New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.
We can admit new states to the Union. We are not allowed to divide states, nor are we allowed to combine them, unless both Congress and the legislatures of all the other states agree. So, let’s say Northern California wanted to be its own state. Congress and all the current state legislatures would have to agree.
The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.
That being said, Congress gives itself jurisdiction over territories that are not states. Think Puerto Rico and Guam. Yes, Puerto Rico is an American territory and its people are US citizens. So Congress has the authority to establish a National Park in Puerto Rico. Indeed, the National Historic Site with the iconic fort in Puerto Rico is maintained by the National Park Service, as permitted by Consitution.
The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States. A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.
This means that if I live in New Hampshire, I am still allowed to own property or work in Vermont. I can’t be prevented from traveling to another state. If I decide to kill someone in Florida and then go to New Mexico, I can be sent back to Florida to stand trial for that murder.
No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.
The Thirteenth Amendment got rid of this one. Basically, an enslaved person who escaped could be returned, even if they made it to a state that did not permit slavery. When slavery was abolished, this clause became irrelevant.
Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.
Let’s say Joe and Maurice get married in Vermont. When they move across the river to New Hampshire, their marriage is still legal, even if their marriage wasn’t legal in New Hampshire.
Then they move to Nevada and live there awhile and they adopt a couple of children. Those children are their legal responsibility in all states. Maybe they wouldn’t be able to adopt legally in another state. That doesn’t matter. Joe and Maurice are still legally the parents of those children.
Then they move to Louisiana and unfortunately, their relationship deteriorates. They get divorced. The divorce decree, including property division and parental responsibilities, are legal and enforceable in all the states, even if other states have other laws.
The idea behind this is that if you enter into a contract that is legal in the state in which you entered into it, it is enforceable in all the states.
Ultimately, the responsibility for how such inter-state differences are enforced are the responsibility of Congress.
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
Treason isn’t flipping off the President or even hanging him in effigy. It is either an overt act of war, or aiding government who are directly in a state of war with the United States of America. Being against a war isn’t treason.
The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.
If you are convicted of treason, Congress decides on your punishment. Historically, this has been anything from a prison sentence to execution. Some people who were convicted of treason have had Presidential pardons.
However, if you are convicted of treason, your children cannot be punished for your crime and conviction. It might sound strange, but in Tudor times, if you were convicted of treason and were a peer of the realm, your title died, your oldest son could not inherit and your estates were forfeit to the Crown.
The Judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;—to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;—to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;—to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;—to Controversies between two or more States;—between a State and Citizens of another State;—between Citizens of different States,—between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.
It is the Judiciary’s responsibility to interpret the Constitution and all laws passed by Congress. It will also interpret treaties made with other nations. When there are disputes between states, people who reside in different states, or any disagreements between states and the Federal government, it shall be the responsibility of the Judicial branch to handle that.
In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be a Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.
So, when some official from another country is here and has something happen that needs the Law to sort it out, the Supreme Court is the original jurisdiction. Otherwise, any Federal case will start in the local Federal court and will only go to the Supreme Court if there is an appeal. Congress has the power to make changes to this in law.
The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.
All criminal trials in Federal cases will be by jury and in the jurisdiction in which the crime was said to have been committed. If a crime was not committed within a state (such as in a US territory), Congress can say where the trial shall be held.
Do you ever wonder why people stay in dysfunctional relationships? If you’re on Facebook and feeling increasingly unhappy about being trapped because it’s the only way your social circle contacts each other, you don’t need to ask that question. You already know.
You’ll make excuses for it.
You’ll look for the benefits.
Worse, you might actually get some sort of service or support you don’t
think you can get anywhere else.
Why Facebook is Bad
I broke up with Facebook recently. When I say I am done, I mean I deleted my
profile and everything.
I did it for a lot of reasons, but yeah, the cynical contempt of Facebook’s users by the people who own it, and the corruption behind it, are major motivators. To be frank, I was feeling mistreated.
