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posted by martyb on Friday December 11 2015, @05:50AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the pandora's-box dept.

The U.S. Constitution has 27 amendments; each was proposed by Congress and ratified by the states.

However, the Constitution sets forth another procedure, never before used, for amending the Constitution. At the request of two thirds of the states, a constitutional convention would be held, at which amendments could be proposed. Any proposals would become part of the Constitution if three fourths of the states ratified them, either at state conventions or in the state legislatures.

Currently, 27 of the needed 34 states have petitioned Congress for a constitutional convention, for the ostensible purpose of writing a balanced-budget amendment (BBA). However, the convention might propose other changes in addition or instead of a BBA—even a total rewrite of the Constitution—if 38 states agreed, the changes would become law.

In November, legislators from 30 states met in Salt Lake City to discuss the matter.


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Flyingmoose on Friday December 11 2015, @06:05AM

    by Flyingmoose (4369) <mooseNO@SPAMflyingmoose.com> on Friday December 11 2015, @06:05AM (#274827) Homepage

    How about they work on some kind of campaign finance reform...

    • (Score: 3, Disagree) by khallow on Friday December 11 2015, @07:09AM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @07:09AM (#274847) Journal
      Sounds like a terrible reason to gut the First Amendment.
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @01:44PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @01:44PM (#274957)

        No matter what anyone says corporations are not people and do not share the same rights as people. Let us not forget that corporations get special rights that people do not get.

        Campaign finance reform does not "gut" the First Amendment. It simply returns the First Amendment to the people where it belongs.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday December 11 2015, @04:59PM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @04:59PM (#275024) Journal

          No matter what anyone says corporations are not people and do not share the same rights as people. Let us not forget that corporations get special rights that people do not get.

          Two things to note. First, corporations are treated legally like people, never as people. Second, corporations don't get special rights.

          Campaign finance reform does not "gut" the First Amendment. It simply returns the First Amendment to the people where it belongs.

          Except that it does when it's deliberately biased against particular groups of people as the McCain-Feingold Act was. No exception is made for corporations in the First Amendment. And petitioning for redress of grievances clearly includes donation to election campaigns and lobbying. There are a variety of considerations here. First, speech visible to the public costs money and always will. You don't have freedom of speech, if you aren't allowed to speak anywhere where someone can hear you.

          This is a rich people complaint too. There is nothing magical about corporate money that makes it worse than all the other means that rich people have to bend the ears of politicians.

          What I think particularly silly about complaints of corporate personhood, especially in the wake of the Citizens United ruling, is that they either devolve to imaginary corporate rights or generic whining about rich people and money. Both happen here.

          • (Score: 2) by naubol on Friday December 11 2015, @05:37PM

            by naubol (1918) on Friday December 11 2015, @05:37PM (#275052)

            Would you not agree that those with money are able to buy significantly more representation? There are other activities which would support a candidate and would be deemed illegal, such as systematically calling known opposition voters on election day to tell them their loved ones are hospitalized, but this is more obviously speech. The idea behind speech was to enable people to have a marketplace of ideas where hopefully it caused the ideas to improve by a metric that was seen as for the common good. Do you contend that unlimited campaign finance doesn't have a deleterious affect by shifting the metric for quality of ideas much more to being about which idea benefits an oligarchic minority in the short term?

            Money is not speech, because it has the power to capture actual honest to god speech. On some level, agitprop is a clear and present danger and we must deal with it, and campaign finance reform is one attempt at doing that without trying to identify propaganda speech or severely curtail corporate media. Our political system was designed before entities and people could wield so much social and political power due to technological advances. We must find a way to adapt to this new reality. We may not have the language, ... unlimited campaign donations are weapons of intense power in a war over the distribution of resources. Agitprop works and it is not going to magically stop working. We must talk about this issue on that level first, as campaign finance restrictions are merely one attempt at a solution. Do you not agree that there is a problem? What would your solution be?

            As an amusing aside, is it not the height of irony that the textual originalist found speech == money? I don't see that in my dictionary and I'm pretty positive that wasn't what Madison intended.

            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday December 11 2015, @06:56PM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @06:56PM (#275097) Journal

              Do you contend that unlimited campaign finance doesn't have a deleterious affect by shifting the metric for quality of ideas much more to being about which idea benefits an oligarchic minority in the short term?

              Sure, but the effect is less significant than advertised. First, it's quite easy legally to create such things in the complete absence of money via passing laws/regulations for votes. For example, labor unions, large groups of people with common interests (farmers, gun owners), and high employment businesses with political interests. Then there are the illegal means of bribing politicians which would work moderately better (since limited or no cash means politicians have a lower price tag as a whole by this means).

              Second, even in the presence of the First Amendment and corporate personhood, there are a number of constitutional ways to limit the otherwise unlimited such as making all such donations public knowledge, capping the donation size, restricting movement of government employees from decision making positions in government to parties affected by those decisions, and imposing and enforcing harsher criminal and civil punishments for corruption and election/voting misconduct/gross incompetence.

          • (Score: 2) by J053 on Friday December 11 2015, @08:26PM

            by J053 (3532) <reversethis-{xc. ... s} {ta} {enikad}> on Friday December 11 2015, @08:26PM (#275133) Homepage
            OK - as an individual, I am limited to $2700 in donations to any candidate for election in each of the primary election and general election cycles. I can give as much as I want to a political party (or several parties, if I so desire). I suggest all organizations be subject to the same limits.

            Now, that doesn't stop me, as an individual, on my own account, from spending as much as I want to advocate for a particular candidate or position - as long as such advocacy is not coordinated with the candidate's campaign organization in any way. This was the core of Citizens United and, while I don't like what has resulted, that was arguably a correct ruling.

            What needs to be done is a revision of the rules that apply to tax-exempt organizations - go back to the original intent and forbid any political activity from a tax-exempt entity. If corporations or unions or any other organization want to be politically active, they can damn well pay income tax on their contributions. Oh, and do away with these anonymous contribution PACs, too.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12 2015, @09:09AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12 2015, @09:09AM (#275352)

          No matter what anyone says corporations are not people and do not share the same rights as people.

          Should a group of people have the right to freedom of speech? The first amendment certainly doesn't say they shouldn't. Would you say it's alright for the government to punish a corporation that made a video game featuring graphic violence and sex? If not, why not? You just said that corporations do not share the same rights as people, and what you really seem to want is to forbid certain speech. What would stop other speech from being limited?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @01:58PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @01:58PM (#274963)

        Corporations are not people. Corporations are a specific legal entity made up by the government. They are not granted rights by the constitution. They only get the rights the government grants them. The elected representatives are well within their rights to pass a law probihibiting corporations from giving them money to get re-elected. (Good luck with getting them to do it though.)

        Individuals however, should be able to give as much as they want if the first ammendment is interpretted to include monetary donations.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @03:32PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @03:32PM (#274993)

          Happened in Canada.

          The government of the day also banned Union donations that a rival political party benefited disproportionately from.

        • (Score: 2) by Anal Pumpernickel on Saturday December 12 2015, @09:14AM

          by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Saturday December 12 2015, @09:14AM (#275353)

          Your right to freedom of speech does not end merely because you work together in a group. If everyone works together to produce a certain message, then that is still covered by the first amendment. I certainly don't see where the constitution says what you claim it does. Where does it expressly grant the government the right to revoke the free speech rights of corporations? It would seem to explicitly forbid that for any sensible interpretation of the first amendment, in fact. That corporations are a legal entity is irrelevant, because the first amendment doesn't list such exceptions.

          What other kinds of speech made by corporations do you think should be limited? Would *any* speech restriction be valid and constitutional to you?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @04:04PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @04:04PM (#275003)

        The free speech clause of the 1st amendment only has value as a way of making sure that all ideas survive or die based on their inherent merits and not on the political power wielded by those who favor the idea. Since money is allowed to be political power, the only way to achieve the goal of letting the marketplace choose which ideas is best is to not allow spending money to push the idea.

      • (Score: 2) by naubol on Friday December 11 2015, @05:15PM

        by naubol (1918) on Friday December 11 2015, @05:15PM (#275036)

        It won't be long now before people of this mindset suggest that, in addition to money being speech, it is an exercise of free speech to shoot someone with whom you disagree.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday December 11 2015, @07:15PM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @07:15PM (#275104) Journal

          It won't be long now before people of this mindset suggest that, in addition to money being speech, it is an exercise of free speech to shoot someone with whom you disagree.

          Well, as long as it's the right people, right? After all, that's the only reason most people complain about money in politics anyway. If bribery/campaign donations were restricted to the right sort of people, this issue would be as dead as Elvis.

      • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Friday December 11 2015, @05:18PM

        by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday December 11 2015, @05:18PM (#275039) Journal

        Sounds like a terrible reason to gut the First Amendment.
         
        Hmmm.....I don't see "give money to" anywhere in that ammendment.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday December 11 2015, @07:00PM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @07:00PM (#275099) Journal

          Hmmm.....I don't see "give money to" anywhere in that ammendment.

          It's implied by the fact that speech, petitioning for redress, and defending rights in court cost money.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @05:25PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @05:25PM (#275045)

        Sounds like a terrible reason to gut the First Amendment.

        Yes, because speech and money are identical. I'll bet no one here can
        tell the difference between a sum of money and speech.

        But heck, let's test my theory out, which of these is speech?*

        S: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal
        $: $776,687 (Cost of winning a US House election 1986 in 2014 dollars)

        S: that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights
        $: $6,625,932 (Cost of winning a US Senate election 1986 in 2014 dollars)

        S: that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
        $: $1,466,533 (Cost of winning a US House election 2014)

        S: That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men,
        deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
        $: $9,655,660 (Cost of winning a US Senate election 2014)

        S: The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace and conspire
        against it in times of adversity. The banking powers are more
        despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish
        than bureaucracy. They denounce as public enemies all who question
        their methods or throw light upon their crimes. I have two great
        enemies, the Southern Army in front of me and the bankers in the
        rear. Of the two, the one at my rear is my greatest foe.
        $: $2.8 million (Lincoln's 1860 campaign spending in 2011 dollars)

        S: If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be
        led, like sheep to the slaughter.
        $: ~$200 million (1896 McKinley vs Bryan campaign spending in 2011 dollars)

        S: Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by
        subduing the freeness of speech.
        $: ~$600 milion (1968 Nixon vs. Humphrey vs. Wallace in 2011 dollars)

        S: Cogito, ergo sum (I think, therefore I am.)
        $: ~$1.3 billion (2008 Obama vs McCain in 2011 dollars)

        * hint: it's not the ones starting with '$:'

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday December 11 2015, @07:45PM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @07:45PM (#275114) Journal

          Yes, because speech and money are identical.

