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Legislators to Meet for First-Ever Simulated Convention of States

Legislators to Meet for First-Ever Simulated Convention of States

A dry run

http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_zoom_4.html

State legislators from across the country will meet in for a simulated Article V convention of the states for the purpose of proposing amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The gathering, hosted by Citizens for Self-Governance, will take place next month in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia and will be the first-ever test run of an actual Article V convention.

As explained earlier, Article V details two processes for amending the U.S. Constitution. The first requires congress write and propose an amendment that is then sent to the states for a ratification vote. The second process requires two-thirds of the state legislatures submit applications for a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments. The applications must specify an amendment subject matter or matters. Should two-thirds of the states submit applications pertaining to the same subject matter, an Article V convention of the states is called.

The dress rehearsal

So far, 8 of the 34 necessary states have submitted an application calling for an Article V convention, though several more states are currently in the process of doing so. That number, however, isn’t stopping legislators from more than 40 states from convening next month for a “dress rehearsal.” State legislators attending will act as delegates (“commissioners”) and will consider amendment proposals that “impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and set term limits for its officials and for Members of Congress.”

In short, the simulation is being held in order to better familiarize state legislators across the country with the rules and processes of an Article V convention. The convention will be operated under the rules and protocol of past conventions.

“We have over 300 years of history of states meeting together in conventions,” Article V scholar Robert Natelson told a group of state legislators last year. “The convention for proposing amendments – that’s the title the Constitution gives it – is clearly based upon that model of states and, before them, colonies, getting together in diplomatic-type meetings in order to address particular problems.”

Citizens for Self-Governance president Mark Meckler stressed the urgency of utilizing the Article V process:

“Using Article V to rein in the federal government is exactly what ‘we the people’ are supposed to do. An amending convention will hold the federal government to a new standard with amendments that may include a balanced-budget amendment that uses generally accepted accounting principles, as well as ensure that the Commerce Clause and General Welfare Clause are interpreted based on original intent.”

Washington isn’t going to reform itself. If the Republican-held Senate and House of Representatives sincerely wanted to rein in federal spending, they would have crafted a balanced budget amendment. The states have no choice but do do something themselves.

Disclosure: The author volunteers for the Convention of States Project in her state

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Comments

buckeyeminuteman | August 29, 2016 at 4:18 pm

Hurray! Maybe once the public sees what a Convention could accomplish (balanced budgets, term limits, reduce entitlements, etc) they’ll be more inclined to press their state legislatures to make it happen.

And thank you for not publishing just another article about the 2016 election. It’s refreshing to hear about some legal insurrection going on that has the potential to make a difference!

Another initiative I’d love to see is making the Supremes less “supreme”.

There’s no conceivable reason a single justice should determine essential law for this republic.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to Ragspierre. | August 29, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    What would you propose? I ask this not to be snide, but to gain some insight on what could be done. For example: was the John Birch Society right back in the 1960s in their desire to abolish the Supreme Court altogether?

      There are several proposals along these lines that you should look up. I can’t do justice to them in a blog post.

      For instance, there is one that would allow a majority of Congress (or the people) to over-ride a ruling, the details of which I’m fuzzy on.

      Another would be to limit terms of justices, which I think is a very good idea.

      There are others, as well.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to Ragspierre. | August 30, 2016 at 3:14 pm

        It would seem to me in keeping with the “separate but equal” idea of our government that a resolution passed by a simple majority of the house and senate and signed by the president should be able to vacate a decision by the Supreme court.

        Also, no court should ever be able to over rule a certified vote of the people.

      rimcountrydotcom in reply to The Friendly Grizzly. | August 29, 2016 at 9:21 pm

      To Friendly Grizzly – Here’s one proposal that’s making the rounds. Remember, these are just proposals that would have to be introduced in committee at the convention, debated, amended, voted on and eventually reported out to Congress as a Proposed Amendment to the Constitution, after which it would still have to be ratified (or rejected) by 3/4 of the States.

      – – –
      The Repeal Amendment (Proposal)

      – Propose a Repeal Amendment allowing a super-majority of state legislatures to

      1) Repeal any law passed by Congress, in whole or in part,

      2) Reduce any line item in any appropriation or other spending legislation,

      3) Vacate any ruling of the Supreme Court,

      4) Cancel any Presidential executive order,

      5) Withdraw any regulation, in whole or in part, issued by any Federal agency or department.

      In any action under this amendment, each state legislature shall have exactly one vote, and none of the actions shall be subject to judicial review. Each action shall become effective on the day that the three-fifths-majority requirement is met.

      Learn more: http://www.ConventionOfStates.com

      rimcountrydotcom in reply to The Friendly Grizzly. | August 29, 2016 at 9:28 pm

      To the Friendly Grizzly – One of the proposals that’s been making the rounds lately is called the Repeal Amendment. Remember, these are just proposals. They still need to be introduced into committee at the convention, debated, revised, voted on and reported out to Congress, then sent to the states for ratification (or rejection)…

      – – –
      The Repeal Amendment (Proposal)

      – Propose a Repeal Amendment allowing a super-majority of state legislatures to

      1) Repeal any law passed by Congress, in whole or in part,

      2) Reduce any line item in any appropriation or other spending legislation,

      3) Vacate any ruling of the Supreme Court,

      4) Cancel any Presidential executive order,

      5) Withdraw any regulation, in whole or in part, issued by any Federal agency or department.

      In any action under this amendment, each state legislature shall have exactly one vote, and none of the actions shall be subject to judicial review. Each action shall become effective on the day that the three-fifths-majority requirement is met.

      Birch society is apparently not in favor of Article 5. Maybe they don’t like freedom. To answer your question, check out the liberty amendments by mark levin. paperback and online.

      A5 is to restrict the power of the federal government over the citizens and the states. A5 is not to remove power from citizens or the states. ie repeal the 2nd amdment.

      Balance budget amendment, term limits for congress and supreme court for example.
      power of the states to override scotus and congress by % of vote of the states.
      repeal 17th amendment, to put the senators back under the power of the states, instead of lobbyists and parties. Obamacare never would have passed, due to cost to the states. 17th amendment was added to allow public election of Senators. However, it changed the dynamics of the congress and removed power of State legislators over its Senate appointments. Senators who run foul of the rules could be fired.

