December 30, 2010

"Because the Constitution is so old, it is written in the 'old-timey' language of people of more than one century ago..."

"... which leads many modern people to get confused and frustrated by it. 'What is this stupid boring thing?' they will ask, then go back to playing Super Mario Cart. These modern people could not be any more wrong, because hidden underneath all the 'so-called' confusing words is an exciting story with twists and turns everywhere. Fortunately, and most importantly, the Founding Fathers also invented the Supreme Court which does a good job of translating the Constitution into modern words and juxtaposing them for all of us, the American people of the United States."

Iowahawk spoofs young Ezra Klein, who's not impressed with the GOP's new requirement that legislation expressly identify the provision of the Constitution that supports Congress's exercise of power.

Here's Ezra Klein's actual column.

109 comments:

Class factotum said...

Listen to Charlie Sykes' Caller of the Year, a woman who asked if he was going to follow everything in the Constitution and then said, Oh yeah well are you going to take up arms against Britain?

That boring old Constitution. So last century.

http://media2.620wtmj.com/sykes/122310_Caller_of_Year_2010.mp3

James said...

Brilliant....the blank portion for "Work Experience" is hilarious.

Chase said...

"Old-Timey"?

So what?

Seriously.

So what?

The Bible has parts of it written over 3,000 years ago, and yet we have every original single word and can see the original meaning of it.

So the 235 year old Constitution?
Please.

Non-issueyawwwwwwwwnnnnnnnnnnzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Quayle said...

"In reality, the tea party -- like most everyone else -- is less interested in living by the Constitution than in deciding what it means to live by the Constitution."

Klein is a complete moron if he actually thinks he can explain the difference.

Triangle Man said...

Would legislation be automatically invalidated if the wrong authority was cited? In other words, what is the consequence for error in citation?

Lincolntf said...

I used to think the Libs were just pretending to be ignorant of American history so they didn't have to acknowledge their rejection of our founding principles.
Turns out, they're all just idiots.

Lem said...

The intent of congress is something that has pop up now and again listening to and reading about the supremes.

Maybe this citation authority from the congress itself will aide the supremes decide whether their own preconceived leanings are worth putting aside.

(who's kidding who)

1jpb said...

I like Klein's blog.

He solicits, and then posts unedited viewpoints from folks unlike himself (i.e. cons).

I don't see a lot of bloggers who (even temporarily) handover their blogs to "the other side." Doing so may be a sign of character, or something.

Chase said...

Doing so may be a sign of character, or something.

Something. Hands down.

Skipper50 said...

Iowahawk is actually more lucid than young Ezra.

1jpb said...

Just looked at the Klein link.

So, the health care reform had a constitutional justification for the mandate. Health care reform meets the TPer's requirement.

Hilarious.

There couldn't possibly be a better way to show that tacking on so-called constitutional justification for laws is a joke. Unless, the TPers now think that the mandate is allowed by the constitution, since the legislation included a constitution based justification.

Funny stuff.

HDHouse said...

I long for the day that the first defense appropriation rider is tacked on to a prolife healthcare bill.

Clyde said...

I'd say that the boy has been "schooled," except that I doubt he has learned anything.

Clyde said...

I notice that the article has been edited and now says that the Constitution was written more than 200 years ago, which makes Klein look like less of a putz. If you didn't know what the original version said, then the first comment about the Constitution not being written in 1910 would make no sense at all.

djf said...

Ezra Klien is a commie. Simple as that. He worships Karl Marx, just like Obama, and as such he hates we simple American in the White American Middle Class. He hates us and wishes we were dead.

AST said...

What is so hilarious, and yet annoying, is his presumption to be lecturing "my friends on the right," making a point that shows he's never read a legal opinion, or he's know that statutes and governmental acts are regularly stricken down for failure to comply with the Constitution.

How did this joker get to be an opinion writer for the Washington Post? He clearly belongs at Frank Rich's spot at the NYTimes.

murgatroyd666 said...

Ezra is one of the elite thinkers who have turned the Washington Post into the Washington POS.

AllenS said...

Ezra Klein, Journolist member. Liar, fool.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

From Klein's column:

What's the evidence that this will make legislation more, rather than less, constitutional, for whatever your definition of the Constitution is?