          I disagree [soylentnews.org].

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @09:59PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @09:59PM (#275169)

            Hmmm.....I don't see "give money to" anywhere in that ammendment.

            It's implied by the fact that speech, petitioning for redress, and defending rights in court cost money.

            I can see where you're coming from, but I'd have to disagree with your disagree, heh. I would argue that the speech described in the first amendment is about the sharing of ideas without fear of Government reprisals. It's not about incredibly wealthy individuals and corporations controlling US politics because they can spend larger amounts of money on them than anyone else.

            More to your point, it's arguable that speech costs money (e.g. talk on the corner, talk on youtube, etc.). But even accepting that there is a minimal cost to speech, to jump from that and court costs to what we have currently, no restrictions on anonymous funds controlling elections, seems like a pretty big leap in logic. It also fundamentally makes our form of government more of a Plutocracy (more money = more political control) and less of a Democracy (one person, one vote). I find the latter the most convincing reason not to allow unlimited, anonymous spending on elections.

      • (Score: 2) by Mr Big in the Pants on Friday December 11 2015, @09:30PM

        by Mr Big in the Pants (4956) on Friday December 11 2015, @09:30PM (#275158)

        Just because corrupt politicians make something LEGAL it does not follow that is isn't corruption.

        Your system is so corrupt corporations can buy politicians in the open.

        And you are defending it??

        Jesus christ....

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday December 11 2015, @10:45PM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @10:45PM (#275197) Journal

          Just because corrupt politicians make something LEGAL it does not follow that is isn't corruption.

          And just because we squash political speech doesn't mean that we still have free speech.

          • (Score: 2) by Mr Big in the Pants on Saturday December 12 2015, @01:33AM

            by Mr Big in the Pants (4956) on Saturday December 12 2015, @01:33AM (#275246)

            You make no sense.

            If you are trying to claim that corporate donations are free speech can I just say that to someone who has not partook in the kool aid, you sound absolutely mental.

            If this is not what you meant...well fuck knows...

            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday December 12 2015, @04:33PM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 12 2015, @04:33PM (#275436) Journal
              I was responding in kind. Your quoted post was a circular argument. Legal corruption is corruption, circularly, just like legal squashing of free speech is squashing of free speech, circularly.
              • (Score: 2) by Mr Big in the Pants on Saturday December 12 2015, @09:07PM

                by Mr Big in the Pants (4956) on Saturday December 12 2015, @09:07PM (#275535)

                I see the problem...your comprehension.

                That wasn't what I was saying at all. It is a common fallacy (legal = not corrupt) especially among authoritarian mindsets as they just love their laws and rules..

                Something being legal != corruption free. Corrupt countries and their corrupt politicians pass corrupt laws all the time.

                For example, in one major western country, it is legal for corporations to hand over millions and millions of "campaign dollars" to politicians in broad daylight to change their votes. The political system has also been engineered so that these millions are necessary to hold office. Studies have been conducted which show these donations match the voting habits of these politicians.

                It perverts the democratic process in an undemocratic way giving major influence to corporations who don't even vote and/or to their owners, a select view with mostly minority views.

                This is corruption. In this case corruption of the democratic process and its representatives.

                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday December 13 2015, @12:50AM

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday December 13 2015, @12:50AM (#275629) Journal

                  That wasn't what I was saying at all. It is a common fallacy (legal = not corrupt) especially among authoritarian mindsets as they just love their laws and rules..

                  Just as legal = not squashing freedom of speech is a fallacy.

                  Something being legal != corruption free. Corrupt countries and their corrupt politicians pass corrupt laws all the time.

                  For example, in one major western country, it is legal for corporations to hand over millions and millions of "campaign dollars" to politicians in broad daylight to change their votes. The political system has also been engineered so that these millions are necessary to hold office. Studies have been conducted which show these donations match the voting habits of these politicians.

                  So what is supposed to be special about corporation corruption? Is it ok for a business to do that as long as it's not registered as a corporation? Or a labor union? Or a non profit? Religion? My view is that legal corruption is a lesser evil than undercutting fundamental rights due to the black hat of the day. There will always be corporations, terrorists, pollution, corruption, etc. There won't always be a democratic government unless we act to protect it.

                  This is why I favor significant government reduction. I feel corruption will happen anyway. The less government there is to corrupt and the less public funds to divert, the less opportunity for corruption exists, the more thorough voter oversight of government, and the better things will be overall. The huge corporations derive a lot of their power from powerful governments, both in making such consolidation of business power possible via rent seeking and captive revenue streams, and in providing protection from smaller competitors. A government like the US doesn't need the power to destroy any particular country in the world with either nuclear or convention military power. Nor do its citizens require cradle to grave nannying. Nor does it need the ability to spy intrusively on the entire world or the other great variety of meaningless expenditures that consume around 2% of the world's GDP.

                  • (Score: 2) by Mr Big in the Pants on Sunday December 13 2015, @01:56AM

                    by Mr Big in the Pants (4956) on Sunday December 13 2015, @01:56AM (#275643)

                    "This is why I favor significant government reduction. "
                    Your logic is flawed. Corporations have too much control and the public not enough so lets just make it a free for all so they can get even more since they have the power to do so? This way leads to the ultimate dystopia. Why do you think things are so fucked up now with all the pork barrel spending?! Every time they pass a bill thousands of lobbyists descend on their marks to get riders benefiting themselves put in.
                    All you would do is allow them to manipulate things more as they have done with the privatised prisons, health and other abominations.

                    Ridiculous POV. Not even a solution really - just an angry reaction more about vengeance than insight. It only makes sense to some because they don't think it through to its conclusion. (they usually just way their hands and start repeating "free market" or some other completely disproven bollocks.)

                    The USA DOES have a problem with bloated government, but the answer is not simply "less". That is the solution of a 3 yr old. It does not even address the core problem.
                    The answer is to improve it, cut out the waste and seek new ways to "invest" (e.g. infrastructure etc) in its own people only where it makes sense. But this should ALWAYS be happening ALL the time anyway and is what is SUPPOSED to be happening now.

                    The problem is not a lack of solutions. Plenty of other governments do a much better job with less spending and much less corruption. The problem is fixing the system so that allows improvement in the first place.

                    And to do that you need to deal with corruption of the democratic process, otherwise you will never get the corporates to take their hand off the throat of your democracy. It may even be too late...

                    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday December 13 2015, @05:15AM

                      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday December 13 2015, @05:15AM (#275688) Journal

                      Corporations have too much control and the public not enough so lets just make it a free for all so they can get even more since they have the power to do so?

                      Well, there is a case to be made that government does provide a counterweight. But is that actually happening? I think a huge part of the problem here is that the vast amount of public spending aligns businesses and other important categories of human endeavors (such as education and medicine) with government interests and increased public spending.

                      For example, in academia, public funds are a huge part of almost all schools' budgets. I think it comes as no surprise that academia is as a result heavily into advocacy for government spending on the public good to the point that conservative and religious viewpoints are remarkably scarce [nytimes.com]. Their dependency has shaped their beliefs. A similar thing happens for military hardware companies. They are going to be strong supporters of defense spending and a strong military.

                      Regulatory capture is another example. People complain of the regulators being captured by business, but it goes the other way as well. For example, when one of the worst laws of modern times, ITAR [wikipedia.org] (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) was passed, many aerospace companies were against it due to the silly burdens it caused. But now that they have paid the price, they support it, since it's another large barrier to entry by small aerospace competitors.

                      A final example is of the vast number of people supporting Obamacare only because it allows them to get medical treatment. We have this strong tendency to believe things that benefit us are morally right and necessary to our society. Similarly, every bit of spending by government generates a constituency which will defend that spending.

                      And I think that leads to the fundamental weakness of democracies. Everyone is fine with eliminating other peoples' sugar, but not their own. That's why we don't have strong public support for fighting corruption. That's why we don't have strong public support for campaign finance reform and related issues. Enough people are in on it. I will admit that the same thing which cripples corruption fighting also cripples government reduction.

                      The USA DOES have a problem with bloated government, but the answer is not simply "less".

                      Will, you at least grant that government reduction is a very big part of answering that problem?

                      To elaborate on another key disagreement, I don't think that business contributions are corruption. They can be, but it remains that like any other entity in the US, businesses routinely have interests (especially in today's intrusive and encompassing governments) in front of various politicians and bureaucracies. Thus, they (via the First Amendment) have the right to speak about and defend, via lobbying and campaign donations, their interests. Second, it is routine for the most knowledgeable parties in a technical matter involving a business sector, to be the businesses themselves. That will lead to some crossover between the business world and the government-side regulatory world. Finally, I don't buy that everyone's opinion is equal. A business that supports thousands of workers should have more weight in policy decisions involving their business than thousands of deadbeats who can't support themselves. And money in politics is a good way to make that happen.

                      • (Score: 2) by Mr Big in the Pants on Sunday December 13 2015, @05:38AM

                        by Mr Big in the Pants (4956) on Sunday December 13 2015, @05:38AM (#275693)

                        "Well, there is a case to be made that government does provide a counterweight. But is that actually happening? "
                        100% agree. And no its not. In less dysfunctional countries (mine, NZ, being one example) this does not happen. If the government tries some BS, they get eaten alive and they get kicked out. Worse for them, we have the MMP system of voting so EVERY vote counts.

                        It is far from perfect because humans are involved and has a few downsides too (govts are more scared of back lash) but overall it is far superior to the public being mostly ignored.

                        "Their dependency has shaped their beliefs. "
                        It only shapes their beliefs if your government has their sticky fingers in it too much and is micro managing. Education in america is a good example. They are given no money, FORCED to use a psychotic testing system .
                        Our system has the education dept (the experts), teachers unions (and they are not evil!?), school boards of parents, working together and having input. Yes they argue and debate but that is healthy and that is why NZ has excellant student outcomes and when you factor in bang for buck we are head and shoulders above the US for example.
                        The current tory govt. attempted to stick their beaks in and change our system to be the psychotic US system (with no justification) with charter schools added in also. It was a PR disaster for them with much gnashing of teeth. While they got some stadardised testing in (because they railroaded it through) it had lost the significance they had intended. (i.e. schools teaching to the test and ignoring everything else)

                        "People complain of the regulators being captured by business, but it goes the other way as well. "
                        Yes, which is why you need the process to be bullet proof, research based and open to discussion, comment and critique. Are you suggesting just removing the laws and letting shit just happen?! Seriously?

