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Guest Essayist: David Eastman

Previous essays in this series explored why the Constitution is ineffective at restraining federal officials today, and illustrated how members of the present generation must come to view their relationship to the Constitution if it is to be of service in effectively limiting federal overreach. This series now concludes by highlighting two largely untried and fundamentally different approaches to restoring constitutional constraints today; issue-based legislative accountability, and the calling of a convention of states to amend the United States Constitution.

A Convention for Our Time

When we survey the Constitution today, it is increasingly difficult to picture it as the splendid banner raised by Washington and his fellow delegates at the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Nor does it today call to mind the iron chains described by Thomas Jefferson when he spoke of binding men down from mischief “by the chains of the Constitution.” Instead, the Constitution hangs frayed and tattered today, a silent witness to more than two centuries of flying above our nation’s capital. Its form has changed very little since 1787, but much of the life has gone out of it. Some today have begun to ask if it isn’t time for another convention—and in no state is this idea greeted with greater enthusiasm than here in Alaska. Holding a convention would open the door to a whole series of amendments, which could add new thread to a tattered banner, and in so doing breathe new life into the Constitution. Even so, when the idea of a second convention first began to gain traction in 1788, James Madison argued that the timing of any future conventions should be chosen only with great care. Whether the timing is right for another convention is an important question, and one to which any serious student of the Constitution should give careful consideration.

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This essay continues a series exploring briefly why the Constitution is ineffective at restraining federal officials today, and illustrates how members of the present generation must come to view their relationship to the Constitution if it is to be of service in effectively responding to federal overreach. The series will conclude by highlighting two largely untried and fundamentally different approaches to restoring constitutional constraints; issue-based legislative accountability, and a convention of states to amend the US Constitution.

The Constitution and the Permissive Public

In the Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton made the rather unremarkable observation that “…nations pay little regard to rules and maxims calculated in their very nature to run counter to the necessities of society.”[1] For an example, he drew from antiquity the case of Sparta’s highly decorated admiral, Lysander, in the Peloponnesian War. Term limits in Sparta required that Lysander resign as admiral at the end of his one year term of office and that no person could hold the office of admiral a second time. Yet when Sparta suffered a naval defeat, Lysander was soon called upon to lead the Spartan Navy once more in battle. Hamilton noted “how unequal parchment provisions are to a struggle with public necessity.” To paraphrase; it isn’t a fair fight. When constitutional limitations are paired against public necessity in the boxing ring, it’s like trying to take on an opponent whose weight class is three classes higher than yours. Sure, you may get a few punches in. You may even secure a few concessions from your opponent in the process. But in the end, constitutional limitations will inevitably succumb to perceptions of public necessity.

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This essay continues a series exploring briefly why the Constitution is ineffective at constraining federal officials today, and highlighting two largely untried and fundamentally different approaches to restoring constitutional constraints, both of which claim support from the Constitution and America’s Founding Fathers.

The Constitution in Tatters

As a document setting effective limits on the power of the federal government, the Constitution today lies tattered and worn, each article a testament to a battle lost and a fortification overrun (or bypassed) on the way to the consolidation of power in Washington. Some beginning students of the Constitution today are perplexed and genuinely wonder how it could be that a document that reads: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people” can today have nearly the same effect as if the Framers had instead decided “the powers not delegated to the States by the Constitution will be reserved to the federal government.” Beginning students are particularly prone to reason that if it is simply written in the Constitution, and the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, it must be so, and that’s all there is to it.

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The Same Subject Continued: The Powers Necessary to the Common Defense Further Considered
From the New York Packet.
Friday, December 21, 1787.

Author: Alexander Hamilton

To the People of the State of New York:

IT MAY perhaps be urged that the objects enumerated in the preceding number ought to be provided for by the State governments, under the direction of the Union. But this would be, in reality, an inversion of the primary principle of our political association, as it would in practice transfer the care of the common defense from the federal head to the individual members: a project oppressive to some States, dangerous to all, and baneful to the Confederacy.

The territories of Britain, Spain, and of the Indian nations in our neighborhood do not border on particular States, but encircle the Union from Maine to Georgia. The danger, though in different degrees, is therefore common. And the means of guarding against it ought, in like manner, to be the objects of common councils and of a common treasury. It happens that some States, from local situation, are more directly exposed. New York is of this class. Upon the plan of separate provisions, New York would have to sustain the whole weight of the establishments requisite to her immediate safety, and to the mediate or ultimate protection of her neighbors. This would neither be equitable as it respected New York nor safe as it respected the other States. Various inconveniences would attend such a system. The States, to whose lot it might fall to support the necessary establishments, would be as little able as willing, for a considerable time to come, to bear the burden of competent provisions. The security of all would thus be subjected to the parsimony, improvidence, or inability of a part. If the resources of such part becoming more abundant and extensive, its provisions should be proportionally enlarged, the other States would quickly take the alarm at seeing the whole military force of the Union in the hands of two or three of its members, and those probably amongst the most powerful. They would each choose to have some counterpoise, and pretenses could easily be contrived. In this situation, military establishments, nourished by mutual jealousy, would be apt to swell beyond their natural or proper size; and being at the separate disposal of the members, they would be engines for the abridgment or demolition of the national authcrity.

