Rex Tugwell’s Plan to End America as We Know It

September 22, 2011

The maxim that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty is never so true as when the integrity of our Constitution is threatened. The statists have been pursuing their goal of deconstructing that inimitable document for a long, long time.

Rexford Tugwell, part of FDR’s original “Brain Trust,” published a section of the 1974 book, The Emerging Constitution, entitled “A Constitution for the Newstates of America,” which is filled with dilutions of the rights granted to individuals and to sovereign states in the Constitution.

A good example of what Tugwell intended as an “improvement” on the First Amendment is Section (A) of Article One, which would presumably replace our God-given rights to freedom of speech and assembly guaranteed by that Amendment. This new constitution instead reads: “SECTION 1. Freedom of expression, of communication, of movement, of assembly, or of petition shall not be abridged except in declared emergency”; “SECTION 3. Public communicators may decline to reveal sources of information, but shall be responsible for hurtful disclosures”; “SECTION 7. It shall be public policy to promote discussion of public issues and to encourage peaceful public gatherings for this purpose. Permission to hold such gatherings shall not be denied, nor shall they be interrupted, except in declared emergency or on a showing of imminent danger to public order and on judicial warrant”; and “SECTION 8. The practice of religion shall be privileged; but no religion shall be imposed by some on others, and none shall have public support.” (Emphasis added.)

What does all that replace? The First Amendment is very brief and clear: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

It has no exceptions of “public emergencies” or “hurtful disclosures.” (Hurtful to whom? Who determines the damage?) It is “public policy” to promote discussion of issues? Who determines “public policy”? What is the basis of a “judicial warrant” to stop a peaceful assembly? The vague socialist theme runs through other parts of the document, like Section B of Article One regarding taxation: “SECTION 6. Each shall pay whatever share of governmental costs is consistent with fairness to all.” Who decides what is “fair”? Apparently, the statists managers of this new, surreal America.

Article II, which deals with the complete reorganization of states into new entities that must conform to national policies — as more or less cookie-cutter provinces — reveals a profound intention to destroy sovereign state governments, the greatest cornerstone of constitutional liberty. (So important did the authors of our Constitution deem state sovereignty that they wrote language into the document prohibiting the denial of any state its equal representation in the Senate — not even by amendment.) Article III, dealing with the “Overseer of electoral procedures,” allows the state to set rules for how political parties operate: the Overseer must be “fair,” and shall oversee all elections. Indeed, it requires very little imagination to see how the Overseer could become a virtual dictator by the funneling of the electoral process into narrow, controlled pathways.

Perhaps most revealing is Article IV, the “Planning Branch of Government.” This branch is given the duty of determining the direction of American government, which under this socialist constitution means America itself. The relentless insistence by statists that more central planning will bring a happier national life — in spite of the horrors of the Soviet Five-Year-Plan failures, Mao’s ghastly Great Leap Forward, and Goering’s oversight of Nazi Five-Year-Plan schemes — remains untouched by the wisdom of history. The “Regulatory Branch” in Article VII requires high-level government bureaucrats and officers to ensure that American commerce operates efficiently: “SECTION 4. Chartered enterprises in similar industries or occupations may organize joint Authorities. These may formulate among themselves codes to ensure fair competition, meet external costs, set standards for quality and service, expand trade, increase production, eliminate waste, and assist in standardization. Authorities may maintain for common use services for research and communication; but membership shall be open to all eligible enterprises. Nonmembers shall be required to maintain the same standards at those prescribed for members.”

Tugwell, even long after statism in Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, and Maoist China had proven far more horrific than any of the imagined flaws of America society, still clung to the old, failed, bad idea. Were regulators, planners — all the rest — going to make America greater?

No.

Tugwell’s real intention was to destroy America and make it like the dreary, regimented rest of the world.

http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/constitution/4629-rex-tugwells-plan-to-end-america

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Pushing for a Constitutional Convention

June 11, 2009

by Art Thompson

32151302_thbIn recent months we have seen a flurry of activity for and against a variety of schemes purportedly intended to rectify the problem of government abuse and its disinclination to abide by the Constitution.

