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My Reworking of the U.S. Constitution.

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posted on Jul, 24 2007 @ 11:34 PM
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In truth I loath to change the document at all.

Some issues need to be dealt with changing the Constitution is most likely not the answer, however government abuse of the document have gotten to the point where some action is needed.




posted on Jul, 25 2007 @ 07:06 AM
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posted by DarkStormCrow

In truth I loath to change the document at all. Some issues need to be dealt with changing the Constitution is most likely not the answer, however government abuse of the document have gotten to the point where some action is needed.


People know we need changes but we do not know what changes to make.

My Summary, Part 1
I really do not know if we have the authority to change the 1787 US Con peacefully. Historically speaking, the First Continental Congress in 1774 was illegitimate, in the eyes of the British Crown. It was after the War had started in Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill, Massachusetts, that the Second Continental Congress met in 1775, but the war was on. The British would have liked nothing better than to capture the Congress.

It was the Second Continental Congress that appointed George Washington to the rank o Lieutenant General and gave him the post of General in Chief of the Continental Armies. Several others held that rank during the war but Washington alone held the job assignment of General in Chief. When the current US Con was written in Philadelphia in 1787, it was decided to make the president the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy so as to keep the military under civilian control. It was taken for granted by the writers of the US Con the Congress would keep the president under control but unfortunately as we all know the Congress has failed miserably to do that since the Nine Eleven Event.

The Articles of Confederation which created and empowered the Central Government of the United States of America - that name was assigned by the Articles - were written in 1775 but were not accepted by all13 colonies until 1785. Two years after the war ended with the Treaty of Paris. The Articles failed abysmally. First, the Articles had no single executive, the head of government was a committee made up of 1 member from each state and required 7 votes to take any action which was review able by the next sitting of Congress. It had no power to tax, bur rather, it had to make “assessments” on the several states. Next, the Congress had no power to tax or to enforce assessments and most of the states never paid their assessments. Not until Alexander Hamilton became Secretary of Treasury was our WAR debt paid. That’s how he got on the face of the $10 bill.

About 100 rich colonialists and the King of France financed the American Revolution. The soldiers - mostly late arriving immigrants - were ill fed, ill housed, ill clothed, and ill equipped by the Second Continental Congress. Early Americans wanted revolution on the cheap.

Without George Washington and Louis XVI there would be NO America as we know it today.

Aside: Historically Congress has never paid the veterans as it promised after the “hour of need” had passed. Just keep in mind it was General Douglas MacArthur under President Hoover who forced the World War 1 veterans out of Washington DC in 1932. The vets had come there to try to force payment of the bonus promised them but not to be paid until 1938. The US Army used tear gas and horses to rout the US Army veterans from Washington then burned their campsite to the gourd!

“Thank you for your service.”

Sounds trite, does it not? Talk is cheap. Like we are now taking such good care of the guys and gals at Walter Reed Hospital? And that was not revealed by anyone in the US Government until it was shown on CBS. For you Rupert Murdoch fans, why was it not shown first on FOX? Like CBS scooped FOX on Abu Ghraib. Hmm? Is FOX a news channel or just a mouthpiece for Bush43?

More of My Summary later.

[edit on 7/25/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Jul, 25 2007 @ 09:35 AM
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My Summary, Part 2
The NEW government of the United States, under the current constitution, began in 1789. The first election was late, it having been planned for 1788 but not enough states had ratified the document in 1788. In fact, only 10 states voted in the first presidential and congressional election. NY, NC and RI were dragging their feet but were onboard by the next mid-term election of 1790.

For reasons I have never heard explained nor read about in any history of the founding of the United States, the founding fathers - the FFs - set a precedent unheard of in that era. They provided that new states would be admitted as EQUALS of the original states. That is a feature that has been a constant and positive contribution to our country.

Every government needs revenue. Money. Money is power. If you have no money, you have no power. If you can’t pay your workers, you will have no workers. The new US Government in 1789 had only 3 sources of revenue. 1) excise taxes, 2) import duties and 3) proceeds from the sale or leasing of land. Well, actually there was another but I’ll deal with it in a minute.

1) Excise taxes are taxes on things, not on people or land. Whiskey was an early object of excise taxes. Decks of playing cards was another. Today we have a tax on the rubber in tires which is an excise tax. We just dropped a tax on long distance telephone calls which was an excise tax.

2) Import duties. The FFs wanted America to encourage selling aborad. To advance that goal, the US Con prohibits EXPORT duties or tariffs. The FFs wanted to discourage our dependence on foreign manufacturers and raw materials so the US imposed IMPORT duties or tariffs. Unforseen in 1787, by 1810 or 1820, import duties had become one source of irritation for the southern states. Being primarily agricultural based, those states imported more machinery and finished goods than the northen states. Manufacturing thrived in the northern states which greatly reduced their dependence on imports. Import duties remained a second level issue that added to the growing anti-slavery sentiment in the north culminating in the deadly Civil War of 1861-1865. Note:The only ‘fighting’ issue was slavery.

3) Sale or lease of land. The wide open and very rich area known in 1780 as the Northwest Territory came under the control of the central government. Bounded on the east by Pennsylvania and New York, on the south by the Ohio River, on the west by the Mississippi River and on the north by the Great Lakes. This vast expanse of land was to become the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. Sale and leasing of this land was to be the major source of revenue to the fledgling United States for decades. Add to the Northwest Territory the very much large acquisition of land in 1803 we call the Louisiana Purchase, and yet more land was owned by the Federal Government. Finally the Mexican War ended in 1848 and gave the Federal government most of northern Mexico, which is now the states of California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and part of Colorado. WoW!

