Publius-Huldah's Blog

Understanding the Constitution

We Don’t Need an Article V Convention to “Clarify” Our Constitution!

By Publius Huldah

Those pushing for the so-called “convention of states” 1 say we must amend the Constitution because the people in Washington “don’t understand it”.

Rubbish!

Our Constitution is so simple that Alexander Hamilton expected us to be “enlightened enough to distinguish between a legal exercise and an illegal usurpation of authority”; and he said the people are “the natural guardians of the Constitution” (Federalist No. 16, next to last para).

Well then, if our Constitution is something The People are expected to know and enforce; is it plausible to assert that the Representatives we send to Washington – and even supreme Court Justices – are incapable of understanding it?

Justices on the supreme Court have been perverting our Constitution for a long time. Do they do this because they are so stupid they don’t understand our Constitution? Of course not! They violate our Constitution because they claim the right to impose their own personal views on the rest of us.

As every American over the age of 10 should know, the powers our federal Constitution delegates to Congress and the President are limited & defined – they are “enumerated”.

So! Progressives on the supreme Court had to find a way to get around the limitations imposed by the enumerated powers. And they did it by perverting three clauses: the “interstate commerce”, “general welfare”, and “necessary and proper” clauses.

However, a quick look in The Federalist Papers shows the original intents of these clauses. We don’t need a convention to draft amendments showing what these clauses mean – just look it up in The Federalist! But! You don’t have to – I’ve already done it – and here it is: 2

The “interstate commerce” clause (Art. I, §8, cl. 3)

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary says “commerce” is the buying and selling of goods.

In Federalist No. 22 (4th para) and Federalist No. 42 (9th & 10th paras), Hamilton and Madison explain the primary purpose of the clause: To prohibit the States from imposing taxes & tolls on merchandize as it is transported through the States for purposes of buying and selling.

The “general welfare” clause (Preamble & Art. I, §8, cl. 1)

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines “welfare” as:

“2. Exemption from any unusual evil or calamity; the enjoyment of peace and prosperity, or the ordinary blessings of society and civil government; applied to states.”

It has nothing to do with handouts, public relief, or the feds doing whatever they think is a good idea.

In Federalist No. 41 (last 4 paras), Madison points out that Art. I, § 8, employs “general terms” which are “immediately” followed by the “enumeration of particular powers” which “explain and qualify”, by a “recital of particulars”, the “general phrase”. It is “error” to focus on “general expressions” and disregard “the specifications which ascertain and limit their import”; thus, to argue that the general expression provides an unlimited power is “an absurdity”.

So yes! The powers of Congress over the Country at Large really are limited primarily to those few listed at Art. I, §8, clauses 3-16.

Our Framers understood that “general Welfare”, i.e., the enjoyment of peace and prosperity, and the enjoyment of the ordinary blessings of society and civil government, was possible only with a federal government of strictly limited powers. [Let that sink in.]

The “necessary and proper” clause (Art. I, §8, last clause)

This clause delegates to Congress power to pass all laws necessary and proper to execute its declared powers (Federalist No. 29, 4th para); “the constitutional operation of the intended government would be precisely the same if [this clause] were entirely obliterated as if [it] were repeated in every article”; a power to do something must be a power to pass all laws necessary and proper for the execution of that power, and thus the clause is “perfectly harmless”, a  “tautology or redundancy” (Federalist No. 33, 2nd & 3rd paras). Madison writes to the same effect in (Federalist No. 44, under his discussion of the SIXTH class of powers).

So the clause permits the execution of powers already delegated and enumerated in the Constitution.  No additional substantive powers are granted by the clause.

Learn the enumerated powers delegated to Congress & to the President. With our Votes & Nullification of unconstitutional acts, let’s enforce the Constitution we already have. Don’t let others change or replace it! PH

Endnotes:

1 The term, “convention of states”, is deliberately deceptive. The only convention for proposing amendments is the one at Article V of our Constitution – and Congress has the power to “call” it. And since Article I, Sec. 8, last clause, vests in Congress all powers “necessary and proper” to carry out its power to “call” the convention, Congress decides all organizational issues, such as, the number and selection process for delegates.

But once the delegates (whoever they turn out to be) are seated, neither Congress nor the States have any control over them. The delegates can do whatever they want. They can propose a new Constitution with a new method of ratification. Here are two Constitutions already waiting in the wings: The “Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America”, which you can read about from their own website HERE and from JBS HERE; or the “Constitution for the Newstates of America”, which you can read HERE. Do you think that any of the delegates (remember, you have no idea who they will be), can be bribed to introduce and vote for one of these proposed constitutions?

Disabuse yourself of the false notion that “the States have to ratify anything the convention does”. That is the second biggest lie ever told: The proposed “Constitution for the Newstates of America” is ratified by a Referendum called by the President. The States, as political bodies, never get the opportunity to reject it – they are dissolved and replaced by regions answerable directly to the new national government.

The ONLY precedent we have for an “amendments convention” is the federal convention of 1787 which drafted & proposed our existing Constitution.

HERE is the Resolution, made by the Continental Congress on February 21, 1787 (p 71-74), to call a convention to be held at Philadelphia:

“…for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”.

The delegates ignored their instructions from the Continental Congress (and from their respective States) and wrote an entirely new Constitution – the one we now have. Furthermore, whereas Article XIII of the Articles of Confederation (LINK) required all of the then 13 States to ratify Amendments to the Articles; Article VII of the new Constitution required only 9 of the 13 States to ratify the new Constitution.

Do you see?

2 Our People don’t have a clue about what these 3 clauses mean. So YOU learn the original intent. On social media, start teaching that original intent to The People. Help turn on the lights in their minds. PH

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September 21, 2014 Posted by | Article V, Article V Convention, Convention of States project, Federal Convention of 1787, General Welfare Clause, Guardians of the Constitution, Interstate Commerce Clause, Necessary and Proper clause | , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Mark Levin’s “Liberty” Amendments: Legalizing Tyranny

By Publius Huldah

For 100 years, the federal government has usurped powers not delegated to it in our Constitution.

What should we do about it? Should we reclaim our existing Constitution and put an end to the usurpations?

Or should we “modernize” the Constitution by changing it so as to delegate to the federal government the powers it has usurped – so as to legalize what is now unconstitutional?

Mark Levin begins “The Liberty Amendments” by saying he doesn’t believe the Constitution requires “modernization through amendments”. But he then proposes a series of amendments, six of which modernize our Constitution to delegate to the federal government most of the powers it has usurped during the last 100 years.

And each of his six amendments does the opposite of what its title promises. I’ll show you. 1

Levin’s amendment to “limit the federal bureaucracy” [p 99-100 of his book]

George Washington’s cabinet had four members: Secretary of State, Secretary of War, Secretary of the Treasury, and Attorney General. Those functions are authorized by our Constitution. 2

But today there are numerous agencies in the Executive Branch of the federal government. Where is the constitutional authority? What Article, Section, and Clause authorizes the Departments of Agriculture, Education, Energy, Labor, Transportation, HHS, HUD, DHS, EPA, SBA, etc., etc., etc.?

There is no constitutional authority! Accordingly, all these agencies are unconstitutional as outside the scope of the powers delegated in our Constitution.

Well then, a person who wanted to “limit the federal bureaucracy” would demand that these agencies be closed, and their functions returned to the States and The People, right?

But Mark Levin doesn’t do this. Section 1 of his amendment legalizes all these agencies. It says:

“All federal departments and agencies shall expire if said departments and agencies are not individually reauthorized in stand-alone reauthorization bills every three years by a majority vote of the House of Representatives and the Senate.”

As long as Congress periodically “reauthorizes” the agencies – they remain.

Levin’s amendment thus changes the constitutional standard for whether an executive agency lawfully exists from whether it carries out an enumerated power [as in Washington’s Cabinet] to whatever the President wants and Congress agrees to. Do you see?

Now look at Section 2 of Levin’s amendment to “limit the federal bureaucracy”. It says:

“All Executive Branch regulations exceeding an economic burden of $100 million, as determined jointly by the Government Accountability Office and the Congressional Budget Office, shall be submitted to a permanent Joint Committee of Congress, hereafter the Congressional Delegation Oversight Committee, for review and approval prior to their implementation.”

Article I, §1, of our Constitution says only Congress may make laws. 3 But since Woodrow Wilson, executive agencies in the federal government have been churning out regulations which govern all aspects of our lives. These comprise the now gigantic Code of Federal Regulations.

All these regulations are unconstitutional as in violation of Art. I, §1! 4

Well then, one would expect that a person who wanted to “limit the federal bureaucracy” would demand the repeal of existing regulations and an end to all future rulemaking, right?

Not Levin! Section 2 of his amendment legalizes all existing regulations and the rule making process. Levin’s “fix” is merely to form a congressional committee to review certain regulations before they are imposed on the American People.

And so, federal executive agencies will continue to churn out millions of pages of regulations – but now, they will be constitutional because Levin’s amendment makes it all lawful.

Do you see? Levin’s amendment legalizes the status quo and does the opposite of what he claims.

Levin’s amendment “to limit federal spending” (p 73 -74)

Our Constitution limits federal spending to the enumerated powers. If you go through the Constitution and highlight the powers delegated to Congress or the President, you will have a complete list of the objects on which Congress may lawfully spend money. That is how our Framers controlled federal spending. It is the enumerated powers which limit spending – not the amount of revenue the federal government generates or the size of the GDP. Do you see?

The reason we have a crushing debt is because for 100 years, the federal government has ignored the limits – already set forth in the Constitution – on its spending.

Well then, a person who wanted to “limit federal spending” would demand that Congress begin to downsize the federal government and restrict spending to the enumerated powers, right?

But Levin doesn’t do this. Section 1 of his amendment legalizes all the spending which is now unconstitutional as outside the enumerated powers. It says:

“Congress shall adopt a preliminary fiscal year budget no later than the first Monday in May for the following fiscal year, and submit said budget to the President for consideration.”

Levin’s amendment thus legalizes the unconstitutional status quo where the President and Congress adopt a “budget” and spend money on whatever they put in the budget! Levin would permit Congress and the President to lawfully spend money on whatever they want – spending which is now unlawful because our Constitution doesn’t authorize it.

Furthermore, Levin’s amendment does nothing to control federal spending. While Sections 3 & 4 of his amendment pretend to limit spending to revenues or to a percentage of the GDP; Sections 6 & 7 permit Congress to suspend the spending limit and continue to raise the national debt. 5

Levin’s amendment “to limit federal taxing” (p 75)

Our Constitution doesn’t permit the federal government to levy taxes so that Congress and the President will have the funds to spend on whatever they want.

Congress may lawfully levy taxes only to raise the funds to carry out the enumerated powers. Article I, §8, clauses 1 & 2 say:

“The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defense and general Welfare of the United States …” [and] “To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;”

Immediately after clauses 1 & 2 follows the list of enumerated powers we delegated to Congress for the Country at Large. 6

Add to this short list of enumerated powers, the “housekeeping powers” itemized elsewhere in the Constitution (e.g., the census); the salaries authorized by Art. I, §6, cl. 1; Art. II, §1, next to last clause; Art. III, §1, cl. 1, and others on the civil list; and you see the purposes for which Congress is authorized to levy and collect taxes, borrow money, and spend money, for the Country at Large. 7

So! Congress should not be levying taxes except to generate revenue for its constitutional functions. If Congress restricted its spending to those few powers delegated in the Constitution, the federal government would need very little money from us.

One would expect that a person who wants to “limit federal taxation” would demand that the federal government stop taxing to raise money to spend on unconstitutional purposes, right?

Not Levin! While his amendment limits the federal income tax to 15% of income – it institutionalizes the present practice where Congress lays & collects taxes for any purposes whatsoever. 8

Levin’s amendment “to protect private property” (p 137)

The federal government has no lawful authority to own land for any purpose other than those enumerated in the Constitution: Article I, §8, next to last clause, permits the federal government to own the District of Columbia [which was not to exceed “ten Miles square”], and Places purchased with the Consent of the State legislatures for the erection of forts, dock-Yards, and other needful buildings (e.g., federal courthouses, post offices) to carry out the enumerated powers.

The federal government has no lawful authority to own national parks, grazing areas, forests, and such. 9

And the federal government has no lawful authority to restrict peoples’ use of their own land. Nowhere in our Constitution did we delegate that power to the federal government! Accordingly, all federal laws and regulations (EPA, etc.) which pretend to restrict an owner’s use of his land are unconstitutional as outside the scope of powers delegated.

Furthermore, the States’ and local governments’ powers of eminent domain and other “takings” of private land are addressed in their own State Constitutions and laws. This is NOT a federal issue!

But Levin’s amendment “to protect private property” changes all of the above. It says:

“When any governmental entity acts not to secure a private property right against actions that injure property owners, but to take property for a public use from a property owner by actual seizure or through regulation, which taking results in a market value reduction of the property, interference with the use of the property, or a financial loss to the property owner exceeding $10,000, the government shall compensate fully said property owner for such losses.”

Levin’s amendment:

Changes the constitutional standard for federal ownership of lands from carrying out an enumerated power to whatever someone in the federal government deems a “public use” [which can be anything];

Legalizes what are now unconstitutional holdings of lands by the federal government – such as grazing lands;

Legalizes “takings” by regulation – restrictions via regulations on the use of private lands – by all levels of government;

Takes from the States and The People their retained powers over eminent domain and regulatory takings, and makes it a federal issue under the control of the federal government; 10 and

Provides that as long as a taking does not reduce the value of the property by more than $10,000, the governments don’t have to pay the property owner one red cent. So! If your local or State or federal government takes some of your land, or restrict its use by regulation, Levin’s amendment requires compensation to be paid if the “taking” exceeds $10,000. If the government decides that your loss is less than $10,000, you eat the loss. The amendment legalizes government theft of private property.

Levin’s amendment “to protect the vote” (p 183-184)

Before our Constitution was ratified, the States qualified & registered voters. Qualifications were set forth in their State Constitutions, and requirements differed from State to State.  This power was expressly retained by the States with Art. I, §2, cl. 1, U.S. Constitution. 11

The four voting amendments reduced this retained power of the States, and delegated to the federal government power to stop States from denying suffrage to citizens on account of race (15th Amendment), sex (19th Amendment), failure to pay a tax (24th Amendment), or age for citizens eighteen years of age or older (26th Amendment).

