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Statehood for District of Columbia?

The following is a copy of an article by Rob Natelson.

Why the District of Columbia Should Not Be a State?

Commentary

In June 1783, the Confederation Congress was meeting in what is now Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Continental soldiers surrounded the building demanding back pay. They were peaceful, but the intimidation was plain.

Congress asked Pennsylvania authorities to clear away the demonstrators. Pennsylvania authorities refused to do so. Congress accordingly left Philadelphia for Princeton, New Jersey, thereby making that town the national capital for a short time.

This incident confirmed the American Founders in their opinion that the national capital should not be at the mercy of any state. The Founders also knew that in European countries, national office holders could be held hostage by mobs that local authorities were unwilling, or unable, to control.

In July 1783, therefore, Congress began to lay plans for a capital district outside of any state, and under direct federal authority. An independent capital district became a top congressional priority.

When the Constitution’s framers met in convention in 1787, they accomplished this by adding the Enclave Clause to the document. The Enclave Clause reads in part as follows:

“The Congress shall have Power … To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States …”

Securing the national capital from capture was one reason for locating it outside the boundaries of any state. But there were other reasons as well. The founding generation believed that for republican government to survive, decision makers (including voters) should be free from the undue influence of others. They had to be able to make decisions freely, based on full consideration of the evidence. Decisions made by people heavily dependent on others would reflect merely the will of the masters. It was like giving the masters extra votes.

Many participants in the debate over the Constitution expressed concern that residents of the capital district, who would consist largely of government employees and their families, would reflect solely the interests of the government upon which they were dependent. They did not want dependents of the federal government unduly influencing state or national elections.

The Founders also recognized that denying the vote to residents of the capital district would not leave them without influence. On the contrary, prior history showed that those residents would have an outsize influence—partly by reason of their proximity to federal institutions and partly because many would be government officials or employees. Allowing them to participate in national elections would unfairly magnify their power further.

The Constitution reflected all these concerns by making no provision for the capital district having seats in Congress or participating in presidential elections.

In 1788, the Maryland legislature formally offered to cede to the federal government jurisdiction over land for a capital district. Virginia did so the following year. In 1791, Congress accepted Maryland’s and Virginia’s offers. The District of Columbia was established formally 10 years later. The federal government later returned Virginia’s portion to that state, so all of what is now the District of Columbia is former Maryland territory.

In 1960, Congress proposed the 23rd Amendment, which the states ratified the following year. It permitted residents of the District of Columbia to choose three presidential electors. In 1973, Congress passed the Home Rule Act, permitting local self-government for the District.

As currently proposed, the new state would consist of all of D.C. except tiny strips of territory remaining under federal control. It would be called “Washington, Douglas Commonwealth”—presumably meaning the City of Washington in the Commonwealth of Douglas. Many of the arguments over this proposal center on such questions as whether the District is large or self-sustaining enough to be a state.

But those arguments are unnecessary. The history I’ve just recited and the modern implications should be enough to squash the idea.

As demonstrated by the 1783 incident in Philadelphia, D.C. statehood would put the federal government at the mercy of local state officials. “Douglas Commonwealth” officials could refuse to restrain rioters threatening federal institutions. They could threaten or intimidate federal officials to obtain political ends. One obvious tactic might be for Douglas police to harass members of Congress with traffic tickets until Congress passed a particular law or granted the Commonwealth more federal aid.

More about this issue on the other side of this break.

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Now back to the article.

The terms of Maryland’s 1788 offer of cession also present objections to D.C. statehood. The Constitution authorizes Congress to assume jurisdiction over a portion of a state only if the state cedes it. As another part of the Enclave Clause makes clear, cession represents the consent of the state to loss of some of its territory.

But Maryland’s consent to cession, as well as Congress’s acceptance, was clearly based on the land being used as a national capital. The 1788 Maryland law provides that cession is to be of a “district in this State not exceeding ten miles square, which Congress may fix upon and accept for the seat of Government of the United States.” Maryland did not consent to the creation of another state out of its territory. Doing so would have required action under an entirely different part of the Constitution (Article IV, Section 3).

In other words, Maryland’s consent was effective for creating a federal “enclave” to be used as a national capital, but not effective for creating a new state. Turning all or part of D.C. into a state would require either a new agreement with Maryland, or a constitutional amendment.

Another objection arises from the results of the 23rd Amendment. Those results have vindicated fully the Founders’ concerns about allowing District residents to vote in federal elections. As the record shows, in presidential contests D.C. voters do not seriously weigh the merits or demerits of presidential candidates. The District is a dependency of the federal government, and its electorate invariably votes for the party that offers more government—the Democrats. D.C. residents have cast ballots in 15 presidential elections. They have voted the same way each time, and by huge margins: In 2020, Joe Biden took 92 percent of their vote.

