Article V Constitutional Convention - Dems are ready

Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 years, 6 months ago to Government
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Last week we had a discussion about the pros and cons of a constitutional convention, and UncommonSense correctly stated that the Dems are ready for it. Look what went to my spam e-mail box yesterday.

A Constitutional Amendment to End Citizens United

Thanks to the Supreme Court, special interest groups funded by billionaires like the Koch brothers and Karl Rove are spending tens of millions to influence elections.

Help us reach an initial 100,000 supporting a Constitutional Amendment ending Citizens United for good:
Sign Your Name >>

There’s no denying it:

Shady outside groups run by people like Karl Rove and the Koch brothers are spending unprecedented amounts of money to buy elections.

If we don't want our democracy forked over to a handful of ultra-wealthy donors, we need to take action.

ADD YOUR NAME: Join the call for a Constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and bring transparency back to our elections.

http://dccc.org/Overturn-Citizens-United...

Thank you for standing with us,

Democrats 2014
















Paid for by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee | 430 South Capitol Street SE, Washington, DC 20003
(202) 863-1500 | www.dccc.org | Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.


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  • Posted by Robbie53024 3 years, 6 months ago
    More and more (or maybe fewer and fewer) people have any idea about the substance of these issues. They hear "money in politics" and their knee-jerk reaction is that is "bad." They hear constantly "Koch Brothers" day after day, but hear nothing about all the leftist money spent - in fact the Koch's are down at #59 with all those higher than them being left oriented unions, pacs, or individuals that support D's almost exclusively.
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  • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
    One thing that seems to have been overlooked in these comments is that, as long as we remain a free country, the Left is as entitled as anyone to try to advance an Article V Convention of States movement all they want. Their agenda, of course, will be to grow and expand the scope and power of the federal, all at the expense of the states. That's just the way they roll.

    Personally, I wish them the best of luck. Since all it takes is 13 states to block any ratification attempt - actually, just one chamber in the legislatures of those 13 states would be enough - and since no less than 26 state houses are now controlled by conservatives, a number that only looks likely to increase after the midterm, I think George Soros' chances of success are pretty slim. Even he doesn't have enough money to buy off that many state legislators. The government that most represents the people is the government closest to the people.

    So, OK... that's the Left. We, on the other hand, would be that other group... the ones a bit further to the right on the political spectrum... the activists who support an entirely different and separate Article V Convention of States project... the one that would be called exclusively and specifically to propose amendments to the Constitution that would impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, that would limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and that would limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress. And that's just for starters.

    To conflate the two does a disservice to folks who know better, and especially to those who don't. We should strive to change opinion and to win over the hearts and minds of others based on the strength of our arguments, not by a misrepresentation of the truth, unintentional or otherwise.

    For anyone interested in the real deal on what conservatives are up to with regard to A5, here's a very info-rich website: CSG COS - http://conventionofstates.com/

    And for those who haven't read Article V since high school mandatory reading, here it is... it's only 140 words, but they can rock our world: A5 - http://www.archives.gov/federal-register...
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    • Posted by Robbie53024 3 years, 6 months ago
      The only issue that I have is that the 26 states are controlled by R's, not necessarily C's, and even some C's aren't as libertarian as most of us would desire. So, even a convention controlled by R's could veer in undesired directions. I see the US Chamb of Comm has transformed itself into Looter heaven. They lobby for crony capitalism, not capitalism. And many of the R's that you seem to support are in the hip pocket of the USCofC. Crony capitalism is nearly as bad as collectivist/liberalism.
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      • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
        OK... even if I were accept your pretty grim appraisal of mainstream Republican idealism (and that's not to say that I don't!), you still haven't convinced me that there would be enough of delegates at the convention itself who would dare to violate their sworn commission - and their own state law - by voting in an open assembly against their own leadership. Please... show me one example of such a thing having happened, or even a rational hypothetical as to how it could conceivably happen.

        In the first place, these delegates will be selected at the state level based on their certified dedication to Constitutional Conservatism and to the principles espoused in the legislation that they've just passed. This is not a free-for-all convention to re-write the Constitution... it's a convention that's being called for very clear and specific reasons, to propose amendments that will shrink the size and scope of the federal, while returning power to the states.

        I hear your concern, believe me, I do, but unless you offer something tangible, something procedural, something probable or even possible, something other than simply "fear" of it happening, than I'm afraid that that's all it is.
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        • Posted by Robbie53024 3 years, 6 months ago
          Well, they would be elected at the state level - based on whatever criterion that those voting deemed appropriate. Thus, you might or might not get a slate of delegates from any particular state that felt fealty to such or not.

          As for examples, we may soon have a great one if the R's go for illegal amnesty. But how about the recently approved budget bill? It's worse than had we continued with the sequester budget. And how about debt ceiling increases? There have been others where conservative ideas would have dictated a vote in one direction and the majority of R's voted another.
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        • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
          I don't have as much fear as several in this forum do about the Convention of States, but at least half of all politicians now believe that they either are the law and/or are above the law. The Founders expected that people of honor would be elected to office. Now people of dishonor get re-elected and re-elected. Things are generally better on the state level than at the national level, but getting 38 states to agree on much of anything will require a pole vaulter's agility.
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          • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
            Everything you've said here is just re-stating the problems. I'm trying to steer the conversation toward solutions. No one ever said it would be an easy solution, and the first to point that out were the Founders. Gotta go.
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            • Posted by Hiraghm 3 years, 6 months ago
              What makes you think there are solutions?

              If the Romans couldn't find a solution 2,000 years ago... what makes you think there's one to be found?
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          • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
            How about this for an idea:

            Term Limits for Life. Pick a number, 8 maybe 12, whatever, but that's it, for life, on the federal payroll. Get the nation and Congress back to the Founders' vision of the Citizen Legislator... make your contribution to the BETTERMENT of the nation, then go back home, knowing that you'll now have to live among the rest of us under the laws that you just helped to pass.

            Two questions:

            Do you think that would help to change the elite culture that you described?

            Can you list 13 state legislatures that would absolutely block ratification of such an amendment?
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            • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
              I would love to see that enacted. The states that will forever block what we want are as follows: NY, CA, OR, WA, IL, NJ, CT, MA, RI, VT, MD, PA, and DE. There are several other maybes: MI, ME, etc.
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              • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
                Two answers, two responses:

                You "seem" to agree that term limits would bring about a sea change in DC, but I would have hoped for a bit more engagement. It's as if you've numbed your mind, and thought now takes more energy than you can muster.

                As for the list of states, thank you... you have in one single post demonstrated to all the fear-mongers how easy it would be to block any "dangerous" proposal that might come out of a COS.
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                • Posted by Hiraghm 3 years, 6 months ago
                  Also how easy it would be to block any good proposal.

                  The problem is, the bad guys run the show, so "dangerous" proposals *won't be blocked*.
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                • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
                  My mind is not numb. This is not a battle that I can win. I choose my battles. I do so rarely, and only when it is in my interest. As for the US, it is time to consider renouncing my citizenship.

                  It is indeed easy for the looters and moochers to block "dangerous" proposals. They have bought enough people off now. I suggest you check your premise as to whether America is worth saving. A couple of weeks ago, I calculated and posted the "share" of the debt that I as a 1%er am expected to pay: $6 million. I will do well to earn that in my lifetime. I call that slavery, and I reject it.
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                  • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
                    I reject it right along with you, j... I'm just gonna try to change it, and I'm asking for help.

                    No need to respond... I'm not asking you personally... I'm getting a sense of the depth of your depression. I'm on a quest to inform and educate and pique the interest, the curiosity, maybe even fan the dim flame of pride in those who still have those attributes.

                    No, there's no need for you to respond.
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            • Posted by Hiraghm 3 years, 6 months ago
              Let me see if I can recall the term limit proposal I had some years ago...

              Max of 12 years in Congress/Senate...
              No two terms consecutive in the same body.
              No more than two terms in each body.

              Max two terms as President or Vice-President, non-consecutive; vice Presidency counts as a term. So if you were VP, you could only be POTUS for one term. If you were VP for two terms, non-consecutively... no Presidency for you...


              I think I recall correctly...
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      • Posted by Hiraghm 3 years, 6 months ago
        "US Chamb of Comm has transformed itself into Looter heaven. They lobby for crony capitalism, not capitalism. And many of the R's that you seem to support are in the hip pocket of the USCofC. Crony capitalism is nearly as bad as collectivist/liberalism. "

        “When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good. Do not expect them to stay moral and lose their lives for the purpose of becoming the fodder of the immoral. Do not expect them to produce, when production is punished and looting rewarded." - Ayn Rand, "Atlas Shrugged" (Francisco D'Anconia 'Money' speech)
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    • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
      The convention of states was designed as a next-to-last resort, and I hope it doesn't have to get that far. But...
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      • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
        Exactly... NEXT to last. The Founders believed that we should resort to violence only after all peaceful means of remedy had been tried... and failed.

        They gave us this tool just for such a circumstance... Don't you think that the least we can do is respect their wisdom and use it?

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        • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
          I will try it before going to war, but I don't hold out a lot of hope.
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          • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
            Well, since we no longer have our liberties, “Hope” is just about all we have left… except for the 7.62x39 (To the NSA: that’s a joke, guys)

            I completely understand the resistance of some to “tinker” with the Constitution. I felt exactly the same way for years. As a matter of fact, I used to think that people like me were kinda out there on the fringe, whackos, if that’s no too politically incorrect, until I actually took a look at what the Fivers are doing today and set aside my old (and I do mean old) prejudices.

            The Article V movement and the legislation that they are advancing through state legislatures across the nation is making it a brand new ballgame, with multiple layers of built-in procedural safeguards to address all the fears brought up by the John Birch Society and the Eagle Forum. I would invite you to spend an hour or so at ConventionOfStates.com… it may completely change your position on the issue. As a bit of an incentive, I’ll mention that many great conservative thinkers and leaders have recently re-examined the issue and subsequently joined in support of an Article V Convention... people like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glen Beck, George Will, Judge Andrew Napolitano, Mike Church, David Barton, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Sarah Palin, Alan West and Tom Tancredo, among others. Needless to say, none of these people would be considered by any serious conservative to be reckless or incapable of sound judgment, regardless of our personal opinions regarding other aspects of their character. And, of course, I can’t forget to mention the man who some consider to be the father of the modern-day A5 movement, Mark Levin.

            What brought me around was when I finally realized that the Constitution is being “amended” every day… either by a stroke of the president’s pen, or by the Supreme Court reading something into the words of the Founders that they never intended. I simply don’t believe that the Equal Protection clause was meant to defend abortion on demand, or sodomy, or same-sex marriage. And as I've said before in another post, I don’t remember Congress passing any amendments codifying these “constitutional rights.”

            If they can do it without the blessings of the Constitution, why can’t we do it legitimately? That’s not a rhetorical question.

            I took a shot at your “explosives” analogy in an earlier post, and if that came off as insulting, I apologize. It just concerns me when folks characterize the process and our intent in those terms. I love this country, its ideals and its founding documents as much as the next guy, so I feel obliged to offer clarification in circumstances where I see that it’s needed, and when I saw the implication that supporters of an Article V Convention of States run the risk of blowing up our government, my response was that this clearly was one of those circumstances.

            Once again, I truly respect your hesitance to making a headlong rush into such matters. I would only ask that you acknowledge that many people have given this much thought, and know that there is an ongoing effort of sober and deliberate planning that may well span over a number of years, however long it takes. This is not pie in the sky. This is no longer just the idle talk of political strategists. It is real, and it is happening. We simply cannot let the fear of a possible “runaway convention” over-ride our reason and ignore the reality of an absolutely runaway federal government.
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            • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
              I'm not offended. The point of the analogy was to emphasize the importance of caution in what could be a volatile situation. In general, I like the Convention of States idea, and have been criticized reasonably by others in this forum for taking that stance.

              Part of this hesitance stems from the fact that those in all three branches of government has been successful in twisting the very clear written documents that the Founding Fathers authored. There was much reasonable debate then. Now many delegates to such a convention would include Charles Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, et al., all of whom are far less trustworthy than any of those at the original Constitutional Convention.
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              • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
                Actually, that’s one of the misconceptions that’s being spread around about Article V. The delegates to the COS will be state legislators, not federal, and they will be elected as “commissioners” and sent to the convention with a specific agenda, subject to recall by the sending legislatures under penalty of law. Remember, the government that best represents the people is the government closest to the people.

                As a matter of fact, members of Congress are precluded by constitutional law (Article 1, Sec 6, Clause 2) from holding another elected or appointed position simultaneously. And if you really think about it, what sense would it make for the Founders to give the states a method of bypassing Congress if Congress were to be allowed to participate in the decision-making? Article V is pretty clear that the only authority that Congress has in the entire process is to “call” the convention in response to the requisite number of applications. Congress MUST (that’s the word in the text) set the time and place of the convention (and for ratification, they get to choose the method - either by state convention or a vote of the legislature), but that’s it… and then the delegates, after they've convened, can even change the location that Congress designates to a place of their own choosing, as they’ve done before, most famously in the 1922 multi-state Colorado River Compact. Granted, the subject matter at that assembly wasn’t the Constitution, but it was, in all other respects, a convention of states to propose legislation that eventually would require ratification by all the states involved.

                And I’m relieved to hear that my remarks weren’t offensive. As can often be the case, when passion exceeds the time available, things don’t always come out right!

                One last comment, then I have to run – unfortunately, I’m still a working stiff – you referred to the Founders’ language as “very clearly written,” and for the most part, that would be a fair characterization. In hindsight, however, looking at some of the most egregious interpretations of that language, a fairly unassailable argument can be made in certain specific instances for clarification, if not re-write. Let me emphasize that no one I know wants a wholesale overhaul of the Constitution, or anything even close to that. We’re talking about closing the loopholes that the SCOTUS has found, is finding, and will continue to find until and unless they are restrained by the written words they now broadly construe. Opponents of the A5 movement are often heard to say, “They don’t obey the Constitution now, what makes you think they will after it’s amended?” I would counter that they do, indeed, obey the Constitution… as it is interpreted by the Supreme Court. And therein lies the problem.

