Tag Archives: James Madison

Constitutional Convention Call Redux – Part 3

Several states are now passing calls for a Constitutional Convention again. The Compact for America (a nasty bunch) is pushing for a new Constitutional Convention in Dallas this July 4, 2013.

We are in extreme danger of losing our entire Constitution.

To warn us, a new member of FOTM’s team, Kelleigh, has written a sobering well-researched 4-part series about the dangers inherent in a Constitutional Convention, and about the specific dangers of the nice-sounding but oh-so-deceptive Balanced Budget Amendment.

Below is Part 3 of Kelleigh’s “Constitutional Convention Call Redux.” Go here for Part 1, and here for Part 2. Please spread the word: Tweet, email, and link this on your Facebook page!

See also Kelleigh’s outstanding 7-part series on Agenda 21, depopulation, and euthanasia, “Killing Me Softly.”

~Eowyn

Odysseus and the SirensOdysseus and the Sirens, by John William Waterhouse (1891)

CONSTITUTION CONVENTION CALL REDUX

Part 3

by Kelleigh Nelson

James Madison himself, father of the Constitution, warned against convening a second constitutional convention. When he learned that New York and Virginia were actively calling for an Article V convention in 1788, just months after ratification of the Constitution, he was horrified. He counseled: “If a General Convention were to take place for the avowed and sole purpose of revising the Constitution, it would naturally consider itself as having a greater latitude than the Congress…. It would consequently give greater agitation to the public mind; an election into it would be courted by the most violent partisans on both sides … [and] would no doubt contain individuals of insidious views, who, under the mask of seeking alterations popular in some parts … might have the dangerous opportunity of sapping the very foundations of the fabric….”

There are numerous organizations promoting a Constitutional Convention under the guise of a Balanced Budget Amendment.  Tom DeWeese wrote about the 10 Amendments for Freedom, Inc, chaired by William Fruth, President of POLICOM Corporation.  He covered this in his articles, “Powerful Forces Calling for a Constitutional Convention,” and “Constitutional Convention Cannot be Controlled.

Back in 1995, model resolutions for the Conference of States (COS) came from the National Council of State Legislators (NCSL), the organization that indoctrinates liberal (mostly Democratic) legislators, just as American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) does the conservatives (Republicans). The NCSL is presently backing the internet sales tax, and the rotten E-Verify.

ALEC passed a resolution supporting the COS resolution, and Republicans joined the fray. Thankfully, the 1995 attempt was defeated, again because patriots were alert. (As  an aside, the Governor of New Mexico was then Gary Johnson, Libertarian Candidate for President in the 2012 race, and he backed the COS resolution.)

The NCSL (National Conference of State Legislators), NCM (National Conference of Mayors), NGA (National Governors Association) just to name a few – are adjuncts of the Council of State Governments (CSG).  The original COS was billed as a plan by Governors Michael Leavitt of Utah and Ben Nelson of Kansas, but it became clear from a 1987 Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR) and (CSG) paper that in reality the Governors were merely delivery boys for the scheme led by the Rockefeller founded Council of State Governments.  The United States ACIR was terminated in September, 1996, but nearly every state has its own ACIR.

Paul Weyrich’s ALEC, (American Legislative Exchange Council) backed the COS.  ALEC boasts nearly 3,000 conservative legislative and corporate members, and has been strongly pushing a Con-Con for decades.

The CSG is a private, international organization funded originally with Rockefeller money through the Spelman Fund (John D. Rockefeller’s wife, Laura Spelman) (see CSG’s Book of the States Volume I – 1935) and currently receives millions of dollars from states’ dues – our tax dollars. As early as 1935, the CSG had already called for gun control and the creation of 10 REGIONS for America. Today, America has 10 Federal Regions from which the federal government controls our money and therefore our states, counties, townships and municipalities. Regionalism is Communism!  The money from the block grants coming into the states is fed into the Federal Regional Planning Commissions, HUD, HEW, EPA, Departments of Labor, Commerce, DOE, etc., which in turn doles it out to our local governments in return for their “obedience” in passing whatever laws and ordinances the federal planners dictate (think Agenda 21, Smart Growth). If they do not comply, money is withheld until they do.

Here we are, eighteen years later, and they’re still at it. In this present assault on our Constitution the roles are reversed: ALEC wrote the model resolution; and the NCSL is solidly behind the scheme, as indicated by the letter that was sent to every Governor, Senate President, and House Speaker in this country by Florida Senator Jeff Atwater, from the NCSL. So, let’s take a closer look at ALEC.

American Legislative Exchange Council

The subject of ALEC deserves a three-part article alone, but for the sake of brevity, we’ll just give an overview.  ALEC was founded in 1973 by Paul Weyrich, Grand Poobah of the secretive Council for National Policy, founder of Free Congress Foundation, and the Heritage Foundation.  ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It’s not just a lobby or front group, ALEC is one of the most powerful unelected councils in the country. Link

Corporations hand to state legislators their “wish lists” of legislation to benefit their bottom lines. The membership of ALEC is 98% corporate and the corporate membership is the one that funds almost all of ALEC’s operations. They have bought their way into the process by which corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. ALEC’s legislative leaders are responsible for getting the bills introduced and passed. They introduce and carry the bills in their statehouses as their own brilliant ideas. As an example, the immigration bill, SB1070, was written by ALEC and carried by Russell Pearce, word for word, to Arizona. Private prison corporations had a huge part in ALEC’s crafting of SB1070.

