Citizenship, Free Society

The Electoral College – essential and relevant

(c) 2012 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

As we look at the polls, the argument over the Electoral College raises its head again. My wife mentioned this to me the other evening and stated the argument succinctly. The Electoral College is a remnant of a time when we did not have an informed democracy. That “our Democracy” has advanced beyond those days and there is no reason to have the EC.

There is the argument, pure and simple. I was informed that just because the founders felt this way is no reason to stick with that system. I replied that there was a reason for my position and I can explain it. It does not matter which candidate wins the popular or electoral vote. And I am not driven by democracy as such—the dictatorship of fifty percent plus one is still a dictatorship.

Benjamin Franklin, who apparently slept through much of the Constitutional Convention occasionally awaking to make a pithy remark, is reported to have had an encounter in which a woman asked whether the Convention had produced a monarchy or a democracy. His reply: “A republic, madame, if you can keep it.”

There were several proposals regarding the selection of the Executive. One was selection by the legislative branch, another by popular vote, another by the Governors. And the compromise was the electoral college. The idea was to balance population with representation of the States, from whom the united States derived its existence and powers. By giving each state a vote in the electoral college equal to its number of Senators and Representatives, the small states were not neglected.

Those favoring the idea of a national democracy rather than a federal constitutional republic see the states as irrelevant—or at best a laboratory for national policy. Those from the District of Columbia complain that their votes count less than those in Wyoming—I did not ever vote on giving electoral votes to DC and would not be upset if they were repealed. The fact is, that with both the popular vote and the electoral vote the current president was elected by those residing in less than ten percent of the landmass of the United States.

It is a token of the Republic that we still have an electoral college, that we still make a distinction of states. As long as we can do this, there is hope that we may recapture the Republic and our basic rights.

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Uncategorized

More on Anonymity and Retribution

(c) 2012  Earl L Haehl Permission is granted to redistribute this in whole as long as credit is given.  Book rights are reserved.

This is a little more on the use of anonymity in American politics without going into street names and current literature.

Anonymous was, according to Paul Stubblefield who was my freshman English teacher at DU, the most prolific writer in the English language prior to the eighteenth century.  On the web (s)he seems to be making a comeback.  The use of noms de plume goes back in politics in this country at least to 1722 when Silence Dogood slipped letters under the door of James Franklin’s printing operation.  James’ younger brother Ben had a number of similar correspondents of whom Poor Richard is the best known.  I might go back to Elizabethan times if I accepted the nonsense about Edward de Vere writing plays and sonnets under the name of William Shakespeare, but I’ve read some of De Vere’s work, and he is no Bill Shakespeare.  I am listing here a url to a pdf of an article in the January 8, 1770, Boston Gazette signed by Vindex.  It appears that Vindex is none other than Sam Adams.

The Constitution of the United States was a controversial issue in 1787 when it was submitted for ratification.  There are still writers who consider it a coup d’tat and assert that the Articles of Confederation are the legal founding document, but I have also heard claims regarding the descendants of James VII of Scotland, II of England to the current throne.  As an answer I point out that Cumberland won at Culloden with an army of Scots. The fact is that Cumberland won.  And the fact is that the United States Constitution was ratified by the states.  

Virginia and New York were problematic states.  Jefferson and  George Mason were both master politicians who were able to force a “conditional” ratification on the convention.  New York was a battle ground.  The Federalist faction wrote up a series of arguments which we read as the Federalist Papers like they are just nice essays explaining the Constitution.  They were part of a debate as to what should be the form of government and whether there would be a republic strong enough to ward off the recolonization that England would attempt.  (People in those days knew that England was the power in the British Isles–there was no pandering to the Welsh, Scots and Irish with the namby-pamby United Kingdom language of the twentieth century.)   The name signing the Federalist Papers was Publius.  In addition to anti-federalists there were Tories still loyal to King and Church.  No, they did not all go to the Hudson Bay colony.  Their descendants are still here.  But they were keeping in contact and would gladly have turned in Col Hamilton or Mr Jay.  Mr Madison had already been convicted of treason in absentia.  So the name Publius was used because, let us face it. we are products of the Roman Republic, of the literature, culture and law.

