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Constitutional Reform

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The following was submitted for posting and I’ve published it on behalf of the author.

-Eric
——————–

I am perplexed by the issues that are facing our nation right now. But I am even more concerned that the root of these problems are not being addressed. The answer to everything that ails this nation is the Constitution. We are losing our freedoms because we are ignoring the Constitution as put forth by our Founding Fathers. Washington is taking liberties that do not belong to them, and they have the arrogance to ignore the citizen protests in the process.

The Constitution is very clear in stating where the power lies. It is with the people, and the States in which they reside. We have been far too complacent in letting the Federal government, aided and abetted by the Progressive movement, to erode and transfer this power, beginning with the constitutional amendments ratified in 1913. In much the same way that Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a mess of pottage, the States sold their birthright to the Federal government. It is time to take this birthright back.

What I would like to explore and debate, with the help of other conservatives such as the Liberty Alliance, is using the ballot initiative process (in the 24 States that use ballot initiatives)

to force a Constitutional Convention designed to restore the Constitution back to a document designed to ensure the liberties of its citizenry.

Some of the restorative changes I would like to see are as follows:

1. Reiterate the 10th Amendment which already states that the federal government does not have the power or authority to introduce programs such as health care.

2. Rescind the 16th Amendment. Let the States set the Federal budgets and collect monies needed for the operation of the Federal government. This will end the progressive movement, pork barrel spending, most corruption, influential lobby groups, and much more. It will also allow the States to make decisions that are better suited to the needs of its own citizens in areas such as healthcare, education, and much more. It will also put an end to tax dollars being used to bail out companies that should be allowed to fail. This change would make the federal government subservient to the States, rather than controlling the States. In turn, this would put an end to enough wasteful spending that would allow States to balance their budget deficits.

3. Force a balanced budget amendment. No more borrowing or printing money. Put an end to the Federal Reserve. This will protect our currency and allow America to lead the world economically.

4. Rescind the 17th Amendment. Let the State Senators be appointed by the States. This will give direct power to the States and put an end to the need for term limits.

5. Require that all foreign treaties be ratified by the Senate with a two-thirds majority, essentially letting the States determine foreign policy by virtue of the States appointing and controlling the Senators. This will ensure against being absorbed into the International community and protect our Sovereignty, and respect for American law over International law.

6. Define the meaning of “regulating interstate commerce” to mean that Congress shall encourage interstate commerce and shall do nothing to hinder interstate commerce.

7. Reiterate property rights by restricting eminent domain.

It is not my intention of defining in detail the Constitutional changes that need to be made that will end federalism, shrink the government and restore freedoms. I need the feedback of those much smarter than me. But I see no alternative. Fighting and debating Washington is like debating your four year old. It is pointless, when neither of them have any power except that which you are willing to succeed them.

If I could come up with specific language to be used in any ballot initiatives, I see great synergies in using the grassroots movement that has developed this past year in moving these initiatives forward.

I am looking for assistance in this endeavor. Although I would prefer to just raise my family and run my business, I sense an urgency in correcting this and am willing to dedicate my time and efforts to this cause.

Regards,
Lyndon Brittner
lbrittner@connect2.com

53 Responses to “Constitutional Reform”

  1. TO CONSTITUTIONAL PROPONENTS

    The Constitution does NOT allow a constitutional convention or a con-con; however, the Constitution does allow an Article V Convention. According to Article V of the U.S. Constitution, Congress is mandated to call a convention upon application of 34 states. Over 750 applications have been submitted by all 50 states, but Congress refuses to call a convention, criminally defying the Constitution itself. One could say Congress is an ongoing criminal enterprise based on their refusal of obey their oath of office.

    Millions upon millions of TRUE Americans need to get focused on getting Congress to call a convention — an Article V Convention, NOT a constitutional convention or a con-con — for “We The People…” to successfully take command of the Republic. Arguing about petty disagreements, allowing Congress to continue their criminal behavior just gives them the upper hand.

    Once Congress has called a convention they’re out of the picture. State Legislators in each state set an election of delegates in motion — completely transparent to the public and independent of the federal government. The potential amendments are written, refined and polished — then submitted for ratification by 75% of the states (38 states). The proposed amendments that make it through this incredibly difficult process, become new amendments to the U.S. Constitution. This is governance by and for the people as our Forefathers planned, fought and bled.

    Now, do your duty as TRUE Americans and go to these two websites and read and study the contents — knowledge is critically important.

    http://www.article-v-convention.com
    http://www.foavc.org

    You have nothing to fear except fear itself.

  2. Spiking says:

    Gene Scarborough says:
    January 16, 2010 at 2:18 pm
    We are in a heck of a financial mess.
    —————-
    Nothing complicated.

    Feeble-minded Americans trust Congress.

    Congress takes their money.

  3. We are in a heck of a financial mess. It is similar to the era of Lyndon Johnson when we fought the War in VietNam and the War on Poverty at the same time.

    The net result was runaway inflation which Carter got the undeserved blame for. In addition the Arab Oil Cartel sent us a hardball with organized reduction in output. It drove prices through the roof and made for lines at gas pumps and a limit to 5 gallons per customer. It was rediculous.

    Think about it: the citizens of Arabia can’t eat oil!

    What was the problem with us making them just as dependent on us for food as we are on them for oil. If we had any sense, we would have made a deal along the lines of 1 tanker of crude = 1 load of grain. They could line those tankers with protective polyethelene liners and filled them with grains on the return voyage.

    It’s too stinking simple and we are too kind to make them dependent, but they are hard nosed bargainers. They could understand the program, IF we had the political courage to impose it.

    Where was the American brain and where is it now?

    Here we are with troops protecting them from Terrorists today. If Oliver Stone was right in “W” (and I think he was), the basis of our attacks on Iraq was more about it being the locus of the majority of the world’s oil, than being so much a harbinger of Terrorists.

    What has happened since?

    Are our costs for crude lower? NO!!!!

    Are the oil boys, who were running the Executive branch of government in the US then, still more in control of prices than the Arabs?

