Guest Commentary – A New Constitutional Amendment?

guest-commentaryAnd a good Friday to everyone. I hope that everyone is settling in for the weekend and planning some time with family and friends, hopefully watching my Nittany Lions go into the Big House and whip some Wolverine behind. All that really needs to be said is WE ARE… PENN STATE! (and it is OUR chant, so suck it Marshall, you stole it for your movie). I apologize for the last couple of weeks and the fact that we had no guest commentary posted. There have been some submitted. Last Friday I simply wasn’t able to get on and post one as I was traveling. The previous Friday I was just hanging out with Mrs. Weapon, and she didn’t feel like giving me up for the night. For those that have sent me articles, I promise I am looking over them and will get back to you soon. All the ones sent to me thus far are going to be used. They all look good. Tonight we have an article submitted by a reader of the site who has thus far not jumped into the fray of conversation. He sent me this proposal and I found it interesting, so….

I decided that I would put it out there for everyone to see and evaluate. Tonight’s guest commentary is from Justin Ingalls. Justin has been working on this Amendment promotion for the past several years. He first contacted me a while ago via the contact the author link above. When he did, he offered the following thoughts:

constitution_quill_penDear Sir:

While writing about Obama’s health care speech did you not think, “Mandatory is wrong!” The powers of the states or federal government do not extend so far. Even the Social Security and Medicare programs should be made legal by adding Constitutional Amendments for that purpose. We have long been descending into tyranny and we need to stop that corruption.

Try buying stocks and bonds without signing away your rights to the protection of the Seventh Amendment. You cannot. Those unconstitutional but US Supreme Court supported mandatory arbitration clauses are spreading into more areas daily, including the job market. Here, as with most usurpations of American Constitutional rights, states or the federal government pass clearly unconstitutional laws and the US Supreme Court upholds them.

With their New London, Connecticut land grab decision that court told every American, “You have no rights politicians and business cannot combine and destroy.” That is fascism.

There is a long list of similar wrongs that I will not note here. The essence of fascism is the political leadership combining with business to destroy every right of the people.

Please note, both political parties are dirty and their top leadership has betrayed us. This condition is getting worse over time, not better.

Penn State Nittany LionsUpon reading that comment from Justin, I was certainly interested in hearing more. (and for the record Justin, I absolutely had a big problem with “mandatory”) He has struck at one of the very problems in America today, as we have been discussing here at SUFA for the last 11 months: The slow usurping of our rights, those same rights guaranteed in the Constitution. The government machine has worked for 200 years to roll back the natural rights that they have no right to take. Our federal government, with help from the states, has slowly stripped from us what is rightfully ours. This must stop. And that is the message that the Tea Party movements, along with many other voices out there, are trying to get across (despite the attempts to paint them as racist movements or anti-whichever party movements).

WE ARE PENN STATEJustin has written the following draft for a Constitutional Amendment. It is interesting to ponder. I have given Justin fair warning. I feel like submitting this to the readers here is like throwing someone to the wolves. This is one of the most intelligent gathering of readers I have ever seen on a blog. And that means that Justin’s ideas are going to receive intense scrutiny and honest feedback. I believe that Justin is prepared for that. So read away, and then offer your thoughts. Is this a good amendment draft, or are there things that should be added or clarified? Does it fit with the principles of freedom and liberty that we hold so dear here at SUFA? Put your big brains to work and give Justin some honest feedback. I didn’t get a chance to email him and tell him it was going up tonight until tonight, so he may not be in right away.

Council of Citizens Amendment
by Justin Ingalls

The power of veto over laws, rules, regulations, judgments and practices executed under the authority of any governmental body in these United States and the authority of recommendation for removal from office of any official shall be vested in a Council of Citizens.

Section 1.

a) Any law, rule, regulation, judgment or practice by any legislature, executive, judiciary or public official ruled to be in violation of the Constitution of the United States by a majority of the members of the Council of Citizens in session will immediately be void and of no effect.

b) All rulings by the Supreme Court of the United States shall automatically be reviewed by the Council of Citizens. No judgment of the Council of Citizens is reviewable by any other body and may be overturned only by subsequent decision of the Council or by Amendment to the US Constitution. All political jurisdictions in the United States of America and its dependencies shall be equally bound by council decisions.

Section 2.

a) The Council of Citizens shall have the power to recommend the removal from public office any person who, in their estimation, attempts to usurp individual rights guaranteed by the US Constitution.

b) A Council recommendation for removal will immediately relieve that person – elected, appointed or hired, with no official excepted – of their authority until an election may be held in which the voters may vote to remove or retain such person. A removal vote will permanently disqualify such person from holding public office or employ. The voting will be on a scale (national, state or regional) appropriate to the office.

c) In the event of a vote failing a majority for removal the official under suspension shall immediately be reinstated to his post and shall be immune from a further recommendation for removal for a period of two years.

d) Any person recommended for removal from office will retain all emoluments of his office until such time as he is removed by public vote.

e) If, after the two year immunity an official is again recommended for removal by a majority vote of the Council of Citizens such official shall be forever disqualified from holding public office or employ.

Section 3.

a) Three citizens from each state who have attained the age of twenty-eight years shall be selected by lottery for membership to the Council of Citizens.

b) The period of membership to the Council of Citizens shall be three years. Each person selected by lottery to the Council will have a period of one year before being seated to study the preparatory course for which he will have to pass a test of one hundred questions with a positive percentage of at least seventy to be eligible. Two re-tests will be allowed each person.

c) The preparatory course and test shall be in the English language and include selected writings of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and the members of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and shall provide a history of the American colonial period and of the development of social-political theory as the founders knew it (a specific, non-alterable course will be developed for this purpose).

d) Each person selected by lottery for the Council of Citizens shall receive ten thousand dollars which is to be paid in monthly installments during the year preceding Council membership and is in compensation for time required in study of the Council of Citizens Course.

e) Upon being seated on the Council each member will be compensated in the amount of five-hundred-thousand dollars per year for the three years of membership and which will be paid in monthly installments.

f) Annual adjustment for inflation of compensation for both study and membership periods will be made.

Section 4.

Congress shall have power to promulgate laws for the enforcement of the provisions of this Amendment and for punishing violations of it but the Council of Citizens, by a majority vote, may produce regulations for enforcement which then will make nul and void all other statutes of enforcement.

So there you have it. I look forward to seeing what everyone has to say about this!

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Comments

  1. Council of Citizens … meet the new boss, same as the old boss. While this might be something “new” (talk about change we can believe in), how long would that “new” last? A council made up of citizens is as corruptible as the government we now have.

    and shall provide a history of the American colonial period and of the development of social-political theory as the founders knew it (a specific, non-alterable course will be developed for this purpose).

    The selection process and the test are a bit frightening. Who makes the questions? Somebody with a bias toward the right or left? Why just 70% to pass? Why not 95% And that salary $500,000 large … hold your horses there, Mr. CEO. Why not $50,000 or whatever the national average is?

    Dare I say it … too much centralized power in the hands of very few. If you could address some of the issues above, I might be able to live with it, but it seems to me we’re reinventing the wheel with this council of citizens. Also, once you sit this council, they are no longer citizens (especially with that salary). $500,000 might seem like an income that would preclude corruption, but when corporate execs get to walk away with $20+ million after bankrupting their companies, $500,000 becomes tip money.

  2. The end result of this thesis and almost all forms of government is eventually an oligarchy.

    We are working our way towards one now.

  3. Posting for comments and will bbl.
    Sorry USW, I grew up in Ohio but my husband and step-son both graduated from U of M, go GO BLUE!
    ;-

  4. At first read, I like it. Several thoughts against it were addressed as I kept reading. Random selection to keep any party from achieving a majority. A high salary to attract people who would normally shun any political position, and keep them from being tempted from bribery. Testing to show they are competent.

    I think it was posted this week that there are over 26,000 words used by the government regulating cabbage growing. That should be unconstitutional just because of the unreasonable complexity.

    One rock I will throw, how do we keep them from being influenced by lobbyist or special interest groups? I think they will have to be barred from contacting the CoC.

    I also think allowing the writings of the founding fathers to be an influence in cases where the constitution is not clear should be included.

    Overall, sounds like a move in the right direction. And its much like a proposal in “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”.

    • I also think allowing the writings of the founding fathers to be an influence in cases where the constitution is not clear should be included.

      A) How does one clearly define the intent of those writings?

      B) How do those writings (assuming you can form agreement on intent) apply 200+ years down the road?

      Founding Father rhetoric is too much like morality; there are always going to be different interpretations (what the Supreme Court is there for).

      • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

        Charlie,

        It’s not that hard. Get a 18th century dictionary and have at it. When the courts have a problem with simple stuff like “The right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” then there is something wrong with the courts, not the words in the Constitution. That 2nd amendment’s wording is fun, it proves the point. Once I actually looked up the 18th century meaning of “regulated” and found it meant “trained” but that would go against the gun ban crowd, so I guess that it can’t be talked about. Same problem with the so called “establishment” clause.

        It is amazing how simple the constitution is. As my Junior and Senior year American History teacher said in high school some 45 years ago, “It says what it means and means what it says”. I don’t think that they would let Brother Patrick within a hundred yards of a classroom today.

        Founding father rhetoric is exactly like morality because, I believe they understood that there had to be norms in a society. Those norms are morality. You can disagree with them, try to change them if you like but cannot ignore them. Pull the morality out of the society and it collapses, after some very nasty things happen first.

        Not sure whether this is appropriate here or not on this subject but heard a very interesting sermon in church last summer. The priest was talking about the number of ex-Catholics he runs into. They usually come up to him and start out by saying “I used to be a Catholic”. His rejoinder was “And what sin was it that you didn’t want to give up?” Not PC, probably hurtful but unfortunately true at least among my ex-Catholic friends who won’t let anyone tell them how to live their lives.

        • You might like my re-writing of the Second Amendment:

          “Because a Very Effective, Armed, Population is Essential in order for America to stay Free and safe, the Absolute Right of Everyone to Own and to Carry any type of Weapon they choose, in any way they wish, anywhere they see fit, cannot be regulated, licensed, or even questioned in the smallest way!”

        • Oh, I posted that before I mentioned that I looked up the definitions of each and every word in the original Second Amendment and that is where my re-wording came from.

        • Founding father rhetoric is exactly like morality because, I believe they understood that there had to be norms in a society. Those norms are morality. You can disagree with them, try to change them if you like but cannot ignore them. Pull the morality out of the society and it collapses, after some very nasty things happen first.

          So the declaration of Independence (more founding father rhetoric) “all men are created equal” didn’t need a reinterpretation in 1865? It was okay to have slaves? Doesn’t seem very moral to me.

          Laws will ALWAYS require reinterpretation. There’s no way around it.

          • SK Trynosky says:

            Interesting point but dinner calls. I will get back to you later or tomorrow.

          • Charlie”

            Yes, morality has to do with norms, as in those that are determined to be right and wrong or good and evil.

            The constitution is predicated on one truth. Govt is inherently evil and thus the only way to prevent it from getting out of hand is to identify specific powers delegated to the govt.

            That is what the Constitution did, until left wing judges started imposing their views of “social progress” and “societal norms” into the “interpretations”.

            For a constitution to work it must be changed in only one manner. By the people who grant the power to the govt. Its called the “amendment process”. But you see that wouldn’t have worked would it? So instead lets find a way to call it a “living document” subject to change based on the whims of those who place themselves above us all, the only ones with the intellect needed to interpret the new societies morality or norm.

            Try reading the document and the hundreds of documents written arguing for and against its ratification. The meaning is quite plain. And the courts had very little trouble understanding it until, Gee Whiz, the FDR administration came along.

            • JAC:

              Did you read Mark Levin’s book? He did a pretty good job of explaining how we got to this point.

              • Birdman:

                I did read his book. As I recall he did a good job but did leave out a few things.

                There were many compromises made to get it through and most of those created the big holes.

                Hamilton was the bad guy to the greatest extent. A traditional mercantilist he wanted govt to yield the power to assure a “great and powerful” nation. Unfortunately, Jefferson was not around to raise hell and his friend Madison was not able to stand against the full force of the mercantilists.

