Category Archives: News

A Dream Job

How would you like to have this job?

The particulars are these: Full time pay, but part time work and you are not even required to show up for much of that part time bit; you get to set your own pay; you cannot be fired until your contract runs out and even then, since you held the job, that contract has an excellent chance of being renewed indefinitely; you can lie about your qualifications and what you would accomplish during your tenure and nobody will hold you accountable for your lies; you will be able to foist the the most onerous parts of your job onto others; you will have a virtually unlimited expense account; your insurance will be the best, even better than most of the people you work for could obtain.
Sound good to you? You can have that job simply by getting elected to congress. Let’s take a look at those points.

Once elected you will have the privilege of having at approximately one half of each year as paid time off so you can campaign for re-election. You can even attend a few fund raisers to help out. If you listen to older and more experienced capital hill denizens, you can even figure out how to pocket some of that. Even during the time the congress is in session you will not be required to actually be on Capital Hill. Go to lunch, play golf or whatever rather than deal with the humdrum parts of the job like listening to what other are saying about the issues before your particular body instead of them listening to your much more cogent utterances.

Think you are not being paid enough for the job? Just vote for another pay raise for yourself. Get caught in a lie or other minor faux pas? Don’t worry, you cannot be fired unless you are proven guilty of actually committing a crime.

One of the big perks is not having to actually having to do the job your friends elected you to do. Want to avoid a controversy? Just fob of the onerous stuff on the regulatory agencies. Sure they violate the constitution, but that is just a few words on an old piece of paper that few pay any attention to anymore. So technically it makes you a law breaker, a criminal, but no one is going to say a word. If you ever do get round to passing a law that you would not like to follow, no problem. You just make it a law you are exempt from. It is done all of the time.

Get caught speeding or DUI or even assaulting another citizen while congress is in session? Again, no problem. You cannot be charged or arrested for such minor trivialities while the congress is in session and you are in D.C.

Would you like to see gay Paris or visit Rio during Carnival? Take an all expense paid “junket”. Your friends an neighbors will pay for it out of the taxes you forced on them. You may have to spend a few hours of your all expense paid vacation in meetings, but then there has to be some reason for that trip.
I guess we should let you in on the pay for this part time job. As of 2015, the base salary for all rank-and-file members of the U.S. House and Senate is $174,000 per year, plus benefits.  Now if you are lucky enough to voted in as a leader you salary goes up.

SENATE LEADERSHIP – Majority Party Leader – $193,400, Minority Party Leader – $193,400

HOUSE LEADERSHIP – Speaker of the House – $223,500, Majority Leader – $193,400, Minority Leader – $193,400

There are some popular, but false myths about congressional remuneration:
1.) They do indeed pay into social security.
2.) They must serve a minimum of three years to be eligible for their pensions and then it goes on a sliding scale determined by the number of years served. It is not an automatic 100% of their salaries at retirement.
3.) They don’t begin collecting until age 62 or 65.
4.) They do not necessarily vote for a pay increase every year. They haven’t done that since 2008. They do receive a “cost of living” increase on January 1 of each year. Some members do refuse this. Not many, but some.

