation, the more reason I have discovered for holding it in high estimation; and it would be altogether superfluous to examine to what extent it deserves to be esteemed useful or essential in a representative republic, or how much more merit it may be entitled to, as a defense against the oppressions of an hereditary monarch, than as a barrier to the tyranny of popular magistrates in a popular government.”

Our Constitution and our legal system are designed to keep those in power in check.

“Willful abuses of a public authority, to the oppression of the subject, and every species of official extortion, are offenses against the government, or which the persons who commit them may be indicted and punished according to the circumstances of the case. The strongest argument in its favor is, that it is a security against corruption.”

Alexander Hamilton comments on the necessity of a Constitution, which is a boundary for all potential miscreants of power.

“It may be added that these encroachments have generally originated with the men who endeavor to persuade the people they are the warmest defenders of popular liberty, but who have rarely suffered constitutional obstacles to arrest them in a favorite career.”

Another statement of Alexander Hamilton’s from Federalist Paper No. 83 reveals our forefather’s intention to honor each state’s uniqueness and their desire to remain sovereign.

“It may be asked, Why could not a reference have been made to the constitution of this State, taking that, which is allowed by me to be a good one, as a standard for the United States? I answer that it is not very probable the other States would entertain the same opinion of our institutions as we do ourselves. It is natural to suppose that they are hitherto more attached to their own, and that each would struggle for the preference.”

Only by knowledge of such wisdoms such as these may we have the power to preserve our liberties – awareness, acceptance, action.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

August 28, 2010

 

August 24, 2010 – Federalist No. 85 – Janine Turner

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Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Federalist Paper No. 85! We did it!! Alexander Hamilton’s words express our endeavor best:

“Thus have I, fellow-citizens, executed the task I had assigned to myself; with what success, your conduct must determine. I trust at least you will admit that I have not failed in the assurance I gave you respecting the spirit with which my endeavors should be conducted.”

What a journey we have been on for the past four months!

I have learned so much from not only our United States Constitution and the Federalist Papers, but from our gracious and talented scholars, Cathy Gillespie, and YOU, our loyal bloggers.

Wisdom beyond words prevails from the Federalist Papers and their warnings beckon our most urgent involvement. A rekindled knowledge of Publius’ belief in the “genius of the people” reminds us of the necessity of our voice, our actions and our constant seeking of the truth.

Alexander Hamilton says it best:

“The unwarrantable concealments and misrepresentations which have been in various ways practiced to keep the truth from the public eye, have been of a nature to demand the reprobation of all honest men.”

It is our duty to get involved in the preservation of our Republic. Times heed not the lazy participant, leaving America to the few. Patriots must prohibit the silent slippery slope that always precedes tyranny.

The Federalist Papers, the issues they faced and the duties required of the people of the 18th century are as pertinent today as they were then. Alexander Hamilton states:

“This is a duty from which nothing can give him a dispensation. This is one that he is called upon, nay, constrained by all the obligations that form the bands of society, to discharge sincerely and honestly. No partial motive, no particular interest, no pride of opinion, no temporary passion or prejudice, will justify to himself, to his country, or to his posterity, an improper election of the part he is to act.”

At this potential crucial turning of our country and with the need to prevent such a turning, we must join in unity as our Revolutionary forefathers and Constitutional forefathers did. A country divided – falls. We must always remember that we are all Americans. A people who share one of the greatest countries on earth founded on Godly principles and a goodness of spirit that birthed a “majesty of the people.” Thus, we must be true to our principles, yet never wedge such a divide as to crater our country.

Alexander Hamilton, once again, brilliantly states the mission for his constituents and for his posterity:

“Let him beware of an obstinate adherence to party; let him reflect that the object upon which he is to decide is not a particular interest of the community, but the very existence of the nation.”

I love America. I love her goodness, even her failures – for it is through her failures that we have continued to grow and mature into the thoughtful, conscientious, and consistently creative people that we are. It is our United States Constitution that has given us the platform to both preserve and amend our laws of government. It is through our tribulations that we have triumphed. It is because of God and subsequently the “genius of the people,” that we have defined our own destiny.

As we walk through these challenges times, let us not forget the onslaught of troubles our ancestors both experienced and tackled. They excelled through storms, famine, persecution, indecision and war. At these times they called upon a higher power and He led them to a new level of human dignity and spiritual enlightenment.

We, too, are capable of these things. We need only our faith in God, our fellow citizens and knowledge of the United States Constitution to rise above the mire of mediocrity that we find ourselves today. By a willingness and a desire to preserve our country, our beautiful land and liberty, for ourselves and our prosperity, we will soar on eagles’ wings. We are no less the heroes our forefathers were. We need only to hear the call and heed its needs.

Knowledge is to power what actions are to results. We are the people. We are the roots that feed the branches of government. The tree will not survive without us. May we keep our rights alive. Our Constitution and our Bill of Rights are more relevant today than ever. They protect us from the tyranny that at any time may overtake us and succeed. The enemy is in the field and they may not use the traditional tactics. Sly are their methods of operation.

Let us put the lanterns in the North Church. Let us be the “alarm,” the Paul Revere, that sounds the warning: One if by laziness, Two if by ignorance. We must know our rights; our children must know their rights. Spread the word. We are borne of true grit and determination. In our genes lies the innate knowing of righteousness. We were founded on such callings, from the Mayflower to Bunker Hill to Independence Hall, from the Civil War to World War II to 9/11. Let us never forget. Let us always be grateful for the men and women who have sacrificed to keep our flame of independence alive and let us carry that torch today.

“The unwarrantable concealments and misrepresentations which have been in various ways practiced to keep the truth from the public eye, have been of a nature to demand the reprobation of all honest men.”

God Bless and I thank you for joining us on this remarkable journey, our “90 in 90 – History Holds the Key to the Future.”

Janine Turner

August 24, 2010

 

April 27, 2010 – The Amendments to the United States Constitution – Janine Turner

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Howdy from Texas. Day 5 of the Constitution! As my daughter, Juliette said, “Technically it’s day 6 but the first day was like a “xii” in a book.” I thank you for joining us today. I am having a WONDERFUL time and I am just rather thrilled to have this opportunity to study the United States Constitution with “y’all”  – as we say in Texas. I hope you are reading the daily readings with your children and/or loved one! Please tell your children about our, “We the People 9.17 Contest.” Scholarships, prizes, travel!!!

I want to thank Michael Krauss for his superb essay today on the Constitutional Amendments! I am glad Michael focused on the First Amendment because I am absolutely intrigued with it and I believe it is incredibly relevant today.

I have been writing on the First Amendment quite a bit lately. As I explained in my daily video podcast today, (I do one every day), I have always thought of the First Amendment as “freedom of speech.” Of course, this is one of our most treasured rights. However, I am also starting to recognize the First Amendment as, “freedom of religion.”  The beginning of the First Amendment is well known and has been parlayed into the (misconstrued) American mantra of “separation of church and state.”  It is as follows, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..” However, the six words that follow are rarely discussed and little known,

“or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..”

“Or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..” Amazing. With these six words, the First Amendment states that it is our right as Americans to express our religion. Both of these statements stemmed from the religious persecution in Europe. Our European ancestors were forced to abide by a mandated religion and were not allowed to freely express their personal religious beliefs.

Thus, this amendment is brilliant and paid for by the blood, sweat and tears of our ancestors. No law may stipulate that an American citizen must follow a certain religion. Great. But also, no American may be denied his/her right to exercise his/her religion – anywhere. The First Amendment does not state, “You may express your religion  – but only in certain places.”

