Blogs by Leonard l Brunk
Democracy & The Constitution of the United States of America
10/22/2011 12:37:46 AM
To holler and complain in the name of our “right as an American” we should at least understand what it means to be an American; we should be educated on the foundations our nation was built upon. To shout at our leaders in anger telling them to fix the problem, we should try to understand the root of the problem and recognize exactly what needs to be fixed before we shout out for them to fix it.
Some quotes from the Constitution:
“Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States: If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.”
Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by “securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries”;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years…
No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.
No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State. (Bribes were not encouraged).
No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.
President must promise- "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Constitutional Design of the Senate, 1787
The framers of the Constitution created the United States Senate to protect the rights of individual states and safeguard minority opinion in a system of government designed to give greater power to the national government. They modeled the Senate on governors' councils of the colonial era and on the state senates that had evolved since independence. The framers intended the Senate to be an independent body of responsible citizens who would share power with the president and the House of Representatives. James Madison, paraphrasing Edmund Randolph, explained in his notes that the Senate's role was "first to protect the people against their rulers [and] secondly to protect the people against the transient impressions into which they themselves might be led."
(An interesting piece of knowledge worth looking more into, and being alert of; the problems with the Seventeenth Amendment.
Critics of the Seventeenth Amendment claim that by altering the way Senators are elected, the States lost any representation they had in the Federal government and that this led to the gradual "slide into ignominy" of State legislatures, as well as an overextension of Federal power and the rise of special interest groups to fill the power vacuum previously occupied by State legislatures.
Ignominy: deep personal humiliation and disgrace: disgraceful or dishonorable conduct, quality, or action.)
Some things all American’s should know about the two Houses:
The United States Senate is one of the two chambers of the Congress of the United States, the other being the House of Representatives. In the Senate, each state is equally represented by two members; as a result, the total membership of the body is currently 100. Senators serve for six-year terms that are staggered so elections are held for approximately one-third of the seats (a "class") every second year. (There are 100 members in the senate.)
As per the Constitution, the U.S. House of Representatives makes and passes federal laws. The number of voting representatives in the House is fixed by law at no more than 435, proportionally representing the population of the 50 states. (There are 435 members in the House of Representatives plus 6 Delegates, and 1 Resident Commissioner.)
What is a Representative?
Also referred to as a congressman or congresswoman, each representative is elected to a two-year term serving the people of a specific congressional district. Among other duties, representatives introduce bills and resolutions, offer amendments and serve on committees. The number of representatives with full voting rights is 435, a number set by Public Law 62-5 on August 8, 1911, and in effect since 1913. The number of representatives per state is proportionate to population.
Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution provides for both the minimum and maximum sizes for the House of Representatives. Currently, there are five delegates representing the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. A resident commissioner represents Puerto Rico. The delegates and resident commissioner possess the same powers as other members of the House, except that they may not vote when the House is meeting as the House of Representatives.
To be elected, a representative must be at least 25 years old, a United States citizen for at least seven years and an inhabitant of the state he or she represents.
The Roman Republic (Trying to dig into the roots of Democracy)
“The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and advised by a senate. A complex constitution gradually developed, centered on the principles of a separation of powers and checks and balances. Except in times of dire national emergency, public offices were limited to one year, so in theory at least, no single individual could dominate his fellow-citizens.”
“A republic is a country with a specific form of government, in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are not granted primarily based upon family, military, or business connections. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a country where the head of state is not a monarch. The word republic is derived from the Latin phrase res publica, which can be translated as "a public affair", and often used to describe a state using this form of government.”
The Senate in Ancient Rome :(Some History on a Time Which Inspired Many of Our Views of a Republic in America)
“Rome theoretically became a democracy (insofar as the landowners were concerned, anyway). In reality, however, Rome remained an oligarchy, since the critical laws were still enacted by the Roman Senate. In effect, democracy was satisfied with the possession of power, but did not care to actually use it. The senate was supreme during this era because the era was dominated by foreign policy. While upwards of 300,000 citizens were eligible to vote many of these individuals lived a great distance from Rome, and so calling them all together in a short period of time was impossible. The foreign affairs questions often required quick answers, and three-hundred senators were more capable of quick action than were thousands of electors. The questions were also more complex than were the questions of the earlier era, and the average citizen was not adequately informed as to these issues. The senators, in contrast, were usually quite experienced, and the fact that they had income sources that were independent of their political roles made it easier for them to involve themselves in policy questions over extended periods of time.”
