4 votes

Questioning the Constitution?

Questioning the Constitution

This is one part of the constitution that I question, but in that very same constitutional wording, I am told I am not supposed to question:

AMENDMENT XIV http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_amend...
Section 4.

The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, SHALL NOT BE QUESTIONED. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
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Did you catch those words “SHALL NOT BE QUESTIONED.” Those words are found in AMENDMENT XIV Passed by Congress June 13, 1866. Ratified July 9, 1868. So in 1868 it was determined that validity of the public debt of the United States shall not be questioned.

I am reminded of the First Amendment of the Constitution http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_tra...

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
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How is one supposed to exercise natural right in the First Amendment - Those of freedom of speech and the right to assemble and petition for redress if one is forbidden to question the validity of the debt of the United States of America?

We are how many trillions of dollars in debt?
DO NOT QUESTION THIS:
http://www.usdebtclock.org/

To question or not to question. That is the question.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCjYLxAQ5gs

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I suggest "No Treason" by Lysander Spooner...

It is available in audio at Mises.org

I actually read that work

last year. Glad to know there is an audio of it though. I rather listen than read on line. Thanks!

No.7's picture

bump. +1

.

The individual who refuses to defend his rights when called by his Government, deserves to be a slave, and must be punished as an enemy of his country and friend to her foe. - Andrew Jackson

AMENDMENT XIV

in layman's terms “SHALL NOT BE QUESTIONED” meant that the returning southern states after the civil war had to pay their fair share of the debt created by the civil war.

The bold effort the present bank had made to control the government ... are but premonitions of the fate that await the American people should they be deluded into a perpetuation of this institution or the establishment of another like it-Andrew Jackson

That was then, this is now...

does "Thou shalt not question" mean anything for us today?

Republicae's picture

The 14th Amendment was a

The 14th Amendment was a Reconstruction Amendment, if you know anything about the Reconstruction it was far from being Constitutional anymore than the War against the Sovereign States. The portion of the 14th Amendment "The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, SHALL NOT BE QUESTIONED." Referred to war debts.

The Joint Resolution, No.1 of the State of New Jersey on the Rescission of the 14th Amendment had some harsh words for those who sought to continue Lincoln's usurpation of the Constitutional government.

In the Rescission, the Resolution states:

"The Legislature of the State of New Jersey having seriously and deliberately considered the present situation of the United States do declare and make known:

That it being necessary, by the Constitution, that every amendment to the same should be proposed by two-thirds of both Houses of Congress, the authors of the said proposition, for the purpose of securing the assent of the requisite majority, determined to, and did, exclude from the said two Houses eighty Representatives from eleven States of the Union, upon the pretense that there were no such States in the Union; but, finding that two-thirds of the remainder of said Houses could not be brought to assent to the said proposition, they deliberately formed and carried out the design of mutilating the integrity of the United States Senate, and without any pretext or justification, other than the possession of power, without the right, and in palpable violation of the Constitution, ejected a member of their own body, representing this State, and thus practically denied to New Jersey its equal suffrage in the Senate, and thereby nominally secured the vote of two-thirds of the said House.

The objective of dismembering the highest Representative Assembly in the nation, and humiliating a State of the Union, faithful at all times to all its obligations, and the object of said amendments were one to place new and unheard of powers in the hands of a faction, that it might absorb to itself all Executive, Judicial and Legislative POWER, NECESSARY TO SECURE TO ITSELF IMMUNITY FOR THE UNCONSTITUTIONAL ACTS IT HAD ALREADY COMMITTED, AND THOSE IT HAS SINCE INFLICTED ON A TOO PATIENT PEOPLE.

The subsequent usurpations of these once national assemblies in passing pretended laws for the establishment, in ten States, of martial law, which is nothing but the will of the military commander, and therefore inconsistent with the very nature of all law, FOR THE PURPOSE OF REDUCING TO SLAVERY MEN OF THEIR OWN RACE IN THOSE STATES, OR COMPELLING THEM, CONTRARY TO THEIR OWN CONVICTIONS, TO EXERCISE THE ELECTIVE FRANCHISE IN OBEDIENCE TO THE DICTATION OF A FACTION IN THOSE ASSEMBLIES; THE ATTEMPT TO COMMIT TO ONE MAN ARBITRARY AND UNCONTROLLABLE POWER, WHICH THEY HAVE FOUND NECESSARY TO EXERCISE TO FORCE THE PEOPLE OF THOSE STATES INTO COMPLIANCE WITH THEIR WILL; THE AUTHORITY GIVEN THE SECRETARY OF WAR TO USE THE NAME OF THE PRESIDENT TO COUNTERMAND THE PRESIDENT'S ORDERS AND TO CERTIFY MILITARY ORDERS TO BE THE DIRECTION OF THE PRESIDENT, WHEN THEY ARE NOTORIOUSLY KNOWN TO BE CONTRARY TO THE PRESIDENT'S DIRECTION, THUS KEEPING UP THE FORM OF THE CONSTITUTION TO WHICH THE PEOPLE ARE ACCUSTOMED, BUT PRACTICALLY DEPOSING THE PRESIDENT FROM HIS OFFICE OF COMMANDER IN CHIEF, and suppressing one of the great departments of the government that of tribunal of the nation the jurisdiction to examine and decide upon the conformity of their pretended laws to the Constitution, which was the chief function of that august tribunal as organized by the Fathers of the Republic; all are but ample explanations of the power they hoped to acquire by the adoption of the said amendment.