For whatever your definition of the Constitution is?

Never has the liberal view of the Constitution been summed up so succinctly.

former law student said...

The Bible has parts of it written over 3,000 years ago, and yet we have every original single word and can see the original meaning of it.

Differences of opinion over what each original single word means may explain why there are some 2300 individual Christian sects.

edutcher said...

Of course, this is a guy who is bored and confused by the Constitution and needs SCOTUS to tell him what's in it.

But he'll look down his nose at the likes of Sarah Palin?

Oy!!

Then again, I picked up my Dad's three volume Webster's dictionary and read through the whole thing (Constitution), looking up bills of attainder and what an Establishment of Religion really is as I went.

Too bad Mr Klein didn't have brains enough to do the same thing. He might not have to stand there waiting for SCOTUS to lead him around by the nose, telling him what his opinions are supposed to be.

But then, he does come off as another narcissistic Lefty who sees the Constitution as being too much for the little people to comprehend, so they need somebody like him to tell them to shut up and do what they're commanded to do.

1jpb said...

I like Klein's blog.

He solicits, and then posts unedited viewpoints from folks unlike himself (i.e. cons)


So does Townhall.

And Neal Boortz.

And Ann Althouse.

Just looked at the Klein link.

So, the health care reform had a constitutional justification for the mandate. Health care reform meets the TPer's requirement.


So PB&J is as confused as Klein. The Republicans are the ones who want a Constitutional justification for each bill.

But I'm sure the Tea Partiers like the idea, too.

Fr Martin Fox said...

It may be that the target of the spoof was a TV interview given by Klein in which he says the Constitution was written "over 100 years ago" and is too confusing. Instapundit linked it earlier.

Maguro said...

In reality, the tea party -- like most everyone else -- is less interested in living by the Constitution than in deciding what it means to live by the Constitution. When the constitutional disclaimers at the bottom of bills suit them, they'll respect them. When they don't -- as we've seen in the case of the individual mandate -- they won't.

Klein is completely missing the point here. I don't think anyone has claimed that having mandatory constitutional disclaimers on legislation would automatically make that legislation constitutional. You'd have to be pretty dumb to think that. It's just a safeguard to ensure that congress actually considers the constitutionality of their legislation before it's finalized.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Here's the link:

http://blog.eyeblast.tv/2010/12/ezra-klein-the-constitution-is-impossible-to-understand-because-its-over-100-years-old/

former law student said...

Turns out, [liberals are] all just idiots.

Per the latest research, liberals think more, while conservatives react more:

Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners, Professor Rees and his colleague Dr Ryota Kanai at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, UCL (University College London) analysed the brain structures of ninety young adults who had reported their political attitudes on a scale from 'very conservative' to 'very liberal'. They found a strong correlation between an individual's view and the structure of the brain, particularly two regions.

People with liberal views tended to have increased grey matter in the anterior cingulated cortex, a region of the brain linked to decision-making, in particular when conflicting information is being presented. Previous research showed that electrical potentials recorded from this region during a task that involves responding to conflicting information were bigger in people who were more liberal or left wing than people who were more conservative.

Conservatives, meanwhile, found increased grey matter in the amygdala, an area of the brain associated with processing emotion. This difference is consistent with studies which show that people who consider themselves to be conservative respond to threatening situations with more aggression than do liberals and are more sensitive to threatening facial expressions.


http://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/
news-articles/1012/10122301

Fr Martin Fox said...

Maguro:

A common tactic: when arguing with someone, assume he's a moron or interpret his argument in the most moronic way. A variation is to treat your opponent as if he's evil (bigot! racist!)

It's a popular tactic in comment threads, I've noticed. But it doesn't shed any light.

Lincolntf said...

former law student said...


Yes, fls, I know. Liberals never tire of "proving" to everyone how sensitive, smart and superior they are.
Obsessively self-referential narcissists who have failed in every one of their grand endeavors, they are now left squealing that we're just not smart enough to appreciate the wonderful work they do. Like they did in Detroit, for example.

Bob Ellison said...

