Current Events Ramblings, August 29

About 2 A.M. this morning, the thunder started crashing and the lightening started flashing and the rain came pouring down and it hasn't stopped since (currently 8:45 A.M.).  And it may last all day long, and all week, and into next week...I've never been one to get too tired of rain, especially since I've lived in a lot of places where it didn't do much of it.  But I'm not especially an outdoors person.  So far, I'm loving it.  We'll see if I get sick of it if it keeps on.


Well, I am now officially in the Adult Special Program (ASP) at Gyeonggi English Village.  I didn't think I'd get on this quickly, but my immediate supervisor, a really super guy named Adam deBear, told me Friday that he's put me there for good.   When there aren't any adults here, then I'll work with the children, which will be the case tomorrow and Tuesday.  But then, the older ones come in on Wednesday and I'll do that the rest of the week.  I had talked to Adam on more than one occasion about getting into the ASP, but I didn't hound him about it.  I don't really think this is a case of "the squeaky wheel getting the grease."  I simply told him I felt more competent and capable in that area and he worked me into it.  I had some help from another Texan, a fellow from El Paso named Andrew Hernandez--another super guy who talked to Adam about it as well--on his own, not by my request.  There are some really nice people here and I feel fairly settled.  This last week, when we had only adults, was far and away my most enjoyable and least stressful the whole time I've been here.  Things are ok, but do I miss my cows.


I want to give a huge public "thank you" to Rick Comer and the Wartburg church of Christ in Wartburg, Tennessee.  It was the church I attended when I worked in Knoxville; it's a good, sound, united congregation, though small, about 25.  Anyway, Rick and I have kept in contact ever since I left Tennessee, and he reads my blogs with regularity, and--on his own--decided to send me a "care package."  He apparently brought the idea up to the members at Wartburg and they are taking up a collection to send me some things; Rick had asked me what I particulary needed and wanted.  I'm really touched by their thoughtfulness and generosity.  It's nice to get things from home, especially things I can't get here.  My mom has sent me a box, too, and hopefully it will arrive in the near future, and Debbie sent me some books and software that I wanted but had to leave behind due to shipping costs.  Anyway, I wanted to especially mention Rick and the Wartburg church.  They are a great bunch of folks--I thought that when I was there--and they've just confirmed it with this much appreciated act of brotherly love and kindness.  That is what I miss most of all here in Korea.


"The powers that we gave the federal government [in the Constitution] are few and well-defined, and restricted mostly to external affairs. Those left with the people and the states are indefinite and numerous."--James Madison, Federalist Papers, No. 45

The quote above describes, perfectly, the mindset of the Founding Fathers of this country (well, most of them), but has been almost totally lost in America today.  There are a few people and places where you can find this sort of thinking--Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell (both black economists) as well as the Ludwig von Mises Institute ( come to mind.  The circumstance in the late 1780s was that our first Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, were a little too weak on the national level in order to keep the 13 states from completely breaking apart.  An amendment or two could have changed that, but 55 men gathered in Philadelphia over the summer of 1787, scrapped the entire Articles (which they had no authority to do), and wrote our current Constitution (sans the Bill of Rights, which were added in 1791).  Madison was the major author of the new document, and it did give the federal government more power, though not much, mainly some taxing power (tarriffs, no income tax) that the Articles had not trusted the federal government with.  Once the new Constitution was released to the public, there was a storm of protest against it by men called "Anti-Federalists," who thought the document gave the feds too much power.  Patrick Henry was especially a leader in this movement.  So Madison and Alexander Hamilton wrote The Federalist Papers, a series of 85 articles in defense of the new Constitution (they didn't convince Henry).  Federalist 45 has the quote of August 26.  Madison was trying to convince the Anti-Federalists that the powers given to the federal government were very limited, or as he put it, "few and well-defined"--in other words, Congress's powers are specifically stated in Article 1, Section 8.  There are about 17 of them.  And that's all.  According the Constitution as written by the Founders the federal government can do nothing more than those powers "delegated" to it--"delegated" by the states and the people.  Now, there was an amendment process whereby the national government could obtain more power--but they had to ask the states, to whom the rest of the powers had been delegated and who had created a national government in the first place, to give it (the feds) more authority.  Three-fourths of the states had to agree, which they've done only 27 times in our history, and some of those were a mistake (e.g., the 14th and 16th amendments, the latter being on income tax.  But the income tax, which is a Marxist spread-the-wealth tool, was popular in the early 20th century--and since--and thus the amendment was ratified).  But the bottom line is, the federal government, in the Constitution authored by the Founders, had very few, and very clearly-stated powers.  Every other power belonged to the people and the states.

Read Article 1, Section 8 sometime.  It will take you about 2 minutes.  Those are the ONLY THINGS the Founders allowed the federal government to do.  Find welfare in there for me.  Social Security.  Medicare.  Education.  Running banks and car companies.  And about 99% of everything else Congress does.  Our politicians pay absolutely no attention to the Constitution, while swearing to uphold it.  They are nothing but a pack of liars--or ignoramuses, and I don't know which is worse.  Even with the promise of Federalist 45, some states held out for a few years before ratification--Rhode Island and North Carolina did not do so until 1791.  Rhode Island's obstinance is understandable.  As the smallest state, it didn't want to give more power to a federal government that could be controlled by larger states such as New York and Virginia.  When George Washington was elected our first President, he was, at the time, President of only 11 states.  But my point in this paragraph is, our Constitution, in the hands of the current courts and national politicians, is nothing more than an ancient, and useless, document which they only pay lip service to in order to fool a populace, most of which has never even read the thing.

What happened?  How did sovereignty switch from the states--where the Founders intended it--to the national government?  Anybody who has read this blog for any length of time knows the answer to that question.  Abraham Lincoln and the War for the Southern Independence happened.  The South was trying to defend the Constitution as it was written.  Lincoln and the North wanted to--on their own authority--give the federal government more powers, powers unauthorized in the Constitution.  The South wished to leave the Union, have their own government, be left alone, and let the North have whatever government they wanted to create via Congressional and presidential mandate (not to mention the Supreme Court).  Lincoln, mainly because of money--a lot of Northerners were getting rich off Southern, slave-grown cotton--went to war the prevent the South from leaving the Union.

Barak Obama is the result of that, folks.


To demonstrate the time difference between South Korea and wherever you are, I'm, at the moment, also following the Houston Astros over the Internet as they play the New York Mets Saturday night.  The most surprising thing is that the Astros are ahead.