Facebook: Block the Click – Screenshot It!

Create a new post and add a screenshot of offending sites!

Instead of Sharing on Facebook – Screenshot and New Post!

Block that Click!

I see complaints about various click-bait sites all the time on Facebook. Sometimes we inadvertently add to the power of the sites in question. Rescind that power by taking a screenshot instead of sharing! Folks post links to sites that they are appalled by – essentially sharing garbage that they’ve seen on their feed. They add some warning comment like “FROAK don’t click this awful page!” Maybe they don’t realize it, but just reposting the link will not only get more people to see, and potentially click through, to the offensive site but also increase the sites mojo with Facebook. Sites with more mojo get lifted higher in the news feed leading to more folks seeing the post.

Mojo is an old internet term meaning it has more influence or power. A website with more mojo means search engines like Google.com, Yahoo.com and yes, Facebook, rank them higher. This brings the web page to the front page of a search where more people will see it and potentially click the link. It’s a bit of a FROAKING cascade since as it moves to the front (or top!) more and more people find it and unknowingly add to it’s power by clicking through! Why not use a screenshot on a new post instead of sharing?

Don’t Add Mojo!

So what do you do? You see a page that you want to warn folks about. Or you feel compelled to comment about how awful or factually inaccurate the site is. But you don’t want to entice more people to click through – what to do? Take a screenshot and post that instead! It’s not that hard although it does take a minute or two longer. But isn’t that worth it to fight Fake News sites and prevent bad memes from being promoted on Facebook?

Don’t Click Share – Click Post!

If you share something on your feed, Facebook thinks you approve of it! Instead, take a screenshot and add it to a new post! Yes, this takes a few minutes more – but isn’t it worth it to deprive bad sites like Breitbart from getting money through your Shares? Yes, that’s right, you’re helping them make money by sharing it to your Facebook page.

Screenshots are easy to take – especially on a laptop or desktop computer. Not everyone has done it before and Facebook doesn’t have a direct way to do it. They could add a screenshot button/option to help those used to apps taking care of everything. But until they do, here’s a couple of ways to add a screenshot to a Facebook post

Screenshot Walk Through for Computer Users

Up in the right hand corner of most keyboards there is a button labled ‘Print Screen.’ Tap that button once. On some keyboards you have to push and hold the Windows key before tapping the ‘Print Screen‘ button.

Open any photo editing software. If you have Windows, use Paint. For Apple users the app is iPhoto.

The two things you should do once the photo software is open is add the image and crop it to just the area you want to share. The rest of this tutorial is for Windows users as I don’t have a Mac.

Click Edit and then Paste the screenshot as a new image.

Now, you want to crop the image to only show the website. Click Image and Crop in Paint. You can now right click on the image and drag your mouse to cover the area you want to keep. If you don’t get it just right, you can drag the corners to move the crop area around. Click Image and Crop again. This will leave you with the cropped screenshot.

Save your new screenshot! Click File then Save As. Give your screenshot a name and select a place to store it where you’ll be able to find it. If I’m just posting to Facebook, I save it to my desktop because I’m going to delete it after I upload it anyway.

Screenshots on Android Phones

It’s easy to take a screenshot on your Android phone as well but there are many different ways depending on who made your phone. Two common ways to take a screenshot are to either:

  1. Press the power button and the volume button at the same time.
  2. Press the power button and home button at the same time.

Rather than try to show every variation in this post, go to Android Central! They have a great round up of peculiar ways to screenshot on your phone.

iPhone Screenshots!

iPhones are more consistent, of course. Simply press the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons at the same time!

Upload to Facebook

The final step is to upload your screenshot to Facebook. You make your comment as usual, then click the camera icon on the bottom of your screen. Navigate to where you stuck that screenshot and upload it! Now, you have an unclickable picture of whatever bad site you wanted to talk about without adding to it’s Mojo or allowing others to accidentally click through.

Sources: Android Central

Gerrymandering: What is It and How Does It Affect Elections?

Image showing rectangular counties.

Michigan counties are fairly rectangular,

What is Gerrymandering?

Originally, before gerrymandering, almost all districts were equally-populated rough rectangles. However, to accommodate increasing populations, districts need redrawn on a regular basis. Politicians and their parties saw the potential in drawing districts that suited themselves, which led to Gerrymandering – or boundary manipulation that favors one party over another. This means that they would select people most likely to vote for them and draw boundaries to encompass those people. Not only do politicians and their parties like to draw districts that include supporters, but they also like to reduce the impact of voters who oppose their views.