Except as restricted by these four amendments, the States retain their pre-existing power to set qualifications for registering citizens to vote, as long as they do not deny it on account of race, sex, failure to pay a tax, or age for those 18 years or more. States remain free to deny registration on other grounds – such as conviction of a felony or illiteracy. And of course, States retained power to restrict voting to citizens!

But the retained powers of the States to set voter qualifications for registration were diminished far beyond the scope of the amendments, due to usurpations by the federal government, and because the States forgot that they retained at Art. I, §2, cl. 1 most of their original power to qualify & register voters.

In Arizona’s Proposition 200: What The Constitution Really Says About Voter Qualifications & Exposing The “Elections Clause” Argument, I show how the federal government infringed upon the States’ retained powers over voter qualifications & registration; and how the two judges in that case wrongly ruled that Arizona could not require applicants for registration to provide proof of citizenship!

So! What should we do about non-citizens voting? Here is a novel idea: The States should man up and reclaim their powers retained by Art. I, §2, cl. 1; tell Eric Holder to take a hike; require all currently registered voters to provide proof of citizenship; and refuse to register new voters unless they provide proof of citizenship. Enforce the Constitution we have!

   But Section 1 of Levin’s amendment “to protect the vote” says:

“Citizens in every state, territory, and the District of Columbia shall produce valid photographic identification documents demonstrating evidence of their citizenship, issued by the state government for the state in which the voter resides, as a requirement for registering to vote and voting in any primary or general election for President, Vice President, and members of Congress.”

Levin’s amendment (it has 5 Sections) rewards the federal government for unlawfully forbidding States from requiring applicants to prove they are citizens, by transferring more power over voter qualifications & registration to the federal government. 10

But Levin’s amendment does even more harm than vesting in the federal government a power it already usurped – it ushers in a national ID card. Who thinks the feds won’t dictate the contents of the card and keep copies? [Do you really think a national ID card is a great idea?]

To add insult to injury, Levin’s amendment doesn’t even prohibit non-citizens from voting – it merely requires citizens to get an ID card before they can register to vote. Non-citizens are not required to get ID cards. The supreme Court (which will now lawfully have judicial power over this issue) will decide whether aliens can vote.

Levin’s amendment “to promote free enterprise” (p 117)

In Federalist No. 22 (4th para) and Federalist No. 42 (11th &12th paras), Hamilton & Madison explain the original intent of the “interstate commerce” clause:  It is to prohibit States from imposing tolls & tariffs on articles of merchandize as they are transported through the States for purposes of buying and selling. Until the mid-1930’s, this was widely understood. Here is a full proof of the original intent of that clause and the story of how the supreme Court usurped power over interstate commerce.

The original intent of that clause is still the supreme Law of the Land! 12 So the States must man up and enforce that original intent. They must ignore – nullify – all pretended federal laws, regulations, and judicial opinions which are contrary to that original intent.

Levin’s amendment “to promote free enterprise” says:

“SECTION 1: Congress’ power to regulate Commerce is not a plenary grant of power to the federal government to regulate and control economic activity but a specific grant of power limited to preventing states from impeding commerce and trade between and among the several states.”

“SECTION 2: Congress’s power to regulate Commerce does not extend to activity within a state, whether or not it affects interstate commerce; nor does it extend to compelling an individual or entity to participate in commerce or trade.”

Section 1 broadens the powers of the federal government from prohibiting States from imposing tolls & tariffs on articles of merchandize as they are transported through the States for purposes of buying and selling, to prohibiting the States from doing anything which “impedes” commerce and trade between and among the States.

Many things can be said to “impede” commerce and trade. And who will decide what “impedes” and what doesn’t “impede”? Five judges on the supreme Court.

Section 2 mentions two instances where Congress’ power to regulate Commerce does not extend. This is dangerous because of the legal maxim, Expressio Unius Est Exclusio Alterius (the expression of one thing is the exclusion of the other).

Accordingly, Congress’ power to regulate commerce would extend to other instances. Which ones? We don’t know – the supreme Court will decide – on a case by case basis.

Conclusion

Levin’s amendments legalize – make constitutional – the very abuses they purport to correct, nullify the natural rights of the people, and fundamentally change the constitutional design.

Even though our Constitution is not being enforced, it still declares this federal government lawless! The true rule of law is still on our side, 13 but not for much longer if we foolishly allow our Constitution to be re-written.

Endnotes:

1 Telling the Truth about a person’s proposals isn’t “demonizing” him. People angrily reject valid criticism of Levin’s proposals because they have made an idol of him. If their loyalty were to Truth – instead of to their idol – they would want to be set straight.

2 Article II, §2, and:

Secretary of State: Art. I, §8, cl. 3

Secretary of Treasury: Art. I, §2, cl. 3; Art. I, §8, cl. 1; Art. I, §9, cl. 4-7; Art. VI, cl. 1

Secretary of War: Art. I, §8, clauses 11-14

Attorney General: Art. I, §8, cl. 6, 10 & 17; Art. III, §§2 & 3; Art. IV, §2, cl.2

3 Article I, §1, says: “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States…” [emphasis mine]

4 They are also unconstitutional as outside the scope of powers delegated to the federal government.

5 I explain the problems with “balanced budget” amendments here.

6 These are the enumerated powers over the Country at Large listed at Art. I, §8:

    • Clause 3: regulate “commerce” [For the Truth about the “commerce clause”, go here];

    • Clause 4: uniform laws on naturalization and bankruptcies;

    • Clause 5: coin money & regulate its value, and fix standard of weights & measures;

    • Clause 6: punish counterfeiting;

    • Clause 7: establish post offices & post roads;

    • Clause 8: issue patents & copyrights;

    • Clause 9: set up federal courts inferior to the supreme court;

    • Clause 10: punish piracies & felonies on the high seas and offenses against the Law of Nations;

    • Clauses 11-14: war, letters of marque & reprisal, Army & Navy, and rules for the military

    • Clause 15-16: the Militia.

 

7 The anti-federalists objected to Art. I, §8, cl. 1 & 2. They claimed:

“…the power ‘to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States,’ amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defense or general welfare.”

James Madison answered in Federalist No. 41 (last 4 paras) that clauses 1 & 2 permit Congress to levy taxes & borrow money only to carry out the enumerated powers! Madison said:

“Had no other enumeration or definition of the powers of the Congress been found in the Constitution, than the general expressions just cited, the authors of the objection might have had some color for it… But what color can the objection have, when a specification of the objects alluded to by these general terms immediately follows, and is not even separated by a longer pause than a semicolon?Nothing is more natural nor common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars. But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning … is an absurdity…” [boldface mine]

So! Article I, §8, cl.1 is merely a “general expression”, the meaning of which is “ascertain[ed] and limit[ed]” by the clauses which “immediately follow” it. In other words, clauses 1 & 2 grant to Congress the power to raise money; and clauses 3-16 enumerate the objects on which Congress may appropriate the money so raised, thus limiting clauses 1 & 2. Do you see?

8 Levin’s amendment also corrects – on behalf of the feds – the following: When the 16th Amendment was ratified, “income” apparently didn’t include “wages”. Accordingly, it would be unconstitutional to force people to pay “income” taxes on “wages” – and such would thus be a proper object of nullification by States. But Levin’s amendment legalizes the status quo and rips this remedy from the States.

9 When our Constitution was ratified, the new federal government acquired (from its predecessor) the Western Territory (Federalist No. 7, 2nd & 3rd paras, and Federalist No. 43 at 5.) over which the new federal government was delegated, by Art. IV, §3, general legislative powers. As the Territory was broken up into new States, the general legislative powers would expire and sovereignty [except as to the few powers delegated exclusively to the new federal government] would be transferred to the new State.

10 Amendments to the Constitution generally increase the powers of the federal government: They usher in implementing federal statutes & executive agency regulations, and judicial power over the issue is transferred to the federal courts. Art. III, §2, cl.1, says, “The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases … arising under this Constitution …” Do you really not see?

11 Article I, §2, cl. 1, says:

“The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature. [boldface mine]

So! Whoever votes in elections for their State House, is eligible to vote for members of the federal House of Representatives. See also Federalist No. 57 (5th para) & Federalist No. 52 (2nd para).

12 Article VI, cl. 2, the “supremacy clause”, states that only our Constitution, federal laws made “in Pursuance” of the Constitution, and Treaties made “under the Authority of the United States”, shall be the supreme Law of the Land. Supreme Court opinions are NEVER part of the supreme Law of the Land! But we have wrongly made them the only Law of our Land.

13 What is “the Rule of Law”? What is the Rule of Man?

Our Constitution is based on God’s model for civil government as set forth in the Bible. The foundational Principle of God’s model is that the civil authorities are under the law. God is The Lawmaker – the kings are to apply God’s Law:

    • Deut. 17:18-20: The king is to write out a copy of God’s Law. He is to have it by him and read from it all his life so that he may keep, observe, and apply it.

    • 1 Kings 2:1-4: King David on his deathbed tells Solomon he must conform to God’s ways, and observe his statutes, commandments and judgments, as written in the Law of Moses.

The parallel in our Constitution is that the Constitution is the Supreme Law which the civil authorities are to obey. Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary defines “constitution”:

“…In free states, the constitution is paramount to the statutes or laws enacted by the legislature, limiting and controlling its power; and in the United States, the legislature is created, and its powers designated, by the constitution.”

So our Constitution is the Standard by which the validity of all Acts of Congress, all acts of the Executive Branch, all judicial opinions, and all Treaties is measured and judged (Art. VI, cl. 2).

So law comes from a higher source than the civil authorities. The “Rule of Law” prevails when the civil authorities obey that higher Law – be it God’s Law or our Constitution.

Tyrants, on the other hand, claim that they are the source of law. The Roman Caesars, Stalin, Hitler, the dictator of N. Korea and Obama all claim that their will is “law”. Consider Obama’s usurpatious executive orders and rules made by his executive agencies. This is the “Rule of Man” – when the civil authorities deny they are subject to a higher law (be it God’s Law or the Constitution), and hold that their will is “law”. Do you see? PH

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April 25, 2014 Posted by | Amendments to the Constitution, Mark Levin, The Liberty Amendments, Voter eligibility, Voter Qualifications | , , , | 13 Comments

Article V Convention: How “Individuals of Insidious Views” Are Stealing Our Constitution

By Publius Huldah

Q: How are amendments to the federal Constitution made?
A: Article V of our Constitution provides two method of amending the Constitution:

  1. Congress proposes amendments and presents them to the States for ratification; or
  2. When 2/3 of the States apply for it, Congress “calls” a convention to propose amendments.

Q: Which method was used for our existing 27 amendments?
A:  The first method was used for all 27 amendments including the Bill of Rights which were introduced into Congress by James Madison. 3

Q:  Is there a difference between a constitutional convention, con con, or Article V Convention?
A:  These names have been used interchangeably during the last 50 years.

Q:  What is a “convention of states”?
A:  That is what the people now pushing for an Article V convention call it. 

Q: Who is behind this push for an Art. V convention?
A:  The push to impose a new Constitution by means of an Article V convention (and using a “balanced budget” amendment as justification) started in 1963 with the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations.  1    Today, it is pushed by:

Q:  Why do they want an Article V Convention?
A:  The only way to get rid of our existing Constitution and Bill of Rights is to have an Article V convention where they can re-write our Constitution.  Jordan Sillars, Communications Director for Michael Farris’ “Convention of States”, said:

“… 3. I think the majority of Americans are too lazy to elect honest politicians. But I think some men and women could be found who are morally and intellectually capable of re-writing the Constitution” [boldface mine].

Q: How can they impose a new constitution if ¾ of the States don’t agree to it?
A: Only amendments require ratification by ¾ of the States (see Art. V). But a new constitution would have its own new method of ratification – it can be whatever the drafters want.  For example, the proposed Constitution for the Newstates of America is ratified by a referendum called by the President (See Art. XII, section 1).

Q: Can a convention be stopped from proposing a new Constitution?
A:  No.  Once the delegates are duly appointed & assembled, they are acting under the inherent authority of A People to alter or abolish their form of government [Declaration of Independence, 2nd para]; and have the sovereign power to do whatever they want at the convention.

Q: Is this what happened at the Federal Convention of 1787?
A:  Yes.  Pursuant to Article XIII of The Articles of Confederation, the Continental Congress resolved on February 21, 1787 (p 71-74) to call a convention to be held at Philadelphia “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”.  But the delegates ignored this limitation and wrote a new Constitution.  Because of this inherent authority of delegatesit is impossible to stop it from happening at another convention.  And George Washington, James Madison, Ben Franklin, and Alexander Hamilton won’t be there to protect you.

Q: Did the delegates at the Convention of 1787 introduce a new mode of ratification for the new Constitution?
A:  Yes. The Articles of Confederation required the approval of all 13 States for amendments to the Articles to be ratified.  But the new Constitution provided it would become effective if only 9 of the 13 States ratified it (Art. VII, cl. 1, U.S. Constitution).

Q:  Who would be delegates at a Convention?
A:  Either Congress appoints whomever they want; or State governments appoint whomever they want.

Q: Who would be chairman at a convention?
A: We don’t know.  But chairmen have lots of power – and George Washington won’t be chairman.

Q: But if the States appoint the delegates, won’t a convention be safe?
A: Who controls your State?  They will be the ones who choose the delegates if Congress permits the States to appoint delegates.  Are the people who control your State virtuous, wise, honest, and true?

Q: But aren’t the States the ones to rein in the federal government?
A: They should have been, but the States have become major consumers of federal funding.  Federal funds make up almost 35% of the States’ annual budgets. The States don’t want to rein in the feds – they don’t want to lose their federal funding.

Q: Did Thomas Jefferson say the federal Constitution should be amended every 20 years?
A: No! In his letter to Samuel Kercheval of July 12, 1816, Jefferson wrote about the Constitution for the State of Virginia, which he said needed major revision.  And remember James Madison’s words in Federalist No. 45 (3rd para from the end):

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce … The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which … concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.” [boldface mine]

The powers delegated to the feds are “few and defined” – what’s to amend?  All else is reserved to the States or the People – so State Constitutions would need more frequent amendments.  Do you see?

