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Forum Post: REFORM: Constitutional Amendments

Posted 2 years ago on Feb. 27, 2012, 1:10 p.m. EST by zymergy (236)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

As the original objectives of the U.S. Constitution were to define and limit the powers of government and to guarantee the rights of citizens, what new amendments could we support [to reform our political processes] that would be consistent with those original objectives? First we should consider the types of reforms that are needed.

Many of us are distressed that large amounts of money are corrupting our political processes. This corruption occurs in at least two major ways. First, during political campaigns, well-funded advertising, often negative, can dominate the political debate, obscure issues, and discourage voter participation. Second, once in office, our representatives are lobbied intensively and thus influenced by large-money business interests who are motivated to reduce their tax liabilities, reduce their exposure to Federal regulations, and improve their contracting advantages with the Federal Government. The corruption of this type attacks respectively the government’s ability to raise required revenue, to protect the environment and welfare of all citizens, and to efficiently contract for products and services.

The most obvious solution is to restrict the amount of money that can be applied to the political processes, but there is a difficulty with this solution. Money is the enabler or means by which we all, rich and not rich, exercise our free-speech rights and participate in the political dialog. We use money to operate websites, make phone calls, send letters, host house parties, canvas neighborhoods, publish books, and produce and distribute documentaries as well as representative fiction. None of these costly activities should be prohibited in the political debate, for to do so would limit free speech and our access to information. Another possible solution is to disallow private funding of political campaigns and replace that with public funding, but this too has a problem. Public funding is synonymous with government funding. Should we permit the government to control the speech or actions of those who wish to challenge it? I think not. The power to act in any way necessary to replace a government or any part of the government must remain with the people and with any association of the people.

To address both forms of corruption we may need two amendments to control the way Congress collects and spends money. The motivation to spend large amounts of money in political campaigns and the motivation to focus Congressional attention primarily on the needs of wealthy interests could both be reduced by reducing the ability of Congress to reciprocate by favoring special interests with specific types of legislation. Such a reduction might occur with the adoption of the following two types of amendments:

To address the temptation of Congress to modify the tax code to favor special interests, the Constitution could be amended with:
Congress shall make no law that imposes a tax that is not uniform across all persons and all other sources of profit, production, and importation; neither shall Congress make a law that reduces a tax that is not unconditionally applicable to all. This article is retroactive to all existing elements of the tax code.

To address the temptation of Congress to shape regulatory and contractual legislation to favor special interests, the Constitution could be amended with: Members of Congress and parties with whom they share an economic interest shall not accept any item or service of value from any source for ten years following any vote on any legislation that favored the business objectives of that source.

These two amendments are a significant departure from the habits of the Federal government. This departure is warranted because nowhere in the Constitution is Congress given the power to favor specific groups with either targeted spending or targeted tax exceptions. The purpose of taxation is defined in the Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, "...to pay the Debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States, but all Duties, Imposts, and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States." At the end of Section 8, Congress is given the power “To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government ...”, but none of these other Powers pertain to Congress.

In support of the first of the two proposed amendments I will ask: Do we believe that every citizen has a responsibility to his government and to his community, regardless of financial wealth and circumstance? If so, then we can separate the issue of the payment of taxes, one's contribution to the common defense and other government obligations, from the issue of financial, or educational, or medical need. Our current tax code is extremely complex, or more simply full of loopholes which permit many wealthy individuals to avoid paying taxes altogether. The loopholes are there in the tax code because Congress confuses the purpose of taxation with the purpose of promoting welfare and favoring different segments of the economy. Nothing in these two amendments would prohibit Congress from pursuing welfare objectives or even attempting to favor certain business objectives, but congress would have to do so directly, in the open for all to see and consider, rather than covertly hidden in tax breaks, rebates, and exclusions. If the person who makes only $1,000 in a year must pay $100 in taxes, that person can feel as proud of his contribution as the person who makes $100,000 in the same year and pays $10,000 in taxes. Because of their tax contributions, both may feel more responsible for their government and both may keep a better watch over the government's use of that tax revenue than if they had paid no taxes.

