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On July 10th, in the first hour of his radio show, Mark Levin (Constitutional Lawyer, A Tea Party Leader) announced the name of his new book, to be released August 13, is “The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic”.  I’m taking a class on the U.S. Constitution, so I knew instantly that he was referring to Article V:

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…

In America, we have what political scientists call a “democracy deficit” – this occurs when a governing body claims their legitimacy is derived from the consent of those they govern, yet the governed have lost the ability to hold their government accountable. This term usually refers to, in political science literature, the illegitimacy of the European Union because it claims broad sweeping powers –the Euro / monetary policy, for example – yet the average European is effectively disconnected from EU policymakers. THAT is exactly what the progressives have done to America.  Some examples:

  • Obamacare passed despite the fact a) no one read it & b) 59% of public opposed it & just 39% approved it. (so why did it pass?)
  • Although a new GOP governor was elected in Virginia in 2009, by huge margins, both of our U.S. Senators (Democrats) maintained their support for Obamacare.
  • Over 84% want English to be America’s official language –no vote in Congress.
  • In 2010, because of the tea party surge, the GOP gained 63 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, recapturing the majority, the largest seat change since 1948, largest for any midterm since 1938 and yet not one member of tea party caucus was elected to Speaker or given any leadership positions.
  • In addition, those historic 2010 victories gave the House a mandate to repeal Obamacare and cut spending – yet under Speaker Boehner, members were pressured to approve Continuing Resolutions (CRs) that dumped trillions more debt on our kids & continued funding for Obamacare, Obama’s vacations, DHS purchase of 1.6 Billion rounds of Ammo and many other bad programs Why?

So, clearly, the American people feel untethered from their elected representatives…and the feeling is mutual!! The President, Congress, leaders of both parties are ignoring the wishes of the people except, strangely, the Supreme Court seems sensitive to “changes in public opinion” – but their supposed to make decisions on the facts, the law and THE CONSTITUTION!!! So, the voice of the people matters only when they happen to line up with the political elites, which means they don’t really matter at all.

The problem that has perplexed the Tea Party, and others who wish to restore sanity to our political process, is how to “Clean out the barn!”, as Ross Perot said, when reforms of Congress must be approved by the same Congress that needs reform. Asking Congress to reform itself is like asking criminals to turn themselves in. There’s a reason that seven of wealthiest 10 counties in America are within commuting distance of Washington, DC.  Millions make a very good living off this corrupt system and they’re not going to let anyone derail the gravy train anytime soon.

So, what to do? Many of U.S. ask our intellectual leaders and, after “call your congressman” lost all its credibility, even our leaders were stumped. We tried to “vote the bums out” in 2010 – no luck. Even worse, in a blatant act of real voter suppression, we now discovered the IRS was being used to punish tea party groups, in the run-up to the 2012 election. We also discovered the NSA is being used to gather information about US including cell phone records, emails, Facebook postings, etc.

When confronted with the ugly truth of spying on all US Citizens – talk about your general warrants – Congress circled the wagons and claimed, simultaneously, that nothing new had been revealed by Edward Snowden, and Snowden had put the country in grave danger – how can both be true? Nevertheless, because all that FSA Court & NSA activity is being done in private, President and Congress asked that we trust them. Well, we don’t – as Obama himself admitted June 7th, when asked about the revelations:

That’s not to suggest that, you know, you just say, trust me, we’re doing the right thing, we know who the bad guys are… that’s not how it works because we’ve got congressional oversight and judicial oversight. And if people can’t trust not only the executive branch but also don’t trust Congress and don’t trust federal judges to make sure that we’re abiding by the Constitution, due process and rule of law, then we’re going to have some problems here.

Yes, Mr. President, indeed, we have “some problems here”. The distrust of government – at all levels, in both parties – is creating a serious problem. Which brings us to the beautiful simplicity of Mark Levin’s idea about the Liberty Amendments: using the 2nd part of Article V, we can exclude the folks we don’t trust anymore, the President and Congress, from the solution.  Look again at Article V – there are two ways to submit amendments to states for ratification: 1) approval of two-thirds of Congress (not likely) or 2) approval from two-thirds of state legislatures. So far, all post-Bill of Rights Amendments used Option #1.  Mark Levin, rightly, says it’s time to use Option #2.  In fact, it’s the only option that can be used for meaningful reforms.