      11 amendments are propose in the book, but look up some of the Q&A at convention of states. videos discussing the ideas

Be very careful here, you may not care very much for how it turns out.
A new amendment giving people the right to not be offended.
A new definition of what free speech is.
A new definition of what “well regulated” means.
And a whole host of other joys with a run away convention.

    dahat in reply to Luapious. | August 29, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    They could also come up with an amendment declaring this to be a purple country and anyone whose skin is not sufficiently purple will be executed… pretty bad, right?

    An amendment simply being passed at the convention of the states doesn’t mean it law, it still requires ratification by the states. Somehow, I’m pretty sure the green skinned folks could come up with at least 12 states who would not support the purple nationalist agenda. Same goes for other issues as well.

      Taryn O'Neill in reply to dahat. | August 29, 2016 at 8:44 pm

      Well said!

      Jetwash in reply to dahat. | August 30, 2016 at 1:23 am

      Republicans control over 30 legislatures at this point. Those legislatures are going because their citizens have made it clear, they approve of the process. No amendment is allowed to restrict the citizens or the states. ie removing the 2A.

      The 17th amendment may come up, but the constitution already provided the states with the power to appoint 2 members to the US Senate. No money for elections is required. No out of state powers to fix an election. Mess up, you get replaced.

        Milhouse in reply to Jetwash. | August 30, 2016 at 11:33 pm

        No amendment is allowed to restrict the citizens or the states. ie removing the 2A.

        What are you talking about? Any part of the constitution can be amended, including the 1&2A. Amendments to the constitution certainly are allowed to restrict citizens or states. An amendment could even bring back the monarchy.

    Fiftycaltx in reply to Luapious. | August 29, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Yah, the results may not be PERFECT so let’s do NOTHING. That will certainly make the uniparty happy. It’s time for TERM LIMITS on ALL elected AND APPOINTED positions. It’s time for a BALANCED BUDGET REQUIREMENT. There, I have started it, what else do you want? I want the “well-regulated” part removed from the Second Amendment so fools and socialists can’t drone on and on about a “militia”.

    Jetwash in reply to Luapious. | August 30, 2016 at 1:16 am

    None of your concerns are allowed. No rights can be stripped from the citizens or the states. Only the federal government. 34 states must pass the amendment and 38 must ratify the amendment. 27 amendments have been ratified.

    When the bill of rights was written and offered to the states for ratification, there were 13. Ten were ratified.

    Congress, the WH and the Judiciary are out of control. We have a fourth branch of Govt called the chamber of commerce. They need to be reigned in.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Jetwash. | August 30, 2016 at 6:46 pm

      I would actually put the chamber as the 5th branch and say that the 4th branch is the unelected bureaucracy.

      Milhouse in reply to Jetwash. | August 30, 2016 at 11:35 pm

      Jetwash, you have no idea what you’re talking about. Any part of the constitution can be amended, or a convention could just trash the whole thing and write a replacement, and come up with its own means of ratifying it. Such as a national referendum that ignored the states, and in which aliens and minors could vote.

    audax in reply to Luapious. | August 30, 2016 at 7:28 am

    A runaway convention….LOL!

    Whatever the Convention of the States propoes still hase to gain a supermajority of the States to pass.

    Right now what I am worried about is a…

    RUNAWAY Supreme Court, a
    RUNAWAY President, a
    RUNAWAY Congress, a
    RUNAWAY Senate. and a
    RUNAWAY Beauracracy of alphabet soup agencies!!!

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Luapious. | August 30, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    Also Amendments have to be agreed upon before the convention. They can’t just come up with new one’s on the fly. So the amendments that you are afraid of would never make it to convention consideration.

      Milhouse in reply to Gremlin1974. | August 30, 2016 at 11:38 pm

      Also Amendments have to be agreed upon before the convention. They can’t just come up with new one’s on the fly.

      Bullsh*t. Where on earth did you come up with that nonsense? There’s not a word in Article 5 restricting what sorts of amendments a convention can propose. All it says is “a convention for proposing amendments”. (And that’s even assuming the convention adheres to Article 5, which it may not.)

If an actual convention gets to happen organizers need to be sure it is held in Texas, Ohio or any open carry states so that citizens are able to organize themselves to prevent rent-a-mobs from disrupting the proceedings. Don’t ever fall in the trap of believing that the left is going to try to prevent this from happening.

    Jetwash in reply to Ulises. | August 30, 2016 at 1:18 am

    Who says anyone but State representatives to the Convention will be allowed in? The Congress and the WH are not allowed to interfere.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Jetwash. | August 30, 2016 at 6:48 pm

      Also, I would like to clarify that the representative for the convention does not have to be one of the elected representatives, it could actually be you or me.

      Milhouse in reply to Jetwash. | August 30, 2016 at 11:40 pm

      Oh yeah? Who’s going to keep an anarchist mob from invading the convention floor and interfering all it likes?

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Ulises. | August 30, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    Pick Texas and surround the building with the Rangers and National Guard.

The Philadelphia convention started in just such a low-key and supposedly low-risk setting. Just a few people talking things over, what can go wrong? They’d just propose some amendments to the state legislatures, who could do with them as they liked, right?

Well, we all know how that turned out. They wrote a new constitution, and created their own state conventions to ratify it, completely cutting the state legislatures out of the picture. The constitution we have now was imposed on the state legislatures by force, without even consulting them about it. The new constitution didn’t even require the unanimous consent of the state conventions that it created; once 9 states had ratified it, the other 4 would be forced into the new USA, at gunpoint if necessary.

I see no way to prevent any new convention from doing the same thing. No matter what instructions it was given, the Philadelphia precedent would give it authority to completely ignore them and the current constitution. Such a convention could come up with a disaster of a constitution and an even more disastrous method of ratification, such as a referendum of all residents of the USA over the age of 14, whether citizen or alien, and whether legally here or not. And there’d be no way to stop it.

    TX-rifraph in reply to Milhouse. | August 29, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    There is a risk that the Convention of States takes a wrong turn. There is certainty that the current government HAS taken a wrong turn. The Convention might be a peaceful and effective solution to the current destruction taking place now.

