Thursday, June 24


Precedent, Probity, And Impeachment

abolition, Abrahamic Traditions, awareness, betrayal, Change, citizenship, civics, Civil War, conflict, constitution, Criminal Procedure, critical judgment, Discernment, Executive Branch, faithfulness, First Amendment, history, Ideology, Impeachment, Justice Samuel Chase, law, Marbury v. Madison, Politics, Presidency, race, racism, Secularity, Separation of Powers, slavery, Stuart v. Laird, Supreme Court, Trump, Uncategorized
The US Constitution explicitly outlines the causes and procedures for impeachment of the President and other ministers of the US government, e.g., Supreme Court Justices.  These are the so-called “impeachment clauses”. (Other parts of the Constitution deal with impeachment, but this is the most relevant for present purposes). Prof. Alan Dershowitz, despite being unfairly perceived as being contaminated through association with Fox News, has performed a valuable service, especially in books like Trumped Up:  How the Criminalization of Political Differences Endangers Democracy, by urgently advising against the weaponization of political differences, and even free speech, as tools to further purely political ends. As anyone knows who has followed my “Skeptic’s Collection” columns over th...
Tiptoeing Across Quicksand

Tiptoeing Across Quicksand

13th Amendment, abolition, awareness, citizenship, civics, Civil War, conflict, conservatism, constitution, critical judgment, emancipation, Emancipation Proclamation, Executive Order, God, history, injustice, justice, law, self-serving, slavery, social justice, solidarity, Uncategorized
In a recent “Skeptic’s Collection” column I gave examples of beliefs that represent the principle that “A little learning is a dangerous thing”. The examples I cited were derived from physics, psychology, and literature. But history is no less susceptible to warped beliefs than other disciplines.  A recent issue of the Washington Post Magazine contains such an example of warped history. Problem is that the Post writer, while doing a sterling job of debunking the beliefs of lovers of the Confederacy, fails to note that liberals and progressives, in their zeal to repudiate such atavisms, fail equally to take into account their own myopia, and end up with a view of history – Civil War history in particular – that is equally warped, just in the opposite direction. The article compri...
17 September — Constitution Day

17 September — Constitution Day

abolition, autonomy, Civil War, community, conflict, conservatism, Consitution, critical judgment, culture, Education, emancipation, Enlightenment, Ideology, inclusive, mind, mindfulness, Minorities, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Religious War, republic, Science, Skeptic, slavery, Spirituality, Theology, Tolerance
*************************************************************************** I normally do not "recycle" posts, but every year on or about 17 September, I re-publish this "Skeptic's Collection" column commemorating the completion and signing of the US Constitution by the 55 members of the Constitutional Convention, gathered in Philadelphia from 25 May through 17 September of 1787.  So I am making an exception to my "no-recycle" rule and republishing a chapter of my recent e-course on the history and  foundations of the US Constitution. The Constitution is an imperfect document, and the original, pre-Civil-War version especially so. In fact, that antebellum Constitution was pretty explicitly pro-slavery because of provisions like the "3/5 clause", the prohibition against interfering w...