Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Sixteenth Amendment to the United States ConstitutionThe Seventeenth Amendment (Amendment XVII) to the United States Constitution established direct election of United States Senators by popular vote. The amendment supersedes Article I, § 3, Clauses 1 and 2 of the Constitution, under which senators were elected by state legislatures. It also alters the procedure for filling vacancies in the Senate, allowing for state legislatures to permit their governors to make temporary appointments until a special election can be held. Under the original provisions of the Constitution, senators were elected by state legislatures; this was intended to ensure that the federal government contained representatives of the states, and also to provide a body not dependent on popular support that could afford to "take a more detached view of issues coming before Congress". However, over time various issues with these provisions, such as the risk of corruption and the potential for electoral deadlocks or a lack of representation should a seat become vacant, led to a campaign for reform.Reformers tabled constitutional amendments in 1828, 1829, and 1855, with the issues finally reaching a head during the 1890s and 1900s. Progressives, such as William Jennings Bryan, called for reform to the way senators were chosen. Elihu Root and George Frisbie Hoar were prominent figures in the campaign to maintain the state legislative selection of senators. By 1910, 31 state legislatures had passed motions calling for reform. By 1912, 239 political parties at both the state and national level had pledged some form of direct election, and 33 states had introduced the use of direct primaries. With a campaign for a state-led constitutional amendment gaining strength, and a fear that this could result in a "runaway convention", the proposal to mandate direct elections for the Senate was finally introduced in the Congress. It was passed by the Congress and on May 13, 1912, was submitted to the states for ratification. By April 8, 1913, three-fourths of the states had ratified the proposed amendment, making it the Seventeenth Amendment. Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan formally declared the amendment's adoption on May 31, 1913.Critics of the Seventeenth Amendment claim that by altering the way senators are elected, the states lost any representation they had in the federal government and that, in addition to violating the unamendable state suffrage clause of Article V, this led to the gradual "slide into ignominy" of state legislatures, as well as an overextension of federal power and the rise of special interest groups to fill the power vacuum previously occupied by state legislatures. In addition, concerns have been raised about the power of governors to appoint temporary replacements to fill vacant senate seats, both in terms of how this provision should be interpreted and whether it should be permitted at all. Accordingly, noted public figures have expressed a desire to reform or even repeal the Seventeenth Amendment.READ MORE : HERE
The Sixteenth Amendment (Amendment XVI) to the United States Constitution allows the Congress to levy an income tax without apportioning it among the states or basing it on Censusresults. This amendment exempted income taxes from the constitutional requirements regardingdirect taxes, after income taxes on rents, dividends, and interest were ruled to be direct taxes in Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co. (1895). It was ratified on February 3, 1913. READ MORE : HERE
|The Patriot Post|
April 25, 2013
100th Anniversary of the Beginning of the End?
By Larry Reams ·(Part 1)
One hundred years ago, our federal government, under control of the progressive Woodrow Wilson, took actions that have since become a disaster for these United States. Looking back, these actions were the beginning of what could be the end of our Constitutional Republic. With progressives in control in 2013, similar actions are underway that could complete a sinister view by progressives then and now to "transform" us into something our Founders never intended, and most Americans through the years never wanted and still don't.
In 1913 our Constitution was amended by the ratification of two amendments, the Sixteenth and Seventeenth, and the passage of the Federal Reserve Banking Act creating the Federal Reserve System / Board. For the past 100 years various individuals and groups have raised the issue and fought to undo these atrocities. None have been successful and in today's environment of rampant corruption among the political elites, an uninformed / misinformed populace, and a media that shirks its duty to expose and inform, the chances of doing so now are very remote. One hundred years ago there were less distractions and different values. The public was far more "tuned in" to matters of state than exists now and yet they were unsuccessful in stopping / reversing these issues. That doesn't bode well for any efforts today.
It appears that the constitutional amendments ratified in 1913 were done through political corruption and technically were not ratified at all. Yet they were put into play nonetheless and have changed the political and economic landscape ever since. As we see in so many instances today, elected officials simply turned a blind eye to the laws and the constitutional process, cut corners and "declared" the action passed / the amendments ratified. The 16th Amendment was the imposition of the federal income tax and subsequent creation of the IRS. The 17th Amendment was the changing of the existing, constitutionally devised, election process for US Senators. And with the Federal Reserve Act, all three of these actions gave the federal government more power and control, strengthened the power of the political class, weakened the Constitution as written by our Founders and weakened the power of We The People. It was the beginning of our "limited government" becoming unlimited and abusive.
