Marbles, the Tomcat

Meet Marbles, the tomcat that ruled the neighborhood. On Wednesday, April 19, 2017, this was the last time I’d see my friend Marbles. Over the past month, I knew he was sick but I did not know how bad. When I crossed the line of “too close”, he got up with little motor skills and disappeared into the drain. Knowing he did not have the motor skills to get back out, it would rain that evening, I looked for him to come out knowing that he would not. He didn’t.

Marbles, April 19, 2017

Loving photography and urban animals, I decided to pursue some photos of feral or abandon cats. While doing so, I noticed a few cats hanging around the house. So, one day I put some food out and low and behold, a taker at the door. He was a odd looking cat with an unusual jaws. Marbles gave me two of my favorite shots in photographing cats. One is of him sitting there but there’s fight marks on his head. Again, he had fight marks on his head but this is about six months later.

As the year went by, Marbles had his own clan that would follow him around, probably about four to five cats. Today, Marbles alone, laying in the middle of a yard probably unable to get to the feeders in which he’d visited numerous times before, usually with a crowd.

I wanted to place him in a comfortable place as he laid in the middle of the yard. The day before, I watched him attempt to eat but he could only muster up a few bites. Death is an unavoidable aspect of life, we can never avoid even our own immortality but it was nice to share in Marble’s three short years of living. He ruled the roost but I’m sure he wouldn’t have had it any other way. Because he didn’t know any better, he was Marbles, the tomcat.

Article V Does Not Authorize a “Convention of States”

Proponents of an Article V Convention demand action be taken immediately for a plethora of issues. We will provide justification as to why Article V does not allow for a so-called “Convention of the States”. This is just a marketing gimmick.

Initially, people referred to it as a Constitutional Convention. Now, its been rebranded as a Article V Convention and the latest a “Convention of the States”. It’s gives the George Orwell’s “1984″ feel as people cheer for the false dichotomy of state versus federal government. Reigning in the federal government.

Throughout history, Constitutions have been used to restrain “the People”. Examples of such Constitutions include the 1936 Soviet Union Constitution or North Korea’s Constitution of today. You do not have to deviate far to usurp individual rights.

I argue that the U.S. Constitution does not give states the authorization to call a “Convention of the States”. A state may come in and impose but when it comes to the leviathan of a federal government, our tools are educating each other. Let’s analysis Article V. It’s only 143 words.

“The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the applications of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.”

The Congress…shall propose amendments to this Constitution or…shall call a convention for proposing amendments. The trigger for these two methods is a two thirds of both houses or the application of two thirds of the several states. A Convention of the States are not identified.

THE U.S. CONSTITUTION EMPOWERS THE STATES to conduct a “Convention of the States”. Article V empowers the states with two responsibilities; States may apply for a convention and ratify any proposed amendments. Proponents say that the founders intended for the convention process to bypass Congress or empower the states but it does no such thing for a so called “Convention of the State”.

States Control the Convention. Some states are proposing laws in hopes of controlling their delegates. Once the states submit their applications, they cannot control the convention process. Proponents are trying to convince State legislatures they can control delegates with jail sentences or removal from the convention but again, they are just forfeiting their voice in this convention. If the convention moves from the appointed agenda, the only thing an entity outside the convention can do is remove it’s voice from the convention.

Congress calls the Convention . “The Congress…shall propose amendments” or “shall call a convention for proposing amendments” Some believe that States can call a Convention upon application of two-thirds of the states but that is not the case. The true case is that upon two-thirds of both “houses” or upon application of two-thirds of the several states, “The Congress” proposes amendments or calls a convention.

“Shall be part of this Constitution” Our Constitution was devised from the Articles of Confederation. When the founder’s entered the Convention, States needed a unanimously ratify amendments. This is in addition that delegates changed their mandate, as the New York delegates did. Once finished, “Conventions” in three-fourths of the States were needed to ratify the new Constitution…the legislatures of the states did not have a say at the ratifying convention. They may have appointed a commission but once that ratifying convention convened, the voices of the convention spoke loudly.

What’s to say that a new ratification process couldn’t be proposed in a new Constitution? Precedence shows that this will be the case. They could lower ratification to 26 states, leaving the remaining 24 without a nation, then the 24 would be with a massive debt and the old government. What’s the say that this could not happen again…it did during the last federal convention.

Hopefully, proponents of an Article V Convention cannot truly say that it’s authorized in the “supreme Law of the Land”. While our nation is such internal conflict, it is not the time to open the Constitution for debate. …or attempt to use the fundamental document of our nation to control behavior.