Q:  Did Alexander Hamilton say in Federalist No 85 (next to last para) that a convention is safe?
A:  No!  He said, respecting the ratification of amendments, that we “may safely rely on the disposition of the State legislatures to erect barriers against the encroachments of the national authority”.  But today, our State legislatures don’t protect us from federal encroachments because:

  • We have been so dumbed down by progressive education that we know nothing & can’t think;
  • State legislatures have been bought off with federal funds; and
  • Our public and personal morality is in the sewer.

Q: Did Our Framers – the ones who signed The Constitution – think conventions a fine idea?
A:  No!

“Conventions are serious things, and ought not to be repeated.”

  • Alexander Hamilton wrote of:

“…the utter improbability of assembling a new convention, under circumstances in any degree so favorable to a happy issue, as those in which the late convention met, deliberated, and concluded…”  Federalist No. 85 (9th para)

“3… an election into it would be courted by the most violent partizans on both sides; it … would be the very focus of that flame which has already too much heated men of all parties; would no doubt contain individuals of insidious views, who under the mask of seeking alterations popular in some parts but inadmissible in other parts of the Union might have a dangerous opportunity of sapping the very foundations of the fabric. … it seems scarcely to be presumable that the deliberations of the body could be conducted in harmony, or terminate in the general good. Having witnessed the difficulties and dangers experienced by the first Convention, which assembled under every propitious circumstance, I should tremble for the result of a Second, meeting in the present temper of America…” [boldface mine]

Q:  Do we have “violent partizans” or “individuals of insidious views” who seek a “dangerous opportunity to sap the very foundations of the fabric” of our country?
A: Yes, and they have been pushing for an Article V convention since 1963.

Q:  What did our Framers say about the purpose of amendments to the Constitution?
A:

  • the novelty and difficulty of what they were doing would require periodic revision (Mr. Gerry on June 5, 1787);
  • remedy defects in the Constitution (Hamilton on Sep. 10, 1787);
  • useful amendments would address the “organization of the government, not … the mass of its powers” (Federalist No. 85, 13th para); and
  • “amendment of errors” & “useful alterations” suggested by experience (Federalist No. 43 at 8.) 3

Q: But those pushing for a convention say the remedy for politicians who violate the Constitution is to amend the Constitution.
A:  Yes, that is their crazy claim:  that even though for over a century, the feds have been usurping hundreds of powers not delegated in the Constitution, all we have to do is amend the Constitution, and everyone will start obeying it. 4

Q: But they say the feds would obey future amendments because the feds haven’t violated recent amendments, such as women’s suffrage.
A: Of the 15 amendments ratified since the 12th in 1804; 10 increased the powers of the feds (13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 23rd, 24th, 26th); and 4 were “housekeeping” amendments (20th, 22nd, 25th, 27th) – so of course the feds “obeyed” those. 5

Q: What about their claim that the feds violate the Constitution because they don’t understand it?
A:  Rubbish! Our Constitution is so simple that Hamilton said The People were “the natural guardians of the Constitution”. The Oath of office at Art. VI, clause 3, implicitly requires the feds to learn it.  For phrases the feds have perverted – such as the “interstate commerce”, “general welfare” & “necessary and proper” clauses, a quick look into The Federalist Papers reveals the original intent.  I illustrate that here and elsewhere.

Q: How do we get rid of the bad amendments such as the 16th &17th?
A: Repeal them the same way we repealed the 18th amendment.  Instead of sending to Congress people who don’t know the Constitution; send people who know the Constitution and commit to repealing the bad amendments.  And if they don’t act to repeal them, fire them!

Q:  Why was the “convention method” put in Article V?
A:  We don’t really know why it was put in because Madison’s Journal of the Convention does not tell us.  This chart compiles the references in Madison’s Journal of the Federal Convention of 1787 to what became Article V.

  • Law professor John A. Eidsmoe  suggests the convention method of Article V was added rather hastily, at the time when the delegates were closing their deliberations, and this provision did not receive the careful attention given to most other provisions of the Constitution.
  • It may also have been a compromise designed to induce  George Mason & Randolph to sign the Constitution.  6

Q: Why can’t what happens at the convention be controlled by federal or State laws?
A: We are naïve and tell ourselves that people will “play by the rules”.  So we assume all we have to do is make some laws saying delegates can’t exceed the scope of the call, and everyone will obey it.

But if they don’t, who is going to enforce these laws you have so much faith in? The feds? Obama would love the constitution for the Newstates of America – it makes him dictator!  He won’t prosecute delegates who violate the call. Your State government?  They sold you out to the feds long ago. Errant delegates will be protected by the feds.   It doesn’t matter what a law says if it isn’t enforced.

Ever since 1963, globalists have intended to use an Article V convention as the means for imposing a new Constitution on us.  Today, George Soros – the destroyer of countries – is financing the push for a convention.  Don’t let him and his minions destroy America.

Conclusion

This little chart illustrates our Constitution & Declaration and the enumerated powers delegated to the federal government.  For 100 years, we elected politicians who ignore them. We don’t understand that the amendments proposed by Michael Farris, Mark Levin, Randy Barnett, & Nick Dranias increase the powers of the federal government because we don’t know the list of enumerated powers in the Constitution. You could remedy that:  Print out the chart and read the Constitution & Declaration!

As The Blue Tail Gadfly said, even though “the Constitution is not being enforced, it still declares this federal government LAWLESS! The true rule of law is still on our side, but not for much longer if the Constitution is allowed to be foolishly altered.”

Endnotes:

1   http://patriotcoalition.com/docs/Ford-Pursuit-of-Globalism.pdf

2 Those pushing for a convention are not telling the truth about what Madison said in his letter to Turberville.  The only way you can know who is telling the truth is to study the letter.

3 Madison did not endorse the “convention method” of proposing amendments.  He always said that when States want amendments, they should instruct their congressional delegation to pursue it:

  •  In his letter of 1788 to Turberville, he speaks of the two methods of proposing amendments:

“2. A Convention cannot be called … without the previous application of ⅔ of the State legislatures…The difficulties … must …be much greater than will attend the origination of amendments in Congress, which may be done at the … [instruction] of a single State Legislature… ”

  • How was the Bill of Rights handled?  On May 5, 1789, Rep. Bland (p. 258-261) introduced into Congress a petition from Virginia for an Art. V Convention to propose amendments.  On June 8, 1789, Madison (p. 448-460) circumvented Bland and introduced the amendments for Congress to propose to the States.  On September 24, 1789, Congress sent them to the States for ratification.

4 If your spouse violates the marriage vows, amend the vows and your marriage will be saved!
If motorists violate the speed limit, amend the speed limit and safety will be restored!
When people violate the Ten Commandments, amend the Ten Commandments!
When politicians violate the Constitution, amend the Constitution, and all will obey it!

 5 It is important to understand that the proposed amendments drafted by Randy Barnett, Mark Levin, Nick Dranias, and Michael Farris all increase the powers of the federal government by legalizing powers they have already usurped – or they delegate new powers to the federal government.

6 The Constitution was a product of compromise:  Alexander Hamilton was an abolitionist – but the Constitution permitted slavery.  James Madison wanted to stop the importation of slaves immediately (Federalist No. 42, 6th para); but Art. I, Sec. 9, clause 1 permitted it to continue 20 more years. Hamilton said the Constitution wasn’t perfect, but “is the best that the present views and circumstances of the country will permit” (Federalist No. 85, 6th – 8th paras).  The “convention” provision of Art. V seems to have been added – on the last day of deliberations (Sep. 15, 1787) – to induce Mason & Randolph to sign the Constitution.  But they still refused to sign. PH

Note: This last series of Questions and Answers was suggested by an esteemed colleague:

Q: Are there unanswered questions about an Article V Convention?
A: Yes!  Article V is utterly silent about the following and more:

  • How would delegates be selected?  And who would select them: Congress? The States? A national Referendum?
  • Would the States even be represented at the convention? If so, how many delegates and/or how many votes would each State have at a convention?
  • Would a convention be open or closed to the public and the media?  (The Convention of 1787 was closed.)
  • Could a convention be limited to consideration of a single amendment, or several amendments?  [The plural language of Article V, "a convention for proposing amendments," suggests the convention could not be limited to a single amendment.]
  • Could a convention consider an entirely new constitution?
  • How would state calls for a convention be tabulated? For example:   If 20 states call for a convention to consider a balanced budget amendment; 10 states call for a convention to consider a term limits amendment; and 4 states call for a convention to consider a right-to-life amendment, will these all be counted together to constitute 34 state calls for a convention?  And will the convention be authorized to consider all three amendments even though none of them individually have been called for by 34 states?  May it consider other amendments?   Must all of the state calls for a convention agree on the precise wording of the amendment to be considered?  And could a convention alter the wording of the proposed amendment, or must it be passed or rejected in exactly the form the states called for?   Will state calls for a convention many years ago be counted in determining whether 34 states have called for a convention?  For example, in the 1970s and 1980s about 32 states called for a convention to consider a balanced budget amendment.  If two more states called for a convention today, would that constitute 34 states?  Article V says nothing about any time limit on such calls.
  •  If a state calls for a convention, may the state later rescind its call?  Article V is silent about this question.  Several of the states that called for a convention in the 1970s and 1980s later rescinded their calls, but no court has ever determined whether those rescissions are valid.
  • What rules would a convention follow, and who would make those rules?  Article V says if two-thirds of the states apply for a convention, “Congress … shall call a convention.”  Since Congress and Congress alone calls a convention, presumably Congress and Congress alone has authority to make rules for a convention — rules for delegate selection, voting, election of officers, agenda, scope of business, and other matters.  What if the Senate and the House cannot agree on rules for a convention?  Nothing in Article V gives the states any authority whatsoever to demand that a convention follow certain rules, or to condition their calls for a convention with the requirement that certain rules or limitations be followed.
  • If Congress can make rules for a convention and does so, what guarantee exists that the convention will abide by those rules?

The plain fact is, the Constitution is utterly silent about all of these questions.  As convention proponents confidently and dogmatically proclaim their answers to these questions, please ask yourself:  Do they have any authority for their claims?  Are you willing to just take their word for it?

Q:  Why are convention proponents so certain that a convention will be run by constitutional conservatives?
A:  This is a complete mystery.  There is no such guarantee.  Considering liberal dominance of the media, law schools, well-funded legal foundations, and state and federal governments, liberal dominance of a convention is not only possible but probable.

Q:  Is the drive for a convention led by conservatives?
A:  Some conservatives support a convention, along with numerous liberals and liberal organizations who are waiting in the wings to jump in and dominate a convention once it has been called.  But many conservatives strongly oppose a convention.  So please do not be misled into thinking support for a convention is the “default” conservative position.

Revised June 23, 2014

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February 27, 2014 Posted by | Article V, Article V Convention, constitutional convention, Convention of States project, Jordan Sillars, re-writing the Constitution | , , , , , | 27 Comments

Balanced Budget Amendments (BBA) Gut Our Constitution And Don’t Reduce Spending

By Publius Huldah

Q:  Doesn’t our Constitution already provide for controlling federal spending?
A:  Yes.  It lists the purposes for which Congress may spend money.  Spending is limited by the “enumerated powers” listed in the Constitution:

  • If it’s on the list of powers delegated to Congress or the President, Congress may lawfully appropriate funds for it.  Read the Constitution and highlight the delegated powers – then you will know what Congress may lawfully spend money on.
  • If it’s not listed, Congress may not lawfully spend money on it.

Q: What is the connection between the Oath of office (Art. VI, cl. 3) and federal spending?
A: All federal and State officials take an Oath to support the federal Constitution.  The Constitution lists what Congress may lawfully spend money on.  When people in Congress spend money on objects not listed in the Constitution; and when State officials accept federal funds for objects not listed (race to the top, common core, etc.) they violate their Oath to support the Constitution.

Q:  Are the federal departments of Education, Agriculture, Labor, Energy, Housing & Urban Development, Health & Human Services, DHS, etc., etc., constitutional?
A:  No!

  • Power over education, agriculture, labor relations, energy, etc., etc., was NOWHERE in the Constitution delegated to the federal government.  Those powers were reserved by the States or the People.
  • DHS – a national police force under the President’s control – is becoming our version of the East German STASI. Yet the States colluded with the feds in nationalizing law enforcement because they wanted the federal funds and military equipment.

Q:  How did we get a national debt of over $17 trillion, plus trillions more in unfunded liabilities?
A:  Congress spent on objects for which it has no constitutional authority, such as teaching Chinese prostitutes how to drink responsibly, bailouts of private businesses, welfare handouts, farming programs, education schemes, and grants paid to States to bribe them into implementing unconstitutional federal programs.  It was the unconstitutional spending which gave us this crushing debt.

Q: The 10th Amendment says all powers not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution are reserved to the States or to the People.  What happened to these reserved powers?
A: The States sold them to the federal government. The States have become administrative subdivisions of the federal government, and their aim is to siphon as much money as possible from the federal government.

Q: What should we do about the unconstitutional spending?
A:  We must eliminate pork.  We must systematically dismantle unconstitutional federal departments & agencies.  Except that the Department of Education should be shut down, and its bureaucrats sent home, by this Friday at 5:00 p.m.  All these functions must be restored to The States or The People.

Why BBAs Are Destructive

Q: Why won’t a BBA fix our debt problem?
A: They don’t address the cause of the problem: Congress spends where they have no constitutional authority to spend.  The BBAs don’t eliminate the unconstitutional spending; and they place no limits on the amount of the unconstitutional spending.

Q: Is a BBA harmful?
A:  Yes.  All versions of the BBA legalize spending which is now illegal and unconstitutional as outside the scope of powers delegated to Congress or the President.

Q: Would a BBA fundamentally transform our Constitution?
A:  Yes.  All versions of the BBA amend out the enumerated powers limitations on the federal government and transform the federal government into one of general & unlimited powers where the feds may spend money on whatever they want as long as they don’t exceed the spending limits “imposed” by the BBA.

