Wednesday, June 29, 2016

What the Heck is the Convention of States?

Recently I went on a spree of adding new followers on Twitter. Specifically, I sought out supporters of Donald Trump, the GOP nominee for President of the United States. I did this for a variety of reasons but in the end that doesn't matter as much as what I found along the way: something called the Convention of States is brewing on social media.

A convention of states is often called an Article V convention (for the process is briefly mentioned in Article V of the Constitution), which requires two-thirds of the US state legislatures to call (today, 34). Once convened, three-fourths of the states (38) must vote in affirmative to amend the constitution...or perhaps to scrap the document and begin with a new one. That is one danger of the proposed Convention of States. If supporters of the CS disagree just look at the history of the US constitutional convention, whose participants were convened to fix the Articles of Confederation and instead chose to write a whole new document.

At present there is an organized attempt to convene just such a convention. While it's been ongoing for several years it seems to have pick up steam after the GOP primary elections began to go Donald Trump's way. Many, many of the supporters I've seen on Twitter for the Convention were Cruz supporters or outright #NeverTrump proponents, or both.This is anecdotal, as I've only seen this on Twitter, but the point stands. At a quick appearance there is the veneer of partisan politics at play, fueled by the same fear for the future of the United States currently being ruled by a government that cares little for the citizens and future of the republic.

This guy is a strong proponent of the Article V convention.

Prior to the primaries in 2015, prospective candidates endorsed the proposed Article V convention. Donald Trump has either not been asked the question or has remained silent on the issue. At a glance it would appear that #NeverTrump types are all-in for a convention of states to circumvent the process and change America on their own terms instead of on the terms of the popular electorate. This is an oversimplification, as is evident by this piece by one blogger calling for a convention while hinting that he may support Trump given time.

So, how would an Article V convention work? The Constitution gives few hints:

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; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.
The questions I am left with are these: who would be permitted to participate? What role would lobbyists play? Would the process be open to the public? The Constitution says little to answer these questions. What we know we know from history. Lobbyists as they exist today didn't exist in 1787, and that convention was closed to the public due to the participants overstepping their authority and original mission, which was to reform the Articles of Confederation.

I think calling an Article V convention is a deeply dangerous idea. State legislatures are just as beholden to lobbyists and special interests as is the Congress. As few, if any rules exist governing an Article V convention we can be sure that lobbyists will be in FULL FORCE at such a convention. Imagine Planned Parenthood, George Soros, and the big energy combines meeting with convention goers and you begin to see my concerns with the proposed convention. In short, a convention would be at risk of being high jacked by the interests who control our government. The potential for disaster is enormous.

There is no agreement in scholarly circles as to whether a limited convention is possible, either. Current proposals call for a convention to be called to limit judicial power, mandate a balanced federal budget, and limit executive power. But another real concern is that the convention could in itself scrap the entire existing US constitution and craft a new one from scratch. This happened in the convention of 1787. It could happen again.

Would a convention be accepted by the people of the United States? In the US we engage in something that can only be called idolatry of the Constitution. People treat the Constitution as if it were the Holy Bible: the inspired and inerrant Word of God. My suspicion is that if major changes to the Constitution were made the general public would not be in support.

Finally, I doubt the Courts would accept an Article V convention. Likely the Courts would reject such a convention on some technical grounds in order to protect the status quo.  The federal courts are incredibly partisan and corrupt and will do anything to protect the power they possess.

So, what do you think? Is an Article V convention something to support and push for?

Monday, June 20, 2016

Leftists LOVE Islam

If you listen to Leftists they'll tell you that they stand for women's rights, rights for LGBT+ persons, and secular non-religious values including the separation of Church and State. Whether you agree or not with these goals you can understand why Leftists support them, fight for them, and stand with people they see as oppressed.

What you probably can't understand is why Leftists stand with Muslims. Islam stands against all of these values, Muslims use violence against supporters of these values in their societies and ours, as evident in a 2013 Pew Research Poll of Muslims in the Muslim world as well as in the US and Europe. Let's have a look at the issue of homosexuality, which is especially relevant in the aftermath of the horrifying Orlando murders of 50 gays in a nightclub.

As the  poll illustrates, the majority of Muslims everywhere in the world views homosexuality as immoral. So what, right? Christians do too.  A recent poll of British Muslims found that homosexuality should be illegal. ILLEGAL. Christians believe in free will and the freedom to choose to reject sin out of free will. Islam calls for the institutionalization of not only religious values but punishment for breaking religious law.