I believe that these six words, “or prohibit the free exercise thereof” need to be promulgated across America. They need to become the new American mantra. Our forefathers did not deny God, the Divine Providence, or our Creator a place in government then  – nor should He be denied that place now.

Blessings,

Janine Turner

4.27.10

Posted in Constitutional Essays by Janine, The Amendments to the United States Constitution | 16 Comments »

16 Responses to “April 272010 – The Amendments to the United States Constitution – Janine Turner

  1. Julie Bedard says:

    Very interesting perspective…I never thought about the phrase “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” in this manner until now. You are dead on Janine in your analysis of this Amendment. Let us all remember separation of church and state does not mean “Freedom from Religion”. I no longer will feel as if I have to hide my faith!

  2. Bob Greenslade says:

    I am surprised the preamble to the Bill of Rights did not get the attention it deserves because the first paragraph discloses the intent of the Amendments.

    It states the sole purpose of the Amendments was to prevent the federal government from “misconstruing or abusing its powers.” To accomplish this, “further declaratory and restrictive clauses” were being recommended.

    Based on the wording of the preamble, the Amendments, when adopted, placed constitutional prohibitions on the powers of the federal government to prevent that government from “misconstruing or abusing its powers” concerning the rights of the people. Thus, a document that restrains the powers of the federal government cannot be the source of the individual rights of the American people.

    The Amendments would be easier to understand if they had been titled the Bill of Prohibitions or Bill of Restraints. In the case of individual rights, the Amendments enumerate rights that exist independent of the Constitution and deny the federal government the general authority to legislate or encroach upon those rights. The Amendments are simply an extension of the system of limited government in an enumerated form.

    Unfortunately, the preamble to the Bill of Rights remains one of most overlooked provisions of the Constitution.

  3. Vince Scaramozzi says:

    I Have the two volume set of the “The Debates on the Constitution” from the Classics of Liberty Library. They are arranged in chronological order and contain both the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers. I have read most of them. They are a difficult read. Actually, the Anti-federalists were the primary reason the Bill of Rights were presented and subsequently ratified. The Constitution would not have been successfully ratified without the support of the Anti-federalists. They understood that there was a need to clarify aspects of the constitution to prevent misinterpretation and subsequent abuse. The preamble to the bill of rights verifies this purpose.

    With regard to the 1st Amendment and its religious clause; I agree that the purpose was to prevent Government from interfering with the peoples’ Right to worship or not worship as they chose. The first part of the clause. (in part) “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,” should be considered very carefully. This was the basis Jefferson’s “wall of separation between church and state.” statement to the Danbury Baptist Association. Considering that ‘morality’ is an establishment of religion; could it not be construed that the clause may be understood to also mean no law establishing morality or immorality shall be established?

    I have heard the argument that ‘murder’ and other injurious actions are immoral. I agree but there is also the fact that they are also harmful and obviously exhibit perceptible harm. However, there are many actions that are considered immoral but do not inflict perceptible harm. Therefore, these actions should not and do not constitute criminal behavior. Immorality is an individual’s personal perspective and is not subject to state intervention. Actions that inflict perceptible harm or injury upon another human being or their property is a criminal act! Prostitution is immoral. However, it is also a contract between two consenting adults. In the event no physical involuntary harm comes to either party; no crime has occurred. The same goes for recreational drug use. If no harm results then no crime has occurred. However, if an individual inflicts harm due to their impaired state it is imperative that they are punished for that crime regardless or their impairment.

    By taking away our “RIGHT” to choose an action based on morality or immorality is an infringement upon our unalienable rights.

  4. as a nontheist, i am of course interested in the right to freedom from religion. i believe that the Ninth Amendment implicitly gives me the right to be free of religion. the unenumerated rights are i think the most important phrase in the entire Bill of Rights. if we paid more attention to the Ninth Amendment, we wouldn’t need several of the lateramendments — slaves would be free, all men and women would have the right to vote, prohibition would never have happened, e.g.

    the Bill protects individual citizens from the tyranny of the federal government. it is a list of “they shalt nots” — not “thou shalt nots.” as such, the Ninth Amendment is probably the most important of them all. and notice that it is placed — deliberately, i believe — ahead of the Tenth Amendment’s guarantee of states’ rights vs. federal rights. placement matters. the rights of the individual trump the rights of the state or of the federal government.

    and, in the light of the Ninth Amendment, i plead with you to keep god out of government, including out of theConstitution and Bill of Rights. i do not have a favorable opinion of any gods, including the judeo-christian one so often quoted. we are not a nation “under god” as long as i — and the 12-14% of my fellow americans share that opinion. how can we be indivisible if there are those of us who are not “under god”? the Ninth Amendment gives us the right to be free of god and religion. i am not godless — i am god-free. and i have that right, thanks to the unenumerated rights of the Ninth Amendment.

  5. Hollis: I’m sorry, but you do not have a right to be free “from” religion. The Constitution is very explicit in stating that. You have a right to expect your federal government not to establish a preferred national religion, under the original meaning of the Establishment Clause, but even at the time, several of the original 13 stated did have an established state religion. The argument that religion and government were to be kept apart was aimed only at the federal government, not the state governments.

    The restrictions on government inherent in the Establishment Clause were not technically made applicable to thestates until the 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868, and it was not until 1947 that the Supreme Court began interpreting the Establishment Clause as applicable to state laws regarding religion. As for the current trend of trying to remove all reference to religion in the public sphere, that didn’t start until well into the 1980s.

    And those efforts are incorrect, and are caused largely by misreadings of the First Amendment.

    The United States is not an atheist nation, nor is it a Christian nation, nor an Islamic nation. It is a nation of ALL religions, a place of religious pluralism where the Free Exercise Clause demands of every citizen tolerance of the peaceable exercise of religion by every other citizen, regardless of the form or beliefs involved. While it is true that you can be “god-free” in your own life, your preference for living without reference to or involvement with God does not impose upon anyone else a burden to hide their faith or protect you from exposure to their expressions of religion. To argue that the Establishment Clause gives you the power of the dissenter’s veto, allowing you to suppress the free expression of religion by others defies the purpose of the Free Exercise Clause, which expressly protects the right to place one’s religion on display in the public square.

    The stricture of the Establishment Clause is limited to government agents, who, according to the Supreme Court case “Lemon v. Kurtzman” are required to maintain strict religious NEUTRALITY, not religious hostility. Indeed, the Free Exercise clause places an affirmative duty on all levels of government to defend the exercise of religion against suppression by anyone, including government.

    Thus, the requirement of the Constitution is that we must all tolerate the peaceable acts of others, and may not misuse the law to suppress the expression of religion by others, who have an individual right to use and enjoy their public lands and property, within reasonable limits, while doing so.

    While you do indeed have a right to be an atheist, you do not have a right to use that atheism to suppress the religious beliefs or practices of others.

    (continued)

  6. (continued)
    An excellent example of this constitutional requirement for tolerance by all is Devil’s Tower, Wyoming. Several Indian tribes venerate and worship this geological formation, which they call Bear Butte, as a place of religious power, and have done so for many hundreds, if not thousands of years.

    But Devil’s Tower is a national monument and therefore belongs to all the people of the United States, who have an equal right to use and enjoy it in a reasonable and peaceable manner according to their own desires, consistent with the laws intended to conserve the area.

