Saturday, September 20, 2014
Some sites reposted my articles on History News Network, Counterpunch, DailyKos, and Quora.
Here are the many other articles I've written or links referencing my works.
Thursday, September 4, 2014
A Proposed New Constitution – Fifteen Articles
Article 1- Continuing and Expanding the Original Constitution and its Amendments
1.All articles and amendments from the previous Constitution of 1787 remain the final law of the land, except as changed by the following articles or later amendments. 2. This and all future constitutional conventions must be representative of the US public, by gender, race and ethnicity, and religious faith or lack of. Its members must be respected intellectuals drawn from education, religious institutions, civil rights groups, non-governmental organizations, labor, business, military veteran groups, consumer groups, and scientists. No current or former elected officials or appointed cabinet members or presidential or congressional advisors or staff are allowed. All constitution conventions must be in full view of the public, every word said by every delegate at the convention scrupulously recorded. 3.Each of these following articles must be voted on and approved separately by two thirds or more of those voting to become the law of the land.
Article 2- Insuring Greater Democracy
1.The Electoral College is abolished. The President shall be directly elected, with the winner being the candidate receiving the most votes. 2.The Supreme Court shall never, by any decision including indirectly, decide who shall be President. 3.The Vice President shall be nominated separately by each party and elected separately from the President, and also serves as the Secretary of State. 4.The Senate shall be 100 adult citizens chosen at random each year, representative of the adult American public by age, gender, race and ethnicity, religion or lack of, and income or social class. 5.Redistricting shall only be decided by nonpartisan committee, and gerrymandering to favor one party or dilute minority voting power is forbidden. 6.Congressional representatives' terms are changed to four years, elected in the same elections as the President.
Article 3-Guaranteeing the Right to Vote
1.The right to vote for all citizens of legal adult age is absolute and cannot be denied, limited, barred, blocked, or suppressed, whether by deliberate attempts or unintended outcomes. All current such attempts are ended. Any law with the outcome, even unintended. of making voting more difficult shall be immediately void. 2.Any official who deliberately or unintentionally makes voting more difficult shall be immediately removed and their decisions voided and actions reversed. Deliberately blocking others from voting or blocking voting recounts shall always be prosecuted and punished as a felony. 3.Voting days shall be national holidays, with a paid day off for workers only with proof of voting. 4.The voting age is lowered to sixteen for any US citizen proving their maturity by holding a job or living on their own.
Article 4-Ending the Buying of Elections
1.All elections shall be publicly funded only. Private contributions or donations to or on behalf of a candidate or party, except for unpaid volunteer work, are outlawed. Corporate donations of any kind are forbidden, and business and corporate owners and management are forbidden from intimidating, pressuring, or influencing in any way their employees, punishable by long prison sentences. 2.Campaigning and advertising for all general elections are limited to the period of six weeks before election day. Campaigning and advertising for all primary elections are limited to the six weeks before the general election period. 3.No election, whether federal, state, county, city, special district, American Indian tribe, or of unions, civic groups, lobbying groups, or private clubs, is valid unless more than half of its citizens or members vote. If less than half of the citizens or members vote, there must be immediate new elections within 30 days with different candidates.
Article 5-Voting Guarantees Benefits
1.All eligible voters must vote. Failure to vote results in inability to receive all government benefits until the next election, including licenses, grants, subsidies, tax refunds, eligibility for public assistance, student or business loans or credit. 2.Those with strong and longstanding religious, philosophical, or political beliefs against voting are not required to vote if they declare said beliefs.
Article 6- Limiting Corporate Power
1.All rights in this and the previous constitution, as well as under all American laws, are limited to human beings only. A person under US law is defined as a living human being only. Corporation rights and powers may be severely limited by any and all governments, whether federal, state, city, country, special district, or American Indian tribe. 2.A corporation must serve the public interest and its life span shall be limited. Any corporation shall be permanently dissolved if they break the law more than five times. No business, corporation, or individual can escape fines, punishments, or legal judgments by declaring bankruptcy, or by the use of holding companies, shell companies, or any other diversion, evasion, or tactic. 3.The right to collective bargaining by unions or other workers shall not be limited more than other civic or lobbying groups, nor subject to government recognition.
Article 7-Ending Colonialism
1.The United States recognizes the great wrongs done by genocide against American Indians, apologizes fully, and shall always strive to make amends. All federally recognized American Indian tribes are forever sovereign, defined by their treaty or other legal relationship to the United States, with rights to decide their own government and laws, and to enforce those laws on all residents and visitors within their territory. 2.All American Indian tribes have permanent and absolute rights to their current reservation lands, forever. All federal lands, or lands reacquired by American Indian tribes, that are within these tribes’ historically recognized boundaries, or protected by treaty, will be part of their reservations. All sacred sites of federally recognized American Indian tribes shall be returned immediately, or protected by federal partnership if requested by tribes. 3.Native Hawaiians are recognized as a tribe by the US government and shall have a reservation with a sovereign government with relations with the US government and rights equal to an American Indian tribe. Nothing in this article shall be construed as denying or abridging Native Hawaiians' right to pursue the return to being an independent nation as they were before the illegal overthrow and seizure of their nation. 4.US citizens and nationals of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and Washington DC have full local self rule, and shall vote in federal elections and have voting federal congressional districts.