Reasons have been already given to induce a supposition that the State governments will too naturally be prone to a rivalship with that of the Union, the foundation of which will be the love of power; and that in any contest between the federal head and one of its members the people will be most apt to unite with their local government. If, in addition to this immense advantage, the ambition of the members should be stimulated by the separate and independent possession of military forces, it would afford too strong a temptation and too great a facility to them to make enterprises upon, and finally to subvert, the constitutional authority of the Union. On the other hand, the liberty of the people would be less safe in this state of things than in that which left the national forces in the hands of the national government. As far as an army may be considered as a dangerous weapon of power, it had better be in those hands of which the people are most likely to be jealous than in those of which they are least likely to be jealous. For it is a truth, which the experience of ages has attested, that the people are always most in danger when the means of injuring their rights are in the possession of those of whom they entertain the least suspicion.

The framers of the existing Confederation, fully aware of the danger to the Union from the separate possession of military forces by the States, have, in express terms, prohibited them from having either ships or troops, unless with the consent of Congress. The truth is, that the existence of a federal government and military establishments under State authority are not less at variance with each other than a due supply of the federal treasury and the system of quotas and requisitions.

There are other lights besides those already taken notice of, in which the impropriety of restraints on the discretion of the national legislature will be equally manifest. The design of the objection, which has been mentioned, is to preclude standing armies in time of peace, though we have never been informed how far it is designed the prohibition should extend; whether to raising armies as well as to KEEPING THEM UP in a season of tranquillity or not. If it be confined to the latter it will have no precise signification, and it will be ineffectual for the purpose intended. When armies are once raised what shall be denominated “keeping them up,” contrary to the sense of the Constitution? What time shall be requisite to ascertain the violation? Shall it be a week, a month, a year? Or shall we say they may be continued as long as the danger which occasioned their being raised continues? This would be to admit that they might be kept up IN TIME OF PEACE, against threatening or impending danger, which would be at once to deviate from the literal meaning of the prohibition, and to introduce an extensive latitude of construction. Who shall judge of the continuance of the danger? This must undoubtedly be submitted to the national government, and the matter would then be brought to this issue, that the national government, to provide against apprehended danger, might in the first instance raise troops, and might afterwards keep them on foot as long as they supposed the peace or safety of the community was in any degree of jeopardy. It is easy to perceive that a discretion so latitudinary as this would afford ample room for eluding the force of the provision.

The supposed utility of a provision of this kind can only be founded on the supposed probability, or at least possibility, of a combination between the executive and the legislative, in some scheme of usurpation. Should this at any time happen, how easy would it be to fabricate pretenses of approaching danger! Indian hostilities, instigated by Spain or Britain, would always be at hand. Provocations to produce the desired appearances might even be given to some foreign power, and appeased again by timely concessions. If we can reasonably presume such a combination to have been formed, and that the enterprise is warranted by a sufficient prospect of success, the army, when once raised, from whatever cause, or on whatever pretext, may be applied to the execution of the project.

If, to obviate this consequence, it should be resolved to extend the prohibition to the RAISING of armies in time of peace, the United States would then exhibit the most extraordinary spectacle which the world has yet seen, that of a nation incapacitated by its Constitution to prepare for defense, before it was actually invaded. As the ceremony of a formal denunciation of war has of late fallen into disuse, the presence of an enemy within our territories must be waited for, as the legal warrant to the government to begin its levies of men for the protection of the State. We must receive the blow, before we could even prepare to return it. All that kind of policy by which nations anticipate distant danger, and meet the gathering storm, must be abstained from, as contrary to the genuine maxims of a free government. We must expose our property and liberty to the mercy of foreign invaders, and invite them by our weakness to seize the naked and defenseless prey, because we are afraid that rulers, created by our choice, dependent on our will, might endanger that liberty, by an abuse of the means necessary to its preservation.

Here I expect we shall be told that the militia of the country is its natural bulwark, and would be at all times equal to the national defense. This doctrine, in substance, had like to have lost us our independence. It cost millions to the United States that might have been saved. The facts which, from our own experience, forbid a reliance of this kind, are too recent to permit us to be the dupes of such a suggestion. The steady operations of war against a regular and disciplined army can only be successfully conducted by a force of the same kind. Considerations of economy, not less than of stability and vigor, confirm this position. The American militia, in the course of the late war, have, by their valor on numerous occasions, erected eternal monuments to their fame; but the bravest of them feel and know that the liberty of their country could not have been established by their efforts alone, however great and valuable they were. War, like most other things, is a science to be acquired and perfected by diligence, by perserverance, by time, and by practice.