    The feature is a popular spot for rock climbing, and many hundreds of climbers scale the butte every year. Indians object to this activity because they consider the butte to be sacred, and this is particularly true in June, when the tribes hold religious observances around the butte.

    This is a classic example of the collision of secular activities and religious activities in the public sphere. Many atheists feel that religious observances should not be allowed, since approving them and issuing permits constitutes “establishing” religion by lending government support to religious activities on public lands. But this is not the case, as the Supreme Court lays out in “Lemon v. Kurtzman” where it set forth a three-pronged test to determine whether a particular government act violates the Establishment Clause.

    The test consists of three questions:

    First, the government’s action must have a legitimate secular purpose.
    Second, the government’s action must neither advance nor inhibit religion.
    Third, the government’s action must not “excessively entangle” the government in religion.

    If any one or more of the prongs is violated, the government’s action violates the Establishment Clause.

    So, may the government prohibit the free exercise of religion by the Indian tribes in venerating and worshiping Bear Butte at particular times by denying them a permit? No, because that would violate the second prong of the test by inhibiting their right to free exercise of religion.

    Can the government issue them a permit for such activity? Yes, it can, because issuing a permit for a religious meeting is a ministerial duty that has a secular purpose of protecting the resource which neither advances nor inhibits religion, since permits are required for all group activities at the monument.

    Can government prohibit climbers from climbing on Devil’s Tower to protect the sacredness of the butte, either generally or during the June religious observances by Indians? No, because that would advance the religious rights of the Indian tribes over the secular rights of the climbers to use and enjoy their public lands, which violates the second prong of the test.

    Thus, while the Indian tribes must be permitted to worship, they must tolerate the climbers, and likewise the climbers must tolerate the religious expression of the Indians, even though both activities make use of the same public land.

  7. Vince M says:

    With what I just read when I went to school we said “The Pledge of Allegiance”, now due to “other” religious beliefs forced upon us, it has been taken out of our public schools. I am sorry but I get confused, whose country is this?

  8. Maggie says:

    Hollis….just as placement is important, so too is wording. It is Freedom “OF” Religion….not “FROM” Religion.

  9. Jeremy Ervin says:

    Hollis,

    I hate to burst your bubble, but there is no such thing as non-religion. That position is absurd on its face. Your unstated (and apparently unrealized) religion is secular humanism. Please hear me out. I agree that we would retain much more liberty if we actually adhered to the expressed-powers Constitutional structure as intended. However, your foundation for these statements is incoherent without understanding the Source of law.

    God cannot be kept out of government as you suggest. If you believe, as you say, that the 9th amendment or any of the amendments “gives” you any rights, then the Constitution (i.e. the men who wrote it) becomes the lawgiver, and therefore is your god. So then, if man is the ultimate arbiter and authority of his rights, then man has become his own god. This is an inherently humanistic religious notion. On the contrary, the Constitution does not create rights. It simply guarantees rights that were correctly understood at the founding the united States by setting the scope and limitations of the federal government. Where do rights come from in the first place? The founders believed they come from the Lawgiver, who is God. They believed “that all men…are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights…”

    While I would agree that one cannot be coerced to worship God in any other way than according to the dictates of his own conscience, the Bill of Rights specifically guarantees freedom OF religion. It was John Adams who said, “Ourconstitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.” This was not a minority view or understanding, but can be found throughout the statements of the founders in general.

    Also, you can’t keep God out of the founding documents because He is explicitly included. Besides the fact that unanimous consent is given “in the Year of our Lord [1787]“, the Constitution points directly to the charter of the nation, namely the Declaration of Independence. Therefore, you can’t somehow leave out the critical import of the Declaration, which specifically refers to God as man’s Creator, appeals to the Supreme Judge of the world, and relies upon the protection of Divine Providence. Both documents are full of principles and precepts taken straight from the pages of Holy Scripture. This was not a mistake or simply the politically expedient road based on the times in which the founders lived. It was based on firm, deeply held religious convictions about the nature of God and mankind.

    If we are not “under God”, then it is only because we have left our national religious moorings. I would suggest that our only alternative is to return to that same commitment to Almighty God that was the firm reliance of our founders, or else we are doomed to the driving winds and tossing waves of the open sea. Without an unchanging Lawgiver, rights are simply what someone else decides is acceptable for you, AKA tyranny.

  10. Jeremy Ervin says:

    Seth, I agree with your arguments, with the exception of one point (respectfully). This nation was specifically founded as a Christian nation and none other. “The Lord” specifically refers to the God of the Bible, and the founding fathers knew this. It was not that they thought non-religion was in any way acceptable. Rather, they understood the distinction between Church and State and their respective jurisdictions. Corporeal matters (man’s duty to man) was the jurisdiction of state government, and spiritual matters (man’s duty to God) was the jurisdiction of church government. Each sphere of government was directly accountable to God and did not have authority over the other.

    Therefore, the plain statement was made in the first amendment that the federal government could in no way force man toward his religious duty to God. Not that man was absolved from that duty, but that the State had no jurisdiction there because that was a matter of the heart. The Church, however, did have that jurisdiction. And thus many presidents and other political leaders publicly called the people to repentance for their sins and pleaded for God’s grace upon the nation. They did not privatize their religion, but demonstrated it openly in their governance. They invoked the name of Almighty God, rightly understanding the Source and sustaining Power of law and judgment.

    The prevailing notion today that we are pluralistic is incorrect. Neither does majority opinion on the matter make it correct. Perhaps we have turned into a pluralistic society over time, but that is only due to a lack of understanding and application of our national birthright. The entire root and foundation of the united States of America is Almighty God, the Creator of heavens and earth, not deism or a mystical feeling of some god-like entity out there somewhere, or anything else. I think it is impossible to find such notions in the writings of the founders. Instead we find prayer and supplication to God, and a clear recognition of His supervision all throughout.

  11. E E Keller says:

    As you do not have the right to you use your expression of religion to suppress beliefs or practices of others; which religious zealots do all the time.

  12. The genius of the Founders is in their deep philosophical and political thinking and debate about the fundamental principles of government and society, and their discovery of principles of liberty and constrained government that resulted in the creation of the most successful political and social model in the history of the world. We don’t see that kind of careful political thinking on original principles much today, and that’s why, at least for me, the Founding Fathers are revered, not as supremely intelligent, but as unusually skilled in deep political and ethical thinking, far beyond most of what we see today. They were not more intelligent, they were simply more wise and careful thinkers.

    For those who do not believe in deity, who are non-theistic in their beliefs, I believe that there is an objective, scientific and philosophical basis for what the Founders attributed to deity. For non-theists, the practical effect of referring to a Creator, and the assertion that our rights are granted by God, not man, is to ensure that the rights that we enjoy are not derived from the ever-changing political philosophies of man, but are an inherent part of our nature as living beings and thinking humans. It is the inherent nature of our rights that makes them unalienable, and non-theists must have an objective, intellectual basis for finding those rights to be inherent if we are to avoid having our rights characterized as state-granted and subject to the whims and caprices of the public will.

    The Founders took as a principle that a Creator exists, and they wisely decided that because subjective rights, those that are subject to the whims and caprices of the ruling class, were not effective in protecting individuals against the tyranny of despots and their fellow men. So, they moved rights beyond the power of either man or government to grant or deny, into the philosophical realm of “natural rights” precisely in order to prevent what they rightly saw as the dangers of despotism and majoritarian tyranny that inevitably occurs when one man, or one group of men, are permitted to determine what rights another man, or group of men, may enjoy.