    I think so!!!

    Why is diesel 20% higher than regular gas when it comes off the refinery 20% sooner than unleaded gas?

    Nothing effects the price of goods in America more than the price of oil to transport it / make plastics / asphault / etc.! We are fools not to recognize the relationship of crude to what we pay for groceries and transport. We are fools to let the railroads fall apart when they can efficiently transport goods far better than highway transport!

    I smell colusion and manipulation as fuel prices climb along with home heating oil which is also used in the production of electricity.

    Is any citizen stupid enough to believe a hike in Arab crude which takes several weeks to transport is instantly translated to higher prices at the pump? This is ALWAYS the “reason” when climbing prices are announced. It should be at least a month between an Arab announcement of a price hike and when we see it tranlate to prices here in the US.

    What is wrong with us tapping our reserves and becoming independent of a Cartel meeting overseas?

    It is all a bunch of circular reasoning and empty explaining to just make the Oil Boys in America richer than they have ever been in the past. How does Mobil have record profits, yet the investors loose money?

    We are being had. We have been had for years since 1970. There is no logical explaination for it and–Why has not Congress held hearings for the Oil Executives to explain this to the public via CNN / C-Span / etc.

    We are nothing but kind-hearted fools!

    And why, pray tell, has the news been so much on Haiti this last week?? The real story was the Financial Industry leaders being called in to Congress for hearings on the outlandish bonuses being given Executives and workers throughout an industry us taxpayers kept from going under 3 years ago!

    We are paying the bills with money not backed by gold. Announcements this week tell, once more, how the dollar is falling against world currencies as we continue to counterfeit the dollar without gold to back it!

    Why? Why??? Why???????

  4. Spiking says:

    Who’s the #2 Republican in the Senate/House?

    America is gushing blood from the Treasury by the second.

    And our gutless wonders can’t even start a discussion?

  5. Spiking says:

    I headed back to USA Today comments for a bit.

    Taxpayer approval of spending is still winning the day.

    Now we will find out. Is Mr. McCain a Patriot or a Communist?

  6. Spiking says:

    Senator John McCain!

    I do hereby humbly beseech thee!

    For the good of this country, sir!

    Propose taxpayer proposal of spending.

    Sir!

  7. Spiking says:

    Night draws nigh on the 111th Congress.

    But the blood continues to flow from the Treasury.

    Will one, nay one, Senator or Congressman stand up for the people?

    Will one, nay one, propose taxpayer approval of spending?

    The people grow restless, and have legal means at our disposal.

  8. Spiking says:

    I’m not quite sure how to approach the recall issue.

    When Congress steals from Americans, we need a way to remove them from office, IMMEDIATELY.

    I suppose the counter-argument would be that we voted them in. And they can do whatever they want with the Treasury.

    And to that I can only say that this is the Internet Age. And we can petition our State Legislatures to change the Constitution. Elections held April 15.

  9. It’s not a lack of understanding what magnets do, it’s an understanding of the laws of conservation, and understanding that? T

  10. Spiking says:

    Fed up says:
    January 15, 2010 at 11:08 am
    While it sounds nice to say no more government programs, spending etc.. Our country is what it is due to our infrastructure. Without our Government paid for military, roads, laws, regulations, etc. we would be a third world country.
    Without these you can move to the jungle in Brazil and see what real freedom, no govt. is all about.
    —————–
    Americans are moving to recall their government.

    Our government is providing no leadership.

    The American people have one request: taxpayer approval of spending.

    I can’t speak for all Tea Partiers. But I personally welcome the Left, Center, and Right.

  11. Fed up says:

    While it sounds nice to say no more government programs, spending etc.. Our country is what it is due to our infrastructure. Without our Government paid for military, roads, laws, regulations, etc. we would be a third world country.
    Without these you can move to the jungle in Brazil and see what real freedom, no govt. is all about.

  12. Spiking says:

    Gene Scarborough says:
    January 15, 2010 at 8:32 am
    I think taxpayers voting on spending is an impossible request. We can’t even figure out Healthcare for all the lobbist smoke-and-mirrors.

    I am happy with depending on my representatives to figure it out and keep me informed.
    —————-
    I agree that there will be more debate on this issue.

    However, the snowball is rolling.

    The media wants taxpayer approval. The president wants taxpayer approval. Taxpayers want taxpayer approval.

    You, of course, will be 100% free to do things the old way. Just vote to agree with all spending proposed by Congress, for two years at a time. And we’ll even give you the freedom to override for specific votes. Assuming that you paid $200 in taxes last year. Or whatever amount Americans decide on.

  13. I think taxpayers voting on spending is an impossible request. We can’t even figure out Healthcare for all the lobbist smoke-and-mirrors.

    I am happy with depending on my representatives to figure it out and keep me informed. Also to have information and response by internet on measures. Thereby, we offer guidance for what they do to properly represent me. Walter Jones (R) NC has one of the best I have seen and communicates often.

    Since I was foreclosed and before that time, I have made my representatives at the State and Federal levels aware of my feelings and constructive suggestions.

    My blog comments: http://babyboomlearner.blogspot.com/2009/02/this-week-i-have-communicated-with-my-2_06.html

    If enough of us get the internet direct connect to our elected representative, they will the most productive approach to a Term Limit Constitutional Amendment.

  14. Spiking says:

    Garrett says:
    January 13, 2010 at 12:34 pm
    I am somewhat progressive, and I guess to pay for what we want - our modern conveniences such as Roads/Bridges, strong military, as well as basic Health Care for all (though I realize that those in the Tea Party don’t want this one) - we must have Federal taxation.

    If the Tea Party really wants to make a change, then get all those among your ranks who receive Medicare to vote to end this as well as Social Security and we’ll see how long your “Party” lasts… As my momma always said “You can’t have your cake AND eat it to!”

    Just some food (or tea) for thought people…

    - Sick of taxes in NY, but realistic about our modern life.
    —————
    Hopefully Mr. Obama agrees with you.