                        Basically what I am saying here is the PROCESS you have needs fixing. Unfortunately people have been asleep at the wheel so long the corruption has become deeply institutionalised and until THAT is fixed, you can forget about the rest.

                        "Will, you at least grant that government reduction is a very big part of answering that problem?"
                        I hesitate to agree to such a broad statement. I would agree a shit ton of money is wasted. Should it just be eliminated altogether? Possibly, but how much? For example one of the first things I would do (realising what I think matters not one iota) is cut some pork and fix the education system first. Without that, a country is fucked.

                        "I don't think that business contributions are corruption. "

                        They are and demonstratably so. They give power to special interests. Democracy is the opposite of given all the say to those with money...especially when they only account for "1%".

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by jmorris on Friday December 11 2015, @07:39AM

      by jmorris (4844) on Friday December 11 2015, @07:39AM (#274857)

      We have all the 'campaign finance law' we need. "Congress shall make no law...." I used to favor unlimited donation but require disclosure but you prog assholes have managed to convince me even that is far too dangerous. So unlimited anonymous donation is the only way.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @03:47PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @03:47PM (#275001)

        Yes, fight reason and democracy with money.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday December 11 2015, @05:03PM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @05:03PM (#275025) Journal

          Yes, fight reason and democracy with money.

          Why isn't that just a vast money sink? Sounds to me like campaign financial is a fig leaf for deeper inadequacies.

          • (Score: 2) by naubol on Friday December 11 2015, @05:48PM

            by naubol (1918) on Friday December 11 2015, @05:48PM (#275058)

            It might be too late for you to stop drinking the kool-aid if you think propaganda doesn't work on absolutely everyone.

            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday December 11 2015, @07:05PM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @07:05PM (#275101) Journal
              Because propaganda is as free as air. Run as a monopoly. On Mars.
      • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Friday December 11 2015, @05:29PM

        by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday December 11 2015, @05:29PM (#275047) Journal

        We have all the 'campaign finance law' we need. "Congress shall make no law...."
         
        "...respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
         
        As you say elsewhere: "The Supreme Court has usurped the legitimate powers of the Legislature,"
         
        Interpreting this clearly worded amendment to equate money to speech is a pretty good place to start.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12 2015, @09:17AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12 2015, @09:17AM (#275354)

          It often doesn't come in the form of direct money donations, but advertisements. All they need to do is advertise for the candidate, and that would necessarily be speech. Your proposed restrictions are meaningless.

        • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Sunday December 13 2015, @05:51AM

          by jmorris (4844) on Sunday December 13 2015, @05:51AM (#275697)

          So what government agency, and it would have to be one, do you propose regulate every reporter to ensure they aren't lending support to a candidate for office. Regulate every newspaper, regulate books, regulate TV programs. It was the government lawyer in Citizen's United saying that yes, the logic of the FEC's rules that books too would fall under their regulation that sealed the verdict. Remember what the case was about? Progs try really hard to cover that part up but it indefensible. Citizens United produced a documentary about a political candidate and released it, the Federal Election Commission claimed it was an impermissible 'contribution' to that candidate's opponent.

          The iron logic of ruling the other way would have put NBC news, the New York Times and every other media outlet under FEC regulation. The mask would have been stripped away, the government would be directly approving and forbidding every media outlet's expression, 'straight news' and op-ed, during an election and the 1st Amendment would have been as dead as the 9th and 10th. The SCOTUS had no other option but to rule the way they did and the fact it was not a unanimous decision is terrifying.

    • (Score: 2) by Mr Big in the Pants on Friday December 11 2015, @09:34PM

      by Mr Big in the Pants (4956) on Friday December 11 2015, @09:34PM (#275159)

      It's cute you think that this convention would propose anything that would primarily benefit the people rather than the corporate lobby.

      Perhaps you have been asleep these past few decades?

      I would suggest you start with reading about how the recent TPPA was negotiated...the little you can find on the web...

      (JK ;)

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by SubiculumHammer on Friday December 11 2015, @06:18AM

    by SubiculumHammer (5191) on Friday December 11 2015, @06:18AM (#274831)

    Balanced Budget? Are they fucking insane?
    Disaster.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @06:22AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @06:22AM (#274835)

      It's a bloody fiat currency anyways, it's time to collapse the ""central banks" and steal all the gold again. You know, just like we did multiple times before. I swear I'd login but I'm drunk and I don't remember my login...

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Whoever on Friday December 11 2015, @06:31AM

      by Whoever (4524) on Friday December 11 2015, @06:31AM (#274837) Journal

      Balanced Budget? Are they fucking insane?

      No, that's just the lead. The real target will be to gut parts of the bill of rights, starting with the 4th amendment.

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by curunir_wolf on Friday December 11 2015, @10:17AM

        by curunir_wolf (4772) on Friday December 11 2015, @10:17AM (#274907)

        The real target will be to gut parts of the bill of rights, starting with the 4th amendment.

        Why would they bother starting with the 4th? It's already ignored and irrelevant anyway.

        --
        I am a crackpot
      • (Score: 2) by mr_mischief on Friday December 11 2015, @03:39PM

        by mr_mischief (4884) on Friday December 11 2015, @03:39PM (#274995)

        More likely they'd start with the 2nd. Maybe they'd hit the sixth, fifth, second, fourth, and first simultaneously.

  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by aristarchus on Friday December 11 2015, @06:32AM

    by aristarchus (2645) on Friday December 11 2015, @06:32AM (#274838) Journal

    They met in Salt Lake City, did they? Do you not remember the Mormon wars? And I am not referring to the Missouri troubles that had the governor call out the national guard. No, when the frigging Latter Day Assholes declared war upon the United States of America? No? You do not recall? How convenient. Mormans are traitors to their nation, traitors to women, traitors to humanity and small furry creatures from Alpha Centari, or Kolob. If you want any kind of political movement to be taken seriously, like banning gay marriage in California via Mozilla, I suggest you get as far as possible from the Latter Day Saints, because the soul of the Arch-Angel Moroni: just think about this, the other religions got Gabriel, Michael, and Raphel (not to mention Donatello and Michealangelo, though they might be artists or Mutant Ninja Turtles), and the Mormons got Moroni. As the South Part episode said, " Dum dum dum dum!" Or maybe it was a White Salamader. Does anyone know the range of Psilocybin in Upstate New York where the stoner Joseph Smith got his "revelations"? Far out, dude! Excellent! Flaming sword! Young girls--- oops, did not mean to summon MikeeUSA, the modern incarnation of Joe Smith. Does anyone believe in reincarnation? Because if you do, I have some nice beach front property in Arizona that I can sell you for a future life. Brigham Young University, as if that was really a thing. MonoMormonocity, that's the word.

    Before you respond, or mod, do some research. http://www.exmormon.org/ [exmormon.org] http://articles.latimes.com/1987-04-05/magazine/tm-3_1_mark-hofmann [latimes.com]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utah_War [wikipedia.org]

    Some of my best friends are Mormons. Does not rule out that they are batshit right-wing Theo-fascist crazy. Sorry, Bob, it had to be said.

    --
    "Believe it or not, your opinion on this topic is really not necessary,"
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Friday December 11 2015, @08:28AM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @08:28AM (#274874) Journal

      Some of my best friends are Mormons.

      It's worth remembering the unseemly origin [newrepublic.com] of this horrid phrase:

      The phrase’s earliest recorded political use was back in 1908. John Worth Kern, who was on the ticket for William Jennings Bryan’s third failed bid for the presidency, trotted it out at the end of a campaign speech in Westminster, excoriating William Taft as a lackey of business cartels. Toward the end of his stemwinder, he shifted into a plea for political comity: “Some of my best friends are Republicans,” Kern said, “and although we have had our political fights, we have never fallen out and quarreled.”

      Rethuglican apologism and compromise of principle. Good thing we've gone past all that.

      • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Friday December 11 2015, @09:28AM

        by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Friday December 11 2015, @09:28AM (#274895) Homepage
        "Origin"? I assure you "some of my best friends are black" predates that frothy mixture by decades.
        --
        I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday December 11 2015, @09:38AM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @09:38AM (#274898) Journal

          I assure you "some of my best friends are black" predates that frothy mixture by decades.

          Find an example from before 1908 then.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @10:10AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @10:10AM (#274905)

            Earliest recorded political use, maybe.

            There's many other much earlier examples of similar phrases in a similar vein, though. For example, here's one from a biography of an Irish Catholic priest published in the first half of the 19th century:

            And on another occasion, when he thought it necessary to defend himself from an unjust aspersion-

            "It is for the sake of those connected with me as well as myself, that I enter into this vindication. I entertain no ill-feeling towards any person on account of his religious opinions. My nearest relatives are members of the Established Church, and my best friends are Quakers, Protestants, and Presbyterians"

            Pretty much exactly the same sentiment as your 1908 quote - which is itself different from the more recent "I'm not X-ist; some of my best friends are X" stereotype.

          • (Score: 4, Interesting) by FatPhil on Friday December 11 2015, @10:30AM

            by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Friday December 11 2015, @10:30AM (#274912) Homepage
            I confess to having completely misread your post! I saw the link (mentioning Santorum in the URL), but when I followed it, I got a mostly blank page with no visible textual content, hastily retreated, and presumed that you were referring to Santorum's use of the phrase, not noticing that you'd quoted the important part.

            Now I revist that page in lynx, I see there is actually some content, and it looks like a well-researched piece. I wouldn't be surprised if there were earlier instances, but finding them might be hard. The article was yankocentric, of course, there could well be English (or other European) examples much earlier. It also restricts itself to "political use", which means that orignal use by the journalistic wits before that time (of which the US was replete) may have been overlooked. And it completely misses all possible uses of it in fiction. It's certainly an interesting puzzle.

            Without having any evidence for it, I would be surprised if none of the ancient Greek playwrights ever penned any rhetoric along those lines in any of their comedies. It just seems like a classic comedic line.

            However, first use with a straight face non-ironically as if it was a sensible argument? It's quite possible 1908's it. Thanks for digging that out, and sorry about my confusion!
            --
            I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @11:01AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @11:01AM (#274920)

              Modded up for a) being polite and b) not being a defensive knee-jerk savaging[1] of the poster who disagreed with you.
              I know it's of very minor consequence and amounts to bugger all in the real world, but thank you for being civil to someone you originally disagreed with.

              [1] Now I've read that back, it looks like I'm describing a knee to the groin. Not entirely inappropriate given how this sort of back-and-forth usually goes.

              • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Saturday December 12 2015, @06:08AM

                by aristarchus (2645) on Saturday December 12 2015, @06:08AM (#275318) Journal

                And this is why I post to SoylentNews! The most off-beat (but, unfortunately, on topic) post can result in the meeting of minds and the setting straight of the historical record, and reconciliation amongst all but the truly deranged. Well done, AC and FatPhil! Well done.

                --
                "Believe it or not, your opinion on this topic is really not necessary,"
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @08:58AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @08:58AM (#274888)

      4 of 11 links in TFS:
      utahpolicy.com - Do I really have to explain this one?
      Deseret News - Salt Lake City, Utah
      The Universe—Brigham Young University - Do I really have to explain this one?
      KSTU-TV - Salt Lake City, Utah

      More than 1/3 of the sources have a geographic commonality.
      Though I'm not intimately familiar with those outlets, it seems a safe bet that their politics are in line with the LDS church.

      -- gewg_

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @06:12PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @06:12PM (#275073)

        As your politics are in line with the farthest reaches of the Democratic party...

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @08:34PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @08:34PM (#275137)

          You haven't been paying attention at all.
          My politics border on anarchy: Anti-Capitalist (Communist--as Marx described it: Democracy everywhere) which means that civil liberties are a given.

          I have little regard for Right^Wrong Wingers (Capitalist Authoritarians) which includes most Democrats. [politicalcompass.org]
          (My candidate for that year, Cynthia McKinney, [reopen911.info] is not shown on that chart but would be near Nader--for whom I had voted when he was a Green.)

          Dennis Kucinich is a Democrat for whom I have respect (though he has let himself be manipulated by that party into doing things of which I disapprove.)

          Among the current crop of Reds and Blues, I like a few of the positions of Rand Paul [googleusercontent.com] (orig) [ballotpedia.org]--though his other positions (the majority of his politics) really turn me off.

          I find Bernie Sanders to be slightly less heinous than the rest of the 2-party bunch (though he doesn't measure up to even FDR or LBJ) and I would be disappointed if Hillary beats Bernie in the primaries--but he's still a Capitalist and a warmonger so he still doesn't get my actual approval.

          Among the candidates running, I tend to vote Green.
          I would like to see a third party get a high enough percentage of the votes at the presidential level to get the federal matching funds available.
          Jill Stein, a physician, (who got my vote in 2012 and is running again) is still closer to what I want in a president than any Red or Blue.

          Though Eugene Debs got 6 percent of the votes when he ran for president as an (actual) Socialist in 1912, and Milwaukee has had several Socialist mayors, Cold War propaganda still pervades USAian politics and I don't see Socialist egalitarianism coming out on top any time soon over Fox so-called News' politics of Oligarchy and racism and religious nonsense.

          -- gewg_

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12 2015, @03:54AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12 2015, @03:54AM (#275291)

            My politics border on anarchy: Anti-Capitalist (Communist--as Marx described it: Democracy everywhere) which means that civil liberties are a given.

            No. It doesn't mean anything of the sort. You can be totally anti-capitalist but it has no bearing on whether or not you are in favour of freedom of speech, religion, or due process of law. In fact, there's a strong argument to be made that if you oppose the accumulation of fruits of personal enterprise (the very foundation of capitalism) that this itself opposes a number of civil liberties because people cannot work towards their greater goals - anything they can't achieve without an accumulation of resources is beyond their personal ken, forever. So much for civil liberties...

            I'm not sure why it matters that Jill Stein is a physician. So is Ben Carson. In fact, he's a specialist. I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that you don't exactly want to give ol' Ben all the facebook likes.

            As for socialist egalitarianism, I don't care to speak for anyone else, but you can keep it. Specifically, you can keep it far, far away from me. Every time someone talks about egalitarianism, it seems to come down to taking from those who achieved, and giving to those who didn't. In our schools, the bright kids are bored, then troublesome, then medicated. Egalitarianism for the win! Egalitarian medicine? Nobody can have more than everybody can get ... so now they want to tax the hell out of the so-called cadillac plans because they imbalance the whole situation, despite the fact that the unions who generally got those negotiated for them, and got an agreement on them - but obviously they're evil! Of course, the congresscritters are gradually realising that even if Obama is their bestest buddy (looking at you, rustbelt democrats) that pissing off the unions might just maybe be bad for the union members and bad for their votes (right, rustbelt democrats?). Or maybe you're a bigger fan of egalitarian housing? Everybody gets the same square footage? Or a formula based on family size or something, perhaps?

            I have yet to see a coherent series of egalitarian policies I could remotely stand behind. If you know of such a set of proposals, please bring them for inspection. Detailed and specific policy proposals, not empty aspirational phrases.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12 2015, @04:52AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12 2015, @04:52AM (#275307)

              Your ignorance of what Socialism is extreme.
              That's understandable. You're like 99.999 percent of folks in that regard.
              Offering your ignorant example of what it is and isn't is very common for your lot.

              the very foundation of capitalism

              You're not very bright when it comes to Capitalism either.
              The foundation of that is the exploitation of non-owner workers.

              .
              Besides being an MD, Jill Stein is also a mom with 2 grown, successful sons.
              Does that automatically make her presidential material?
              No, but it does add to the picture of who she is.
              She's a nurturing healer--not an exploiter like e.g. Trump or Romney.
              ...and when she debated Mitt in the Massachusetts gubernatorial race, the Boston Globe called her "the only adult in the room".

              egalitarianism [...] taking from those who achieved

              Without public roads and clean water systems and safe food and verified medicines, etc, etc, etc, your successful guy never would have gotten there.
              Go to (Libertarian) Somalia or (Libertarian) Honduras and see how much you can achieve.
              If you achieved, you did it in a system that supported your achievement.
              You owe the system back in line to your success.
              They used to call this "noblesse oblige".

              ...and where exactly are you going to find customers if nobody but you has any money?
              The downward spiral of Neoliberalism is only getting worse due to nitwits who "think" like you do.
              Again, your successful guy didn't make big bucks without exploiting The Working Class.

              ...and if your successful guy hadn't skimmed off all the cream at the start and there had been a more equitable distribution of the profits **from the start**, you wouldn't be yammering about taking back wealth.

              .
              I have previously mentioned Mondragon and the thousands and thousands of worker cooperatives in northern Italy.
              They are very happy with the egalitarian systems they have.
              Mondragon started with 6 worker-owners and now has over 100,000 worker-owners.
              Socialism is a bottom-up thing, so it needs to continue to be scaled up.
              ...and, no, Stalinist State Capitalism is NOT Socialism.

              -- gewg_

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12 2015, @08:34PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12 2015, @08:34PM (#275508)

                OK. I'll bite.

                Detailed, specific, unambiguous description of the precise form of socialism. Now, please. In standard English (Commonwealth or American) preferred, but other languages accepted.

                Until you can actually provide a coherent description of what the hell you're talking about other than saying that everyone else always gets everything wrong, you don't have a position, you have a bumpersticker.

                You don't even explain why capitalism is not based on the accumulation of value, i.e. capital. It's right there in the name, it's in pretty much every analytical approach to it, even Marx accepted that. So while you're explaining things, throw that one in.

                This way at least we can tell what you're advocating.

        • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Saturday December 12 2015, @06:33AM

          by aristarchus (2645) on Saturday December 12 2015, @06:33AM (#275320) Journal

          Yesssss. Speak your special words . . . .. Death-eaters! Death Angels! Angles of Saxon death to the Lamanites! And migrants from Missouri in Meadow Mountains! This is not a partisan issue, it is a terrorist issue. Radicalized people right there in the kingdom of Zion, thinking they are the heirs of Zion. And no, Laurence Fishbourne is not allowed. Whether you are ISIS, Anti-abortion Dude, or Mormon, it makes no difference because all absolute claims to the right religion are an abomination. Took the Jews some 2000+ years to get the message that being the chosen people does not mean you get special priviledges and get to smite other people. Of course, there are some who still haven't, mostly because their brother got wacked doing exactly that kind of stuff, and the message is really not getting through. If I was God, and I am not, and there is no god, but if I were, I would be really, really frustrated about now. How many times have I told the Westboro Baptisers that I hate Flags! The idiots cannot spell. You would have thought, as an omnicompetent being, I would have created more intelligent followers (Hint for all you budding rationalist skeptical agnositic types!). So while to some this may sound like gibberish, I beg you, pay attention to the less rational people around you. They may be thinking of having a Constitutional Convention, just because, or of voting for Donald Trump, just to get back at the people who could read in high school.

          Take-away, for you business types with short attention spans who have already stopped reading this post because SJW and whatnot: The Farthest reaches of the Democratic party is what most people call "sane". Others would call it center-right, or Moderate Republican, like Hilary Clinton. So look to your Right. If you see no one there, you are the Nazi party. If you see someone with a marmot on his head, you are in danger of being seduced by the Nazi party. So don't be a dummy, be a smarty, come and join the Nazi party! "Springtime, for Hitler, and Germany!" Ah, the producers, of reality TV. Don't you love it when reality imitates art, for a change? You're Fired!

          --
          "Believe it or not, your opinion on this topic is really not necessary,"
    • (Score: 3, Funny) by c0lo on Friday December 11 2015, @09:02AM

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @09:02AM (#274889) Journal

      small furry creatures from Alpha Centari, or Kolob.

      Maybe Kolob 'cause last time I played Alpha Centauri (couple of weeks ago), there was no Mormons faction.

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by frojack on Friday December 11 2015, @06:45AM

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @06:45AM (#274840) Journal

    First time I heard about this there were something like two states. Now its only a few away from a convention.

    The summary is wrong about one thing: [cloudfront.net]
    The worry back then was a runaway convention opening up a whole can of worms. However, the convention of states route allows the states to dictate to their delegates the only subject areas they are allowed to address, and any attempt to deal with or vote outside the mandate is repudiated by the state immediately. Further Article V has examples of such limitations written right into it.

    They've been very diligent about keeping the state legislators on task to restricting the focus of any convention.

    The thing might actually just work. Still there's no assurance we would like what they churned out. Luckily, your state legislature gets the final say.

    --
    No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday December 11 2015, @06:59AM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @06:59AM (#274845) Journal

      The worry back then was a runaway convention opening up a whole can of worms. However, the convention of states route allows the states to dictate to their delegates the only subject areas they are allowed to address, and any attempt to deal with or vote outside the mandate is repudiated by the state immediately. Further Article V has examples of such limitations written right into it.

      Unless, of course, the new constitution conveniently voids that.

      They've been very diligent about keeping the state legislators on task to restricting the focus of any convention.

      Whose tasks?

      Luckily, your state legislature gets the final say.

      This is the real failsafe.

      My view on this is that no one has yet come up with a rational explanation for why a convention is required. How about we grow some common sense instead of trying to demand it via a new constitution?

      • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by frojack on Friday December 11 2015, @07:08AM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @07:08AM (#274846) Journal

        Well it all comes down to federal overreach in the end.

        You ask for a real fail-safe, in a discussion about government? What Fail-safe do you have now?

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday December 11 2015, @08:00AM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @08:00AM (#274862) Journal

          You ask for a real fail-safe, in a discussion about government?

          Are fail-safes perfect?

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday December 11 2015, @09:56AM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @09:56AM (#274901) Journal

          You ask for a real fail-safe, in a discussion about government? What Fail-safe do you have now?

          Let me rephrase that. In a situation where things are chancy enough that one needs failsafes, is there any reason to expect the failsafe to be perfect?

          • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday December 11 2015, @07:25PM

            by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @07:25PM (#275106) Journal

            Government, by its very nature, is an invention of humans, run by humans, staffed by humans.

            Its not going to be perfect. The Constitution isn't perfect. The people who wrote it weren't perfect. There is no reason to expect a Constitutional convention would be perfect.

            We have no chance of achieving perfect. So I wonder why you bring it up? Isn't it just another form of, "We shouldn't waste money going to space until we solve every social problem on earth"?

            The Perfect is the enemy of the Good.

            --
            No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday December 11 2015, @07:58PM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @07:58PM (#275121) Journal

              We have no chance of achieving perfect. So I wonder why you bring it up? Isn't it just another form of, "We shouldn't waste money going to space until we solve every social problem on earth"?

              Because you brought the matter up ("You ask for a real fail-safe, in a discussion about government?"). This isn't a "back at you" thing. Human involvement is not magic. You can plan for problems with a constitutional convention just as you can any other thing made by humans. I didn't mention the fail-safe because I thought it would act perfectly, but because it raises the threshold for screwing up by a significant amount of effort. Instead of just coopting a sufficiently large majority of delegates to a convention, you also have to suborn a supermajority of state legislatures. I think this threshold has been sufficient to prevent its misuse several times in history (such as during the Jackson, Lincoln, Wilson, and FDR administrations).

              Also, if you can suborn a supermajority of state legislatures, you probably can ignore the constitution already with the resulting convention being a rubber stamp on an already done deal.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @07:20AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @07:20AM (#274850)

        My view on this is that no one has yet come up with a rational explanation for why a convention is required.

        Forcing an end to our shitty two party system? Stopping the drug war permanently? Explicitly taking action against mass surveillance so that even our mentally retarded judges can understand that it's forbidden? Of course, the problem with this is that I don't trust the government one bit, so they would probably use the convention to gut our constitutional rights instead of doing anything useful.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday December 11 2015, @08:04AM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @08:04AM (#274863) Journal

          Forcing an end to our shitty two party system? Stopping the drug war permanently? Explicitly taking action against mass surveillance so that even our mentally retarded judges can understand that it's forbidden? Of course, the problem with this is that I don't trust the government one bit, so they would probably use the convention to gut our constitutional rights instead of doing anything useful.

          Thank you for demonstrating my point here. Changing how we vote is a huge change, but one which can be done without the risk of changing the entire constitution or even for that matter, of changing anything at the federal level (state-level changes are quite adequate for this purpose). Ending the drug war is a simple legislative act. Ending mass surveillance is a matter of enforcing existing law ("this time we mean it" laws are universally pointless). There is not a single reason here for a convention.

          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @08:16AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @08:16AM (#274868)

            Ending the drug war is a simple legislative change, but then the same would be true of starting it back up again. I seek a more permanent protection of our rights.

            Yes, we should enforce existing laws, but our courts are so retarded and authoritarian that they need it spelled out for them explicitly that mass surveillance is unconstitutional (it already is, really) before we can even do so. Maybe also add real penalties for politicians who vote for unconstitutional laws.

            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday December 11 2015, @09:42AM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @09:42AM (#274899) Journal

              Ending the drug war is a simple legislative change, but then the same would be true of starting it back up again. I seek a more permanent protection of our rights.

              What rights would those be?

              Yes, we should enforce existing laws, but our courts are so retarded and authoritarian that they need it spelled out for them explicitly that mass surveillance is unconstitutional (it already is, really) before we can even do so.

              Yea, right. Do you not see the inherent irrationality of your argument? There is no law so explicit that it can't be ignored.

              Maybe also add real penalties for politicians who vote for unconstitutional laws.

              Already exists. Vote them out.

              • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @10:06AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @10:06AM (#274903)

                What rights would those be?

                The fundamental right to control your own body. The right to control your own property (the drugs).

                Yea, right. Do you not see the inherent irrationality of your argument?

                I don't.

                There is no law so explicit that it can't be ignored.

                But some laws are more explicit and therefore harder to ignore than others. I do not seek perfection.

                Already exists. Vote them out.

                Not good enough. They are traitors, so they need to be imprisoned at the very least.

                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday December 11 2015, @05:24PM

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @05:24PM (#275044) Journal

                  The fundamental right to control your own body. The right to control your own property (the drugs).

                  Already present. More amendments won't enforce what laws won't enforce.

                  But some laws are more explicit and therefore harder to ignore than others. I do not seek perfection.

                  But you do seek out the pointless. It's just more laws to ignore.

                  Not good enough. They are traitors, so they need to be imprisoned at the very least.

                  Treason has a particular definition. And who will decide what is unconstitutional and thus, treason? If one can be imprisoned for doing something unconstitutional, they can be imprisoned for obeying the constitution as well.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @06:29PM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @06:29PM (#275083)

                    Treason has a particular definition. And who will decide what is unconstitutional and thus, treason? If one can be imprisoned for doing something unconstitutional, they can be imprisoned for obeying the constitution as well.

                    Your argument makes no sense whatsoever.

                    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday December 11 2015, @07:48PM

                      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @07:48PM (#275116) Journal
                      Why doesn't it make sense? If you seize control of whoever decides constitutionality and one can be imprisoned for violating the constitution, you have a means to imprison your foes arbitrarily.
                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12 2015, @09:34AM

                        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12 2015, @09:34AM (#275360)

                        The government already has such a power with regards to normal people. Maybe our politicians should have a taste of their own medicine.

                        And imprisoning people for violating the highest law of the land? Crazy. Why would anyone be imprisoned for violating the law? That's something that only happens to peasants, not to our magnificent government overlords.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12 2015, @09:32AM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12 2015, @09:32AM (#275359)

                    Already present. More amendments won't enforce what laws won't enforce.

                    The federal drug war is unconstitutional already, but it would be nice to take more oppressive powers away from the state governments as well.

                    But you do seek out the pointless. It's just more laws to ignore.

                    But they will be more difficult to ignore, because even the courts won't be able to lawyer-logic it away.

                    Treason has a particular definition.

                    Many people in the government are the enemy and they are trying to overthrow our constitutional form of government. They have taken tangible steps to do so (passing laws, aiding enemies like the NSA, etc.). In what way is that not treason?

                    And who will decide what is unconstitutional and thus, treason? If one can be imprisoned for doing something unconstitutional, they can be imprisoned for obeying the constitution as well.

                    What do you propose, then? Allowing the government to continue violating the highest law of the land with impunity? The worse possible result for them is that they get voted out. Unacceptable. They need to be in prison. Maybe we could take into account intent, the number of times they've violated the constitution, and a few other things to make sure the occasional crazy judge doesn't screw everything up, but doing nothing is intolerable.

                    Taking power away from the government is, to me, usually a good thing. What we have now is a government that has too much power, not a government that is 'oppressed' by the courts; the courts are usually in favor of more power for the government, not less. So, to me, the issue you describe doesn't seem to be an issue that would actually exist. Even if it did, it's still a better result than allowing the government to violate the constitution with near impunity.

                    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday December 12 2015, @05:12PM

                      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 12 2015, @05:12PM (#275446) Journal
                      What do any of these concerns have to do with the Constitution? The electorate chooses to allow this to happen. No matter what you cram into another constitution (assuming it's not suborned from the start) that problem still exists. Tighter or more explicit wording doesn't fix the problems that are breaking the current constitution.

                      But they will be more difficult to ignore, because even the courts won't be able to lawyer-logic it away.

                      Sure, they will. It's only a little harder than breathing. For example, where does it say in the Second Amendment that gun ownership and usage is a collective right but not an individual one (that is, a right that everyone has, but nobody in particular has)? Apparently, someone back in the 19th used some brain cells to come up with that. No one else has since except to occasionally put a little more lipstick on the pig.

                      Wording doesn't stop tyranny. Division of power stops tyranny. An involved, informed, empowered citizenry stops tyranny.

            • (Score: 2) by kurenai.tsubasa on Friday December 11 2015, @02:54PM

              by kurenai.tsubasa (5227) on Friday December 11 2015, @02:54PM (#274981) Journal

              What I would really like to see out of said Convention would be an affirmation of the original 9th and 10th Amendments. Probably something greatly restricting the commerce clause would be the way to go.

              I do not see how a drug war is even possible given the 9th Amendment. That's just the blindingly obvious part of it all. Obamacare for me, constitutionally, is an “I can't even” moment given the 9th and 10th Amendments. That being said, I would like the power to fund healthcare added to Congress' powers, but done properly with an amendment (perhaps also a power with no mandate to provide a basic minimum income).

              Also I'd like the 17th Amendment [wikipedia.org] rescinded. Also some affirmation that only Congress has the power to declare war, probably some clarification of what constitutes a war. Oh, and a pony.

              It's amazing how close this Convention is to happening. Usually when it gets this close, congress steps in and starts it themselves rather than be embarrassed by the Several States. This time, though, all bets are off. I doubt the idiots in congress and various TLAs even realize this time around that the Several States are even allowed to question their authority, much less the People.

          • (Score: 2) by isostatic on Friday December 11 2015, @09:26AM

            by isostatic (365) on Friday December 11 2015, @09:26AM (#274894) Journal

            What's the penalty in the constitution for a supreme court that ignores the constitution?

            • (Score: 1) by Delwin on Friday December 11 2015, @03:04PM

              by Delwin (4554) on Friday December 11 2015, @03:04PM (#274986)

              Impeachment.

              • (Score: 2) by isostatic on Friday December 11 2015, @06:07PM

                by isostatic (365) on Friday December 11 2015, @06:07PM (#275069) Journal

                Excellent, that means that the last time the supreme court was even thought to have ignored the constitution was 1805, but turns out they hadn't.

                What's the practical punishment for a supreme court justice who ignores the constitution?