    The Founders resorted to deity and religion because such beliefs were ubiquitous in their time and they did not see any need for any other rational basis for such rights. But it is true today that there are many Americans who are not theistic by nature, and it is likewise true that they ought to enjoy the same rights as any other person, and that therefore we should seek an objective, rational basis for our unalienable rights.

    (continued)

  13. (continued)

    In the context of Creator versus Nature, whether a Creator exists or not is not terribly relevant to the philosophical construct of natural rights. Rights, in that non-theistic sense, accrue simply by virtue of our existence as human beings and the necessities of nature for social constructs to regulate behavior in communities. Rights are clearly a product of our intellect, but this does not mean that their origin cannot be derived from observations of our natural world and natural behavior. Natural rights are founded in natural principles, which is what gives them their intellectual strength when applied to human behavior outside the theistic realm.

    For that reason I have for some time been trying to construct a logical and rational argument that derives our inherent rights as a function of natural processes, which I see as a companion to theistic belief, not in opposition to it. I call these derivations the Organic Rights, which are derived from organic laws of nature and natural behavior.

    Every organism needs life, autonomy, the resources to survive, and the ability to reproduce in order to exist both as an individual and as a species. The Organic Rights are expressions of these fundamental organic needs as applied to human society, and it is my claim that human society cannot survive unless it respects those fundamental organic needs of all human beings any more than a species itself cannot survive if it does not fulfill the underlying organic needs. Thus, I express those fundamental organic needs as the Organic Rights, because without societal recognition and protection of those rights, individuals cannot survive and society cannot exist.

    Every organism on earth seeks to preserve it’s own life. This instinct is seen everywhere in the natural world as a function of evolution. Every individual organism seeks autonomous life in that it will defend itself and its life when attacked by another organism. Therefore, the First Organic Law is that all living creatures pursue autonomous survival and will engage in self-defense to prolong life. From the First Organic Law I derive the following Organic Rights:

    The First Organic Right is the right to life, for without the right to life, there is no purpose for any philosophical construct, and death is the result.
    The Second Organic Right, the right to individual liberty, emerges because all living creatures strive for organic autonomy and individual liberty.
    The Third Organic Right is the right to self-defense, because all living creatures naturally defend their lives when attacked, to one degree or another.

    (continued)

  14. (continued)

    Next, we observe in nature that all living creatures will seek to find and obtain that which is necessary for their survival. Fundamentally this is energy, which comes in many forms. In addition, higher creatures will seek out shelter against the elements as well, as a part of the necessities of survival. From this natural behavior I derive the Second Organic Law; all creatures seek to obtain and secure to their own use the resources necessary for survival.

    From this Second Organic Law I derive the Fourth Organic Right; the right to seek out, obtain and reserve to one’s exclusive use the resources necessary for survival, which is more simply stated as the right to the exclusive ownership and use of private property.

    The Third Organic Law is that all creatures seek to reproduce and pass on their genetic material as a function of evolution.

    From this I derive the Fifth Organic Right, which is the right to reproduce, more complexly stated as the right to form a relationship with a mate, engage in reproductive behavior, create a family and raise one’s children to adulthood.

    Thus, I derive natural rights directly from natural behavior, without resort to deity or a Creator, but rather simply by reference to our nature as living beings. Those rights are inherent, and superior, and unalienable, and not derived from any social construct of mankind because they are necessary components of our very existence and being, without which no man, and no living creature, can survive and flourish.

    This places at least these five Organic Rights above any inferior human social construct, and therefore places them beyond the power of others to disparage or deny as a matter of general social policy. Society may not morally deprive an individual of his Organic Rights absent some misbehavior on the part of the individual that makes it necessary to do so.

    This construct does not disparage the concept of a Creator, or of God, but rather it simply describes the basis of superior unalienable rights from a non-theistic direction, for the benefit of those who choose to exercise their religious freedom non-theistically. It also serves to resolve the objections of non-theists to idea that our rights are divinely inspired, but without disparaging the beliefs of those who adhere to the firmly religious historical context of the Founders.

  15. Jeremy writes: “Seth, I agree with your arguments, with the exception of one point (respectfully). This nation was specifically founded as a Christian nation and none other.”

    Jeremy, I’m afraid I must disagree. Thomas Jefferson explicitly debunked this assertion in saying, “Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting “Jesus Christ,” so that it would read “A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;” the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.”

    There existed at the time of the Constitutional Convention the adherents of many different religions within the bounds of the nation, and it was the express desire of the Founders to extend to each and every person the right to worship as their conscience called them to do so, subject only to such worship being peaceable and tolerant of the like right of others to worship differently.

    This is what I mean when I say this is a religiously pluralistic society. Of course the predominant religion of the nation was Christianity, but within that context there were endless denominations and congregations who had differences in their beliefs and practices. That this nation was founded BY Christians (predominantly) does not mean that it was founded exclusively FOR Christians, much less that our system of law and government is intended to favor Christianity over any other religion. The First Amendment makes that perfectly clear.

    You are correct in saying that religion and government have their separate spheres and each citizen has a duty to each distinct from his or her duty to the other, but the Founders were perfectly clear that while they personally attributed the opportunity to found a new nation, based on new principles, to the grace of God and his divine inspiration (and I will not dispute this point), and they expressed this gratitude and opportunity firmly to God, they were determined not to recreate precisely the sort of theocratic tyranny they had just expended the precious blood and treasure of the inhabitants of America to escape.

    So, it is true enough to say that the Founders themselves worked to create the Constitution based in part upon their beliefs and obedience to God, who they believed had called them to this task, but it is not true to say that the nation, and the Constitution that flowed from that inspiration, be it divine or worldly, makes the nation an exclusively “Christian Nation.” The express declarations of the Constitution and the many statements of the Founders themselves belie this construction.

    Certainly Christianity is the predominant religion, but in our Constitution, it takes its place in equality beside all other peaceable religious beliefs.

  16. Ralph T. Howarth, Jr. says:

    @Seth Richardson

    it was the express desire of the Founders to extend to each and every person the right to worship as their conscience called them to do so, subject only to such worship being peaceable and tolerant of the like right of others to worship differently.

    This is what I mean when I say this is a religiously pluralistic society.
    ——————-
    An absolute pluralism is an impossibility with religion when it comes down to the governance of behavior that theConstitution does not touch. That is the civil moral code of law. You cannot have pluralism when it comes to religion in moral law. An example is that the Christian says murder is wrong; but the Islam says, honor killing is right. There is no plural moral ground to meet there. The Constitution only addresses what are temporal affairs to which air affairs that are not moral in nature. What the Constitution did establish was a trans-denominational public square where: 1) The right of conscience is the most sacred of property; and 2) because of the Christian belief system that one must live by faith and not be coerced into what is against there conscience. This in turn is where we have the freedom of worship, prayer and liturgical rites. An Mohammedan, Hindoo or Infidel is welcome and free to do as they please here as long as they abide by the moral civil code of the Judeo-Christian ethic. That is where the Lemon test goes wrong and freedom of religion is abused. When it comes to the question of worship and such, then it is liberty; but when it comes to matters of behavior, then it is touching morals and no longer is liberty. Breaching morals is called license; but many today confuse license for liberty to which they say, “Don’t force your religion on me” when what they actually are saying “Don’t force your morals on me…it burns my conscience.”

