About Ivan W. Parkins

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Text Box: Vol.5, Issue 26
Text Box: November 16, 2012

I. W. Parkins

Front Page

 Links to Articles and Items of Interest

· Fox News on General Petraeus testimony on Benghazi affair

· Ann Coulter on “Demography is Destiny

· CSMonitor-Deborah Charles on “Voting Issues Emerge”

· UK Mail on “General Patraeus Affair

· Amy Payne on “The Threats of a Lame Duck Congress”

· Ann Coulter on “Don’t Blame Romney”

· Thomas Sowell on “The Fallacy of Redistribution”

· Breitbart.com– stories which are not seen in “the media”

· The Drudge Report— Current events website by Matt Drudge

· The Heritage Foundation Blog



2012 Vol. 5, Archive

2011 Vol. 4, Archive

2010 Vol. 3, Archive

2009 Vol. 2, Archive

2008 Vol. 1, Archive

Older Archives

The Constitution

Supreme Court

Culture, Power &

 Mass Media

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Perspectives For

American Society

Text Box:  IN THIS ISSUE– The aftermath ELECTION DAY 2012
Why I Still Believe General Petraeus!
The Great Constitutional Question-Reprise
Graph on Entitlements versus Defense Budget-Reprise
Freedom’s Choices-Reprise

American Political Commentary


Veritas Veneratio Virtus



By Ivan W. Parkins

           It is not what does some provision of the Constitution mean?  It is what does CONSTITUTIONALISM mean?

           To the classical Greeks, and many who have followed them, constitutions have been little more than descriptions of how power was distributed, or not shared, in a particular government.

           Among later Western intellectuals there developed views that people who shared a culture, especially a language, should have a government in which traditional practices and laws defined both the sharing of powers and the respective rights of monarchs and their various classes of subjects.  That, especially in England, became more and more closely defined by practice and in the courts, but was never codified into, or ratified as, the constitution.

           The charters of colonies in what has become the United States were, in some respects models for governments whose forms and powers were defined in a single document.  Prior to our Revolution the document was usually issued by royal authority.

           The ideas that peoples’ rights were primary, and that governments were created by popular authority, were growing.  And the colonies remoteness plus the lack of well entrenched earlier authorities or legal systems facilitated a relatively “clean” start here.  Once the royal governors were driven out, the rebellious colonies drafted and adopted their own constitutions. A loose unity was also established under Articles of Confederation. And with independence from Britain won, we were free to become, but not actually yet, a nation.

           The framers of our Constitution were motivated largely by conflicts both within and between our states, and by the inadequacy of central government under the Articles.  They exceeded their authority, and acted in a well kept secrecy to draft a central government capable of making us a nation.  To assure that, it had to be presented as an act by “We the people of the United States,” and ratified by conventions in the states.  Now after more than two centuries of (mainly) successes it has been confirmed in the real world as one of humanity’s all-time achievements.

           Our Constitution does provide for changes, and several major ones have been added by amendments. The document is however brief, and numerous lesser changes to our political system have been added by Supreme Court interpretation and extra-legal political practices, for example the role of political parties.  But, such changes are readily reversed by means similar to those that created them, if they prove unwise in practice.

           The British system, lacking any single constitutional document, assigns constitutional importance to a variety of documents and precedents. One is that if the House of Commons wants to change or add to those, the Government (leading party) should propose the change, then call a national election, and make the change law if returned to power by that election.

           The greatest danger of our proposed health care changes is that they will create fundamental alterations of our political system without either the extended formalities of a constitutional amendment or the open and popular process that the British system provides.  Such changes will enjoy neither the respect of constitutionality nor the public authentication of any truly popular approval.

           In short, the Obama Administration is persistently seeking health reforms of a huge, complex, and still largely secret specific nature. It seems intent upon doing so by any means that can even pretend to be legal.  That amounts to an attempted coup. Even if it is initially successful, it deserves to be generally condemned as destructive to our constitutional system.


By Ivan W. Parkins


     We, and all of mankind, face an especially complex, but potentially fruitful, problem.  It is how much freedom? And it is especially, what freedoms for whom?

     Individuals are not, never were, and can be only briefly (as they die off), totally free.  Especially as numbers of humans have grown, we have compromised individual freedoms socially to enhance freedoms from natural hazards, and to make our lives more fruitful.

     That, for the most part, has been a gain.  Our more remote ancestors were much less free than we are.  But it was not due primarily to social rules or to other humans.  The first hominids faced natural hazards, as does every sparse and, in some respects, weak species.  By joint efforts and particularly by the cultivating and sharing of our unique mental and communications capacities, we have become dominant among the Earth’s creatures.  The price of that is, and will continue to be, some restrictions of individual freedoms in the interest of communal security against hazards that can easily crush individuals or small communities.

     The principle is a simple one.  Its specific applications are increasingly numerous and complex.  The survival and advance of mankind has been, and can be, long lasting and grand.  The survival of most individuals can be made more likely and more self-satisfying, but only as individuals participate within a larger context.

     To this point in history, the most effective large unit of human cooperation has been the nation state, and organized as a constitutional democracy.  As Americans, we enjoy membership in a particularly successful one.  If we fail to support it thoughtfully and with our lives, we are likely to see that much of what we have valued as our freedom will disappear.

Graph Below

Please note: The blue national defense line has been mainly downward since the Tet Offensive (1968) in Vietnam.  The large bump upward from the early 1980s to the early 1990s is a Reagan-Bush period during which we pressured the Soviet Union to the point of ending both that political giant and the main threat of atomic war.  That was followed by Clinton's great economies, soon followed by the first Twin Tower
bombing, and later by the total destruction of two of our African embassies, and the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole. Defense spending has increased again since 9/11/01, but at a much lower level than in 1968, or 1985.  The red, entitlement spending, has increased almost steadily throughout the same period.



By Ivan W. Parkins


According to news reports, (Fox News, WSJ and others) Petraeus’ accounting of the Benghazi attack to Congress today, he first reported, within 24hours, that the attack upon our mission in Libya was a terrorist attack.  After hearing what the Obama Administration was reporting, he attempted to soften that a little to avoid conflict with the White House. So, why are there changes, now in his testimony?


The General has since resigned his post as CIA Director, an act that gives him a little more legal room to disagree with the President.  Meanwhile, President Obama could not afford the truth to get out, that he is greatly reducing our military posture and expenditures in a time of very real dangers from terrorism abroad. And all of this was happening while his reelection battle was nearing its climax.


Meanwhile, to dismiss his credibility,  a very popular General could be brought under public scrutiny and suspicion with reports of numerous sexual escapades.  Whether or not those were already in the hands of the White House, or independently gathered and held by the FBI is not yet clear.  Either way they helped to divert public attention from the primary issue, the relationship of actually what happened? 


The President was able to go into the recent election with considerable confusion, rather than clear evidence.  And with the recent issues between Israel and Hamas, shouldn’t we be discussing his fitness to lead us for four more years in a very dangerous world? 

Text Box: UPDATE
Text Box: UPDATE