Some of that tax revenue could then be used to supplement the income of the person who needed it should the welfare of individuals be interpreted as a furtherance of the “general welfare” that is to be promoted by Congress, but that person would have to go through a very different process to demonstrate his need rather than only filing his income tax form. Also, some of the tax revenue could be used for job creation, and energy development, but again the payments would be obvious, and according to current contract law, competitive. America could get better results from its investments, rather than as is the current practice of taking business investment promises on faith.

It has been said that money is the root of all evil. That is certainly true in our understanding of the corruption of our political processes. Yet, money is not an evil in itself, as fraud, ignorance, and violence are inherently evil. But we must acknowledge that both the voters and their representatives in government are only human, with human limitations and selfish propensities. The framers of our Constitution understood this, and gave us an architecture for governance that made difficult the expression of self-seeking power and gain. That architecture proved inadequate, but not hopeless. We now have an opportunity to follow the example of the founders and improve upon their work. These amendments should contribute to our protection against our own baser natures and make more difficult the expression of self-seeking power and gain.

29 Comments

29 Comments


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[-] 2 points by Middleaged (5140) 2 years ago

JOINT RESOLUTION

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to gift giving and lobbying of congress, and campaign finance of members of congress.

To address the constant influence of money, eliminate conflicts of interest, to promote justice and equality, to place limits on corporate and wealthy entities, and to promote public tranquility the following articles and amendments are proposed. Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein),

That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years after the date of its submission by the Congress:

SECTION 1.

Congress shall not receive more than $100 dollars from any single entity in efforts raising campaign funds with respect to Federal elections, including political action committees, corporations, charitable organizations, churches or religious organizations, and all United States Citizens. There are no exceptions or waivers to this rule for any kind of entity. Congress shall maintain painstaking and specific records of all transactions related to campaign funds and any products such as books, or services such as speeches.

SECTION 2.

Congress shall not receive any lobby dollars, gifts over a $5 dollar value, free lunches, free dinners, free tickets to conventions, transportation tickets or free rides on airplanes, trains, space craft, free hotel rooms, free clothing, or any other produce or service worth more than an appraised value of $5 Dollars from any single entity in efforts or any kind or that would have the appearance of an ethics problem, including political action committees, corporations, charitable organizations, churches or religious organizations, and all United States Citizens. There are no exceptions or waivers to this rule for any kind of entity. Congress shall maintain painstaking and specific records of all transactions related to all kinds of gifts and especially gifts, be they products or services, that could be considered a conflict of interest.

SECTION 3.

The Congressional watchdog, the General Accounting Office, shall have power to make and publish reports and suggestions regarding transparency to all members of congress regarding this article. It is expected that every 10 years there would be an adjustment to gift and campaign dollar limits which will be applied as 20% increase each 10 years after the date of adoptions of this ammendment (i.e. $1 added after 10 years equals a new maximum gift value for congress of $6 dollars).

[-] 1 points by zymergy (236) 2 years ago

Very good. We have different ways of expressing the same principle. When the Article V convention, or Congress, settles on a wording, I hope one of the amendments will accomplish what we are attempting above.

[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 2 years ago

I am very impressed with this website these guys are floorin it!

http://www.the99declaration.org/full_draft_of_petition

[-] 1 points by zymergy (236) 2 years ago

Some very good points at that website, and some problems. Two of which I have mentioned in my original post. To attempt limitations of free speech to silence loud voices recalls the warnings about ends not justifying the means. Second, without being paranoid, let us not put too much trust in government, any government, for government has the force of arms, and our natural respect for law and authority behind it. We should retain as much power with the people, even people with whom we disagree, so that no one can dominate the government. Public financing of political activities takes power away from the people. The devil is certainly in the details on this one.

[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 2 years ago

I think I see what you were saying... you said

"Money is the enabler or means by which we all, rich and not rich, exercise our free-speech rights and participate in the political dialog. We use money to operate websites, make phone calls, send letters, host house parties, canvas neighborhoods, publish books, and produce and distribute documentaries as well as representative fiction."

