Could We Agree On A New Constitution? – Republished 14 January 2020

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This question has recently re-surfaced in the context of Democratic candidates' for 2020's evident desire to make serious changes to the US Constitution with regard to the electoral college, the supreme court and similar matters.

The US Constitution can legally be changed in two ways:

-By amendment.  We have done that throughout our history, choosing to change the document paragraph by paragraph after a deliberately difficult process of Congressional approval and state ratification.  (2/3 of each house of Congress agreeing and 3/4 of the states ratifying) Many, many amendments proceed only part way through the process and then fail, never becoming part of the constitution.  Think of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).  Has it been 45 years that it has waited for state ratification?

-By Constitutional Convention, like the first time in 1789.  This will not happen.  Why?  The states would be free to ratify or not ratify the new document and those that did not would be out of the Union.  (If that is not true, tell me why.) Who will risk that?  Who will risk the possibility that the Red/Blue divide in this country is not so serious that it would produce such a result.  Already there is much talk of polarization to the point of alienation.  What would be the result if Red Staters could rid themselves of Blue Staters or vice versa without an overt penalty.

IMO, if a constitutional convention were convened it would effectively become the supreme law of the land.  That is what happened with the convention that created the USA as we know it.  The convention in Philadelphia was convened to "adjust" the Articles of Confederation.  Once convened, the delegates seized control and created a completely new system of government.  The states are the contracting parties to the constitution and so the new constitution had to be submitted to the states for ratification. Two states, Rhode Island and North Carolina voted to reject the new government before Virginia, by the slimmest of margins, voted yes to "close" the deal.  It took several years and the Federalist Papers to obtain that final ratification.  RI and NC then changed their minds rather than be left isolated with the Europeans still on their "doorsteps."

Would not the large states wish to end the "great compromise" that gives each state (however small) two seats in the senate?  To do that would require the acquiescence of the small states in a process of ratification.  Would Wyoming  or Vermont or any of the other "small" states do that for California or Florida?  If frustrated in this process would Texas or any of the other big states leave the new country by rejecting ratification?

How many other provisions of the present constitution would be challenged?  Name a few.  How about the Income Tax Amendment?  How about popular election of US Senators?

Spare me any cant about "economic viability."  All over the world we have examples of states which are anything but economically viable but which exist because people there just couldn't "stand" being bound to some other group of people within the loving embrace of a constitution.  In any event, trade is not limited to national territory.

The accepted wisdom in the USA has been that regional cultural differences are disappearing under the influence of migration and the universal prevalence of a "national" (read Northern) culture.  It is mostly Northerners who say this.  They have been saying it since the 1830s.  Places like Atlanta and northern Virginia seem to support this view, but if you ask you will find that most of the proponents of that view who live in the metropolitan areas rarely leave those areas except by air or rail.  They don't feel "comfortable" wandering around the countryside.  Why is that?

The contrarian view is that, in fact, the regions and their cultures are actually growing farther apart, and that the values of places like New York City and the Piedmont region of the Upper South are farther apart than ever before.  This time it is not just a question of the culture of the South being "different."  Look at the Red/Blue Map by counties all over the country for the last two elections.  Look at places like California and Oregon.  Look at New York State.  The rural areas are Red if the population there is not a minority or solidly "labor" like the Masabi Iron Range in the far north, while the cities are Blue just about everywhere.  These divisions are deepening, not disappearing.  It would seem that now the split is rural/urban, as well as regional.

Let's not have another constitutional convention, not ever.  We are not Canada.  The Canadian government said years ago that a Quebec decision for "sovereignty" would be accepted.  I can't imagine that happening here and I would fear the result if it were attempted.  pl 

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101 Responses to Could We Agree On A New Constitution? – Republished 14 January 2020

  1. Avatar RAM says:

    I keep hearing people saying that we should be patient about the constitutional process in Iraq. After all, they say, it took from 1775 when the Revolution began until 1788 for us to develop our own constitution. In fact, I read a piece by a constitutional scholar the other day that repeated the same thing. And, of course, the President is fond of making absurd comparisons between what’s happening in Iraq and our own Revolution.
    The thing is, it didn’t take 23 years to develop the U.S. Constitution. It was in process for 560 years from the time the Magna Carta was signed in 1215 (actually the process started before that, but 1215 is a good benchmark) until the Framers finished their work. During that time, we, as a people, learned how various forms of democratic and republican forms of government worked using a sometimes bloody process of trial and error.
    There is no tradition of democracy in Iraq and this effort to somehow graft a western-style government onto an unreceptive culture is doomed to bloody failure. Even if it is adopted (which currently seems sort of unlikely) it’s more than likely the new Iraq constitution will last about as long as there are sufficient U.S. troops available to ensure its viability.
    What I keep trying to understand–without much luck–is why anyone seriously believes democracy can be imposed successfully on any part of the Arab world by outsiders.

  2. Avatar ismoot says:

    RAM
    My recent musings on the state of our Union and the possibility of renewing it if it should be interrupted were not intended as an endorsement of the present constitutional process in Iraq. They were merely inspired by it.
    In fact, Iraq had an earlier experience of constitutional government under the Hashemite kings from 1926 to 1958. The government then had parties, a parliament, cabinet ministers, a constututional monarchy, etc.
    The Iraqis found it uncongenial and dumped it with much bloodshed and barbarity in 1958. pl

  3. Avatar RJJ says:

    In an age of hubris and dysfunctionalism the architects of any renewed constitution would be the current lot, the Frank Gehrys of statecraft.

  4. Perhaps we couldn’t have a Convention now. If there were still a Madison and a Monroe, perhaps. But it would be a piece of cake even without them compared to what Iraq is facing now. Imagine trying to write the Constitution while the Revolutionary War was still in progress, and with the Tories hanging around to boot.