Richard Mellon Scaife has allegedly funded ALEC to the tune of more than 7 million dollars. One must remember that Scaife funds both sides of the aisle and is connected to Rockefeller (Chase Mellon Bank). Scaife also had a full page ad in the WSJ stating why it was so important for taxpayers to fund Planned Parenthood and what they do for American women. The danger in the ALEC organization is that its leadership apparently wants to rewrite our Constitution, and they claim a membership of 2,500 plus of our 7,500 legislators. Members of ALEC even include the Church of Scientology, which has spoken at ALEC meetings.

Sometime in the mid-1990s, the Church of Scientology became one of ALEC’s underwriters, for the apparent purpose of interacting with state lawmakers on mental health-care issues. Here’s an excerpt from a 1998 fundraising letter written by Bruce Wiseman, the president of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights International, (CCHR) a highly controversial anti-psychiatry front-group of the Church of Scientology. Wiseman writes. “ALEC is a national organization made up of legislators from every state as well as some federal legislators who meet and draft model legislation for every state. The return for that has been enormous! CCHR has worked its way up the conditions at ALEC and recently got an article published by ALEC in opposition to mandated mental-health parity, which went to key state legislators who deal with health issues in their respective states. In addition, the ALEC membership has opened the door to meeting numerous legislators and other opinion leaders from around the country.”

The legislators never disclose that corporations wrote and vetted these bills along with fellow politicians behind closed doors at ALEC meetings. So, everyone who is a member of ALEC is influencing not only state bills, but likely most federal bills as well, written by corporations with vested interests — along with lobbyists and state representatives.

ALEC is a long time supporter of a Constitutional Convention. A 43 page handbook, written by Robert G. Natelson, entitled: Proposing Constitutional Amendments by a Convention of the States,” was provided to their mostly-republican members, along with model legislation to carry back to their states. The booklet is full of spins, lies, and misdirection.  It claims the states must exercise control as given to them by the founders, that they must move quickly, that state legislatures will have complete control over the process, and will answer to the state legislatures they represent.  This is far from the truth.  As we discussed and made clear in Part 1 of this article, there is no provision in Article V empowering state legislators to choose the delegates to a Constitutional Convention or to “limit” the scope of a Con-Con. There are no rules, no regulations, and certainly no instructions.

Henry Hazlitt

hazlittHenry Hazlitt, American economist, (1894-1993), was the former economic advisor to pro-Constitutional Convention, National Taxpayer’s Union (NTU), headed by James Dale Davidson.  Davidson’s NTU was instrumental in promoting a Con-Con in the early 80s and he claimed he gave $100,000 every year to the cause.  Hazlitt was a renowned conservative, and he wrote a book which he republished in 1974 called, “A New Constitution Now.”  This book makes the argument for replacing America’s presidential system of government with a parliamentary one resembling Great Britain’s.  I thought we fought a revolutionary war to escape that form of government!

Back in 1992, when Ross Perot came on the scene, he was gung-ho for a Con-Con.  He stated emphatically that we needed a parliamentary government (same as ALEC’s founder, Paul Weyrich) and bragged that “his people” could get the remaining states needed for a Con-Con “in their sleep.”  Thank God, we found out and it was stopped.

Hazlitt’s book is extremely dangerous inasmuch as Hazlitt states things like, “an amendment could be proposed that would strike out everything after “We the people,” and that, of course, includes the Bill of Rights. He was suggesting that everything after “We the people” on down be scrapped and rewritten, which is amazing, as this document has provided more human dignity and freedom for more people than any other in recorded history.

Other suggested improvements by Hazlitt include making it easier to amend our Constitution by adopting the Swiss and Australian procedure.  Another would be to restrict Presidents to a single term. A third would be to abolish the office of Vice President.  A fourth would reconstitute the Supreme Court, with each governor appointing a justice with the approval of his state legislature.  (Think about that with these neo-conservative Trotskyite governors we have on the right, like Tennessee’s Haslam, and the full-blown communists on the left, like New York’s Cuomo.)  The neo-conservative Trotskyite rightwing loved Hazlitt and still quote him.

+++

In the final Part 4 of this series, we’ll discuss Rexford Guy Tugwell, and the Newstates Constitution. Tugwell was a man far ahead of his time.  He deplored private property rights, declared our 1787 Constitution to be outmoded and archaic, and would have loved United Nations Agenda 21/Smart Growth/Sustainability.

In fact, in 1938 Tugwell was appointed as the first director of the New York City Planning Commission. New York’s reformist mayor, Fiorello LaGuardia, created the commission as part of a city charter reform aimed at reducing corruption and inefficiency. The Planning Commission had relatively limited powers – all actions needed approval from the legislative Board of Estimate. Rexford Tugwell tried to assert the commission’s power. He tried to retroactively enforce nonconforming land uses, despite a lack of public or legal support. His commission sought to establish public housing at moderate densities, yet repeatedly approved FHA requests for greater density. Robert Moses killed Tugwell’s proposed fifty-year master plan with a fiery public denouncement of its open space protections.  Link

Tugwell’s book, The Emerging Constitution,” makes it clear where he stood.  He states on page 593, “The other considerable change (to the Constitution) is the consolidation of states into fewer, and it is hoped, more effective regional groupings, thus at last organizing as one system rather than a confused fifty.”

Also on page 593 is this statement about the proposed Newstates constitution, “It will be noticed that the general emphasis on the protection of individuals from the exercise of governmental powers has been supplemented with a list of responsibilities.”

Constitutional Convention Call Redux – Part 1

Several states are now passing calls for a Constitutional Convention again. The Compact for America (a nasty bunch) is pushing for a new Constitutional Convention in Dallas this July 4, 2013.

We are in extreme danger of losing our entire Constitution.

To warn us, Kelleigh Nelson has written a sobering 3-part series about the dangers inherent in a Constitutional Convention, and about the specific dangers of the nice-sounding but oh-so-deceptive Balanced Budget Amendment.