The fourth source of revenue was never used. It allowed the new Congress to assess taxes directly on the states just as the old Articles had unworkably provided. Under the earlier Articles 10 of the 13 states ignored its repeated pleas for money to support the war. A serious flaw was the inability to enforce collection. You can’t put a state in jail.

The Federal assessment had to be based on population only. It was really just a “head tax” in each state based on the last census. Another major flaw was this taxing method paid no regard to the people’s relative ability to pay. A person in the poor south would be obliged to pay the same tax amount as a person working in a rich northern state. Unfair.

During the 1870s three financiers - insider traders - conspired to capture or take over the gold market in the United States. Jay Gould, James Fisk and J.P. Morgan. Note: When J.P. Morgan died, it was said he had more cash on hand than the Treasury of the United States. The effort failed but showed how little control over its currency lay in the Federal Government. All of this was to change but not until the 20th century. Our 18th century concept of government as embodied in the Constitution would not work any longer, if indeed they had ever worked well. Something radical had to be done.

Enter the Sixteenth Amendment. Short. Sweet. Amendment XVI: “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration.” February 25, 1916.

And thus the modern American government was born.

End of Part 2, My Summary

[edit on 7/25/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Jul, 25 2007 @ 06:25 PM
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My Summary, Part 3

After 1913, our Federal government began to grow as more money became available, yet the government was still very small by today’s standards as late as 1932. The stock market had crashed in 1929 and the US economy kept spiraling downward. The US (and the world) was on the gold standard, money speaking. The price of gold had always been $20 an ounce from 1789 until it was changed in 1933.

The problem was, there was not enough gold to go around. That kept money in short supply. When money is in short supply, interest rates are high. But under the gold standard, even at high rates, money was not readily available. After World War 1, the UK - which had gone off the gold standard during the war years of 1914-1918 - went back on the gold standard in 1926.

In England, a young maverick economist named John Maynard Keynes warned the British government that returning to the gold standard would precipitate a financial crisis with serious consequences. He was right. The British economy collapsed just before ours collapsed. Germany’s also collapsed which ultimately led to Adolph Hitler and World War 2.

When the Democrats won the 1932 election, Roosevelt brought Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith into government and he adapted the new Keynesian economics to fight the Great Depression. America (and the world) still operates under Keynesian economics. Keynesian economic theory has now spread to China. The world is now running under a new economic theory and Adam Smith and Karl Marx have been retired. The gold standard is committed to history. We live in a managed world economy today.

In 1940, the Selective Service System, known as the draft, went into effect. At that time the US Army had barely 140,000 men in uniform. In 1945, when the war ended, the US had 13,000,000 men and women under arms. Our government bureaucracies have also grown, but not nearly that fast. Of course, the government does many more things for us in 2007 than it did in 1933. I’m sure no one wants to return to the 1933 level of services. Our lives are much more complicated than before. It is a complicated world and it is getting more complicated, not less.

What we want is NOT smaller government, but BETTER government.

End of My Summary, Part 3.

[edit on 7/25/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Jul, 26 2007 @ 09:03 AM
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My Summary, Part 4

I left us last time in Part 3 at the end of World War Two. 1945. VE Day in Europe was May 7 and VJ Day in the Pacific was September 2. Hitler had committed suicide on April 30 and the Japanese had sustained TWO atom bomb attacks first on August 6 then on August 9. They knew not how many more bombs we had. (We had no more at that moment). The Japanese surrendered on August 15 but the paperwork was not signed until September 2 in Tokyo Bay onboard the USS Missouri. Note: Had not President Truman have been a native of Missouri, the signing would likely have been done on the USS Lexington. See Foot Note.

So Mr iori_komei , Mr DarkStormCrow and others, you say we need a new constitution or need serious changes in the existing document. Or you are not sure if we want to junk the existing one and try for broke with another constitutional convention, presumably to be held in Philadelphia where the two previous ones were held. I do not believe in omens but I for one would want #3 held nowhere but Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love.

Why make major changes? Because the old Con is archaic, out of date, seriously hampered in response time to face cataclysmic events and keeps people in office long after they have lost the confidence of the American people. Lame duck governance. Government without accountability or responsibility. Not very democratic. Giving a minority in Congress the opportunity in the Senate to block any important measures unless the majority (51) has a “super” majority (60). And other provisions that fitted well enough in the late 1700s culture but which do not seem either necessary or even desirable in 2007 and beyond.

Consider time delay. The 1787 Con provided for the election to be held in November and the new Congress to be seated in January and the president to take office in March. From the first Tuesday in November until March 4, the will of the people was delayed. 115 days, more or less. A lot of mischief can be done in that length of time. This is the source of the pejorative phrase “lame duck” as applied to both Congress and the presidency. A time when people voted out of office can still pass lows and make appointments perhaps exactly contrary to the voters expressed decisions. Note: Our election day is actually the first Tuesday after the first Money in November, an old English custom based on seasons for planting and for harvesting. End.

This lengthy DELAY created such a storm in 1933 that the US Con was changed by the 20th Amendment which advanced the swearing of the president to January 20, a shortening of 43 days but it is still a long 72 days before the newly elected president takes office. More than 2 months before the will of the people is worked. Maybe OK in 1933 but I say it is too much delay in 2007. Note: The January 3 date for Congress to swear in was not changed. End.

Alternative Example: In the United Kingdom the majority party in the House of Commons (650 members) runs the government as well as performing the legislative function of making laws. This is known as a parliamentary system. Note: I believe all former English colonies except the United States use that system. End. The party having the majority may call an election anytime but the maximum time between elections is 5 years. New Zealand OTOH, has a 3 years maximum time between elections but also allows for shorter elections as in Great Britain. When a short election is called, the law says it will be held not sooner than 30 days or longer than 60 days from the call.

