Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Interesting Times



A lot of strange things are going on in our world right now. I will mention a few.

We have people demonstrating and blocking traffic to prevent people from listening to Donald Trump speak. People on the left are the most vile, hateful people in the world and point fingers the other direction. For years they have shut out conservative speakers in colleges, while claiming to favor free speech. Pay attention. Every time you hear someone on the left make a statement, in the background they are doing just the opposite of what they say. They have support of most of the print and TV media, so their distortions of the truth are propagated and distributed throughout the world.

I have been complaining for years that the federal governments meddling in education has increased the stupidity of our students. Now we have a college professor in New York that says we should drop algebra from the curriculum, because it is too hard. Do the teachers bear no responsibility here? The teachers’ unions are beholding to their union and not to the students. Instead of educating our children, they have begun teaching students how to pass standardized tests mandated by the federal government.

Muslim extremists are killing people all over the world and Obama tells us they are not Muslims and they are nothing to worry about. They have been lying about Muslims ever since his administration got into the White House. Do you suppose the reason he gave a hundred million dollars to Iran was because his closest ally in the White house is a Muslim set on the destruction of this country from within? I am talking about Valerie Jarrett. She has been one of Obama’s major advisors since he moved to Washington. If you do not believe what I am saying about her, look up her history.

Do you really think Obama did not know the Iranians would use the money to support terrorists throughout the world? Democrats love to tell you how smart he is? How could he not know?

Do you really think Obama opening prison doors to release criminals would not increase the violence and crime in the streets? Of course he knows.

The Obama administration is using government money – our tax dollars to support giving the right to vote to everyone with a green card. Does this surprise anyone? Democrats like to distract us by saying Republicans are trying to keep people from voting by making everyone have a picture ID. Why is Obama flooding this country with immigrants? Because he knows half of them cannot be found for deportation. His intent is to change the demographics of the country any way he can, legally or illegally. You see. Democrats think the end justifies the means. That is why the court system allows union thugs to beat up their opposition with impunity. To unions, thuggery is a political act.

We are on the verge of losing this country. Everything the Democrats cannot take the Republicans are ceding for free. We need someone in Washington that will make changes that will get the country back to being the greatest country in the world. Every new law that is passed usurps our freedom and makes us closer to being like other countries with inept governments. Awaken your friends. Make them aware. Make them vote.

Personally, I support Ted Cruz. I think he would make a better president than the other candidates. The choices are democracy or socialism in the next election. I am not ready to give up on individuals. I choose democracy.


Friday, March 25, 2016

Pending and Rejected Amendments

According to Article V of the Constitution, amendments can originate in two ways: First, Congress can pass an amendment when two-thirds majority of both houses pass the amendment. Second, two-thirds (34) of the state legislatures can petition Congress to call a national convention. In either case three-fourths (38) of the states must ratify the amendment before it becomes part of the Constitution. 

Congressional Apportionment Amendment of 1789: The purpose of this amendment was to strictly regulate congressional districts for the House of Representatives. The amendment was ratified by eleven states. Four states have voted it down. The amendment is still pending.

Title of Nobility Amendment of 1810: This amendment would revoke citizenship from anyone accepting a title of nobility from a foreign country. This amendment has been ratified by 12 states and turned down by 3 states. The amendment is still pending.

Corwin Amendment of 1861: This amendment would make state's “domestic institutions” immune to congressional interference or constitutional amendment process described by Article V of the Constitution. The intent of this amendment was to save slavery in south states. The amendment was ratified by 3 states, but 2 of them have rescinded the ratification. The amendment is still pending.

Child Labor Amendment of 1924: This amendment would allow the federal government to regulate or prohibit child labor. This amendment has been ratified by 28 states, with 9 states rescinding their ratification. Fifteen states refused to ratify the amendment. The amendment is still pending.

Equal rights Amendment of 1789: This amendment would prohibit state or federal governments from depriving women of equality. The initial ratification period expired in 1979 and the ratification period was extended to 1982. In 1982 the amendment was deemed to have failed. Thirty-five states ratified this amendment with five states rescinding their ratification.

District of Columbia Voting Rights Amendment of 1985. This amendment would have caused the District of Columbia to be treated like a state for congressional representation purposes. It would also have appealed the 23rd Amendment. Sixteen states voted for ratification. The amendment had a time limit which has expired. This amendment failed.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Electoral College

Before our Constitution was written, our founders had to determine a means to elect officials and pass laws that were fair to each state and the people of the states. A major compromise was that our two houses of Congress would be formed differently. Each state would get two members in the Senate and state delegations to the House of Representatives would  be based on population of each state. Without this compromise, we would never have gotten a Constitution. This method assures that each state is represented equally in one house and larger states with larger populations have more sway in the other house.