Care to learn more about this? Try this link: Congressional Salaries

Conservative Dilemma

The Conservative Dilemma

Many years ago I was faced with a very real dilemma. This dilemma involved my personal and very closely held principles on the one hand and my moral obligations on the other. It was the first time I had ever faced such a situation. Normally these two were one and the same. Not this time.
You see I was at that age when young men face the call to go into the military. My personal principles said, and very strongly, that I should keep myself as safe as possible. I should not deliberately place myself in harms way. I was meant to live and live a happy healthy life with all of my faculties and limbs. Joining the military would put all of that at serious risk.
Countering that was the moral obligation to serve the nation that fostered that safety and the freedoms that country gave me just because I was lucky enough to be born in America. At that time I was only peripherally aware of the struggle that brought about that nation. I had been taught a very real history of this nation. I had learned of the founding fathers who had pledged their lives, fortunes and their “Sacred Honor” to bring it about. I knew that most had lost the first two while keeping their “Sacred Honor”. But all of that was learned from books so I could pass the tests they gave me to write. It wasn’t all that real to me. Oh, I was raised in a family that held all of it dear. They were, what is now viewed as the old fashioned republicans. The fought the liberalization of their country. The were vocal in their angst regarding the liberal movement away from the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. But again it was a nebulousity. Something of only philosophical importance to my young and know it all mind. Suddenly I was being forced to make all of it real. I did not realize it at the time, but I was making a decision about how I was going to live my life. Was I to be just another person that accepted what others were willing to give me or would I be a person that defended others and fought to keep the American dream alive. Not that I ever thought about it like that at the time.
Well I made that decision after some time. I swore the oath and wore the uniform. For the first time I put others ahead of myself. My moral obligation had won out over my personal principles and as a result, that obligation became my highest held personal principle. The two were now one. Now, here I am, almost half a century later faced with a similar choice, but one that is just as important.
I fought the good fight. I vehemently opposed the Trump nomination run. I desperately wanted a constitutional conservative to make that run and God willing, win the white house. Trump was a very poor choice for that. Now I am faced with the dilemma of either lending my vote to this man I don’t really trust of of ceding the presidency to a woman I KNOW hates all that the constitution stands for. She is both a liar and a criminal and quite possibly a traitor in the very legal sense of that word. There are other choices on the ballot. The Libertarians have a good man the Constitution Party has a man that holds many of my beliefs. I can happily live with either in the oval office. The simple fact is that neither stands even the slightest chance of winning. The libertarians have never gotten beyond the one per cent vote level and the Constitution Party in a complete unknown to the voters. The only thing they can do is take votes away from the Republican and give the election to the Constitution and freedom destroying Liberals.
It comes down to this: I don’t like Trump. He is not a conservative, but he does espouse SOME conservative principles and he does appear genuine in hi desire to keep America from becoming an Islamic state. He does appear to be a man that will do his best to enforce the laws of our country, for the most part. Hillary, on the other hand scares the living Hell out of me. For so many reasons.
Again, the dilemma. Principles or moral obligation​? Again, I am forced to choose my moral obligation to keep the traitor out of the White House. I will vote for Trump and put my principles aside for the good of the country.

The Serious Ongoing Issues From This Campaign

That this has been a tempestuous campaign season is the one thing all agree upon. On the democratic side we have an avowed socialist with some pretty outlandish ideas about how this country should move forward. Just give everybody what they want and worry about paying for it at some later time. And then there is the now presumptive democrat nominee. The recently released report from Gowdy’s committee investigating the Benghazi Terrorist attack virtually accuses both Hillary Clinton and B. Obama of being complicit in the murder of four men in that town in Libya including the United States Ambassador. She has been shown to be a consistent, no make that constant, liar. Not even her lies are consistent. The democratic presumptive nominee has stated many things that show her contempt for the constitution. She s a self proclaimed “progressive” and denies being a liberal. The progressives believe that only professional politicians should have a voice in how we run our government. The people should vote and then shut up and let them handle everything. The vote is viewed as being a mandate to do so.

On the other side of the fence we have a rich business man that says what ever comes to mind at the moment then, likely as not reverses himself the next day that has become the Republican presumptive nominee. This man has never puled more than roughly 35% of the vote in his primaries. If all of the primaries had been awarding delegates on a proportional basis instead of the all or nothing rule of so many, he would not even be that. And now we have many that have decided to attempt to nullify even the primaries decision.

Carroll Boston “Beau” Correll, a district-level delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention, filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of all the 49 Republican district delegates as well as the 110 Democrat delegates of Virginia. Correll firmly believes that Donald Trump is “unfit to serve” as President of the United States, and cannot bring himself to vote for Trump on the first ballot, or any subsequent ballots.  Correll filed the lawsuit in order to gain protection from any criminal charges since by not voting for Trump he will be in violation of Virginia state law, Section 545(D). Should this suit prevale, it would effectively nullify the Virginia primary results and give us 49 unbound delegates. That would also allow any other state’s delegates to file the same suit and prevail due to precedent law. Now there is a can of worms I am not sure we want to open.

Next we look at the divisiveness of the campaigns themselves. We had many factions at work this time. There were the populists supporting Trump- the constitutional conservatives supporting Cruz- the republican establishment supporting first Bush then Rubio- libertarians supporting Paul- a fraction of the conservatives behind Kasich- Social democrats following Sanders- the mainstream democrats pushing the Clinton campaign.

