Wednesday March 4, 2015
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First, I must apologize for not responding sooner... we're still out of town. Secondly, I'm working from a Kindle... an amazing little device, but it's just that - little. Its size seems to limit my thoughts to smaller, more abbreviated ones... and maybe that's a good thing!
Anyway, great discussion! Particularly the piece about returning power to the states via constitutional amendment. I, too, would distrust a 50%+1 solution, particularly if it were decided by popular vote. That's one of the problems with the US Senate - Senators no longer represent the state legislators, as envisioned by the Founders... they are the winners of a state-wide popularity contest, nothing more. Political ads have way too much influence (good or bad) over the electorate to expect a wise outcome on any issue.
I would, however, support some sort of arrangement that involved ratification of certain issues by the state legislatures, leaving it to our representatives to decide the most controversial matters. Require 2/3 of the state houses to approve certain federal actions, whether Congressional or Executive... or even Judicial. No ratification, no action.
There can be little argument that the federal triumvirate has botched our representative republic beyond the point of recognition. Inserting an additional check against tyranny - that being the voice closest to the people - just might return a semblance.of balance to the mix, and.it couldn't possibly make things any worse.
Sure... like a Rules Committee for the people... to determine constitutionality on its face, not on intent or political expediency. I like it... call it the COP... Constitutional Ombudsman for the People.
The most disturbing thing, though, is the silence among the oppressed, the abused, the people. I see a lot of complaining about the problem, but little to no movement toward a solution, even when one is handed to them. It's truly distressing.
It makes me wonder why the abstention... why the avoidance... why the restraint? It can't be simple ignorance, because we, as a people, are more aware today than at any time since Al Gore invented the Internets! And I don't want to believe that it's fear, although the Beast that we have allowed to expand and multiply is clearly out of its cage and on the hunt. Is it apathy... lethargy... or just an overwhelming weariness?
Whatever the cause, I see too many people doing nothing... nothing but carping... just shuffling along toward the day when they'll notice the chains at their feet, look up and ask how this happened.
Yes... ignoring the law, and knowing that there will be no meaningfull consequence... that is the issue. The Constitution is fine - its scope and its intent - all it needs is some TEETH, and we can do that. We must. Thank you for your thoughtful reply.
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There can be little doubt or credible argument that the results of the recent midterm election spoke plainly the sentiment of the majority of the American electorate… those concerned enough about the current state of the nation to actually cast a vote. Whether measured by party or policy, it is clear that the over-arching desire of those voters is to have a more cooperative and conservative hand at the helm of government, at all levels, from local legislative districts and governorships to congressional representatives and senators.
Elections should matter. When they don’t, we forfeit the right to lay claim to being a representative republic. When our leaders chose to ignore the suffrage that men and women have fought and died for, and resolve instead to govern in direct defiance of the will of the governed, they are no longer leaders but tyrants. The Constitution defines for us the standards for just and competent leadership, but when leadership fails, that cherished text is silent on the consequences. It shouldn't be.
The Founders of this nation, in their God-given wisdom, anticipated the day when the federal government would become so removed from the people in the states that it would simply cease to respond to their wants and needs, and would sense no fear in doing so. It was one of those Founders, Thomas Jefferson, who concluded that when government fears the people, there is liberty… but when the people fear their government, there is tyranny.
The steady decline of our political culture has finally brought us to the point where the word “shall” now requires the force of “or else.” As a remedy short of revolution, they provided us in Article V of the Constitution the power and authority to repair the errors that we detect in the process of self-governance, to be used at a time when it becomes apparent that government will not repair itself. The time is now, and that remedy is an amendments convention, or a Convention of States to Propose Amendments to the Constitution. There is a solution as big as the problem: ConventionOfStates.com
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Irrespective of our political philosophy or on which side of the aisle our sensibilities lie, there are few among us who are not concerned with the recent display of impolitic conflict between the legislative and executive branches of our federal government. Routine skirmishes and grandstanding have become the norm in our increasingly polarized environment, but the events of this last week – the unilateral de-criminalization of millions of illegal aliens under the tortured guise of prosecutorial discretion - far exceeds the usual.
Atop the list of attributes that make the structure of our republican federalism the world’s benchmark for self-governance is our constitutional system of checks and balances. For almost 2¼ centuries it has ensured against the disproportionate amassing of power among any of the three co-equal branches of government.
As mandated by our Constitution, it is and has always been the prerogative of the legislature to conceive the law, that of the executive to enforce the law, and that of the judicial to review the law. This unique design was a product of the brilliance of the Founders, having just shrugged off the heavy-handed affliction of a distant and arrogant monarchy - that no single entity or individual should ever again have the authority to rule over a free people simply by decree.
Certainly a president is expected to lead, not just the nation in terms of direction, but in the establishment of policy and even in the creation of law. The latter, however, by law and by longstanding tradition, has typically been accomplished by varying methods of persuasion, motivation and influence. Some presidents have been more effective in their manner of inducement, while others have been less so.
One of the greatest benefits of our electoral system is the primary process, where candidates for chief executive are thoroughly vetted for their most critical attributes, with management capability being very high on that list. As a result, Americans have a long history, with but a few notable exceptions, of electing strong and capable presidents, all of whom demonstrated the most valuable skill of any executive: Leadership.
Seems to me that the story here should be the stores that won't allow the collection boxes, not just whining about how badly the Food Bank is doing. Food Banks ALWAYS need more food.
Why doesn't the reporter name the stores specifically? Is it all three, or just WalMart, just Safeway, or just Basha's? Have the managers been asked about this policy change? If so, what was their response? Have they gone to bat for the communities that support them, or did they just hide behind the "new corporate policy" excuse?
And if the managers weren't questioned, why not? I mean, The Roundup is the only game in town, so it couldn't possibly be because these stores are major advertisers, could it?
Pat... how would you market a home with this in its view?
by Michael Alexander
Last week, Hondurans... this week, wolves. A government of the people, by the people, and for the people should not allow for tyranny by bureaucratic agencies. We need to consider all remedies. And soon. While we're still allowed. http://conventionofstates.com/
Rather than close off Fossil Creek to visitors from the Rim Country, the feds (U.S. Forest Service) should turn management of the entire area over to the Arizona State Parks system. All one has to do is take a look at how well the state has managed Tonto Natural Bridge to see that they understand the economic principal of a return on an investment, whereas the federal government just understands politics... and only the "correct" ones, at that.
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Between now and the next legislative session, we will undoubtedly run across – actually we should actively seek out – those regular folks, initiates who understand and agree that what we currently have is a "runaway government" and that something needs to be done, but they've only heard the negative misrepresentations of an Article V remedy. We should tactfully suggest that they take a moment to read the plain language of A5, explaining that it specifically and deliberately assigns the power to propose amendments to the constitution equally to both Congress and to the States, and that it was purposefully added as a safeguard in the event of Congress' refusal or failure to act. We should tell them that it’s only 143 words, and warn them ahead of time that it won’t tell them word-for-word, step-by-step how to do it… the Framers, as in so many other fundamental matters, didn’t believe that they had to spell it out for us. What it will tell them, however, in no uncertain terms, is that it CAN be done, and they'll already know that it should.
Once they understand the original intent of those words, all anyone needs from that point on to go forward is the courage and the trust that our Founders had in the American people, without neither of which, no one deserves to consider themselves a Constitutional Conservative.
PS: I'm including pertinent links below in the event others may want to inform themselves... in either case, these issues are NOT going away!
A5 - http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/constitution/article-v.html
CSG COS - http://conventionofstates.com/
CFA BBA - http://www.compactforamerica.org/
Local Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/arizonaconventionofstates/
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