Sunday, September 28, 2014

U.S. Budget Scam

Publius Huldah: Balanced Budget Amendments (BBA) Gut Our Constitution and Don’t Reduce Spending 

Q: Doesn't our Constitution already provide for controlling federal spending?

A: Yes. It lists the purposes for which Congress may spend money. Spending is limited by the "enumerated powers" listed in the Constitution:

  • If it's on the list of powers delegated to Congress or the President, Congress may lawfully appropriate funds for it. Read the Constitution and highlight the delegated powers – then you will know what Congress may lawfully spend money on.
  • If it's not listed, Congress may not lawfully spend money on it.

Q: What is the connection between the Oath of office (Art. VI, cl. 3) and federal spending?

A: All federal and State officials take an Oath to support the federal Constitution. The Constitution lists what Congress may lawfully spend money on. When people in Congress spend money on objects not listed in the Constitution; and when State officials accept federal funds for objects not listed (race to the top, common core, etc.) they violate their Oath to support the Constitution.

Q: Are the federal departments of Education, Agriculture, Labor, Energy, Housing & Urban Development, Health & Human Services, DHS, etc., etc., constitutional?

A: No!

  • Power over education, agriculture, labor relations, energy, etc., etc., was NOWHERE in the Constitution delegated to the federal government. Those powers were reserved by the States or the People.
  • DHS – a national police force under the President's control – is becoming our version of the East German STASI. Yet the States colluded with the feds in nationalizing law enforcement because they wanted the federal funds and military equipment.

Q: How did we get a national debt of over $17 trillion, plus trillions more in unfunded liabilities?

A: Congress spent on objects for which it has no constitutional authority, such as teaching Chinese prostitutes how to drink responsibly, bailouts of private businesses, welfare handouts, farming programs, education schemes, and grants paid to States to bribe them into implementing unconstitutional federal programs. It was the unconstitutional spending which gave us this crushing debt.

Q: The 10th Amendment says all powers not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution are reserved to the States or to the People. What happened to these reserved powers?

A: The States sold them to the federal government. The States have become administrative subdivisions of the federal government, and their aim is to siphon as much money as possible from the federal government.

Q: What should we do about the unconstitutional spending?

A: We must eliminate pork. We must systematically dismantle unconstitutional federal departments & agencies. Except that the Department of Education should be shut down, and its bureaucrats sent home, by this Friday at 5:00 p.m. All these functions must be restored to The States or The People.

Why Balanced Budget Amendmentss Are Destructive

The Black section is the unconstitutional social program spending.

Q: Why won't a Balanced Budget Amendment fix our debt problem?

A: They don't address the cause of the problem: Congress spends where they have no constitutional authority to spend. The Balanced Budget Amendments don't eliminate the unconstitutional spending; and they place no limits on the amount of the unconstitutional spending.

Q: Is a Balanced Budget Amendment harmful?

A: Yes. All versions of the Balanced Budget Amendment legalize spending which is now illegal and unconstitutional as outside the scope of powers delegated to Congress or the President.

Q: Would a Balanced Budget Amendment fundamentally transform our Constitution?

A: Yes. All versions of the Balanced Budget Amendment amend out the enumerated powers limitations on the federal government and transform the federal government into one of general & unlimited powers where the feds may spend money on whatever they want as long as they don't exceed the spending limits "imposed" by the Balanced Budget Amendment.

Q: So a Balanced Budget Amendment changes the constitutional criterion for spending?

A: Yes! All versions of the Balanced Budget Amendment change the criterion from:

  • WHAT Congress spends money on (it must be an enumerated power), to
  • A LIMIT on total spending where Congress can spend money on whatever they want.

Q: How are spending limits in the various versions of the Balanced Budget Amendment set?


  • by the amount they take from us in taxes, or
  • by a certain percentage of the GDP, or
  • by the additional amounts they borrow to finance their spending.

Q: Can these limits on spending be raised?

A: Yes! In most versions of the Balanced Budget Amendment, Congress can vote to raise the spending limit (just as they vote every few months to raise the debt limit). In the version of the Balanced Budget Amendment by Nick Dranias and Compact for America, Congress and at least 26 States can vote at any time to raise the spending limit.

Not only do the Balanced Budget Amendment s fail to address the cause of the problem (Congress spends on unconstitutional objects); none of them limit the amount of Congress' spending because the spending limits can be raised whenever they want to raise them.

So! Just as Congress votes every few months to raise the debt ceiling; they can vote whenever they want to raise the spending limit.

Q: What about Mark Levin's amendment "to limit federal spending" (page 73 of his book)?

A: Levin's amendment makes lawful the spending which is now unconstitutional. And his amendment does nothing to control spending:

  • Levin substitutes a "budget" [which permits spending on whatever people in the federal government want] 1 for the enumerated powers listed in the Constitution; and,
  • While it pretends to limit spending to income, it actually permits Congress to suspend the spending limit and to continue to raise the national debt limit.

So! Like all other Balanced Budget Amendment s, Levin's legalizes the present unconstitutional spending and does nothing to curb spending. It legalizes the status quo. And it guts our Constitution by erasing the enumerated powers limitations on spending.

