Sunday, July 17, 2016

A Little Bit of Everything

Rolling Stone - Matt Taibbi - In Response to Trump, Another Dangerous Movement Appears. I think Matt does a great job at raising issues; but, I don't think he has figured out what the biggest threat is yet. Read his article anyways.

YouTube - Real Time With Bill Maher: Is Globalization Failing Everybody? (HBO).  Just worth listening to, Maher is a globalist.

Fortune - Deutsche Bank Says the U.S. Is Likely Headed for a Recession.  If you have invested in the stock market, get out by the middle of September.

The Washington Post - Cities should take back their parking spaces.  Most people may not be thinking about the effects of self driving cars on other industries; but, you should.

YouTube - We Spent 30 Minutes with Pokemon Go.  Watch the video so you  know what is going on. If you keep reading the news, soon a criminal will be caught because they are "captured" by someone using their phone to play Pok√©mon Go, it is the perfect excuse to film everyone without them wondering why.


Anonymous said...

You said that you have a doctorate in constitutional law. So, my question is, is it constitutionally possible for individual states in the United States to succede legally? Similar to what England did.

Pimpernel said...

Dear Anonymous 7/19/16,

I have a doctorate in law; but, an Am Jur in Constitutional law. It is like having a doctorate in English and a focus on Early American writers. Anyways, it is an interesting question. The U.S. Constitution does not outline a process for seceding (a state quitting) the union. Theoretically, a state would need to seek a constitutional amendment creating a process or separating a state from the union.

It should be remembered that most states asked to join the union and had to commit to it. Texas, which was it's own country had to petition to join the union and with that came the promise to cease being it's own country. Hawaii was just stolen. The civil war itself was over the question you presented. It has been argued that treaties have about the same effect as a constitutional amendment, so what is the constitutional right to void a treaty? It is unclear; but, we voided and violated many treaties with the Indians. Does that make it right? Probably not.

In the end, if you accept the constitution as the law of the land (and you asked "constitutionally" then you have to abide by it. I don't think the people raising the question, as much as they claim to love the constitution, view it as a constitutional question.

For most of us I think we view this as a personal rights issue. Can I be forced to be part of a nation, can I commit my children to be part of a nation? What is the nature and limits of the "social contract", is there anything that can be binding legally? Is it morally, ethically, spiritually, legally right to break an agreement because you have changed your mind and have found greener grass in your mind? The issue is similar to getting a divorce. There is no perfect answer to those questions and they are usually determined through violence and rarely improve anyone's life.

The truth is that this nation was built on the blood of average citizens at the behest of wealthy land owners who didn't want to pay taxes unless they had representation in the English parliament. Many of them thought they would remain part of England.

As for the Brexit, the European Union had it's own rules, including rules for leaving the EU and Britain followed those rules, it is not like Texas choosing to leave the United States. It can be argued that we became a nation when the first constitution, "The Articles of Confederation" was ratified. Those articles gave much more freedom to individual states; but, the people chose to create a stronger more authoritative agreement and ratified the Constitution in 1788. The United Kingdom joined a free trade agreement that became a political union that under the terms of the agreement gave them the right to leave. The European Union is not disputing this fact and has in fact said that England has voted to leave and should do so quickly, this is easier as Britain never joined the single currency agreement and has continued to use their own currency rather than the Euro. That is not true for any of the states, they all use the dollar.

I find the question interesting; but, in the end it is more of a political than a legal question. Here is a question, if Texas chose to become it's own country again, would Dallas need to join them or could individual cities choose to remain part of the United States?