    My point is that risks exist regardless of whether we stay on our present course or consider an alternative. Can we identify the significant risks and mitigate them before the Convention? I ask because I do not have the answer. I do know that our present national path will lead to a disaster for my grandchildren.

      dahat in reply to TX-rifraph. | August 29, 2016 at 6:32 pm

      The risk only exists if you don’t think that 1/4th + 1 states will say “na, we aren’t going to ratify that one”/

        Milhouse in reply to dahat. | August 30, 2016 at 11:49 pm

        The state legislators who sent delegations to Philadelphia probably thought the same way: ‘The risk only exists if you don’t think that at leat one state legislature will say “na, we aren’t going to ratify that one”’. But the next thing they knew the state legislatures were cut out of the picture, and instead there were these state conventions, and only 9 of them had to ratify it.

        Rhode Island’s legislature, which never consented to the whole process in the first place, and which according to the Articles of Confederation had the right to expect that without its consent the “perpetual union” would remain perpetual, was instead forced to choose between allowing a ratifying convention and joining the new USA, or being left to wither away as a separate country that could immediately expect to be invaded.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to TX-rifraph. | August 30, 2016 at 6:55 pm

      The Myth of a runaway convention is just that a myth. This would not be like the Philadelphia convention because at that time there was no Article 5. The reason they put the Article into the constitution was that they were smart enough to see the need and the possible danger.

      In an Article 5 convention the amendments discuss and voted on are proposed before the convention convenes. Once convened those are the only issues that can be discussed, period. A new amendment can not be presented in the middle of that convention.

      The “runaway” convention myth is pushed by those who don’t want it to happen because they know it could lead to the end of their days of salad and glory.

        Milhouse in reply to Gremlin1974. | August 30, 2016 at 11:24 pm

        This would not be like the Philadelphia convention because at that time there was no Article 5.

        Yes there was. Article 13 said “nor shall any alteration at any time hereafter be made in any of them; unless such alteration be agreed to in a Congress of the United States, and be afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of every State”. The Philadelphia convention just ignored that provision and decided to scr*w the legislatures and go directly to the people to ratify its work.

        A new convention could do exactly the same, by calling a national referendum to ratify its work, and the state legilslatures would get no say in the matter. It could even propose abolishing the states altogether, and have that ratified by a national referendum in which it would decide who got to vote.

    nebel in reply to Milhouse. | August 29, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    The convention is limited to the issues that are in at least 34 petitions. Therefore, states that exercise due diligence can prevent the convention from going off the rails as you fear. As long as 17 states craft very narrow petitions, the convention will not have the 34 states it needs to consider issues that the 17 states want to omit.

      The power to propose amendments is limited to the Congress and a Convention called by Congress; both have the power to propose, the word “propose” presumably having the same meaning in the same sentence.

      The states are not given the power to propose.

      Milhouse in reply to nebel. | August 30, 2016 at 2:44 am

      The convention is limited to the issues that are in at least 34 petitions

      No it isn’t, any more than the Philadelphia one was. Once it convenes it can do whatever it damn well likes, and nobody can stop it.

        Yes, the States and the People can stop it by refusing to ratify what it proposes. And if it attempts to stray from the authority granted it under The Constitution then the SCOTUS can stop it.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to Milhouse. | August 30, 2016 at 6:59 pm

        Nope, the Specific purpose of Article 5 was to keep a Philadelphia style convention from happening again, because they saw the risks of what they were doing.

        Yes, the issues for the agenda are set by the states and those issues can not be changed once the convention begins.

        What you are saying is not an Article 5 convention, it would be a new constitutional convention.

          Milhouse in reply to Gremlin1974. | August 30, 2016 at 11:58 pm

          Gremlin, you are making this sh*t up. There is not a word in Article V about having an agenda, let alone having to stick to it.

          What you are saying is not an Article 5 convention, it would be a new constitutional convention.

          How would it be different from the Philadelphia convention? That was also not supposed to write a new constitution. It was also supposed to be limited to proposing amendments under Article 13 of the Confederation, which would have to be ratified by the congress and every state legislature. But once the delegates got together they decided “Scr*w Article 13, scr*w the state legislatures, and double scr*w Rhode Island; we’ll do whatever we like and we’ll put it to the people of 9 states”.

    rimcountrydotcom in reply to Milhouse. | August 29, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    To Milhouse – I’m afraid you may have misrepresented the history of our Constitution in your comment, hopefully inadvertently.

    Prior to meeting at Philadelphia in 1776, all but two states (NY & MA) passed resolutions with a broad mandate, all using language that was either identical to or very similar to the proposal issued earlier by the Annapolis Convention of 1786. That language read as follows:

    “…to meet at Philadelphia on the second Monday in May next, to take into consideration the situation of the United States, to devise such further provisions as shall appear to them necessary to render the constitution of the Federal Government adequate to the exigencies of the Union; and to report such an Act for that purpose to the United States in Congress assembled, as when agreed to, by them, and afterwards confirmed by the Legislatures of every State, will effectually provide for the same.”

    Nowhere does the word “amend” appear in that resolution.

    So, to suggest that the delegates to Philadelphia just all of a sudden went rogue and “ran away” with the convention simply defies American History, despite the partisan oratory and hyperbole of the politicians of the day. Virtually all of them knew at the opening gavel the gravity of the responsibilities they were facing, and it was a whole lot more than nibbling around the edges of the tattered, inadequate and inefficient system of self-governance that they all agreed needed some serious repair.

    All except Rhode Island, that is, and they eventually came around during the run-up to ratification.

      You’re right, that the specific word “amend” does not appear in the mandate.

      However:

      A close reading of the language indicates that it WAS the State’s intention that additional sections be proposed to the Articles, and not a wholesale replacement. Thus the language to devise such further provisions…. indicating that they should BUILD on what currently exists.

      Also, Milhouse does have a point: The mechanisms for ratification did somewhat bypass the State Legislatures, many of whom would have had problems with the powers extended to the Federal Government for exactly the reasons we’re experiencing today (it just took 250 years to get there).

      Virtually all of them knew at the opening gavel the gravity of the responsibilities they were facing, and it was a whole lot more than nibbling around the edges of the tattered, inadequate and inefficient system of self-governance that they all agreed needed some serious repair.