Q: What about Randy Barnett's version of a Balanced Budget Amendment? [See Barnett's 8th amendment here.]

A: Randy Barnett, law professor, redefines "unbalanced budget" to mean a budget where the national debt is greater than it was the previous year. [Yes, you read that right.]

Barnett's amendment doesn't address the unconstitutional spending which caused the massive debt.

And it delegates sweeping new powers to the President to stop funding anything he doesn't want funded. E.g., it permits him to ban appropriations authorized by the Constitution, such as all funding for our military (which is authorized by Art. I, Sec. 8, clauses 11-14).

Q: What is the real purpose of all versions of the Balanced Budget Amendment?

A: The sole purpose is to remove the enumerated powers limitations on the federal government and give it general & unlimited powers.

Folks! You must read the texts of the proposed Balanced Budget Amendment s and see what they actually say. Do not stop with the name and just read in your own understanding of what it means to "balance a budget."

For more information on various versions of the Balanced Budget Amendment see:


1 The federal government didn't have a budget until the Budget Act of 1921, which purported to grant budget making power (taxes & appropriations) to the President.

The Budget Act is unconstitutional. Article I, Sec. 8, cl. 1, delegates to Congress Power to lay and collect Taxes; and Art. I, Sec. 9, next to last clause, delegates to Congress Power to make appropriations:

"No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time."

Before the Budget Act of 1921, Congress made appropriations for items listed in the Constitution as the need arose; determined the taxes, and kept records of both.


The description of our dilemma outlined above is true.

Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader

Atlanta Economics

It’s impossible to describe the ups and downs of Atlanta economics without a history lesson covering the growth of Atlanta from 3 million to 6 million residents between 1980 and 2004 and its decline back to 4 million residents.   This spike in residents came as “high tech” companies built offices and factories in Atlanta’s suburban office parks and receded as companies moved off-shore to other countries.  These were companies headquartered elsewhere, but recognized Atlanta as a good place to go.  Atlanta had good weather, affordable housing and Georgia Tech.  The products produced by these “high tech” companies were both in high demand and extremely useful.
The elements missing in most Atlanta economy media accounts are product demand and usefulness.  Atlanta boomed in the 1980s, largely due to the introduction of the Personal Computer and the beginning of the telecom rebuild.  Several R&D projects enabled engineers to make the most of these phenomena.  These included digital signal processing, microprocessor development, fiber optics, RF and Laser technology, manufacturing automation, the Ethernet and the internet.  The goal was “smaller, cheaper, faster and reliable”. 
Our defense industry advances took place during the same timeframe.  DARPA funded unmanned aircraft technology, DOD funded stealth aircraft, radar jammers and un-jammers, finding radar for missiles, laser targeting and high powered laser and electromagnetic pulse weapons development. The amount of engineering and manufacturing work required to fuel this leap in capability was similar to Henry Ford’s production line.  Ford’s ability to produce enough automobiles enabled ordinary citizens to purchase them.  American productivity got the advantages of more rapid and accessible transportation.  
The computer revolution would not have been possible without the recognition that these devices needed to be affordable and useful to businesses and regular consumers.  The increases the PC allowed in business productivity were huge and the prediction that every home would have a PC came true.
The telecom rebuild was predictable.  Its current equipment needed to be upgraded. Telecom needed to develop its equipment to be able to support mobile phones.
Goodbye Jobs
NAFTA, passed in 1993 encouraged companies to move overseas and they did.  In 2000 and again in 2004, many companies closed their Atlanta operations and moved back to their headquarter cities. Many more moved operations to other countries.  Engineers migrated from company to company as this exodus progressed.  One of the last engineering tasks remaining was to expand cell phones to take pictures and videos and serve as a pocket PC for messages.  They also automated the test process for this cell phone.  Then they closed. 
Current Opportunities Stymied
Our electric grid is in need of upgrading, but the alternative green energy movement is meddling and slowing down the progress.  At the same time, fracking has enabled us to become energy independent, but the same group is slowing down the process.  Despite government obstructions, oil and gas production are on the rise and States with these resources are reporting full employment.  Obama wants to shut down hydro and coal-fired electric power plants, where 70% of our electricity comes from.
Atlanta’s Future
Unless manufacturing returns to the U.S. and until investors are ready to gather up and analyze current R&D projects for future applications, we will languish.  The answers to returning prosperity include rolling back job-killing regulations and taxes.  Reports of “more jobs” are anemic.
Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader

Common Core – Parents Hate it

Top Ten Things Parents Hate About the Common Core

Posted on September 27, 2014 Written by Joy Puallman,

It’s the first school year most par­ents have heard about Com­mon Core. And they don’t like it one bit.

This is the year new national Com­mon Core tests kick in, replac­ing state tests in most locales, cour­tesy of an eager Obama admin­is­tra­tion and the future generation’s tax dol­lars. It’s also the first year a major­ity of peo­ple inter­viewed tell poll­sters they’ve actu­ally heard of Com­mon Core, four years after bureau­crats signed our kids onto this com­plete over­haul of U.S. education.

