Sunday, April 18, 2010

Third Stage Step two

If for a moment you thought Third Stage step one was a call to arms, this should have the same effect as a cold shower!

OK, let's just say for a moment you WERE successful and managed to overthrow the tyrants. Then what? You need to form a provisional government to fill the vacuum. If you don't someone else WILL (as we go along consider everything I suggest could go awry, happening in THAT eventuality)
OK so now you are in charge, what do you do now? First you would need to name a new President. You would need to incarcerate all the previous members of congress so they wouldn't be able to organize a counterrevolution. Then you would need to convene a Second Constitutional Convention. Why? Because if you leave everything as it was it will soon drift back to business as usual. Here is where it would get dicey. Under the Constitution, the States have the preponderance of authority. You would have to turn the Convention over to the Governors and/or their duly appointed representatives. You COULD impose some kind of Precondition, such as the Bill of rights remains essentially unchanged, with the exception of clarification that the rights of individuals cannot be abrogated by the Federal government or any LOWER jurisdiction (the same rule that seems to be applied to every right but the right to keep and bear arms). NOW, are you going to clarify EVERY right in this manner? What about Freedom of speech? (is is protected speech to yell 'FIRE' in a crowded theater?) What about the Second amendment? (Should the rights to 'keep and bear' be taken from felons? What if speaking out against the government was made a felony? Before you laugh that off, Google "Alien and Sedition Act") How about if it was decided that yelling 'Fire' in a crowded theater WAS considered protected, but the yeller could be held responsible for the consequences? How about if a felon with a gun were treated by the courts as a felon with a gun? Ok, maybe now we're onto something, but how could you get the representatives of 50 States (some of whom are uber-liberal themselves) to agree to that? Answer all fairness you can't, so you would be turning over our sacred birthright to a bunch who may decide to interpret it totally differently than you have. Need an example? The people who STARTED the discussion for a Constitution to replace the Articles of Confederation were Federalists who WANTED a strong central government. Once they got the Convention together, (it wasn't CALLED to be a Constitution Convention originally but rather for more mundane purposes and then the need to come up with something stronger than the Articles of Confederation was brought up. The Delegates from the several States then proceeded to water down the strong central government, until they got it where the People would accept it. My, what a difference 221 years can make!
So, once the Constitution was where the Framers wanted it, they submitted it to the various States for ratification. Much debate was made over the wisdom of acceding any portion of a States sovereignty, but eventually the Constitution was ratified, and the United States came into being. NOTE: I did NOT say "the United States as we know it came into being" The United States as our Founders intended it to be was in the process of being changed into the vision of those who originally wanted a stronger centralized government over a hundred years ago. MUCH over! How so? You may ask. Consider that at the outbreak of the so-called Civil War, Abraham Lincoln had most of the State Legislature of Maryland and many on the city council of Baltimore placed under house arrest, with no charges brought, no trial, and no chargeable offenses, simply to prevent them from being able to form a quorum and potentially voting to secede! That my friends is what is meant when people say that Habeas Corpus was suspended. A Writ of Habeas Corpus is filed to force the government or police to either charge an individual, or release them, to prevent the unlawful detention of free citizens.
So it would seem that the framers of the Constitution acquiesced to ceding a portion of their sovereignty to the central (Federal) government in order to facilitate trade and commerce. The devil is in the details as they say, and here's where it gets tricky.
COMMERCE: The Department of Commerce was formed to facilitate trade between the States. How would it be if you agreed to trade 10 tons of cotton in Alabama for ten pounds of gold in Maine, only to find that either Maine's standard for a pound was the Carat ounce and pound (10 ounces to a pound, and a lighter ounce) If you tried to sue, the State the suit was brought in would try to put their State standard as the basis for their judgement. The Department of Commerce was to regulate standards of weight, measure and even time. This way, and ounce in Texas is exactly the same as an ounce in New Jersey. Likewise, it would be difficult for American industry to become as dominant as it did if other nations had to keep up with a patchwork of differing import and export laws, and tariffs. In these matters the Federal Government was assigned the States 'Power of Attorney' so to speak to act as their collective agent.
Now allow me to digress a moment and state that in many, if not most cases, and study of the Constitution needs to focus not on what the FRAMERS intended, but rather what the RATIFIERS intended. Because the Sovereignty the States signed over to the Federal Government was based of the 'Bill of Goods' THEY were presented with. If you can find an alternate interpretation for a passage of the Constitution, any interpretation other than what the States ratified would be grounds to nullify that ratification and allow the State to disassociate itself from the Union (secede). This seemed to be considered an illegal act to Abraham Lincoln, but upon passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts and the Intolerable Acts, no less personage than Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, and one of his associates in the Kentucky legislature were actively engaged in discussion of doing just that! Hmmm, WHO do you think had a better grasp of Constitutionality? A man who suspended Habeas Corpus seventy years AFTER ratification of the Constitution, or a man who WROTE the Declaration of Independence, and sat in the legislature that RATIFIED that document? (by the way, did you know that the Unites States under the Constitution could have been killed by Virginia alone? If Virginia had chosen NOT to ratify, Virginia would have divided the northern states and the southern states, and they probably would have shelved the idea, rather than building a divided union.
Back to the subject at hand DEFENSE: Rather than each State having to build and maintain an army of it's own, and the stronger States possibly dominating the weaker ones, and the weaker ones entering into alliances with European powers to try to offset the advantages of the strong, and thus dragging us into the never ending squabbles in Europe; it was deemed that the Federal Government should provide for the common defense, with no one State being able to mobilize the army against any other State.