      This, right here, is the big problem. The DELEGATES at the CONVENTION saw it one way once they all got together. What they DID with that information, from the historical record, does not appear to have been what the various State legislatures SENT them there to do (because most of the State legislatures LIKED that inefficient federal system of governance, because they were ALL very, very wary of any form of centralized governance that could impinge on their liberty or ability to govern what was effectively 13 separate COUNTRIES.

      Even the “Federalists” back then believed in a VERY weak central government.

      The “Anti-Federalists” believed that the States should be foremost in creating legislation and that the Federal Government would lead to the loss of personal liberties, loss of local sovereignty and the effective installation of a monarchy (well, look at that, they were RIGHT).

      The point though is that there is very, very little to constrain this group once it convenes. This is ESPECIALLY true if what you say is correct (and I agree) that there is no body that has authority to oversee what this Convention could or would do. The potential for the Conventioneers to set up their own ratification framework leaves one with the risk that the conventioneers could bypass the entire ratification framework, issue a Report suggesting a totally new framework for the Nation, and then take it to a direct-to-the-populace straight popular vote.

      The delegates the sates sent to Philadelphia were not authorized to throw out the confederation write a whole new constitution. And as you yourself quoted, they were instructed to send their proposals back to the state legislatures for unanimous consent. Instead they went behind the legislatures’ backs and completely cut them out of the picture. No state legislature ever got a say about the new constitution. The Philadelphia delegates came up with their own way of ratifying their work, and told the states to accept it or else. Once nine state conventions had ratified the new constitution, that was it, and everyone had to go along with it.

      Relying on that precedent a new convention could call a referendum, allow everybody in the USA to vote in it, and not give the state legislatures any say in the matter. In fact they could abolish the states altogether.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to Milhouse. | August 30, 2016 at 7:01 pm

        Yes, but that convention was not an Article 5 convention. geez.

          Milhouse in reply to Gremlin1974. | August 31, 2016 at 12:05 am

          No, it was an Article 13 convention, which had even less power than an Article 5 convention. The Philadelphia convention’s proposals had to be agreed to first by Congress, and then by every state legislature. An Article 5 convention’s proposals don’t need Congress’s approval at all, and only need 3/4 of the states. And yet despite this limitation it went rogue. What would stop a new convention from relying on that precedent to do the same?

    Jetwash in reply to Milhouse. | August 30, 2016 at 1:32 am

    I think you better go read the liberty amendments. Your historical view is dead wrong. The states at the time were promised a bill of rights. Congress followed thru. The states signed onto the Constitution and later ratified 10 of 13 proposed amendments. Since then, states have ratified another 17 amendments. They even reversed a prevous amendment for Prohibition.

      Milhouse in reply to Jetwash. | August 31, 2016 at 12:13 am

      The original package of proposed amendments was twelve, not thirteen. Ten of them became the first ten amendments, one eventually became the 27th amendment, and one is still waiting to be ratified.

    This is Constitutional nonsense. Here’s actually what happened in 1787…

    http://www.cosaction.com/constitutional_nonsense

‘Dry’ run, indeed. Certainly, in the event of a *real* convention of the states, that pesky amendment to the Constitution about permitting just anybody to carry weapons would be gotten rid of, as well as the ability for people to criticize their political betters. Also, there certainly needs to be some channel set up for companies to just write checks directly to legislators instead of this fiction about going through their political campaigns or charities, as well as a much more comfortable retirement package for once they leave DC. Oh, and those restrictions on taxation, gone. The graft potential of being able to directly tax a company who does not agree to their political betters is not to be overlooked.
(/snark)

    rimcountrydotcom in reply to georgfelis. | August 29, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    To Georgfelis – You really should read up on what you’re talking about. The convention you are describing might be some Lefty wet dream, but the Convention of States that the rest of us are talking about is LIMITED to proposing amendments that…

    1) impose fiscal restraints on the federal government,

    2) limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and

    3) limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress.

    That’s it.

    Learn more at http://ConventionOfStates.com

      You are deluded. There is no way to limit a convention once it is called. The legislators who sent delegates to Philadelphia thought as you do, and found out the hard way what a mistake they’d made.

        The States refuse to ratify the proposed Amendments.

          Milhouse in reply to Paul. | August 31, 2016 at 12:17 am

          That’s what the state legislators who sent delegates to Philly thought. But the convention simply dispensed with the need for their ratification.

        No way to limit a convention? That’s ridiculous.

        Of course the convention can be limited. To say it can’t be limited is saying anything goes and that the minority will rule over the majority.

        Think about what you’re saying.

          Why don’t you think about what you’re saying, because you’re not making any sense. There is no way to limit what a convention does. Anything does go, and they can come up with a new way to ratify their work. Such as a nationwide referendum, at which they can come up with a majority made up entirely of the large urban areas they control, and the aliens they would enfranchise.

    rimcountrydotcom in reply to georgfelis. | August 29, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    To Georgfelis – You might want to read up on exactly what it is that you’re talking about. The “convention” that you describe could very well be some Lefty’s wet dream, but the Article V Convention of States that the rest of us are talking about is LIMITED to proposing amendments that:

    1) impose fiscal restraints on the federal government,

    2) limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and

    3) limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress.

    That’s it.

    Learn more at http://ConventionOfStates.com

    Jetwash in reply to georgfelis. | August 30, 2016 at 1:33 am

    amendments are not allowed to restrict citizens rights or the states. log onto the Cosproject and learn more about it.

      Milhouse in reply to Jetwash. | August 31, 2016 at 12:35 am

      Since when? Amendments can do anything they like. If this is the nonsense the “cosproject” has taught you, then it’s not worth the time to look at it.

Great post, I didn’t know the movement was this far along. I suggest the attendees discuss locating the real convention in Canada. If a leftist judge were to issue an injunction against such a convention, s/he would have a hard time enforcing it north of the border.

    rimcountrydotcom in reply to Mark30339. | August 29, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    If the 34-state threshold is met, this becomes a constitutionally MANDATED convention, independent of the Executive, independent of the Legislature, and independent of the Judiciary. No judge, not even the Justices of the Supreme Court, have jurisdiction above and beyond Article V of the Constitution.

      SCOTUS didn’t have jurisdiction over a lot of things, until it heard Marbury v. Madison and decided that it had jurisdiction over those things.