                To borrow a catch-phrase from Citizens for Self-Governance, the primary sponsors of the Convention of States Project, “Article V – It’s a solution as big as the problem!”

                CSG COS - http://conventionofstates.com/
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                • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
                  Your premise is that the Democrats will follow the "the delegates to the COS will be state legislators, not federal, and they will be elected as “commissioners” and sent to the convention with a specific agenda, subject to recall by the sending legislatures under penalty of law." That is what the Constitution says, but the Democrats will not follow that. They will not.
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                  • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
                    Well, OK, then… if they refuse to play well with others, they simply won’t be invited… at least not in enough numbers to matter.

                    I’m only being partially facetious here. The way the delegate selection works is as I’ve said – the state legislatures will select as many or as few delegates as they want and commission them to represent their state at the COS. It’s a one-state, one-vote affair, so it doesn’t matter if there are one or 100 delegates, it will not change the final vote count on any proposal.

                    And let me clarify something that I said earlier: The delegates WILL be state legislators, and they WILL be sent to the convention with a specific agenda, and they WILL be subject to recall under penalty of law, but none of this is in the text of Article V of the Constitution. These are convention rules established over more than two hundred and some-odd years of multi- and interstate assemblies, dating back to the Colonial “compact” days, and enshrined in current-day legislation being passed at the state level in conjunction with this application to Congress for a Convention of States. It’s all in the fine print, and if Democrats are good at anything, it’s fine print.

                    But more to your point, let’s take a quick tally of Redness and Blueness out there in the states. If you look at the number of state legislatures that are currently controlled by conservatives (26) versus those controlled by liberals (18)*, conservatives have a clear and commanding majority, and one that only stands to increase in the midterm election, both in state governorships and chambers of the legislature controlled by conservatives.

                    Certainly there will be states like California, New York, Illinois, Hawaii and others that will send their flaming extremists, but as I’ve pointed out, the rules dictate that it’s a one-state, one-vote system.

                    So even if the liberal delegates were somehow able to approach the number of conservative delegates, no leftist proposal (or ANY proposal, for that matter) can be passed inside the convention short of a 2/3 vote of the states, and that just isn’t mathematically possible.

                    * Source: https://www.statescape.com/resources/par...
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                    • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
                      I know that is what the "rules" are. I just don't expect that following rules is in their self-interest.
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                      • Posted by Robbie53024 3 years, 6 months ago
                        Probably right. But then, what is left? With the gerrymandered districts it's become increasingly less probable to swing a congressional district from one party to another. Since the 17th Amendment, nearly all senators are elected by the urban centers, which are liberal. And with this wholly unconstitutional compact that states are making to give their electoral college delegates to the national popular vote winner instead of their state's winner (or in just a few states, as proportional to the state votes) it looks like the presidential election is soon going to be driven by urban populations as well.

                        At this point, what's the harm? While I generally don't advocate opening oneself up to more rapid deterioration than necessary, in this one case, there seems to be some possibility that it might actually turn back the tide. Of course, as you say, it might also be hijacked and be taken over by the progressives, in which the whole thing would be gone.

                        I, for one, think that the risk is worth it. Waiting much longer won't provide even this much chance to revert back. Right now, with the fiasco's of the Ocare, VA, Benghazi, etc. there just might be enough anti-big gov't sentiment to change things back.
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                        • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
                          Glad to see some clear-headed thinking on these issues, Robbie. This is why I came here, to Galt’s Gulch. This is what I prayed for, this is what I expected. Frankly, I am not in a place in my life where I can turn my back on my country nor those younger who must follow me. In matters this critical, if there is no reason NOT to do something, then I must. Otherwise, all I will have been about is bluster. To borrow from Ayn Rand herself, “The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me!” I’ll be damned if the “who” is going to be me!

                          We all know what the problems are. Many of us have spent the better portion of our adult lives watching as these problems have gotten progressively worse – pun intended. And virtually every one of us here in this forum has spent countless hours at the keyboard complaining about them. Now, we have a chance to actually do something about it, to pick up the weapon left to us by the Founders of this great nation and take up the fight in their absence. To do otherwise borders on cowardice.

                          Let me try to address one concern of yours, the fear of a “progressive takeover,” which seems to be a recurring one, despite an abundance of facts that clearly refute the issue. As noted in a previous post, when you look at the demographics of potential delegates, which can only be state legislators, the numbers are seriously in our favor. There are 26 Red States versus 18 Blue States, and it’s a one-state, one vote assembly. Those numbers, by the way, are subject to increase in our favor in the upcoming midterm, if the polls and the media are to be believed. And in this case, since they all seem to agree, I’m inclined to count on that trend. The delegates will, by popular vote, elect the leadership, then the leadership will establish the rules and control the agenda.

                          That agenda, by the way, will be legislatively limited to proposing amendments to the Constitution that impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, that limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and that limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress. Read those words carefully… that is the actual text of the application to Congress in the call for the convention, and will be so stated in the commission of each delegate. Any motion made by any delegate to consider any proposal that would fall outside of those parameters would be immediately ruled out of order by the Chair, and they would simply move on. I would welcome anyone to demonstrate how a delegate is going to even introduce a progressive proposal, let alone get it debated and passed.

                          Caution is one thing, and I completely understand and applaud it, but when all worrisome issues have been swept aside by clear reason and logic, I struggle to find an honorable motive for continued resistance.

                          Again, to the words of Ayn Rand herself… “The spread of evil is the symptom of a vacuum. Whenever evil wins, it is only by default: by the moral failure of those who evade the fact that there can be no compromise on basic principles.”
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                          • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
                            Your premise is that America is worth saving. I reject that premise. Yes, the spread of evil is as you and Ms. Rand said. I made the effort that could have made a difference in the 1998-2012 time frame. I even got a few chuckles for bring AS to Tea Party meetings. When America doubled down on socialism with Obama a second time, that was it. The country is burnt toast. If there was any doubt, the recent primary losses to vulnerable weaklings like Boehner and McConnell confirms the end.
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                            • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
                              I occasionally buy used equipment in what I call "vulture mode". An example of a hydroelectric facility going out of business as a sign of the end is below:

                              http://www.clearbid.com/events/index.htm...
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                              • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
                                Wow... that's a rather dark assumption, isn't it, based solely on this one Request for Proposal? Could it be that NYPA, which is the single largest state-owned power organization in the United States, might simply be taking an under-performing asset offline? They have a half-billion dollar budget with debt at less than 20% of annual expenditures... I don't think they (or New York State's need for inexpensive energy) are going anywhere anytime soon.
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                          • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
                            I am glad that I saved and invested well during the Clinton era. Now that I am debt-free and have a pretty decent nest egg, I probably could retire at 47 if I had to do so, but I really don't want to.
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                      • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
                        I don't mean to sound argumentative here, but what are you saying they will do? Just sit there and pout? A convention is parliamentary in nature and such that nothing is done without approval from the Chair. How are they going to "not follow" that rule?
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                        • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
                          They will pout. Do you remember when the Wisconsin Democrats picked up and moved to Illinois to force Scott Walker to cave to the teachers' unions? Their childish little ploy fortunately didn't work, but that is what we should expect from these petulant looters. They act entitled to loot you, as if it is their money.
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                          • Posted by Robbie53024 3 years, 6 months ago
                            Oh, yes, do I ever! Bunch of whiny D bastards. Didn't do them any good in the end, 'though.

                            And now, two years later, their D candidate for gov isn't even talking about repealing Act 10 (what they were all up in arms about) because it has worked! WI went from a more than $1B budget deficit to a nearly $1B budget surplus, which they then tried to block the governor from returning to the people in the form of tax relief - instead wanting to spend it on "necessary programs." Unfortunately there were some R's who almost went along with them. Luckily, their feet were held to the fire and they relented on the tax relief.
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                          • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
                            Then after they pout, they will strike back like Obama's coming after his enemies with the IRS goons.
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                            • Posted by Robbie53024 3 years, 6 months ago
                              Yes. Like I wrote below, the D candidate isn't even running on repealing Act 10, but you know that if she were elected it would be brought about in piecemeal fashion and the state would revert back to the financial mess that it was before.
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                            • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
                              OK... so, pouting and using the system for political retribution. Are these reasons FOR or AGAINST an Article V Convention of States?
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                              • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
                                All of these are inevitable steps toward the end of the looters' era. May their reign be brief!
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                                • Posted by Robbie53024 3 years, 6 months ago
                                  My fear is that it will not be. At least not so far as concerns me and my children. I'm afraid that if we lose this republic it is going to be a long time until another of such caliber as it once was rises again. Certainly longer than either I or my children have to look forward to.

                                  Sorry to be so pessimistic, but those are my fears.
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                                  • jbrenner replied 3 years, 6 months ago
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            • -1
              Posted by Hiraghm 3 years, 6 months ago
              When even Objectivists and some conservatives don't understand why Article 2, section 1, clause 5 was worded it as it was...

              When even Objectivists and most conservatives don't understand why the 2nd Amendment is a blanket prohibition, and not merely a federal government prohibition like the 1st...

              A convention to alter the Constitution cannot... CANNOT accomplish anything good. It certainly can't save the republic.
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  • Posted by  $  richrobinson 3 years, 6 months ago in reply to this comment.
    Sorry Rimcountry. I still do not want an article V convention.
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    • Posted by RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
      That's your prerogative, Rich, and I respect that. I reserve the right, however, to do my best by way of civil discourse to disabuse you of that notion, but only if you choose to engage. My vocation is advertising, and I never twist arms. If a potential client doesn't see the value in our products or services, then the returns accrue to those who do.

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  • Posted by RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago in reply to this comment.
    Man, I asked for that one, didn't I?

    OK... the only frame of reference I have for what it sounds like you're describing is maybe something along the lines of the process used in electroplating, e.g., chrome to steel, etc., only I would expect the bath to be different, the current much lower, and the component parts would be considerably smaller... as in no-seeums.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 years, 6 months ago
    I agree with the Democrats that we have to get money out of politics. At the very least it would be good for it to be public record. It used to be the press was free only for those who could afford a printing press. Now everyone can publish their ideas for free in the Internet. Spending money isn't speech.

    The Republicans seem to be in favor of measures that make it a little harder to vote. i agree with anything that might filter out people who don't even know the basics of what's going on. (Crap, that might be me sometimes.) Anyway, the paid advertising only influences morons and drives away intelligent people. If you had to be intelligent to vote, maybe the money in politics wouldn't matter as much.
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    • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
      The act of spending money may not be speech, CircuitGuy, but it does make it possible for one to buy speech, or certainly MORE of it. Is speech to be regulated now, too? Speech is free, but only in certain amounts? For me to limit your speech (yours personally) because you might influence someone toward an idea that I disagree with should offend you... plus it's allowing the ends to justify the means.

      By the way, at various times and in numerous places throughout in the Colonial 1600s, printing presses were not only rare, they were illegal. No amount of money could buy the freedom that government today wants to restrict.

      When we start down this road, it makes us no better than those who think they know better, and should make all the decisions for all of us.
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      • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 years, 5 months ago
        This argument depends on the idea the speech = having speech published in expensive outlets. Anyone can starts a blog and speak as much as they want. Search engines in social networks help people find the speech.

        If speech is the content rather than the expensive forum, then limiting spending isn't the same limiting speech. I don't have a good answer. I sometimes think we should require a test for voting because then the money wouldn't be as powerful; I think it's mostly used to sway people who aren't seeking out information and just hear an add or two. There are no good answers to money in politics, but I believe it's a real problem.
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        • Posted by RimCountry 3 years, 5 months ago
          Thanks for the response, CircuitGuy... I understand your quandary... you're not the first to suggest novel ways to solve this problem. I, for instance, agree with whoever it was who first suggested placing voter restrictions on immigrants, legal and otherwise, for, say 5 years after naturalization. That way there could be no concern that immigration policies were being used to benefit the current administration. Any other restriction, though, on the citizenry runs afoul of my sense of suffrage, equality, the right to petition (to "send a message" with your vote, even if it's a stupid message), and equal representation.

          For me, your argument comparing web blogs to, say, a full-page ad in the New York Times breaks down when I ask myself if it would be right for government (at any level) to allow me to only voice my opinion by passing out flyers in a small, roped-off corner of the parking lot outside a town council meeting. Inside, the mayor would be telling the audience that any and all dissenting opinions may be found outside. Would that be right? And that's just to illustrate the principle of government restricting political speech by location, choosing one place over another, before we even bring money into it.

          What if a city ordinance is passed such that everyone, no matter how rich or poor, can afford the same amount of political speech by limiting everyone to only one 3 inch x 5 inch political sign in their front yard 30 days prior to an election?

          Absurd? Maybe, but it's what's just out of sight over the edge of that slippery slope.

          One more... what if I'm from New York living in Arizona, and I have strong opinions about a certain candidate back there who I grew up with, opinions that feel need to be expressed to voters in his district, and maybe it's one of those sprawling Sun City-type retirement communities with a population nearing 40,000 people, where 90% of them don't even own a computer and they can only be reached by buying TV and radio time, or ads in the local paper?

          Will the government dictate to me how much TV versus radio versus newspaper advertising I can buy, or will they dictate to those private businesses how much they are allowed to charge?

          Where's that covered in the First Amendment?

          The Founders lived through the reign of King George III, who also had many novel ideas about how to "fix" the disruptive results of all the annoying referenda those pesky American colonists kept having. There were more than a few reasons, most of which we can't even imagine in our wildest dreams, why they specifically chose "political" speech for constitutional protection.
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          • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 years, 5 months ago
            Yes. I strongly disagree with free speech zone. You're saying restricting money is kind of like setting venues that happen to be free as free speech zones.

            I also think any system to regulate money in politics is difficult because it's hard to stop people from giving to orgs that promote concepts like "liberty" that are known to support particular candidates without explicitly saying "vote for", "elect", etc.
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            • Posted by RimCountry 3 years, 5 months ago
              A very difficult problem, indeed... for every rule designed to curb its influence, money (or enough of it) will always find a way around the rule, sometimes simply by influencing the creation of another rule!