            • The constitution is predicated on one truth. Govt is inherently evil and thus the only way to prevent it from getting out of hand is to identify specific powers delegated to the govt.

              Let me get this straight. A gov’t decided itself was evil? Could you bring any more bias to this?

              That is what the Constitution did, until left wing judges started imposing their views of “social progress” and “societal norms” into the “interpretations”.

              So, you don’t agree with those left wing judges, I take it. They don’t agree with your political philosophy so therefore they are wrong.

              I see it the other way; you couldn’t be more wrong.

              But that’s what makes life (and drama) interesting. If everybody always agreed, life would be pretty boring.

              • Charlie Stella’

                Tell you what Charlie. You read the constitution and the Articles of Confederation and then read the Federalist and Anti-federalist papers.

                Then we’ll have this discussion about whether the document required any serioius interpretation, let alone “reinterpretation”.

          • v. Holland says:

            You really need to realize that morality doesn’t have to be based on religion, it simply means to follow a basic guideline of right and wrong-if you look at the 10 commandments and take out anything that says to worship God, the rest is common sense and a good way to live. I personally believe that the rest of the 10 commandments are the best way to go but God gives you free will and doesn’t demand that you believe so I don’t demand that you believe I only hope that you do but the decision is yours. I believe in separation of church and state. I just don’t believe that our traditions of religion should be thrown out because someone is bothered by a cross or Christmas display.

            As far as slavery-you can jump on the founding fathers as much as you want but they included in the Constitution a way to make slavery unlawful. It’s not a matter of interpretation it’s a matter of using what the founders gave us to change what is bad, not changing the fundamentals of the Constitution.

            • I am an atheist and am not offended by any display of any religion as long as no one forces me to pretend to believe in their imaginary friends.

              It is Constitutionally forbidden for “tax money” to be spent promoting or attacking any religion, and for good reason. What government promotes today, it can destroy tomorrow if it fills a need.

              • v. Holland says:

                I commend you on not being offended by our traditional ways to celebrate religious symbols and holidays, since it is tradition in this country but can’t help but wonder why you feel it is necessary to belittle my faith, when I am not forcing it on you by referring to God as my imaginary friend. No offense meant just wonder why you do this.

              • Why do you assume I am only talking about yours?

                You are an atheist concerning the thousands of other “gods” that have been worshiped or feared throughout history, I just believe in one less “god” than you do.

                Belief in your “god” has been used to justify a lot of harm to me personally. I am not ridiculing you for your beliefs; no more than I ridicule those who believe in leprechauns. But I won’t dignify such beliefs by using reverent tones when defending the rights of the believers to believe such things.

            • Who said morality was based on religion? I said people have different interpretations of what is moral. You (many of you here) seem to feel if I don’t agree with your definition of what is moral, I’m wrong. I still don’t see how you connect the dots on morality with some of your political beliefs. It’s just a disagreement (for me), but it seems to upset you more.

              As to slavery … bottom line, they left in place something to change it … but it took a helacious war and nearly 100 years (although in same states (so much for states rights) it took even longer before all men were created equal. So long as you use the founding fathers and what they wrote to support your position, I’ll use them to argue against it.

            • “We can only judge of what is proper and right by our standard of right and wrong, which differs widely from the whites, if I have been correctly informed. The whites may do bad all their lives, and then, if they are sorry for it when about to die, all Is well! But with us it is different: we must continue throughout our lives to do what we conceive to be good. If we have corn and meat, and know of a family that have none, we divide with them. If we have more blankets than sufficient, and others have not enough, we must give to them that want. But I will presently explain our customs, and the manner we live.” Chief Black Hawk from his Autobiography

          • SK Trynosky Sr says:

            Dinner was good, spent some quality free time with son # 2 over a six pack of Presidente beer (highly recommended)and am back.

            Slavery is, unfortunately, the normal human condition and officially authorized by the instruction manuals that came with the three great religions. Note, I don’t say it is moral or right, but in 6,000 years or so of recorded human history it has been outlawed for less than 200. As places like the middle east and Africa sink back into savagery, it is on the upswing. Who is to say what will be 100 or 200 years from now? What? Going to tell me it can’t happen here or now? Well, neither could the holocaust, Chairman Mao’s Great Leap Forward or for that matter Rwanda.

            Actually, time for another Heinlein reference, “Farnham’s Freehold”.

            But, back to your point. The Civil War settled slavery, not the courts. As a matter of fact, the courts had spoken on slavery with decisions like Dred Scott and I bet, if the issue of secession had been brought before an 1861 court they would have found it constitutional. Again, not right, but constitutional. The founders, to create a country compromised on slavery, that is more or less an accepted fact. I think the anti slavery group understood what would have to happen to end it but hoped for the best.

            • The Civil War settled slavery, not the courts.

              Except it took civil lights legislation and court decisions a fully 100 years after the war to actually attain an equal society.

              Your point about an 1861 court finding for slavery makes my point (I think). Laws always need to be interpreted and reinterpreted to fit the times.

              I think Religion has gone the same route (to its credit). However incremental it may be, the Church has been forced to let up on some of its rigidity (especially the catholic church) to maintain a following. Times change and so must our interpretation of laws (both religious and secular).

              • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

                Charlie,

                What I like about this site is that we can argue and disagree and learn.

                I would actually say that the Catholic Church has made some huge mistakes which have cost it dearly. Back in Sophomore year in college, at a Catholic University I had a theology prof (dropout priest) who made the same arguments about the church needing to change (this was 1966) to remain relevant. Not particularly disagreeing with him that some change was necessary, I asked what I thought to be a simple question. If, according to his beliefs, it took the church some 1,930 years to screw it up, could not the church then invest 50 or 60 years in unscrewing it? my point was, all the Vatican 2 changes were going to pull the rug out from under a lot of people. Rather than change everything overnight, how about a change or two every year? Thus, the changes would be so gradual and over generations. people would hardly know they were happening and would not feel cut loose from the church they were born into. Well, he never did answer me. He was one of those “What do we want?, Change!, When do we want it?, Now!” guys. the end result from my perspective as a so so Catholic was the destruction of generations of Catholics. In my own family, people who thought the Church was very important in the early 60’s went to completely dropping out by the ’70’s.

                I have a theory about all this stuff and it revolves around the need for constancy in our lives. There are certain things that we consider important and want to be immutable. If they change (as in the Church) and change beyond recognition of the average layman, that person will drop out. I often thought the loss of so many priests, nuns and brothers was because, in effect, they were told, what they believed in didn’t matter anymore.

                I see the same in politics and government. When what you believed is derided to the point that your pride in country and hope for the future is brought into question, there is a damn good possibility that you too will drop out or will take up with an extremist group.

                Without the Civil War, slavery would have not been ended. Again, I have no argument with legislation changing anything or Constitutional amendments for that matter. My argument remains with an unelected judiciary that can ignore or misinterpret words like “People”.

    • >>I think it was posted this week that there are over 26,000 words used by the government regulating cabbage growing. That should be unconstitutional just because of the unreasonable complexity.

      Difficult to legislate common sense~

    • There
      Ain’t
      No
      Such
      Thing
      As
      A
      Free
      Lunch

      TANSTAAFL

      From Robert A. Heinlein – “The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress”

      I would recommend that as something to read when one is considering “Fundamentally changing the United States”.

      • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

        Absolutely!

        He was the best damn thinker/ political philosopher around. For years I have been trying to blow holes in the society he set up in “Starship Troopers” and have been unsuccessful. The stupid movie did a tremendous amount of damage to his concept but that’s dying down as the movie gets older and rightfully forgotten.

        I guess the bottom line is whether or not you think the framers intended for ALL citizens to be able to vote. I come down on the side that they didn’t, that they wanted some commitment to the society by voters and officeholders.

        Hey Flag, if you are out there, what do you think?

  5. USW:

    I went to the University of Pittsburgh (Johnstown, PA) and Dan Marino was our quarterback when I was in college. Penn State kicked our behind in football. Pitt versus Penn State used to be a big rivalry but I have to admit that Penn State has a better football program.

    I think the U.S. Constitution is dead and has been for some time. I fear any ammendment, such as the above, would only lead to other forms of tyranny. Furthermore, any such ammendment would never be passed. The genie is out of the bottle and cannot be put back in. The current U.S. system of government will eventually collapse. The debt, spending, and future obligations such as Social Security will bring it all down.

  6. The best way to “fix” the Constitution (as if that were possible or desirable) would be to go back to the Bill of Rights and scratch out everything after “Congress shall make no law..”.

  7. v. Holland says:

    It’s an interesting proposal and I like the idea of regular citizens having more power but in the end I just feel its another layer of bureauchacy. With a little change in focus it might be a better way to have a Federal Government-perhaps using the same system to pick a few elected officials from each State to serve as a part of the Congress for a limited period of time. Then sending them back to their state.

  8. “Council of Citizens”

    Why does that raise suspicions in my mind?

    I have said it before and still say it – re-form the working branches and separate them by removing political parties from the fray, and then make the Senate appointed from the States and the presidency a Presiding council of five to be elected from five different regions of this country.

    Adding another branch to the mess that we have now will only turn the muddy waters into hardened clay. We need to purify the water, not make it worse.

    • v. Holland says:

      This sounds like a pretty good idea-one question -Senate appointed by whom?

      • Originally the Senators were appointed by their respective state legislators. That was part of the sovereignty of the individual states – aka states rights.

        In my opinion that gives control of the senate to the individual states and they were originally paid by their respective states and that is what I advocate.

        • It has always amazed me that the states ever turned that power over to the people.

          I wouldn’t trust our state legislature to appoint a dog catcher, let alone federal representatives.

          No way do I want the states in charge of appointments, they are no better than what we have in Washington, and we would just end up with a bigger maze of political wheeling and dealing, further removed from the people than ever.

  9. v. Holland says:

    “Council of Citizens”

    Why does that raise suspicions in my mind?”

    I suspect it might be all the recent talk about the power of the Mullah’s in Iran.

  10. I thought this was interesting.

    Hope all is having a good Saturday.

    Judy

    The Democrats’ Culture of Corruption
    by Roger Hedgecock
    10/23/2009

    Democrats took control of the House in 2006 and the White House in 2008 by successfully painting the Republican majority as a “Culture of Corruption.”

    Will voters now hold Democrats to the same standard as an even worse culture of corruption unfolds among Democrats?

    To kick off the Culture of Corruption campaign against the Republicans, on January 18, 2006, Nancy Pelosi gathered Democratic House leaders for a press conference in the Thomas Jefferson building of the Library of Congress to declare “Independence from special interests” and “an end to the Republican culture of corruption.”

    Pelosi charged that the Republican House majority had “turned Congress into an auction house–for sale to the highest bidder”, vowed to end “the K Street project” and to lead the effort “to turn the most closed, corrupt Congress in history into the most open and honest Congress in history.”

    Pelosi went on to specifically vow that she would “end ‘dead of night’ special interest provisions that turn bills into special interest giveaways” and that “lawmakers must have the opportunity to read every bill before they vote on it. It’s common sense.”

    She further vowed to “prohibit cronyism on key appointments by making sure any individual appointed to a position has proven credentials” and demanded “strong (ethics) enforcement, with an active and functioning Ethics Committee.”

    Pelosi concluded the press conference flatly promising “With this agenda, Democrats will create the most open and honest government in history, and put power back where it belongs — in the hands of all the people”.

    Nearly four years later, power flows to more lobbyists than ever, thousand-page plus bills are not made available for anyone to read before they’re voted on and special interest amendments festoon these bills like ornaments on the White House Christmas tree. More than 30 “czars” (too many of them radical leftists) are appointed with no “proven credentials”.

    The President shakes down Wall Street for campaign contributions as a “thank you” present (as the New York Times put it) for the big bailouts. Candidate Obama repeatedly said, “I’m the only candidate who doesn’t take money from corporate PACs and lobbyists,” but he really never bought the Pelosi “corruption” rhetoric.

