SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Constitutionalism

Constitutionalism is "a compound of ideas and patterns of behavior elaborating the principle that the authority of government derives from and is limited by a body of fundamental law". Political organizations are constitutional to the extent that they "contain institutionalized mechanisms of power control for the protection of the interests and liberties of the citizenry, including those that may be in the minority"; as described by political scientist and constitutional scholar David Fellman: Constitutionalism is descriptive of a complicated concept embedded in historical experience, which subjects the officials who exercise governmental powers to the limitations of a higher law. Constitutionalism proclaims the desirability of the rule of law as opposed to rule by the arbitrary judgment or mere fiat of public officials... Throughout the literature dealing with modern public law and the foundations of statecraft the central element of the concept of constitutionalism is that in political society government officials are not free to do anything they please in any manner they choose.

It may therefore be said that the touchstone of constitutionalism is the concept of limited government under a higher law. Constitutionalism has descriptive uses. Law professor Gerhard Casper captured this aspect of the term in noting, "Constitutionalism has both descriptive and prescriptive connotations. Used descriptively, it refers chiefly to the historical struggle for constitutional recognition of the people's right to'consent' and certain other rights and privileges. Used prescriptively, its meaning incorporates those features of government seen as the essential elements of the... Constitution". One example of constitutionalism's descriptive use is law professor Bernard Schwartz's five volume compilation of sources seeking to trace the origins of the U. S. Bill of Rights. Beginning with English antecedents going back to Magna Carta, Schwartz explores the presence and development of ideas of individual freedoms and privileges through colonial charters and legal understandings. In carrying the story forward, he identifies revolutionary declarations and constitutions and judicial decisions of the Confederation period and the formation of the federal Constitution.

He turns to the debates over the federal Constitution's ratification that provided mounting pressure for a federal bill of rights. While hardly presenting a straight line, the account illustrates the historical struggle to recognize and enshrine constitutional rights and principles in a constitutional order. In contrast to describing what constitutions are, a prescriptive approach addresses what a constitution should be; as presented by the Canadian philosopher Wil Waluchow, constitutionalism embodies the idea... that government can and should be limited in its powers, that its authority depends on its observing these limitations. This idea brings with it a host of vexing questions of interest not only to legal scholars, but to anyone keen to explore the legal and philosophical foundations of the state. One example of this prescriptive approach was the project of the National Municipal League to develop a model state constitution; the study of constitutions is not synonymous with the study of constitutionalism.

Although conflated, there are crucial differences. A discussion of this difference appears in legal historian Christian G. Fritz's American Sovereigns: The People and America's Constitutional Tradition Before the Civil War, a study of the early history of American constitutionalism. Fritz notes that an analyst could approach the study of historic events focusing on issues that entailed "constitutional questions" and that this differs from a focus that involves "questions of constitutionalism." Constitutional questions involve the analyst in examining how the constitution was interpreted and applied to distribute power and authority as the new nation struggled with problems of war and peace and representation. However, These political and constitutional controversies posed questions of constitutionalism—how to identify the collective sovereign, what powers the sovereign possessed, how one recognized when that sovereign acted. Unlike constitutional questions, questions of constitutionalism could not be answered by reference to given constitutional text or judicial opinions.

Rather, they were open-ended questions drawing upon competing views Americans developed after Independence about the sovereignty of the people and the ongoing role of the people to monitor the constitutional order that rested on their sovereign authority. A similar distinction was drawn by British constitutional scholar A. V. Dicey in assessing Britain's unwritten constitution. Dicey noted a difference between the "conventions of the constitution" and the "law of the constitution"; the "essential distinction" between the two concepts was that the law of the constitution was made up of "rules enforced or recognised by the Courts", making up "a body of'laws' in the proper sense of that term." In contrast, the conventions of the constitution consisted "of customs, maxims, or precepts which are not enforced or recognised by the Courts" but "make up a body not of laws, but of constitutional or political ethics". One of the most salient features of constitutionalism is that it describes and prescribes both the source and the limits of government power derived from fundamental law.

William H. Hamilton has captured this dual aspect by noting that constitutionalism "is the name given to the trust which men repose in the power of words engrossed on parchment to keep a government

Rhythms Monthly

Rhythms Monthly is a Chinese language geographic magazine based in Taipei, Taiwan. Published in a format similar to the National Geographic Magazine, Rhythms Monthly reports on cultural, historical and humanitarian themes from and for a Chinese perspective; the magazine is supported by Tzu one of Taiwan's largest Buddhist non-profit organizations. The magazine is known for its multi-year reportage projects. Recent historical series have included a contemporary retracing of the Silk Road journey of the Tang Dynasty Buddhist monk Xuanzang and the epic sea voyage of Admiral Zheng He. Both historical series predate similar treatments by National Geographic. Rhythms Monthly supports and executes exploratory expeditions including determining the source of Yangtze River and tracing the riverhead of Mekong River. Working alongside Tzu Chi, the magazine provides coverage of humanitarian efforts in natural disasters like the 2003 Bam earthquake in Iran, the 2004 tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, Cyclone Nargis in Burma and the 2008 Sichuan earthquake in China.

Rhythms has received 21 Golden Tripod awards, the official publication award in Taiwan, two awards from SOPA in 2005 and 2006. The magazine has a weekly television show titled "Rhythms. TV", broadcast internationally by the Daai Television Network. Rhythms Monthly official website Taipei Times profile of Wang Chih-hong

Palandomus

The Palandomus invented in 1919 by architect Mario Palanti, consists of a cement block of 18x18x36cm made with the vibration system, to serve as the cellular element of construction, being designed with a particular shape "hermaphrodite", which allows placement in any sense, without the constraints of location if not horizontal. In fact the thin ledge, ribs protrusion allow to leave the walls without plaster, but at the same time, ensure the maximum bonding of the elements; the Palandomus is sufficient to withstand up to safety limit of 70 meters in elevation, without special precautions, the installation of jack arch to openings doors and windows and of dry archivolt. Mario Palanti, Architettura per tutti, editore E. Bestetti, 1946 Eleonora Trivellin, Storia della tecnica edilizia in Italia: dall'unità ad oggi, Alinea editore, 2006 Ramón Gutiérrez, Architettura e società: l'América Latina nel XX secolo, Jaca Book, 1996 Virginia Bonicatto, “Reason and Technique”; the Palandomus Constructive System and its Ephemeral Application in Housing Mario Palanti U. S. Patent for a Palanti block in 1923 Mario Palanti architectural records, Uruguay, 1919-1946.

Archival materials at the Getty Library. CA000000237760A CH000000106720A FR000000854704A FR000000833295A FR000000566823A GB000000515842A GB000000205031A US000002271030A US000001552077A