Klein has parodied himself by laughing at his own failure to understand people who disagree with him.

Satire, parody, and even Maureen-Dowd-like clownface writing are challenging jobs. You can't just pretend to observe high places from below, and throw small stones. There's gotta be more humility. Jon Stewart laughs at himself. David Letterman used to, but hasn't for years.

I'm not very jazzed by the "show me your weapons" provision, but it's an honest concept that the electorate can understand. It's hard to parody without making oneself sound stupid, as Klein has done.

MadisonMan said...

The Bible has parts of it written over 3,000 years ago, and yet we have every original single word and can see the original meaning of it.

My aramaic and ancient greek is kinda rusty.

Peano said...

Ezra wrote: Shortly thereafter, the legislation makes itself more explicit: "In United States v. South-Eastern Underwriters Association (322 U.S. 533 (1944)), the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that insurance is interstate commerce subject to Federal regulation." Has that statement convinced the GOP that the individual mandate is constitutional? Of course not.

I wonder if the Post pays that idiot to write such gibberish.

Cedarford said...

At the end of the day, we do have a Constitution that is anachronistic, vague, and has a broken Amending process.

Other nations revise their Constitutions on a 30-50 year cycle to update them, chuck obsolete sections, clarify things the passage of time has made obscure in practice. Bad ideas in the Constitution are considered and tossed if a "supermajority" of the government officials agree.

The US Constitution is, since we haven't revised it in 200 years, in the hands of high priests who alone are said to be trusted to divine the vagueness and come up with the right emenations and penumbras.
Time for a Constitutional Covention to fix some very big problems in it. We are a nation in decline. And the Constitution ultimately does not derive from what a 5-4 majority of lawyers dressed in robes says it is, but from a document We The People can rewite anytime we demand to.

Peano said...

"The Second Amendment, for instance, says nothing about keeping a gun in the home if you've not signed up with a "well-regulated militia," but interpreting the Second Amendment broadly has been important to those who want to bear arms. And so they've done it."

The boy has not one scintilla of a clue about the scholarship behind the "broad" interpretation, as he calls it. Don Kates published a brilliant piece the year before Ezzie was born, and it was followed by a raft of first-rate scholarship. I'll bet Ezz has never heard of the Kates paper, let alone read it.

Bob Ellison said...

Cedarford:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty-seventh_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

I don't hang around here often enough to know whether your post was serious, so anyway...I dunno.

As for a Constitutional Convention, I'm all for it.

[wv: essenc]

murgatroyd666 said...

The US Constitution is, since we haven't revised it in 200 years, in the hands of high priests who alone are said to be trusted to divine the vagueness and come up with the right emenations and penumbras.

And apparently Cedarford is a moby -- one who's trying to make neo-Nazi sympathizers look stupid, too. It's working.

Peano said...

Cedarford said: The US Constitution is, since we haven't revised it in 200 years, in the hands of high priests who alone are said to be trusted to divine the vagueness and come up with the right emenations and penumbras.
Time for a Constitutional Covention to fix some very big problems in it.


No, it's time to appoint judges who don't seek constitutional meaning in "emenations and penumbras."

edutcher said...

former law student said...

Turns out, [liberals are] all just idiots.

Per the latest research, liberals think more, while conservatives react more:


Wrong-a-roonies. The upshot of the research is that Conservatives plan ahead, while Lefties live day-to-day. If you're going to quote, get it right.

Peano said...

"The Second Amendment, for instance, says nothing about keeping a gun in the home if you've not signed up with a "well-regulated militia," but interpreting the Second Amendment broadly has been important to those who want to bear arms. And so they've done it."

The boy has not one scintilla of a clue about the scholarship behind the "broad" interpretation, as he calls it. Don Kates published a brilliant piece the year before Ezzie was born, and it was followed by a raft of first-rate scholarship. I'll bet Ezz has never heard of the Kates paper, let alone read it.


The militia was the Army at the time; there was no standing Army, so every able-bodied male citizen between 18 and 60 was a member of the local militia company. Not everyone kept a Brown Bess, Chrleville, or Pennsylvania Long Rifle over the mantle, so many towns had armories - this is why the British were on their way to Lexington and Concord. The armories were as much a part of the people's right to keep and bear arms as the musket over the mantle.

