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There have been numerous calls for an exploration of the roots of our American Government. This is one suggestion of how this might happen.
CALL FOR A THIRD CONTINENTAL CONGRESS
We, the People of the United States, recognizing a clear and present danger to our democracy, issue a call for a Third Continental Congress. The injustices done to the People over the past few years have demeaned, insulted and belittled the People who see little choice other than to call for such a Congress. Our attempts to correct these injustices have consistently been met with disdain and arrogance from the Administration, Congress and the Courts.
Our Declaration of Independence states:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
In spite of the continual rejection and contempt we have endured at the hand of our government, we have long continued our efforts to change or amend those laws that are harmful to the People. Our mistreatment has been a history of repeated injustice and injuries.
1. Whereas the Government is unable or unwilling "to speak candidly and truthfully to the People about weapons of mass destruction, about terrorism, and about the military budget and,"*
2. Whereas the Government is unable or unwilling "to protect the basic principles of our Bill of Rights and indeed asserts that this destruction of our rights will make us safe and thus denying the right of dissent to those who disagree with its policies, and,"*
3. Whereas the Government is unable or unwilling to promote an equitable and fair justice system for all Americans. Rather our courts are accessible only to those with unlimited funds which allow corporations and the wealthy to delay and obscure the equal application of the law. Those without adequate means to access the justice system are served by overworked and underpaid public defenders or legal aid societies and,
4. Whereas the Government is unable or unwilling to prevent "an incredible national debt which has begun bankrupting state and local economies and jeopardizing the future of the next generation and,"*
5. Whereas the Government is unable or unwilling to prevent "the driving down of wages, the destruction of existing labor laws, veterans benefits and the end of social services by encouraging and promoting through obscure tax laws the outsourcing of our jobs and,"*
6. Whereas the Government is unable or unwilling to pursue an agenda which protects human rights and,
7. Whereas the Government is unable or unwilling to purge "the administration of corporate executives who run the departments which oversee their business and,"*
8. Whereas the Government is unable or unwilling to provide a method of healthcare for each and every American and,
9. Whereas the Government is unable or unwilling to respect "science and scientific research by claiming scientific validity for propositions antithetical to the research findings of real science and,"*
10. Whereas the Government is unable or unwilling to promote an agricultural policy which supports healthy foods and family-owned farms and "indeed even impoverishes and destroys farmers all over the world by promoting the development of large agri-businesses worldwide and,"*
11. Whereas the Government is unable or unwilling to "protect our natural habitats, our rivers, our streams, our oceans and our atmosphere. Indeed it has given free rein to industry to blow up mountains in the pursuit of profit and,"*
12. Whereas the Government is unable or unwilling to eliminate the immense influence of lobbyists to make our laws and,
13. Whereas the Government is unable or unwilling to "protect our Constitution and human rights, which has been placed in jeopardy by its response to the attack of 9/11 and,"*
14. Whereas the Government is unable or unwilling to promote a system of public education that is based on current research in the fields of education, brain research and psychology. It rather demands the use of inaccurate standardized tests which not only lack validity and reliability, but also consume an inordinate amount of teaching time. This promotes the practice of “teaching-to-the-test,” and,
15. Whereas the Government is unable or unwilling to protect the privacy rights of its citizens, often encouraging government agencies like the IRS to allow private corporations to traffic in our personal information and,
16. Whereas the Government is unable or unwilling to promote true election reform. It refuses to consider an alternative to the Electoral College or to consider alternative ways of electing our government officials such as direct voting and,
17. Whereas the Government is unable or unwilling to provide true tax reform to the middle class, instead choosing to give exorbitant tax breaks to the wealthy while at the same time raising taxes on the poor and middle-class, the results of which serve to destroy these classes of citizens and,
18. Whereas the Government is unable or unwilling to "protect the lives of our young people and Iraqi citizens. For it has acted with reckless disregard for the lives of America’s young people and Iraqi civilians by engaging in a pre-emptive war presumably to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, while at the same time abandoning the potential for a real international movement to stop the spread and use of nuclear weapons and,"*
19. Whereas the Government is unable or unwilling to prevent the takeover of our public airwaves from moneyed and powerful corporate entities. The only public airways belonging to the People are PBS which is so under-funded that it is forced to beg like a pauper to varied corporate and public entities, the very same entities whose misdeeds are the mission of PBS to expose and,
20. Whereas the Government is unable or unwilling "to cooperate with the nations of the world. For it has created a new meaning of American arrogance by ignoring the countries of the world, refusing to sign international initiatives that do not rest control in the hands of the U.S."*
Be it hereby Resolved:
We, the People of the United Sates of America, call for a Third Continental Congress to be held at a time and date yet to be specified. The purpose of this Continental Congress will be to develop a set of guidelines and principles upon which the People can take further Action to redress their grievances and to determine what, if any, future Actions should take place.
THIRD CONTINENTAL CONGRESS QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
What is the agenda?
The agenda is not fixed at this point, I believe it will most likely be determined by the delegates present. It will consist of a series of decisions regarding next steps to be taken. Probably protocol will follow Robert’s Rules. A series of committees will be formed that will meet after the Continental Congress over the next several weeks and months.
How long will the Continental Congress meet?
I can’t afford to take up to a year or more like they did in the first two Continental Congresses.
The initial Congress will meet probably for about one or two weeks. Your vacation is a small price to pay considering the stakes. Our ancestors sacrificed much more than that. There will probably be committee meetings periodically over the next several months maybe over the Internet with an annual (?) meeting for reports and planning actions again to be taken over the following several weeks and months. This is a long term process.
