Patterico's Pontifications


Day Nine of Stengel-gate: I Write a Letter to NPR’s Ombudsman…

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 2:20 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

In my last real Stengel-gate post, I asked why on Earth Richard Stengel was presented to the world as an expert on the Constitution given that he was clearly clueless on the subject and I promised that I would be writing to NPR’s Ombudsman about this.  Well, I have written that letter and I quote it to you below the fold.


Dear Mr. Schumacher-Matos,

My name is Aaron Worthing, and I write to you as a concerned member of the public.  Last Monday, July 4, 2011, NPR’s show “Talk of the Nation” featured a discussion on the Constitution and its application to current issues, an altogether appropriate subject for Independence Day.  The problem came in the roster of guests.  While Yale Law School Professor Akhil Amar is correctly seen as an expert on the Constitution, I believe it was inappropriate to include Richard Stengel as another “expert” on the Constitution.

On paper Mr. Stengel looks like he should be an expert on the Constitution.  He used to be President and CEO of the National Constitution Center and still works with their Peter Jennings Project for Journalists and the Constitution.  But while those credentials suggest he *should* be an expert on the Constitution, a brief examination of his writings on the Constitution reveal that he is literally incompetent on the subject.  And one need look no further than the very Time magazine cover story that host Andrea Seabrook promoted.  You can read that story here: [link]

I have discovered fourteen clear factual errors in that document and I wrote a piece documenting them, here: [link]

Eight of those errors specifically relate to the interpretation of the Constitution and are generally obvious on the face of the document.  The most remarkable part of his piece was this patently false statement about the Constitution: “If the Constitution was intended to limit the federal government, it sure doesn’t say so.”  Sir, I can assure you that the Constitution contains numerous explicit limits on the power of the federal government, particularly in Article I, Section 9 and the Bill of Rights.  He also asserts that the Constitution is not law, and that the Fourteenth Amendment was designed to emancipate the slaves and to end racial discrimination in the franchise (that was actually the Thirteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, respectively).

My point is that these are significant errors that should be obvious to any lay person possessing common knowledge about the Constitution.  So it would have taken the staff of “Talk of the Nation” nothing more than a quick reading of Mr. Stengel’s article to realize he had made significant errors, which should have called into question whether he qualified as an expert.  That might have justified perhaps challenging Mr. Stengel on these erroneous statements, which might have made for an interesting program, or perhaps dropping him as a guest entirely.  Instead, despite these obvious errors that should have called his expertise into doubt, he was presented to an unsuspecting public as an expert on the constitution.

As a result, Mr. Stengel’s presentation was a disaster.  The public was positively misinformed about the Constitution.  For instance, during “Talk of the Nation” he was asked about the legality of federal laws banning marijuana.  This was his response:

Well, of course the high court did prohibit the use of alcohol as an amendment, and then that was overturned. I’m not sure that the Constitution says very much about that. But if you look at the use of alcohol and medication, you know, state courts right now, you know, have the predominant opinion about that. And if the states can legalize marijuana, as some states have, then, you know, that’s – you should probably live in one of those states.

First, his suggestion that prohibition was the result of Supreme Court action is ludicrous.  It was accomplished by ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment, and it was repealed by the Twenty-First Amendment.  The Supreme Court has recently held that the growth and use of Marijuana, even if wholly local, can still be regulated by Congress under the Commerce Clause in Gonzales v. Raich.  And he made many similar mistakes in that interview, which I have cataloged here: [link]

I don’t want you to take that as criticism directed at Ms. Seabrook for failing to recognize and challenge him on those errors as he made them.  I recognize it can be hard in radio to catch every error by your guest.  Instead I take those errors as the natural consequence of inviting a man so clearly clueless on the subject of the Constitution and my criticism is focused on the decision to book him on your program, and to fail to challenge him for his serial inaccuracies about the Constitution in his Time magazine piece.  Someone really failed when vetting your guests.

As such I would appreciate a correction and a statement that Mr. Stengel will never again be brought on as a supposed expert on the Constitution.

I thank you for your time.


