Tuesday, July 27, 2010


What follows is quoted directly from Wikipedia:

Term limits, or rotation in office, date back to the American Revolution, and prior to that to the democracies and republics of antiquity. The council of 500 in ancient Athens rotated its entire membership annually, as did the ephorate in ancient Sparta. The ancient Roman Republic featured a system of elected magistrates—tribunes of the plebs, aediles, quaestors, praetors, and consuls—who served a single term of one year, with reelection to the same magistracy forbidden for ten years. Many of the founders of the United States were educated in the classics, and quite familiar with rotation in office during antiquity. The debates of that day reveal a desire to study and profit from the object lessons offered by ancient democracy.

In 1783, rotation experiments were taking place at the state level. The Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776 set maximum service in the Pennsylvania General Assembly at "four years in seven." Benjamin Franklin's influence is seen not only in that he chaired the constitutional convention which drafted the Pennsylvania constitution, but also because it included, virtually unchanged, Franklin's earlier proposals on executive rotation. Pennsylvania's plural executive was composed of twelve citizens elected for the term of three years, followed by a mandatory vacation of four years.

On October 2, 1789, the Continental Congress appointed a committee of thirteen to examine forms of government for the impending union of the states. Among the proposals was that from the State of Virginia, written by Thomas Jefferson, urging a limitation of tenure, "to prevent every danger which might arise to American freedom by continuing too long in office the members of the Continental Congress. The committee made recommendations, which as regards congressional term-limits were incorporated unchanged into the Articles of Confederation. The fifth Article stated that "no person shall be capable of being a delegate [to the continental congress] for more than three years in any term of six years."

In contrast to the Articles of Confederation, the federal constitution convention at Philadelphia omitted mandatory term-limits from the second national frame of government, i.e. the U.S. Constitution of 1787 to the present. Nonetheless, due largely to grass roots support for the principle of rotation, rapid turnover in Congress prevailed by extra-constitutional means. Also George Washington set the precedent for a two-term tradition that prevailed (with the exception of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's four terms) until the 22nd Amendment of 1951.

However, when the states ratified the Constitution (1787-88), several leading statesmen regarded the lack of mandatory limits to tenure as a dangerous defect, especially, they thought, as regards the Presidency and the Senate. Richard Henry Lee viewed the absence of legal limits to tenure, together with certain other features of the Constitution, as "most highly and dangerously oligarchic." Both Jefferson and George Mason advised limits on reelection to the Senate and to the Presidency, because said Mason, "nothing is so essential to the preservation of a Republican government as a periodic rotation." The historian Mercy Otis Warren, warned that "there is no provision for a rotation, nor anything to prevent the perpetuity of office in the same hands for life; which by a little well timed bribery, will probably be done...."

The fact that "perpetuity in office" was not approached until the 20th century is due in part to the influence of rotation in office as a popular 19th century concept. "Ideas are, in truth, forces," and rotation in office enjoyed such normative support, especially at the local level, that it altered political reality.

James Fennimore Cooper, the novelist, described the common view that "contact with the affairs of state is one of the most corrupting of the influences to which men are exposed." An article in the Richmond Enquirer (1822) noted that the "long cherished" principle of rotation in office had been impressed on the republican mind "by a kind of intuitive impulse, unassailable to argument or authority."

Beginning about the 1830s, Jacksonian democracy introduced a less idealistic twist to the practice of limiting terms. Rotation in office came to mean taking turns in the distribution of political prizes. Rotation of nominations to the U.S. House of Representatives – the prizes – became a key element of payoffs to the party faithful. The leading lights in the local party machinery came to regard a nomination for the House as "salary" for political services rendered. A new code of political ethics evolved, based on the proposition that "turnabout is fair play." In short, rotation of nominations was intertwined with the spoils system.

In district nominating conventions local leaders could negotiate and enforce agreements to pass the nominations around among themselves. Abraham Lincoln was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1846 under such a bargain, and he returned home to Springfield after a single congressional term because, he wrote, "to enter myself as a competitor of another, or to authorize anyone so to enter me, is what my word and honor forbid."

During the Civil War, the Confederate States constitution limited its president to a single six-year term.

The practice of nomination rotation for the House of Representatives began to decline after the Civil War. It took a generation or so before the direct primary system, civil service reforms, and the ethic of professionalism worked to eliminate rotation in office as a common political practice. By the turn of the 20th century the era of incumbency was coming into full swing.

A total of 8 presidents served two full terms and declined a third and three presidents served one full term and refused a second. After World War II, however, an officeholder class had developed to the point that congressional tenure rivaled that of the U.S. Supreme Court, where tenure is for life. "Homesteading" in Congress, made possible by reelection rates that approached 100% by the end of the 20th century, brought about a popular insurgency known as the "term-limits movement"

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


There’s a message going around on the Internet that is causing quite a stir.

