Wednesday, August 17, 2011

American Revolution to advance one more step?

Tea, Coffee Parties to hold September discussions on an Art. V convention to amend the U.S. Constitution

But, believe it or not,

you won't find it so hot
if you ain't got the do-re-mi – Woody Guthrie

It's agreed. There is a Tea Party and it holds tremendous sway in Congress.

It's been proven once again. You just can't get a thing done without the loyal opposition.

What now?

Following the attack of the 501(c) whatevers, in which the Supreme Court decided – once again – that corporations are actually people, this time with First Amendment rights to electioneer with folding money, a lot of the body politic has awakened anew to the truth of the matter in the golden rule.

He who has the gold makes the rules. In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Court gave corporations the right to buy as much advertising, hand out as much walking around money, and pay as many expenses as it takes to elect the right people to advance the cause of big business.

How about an exploration of Article V of the U.S. Constitution? It's that pop valve that allows Congress, or the States, or the people themselves, to call for a convention on whether to amend the grand old document.

It's only been used once, in the question of whether Senators should be elected. One vote separated the Republic from holding the convention and adopting what soon became the 17th Amendment during that gilded age of the years 1912-1913 when Theodore Roosevelt split the vote to get Woodrow Wilson elected and the voters eschewed the Big Business candidate, William Howard Taft.

So, Congress hurried up and voted out an amendment that would allow U.S. Senators to be elected by popular vote and not by the state legislatures. Three-fourths of the states ratified the Linkamendment.

Now comes the co-founder of the Tea Party, internet attorney Mark Meckler, and the co-founder of the Coffee Party, Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig – and though they can't agree on anything else – who will hold a conference at Harvard University the weekend of September 24 and 25 to determine if there is sufficient interest to call a convention to adopt an amendment that would limit campaign funding to individual contributors – and no one else.

Coffee and Tea Parties in Harvard Yard, holding cogent discussions about what is unthinkable to whom?

Why, to those who benefit the most, those 535 very special characters who provide whatever the special interests would like to have – and, you know, they want it all. Every last bit of it.

Says Professor Lessig of the original Constitutional Convention, “We don't pretend to parallel that event two and a quarter centuries ago, and certainly not any of its characters.

“But as many of us believe that our nation has come to another moment of crisis in its capacity to govern, some of us believe we must begin to talk through whether fundamental reform through a convention will be required.

“Meckler and I want to have that conversation the way our Framers did — as a respectful discussion among people who disagree fundamentally. I have enormous respect for Meckler, and the movement that he helped to birth. But I am not an ally of the Tea Party. I share the belief that our nation needs fundamental reform. I don't share a belief in the substance of the reform that the Tea Party has pushed.
“Yet the differences between Meckler and me, or between the Tea Party and the Left more generally, are tiny as compared to the differences among many of our Founders.”

Now, that's putting it mildly, to say the least. You wonder what this guy says when he kicks it out of ceramics in the dialect of high glaze and gets down to what he really thinks.

It reminds me of the fabled Battle of Bastrop during the Texas Revolution of 1836.

Few have heard of this event, probably because there is little evidence that it really occurred. You only hear about it in certain beer gardens and ice houses around the Hill Country and certain enclave communities of South Texas.

It seems a crowd of hot heads from Tennessee lost their way while searching for the Alamo at San Antonio de Bexar. The creeks were flooding; there were no road maps; and, in fact, there were no roads.

They came across the burgeoning community of Bastrop, so named for Baron de Bastrop, an individual of great utility to the revolution whose exact pedigree of nobility has proven hard to track and even harder to prove.

Nevertheless, the alcalde of this community was a miller and a brewer of excellent beer – cold beer.

He listened to the uplanders' tale of confusion and said, no, he had not heard about any revolution, nor had he heard any talk of an invasion by the Mexican Army, but he did know the way to San Antonio – or, at least, to the next ford on the next swollen river.

But did they want to drink a cold beer?

Why, yes, they did.

By the time they made it to their knees a couple of weeks later, they had missed the entire siege and subsequent massacre of those who had chosen to defy the orders of General Sam Houston and hold the fort instead of burning it and reporting to other forces to their east.

The only thing remaining on the pitiful scene were the smoldering remains of the funeral pyres where the bodies were burned in the interest of sanitation.

General Houston knew something they didn't. He had been District Attorney at Nashville, Governor of Tennessee, and he had spent his life as a professional soldier, chiefly employed by General Andrew Jackson, the sitting President of the United States.

He knew that those who rebel without Constitutional authority are pirates. They have no rights and cannot surrender, no matter how much they may try.

He was waiting for the drunks at Washington on the Brazos to vote out a Texas Constitution so he could get to work.

Drink one for me, oh, my brothers. And, whatever you do, remember the Alamo!

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