A constitutional amendment to prevent political dynasties

Like most of you, I’m sick and tired of the Bushes and Clintons. It’s long past time to rein in families like theirs before our political system turns completely hereditary.

To that end, the U.S. Constitution will have to be amended. Here’s my proposal:

AMENDMENT ___

SECTION 1: No person shall be eligible to hold the offices of President or Vice President if that person’s spouse, former spouse, natural parent, adoptive parent, step-parent, sibling, half-sibling, or adopted sibling has previously held either office.

SECTION 2: No person who has ever held the office of President shall be eligible to hold any subsequent public office at the federal level.

SECTION 3: Except for an Associate Justice being appointed to the office of Chief Justice, no person appointed to the Supreme Court shall be eligible to hold any subsequent public office at the federal level.

This should hopefully prevent members of the Obama, Bush, or Clinton families from constantly inflicting themselves upon us.

Ben Carson goofs on guns. Again.

In a wide-ranging radio interview with Hugh Hewitt, presumptive Republican presidential candidate addressed several aspects of the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. When the shooting of Mike Brown came up, Carson stuck his foot in his mouth on the subject of guns for at least the third time this year (boldface emphasis below is mine):

HH: Now you say “I don’t think that the police officer did anything wrong.” So you have reviewed and have come to the conclusion that the officer in fact should not have been charged with anything?

BC: Yeah, he had every right to protect his life. But I do think that there are probably other techniques that could have been used.

HH: All right, now if there were other techniques that could have been used, doesn’t that suggest he did something wrong?

BC: No, that suggests that he perhaps has not had the maximum training.

HH: Okay.

BC: You know, for instance, in a lot of places, police officers aren’t even allowed to go into the more dangerous areas by themselves. They’re always paired. Or you know, people use tasers, people learn how to shoot people in the legs to stop them from charging, things of that nature. And I seriously doubt that he’d been given that information.

This is just plain ignorant. No law enforcement agency anywhere in America, whether it’s a federal, state, or local agency, trains its officers to aim for a target’s legs. All of them train their officers to aim for the target’s torso.

Dr. Carson is woefully ignorant about deadly force encounters, about the laws of self defense, and about the mechanics of marksmanship, but educating himself would be relatively simple for a man as intelligent as he is. He can start at BearingArms.com and branch out from there.

“Aiming for the legs or arms” is a foolish myth that belongs only in Hollywood.

—-

For a previous unforced “foot bullet” from Dr. Carson on the subject of guns, see his interview with Dana Loesch, in which he tries to walk back a previous ignorant statement in an interview with Glenn Beck.

Do you see a pattern here yet?

Will the federal government default?

If the President (and his Senate) fail to reach a deal on raising the debt ceiling on October 17th, will the federal government go into default? Only if Barack Obama wants it to, because it’s entirely in his hands.

Can the government fund essential obligations?

Monthly revenue can easily cover the amount America must spend to service its debt. On top of that, monthly revenue can keep Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid fully funded — even at the bloated and obscenely wasteful levels at which those programs currently operate. In fact, America can even maintain all of its defense spending at current levels too.

What will happen on the 17th if no deal is reached? The federal government will be legally required to stop borrowing more money and adding to the debt.

Look at it this way. If you earn $5000 in salary every month, but you max out your credit cards by spending $6000 every month, the bank will eventually refuse to bump up your credit limit any further. When that happens, you can respond in several ways. You can cut your spending by $1000 and stay forever at the limit. You can cut spending by more than $1000 and start paying off your debt. Or you can refuse to cut your spending by at least $1000, and you’ll be unable to make payments on your debt. In other words, you can choose to go into default. If the only thing keeping you from cutting your spending is your fondness for steak, single malt scotch, Italian shoes, fast cars, and weekends in Vegas … the blame for your default is 100% yours.

Sound familiar?

If the Obama Administration announces that they’ll stop making interest payments on the national debt on October 17th, then they’ve voluntarily chosen that course of action. Nothing will force them into it.

There’s plenty of revenue coming in every month to keep America from defaulting on the debt. We do not have a revenue problem. We. Have. A. Spending. Problem.