    On October 1, 2007, candidate Obama spent three hours in person and in a video conference in the Miami offices of Greenberg Traurig with employees and partners of this billion dollar law and lobbying firm once associated with Jack Abramoff. Obama raised $125,000 from the firm that year.

    Charlie Rangel claims ignorance on taxes owed on rental income, even as he writes tax law for the House. On Pelosi’s orders, the Ethics Committee ignores Charlie’s lapses and refuses to hold hearings or investigate. Charlie keeps his chairmanship. He does not resign as Tom DeLay did.

    “Turbo Tax” Tim Geithner claims ignorance on taxes not paid he previously acknowledged in writing he would pay. Tim becomes the Treasury Secretary.

    The revolving door of executives from “too big to fail” companies into the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve and then back out to jobs and big bonuses in the firms they “regulated” stinks of corruption.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid holds days of closed door meetings with two other Democrat Senators and Rahm Emanuel from the White House to secretly write the health “reform” bill. A “dead of night” amendment at Reid’s request immunizes only his state of Nevada from increased costs associated with the “reform” bill’s expansion of Medicaid.

    “The Most Honest and Open Government” sounded good, but calling Reid, Pelosi, and Obama’s actual practices the most open and honest is a whole lot like saying that Tammany Hall represented good government for the citizens of the City of New York!

    To be sure the GOP has had its problems with corruption; but for every Jack Abramoff there is a Jack Murtha. For Every Duke Cunningham, there is a William Jefferson (D-La.) with a freezer full of cold hard cash. Where’s the promised clean, honest, and open government ?

    For Nancy Pelosi’s 2006 assertion to ring true one would have to see the pool of lobbying and pay-for-play money dry up. The number of registered lobbyists has increased since Obama’s inauguration to over 18,000 and campaign contributions to both parties are coming in like there is no recession.

    It is not for nothing that Washington, D.C. has a 6% unemployment rate and the Washington Times regards the Beltway as the new ‘it’ town when it comes to being young, rich and beautiful. These are not the best and brightest, they are the bought and paid for — and they are buying and selling you, on behalf of the Pelosi, Rangel, Geithner, Reid, Obama regime.

    Lest I be labeled a naked partisan, let me give some credit to Obama, who was correct when he said in 2006, “”Freedom today is in jeopardy it is being threatened by corruption. Corruption is not a new problem…it is a human problem.” Obama was right. But when he uttered those words he was speaking to students at the University of Nairobi about their country, Kenya. Sadly those words now apply to Obama’s America.

    It is a shame the President and the Democrat congressional leadership has come up so short for those who voted to see hope and change but who instead have experienced being short changed by the new culture of corruption.

    Will American voters hold the Democrats accountable in 2010 ? Will the Republicans offer an alternative or show any sign that they have learned their lesson?

  11. This would just add another layer of complexity. We need more simplicity.

    We need to revamp the constitution, eliminating the commerce and general welfare clauses among other things to reduce and decentralize government power. The bill of rights should apply only to the federal government, as was originally intended; too much opportunity for mischief when the feds have this power over the states. States should select senators any way they decide. Same for presidential electors. We need a little more on the supreme court, providing a way to let states override the supremes’ constitutional decisions.

    We also need term limits for all federal elected officials; for president, 2 4-year terms; house members should be limited to 3 or 4 2-year terms; senators should be limited to 2 4-year terms. Most people will be so corrupt after 8 years in DC that they will be worthless anyhow, so we probably need to provide generous retirement benefits, maybe including mandatory confinement to an institution at government expense (just joking about the institutional confinement).

  12. More smoke and mirrors in healthcare debate
    Pete Chagnon – OneNewsNow – 10/23/2009 6:40:00 AMBookmark and Share

    Healthcare costA Christian medical group says Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is trying to buy off physicians with Medicare payments.

    In an attempt to garner more physician support for healthcare reform, Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada) is promising legislation that would halt cuts in Medicare reimbursements. The Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA) says the move highlights how “morally bankrupt this politicization of medicine is becoming.”

    Dr. Donald Thompson with the CMDA considers Reid’s ploy nothing but a façade.

    Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)”Senator Reid’s effort to buy off doctors by saying that he’s going to freeze [the decline of] those payments will not work,” says Thompson. “I don’t have confidence that Congress can create a sustainable Medicare system the way it’s currently organized.”

    Thompson’s recommendation for Medicare? “It needs to be dismantled and rebuilt so that doctors are reimbursed for keeping people healthy rather than seeing a lot of people,” he suggests.

    Thompson explains that currently he is only receiving 65-70 percent reimbursement from Medicare, and that a cost-saving “gimmick” that is being considered in the Senate would lower those payments further. He contends that under those proposed cost-saving measures, he would only be reimbursed 40-50 percent — which would not cover his overhead or the salaries for his employees.

    Dr. David Stevens, CEO of the CMDA, says if physicians take Senator Reid’s offer, “such a sellout would be the watershed event that historians would point to as marking the de-professionalization of medicine, when physicians traded convictions for cash.”

  13. Bottom Line says:

    Justin – “…Mandatory is wrong!”

    Yup. That’s what I think. We shouldn’t be forced/coersed to buy health insurance. If they pass a law that says we HAVE to buy health insurance, we shouldn’t obey it. Stupid laws SHOULD be disobeyed.

    Civil disobediance + popular use of jury nullification = stupid laws rendered useless and unenforced.

    You can write a law, pass a law, enforce a law, and try someone with that law…But you can’t convict if juries practice nullification. Case in point: Alchohol Prohibition and Jim Crow laws.

    USW – “Is this a good amendment draft, or are there things that should be added or clarified?”

    Council of Citizens Amendment. hmmm… I’m not really sure what to think of it. I do like the idealism behind it though. I like the idea of being able to fire representatives easier. It may make them straighten up a little.

  14. This may be the last, civil act to take before revolution ultimately takes root. I think it’s a good idea, but I am wondering if the line in the sand has already been drawn. If it’s revolution, then I suggest everyone read a new, underground thriller just out (A Time To Stand by Oliver) cause it’s about a small town in America that stands up to federal tyranny & ends up starting the 2nd American Revolution. It’s insightful cause it’s so perceptive of todays events. Just read it & see what’s in store for us over the nxt 3 yrs.
    http://www.booksbyoliver.com

  15. Off Topic but I think Nubian was on to something. I remember her being hammered pretty hard by some for her beliefs about martial law and swine flu. The good news is that the article doesn’t mention anything about the FEMA camps…but we’re still early on in our “national emergency”.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091024/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_obama_swine_flu

    • SK Trynosky Sr says:

      The big question is when this whole Swine Flu thing probably collapses, will the big boys in the media, and Saturday Night Live do the same number on Obama as they did on “clueless” Gerald Ford who suffered from: 1, a timely lack of vaccine and 2, no epidemic. They hung him out to dry on that one. Wouldn’t it be nice if Chevy Chase remembered, started making fun of the big O and revived his career again.

      Nice dream but I won’t hold my breath.

      • I gave up on SNL a long time ago. If they went back to be equal opportunity offenders with a clever sense of humor, I might start watching again.

        What I want to know why is the govenment making such a big deal about swine flu? It doesn’t seem to be any worse than regular flu, so what’s up? Is it really that serious or is there something else going on here? I have a hard time taking it as a serious threat. Look at all the BS scares over the years: saccharine, caffine, mad cow, plastics, processed foods, living near power lines, cell phones, global cooling, global warming, climate doing what climate does, etc. Why are they declaring this a national emergency? What are they gearing up for? The whole thing smells…

        • I saw a comment that 20% of the kids have already had it. If the number is that high and only 100 kids (1000 total) have died from it, then it is not a big deal as the seasonal flu has a higher death toll. Unless it mutates into something more deadly, why not just let it run its course? If the 20% figure is correct, it will be over in a couple of months.

        • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

          It is two things, the government’s desire to look like they are doing something important and a legitimate, if overblown concern for Public Health.

          It would be interesting to see what the CDC had to say before the politicians got hold of it.

          Unfortunately, you are right regarding the other scares. Back in the Ford Administration, when I had only one small kid, we took the swine flu thing pretty seriously. It’s failure to materialize as well as the problems getting the vaccine manufactured led to it being politicized. In that best tradition laid out by Saul Alinsky, those things were used to poke fun, marginalize and make Jerry Ford look like an idiot. The two results of that were the election of one James Earl Carter, formerly the least qualified man to serve as POTUS and the development of a cynicism in the American people, sort of like the boy who cried wolf too much.

          Unfortunately, when some day, something like the Spanish Influenza of 1917 & 1918 does reappear, we will all probably die from it since we won’t believe the government. Hey, maybe that’s what they want anyway.

          • SK

            Interesting study recently released is saying that the deaths in 1918 was primarily due to the over-use of Aspirin.

            They noted that most deaths was due to a secondary cause – pneumonia and Reye’s- which took hold after the apparent infliction of the flu was gone.

            This occurs today if a person over-uses aspirin to help alleviate the flu symptoms – causing salicylate poisoning.

            Further study is continuing – but that is an interesting hypothesis, not?

            • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

              Yes but,

              We would have to study the mortality rates in areas where aspirin was not readily available and compare them to areas where it was. Since the US Army keeps records on almost everything (and for a long time). I bet that you could probably find how often it was prescribed in 1917-18 when approximately 60,000 troops died of the flu.

              The second thing that would argue against it as a primary cause is the fact that the dangers of Rhys and the link to aspirin only became apparent in the 1970’s. (One of my college friends was involved in this research). There have been numerous flu outbreaks over the years and aspirins were handed out by moms like they were chocolates. I would think that the results would have been similar during these outbreaks.

              There is also the issue which continues to be explored that the virus mutated between 1917 and 1918 and became much more deadly.

              That’s what I like about science, it is always the variables that cannot be excluded until they have been included in the study. Would that we handled politics and government the same way.

  16. Not to get off the subject, but I took my oath of enlistment on the Constitution and it should be read and interpreted as near as possible to the original. These activist judges in Supreme Court at well as the other courts, make any decision they want and realize, not much the citizens can do. As a veteran of WW2, I demand the Constitution stay as written, and I think the Oathkeepers will help in this. When in a service, as Marine Corps, Navy, Army etc. we like to feel that the oath we took meant something. I think Mr. Rowe will agree with me. Obama I do not like he is leading this nation on the slippery slope of destruction and if he is not stopped by the courts or something else, we are doomed. God Bless America.

  17. Stand Up For America
    USWeapon

    You were right, insightful and considered comments, questions and warnings were forthcoming from your blog participants concerning my Council Of Citizens amendment proposal.

    Several commentators went to the heart of the matter immediately (this heart has many ventricles) and got the multitude of pages I have read over time denoting the discovery of freedom’s founding principles shuffling through my mind. I hope this is the beginning of something grand.

    Perhaps I can best reply to some of the most important questions and comments by describing the thought process used in designing my amendment proposal.

    Conventional politics cannot be expected to undo the tyranny it has so far constructed. When the Bill of Rights was ratified there were no powerful, monolithic political parties as there have been for over a century. Today there are two thoroughly corrupt political parties that have joined with business interests to overthrow the very meaning of “unalienable rights.” Those basic rights no longer exist as rights. There are honest, even idealistic people who run for high office but if they are a threat to rock the boat their respective political party leadership will work to defeat them in the primary election. If an honest person is elected he will bend to the will of the leadership or become irrelevant. If he remains true to his oath of office nothing he wishes to accomplish, no legislation he proposes will go anywhere. He will be less use to society than a hamburger flipper in a fast food restaurant.

    Clearly, electoral politics cannot be looked to for a resolution to tyrannical government. That is why the members of the Council Of Citizens would be chosen by lottery. This method also solves the “term limit” problem. Few, if any, people would find themselves lottery winners a second time. The US Constitution cannot protect us as it is. The Founding Fathers did not foresee such institutionalized political corruption as we are saddled with now. The “right” to vote, like most other “rights,” has become meaningless.

