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Are You Conventionist or Anti-Conventionist?

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If you were a visitor to our planet, and asked to examine how Information has been handled here in the U.S.A., you’d notice in the 1950s it became a matter of National Security; then in the 1980s we lost the Fairness Doctrine; following that, the media consolidation of the 1990s; following that, the 2003 effort to relax ownership rules, which brings us to today’s pending recommendations: basically, to sell public frequencies to private interests by confusing technology and access with information itself.

Whether these facts of history combined amount to a conspiracy or not, either way it’s a dangerous situation. And if in addition to information, we now lose The Vote to private interests--via a brand-new voting machine lobby--that’s deadly.

Our society is currently risking a fatal consequence. What happens if we find a way to distract ourselves from this mess? Ignore it and hope it goes away? We already know: corruption will reach a point where politicians will need to insulate themselves from angry voters and the result is inevitable: a police state tyranny.

A recent movie titled The Lives of Others is about the East German Stasi, or the secret police apparatus, before the fall of the Berlin Wall. It depicts a tyranny of "officials" over the lives of citizens--officials preying on citizens. The Stasi of yesteryear can and will emerge again onto the world stage if action is not taken. Everyday we fail to execute a plan of action the mousetrap nears completion.

Once it’s sprung we’ll quickly find ourselves living what the movie depicts: where we can be dragged out of our home and tortured into giving information about neighbors and co-workers. That’s were the status quo is headed, and that’s where it’ll go unless something profound happens in American politics soon. The Constitution is a cipher, mainly consisting of the word Shall, and last October 27th, 2006, something happened in American legal history that’s never happened before. It changed things forever. A federal lawsuit came before the Supreme Court which asked: Must Congress obey the convention clause of Article V, or not?

In our entire history of over two hundred years of constitutional jurisprudence, the question had never been asked. Congress has never fulfilled its constitutional obligation, and the courts have now ruled it’s a Political Question, i.e. that politicians get to decide whether the U.S.A. "shall" have a convention. These are the facts and they are indisputable.

Whether you know it or not, if you’re an American citizen, you’re either Conventionist or Anti-Conventionist--in favor of holding our first-ever national convention, or against it.

The Anti-Conventionists today, if they prevail, will be our Stasi tomorrow. Neo-Cons are Anti-Conventionist and on January 22, 2002 Wolfowitz mentioned to Feith: "We don’t seem to be making much progress pulling together intelligence on links between Iraq and Al Qaeda." This is the signature communication of any Stasi in any age, and even though the faces may change, Neo-Cons are still ensconced in office.

It can all seem so ominous and inescapable, but it’s not. If America held a national convention, it would be free of politicians because delegates are not running for an office, but merely a chance to speak their mind before the nation.

Yes there’ll be a few shills for corporate interests, and religious fundamentalists, but in addition to that, honest, sincere, Americans with common sense. The convention cannot be controlled by any one group because it’s simply a systematic proposal of ideas, everyone gets their turn, and discussing something cannot somehow accidentally turn it into law of the land.

Once everyone had proposed anything they could possibly think of, the convention will end and everyone would go home. Then comes the ratification process. Since we need 38 states to agree to something before it becomes law, and with the country as polarized as it is today, that process is not going to take place over night. In fact it’s hard to imagine anything other than electoral reform that might garner the approval of 75% of the country.

Yet the convention and the process of ratification itself will stop politics as usual, and Politics As Usual is what enables corporate interests to inch closer to its goal: institute its police state, turn its back on this society, and enslave it. Again, whether it’s a conscious conspiracy or not is beside the point. The Military/Industrial complex is no one person’s or one group’s fault. The website may seem like some little bit of nonsense found out on the web, but it’s not. It’s that place where if enough of us sign our name, we will secure our freedom. There’s nothing our Stasi can do against a tipping point majority of Americans all saying one thing.

The Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy will be publishing a paper by a former state supreme court judge and founding member of FOAVC, about Article V of the Constitution and the convention clause. That’s supposed to happen later this year, so we have some time, but not a lot. Break your silence and become a Friend of the Article V Conveniton. Come to the aid of your country, it needs you now.

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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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