Below is Part 1 of Kelleigh’s “Constitutional Convention Call Redux.” Here’s Part 2. Please spread the word: Tweet, email, and link this on your Facebook page!

See also Kelleigh’s outstanding 7-part series on Agenda 21 and euthanasia, “Killing Me Softly.”

~Eowyn

Then: 1787 Philadelphia (Constitutional) Convention

Philadelphia Convention 1787

Now: 2012 Democratic National Convention

2012 DNC

You really want this bunch to rewrite our Constitution?

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION CALL REDUX

Part 1

By Kelleigh Nelson

“I have also repeatedly given my opinion that there is no effective way to limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitution Convention. The Convention could make its own rules and set its own agenda. Congressmen might try to limit the Convention to one amendment or to one issue, but there is no way to assure that the Convention would obey it.” -Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Warren E. Burger

“Having witnessed the difficulties and dangers experienced by the first Convention, I would tremble for the result of the second.” -James Madison, Father of the Constitution and fourth President of the United States

“All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree.” James Madison, speech at the Constitutional Convention, July 11, 1787

We could lose our God given rights, secured by the 1787 Constitution if a new call for a Constitutional Convention (Con-Con) is successful.  The Constitution is about the specific powers we delegated to the federal government.  Our rights pre-date and pre-exist the Constitution.  The sole purpose of civil government is to secure those rights.  Knowing what is waiting in the wings, if we lose this Constitution, all will finally be lost, and the war for our freedoms would be over.  If you never read another one of my articles, I beg you to read and disseminate this one.  Then contact your state legislators and find out where your state stands regarding a call for a Constitutional Convention. 

Thirty Years Ago

In the early 1980′s, we did not have home computers, lap tops, or IPADs; neither did we have unlimited long-distance telephone rates.  We only had our Fax machines and our telephones. Yet, the nation’s patriotic groups, and the Kitchen Militia gals, worked tirelessly to stave off a call for another Constitutional Convention.  We knew the dangers, we knew the precedents, and we knew what was waiting in the wings to replace the Constitution given to us by honorable men.  We knew that if we lost our Constitution and Bill of Rights, that the great experiment in freedom and liberty would be lost forever.

We worked to inform people of what a new Constitutional Convention would bode for America.  Thirty-two of the necessary 34 states needed to call a new Con-Con had petitioned the Congress for the purpose of proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA).

(An amendment to the Constitution is first proposed by the Congress with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate or by a Constitutional Convention called for by two-thirds of the State legislatures. None of the 27 amendments to the Constitution have been proposed by Constitutional Convention. This is the way we’ve ratified amendments since the Bill of Rights. It is then sent to the states for their votes. If 38 of the states ratify the amendment, it will be added to the Constitution. The danger in the ratifying process is that Congress decides whether it will be ratified by the legislators of 38 states, or by special Ratifying Conventions. As well, the legislators who called for the Convention can be totally circumvented – having no voice in the outcome, thus opening a Pandora’s Box and powerless to close it.)

Thirteen states finally recalled their calls: Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Idaho, Utah, North Dakota, Arizona, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Wyoming, Oklahoma, and in 2010, Tennessee. Link  Now some are again calling for a Con-Con.

Our Constitution is still a barrier to the globalists, and they hate this document.  The elite have always wanted to destroy it because, as Patrick Henry said, The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government — lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”  The One Worlders have a new constitution waiting in the wings which will grant us privileges by the state.  The distinctive characteristic of our Constitution is that it created a federal government of only limited, defined, and enumerated powers!  We must focus on the limited powers we delegated instead of our “rights.”  Rights pre-date and pre-exist the Constitution.  Only with this conception of rights can we avoid having black-robed federal judges determine the scope and extent of our rights.

We have elected officials in local, state, and federal governments who have no problem trampling our Constitution.  We have heard the cries from the right and left for a BBA via an Article V Constitutional Convention. The Constitution LIMITS what the federal government is allowed to spend with taxpayer dollars. It is so limited that the funding of outrageous items today would fill an encyclopedia. Our Constitution does not authorize foreign aid, or museums about rock stars, or studying of the blue lizard, or Chinese prostitutes, or unconstitutional wars, etc., etc., ad nauseam.  We have a majority of Republicans in congress today…so why in heaven’s name aren’t they balancing the budget now without an amendment?

Of course, unknown to most of the electorate, the BBA would actually legalize the unconstitutional spending the Congress has been doing for decades.  See Publius Huldah’s most important article “Why the Balanced Budget Amendment is a Hoax and a Deadly Trap.”

Forty-five Republican Senators and the majority of Republican Representatives absolutely love the BBA and desire its passage, including Rand Paul. They talk openly about it to the dumbed down electorate, never telling us that it would LEGALIZE UNCONSTITUTIONAL SPENDING. This would give Congress a free hand to spend whatever they want to on any frivolous item that floats past their desks. The Constitution limits CONGRESS alone to the spending of money!

The BBA will usher in a totalitarian dictatorship. Pursuant to the unconstitutional Budget Act of 1921, the President has been preparing the budget. Since the Budget Act is unconstitutional, the President’s preparation of the budget has been likewise unconstitutional. Section 3 of the BBA would legalize what is now unconstitutional and unlawful, but Section 3 of the BBA does more than merely legalize the unlawful. It actually transfers the Constitutional power to make the appropriations and to determine taxes to the President. Congress will simply become a rubber stamp.   Senate bill from 112th Congress. House bill from 113th Congress.

Former Senator Jim DeMint, and Senator Mike Lee, (neo-cons) are determined to jam this down our throats along with Congressional representatives like Michelle Bachmann. Don’t tell me they don’t understand what they’re doing, because all of them love the out-of-control spending and the BBA would legalize it. In the July 7, 2011, WSJ, Jim DeMint joined with that bastion of conservative politics, Maine’s Senator Olympia Snowe, to push the BBA, stating it is The Only Reform That Will Restrain Spending. Liars and thieves!

