Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Draining the Swamp

Here we are about 8 months into the Trump administration.  And I am shocked that the Senate and the House, both under Republican majorities, continue to be more of a block to implementing the populist policies we elected Trump to achieve than the Democrats.

I keep waiting and hoping that the GOP leadership will do the right thing and start working with Trump to implement the agenda Trump was elected to do.  But no, Congress failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare).  Congress is dithering and apparently doing nothing on tax reform.  Ann Coulter continues to tweet almost daily that zero miles of the wall were built yesterday and zero miles of the wall were built today.  The intelligence agencies continue to run their own agendas and continue to be the source of leaks besmirching POTUS.  The President continues to advance slowly on appointing judges.  The DOJ continues to fail to address any of the illegal activities of some members of the prior administration.  The State Department continues to refuse to comply with FOIA requests for data on current and prior administration activities.  And the list could go on and on.

I am concluding that the only way that any "swamp draining" is going to happen is if the States call a Constitutional Convention.  Per Article 5 of the US Constitution, two-thirds of our fifty states, thirty-four, must call for a National Convention (aka Constitutional Convention or Amendments Convention).

According to Wikipedia "In recent years some have argued that state governments should call for such a convention. They include Michael FarrisLawrence LessigSanford LevinsonLarry SabatoJonathan Turley, and Mark Levin. In 2015, Citizens for Self-Governance launched a nationwide effort to call an Article V Convention, through a project called Convention of the States, in a bid to rein in the federal government.  As of 2017, CSG's resolution has passed in 12 states."  (See the quoted Wikipedia article here.)

Wikipedia has an article on Citizens for Self-Governance here.  Their website can be found here.  Might be worth a read to see if you support their objectives.

I call for President Trump to begin a national campaign to invoke the Article 5 Convention.  At the time of this writing third-eight of the US States are considered "Republican".  The time is ripe for marshaling those states and convening the Convention.  If 12 have already called for the Convention, only 26 more are needed.

Some of the topics that I would like to see addressed (amendments approved) at the convention include:

  • Term limits of US Representatives and US Senators (12 years?)
  • Term limits for all Federal judges (10 years?)
  • Balanced budget amendment
  • Immigration reform / Elimination of "sanctuary" status
  • Fixing the 14th amendment to eliminate anchor babies
  • Voting rights reform: ID requirements, citizenship
  • Fixing the 2nd Amendment to eliminate ambiguity
  • Prohibiting unions for all government employees

There is down-side risk to calling a convention.  Things could go wrong.  Some states might propose amendments that I don't care for.  But with all 50 states present at the Convention I believe that any extreme amendments would be unlikely to pass and that the majority would make rational and reasonably limited and well worded amendments.  Also, I'm willing to admit that I'm not the best or final arbiter of what a Convention of States will decide for our future.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

On North Korea

Time for the US to conduct a preemptive massive nuclear strike on the DPRK.

  1. The DPRK has successfully tested fission and fusion devices.
  2. The DPRK claims to have achieved miniaturization for fitting devices onto missiles, or the Washington Post published anonymous intelligence sources that they have determined that DPRK has achieved this capability.
  3. The DPRK has now tested first strike capable solid fuel boosters from their track mounted carriers (12 Feb 17).
  4. Recent ICBM test launches have demonstrated that the DPRK rockets can target US territories and mainland population centers.  They either will or do have the entire USA within range of their nuclear threat.
  5. The DPRK has successfully tested SLBM capability, helping to bring every coastal city in the USA within range of those platforms.
The DPRK's co-development activities with Iran is an irritant that makes their capability all the more dangerous.  If I were sitting in Israel, I would assume that all of the attributes of the DPRK system are present in Iran.

Several countries already have passed all of these steps and are well known as adversaries (threats) to the USA, including Russia and China.  And the USA is positioned the same way against them.  What is the difference?
  • All of those countries have societies and infrastructures that I believe they value.  They have something to lose.  In the words of Sting, "Do the Russians love their children, too".
  • All of those countries have leadership that appears to both be stable and acting within the bounds of reason and under some control of a larger governmental body.
  • All of those countries are currently NOT in a state of war with the USA and its allies.
None of these mitigating factors apply to the DPRK.  Their hereditary leader has stated that he is ready, willing, and able to conduct a first strike on the USA. The evidence of the reality of these threats and threats seems unequivocal.  

The DPRK continues to assassinate people around the world, and continue to run internal purges (murders).  They lack respect for human life and for international norms of behavior.  Essentially we are under the gun of a mad man.  

The strike has to destroy both the political leadership in the DPRK and all of the DPRK's army elements capable of retaliation.  So the strike has to be massive.  It has to destroy not only the ICBM retaliation capability, but the ability to strike South Korea in retaliation.  And it might need to be followed by a land invasion to prevent a massive conventional response.  Though I doubt the remaining elements of the DPRK army will want to counter attack after the massive strike.

The THAAD system is operational in South Korea and in Japan.  Since taking out 100% of the DPRK's missile capacity in the first strike seems improbable so the THAAD system will provide some relief for the poor people in ROK and Japan.

The situation is untenable.   Since I value all US cities and lives above those of any in the DPRK, this is the time to act.