    There was a very specific reason for my suggestion of a salary of $500,000 per year of membership to the Council. The reasons for the course of study are two, one working with the generous salary to accomplish an end of surmounting importance. A majority of Americans are sadly lacking in knowledge concerning the constitution, fundamental rights, fundamental duties, even how many branches make up the federal government. Basic rights would not be so easily lost if most people were well versed in all aspects of government and their own rightful heritage of freedoms. Many people would study the course (and therefore become well versed in their history and rights) in order to be prepared in the event of being a lottery winner. The high salary would get everyone’s interest. As you see, the course of study has a double purpose.

    “Another path to tyranny” is what some people think my plan would provide. Perhaps they did not notice one very important point, the Council Of Citizens would have no lawmaking ability. They could protect the US Constitution through veto (we would get our Seventh Amendment rights back in a flash, I expect) and they could make oath breaking officials sweat, but the only rules they could impose would be those necessary to carry out their very limited duties. They would be us, not some power absorbing political octopus as the political parties are, or a small elitist band with philosophies foreign to us and betraying everything ever known to us as the US Supreme Court often seems to be.

    I believe a million words could be written describing the extent to which a Council Of Citizens Amendment could transform America, regain and protect our rights, transform the attitudes and understanding of the public, replace discouragement with hope and enthusiasm for the future and generally go a long way toward making things right. I have just scratched the surface.

    How to avoid Council members becoming corrupt must be addressed, but if the fundamentals are put in place in the beginning the problem can be kept minute. The short terms of service and lack of party politics in the Council makes the problem small. Paid lobbyists should not be allowed to contact Council members. Bill Gates should have the same access to the members as you or I or any other citizen. Just as all rights derive from the citizens – some we lend to government through our Constitution – business can have no right each individual does not have. Therefore, no single person, even a Bill Gates, should have any more input into how the US Constitution is interpreted than any other. But, the Council membership must be well versed in our history, the Common Law, the Colonial Period, how freedoms developed and very much more. This is the same knowledge every citizen should have and this proposal would help inform them.

    Please, tell me how it can be made better. Even a widespread national debate on this reform would have positive effects.

    Justin Ingalls

    • Our Constitution was to prevent what we see happening today. It should have stopped the progressive movement laws, entitlements, etc. but it did not. As Just a Citizen pointed out, the big turning point came with FDR who threatened to stack the Supreme Court to get his programs approved. The Supreme Court caved in. I don’t care what is put in writing man will find a way to circumvent it if they really want to just like was done for the Constitution.

      For over 100 years the progressives have been chipping away and expanding government. We all grew up under big government. We don’t know what it’s like living without big government. We all pay our Social Security and other taxes. We all accept the fact that Welfare exists, food stamps and many other programs. A large portion of the population has no understanding whatsoever as to the meaning of the Constitution and believes that all these government programs are in accordance with the Constitution. They don’t want the elimination of Social Security or any other program and will fight against the adoption of any amendment such as yours. We are debating nationalized health care today and it is unconstitutional yet stands a good chance of passing no matter what the people think about it.

      I understand the intent of your proposal and like the fact that you are thinking about ways to get out of the mess that we are in. However, you are dealing with a large segment of the population that doesn’t want to follow the Constitution or think that all these social programs are Constitutional. There will never be enough people to support passing such an amendment.

      Assuming, for the sake of argument, that such an amendment was passed. There would be chaos should the Council decide that Social Security, Welfare, Health Care, etc. is unconstitutional. I would not want to be on the Council for fear of my life. You would need protection 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

      I don’t have a solution to the problem we face today and I congratulate you for trying to come up with one. I support VDLG but it is a concept only at this point in time with no specifics.

    • Justin

      I also appreciate the attempt to solve the problem as you see it.

      But why does the “problem” exist in the first place?

      Let’s consider some facts –

      I can argue that Jefferson, Franklin, Payne et al were among the most brilliant combination of men in one place at one point in history.

      And they could not get it right

      Government still grew, became tyrannical and continues to do so

      Even with your solution, your Council is within the realm of government and hence, you solution would still suffer this contradiction:

      “A restraint on government, selectively enforced by the government upon itself.”

      Simplified, can a man arrest himself?
      And, would a man arrest himself?

      Obviously, no.

      Further, you said the Citizens have no power to legislate. Very nice.

      But, today neither does the President of the United States – but obviously that hasn’t stopped any of them from using Executive Orders to accomplish precisely the same thing.

      Your “Citizens” would figure out some way to do precisely the same thing.

      I admire everyone who is thinking about how to solve the problem of evil – however, you cannot find the solution to evil by merely burdening evil with more paperwork

      The day the People no longer agree with using evil as a solution to their problems – the solution to the abuse by governments will appear precisely at the same time.

      • Bottom Line says:

        BF – “And they could not get it right

        Government still grew, became tyrannical and continues to do so”

        BL’s Correction: And WE THE PEOPLE failed them.

        Government still grew, became tyrannical and continues to do so, BECAUSE WE ALLOW IT.

        They gave us the tools. We didn’t use them. Sigh—–

        • What tool?

          You mean “voting”!?!

          😆

          As I’ve said – you depend on the government to enforce rules the government creates upon itself.

          When you understand this, you will understand the futility of Constitutions and Limited Government

          • Bottom Line says:

            civil disobediance, voting, boycott power, nullification, the right to bitch about it, the right to Grizzly limbs(bear arms lol)

            • Birdman

              civil disobediance, voting, boycott power, nullification, the right to bitch about it, the right to Grizzly limbs(bear arms lol

              Perhaps – however

              As long as the centralized military power of government – exercised by the police and the army – see the actions of government is legitimate, no amount of disobedience, boycott, etc. will work.

              This is why I urge that the change must occur at the core premise of government -assumed right to initiate violence. When all society holds the same values, only then does all society support them.

    • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

      All in all I like it. The likelihood of it ever happening I sincerely doubt. It would be sometime after the “troubles” that Robert Heinlein said were coming. I don’t like the fact you propose it to go beyond the limits of the Federal Government. States and municipalities should still have the right to screw up.

      Another thing. Three years is good and I think would limit the possibility of corruption but there should be either a significant pension or some type of outright prohibition on former council members becoming, let’s say, corporate executives. No matter how hard you try, there will be lobbying. If the Pentagon teaches us anything, it teaches us that.

      Wasn’t it Bill Buckley who said that he would rather be governed by the first hundred people in the phone book rather than the US Senate?

  18. The weakness of the constitution was in the checks and balances. But give them credit, it held up for close to one hundred years, and has slowly been turned into a monster, accountable to no one.

    Bottom Line said “Civil disobedience + popular use of jury nullification = stupid laws rendered useless and unenforced.”
    The problem with jury nullification is any landmark case would be appealed up to whom? So the fix is still in.

    Your proposal has real merit, a balance to all three branches, with no power to create laws, only the power to nullify laws that are not allowed by the constitution. This is the role the Supreme Court was supposed to play, and your plan might run into the same problem after 100 years or so.

    I like to think a constitutional convention would put most of our government abuses to rest, and return the freedom and power to the people. How about that as a second amendment, a convention every 25 or 50 years to review and re-ratify the constitution and all amendments.

    The simple truth for all who oppose your ideal, creating an agency that’s sole purpose is to remove laws from the books would
    pay for itself tenfold. It would force smaller, simpler government on the D.C. elites. It may not be a perfect plan, but it’s a damn sight better than what is happening today.

    Oh, and whats everyone’s favorite definition of insanity?
    Keep doing the same thing, expecting different results.
    So you naysayers at least owe Justin credit for offering something different.

  19. Charlie – as first poster, got it right, with Edward as second poster, confirming it exactly.

    This simply creates the “Secretariat of the Soviet Republic” – a group of “Citizens” (horrors of the French Revolutionary) determining the real power to use overwhelming government force.

    And again, simply another ‘layer’ to try to mitigate the abuses of a legislature elected to mitigate the abuse of the executive selected by an Electoral college used to mitigate the abuse of Republics, created to mitigate the abuse of Democracy, create to mitigate the abuse of government which is the use of evil to solve problems.

    But until the People figure it out – that if you use evil as your premise, it will infect all your solutions with evil no matter how grand the solution maybe – the People will continue to suffer under their very trust in evil that they have, themselves, have created.

    • Blac Flag:

      This is off topic. My sister mailed me Wall Street Insiders September/October 2009 edition. It is a very long article with numerous graphs and charts. In this article, they predict that deflation is coming and not inflation. The article recommends holding onto all of your cash and taking all your cash out of the bank, money market, 401(k) and any other account and keeping it at home. They also recommend getting out of all debt any way that you can. The prediction is that it will get far worse and the depression is only beginning. Those with cash on hand will be able to clean up and purchase homes and other products cheaply. This article predicts that gold will collapse. Oil is rising but they predict it will also collapse.

      Your thoughts???

      • Whenever you have someone proclaim “deflation” you must ask them “How will this happen?”

        Ask them “What is inflation? What is deflation?”

        If they are Keynesian – they will say Inflation – too much money chasing too little goods

        and Deflation – too many goods, not enough money.

        Their whole premise is Supply side – that is, the problem is with the ‘goods’ and not with the ‘money’.

        They like this, because it appears it is easy to solve.

        But….
        It takes a lot of work, risk and investment to produce goods.

        It takes a decimal point and numbers on a keyboard to produce “money”.

        So here is the Keynesian problem – they divorce themselves from economic theory when they talk about “money” – but cannot offer an economic theory that explains the reality of the economy without money being an economic good.

        So, let’s look at the definition of Inflation – it is, simply, an increase in the money supply.

        Deflation – the opposite – a decrease in the money supply.

        In this economy, what is the one single entity that controls the increase and decrease of the money supply?

        Answer: Government via the FED.

        Until your source can explain where the money is ‘disappearing’ out of the economy, they cannot explain their position.

        Government is NOT decreasing its creation of money – in fact, it is accelerating! 1.4 trillion DEFICIT (not just the budget) is not a “decrease” in the money supply.

        This administration has promised to keep this level of expenditures at this, or if necessary, higher rate, estimated to double the national debt in 3 years.

        I do not know what planet they are on to claim this is “deflationary”.

        The only way they can offer a deflationary spiral is for there to be vastly more production in excess of this explosion of money created (remember, their definition of deflation is “too many goods, not enough money”)

        So, if they accept the fact of the deficit – they must be claiming that the USA will produce trillions upon trillions of new products to outrun the money creation.

        Do you see that happening with unemployment at 20%, record bankruptcies, record home foreclosures?

        Do we see China lining up to buy US treasuries? Anyone lining up?

        The answer is NO-to China and YES-to “anyone”. That anyone is the FED.

        Sorry for getting complicated – but the FED is buying Treasuries, and swapping these MARKETABLE securities with banks for their UNMARKETABLE assets – bad debt.

        This has recapitalized the banks.

        But instead of loaning out this money, the banks have put it into their excessive reserves at the FED.

        (check this straight up line in 2008 in this graph)

        Here is the source of the current deflation – the banks pulling up the “Welcome Mat” on loans.

        They are not loaning out – they are calling loans back.

        This causes a deflationary spike right now.

        And on top of that, the massive shutdown of the economy that has left companies with massive unsaleable inventory. They are dumping. More goods.

        Therefore, right now we have two forces at play – banks that will not lend (less money in the economy) and massive goods entering the economy (clearance of inventory) – less money, chasing more goods = Keynesian definition of deflation.

        The problem is not so much his definition – but his solution, based on his definition. To fix deflation, Keynes said “Print more money”

        Big problem. The government is printing money as fast as it can ALREADY. Keynes, based on his explanation of deflation – demands even a faster rate of printing.

        But here is the scenario.

        The government cannot force the banks to lend.

        But they can penalize the banks for their excessive reserves. Today, the FED pay 0.17% interest – yep, 1/10 of a percent. The banks would rather earn that then risk the market willing to pay 29% (credit cards).

        The FED can reverse that and charge a % fee on excess reserves, and the banks will start lending – end of deflation and more money (all that ‘new’ capital traded for ‘toxic’ assets)

        The government, as already pointed out, is planning to double the national debt – currently $14 trillion. More money.