The 1787 Convention

In 1787, delegates gathered in a Conference of States (not a Constitutional Convention) to discuss problems with interstate commerce. They were given strict instructions by the Congress that they were to meet only for “the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation.” Eleven of the twelve states present, specifically instructed their delegates to discuss nothing more than the commerce issue.

Once convened, the delegates of the twelve states, formed a “committee of the whole” (chaired by the elected George Washington, President of the Conference), took a vote, and declared the Articles of Confederation null and void!  For five months they debated behind closed doors and emerged with an entirely new form of government.  Our 1787 Constitution was the result.  

The Conference of the States had become a runaway Constitutional Convention! It happened then, and we are certain it will happen again if we don’t stop the process. The precedent was set.

An Article V Constitutional Convention today would undoubtedly mutate the same way the 1787 “Conference of States” mutated into a Constitutional Convention. A Constitutional Convention makes its own rules, cannot be limited, and could indeed throw out the entire structure, including the narrowly defined, limited and enumerated powers granted the federal government, just like the framers threw out the Articles of Confederation in 1787!  Remember, the Bill of Rights tells the federal government what it CANNOT do!

About 50 of the 55 delegates at the Constitutional Convention were practicing Christians, so the Constitution they wrote was rooted squarely in the Word of God and the Ten Commandments. It maximized individual liberty while at the same time limiting government power.   There are absolutely no Constitutional guarantees that the legal precedent of the first Convention will not be repeated by the second one, the result being a new Constitution. However, you can rest assured that this one will not be from Godly Christian men. Back in the early 80s, many of the states that called for a one-item Convention like the BBA, wrote limiting language into their calls, (thinking they could indeed control the agenda, and stating they would secede from the Convention if it overstepped the bounds). Nevertheless, the precedent of the first Convention is the basis for American jurisprudence.  A Con-Con is not just the amendment that is at issue. The entire document is taken down from its pedestal and is put on the table and people go to work on it, tearing it apart.  There are NO RULES!

As well, the Unbridled Power of the delegates to a Con-Con has been acknowledged several times by various State Supreme Courts, and a letter from former U.S. Chief Justice Warren Burger confirms the danger.  In his letter Justice Burger said:

” . . . there is no effective way to limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitutional Convention. The convention could make its own rules and set its own agenda. . . After a convention is convened, it will be too late to stop the convention if we don’t like its agenda.”

James Madison is the “Father” of our Constitution.  At the Constitutional Convention of 1787, James Madison proposed the plan to divide the central government into three branches. He discovered this model of government from the Perfect Governor, as he read Isaiah 33:22; “For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; He will save us.”  (Judicial, Legislative, Executive)

There were delegates from twelve of the thirteen states in attendance at the original 1787 Convention.  Rhode Island did not send delegates. The most notable statesmen present were Washington, Franklin, Madison, and Hamilton, all of whom signed the final Constitution.  Ultimately, 39 of the original 55 delegates ended up signing, but it is likely that none were completely satisfied. Their views were summed up by Benjamin Franklin, who said,

“There are several parts of this Constitution which I do not at present approve, but I am not sure I shall never approve them. … I doubt too whether any other Convention we can obtain, may be able to make a better Constitution. … It therefore astonishes me, Sir, to find this system approaching so near to perfection as it does; and I think it will astonish our enemies…”

The names of several prominent Founders are notable for their not having participated in the Constitutional Convention. Thomas Jefferson was abroad, serving as the minister to France (nonetheless, Jefferson, in a letter to John Adams, would describe the delegates approvingly as a gathering of “demi-gods”). Jefferson later stated that had he been present at the Convention, he would have urged term limits for politicians.  John Adams was in Britain, serving as minister to that country, but he wrote home to encourage the delegates. Patrick Henry refused to participate because he “smelt a rat in Philadelphia, tending toward the monarchy.” Also absent were John Hancock and Samuel Adams. Many of the states’ older and more experienced leaders may have simply been too busy with the local affairs of their states to attend the Convention, which had originally been planned to strengthen the existing Articles of Confederation, not to write a Constitution for a completely new national government.

Now, think about the delegates and leaders of the 1787 Constitutional Convention.  They were men of letters, with integrity, honor, and love of liberty and freedom. The Founders of America were patriots, visionaries, revolutionaries, world shakers, and nation builders. They joined together to protect America’s citizens from an over reaching, all powerful, centralized federal government.  Although imperfect men, they were statesmen who understood government needed to be chained to protect the people.

Can you imagine the delegates we would get from the Congress today? It would be the same Congress which gave us a $16 trillion plus debt, which won’t stand up to Obama, that passed the Patriot Act, the NDAA, and all the other egregious bills they’ve signed on to.  Can you see the delight of the globalists in destroying the Constitution that binds them?  Can you imagine today’s Washington D.C. leaders deciding how to change our Constitution?  I tremble at the very thought.

Who is behind the push for a Con-Con call today?  What is the Compact for America? Who is ALEC? Who was Henry Hazlitt and Rexford Tugwell?  What new Constitution is waiting in the wings, written by the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations?  We will answer these questions in subsequent articles.

Finally, a special thank you to my friend, retired attorney, Publius Huldah, for her help with this article.

A Day of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of the most beloved holidays in America. But did you know that unlike other secular holidays like Labor Day or the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving is a national holiday that is explicitly religious in nature?

In 1789, in his first year in office, President George Washington called for a day of Thanksgiving because –

“it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor.”