All violent policy, as it is contrary to the natural and experienced course of human affairs, defeats itself. Pennsylvania, at this instant, affords an example of the truth of this remark. The Bill of Rights of that State declares that standing armies are dangerous to liberty, and ought not to be kept up in time of peace. Pennsylvania, nevertheless, in a time of profound peace, from the existence of partial disorders in one or two of her counties, has resolved to raise a body of troops; and in all probability will keep them up as long as there is any appearance of danger to the public peace. The conduct of Massachusetts affords a lesson on the same subject, though on different ground. That State (without waiting for the sanction of Congress, as the articles of the Confederation require) was compelled to raise troops to quell a domestic insurrection, and still keeps a corps in pay to prevent a revival of the spirit of revolt. The particular constitution of Massachusetts opposed no obstacle to the measure; but the instance is still of use to instruct us that cases are likely to occur under our government, as well as under those of other nations, which will sometimes render a military force in time of peace essential to the security of the society, and that it is therefore improper in this respect to control the legislative discretion. It also teaches us, in its application to the United States, how little the rights of a feeble government are likely to be respected, even by its own constituents. And it teaches us, in addition to the rest, how unequal parchment provisions are to a struggle with public necessity.

It was a fundamental maxim of the Lacedaemonian commonwealth, that the post of admiral should not be conferred twice on the same person. The Peloponnesian confederates, having suffered a severe defeat at sea from the Athenians, demanded Lysander, who had before served with success in that capacity, to command the combined fleets. The Lacedaemonians, to gratify their allies, and yet preserve the semblance of an adherence to their ancient institutions, had recourse to the flimsy subterfuge of investing Lysander with the real power of admiral, under the nominal title of vice-admiral. This instance is selected from among a multitude that might be cited to confirm the truth already advanced and illustrated by domestic examples; which is, that nations pay little regard to rules and maxims calculated in their very nature to run counter to the necessities of society. Wise politicians will be cautious about fettering the government with restrictions that cannot be observed, because they know that every breach of the fundamental laws, though dictated by necessity, impairs that sacred reverence which ought to be maintained in the breast of rulers towards the constitution of a country, and forms a precedent for other breaches where the same plea of necessity does not exist at all, or is less urgent and palpable.

PUBLIUS.

Guest Essayist: Professor Joerg Knipprath, Professor of Law at Southwestern Law School

Amendment II:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment II: A Well Regulated Militia Being Necessary to the Security of a Free State

When Paul Revere and his companions alerted the Massachusetts countryside of the movement of British troops, he warned his fellow-British subjects, “The Regulars are coming out.” In contrast to those troops, with their standard drill, formations, equipment, and armament, the Patriot combatants at Lexington and Concord (as well as Revere himself) were “Minutemen,” a lightly-armed, organized rapid-response component of the colonial militia. As all such militias at the time, they were “irregulars,” though the quality of the Minutemen’s equipment and training was superior to that of the militia as a whole. The distinction between such organized parts and the general militia was continued by the states, and, beginning in 1792, in the second federal Militia Act. It is a distinction that, despite changes in the nature of the militia concept, is preserved in current law.

Militia service in the colonies/states extended to all men able to bear arms, subject to some variations as to age and race. Universal service was both a practical necessity—the need to deal with insurrections and with Indian raids—and a reflection of the ancient republican idea that military service was a necessary, though not sufficient, qualification for participation in the community’s governance. Laws also typically required that individuals keep arms sufficient to serve in the militia. In fact, the armament of individual militiamen varied widely, from military-style smooth-bore muskets (e.g. the “Brown Bess”), to—more rarely—longer-range but slower-to-reload rifles, to fowling pieces and other less useful weaponry. Due to these and other limitations, militia units were found ineffective and unsuitable for pitched battle. In the field, they were used mainly for irregular, partisan-style warfare and, as adjuncts to regular units, for sniping and for harassment from the flanks of the line of battle.

There were frequent complaints about the militia’s performance. In a letter to the Continental Congress, General George Washington acidly passed judgment:

To place any dependence on the Militia, is, assuredly, resting upon a broken staff. Men just dragged from the tender Scenes of domestic life; unaccustomed to the din of Arms; totally unacquainted with every kind of military skill, which being followed by a want of confidence in themselves, when opposed to Troops regularly trained, disciplined, and appointed, superior in knowledge and superior in Arms, makes them timid, and ready to fly from their own shadows….

