Fox News – June 9, 2010:

A small publishing company is under fire after putting warning labels on copies of the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence and other historical documents.

Wilder Publications warns readers of its reprints of the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, Common Sense, the Articles of Confederation, and the Federalist Papers, among others, that “This book is a product of its time and does not reflect the same values as it would if it were written today.”

The disclaimer goes on to tell parents that they “might wish to discuss with their children how views on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and interpersonal relations have changed since this book was written before allowing them to read this classic work.”

The warning seems to be offending more people than the documents themselves.




  1. Benjamin says:

    # 13 bobbo said,”Is it legal or not to burn the US flag?”

    Yes. Unfortunately, Texas vs Johnson allows you to burn the flag in protest.

    What do you do with damaged or worn out flags? You may burn them. You certainly do not throw them away. Alternatively you may take them to the American Legion and they will dispose of them honorably by burning.

    There is a difference between the two. The one I take a dim view on is burning a shiny new flag in protest. There are better ways to protest our country than burning the flag: posters, letters to Congress, etc. The flag burners do it in front of others. When you retire a flag, it is not done with an audience and you replace it with a shiny new flag.

  2. Benjamin says:

    #19 pete said, “I suppose that black people are worth 3/5th of a person for the census is a product of its time.”

    Not true. Slaves of any race were worth 3/5 of a person in the census. Free blacks as well as free whites were worth one person in the census. Your whole point is moot because the 3/5ths thing has been superseded by the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution.

    Article 1, Section 2, Paragraph 3 says, “Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.”

    See, race isn’t even mentioned.

  3. Guyver says:

    1, Bobbo,

    So, regarding these alleged upset people: what are they upset about?

    If you agree with the warning, then you would be in favor of the Constitution of being a living document that can be reinterpreted in today’s context…. or so it seems.

    7, Bobbo,

    “All men are created equal.”

    Define men: A. As used today.
    B. As used in the Decl.

    11, Bobbo,

    Language changes over time.

    But this should be no excuse for reinterpretting historical documents out of context. Especially the ones that are supposed to list the powers of our government. Otherwise, you’ll have liberals arguing that the general welfare clause was meant to cover universal health care.

    A: Men == every person
    B: “Men” was with respect to rich white landowners.

    18, Canucklehead,

    “All men are created equal”
    Thomas Jefferson, slaveowner, hypocrite

    If you put a modern literal interpretation of his words, you’re right. But that would be out of context of what he meant. And if you understood his context, then no he’s not being hypocritical.

    19, Pete,

    I suppose that black people are worth 3/5th of a person for the census is a product of its time.

    So what? Barack seems to subscribe to the one drop rule. Old habits die hard.

    24, Cursor_,

    Until the present form of government is scrapped and replaced with one that can function to provide representation, these documents might as well be as relevant as old Sumer tablets or hieroglyphs from ancient Egypt.

    It’s been done before. The founding fathers helped fund the Revolutionary War…. when we became our own country the central government was so week under the Articles of Confederation, the founding fathers were not able to be repaid for their loans. What happened? Secret closed door meetings to replace the Article of Confederation with the Constitution so that they had enough power to be repaid.

  4. Guyver says:

    Response to 11 should have read like this: “Especially the ones that are supposed to limit the powers of our government.”

  5. bobbo, int'l pastry chef and world history buff says:

    #34–Guyver==lets discuss because it is of interest to me and history books generally fail in their exposition.

    you say–” “All men are created equal”
    Thomas Jefferson, slaveowner, hypocrite

    If you put a modern literal interpretation of his words, you’re right. But that would be out of context of what he meant. And if you understood his context, then no he’s not being hypocritical. ///

    Jefferson was a hypocrite regardless of context. He knew all men are created equal, but he kept slaves himself. How is that not hypocritical now as well as then. What is your context? Please don’t be tangentially irrelevant.

  6. Winston says:

    The label should have said, “Quaint document no longer observed if inconvenient.”

  7. cloewe says:

    Disclaimer should read “You should read these documents on a monthly schedule, do not impose modern sensibilities on them but embrace them. Knowing that a group like, the Founding Fathers being in the same place and time, was an act of Providence or extremely good luck.”

  8. Maricopa says:

    # 36 bobbo – Jefferson … knew all men are created equal, but he kept slaves himself. How is that not hypocritical[?]

    Not really hypocritical. Afterall, blacks were not really considered to be human beings.

    Cam I have a dozen cannoli, please?