      I think that they would decline as a political question, but there’s still a lot of chaos that could be imposed by any number of Federal Judges until it could be heard.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to Chuck Skinner. | August 30, 2016 at 7:03 pm

        This was the one real true time that power has been usurped by a branch of government and the other 2 branches just let it happen.

    Jetwash in reply to Mark30339. | August 30, 2016 at 1:35 am

    Federal govt is not allowed to interfere in an Article 5 Convention of the states. Thats why all the states must apply to congress with identicle applications. Congress cannot not deny the convention.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Jetwash. | August 30, 2016 at 7:10 pm

      Actually the states don’t have to send anything to congress except the results of the convention and the state legislature votes.

      If an amendment, Lets say term limits for congress, is passed by the convention. That amendment goes to the state legislatures for approval or disapproval, simple up or down vote. Oh, no signature by the Gov. of that state is needed either.

      So lets say that 39 states legislatures approve of the Term Limits Amendment.

      The convention then would compile that information and inform the federal government that Term Limits were now law.

      Done, then end.

      Or at least that is how it is supposed to be.

        Milhouse in reply to Gremlin1974. | August 31, 2016 at 12:38 am

        Jetwash: Thats why all the states must apply to congress with identicle applications. Congress cannot not deny the convention.

        Gremlin1974: Actually the states don’t have to send anything to congress except the results of the convention and the state legislature votes.

        Wow, Jetwash actually gets something right. Gremlin is even more ignorant than Jetwash. Gremlin, there can’t even be a convention without the states first applying to Congress to call one.

I don’t think there are enough states in favor of doing away with the Second Amendment to make that happen.

    Jetwash in reply to Fiftycaltx. | August 30, 2016 at 1:37 am

    Correct, and in addition A5 is not allowed to restrict the rights of citizens or the states.

    Milhouse in reply to Fiftycaltx. | August 30, 2016 at 2:58 am

    It doesn’t matter whether there are enough states. A convention could come up with a new way of ratifying its work that bypasses the states, just as the Philadelphia convention did. It would call a referendum and whatever passed, by a simple majority, would have the legitimacy of a popular mandate, “we the people”. And everyone would be allowed to vote, including aliens — whether legal or not — felons, and minors. They might even give “minority” votes extra weight, just to be sure their work passes.

Ridiculous. Like trying to do needlepoint with a shotgun.

The push for “comprehensive solutions” is usually a trick to bury something lethal under a brush pile of superficially.

Try something more modest which might do some good. If they can pull that off without making a pig’s breakfast of it, then try something more ambitious. Or, better yet, continue to keep it modest.

By “something more modest” I don’t mean this Simulated Convention of States junket—I mean a useful Amendment.

Like what? Neuter the Commerce Clause, perhaps; a great deal of abusive Federal power can go away if they can manage to pass that one.

Perhaps another providing serious punishment for politicians or bureaucrats who make political careers of curtailing the citizenry’s basic civil rights.

Another modest possibility; require any legislature to repeal at least as many old laws as it passes new ones.

In other words, tiny acorns from which mighty oaks might grow; I wouldn’t trust anyone currently active in politics to make the oaks from scratch. Leave the half-vast project fantasies to TV.

A big prize which sounds simple but will be impossible to implement would be a balanced budget amendment. A parliamentary government might be able to make it work, but not a presidential one. The reasons why it would be impossible for the US would require something on the order of a 3000 word essay just to start the ball rolling, and I’m certainly not going to type any such thing in this nasty little box.

Term limits, another viscerally appealing idea, might be more practical. But again, that should be handled by Amendment, not by Convention.

    rimcountrydotcom in reply to tom swift. | August 29, 2016 at 10:06 pm

    That’s EXACTLY what they intend to do… this is practice, you know, like when you spend 20 or 30 minutes at the driving range or in the batting cage before the real deal. You run the risk here of sounding like you think that you’re the only one who knows what they’re doing. These are state legislators we’re talking about here, with the vast majority of them being as well-versed in the Constitution, legislative protocol, and parliamentary procedure as anyone.

    Jetwash in reply to tom swift. | August 30, 2016 at 1:41 am

    Handled by amendment not by convention? The convention would propose amendments. Should they receive 34 votes to pass, each and every amendment would be sent out for ratification, by the state legislatures. 38 are required to ratify an amendment.

      Milhouse in reply to Jetwash. | August 31, 2016 at 12:45 am

      The convention would propose amendments. Should they receive 34 votes to pass,

      Where did you get this 34 nonsense? At the convention a simple majority of delegates would be enough to pass any proposal.

      each and every amendment would be sent out for ratification, by the state legislatures. 38 are required to ratify an amendment.

      Unless the convention decided to have its proposals ratified by some other method, such as a national referendum at which “minorities” got extra votes as reparations for centuries of oppression.

DieJustAsHappy | August 29, 2016 at 7:50 pm

Dubious about this. So enmeshed are matters in our society it seems difficult to make major changes in one area without major ramifications in another. Moreover, so many seem to have so much at stake in maintaining the status quo it’s difficult to believe that major changes are possible, possibly with one exception.

That is, matters become so bad a major clamoring of citizens across the board call for, indeed demand, needed changes. At present, I don’t see things happening, at least in sufficient numbers.

    rimcountrydotcom in reply to DieJustAsHappy. | August 29, 2016 at 10:16 pm

    Stay tuned… this is just a warm-up.

    Learn more at http://ConventionOfStates.com

      DieJustAsHappy in reply to rimcountrydotcom. | August 30, 2016 at 5:32 am

      I do hope that there are positives coming, yet I pessimistic. I think the size of a population dictates some central control. Of course, the questions are of what and to what degree. Technology also seems to be pushing us along to a brave new world sort of existence. I don’t foresee it retreating.

      In addition, there is a prevalent we want what we want and we want it now attitude among any number of people, although it’s difficult to gauge the number. The impression I have is that this is an impediment to standing on, for, principles.

      Again if the SHTF, it will be the catalyst that’s needed. Meanwhile, the Feds become even more entangled in our daily lives. There are a magnitude who have no problem with this. I’m not one of them.