The good news is that, as a result of the tea party work in the 2010 elections, the GOP gained over 680 state legislature seats and now have unified control — meaning both chambers — of 26 state legislatures. Two-thirds of 50 states means we need about 34 total state legislatures to “call a Convention for proposing Amendments” – let’s call it the “Proposal Convention” –others will come up with other names, but I don’t want to call it a “Constitutional Convention” – Levin has made the point, rightly, that unlike the original Constitutional Convention, the Proposal Convention will not place amendments in the Constitution, but will propose amendments for the states to consider for ratification. Only if three-fourths of the states approve each proposed amendment, separately, would that particular amendment be added to the Constitution. In his book, the Liberty Amendments, Levin says he will cover the history of the amendment process as well as the constitutional arguments related to the amendments that Levin will propose.  I can’t wait – not only is Levin brilliant, but on this subject in particular, it seems he was born to do this – argue reforms to restore liberty for U.S.

Indeed, Levin, a constitutional lawyer, has indicated he has already drafted the legal language for each of his proposed amendments.  Before any amendments can be considered, the Proposal Convention itself must be called from 34 state legislatures. Fortunately, the large population states that are desperate to keep feeding at the federal trough – California, Illinois, New York, Michigan, etc., can’t stop this process.  As long as 34 states approve, the Proposal Convention goes forward.  I predict that, once the ideas catch fire, momentum should get us to the magic number 38 for ratification.

Of course, Levin’s book will cover all this with much greater detail, citations and research than I’m capable of.  In particular, I’m curious to find out, in Levin’s book, which ideas he argues would make good amendments, and what our founders, like George Mason, had to say about this process.  I am very excited to dive into the new book and see which areas I can help advance.  I’ve already ordered a signed “deluxe” copy for myself and a copy for my kids in anticipation of Levin’s just announced book-signing tour to promote the book and the cause of freedom over tyranny.  I plan to attend the book-signing August 24th at Tyson’s Corner, VA.  Maybe I’ll see you there?

For details of what I’d like to see considered at the Proposal Convention, click:

The Liberty Amendments – My First Five

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Recently, I had such an unpleasant experience trying to understand a customer service person at a major U.S. company, that I had to reprint this blog from last August.  I want the people that I talk to on a regular basis (at my workplace, my kid’s schools, the companies I buy products from, etc…) to speak English well – that’s not asking too much, that just makes sense.  I know no company’s perfect but this kind of thing happens consistently enough that I wanted to speak up. 

Here’s the deal…if you want to come to America – learn English first.  If you’re here already illegally – self-deport.  If you’re here legally, learn English as soon as possible.  If you want to work in a job that communicates with the public – learn English first.  If you’re a company that has staff that communicates with the U.S. public – only hire people who speak English well and lay off the people who don’t.  If they learn English and come back to you, put them first in line for the next available position.  In any case, do not give customers the option to press 2 for Spanish because…well, I cover that below…

Speak English – It’s A Love Thing

Recently I read a news report about a small Illinois town that wants English to be the official language. One Hispanic in the “no” column said he got involved because a flyer being distributed asked the question, “Are you tired of pressing 1 for English?” He said that’s racist. Huh?

It’s a fact that “everyone speaking the same language” brings people together. What’s racist about trying to bring people together? Nothing! So if we want to bring Americans together, what language should we all try to speak? Good question.

It’s important to honor one’s culture and heritage so maybe we should speak the language we’ve used for most of our songs, films, plays, ads, TV, poetry, newspapers and books for the last 400 years? Or maybe, to make things as easy as possible, we should speak the language most of us speak now? Or maybe we should forget about easy and work hard to learn the language the rest of the world uses to talk to each other?

Lucky for us, English is the answer to all three.

Most of the American culture has been spoken, written, displayed and broadcast in English for 400 years. Most Americans speak English now. Many of the world’s leaders were educated in our English-speaking Universities. Most U.N. diplomats learn English as a second language because they live, eat and work in New York. Most kids in India, China, Japan, Europe and the Middle East learn English as a second language to help them succeed.  Bill Gates once recalled, in a meeting with Japanese and Chinese businessmen, they all spoke English – no translators were needed.

In the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, most every sign is in English. 

The huge banners on the side of buildings says “Beijing 2008” – that’s an English phrase.  The women’s bicycle events had the name of each country on the side of their shorts, “France”, “Russia”, “Estonia”, “Italia” even “China” – all English writing, not Chinese.  Do you know why the Chinese are using English, instead of Chinese, for 2008 Olympic Games in China?  Because it’s the language most people around the world speak in addition to their own. 