Alexander Hamilton, who made the jump from a New York militia artillery unit to the Continental Army, was more conciliatory, magnanimously softening his criticism with praise in Federalist 25:

The American militia, in the course of the late war, have, by their valour on numerous occasions, erected eternal monuments to their fame; but the bravest of them know and feel, that the liberty of their country could not have been established by their efforts alone, however great and valuable they were. War, like most other things, is a science to be acquired and perfected by diligence, by perseverance, by time, and by practice.

Hamilton supported a standing army. But, as Elbridge Gerry and other anti-federalists argued, the militia was a necessary bulwark against the dangers from a national standing army. Still, the war-time experience described above could not be ignored. To be effective, such a militia had to be “well-regulated.” To “regulate” was to standardize, to conform to a norm, here, standard weaponry, equipment, and drill. The word did not have today’s principal connotation, to “control”; the early American word for the latter was the government’s power to “police.”

The Constitution’s critics were alarmed that Congress was given the power under the Constitution to “provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia….” In the minds of suspicious republicans, this afforded Congress the means to establish only a “select militia” under national control, in effect creating a national standing army by another name and laying the states prostrate at the feet of the national Leviathan. Moreover, like the 17-th century Stuart kings, Congress could complete the tyranny by passing laws to disarm individual Americans.

To lessen that potentiality, the Second Amendment was adopted for what has been described today as, figuratively speaking, a “nuclear option.” To the extent that Congress does not regulate the militia, the states are free to do so under general principles of federalism, as the Supreme Court recognized in 1820 in Houston v. Moore. The Second Amendment is not needed for that possibility. But if the Congress seeks to disarm the citizenry that composes the militia, recourse has to exist to first causes, here, the ultimate right of the people to defend their liberties, their “unalienable rights” with which they are “endowed by their Creator.” As the Minutemen did in opposition to King George, the people have the right to organize themselves into militias if the states are impotent to oppose a national tyrant. That right belongs to each individual, though it would be exercised collectively, just as the First Amendment’s right to assemble to petition the government for a redress of grievances would be. It is crucial to an understanding of the Second Amendment to keep this point in focus.

Then why did the Framers not just write that there is a personal right to own guns? Describing the Second Amendment, Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story wrote in his influential 1833 treatise on the Constitution, “The militia is the natural defence of a free country….” He then famously continued, “The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers….”

Notice the division and simultaneous relation between the reason for the policy and the definition of the right itself. It mirrors the division in the Second Amendment, both in the original draft version presented by James Madison to the First Congress and in the restyled final version. The pattern for the Second Amendment, as for much of the rest of the Bill of Rights, was the English Bill of Rights of 1689, which, too, set up a similar textual division between concerns over the threat from standing armies and the right of the people to have arms. With some internal variations, early state constitutions maintained that distinction. Within the states, the danger from standing armies would come from their own governments, which would also be the ones to organize their militias. If the right to keep and bear arms in those constitutions applied only within the state-organized militia, rather than as an individual right, it would hardly present an obstacle to a potentially tyrannical state government. Continuing the trend, petitions for a bill of rights submitted by the state conventions ratifying the Constitution again contained this familiar distinction.

Nor is the existence of a prefatory clause in the Second Amendment unusual. While the structure is different from that of the other amendments, the Second Amendment’s style was quite ordinary at the time, as a quick review of the English Bill of Rights, colonial charters, the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, state constitutions, state convention petitions, and other foundational documents amply shows. During the early Republic, such bills of rights were often viewed, as Hamilton dismissively argued in Federalist 84, as mere “aphorisms…which would sound much better in a treatise of ethics, than in a constitution of government.” Such explanatory clauses allowed for ringing philosophical declarations. Today, such clauses have no legal effect but can shed light on the ratifiers’ motivation for mentioning the provision and can help clarify ambiguities. Still, as Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in his extensive analysis in the 2008 gun rights case, D.C. v. Heller, a prefatory clause cannot limit a well-understood right.

If it is said that a vigorous First Amendment makes possible a healthy republic, a vigorous Second Amendment is needed to ensure it.

An expert on constitutional law, Prof. Joerg W. Knipprath has been interviewed by print and broadcast media on a number of related topics ranging from recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions to presidential succession. He has written opinion pieces and articles on business and securities law as well as constitutional issues, and has focused his more recent research on the effect of judicial review on the evolution of constitutional law. He has also spoken on business law and contemporary constitutional issues before professional and community forums. Read more from Professor Knipprath at: http://www.tokenconservative.com/.

March 5, 2012 

Essay #11 

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

 

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

DON’T MISS!! Juliette Turner’s newest video about our contest: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNnhC3F5nJE

 

We are almost one month away from our We The People 9.17 Contest entry deadline of July 4.  We need everyone’s help in recruiting kids to enter!  We have been told email is the most effective means of recruiting entries and spreading the word, so please feel free to cut and paste this blog and circulate it to your email list.