If you want justification to pack heat for personal protection or food, may I suggest the 9th:

"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

and 10th:

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Amendments.

Big Mike said...

The US Constitution is, since we haven't revised it in 200 years ...

Dang! I could have sworn it's been revised 27 times, most recently in 1992 (once, interestingly enough, to revise it back by wiping out a previous amendment).

Meade said...

1jpb said...
Just looked at the Klein link.

So, the health care reform had a constitutional justification for the mandate. Health care reform meets the TPer's requirement.


No it didn't and no it doesn't.

The Republican proposed House rule is that all proposed bills are to be accompanied by a "Constitutional Authority Statement" that will note the specific section of the Constitution that empowers Congress to enact the legislation.

That's a "Constitutional Authority Statement" not a "Constitutional Justification Statement.

The paragraph Klein cites does not note the "specific section of the Constitution," it only says that interstate insurance is commerce and the Federal government has the authority to regulate commerce.

The relevant constitutional question is not whether the federal government has an enumerated power to regulate commerce (it does), it's whether or not the federal government has an enumerated power to mandate individual citizens to engage in commerce.

Ezra Klein is just another elitist who failed to get the message of last month's election: the American people want a federal government disciplined by the limited enumerated powers of the Constitution and a Constitution that is strictly, not broadly, interpreted.

Palladian said...

"The Bible has parts of it written over 3,000 years ago, and yet we have every original single word and can see the original meaning of it."

Not a single primary source for any word of the Bible is known to exist.

The original Constitution you can look at in the National Archive.

Chip Ahoy said...

The parts juxtapose in very important ways. Ha ha ha ha ha. He's killing me over here.

The language of the founding fathers is not difficult to understand, nor the intent. Neither is Shakespeare, for that matter. High School kids learn a Shakespeare play then go around talking like Shakespeare for months, ferChrist'ssake, but I will admit, Chaucer can be a bit thick to penetrate.

But speaking of getting at old-timey written stuff, on an episode of Chasing Mummies, Zahi Hawass took a young acolyte aside over to a new site and with great excitement revealed to her a recently discovered temple built by Wenes (Unas), last ruler of the 5th dynasty, 2350 B.C. The cameraman held the camera on Hawass, held the camera on the acolyte, zipped across the inscribed hieroglyphics. Like jerky-cam on the hieroglyphics, my main interest.

Hawass asked, "What do the hieroglyphs say?" I go, "Oh goody gumdrops!' The camera goes >>>zip<<< The acolyte goes dismissively, "They're offerings." Hawass beams with delight, such a bright child. I'm sitting there thinking, "You dumb ass, what do the hieroglyphics say exactly?" That answer is way too general, and she answered in English. Then Hawass asked, "What do those glyphs say?" The camera jerks across the glyphs again then holds on the acolyte. Again dismissively, "Oh, they're amounts." Hawass is filled with glee. I am not. I'm pissed off at the dismissiveness and at the cameraman for not giving us viewers a crack. And I'm mad at the Egyptologist for not even bothering to say what the offerings were and how much.

To be fair, they're always formulaic, something like "The gifts the king Wenis gives to Osiris, Lord of Eternity, Foremost of the Westerners. 1,0000 bread, 1,0000 beer, 1,0000 oxen, 1,0000 fowl, 1,0000 linen, 1,000 alabaster etc. But what exactly?

The inscription would specify if these were actual gifts made by the king to Osiris, in actually, the priesthood would make physical use of the gifts, or are the gifts a recitation by Anubis (a priest dressed in costume as Anubis) giving an invocation offering, that is, a verbal offering. Unlikely since this is a big ol' temple. But we had none of it because the young Egyptologist was more interested in her own personal drama, her touchy relationship with Hawass than in being shown something so extraordinary, and the cameraman couldn't bring himself to hold steady.

Incidentally, Iowahawk's essay is 500 words exactly including footnotes. I'm certain he had to stick a few juxtaposes in there to make it work out. Brilliant.

chickelit said...

@FLS:

Eggheads vs. reactionaries? Who knew?