              Like you, I have not been able to come up with any arrangement that turns down the volume on all the political noise out there without running afoul of A1.

              This may sound self-serving (because by now, everyone knows that I'm an Article V supporter), but I'm beginning to think that the way to get "money out of politics" is a Constitutional amendment imposing term limits on all elected officials, possibly at all levels, not just federal. It's relatively early here in my time zone, so I'm still a little bleary-eyed and haven't totally thought this through, particularly the unintended consequences side of things, but I think it might pass constitutional muster... if the Supreme Court in Thornton (1995) can prohibit states from imposing restrictions (e.g., term limits) on elected officials that are more strict than those imposed by the Constitution itself, then it seems to me that changing the Constitutional restrictions solves that problem.

              And, once term limits are ubiquitous, it is my firm belief that one of the major drivers of the increasingly insane levels of competition for elected office will be immediately removed - the Culture of the Career Politician and the Political Elite.

              And the best part is that, not only will this rescind much of the power of the Federal and restore a better balance between Washington, D.C. and the several states, not only will legislators know in advance that they will be returning at a time certain to from whence they came, to once again live among the constituents who sent them there, and to live under the very same laws that they foisted upon the rest of us, not only will we have returned the role of the lawmaker to that of "Citizen Legislator," but we will have done so with the blessing (and to the relief) of the Founders!
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              • Posted by khalling 3 years, 5 months ago
                as well, there should be a Regulatory Bill of Rights which includes means testing for determining cost/benefits to businesses and individuals. In Colorado, they passed something called TABOR.
                (Taxpayer Bill of Rights). Here's what it is:

                is a constitutional amendment
                restricts revenue or expenditure growth to the sum of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) plus population change
                requires tax revenues in excess of the amount set by the limitation formula to be returned to taxpayers in the form of a tax refund
                requires voter approval to override the revenue or spending limits (in other words, another full-blown statewide ballot campaign)

                to measure its effectiveness in the State, the state government has tried to vilify and jail its creator, you should see the NEA rant about it, it is brilliant and highly effective. However the state legislature tries to lessen its power every year.
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                • Posted by  $  3 years, 5 months ago
                  I like the idea, but that presumes that the Consumer Price Index is cheated on like it is now. By not including certain things (including energy and food inflation costs), the government has made inflation appear far less significant than it is.
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                • Posted by RimCountry 3 years, 5 months ago
                  Colorado is going through some trying times right now, with the people rising up against a state government currently being controlled by a slim liberal majority. With TABOR and with the recent successful recall of two anti-2A legislators, including a member of the Democrat leadership, and a highly-publicized threat of secession by several rural counties, it's looking better than it did a year ago and the year before that.

                  Yes, the leadership will continue to fight against the will of the people, especially as long as they are in the majority... but you can't push the river forever.
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              • Posted by khalling 3 years, 5 months ago
                where does the money go if 1. impose term limits 2.Require legislators spend more time in their districts 3.De-centralize (geographically the federal government)
                watch the money go to other things
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                • Posted by RimCountry 3 years, 5 months ago
                  I agree... I think it would spread it around, KH... I don't believe that the problem is just that there's money in politics... I think that maybe it's the "concentration" of money, and most of it at the federal level.

                  Like sulfuric acid, if the solution is diluted, you still know it's there, but it doesn't have quite the strength that it used to.
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              • Posted by  $  3 years, 5 months ago
                Your first paragraph, RimCountry, describes why I am not optimistic about your Article V ambitions. Dems will find (or create) rule after rule to find ways around existing rules.
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                • Posted by RimCountry 3 years, 5 months ago
                  Well, there's no argument that that's what they've been doing... actually both parties... this is an effort to make a rule that breaks those rules.

                  But, as always, Jim, I can count on you to recommend caution, to predict that the sky is about to fall... kind of like an Early Warning System... so if you can come up with something we're missing, give me an example of a rule that they could pass that would circumvent or undercut the amendment I've described, then I'll certainly consider it.
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                  • Posted by  $  3 years, 5 months ago
                    To give you some hope for me, RimCountry, I did just donate to Florida's libertarian candidate for governor. Rick Scott is not well like in FL despite what Sean Hannity might portray things as. Things have improved in FL, despite Rick Scott, not because of him.
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    • Posted by Solver 3 years, 6 months ago
      "...we have to get money out of politics."
      Having a separation of state and economics similar to the so called separation of state and church would be a good step.
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      • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
        I like the sound of separation of state and economics. That could be a good campaign platform.
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        • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 years, 6 months ago
          This would be a hard sell because so many people seem to equate politicians, esp the president, with the economy. It makes no sense to me b/c if I go out and find customers and hire people then people say, the president's doing a good job. He didn't hire anyone or solve anyone's problems? Why give him credit or blame?
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          • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
            I agree... it's foolish, but marketers (campaign directors) know to appeal to the lowest common denominator, and sometimes that's just plain ignorance. As long as you have a presidential candidate running on the promise of "fixing" the economy, the results (or lack thereof) will and should be tied to his policies.

            And I sympathize with your business-centric view of what drives our economic engine, but have to part ways to this extent: it is business activity, indeed, that determines the amount of steam in the economic locomotive, but it's the administration's regulatory policies that determine how much fuel we are able to throw in the firebox.

            They may not deserve all the credit, but when their policies consistently and demonstrably choke off commerce, they definitely deserve the blame.
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            • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 years, 6 months ago
              I think politicians and bankers aren't nearly as powerful as they think. I remember during the bailout their talking about the economy collapsing. No one could allocate capital without the banking system with existing institutions and that required a bailout. The bailout worked, but I always felt like the people involve truly believed they were key to all productive activity, as if we wouldn't find ways to serve customers and invest our profits in ventures to serve more customers w/o them.
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          • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
            If people equate all politicians with the economy, then we could throw them all out. Only about 10-20% of them are worth keeping anyway.
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            • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
              10 to 20%... I suppose I should thank you for the generous appraisal... at least that's 10 to 20% better than zero.

              I had an old rescue dog once that had been so badly abused that it literally took us the rest of his life to get him to trust, to understand and believe that we loved him. I wonder what happened to you, jbrenner... I'm no psychologist, but it had to be something much more traumatic than Obamanomics.
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              • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
                10 to 20% may indeed be generous.

                I actually have a trauma-free life and am well within my right mind. I was at the first Tea Party meeting in my county. Had you seen how vilified those who shared our values were by the Florida Republican Party, you would understand. The then Republican governor of Florida now is running on the Democrat side and was central to getting John McLame the win in Florida when a loss would have been the end for a Republican unworthy of the name.

                That governor's crony went to the point of "excommunicating" my county's elected representative from the Republican Party of Florida. Six months later, that governor's crony then in charge of the Florida Republican Party resigned in disgrace for numerous corruption violations.

                The so-called conservative current governor of Florida has done everything possible to support the state university system, while I work for a private university. In fact, one of the state Republican senators made a cronyism deal worth of Orren Boyle to get Florida Polytechnic Institute built on his otherwise not very valuable land. I work at Florida Institute of Technology. Do you not think that they will eventually get confused?

                Then there are the repeated attacks from within the Republican Party against its own Tea Party base by John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, etc. on the national level.

                One must remember that President Reagan was an anomaly. He was reviled by Ford, Dole, Bush the elder (Remember Voodoo economics!). I was 2 months too young to vote for Reagan in 1984. Consequently I have not had any presidential candidate that I wanted to vote for in a general election that had any credible chance of winning, and I am 47 years old. The two congressmen that I share the most common views with are Justin Amash (MI) and Mike Lee (UT), both of whom who have been ganged up on with lots of national Republican Party money to unseat them.

                I have lots of trust for many people in this forum and for this nation's military and veterans. I have no trust for anyone involved in the political process.
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                • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
                  My wife is from South Florida, and we have friends over on the Gulf Coast side, so we followed the antics of Charlie Crist from a distance, almost in disbelief. I fully expect John McCain, if he were ever seriously primaried, to do the same thing.

                  Obviously, I share your frustration with the Establishment, but I guess I'm just not there yet... "there" being the point where I lump them all together and shrug, as you say.

                  I have learned the easy part - not to trust them all - and in doing so, have discovered that there are those, indeed, who are deserving of trust. Determining who they are is the hard part... it's risky... and sometimes I find I run against the grain of others with closely held opinions contrary to mine.

                  But it keeps me energized, and now that I'm once again actively engaged and hopeful and forward thinking and confident and trusting in a political movement, the contrast between how it is today and how it has been for the last several years is astounding.

                  I wouldn't trade it for the world... no matter how safe and secure.

                  PS: Love Mike Lee... he's an A5 supporter, you know - http://www.westernfreepress.com/2014/02/...
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                  • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
                    Actually my district's representative, Bill Posey, is quite solid in his own right. Part of the problem is that almost all of us have voted with our feet to get to places where we find those who share common values with us, but we have little or no effect on all of those in other districts whose representatives more than cancel our representatives out.

                    Your enthusiasm is nice to see. I had that enthusiasm for many years, and for those things within my sphere of influence, I still do. Large political movements are beyond my control. Thus I will focus my energy on making a difference in my sphere of influence.
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                    • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
                      I hear you, jbrenner. I won't bore you with a tearful rendition of how devastated I felt when we lost in our push for COS legislation here in Arizona during the last legislative session. What made it even more unbearable - even embarrassing - was that of the two major COS movements, one of them (the Compact for America's Balanced Budget Amendment, sponsored by the Goldwater Institute) is based right here in the state, and even it couldn't survive the pocket-veto of the Senate president!

                      Yes, disappointment is a very real impediment to action. I had to take some time off... actually, I'm still a little bit AWOL from my usual haunts. I like to think that I'm just "fine-tuning" my advocacy. :)

                      Thank you, by the way, for sharing your personal struggles... for what it's worth, it gives me a better frame of reference when trying to understand another's position... it becomes a "point of view" as opposed to simply a "reaction."
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  • Posted by Hiraghm 3 years, 6 months ago
    As we don't have a democracy, I'm not worried about it being handed to anyone.

    I am very concerned that our republic is being devolved into a communist totalitarian state, however.
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    • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
      @Hiraghm - Although your comment was hidden when I arrived here, due, I have learned, to a lack of UP votes, I viewed your remarks anyway and am glad that I did.

      You are right on all counts. We do not have a democracy, and we never have. The Constitution established a republican form of government specifically to avoid the pitfalls of a democracy, e.g. the tyranny of a simple majority, among others which were well known at the time to our Founders. That the term was incorrectly used in an eMail from the Left doesn't surprise me at all.

      You might have gone on to point out that amending the Constitution is not done by a majority vote, either. It would take 2/3 of the delegates at a convention to even propose an amendment, and then after the convention adjourned, it would then take 3/4 of the state legislatures (both houses) in order to ratify any such proposals.

      Conversely, it would only take one chamber in each of 13 state legislatures to stop anything... that's ANYthing... from becoming the Law of the Land. That's a pretty high bar, if you ask me, for those who are fearful of a convention doing something foolish.

      And as for your observation that we are devolving toward totalitarianism... it's been a long time since Civics class, but IIRC, a leftward move on the political spectrum from a republic (less government) to a totalitarian state (most government) involves the ascension of an oligarchy, or a political structure where power effectively rests with a small number of people. Think Congress (535), plus SCOTUS (9), plus POTUS (1), equals a pretty damned small number of people.

      Nuff said, sir.

      Our problem is not the Constitution... it's the way it's being interpreted by the courts. No one is calling for a re-write, but there certainly is some language that could use some clarification, to close some of the "loopholes" that the courts keep finding.

      Anyway, if people fear amending the Constitution, they should stop and think about this: The courts are doing just that every day... without the consent of Congress, without a vote of the people, without even so much as a signature of the president... while we sit by and do nothing.

      The Founders (George Mason in particular) gave us Article V so that the states could act when the federal government failed or refused to do so. What's it gonna take...?
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      • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
        Thank you very much, Rim Country, for joining our little discussion. Welcome to the Gulch!
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        • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
          Glad to be here! Sad to say, but I never thought it would come to this... not in my lifetime. But it has, and thank God there are places like this where we can go to gather our thoughts and ideas and debate them, the good and the bad, and ultimately to plan a response!
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      • Posted by Hiraghm 3 years, 6 months ago
        I recognize that the problem is the courts...

        I never said I had a solution.

        Always present in my mind is that the Roman republic reached this point and could not save itself.
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  • Posted by  $  richrobinson 3 years, 6 months ago
    Pennsylvania has 3 bills pending related to a Constitutional Convention. I e-mailed my rep and senator last night expressing my concern and asked them to oppose all 3 of these bills. This is dangerous stuff.
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    • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
      A Constitutional Convention is like playing with explosives. If handled and deployed properly, explosives can be very useful tools. If not in qualified hands, well, ... The problem is that there are a lot of people who consider themselves qualified whom the founders would not have considered qualified.
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      • Posted by  $  richrobinson 3 years, 6 months ago
        I think it goes beyond not qualified. There are those with a clear objective to destroy what the founders accomplished. Like the explosives analogy.
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        • Posted by Wanderer 3 years, 6 months ago
          Rich;

          I think they've already destroyed much of what the founders accomplished. I believe some of the means they've used are unconstitutional but, we now see the Constitution is only as good as the Attorney General and the men and women occupying the Senate and House of Representatives. If they won't act, or if they act in bad faith, then the safeguards written into the Constitution are meaningless. Witness the last 5 1/2 years.

          While the people controlling the House and Senate might change soon, the weakness in the Constitution won't. Abiding by the Constitution's mandates will still depend on the Attorney General and the people running the House and Senate. For this reason a convention might be useful, to institute changes to the Constitution that make it less dependent on the good will of politicians. (You're choking on good will and politicians, aren't you?)

          While no political act is without risk, keep in mind at such a convention, any addition or subtraction or change to the Constitution would require the assent of 3/4 of the states attending; thus passing an "antiKoch" amendment would require an aye from 38 states. Think there are 38 states that would vote to limit private campaign contributions while allowing unlimited labor union contributions? I think not.

          This is the safeguard built into a convention of the states; nothing can pass without the consent of 38 states and, being closer to the people, most states live in a world more real than Washington.

