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NATIONAL CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION PUSH NOW UNDERWAY!!
Posted: 03 August 2007 07:29 PM   [ Ignore ]
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A serious effort is now underway to call for a National Constitutional Convention as authorized under Article V of the Constitution. The ultimate aim of this Convention, as envisioned, will be the dismantlement of the federal government in its present configuration, and then reassemblement at the regional level. In essence, 10(# flexible) independent republics will be created on American soil(state borders intact), each having the Constitution and Bill of Rights as the basis of their new governments. Liken this to the breakup of AT&T into the baby bells some years back. This action has become necessary to diffuse the power of the largely self-serving globalist oligarchy which has hijacked our federal government, bringing America to the verge of economic and social ruin, while greatly compromising our national security. It’s time for AUTONOMOUS REGIONAL GOVERNMENT!! See link below for more info:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NationalConstitutionalConvention06

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Posted: 03 August 2007 09:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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At first sight this may sound like a reasonable idea, but I think it would quickly be taken over by the fundamentalist christianss and we’d end up with a theocracy.

Occam

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Posted: 06 August 2007 07:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Well a Constitutional Convention is state legislature driven, Occam(I’m in the L.A. area too by the way—-howdy neighbor! smile))—-delegates to a Convention would most probably be state legislators or those designated by them, and the last I checked FUNDAMENTALIST Christians didn’t have a monopoly in state legislatures. In addition, one of the nice things about my proposal is that it creates at least 10 independent republics on American soil. Some might be more religiously oriented owing to demographics, but clearly not all. This is the nice thing about my plan—-at least you’ll have some options. Right now the only game in town comes out of the District of Columbia, and it is increasingly becoming a very depressing one.

[ Edited: 06 August 2007 07:36 PM by eric1 ]
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Posted: 06 August 2007 08:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I find the tendancy of nation states to split themselves into ever smaller ethnically/religiously/ideologically homageneous enclaves (aka Balkanization) to be sad. I think it would be far better for tolerance and compromise and civility to increase to the point where people with different views and attitudes can still live together in some sort of federal system. There are economic advantages, certainly (which the EU is trying to capture by making governmental processes more uniform among member nations). And I think there are cultural advantages. A diverse, heterogenous population provides a more dynamic reservoir of talent and ideas for science, art, and commerce. I’m probably being too hopeful about the human capacity to overcome prejudice, of course. To me the idea of breaking up the US and decentralizing government sounds to me like just more of the old anti-federalist/Articles of Confederation approach, and while I realize diehard libertarian types will never give up on that idea, I think history has demonstrated the federalists were right.

[ Edited: 07 August 2007 11:45 AM by mckenzievmd ]
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Posted: 06 August 2007 10:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Yes, agreed Brennen. I don’t see Balkanization as a serious alternative. You’re going to have to deal with your neighbors one way or another. Either you’re going to have to compromise with them in a unitary federal legislature, or you’re going to have to make treaties with them as independent countries. I don’t see the latter alternative as at all superior ... much the reverse. It makes job searching, family relations, travel and business exponentially more difficult and raises the very real possibility of armed conflict.

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Posted: 07 August 2007 04:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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That, and regional empowerment will solve very few problems… I mean, take New York. It has problems with the federal government, chief among which is lack of willingness on behalf of the latter to pay for decent anti-terrorism measures, but it has just as many problems with the state government, and even greater problems with its closest suburbs.

The places where local empowerment means the most, like economic development, work perfectly well even without national sovereignty. In some cases, all it requires is taking your average development program - say, the Tennessee Valley Authority - and adding a clause that requires the contractors and the subsidized businesses to be local. Now, southern Appalachia is a fairly big depressed region, for which autonomy might superficially make sense, but the same dynamic works for smaller, more economically interdependent ones: the South Bronx, South Central LA, West Baltimore, Oakland.

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Posted: 07 August 2007 02:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Add to that the fact that the US governement usually does a pretty good job of things and no matter how bad the present encumbents seem, they will surely be out the door soon.  Provided, of course, that they count African American votes as well as white one’s in places like Florida this time.

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Posted: 07 August 2007 03:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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eric1 - 03 August 2007 07:29 PM

A serious effort is now underway to call for a National Constitutional Convention as authorized under Article V of the Constitution. The ultimate aim of this Convention, as envisioned, will be the dismantlement of the federal government in its present configuration, and then reassemblement at the regional level. In essence, 10(# flexible) independent republics will be created on American soil(state borders intact), each having the Constitution and Bill of Rights as the basis of their new governments. Liken this to the breakup of AT&T into the baby bells some years back. This action has become necessary to diffuse the power of the largely self-serving globalist oligarchy which has hijacked our federal government, bringing America to the verge of economic and social ruin, while greatly compromising our national security. It’s time for AUTONOMOUS REGIONAL GOVERNMENT!! See link below for more info:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NationalConstitutionalConvention06

John Dewey recognized it a century ago that government is just the shadow cast by big business. It dont matter if we are smaller or bigger. Our problem is not about the size of our government; its about the structure in which it exists.