        “Freedom is messy. In free societies, people will fall through the cracks–drink too much, eat too much, buy unaffordable homes, fail to make prudent provision for health care, and much else. But the price of being relieved of all those tiresome choices by a benign paternal government is far too high. Big Government is the small option: it’s the guarantee of smaller freedom, smaller homes, smaller cars, smaller opportunities, smaller lives.”
        ― Mark Steyn, After America: Get Ready for Armageddon

        One by one our rights are being taken away by executive order, administrative acts
        & judicial overreach. The States created the Federal government and
        its now time to take the power back. Its time for an Article V
        Convention… it may be a long shot, but it also is our only shot to
        peaceably & constitutionally restore our Constitution. If not now…then when? If
        not us… then who?

        Visit here to learn more, sign the petition, and sign up to volunteer:
        http://www.cosaction.com/?recruiter_id=1636236

          DieJustAsHappy in reply to GaryRTN. | August 30, 2016 at 8:05 pm

          Thanks. Unless Hillary does not take the Oval Office and the GOP does retain a majority in both Houses, my pessimism remains. It seems doubtful to me that a Convention States will take place unless there are some converts from the other side in sufficient numbers to make it happen.

        You mentioned getting support from the other side. Weren’t many Bernie Sanders supporters against TPP? And weren’t many Rand Paul supporters against aspects of the drone strikes and how the feds monitor emails, etc? Some of the delegates to the COS simulation may be from the other side. I can’t wait to see if that’s the case and if they collaborate with the other delegates effectively.

      Good to see you here.

They can start by repealing the 17th Amendment.

    Luapious in reply to snopercod. | August 29, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    I was in despair, believing that I was the only one here to recognize how the seventeenth amendment had brought or national government’s structure into shambles. The worst possible solution to what was a moderate problem.

The first one should be an easy one to sell, so people don’t get discouraged and give up on the process, as some already have. My suggestion: elected officials cannot exclude themselves from the jurisdiction of any law. Including laws enacted before the Amendment. See Obamacare. As in the writing of the Constitution, men (and woman)of wisdom, need to be involved. (Are there any?)

A budget can be balanced a couple of ways. Well, at least a couple that don’t require creative bookkeeping. The government can reduce spending to match revenue or increase revenue to match spending. Guess which is more likely. We need something more along the lines Dan Mitchell proposes: Limit increases (or decreases – hahaha!)in spending (all spending – on the books, off the books) to no more than 2%. Or limit spending to maybe 18% of GDP, an achievable goal as Mitchell points out.

There has never been a convention called by Congress pursuant to Article V.

There have been, post-ratification of the Constitution, various “conventions of the states.”

To whit: An Article V convention is not a “convention of the states”.

That such a convention would be it’s own independent Constitutional body independent of the states is proof enough that it is not a convention “of the states”.

    Incorrect. Conventions were held prior to the adoption of the constitution. The constitution was not the first attempt.

    Amendment that were written and passed by congress, negated the need for a convention. Since its representatives of the states that would go to the convention, its aptly named. There is no attempt to write a new constitution.

    An Article V convention IS a convention of the states, at least according to some knowledgeable folks in 1789 Virginia.

    VA submitted the first Article V application that year and in the resolution referred to the convention as a convention of the states.

    http://www.conventionofstates.com/the_very_first_article_v_application

    Please get your history right. You look foolish when you don’t.

Great to see another sign that this movement is acquiring an aura of inevitability. As a volunteer, I believe it must happen, and it will happen

http://www.cosaction.com/?recruiter_id=246073

Great idea. Let’s show the nation what the Founders provided for We the People to do when central government grows too big. Support the movement and get involved. visit http://www.conventionofstates.com. Check out their FB site. They are holding a live FB video broadcast by their founders tonight at 9pm.

I am looking forward to this event. Our country is headed in the wrong direction, and holding a Convention of States is the only thing that is going to get us turned around. This is an important first step to reclaiming our country.

There will be Facebook LIVE discussion about this Tuesday evening at 9pm Eastern. RSVP here: http://www.conventionofstates.com/simulated_convention_of_states/?recruiter_id=1113502

The time is NOW…Watch & see How we can change the climate and language in
Washington. Its time WE THE PEOPLE stood up…if not us, then who?……..
The only place you will find a solution as big as the problem? Here… An Article V
Convention of States it may be a long shot, but it also is our only shot to
peaceably & constitutionally restore our Constitution….COS Project has 3
SPECIFIC areas for state legislators to focus on:

(a) Impose fiscal restraints on the Federal Government.
(b) Limit the power and jurisdiction of the Federal Government.
(c) Limit the terms of office for federal officials and members of Congress.

These mechanisms will allow the States to reign in the corrupt political system
with term limits and balance budget requirements. 38 states (both houses) are
required for ratification. Inversely 13 state houses can block any proposal.
Visit here to learn more, sign the petition, and volunteer:
http://www.cosaction.com/?recruiter_id=1636236

Maybe you could get the Feds to send some of their well-armed security forces to simulate how they plan to terminate any uppity insurrections with extreme prejudice.

MongoosePatriot | August 30, 2016 at 7:41 pm

Here is one of my proposed Amendments:

Entitlement, Federal Pension, Federal Reserve Reform Amendment, and Bureaucracy Ending Amendment and to Check Congress, Executive Orders, and Federal Courts as Well as to Stop Subsidizing of Lobbyists(28th Amendment)
Section 1.
All entitlement programs are hereby transferred to state control. This includes social security and others. All that people pay into shall now have their funds managed by a third party entity rather than any governmental agency. The federal government shall not be able to spend the savings accounts of its citizens.
Section 2.
All matters that may go across state lines shall be managed by an interstate committee, appointed by the states themselves. The member amounts may vary as necessary but each state shall have to reach agreement in matters of disputes between states.
Section 3.
Effective upon ratification, all new federal employees shall pay no less than 50% of their own pensions and other pay into program.
Section 4.
The heads of the Federal Reserve shall now be appointed by the several States and may be removed from office for bad behavior.
Section 5.
All federal departments shall sunset within six months of the ratification of this amendment unless they are individually voted to continue by legislatures of 3/5 of the several States. All departments made after the ratification of this amendment shall sunset every three years unless they are voted to continue by the legislatures of 3/5 of the several States. When they sunset, all their regulations shall be automatically repealed and defunded and the weapons that every dissolved bureaucracy has shall be given over to the United States military for use.
Section 6.
Upon the request of 3/5 of the legislatures of the several states, a Congressional law, executive order, or federal decision may be overturned. Also, by a vote of the majority of both Houses of Congress and a signature of the President, a federal court decision may also be overturned (though this can be undone by 3/5 of the legislatures of the several States.)
Section 7.
Upon the vote of 3/5 of the Supreme Courts of the several states, a federal court decision shall be overturned. Upon the vote of 3/5 of the Supreme Courts of the several States, a Congressional bill shall be overturned.
Section 8.
a.) No federal money may be given via subsidies to any group which lobbies any level of government or donates to candidates for any level of government.
b.) No business may be bailed out of bankruptcy using federal money.
c.) No federal money shall be given to a private foundation to try and bypass a and b.