Article 8-Renouncing War
1.The United States shall not go to war except in self defense, and permanently renounces wars or acts of military aggression. 2.The United States, its government, agencies, or agents shall never try to overthrow another nation's government again unless directly attacked by said government. 3.Unless under direct and immediate attack, the United States shall not go to war, and the President cannot deploy troops for combat without an official declaration of war by Congress. Unless under direct and immediate attack, the declaration of war by Congress must then be approved by a vote of the American public within 30 days. Failure to get approval by the American public overturns the declaration of war. 4.The US President can deploy troops to rescue US or other citizens and must prevent genocide, other large scale atrocities, or humanitarian disasters. The President must report to Congress on such action within 7 days and Congress must approve the deployment of troops within 30 days. 4.The US government is forbidden to go to war or use war as an opportunity to enrich in any way any American businesses, corporations, or individuals. Family members of government officials shall not be exempt from military draft, nor sheltered in special units, or in any other way.
Article 9- Referendums and Recalls
1.Members of the public may propose referendums to pass new laws, recalls to remove for illegal or corrupt actions the President, Vice President, member of Congress, Supreme Court Justice, or any appointed official, or bring an end to wars or operations involving US troops. 2.A referendum or recall begins 30 days after the certified collection of valid signatures of ten percent of all voters.3. No referendum may overturn, contradict, or limit anything in either constitution, and such efforts must be done instead by constitutional amendment. Nor shall referendums or recalls be funded by corporations or private contributions, except for individual unpaid volunteer work. Referendum advertising must be equally funded both pro and con, must be publicly funded only, and subject to reasonable limits.
Article 10- Nonprofits for the Public Interest
1.National defense industries, healthcare, prisons, education, and news media must be nonprofit. No business, corporation, or individual can profit unfairly from the federal government or public resources and must pay fair market value for all current and previous resources, subsidies, and research. 2.No journalist, commentator, or others presenting themselves as experts in politics, history, law, society, health, medicine, or science can make more than five times the median national income, and any excess income must be donated to charity or it will be seized by the federal government. 3.All journalists, commentators, and others presenting themselves as experts for mass news media will be fined every time they lie in their articles, broadcasts, or public statements. No person or media outlet can profit from lies or falsehoods and fine shall at least equal all profit, money, or benefits made from lies or falsehoods. 4.The agency in charge of judging lies and falsehoods by journalists, commentators, or experts for the mass media must be entirely of respected historians for matters of history and politics, respected legal scholars for matters of law, and respected scientists or doctors for matters of science, medicine, and health, and shall be entirely nonpartisan, with no member affiliated with any party.
Article 11- Ending Institutional Support for Hatred
1.No government body, law, or regulation will sanction or reward racism or ethnic hatred, religious bigotry, sexism, or other hatreds based on linguicism (hatred or discrimination based on language) or national or regional origin. 2.Nor shall any government fail to provide redress for longstanding discrimination based on the previous. 3.Any person or institution taking part in or promoting discrimination or hatred based on the previous results in that person or institution's permanent inability to receive government jobs or benefits, including licenses, grants, subsidies, retirement including pensions and Social Security, tax refunds, eligibility for public assistance, student or business loans or credit.
Article 12-Ending Class Bias in the Law
1.All crimes must be punished. No president may pardon or give clemency to any in their own administration, or the administration of other presidents of their party, or to anyone who has given them campaign contributions. All such previous pardons are overturned. The guilty shall never be allowed to profit from their crimes. The guilty must pay back all wealth from their crimes and pay for all damage done to others. 2.All fees, fines, and taxes must be progressive, based on ability to pay. Regressive taxes, where the wealthy pay a proportionately smaller amount, are expressly forbidden and must be immediately made progressive.
Article 13-No Special Treatment for Wealthy Elites
1.Government assistance only goes to those in need and corporate welfare is forbidden. No person or corporation, nor any trust or legal entity used by a person or corporation, shall receive government assistance or funding unless they make less than double the median national income and possess less than double the median national wealth. 2.All government loans or tax deferrals or holidays or other benefits to corporations or business must be repaid, with interest at market rates. All facilities built even partly to benefit or profit private businesses or individuals must be paid for by those businesses or individuals equal to the benefits or profits received.
Article 14-Limiting Idle Wealth
1.Large concentrations of idle wealth are inherently dangerous and inhumane. All income from any and all sources greater than 100 times the median national income and all wealth of an individual greater than 100 times the median national wealth shall be seized, unless it is reinvested or donated to charity. 2.All attempts to conceal wealth to avoid taxes shall result in prosecution as grand larceny, full seizure of not just concealed wealth but all their wealth, and long prison sentences which may not be suspended. Separate white collar prisons, or other prisons that are less arduous or harsh, are forbidden, and all white collar criminals must be punished and imprisoned with all other prisoners.
Article 15- The Right to Privacy
1.The right to privacy, unless it can be shown to directly and obviously harm others or affect national security, shall not be abridged in any way. Private individuals shall not have their private lives divulged in any form without their consent unless they commit felonies, or failure to divulge such information can be shown to affect or harm others in a direct and obvious way. 2.Libel, slander, or defamation of public figures is subject to the same punishments and standards as for private individuals. 3.Private information on public figures cannot be divulged without their consent unless it can be shown to serve the public interest.
Articles and Amendments Not Proposed
Balanced Budget-This would be disastrous in times of depression, recession, or war.
Equal Rights Amendment- This is already covered by Article 11.
“Right to Life”/Anti-Abortion Amendment- Most of the public supports keeping abortion legal. Article 15 would guarantee that continues.
Flag Burning Amendment- This contradicts the First Amendment.
Prayer in Public Schools Amendment- This also contradicts the First Amendment.
English as the Official Language- This is barred by Article 11, since it creates institutional discrimination based on hatred of other language speakers.
Term Limits- There is no need. The average congressman serves only ten years.
Altering the Second Amendment- The convention would spend its time on nothing else. Crime rates, including firearm deaths, have been dropping for decades.