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Convention of States: fear versus fact

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Numerous American citizens who were once engaged in politics have walked away because they believe the federal government is broken beyond repair. This assumption is correct, and yet they ignore the fact that our own Constitution offers a way to rein in tyrannical leaders. The Convention of States project is attempting to eliminate the fear that stops people from embracing this tool.

A Gift From the Founding Fathers

It is always sad when solutions are readily available, but not embraced because of fear or ignorance. The reality is, we have access to a solution designed by a group of extraordinarily intelligent men–otherwise known as the Founding Fathers:

Article V can be used to stop the abuse of federal power, but unfortunately, it is gathering dust in a corner as the Framers turn in their graves because of that arch enemy of every great and noble person or cause–fear. Recently, I had the pleasure of an interview with  Constitutional expert, Bob Menges, who has tirelessly taken up this campaign.

The Stranglehold of Fear

Fear leads to bad decisions. We the People have recourse against an overreaching federal government that is top heavy, out of control, oppressive, intoxicated with its own power and no longer operating within the guidelines of the Constitution. Yet the recourse–which is calling a Convention of States–COS–is ignored and indeed when it is mentioned, certain individuals immediately put their fingers in their mouths and begin trembling in fear.

Imagine if our Founding Fathers acted in a similar fashion when it came time to sign that document of treason called the Declaration of Independence?

Article V of the United States Constitution

To understand the viewpoint of both fear of the unknown and faith in our Founders, we must first understand Article V of the United States Constitution, which details the process through which the Constitution may be amended.

To do so, an amendment must be proposed, and subsequently ratified. Amendments may be adopted and forwarded to the states for ratification by either a national convention or a supermajority vote in Congress. With the former, a minimum of 34 states legislatures–two thirds of the states–must request the convention for a specific topic.

With the latter, both chambers of Congress must agree through a supermajority vote–two thirds in each chamber–to propose an amendment. When either of these two actions are taken, the amendment must then be ratified by three fourths–38–of the states to become a permanent part of the United States Constitution.

To date there have been 33 amendments to the Constitution sent to the states and 27 were ratified. The first 10 make up the Bill of Rights. Congress initiated all 33 amendments. We the People have thus far neglected to use this powerful tool.

Difficult by Design

Amending the Constitution via the United States Congress or a Convention of States is difficult by design. The Founding Fathers knew that if it were easy, it may be used one day for the wrong motive.

With the COS process, 34 states must apply for the United States Congress to call an amending convention. All 34 must apply under the same subject matter, which means in simplified terms that there must be a specific focus for the Convention, not a jumble of different proposals from each state–something feared by those who have never listened with an open mind to the process.

Once 34 states have applied, Congress must call the Convention.  The power to refuse was taken out of their hands. (see http://towardsarenewedmind.blogspot.com/2014/09/madisons-final-resort-for-states.html)

Any proposed amendments resulting from the COS must be sent to each state for ratification. It takes 38 states to ratify any proposed amendment before it can become part of the Constitution, and only 13 states to stop a proposed amendment from being ratified.

Two Arguments–One Based on Fact, One Based on Fear

When the fearful are asked to explain their viewpoint, their answers are anemic. They revert to shrieking about a “runaway convention,” the latter of which is a term used to describe a COS that essentially runs out of control and proposes amendments that have nothing to do with the subject matter for which it was called.

However, when asked for facts, the fearful are at an utter loss. They completely ignore the many firewalls built into Article V to prevent a runaway convention, the latter of which is an occurrence that has been called “just north of impossible” by numerous Constitution experts. One such firewall is subject matter limitations.

Fear: The COS will end up being a free-for-all on a variety of subjects that have nothing to do with why it was called.

Fact: The argument that Article V leaves the Convention process open to anything is right up there with fear of the Boogieman. More than 400 applications for a convention have been submitted throughout America’s history and a COS has never been called. This is because the subject matter was never agreed upon. If the firewall of subject matter limitations was irrelevant, multiple conventions would have been called by now.

The Biggest Historical Lie Ever Perpetrated on the American Public:

Fear:  A runaway convention occurred in 1787–and therefore could happen again.

Fact: 1787 was not a runaway convention.

The idea that the 1787 Philadelphia Convention was called merely for the purpose of making minor amendments–and then subsequently ran out of control–is simply not true. This is proven beyond a doubt by Madison’s statements in a document called the Federalist 40.

In Philadelphia in 1787, the charge given to the Convention by Madison was “In the opinion of Congress it is expedient, that on the second Monday of May next a convention of delegates, who shall have been appointed by the several States, be held at Philadelphia, for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation, and reporting to Congress and the several legislatures such alterations and provisions therein, as shall, when agreed to in Congress, and confirmed by the States, render the federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of government and the preservation of the Union.”

