Get rid of the Air Force

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    Jan 07, 2011 1:19 PM GMT
    One illuminating result of the reading of the Constitution in Congress on Wednesday is that the US Air Force is not explicitly mentioned in the constitution, and, as such should be immediately dismantled.

    The existence of the Air Force is an intolerable and egregious usurpation of States' and People's right to form their own Air Forces.

    I wonder if anyone will point this out when budget appropriations for the military are made?
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    Jan 07, 2011 1:33 PM GMT
    Well originally, it was the US Army Air Corps, until after World War II. While the US Constitution doesn't mention an Air Force (certainly not in the 18th Century, when the Montgolfier brothers had just made the world's first balloon flight in France), I'm not sure it prohibits one, either. Could you please cite what parts of the Constitution you think would prevent the creation of a new armed forces branch?
  • rnch

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    Jan 07, 2011 2:13 PM GMT
    this thread is so moronic! it doesn't even deserve replies.
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    Jan 07, 2011 2:38 PM GMT
    Guys - He's being facetious!

    Count to ten and check for the existence of your sense of humor before posting. icon_lol.gif
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    Jan 07, 2011 3:09 PM GMT
    rnch saidthe U S Constitution doesn't mention the Air Force because airplaines weren't invented when the constution was written, you jack ass!

    pls quote what section(s) uphold your moronic opinions.


    The New York Times has a nicely reprinted version here. I refer you to Section 8 that enumerates the proper powers of Congress. The USAF is emphatically not one of them.

    As Christian mentioned, this was intended to be a parody of common but very stupid views we hear all too often. There's a serious point: there are a significant number of people who clamor for a literalist and narrow reading of the Constitution. They have honed their skills on similar readings of the Bible. There is no doubt in my mind that the American Constitution is intended to be a broad document that must be reinterpreted with the times; but these people disagree.

    My point is to make it absolutely clear that narrow and literalist readings of the Constitution are risibly misconceived, ignoring as they do technological innovations such as powered flight. If one is to stick by such a narrow reading, one MUST get rid of the Air Force.

    And if the Constitution did not anticipate innovations such as powered flight, or computers, or even electricity, what of social innovations such as Universal Health Care, or less agreeable ones such as Total War and Cybercrime?

    For now, it is an amusing riposte to the Tea Party: "well, when are you getting rid of the USAF?" that reveals their moronic stupidity.



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    Jan 07, 2011 3:10 PM GMT
    rnch saidthis thread is so moronic! it doesn't even deserve replies.


    Way to change your reply there! Are you embarrassed that you lack a sense of humor??
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    Jan 07, 2011 8:31 PM GMT
    And Bachmann should be reminded that the word "God" is nowhere to be found in the Constitution. ("Lord" does appear in one of the signatures)
    http://www.usconstitution.net/constnot.html#god

    Nor is the right to travel, unless you're a member of Congress.
    http://www.usconstitution.net/constnot.html#travel
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    Jan 07, 2011 10:43 PM GMT
    There is some Wiggle Room in the interpretation of the Constitution (the USAF item in particular, being an outgrowth of the Army).

    Other similar evolutions that migt be now considered extra-constitutional are the Department of Defense and USPHS (US Public Health Service) and the NOAA... all of these are either directly or indirectly the result of the 1947 National Secirity Act did away with the Department of War and demoted the Department of the Navy to a subordinate activity under the newly instituted DoD.

    Now another tickler was that the Framers of the Constitution never intended for the United States to maintain a standing Army during peacetime (which technically, we are in since we are not legally at war, as in a Constitutionally mandated war declared by Congress)... the very existence of an Active Duty Army with over 540,000 personnel is illegal.

    Yup, there are a lot of things which either violate the Constitution or sevrrely strain at being considered Constitutional.

    However, past mistakes do not justify future ones.

    If we must have Universal Health Care or true socialized medicine (such as repurposing the CDC or USPHS as the sole legal provider of medical services) ... then let an amendment be ratified and approved by the necessary number of states.
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    Jan 07, 2011 10:48 PM GMT
    alphatrigger saidThere is some Wiggle Room in the interpretation of the Constitution (the USAF item in particular, being an outgrowth of the Army).


    Not according to the Tea Party.
  • rnch

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    Jan 07, 2011 10:58 PM GMT
    the only joke on this thread is the OP.
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    Jan 07, 2011 10:59 PM GMT
    Christian73 saidGuys - He's being facetious!