There's still the the little problem of who pays the bills.
I would like to see a postmortem analysis of Stalin's or Lenin's (or Lennon's for that matter) brain for such excess grey matter.

Next, let's see how this grey matter s encoded in DNA so that parents could...you know...choose!

Lem said...

I call for a Constitutional Cafe..

chickelit said...

Ezra Klein? bore.....dumb

wv = "calphie" Name for Osama bin Laden's dog.

Big Mike said...

Meanwhile Klein's article itself is full of interesting tidbits:

I'm very curious to know what the GOP -- or the tea partyers they're presumably pandering to ...

Not that Democrats have any special interest groups that they presumably pander to.

My friends on the right don't like to hear this, but ...

Klein has friends on the right? Maybe by his standards they're on the right. I'll bet if I met any of them they'll be well to the left of center.

Second thought, Klein has any friends at all? Now if that doesn't speak to the tolerance of the American people I don't know what does.

[The Constitution] rarely speaks directly to the questions we ask it.

Yes it does. It says "no."

Lem said...

Yes it does. It says "no."

Congress shall make no law..

Music to my ears.

David said...

The cynical little twerp, isn't he.

Pogo said...

If lefties are so smart, why do they always choose the one form of economy historically proven to fail every time it's been tried?

Seems like liberals think more, but they sure don't get much for all that extry time.

Chip Ahoy said...

Palladian, I do not understand your comment. Viewed as literature, primary sources do exist, more than one for the Tower of Babel and for the Flood, to name just two stories with antecedents in cultures that predated the Israelites. I suppose it depends on what you would accept as primary.

Bible, primary sources. Prolegomena to the History of Israel

DADvocate said...

An obviously intellectually lazy fellow. As such, he produces high school level commentary. (My apologies to high school honor students who all out think Klein.)

Clyde said...

Quoted on Instapundit!

w00t!

Seven Machos said...

what is the consequence for error in citation?

Well, if Obama and the Democrats had had any balls and simply called their health care plan a tax, it wouldn't be about to be declared unconstitutional.

Further, if Congress is not sure if it has the authority to pass a law, why is Congress passing a law? The power of the Congress is limited, is it not?

Michael said...

Ezra Klein is an example of the "credentialed" vs the "educated."

Seven Machos said...

Hey Cedarford, you want to know who is really is charge of the Constitution? Jews.

Seven Machos said...

The Bible has parts of it written over 3,000 years ago, and yet we have every original single word and can see the original meaning of it.

This simply is not true.

AllenS said...

If you take the word Jew, and add a few more letters, it spells Constitution.

Michael said...

former law student, are those the same "scientists" that used twelve bristlecone pines to establish ancient climate ?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

AllenS said...

Cedarford says...
The US Constitution is, since we haven't revised it in 200 years, in the hands of high priests...

What do you consider Amendments to the Constitution to be? The first ten amendments were ratified on Dec. 15, 1791.

HDHouse said...

We can hope that the right wing loonies on here get some brains real soon. That's my Christmas wish. My New Year's resolution is not to make fun of them too much until they do.

In one page of comments the right wing has pronounced Klein a commie, a fool, un-American and noted is possible religious heritage while wanting out of the constitution and seemingly tossing out the supreme court.

Is there a full moon?

JAL said...

The Second Amendment, for instance, says nothing about keeping a gun in the home if you've not signed up with a "well-regulated militia," but interpreting the Second Amendment broadly has been important to those who want to bear arms. And so they've done it.


Writes Thomas Jefferson: (one of them "Founding Fathers." I think.)

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government"
Thomas Jefferson, Vol 1 Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

"The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that... it is their right and duty to be at all times armed."
Thomas Jefferson to John Cartwright, 1824.

Beth said...

So, after reading Klein's column, it's clear he didn't say anything remotely like "that old-timey language" is hard to understand. It's good to be reminded to read the source, and not just go with the spin someone puts on it.

JorgXMcKie said...

Beth, watch the linked video in the comments.

Ernst Stavro Blofeld said...

You have to give props to Iowahawk, who can toss off brilliant little pieces of parody like this seemingly effortlessly.

Alex said...

JAL... the Jefferson papers have no legal binding....