Be careful of the behavior they seek to change…it may be “the Peoples”

The People…bound by the Chains of the Constitution

“In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”

Thomas Jefferson

Proponents of an Article V Convention wish to use the U.S. Constitution to control the federal government…to put limitations on the federal government. Most Constitutions throughout the world bind its citizens with unnecessary responsibilities to…the state. Governments use their Constitutions as tools in suppressing rather than laws to harmonize. These societies eventually implode from the bureaucratic layers, demands upon its people and misallocated resources…to name a few links in the chain. America did not become great because of a collective vision; we became great due to the sum of its parts.

During their most tyrannical 20th Century dictators, the governments of Communist Russia, Red China and North Korea were established under a Constitution. To enforce the laws and rules, soviets and communes are used. Rule of law is instituted to control the masses rather than harmonize societal problems. America’s once passive government protecting individual rights became active in a cold, collectivization of “the People”. Discipline is an adherence and enforcement of laws where free thought, private property and individualism are shunned.

Collective societies sacrifice the individual for the greater good providing temporary benefits to the mob. The destruction of the mob mentality is obvious with the evolution of Marxism into communism, then fascism. Karl Marx made famous the saying “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” A similar principle was adopted by the Bolshevik Party, led by Vladimir Lenin who studied Marx and established the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1922. Eventually, the 1936 Constitution of the USSR, Article 12 adopted “work is a duty and a matter of honor for every able-bodied citizen, in accordance with the principle: ‘He who does not work, neither shall he eat.” Lenin, Stalin and Khrushchev ruled under a Communist Constitution even through its dissolve in 1991.

North and South Korea demonstrates how the burdens of a Constitution can be placed upon its people. The freedom of South Korea is not the example as the oppression of the people of North Korea’s. Article 86 of North Korea’s Constitution states “National defense is the supreme duty and honor of citizens”. North Korea’s Constitution goes on to identify supreme as steady improvement of the material and cultural standards of the people, and Comrade Sung’s supreme task was reunification. As priority is placed upon a failed North Korea’s nuclear program, the hindrance of collectivization of North Korea has borders intended to keep the North Koreans in and mass famines.

In 1948, Red China has a revolution and they instituted their first Constitution in 1954. Due to the collectivization of society known as “The Great Leap Forward”, it produced one of the worst famines known to man. Is it a coincidence that when societies collectivize, they implode from ill-informed decisions and when they do “the People” are blamed.

In “The People’s Republic of York County”, county officials have abandoned a representative government for planned land use and five year plans. Most collective Constitutions require soviets or communes to enforce laws and rules from “supreme” entities. Representatives are relabeled as leaders and they have a voice when decisions are made. They’ve abandoned “Rule of Law” and the Fifth Amendment by dictating property use in taking private property without just compensation. As citizens use their First Amendment right in redressing this grievance, the collectivization of York County’s land use plans, not individual property owners, determine how property is to be used. While 37 percent of York County is federally owned land, county officials plan to use “conservation easements, clustering and other techniques to preserve open space” and the burdens and funding of such government are placed upon the people of York County. The goals and mechanisms are used to control food production, energy, manufacturing, development and other uses of property.

America is not void of leaders advocating for the collectivization of society. Former President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed a Second Bill of Rights where government provides adequate economic means such as medical care, education and a living wage. University of Virginia Professor, Larry Sabato recently states that “…the greatest responsibility of citizenship is service. …and, within the new Constitution, there should be a new Article posing a Bill of Responsibility.” Even conservative talk show host Mark Levin advocates government be financially responsible for housing values to “a financial loss to the property owner exceeding $10,000, the government shall compensate fully and property owner for such losses.” Many local governments have implemented home rental inspection programs for blighted areas. With the state as the dictator of jobs, education, medical care, homes and property, citizens are accountable to a government with a Bill of Responsibility or upkeep of your house with periodic home inspections, when do the citizens pursue their own interests without the approval of government…whether local, state or local.

Our nation has prospered because individual rights are protected and people are free to pursue their self-understanding…and they are not burdened with the mischief of the chains of a Constitution. Our nation became exceptional because the people were able to use their property in pursuing these and fellow American’s interests and needs…and not because of mandates of third parties.

When government and fellow Americans attempt to plan, control and monitor through collectivizing society, this becomes extremely expensive, time consuming and frustrating for everyone.

Frustrating for government officials attempting to provide something they cannot and frustrating for “we, the people” for being restricted from doing something we can.