TO CONCEAL FROM THE PEOPLE THE IMMENSE ALTERATIONS OF THE FUNDAMENTAL LAW THEY INTENDED TO ACCOMPLISH BY THE SAID AMENDMENT, THEY GILDED THE SAME WITH PREPOSITIONS OF JUSTICE, DRAWN FROM THE STATE CONSTITUTIONS; BUT LIKE ALL THE ESSAYS OF UNLAWFUL POWER TO COMMEND ITS DESIGNS TO POPULAR FAVOR IT IS MARKED BY THE MOST ABSURD AND INCOHERENT PROVISIONS.

It proposes to make it part of the Constitution of the United States, that naturalized citizens of the United States shall be citizens of the United States; as if they were not so without such absurd declaration. It lodges with the Legislative Branch of the government the power of pardon, which properly belongs, BY OUR SYSTEM, to the Executive.

It denounces, and inflicts punishment for past offenses, by Constitutional provision, and thus would make the whole People of this great nation, in their most Solemn and Sovereign Act, guilty of violating a cardinal principle of American Liberty: that no punishment can be inflicted for any offense, unless it is provided by law before the commission of the offense.

It usurps the power of punishment, which, in any coherent system of government, belongs to the Judiciary, and commits it to the people in their Sovereign capacity.

It degrades the nation, by proclaiming to the world that no confidence can be placed in its honestly or morality.

It appeals to the fears of the public creditors by publishing a libel on the American People, and fixing it forever in the national Constitution, as a stigma upon the present generation, that there must be Constitutional guards against a reputation of the public debt; as if it were possible that a people who were so corrupt as to disregard such an obligation would be bound by any contract, Constitutional or otherwise.

It imposes new prohibitions upon the power of the Senate to pass laws, and interdicts the execution of such parts of the common law as the national Judiciary may esteem inconsistent with the vague provisions of the said amendment, MADE VAGUE FOR THE PURPOSE OF FACILITATING ENCROACHMENTS UPON THE LIVES, LIBERTIES AND PROPERTY OF THE PEOPLE.

It enlarges the Judicial power of the United States so as to bring every law passed by the State, and every principle of the common law relating to Life, Liberty or Property, within the jurisdiction of the federal tribunals, and charges those tribunals with duties, to the due performance of which they, from their nature and organization, and their distances from the People, are unequal."

http://militantjeffersonian.com

"We are not a nation, but a union, a confederacy of equal and sovereign States" John C. Calhoun

Very Interesting

"That it being necessary, by the Constitution, that every amendment to the same should be proposed by two-thirds of both Houses of Congress, the authors of the said proposition, for the purpose of securing the assent of the requisite majority, determined to, and did, exclude from the said two Houses eighty Representatives from eleven States of the Union, upon the pretense that there were no such States in the Union"

Do you know which states are being referred to here. I am relatively history ignorant, I am sorry to say. I never found the subject interesting...until I became interested in Liberty and not just taking it, Liberty, for granted.

I had a conversation below that indicated that the southern states had to agree with the 13, 14, 15 amendments to get back into the union or keep fighting the war. Is that your understanding as well?

Thank you for providing such an insightful quote from New Jersey!

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Republicae's picture

The States being referred to

The States being referred to are the 11 Confederate States of America, put under military rule, governments installed by the federal regime, State Constitutions rewritten, laws legislated, all without the consent or will of the People of those once Sovereign States. The War was only the beginning of the subjugation and the coup that destroyed the Republic.

http://militantjeffersonian.com

"We are not a nation, but a union, a confederacy of equal and sovereign States" John C. Calhoun

The constitution

was written by people of the enlightenment. Ron Paul could go only as far as Rothbard in terms of natural rights. If you want to use logic and rational thinking about natural rights, you have no choice but use Ayn Rand philosophy.

Otherwise, you are stuck with god/nature-given this or that.

A wild Randroid appears!

If you want to use logic and rational thinking about natural rights, you have no choice but use Ayn Rand philosophy.

Otherwise, you are stuck with god/nature-given this or that.

You're attempting to create a false dilemma...which is irrational. Whoopsies!

A signature used to be here!

How..

rand-bunctious of you! :p

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~wobbles but doesn't fall down~

Hmmm

I don't think being "stuck" with rights endowed by a Creator is a bad thing.

