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Thread: Constitutional literacy campaign launched to promote informed citizenry

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    Constitutional literacy campaign launched to promote informed citizenry

    "A new campaign has been launched to educate Americans of all ages about the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights and core documents and principles of the nation, campaign leaders said Thursday.

    Some 20 organizations are part of the new National Constitutional Literacy Campaign, venture capitalist Chuck Stetson, founder of Essentials in Education, said Thursday at an event at the National Press Club.

    If people want to understand the major constitutional and political issues of the day, they should understand the full arc of the nation’s constitutional history, he said. But “they just don’t know the facts they should know.”

    Since 2004, Sept. 17 has been designated as Constitution Day or Citizenship Day.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...ched-to-promo/

    http://constitutiondays.org/about/

    I pray that this effort is not too little too late. I was appalled by my state's standards.
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

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    One of our profs. here at the university I work for is giving a presentation on the place of the Bill of Rights in our Constitutional heritage on the 18th. I hope for good attendance.

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    Regular Member Freedom1Man's Avatar
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    Too many "teachers," judges/lawyers, and prolates are plain illiterate all around.

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    Provision for free medical attendance and nursing, for clothing, for food, for housing, for the education of children, and a hundred other matters, might with equal propriety be proposed as tending to relieve the employee of mental strain and worry. --- These matters obviously lie outside the orbit of congressional power. (Railroad Retirement Board v Alton Railroad)

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    Quote Originally Posted by beebobby View Post
    One of our profs. here at the university I work for is giving a presentation on the place of the Bill of Rights in our Constitutional heritage on the 18th. I hope for good attendance.
    I hope the presentation is historically and constitutionally accurate. I hope the professor's chosen mode of counting is not: 1, 3, 4, 5... I hope he doesn't present some bogus "living document" view but instead stresses the importance of "original intent" with properly ratified amendments as the only constitutional method for altering the meaning of the constitution.

    I hope he is honest enough to hold and present the "standard" view of the 2nd amendment as protecting an individual RKBA, rather than continuing to spout the long-since discredited "State militia" view propagated by anti-gun leftists during the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s.

    And with those caveats, a good attendance would be great.

    Charles
    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. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Wonder if they show the constitution was a voluntary document where the state rule supreme and the feds are its step child. One the states could leave at anytime for any reason.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    Wonder if they show the constitution was a voluntary document where the state rule supreme and the feds are its step child. One the states could leave at anytime for any reason.
    They certainly should discuss the concept. I recall claims of at least one or two States included an explicit claim to a right to secede in their ratification of the US Federal Constitution, though the link below refutes this.

    The Wiki article on secession doesn't mention any such claims in ratification documents, but does cite recent polls showing some 22% of Americans do support the right to secession.

    This site quotes a popular book as claiming that three States retained a right to secede in their ratification documents: Virginia, Maryland, and Rhode Island; even as it goes on to claim those assertions were were never made by the Stats and would be in error if they had been made.

    The case the author makes is interested and I quote only his primary thesis, leaving the full arguments for those who choose to visit his website:

    Quote Originally Posted by "Do States have a Right to Secede" web article
    During the lead-up to ratification, the Federalists (the Constitution’s advocates) generally spoke or wrote of the document as a power grant directly from the people. Thus, James Madison asserted in Federalist No. 46: “The federal and State governments are in fact but different agents and trustees of the people, constituted with different powers, and designed for different purposes.” In other words, the federal government is the agent of the people, not of the states.

    ...

    William Grayson, a leading anti-federalist speaking at the Virginia ratifying convention, summarized the pro-Constitution position as holding that the Constitution “was a compact between the people themselves”—not among the states.

    ...
    While I do not fully accept this argument since I believe the federal Constitution is a compact between both the People and their States with the federal government (as evidenced by the compromise over the bicameral congress and the makeup of the electoral college, as well as the fact that ratification was by convention of nine States rather than by popular vote of the People), it is an interesting point that should not be ignored.

    Ironically, I believe if we held a right to secede, the odds of secession ever occurring would be much lower. If congress and the federal courts operated under the belief that States pushed too far would secede, they would be much more deferential in permitting local diversity of culture and laws and is the proper embodiment of federalism under our constitution.