Constituting America is seeking  high school students to submit entertaining short films, public service announcements, cool songs, and of course, essays by July 4th for our We The People 9.17 Contest!! We have a good number of essays, but not as many short films, public service announcements and songs as we were hoping for, so if you know any high school students who have a talent for making movies, or composing and singing songs, please direct them to:  http://www.constituting.staging.wpengine.com/downloads.php for more information, rules and to sign up online! Prizes for high schoolers include $2,000, a trip to Philadelphia on September 17 (Constitution Day), and Governor Huckabee has invited the contest winners on his show! The National Constitution Center has offered to show the winning short film in their theatre, and highlight our contest winners in their Constitution Day events.

Constituting America is seeking Middle School Students to enter cool SONGS and well written essays!! We have a good number of essays, but not as many songs as we were hoping for!  Please spread the word to any Middle School kids you know, especially those who like to compose and sing, and direct them to: http://www.constituting.staging.wpengine.com/downloads.php for more details, and to sign up online!!  Prizes for Middle School kids include gift cards, publicity on the Constituting America website, and other cool surprises!

And, calling all Elementary Schools kids who like to write poems or draw! We need poems, and art for a holiday greeting card!  Again, please see: http://www.constituting.staging.wpengine.com/downloads.php for rules and details, and to sign up for the contest online!!   Prizes for Elementary School kids include gift cards, publicity on the Constituting America website, and other cool surprises.

If school is still in session in your area, please contact social studies teachers, art departments, music departments, and theatre/film departments! This is a great project to fill those last days of school when teachers have possibly run out of curriculum or want to give students a chance to earn some extra credit!  Church youth groups are another possiblity.  And if anyone has ideas or ways to get the word out to the military about this contest, we would love your help in doing so!

As for Federalist No. 25 – first of all, thank you Professor Knipprath! I echo Susan in saying I always look forward to your posts.  And what a beautiful essay Janine wrote on Federalist 24 & 25.  I am not sure I have ever read a better tribute to the troops  for Memorial Day.

Like Greg, Professor Knipprath’s line: “Hamilton raises an important broader point here, namely, the use of contrived crises not only to justify military action, but any government action,” especially resonated with me.  It seems that more and more frequently, “crisis,” is used to justify the government creeping into areas of our lives, and the marketplace,  where our founding fathers never intended it to go.

In Federalist 24, Hamilton used a phrase I love  – he describes the American people as “so jealous of their liberties.”  If we can once again become a people educated about and “jealous of our liberties,” we can begin to roll back some of the government encroachment the founding fathers tried to guard against.  We must stay alert and awake!

A hard task at 2:26 a.m. as I write this post!

Good night and God Bless,

Cathy Gillespie

 

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

 

Guest Blogger: Joerg Knipprath, Professor of Law at Southwestern Law School

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Alexander Hamilton began his Revolutionary War service as a member of a New York militia unit. He then joined the Continental Army as an artillery officer and became General Washington’s adjutant in 1777. After resigning that post, he persuaded Washington to give him a position as a field commander at the decisive Battle of Yorktown in 1781. From his experience as line officer and staff member, Hamilton was well aware of the capabilities of a trained army and those of the militia. More, in 1783, the Confederation Congress had appointed Hamilton to head a committee to investigate the creation of a standing army.

That background stands out in Federalist No. 25. Supporting Congress’s power to create a standing army, Hamilton rejects the argument that, if there is to be such an institution, it should be under the control of the states. Hamilton also rejects a more moderate position supported by Brutus and other Antifederalists that the national government be permitted to raise and keep troops for frontier duty and to counter threatened attacks, but not to keep armies generally during peacetime. He uses a rather trite “where-do-we-draw-the-line” argument to defend drawing no line at all. Brutus has a ready response: Just specify the purposes for which peacetime troops may be raised and kept, and require a two-thirds vote for Congress to act.

But, rejoins Hamilton, “how easy would it be to fabricate pretences [sic] of approaching danger?” A peacetime army might be kept up, through collaboration between Congress and the President, on the flimsiest of excuses and for however long they judge the danger to exist for their own political ends.” Hence, there should be no restriction on Congress’s power to raise and keep a peacetime army. Because a limited power might be abused, there must be an unlimited power? It is this logical leap that the Antifederalists reject.