Wow I have to say you are a purist when it comes to freedomspeecheach (someone who insists on great precision)believeeive that war spending of a Trillion dollars has largely been a transfer of taxpayer money to defense and security corporations. And I think this is a departure from a result where they spend the money in the US economy for workers in this country who then spent their money in this country. I have this body of experience that tells me their are relatively few people who own, mange or run defense corporations, and they are getting rich. It is not like WWII where America found work during the war. So I don't have sympathyathy for corporations that lobby the federal government and set up political action groups to write legislation, and then press it on congress to sign.

That said...maybe there is a clear difference in money being applied to politics. 1) the type of influence where money goes directly into someones pocket with our wishes for legislative change. 2) the type called grass roots where it is really one guy who also knows other people and they try to put the word out, but they don't hire protestpicketerscketors, and they don't have professional public relations teams, and they don't receive $40K from one corporation. 3) the type that is grey area maybe there is a tight group of people but they have serious money to spend and they receive money from over 10 different corporate or business sponsors or they get over $80K in donations, and they pay for some very professional services for media promotions.

Svolunteer volunter to support a political issue or a political campaign or if you yourself spend money to directly or indirectly change opinions....you are not guilty and not corrupt. But we can still limit gifts to $5 and limit campaign contributions to $100.

Just my opinion. My 2 cents. I see corrupt people as sitting there smiling and thinking they have an advantage over the rest of us, because they have lawyers behind them or they have big money behind them.

That is a good analogy isn't it.

[-] 1 points by zymergy (236) 2 years ago

Yes, a good a analogy. As in your draft petition, and in a post elsewhere (http://occupywallst.org/forum/if-political-reform-were-one-prong-of-our-strategy/) that include a reference to the Abramoff Rules, we should applaud the attempts of Congress to limit its temptations, but I wonder if these rules are of little more practical value than are pledges and promises.

[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 2 years ago

Actually I am not the best at reading. I'm a slow reader and have an attension problem. I see to learn by manipulating words or data. So it maybe easier for me to write something, put it in a format, or organize it some how, or go back an edit it, or do more research, then cut and paste a little, and add notes or references.

I'm kind of odd it seems. So I haven't fully digested your full amendment as you originally wrote it. I am looking at parts of it, oddly. I like to read novels for instance, but nonfiction is very tough. May be I need to paste your whole amendment write up into a new document and deconstruct it a little...hey maybe I should try to rewrite it and put it into the joint resolution format that I stole...

[-] 1 points by zymergy (236) 2 years ago

Sounds like you have a sensible strategy for study. All of what is written here should be public domain, unless otherwise noted, and my contributions are still quite preliminary, so, yes, please rework the ideas as necessary.

[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 2 years ago

Well I guessing we are all moving forward in some way. And no, I don't think you have to worry about sounding paranoid in the context of a conversation about the US Constitution, or the Bill of Rights.

I am a little lost though on what limitation of freedom of speech you are looking at. Congress can listen to all of us, but not take money and gifts (under a new proposal).

Actually I think we need Occupations by OWS to raise public awareness. But I gotta say the splinter group 99% is moving in the right direction as far as Amendments and organizations. The 99% group is moving forward and probably will capture some of the power and status of a change movement.

So We need both a continuity of Occupations, and legislative formation that seems to be happening in the 99% group. And what you are doing here is also needed to begin the process of Campaign Finance Reform. Your prohibition on gifts to congress for 10 years is on the mark.

Can you expand on this Article Section to clarify your meaning: "Congress shall make no law that imposes a tax that is not uniform across all persons and all other sources of profit, production, and importation; neither shall Congress make a law that reduces a tax that is not unconditionally applicable to all."

The problem is there is a Tax Bracket, but through the tax process rich people have moved their income into catagories like capitol gains, carried interest, and then they seem to set up financial organizations like shell companies in the Grand Cayman Island, and they have loop holes that allow they to create an insurance company for farmers in New York City that pays a lower Tax Rate, and then they have all these complicated loopholes on the tax form that are deductions.

Maybe the real problem is that Rich people, Corporations, and Lawyers don't follow the intent of the Law. That is what lawyers do is find ways to cheat on taxes and hedge on what is "Tax Avoidance" and "Tax Reduction".