  5. Avatar ismoot says:

    UR
    Actually, the Tories WERE still hanging around. The number of crown loyalists who left for Canada or wherever was only a fraction of those who stayed. In addition to them, there were a lot of people who were completely indifferent to the idea of a republic. These people formed much of the support for the political forces that favored things like the Alien and Sedition Laws in the Adams Administration and who encouraged the Anglophilia and inclination toward monarchical trappings (titles, state uniforms, etc.) that so irritated the “Republican” faction of Jefferson and Madison. There was a good reason why the “Republicans” of that day feared a possible return to monarchy if the Federalist Part had continued in power.
    The delegates to the convention of 1788 were all people who favored a republic to one degree or other, but there were many outside the convention who did not want a “more perfect union” at all. It took a year or so of propaganda in the Federalist Papers to get the thing ratified and even then by the time Virginia ratified (by one vote), creating a majority, North Carolina and Rhode Island had voted not to ratify. They subsequently changed their minds, but anti-federalist sentiment remained strong.
    The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions penned respectively by Jefferson and Madison expressed strong reservations about the amount of power the federal government was grabbing under Adams, and expressed the opinion that if the states did not think the laws were justified by what they had agreed to in the constitution, they should ignore them. The Hartford Convention of 1814 was nearly the occasion of New England’s secession, and there was the thing out in the west in which the commanding general of the army conspired with Spain for the purpose of splitting off part of the national territory. Things did not go smoothly and it was anything but sure that the Union would endure. A lot of people thought then that the Constitution of 1789 was but a scrap of paper, just as a lot of Iraqis are going to think the same thing of their piece of paper.
    Then, of course, there was 1861.
    All of this revolved around the role and power of a central government a opposed to regional interests. Sound familiar?
    I wish the Iraqis luck in this attempt. They will need it to make the arrangement “stick” even if they succeed in producing a meaningful draft.
    Who did you have in mind for the role of the British in your comment? pl

  6. Avatar patriot says:

    One of the interesting and rather chilling things is that if we rewrote our constitution how many would throw out the bill of rights. You have this on both sides but the attitude among “mainstream” Bush supporters is chilling.
    Browse these quotes:
    http://www.thepoorman.net/2005/08/19/back-down-the-road-a-while/
    O’Reilly draws a very fuzzy line between dissent and treason, the need for revolution by any means necessary is there, pretty Ann finds only one thing wrong with McVeigh, he didn’t chose the NYT. This is in the context of militia movements and significant right wing armies. Limbaugh says we shouldn’t kill all liberals, but should leave a few for the pillory. What really chills me most is the quote from the National Review that Chelsea Clinton is “tainted” and historical wisdom suggests she be killed.
    These people always say they are “joking,” but one can brutally insult opponents without suggesting they are subhumans who should be hunted down by dogs. Note this is the mainstream of bush support including members of Congress.
    Makes the neocons look rational.

  7. Avatar RJJ says:

    mapping the cultural divide — here it is to a state of mind.
    http://www.sltrib.com/ci_2958368

  8. Avatar roughness says:

    ismoot:
    You provide a useful correction on the issue of the Tories. One crucial difference between US and Iraq, however, are the ongoing hostilities there. Then, there are the razor-sharp sectional differences and the relevance of ourside financing/manpower for the insurgency. None of these are insurmountable, just very tough.

  9. Avatar ismoot says:

    Roughness
    Yup, very tough. pl

  10. Avatar Matthew says:

    Two absolute killers: the First and Second Amendments. I suspect both would be up for grabs, and our unity would collapse. I trust James Madison a lot more than Tom Cotton or Chuck Schumer.

  11. Avatar ISL says:

    patriot: Cant get the link to work, or find the poorman.net

  12. Avatar ISL says:

    Dear Colonel,
    I clearly am contrarian, and find it hard to envision a constitutional convention in the short term due to the risks it would pose to many power centers in US society.
    However, if the current trend towards wealth concentration continues and the remnants of the middle class fall into the working poor – say the Walton (or other) family moves from owning wealth equal to the bottom 43% to the bottom 80%, then all bets are (IMO) off. Not that I would venture the end results to be predictable, but it would only take a little hubris on the part of a few individuals/groups to start the process.
    I also think if a political fragmentation process began, it would not stop at the state level (i.e., North/non-coastal California versus Southcoast California), or that (as in the middle east and now Africa), and that state boundaries would be challenged (by militia’s). Presumably all with the meddling from the various great powers. In such an event, we would learn the curse of living in interesting times.

  13. Avatar turcopolier says:

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    Intra-state divisions in a post Union America would be internal extra constitutional affairs with external players. Wonder what would happen in Canada and Latin America? PL

  14. Avatar ISL says:

    Dear Colonel,
    Canada is easy, I think the only thing holding it together is low population, lousy weather, pride at not being American, and business interests. Absent the last two, its hard to imagine les Quebecoise, BC, and the Inuit not heading full speed for the door.
    Mexico is (as always) different – its never been a stable state and hasn’t fallen apart for a century-ish, probably remains together – its politico’s could always try and distract attention from internal failings by trying to regain territory from poorly populated New Mexico….. perhaps forcing New Mexico to ally with Texas.

  15. Avatar Swami Bhut Jolokia says:

    “Could We Agree On A New Constitution”?
    Not. gonna. happen.
    No people leadership.
    No thought leadership.
    No willingness to compromise.
    And most importantly, no shared agreement in the country on which issues need a new or revised Constitution.

  16. Avatar Jose says:

    if the current trend towards wealth concentration continues and the remnants of the middle class fall into the working poor – ISL
    Products of Liberals who favor fairness in the economy instead of growth. Growth creates opportunity. With the number of Americans that are not working plus the number of Americans who have been dropped to part-time status there are fewer opportunities.
    When we add 30 million illegal immigrants, we will become a Liberal basket case like California.

  17. Avatar Swami Bhut Jolokia says:

    After reading the WaPo article, and looking at this breakout: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_state_legislatures I question whether it is even achievable for the constitutional convention folks to get to 34 states, least of all on the matter of a balanced budget amendment. Balanced budgets may make sense at a State level, but make no economic sense whatsoever at a Federal level.
    And as for 2/3 of Congress voting on an amendment…

  18. Avatar Grimgrin says:

    I suspect Canada will go on being Canada simply for want of a better alternative. Though it really depends on how the US breakup shakes out. If it’s a relatively clean affair leading to the orderly creation of some successor states, then maybe it would lead to something similar in Canada. If on the other hand, the breakup is more akin to the Soviet collapse, it’ll probably have the opposite effect. It’s worth remembering that until 1866 War the US and Canada had a free trade agreement and there was a strain of thought that amalgamation or annexation of Canada to the US was inevitable. The American Civil War was at least partly responsible for discrediting that notion and giving weight to the drive for Confederation.

  19. Avatar Lars says:

    Since it is so hard to find agreement on the one we have, I doubt any new efforts would make things better.
    We already have the best government that money can buy.

  20. Avatar Harper says:

    Why correct our existing constitution, which has proven to be durable and just over more than 200 years? Every recent effort to change it has been initiated with, IMO, malicious intent–to codify popular opinion/majority democracy–aimed at establishing a parliamentary form of democracy, under which party domination is 1,000 times worse than the party tyranny and special interest big money tyranny is today. Read Miracle at Philadelphia, a wonderful history of the Constitutional Convention and consider: Do we have leaders of that stature today who can reach a reasoned agreement, factoring in all of the different interests of the day? Look at the Maastricht failure in Europe. They rushed into monetary union with no provisions for a federal union. It is coming apart. Take heed of that experience and stick with what we’ve got.

