Archive for August 4th, 2009

Ranking the Bill of Rights, Number 7: The Seventh Amendment

At this point, it may appear that I’m just being lazy and simply matching the number of the ranking to the number of the amendment. However, if this were to continue, I would be quite embarrassed when it came to filling the number two ranking since I have already ranked the Second Amendment. Suffice it to say, then, that is whole ranking-matching-amendment-number bit is mere coincidence.

With that said, I present the fightin’ seventh: “In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
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The Top 173 Things in History: #155. Manifest Destiny

Note the Native Americans and buffalo fleeing the “Westerners.”

Let’s call a spade a spade: Manifest Destiny was a pretty scumbag thing to do.

—Hey, this land you’re on, we’re gonna have to take it.

—But we were here first.

—Yeah, we know that. The thing is, and I know this kind of sucks, but it’s our destiny to have it.

—Your destiny?

—I know, man. We wish it were different, too. But yeah, this is our land now.

This was imperialism at its most boldfaced. Come on, like we even tried to come up with a valid justification? Because let’s be honest: Divine Providence isn’t a valid justification for anything.* This was nothing more than an older brother deciding he wanted the couch AND the remote control. And that’s when being there first or even “calling” it go out the window.

*And I’m the religious one in this group.

And here’s my biggest problem with Manifest Destiny: the syntax. It’s a verb with a direct object, so it sounds ridiculous in sentences. It’s not even like, “Mission: Manifesr Destiny” or “Operation: Manifest Destiny.” Think of it in candid terms by replacing “Manifest Destiny” with “Take Land.” Now try to respect this sentence in a history textbook: “The United States, under the direction of Take Land, expanded westward to the Pacific Ocean.” Impossible.*

*You can make the argument that “manifest” is meant as an adjective, meaning something akin to “evident.” Fine: “The United States, under the direction of Evident Destiny, expanded westward to the Pacific Ocean.” It still sounds terrible.

And I, for one, would never trade proper syntax for Texas.