To cement their power, political parties try to delicately balance the populations within a district that is likely to vote against them. For instance, if they can include all of the people who might vote against them into one district, instead of two, then those people have less representation in the state house.


To see what I mean, imagine that we have 100 people and for each 25 people there is one representative. Let’s assume that out of the 100 people, 50 of them, or 50%, would vote for each party. If Democrats lived separate from Republicans with 25 Democrats living in each of two districts and Republicans in the other two, we should have a balanced legislature. That never happens, of course!

Instead, Democrats and Republicans live scattered across the four districts, although not randomly because neighbors often share values. Suppose that 13 Democrats live in district A, and 13 Democrats live in district B, and 10 Democrats reside in district C, and 14 Democrats reside in district D. Voters would elect three Democratic representatives (winning 13 to 12, 13 to 12 and 14 to 11) and one Republican (winning 15 to 10).

Don’t Like the Election Results? Gerrymander!

The Republicans wouldn’t like randomly losing seats. So instead, Republicans – being in power during redistricting years – moved the district borders. They ensured that 24 Democratic voters live within district A – leaving only 26 Democrats left to be distributed among the other three districts. In this case, let’s say eight Democrats live district B, eight in C and nine in D. Now, the non-rectangular districts end up with three Republican legislators elected (winning 17 to 8, 17 to 8, and 16 to 9) and only one Democrat representative (winning 24 to 1). Moreover all four representatives have confidence that they will retain their seats. If the Democrat is shortsighted and self-interested, they may not even object to the gerrymandering. What the FROAK!

Many people vote as independents, which makes gerrymandering more complicated. Independents might vote one way or another depending on the year, the candidate or the issue. To take that into account, the politicians drawing the districts like to ensure that their own district includes enough supporters to feel confident that they will be re-elected.

The Rules

Gerrymandering legislators remain unencumbered by the rules. Certainly there aren’t enough rules to insure that districts represent the opinions and views of the people fairly. One rule states that a district must be contiguous – i.e. crafted such that you can draw one continuous line around the whole district. That’s why you sometimes see a tiny goose-neck connecting a city with the rest of it’s district. District redrawers must also apportion population numbers fairly similarly between districts. The rules forbid gerrymandering politicians from considering ethnicity and religion but Right-leaning judges rarely enforce this rule at the state level. Besides being race-blind, the law charges legislators with creating compact new districts (think hexagons, circles or rectangles) without long connecting slivers or meandering monstrosities. Michigan Republicans mock this law – listen, you can hear them laughing now!

Historical Michigan Districts

Gerrymandering hadn't gone wild in 1973.

From 1873 to 1982, politicians drew districts somewhat rationally and didn’t 0verly gerrymander.

Through the years 1973 to 1982 Michigan districts weren’t too bad. The district lines in Detroit proper were a bit odd, but they made a certain amount of community sense. Districts weren’t rectangular within the city exactly, but except for district 16, if you squinted you could see rectangles and compact shapes.

In the 1983 redistricting things got a bit odder (lawmakers redraw districts every 10 years.)  Afterwards, most of the districts looked more like 1982’s district 16. In later redistricting, district shapes went downhill from there. More and more the districts stopped serving the people and began serving the two parties, usually Republicans much more than Democrats.

1983 redistricting was highly gerrymandered

1983’s redistricting lost to concept of rectangles and became very gerrymandered.


Packing and Cracking

There have been three more redistricting years in Michigan in 1993, 2003 and 2013. Each time the Republicans redrew the districts it has benefited them. Currently, conservatives get about 46% of the vote but they still manage to carry 9 out of 14 state districts (64%.) This allows them to continue gerrymandering in a vicious unbreakable circle (which would be a great shape for a district!)

Two methods used to gerrymander successfully are Packing and Cracking. Packing a district means to put as many members of a voting block, usually defined by ethnicity or religion, into one district as possible. This cedes that district to that voting block but prevents the opponent’s voters from affecting other districts. Legislators use Packing if there is a large population of a particular voting block – in Michigan, that’s usually Black voters in urban areas but it might include college votes.

Cracking means separating a voting block into two districts so that their influence is diluted such that they don’t win in either district. This is done with smaller ethnic groups to block their influence and silence their voices. In Michigan, this is usually done with Hispanic communities but also Muslim ones as well.

Absurd Districts

Gerrymandering leads to unfair representation

Absurdly gerrymandered districts have led to the true minority in Michigan controlling the legislation.