The US Constitution calls for amendments to be introduced one of two ways; by 2/3s of the members of both houses of Congress; or through a Constitutional Convention called by 2/3s the states. To be ratified and become part of the Constitution it takes 3/4s of the states approving. In 1913, there were 48 states meaning ratification required 36 states approving. Approval / ratification had to be in writing; an "official" notice from the States to the Federal Government.
The Sixteenth Amendment: Prior to the 16th Amendment, our federal government could not tax income or property, constitutionally. They could only levy excise taxes, duties and tariffs to raise funds. The 16th was conceived to remedy that. But there are serious questions as to whether the 16th Amendment was properly ratified by 36 states. It was proposed in 1909 and allegedly ratified on Feb. 25, 1913, so stated the Secretary of State at the time. He claimed that 38 states had ratified it. However, three states that are shown as having ratified the amendment, didn't, at least not properly (Kentucky, California and Minnesota). The federal government claims that the Kentucky Senate ratified the 16th on Feb. 8, 1910 by a vote of 22 For, 10 Against. But, check the official journal for the Kentucky Senate and the vote is 9 For, 22 Against. Thus it did not pass in Kentucky. There is no record of other votes taken on the 16th Amendment in any official documents in Kentucky. So, the 38 states is down to 37 with 36 required.
In California, their law requires "concurrence" on the passage of all laws or ratification of amendments. Concurrence meaning the law passed in one house must be identical in wording to the law passed in the other house. Both must "concur" so as to eliminate confusion and turmoil in any legal challenges. They have conference committees to resolve any differences so as to pass one law. That is common sense and common practice in all states and the US Congress. California did not ratify the specific wording of the 16th as presented to them from the Congress. Their wording was different from the official version of the 16th Amendment. The political elite say it's an issue for the courts to decide. The courts say it's a political matter that Congress must address. Turn the blind eye; neither do anything. Now we're down to 36 states, the minimum required.
Minnesota seems pretty clear cut. Some form of official, written, signed notice must be sent by each state to the US Secretary of State. Either Yea or Nay, it must be "officially" sent to the federal government. Minnesota sent absolutely nothing. No word one way or the other. Nada; zip. How can no notice whatsoever be construed by the Feds as ratification? And then there were 35, one short of ratification. But that's OK, just pretend all the above didn't happen and make the official statement from the Secretary of State, which was done by Secretary Philander Knox on February, 25, 1913. It became known as "The Law That Never Was" (Bill Benson). Keep quiet, wait long enough, and the problem will go away. Sound familiar -- Benghazi?
I guess politics is politics, down through the ages, especially on the "progressive" side of the isle. That doesn't say much for the integrity of the Oath of Office, or "Honor Among Men," or a Nation of Laws. It says a lot about a nation of men, above the law.
The Seventeenth Amendment: Like the 16th, the 17th Amendment to our Constitution also was not properly ratified. Before discussing the reasons why, let's hit the repercussions of the 17th. Under the original Constitution, before any amendments were added, our Senators were elected by the State Legislatures (Art. 1, Section 3). The Representatives to Congress were elected by We The People and represented the People. The Senators were elected by the various State Legislatures to represent the States. It was part of the balance of powers concept ("checks and balances.") "The Senate will be elected absolutely and exclusively by the State Legislatures."(James Madison, Federalist Papers #45). If the states were not satisfied with their Senators, they could recall and replace them. Speaking against any other method of electing our Senators, George Mason, at the Virginia Ratifying Convention in 1788 said: "Those gentlemen, who will be elected senators, will fix themselves in the federal town, and become citizens of that town more than your state." A prophetic statement.
With the ratification(?) of the 17th Amendment and popular election of Senators, the State Legislatures lost control of their representation in Congress and their ability to recall / replace Senators. Over the past 100 years the Senate has become a very elitist, self-serving body. Some even say a dysfunctional body. With six year terms Senators are able to stay in their seat long enough to establish name recognition within their state, accumulate vast sums of money, garner the support of special interest groups, and thus have little difficulty in getting re-elected to subsequent terms. And, they don't have to worry about any recall provisions. Accountability is lost. Opposing candidates are at a distinct disadvantage when facing an incumbent Senator and thus the faces seem to rarely change in the US Senate. A "good old boy club" develops that is not genuinely concerned about constituents, only big dollar donors and re-election.
