We, the group of friends and acquaintances, in order to re-read or finally read America’s signature legal document, in the face of Tyranny, with a belief in Freedom, and an uncertainty on the Framework of It All, did ordain and establish a gathering in a Milwaukee apartment last week to discuss aloud the the Constitution of the United States.
The gathering was small and by no means a revolutionary force. Instead, twelve 30- and 40-somethings sat in a circle and took turns reading sections, then openly discussing points of interest, confusion, entertainment and concern (particularly as they relate to the present). Outside of the larger themes, minor curiosities formed:
As my Liberty, Posterity and Posterity largely surround language, I pulled words and terms from the Constitution for further inspection. Below are selections from the Constitution, with further reading, both in-depth and bizarre, where applicable.
The several States – The U.S., seemingly used a lot in the Constitution to cover the lack of a “federal general common law,” according to this Yale brainiac. Really seemed kookier than that, or maybe a sign of early divisions in the first states. (This zealot’s Geocities page has what Ben Wallers might say is a distinct “point of view”.)
Chuse – Among the misspellings and German-style noun capitalizations abound in the Constitution. People pretend to put such a premium on proper spelling and grammar. I chuse to accept whatever form or style of wording iz rite 4 tha thyme.
“Objections at large on their Journal” – “Dear Journal, Why is this job so hard? Yours, Donald”
Progress of Science – This Austin education nonprofit likens the phrase to the start of the formal ownership of ideas. Indeed, a copyright attorney in our gathering marveled at how closely the Constitution pre-dated yet mirrored the concept of articles of incorporation.
useful Arts – Obviously a placeholder for the jangly noise rock band Rufus King had planned to get going upon his return to Massachusetts. (King, pictured at left, was a Constitutional signor who later lent his pen to popular editorials on maritime law under the name “Camillus”. Surprising to me, it’s his grandson of the same name who is the actual namesake of one of Milwaukee’s best public schools.)
Letters of Marque – Not a pen pal situation, nor a stab at fame, this is like a militia, whatever that is, assuming the duties of the army outside of their turf. The Federalist has a fear-mongering declaration of why they like it, and a Heritage Foundation legal scholar cites its scant use (and in Reagan’s Iran-Contra situation, lack of use) since the Constitution was signed.
Erection of Forts
dock-Yards – Despite what I wrote before, this misspelling seems like one of those things where a teacher throws in a whole bunch o’ errors on a test near the end to see if you’re paying attention.
needful Buildings – We will not stand for any more of these useless and unneeded structures!
“not exceeding ten dollars for each Person” – Concerning removal of people from land taken by what became the U.S., and an obsession then to some as it remains today.
“except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it’s inspection Laws” – Hell-bent on the idea of freedom, our founding documents make no guarantee for privacy. They do, on the other hand, make it clear that government snooping and seizure will be the norm.
Corruption of Blood – an antiquated fear carried over from British rule and, as my cousin pointed out, southern Ohio’s premier Constitutional crunch-core band that also lives in the woods.
domestic Violence – Taken a different way than the horrors some face today at home. Or, taken a different way and sprinted into frantic fields around environmental protection, the hidden design elements of The Great Seal, a guy in a fancy chair’s view on the legal genius of Maryland.