Currently, Michigan’s tri-county area suffers the most from gerrymandering. Districts 13 and 14 are the poster children for this undemocratic process. Let’s examine district 14 a bit closer (Ed. Note: It’s my district!) It includes Pontiac (population mostly Black.) Then goes SW to Farmington but doesn’t include Farmington itself (it’s over 70% White.) The district snakes east across the northern portion of Detroit until it hits the water. Finally District 14 drops down along the river to the center of Detroit (to a mostly Hispanic area).

Michigan’s 14th uses both packing and cracking to create a heavily Democratic district. Gerrymandering packs Blacks and immigrants into the district. It also cracks the Hispanic population into two less effective voting blocks delivering another district to Republicans.

How Does Gerrymandering Affect Elections?

Hey, did you read the FROAKING article? You should already know the answer to how gerrymandering affects elections. It allows the majority to cement their power even if the population becomes more liberal or conservative. In Michigan, it means that the 46% dictates the laws to the 54% who disagree with them. It is part of what I call the tyranny of the minority over the majority.

It is important to protect the rights of the minority in our country. But there is a disconnect between ensuring their needs are met, and allowing them to impose their beliefs on others.  Gerrymandering, and the Electoral College, blocks the will of the people. The Flint Water crisis is a catastrophic example of how gerrymandering’s tilting of election results affects our environment. Snyder’s usurpation of power affected the health of Michiganders harmed by his installation of Emergency Managers in Flint and Detroit. Snyder over-rode the will of the people – who voted against Emergency Managers – and got away with it. All because gerrymandering allows Republicans to be over-represented in the government. (This makes me HOP HOP HOPPING mad!)  Ultimately, the governor poisoned the people of Flint by with state provided water facilitated by this anti-democratic process.

In another article, I will explore what we can possibly do to fix Gerrymandering.

Sources: Wikipedia – maps; Ballotpedia; GovTrack; Dome Magazine;

How to Report a Fake News Story to Facebook

Fake News – Bane of True Democracy

For the last few months there has been a huge uptick of fake news stories being spread on social media. Facebook got noticeably worse when they fired the editors who vetted the news that appears on your upper right column. In addition, our fellow Facebookers have been posting an awful lot of misinformation. Some are so emotionally addicted to this kind of sensational misinformation that they don’t realize what their posting is hogwash, while others are posting it either to tweak fact-lovers’ noses or try to influence those that don’t fact check.

Fighting Fake News

The best way to stop the Facebook fake news stories are to report them to Facebook. Facebook has enabled this new feature after the huge criticism it received during the election. With the new system, users identify and report the fake stories and hopefully Facebook will delete them. If you’re certain that a news story is fake (and not just slanted) then take a moment and help Facebook clean up our feeds! Not sure how to report a fake news story? That’s because Facebook has buried the option deep within their menus.

Step by Step Guide

Step 1 – Hover over the upper right corner of the post and click the “v”

fake news step 1: Select the downarrow in the upper right corner of the post!

Hover over the upper right hand corner to make the down arrow appear!

Step 2 – Select Report Post

fake news Step 2: Select report the post

Click to Report the Post

Step 3 – Pick ‘I think it shouldn’t be on Facebook’ and click Continue

fake news step 3:Select 'I think this shouldn't be on Facebook'

Select ‘I think this shouldn’t be on Facebook’

Step 4 – Select ‘It’s a false News Story’ and click Continue

fake news step 4: Here you find 'It's a False News Story'

Pick ‘It’s a False News Story’ and continue

Step 5 – You can then select to Block, Hide All or message the person who posted the story.

fake news step 5: Select X to just close the dialog or choose to contact your friend or block them!

Last chance to double check the truth! Or just click x and move on!

You may want to message your friend or block them, of if it’s a Facebook page that’s giving false news you might block them but if you do, you won’t be able to report future false stories from them!

You aren’t restricted to just reporting posts from your friends. I often report posts from friends of friends who post non-sense on a regular basis. And if I’m bored or killing a few minutes, I go through their feeds and report all their fake news. You can also report fake news pages. It really takes only a minute or so per report!

Not sure if it’s Fake News? Check out this post!


Fact Check Quicker with These Sites!

Fact or Fiction? Fact Check It

Fake News or Real?

Confused by Fake News? Fact Check!

It’s gotten really difficult to tell whether what you’ve read is from a reliable source. Lots of fake or highly slanted news sources pick names similar to those of trusted news sources. Before you embrace that “news” or FROAK share a fake, false or just erroneous story, why not take a moment to fact check it at one of these sites or install the new fact check BS Detector App? All of these sites (and the app!) come highly recommended by entities concerned with unslanted, factual information especially Media Bias.


Brooks Jackson – a 30 year veteran reporter – founded FactCheck.org under the umbrella of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. Four full time experienced journalists staff the site. This is a non-profit website mainly funded by the Annenberg Foundation. FactCheck.org always gives sources for their information and Media Bias rates them as unbiased.