  21. Fred Fred says:

    Col.,
    I wonder just what the new commerce clause would look like. Not due to the ALEC references in the wapo article but in combination with the TPP treaty being promoted against our interests and remembering who the commerce secretary is.

  22. Avatar fasteddiez says:

    You forgot the energy rich Albertans. Furthermore, would they not like access to the sea, and join BC. They hates them some Ontarionistas.

  23. Avatar walrus says:

    Col. Lang,
    I take issue with “Spare me the cant about “economic viability.” All over the world we have examples of states which are anything but economically viable but which exist because people there just couldn’t “stand” being bound to some other group of people within the loving embrace of a constitution. In any event, trade is not limited to national territory.” This paragraph of your excellent musings is out of place.
    It is not a question of “economic viability”, it is a question of whether the people of the United States are prepared to shoulder the costs of Fifty State Governments, Fifty sets of Laws and regulations and the simply insane costs of the interactions between all of them.
    Then of course there are the costs associated with the internal state organisations and duplications, for example in law enforcement where there are local sherifs, City police, highway patrol, State troopers, etc. etc. etc.
    Then there is the economic rape caused by the mismatch in size between market players – for example Goldman Sachs vs. A city bond issuer,, etc.
    It is not “cant” to observe that these costs are real and considerable. As long as Americans understand the impact of them and are prepared to shoulder them, so be it. The irony is that the IMF, World Bank and a horde of American trained economists are aware of these matters and encourage nations to modernise, but not at home. Physician heal thyself.

  24. Avatar kao_hsien_chih says:

    One problem is that the purpose of the constitution, as conceptualized today (by people on all sides) is quite different from those of the Founders.
    The Founders were aware that, in order for the folks who did not agree on much amongst themselves and did not, in some cases, especially like each other, some form of compact to leave each other alone even if one side captured political power at national level was necessary. The original Constitutional debates were as much about that question as anything else. But, even within just a few years of the Constitutional adoption, the idea of leaving one another alone under the Constitutional framework came under stress and fell apart in less than a century. Too many modern Americans seem to think of Constitution more as means of imposing their views on others rather than a compact to leave each other alone. If we were to attempt reworking the Constitution, we’d see too much fight over which worldview should prevail at the top by rights, not how to best leave one another alone for the sake of getting along, I suspect.

  25. Avatar elkern says:

    Easy question (“Could We Agree On A New Constitution?”).
    NO.

  26. Avatar scott s. says:

    There is a great deal of debate/discussion on the concept of the “runaway convention”. I don’t doubt that a convention, if called, has no limit on how it can act. You still have the requirement that either 3/4ths of the state legislatures or state conventions ratify (method to be determined by Congress – interesting question as to how Congress would select one mode or the other). With respect to state conventions, it appears that during the secession crisis of 1860 states used conventions as a means of providing legitimacy to their proceedings.
    An interesting (well, to me anyway) analysis of the operation of the Constitution in particular of state power vs general gov’t power was given by Martin van Buren during the nullification controversy. Van Buren (who was VP at the time) was sent by Pres Jackson to New York to ghostwrite (though his authorship was never in question) a position paper (which largely followed Jackson’s views) that would be passed as a resolution by the State of NY. That resolution can be found online in a compilation “State Papers on Nullification”. What I find of interest is that Van Buren argues that there is no referee to resolve differences of opinion between state vs general gov’t powers and the state-called convention is necessary as the only check the states have on mis-appropriation of powers by the general gov’t. (In so-doing he denies any power of secession or nullification) The problem for today is getting 3/4ths of the states to agree on any thing.

  27. Avatar turcopolier says:

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    Will states not ratifying be forced into the new Union? PL

  28. Avatar turcopolier says:

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    Paraphrasing – Rationality in politics is the last refuge of the trusting. PL

  29. Avatar Odin's Raven says:

    Could Ukraine be showing the future to America?

  30. Avatar GulfCoastPirate says:

    PL wrote:
    ‘Will states not ratifying be forced into the new Union?’
    Not a chance. The ‘blue’ states that are mostly along the coasts and in the Midwest (industrialized) are never going to allow themselves to be dictated to by the ‘red’states in the interior of the country. The blue states aren’t going to give up their ports and their connections with the outside world which is why they tend to be more liberal in the first place. You probably couldn’t even get the Gulf Coast of Texas to go along. Economically, the red states could never make it on their own. There is a reason the red states tend to be poorer than the blue states and it’s because they are tied to their guns and religion instead of knowledge – the kind of knowledge through science linked to the Enlightenment and carried on to this day in universities all over the planet. The red states wouldn’t last five years on their own although I doubt they have the guts to even try. In the end they’ll capitulate to whatever the blue states want.
    Personally, I’d like to see a convention but I know I won’t. I think it would be interesting to watch the red staters capitulate or allow those of us who consider ourselves ‘blue’ to go off on our own. At least we wouldn’t have to support them any longer.

  31. Avatar turcopolier says:

    GCP
    It is remarkable how filled with contempt and condescension you are for those not like you. pl

  32. Avatar A Pols says:

    I’ve wondered about a constitutional convention being convened for one purpose and morphing into something else. As an example, the issue of proportional representation. Chances of getting an amendment through for that would be slim. But more plausible is the idea that a convention could more easily pass, and have ratified, and amendment to bust up the union, leaving all the various states free to follow their individual destinies. And with that, they could form a new union with new rules, or they could form new countries expressing regional differences. Could this be a good thing? Maybe so, and some find the idea appealing. Fiscal and political collapse followed by loss of legitimacy of central govt. could be the catalyst for such a change.

  33. Avatar Tony says:

    Jose,
    Paul Krugman’s “awkward facts”:
    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/03/24

  34. Avatar ex-PFC Chuck says:

    A lot of California’s problems date back to Proposition 13 of 1978, an amendment to the state Constitution that had the effect of preventing property taxes from keeping pace with inflation. It also established the requirement that legislative action to raise taxes would have to be approved by a 2/3 vote in both houses. Ever since the ability to raise revenue at both the state and local levels have been strangled.

  35. Odin’s Raven,
    “Could Ukraine be showing the future to America?”
    I’ve often thought about that. It thinks it more like a possible future for the US. The Ukrainian oligarchs have harnessed the power of the ultra-nationalists by convincing them they are fighting for the same thing. In reality they’d just as soon kill each other. They have also silenced the majority through an unrelenting propaganda campaign. They were aided and abetted by our very own neocon cabal. That cabal is untouchable by any party in Ukraine.
    Perhaps a lot of this could happen in the US, but it would have to be much more subtle. The rule of law is much stronger here than in Ukraine. The majorities here, both left and right, could strike back with that rule of law if the oligarchs and neocons pushed too hard. Ukraine should be viewed as a cautionary tale.