    He has the power to veto any spending that is not approved by taxpayers.

    Mr. Obama just may be the first Tea Party president.

    Moderates such as yourself suggest that Mr. Obama has common ground with the Tea Party.

  15. Spiking says:

    One more thought. We need to decide how much is paid in taxes before a citizen gets a vote on spending.

    I recommend $200. And I recommend including payroll taxes as well as income taxes.

    I also recommend allowing citizen donations to bring them up to the $200 level.

  16. Spiking says:

    Thom S. says:
    January 14, 2010 at 11:47 pm
    OMG … Spiking posted without saying “taxpayer approval of spending”
    —————
    The tide has turned. I believe that many Senators and Congressmen have turned to our side, in spirit.

    But that simply isn’t enough.

    The United States Constitution calls for Americans to be represented.

    In 2010, that is simply impossible without taxpayer approval of spending.

    ALL Congressmen and Senators need to sponsor or co-sponsor taxpayer approval of spending. Or face recall.

  17. Thom S. says:

    OMG … Spiking posted without saying “taxpayer approval of spending” :-)

  18. Spiking says:

    SMITTY says:
    January 14, 2010 at 6:02 pm
    that is now so corrupt
    ——————-
    The whole country knows it. It is a dangerous situation when citizens no longer accept their government.

    I call on all Americans to show restraint. Work through peaceful means. Get the recall elections done. I predict that the Supreme Court will side with the American people.

  19. Spiking says:

    Gene Scarborough says:
    January 14, 2010 at 7:55 pm
    Recall Elections take a tremendous amount of effort and many names on a petition. The recalled one, of course, is going to challenge the validity of the signers of the petition.
    ——————-
    Beyond question, the spirit of the Constitution is that the people are represented.

    I declare that the United States Congress and Senate is hereby given two weeks notice.

    Sponsor or co-sponsor taxpayer approval of spending. Or be voted out in recall elections.

    Call the bluff of the American people if you will. But here’s one vote for the American people.

  20. Recall Elections take a tremendous amount of effort and many names on a petition. The recalled one, of course, is going to challenge the validity of the signers of the petition.

    Why don’t we keep it simple?

    Just elect representatives who will vote for a Constitutional Amendment to limit terms for Representatives to the House and Senate.

    This has been discussed for years, but no one has the guts to make it real. It is about time, in my opinion.

    Moreover, it is far easier than trying for a recall elections, which, historically, has proven almost impossible.

    Let’s stick with the tried, true, and simple. Elect Representatives who are in favor of Term Limits.

    The other important issue is Tort Reform. In simple terms, this means a limit on litigation amounts to keep lawyers from getting rich over Class Action Lawsuits.

    Every Financial Institution I have dealt with in the past 5 years now has a “Class Action Lawsuit” against it.

    Who gets rich??

    Answer: The damn Lawyer!!!!!

  21. SMITTY says:

    I have read what has been expressed by many concerned Americans in preceding articles on the current issues before us. I certainly acknowledge the commitment through ideas that all have expressed. But resolutions for those concerns, even as frustrating as all yours and mine should not evolve by anger. Americans should, in no uncertain terms, be approachable to all ideas. And should not only be applied for immediate resolutions, but those for the long term.

    For many years those with the mind set for a drone like Society, like ants and/or bees, have made ingress and imbedded themselves into the very social and political fabric that is now so corrupt and with purpose. Unfortunately it will take generations to sanitize the root problem.

    That root problem is the Nations Educational Institutions. These Progressives have indoctrinated our children in such a way that they no longer have any knowledge(in truth) of this Nations history. They have not recieved those Civic classes that teach the Constitution. However, they have been taught how to hate the Nation by distorting it’s true history and the sacrifices that had been made by all Americans and non Americans. They, the Progressives are on a continuing effort to dumb down our children and make them so dependant on the Government, that they will become the New World order Slaves.

    I could continue with other examples in expressing my point, but I’m sure the message is clear.

    with the upmost repect to those preceding me, Take care of yourselves.

    Respectfully Smitty

  22. Spiking says:

    Gene,

    I don’t see anything wrong with drama. The whole country is feeling the strain. Recall elections will let the people take charge quicker.

    That’s where the vote is right now. Those who are working for recalls. And those who aren’t. I’ve already begun researching Virginia. Lawmakers who don’t cooperate will be targeted for removal. Hopefully they’ll listen to the people, and we’ll get some recall elections going. That option is already in place in many states.

    Your Congressmen and Senators need to sponsor or co-sponsor taxpayer approval of spending. Otherwise, it’s time for them to go.

  23. Norman H says:

    Very well thought out

  24. Spiking–

    I am to the point, as a small businessman to say, “Hell, I’ll give myself a “bailout”–I’m not paying my taxes, if I owe any!”

    Is that isn’t tough enough, how about if 50% of taxpayers elect to do such??? AND claim so manY dependents, they take nothing next year–which can be done!

    Instead, I try to control my emotions and anger. I lost my house and all my retirement thereunto apertaining—then had Countrywide issue me a 1099-R as if I profited $50K+ on the deal. Give me a break! Talk about creative accounting and the Banking Commissioner of NC not helping me! It isn’t pretty and I am plenty pissed!!!!!

    Today C-Span 2 has been carrying the Senate Hearings on Finance, while FOX, CNN, etc. focus on the drama of the Haiti earthquake.

    Hell, the real earthquake took place 3 years ago and continues with aftershocks of 300,000 more troops to Afghanistan pluse another $700 Billion in bailouts! It is rediculous and a significant distraction.

    A few years ago a good Nash County, NC, Farmer drove his tractor into the Fountain in front of the White House trying to point out how the US Farmer was being screwed by taxation and the Comodities Traders. His only trouble was the first bombs were dropped on Baghdad that same night—and CNN was focusing there, just as they are on Haiti today!

    That farmer was totally RIGHT! Bad timing just caused his being ignored. Let’s pray the Senate Hearings today as the enforcers of Securities Laws / Financial Industry Execs are grilled does not get the same ignoring over Haiti.