The Anti-Federalist papers argued against doing away with the Articles of Confederation.  They believed in a voluntary compact that would allow them to come and go and to enact legislation that would help them protect jobs in their own state.   So who wrote the Anti-Federalist Papers.   Cato and Brutus were the primary authors.  There is some evidence, though not conclusive, that Col George Clinton was Cato.  Clinton was the governor of New York and a Revolutionary War Officer.  Other names mentioned are Patrick Henry and Richard Henry Lee.  The latter is not to be confused with Henry (Light Horse Harry) Lee, a staunch federalist.  At any rate, identities were “secret” until after the fact.

The upshot of the conflict between the factions was that New York, like Virginia, ratified the Constitution conditioned on passage of a Bill of Rights.  And that Bill of Rights contains ten Amendments that essentially prohibit federal action or regulation.  Without the input of Publius, Cato and Brutus we might be living under a constitutional government with no limits on its powers.

In my opinion (realizing that everyone who took constitutional law I and II is an expert, and further realizing that the only justice who comes close to my constitutional view is Thomas) the decision in Citizens United did not go far enough and dismantle the Federal Election Commission as well as the regulations it enforces.  My reasoning is that the First Amendment permits no regulation on speech, petition, or the electoral process.  The Congress has power to regulate the selection of electors in the District of  Columbia and the power to regulate local elections in said District and in territories such as Puerto Rico, Guam etc.  Otherwise the only provision for federal interference in state sponsored elections which include elections to the house and senate are the Fifteenth. Nineteenth and Twenty-sixth Amendments which guarantee individual rights to vote and are handled by the Justice Department.

There is an argument that in our society with open communication there is no retribution and therefore no need for anonymity.  Retribution goes back to the administration of John Adams, second president of the United States and one of two former presidents to endorse the idea of Massachusetts’ secession, had an enemies list, a number of whom were incarcerated under the Sedition Act of 1798.  There was a similar Sedition Act in 1917 under which a number of anti-war, anti-military ministers were incarcerated as well as a number of opponents of conscription were incarcerated for the duration.  During the War of 1861-65, a number of judges and legislators were banished to the Confederate States of America.  Much anonymous literature was circulated opposing Lincoln and the War.  Specifically, Clement Laird Vallandigham of Ohio was convicted by a military commission and denied a writ of habeas corpus when he was forthwith incarcerated.  Lincoln ordered him transported to the Confederacy in order to prevent him from becoming a “martyr for the Copperheads.”  This did not stem the anonymous criticism of Lincoln and the war.

In the thirties there was a true civil war in Spain.  The Loyalists who considered themselves a soviet and had representation on the Politburo were portrayed as the “good guys” in the American press.  There was an American contingent in the International Brigade called the “Lincoln” battalion and there was at some point some adverse action attempted but the popularity of the cause–celebrated in Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls protected them. There were also Americans  who fought for Franco in the Spanish Foreign Legion, but they kept quiet about their participation in the cause of the Falange because they could suffer retribution at home.  However the choice was not between the Falange and Republicanism but between Falangist Republicanism and the agents of Stalin.

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Free Society

July 4, 1776 High Treason

(c) 2012  Earl L Haehl – Permission is granted to redistribute this in whole as long as credit is given.  Book rights are reserved.

 

NOTE: This is going out on 3 July 2012 because that was the vote for freedom. They postponed the signing so Matlack could make a clear copy. The Flags went up today although there were about four flags in use, none which had stars and stripes. Two had stripes, two had snakes, two had the Union Jack.  I am also including a glossary that wlll define certain terms in bold letters.  Acknowledgement is due to Thomas Jefferson. Benjamin Franklin and John Adams who produced the significant text of this article.