Com­mon Core has impressed every­one from Bill Gates to U.S. Edu­ca­tion Sec­re­tary Arne Dun­can. So why do 62 per­cent of par­ents think it’s a bad idea? For one, they can count. But their kids can’t.

1. The Sense­less, Infu­ri­at­ing Math

Com­mon Core math, how do we hate thee? We would count the ways, if Com­mon Core hadn’t deformed even the most ele­men­tary of our math abil­i­ties so that sim­ple addi­tion now takes dots, dashes, boxes, hash­marks, and foam cubes, plus an inor­di­nate amount of time, to not get the right answer.

There are so many exam­ples of this, it’s hard to pick, but a recent one boomerang­ing the Inter­net has a teacher show­ing how to solve 9 + 6 the Com­mon Core way. Yes, it takes nearly a minute. 

Despite claims to the con­trary, Com­mon Core does require bad math like this. The Brook­ings Institution’s Tom Love­less says the cur­ricu­lum man­dates con­tain “dog whis­tles” for fuzzy math pro­po­nents, the peo­ple who keep push­ing inef­fec­tive, dev­as­tat­ing, and research-decimated math instruc­tion on U.S. kids for ide­o­log­i­cal rea­sons. The man­dates also explic­itly require kids to learn the least effi­cient ways of solv­ing basic prob­lems one, two, and even three grade lev­els before they are to learn the tra­di­tional, effi­cient ways. There are ways for teach­ers to fill in the gaps and fix this, but this means a kid’s abil­ity to get good math instruc­tion depends on the luck of hav­ing an extra-savvy teacher. That’s espe­cially a downer for poor and minor­ity kids, who already get the green­est and lowest-quality teach­ers

2. The Lies

The Amer­i­can Enter­prise Institute’s Rick Hess recently wrote about Com­mon Core’s “half-truths,” which Greg Forster point­edly demon­strated he should have called “lies.” These include talk­ing points essen­tial to sell­ing gov­er­nors and other state lead­ers on the project, such as that Com­mon Core is: “inter­na­tion­ally bench­marked” (“well, we sorta looked at what other nations do but that didn’t nec­es­sar­ily change any­thing we did”); “evi­dence based” (“we know there is not enough research to under­gird any stan­dards, so we just polled some peo­ple and that’s our evi­dence“); “col­lege– and career-ready” (“only if you mean community-college ready“); “rig­or­ous” (as long as rig­or­ous indi­cates “rigid”); and “high-performing nations nation­al­ize edu­ca­tion” (so do low-performing nations).

3. Oblit­er­at­ing Par­ent Rights

Com­mon Core has revealed the con­tempt pub­lic “ser­vants” have for the peo­ple they are sup­pos­edly ruled by—that’d be you and me. Indi­ana fire­brand Heather Crossin, a mom whose encounter with Com­mon Core math turned her into a nation­ally known activist, went with other par­ents to their private-school prin­ci­pal in an attempt to get their school’s new Com­mon Core text­books replaced. “Our prin­ci­pal in frus­tra­tion threw up his hands and said, ‘Look, I know par­ents don’t like this type of math because none of us were taught this way, but we have to teach it this way because this is how it’s going to be on the new [stan­dard­ized] assess­ment,” she says. “And that was the moment when I real­ized con­trol of what was being taught in my child’s class­room — in a parochial Catholic school  —  had not only left the build­ing, it had left the state of Indiana.”

A Mary­land dad who stood up to com­plain that Com­mon Core dumbed down his kids’ instruc­tion was arrested and thrown out of a pub­lic meet­ing. See the video. 

Par­ents reg­u­larly fill my inbox, frus­trated that even when they do go to their local school boards, often all they get are dis­gusted looks and a bored thumb-twiddling dur­ing their two-minute pub­lic com­ment allowance. A New Hamp­shire dad was also arrested for going over his two-minute com­ment limit in a local school board meet­ing par­ents packed to com­plain about graphic-sex-filled lit­er­a­ture assign­ments. The way the board treats him and his fel­low par­ents is repulsive. 

The bot­tom line is, par­ents have no choice about whether their kids will learn Com­mon Core, no mat­ter what school they put them in, if they want them to go to col­lege, because the SAT and ACT are being redesigned to fit the new national pro­gram for edu­ca­tion. Elected school boards pay par­ents no heed, and nei­ther do state depart­ments of edu­ca­tion, because the feds delib­er­ately use our tax dol­lars to put them­selves in the edu­ca­tion driver’s seat, at our expense. So much for “by the peo­ple, for the peo­ple, of the people.”

4. Dirty Read­ing Assignments

A red-haired mother of four kids read to our Indi­ana leg­is­la­ture selec­tions from a Com­mon Core-recommended book called “The Bluest Eyes,” by Toni Mor­ri­son. I’m a grown, mar­ried woman who enjoys sex just fine, thank you, but I sin­cerely wish I hadn’t heard her read those pas­sages. I guess some peo­ple don’t find sym­pa­thet­i­cally por­trayed rape scenes offen­sive, but I do. So I won’t quote them at you. If you have a perv-wish, Google will fill you in. Other objec­tion­able books on the Com­mon Core-recommended list include “Make Lemon­ade” by Vir­ginia Euwer Wolff, “Black Swan Green” by David Mitchell, and “Dream­ing in Cuban” by Cristina Gar­cia.