Aaron Worthing, Esq.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

69 Responses to “Day Nine of Stengel-gate: I Write a Letter to NPR’s Ombudsman…”

  1. the ombudshoochie at National Soros Radio is to journalism what president bumble is to fiscal prudence I think

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  2. happy

    well, let’s not write them off yet, especially because they might be more sensitive to conservative criticism right now.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  3. oh. it looks like they ditched the hippie chick for some new loser.


    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  4. This is a particularly polite but pointed letter.

    Which is exactly what I’d expect from Breitbart Puppet Aaron Worthing.

    Pious Agnostic (6048a8)

  5. sorry I didn’t see your comment til I already made my last one

    ok me I would like to extend the hand of goodwill towards the new National Soros Radio ombudsperson and also I would like him to hear my plaintive cry… please help us please help America please make the dirty socialist propagandas stop

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  6. Which is exactly what I’d expect from Breitbart Puppet Aaron Worthing.

    Comment by Pious Agnostic

    Nice, Pine nut. You people have a knack at overlooking facts and and honest debate and going directly to the biased name calling. Ergo, you negate anything else that you might offer as commentary or argument. But then, one would expect such behavior from someone whose god is themselves.

    PatriotRider (dd3155)

  7. But I wonder how quick they are to say, “oh, guy. Yeah, he wrote about this on Breitbart’s sites! He just has it out for Stengel. I mean, sure, maybe Stengel made some mistakes, but why is this Worthing guy so obsessed? Let’s just ignore him.”

    Obviously this is an important issue for the reason the “Peter Jennings Project for Journalists and the Constitution” thinks it’s an important issue (“Its mission is to help both professional journalists and students interested in journalism understand constitutional issues more deeply”). Stengel, if successful, is making Americans more ignorant about constitutional issues. Does NPR want that? (purely rhetorical, please don’t answer or they’ll never respond!)

    Certainly it’s notable that Stengel is doing so while claiming association with the Jennings Project.

    I think we all make leeway for misspeaking on radio…but really?!:

    “Well, of course the high court did prohibit the use of alcohol as an amendment, and then that was overturned. I’m not sure that the Constitution says very much about that.”

    It really makes no sense whatsoever! High court…amendment??? He declares certainty about the health insurance mandate under the Commerce Clause but can’t remember Raich (which said the Commerce Clause has a lot to say about pot legality)???

    Good luck, Mr. Worthing, but I suspect few in the MSM will see the merit of your campaign, even while they may passively concede Stengel’s inadequacies, er inaccuracies. That was actually a malapropsim unintentional, but worth keeping in.

    Crispian (eb120d)

  8. There’s something to be said for letting an A-level movie stand alone, instead of turning it into a C- television series.

    NCC (4d35e7)

  9. Excellent letter, Aaron, but I wouldn’t expect National Palestinian Radio to correct their disinformation, as that would set a precedent.

    BTW… Pious Agnostic worships at the Church of the Everlasting Bumfuzzled.

    ColonelHaiku (822dce)

  10. Patriot – Pious had his tongue planted firmly in cheek.

    Why do people assume his role at this Constitution place center thingie makes him some expert? He was a fundraiser, and a creative writing professor. He is as much of an expert on the Constitution as I am on social hierarchy in alpaca herds.

    JD (306f5d)

  11. attention whore much?

    tgs (b726c5)

  12. JD, don’t we have a resident expert on alpaca herds?
    Oh, wait, that was sheep, wasn’t it?

    AD-RtR/OS! (eb1676)

  13. Nobody forced tgs to read, did they?

    JD (85b089)

  14. tgs, troll much?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  15. sadly tgs
    moves his chapped lips while he reads
    the ignoranus

    ColonelHaiku (822dce)

  16. #6. ” Ergo, you negate anything else that you might offer as commentary or argument.”
    Don’t become as bad as you say they are, and also offer a worthless and incorrect attack like that, that of course, violates your own stated standard.
    If we take you at your word and stance, the minute you fall into attack or name calling, everything else you’ve said or will say is to be discarded, be it perfectly correct and succinct, on topic, and factual.
    When will you internet hooligans stop the ten thousand times repeated lie ? Really, it makes you look like a fool as well.
    If you wanted to maintain a standard, you could tell said troll you’ll address any points they actually make for instance – not their attacking rhetoric.
    Instead, we are told over and over by people like you who repeat the idiocy, “everything else offered is therefore moot”.
    Would that be the “character assassination” theory of “discerning the facts” ?
    Is that why the Casey Anthony verdict was so disappointing to so many here ? lol
    If you keep telling yourself and everyone else that a name caller is wrong forever more because they failed in one instance or even multiple ones, whom do you think will actually believe that ?
    Yes. I certainly hope you don’t believe your own CRAP.
    Right ?