          I recommend "The Liberty Amendments". I've given it away and can't remember all the amendments Levin proposed, but I do remember the only one I wondered about was term limits for Supreme Court Justices. (I don't necessarily disagree, I just don't know his reasoning. I haven't read "Men in Black".)

          So, given the 38 state requirement, what amendments could we possibly pass? How about an amendment prohibiting the Federal Government from bailing out bankrupt states? Could it pass? I think so. Would it work? I'm not sure. We're currently transferring huge amounts of money to a half dozen states (looking at you, California and Illinois) via the "stimulus" bill that never ends as part of Harry Reid's continuing budget resolution in the Senate. Could the amendment be written to prevent this? I don't know, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try. How about an amendment requiring fair compensation for land use limits imposed by the Federal Government, so when the EPA declares my lakefront lot a wetland and forbid me to build on it they must pay me the fair market value of a lakefront lot?

          But those little things don't go to the root of our problems, things like Filburn and the 16th amendment. As long as the US Federal Government can use the excuse of the market impact of my actions to determine the lawfulness thereof I am a slave, waiting to be enchained and, as long as the US Government can use its discretion to impose particular and various confiscation on the productive peoples of this country, we are all slaves, wearing our particular and various chains. Could a convention of the states possibly repeal the 16th amendment? Could it possibly change Filburn and free us from the capriciousness of the Federal bureaucracy brought on by the Supreme Court's interpretation of the 10th amendment? I don't know, but this country, the greatest of man's modern experiments, will not be saved unless we try.
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          • Posted by  $  richrobinson 3 years, 6 months ago
            Hi Wanderer
            I would prefer to see States use the 10th amendment to re claim there power over the Federal Government. Oklahoma got it started and I believe 5 more States have passed 10th ammendment resolutions that assert they will be bound only by Federal mandates enumerated in the Constitution. I think this is safer than a Con Con.
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            • Posted by  $  RobertFl 3 years, 6 months ago
              States can't. They're addicted to cash from the Federal Gov't. If a state pops-off, the feds withhold hiway funding, education, etc.
              If states are willing to take on those losses, then they can take the stick away from DC.
              A Con-con is fairly limited and difficult to pull off. Bottom Line, you need 3/4 of the states to ratify anything that comes of it. We can't 5 states to agree on anything.
              Limit the con-con to repealing the 12th, and 17th amendments and I feel we can restore control of our gov't back to the people, get the big money out of out elections, and put a serious dent in the two party grip on our gov't.
              Change nothing else in the constitution, and see the ramifications of these 2 changes.
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              • Posted by Robbie53024 3 years, 5 months ago
                The proper way to reduce the dependence on federal dollars is to negate federal taxation. Otherwise, you have people paying but not getting anything back from their taxes.
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                • Posted by  $  RobertFl 3 years, 5 months ago
                  I would argue that we have that already. It's called "pork barrel spending".
                  Texas residents send $10B to the federal gov't and Texas congressmen do everything they can to try to bring $10B back to the state.
                  Kill the pork and the people keep more of their own money.
                  Kill the Hiway bill, and let the States manage their own roads (they might actually get fixed).
                  The problem with that is a state like Montana has more mile of roads then residents to pay for it. Yet we all indirectly benefit from those roads.
                  In a case like roads, an amendment that congress can not withhold such funds for failure to comply with unrelated legislation. the federal gov't does/can serve a purpose. But it should not have a stick.
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            • Posted by Wanderer 3 years, 6 months ago
              Rich;

              I don't believe Oklahoma's ploy will work. The US Supreme Court has already ruled. Are you familiar with Filburn? The Supreme Court asserted that via the Commerce Clause, the US Federal Government may circumvent what the rest of us see as the original meaning of the 10th Amendment.

              You can tell a bully to stop, but until you take action he's likely to keep stealing your lunch. The Federal Government's a bully, and telling it to obey the 10th Amendment as we understand it, without taking action will have no affect.
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              • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
                Excellent analysis of a convention, Wanderer... and I think you're 100% right about the 10th Amendment laws. Not only has state nullification never been upheld when litigated, even if it were, it still couldn't solve problems like term limits and NSA spying, like the federal deficit or the growing national debt, or the court using international treaties and foreign law to interpret US law, or the executive getting us into undeclared wars with the stroke of a pen, or a million other things, the remedies for which are not found in the 10th Amendment, remedies that require courage and action, not dithering in fear.

                And IMHO, I don't think that the "explosives" analogy is a good one at all. No one that I know of is talking about blowing anything up.
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              • Posted by  $  richrobinson 3 years, 6 months ago
                If only a handful of States pass this type of law it will most likely fail. The issue that keeps coming up in my head is the money. The Feds control most of the States by withholding Federal money for education or highway projects. The States have to devise a way of collecting Federal taxes first and then sending them along. That way they can threaten to withhold the money and starve the beast.
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        • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
          Agreed completely, Rich. That's part of why I used the explosives analogy. I was being too generous to the looters. Assumption of good intentions on behalf of non-Gulch citizens is not wise. I need to check my premises.
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  • Posted by chad 2 years, 10 months ago
    A republic cannot be purchased by anyone. A republic protects the rights of the individual, a democracy grants privileges and money to individuals, groups or corporations. James Madison wanted a republic, most of the others wanted a democracy. The democracy has now evolved into a communist democracy where you can vote for the person who will enslave you.
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  • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago in reply to this comment.
    I don't disagree with your goals, only your optimism. I know I will get shot down in this forum for saying this, but I'm trying to be humorous here, "May the force be with you."
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  • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago in reply to this comment.
    I've just been advised that no court at any level would accept the case... a Convention of States enjoys the same political status as does a state legislature or the US Congress... the courts, and particularly the SCOTUS, have a long-standing practice of adhering to the "political question" doctrine.

    "The political question doctrine holds that some questions, in their nature, are fundamentally political, and not legal, and if a question is fundamentally political, then the court will refuse to hear that case. It will claim that it doesn't have jurisdiction. And it will leave that question to some other aspect of the political process to settle out." J.E. Finn, Prof of Govt
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  • Posted by TheRealBill 3 years, 6 months ago
    This is a terrible solution to a problem being framed to perpetuate itself.

    The problem isn't people you don't like pushing agendas you don't like. The problem isn't that groups can hide who they support, and that those groups oppose your ideals.

    The problem is in trying to limit people's options. The proposed solution further limits people's options for effecting change. In other words all it does is change the targets of the suppression.

    The freedom of speech doesn't apply to speech you like. By definition it applies to speech you don't like.

    Few people seem to be aware of the history of campaign management and finance at the federal level. We have this Pollyanna style belief that candidates have always been the source of the campaign and the ideal place to control spending of it.

    Neither are historically accurate.

    From the outset, campaigns were not run or financed by the candidates themselves. The notion that CU changed the law is also just as inaccurate.

    A constitutional amendment to limit free speech would violate the first amendment's protection of free speech. And yes, spending is speech. Taking about who you do or do not want as an elected official, and attempting to effect that change by means other than force, force-threat, or fraudulent actions is not corrupted by the decision of CU, and would be infringed upon heavily by an amendment to do so.

    Let Soros and the Koch brothers spend as much a they want on political ideals.

    Objectivism is not simply a place for people who don't lie, the status quo. What this proposal does goes against objectivism in my opinion, not in alignment with it. How so?

    The proposal seeks to place limitations through force of law on people precisely because of their success. Consider it thusly, if the Koch brothers were not successful would you really care to mount an effort to limit their ability to succeed? I doubt it.

    Part and parcel of this problem is the mounting mindset of "us vs them". The demonization of people you don't agree with is the oath to destruction, not a path to rational and civil society based on freedom and individual responsibility.

    Think hard on why you want to limit the free speech of others. It is easy to rationalize it away by saying your opponents or interlocutors are evil or "being bad", but it allows you to minimize the cognitive dissonance of doing something to some one that you would object to having done to you.

    The fundamental problem is not that the Koch brothers, or Soros, can fund all manner of political strategies. You can't really stop it anyway (they have money because they have power, not the other way around) and only make it harder for those who lack their resources to have an effect. No, the problem is that politicians and government have too much power, and we refuse to acknowledge as a society that politics follows the same laws of economics, specifically supply and demand.

    If the politicians did not have the ability to grant favors or to put limitations on competitors, or compel you to buy things you don't want, the supply of power diminishes, and thus the demand for it diminishes.

    The increase costs of campaigns is due to the increased control the would be government elect has. There is prima facia evidence of this easily seen.

    How much money is raised in being elected to a school board as opposed to a legislative seat for the same citizenry? Why is that? Simply, and most evidently, because of the difference in power behind the seat.

    If government didn't possess, and want allowed to, the authority to force businesses into providing Services or products not in their interest, those who want to force businesses to do that wouldn't be so keen to spend money to convince the PTB to do something they can't do.

    Address the wound, not the blood stained clothing.
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    • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
      Since I'm still a "noob" and am not allowed to give your comment a thumbs up, I'll do it the old fashioned way... BUMP!

      PS: I particularly like your take on the real issue being the threat that the balance of power is shifting... God, let it be so!
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      • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
        You can get the right to vote if you pay a small fee to become a producer.
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        • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
          I saw that, and can appreciate the rather novel approach to raising revenue, but other than making it one-click-easy to show support for another member's comment, I'm not sure I see the return on the investment, no matter how small. As you might have guessed by now, I'm not about "easy."
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          • Posted by khalling 3 years, 6 months ago
            actually, this is not true. Here is the system. Under 100 points on the board, you may not vote. Reach 100, you have voting privileges. Guests are essential to the site, in my opinion. If you pay a nominal monthly fee it gives you back some added value: the ability to hide comments on your posts, Private messaging of any other contributor to the site, and special perks-usually you can see these in the monthly newsletter, advance pics from the movies, special deals on merchandise, etc.
            To rim's last comment, I enjoy the most points on this site. There's been not too much easy about that. But, I have goals that make hanging out here a value to me. I offer the value I wish to offer.
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          • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
            Others have remarked about the apparent lack of return on investment. Without those who provide the forum putting forth this forum, there would be no forum. Paying the small yearly fee is acknowledging the value that the forum's contributors have made. You have the heart of a producer; now it is time to act like one. You have certainly gotten some value out of this forum.
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  • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago in reply to this comment.
    As will you.
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    • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
      I hope you guys are just kidding around and not really suggesting that Dagny caved in any way. If she “succumbed” it was not in failure but through determination.

      To me, she was and is the symbol of our quest to reshape the world, not quit it. She believed in things, not as an idealist, but as a realist. “The straight line is the badge of man, the straight line of a geometrical abstraction that makes roads, rails and bridges, the straight line that cuts the curving aimlessness of nature by a purposeful motion from a start to an end.”

      Another one of her best lines: "I cannot bring myself to abandon to destruction all the greatness of the world, all that which was mine and yours, which was made by us and is still ours by right – because I cannot believe that men can refuse to see... so long as men desire to live, I cannot lose my battle."

      If this be capitulation, than let me make the most of it!
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      • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
        For a very long time, I could not bring myself to the point of abandoning the greatness of the world. Then the world, including America, became no longer great. And moreover, men refused to see. The number of people who have blanked out who are in power is so many now that "a one person, one vote" system cannot possibly reward people like us going forward.
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        • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
          I can understand a momentary loss of drive... but to stay defeated simply isn't in the American DNA. I see no nobility in doing nothing.
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          • Posted by kathywiso 3 years, 5 months ago
            RC, I felt like you did until it got to the point owning a business was just overcome with regulations and the control over my decisions and productivity became, well, not mine but the governments. When you are taking all the risk and having to give your earnings to ones who do nothing and every year, there are more inspections and tax increases and liberal persuasions that you are required to pay for, you say, to hell with it, they have gotten all they are going to get from me. No, I am not giving up on my own ambitions, the rewards have been stolen from me, but have changed course to produce only what I can consume..and no more for the looters and moochers to steal. Staying in contact with like minded people and planning is what we need to be doing now. The lights are going out, whether we like it or not and what emerges from that will be up to us. Remember, Dagny eventually ended up in the Gulch also..
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          • Posted by khalling 3 years, 6 months ago
            But that 's the point. There is no such thing as "american DNA " as you are using the term. People perform in large part to the Declaration of Independence, some of the rights protected under the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. It is a fact that our rule of law is being ignored.
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            • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
              I can't argue with you that the rule of law has suffered some serious setbacks of late, and not beginning with this administration. But again, we have to watch the absolutes... not ALL laws are being ignored.

              Things are bad, but not so bad as to be beyond repair. To dwell on the negative, and to exaggerate it as well, tends to diminish or attenuate those who call for a remedy.

              To the extent that there are still many, many Americans who recognize the regression and want dearly for us to return to being a nation of laws, I contend that there is, indeed, that characteristic still very much alive and well out there, and it is that to which I refer when I use the term "American DNA"
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              • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
                When a government selectively enforces or chooses not to enforce certain laws, the loss of respect for the entire system is profound. Let us suppose that Directive 10-289 actually passed. I would gladly tell the government to stick their law where the sun doesn't shine.

                For me, the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back was the government's handling of the GM and Chrysler bailout. My parents had the highest grade of GM bonds. According to bankruptcy law, a part of the Constitution, bondholders are supposed to get the first fruit of bankruptcy settlements. Instead my parents got a letter proposing a settlement of $225 for $100000 of their bonds. The same letter threatened them in the event that they chose to sue the government over the proposed settlement. During the same month, two of our local car dealers who just happened to be among the top ten Republican (and later Tea Party) contributors in our county were forced to sell their dealerships to out-of-towners.

                You say "Things are bad, but not so bad as to be beyond repair. To dwell on the negative, and to exaggerate it as well, tends to diminish or attenuate those who call for a remedy." That is how I felt in 2012 even after all that had happened. America doubled down on stupid by re-electing Obama in 2012 and completely blanked out regarding all the obvious scandals and lies from this administration. There are those of us for which the characteristic is "still very much alive", but we are severely outnumbered. There are several Old Testament Biblical analogies that are relevant here, most particularly Sodom and Gomorrah or either of the exiles. When the number of those honorable enough to be worth saving had been reduced to a remnant, the remnant was saved, and the vast majority was wiped out.