  9. ECA says:

    Warning:
    The above listed comments are PERSONAL RIGHTS for the individual ONLY. These and the 10 commandments are ALL that the individual needs.
    They have been Expressly created from what we have seen of the past, and what is REQUIRED for a better future. Keep them to heart. WE give these to you ONLY. NOW TRY to keep them. Fore without them, you will find that the PAST will come back.

  10. Guyver says:

    36, Bobbo,

    Jefferson was a hypocrite regardless of context. He knew all men are created equal, but he kept slaves himself. How is that not hypocritical now as well as then. What is your context? Please don’t be tangentially irrelevant.

    Women and Blacks were not included in this context. Running for office required that you held land / property and were of a certain age, etc. Essentially office was reserved for the elites in American society. We may argue that this hasn’t changed much. But regardless, this is how it was. People find it shocking that the very man who penned that would own slaves, but he never considered blacks, women, or the lower class of society.

    If you understand his context, then he’s not being hypocritical. If you want to use polemics of today, then yes he is being hypocritical.

    I want to say “Irony of Democracy” by Dye and Ziegler may cover this, but it’s been way too many years since I’ve picked that book up. I want to say this book also had photocopies of some of Abraham Lincoln’s journals and many blacks may be shocked to find out what Lincoln really thought of them. He did the emancipation proclamation only because he thought it would end the Civil War sooner. Outside of maintaining the union, he really didn’t care that much. I may have to revisit that book.

  11. Angel H. Wong says:

    I can’t be as bad as the evangelical Bible where several of the ten commandments (Thou shalt not kill and Thou shalt no lie) have a * leading to a footnote that says: Does not apply to gays, lesbians, women, atheists and people with skin darker than yours.

  12. bobbo, int'l pastry chef and regional planner says:

    #41–Guyver==of course no one knows the private mind of another person. If we were Jefferson scholars I assume Jefferson wrote several letters to his friends explaining himself?

    Washington released his slaves on his death, I’m thinking Jefferson did something like that as well. Had kiddies with his slaves and treated his mulatto kiddies well—or some well and others as slaves? House slaves, field slaves?

    No one as intelligent as Jefferson buys into the so called prejudice of the day while writing that “all men are created equal” not while the institution of slavery is being railed against and already illegal in England and not while reading the great philosophers.

    No, something other than “not thinking that way” is at work.

    I think like too many folks, he knew what was right, but wanted the wealth and security that came from owning slaves. He was in short an early libertarian. I got mine, screw you.

    Got anything better than he just didn’t consider his wife a person?

  13. Anon says:

    With all this material available for free, what idiot would buy it?

  14. Benjamin says:

    #43 bobbo said, “Washington released his slaves on his death, I’m thinking Jefferson did something like that as well.”

    Jefferson was unable to, but he had wanted to. We did write about slavery. He had amassed large personal debt.

    “During his lifetime, Jefferson attempted twice to legislate the emancipation of slaves, one time in 1769 at the Virginia General Assembly, and another in 1784 at the Continental Congress.[1][2] Jefferson also railed against King George III of Great Britain and the Atlantic slave trade in his draft copy of the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776.[3] Yet Jefferson, himself, acquired and sold hundreds of slaves throughout his lifetime, owning as many as 267 in 1822.[4][5] A profligate spender, Jefferson was deeply in debt and had encumbered his slaves by notes and mortgages; he could not free them until he was free of debt, which he never achieved.[6] All but one of Jefferson’s slaves was sold after his death to pay his debts.[7]”

    “All men are created equal” applied to all persons. The Founders recognized the hypocrisy of owning slaves and knew we would pay a price for it.

    “I can say with conscious truth that there is not a man on earth who would sacrifice more than I would, to relieve us from this heavy reproach [slavery], in any practicable way. the cession of that kind of property, for so it is misnamed, is a bagatelle [possession] which would not cost me in a second thought, if, in that way, a general emancipation and expatriation could be effected: and, gradually, and with due sacrifices, I think it might be. but, as it is, we have the wolf by the ear, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go. justice is in one scale, and self-preservation in the other[10][11]”

    We paid for our sins with the shedding of the blood of 620,000 Americans who died in the Civil War.

    Read more about Thomas Jefferson and slavery at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Jefferson_and_slavery

  15. ECA says:

    41, correct.
    and that was the time we created the VALUE of property. Which we should remove, as its USE is gone.

    43,
    The slaves were kept as a necessity. A young nation and needing a CHEAP work force to make trade. As the north left this ideal(and used POOR WHITES) the south could not change from Cotton and tobacco and make money. money enough for the RICH on small plots of land.

    45,
    there is an EASY way to eliminate Much of slavery/poor/many other problems.
    but NO ONE wishes it to happen. Esp, the rich.
    Equalize wages.
    Higher wages ONLY for certain jobs. mostly HAZARDOUS.