    Count to ten and check for the existence of your sense of humor before posting. icon_lol.gif

    He is being facetious, but it serves to show those that want to go strictly by the Constitution, or Bible for that matter, cherry-pick when they apply their orinciples and when they don't. Bringing up instances such as this one illustrates the point nicely.
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    Jan 07, 2011 11:16 PM GMT
    How about colonies on Mars? Does the Commerce Clause apply to trade between the colony and a certain state, if the rocket doesn't cross state lines? icon_eek.gif
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    Jan 07, 2011 11:20 PM GMT
    Perhaps it is time for a new Constitutional Convention to update the original document... though it would have to be restrained from being a complete and total re-write that would make us a model of Communist China... lol
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    Jan 07, 2011 11:31 PM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidHow about colonies on Mars? Does the Commerce Clause apply to trade between the colony and a certain state, if the rocket doesn't cross state lines? icon_eek.gif


    By the time we are able to safely travel to and raise colonies on other planets, the Constitution will be probably be a relic of a better time... even more so an object of lip service and less a basis for the restraint of government.

    By that time we will likely either be a socialist confederation with Canada and Mexico as the North American Union, or an outright province of a one world government with our embedded microchips telling our keepers of all our comings and goings.

    Toss in a bit of "Logan's Run" to deplete the planet of its excess sexagenarians (with certain exceptions for certain "socially valuable elders") for extra fun.

    Or I could be completely wrong... and our grandchildren will be reduced to living in mud huts and eking out the few moldy non-Monsanto tubers that survived the Eugenics Wars of the mid-century from the parched earth.

    icon_razz.gif
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    Jan 08, 2011 2:08 AM GMT
    rnch saidthe only joke on this thread is the OP.


    And that was supposed to be funny?
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    Jan 08, 2011 3:36 AM GMT
    TigerTim saidOne illuminating result of the reading of the Constitution in Congress on Wednesday is that the US Air Force is not explicitly mentioned in the constitution, and, as such should be immediately dismantled.

    The existence of the Air Force is an intolerable and egregious usurpation of States' and People's right to form their own Air Forces.

    I wonder if anyone will point this out when budget appropriations for the military are made?
    The Marines has airplanes and helicopters.
    The Army has airplanes and helicopters.
    The Navy has airplanes and helicopters.
    The Coast Guard has airplanes and helicopters.
    Why does the Air Force exist?
  • rnch

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    Jan 08, 2011 3:46 AM GMT
    TigerTim said
    rnch saidthe only joke on this thread is the OP.


    And that was supposed to be funny?


    how should i know?

    after all...

    i "lack a sense of humor" sez you.....
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    Jan 08, 2011 4:18 AM GMT
    Personally, I think it's a question worth asking. The US government and its constituents need to start asking from the ground up what government should be and consequently how much needs to be spent. The answer that most voters have come up with in historic wins especially at the state level appears to be that government has grown too much and "vote the bums out" - rather than a vote of confidence in the Republican party. My sympathies however are very much with the Tea Partiers.

    From a constitutional (and libertarian) legal scholar Ilya Somin:
    http://volokh.com/posts/1170032632.shtml

    [Ilya Somin, January 28, 2007 at 7:03pm] Trackbacks
    The Air Force and the Constitution:
    One argument that is often made against originalist and textualist approaches to constitutional interpretation is the claim that they would render the Air Force unconstitutional. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution seems to give Congress the authority to creat an Army and Navy, but not an Air Force. It grants Congress the following relevant powers:

    To raise and support Armies .....;

    To provide and maintain a Navy;

    To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;


    Citing this text, critics of textualism and originalism claim that the Air Force must be considered unconstitutional under these theories of interpretation. I think there are at least two compelling answers to this claim:

    1. At most, the argument suggests that it is unconstitutional to have an independent air force. But air forces that are part of the Army and Navy are surely permissible. That is in fact the arrangement we had during WWII, and could go back to again. The mere fact that planes are a new technology that flies through the air surely does not forbid their use by the military, even under a very narrow view of textualism. Planes that fly through the air are no more constitutionally problematic than bullets that fly through the air, or balloons (whose military use was contemplated even at the time of the Founding).