Over the past 100 years, the states have lost ground against an ever-growing federal government. Their interests are not properly served, accountability is lost, and state sovereignty is waning. The states have lost power; the Feds have gained it. There have been many attempts to repeal the 17th, none successfully. Why? Because the Senators have a vote in the matter and they prefer the current system. Besides that, Representatives desire to become Senators and Senators desire to become President. There is a school of thought that says you can't repeal something that never existed to begin with. Like the issue with President Obama's status as a non Natural Born Citizen making him not constitutionally qualified to be President. You can't impeach him because he was not legitimately elected in the first place. Impeachment would add legitimacy to his election. Repealing the 17th would do likewise for the non amendment.
The Seventeenth Amendment was declared ratified by the US Secretary of State on April 8, 1913. Again, California is an issue. According to the US Secretary of State's documentation, California ratified the amendment on January 28, 1913. According to California's own official records, they have no record of a debate or a vote on the 17th Amendment. And, according to a memorandum from the Department of State, May 10, 1913, 35 state legislatures made errors in their resolutions. States didn't have the authority to alter the wording of a proposed constitutional amendment submitted to them by the Congress. It's either Yea or Nay. Again 36 states were necessary in 1913 for ratification. California was supposedly number 36 but they have no record of doing so, and 35 others screwed it up in some way. Apparently government was no more efficient 100 years ago than they are today, federal or state. It appears the amendment was simply "deemed" ratified.
An additional concern was with state legislatures who were not even in session at the time of the ratification process. According to Thomas Jefferson's Manual and Rules that's supposed to be a guide for the House of Representatives in developing proposed amendments to the Constitution,"...no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate." If states legislatures are not even in session when this process takes place and does not vote at all, yet it is declared ratified, are they being deprived of "equal suffrage?" Last but not least, allegedly five states didn't ratify the 17th Amendment until months after the announcement was made that ratification had already occurred. Fraud and corruption is readily apparent. If an amendment was passed / ratified through fraud and corruption, is it really part of the Constitution and the law of the land?
In addition to all the negativity we've incurred by the imposition of the 17th Amendment, ratified or not, there is another important consideration. The Senate ratifies treaties and confirms federal judges and Supreme Court Justices, among other duties. If the 17th were declared null and void, or repealed, what happens to all those ratified treaties and Justices who have been confirmed since 1913? Did any of that legally, constitutionally, occur? Are we bound by these treaties? Same argument as with Obama now. If he's not legally in the White House then Justices Kagan and Sotomayor are not really on the Supreme Court. Any decisions they've voted on, didn't occur. Obamacare is not the law of the land or any other law Obama has signed. And he really didn't spend $5 Trillion after all. On and on it goes. A dilemma. According to some, the solution is for an individual state to challenge the 17th Amendment by passing a state bill reverting back to the system in the Constitution prior to the 17th. Once one state does this, it will no doubt be challenged and the US Supreme Court can decide the issue. Several states have tired this but the bill hasn't passed the State House to become law. There is such a bill introduced into the Texas Legislature during the current session, still underway.
When elected officials place themselves above the law, circumvent the law, turn a blind eye to the law, to truth, fact and corruption, we become a dysfunctional state open to tyranny. The unintended consequences years later are compounded many times over. It's always easier to remove cancer in the early stages and not wait until it has consumed the whole body / state. We're 100 years into this cancerous growth. Consider Obamacare right now. A national cancer that could be stopped by a GOP controlled House by simply defunding it. Where's the courage?
Then there's the ongoing progressive attempts to circumvent the Second Amendment, we still have an administration spending like there's no tomorrow and millions being encouraged and added to the welfare rolls. We have a chief executive who decides which laws his DOJ will enforce and which they won't, and is deliberately dividing the nation into sub-groups, pitting one against the other so as to better control all. Political correctness has run amuck, our Armed Forces being reduced in capability, on and on. And no one in the Congress with a spine to fight back! What will the next 100 years hold for us? Will we be a Constitutional Republic in 2113?
April 26, 2013
100 Hundredth Anniversary of the Beginning of the End?
By Larry Reams ·
(Part 1 dealt with the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Amendments and the fact that they were probably not legitimately ratified to be part of the US Constitution.)
The Federal Reserve:"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then be deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs." (Thomas Jefferson, 1802)
It almost sounds as if Jefferson knew what was coming.
Like the other two progressive actions, the passage of the Federal Reserve Act is a nail in America's coffin over the long term. Most Americans think the Federal Reserve is a branch of the federal government like the Department of Education, DOD, the EPA, DHS, DOJ (aka the Department of Cover Up), etc. Well, it is, and it isn't. The Federal Reserve is a private corporation, actually a banking cartel. The federal government is only a partner in the cartel to add some legitimacy to it; to have the power of a federal law behind it. To use another term, it's a monopoly over the nation's money supply. It is designed to help member banks, not We The People. Remember the bank bailouts in 2009? The system worked, for the banks.