In 1815, President James Madison issued a proclamation for “a day of thanksgiving and of devout acknowledgments to Almighty God for His great goodness.” After Madison, however, Thanksgiving reverted to a regional celebration in New England for 48 years.

In 1863, magazine editor Sarah Josepha Hale petitioned the Lincoln administration that “a day of Thanksgiving now needs National recognition and authoritive fixation, only, to become permanently, an American custom and institution.” President Abraham Lincoln called on Americans that year to “fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore if, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.”

As a nation of faith, Americans have set aside this day to thank God for the many blessings He has bestowed.

We of the Fellowship of the Minds want to take this occasion to thank all our readers and especially our faithful regular commenters who contribute so much to this site with their trenchant observation, insight, righteous outrage, and wit.

Yes, this Thanksgiving is bittersweet because we lost the presidential election or, more correctly, we lost the election to massive vote fraud. Despite our loss, we are grateful to God for gracing us with:

Food on our tables; a roof over our heads; clothing for our bodies; family and friends; productive work; soldiers who secure our freedom with their lives; the courage of our convictions; and the gift of life.

God bless you, and may God bless America,

~Eowyn

America is a tyranny of the dependent majority

Central to our Founding Fathers’ conception of self-government is self-reliance. Freedom without responsibility is mere license.

The Founders never intended or even envisioned that the day would come when the American Republic has degenerated into a country where more than half (53% or 165 million of the total U.S. population of 311.6 million) of the population are dependent on the government.

Given the selfishness inherent in human nature, the dependents keep voting in their narrow self-interest while the equally self-interested pandering politicians keep promising and ensuring the “largesse” to continue. All at the expense of the 49% — and decreasing by the day — of adult Americans who actually pay federal income taxes.

Anyone with half a brain knows that this is unsustainable. All the warning signs are there:

  • $16 trillion national debt (ballooning to $20 trillion by 2016);
  • Social Security Disability running out of cash in 4 years, by 2016;
  • followed by the main Social Security program two years later;
  • as well as Medicare and Medicaid.

Bill Wilson, the President of Americans for Limited Government, is the latest voice sounding the alarm. But as with Cassandra of Greek mythology, no one is listening.

165 Million Americans Are Dependents of the State: Is Tyranny Next?

By Bill Wilson – Forbes.com – Aug. 15, 2012:

Is America descending into a dependency state, where the majority uses its voting power to demand government services from taxpayers?

New research from Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee Jeff Sessions (R-AL) reveals that this reality may already be here, with more than 107 million Americans on some form of means-tested government welfare.

Add to that 46 million seniors collecting Medicare (subtracting out about 10 million on Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid, and other senior-eligible programs already included in Sessions’ means-tested chart) and 22 million government employees at the federal, state, and local level — and suddenly, over 165 million people, a clear majority of the 308 million Americans counted by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2010, are at least partially dependents of the state.

Since President Obama took office in 2009, eligibility for Medicaid, food stamps, the earned income tax credit, the making work pay tax credit, and unemployment benefits has increased by roughly 10 million. To add insult to injury, Obama then unilaterally dismantled the work requirements that were the heart of the 1990’s welfare reform via an arbitrary executive order.

But it’s even worse than that. In fact, most voting-age Americans do not pay income taxes — approximately 50.6 percent.

That includes 53.91 million Americans who pay nothing in income taxes, and another 64.7 million who get refunds in excess of what was owed.  That’s 118.61 million out of 234.6 million Americans 18 years and older, based on data compiled by the Joint Committee on Taxation and the U.S. Census Bureau.

The U.S. Constitution was designed to protect against such an outcome. The Founders did not want a democracy, which tends to be problematic because of the failure of minority rights to be defended against an arrogant or authoritarian majority. So, instead, the Founders created a republic.

In Federalist No. 10, James Madison wrote that in democracies, “governments are too unstable, [and] the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties, and that measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority.”

Madison prescribed “curing the mischiefs of faction”, including a tyranny of the majority, by “controlling its effects”. Madison warned that “a pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction.”

So, the “majority, having such coexistent passion or interest, must be rendered, by their number and local situation, unable to concert and carry into effect schemes of oppression.” But how?

Instead of everyone gathering on a hill and voting on laws, the scheme of representation was established, wherein we elect our representatives to make decisions. Also, having a large, geographically wide republic and constitutional limits on the powers of government, complete with two branches of legislature, was supposed to prevent a tyranny of the majority from ever appearing.

Or at least, as Madison put it, such factors would “make it less probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens”.

But has America reached a tipping point where it will no longer work?

Today, a majority of Americans have a direct financial interest in voting for representatives to ensure they keep collecting their benefits and salaries, making sure others are taxed to pay for it all.

Additionally, policies enacted since the financial crisis of 2008 have guaranteed that, for example, virtually every single new home mortgage is being purchased or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the student loan industry has been nationalized. It is almost impossible today to find credit that is not allocated by the government, implying that even more than 165 million are in some way dependent — whether they realize it or not.

All of which leads to the question of whether the U.S. today is in danger of becoming a tyranny of the majority.

To say the least, it would appear on the surface that Madison’s concerns about an oppressive majority were well-founded. But whether his “cure” was effective may well be determined by the outcome of the 2012 election.

H/t ZeroHedge

~Eowyn

Enough with the U.S. military being police of the world!

America’s national debt is now 102% of GDP and at $15.904 trillion, is fast approaching $16 trillion with each passing second (see U.S. Debt Clock).

In fiscal year 2010, the Department of Defense accounted for 18.74% of federal government expenditure. That means the government spends nearly $2 out of every $10 on the military.

This morning comes news that the U.S. Marine Corps is creating law enforcement battalions.

Yes, you read correctly. Not military defense, but LAW ENFORCEMENT.

