short civics lesson, little red hen, and of course Joe you know who

Doing a little online reading this morning. Here’s what I found.

First, a little reminder about how the government is set up from one of the Supreme Court’s conservatives.

The Declaration of Independence sets out the basic underlying principle of our Constitution. “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 . . . .”

The framers structured the Constitution to assure that our national government be by the consent of the people. To do this, they limited its powers. The national government was to be strong enough to protect us from each other and from foreign enemies, but not so strong as to tyrannize us. So, the framers structured the Constitution to limit the powers of the national government. Its powers were specifically enumerated; it was divided into three co-equal branches; and the powers not given to the national government remained with the states and the people. The relationship between the two political branches (the executive and the legislative) was to be somewhat contentious providing checks and balances, while frequent elections would assure some measure of accountability. And, the often divergent interests of the states and the national government provided further protection of liberty behind the shield of federalism. The third branch, and least dangerous branch, was not similarly constrained or hobbled.

How to Read the Constitution” excerpt from a recent speech by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas posted in

Then, I find myself in surprising agreement with part of the underlying ideas Detroit News writer Nolan Finley writes in “America Should Follow LIttle Red Hen.” I can sense both his Justice Thomas’s points of view that I don’t agree with (Thomas doesn’t see his own bias and Finley is using wisdom to beat up people he disagrees with). But the Little Red Hen story is one that is often in the back of my mind when I work with volunteer singers who would prefer to skip rehearsal and show at performance or just drop in for Christmas singing and skip the commitment the rest of the year.

Here’s a snippet from Finley 

She planted the wheat and ground the flour and baked the bread and felt no obligation to break off a piece for the shiftless sheep or do-nothing donkey — unless she wanted to. She was my kind of chick.

But she doesn’t fit into an America that increasingly questions the fairness of one person having more than another, without weighing sweat or skill.

In the hen’s world, if you produced, you ate; if you were able to and didn’t, you went hungry.

Why is that too sinister a concept to teach tykes today?

And last but not least Clarence Page asks 

[Did] anyone in McCain’s campaign bothered to check Joe’s background before McCain used him as a debate foil — and [it makes one wonder] whether Joe might have been vetted by the same genius who vetted Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be McCain’s running mate.

Page is a columnist I admire quite a bit. His entire article, “What Joe Plumber Doesn’t Know,” is on Real Clear Politics. If you don’t know Real Clear Politics and you are following US Politics you might want to check it out. I think it’s great!

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