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The History of our Constitution.

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by gafinfan, May 5, 2009.

  1. gafinfan

    gafinfan gunner Club Member

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  2. Themole

    Themole Season Ticket Holder

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    Ron, If you think this link is worthy, would you please add it to your list of links?

    http://www.f-f-a.com/comlaw.htm#1

    I believe it will be a good learning tool for us to realize what anchors the constitution to the people, and through a little research (really a lot of research) we might get the spirit of the founders.

    Our judicial system has cancer! It goes by the name of civil law or roman law.
     
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  3. Ducken

    Ducken Luxury Box Luxury Box

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    I don't have time to dive into this tonight, but if the rain comes tomorrow like they say I will have plenty of time then. Thanks ga for starting this thread.:up:
     
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  4. gafinfan

    gafinfan gunner Club Member

    Ron thats a great site, thanks!
     
  5. gafinfan

    gafinfan gunner Club Member

    The second of my 4 links is a copy of the Articles of Confederation.

    http://www.law.ou.edu/ushistory/artconf.shtml
    I've only found one mistake with this copy and it should be noted that the word united is not capitalized. The reason being that it shows the proper standing of the several states to eachother and to the union thereof.

    Why bring up the Articles? First of all we won't fully understand where we are going if we don't understand where we've been. Secondly is everything we've been told about this time period true? Modern history would have us believe that after only 6 years it wasn't working, is this true? Several good things came about during this period yet some felt it left to much power in the hands of the several states which thus made the federal system to weak to be properly responsive to the needs of the union. Is this true? Or is there some middle ground that would have made it better than what we now have?

    In any account those men met and hammered out what we now have. In a manner of speaking they threw the baby out with the bathwater. Here is that story and it was no simple or easy act to do:

    http://www.history.army.mil/books/RevWar/ss/ch4.htm

    You will see the the Federalist were much better organized yet it was touch and go for it seems that our founders had a real fear of to strong central government.
     
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  6. Themole

    Themole Season Ticket Holder

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    Wow! Ron, that last link you gave is a plate full. I'll be a while reading that. I started with the Constitution, but I'm going back to the beginng and read all of it.

    Thanks brother!
     
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  7. gafinfan

    gafinfan gunner Club Member

    I'm sorry this has taken so long, it was not my intention in the begining. Some health issues came up but thats now over with so on we go.

    The First Amendment; I was taught in school that this was the Free speech and separation of church and state amendment. It just so happened that I was in high school when most of the bruhaha went down on prayer in public schools. I'm honest when I say in all of my years in school I was never forced to pray in school, now each morning before starting our first class we did recite the pledge of Allegiance which of course has those words "under God" but as a typical kid that meant about as much to me as the rest of the pledge (next to nothing,:wink2:). I can't speak as to what might have happened in Maryland or anywhere else save the schools I attented in Georgia and Florida but I can tell you this, most of my friends in HS thought all of the blow up was just so much BS over nothing and we went about our business as usual including a prayer before every Football game with the hope that it would be played by the book and no one get hurt, may the best man win. The school band also played that terrible tune "Dixie" too!:lol: That was the extent of religion in my schools. I went to church to get the training and learning that I needed for my belief system.

    Anyway I give you the First Amendment:

    [ame]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution[/ame]

    A note and question on the 14th for future debate. Is it legal?

    Two other links concerning separation and what it truly means.

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/ps_pra9.htm

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/ps_pray.htm

    At this point in time with so much PC within our midst IMHO there is no tolerance concerning the christian faith where as other faiths/views are fully embraced.
     
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  8. sking29

    sking29 What it takes to be cool

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    GA now you and I can have a discussion that I will be very interested in as this is the area of American history I love.