But it’s more than that direct and blatant manipulation. Our interactions are being guided by
advertisements, for pity’s sake! How you
connect to a friend on Facebook who is going through significant emotional
trouble is being used as data to encourage you to look at advertisements and
Beyond the very nature of the platform, it is also how Facebook
is encouraging us to communicate.
Or think we’ve communicated.
Many of us post updates on our lives from Facebook and think
we’ve communicated with our friends.
I am increasingly of the opinion that’s not what’s really
happening. What I think is really
happening is that we’re curating newsletters. Well, that and forwarding other people’s
There is a value in curated newsletters, yes – if you’re a
public figure, or manage a large interest group of some sort. I’m not, and I don’t… Not anymore anyway.
Oh, sure, sure, social media can make you feel like
you are some sort of celebrity and that mass communications are the best way to
interact with your fans. And therein
lies the danger.
Please don’t interpret this as saying Social Media is Evil
and Wrong. It’s not. I’ve used the Internet as a way to meet and
develop friendships since the mid-nineties. That means I’ve been using online
communication for about half my life –more like 70% of my adult life. I’ve developed many genuine friendships
on message boards, discussion groups, and other forms of social media.
I think the disconnect comes in when you’re not
messaging people and having conversations personally. Sure, sure, commenting on posts can become
a conversation. So often, however,
you’re not really doing that. You can
acknowledge what you saw with no conversation at all, just by pressing that “Like”
button. It’s more like Show-n-Tell. While it has its place to give ideas for
conversation, are you getting out on the playground and playing Superheroes,
too? Chances are that you’re not.
What I learned from quitting Facebook
I do spend a lot of time online. Yes, some people noticed when I left a
platform. So, what happened, and what
did I learn?
I worried a couple of friends.
A friend of 30 years or so actually went so far as to text
my husband, afraid that something Really Bad had happened to me when my profile
disappeared. Yes, I sent him a
reassuring email and explained my choice.
Another friend thought I’d been mortally offended by something she’d
said that I’d commented on and was worried about it. I wasn’t.
I told her so. It’s all good.
I had friends comment on the importance of reaching out.
Like me, some of my friends were bullied when they were
young. One of the scars this leaves is: Do
they really like me, or are they just being “nice?” This will make you slow to reach
out. Within 18 hours of deleting my
Facebook account and telling people I knew about it, three people made comments
about how they were afraid of leaving Facebook because they wouldn’t be
convenient to contact and that they’re bad at reaching out. More interesting, every single person I
contacted responded with happiness that I did reach out and turned out to need
that contact in some way or another.
I’m there. I’m good
at reaching out to my parents and son every week. That weekly call and the visits are a pretty ingrained
habit that I like. Not so good
otherwise. I’ve been conscious of this
problem for years. The reality in my
case is that Facebook seems to satisfy the “reach out” urge (which is an
incredibly low and small signal for me, anyway), and it’s not doing my
relationships any good. Like putting artificial sweetener in a hummingbird
feeder, I was getting the feeling of being socially satisfied. In reality, I was probably socially starving
There are people who think if you’re not thinking about and
reaching out to people urgently, then those people aren’t really important to
Sure, sure, if you’re neurotypical, don’t have problems with
mental illness, or whatever, maybe. That
ain’t me. I’m even willing to bet it
ain’t some people who are reading this.
Because I am Not Normal, I wound up writing up a spreadsheet
with a bunch of relationships I have and how often I really oughta be
contacting them. I know it sounds cold,
but I figure it’s no worse than having an address book because it’d be impossible
to remember everyone’s contact info. I want
to maintain my relationships. I will
forget or let time get away from me. I
have a tool now to keep me from doing that.
Had friends initiate reaching out
Once I started reaching out, people reached back. That was cool. What was better was that they also started
initiating contact, too.
I’m subscribing to a few newspapers and reading more magazines.
Facebook, as a news source, is terrible. We all know it, and we get lazy, letting the
news articles forwarded to us be our primary news source. Sometimes I feel like it’s about as reliable
as supermarket tabloids. If I’m eye-rolling
that, I don’t think I have any business with the Facebook News Feed as my
primary news source.