    I consider one of the great prices of slavery and racism that the only significant attempt to secede was quashed, that literacy tests and requirements to pay taxes in order to vote are unconstitutional, and that "States 'rights'" are so roundly associated with local desires to infringe on constitutional rights.

    Of course, if secession (or even proper federalism) were to be seriously considered today it would likely be over issues of elective abortion, the proper definition of marriage, or objections to government control of healthcare. We must acknowledge there are many in the nation who view legal access to elective abortion, full government recognition of and marriage benefits for homosexual couples, and free access to medical care to be "natural" or civil rights on equal footing with the right not to be held in slavery. From such a perspective, secession today would be viewed very much as Southern secession to continue slavery is viewed.

    Not easy issues to resolve.

    Charles
    Last edited by utbagpiper; 09-12-2015 at 01:53 AM.
    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. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    Wonder if they show the constitution was a voluntary document where the state rule supreme and the feds are its step child. One the states could leave at anytime for any reason.
    Like other fields of learning, there are basics and advanced subjects. Your question like is wondering if calculus will mean anything to a student not required to memorize multiplication.
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    Like other fields of learning, there are basics and advanced subjects. Your question like is wondering if calculus will mean anything to a student not required to memorize multiplication.
    I would think my question is more like learning how to count before doing any math.

    States are the numbers they got together to form an equation. They can leave that equation at any time and still be the number they started out as.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    Ref: utbagpiper

    http://constitution.i2i.org/2012/12/...ght-to-secede/
    But those assertions are simply false. Here’s why:

    * During the lead-up to ratification, the Federalists (the Constitution’s advocates) generally spoke or wrote of the document as a power grant directly from the people. Thus, James Madison asserted in Federalist No. 46: “The federal and State governments are in fact but different agents and trustees of the people, constituted with different powers, and designed for different purposes.” In other words, the federal government is the agent of the people, not of the states.

    * Opponents of the Constitution acknowledged this. William Grayson, a leading anti-federalist speaking at the Virginia ratifying convention, summarized the pro-Constitution position as holding that the Constitution “was a compact between the people themselves”—not among the states.
    Not necessarily true until the Seventeenth Amendment. Article I, §3, Clauses 1 and 2 of the Constitution gave the state the power to control the feds. To the peoples detriment the states gave it away, hence the 17th Amendment.

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom1Man View Post
    Too many "teachers," judges/lawyers, and prolates are plain illiterate all around.

    Sent from my SM-G386T using Tapatalk
    +1

    Ohio Revised Code 3313.603
    (M) It is important that high school students learn and understand United States history and the governments of both the United States and the state of Ohio. Therefore, beginning with students who enter ninth grade for the first time on or after July 1, 2012, the study of American history and American government required by divisions (B)(6) and (C)(6) of this section shall include the study of all of the following documents:
    (1) The Declaration of Independence;
    (2) The Northwest Ordinance;
    (3) The Constitution of the United States with emphasis on the Bill of Rights;
    (4) The Ohio Constitution.
    The study of each of the documents prescribed in divisions (M)(1) to (4) of this section shall include study of that document in its original context.
    The study of American history and government required by divisions (B)(6) and (C)(6) of this section shall include the historical evidence of the role of documents such as the Federalist Papers and the Anti-Federalist Papers to firmly establish the historical background leading to the establishment of the provisions of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
    The state keeps forgetting that the Northwest Ordinance is still in force and effect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom1Man View Post
    Too many ... prolates are plain illiterate all around.
    LOL Them's pretty high expectations, for a Prolate to be literate.

    Perhaps a prolapsed prelate with a bishopric?
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by color of law View Post

    Not necessarily true until the Seventeenth Amendment. Article I, §3, Clauses 1 and 2 of the Constitution gave the state the power to control the feds. To the peoples detriment the states gave it away, hence the 17th Amendment.
    Just to be clear, I did not and am not making the argument that the constitution is a compact between the people and the federal government. I merely quoted an interesting perspective.

    My position is that the federal constitution is (or was) a compact between the people and their States and the federal government. I agree fully that the 17th amendment greatly weakened the States. But it was not the 17th amendment alone. The 16th amendment unlimited taxing authority of the feds is an important and dangerous complement to the 17th. State legislatures are far too happy to surrender what little power they have left, to the feds, in exchange for easy federal money.

