Sunday, September 22, 2013


The United States Senate is supposed to represent the States. That’s why it was created. Part of the compromise between big States and little States in Philadelphia in 1787. The House of Representatives speaks for the people; the Senate speaks for the States.

Mighty important deal they cut. Under the Articles of Confederation, each State got one vote. Period. Rhode Island was just as important as New York or Virginia. Which the folks from the big States didn’t like. So they compromised and decided on a bicameral legislature. Two houses. Both had to agree or nothing would happen.

Still, the small States weren’t quite happy. What if, in the future two-thirds of the States were to propose and three quarters of the States were to ratify, an amendment which said the little States wouldn’t have an equal vote in the Senate?

Yeah. What if? So there was another compromise. They added these words to Article V:

Provided…that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.”

That seems pretty straight forward, but there’s one little hitch. Section 3 of Article One of the Constitution says that there shall be two Senators from every State. The result is that whenever a State has two Senators from different parties, their votes cancel each other out. In other words, those States have no actual say in what happens in the Senate.

Here are the current numbers:
   There are 17 States with two Democratic Senators.
   There are 14 States with two Republican Senators.
   There are 17 States with one Republican Senator and one Democratic Senator.
   There is one State with one Republican Senator and one Independent.
   There is one state with one Democratic Senator and one Independent.

So what happens when the Continuing Resolution reaches the floor of the Senate? If, in fact, Article V of the Constitution were to be enforced, and each State given “equal suffrage” in the Senate, nothing would happen.

Even if the two Independent Senators were to vote with their State colleague, there would still be 17 States without a voice in the ObamaCare v Shut Down the Government debate.

How do the people in Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota feel about the issue?

No one will ever know. They have no voice in the United States Senate.

I don’t want to sound critical of James Madison, George Washington and their colleagues, but…

But wouldn’t it have been wiser to give each State either one Senator or three Senators?

If there were one from each State, only a third of the Senate would be up for election in any year.
Pretty tough for the voters to clean house. If there were three, one elected every two years, every State would elect one Senator every two years, assuring that the Senate would more accurately reflect current opinion.

And while we are at it, maybe we should repeal the 17th amendment.

All in favor, say Aye.

Here is some suggested language:

The Senate shall consist of the present 100 members, their successors, and an additional 50 Senators who shall be chosen when this Amendment is adopted as provided by law for the filling of vacancies, and whose terms shall expire in the next succeeding year when the terms of neither of the other Senators from that State shall expire. All voting in the Senate shall be by States, and each State will have one vote.

Senators shall be chosen as provided by State law. The 17th Amendment is repealed.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Frankly, I don’t know where to begin.

Pope Francis, the leader of three billion Catholics around the world, has pleaded with the United States not to attack Syria.

He is joined in this plea by the leaders of all the Chirstian churches in the Middle East: The Caldean Catholic Church, the Patriarch of Antioch, the Syrian Catholic Patriarch, the Maronite Patriarch, the Greek and Russian Orthodox Patriarchs, and countless lesser Christian leaders.

Bear in mind that Christians are persecuted in the Middle East. Christians comprise about 10 percent of Syria’s population. Most are Coptic Catholics.

Franciscan Father Francois Murad was beheaded by Jihadist rebels on June 23rd. Bystanders cheered and took pictures.

Now it is reported that the rebels attacked the Christian village of Maaloula. A nun there is said to have phoned the Associated Press to say that priests were killed there on Wednesday of this week.

Why would Catholics, who are brutally persecuted in Syria want the U.S. to stay away?

Hard for us, who have been imbued by both Presidents Bush and Obama with the idea that everyone in the world yearns to live in a Hollywood version of freedom and happiness, to understand.

The fact is that the first axiom of liberty is home rule. Nobody wants foreign boots on their soil.

When push comes to shove, they would rather be killed by their own people than by the strangers who do not speak their language.

The Irish said it well in song:

‘the stangers came and tried to teach us their way, And cursed us just for being what we are. But they might as well go chasin’ after moon beams. Or light a penny candle from a star.”

American public opinion is dead set against the administration’s “surgical strike.”

The President’s people assure us that it will be a quicky. Just a few hundred million dollars worth of tomahawk cruise missIles. No American lives at risk.

Just a few unavoidable, “collateral damage” civilian deaths.

Just to show the world how tough we are.

In my last blog, I mentioned the military-industrial complex and quoted President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

If you are looking for an explanation for the Obama War in Syria, you need look no further than the roster of the Board of Directors of the Raytheon Corporation, which makes (and profits from making) Tomahawk cruise missIles.

There you will find Warren Rudman, former United States Senator from New Hampshire, Admiral Vernon E. Clark, appointed by Defense Secretary Gates to lead the military investigation of the Fort Hood massacre, which returned the brilLiant diagnosis of ‘workplace fatigue,” John M. Deutch, former Deputy Secretary of Defense and Director of Central Intelligence under President Clinton, Linda Stuntz, Deputy Secretary of Energy in the Clinton admnistration.

And how about William Lynn III, the top lobbyist for Raytheon Co. in our nation’s Capital?

Here’s a guy who was picked by President Obama and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates for the position of deputy secretary of Defense.

This in the face of an executive order setting new ethics rules which banned lobbyists from serving in the government’s administration.

Lynn’s new job?

Running much of the day-to-day operation of the Defense Department and handling many key budget and procurement decisions.

Having a lot to say about the future of the missile defense system and the contracts with Raytheon Corporation which makes the Tomahawk cruise missiles.

Secretary Gates pushed hard for the appointment of Lynn, despite the ban on hiring lobbyists.

Maybe he thought Lynn could get us a discount.