These schemes have included, but are not limited to, a constitutional convention, or con-con, and a continental congress. One fails to see how any one of these initiatives could change the situation when all one has to do to ascertain this is ask two questions:

  1. If the powers that be are already not following the Constitution, what makes anyone think that they would follow a new one?
  2. Given the current political climate, who do you think would be elected delegates to either one of these events?

If we have a government of the people, then it means that the people will have to be involved in the process. All of the people. In a Republic, this means that it is done through the representative process, electing people to represent us at either a convention, congress, or in a legislature.

Who controls the elective process in this country? Generally, it is the Secretary of State of the various states. They decide what and who gets on the ballot. Arguably, this opens up a can of worms, a discussion on this limited by space here, but points to the problem of concentrated power in this area.

Does anyone think that the people who are pushing for either a con-con or a continental congress have the clout or the will to amass a campaign to hold an event with the types of people we had in the original conventions, such as Washington, Madison, Franklin, etc?

We are witnessing several online initiatives over the Internet beguiling good people into supporting some rather strange bedfellows along with a con-con purportedly to provide solutions to rectify the present abuses of the Constitution. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and several members of the Council on Foreign Relations are all being touted as conservatives concerned about the Constitution. Yet their history shows that while appearing to promote less government, after their rise to power in positions of authority they gave us exactly the opposite.

This should be no surprise if one reads everything that Newt Gingrich recommends, for instance. Students of politics for several years may recall that Gingrich recommended the writings of Alvin Toffler, specifically Toffler’s book The Third Wave, to members of Congress in the 1990s.

In the final chapter of “The Third Wave,” Toffler begins with a letter to our “Founding Parents,” his term for the Founding Fathers. I quote:

For the system of government you fashioned, including the very principles on which you based it, is increasingly obsolete, and hence increasingly, if inadvertently, oppressive and dangerous to our welfare. It must be radically changed and a new system of government invented – a democracy for the twenty-first century…

For this wisdom, above all, I thank Mr. Jefferson, who helped create the system that served us so well for so long, and that now must, in its turn, die and be replaced.

Pray tell me the difference between a book Gingrich recommends and the words of Zbigniew Brzezinski, in his book Between Two Ages, wherein he states:

In a word, America is undergoing a new revolution, whose distinguishing feature is that it simultaneously maximizes America’s potential as it unmasks its obsolescence.

This is after Brzezinski stated:

That is why Marxism represents a further vital and creative stage in the maturing of man’s universal vision. Marxism is simultaneously a victory of the external, active man over the inner, passive man and a victory of reason over belief.

Why bring Brzezinski into the equation? Simply because he served as McCain’s foreign policy advisor during McCain’s earlier bid for the presidency, while Brzezinski’s two sons each served this past election campaign season in the same position for both candidates: McCain and Obama.

The point is that within the Republican Party as well as the Democratic Party there are those who whisper sweet nothings in speeches but whose writings reveal much as to their real goal. This is the atmosphere that we see in regards to con-cons and congresses.

Even if good people were elected to such events, we see several dangerous aspects that many have not thoroughly examined, in addition to the two questions raised above:

  1. If a good document or initiative came out of the events, what would be the role of the courts? (They have overturned the will of the people and the rule of law many times and gotten away with it quite handily.)
  2. Given that the power rests in those who wish to destroy our Constitution now, what machinations would they pull to thwart any move to improve our Law? (There are several cases where the government could declare emergencies to retain power.)

And we could go on.

Instead of spending a great deal of time, energy, and money on trying to forge a new document, how about spending the same effort educating our fellow citizens about the wonderful Constitution we already have?

If enough people understood the original intent and underpinnings of our Constitution, it would be the beginning of an informed electorate voting for sound changes in Congress and the administration. If they are not so educated, no scheme to bring about a better system will work.

Isaiah 5:13: Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge…

If the people are knowledgeable, they will be free, if not, they will be slaves.

Jefferson said it this way in a letter to William Charles Jarvis in 1820:

I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of the abuses of Constitutional power.