The 2008 presidential race began in January, 2007. That is a bit longer than 22 months. With tv, cable, dish and the internet WHY do we need more than six hundred sixty (660) days to hear what the candidates say they will do for us or do to us? Are we that dumb? Or do we just enjoy a long cat-fight? Are we bored stiff with the American Idol type fare on the tv screen? Do we care not a whit how much it costs to run tv ads for 660 days? Or keep up a staff of 100s or run an opinion poll at least once a week? Who pays for that? Does it even matter? Etc. And etc.

Electoral Alternative. I’d like to see campaigns limited to say, 120 days, hey, we can’t break a bad habit all at once, which means no campaigning before July 4, say. Continue to hold the election on the first Tuesday in November. Allow two weeks for the counting. If a state’s count is not in, then it is OUT. We’ll just have to get along without it. Somehow.

Maybe the too late state will do better in the next election. Maybe if we provide the late state’s governor and all the members of the state’s legislature be expelled from office and new election held in 30 days, but making the incumbents ineligible to stand. Hmm? Do you think that would help state’s “get it right” the first time?

Back to the US Con. A speedy election. The swearing in (inauguration) is held 14 days later for all newly elected persons, Congress and the President. On the same day. That would put the all the newly elected persons into office around December 1. Summary: Campaigning starts July 4, voters cast their ballots on November 2, let us say, and the winners take office December 1. Geez? Do you think we could live with that?

That speed-up does not address the situation we have today, where the president has lost public confidence but remains in office for a fixed time ending in this case on January 20, 2009. From November 6, 2006, when his policies were rejected, until the next president takes office is 2 years, 2 months and 2 weeks. 805 days. This is too long for a good democracy to keep working. Very bad outcome. This cannot be changed as long as we retain fixed terms. All parliamentary democracies, which includes all the Western Europe countries and former British colonies around the world, can do better than we can do. Any of those countries can have a new leader in about 60 days. Democracy in action and not in talk.

As voters, we need to weigh in on the issue whether to change our system from a fixed term congressional system to a variable term parliamentary system. Both can be democratic. Or either could be anti-democratic, as in Pakistan and many Latin American countries.

Conclusion. It’s up to the voters in the last analysis. But whether the voter gets to vote on great issues or not depends on others. And therein lies the rub. To bring serious issues involving momentous changes in the very basic form of governance requires a strong upsurge from the bottom up. It will never come from the top down. No matter who is at the top, he or she got there by making so many compromises that he or she is prevented from advocating drastic or dramatic changes made quickly. That is the proper nature of things. Plodding over hasty. People value stability and security more than they value democracy! Believe it or not.


Foot Note: Designating the ship that will live in history was a perk of office exercised by President Truman, formerly a senator from Missouri before becoming FDR’s vice president. By “right of service” among the large ships of war, the second carrier Lexington was the obvious choice. The first carrier Lexington was sunk in the Battle of the Coral Sea in 1942. Its replacement, the new carrier Lexington, served the last 20 months of the war, from late 1943. Japanese intelligence could not understand the new Lexington as they do not name new ships for old ones, so when they positively identified the new Lexington, they dubbed it the “Blue Ghost” for the color of its paint and for not being sure it hadn’t risen from the dead.

The battleship USS Missouri - Mighty Mo - was a late arrival in the Pacific, having been launched in late 1943. The Lexington had fought in every major battle of the Pacific War and was the hero in the Battle of Okinawa. The US Navy lost just over 5,000 sailors KIA in that battle. The largest number of sailors lost in any naval battle in US history. People who object to America atom bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki do not appreciate the dynamics of war. To have had those bombs and for Pres. Truman not have used them on the Japanese would have been an impeachable offense! END

End of My Summary, Part 4

[edit on 7/26/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Jul, 26 2007 @ 10:27 AM
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Thanks for the excellent 4 part post donwhite


The issue of term limits is one that concerns me, as is the issue of generational carry over by certain "Elite" families within the country. Thats why I propose a 12 year limit of service in government, how to deal with "Elite" family carry over is an issue I dont know how to deal with.

Limiting the House to 435 members is another issue it makes no sense there should be 1 representative per x number in the population. I feel the present system allows the "Elite" to maintain its control.

I like the original system where the runner up became the Vice President it was a check on the Executive Branch within the Executive Branch. I am very concerned about the issue of Executive Orders and Signing Statements and how they are abused. I like the idea that the people would vote for a new Vice President in case the present one moves into the Presidential slot or is incapacited in some way, more balance in the executive.

I prefer the State Legislatures elect the Senators as was in the beginning.

Many Federal powers today should be returned to the States as was originally, since the Civil War many of the States powers have been severly diluted due to the growth of the federal behemoth.
State Armies as opposed to Federal Armies.Federals should keep the Navy, Treasury, and State Departments the States could handle the other Departments. This I feel is as the founders intended.

The money needs to be controlled by the Congress and not some quasi Independent Corporation.

Weapons rights need to be clarified and in my opinion more protected especially where it concerns carrying for self protection.

The any person born on US soil is a citizen whatever the national origin of the parents needs to be addressed.

The English language needs to be made the official language for purposes of Government business
including voting, if your voting basic english should be a requirement. Hand marked ballots does away with hanging chads and computer fraud, requiring ID to vote is basic common sense , and if ID costs is a concern I dont mind paying a bit more for my DL in order to pay for the IDs of those who cant afford on or make them free to all if that is what it would require.

Standardizing all the Firearms, Military, Draft, and Voting ages at 20 should be a good compromise I think putting the drinking age at 20 would also be a good idea.( though not something we need to put in the Constitution.)

Pay for elected Officials should be increased in the hope that we would attracted better Officials.

Tax system needs to revised flat or fair tax seems to be the most equitable to me.