        More money + more money + China/World selling treasury = one helluva lot of more money.

        Inflation is coming and it is coming hard.

        And final argument.

        Inflation benefits debtors at the expense of creditors. It takes less ‘real’ money to repay the currency as borrowed.

        Borrow a dollar, repay with a dollar – which has been inflated away to be worth only “50c” – the debtor gets to use the full dollar and only repay with 50c worth of assets in the future.

        Deflation favors creditors at the expense of debtors. They get more value back then they lent.

        I ask you “Who is the largest debtor on Earth?”

        Then I ask “What currency is it in?”

        Then I ask “Do you think they want to repay with currency MORE VALUABLE or LESS VALUABLE?”

        Do not bet against the US government. They want to inflate the debt away. Therefore, inflation is COMING.

        As far as their recommendations:

        I do not trust banks.
        Neither do they it seems.

        I do not trust government, who is holding your 401(k).
        Neither do they it seems.

        Variable debt like Credit Cards, which will go up at the rate of inflation will destroy you.
        They think so too.

        People no longer can afford their homes. They believe that too.

        Whether gold or oil goes up or down – they are commodities – market forces apply. I cannot guarantee any price.

        However, inflation will suggest that people dump currency for valuable real property – and everyone needs oil, and gold is the traditional protection from inflation.

        You if think I am right, you’ll also know where I think both of these commodities will go.

        • The author claims that the Government is borrowing money and not printing it. The author claims that this removes money from the market.

          The author claims that you may not be able to get your money out of the bank despite the FDIC. The FDIC is broke and needs a bailout according to the article.

          I tend to believe that inflation is coming and not deflation.

        • Bottom Line says:

          Gold doesn’t taste good, and it’s hell on the digestive system. It has virtually no nutritional value either. Lead is a better alternative for bullets. You can’t use gold to heat your home. It won’t fertilize a garden, or grow into fruit.

        • Bottom Line says:

          Dollars aren’t any good either. But you CAN heat your home with them.

  20. Bottom Line says:

    Rosa parks is a hero. She said “NO”. We now have a better society. What if everyone thought like her?

    When they(535) ram it down our throats. We should puke it back up in their faces. Reject it as a unified populace and we get exactly what we demand. We are in control. Period.

    Organize + Vote + Boycott + nullify + disobey + overwhelm and challenge = REAL change of the people, for the people, by the people.

  21. HEY BF

    How was the poker game Friday?

    Hope you’re going good today.

    Judy

  22. Hi All

    A friend sent me this, and I thought I would share with you and see what you all think about this.

    WND Exclusive BORN IN THE USA?
    Judge tosses eligibility case against Congress
    ‘We’ve lost a skirmish. Now on with the war in the higher courts!’
    Posted: October 21, 2009
    11:55 pm Eastern

    By Bob Unruh
    © 2009 WorldNetDaily

    A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Charles F. Kerchner Jr. and others against Congress, alleging members of that institution failed in their constitutionally specified responsibility to evaluate Barack Obama and make sure of his eligibility to occupy the Oval Office.

    Attorney Mario Apuzzo had filed the action in January on behalf of Kerchner, Lowell T. Patterson, Darrell James Lenormand and Donald H. Nelson Jr. Named as defendants were Barack Hussein Obama II, the U.S., Congress, the Senate, House of Representatives and former Vice President Dick Cheney along with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

    The case focuses on the alleged failure of Congress to follow the Constitution. That document, the lawsuit states, “provides that Congress must fully qualify the candidate ‘elected’ by the Electoral College Electors.”

    The Constitution provides, the lawsuit says, “If the president-elect shall have failed to qualify, then the vice president elect shall act as president until a president shall have qualified.”

    “There existed significant public doubt and grievances from plaintiffs and other concerned Americans regarding Obama’s eligibility to be president and defendants had the sworn duty to protect and preserve the Constitution and specifically under the 20th Amendment, Section 3, a Constitutional obligation to confirm whether Obama, once the electors elected him, was qualified,” the case explained.

    On his blog, Apuzzo confirmed Judge Jerome Simandle in New Jersey dismissed the case.

    See the movie Obama does not want you to see: Own the DVD that probes this unprecedented presidential eligibility mystery!

    “Judge Simandle ruled that the plaintiffs do not have Article III standing and that therefore the court does not have subject matter jurisdiction,” he explained. “The court found that the plaintiffs failed to show that they suffered an ‘injury in fact.’ It added that plaintiffs’ alleged injury is ‘only a generally available grievance about government’ and ‘is one they share with all United States citizens.’ Finally, it said that plaintiffs’ ‘motivations do not alter the nature of the injury alleged,” Apuzzo wrote.

    “By way of footnote, the court said that even if the plaintiffs could show that the court had Article III standing, they would not be able to show that the court should exercise jurisdiction because prudential standing concerns would prevent it from doing so,” he added. “Finally, the court again in a footnote said that it cannot take jurisdiction of the issue of whether Obama is a ‘natural born citizen’ and whether Congress has acted constitutionally in its confirmation of Obama for president because the matter is a ‘political question’ which needs to be resolved by Congress.”

    The court suggested the “remedy” is “voting at the polls,” he said.

    But he noted there was no ruling that Obama’s Hawaiian birth was proven, or that it was proven Obama is a “natural born” citizen.”

    “Given the nature of the court’s decision, the American people unfortunately still do not know whether Obama is constitutionally qualified to be president and commander in chief,” he said.

    A appeal will be filed with the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, he said.

    Kerchner said in a statement released to The Post & Email blog it’s a Catch-22.

    “Congress told the people it was up to the courts. Now the federal court system which is supposed to be the guardian of the Constitution tells the We the People it is up to the Congress. And even worse, the federal court in my case just told the people that as long as the Congress and the executive branch usurp and ignore the Constitution in such a way as to injure all citizens and everyone in this nation equally, it is quite OK with them,” he said.

    “What’s next, for Obama or the DNC-led Congress to usurp the 1st Amendment and 2nd Amendment rights of We the People? and then the courts will tell us that we were all injured equally so we have no standing to redress it and we lose our freedom of speech and our right to bear arms?” he said.

    “We’ve lost a skirmish or battle. Now on with the war in the higher courts!” he said.

    WND had reported only days earlier when Kerchner publicly argued that the courts have an obligation to make a decision on Obama’s eligibility.

    He wrote, “The federal courts and judges are committing treason to the Constitution by not taking jurisdiction and getting to the merits in the various cases before them regarding the Article II eligibility clause question for Obama.”

    He said his basis for such a statement is the opinion of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall, who wrote in an 1821 case, Cohens vs. Virginia:

    “It is most true that this court will not take jurisdiction if it should not: but it is equally true, that it must take jurisdiction if it should. The judiciary cannot, as the legislature may, avoid a measure because it approaches the confines of the constitution. We cannot pass it by because it is doubtful. With whatever doubts, with whatever difficulties, a case may be attended, we must decide it, if it be brought before us. We have no more right to decline the exercise of jurisdiction which is given, than to usurp that which is not given. The one or the other would be treason to the constitution. Questions may occur which we would gladly avoid; but we cannot avoid them. All we can do is, to exercise our best judgment, and conscientiously to perform our duty. In doing this, on the present occasion, we find this tribunal invested with appellate jurisdiction in all cases arising under the constitution and laws of the United States. We find no exception to this grant, and we cannot insert one.”

    Kerchner added, “The … judges in the … cases should simply read the words of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Marshall from the past and take jurisdiction of the constitutional question of the Article II eligibility clause in the Constitution and proceed to a fact finding hearing and trial on the merits.

    WND has reported on dozens of legal challenges to Obama’s status as a “natural born citizen.” The Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, states, “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President.”

    Some of the lawsuits question whether he was actually born in Hawaii, as he insists. If he was born out of the country, Obama’s American mother, the suits contend, was too young at the time of his birth to confer American citizenship to her son under the law at the time.

    Other challenges have focused on Obama’s citizenship through his father, a Kenyan subject to the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom at the time of his birth, thus making him a dual citizen. The cases contend the framers of the Constitution excluded dual citizens from qualifying as natural born.

    Further, others question his citizenship by virtue of his attendance in Indonesian schools during his childhood and question on what passport did he travel to Pakistan three decades ago.

    Adding fuel to the fire is Obama’s persistent refusal to release documents that could provide answers and the appointment of myriad lawyers to defend against all requests for his documentation. While his supporters cite an online version of a “Certification of Live Birth” from Hawaii as his birth verification, critics point out such documents actually were issued for children not born in the state.

    The ultimate questions remain unaddressed to date: Is Obama a natural born citizen, and, if so, why hasn’t documentation been provided? And, of course, if he is not, what does it mean to the 2008 election or the U.S. Constitution if it is revealed that there has been a violation?

    WND has reported on another case, being heard by U.S. District Judge David Carter in California. He released a ruling noting the government’s motion to dismiss was being taken “under submission.” But he also approved a final calendar for the case to be proceeding in his court.

    Under the schedule ordered by the judge the final pretrial conference is scheduled Jan. 11, 2010, while the jury trial is Jan. 26, 2010.

    WND also has reported that among the documentation not yet available for Obama includes his kindergarten records, Punahou school records, Occidental College records, Columbia University
    records, Columbia thesis, Harvard Law School records, Harvard Law Review articles, scholarly articles from the University of Chicago, passport, medical records, files from his years as an Illinois state senator, his Illinois State Bar Association records, any baptism records and his adoption records.

    Because of the dearth of information about Obama’s eligibility, WND founder Joseph Farah has launched a campaign to raise contributions to post billboards asking a simple question: “Where’s the birth certificate?”

    “Where’s The Birth Certificate?” billboard at the Mandalay Bay resort on the Las Vegas Strip

    The campaign followed a petition that has collected more than 475,000 signatures demanding proof of his eligibility, the availability of yard signs raising the question and the production of permanent, detachable magnetic bumper stickers asking the question.

    The “certification of live birth” posted online and widely touted as “Obama’s birth certificate” does not in any way prove he was born in Hawaii, since the same “short-form” document is easily obtainable for children not born in Hawaii. The true “long-form” birth certificate – which includes information such as the name of the birth hospital and attending physician – is the only document that can prove Obama was born in Hawaii, but to date he has not permitted its release for public or press scrutiny.

    Oddly, though congressional hearings were held to determine whether Sen. John McCain was constitutionally eligible to be president as a “natural born citizen,” no controlling legal authority ever sought to verify Obama’s claim to a Hawaiian birth.

  23. And while he’s doddiling along, more of our troops are dying. He better do something about this, and do something soon. Enough is enough already.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/10/25/republicans-clock-ticking-afghanistan-troop-decision/

  24. Hey All! Catching up reading. Finally got that darned hot tub cleaned and the garden trashed out this weekend. Now we’re into a Glenmorangie and reading all the comments 😉

    • Willo:

      At this moment I an “coveting” the Glenmorangie.

      Heres to all the underdogs. Cinncinati, Boise State and TCU

      Happy Sunday
      JAC

      • You are too funny JAC. my step-kid lives in Boise and I have a few Boise State Tee-shirts!
        And Happy Sunday everyone!

  25. I thought he was in prison and already serving his time.

    Bernie Madoff Associate Found Dead in Florida Pool

    Sunday, October 25, 2009

    PALM BEACH, Fla. — Palm Beach police said Sunday that Jeffry Picower, a Florida philanthropist and a friend of Bernard Madoff for decades, was found dead in his pool. He was 67.

    Picower was the former New York lawyer and accountant alleged to have extracted billions of dollars from the Bernard Madoff investment scheme.

    In a statement, the Palm Beach Police Department said Picower was found at the bottom of his Palm Beach home’s pool Sunday afternoon by his wife and could not be revived by Palm Beach fire rescue workers. Picower was transported to Good Samaritan Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at about 1:30 p.m.

    The police department said it is conducting an investigation into Picower’s death, as is standard operating procedure in any drowning. The residence has been secured and detectives remain on the scene at this time.

