Inscription on Jefferson Memorial

This is a discussion on Inscription on Jefferson Memorial within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I had been there and just plain plumb forgot about this. I was wondering what you guys think about it in regards to changes and ...

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Thread: Inscription on Jefferson Memorial

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    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    Inscription on Jefferson Memorial

    I had been there and just plain plumb forgot about this. I was wondering what you guys think about it in regards to changes and interpretations of the Constitution in general, and 2A specifically.

    (Note: Friend posted on FB because of the Supreme Court hearings this week)

    On Panel 4:
    "I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors."
    Original passage:
    "I am certainly not an advocate for frequent and untried changes in laws and constitutions. I think moderate imperfections had better be borne with; because, when once known, we accommodate ourselves to them, and find practical means of correcting their ill effects. But I know also, that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors." - Jefferson to H. Tompkinson (AKA Samuel Kercheval), July 12, 1816
    Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
    And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

    Isaiah 6:8

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    VIP Member Array Crowman's Avatar
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    The Bill of Rights are just that, they are not laws........ The Bill of Rights are basically anti government rights..... The founding fathers had the foresight to ensure that even if they or future leaders of the country became what England was prior to the revolution the people of America could protect the Bill of Rights via the 2nd amendment..........
    "One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation."
    --Thomas B. Reed, American Attorney

    Second Amendment -- Established December 15, 1791 and slowly eroded ever since What happened to "..... shall not be infringed."

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    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crowman View Post
    The Bill of Rights are just that, they are not laws........ The Bill of Rights are basically anti government rights..... The founding fathers had the foresight to ensure that even if they or future leaders of the country became what England was prior to the revolution the people of America could protect the Bill of Rights via the 2nd amendment..........
    I am not necessarily disagreeing with you. But how did you get all of that from what the two qoutes? What i get is that Jefferson understood that times and technoligy would change and some changes would eventually have to be done. He also appears cautious about any changes.

    I did not see anything about the 2A and why it was written to protect the Constitutuion in those qoutes.
    Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
    And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

    Isaiah 6:8

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    That is why we have the ability to amend the Consitution. If/when changes are necessary, congress should go through the appropriate steps. Due to the implications of changes, they should not be easy to make.
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    NMB
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    Jefferson is saying that society and its laws MUST evolve, in order to keep up with the times. The second amendment could be repealed via another constitutional amendment if the majority of the American people wanted it.

    Thankfully, they do not.
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    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    Technology changes, but the human condition does not. I think his cautious approach to change is wise, understanding that man is inherently evil.
    Don"t let stupid be your skill set....

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    VIP Member Array oakchas's Avatar
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    So, let's work from the original...

    "I am certainly not an advocate for frequent and untried changes in laws and constitutions. I think moderate imperfections had better be borne with; because, when once known, we accommodate ourselves to them, and find practical means of correcting their ill effects. But I know also, that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors." - Jefferson to H. Tompkinson (AKA Samuel Kercheval), July 12, 1816
    The constitution allows for change, infrequently. It takes years/decades to add an amendment... Or to repeal one...

    Look at Women's suffrage, and Prohibition. Both took decades of ACTIVISM.... REAL ACTIVISM, to get to the point that they were proposals and more time to enact... and ratification was required to take place within 7 years once the proposal was made. Of the 33 proposed amendments (including the Bill of Rights) only 27 were ratified... of those not ratified probably the most notable (or in our collective memory) is the Equal Rights Amendment.

    Moderate imperfections... Okay, we've got some moderate imperfections...

    Using the Second as a prime example...we've got commas... missing and otherwise. And "clauses" (sentence structure) within the 2nd... and we "bear with them" as they "better be borne with." IOW, we tolerate the slight confusion... Not very well, as proven by today's debate over the meaning of the Second... individual right vs. State militia ... And "regulated," and what it means.

    Over the centuries and decades since the BOR was enacted, we found "practical means of correcting their ill effects," or tried to... We made ancillary laws... We made "Tommy guns" hard to get... we made background checks necessary. We've taken cases to the Supreme Court... to find out that some "weird weapons" that aren't part of what a militia or army man might carry aren't covered under the right... and we have learned recently that it is an individual right. And that it seems to protect weapons in common use for lawful purposes (like the AR 15...And other... ahem... (air quotes here) Assault Weapon (close air quotes) variants).

    We've done the same with the right to speech... we've included, over time, electronic media... and bill boards and a lot of the "stuff" we are plagued with now. We've "advanced" the institutions that "regulate" those activities... and we've even done so by relaxing the regulations (censorship) regarding "common decency."

    So now, let's look to the last sentence... I like the simile:

    We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.
    So, let's look at the Constitution as a coat for a minute... An outergarment... Everybody must have one... even in desert climes... A coat is a practical thing... it is necessary.... one that fit me as a boy might not fit me as an adult... but I still need a coat. It needn't be wool. It needn't be camel hair. But I still need a coat.

    The coat I wear now may be altered... I might need to have it taken in, or let out a bit... And to have that done, to ALTER it... as altering... or AMENDING the Constitution, takes some time...

    If I were female... I might not have it altered during those times that I was subject to "temporary water weight gain," as that is a cyclical thing... And I would no sooner get it back from the seamstress then I would have to have it altered again...

    As a man, over the years, I might get a bit more out of shape... I might get a belly, the coat might not hang right... The trend in my weight is not reversing... so I might get it tailored to fit the bigger me. It takes some time to get it altered... But the change seems to be pretty much irreversible, so I'll get it let out.

    Now, as I age, and wizen a bit more, I discover that I have been drinking too many 32 ounce sodas... and regardless of what some Blooming Idiot from NY tells me, I have decided to PROHIBIT myself from drinking them, and low and behold... over time... I get back to my old lean and mean self... almost. And so, I take up a regimen... You know, not sitting in front of the PC for hours at a stretch writing treatises on Jefferson's thoughts on the law... And I make it all the way to the old self... Stay there for quite some time...

    And the coat? Well the coat looks like I had "Ahmed the Tent Maker" tailor it for me... it's hanging a bit loose, no, really loose... Time to get it taken in..? Maybe. What if I can't maintain this healthy lifestyle? What if, as I age some more, I can't stay a 25 year old body on a 60 something man? The coat.. it's comfortable, if a bit oversized... Is it really practical to change the coat? Maybe not... I'll think about it...

    And that's EXACTLY the way the constitution works... well, almost... It takes a lot of thought and action before it gets changed... It even takes some "growing out of it" to get it altered... But you still got to have it. Just like a coat.

    Because without it... You've got no PROTECTION from the elements.

    Those are my profundities for the day... I think I sprained something! But thanks for posing the question, suntzu... Now, I've got to start that "regimen" I mentioned...
    marinevet1994 likes this.
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    Your job is to "serve us" not to lord power over us."
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3 things under jeffersons coat at memorial

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i am certainly not an advocate for frequent and untried changes in laws and constitutions. i think moderate imperfection

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inscriptions inside the jefferson memorial

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inside the jefferson memorial you will find inscriptions taken from the what?

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