Thursday, March 26, 2009

A "blog" - alright some ramblings - same difference

Alright, rambling time - oops, I mean time to write a “blog” ... same difference,
One of the demands I am seeing consistently mentioned at the growing plethora of websites such as the 912 project, is the demand for term limits. How short our collective memory is. Let me take you back to the 1990's - Reformers in the early 1990s used the initiative and referendum to put congressional term limits on the ballot in 23 states. Voters in every one of these states approved the congressional term limits by an average electoral margin of two to one. In May of '95, the United States Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, 514 U.S. 779 (1995) that states cannot impose term limits upon their federal Representatives or Senators. In other word, it was ruled that ONLY CONGRESS could enact and impose it OWN limits on terms. In order for limits to be imposed it would take the passage of a constitutional amendment. Attempts to put forward that legislation (especially when the Republicans held sway in Congress) also fell short of the required number of votes to put it forward as a proposed Constitutional Amendment.
When you take this, add it to a Congress that votes itself automatic pay raises, passing legislation that runs counter to a torrent of constituent comment in opposition. (remember the remarks of Senator Dianne Finstein ( --- it is about a minute into the video) In short she was saying the people just don't know any better, but we do! And remember the remarks of NY Senator Charles Schumer?
In effect, WE (the voters) have created a "ruling class"
One of the many things I have seen and sense in Washington (I was a journalist for nearly 25 years, have been retired for nearly 14 - but remain in close contact with many lawmakers, sadly many STILL hold office and these were in office when I began my career!!!) is not only a dis-connect from the world outside the beltway, but also an arrogance and elitism. This arrogance seems to know NO party affiliation. How "We the People" deal with that .... I am at a loss.
However, that "at a loss" may be changing, I came across this interesting Op-Ed in today's edition of the Chicago Tribune. A piece written by Ronald D. Rotunda, professor at Chapman University School of Law:
"Some strings attached
Is the stimulus law constitutional?,0,216570.story
This raises another interesting question - there is nothing in the Constitution that either forbids or set procedure for a state or states to leave the union. There was in the Articles of Confederation, however, nothing was mentioned i the Constitution, there is this unwritten concept that a state or states would have first to get the consent of the other states. However, the persistent circumventing of the Constitution by the Federal Gov. causes that document to become null and void ... so in theory, The Central or Federal government, by its actions have abrogated this document - thus, it could be argued, creating the Constitution null and void. Therefore, what would prevent states from seceding from a Union that is without charter? Does make one wonder.
At last count some 22 states have resolutions before their legislatures in effect drawing such a line in the sand. Perhaps much better and less dangerous than revolution would be to start all over again. THIS TIME ADHERING TO THE CONSTITUTION -- THE REAL CONSTITUTION, as it was written.
Wanted to tell you about a long time friend of mine --- he is a constitutional lawyer John Remington Graham - one of his books I wanted to pass along is .. A Constitutional History Secession.
His most recent - published by a small publishing company in one of the Southern States is titled; Blood Money: The Civil War and the Federal Reserve
I just wanted to highly recommend both and not because he is a friend.
In addition, when I was looking up the "correct title" ... I sometimes love web searches, as when looking for one thing ... one often stumbles up other treasures, like this .. a paper written by Andrei Kreptul, Seattle University of Law
Unlike many people, I don't look for villains ... I see things in terms of cycles and that includes the "nation-state" and I truly believe that we are on the down side of our cycle. Most of us, I think, falsely labor under a notion that all things are linear (it must be a "Darwinian thing") - I believe in the Other theory, that things are cyclical, having a beginning, a pinnacle, and a slide to an end --- only to begin the cycle again. This has been the lesson (or it should have been) of the history of civilizations and nation-states.
I believe a good friend of mine, FREEMAN DYSON who s professor of physics at the Institute for Advanced Study, in Princeton. In an essay he wrote a couple of years ago. The entire essay is great ... it is called,
In particular to the point I wanted to make about cycles ... he wrote;
"To conclude this piece I come to my third and last heresy. My third heresy says that the United States has less than a century left of its turn as top nation. Since the modern nation-state was invented around the year 1500, a succession of countries have taken turns at being top nation, first Spain, then France, Britain, America. Each turn lasted about 150 years. Ours began in 1920, so it should end about 2070.
... Who will be the next top nation? China is the obvious candidate. After that it might be India or Brazil. We should be asking ourselves, not how to live in an America-dominated world, but how to prepare for a world that is not America-dominated. That may be the most important problem for the next generation of Americans to solve. How does a people that thinks of itself as number one yield gracefully to become number two? "
I think we are at the end of our cycle ... to be sure this won’t be a “walk in the park” ... but I think it has the potential for being a very exciting time. There is such a rumbling, a rumbling that often is the early stages of “revolution” ... an event that I believe would be so counter-productive. Something about anarchy that just doesn’t sit well with me.
I would suppose that is why I am becoming a stronger advocate of secession as perhaps being the only way we can dismantle what this has all become and begin again, THIS TIME REALLY PAYING HEED TO THE CONSTITUTION. Becoming a radical in my old age? Naw, just OLD AND CRANKY.
You know, one is often admonished for failing to learn the lessons taught to us by history ... I would suggest that the main reason we have trouble do so is that we fixate on the event and especially the characters on the stage, rather than recognizing and understanding the patterns that cause an even to occur.

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