    Imagine federal Senators coming home to the State legislature that elected them and instead of extolling how much bacon they brought home, having to deliver the State's bill for operating the federal government that year. I suspect we'd have a very fiscally conservative Senate very quickly.

    Charles
    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. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    I would think my question is more like learning how to count before doing any math.

    States are the numbers they got together to form an equation. They can leave that equation at any time and still be the number they started out as.
    That is an interesting assertion. But the article I quoted makes a case, unanswered thus far, that the States did not actually ever assert such a power....until the War Between the States. It is also notable that while the constitution contains explicit provisions for States to enter the union, there are no provisions at all for States to leave the union.

    Again, I think we'd be far better off if everyone operated under the presumption that States can choose to secede. And I think the power to leave an unwanted association has a good feel to it. One would hope we would have some means other than an appeal to arms if the national relationship just turns too sour to live with. I'm just not sure the constitution actually provides for that implicitly (it most obviously does not provide for it explicitly).

    Do you have citations to historic material to bolster the argument that the States are free to leave the union at will? That the framers or ratifiers of the constitution believed such a power was retained by the States?

    Thanks

    Charles
    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. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    I was commenting on the article. I only referenced you as to where the article was originally mentioned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by color of law View Post
    I was commenting on the article. I only referenced you as to where the article was originally mentioned.
    Fair enough.
    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. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

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    The various states have demonstrated time and again that their legislators are quite willing to use the law to demonstrate their antagonism toward groups of citizens and impose their personal views on citizens of their state that don't hold these views. State governments are not necessarily trustworthy.

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    Just a thought and question...


    how did this living constitution thing come about? I mean it seems plain as day it was meant to be under "original intent" only since there is a way to ratify it with a constitutional convention of (I believe) 37 states. of course I am fuzzy on this, but I do know a constitutional convention is required to change the meaning of something in the BoR or the Constitution.
    Last edited by Ezek; 09-12-2015 at 05:51 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezek View Post
    Just a thought and question...


    how did this living constitution thing come about? I mean it seems plain as day it was meant to be under "original intent" only since there is a way to ratify it with a constitutional convention of (I believe) 37 states. of course I am fuzzy on this, but I do know a constitutional convention is required to change the meaning of something in the BoR or the Constitution.
    Rhetorical......

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezek View Post
    Just a thought and question...how did this living constitution thing come about? [ ... ]
    Woodrow Wilson is the father of US progressivism.

    Wilson strengthened this view, at least publicly, while he campaigned for President in 1912. He said:

    Society is a living organism and must obey the laws of life, not of mechanics; it must develop. All that progressives ask or desire is permission - in an era when "development," "evolution," is the scientific word - to interpret the Constitution according to the Darwinian principle; all they ask is recognition of the fact that a nation is a living thing and not a machine. Pestritto, Ronald J. (2005) Woodrow Wilson: The Essential Political Writings pg. 121. This is part of his "The New Freedom" series of speeches.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living...tution#Origins

    It is covered in one of the early Constitution 101 lectures at Hillsdale.edu, one of the sponsors of ConstitutionDays.org
    Last edited by Nightmare; 09-12-2015 at 06:08 PM.
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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beebobby View Post
    The various states have demonstrated time and again that their legislators are quite willing to use the law to demonstrate their antagonism toward groups of citizens and impose their personal views on citizens of their state that don't hold these views. State governments are not necessarily trustworthy.
    Absolutely true. Yet tyranny is then restricted to a smaller geographical area, instead of an empire.

    Liberty has more of a chance to flourish, experiments in government a better chance at succeeding when there are 50 competing states instead of one big conglomeration.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by utbagpiper View Post
    That is an interesting assertion. But the article I quoted makes a case, unanswered thus far, that the States did not actually ever assert such a power....until the War Between the States. It is also notable that while the constitution contains explicit provisions for States to enter the union, there are no provisions at all for States to leave the union.

    Again, I think we'd be far better off if everyone operated under the presumption that States can choose to secede. And I think the power to leave an unwanted association has a good feel to it. One would hope we would have some means other than an appeal to arms if the national relationship just turns too sour to live with. I'm just not sure the constitution actually provides for that implicitly (it most obviously does not provide for it explicitly).

