Category Archives: nerd
I missed writing my post for Thursday, but there wasn’t much interesting that we discussed to be honest. Also I had to work a 4 hours shift after class and I worked almost every day after that as well…so I have an excuse.
This week’s topic in my Politics and Government class has been The Constitution and Declaration of Independence.
We spent most of our time on Tuesday going over the Declaration and rather than posting anything of my own thoughts (I think we all know how I feel about the Constitution and Declaration, I mean seriously, if you’ve read even 3 posts by me you should know that.) I’m just going to post a few quotes from the Declaration that I feel are especially timely.
Words in bold are those that I feel you should pay special attention to.
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. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury.A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Personally I feel this is one of the most beautiful and elegant political documents ever written. Maybe I’m biased…but so should all Americans be.
My professor for this class is brilliant and has a knack for summing up things in a succinct and hilarious, if not as elegant way, her exact words to sum up the Declaration were. “They weren’t America, not yet, they were just 13 independent states, collectively telling Great Britain to piss off.”
Definitely my favorite teacher this semester.
We talked about the Articles of Confederation, which, for those of you unfamiliar, was an exercise in lopsided governmental power and futility. They gave the congress legislative power to spend money, but no power to tax. So they could spend money on outfitting a ship for the navy, but when it came time to cough up the money, the states could simply say “nah, I don’t feel like it” and not pay their share.
And because only the states could make (and enforce) laws that affected their own citizens, if someone committed a crime or refused to pay a debt in one state, they could simply move to another state. There was no extradition and the state they moved to could not prosecute them for a crime committed under another state’s law.
Amendments to the Articles required unanimous agreement from all 13 states, which meant that it only took one state with sour grapes to ruin an entire amendment. This whole “majority” thing we have going these days seems a little bit better.
There is a lot more, but I’ll leave it up to you to do some research. Suffice to say that it was an interesting start of the United States.
Also, this teacher is my favorite because she played this video in class.
She is secretly a huge nerd I think.
In my Comparative Government class we didn’t do a whole lot of lecture, we merely spent a lot of time looking at these two websites.
Freedom House (Which, according to our professor, is ethnocentric because it’s definition of Democracy is too similar to the United States Bill of Rights. All things considered…we have to base the definition off of something and I think that our Bill of Rights is probably the best thing to base it on.)
And that’s about it.