Fascinating look into the principles behind the constitution. I disagreed with him on many points and didn't think he did an adequate job of justifyin...moreFascinating look into the principles behind the constitution. I disagreed with him on many points and didn't think he did an adequate job of justifying some of the principles.
My two favorite principles that he talked about was the one about using logic to divine eternal truths of God. I also liked the anti-war principle. What other author would use WWI & WWII as examples of wars the US should not have been involved in?
I disagreed whole heartedly with the concept that governments should be the ones educating our children. I agree that a free people need to be educated in order to avoid tyranny but isn't it ironic to have the government educate your children when their interest is the government? Doesn't seem like a winning formula to keep the people out of tyranny.
I also thought it was interesting how he had the 11 points of a tyrannical government and every single one of the points are true today about the US. Did Skousen believe we lived under tyranny while he was alive?(less)
Fascinating look into early Arizona history written by an early Arizonan. I had no idea that early Arizona was more of a liberal/democratic state. It...moreFascinating look into early Arizona history written by an early Arizonan. I had no idea that early Arizona was more of a liberal/democratic state. It makes a lot more sense reading the AZ constitution about why different provisions are in it. I wonder, when did AZ become more conservative? It would have been nice to have read the whole book, but I'll take what I can get.
Murdock starts the book out by telling the early history of AZ. It's interesting to read him talking about manifest destiny. He seems to defend it at the same time recognizing that all it was was land grabbing as did the Europeans, but it was OK for the US to do it because it was "practically uninhabited, or owned and possessed by backward people having no standing in the eyes of international law."
He talks of how we didn't purchase enough land because it would have been nice to have a sea port for AZ. He then talks of the slave issue and fights that the early territory had. He talks of how territories of the US were really just colonies by another name. He talks about how the politicians originally organized the territory by using "lame duck" congressmen to vote on it with the promise of political power in the territory. He then talks of the first capital (Prescott). He talks of how woman suffrage was denied by the US government. The good and bad of being a territory. The struggle for statehood (all the politics of it, people don't like change). Arizonans rejected the combination of New Mexico and Arizona.
Constitutional Convention of 1910
The delegates to the constitution (52 chosen, mostly democrats) fought over having "socialistic, populistic notions" for which the radical democrats wanted but the more conservative democrats were worried about the constitution being rejected. They fought over the initiative, referendum, and recall (recall of judges was reject by the national government but reinserted after AZ became a state, along with woman suffrage). The author states that the people of the US were tired of pure Republics because of the corruption of the elected officials, hence the reason AZ became a democratic republic. It's interesting to note how the governor of Oregon pleaded with AZ not to give the people a popular vote because it did not work but AZ did it anyways.
At the same time that AZ was becoming a state New Mexico was becoming a state too and had a much more traditional/conservative constitution. The author wondered which state would be more free as time went on. I looked up a liberterian study on this subject and it's interesting to note that AZ is claimed to be more free than NM according to the study. Of course, I don't know how much that has to do with democracy since we have seen how the election process can bring the people of AZ more freedom but it has done just the opposite too. See Freedom in the 50 States: An Index of Personal and Economic Freedom at http://mercatus.org/publication/freed... for the study. By the way it is unconstitutional for AZ to have a democratic republic from what I read in Article 4, Section 4, Clause 1, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_...
It's interesting to note how the author continually talks about how democracy is a new thing but, as seen in the above link, democracies have existed for quite some time.
At the time of the writing of the Arizona constitution the constitution was the "most progressive". Some of the progressive parts of the constitution are/were the corporation commission, public education, initiative, referendum, recall, water rights, decentralized executive department, long ballot, etc.
It was interesting to read about counties since no one pays attention to them very much so there seems to be much more corruption. He devotes a whole chapter to it and Arizona's counties.
Cities the Battleground of Democracy
Arizona uses a "commission form" that uses a "manager plan."