A whopper of a lie will set your pants on fire! Fact Check

When you’ve really told a WHOPPER! FROAK your pants are on fire!

Mainly concerned with political factchecking, reporters and editors from the Tampa Bay Times News run Politifact.org. Each story or quote that they report on is assigned a “Truth-O-Meter” rating. The ratings run from a simple ‘True’ for accurate statements all the way to ‘Pants on Fire’ for outrageous and ridiculous claims. In addition, the reporters explain each rating in detail with special attention given to statements that are confusing or that could be looked at in several ways. I find them especially useful for difficult topics because they do such a good job of explaining the ‘ifs’ or ‘unknowns’.


Snopes tackles everything from email fishing, to internet rumors and folklore to political fact checking. Despite the efforts of the Right wing story spinners to paint this site as inaccurate, it is well respected, accurate and always well sourced. Some who like to put out fake news stories try to claim that the folks that run the site are progressives, but the truth is that the owner of the site was a registered Republican when he started Snopes.com. Snopes updates stories if further information comes out and quickly correct any errors found.


As an educator, I sometimes cringe when thinking of Wikipedia as a reference. Wikipedia is open-sourced – meaning anyone can edit an article. But the site is now so well moderated and highly sourced that it is often a great place to start if you don’t know anything about an issue. Not only can you view the information provided on a subject, but you can follow it’s sources to scholarly sites where you can fact check yourself what you’ve learned from Wikipedia as well as deepen your understanding. In addition, you can click on their ‘Talk’ tab and see what changes the mods are discussing. Also, the mods now place notes at the top of the articles that warn when the article needs improved.


Focused more on internet scams (including email phishing), HoaxSlayer also includes categories that can be useful for political and social media fact checking including Fake Pictures and Videos, Petitions and Protests and Politics. Brett Christensen based in Australia – owns and operates HoaxSlayer.

Open Secrets

The Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks the effects of money in politics, runs the Open Secrets site. Rather than fact check the news, the site tracks the cash, who pays which politicians and what did they do. In research and life, you should always follow the money!

The Sunlight Foundation

Much like Open Secrets, The Sunlight Foundation traces the money flow in politics and government. Michael Kline funded this non-profit organization but they also got funds from Bloomberg Family Foundations, Inc., The Ford Foundation and Cards Against Humanity, LLC among others. Not strictly a fact checker site, they work towards transparency at the local, country and international level. The Sunlight Foundation is a bit hackerish, so if that worries you, select another site to read but their information is fascinating!


Who knew the world’s favorite search engine would help you sort truth from fiction? One way to use Google get the straight skinny is to type the headline in the search bar and then follow it with ‘fact check’. You might get the best results by clicking on the News tab of your results page. Also considering adding site:.edu to your search to improve the quality of sources (or use Google Scholar!) Google is looking for other ways to help you out though. They recently invested in several businesses looking to separate the wheat from the chaff.

BS Detector

Fake Facebook news - fact check.

BS Detector will give you a cute pink header when the source of your Facebook news is suspicious!

Is what you’ve read on Facebook real? Can you tell without opening a new window to Snope it out? [FROAK see what we did there?] Try out the new Chrome App BS Detector by the Self Agency. Right now, this Chrome only app works soley on Facebook but they are working hard to expand the usability to the general web. They also have work-a-rounds for other browsers on their website. For a few hours today, Facebook blocked their app but almost immediately reinstated it. This app will save you the hassle of fact checking everything on Facebook.

Sources: Media Bias News

The Constitution of the United States of America

Picture of the US Constitution

The original hand-writen US constitution.

US Constitution

In light of recent political events, I thought it was important for everyone to have access to the Constitution of the United States of America. I do not think the constitution is a perfect document either as written, nor as it stands today. In fact, I think it needs amending [editors note: gerrymandering and the electoral college to name two issues] but with our nation so divided, I can’t see how we can get an amendment through now. Several sections below you will find the actual text of our constitution and I also have put the the amendments below the text. Please take a few minutes to review this document. Aside from the Constitution Project, The US Senate has a great copy of the constitution with notes to help us understand what the old timey talk really means!

Get a Pocket Copy for Yourself and Donald J. Trump!

If you’d like your own copy, here’s one place to get one from Amazon. You might want to send one to Donald Trump as well since his knowledge of the constitution seems minimal at best. It would only cost you $1 (plus S&H – free with Prime!) to send one to:

Mr. Donald J. Trump
Trump Tower
721 Fifth Ave.