Good fences make good neighbors

What might the implications be for the United States if Mexico collapses? Before you answer, consider that a national border is nothing but a theoretical concept if it’s not controlled, and if one or both nations refuse to preserve a distinct national culture.

If America continues to ignore its borders and downplay its uniquely capitalist, Judeo-Christian, constitutionalist culture, the only thing separating people of common ethnic descent on both sides of the US/Mexican border will be the Americans’ willingness to resist a de facto invasion by Mexicans hoping for material security.

If you’re unsure what history can teach you about the pull of ethnic solidarity, fire up a search engine and plug in terms like “Balkan powder keg,” “Kurdistan,” “The Troubles in Northern Ireland,” or “Rwandan Genocide.”

Mark Levin’s Liberty Amendments

The Liberty Amendments

The quick and dirty summary

You’ll need to read the whole book to properly understand the problems America faces, but here’s the situation in a nutshell. We live in a post-constitutional republic with a federal government that no longer obeys — but sometimes pays lip service to — the US Constitution. Merely electing new politicians to replace the old ones isn’t enough to fix the problem anymore. The system as it stands is rigged against your individual liberty, and unless we fix the system, we’re doomed to live under soft tyranny (defined four years ago here).

Constitutional scholar, lawyer, and radio host Mark Levin urges Americans to use the last resort provided in the Constitution to save the country from tyranny:

Levin aims to change the rules of the game… or, more properly, reset them, to restore the brilliant system put in place by America’s Founders. With the situation explained and his goals set forth in a few introductory pages, he executes the rest of his book with the planning and precision of a SEAL team taking an objective. Each of his proposed “Liberty Amendments” is laid out in a brief chapter that explains its importance, sources it to the writings of the Founding Fathers, and anticipates the more reasonable objections that would likely be raised. Little time is wasted on the unreasonable objections, for Levin does not intend to address an audience of the stupid, greedy, or hysterical. He also knows his statist adversaries are not interested in rationally discussing the death of the Leviathan they nourished for generations.


“What’s he proposing?”

Levin proposes that we use the second of two methods for enacting amendments to the US Constitution, and he offers 11 amendments that would fix the rigged system we’re currently stuck with. If you want to read them by themselves without any background, click here to jump to the end of this post.

For a much more detailed look at why this convention for the purpose of proposing amendments to the constitution makes excellent sense, go read the first chapter of The Liberty Amendments, which Levin released for free at the beginning of the month. It’s brief, and everything’s footnoted and explained in detail, including references to historical debates between the Founders. The quotes reveal how and why they drafted Article V of the Constitution, which sets forth the amendment processes.

Here’s the whole carefully-worded text of Article V (emphasis mine):

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; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.

Article V, US Constitution

“It’s a Constitutional Convention? Run!”

What we’re talking about here is not a constitutional convention, because there’s no such process set forth in the US Constitution. A constitutional convention is what a people do when they draft a new constitution from scratch. What Levin urges is something different. Look at that red highlighted text again. This would be a a convention for proposing amendments to the constitution, not a convention for tossing the whole thing out and starting over. Let us not hear any wild-eyed warnings against a “Con-Con,” then.

This is simply the second of two constitutional methods for proposing amendments, where the federal government does nothing but clerical work — verifying that 2/3 of the legislatures of the 50 States have called for a convention, and choosing between two ratification methods. True, we’ve never used this method before, but so what? Until now, we’ve enacted 27 amendments, all using the first method where they’re proposed by the US Congress and sent to the States for ratification. Now Congress has completely lost its moorings and no longer responds to our concerns, and it will never propose amendments to limit itself, the President, the federal courts, or the federal bureaucracy. So be it. The Founders wisely left us another constitutional remedy for this problem, one that allows us to rein in our government without violence. That’s all this is.

“But what if the federal government objects?”

Look at the green highlighted text. If the legislatures of 34 out of 50 States apply to the US Congress to call a convention, Congress must do so. There’s no discretion or wiggle room because the operative word is “shall.” It does not say that Congress “may” call a convention … or “should” or “can” or “might if it feels kinda generous.” There’s only a very limited and insignificant role for Congress in this situation — counting to 34, then picking one of two previously-established ratification methods. They can’t monkey around with the content of the amendments, nor can they stop them.