Taxes on income - Income tax
- Capital gains tax
- Corporate tax - Carried Interest Tax
- Dividend Tax - Interest Income Tax

Social security contributions
- Taxes on payroll or workforce
- Taxes on property - Property tax
- Inheritance tax
- Expatriation tax
- Transfer tax
- Wealth (net worth) tax

Taxes on goods and services
- Value added tax (Goods and Services Tax) - Sales taxes
- Excises

[-] 2 points by Middleaged (5140) 2 years ago

I like a lot of what you have written. And I don't think a Lawyer would change your Amendments much at all. There are many people that could be leveraged to support Amendments. If we look at the unhappy people in the US, we should focus on Grievances to leverage other big communities that will support our obtainable goals (or any specific obtainable goals). This is a leveraging strategy.

1) Unemployed

2) Underemployed

3) Under-Paid

4) Those without Health Care or unsatisfied with Health Care

5) Those that are Bankrupt

6) Those that Feel Disenfranchised

7) Those that can be Taught About Government Corruption

8) Those that are Concerned About Future Social Security Benefits

9) Those that Hate to Figure Out Federal Taxes

10) Veterans, Veteran's Families, That Don't Believe in Fighting more than 500 Miles from the USA

11) Those that Want Financial Reform, Safe Banks, Protection for Cities and States from Vulture Banks Shorting their Bonds the way they did for Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Etc.

12) Those that Want Transparency and Truth in Government, and in Media, and An End To Media Monopolies

13) Those that want to End Big Bank Monopolies and Other Big Monopolies

14) Those that want to Retain Sovereignty at the State Level, Not Allowing Bankers to Make the Laws, and Not to Allow a One World Government

15) Those that want to Spend Federal Tax Dollars in the US Economy - NOT spending Billions for Military in Germany, Spain, Bahrain, Italy, South Korea, Japan, etc.

16) Those that Believe in Social Programs

17) Those that Want Lower Incarceration Rates for Drug Offenses or Non-Violent Crime

18) Those that know that complex tax rules are in place to allow rich people to avoid paying taxes - those that want a 5 Line Tax Form for everyone

19) Those that want Campaign Finance Reform, An End To LOBBYING, An End to PACs, And End to Corporate Rule Over Congress, An End to Big Banks Loaning Money to Our Government (Money is Power)

20) Those that are Angry About Eminent Domain for Corporate Developments, those that are Angry about Tax deferrals for Corporations, Those that are Angry about Federal & State Funds used for Private Enterprises like Sport Arenas, Golf Courses, Casinos, Parking Garages, Hotels, Walmart, Etc.

I sort of hate deal making that is giving away our principals. You know like trading out good ideas and allowing some bad ideas produces bad legislation. It still seems like Obama's Health Care Plan was poor legislation since it didn't control costs of health care and excluded some entities like pharmaceutical corporations.

Your Amendments would be accepted whole, so that wouldn't be an issue.

[-] 1 points by zymergy (236) 2 years ago

Good list. I expect that we have so far not reached too many of these people. While the numbers of people who have expressed support for amending the constitution on the various websites is impressive, their total is still less than one million, and many of these have probably expressed their support more than once. .. our first task surely will be to get the word out.

[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 2 years ago

JOINT RESOLUTION

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating monopolistic power, financial risk of large US banks and financial entities, national systemic and and economic risk of large US banks, and damage to US citizens from the financial crisis of 2008.

To address the constant influence of high risk financial behavior, to promote justice by slowing down banking fraud, to place limits on financial growth, to safe guard retail banking accounts, and to promote public tranquility the following articles and amendments are proposed.

SECTION 1.

US banks can no longer be both retail and investment banks. Retail banking is the banking for consumers. US citizens accounts shall be protected from bank investments and those within the financial organization that make investments.

SECTION 2.

Financial derivatives and derivative financial instruments will be regulated as any other financial investment. All financial investments whether stocks, bonds, or derivatives will be treated in the same way by regulators and will be shown on balance sheet transactions in accordance with generally accepted accounting practices (GAAP). Therefore, private hedge funds and private banks will also have to follow GAAP rules, and carry financial transactions on balance sheets.