    The 1st Amendment never advocated license in any received sense and jurisprudence dictates that one must consult what is the probable view of the legislator who passed the law over that of any court opinion that follows thereafter. A court ruling is an opinion and not law: that is why it is a called an “opinion”. The Capital building being federal property was used for Sunday church services in the House of Representatives up to about the times of the Civil War, and Thomas Jefferson advocated the establishment of the nation’s first trans-denominational university, attended services in the capitol frequently, and his abridged Bible on the morals of Jesus Christ sent to the Indian tribes on federal lands. Such persisted up to about 1900 where federal funds was used to support Catholic missionaries to the Indian Tribes. In addition, that same Congress that passed the First Amendment is the same Congress that passed the Northwest Ordinance saying: “Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

 

April 26, 2010 – Articles IV-VII – Janine Turner

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Howdy from Texas. What another great day of national conversation about our United States Constitution. I thank you for joining us and I hope you read Articles IV-VII with your children and/or friend or loved one!!
Don’t forget to tell your children or children you know about our We the People 9.17 Contest! Entries due July 4th. Scholarships, travel, prizes!!

I thank Joerg Knipprath for his most detailed description of Articles IV-VII. What a blessing it is to have so many wonderful Constitutional Scholars grace us with their dedication and knowledge.

What I found fascinating about today’s reading has not actually been mentioned. It is in Articles VI and VII. In Article VI it states:

“The Senators and Representatives before mentioned and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial  Officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public trust under the United States.”

First of all it states that EVERY government officer is bound by oath or affirmation to “support” the Constitution. Another intriguing aspect is the part about how “no religious test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public trust under the United States.” This seems logical due to the fact that not only was the religious persecution from overseas still fresh in their minds, but also because free enterprise does not grow when stifled by laws of religion.
However, Article VII states:

‘..done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the states present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eight seven…’

It is very obvious with the usage of the words, “Year of our Lord,” that our forefathers were not afraid to mention
God in their thesis, documents and/or governmental realm. They were brilliant men and they knew that every word of the Constitution would be analyzed in the future, down to the last comma. They also wrote the Constitution to be an everlasting document that was to be eternally preserved, protected and defended.

Thus, no love, or lack, of God could prohibit one from serving in government but that did not mean one was prohibited from referencing his or her God in governmental affairs. There appears to be no mention of separation of church and state.

This is reiterated in a slightly different way in the first amendment:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free
exercise thereof…”

But we will discuss this one tomorrow.

I am also intrigued about how much our forefathers were concerned about treason.

Did anyone watch the History Channel’s, “America: The Story of Us” last night?” It was wonderful. The recounting of the revolutionary era reminds one that our forefathers were most sensitive to the tyrannical aspects of government intruding into citizens’ lives and as they recounted our “revolutionary” war tactics it reminds one that if we had, “played by the rules,” then we would have never won the war.

Thoughts to ponder…

More tomorrow. Blessings,
Janine Turner
April 26, 2010

Posted in Articles IV – VII of the United States Constitution, Constitutional Essays by Janine | Edit | 8 Comments »

8 Responses to “April 262010 – Articles IV-VII – Janine Turner

  1. Celeste Munoz says:

    I have often wondered why the ‘separation of church and state’ has been such a huge issue in these modern times. It wasn’t until the 60′s I think that it became an issue. I remember when Kennedy was running half the country thought he would just be a papal puppet and were highly suspicious of his Catholicism though they had nothing against a good old christian. A sign of the times perhaps.

  2. Louis Palermo says:

    The First Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment are two very important Amendments and two of my favorite. The First Amendment provides the most fundamental freedom to speak! It allows the people to assemble, practice their own religion and for freedom of the press to conduct their business. Recognition of this freedom curtails the power of the government. The founding fathers’ insight by this amendment was to limit the power of the government over the people.

    The Fourteenth Amendment affords the people and the states valuable protections. It is the vehicle by which many statutes and laws are filed against the Federal government. If you will, it is the engine that maintains the system of checks and balances.

    Looking forward to the Federalists papers.

  3. akw says:

    Janine,

    I didn’t know where to leave you a note, so I’ll just do it here. Love your new website, and I appreciate what you and your partners are doing here!! Keep it up, and I’ll help spread the word.

  4. A key point to consider that may help explain our present situation:

    Prior to 1912 the members of the U. S. Senate were not elected by popular vote but were appointed by their respective state legislatures (Article 1, Section 3). Under the original draft of our constitution the U.S. Senate represented the interests of the divers states and their respective state governments. The U. S. House of Representatives represents the people. Can you imagine any U.S. Senator who was appointed to his/her seat by the legislature back home ever voting for anything harmful to the local state government? In the absence of the 17th amendment would the health care bill have ever seen the light of day in the Senate? Obviously not. However, thanks to the 17th Amendment, the U.S. Senate was transformed into a “Super House of Representatives,” with the same concerns about winning reelection by popular vote. The interests of the individual states are no longer of importance to members of the U.S. Senate and we have all suffered as a result.

  5. Debbie Beardsley says:

    Whoa, hold on here. I do not think there was any reference to God intended by placing Year of our Lord after a date. It was a common term used at the time and is included in the Julian and Gregorain Calendars to reference the epoch after Jesus was born. Anno Domini is the Latin way to say the same thing.

    Stop looking for religious reference where none was intended. Thats how we get in trouble and move very far away from the Constitution.

    I fully believe the founders intent was not to support a specific belief or church but to allow everyone the freedom to choose what they belive in.

  6. I agree with Cliff’s comment regarding the 17th Amendment. I would like to know how and why it was created, for what intended purpose, and who sponsored it.

  7. Dirk Newnam says:

    Back to Debbie B. Letting the founders speak for themselves on the issue of their intent, from your last sentence.

    “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion…Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other”…John Adams

    “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians: not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ! For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.”….Patrick Henry (He does not exclude other beliefs but does emphasize our foundation is Christian)

    “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers”…John Jay (First Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court )

    There are literally hundreds of other quotes to choose from that strongly confirm our founders intent to be motivated and directed by God’s Word through the Bible.

    Last I encourage anyone who reads this to read the stinging rebuke delivered by Ben Franklin on June 28th 1787 during the Constitutional Convention’s first days after little progress had been made writing the Constitution. It is on page 108 of the book “The Myth of Separation” by David Barton 1992. Read the follow two pages to find out the incredible turn of events that followed. If only it could be reprinted on the front pages of our nations newspapers. What a change we might see in how we go about governing.

    The quotes above are from the same book. He’s written several other since on this subject.

    As a side on “Year of our Lord” can you imagine the phrase being used today by our watered down courts, government, or our media! It might remind of of where we came from, as a nation.

  8. Today, our guest Constitutional Scholar of the day, Mr. Troy Kickler’s, insightful essay states, “Hamilton and other Federalists believed, write constitutional scholars Colleen A. Sheehan and Gary L. McDowell, that interest, reputation, and duty would bind the representatives to the Constitution and public opinion.”

    I find this quote intriguing, especially the section ”..duty would bind the representatives to the Constitution and public opinion.” This singular line encapsulates wisdom and inspires reflection.