    Do you have citations to historic material to bolster the argument that the States are free to leave the union at will? That the framers or ratifiers of the constitution believed such a power was retained by the States?

    Thanks

    Charles
    They threatened it many times before the War between the states. New England during Jefferson's embargo for example.

    Virginia, New York, Rhode Island all explicitly made it part of their ratification agreement. The other states did not reject this.

    The constitution isn't a document telling what a state can or can't do on its own. Its a document governing the Union, so yes joining requirements are spelled out. Leaving it isn't. Just like if a person leaves any other voluntary union permission is not a requirement.

    As Walter E Williams points out the states are the principle the agent is the federation not the other way around.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Quote Originally Posted by beebobby View Post
    The various states have demonstrated time and again that their legislators are quite willing to use the law to demonstrate their antagonism toward groups of citizens and impose their personal views on citizens of their state that don't hold these views. State governments are not necessarily trustworthy.

    The federal government has demonstrated exactly the same thing. West of the Kansas-Colorado State line, the federal government (ie Eastern interests) continue to maintain ownership and control of well over 60% of the land mass inside the several, sovereign States. This creates a situation of economic and political in-equity between the States, in violation of the equal footing doctrine.

    It is also much easier for unpopular minorities to move and find refuge in a neighboring State, than it is for them to have to flee the entire nation.

    Hence the reason the framers wisely divided power between the States and the feds.

    "Diversity" should be about far more than just skin color. A respect for diversity should extend to a diversity of cultures and laws within the nation. Those rights enumerated in the federal constitution should be protected nationwide, including RKBA in places like NJ, NY, Illinois, and Cali. Anything not explicitly enumerated should be left to the several States to sort out as they see fit under their respective State Constitutions.

    Charles
    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. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    Virginia, New York, Rhode Island all explicitly made it part of their ratification agreement. The other states did not reject this.
    Citations? The article I quoted explicitly said Virginia, Rhode Island, and Maryland never included any such language despite some claims they did. I can't prove a negative, but given your strong assertion, I presume you have copies of source documents readily available to back up your claim.

    I'd be very interested to read the ratification agreements to see this language for myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    The constitution isn't a document telling what a state can or can't do on its own. Its a document governing the Union, so yes joining requirements are spelled out. Leaving it isn't. Just like if a person leaves any other voluntary union permission is not a requirement.
    Membership in a union often creates mutual obligations. Unilaterally leaving cannot dispel those on going obligations. Some process must be agreed to. What of debts incurred with the consent of the States? Or federal properly property owned within each State?

    While I can be persuaded a right to secession is inherent in joining the union, I cannot accept a "no fault divorce" mentality that says we can part company at any time, leaving the rest holding the bag for our debts.

    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    As Walter E Williams points out the states are the principle the agent is the federation not the other way around.
    Even the principle can be bound by contract when he enters into agreements with other principles. Walter Williams is respectable and makes many good points. But he is not source documents for understanding original intent of the Constitution nor those who ratified it.

    Charles
    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. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

  24. #24
    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    No the onus is upon you to cite were they cannot leave the union.

    Nowhere in the constitution does it prevent it or spell out that they may not leave.

    No where does it say they are obligated to the other states to stay.

    You don't have the original source material either, yet Professor Kevin Gutzman has read it and published about it.

    I never mentioned Maryland.

    The colonies just fought a war of succession, the DOI lists them as sovereign states, they in both the articles of confederation and constitution retain their sovereignty. They never surrendered power to the other states to take away their sovereignty, preventing secession does exactly that.

    http://nomocracyinpolitics.com/2013/...tical-thought/

    The monarchist and the federalist lost at the convention in Philadelphia, they did not get their way.

    So even putting aside if they specifically ratified or not. A voluntary union cannot keep people in it if they do not consent to remain. It is both immoral and not legal.

    Even Lincoln admitted that.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    The United States of America is/was no different than the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. They are/were a union of individual states/countries/republics.
    President Reagan bankrupted the USSR, they reverted back to their original republics.
    And the USA is on the verge of bankruptcy. So, guess what will happen?
    And don't think it can't happen. Are you prepared?

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