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @09:07PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @09:07PM (#275152)

                Indeed. The Constitution says that federal judges serve "during times of good behavior".
                That means that they have a lifetime appointment--unless they screw up royally.
                (Federal Judge Mark Fuller, an extremely partisan (Read: crooked) [google.com] Alabama Republican, recently lost his job after punching/beating his wife.)

                If you were in The South during the 1960s, you probably saw bumper stickers, printed buttons,
                billboards, and such calling for the impeachment of integrationist Earl Warren. [google.com]

                -- gewg_

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by c0lo on Friday December 11 2015, @09:15AM

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @09:15AM (#274892) Journal

        How about we grow some common sense

        That was eradicated long time ago, only vestigial non-functional remains are to be seen. Very much like the appendix, the male boobs/nipples, wisdom teeth and the coccis.

        You want proof you say? Look no further than the Trump social phenomenon and tell me what meaning "common sense" has? Common with what?
        And the Tea Party hardliners before?
        And the "house prices never go down" and mortgage backed bonds before them?

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday December 11 2015, @09:54AM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @09:54AM (#274900) Journal

          You want proof you say? Look no further than the Trump social phenomenon and tell me what meaning "common sense" has? Common with what? And the Tea Party hardliners before? And the "house prices never go down" and mortgage backed bonds before them?

          I suppose your peculiar ideological slant emphasizes your argument by presenting you as an implicit fourth example, but it also indicates a blindness to rhetoric and to possible solutions. Wouldn't you think it peculiar to instead make the argument by rattling off foibles of the Roman Catholic church. And it weakens your argument. After all, general arguments are best supported by general evidence, second-best being a variety of specific evidence.

          Similarly, if we should discuss solutions, one might conclude from your example, that this is all the problem of Trump voters, Tea Party hardliners, and a few financial instruments.

          • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Friday December 11 2015, @11:28AM

            by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @11:28AM (#274925) Journal

            I suppose your peculiar ideological slant emphasizes your argument by presenting you as an implicit fourth example

            It seems like you suggest both of us share quite a small amount of sense in common with the other. In which case your assertion above may act as another example.

            Similarly, if we should discuss solutions, one might conclude from your example, that this is all the problem of Trump voters, Tea Party hardliners, and a few financial instruments.

            discuss solutions to the problem of the lack of common sense? Far from my mind to suggest that what I presented are anything but some examples which demonstrate the existence of the problem and in no way a proposed solution; heck, I'm not even saying the examples describe completely the problem.

            Coming back to where this started (i.e. your wish of "How about we grow some common sense") - our exchange shows that the solution to "growing some common sense" may be easier to say than do: lately the "commonality" of the sense is in a terrible weak state (while the "sense" part seems very inflamed).
            As such:

            1. the convention may well be a symptom of the polarization of the society (thus the atrophy of the "common" side, what is common sense for me is a blasphemy... errr... sorry, "rant" is the term you used)
            2. paradoxically, the convention may may also be first step in addressing the problem of "building common sense". I mean... look... mature people get to a common ground usually by "working the things out", so theoretically is possible...
              Naaah... who am I kidding? It won't happen
            --
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Friday December 11 2015, @04:31PM

        by tangomargarine (667) on Friday December 11 2015, @04:31PM (#275013)

        How about we grow some common sense

        The thing about "common sense" is that it isn't.

        Also everyone seems to have a different definition

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
        • (Score: 1) by Osamabobama on Friday December 11 2015, @05:41PM

          by Osamabobama (5842) on Friday December 11 2015, @05:41PM (#275055)

          Also everyone seems to have a different definition

          For instance, my definition of common sense is "something that a person has a strong belief in, but can't adequately articulate why."

          --
          Appended to the end of comments you post. Max: 120 chars.
    • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Friday December 11 2015, @07:47AM

      by jmorris (4844) on Friday December 11 2015, @07:47AM (#274860)

      As others already remind, the Constitutional Convention which gave us our current constitution was equally limited to tweaking the Articles of Confederation. Mission creep happened and it happened almost instantly.

      No, the protection is that just like last time a Convention can only propose Amendments (or even a whole new Constitution should they too decide to go beyond their mandate) but they still require ratification by the States exactly like Amendments proposed by Congress. If thirty-seven States are ready to go full bore Communist, Theocracy, Fascist, whatever nightmare scenario most frightens you, then that is what we are going to do. Doesn't seem all that likely that should enough states be angry at the out of control Federal government we have now to do this thing that they are then going to turn around and authorize some totalitarian monster that will render them extinct.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by davester666 on Friday December 11 2015, @07:15AM

    by davester666 (155) on Friday December 11 2015, @07:15AM (#274849)

    With the general contempt for the Constitution by the so-called "Justice" department, DHS, FBI, NSA, CIA, state and local police forces, the current constitution is being treated like a floormat [albeit, well-praised in public by said institutions].

    Adding more amendments now would be a large corporations and these institutions wet dreams.

    First, the concept of 'rights' will be reversed. Individuals will only have the rights explicitly enumerated in the document.

    Second, all the institutions will want so much, it will make the Patriot Act look like it was designed to protect peoples privacy.

    Third, corporations are only a 'person' now due to a legal ruling, which could be reversed. They will be a person, or rather a 'super-person' as part of this convention.

    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday December 11 2015, @07:22AM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @07:22AM (#274852) Journal

      Troll much?

      Why would citizens vote for any of that?

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 2) by davester666 on Friday December 11 2015, @07:27AM

        by davester666 (155) on Friday December 11 2015, @07:27AM (#274854)

        Do the people have to vote for the changes, or just the state policitians?

        • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday December 11 2015, @08:27AM

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @08:27AM (#274873) Journal

          That too is up to the voters.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @05:14PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @05:14PM (#275035)

            That too is up to the voters.

            Clearly, you have had your rose-tinted glasses on far too long!

            • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday December 11 2015, @07:35PM

              by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @07:35PM (#275107) Journal

              That too is up to the voters.

              Clearly, you have had your rose-tinted glasses on far too long!

              You should have learned this in the 7th grade. Its not too late, you can
              Continue your education here:
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_ratifying_conventions [wikipedia.org]
              http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_acon.html [usconstitution.net]

              --
              No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @07:55PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @07:55PM (#275120)

                You should have learned this in the 7th grade. Its not too late, you can
                Continue your education here....

                Perhaps you didn't get my point. While, theoretically, the voters get to choose, practically speaking, not so much. These days it looks more and more like the genuine choices are made by big-money interests. The people are basically just left to ratify the final decision between the giant douche or the turd sandwich. I hope this clarifies my comment.

      • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @07:45AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @07:45AM (#274859)

        Who says the citizens get a say? And who says that most citizens aren't unintelligent authoritarians?

  • (Score: 0, Offtopic) by aristarchus on Friday December 11 2015, @07:57AM

    by aristarchus (2645) on Friday December 11 2015, @07:57AM (#274861) Journal

    Notice well, or Nota Bene, my dear and precious Soylentils, who shows up to comment on this post, almost, just almost, as if by design? Could it be, perhaps, that there is a vast, or maybe a very tiny, right wing conspiracy afoot! What are they trying to achieve? What are their goals? And what do they have to do with Cliven Bundy, Ted Bundy, and Al Bundy! Are they all related? Is it a Mormon thing from having had too many mothers in the past and now St. George is crawling with Lost Boys from the Never-agreed-to-that-whole-end-of- polygamy-thing real Mormons? I don't know. But the whole thing is no more healthy than a summer camp of altar boys! If there is a god, I have no doubt that these bastards, the Mormons and the Catholics, will find themselves in a special hell. And even better, if there is no god, the bastards will never even ever find out how wrong they were! Ha ha! Because then, they are just as wrong now! Except they are having sex with children against their will. That part should stop. I mean, Constitutional Convention and all, alright, but just stop the pedophilia first, OK?

    --
    "Believe it or not, your opinion on this topic is really not necessary,"
    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday December 11 2015, @08:10AM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @08:10AM (#274867) Journal
      Let me guess, the John Birchers sponsored your latest post?
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by aristarchus on Friday December 11 2015, @08:22AM

        by aristarchus (2645) on Friday December 11 2015, @08:22AM (#274870) Journal

        Let me guess, the John Birchers sponsored your latest post?

        Well, in a crazy kind of reverse polarity Koch Bros. way, yes. More and more, I am seeing the rightwing madness emanating from two capitals: Riyadh, and Salt Lake City, Wahabhism and Mormonism. These are the theologies of our time? Now I am not all that sure about the connection to the John Birch Society, other than the two Koch Brothers and their fortune. But isn't this in itself enough to make any rational human worry? The wealth of Oil, and the Wealth of Oil in America, are conspiring to bring about the same political ends, by means of overwhelming economic force? Bend over, you libertarians! The religious fanatics are about to show you how it's done!

        (Oh, and just because it is a conspiracy theory does not mean it is not true! As if I had to tell you that!)

        --
        "Believe it or not, your opinion on this topic is really not necessary,"
        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday December 11 2015, @08:34AM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @08:34AM (#274879) Journal

          More and more, I am seeing the rightwing madness emanating from two capitals: Riyadh, and Salt Lake City, Wahabhism and Mormonism.

          Sounds good to me. Distributed crazy is better than centralized crazy.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @05:18PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @05:18PM (#275040)

            More and more, I am seeing the rightwing madness emanating from two capitals: Riyadh, and Salt Lake City, Wahabhism and Mormonism.

            Sounds good to me. Distributed crazy is better than centralized crazy.

            How about no crazy? That would work for me. Would that work for you?

            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday December 11 2015, @07:09PM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @07:09PM (#275102) Journal

              How about no crazy? That would work for me. Would that work for you?

              You can't get rid of the crazy. I think it's something like the uncertainty principle.

    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @12:03PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @12:03PM (#274930)

      What is it about SoylentNews that attracts schizophrenics? Even most of Ethanol-Fueled's comments are more coherent than this drivel.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by tibman on Friday December 11 2015, @02:45PM

        by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @02:45PM (#274978)

        There is a correlation between websites' use of javascript and paranoia levels. Less than 20 lines attracts people who are already paranoid and greater than 500 lines causes paranoia.

        --
        SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @04:53PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @04:53PM (#275023)

          Soylent loads approx. 20KiB of scripts. Is that enough to be paranoid about?

          • (Score: 2) by tibman on Friday December 11 2015, @06:49PM

            by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @06:49PM (#275091)

            Hah, you're right. Just checked it out and there is an xpath library that is 9.4KB (used for manipulating elements on the page) and the collapsible comments bit is surprising large at 6.2KB. Though it is optional javascript.