  16. bobbo, int'l pastry chef and world history buff says:

    Thanks Benjamin–I knew such matereial was immediately available, just too lazy to look it up when my mind is already firmly convinced. Some positions are not worth the time to detail their stupidity. But in truth just 5 min would have armed me well that Jefferson knew of his hypocrisy EVEN MORE than I was thinking.

    ECA–there is NO NECESSITY to enslave your fellow man==only a desire to wield power over them or to live above one’s natural station==like Jefferson, Washington, and x% of the Founding Fathers. Men of great ideas, done under by avarice and a feeling of being blessed when surrounded by others of lesser station. Its how a class system gets going which human being love to do.

    Stupid Hoomans.

  17. Anon says:

    ECA said, “Equalize wages. Higher wages ONLY for certain jobs. mostly HAZARDOUS.”

    You haven’t studied the Constitution, have you?

  18. bobbo, int'l pastry chef and world history buff says:

    Anon–I don’t see any Constitutional Bar, in fact or theory, to the notion of equalized/set wages. Its just interstate commerce squarely within Congress’s right to regulate.

    Pro’s and Con’s to everything we do.

  19. ECA says:

    48,
    I knew I would have to explain this..

    EQUAL wages.
    Has a bunch of reasoning behind it.
    If you think REAL hard, the 1 main reason is this.

    What job do you WANT TO DO?
    WOW, I can train for that and DO IT.
    Its NOT that you look for a JOB the pays MORE MONEY. as they ALL pay the same.
    BUT, you also have to find a Position that is HIRING. Even NOW, most people are needing AT LEAST 3-6 Different jobs Education/training.
    Just because you KNOW HOW to do 1 type of job, does not mean you will get it. BUT at least, if we are all paid the same, you have a BETTER chance of doing something you will LIKE.
    This will also have a MAJOR effect across the board.
    The Stock market? will either BOOM, or disappear.
    Product OVER pricing? Wont happen very easily IF you want to sell to EVERYONE.
    You will find that GROUPS/FAMILIES will have more then 1 person working, to ADVANCE income. NOT because they cant survive, its so they can GET MORE and be happy.
    RENTS/property value/Property TAX?? will drop in the dirt. It would be MORE based on PROPERTY and NOT on the buildings. Landlords that get money from OWNING a town, wont make fortunes. IF they want to rent to most people.
    Those making TONS of money?? that 1 person making wages EQUAL to 1000 lower paid workers, will NOW be paying for 1000 OTHER WORKERS, and I dont care if they are ALL doing the same job as THAT 1 person was. Its NOW affordable to HIRE those 1000 people. YOU would REALLY want to hire those 1000 people, as you get to Write them off on TAXES.
    It will also drop TAX rates, as MORE people are working.

    BEFORE the 70’s with a Corp tax.
    Gov gets money from taxing corps..80%
    Tax were based on Corp profits, so you DIDNT WANT major profits.
    Lower wages and you could STILL buy things. With 2 persons working you could get a house and car. Companies(esp food stores) went TO THE CUSTOMER, always had a neighborhood stores.

    AFTER the 70’s with LOW corp TAX
    Gov gets money from EMPLOYEES WAGES.. but there are LIMITS to taxes. And at Certain points in Earnings, you get CUTS in tax.
    Stores started to MOVE OUT. The lower wage person is TRYING to get a car and housing. Which keep going up in cost, as corps are finding they CAN EARN MORE and MAKE MORE, and not be taxed as much. The more people you hire, the MORE you have to pay in TAX for those employees.. So why HIRE? LOWER the number of employees, and make as much product and make MORE PROFITS.

    The Auto industry learned a BAD lesson.. in the 80’s. JUST because the NEXT years COST on cars was LOWER, you dont MARK them down in price. IF you do, the GOODS from THIS year wont sell. As the customer WANTS to save money and WILL WAIT, to save $1000’s of dollars.

  20. Guyver says:

    43, Bobbo,

    No one as intelligent as Jefferson buys into the so called prejudice of the day while writing that “all men are created equal” not while the institution of slavery is being railed against and already illegal in England and not while reading the great philosophers.

    Who was Jefferson’s target audience when he penned the Declaration of Independence? And why were slaves contextually significant in
    those words? Don’t get lost in your polemics while ignoring the purpose of the document.

    of course no one knows the private mind of another person. If we were Jefferson scholars I assume Jefferson wrote several letters to his friends explaining himself?

    Why would he need to explain something that was otherwise common sense of the time? It should be obvious he wasn’t talking about blacks / slaves. Why would he need to explain that to his friends?


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