John De Herrera

http://www.foavc.org

This conversation is closed.

The case for the Article V Convention

We know our approach to existence is being subverted. The War on Terror, the War on Drugs, non-transparent elections, etc. are charades specifically meant to keep humanity enslaved. Politics As Usual keeps the charade in place. If you can stop Politics As Usual, you have a good chance of opening up political dialogue, and thus a chance to galvanize people to break the status quo so it can be reformed..

The Constitution contains a convention clause in Article V. If America held a convention, it requires that delegates would have to be elected by the states, the delegates would then convene to draft/propose amendments, those proposals would then be sent to the states for possible ratification. In other words, the Article V Convention is a three-part national discussion which stops Politics As Usual dead in its tracks. It breaks the current status quo of institutionalized corruption so it can be reformed.

We already know where things are headed with corporate governance--it's in the process of removing all protections. Public government has been drowned in private money. The Article V Convention will engage and re-educate everyone, and we can discuss things--not on a blog--but on the authority of the law, which would become binding if enough people of the states agree to ratify something.

The Article V Convention is the objective solution, based on all we know to be true of history and the human condition. It is a popular discussion the powers that be do not want to have.

Here are links to review:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42592.pdf

http://foavc.org/file.php/1/Amendments

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    Dec 10 2012: One of my favorite things to say about the convention clause is that it embodies our ultimate right of alter/abolish. It's the Declaration of Independence written into the Constitution. If not now, when?
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    Dec 9 2012: Pat, in regards to unions, they too have been overtaken by money and operatives and no longer operate as they originally did. Today they are another wedge issue that plays into the hands of the two party system. In regards to private money coursing through public elections, I think it matters very much. Whether we agree or not on unions or money does not interest me as much as whether we agree that the Constitution has a convention clause, and that it is part of it for a reason. The people deserve to go through the process.
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      Dec 10 2012: The unions are the problem in the public sector. Here in Calif the estimated unfunded liabilities are 500 billion and they own the elections and can do as they see fit. What is as bad about them as the crony capitalists (big banks, ADM, GM, etc.) is that they are forever or until the end of the country what ever comes first.

      Regarding the convention clause I am all ears and going to school on you
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    Dec 9 2012: Pat, not sure what you mean.
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      Dec 9 2012: "removing personhood from corporations"

      They are both insidious. But I'm not sure it really matters that much in the election as even though 2 billion was spent on the presidential election in the scheme of things it is not that much E.G. Procter and Gamble spends 3 billion a year on advertising.

      The problem with the unions are that they are way of life that metatheses in the economy and makes the culture worse.

      I get that you are mostly referring to crony capitalism which I agree with. Since you are so aware of the constitution I would hope that you are also aware of economics.
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    Dec 9 2012: Hi Robert, there are no limits in theory, but in terms of practical politics the delegates would figure out what ought to be addressed over things which might be marginal. I sure like some of your ideas on what ought to be addressed, to be sure, but in terms of selling the idea to the average citizen, I like to stay on the points of removing personhood from corporations, reversing the ruling that money is speech--things most Americans recognize as problematic.
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    Dec 9 2012: John, I appreciate all of this. Thank you. Would a class I or a class II be the better option.

    Could items like the use of Executive Orders be on the table?

    Could a reset to a constitutional government be addressed and all agencies be reviewed independently for deletion?

    Could we require that all elected officials past and present are subject to the law ... no opting out?

    Could we limit terms and set wages and stop congress from managing their own salary? Perks? Etc ...

    What would be the limits of what could be addressed?
  • Dec 6 2012: The prevalence of the internet might make this work.

    The major media will make it into a propaganda tool.

    You might find more information at this sight: http://www.conconcon.org/

    I have not yet looked at it beyond the introductory page, but it looks like it might be educational.
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      Dec 7 2012: Hi Barry, I was lucky enough to attend the conference at Harvard last year. I hope you can get round to reading the report by the Congressional Research Service. The media may put up a resistance, try and get people to fear it, but once there is popular support it's all over, and once called, I think anyone who is not on the up and up will want to get the out of the way. Time will tell, in the mean time, the more Americans who are aware of it, and know how to talk about it, of course the better.
  • Dec 5 2012: As I understand your Article V proposal - it is to have 34 states request a constitutional convention thru their legislatures. The closest we came to this was with the 17th amendment which was driven by a single issue -
    the direct election of senators, and this occurred I believe some 100 years ago. Up until that time US senators
    were elected by state legislators. There were major problems with having state legislators elect US senators
    including numerous instances of corruption (bribery) and partisan gridlock where lacking a winning vote states
    went for years without a US senator position being filled. In other words there was a compelling problem/issue
    driving the change.
    It seems to me you need to pick a problem/issue that is just as compelling to drive this Article V proposal.
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      Dec 5 2012: Tom my proposal is to 1) Get people aware that such a feature exists in our Constitution, and 2) How it can work for us. The problem/issue just as compelling today is the Article V Convention itself. We have a number of issues facing us, none of which will be addressed by the Congress.
      • Dec 5 2012: I agree with you and I am glad you are out there doing this, but I would have a plan B if the A plan doesn't seem to be going anywhere - and that plan B is to start talking more about the specific issues and proposals that might be addressed by an Article V Convention.
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          Dec 6 2012: Tom, in my opinion, with unlimited private funds now coarsing through public government, not to mention the electronic voting machines operating on proprietary source code, there is no plan B, i.e. it's convention of bust. Will we get it? Time will tell.
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    Dec 5 2012: I had no idea about this, thank you for bringing it up.