    Now first I disagree with your statement that Christianity is not tolerated because that simply is not true. Christianity is still by far the dominant religion in this country and the separation laws are just putting it on fair ground with others (remember that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion"). If anything in American culture Christianity is still by far more tolerated than any other religion (imagine a Qur'an passage being used in a school/courthouse). Although culturally we are clearly a Christian nation, the importance of keeping one religious and government as separate as possible is paramount (the only time we actually see them mix is when politicians need votes). :wink2:

    Most of the Founding Fathers never liked the influence the Anglican Church held on the Colonies and some authors such as Patricia Bonomi have argued that religious teachings, the power of upstart Christian sects (Baptists, Congregationalists, etc.) and the First Enlightenment (the rise of evangelism and an the increasing influence of preachers) were a large part of the Revolution. Now I don't necessarily think that was totally right but I do think England's control on religion helped push the people. Founding Fathers like Jefferson, Madison, and Washington all agreed with this sentiment and that's why you see Jefferson and Madison working so hard to secure religious freedom. There was never a war against Christianity by these Founding Fathers and that argument is largely BS. Most of them considered themselves Christian (yes even Mr. Jefferson) although they were not typical Christians of the time or even today. We also have to remember that most of the nation were Christians at the time so the thought of Christianity not being tolerated is not true. Basically they wanted to make sure that any one sect did not take over another, although there is evidence that they applied this to other religious groups (like Washington's Hebrew Congregation Letter or Jefferson's Letter to the Danbury Baptists (both of which I think I can find for you GA)).

    From the beginning Christianity wasn't being attacked, the Founding Fathers were fighting against one group getting too much power (in fact all were fond of the Christian religion most of all, but most like Jefferson, Adams, Madison, and Washington were Deists). So when we see separation of Church and State we are not seeing really a battle of secular and religious but really a battle to keep any one group from becoming a monopoly. That's why you hear the words "establishment of religion" basically. I will say that religious vs. secular has become the debate today but no matter if it is that the basic idea is that no one religion should be supported over another in any government supported facility, because that is against the Constitution.

    I agree that sometimes things get blown out of proportion but their shouldn't be any religion mixed into our schools, courts, etc. in my opinion and that goes for all not just Christianity. The reason Christianity gets picked on the most is because it's the most popular religion and so when anything happens against religion in the government it will regard Christianity. So Christians feel they are being picked on and not being tolerated but I would argue that if the dominant religion was Islam it would be Muslims feeling like they were not being tolerated.

    Now let me also address the kind of religion these men portrayed to the people. Washington basically created the civil religion that we see today by invoking; God, Providence, The Almighty, etc. in his speeches and letters. He knew that religion was a bonding agent for the nation and others followed in his footsteps (notice how today politicians will talk of God but not Jesus, Mohammed, the Buddha, etc.). They all have done this because God is so all inclusive whereas words like Jesus define a particular group. Looking at the letters of Washington especially you will rarely (in fact I have never found) Jesus mentioned. So from the beginning politicians want to include religion but not to a huge level (except like I said when campaigning where being a Christian is pretty much a must-take the case of President Obama and the flack he took over being possibly a Muslim and if that didn't show that Christianity is the dominant religion/is very much tolerated and that other religions like Islam are still not fully tolerated/accepted in this country I don't see what does). The point is too include religion but not offend, so religion has always been integrated in this nation but more of a civil religion/non-descriptive even though clearly Christianity has been the favorite by both the people and the presidents.

    In the end, although religion has always been included in a broad fashion starting with the Founding Fathers their has always also been the idea that one religious sect/religion should not gain too much power (going back to the rebellion against England/the Anglican Church). Hence we have the First Amendment and other Acts (especially Jefferson's and Madison's works). Today and in the beginning the dominant religion has been Christianity and it has been shown favoritism because of that (why Christian prayer was in schools rather than Islamic for example). Separation laws are only keeping the religion in it's place and not letting it get too much power not condemn the religion and I think that is often misunderstood. Separation of Church and State is not condemning religion but rather keeping any one group from becoming too powerful and ending up controlling the government and the people (take a look at Medieval history if you want an example of that).

    Now GA hopefully argument has been summed up in that last argument and I want you to know I believe in the acceptance of all religions but that our country from the beginning has had a stance against any one getting too much power and so I must stand against any attempt to favor any one religion in any government facility even if it is a simple prayer. It's not that I think religion is bad, in fact religion in the right hand's is beautiful much as the Founding Fathers believed. Now however I promised links and I will give a few although I have many more and can discuss this topic for years. :up:

    Jefferson:

    Letter to Danbury Baptists:
    http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/thomas_jefferson/letter_to_baptists.html

    Quote:
    The Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom (wonderful stuff here including all I've mentioned):
    http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/thomas_jefferson/virginia_act.html

