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An Article V convention of states would not destroy the Constitution

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Constitutional crisis!

This phrase is tossed around so flippantly nowadays that it’s lost all meaning. For a refresher, here’s the definition from God’s preferred source of truth, Wikipedia: “a constitutional crisis is a problem or conflict in the function of a government that the political constitution or other fundamental governing law is perceived to be unable to resolve.”

In other words, something so unpredictable that our Constitution simply isn’t prepared to handle it. Call me a cynic, but I can’t think of anything our Constitution hasn’t provided a mechanism for dealing with.

As such, I laugh at Leftists who lose their minds over the possibility of President Trump firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller, as if this move would irrevocably establish Trump as Dictator of the United States (although I have to say, I’m a big fan of the acronym DOTUS).

But some on the Right are also guilty of these irrational doomsday ramblings on one topic in particular: an Article V Convention of States.

Article V of the Constitution specifies how the Constitution may be amended, whether at a federal or state level: “The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress.”

Thus far, no Convention of States has ever been held and all 27 amendments to the Constitution have been proposed by Congress, but as many as 15 of those (including the Bill of Rights) can be traced to the threat that states would call to order a Convention of States and thereby craft amendments without the ratification of the federal legislature.

Yet some paranoid right-wingers are convinced that the result of an Article V Convention would be to dismantle our Constitution and draft a new one out of whole cloth — a constitutional crisis!

I have a great deal of respect for some of these people, but on this topic, I find them utterly silly.

How would such an unprecedented upending of American law occur? What evidence is there to suggest that state legislators even want to do such a thing, let alone that it would be plausible?

States tend to lean Republican, and Republicans at state levels tend to be more conservative. There are more than twice as many Republican governors in the Union as Democratic, and Republicans control both chambers in 32 state legislatures (plus Nebraska’s single chamber).

Even then, they fall short of the 38 states necessary for a three-fourths majority, so even Democrats have no reason to fear a runaway Republican convention.

Again, I ask, in what universe will a majority Republican Convention of States vote to abolish the Constitution? I have my gripes with the GOP, but I would never go full tinfoil.

The most commonly cited objective of a modern convention would be to pursue a balanced budget amendment. States tend to be far more fiscally responsible — even California recognizes that it can’t afford Medicaid-for-all, something federally elected Senator Bernie Sanders won’t shut up about.

Congress obviously holds the power of the purse, but do we really trust them to keep the buttons clamped without an outside check?

I’m old enough to remember last week’s omnibus, so I’m gonna say no.

Moreover, how can we trigger a constitutional crisis by invoking a power specifically granted by the Constitution? It’s an absolute paradox, tantamount to saying that using the electoral college rather than the popular vote would cause a constitutional crisis, or that we can never impeach any president ever because such would result in a constitutional crisis. It’s literally written into the Constitution.

We the People have been atrocious in holding our government accountable. We have shamelessly neglected our enumerated checks and balances while loudly complaining from the sidelines that the system is broken and that nobody listens to us.

“We need to bring power back to the states, but also a Convention of States would destroy the Constitution.”

This attitude is senseless, overdramatic, and antithetical to constitutional conservatism. It is pure silliness.

We have never called a Convention of States, we have never successfully impeached a president (including one who imprisoned 120,000 Japanese-Americans based solely on their ethnicity without due process), and we have only once impeached a federal judge.

Don’t complain about federal tyranny if you’re unwilling to enforce the constitutional measures afforded to you to push it back.

There is no constitutional crisis. We have a common sense crisis.


Richie Angel is the Editor at Large of The New Guards. Follow him and The New Guards on Twitter, and check out The New Guards on Facebook.

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Bill Walker

    April 1, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    You can read more details about an Article V Convention at http://www.foavc.org. The site presents the applications filed by the states plus all relevant public record about a convention. It also discusses the real reason a convention has never been held.

  2. Shawn Meehan

    April 1, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    Richie, you are terribly misinformed. I’ve spent four years nearly full time studying Article V. There is no such thing as a “convention of states” in the Constitution. Article V provides for “a convention for proposing amendments” This is called by Congress, not the states and Congress controls it no matter the propaganda COS spouts. (Footnotes 1,2)

    Article V’s second method was created for when the AUTHORIZED distribution of powers between the federal government and the states is out of balance and the federal refuses to give up power. Congress calling it was stuck in with the convention option. Those claiming Congress plays no role or is only ministerial aren’t telling the truth. Did you know George Mason was one of only three delegates refusing to sign the final draft Constitution? He didn’t get what he wanted, a purely state-controlled convention.

