February 14, 2014
The Convention of States
When I learned there was a new push for a Constitutional Convention – a concon, I was not surprised. Many of us involved in defeating the last big push twenty years ago had been expecting it. We new our victory had only been defensive and had left “the powers that be” to try again. But I was surprised for a moment when I learned it was called “The Convention of States” because the earlier attempt called “The Conference of States” had the same acronym – COS.
The question occurred to me, could this be a second attempt not only to get a con-con, but an attempt to get the specific changes they failed to get with the first COS. Those who orchestrate such attempts have often cryptically announced what they are actually doing.
My suspicions increased to a near certainty when I learned that the new COS is “a project of Citizens for Self Governance” – CSG, because the earlier COS was “a project of the Council of State Governments” – an earlier CSG. I never would have come to this perception if not for the battle I was engaged in against the first COS twenty years ago, and observing the strange doings of the powers behind the scenes during that time.
To confirm my suspicions I began to compare the two COS efforts for similarities and differences. Particularly striking is the involvement of former Gov. Michael Leavitt in the new COS, who was the head of the earlier COS. The same justification of federal abuses is being used again, and again the same kind of money trail, one paved with support from deep corporate pockets leads to both. There are other similarities but what is most revealing are the differences.
When the two COS efforts are seen as just two different sales approaches, the differences are just cosmetic and do not suggest any difference in substance. After the defeat of COS-I I remember thinking “Next time they will try through the people.” This is what the new COS actually claims to be doing. Its promotional material claims they are organizing a “grass roots” movement, but this new effort is top down and centrally pre-planned – the opposite of the bottom up, spontaneous nature of real grass roots movements.
All con-con efforts attempt to gain state support because only the states can convene a con-con. The first COS concentrated upon the state legislatures through the Council of State Governments, the first CSG. The second COS seeks to put pressure on the states to call for a con-con by the appearance of popular demand through the Citizens for Self Governance, the second CSG. The two efforts are not meant to be associated in the public mind, which is a reasonable expectation as most are totally unaware of the first effort. For those who know of COS I and COS II, the two are meant to appear to be unrelated. The first COS denied it was attempting to get a con-con but promoted specific amendments it hoped to attain to state legislators. The second COS admits it is trying to get a con-con, but does not admit to having any specific amendments as it goal. Constitutional conventions are just means to an end. The very idea that those behind both COS efforts would expend such time, effort and money without a very specific agenda to get a specific goal is absurd. In the case of both COS efforts the specific means is a con-con, and the specific end must be very specific amendments to create very specific changes to the Constitution.
The first COS effort failed because a true grass roots movement revealed to enough state legislators that it could become a con-con. But this is not because they feared a con-con, they believe they have power over who is sent to a concon, and they will decide whether to ratify its proposed amendments. The first COS effort failed because it lost the trust of state legislators. Promoters of COS I had denied it was intended to be a con-con, and it failed despite the fact that these legislatures favored the amendments that were the centerpiece of COS I. They believed that these amendments would bolster their powers against federal abuses. They did not see that the opposite would be the effect.
The second COS could fail because it loses the trust of its customers like the first effort failed. The overall sales campaign of COS II is to create the perception of public support, whether real or imaginary. It could lose the trust of its own voluntary “grass roots” members. But this would not necessarily cause it to fail. If state legislatures believe there is broad enough public support for COS II, and possibly even if they may know it to be an illusion but could justify themselves by claiming broad public support, COS II may succeed. The states are more desperate now that twenty years ago, and they still hold the belief they had of their powers over con-cons. Many legislators sincerely believe there is no other way to gain relief for the states and the people.
If the COS II sales campaign succeeds in creating the perception of broad public support, it will likely succeed in getting its con-con. If it succeeds in getting its con-con, the specific amendments that have been the true objective of the overall COS effort are very likely to be ratified. Once ratified, the effects will end the greatest powers of the states replacing it with a Constitutionally sanctioned parliamentary system and the people will see the republic replaced with a Constitutionally sanctioned democracy. The last vestiges that made America
constitutionally distinct will be brought into conformity with the parliamentary democracies that now predominate in most of the world. This uniformity will ease the task of directly imposing international law upon the states and the people, and will make the merger of America into the “new world order” actually constitutional.
It is only just that all parties be fully informed in every agreement, especially in lawfully binding agreements, and none more so than something so fundamental and powerful as con-cons. The lawyers that led the first COS effort, just as those who lead the current one, as well as those who planned its strategies and its amendments are all guilty of great deceptions. Highly polished practitioners of the art of rhetoric, their statements are “technically” true, but very misleadingly incomplete. This technique of manipulation by omission has left both the states and the people in a confusing state of half-truths, and can explain why neither of them understand some very fundamental things that are necessary to see what
the entire COS effort is actually attempting.
Some Fundamental Principles
The American people and their state legislators are ignorant of what their counterparts knew and often took for granted 200 years ago. This is due to the deliberate omission of these principles. Since the COS effort is our focus, it is vital to understand the ones given here.