    Notes on the State of Virginia (just great all around on this states first man :wink2:)
    http://etext.virginia.edu/etcbin/toccer-new2?id=JefVirg.sgm&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&tag=public&part=all

    University of Virginia's archives of Jefferson works (just great all around):
    http://etext.virginia.edu/jefferson/



    Washington:

    Washington's Response to Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island:
    http://gwpapers.virginia.edu/documents/hebrew/reply.html

    Quote:
    Washington on religion's (not any specific one) influence on the United States:
    http://gwpapers.virginia.edu/documents/farewell/transcript.html

    Quote (from page 20):
    Link to George Washington papers:
    http://gwpapers.virginia.edu/documents/index.html



    James Madison: One good website should suffice for him since it has many links
    http://candst.tripod.com/tnppage/qmadison.htm

    Look at all the links GA on Madison they are great and Madison is probably the most important figure on how separation of Church and State was decided.

    Remember GA my argument is that Separation of Church and State is of utmost importance to keep any one religious sect or religion from getting too much power. I think this is what the Founding Fathers intended and that although it may have started as a power struggle within Christianity to now multiple religions the main idea of power limitation still holds. Like you fear the Federal government GA, I fear a powerful national religion so we are not so different. Also my argument is that Christianity is and always has been the dominant religion in this country and because of that, that is why any Church and State battle seems as if its directed at Christianity when its really only about limiting power.

    Looking forward to your reply and we can probably disagree on this forever.
    :up:

    I also will be willing to elaborate on anything if I was too vague and I know this response isn't wonderfully setup and written but for a message board post I hope long run-on sentences, like this one, don't offend too much. :wink2:

    Once again awaiting your response. :yes:
     
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  9. gafinfan

    gafinfan gunner Club Member

    Wow, what a great post, thanks so much. Let me first say the truth can/should never offend anyone, surely not me. Give me a day or two and I'll be back. I can see this is going to be good!:wink2::hi5:
     
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  10. sking29

    sking29 What it takes to be cool

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    Well its what I love. :D

    Remember GA I'm not attacking Christianity but arguing against letting any one religion become dominant by becoming too entangled with the government. I support anyone worshiping any way they want.

    Also another note is that many Christians of the time (around the time of the Constitution being created) in the US wanted religious freedom. The new evangelical groups that I mentioned earlier, Congregationalists, Baptists, etc., wanted a chance to grow and they knew the only way to do that was to have a free market place of religious ideas. Obviously if states were able to officially support a religion these newer smaller groups would be stomped out so many Christians supported the separation argument.

    Here is the part you will find interesting GA. We both know that largely until the Civil War and the 14th Amendment the US was basically a loose alliance of states. When regarding state supported religion this was no different as areas with less religious diversity had state supported religions and others with more diversity did not. Strangely enough it was the northern states that tended to support state religions whereas states like Virginia (Madison and Jefferson's home state) and other southern states supported more of a tolerant approach. Although Pennsylvania was a freak all its own and was closest to what we now know today as a religious conscience state. So once again the Federal Constitution was sparsely obeyed (much like we have debated before). However here religion was explicitly discussed giving us an idea of how religion was to be treated whereas the secession topic was vague at best. By 1831 (I believe but I know it was in the 1830s) the last state supported religion ceased to exist quietly (it did not need a war to settle it showing that religion had a more accepted role among all Americans). When the Federal government did take over after the Civil War that is where we begin seeing the separation of church and state being applied more strictly. The key to this argument is that religion in terms of what the Founders wanted is discussed and if we are part of a nation that is bonded together as a nation and not a loose alliance of states under a Federal Constitution then what they said should be followed. We can argue until we are blue in the face about if we should be state governed or federally governed but the fact is that we are now a federally governed nation bonded under a single Constitution and so it should be followed. Once again because religion is addressed explicitly we already know what to do. In the end we have to make sure that there is a free market place of religion and no one religion gets control. The nation has always been an unofficial Christian nation however and I don't see how it has not been tolerated but maybe you can enlighten me here. :up:

    Also the Election of 1800 is very crucial to this debate, but we can save that for later if you wish to talk about it. :wink2:
     
  11. gafinfan

    gafinfan gunner Club Member

    First let me say It is a great pleasure to debate these ideas with you. I only hope you learn half as much as you seem to be teaching me.

