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2014 March « Rogue Politics

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‘Sans Precedent’ – France’s Left Loses Big As Socialist Prime Minister Resigns

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France is still reeling from the final results of their municipal elections, which saw the ruling Socialist party take historic losses to former president Nicholas Sarkozy’s UMP and Marine Le Pen’s National Front.

This is being portrayed in some circles as the electorate simply being in an anti-incumbent mood, but only three municipalities moved from having a rightist (UMP) mayor to having a Socialist mayor, while at least 155 moved the other way, with some parts of the French press calling this a droitisation (rightward movement). This is the first time since the Socialists won power in 2012 that the people of France have had the chance to weigh in on the Socialist’s policies.

The big surprise, of course, was the showing of the National Front, labeled a ‘far right’ party that has taken a firm stand against unlimited Muslim immigration. They won something like 15 mayoral elections with respectable majorities, and as Marine Le Pen said on election night, they have now come of age as France’s third party. In the next national election in 2017,the FN could well end up being the kingmakers in France’s coalition government. The test now will be to see whether the new FN mayors govern effectively and whether the party can build on this showing in the Senatorial elections scheduled for this September.

France’s Socialist President François Hollande has already forced Socialist Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault to ‘resign’, one of many ministers in Hollande’s cabinet who look to be getting the axe. Significantly, Ayrault’s replacement is none other than former Interior Minister Manuel Valls, who is considered to be on the right wing of the Socialist Party and is personally popular with the electorate in general. Among other things, Valls, Spanish-born but a naturalized French citizen has come in favir of curbing immigration and repealing France’s 35 hour work week, a Socialist policy.

Hollande, in a pre-recorded televised speech also said it was time for a “new phase”. He made reference to unspecified tax cuts and an equally unspecified cut of 50-billion euros in government spending. These measures are not going to resonate well with Hollande’s Socialist base.

Government spokespeople announced that other changes in ministers won’t be announced until tomorrow at the earlist and that Hollande and Valls will collaborate on the new appointments.

Here’s a uniquely French touch. One name being considered or a major ministry is none other than Segolene Royal, the former French Socialist presidential candidate. She is also Hollande’s former ‘partner’ (they never married) whom Hollande first began living with in 1978 and had 4 children with before he dumped her in 2007 after she lost the presidential race to begin living with his next ‘partner’, French journalist Valérie Trierweiler -= whom he dumped this year in favor of an actress 20 years his junior, Julie Gayet!

If Royal gets into the government, il y aura une réunion d’intéressant,n’est pa?

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Kings not by force. Laetare 2014. St. John 6:1-15

Laetare (4th Sunday in Lent) + St. Peter Lutheran Church, Joliet, Illinois + St. John 6:1-15 + March 30, 2014 Kings not by force   Iesu Iuva!   You see here that this Jesus, our Jesus, your Jesus, has far more power than just to work wonders and impress men. This isn’t a stunt designed […]

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Mission Accomplished failed

I wrote this post to highlight with statistics just how badly MNsure, aka Obamacare in Minnesota, is failing. Here are some of the things I highlighted in that post: For individuals, MNsure has an open enrollment goal of 69,904 but so far only has 35,610. For small businesses, MNsure wants 8,925 people signed up by […]

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Interactive Chart: Only 11 US state housing markets are doing ‘okay’!

The other 39 plus the District of Columbia are all underperforming although, to watch the MSM tell it, economically all is well in the US and it’s full steam ahead in real estate!At the same time only four of the top fifty metropolitan areas are stable…

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The “S” in solar energy stands for scam

Consumers considering installing solar panels on their rooftops have far more to think through than the initial decision to “go solar.” They may search for the best price, only to discover, as customers in central Florida did, that after paying $20,000-40,000 for their systems, they are stuck with installations that may be unusable or unsafe. BlueChip Energy—which also operated as Advanced Solar Photonics (ASP) and SunHouse Solar—sold its systems at environmental festivals and home shows. Buyers thought they were getting a good deal and doing the right thing for the environment. Instead, they were duped. A year ago, it was revealed that BlueChip Energy’s solar panels had counterfeit UL labels—this means that the panels may not comply with standard safety requirements established by the independent global certification company Underwriters Laboratory. The Orlando Sentinel reports: “UL testing assures that a product won’t catch fire, will conduct electricity properly and can withstand weather. Without such testing, no one is certain if the solar panels may fail.” Additionally, it states: “Without the safety testing, they shouldn’t be connected to the electric grid”—which leaves customers nervous about possible risks such as overheating. Other reports claim that BlueChip inflated the efficiency rates of its photovoltaic […]

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Obama’s DHS Is Deliberately Releasing Illegal Aliens Convicted Of Crimes

 

According to according to a new review of internal Immigration and Customs Enforcement data, the Obama Administration is deliberately violating immigration laws on a large scale and refusing to deport illegal aliens who have committed serious crimes.