  36. Avatar Jack says:

    KSH
    Very well said. The ethos of leaving people alone which was an essential part of our founding no longer exists. Both Blue and Red teams want to interfere in everyone’s lives and use state power to impose their morality and worldview. There’s not an iota of difference between the two when it comes to growing the power of the state and its nonstop interventions. The republican ideals are just used for rhetorical purposes. In today’s society those that would be considered classically constituionalists are a fringe minority. We can’t be too far from a type of totalitarianism where one can be labeled a threat to the state if one stands for the principles enshrined in the Constitution.

  37. Avatar Grimgrin says:

    BC itself though is not too enamoured of Alberta and their drang nach westen in search of an oil port.

  38. I think, that whatever the future holds for the US, a Ukraine style conflict between oligarchy and the rest of the country is unlikely. Indeed, the rule of law, however coopted by the elites and selectively applied to the elites, is still there.
    If, as of now, an oligarch in the US really overdid it like a Ukrainian oligarch, he would be made an example of under federal charges, much like Chodorchovski was made an example of by Putin.
    IMO, absent a really large scale disaster along the lines of Katrina, a chaotic collapse as in the Soviet Union also is not in the books. The US, by and large, even with essentially de-developed or underdeveloped rural areas, is still a remarkably wealthy country, with a strong sense of national identity if not nationalism, however brittle it may be in other regards.
    If things in terms of corporate excess and political meddling get very much worse, there might be a tipping point at down the road, and, with luck, there may be another Theodore Roosevelt to take on corporations and corruption.
    IMO, there would be three things that he needed to address:
    First, a constitutional amendment to the effect that money is not free speech and that corporations are not people (because short of that, there probably is no way to undo this madness). Secondly, one probably should regulate coporations federally, and thirdly, regulate campaign contributions and add credible enforcement of these rules.
    All these ideas are political poison and would encounter fierce to feral opposition.
    In case of the amendment, the crux there would be ratification by the states. In case of a federal charter and campaign finance the problem would be the two houses.
    When Theodore Roosevelt tried to introduce federal charters (what i.e. what are the requirements for incorporation – the idea being transparency), with the help of James R. Garfield (who then headed the Bureau of Corporations). Between 1901 and 1914 more than two dozen pieces of such legislation failed to get through both houses of congress. Corporate influence is probably more pronounced today.
    To paraphrase: “Well, Doctor, what have we got — a Republic or a Oligarchy?” “A republic, if you can keep it!”.
    That is to say, America will have to fight to keep or regain it, depending on how one judges the situation. America’s oligarchs have never given up their privileges and political power voluntarily. They didn’t under the Roosevelts and they sure won’t now.

  39. Avatar alba etie says:

    ISL
    At one point in Texas Republic history our borders included Santa Fe – heck even part of Wyoming .

  40. Avatar MRW says:

    “This has recently re-surfaced in the context of right wing pressures for a balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution.”
    If you want to inflict permanent depression on the American people, by all means, pass A Balanced Budget Act.
    Tale a look at this: the Historical Tables of the economy since 1789;
    Everytime there was a surplus on the government level, it was followed by the depression. The Clinton surplus was delayed by the dotcom and housing bubbles.
    Choose Table 1.1 here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Historicals/
    Bloomberg, in 1999, crowed that the last time there was a government surplus was in the 1920s leading up to1929.
    Gee. What followed that?
    EVERY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SURPLUS IN OUR 238-YEAR HISTORY HAS BEEN FOLLOWED BY DEPRESSION OR A SIGNIFICANT RECESSION.
    Do your homework. Ignorance is not an excuse for this stupidity.

  41. Avatar alba etie says:

    TTG
    I would feel more confident in the Rule of Law before SCOTUS ruled corporations are people too in Citizen’s United and as such can contribute unlimited campaign funds to whichever candidate they choose. We have our own Oligarches – Soros , Koch brothers, Adelsen – Ukraine is a cautionary tale indeed …

  42. Avatar alba etie says:

    GCP
    I think if “push came to shove” my home state Texas would join the Red States- and Galveston is a huge port -,and for that matter so is NOLA which also is in a Red RED state Louisiana – being the Gulf Coast Pirate that you are perhaps you heard of NOLA ? But let me also say I wish that we had more Science based comity in our Political Science discourse – seems both former Texas Governor Perry & current Louisiana Gov Jindall want to scuttle the Iranian nuke deal .Politics are not black and white , and like you I long for a more perfect Union , perhaps a 21st Century Constitutional Convention would be helpful to These United States. But please lay off the Red States or we just might get frustrated enough to say to you Come and Take It …

  43. As an afterthought on my reference to oligarchy – this excerpt from last year’s “oligarchy study”:
    “Q: Let’s talk about the study. If you had 30 seconds to sum up the main conclusion of your study for the average person, how would you do so?
    A: I’d say that contrary to what decades of political science research might lead you to believe, ordinary citizens have virtually no influence over what their government does in the United States. And economic elites and interest groups, especially those representing business, have a substantial degree of influence. Government policy-making over the last few decades reflects the preferences of those groups — of economic elites and of organized interests.
    Q: You say the United States is more like a system of “Economic Elite Domination” and “Biased Pluralism” as opposed to a majoritarian democracy. What do those terms mean? Is that not just a scholarly way of saying it’s closer to oligarchy than democracy if not literally an oligarchy?
    A: People mean different things by the term oligarchy. One reason why I shy away from it is it brings to mind this image of a very small number of very wealthy people who are pulling strings behind the scenes to determine what government does. And I think it’s more complicated than that. It’s not only Sheldon Adelson or the Koch brothers or Bill Gates or George Soros who are shaping government policy-making. So that’s my concern with what at least many people would understand oligarchy to mean. What “Economic Elite Domination” and “Biased Pluralism” mean is that rather than average citizens of moderate means having an important role in determining policy, ability to shape outcomes is restricted to people at the top of the income distribution and to organized groups that represent primarily — although not exclusively — business.”
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/princeton-scholar-demise-of-democracy-america-tpm-interview

  44. Avatar RetiredPatriot says:

    @ A Pols, this very theme was recently captured in a novel… Twilight’s Last Gleaming
    RP

  45. Avatar BabelFish says:

    “Fiscal and political collapse followed by loss of legitimacy of central govt. could be the catalyst for such a change.”
    I believe you are correct on this and it would be the only set of circumstances that would bring one on. With the dog eat dog environment of our politics, I can not imagine enough good faith to be generated to allow an intelligent and generous convention to be held unless things were beyond chaotic.
    I started to compile things in my head that I would want to see written in to a new constitution and they would all be things many others would bitterly oppose. 1) Ban gerrymandering at all levels (have to put something else in place). 2) Representative government based on population. 3) Distribution of federal funds based on population. 4) Clear delineation of state’s prerogatives on trade/immigration, etc. 5) Banning all unfunded mandates by the central government. 6) A human rights code that speaks to minorities, disabled, developmentally handicapped. 7) Severely limit the authority and power of the Supreme Court.
    I can only wish.