These results—disturbing to any but the most rabid Democrat partisan—suggest that rather than admitting the District as a state, we should be discussing repeal of the 23rd Amendment.

Nor has the 1973 D.C. Home Rule Act been a success. In 2012, the Washington Post published a column by a long-time D.C. journalist. Its title tells you all you need to know about government there: “How D.C. became a District of Corruption.” America does not need more corruption in its national councils.

Robert G. Natelson, a former constitutional law professor, is senior fellow in constitutional jurisprudence at the Independence Institute in Denver. He is the author of “The Original Constitution: What It Actually Said and Meant“ (3rd ed., 2014).

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author of the piece and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times from which it was copied. While I find the article informative, I had no prior knowledge of the subject nor was I involved in the research or the discovery of facts pertaining to it.

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An Alarming Report

The Riddle Report 03 26 2021

Alarming News on Inflation

As I have predicted concerning the Biden/Harris Administration, their actions are going to lead to inflation.

I follow Dick Morris and in a recent report he pointed out that the pressures are overwhelming, and that inflation is coming. He pointed out that unlike Americans, Europeans, and others look not on daily prices but on the value of the dollar. And the pressures caused by stimulation money plus new taxes that are about to come down plus environment regulations and labor regulations, inflation is coming.

The formula of the stimulus package plus higher taxes plus environmental and labor regulations leads to inflationary pressures. These in turn will lead to corporations providing less goods and services while higher capital gains taxes leaves less money to invest in new plant and equipment, higher income taxes means less job creation, and environmental and labor regulations leads to constraining the supply of goods when supply demand is about to explode.

News Item #1 Stimulus.

While the stimulus payments to people are needed and will help people, I see the stimulus package as doing more harm than good.

Why?

Because of the pork!                        

Helping out states that have been impacted by the Chinese Virus is one thing but bailing out states that have mismanaged their state’s tax flows and expenses is quite another. It is pork.

Another interesting aspect of this is that nearly all of the states affected are Blue (Democrat) states. And the Red (Republican) states affected appear to lean left.

Apparently, fact checkers don’t dig very deep. They accept the Biden/Harris explanation of where the money is going and don’t really check them.

In the case of the states receiving money, when you dig deeper you find that the states can spend part of their 350 billion dollars on such items as abortion. Whatever your position on abortion is, that is not pandemic relief!

News Item #2 More Pork

Here is a partial list of recipients:

  • Provider Relief Fund – $8.5 billion
  • Public Health Workers $7.66 billion
  • Community health centers – $7.6 billion

This is again available for abortion services!

This is government running wild. It is beginning to look like the House had its agenda, the Senate has its agenda, and the President has another agenda.

News Item #3 Foreign Affairs

In what world does foreign affairs have a part in a stimulus package?

There may be just reasons for giving them money. That is not what this blog is discussing. But that money is supposed to be stimulus money and should stay home!

How much are we talking about?

$10 billion.

News Item #4 We have a Crisis!

Most arguments tend to center upon how much money is going for this or that. And I have demonstrated that tons of money is going for non-pandemic issues. But the amount of money is missing the whole point.

There should not be going $1 (that is one dollar) to non-pandemic issues. Helping low-income people is related and a priority; staving off evictions is a priority; helping restaurants and other businesses forced to close because of pandemic, a must.

But using a crisis as an opening to get pet issues taken care of is immoral. Perhaps some of those pets are really needed. Then work on pet relief!

We expect those in power to exercise responsibility, especially fiscal responsibility! But the Biden/Harris and Pelosi/Schumer teams are more concerned with political expediency than in handling a crisis.

With nothing indicating a change of mind, we are heading for a disaster. We now have thousands of immigrants coming into the United States and staying (despite Biden/Harris claim otherwise) plus trillions of dollars of debt hanging over us and more on the way. It is a recipe for disaster.

Oh, don’t worry, they say. We’ll tax the rich.

Well, after you’ve taken all that they have and forced them to leave the country, then what?

There is no real answer except for: “Gulp!”

News Item #4 Conclusion

Polls are now reflecting a loss of confidence in Biden/Harris and that Americans are finally waking up to the fact that open borders is not good business.

Gas prices are going up because of the inflation and eventually more will happen. You can’t do much about it until 2022.

So, to those of you who voted for Biden/Harris, Sorry. But you had your chance to vote against them! Instead, you voted for them, perhaps multiple times. So, strap your seat belts. It might get rough.

Oh, and if you are waiting for Biden to step aside and let Harris rule openly then I suggest you beware what you wish for. She is much further left than Biden ever dreamed of being!