Julie Watson reports for the AP, July 22, 2012:

The Marine Corps has created its first law enforcement battalions – a lean, specialized force of military police officers that it hopes can quickly deploy worldwide to help investigate crimes from terrorism to drug trafficking and train fledgling security forces in allied nations.

The Corps activated three such battalions last month. Each is made up of roughly 500 military police officers and dozens of dogs. … Marines have been increasingly taking on the role of a street cop along with their combat duties over the past decade in Iraq and Afghanistan, where they have been in charge of training both countries’ security forces. Those skills now can be used as a permanent part of the Marine Corps, Durham said.

… The battalions will be capable of helping control civil disturbances, handling detainees, carrying out forensic work, and using biometrics to identify suspects. Durham said they could assist local authorities in allied countries in securing crime scenes and building cases so criminals end up behind bars and not back out on the streets because of mistakes. …

Gary Solis, a former Marine Corps prosecutor and judge who teaches law of war at Georgetown University, said Marines have already been doing this kind of work for years but now that it has been made more formal by the creation of the battalions, it could raise a host of questions, especially on the use of force. … “Am I a Marine or a cop? Can I be both?” he said. “Cops apply human rights law and Marines apply the law of war. Now that it’s blended, it makes it tougher for the young men and women who have to make the decision as to when deadly force is not appropriate.”

In his 2004 important and insightful essay for The Future of Freedom Foundation,The Bill of Rights: Antipathy to Militarism,”  Jacob G. Hornberger reminds us:

The Third Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that “no Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”

Obviously, the Third Amendment has little relevance today. But what is relevant for us today is the mindset that underlay the passage of that amendment — a mindset of deep antipathy toward militarism and standing armies. Our ancestors’ fierce opposition to a powerful military force was consistent with their overall philosophy that guided the formation of the Constitution and the passage of the Bill of Rights. …

Historically, governments had misused standing armies in two ways, both of which ultimately subjected the citizenry to tyranny. One was to engage in faraway wars, which inevitably entailed enormous expenditures, enabling the government to place ever-increasing tax burdens on the people. Such wars also inevitably entailed “patriotic” calls for blind allegiance to the government so long as the war was being waged. Consider, for example, the immortal words of James Madison, who is commonly referred to as “the father of the Constitution”:

Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people…. [There is also an] inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and … degeneracy of manners and of morals…. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”

The second way to use a standing army to impose tyranny was the direct one — the use of troops to establish order and obedience among the citizenry. Ordinarily, if a government has no huge standing army at its disposal, many people will choose to violate immoral laws that always come with a tyrannical regime; that is, they engage in what is commonly known as “civil disobedience” — the disobedience to immoral laws. But as the Chinese people discovered at Tiananmen Square, when the government has a standing army to enforce its will, civil disobedience becomes much more problematic.

Consider again the words of Madison:

“A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.”

The idea is that governments use their armies to produce the enemies, then scare the people with cries that the barbarians are at the gates, and then claim that war is necessary to put down the barbarians. With all this, needless to say, comes increased governmental power over the people.

Sound familiar?

~Eowyn

Happy Thanksgiving! / Open Thread below

Thanksgiving is one of the most beloved holidays in America. But unlike other secular holidays like Labor Day or the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving is a national holiday that is explicitly religious in nature.

In 1789, in his first year in office, President George Washington called for a day of Thanksgiving because –

“it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor.”

In 1815, President James Madison issued a proclamation for “a day of thanksgiving and of devout acknowledgments to Almighty God for His great goodness.” After Madison, however, Thanksgiving reverted to a regional celebration in New England for 48 years.

In 1863, magazine editor Sarah Josepha Hale petitioned the Lincoln administration that “a day of Thanksgiving now needs National recognition and authoritive fixation, only, to become permanently, an American custom and institution.” President Abraham Lincoln called on Americans that year to “fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore if, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.”

As a nation of faith, Americans have set aside this day to thank God for the many blessings He has bestowed.

We of the Fellowship of the Minds want to take this occasion to thank all our readers and especially our faithful regular commenters who contribute so much to our Fellowship with their trenchant observation, insight, righteous outrage, and wit.

Despite the corruption, incompetence, and decay of our government, we are grateful to be living in still the greatest country in the world. That is precisely why the Fellowship of Minds was founded nearly 2 years ago — as a small but fierce Voice of Opposition to the systematic and deliberate destruction of our beloved America.

Above all, we are grateful to the magnificent, loving, and most awesome Triune God for everything He has graced us with:

Food on our tables; a roof over our heads; clothing for our bodies; family and friends; productive work; soldiers who secure our freedom with their lives; the courage of our convictions; and the gift of life.

God bless you, and may God bless America,

~Eowyn and all the writers of the Fellowship

P.S. I know things are pretty bad these days, but please share with us just one thing you are thankful for. Also we would like your funniest/worst Thanksgiving story.

Happy Thanksgiving and God Bless to all.

-Steve

A Night in Zucotti Park

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)

360 years ago, the great English philosopher Thomas Hobbes warned in Leviathan that the state of [human] nature is not  pretty.

In Chapter XIII, “Of the Natural Condition of Mankind, as concerning their Felicity, and Misery,” he describes life in the state of nature as a war of every man against every man, wherein human life is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”

A major attribute that differentiates Conservatives from the Left is our view of human nature. Conservatives believe as the Founding Fathers did, that our universal human nature is both good and bad. As James Madison famously put it:

“What is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external or internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: You must first enable the government to control the governed, and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”                                      

The Left, however, have a curiously utopian view about human nature: They believe that a utopian society and world is possible, so long as some people (mainly the evil capitalists) are eliminated. In other words, the Left do not believe that human nature is universal, but are convinced they are good but their political enemies are evil. Sadly, human history keeps proving the Left wrong, attested to by the mountainous piles of corpses of the 20th century — those hundreds of millions of human lives murdered by failed Marxist regimes.