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                • Posted by Solver 3 years, 6 months ago
                  “When a government selectively enforces or chooses not to enforce certain laws, the loss of respect for the entire system is profound.”

                  I see your point, but in reality it is actual people in power that choose to follow a law, subvert a law or ignore a law. Most others down the chain just follow orders from these individuals. It would be these "lower" individuals that would have to use their minds and judge if the morally of the orders received would cause them to state, “Your orders are wrong!” Could a society where public servants could actually question their superiors really work? If so, maybe that GM law breaking fiasco would never have happened.
                  On the other side, what if it is the official law of a society to give some great favors to one race over another, and orders of compliance were passed down the chain of authority? Maybe, with enough individual resistance to these kinds of orders early on, one of the greatest catastrophes in history would never have happened.
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          • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
            Who says that I am doing nothing? In addition to educating future Galts, I am developing MUCH cheaper 3D printers for the biomedical and metals industries that will not be revealed until it becomes profitable to do so. I am preparing for the return of the mind.
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            • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
              Alrighty then! I apologize for making assumptions, but you gave me very little else to go with! 3D printers... very cool... I can't wait for the day when I can send a copy of a ham sandwich by eMail.

              Like everyone else, I'm waiting for AS III... I'm certain, however, that this place, Galt's Gulch, or whatever was / is on the other side of that inter-dimensional transition, that time-warp, is not a place to do nothing, but a place to plan for everything... for everything will be possible... eventually.

              I got the latest short clip this morning and was kinda bummed... as I'm sure you all saw, it ended with James Manera saying rather ominously, "Yeah, the bad guys have taken over... for the moment."

              Is this a set-up already for AS IV?
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  • Posted by  $  Zenphamy 3 years, 6 months ago
    Let me see if I've got this Article V argument right:
    The original intent and wording of the Constitution has been subverted through mis-interpretation and implied additions by the Federal government and acquiescence by State government and by citizens.
    Thomas Jefferson's original 13th Amendment mysteriously disappeared from all mention when Lincoln's 13th was added.
    Lincoln's Federal government replaced State's governors, legislators, and their Congressional representatives and senators to get the 14th Amendment agreed to.
    The 16th Amendment, though not actually ratified by sufficient State's in the proper time was listed as approved by the Federal government.
    No President, Congress, or Court has followed the Constitution since at least Teddy Roosevelt, if not Lincoln.
    None of the natural rights referred to in the Constitution nor even those guaranteed to not be infringed in the Bill of Rights still exist in fact today and the government doesn't even bother to pretend that they do anymore.
    None of the limits imposed on the Federal government by the Constitution are followed by the government.
    A US dollar's purchasing power is about 3% today of what it was in 1913.

    And we're going to straighten all of that out with an Article V Convention manned by people drawn from the minor league of professional politicians who mostly seek to graduate to the big leagues in DC themselves?

    Golly gee whiz and just WOW! What great Objectivist thought.

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    • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
      Welcome to the discussion! I wish I could respond to you point for point, but I'm afraid that will have to wait. Duty calls. I know that's a dirty word around here, but such is my life. I will return, and something tells me you'll be waiting.

      PS: Speaking quickly of Objectivist thought, my assumption was that Galt's Gulch was a place where individuals went when they were ready to quit playing by someone else's rules, not a place to go when they were simply ready to quit.

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      • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
        My shrugging is hopefully temporary. I am working as a professor at a private university in the meantime. I'm not really ready to quit. My shrug job is good enough that, if things don't get better for the company, even though there is no tenure system here, they will probably have to cart my carcass off campus when I'm in my 80's.
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        • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
          Excuse me, I meant country, not company.
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          • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
            I knew that ;)

            I'm not sure what your preferred profession would be, but I envy you... sort of. I'm in the publishing business, and ever since I was a student in junior college, I wanted to be a teacher... probably English or history or literature... it never really got that far, because a philosophy instructor talked me out of it. He explained the one-sided politics of higher education, something that I am aware of now, but I had no inkling at the time. He was discouraged and discouraging, and to the extent that I allowed another's discontent to cause me to fear disappointment, I have regret.

            But knowing the reality of the situation today, I probably wouldn't have made it anyway... too much of an outsider... I seem to always want to push the river, if you know what I mean.
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            • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
              If you remember the Patrick Henry University from AS, it exists now in real life and is called Florida Tech. We have a lot of people here that would be considered outsiders elsewhere. It is a pretty nice gig for someone of Gulch values.
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              • Comment hidden by post owner or admin, or due to low comment or member score. View Comment
              • Posted by Robbie53024 3 years, 6 months ago
                Teach anything about process improvement? Six Sigma, LEAN, Design for Six Sigma? Would the Dean be open to such courses?
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                • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
                  We have a Six Sigma course through our online program. I do some process improvement, but not a whole lot.
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                  • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
                    I do teach the first couple of hours of content of what would be in a Six Sigma class as part of my Materials Lab course, and I do mention Six Sigma.
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                    • Posted by Robbie53024 3 years, 6 months ago
                      Well, that's my expertise. If the Dean's open to expanding, let me know. Maybe you'll just get me to shrug yet.
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                      • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
                        That's a good area to be in, Robbie.
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                        • Comment hidden by post owner or admin, or due to low comment or member score. View Comment
                        • Posted by Robbie53024 3 years, 6 months ago
                          It has been for the past few years. So long as companies are only feeling the pressure of competition and see benefit in becoming more efficient to stay competitive.

                          My fear is that we may soon find an economy where those companies are merely looking to survive, and anything not directly focused on producing and selling is cut. That was the situation with my last two corporate employers. The process improvement groups didn't create nor sell, so when the economy started to turn south, we were the most expendable. Regardless of the fact that our return to the company was greater than our costs, it was still a cost that bean counters could claim as "savings."
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    • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
      #1 You said:

      Let me see if I've got this Article V argument right:

      The original intent and wording of the Constitution has been subverted through mis-interpretation and implied additions by
      the Federal government and acquiescence by State government and by citizens.

      - - -

      Not really. Where you’ve got it wrong is the “acquiescence” part. Please go to www.ComventionOfStaes.com and read the material. Heck, just give it a casual perusal, if you don’t have the time or the energy. You’ll discover that what this conversation is about is the exact opposite of “acquiescence.” It’s about a grassroots movement by citizens (your word) to encourage state governments (your words) to apply for an application to Congress to call for a Convention of States limited to proposing amendments to the United States Constitution that impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, that limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and that limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress.

      So, no, you don’t have the Article V argument right.
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      • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
        #2 You said:

        Let me see if I've got this Article V argument right:

        Thomas Jefferson's original 13th Amendment mysteriously disappeared from all mention when Lincoln's 13th was added.

        - - -

        There’s really nothing all that “mysterious” about it. At the time of these events that you’ve plucked out of history, this nation was caught in the throes of establishing its values regarding the natural law of equality, and ultimately determining its destiny. It took a Civil War to sort all that out, which it did… that is, for most of us.

        Anyway, we’re not about trying to re-write anything, particularly history. I will not here engage in a Blue vs Gray… I’ve grown partial to Red, White & Blue.

        So, once again, no, you don’t have the Article V argument right.
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        • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
          #3 You said:

          Let me see if I've got this Article V argument right:

          Lincoln's Federal government replaced State's governors, legislators, and their Congressional representatives and senators to get the 14th Amendment agreed to.

          - - -

          Again, another North versus South issue from the dustbin of history, formally and properly resolved by ratification, forced or otherwise… there had just been a war. This is more of a distraction than an argument, for or against A5. It’s irrelevant to today’s reality and this conversation.

          So again, no, you don’t have the Article V argument right.
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          • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
            #4 You said:

            Let me see if I've got this Article V argument right:

            The 16th Amendment, though not actually ratified by sufficient State's in the proper time was listed as approved by the Federal government.

            - - -

            This point actually matters. Unfortunately for the nation, the majority of constitutional scholars agree that a call for ratification that does not contain a time element cannot expire, unless withdrawn, and there never was much of a chance of that. Like it or not, it’s the Law of the Land, enshrined by a SCOTUS that also needs some serious revision, and the best way to fix the 16th Amendment is to repeal it. Hmmm… I wonder if those Constitutional Conservatives over at that Convention of States called for proposing amendments to reduce the size, scope and power of the Federal would be interested in debating such a radical notion? /s

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            • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
              #5 You said:

              Let me see if I've got this Article V argument right:

              No President, Congress, or Court has followed the Constitution since at least Teddy Roosevelt, if not Lincoln.

              - - -

              Besides being an absurd exaggeration on its face, it’s a meaningless straw man, and even if it were true, it would still be a logical fallacy. Just because this is how it is does not prove that this is the way it shall always be.

              But more to the point, I’ve contended before and will continue to submit that both Congress and the Executive do, indeed, follow the Constitution, but only as it is interpreted by the Supreme Court. Like a child, they do what the parent allows them to get away with. If you will indulge me in a tenuous analogy of my own, it’s time we schooled the parent in originalism (completely overhaul the SCOTUS – Levin suggests eliminating presidential appointments, replace with one judge from each state, impose term limits, all of which I think would make for a great start) so that the parent now knows how to keep the child on the straight and narrow, not the broad and wide, living, breathing, malleable document we keep hearing about but never seem to be able to pin down because it’s never the same from one day to the next because of a politically motivated SCOTUS and an out-of-control president with a pen.

              So, no, you don’t have the Article V argument right.

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              • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
                #6 You said:

                Let me see if I've got this Article V argument right:

                None of the natural rights referred to in the Constitution nor even those guaranteed to not be infringed in the Bill of Rights still exist in fact today and the government doesn't even bother to pretend that they do anymore.

                - - -

                I don’t even know where to begin with this over-statement. You see, that’s the problem with hyperbole, exaggeration and outright fabrication of “facts”… at some point, people will be forced, by the power of their own reasoning, to stop taking you seriously. I believe that YOU truly believe that the nation is in trouble, but you do yourself and your cause a disservice with this kind of distortion.

                Another analogy: I have a buddy who hates Obama… every eMail that hits his in-box, no matter how outlandish the claim against the president, he forwards it on to his entire mail list, without so much as giving Google, TruthorFiction or even Snopes a second thought. As some point a couple years ago, I stopped opening anything from him with FW: in the subject line… even the truthful ones. Get my point?

                If things were as bad as you say, where NONE of our natural rights existed anymore, then the government could, without benefit of law, kill anyone, anytime, anywhere at will; they could lock us up and take all of our stuff… any of us, all of us, without a writ or warrant; they could simply throw the switch on the Fox News Channel, close the doors at the Washington Times, and have Matt Drudge assassinated… and do it all publically. Do I need to go on?

                Get serious, and so will I.

                So, no, you don’t have the Article V argument right.

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                • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
                  #7 You said:

                  Let me see if I've got this Article V argument right:

                  None of the limits imposed on the Federal government by the Constitution are followed by the government.

                  - - -

                  I’m starting to think that if they removed the word “none” from the vocabulary, you wouldn’t know how to start a sentence. I’m also starting to wonder what country you live in.

                  Please… if you have a specific point to make, a definitive issue to examine that is relevant to the discussion here, then do so. We’re talking about solutions to the problems here, not just gathering ‘round the campfire and regurgitating exaggerated talking points.


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                  • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
                    You have made a lot of solid points, RimCountry. You made a comment earlier today saying that you don't take a path of easy choices. That is true of all of us here in the Gulch. The path toward liberty and to the Gulch requires a series of difficult choices. Rush Limbaugh has said many times that "liberalism is an easy choice". He is right. If I offer you the opportunity to improve yourself via education, you will take that opportunity. Most people will not. They will say it is too hard. Should we try to convince them, or should they come to our viewpoint on their own?
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                    • Posted by Robbie53024 3 years, 6 months ago
                      Clearly, we should present information to them in a compelling and coherent way such that they can absorb it and make up their minds themselves. It is not for us to decide for them, but rather to present the argument as clearly and forcefully as we can.
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                  • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
                    #8 You said:

                    Let me see if I've got this Article V argument right:

                    A US dollar's purchasing power is about 3% today of what it was in 1913.

                    - - -
                    Now, on this one you’ve got me. I am not an economist, no matter how many nights I spend in a Holiday Inn. Not only do I not have a head for finance, but that’s one reason why marrying my wife, a former banking officer, 35 years ago, was without a doubt the single best decision I’ve ever made. She has made every other decision since, at least the sound ones, and as a result we have today a very short list of things we’re sorry for not doing, but a very long list of things that were thankful we didn’t do!

                    Having said that, let me suggest, however, that I am confident that the Fed’s current monetary policy is a very rich target for supply-side reformers, and I’m certain that there will be no shortage of delegates in attendance whose sole purpose will be to address those and other fiscal and economic issues. Remember, it’s a one-state / one-vote assembly, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be dozens of delegates sent from each state, each specialists in their respective fields of expertise.

                    As with all conventions since the beginning of time, there will be committee assignments, and those with seats on the Budget & Finance Committee, or whatever they decide to call it, will not only be fiscal policy experts, but will most assuredly have first-hand experience running a government with constraints. Forty-nine of our 50 states currently have balanced budget requirements written into their state constitutions, even those dominated by liberals, which is why it’s so important to keep reminding the nay-sayers that these will be state-level delegates, not their federal kin who have virtually no concept whatsoever of actually having to work within any sort of fiscal absolutes.
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                    • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
                      #9 You said:

                      And we're going to straighten all of that out with an Article V Convention manned by people drawn from the minor league of professional politicians who mostly seek to graduate to the big leagues in DC themselves?

                      - - -

                      Casting aside your arrogant and elitist denigration of fine men and women you can’t even pretend to know, the answer to your question is yes… at least we are going to try.

                      We are not, however, going to be able to change history. What has been will always be, and if you set the bar to determine the worth of calling for a Convention of States so high as to make the goals impossible to achieve, then I’ll be forced to simply reject your arguments as irrational.
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                      • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
                        #10 You said:

                        Golly gee whiz and just WOW! What great Objectivist thought.