Maybe deal with the issue of No Confidence in the Executive by a 3/4 vote in the Congress and the the Vice President takes over?

When to Vote? Maybe hold elections on Memorial Day weekend 3 days of voting. Have the swearing in on July 4th weather would be better than Januaury and then you have a built in party day for the 4th. 120 day presidential campaign process seems like a good idea to me and I believe money would count for less influence.

I am not sure the people could deal with change security and stability like you have referenced.

Philadelphia is the best most logical choice for a Constitutional Convention.

However,


I feel the sytem is broken and abused by the "Elites" in Washington I wouldnt trust them to walk my dog much less have a Constitutional Convention.

I dont think anything will change I dont think "Elites" in Washington are capable of any true Statemanship.

So I believe I am waiting for the breakdown and then the bloodletting.



posted on Jul, 26 2007 @ 01:43 PM
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posted by DarkStormCrow
Thanks for the excellent 4 part post donwhite. The issue of term limits is one that concerns me, as is the issue of generational carry over by certain "Elite" families within the country. That’s why I propose a 12 year limit of service in government, how to deal with "Elite" family carry over is an issue I don’t know how to deal with. Limiting the House to 435 members is another issue it makes no sense there should be 1 representative per x number in the population. I feel the present system allows the "Elite" to maintain its control. I like the original system where the runner up became the Vice President it was a check on the Executive Branch within the Executive Branch. I am very concerned about the issue of Executive Orders and Signing Statements and how they are abused. I like the idea that the people would vote for a new Vice President in case the present one moves into the Presidential slot or is incapacitated in some way, more balance in the executive.


1) Term limits. You propose a 12 years limit on service in Congress. 2 full 6 year terms in the Senate, 6 full 2 year terms in the House. Hmm? As much as I disdained GOP J. Strom Thurmond’s 50+ years service in the Senate, I now enjoy Dem Robert Byrd’s 50+ years service in the Senate. I guess it depends more on whose ox is being gored than on any principle I have. If WV’s Byrd lives out the term he was just elected to in ‘06 he will surpass SC’s Thurmond as the longest serving person. Why should we DENY the voters of WV the right to have the person of their choosing to represent them in the Congress? I am against term limits.

2) Family dynasties. Well, I’m thinking of the Gore father and son, from Tennessee. Both named Albert. I’m thinking of the Chaffee’s of RI also a father and son team. As for governor’s, I’m reminded of the Talmadge father and son team, the son later becoming a Georgia senator. As for mayors, I’m reminded of the two Mayors Richard Daley of Chicago. Both named Richard but having different middle names. Not quite the same I also think of the Kennedy family, three brothers in the Senate but not at the same time and one who was president. One of the Kennedy children is now a congressman from Connecticut, I think.

As presidents go, the Bush father son team is compared today with the husband and possibly wife team of the Chitons. The two Roosevelts were cousins. Adams were father and son and the Harrisons were related but I forget how. I’m sure the are more I have overlooked but not on purpose. Again, as long as we know the relationship, I see no reason to ban any relative running for office although it surely is an advantage. Well, right now, Jeb - James Earl - Bush is very unlikely to seek the presidency so it can go both ways.

3) Size of the House. Until it was reconstituted in the 1990s, the British House of Lords numbered more than 1,100 although 200-300 was the usual number who attended sessions. Long ago stripped of any real power, the Lords are like an older brother giving unsolicited advice to an younger brother, valid only for its quality and not for its senior source. Today the Lords can “hold” a bill for up to one year, unless even that pinch of power is specifically withheld by the Commons on a particular bill. The UK population is about 60 million. The House of Commons has 650 seats. About 1 member per 92,300 people. Our 435 House members represent about 690,000 people each assuming equal representation around the country which is not the case. If we went to 92,000 per representative, we’d have 3,260 members of the House. I do not believe the OUTPUT of the larger House would be any better than the smaller 435 members. Here I am, the most radial poster endorsing the current system. Number-wise, anyway. Can you believe that?

4) Vice President. Constitutionally the VP has TWO duties. To preside over the Senate and to cast a tie-breaking vote. But in the case of an impeachment, the Chief Justice presides over the Senate which sits as the jury, not the VP. Harry Truman did not meet FDR but 1 time after he was hand picked by the “powers that be” in 1944 to replace left-leaning but popular Henry Wallace as VP. Truman became president on April 12, and had never heard of an atomic bomb. By August, he had ordered the use of the atom bombs. Barely 100 days. And the world was changed forever.

I don’t like the WAY VP Cheney has exercised his powers granted to him by the President. It defeats the normal channels of advice to the president. It obfuscates responsibility and accountability. But we have always agreed the VP is available to the president to be his helper. It’s up to the president how much power he delegates. I don’t like it but it’s not again the law or the rules.

You have a real good idea on making the runner up VP. Our 2 party system would guarantee the VP would be of the opposite party. OTOH, that would also defeat the will of the people. Consider 1960. JFK barely won the presidency, so Nixon would have been his VP. Instead of LBJ succeeding him on November 22, 1963, Nixon would have. Ugh! The winning Dems would not want that. Consider 1974. Nixon resigns. Instead of Gerald Ford becoming president, George McGovern would have succeeded him. Ugh. I’m sure GOP types would not have been happy about that. Good idea, but it’s got no traction.

5) Presidential succession. I agree on calling a special election would be the way to go instead of turning it over to the new president and Congress to the exclusion of the people. Time would NOT be of the essence, so an election in say, 120 days, requiring the Dems and the GOP to name 3 men or women each, and a runoff election 30 days later if no one gets a 50% +1 vote in the first election. That would put more power in the hands of the people and take it out of the hands of the established elites. Oops! That's unlikely.