A new report compiled by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS)that reviewed this data revealed that the Obama administration released 35 percent (over 68,000) of all illegal aliens convicted of serious crimes back into the U.S. general population when according to our laws they should have been deported. In fact, there are almost a million illegal aliens (872,504, according to ICE’s own data) who actually have deportation orders filed but who are still here, because ICE is not making it a priority to apprehend them.

‘Criminal aliens’, according to ICE’s definition are those who have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony that is not a traffic violation. So Driving Under the Influence or even vehicular manslaughter aren’t being counted in this calculation of ‘criminal aliens’.

The CIS revue shows that in 2013, ICE targeted only 195,000, or 25 percent, out of 722,000 potentially aliens, And most of these aliens were only ‘targeted’ after incarceration for a local arrest.

In other words, they’re deliberately not looking for them.One can only imagine what this does to the morale of those ICE agents actually committed to trying to enforce our laws.

“According to ICE personnel, the vast gap between the number of encounters reported and the number of aliens put on the path to removal exists because officers are not permitted to file charges against aliens who do not fall into the administration’s narrowly defined criteria for enforcement, regardless of the criminal charges or the circumstances in which the alien was identified,” the report says.

Since June 2011, when the Obama administration first decided to not enforce our laws with “prosecutorial discretion” policies ICE arrests of illegal aliens have declined by 40 percent.

“The Obama administration and anti-enforcement activist groups have tried to portray the number of departures as ‘record-breaking’ and indicative of robust immigration enforcement. They have tried to support this claim by showing that the number of departures credited to ICE is higher than ever before,” the report reads. “However, an independent analysis of ICE records obtained in a lawsuit showed that ICE was able to achieve these ‘record’ departures only because the agency was taking credit for removing a large number of individuals who were apprehended by the Border Patrol. Such cases made up the majority of ICE’s reported deportations in 2013, but they had never been counted that way in previous administrations.”

That also applies to illegal aliens who’ve been apprehended and are a slam dunk for deportation. For years now, ICE has simply been deliberately failing to prosecute most of them by presidential diktat, supposedly to ‘concentrate on criminal aliens’. Of course, this new report shows they’re not even doing that much – and public safety be damned.

What we have now is de facto amnesty by executive order. And you’ll take it and like it.

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has been active on this issue.A report from his office focusing on ICE’s own data revealed that that only .08 percent of the aliens deported in 2013 were not serial immigration law violators or convicted of serious crimes:

“The preponderance of the evidence demonstrates that immigration enforcement in America has collapsed,” Sessions said. “Even those with criminal convictions are being released. DHS is a department in crisis. Secretary [Jeh] Johnson must reject the President’s demands to weaken enforcement further and tell him that his duty, and his officers’ duty, is to enforce the law – not break it. As Homeland Secretary, Mr. Johnson is tasked with ensuring the public safety and the rule of law. But Secretary Johnson is not meeting these duties.”

“American citizens have a legal and moral right to the protections our immigration laws afford — at the border, the interior and the workplace. The administration has stripped these protections and adopted a government policy that encourages new arrivals to enter illegally or overstay visas by advertising immunity from future enforcement.”

“Comments from top Administration officials, such as Attorney General Holder’s claim that amnesty is a civil right, or Vice President Biden’s claim that those here illegally are all U.S. citizens (apparently including someone whose visa expired yesterday), demonstrate the administration’s increasing belief in an open borders policy the American public has always rejected.”

“The Administration’s lawless policies have not only impaired public safety but increased economic suffering for millions of vulnerable Americans by depriving them of their jobs and wages,” he said. “Unfortunately, Congressional Democrats continue to empower this lawlessness. Republicans must work to end it.”

That on its own is an astounding statement. Did you ever imagine our Republic as a place where simple public safety and enforcing our existing laws could be characterized with a large degree of accuracy as a partisan issue?