Our presidential elections and the electoral college are designed with the same thinking in mind – what is fair for all states and the populations thereof.

Article II Section 1 of the Constitution and the 12th Amendment give us 100 senators and 438 representatives for a total of 538 congress persons, thus 538 electors or delegates to the electoral college that elects our President. This means it takes 270 delegates to win the presidency.

I have heard much discussion over the years about doing away with the electoral college and electing presidents by popular vote. The most discussed way of doing so is a constitutional amendment. The amendment process for this cause will probably never occur, but there is another effort taking place that could accomplish the same thing without a constitutional amendment.

George Soros is funding a national popular vote initiative that is supported by states controlled mostly by Democrats. Have you heard of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact? It was new to me. This is a means the Democrats are trying to use to get around the Constitution and make the electoral college moot. The idea is that individual states can band together and distribute their electors by popular vote. This is possible since each state determines it own election laws.

States that have already approved entry into this compact are: CA, DC, HI, IL, MD, MS, NJ, NY, VT, RI and WA representing 165 electoral votes. Votes are pending in: AZ, CT, MI, MN, NE, OK and  PA representing 76 more electoral votes. If these states approve this measure, they are 29 votes away from changing our country forever.

A few of the many problems popular elections for President will cause are:
·         Votes in about 25 states would become irrelevant, with more emphasis only on states with the largest populations.
·         There would be more emphasis on population centers and less emphasis of concerns of urban areas of each state.
·         A huge potential for more election fraud.
·         Some presidents would be weaker by winning an election with only a small majority.

This National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is an obvious effort by left leaning groups and left leaning states to dominate presidential politics. It is a different tactic, but for the same purpose that our country is being flooded with illegal aliens. We need to keep people aware of these tactics or we will lose our country to these ruthless, persistent progressives.


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Contested Convention

The players: Edward Bates was a lawyer and Attorney General for the State of Missouri. Salmon Portland Chase was a college professor, a lawyer and a banker. He once served as Governor of Ohio and was serving as a U.S. Senator from Ohio. Simon Cameron made his fortune in railroads, canals and banking. He was a Senator from Pennsylvania and a former Democrat. Abraham Lincoln was a lawyer and Whig Party leader in Illinois. He served as an Illinois State Senator and was elected to the House of Representatives representing Illinois. He was well-know because of debates with Democrat Stephen A. Douglas when they were running for the U.S. Senate. Douglas won and Lincoln went back to his law practice. William Henry Seward served as a state senator, the Governor of New York and a U.S. Senator from New York.

The Republican Party was established as the anti-slavery party in about 1856. The party was fairly new and consisted of members of the former Whig Party, free-soilers and anti-Catholic populists from the Know-Nothing movement.

In 1860 the Southern states did not participate in the Republican Convention. Sitting it out were: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Participants included: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. A total of 466 delegates were in play.

The Republican National Convention was held in Chicago in 1860. Going into the convention, everyone was sure Seward would win, because he had the majority of the delegates. When the first ballot was taken, Bates had 14 delegates, Chase had 49, Cameron had 50.5, Lincoln had 102, Seward had 173.5, with 28 delegates scattered among seven other candidates. Cameron realized he could not win and suggested the Pennsylvania delegates be given to Lincoln. The second ballot had Bates with 35 delegates, Chase with 42.5, Cameron with 2, Lincoln with 181, Seward with 184.5 and 20 scattered votes for others. Still no winner was declared. Lincoln’s campaign manager, David Davis went to work to scrounge up more votes for Lincoln. The third ballot was held and Bates got 22, Chase got 24.5, Cameron 0, Lincoln 231.5 and Seward 180 with 2.5 votes to other candidates. Davis is credited for Lincoln winning the nomination.

Lincoln was given the nomination and Senator Hannibal Hamlin of Maine was nominated for the Vice-President position. Lincoln went on to defeat Democrat Stephen A. Douglas to win the Presidency.

Lincoln’s opponents for the nomination became his support group after the election. Bates became the U.S. Attorney General, Chase became the Secretary of the Treasury and was later appointed to be the 6th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Simon Cameron became Lincoln’s Secretary of War and Seward served as Secretary of State.

We hear a lot of talk about open conventions, contested conventions and brokered conventions. The contested Republican National Convention of 1860 had a great outcome for our country. Open, contested or brokered conventions are not inherently bad. As long as the intent is to give the nomination to the person with the most votes within the rules, I am a supporter. The 2016 Republican National Convention may hold the same suspense as the one in 1860. We will all be fortunate if the end result is another great leader for our country.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Scarlet Pimpernel

A pimpernel is a flower in the primrose family. 