I’ve actually sucked it up and paid for a few online news
sources. I’m going to be dedicating some
time each day (haven’t decided how much yet) to reading them. It won’t be as much time as I spent screwing
around on Facebook, but it’ll be something significant. Being Informed is important, surely. But I don’t think that circulated articles
on a platform known to manipulate the feed is a way to go.
Not that I think that commercial soi-disent journalism is
exactly pure, either. But choosing a few
different sources that I read, myself, should help.
I’ve been integrating this with a Time Tracking Experiment.
Just because I have Border Collie Brain Syndrome and need to give my brain something to do, I decided to track every minute of the day and how I spend it. Yes, it is a tedious pain in the butt and no, I won’t be doing it the rest of my life, but I think it has given me some really important feedback on how I spend the finite moments of my life and what’s worth it to be spending those moments on. The utterly anemic amount of meaningful contact with real people became blisteringly obvious in less than a day, though, and was a factor in this Leaving Facebook thing.
I have not gotten rid of (nor do I want to) all online socialization
Get real. I’ve been
socializing at least in part online for nearly 25 years. I do enjoy online chats, even if those chats
have moved to a different device or platform.
Email? Look, I was a
prolific correspondent even as a teenager before online communication was
commonplace. I was always writing some pen
pal or other a letter, and even passing notes to my friends in school. Writing is a favorite form of communication
for me (duh!), and yes, I write emails even more than I subject my
longsuffering correspondents to my atrocious handwriting.
I am feeling less depressed.
I’d been going through a bad period because of Reasons. Facebook was Not Helping. It’s not that things aren’t…. tense in the
world right now. They are. Hey, I’m still reading the news and not
sticking my head in the sand.
Here’s the deal.
Advertisements revolve around making you anxious, then offering a
solution for that anxiety. That is
specifically how advertising is designed.
Facebook’s revenue comes from selling your data and advertising. It is specifically designed to make
you anxious. Once I could see the
fnords, it helped me realize there are other ways to stay informed about the
world, interact socially with geographically diverse friendships and not use a
platform that is hurting rather than helping.
The relief was almost immediate. As in, “my fitness watch that measures stress
showed it” immediate.
I’ve done more “real writing.”
Just as my low bar for feeling satisfied with social
interaction was tripped with Facebook, my somewhat higher bar for feeling
satisfied about writing was also tripped.
I’m spending more time on articles – researching more and
editing a bit more.
What Can You Do?
You might or might not want to leave Facebook. I have Views, but you don’t have to share them. That said, I want to challenge you a
bit. Are you talking to your loved ones
outside of a “Post and like” format? I’m
not saying you have to call ‘em on the phone.
I get that you might prefer to communicate in textual format. Boy, howdy
do I get that!
But, instead, try this:
Email your friends personally.
Text them if you have text capabilities.
Talk to them by voice or video call if that’s
As you do, think about your interactions and how they work
in social media v. a one-on-one conversation. Do you get a feeling of the whole artificial
sweetener v. nourishing nectar when you interact? How are your stress levels? What is making you happy?
I know perfectly well that those 10,000 steps the fitness trackers push is a fake goal. Know where it comes from?
Back in the sixties, a company in Japan was trying to sell
pedometers. 10,000 is an auspicious
number in the Japanese culture.
Boom, there’s the genesis of the 10,000-step goal right there.
It’s also fashionable lately for articles to talk about this and how 10,000 Steps isn’t a scientifically-based metric for good physical fitness.
Know what? They’re right. It’s not.
It’s not based on any science at all.
Know what else?
I don’t care.
Measurable goals can be useful. I know of one person who never, and I mean never misses her daily walk of about 40 minutes (give or take). Like, never ever misses it. She doesn’t because she has a fitness tracker that gives her a measurable goal. She can see every day whether or not she took that walk.
And you know what else?
Getting in well over 250 exercise minutes a week is absolutely a
health benefit based on scientific research.
So yeah, those 10,000 steps are arbitrary. However, most people who make a specific effort
to get in that many steps are probably taking in a few nice walks every week to
hit that goal.