July 4, 1776. No stars and stripes. No speeches about conquest and empire. It was a solemn occasion and the men in the room knew how solemn. And yet, without hesitation, one of the wealthiest men in Boston signed a document that confirmed the treason of the armed rebellion that had been going on for fourteen and a half months. Everyone knew that should they fail the gallows awaited. The slogan “freedom is not free” was not a slogan but a grim reality and yet after Hancock signed they adjourned to the watering holes of Philadelphia to celebrate. Cannon and fireworks were fired,

And yet, the King’s forces were in New Jersey. The governor of New Jersey had issued a warrant for Benjamin Franklin for seditious speech. Washington’s first military command was the Continental army—his previous experience had been coordinating the retreat of Braddock’s army and attempting to limit casualties. The colonials still had a slipshod military. There were those for whom the traitor’s noose was a very real spectre,

Actually the wording had been agreed upon the previous day and taken to the scrivener, Timothy Matlack. Matlack had been selected by Franklin as someone who could be trusted. Although he had been read out of meeting for pursuing education rather than learning a trade, he was a devout Quaker and would be instrumental in founding the Free Quaker Meeting for those believing in a defensive war.

There were those in Congress who had misgivings with following Sam Adams and Ben Franklin down the road to revolution. There are also interpreters who said the revolution had already occurred and this was merely its revelation to the world and statement that it would now defend itself.

For today’s Liberty Movement, it is somehow perceived as “we did it once and we will do it again.” And there are those who believe it to be a cake walk—look how we’re defending liberty in …. whereever. It is not. Our troops are supporting empire. Our revolution was the beginning of the end of the British Empire. What we are seeking is a freedom that has been compromised by those who came after and decided to change the system to be more democratic. With these changes, there has been an expansion of governmental power and a shrinking of individual rights.

So what were they signing that took so much courage? Try this:

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Ready to sign? John Hancock was but the Royal Navy already had a noose with his name on it. Are conditions so bad that you are ready and willing to take arms against an army that has you outgunned? Do you think that your First Amendment rights protect you?

In 1956 there was a national revolt in Hungary against the Soviet Union. 3000 were killed and more than 1200 incarcerated. In May of l968 Alexander Dubcek announced relaxation of Communist rule in Czechoslovakia. In August the Warsaw Pact tanks rolled in. Some were arrested, there were no deaths and Moscow had reasserted authority.

In June 1989 the Chinese reacted to unarmed protestors with military force. The death toll is in the thousands. In Moscow, military units defected, giving the protestors armed force to overthrow the Soviet Union.

Still ready to sign? NDAA2012 suspended the Posse Comitatus Act and US troops may be used on dissidents. The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are being desensitized about firing on civilians. Additionally, there are federal police in the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, HUD, HHS, Energy and Agriculture. They have the latest military weapons and training. And then there are the reeducation camps where you learn to fit in.

Are you ready for the long soft war? Are you ready to do your research and talk to people, taking over the political structure on precinct at a time. Be aware that the forces of Tyranny are ready to defend their turf and perquisites. Be aware that a deliberately created underclass will rise up to support the power structure.

BUT REMEMBER: The patriots had minority of the population. They were outgunned and outprovisioned. But eventually they prevailed. And we will prevail.

Mini-glossary:

  • Democratic: By popular vote and majority rule. It is a good way to elect representatives but there is a need for checks and balances.
  • unalienable Rights: That is rights conferred by Nature and Nature’s God and cannot be taken away by government whim under any pretext.
  • Right of the People to alter or to abolish it: The people have the right to change the government by any means available.
  • repeated injuries and usurpations: The justifications list as causes for separation and rebellion.
  • Petitioned for Redress: Made request formally to the governing powers to alleviate the conditions listed.
  • mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor: This means everything, jobs, benefits, family, possessions.
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Compleat Idler, Education, Free Society

Who is Silence Dogood?

(c) 2012  Earl L Haehl – Permission is granted to redistribute this in whole as long as credit is given.  Book rights are reserved.

James Franklin opened the lock and pushed the door open to the New England Courant. There was no sign of his apprentice Ben. Looking down he saw a folded paper and picked it muttering about that “Dogood woman.” As he walked to his desk he began reading. When he got to “As for Idleness, if I should Quaere, Where are the greatest Number of its Votaries to be found, with us or the Men? it might I believe be easily and truly answer’d, With the latter,” he noticed Ben slipping into the room and moving behind the press.

“About time, Ben,” he groused. “We have another missive from the widow. You might as well set it in type. And be sure the punctuation is right.”

“Do you not wish to read it first.”

“I will read it and be infuriated with the rest of Boston. Why did I let Father talk me in to allowing you as apprentice?”