Who are the delegates?
There will be two delegates and an alternate from each of the States. These will be chosen from the people at-large. They will consist of small business owners, shopkeepers, teachers, factory workers, etc. They will be chosen from cities and towns by interested citizens acting on their own without input from governmental agencies.
What is the legal status of this Continental Congress?
The third Continental Congress is perfectly legal. The First Amendment gives citizens the right to assemble peacefully and the right to petition their government.
What authority does the third congress have?
The sovereign authority of the people. We do not need the government’s permission to peaceably assemble. The government works for us.
What role will our state and federal governments play?
In a word: None. To allow federal and state legislators and government officials to participate will be to weaken the core constituency
Aren’t these problems just a result of the presidency of George Bush? What happens when he leaves office?
When George Bush leaves office, nothing will change. This man did not cause our quagmire. It is the result of a system run amok. This is a system's problem, not the personnel problem of George W. Bush, although he did accelerate our downfall.
* Many of the points listed in this section are courtesy of www.beyondvoting.org
Reader Reviews for
"Call for a Third Continental Congress"
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|Reviewed by jerry allen (Reader)
I only scanned thru your post and found it agreeable as a whole, because I was immediately distracted when you got off on a wrong foot, by calling or Republic a Democracy. That sounds trivial, but it is the root cause of the present day idology that our Constitution is a living and changable thing. The Liberals, now out of the closet as Progressives, are using the lie that we are a Democracy to justify destroying our Constitution. Plese read what our forfathers said about Democracies. They had no good thing to say about them for just this reason...
The rest of your post was most interesting.
|Reviewed by John Martin
|We already have a constituition. The "people" that have been chosen to follow it are ignoring it and making up their own rules while placing themselves above the constitution. These people are not doing their jobs. Our borders open. We have been invaded, and they are more concerned for the welfare of the invaders. This government no longer serves the people, it rules and dominates the people. The government does not give us our rights, God and constitution do. If we held the government accountable, wall street and others would fall in place. Patriotism, honor and loyalty, needs to be taught in schools in our schools again. Those who wish to change America and our constitution for their own special interests should be remove from power and brought to justice. We've are now a nation of tribes and the tribal leaders need to be replaced with Americans in our government. It is time to bring back American Citizenship and a government that doesn't bride it's people but rather serves it's people and protects their freedoms. Continential Congress? How about Nuemberg trials instead.|
|Reviewed by David Williams (Reader)
1 - We already had a Third Continental Congress. It was called on December 20, 1776. They modified and finalized the Articles of Confederation on November 15, 1777. The new Articles of Confederation were not immediately ratified due to the war. They were ratified on March 1, 1781. If we were to call another Continental Congress, it would be our fourth.
2 - The flaws in government are not with the constitution, but with the officials we (speaking of the people as a whole, and not of you or I specifically) elect to office. If the people elect upright people to office, the problems you outline will not be of issue.
3 - Mechanisms were built in to our constitution to allow the people to make changes as needed; to our laws, our policies, and to the constitution itself. These mechanisms were established to allow changes to be made when the majority of the people call for it, but with protections to keep crack-pots from making sweeping changes that would not be in the best interest of the people.
|Reviewed by Russ Breitmos (Reader)
|Certainly some points to ponder. G.W. hasn't accelerated much of anything (unfortunately). Certainly no more than Clinton, or G.W.'s daddy, or any of the rest. All guilty and often ineffectual.
Institute term limits for all elected officials. Perhaps some leeway for local government (small town officials of Backwater, USA pop. 102), but 2 - 3 terms at most, lifetime, with a 8 - 12 years of total service. Career politicians are the bane of our existance. Eliminate the ridiculous pension plans for these positions along with the lifetime medical benefits they seem to acquire, and the budget would take a huge drop in future payments. Just make them liable for good note taking to pass on to their replacements. This is at the County, State and Federal level (major metro areas also?). Make it parttime pay for the parttime job they do; this is government service not largese. Perform your civic duty then resume your life. Now, don't tell me you have to pay up to get the best. We've been paying up, and if we had the best you wouldn't be suggesting a 3rd Cont. Congress.
A Bill is a Bill. Let it stand for one thing. No road repair/construc-
tion, with special vacations for Senators with a y in their name, along with new shopping carts for the Grocery Store in Congressman FlipFlops district. The comes the line item veto. Cut the pork. No time to play games, you have a country to run. Do it. And no pay for any but the Congress person or Senator; need aides? Get volunteers.
Social Security needs fixed. Former Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill has a unique and relatively simple plan (see "A new idea for Social Security" by Paul H. O'Neill, Feb 20, 2005 at www.pittsburghlive.com) that involves funding for each newborn at $2000.00 a year till they are 18, then watch the power of compounding and investment work. Read the article, he says it much better than I can repeat it.
Get rid of frivolous lawsuits, yes. Start using more paralegals and binding arbitration to settle most civil cases, yes. Limit liability claims, maybe. If you've been damaged somehow, you should be made whole; that's what insurance is for. Possible punitive damages may be called for, depending on the case. But no $3 mil for spilt coffee. We have to take responsiblity for our actions, and if I'm stupid or careless, a business shouldn't have to pay for my mistake unless he is grossly negligent also. But again, tread carefully. Government mandates tend to be cut in stone, with no room for common sense and judgement.
Try these points on for size. Hey, Brave New World, Revisited!