It has been a divisive and dirty campaign from day one. It has gotten even more so now that we have these “presumptive” winners. There was only one person that did not engage in the mud slinging- Senator Cruz. Even he got a little harsh when they attacked his wife. I, personally, can’t blame him for that.

Hillary has said so much that is simply and provably erroneous that she has lost much support due to that duplicity. Trump keeps changing his position on almost everything he has said The latest seems to be his backtracking on the exclusion of Muslim immigration. It now appears that he really didn’t mean ALL Muslims, just those that cannot be properly “vetted”. Who makes the call on what that word means he has not indicated. He has insulted Women, native Americans, blacks, Chinese, English and of course Muslims. OH. And anybody that disagrees with him. Going so far as to ask followers to “punch” one protester, offering to pay all legal fees for anyone that did.

OK you get the point. This campaign season has actually created a very large chasm in the body politic of our nation. It has gone a long way toward dividing our house against itself. Is there a solution that would work and is feasible? Many have been offered, but if you take a close look at them they each push a personal agenda also except for the “Can’t we all just get along?” crowd. Remember that word feasible? We have the “lets just follow the constitution” people. Probably the best one, yet it will never resonate with the “progressives”. They simply will not do that.

I do not have the answer. The only one that will work, I guess, is the Convention of States idea that terrifies the left so badly. The left calls it a “con-con. A Constitutional Convention to rewrite the constitution. It is not and never could be. Who actually believes that any state legislature would send commissioners to such a convention that would violate many laws passed by those same legislatures stating plainly that proposing amendments contrary to the topic of the convention would be a criminal or civil act and could land them in jail at worst, simply recalled and fired with prejudice at best. The main reason so many on the left fear this one is it proposes term limits which would fire all of the professionals in Government. Of Course there is also those amendments that would limit federal spending and limit the power of the federal government.

If you have a better solution to closing this chasm, please comment.

Just What is a Convention of States​?