The Left values diversity of race and skin but the Muslims they love so much do not, according to that same poll. “But on specific issues – families, sexuality, gender, attitudes towards Jews, and on questions of violence and terrorism, the centre of gravity of British Muslim opinion is some distance away from the centre of gravity of everyone else’s opinion.” In simple English that means that Muslims on average hold incredibly regressive views on these issues.

But the Left has a well-documented streak of antisemitism, judging from the recent push for disinvestment of universities from Israel. To summarize the issue, Social Justice Warriors at universities across the United States have been pushing for their universities to withdraw financial support and investments from companies based in Israel or those who operate in Israel to protest the treatment of Palestinians. Little protest is made by these same SJWs when Palestinian rockets kill civilians in Israel.

Leftists love Islam because in the US Americans have had a negative view of Muslims, especially after the 9/11 terror attacks. They love Muslims because, in their mind, Muslims are at the top of what some call the 'Progressive Stack,' which describes those who have relative levels of lack of privilege. Apparently in the US Muslims occupy the top of the list of most-oppressed people, above even LGBT people. Justifying this worldview requires mental gymnastics of a magnitude that it has earned the label 'Oppression Olympics,' which I'll let this Youtube personality describe:

My suspicion is that the Left loves Islam because
Islam stands in stark opposition to Christianity.
The modern Left detests Christianity due to the Atheism being the dominant worldview among members of the American Left.  Yet the mental gymnastics required to reconcile allying themselves with people who stand against literally everything they support is staggering, especially when you consider that many, if not most Christians support some or all of the values of the American Left. The end result of this unholy alliance is that the alliance between Islam and the Left has left Europe on the brink of becoming Eurabia.

Monday, June 6, 2016

What Are You Doing?

What are you doing to restore sanity in America? I wanted to ask 'what are you doing to elect Donald Trump President' but to be completely candid Trump is merely the vehicle for desperately needed change. If asked I'd venture that most Trump supporters are willing to give Mr Trump a shot at at least trying to fix the many ills our great nation faces yet would say if prompted that if Mr Trump doesn't fight for us then he'll be abandoned like any other politician. So, I ask again, what are you doing to restore sanity to America?

The stakes are enormous. America is still being targeted by terrorists. In November the FBI confirmed that terrorists are using the unsecured southern border to cross into the US. This is on top of record numbers of illegals coming across the border seeking work and the American lifestyle while enough of them bring criminal intent that it causes serious concern for law enforcement in many places in the border states.

The US national debt is, at the time of writing, $19.2 trillion and climbing. That's around $160,000 per person. The US federal deficit is $511 billion and climbing. Americans want both limited government and the handouts that only big government can provide. It's a cognitive dissonance on a massive scale, one that can only indicate the political and cultural sickness that undermines our social and political cohesion.

Then there's the US jobs report. In May only 38,000 jobs were added to the US economy, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But to go deeper, the signs of a troubling economy can't be ignored. Construction employment is sliding, as is both full time and temporary employment.

Courtesy of Bloomberg
Temporary employment is the stopgap for many people during economic downturns. Yet temporary employment is slowing down. The temporary sector is where many employees who have poor skills learn new skills. Employers can bring new people at low cost and low risk into their organizations. When things align properly the end result is a mutual win for both employer and employee, with the goal of permanent long term employment for both parties. Yet the jobs situation in that sector is declining, a truly ominous sign for an already stagnant economy. Again, what are you doing to restore sanity to the United States?

Courtesy of Bloomberg
Then there's the violence of campus activists. Milo Yiannopoulos is embarking on his Dangerous Faggot tour of American college and university campuses. His message? That college professors and administrators are lying to students, creating paranoid cultural Marxists, and otherwise undermining American democracy. Because Yiannopoulos has dared to say inflammatory things like 'feminism is cancer' near riots have broken out at most of his university stops. Protesters are a constant presence. Agitators always try to shut the event down, using the unAmerican tactic of 'no platforming.' Yiannopoulos's crime is being one of the New Conservatives and as such he is guilty of ThoughtCrime. Dissenting opinions are not tolerated on American campuses anymore.

The logic of this isn't reserved for college campuses, however. San Jose erupted into riots when Donald Trump dared to campaign in the city. American flags were burned, Mexican flags raised and waved, and 'protesters' declared California to be illegally occupied by the United States. Trump supporters were assaulted by protesters and the police were ordered to stand down by the mayor of San Jose. Supporting Trump is now a crime in some parts of America, with mob justice replacing the Rule of Law.

Trump can secure the presidency by campaigning to restore law and order. But the fundamental issue is that Americans must stand up for themselves and demand a return to sanity. Our society has cancer and only hard choices can save the body politic. So....what are you doing to restore sanity?