  46. Avatar LeaNder says:

    reminds me of the fact that republican in US history versus the GOP always caused knots in my head.
    Since I like looking at times gone by via the individual/person shaped by, and shaping events, why not put a biography of Jefferson and Madison onto my reading list.
    Suggestions?

  47. Avatar ex-PFC Chuck says:

    Harper,
    It may have endured but for at least 95% of Americans it’s no longer working.
    http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/04/07/people-vs-shell-high-seas-protest-greenpeace-boards-arctic-bound-ship

  48. Avatar turcopolier says:

    LeAnder
    Jefferon’s Republican Party became the Democratic Party of today and had nothing to do with the present Republican Party who were an amalgam of Northern Whigs, Free-Soilers, Nativists (American Party) and Abolitionists that arose in the 1850s and who won the WBS. “Malone, Dumas. Jefferson and His Time, 6 vols. (1948–82), Little Brown and Company, Boston; Six-volume biography of Thomas Jefferson by leading expert; the major scholarly study; Pulitzer Prize; A short version is online” nothing can beat this on Jefferson. pl

  49. Fred Fred says:

    walrus,
    We Americans have been paying those ‘costs’ for 200+ years.

  50. Fred Fred says:

    GCP,
    Will the “Blue States” be purging the non-conforming citizens within their borders like the happened during the partition of India and Pakistan? Just which “Blue State” armed force is going to make that happen?

  51. Avatar turcopolier says:

    Fred
    Assuming that the country broke up into some single states and/or blocks of states, the question of what would happen to the armed force would be unpredictable. The National Guard and the Regular Forces would have some hard choices to make. pl

  52. Avatar Swami Bhut Jolokia says:

    Fred, since the British will not be involved I doubt there will be much purging.

  53. Avatar LeaNder says:

    There is something bigger going on up there. A couple of weeks ago I stumbled across this, since it contains an article by a “lost spiritual friend”, but it still sits in my Kindle as a preview file only.
    Nevertheless that is enough to get a glimpse of the larger context.
    http://tinyurl.com/Arctic-Front-Defending-Canada

  54. Avatar GulfCoastPirate says:

    Actually, I’m not. All you have to do is look at the economic statistics of each state. What do you think would happen if Congress passed a simple law that said no state could receive more in federal largess than it paid in taxes?
    Your original question came from the idea that Republicans would control enough state legislatures to force a convention. How would these states then force the other states back into the Union? They couldn’t. It would be the South all over again. The red states throwing their little convention party would have bigger, wealthier states on multiple sides of them who would have no incentive to allow themselves to be dictated to by smaller, more socially conservative states.
    All of this started by a fight over a balanced budget amendment? We could go a long way towards a balanced budget if those in the red states who want such a thing would begin pulling their own weight and not take more from the federal government than they pay into it with their taxes. Besides, a convention called for any reason that was brought about ONLY by the votes of Republican state legislatures would quickly devolve into a continuation of the ‘culture wars’ by the convention method. What the right wing has lost in the courts/public opinion they would attempt to force on others through this convention. The blue states and blue staters in red states simply wouldn’t go along. It would be better to break apart and let everyone take their own chances.

  55. Avatar turcopolier says:

    GCP
    “It would be better to break apart and let everyone take their own chances.” Interesting. pl

  56. Avatar GulfCoastPirate says:

    alba etie,
    I’ve heard of Galveston. I was born and raised there. I now live on Galveston Bay. I’ve also heard of New Orleans. Try to go at least once a year. My point was that given the opportunity the port cities along the Gulf may well decide to secede on their own and join blue states. It is my understanding that Houston is now the most ethnically diverse city in the US and the University of Houston is second among universities trailing only UCLA. Not many cowboys left down here. There are plenty in the coastal areas (and likewise I’m sure in New Orleans) who wouldn’t mind breaking away from the bible belters in the interior who govern these states given the opportunity. We have a lot more in common with New York or Los Angeles than Lubbock.

  57. Avatar GulfCoastPirate says:

    Fred,
    That is what will be happening in the red states and exactly why there will be many who want no part of any new Republican Constitution. It’s already happening today – it will only get worse.

  58. Avatar turcopolier says:

    GCP
    And there is not, has not been, purging of Red people in Blue centers like New York, Washington media and the like? pl

  59. Avatar robt willmann says:

    I have read and heard the position that the constitutional convention that established the existing constitution of the U.S. was a counter-revolution to what was created after the Declaration of Independence as a country through the Articles of Confederation. I have come to agree with that position. The Articles of Confederation were not given a chance to work, even though apparently some disputes had been resolved between States under its mechanisms. Read that document for yourself and see how the severe problems affecting this country now would likely not exist, and how those who lust after centralized political authority would want the present constitution and not the Articles of Confederation–
    http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=3&page=transcript
    http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/artconf.asp
    http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/articles.html
    It is a fascinating document, and provides for a military that is for defense only, but also that there shall always be in every State a “well regulated and disciplined militia, sufficiently armed and accounted, and shall provide and constantly have ready for use, in public stores [!], a due number of field pieces and tents, and a proper quantity of arms, ammunition, and camp equipage”. No need to worry about a “threat” to “national security” and invasion by Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, ISIS, or the Hitler of the Month, such as Iran, because much of the population of each State would be ready to shoot them off their new Toyota pickup trucks before they got five miles in from the coast, kind of like Switzerland on steroids.
    When there are disputes between States, a court is created just for that purpose (Article 9).
    As you might expect, when it comes to taxes, the language gets a little slippery and vague in Article 8, but taxes are laid and levied by the States themselves in time frames agreed upon by congress. No IRS.
    Reading the Articles of Confederation will get you plugged into the filters in the telephone switches and Internet hubs for the NSA to create an on-the-fly dossier on you and your social contacts and network, and an “alert” will be sent to the “Fusion Centers”; but to go whole hog and get on the unconstitutional No Fly List, read the Constitution of the Confederate States of America, as preserved at the University of Georgia–
    http://www.libs.uga.edu/hargrett/selections/confed/trans.html
    http://www.libs.uga.edu/hargrett/selections/confed/signers.html
    The constitution of the CSA is mostly a copy of the U.S. Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, with some intriguing differences. Yes, the terrible institution of slavery was legal, but the importation of slaves from any foreign country was prohibited and illegal, as a matter of constitutional law, and the congress was given the authority to prohibit the importation of slaves from any State not a member of the Confederacy, in section 9(1-2).
    These documents, which did in reality create geographical areas with operating political structures, are important to read and study, and to compare with the existing U.S. Constitution and the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the federal and state governments. The study of them should be mandatory in all high schools and colleges. But you can be sure that they will not be studied as part of the “Common Core”, the diabolical attempt to centralize and control the curriculum of all public school education and further dumb down and indoctrinate the hopeful and beautiful children of this country.