Q: So a BBA changes the constitutional criterion for spending?
A:  Yes!  All versions of the BBA change the criterion from:

  • WHAT Congress spends money on (it must be an enumerated power), to
  • A LIMIT on total spending where Congress can spend money on whatever they want.

Q:  How are spending limits in the various versions of the BBA set?
A:

  • by the amount they take from us in taxes, or
  • by a certain percentage of the GDP, or
  • by the additional amounts they borrow to finance their spending.

Q: Can these limits on spending be raised?
A:  Yes!  In most versions of the BBA, Congress can vote to raise the spending limit (just as they vote every few months to raise the debt limit).  In the version of the BBA by Nick Dranias and Compact for America, Congress and at least 26 States can vote at any time to raise the spending limit.

Not only do the BBAs fail to address the cause of the problem (Congress spends on unconstitutional objects); none of them limit the amount of Congress’ spending because the spending limits can be raised whenever they want to raise them.

So!  Just as Congress votes every few months to raise the debt ceiling; they can vote whenever they want to raise the spending limit.

Q: What about Mark Levin’s amendment “to limit federal spending” (page 73 of his book)?
A:  Levin’s amendment makes lawful the spending which is now unconstitutional.  And his amendment does nothing to control spending:

  • Levin substitutes a “budget” [which permits spending on whatever people in the federal government want] 1 for the enumerated powers listed in the Constitution; and,
  • While it pretends to limit spending to income, it actually permits Congress to suspend the spending limit and to continue to raise the national debt limit.

So!  Like all other BBAs, Levin’s legalizes the present unconstitutional spending and does nothing to curb spending.  It legalizes the status quo.  And it guts our Constitution by erasing the enumerated powers limitations on spending.

Q: What about Randy Barnett’s version of a BBA?  [See Barnett’s 8th amendment here.]
A: Randy Barnett, law professor, redefines “unbalanced budget” to mean a budget where the national debt is greater than it was the previous year.  [Yes, you read that right.]

Barnett’s amendment doesn’t address the unconstitutional spending which caused the massive debt.

And it delegates sweeping new powers to the President to stop funding anything he doesn’t want funded.  E.g., it permits him to ban appropriations authorized by the Constitution, such as all funding for our military (which is authorized by Art. I, Sec. 8, clauses 11-14).

Q: What is the real purpose of all versions of the BBA?
A:  The sole purpose is to remove the enumerated powers limitations on the federal government and give it general & unlimited powers.

Folks! You must read the texts of the proposed BBAs and see what they actually say.  Do not stop with the name and just read in your own understanding of what it means to “balance a budget”.

For more information on various versions of the BBA see:

http://publiushuldah.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/balancing-the-budget-or-adding-a-national-sales-tax-to-the-income-tax/

http://publiushuldah.wordpress.com/2011/06/27/why-the-balanced-budget-amendment-is-a-hoax-and-a-deadly-trap/

http://publiushuldah.wordpress.com/2011/02/23/why-the-balanced-budget-amendment-is-the-worst-idea-ever/

Endnotes:

1 The federal government didn’t have a budget until the Budget Act of 1921, which purported to grant budget making power (taxes & appropriations) to the President.

The Budget Act is unconstitutional.  Article I, Sec. 8, cl. 1, delegates to Congress Power to lay and collect Taxes; and Art. I, Sec. 9, next to last clause, delegates to Congress Power to make appropriations:

“No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.”

Before the Budget Act of 1921, Congress made appropriations for items listed in the Constitution as the need arose; determined the taxes, and kept records of both. PH

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February 19, 2014 Posted by | Balanced Budget Amendment | , , , | 6 Comments

Balancing the Budget? Or Adding A National Sales Tax To The Income Tax?

By Publius Huldah

The stated purpose of Compact for America, Inc. is to get a balanced budget amendment (BBA) ratified.  Here is their proposed BBA.  State Legislators recently introduced it in Arizona. 1

The gap between what this BBA pretends to do – and what it actually does – is enormous. It has nothing to do with “balancing the budget” – it is about slipping in a new national sales tax or value-added tax in addition to the existing federal income tax.

We have become so shallow that we look no further than a name – if it sounds good, we are all for it.  We hear, “balanced budget amendment”, and think, “I have to balance my budget; they should have to balance theirs.”  So we don’t read the amendment, we just assume they will have to balance theirs the same way we balance ours – by cutting spending.

But that is not what the BBA does.  In effect, it redefines “balancing the budget” to mean spending no more than your income plus the additional debt you incur to finance your spending.  To illustrate:  If your income is $100,000 a year; but you spend $175,000 a year, you “balance” your budget by borrowing the additional $75,000.  See?

Under the BBA, Congress may continue to spend whatever it likes and incur as much new debt as it pleases – as long as 26 States agree.  And since the States have become major consumers of federal funding, who doubts that they can’t continue to be bought?  Federal grants make up almost 35% of the States’ annual budgets!  The States are addicted to federal funds – who thinks they won’t agree to get more money?

The BBA enshrines Debt as a permanent feature of our Country; gives it constitutional approval; does nothing to reduce spending or “balance the budget”; authorizes a new national tax; and wipes out the “enumerated powers” limitation on the federal government.

Let’s look at the BBA, section by section, using plain and honest English.  And then let’s look at how our Framers wrote our Constitution to strictly control federal spending.

Compact for America’s BBA

Section 1 says the federal government may not spend more than they take from you in taxes or add to the national debt. [Yes, you read that right.]

Section 2 accepts debt as a permanent feature of our Country – the “Authorized Debt”. This is the maximum amount of debt the federal government may incur at any given point in time.

  • Initially, when the Amendment is ratified, the “authorized debt” may not be more than 105% of the then existing national debt.  So!  If the national debt is $20 trillion when the Amendment is ratified, the federal government may not initially add more than 105% of    $20 trillion [or $1 trillion] to the national debt.
  • After that initial addition to the national debt, the “authorized debt” may not be increased unless it is approved by State Legislatures as provided in Section 3.

Section 3 says whenever Congress wants, it may increase the national debt if 26 of the State Legislatures agree.  [Yes, you read that right.]

Section 4 says whenever the national debt exceeds 98% of “the debt limit set by Section 2”, the President shall “impound” sufficient expenditures so that the national debt won’t exceed the “authorized debt”.  And if the President doesn’t do this, Congress may impeach him!

This is a hoot, Folks!  I’ll show you:

  •  No debt limit is set by Section 2!  The national debt can be increased at any time if Congress gets 26 State Legislatures to agree.  Can 26 States be bought?
  •  Section 6 defines “impoundment” as “a proposal not to spend all or part of a sum of money appropriated by Congress”.  Who believes Congress will impeach the President 2 for failing to “impound” an appropriation made by Congress?

Section 5 says any new or increased federal “general revenue tax” must be approved by 2/3 of the members of both houses of Congress.

Now pay attention, because this is a monstrous trick to be played on you:  Section 6 defines “general revenue tax” as “any income tax, sales tax, or value-added tax” levied by the federal government.

And when you read the first sentence of Section 5 with the definition of “general revenue taxin place of “general revenue tax”, you see that it says:

“No bill that provides for a new or increased income tax, sales tax, or value-added tax shall become law unless approved by a two-thirds roll call vote…” 

 Do you see?  This permits Congress to impose a national sales tax or value added tax in addition to the income tax, 3 if 2/3 of both houses agree.  [Yes, you read that right.]

But the trickery of the drafters of this evil piece of work is even worse.  Section 5 also says that any bill for a new sales tax which would replace the federal income tax need only be approved by a simple majority of the members of both houses.

This makes most readers believe that the income tax would be replaced by a sales tax.

But the Amendment does not require Congress to introduce a sales tax to replace the income tax. [Remember, that sales tax requires only a simple majority to get passed.]

Whereas it authorizes Congress to impose a sales tax or value-added tax in addition to the income tax[This sales tax requires a 2/3 majority to get passed.]

Do you see? Are they tricky or what!

And which option will Congress choose?

Section 6 sets forth the definitions for the amendment.  As you see, you must always read the definitions and apply them to the text.

Section 7 says the Amendment is “self-enforcing”.  Rubbish!  No Constitution or amendment is “self-enforcing”.  There is only one way to enforce our Constitution:  WE THE PEOPLE, who are “the natural guardians of the Constitution” (Federalist No. 16, next to last para), enforce it by learning it and by throwing out politicians who ignore it. And we must always be on guard against the wolves who seek to destroy it.

Nick Dranias, on the Board of Directors for the Compact for America , is a constitutional lawyer.  History professor, Kevin R. C. Gutzman, on the Advisory Council, is a lawyer. Other prominent lawyers and a 5th Circuit Court Judge, are on the Council. They all know what their BBA really does.  For a chilling disclosure of who some of these people are on the Council, see investigative journalist Kelleigh Nelson’s paper on News With Views.

How Does Our Constitution Control Federal Spending?

Our Constitution lists – itemizes – every power WE THE PEOPLE delegated to the federal government when we ratified the Constitution.  These are the “enumerated powers”.  Article I, §8 lists most of the powers delegated to Congress for the Country at large: 4

  • immigration office (Art. I, §8, cl.4)
  • mint (Art. I, §8, cl. 5)
  • a few criminal laws (e.g., Art. I, §8, cl. 6)
  • post offices & post roads (Art. I, §8, cl. 7)
  • patent & copyright office (Art. I, §8, cl. 8)
  • federal courts (Art. I, §8, cl. 9)
  • military and citizen militia (Art. I, §8, cls. 11-16)

Various other Articles, sections, and clauses list additional objects of Congress’ spending, such as payment of the salaries of persons on the civil list (Art. I, §6, cl.1; Art. II, §1, next to last clause; and Art. III, §1).

Do you get the idea?  The Constitution lists what Congress is permitted to spend money on. Its spending is limited to the enumerated powers, and the salaries of those on the civil list.  If you will go thru our Constitution and highlight every power delegated to Congress and the President, you will see ALL the objects on which Congress has constitutional authority to appropriate funds.  THAT is ALL – ALL – they may lawfully spend money on.

We have a debt of $17+ trillion (plus unfunded liabilities) because WE ignored our Constitution for 100 years; and Congress spent money on objects outside the scope of the enumerated powers.

This one page chart depicts the Constitution We established, and most of what Congress may lawfully spend money on.  Is it not a thing of beauty?  Do you want it back?  Then Restore it!

Understand this:  All versions of a BBA eliminate the enumerated powers limitations on the federal government.  Under all versions, the Constitution is “fundamentally changed” to permit the federal government to do anything they want and to spend money on anything they please.

Amendments are a tricky business.  And tricksters abound in our Land.

Endnotes:

 1 Compact for America is also trying to use the “compact of the states” provision & is calling for an Art. V convention.  Red Flag, Folks!  But for now, let’s look just at their dishonest BBA.

2 Congress always had authority to impeach and remove a President for usurpations of power – see this short Primer.

3 Section 5 also says Congress may reduce or eliminate existing income tax exemptions, deductions, or credits by a simple majority vote.

4 This paper lists all the powers delegated to Congress by our Constitution.  You can learn them!

Postscript added Feb. 13, 2014:

Nick Dranias and others at Compact for America are posting here & there insisting that their BBA does not  impose a new tax, because Congress already has authority to impose a sales tax or VAT tax.  They say Art. I, Sec. 8, cl. 1,  authorizes Congress to impose “imposts”, and that an “impost” is any kind of tax.

Rubbish!

We must go by the original intent of “impost”. Ten or so of The Federalist Papers discuss “imposts”, and they are a tax on imports. That is quite clear. It is easy to find these Papers. The edition of The Federalist I use has a search function: just type in imposts and the list of Papers will come right up and you can read them all.

 

Webster’s 1828 dictionary also defines “imposts” as a tax on imports: http://1828.mshaffer.com/d/word/impost

 

“1. Any tax or tribute imposed by authority; particularly, a duty or tax laid by government on goods imported, and paid or secured by the importer at the time of importation. Imposts are also called customs.”

So a national sales tax is most manifestly NOT an “impost”!  And yes, Dranias’ BBA imposes a new national sales or VAT tax.

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February 10, 2014 Posted by | Balanced Budget Amendment, Compact for America, Kevin Gutzman, Nick Dranias | , , , | 37 Comments

Propaganda And The Conspiracy against Our Constitution

By Publius Huldah

The “Convention of States” (COS) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page contains 989 words – none of them true – except for these which appear in the first paragraph:

“The federal government is spending this country into the ground … It’s time American citizens took a stand and made a legitimate effort to curb the power … of the federal government.”

In my last paper, I showed how our Constitution itemizes what Congress is authorized to spend money on; and that we have a $17 trillion debt because everyone ignores the limits the Constitution places on Congress’ spending powers.

To curb the federal government, We must do things we have neglected for over 100 years: Reclaim our role as “the natural guardians of the Constitution”; 1 learn our Founding Principles & Documents; enforce them with nullification and by rejecting candidates who don’t know them by heart; stop relying on politicians to handle things; 2 reclaim personal responsibility; and get ready for a rocky road ahead.

But the “convention of states” conspirators 3 say the only solution is a convention to “propose amendments” to the Constitution.  They tell lies about nullification – the one remedy our Framers actually advised when the feds usurp powers. They say our Constitution is the problem. They say it contains “loopholes and vague phraseology” which politicians exploit. They suggest the States are victims of federal tyranny; are the ones to “fix” our Constitution; and that the States call and control the convention.  They say it is impossible for the convention to force a new Constitution down our throats.  But I submit that is precisely what they intend to do.

Jordan Sillars, Communications Director for COS, let the cat out of the bag when he said:

“… 3. I think the majority of Americans are too lazy to elect honest politicians. But I think some men and women could be found who are morally and intellectually capable of re-writing the Constitution” [boldface mine].

Contrary to what the conspirators say, there is no way to stop the convention from “running away”: All the delegates need do is come up with a new Constitution. It can provide for any method of ratification they want.

That is what happened in 1787 when the Continental Congress called a convention “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”. 4 The delegates ignored their instructions and wrote an entirely new Constitution with its own new method of ratification.