SECTION 3.

US Banks failing a test of doing annual business greater than $1 trillion dollars in either long term investments, or total capitalization, or $500 billion in total liabilities, or who holds over $300 billion in derivatives, or who creates financial derivative products of over $200 billion annually shall be broken in to separate parts at the end of one year after proposal is adopted.

[-] 1 points by zymergy (236) 2 years ago

As the constitution with amendments is the fundamental law of the land, I guess that a good amendment should have just as few words as are needed and no more. Leaving out some key words can ruin the whole effort. For example, in my second amendment of the post, it might have been better to have written: "No Member of Government and parties with whom they share an economic interest shall accept any item or service of value in excess of one tenth of the average modal daily earnings of the public from any source other than the Federal Treasury during their terms of office and for ten years following any Member action as a course of their constitutional duties that favored the objectives of that source." Obviously, wording an amendment is tricky!

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

Constitutional amendment

Veto power by the Population

the population shall have the right to veto laws and bills via petition to expedient public vote

[-] 1 points by forourfutures (393) 2 years ago

There are problems with proposing amendments that cover issues already covered by the existing constitution.

1) The ptb, congress, whoever, knows that the mass proposing such amendment doesn't realize that the government has not been constitutional for 140 years and assumes they have some intent of following the 1787 constitution, which they do not. This becomes an opening for saying the amendment is not needed for those colluding for the ends of unconstitutional government.

2) Those that would cry out in objection, "You're trying to re-write the constitution", or "It's too dangerous, you are asking for a runaway", also colluding to prevent constitutional government.

Accordingly, asking congress for any amendment should obviously be regarded as a likely waste of time and providing opportunity for the ptb to redirect the effort.

Understand that congress has violated their oath for 100 years in order to try and infiltrate state governments and create such that would NOT work for an Article V, in collusion, preventing constitutional government from being created.

Logically there is one prime action. Reduce Fear of Article V, our constitution.

Therefore, simply to show that the 1787 constitution is NOT being obeyed and that prime rights such as free speech and freedom of the press ARE abridged, DEMAND that an Article V be held so the peoples of the states, with maximum democratic involvement (due to 100 years delay and infiltration) can direct delegates in proposing amendments and ratifications. Maximum democratic involvement will require correcting the abridgment of free speech and that of the press.

The preceding has potential for absolutely MAXIMUM constitutional intent.

That MUST be made a condition for delegates assuming duties and citizens need to uniformly create a truly informed opinion to use in democracy.

Add to this, campaign finance reform (reversing the decision of citizens united) and election system/voting reform, and a package is created that basically gets back to the 1787 constitution.

There really has not been any amendment yet. We have only created the environment in which a democratically controlled republic can actually manifest AND, fuller constitutional intent manifested as Article V demands.

There has however been a technical amendment and logically placed to deal with the abridged freedom of speech, in revision of the first amendment.

After a period of time under the revised first amendment, whereupon citizens, a few that have numbers of citizens, evidence and reason backing them, actually gain access to national TV networks during prime-time and present truths media would NEVER share. Media of course could challenge even when petitions are submitted that are fully complying, but that would have to be in open court with a jury and the failure to do so reasonably should have penalties that are very stiff.

They are corporations after all:)

[-] 1 points by zymergy (236) 2 years ago

Seems that this is as good a time as any to bring up the practical considerations for a method to either amend our Constitution or reform the way our government operates according to the existing Constitution. An Article V convention could accomplish both - see the concise discussion in Lessig's pamphlet "The Way Forward". Given the likely obstinate response of congress, the State legislatures will be key to the process. There is little difference, however, between the ways our State legislatures operate and the way congress operates. So the motivation for reform must originate and persist in the general population nation-wide. We, the people, are most influenced by the media, and so as you correctly point out, media access is critical. So far, the media under the people's control has been the Internet with sites such as this one, and YouTube. These need to be exploited more intensely, creatively, and also protected more strenuously. I would not expect however for a substantial majority of Americans to agree on the details of reform - for there is no external threat to focus and unite us, as there was in 1786. The internal threat, that of corporate power, is much integrated into our culture and economy, and as yet generates diverse (and reasonable) opinions. A period of active dialog on this topic must continue. Even after reading your comments three times, I have not likely fully understood them. Please feel free to restate your ideas as necessary to improve this communication.

