The Tenth Amendment is one I cite like NRA members cite the Second. I often refer to it because I think it validates my call for the abolition of the Department of Education (among many, many others.) I’m very passionate about K-12 education and I do not like that the federal government has their hands in it. The Tenth Amendment declares; “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.”
Education falls into the purview of the powers not delegated by the Constitution, and therefore disqualifies the federal government from having any right to regulate, constrict or control it. You can read more about how the government is actively and continuously ignoring this amendment in regard to education in a blog I wrote a couple years ago, titled “A Federalist View on Education.”
The Tenth Amendment is so important because it keeps the idea of Federalism, and a small central government alive and well. It empowers the states and the people, keeps the federal government in check, and gives us freedom. The Founding Fathers were very insistent about the creation of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments because they wanted to ensure that the government knew that the powers not designated in the document were to be promised to the people. Learn more about the Founding Fathers in My Dinner with the Founding Fathers.
Be sure to read the rest of the Know Your Rights series, and once you know them, never forget them. It is up to each of us to defend our rights, and the rights of our neighbors. Stand up against tyranny in all forms. To help arm yourself with the freedoms of the Constitution, get your free pocket Constitution from Hillsdale College; and if your travelling this Summer, order yourself a metal Bill of Rights card to stick it to the TSA.
Sic Semper Tyrannus!
Welcome back to A World Under Fire and the Know Your Rights series. We have been talking about the importance of knowing our rights and defending them against the government, big government activists, and anyone who seeks to dispose of them. When we last met, we discussed The Eighth Amendment, which talks about cruel and unusual punishment.
Today we discuss The Ninth Amendment. The Ninth Amendment is crucial because it doesn’t just guarantee us one right, but all of our rights. It reads; “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” Enumeration means to “mention a number of things one by one.” Meaning, that just because a certain right isn’t mentioned in the Bill of Rights does not mean we do not hold such a right.
Another week, another lesson. Time to learn about your right to a speedy trial. The Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states; “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.”
This promises liberties such as your right to a speedy and public trial, an impartial jury, and an explanation of the charges being lodged against you. As well as the right to cross-examine those you testify against you, and the right to produce witnesses to testify in your favor. Finally, it promises your right the legal counsel.
While our justice system certainly needs to be reformed, the rights promised in this amendment should be at the forefront of reformation. These rights are vital to balancing power, seeking justice and keeping freedoms and rights for all citizens – who are innocent until proven guilty. The system will never be perfect, but this amendment aims to make it better.
How would you like see the justice system reformed? What do you see happening that you believe is unconstitutional? Study up and decide for yourself.
Arm yourself with knowledge and know your rights so you can keep your rights.
Welcome back to the third installment of the Know Your Rights series. This week we will be looking into the third amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Third Amendment isn’t one that gets a lot of media attention, nor does it seem like it is a real problem in our day to day lives, but it is very important.
The Third Amendment states that; “No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.” The act of quartering soldiers in the homes of private residents was a big problem in Colonial America. During the French and Indian War, Britain had seized private dwellings for their troops to stay in. Some countries today still allow this practice, but we do not think of it as much of a threat to our daily lives here in America.
Perhaps we should. Following Hurricane Katrina, just about every right was violated. This one included. In a report from ABC News on the illegal gun confiscation that went on (breaking second amendment rights,) they note that some troops had set up their base camp in a private church, without permission.
The third amendment is a violation of rights – many rights. It violates privacy, freedom, and property and cannot be taken lightly. Know your rights to protect your rights.
I’m excited to start on a series that I’ve been wanting to do for a while now. I want to make sure that I fulfill my civic duty by making sure that everyone who is a reader of this blog knows the Bill of Rights. If you do not know, the Bill of Rights is the first ten amendments of the U.S. Constitution, and contains text that ensures Americans their God given rights. We must know these rights. We must exercise these rights.
We cannot defend our rights if we do not know our rights. And very many people do not know their rights. In 2015, a Newseum Institute poll showed that 33% of Americans over the age of 18 could not name any part of the 1st Amendment! It is critically important that we know our rights and fight to keep them.
So, without any further ado, I present to you The First Amendment of U.S. Constitution.
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.
There are five parts to the first amendment – every one important, every one under attack.
1. Freedom of Religion
Freedom of religion is often misinterpreted as the separation of church and state. In fact, the term “separation of church and state,” never appears in the constitution, or in any other government document from the 18th century. That term was taken out of context from a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptist Church. What the first amendment means – what it guarantees – is that the government would not be involved in running the church or enforcing or regulating religion; and that you would have the freedom of exercising your beliefs without fear of retaliation.
2. Freedom of Speech
Freedom of speech is the most straight forward of these five rights. While you cannot make terroristic threats, you do have the right to say what is on your mind without government regulation or censorship.
3. Freedom of the Press
Freedom of the press is another layer of freedom of speech. It allows reporters, columnists, newspapers – today, even bloggers! – to say their piece and express their opinion without being censored or restricted by government forces.
4. The Right of Assembly
The right of assembly allows people to peaceably assemble with the intent of enacting change or promoting an idea.
5. The Right to Petition
The right to petition is often downplayed or overlooked in the grand scheme of the first amendment. However, the right to petition is actually very significant. It means that we the people have the right to petition the government; petition, not necessarily meaning a piece of paper with a bunch of signatures. A petition is any formal request to someone in a place of authority. Every time that we write a congressman, call the White House, email the governor, we are petitioning. The right to petition is a crucial part in keeping the power of government in the hands of “we the people.”
I’m not a student of the law. I do not have a degree in American History or Civics. Perhaps you want to get interpretations from someone who is – that won’t hurt my feelings at all. I just want you to know what the Constitution says and what rights you have.
Homework: Memorize the rights guaranteed to us in the first amendment. Then, do research and be on the look out for stories that show a violation of these rights. Prepare yourself so that you do not become a victim.
- He cut the federal debt by more than half
Calvin Coolidge was “obsessed” – according to some – with cutting spending and paying off the debt. He, reportedly, spent many days with the director of the US Bureau of Budget and Congress going through every line of the budget and cutting back any way he could.
- He cut personal income taxes
Sure, we should give some of the credit here to his treasury secretary, Andrew Mellon. After all, the tax cuts are often referred to as “The Mellon Tax Cuts.” But, Coolidge was president and should also get some of the credit. Mellon received unequivocal support from Coolidge and together they eventually cut the top personal income tax rate from 58% to 24%.
- He meant business
He was serious when he set out to cut the budget. He didn’t pull any punches and he didn’t expect the Congress to do all the work. He dug so deeply into the budget, that he replaced the traditional blue and white post office bags with plain gray canvas.
- He loved animals
Calvin Coolidge loved animals! He is reported to have had many dogs, birds, a wallaby and a raccoon. When in office, some referred to the White House as “the zoo on Pennsylvania Avenue!”
- He was a man of few words
Silent Cal, they called him. He rarely spoke more than necessary and never said more than the situation called for. If only they knew then just how desirable that trait would be in today’s politics.
- He was a strong leader
Small in stature, soft spoken, and a man of few words. Those are all traits of Calvin Coolidge. But leadership is a word that truly personifies the man. He was a dedicated man with a clear vision. He was thoughtful, intelligent, and tough. And, he was not afraid to say “no” to congress.
- He was a capitalist
Once quoted saying, “the business of America is business;” Coolidge believed that it wasn’t the government’s job to get in the way of companies doing business. He believed that by leaving businesses alone and allowing them to flourish, it would best benefit the government, the economy, and society in general.