  60. Fred Fred says:

    GCP,
    It’s already happening? Point me to some evidence of that please. I’d like to know how many people are moving now. For example just how many Norther retirees are fleeing Florida, Texas or even North Carolina due to the animosity of other residents?

  61. Fred Fred says:

    Col.,
    I agree. I can only imagine the fight over the nuclear weaponry.

  62. Avatar fasteddiez says:

    Houston is the larger port, as Galveston Bay turns into Trinity Bay which turns into the ship channel, with the shores teeming with tens of chemical plants, refineries, etc.

  63. Avatar fasteddiez says:

    Yep, Houston/Galveston is blue on the Colonel,s map. When the doltish governor hinted he might entertain secession, the opinion in Austin (Austintatious) was that they would secede from Texas.

  64. Avatar russ says:

    Hi Pat,
    We are enjoying the discussion of constitutional conventions, We live in Rhode Island which was the last state to approve the US constitution and then only by a margin of 2 votes in the convention. The final decision to join the union was made because RI was to be treated as a foreign country and its trade with the other states subject to tariffs and duties. These days it might be said to be in New England but not really of New England. Its population is very inwardly focused and its legendary level of corruption places it in the running for the most corrupt state in the country. Like several other states, RI’s constitution now mandates that every 10 years the issue of calling a constitutional convention be placed on the ballot. I think this amendment was added because the state’s elected officials could not be counted on to (surprise) fight corruption aggressively. The last convention took place about 30 years ago and reportedly did not accomplish much.
    Russ

  65. Avatar ISL says:

    Jose,
    I suppose you are familiar with regulatory capture? Crony Capitalism? The Italian disease?
    Guess what happens to me if my business fails (five employees). Do the same rules apply to the 1% – I dont think so. I also do not see the Fed’s printed trillions handed it to me. You call that pro-growth? Liberal? It was under Bush. I (and others) call it a recipe for oligarchy.
    Do I wish the US will change? Yes. Will it? History suggests no. Hope I am wrong, but if not those with friends in the right places will survive and even prosper……

  66. Avatar GulfCoastPirate says:

    Colonel,
    Please don’t take my statement out of context. It was said in the context of a Constitutional Convention being called by Republican legislatures only and in your question as to whether or not states that didn’t ratify the new Constitution could be forced back into the Union. My own opinion is they couldn’t be forced back and such a union wouldn’t be worth joining. Those who wouldn’t want to live in the resulting christian taliban like state would be better off taking their chances elsewhere.

  67. Avatar GulfCoastPirate says:

    Colonel,
    Is this a serious question? Are you talking about the same media full of neocons that led us into Iraq, etc.?

  68. Avatar turcopolier says:

    GCP
    Yes, the same media, deeply under the influence of the Zionists in foreign affairs and quite left on domestic issues. pl

  69. Avatar turcopolier says:

    gcp
    “the resulting christian taliban like state” As I said you are filled with contempt and condescension for those not like you. pl

  70. Avatar alba etie says:

    fasteddiez
    DUH … I grew up fishing West Bay, Christmas Bay , Bolivar Flats, Roll Over Pass, San Luis Pass – so yes your geography is correct . I daresay that the folks I know in La Porte , or Deer Park would not leave Texas if push came to shove. As for an earlier comment regarding Austin -( have lived in Central Texas/ Travis County since 1976) why yes Austin would secede should Texas secede – it could get real interesting real fast ..

  71. Avatar alba etie says:

    Gulf Coast Pirate.
    Congratulations – you are BOI in Galveston . I was born in Nacadoghches myself . If and when secession comes to Texas it should make for some very interesting times.

  72. Avatar MRW says:

    “Balanced budgets may make sense at a State level, but make no economic sense whatsoever at a Federal level.”
    Absolutely correct. If the idiots sponsoring this would take 10 minutes to look at the Historical Tables on whitehouse.gov and check out those years (in the first table, I think: 1789-now) when we were either balanced or in surplus, they would realize:
    * The Great Depression was preceded by 10 years of federal surplus
    * Clinton’s surplus created The Great Recession delayed by the dotcom and housing bubbles.
    * Andrew Jackson balanced the budget in 1836, which precipitated the first US depression.
    There are at least four more.
    For those wondering why, it’s because the federal government ISSUES the currency; it doesn’t need income or revenue to survive. The state and local governments, businesses, and households, foreign governments and banks, everyone BUT the federal government, does need to earn the US dollars it uses. It needs revenue.
    Every candidate should be asked one question: do you think the federal government has to tighten its belt like a household?
    If the answer is yes–like President Obama believes–then throw the bum out. He doesn’t know jack about what he’s talking about, and would endanger the nation.
    President Roosevelt turned the Great Depression around in two years. Obama has had six years and done zip. In 1937 the Republicans and that Democratic idiot Henry Morgenthau (the Jack Lew of his day) convinced Roosevelt to tighten the belt and drastically reduce spending. They wanted a balanced budget. Took 11 months and the US was back to the 1929 depression.
    You’d think they would read history. The current crew have no idea how a fiat currency works and they seem intent on keeping that way.
    I beg all of you here, if you want the USA to be in permanent depression, then support the federal balanced budget amendment (a good idea for states, btw). Otherwise, fight tooth and nail to make sure it dies. And don’t vote for ANYONE who supports it.