    SiliconDoc (7ba52b)

  17. He is as much of an expert on the Constitution as I am on social hierarchy in alpaca herds.

    The bigger ones that spit the most are the leaders.

    dfbaskwill (c021f2)

  18. A very good letter Arron. Too bad it will be ignored by the addressee.

    Cheshirecat (0cd6a2)

  19. Wow, I guess if it wasn’t clear, I was congratulating Aaron on his terrific letter.

    And I personally think that being associated with Breitbart is a good thing. As JD mentioned, I was satirizing a typical Breitbart-hater tool (apparently poorly).

    But, I guess you aren’t really a commenter on Patterico unless you’ve been called names.

    Pious Agnostic (6048a8)

  20. um, guys, i think pious was just joking about that breitbart puppet crack.

    that’s how i take it anyway.

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  21. “Is that why the Casey Anthony verdict was so disappointing to so many here ? lol”

    Only the knuckle-draggers among the American citizenry would attempt to characterize the murder of a child and the fact that the killer will not be brought to justice as “disappointing”.

    Let alone find it amusing.

    ColonelHaiku (822dce)

  22. “The bigger ones that spit the most are the leaders.”

    and the ones that chew tobacco are the absolute worst!

    ColonelHaiku (822dce)

  23. #20 Aaron, you are right. Sorry if it offended.

    Pious Agnostic (6048a8)

  24. como se llama
    alpacaboy? tough you ain’t
    cool like Joe Camel?

    ColonelHaiku (822dce)

  25. My apologies. Long, hot day and my humor detector needs an adjustment. BTW, don’t hold your breath waiting for NPR or TIME to do the same. You’ll turn blue.

    PatriotRider (dd3155)

  26. puppet crack…

    is this some new street lingo..

    EricPWJohnson (2921b6)

  27. Check out Stengle’s bio on Wikipedia. He’s being groomed for a top spot in establishment media circles. His sheep dipping at the National Constitutional Center was preparation for his current mission of undermining the Constitution.

    The Professional Left will fight to keep his reputation intact. So Arron, don’t expect anything but the functional equivalent of crickets in response to your fisking. If your article starts to get traction beyond conservative blogs, the trolls will soon be back with us and in greater numbers.

    ropelight (8c2323)

  28. #26 PatriotRider – No worries. I presumed.

    Pious Agnostic (6048a8)

  29. “The bigger ones that spit the most are the leaders.”

    Arte you talking about alpacas or the people at NPR?

    Dave Surls (3db74f)

  30. Stengel is a creative writing professor. Creative writing is a perfect background for a leftist MFM JournoLister. The Time article is proof of his skills.

    JD (306f5d)

  31. Dave

    > Arte you talking about alpacas or the people at NPR?

    Perhaps retractro the correction alpaca?

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  32. SiliconDoc believe
    own crap smell sweet;
    he should wipe brain more often

    Haiku Hijacker (cf66fd)

  33. I am retired and no longer have to deal with any person with a hyphenated name, male or female.

    My life is much better.

    Huey (65df69)

  34. They won’t retract. This is how they get the message out. Lie, ignore correction, and wait for others to repeat the lie. I’m sure both sides have used this tactic, but I’m seeing it a lot from the left recently. From Wasserman-Shulz saying that the gop wants to take us back to Jim Crowe, to the hit piece on Bachmann’s religion in rolling stone, to this horrendous excuse of journalism.

    Oh, and the racism [censored]. Seriously, the next time I hear of a politician being racist, there better be a video of that politician doing his best Michael Richards impression.

    [Please don’t curse. The filters will prevent your comment from appearing. -Aaron]

    a different Mark (25f255)

  35. _______________________________________________

    um, guys, i think pious was just joking about that breitbart puppet crack.