The Conspirators’ Campaign of Propaganda against The People

The conspirators’ claims spit in the Face of Facts and Reality.  So how have they been able to convince people to believe their claims; and go along with their destructive scheme?

They are exploiting the ignorance and desperation of The People by manipulating them with propaganda. Their FAQ’s employ nine well known techniques of propaganda: 5

  • Assume the Major Premise
  • Appeal to Desperation
  • Claim there is a Panacea
  • Repetition for Emphasis
  • The Big Lie
  • Fabricated Legal Principles & Precedent  [“Imaginary Evidence”]
  • Oversimplify
  • Exploit Wishful Thinking
  • The Self-sell.

Assume the Major Premises

Throughout the FAQs, it is assumed that:

  1. The purpose of amendments is to control the federal government;
  2. Our Constitution is defective;
  3. That there is such a thing as a “convention of states” which States call and control;
  4. States will protect us from the federal government; and
  5. The federal government will obey amendments to the Constitution.

These are the five major assumptions upon which their scam is constructed. They don’t prove them – they know many will blindly accept them. Only thoughtful people examine assumptions.

But you can become a “thoughtful person” if you will start examining what you are told.

Their first major premise: The Truth is two (2) delegates at the Federal Convention of 1787 (Mason & Randolph) wanted States to be able to amend the Constitution without involvement of Congress. The conspirators’ crazy and dishonest claim that the purpose of amendments is to control the federal government is based on Mason’s & Randolph’s comments you can find here.  Theirs was the minority view; Art. V provides for Congress’ involvement in both methods of amendment; and Mason & Randolph objected so much to our Constitution they refused to sign it.

Our Framers at the Federal Convention of 1787 understood that the purpose of amendments is to remedy defects in the Constitution [slavery]; and that the novelty and difficulty of what they were doing would require periodic revision [the 11th, 12th, & 27th amendments].  Hamilton said in Federalist No. 85 (13th para) that useful amendments would address the “organization of the government, not … the mass of its powers”.  Madison said in Federalist No. 43 (at 8.) that “useful alterations will be suggested by experience.”

People are deceived by the conspirators’ first premise because they don’t understand that our Constitution created a federal government of strictly limited and defined – enumerated – powers. Everything the feds have authority to do is itemized in our Constitution.  Does our Constitution delegate to the feds power to ban incandescent light bulbs, determine portion sizes of school lunches, and force us into obamacare?  No! So what do you do when the feds usurp powers over such objects?  Amend the Constitution?  Really?  How would you amend the Constitution to fix such usurpations?  Make an Amendment saying the feds can’t regulate light bulbs?  And so on for every power they usurp?

It is crazy to say the purpose of amendments is to control the federal government. When the feds usurp powers not delegated, no amendment saying they can’t do what they did will restrain them. They violated the Constitution when they usurped the power in the first place!

Furthermore, the amendments they write don’t restrict the feds:  Michael Farris’ “parental rights amendment” delegates power over children to the federal and state governments, and empowers judges to determine the extent of that power! One of Randy Barnett’s amendments gives the feds lawful power over “harmful emissions” [EPA now exercises usurped powers], and power “to define and provide for punishment of offenses constituting acts of war or violent insurrection against the United States” [read that again!]. Mark Levin’s amendments also increase the powers of the feds by legalizing powers they have usurped. His “override” amendments remove the Constitution as the standard of what is lawful and what is not, and substitute majority vote. Yet the conspirators say such amendments would curb the federal government!

But we must not be distracted by proposed amendments. Their amendments are most likely a pretext to get a “convention” so they can carry out their plot to replace our Constitution.

Their second major premise: Our Constitution is the cause of our problems.

Except for some of the existing Amendments Americans already got manipulated into supporting, what is wrong with our Constitution?  For the most part, it is easy to understand. For phrases federal judges have perverted – such as the “interstate commerce”, “general welfare”, & “necessary and proper” clauses, a quick look into The Federalist Papers usually reveals the original intent.  I illustrate that here and in many other papers.

This one page chart illustrates the structure of our federal system and the enumerated powers delegated to the federal government. What needs “fixing”?  We are in our present mess because for 100 years, we elected & re-elected politicians to federal and state office who ignore it.

All our Constitution wants is (1) to be learned & obeyed; and (2) to have repealed some of the existing Amendments. Repeal those the same way we repealed the 18th Amendment. We don’t need a “convention” for that. Instead of sending ignorant phonies to Congress; send people who know the Constitution [make them pass tests before you support them] and commit to repealing the 17th Amendment and other ill-considered Amendments.

Their third major premise: That there is such a thing as a “convention of states”: The FAQs say “Article V, Section 2 of the Constitution” gives state legislatures the power to call a convention; that Federalist No. 85 says Congress has “no control over the delegates”; that “Virginia called the Philadelphia Convention of 1787”; and that “Basic common sense” and “Agency law 101” says “Each state chooses its own delegates”.

Those claims are truly bizarre.

Read Art. V:  There is no “Section 2”.  Article V says Congress calls the convention – not state legislatures.  All state legislatures can do is apply to Congress for Congress to call it.

Federalist No. 85 says Congress must call a convention when two-thirds of the States apply for it. Hamilton does not say Congress has “no control over the delegates”! 6

Virginia did not “call” the Philadelphia Convention of 1787!  The Continental Congress did.  Their Resolution calling the 1787 convention, pursuant to Art. 13 of The Articles of Confederation, is quoted at endnote 4.  And when the Continental Congress called the 1787 convention, they specifically provided that delegates would be appointed by the States. 4

But Art. I, Sec. 8, last clause, of our Constitution delegates to Congress power to make all laws necessary and proper to carry out the powers vested in it by Art. V.  So Congress has the power to organize the convention, appoint the chairman and delegates, etc.  The Mason & Randolph view was rejected. And the clear words of our Constitution cannot be changed by some ignorant person’s subjective conceptions of “common sense” and “Agency law 101”!

Their fourth major premise: That States are victims of federal tyranny and will rein in the federal government given the opportunity at a convention.

But look at what States have done. They have acquiesced in federal usurpations in exchange for federal funds. The States adopted unconstitutional federal education schemes such as “race to the top” and common core for the federal grant money.

DHS is becoming America’s equivalent of the East German STASI and Soviet KGB. With the connivance of State governments, DHS is taking over local & State law enforcement. And read about the fusion centers in every State – the States acquiesced!

John Barnes shows that State governments no longer focus on managing “a relatively self-contained polis”, but on “siphoning as much money as possible from the federal government”; and that “state government is becoming a mere pass-through for federal funds and an apparatus of federal policy.”  Barnes shows us how State governments all over the Country are bloated with bureaucrats whose job is to “maximize federal funding”.

Google “maximize federal funding” – you will see.  No rational person can believe that the politicians in the States – who are the ones who sold us to the feds in the first place – are the ones to rescue us from the feds.  If the States wanted to, they could rein in the feds right now by using the remedy our Framers really did advise: Nullification.

Their fifth major premise: That the federal government will obey amendments.

But think! The feds continually violate the Constitution we have.  They exercise thousands of usurped powers.

The conspirators insist the feds would obey future amendments because the feds haven’t violated recent amendments, such as women’s suffrage.  Well, of course not!  Of the 15 amendments ratified since the 12th in 1804; 10 increased the powers of the feds (13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 23rd, 24th, 26th); 7 and 4 were “housekeeping” amendments (20th, 22nd, 25th, 27th).

Do you see?

Appeal to Desperation

The gist of this propaganda technique is to argue that we must do something – we can’t do nothing – so let’s do what I propose.  And we better do it “before it is too late”.

Many Americans are in a panic over the rapidity with which Obama – with the connivance of the Republican and Democrat parties and the State governments – is setting up a national totalitarian police state.

But we mustn’t allow the conspirators to exploit our desperation so as to induce us into surrendering our Constitution. All Americans who have fallen for the conspirators’ scam have been manipulated by THIS technique.

We have effective options.  We have failed to gain the knowledge which would enable us to be the Sovereigns we are supposed to be.  We have contented ourselves with blind faith in talk show hosts, politicians, and other charlatans. We are what needs fixing.

Claim there is a Panacea

With this, you claim that what you are offering is a magical cure for all the problems.

The conspirators say all we have to do to fix our problems is have a “convention of states”. They say they will propose amendments to the Constitution, and the federal government will be “fixed”.  They ignore the facts that everyone has ignored the Constitution we have; that it was the States who sold us out in the first place; and that We The People kept reelecting ignorant & glib politicians who violate the Constitution to state & federal office.

There is no such thing as a panacea. We have a long road ahead of us to fix the problems We caused by our own folly, ignorance, and laziness.

Repetition for Emphasis

With this, you drive home a few simple and unproven points by repeating them over and over until the public believes them.

The five major premises listed above are repeated over & over & over & over & over.  People believe them because they have been programed to believe them.   

Orange quotes Adolf Hitler:

“It [propaganda] must repeat those points over and over again until the public believes it. The principles behind propaganda are the same principles of mind control, hypnotic suggestion, and mental programming: distraction and repetition. With propaganda, distraction draws attention away from information that is true and directs attention to information that is false. Repetition of the false information imbeds it in your subconscious mind so that your acceptance of its truth becomes a conditioned response. You accept this information as true without thinking whenever it is presented to you again.”

This is why most of mankind has lived under tyranny.  People will believe anything if they hear it enough.  Folks!  You better start facing Reality and taking charge of what you believe.

The Big Lie

The gist of this is to:

 “…keep repeating the same lie[s] over and over, in spite of all arguments and evidence to the contrary, until people believe it.  Massive repetition is essential.”

It has already been proved by this and other writers that everything the conspirators say about nullification and a “convention” is false. But they keep repeating it.  Why?  Because massive repetition of lies will induce people to believe them.

Fabricated Legal Principles & Precedent [“Imaginary Evidence”]

The FAQs make various assertions about how this “convention of states” would operate, such as:

  • “The applications must request a convention of states for the same subject matter” or “same issue”;
  • “States are free to develop their own selection process for choosing their delegates…  each state has one vote at the convention.”

The FAQs say this reflects “widely accepted” “procedures and rules” Rob Natelson found during his “extensive research”, which were followed in the “interstate conventions” which “were common” during “the Founding Era”.

Folks! If these customs existed and established binding precedent on the Congress we created when we ratified our Constitution, why did James Madison not know about them?  During the Federal Convention of 1787, Madison said, respecting Article V:

September 10, 1787: Mr. Madison remarked on the vagueness of the terms, “call a Convention for the purpose”, as sufficient reason for reconsidering the article.  “How was a Convention to be formed? – by what rule decide? – what the force of its acts?”

September 15, 1787: Mr. Madison did not see why Congress would not be as much bound to propose amendments applied for by two-thirds of the States, as to call a Convention on the like application.  He saw no objection, however, against providing for a Convention for the purpose of amendments, except only that difficulties might arise as to the form, the quorum, &c., which in constitutional regulations ought to be as much as possible avoided.

Do you see?  And don’t forget: Article V says Congress calls the convention; and Art. I, Sec. 8, last clause, delegates to Congress power to make laws needed to execute the powers vested in it by Article V. This constitutional provision supersedes any “customs” to the contrary.

Oversimplify

 The gist of this technique is to:

“Reduce the issue to a few simple sentences that any blithering idiot can understand. Leave out all the complicated facts and confounding factors. Reduce the debate to just a few simple-minded sentences and slogans. Reduce complex multi-faceted issues to simplistic statements that can be expressed in a short sound bite.”

Aren’t the FAQs a few simple concepts any blithering idiot can understand?

It is this and other writers who point out the “complicated facts”.  Are we too stupid to be free?

Exploit Wishful Thinking

With this technique, you tell people what they want to hear, rather than the unpleasant truths.

The conspirators are offering an easy way out which satisfies a deep yearning: to feel good. We don’t have to accept responsibility for our own failures to become a “natural guardian of the Constitution”; we are encouraged to blame shift and see the Constitution as the cause of our problems; and we don’t have to trouble ourselves to actually learn our Founding Principles & Documents.  All we have to do is join the conspirators.  And then, everything will be wonderful.

The Self-sell

This technique gets people to convince themselves of your ideas by asking for their help in promoting your ideas. “They will sell themselves on the idea as they try to sell it to others.”

Orange gives this example of the Self-sell:  In “Cold Turkey”, Dick Van Dyke plays a preacher who wants everyone in his town to quit smoking.  He got the local Neo-Nazis to quit by enlisting them as “smoking-ban enforcers”.

The conspirators want to build a “grassroots operation” of volunteers to sell their scheme to State legislators [the ones who already sold us to the feds for federal funds.] And we have seen these volunteers’ mindless comments on the internet as they regurgitate the talking points in the FAQs – they sell themselves as they try to sell to others. 8

Conclusion

You better wise up now. Study this chart. Flesh it out with your readings of our Declaration of Independence and Constitution.  Have study groups. What Hamilton asked you to be is not difficult.

Endnotes:

1 Our Framers never saw courts as the final authority.  See James Madison Rebukes Nullification Deniers.  Hamilton expected us to be “a people enlightened enough to distinguish between a legal exercise and an illegal usurpation of authority” (Federalist No. 16, next to last para).

2 Politicians are as ignorant as those who elect them. But we want a savior who will rescue us without any effort on our part. So we look to politicians to save us. They always betray us; and we are presented with still another phony who says what we want to hear, whom we support, and who betrays us. This happens because we don’t know our Constitution, and thus can’t evaluate the politicians.  If WE knew our Constitution, those smooth-talking ignoramuses wouldn’t have a chance of getting elected. You would see right through them.

3 Progressives & phony “conservatives” have worked hand in hand for many years to replace our Constitution. See Richard D. Fry, “Convention of States”: The Wrong Solution to the Wrong Problem.