Art Thompson is CEO of The John Birch Society. 

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Founding Fathers weigh in on a new constitutional convention

May 27, 2009

 

James Madison said he should tremble for the result of a second Con-Con:

Madison“You wish to know my sentiments on the project of another general Convention… I shall give them to you with great frankness… If a General Convention were to take place for the avowed and sole purpose of revising the Constitution, it would naturally consider itself as having a greater latitude than the Congress appointed to administer and support as well as to amend the system; it would consequently give greater agitation to the public mind; an election into it would be courted by the most violent partisans on both sides; it would probably consist of the most heterogeneous characters; would be the very focus of that flame which has already too much heated men of all parties; would no doubt contain individuals of insidious views, who under the mask of seeking alterations popular in some parts but inadmissible in other parts of the Union might have a dangerous opportunity of sapping the very foundations of the fabric. Under all these circumstances it seems scarcely to be presumable that the deliberations of the body could be conducted in harmony, or terminate in the general good. 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, meeting in the present temper of America, and under all the disadvantages I have mentioned.”  James Madison, November 2, 1788 – Letter to George Thurberville

Patrick Henry said the 1787 Con-Con was a definite runaway:

Patrick Henry“I would make this enquiry about of those worthy characters who composed a part of the late federal convention…I have the highest veneration for those gentlemen; but sir, give me leave to demand, what right had they to say, We the People?…who authorized them to speak the language of We the People instead of We the States?… The people gave them no power to use their name. That they exceeded their power is perfectly clear…The federal convention ought to have amended the old system –for this purpose they were solely delegated. The object of their mission extended to no other considerations.”  Patrick Henry – June 4, 1788, Speech at The Virginia Ratifying Convention 

Benjamin Franklin also expressed doubt as to the wisdom of another Con-Con:

Franklin“I doubt too whether any other Convention we can obtain, may be able to make a better Constitution. For when you assemble a number of men to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men, all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests, and their selfish views. From such an assembly can a perfect production be expected? It therefore astonishes me, Sir, to find this system approaching so near to perfection as it does; and I think it will astonish our enemies, who are waiting with confidence to hear that our councils are confounded like those of the Builders of Babel; and that our States are on the point of separation, only to meet hereafter for the purpose of cutting one another’s throats.”  Benjamin Franklin, September 17, 1787 – Speech at the Constitutional Convention 

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Oklahoma first this year to rescind its con-con applications

May 27, 2009

http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/election/1120

okflag“Oklahoma became the first state this year to rescind all of its previous applications for a convention pursuant to Article V of the Constitution.  On May 12, Governor Brad Henry signed SJR 11, “A Joint Resolution rescinding applications by the Legislature to the United States Congress to call a constitutional convention.” This followed passage of SJR 11 by the Senate 45-0 on March 4; passage of an amended version by the House 90-6 on April 22; and finally, Senate passage of the House version by 41-2 on May 5.”

“The John Birch Society (JBS) was instrumental in slowing and then reversing the momentum behind the drive for a balanced-budget con con. With 32 states out of the necessary 34 (two-thirds) already on record with con-con calls, our nation was only two more states away from a very risky con-con. However, since JBS members and allies got involved in this fight in the 1980s, not one more state has approved a balanced budget amendment con-con. What’s more, these grassroots constitutionalists worked closely with their state legislators in many states which has led to 11 states rescinding (withdrawing) their BBA con-con calls as well as all of their other con-con calls for other purposes. So, now instead of 32 states on record with BBA constitutional convention calls, there are now only 21 states with “live” (unrescinded) BBA calls.” 

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Can we trust Friends of the Article V Convention?

May 20, 2009

 by: Teri M. Owens

 

MAGIn this information age it is easy to be fooled by misleading claims even when they appear to be accompanied by a reliable source. We have to maintain a dedication to scholarship in the freedom fight – especially in matters involving the Constitution. Before relying upon information to make a critical decision it is necessary to examine the source documents to verify the truth.