The Occupy Wall Street encampment in New York’s Zucotti Park is the latest testimony of the Left’s wrong-headed view of human nature. The park has devolved into a nightmarish world of rape (of women and men), theft, robbery, drugs, in-fighting, and questions about its $750,000 “war chest”.

A female reporter for the New York Post decides to find out for herself by, bravely, spending a night in the park. This is her report.

NYPD says OWS in Zucotti Park has become a crime magnet

Post reporter spends an in‘tents’ night amid anarchy in Zuccotti Park

By Candice M. Giove – NY Post – Nov. 6, 2011

The cheap walkie-talkie crackles inside a crowded downtown McDonald’s, stopping the gathered mass mid-sip from their Kombucha bottles and cups of corporate coffee.

“There’s a situation,” a vagabond gumshoe dubbed “Conscience” tells me after the static-filled communique arrives over the air at around 3 a.m.

Cornered on the other side of the fast-food joint is Fisika Bezabeh, 27, a Zuccotti squatter who inexplicably returned to the eatery after allegedly clobbering a manager with a credit-card reader earlier in the night.

“We can’t take him in by ourselves,” yells another OWS security-force member.

The Zuccotti “cops” had just spent an hour and a half tracking Bezabeh through goat paths in the park armed with a description from the manager.“We cannot take him in by ourselves, the cops have to come!” reiterates the OWS security force member.

They call the NYPD — and it becomes abundantly clear that the cops down there are sick of the antics.

“Every single night it’s the same thing. I mean, some guy was a victim of rape!” an officer snarls. “There comes a time when it’s over. This is a disaster. It’s all we’re doing, every two seconds, is locking somebody up every time. It’s done. It’s done,” he repeats. “Occupy Wall Street is no longer a protest.”

Scenes like this — and far worse — have been playing out since the Zuccotti Park “occupation” began on Sept. 17.

The parcel is now a sliver of madness, rife with sex attacks, robberies and vigilante justice.

It’s a leaderless bazaar that’s been divided into state-like camps — with tents packed together so densely that the only way to add more would be to stack them.

And despite an NYPD watchtower overhead and the entire north side of Zuccotti lined with police vehicles, it is quickly becoming one of the most dangerous places in New York City.

Reporter Candice Giove in her sleeping bag

I arrive in the Financial District after dark on Thursday lugging a backpack, a sleeping bag and layers upon layers of clothes.

It’s 8 p.m., and the suits and ties fill the bars. They glare at my overstuffed bag as I walk from the E train to a 7-Eleven for a few last-minute items for my night in Zuccotti Park.

The anti-bacterial soap and powder are nearly out. Naturally, the condoms are fully stocked.

Outside, an old-man Occupier in a plaid earflap hat is screaming at people in the crosswalk at Church and Barclay. “Why are you afraid of bunny rabbits? Whyyyyy?”

As I cautiously walk the Zuccotti perimeter, picking up photocopied literature on anarchy, there is a poster on a tent bearing a set of park rules that includes: “If you want to hook up, go to a singles bar.”

There is literally no space to unfold my sleeping bag. I ask around for help.

Out of nowhere, a man pushing a shopping cart with his friend inside rammed the thing “Jackass”-style into a police barrier and walked off laughing like a hyena.

A woman emerges from a makeshift tent that looks more like a layer cake — a clear tarp draped over a sleeping bag that is on top of a filthy mattress. It even has a welcome mat missing the “m” and the stench of a vagrant. “There’s not much space left,” she said and walked off into the darkness.

Every camp tent is like its own state. There is “Camp Anonymous,” the group best known for anti-Scientology protests.

It’s neighbored by a tent full of vampires, the “Class War” tent and the “Occupy Paw Street” tent, whose residents hand out treats to occupying pets.

There’s also “Camp France” and the “Nic at Night” tent, which supplies the protest with smokes.

I settle on a sliver near Broadway by an OWS library — which frighteningly has a children’s section. On a bulletin board, there are personal messages like, “Call your sister!”

I’m wedged between a newbie from Brooklyn and some guy from Toronto, who preferred the experience of urban camping to his buddy’s couch or a hotel.

“My knees will crush you,” a hulking squatter shouts. “I don’t want to hurt you.

“You’re in my doorway. I’m going to crush you.”

Someone takes offense and yells, “Manners!”

He’s much kinder when he emerges later from his green tent and hands me a shiny Mylar blanket for extra warmth. “It’s going to get cold,” he said.

This spirit of generosity and the naivete of the original OWS protesters is devolving into a state of distrust and paranoia, however.

They speak of theft, about government infiltrators and tales of Rikers Island castoffs being dropped off to roam and ravage the site.

From underneath my blanket, I hear allegations of financial corruption and intimidation over sexual orientation.

“I’m in a tent that keeps getting flooded, ransacked and robbed,” fumes a transgender group leader — a female who identifies as a male. He said that the transgender group would create its own police force for transgender protesters and females, since an immense distrust loomed over the OWS-created authority.

That group is also demanding financial transparency amid growing concern over the use of the $750,000 war chest.

They have a point. I notice supply-station cupboards are dangerously lacking any blankets, tents, tarps or Mylar. “Someone forgot to get that stuff out of storage,” an attendant claimed.

“We have three-quarters of a million dollars in the bank and all these f–king people are not doing financial accounting while we’re calling for it from the larger corporations,” says the transgender leader. “A lot of good people are quitting.”

A day later, a female-only “safety tent” would be erected to shield women from predators. Organizers plan to add a medical tent, as well as others designed to provide safe sleeping for gay, transgender and co-ed groups.