    If we keep the distractions going, in a few years we WILL BE ANOTHER HAITI!!!!

  25. Spiking says:

    Gene Scarborough says:
    January 14, 2010 at 7:51 am
    Let’s keep this from being a mob riot
    ——————–
    Much too late for that. Taxpayers want taxpayer approval of spending, and they want it now.

    The battlefield may soon turn to state officials, and recall petitions.

  26. CORIANN says:

    Bravo! Good discussion. Sometimes we get so involved in the theoretical (as important as it is), that we neglect the hammer and shovel work needed to get the right people into positions to apply the theories in practice. I urge you all to (1) get busy in your local and state caucuses and primaries, and (2) talk to everyone about the basics of what’s at stake for the schlubs around you who only want to protect their way of life and whose votes are needed to elect the best people. The strategies are complex, but the tactics just need soldiers who understand how their participation can help, and what to do.

    Remember, it’s a two-handed game we have BE IN to WIN. Two clear alternatives - Liberty or domination. Third party ideals are lovely, but don’t tend to get the best people elected. Let’s get the best people onto the team that has failed to represent us, so it can get back to doing so! We do that by sending the rino’s and sellouts and morons HOME! Start now for 2010 and keep it up thru 2012 and after. Luv ya, Coriann.

  27. REMEMBER:

    (1)We have a Constitution written before people and corporations had the “vested interest” they have now.

    It is a Virgin Document at its core written against the Monarchy system of England and Europe. That current Monarchy in the US resides in a re-elected and fat Congress along with the IRS fear just like the Tax Collector who rode beind the King!

    (2) The basics are there and need not be chanced! It isn’t perfect, but it serves as a guide which has done well for 200 years. Remember, Sam Erwin of NC, went to the Watergate Hearings with only a copy of the Constitution in his pocket. He would have immediately stood against the rediculous disaster on the Clinton hearing–IT WAS NOT A CONSTITUTIONAL MATTER!

    (3) I see some good thinking in the comments below. Let’s keep this from being a mob riot and make it a return to Constutional Common Sense! I.e., a government the people, of the people, and for the people. Bush took the Imperial Presidency way too far and they created this financial mess, not Obama!

    If you want to make it only an assault on Obama and Public Health Care, then forget my support entirely. Too many vested and powerful interests would totally corrupt any re-writing of our Constitution. It would be like inviting the Kings and Queens of the Old World to help us write ours 200 years ago. Keep the Kings and Queens at bay and let the Citizens honestly vote without couputer fraud we had when Bush became President under Queen Florida Secretay of State!

    Potentates always are in it for themselves! Elected Representatives should be in it for the People who elected them to no more than 3 terms!

    The public will never be able to control spending, but good Representatives in the House and Senate can do the job IF they are working for us who elected them. If not, we vote them out.

    Maybe the Incumbents should resign each time for the next 3+ elections or whatever it takes to have fresh faces with limited terms.

  28. I posted before and am looking for some fine tuning of ideas to correct this disaster! Thus far, I see too much fussing at the Obamma Administration without consideration to the Legislative Branch of Government.

    Remember we have 3 branches of Government which are supposed to remain adversaries and debaters with the Constitution as our hub of operation. By design the Constitution has some vageries so this country will always be in transition rather than coming to a fixed point. This is good!

    Now what are the problems today–like Slavery and Female voting rights were in the past? You see, we have never been perfect and never will be as long as people are involved.

    The Tax code has been a means to redistribute wealth. Our Forefathers saw a free and open society as that tool so that “all men being created equal” have a chance to rise to their potential. Now that is a beautiful non-tax dream!

    We are in a period of repeated history right now on 3 things:

    (1) A Depression (word chosen carefully in light of history) rather than a Recession. Were it a recession, it would be over by now. By all measures and economists who are knowledgable, the safe bet is 2-3 more years.

    Can any of us small businessmen take this? NO!!!!!

    (2) A Robber Barron situation where Corporations have replaced the Oil / Railroad / Builders / Bootleggers who individually got rich in the past. The result is just the same. Us average citizens get run over.

    (3) Elected Officials in the Legislative Branch who have turned service into a career full of hidden wealth and security far above the Citizens they serve. This is the core because they give hidden benefits to Corporate America.

    I propose 2 simple solutions:

    (1) Set a limit of 2-3 terms for ANY elected Federal Representative by Constitutional Amendment. Eliminate any special perks from medical care / retirement / taxpayer provided staff after service / any special money promised in return for legislative favors to big business. Just stay out of business as much as possible with total public accounting of any non-salary earnings!

    (2) Require all Corporate entities to report Profit / Loss on a single set of books rather than the duel set they legally keep now. In other words, bring total transparency in line-by-line accounting–in detail with respect to Executive compensation so all perks and bonuses are subject to stockholder approval. What the stockholder sees–the IRS sees! No more hiding and corporate real worth is detectable yearly. Right now it takes 3-5 years of serious accounting to determine real worth because of 2 sets of books. END IT!

    Over all we need clear telling of financial activities with any bill as well. Stop the hidden hand-outs elected officials use to get re-elected. If they have only 2-3 terms to serve, the incentive is eliminated. Instead of bragging rights for a federal project, force them to run on their service record to the public only.

    Remember: The LOVE of money is the root of all evil—and there is plenty of unaccounted money in the IRS without any steady accounting of the gold to back it.

    The Federal Government is the only entity in the US which can LEGALLY COUNTERFEIT! Paper without gold is worthless. We will see just how worthless when inflation kicks in over the next 2 years as we did after VietNam and the War on Poverty without taxes taken in sufficiency to support them!

  29. Spiking says:

    Great post, Clay. Again, there is a solution at hand: taxpayer approval of spending.

    Obama is about to ask for more war funding. More Americans are about to die.
    Now maybe more Americans would die if we weren’t in Afghanistan. But has Obama convincingly made that case?

    Again, the WHOLE COUNTRY needs to be talking about taxpayer approval of spending. Raise the heat on the politicians to scorching levels.