    The first reflection is upon the word, “duty.” Duty seems to be a word that is lost in our American culture today. As the decades descend from World War II, the sense of duty to ones country appears to be diminishing. I looked up the word, “duty,” and found the following definition: ”a social force that binds you to a course of action demanded by that force. ” The definition was followed by a quote by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., ”every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity an obligation, every position, a duty.” Today the focus of America’s representatives as well as many Americans and the American culture seem to be one of self-interest. With the blessing of the Providential rights that are secured for us in our Constitution lay a responsibility. One of those responsibilities is to know, respect and understand the United States Constitution, as well as to encourage others to do so. The same should apply to the American Culture. How far we have drifted from the days when patriotism and love of country were, as President Ronald Reagan said, “in the air.” Is our country perfect? No. But as the Former Senator Patrick Moynihan said, “show me a better one.” We, as patriots who love our country and appreciate the founding principles upon which she was founded, need to rise to counter the palpable negativity that permeates our air today. One has to question whether our Congressional representatives are bound to their duty of their country and constituents, or to themselves.

    The second reflection is upon the statement that duty would bind representatives to the “Constitution.” “..bind one to the Constitution.” The more I read the United States Constitution and the Federalist Papers, the more I realize how much we have strayed from the Constitution in cultural thought, personal awareness, legislative acts and supreme court rulings. This slow usurpation is due to a lack of knowledge and by a lack of pressure applied on our representatives to uphold the Constitution’s principles. As a Republic we rule through our representatives, thus, our vote is our voice. The checks and balances of our government begin with us. Thus, I suppose, there is a responsibility that we, as patriots, must own – if our representatives have grown callous and irreverent regarding the Constitution, it is because we have allowed it by our lack of diligence and duty to hold them accountable. How well do they know the United States Constitution? How do they intend to abide by its stipulations? These should be the questions of paramount importance.

    The third reflection is upon the two words, “public opinion.” “Duty would bind the representatives to the Constitution and public opinion.” Public opinion seems to be virtually ignored by our representatives today. As mentioned in Federalist Paper No. 22 and in previous papers, Publius had a respect for the “genius of the people.” The American people have a genetic disposition and inherent ability to seek the truth and know the truth and American patriots rise to the challenge of duty. ”The experience of history” has proven this to be a tried and true trait of Americans. All of the attempts by the current branches of government to “reason” their way around the Constitution and govern a Republic without respecting the Constitution, and the history of the American spirit, will do so in vain. Duty to preserve our great country, founding principles, bill of rights and free enterprise will be the Paul Revere ”call to action” of our day.

    God Bless,

    Janine Turner
    May 28, 2010

 

April 23, 2010 – Article III U.S. Constitution – Janine Turner

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Howdy from Texas. I thank you for joining us on our day 3 of the “90 in 90 = 180 History Holds the Key to the Future.” Juliette read Article III to me in the car today and I found it to be just fascinating how it all fits together like pieces of a puzzle. I hope you are reading the Constitution with your children and/or family or friend and spreading the word about our contest for kids the “We the People 9.17 Contest.” Entries are due July 4th!

It is exciting that you are participating in our national conversational blog/reading. The blog entries are stimulating and though provoking and I thank you for your time and dedication. I also thank Lawrence Spiwak for his perceptive and provoking essay!

I am in awe in regard to how the checks and balances continue to unfold. The Republic of the United States continues to offer the people their voice through their elected representatives even with the Supreme Court Justices. The people in essence nominate and confirm through the President and Senate that we elect. Check. The people may impeach a Supreme Court Justice through the President and Senate whom we elect. Check.

Thus, the relevancy today is to be very careful whom we elect and to know our representative’s thoughts and opinions about the Constitution. The Supreme Court’s job is to uphold the Constitution yet we know in modern society there are differing views about the relevancy of the Constitution and it is continuously under attack, even if subtly.

The other aspect of today’s relevancy that fascinates me is in regard to the Constitution’s diligence in making sure that tyranny could not raise it’s ugly head. The checks and balances came full circle today in reading Article III and in reading Lawrence Spiwak’s essay. Once again it is the mastery of the checks and balances that motivate marvel.

The Legislative Branch legislates potential laws of the land, written indirectly through the people who elected the representatives. Check. The President executes the bill by signing it, fulfilled by the people who elected him. Check. And the Supreme Court, who is indirectly chosen by the people through their elected President and Senate, evaluates the law to make sure it does not violate the Constitution and/or the rights of the citizens or states. Check. The Legislative bill is empowered or disempowered by the President who may execute it or veto it. Check by President. Yet, Congress may override the President by voting the bill into fruition by 2/3 of the vote. Check by Congress. The Supreme Court may hold the new law to the light of Constitution and may either render it valid or invalid. Check by the Supreme Court.

And all the while, the people are ruling through their representative Republic. The people, by voting, have the ultimate check. Vetting and voting seem to be the pivotal words gleaned from Article I, II and III. We need to check out our candidates thoroughly. Mysteries do not serve the process well. But, men are not angels and thus, we have the Constitution to keep us honest.

Brilliant.

See you tomorrow!!!! Articles 4-7.

Have a great night. Check!

Janine Turner

P.S. I hope this makes sense. I am exhausted and can barely hold my eyes open!

Posted in Article III of the United States Constitution, Constitutional Essays by Janine | Edit | 12 Comments »

12 Responses to “April 23, 2010 – Article III U.S. Constitution – Janine Turner”

  1. The theory behind checks and balances was established so that not one agency could rule like a dictator. When that came to pass the most logical angecy to stop unwantent power grabs was the Supreme Court. Today we need that august body more then ever to help us as they did when laws were being unconsttutional. This will promote not only a balance but will put the office of the President under strict checks. When he realizes his error he will have to back down once and for all.

  2. “What is human?” GOD’s answer…

    Keven J. Hasson, President of the Becket Fund, recently stated, “…the American and Soviet systems…offered differing visions of freedom and human nature.” The missing element in every human ‘solution’ is an accurate definition of the creature.

    In the Bible, God’s Word has accurately defined the human being as ‘the earth creature endowed with the ability to choose.’ His natural Rights, therefore, are merely an extension and application of natural human endowments, which all humans – everywhere in the world – possess. Even as goldfish, canaries, and puppy dogs require an environment based on their natural features, so humans require external freedom to fulfill their natural internal abilities of choice, selection, election, and consent. Uniquely, America was founded on this definitive paradigm in human nature. All nations should reject foundational human opinion that teaches otherwise.

    Further, God’s gift of criteria for choosing between alternatives supplies us with superior standards for successful visionary choice-making. Humans cannot invent (or replace) criteria greater than self, ACLU to the contrary.

    Defining ‘human’ accurately is the first step in establishing accurate and successful environments, institutions, and creative relationships for earth’s Choicemaker. Middle East governments, and all leaders, would do well to pay attention: nature and nature’s Creator speak with an authoritative voice. Psalms 25:12 119:30, 173 Joel 3:14 Selah

    No one is smarter than their criteria.

    Jim Baxter Sgt. USMC WWII & Korean War semper fidelis http://www.choicemaker.net/

  3. Susan Craig says:

    I have never seen such an accurate and succinct definition of human, Jim. Fair winds and following seas.

  4. Reed W says:

    Reading done through Article III. It’s great to have lesson plan and a course to follow. Keeps me going. Thanks to Cathy for being so kind as to write us! Carry on!