                        - - -

                        Thank you.
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                        • Posted by  $  Zenphamy 3 years, 6 months ago
                          Rim: I'm not going to engage in a fruitless response to your 10 replies other than to opine that you miss the point of my comment and the items I list. The point I feebly attempted to make was that if all of those actions could happen under the Constitution as written, how could anyone imagine that new words added to it would make any difference.

                          While it would offer to the many, the idea that they're doing something and making a difference, I'm of the opinion that it would only serve to be a distraction and a show. I certainly understand and sympathize with the drive to do something, anything to change what's happened to our country. But I fear that we're a little late to the battle with no bullets.

                          I do appreciate your obvious enthusiasm and wish you well with your efforts.
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                          • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
                            I echo Zenphamy on this one, RimCountry, especially regarding being late to the battle with no bullets. As much as I would like to believe that Article V is a silver bullet, unlike the vampire that liberalism is (sucking blood, living unreasonably long, etc.), Canada is the only country I have seen that peacefully reversed its liberal course. They did so before their debt was out of control. We haven't.
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                            • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
                              Wow... you guys really don't get it, do you. It's almost like you don't WANT to get it. I'd swear you almost get it for about 2½ minutes, then one or the other of you breaks down and says something defeatist and, just like that, >snap<, the both of you cave.

                              And just between us guys, the bullet analogy really sucks!

                              We're not late to the battle with no bullets... we haven't even BEGUN to fight! There IS no battle, and that's the problem! We've been acting like a bunch of sheep, going to the ballot box when we're told, voting how we're told, and expecting that somehow things are going to change all by themselves and change for the better.

                              Well we're done with that. No more Mr. Nice Guy. We're tired of being the only ones playing by the rules, and we're going to do something about it. As a matter of fact, we're going to change the rules, and we're going to start a war to do it. Best part is, we have as many bullets as they do!

                              You want an analogy? I'll give you an analogy: Article V is the armory where the bullets are stored, got that? Bullets are what's used in the battle to amend the Constitution. The Constitution has been amended 27 times, each time by them, and each time under the auspices of (and with ammo supplied by) Article V. The quartermaster at the Article V armory, CMSgt G. Mason, says that the requisitions for their ammo and our ammo are equal. No more, no less, exactly equal amounts of bullets.

                              So whaddaya say, ladies...? Personally, I think it's about time to lock and load.

                              PS to the NSA: We're not talking real bullets or violence of any kind here, fellas... Google "analogy" and "common sense"
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                      • Posted by Hiraghm 3 years, 6 months ago
                        "Casting aside your arrogant and elitist denigration of fine men and women you can’t even pretend to know, "

                        He wasn't denigrating fine men and women. He was denigrating professional politicians.
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    • Posted by Robbie53024 3 years, 6 months ago
      So, Zen, what do you propose?
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      • Posted by  $  Zenphamy 3 years, 6 months ago
        I propose that people, particularly Objectivist stay as far away as possible from Article V or any other nonsense fixes of our problems with our government as possible. Levin is a populist entertainer that's making a lot of money off of the Article V issue and offering false hope to people. Until the general populace gains sufficient education and understanding of the worth and value and the morality of individualism, productivity, and non-initiation of force - the country is lost. One of AR's main points was that the individualistic and liberty intellectuals of our culture and society were abdicating their personal responsibilities to themselves in an individualistic society.

        Very few of our population, including commenters on this site and Article V proponents, have an understanding of natural rights vs. the pablum they've been fed of 'constitutional rights', as an example. There are no such things as 'constitutional rights'. There are only natural rights and there are a very few listed in the Bill of Rights, to illustrate where government may not trample. In the belief that their rights come from the constitution, the population then thinks it's OK for the government/voters to limit those rights in certain circumstances. The Objectivist needs to offer explanations and illustrations of the differences and the individual gains available from living a life of Objectivism with a government truly limited to only protecting natural rights - all natural rights.

        No amount of words written on paper will suffice to rein in the professional political and bureaucratic mandarin class of our society. The only hope to control those individuals and groups is for the population to stand up en masse and say unequivocally, 'Enough'. And they won't do that until they begin to see themselves as individuals with natural rights derived from existence as a human being and the gains available to all from self determination.
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        • Posted by Robbie53024 3 years, 6 months ago
          Wouldn't you see an Article V convention be part of that?
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          • Posted by  $  Zenphamy 3 years, 6 months ago
            Robbie: An Article V convention stands a very good chance of altering the original Constitution in such a manner as to enforce the very kind of thinking that has allowed most citizens to believe that individual rights derive from the Constitution. That event, to me, is a scary probability.

            As the Constitution stands at this point, it supports the arguments of believers in individual and natural rights to illustrate that our rights have been stolen by the political and bureaucrat class. There are certainly Amendments that could make a difference, but only after the citizens as a whole enforce the current commandments of the Constitution to those in government. And those Amendments need properly to come from the mass of citizenry not from the political class, in order to have some teeth.
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            • Posted by Robbie53024 3 years, 6 months ago
              While I agree that the current mandates of the existing Constitution are not being faithfully followed, one of the reasons for that is that there are inadequacies in the document that are being exploited to permit those violations. An Article V convention would shore up those inadequacies so as to make it crystal clear what is not permitted.

              I look at it this way - the Constitution is currently being violated, both as to the letter of the law (O has changed the provisions of O'care more than two dozen times - a function clearly only authorized to be conducted by the legislature, and putting in place individuals required to be confirmed by the Senate under "recess appointments" when the Senate did not consider itself in recess - just two of the most egregious examples), and certainly the spirit of the law - nearly all 10 of the Bill of Rights are violated seemingly at will by governmental agencies. So, if it is mostly an irrelevancy now, and we have an opportunity to plug some of those holes, then I say do it. The only thing that could go wrong is that the de facto status of the governing document of today is codified de jure.

              Regardless of whether there is an Article V convention or not, the only way that we can return to the type of nation that we once had is to change the character of those we select for political office, and that will require a change in the basic character of the populace.
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              • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
                The Constitution was perfectly clear. The judges, presidents, and congressmen who see the Constitution as a "living, breathing" document have intentionally obscured the meaning of the document. You are right when you say that "all 10 of the Bill of Rights are violated seemingly at will by governmental agencies". There are no holes in the Constitution that men who wish to destroy the Constitution have not created. It is the men who are the problem, not the Constitution itself.
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                • Posted by  $  Zenphamy 3 years, 6 months ago
                  jbrenner: Great point. Again, I'll quote Lincoln, “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.” -Abraham Lincoln

                  and then Jefferson, "The greatest danger to American freedom is a government that ignores the Constitution." Thomas Jefferson Third President of the United States

                  The one Amendment I'd really like to see is one granting the citizenry the ability and the means to directly indict and impeach government officials, elected or appointed, with criminal charges for treason if they act or vote against the plain wording of the Constitution. As it stands today, you, or even Congressmen can't at least sue in court without first proving standing deriving from actual, personal damages.
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                  • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
                    +1 for Zenphamy.
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                    • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
                      Excellent analysis, Robbie, and I couldn't agree more with your closing. To jbrenner's contention that men are the problem, not the document, I point only to the Supreme Court... it is those men (and women) who are the problem. They find holes where there should be none, and lest we live to see Robbie's fear of institutionalized unconstitutionality (is that a word?), we need to repair those holes, using the remedy afforded in Article V.

                      I love Zen's attitude and intent in his amendment proposal, but think that it should probably be trimmed down to something less than a national referendum, probably something initiated at the state level to give it some level of credibility above that of a crazed mob. I forget who said it, probably Franklin, but "in democracy, dangers go there."

                      Here in Arizona, the state Republican Party just censured John McCain. That’s all they can do because of the 17th Amendment. He comes back to his mansion in Sedona for about 6 months every six years and says some very conservative things to his rabid sycophants, gets re-elected, then goes back to the DC bubble and the Establishment where there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between a (D) and an (R). He hasn't represented the needs of this state in the 21 years I’ve lived here. By the way, for the record, I’m a registered independent, I believe in “sending a message” when I vote, and I haven’t contributed to any political campaign since GWB I.

                      As for making it easier to impeach a sitting official, no more letting the fox guard the henhouse. I’d recommend an amendment along the lines of one I described earlier, requiring all bills to pass muster in a newly created Constitutionality Committee before being voted on by the full chamber. Any member who even submits for consideration a bill that fails by unanimous vote in that committee would be declared eligible for impeachment by the legislature in the state that he represents.

                      Thwap!

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                      • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
                        In that case, perhaps more important than term limits for politicians is term limits for judges. You asked earlier how an Article V convention would be legislatively delayed. For the Dems to win, it might not even have to be done legislatively. All they would have to do is exert their control over the kangaroo court system to deny such change as unconstitutional, even if it is constitutional. The ability to "shop for a friendly court" is perhaps the biggest problem that America has.
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                        • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
                          At the moment, I am undecided on term limits for judges. I am still wrestling with the concept of "an independent judiciary" and how any changes might effect that. As with most things of grave importance, I suspect that my opinion will evolve as I examine the matter further.

                          As for your comment about the Democrats going "judge shopping," I'll repeat here an earlier post:
                          - - -

                          I've just been advised that no court at any level would accept the case... a Convention of States enjoys the same political status as does a state legislature or the US Congress... the courts, and particularly the SCOTUS, have a long-standing practice of adhering to the "political question" doctrine.

                          "The political question doctrine holds that some questions, in their nature, are fundamentally political, and not legal, and if a question is fundamentally political, then the court will refuse to hear that case. It will claim that it doesn't have jurisdiction. And it will leave that question to some other aspect of the political process to settle out." J.E. Finn, Prof of Govt
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                          • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
                            The concept of an independent judiciary is an illusion. When judges are appointed by politicians, how can one expect an independent judiciary? Even at the lower levels such as the State of Florida (or even county elections), the State Bar of Florida prevents both judges and candidates for judge positions from taking positions. That gives the appearance of impartiality. I get that. But how is someone expected to make an educated selection of a judge when you don't know what their values are?
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                          • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
                            That is the way that it should be, but political favors will be called in, donations made under the table, etc. to ensure at least delay if not defeat of the CoS. Politicians have no interest in CoS because it does not empower them.
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                            • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
                              99% agreement here, jbrenner... but here's the 1%:

                              FEDERAL politicians are not empowered by our COS movement. To the contrary, they are dis-empowered. It is the STATE legislators who stand only to benefit from returning to them power appropriated by the Fed.

                              That's why this entire movement is initiated at the state level, completely independent of the federal government, as provided for in Article V.

                              But other than that, you're right on the money... as long as judges are human they will be subject to human failings, if bias is, indeed, a failing.

                              Hey... maybe there's an idea you could toss into your inventor's cauldron: The iJudge app.
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                              • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
                                That would be a clever app, but it's outside of my expertise. State politicians are an improvement. The assumption is that the CoS will represent the state's interests. All poliiticians will do what is in their best interest. We have few, if any, statesmen or stateswomen in politics anymore.
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                                • Posted by RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
                                  I'm tempted to agree with you, simply to avoid having to come to the defense of the thousands of honorable legislators you've just painted with your broad brush! Certainly there are some who shouldn't be allowed out of your sight, but they are not the majority... at least not the majority of those who will be attending the COS.

                                  I thought that I had already described the process of delegate selection, but maybe that was in another forum.

                                  To begin with, the "assumption" that the delegates will speak for the states is not only correct, it is critical. Without delegates sworn to uphold their legislative commission, there would be no reason to call for a convention, and other than paranoia and an oft-stated general distrust for "anyone involved in the political process", you've offered no evidence to support your fear that they won't.

                                  There have been no less than 32 multi-state conventions in the United States - at least 21 prior to the Declaration of Independence, and another 11 between 1776 and 1786. And that's not to mention the Washington Conference of 1861 or more recently, the Colorado River Compact of 1922. Nowhere in the records of any of these assemblies are there reports of delegates breaching their commissions en masse and absconding with the convention. It just hasn't happened.

                                  But despite a couple centuries of scandal-free events, the organizers of the COS are thinking like you and being very cautious. The delegates will be selected by the participating states based, among other things, on their fealty to the Constitution, particularly those states in favor of limiting the size and scope of the federal. It would make no sense whatsoever for a pro-COS state to send a wishy-washy delegate. But just to ensure that all possible bases are covered, the states that are passing the application are also passing concurrent legislation requiring a sworn commission, and imposing penalties (a felony here in Arizona) for failure to perform, plus they are all subject to immediate recall by vote of the legislature.

                                  Not all of the states are required to attend, mind you. It takes just 28 to meet the Article V threshold for a mandatory call. There may be some liberal leaning states who will simply opt out. Frankly, that would be the best of all possible worlds, but we're not counting on it. Just as the Democrat Party recently toyed with the idea of boycotting the House Select Committee on Benghazi, but eventually agreed to participate as the minority party, even if only to interrupt, interfere and obfuscate, many if not all of the liberal states will send delegates as well, with those same "progressive" intentions, no doubt.

                                  But just as the House Select Committee investigation will proceed to its conclusion, so will a Convention of States. If it were easy, it would have already been done a long time ago.
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                                  • jbrenner replied 3 years, 6 months ago
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                • Posted by Robbie53024 3 years, 6 months ago
                  Well, I think tightening up things like the SCOTUS being only a trier of fact and of issues between the states could be improved, as well as a means for their decisions to be overridden by a supermajority of the legislature. Just one of the areas where the current document, even if applied faithfully and with fealty can be problematic.
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                  • Posted by  $  Zenphamy 3 years, 6 months ago
                    Robbie: It's not so much a problem with the Constitution as it relates to SCOTUS as it is with the 1803 decision by John Marshall (the Federalist Secretary of State under Adams whom attorneys love to this day) in which SCOTUS granted to themselves the power to interpret the Constitution and to have the power (not mentioned in the Constitution) of Judicial review to determine the constitutionality of all laws enacted by Congress or States. In essence, as Jefferson said to appoint themselves as an Oligarchy.
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                    • Posted by Robbie53024 3 years, 6 months ago
                      Correct. Marbury v Madison was the single biggest power grab in history. And totally contrary to the original intent of the formation of the SCOTUS.