New York, NY 10022

Mr. Trump might want to pay special attention to article II section 4: The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

The Constitution

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Article I
Section 1
All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
Section 2
The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.
No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.
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. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to choose three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.
When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.
The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.
Section 3
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.
Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.
No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.
The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.
The Senate shall choose their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.
The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.
Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.
Section 4
The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of choosing Senators.
The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.
Section 5
Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.
Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.
Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.
Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.
Section 6
The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.
No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.
Section 7
All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.
Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States: If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.
Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.
Section 8
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
To establish Post Offices and post Roads;
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;-And
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
Section 9
The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.
The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.
No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.
No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.
No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.
No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another; nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.
No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.
No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.
Section 10
No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.
No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing its inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Control of the Congress.
No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.
Article II
Section 1
The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:
Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately choose by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner choose the President. But in choosing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representatives from each State having one Vote; a quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall choose from them by Ballot the Vice-President.
The Congress may determine the Time of choosing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.
No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.
In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.
The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.
Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:-“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Section 2
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.
Section 3
He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information on the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.
Section 4
The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
Article III
Section 1
The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.
Section 2
The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;-to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public ministers and Consuls;-to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;-to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;-to Controversies between two or more States;-between a State and Citizens of another State;-between Citizens of different States;-between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.
In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.
The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.
Section 3
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.
Article IV
Section 1
Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.
Section 2
The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.
A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.
No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.
Section 3
New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.
The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.
Section 4
The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.
Article V
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.
Article VI
All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any state to the Contrary notwithstanding.
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
Article VII
The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.
DONE in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth. In WITNESS whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names,

The Amendments

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Amendment II
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Amendment III
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Amendment V
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Amendment VI
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
Amendment VII
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Amendment VIII
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Amendment IX
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Amendment X
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Amendment XI
The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.
Amendment XII
The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate;-The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted;-The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President-The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.
Amendment XIII
Section 1
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.
Section 2
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Amendment XIV
Section 1
All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Section 2
Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.
Section 3
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
Section 4
The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
Section 5
The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
Amendment XV
Section 1
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
Section 2
The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Amendment XVI
The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.
Amendment XVII
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.
When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.
This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.
Amendment XVIII
Section 1
After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.
Section 2
The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Section 3
This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.
Amendment XIX
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Amendment XX
Section 1
The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.
Section 2
The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.
Section 3
If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.
Section 4
The Congress may by law provide for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the House of Representatives may choose a President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them, and for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the Senate may choose a Vice President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them.
Section 5
Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15th day of October following the ratification of this article.
Section 6
This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission.
Amendment XXI
Section 1
The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.
Section 2
The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.
Section 3
This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.
Amendment XXII
Section 1
No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President, when this Article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.
Section 2
This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress.
Amendment XXIII
Section 1
The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as the Congress may direct:
A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a State, but in no event more than the least populous State; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the States, but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President, to be electors appointed by a State; and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of amendment.
Section 2
The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Amendment XXIV
Section 1
The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.
Section 2
The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Amendment XXV
Section 1
In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.
Section 2
Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.
Section 3
Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.
Section 4
Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.
Amendment XXVI
Section 1
The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.
Section 2
The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Amendment XXVII
No law varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.
ntatives shall have intervened.

Sources: Constitution Project

Fracking Earthquakes Shaking Some Sense into Government – at Last!

Store clerk putting canned goods back in the shelves after Saturday's quake

Grocery store reshelves goods after Saturday’s fracking-related quake.

Fracking Wastewater Causing Quakes!

On Saturday, September 3rd, while the rest of the USA was planning it’s Labor Day celebrations, Oklahomans experienced one of the largest quakes in their history. The 5.6 magnitude quake shook the state hard enough to knock a little bit of sense into the Republican governor, Mary Fallin. She ordered 37 fracking wastewater wells shut down but they can’t even do that without risking more quakes.

The wells will be shut down within 10 days according to a schedule that Skinner says is necessary because seismologists have warned that a large and sudden shutdown of the wells could cause another earthquake.


A map of this year's earthquakes in Oklahoma associated with fracking

Huge numbers of earthquakes surround fracking sites

The quake, one of 757 man caused quakes to hit Oklahoma this year (over 400 rated >3), caused concerns at the local nuclear power plant. The center of the quake occurred in northern central Oklahoma just nine miles NW of Pawnee.

Nebraska Public Power District’s Cooper Nuclear Station south of Brownville declared an “unusual event” just after 7 a.m. because of the minor tremors.