Suffrage has come to mean election or the vote, but the vote is only one of three fundamental suffrage rights, and is the least of them. As far as elections go the vote determines who is chosen for office. Far more important is what that person does. The second suffrage right is called “instruction”. The suffrage right of “instruction” did not mean the educating of the representative in office. It meant the right of a constituency to give authoritative commands to them because the office they are in is in the name and ownership of the constituency, and the office holder can act only under their authority. This is an amazingly simple and powerful suffrage right, but somehow none of the law dictionaries even have an entry for “instruction”, although it is unavoidably mentioned under other headings for example in Blackʼs Law Dictionary, under “authority” and under “limited authority”, when an agent is bound by precise instructions. The third fundamental suffrage right is called “recall”. This is the enforcement of the other two, but especially instruction. Of the three suffrage rights, instruction is the one most omitted, because nothing threatens the rule by elites more than the people or the states being able to take command of what an office holder does at any time, and to hold the office holder responsible if such instructions are disobeyed.
Republics are those in which the people have full suffrage rights. Those that believed elitest rule is the best or most stable or wisest have long obfuscated this principle for example, by condemning pure republics and advocating “mixed forms” of government. But it can easily and accurately be said that unless all three suffrage rights exist, then the form of government isnʼt a republic at all.
Democracies were invented as a replacement for republics. They consist of forms of government that have removed or denied part of the suffrage rights. Democracies omit the right of instruction and sometimes recall. Democracies have come to be identified with the vote. Ideally to the elitist within a democracy is the illusion of power it creates for the voters, who often blame themselves for having voted such scoundrels into power. This belief is due to their ignorance of the suffrage rights.
Parliaments are “mixed forms” of government which are partially democracies and partially elitist. What Americanʼs came to think a parliamentary form was 200 years ago was based upon what England had at the time – a hereditary monarch, and an aristocratic House of Lords, and a democratic House of Commons. A parliamentary form of government is based in part on the authority of the people, who delegate all of their authority to their representatives as a kind of preauthorization of whatever that government may do. The various levels of government in America function as if they were some version of democratic parliament. What neither the people nor the states are aware of is there is a long unused but fully constitutional power within the constitution, and the constitutions of many states, that could end all federal abuses and the ongoing elitist rule. This power is centered on the suffrage rights and especially the right of instruction.
This is the only constitutional provision that cannot be amended, making it the most powerful and important provision in the Constitution, especially for the states. No other provision is so hated by all that would destroy the states and centralize power and no other provision has been so deliberately pushed “down the memory hole”. It is found in the final clause of article V – the amending article, because only it cannot be amended.
Notably, Constitutional lawyer and head of COS II, Michael Farris, who is very knowledgeable about the Constitution and its history is a sterling example of manipulation by omission, or half-truths. He states “article V is the solution”; “the correct path can be found in article V” – which is true. Then he then omits State “Suffrage in the Senate”, which is that very power. He only addresses the amending processes in the rest of Article V as if the final clause did not exist.
Three “Process” Amendments
The entire COS effort is based on half-truths, and depends upon the ignorance produced by this over the years. Because COS I was omitting that it was meant to become a con-con it had to reveal the three process amendments as examples of what COS I would accomplish. These are the most specific measures we have of the entire COS effort. It is the effects of these kinds of measures that point to the real goal of the COS effort. Above all else this goal is omitted in both COS I and COS II.
The three amendments all target the state suffrage rights, and are designed to appeal to state legislatures. Rather than quote them here, I will try to explain them.
1) 10th Amendment litigation – The 10th Amendment is what was most demanded to be added to the Constitution by the states. It is the strongest limitation on federal power in the Constitution. It was meant to preserve all the powers that the states had previously under the Articles of Confederation, except those denied by the Constitution or delegated to the federal government. In the world of half-truths, the ignorant state legislatures kept trying to sue the federal government in federal court for treading on their powers. The Supreme Court often refused to hear these suits, or if it did would tell them to rely on “the political process” instead of the Courts. This frustrated the ignorant states. The COS amendment to the 10th Amendment would mandate the Federal Courts hear these cases. The effect would be the federal government deciding whether itself was in violation of the 10th Amendment. This would end the 10th Amendment. Completely unknown to the state legislatures and almost every one else, is the fact that one of the 10th Amendment rights of the states is the suffrage right of recall.
The other two “process amendments” are both targeted at the state suffrage right of instruction.
2) States Initiative – Three quarters of the states could amend the constitution unless congress vetoed these amendments.
3) States Veto – Three quarters of the states could repeal federal laws and regulations unless congress vetoed it.
These two are based on the ignorance of state legislatures of their own state suffrage right of instruction, which is specifically over their two senators in Congress. It is so great that they could paralyze the federal government if necessary to get amendments proposed or end bad laws and regulations etc. And it does not risk the unpredictable results of a con-con. These two amendments are not only unnecessary, but coupled with the other one could totally subvert state suffrage rights without amending them. This would finally accomplish what the direct election of U.S. senators began – the end of state suffrage rights. States could no longer function except as an agency of the federal government, and the federal government would no longer be federal. Coupled with the false belief that “suffrage” means only election, what would be left would be a parliamentary democracy and “the republic” would end – and it would be “constitutional”.
The history of the effort to institute parliamentary democracy finds its beginnings in the con-con that drafted the constitution, and is addressed in part two. (Coming soon)