Welcome to Obama’s America.

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Hang in There

I’ve got quite a lot coming up but, none of it is going to make it today. So enjoy a film, that will make you think a bit as well.

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“As You Wish…”

Wishing is a waste of time and energy. It also focuses on what we lack rather than what we already possess. Unfulfilled longing breeds discontentment, which robs us of our peace and joy.

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Another child sacrifice to the pagan gods of #fairness

Of course. Hard work means nothing if it means you end up having something someone else doesn’t have. Easier for liberals to take YOUR stuff away than make things better for everybody. Take these high school baseball families. They thought … Continue reading

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Forum: If You Were President Obama, How Would You Handle The Situation In Ukraine?



Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question
: If You Were President Obama, How Would You Handle The Situation In Ukraine?

Liberty’s Spirit: Keeping Russia out of the G-8 was a good move. Also finding a way to limit Russia’s ability to sell their oil and natural gas on the open market would also hit Russia in the pocketbook. Of course a wounded bear is not so easily contained and it is a fine line between showing international condemnation and making that bear even more hostile. Remember a wounded Germany after WW1, instead of being cowed by sanctions and world derision turned to the Nazis and hence we ended up with the horror that was WW2. A wounded and angry Russian bear could turn us back into the bad-old-days of the Cold War.

Russia is in a highly vulnerable state, economically and internationally. We do not want to make the same mistake with Russia that we made with post WW1 Germany. However, unless you are willing to go to war over Crimea (you need to ask yourself, and answer honestly, is this incident worth the lives of YOUR children before you decided military action is tenable) then the only alternative is economic sanctions and keeping Russia out of organizations like the G-8. Of course the reality is that the entire first world has to be in line in order for there to be any real effect upon Russia. However, Europe as usual does not have the stomach for anything but specious pronouncements as they are beholden to Russia for their energy needs, especially Germany. Also there are too many financial and economic ties to Russia for any one nation to truly do anything about Russia’s aggression. Businesses worldwide would have to be willing to take a huge financial hit if they boycotted Russia and that is not something that anyone is going to make happen anytime soon. You can ask what is the tipping point? Honestly considering that the world’s red line (not just Obama’s) has continued to be crossed when dealing with the Iranian nuclear bomb, nor stopped the slaughter in Syria, it is highly doubtful that anyone has the desire to really do anything about Putin.

However, it would be good to have those in the White House who understand that rhetoric really gets you nowhere with someone like Putin. That a “Smartpower” policy would have to have a policy of decisive containment (sadly we are dependent on Russia for our space program now), energy independence (no Keystone pipeline and a refusal to open up areas to drill leaves us energy vulnerable to the likes of Putin) and allies that believe you are on their side (canceling the missile shield in Poland leaves vulnerable all those east European allies who are now once again in fear of Russian hegemony). Obama’s foreign policy has completely ignored these three major policy areas in dealing with Russia. In fact, in the case of the missile shield and nuclear downgrade of our military, Obama completely capitulated to Russian demands from the outset.

Now would Putin be so aggressive if he thought that the US had descent leadership? He did invade Georgia while Bush was in office and compared to Obama, Bush was highly aggressive and continually attacked for his “cowboy diplomacy, aka military actions.” So the truth of the matter is that it doesn’t necessarily matter who is in the White House when you are dealing with an oligarch like Putin. However, containment of Putin’s aggression is possible if you practice “Smartpower.” Something the Obama national security team never has done and is totally incapable of producing.

 GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD: Commonwealth Russia’s annexation of Crimea is gon be like a short-term political high at home that will eventually fizzle out. Long term though, Russia gains nothing from the annexation but a bleak peninsula of no economic or military importance, and the distrust and/or hatred of her neighbors.

A campaign of insurgency – funded by interested nation states with all the faux cover that terms like non state actors can provide would be interesting to say the least.

Nasty things like IEDs or better – EFPs (explosive formed penetrators) detonating amidst periodic sniper attacks would certainly queer the mix of Commonwealth’s adventures in her Near Abroad if hooked up with a myriad of ‘Rebel’ groups in Crimea and their Public Relations wave. Rebel Radio and TV could play on underground chic – particularly in old Ost Europa

Spectacular attacks will keep the spotlight on the area, granting internat’l interest and attention.