There has been a lot of talk these last few years regarding a Convention of States. Many people have no idea what it is nor how it came to be about., so let’s talk about it. Let’s see if we can dispel the mists of ignorance surrounding this issue and discover the What, the Why and the How.
What is a Convention of States (COS) and how did it come into being?
The “Father of the Bill of Rights, one George Mason, a member of the Constitutional Convention, was the man that insisted that the mechanism for this right to amend the constitution be incorporated into the Constitution. He wrote Article V of that document and after much debate and some minor alteration, it was included in the final draft. Article V provides for the amending of the Constitution in two ways: 1. Congress can call for a convention to amend the constitution and this has been done several times including during the very first session of the American Congress: 2. the people, through their state legislatures, have the same right. The states may call for a convention to amend the constitution because Mason believed that the federal government would never act to curb its own power. It turns out he was both a fortuneteller and he was right.
Mason was also the instigator of the bill of rights movement. He had insisted that the brand new Constitution needed amending to include a Bill of Rights to protect the citizens.
James Madison obliged by writing those ten amendments we call our Bil of Rights. The senate called the convention during its very first session, as Article V specifies, and 75 % or more of the states ratified those ten to give us our codified rights. But, as is said, I digress.
Please note that there is no provision anywhere in the Constitution to call a CONSTITUTIONAL convention and none has been called since the one in 1787. That includes the one currently under discussion. It is called as a convention to amend not re-write.
How then, do the states go about calling for a COS? Here we get just a tad complicated. A convention of states requires that 2/3rds of the states make the call. In other words, of our 50 states 34 of them must agree to call a convention or it will not happen. Period. If they do agree to call a convention into being, the U.S. senate MUST set a time and place for the convention to be held. Note. The senate has no choice in the matter and they may not intervene nor interfere with the convention and they must set that time and place in a timely manner. The president nor any governor has any say what so ever. Not veto power here. There is only one small catch in this process. Every state must present the petition for a convention in exactly the same way with exactly the same wording. IF and when such a convention is called and any amendments are formulated and passed by that group there is one more major hurdle to be overcome before the amendments are actually added to the law of this land. The legislatures of ¾ or thirty eight of the states must ratify each one. The Founders of our nation endeavored to insure that any such a major undertaking be the actual will of the vast majority of the people. The current call for a convention of states could become the only one ever to take advantage of George Mason’s brain child so just what is its stated purpose? The convention the originators of this convention call intend that it be tightly focused on three compelling issues before our nation. Those three are:
1. To limit the power and authority of the federal government
2. To place fiscal restraints on the federal government
3. To limit the terms of government officials.
What do those actually imean? Could the convention call for an amendment that would require women to register for the draft? No. That would expand government power, not limit it. Keep in mind that any amendment proposed that does not follow the three intentions are not allowed and the states that have already passed this resolution have also enacted laws that would make even the attempt to do so a criminal act as well as the recall of the delegate (more properly called a Commissioner) and his/her replacement. OK how about limiting the authority of the regulatory agencies such as the IRS, the Department of Education and the Environment Protection agency, among so many more. The constitution clearly states in the very first line that Congress shall make all laws, yet that self same body has abrogated that responsibility to people that never have to answer to the people. These agencies have become the makers of their own laws , the enforcers of those laws and the executioners of those unconstitutional laws.
Number two is essentially intended to limit the ability to spend us into the poor house as so many liberal thinkers seem to demand and is actually happening this very minute. This could be done in a few ways such as enforcing a balanced budget and/or limiting increased spending. Perhaps putting a absolute cap on the amount of debt allowed by tying it to well defined percentage of the GNP. Better minds than mine will figure all of the details.
The third goal is a bold statement to return the federal government to the people by eliminating the career politician. Those people that spend more of their time getting re-elected than they do on fulfilling the promises they made and making sure any laws they pass are in strict accordance with the constitution. This is intended to place term limits on those nine unelected people in black robes so we can have some sanity in the judiciary. The constitutional limitation “upon good behavior” is not working because those professional politicians will not and do not use that to remove judges that go against the very wording in the constitution. In today’s world they even change the wording of any law they choose to make it fit what they, those nine unelected judges, desire. Note the ruling on the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare.
What are the arguments against? No one seems to disagree with the aims set forth, but they do have concerns and objections. Among them is the fear that the convention will become a constitutional convention, a so called con con. This one is fallacious on the face of it if you actually know the rules set up and the manner that the prevention of that very thing has been addressed. There are rules in place and more being studied that would make this impossible. Think about it. Just the fact that 38 states have to ratify each amendment makes this one so unlikely as to be ludicrous. Then there are the criminal penalties any commissioner would face just for advancing the idea. You might even want to consider the thought processes of people attending such an event. These people are , by definition, patriots. Then there are the “It would be a runaway convention! There would be amendments proposed that would be outside the stated scope ”. These same facts are there to prevent that one.
Yes, I believe that this country is in trouble and that the ONLY way we can fix it is to call this convention. I even go so far as to state that those who oppose it are one of two types: they are either liberals who want to see much more government control of our lives or they are ignorant of the fail safes both inherent and incorporated.

Should Islam be Considered a Religion in America?