    One would have to contort common sense and reality to think that changing a document that is being disobeyed will suddenly make people obey that document. The Supreme Law of the Land is being disobeyed but convention promoters will guarantee rules for a convention will be obeyed.

    The Founders advised us to strengthen state governments, not to change the federal when they are ignoring their duty (Footnote 3)

    When a group doesn’t tell the truth to 137 state legislators from across the country about changing our federal Constitution, it should be very clear they are not worthy of being anyplace near that Constitution: https://www.guardtheconstitution.com/2017/07/06/convention-of-states-falsifies-thomas-jeffersons-advice-2/20530

    Footnote 1) “And the few cases that have been asked to deal with issues comparable to the one now tendered to this Court have uniformly held questions as to compliance with Article V’s requirements are within the sole province of Congress and not the courts — in the language that has come to characterize such issues, they are political” (that is, nonjusticiable) questions.”
    — United States of America, Plaintiff, v. Wayne Wojtas, Defendant, No. 85 CR 48, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, 611 F. Supp. 118; 1985 U.S. District. Lexis 19914, May 10, 1985

    Footnote 2) “As a rule, the Constitution speaks in general terms, leaving Congress to deal with subsidiary matters of detail as the public interests and changing conditions may require, and Article V is no exception to the rule.”
    — Dillon v. Gloss 256 U.S. 368 (1921)

    Footnote 3) Thomas Jefferson was clear: “Then it is important to strengthen the state governments: and as this CANNOT BE DONE BY ANY CHANGE IN THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION, (for the preservation of that is all we need contend for,) it must be done by the states themselves, erecting such barriers at the constitutional line as cannot be surmounted either by themselves or by the general government. The only barrier in their power is a wise government….”
    — Thomas Jefferson To Archibald Stuart written December 23, 1791

    • John De Herrera

      April 2, 2018 at 9:43 am

      It’s a right of the people to debate/propose amendments when Congress won’t, says Meehan, who then turns around and says, except in a convention. Meehan’s arguments are not only irrational but illogical. He is a typical example of an American who fails to comprehend what he thinks he’s talking about.

      • Shawn Meehan

        April 2, 2018 at 1:29 pm

        John De Herrera slanders my comments. The convention method of Article V was added for when states felt the authorized power distribution between them and the federal were out of balance. Advocates for an Article V convention claim the Constitution isn’t being obeyed, as do most anti-convention folks. We all agree that if the authorized distribution of powers were obeyed, we’d all be happy.

        John De Herrera claims my arguments, supported by footnotes, aren’t credible, yet, he offers no references. Notice John De Herrera doesn’t counter that Convention of States was deceptive with 137 state legislators from across the country. How could anyone trust our Constitution to the care of hucksters that either don’t know the truth and facts of the issue, or don’t tell the truth about it?

        As an Article V expert, I’m happy to stand my ground.

        • John De Herrera

          April 2, 2018 at 2:02 pm

          The convention clause of Article V was proposed and unanimously passed at the 1787 Convention, and then was used as the final argument in adopting the Constitution (Federalist 85), which to paraphrase Hamilton, said–if you Anti-Federalists are so afraid of this new document/government there is the provision whereby the states can formally propose amendments the Congress fails to. That’s why it exists, to formally discuss change when change is needed and Congress fails to respond. All the Article V Convention does is formalize discussion about amendment language. It’s like a national town hall, and then all the delegates go home, and the ratification process begins. To think 38 states in a huge, regionalized country like ours will agree to shooting ourselves in the foot is both irrational and illogical.

          • Shawn Meehan

            April 2, 2018 at 2:28 pm

            Again, John De Herrera fails to respond to documented facts, effectively conceding the points.

            Madison’s Journal of the 1787 in fact documents that the Article V convention option was not unanimous. It was noted as passed “nem. con” which means without objection (meaning in parliamentary procedure that not everyone in the room voted). Those that actually check the record of 15 Sept. 1787 will learn there were SEVEN votes after that vote, including one to propose removing the entire thing. No parliamentarian would call that unanimous.

