They made a desert and called it peace...

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--George Washington



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--Bob Marley

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The United States is a corporation, which is one in the same as "government." Our purpose is to expose this and other corrupted facts. We believe in the Common Law, in the people's judiciary, in the municipalities' sovereignty over the Federal Departments, and in the individual's sovereignty above all other powers over Earth and under God. No rule of law has meaning. Rule of Precedent IS Law.

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Monday, December 3, 2007

Rule By Mob, Part 1

Rule By Mob
a treatise, by FranG

What does it mean to “rule by mob?” Merriam Webster defines a mob as “a large or disorderly crowd.” In a governmental setting, this term implies that the will of the masses is what drives the rule of law and social order. Anyone who has been involved in a team setting of any nature, regarding any issue, and where consolidation of ideas is essential to the goals of the team, can attest to the extreme difficulty in reaching those goals as the size of the team increases over a certain critical mass. Government is such a team and is subject to the same general rule that affects other organizations where cooperation is required for success.

The Founding Fathers of the American government were quite aware of this principle. As a result, the form of government they deemed the most effective in ensuring freedom, liberty, and equal protection under the law for all was not a purely Democratic form of government. But because the will of the people truly should be the ultimate end of the function of government, the type of government envisioned to best achieve this goal, while at the same time protecting individuals who did not share popular opinion was a Constitutional-Republic form of government. Unlike many governments, this particular form depends on the vigilance of the governed for it to truly work as designed. It has the unique ability to allow itself to be destroyed peacefully by the will of its people. Benjamin Franklin alludes to this difficulty when asked by a group of citizens of the newly formed American government what type had been established. Franklin replied "A republic, if you can keep it." (1)
The question we should all ask ourselves is: have we kept the republic? I will attempt to show below we have not kept the Republic, but in fact have voluntarily given it away.

Progressivism

What is progressivism? Merriam Webster defines a progressive as “one believing in moderate political change and especially social improvement by governmental action.” (emphasis added in bold) (link) Progressivism is the manifestation of this idea. The Progressive Era is a period of time generally associated with the end of the second industrial revolution, or about the turn of the 20th century in the United States. (2) In reality however, the progressive movement is still very alive in this country today and manifests itself at different periods in history, usually in response to major social events.

The Progressive Movement entailed a political left-wing response to the problems envisioned by the masses as a result of the modernization and urbanization of the country due to the industrial revolution. Industrialization paved the way for efficiencies and economies of scale in the production process and, as a result, companies were able to get larger and profit considerably from innovative ideas, products, etc. that could be sold on the open market. The individuals who headed these companies were obviously immensely wealthy.

As companies swelled in size, the production process became centralized. As a result, many people fled the farms to move near the companies in an attempt to become rich, as the corporate heads were. But wealth comes to those who work for it, and is not a birthright... So, needless to say, many people who came to the ever-growing cities did not accomplish their dreams of becoming rich, and in many cases were actually better off in their previous farm life. Urbanization brought about problems of poor working conditions, poverty, crime, and political corruption. (2a) This, combined with the fact that a class system was starting to develop in America fueled the fire for the Progressive Movement to take off. “Robber barons” were perceived as having an unfair advantage in society, pillaging all of its wealth to the detriment of the common man. But the fuel for this Progressivism came from none other than the masses. People looked to government to establish and maintain a social equitable order based on the will of the people; and they wanted direct participation in the process.

The United States Senate

The first target of the Progressives was the United States Senate. Historically, the process of electing Senators was chosen by the legislatures of the several States. (3a) Although the election of Senators was a function of government, local government was deemed incapable of remedying the new found problems of society. The people looked to the federal government to provide the solution, in accordance to their wishes and desires. And, as mentioned above, they wanted direct participation in the process. They wanted to elect to office their personal candidate of choice, not that of their local state government, who was deemed incapable of acting in the best interest of the people.

In direct response to the demands of the people, the 62nd Congress proposed the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to the State legislatures on May 13, 1912. (4) This was no ordinary amendment. Most amendments add to the existing structure, but this served to alter or rearrange the structure. In short, the proposed 17th Amendment provided for the direct election of Senators by the People, as opposed to the State legislatures. As this would transfer powers from the states to the people, what incentive would the states have to agree to such a proposal? Well the states had in their possession yet another amendment which offered structural change to the Constitution. A proposal offered by the 61st Congress on July 12, 1909 (5), which would become known as the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, posited a direct tax on the income (labor) of the American people.