MongoosePatriot | August 30, 2016 at 7:42 pm

Here is another Amendment of mine:

An Amendment to Amend the Treaty Clause and Protect National Sovereignty and Security as well As State and Local Police Forces and to Restore the 4th Amendment (29th Amendment)
Section 1.
The Treaty clause is hereby amended to require 3/5 of Senators rather than 2/3 of Senators present.
Section 2.
After a treaty is put out, the treaty can be repealed by 3/5 of the state legislators voting to nullify it within 18 months, after which, they cannot nullify it.
Section 3.
The details of the treaty, in full, SHALL be presented to the legislatures of the several states, no later than a week after 2/3 of the Senators present have voted to approve it. The treaty shall not go into effect unless 3/5 of the States have no blocked it within the required time. Shall the federal government neglect to provide states info or have hidden parts of the treaty, the treaty shall be considered null and void. The same shall hold true if the President and/or other members of the executive branch similarly withhold such information from the Senate or without it until after the Senate ratifies it.
Section 4.
International agreements or any deal with a group outside the nation that obliges the United States to abide by any conditions shall be considered a treaty and must go through the ratification process proscribed as such.
Section 5.
Shall the President or other members or the executive branch breach Section 4., he/she/they shall be instantly dismissed for bad behavior.
Section 6.
The state and local police forces shall NOT be subject to federal oversight and the control of the National Guard for each state shall rest with the governor. The right of any state to police itself shall NOT be infringed unless in a state of open rebellion or upon the concurrence of a majority of the several States.
Section 7.
If the federal government shall refuse to secure the border of a state from invasion by illegal aliens or shall fail in its duty to protect the people from invasion, either foreign or domestic, the state may act even without the approval of the federal government.
Section 8.
The 4th Amendment is hereby applied to all technologies, current and future. The federal government shall not contract 3rd party companies to harvest data on its citizens to try and get around this provision The federal government may not hand out information about individuals either directly or through a third party to another party unless it is part of a criminal investigation or similar matter. State governments are hereby given power to see that this Amendment is enforced within their jurisdiction.
Section 9.
No federal officeholder or candidate may accept donations from any foreign group or leader nor may they use a private foundation to do so.

MongoosePatriot | August 30, 2016 at 7:44 pm

Here is another amendment:

An Amendment to Limit the Jurisdiction of the Federal Courts, Have the States Control Federal Appointments, Limit Congressional Bills, Limit the Power of the President, and to Allow States to Investigate the Federal Government (30th Amendment)
Section 1.
All appointments for executive or judicial offices shall be confirmed by 3/5 of the several States instead of 2/3 of the Senate. Shall 10 successive appointments for the above fail, the states shall nominate their own person for the position and confirmation shall be by 3/5 of the several States and this shall keep applying for each new person till a person is chosen.
Section 2.
Upon the request of 10 states, members, appointed by 10 more random states, shall begin into the federal government. They shall have 59 members in total on the committee. Decisions shall be done by the majority and shall be final except in the case of section 2. The decision in can be overridden by 30 or more states. Nobody shall serve on this committee for more than four years.
Section 3.
In all the cases in Article 3 Section 2 where Congress can limit the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, 3/5 of the states can also limit it, and such limitation shall not be overridden by Congress or any other federal agency. 3/5 of the states may dissolve a lower federal court and 3/5 of the states can set the jurisdiction of a lower federal court that again, such limitations shall not be overridden by Congress or any other federal agency.
Section 4.
By the vote of 3/5 of the states within 180 days of a veto, the States may override a Presidential veto. By a vote of 3/5 of both Houses of Congress within 180 days of the veto, Congress may override a Presidential veto. By a vote of 3/5 of the states, the President may be removed from office. The President shall not be allowed to exercise line item vetoes. The President may not pardon anyone within his or her administration or that had been part of his/her administration. Upon the vote of 3/5 vote of both Houses of Congress or upon the vote of 3/5 of the legislatures of the several states, a Presidential Pardon may be overturned. Neither the President nor any other member of the executive may set up courts or tribunals that only answer to the executive branch for their authority or decision making.
Section 5.
No Congressional bill shall exceed 1000 pages. Congress shall make no law, nor shall any regulation be enforced that exempts any elected or appointed official, nor any employee, contractor, staffer, intern, or volunteer of any branch of the government from the restrictions binding upon the people. All bills must have a subject matter header that shall not exceed 10 pages that shall determine the subject of each bill. Nothing in the bill may deviate from what is in this section. All Congressional bills must be available for public viewing by the general public at least thirty days between the time the bill is fully engrossed and when it is taken up for a vote.
Section 6.
All spending measures must be passed by Congress as standalone bills and shall require renewal every year. Everything that is not passed shall be automatically defunded.

MongoosePatriot | August 30, 2016 at 7:45 pm

Here is yet another amendment:

Congressional Term Limit and Lobbying Ban Amendment and Gerrymandering Elimination Amendment and Pay and Benefits Limitation Amendment and Other Term Limits (31st Amendment)
Section 1.
The term of the Senate is reduced from six years to two years.
Section 2.
No member of Congress may serve more than eight years in total, either exclusively in one chamber or in a combination of both.
Section 3.
No member of the federal government or their staffers may be lobbyists five years before their service, during their service, or for five years thereafter.
Section 4.
Members who have served more than eight years but are midterm after the passage of the amendment can serve the rest of their term but must leave upon completion of their term.
Section 5.
Immediately upon ratification, all pay and benefits for a Congressman shall be determined by the state that they represent and paid for out of the treasury of said state.
Section 6.
Congress may not draw up its own districts nor may it contract an agency to do so but the districts shall be drawn up by a third party chosen by a majority of the several states.
Section 7.
For all other federal office holders other than the Congress and the federal courts, the maximum amount of time one may hold the office shall be 20 years. All members in office over 20 years, other than the aforementioned ones, shall leave immediately.