There are so many excel­lent, clas­sic works of lit­er­a­ture avail­able for chil­dren and young adults that schools can’t pos­si­bly fit all the good ones into their cur­ricu­lum. So why did Com­mon Core’s cre­ators feel the need to rec­om­mend trash? Either they want kids to read trash or they don’t think these are trash, and both are disturbing.

5. Turn­ing Kids Into Cor­po­rate Cogs

The workforce-prep men­tal­ity of Com­mon Core is writ­ten into its DNA. Start with its slo­gan, which is now writ­ten into fed­eral man­dates on state edu­ca­tion sys­tems: “Col­lege and career readi­ness.” That is the entire Com­mon Core con­cep­tion of education’s pur­pose: Careers. Job train­ing. Work­force skills. There’s not a word about the rea­sons our state con­sti­tu­tions give for estab­lish­ing pub­lic edu­ca­tion, in which eco­nomic advance­ment is largely con­sid­ered a person’s per­sonal affair. (Mil­ton Fried­man takes the same tack, by the way.) State con­sti­tu­tions typ­i­cally mimic the North­west Ordinance’s vision for pub­lic edu­ca­tion (the ordi­nance was the first U.S. law to dis­cuss edu­ca­tion): “Reli­gion, moral­ity, and knowl­edge, being nec­es­sary to good gov­ern­ment and the hap­pi­ness of mankind, schools and the means of edu­ca­tion shall for­ever be encouraged.”

Com­mon Core makes no promises about ful­fill­ing pub­lic education’s pur­pose of pro­duc­ing cit­i­zens capa­ble of self-government. Instead, it focuses entirely on the mate­ri­al­is­tic ben­e­fits of edu­ca­tion, although human civ­i­liza­tion has instead long con­sid­ered edu­ca­tion a part of accul­tur­at­ing chil­dren and pass­ing down a people’s knowl­edge, her­itage, and morals. The work­force talk cer­tainly tick­les the ears of Com­mon Core’s cor­po­rate sup­port­ers. Maybe that was the intent all along. But in what world do cor­po­ra­tions get to dic­tate what kids learn, instead of the par­ents and kids them­selves? Ours, apparently.

6. The Data Col­lec­tion and Pop­u­lace Management

Speak­ing of cor­po­rate crony­ism, let’s talk about how Com­mon Core enables the con­tin­ued theft of kids’ and teach­ers’ infor­ma­tion at the behest of gov­ern­ments and busi­nesses, fur­ther­ing their bot­tom lines and populace-control fan­tasies at the expense of pri­vate prop­erty and self-determination. Well, I coau­thored a 400-footnote paper on this very topic. I’ll just sum­ma­rize the list of direct con­nec­tions between intru­sive data-mining and Com­mon Core from my favorite pas­sage (in the sec­tion start­ing on page 52):

1.     The doc­u­ments that ‘cre­ated the (dubi­ous) autho­riza­tion for Com­mon Core define the ini­ta­tive as cur­ricu­lum man­dates plus tests. The tests are the key instru­ment of data collection.

2.     Com­mon Core archi­tect David Cole­man has con­firmed that special-interests delib­er­ately pack­aged data min­ing into Com­mon Core.

3.     Com­mon Core cre­ates an enor­mous sys­tem of data clas­si­fi­ca­tion for edu­ca­tion. It’s prob­a­bly eas­i­est to think of it as an enor­mous fil­ing sys­tem, like the equiv­a­lent of the Dewey Dec­i­mal Sys­tem for lessons, text­books, apps, and every­thing else kids learn. That’s by design.

4.     States using the national, fed­er­ally funded Com­mon Core tests have essen­tially turned over con­trol of what data they col­lect on chil­dren to pri­vate orga­ni­za­tions that are over­seen by no elected offi­cials. Those orga­ni­za­tions have promised com­plete access to kids’ data to the fed­eral government.

5.     Com­mon Core and data vac­u­um­ing are philo­soph­i­cally aligned—they both jus­tify them­selves as tech­no­cratic, pro­gres­sive solu­tions to human prob­lems. The ulti­mate goal is using data to “seam­lessly inte­grate” edu­ca­tion and the econ­omy. In other words, we learned noth­ing from the USSR.

7. Dis­tanc­ing Par­ents and Children

A recent study found that the Com­mon Core model of edu­ca­tion results in par­ents who are less engaged in their kids’ edu­ca­tion and express more neg­a­tive atti­tudes about schools and gov­ern­ment. Does it need to be noted that kids des­per­ately need their pre-existing, nat­ural bond with their par­ents to get a good start in life, and any­thing that attacks this is bad for both the kids and society?

In addi­tion, math even highly edu­cated engi­neers and math pro­fes­sors can’t under­stand obvi­ously has the effect of plac­ing a teacher and school between a child and his par­ent. Par­ents are rife with sto­ries about how they tried to teach their kids “nor­mal” math, but it put pres­sure on the tots because teacher demanded one thing and mom demanded another, which ended up in frus­tra­tion, con­fu­sion, and resent­ment. That won’t make a kid hate school, right?