Shamefully, the USGS and Oklahoma continue stating the absurdity that fracking is not causing the quakes ‘it’s just the waste water disposal of fracking (and other oil well activity’ as if you’d have that issue without fracking! The denial goes further into pointing out that most of the waste is just saltwater byproduct of fracking (and other oil drilling.) It’s like saying, ‘The problem isn’t that I’m swinging a bat at your head, it’s that I’m swinging a bat and your head is in the way!’

Alternative Energy in Oklahoma

According to Okie Renewables, Oklahoma ranks 8th in both wind and solar energy potential; so why can’t they cut back on all this fracking?


“As of mid-2012, Oklahoma is ranked 8th in the nation with total installed wind power capacity – 2171 MW over 19 wind farms. Oklahoma has the wind power resource potential to serve almost 10% of the nation’s electricity needs. Oklahoma is home to the 8th best solar resource in the nation”

The problem is one of greed and jobs, of course. Someone needs to stand up and be the adult in the room though. Fracking is just a bad idea on a large scale.

Frogie Factoids:

  • Short for Hydrolic Fracturing
  • Fracking recovers gas from shale rock formations by first drilling a deep hole into the shale. Then they pulse a water mixture against the rock like a jackhammer
  • The water, sand and chemicals in the water mixture pulverizes the rock. This releases the gas, which then rises to the surface of the well where gas companies capture it
  • The process creates a large volume of waste water often composes of salt water and chemicals that needs disposed of
  • Gas companies remove wastewater then reinsert it into deep wells under high pressure. It is these high pressure waste-water wells that contribute the most to man-caused quakes.
  • Sometimes the wastewater follows weak spots in the ground and contaminates the groundwater.
  • Fracking also releases a lot of methane into the atmosphere contributing to global climate change.


Sources: Independent in UK, CBS News, Oklahoma Earthquake site, AP,

Deadly Lightning Strikes! What Does Mother Nature Have Against Santa?

Reindeer killed by Lightning in Norway

Hundreds of reindeer killed by lightning in Norway

Lightning Kills Reindeer

On August 26th, in a tremendous storm, mother nature threw a series of lightning bolts on the Hardangervidda mountain plateau in Norway. Disturbingly, the electrical bolts struck a herd of reindeer and killed 323 of them including 70 calves. Reindeer often huddle together in bad weather either for protection or for solace — a strategy that backfired this time. The strikes dropped the herd where they stood sadly producing a field of dead animals. Unfortunately, authorities did not say whether any other wildlife was affected

Field of Corpses

A representative of Norwegian Environment Agency, Kjartan Knutsen, informed the press that wild animals are commonly hit by lightning but what makes this event unusual is the large number of big animals that were killed at once. While the agency normally leaves dead wild animals lay and allows nature to take it’s course, the sheer mass of dead animals makes this questionable. They are still debating what to do with the carcasses.

I don’t know what the roads up to this area are like, but I’d suggest sending refrigerated trucks up there and giving as many carcasses as possible to zoos. Zoos spend a large portion of their budgets feeding carnivores. The agency could help animal parks and zoos greatly with such a donation. If the agency doesn’t remove many of the carcasses, scavengers including insects and bacteria will eventually consume them. It will be a scentsational experience… if you know what I mean!

So if Santa is late next year – we’ll all know why… (froak-joke!)

Froggie Factoids:

2 reindeer foraging

Reindeer aka caribou in happier times


  • Scientific Name of Reindeer: Rangifer tarandus
  • Status: Vulnerable due to recent 40% declines in population from about 4,800,000 to 2,890,410
  • Location: Circumpolar or surrounding the Arctic, Subarctic, tundra, boreal and mountains
  • Called Caribou in the Americas
  • Food strategy: herbivore
  • Lifespan: 14 years
mutiple forks of lightning

Multiple lightning strikes like the ones depicted here may have killed the reindeer herd


  • Lightning happens when charged particles in atoms get separated with positive ions going higher in the sky and negative ions closer to the ground. Eventually, the less-negative neutral charge on the ground attracts the negative ions producing a strike
  • A lightning strike releases 630 million ergs of energy
  • Lightning can flash within a cloud or from ground to earth
  • An average of 75 electrical discharges hit the earth per second worldwide
  • A bolt from the blue describes a lightning strike, comprised of positive ions, from the top of the cloud to the earth up to 20 miles away from the storm. These strikes carry more energy than normal

Sources: National Weather Service, SWO Fire Data, Blue Planet Biomes, IUCN Redlist, CBS News

Bureaucratic Wait Times Threaten Endangered Species

pictures of the long-eared bat and the parachute penstemon both threatened on the Endangered Species List

Is the long-eared bat cuter than the parachute penstemon?