This is a question being pondered by many in our country today. The subject logically begins with the definition of the word religion. Then, if it should not be called a religion, why and how come into immediate play?
How does one define the word religion? Merriam Webster says this: “: the belief in a god or in a group of gods : an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods.“ That might be a little simplistic for our purposes. That definition allows any group, large or small, to declare that they are following a religion for for any sensical or nonsensical reason. Even the constitution or at least the patriot papers and the founding fathers put limits on religion and its practices. Using religion to justify human sacrifice and you still face the death penalty. Using religion to start riots used to be considered against the law though you have to wonder these days.
Let us then, look at a definition that the founding fathers might have had in mind when they wrote the first amendment granting that “Congress shall make no laws respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, …” (pardon the aside here, but notice that it is very specific in saying that Congress, shall pass no law establishing a religion. Doesn’t say a word about praying at a football game or before a government body conducts business.) That definition might well be considered in today’s world, as well as yesterdays, as one which accepts the precepts of the Judeo-Christian ethic. In other words the respecting of life. Human life most of all. The phrase ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ comes to mind. Though it is not in the Christian or Jewish holy scripture nor any religion’s defining document it is perceived as the fundamental law of ethical life.
Ethical. An interesting word. Also the word ethos fits here. Ethical is defined as ‘involving or expressing moral approval or disapproval conforming to accepted standards of conduct ‘ and ethos as ‘the distinguishing character, sentiment, moral nature, or guiding beliefs of a person, group, or institution.’ Somehow the philosophy of the so called Islamic faith just doesn’t seem to fit well.
I have trouble believing that they would find a “religion” that allows the killing of a woman for being raped or a person refusing to accept another religion, or made fun of your gods image as acceptable religious behavior.
Most, if not all, religions, with the exception of Islam, believe that life is sacred. Particularly human life. There are religions that take that reverence much further than we Christians do. The Hindus believe that even cows are sacred. The Shintu religion go so far as to actually have marriage ceremonies for rocks. They tie them together with ropes to signify that bond. Many religions ban the eating of meat. The point here is that all religions accept the fact that HUMAN life is sacred. It is not to be taken from anyone lightly. The first problem we face in this discussion therefore is the one of definition in the legal sense. I propose that a valid starting point would be: “Religion shall be defined by the United States of America as that purported religious believe(s) that holds life, particularly Human life, is a sacred thing and will not be taken without due process under American law. No other law of any nation or entity shall be entertained.” That should be easily understood by even those nine unelected people in black robes in D.C.
The next point is the how.
That one is easier said than done. Congress could and, indeed should, pass a law to this effect, but those nine unelected robed figures might strike it down. There is another sure way to do it. You need either congress to call a convention of the states and have 38 of them vote in favor of the amendment OR have 34 of the state legislatures call one with the 38 yea votes following. It then would become the undisputed law of this land. Enough said.
Comments of all kinds welcome and encouraged.

Coming Backlash

I believe there is a backlash building, in this country, a double backlash. The LGBT crowd has won the right to marry over the objection of the Christian majority in our nation. The ‘right’ was handed to them by a supreme court (no caps for them today.) that has left behind the constitutional function of that branch of government. The LGBTs are marching, the White House light up with he rainbow pride thingy, and the liberal press are all smiles.

So where are the conservatives in all of this? Fuming. There are a growing number of social media posts by churches, lawyers, politicians on both sides of the aisle, even foreign governments bashing both gays and supremes. Even Senator Cruz, a litigator before the supreme court and former clerk along with Chief Justice Roberts for Chief Justis Renquist, has stated that they violated the constitution with that ruling. I think that the LGBT crowd may have stirred up a hornets nest. I hope so. Most people in this country were tolerant of them. Most took the attitude – If they stay in their bedroom, I’ll stay in mine’. Now they have crossed a very serious line. They have gone against the clear dictates of the Christian Bible and thus gotten, not only the man and woman in the street against them, but most of the churches. It is just possible that they will end up being more of society’s pariahs than ever. I even have the hope that if either Cruz or someone that actually knows and cares about the constitution , is elected the decision will be revisited.

Now let’s look at the supremes. It was the intent of the founding fathers that the Supreme Court be the weakest branch of government. Both Hamilton and Madison were afraid of giving them too much power. According to surviving notes from delegates and the Federalist, the court was to be the final appellate court for civil disputes. Imagine that! (Those old fogies that wrote our constitution proven right again!) They were never intended to decide constitutional issues. The founders knew that that power would let them dictate to the other two branches. That was supposed to be left to the people. There certainly was never, by word or intent, the power to actually change the actual words of what came out of congress to suit their whims! There was even a discussion about having term limits for the supremes, but Madison assured the delegates that the justices wouldn’t live long enough to be a problem. You must remember the that a person over sixty was living on borrowed time back then. That has changed with the improvement in medical care. The youngest is Elena Kagan at a mere 55 years with John Roberts coming next with a gentle 60 years under his belt. The oldest on the bench is Ruth Bader Ginsburg at 82. The average age being 69+ with six of them over the age of 65 and four over 70.

The recent attention these acts of lawlessness have gotten and the response that is growing among the people has sparked some hope in my poor despondent heart. We need to fan the flames of our discontent.