8. Mak­ing Lit­tle Kids Cry

It’s one thing to teach a child to endure life’s inevitable suf­fer­ing for a higher pur­pose. It’s another thing to inflict chil­dren with need­less suf­fer­ing because you’ve got a soci­ety to remake, and “it takes a few bro­ken eggs to make an omelet.” One is per­haps the essence of char­ac­ter. The other is per­haps the essence of cruelty.

There have been reports nation­wide from both teach­ers and a litany of child psy­chol­o­gists that Com­mon Core inflicts poorly designed instruc­tion on chil­dren, thus stress­ing them out and turn­ing them off academics.The video below, cour­tesy of Truth in Amer­i­can Edu­ca­tion and a Louisiana mother, shows a sec­ond grader cry­ing over her math home­work. A SECOND GRADER. You know, when the lit­tle peo­ple are still learn­ing addition?

Below, find a pic­ture from a New York mother and pho­tog­ra­pher Kelly Poyn­ter. This is her second-grade daugh­ter, utterly frus­trated at her math home­work. The lit­tle girl is a can­cer sur­vivor, Poyn­ter explains, so she doesn’t lack per­sis­tence or a fight­ing spirit. Incom­pre­hen­si­ble math prob­lems downed a child that can­cer couldn’t.

9. The Arrogance

So imag­ine you’re a mom or dad whose small child is sob­bing at the table try­ing to add two-digit num­bers. Then you hear your elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives talk­ing about Com­mon Core. And it’s not to offer relief. It’s to ridicule your pain—no, worse. It’s to ridicule your child’s pain.

Florida Sen­ate Pres­i­dent Don Gaetz said of Com­mon Core: “You can’t dip [Com­mon Core man­dates] in milk and hold them over a can­dle and see the United Nations flag or Barack Obama’s face. They’re not some fed­eral con­spir­acy.” Ohio House Edu­ca­tion Chair­man Ger­ald Ste­bel­ton (R-Lancaster) called Com­mon Core oppo­si­tion a “con­spir­acy the­ory.” Wis­con­sin state Sen. John Lehman (D-Racine) told a packed audi­ence state hear­ings on the topic were “crazy” and “a show.” Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D) has called oppo­nents a “distract[ing]” “fringe move­ment.” Mis­souri Rep. Mike Lair put $8 into the state bud­get for tin­foil hats for Com­mon Core supporters.

Since when is it okay for law­mak­ers to ridicule their employ­ers? Aren’t they sup­posed to be “pub­lic ser­vants”? What part of “this math is from hell” sounds like “I think Barack Obama wrote this math cur­ricu­lum”? Those law­mak­ers must have encoun­tered an early form of Com­mon Core in school, because they can’t com­pre­hend their way out of a paper bag.

It gets even worse. I thought racial slurs were wrong, but Edu­ca­tion Sec­re­tary Arne Dun­can has no prob­lems sling­ing those around in his dis­dain for peo­ple who dis­agree with him on Com­mon Core. You may recall that he dis­missed them as “white sub­ur­ban moms who—all of a sudden—their child isn’t as bril­liant as they thought they were.” So only white moms hate crappy curriculum?

And then par­ents have to endure a litany of pompous, sick­en­ingly well-paid experts all over the air­waves telling us it’s a) good for them that our babies are cry­ing at the kitchen table or b) not really Com­mon Core’s fault or 3) they don’t really get what’s going on because this new­fan­gled way of adding 8 + 6 is so far above the aver­age parent’s abil­ity to under­stand.

10. The Collectivism

It’s easy to see Com­mon Core appeals to those anal-retentive types who can­not func­tion unless U.S. edu­ca­tion has some sort of all-encompassing orga­niz­ing principle.

But there’s more. Com­mon Core sup­port­ers will admit that sev­eral states had bet­ter cur­ricu­lum require­ments than Com­mon Core. Then they typ­i­cally say it’s still bet­ter for those states to have low­ered their expec­ta­tions to Com­mon Core’s level, because that way we have more cur­ric­u­lar unity. That’s what the Ford­ham Institute’s Mike Petrilli told Indi­ana leg­is­la­tors when he came to our state to explain why, even though Ford­ham graded Indiana’s for­mer cur­ricu­lum require­ments higher than Com­mon Core, Indi­ana should remain a step below its pre­vi­ous level. One main rea­son was that we’d be able to use all the cur­ricu­lum and les­son plans other teach­ers in other states were tai­lor­ing (to lower aca­d­e­mic expec­ta­tions, natch). Yay, we get to be worse than we were, but it’s okay, because now we’re the same as every­one else!