    Now to the meat of our talk. I can see just how you might take my meaning the way you did. I have a feeling that we are going to get into a James Madison versus George Mason kind of discussion on religious freedom.

    These two quotes seem most relevent here:

    http://candst.tripod.com/tnppage/memorial.htm - James Madison

    http://www.gunstonhall.org/georgemason/essays/dreisbach_essay.html

    George Mason (who IMHO isn't given nearly enough credit among our founding fathers)

    Both men are true to their beliefs that they felt that what ever a man believed was between him and his creator and the Government (and everyone else) needed to stay out of it all together. I agree!:wink2:

    What I find most odd about the whole debate about religion, this same something that both these men were against, is the fact that our Congress goes thru the trappings of religion on a daily basis and by doing so open up this whole line where as if they were to hold themselves accountable to our Constitution this would be dropped like a hot potato. I'm sure me saying this surprises you but really it shouldn't. I think to be strickly true to the first Amendment no display would have been the best way to deal with the matter, What say you?

    I do understand where you are coming from concerning my use of the word "tolerance" and you may be right. When writing that my mind was on those rooms given over to the muslim students for their prayer which included having a teacher present (my guess is to maintain order); if Government is to be truly civil then let it be civil in every way. Also I feel that there is alot of misinformation out there as to just what is and isn't allowed. The School Admin is more to blame here than anyone because, as I see it, they care more for PC than they do about getting it right by knowing the law. JMHO.

    And other than George Mason; George Washington is not given anywhere near the recognition that he deserves. The link you posted on his farewell address is something that every president we elect should be required to read and heed.

    http://gwpapers.virginia.edu/documents/farewell/transcript.html

    He was a truly great man with wisdom beyond his years. It is said that when the congress was drafting our Constitution and they were having discussions about the Office of President they couldn't even look him in the eye for fear they might upset this great man yet he never said a word.

    The other thing you pointed out, and I agree with BTY, is that all of these men took great pains to not pay homage to any one religion.

    I see you have posted again so I'll end this post, see what you've said, and then continue.

    Ron
     
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  12. gafinfan

    gafinfan gunner Club Member

    I think because religious freedom was so uppermost in everyones mind it had to be addressed first and that is IMHO the very reason for the first amendment, free speech and assembly were the natural byproducts of that fact. Most had seen with their own eyes how Europe handled religion and we wanted to make sure there was no war between us over religion. They saw it as the one way this country would never be a union save in name only. Where as the War between the States was bound to happen sooner or later for the simple reason you stated, the topic was vague and we were still trying to find our boundries. Should it or shouldn't it have been fought; that debate will go on long after I'm dead and I'll leave it at that.

    You are right about Northern versus Southern religion is concerned. The Religious right of today is the outgrowth of our puritan past which even now is the intolerant branch of the Christian faith JMHO.

    Rabbi Sherwin Wine
    While I don't completely agree with the Rabbi's quote his overall statement isn't far off.

    AS to State versus Federal, as much as I hate to say it because of the way it was forced into being, the 14th has truly helped to rein in State Governments from becoming to overeaching in their powers. Now if the states would show a little backbone and resist with the 9th and 10th a little better I could be a really happy man.

    As to the election of 1800 let me just say this the fight for just who has the power in this country was settled by force of arms in 1865. The in fighting started IMHO the very day the Constitution was signed into law. Everyone got a little of what they wanted while still being unhappy enough for political in fighting. Hamilton had as much to do with that as anyone and more than most. He was a weird sort, he didn't want to be the man but wanted to be the man who controlled the man.

    I'm going to say goodnight for now, I'll see you later.

    Ron
     
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  13. sking29

    sking29 What it takes to be cool

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    Well GA it seems we don't really disagree on much of this so I don't see much more that I can say. :up:
     
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  14. gafinfan

    gafinfan gunner Club Member

    Thanks, I agree.

    Next up The Second Amendment. I'll be back!:up:

    And to everyone else, please feel free to join in.
     