One of the results of that “Week from Hell”, as one talking head put it, is the increased discussion of an amendment to the constitution to limit, in one way or another, the terms of the supremes. Even senators and representative on both the state and federal level are talking their brand of limitation via the Article V route. This is the route I suggest has become mandatory on the people of this country. As senator Cruz has also pointed out, this will have to come from the people via the Article V convention. It will never come from the congress no matter who we put in the white house. If such an amendment is carefully worded we will not only limit the time we have to put up with each, but define what they are actually allowed to do! I hope that their overreach has begun to topple both them and their overweening power.

I for one sincerely hope the ground swell of indignation over the lawlessness of both the administration and SCOTUS continues to build, but we need to keep pushing. The general public has shown an amazing propensity for attention deficit.

Exploring the Opposition to COS

(Convention of States)

There is growing opposition to the Convention of States project all across this land of ours. This project is one which deserves serious consideration as it has the potential to recreate the ‘Land of the Free” that has been eroded so severely in recent years. It is not a change, it is a buttress that plugs some rather large holes the original founders with all their genius simply could not foresee. So why the increasing opposition?

In the state of West Virginia passage of the resolution calling for an Article V convention was all but assured when it just fell apart. Senator Trump the Chair of the Judiciary committee in the senate that was the final step to having it presented to the floor for debate was one of the sponsors of the resolution. Then he suddenly decided to vote against it. Thus it failed in the senate after passing the house with a super majority.

I spoke with Senator Trump this morning on this issue. I identified myself as a blogger and asked the question concerning his reversal on the Article V. He told me that he became concerned with some of the things he had been told by the opponents and wanted further study of the issues involved. He also informed me that the passage of the Balanced Budget Amendment bill was a factor. He Informed me that he has received a large packet of information from Barbara Thomas, the current state director of the project for Convention of States and I sent him some other items. He stated that he was willing to be convinced. He even said that he did have some concerns about the federal overreach and ways to put an end to them. I was left with the definite impression that the issue will be revisited in the next session. I also got the impression that he is a concerned citizen and senator that has an open mind.

I would like to explore some of the reasons legislators have expressed to me in private conversations. As the state director of this organization, it was my job to get to know many of the legislators in our state. I took my volunteer job very seriously and was able to establish some good relationships. One of the concerns was the scope of the proposed convention. Even with the conscientious consideration given to that scope and the limiting of said scope it was felt to be too broad. The “runaway convention” kept showing up despite several factors that belied that possibility. I decided to look deeper. I learned, after the fact, that some legislators feared that amendments might come back to haunt them as state legislators. Term limits for one example.

Then there arose a suspicion that the national organization had a hidden agenda. This also might well be spurious, to be honest. What would any “hidden agenda” have to do with this project? The entire process is controlled by the state legislators. Once the resolution is presented to Congress, the national organization would have no say what-so-ever In the process. However, I had more than one legislator point to the somewhat Orwellian practices of that organization. They knew that the organization had taken over each states facebook pages to the point of refusing the state organization from even posting to that page. There is no law which even hints that private organizations must follow laws expressly intended for government. The 10th amendment. for instance does not and should not apply to private corporations. They must be allowed to operate in their own best interest, one thing the Article V convention seeks to reinforce.

Allow me to elaborate. When I resigned, I informed several legislators of my intention and that it was for reasons of health only. I attempted to keep them informed of our intention for a smooth transfer of that responsibility. Our state organization held conference calls each week to discuss our strategy and in one of those calls we discussed the person that would take the reigns. I personally asked our state Coalitions Director if she wanted the job and she said she didn’t think she would be the best choice and reiterated that during one of those calls for the entire team. One well qualified gentleman volunteered and was accepted by acclimation of the team. I asked him to apply and assumed it was a done deal. Then National stepped in and simply appointed the lady that didn’t want it. They went further and appointed a man that has proven to be extremely ineffective in the past. This man is an avowed republican that is not trusted even by the state party, according to a couple of county chairmen of my acquaintance and this is a non-partisan issue. This man was made the state legislative liaison supplanting the one we had who had become quite effective. He had not officially applied for that position, to my knowledge, any more than the new state director. This was seen as the national organization, that has no knowledge of our state’s body politic, declaring that “Big Brother knows best.” Some legislators felt this was ample reason for not trusting that organization. No, it doesn’t make sense to me, but that was and, perhaps, still is the perception.

