Monthly Archives: September 2009

My Political Philosophy in a Nutshell

Here’s my political philosophy in a nutshell. Naturally, it’s a work in progress.

 

Our freedoms are a gift from God. Anyone who unjustly deprives another of liberty is guilty of sinning against that person and against God. The fact that someone isn’t living the way you want them to does not constitute just cause.

Law and government exist to protect the rights of the individual.

There should be enough government to stop or catch the bad guys and prevent foreign invation, but not so much as to burden the people with unnecessary taxes and regulations.

Government is best done as close to the local level as possible.

Government must be limited to prevent the damage that power-hungry people can do if they attain office.

The government is not our nanny to wipe our noses and kiss our boo-boos. Nanny state laws are like heroin to tyrants and tyrant wannabes.

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Questions We Should Ask About a Constitutional Convention

Updated 3/30/2010, 4/22/2010, 4/24/2010

Article V of the U.S. Constitution states that an amendment to the US Constitution may be proposed by the Congress or by a Convention to propose amendments to the United States Constitution. Such a convention is called by Congress after two-thirds of the states petition them to call it. A Convention has never been called, as the threat of calling for one is often sufficient to force Congress to propose the desired amendment.

There have been some who have said that we need to call a Constitutional Convention to bring forth term limits, protect some right, or pursue some other worthy cause via Constitutional amendment. Of course, others have wondered if such a convention would choose to disregard our current Constitution and forge a new one, as the first Constitutional Convention did.  One then has to wonder what such a new Constitution would say.  However, all the speculation that I have heard ended there. 

Let us ask a few further questions:

Would the proceedings be open to public viewing or scrutiny?

Would the proceedings be in secret?

If such a new Constitution were produced, what means would be set to ratify it?

Would the drafting of a new Constitution nullify the old one, even if the new one were rejected?

Would the drafting of a new Constitution dissolve the union?

What about a new Constitution that was not ratified:
     How long would the possibility of ratification remain?
     Again, would the old Constitution be nullified or the union dissolved?

What about a new Constitution that was ratified:
     Would a state that refused to ratify be bound by the new Constitution?
     Would they be out of the union?
     Would they be forced to obey a Constitution that they rejected?

Before dismissing any of this as idle speculation or stupid questions, let’s remember that we are in uncharted territory here. Anything could happen at a Constitutional Convention.

These questions and others need to be considered before an action as drastic as a Constitutional Convention is considered.

Personally, I hope it never comes to that.


3/30/2010
I am not opposed to the idea of calling a convention in theory.
However. I am still not completely sold on the necessity of the idea. Also, I am still not sure that the outcome would be beneficial to the cause of limited government.

Satellite radio talker Mike Church is a major proponent of the Article V Convention and has planned a conference to discuss the issue on April 9, 2010. Linked article includes a summary of proposed amendments.


4/22/2010
Mike Church has made available the audio from the town hall conference on April 9, 2010.

Here it is.

I have listened to the audio. They have answered some of the questions that I have asked above.

I am not completely sold yet, but am more in favor of the idea than I was.


4/24/2010
I do believe that we need to amend the Constitution to safeguard our liberties, though. If things keep going the way they are, I should reach 100% support of this idea soon.


Other relevant posts of mine:

Term Limits Amendment


For more info:
Article 5 of the Constitution
Convention to propose amendments
State ratifying conventions
Forbes.com A Bill Of Federalism by Randy E. Barnett – proposed amendments

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Some Tidbits from CS Lewis

Here are some tidbits from CS Lewis:

“And I say also this. I do not think the forest would be so bright, nor the water so warm, nor love so sweet, if there were no danger in the lakes.” – Hyoi in Out of the Silent Planet

“Try to exclude the possibility of suffering which the order of nature and the existence of free-wills involve, and you find that you have excluded life itself.” – The Problem of Pain

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.  God in the Dock

 
Without risk, there is no reward; without the possibility of true failure, there is no possibility of true success. This is the danger of modern liberal and progressive thought. Schools give awards to everyone to preserve self-esteem and by doing so, remove the incentive for the gifted to excel and the average to beat expectations. The nanny state seeks to cushion us from the bumps and bruises, never realizing that they are discouraging excellence and breeding mediocrity. Through it all, they are eroding our liberty.

I am not the first to say it, and I sure won’t be the last.

 

Here are a couple more about evil:

“I live in the Managerial Age, in a world of “Admin.” The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid “dens of crime” that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed, and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voice. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the offices of a thoroughly nasty business concern.” The Screwtape Letters

“The safest road to Hell is the gradual one — the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.” The Screwtape Letters

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