[-] 1 points by forourfutures (393) 2 years ago

zymergy--

"media access is critical."

Yes, American citizens need to get on the same page with the facts. Mass misconception corrected, divisions ended, unity reformed in awareness of true independence. Or, at least tilted more and more that way.

But this.

zymergy-

"Seems that this is as good a time as any to bring up the practical considerations for a method to either amend our Constitution or reform the way our government operates according to the existing Constitution."

It perhaps inconceivable to some, but the assasination of Lincoln was about his intent to reform a constitutional civil government.

Above:

1) The ptb, congress, whoever, knows that the mass proposing such amendment doesn't realize that the government has not been constitutional for 140 years.

Accordingly, the failed economy from unconstitutionally fueling war has artifically crashed the nation. Hijacked it long ago.

Article V with maximum democratic action based within the peoples determinations of "constitutional intent", from the beginning of the notion, will assure our futures rights and freedoms. In the end, as you say, which is why I say a mild revision of the First Amendment will get this accomplished.

"media access is critical."

As "preparation" for Article V and a return to constitutional government.

[-] 1 points by zymergy (236) 2 years ago

Okay, thank you. Now can we talk a little more about your ideas for "a mild revision of the First Amendment". Do you have a specific wording in mind?

[-] 1 points by forourfutures (393) 2 years ago

70% more of the same depths of meaning that our current notion of what free speech should mean. More hidden history. The Iroquis and others were censored by the written word when it came to the socratic logic they used. I found this kind of mind boggling at the simplicty of it actually adding 70% more of the same meaning to; life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

http://algoxy.com/poly/meaning_of_free_speech.html

Copied and pasted answering with specifics of how the 1st could be revised, to how that converts and impliments it with appropriate legislational procedures accomodating media access.

REV. Amendment I Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; Congress shall see that nothing abridges the freedom of speech and the primary methods or systems of it shall be first accessible for the unity of the people with its possible greater meaning through understanding one another in; forgiveness, tolerance, acceptance, respect, trust, friendship and love protecting life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Congress shall see that nothing abridges freedom of the press in its service to the unity of the people; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances or defense of this constitution.

What I like is that human principles of the higher order that are fully constitutional are made a part of the document. It defines our humanity. The existing First Amendment text is on that page with it. This link talks about preparation for Article V so the convention has maximum constitutional intent. Also it has a link to another page, about occupy and Article V

http://algoxy.com/ows/strategyofamerica.html

But it links to an older one,

http://algoxy.com/ows/strategyofamerica1.html

That has this. Hah! This is good for ANY criticism:)


Which mother or father in this nation will ignore or pass up the real opportunity to assure their child will grow into a nation that holds high and honors understanding that can create; forgiveness, tolerance, acceptance, respect, trust, friendship and love, protecting their life, their liberty and their pursuit of happiness?


[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 2 years ago

I think I am in the same boat as Zymergy, I am still trying to absorb all the talk about an Article V Convention.

Did you see the movie "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"? The point is she went into a Police Station in SWEDEN and demanded information about an old murder case as a Citizen. I think it would be wise for us to have An Amendment to Allow Us Greater Powers as Citizens for Freedom of Information.

JOINT RESOLUTION

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to US Citizens Freedom of Information Requests from all US state and federal government entities. US government agencies work for the US Citizen and are paid through tax dollars from the citizen, so it is reasonable and predicable that citizen will request information.

SECTION 1.

All Federal and State, and Local governments, there agencies and their offices shall provide citizens with free access to information, data, and assistance with respect to Freedom of Information Requests. Therefore government offices shall post instructions, times for office visits, and make an employee available to assist US Citizens visiting in person. Agencies shall make it known where citizens can go to accomplish these freedom of information requests. The citizen will accommodate office hours, office locations, and scheduling of office visits within a weeks time for convenience. Information is recognized as dynamic and changes over time and the intent is that near instant response to freedom of information requests is possible and usually will be reasonable.