  15. sking29

    sking29 What it takes to be cool

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    Ah the Second Amendment should be fun, but I think we'll agree on that one. :yes:
     
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  16. gafinfan

    gafinfan gunner Club Member

  17. gafinfan

    gafinfan gunner Club Member

    The Second Amendment

    Alright guys, next up is the Second Amendment to our Constitution and it reads:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution




    With that bottom notation I believe that our founding fathers were far better at seeing into our future than many here believe. Those who use the pat answer of the Constitution has outlived its self or is laws are in a sort of flux to be reshaped to fit a majority desire IMHO are way off base and the proper way to amend it Is by an amendment process which is the legal and only proper way to make sure that the very bedrock of this wonderful document remains true to the will of the People.
     
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  18. sking29

    sking29 What it takes to be cool

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    Wonderfully said GA. :yes:
     
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  19. gafinfan

    gafinfan gunner Club Member

    I've given the "Second" more than enough time and it seems that all agree that it is just what it says it is. Not one soul has come to argue against it so we will move on. I'll be back with the next installment-a surprise.
     
  20. sking29

    sking29 What it takes to be cool

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    The next topic I will disagree with whatever you say just to get this place alive again. So if you like puppies I will argue kittens are better. :lol: :hi5:
     
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  21. Themole

    Themole Season Ticket Holder

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    What part of East Tennessee are you from sking? My wifes 1st cousin is the OL coach of the Smokey Bears at Sevierville HS.
     
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  22. gafinfan

    gafinfan gunner Club Member

    I would like us to next tackle the 13th and 14th Amendments and their interaction coming as it were after the WONA as to their legality and baring on our freedoms.

    Two links to help in this process:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Constitution#Amendment_process


    And:

    http://www.constitutionfacts.com/index.cfm?section=constitution&page=letterOfTransmittal.cfm

    IMHO there is a very fine line drawn here between our indiviual freedoms and our collective safety. Sometimes when you make a mistake it ends up being the right thing to do, such is life.:wink2:
     
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  23. sking29

    sking29 What it takes to be cool

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    I am around the Knoxville area and live about an hour and a half from Sevierville. LaFollette is the actual name of the city I live in. :up:

    Also my high school plays Sevierville every year...Campbell County... maybe they might recognize that name. :yes:
     
  24. gafinfan

    gafinfan gunner Club Member

    Did you ever eat at either of the S & S Cafeterias in Knoxville? I Managed both at different times in my career. Sorry for the OT but inquiring minds want to know.
     
  25. Themole

    Themole Season Ticket Holder

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    Coach Bill Galloway, he was formally OL coach for the Lakeland, Fl. HS "Dreadnoughts" under head coach Bill Castle, until he retired and moved to Sevierville, to be close to his grandchildren.

    Sorry Ron. No more hijacking your thread.
     
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  26. gafinfan

    gafinfan gunner Club Member

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  27. Themole

    Themole Season Ticket Holder

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    Good find Ron.

    This is what Woodrow Wilson had to say after signing the Federal Reserve Act:

    "I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country.
    A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit.
    Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation,
    therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men.
    We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely
    controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world.
    No longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by
    conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by
    the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men."

    To be honest, there is a lot of debate on whether this quote is verbatim though.
     
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  28. sking29

    sking29 What it takes to be cool

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    Can't say I have...but you should come back to Knoxville sometime for a little chat. :up:
     
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  29. gafinfan

    gafinfan gunner Club Member

    First of all I want to apoligize for not keeping this thread up, I will try to do better in the little time I have before Hunting season arrives and I disappear into my real comfort zone.:up:

    I want to disect the 13th, 14th, and 16th amendments plus debate the cloud under which they appear in our Constitution. Are they legal and radified properly according to the laws laid down by our constitution? A note as to clarity is needed here. This is not about the need or desirability of these amendments (ESP. the 13th) but the legality of the same.

    I also want to start with the 16th because, to me, it is the most damaging of the 3 with the 14th coming in a very close second!:up:

    The 16th, is it illegal?

    http://www.givemeliberty.org/features/taxes/toto/totoad-03-23-01.htm

    This is not stated once but is stated twice to give it even more effect!

    Your thoughts?
     
  30. Soundwave

    Soundwave Phins Sympathizer..

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    what has always struck me most about the US Constitution is it's brevity and it's brilliant straight-forward simplicity.

    we could use some of that in our law-makers these days.
     
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  31. The_Dark_Knight

    The_Dark_Knight Defender of the Truth

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    Declaration of Independence; 1,300 words
    Healthcare Bill; 1018 pages

    Hmmm, a bit wordy, huh?
     
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