    The life of someone’s son may be on the line.

  30. Bill Walker says:

    The author is obviously unaware of public record which shows all 50 states have submitted 750 applications for a convention call meaning that under the terms of Article V, Congress must call a convention. The texts of the applications can be read at http://www.foavc.org. Therefore what the author should be doing is not urging that more applications be sought but demanding those already in place be obeyed by Congress. This is a much easier course as it is always simpler to do something when it’s already been done for you.

    Nearly every proposal he mentions in his article has already been addressed by the states in the form of applications with amendment proposals included in him. In some cases, the number of applications are such that on that issue alone a convention call is mandated and in at least three issues, there are enough applications to cause ratification of the proposal. All that is stopping this is Congress’ refusal to obey the Constitution. People should demand that Congress explain why they feel they have the right to directly ignore the Constitution. Call your member of Congress and ask.

    Now as the “Beware of Article V” comment. Before making up your mind, read the FAQ section on the FOAVC website. You’ll find, in sum, the group behind this video is the John Birch Society has lied about everything they have ever said about a convention from the number of applications the states have submitted to a letter supposedly written by Chief Justice Burger which was “discovered” by a member of the John Birch Society. Look at both sides, then decide. And I suggest you ask the JBS to bring out its documented evidence as to what they charge and suggest. You’ll find they have none.

    To Steve: A short list of answers. You can get more detail on the site.

    1. The delegates would be elected by the people in various elections throughout the states, exactly as members of Congress are elected. The Supreme Court ruled convention delegates must be elected in 1920.

    2. See above answer. They campaign, are vetted by the people and elected. In doing so, what amendments they favor or oppose are also vetted meaning as delegates are selected the people also are vetting amendment proposals.

    3. The convention rules are based on the fact it is only allowed by the Constitution to propose amendments, nothing more. The convention would most likely, like nearly every other group meeting in this country and around the world begin by using Robert’s Rules of Orders and then make such modifications as needed for its particular situation. It can not write a new Constitution under the terms of Article V.

    4. The convention will be very open to the public. As the agenda of it will already be well known as amendments will have already been submitted by the states and with the fact of so much public attention directed at it, it is almost impossible to believe a convention would try to hide behind closed doors that as soon as those doors are opened, all would know what is proposed anyway BEFORE it could take effect. In short, there would be no political advantage to a secret meeting as everything that is done is going to become public record anyway as any proposed amendment has to go to Congress, become public record there and to the states where it again will be in the public record. Rest assured, the convention will be an open public meeting.

    By the way there is nothing EASY about amendment Steve. Based on the number of proposed amendments submitted to Congress over the years, the chances of success stand at about .0027 per cent. That’s approximately what 27 amendments divided by 10000 submissions comes out to.

  31. clay barham says:

    In early America, when local politicians committed criminal acts against the people who elected them, or allowed special interests to plunder the people, vigilante committees formed and things were corrected. It is a tradition illustrated in the modern day Tea Party movement. Americans accept their role as self-governed and independent. In the Old World, such things would be armed rebellions facing the king’s army and blood flows. Not in America, with the exception of a few murderers hung or card cheaters run out of town on a rail with tar and feathers, no one gets hurt, except their feelings and the office they hold. The Tea Party movement fits with American justice. The current American government does not fit with American justice. It promotes injustices on the people they are elected to represent. Claysamerica.com

  32. Spiking says:

    Joel S. Hirschhorn says:
    January 13, 2010 at 9:40 am
    My anger has morphed into sadness, heartbreak actually.
    —————
    It’s all about what Americans want.

    Do they like the current setup? Well, they can keep it.

    Do they want taxpayer approval of spending? Well, talk about it and be willing to run for office.

    Everything else has more or less been decided on.

  33. Nancy Meinhardt says:

    I looked into doing a con con last year and when I saw the downside of doing it I quickly dropped the idea. This is a very dangerous path full of uncertainties. The quickest way to hand over our freedoms would be with a Con Con.

    JAMES MADISON’S WARNING

    “You wish to know my sentiments on the project of another general Convention as suggested by New York. I shall give them to you with great frankness . . .

    3. If a General Convention were to take place for the avowed and sole purpose of revising the Constitution, it would naturally consider itself as having a greater latitude than the Congress appointed to administer and support as well as to amend the system; it would consequently give greater agitation to the public mind; an election into it would be courted by the most violent partizans on both sides; it wd. probably consist of the most heterogeneous characters; would be the very focus of that flame which has already too much heated men of all parties; would no doubt contain individuals of insidious views, who under the mask of seeking alterations popular in some parts but inadmissible in other parts of the Union might have a dangerous opportunity of sapping the very foundations of the fabric. Under all these circumstances it seems scarcely to be presumeable that the deliberations of the body could be conducted in harmony, or terminate in the general good. Having witnessed the difficulties and dangers experienced by the first Convention which assembled under every propitious circumstance, I should tremble for the result of a Second, meeting in the present temper of America, and under all the disadvantages I have mentioned. . . .

    I am Dr. Sir, Yours Js. Madison Jr”

    James Madison letter to George Turberville, 2 November 1788

  34. Garrett says:

    It appears obvious that the writers and supporters of this document, specifically regarding the 17th Amendment, are unaware that “We The People” choose to make this change - and the battle raged for decades after the Civil War.

    Here’s a brief about this Amendment - http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/17th+Amendment

    It also seems apparent that these folks desire to hide incomes from taxation. In regard to the 16th Amendment. Here’s a brief about the 16th - http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/16th+Amendment

    The IRS needed to be contained to some degree in the latter part of this past century - and it was reigned in (probably too much in some regards) - as it had assumed too much authority without due process.

    However, the Federal Government pays for much of our modern conveniences such as the interstate highways, as such coordination among the States had never been adequately displayed. Imagine getting all the States that the I-90 travels though to agree on the road even in it’s most basic elements such as it’s size and the areas through which it would connect State to State. The I-90 would not exist as it does without the Federal Government (and the reforms that FDR pushed through to get us out of the Great Depression).