            --
            SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @10:24PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @10:24PM (#275187)

            Soylent loads approx. 20KiB of scripts

            Not for me. (I don't even see that in my list of blocked stuff.)

            The only non-text thing I bother to download here is star.png in order to see who is a donor (and wants to advertise that).
            N.B. If link text (e.g. an asterisk) was used with those (listening paule72|Buzzard?), that star would work in text-only browsers|configurations.

            I see nothing missing due to not allowing JavaScript.

            The only things I miss are:
            1) Long URLs are not folded at the right edge of the page (formerly done in HTML via whitespace).
            2) When someone marks text with the quote pseudotag (instead of the standard blockquote tag), that is not differentiated from normal text for me.

            Those 2 things are in a stylesheet.

            -- gewg_

  • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Friday December 11 2015, @08:20AM

    by jmorris (4844) on Friday December 11 2015, @08:20AM (#274869)

    Here is a proposed amendment.

    The Supreme Court has usurped the legitimate powers of the Legislature, the Executive and the governments of the States unto itself. To correct this problem there shall be an explicit corrective power for the Congress and the States.

    By two thirds vote of both chambers of Congress any decision of the Supreme Court can be declared an abuse of the Court's authority and rendered null and void. A ruling so declared shall have no impact on case law, no binding precedent and in fact shall be considered as an improper overreach for the purpose of future precedent.

    The same result may be obtained by a simple majority vote in the Legislatures of two thirds of the States.

    This power must be exercised within one year of the disputed ruling by the Court.

    Use of this power may not result in double jeopardy for any individual in a criminal case although it will still remove the case from the recorded case law and all use as binding precedent for any other future purpose. It also may not cause exceptions to the prohibition on expost facto convictions.

    The Justice who authors a ruling declared an Abuse according to this Amendment shall be declared unfit to serve and replaced through the normal process.

    --

    As an example of what I'm aiming for, had this amendment existed before the Miranda case was handed down and it were struck by this procedure, Miranda and any criminals set free in the intervening time would still have to remain free but it could never be cited as case law in new cases or used as precedent in new rulings so cops wouldn't have those stupid cue cards everybody who has watched Cops already can quote by memory. On the other hand were it available as a remedy when the gay 'marriage' fiasco happened it would be totally reversed leaving zero anomalies. But if the Supremes legalized weed and were then reversed the cops couldn't then round up everyone who was selling and smoking in public while the ruling was being overthrown.

    Have I missed any obvious loopholes that would lead to abuse? So what amendments would everyone else like to see?

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @08:31AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @08:31AM (#274877)

      By two thirds vote of both chambers of Congress any decision of the Supreme Court can be declared an abuse of the Court's authority and rendered null and void. A ruling so declared shall have no impact on case law, no binding precedent and in fact shall be considered as an improper overreach for the purpose of future precedent.

      So if the Supreme Court said that the government can't censor speech, for instance, you would want to possibly allow this decision to be overridden by a simple vote by Congress? That sounds like a terrible idea. Sometimes the only thing protecting our rights is the Judicial branch. I can imagine all sorts of situations where the Supreme Court would be overridden in the name of national security so that the government could violate our rights.

      Instead of this nonsense, I'd rather see politicians, judges, and those who do the government's bidding punished for attempting to overthrow our constitutional form of government. Everyone working for the TSA, NSA, etc. should be imprisoned, as well as the politicians who allowed them to engage in their unconstitutional activities. Also, politicians who voted for the Unpatriotic Act should be imprisoned.

      I'd also like to see recognition of the fact that, if the government tasks a private company with doing something that it itself could not normally do under the constitution, that company becomes a de facto part of the government in that instance. Just so they can't mandate that companies hold data for them for X amount of time; that's hardly different than the government collecting it, since they are holding it for the government because the government demanded it.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @10:53PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @10:53PM (#275201)

        The Constitution describes the Supreme court as an appellate court (the last in a line of such courts).
        It definitely is NOT a legislature and NOT empowered to -create- laws.

        WRT to SCOTUS' rejection of the dastardly Trail of Tears program, Andrew Jackson famously said "John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it."

        In addition, an appellate court rules on **the case at hand**.
        While SCOTUS often joins together similar cases, those who are not party to the lawsuit are not bound by the decision.
        (The power that the courts have is "precedent": the realization that if someone else does the -same- type of thing and are sued, it's likely that that decision will -also- go the same way--and will waste a bunch of cash on lawyers.)

        -- gewg_

    • (Score: 2) by NotSanguine on Friday December 11 2015, @12:25PM

      Here is a proposed amendment.

      The Supreme Court has usurped the legitimate powers of the Legislature, the Executive and the governments of the States unto itself. To correct this problem there shall be an explicit corrective power for the Congress and the States.

      By two thirds vote of both chambers of Congress any decision of the Supreme Court can be declared an abuse of the Court's authority and rendered null and void. A ruling so declared shall have no impact on case law, no binding precedent and in fact shall be considered as an improper overreach for the purpose of future precedent.

      The same result may be obtained by a simple majority vote in the Legislatures of two thirds of the States.

      This power must be exercised within one year of the disputed ruling by the Court.

      Use of this power may not result in double jeopardy for any individual in a criminal case although it will still remove the case from the recorded case law and all use as binding precedent for any other future purpose. It also may not cause exceptions to the prohibition on expost facto convictions.

      The Justice who authors a ruling declared an Abuse according to this Amendment shall be declared unfit to serve and replaced through the normal process.

      I hate to break it to you, but what you're 'proposing' is already the law of the land, and has been since the ratification of the U.S. Constitution.

      1. Congress can (and has) pass(ed) new legislation in response to Supreme Court decisions, rendering those decisions null and void. The several states can (and have) overruled Supreme court decisions by ratifying amendments to the constitution.

      2. Aside from the one year restriction (which does not exist at the moment) you suggest, all the rest is already enshrined in our constitution and the amendments thereto, including the removal of Supreme Court justices.

      I suggest you familiarize yourself with this document [wikipedia.org]. It may help you to understand.

      --
      No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
      • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Saturday December 12 2015, @03:08AM

        by jmorris (4844) on Saturday December 12 2015, @03:08AM (#275286)

        Actually it appears to be you who haven't actually cracked a history book. But since you at least put up a valiant attempt vs the totally moronic AC comments I'm going to actually deal with yours. Shocking low level of civics education on display here. :(

        1. Congress can (and has) pass(ed) new legislation in response to Supreme Court decisions, rendering those decisions null and void. The several states can (and have) overruled Supreme court decisions by ratifying amendments to the constitution.

        Not really. Sure, if Congress were really determined they could in theory simply impeach every Supreme and amend the Constitution but that in fact never happens. The States themselves have never had recourse against the Supremes. They -could- convene a Convention of the States, which is what is under discussion here, but since they haven't managed to pull it off in two centuries the threat doesn't seem to be a strong deterrent to an out of control SCOTUS. Congress can override some Supreme Court rulings with a normal bill but often imperfectly.

        There is a difference between what is technically possible and what the actual reality is. There is also benefit in formalizing the concept of Congress or the States being able to check the court when it oversteps its lawful authority. In actuality it is doubtful it would ever be successfully invoked, but it would be because the mere existence of it would change the political calculus of both the Court and Congress. Currently the Congress often secretly approves of the Court's activism but the People are outraged. So Congress engages in failure theater.

        My amendment ends that, requiring a straight up or down vote of disapproval, one the voters back home would unmistakably see in the record. And of course the Court would not just fear being overruled (and losing a Justice), the worst scenario would be a near miss. Imagine the nightmare scenario had this amendment existed when they legislated marriage redefinition. A majority of Congress approved of it but know it would be a career ending move to say it in public, so many would vote to override; knowing they would fail to achieve 2/3 because there are at least 34 Senators who will not oppose the Narrative for any reason. Which would have a Court making a law overthrowing the existing laws in a majority of the States and rebuked by a majority of Congress... and their law still standing. The fight would then move to pitched battles in the States, most of which had laws and recently passed Constitutional amendments of their own and would have angry populations demanding action... and again they would likely fail to get 2/3. The legitimacy of the court's authority would be broken in the process. However it still wouldn't be over since a majority of Congress would still be on record opposing, lesser remedies through regular laws would then be proposed, and having voted to override and remove a Justice, Congress would be hard pressed to fail without paying a horrific political price. Which would bring the POTUS in to veto and save the Narrative, throwing a poopstorm in that direction. And if the days of the Court making a claim to be a non-political entity was the only thing to be destroyed by the time the dust settled we would be very fortunate indeed. The Court, being politicians (despite protests of innocence), are smart enough to see that outcome of chaos. They wouldn't have made the ruling. If Progs wanted a new law in the future they would have to pass it through Congress instead of using the Supreme Court or at least be certain they could maintain a bare majority in Congress to uphold the Court's rule.

        Contrast to what actually happened. Despite a majority of the States having recently acted, despite Congress having passed DOMA back in the Clinton Admin, despite Obama himself running on a platform of opposition to marriage redefinition the Supremes made their law and everyone feigned helplessness and avoided paying a political price. This is the typical pattern. It must be ended, rule by an unelected, unrecallable, super legislature makes a mockery of our Republican form of government.

        • (Score: 2) by NotSanguine on Saturday December 12 2015, @09:54PM

          by NotSanguine (285) <{NotSanguine} {at} {SoylentNews.Org}> on Saturday December 12 2015, @09:54PM (#275563) Homepage Journal

          Actually it appears to be you who haven't actually cracked a history book. But since you at least put up a valiant attempt vs the totally moronic AC comments I'm going to actually deal with yours. Shocking low level of civics education on display here. :(

          1. Congress can (and has) pass(ed) new legislation in response to Supreme Court decisions, rendering those decisions null and void. The several states can (and have) overruled Supreme court decisions by ratifying amendments to the constitution.

          Not really. Sure, if Congress were really determined they could in theory simply impeach every Supreme and amend the Constitution but that in fact never happens. The States themselves have never had recourse against the Supremes. They -could- convene a Convention of the States, which is what is under discussion here, but since they haven't managed to pull it off in two centuries the threat doesn't seem to be a strong deterrent to an out of control SCOTUS. Congress can override some Supreme Court rulings with a normal bill but often imperfectly.

          Actually, Congress has overruled the Supreme court [prospect.org] on a number of occasions.

          What's more, Constitutional amendments have overruled Supreme court decisions (with just a quick review), including the Dred Scott [wikipedia.org] decision which was nullified by the Thirteenth Amendment [wikipedia.org] and Breedlove v. Suttles [wikipedia.org], overriden by the Twenty-Fourth Amendment [wikipedia.org].