The Federal Reserve was NOT formed by Members of Congress, in Congress, or devised by a Presidential initiative. It was conceived in super-secrecy on Jekyll Island, Georgia in 1910. Jekyll Island was a private island owned by very wealthy people, mostly bankers and industrialists. Seven of these wealthy bankers met there, developed the idea, and over the next three years brought it to fruition. The propaganda behind it was much as we see today from progressives. Words take on different meanings; deception; misinformation; "the ends justify the means." In theory is was advertised as a way to break up the "Money Trusts;" various entities who had money and clout. Today's term for these people is "corporate millionaires and billionaires." Problem is, like today, the "money trusts" were the very people who were pushing the concept. They distract the people with what's happening in the right hand so they don't see what the left hand is doing. Obama bashes the millionaires and billionaires in public while taking millions from them in private. The same was true back in 1910-13 era. The secrecy of the Jekyll Island event reminds me of the Bilderburg Group and the Council of Foreign Relations group today.Prior to the Federal Reserve and much later the Bretton Woods agreement (World Bank, IMF -- the banking cartel grows), and the "Nixon shock" (Bretton Woods II), the US dollar was backed by gold; something of value. Today it's backed by the "full faith and credit of the federal government." Don't we all feel better now. It's fiat money, not backed by anything of value except the government's word. How it all works can get complicated, which is why most Americans have no clue, but basically the Feds borrow money from other countries until their credit suffers and the interest rates rise too high then they just start printing it. They borrow, and borrow, and borrow and spend more than they borrow. Our national debt rises big time. When YOU get into a financial bind, can you LEGALLY print more money in your garage to solve your problem? The Fed can, legally. Currently they are doing so to the tune of @ $85 billion a month. This process creates another term we think we understand -- inflation. We think inflation means the cost of goods and services we purchase is going up in "value." In reality, the value of the money we use to buy these goods and services is going down because of this fiat printing, which means we need more of it to purchase what we desire. Examples: With the 1913 dollar equal to $1.00, the very same item purchased in 2013 would cost you $23.51. In 1913, a $1,000 automobile is $23,512.42 in 2013. And a home that cost $7,000 in 1913 would cost you $164,586.97 today. The cumulative inflation rate from 1913 to 2013 is 2251%.
Another way to look at it is that inflation is a hidden tax on all of us. And it's a bigger problem that the taxes we see and know about because it lowers our standard of living and We The People can do nothing about it except suffer the lowering. In time, if not corrected, this will result in the total destruction of our monetary system. America will become a modern day serfdom. The dilemma, like with the 17th Amendment, there are repercussions in changing it. If we passed a law, cold turkey, to abolish the Federal Reserve, the worldwide monetary system would collapse. The US dollar, even if backed by nothing but words, is still the world's reserve currency, accepted anywhere in the world. If we continue as is with no changes, the collapse will happen anyway down the road. It may take several decades, IF action were underway this minute, to gradually return us to a constitutional value-based money system. Though many have screamed and yelled (Ron Paul for one), no action is underway to shore up our system. We're still borrowing, printing and spending to the heart's content, oblivious to the eventual outcome.For a real education on how the Federal Reserve came into being, the fallacies of it, and the eventual outcome if not corrected, see this video by G. Edward Griffin, 2005.