    I immediately took it that way. I don’t think even a mindless leftist (well, at least a certain percentage of such people) would peruse your thorough assessment of Stengel’s piece and be so easily dismissive and glib.

    BTW, Stengel was born in 1955, meaning he’s around 56 years old today. He very likely leaned left in his youth, and he undoubtedly leans in that direction decades later. For such a person to have gone through much of his adulthood and still be wedded to liberal ideology is analogous to a person who has never matured. His mindset and characteristics refute the notion that with greater age comes wisdom.

    I focus on and emphasize people’s innate biases, because I think in many cases they’re similar to the condition of a person suffering from color blindness, dyslexia, deafness or even a form of mental retardation. IOW, I have no doubt that Stengel, in general, is a very intelligent, gifted person. But his gut biases are so twisted and severe, that Aaron could argue the points he has raised until he was blue in the face, and Stengel still wouldn’t get, accept or understand those rebuttals.

    Mark (411533)

  36. National Soros Radio isn’t concerned about accuracy – their job is to make sure their rich white audience is familiar with Daddy Soros’s narrative.

    They do a damn good job.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  37. My favorite argument from that jerk is that the founding fathers wrote the Constitution without knowing who Lady Gaga was. Yeah, that makes the whole thing misguided.

    President Obama (aa856e)

  38. But, I guess you aren’t really a commenter on Patterico unless you’ve been called names.

    Comment by Pious Agnostic — 7/7/2011 @ 4:00 pm

    OH, is that why that keeps happening to me?

    attention whore much?

    Comment by tgs

    Hey, it’s not like people don’t want to read his work, is it? Yes, absolutely he’s working hard to promote his work. And yes, he isn’t pretending he isn’t thrilled with more recognition and success as a pundit.

    So what?

    If he’s going to blog, he might as well do as good a job as he can, reaching as many people as he can. It’s not like he’s shamelessly spamming. Read his initial discussion of this article. This kind of stuff takes a lot of work to produce.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  39. tgs

    i prefer the term “attention gigalo.”

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  40. “attention whore much?”

    Just noticed that people post stuff on the internet, so other people can read it?

    Man, you are one sharp puppy.

    This guy HAS to be a lefty.

    Dave Surls (5e91cd)

  41. i prefer the term “attention gigalo.”

    Comment by Aaron Worthing — 7/7/2011 @ 11:21 pm

    Well then, this is mandatory.

    Pious Agnostic (291f9a)

  42. Aaron, I applaud your exemplary efforts, and your clear writing, on this entire matter. The one very small criticism I have of this letter is a general theme I’ve written about before: I find it off-putting to get something signed either “Esq.” or “J.D.” Yours might be a rare justified exception: that you have a law degree is a pertinent (but not necessary) credential to your ability to speak knowledgeably about the Constitution, even though you’re not contacting the letter’s addressee on behalf of any client or in any capacity related to your practice of law.

    That’s a tiny and idiosyncratic quibble on my part, and I don’t want it to obscure my congratulations for a lot of hard, productive, and worthwhile work on your part. I genuinely admire it, as would, I think, any knowledgeable supporter of the Constitution.

    Beldar (3895f0)

  43. What torques me about this whole issue — the entire attitude toward the Constitution exhibited by this Stengel guy — is that it’s generally consistent with what’s being actively taught in many places.

    If Stengel’s column had been a speech by a symposium participant, and Larry Tribe were a fellow speaker speaking just after Stengel, would Tribe have said — as Aaron has, so clearly and well — “That’s a load of bull excrement!” I’m pretty sure he would not have.

    That’s tragic.

    Beldar (3895f0)

  44. This line, from Annie Hall, gives the gist of it:

    You know nothing of my work! You mean my whole fallacy is wrong. How you got to teach a course in anything is totally amazing

    DAvid Cameron (d380ce)

  45. Beldar, Esq. @ 43

    you’re right, i debate when to include it or leave it out.

    when talking to other lawyers i almost always say Esq. with their name and mine, just out of a respect for the profession that i hope they appreciate.

    otoh, all other mentions of my profession as a lawyer are used sparingly. i jokingly say it is akin to a gun concealed in a shoulder holster. you flash it now and then, when it is useful to get their attention, but largely want them to forget its there.