            John De Herrera displays a profound contempt for the words of the Founders. Federalist 85 contains the following: “…For my own part I acknowledge a thorough conviction that any amendments which may, upon mature consideration, be thought useful, will be applicable to the organization of the government, not to the mass of its powers” This is course means as I stated above the organization / distribution of government, not the massing of power.

            Actually, states do not propose amendments, the convention does and this has been discussed by constitutional scholars. Further, Federalist 85 doesn’t mention “change” or such, merely where states think amendments are needed to redistribute powers and Congress doesn’t agree. It is well documented that an Article V convention can not be topic limited:

            “Because no amending convention has ever occurred, an important question is whether a convention can be limited in scope, either to a particular proposal or within a particular subject. While most calls for amending conventions in the nineteenth century were general, the modern trend is to call for limited conventions. Some scholars maintain that such attempts violate Article V and are therefore void.”
            — Spalding, Matthew; Edwin Meese; David F. Forte (2005-11-07). The Heritage Guide to the Constitution (p. 266). Regnery Publishing, Inc.

            “Writing at the height of debate over the 1980s campaign for an Article V Convention to consider a balanced budget amendment, former Solicitor General Walter Dellinger asserted that the Framers deliberately sought to provide a means of amending the Constitution that is insulated from excessive influence by either the state legislatures, or by Congress.”
            — Walter E. Dellinger, “The Recurring Question of the ‘Limited’ Constitutional Convention,” Yale Law Journal, volume 88, issue 8, July 1979, pp. 1623-1640.

            His view of the convention’s authority is among the most expansive advanced by commentators on the Article V Convention: …any new constitutional convention must have the authority to study, debate, and submit to the states for ratification whatever amendments it considers appropriate (emphasis added). According to his judgment, an Article V Convention must be free to pursue any issue it pleases, notwithstanding the limitations included in either state applications or the congressional summons by which it was called:
            — Walter E. Dellinger, “The Recurring Question of the ‘Limited’ Constitutional Convention,” Yale Law Journal, volume 88, issue 8, July 1979, p. 1624.

            “If the legislatures of thirty-four states request Congress to call a general constitutional convention, Congress has a constitutional duty to summon such a convention. If those thirty-four states recommend in their applications that the convention consider only a particular subject, Congress still must call a convention and leave to the convention the ultimate determination of the agenda and the nature of the amendments it may choose to propose.”
            — Walter E. Dellinger, “The Recurring Question of the ‘Limited’ Constitutional Convention,” Yale Law Journal, volume 88, issue 8, July 1979, p. 1624.

            More recently, Michael Stokes Paulsen invoked original intent and the founders’ understanding of such a gathering. Asserting that they would have considered a “convention” to be a body that enjoyed broad powers, similar to the Constitutional Convention itself, he suggests: “Convention” had a familiar … public meaning in 1787. It referred to a deliberative political body representing the people, as it were, “out of doors.” Representatives or delegates to such a convention might well operate to some extent pursuant to “instructions” of the people thus represented, but a convention was not a pass-through or a cipher, but rather an agency ― a deliberative political body.”
            — Michael Stokes Paulsen, “How to Count to Thirty-Four: The Constitutional Case for a Constitutional Convention,”Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, volume 34, issue 3, 2011, p. 842.

            “As a rule, the Constitution speaks in general terms, leaving Congress to deal with subsidiary matters of detail as the public interests and changing conditions may require, and Article V is no exception to the rule.”
            — Dillon v. Gloss 256 U.S. 368 (1921)

            Perhaps the most assertive expression of the open or general convention argument centers on the doctrine of “conventional sovereignty:”According to this theory, a convention is, in effect, a premier assembly of the people, a representative body charged by the people with the duty of framing the basic law of the land, for which purpose there devolves upon it all the power which the people themselves possess. In short, that for the particular business of amending and revising our Constitution, the convention is possessed of sovereign powers and therefore is supreme to all other ”Government branches or agencies.”
            — Brickfield, Problems Relating to a Federal Constitutional Convention, 16.

            “Constitutional scholar Charles Black offered emphatic support of this viewpoint: “I believe that, in Article V, the words ‘a Convention for proposing such amendments’ mean ‘a convention for proposing such amendments as that convention decides to propose.”
            — Charles Black, “Amending the Constitution: A Letter to a Congressman,” Yale Law Journal, volume 82, number 2, December 1972, p. 199.