    2. Even an independent air force could potentially be justified by the Necessary and Proper Clause. If, under modern conditions, it really is militarily important to have an independent air service (a point I don't express any opinion on), then the creation of an independent air force is "necessary" to the implementation of Congress' other Article I powers even in the narrow sense of the word, and is also "proper" in the sense that it doesn't seem to infringe on federalism or on other aspects of the constitutional structure.

    NOTE: Part of the content of this post is reprinted from the Conlawprof e-mail list, where this issue was recently debated.
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    Jan 08, 2011 4:33 AM GMT
    Very interesting items you dug up, Riddler78.

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    Jan 08, 2011 4:49 AM GMT
    alphatrigger saidblah blah blah visions of utopia and dystopia blah blah blah


    So much for faith in the Constitution as a living document. Based on current trends, my own guess is that we'll all be owned by corporations (no doubt with their beginnings in one of the commercial space flight companies today) and they'll use this clause's original 1800's meaning to justify not being regulated by a federal government owned by the corporation that's in charge at that particular moment.

    riddler saidblah blah blah Necessary and Proper Clause blah blah blah


    As it should be--only problem is who's deciding what's necessary and proper. Regulating health care (18% of GDP and rising) isn't necessary and proper while the Air Force is? icon_razz.gif
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    Jan 08, 2011 5:01 AM GMT
    TigerTim saidOne illuminating result of the reading of the Constitution in Congress on Wednesday is that the US Air Force is not explicitly mentioned in the constitution, and, as such should be immediately dismantled.


    The constitution also doesn't mention the internet or cell phone. So let's get rid of those too.

    But I read the thread and know the point you're making. *applause*
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    Jan 08, 2011 5:04 AM GMT
    JAKEBENSON said
    TigerTim saidOne illuminating result of the reading of the Constitution in Congress on Wednesday is that the US Air Force is not explicitly mentioned in the constitution, and, as such should be immediately dismantled.


    The constitution also doesn't mention the internet or cell phone. So let's get rid of those too.

    But I read the thread and know the point you're making. *applause*


    But they are *necessary and proper*!
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    Jan 08, 2011 5:04 AM GMT
    Christian73 saidGuys - He's being facetious!

    Count to ten and check for the existence of your sense of humor before posting. icon_lol.gif


    In anybody's defense, there are enough stupid people making stupid posts on RJ to make any rational person automatically assume the OPs post is genuine. Though obviously it isn't. icon_lol.gif
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    Jan 08, 2011 5:09 AM GMT
    q1w2e3 said
    JAKEBENSON said
    TigerTim saidOne illuminating result of the reading of the Constitution in Congress on Wednesday is that the US Air Force is not explicitly mentioned in the constitution, and, as such should be immediately dismantled.


    The constitution also doesn't mention the internet or cell phone. So let's get rid of those too.

    But I read the thread and know the point you're making. *applause*


    But they are *necessary and proper*!


    You do not need the internet or phone to communicate. The human voice and snail mail worked just fine before these were invented.
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    Jan 08, 2011 5:18 AM GMT
    JAKEBENSON said
    q1w2e3 said
    JAKEBENSON said
    TigerTim saidOne illuminating result of the reading of the Constitution in Congress on Wednesday is that the US Air Force is not explicitly mentioned in the constitution, and, as such should be immediately dismantled.


    The constitution also doesn't mention the internet or cell phone. So let's get rid of those too.

    But I read the thread and know the point you're making. *applause*


    But they are *necessary and proper*!


    You do not need the internet or phone to communicate. The human voice and snail mail worked just fine before these were invented.


    riddler's article2. Even an independent air force could potentially be justified by the Necessary and Proper Clause. If, under modern conditions, it really is militarily important to have an independent air service (a point I don't express any opinion on), then the creation of an independent air force is "necessary" to the implementation of Congress' other Article I powers even in the narrow sense of the word, and is also "proper" in the sense that it doesn't seem to infringe on federalism or on other aspects of the constitutional structure.


    It's militarily and commercially important, even just in retrospect. (the Internet came out of DARPA's research, while cell phones came out of radio telephony):
    bits of history from wiki 1957 - October 4th - the USSR launches Sputnik, the first artificial earth satellite.
    1958 - February 7th - In response to the launch of Sputnik, the US Department of Defense issues directive 5105.15 establishing the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA).

    Radiophones have a long and varied history going back to Reginald Fessenden's invention and shore-to-ship demonstration of radio telephony, through the Second World War with military use of radio telephony links and civil services in the 1950s.