    Beldar at 44

    Well, the fact that Amar didn’t call him on any of it is telling. i don’t know if he read the article, but he surely caught some of those inaccuracies live and said nothing.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  46. Jeez, are you still on about this?

    You’re fisking of Stengel was weak tea at best.

    Here’s an example:

    Your first supposed “false claim” made by Stengel is “The Constitution Does Not Limit Federal Government”

    The problem is that Stengel… wait for it… never actually made that claim. As your “relevant passage” shows, he was merely saying that the Constitution is silent on its intent. That’s not the same thing. So basically, you’ve “fisked” him on a point he never made!

    As for the point he ACTUALLY made, it is true! On the issue of limiting/expanding government, the Constitution does not specifically spell out what its intent is.

    One can INFER its intent, to be sure. But one can infer it many different ways. You can infer the Constitution’s intent as expanding the role of central government (as he did), or you can infer the Constitution’s intent as limiting the role of a central government (as you did). And the reason one can do that is because… THE CONSTITUTION IS SPECIFICALLY SILENT ON THAT ISSUE.

    That was his point — one you completely missed because you can’t understand simple English.

    The same goes for your “False Claim No. 2”, in which you say that Stengel claims “The Constitution is not law”.

    Except the “relevant passage” of what Stengel actually wrote…. makes no such claim. He says that the FRAMERS BELIEVED (you left that part out) that the Constitution was not a CODE OF LAWS.

    You totally overlook what the word “code” means. Perhaps you don’t know. So let me explain it to you. A code means a codification, a formal statement of something. And anyone who knows anything about law (and even most who don’t) can tell you that the Constitution isn’t a code of laws.

    You know what is a code of laws? The U.S Code of Laws is.

    That doesn’t mean Constitution isn’t law, and Stengel doesn’t say it ISN’T “law”. He is simply stating that it is law that comes to us in the form of principles, rather than clear concise statements that one finds in, say, the U.S. Code.

    Is he wrong about that? No, he’s clearly correct about that.

    But again, you recast what he says, and then “fisk” him on what he doesn’t actually write.

    And you want to make this a “-gate”? Seriously? I hope now you can see why it is not catching on, no matter how hard you hit the drum.

    Kman (5576bf)

  47. Aaron, I think Amar has rarely been right about anything, going back to ‘Bush v. Gore’ and I believe
    he was on the campaign finance bandwagon, sometimes
    I think he’s too clever by half;

    Other times, there is no principle involved:


    ian cormac (d380ce)

  48. ian

    i am frankly laying off of amar because i hate him on such a personal level. if that makes sense.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  49. That’s fine, that’s why I’m taking up the slack:

    ian cormac (d380ce)

  50. #36 re liberal youth:

    “If you are not a liberal at twenty, you have no heart. If you are not a Junker (conservative) at forty, you have no head.”
    – Count Otto von Bismarck

    John II (b4cede)

  51. If you’re a liberal at twenty, you should ask your parents why they didn’t get you some decent reading material when you were growing up.

    No, I’m kidding. I understand the point that liberalism (popular definition) is unrealistic idealism.

    these days, I think we’re too far gone for smart kids to be fooled by it, though. It blows my mind that younger people, those most directly screwed by democrat policies, aren’t 95% GOP voters yet.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  52. Even a pretty woman like Darby Shaw knows the US Constitution was written to limit the power of the federal government. Check out Julia Roberts playing Darby in The Pelican Brief.

    Her opening statement as a law school student in Sam Sheprd’s Con Law class proves the point.

    ropelight (4d0efb)

  53. Actually, no, ropelight, that seems to have been a curtailment of a legitimate right, protections of persons and property, over one of these ‘positive
    rights,’ probably out of a Brennan or Douglas opinions

    ian cormac (d380ce)

  54. lol look at Kman try to defend this idiot.

    But then Kman always defends people who talk about things without doing their homework, right?

    And its going to break your heart to know it is in fact catching on, stalkerboi.

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  55. Your first supposed “false claim” made by Stengel is “The Constitution Does Not Limit Federal Government”

    The problem is that Stengel… wait for it… never actually made that claim. As your “relevant passage” shows, he was merely saying that the Constitution is silent on its intent. That’s not the same thing. So basically, you’ve “fisked” him on a point he never made!

