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Article V & Hamlet

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Message John De Herrera
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There's a part in the play Hamlet, where he and his pal Horatio are in a graveyard talking. And they're looking at a grave, and they talk about it maybe being for a lawyer, and Hamlet asks, "Aren't laws written on sheep skins?" And Horatio says, "Yeah, and calf skins too." And Hamlet replies, "People are nothing but farm animals if they think a law can protect them without action to back it up."

Laws are created to prevent harm: it's a law that you must come to a stop at a stop sign, so people don't injure one another. The latest and greatest law of human civilization is the U.S. Constitution. It was written by those who knew back then, what we know now--that governments can become corrupt, that tyranny will result, people will lose their freedom, and become enslaved. In this sense, the Constitution provides our rights, but it's up to us to make sure they remain guaranteed. It can be obeyed or ignored, the same as a stop sign can be.

Article V of the Constitution has a convention clause. It's a right of the people to come together, to discuss things politicians won't, and/or re-enforce the laws politicians ignore. For decades Americans have been frightened away from the convention clause by corporate politicians and corporate media elites, telling us that if we hold a convention it opens up the Constitution to complete revision, that corporate interests will infiltrate and run away with it, that we'll end up with a riddled mess, and everything will be lost. But this is completely untrue, absolutely bogus--a flat-out lie. The Framers of the Constitution did not place a self-destruct button into our high law.

Knowing history, and thus assuming the Congress would become a tyranny of the few, the Framers wrote Article V just so, protecting the Constitution from hostile forces. They were careful to set down three forbidden subjects in it:

1) Altering the arrangement known as slavery (a ban that's since been lifted both by time and war).

2) Altering the arrangement of equal representation of the states in the Senate.

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Writer/artist/activist from California, with a degree in Creative Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Advocating for the convention clause of Article V since 2001.

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