Now, I admit to being an Anarchist, and don’t rush to think that what Im advocating is an overthrow of the government. Also, I am not talking about some Utopian dream, rather just looking for solutions against the existing Dystopia.

I strongly disagree with Narwhols comment that our government has been good for the most part with the exception of the Bush administration. We have a long history of deceit, oppression, aggression, class conflict, etc, and im not going to bother delving into that right now. Where our government has done the right thing, it has usually been for the purpose of placating the masses in order to avoid riots, revolutions, etc. so it is no coincidence that our major social, political and economic achievements - that gave rights and produced a middle class - were popular grass roots movements.

Our problem is a lack of democracy, primarily in the economic arena. We strongly need to democratize our economy. We need more participation in the political, social and economic areas of our society; grass roots movements seeking to undermine top-down structures of authority. Nearly all of our greatest achievements in this society were done this way and that is no coincidence. A look at the life of the ordinary American before and after the New Deal shows that (and to confirm how the government and business has always been opposed one could look at the history of the Mohawk Valley formula, and how WalMart still uses the anti-labor methods). The New Deal would not have come into existence if there was not an organized labor movement pressing for social security, minimum wage, eight hour work days, labor laws, etc.

Likewise, slavery, womens suffrage/rights, child labor laws, etc, would not have come into existence if it were not for popular movements. And can anyone find an example where our government did not oppose popular movements seeking to challenge authority untill it was clear that they would succeed? JFK would not meet with MLK until it was clear the Civil Rights movement was going to succeed. The abolishionist movement and the labor movement went on for decades before the government changed course. IF we are going to have any effect on our governments policies it will have to come through popular movements.

In summary, our problems dont come from a federal or regional government. They come from a government that doesnt represent the population enough (public opinion polls crossed with government policy highlights this pretty well; that and how campaign financing works); its the structure, not the size. We need to level the playing field; empower our weakest links.

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Posted: 07 August 2007 04:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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But if the west coast and the north-eastern states formed the Oceanic Empire the middle states would starve until we set up a program to give them aid.  They’d probably set up religious governments, develop terrorists, set off bombs in the large cities, then we’d have to go to war with them, take them over and eventually annex them.  Then we’d be right back to where we are today.  grin

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Posted: 07 August 2007 06:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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If you look at the history of large empires ruled from a distance, they all inevitably fragment into pieces or disintegrate altogether. The most recent example being the Soviet Union. My plan does not seek to eliminate the federal government, but rather bring it closer to the people(geographically) where it hopefully can be held more accountable. One of the reasons the D.C. politicians can get away with so much is because of the isolated nature of the Capitol combined with the “inside the beltway” mentality. Recall how ancient Rome fell. The Capitol became corrupt and the empire was there to serve it—-not the other way around as it should have been. Too much power is concentrated there, when it should be residing with the states. A good book to read related to this is Breach of Trust: How Washington D.C. Resists Reform and Makes Outsiders Insiders by CURRENT Oklahoma Senator Dr. Tom Coburn.
Also, I heard an interesting statistic the other day—-forget which radio talk host brought it up—-but a study was conducted somewhere with respect to charitable giving, and it was found that areas that were LESS diverse were actually more charitable than those that were more diverse. Will try to find that.

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Posted: 07 August 2007 07:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Eric, the US, population 300,000,000, and Israel, population 7,000,000, are about equally corrupt. Israel’s politicians are somewhat closer to the people, but that’s more a function of proportional representation than of size.

Empires don’t disintegrate due to size. China’s managed to remain unified for about 700 years so far. Rome held a perfectly good empire for about 200 years. What does cause empires to fall is that they tend to spend their core cities’ money wrongly (the seminal reference here is Jane Jacobs’ Cities and the Wealth of Nations): they have high levels of military spending, they subsidize rural areas, their maintenance costs increase as there is more infrastructure to preserve, they cultivate economic if not political colonies, they have unified currencies across highly diverse regions, and they run high debts. If the US disintegrates, its successor states will inherit all of those problems except possibly the currency, and they’ll likely have to run even higher defense budgets to protect themselves from one another.

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Posted: 07 August 2007 08:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I would argue that modern communications technology alleviates much of the effect of distance that might be expected to contribute to the degradation of large complex polities. I would also say that a large variety of other factors are involved, and Jared Diamond’s recent book COllapse has some interesting ideas about these. NOw no one can argue there aren’t big problems with the U.S. today, and some of these can be blamed on the nature of our institutions, b ut I’m not yet convinced the alternatives proposed are truly better. I have a feeling, substantiated by history but not developed into anything like a coherent theory, that empires come and go and that no tinkering with institutions will change this. The real issue, then, is how we build the fairest and best “empire” we can, and I admit I don’t know. I doubt, though, that devolution of power to regions would ultimately be a great improvement.