SECTION 2.

Penalties for government refusal of requests will be remarks on performance appraisals or annual employee reviews. Citizens will have access to customer comment cards and comment boxes for auditing of this process. These requests for information will available to corporations, charitable organizations, churches or religious organizations, and all United States Citizens. There are no exceptions or waivers to this rule for any kind of entity.

[-] 1 points by forourfutures (393) 2 years ago

Ahhh, a very competent, Re-codification Middleaged:) -

I've seen a bit of this and appreciate the structure very much. I've just now realized how this is a refined expression of justice.

Please let me explain.

The constitution and laws under it imply open government at all levels. We do not have a constitutional government, haven't for 140 years. All of that is quick getting lost in government. In the abcense of that, secrecy has begun to dominate all aspects. Hence the "re-expression" of what inspired the Freedom of Information Act and Public Records laws.

Allow me to suggest an appropriate resolution which addresses your amendment.

Your amendment is cross referenced with current effects of various "Code of Federal Regulations" and "U.S. codes" to show how the intent expressed in your proposed amendment has failed at all of those other levels.

In the "Recodification" your amendment is cross referenced to the applicable existing laws IF such exist, and if not, then either congress or the "New Supreme" court refines the integration of the intent of your amendment into the laws.

Take it over here, I've been gathering most perspective on Article V from foavc.org and this place.

http://articlevconvention.org/forum.php

They have a forum, " Specific Amendments Of; National Concern" and I think yours fit's in.

[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 2 years ago

Okay, Thanks. I just punched up another one and added it on this page on TBTF banks. So that is 3 for me. I agree with you that we don't seem to be a constitutional nation any more. The Supreme court doesn't seem to protect citizens any more. And of course georgie W started this fad of taking away rights.

I have seen the U.S Codes. I think Title 12 covers some of congress's responsibilites. Title 10 I think covers some of our humanitarian assistance. I sort of wonder if you are saying that all congressional legislation goes to the appropriate US Code and subsection. That fits I guess.

But you are saying something happened around 1870 that moved us away from the constitution.

[-] 1 points by forourfutures (393) 2 years ago

If we look at the reality of the evolution of our constitution, from what I read here, it comes from the Magna Carta.

http://dennisaubuchon.hubpages.com/hub/Connecting-the-Magna-Carta-to-the-US-Constitution

From what this page carrries, it was the treaty that ended a war in 1215, it calls it "the lost war". The losers signed, the winners were forgotten. A case where the losers write the history??

http://algoxy.com/poly/emergency_powers_statutes.htm

Lincoln was assasinated because he was going to institute constitutional government. He originated executive orders in the war, probably at the behest of those financing the arms industry. Presidential directives are like secret laws running the nation in states of emergency.

Therefore presidents keep emergencies going. Our society is far from the constitution in most ways, but there is always a struggle by sincere lawmakers to see it so. Constitutional intent can be seen manifesting in all federal laws. There has been a struggle by many to keep it intact. There are forces working to dismantle constitutionality behind the veil of medias manipulations or other means, including cointelpro, cognitive infiltration moving misinformation.

As the people are manipulated by media so easily in their social structures, and there are invisible forms falsely propagated, the principles of the constitution become absolute gathering points of agreement for those sincerely in defense of iit.

[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 2 years ago

Wow, BradB posted a link to the OWS National General Assembly.