    I read part of your link and the greatest sucess was prompting congress to pass the 17th amendment. That sucks, as that amendment further deteriorated the Republic for the same reason TL brings up the 1819 SCOTUS case.
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      Dec 5 2012: Pat, the convention clause embodies our greatest right--that of alter/abolish. A convention of state delegates will create a political dynamic which currently does not exist. Imagine if you are a corrupt politician or judge, and you were just informed America is going to dust off the Constitution and put it to work. Think you might change your attitude? Whether or not an amendment is ratified, the constitutional process is akin to turning on the lights and having a grand civics ceremony that puts everyone at the same table.
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        Dec 5 2012: I think I get it (as far as I know), but the fact that people went to this trouble to weaken the constitution indicates an ignorance of the definition of a Republic. Which is the bigger problem
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          Dec 6 2012: Pat, one of the really great things about the Article V Convention is that it will re-educate two or three generations of Americans in one fell swoop. It will be like a grand civics lesson, and I have no doubt there are thousands of knowledgeable Americans who will rise to the occasion should we build that tipping-point calling for a convention.
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        Dec 6 2012: Even though they did not back then?
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    Dec 5 2012: This sure sounds like an important conversation you two are having. Can you dumb it down for me? I get the OP, but the three responses are pretty esoteric. Whasssup?
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      Dec 5 2012: Edward, it is an important conversation--objectively the most important conversation because it deals with the actual problem, not one of the many symptoms cause by it. May I ask you to read the link above? It's will take thirty minutes to an hour. Let me know your thoughts.
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        Dec 5 2012: I read them before posting. I found them both germane and helpful, thank you for them John. Is this a Gordian-knot wrapped in smoke and mirrors? I am hearing things here that sound like the result of highly-paid lawyers acting on orders of mysterious origin to render an article of the Constitution useless. I guess I need to add this to the long list of issues about which I need to inform myself. Thanks? :-)
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          Dec 6 2012: Edward, yes, you are correct. The only reason we've never had a convention is a bunch of lawyers and ivory tower types pretending the issue is complex. It's simply a national discussion, but not the bogus discussion put on by politicians and media heads. This issue is the one which all the others are tied to, so if you can help raise awareness of it, that would be a positive thing. Will we ever get it? Who knows, at the least it's nice to be talking about the objective solution? Thanks for your interest and comments.
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    Dec 5 2012: TED Lover, I understand your position, but all of history proves it to be incorrect. To paraphrase your position, it's that the people will be denied their right to a convention because the court has declared it a political question, and therefore up to Congress--that the convention call is discretionary as opposed to ministerial in nature--and in terms of practical politics the Congress is never going to put its powers on the chopping block for a bunch of state delegates to cut into.

    According to your position, the Constitution is what the Congress or court says it is, whereas all of history shows that the Constitution is what the people say it is. Political science shows that once a tipping-point is achieved, the gate-keepers of the status quo will move out of the way or face even greater problems.

    There are many aspects of our history which politicians and judges don't talk about--for instance what you state above, that the court has ruled that what was meant to be ministerial in nature--the convention call--is discretionary on the part of Congress, i.e. the court has ruled that the ultimate right to alter/abolish is up to the politicians in Congress. If Americans were told that, there would be problems, so the statists never discuss it. Not because they don't feel like it, but because there would be hell to pay if the people understood what was going on.

    On the other hand, if the people understood that a convention is not only not dangerous, but mathematically impossible to be so, not to mention the only objective way to redirect the course of government, then they would desire it, a tipping-point would be achieved, and the convention would be called.

    You may have noticed one of the links above, a report put out by Congress this past summer about the Article V Convention. Congress did not request the report because it/they had nothing better to report. They know more and more folks are beginning to ponder it.
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      Gail .

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      Dec 5 2012: .
      I disagree with your analysis. You say, "According to your position, the Constitution is what the Congress or court says it is, whereas all of history shows that the Constitution is what the people say it is.". That is not the case (easily proved with documentary evidence). It has become more and more of the case in recent history, but it was never the intent or the law, as government was not supposed to consider anything not authorized by the constitution. This WAS our greatest protection, as individuals and residents of our states. States were (pre McCulloch v. Maryland) sovereign nations that were part of a treaty organization.

      If I look at our history and delete the parts where most people were not wealthy enough to vote, or where an unconstitutional civil war forced many states to submit to an unconstitutional authority, under duress, I can begin to make sense of your position, but it's not an accurate rendition of history, thus it is misleading. Americans have been intentionally lied to in our formal educations, and people think that government is something that it was never supposed to be (thanks to the Bill of Rights and those states who successfully blocked ratification of the Constitution without a Bill of Right, and maintained their right to secede).