Commando style attacks on communications centers – storming, seizing and holding TV and radio stations would have a short life span as Russia would most likely play back with a heavy hand – thus sparking the insurgency to actually launch attacks outside of Crimea – even in Mommie Russia herself.

JoshuaPundit: The first thing I think that’s important going in is to understand that what we did to Russia and the Serbs with Kossovo is far worse than what Putin did with the Crimea. And what’s more, we didn’t even have any national interests at stake there. It was simply wag the dog, to distract the news headlines from Bill Clinton’s intern problems and look good to the Muslim world. And it has negatively affected our relationship with Russia severely to this day.Memories are long in that part of the world.

The last thing we want,in my opinion,  is any kind of military action. Ever since Barack Hussein Obama was a Senator, he’s demonstrated a disdain and a profound  disrespect for our military, so the idea of  any kind of action while he’s C-in-C is out of the question if we can possibly avoid it.

What would I do about the Ukraine? Assuming that Obama was out of the picture, John Kerry was out closing in on another rich widow and I had total control over things,  I would schedule a sitdown with President Putin for some serious horsetrading and a discussion of our future relationship.

I would happily offer to swap the entire Ukraine if necessary in a covert agreement in exchange for Russia looking the other way and keeping stuhm while we dealt with Iran’s nukes. We have no interests there. Especially if I offered this carrot with a regretful mention of my being forced to resort to the ultimate stick if we couldn’t agree – barring Russia and anyone trading with them from doing transactions via the US banking system. Since oil trades are delineated in dollars and the world banking system flows through New York, this would be the ultimate sanction on Russia, one they couldn’t get around. Plus the Europeans and the Chinese would be forced to go along because of their exports and financial dealings here in America. What we’re doing now is mere pinpricks.

I think there’s a very good chance Putin would go for it, especially since dealing with me, he’d be pretty certain I planned to solve that particular problem with Iran anyway, agreement of no agreement.

You see, I look at it from the standpoint of what benefits us and gives Putin a little something to save face with. That’s exactly the opposite of what you’re seeing with Obama and Kerry.

I’m not particularly worried about Putin expanding to any of the other countries near his border aside from Moldava,perhaps. With the exception of Finland, they’re all NATO allies who could call on Article Five of the treaty, and Putin knows it. He’s a rational actor. Russia is not in a position to fight that kind of war right now, and going after the Finns would be a serious mistake. The Russians tried that before and it was not pleasant for them in the least.

Provided we no longer have a president who’s a serial prevaricator who can convince our allies we can be depended on,  building up the military power and our security cooperation with the Visegrád Group would also be a good check on any ideas Putin or anyone else might have. Those countries certainly don’t trust Obama, and with good reason. But that can change with different leadership.

The Glittering Eye: There isn’t much that can be done at this point. The economic sanctions that are palatable to the Europeans aren’t enough to discourage the Russians so we’re limited to ineffectual gestures and condemnation. The president has already condemned Russia’s annexation of Crimea and repeating it won’t make it more effective. Less to, if anything.

Most of all we shouldn’t get cozier with Ukraine’s government. There’s little reason to believe that they’re freedom-loving liberal democrats. Indeed, in all likelihood they’re the same corrupt kleptocrats that the Yanukovych and Tymoshenko governments were.

We might have been able to do something if we’d started twenty years ago. We could have tried to slow the transition from the Soviet system to the present one, allowing liberal institutions to gain strength. We could have given the fledgling Russia a little more support. We didn’t need to treat them like vanquished foes. We could have discouraged the expansion of the EU and NATO into former Warsaw Pact and Soviet countries or, at least, slowed it. That expansion, coupled with the interventions in Serbia, Kosovo, and Libya, convinced the Russians that NATO wasn’t a defensive alliance but an anti-Russian alliance.

We’ve also over-emphasized the importance of individuals, first Yeltsin, now Putin. But that’s a somewhat different subject.

Every one penny drop in the price of oil takes money out of the Putin’s pockets. We can influence the price of oil by a) producing more and b) consuming less. Lowering the price of oil is a two-edged sword. It will hurt Russia and it will help China.

 The Razor: This is an easy question: I’d handle it exactly as Obama has.

It’s impossible to learn something new when one knows everything. Obama believes he knows the situation better than anyone on his staff, which is why he pursues this policy. Since he knows everything and implemented this policy, he cannot change it.