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R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld and his Parler page is authorriddle.

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Liar, Liar

The Riddle Report 03 12 2021

Yesterday, 03 11 2021, President Joe Biden took to the airwaves for his first speech since taking office on January 20th. In his speech, he took full credit for the ongoing manufacturing and distribution of the vaccines. This is a lie.

But the speech was sort of a 50-day celebration I suppose. Prior to the speech he signed the latest Stimulus Package, which means money should be going out to deserving people this weekend. Although the package was passed without Republican support, the stimulus checks were supported by both parties.

So, he was celebrating the passage of a 1.9 Billion package that was loaded with pork.

News Item #1 “The Big Lie”

“A year ago, we were hit with a virus that was met with silence and spread unchecked.

“Denials for days, weeks, then months that led to more deaths, more infections, more stress, and more loneliness.”

That was his opening line and it was the big lie.

Instead of silence look at the following timeline:

  • January 3, 2020 – the United States offered to help China investigate the virus. Although later repeated, the offer was never really accepted.
  • January 6, 2020 – the CDC issued a Level I travel notice for Wuhan, China.
  • January 17, 2020 – CDC began screening 3 international airports.
  • January 20, 2020 – Dr. Fauci announced the NIH was already working on developing a vaccine.
  • January 31, 2020 – by the end of the month the administration had:
    • Issued a Level III travel ban (widely criticized by Biden and other liberals as being paranoia)
    • Organized White House Coronavirus Task Force
    • Declared a public health emergency
    • Announced Chinese travel restrictions
    • Suspended entry into the U.S. by foreign nationals at risk of transmitting the virus.

Does that sound like silence to you? Denials? The only denials came from Biden and company. Trump did deny statements and accusations by liberals, but he and his administration were already engaged.

News Item #2 “The Implied Lie”

“You lost your job. You closed your business. Facing eviction, homelessness, hunger, a loss of control, and maybe worst of all, a loss of hope.

“Watching a generation of children who may be set back up to a year or more – because they’ve not been in school – because of their loss of learning.”

Was any of that untrue? No!

But the implied lie that it was Trump’s fault is demonstrably false.

Most of the above statements happened in states that were near or were in total lockdown. Most of those states were run by Democrats who ordered the shutdowns. But most Republican run states did only partial shutdowns and began reopening as soon as possible.

A case in point is Florida where the Governor began reopening the state despite liberal protests and media condemnation. New York, which totally shutdown, led the nation in deaths, and just about every other category.

As for the schools, this happened in virtually all states, but again the Republican led states began working to reopen the schools as quickly as possible. It hasn’t always been pretty, but it has been largely successful except for one problem.

The Teachers union.

Despite assurances from CDC and the Dr. Fauci, teachers have been opposed to reopening the schools. The result has been a shortage of teachers and children being robbed of their education. And now, parents are actively pushing for the reopening.

News Item #3 “The Vaccine”

“When I took office 50 days ago, only 8 percent of Americans after months…”

Another implied lie: that nothing had been done toward vaccinating people by the Trump Administration. Let’s look at some more facts:

  • December 11, 2020 – Johnson and Johnson vaccine approved for use
  • December 18, 2020 – Moderna’s vaccine approved
  • January 20, 2021 – Trump’s last day in office; 1.5 million vaccinated
  • March 11, 2021 – 1st 50 days of Biden Administration; 1.4 million vaccinated.

Do the math: Trump administration vaccinated 1.5 million people between 12/11/2020 and 01/20/2021 for approximately 27 days; Biden administration vaccinated 1.4 million people between 01/20/2021 and 03/11/2021. Or put another way, the Trump administration vaccinated 100,000 more people in 23 less days.

Lest I forget, the Trump administration partnered with Johnson and Johnson to increase capacity to manufacture more vaccine and in record time. Translate the word ‘capacity’ to build a factory and you get the kind of commitment made.

News Item #4 “What it Could Have Been”

It would have been a great time for President Biden to show his commitment to unity. All he had to do was acknowledge what the Trump administration had done and congratulate or thank them. Then he could have bragged about how he was continuing the work. Instead, he tried to take all the credit.

News Item #5 “the 25th “Getting the Truth”

If you want the truth, you have to get out there and find it. It isn’t really hard, but your local paper isn’t going to tell you, nor is your television. And you can’t trust the social media. Facebook, YouTube, and others only want you to talk about their agenda. Your traditional sources of information are no longer reliable.

But the good news is that there are newer resources such as Rumble, MeWe, DuckDuck, and others. Find out what works for you. But in the end, it is your responsibility to find the truth.

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ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

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R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld and his Parler page is authorriddle.