Lusting for Deprivation

Lust is one of the seven deadly sins and commonly associated with the desire to acquire satisfaction in the sexual realm. Somehow, that one person’s gain is another’s loss tends to be overlooked, perhaps because the obsessed, being self-centered, are incapable of recognizing another person’s interests, whether it be their bodily integrity, sustenance, or locomotion.
The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution says:

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Funny that, just ruling a condition or designation of status out of existence. The Congress is empowered to enforce it. How, exactly has this deprivation of rights been addressed? Is negating a negative supposed to result in a positive? Not likely and, in fact, history has shown that it doesn’t. The deprivation of rights implied by “involuntary servitude” persists, in large part, because the Congress itself continues to dole out public assets with prejudice.  

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

What “appropriate legislation” has been passed to insure that involuntary servitude is not coerced by the need to acquire sustenance from those who have been given jurisdiction over nature’s resources as a private property right?  Are property rights conditioned on the obligation to share the fruits thereof? Is there an obligation to relinquish property when no use is made thereof? These are questions which have, apparently, not been answered.

Congress’ apparent preference for the amendment being self-executing provides evidence that the increasingly obvious disfunction of the Congress has been with us for a long time. Indeed, the current Republican-led House is just as intransigent and, therefor, subject to coercion as it was in Lincoln’s and Thaddeus Stevens time. That legislators have to be coerced is not a pleasant thought. However, when they are driven by the lust for power and presume that the citizenry is available for them to deprive, then coercive measures to make them work are in order. I’m not sure President Obama understands that. Perhaps he needs to take a leaf from Lincoln.

Bargaining with a lame duck Congress of untrustworthy stewards is ludicrous.

One Response to Lusting for Deprivation

  1. BurtCohen December 28, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

    Slavery continued well into the 20th century, thanks to this key phrase:

    “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.”  

    A simple way to continue the evil existed in that phrase. Read Slavery By Another Name, by Wall St Journal writer Douglas Blackmon. He explains that it was super easy for authorities to pick up any black man, charge and then convict him of some bogus crime. Presto: a legal slave.

    Ana amazing book. And yes,Hannah. Obama can learn a lot from many great presidents: Lincoln, FDR, and LBJ, at the very least.  

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