I could go on and on enumerating the limitations of power the Constitution places on the Federal Government, but it's only important at this point that you understand the PRINCIPLES that underlie the Foundations of our Country. In a more modern context, think of the European Union, and the individual nations that comprise it. THAT is more in keeping with what the Founders intended.

I may seem to have gotten way off track, but it's imperative that the reader understand what was created, and then follow the chain of events that ultimately led to the train jumping off the track. REMEMBER this installment was written with the assumption that things had become intolerable, and the last resort of governmental overthrow was resorted to, and against any sane analysis, succeeded. Benjamin Franklin said :"the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and expecting different results". Too often we tend to throw the baby out with the bath water. The Constitution is the most wonderful foundation we could ask for to establish our homes on. Under this scenario, it is obviously not perfect (and that is still playing out, as we watch to see if the People can regain control of the monster our government has become). In our hypothetical scenario, we must therefore correct the errors that allowed us to get where we are. Therein lies the problem. The idea that the Supreme Court should exist with the Justices serving for life, upon appointment, so that they never need to be concerned with popularity, in the event that an opinion based on a legitimate interpretation of the Constitution go against the will of the people. This is the largest guarantee of prevention of tyranny of the majority over the minority.
This has led to a LONG chain of Judicial Activism that has created some precedents that often conflict with each other. In United States v. Cruikshank (Wiki.) the idea that the 2nd Amendment only limits the FEDERAL government to abrogate your Constitutional (Civil) rights was based on a trial of Ku Klux Klansmen who massacred over 60 black men who were attempting to arm themselves for self defense. THIS is the precedent that the so-called liberal champions of civil rights use to defend local and State regulation of firearms, that since the local and state laws, not being passed by the Federal government, do not constitute infringement under the Constitution. Some may feel that maybe some regulation of weapons is needed, but the primary purpose of the Second Amendment has ALREADY been circumvented as detailed in the preceding post. Further, once you allow ONE abrogation to pass, it opens the door to others. Now that the States can ban handguns, we have people insisting that for a Christian Church to say that homosexuality is a sin (Lev 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. ) is engaging in hate speech (NOTE: in NO way shape or form am I in favor of those who are protesting at servicemens funerals! Do they have a Constitutionally protected right to say what they do, YES, Does the family and friends of the fallen have the right to privacy in the mourning of their loved one? YES, the latter trumps the former- your rights stop where mine begin! As far as I'm concerned, a funeral is a private affair, and NOT a public soapbox!) But to say that any given act is unacceptable is NOT the same as condemning those who practice it. But if we adopt these standards as what constitutes 'hate speech', then it might not degenerate until stumping for a Conservative candidate is considered 'hate speech' towards liberals? Where do YOU propose to stop the slide? Draw the line? I propose not to even step onto that slippery slope. But these cases are offset by a Supreme court that has ruled that the KKK can't be held accountable, because they aren't the Federal Government, but has held that police officers who were (unjustly IMO) acquitted of murder charges could be held liable for 'civil rights violations'. Even though they were no part of the Federal government either! BUT you may say, as municipal employees, they WERE a part of SOME governmental entity. But then if that is the judicial standard, why is THAT precedent used to try and uphold a city's right to ban handguns? The High Court seems to use a sliding rule to judge what is and is not Constitutional, and this is wrong, but the same mechanism put in place to ensure that the majority couldn't intimidate the court to allow tyranny of the minority by the majority, has made them bulletproof to any for of legitimate criticism or redress of grievances. There is ZERO accountability.How do you correct one problem without causing another?
Assuming you figure that one out, how do you get the representatives of 50 States to agree on it? There were only thirteen the first time, and it was a close thing! (I'm going ahead and posting this, such as it is, but will be adding to it soon! It is NOT a finished work!)

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