  73. Avatar MRW says:

    To ex-PFC Chuck, at 06 April 2015 at 10:19 PM
    Prop 13 was officially called, “People’s Initiative to Limit Property Taxation.” It was WAY MORE THAN “preventing property taxes from keeping pace with inflation.”
    No, no, no, this was a bank coup, and the beginning of the 1%.
    The US had become 100% sovereign monetarily on August 15, 1971, when Nixon took us off the gold standard internationally. Our currency was now non-convertible. We had a floating exchange rate. 100% sovereign.
    We could denominate our debt in our own currency, and because we were the reserve currency, a $100 bottle of French wine cost the government the price of printing the $100 bill: $0.07. A barrel of foreign oil at the highest 1970s price cost the US federal government $0.35 (the price of printing a $20, $10, and three $1.)
    But, in fact, no one printed anything. It was keystrokes on the Fed’s computer adding to Saudi Arabia’s checking account at the Fed (after being instructed to do so by the Bureau of the Fiscal Service at the US Treasury following congressional appropriation).
    If anyone at the federal level had understood the amazing brilliance of what Nixon did, the US federal government could have produced unknown prosperity in the country. Certainly, the governor of California who became president didn’t. He ruled like the country was a US state.
    But the bankers (and realtors) understood, especially in Southern California where all great banking crimes are hatched (S&L, CDOs, Sub-Prime Mortgages).
    In the 1930s and 40s, the majority of income for a state like California was property taxes. The property taxes, coupled with federal transfers, gave every California kid a free university education until Reagan became Governor.
    You can’t take anything off your property taxes. There are no deductions. Like it or not, you pay depending on how big your house and property is. So, if you owned a five-acre spread in the middle of San Francisco, your property taxes were through the roof. You would jump at the chance to free that money up for something else.
    BUT. The high property taxes also kept the price of houses down. Therefore, less expensive mortgages, and fewer fees for bankers. The rich were paying their fair share and there was less extra money sloshing among them to invest in the stock market, or a new more expensive house.
    In 1978, the same year that Drexel Burnham (Beverly Hills) created with the first CDO for a San Diego S&L, the bankers had managed to convince Californians that they were *all* paying too much in property taxes. Renters were told rents would come down. Ordinary middle class, who were neither thinking nor knowledgable about how state taxes work, happily voted for the death sentence of increased state income, gas, cigarette, alcohol, local govt, and sales taxes to make up the shortfall. So they voted in Prop 13 and celebrated like the drunk who married the waitress he just met in Vegas.
    The bankers got higher price houses because they happily make the loans that promoted the price increases. Realtors were ecstatic. And the poor and middle-class got slugged with the taxes previously paid by the upper-class and uber-rich. Sales taxes soared. So did income tax. Gas. The works. I remember being told the price of a gallon of milk in the poorer neighborhoods doubled almost overnight (transportation costs and the oil shortage thing).
    Because people realized they could buy ‘up’ using their former considerable property taxes as a downpayment, they raised the price of a house in the Hollywood Hills that was worth 200Gs in the 70s to $2 million by 1990. I know. I looked at one.
    One of the people pushing Prop 13 was a member of Reagan’s Kitchen Cabinet. Can’t remember who. The finance world pushed Reagan getting into the presidency and promoted his STATE of CA ideas; it didn’t matter a whit that the fourth item on his presidential platform was to return the US to the gold standard, which would return this country to penury. He who owns the gold owns us. Any new find devalues the price of gold. Or a country could do what France did during the 60s that precipitated Nixon’s move. Collect 35 USD and trade it in for an ounce of gold. France was depleting our supply.
    The banking world, under the rubric of privatization and some indefinable but ostensibly ‘necessary freedom’, managed to convince the majority of Americans that states should handle what formerly was federal government domain. They sold privatization as a virtue, as if a for-profit company was going to do better than the full weight of government, public opprobrium for cheating people, and keeping costs down. Especially costs that can be subsidized BY THE ISSUER OF THE CURRENCY. fercrissake.
    States need money to do these things (they need to earn it like businesses and households, or go into debt). Bankers hand out the loans and get the fees. Look what they’ve been doing with student loans since 2005 to our kids: destroying their futures, and those bank student loans are 100% guaranteed by the US government; absolutely NO RISK to bankers and just to make sure, they changed the bankruptcy laws so there was no doubt they could collect. None of this is necessary. The federal government could issue higher education transfers to each state and problem solved. There should be a 100% debt jubilee to these kids tomorrow. The govvie is going to give it to the banks. Why don’t they give the 100% guarantee to American students?
    Outsourcing parts of the Pentagon and other government agencies bring banks enormous profits. Simply enormous, and because these orgs are private, we cannot hold them to account.
    But Americans have got this “smaller government//government of the people, by the people, for the people” reactionary disease that does not recognize our population is 10X larger than 1863. Americans are historically stupid. Right now we’ve got the same number of federal employees as 1956, almost 60 years ago, when the population was 1/2 what it is now.
    I think I better shutup.

  74. Avatar MRW says:

    “it is a question of whether the people of the United States are prepared to shoulder the costs of Fifty State Governments.”
    The people of the United States DO NOT SHOULDER THESE COSTS. Technically, they are called “transfers.” It is a compete misnomer to say that taxpayers pay for anything at the federal level. And the implication that only federal taxpayers have a say when so many are still out of work is repellent. We should be doing or not doing things at the federal level because it is the moral thing to do.
    When you pay your taxes, assuming you do it by check or wire transfer—not cash—the money is REMOVED from *your* bank’s checking account at the Fed. It is *extinguished*. Gone from the planet. Oh, sure, they mark upon that you paid, and they publish the amount “collected,” but big whoop. It’s gone. When Congress appropriates, or “spends,” it creates new money. No one in Congress or the US Treasury calls up the IRS and asks how much there is in the kitty. *No one.* Does. Not. Happen.
    You need to get clear in your head that federal taxes do not pay for anything. Federal taxes serve the purpose of controlling the value of the dollar and what it can buy.
    So, when the economy is cold, cut taxes and increase spending.
    When the economy is red hot (everyone has a job) then cut spending and increase taxes. Taxes are a barometer, or thermometer.
    Taxes at the state and local level are another matter entirely. States and local govts need revenue. So do you and your family, and the business you work for. You’re revenue-constrained.
    Doing this—managing the taxes vis-à-vis the willed economy–is called *fiscal policy,* something that Congress has failed to do for 30 years because the idiots do not understand accounting, and they specifically do not understand federal accounting. Nor do they even understand that they control it and that it is their constitutional job to do so. !.!.!
    Case in point?
    The Debt Limit.
    The Debt Limit was created in 1917 following WWI to put a belt and set of suspenders on the US gold supply for international purposes/expenditures. It was a check and balance to make sure that too much gold wasn’t leaving the system. That’s why you couldn’t exchange treasury securities for gold until the maturity date. It became absolutely meaningless in 1971.
    These fights about the debt limit are like saying if your car runs at 560 horsepower, then you have to have 560 horses on your property somewhere to back it up. Are you shaking your head? Same thing with the Debt Limit. Every dime of the National Debt or “Debt Held by the Public” is in the bank accounts of pensions funds, corporations, small businesses, household, foreign banks and governments. The National Debt is the country’s equity. It is what we OWN, not what we OWE.

  75. Avatar MRW says:

    I apologize for this disjointed post. I have the worse time with Mac’s Autocorrect. It literally changes words I type to something meaningless.

  76. Avatar MRW says:

    This is 100% true, LeaNder. The Democrats, actually, were like the present-day Tea Party until 1910.

  77. Avatar MRW says:

    FACTOID: the terms Red State and Blue State were invented in 2000 by TV broadcasters to indicate Republican and Democrat, respectively. New shiny CGI toys.

  78. Avatar MRW says:

    When were civics classes stopped? Anyone know?