            “In fact, he went on to assert that limited conventions would be constitutionally impermissible for the reason that no language is found in Article V that authorizes them: It (Article V) implies that Congress cannot be obligated, no matter how many States ask for it, to summon a convention for the limited purposed of dealing with electoral apportionment alone, and that such a convention would have no constitutional standing at all.”
            — Black, “Amending the Constitution: A Letter to a Congressman,” p. 199.

            “When delegates are presented with a choice of writing a new constitution or submitting a number of amendments to the existing document, they have exhibited a desire to become part of history by framing a new constitution.” – Russell Caplan in Constitutional Brinkmanship

            “Congress’s inability to limit the scope of a convention suggests that a limited convention, even if requested by the States is not permissible.”
            — James Kenneth Rogers, Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy [Vol. 30]

            “What about a runaway convention? Yes, it is true that once you assemble a convention that states have called, they can do anything
            they want.”
            — Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, on the steps of the Capitol in Richmond on Jan. 17, 2011

            ”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. Congress 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. After a convention is convened, it will be too late to stop the convention if we don’t like its agenda. The meeting in 1787 ignored the limit placed by the confederation Congress ‘for the sole and express purpose’.”
            — Chief Justice Warren Burger Letter to Phyllis Shafley

            “I have also repeatedly given my opinion that 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. Congress 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. After a Convention is convened, it will be too late to stop the Convention if we don’t like the agenda. The meeting in 1787 ignored the limit placed by the Confederation Congress ‘for the sole and express purpose.’ “
            — Chief Justice Warren Burger

            Barry Goldwater said: “[I am] totally opposed [to a Constitutional Convention]…We may wind up with a Constitution so far different from that we have lived under for two hundred years that the Republic might not be able to continue.”

            U.S. Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, writing an op-ed piece in the Miami Herald in 1986 wrote: A few people have asked, “Why not another constitutional convention?” … One of the most serious problems Article V poses is a runaway convention. There is no enforceable mechanism to prevent a convention from reporting out wholesale changes to our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Moreover, the absence of any mechanism to ensure representative selection of delegates could put a runaway convention in the hands of single-issue groups whose self-interest may be contrary to our national well-being. And the one quote I will never forget because I was on the University of Maryland’s campus at the time it was made was that of Professor Christopher Brown, University of Maryland School of Law, who wrote in 1991 in response to the call for a constitutional convention to write a balanced budget amendment: “After 34 states have issued their call, Congress must call ‘a convention for proposing amendments.’ In my view the plurality of ‘amendments’ opens the door to constitutional change far beyond merely requiring a balanced federal budget.”

          • John De Herrera

            April 2, 2018 at 3:33 pm

            So if the Article V Convention can in your view, “runaway” where is it going to run to? There’s no way 75%+ are going to agree to it. Your fears are irrational and you’re standing in the way of our right to alter/abolish a thoroughly corrupt government. Thanks Meehan.

          • Shawn Meehan

            April 2, 2018 at 3:44 pm

            I didn’t use the word “runaway.”

            I thank John De Herrera for agreeing with the facts of history and my arguments by failing to even attempt to dispute them.

          • John De Herrera

            April 2, 2018 at 3:54 pm

            You posted a quote with the “runaway” argument. So I ask again, where is the convention going to run to?

          • Shawn Meehan

            April 2, 2018 at 4:28 pm

            Those are quotes from the authors. They can handle your requests. You are in no position to demand any explanations. I have offered numerous facts and you haven’t rebutted. Make your argument. I will not debate myself.

          • John De Herrera

            April 2, 2018 at 4:45 pm

            Anti-Conventionists profess that if the Article V Convention is called by the Congress of the USA, that something might happen that none of us alive today want, i.e. a “runaway convention” as Justice Goldberg above terms it. If that’s your position, or whatever position opposing the Article V Convention, my rebuttal is: where will it run to, and how will it become a grave danger to we the living? What idea, as amendment language, is going to do away with our republic as we currently know it, and get roughly seven out of ten Americans NATIONWIDE to agree with it?

          • Shawn Meehan

            April 2, 2018 at 5:57 pm

            You assume that the ratification in Article V will be complied with. Precedent from the 1787 Convention clearly provides that it may not. Since an Article V convention is clearly NOT the solution the Founders offered and the fact that a convention could be considered a sovereign gathering of the people, the constraints of Article V may be thrown off. This has happened in several state conventions in American history.