  5. Ken Brown says:

    The purpose of the Supreme Court is to rule on laws based on the Constitution. However, recently it has been viewed as “interpreting the Constitution”. The Constitution is not a living, breathing document as many us of were tought in school, rather it is writen in ink on parchment. Our founders were smart enough to know that some changes were in evitable and thus they left a way to change it thru the ammendment process. Unfortunately, the 17th ammendment altered the checks and balances system that the founders left for us because the ultimate check on the federal government was the States. The only way to restore the full compliment of checks and balances is to repeal the 17th ammendment. That way the States would have a voice before these unfunded mandates were ever passed into law.
    P.S. Well said Jim

  6. Gitel says:

    I want to call people’s attention to the following web site:

    http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#Article1

    Although the Constitution you have on linked to your site is good, I feel this other site is easier. With one click you can get a definition of an unfamiliar word, and there are also links to explanatory notes.

  7. Kay says:

    Not only reading through the Constitution and the essay are valuable in and of themselves, the comments following by readers shed additional light on the reading. I am so excited to be part of this project, and have spread the word. Next fall I am privileged to teach the Constitution to homeschooled high schoolers, the fourth time in about 10 years. Knowing a short history of what precipitated the writing and thought that caused the Constitution to be written the way it is sets the stage. Not particularly what led up to the Constitution, but way back, back to the events surrounding the Magna Carta, the printing press, the Reformation, the ancient philosophers’ impact on the education of the principal players/writers of the Constitution all produced our document. The time was ripe for a Madison, a Hamilton, a Jay, etc. to put it all together.

  8. Hello to all.I was wondering if there is anyone who would like to opine on the current actions by the AZ.Gov? My take is ,although it seems to be powers given to Congress, I am sympathic to the State acting in it’s own behalf as a result of Congress failing to act at all and for such a long time.What is a state to do (any State) when there is such a gigantic failure of the Legislature to act.Everyone is afraid to be politically incorrect or acting out side the law and possibily stepping on the toes of someones civil rights etc. The inaction of the Feds is at the root of the festering problem and I believe it has to do with seeking and securing a voting block,not enforcing a rule of law .When the motive for action or inaction is not inspired by the rule of law but rather the self interest of Politicians a lobsided foundation results and sets all citizens up for irrational outcomes.

  9. Susan Craig says:

    It is the right thing. It is about time. The State has the duty to do all that it can before it kicks the ball upstairs. But it will be an interesting squabble to watch.

  10. Pricila says:

    What Arizona did is legal. The states still have the right to govern their police as they see fit to protect their citizens living in the state. Thats why the President said that they are going to keep an eye on Arizona.

    Check out the last video, number six.

    http://www.thefoxnation.com/judge-andrew-napolitano/2010/01/11/judge-andrew-napolitanos-constitution-and-freedom-part-1

  11. Louis Palermo says:

    The Supremacy Clause of Article IV declares that the “Constitution…shall be the supreme Law of the Land.” This declaration demonstrates that there is a hierarchical organization of the federal government as it relates to the states. Also known as ‘Preemption’. Under preemption if there is a conflict between this hierarchical relationship, federal law wins. The Supreme Court has interpreted Article IV as limiting the ability of states to discriminate upon ‘out-of’staters’. This is also known as the Privileges and Immunities clause. Article VI reiterates the Supremacy clause.

    Article V of the Constitution prescribes ways to alter the Constitution as is evidenced in your blog. Article VII as we shall see was the Constitutional Convention’s mandate to change the ‘Articles of Confederation’ and thus ‘ the Ratification of the Conventions of nine States shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States”. So the relevant meaning of all Articles of the Constitution have remained virtually unchanged since its inception. We may quarrel over its interpretation but we must not question the divine wisdom of its underlying principles! The founding fathers’ thoughts created this ‘Document’ for the people then and now!

  12. AllisonW says:

    More and more evidence of the checks and balances system seem to emerge with each Article and Section!
    According to Section III of Article III, the Supreme Court shall determine if a person shall be convicted of treason, while Congress “shall have power to declare the punishment.”
    Isn’t it a marvel how the founding fathers allowed the three branches of government to function with balance and fairness?

April 22, 2010 – Article II of the U.S. Constitution – Janine Turner

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Howdy from Texas! Thanks for joining todays reading of Article II of the U.S. Constitution! I read it with my daughter in the car today.. well, she read it to me because I was driving! Isn’t it all fascinating? I LOVE studying the brilliance of our forefathers. I bet they are rather pleased that we are taking an interest and instilling a passion in our children and/or loved ones regarding the Constitution. Please remember to read it to your kids or share it with a friend or loved one! Perhaps your child or a child you know will want to enter our “We the People 9.17 Contest.” Entries are due July 4th, 2010.

I want to thank Andrew Langer  for his wonderful blog today! I learned so much. It is awesome to have such Constitutional knowledge shared with us, isn’t it?

I was intrigued with Article II Section I, “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” What first struck me is that it states, “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”  It doesn’t state, “change, disregard, or go-around” the Constitution of the United States.

I was also most intrigued with the fact that it does not state, “I will preserve, protect and defend the PEOPLE of the United States.” As I pondered upon this I came to the realization that if we have no basis, no thesis, no principle, no foundation for our country, if we have no government of checks and balances, a government that is accountable to the people, then how can the government help the people. Without the Constitution, without a roadmap, we have cannot preserve, protect and defend the people of the United States. Thus, if we lose the Constitution, we lose our country, we lose the people.

I conclude with my final observation about Article II, which is that if the President is to, “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” then I should, “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” I must hold it dear and near to my heart. I must read it, absorb it, understand it, treasure it, value it, live it. And most importantly, because we are a Republic, because we are a people who rule through our elected officials, then it is my duty to thoroughly “vet” the candidate for whom I am voting. I must make sure that the candidate, with all his/her heart and all his/her might, in all sincerity will, “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

So, goodnight. I am looking forward to tomorrow! Article III.  Check out my behind the scenes video pod casts. They are on our Facebook. They are also going to be on our website soon.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

Posted in Article II of the United States Constitution, Constitutional Essays by Janine | Edit | 3 Comments »

April 21, 2010 Article I of the U.S. Constitution – Janine Turner

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Howdy from Texas! What a great first day of blogging. How exciting to be having a national conversation about the reading of the U.S. Constitution. Don’t forget to read it with your kids at the dinner table, in the car, before bedtime! Perhaps they will then want to enter our, “We the People 9.17 Contest” for kids.

I want to thank David Bobb for being our first Guest Blogger. We have the link to his site at the Kirby Center on our site and they offer a fabulous five hour seminar about the Constitution that is broken down into 45 minute segments.

I get such a thrill when I read the Constitution. Our forefathers had such vision and  such wisdom! The Preamble is masterful and within it lies thoughts to ponder. Some relevant phrases today are: “promote the general welfare.” It does not say “specific welfare of every individual.” We are given liberty to pursue our welfare as we wish.

This leads to the second relevant phrase: “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” Well, let’s see.. the word Blessings is in there. Blessings are not from “government” but from God. We then have the word, “Liberty.”  How does one define Liberty? I looked up the word, “Liberty.” Here are two of the definitions:  “immunity from arbitrary exercise of authority: political independence.” Another definition is: “freedom of choice”; “liberty of opinion”; “liberty of worship..” If we are to take an inventory of our immunity form arbitrary exercise of authority and/or political independence today, then I think it is safe to say that these liberties are being infringed upon. How about freedom of opinion? It would certainly appear that the negative labeling of the Tea Party is an attempt to stifle freedom of opinion. How about freedom of worship?  What about the child in Massachusetts who was taken out of class and sent to the psychiatrist because the child drew a picture of the cross of Jesus?  Thus, in the Preamble, alone, I see many aspects that are both relevant and endangered.

