Moderator: Nicole Marie
There was a time – was it just a generation ago? – when Americans were legendary for doing vast, seemingly superhuman, projects: the Interstate Highway System, the Apollo Missions, Hoover Dam, the Manhattan Project, the Normandy invasion, the Empire State Building, Social Security.
What happened? Today we look at these achievements, much as Dark Age peasants looked on the mighty works of the Roman Era, feeling like some golden age has passed when giants walked the Earth. Even when we can still see the aged survivors of that era sunning themselves outside the local convalescent home – or sitting down with us for family holiday dinner – it’s hard not believe that there was once something larger-than-life about them that they failed to pass on to us. . . . We no longer build the world’s tallest buildings – other countries do. We no longer reaching towards the moon – other countries are. And when we do attempt something big – universal health care, alternative energy, improved educational standards, mass transportation – the initiative inevitably snarls up in bad planning, corruption, political pay-offs, lack of leadership, impracticality and just sheer incompetence. The comparatively tiny Lincoln Administration managed to win the Civil War, open up the Great Plains through the Homestead Act, and kick off construction of the transcontinental railroad. . .all in four years.
One wonders whether a generation that demands instant satisfaction of all its needs and instant solution of the world's problems will produce anything of lasting value. Such a generation, even when equipped with the most modern technology, will be essentially primitive - it will stand in awe of nature, and submit to the tutelage of medicine men.
Reflections on the Human Condition, aph. 60 (1973)
dai bread wrote:What happens if foreigners on a temporary posting, say 5 years or so send their child to a U.S. school? Is the child required to recite an oath of allegiance to a country he won't be a citizen of? Diplomatic and company staff come to mind.
Justice Antonin Scalia has weighed in on the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, leaving women's rights activists seething.
In an interview with California Lawyer, Scalia said that the Constitution itself does not protect women and gay men and lesbians from discrimination. Such protections are up to the legislative branch, he said.
In 1868, when the 39th Congress was debating and ultimately proposing the 14th Amendment, I don't think anybody would have thought that equal protection applied to sex discrimination, or certainly not to sexual orientation. So does that mean that we've gone off in error by applying the 14th Amendment to both?
Yes, yes. Sorry, to tell you that. ... But, you know, if indeed the current society has come to different views, that's fine. You do not need the Constitution to reflect the wishes of the current society. Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn't. Nobody ever thought that that's what it meant. Nobody ever voted for that. If the current society wants to outlaw discrimination by sex, hey we have things called legislatures, and they enact things called laws. You don't need a constitution to keep things up-to-date. All you need is a legislature and a ballot box.
You don't like the death penalty anymore, that's fine. You want a right to abortion? There's nothing in the Constitution about that. But that doesn't mean you cannot prohibit it. Persuade your fellow citizens it's a good idea and pass a law. That's what democracy is all about. It's not about nine superannuated judges who have been there too long, imposing these demands on society.
1 : conceited and overconfident of knowledge but poorly informed and immature <a sophomoric argument>
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