Endangered Species List Wait Times

Researchers at the University of Missouri released a report detailing the unequal wait times to get at-risk species on the Endangered Species List. The wait-times for listing appear to be biased based on scientific divisions. The process, which congress intended to have a 2-year timeline, takes over 12 years to complete on average, but there’s a lot of variation in the range. Vertebrate animals such as mammals, reptiles, fish, amphibians and birds can be listed in under 2 years – some as short as 6 months. Plants and invertebrates, on the other hand, can take much longer with some flowering plants taking almost 38 years to list!

“While the Service can account for species groups in its prioritization system, it’s not supposed to be mammals versus insects versus ferns but, rather, how unique is this species within all of the ecological system,” Puckett said. “However, our findings suggest some bias that skews the process toward vertebrates.”

The Effects of Listing Times

These long wait times can have catastrophic effects on the species survival. Some species go extinct before they get listed. Some swiftly-listed species recover and are delisted before other species get listed at all. Swift listing of a species as endangered affects successful species recovery and even later delisting.

Often, biologists lament the ‘cute’ factor when trying to save a species — IE it’s easier to get an eagle listed than a worm. Zoos, bastions of captive breeding, often focus on attractive animals that visitors enjoy watching. The Arabian oryx exemplifies this phenomena. This oryx went extinct in the wild, but zoos managed to breed sufficient quantities to release them back into their natural environment. The re-introduced oryx survived and bred – establishing several stable populations. So cuteness influences how much money, time and effort people put into saving a species. But according to the new review from UofM of the Endangered Species listing, cuteness seems less important than being perceived as a higher life-form.

Herd of Arabian oryx an Endangered Species

Zoo breeding programs saved the Arabian oryx.


Nothing is without political influence in America. A local natural resource affects the difficulty of listing a plant or animal on the Endangered Species List. Sometimes, lumber companies, mining companies and developers pressure Fish and Wildlife Services to delist a species early. The Fish and Wildlife Services must determine if delisting a particular plant or animal will lead to the recently recovered species from becoming endangered again.

It’s not difficult to see the prejudice of the Fish and Wildlife Service. On their website, they list the endangered species in the exact order that the authors from UofM cite. Low-wait-time species appear on the left moving category by category to longer-wait-time species to the right. Many factors affect whether a species category moves from Threatened to Endangered. Influential factors include whether their habitat is threatened, speed of population drop, long reproduction times, diseases, and man-caused pressure etc. – but is cuteness also a factor? Do you think the long-eared bat is cuter than the parachute penstemon and should that affect our conservation efforts?

Froggie Factoids:

  • Scientific name of the long-eared bat – Myotis septentrionalis
  • Scientific name of the parachute penstemon – Penstemon debilis
  • Scientific name of the Arabian oryx – Oryx leucoryx
  • There are still six times more Arabian oryx in zoos (6000-7000) than in the wild (1000+)
  • Long-eared bats are insectivores eating flying insects such as moths, flies, leafhoppers, caddisflies, and beetles.

Read More on Endangered Species legislation

Sources: Fish and Wildlife Services, University of Missouri, Scientific American

Photo Sources: Discover Life ,Colorado Canyon Wilderness, Biosphere Expeditions,

New Study Shows Bisphenol S (BPS) Worse than BPA

As you may know, Bisphenol A (BPA) has many bad qualities. Plastic manufacturers use BPA to harden plastics such as those used in plastic water bottles, canned goods such tomato products, and items used for babies. Additionally, plumbing suppliers line water lines with BPA! In fact, Bisphenol A was used in most food grade plastics for over 40 years.

BPA acts as a hormone (estrogen) mimic leading to abnormal levels of hormones within our bodies. Scientists suspect that it can affect the brain – especially of babies and children – as well as increasing heart disease and having possible links to obesity, cancer and diabetes.

Bisphenol S

Chemical structure of Bisphenol S

The structure of Bisphenol S focuses on a central SO2 group.

After pressure from the FDA and consumers, the plastics industry has switched many products to Bisphenol S (BPS) instead. The difference between the S and the A version is what molecule holds the two halves of the molecule together. In Bisphenol S it’s a sulfone group (SO2) whereas Bisphenol A it’s a dimethylmethylene group (C(CH3)2). So if the problem is the dimethylmethylene group substituting a sulfone group would solve the problems… only it looks like that’s not fixing the issues.

Bisphenol A chemical structure.

Bisphenol A chemical structure where the two arms represent the dimethylmethylene group (C(CH3)2)

New Research on BPS

In a new paper published in PLOS Genetics by UCLA researchers warns that not only does BPS still damage a woman’s eggs like BPA, it does so at a lower concentration! While researchers, led by Yichang Chen, worked with worms, the results should apply equally to humans.