End of Reply, Part 1

[edit on 7/26/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Jul, 26 2007 @ 02:42 PM
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posted by DarkStormCrow
I prefer the State Legislatures elect the Senators as was in the beginning. Many Federal powers today should be returned to the States as was originally, since the Civil War many of the States powers have been severely diluted due to the growth of the federal behemoth.


1) Senators to be elected by state Legislatures. The issue here is control. It is fantastically easier for special interests to control state legislatures. All but the largest 2 or 3 are under control of unelected interests. IMO. It is much harder (more expensive) to control the Federal Congress. The 17th Amendment changed the original system to popular elections of senators. Interesting you ask to revoke or repeal the 17th because at first glance it seems to have been the fastest ratified of all 27 amendments. It was proposed to the states on May 13, 1912 and made effective on May 31, 1913. Barely more than 1 year.

The Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments, OTOH, were submitted to the states on September 25, 1789, and were not approved until December 15, 1791. I must assume the 17th was a very popular change in our Constitution becuse it was ratified so quickly.

The 27th Amendment OTOH, was also submitted on September 25, 1789, but it was not approved until May 7, 1992. 203 years later. A bad joke in my opinion, played on us by the Archivist of the United States who was given the job of deciding if ratification was valid due to the long time lapse between its submission and its adoption by 3/4ths of the states.

The Archivist decided the legal doctrine of LACHES did not apply. Laches is the equivalent of a written statute of limitations. It means the cause or issue is too old, it is stale, it has died, legally speaking. The Archivist said ”No,” it is not too old. The 27th is like my view of the 2nd, which I regard as archaic and the 9th and 10th which I regard as being rhetorical only. The 27th is pointless IMO and in any case of no effect.

End of Rply No. 2

[edit on 7/26/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Jul, 26 2007 @ 03:41 PM
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posted by DarkStormCrow
State Armies as opposed to Federal Armies. Federals should keep the Navy, Treasury, and State Departments the States could handle the other Departments. This I feel is as the founders intended. The money needs to be controlled by the Congress and not some quasi Independent Corporation. Weapons rights need to be clarified and in my opinion more protected especially where it concerns carrying for self protection.


2) Armies or Militias?

Impossible. But YES, I do believe the FFs had this in mind. Our being forced to financially support the British Red Coats over here was one of the major causes of the Revolutionary War. But 2007 is not 1776. It is unrealistic to think we could possibly have 50 small armies called Militias that could be coordinated under a unified command in a time of national emergency but still operate independently otherwise. I have been 5 years in the USAF and I can speak first hand that even the USAF has trouble being UNIFIED.

Harken back to WW2 when the US employed the M1903 Springfield bolt action rifle, the M1 Garand rifle, the Browning Automatic Rifle, and the M1930 Machine gun in both water cooled and air cooled versions, and all used the same caliber .30-06 rounds. The M1911A1 Colt Semi-Auto pistol and the M3 Thompson Automatic Submachine gun both fired the same .45 caliber ball ammo.

In our own Civil War the Union Army had more than 10 different muskets and rifles to supply with ammo and the South had even more varieties. You could have 50 extra rounds in your pocket and the soldier next to you could be out of ammo at the same time. Different calibers. Fast forward to the present and imagine if you had a VHF radio and the next unit over had UHF radios. You’d be back to semaphore flags to communicate. No way can we have that.

End of Reply No. 3

[edit on 7/26/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Jul, 26 2007 @ 04:14 PM
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posted by DarkStormCrow
The any person born on US soil is a citizen whatever the national origin of the parents needs to be addressed. The English language needs to be made the official language for purposes of Government business including voting, if your voting basic English should be a requirement. Hand marked ballots does away with hanging chads and computer fraud, requiring ID to vote is basic common sense , and if ID costs is a concern I don’t mind paying a bit more for my DL in order to pay for the IDs of those who cant afford on or make them free to all if that is what it would require.


1) Citizenship. Ah, Mr DarkStormCrow, here I cannot go with you. You are referring to the 14th Amendment, Section 1 which defines American citizenship. (The US Con does not). “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.” The very epitome of simplicity. Even if you disagree with it, you’ve got to love it! The “qualifying jurisdiction clause” refers to foreign ambassadors and others in transit or here on official business or on some qualifying visas. Note that the Con and amendments use TWO terms or classes “citizens” and “persons” when defining certain rights and privileges.

2) English. Here again I differ. America is alone among the great nations of the world which is essentially monolingual. Almost everyone in any large or powerful country you name is either bi-lingua or multi-lingual. I regent I am not bi-lingual. That is my loss. If it was up to me, I’d require Spanish be taught K-12 in public schools. By grade 6 on the West Coast we might add Chinese and elsewhere add Arabic. It is difficult to impossible to know a people when you cannot speak their language. That is one of our major problems in Iraq and the Middle East today. We don’t know what they are saying. Translating words is not the same as making thoughts understandable. We can do a little bit of the former and almost none of the latter.

3) ID. Yes, I agree, we need a National Identification Card. It should bear a picture and a fingerprint. On the back it should have encoded in a strip our essential medical information and next of kin contact info. It’s past due.

Reply No. 4.

[edit on 7/26/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Jul, 26 2007 @ 04:43 PM
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Originally posted by donwhite



1) Term limits. You propose a 12 years limit on service in Congress. 2 full 6 year terms in the Senate, 6 full 2 year terms in the House. Hmm? As much as I disdained GOP J. Strom Thurmond’s 50+ years service in the Senate, I now enjoy Dem Robert Byrd’s 50+ years service in the Senate. I guess it depends more on whose ox is being gored than on any principle I have. If WV’s Byrd lives out the term he was just elected to in ‘06 he will surpass SC’s Thurmond as the longest serving person. Why should we DENY the voters of WV the right to have the person of their choosing to represent them in the Congress? I am against term limits.