    Hey, I read almost exactly this here. What’s the matter, Kman? Can’t think for yourself?

    You are plainly plagiarizing this

    So what Stengel was ACTUALLY saying was that the Constitution does not specify its intent. It is silent as to whether it intends to limit the federal government, or expand it.

    from that link, Kman.

    And it’s wrong. Stengel was actually saying the constitution was doing the opposite of limiting government. He was not saying it was silent on matters of intent, and to say it’s plausible our constitution does not limit government is absurd anyway.

    You know, if you’re going to steal someone else’s work, at least steal something intelligent, Kman. You’re so damn lazy.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  56. What Kman didn’t steal:

    He then proceeds to show how it can be INFERRED that the Constitution was intended to limit the federal government, by pointing to certain passages which show limitations on Federal Power.

    A.W.’s not wrong about that

    I agree. AW is not wrong about that. It is simply the truth that the constitution intends to drastically constrain the federal government. From head to toe that is the purpose of the US Constitution and the principle of a federal government. And Richard said the opposite.

    This is, of course, the last refuge of the losing argument, and something many predicted the first day Aaron noted Richard’s unbelievably wrong article. “Contexters” they are called, who claim the real meaning was changed, based on context that doesn’t really do what they claim. The obvious hope here is to make the issue seem complex enough that the stalwart partisans just agree with you without trying to think for themselves.

    Anyway, Kman, it’s really sad you can’t think for yourself.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  57. “If you are not a liberal at twenty, you have no heart. If you are not a Junker (conservative) at forty, you have no head.”
    – Count Otto von Bismarck

    Had Bismarck actually said that, it wouldn’t be something we would want to repeat. Liberals, in the sense Bismarck would have meant, and as opposed to Junkers, is what most of us here are!

    However, not only is the line not Bismarck’s (and I’ve never before seen it attributed to him), nor is correctly quoted. The correct line, which is from François Guizot, is “Not to be a republican at twenty is proof of want of heart; to be one at thirty is proof of want of head”. “Republican” here, of course, means the opposite of “monarchist”, not of “Democrat”.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  58. Right, and remember that Bismark was a statist and pan early proponent of the welfare state, it is worth noting that Hayek was really rebelling against
    the anti-market Wagner and Schmoller ‘historicist’

    ian cormac (d380ce)

  59. I can understand why the term Republican has lost its meaning, but it really is a shame the term ‘liberal’ has been destroyed by some rather illiberal folks.

    Anyway, always appreciate the history lesson, Milhouse.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  60. Kmart just aggressivey plagiarized that post, or …..

    JD (318f81)

  61. Wow. Did Kman actually just lift verbiage? Aaron should send him a red rubber nose.

    Simon Jester (45cadf)

  62. Maybe it was not plagiarism ….

    JD (318f81)

  63. Jeez, the collective i.q. in this thread just dropped by 20 points!

    What happened?

    Oh, sorry. I didn’t notice that K-mart was here.

    Dave Surls (b57ae5)

  64. JD, you have a good point, the NPR twins, Vivian and Ron, (I know they are not related) came from
    the fundraising arm,

    ian cormac (d380ce)

  65. Schiller. I think that was referring to my comment about how his background as a creative writing professor prepared him for his role as a constitutional expert.

    JD (318f81)

  66. Maybe Aaron can write a letter to Kman’s keeper, demanding that his charge actually read the Constitution; especially Article VI Clause 2: “This Constitution AND the laws of the United States … shall be the supreme law of the land” [emphasis mine], and the 10th Amendment: ‘Powers not delegated, reserved to states and people respectively’.

    Lesson: check your cut-and-paste sources before you steal your next brainstorm.

    Icy Texan (d52144)

  67. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    Let’s see…does the Constitution limit the power of the federal government in various places?

    Yeah, I guess so.

    Did the authors intend to do so?

    Well, that’s hard to say. If they were dumb as most lefties are (for which see Stengel), they might have intended to put no limits on the power of the federal government, and they just accidently put that in by mistake, because they were just too dumb to understand what it means.

    I don’t think that’s too likely however, if only because lifeforms as stupid as lefties rarely occur in nature.

    Dave Surls (e2f0e1)

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