“This study clearly illustrates the issue with the ‘whack-a-mole’ approach to chemical replacement in consumer products,” said Patrick Allard, assistant professor of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, and the study’s senior author. “There is a great need for the coordinated safety assessment of multiple substitutes and mixtures of chemicals before their use in product replacement. But the good news is that a number of governmental programs and academic labs are now moving in that direction”.

Bullfrog says:

  • Get a BPA and BPS free reusable water bottle and use it
  • Use fresh vegetables when possible or frozen veggies most the time. If you have to use canned vegetables, look for jarred versions especially for acidic foods such as tomatoes and pickled foods which almost always have BPA lined cans.
  • Make fresh soups!
  • Use silicone, ceramic, stainless steel or glass storage containers
  • If you have to buy bottled water – don’t reuse the bottle for potable purposes
  • Never heat plastic containers – if your water bottles got hot in the car – toss them.

Sources: WebMD, UCLA

Watering Lawns Elevates Nighttime Temperatures!

a grass lawn replaced by creeping thyme will lower temperatures

A low-water thyme lawn charms with scent as well as beauty.

Lower Our Nighttime Temperatures!

Falling under the darned if you do and darned if you don’t philosophy, recent research shows that planting your yard with drought-tolerant species of plants leads to elevated daytime temperatures but lowers critical nighttime temperatures by more than expected.

A USC study out of California, where a long-term drought is ongoing, conducted by George Ban-Weiss along with Pouya Vahmani shows that xeriscaping – growing plants with low water requirements – leads to increasing daytime temperatures in the range of 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s because people would water their lawns less and therefore there would be less evaporative cooling. But conversely, nighttime temperatures may drop as much as six degrees Fahrenheit. Dryer soil reduces heat movement from the subsurface soil to the air.

Daytime vs. Nighttime Temperatures

While increasing daytime temperatures might seem like a bad thing in this age of global warming, research shows that it is elevated nighttime temperatures which lead to severe health issues and even death especially among the elderly and weak. Homeothermic animals – such as humans – need those cooler nights to allow their bodies to recover from high daytime heat. Our bodies work very hard when temperatures get too high to try to regulate our internal temperatures so that our chemical processes can work right. Those mechanisms need to rest at night to reset themselves to function the next day. It’s like a single line bucket brigade with no way to return the buckets for refilling without taking a break.

Water Vapor is a Greenhouse Gas

Not all greenhouse gases – i.e. those gases which help keep Earth’s atmosphere warm – are toxic. Water vapor causes the majority of global warming but carbon dioxide and many man-made gases contribute to our cloud blanket. Both CO2 and water vapor are harmless at the Earth’s surface but contribute to heat-retention in the upper atmosphere.

lower nighttime temperuatures by planting Ice plant shown in bloom

Ice Plant requires little water and blooms for a long time.

Replace High-Water Plants!

We would all be better off to replace plants with high water needs with those with lower water needs. This is especially true in turf-grass lawns which are now the number one cultivated plant in the US based on acreage (63 thousand square miles.) Allowing northern grass to sleep during low rain periods is better than watering it and keeping those nighttime temperatures high. Better yet is to replace your lawn with native plants that need little to no watering. The biggest change may need to be one of color fashion as green lawns give way to silver-blue or grey-green drought resistant plants.


  • Xeriscape – using plants with low-water requirements
  • Evaporative Cooling – as water (or any liquid) transitions from a liquid to a vapor it needs to absorb energy which it takes from the environment in the form of heat. We use evaporative cooling when we sweat.
  • Homeothermic – maintaining a steady body temperature despite external temperatures. Humans and most other mammals, most birds, and likely dinosaurs are all homeotherms while animals like snakes and insects – whose body temperatures vary with the environments temperature – are poikilotherms. Heterotherms such as bats and hummingbirds use both homeotherm and poikilotherm strategies.
  • Greenhouse gases are primarily water vapor, ozone, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane. These gases protect the planet from becoming a giant ice cube by holding heat within the atmosphere. However, like all good things, moderation is key. An over abundance of greenhouse gases causes global warming which threatens human survival. Much like a teeter-totter that is perfectly balanced, you can move one side or the other with a single finger. Mankind produces enough greenhouse gases to move the protective covering out of balance much like having too many blankets on a warm night.

Sources/Further Reading: Science Daily, Evaptainers, Colorado State University, Huffington Post

Image Sources: Dave’s Garden, Hobby Farms