Hamilton raises an important broader point here, namely, the use of contrived crises not only to justify military action, but any government action. As Publius notes in several other essays, government thrives on crisis, while individual liberty shrivels. Power flows from the individual to government, from local governments to the central government, and from the legislative and judicial branches to the executive. Such crises fuel an explosion of political energy that produce dangerously excessive unity over individuality, and conformity over liberty, at least temporarily. Government officials gain from such crises, be they real or contrived. “Never let a good crisis go to waste,” is a brilliantly apt aphorism of this phenomenon. Wars and natural disasters are real crises, but one frequently hears crisis terminology used to describe more run-of-the-mill political issues, from “wars” on poverty and drugs to health care and obesity “crises,” to justify government intrusion into individual autonomy. Not long ago, there was even a “hidden” child care crisis, with government efforts made all the more critical because the crisis was so insidious no one recognized it.

Hamilton also anticipates the assertion that the militia suffices for the national defense, an argument he roundly rejects. This was a particularly sensitive ideological issue for Americans of the time. The myth of the citizen-soldier was a powerful republican tale. The ideal soldier was Cincinnatus, the Roman consul-turned-farmer who was subsequently called to be dictator and general during a war, which offices he resigned upon successful completion of the military campaign. He then returned to his farm. Making this republican myth concrete for Americans was that they had their own Cincinnatus in the person of George Washington. Revolutionary War officers formed the Society of the Cincinnati to promote this republican ideal.

The militia embodies the ethos of the citizen-soldier. Hamilton pays due homage, but recognizes the inferiority of the militia to a regular army in sustained military operations. “The American militia, in the course of the late war, have, by their valour on numerous occasions, erected eternal monuments to their fame; but the bravest of them feel and know, that the liberty of their country could not have been established by their efforts alone, however great and valuable they were.” As he noted in Federalist 24, even in peacetime the militia would be unsuited to perform regular soldiering duties such as guarding the frontier. “The militia, in times of profound peace, would not long, if at all, submit to be dragged from their occupations and families, to perform that most disagreeable duty.” Worse, he declares, is the economic inefficiency of compelling the militia to such service, produced by a loss of labor and industrious pursuits and by the expense to the society of frequent rotation of the militia. Since militia service was universal for adult males of a wide age range, such burdens would be even more objectionable than if they fell on a body of citizen volunteers, such as today’s National Guard.

Our current military system depends on a combination of a professional standing army in active service and volunteers in the National Guard and in various reserve units. The system has advantages in training and professionalism, which become more important as the technology in fighting becomes ever more complex. The war-fighting skills of the massed citizen soldiers of the ancient Athenian hoplite formation or of the Roman legion were relatively simple to master. Today’s warfare is infinitely more complex, and continuous campaigns are measured in years, not weeks. Relying on citizen-soldiers, even volunteers in the National Guard, for long commitments produces hardships and economic dislocation, as news reports often point out. This is well worth remembering when politicians blithely call for a state’s national guard to be deployed to guard the frontier against trespassing aliens, or when cuts in the defense budget are proposed while the scope of military commitments abroad continues at a high level.

An expert on constitutional law, Prof. Joerg W. Knipprath has been interviewed by print and broadcast media on a number of related topics ranging from recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions to presidential succession. He has written opinion pieces and articles on business and securities law as well as constitutional issues, and has focused his more recent research on the effect of judicial review on the evolution of constitutional law.  Prof. Knipprath has also spoken on business law and contemporary constitutional issues before professional and community forums.  His website is http://www.tokenconservative.com.

15 Responses to “June 1, 2010Federalist No. 25 – The Same Subject Continued: The Powers Necessary to the Common Defense Further Considered, From the New York Packet (Hamilton) – Guest Blogger: Joerg Knipprath, Professor of Law at Southwestern Law School

  1. Susan Craig says:

    On an average there is at least one sentence per paper that brings me up short. This papers contribution is: “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 usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual state.”

  2. Ron Meier says:

    Some interesting stats to consider. About 60 years ago, before the Korean War, our population was about 150 million; today it’s about 310 million. Before the Korean War, we had a standing peacetime Army and Marines of about 15 Divisions; today, our standing Army and Marines, in time of war, is about 13 Divisions. Before the Korean War, we were not at war; today, we’ve been at war for 9 years and yet have not increased the size of our active Divisions. We’ve actually decreased them, in spite of a 100% increase in population. I don’t know what an appropriate size is of a standing military in time of peace, but it seems to me that, during a time of war, there should be some kind of increase. I don’t think our current military size is a threat to our population, given the 100% increase in popluation and the decline in the standing military, but I do think that it is inadequate to perform our multiple missions without having our professional volunteers burn out with family stress that comes from the multiple deployments that are today’s reality.

  3. W. B. Neate says:

    First let me add my thanks to Janine and Cathy for this wonderful forum.

    I would agree with Ron Meier that in the manner our military has been used our smaller force has caused undue hardship on those who serve and their families as well. I would suggest, however, that with our superior military technological capabilities, we have badly mismanaged the use of our forces.