I can only conclude that because none of us are signed up with legal militias, we must turn in our firearms to the local police PRONTO.

Ernst Stavro Blofeld said...

The Supreme Court's Heller decision is legally binding, and they say there's a Second Amendment right to firearms by non-militia members.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Did God say that the English language can change over time? Is that written in the Constitution? No! Hell no! Which liberal thought up the idea that language can change over time?! It's utter blasphemy! I want his Marxist head on a stick!

The timelessness of the Constitution is found in the swirl of every piece of calligraphy it contains, as is the structure of DNA and E=mc^2. The words of the Constitution are like the physical constants that govern the universe. It can only be interpreted one way, forever and for all time and every decent conservative knows that!!!11!1!!!!

Alex said...

Either the COTUS is binding or it isn't.

Ken Mitchell said...

The Bible was written in, variously, Hebrew and Aramaic. Hebrew, as the yiddishe bochurs know, has no vowels; you needed to know where the vowels formerly were. It has been translated into Greek, then Latin, then English. It's understandable that some of it is confusing.

The Constitution, however, was written in English, and an English that hasn't changed all that much since Noah Webster wrote his dictionary. It's pretty easy to understand, unless you are TRYING to misunderstand it.

If Klein can't figure it out, then his IQ may not be above room temperature.

chickelit said...

The words of the Constitution are like the physical constants that govern the universe.

Ah, but the language is important:
Scientific truth does not depend on man made units

chickelit said...

Alex said...
Either the COTUS is binding or it isn't.

I believe that COITUS is still considered bonding in all 50 states.

chickelit said...

Ritmo:

Begging your pardon, but that handle of yours just has zero panache or cachet. Can you please at least go back to something that fits on one line?

The avi is fine.

Alex said...

I believe that COITUS is still considered bonding in all 50 states

Depends on the amount of lube involved.

Quaestor said...

former law student wrote regarding Chase's biblical analogy: Differences of opinion over what each original single word means may explain why there are some 2300 individual Christian sects.

Bravo.

Quaestor said...

Chase wrote: The Bible has parts of it written over 3,000 years ago, and yet we have every original single word and can see the original meaning of it.

Actually no part of the Bible is more than 2800 years old, though some elements of Genesis are clearly inspired by Mesopotamian texts which may date to the Fourth Millennium BCE.

Skookum John said...

@Alex: "I can only conclude that because none of us are signed up with legal militias, we must turn in our firearms to the local police PRONTO."

Don't assume that you or I are not part of a legally constituted militia. Read Title 10, Section 311 of the US Federal code.

Also, the language of the second amendment is clear: the right is conferred on all the people, including those NOT in the militia, to help maintain the effectiveness of the militia. Boys need lessons from grandpa in how to shoot even if neither of them meets the •10:311 definition of an unorganized militia member.

Consider: "A well educated electorate being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and read Books shall not be infringed." This is grammatically identical to the 2nd but no honest argument could be made that such a right is reserved to registered voters only.

Mark said...

What is remarkable to me is that anyone could actually (in good faith) defend Klein on this. The language of the Constitution is perfectly readable today; the intent may be open to interpretation, but then again, so is you average day-to-day legal disclaimer, and I'd dare say the Constitution is much more succinct.

Quaestor said...

Cedarford wrote: The US Constitution is, since we haven't revised it in 200 years, in the hands of high priests who alone are said to be trusted to divine the vagueness and come up with the right emenations and penumbras.

Cedarford must have cut the same classes as did Ezra Klein.

Quaestor said...

HDHouse wrote: We can hope that the right wing loonies on here get some brains real soon. That's my Christmas wish. My New Year's resolution is not to make fun of them too much until they do.

How can someone with no detectable sense of humor make fun of anyone?

Quaestor said...

Ken Mitchell wrote: The Bible was written in, variously, Hebrew and Aramaic.

Which parts of the Bible were written in Aramaic? I have read that some of the Qumran documents are in Aramaic, but they are non-canonical texts. The books of the New Testament were all written in Greek in their original form, even Paul's letter to the Romans, which one might expect to have been in Latin considering the target audience.

Youngblood said...

