Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Purpose of a Social Contract

Ok, so we know that a life of public service is supposed to be a life of servitude. Politicians call themselves Public Servants, but why? Well, it all comes from the origin of a social contract. A social contract puts them at our will. This is our Constitution's goal.

The Constitution is the list of ways that they can serve us. Why do we need a list? Why not just let them serve us as they like? This is why most social contracts prior to our Constitution were unwritten. These other contracts have given their ruler's almost supreme power. We ended up with vicious dictators and kings with unstoppable power. These people even tried election systems in minimally drawn out contracts and they found themselves electing idiots. They created democracies that resulted in the French Revolution and many bloody messes in Europe.

Our founders decided to change that. They decided to draw out a social contract that, as we learned, was meant to keep the government in line. They put limit after limit on government power. They drew line after line telling them how they must run their processes and how it would take 3/4ths of the people to accept any changes to that process. Then, when they finished, they added to it. They added, after all these limitations and specifics, 10 more notations, known as Amendments. Each one specifically naming Rights of the people except for the last 2. The last 2 had one sole purpose, to note that there were more Rights, and that the government was not to go outside the bounds of that social contract because it may trample these other Rights. The founders very adamantly said that there was no reason for the government to do anything that they had not yet specified. As such, they had simple, specifically outlined purposes. And these purposes are listed in their respective sections of the Constitution.

This is the purpose of a social contract. A social contract controls the relationship between the people and their government. The people give up some of their freedoms to the government in exchange for it's protection. Our founders wanted to keep the government's protection very minimal in exchange for very few of our freedoms. So now we know what a social contract does. Next time we'll answer more questions.


Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. – John Adams (1814)

The Constitution is not hearsay. It is not a bunch of legal myths passed along by word of mouth. It is not a depository for judicial delusions and ideological pipe dreams. It is not a figment of some justice's Marxian imagination. It is a written document – a legally binding contract whose words, spirit and intent are clear. – Linda Bowles, nationally syndicated columnist

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Public Service

Why do we have a social contract? Why do we want a social contract? What good comes from it? What do we get out of keeping our government under one? For that matter, what does the government get out of it? These are all the questions we need to ask before deciding if it is important when things are unconstitutional. This is a big topic, so let's break it down. First, let's under stand the concept "public service". Sadly, this definition has been altered as well, but we find under definition 2 an effective rendition of what it means:

public service - A service performed for the benefit of the public, especially by a nonprofit organization.

This is what public service has always meant. Now, however, when someone intends to get a career in politics, they say they're going for "a life of public service". So public service has been altered to mean "a government career". That is definition 1 at

Sadly, as a result of this, politicians have mastered the art of saying nothing and sounding fantastic at it. One example is when they say "I want to be a public servant." They are serving themselves by appearing to be at our whims. This is known as sales. Every salesman out there knows this trick. The only difference is that, as a politician, you're selling yourself. Anyhow, now we know what public service means. Make sure you note that next time the president declares war on someone he's doing it out of "public service"; service to the public; service to you...


War is just one more big government program. – Joseph Sobran

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as Freedom should not be highly rated. – Thomas Paine

Monday, December 12, 2005

On a side note

They recently banned guns in San Francisco.  I'm a bit bothered by that, as we have already discussed the unconstitutionality of gun bans.  However, it is also a violation of the Ex Post Facto clause of the Constitution.  Let's hop on that gravy train today :)
First, let's have a read of this clause within the Constition.
Article I, Section 9, Clause 3:
"No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed. "
This is a very concise sentence, but it isn't entirely clear.  So let's look up some of these words:
ex post facto - Formulated, enacted, or operating retroactively
attainder - In the ancient common law, the state of an offender who had been sentenced for a capital offense.
I think these are pretty clear.  Congress cannot pass a law that creates a debt for someone sentenced to capital punishment (the death penalty) and cannot pass a law that acts retro-actively.  Therefore, when they required all those who had purchased handguns in San Francisco to turn them in within 90 days or face a "yet to be determined" punishment, they acted very Unconstitutionally.  We're getting pretty close to discussing whether or not Unconstitutionality is ok, so get psyched.  I'm hoping we can conclude our discussion before the end of this coming year.

America needs fewer laws, not more prisons. – James Bovard