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Debates Forum

  1. 20 Aug '13 04:38 / 1 edit
    Constitutional expert, Mark Lavin, has written a new book, outlining a plan to restore Constitutional Republicanism to the Federal Government. The Liberty Amendments point out a key provision in Article V of the Constitution whereby the Amendment process can alternatively originate from the States. It has never been successfully attempted, but its there, and the Founding Fathers had good reason to put it there.

    It was addressing just such a situation we find ourselves in today. We have an out of control Federal Leviathan, a Congress that is composed of 2 parties serving their own interests and power, a President who brazenly defies the Constitution as he pleases, a SCOTUS who literally rewrites the Constitution as it pleases, and "We the People" have seemingly lost all control over our country. The Progressives have waged a 100 year war on our Constitution constructs, and we find ourselves in a post-Constitutional era, where there is literally no more Constitutionality and no power of the States or the people.

    Here are some basics of his 10 proposed Amendments.

    1. Term limits for Congress.
    Those in Congress in either House can only serve 12 years.

    2. Restore the Senate to pre-17th Amendment status.
    The State legislatures would elect Senators again, just as originally done by the Founding Fathers.

    3. Term limits for SCOTUS
    Capped at 12 years.

    4. 3/5 of states and Congress can override SCOTUS decisions.
    Limits scope and power of horrible SCOTUS edicts, like the Dred Scott decision.

    5. Limit Federal spending.
    A balanced budget amendment.

    6. Limit Federal taxation.
    Congress is never going to do this on their own.

    7. Limit Federal Bureaucracy.
    Eliminate the "4rth Branch" of government. In other words, do away with the massive expansion of the Executive branch. These unelected bureaucrats regulate with impunity and such regulation is no different than creating laws that Congress was designed to enact.

    8. Promote Free Enterprise.
    Self Explanatory.

    9. Secure private property rights.
    No doubt, this will deal with eminent domain as well as data mining and spying on Americans.

    10. States can amend the Constitution with 2/3 approval.
    Streamlining the process.

    Lavin says none of this is 'written in stone' and the states would have to ratify with 3/4, just as with the Congressional process. Because of the rigid criteria, he does not feel there is an undesirable downside, like special interest becoming involved to add all kinds of unwanted crap. There is also no danger in the entire Constitution being rewritten, because even though the process is called a "Constitutional Convention", it is limited to amendments only.

    The process bypasses Congress altogether. They would serves as only administrators of what the states ratify, and have no say in the makeup of delegates which are appointed by the states. Critics say it would be an "uphill battle" to accomplish this. Lavin answers with the question: "What battle is not uphill?"

    Madison, Mason, and Hamilton, all agreed, the Constitution needed some mechanism for the people to use to re-establish the social construct, short of violent revolt, should the Federal government go rogue where Congress only has a 10% approval rating, and falling. We are at that precipice, the time is now.
  2. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    It's only business
    20 Aug '13 04:53 / 1 edit
    This is rich capitalists' fantasy.

    Machiavelli warned political leaders not to rely on the support of the wealthy and powerful:

    http://www.constitution.org/mac/prince09.htm

    BUT coming to the other point — where a leading citizen becomes the prince of his country, not by wickedness or any intolerable violence, but by the favour of his fellow citizens — this may be called a civil principality: nor is genius or fortune altogether necessary to attain to it, but rather a happy shrewdness. I say then that such a principality is obtained either by the favour of the people or by the favour of the nobles. Because in all cities these two distinct parties are found, and from this it arises that the people do not wish to be ruled nor oppressed by the nobles, and the nobles wish to rule and oppress the people...

    He who obtains sovereignty by the assistance of the nobles maintains himself with more difficulty than he who comes to it by the aid of the people, because the former finds himself with many around him who consider themselves his equals, and because of this he can neither rule nor manage them to his liking. But he who reaches sovereignty by popular favour finds himself alone, and has none around him, or few, who are not prepared to obey him.