Beth,

This was pointed out earlier in the thread, but Iowahawk was poking fun at Klein for this.

"The issue with the Constitution is that the text is confusing because it was written more than a hundred years ago..."

Revenant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
edutcher said...

HDHouse said...

We can hope that the right wing loonies on here get some brains real soon. That's my Christmas wish. My New Year's resolution is not to make fun of them too much until they do.

In one page of comments the right wing has pronounced Klein a commie, a fool, un-American and noted is possible religious heritage while wanting out of the constitution and seemingly tossing out the supreme court.

Is there a full moon?


No, just HD free-associating again.

Cedarford said...

AllenS said...
Cedarford says...
The US Constitution is, since we haven't revised it in 200 years, in the hands of high priests...

What do you consider Amendments to the Constitution to be? The first ten amendments were ratified on Dec. 15, 1791
=================
They are called Amendments to the original document, Allen, not a revision.

Most states and most nations revise and update their Operating Manual regularly. Doing without the mysticism that the thing is some Sacred Parchment of perfection that mustn't ever be disturbed by doubters of it's perfect wisdom.

As things stand in America, the Amending process has been broken by special interests from being hard to Amend to impossible to Amend - when faced with any organized opposition. And we have gone away from democracy to leaving the "big calls" to the high priests of the Constitution that delve into it's obscurity and pronounce a refraction of an emenation of a penubra and a toss of goat knuckle bones means 25 more years of Affirmative Action.
And the masses, venerating the Holy Parchment...say if the holy priests say so by 5-4, then it must be so, and they have no voice in matters the people in the Temple decree.
All they do is think...well I disagree about abortion...but the only way I can affect that is by voting for people who promise to slowly change the lifetime priests of the Holy Parchment out over generations...It's only been 30 years! Patience!

DADvocate said...

They are called Amendments to the original document, Allen, not a revision.

Now you want to play semantics to hide your stupidity.

AllenS said...

Those are not words, AllenS! They are an assortment of vowels and consonants!

Comrade X said...

Other nations revise their Constitutions on a 30-50 year cycle to update them, chuck obsolete sections, clarify things the passage of time has made obscure in practice.

Who would that be Herr Cedarford? England with their unwritten constitution? France? I guess so since they've had 5 republics and a few dictatorships over the last 2 centuries. Russia? China? Venezuela? Cuba? Which continuing democracy rewrites their constitution every 30-50 years?

former law student said...

it's time to appoint judges who don't seek constitutional meaning in "emenations and penumbras."

People will be relieved to know that Justice Douglas, author of those words, retired in 1975. I prefer the alternate phrasing of the second Justice Harlan, from his dissent to the denial of cert in Poe v Ullman (Connecticut law forbade married women from obtaining contraceptives from their physicians.)


"This 'liberty' [from the Due Process Clause] is not a series of isolated points pricked out in terms of the taking of property; the freedom of speech, press, and religion; the right to keep and bear arms; the freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures; and so on. It is a rational continuum which, broadly speaking, includes a freedom from all substantial arbitrary impositions and purposeless restraints."

Fans of the Constitution will be happy to know that Douglas cited the Ninth Amendment as well.

Hagar said...

The Constitution is written in very straightforward language and is as easily understood today as in 1787. It also establishes a remarkably good framework for building a Federal republic on; there is nothing wrong with it that has not already been brought up to date by Amendment (though some of the Amendments could themselves stand repeal or further Amendment).
The "problems" with the Constitution lie not in the Constitution, but in the minds of those who would change the meanings of plain English words in order to further their own ideas.

Don said...

"Here's Ezra Klein's actual column."

Just to be clear, the mockery was originally instigated by the inane Klein interview linked to by Iowahawk:

http://www.breitbart.tv/liberal-star-blogger-ezra-klein-constitution-has-no-binding-power-on-anything-confusing-because-its-over-100-years-old/

Lincolntf said...

"Those are not words, AllenS! They are an assortment of vowels and consonants!"

heh heh.

Famous Original Mike said...

I would say that it's an hilarious parody if it weren't truly (madly, deeply) impossible to parody the Modern Left.

AJ Lynch said...