The threat of rape is very real here — for women and men.

Sitting in the McDonald’s just moments after Bezabeh was hauled off in cuffs, Lauren DiGioia, 26, tells me about how she became one of the growing number of victims on her very first night in the park.

“I was forced into a very tight space,” she says. “He kind of moved up against me. ‘Oh, let me warm you up. It’s cold out here,’” the creep told her, she said. “He kept pursuing me, and he started becoming aroused, and I could tell that he was becoming aroused,” she said. “I just tried to shield myself.”

He allegedly groped her, pulled her and tried to get on top of her. “I kept thinking to myself, ‘In the morning, I am going to get this guy arrested,’ but in the morning, he was gone,” she said.

DiGioia, who is from Clifton, NJ, was shocked to see her alleged attacker’s image in The Post about a week later — and she identified him to the police.

She is now offering counsel to other victims, as new ones crop up every day. “I just talked to two gentlemen who were raped last night, and they don’t want to press charges because [authorities] wanted to take them in an ambulance and . . . do a rape kit,” she said.

She passed on their account to the security force, while encouraging them to press charges. “There was another girl raped by the same man,” she said from a table in the McDonald’s, which has become the headquarters of the revolution. It’s a place to meet, to get warm, to scarf down dollar-menu grub and to use the bathroom that becomes increasingly vile as the night goes on.

I’m ultimately invited to spend the night in a Camp Anonymous tent instead of solo in a sleeping bag. I spend the rest of the night awake against the wall of a tent built for four — but packed with six.

My bunkmates include an anarchist, a sexual-assault victim, two security-force members, a girl dressed like the devil and her kitten — the “Anarkitty.”

“We are a microcosm of all of society’s defects and the failing economy,” DiGioia said. “Just because we’re here under a microscope, everybody’s going to come and throw up their arms and say we have to shut this place down.”

Good News, Bad News from Gallup

The Good News

The latest Gallup Poll has Obama’s approval numbers falling to the lowest he’s ever received, dipping below 40%, at 39%. (74% of Democrats, 36% of Independents, 9% of Republicans approve of Skippy.)

The even better news is how Obama compares to his predecessors at the same juncture in his presidency. Only Jimmy Carter had worse ratings than Obama:

The Bad News

Gallup’s first measure of the 2012 congressional elections shows Democrats leading Republicans, 51% to 44%, in registered voters’ preferences for which party’s candidate they would support in their district “if the elections for Congress were being held today.” Worse still, twice as many voters say Tea Party endorsements are a negative rather than a positive.

Take heart, friends! Remember these words of George Washington, in his letter to James Madison, 1786:

“No morn ever dawned more favorable than ours did; and no day was ever more clouded than the present! Wisdom, and good examples are necessary at this time to rescue the political machine from the impending storm.”

~Eowyn

Oh, How I Miss Them….

“Whatever may be the judgement pronounced on the competency of the architects of the Constitution, or whatever may be the destiny of the edifice prepared by them, I feel it a duty to express my profound and solemn conviction … that there never was an assembly of men, charged with a great and arduous trust, who were more pure in their motives, or more exclusively or anxiously devoted to the object committed to them.” –James Madison, 1835

I weep….

~Eowyn

 

Moral Sickness at Root of America’s Decay

 

James Madison

How can self-government work if the people’s “self” is depraved? As James Madison so rightly observed, “What is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” (Federalist No. 51, 1788)

Both the Left as well as Libertarians like to think that America’s Founding Fathers pursued individual liberty merely and solely for itself, without regard to matters of morality and faith.

Not true.

Thomas Jefferson in old age

Our Founders believed that the new American Republic was possible and viable only if it rested on the proper foundation or infrastructure — a virtuous people. (A good book on this is The Moral Foundations of the American Republic.)

In a letter to George Logan in 1816, Thomas Jefferson wrote: “The man who is dishonest as a statesman would be a dishonest man in any station. It is strangely absurd to suppose that a million of human beings collected together are not under the same moral laws which bind each of them separately.”

John Adams

John Adams, in his letter to Mercy Warren in 1776, similarly noted: “Public virtue cannot exist in a nation without private, and public virtue is the only foundation of republics. There must be a positive passion for the public good, the public interest, honour, power and glory, established in the minds of the people, or there can be no republican government, nor any real liberty….”

George Washington praying at Valley Forge

But it was George Washington, the Father of the new American Republic, who put it best when he sounded this warning in his first inaugural address in 1789: “There exists in the economy and course of nature an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness … we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.”

Popular culture is the expression of a people’s moral orientation. Look at the state of America’s pop culture today.

Who speaks of “virtue” today? What an old-fashioned archaic word!

A half-naked Britney “The Crotch” Spears, 29, bumps, grinds, and gyrates before a rapt crowd of 6,000 in San Francisco; while the media slavishly report on the latest antics of bad “boys” like middle-aged Charlie Sheen, 45, and bad “girls” like mature adult Lindsay Lohan, 24.

Less than 20 minutes after the tickets for Sheen’s two “My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat is Not an Option” concerts went on sale, they were all sold out. So he expanded his concert tour to 20 cities. A ticket for his “concert” in San Francisco costs $97 to $136. After Lohan wore a tightly-fitted white Kimberly Ovitz dress to court to face grand theft charges of a necklace she claims she had merely “borrowed” from a jewelry store, the $575 dress quickly sold out.

Alexander Hamilton

So much for our supposed economic recession-depression!

Did you know that John Adams was 41, Thomas Jefferson only 30, and Alexander Hamilton a mere 21 years old, in 1776 when the American Revolution began? [Source]

At the root of our political-economic-social problems is plain moral rot.

~Eowyn