    Besides this, one cannot by fair dealing, and without injury to others, satisfy the nobles, but you can satisfy the people, for their object is more righteous than that of the nobles, the latter wishing to oppress, whilst the former only desire not to be oppressed. It is to be added also that a prince can never secure himself against a hostile people, because of their being too many, whilst from the nobles he can secure himself, as they are few in number.
  3. 20 Aug '13 11:23
    Originally posted by whodey
    Constitutional expert, Mark Lavin, has written a new book, outlining a plan to restore Constitutional Republicanism to the Federal Government. The Liberty Amendments point out a key provision in Article V of the Constitution whereby the Amendment process can alternatively originate from the States. It has never been successfully attempted, but its there, an ...[text shortened]... has a 10% approval rating, and falling. We are at that precipice, the time is now.
    Horrible idiotic list. I cannot believe that you believe that crap.
  4. 20 Aug '13 12:28
    Originally posted by moon1969
    Horrible idiotic list. I cannot believe that you believe that crap.
    What do you find "horrible ,idiotic" and crappy about term limits for congress ?
  5. 20 Aug '13 15:02
    Looks like this guy wants to sell books rather than come up with ideas to improve governance.
  6. Subscriber Sleepyguy
    Reepy Rastardly Guy
    20 Aug '13 15:09
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Looks like this guy wants to sell books rather than come up with ideas to improve governance.
    I'm curious KN, do you believe the politicians in your country, in general, are anywhere near as corrupt as the politicians in the US?
  7. 20 Aug '13 16:30
    Originally posted by Sleepyguy
    I'm curious KN, do you believe the politicians in your country, in general, are anywhere near as corrupt as the politicians in the US?
    Not sure what this had to do with the topic at hand, but to answer your question requires knowing what you mean by being "corrupt." I know the Corruption Perceptions Index is lower in Finland and in the Netherlands (not sure what you mean when you say "your country" ) and that confidence in politicians in general is higher, but that does not necessarily translate to "less corrupt."
  8. 20 Aug '13 16:55
    The more power a position has the more likely it is to corrupt a person. Seeing as the US is the most powerful nation and richest nation in the world, it is only natural that our political leaders are most corrupt.
  9. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    It's only business
    20 Aug '13 18:03
    Originally posted by whodey
    Madison, Mason, and Hamilton, all agreed, the Constitution needed some mechanism for the people to use to re-establish the social construct, short of violent revolt, should the Federal government go rogue where Congress only has a 10% approval rating, and falling. We are at that precipice, the time is now.
    We'll just vote out the Republican side of Congress. No need for anything dramatic.
  10. Subscriber Sleepyguy
    Reepy Rastardly Guy
    20 Aug '13 18:05
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Not sure what this had to do with the topic at hand, but to answer your question requires knowing what you mean by being "corrupt." I know the Corruption Perceptions Index is lower in Finland and in the Netherlands (not sure what you mean when you say "your country" ) and that confidence in politicians in general is higher, but that does not necessarily translate to "less corrupt."
    There is a widely held belief in the US that our politicians are corrupt to a high degree. And by corrupt I mean that they are for sale. We average citizens have very little influence over them because their first concern is always to get reelected, and they get reelected by passing laws to favor those who give them campaign money. Any oath of office taken or responsibility they may feel to actually represent the desires of their constituents is a distant 2nd to this process, and they seem to have no shame at all.

    This has to do with the topic at hand because I see Levin's amendments as more than just a cynical ploy to sell books. I think he's trying to give regular Americans a way around the corruption to regain our influence over how we are governed. It's not a right vs left thing, or GOP vs. Dem thing. It's an entrenched bunch of corrupt politicians vs. the American people thing. And yeah, it may be a pipe dream, but I was just wondering what you would do if you felt your government is as corrupt as I think mine is.
  11. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    It's only business
    20 Aug '13 18:07
    Originally posted by Sleepyguy
    There is a widely held belief in the US that our politicians are corrupt to a high degree. And by corrupt I mean that they are for sale. We average citizens have very little influence over them because their first concern is always to get reelected, and they get reelected by passing laws to favor those who give them campaign money. Any oath of office ta ...[text shortened]... st wondering what you would do if you felt your government is as corrupt as I think mine is.
    At least half of those points - 5,6,7,8,9 - are blatantly designed to benefit the ultra-rich at the expense of the rest of us.
  12. 20 Aug '13 18:34
    Originally posted by Sleepyguy
    I'm curious KN, do you believe the politicians in your country, in general, are anywhere near as corrupt as the politicians in the US?
    Iceland must have some upstanding politicians. They started arresting the banksters.
  13. 20 Aug '13 19:07
    Originally posted by whodey
    Constitutional expert, Mark Lavin, has written a new book, outlining a plan to restore Constitutional Republicanism to the Federal Government. The Liberty Amendments point out a key provision in Article V of the Constitution whereby the Amendment process can alternatively originate from the States. It has never been successfully attempted, but its there, an ...[text shortened]... has a 10% approval rating, and falling. We are at that precipice, the time is now.
    "4. 3/5 of states and Congress can override SCOTUS decisions.
    Limits scope and power of horrible SCOTUS edicts, like the Dred Scott decision. "

    Why are you certain that Dred Scott would get a 3/5 majority of states and Congress to overturn prior to the Civil War?
  14. 20 Aug '13 20:09
    Originally posted by Sleepyguy
    There is a widely held belief in the US that our politicians are corrupt to a high degree. And by corrupt I mean that they are for sale. We average citizens have very little influence over them because their first concern is always to get reelected, and they get reelected by passing laws to favor those who give them campaign money. Any oath of office ta ...[text shortened]... st wondering what you would do if you felt your government is as corrupt as I think mine is.
    Limiting campaign funding would be a pretty simple thing, really. And effective, too. Of course, it's not one of the 10 points because it would go much further than just repealing Citizens United (even before that decision, the distortion of the political process from campaign funding was ludicrous), which would not go down well with the intended audience of the book.
  15. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    It's only business
    20 Aug '13 22:37
    Originally posted by joe beyser
    Iceland must have some upstanding politicians. They started arresting the banksters.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-20/icelandic-anger-brings-record-debt-relief-in-best-crisis-recovery-story.html