4 The conspirators tell the brazen lie that the convention “cannot throw out the Constitution because it derives its authority from the Constitution.”  Rubbish!  Pursuant to Article XIII of The Articles of Confederation, the Continental Congress resolved on February 21, 1787 (p 71-74):

“Resolved that in the opinion of Congress it is expedient that on the second Monday in May next a Convention of delegates who shall have been appointed by the several states be held at Philadelphia for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation and reporting to Congress and the several legislatures such alterations and provisions therein as shall when agreed to in Congress and confirmed by the states render the federal constitution adequate to the exigencies of Government & the preservation of the Union.” [emphasis mine]

The delegates ignored these limitations and wrote a new Constitution with a new method of ratification.  It is impossible to stop this from happening at another convention. And George Washington, James Madison, Ben Franklin, and Alexander Hamilton won’t be there.

The conspirators also say a “Constitutional Convention” is safe because no amendment will be passed which is not ratified by ¾ of the States. This is deceptive because the concern is about a runaway convention & a new Constitution – not amendments. Since a new Constitution can have any method of ratification the delegates want, it can be forced on us.

5 See Propaganda and Debating Techniques by A. Orange. Orange is a “librul”, and on a vendetta against AA.  But he understands how scoundrels use propaganda to deceive the unthinking.  See how Adolf Hitler used these same techniques to manipulate the German People.

6 I addressed this same lie in “Mark Levin Refuted: Keep the Feds in Check with Nullification, not Amendments!” under the subheading, “What Levin Claims Article V Says”.  Congress’ lack of discretion is limited to the issue of “to call or not to call” a convention once the requisite number of States has applied for it.  After Congress “calls” the convention, Art. I, Sec. 8, last clause kicks in to empower Congress to make all laws necessary to carry out the call.

7 The result of the voting amendments (15th, 19th, 24th, 26th)was to transfer the power of determining voter qualifications from the States (Art. I, Sec. 2, cl.1) to the federal government.

It was necessary to amend the Constitution to remedy the defects which permitted slavery; but the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments delegated powers over the States to the federal government.  It would have been better to merely repeal the provisions at Art. I, Sec. 2, cl.3 which provided for a partial counting of slaves; and Art. IV, Sec. 2, cl. 3 which permitted Congress to make laws against fugitive slaves.  And if the States had been wise instead of foolish, they would have banned slavery and extended citizenship & civil rights to freed slaves on their own, and provided the education to help them make the transition from slave to citizen.  Stupidity and wickedness are not cheap, Folks.  And Amendments are a very tricky business.

8 There is nothing wrong with asking others to help promote ideas – when the ideas are True and Good.  But when the ideas are destructive and false, the self-sell is immoral manipulation. PH

January 28, 2014

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January 28, 2014 Posted by | Amendments to the Constitution, Article V, Article V Convention, constitutional convention, Convention of States project, Federal Convention of 1787, Jordan Sillars, Michael Farris, Necessary and Proper clause, re-writing the Constitution | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

The “Convention of States” Scam, the War over the Constitution, and how the States Sold the Reserved Powers to the Feds.

By Publius Huldah

Our Constitution is a glorious document. This one page chart depicts the Structure of the federal government we created when we ratified our Constitution; and lists the “limited & enumerated powers” we delegated to the federal government over the Country at Large.

In a nutshell, our Constitution authorizes the federal government to handle the following objects for the Country at Large:

  • Military defense, international commerce & relations;
  • Control immigration & naturalization of new citizens;
  • Domestically, to create a uniform commercial system:  weights & measures, patents & copyrights, money based on gold & silver, bankruptcy laws, mail delivery & some road building; and
  • With some of the amendments, secure certain civil rights.

Basically, that’s it.  As stated in the 10th Amendment, all others powers are reserved by the States or The People.

But for 100 years, almost everyone in our Country has ignored our Constitution.  Thus, instead of restricting spending to the enumerated objects of its powers, the people WE send to Congress spend money on what anybody wants – and so gave us a debt of $17 trillion.  Instead of restricting lawmaking to the enumerated objects of its powers, the people WE send to Congress make laws on whatever they like. The President WE elected tramples all over the Constitution; and due to the connivance, cowardice, and ignorance of Congress, the supreme Court, State governments, and the American People, is seizing totalitarian power.

WE are in terrible trouble.

And it is the phony right wing which is seducing the American People into taking the final jump off the cliff.

Michael Farris, head of the Convention of States 1 project, begins his video with this spiel:

“We all know that our government is way off track. The debt is astronomical and is going to cripple not only our own freedom and our own economy, but our children and our grandchildren are going to be effectively slaves, paying for all the things that we’re spending money on today.”

That part of his video is true.

But the purpose of their spiels is to make you believe they are on your side.  You must look behind the spiels and think carefully about what they are proposing as “solutions”.  Much is at stake:

THIS IS THE WAR over our Constitution and Country.  And here are the two sides:

Learn & Enforce our Existing Constitution!

One side proposes that we learn & enforce our existing Constitution of limited & enumerated powers.  We show that our Framers advised us to enforce our Constitution by (1) electing better representatives to annul the acts of the usurpers, 2 or by (2) nullification of unconstitutional acts.

To illustrate: What would our Country’s financial condition be if WE THE PEOPLE had enforced the enumerated powers on Congress?

It is the enumerated powers which list the objects on which Congress may appropriate funds:

  • immigration office (Art. I, §8, cl.4)
  • mint (Art. I, §8, cl. 5)
  • Attorney General (Art. I, §8, cl. 6)
  • post offices & post roads (Art. I, §8, cl. 7)
  • patent & copyright office (Art. I, §8, cl. 8)
  • federal courts (Art. I, §8, cl. 9)
  • military (Art. I, §8, cls. 11-16)
  • the civil list (Art. I, §6, cl.1)
  • [and other objects listed in various other articles, sections, &clauses]

Do you get the idea?  The Constitution itemizes what Congress is permitted to spend money on. See also the two geographical areas over which Congress was delegated “general legislative powers”: Art. I, §8, next to last clause, & Art. IV, §3, cl. 2.

The reason we have a debt of $17 trillion is because everyone ignored the Constitution; so Congress spent money on objects outside the scope of its enumerated powers.

Amend Away our Existing Constitution?

But the Randy Barnett 3/ Rob Natelson/ Michael Farris/ Mark Levin camp want a “convention” so they can gut our existing Constitution by amending out the limited & enumerated powers with new amendments which grant general powers to the federal government; or they seek to re-write the Constitution altogether. 

Here are illustrations of how the limited & enumerated powers can be amended out of our Constitution:

It has already been shown how the so-called balanced budget amendment would transform our Constitution from one of enumerated spending powers to one of general spending powers, where spending would be limited only by the amount of revenue the federal government generates or a certain percentage of the GDP. 4 But under our existing Constitution, the federal government’s expenditures are limited by the constitutional grants of authority – the enumerated powers.  The problem is everyone ignores the enumerated powers – they never even bothered to learn what they are!

Here is another illustration:  Michael Farris, the grand master of The Spiel, has managed to convince many parents that the only way to protect their parental rights is an amendment to the Constitution which delegates to the federal and State governments constitutional power over their children!

And Mark Levin’s suggested amendments would gut our Constitution.  Most increase the powers of the federal government by making constitutional what is now unconstitutional because it is not an enumerated power.  The amendments pertaining to “overrides” undermine the Constitution as the objective standard of what is lawful and what is not – and substitute majority vote therefor.  These “overrides” would erase the Constitution and replace it with majority (mob) rule.

Or is “re-writing the Constitution” their actual goal?

Farris says in the video:

“…sometimes what you need is not a change of personnel, you need a change of structure. The Founders understood the importance of structure…”

Does that give you cold chills?

How does Farris seek to change the structure?

Please – all of you – look at this one page chart which depicts The Structure of the federal government our Framers gave us:  What needs changing?  Isn’t enforcement what we need?

Jordan Sillars, Communications Director for Farris’ Convention of States Project, let the cat out of the bag:

On September 15, 2013, a discussion on my Face Book page was started about Mark Levin’s clamoring for a “convention of states”.

On or before September 19, Jordon Sillars posted a comment wherein he said:

“… 3. I think the majority of Americans are too lazy to elect honest politicians. But I think some men and women could be found who are morally and intellectually capable of re-writing the Constitution…” [boldface mine].

On September 19 at 1:20 p.m., I responded:

“So, this really is about “re-writing the Constitution”, isn’t it?

And could you name these individuals who are “morally and intellectually capable of re-writing the Constitution”?”

Sillars thereafter deleted his comments, but not before I obtained a screen shot of his quoted comment which you can see here.

Why did he delete his comments?

Now let’s look more at what Farris says in his video:

The False Statements & Silly Arguments of the Proponents of a “convention of States”

1.  After his introduction about the $17 trillion debt, Farris goes on to say:

The States have the power under Article V to call a convention of the States for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution…”

His statement is false.

The Truth is the States have no authority to call the convention.  That power is delegated to Congress.  Article V says:

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments…” [emphasis mine]

Congress calls it.  Not the States.

Furthermore, Dr. Edwin Vieira has pointed out:

 ‘The language “shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments” sets out a constitution duty in Congress. It embraces a constitutional power as well. That brings into play Article I, Section 8, Clause 18, which delegates to Congress the power “[t]o make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers [that is, in Article I, Section 8, Clauses 1 through 17], and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof”. The power to “call a Convention for proposing Amendments” is one of those “all other Powers”. Therefore, pursuant to that power, Congress may enact whatever “Law[ ] which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the * * * Power [to call a Convention]’.

So!  Since Article V vests in Congress the power to call the convention; and since Article I, §8, last clause, vests in Congress the power to make all laws necessary & proper to execute its delegated powers; 5 Congress would be  within its constitutional authority to organize the Convention anyway it wants, and to appoint whomsoever it wishes as delegates. 6

Now look at this:  The chart on Article V shows that James Madison, Father of our Constitution, remarked on the vagueness of the term, “call a Convention for the purpose”:

How was a Convention to be formed? – by what rule decide? – what the force of its acts?” (Sep. 10); and “difficulties might arise as to the form, the quorum, &c., which in constitutional regulations ought to be as much as possible avoided” (Sep. 15, 1787).

Phyllis Schlafly also raised Twenty Questions about a Constitutional Convention.

Congress, pursuant to Article V and Article I, §8, last clause, has the constitutional power to answer all these questions by means of a law.

Folks!  The Farris/Natelson/ Levin camp is not telling you the truth when they say the States decide these issues!

2. Farris then says in his video:

“…in Article V of the Constitution [the Founding Fathers] gave us the solution…”

“…they gave the power to the States to create a new set of rules when the federal government overstepped its boundaries. We can recalibrate the rules to take power away from Washington D.C. and give it back to the people and to the States.”

His statements are both false and silly.

Here is the false part of what he said:

It was not the consensus at the Federal Convention of 1787 that the purpose of Article V was so States could make amendments to the Constitution in order to take power away from a federal government which had usurped power by violating the Constitution.

This chart shows what happened at the Federal Convention of 1787 re development of Article V.

Two delegates (Randolph & Mason, who didn’t sign the Constitution) supported the notion that amendments might be used if the national government should become oppressive.  And they didn’t want Congress to have any power over amendment procedures. Their view was the minority view.

Other delegates (Gov. Morris, Hamilton & Madison) thought Congress ought to be able to propose amendments.  One delegate (Mr. Gerry) worried about States obtaining a convention and binding the Union to innovations which subverted State Constitutions.  Hamilton spoke of amendments to correct defects which would probably appear in the Constitution.

So the final version of Article V provides two methods of proposing amendments to the Constitution.  Congress either:

  • Proposes the amendments; or
  • “Calls” a convention when the Legislatures of 2/3 of the States apply for it.  [Now see Art. I, §8, last clause.]

Now for the silly parts of what Farris said (and there are two silly parts):

3.  Farris tells us the solution to a federal government which “overstep[s] its boundaries” [violates the Constitution] is to amend the Constitution.

He proposes “to take power away from Washington D.C.” [power the federal government has usurped] by “recalibrate[ing] the rules”.

In other words, the solution to a federal government which violates the Constitution is to amend the Constitution.

Do you see how silly this is?

4.  Farris and his camp also imply that the States are victims of federal tyranny, and are the virtuous & wise ones who can fix our Country if they can just get a convention to propose amendments.

But the States are the ones who sold you out to the federal government in the first place!  I’ll show you:

The 10th Amendment says:

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”.

What happened to these reserved powers?

The States sold them to the federal government.

Let’s use education as an illustration of how the States sold to the federal government your reserved power to educate your own children in the way you see fit.

The Creator God who, as recognized by our Declaration of Independence, endowed us with unalienable rights; assigned to parents the responsibility to provide for the education & moral instruction of their children:  Proverbs 1:8-9, 6:20-21, 13:1, 22:6 & 23:19-22; Genesis 18:19; Deuteronomy 4:9-10 & 6:1-7; Ephesians 6:1-4; 2 Timothy 1:5  & 3:15-17.

Is “education” one of the enumerated powers delegated to the federal government for the Country at large?  No.  So the federal government has no constitutional authority to get involved.  Accordingly, all acts of Congress pertaining to education for the Country at Large, the federal Department of Education, and all their rules & programs are unconstitutional as outside the scope of powers delegated to the federal government.

So why does the federal government dictate all things respecting education?

Because your States sold your God-given responsibility to educate your own children – and your reserved power to do so - to the federal government.  This has been going on for a long time; but most recently your State sold you out for federal grants with the federal government’s “race to the top” and “common core” schemes. 7

You have to be ignorant, unthinking, & gullible – a greenhorn – to believe that The States are the men in the white hats who can fix all this with a convention to propose amendments.

Conclusion

The federal government is not the problem – it is the result of our own ignorance, pride and folly.

WE THE PEOPLE, who are “the natural guardians of the Constitution” (Federalist No. 16, next to last para) didn’t trouble ourselves to learn the enumerated powers of Congress and the President.  Do you know them?

I ask my Readers who have been supporting the “convention of States” scheme:  Have you studied our Founding Principles set forth in The Declaration of Independence? Have you studied the text of the Constitution so that you know what it says?

If not, how are you qualified to know how to “fix” a Constitution you never learned?

Are you willing to stake your lives & liberties, and those of your progeny, on whether those in the Barnett/Natelson/Farris/ Levin camp (1) know what they are talking about, and (2) are telling the truth?

Why? Because you like them?  Because they provide a scapegoat which permits you to blame-shift?  And you think you can “get even”?

