I wasn't sure whether to put this here or in Aneristic Delusions, but since it's mostly my own craziness with only a tenuous connection to current political events, I sided towards putting it here.
Have you heard about these so-called "thirteenther" people? I don't think their movement is very big. Anyway, they believe that contrary to what everyone else believes, that the Titles of Nobility Amendment (TONA) was in fact ratified as the 13th amendment and has been the law of the land since 1819, but some sneaky conspiracy of lawyers secretly had it unlawfully removed from the constitution during or immediately after the civil war. This is all based on the fact that there happen to be existing copies of the constitution from that era that were printed with this amendment.
This is the text of the amendment, emphasis mine:
If any citizen of the United States shall accept, claim, receive or retain, any title of nobility or honour, or shall, without the consent of Congress, accept and retain any present, pension, office or emolument of any kind whatever, from any emperor, king, prince or foreign power, such person shall cease to be a citizen of the United States, and shall be incapable of holding any office of trust or profit under them, or either of them.
What brought this to my attention was a story
about the Iowa GOP having a plank in their platform about reintroducing and ratifying TONA. I don't believe they buy into the whole thirteenther agenda, but are just doing it as a snub to Obama for accepting the Nobel Prize, which they apparently consider to be an emolument from a foreign power.
What gets interesting about the thirteenther movement is that they take a very broad view of what constitutes a title of nobility or honor, such that it would include lawyers and bankers, so if TONA is the law of the land, then lawyers and bankers should be stripped of citizenship and barred from participation in government. That gets my attention, and I'm starting to really like this movement.
Now what's REALLY interesting is that since they believe that TONA has been the official law of the land since 1819, and since the federal government has been primarily run by bankers and lawyers, that virtually every action taken by the federal government since 1819 is illegitimate. So by my reckoning, that means corporate personhood goes away, Kelo v. New London goes away, war on drugs goes away, the federal reserve goes away, and the gold standard comes back. Florida goes back to Spain, Texas reverts back to an independent republic, the American Southwest goes back to Mexico, the Pacific Northwest goes back to England, Alaska goes back to Russia, and Hawaii reverts back to an independent Kingdom. Several states including Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, the Dakotas, and Oklahoma all lose their statehood status. The Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, CIA, FBI, ATF, TTB, DEA -- all gone.
So this is all sounding really good to me, but I had a grave concern, and that was that it would also mean the undoing of all the amendments and federal court decisions having to do with civil rights. I was discussing this with a friend of mine and mentioned this concern, and his response was short and to the point, "What civil rights? The ones the Patriot Act took away?"
OK, so now the only issue I have is that I don't believe their claim about the amendment being ratified and then secretly removed. But I guess that issue is moot, because, I mean who cares what I believe or don't believe? Certainly not anyone with any power.
But like I said, I'm not sure there is actually much of a movement out there. My googling leads me to believe the so-called movement is nothing more than maybe five or six ultra-right-wing kooks with websites. I believe that Newsweek journalist may have been playing them up a bit to make his story more sensational.
Here are links to a couple of Thirteenther sites if you're curious:http://www.w3f.com/patriots/13/13th-01.htmlhttp://www.constitutionalconcepts.org/13thamendment.htm