Dont know if you have seen this website. It is very detailed and well written. Many things are listed as grievances and they have solutions that already look like amendments. Delagates are being chosen and the date of the National General Assembly is 4 july 2012.

http://www.the99declaration.org/full_draft_of_petition

Provisions/Grievances:

  1. Elimination of the Corporate State.
  2. Overturning the “Citizens United” Case.
  3. Elimination of All Private Benefits to Public Servants.
  4. Term Limits. .
  5. A Fair Tax Code.
  6. Health Care for All..
  7. Protection of the Planet..
  8. Debt Reduction.
  9. Jobs for All Americans.
  10. Student Loan Debt Refinancing.
  11. Ending Perpetual War for Profit.
  12. Emergency Reform of Public Education.
  13. Banking and Securities Reform. .
  14. Foreclosure Moratorium, Mortgage Refinancing and Principle Write Downs.
  15. Review and Reform of the Federal Reserve Banking System.
  16. Ending the Electoral College and Enactment of Uniform Federal Election Rules in All of the States.
  17. Ending the War in Afghanistan and Care of Veterans.
  18. No Censorship of the Internet.
  19. Reinstitution of Civil Rights Including the Repeal of the NDAA.
  20. Curtailing the Private Prison Industrial Complex.

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by corralled (23) 2 years ago

Bob Dylan & his law firm acquired a confidentiality order in a fifteen year plagiarism law suit designating all discovery materials including fifty hours of incriminating video taped depositions as confidential suppressing Plaintiff James Damiano’s first amendment rights to warn the public of Judicial favoritism and corruption.

http://jamesdamiano.yolasite.com/

Few artists can lay claim to the controversy that has surrounded the career of songwriter James Damiano. Twenty-two years ago James Damiano began an odyssey that led him into a legal maelstrom with Bob Dylan that, to this day, fascinates the greatest of intellectual minds.

As the curtain rises on the stage of deceit we learn that CBS used songs and lyrics for international recording artist, Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan’s name is credited to the songs. One of those songs is nominated for a Grammy as best rock song of the year. Ironically the title of that song is Dignity.

Since auditioning for the legendary CBS Record producer John Hammond, Sr., who influenced the careers of music industry icons Billy Holiday, Bob Dylan, Pete Seger, Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Ray Vaughan, James has engaged in a multibillion dollar copyright infringement law suit with Bob Dylan.

As per filed notions "It is judicially uncontested by Bob Dylan and or Bob Dylan’s law firms Manatt, Phelps & Phillips , Parcher Hayes & Snyder, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Heck Brown and Sherry and Sony House Counsel that Bob Dylan and people in Bob Dylan’s entourage have solicited James Damiano’s songs and music for over ten years and eleven months.

District Judge Jerome B. Simandle states in his decision “This court will accept as true Plaintiff’s allegations that Sony represented to him that he would be credited and compensated for his work if Dylan used it. Judge Simandle also stated in his decision “Plaintiff has demonstrated a genuine issue of material fact as to whether defendants had access to his work.

http://jamesdamiano.yolasite.com/

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

"As the original objectives of the U.S. Constitution were to define and limit the powers of government and to guarantee the rights of citizens, what new amendments could we support that would be consistent with those original objectives?"

Ones that expand the role of government and limit the rights of citizens, duh. We need a redefinition of "free speech" and it can't include corporations unless they are unions. We need to keep firearms out of the wrong hands (private hands). We need a national health care amendment and make sure everybody has it whether they like it or not. And of course, we need to put the tenth amendment where it belongs, in a new subsection of the constitution labeled "Jokes:"

These are a good start.

[-] 1 points by zymergy (236) 2 years ago

We have indeed a lot of work to do, but we must start with the root of the problem as Lessig explained in "Republic Lost".

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

That sounds good... But I'm afraid I did not read that book. Can you enlighten me please?

[-] 1 points by zymergy (236) 2 years ago

No, I'm sure that your light is good enough, but I will comment further on "Republic Lost". Lessig explains in "Republic Lost" that the root of many of our difficulties with the budget deficits, with bank deregulation, with social security, with taxation, with Congressional representatives who are too busy to read the texts of the laws they are responsible for, and many other problems that irritate both those on the left and those on the right, are due to the corrupting influence of money in politics. Lessig argues that before we can solve these other important problems, we must remove the influence of money. It seems to me that there are actually two ways to approach this root problem. One way is to interrupt the source, the other is to interrupt the recipient. Lessig focusses on the first way: limiting the ability of people to individually and corporately offer money to all branches of government to influence legislation and its implementation - principally he recommends public financing and reversal of Citizens United; while I prefer the second way: limiting the ability of Congress to respond to the influence of money via the two amendments above.