Tech com­pa­nies are uber excited about Com­mon Core because it facil­i­tates a nation­wide mar­ket for their prod­ucts. Basi­cally every other edu­ca­tion ven­dor feels the same way, except those who already had nation­wide mar­kets because they accessed pock­ets of the pop­u­la­tion not sub­ject to mind-numbing state reg­u­la­tions such as home and pri­vate schools. But the diver­sity of the unreg­u­lated pri­vate mar­ket far, far out­strips that of the Com­mon Core mar­ket. There are, you know, actual niches, and edu­ca­tion styles, and vary­ing philoso­phies, rather than a flood of com­pa­nies all try­ing to pack­age the same prod­uct dif­fer­ently. The vari­ety is one of sub­stance, not just brand­ing. In other words, it’s true diver­sity, not fake diversity.

What would you rather have: Fake free­dom, where oth­ers choose your end goal and end prod­uct, but lets you decide some things about how to achieve some­one else’s vision for edu­ca­tion, which by the way has to be the same for every­one every­where; or gen­uine free­dom, where you both pick your goals and how to achieve them, and you’re the one respon­si­ble for the results? Whoops, that’s a trick ques­tion, moms and dads. In edu­ca­tion, no one can pick the lat­ter, because our over­lords have already picked for us. Com­mon Core or the door, baby.

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Constitutional Convention ?