            Unbridled Powers of Delegates in a Constitutional Convention
            Corpus Jurus Secundum is a compilation of State Supreme Court findings. Following is the collection of findings regarding the unlimited power of the delegates attending a Constitutional Convention. Legal “experts” have asserted that it would be highly unlikely that the U.S. Supreme Court would overturn findings from several separate and concurring State Supreme Courts. The foot-note numbers after the citation quoted reference the particular cases from which the citations were made.

            These citations, along with the letter from Chief Justice Warren Burger (http://www.sweetliberty.org/issues/concon/burger.htm#.WKZQmhLyu00) clearly and concisely tell us that if a Constitutional Convention were to be opened, for whatever “alleged” purpose, there would be no controlling the outcome. State Legislators have been lulled into a false sense of safety by assurances that there is no danger in a Con-Con because, “of course, you would never ratify a bad amendment or a total rewrite of the Constitution”. What the State Legislators are NOT told – and probably 99% of them are unaware of the fact – is that there are two modes of ratifying an amendment, and the U.S. Congress decides which that would be. In other words, state’s legislatures can be bypassed in favor of ratifying conventions.

            * The members of a Constitutional Convention are the direct representatives of the people (1)
            * and, as such, they may exercise all sovereign powers that are vested in the people of the state. (2)
            * They derive their powers, not from the legislature, but from the people: (3)
            * and, hence, their power may not in any respect be limited or restrained by the legislature. Under this view, it is a Legislative Body of the Highest Order (4)
            * and may not only frame, but may also enact and promulgate, Constitution. (5)
            Citations:
            (1) Mississippi (1892) Sproule v. Fredericks; 11 So. 472
            (2) Iowa (1883) Koehler v. Hill; 14 N.W. 738
            (3) West Virginia (1873) Loomis v. Jackson; 6 W. Va. 613
            (4) Oklahoma (1907) Frantz v. Autry; 91 p. 193
            (5) Texas (1912) Cox v. Robison; 150 S.W. 1149

  3. John De Herrera

    April 2, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    All law is composed of two things: letter and spirit. The spirit of the Constitution is for the people to govern themselves, not slim ball politicians and special interests. The letter embodies the spirit–“Congress shall call a convention”–and the states have long ago satisfied the legal requirement. Thus, to be Anti-Conventionist today, based on congressional records, is to be Anti-Constitutionalist. As Marbury v. Madison said, the Constitution is black and white, no equivocation, you are either for it or against it.

    • Shawn Meehan

      April 2, 2018 at 6:02 pm

      Well, John De Herrera has finally revealed himself to be a conspiracy theorist worthy of being ignored. States are fully able to rescind resolutions applying for Article V, just as my Nevada did last year with a resolution I initiated (SJR 10) and which passed four unanimous votes. We have not yet reached the requirement for 34 active petitions and I believe the court has dismissed and laughed at your leader Mr. Walker’s thesis of such.

      You make a really dumb argument. So, because Article V is in the Constitution, we must call a convention? Declaring war is in there also, must we declare war? Where do we start a new war? Come on, it’s in there. Impeachment is in there. Any federal officer. Why aren’t you advocating for 30 or 40 impeachments?

      When you get some education about the facts, you should let us know. Until then, you shouldn’t continue making yourself look all a fool.

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Foreign Affairs

The Saudi predicament requires radical changes in our foreign affairs positions

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Saudi predicament requires radical changes in our foreign affairs positions

The United States is at a foreign affairs crossroads. One of our most important allies in the most important region in the world is being led by a man that U.S. intelligence (and pretty much everybody else) believes ordered the murder of a journalist living in our nation and writing for one of its biggest news outlets. How can we reconcile between what’s right and what’s smart?

Further evidence was leaked today that Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince and de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, ordered the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last month. The CIA concluded this based on multiple pieces of circumstantial evidence, including phone calls intercepted between Khashoggi and Mohammed’s brother assuring Khashoggi’s safety if he went to the Saudi consulate where was murdered.