    The “party bosses” in each State had way too much power - and in States like NY they still do. Imagine if this power was also pushed through onto our Federal Government via the US Senate.

    I am somewhat progressive, and I guess to pay for what we want - our modern conveniences such as Roads/Bridges, strong military, as well as basic Health Care for all (though I realize that those in the Tea Party don’t want this one) - we must have Federal taxation.

    If the Tea Party really wants to make a change, then get all those among your ranks who receive Medicare to vote to end this as well as Social Security and we’ll see how long your “Party” lasts… As my momma always said “You can’t have your cake AND eat it to!”

    Just some food (or tea) for thought people…

    - Sick of taxes in NY, but realistic about our modern life.

  35. Steve says:

    To all who are advocating a Con Con please answer a short list of questions.
    1. Who are these delegates?
    2. How are they chosen?
    3. What are the rules for procedure during the convention
    4. Is the convention an open window or closed door to the public?

    I once wrote a paper in college on this subject and at the time was in favor of a Con Con however upon further (self) education I was able to realize the fantasies here. Everyone is looking for an easy way to get out of this mess but unfortunatley that is what got us here. We must first educate ourselves and those around us on the founding documents and then realize that it is only through force or fraud that we are led to the slaughterhouse. Quit looking for the easy way, find the principle way. Quit looking for leaders, be your own king. Quit looking at term limits, know the questions to ask to see if a candidate trully understands the Constitution. Quit looking to amend and start looking to repeal. And lastly become a citizen of your state not a US citizen.

  36. Joel S. Hirschhorn says:

    My anger has morphed into sadness, heartbreak actually. As the decade of zeros ends I see nothing but a tragic, historic and deadening American Disappointment, a terrible replacement for a once noble American Dream. The Great Recession was merely one symptom of the nation’s slide into slime, a quicksand created by the two-party plutocracy.

    Free of delusion I have come to this sad reality: Once upon a time Americans could confidently believe that their nation was on the right track, getting better, offering most citizens a decent chance of living securely and proudly. Now, that view has been smashed by many years of undeniable evidence that our political system is frighteningly corrupt by forces that have ensured an economy serving the interests of the rich and powerful. Their pursuit of happiness enslaves ordinary Americans. America’s middle class is a disappearing and suffering set of distracted victims, slipping continually into the lower class of an inevitable two-class system. Most are oblivious to their fate, to the electoral tyranny that manipulates and consumes them as fuel to keep the corpocracy humming.

    New York Times columnist Paul Krugman was right about the past decade: “It was a decade in which nothing good happened, and none of the optimistic things we were supposed to believe turned out to be true. … the decade in which we achieved nothing and learned nothing.” Do you think children noticed?

    The decade of numerical zeros was also the decade of nothing. Nothing, as in not having a home anymore, not having enough money for food, not having health insurance, not having a decent job anymore, not having the friend or relative that lost their life in Iraq or Afghanistan, not having money and financial security for retirement and old age, not having any more illusions about politicians like President Obama who sell themselves as agents of change and reform but end up like all the other lying plutocracy-serving political hacks, only this time hiding behind blackness. But learning nothing is even worse than having and achieving nothing. Worse, because nothing is likely to stop the slide into slime. Nothing promised by Democrats or Republicans is likely to revive the American Dream, now replaced by the American Disappointment.

    Tyranny can prosper along with elections and even freedom. That should have been a lesson learned by the many millions of Americans victimized by corporations and dysfunctional government agencies that did nothing to protect them from the greed, incompetence and criminality that savaged them. What is even more inscrutable is that we do not see Americans rising up in righteous, populist anger and discontent to tear down the system killing them. Why is there such stability in a system so corrupt, disgraceful and unjust?

    This is the great mystery that defines the American Disappointment. A country founded on revolution so sick it cannot see the need to use it again against domestic, elected tyranny.

    Our Constitution provides the path to a peaceful Second American Revolution, yet Americans do not even get excited when they hear that Congress has refused to obey the Constitution and the option in Article V for a convention of state delegates that could propose constitutional amendments. An option put there by the Founders because they anticipated the day when citizens would lose trust in the government. Nor do they become enraged when it is pointed out that Congress flagrantly disobeys the Constitution and their oath of office because they fear constitutional amendments that could truly reform the political system, ones that they would never propose. The nation is filled with constitutional hypocrites more than willing to ignore a piece of their beloved Constitution that Congress refuses to honor. As if it does not matter. Just the supreme law of the land and the rule of law smashed with the invisible fist of ignorance. By itself, enough for a revolution, once upon a time.

    Wait, perhaps all this grief over my country does not really matter. After all, in about a hundred years there will be a whole new set of Americans. Maybe they will be in an even more devastated condition than today. Then, finally, the revolution may appear. Wish I could be there. Wish you could be there.

    Here’s a resolution for the New Year: As a US citizen I will act responsibly and do everything I can to get strong reforms of our political and government system. Start with becoming a member of Friends of the Article V Convention at foavc.org.

    [Contact Joel S. Hirschhorn, a co-founder of Friends of the Article V Convention, through delusionaldemocracy.com]

  37. Datadon says:

    Sorry for the grammatical errors. I failed to proof read it before submitting. Sorry.

  38. Datadon says:

    I like the idea of rallying the masses to affect some change back to the original intent of the constitution and appreciate your request for assistance for ideas and or help in getting things done. I also am not the smartest person in the room nor a expert on the constitution but was just thinking about how powerful one party has become in this health care debate.

    I don’t know what the founders would have thought of our current situation but I think that it looks like a flaw in the way power is currently being used. My 21 year old is a progressive in his ways (lots of interesting discussions!) so I posed him a question. I asked how he would feel if the table was turned whereas the Republicans owned the voting majority as the Democrats do now. He expectantly said that he would be scared. Being older and probably would have used worried. However, the situation had the same effect upon both of us. Maybe because our parties, issues, and/or politics have become so polarized recently causes us the minority party to feel disenfranchised or maybe the parties have just found new ways to usurp power when in the majority but either way it doesn’t feel right. Obviously when in power and feeling so right about your politics can cause you to take use it “to make things right”. But will that work? Feeling what I am feeling with the Democrats in power now, I don’t think so. I thought that something was needed to prevent what is happening now from possibly happening in the future.