Is Changing the Constitution Really the Answer?
. . . to federal abuse of power  by: Richard J. Arena
  1. Is the government of the United States operating significantly beyond the bounds of the Constitution?
  2. Does it matter?
  3. Is the principle articulated in the Declaration of Independence that: “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” –valid today?
Advocates for an Article V Convention contend that federal abuse of American’s rights, freedoms and property is due to a lack of clarity in the Enumerated Powers set out in Article I, Sec. 8 of the Constitution.  They argue the remedy is to make changes to the Constitution that clarify and place additional limits on federal jurisdiction and powers. 
When I first heard about the current push for a Convention to propose changes to the Constitution to keep the government within the bounds of the Constitution, I didn’t take it too seriously because states pulled back from similar attempts in the 1960’s and 1980’s when Congress started passing legislation that would put Washington politicians in charge of the process.  However, when the Georgia legislature adopted SR371, renewing an application to Congress to call for a convention “for the purpose of proposing an amendment to the Constitution; and other purposes”, I started taking the matter seriously and began researching.
Ironically, I found the arguments offered by the Convention of the States Project justifying the need for changes in the Constitution actually reveal that amendments cannot address the real problem.  Meanwhile, the proven remedy for federal abuse advocated by Madison, Jefferson and Hamilton, and by the way is currently being employed by more than half of the states. . . including Georgia, is casually dismissed by Convention of the States advocates.  
Convention of the State’s central argument, that changes to the Constitution are needed to clarify the meaning of the enumerated powers, is what’s known in formal debate as an argument Irnorantio Enlenchi – an argument with an irrelevant conclusion.  Here is what I mean.  Michael Farris, a leader of the Convention of the States project, writes, the Federal Government has “gradually amassed overwhelming power that is clearly outside the boundaries that the Framers intended when they wrote the Constitution.[1] (emphasis added) If it’s clear the federal government is overstepping the limits of its Constitutional powers, doesn’t that say the problem is not a lack of clarity? So, what is the real problem? Unwittingly, Mr. Farris reveals it is that the government deliberately misconstrues the Constitution when he writes, “The two most abused provisions of the Constitution”, the Interstate Commerce Clause and the General Welfare Clause, “have been amenable to abuse (exploitation, manipulation which are acts of intention) because they were not written tightly enough to effectively implement the drafters’ intentions.”(emphasis added)  So, as we see from Mr. Farris’ own words, the problem is not a lack of clarity, it’s a matter of intentional abuse, and I might add, in need of an appropriate counterbalancing check.
If the government’s overreach of its delegated powers was simply due to an ambiguous exposition of two clauses, then clarification would be appropriate, but when the government chooses to parse words in order to rationalize the exercise of powers not granted, that is a problem of a very different sort; one unlikely to be remedied by wordsmithing; for as  Plato once said, “Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.” That is as true today as it was in the 4th century BC.
For the first one hundred twenty-five years after the Constitution’s ratification federal judges had little problem understanding the limits of federal powers as written and ratified.  Then, beginning with Woodrow Wilson’s administration in 1913, the Constitution started to be interpreted as a “living document” which is to say its meaning is not discovered through a literal or commonsensical reading, or for that matter by reading Madison, Hamilton and Jay’s elucidations in the Federalist Papers, but the meaning of a so-called Living Constitution is determined by the imposition of the personal views of those in power. 
Wilson, our second Progressive president, expressed open contempt for the Founders and argued that the meaning of the Constitution should be interpreted by judges, not based on its words because, in his view, government as structured in the Constitution was insufficient for the challenges of the modern era.  In the Progressive view, the executive needs extensive power to act on their own.  Sound familiar? 
Chief Justice John Evans Hughes, who served on the high court during FDR’s administrations, characterized a living constitution this way, “We are under a Constitution, but the Constitution is what the judges say it is”.  In other words, the rule of man, not the Rule of Law; the very mode of governance the Founders fought to overthrow. The rule of man is the hallmark of dictators, monarchs and tyrants of whatever title.  It is the elites imposing their own personal views on the rest of us.
It is no surprise then that since the Supreme Court and the other branches of the government began operating under the premise that the Constitution is a “living” document, the Bill of Rights has been turned upside down.  In the Progressive construction of American government, the People are not sovereign and the States have no right to check federal abuses, and only the federal government can define the limits of the powers we delegate to it!  So, that which the People created to be their agent and servant has been turned into a master – a master that dictates everything from what kind of light bulbs and toilet flushes we can use and even what we can say without penalty in our houses of worship. Intentional disregard of the Constitution is why there is no sphere of private life left untouched by government meddling today.   
Does anyone believe that Chief Justice John Roberts really thinks the Affordable Healthcare Act is Constitutional?  Do you think the government doesn’t understand that it is trampling our 4th Amendment right to be secure in our persons, houses, papers and effects when it indiscriminately monitors our emails, phone calls, financial transactions, health and school records? Are Congress, the president and the Supreme Court unaware that the power to indefinitely detain and even execute American citizens without charges or due process is a blatant violation of our 5th Amendment unalienable right not to be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process?  Of course they are aware. This is a government that deliberately violates and makes a mockery of the Constitution. 
Given this reality, how can we not consider the possibility, indeed the probability that the federal government will ignore and twist any new modifications to the Constitution - especially any intended to curb federal power and benefits?  Our first priority must be to reestablish the sovereignty of the people – that no matter how the courts, the Congress or the President twist the powers we delegate, at the end of the day, we reserve the right to define limits of the government’s powers – even if it means applying the principle articulated in the Declaration of Independence – a principle that, when necessary, supersedes all others.  How that principle is applied depends on the circumnutates – it cannot be dictated by the very out of control government in need of our restraint.
Why waste time and effort chasing after a Convention that cannot correct the real problem – intentional disobedience, intentional misinterpretation of the Constitution - when we can apply more of a remedy that has already begun the restoration of federalism and the rule of law.     
The solution to which I refer is We the People reasserting our sovereignty through the voice of our state governments who are starting to say NO to unconstitutional federal acts . . . and who need to start saying NO to federal money that funds state activities that are constitutionally prohibited to the federal government. That process is enhanced when we demand of our local and state elected officials to honor their oath to protect, preserve and defend the Constitution.
Here’s what three of our Founders had to say about this “rightful remedy”:
  •  “…but, where powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy: that every State has a natural right in cases not within the compact, (casus non foederis,) to nullify of their own authority all assumptions of power by others within their limits: that without this right, they would be under the dominion, absolute and unlimited, of whosoever might exercise this right of judgment for them…”– Thomas Jefferson, Kentucky Resolution, 1798
  • “The states then, being parties to the constitutional compact, and in their sovereign capacity, it follows of necessity, that there can be no tribunal above their authority, to decide in the last resort, whether the compact made by them be violated; and consequently, that, as the parties to it, they must themselves decide, in the last resort, such questions as may be of sufficient magnitude to require their interposition.” – James Madison, Virginia Resolution 1798
    Madison agreed, he said:
  • “Thus the right of nullification meant by Mr. Jefferson is the natural right, which all admit to be a remedy against insupportable oppression.” – James Madison,  Notes on Nullification 1834
  • “There is no position which depends on clearer principles, than that every act of a delegated authority contrary to the tenor of the commission under which it is exercised, is void. No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the constitution, can be valid.” – Alexander Hamilton Federalist, No. 78, 524--25. 28 May 1788
  •  “ . . . [T]he State Legislatures will jealously and closely watch the operations of this Government, and be able to resist with more effect every assumption of power than any other power on earth can do; and the greatest opponents to a Federal Government admit the State Legislatures to be sure guardians of the people’s liberty.” – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 78
    CONVENTION OF THE STATES advocates dismiss the idea of state resistance to unconstitutional federal acts as being “not grounded in the text of the Constitution and having no realistic chance of success.”[2]  Let’s examine both assertions.
    The right to resist federal government abuses of the Constitution is found in the 9th and 10th Amendments, provided, as Alexander Hamilton put it, “the citizens understand their rights and are disposed to defend them…” (Federalist No. 28)
  • “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.” – James Madison, Federalist No. 45.   
  • Amendment X: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
  • Amendment IX: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The right to say NO to unconstitutional federal acts is not prohibited to the States or the people. We know Madison, the father of the Constitution and author of the Bill of Rights endorsed the idea. Obviously, the States retain the right to resist federal assumptions of powers.
So, contrary to the federal government’s claim and Convention of the States advocates assertion, the states and the people do have a right to judge the constitutionality of federal acts and to resist acts they find to be- in Madison’s words – “deliberately, palpably and dangerously unconstitutional.”  Jefferson put it this way:
  • The government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself, since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution the measure of its powers.”  - Thomas Jefferson, Kentucky Resolutions, 1798
    Now let’s look at the second part of the convention of the States dismissal of your right to resist unconstitutional acts of government – that they have no realistic chance of success.
    Well, tell that to the Georgia legislature and Governor Deal and the other twenty-five states that have declined to set up ACA insurance exchanges.  In the last session of the General Assembly the Georgia Health Care Freedom and ACA Non-Compliance Act passed and was signed into law. HB707 prohibits state agencies and officials from assisting the implementation of Obamacare.
    Likewise Convention of the States might try to tell that to the people of Missouri who by a large majority just approved a state constitutional amendment that nullifies federal gun control enforcement in the Show Me state. Missouri joins 381 sheriffs, 15 state sheriff’s associations and the National Sheriff’s Association in their defiance of unconstitutional federal gun control acts.
    Convention of the States advocates might also try to tell that to the twenty-six states that have decriminalized cannabis or the 24 that are refusing to abide by the REAL ID Act.  Saying NO to unconstitutional federal acts is not unrealistic; it’s happening.
    And just saying “NO!” is spreading.  More and more states, blue and purple as well as red, are stepping up, and with each step federalism and the rule of law are being restored. 
    So, let’s compare.
    An Article V Convention is:
  • Untried
  • Was strongly discouraged by Madison and others framers
“Having witnessed the difficulties and dangers experienced by the first Convention which assembled under every propitious circumstance, I should tremble for the result of a second. . . .”  – James Madison 1788
  • Too many what if’s
  • Takes too long and the outcome is too much in doubt
  • Irrelevant – does not address the fundamental problems: 1) fedgov deliberately ignores and twists the Constitution as it pleases; and 2) assumes it has sole and final authority to define the limits of its powers
Just saying NO to unconstitutional federal acts:
  • Is happening
  • Addresses the central problem
  • Proven effective
  • Reestablishes balance in the state / federal relationship
  • Provides a civil check on federal abuses that is employed without the complex, lengthy and risky Article V process
As citizens across the nation keep the pressure on their governors and legislators not to participate in and even bar unconstitutional federal activities, the federal government has less and less choice but to limit its activities to the powers delegated. 
So, let’s don’t waste precious time and expose the nation to the risks involved in a Constitutional Convention, when we can and are resisting unconstitutional federal acts by just saying NO.