Article I Section 8 drew my fascination. Our founding fathers intended for the two Senators from each state to be chosen by the State Legislature. The Senate was to be the State’s house and the House of Representatives the People’s House. This was changed, as we read today, by the XVII Amendment in 1913  – during the Progressive era. This was not our forefather’s intention. One has to ask  would the healthcare bill have passed today if the Senate was operating within it’s original intent – the Senate representing the States? Somehow, I do not think so.˜

The other clause that captured my attention was in Article 1 Section 8 Clause 8: “to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for Limited times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” I think that this security of ownership gave people the desire and passion to spread their wings and fly. This clause gave Americans the burst of inventions and creativity that made America great. Promoting progress and giving the Inventors exclusive rights – in other words- giving the people their Liberty and keeping government out of their affairs – led to the fulfillment of human genius. Big government, the kind we face today, stifles the spirit of democratic ingenuity and deflates desire.

The list goes on and the study is broad. Yet, I am so grateful to have this opportunity to be reading, blogging, thinking about the U.S. Constitution with you all. I thank you for your participation. I look forward to hearing from you tomorrow and spread the word!

Blessings,

Janine Turner

Posted in Article I of the United States Constitution, Constitutional Essays by Janine | Edit | 10 Comments »

10 Responses to “April 21, 2010 Article I of the U.S. Constitution – Janine Turner”

  1. Jeff Phinney says:

    Last year I bought and began reading “The Words We Live By – Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution” by Linda R. Monk.

    One of the passages I highlighted was a quote by Judge Learned Hand during WWII that emphasizes that the constitution depends on the citizens for its support:

    “I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws, and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it”

    Miss Turner, thank you for the opportunity to allow us citizens to learn and hopefully support our Constitution and the documents that are the foundation of this great nation.

  2. Kristine says:

    Good of you to point out in your blog the distinction of who elects members of each house (originally): state legistlators to elect Senators and the people to elect Representatives . I read but did not register the import of the words written.

  3. Robert Shanbaum says:

    It is certainly interesting to see how a given passage (of any kind, I suppose) can be read so differently by different people. For example, Article I, section 8, paragraph 8 is usually read to empower the federal government to award copyrights and patents – both of which are an intrusion of the government into what would otherwise be an unregulated marketplace for intellectual property. That hardly can be said to constitute “keeping the government out of [the people’s] affairs.” On the contrary, like all the grants of power in the Constitution, it is a grant of power to the government to establish and enforce laws intended to produce a civil society that promotes “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”, or if you prefer, the “general welfare”, better than one that lacks such laws, or such a government.

  4. Dale Pettit says:

    Shame on all of us for neglecting our citizenship responsibilities to the United States Constitution. We have, over the past 100 years or so, been willing to allow our so called elected leaders to deviate from the true meaning of Liberty and Freedom! We could of course, claim we were busy making a living, busy with our own lives. Yes, fiddling while “Rome” burned or the “Titanic” sank etc.

    The media of the day, News Papers previously, TV comentators later and those same so called elected governement officails were and still do believe that the “common citizens” are not intelligent enough to govern ourselves. Now, the internet has opened up the shared discovery of this responsibility at the speed of light.

    We Trusted for too long our responsibilities to others. This program of self study of the constitution demonstrates the importance and true nature of the US citizens. Congratulations for a great spark of ingenuity, may it flame across America and the world.

    Thank you!

  5. Susan Craig says:

    It was originally thought that the Senators would be the advocates for the State the represented as a whole while the Representative proposed to be the populist advocates.

  6. John says:

    the 16th amendment my not have been ratified properly ???? this needs more investagtion

  7. Louis Palermo says:

    The Constitution must be understood as a catalyst to the events that preceded it! The Constitution is the Symbol of the United States- a sacred symbol. It is a symbol for liberty and justice. It is our attempt to limit its ability to be victimized; to protect itself from itself. The power behind the Constitution is that it limits government and protects our most sacred rights!
Article I creates legislative power and vests it in Congress. It creates national government and separates power. It accomplishes this by dividing power between the federal and state governments. This is Federalism in its most fundamental state. The Constitution may only be amended and not changed by statute. This important to understand because it conveys the history of this very instrument and how it was created in the first place. It was the founding father’s insight that was desired to be governed under it. 
Article I specifically drafted by the forefathers to create ’specific’ powers of Congress. Not powers of ’statute’ which could be altered by a tyrannical government. We need to keep the separation of powers- and the Constitution is the instrument that has stood the test of time and kept our most cherished values. We should continue to be suspicious by powers or persons that doubt the power of the Constitution. There is reason why those in power are required to take an oath to uphold the Constitution and that is primarily to limit any change by the ‘political’ majority. That is to keep a system of checks and more checks. Article I is the system of checks and balances that accomplishes that. 
So, furthermore, Article one is relevant today as it was 200 years ago to Keep the Power balanced! So the final issue is how the Constitution goes about keeping the balance. This ‘balance’ manifest itself through ‘interpretation’ of the very instrument-the Constitution.

  8. R. B. McGinnis says:

    Article I Section 8 drew my fascination. Our founding fathers intended for the two Senators from each state to be chosen by the State Legislature. The Senate was to be the State’s house and the House of Representatives the People’s House. This was changed, as we read today, by the XII Amendment in 1913 – during the Progressive era. This was not our forefather’s intention. One has to ask would the healthcare bill have passed today if the Senate was operating within it’s original intent – the Senate representing the States? Somehow, I do not think so.˜

    Ms Turner, With all due respect you may wish to review the historical context in which the XII amendment was adopted. Contrary to the opinions of Glenn Beck and other revisionist historians the early 1900s under the leadership of Presidents Roosevelt and Taft was an extremely necessary readjustment the American society. As a result of excesses of the robber barons in creating the cartels and trusts the interests of the ordinary citizens of the United States were protected from rapacious greed by the adoption of laws such as the food and drugs legislation providing for food inspection and safe medicine. All you have to do is read the “Jungle” to see the excesses of meat packing industry in the way immigrant labor was treated and the tainted meat that was being sold to the public. The creation of the Interstate Commerce Commission protected the interests of American framers from the exorbitant freight rates charged by the railroad cartels.
    I would also suggest that you make self of aware of the history of Montana, my state, regarding the election of William A. Clark as one of the first Senators of Montana. He essentially bought the Montana Legislature to secure his election. He bribed each legislator on the average of $12,000 per vote. The election was so fraudulent that the Senate refused to seat him. I will be happy to provide you with several historical references to this event. But, this blatant act of fraud was the major impedance for the adoption of 12th amendment.

  9. Sean Montgomery says:

    Janine, I heard you and about this on Bill Bennett Monday morning, and I’m so glad I did. My eight-year-old wrote down on his to-do for today to “Read Constitution first seven articles” which I printed for him. We will be discussing each Article each night at the dinner table so the whole family can benefit.

    God bless you.

  10. yguy says:

    “The Preamble is masterful and within it lies thoughts to ponder.”

    I’d go a lot farther than that. I’d say the Preamble is to the rest of the Constitution what the Two Great Commandments are to Mosaic law, which is to say any act or law which is a hindrance to the objectives in the Preamble is unconstitutional.

    I think a good example of this is Lincoln’s suspension of the Great Writ during the civil war, an act thought by many to be unconstitutional, but evidently deemed necessary by Lincoln to preserve the Union. Assuming he was correct, one only need look at Zimbabwe to reasonably surmise that the consequences of his failure in that regard would have been grim at best and horrific at worst.