CIA concludes Saudi crown prince ordered Jamal Khashoggi’s assassination

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/cia-concludes-saudi-crown-prince-ordered-jamal-khashoggis-assassination/2018/11/16/98c89fe6-e9b2-11e8-a939-9469f1166f9d_story.html?utm_term=.718b2d26599cThe CIA’s conclusion about Mohammed’s role was also based on the agency’s assessment of the prince as the country’s de facto ruler who oversees even minor affairs in the kingdom. “The accepted position is that there is no way this happened without him being aware or involved,” said a U.S. official familiar with the CIA’s conclusions.

Among the intelligence assembled by the CIA is an audio recording from a listening device that the Turks placed inside the Saudi consulate, according to the people familiar with the matter. The Turks gave the CIA a copy of that audio, and the agency’s director, Gina Haspel, has listened to it.

This is much more complicated than deciding whether or not to punish Mohammed. The stakes are unfathomably high, including balance of power in the Middle East, a potential oil crisis that could cripple the world economy, and the future of a peace plan between Israel and the Palestinians.

Unfortunately, what’s right and what’s smart are diametrically opposed in this situation.

What’s right?

Every ounce of evidence points to the near-certainty that Mohammed bin Salman ordered the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. He was a permanent residence of the United States who lived in Virginia and worked at the Washington Post. While not a citizen, he lawfully earned the right to fall under our nation’s protections.

The right thing to do is to condemn the Crown Prince, even if that will irreversibly damage our relationship with Saudi Arabia.

What’s smart?

Based on the current geopolitical status quo, Saudi Arabia is our best proxy to keep Iran in check in the Middle East. They are also the reason the dollar is still the world’s reserve currency despite efforts by Russia, China, and other nations to change that. This status allows the dollar to maintain artificial stability. There are many factors in play that could cripple the dollar if Saudi Arabia and OPEC started dealing in other currencies, bur national debt alone would be enough to catastrophically collapse our entire economy if the world had the means to turn its collective back on us.

Saudi Arabia and the so-called “petrodollar” is the force that maintains the illusion of stability.

The arms we sell Saudi Arabia account for a substantial chunk of revenue and jobs in the United States, but more importantly it gives them the technological edge they need over Iran. If the Saudis turn to Russia or China, our influence over the region would diminish greatly.

The smart thing to do is to sweep this under the rug. Throw symbolic punishment at some sacrificial Saudi lambs and move on.

Time for change

There is no way to do what’s right and still do what’s smart, so it would seem the White House has to pick between the two.

Perhaps they don’t. Perhaps there’s a third option.

Even if we do the “right” thing by condemning Saudi Arabia Mohammed, ties will not deteriorate immediately. There will be a wind down during which time the Saudis will be looking for other partners and the Americans will be trying to salvage the relationship.

What if we didn’t? What if we acknowledged for the first time that Saudi Arabia is more than just the country that murdered Khashoggi. Their human rights record is atrocious. They have directly or indirectly harmed the United States for years, including a significant role in terrorist attacks. They spread Wahhabism across the world. If you haven’t heard much about Wahhabism, it’s because the radical Islamic sect that drives the House of Saud is protected from media scrutiny. See Network, which only partially satirizes the influence the Saudis have on U.S. media.

Saudi Arabia is a horrible ally. They’re necessary because we’ve made them necessary, but if we drastically cut budgets and spending, the economic ramifications of a break with them would be mitigated. It’s time to make deals with nations that do not smile at us in public and subvert us in private. Nations that do not like us, including Brazil and Venezuela, could be brought under our wing to replace Saudi Arabia on the oil front. It’s unimaginable now, but we live in fast-moving times.

Also, build the Keystone XL pipeline.

As for stability in the Middle East, it’s time we go all-in with Israel. They are the only true democracy and the one nation in the Middle East we can count on to not stab us in the back. They are capable of being the check against Iran. Abandon all talks of a two-state solution, work with Israel as our primary proxy in the Middle East, and make Saudi Arabia turn to others for support.

All of this sounds dangerous because, well, it is. The dominoes that will fall when we take drastic measures against Saudi Arabia will be painful. But there’s one thing to consider before balking at this. We may be heading in this direction already. The difference is it wouldn’t be us initiating (and therefore prepared for) these changes. Saudi Arabia has been quietly seeking a better deal for decades. They haven’t found it yet, but someday they will. When that happens, they’ll pull the rug out from under us.

We should be the ones pulling the rug. If we’re not, the permanent repercussions will be devastating.