  79. Avatar MRW says:

    Cruz is a constitutional expert, supposedly. He is lusting to add his John Henry to constitutional changes. He’s running on the idea. (He worked for a couple of Supreme Court justices, I think.)

  80. Avatar LeaNder says:

    Thanks Pat, yes, that’s it. Fact is my knowledge of American history is much more limited then the British.
    I surely once knew. But really I need more knowledge in the context.

  81. Avatar r whitman says:

    You and your machine gun are not going to stop 10 million Mexican peasants from invading the New Arizona Republic as soon as its declared.

  82. Avatar GulfCoastPirate says:

    Tyler,
    The New Arizona Republic? Hilarious. If this convention breaks the country apart your republic won’t have enough water for you to wipe your behind. You won’t have to worry about anyone trying to get in.

  83. Avatar GulfCoastPirate says:

    Again no. If they leave me alone to live my life as I see fit I will give them the same in return; however, as you, I and history all know that’s not their style.

  84. Avatar GulfCoastPirate says:

    alba etie,
    The Austinites are a different breed from most in that area – that’s for sure.
    If we assume this constitutional convention breaks the country apart then those in LaPorte/Deer Park as well as many others in the areas where the plants are located will have to make some hard decisions. Those plants are located along the Gulf Coast because of its proximity to deep water. To move those goods (especially overseas) requires banking/shipping as well. Those banking/shipping facilities are mostly located in ‘blue’ states and those of us along the coast are more dependent on them than many in the interior of the country may be. If we don’t side with the ‘blue’ states then I think we all know the ports and petrochemical facilities will be blockaded. Obviously, this is all hypothetical but there is a distinct reason the Houston-Galveston area tends to be ‘blue’ while the rest of the state (outside Austin of course) tends ‘red’. As I said before, we simply have more in common with a New York or Los Angeles than we do with Des Moines.

  85. Avatar GulfCoastPirate says:

    Colonel,
    I would argue with the proposition that the media is ‘left’ on domestic issues.

  86. Avatar Jose says:

    Find out who got those jobs

  87. Fred Fred says:

    Tyler,
    Good thing you are already armed. Obama’s out to rile us up again:
    https://gma.yahoo.com/obama-says-hasnt-given-gun-control-100124085–abc-news-health.html
    I loved the segway from “illegal gun runners” to comments about Sandy Hook.

  88. Avatar fasteddiez says:

    Alba Etie, On the DUH part: I wasn’t trying to be a wise ass. I spent seventeen years in Houston, although I was not a fer real Texian, not having been born there. When I arrived, I stayed at the Robert E. Lee appartment complex on Chimney Rock. This was the the edge of the suburbs at the time, as there was a small cattle spread a stone’s throw away. Because of the city’s exploding growth, I now understand that this is another bad neighborhood.
    Houston was the first large city to elect a gay female to mayor. Also, I well remember mayor Tootsie.

  89. Avatar fasteddiez says:

    Fred, You are right, I hates me some illegal gun runners, I heard Maryland is a leading locale for such hanky panky. Everyone Knows that the Feds are the duly recognized, and the Deputy Dawg certified Lashup with the authority to run Guns. I bet they’re running said products and their attendant ammo to Lviv and Kiev, as we scribble. I hope those weapons are slathered with orange colored cosmoline.
    On the subject of freedom besotted gun runners using Segways to import firearms to the good folk of Sandy Hook; this is clearly not practical, nor cost effective. It would be better to take a cigarette boat from Long Island Sound, and North, up the Housatonic river To Sandy Hook/Newtown. Segways are just not known for their Hauling capabilities.
    Well, I better end here, with my seemingly non-sensical screeds, afore I segue into another soliloquy.

  90. Avatar GulfCoastPirate says:

    Tyler wrote:
    ‘I will prove my non-racist creds by making sure to machine gun the white economic refugees trying to cross the All American Canal in Yuma with their Whole Food bags full of organic, locally sourced produce high above their head to the exclusion of all others. The browns and the blacks didn’t make a mess of what is going to be the Progressive People’s Republic of California – they got bamboozled! they done got hoodwinked!
    I’ll call my 240B light machine gun “Affirmative Action”.’
    Yes, it is me that is filled with contempt and condescension. What is it with you and this guy?

  91. Fred Fred says:

    fasteddiez,
    You did put some humor into that one.

  92. Avatar Tyler says:

    R Whitman,
    1.) You’d be hard pressed to find 10 million Mexican peasants who have that much gumption.
    2) We have our own 10 million Mexicans who are smart enough to know that another 10 million of their countrymen is just going to make things worst. They know the score.
    3) The crack troops of the New Arizona Republic (picture here: http://fc07.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2013/252/a/a/brotherhood_of_steel_old_world_flag_by_crimsondaeva-d4ubole.jpg) are more than a match for any amount of peons whipped up by the likes of Jorge Cruz.

  93. Avatar Tyler says:

    Fred,
    Yeah no kidding. Its not like BPA Brian Terry wasn’t killed by a gun running operation.
    Oh wait it was.

  94. Avatar alba etie says:

    fastediez
    That small cattle spread may have been part of the larger Fondren Ranch holding .We first lived first on Navarro Street not far from the Robert E Lee apartments. Hunted bobwhites with the family bird dog out of our backyard on Ettrick Street further south and west from there. Watch the same type of growth overtake Central Texas. I just do not see any part of Texas succesfully seceding from Texas should we secede from the Union . All highly hypothetical – but I am a native son so my opinion may matter in this type of discussion .

  95. Avatar r whitman says:

    The New Arizona Republic is ground zero for the Reconquista.

  96. Avatar Tyler says:

    I figured it was so tongue in cheek with references to “Whole Food bags full of organic, locally sourced produce high above their head” that it wasn’t going to be taken seriously, but looks like it got a deleted.
    Way to ruin a good time, GCP. You’re a blast at parties I’m sure.

  97. Avatar Tyler says:

    GCP,
    Lmbo yeah okay.
    The 60s were 50 years ago. Let’s talk about people losing their livelihood for not supporting the current Progressive Cult of today and trying to start hot wars with nuclear powers over tranny rights.

  98. Avatar Tyler says:

    Whitman,
    You spelt “California” weird there.

  99. Avatar Tyler says:

    GCP,
    Well I was trying to extend an olive branch but now you’re not getting amnestied.

  100. Avatar GulfCoastPirate says:

    Tyler wrote:
    ‘You’re a blast at parties I’m sure.’
    I’ve already used a similar line on you multiple times. Try to come up with something unique to yourself – if you are capable.

  101. Avatar Tyler says:

    GCP,
    Sorry, I don’t keep obsessive track of my internet slapfights like you seem to, with apparent trademarks on your zingers it seems.

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