I’ve been reading a biography of Lillian Moller Gilbreth, industrial psychologist and efficiency engineer, and thinking of a book two of her children wrote about their family, Cheaper by the Dozen.
I first encountered the Gilbreths in the fifth grade because my teacher, Sharon McKenna, read to the class for about a half an hour a day after lunch. Now, my readers know that for all I love to read, there are few pleasures I enjoy more than being read to.
“Read to kids in the fifth grade?” I hear you cry indignantly. “Shouldn’t the lazy little monsters read for themselves?”
Nonsense! It was a brilliant idea. No-one had to convince me to read. The trouble was prying books out of my hands long enough to do other things. No, it was the brilliance of having the teacher pick some books and read them aloud. Captive as I was in school anyway, it exposed me to books I might not otherwise have read. While my fondness for science fiction ensured that I’d pick up A Wrinkle in Time at some point, my general tastes would never have pushed me to get a book about a boy and his dogs like Where the Red Fern Grows, nor is there any way I would have picked up what I would have seen as essentially a fluff nostalgia piece like Cheaper by the Dozen.
Yet these books remain among my favorites to this day.
I learned more than I realized. A fifth-grader doesn’t have the sophistication to read between the lines and figure out that “Mother” in Cheaper by the Dozen was essentially a simply drawn foil for the over-exuberant “Dad.” But, the charm of the book stuck with me and led me to investigate the actual lives and professions of Dr. and Mr. Gilbreth many years later.
Though, no, I’ve never been able to use a tesseract.
Now, I read a lot. I know, big secret. But, online social media being what it is, there are websites that will quantify that. I tend to track my reading through Goodreads, where you can track your books, list what you’ve read and when you’ve read it, and interact with friends online about what you read.
I try to read about a book a week. Call it fifty books a year. More than the average for an American, but I know several people who read more. That’s cool. I’m happy with how much I read.
Fifty books a year is a lot. Well, it looks like a lot until you look at what I’m reading. Some of it is Serious Literature, or Serious Non-fiction. That tends to be history, biography and cultural analysis, with a bit of self-help and motivational thrown in.
Otherwise? I read all over the place. Science fiction, fantasy, sentimental late 19th century stuff that probably had yellow covers when it came out, children’s literature, YA, classics, men’s adventure, horror, you name it.
With that experience, I find myself impatient with people who are necessarily proud of themselves for only being into Great Literature. Is there such a thing? God, yes. But it’s simpler than people think
Great Literature is Great Literature because a lot of people over a long period of time read it, loved it and took it to heart. Can we analyze why this is so? Again, God yes. Can we predict if something new will become such?
Not so much. It takes time. Harry Potter is a great example. People have loved it and it’s a phenomenon. Will people love it 100 years from now? Dunno. I would say I doubt it. A lot of its charm is the juxtaposition against late 20th century life. I could also be dead wrong. People still love Dickens, and a lot of his work requires an understanding of the times.
It’s about the love that people put into it over time that makes Great Literature. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Amazon has this new thing called “Immersion reading” for some of its books. The basic deal is if you buy a book, you have the option of buying an accompanying audiobook for a very small fee and then reading along with the book as it is narrated. The syncing mechanism will sync the narration with the text, so you can switch between audiobook and written word with ease.
Me? I like the concept but it’s more of a way to get cheap audiobooks than it is a different way to read a book. I read, quite literally, over ten times faster than people speak. To follow along in a book with a narration would be a serious irritant. I’m more likely to use it switching between listening and reading. Or would, if I didn’t download audiobooks and physically add them to an iPod that doesn’t use an Audible app, and won’t sync in any case. Listening to a book on my smartphone means a heavy device that has too little battery. I listen for hours at a time while I’m doing housework and stuff.
I still like the concept. A book in French? It’d help immensely with my language comprehension. For someone trying to bring reading skills up to scratch (child or adult), it’s a great idea. But since it works on Kindle Fires and the smartphone apps, I’m dubious that it will be used much except among the affluent, and maybe I’m wrong, but I’m going to have to assume that most adults who can afford to buy this stuff read just fine.
Has anyone else tried this and what do you think of it?