“I can set type.  And I can read.”

“Be at it then and after sweep around the press. You are the idlest apprentice in Massachusetts Bay.”

James Franklin did not know the identity of Silence Dogood. Goodwife (pronounced “Goody”) Dogood slipped interesting letters under the door of his print shop in Boston. They poked at the customs and what was happening in the colony from a decidedly puritan point of view although in a strangely familiar style.

James Franklin was a busy man. He had no time to go around looking for a middle-aged woman who would probably lecture him on his habits. And it would do no good to send his 16-year-old apprentice Ben who would most certainly use the time in sport and idleness with his contemporaries.

Ben had spent eight months in school as his father wished him to prepare for the Anglican clergy. And being bored he dropped out. Ben could read the Bible and the Prayer Book (even though it was disapproved by his dissenting family). And he began running with a crown of idlers who read the latest journals that had been discarded. The Spectator from London included the best essayists in England and occasionally Dean Swift from Dublin. They even tried writing articles in the styles of the writers. And they got good, but the best was was Ben Franklin, the chandler’s son.

Someday James would teach Ben to write, but not now. Ben offered and was scolded for idleness. But Ben spent spare time writing commentaries. He heard James and his friends discussing the affairs of the day them and heard gossip in taverns or coffee houses on his way home and occasionally managed to snag an unused periodical or book. And every so often he would slip a commentary under the door.

James Franklin was a busy man. He had no clue as to the identity of Silence Dogood.  He was furious when told.

Mini-Glossary

New England Courant The first regular newsletter in the colonies. Published by James Franklin except when incarcerated. It was transferred by letter to his former apprentice, Benjamin Franklin, to prevent its seizure by forces of the Crown. James, upon release from custody, found a letter from Ben transferring back as Ben was striking out in the world—eventually landing in the great port of Philadelphia where he would also have trouble with the authorities. James, himself, departed Boston and published in Providence as the dissenter Roger Williams had done in 1634.

Quaere Ask or inquire. The term is still used by law professors and their former students but spelled query.

Votaries Devotees.

Silence Dogood One of many noms de plume of Benjamin Franklin. It mocks the naming of women in Puritan society and “Do good” is a command.

Dissenting Josiah Franklin was a Congregationalist as opposed to the Church of England which was epiacopalian in governance. Churches other than the CofE were called dissenting bodies.

Dean Swift Jonathan Swift, the Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, was a brilliant essayist and a disgruntled clergyman. Remember this when reading Gulliver’s Travels or any of his politically incorrect essay.

Chandler Candle maker. Although a dissenter, Josiah Franklin plied his trade for the Anglican churches which could better afford his wares than the Meeting Houses where he worshipped. His desire that Ben be an Anglican clergyman was a desire for upward mobility.

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Uncategorized

People’s Rights (?) Amendment

(c) Earl L. Haehl  Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given.  Book rights are reserved.

Imagine waking up and dealing with the fact that your email account has been used as a conduit of really insipid spam. And then you decide to do a run through of the morning’s news. The usual inching toward an unjustified and stupid war on Iran because the current occupant of the White House does not understand history or geopolitics well enough to evaluate what his venal advisers tell him. Either that or he is with the Wilsonian program of military adventurism to spread “democracy” throughout the world. Then, on infowars.com you pick up Nancy Pelosi nattering about amending the constitution to “undo” the damage the Supreme Court did in Citizens United.

If you want to read their story here is the link.

http://www.infowars.com/nancy-pelosi-wants-to-amend-the-first-amendment/

So the basic idea is that the “founders” intended this to be a democracy and the Supreme Court had thwarted that dream by allowing the “slime” of big money to control our elections.

Let’s get rid of some assumptions.

Let’s talk about how democratic our Constitution really is.

“The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, (chosen by the Legislature thereof,)…” The words in parentheses were unfortunately removed by the Seventeenth Amendment, thereby making Senators the least accountable public servants outside TSA. Federal Judges serve during good behavior and Congress has power to impeach. Prior to 1913, a Senator could be removed by a legislative resolution—no signature by the governor needed. This is not Democracy, but rather a shield against democracy.