What Must America Do Now?With another extremely progressive administration in control; most politicians still as corrupt as ever and looking out for their own self interest; a media that has abandoned its constitutional duty to report the news, opting instead to sway voters; and an uninformed, misinformed, apathetic voting public, how do we solve these problems? How do we prevent further slide into non constitutional laws passed, circumvention of the US Constitution, the government and political elitists gaining more power, political corruption, and the eventual bankruptcy and failure of our monetary system?How do we retain the Nation of Laws concept, prevent the "nation of men" reality from growing further, and prevent serfdom?A few quotes from wise men of our past should provide a clue."I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." (Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Charles Jarvis, 1820)"Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall, when the wise are banished from public councils, because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people, in order to betray them." (Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833)"Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity and happiness require it." (John Adams, Thoughts of Government, 1776)
There must be a mass awakening of the American citizenry from their coma. Easier said than done in a tuned-out society. In my opinion, the three greatest threats to our Constitutional Republic are:
(1) Citizens who are uninformed, misinformed and vote for people / parties for the wrong reason or are otherwise not involved;(2) A political class who is aware of this and plays on it to stay in power for personal gain; putting self ahead of country.(3) Lack of honest, moral and dedicated local and national leadership.For America to regain our Constitutional moorings and prevent our eventual demise as a constitutional republic, a lot must take place and soon. Addressing leadership first, we need a new breed of Patriot to step forward. We need America's Re-Founders to come forward. They're out there, just reluctant to step into the fray and who can blame then. But it is essential that men and women of courage, honor, integrity, and honesty be identified, supported, pushed into elective office, and take the necessary steps to save America regardless of the cries from the Left that are sure to come. It is also essential that we rid ourselves of those who do not measure up to this standard. Leadership is everything. Nothing replaces or substitutes for it. Currently we don't have constitutional, patriot, honest, responsible leadership. We have a tyrannical Marxist mentality form of leadership.Simultaneously, there must be a movement undertaken to wake up, then properly educate, the citizenry as to what their responsibility is and how they are deeming themselves to a life of serfdom by not knowing that and taking it seriously. Lastly, we must dissolve the elitist, professional, political class. The career path of "Politician" must cease to exist in favor of "statesmen" or public servant. They work for us; we don't bow and show obedience to them. These are the broad steps. Below is a list of specific actions that must be taken that will help do this and save our country from the progressive movement (communists, socialists, statists, Marxists, etc.). The list is extensive and no priorities are established but all must be done, in my opinion, and the initiative must begin now. Tea Parties, other grass roots groups, various conservative entities, veterans, Christians, patriots, ALL must come together. Put petty differences and egos aside for the good of the country and our posterity. Remember, if the Left side of the boat sinks, so does the Right side. Come together under one large umbrella and do what our Divinely given responsibility calls for us to do as responsible citizens.
Needed Actions: Pray for our country. Abolish the Department of Education. Reintroduce our history and founding principles and documents into the school systems. Establish Term Limits on Members of Congress. Repeal the 17th Amendment. Audit the Federal Reserve. Develop a commission to determine how to de-fang the Feds, over time, and replace our money system with a constitutionally based real value money system. Establish a Senate Reconfirmation Hearing process whereby federal judges and justices are reconfirmed periodically so as to evaluate their "good behavior." Pass a law whereby ALL Members of Congress are held accountable for violating their Oath of Office. Documented, proven violations results in dismissal from Congress. De-fund or overturn Obamacare. Pass a National Voter ID Law whereby IDs are checked for all national elections. Reduce the power of the EPA. Investigate / expose the mainstream media for their blatant disregard of their constitutional responsibility of "reporting" instead of "swaying." Pass a federal law that requires ALL candidates for the national ticket for President or Vice President to prove their Natural Born Citizen status before their name can go on any ballot. Abolish the Department of Energy. Investigate the Department of Justice with a Special Prosecutor. No unaccountable Czars appointed by the White House. Pass a Balanced Budget Amendment. Laws introduced in both the House and Senate must pass a certified Constitutional "sniff test" before being introduced in either house. Have a Fact Checker at all candidate debates who is part of the debate process. Replace the prime-time TV Debate format with the Job Interview format. Secure the border, period! Lower the corporate tax rate. Reform the tax system; simplify it and reduce the IRS to less than 1,000 personnel. Review every federal agency, department and program as to it constitutionality and methodically abolish those that are not. Review every agency, department and program as to its effectiveness and usefulness. Eliminate any duplication, waste, fraud and abuse.Stop the war on Christianity and put God back into the classroom and the public square. Ban Sharia Law in any form in the US. Take a realistic view of Islam; believe it when they say they are at war with us.
Publicly expose elected officials who belong to anti-American groups (including CPUSA, DSA, etc.) (McCarthy Hearings II). Strong consideration should be had to the American voters looking more favorably on candidates who are veterans than those who are not. Require ALL Representatives and Senators to pass an Econ. 101 test and a US Constitution test before taking their Oath of Office. De-emphasize political party relationships in elections; focus on track record, vision, experience, honesty, character, integrity -- Duty, Honor, Country. Lastly, when a sitting President commits fraud and forgery, the Congress, the Courts and the media should not turn a blind eye to the crime. It makes you complicit in the cover up.If we don't solve the problems we've allowed to develop, we will always be on the outside looking in while our rulers will be on the inside looking out. The clock is ticking and the majority of us who are informed and working towards solutions are aging rapidly. "Let's roll" America.