The "interstate commerce" clause (Art. I, §8, cl. 3)
Webster's 1828 Dictionary says "commerce" is the buying and selling of goods.

Federalist No. 22 (4th para) and Federalist No. 42 (9th & 10th paras), Hamilton and Madison explain the primary purpose of the clause: To prohibit the States from imposing taxes & tolls on merchandize as it is transported through the States for purposes of buying and selling.
The "general welfare" clause (Preamble & Art. I, §8, cl. 1)
Webster's 1828 Dictionary defines "welfare" as:
"2. Exemption from any unusual evil or calamity; the enjoyment of peace and prosperity, or the ordinary blessings of society and civil government; applied to states."
It has nothing to do with handouts, public relief, or the feds doing whatever they think is a good idea.

Federalist No. 41 (last 4 paras), Madison points out that Art. I, § 8, employs "general terms" which are "immediately" followed by the "enumeration of particular powers" which "explain and qualify," by a "recital of particulars," the "general phrase." It is "error" to focus on "general expressions" and disregard "the specifications which ascertain and limit their import"; thus, to argue that the general expression provides an unlimited power is "an absurdity."

So yes! The powers of Congress over the Country at Large really are limited primarily to those few listed at Art. I, §8, clauses 3-16.

Our Framers understood that "general Welfare," i.e., the enjoyment of peace and prosperity, and the enjoyment of the ordinary blessings of society and civil government, was possible only with a federal government of strictly limited powers. [Let that sink in.]
The "necessary and proper" clause (Art. I, §8, last clause)
This clause delegates to Congress power to pass all laws necessary and proper to execute its declared powers (Federalist No. 29, 4th para); "the constitutional operation of the intended government would be precisely the same if [this clause] were entirely obliterated as if [it] were repeated in every article"; a power to do something must be a power to pass all laws necessary and proper for the execution of that power, and thus the clause is "perfectly harmless," a "tautology or redundancy" (Federalist No. 33, 2nd & 3rd paras). Madison writes to the same effect in (Federalist No. 44, under his discussion of the SIXTH class of powers).

So the clause permits the execution of powers already delegated and enumerated in the Constitution. No additional substantive powers are granted by the clause.
Source: Richard Arena

[1] Response to Questions / Objections from the JBS
[Argumentum ab auctoritate – a false argument from a genuine authority ]
Answering the John Birch Society Questions about Article V
Michael Farris, JD, LLM, page 14  “The Current conservative solutions to the problems of federal abuse of power fall into one of two general strategies: (1) try to elect more conservatives to federal office; or (2) promote theories like ‘nullification’ that are not grounded in the text of the Constitution and have no realistic chance of success.”
Convention of the States, Website: Is Nullification the Answer?, Page 1 The Tenth Amendment is a clear expression of a defining, foundational principle of the government designed by our Founders: that powers not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution are reserved to the states or to the people. But this, in and of itself, does not imply that individual states have the authority to independently determine when the federal government has acted outside the scope of its authority; much less does it imply that an individual state, upon reaching this conclusion, may simply ignore a duly-enacted federal law. The Tenth Amendment establishes a principle, but it does not establish a remedy or process. (emphasis in the original)