Luckily, most American kids are immersed in English every day. Some want to change that by having us communicate in both English and Spanish. Huh? Why won’t Spanish speaking people in America learn English?  According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, “Applicants for naturalization must be able to read, write, speak, and understand words in ordinary usage in the English language.” 

Why would you want to start separating Americans by introducing a second language?

Asking that we all speak the same language – English – reflects a desire to come together and stay together.  Complaining about pressing 1 for English and 2 for Spanish is not racist – it’s touching, actually. 

English language advocates want us to come together, to understand each other better – it’s a love thing.

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What a remarkable election!  Despite the fact that Obama supporters dominated our education system, our film industry, our unions and our news media, John McCain and Sarah Palin fought the good fight and came close to winning anyway.

Despite being outspent 5 to 1 and 4 to 1 in many key states, McCain-Palin only lost Florida (27) by 2 points, Ohio (20) by 3 points and Virginia (13) by 3 points.  If those three states (60 votes total) had gone the other way, the totals would have been Obama-Biden 277 to McCain-Palin 260. 

Over 110 million Americans cast their votes and McCain-Palin only lost by 4 million or 3.6% of the total – not a landslide or a mandate by any stretch – just a hard-fought contest between two strong campaigns.

I know a lot of pundits will start nit-picking McCain-Palin first thing tomorrow, if not already, but I wanted to say how proud I was of the way they fought this campaign and how much they accomplished against very long odds.

My family feels like we have gotten to know both John McCain and Sarah Palin and feel great affection for the inspiring leaders they both are, for their wonderful families and for the long hours they put in helping to keep U.S. free and reminding us how great this country is. 

Thank you Senator McCain!  Thank you Governor Palin!

McCain introduces Sarah Palin to the Presidential Campaign - Photo by Mark Lyons-EPA

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The Fight or Flight Response is the “biological response of animals to acute stress”.  For me, this election has generated more acute stress than I’ve had in years.  I’ve been extremely depressed, angry, agitated, hopeless, frustrated and shocked again and again and again.

Contrary to his early rhetoric, the candidate of Change will not chart a new course that unites liberals and conservatives, by finding common ground, Obama will put in place changes that will force U.S. to become permanently liberal until we’re socialist.  

How depressing is that?

Given that Obama supporters dominate our news media, our film industry, our education system and our unions – an Obama Presidency is not just frightening – it’s a real possibility.   Add in the fact that Obama raised more campaign cash than anyone in the history of the world and it really seems hopeless. 

I jokingly said to my wife that maybe we should just give up and let Obama win so the government will take care of us.  Instead of having our signs stolen (7 McCain signs taken so far) and disgusting things spray painted on our fence, we can put an Obama sign in our yard and people will treat us like old friends and smile and wave as they pass.   Life will be easy and everyone will be happy if only we let Obama…

WAKE-UP!!!

My wife said she knows I was joking because, according to her, I’m not that kind of man.  She said, “you don’t quit, you fight for what you believe in and you believe in this country”  Wow…don’t tell her I said so, but my wife is right.

People don’t migrate to this country because the government takes care of you – if that were true, more people would go to Canada.  Instead, millions from all over the world come to America, even from Canada.  People come because the American version of capitalism has created a free and prosperous society that starts with the assumption that your money belongs to you.   

We tell our kids, and our immigrants, that in America you have the freedom to be whatever you want to be and if you work hard and achieve success, you can keep most of what you earn.  Because you usually succeed by doing things better than the next guy, our system encourages efficiency and excellence. 

Here’s some perspective from Bill Whittle at the National Review:

‘The United States of America — five percent of the world’s population — leads the world economically, militarily, scientifically, and culturally — and by a spectacular margin. Any one of these achievements, taken alone, would be cause for enormous pride. To dominate as we do in all four arenas has no historical precedent.

We should celebrate the success of American Capitalism, not call it a “failed ideology” and trash it to win elections and steer this country far left.   This country is in danger of losing everything that makes it great – our freedom.

WAKE-UP!!!

We are experiencing acute stress.  Our Fight or Flight response is about to kick in.   We can choose to Fight – by helping McCain-Palin get as many supporters to the polls as possible – by calling, walking, driving or donating.   Or we can choose Flight – by letting ourselves get discouraged and overwhelmed. 

I choose to fight.  Join me.  Let’s fight for America.

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