In 20-30 years if Ezra still has a high profile job, which current librul loon will Ezra remind you of the most?

Hdhouse, Paul Krugman, Robert Cook, Eleanor Clift, Keith Olbermann, Alpha Liberal, Jeremy?

AllenS said...

Hey, whatever happened to Alpha Liberal?

AJ Lynch said...

AllenS:
I think many libruls are scared witless [if they still had their wits] by Obama's and the Dem's incompetence and the voters' failure to embrace Obama's far left librul mindset & policies.

My shorter answer is they may be drowning their sorrows in some alcoholic beverages on a daily basis.

AJ Lynch said...

OT I read Peggy Noonan's column today. It was Meh as usual but I noticed Hdhouse left two critical comments accusing Noonan of cutting & pasting from Wikipedia.

c3 said...

Even T. Coddington Vorhees was amused. Furthermore he stated:

"That's what I'd expect from a public school graduate. Only slightly better than a community college"

c3 said...

Personally, I think the Constitution is cool. Does it have a Facebook page?

Crimso said...

"The books of the New Testament were all written in Greek in their original form, even Paul's letter to the Romans, which one might expect to have been in Latin considering the target audience."

Perhaps he was writing to the wrestlers, and figured they were Greeks first and Romans second.

Ryan said...

I've decide to utilize my marginal bully pulpit in defense of what Ezra Klein was implying. He obviously was not clear enough, perhaps an analogy would do the trick:

Ezra Klein In The Cross-Hairs Of Right Wing Outrage

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Panache? Cachet?

Those are French words, aren't they?

O'Reilly would be plenty pissed at you for that, Chicklet.

Anyway, the avatar only works with the handle. Blow up the picture of him on the profile or at the webpage he's linked to and you'll get the irony, my friend.

Humor is more important than these little French variations on gravitas, at this point.

BTW, love all the gentiles chiming in to claim that the Bible was committed to text and/or canonized three thousand years ago. The Jews, like most of their contemporaries, were an oral culture and didn't compile a written version of their "history"/mythology until long after the events chronicled supposedly took place. For them, there was no such thing as text without interpretation - or at least, no use in such a thing.

For anyone who admires their successes and contributions to civilization, there's a lesson there to be learned on the relationship between ideas, reason, discourse and the moral life.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Ryan:

Your point is made in a reasonably lucid fashion. Klein--who you say is so very, very astute--failed to make the point you made, and along the way said things worthy of mockery.

Ryan said...

Martin, thank you for the polite compliment. In all honesty I had the benefit of being able to write my thoughts down before submitting.

Klein on the other hand is forced to comment on live television under the bright lights of media and voter scrutiny.

I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Ryan:

Well...maybe Klein shouldn't try to play in the big leagues then.

former law student said...

The Constitution is written in very straightforward language and is as easily understood today as in 1787.

Hah. I daresay that less than 5% of the population knows even what "well-regulated" meant back in 1787. (Nothing to do with government or other regulation; simply means something, such as a militia, that works as it should, as one would expect, in other words, properly.)

Half the commenters here don't realize that the plain language of the Constitution prohibits funding a standing army: Congress shall raise armies (i.e. the natural state will be no army, and when the need is over the army will be disbanded; over the centuries many such armies will have been raised as needed) and support said armies for no more than two years at a time. Contrast that the Congress's power to provide and maintain a navy: said navy will be a permanent fixture of the United States, because it will be maintained.

John said...

"It is very important because the Constitution is an important part of the American government, which is as we all know very important also."

This must be a joke. This kid is in fifth grade, not college right?

former law student said...

Iowahawk left out the money quote from Klein's MSNBC interview. I would fear for our Republic while Boehner is the leader of the House, but Klein was gracious, not snarky:

JOHN BOEHNER: This is my copy of the Constitution. And I'm going to stand here with our Founding Fathers who wrote in the preamble, "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."

O'DONNELL: Ezra, is it alarming that the Speaker of the House confused the Constitution with the Declaration of Independence?

KLEIN: Oh, my. I don't find it particularly alarming. Obviously, it's rather embarrassing for him.

Methadras said...

It's written in English, not legalese and that's old-timey?

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