    An operator at Good Samaritan said the hospital wouldn’t be making any statements.

    In the initial aftermath of the Madoff scandal in December 2008, the foundation Picower and his wife started in 1989 said it would have to cease grant-making and would be forced to close. The Picower Foundation had given millions to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Human Rights First and the New York Public Library. It also funded diabetes research at Harvard Medical School. The foundation, whose assets were managed by Madoff, said in its 2007 tax return its investment portfolio was valued at nearly $1 billion.

    But Picower was later sued by the trustee recovering Bernard Madoff’s assets for jilted investors. Irving Picard labeled the Florida philanthropist as the biggest beneficiary of Madoff’s multibillion-dollar fraud and demanded he return more than $7 billion in bogus profits.

    In court filings, Picard’s lawyers have said Picower’s claims that he was a victim “ring hollow” since Picower withdrew more of other investors’ money than anyone else during three decades of investing with Madoff and should have noticed signs of fraud.

    According to the lawyers, Picower’s accounts were “riddled with blatant and obvious fraud,” and he should have recognized that since he was a sophisticated investor.

    Picower had asked that the lawsuit be dismissed, saying it is unsupported by the facts. Messages left for Picower’s lawyer, William Zabel, and his wife’s attorney, Marcy Harris, weren’t immediately returned Sunday.

    Madoff is serving a 150-year prison sentence after he admitted losing billions of dollars for thousands of clients over a half-century career that saw him rise to be a Nasdaq chairman.

  26. Justin Ingalls and everyone as well:

    If you can muster enought votes to “Amend the Constitution” then why add an extra layer that does little but add to the power of government? You have a “citizen council”. It is called the House of Representatives.

    If you have the votes, just fix the holes. Simply limit the authority of the Supreme Court. Simply limit the power of the congress to provide for the national defense and to ratify treaties.

    Simply limit the extent of treaties and the nature of taxes to that needed to fund said national defense.

    Eliminate and Restrict powers, decentralize the govt. Clarify the lines between federal, state and local.

    If you have the votes to amend, you will have won the war. But if you do not prepare now for that day, then you will fail to win the liberty given by our founders. You will have won the war but lost your freedom, once again.

    It is time to re-exam your core beliefs. To find the philosophical system that supports freedom and liberty you claim, and then to use it to defend those values. It is time to decide whether you really want freedom because it will require that you establish and then adhere to a strict set of moral and ethical standards. Standards that are free of contradictions with the nature of the liberty you claim to seek. But most of all you must commit to using “Reason” to guide your life. You must embrace reality and reject whim as the standard by which you will act in your pursuit of a flourishing life on this world.

    The time has come. You must decide. Do you pick liberty or do you pick slavery? Freedom is a binary concept. You have it or you don’t. You can not pick “some freedom”. If you have learned anything on this site over these past few months it is that once you give government enough power to reduce “just some of your freedom” it will eventually TAKE what you did not give willingly.

    The time has come.

    You must decide.

    Choose wisely.

    To live free you must be free.
    To be free you must live free.

    May your minds always be active.
    JAC

  27. An other off topic post but…

    Seems more people are thinking the unthinkable…

    http://www.andiebrownlow.com/index.html

    Drums of War
    We’re in the middle of America’s second Civil War. The battle lines are drawn down political lines: Left versus Right. Instead of firing cannons at each other, Conservative media, (consisting largely of radio talk shows, internet blogs /news and Fox News) fight the Leftist Goliath of nearly all major television networks, newswires and state-controlled propaganda. The rhetoric of the Left has taken a hard-line into thinly-veiled Marxism (Communism) and the Right is responding with a grassroots movement resulting in millions protesting in the streets all over the country.

    There is a rise of communist & totalitarian regimes that are forming alliances against capitalist nations, led by Russia. America’s civil war is on the same front, with a Marxist revolution ensuing here in America. That revolution is led by the Democrat party against our republic and its capitalist economy.

    America’s second Civil War is a microcosm of the global surge in communism. This word-wide movement of leftist totalitarianism is causing the chasm between Left and Right in the US to widen to the point of irreconcilable differences. One ideology has to concede; the days of bipartisanship are gone. How the movement plays out in America will affect the success of the movement around the world.

    There are 3 major battles that must be won by Conservatives if they are to defeat the forces of a Marxist revolution here in America. It’s imperative that Conservatives make Congress impotent and ineffectual until they can be voted out. The final battle will be won at the ballot boxes in the coming Congressional and Presidential elections, but right now the crucial battles are:

    Cap and Trade (Currently known as the Waxman-Markey Bill.)
    Universal Health Care (Baucus Bill or possibly the Healthy Americans Act / Wyden-Bennett)
    Card Check (H.R. 1401 and S. 560).
    Before I get into each battle, and why it’s important, let me explain a little about the Marxist revolution here in America. Americans must know their enemy and it’s not the traditional Democrats, blacks or even your garden-variety liberal. The enemies of America are the leftists who are pushing for Marxism (a class warfare form of Communism). It has infested the left-wing of our political system, some ethnic churches and our universities. It has perverted politics, religion and education against capitalism, and quite frankly whites. Marxism causes people to believe capitalism and certain people who have succeeded through capitalism are evil and unfair.

    Our economy is being attacked using the Cloward-Piven Strategy of toppling capitalism in America by overwhelming the national budget with entitlement obligations. A massive campaign for “social justice” sought to enroll as many people into as many public-trough programs as possible, starting 50 years ago. This campaign infiltrated and has taken over the Democrat party. We would do well now to heed the warning of Ezra Taft Benson who recounts Kruschev’s comments on America accepting Communism: (start at 2:45 on audio link)

    [Your grandchildren will live under communism…] You Americans are so gullible; no you won’t accept communism out-right, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you wake up and find you already have communism.

    We won’t have to fight you. We’ll so weaken your economy until you fall like over-ripe fruit into our hands.

    — Nikita Khrushchev, as told to Ezra Taft Benson

    Students for a Democratic Society, founded in 1959, spurred two factions of destructive, anti-American activities. One was the Weather Underground, a domestic terrorist group, and the other formed a few years later to begin ACORN, the vehicle for the Cloward-Piven strategy of economic collapse.

    Elements from both branches of the radical SDS group are resurfacing in the Obama Administration. Scrubbed clean by the Tides Foundation and years of morphing into other groups the bread-crumb trail of Marxism is undeniable.

    The Obama Administration is fraught with Chicago corruption, Marxists, radicals and anti-capitalists. Members of Congress speak glowingly of the Cuban economic system and are sympathetic to Marxist influences on America. (Some examples are here, here and here.) Republicans in both houses of Congress are compromising their party’s values to “go along to get along” and can’t be trusted to stand on principle.

    To stop the economic collapse, we must stop the Marxists who have hijacked the Democrat party. There are 3 very specific topics for which our economic collapse will be ensured and all are in the form of bills being considered by Congress.

    Cap and Trade, Card Check and Universal Healthcare are nearly irreversible behemoths that will sink our economy. It’s no accident that such massive, unnecessary legislation has been introduced, right now.

    Cap and Trade
    Americans can’t indulge the massive, across the board, tax increase of Cap and Trade. It has no defined results other than to curb energy consumption for the sake of an increasingly frail argument of global warming. According to the Heritage Foundation, taxes from Cap and Trade will raise household electric bills by hundreds of dollars per month. This is an attack on the purse of every American household for a cause that was sketchy, even by the very man who posed the theory of greenhouse gases leading to global warming.

    Universal Healthcare
    We do not have the money for trillion dollar deficits for universal healthcare, and frankly we don’t need it. (A simpler, free-market solution is: Tort Reform and enabling sales of insurance plans across state lines.)
    Over 80% of Americans with health care are happy with their coverage.

    Up to 30 million of the 46 million un-insured in America are illegal aliens who already receive care in emergency rooms.
    Propaganda for health care reform is being formulated and reformulated after the nation continues to reject socialized health care. They won’t take “No” for an answer.
    Town hall meetings nationwide conveyed an overwhelming sentiment of, “No universal health care,” from constituents.
    Around one million Americans marched on the Capitol in DC on September 12, 2009. Their message of, “Stop Out-of-Control Spending,” elicited a White House response from David Axelrod that, “…they were wrong.”
    Card Check
    Card Check will give the unions the power to finally kill capitalism, taking small businesses with it. Our small businesses can’t take the “eat the rich” mentality of the Left’s cure-all policy of raising taxes. Couple higher taxes with over-head from labor union “negotiations” and you have the death-knell for small businesses trying to survive in an economic downturn.

    70% of our jobs in America come from small businesses. Labor unions are not being used to help employees; they are being used as a sledge hammer to the knees of capitalism.

    Card check takes away the secret ballot vote for unionizing a business. Thug tactics are used to intimidate not only employers, but employees. Unions are big business for the Left in campaign contributions. They’re also pretty handy at town hall meetings when grandpa decides to get a little uppity.

    Combined, these three pieces of legislation are the perfect storm that brings victory to 50 years of a Communist Revolution in America. They are the financial IED that our economy is about to hit if we allow Congress and the Obama Administration to keep heading down this road of destruction. Theses bills, in whatever names they change to as they jump around in the shadows, must not pass.

    If we continue peaceful opposition, Democrat leaders will manufacture riots to initiate plan B: martial law and executive orders. Look no further than Nancy Pelosi for one attempt after another to telegraph a message of escalation to the Left. We must remain peaceful, yet resolved, even in the face aggression.

    Keep cool heads and defeat them at the ballot box. But, make no mistake: we ARE at war, and if we continue to ignore the impending crisis, our children will pay the price for our inaction.

    Copyright © 2009 by Andie Brownlow. All Rights Reserved.

  28. Birdman

    The author claims that the Government is borrowing money and not printing it. The author claims that this removes money from the market.

    How does that remove money from the market?

    Follow the following example:
    (1) Citizen deposits money into the bank, the bank lends it to you, and you spend it.

    Did the money leave the market? No.

    A person ‘borrows’ so that they can spend. You do not borrow and do nothing with it.

    It does not matter where the government borrows its money – in the open market or from the FED – it spends the money into the economy. It does not leave

    Can you show me an example where someone borrows and does not spend?

    The author claims that you may not be able to get your money out of the bank despite the FDIC. The FDIC is broke and needs a bailout according to the article.

    The FDIC is broke and you will always get your money out. The FED will supply the necessary currency.

    Follow: depositor puts money into his bank. The bank takes the deposit and puts into the bank reserves. Bank goes bust, FED returen depositor money back to depositor via FDIC.

    What impact was this in the economy? Zero. (except minus one bank)

    The FED is letting small banks fail to be bought by big banks. It is a bank consolidation. HOWEVER, it will not happen if people lose their money. Thus, the FED will make sure no one complains.

    I tend to believe that inflation is coming and not deflation.

    Why? The why is very important, because if I am wrong, I will know why – because the why I believed inflation is coming will not happen.

    If you do not know why, you cannot prepare either way.

    Gold doesn’t taste good, and it’s hell on the digestive system. It has virtually no nutritional value either. Lead is a better alternative for bullets. You can’t use gold to heat your home. It won’t fertilize a garden, or grow into fruit.

    The reason gold is or is not money has little to do with what you can physically manufacture with it.

    It is a traditional haven against inflation for the last 10,000 years.

    I do not believe this will change now.

    Dollars aren’t any good either. But you CAN heat your home with them.

    Only if you have a fireplace.

    The next question you should ask is “What is money?”

  29. Birdman:
    You stated, “A large portion of the population … will fight against the adoption of any amendment such as yours.” I think not. I doubt a large portion of the population will fight for or against much of anything. Political wars are won or lost on the strength of, perhaps, 20% of the voters. However, in the case of my proposed amendment both political parties will probably stand against it unless it can get a wildfire of grass roots support behind it. Even then it may require two-thirds of the state houses calling for a convention to consider this amendment exclusively to get it before the states for ratification. The job will be difficult but it may be possible. For me, doing nothing is not an option.
    You seem to be against welfare, Social Security and other federal programs. I am not. I am against the mandatory nature of programs such as SS and the proposed health care program. That authority is beyond them. However, the government cannot be totally constrained from engaging in some humanitarian relief efforts. That would not be reasonable and was never the case. I do not think for a moment a Council Of Citizens would demand SS and Medicare be ended. They might, however, agitate for an Amendment to the US Constitution making them legally legitimate. That would be my recommendation.