Arizona and Taxation
Arizona has a tax commission for the express purpose of dealing with taxation.
Arizona and Education
He goes into great detail on how education is funded in Arizona with $80 (~$1,343.80 in 2010 money) spent per child plus counties paying $1500 (~$25,200) for one-room schools and $3000 (~$50,400) for two-room schools. This makes me wonder what the actual per pupil spending was. How many kids would be in a school?
"The purpose of our education is to fit for proper living in a highly developed society, laying stress upon citizenship and the rights and duties of every member of the State. Arizona feels that her vast expenditure of money for education should result in a high type of citizens. For that reason, the teaching of the principles of free government is stressed as one of the first duties of the State supported schools....Yet the ancient principle holds true that those who govern must be intelligent. For that reason, the founders of this commonwealth made, as a part of the democratic foundation, provision that every future citizen should be trained in the best, free, non-sectarian school system that the taxpayers could possibly afford."
That quote just makes me cringe. The is perhaps the worst thing in the AZ constitution. What should have been in the constitution is that the State will not pay for any schooling of anyone in the state but let it be led by the free market, which will more likely bring about a righteous and freedom loving people.
The author states that the reason for the corporation commission is due to the rise of corporations and and it's damning influence on politicians who hand out special favors to these corporations.
This seems nonsensical that we would then create a year round governmental agency to create laws governing corporations while this commission is headed by the same people who are in these corporations. Let me see, corporations are corrupting politicians, therefore we need to just hand all the power over to the corporations through this commission. Doesn't make any sense to me. Let the free market rein is all I have to say. If they wanted to control the corporations from corrupting governmental authorities that should have just banned governments from supporting any type of business with money or any other type of favors. But instead we multiply the government and create a plethora of new laws.
Workmen's Compensation (amendment of 1925)
The forcing of businesses to purchase insurance for their employees. He uses this rationale for it being OK "It rather takes the edge off the criticism by pious souls that Arizona prohibits the teaching of the Bible in the public schools when it is perceived that the State of Arizona, through this insurance, exemplifies one of the greatest teachings in the Bible: 'Bear ye one another's burdens.'"
What he misses here is that the bible is talking about the individual not the collective.
"Until the Constitution of 1910, Arizona allowed aliens to vote if they were residents. This practice was fairly common, especially in the western states, where actual citizenship was often not a matter of great concern. Even the United States government had little interest in the matter until the Fourteenth Amendment was passed after the Civil War. Until 1917, it was fairly easy to enter the country legally and the question of citizenship was not stressed.
This makes me wonder what caused this change and what 14th amendment had to do with it. It would be interesting to read more on the subject especially with everyone advocating for national ID to "stop illegal immigration."
Arizona had alcohol prohibition before the country did and repealed it before the national government did.
Miranda was from Arizona.
The "thieving thirteenth" legislature which spent a ton of money. I wonder what they would call todays as they get us into more per capita debt than any other state.
Education takes more and more of the budgeted money (as a percentage of expenditures) every year. Is there no end?
There's an "Egg Inspection Board" which "regulates the size and weight of eggs." So does the chicken get her head cut off if she lays an egg that is too small?
One man's poetic desire for freedom. From voluntarism (ordered anarchy) to minarchy (he can't quite make up his mind. It was interesting to hear his i...moreOne man's poetic desire for freedom. From voluntarism (ordered anarchy) to minarchy (he can't quite make up his mind. It was interesting to hear his ideas on slavery and the Mexican-American war. It was interesting to hear his view on being free even though he was in jail. It reminded me of the movie, "Brazil".
It was also interesting to hear all the terminology that he used. Much of it is still used today.
This book was downloaded from The Gutenberg Project (audio version). The movie came off off of youtube.(less)
This was a fun book that gives you a little bit of knowledge/history/anecdotes/biographies of running/runners. Definitely a nice read just for the history of running and for modern day ultra runners. This book makes you want to go out and run a hundred miles...although I don't think I'll be doing that anytime soon!