Wise voices in this Country are warning you about the scam.  Foremost among them is Phyllis Schlafly, who has been warning of this danger for decades. Yet, such is the ignorant conceit of the greenhorns that they sneer at those who are warning them.

I trust you now see the connection between the moral corruption of a People and tyranny.

Endnotes:

1 Use your own head!  Do not be manipulated by other peoples’ choice of words. Rob Natelson formerly referred to what he wants as a “constitutional convention”.  Now, he calls it a “Convention of the States” – that is the term his cohorts & minions now use.  Why did they change what they called it?

2 But our elections are no longer honest. The States took federal grant money to buy voting machines which can be rigged.

3 Randy Barnett’s “Bill of Federalism” is ten proposed amendments which would transform our Constitution from one of enumerated powers to one of general & unlimited powers.  Mark Levin’s proposed amendments are similar to Barnett’s.

4 The GDP is computed by an agency in the Executive Branch. So under the BBA, spending would be limited by numbers under the control of the federal government:  By how much they tax you; or by a number (GDP) the Executive Branch computes. You think that is a fine idea?

5 The Federalist Papers tell us what the “necessary & proper” clause (Art. I, §8, last clause) means:  The clause delegates to Congress power to pass all laws necessary & proper to execute its declared powers (Federalist No. 29, 4th para); a power to do something must be a power to pass all laws necessary & proper for the execution of that power (Federalist No. 33, 4th  para); “the constitutional operation of the intended government would be precisely the same if [this clause] were entirely obliterated as if [it] were repeated in every article” (Federalist No. 33, 2nd para); and thus the clause is “perfectly harmless”, a tautology or redundancy. (Federalist No. 33, 4th para).  See also Federalist No. 44, 10th -17th paras.  In other words, the clause permits the execution of powers already declared and granted.

Do not be misled by Rob Natelson’s post on the “necessary & proper” clause!  Why did Natelson ignore what The Federalist Papers say about this clause?  Why did he fabricate the song & dance set forth in his post?

6 Think this through also: Even if Congress, as a matter of grace, permitted the States to appoint delegates, how would delegates from your State be chosen? Who controls your State? Would the powers in your State choose you?  Or do you believe Michael Farris would choose the leaders?

7 This happened in your State because The People in your State elected to State government people who sold you out.  See this website on federal grants:  http://www.ffis.org/database   You think your State Legislators, who have been gobbling up all the federal grant money they can get, will fix our Country at a “convention” to propose amendments? PH.

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December 18, 2013 Posted by | 10th Amendment, Amendments to the Constitution, Amendments: Parental Rights Amendment, Article V, Article V Convention, constitutional convention, Convention of States project, Edwin Vieira, Federal Convention of 1787, Jordan Sillars, Mark Levin, Michael Farris, Necessary and Proper clause, Phony right wing, Phyllis Schlafly, re-writing the Constitution, Retained Powers, States Retained Powers, Tenth Amendment, The Liberty Amendments | , , , , , , , , | 47 Comments

Mark Levin Refuted: Keep the Feds in Check with Nullification, not Amendments!

By Publius Huldah

What Mark Levin says in “The Liberty Amendments” in support of an Article V convention is not true.1

On one side of this controversy are those who want to restore our Constitution by requiring federal and State officials to obey the Constitution we have; or by electing ones who will.  We show that the Oath of Office at Art. VI, last clause, requires federal 2 and state officials to support the Constitution.  This requires them to refuse to submit to – to nullify – acts of the federal government which violate the Constitution.  This is how they “support” the Constitution!

We note that the Oath of Office requires obedience to the Constitution alone.  The Oath does not require obedience to persons, to any agency of the federal government, or to any federal court.

We understand that resistance to tyranny is a natural right – and it is a duty.

We have read original writings of our Framers and know what our Framers actually told the States to do when the federal government violates the Constitution: Nullification of the unlawful act is among the first of the recommended remediesnot one of which is “amendment of the Constitution”.

It is already proved in James Madison Rebukes Nullification Deniers, that our Framers endorsed nullification by States of unconstitutional acts of the federal government.  Thomas Jefferson and James Madison summed it up as follows:

“…when powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act4 is “the natural right, which all admit to be a remedy against insupportable oppression…” 5

The claims of the nullification deniers have been proven to be false.  To persist in those claims – or to do as Levin seems to do and ignore the remedy of nullification – is intellectually and morally indefensible.  So why don’t they apologize to the public and recant their errors?

Instead, they continue to tell us that what we need is a “convention of the States” (which Levin and his mentors insist is provided by Article V of the Constitution) to propose amendments to the Constitution, and that this is the only way out.

Yes, they tell us, the only way to deal with a federal government which consistently ignores and tramples over the Constitution is …. to amend the Constitution!

Do you see how silly that is?

 Levin’s Amendments

Levin starts his book by saying how bad things are and how the federal government has trampled and mangled the Constitution.  Those pages are true.  And they serve the purpose of making readers believe that Levin is “on our side”.  And because of that, many are induced to lay aside their critical thinking skills and accept on trust what Levin tells them. That is a deadly mistake.

Levin’s amendments actually gut our Constitution.  Most increase the powers of the federal government by making lawful what is now unconstitutional because it is not an “enumerated power”. Others put a band-aid on a problem without solving the problem. The amendments pertaining to “overrides” undermine the Constitution as the Objective Standard of what is lawful and what is not – and substitute majority vote therefor. 6

A Defective Constitution? Or a Disobedient Federal Government?

We must distinguish between defects within a Constitution, and a government’s refusal to obey the Constitution to which it is subject.  These are different problems calling for different remedies.

There were defects in the Constitution produced by the Federal Convention of 1787, such as provisions permitting slavery.  Provision for amendment must be made to repair such defects. 7

But our problem now is a disobedient federal government.  That calls for different remedies – and our Framers spelled them out. 3

It is idiotic to assert that you can rein in a federal government which ignores the Constitution by amending the Constitution!  Yet, that is “The Levin Plan”.

Now let us read Article V:

What Article V Really Says

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress…”  [boldface mine]

Note that Congress “calls” the ConventionThe States don’t “call” it – all they can do is apply to Congress for Congress to call it.

There are many questions about Article V conventions; and James Madison raised them on two occasions at the Federal Convention of 1787: 8

  • On September 10, Madison remarked on the vagueness of the term, “call a Convention for the purpose”:  How was a Convention to be formed?  By what rule decide?  What the force of its acts?
  • On September 15, Madison commented on this again, and said that difficulties might arise as to the form, the quorum, etc., which in constitutional regulations ought to be avoided when possible.

Mr. Madison saw that these questions are not addressed by Article V.  Eagle Forum has also raised this issue in Twenty Questions about a constitutional convention.

But since Congress “calls” it, Congress has the power to appoint whomsoever they will as delegates;9  and nothing in the Constitution says they can’t do this.

Now note that Art. V provides for two conventions:

  • The first is the one called by Congress to propose amendments.
  • After amendments are proposed, Art. V empowers Congress to select the mode of ratification: Shall the State Legislatures be the body to ratify or reject?  Or shall each State convene a convention for the purposes or ratifying or rejecting the proposed amendments?

The only convention Art. V authorizes States to convene is one within their respective borders to ratify or reject an amendment proposed by Congress or by the convention Congress called.

What Levin Claims Article V Says

As you see, Art. V makes no provision for a “state convention process” where the States control the convention.

Yet Levin makes the bizarre claims (p 16-17) that Art. V authorizes this “state convention process”; and that the convention called by Congress pursuant to Art. V is really:

  • A “creature …of the state legislatures”;
  • That during ratification of our Constitution, the Founders always talked about conventions for proposing amendments as representing the States; and
  • That the state legislatures determine the method for selection of their delegates; and the subject matter of the convention.

Does Levin cite any authority for these claims?  Words of our Framers, perhaps?

No!  He cites an article written by former law professor, Robert G. Natelson, who Levin says is an “expert” on this “state convention process” (p16, notes 28 & 29).

Here is the article by Natelson Levin cites as “authority” for his claims.  Note that:

  • Natelson announces that he will no longer call what he wants a “constitutional convention”.  Henceforth, he will call it a “convention for proposing amendments”, an “Article V Convention”, an “amendments convention” or a “convention of the states”. 10
  • Natelson doesn’t cite any authority from our Framers for the claims Levin regurgitates in his book.  Instead, Natelson cites other law review articles; and
  • Natelson claims it was “custom” at the time of our Founding for States to have all these powers in conventions.

Custom?

Natelson’s article is no authority at all.  And even if he had proven that the “custom” at the time of our Framing was for States to have all these powers in conventions [someone really should have told James Madison about this “custom”]; what is there to make the Congress of today follow this 18th century  “custom” when Congress “calls” the convention under Art. V?

Levin also says he knows Congress’ role in the “state application process” is minimal and ministerial because:

  • The Framers and ratifiers adopted this “state convention process” for the purpose of establishing an alternative to the congressionally initiated amendment process; and
  • Alexander Hamilton said so in Federalist Paper No. 85.

Here, Levin commits the logical fallacy of “circular reasoning”:  We know, Levin argues, that Congress’ role in the state application process is “minimal and ministerial” because the Framers adopted this as an alternative to the method where Congress proposes the amendments directly.  Do you see?

Levin next claims that in Federalist No. 85, Hamilton said, respecting an Art. V convention, that Congress has “no option”, “will be obliged”, and that “nothing in this particular is left to the discretion of that body” (p 16-17).

Levin misrepresents what Hamilton says.  In Federalist No. 85, Hamilton merely says that Congress must call a convention when two-thirds of the States apply for it:

 “… By the fifth article of the plan, the Congress will be obliged … on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the States … to call a convention for proposing amendments … The words of this article are peremptory. The Congress “shall call a convention.” Nothing in this particular is left to the discretion of that body. …”

Levin wrongly extends Congress’ lack of discretion on the issue of “to call or not to call” to what follows the “call”:  How the convention is to be formed, the appointment of delegates, the other  questions raised by Madison on September 10 & 15, 1787, and Eagle Forum’s Twenty Questions.

I have never seen any of the Framers say that Congress has no power over what follows Congress’ “call”; and Levin doesn’t produce evidence that any of them ever did.

Levin misrepresents what happened at the Federal Convention of 1787.

This 4 page chart lays out what really happened at that Convention respecting Article V.

To introduce his discussion of that Convention, Levin makes the following fanciful claims:

“The Constitution itself provides the means for restoring self-government and averting societal catastrophe (or, in the case of societal collapse, resurrecting the civil society) in Article V.” (p 12)

“The fact is that Article V expressly grants state legislatures significant authority to rebalance the constitutional structure for the purpose of restoring our founding principles should the federal government shed its limitations, abandon its original purpose, and grow too powerful…” (p12-13)

Article V says no such thing!  Read it and see.

Levin then quotes Edmund Randolph & George Mason, delegates to the Convention, as support for his claims respecting the purpose of Art. V.

But Randolph & Mason wanted a method of amendment Congress had nothing to do with. This was an issue at the Convention; Randolph & Mason held the minority view.

The majority view – the one reflected in the ratified version of Article V – involves Congress in both methods of amendment.  Congress either:

  •   Proposes the amendments; or
  •  “Calls” a convention when the Legislatures of 2/3 of the States apply for it.

Our Framers’ Concerns about “Conventions”

Now let us examine the “convention for proposing amendments” which Congress calls pursuant to Art. V; the “runaway” the Federal Convention of 1787 turned into, and “general conventions”.

We saw that James Madison raised concerns on September 10 & 15, 1787, about Art. V conventions called by Congress, because of questions respecting how was a Convention to be formed, by what rule, & the procedures of such conventions.

Yet Levin claims that in Federalist No. 43, Madison shows he considered an Art. V convention as prudent a method of amendment as having Congress propose the amendments (p 15).

Madison does not say that in Federalist No. 43! 11

Second, Levin’s claim is contradicted by Madison’s words in his letter of November 2, 1788 to G. L. Turberville on the same subject.

In his letter to Turberville, Madison speaks, with reference to modes of originating amendments, of both a “general convention” and an “Article V Convention”, on the one hand; and, on the other hand, “the origination of amendments in Congress”.

Madison advises that amendments be originated in Congress – not in an Art. V Convention, for the various reasons set forth in his letter; and that:

“2. A [“general”] Convention cannot be called without the unanimous consent of the parties who are to be bound by it, if first principles are to be recurred to; or without the previous application of ⅔ of the State legislatures, if the forms of the Constitution [Art. V] are to be pursued. The difficulties in either of these cases must evidently be much greater than will attend the origination of amendments in Congress, which may be done at the instance of a single State Legislature, or even without a single instruction on the subject…” [boldface mine]

Do you see?  Madison advises that when States want amendments, they instruct their Congressional delegation to pursue it.  This is the best way for the States to “originate amendments”!

That is the mode Madison strongly recommended; that is the mode we have followed.  On May 5, 1789, Rep. Bland (pages 258-261) introduced into Congress the petition from the State of Virginia for an Art. V Convention to propose amendments.  But on June 8, 1789, Madison (pages 448-460) introduced 12 proposed amendments for Congress to propose to the State Legislatures.  And on September 24, 1789, the House & Senate having agreed on the wording of the proposed 12 amendments; the House requested the President to transmit them to the States for ratification. 

If we cannot elect to Congress people who will follow the instructions of their State Legislatures & constituents and propose those amendments which actually need to be made; how can we trust Congress to “call” a convention?

And as to another “general” or “runaway” convention, perish the thought!:

On September 15,1787, in response to Randolph’s & Mason’s demands for another “general convention”,  Mr. Pinckney pointed out that nothing but confusion and contrariety will spring from calling forth the deliberations and amendments of the different States, on the subject of government at large.  States will never agree in their plans; and the deputies to a second convention, coming together under the discordant impressions of their constituents, will never agree.  “Conventions are serious things, and ought not to be repeated.”