          But since it wasn't stuff that you care about, it never happened right?

          What's more, as you point out, we are not a democracy, we are a constitutional republic. This was by design, to make sure that minority rights would be protected from the tyranny of the majority. The examples you provide about marriage equality and DOMA are perfect examples of minority rights being protected by our constitutional republican system.

          You make my arguments for me friend. Thanks!

          --
          No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by snick on Friday December 11 2015, @02:32PM

      by snick (1408) on Friday December 11 2015, @02:32PM (#274974)

      In other words ... The constitution isn't rules so much as guidelines. 2/3 of Congress can do whatever it wants, and the constitution can go fsck itself.

    • (Score: 1) by Lukehasnoname on Friday December 11 2015, @03:11PM

      by Lukehasnoname (3303) on Friday December 11 2015, @03:11PM (#274987) Homepage

      Repudiating the SCOTUS involves passing an amendment or a Congressional bill. They just don't do it often.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @03:15PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @03:15PM (#274989)

      Um, no. You obviously missed the concept of checks and balances introduced by the authors of the Constitution. The Supreme Court has authority most limited in scope of any of the three branches of government. They can't draft executive orders or legislation. (Think about that - that's pretty limited).

      What they can do is strike down orders or legislation, siting the Constitution, after months of well-prepped testimony from both sides and vigorous debate. There's usually a pretty good balance between conservative and liberal justices, too.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by hemocyanin on Friday December 11 2015, @08:27AM

    by hemocyanin (186) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @08:27AM (#274872) Journal

    An amendment to the Constitution explicitly permitting unilateral secession by states. The civil war determined that sescession requires bilateral agreement between the state involved and the feds. But an amendment could change that.

    Free Cascadia! [wikipedia.org]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @05:27PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @05:27PM (#275046)

      An amendment to the Constitution explicitly permitting unilateral secession by states. The civil war determined that sescession requires bilateral agreement between the state involved and the feds. But an amendment could change that.

      And you honestly don't see how that will inevitably be abused? Wow. Just plain wow.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @09:50PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @09:50PM (#275162)

        The right to self-determination is widely accepted: for instance, it's one of the principles in the Charter of the United Nations.

        A well-defined process for secession might be a way to a peaceful dissolution of the American empire. If we could end it without a civil war or revolution, as the British and Soviet empires did, that would be a good thing.

        In my opinion, the Confederate States should have just been allowed to go and do their thing. Slavery was becoming anathema everywhere else; soon they would have had no one to trade with.

  • (Score: 3, Disagree) by FatPhil on Friday December 11 2015, @10:07AM

    by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Friday December 11 2015, @10:07AM (#274904) Homepage
    The bill of rights and the constitutional amemdments need completely rewriting - in modern American, rather than archaic English. They first need rewriting such that they keep exactly the same meaning as they do now, as agreed by decades of precedent, but such that they are unambiguous. After that, then you may find that you don't need to amend them at all, or, worse, that they absolutely need to be completely rewritten immediately.

    For example, you might find that one of your amendments actually says "even alcoholics with a history of mental illness and a criminal record for murder can carry guns". Which might not be what you want on your statute books.
    --
    I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
    • (Score: 1, Troll) by Gravis on Friday December 11 2015, @12:25PM

      by Gravis (4596) on Friday December 11 2015, @12:25PM (#274934)

      even alcoholics with a history of mental illness

      people usually just call him TheMightyBuzzard. ;)

      • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Friday December 11 2015, @12:50PM

        by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Friday December 11 2015, @12:50PM (#274943) Homepage
        There are probably about 20 accounts that are *queueing up* for that accolade!
        --
        I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @12:52PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @12:52PM (#274944)

      As usual, interpretation is what counts.

      It was within living memory that having a few beers at lunch, several packs of cigarettes throughout your day, and the better part of a bottle of scotch after hours was considered a healthy practice of working professionals. It was hardly two decades ago that the majority of psychologists considered homosexuality a serious mental illness.

      Some would even say allowing yourself to get fat is a mental illness and clearly the mentally ill do not deserve the right to free speech or liberty of movement and should be institutionalized until cured. Amazing how easily the words of the unwise can be turned against them.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by MSC_Buff on Friday December 11 2015, @06:43PM

      by MSC_Buff (3322) on Friday December 11 2015, @06:43PM (#275089) Homepage
      I would suggest going even further...we need to hit the reset button on the entire Constitution and start over from a re-write of the Declaration of Independence. Just modernize the language of the DOI some along with a quick de-gender. Once you have that as a foundation then build a new Constitution from there. The original Constitution has failed and it is mostly due to how it was written. The only thing in the Constitution should have been a very strict list of enumerated powers and NO language saying things the Government 'could not' do. Think about it...do you really want to list all the things the Government can't do or would you rather just list the few things it can do and reserve everything else to the people?

      Questions to think about:
      • Has anyone besides the Founding Fathers signed the Constitution?
      • How much is a contract with dead people worth?
      • Can you be born in to a contract?

      Essentially the Constitution has been coasting along on complacency and NOT the 'consent of the governed'.

  • (Score: 2) by snick on Friday December 11 2015, @02:25PM

    by snick (1408) on Friday December 11 2015, @02:25PM (#274971)

    Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
    Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
    Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

    Simple, concise, should be non-controversial. Turned into a total pie fight.
    And our politics today are way more polarized now than when that innocuous amendment went down in flames. There is no way on earth (no way in the universe) that we could address _any_ hard problems without it devolving into a circus.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @02:53PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @02:53PM (#274980)

      What is interesting is they do not even need a constitutional convention to do it.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution#Text [wikipedia.org]

      The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people

      So just pass the laws in all of those states that say 'the federal gov shall balance its budget'. The key bit is "nor prohibitied by it to the States". The interstate clause cuts both ways.

      Something like "for the federal government to conduct its business with in this state it must adopt a balanced budget"

      Simple easy and you probably could get it on the ballots of most states with a few thousand signatures.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @08:53PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @08:53PM (#275143)

      Sex? Sex is already a protected class. What rights under law do you think either sex is lacking?

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by srobert on Friday December 11 2015, @03:43PM

    by srobert (4803) on Friday December 11 2015, @03:43PM (#274998)

    When I was a kid there was a lot of hand wringing over the national debt.
    If it ever gets to a trillion dollars, society will disintegrate into chaos.
    No wait, it got to twice that already. Oh, Well then if it ever gets to 5 trillion dollars, society, will disintegrate into chaos.
    What? Oh, they tell me its now like 18 trillion. Well if it ever gets to 20 trillion dollars, society will disintegrate into chaos.
    Maybe all this chicken little non-sense about deficit spending should be re-examined.
    It's ok to have surpluses or balanced budgets during economic expansion. But during economic downturns deficit spending at the federal level is a tool that actually props up the economy without necessarily causing inflation. Take away that tool and the next recession will be a depression.
    The only deficit that's actually hurting us now is the trade deficit. Maybe we should put something into the constitution to address that issue.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @05:22PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @05:22PM (#275042)

      Even trade deficit is self-correcting. Eventually our currency will be worth less on the international exchange due to unbalanced trade, which will cause our exports to be more appealing overseas.

      • (Score: 2) by srobert on Friday December 11 2015, @06:15PM

        by srobert (4803) on Friday December 11 2015, @06:15PM (#275078)

        If by "eventually", you mean in 10 to 20 decades then, I agree.

    • (Score: 2) by SubiculumHammer on Friday December 11 2015, @05:50PM

      by SubiculumHammer (5191) on Friday December 11 2015, @05:50PM (#275059)

      The only real limit to deficit spending is its effect on inflation.

  • (Score: 2) by acp_sn on Friday December 11 2015, @06:20PM

    by acp_sn (5254) on Friday December 11 2015, @06:20PM (#275079)

    My amendment would go something like this:

    1. no government entity may spend non tax revenue as a part of its budget
    1.a. non tax revenues include but is not limited to fines, fees, settlements, tolls, tariffs, and seizures
    2. all non-tax revenue is returned as a tax refund to each resident of the taxing jurisdiction which collects the revenue.
    2.a the refund is equal to the total amount collected divided evenly amongst each tax-paying resident of the jurisidiction
    3. any government employee who uses non-tax revenue for any purpose other than refunding it has committed a felony offense with a minimum of 5 years in prison (maximum 10 for willful or flagrant offense) and a 100k fine + 10x the amount not refunded to the taxpayers

    In plain language government budgets have to come from taxes and no other source. This prevents all of the problems of law enforcement for profit. It also still allows for fines as a deterrent to anti-social behavior and allows for fees to throttle the usage of limited resources. But it prevents politicians from spending this money and requires them to have the courage to raise taxes if they want more money to spend.

    This would increase everyones taxes but give big refunds at the same time. No matter what tax system you support it is a fundamentally more "fair" way of funding the government.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @07:40PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @07:40PM (#275110)

      Even this could be abused. Imagine a jurisdiction where all of the members of congress reside issuing a lot of bogus fines for various things. All that money is refunded to the members of that district.

      Now if the refund were to be paid to the entire state, or the whole country, regardless of what level the fine was collected, then there would be a little less room for such abuses.

      I'd also suggest a clause stating that anyone paying a fine, or surrendering seized properties (products, valuables, etc.), would be ineligible for a refund up to the value of the fine or property. Thus, they cannot in effect get their money back from the fine they paid.

      Regardless of how an amendment is written, someone who is determined will find a way to abuse it. There are a lot of determined people in the world today.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @09:04PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @09:04PM (#275149)

    not three fourths

    ain't english strange, has america really abolished halves and quarters?

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bob_super on Friday December 11 2015, @10:21PM

    by bob_super (1357) on Friday December 11 2015, @10:21PM (#275184)

    Here is one, a very of which I know works at least in one other country, but will never be adopted here:
      - Congress shall only vote on bills addressing a single issue, as defined by the bill's title and a summary which shall not exceed 100 words and must precisely define the intent of the bill. There shall be no items in a bill which are not directly related to the summarized intent of the bill.

    The goal: No more pork. No more buying votes on X with a local subvention to Y. Every congressperson should stand by everything they vote for, not just use riders as a way to run things or hide from embarrassing votes.. Just take more votes, pass more bills, own up to them and to the occasional veto.
    In the country in which this works, there's actually a specific court to enforce constitutionality of bills matters (separate from the one which reviews judicial cases or the one reviewing administrative cases). Honestly, that should be a constitutional change in itself.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12 2015, @01:05AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12 2015, @01:05AM (#275243)

    Most of the U.S. budget goes to the coffers of the military-industrial complex. a.k.a. Chenney's goon friends.