From his narcissistic perspective, he has done nothing wrong. It’s Putin who refuses to see reality, which from an outside perspective is Obama’s reality, not the reality that exists outside his own mind. From Obama’s perspective Putin is acting irrationally and almost insanely because Putin refuses to acknowledge the post-Cold War/Transnational reality where Russia is no longer a powerful nationalistic state. Because Obama is completely unable to perceive the world in any other way, let alone from another person’s perspective in an objective, unbiased way, he cannot understand Putin’s actions. They seem random and disconnected; it must puzzle him – and I wonder if he believes Putin is being poisoned or becoming mentally disturbed.

But from a perspective other than Obama’s we can see Putin’s action as quite rational when viewed in nationalistic terms. While I personally have wished Russia and China would see the world in a broader perspective, one that recognizes that international relations in the 21st century is not a zero-sum game, I understand that if a person sees you as an opponent you must treat him as an opponent. No amount of wishing is going to stop him from trying to hurt you. Therefore we have to react to Putin (and China, which is on deck to create the same mayhem in South Asia that Putin is making in Eastern Europe) in a way that he understands; by undermining his actions through diplomatic and military means when necessary. This would mean supporting rebel elements throughout the fringes of the Russian Empire, arming the Ukrainians, and generally attacking Russia through all means necessary short of a hot-war.

Luckily for Putin he has plenty of time before Obama leaves office, and that time may grow even longer if America elects an Obama-like Hillary Clinton or an isolationist-leaning Rand Paul. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to expand the Russian Empire, and from Putin’s perspective he’d be crazy not to take it.

Simply Jews : Thankfully I am not in the POTUS shoes at the moment, because in my opinion the man is in a bind in the current situation.

Obama and USA don’t really have a military option, aside of a doomsday scenario, which will be sheer madness, taking into account the questionable qualities of both sides of the conflict. To support the (ostensibly) pro-Western side in the Ukraine means extending the patronage to a big group of raving ultra-nationalist with roots in the Ukraine stained past. So I would exclude the military option anyway.

On the political front the POTUS has a totally immovable adversary in Vladimir Putin. Not only Putin has demonstrated several times during the recent years that he is a better poker player than Obama, he is also immune to political pressure, having unprecedentedly strong support at home. And not caring much for the world’s opinion, it has to be added.

Economically POTUS’ hands are bound, at least in the short term. Trying to apply economic pressure at the moment, with Europe being held hostage by Putin’s hand on the gas and oil taps, will almost certainly leave US alone in the battlefield.

The only remaining way is to establish the infrastructure for replacement of Russian source of gas and oil by US and others, which will take time. This, however, should be done anyway, since Russian expansion is by no means limited to the Crimea adventure. Having the Europe fueling solution in place, Obama then can seriously move to the economic blockade of Russia – which in the long run is the only measure that could endanger Putin and his KGB cronies at the helm.

Ask Marion: If I were President Obama, I would never have found myself in his position with Putin and the Ukraine to start with. Weakness and/or dysfunction begets weakness and dysfunction!

I am a Sarah Palin kind of gal… so would be a Ronald Reagan kind of president in a skirt! However, that being said:

If I were President Obama I would start by keeping my mouth shut unless I was ready to act:

The President addressed an audience in the Netherlands this past Tuesday after which he stood at his podium awaiting the customary round of applause. Instead, none came… virtually nobody applauded. One audience member can be heard clapping a slow, awkward clap for a few seconds before promptly giving up after noticing that his enthusiasm was not catching on (He and the United States have become laughable.

And then I would follow the KT McFarland route, giving the following speech (short and sweet)… and then take action:

First: I will reverse my decision to halt the missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic. America will go ahead as originally planned and build the missile shield, but an accelerated basis. That means U.S. military personal will be working alongside Polish and Czech military to construct and operate the systems. The missile shield is designed to protect Europe from Iranian missiles, but you get the point. Uniformed U.S. military will soon be stationed near the Russian border.

Second: I will reverse course on the defense budget. Your defense minister just announced Russia is negotiating basing rights in seven nations around the world. He also said you were rebuilding old Soviet era military bases in central Asia. Your parliament has just voted unanimously to invade Ukraine. In light of that, this is no time for my Secretary of Defense to announce we’re gutting our military.