      Today, thanks to the overthrow of the constitution as the law of the land, neighbor is pitted against neighbor and there are no more certainties or safeguards. We have become a divided nation and government has become all-powerful.

      About 10 years ago, there was a movement for demanding an Article V convention based on several hundred applications over our history. It turns out that Congress doesn't keep track of these applications, so it couldn't audit them. Not being able to audit them prevented them from authorizing it, even though a search of state records showed that applications had been submitted.

      The peoples' will was thwarted again.
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        Dec 5 2012: Ted Lover, the Constitution is what the people say it is, and the only reason we've never had one is because we've been lied to for over half a century as to what one actually is.

        If one knows what it is in actuality--a three-part national discussion which breaks the status quo of politics as usual--then anyone sincere would immediately begin scheming how to popularize it.

        As mentioned earlier, the Congressional Research Service issued the paper this year. The powers that be know that people are waking up to the idea.

        The Constitution cannot be overthrown, it can only be ignored. Once enough of us want it to be obeyed, it will be, and in a natural progression of events it will return us to its founding principles.
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    Gail .

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    Dec 5 2012: .
    Won't work. Here's why:

    Back in the 1980s, congress gave itself a 25% pay raise with the stipulation that 8 years later (when G. W. Bush was out of office) that cost of living increases would kick in making pay raises automatic without the required vote. People were outraged, but what could they do? One student in Texas had an idea. Knowing that one of the original Bill of Rights (that failed raitification) prohibited pay raises until an election has intervened, began lobbying state houses across the country. In 1992, just as the raises were to be implemented, it became our 27th amendment.

    Congress was furious when the archivist announced that it had passed. They claimed the right to accept or reject Article V Amendments, but the people objected. Congress had to find another way around it. It took a few days, but they found one.

    It was a time of high inflation, caused by congress intentionally increasing the money supply in order to cause inflation so that the value of the huge national debt (thanks to Regan) would be devalued. This, congress said, meant that for as long as they do not give themselves cost of living increases, they are in violation of the amendment because their pay was being decreased. Judge Sporkin of the 9th district court agreed, saying that those who filed suit were miscreants and that congress should never be held hostage by the people. It was then official. A cost of living increase in pay is not a pay increase.

    The Supreme Court never had the authority that it claims today until it gave itself unconstitutional powers in a bloodless coup d'etat in 1819. It decreed that the Constitution is not law (no matter that it says it is), but is a guideline. Now, no matter what amendments Article V would come up with will be invalidated if congress & the courts consider it a "political matter".

    We need to re-ratify the 10th amendment first, because until that is done, the Constitution is no longer the law of the land.
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      Dec 5 2012: You fail to mention that Tip O'neal was the speaker of the house at that time and the spending increase was his doing as it always is the purview of congress. Just as Pelosi foisted Obama care on the American people. Just as the Clinton surplus was created by Newt Gingrich.
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        Gail .

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        Dec 5 2012: In your zeal to damn Democrats & liberals (who are not necessarily the same animal, by the way) rather than see the larger picture, you misrepresent history. It is very unfair. You fail to mention that the huge national debt was ENTIRELY the result of the Regan revolution and Regonomics. It was a bipartisan doing led by Reagan's popularity.

        You also fail to mention that the senate was Republican during three of the four Reagan congressional sessions, and no spending bill became law without the consent of the (large majority republican) senate and the republican president - Ronald Reagan - who pushed his massive spending bills through with full support of the Republicans.

        Both sides agreed that inflation was necessary in order to reduce the "value" of the Reagan debt, which was as terrifying then as today's debt is to us.

        Hate doesn't help. We need to be able to talk about history as it happened, no matter how much we don't like looking at ourselves as we do so.
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          Dec 5 2012: Again it was not a result of Reaganomics.

          The senate does not create the budget. It was mostly a deception by the Tip O'Neil in other words he lied and Reagan regretted agreeing to it.

          Again one of the most powerful people is the speaker of the house and they are the ones who have the most control over the budget. Which I suppose is why the senate not submitting a budget in years is not as big a deal?
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        Gail .

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        Dec 5 2012: You have so little understanding of how government works, yet you are furious about mistakes in your own thinking. The reason you have not seen any spending bills come out of the senate in recent years is because ALL spending bills MUST originate in the house. They CAN'T originate in the senate.

        Furthermore, Ronald Reagan's entire campaign theme was "Reagonomics", called trickle-down economics. He wasn't talked into it. He campaigned on it. It involves massive government spending that is supposed to put money in the hands of the wealthy so that they could become job creators, and in this way increase revenues. The only thing that Reaganomics gave us was inflation and massive debt that it took Clinton to begin to get us out of. Then came Bush 2 who merely took Reaganomics and put it on steroids and broke our government.

        I will grant that Obama seems to like the failed Reagan policies, but he is no worse than the two mentioned above who came before him.

        Before you argue about government, perhaps you should learn about it. Read the constitution perhaps? I keep correcting errors in your posts that anyone with a basic understanding of government should know before they take such hardened stances, such as the house originates all spending bills and congress authorizes and funds various government departments, etc.