What this last part means in modern English is that because the Union was in a state of emergency and coming apart at the seams, Madison told attendees of the convention to do whatever necessary to render it once again adequate. For this reason, they were obviously not commissioned to merely make “minor changes,” as many have been lead to believe. The Convention of 1787 had an extraordinarily broad mandate from Congress. (Read Madison’s charge in the Federalist 40 to forever settle this debate.)

Fear: Rogue groups may call a COS to propose outlandish amendments that would be harmful to the country.

Fact:  Another firewall in Articles V is that 38 states must ratify any proposed amendment. Fear mongers must ask themselves what are the chances of 38 state legislatures approving a rogue amendment? But let’s go back into the dark and fearful world of “what if” for just a moment. What if it did happen?”

Fact: It only takes 13 states to vote “no” to defeat any proposed amendment. Therefore, as an example, if 38 states lost their collective mind and voted to impose Sharia law nationwide or something equally as absurd, it would only take 13 states to shut it down. Do you think at least 13 states would protest Sharia law? Here, we have yet another firewall against a runaway convention.

Additionally, if this process could be used effectively for an evil purpose, we have to admit our out-of-control government would have used it to that end by now. Remember, Congress can propose amendments too, so why haven’t they proposed to confiscate the firearms they have unsuccessfully attempted to grab through gun control legislation? Because they know 38 states would not ratify a rogue amendment such as that and if they know it, so should we. Let’s not be exposed for being less intelligent than the Congress most of us despise.

The positive aspects of calling for a Convention of States are backed by sound, solid facts. Where are the facts of those who choose instead to live in fear? (Other than the non-existent runaway convention in 1787.)

Real Runaway Government Bigger Threat Than Imagined Runaway Convention

Article V is a gift to American citizens from our Founding Fathers. Unfortunately, many prefer to do the same old thing: elect the “right” people and then complain when nothing changes.

Fearing the “risk” associated with a Convention of States, which is microscopic at best, but not being afraid of America’s march toward a dictatorship is nothing more than super sized reverse order. Which option should we believe carries the greater risk: the almost impossible scenario of a runaway COS or our CURRENT out of control federal government?

If a building was being consumed by flames and people had a fire extinguisher, would there be any justification to just watch the building burn? Well, if we give our fears a vitamin, we can come up with all kinds of reasons. For instance, there’s a chance that some of the water might…uh…get somebody really wet. The fire extinguisher might malfunction and cut the person’s finger off. There may even be some strange element in the water we didn’t know about that will make the fire worse. Besides all that, what if it just LOOKS like a fire extinguisher and really it’s a bomb?

We better just let the building burn to the ground.

For more information visit http://www.conventionofstates.com/

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Marcia

    August 2, 2017 at 11:35 pm

    Very important issue, Jesse! You made some excellent points and, yes, I do know real conservatives that are scared to death of a COS. I do understand their points somewhat, which seem to be- they do not trust the progressive socialist left because they seem to be above the law and Constitution. They ignore rule of law, make up their own laws thru executive actions and are scott free to commit criminal or treasonous acts with no consequence, but you or I would rot in prison. The sadder part that the frightened conservatives realize, is that the left know they can do what they want because the jelly spine “conservative” congress do nothing and barely even acknowledge the double standard much less insist on justice for the heinous crimes. The whole point, as you explained, is that the Constitution has already been shredded, how can it be any worse? Certainly not by using the one “gift” we were left to try to save it..

    • Jesse Broadt

      August 3, 2017 at 12:44 pm

      The point that goes over the fearmongers heads is that if a runaway convention could truly happen–and if they don’t understand why it can’t from this article I GIVE UP–the liberal congress would have called one long ago to take away gun rights, free speech, etc. They haven’t done it because they know it wouldn’t succeed, yet the supposedly “smart” conservatives, who claim they are oh so much smarter than congress, insist that it could happen and toss this valuable tool into the garbage can. Sad. They don’t understand that fear leads to bad decisions, while faith leads to wise decisions. However, it is mainly old-timers who are afraid, and they are ineffectual overall when it comes to politics…look what they just did, after all. Why is Trump in the WH? Because people were afraid of Hillary. Bad decision based on fear. Afraid to vote 3rd party so they submit themselves to the selling of their souls and take the lesser of two evils WHICH IS STILL EVIL. That’s what fear does. Oh well, let the fearful be fearful still. LOL. Let the skeptics weep and howl while we proceed to a convention.

  2. July Harris

    August 3, 2017 at 11:37 am

    One of the best ever on this

  3. Jesse Broadt

    August 3, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    Thank you, July!

  4. Angelina (@ResistTheNazi)

    August 4, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    This was the first time I actually read something that didn’t just defend a COS, but explained WHY the fears of those who oppose it are groundless. ROCK on!

