Helen of Marlowe's Blog

Under-Ocean Travels By Way Of the 2nd and 14th Amendments . . .

Posted in Politics by helenofmarlowe on October 17, 2013

. . . For a Vorsteg Family Reunion

Last week we traveled (twice!) over and through  one of the Seven Man-made Wonders of the World.     

But at the time, I didn’t know that. I just thought we were driving through a scary under-sea highway in the middle of a 28-mile bridge on a very windy day (20 mph, gusts at 28 mph).  Later, in our Virginia Beach Hampton Inn room, I learned from wikipedia of the interesting history of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. While driving the tunnel, it did not occur to us to wonder how it looked from above. But now, thanks to google, we know:

Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel

So, we have just returned from a drive from western NC to Virginia’s outer banks, for a Vorsteg family reunion at David & Molly’s vacation home (photo top right).  We had planned to visit some national wildlife refuges, including The Great Dismal Swamp, but all the national parks were closed for our latest infamous government shutdown.  We did get to the Wild Fowl museum in Virginia Beach, and the Norfolk Botanical Gardens, which are state run and hence were open. NorfolkBotGrd  We went to Chincoteague, but missed the ponies.  The best part was seeing Bob’s brothers and sisters, and some extended family.

All of which got me to thinking about those Republicans who shut down the government, whose major goal – in their own words – was to make sure the Obama Administration fails. For the most part, those are the same Republicans who insist that any regulation on guns in America is a violation of the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. Would that they were as loyal to the 14th amendment.

But – in the Second Amendment, the word “gun” is never used. The Second Amendment reads “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Nothing there about guns. Should we be able to carry hand-grenades into parks and playgrounds? Is prohibiting box-cutters on airplanes an infringement of our right to bear arms? Should I be allowed to keep and bear a jar of anthrax for my protection against gun-slingers? Who decided that the 2nd amendment’s reference to “arms” applies only to guns? Can’t be because that was the kind of arms people used in those days.

Next time I hear one of these almost-always-Republican self-appointed constitutionalists from the tea party defend the 2nd amendment, I’ll ask them if they also believe in defending the Fourteenth.

Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions … shall not be questioned.

And I would like to see  President Obama  just tell the world that, since our constitution requires it, he will promise to pay the bills.  I hope he will do that next time.

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6 Responses

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  1. Anders said, on October 17, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    militianoun \mə-ˈli-shə\
    : a group of people who are not part of the armed forces of a country but are trained like soldiers (webster’s so an american definition

    so people who are trained as soldiers shall be able to wear sleeveless shirts ( the amendment might have been dictated to some poor secretary who didn’t know which homophone was intended

    well regulated and trained as soldiers – silly puns aside, I think that leaves just about the whole tea party unprotected by the amendment

  2. Jim Wheeler said, on October 17, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    While the 14th amendment is very clear, president Obama’s stated reason for not invoking it is that since it has never been used that way before, it would undermine both domestic and international confidence in America’s normal governmental budgeting process. My own opinion however is that he should have. I think the damage to our reputation is already done. And I think it’s permanent. But it occurs to me there’s another danger to doing it – it would surely spark an immediate lawsuit that would go to the Supreme Court, and who knows what the conservative majority might do with it?

    The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel is one of the worlds engineering marvels all right. My wife Mollie is from that area – she lived with her parents in Ocean View, Virginia Beach when I met her, but the tunnel hadn’t been completed at that time. After we were married (in 1960), we took our car on a ferry to the Eastern Shore. Enjoyed your pictures, Helen.

    I agree with your 2nd amendment comments but I hold zero hope that we will ever get sensible regulation. Congress can’t even agree on simple background checks for assault rifles bought at gun shows. Crazy.

    • helenofmarlowe said, on October 17, 2013 at 7:47 pm

      Hi Jim,
      I bet you know about the area, both because of you wife’s family home and because of your career background. In this photo taken just across from David and Molly’s house, you can see some sort of military site. I should have got better traction on the facts. They told us about the the rocket launcher that is visible from their porch. You can see the rocket launcher in this photo, but you may have to click and enlarge it.
      I wish I had understood more of the explanation for the military site across the way.

  3. Robert A. Vella said, on October 18, 2013 at 1:47 am

    Fortunately, this time, the Obama Administration didn’t have to invoke the 14th amendment. Some, including myself, suspected the Tea Party strategy was to deny a raise in the nation’s debt ceiling and thereby force the President into using “extraordinary measures” to avoid an economic collapse. Then, they would’ve had an excuse to initiate impeachment proceedings in the House.

    • helenofmarlowe said, on October 18, 2013 at 11:12 am

      It’s certainly possible — maybe even likely — that they would have done that. They would not have succeeded of course, but they would cause further damage to Obama’s legacy and divert his resources and energy and attention. Although, personally, I hope that if a debt-ceiling crisis occurs during Obama’s last months in office, that he will do that — invoke the 14th amendment and just pay the bills. Maybe set a precedent so that this can’t keep happening.
      Thanks for your visit and comment.

  4. amovingmoon said, on November 19, 2013 at 11:33 am

    That bridge/tunnel is awesome! I’ve been there too.

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