    The scope and techniques of our armed forces activities are dictated by our political leaders. Of the 535 members of the 111th Congress only 121 are veterans. This is less than 25% and this percentage declines with each new congress. The major concerns seem to be political correctness and collateral damage. I don’t think political correctness was even a “buzz phrase” during WWII and had we been overly concerned about collateral damage we would have never dropped the atomic bomb which ended that great war. I am not a war monger but do believe that whatever might we have we should be willing to use if we are to engage in warfare and I am much less concerned about collateral damage in foreign lands than I am about the lives of our young men and women who serve so selflessly. War is hell and “playing nice” is not only too costly but encourages our adversaries.

    Having stated this position I would like to suggest that there exists at least three good reasons for required national service; 1) fresh troops to take some of the burden from our career military personnel, 2) a larger pool of those who have truly served our country from whom we might choose future leaders and 3) a larger number of future Americans with greater sense of national pride that can only be gained via service to country or close relationships with those who serve. As a Viet Nam era veteran I can assure you that I see this deep sense of patriotism diminishing as time goes by.

    Please note that in the preceding paragraph I used the phrase “required national service” as opposed to suggesting a re-institution of the draft. I think all young people should serve but also think they should have the choice of opting out of military service if they choose. We have plenty of other areas where service could be applied.

  4. Susan Craig says:

    @W.B., I agree about the ‘required national service’. If it can be kept out of the political paws, I think things like Vista and Peace Corps should be offered as viable options for national service.

  5. Jimmy Green says:

    It’s natural to accept a professional standing army as better equipped and trained than a militia and the control resting in the Federal Governments hands instead of the states is obvious to me. Hamilton’s experience in the military makes this quite clear. I believe he short changes himself somewhat by not heeding more seriously the concerns about the inherent dangers of our liberties that could result from a standing army. I have not yet read the anti federalist papers but the point mentioned by the Anti federalists according to Prof. Knipprath “that the national government be permitted to raise and keep troops for frontier duty and to counter threatened attacks, but not to keep armies generally during peacetime”. Seems to be a practical approach. This would be somewhat like a trip wire giving us warning of an approaching storm without incurring the high cost and inherent dangers of a continual standing army.

    Under the scenario of the Anti Federalists I wonder if our military would have been used in past conflicts such a Somalia or Bosnia or any U.N. police actions which I doubt the founding fathers would have agreed with. Also something that bothers me were incidents such as the Pennsylvania mutiny in 1783 by a small part of the Continental Army over pay. If I remember this was one of the reasons the Federal Government relocated away from Philadelphia and eventually established the federal district of Washington D.C. Is there any chance of this reoccurring if our economy takes a serious nosedive beyond anything we have experienced so far?

    George Washington in his farewell address stated “Overgrown military establishments are, under any form of government, inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty.”

    Another General who became president, Dwight D. Eisenhower warned in his farewell speech of 1961 “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

    I grew up as a kid on a Marine Corps base “Camp Lejeune” so I know the professionalism and power of our armed forces. In reading history it seems some of our most prominent members of America and other countries understood the value of a standing army but also gave us stern advice on the inherent dangers. Let’s hope we understand both clearly and use the military in the interest of our country only.

  6. 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

  7. W.B. Neate – I thank you for your kind words! And I thank all of you great patriots for joining us and for being a part of our blog. I am learning so much from your perspectives!
    God Bless.. Janine

  8. Susan Craig says:

    To Professor Joerg Knipprath: Thank you I look forward to each of you posting with anticipation.

  9. Great comments again, and, as Janine writes, especially fitting on Memorial Day. Susan, that quote is from Fed. 28, I believe, but it is a very important principle that many of the founders had actually lived. It also fits well with the historical purpose behind the Second Amendment, which protects people’s right to own weapons. Although that right extends to personal self-defense, those who adopted it were keenly aware of the right of self-defense against a tyranny by the people organizing themselves into a militia. Kind of a “nuclear option,” if all other means have failed. But that’s a whole other topic.