  5. Danny Lamar (@4liberty7777)

    August 7, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    I was very happy to see this great explanation of the COS. But ALSO the dismantling of the arguments against it! People like to talk about it, but no one ever takes on explaining why the “fearmongers” as you put it, are wrong. Great job!

  6. Jesse Broadt

    August 7, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Thank you, Angelina and Danny. That is exactly what I was going for with this one! Glad I hit the mark!

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Democrats

Kyrsten Sinema’s socialist thoughts now exemplify over half of Arizona

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Kyrsten Sinema's socialist thoughts now exemplify over half of Arizona

Arizona can no longer be considered a red state. As the Senate election vote counts finish up, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema appears poised to win. It isn’t that a Democrat won that makes me move Arizona from red to purple. It’s that a socialist in moderate clothing was able to pull the wool over the eyes of Arizona voters so easily.

Just an hour of research is enough to break through the Arizona mainstream media’s false narrative that Sinema is a moderate. She is anti-capitalism, in favor of open borders, and had the lowest Liberty Score of anyone in the House representing Arizona.

Then, there’s this:

“A huge dollar bill is the most accurate way to teach children the real motto of the United States: In the Almighty Dollar We Trust… Until the average American realizes that capitalism damages her livelihood while augmenting the livelihoods of the wealthy, the Almighty Dollar will continue to rule. It certainly is not ruling in our favor.”

Arizona chose poorly.

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Guns and Crime

Trust in Chicago area police was already low. Then they killed Jemel Roberson.

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Trust in Chicago area police was already low Then they killed Jemel Roberson

An armed security guard prevented anyone from getting killed when gunmen returned to his bar after getting thrown out. He subdued them without using deadly force and was restraining one of the alleged assailants when police arrived. That’s when a resolved situation turned ugly.

A Midlothian police officer shot and killed Jemel Roberson, 26, while responding to a shooting inside Manny’s Blue Room Bar in Robbins, Illinois, about 4 a.m. Sunday. Roberson was pronounced dead at the scene.

This appears to be a case of a truly decent person doing his job and losing his life as a result.

Security guard killed by police in Robbins bar wanted to be a cop, friends say

https://wgntv.com/2018/11/12/officer-responds-to-gunfire-fatally-shoots-security-guard-at-robbins-bar/Friends said Roberson was an upstanding guy who had plans to become a police officer. He was also a musician, playing keyboard and drums at several Chicago-area churches.

“Every artist he’s ever played for, every musician he’s ever sat beside, we’re all just broken because we have no answers,” the Rev. Patricia Hill from Purposed Church said. “He was getting ready to train and do all that stuff, so the very people he wanted to be family with, took his life.”

“Once again, it’s the continued narrative that we see of shoot first, ask questions later,” the Rev. LeAundre Hill said.

My Take

Chicago area residents have had many reasons to not trust the men and women charged with keeping them safe. Controversial police-involved shootings, rising crime rates, and tone deaf leadership in city, county, and state governments have been pushing people in the area to give up on law enforcement.

This will make matters much worse.

The optics on this couldn’t get much uglier, especially if the unnamed police officer who shot Roberson turns out to be Caucasian. Roberson, an African-American, was able to detain four assailants without anyone getting fatally wounded. The fact that he was then fatally shot by police adds a new dimension to the rift between police and the people.

In most incidents where police are believed to have used deadly force unnecessarily, it’s a matter of them shooting an alleged criminal when other means of subduing them could have been used. Such is the case with Jason Van Dyke who fatally shot Laquan McDonald. Nobody argued that McDonald wasn’t dangerous. He was high on PCP, had a knife, and was walking in the middle of the street despite police warnings for him to drop the weapon and get on the ground.

Roberson’s situation is the opposite. He was doing his duty as a security guard and very likely saved lives in the process. His death is almost certainly going to start another round of racial tensions and anti-police protests that could cause tremendous turmoil throughout the Chicagoland area.

There is usual gray area in police shootings, but this seems pretty black and white to me. Jemel Roberson acted heroically. Instead of a happy ending for the day and a bright future in law enforcement ahead, he’s gone.

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Entertainment and Sports

Stan Lee’s 10 greatest comics

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Stan Lees 10 greatest comics

Stan Lee has died. While modern audiences probably know much more about the Marvel movies and televisions shows that dominate our viewing pleasures, it was his genius in creating so many beloved comic book characters decades ago that fuels Hollywood today.

Looper put out a video with his greatest comics. These subjective lists are usually fodder for debate, but I was so pleasantly surprised by their choices I decided to post it here. It may be the first time I agree with nearly everything in a video top 10 list. Fitting that it surrounds an icon like Lee.

From his quirky cameos in every Marvel movie to his down-to-earth perspectives present in every interview, there’s plenty to love about Stan Lee. But it was his comic book creations that have made a permanent mark on American culture.

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