If it's not one injury it's another. Now my calves are too tight so I've taken another break to get a chance to stretch them so I can run again. I've been running in Barefoot Ted's huaraches (http://barefootted.com/) and I love them, I'll never go back to regular running shoes again. Just not the panacea I was hoping for.
Previous comments: Heard about this on KUER, Utah's APM radio show. Here's a link with an interview with the author. Sounds like a really interesting book and makes me want to learn how they run (it seems ever since I hit 27 my body doesn't seem to like exercising due to aches and pains, doesn't seem right!). http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/kue...(less)
I don't know how I could have a political opinion for national politics without reading this book first. I still need to learn so much. History is the...moreI don't know how I could have a political opinion for national politics without reading this book first. I still need to learn so much. History is the teacher to look to. Jefferson learned most from history and his observations of it.
It was interesting to know that the basic political differences people have have always been around and that there will be two sets of people those for freedom and those for having others force them to do what they desire. It's unfortunate today that the two major political parties today stand for the latter.
This book has taught me that I need to continue to learn more history so I can better understand the world of today.
It would have been nice if the book expounded more on some of the constitutional principles, it seemed to gloss over some of them.
"John Adams was equally explicit: 'Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.'"
Comparing the Israelite law (which influenced the making of the Constitution) to that of the Constitution: "There was major emphasis on strong local self-government." - It seems many of the strifes that people have for one another (politically) could be solved by localizing many of the issues and keeping to the basic tenants in the constitution, i.e., keep the federal government to only constitutional issues and restoring some of the basic principles that separated the powers of the federal government.(less)
Fascinating and sad look into what it is like to live in a prison camp in N Korea. It is amazing that people still do such horrible things to one anot...moreFascinating and sad look into what it is like to live in a prison camp in N Korea. It is amazing that people still do such horrible things to one another in this day and age.(less)
This book is available for free from Mises.org in audio and pdf format.
This book was pretty cynical and didn't offer any solutions (be prepared to be...moreThis book is available for free from Mises.org in audio and pdf format.
This book was pretty cynical and didn't offer any solutions (be prepared to be depressed after reading it). Written in 1935 it was fascinating to read pretty much exactly what has transpired since then. It makes you realize that we do just repeat history, over and over again. This book is a must read for anyone that wants to have a deeper understanding of human nature and "the state". Understanding history and philosophy is definitely important in understanding the political system around us. I would like to add that it doesn't matter what system of governance we have, if the people are wicked so shall be the government and its destruction and vice versa.
The book is broken up in six parts:
1) It goes over how the state gains power. He also makes observations about the US (one interesting one was how the two party system started from the beginning and how, since 1910, the two parties are not any different). 2) Then he goes over the difference between government and the state. 3) The then goes over the early history of the U.S. and it's experiences with Britain. He then goes on to tell how the State took over the U.S. 4) He then goes over the relationship of the state and land rights. 5) He then goes over how people consider the state to be social in nature but is truly anti-social. 6) He continues to go over how the state gains more and more power over the mindless masses taking every opportunity to increase its power. He says there is nothing you can do about it and that eventually it will topple just like all the other great civilizations of the past.(less)
Nice to read many of the Prophet Joseph Smith's thoughts on basic church doctrine. It would be interesting to read directly in the History of the Chur...moreNice to read many of the Prophet Joseph Smith's thoughts on basic church doctrine. It would be interesting to read directly in the History of the Church.
I feel funny rating church books (since there is an inherent bias and since I'm only reading for knowledge vs pleasure) so if anyone knows how to abstain from voting without affecting the rating let me know.(less)
Great book. It was interesting to learn all the tidbits in history of the communists, socialists, fascists, and Nazis. I'll have to read this one agai...moreGreat book. It was interesting to learn all the tidbits in history of the communists, socialists, fascists, and Nazis. I'll have to read this one again to get more out of it.(less)