But why, you ask? Well, the states were under massive pressure from their constituents to not impede on the process of social change (or “progress” ). The pressure was for the people to take control in the election process and vote for Senators directly. The states agreed, in short, because they would be compensated for their troubles. With the ratification of the 16th Amendment, the states could essentially enjoy the tax revenue of its citizens via direct grants from the federal government for their various state programs and agendas. (46) The states would reap the benefits of taxation while still enjoying political favor with the constituency by not raising the tax levy upon them. The ratifying of the 17th Amendment was deemed a fair enough trade off for the increase in revenues to be enjoyed by income taxes. After all, the people wanted government to become an active force in transforming society into an oasis for the common man, and were willing to pay for this security. As a result, the states sold out its people for a buck, as ratification of both amendments were completed within months of each other. (6a)

The United States House of Representatives

The 62nd Congress targeted the House of Representatives as well. The assault came in the form of limiting the people’s representation in the House. The flip side of limiting one’s power is to increase another’s. In this case, the House sought to increase its power by not increasing the number of representatives, as was traditionally done. This was done with the enactment of Public Law 62-5, also known as the “Apportionment Act of 1911” on Aug. 8th, 1911. (7) Every ten years after the decennial Census of the United States, Congress is required by law to reapportion the House in accordance to the population shifts that have occurred over the last ten years. (3b) Up until the passing of Public Law 62-5, the number of Representatives increased, nearly one for one with population growth, in addition to reapportionment.

Although an increase in the number of Representatives was done virtually with every subsequent house, the Constitution did not require an increase. In fact, language in the Constitution suggests that only one representative per state is sufficient for government with the use of the following language: “The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative…” (3b) The choice of language used here by the Founding Fathers is tricky, but what's being done here is they are putting a cap on the number of representatives each state may have. The language fails to establish a minimum, other than each state will have at least one representative.

The Founding Fathers having realized this loophole, among others, proposed what is now known as the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution. (6) Their purpose of clearing loopholes, or misunderstandings and interpretations to the Constitution are expressed in the Preamble to the Bill of Rights. (8a) One such proposed amendment to the states was in regard to the number of representatives allowed for each state in the House of Representatives. This amendment unfortunately failed ratification by one vote, and as such has been forgotten in history. This forgotten amendment is commonly referred to as “Article the First,” or the “Congressional Apportionment Amendment,” and is actually the very first amendment proposed in the Bill of Rights package; still currently awaiting ratification. (9)

The language of Article the First sought to place a minimum size on the number of representatives allowed, as opposed to the maximum established in Article I of the Constitution. The text of Article the First is as follows:

Article the first...After the first enumeration required by the first article of the Constitution, there shall be one Representative for every thirty thousand, until the number shall amount to one hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall be not less than one hundred Representatives, nor less than one Representative for every forty thousand persons, until the number of Representatives shall amount to two hundred; after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall not be less than two hundred Representatives, nor more than one Representative for every fifty thousand persons.(emphasis added).” (9a)

This amendment serves to ensure that the size of Congressional Districts would not become too large. An increase in the size of the districts equals a decrease in the number of representatives, and thus reduced representation per citizen as a single representative has to satisfy the needs of a larger constituency. Large Congressional districts are not what the Founding Fathers intended as it sets the stage for oligarchic representation on the part of Congress which is supposed to be the voice of the people. In short, the smaller the district size, the more involvement of government you have at the local community level.

So why did such a promising amendment fail ratification? Well if you read the text carefully, you’ll see that a paradox exists. The very last sentence of the amendment uses the word "more" instead of "less", as used in the previous sentences. The use of the word renders the entire text void as it states both a minimum and maximum condition in the wording. This is sophistry at its finest. What happened was the House proposed a minimum of one representative for every 50,000 citizens while the Senate wanted a minimum of one for every 60,000 citizens. As the two houses could not agree, a joint House Senate committee was assigned the task of reconciling the differences. But it was this subset of Congress which actually killed the amendment with its cleverly hidden abnormality within the text. The disagreement of Congress on the size of Congressional Districts for the House is minor compared to the situation we face now. As it stands now, with the United States Census for the year 2000 reporting a total population of just under 250 million people, and a House of Representative size of 435 members, the average Congressional District size is just under 700,000 (Population divided by Number of Representatives). At worst, Congress intended the size of the district to be no more than 60,000 per citizen. (10a) We have ten times this amount currently.