“The Scarlet Pimpernel” is a novel by Emma Orczy. It was published in 1905 and the story takes place during the French Revolution, which changed France from a Monarchy to a dictatorship under Napoleon and eventually to a democratic republic.

“I know the story only from the movie, “The Scarlet Pimpernel” which was released in 1934. It starred Leslie Howard and Merle Oberon. This was a great movie that I have watched many times. I understand there was a remake of the movie in 1982, but I have not seen that one.

The movie takes place at the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789. Prior to the revolution, the French people were ruled with cruelty from the monarch and treated with disdain by the aristocrats that cow-towed to the French king. The monarchy was unseated and the revolutionists imprisoned the aristocrats, who were systematically eliminated using guillotines to chop off their heads.

Howard's character, Sir Percy Blakeney was the Scarlet Pimpernel. He was an English aristocrat who knew many of the French aristocrats personally. He acted the fop, all the while leading a small band of like minded young men who traveled back and forth from England to France and rescued as many aristocrats as they could.

Percy wrote a poem that was quoted throughout the movie. I have told it to Kathi so many times she hates to see the title of the movie pop up on our TV. The poem:

They seek him here,
They seek him there,
Those Frenchie's seek him everywhere.

Is he in Heaven?
Is he in Hell?
That damned elusive Pimpernel.

I told that story to tell this one.

The rise of the socialists in our elections should not be a surprise. The anger of the Republicans at the elite officeholders should not be a surprise. The support for Ted Cruz and Donald Trump should not be a surprise.

Office holders are cow-towing to big money donors and the only legislation that is passed is to please the big donors. The people in this country are not being heard in Washington. The needs of the people are not being met. The rich are getting richer, seemingly at the expense of the other people. There are no jobs available that allow people to strive for the American dream. We do not have any guillotines, but the out of work engineers and carpenters know how to build them. This is a warning. Someone had better pay attention.



Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Office Holder Amendments

There are several constitutional amendments regarding the President, Vice-President, Senators and Representatives. The following are some highlights of those amendments and other pertinent information.

Article II, Section 1, Clause 3 explains how a president and vice-president shall be elected. The process was that each state legislature would submit two names for president to the Senate. The Senate would count the votes and the one with the most votes became president and the one that got the 2nd most votes became vice-president. This process disregarded party affiliation and governing philosophy. This resulted in often having a vice-president with an extremely different governing philosophy than the president he served. You know this had to cause some awkward moments and some heated arguments.

The 12 Amendment was ratified in 1804. It superseded Article II, Section 1, Clause 3. Instead of casting two votes for president, each elector would cast one vote for president and one vote for vice-president. The amendment also suggested that the two not be from the same state. This amendment also extended the requirements for being president to the vice-president.

Prior to the 17th Amendment which was ratified in 1913, senators were appointed by state legislatures. The framers of the Constitution did this intentionally to prevent the federal government from taking away states rights. This process caused a problem when a sitting Senator had to be replaced. Infighting of political parties in state legislatures often delayed the appointment of replacement senators and exorbitant expenditures were common in senatorial elections. This amendment changed election of senators to popular vote of the people. The amendment solved nothing and caused many of the problems we are having with an over-powerful federal government today.

The 20th Amendment was ratified in 1933 and changed the date when the President, Vice-President, senators and representative term in office begins and ends. The original date the transition took place was March 4th. This meant from the time of the election in November until March 4th we had lame duck officeholders. Moving the transition nearer to election time was desirable and January 20th was chosen. This made sense because transportation and communications were much quicker than when the Constitution was written.

The 22nd Amendment was ratified in 1951. After four terms of Franklin Roosevelt people realized that it was not beneficial to the country to have the same person in power for extended periods of time. This amendment limits a president to two terms in office.

The 25th Amendment was ratified in 1967. It removed the ambiguity of Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 that gave the Vice-President and Congress the power to determine a replacement for a president unable to fulfill the duties of his office. This amendment provides a line of succession for the presidency.

The 27th Amendment was proposed in 1789 and ratified in 1992. This is over two hundred years. The amendment delays congressional pay raises from taking effect until after their next election. This no-brainer taking 200 years to ratify is a mystery to me.



