Saturday, April 19, 2014

Why Not File Suit, Forcing Courts to Rule on States Rights?

   With same-sex marriage, the issue has been taken to the courts. With abortion, it has, also. Indeed, the Supreme Court exists to determine the Constitutionality of issues such as these.
   So, what of states rights? Should not a case be filed questioning whether the 10th Amendment gives states power of government that currently are being handled by the federal government? Perhaps the difference is, with abortion and same-sex marriage, there are people who who feel their rights are being violated, so they file suit and the case works its way to the Supreme Court. Citizens file those cases. With the 10th Amendment, it would more likely be a state that would file the case, saying its rights had been violated.
   But, should we not have such a filing? If a state does feel its rights are being violated, should it not file suit, that the Supreme Court might rule on this issue?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Does Constitution Preclude a Bureau of Land Management?

   So, when the Tenth Amendment in the Bill of Rights came along in 1791, the federal government no longer had the right to create a department of education, a broad department of commerce . . . nor a department of interior?
 Interestingly, 1789, the year the Bill of Rights was drafted, was also the same year Congress first considered creating a department of interior.
   The Tenth Amendment says the powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved to the states. Since the Constitution makes no mention of the federal government having the power to own parks and other natural lands, does that mean the right is reserved to the states? Does it mean the Bureau of Land Management in the U.S. Department of Interior is an illegal agency?
   For my part, I give the matter thought. I have not yet decided whether I think the Tenth Amendment should preclude a Bureau of Land Management, nor such agencies as a Federal Bureau of Investigations.
   All this I'm currently thinking of, though, in context of the Cliven Bundy situation, where he is arguing the BLM does not have authority to own and regulate the land in Nevada his cattle graze on.
   I do think it sounds a little extreme to cut the FBI, the BLM, and other such agencies from the federal government, but I might give it more thought.
   Off the top, one inclination is to agree with those who argue the Constitution does give right to provide for the general welfare. General welfare is a pretty broad category, but, bottom line is, the Constitution says general welfare, and if that means most everything, so be it. The Constitution should be followed just as much on this provision as it should on the provisons that limit government. You cannot just cite the part of the Constitution you like while looking past another part.
   But, that interpretation of the Constitution renders the Tenth Amendment meaningless. Since everything could be considered under "general welfare," no powers would be reserved to the states. Clearly, the Tenth Amendment was trying to reserve powers to the states.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

All Powers Not Specified Belong to States -- Including Land Ownership?

   Still trying to figure out the Cliven Bundy rebellion. Just listened to a video of him before the Moapa town board, and he said when he pays grazing fees, it will be to Clark County. He asked the audience who owns the land, and he told them it was the citizens of Clark County.
   Doesn't being a citizen of the United States mean just as much? If the land is to belong to a government entity, why cannot that entity be the federal government just as easily as it can be Clark County? The only thing I can think of at this point is that the Constitution reserves all powers not enumerated to the federal government to the states.
  Do we consider land ownership a power? Are we to say the federal government has no right to own land? I'll maybe think on this tonight, as I go to bed, but that appears to be what the premise should be for the Cliven Bundy rebellion.
  (The last sentence was edited and changed 4/19/14.)


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Our Education Models Should Let Children Chase Their Dreams

    Does education at its best have all students study the same things, so they can be tested and compared, and so when they transfer from one school to another, they will not be behind in the what is being taught?
   Somehow, I wonder if it isn't more important to deliver students who specializes in the topics most interesting them, and who learns about the things they are most interested in, not the things a uniform textbook restricts them to.    
  Do we raise children just so they can be measured? Do we raise them just so they can be compared? Rather, I think, it is wiser to raise them to chase their dreams. If they are learning just the things everyone else is learning, they aren't being loosed to learn more than their classmates. No one dreams of being average, they dream of going beyond the norm.
   I'm not sitting in the classes, nor do I have children in them, to know how much is standardized and how much elbow room is left for learning things the other students are not learning. But, I do believe in individualism. I do think it sparks more creativity and more motivation when a child is allowed to pick and choose some of what he or she learns.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Paying Our Government Bills is the Moral Thing to do

   I believe that if you buy something, you really ought to pay for it. It doesn't matter if you are a family, a business or a government, the principle is the same. So, it being April 15 and tax day and all, I think it appropriate we consider whether we should be so resistive towards paying our taxes.
   If we think our government is purchasing too many things, then surely we ought to be demanding it cut way back on its spending. But, once the spending is past tense, once the items are purchased, then we should stand behind the effort to get the bills paid. It is a matter of integrity. Why would it not be a matter of integrity? If paying our household bills is the moral thing to so, why isn't this, also?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Why Does Cliven Bundy Suppose He can Graze His Cattle for Free?

   Why is it supposed Cliven Bundy should not need to pay grazing fees? If he is in arrears to the tune of more than $1 million, and the court is saying the Bureau of Land Management can take the cattle, is that not fair? Cattle are expensive, but 400 head do not equal $1 million.
   I'm waiting to hear more, as at the moment it does not seem Bundy is justified. Someone else owns the land, and you expect to graze your cattle on it for free? Off the top, no, I don't think that is right.
   I read how Bundy believes the land belongs to Nevada, not to the federal government, but I haven't caught up with the specifics of just how that is suppose to be so, other than to know many states are claiming federal land should be theirs. I do not think Utah should be making any such claim, because I know that in Utah's Enabling Act (the document granting statehood), Utah and its citizens "forever disclaim" ownership of unappropriated land. Nevada? I quickly scan its enabling document, finding no such provision.
   But, if Bundy believes the land belongs to Nevada, why is he not at least paying the grazing fees to Nevada?
   (Note: the following addition was written 4/15/14.)
  What if Bundy's ancestors claimed the land for their own? I would think, surely, their was a process for claiming personal property back then, and would guess Bundy's ancestors didn't do the things necessary to make the property theirs. Note that a blanket ownership, though, just for being the first person to occupy the property, would give the property back to the American natives, and not to Cliven Bundy.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

   Words from a scripture wafted to my mind as the sacrament was passed. They "judge him to be a thing of not . . . and he suffereth it."
   I thought how the Lord is our example, in all things, and surely He was being my example now. The day before, running for office, I had been rejected of convention voters. That I had not won nomination was one thing, but to get so few votes stung. It was as if I had been shunted aside as a thing of naught.
   The Savior, though, suffered much worse than I. As the words came to my wind, I picked up my scriptures to find the whole of the passage. "And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore, they scourge him and he suffereth it; and they smite him , and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men."
   I think of them scourging Him, of the look of hatred they surely had in their eyes as they mocked him. I think of them calling out as He hung on the cross, "He  saved others. Himself, he cannot save." I think of them dividing his clothes among themselves, as if His death was no more than a way for them to pick up a few items.
   And, I head for bed now, thinking I should think on this more, considering how Jesus might have felt, the pain He must have gone through. And yet, He not only suffered it, he sufferethed it. To "suffer" means only to go through pain. "Suffereth," to me, means you allow it.