Third: I will allow the Keystone Pipeline to go ahead, again on an accelerated basis. That will not only give a boost to the American and Canadian economies, it will start driving down the price of oil.

Fourth: I will give my wholehearted support for fracking and horizontal drilling. American energy companies will now develop the vast oil and gas resources that lie, literally, under our feet. We’ve seen the U.S. go from natural gas importers to exporters in less than five years and the price of gas fall accordingly. We will now do the same with oil. Analysts expect the price of oil could decline by 20%.

I don’t have to tell you what that means for the Russian economy. Your economy and government are solely dependent on energy revenues. You need oil above $90 to meet payroll. It should settle well below that within a few years time. And free markets are a great thing – they anticipate change and will start short selling you now. That will make it difficult for you to pay for food imports, subsidies, your military buildup, and of course the extremely expensive the Sochi Olympics.

Fifth: I will send a trade delegation to Poland and other countries in Central Europe to explore ways of helping them use fracking technologies to develop their own gas reserves. Chevron and Shell have already signed a $13 billion deal with Ukraine. I expect others to follow.

At the same time I will throw roadblocks in front of any American energy company that seeks to develop your eastern Siberian fields. Your existing oil fields in western Siberia have, maybe, a decade left. You need our technology to develop new ones. You’re not getting it.

Sixth: It’s time we refocus on Western Europe’s over-dependence on Russian natural gas. We will explore ways to export our new found natural gas surpluses to Europe by underwriting building of LNG terminals to accept imports from America. And while we’re at it, we will reassure our NATO allies, especially those that used to be under Soviet control, that Article Five of the NATO charter is still valid. If you are setting your sights on them next, think again. It’s all for one and one for all.

Seventh: It’s high time we expand our relations with the oil and gas rich nations of central Asia. We will extend invitations to each of them to visit Washington, to see how America and American energy companies might work with them to build pipelines to get their energy exports to Europe and beyond bypassing Russia.

Time for some real leadership… of course that would mean that this administration wanted the U.S. to succeed!?!

The Independent Sentinel: If I were in Mr. Obama’s place, I would put the missile defense shield in Poland and send arms to Ukraine. After all, we sent arms to the Syrians and we apparently give Russia tactical weaponry for free.

If Putin thinks he can just walk into Ukraine and not pay much of a price, he will do it. The reverse is true.

If I had the same mindset as Mr. Obama, however, I would challenge Putin to a golf match.

Well, there you have it.

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

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Chapter 11


THE 50K PLAN

Now the question arises, how to decide the number of delegates to be sent by each state. Here we have some guidance from the nation’s founders.

Along with the Bill of Rights, two other constitutional amendments were proposed by the Congress in 1788. One of them, prohibiting members of Congress from giving themselves annual pay increases sat in limbo for two hundred years until it was ratified as the 27th Amendment.


The other 1788 proposal that was not ratified with the Bill of Rights was called Article the First. It specified a formula for determining the size of the House of Representatives in relation to the population of the United States. Unfortunately, there was a scrivener’s error in the proposal as published. It provided that the House should have a minimum of 200 members and a maximum of one member for every fifty thousand inhabitants.


When the population reached eight million, that proposal became mathematically and rationally impossible, since the maximum would then be 160, forty members LESS than the minimum of 200.


As a result, Article the First was never ratified, and the size of the House of Representatives was left to be established from time to time by ordinary legislation. We will discuss the impact of that situation later. For the present, though, it is important to note that James Madison and the members of the first Congress were of the opinion that a ratio of one representative for every 50,000 constituents was a reasonable standard of representative government.


In 1787 when the Founders agreed on a ratio of approximately one representative for every 30,000 inhabitants, the English House of Commons had 275 members representing a population of about eight million, a ratio of just under 29,000 to one. No doubt that ratio was a model noted by the Founders. Today, the House of Commons consists of 650 people for a population of just over 63 million, a ratio of one to slightly under a hundred thousand.


While Article the First was never ratified, it was nonetheless expected by everyone that the size of the House of Representatives would grow as the population grew. In point of fact, Section 2 of Article I of the Constitution provides:


Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers… [i]


In 1787 the States each determined for itself how many delegates to send to the Philadelphia convention. This was how the Articles of Confederation operated. Each state had one vote in the Confederation Congress.  