    SK Trynosky Sr.
    You make good points but one I am surprised at. States and municipalities should not be constrained by Council Of Citizen decisions? Despite the many bad US Supreme Court rulings from early on, I am convinced that James Madison, the rest of the members of the first congress who wrote the Bill of Rights, and all those who ratified those amendments, understood that they were iterations of rights belonging from long past to every citizen. One of the representatives in that first congress stated that we do not need a code listing our rights because they were so universally known they would never be violated. That was a different time with different people.

    What do you suppose a right to be? Fundamental rights are deemed to be “unalienable” as is stated in the Declaration of Independence. How then can a person residing in Omaha have rights that differ from someone residing in Sacramento? The Tenth Amendment was left partially done and should have been finished long ago. Instead of all rights becoming clear and untouchable the increasing corruption of our political parties have hid them from us. Should a person be able to be fined for parking his car on the grass on the property he owns? There are hundreds of little poisons against liberty that can touch any one of us. Most of them are usurpations of power and excessive nuisances that we should be rid of. On this level it is generally municipalities empowered by an unregulated state government which trouble us. How can you suppose you have a right that others do not posses, and will you accede rights to others you do not have? No, the Council of Citizens must guarantee the rights of everyone or no one.

    Your point about officials taking high paying jobs after leaving office as rewards for services rendered while in office, is a problem that must be clearly regulated. Suggestions for prudent and effective rules to avoid this would be helpful. I can come up with solutions for this but I tend to be severe in my opinions about official corruption.

    Charlie Stella earlier questioned the course of study that would need to be completed and tested on for council member eligibility. First, I think that if my proposed amendment was joined to the US Constitution an extensive network of study groups and study aids would soon rise up among us and a serious application of oneself to learn the material would provide success to almost every potential council member. Extra time and re-tests would also be provided for. The tests should be sufficiently comprehensive to insure each participant has a fundamental understanding of how rights emerged over the millennia, how the transformation of the USA from a colonial condition to nationhood and our constitution coalesced and consolidated those principles of freedom in a way hitherto unknown among mankind.

    The course of study would need to be rigidly honest. The misinformation and misrepresentation that pervades today’s media and institutional rhetoric would have to be ignored. For instance, if Thomas Jefferson’s “wall of separation” phrase is used to address his religious attitude then his rule as the first Chancellor of the state funded school that became the University of Virginia, that all students must attend religious service on the Sabbath, must be made known also. The course must be factual, not propaganda.

    Justin Ingalls

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Justin – I’m guessing you have never worked in academia. You have an idealistic notion that there would be some consensus available to develop said program and test. I’d like to understand more on how you believe such to come about.

  30. Ray Hawkins says:

    My apologies in advance for any repeat critique:

    This amendment would never pass – that’s the easy one. You’re asking a lot of people to admit how incompetent they are. The cards are thus already stacked against you. Another thing is that this amendment is not really written like most other amendments. It includes not just the “what” but also some “how” and “why”. There are way too many open holes left in your writing/amendment – it is not something that can stand on its own. The vagueness thus would require interpretation – and herein we have a conflict as you will likely entertain incompatible or conflicting duties. The COC cannot define itself. It cannot be defined by the Legislature or Courts for the COC has veto power over them.

    The underlying idea is somewhat noble – fix from internal or external. Your approach seems like a blend – but it needs a lot more baking. All my comments are preceded by “RH”.

    Council of Citizens Amendment
    by Justin Ingalls
    The power of veto over laws, rules, regulations, judgments and practices executed under the authority of any governmental body in these United States and the authority of recommendation for removal from office of any official shall be vested in a Council of Citizens.

    RH – The vagueness of this language in today’s age would eat even this initial wording alive. What is a practice? Who decides? Think for a moment what the size of ‘any governmental body’ really means – the sheer size of such a scope is incomprehensible.

    Section 1.
    a) Any law, rule, regulation, judgment or practice by any legislature, executive, judiciary or public official ruled to be in violation of the Constitution of the United States by a majority of the members of the Council of Citizens in session will immediately be void and of no effect.

    RH – How are any of the aforementioned raised before the COC? Who decides merit? Again – the numbers will overwhelm.

    b) All rulings by the Supreme Court of the United States shall automatically be reviewed by the Council of Citizens. No judgment of the Council of Citizens is reviewable by any other body and may be overturned only by subsequent decision of the Council or by Amendment to the US Constitution. All political jurisdictions in the United States of America and its dependencies shall be equally bound by council decisions.

    RH – why just SCOTUS here? If the intent is for COC to cover every conceivable public official then why are you limiting to just SCOTUS?

    Section 2.
    a) The Council of Citizens shall have the power to recommend the removal from public office any person who, in their estimation, attempts to usurp individual rights guaranteed by the US Constitution.

    RH – “in their estimation” – by definition does not imply proof. “Attempts to usurp” – so one need only try? What if I am thinking of usurping? Must I take some discernible action to usurp?

    b) A Council recommendation for removal will immediately relieve that person – elected, appointed or hired, with no official excepted – of their authority until an election may be held in which the voters may vote to remove or retain such person. A removal vote will permanently disqualify such person from holding public office or employ. The voting will be on a scale (national, state or regional) appropriate to the office.

    RH – What if you get it wrong? There is no apparent relief here for mistake. What must the recommendation be made from? A hearing?

    c) In the event of a vote failing a majority for removal the official under suspension shall immediately be reinstated to his post and shall be immune from a further recommendation for removal for a period of two years.

    RH – Specific to the issue that was at hand or just in general? Too vague.

    d) Any person recommended for removal from office will retain all emoluments of his office until such time as he is removed by public vote.

    RH – makes sense
    e) If, after the two year immunity an official is again recommended for removal by a majority vote of the Council of Citizens such official shall be forever disqualified from holding public office or employ.

    RH – wow! By this you are stripping the citizens of their right to determine suitability of the candidate.

    Section 3.
    a) Three citizens from each state who have attained the age of twenty-eight years shall be selected by lottery for membership to the Council of Citizens.

    RH – Lottery? Run by who? Who owns the lottery and ensures it integrity? Why 28 years old? Seems random/arbitrary.

    b) The period of membership to the Council of Citizens shall be three years. Each person selected by lottery to the Council will have a period of one year before being seated to study the preparatory course for which he will have to pass a test of one hundred questions with a positive percentage of at least seventy to be eligible. Two re-tests will be allowed each person.

    RH – the “preparatory course”. Too many questions here to list.

    c) The preparatory course and test shall be in the English language and include selected writings of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and the members of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and shall provide a history of the American colonial period and of the development of social-political theory as the founders knew it (a specific, non-alterable course will be developed for this purpose).

    RH – why the English language? It seems you are using this amendment for far more than its original purpose? Also – what “selected writings”? Who selects the writings and why? Why are we focusing merely on ‘as they knew it”? In other words – we are assessing things that may have been wrong (e.g. black men are property). “As they knew it” only is not enough criteria.

    d) Each person selected by lottery for the Council of Citizens shall receive ten thousand dollars which is to be paid in monthly installments during the year preceding Council membership and is in compensation for time required in study of the Council of Citizens Course.

    e) Upon being seated on the Council each member will be compensated in the amount of five-hundred-thousand dollars per year for the three years of membership and which will be paid in monthly installments.

    RH – what other benefits are required for this COC? Where do they work? Can anyone be virtual? Should they require security clearance? What other HR-related matters should be attended to?

    f) Annual adjustment for inflation of compensation for both study and membership periods will be made.

    Section 4.
    Congress shall have power to promulgate laws for the enforcement of the provisions of this Amendment and for punishing violations of it but the Council of Citizens, by a majority vote, may produce regulations for enforcement which then will make nul and void all other statutes of enforcement.

    RH – so two bodies can develop enforcement mechanisms? Will never work. You’re asking one body, subject to veto by the other, to make rules for that same body.

  31. SK Trynosky Sr. says:

    Justin,

    I guess that I am a States Rights kind of guy. Should my own state decide that they don’t want oil drilling on the beaches of Atlantic City I think that they have that right and the Feds should not intrude as they are doing now in the opposite direction. We have the right to be foolish or we could mimic the new Federal system and have our own NJ Citizens Council. I would also like to avoid the council getting bogged down in nonsense like the right of a municipality to erect a traffic light. Don’t laugh, you know it will happen. Just look at the court dockets today. Regarding the issue of parking on the lawn, the guy who used to live next to me did that. He also never cleaned his in ground pool until mid August. In 1990 he cost me over $ 10,000 in sales price on my house. I’m sorry, your “rights” end where mine begin. I voluntarily moved into a “planned” community after that just to avoid the problem of ten broken down cars on the lawn next door. Guess what happens almost every year? Some hoople tries to challenge the 1929 covenants of the Association in court and we have to pay to defend our rights to keep those cars off the lawn. The hoople invariably comes up with some left wing lawyers association to represent him and his alleged “rights” for free. See, in the left wing, there are never any rules, ever! Now, and I am not being facetious, what we really need in this country is a loser pays amendment in the Constitution. Just think of how that would clear the decks.

    I am not worried about the fairness of a lottery. Just take that old draft lottery and dust it off. Each state picks 3 dates from a fishbowl of 366 dates. That’s the first cull. Then everybody’s name who was born on those days goes into the pot. Let the state lottery run it. Question though is should non-voters be excluded, criminals, people who pay no taxe, people who get subsidies from the government (including SS and SSI) etc.

    As usual the answer to the issue of post service employment and the inherent bribery is relatively simple. No one who does not want to has to serve. If you do serve there are post council employment rules. Break them and the penalty should be something like exile from the country, forever. Make a nice retirement package for them and wish them well after service.

    Ray, English only. Sorry about that but we do not need any more of a tower of Babel than we have. In case you didn’t notice, Yugoslavia did not work, My grandparents spoke Russian and Slovak, I don’t. I guess you think I should sue someone but instead, I am in the mainstream. I wish I could say the same for some of the guys who work for me in NYC who were born here but have yet (thanks to Bobby Kennedy and bilingualism) not mastered the language and are doomed, yes, that’s right, I said doomed to stay second class citizens all their lives. These are contractors who cannot communicate with the Anglo majority and unless they have a rabbi, like me, who will write their proposals in English, never get that job. I don’t think the council needs translators or to waste time on nuances of language.

  32. Ray Hawkins

    Vagueness in the Tenth Amendment far surpasses what is to be found in my proposal. The II, IV and VII Amendments, among others, are explicit yet they are violated out of hand by the congress and courts. Still, I do not disagree with you regarding the need to avoid vagueness and ambiguity where possible.

    I put forward my proposal for two reasons, to solicit input toward constructing a better product and to encourage people to develop solutions of their own to offer for public review. Of course, anyone who thinks our country is not falling into tyranny should either ignore my proposal or stand against it. I think we are in desperate need of a solution or I would not have put myself to all the time and trouble I have. There seems to be a dearth of comprehensive solutions being offered, at least in the popular media.

    Before I address your RH comments I will say I appreciate the time and attention you gave to my proposal and I thank you for it.

    Addressing the introductory paragraph to my amendment proposal you said:

    RH – The vagueness of this language in today’s age would eat even this initial wording alive. What is a practice? Who decides? Think for a moment what the size of ‘any governmental body’ really means – the sheer size of such a scope is incomprehensible.

    A couple examples of practices that should be prohibited are; police stopping people of particular ethnicities on city streets, searching them, and if they have more than a certain sum of money, confiscate it on the assumption (with no other grounds) the money was illegally obtained. Stop vehicles for no other reason than the driver is black or Hispanic. Over the years I have read of many excesses committed by police in many states. Arbitrary body and cavity searches should not happen and most confiscation practices should end. People should not be deprived of their property without the benefit of a trial.