Radical change in our foreign affairs stance is long overdue. Saudi Arabia is the worst kind of ally to rely upon, not just because of Khashoggi but because of everything else they’ve done. None of this seems feasible now, but it may be the only path forward.

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Guns and Crime

Eric Swalwell gets 2020 attention by reasserting his gungrabbing agenda

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Eric Swalwell gets 2020 attention by reasserting his gungrabbing agenda

Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA) is running for President in 2020. He hasn’t announced it, sources close to him told Politico last week that he’s running. Today, he reasserted himself into the conversation by reminding us he’s all in for a mandatory gun buyback program.

Oh, and he threatened nuclear civil war in the process.

Swalwell was being dramatic, of course. His response to people calling him out over his gungrabbing proposals was political theater at its finest. It’s actually a little impressive to see him take on prominent 2nd Amendment proponents despite making losing arguments. Lest we forget, what conservatives view as losing arguments are effective at rallying the unhinged leftist base that Swalwell hopes to get behind him.

Swalwell’s proposal is to focus on certain guns and accessories that he deems to be “military-style” and target them for confiscation, which in leftist terms is called a “gun buyback.”

Let’s discuss that for a moment. A true gun buyback is an event, usually put on by a city, that allows gun owners (legal or not) to sell their guns to the government, no questions asked. It is voluntary and often results in a decent number of guns taken off the streets. Lawful citizens have the option of getting rid of guns they no longer want while unlawful gun owners get money. It’s sometimes effective, though studies have shown lukewarm results regarding reductions in gun-related crimes.

What Swalwell is proposing is not a gun buyback. It’s compensated confiscation. When gun owners are mandated to turn in their guns or face criminal consequences, we can no longer give it cover by calling it a buyback.

This is a political ploy to plant his flag in far-left dirt ahead of announcing his presidential run. Eric Swalwell isn’t on anyone’s radar now, but stunts like this should make gun owners take notice. Leftists are getting bolder with their gungrabbing declarations.

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Foreign Affairs

Three observations about Julian Assange following charges filed against him

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Three observations about Julian Assange following charges filed against him

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been charged by the United States. The charges are sealed and were not intended to be released to the public yet. Now, there is plenty of speculation surrounding his future.

He has been holed up at the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012. He sought asylum there to avoid extradition to Sweden over rape charges. He has always asserted the charges were fabricated to get him extradited to the United States, a conspiracy theory proven no longer valid since Sweden has stopped pursuing charges.

Wikileaks’ Julian Assange has been charged in US, prosecutors accidentally reveal

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/julian-assange-charged-us-wikileaks-prosecutors-court-filing-ecuador-embassy-a8636336.htmlThe Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been charged under seal with unspecified offences in the US, prosecutors have accidentally revealed in an unintentional court filing.

Federal prosecutors had hoped to keep the indictment against Mr Assange a secret “due to the sophistication of the defendant, and the publicity surrounding the case”, and so that Mr Assange would “no longer evade or avoid arrest and extradition in this matter”.

There are three peculiar observations about his situation that should be noted.

  1. Sealed charges may signal the charges are related to the Mueller investigation. Most have assumed the charges are based around his leaking of classified military information and videos that started getting leaked in 2010. The timing of the “leak” might lend more to the possibility that Robert Mueller’s 2016 election interference investigation is the source. This week, Jerome Corsi said he believes he will be indicted over his association with Wikileaks. Corsi rightly “predicted” Wikileaks would release John Podesta’s emails. Did he or Roger Stone know about the emails being hacked? If so, did President Trump know as well?
  2. Ecuador hates him. If there was a honeymoon, it ended years ago. Living in the same building for six years can change a person, but it seems more likely that he really is just a jerk. Complaints have come through his stay, but they’ve ramped up recently with embassy personnel and visitors complaining about his hygiene, treatment of his cat, and a generally bitter attitude. He even sued them for violating his rights. Ecuador wants him out and these new charges might be enough to make them reverse their course. If he were extradited to the United States, a deal would probably including taking the death penalty off the table.
  3. The leak may have been intentional. Either someone is an idiot for copying and pasting information about Assange’s charges from a different document or this was supposed to get leaked. If the latter is true, the motivation could be to start pressuring Ecuador into handing him over to the United States.

Some say he’s a hero. Others call him a traitor. Whatever he is or isn’t, one thing is certain. If he ever leaves the embassy, he will be arrested.

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