Fast forward to 1921, the year of the next apportionment act of Congress and you will find that one does not exist. (11a) This is a direct violation of the Constitution as apportionment is supposed to be performed every ten years, whether or not the size of the House of representatives changes or not. Also, per Public Law 62-5, the size of the House had not increased since 1911. In 1929, as we neared another decennial census, the Congress passed “the Reapportionment Act of 1929,” also known as “the Permanent Act of 1929,” officially fixing the number of representatives in the House to 435, the number it had been since 1911. (12) This was done just months before the Stock Market Crash of 1929, which sparked the Great Depression and led to a new wave of progressivism by the people, administered by none other than President Franklin Roosevelt, arguably the most progressive President in U.S. history. (47)
Some of the arguments sold to the people for fixing the number of representatives at 435 were:
1) too many politicians would exist if there were no cap,
2) all the politicians could not fit into one building, and
3) the increase in the cost of the additional politicians would eat away at the congressional budget. (
13)
If you’ll remember from above, people had turned to the government and trusted it to fulfill the social aims of the masses. Also, the size of thousands of politicians on its face does not look good and so this line of reasoning was easily used against the people due to their lack of vigilance. For the current apportionment laws, see
2 U.S.C. Sec 2.

The Electoral College

The United States Electoral College is the system established by the Constitution for electing the President of the United States. Per the Constitution, the State legislatures are to elect individuals who will in turn cast votes for their choice of President of the United States. (14a) The total number of electors allowed a state is equal to the number of representatives and senators it has in Congress. Amongst other things (15a), the Electoral College serves to provide a voice for citizens from every part of the country by giving them a say in who is to become President. Also, with the assigning of two additional electors for each Senator, over representation bias is afforded to smaller states at the expense of larger states. But as mentioned above, the Progressive Movement provided the sentiment for direct participation in the Presidential process by the masses. The President was to be elected according to the popular vote, as this best reflected the will of the people.

Once again, the states heard the cries of the people and obliged their wishes. The states, in response, adopted the practice of assigning all their state’s electoral votes for President to the candidate who received the majority of votes. Click here for an example of the ballot submitted to the federal government in my home state of Illinois for the 2000 Presidential election. Notice how Al Gore receives all of the electoral votes, while the other candidates receive none. Also notice the Electors names who actually cast the ballots for Al Gore. Many don’t know, but the actual vote for President is done by the Electors over a month after the general public casts their vote for President. Also, many people are unaware that when they cast their ballots; they are not really voting for a candidate, but are in fact voting for an Elector. It is the Elector who is doing the voting, the people only think they are voting. Although the system is in place for the states to deviate from current practice, they have all but insured that the Electors of their state will casts their votes for President based on the will of the people.

All but two states, Maine and Nebraska split their electoral votes for President and assign to the Presidential candidate only the districts won in their states. This method is in fact more according to the will of the people than the current winner take all method used by the other 48 states. If a state has one district which disagrees with the popular sentiment of the state as a whole, that district should not be forced to give their electoral votes to the party not of their choice.

As bad as this may sound, the Electoral College as it is currently operated by the states today, is still at least a state controlled function. New legislation is being proposed at federal level to yet again alter the structure of our Constitution. Two joint resolutions have been prepared and proposed to the states that would eliminate the Electoral College system in lieu of the national popular vote as determining who is elected President. The first bill is H.J. Res 4, known as the “Every Vote Counts Amendment” sponsored by Rep. Gene Green of Texas. The second is H.J. Res 36 by Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois. Both of these proposals were made at the beginning of 2007.

But will the states once again give up power to the federal government? Well, the “Help America Vote Act” (HAVA) of 2002 establishes federal election standards, among them upgrading to electronic voting machines. (16) In assuring that its goal is implemented, HAVA provides grants for states to aid in the process of improving their election process. (16a) In addition, various amendments have been introduced to improve HAVA measures and to again provide for additional grant funding. With the grant funding, states can, among other things, improve the election process which by default benefits their local elections as well. Time will only tell if the states once again sell out its people for federal funding.