Monday, March 14, 2016

Voting Rights

When the Constitution was written in 1787 and ratified in 1789 it did not specify who was eligible to vote. Voting rights were left up to each state. The common practice at that time was that only white male property owners could vote. Since that time there have been many pieces of legislation, several court cases and four constitutional amendments that affect voting rights. I am going to relate a few changes to voting rights in mostly chronological order. This list is by no means all inclusive, just some of the highlights.

Each state made their own voting rules. After the Constitution was ratified, freed slaves were allowed to vote in four states and women were allowed to vote in New Jersey, if they owned property.

By the time the Civil War began, all white males could vote, regardless of property ownership.

The 15th Amendment was ratified in 1870, soon after the Civil War. This amendment prohibited denial of the right to vote based on color, race or prior condition of servitude.

The 19th Amendment ratified in 1920 prohibits denial of the right to vote based on sex.

American Indians and their tribes were considered domestic dependent nations until the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924. This act made Native Americans citizens and gave them voting rights.

The 24th Amendment ratified in 1964 eliminated the poll tax or any other tax to prevent people from voting.

After the Civil War and until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 many states used poll taxes, literacy tests, religious tests and other means to limit who had the right to vote. This act and the 24th Amendment stopped those practices. The Voting Rights Act required state legislatures to redistrict their states into districts of approximate equal population every ten years based on the latest census. This did not and cannot stop the practice of gerrymandering. Gerrymandering is the process of creating voting districts that intentionally favor one party or one group over another. Redistricting boundaries are often challenged in court, sometimes all the way to the Supreme Court.

The 26th Amendment ratified in 1971 changed the voting age from 21 years of age to 18 years of age.

A 2013 Supreme Court decision threw out much of the Voting Rights Act.

There are two current voting issues the states are dealing with, primarily because of the number of illegal aliens in the country. One is a requirement for a picture ID to have the right to vote. The other issue is Evenwel v. Abbot. Evenwel v. Abbot is a case currently before the Supreme Court that will determine whether all the population is counted when apportioning legislative districts or whether only legal voters should be counted. The more illegal aliens allowed into the country, the bigger both of these issues becomes.

Apparently, who has the right to vote will continue to be an issue in the United States of America.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Bill of Rights

As most people in the United States know, the first 10 amendments to our Constitution are known as the Bill of Rights. These amendments were not included when the Constitution was completed in 1787. Only 39 of the 42 members of the constitutional convention signed the Constitution. Edmund Randolph and George Mason of Virginia and Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts refused to sign because there was no bill of rights included in the Constitution. A major sticking point to getting the Constitution ratified by the new states was a lack of a bill of rights. That is the major reason it took two years to get the document ratified. It was causing so many problems for the people that our Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution in 1791.

Another interesting note is that the word democracy does not appear in the Constitution. The right to vote or nor even a discussion of the right to vote came up in the constitutional convention. The same is true for the Bill of Rights. At the time the Constitution was ratified only male property owners were allowed to vote. More on that will appear in later posts.

The Bill of Rights:

The 1st amendment says Congress will not establish a religion. It guarantees freedom for individuals to worship as they please. It also gives us freedom of speech and freedom of the press, the right to assemble and the right to petition government to address grievances.

The 2nd amendment gives us the right to bear arms. Specifically, it states, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms will not be infringed.”

The 3rd amendment addresses quartering of the military. It says in peace time people will not be forced to give up their homes or any part of their homes to house soldiers without the homeowner’s permission. This is also true in wartime, unless it is made lawful at that time.

The 4th amendment protects us from illegal searches and seizures and declares a warrant will not be issued without probable cause. This amendment is violated continually by our government today, but that discussion will have wait for another time.

The 5th amendment says no person will be put on trial for a serious crime without the indictment of a grand jury, excluding the military in time of war. It further protects us against double jeopardy and gives us the right not to give testimony against ourselves (taking the fifth). It further states the government cannot take our property without just compensation.

The 6th amendment guarantees a speedy trial and the right to a lawyer. It also gives us the right to see the evidence and hear the witnesses against us before trial. An aside note: We automatically have a right to a lawyer and the Miranda speech law enforcement gives law-breakers is to assure the law-breakers know they have that right.

The 7th amendment guarantees a trial by jury in civil cases involving over $20.

The 8th amendment gives us the right to bail, prevents excessive fines and protects us from cruel and unusual punishment.

The 9th amendment says that the enumeration of rights in the Constitution is not a limitation to other rights we may or should have as human beings.

The 10th amendment says all powers not specifically given to the federal government belong to the states, unless such powers are explicitly forbidden to the states.