Of course we must consider the strictly political opposition. Liberals simply don’t want the interference with their socialist ideals any such Article V convention would present. I must inform you that we had some Democrats support and even co-sponsor the resolution, but I am not sure they fit the mold of the modern day ‘liberal’.

Next is the passage of the resolution for a Balanced Budget Amendment Article V Convention by the legislature. This was a primary source of supporters in both houses which may well cost the COS project supporters in the next legislative session. We are in desperate need of a well thought out, effective educational plan and campaign for our legislators and the people of our state. This is something I have been developing for about a year now and am going to attempt to implement it in the near future with a few savvy acquaintances.

I am a staunch supporter and believer in the the crying need for a significant Article V convention; however, I fear that if there isn’t more recognition of each state’s Body Politic by both the national organization and their respective state organizations it will not happen soon.

Why an Article V Convention?

Let us define just what is an Article V Convention. It says, in full:
“Article V (Article 5 – Mode of Amendment)
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.”
Notice that it states very bluntly that “… Congress shall call a a Convention for proposing Amendments …”. The don’t have any options here. They are required to call the convention if 2/3rds of the states(34 in this case) vote for it. They have no say in its composition (they can’t name delegates for example) or rules or anything else. The problem is the liberals really don’t want to see this happen. We will go into the whys and wherefores as a part of another discussion.
We now know how to call the convention and we know its purpose. The purpose being to propose amendments to the Constitution. Not rewrite it, amend it. Just what kind of amendments are we talking about? That depends on the wording of bill of enactment, which must be the same in all of those 34 states. Let’s suppose the bill of enactment is on a single topic such as term limits or a balanced budget. Then the ONLY thing that is to be considered is the wording of that one amendment. Nothing else may be presented much less voted on at the convention.
So how do we have a convention that enables us to address several amendments, but limited in what those amendments may address (we certainly don’t want one of those “run away” bugaboos). We word that bill of enactment in just that manner. We the people state very plainly that we want a convention limited to the topics of limiting the powers of the Federal Government. I am not an attorney so I am not going to go into the specific wording of the bill or any of the amendments; I will however, suggest some possible topics for your consideration. I did say POSSIBLE topics. Of course I cannot say that these will be a part of the Convention of States,as it is known. I do suggest that they probably will be.
Some of the amendments that might come up are:

Term limits. This could include all federally elected officials and/or appointed officials such as cabinet members, supreme court justices, etc.
Balanced Budget. This would, in all likely hood, force the feds to have a balanced budget each year. Limit them to spending no more than they take in, just like you and I must do at home.
Debt limit. This would give the constitution the poser to say the maximum allowable debt not the congress.

Voter ID. This would require each and every voter to prove, among other possibilities, that they are alive, citizens of these United States and residents of the pertinent voting district.

Limit the authority of “regulatory agencies”. This should be a given according to Article I section 18 of the constitution which states that the Congress shall have the sole power “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.” The IRS is one of those “regulatory Agencies and their “regulations” having the force of law contains many many more pages than the law which established it and gave it the power to collect taxes.

Clarify the welfare clause. This would make it more plain that if the States can fund and run a program the Feds cannot. This would get the Feds out of our personal lives all by itself.

There are more, but this will serve to give you the concept.

What about this Runaway Convention thing? This has been so debunked that even the media is no longer trying to use it. Anyone that actually understands the process realizes it won’t, in fact, can’t happen according to the bill of enactment and the rules for running the convention. It does take a willingness to do a little studying of these factors to understand this and some would rather spout fallacious buzz words than spend the time to actually know what they are talking about.

What are the possibilities of passage? The convention allows each state regardless of size, political composition or location to have one vote. Rhode Island has the same vote as say California. Guess what? There are actually more red states on the map than there are blue. Look it up for yourself.

Any question will be welcome and if I can’t answer them I have people that can, so ask away!

Article V Convention – What and Why?