                      That's why I believe an amendment to rebalance power by giving congress the ability to overrule the court with a supermajority veto over any ruling, not requiring presidential approval. That would return control of the laws to the people.
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                      • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
                        That would certainly be a step in the right direction. The Dems and particularly SCOTUS will attempt to get that to be ruled unconstitutional.
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                        • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
                          Any amendment, once ratified, is de facto "constitutional", and cannot be declared otherwise by any court, not even by unanimous vote of the parties to the original ratification. If it were to fall into disfavor, it would have to be repealed.
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                          • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
                            Some lawyer somewhere will figure out a way in which these amendments violate other aspects of the Constitution. While you are correct, it may not matter.
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                            • Posted by RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
                              No amendment that conflicts with any part of the Constitution would ever survive ratification. Once ratified, it is the Law of the Land, and the Constitution speaks plainly to the way (the ONLY way) that it can be changed: Article V.

                              So, of course it matters, jbrenner... from the instant that it is ratified it matters, and it continues to matter every second of every day, 24/7/365, right up until that dark and distant moment when some hypothetical, yet-to-be-conceived lawyer you've envisioned magically re-invents jurisprudence without benefit of law.

                              That would be called a coup.

                              After that happens, the country is all his... what's left of it.

                              This is no different from your other "sky is gonna fall" arguments, j... if you expect me to be afraid of this boogeyman, you're going to have to put a little more meat on his bones. This one's less than pathetic.
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                        • Posted by Robbie53024 3 years, 6 months ago
                          In any rational governmental system, there would not be an end state that wasn't accountable to the populace as a whole.
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                          • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
                            Officially, the American governmental system is accountable to the populace as a whole through the voting system. Is America still accountable to the people? I think it is, but it has gotten the government it deserves.
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                            • Posted by Robbie53024 3 years, 6 months ago
                              Decisions by the SCOTUS aren't accountable to the electorate. That is a big problem.
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                              • Posted by iamA2u 3 years, 6 months ago
                                I mostly disagree. This independence gives them freedom from the capricious political process. I certainly disagree with many SCOTUS opinions but I wholeheartedly endorse their independence. in fact I believe independence is the only functional way for them to fulfill their constitutional duties. can you imagine the pressure they would be under, and subsequent poor decisions, if politics influenced them during the McCarthy era or during the Nixon troubles or even currently with the abuse of power?

                                The accountability is with the original presidential appointment and the Senate confirmation hearings to seat quality judges. The cancellation of the Senate policy of having a super majority for the Supreme Court nominations is an unfortunate error in this regard.
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                                • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
                                  Very provocative remarks, iamA2u... particularly regarding the political independence of the justices. You've caused me to pause and reconsider a position that, until now, I've been comfortable with for quite some time.

                                  I have been open to term limits for all federal officials, including judges at all levels. I've even entertained Mark Levin's suggestion of doing away with the 9 Black Robes entirely and moving to a European model, wherein each state legislature would appoint a judge for a limited term, making a court of 50 judges en banc, but cases rising from the appellate level would be heard by panels of, say, 5 or 7 judges in rotation, thus spreading the inevitable political bias of thinking human beings around instead of locking it in for the life of every confirmed justice.

                                  I need to think about this... is it better to relegate the influence of political bias to a "lottery," or should we just stay with what we know and do what we can to introduce more accountability, as you say, at the front end during the nomination and confirmation process?

                                  At this moment, my gut tells me that either would be better than what we have.
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                                  • jbrenner replied 3 years, 6 months ago
                                • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
                                  I agree with you 100%, and "unfortunate error" has to be the understatement of the decade!

                                  Since the Senate no longer represents the priorities of the states but those of the political parties, the confirmation process has devolved into nothing more than a minute or two of grandstanding and political posturing, followed immediately by the dull thud of a rubber stamp.

                                  Maybe I'm naive and it's always been this way, but confirmations now are the stuff of vote-counting and back room quid pro quo.

                                  By the way, unless I'm mistaken, I think it's always been 50%+1 for confirmation of a SC justice. The only part of the confirmation process that required a supermajority was to break a filibuster, and that's what they did away with.
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            • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
              Teeth... that's exactly what's needed, and that's what's being discussed out there. As I mentioned before, I don't have much of a head for numbers, but in trying to decide if I was going to support the Compact for America's Article V movement for a Balanced Budget Amendment, I forced myself to wade through the text of the proposed legislation. I didn't have to read all that far, I think it was Section 6, before the words I was reading made the time I had spent well worth my while.

              Among other things, it talks of restricting the power of Congress and the Executive to raise the debt limit, raise taxes or increase the annual budget, requiring specific actions by each in a specific time frame, under threat of impeachment! The legislation clearly spells out that certain actions, and failures to act, shall be impeachable offenses!

              And if that wasn't good enough, the next section said that even if Congress &amp;amp;amp; the White House toe the time line, whatever they propose still has to be ratified by the state legislatures... no more unilateral monetary monkey business.

              I guess the point I'm trying to make here is that almost all of the things you guys are saying "should" be and "needs" to be are some extremely good ideas, and are being given some very serious consideration by some very serious people, and NONE of them are in DC!

              As for putting off any remedy until there is a groundswell "from the mass citizenry" instead of the political class, I like that and I believe that will happen. We are a republic, not a democracy, so each of us, We the People, are represented by someone selected from our local legislative districts, tens of thousands of them all across the country. If and when both houses of the legislatures of 33 states file an application with Congress to call for a Convention of States, that, in my opinion, will have constituted the groundswell you set as a precondition. I'm afraid that any procedure or action outside of that structure would have us acting un- or extra-constitutionally ourselves.
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          • Posted by  $  Zenphamy 3 years, 6 months ago
            No. Particularly as it's functioning and procedures would be controlled by the very mandarin class meant to be controlled or limited or even eliminated. How's that supposed to work? It's more pablum.
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            • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
              He's wrong, of course, and you all knoiw it. His "pablum" is decades old, and pure defeatism, NOT Objectivism. He's a nihilist and wants to drag everyuone and everythinbg down to that level... Liberalism in its ugliest formn. See JBS & Eagle Forumn circa 1908. Im on the road, so cant elaborate. dont need to, reallty, but will ASAP.
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              • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
                he asks "hoqws that supposed to work"... as if aksing the quewstion means it wont. defaming all American legioslators is offenseive. Hes entitled to his opinion, of course, but opinion based on false assumptions is misguided. sorry for fat thumbs. L8r
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                • Posted by Rozar 3 years, 6 months ago
                  Don't you think he raises a good issue about too few people understanding the purpose and nature of rights? An article V convention is possibly needed to fix what's happening to the nation, but sending people who aren't ready for the task could create even bigger problems.
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                  • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
                    Who is HE to judge? I find it exceedingly offensive, not so much for me personally, because I know my own failings, but for the thousands of good, God-fearing, Constitutional Conservatives all across this nation who are known intimately at the precinct level by their constituents, who have been duly elected to serve those constituents, and who believe in their hearts that this country is worth fighting for and will commit their blood and treasure to do so. I am extremely offended, and unless you know empirically that he is right, you should be, too.
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                    • Posted by  $  Zenphamy 3 years, 6 months ago
                      Who am I (the name's Zenphamy by the way) to judge? I've already committed my blood and life to this country and shed the same. (Not by educated choice and not by free will) I even managed to take some blood and lives of the enemies of this country - (little teen-aged children living lives of savagery in jungles from the other side of the world who'd probably never seen a world map, much less able to find the mighty USA on such a map). Even managed to eliminate a couple of real enemies of this country, but that's a story for another venue.

                      I've sworn an oath, (something I take very seriously) to the Constitution and to defend it against all enemies, both foreign and DOMESTIC. That includes the un-learned and the willfully ignorant.

                      I returned to a normal life and have been a producer and man of the mind ever since, with no apologies, giving value for value and never asking or expecting anything from any other man. I've sought and achieved levels of education and understandings of reality and history few others have attained, and I've discovered the vast realms of learning still to be achieved.

                      As to those "good, God-fearing, Constitutional Conservatives", "duly elected", "who believe in their hearts that this country is worth fighting for and will commit their blood and treasure to do so.", I'll refer you to some founding father and a couple of other relative quotes:

                      "The greatest danger to American freedom is a government that ignores the Constitution." Thomas Jefferson Third President of the United States

                      and with emphasis "There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters. " Noah Webster American Lexicographer

                      and again with emphasis, "The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion." Edmund Burke British Statesman, 1784 (Not a founder, but a correct observation that applies particularly to a Concon)

                      and, "the ultimate authority ... resides in the people alone," (James Madison, author of the Bill of Rights, in Federalist Paper #46.)

                      and, “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.” -Abraham Lincoln (A little irony there)

                      and finally, “You will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.” John Quincy Adams

                      In my humble opinion, I seriously question the intent, honor, fidelity, and trustworthiness of all those "good, God-fearing, Constitutional Conservatives" you refer to. It strikes me that if they were what you imply they are, they'd already be visibly and vocally fighting against the current tyranny instead of making a very, very good living from participating in the ongoing degradation.







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                      • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
                        First, let me thank you for your service. That's more than just something I say to VN-era vets... I mean it. I turned 18 in '67, but college kept me stateside. As an Air Force brat, I grew up all over the world, waking up every morning to a father in uniform who taught me by example what it means to be a patriot, dedicated to the flag and service to country. Thank you, again.

                        In response to your last comment, regarding your suspicions as to the intent, honor, fidelity and trustworthiness of the nation's state-level legislators, all I can really speak from with any credibility is personal experience, although I could certainly site numerous other examples, if need be. Allow me to submit the following:

                        In December of last year, Citizens for Self-Governance, a grassroots organization headed up by Mark Meckler, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, held a convention at Mount Vernon that was attended by legislators from 32 states. At that assembly, the concept of a state-level movement for a Convention of States to propose amendments to the Constitution was introduced. As a result, many of those legislators returned to their home states and began the process of introducing legislation applying to Congress for just such a Convention of States.

                        In the first states to do so, the legislation received overwhelming support from conservatives, and virtually no support from liberals. That, in itself, is telling. These legislators are legal mechanics… tinkering with the fine print is what they do for a living… if somewhere deep down in the guts of the proposed legislation there were some secret “back door” that would have allowed a Soros-funded take-over of the movement, don’t you think that at least one Democrat somewhere among the several states would have noticed it and signed on to it? Well, none did.

                        In what is expected to be a 3 to 5 year process, 10 states succeeded in rushing the legislation to the floor during what was left of their 2014 legislative sessions. It passed both houses in 3 states, and is pending in 3 more. Here in Arizona, it passed easily in the house and was headed for passage in the senate, but fell victim to a pocket-veto by the senate president, who was barraged by age-old, fear-based arguments foisted upon him by the John Birch Society and Phyllis Schlafley’s Eagle Forum. It’s sponsors, co-sponsors and bi-cameral supporters have promised their constituents a renewed push in the next session, and have encouraged activists to embark on a program of EIM in the interim – Educate, Inform and Mobilize.

                        That’s the reason I am here.

                        A second follow-up conference of state legislators is being assembled as we speak, this one to be held in St. Louis, I believe. Attendance is expected to far exceed the first event in Mount Vernon. My point, I suppose, is there are in fact, despite your suspicions, many locally elected state legislators who see that our current, out-of-control, runaway federal government is an imminent danger to the republic. Their support of this movement is diametrically opposed to any alleged self-interest, any upwardly-mobile motivation, or any Washington, DC-centric inclinations that you have implied. It is those legislators to whom I refer when I speak of good, God-fearing, Constitutional Conservatives. I have met them, and they are us.
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                        • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
                          I like your sentiment, RimCountry, but the way that the Democrats will work with regard to Article V is that we will deploy a delay tactic at the last possible moment much like Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown. Then they will do the same thing the time after that. They trained as lawyers. Lawyers pull these sorts of amateurish stunts. We let them get away with it.
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                          • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
                            I totally understand what you're saying about their modus operandi, but as for the actual tactics that you warn against, I'm at a loss... can you give me an example, one that could actually derail a parliamentary process? Even persistent points of order can, after awhile, be simply ignored by the chair.
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                            • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
                              No, I can't think of a way that could derail a parliamentary process, but I am not very familiar with Roberts' rules of order, let alone all of the political sausagemaking process.
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                              • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
                                Neither can I, and neither can people a whole lot smarter than I am!

                                I happened to be on a conference call a month or so ago with a group who were trying to talk some sense into an intransigent local legislator who, unfortunately, had the power to move or kill our COS legislation last session. One of his assistants, thinking he had us over a barrel, suggested that a liberal delegate, denied his "right" to submit a left-leaning proposal for consideration, could simply shop around for a federal judge who would grant an injunction demanding that his "rights" as a delegate not be denied.

                                Not being a parliamentarian myself, but having attended a number of conventions, I suggested that once the chair got wind of the filing, he could simply adjourn the assembly indefinitely, placing the court in a position of having to rule on a mute point.

                                The silence was deafening.

                                Seriously, if there is a real threat to the process that's not covered in the several layers of safeguards already built into the legislation, I haven't run across it. Many people have said, as you just did, that it could happen, but no one has come up with a "how."
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                                • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
                                  The situation you suggested will happen. It is unclear whether such an objection would actually be successful. Shopping for courts would definitely happen. The CoS would go through several years of court battles up to SCOTUS, and then it would come down to which president was able to stack the court sufficiently.
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                                  • RimCountry replied 3 years, 6 months ago
                    • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
                      Besides, Rozar... isn't the answer to a deficit of education MORE education, not a continuation of ignorance?

                      If he truly believed what he was saying, he would be trumpeting the critical importance of bringing everyone up to speed on the POSSIBILITIES inherent in an Article V remedy, not the "dangers."