Representation of a sitting of the Roman Senate
Since most senators were former magistrates, the senate became bound together by a strong sense of collegiality. At any given point in time, many of the senate's most senior members were ex-Consuls, which facilitated the creation of a bond between the presiding Consul and those senior members. In addition, the Consul was always chosen from senate, and as such he usually held similar ideals as did his fellow senators. When his annual term ended, he returned to their ranks, and so he was unlikely to stand against his fellow senators. Before the enactment of the Ovinian Law, Consuls appointed new senators, but after the enactment of this law, Censors appointed new senators, which caused the senate to become even more independent of the presiding Consul. In addition, the Ovinian Law all but required that ex-magistrates be appointed to the senate, and as such, the process by which Censors appointed new members to the senate became quite objective. This further enhanced the competence, and thus the prestige, of the senate… While the aristocrats spent their time exploiting new opportunities for profit, Rome was conquering new civilizations in the east. These civilizations were often highly developed, and as such they opened up a world of luxury to the Romans. Up until this point, most Romans had only known a simple life, but as both wealth and eastern luxuries became available at the same time, an era of ruinous decadence followed. The sums that were spent on these luxuries had no precedent in prior Roman history. Several laws were enacted to stem this tide of decadence, but these laws had no effect, and attempts by the Censors to mitigate this decadence were equally futile.
Populus Romanus in Roman literature is a phrase meaning the government of the People. When the Romans named governments of other countries they used populus in the singular or plural, such as populi Priscorum Latinorum, "the governments of the Old Latins". Romanus is the established adjective used to distinguish the Romans, as in civis Romanus, "Roman citizen". The locative, Romae, "at Rome", was never used for that purpose.
How do the majority of people in our nation think today?
Definition: a process of thought following known cycles or step-by-step progression where a response to a step must be elicited before another step is taken.
Many in America want to be told the answer; they want you to provide them with the truth at face value. However they first need to learn that you cannot always take something at face value; you have to do some research. For a generation that doesn’t like to read they have to accept the truth that they’re going to have to read if they are to validate any apparent truth. To be certain of the positive change a leader promises, the observer must do some investigation on the leader, and the root of their values. To understand a problem the best place to look (every time) is at the root of the problem. If the problem is a dangerous ideology for example, (like Communism, Nazism, or the ideology taught from the book “Milestones” which inspired Islamic Terrorists in the Taliban, or Al Qaida); to understand the problem that is spreading you must read about its origins; you must understand its foundations. To solve the problem or even make an attempt at changing people minds, an individual must read about the origins to the problem every time. On the other side of the paradigm, to understand the freedom in America and the rights we have as Americans we must read up on the foundation of our nation; the root of Democracy.
Diplomacy (from Latin diploma, meaning an official document) is the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of groups or states. It usually refers to international diplomacy, the conduct of international relations through the intercession of professional diplomats with regard to issues of peace-making, trade, war, economics, culture, environment and human rights. International treaties are usually negotiated by diplomats prior to endorsement by national politicians. In an informal or social sense, diplomacy is the employment of tact to gain strategic advantage or to find mutually acceptable solutions to a common challenge, one set of tools being the phrasing of statements in a non-confrontational, or polite manner.
Our future leaders in America must be aware of the importance of understanding diplomacy. In simple terms, the required diplomacy for our future leaders is; understand the culture you are having diplomatic negotiations with. Know how the culture originated, know the values of the people in that land, and send in someone who speaks their language. If you don’t understand the minds of the people whom you are having diplomatic relations with then you will bring about the same problems our generation had with the people in Afghanistan and the other Middle Eastern lands. Not every person in a culture or nation will think exactly alike, but if you can reach the rousing figures in that land; those who inspire the majority, then you have your best hope in having a successful diplomatic relationship.
A Recommended read:
By Thomas Paine
“As my wish was to serve an oppressed people, and assist in a just and good cause, I conceived that the honor of it would be promoted by my declining to make even the usual profits of an author.”
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More Blogs by Leonard l Brunk
Washington, Caesar & Lessons Unlearned from History - Saturday, October 22, 2011
Democracy & The Constitution of the United States of America - Saturday, October 22, 2011
Philosophical Thoughts In Afghanistan - Tuesday, September 06, 2011
Speech Against the Rapes In The Congo - Thursday, March 24, 2011
Men Be Men!! - Thursday, July 17, 2008
The Idea Of Perfection Is Most Imperfect - Wednesday, July 09, 2008