The 1787 convention worked against a backdrop of state by state voting in the Confederation Congress. It was the system they were accustomed to, and it was the default system which would remain in effect unless changed. In 2014, the backdrop is different. The system of voting in Congress, being the result of the Connecticut Compromise, requires concurrence of both a popular vote and a state by state vote. That is the default system, which will remain in place until changed.


The convention compromise then, should recognize this status quo, and incorporate both means of voting by a rule that no amendment be approved by the convention unless it receives the affirmative votes of the delegations of three quarters of the states  and, concurrently, of a majority of all the delegates to the convention.



Using the standard proposed  by James Madison and adopted by the House of Representatives in 1788, the convention would have one representative for every 50,000 inhabitants. Against the national population according to the 2010 census, that would mean a total of 1,163 delegates. When calculated state by state, the total is 1,166. 


As we have noted before, The idea of a deliberative body consisting of 6,166 people usually strikes listeners as a cumbersome, unworkable, noisy crowd like a partisan nominating convention of the annual gathering of the the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick.

But that picture is wrong. In the first place, modern technology enables a large body to function remotely. Only a very small percentage of the delegates need actually assemble. What they say and do would be broadcast to delegates participating in their home states using their computers.


George Mason, a Virginia delegate to the convention of 1787, made this comment about republican government:


To make representation real and actual, the number of representatives ought to be adequate; they ought to mix with the people, think as they think, feel as they feel — ought to be perfectly amenable to them, and thoroughly acquainted with their interest and condition.[ii]


Fifty thousand people is about the outer limit of most people’s range of familiarity. If you are from Midland or Battle Creek, and you meet some folks from your home town while visiting Disney World, chances are fair that if you don’t know them you know someone who does.


So a delegate selected from a community-based district of 50,000 people is likely to be well acquainted with the interest and condition of the constituents. More importantly, a sample of six thousand one hundred sixty-six delegates,  evenly distributed across the nation, will produce a statistically reliable reading of the sentiments of the nation.


In the matter of amending the national constitution, this reading is critical. Constitutions must be written in the plain language of the people. They must be read and understood by the broad mass of the citizenry. Written constitutions must say what they mean and mean what they say. 


Delegates are not selected at random from the community, like jurors. They are elected or appointed on the assumption and with the expectation that they will engage in the deliberative process, which involves reading, listening and asking questions. They are decision makers, oath bound to devote their best efforts to the parliamentary process. Their votes should reflect the choices that their constituents would make, given the same exposure to information and debate. 

Given that Congress will never agree to call a convention, and given that logically, legally and informed by historical precedent, an Article V Convention can, and, indeed ought to be called by the states themselves, the conclusion is that one or more state legislatures should initiate the call by adopting a resolution setting the date and place for the convention to occur and urging the other states to do likewise, at the same time incorporating in the call the essentials of the convention compromise.


The resolution would look something like this:


RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF A CONVENTION

 TO PROPOSE AMENDMENTS

TO THE UNITED STATES

CONSTITUTION

WHEREAS, The Constitution of the United States provides in Article V  for the calling of a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments as an alternative to proposals offered by the Congress; and,


WHEREAS, There are a number of serious concerns with respect to the operation of the national government and its relationship with the several States which the People of the States wish to address in the manner envisioned by the Founders of the nation;


NOW THEREFORE, The House of Representatives of the State of ______________, the Senate concurring, does hereby RESOLVE:


That this State shall participate, in the manner hereinafter prescribed, in a convention to be conducted in the City of Saint Louis in the State of Missouri beginning on the second Monday in May, 2017, for the purpose of proposing, by vote of the majority of all delegates thereto, a super-majority of three quarters of the state delegations concurring, such amendments to the Constitution of the United States as shall be deemed proper and useful.

1)            That _____ delegates shall be selected in such manner as shall be provided by law, to represent the people of this state at such convention, being one delegate for every 50,000 inhabitants as found by the decennial census of 2010.

2)    That a copy of this resolution be conveyed to the Speaker  of the House of Representatives of  each of the several States of the United States, with the request that a similar resolution be offered and considered therein,

3)            That a copy of this resolution be conveyed to the Congress of the United States with the request that it shall call the convention described herein in accordance with Article V of the United States Constitution.[iii]


[i] U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 2

[ii] McClanahan, Brion, The Founding Fathers Guide to the Constitution,(2012, Regnery Publishing, Inc) Page210

[iii] See Appendix II on page ____




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