  10. Greg Zorbach says:

    Upon reading #24 this caught my eye: “…a conduct of this kind has too much the appearance of an intention to mislead the people by alarming their passions, rather than to convince them by arguments addressed to their understandings.” I found myself thinking not of today’s army or navy, but rather the current administration’s response to the immigration, financial and health care ‘crises’. Then today, right on cue, Professor Knipprath’s comments on #25: “Hamilton raises an important broader point here, namely, the use of contrived crises not only to justify military action, but any government action.”
    One of the basic differences between the two political parties, or if that is too confining for your tastes, for those on the left vs. those who are ‘conservative, is that the statists (as Mark Levin accurately calls them) believe that government is the answer to all problems. But the basic inconvenient truth countering that is that our country was founded on the premise of individual liberties and limited government. These days even the most sincere calls for civility and ‘bipartisanship’ can’t bridge that divide.
    That statist mentality is what leads the left to call for all solutions to be ‘comprehensive.’ How else could the government solve a problem if its not a total-control solution.
    I have detected a similar strain in some of these blogs. Don’t get me wrong, this forum and all of its participants are demonstrating exactly the kind of involvement required in these times. However, we cannot realistically expect a complete and immediate return to the kind of government we are reading about in these timeless papers.
    History teaches us a lot. And, it has much to teach us about the time that this great country has been in existence (i.e. since these papers were written). For instance, all of these concerns about standing armies have been proven to be groundless. As one of the Pope Pius’s put it (paraphrasing here) there has been no greater institution for good in the world than the United States Army. General Colin Powell put it this way: “In all the wars America has fought in this century, we have sought no more land in conquest than enough to bury our dead.”
    Re. Jimmy Green: George Washington also said this: “To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.”
    More applicable quotes:
    “Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready.” –Theodore Roosevelt
    “Whatever enables us to go to war, secures our peace.” –Thomas Jefferson
    “The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it.” — H.L. Mencken

  11. Juliette’s newest video about our contest: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNnhC3F5nJE

    We are almost one month away from our We The People 9.17 Contest entry deadline of July 4. We need everyone’s help in recruiting kids to enter! We have been told email is the most effective means of recruiting entries and spreading the word, so please feel free to cut and paste this blog and circulate it to your email list.

    Constituting America is seeking high school students to submit entertaining short films, public service announcements, cool songs, and of course, essays by July 4th for our We The People 9.17 Contest!! We have a good number of essays, but not as many short films, public service announcements and songs as we were hoping for, so if you know any high school students who have a talent for making movies, or composing and singing songs, please direct them to: http://www.constituting.staging.wpengine.com/downloads.php for more information, rules and to sign up online! Prizes for high schoolers include $2,000, a trip to Philadelphia on September 17 (Constitution Day), and Governor Huckabee has invited the contest winners on his show! The National Constitution Center has offered to show the winning short film in their theatre, and highlight our contest winners in their Constitution Day events.

    Constituting America is seeking Middle School Students to enter cool SONGS and well written essays!! We have a good number of essays, but not as many songs as we were hoping for! Please spread the word to any Middle School kids you know, especially those who like to compose and sing, and direct them to: http://www.constituting.staging.wpengine.com/downloads.php for more details, and to sign up online!! Prizes for Middle School kids include gift cards, publicity on the Constituting America website, and other cool surprises!

    And, calling all Elementary Schools kids who like to write poems or draw! We need poems, and art for a holiday greeting card! Again, please see: http://www.constituting.staging.wpengine.com/downloads.php for rules and details, and to sign up for the contest online!! Prizes for Elementary School kids include gift cards, publicity on the Constituting America website, and other cool surprises.

    If school is still in session in your area, please contact social studies teachers, art departments, music departments, and theatre/film departments! This is a great project to fill those last days of school when teachers have possibly run out of curriculum or want to give students a chance to earn some extra credit! Church youth groups are another possiblity. And if anyone has ideas or ways to get the word out to the military about this contest, we would love your help in doing so!

    As for Federalist No. 25 – first of all, thank you Professor Knipprath! I echo Susan in saying I always look forward to your posts. And what a beautiful essay Janine wrote on Federalist 24 & 25. I am not sure I have ever read a better tribute to the troops for Memorial Day. Like Greg, Professor Knipprath’s line: “Hamilton raises an important broader point here, namely, the use of contrived crises not only to justify military action, but any government action,” especially resonated with me. It seems that more and more frequently, “crisis,” is used to justify the government creeping into areas of our lives, and the marketplace, where our founding fathers never intended it to go.

    In Federalist 24, Hamilton used a phrase I love – he describes the American people as “so jealous of their liberties.” If we can once again become a people educated about and “jealous of our liberties,” we can begin to roll back some of the government encroachment the founding fathers tried to guard against. We must stay alert and awake!

    A hard task at 2:26 a.m. as I write this post!

    Good night and God Bless,

    Cathy Gillespie

  12. Susan Craig says:

    Oops caught me out; reading ahead the quote is as you say, Professor.

  13. ryan says:

    Professor Knipprath is my absolute favorite guest blogger. Today’s is particularly excellent!!

  14. Susan Craig says:

    I’m with you, Ryan. I especially like that he revisits his blogs and adds clarification and answers questions.

  15. Neb Witt says:

    Sorry for the delay in posting, I wanted to read the essay first. I must say these are really remarkable. They have debates a lot like my grandparents said used to happen when they were kids.