I think I like the use "Founder" philosphy. That being Self-Evident Truthes http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transc...

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

Using reason...if I am created with rights given by the Creator, who is mere man to remove those God-given rights from me?

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Still believe in miracles?

Then logic is not important.

(See my elaboration below.)

Another false dilemma!

Instead of showering, do you spray yourself with Windex? Because your logical fallacies are as transparent as a window.

A signature used to be here!

Yes! I believe in Miracles!

But I still think that logic is important.

I am not up on all the Libertarian history and philosphy.

OK

If the combo (some logic and some miracle) works for you, you can always explain an illogical act with a miracle (or because god works in mysterious ways.)

Look out the window

I don't know what you see, but I see grass, trees, sky, rocks, and I can hear differnt birds, oh and my dog is out there. I can see her too.

It is very logical for me to know that a Creator created all of those things. A Creator who is all-powerful; all-knowing; and all-present made all that I see and has made me as well.

He is the Creator who said:

Luke 6:31 KJV
"And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise."

Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness....

...

???

Rothbard was an atheist.

And Locke said natural rights had to be empirically observable in society and that divine revelation (religious text) was not sufficient.

The Enlightenment was largely a rejection of the religious in favor of the secular. Hence the pragmatic, "Nature or Nature's God".

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~wobbles but doesn't fall down~

OK, I need to elabarate for those who are not familiar

with details. Rothbard, after he left Ayn Rand circle because he had plagiarized Ayn and Barbara Branden writings, reversed to the old idea that natural rights are either god given or nature given. Thus, natural rights became the main AXIOM of Libertarian ideology. Only later, Hans Hoppe proved that Ayn Rand defitition of natural rights was correct. Rothbard agreed with Hopper, but both (Rothbard and Hoppe) did not even acknowledge Ayn Rand was right...

By definition...

"NATURal rights" are either given by nature or god. "Nature" is the root word of "natural". :p

In order for Rothbard to have plagiarized from Rand she would have had to been some kind of founder of rational ethics and natural law. Unfortunately, Rand wasn't born until centuries after those philosophies first came about.

Rand was an antisocial methhead (literally). She was nutso and is famous for hating everybody, except herself of course. :>

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~wobbles but doesn't fall down~

You should not post often.

You are asserting something that you are not very familiar with. Since you are not familiar with Ayn Rand perspective on the issue, I wont argue with you.

I just remind you how yeaterday you claimed that "Iran has every natural RIGHT to have a nuclear bomb."

Pot, meet kettle

You are asserting something that you are not very familiar with. Since you are not familiar with Ayn Rand perspective on the issue, I wont argue with you.

A signature used to be here!

Awwww... :*(

You no likey my comments. :p

I have been reading claims and counterclaims regarding Ayn's accusations of plagiarism for going on 40 years now. I've never encountered anything convincing. I'm still open to new evidence. Any links you could share?

I stand by Jefferson and Ron Paul that Iran has a natural right to develop technology. I don't think they have a right to use nukes in an unprovoked manner against another nation. But every nation has a natural right to develop whatever technology they wish to pursue.

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~wobbles but doesn't fall down~

A collective

does not have RIGHTS, only demands.....

Hmmm...

"a nation has a right to its sovereignty (derived from the rights of its citizens) and a right to demand that its sovereignty be respected by all other nations." -- *drumroll* Ayn Rand

~does the peewee dance~ :>

The Peewee Dance
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BodXwAYeTfM

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~wobbles but doesn't fall down~

Interested and butting in

When you say A collective does not have rights, are you speaking of a collective like a nation (Iran)? Or are you talking about a certain KIND of nation (Iran)? Sorry to be so ignorant, but I am interested in what you are talking about.

Any collective

Natural rights apply only to individuals, not to groups or society.
(I assume we understand that we are talking about natural rights and not about man given laws or "rights", like fake "human rights" or "group rights.")

Well, the topic of "collective" rights

made me think back to this:

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

Would you consider the words “one people” and “powers of the earth” “equal station” and “entitles them” and “they” as terms referring to a collective?

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

Specifically the words that I am considering above are: "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men...it is the Right of the People"...laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

Would you see the words “the Right of the People” and “Men” and “them” as referring collectives?

I am thinking from these two paragraphs that there is a right that belongs to a collective group of people to form governments that derive power from the people and that that collective power is to be used to secure the Natural or God Given rights of the people.

...

Let's ask Ayn...

"a nation has a right to its sovereignty (derived from the rights of its citizens) and a right to demand that its sovereignty be respected by all other nations." -- Ayn Rand :)

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~wobbles but doesn't fall down~

Here is your

answer [video]:

http://www.dailypaul.com/270220/judge-napolitano-obama-canno...

Judge Napolitano explains 'shall not be questioned' in the course of talking about raising the debt ceiling.