In Federalist No. 85 (9th para), Hamilton spoke of:

“…the utter improbability of assembling a new convention, under circumstances in any degree so favorable to a happy issue, as those in which the late convention met, deliberated, and concluded…”

James Madison warned against another general convention in his letter to Turberville :

“3… an election into it would be courted by the most violent partizans on both sides; it … would be the very focus of that flame which has already too much heated men of all parties; would no doubt contain individuals of insidious views, who under the mask of seeking alterations popular in some parts but inadmissible in other parts of the Union might have a dangerous opportunity of sapping the very foundations of the fabric. … it seems scarcely to be presumable that the deliberations of the body could be conducted in harmony, or terminate in the general good. Having witnessed the difficulties and dangers experienced by the first Convention, which assembled under every propitious circumstance, I should tremble for the result of a Second, meeting in the present temper of America…” [boldface mine]

Do we have “violent partizans”, “individuals of insidious views”, and any who would exploit an opportunity to sap “the very foundations of the fabric” today?  Yes, we do.  They are in Congress, the executive branch, the federal Courts, “conservative” circles – and they are invading our Country at a furious rate.  And what now is the “present temper of America”?

Why a “Runaway” Article V Convention is a Real Possibility and a Grave Danger.

Pursuant to the authority granted by Article XIII of The Articles of Confederation, the Continental Congress Resolved on February 21, 1787 (p 71-74):

Resolved that in the opinion of Congress it is expedient that on the second Monday in May next a Convention of delegates who shall have been appointed by the several states be held at Philadelphia for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation and reporting to Congress and the several legislatures such alterations and provisions therein as shall when agreed to in Congress and confirmed by the states render the federal constitution adequate to the exigencies of Government & the preservation of the Union.” [boldface mine]

So!  The Convention of 1787 was called by the Continental Congress for the “sole and express purpose” of proposing revisions to the Articles of Confederation.

But the delegates ignored these limitations and wrote a new Constitution. 12

As to delegates, the Continental Congress expressly directed the States to appoint the delegates.

But there is no requirement in Art. V of our Constitution that States be permitted to appoint delegates; and no “custom” from the era of the Continental Congress can bind the Congress of today.

So if Congress of today were to call an Art. V convention, Congress would most likely get delegates who would do what Congress wants.

And will Congress appoint Islamists as delegates?  La Raza Mexicans?  Other special interest groups?  How can Congress be prevented from appointing whomsoever they will?

And if the delegates duly appointed by Congress, and acting under the Authority of Congress, come up with a new Constitution, will the new Constitution outlaw Christianity?  (Obama is outlawing it in the military, and Congress isn’t doing a thing about it).  Will it institute Sharia? Will it disarm the American People?  Will it follow the UN Model where “rights” are privileges granted and withdrawn by the State?  Will it outlaw private property?

And this new Constitution will have its own mode of ratification.  This new mode of ratification can be whatever the delegates want – a majority vote in Congress, perhaps?

There is no way to stop them from “running away” and writing a new Constitution with its own mode of ratification. They can cram a new Constitution down your throat and you won’t be able to do a thing about it.

On page 15, Levin commits a formal fallacy (an argument defective as to form) when he attempts to prove that an Art. V convention can’t possibly turn into a “runaway”. Here is the form of his argument:

  1. He was originally skeptical of “the state convention process” because it could turn into a “runaway”.
  2. Art. V says a proposed amendment has no effect unless ratified by ¾ of the States.
  3. Therefore, the “state convention process” can’t result in a “hijack of the Constitution” [“runaway”].

His conclusion (3) is a form of non sequitur – it doesn’t follow from the premises (1 & 2).  And our concern is not with amendments – those are subject to approval by three-fourths of the States.  Our concern is that the convention will “runaway” and write a new Constitution with a new mode of ratification which does not require approval by three-fourths of the States.  Do you see?

Conclusion

Few of us can name even 5 of the enumerated powers of Congress and 4 of the enumerated powers of the President.  Why?  Because we never bothered to learn our Constitution.  Alexander Hamilton expected THE PEOPLE to be “the natural guardians of the Constitution”.  But you can’t “guard” the Constitution if you don’t trouble yourself to learn it.

Since we never bothered to learn the Constitution, we elected politicians who also hadn’t bothered to learn it.  So they ignored the Constitution when they assumed office.

This is why, after more than 100 years of electing politicians who ignore the Constitution, we are now under tyranny and headed for disaster.

Do we now want a way out which allows us to avoid confronting our own personal failures as Guardians of the Constitution?  When charlatans who “sound good” offer us a scapegoat, do we jump on it?  Do we chant, “The Constitution is broken!  Fix the Constitution!”  And shall we pretend that we too know all about how to amend a Constitution most of us never bothered to read?

Our Constitution depended on our knowing our Constitution and in electing representatives who would obey it – and getting rid of them when they didn’t.

James Madison said on June 20, 1788 at the Virginia Ratifying Convention:

“…. But I go on this great republican principle, that the people will have virtue and intelligence to select men of virtue and wisdom. Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks—no form of government can render us secure. To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea. If there be sufficient virtue and intelligence in the community, it will be exercised in the selection of these men. So that we do not depend on their virtue, or put confidence in our rulers, but in the people who are to choose them.”

We are in a “wretched situation” because we lost our virtue.  Renounce handouts and pride in pretended “knowingness”.  Learn the enumerated powers of Congress and the President.  This chart will get you started.  Learn about nullification.  Form delegations and go to your State Legislators, educate them and demand they start nullifying unconstitutional acts of the federal government.  States should nullify obamacare!  If Legislators aren’t willing to renounce federal funding, recall or defeat them! PH

Endnotes:

1 We must stop believing whatever we are told.  We must demand proof by original source documents, and think for ourselves.

2 The President’s Oath is set forth at Art. II, §1, last clause.

3 These are among the remedies our Framers advised when the federal government usurps power:

►In Federalist No. 44 (12th para from end), Madison says elect more faithful representatives!:

“… In the first instance, the success of the usurpation will depend on the executive and judiciary departments, which are to expound and give effect to the legislative acts; and in the last resort a remedy must be obtained from the people who can, by the election of more faithful representatives, annul the acts of the usurpers…”

But we keep reelecting the same sorry people because we know their names and they are in our party.

►States should nullify unconstitutional acts of the federal government! This is proven with links to original sources in James Madison Rebukes Nullification Deniers.

►In Federalist No. 46 (last half), Madison shows how individual States or several States carry out various degrees of resistance to the federal government’s unconstitutional encroachments.  See also: What Should States Do When The Federal Government Usurps Power?

►In Federalist No. 28 (last 5 paras), Hamilton says:

“If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success …” [italics mine]

“…The obstacles to usurpation and the facilities of resistance increase with the increased extent of the state, provided the citizens understand their rights and are disposed to defend them…”

“It may safely be received as an axiom …that the State governments will … afford complete security against invasions of the public liberty by the national authority…. The legislatures … can at once adopt a regular plan of opposition…”

“…When will the time arrive that the federal government can raise and maintain an army capable of erecting a despotism over the great body of the people … who are in a situation, through the medium of their State governments, to take measures for their own defense…”

4 Thomas Jefferson, The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, 8th Resolution.

5 James Madison, Notes on Nullification (1834). The quote is near the end.  Use “find” function.

6 Later, I will show why Levin’s proposed amendments gut our Constitution.  Meanwhile, you read the Constitution, learn the enumerated powers of Congress, and see if you can figure out what is wrong with the proposed amendments.  Use your own head and trust no one.

7 Alexander Hamilton said on Sep. 10, 1787 that an easy mode should be established for fixing defects which will probably appear in the new system ... the National Legislature will be the first to perceive, and will be most sensible to, the necessity of amendments…

8 What happened at the Federal Convention of 1787 respecting Art. V is laid out in this 4 page chart.

9 “Citizens for Self-Governance”, headed by the Michael Farris who is pushing the “parental rights amendment, represents that the “Convention of the States” will soon:

“…open the application process for leadership positions across the country. Consider applying to be a District Captain, Legislative Liaison, or State Director…”

thereby making the gullible believe that they can be a “player” in this “Convention of the States”.

10 Phyllis Schlafly, Kelleigh Nelson, Henry Lamb and others have done such a magnificent job of warning The People of the dangers of a constitutional convention, that many now understand that such is likely to result in a new Constitution – with its own method of ratification – being forced on us.

So!  Proponents now call it by another name: “Convention of the States” or “state convention process”.  Is the purpose of the name change to deceive you? To make you think it is something “different” from the Art. V convention Congress calls?

11 In Federalist No. 43, Madison comments on Art. V:

“8…That useful alterations will be suggested by experience, could not but be foreseen. It was requisite, therefore, that a mode for introducing them should be provided. The mode preferred by the convention seems to be stamped with every mark of propriety. It guards equally against that extreme facility, which would render the Constitution too mutable; and that extreme difficulty, which might perpetuate its discovered faults. It, moreover, equally enables the general and the State governments to originate the amendment of errors, as they may be pointed out by the experience on one side, or on the other…”

12 We were fortunate (except for slavery) with the Constitution of 1787, even though the Federal Convention was a “runaway”.  Look who was there!:  George Washington, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and Benjamin Franklin; and they weren’t drowned out by subversives.  They would be today. PH

September 15, 2013; revised Dec. 5, 2013; Dec. 31, 2013.

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September 15, 2013 Posted by | Article V, Article V Convention, constitutional convention, Federal Convention of 1787, Mark Levin, The Liberty Amendments | , , , , , | 120 Comments

Restore The Constitution We Have By Learning What It Means!

By Publius Huldah

Our Constitution really was a 5000 Year Miracle.

The attached pdf chart illustrates the Miracle.  You can download it and print it out.

Rights come from God, and the purpose of civil governments is to secure the rights God gave us.

Accordingly, WE THE PEOPLE ordained and established the Constitution for the United States of America wherein we created the federal government. 

A “federal government” is an alliance of Sovereign States associated together in a “federation” with a national government to which is delegated supremacy over the States in specifically defined areas only.

These specifically defined areas are the “enumerated powers” WE delegated to the three branches of the national (“federal”) government.

The States and The People retained all other powers.

The pdf chart depicts the elegant simplicity of our Constitution; lists the few and defined powers WE delegated to the national government for the Country at Large; shows how the powers WE delegated to the national government secure specific God given rights; and shows the retention of all other powers by the States and The People.

Our Constitution isn’t broken!  Our Constitution isn’t outdated. The problem is that WE – who are “the natural guardians” of the Constitution – didn’t bother to learn it.  Since we didn’t bother to learn it, we elected representatives who also hadn’t bothered to learn it.  And so everyone ignores it.

And we abandoned the religious and moral foundation of our Constitution.

It is our own ignorance of our existing Constitution, and the collapse of religion and morality which have brought us to the brink of destruction.

Our Constitution doesn’t need “fixing”!  The only Amendments we need are to repeal some of the previous Amendments we got deceived into approving.

WE THE PEOPLE need “fixing”.  Restoration of our religious and moral foundation and our Constitution is the Answer to the Healing of our Land.

Let the Restoration begin with you.  Share this Article.  Print out the chart.  Study it.  Flesh it out with your own personal readings of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bible.  Have study groups in your home.  You can become a “guardian” of the Constitution. PH

September 1, 2013

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September 1, 2013 Posted by | 10th Amendment, Enumerated Powers of Congress, Federalism, Guardians of the Constitution, Rights, States Retained Powers | , , , , , | 18 Comments

Impeachment: All you need to know (and you do need to know it).

By Publius Huldah

1. It is NOT necessary that the President, other officers in the executive branch, or federal judges commit a crime before they may be impeached & removed from office.

Federalist Paper No. 66 (2nd para) & Federalist  No. 77 (last para) show that the President may be impeached & removed for encroachments, i.e., usurpations of power.

Federal judges may also be impeached & removed for usurpations of power (Federalist No. 81, 8th para).

Throughout The Federalist Papers, it is stated that impeachment is for “political offenses”.

2. The House has the SOLE power of impeachment (Art. I, Sec. 2, last clause).  The Senate has the SOLE power to try all impeachments (Art. I, Sec. 3, next to last clause).  The decision to convict is not reviewable by any other body – and common sense tells us what that means!  The House may impeach, and the Senate may convict, for any reason whatsoever; and their decision cannot be overturned.

3. The meaning of “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors” at Art. II, Sec. 4, is far broader than one might at first glance think.  Somewhere I saw a scholarly paper showing that the “high” refers to the status of the official – it does not refer to the severity of the offense.

Now, note well!  “Misdemeanor” has a broader meaning than “a lesser category of criminal offense”.  Webster’s 1828 Dictionary shows the primary meaning is:  “Ill behavior; evil conduct; fault; mismanagement.”

This shows that a President, Vice-president, and all civil Officers and Judges of the United States may be impeached, tried, convicted, and removed from office for “mismanagement”.

4. Errant members of Congress are never impeached – they are expelled by their respective Houses (Art. I, Sec. 5, cl. 2).

5. Military personnel are never impeached – they are court-martialed (see UCMJ – Uniform Code of Military Justice), and may be kicked out of the military as part of their punishment.  They also may be administratively discharged.

6. It is not feasible to criminally prosecute, under federal law, a sitting President: his prosecutors, the Attorney General and the U.S. Attorneys, all serve at the President’s pleasure.  He can fire anyone who dares to criminally prosecute him.  That is why sitting Presidents who have committed federal crimes must first be removed from office via impeachment, then be criminally prosecuted.  (Federalist No. 69, 4th para).

But do not forget: A President may – and should – be impeached & removed for usurpations of power, mismanagement, incompetence, or for any other reason deemed sufficient by Congress.

7.  The lawful methods of getting rid of a sitting President [whether eligible or not to hold the office], in addition to impeachment, are set forth in the 25th Amendment: Natural death, resignation, or inability to do the job.

8.  The 22nd Amendment permits Congress to make laws providing for succession where a President elect has not qualified.

Do not spin your wheels in fruitless insistence that a person (who may still be an Indonesian national) who occupies the office of President can’t be impeached because he is ineligible to hold that office.  The FACT is that he holds the office.  Impeachment is a lawful & constitutional method to rid ourselves of occupants of that office and of this particular blight. PH

August 8, 2013

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August 8, 2013 Posted by | Article II, Sec. 4, High crimes and misdemeanors, Impeachment | , , , | 28 Comments

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