Interestingly though, some states have proposed entering into a compact to assign their state’s electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, regardless of the popular vote winner in their respective state. This is right in line with the amendments mentioned above to do away with the Electoral College. The agreement is known as the “National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.” (17) The compact would go into affect when a majority of states sign on to it. This has been introduced in most states and fortunately has not been lifted off the ground. So far it has only been passed into law by the State of Maryland, and in Illinois it has passed both houses and awaits approval by the Governor. Click here for the text of the compact. It is mind-boggling that states would agree to such action without any stated benefits from the federal government. It is likely that this is a backup measure by the states in the event the proposed amendment is not ratified. The amendment would require 75% approval by the states while the compact only needs 50%. The compact in short hijacks the Electoral College, similar to a hostile corporate takeover via majority stock acquisition, and would serve to force states that would oppose the national popular vote to play along for their own benefit.

President Bush and the Electoral College

President Bush can thank the current manner of winner-take-all in the states for his successful Presidential bid in 2000. In nearly all cases, the popular vote is reflective of the electoral vote winner and, thus the winner of the Presidential race. The 2000 election marked only the fourth time in this nation’s history that the popular vote winner did not win the bid for President. (15b) The 2000 election illustrates the flaw in the current winner-take-all method for assigning a state’s electoral votes to a candidate. Or not so much a flaw, as it is perfectly legal for the states to assign their electoral votes in whatever manner they see fit under the Constitution. (14a) But if the intent is truly to reflect the will of the people, then winner take all is in fact flawed. As mentioned above, the winner take all method makes swings votes of certain groups or organizations of people to have a major influence in tipping the balance in favor of a specific candidate. (15c) This was evidenced in Florida with Bush winning the overall Hispanic vote in Florida-the state which ultimately decided the Presidential winner. Bush won the popular vote among Hispanics by a few hundred thousand, (18) but won the entire state of Florida by less than one thousand votes. (19) If the winner-take-all method of assigning electoral votes was not employed, then Florida’s 25 electoral votes would have been split evenly among the two candidates, and Al Gore would have easily won the Presidency.

Bush’s Hispanic vote may have had something to do with his campaign platform of being a "compassionate conservative." This, combined with the fact that the Clinton administration (which Al Gore was part of) passed tough immigration legislation in 1996. (20) More importantly however, is the drastic increase in the Hispanic population throughout the 1990s, and the resulting reapportionment shifts which took effect in the 2004 election based on the 2000 United States Census. The Hispanic population in the U.S. increased by 57.9%, compared to the national average of 13.2% (21) This is a huge increase, and Hispanics now represent the largest minority group in the United States. (22) Of the nation’s Hispanic population, 58% are Mexican, 43.5% lived in the West, and 32.8% lived in the South. Of the 8 states with over 1 million in population growth throughout the 1990s, (23a) all in the South and West, Bush won 6, resulting in an additional 10 votes due to reapportionment based on the 2000 Census. (24a)

So what’s the significance of all this you ask? Well if you consider that illegal immigration has risen sharply under President Bush’s Presidency, (25) combined with the amnesty plan Bush advocated in the months leading up to the 2004 Presidential election, (26) then it all makes sense. Bush was ensuring his success in the 2004 election since he took office in 2000, by actively shifting the electorate in his favor at the expense of the nation. (27) The icing on the 2004 Presidential campaign cake was Bush’s Hispanic nephew campaigning for him. (28) The current winner-take-all method of assigning electoral votes has been fully exploited by President Bush and has played a great deal in his being in the White House.

{end, part one-stay tuned for part two...}

3 comments:

Brian said...

Interesting post. If you are interested in more information concerning the 17th Amendment, please check out my weblog, Repeal the 17th Amendment. I have a number of scholarly articles posted on the right side concerning the history and the consequences of the amendment.

Best regards,
Brian

http://repealthe17thamendment.blogspot.com/

splitbabyniblet said...

I agree brian. it got better and better as it went along... our main goal here is to expose the legislation which has led us to where we are, and your blog seems to be about the same purpose. it's very encouraging to see that one in a thousand who strikes the root, as opposed to hacking at the branches of injustice, as HD Thoreau wrote...
I've bookmarked your page, and I'll be reading regularly...

FranG said...

I like your site Brian, and I'm bookmarking as well. It's sad, but I think just about every amendment to the U.S. Constitution after the 13th is trash, with the exception of maybe 3 of them.

thus always to tyrants authors


Brandon Dean (splitbabyniblet)


FranG


Joshua Berry (tattoogeek)

you see what happens?










"I, like the arch-fiend, bore a hell within me, and finding myself unsympathized with, wished to tear up the trees, spread havoc and destruction around me, and then to have sat down and enjoyed the ruin." --Mary Shelley, from Frankenstein