    What I cam up with is this. We can take the current situation. Both houses of Congress have a voting majority with a President of the same party. When this occurs there is, a trigger needs to be enacted. This trigger would be that any bill to pass in either house would require that a percentage (I would say a 15%..nothing to small because of an easy buy off possibility) of the votes for passage would have to from the minority party or parities…in the case of multiple minorities. Of course, the minorities could not have recently changed parities so you would have to state that what ever they party affiliation they were when elected is their stated party for voting.

    I think that works! Some may say that it would slow things down and it may. However, I think that it will force cooperation and rhelp remove paristan polotics as we now know them. It will certainly help prevent what is happening today. In my opinion, I feel it is more important to move forward in a united way then to move forward rapidly in a divided manner. As the old saying goes…”United We Stand, Divided We Fall!!!”

    Tell me what you think.

  39. You have some good ideas, but some of them could use a little fine tuning. Our Founding Fathers envisioned a nation where all could be free, then allowed for slavery–and not just in the South.

    We didn’t allow women to vote along with other non-democratic moves. Any society has a way to “chuck and jive” it’s way into letting the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

    A free market system is a golden ideal, but how much real competition is going on these days in Corporate America?

    In effect, many cost raisers are the result of too little competition or too little control over something like the telecoms. The break-ups of the 70’s are quickly being reorganized again into conglomerates just like they once were.

    Step 1 is to figure out where a conglomerate is more efficient than many small carriers as in the telcoms. Next, there has to be a size trigger before regulation kicks in to protect citizen rights.

    Money will run over rights quicker than anything. As the Bible says, “The LOVE of money is the root of all evil.”

    I see no good alternative to setting term limits on all representatives. Our original concept was volunteers duely elected by local voters providing their service as a civic duty. NOW it is a paid profession with an ongoing infrastructure beneath it trying to “advise” newly elected representatives along lines to make the rich richer on the taxpayer’s back.

    NOT ONE RED CENT of Government bailout has come to the taxpayer who provided it. If that were true, for example, all GM products would be 61% cheaper to taxpayers / cars would be selling fast / the assembly lines would be rolling again!

    As a small businessman, it has been 3 years of 70% reduced earnings. I have lost my house to foreclosure. I can barely pay my light bill or put fuel in my diesel equipment. Had the Depression mentality—right out of the textbook of the Depression—been present, government would start at the small business level within a month of economic failure. If nothing else–STOP TAXING FOR A WHILE!

    We pay our bills and taxes. We hire new employees. We conceive new ideas and ways of providing services.

    Corporate America consults CPA’s and Tax Lawyers as to how to keep as much as possible FROM the government and hourly employees so investment sheets look good and Executives get rediculous bonuses and salaries. This Corporate Greed is the source of much economic failure!

    Clear rules and limits in Banking and Finance were totally ignored. The law says: “GO TO JAIL!”—DO IT!

    Failure to enforce Law is DERELICTION OF DUTY ON BEHALF OF INNOCENT CITIZENS—equally a Federal Offence–DO IT!

    I am about fed up with high taxes / little protection against crime / corporate vultures picking our bones.

    Now, take these comments against your specifics above and see if they can’t be improved!

  40. Don says:

    Lyndon; I agree all of these Constitutional issues must be addressed however I don’t think you can take on everything at once. I would suggest you focus on two basic issues - Balanced Budget and states rights. People talk of “both sides of the isle”. There is no both sides of the isle. These people in the Congress are Chameleons- they will assume any color you want - as long as they stay in office. I digress-but a balanced budget is the first step toward a Con-Con.

  41. Don says:

    Lyndon; I agree all of these Constitutional issues must be addressed however I don’t think you can take on everything at once. I would suggest you focus on two basic issues - Balanced Budget and states rights. People talk of “both sides of the isle”. There is no both sides of the isle. These people in the Congress are Chameleons- they will assume any color you want - as long as they stay in office. I digress-but a balnced budget is the first step toward a Con-Con.

  42. Spiking says:

    Lisa Miller says:
    January 13, 2010 at 6:27 am
    Additionally, we need to vote most everyone out of State and Federal Government.
    ————–
    Well sure, we’ll be right on that!

    We’ve got the media on our side. We have Democrats and Republicans on our side. We have the funding on our side. We are beginning to turn time to our side.

    But we are painfully bleeding money every second of every day.

    And until the WHOLE COUNTRY starts talking about taxpayer approval of spending, that pain will continue.

  43. Lisa Miller says:

    Setting the agenda before a Con Con has NO FORCE or POWER at the Constitution Convention.

    So this is actually a dangerous delusion that we can “fix” the abuse of the very document that simply should be enforced.

    http://www.youtube.com/1isaM111er#p/f/5/za8_pdJ1dPo

  44. Lisa Miller says:

    Beware Article V

    http://www.youtube.com/1isaM111er#p/f/5/za8_pdJ1dPo

    Be careful of persuing a Constitution Convention. Once the con con begins we have NO WAY of dictating the changes to the COnstitution.

    What we need is to take it to Court to enforce it. Additionally, we need to vote most everyone out of State and Federal Government.

  45. Spiking says:

    3. Force a balanced budget amendment.
    ————-
    Lyndon, the reason I aligned with the Tea Party movement was government spending.

    I agree with the general spirit of what you say.

    But we need change TODAY. Change TODAY comes through taxpayer approval of spending. And gathering 435 patriots who will fight for the House of Representatives.

    I’m just an ordinary guy. But ordinary men and women vote.

  46. Lyndon says:

    Thom,

    I agree with much of what you say. Let me be clear. I am not anti-government. I am against much of what the government is doing.

