Happy Bill of Restraints Day!

With the 220th anniversary of the adoption of the Amendments commonly known as the Bill of Rights upon us, a majority of the American people still do not understand the true intent of the Amendments. They believe the Amendments are the source of their individual rights and the federal government was granted the general power to secure those rights. In reality, the Amendments did not create any individual rights or grant the federal government any general power.

When the “Bill of Rights” was submitted to the individual States for ratification, it contained 12 proposed amendments and was prefaced with a preamble that spelled out the intent of the Amendments. As stated in the preamble, the purpose of the Amendments was to prevent the federal government from “misconstruing or abusing its powers.” To accomplish this, “further declaratory and restrictive clauses” were being recommended. The Amendments, if adopted (2 were rejected 10 were agreed to), would not create any so-called constitutional rights or grant the federal government any general power; they would place additional restraints and/or qualifications on federal power concerning the rights enumerated therein.

The best way to explain the intent of the Amendments was to re-write them through the preamble. This re-write helps explain the original intent of the Amendments, without resorting to the preamble, and makes them easier to understand. Some words have been changed to reflect modern usage and the sentence structure has been slightly altered in a few of the Amendments. The author suggests the reader, after reviewing the preamble [http://www.billofrights.org/], compare the wording of each Amendment to the original.

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Proposed cell phone ban recommendation could lead to federal overreach

On Tuesday, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended a complete ban on the use of cell phones and text messaging while operating a motor vehicle.

The recommended ban includes hands free devices.

“No call, no text, no update is worth a human life,” Deborah A. P. Hersman, chairman of the N.T.S.B., said.

According to a CNN report, “The safety board also recommended the electronics industry develop phones that would discourage their use by drivers, but could identify a car occupant’s location so that passengers could use the devices.”

The federal agency insists the law, along with “strict enforcement” and “aggressive educational campaigns,” are all necessary to curb distracted driving.

Which begs the question: what other activities while driving should the N.T.S.B. seek to ban? Eating? Applying makeup? Tuning the radio? All certainly cause distractions. And if talking to someone on a cell phone while driving creates a distraction, making it impossible to safely drive, couldn’t one argue that talking to a passenger in the back seat creates the same hazard? Do we ban back seat passengers? Or all passengers? And what about a baby in the back seat? Ask any parent about the distraction caused by a crying baby.

Perhaps the N.T.S.B. should seek to ban babies in motor vehicles.

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Obama and Mitch Daniels Team Up to ‘Shovel’ Subsidies

The Indianapolis Star recently profiled local boy makes good (handing out other people’s money) John Fernandez, the ex-Bloomington mayor and Obama fundraiser who now heads up the Economic Development Administration. A reference to an EDA taxpayer handout to a technology park in southern Indiana caught my eye:

Southwestern Indiana got a $6.7 million boost from the EDA last year to create a multi-county technology park to tap into the research related to the Crane Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center in Martin County. At the July groundbreaking for the park, Gov. Mitch Daniels called it a ‘long-awaited development that will serve as an economic catalyst for the region.’

Why would Republican governor Mitch “Red Menace” Daniels want to help the Obama administration score public relations points with Hoosiers? One reason is Daniels’s favorite corporate welfare apparatus, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, also handed out money from state taxpayers for the technology park.

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