I am going to attempt to answer a bunch of questions I keep getting about the upcoming Article V Convention popularly known as the Convention of States. I will do this by referencing the Federalist Papers a lot. Why? The Federalist (they weren’t called the Federalist PAPERS until the twentieth century) was written by three of the founding fathers – James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay – to explain the thinking of those founders when they dreamed up that radical document we call The Constitution of the United States and trust me, at the time it was indeed a ‘radical’ document. It is a group of 85 documents that explain the intent of the constitution.
This new Constitution was an experiment in government that gave the people the power. Those six pages were the first time an attempt was ever made to give the people of a nation the power to decide their own destiny. The writers of that document were intelligent. So intelligent that they knew they would not, could not, foresee all eventualities. So they included several ways to modify it so the people would have a defense against tyranny in government. Article V of that document gives us two of them. We will be looking at the one given directly to the people and that is what the Convention of States is founded upon.
Let’s begin by examining the opening paragraphs of The Federalist: “It has been frequently remarked, that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not, of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend, for their political constitutions, on accident and force.”
Let us be very clear here. An Article V convention is NOT a Constitutional Convention. A constitutional Convention is called to write a new and overriding constitution. An Article V Convention is called only to amend the current convention and the one that is now being proposed has some very strict limitations on even that. The Federalist made it very clear that the PEOPLE had the power not the government. In point of fact the Constitution was designed to limit the power of the federal government. However it must be remembered that is was written by honorable people and honorable people have a blind spot where dishonorable people are concerned. They simply can’t envision the lengths some people will go to to obtain and maintain power. So they didn’t adequately provide for a defense against the power hungry. When they set up the government they divided the powers along strict lines that have become blurred, indeed, even non-existent. They foresaw a government by gentlemen who would serve in the government for a term and go back to their homes and families and jobs. They could not conceive of anyone making politics a career of all things.
So one of the limited and stated intents of this Article V convention is to limit the terms of ALL federally elected officials and many appointed ones.
Another of the stated goals is to limit the POWER of the federal government. The Constitution clearly gave the greater power to the states. The federal government was formed to protect that and allow for “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”. To provide for the common defense of the nation, to regulate interstate commerce (never intrastate) among others. Actually it was designed to follow the Declaration of Independence by codifying it into the supreme law of the land. Yep, both the Constitution and the Federalist are quite emphatic on this point, but that is another blog.
Perhaps it would clarify some of these points if I quoted from an article by one of the founders of the project, Michael Farris: “Rather than calling a convention for a specific amendment, Citizens for Self-Governance (CSG) has launched the Convention of the States Project to urge state legislatures to properly use Article V to call a convention for a particular subject—reducing the power of Washington, D.C. It is important to note that a convention for an individual amendment (e.g. a Balanced Budget Amendment) would be limited to that single idea. Requiring a balanced budget is a great idea that CSG fully supports. Congress, however, could comply with a Balanced Budget Amendment by simply raising taxes. We need spending restraints as well. We need restraints on taxation. We need prohibitions against improper federal regulation. We need to stop unfunded mandates.
A convention of states needs to be called to ensure that we are able to debate and impose a complete package of restraints on the misuse of power by all branches of the federal government.
What Sorts of Amendments Could be Passed?
The following are examples of amendment topics that could be discussed at a convention of states:
A balanced budget amendment
A redefinition of the General Welfare Clause (the original view was the federal government could not spend money on any topic within the jurisdiction of the states)
A redefinition of the Commerce Clause (the original view was that Congress was granted a narrow and exclusive power to regulate shipments across state lines–not all the economic activity of the nation)
A prohibition of using international treaties and law to govern the domestic law of the United States
A limitation on using Executive Orders and federal regulations to enact laws (since Congress is supposed to be the exclusive agency to enact laws)
Imposing term limits on Congress and the Supreme Court
Placing an upper limit on federal taxation
Requiring the sunset of all existing federal taxes and a super-majority vote to replace them with new, fairer taxes
Of course, these are merely examples of what would be up for discussion. The convention of states itself would determine which ideas deserve serious consideration, and it will take a majority of votes from the states to formally propose any amendments.
The Founders gave us a legitimate path to save our liberty by using our state governments to impose binding restraints on the federal government. We must use the power granted to the states in the Constitution.”

As my regular readers know I try to limit these treatises to 1000 words so I don’t lose those with limited time and/or attentions spans so I will follow this in a day or two with part two.
As always comments, questions, suggestions and complaints are both requested and welcomed.