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Posted: 07 August 2007 10:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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... I also doubt that corruption and other similar abuses would be minimized by bringing government ‘closer to the people’, whatever that precisely means. This assumes that ‘the people’ are inherently good and non-corruptible, an improper assumption. No matter what the form of government, no matter how ‘close to the people’, there will always be corruption. The only question is whether there exists the freedom to discuss this corruption publicly with a large audience, and if there is the possibility of eventual redress. Having a large audience for the press (in a large, diverse population) at least holds the possibility that not all politics is local: a distant audience can raise objections to an entrenched bureaucracy. Small, localized governments may well appear ‘closer to the people’, but they end up often becoming the most corrupt of all ...

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Posted: 08 August 2007 09:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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doug,

it precisely means democracy. democracies simply dont have the abuses that dictatorships, monarchies, etc have, and the more that democratic values flourish the more justice/less injustice we see. the whole point of “democracy” - at least from the standpoint of peoples movements - has been to restructure our societies for the betterment of all.

look at Latin America. they took the US rhetoric about democracy very seriously and we are seeing vibrant movements all over the southern hemisphere. Bolivia elected one of their own labor leaders, Evo Morales, and one of the first things he did was cut his salary in half and give it to the teachers, then he nationalized some of the industries so the wealth could stay in the country and pay for social programs and is seeking to rewrite their constitution to give the people more power. Venezuela is another good example. If you know any Venezuelans, many of them - not just the Chavistas - are excited about their future because they see hope with the democratizing aspects.

so long as democratic values, rights and freedoms did not belong to certain groups (ie blacks, children, women, immigrants, etc) there were abuses against them.

the same is true for our economy. I have a quote of Chomsky up at my desk at work:

“[D]emocracy is largely a sham when the industrial system is controlled by any form of autocratic elite…”

I occasionally run across people, usually right-wing Americans but not always, who are opposed to socialists, lefties, labor laws, etc. I like to point out to them what life was like for the average American prior to the achievments of this country’s labor movement. There was no middle class; there was no minimum wage; there was no standard eight hour work day; there were not the protections we have today; and they were not achieved easily. The government and their main constituents were bitterly opposed to leveling the playing field. We owe much of our leizures, comfort, rights and freedoms to radicals who fought for what we take for granted.

So what is currently wrong with our country? What is wrong with how our economy is managed? What is wrong with our schools, healthcare programs, military spending, social spending in general, etc? If we look at what is wrong I think there is a good case to be made that in those areas there is a lack of democratic values, the general population just isnt having enough say in determining policy. We have opinion polls and they are way to the left of actual policy. The public wants a single payer healthcare system that will reach all and save billions; they want to spend more on education and less on military; etc.

Im not suggesting we can solve all of our problems, but I feel we most certainly can do better by leveling the playing field. So far thats been one of histories (and anthropoligies) best lessons for society.

[ Edited: 08 August 2007 09:40 AM by truthaddict ]
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Posted: 08 August 2007 09:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Agreed, truthaddict. I am, however, opposed to ‘anarchy’ as I understand the term. Socialism is not anarchy; much the opposite.

There is no doubt that there are very real problems with our political system. To start with, universal healthcare is a necessity. However, I would caution that just political change involves compromise with groups that have different goals and interests. Just political change is very difficult. As HL Mencken said, “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.”

One has to be very careful not to choose the wrong answer because it is simple.

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Posted: 08 August 2007 09:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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the rest of the Chomsky quote I provided:

“The consistent anarchist should be a socialist, but a socialist of a particular sort. He will not only oppose alienated and specialized labor and look forward to the appropriate of capital by the whole body of workers, but he will also insist that this appropriation be direct, not exercized by some elite force acting in the name of the proletariat. Some sort of council communism is the natural form of revolutionary socialism in an industrial society. It reflects the intuitive understanding that democracy is largely a sham when the industrial system is controlled by any form of autocratic elite, whether of owners, managers and technocrates, a vanguard party, or a state.”

I ensure you that im probably opposed to the kind of anarchy you are thinking of. I agree with what youre saying, that we ought to be careful with how we change and that compromises are necessary. Allow me to introduce you to some of the forms of Anarchism I am talking of…

Look up Libertarian Socialism and you might want to check out Noam Chomsky’s books On Anarchism and Government in the Future. Both are great introductions into Anarchism. You might also want to look into David Graeber and Daniel Guerin.

The latter mentioned Chomsky book is a very short pamphlet based on a speech he gave in the early 1970s. He draws the comparrison between the Enlightment era values and modern Libertarian Socialism/Anarchism:

“We have today the technical and material resources to meet man’s animal needs.We have not developed the cultural and moral resources or the democratic forms of social organization that make possible the humane and rational use of our material wealth and power.

“Conceivably, the classical liberal ideals as expressed and developed in their libertarian socialist form are achievable. But if so, only by a popular revolutionary movement, rooted in wide strata of the population and committed to the elimination of repressive and authoritarian institutions, state and private. To create such a movement is a challenge we face and must meet if there is to be an escape from contemporary barbarism.”

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