    RH – How are any of the aforementioned raised before the COC? Who decides merit?

    Generally, in my view of the Council, complaints would come before it in several ways. Like any convening body the Council would develop its rules of procedure and provide committees as convenience required. As with the congress each member would be provided with a small staff for secretarial and research duties. It seems appropriate the Council would have a Washington, DC address for a place to carry out its work. Complaints could be mailed to, Council Of Citizens, Washington, DC, to the individual members in DC or at their home state addresses. A person speaking to a Council member might simply state a concern and the member might send a note to a sorting committee for consideration. Complaints would arrive by the thousands and sorting would be necessary. It would go something like this:

    Joe Anybody gets a notice of a fine in his mail box from the city of Somewhere, Anystate USA. He parked his car off his driveway and on his lawn for some reason of his own. Doing so violated a city ordinance and Joe thinks state rights do not extend so far as to tell him he cannot park on his own grass. He complains to the Council Of Citizens. The Council has received many similar complaints but it acts on one only. While in session a majority of members vote that Joe’s rights were, indeed, violated and the city, or any governmental body, cannot restrict where he parks on his own property except if the public safety is negatively impinged by Joe’s act. Immediately and everywhere this rule now applies. Rights are rights and limits are limits and the occasional exception will still apply when safety demands it.

    As far as vast governmental bureaucracies are concerned, the whittling down of violating statutes and rules will take years of organized, painstaking effort. Some will fall through complaint, some through review. It can be done. After all, the Council will have very little else to concern itself with.

    RH – why just SCOTUS here?

    In his, An Inquiry Into The Nature And Causes Of The Wealth Of Nations, Adam Smith wrote, “In the university of Oxford, the greater part of the publick professors have, for these many years, given up altogether even the pretense of teaching.” Smith had scathing remarks for the conduct of professors who, partly because of pay structure but primarily because of a lack of accountability, did a very bad job.

    The US Supreme Court is accountable to no one and also does a very bad job. A question for you. Please name, if you can, a money using society from history in which the citizens had less protection from usurers than we have in the good old USA today. Our Supreme Court did the groundwork for this condition and, as I recall, the state of South Dakota and CitiBank got together to complete the model. From that bad start things went, as is the norm in our political-business climate, from bad to worse. Just think how much suffering and despair would have been avoided if there had been a Council Of Citizens to say, “no”, to the High Court’s trashing of usury laws. That court is like a funnel through which many important cases flow. It is a natural place to install some responsible oversight. Who will be more mindful about the good of, We, the people than, we, the people?

    RH – “in their estimation” – by definition does not imply proof. Attempts to usurp” – so one need only try? What if I am thinking of usurping?

    Let us suppose that the Council negates “mandatory” from the arbitration clauses of all contracts where it is used. Without signing agreements that use those clauses the citizen is prohibited from participation in whole segments of society, especially, but not exclusively, as regards the world of finance. If he does sign such agreements he is prohibited from recourse to his Seventh Amendment protection. This is an absolute violation of a cut-in-stone constitutional right. Let us also suppose some judge denies a person who signed a mandatory arbitration clause from access to his court on that basis after the Council has nullified that clearly violating language. The facts of the case will come before the Council, be verified and the Council well act. Nothing shall be arbitrary or slovenly done.

    Likewise in the case of Joe Anybody. If the city keeps sending him notices of fine after their interference is ruled excessive, there will be means of enforcing the Council decision. The last resort would be a recommendation for removal. Look at the situation with the history of impeachment. Never has a US Supreme Court justice or President of the USA been removed through that process. We need something more effective than that.

    RH – What if you get it wrong? There is no apparent relief here for mistake. What must the recommendation be made from?

    This question refers to “b) A Council recommendation for removal…” A standard process would be used in these matters. After the Council received a specific complaint against an official for wrongdoing that qualifies for Council action the matter would be investigated. Seldom will an official act not have a paper trail and various witnesses. Investigating a complaint should be straightforward. If criminal conduct is suspected a police investigation may coincide with that of the council. When the investigators representing the Council present their findings, the council will act, or not, upon the facts presented. In the case of a vote to remove, the Council will present the public with a written explanation for their recommendation. The accused will have the opportunity to present a written account in his own defense and it will appear alongside the Council’s account wherever the account is published. No fees will ever be charged in any matter involving the Council Of Citizens. In America today millions of people on the lower end of the economic spectrum are effectively prohibited by cost to initiating a court action against someone who has injured them. Never shall a lack of funds bar access to the Council Of Citizens.

    Occasionally a corrupt official with great influence within a corrupt political machine will be reelected regardless of his activity. Even criminal convictions will not always bar someone from office. The mandatory removal upon a second recommendation by the Council is specifically for the cases in which corrupt political machines nullify the people’s votes. As with High Court justices being removed through impeachment, this may never happen. The process should be available nonetheless.

    RH – Lottery? Run by who? Who owns the lottery and ensures it integrity? Why 28 years old? Seems random/arbitrary.

    As SK Trynosky Sr. states, the lottery should not be a problem. I do think it should come under the direction of the Council Of Citizens once the Council is established. I also think now a codicil of enabling regulations that can later be modified by the Council should replace Section 4 of my proposed amendment. If there was no corruption the American political-business institution there would be no need of this correspondence now. So, anti-corruption measures must loom large as conditions that attach to any solution aimed at reversing the effects of corruption.

    The age of twenty-eight is arbitrary. So too is the clause of Article II, Section 1 of the US Constitution that dictates an age of 35 for would be presidents and a fourteen year residency within the USA – and a natural born citizen as well. My arbitrary recommendation is open to suggestions. Should a ten year residency in the USA be added?

    RH – why the English language? It seems you are using this amendment for far more than its original purpose? Also – what “selected writings”? Who selects the writings and why? Why are we focusing merely on ‘as they knew it”? In other words – we are assessing things that may have been wrong (e.g. black men are property). “As they knew it” only is not enough criteria.

    English is what we commonly speak. If I was writing this in Mexico or any Spanish speaking nation I would call for Spanish. Ditto French, Dutch, German, etc. Various national and ethnic bloods run through my veins and, more distantly, I am related to every other person on earth. My passion is equity, honor, freedoms responsibly practiced and the very great precept of, do no harm. I rank no man, no woman, regardless of condition in life, lower than myself and none higher.

    As for the writings for course study, they are multitudinous; documents from the Colonial and early national periods, the Federalist Papers, James Madison’s Notes On The Convention of 1787, John Lock’s Second Treatise On Government – the list is long. But politically correct exclusions I will not condone. Thomas Jefferson was a man greater than many understand. A man of honor who I do not believe violated his lady slaves. He was, though, a spendthrift and he did not emancipate slaves in his will because he could not. They were no longer his unencumbered property. Jefferson had used his slaves as collateral for loans that were still outstanding at his death. But, Jefferson, as well as Washington and others, tried to discover ways for widespread emancipation. They both thought it was not a possibility in their own time but they also thought slavery would eventually end in America. They did wish it. Perhaps they should have worked harder for it. Does that thought not apply now in the matter at hand?

    RH – what other benefits are required for this COC? Where do they work? Can anyone be virtual? Should they require security clearance? What other HR-related matters should be attended to?

    Should anyone get lifelong benefits for three years of service? Health care benefits for time in office and perhaps an extra year but the wage would provide any prudent and frugal person with a lifetime of security (that may be saying too much if recent economic happenings precipitate future hyperinflation). “HR-related” escapes me. No one has to get security clearance to run for public office and the qualifications stated for Council membership should be sufficient.

    SK Tyrnosky Sr.

    The Council Of Citizens would not concern itself with oil drilling anywhere unless it impinged on the rights of a neighbor – polluted his well or something like that. Even then it would be a matter for the courts, not the Council. Ditto traffic lights. This proposal is all about protecting individual rights. The Council would probably tell the federal government to stop violating state rights from time-to-time, that is a constitutional matter too.

    If all your old neighbor did to offend you was to park on his lawn I would respond, “too bad.” But if stench from an uncleaned pool invaded your space you have every right to relief and means for such relief were available over three centuries ago through the common law. Ten broken down cars is a little too much also. What place allows that? A growing number of municipalities threaten people with harm if their grass gets over three inches tall.

    I think clear, explicit rules (not interpreted by the US Supreme Court – humor intended) to safeguard against fraud with every suspected violation thoroughly investigated would build an environment of honesty that would eventually be looked upon as a heritage of honor. Most Americans are honest, hard working people with lives of purpose and personal integrity. Council membership would add a sense of higher purpose and steel to the will of a mix like that.

    Justin Ingalls

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Justin – to respond in general – I don’t think you’re on the wrong track – clearly you’ve likely written or thought of enough material to fill a book. What that translates to me is that this is not an amendment like any other – and maybe necessarily so. Any idea as such that is shaped and scoped must pass the constant litmus test of influence and independence. Much of this can seem to come close to problems/issues we already have – by creating a body that seems to answer to nearly no one, there is a risk of creating something far worse than we already have. The crisper and more direct the language the better – I hate reading government-speak that is written to encourage abuse. Best of luck to you.

  33. Ray Hawkins

    You stated, “Much of this can seem to come close to problems/issues we already have – by creating a body that seems to answer to nearly no one, there is a risk of creating something far worse than we already have.”

    Things (government gone wild) are worse than they were and, without drastic action, will be far worse than we already have, month by month, unendingly into the future. Who could have imagined twenty years ago that the Seventh Amendment would ever be trashed. It was unthinkable. Amendment V is mostly lost, Amendment VI is in the process of failing and, considering all this, why should anyone suppose Amendment XIII will not soon turn to smoke also. “Slave” may never again be used as a job title but slave-like classes can certainly form and spread in America. There is a growing equality in this land but it is manifesting as a state of common loss, loss of rights and loss of independence.

    What do we get if we compare a still roughly drafted Council Of Citizens with the congress and the Supreme Court. On the one hand we have two houses that are populated by members of two ravenously hungry political parties which have long ago combined inextricably with business interests and broke away from the restraints imposed upon them by a supermajority of the people through their constitution. Most of the group, especially the leaders, keep their seats from twenty-five to fifty years. Self interest squeezes out every competing duty. In a nation of five million people there would be more control, in this vast country there is none. What they have done to us is testimony sufficient to prove my accusations. Do they not appear more like an organized crime body than a legitimate institution of government? I think they do.

    To fear a solution may become worse than the problem it is invented to solve, in the case of government, is the beginning of wisdom. In a Council Of Citizens there would be no political parties (party structures within the Council should be prohibited as part of its founding). Seldom, if ever, would anyone hold a Council seat more than three years. Paid lobbyists would be prohibited for all time. Every year there would be a turnover of one-third of the Council body. The members would not be fundraisers, indeed, that kind of activity would be prohibited to them.

    Should there be safeguards beyond what I have thought of? Of course strong measures with severe penalties against corruption should be part of the package.

    A comparison of the Council with the US Supreme Court is not so much different than with the congress. The court is composed of a very few people, a majority of whom seem to hold opinions and basic philosophies foreign to anything the Founding Fathers ever intended their republic to be. They are elitists, they act as tyrants, they have their seats for life and they are not answerable to anyone. I cannot imagine a Council Of Citizens becoming as bad as the congress or High Court.

    There must be a solution found and it must be one that addresses the greatest logical fears of the people who might help promote it. Here is a suggestion that should relieve the mind of the most timid patriot. Every ten years, during a national election, the voters shall vote to retain or abolish the Council Of Citizens. Will that make it safe enough?

    This is a good plan. If there is a better plan somewhere let me know and I will support it. If you know of none better help me complete this plan and help promote it. I have no PR ability or resources. There must be many people who are wanting a solution to the tyranny they see too and are hoping a comprehensive solution will present itself, one they can support.

    If this plan does get legs and talented people come on board I would be happy to hand it off and withdraw from view. I really do not have PR skill or potential and I do not seek fame.

    Recommendations will be very much appreciated.

    Justin Ingalls

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