Applying this commitment to claims made by aggressively pro con-con group, Friends of the Article V Convention (FOAVC), it is revealed that this organization is either uneducated on the issues or they are engaging in outright deception.

What do the Source Documents Reveal?

The following statement is from their website:

“…please see the following 7 Congressional Records that clearly demonstrates that the prerequisite number of states (i.e. two thirds) have already requested an Article V Convention, and Congress on 4 (or more) occasions (over the past 101 years) has ignored their peremptory duty to call an Article V Convention.”

The referenced 7 Congressional Records contain the resolutions of 8 states between 1907 and 1910, which made application for an Article V convention to propose an amendment providing for the direct election of U.S. Senators. The text of each application is identical:

“The House of Representatives of the United States has on four separate occasions passed by a two thirds vote, a resolution proposing an amendment to the constitution providing for the election of United States Senators by direct vote of the people;

And whereas the United States Senate has each time refused to consider or vote upon said resolution thereby denying to the people of the Several States a chance to secure this much desired change in the method of electing Senators…”

From the text of the Congressional Records, it is clear that it was two thirds of the House of Representatives that had passed a resolution for the desired Constitutional Amendment four times. Two thirds of the states did not apply for a con-con four times as they assert.  If you don’t have a good grasp on Article V, it is easy to be fooled by this.

The Ultimate Power of Ratification

Recently the FOAVC made rebuttal videos to the first and second part of the JBS video Beware of Article V. Beware of Article V is a comprehensive review of the plain language of Article V, the historical precedent from our nation’s only experience with a federal Constitutional Convention, and the opinion of legal jurists and Constitutional scholars about the danger of using this method for proposing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In less than one month since Ohio’s con-con resolution was introduced last Assembly, views of this video skyrocketed to more than 6,0000.

In an attempt to discredit the JBS video, FOACV co-founder, Bill Walker asserts that state legislatures “have the ultimate power of ratification,” despite the fact that the plain language of Article V grants the power to determine the method of ratification to Congress. Hawke v. Smith, 253 U.S. 221 (1920), the Supreme Court case that he points out in his rebuttal video says:

“The Fifth Article is a grant of authority by the people to Congress. The determination of the method of ratification is the exercise of a national power specifically granted by the Constitution; that power is conferred upon Congress, and is limited to two methods, by action of the legislatures of three-fourths of the states, or conventions in a like number of states.”

Also ignored by Bill Walker is the fact that the 1787 Constitutional Convention emerged with a new constitution which contained the ratification method within itself (Article VII). And that ratification method called for 9 of 13 states to ratify in conventions of the people, rather than unanimous consent of the state legislature under Article XIII of the Articles of Confederation.

The JBS video explains that due to the vague language of Article V, Congress would likely determine the method for selecting delegates to the con-con. FOAVC points again to Hawke v. Smith to assert that said Supreme Court case “ruled that conventions must be made up of ‘deliberate assemblages representative of the people.’” Unfortunately, Hawke v. Smith, in using that phrase, was referring to “ratifying conventions,” not constitutional conventions.

Noise and Confusion

Likewise, in the second rebuttal video, FOAVC claims that a Justice Warren Burger letter written to Phyllis Shlafly, referenced in the second part of the Beware Article V video is a fake. His proof? A posted copy on an unrelated website called sweetliberty.org that has the date as 1983, rather than 1988 which is the actual date of the letter posted on Phyllis Schlafly’s own Eagle Forum website.

He spends the rest of his rebuttal video trying to prove the letter is a fake based on the errant 1983 date. He plays on this error to wrongly accuse the JBS as well as Tom DeWeese, president of the American Policy Center of knowingly touting a fraudulent letter.

Finally, in their zeal to make the number of historic con-con calls seem abnormally large, FOAVC consistently counts each state application, when read in both the Senate and House, as two completely different applications.  Either Friends of an Article V Convention is woefully uneducated or openly engaging in outright deception, coupled with noise and confusion to keep legislators from their duty to consider a con-con with the appropriate awareness and deliberation.

Regardless, from a close inspection of the source documents cited, it is clear that this organization cannot be trusted. 

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