MongoosePatriot | August 30, 2016 at 7:45 pm

Here is yet another amendment:

Federal Court Term Limit Amendment (32nd Amendment)
Section 1.
No person may serve as Chief Justice or Associate Justice of the Supreme Court for more than a combined total of twelve years.
Section 2.
Immediately upon ratification of this Amendment, Congress will organize the justices of as equally as possible into three classes, with the justices assigned to each class in reverse seniority order, with the most senior justices in the earliest class. The terms of office for the justices in the First Class will expire at the end of the fourth Year following the ratification of this Amendment, the terms for the justices in the Second Class will expire at the end of the eighth year, the terms for the justices in the Third Class shall expire at the end of the twelfth year, so that one-third of the justices shall be chosen every fourth year.
Section 3.
When a vacancy occurs in the Supreme Court, the President shall nominate a new justice who, with the approval of a 3/5 of the several States, shall serve the remainder of the unexpired term. Justices who fill a vacancy for longer than half of an unexpired term may not be renominated to a full term.
Section 4.
All lower federal courts shall also have term limits of 12 years at most and shall have the same rules on 1-3 as the Supreme Court.
Section 5.
All members of any federal court must be U.S. born and must be at least 30 years of age.

MongoosePatriot | August 30, 2016 at 7:46 pm

Here is an amendment that should fix the impasse to voter ID and other things.

An Amendment to Fix the Voting System (33rd Amendment)
Section 1
Each state shall set its own rules for all elections, including federal, provided that they follow the US Constitutional requirements for voting under Amendment 15, Amendment 19, Amendment 24, and Amendment 26.
Section 2
In the event that the federal government argues that the states are discriminating, the federal government may bring a suit, but the suit shall be dismissed by the vote of a majority of the legislatures of the several states.
Section 3
In the event that no candidate gets 270 votes in the electoral college in the general election, a runoff shall be held between those with the two highest votes and whoever wins the runoff shall be the new President. The runoff shall be held no later than three weeks after the original general election.

MongoosePatriot | August 30, 2016 at 7:48 pm

And here are three more amendments:

An Amendment to End Cronyism, End Concurrent Jurisdiction, Restore the Commerce Clause, and Restore Balance of Powers (34th Amendment)
Section 1.
The Commerce Clause shall only allow Congress, and Congress only, to regulate shipping between states.
Section 2.
The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act and all similar measures are hereby extended to all federal offices and appointments and shall bear the force of constitutional law. Enforcement shall be by the states when said jobs or service positions are within the jurisdiction of a state and by Congress within a federal jurisdiction and shall be done by appropriate legislation by both. Legislation by Congress here is still subject to any countermand of the states.
Section 3.
The federal government shall have no jurisdiction to spend money or issue a law in any state in any way that could reasonably be done by the government of said state without the federal government acting.
Section 4.
No branch of the federal government may hold legislative, judicial, or executive power concurrently nor shall any branch hold more than its proscribed powers. In addition, no branch may delegate its authority to another branch.

16th Amendment Repeal Amendment (35th Amendment)
Section 1.
This 16th Amendment is hereby repealed.
Section 2.
There shall not be any federal estate tax or federal internet tax

17th Amendment Repeal Amendment (36th Amendment)
Section 1.
The 17th Amendment is hereby repealed.
Section 2.
The state legislators shall pick two pools of Senators.
Section 3.
The city councils of the state shall vote on the members picked from the pool. The two candidates who get the most votes, with each city council collectively getting one vote, shall be the winners.
Section 4.
In the event that a Senator is not picked within six months, the governor may appoint a temporary one until such time as one is picked.
Section 5.
Senators already in before this Amendment passes shall serve the rest of their term.

For more information, go to http://www.convenitonofstates.com and http://www.cosaction.com and see these following videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHd1xUo-_XE&list=PLnUqWRlNGMAjCVlXFT6Yw9c1uxndE-rlp

MongoosePatriot | August 30, 2016 at 7:50 pm

Here are three more amendments:

An Amendment to End Cronyism, End Concurrent Jurisdiction, Restore the Commerce Clause, and Restore Balance of Powers (34th Amendment)
Section 1.
The Commerce Clause shall only allow Congress, and Congress only, to regulate shipping between states.
Section 2.
The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act and all similar measures are hereby extended to all federal offices and appointments and shall bear the force of constitutional law. Enforcement shall be by the states when said jobs or service positions are within the jurisdiction of a state and by Congress within a federal jurisdiction and shall be done by appropriate legislation by both. Legislation by Congress here is still subject to any countermand of the states.
Section 3.
The federal government shall have no jurisdiction to spend money or issue a law in any state in any way that could reasonably be done by the government of said state without the federal government acting.
Section 4.
No branch of the federal government may hold legislative, judicial, or executive power concurrently nor shall any branch hold more than its proscribed powers. In addition, no branch may delegate its authority to another branch.

16th Amendment Repeal Amendment (35th Amendment)
Section 1.
This 16th Amendment is hereby repealed.
Section 2.
There shall not be any federal estate tax or federal internet tax

17th Amendment Repeal Amendment (36th Amendment)
Section 1.
The 17th Amendment is hereby repealed.
Section 2.
The state legislators shall pick two pools of Senators.
Section 3.
The city councils of the state shall vote on the members picked from the pool. The two candidates who get the most votes, with each city council collectively getting one vote, shall be the winners.
Section 4.
In the event that a Senator is not picked within six months, the governor may appoint a temporary one until such time as one is picked.
Section 5.
Senators already in before this Amendment passes shall serve the rest of their term.

With the upcoming “dry run”, the movement for me starts taking on an aura if inevitability. I believe it is precisely because it is the only peaceful way out of the mess we are in. Want to become a part of history? Then join us.

http://www.cosaction.com/?recruiter_id=246073

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