A Constitutional “filter” for your toolkit


Hi All !

As the summer winds down, I have brief moments now to write again. Still Busy until the snow flies.. ah snow……
Time waits for no man…..

I very recently saw a program discussing the Constitution.
If you saw it too, you will recognize instantly what I am talking about in this message.

What I gleaned from the discussion is MAJOR.
It concerns a short phrase that is found in the preamble and in the preamble of most state Constitutions as well.
The phrase is: “promote our common welfare”

The discussion was around the word PROMOTE as opposed to PROVIDE.
Herein lies the exquisite employment of the english language and the PRECISE intentions of the founding fathers.
Immediately previous to this phrase is: “provide for the common defence”
and there you have it, the explicit example of provide v.s. promote.

I consider this a HUGE filter to pass all discussions and considerations thru, to completely understand if it meets constitutionality.

For example: It was a no brainer for me to respond to a recent posting of a fellow here on freedom works.
He had put forth that the governor of Maine was recommending the breakup and probable closing of the state laboratory. He further framed his argument that an “old friend” of the governor was poised to get a “windfall” by taking advantage of the state closing the lab and building his own lab business perhaps with some funding by the state via loans. he further framed his argument in the form of a question that “would this be putting the public health in danger ?” All that hidden agenda aside, the real question is, is the Governor authorized to take this action?

Here is the complete text and my response:

“Governor Lepage and an Old Friend ?
Word at the statehouse is the Governor may be laying the foundation for a windfall of business for an old friend. The Governor would like to shut down the state laboratory and have the open market take care of the lab work. An old friend has his hand out looking to capitalize on that possibility. Meetings in Augusta are taking place this week regarding the state laboratory and its need for existence.

Your comments welcome. Is this a necessary way to cut costs or does this put the public’s health in danger?

You get to help frame this story as it may become a public story”

My response:
The Preamble to the Maine Constitution states:

We the people of Maine, in order to establish justice, insure tranquility, provide for our mutual defense, promote our common welfare, and secure to our selves and our posterity the blessings of liberty, acknowledging with grateful hearts the goodness of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe in affording us an opportunity, so favorable to the design; and, imploring His aid and direct ion in its accomplishment, do agree to form ourselves into a free and independent State, by the style and title of the STATE OF MAINE, and do ordain and establish the following Constitution for the government of the same.

You will note it says “promote our common welfare” NOT PROVIDE.

Even if true, the Governor’s “old friend” will have to compete on that open market with other lab facilities, and said competition will ultimately be better for the people of the state.

Name one sector that government can do ANYthing better than the private sector ?

A lab will have to meet standards, be accurate in it’s findings or face consequences in the form of lawsuits and loss of business. There will be other facilities that compete, perhaps perform better at a lower cost, and all will have their reputations on the line. Not to mention create JOBS.

The public’s health is always in “danger”
The question is should the state be “Promoting” or “Providing” remedies ?

I will further posit that when the state provides, it stifles competition.

Your use of “windfall” , “old friend” and raising the spectre of “danger” belies some stake in the argument, who are your “old friends” ? and are they affected by this change in promoting the general welfare ?


There you have it, a completely useful tool to constitutionally filter just about ANY argument.

is the widget PROVIDING or PROMOTING the general welfare ? and SHOULD the state or federal Govt. BE doing that Constitutionally ?

take a look around you, look at laws and proposals and pass THEM thru this filter and you can easily see how useful and PURE this filter is !!

Frankly, I cannot see how anyone in govt. could argue for or against something once passed thru this filter, and certainly YOU can easily put forth the counter argument !

With so many now looking at things thru “constitution colored glasses” your posits will ring true and LOUD !

Just think of the laws and state run entities, that could be shut down via this filter, and Just as the Maine governor has done, it will not only save taxpayer dollars, it will FREE up the PUBLIC sector to fill that vacuum with a private business competition AND JOBS !


Look for new articles at my site from now until late fall as our energy experiments and projects near completion, I will be posting them as time allows, www.watchman2012.com

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