And as to whether the “Founders” intended a democracy, I will quote one of my two favorite members of the Convention, Benjamin Franklin. A woman approach Dr Franklin and said something to the effect of, “So what have you given us, Dr Franklin, a democracy or a monarchy?” Dr Franklin answered, “a Republic madam, if you can keep it.”

Ms Pelosi wants to convince Americans that this is a democracy subject to the will and tyranny of the majority rather than a constitutional republic where there are restrictions upon governmental powers.  She fails in this.

My other favorite member of the Convention is George Mason who walked out without signing the document because it did not include rights. His actions galvanized the anti-federalist movement to demand a Bill of Rights. No, the first amendment was not the idea of the founders, but of the anti-federalist faction.

Hamilton, Jay, Madison, Washington, John Adams were opposed to the Bill of Rights. The first four believed it to be unnecessary although Madison “came around” after time “in the woodshed” with Jefferson and Mason. Adams was a reluctant Patriot—he believed that the President should have absolute power in emergencies and that the country needed an army rather than a militia (except for the armed thugs he sent out to deal with his enemies in the press). In Massachusetts it fell to others, primarily Sam Adams, Elbridge Gerry and Mercy Otis Warren to fight for ratification of the Bill of Rights.

New York, where Governor George Clinton prevailed over Hamilton, and Virginia, led by Patrick Henry, insisted on the amendments we now call the Bill of Rights as condition precedent to remaining in the compact—these were the days before Daniel Webster claimed the Union was indissoluble. Without New York and Virginia, the United States would have foundered.

Ms Pelosi is a hack politician, who like so many on both ends of that road from the Capitol to the Executive Mansion, lacks a grounding in history and the Constitution. The “Peoples’ Rights Amendment” reads as follows:

Section 1. We the people who ordain and establish this Constitution intend the rights protected by this Constitution to be the rights of natural persons.

Section 2. People, person, or persons as used in this Constitution does not include corporations, limited liability companies or other corporate entities established by the laws of any state, the United States, or any foreign state, and such corporate entities are subject to such regulation as the people, through their elected state and federal representatives, deem reasonable and are otherwise consistent with the powers of Congress and the States under this Constitution.

Section 3. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to limit the people’s rights of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, free exercise of religion, and such other rights of the people, which rights are inalienable.

This reads like a high-school debate topic. What this lacks is the prohibitory nature of the First Amendment which reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

To be absolutely honest, the Democrats who are responsible for this do not realize that:

1. Congress will no longer be prohibited from establishing a religion, as long as it permits free exercise. In other words, the establishment of secularism like France with the universal ban on public display becomes possible. Rights provided by the government may also be regulated by the government.
2. The people’s rights presumes a collective, rather than an individual right. Such rights, if spelled out, become rights granted rather than rights recognized. There is difference. This basically allows the regulation of rights in which they become privileges.
3. If a corporate entity is no longer recognized as a legal person, then it can neither sue nor be sued because it does not exist. It could not be held liable in tort nor could it be liable to pay fines or taxes. Nor for that matter could it be outlawed. The non-profits that both sides of the spectrum use to run surveys and disseminate both information and disinformation would have no corporate being to receive funds.

There are probably, among the sponsors, some who understand the consequences fully and would merely assume all corporate powers into agencies of the government—the United States could have as efficient an economy as the Soviet Union.

UPDATE 07MAY2012

Having read George Will I see the author of this travesty is Rep Jim McGovern (D-Mass). That the author is from Massachusetts should really surprise no one. Massachusetts is home to John Adams, Second President of the United states and reluctant member of the committee that wrote the Declaration of Independence. It is not that John (unlike his smarter Cousin Sam) was happy with the King but rather that he would have preferred a Cromwell type rebellion. John Adams, while President, ignored the Bill of Rights and sent thugs to punish his enemies in the press. B.F. Bache, publisher of the Philadelphia Aurora and grandson of Benjamin Franklin, was beaten severely and his press significantly damaged. He was unable to return to publishing.

Mr McGovern would do well to emulate John’s smarter cousin Sam and his anti-federalist colleagues Elbridge Gerry and Mercy Otis Warren who pushed the limitations on government which protect us from the “tyranny of the majority,”

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