As you read through this document and the Constitution itself, including amendments, you will probably question many of the practices common in the country. I do. I think our government and government officials at every level act outside the Constitution on occasion. We the people are the only ones that can stop that. Let your voice be heard.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Our Constitution -- A Brief History

Most people do not understand how great the document is that we call our Constitution. Our forefathers, the creators of this country were very exceptional and thoughtful people. Most had lived under rulers in Europe and the original colonies were ruled by England and their monarch, King George III. Our founders became well aware of things that could go awry with governing.

After the British Parliament passed laws that adversely affected the people of the 13 original colonies the leaders of the colonies decided they needed to get together to determine appropriate action to let King George III know they were unhappy with the current governing situation. Twelve of the thirteen colonies sent representatives to Philadelphia in September and October of 1774. Georgia did not send a delegate to this meeting. This meeting became known as the First Continental Congress. They adjourned with a plan to reconcile their differences with England, but stay under British rule. They did agree to boycott British goods.

Anger was still festering and it soon became apparent that the cooperation they were getting from Britain was inadequate to quell the growing anger of most of the colonists. Hostilities had already started and the colonists assembled the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia in the summer of 1775 to manage the war effort. This Congress wrote and issued our Declaration of Independence in 1776, essentially declaring war against England. They also wrote the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union in 1781. This document is recognized as our first Constitution.

After a few years it became apparent that the weak rules of the Articles of Confederation were going to be inadequate to govern the colonies. To address these concerns a Constitutional Convention was convened in Philadelphia in 1787 to strengthen the Articles and improve governance of the colonies. Members of the Constitutional Convention took into consideration the unfair governing given to them from England and the failures of the Articles of Confederation. Many of these men had their own ideas about how a government should operate and it took a lot of compromises to get to the final document.

They wrote the Constitution, which was ratified in 1789. The Constitution consisted of a Preamble that described the purpose of the document and seven articles which described the configuration of a central government for the colonies, while leaving most of the governing responsibilities to individual colonies.

They must have done well, since there have only been 27 amendments in over 200 years. Even moreso when you think that they also ratified the Bill of Rights in 1791. The Bill of Rights is the first 10 amendments to our Constitution. This means in over 200 years there have only been 17 changes to what the founders of this country thought the law of the land should be.

Our Constitution is the shortest and least amended of any constitution-like document in use by any country in the world. An amazing fact.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

RAS 3

Okay. I take it back. Republicans may not be stupid, but Republic Party leadership certainly is. They have sunk to the point of telling voters how to vote. Can you imagine. A party that prides itself in support from individuals that do not all think the same is trying to coerce people not to vote for Donald Trump. Mitt Romney had a great opportunity to defeat Barack Obama in 2012 and he blew the opportunity. He put his weakness and lack of aggression on display and he failed. Conservatives did not vote for him. He eschewed leadership and he failed. Now he is out making campaign speeches, not for something or someone, but against Donald Trump. Can you believe this stupidity?

I am not an advocate for Trump My preference is Ted Cruz, mostly because he does what he says he will do. I consider myself a conservative more than a Republican. I like conservative values. I like to think individuals have the choice to make their own life decisions. I like smaller government that is effective and efficient. I like the federal government to stay out of issues that constitutionally belong to the states. I like taxation just at the level required to run the government and finance our military. I like regulators to have just enough control to keep businesses and people honest and not enough control to hamper business functions.

Education belongs to the states. Get rid of the department of education and let the states have it. School district level is the appropriate place to establish education standards and implement them. Unemployment insurance belongs to the states – the federal government should not dabble in unemployment issues. Food supplement support belongs to the states. States should manage food stamp programs without federal interference.

State governors and legislatures can find out how well their social programs work and the ones that are most effective and efficient. Governors love to brag, so they can share their methods of success with other governors. John Kasich would be a good example to follow for governors sharing positive information.

I think individuals need support of their families. I think we need to make more effort to keep families together. I think families should live in safe neighborhoods. Good neighborhoods have good schools and supportive churches. Good neighborhoods support local schools and local governments to create effective towns and cities. Policing is essential for safe neighborhoods. Neighborhoods that drive the police away are destined to live under influence of gangs and villains.

Democrats prefer a lot of government, federal state and local. Their assumption is that people are helpless and must have government support for people to survive. Well, I support helping people that need help – all conservatives do. The problem with the Democrats is they like to buy more people that cannot help themselves. They want welfare at the level that people can survive on it so they do not have to work. That is not welfare, that is how you create a dependence and gain more voters. Welfare should be a hand up – not a way of life.

Republicans leadership may be stupid and some Republicans may be stupid. I still prefer them with all their flaws over Democrats whose very survival forces them to create a permanent dependent class.