Also notice that neither the President, the Supreme Court, the federal bureaucracy, the lower federal courts, the 50 governors, nor the State courts have any role here. They’re all just spectators. This process barely involves the US Congress, and the legislatures of the 50 States truly run this show. Once 34 States call for a convention to propose amendments, Congress must call a convention, and all 50 States get to send delegates … even the States that didn’t want the convention to begin with.

“What’s to stop a runaway convention?”

If you’re worried about a runaway convention, where the delegates come up with a dozen good amendments and 800 wacky ones, there’s a safeguard. Reread the yellow highlighted text. The proposed amendments must be submitted to the 50 State legislatures or to 50 State conventions (whichever method Congress picks), and not a single amendment gets enacted unless 3/4 of the States ratify it. This is an inherently federalist process. Even if only 34 States call for a convention, they’ll have to get 38 States to ratify an amendment before it’s enacted. That’s a high bar to clear, so it severely limits the odds of wacky or unpopular proposals becoming law.

If you’re still worried that 310 million Americans are prone to enact a bunch of insane amendments to the US Constitution, I don’t know what to tell you. Why haven’t they already done so? Why haven’t they already tossed the Constitution formally, if that’s what they truly want? You’re either out of touch with reality (because you’re mistaken about your countrymen) or you’ve got no hope to begin with (because you can’t stop 310 million people from tossing the Constitution tomorrow at 6:00 if they want to).

Recent experience suggests that the activists on both sides are the one who will get involved, and the lazy majority will eat their Cheetos and watch reality TV. And here’s where things get promising.

“C’mon. How can this possibly work?”

While utopian statists have a death grip on the federal government, we constitutional conservatives and libertarians outnumber them at the grassroots level. Our ranks crush theirs. This process stacks the deck in our favor because it completely bypasses the masterminds in Washington, DC. Without that giant bludgeon, the statists have nothing. You and I have a snowball’s chance in Hell of meeting — much less persuading during an in-depth conversation — our US Representative or either of our US Senators. But our State Representative and our State Senator? That’s an entirely different ball game. It’s relatively easy to get their attention. None of them lives far from you. Odds are that none of them is very rich or very powerful. Neither does any of them have a bloated staff of underlings dedicated to protecting them from your influence. Very few people go to them for anything these days, largely because all the action’s in Washington where the federal Leviathan has sucked up all the money and power and oxygen.

You have proportionately huge influence over your state legislators. Use it.

“OK, but what do I do?”

Call your State Representative’s office and ask for a meeting. Call your State Senator and tell them you want to have a chat face to face. See what happens. A significant chunk of State legislators already want to see more authority returned to the States where it belongs, and that makes them your allies. Call yours and set up a meeting with each.

If they won’t see you, find five people who share your goals and call back again. They’ll schedule the meeting.

If saving the Republic and your individual liberties is worth $31.62 to you, grab two copies of The Liberty Amendments and write your name, e-mail, phone number, and brainshavings.com/liberty on the inside cover of each book. Give one to your State Rep and the other to your State Senator, and tell them you’d like them to read it. Tell them you’ll be in touch in a month to discuss how to get the ball rolling.

When you have your second meeting, suggest that they co-sponsor a simple resolution that says something like …

Rescinding all previous such applications, the Legislature of the State of _______ hereby applies to the United States Congress to call a Convention for Proposing Amendments to the United States Constitution.

That’s it. Get that started in your State House and in your State Senate, then get cosponsors. Get a majority in one body, then in the other. Once you get the same language passed though each body, you’re done.

One State down, 33 to go … and the other 33 aren’t your responsibility.

“So once the convention is called, what kinds of amendments would we need?”

Here are the eleven amendments Mark Levin came up with. I think they’d go a very long way toward fixing the rigged system we’re currently stuck with, and they would reverse this slide into tyranny.