Realizing that you are against, if the limit was 24 years in Senate and House and 12 years for the Presidency would you be more agreeable toward term Limits? Its not a party issue for me, here in Nevada for example Harry Reid is one of my Senators I already know who his successor will be it will be his son Rory and truly no other candidate has a chance because of the political machinery in place.



2) Family dynasties. Well, I’m thinking of the Gore father and son, from Tennessee. Both named Albert. I’m thinking of the Chaffee’s of RI also a father and son team. As for governor’s, I’m reminded of the Talmadge father and son team, the son later becoming a Georgia senator. As for mayors, I’m reminded of the two Mayors Richard Daley of Chicago. Both named Richard but having different middle names. Not quite the same I also think of the Kennedy family, three brothers in the Senate but not at the same time and one who was president. One of the Kennedy children is now a congressman from Connecticut, I think.

As presidents go, the Bush father son team is compared today with the husband and possibly wife team of the Chitons. The two Roosevelts were cousins. Adams were father and son and the Harrisons were related but I forget how. I’m sure the are more I have overlooked but not on purpose. Again, as long as we know the relationship, I see no reason to ban any relative running for office although it surely is an advantage. Well, right now, Jeb - James Earl - Bush is very unlikely to seek the presidency so it can go both ways.


Money and Power is the way of politics so dealing with this issue is a no go area in all likelyhood.





3) Size of the House. Until it was reconstituted in the 1990s, the British House of Lords numbered more than 1,100 although 200-300 was the usual number who attended sessions. Long ago stripped of any real power, the Lords are like an older brother giving unsolicited advice to an younger brother, valid only for its quality and not for its senior source. Today the Lords can “hold” a bill for up to one year, unless even that pinch of power is specifically withheld by the Commons on a particular bill. The UK population is about 60 million. The House of Commons has 650 seats. About 1 member per 92,300 people. Our 435 House members represent about 690,000 people each assuming equal representation around the country which is not the case. If we went to 92,000 per representative, we’d have 3,260 members of the House. I do not believe the OUTPUT of the larger House would be any better than the smaller 435 members. Here I am, the most radial poster endorsing the current system. Number-wise, anyway. Can you believe that?


Maybe if the number was 1 Representative for every 500,000 with a minimum of 1 per state that would work better, Some of the more populous States as they would end up with more representation.



4) Vice President. Constitutionally the VP has TWO duties. To preside over the Senate and to cast a tie-breaking vote. But in the case of an impeachment, the Chief Justice presides over the Senate which sits as the jury, not the VP. Harry Truman did not meet FDR but 1 time after he was hand picked by the “powers that be” in 1944 to replace left-leaning but popular Henry Wallace as VP. Truman became president on April 12, and had never heard of an atomic bomb. By August, he had ordered the use of the atom bombs. Barely 100 days. And the world was changed forever.

I don’t like the WAY VP Cheney has exercised his powers granted to him by the President. It defeats the normal channels of advice to the president. It obfuscates responsibility and accountability. But we have always agreed the VP is available to the president to be his helper. It’s up to the president how much power he delegates. I don’t like it but it’s not again the law or the rules.

You have a real good idea on making the runner up VP. Our 2 party system would guarantee the VP would be of the opposite party. OTOH, that would also defeat the will of the people. Consider 1960. JFK barely won the presidency, so Nixon would have been his VP. Instead of LBJ succeeding him on November 22, 1963, Nixon would have. Ugh! The winning Dems would not want that. Consider 1974. Nixon resigns. Instead of Gerald Ford becoming president, George McGovern would have succeeded him. Ugh. I’m sure GOP types would not have been happy about that. Good idea, but it’s got no traction.


Maybe instead of the Runner up becoming VP we vote for VP seperate from the Presidency no more P/VP tickets.



5) Presidential succession. I agree on calling a special election would be the way to go instead of turning it over to the new president and Congress to the exclusion of the people. Time would NOT be of the essence, so an election in say, 120 days, requiring the Dems and the GOP to name 3 men or women each, and a runoff election 30 days later if no one gets a 50% +1 vote in the first election. That would put more power in the hands of the people and take it out of the hands of the established elites. Oops! That's unlikely.


A hard one to get traction for but certianly better for the people.



posted on Jul, 26 2007 @ 04:45 PM
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posted by DarkStormCrow
I feel the system is broken and abused by the "Elites" in Washington I wouldn’t trust them to walk my dog much less have a Constitutional Convention. I don’t think anything will change I don’t think "Elites" in Washington are capable of any true Statesmanship. So I believe I am waiting for the breakdown and then the bloodletting.


1) Broken system? While the system is not dysfunctional yet, it is on the verge. From my perspective I see genuine CFR - Campaign Finance Reform - as the best possible single fix that would be significant. I’d ban all private money in the electoral process. That would eliminate 40,000 paid lobbyists on K Street and return the halls of the Capitol building to public ownership. Short of that, I see little chance of the very same people who are the beneficiaries of campaign donations voting against the wishes or interests of those making the donations.

2) Bloodletting. France. 1789. History says Robspierre who was the founder of the Terror - the real name - was the last person to suffer the guillotine. 1794. Ironic? Poetic justice? The Communist in Russia killed millions. The Chinese Communist under Mao Zedong killed millions. Edi Amin killed 600,000. Rwanda has seen over 500,000 killed. Sudan has seen over 200,000 killed. And on it goes. Yes, there could be a bloodletting but we all hope not. It’s mostly up to those you call “Elites” and I call the R&Fs. The Rich and Famous. ½% of Americans own 50% of the nation’s wealth. That’s not good. As Jesus said, “it is harder for a rich man to enter heaven than to pass though the eye of a needle.”