                      His argument is the argument of an enemy of a thoroughly constitutional process, and as such, the argument of an enemy of the Constitution.
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                      • Posted by  $  Zenphamy 3 years, 6 months ago
                        Rim; I'll continue to 'trumpet the critical importance,... on the possibilities inherent in an Article V remedy' INCLUDING all of the ""dangers.""
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                        • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
                          OK... that's fair... I would expect no less... I'm running a little behind on responding to your posts, so maybe as I make some progress in catching up here, I'll eventually get to those where you are trumpeting the positive possibilities.
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                • Posted by  $  Zenphamy 3 years, 6 months ago
                  Asking a question usually means that one would like an answer.

                  You're right in that I fully intend to defame, (really, I don't need to defame. They do that for themselves quite ably.) nearly every American legislator that I can think of. There are very, very few of the professional political class that deserve any form of respect from me or any others.
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                  • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
                    I was responding to your hostile rhetoric, and I suppose I became a bit hostile in return. Plus, I was on a droid.

                    But enough excuses. I think you already know the answer to your question. From your posts that I've read so far, it's clear that you know this issue well. What I don't know is why you are so adamantly opposed to it. Your stated reasons seem to be based not in cold logic or reason, of which you do have a very capable grasp, but in some brand of emotional idealism. I find that difficult to reconcile.

                    Let me ask... should I allow for the possibility that you may be, like I was a year or so ago, in a state of flux, of introspection and transition, that you have very long and closely held opinions on A5 that you are disinclined to let go for reasons of ideology, fealty or just good old stubbornness? I would understand and accept that. What I cannot accept is that you are uninformed or dense.

                    When you make a blatantly inaccurate statement, I know that you know what you're doing. I know that you know that our state legislators are victims, not the cause, of this nation's deepest ills. I know that you know that government closest to the people is the best government. I know that you know that no government is anarchy, and that anarchy is a wild-west free-for-all, worse than the worst government, because at the very least, even a tyrannical regime must have a tax base. And I know that you know that if we do nothing, or if we just keep doing what we've been doing, sending shiny new faces to DC hoping that they will change... themselves... if we continue with the status quo, we can only further devolve, and then the republic truly will be lost.

                    So to your point, the COS will be state legislators meeting in order to reign in federal legislators. Simple as that. That's how that's supposed to work.
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        • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
          He gives a nice speech... "And they won't do that until they begin to see themselves as individuals with natural rights derived from existence as a human being and the gains available to all from self determination."

          If he truly believed that, he would be doing everything he could to inform, rather than decry other's efforts to inform.

          This type of reasoning is EXACTLY the same reasoning that Liberals use in their attempt to keep Blacks "down on the plantation."

          Sorry, Massah... you is yestiddy... movin' on heah, boss.
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          • Posted by  $  Zenphamy 3 years, 6 months ago
            Rim: "If he truly believed that, he would be doing everything he could to inform, rather than decry other's efforts to inform."

            Some just can't or won't be informed. From the same comment that you quote from:

            "Very few of our population, including commenters on this site and Article V proponents, have an understanding of natural rights vs. the pablum they've been fed of 'constitutional rights', as an example. There are no such things as 'constitutional rights'. There are only natural rights and there are a very few listed in the Bill of Rights, to illustrate where government may not trample. In the belief that their rights come from the constitution, the population then thinks it's OK for the government/voters to limit those rights in certain circumstances. The Objectivist needs to offer explanations and illustrations of the differences and the individual gains available from living a life of Objectivism with a government truly limited to only protecting natural rights - all natural rights."

            But we soldier ahead.
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            • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
              I cannot disagree with a word. I might quibble as to whether or not your philosophy more closely aligns with Idealism than Objectivism, but that's splitting hairs... on your primary point, we agree.

              I think that we may both take some solace, though, in knowing that, although the Constitution itlself does limit its establishment of natural or God-given rights, it was preceded by the Declaration of Independence which left little doubt as to what the Founders had in mind.

              George Mason, my all time favorite delegate to the Convention of 1787 and primary advocate of Article V, echoed the influence of Locke when he penned Virginia's Declaration of Independence just a few months before signing the United States Declaration of Independence, enshrining in both documents the doctrine of Natural Law, the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God, and that the primary purpose for the institution of government is to secure those rights, not to restrict, abolish or destroy them.

              One proposal that I would like to see from an A5 COS would be an amendment to establish the doctrine of Exclusive Jurisdiction (as opposed to concurrent jurisdiction), whereas one level of government – either state or federal, but not both - would have “subject matter jurisdiction” over every topic, every issue, every problem, every question in the nation, eliminating overlapping, excessive and redundant regulation.

              One immediate example of such “subject matter” that is currently affected by concurrent jurisdiction would be education.

              Removing federal regulation from areas where states should have primary jurisdiction would allow school districts to adjust the curriculum according to the needs established at the local level, not in Washington or Cambridge.

              Once again, students would be taught such things as Natural Law from Day One... and we could let them find about Sally and her Two Mommies in their own time, on their own time... at home with their parents.
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  • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago in reply to this comment.
    I have been an optimist all my life. In fact that is what most people like about me outside the Gulch. In my own little world, things are still quite good. I have found a good place to shrug. However, we have lost the republic. Ben Franklin was so right - if we can keep it.
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    • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
      Optimism... an undying trait... possibly one reason the Left still survives... Example: “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” ~ Maya Angelou
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      • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
        I should have said that I am, while generally optimistic, being cured of that optimism by the reality of the Obama/Bush economy. There was reason for optimism through 1990. That is no longer true.
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        • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
          OK, just so I understand... you are saying now that you are no longer supportive of an Article V Convention of States, and having no reason to suspect that further argument, reason or factual data will change your position, I'll accept that. I must, however, beg your indulgence while I pursue the matter with you a bit further. A number of your ancillary comments have piqued my curiosity, and I simply must try to understand your reasoning.

          You initially said that you were generally in favor of A5, but added that you were criticized by others on this forum for taking that position. You didn't say how strident the criticism was, but I'm assuming that it must have been considerable, since you chose to mentioned it. Since that initial declaration of support, however, if I may use a sailing reference, your heading seems to have come about 180°... in less than 24 hours.

          You also indicated that you were an optimist up until, roughly, the first Clinton administration, and I can completely relate to that. I, too, suffered from an extended period of depression and shame for the subject matter that his behavior brought into polite conversation, and for the indignity that he, his family and his coterie brought to the Office of the Presidency and to the nation.

          And lastly you say that the Republic is lost, and that, in so many words, we are defeated, and that you have given up the fight. You’ve shrugged. And you seem to say it not in defiance, but in a rather matter-of-fact sort of way. Not as resignation, but as identification… this is me… I have shrugged. And you said it twice. Yet in what seems to be an assurance that you're not seeking sympathy, that you're not claiming "victimization" status, we're advised that you've feathered your nest quite well enough to survive no matter what.

          All well and good, I suppose, but I'm still left thoroughly confused. Just to help me understand, could you tell me what specific element it was about the Article V remedy that you most believed in… yesterday… and then tell me what the primary factor was in your sudden loss of faith in the Constitution. Was it remembering all that unbearable criticism? Was is those painful Clinton-era memories of soul-crushing pessimism? Or could it have been that you misspoke about your support for the Constitution and have decided that it’s far easier to settle for self-indulgent complacency?
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          • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
            The Clinton era frankly wasn't all that bad, as much as I didn't like him personally. Clinton at least was able to learn from his mistakes. The Convention of States idea has much merit, but we are badly outnumbered by looters, moochers, and crony crapitalists (The US Chamber of Commerce, for example). At best, 20% of the population shares our values.

            I have not lost faith in the Constitution. I have lost faith in Americans' ability to keep it. Ben Franklin gave us a republic if we could keep it. We haven't. Article V was meant as a final safeguard. It will not be enough. When someone makes a half-hearted attempt at financial restraint (Tim Penny's Penny Plan, Paul Ryan's proposed budget a few years ago, G.W. Bush's attempt to privatize Social Security), they are shot down immediately. Frankly, those remedies were relatively superficial. The last persons to make serious attempt at budget restraint were Newt Gingrich (now a pariah) and Ross Perot (now commonly portrayed as nuts). America needs open heart surgery. It is literally hemorrhaging debt. Money is a barometer of a society's virtue - Francisco d'Anconia. The dollar isn't worth the ink that is used to print it anymore.
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          • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
            The Convention of States idea is a good idea as Mark Levin is touting it. However, it won't work because thinking, productive, independent individuals have their votes cancelled out routinely by looters and moochers. My support for the Convention of States about a week ago was met with blistering criticism for some very valid reasons that I can't refute. Just because something is a great idea doesn't mean that it can be implemented. America is beyond gone. You can turn the lights out when you come to the same conclusion.

            Until just a very few years ago, America's ship could have been righted.
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            • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
              Two things:

              1) You still haven't told me what it was about A5 that initially garnered your support.

              2) As your reasons for NOT supporting A5, you offer "blistering criticism" and "very valid reasons" that you couldn't refute.

              I couldn't care less about the criticism... to quote this site's inamorata, "I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being. I am the warrant and the sanction." And the Tao said it even more succinctly: If you believe it, be it.

              But I am interested in those arguments you found so unassailable that you chose their logic over the wisdom of the Founders. If you don't actually remember them, a link to that thread will suffice. I'd be more than happy to engage your attackers in your defense, and in that of the future of this country.
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              • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
                I actually support all of Mark Levin's Liberty Amendments.

                As for some of the criticisms of the Article V process, I suggest you go back a couple of weeks to see

                http://www.galtsgulchonline.com/posts/77...

                where several of us discussed many of the same issues. UncommonSense's points, in particular, were hard to refute.
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                • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
                  Good morning, jbrenner…

                  I need to apologize for my hit &amp;amp; run style, at least for this week. As I mentioned, I’m still a working grunt, and my work (such as it is) requires me to leave the keyboard for several consecutive days every month and hit the road. This is one of those times. I will always respond, and I will try to do so as cordially and substantively as I can, but I may not always do so quite as punctually as I would were I posting back at home from the studio.

                  I followed your link and looked for the arguments from UncommonSense that were, in your words, hard to refute. What I found was an OP based on the factually flawed premise that what we (and Mark Levin) are talking about here is a “Con-Con,” or a Constitutional Convention. He obviously hasn’t read Levin, he hasn’t read (or paid any attention to) the remarks that we supporters of an Article V Convention of States (COS) have posted, or he is simply spreading misinformation deliberately in a very Uncommonsenseless way.

                  I did see, however, several other COMMON sense posts from other members of the conversation, such as…

                  Peggy, where, in her second post, she immediately corrected the OP’s incorrect use of the term “Con Con”

                  robertmbeard, where he correctly outlines the safeguards built into the process, answering all the fear-based arguments to the contrary. And in subsequent posts, he further goes on to concisely describe the Article V process, clearing up any possibility of confusion.

                  airfredd22, where he confirmed Robert’s interpretation of A5, once again sweeping away the haze over the difference between reality and the OP’s imaginary and constitutionally illegal fantasy.

                  And finally, dcwilcox, where he provided everyone with the actual numbers at play which make a “runaway convention” a logical and mathematical impossibility.

                  To be certain, all of the comments were not supportive of an Article V Convention of States.

                  There was rjim pulling manufactured history out of thin air, virtually declaring our current Constitution of the United States of America to be a fraud on its face by trotting out that 40-year old saw that the Convention of 1786 was a “runaway” and therefore invalid… I mean, come on… even the John Birch Society and Andy Schlafley don’t try to pull that one over on anyone anymore. The facts of the matter are that, whether or not each and every delegate to that assembly had an identically specific commission, their INTENT was the same, and the product from that convention clearly met the needs of the 13 states that sent them there, because it was LEGALLY RATIFIED by them all. End of story, end of BS.

                  Then I saw your post about a wishy-washy what-if hypothetical regarding a fantasy Vermont proposal that has absolutely NO procedural chance of ever becoming a possibility, at least not in a COS called for our stated purposes. Maybe in some Big Government COS being called for by commie-sympathizers somewhere over on the Left Bank, but not at the one we’re discussing here in the Heartland. That’s a totally different conversation going on in a totally different forum, possibly over on http://DemocraticUnderground.com.

                  And then I finally saw the vaunted defense by Uncommonsense… where he completely ignores all the rebuttal posts, everything that had been said, all the facts, all the details, and all the truth… where he continues to plod along with the absurd (and frankly boring by now) notion that Washington, D.C. “communists / socialists” (federal elected officials, I presume) are going to so muddle the effort, that everyone would just throw up their hands and give up on the whole idea… give up on the whole country… just fuhgeddaboudit and go home with their tail tucked between their legs… defeated… like he is.

                  I won’t even waste the bandwidth responding to that, and it’s noteworthy to me that no one from that point in the thread supported his hogwash.

                  Just so you know, jbrenner, those were not unassailable arguments that he offered… that was fear rooted in sheer ignorance of the facts. All you need to do to refute such “arguments” is go and examine the other side of the argument in order to arrive at an OBJECTIVE opinion of your own as to what the truth actually is… and as a member of a faculty at an institution of higher learning, I’m amazed that you should need to have this pointed out.

                  Please… seriously... do yourself (and your credibility) a favor and start here: http://conventionofstates.com/
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                  • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
                    I have read the Convention of States document before and read the Liberty Amendments. There are exactly 13 states as I quoted elsewhere just a few minutes ago that will forever oppose our goals. Several others are remote possibilities.

                    The arguments for the Convention of States are indeed excellent. When America has a system where our votes are not cancelled out by those without brains, then I will be once again interested.
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                    • Posted by  $  RimCountry 3 years, 6 months ago
                      All worthy arguments and attributes, you say, but you won't join the effort to educate? Then the blame lies with you, not with the solution. You should know that... and stop blaming the world for your cynicism. And I would respectfully ask that you examine your tacit approval and support of anyone who actively seeks to PREVENT a solution. They are neither a friend to you, nor to the nation.
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                      • Posted by  $  3 years, 6 months ago
                        I can live with that blame. I do educate not only in my areas of expertise, but on topics that are of interest to Gulchers. I can not make the blankouts learn. They refuse to learn. I teach at a university level because I do not have the patience for those who would not willing choose to trade value for value. The government school system is not for me. I have done my share of "street preaching" Gulch values and will continue to do so, but that does guarantee anyone will listen.
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