It predicts that in about 30 years Western Europe will be comprised of Muslim countries. Omar Kadhafi, the Lybian dictator, has chortled that the conquest of Europe will be achieved without firing a shot.

Anthropologists agree with him.

Birth rates as low as 1.1 in Spain and 1.3 in Italy are far below the 2.1 average needed to sustain the current population. Statistics demonstrate that birth rates below 1.8 constitute irreversible trends.

The same Internet essay tells us that around 1970 there were 100,000 Muslims in the United States. Today there are over 9,000,000.

The birth rate among Caucasians in our country is about the same as France or Great Britain, 1.7. The influx of immigrants from Mexico, mostly illegal, adds enough babies to bring our rate up to a sustainable level of around 2.2.

Which sort of gives us a Hobson’s choice. Our great grandchildren can either learn to speak Spanish or they can adjust to life under Shiria Law.

I suppose all good things have to come to an end.

Looking back, I have to say we were a great race of people.

We were philosophers, theologians, scientists, artists, engineers. We harnessed the atom and went to the moon.

We built great cities and universities, invented computers and established a global communication network we called the world wide web.

Our man Thomas Edison gave us electricity, and Henry Ford gave us wheels.

A white man named Alexander Cartwright invented baseball. Another, James Naismith, put a basket on the side of a barn and started throwing balls at it, launching a sport now played around the world. Papa Halas and a few other brave souls organized a football league.

We called it Western Civilization. We taught it in our schools and colleges. Its roots were in the Jewish and Christian religions which revealed to us that there is a single omnipotent Creator who is responsible for our existence and who continues to sustain us on this planet.

From those religious traditions we learned that we were unique and special creatures, entitled to be free, destined for greatness, charged with the care and protection of our earthly home.

From their basic tenets we structured systems of governance in which the people elected representatives to make decisions for the common good, and we wrote constitutions to specify their powers and define the unalienable rights of the people.

Our Western Civilization was a success. We became rich, powerful, comfortable and secure. We invented medicines and built hospitals and we lived longer and longer.

And we had fun. Boy, did we have fun. Every day was Disneyland. Entertainment became ubiquitous and incessant. We ate until we were fat, then dieted to be beautiful.

Sex became recreation. Babies, like pets, were optional possessions. About 25 percent of new white people are destroyed in their mother’s wombs, and never see the light of day.

And so we are not replacing ourselves. We are being destroyed from within, corrupted by our own success and gratification.

What a pity.

Monday, July 19, 2010


But you know us. We are your friends and neighbors. The folks who live next door and down the street.

A builder from Colorado, a grandmother from Florida, a sheriff from Washington, a retired judge from Michigan, a writer from California, a grad student from Louisiana.

Computer guys, teachers, lawyers, doctors, businessmen, economists and actors.

People you never met and never heard about, but people just like you who care about America, who love our country, its history, its Constitution, and its promise of liberty and opportunity.

We have come together because we care about the United States.
We’re worried about our beloved nation.

We don’t think the government in Washington D.C. is working the way Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and George Washington intended it to work.

It was supposed to be a federal government, comprised of sovereign states, exercising limited powers. It was not supposed to be in charge of everything. It was not supposed to be dictating every aspect of our lives from the cradle to the grave.

The government created in Philadelphia in 1789 was not a socialist dictatorship, it did not create a ruling class oligarchy or authorize politicians to feather their own nests with the earnings of the people.

The Founders knew that self interest and partisanship are the enemies of liberty.

They recognized that the government they designed could become corrupted by the very individuals who were elected to run it, and they provided a way for the people to react, to come together and to fix it.

They gave use a remedy, and we, the people, intend to use it.

It’s called an Article V Convention. It’s an amendatory convention. A way for the people to draft, refine, and propose individual amendments to strengthen the Constitution we already have.

It’s not empowered to write a new constitution.

The Founders expected the Constitution they gave us to be a living document. They expected us to adopt amendments that would keep America the land of the free.

That’s why We The People have come together in Convention USA.

We want you to come and join us. We need your common sense, your loyalty to American principles and traditions, your faith in our ability to protect our Constitution.

When the Philadelphia Convention was finished, a lady asked Benjamin Franklin what sort of government had been created. His answer echoes down through the years to each and every one of us:

“It is a Republic, madam, if you can keep it.”

We invite you to visit www.ConventionUSA.org. Do it now. And please forward this message to every concerned citizen you know.

We are the people. And we are all in this together.