My Final Reply No. 5

[edit on 7/26/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Jul, 26 2007 @ 04:50 PM
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Originally posted by donwhite

1) Senators to be elected by state Legislatures. The issue here is control. It is fantastically easier for special interests to control state legislatures. All but the largest 2 or 3 are under control of unelected interests. IMO. It is much harder (more expensive) to control the Federal Congress. The 17th Amendment changed the original system to popular elections of senators. Interesting you ask to revoke or repeal the 17th because at first glance it seems to have been the fastest ratified of all 27 amendments. It was proposed to the states on May 13, 1912 and made effective on May 31, 1913. Barely more than 1 year.

The Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments, OTOH, were submitted to the states on September 25, 1789, and were not approved until December 15, 1791. I must assume the 17th was a very popular change in our Constitution becuse it was ratified so quickly.

The 27th Amendment OTOH, was also submitted on September 25, 1789, but it was not approved until May 7, 1992. 203 years later. A bad joke in my opinion, played on us by the Archivist of the United States who was given the job of deciding if ratification was valid due to the long time lapse between its submission and its adoption by 3/4ths of the states.

The Archivist decided the legal doctrine of LACHES did not apply. Laches is the equivalent of a written statute of limitations. It means the cause or issue is too old, it is stale, it has died, legally speaking. The Archivist said ”No,” it is not too old. The 27th is like my view of the 2nd, which I regard as archaic and the 9th and 10th which I regard as being rhetorical only. The 27th is pointless IMO and in any case of no effect.



If making the legislature would as you say make them more beholden to special interest then it is something I would not want. My goal in any change to the Constitution would be to solidify and strengthen the rights of the people and decentralize the power in Washington and return that power to the States.



posted on Jul, 26 2007 @ 04:58 PM
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Originally posted by donwhite


2) Armies or Militias?

Impossible. But YES, I do believe the FFs had this in mind. Our being forced to financially support the British Red Coats over here was one of the major causes of the Revolutionary War. But 2007 is not 1776. It is unrealistic to think we could possibly have 50 small armies called Militias that could be coordinated under a unified command in a time of national emergency but still operate independently otherwise. I have been 5 years in the USAF and I can speak first hand that even the USAF has trouble being UNIFIED.

Harken back to WW2 when the US employed the M1903 Springfield bolt action rifle, the M1 Garand rifle, the Browning Automatic Rifle, and the M1930 Machine gun in both water cooled and air cooled versions, and all used the same caliber .30-06 rounds. The M1911A1 Colt Semi-Auto pistol and the M3 Thompson Automatic Submachine gun both fired the same .45 caliber ball ammo.

In our own Civil War the Union Army had more than 10 different muskets and rifles to supply with ammo and the South had even more varieties. You could have 50 extra rounds in your pocket and the soldier next to you could be out of ammo at the same time. Different calibers. Fast forward to the present and imagine if you had a VHF radio and the next unit over had UHF radios. You’d be back to semaphore flags to communicate. No way can we have that.


Then possibly a situation where the Army and Air Force cannot be used overseas without a formal Declaration of War and the Navy and Marines would fall under a War Powers type act.

Possibly enact a Standardization of Equipment amongst the States. Although it would be hard to implement with the pace of technological advancements.



posted on Jul, 26 2007 @ 05:15 PM
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Originally posted by donwhite


1) Citizenship. Ah, Mr DarkStormCrow, here I cannot go with you. You are referring to the 14th Amendment, Section 1 which defines American citizenship. (The US Con does not). “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.” The very epitome of simplicity. Even if you disagree with it, you’ve got to love it! The “qualifying jurisdiction clause” refers to foreign ambassadors and others in transit or here on official business or on some qualifying visas. Note that the Con and amendments use TWO terms or classes “citizens” and “persons” when defining certain rights and privileges.


What I have a problem with is the thought of those who enter the country illegally to have a child who then becomes an instant citizen. If you have ever had a child overseas and had to get all the paperwork together to confirm that childs citizenship you might be more sympathetic to my view.
I am also against the concept of dual Citizenship in all cases. I do not of course wish that non citizens have less rights than citizens when on US soil.





2) English. Here again I differ. America is alone among the great nations of the world which is essentially monolingual. Almost everyone in any large or powerful country you name is either bi-lingua or multi-lingual. I regent I am not bi-lingual. That is my loss. If it was up to me, I’d require Spanish be taught K-12 in public schools. By grade 6 on the West Coast we might add Chinese and elsewhere add Arabic. It is difficult to impossible to know a people when you cannot speak their language. That is one of our major problems in Iraq and the Middle East today. We don’t know what they are saying. Translating words is not the same as making thoughts understandable. We can do a little bit of the former and almost none of the latter.


I propose that English be Official for government purposes only. I find it offensive the refusal of immigrants to learn English. I agree that schools should teach Spanish and French as second languages, Spanish for south of the border and French for those pesky Canadians. English should be the language of government however.





3) ID. Yes, I agree, we need a National Identification Card. It should bear a picture and a fingerprint. On the back it should have encoded in a strip our essential medical information and next of kin contact info. It’s past due.


I much prefer a state ID with the information as you posted above some would think its making a police state but when you have had an incident in which you are given penicillin and your allergic then you mind tends to change.



posted on Jul, 26 2007 @ 05:21 PM
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Originally posted by donwhite

1) Broken system? While the system is not dysfunctional yet, it is on the verge. From my perspective I see genuine CFR - Campaign Finance Reform - as the best possible single fix that would be significant. I’d ban all private money in the electoral process. That would eliminate 40,000 paid lobbyists on K Street and return the halls of the Capitol building to public ownership. Short of that, I see little chance of the very same people who are the beneficiaries of campaign donations voting against the wishes or interests of those making the donations.