    I believe the Federal government should only do what the States can not do for themselves. Primarily defense and a few others things. But each State should choose for themselves how they are to govern and how they are going to tax.

    What I am against is wealth redistribution and high taxes. I am against an ever expanding government that gets larger at the expense of personal liberties.

    I also agree this would be a good cause for the Tea Parties to take up. I view the Tea Parties as a potential force for good, but is being underutilized. It is like a ship without a rudder. Completely directionless. Protesting is a good start, but I am not seeing an action plan.

    I would like to see some real debate as to what this country should be, followed by a solid action plan. That is why I would welcome Constitutional debate, followed up with a solid plan of action that would lead to Constitutional reform.

  47. Thom S. says:

    Lyndon,

    With respect to the convention, it will not be anything like a typical Democratic or Republican Party Convention of defining a platform and selecting candidates.

    It will more likely be a great brainstorming effort of what is possible and most importantly an educational effort of what is possible at the local level.

    This is actually and excellent reason for Palin and some of the others to speak. She worked her way up from the bottom.

    The convention will be a lot more about how to make things happen independently, back home, in local districts.

    But I think it will also deal with some other important issues. The Tea Party Movement is being pulled in two directions. One towards the Republican Party and the old guard. The other is towards radicalism and extremism.

    But I expect there is a large majority of people in the Tea Party movement who are middle America who neither lean towards parties or extremes.

    This is where the local aspect comes in. I expect the more local groups define who and what they are, the more this will ring and the more the groups will find they are coming to the same solutions and beliefs.

    Unity will happen with education and understanding of what is important.

    Success will come from respecting the right leaders and weeding out the charlatans.

  48. Thom S. says:

    Lyndon,

    I agree with your basic concept, if not every detail.

    First I hope you did not mean to say “end federalism”. While the Federalist Party in the early days of our country pushed for a strong nationalistic government, which I think you and I agree has gone way way too far, Federalism defines the relationship of shared power between states and a national government or federation. Federalism does not imply an overly strong federal government.

    The problem is in fact that we are rapidly moving away from federalism towards a more nationalistic state and the identities of states is being blurred into one monolith.

    The great challenge is that many groups have used the “states rights” banner to try to allow racism and other despicable behavior. Thus they use this as a defense not to reinstate states rights.

    Thus I feel the argument should be in favor of a healthy balance of federalism. This does not sound so different, but it is. To convince a super majority of Americans, which is necessary to pass such a proposal, it must be clearly defined that there are a lot of federal provisions we can see the necessity for and which would remain.

    This is the area that has so much in common with the Tea Party effort. The concentration of money in D.C. Whether is is roads, healthcare, etc. I think at least 60% of the population will agree that we just don’t need to send our money to D.C. and then beg to get it back.

    Roads are a great example. D.C. has dictated for well over 50 years that states build the infrastructure for sprawl and made it almost impossible to build compact, healthy beautiful cities. This exacerbated our dependence on foreign oil. Today more and more people buy and enjoy street car/light rail centric urbanism that lets them spend less time in traffic and more time with friends and family. It is simply popular. And yet the federal government still imposes rules which make it very hard for cities and communites to spend their own money how they choose.

    Interestingly this should be an area where many conservatives and many liberals should agree.

    If one state wants to build all roads and one all rail transit, let people decide which they want to live in. Let competition decide. Many states would probably do a blend of both allowing substantial mobility, but with well planned healthy cities with transit, few would worry much about traffic.

    I diverged a little bit but this is an important aspect. We must study the various elements where states with freedom can implement solutions. But at the same time we don’t want to propose a radical shift from our existing system that only a tiny minority will support.

    We must have a complete plan, of the longer term changes, and why they should be implemented. But we must carefully choose each step, most importantly which should be first, which must happen sequentially and which must happen in tandem.

    But I believe such an effort should be a branch of The Tea Party Movement. Let several groups break off and put together such a plan, such a strategy, with specific proposals. Then bring them back to the tea party and public for argument and discussion and refinement.

    Then when such clear policy is defined, without all the trappings of politics and special interests hanging on like leeches, it can be pushed forward.

    But this will be a difficult process and can’t be seen as an immediate solution to our current problems. What we must do in 2010 or 2012 to address what has been going very wrong with both political parties is not the same thing we need to do to keep the problem from happening over and over again.

    I believe we would be a much more educated, healthy, beautiful, strong nation if 50 states we functioning a lot more independently, competing with each other to come up with the best solutions to the challenges of our day. But I also believe in a Federal government that upholds the constitutional rights we all have as Americans.

    The Socialist/Communists have mastered the process over the last 100 years of having a big plan of what they want to accomplish and incrementally moving us in that direction, one step at a time. Most people today would be shocked to read the communist manifesto and to realize how much of it is considered today “America Rights”.

    But just as they used such an incremental method of moving us in that direction, we too can turn the tide and start to move us away from a big central government model.

    There is much we can and should change rapidly. But there is much that we should think carefully, and debate heavily before taking action.

    And I don’t mean an internet blog debate, although this is useful also. For such deep and challenging issues we need groups of people, meeting in person, who have worked hard to understand these issues, but at the same time might not be the usual suspects who claim academic superiority.

    In fact I don’t think the most “brilliant” people in the country by conventional standards will come up with the best solutions, but it will be people who have gone to great lengths to study and educate themselves on some very challenging material.

    Good Luck to All of Us

    With a bit of elbow grease we might just keep this ship afloat.

  49. Lyndon says:

    No, the agenda needs to be set before the Convention. Otherwise, anything can come out of it. The dangers of any Convention is that it can produce unintended consequences. The agenda would be set forth in the ballot initiatives, which would direct the States in the needed reform.

    Not all States have the best interest of their citizens at heart either.

  50. I truly believe that what you propose is right. Thats what the “movement” should be looking at. A Constitutional Convention would draw many people and send a warning to politicians on both sides of the aisle. From there the agenda will be set and that can be the goal for all of us to aim at. We will not be successful right away but over time and gradually we can start turning it around.

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