Nine out of the eleven really warm my heart. I have a different amendment in mind that would balance the budget and limit spending and taxation, but I’m just one guy. I could easily live with Levin’s two spending and taxing amendments instead. Hell, who’s to say you haven’t got better ideas?

Just consider this: if you’re one of the first people to get this ball rolling in your State, who do you suppose might get a call from your State Rep or State Senator when it’s time for them to choose delegates for the convention? Imagine being involved in making history, and in a good way! So go buy two copies, read one, make your two phone calls, and go hand the books to your legislators.

We can save the Republic, but someone has to start the ball rolling. If not you … then who?

Yes, yes, it’s those damned social cons who ruined everything

Ace has decided to dump on us social conservatives again:

I’m sick of pretending I don’t think it’s weird that people are still wigging out over the idea that some people are attracted to the same sex, and are still pushing some sort of “political” agenda about this, like we need a governmental fix to discourage homosexuality.

Homosexual attraction may or may not be genetic (and thus unavoidable). Actual homosexual conduct is avoidable. Its harmful public health consequences are well-documented. Open homosexual conduct’s corrosion of a society founded on the nuclear heterosexual family is also well-documented.

Further, government has a rational basis for encouraging childbirth, as maintaining the population of contributing members of society allows that society to continue (duh). Since it’s well-documented that children raised by married monogamous heterosexuals turn out better/healthier/more productive/more peaceable than children raised in other environments, government has a rational basis for encouraging monogamous heterosexual marriage.

Gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transexuals, and whateversexuals will put their naughty bits where they want to. Government can’t stamp that out, nor should it try (there are too many more important tasks for it to accomplish, tasks which it currently neglects). But at a minimum, government should refrain from subsidizing, celebrating, or normalizing such socially corrosive conduct.

If you choose to warp this argument into “teh creepy Jesus peoplez want to round up teh gayz!!!1!” … well, I can’t stop you. I can sure as hell ridicule your intellectual foolishness, though.

The American electorate appears determined to join the Free Shit Army™, while preening in the mirror over its collective refusal to recognize corrosive conduct for what it is. So be it. Spendthrifts will eventually run out of money, and libertines will eventually reap the whirlwind of chaos. We social conservatives will be here to rebuild once reality’s finished pimp-slapping some basic sense back into y’all.

Let it burn.

Ohio Republicans who voted to raise taxes

RINO SeasonThe Congress responded to the fiscal cliff it created by passing a bill that raises taxes by $41 for every $1 of spending cuts.

Our alleged “budget hawk,” US Senator Rob Portman voted “yes.” From our US House delegation, John Boehner, Bob Latta, Bill Johnson, Steve LaTourette (outgoing), Steve Stivers, and Pat Tiberi all voted “yes” to increase your taxes. These gentlemen all deserve to be primaried out of office when they stand for reelection in 2014.

Kudos to Ohio’s Republican US Representatives who stood strong and voted “no.” That would be Steve Austria (outgoing), Steve Chabot, Bob Gibbs, Jim Jordan, Jim Renacci, and Jean Schmidt (outgoing).

I’ll post the text of the bill once it’s available. You see, Congress also violated its pledge to post all legislation for public review online for 72 hours before voting on it.

Is it any wonder that Congress has a 5% approval rating?

Time for a very hard look at the GOP America (UPDATED)

I am going to take a while to ponder whether the principles of constitutional conservatism and limited government are still best advanced through the structure of the Republican Party.

Things are going to get much, much worse. We need to look at the big picture here. So pardon me as I duck into this cloud bank over here …

3:45 PM Update: The press and the educational establishment and Hollywood have transformed enough of the American people into progressive drones that they outnumber us. The progressive movement started a “Long March Through The Institutions” about a hundred years ago, and they crossed the finish line yesterday. At this moment, I think the republic is mortally wounded.

Ameritopia

These fools we call countrymen will refuse to consider the consequences of utopian statism until they are forced to. That will only happen when this society implodes. Notice I said “when,” not “if.”

Hopefully Mark Levin can convince me otherwise tonight, because I doubt anyone else can.

7:00 PM Update: Hour 1 is done. Hour 2 should get into some real meat. Here’s the live stream.