I fully agree with all you posted here.



2) Bloodletting. France. 1789. History says Robspierre who was the founder of the Terror - the real name - was the last person to suffer the guillotine. 1794. Ironic? Poetic justice? The Communist in Russia killed millions. The Chinese Communist under Mao Zedong killed millions. Edi Amin killed 600,000. Rwanda has seen over 500,000 killed. Sudan has seen over 200,000 killed. And on it goes. Yes, there could be a bloodletting but we all hope not. It’s mostly up to those you call “Elites” and I call the R&Fs. The Rich and Famous. ½% of Americans own 50% of the nation’s wealth. That’s not good. As Jesus said, “it is harder for a rich man to enter heaven than to pass though the eye of a needle.”



True enough but I do believe that if the situation doesnt change rapidly in the next 12 years or so we will have a bloodletting and those Elites and R&Fs are going to be the first to get lined up against the wall and shot. IMO



posted on Jul, 26 2007 @ 05:23 PM
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posted by DarkStormCrow
Realizing that you are against, if the limit was 24 years in Senate and House and 12 years for the Presidency would you be more agreeable toward term Limits? Its not a party issue for me, here in Nevada for example Harry Reid is one of my Senators I already know who his successor will be it will be his son Rory and truly no other candidate has a chance because of the political machinery in place.


1) Longer Term Limits. Making the time-to-serve period longer will not make me change my opinion. I oppose arbitrary time limits because it is a two edged sword. It blocks the good guys as well as shuts down the bad guys. A number of states have adopted term limits and it is my understand the outcome is a mixed bag. States cannot limit Federal terms. That is a power reserved to the Federal government.

I think you may be wanting a level playing field but this is not the way to get it. IMO. CFR is the way. As long as our elections are open to all “quailed” comers, the people ought to be able to choose who they want.

2) Family Succession. There are numerous cases when the incumbent has died in office and the surviving spouse was appointed to fill out the term or to hold office until the next election. Sometimes the spouse wins and sometimes they don’t. Out of the 535 Members of Congress, I’d bet there are 5 of 6 serving right now who succeeded their spouse.

Remember Alabama Governor George Wallace and his wife, Lurleen? And look at Mayor Daley of Chicago. He has been re-elected 2 times already. I take it for granted that even a machine politician can be beaten when the public goes sour on him or her. While Harry understandably wants Rory to take his place, Rory is not a shoo-in by any means. There are other Dems who are senior in time in grade to Rory. When Harry says he is leaving, his power to pick his successor is reduced.

When does Harry Reid’s term end?

[edit on 7/26/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Jul, 26 2007 @ 05:37 PM
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Harry Reid will end his present term in 2011 he has been in Office since 1987. Here in Southern Nevada the Reids are like the Kennedys in Massachssetts I suppose. Rory is being brought up through the ranks with County positions I expect him to run probably in 2010 against Jon Porter the Republican Representave in my district and with the machinery behind him he will most likely unseat Porter.
Interestingly the Democratic party brought in an outsider named Tessa Hafen to run against Porter in 2006 and she lost. They also brought Jack Carter son of Jimmy in to run against John Ensign in 2006 and he lost luckily Ensign is very popular in northen Nevada which probably saved us. When I say brough in it was literally that neither Hafen nor Carter had lived in or worked in Nevada until just before time to file for election I dont think that sat well with many people.

[edit on 7/26/2007 by DarkStormCrow]



posted on Jul, 26 2007 @ 07:22 PM
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posted by DarkStormCrow
Harry Reid will end his present term in 2011 he has been in Office since 1987. Here in Southern Nevada the Reid’s are like the Kennedy’s in Massachusetts I suppose. Rory is being brought up through the ranks with County positions I expect him to run probably in 2010 against Jon Porter the Republican Representative in my district and with the machinery behind him he will most likely unseat Porter.

Interestingly the Democratic party brought in an outsider named Tessa Hafen to run against Porter in 2006 and she lost. They also brought Jack Carter son of Jimmy in to run against John Ensign in 2006 and he lost luckily Ensign is very popular in northen Nevada which probably saved us. When I say brought in it was literally that neither Hafen nor Carter had lived in or worked in Nevada until just before time to file for election I don’t think that sat well with many people.


1) Party machinery is almost unstoppable when the local candidate is OK and the national ticket is not a big minus. Dems hope to use this to their advantage in ‘08. The big problem for Dems in ‘08 is already showing up in low approval ratings of Congress. The public appears to have thought by voting Dem the US participation in the Iraq Civil War would end. Just as the prior generation learned in the 1960s, a war is a lot like riding India’s Hindu tiger god named Shiva. You risk death if you try to get off. We should have learned that lesson in Vietnam but Iraq shows we did not. Or at least our leaders did not.

2) I think there must be a big difference between Nevada - small - and New York - large - because NY has taken as its own Robert Kennedy and Hillary Clinton. I expect Nevada is more homogeneous than NY?

[edit on 7/26/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Jul, 26 2007 @ 07:33 PM
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Originally posted by donwhite

2) I think there must be a big difference between Nevada - small - and New York - large - because NY has taken as its own Robert Kennedy and Hillary Clinton. I expect Nevada is more homogeneous than NY?



Outside of the Southern Nevada IE Vegas the state is fairly homogeneous.
here in Vegas we have a great deal of immigrants and heavy duty unions with the Casino industry. Vegas is fairly liberal in the political arena and its a very transient community with rapid upward mobility if you have right connection. It could be considered a small scale NYC demographics wise. The only reason Porter is able to hold his seat is because part of his district is in a fairly affluent suburb.



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