STATES RIGHTS: Help us force Congress to change
The framers of the U.S. Constitution worried there could come a time when Congress would become corrupt and ignore the will of the citizens. They thus included in Article V a second method for amending the Constitution that gives state legislatures the power to circumvent a recalcitrant Congress. When two-thirds of the state legislatures request it, Congress is required to call a convention to propose amendments.
FixitTogether.org is a nonpartisan organization working to get a set of four constitutional amendments adopted, all of which enjoy widespread support from Americans across the political spectrum. Our four proposed amendments are:
• A balanced budget
• Congressional term limits
• Imposing term limits on judges and letting Americans have an up-or-down vote on judges
• Prohibit unfunded mandates on the states.
We are only 11 states away from reaching the needed thirty-four to force a convention to propose a balanced budget amendment.
Even though these reforms have been supported by overwhelming majorities for decades, Congress has ignored them. FixitTogether.org’s strategy to get them adopted centers on using an Article V convention. To help people pressure their state legislators into requesting a convention, our Web site has a state-by-state list of state legislators listing who has taken a pledge to support our four amendments, and it has a tool that allows people to look up their state legislators so they can contact them. Many of us look at our country’s problems and think “someone should do something to fix that.” It is time we as normal Americans take responsibility and do something ourselves?
James Rogers, Mesa
Executive Director, Fixittogether.org
EDUCATION: Texas curriculum conservative
The Texas State Board of Education has approved a new social studies curriculum, which means millions of school children in Texas will study history from a more conservative viewpoint and understand the country’s conservative influences and Christian roots.
The board’s new curriculum will include investigation into why the Founding Fathers protected religious freedoms in the United States and guaranteed it could be exercised freely by ensuring Congress could not create a law that would inhibit such practices.
Outspoken political conservatives, and the majority of the board, wanted the standards to reflect their beliefs; that the Founding Fathers didn’t want “separation of church and state,” that “free enterprise” sounds less pejorative than “capitalism” and that international bodies such as the United Nations undermine U.S. sovereignty.
Students will study pillars of the conservative movement, like the moral majority, and the issue of how we interpret the First Amendment. The curriculum standards will weaken the rationale to the concept of separation of church and state, and students will be taught that “separation of church and state” IS NOT in the U.S. Constitution.
Texas is such a large consumer of textbooks, and if the board’s conservative curriculum changes will stand, it can have a national impact.
Jack and Nineva Salley, Mesa
IMMIGRATION: Reform your own country
If Mexican nationals were half as passionate about fixing their own government as they are in criticizing ours, maybe they could reform their own country and not condemn future generations in Mexico to have to leave their homeland to make the dangerous trek north. After all, there is nothing wrong with Mexico that can’t be fixed. There are no famines, pestilence, earthquakes, floods, volcanoes, despot dictators with torture and rape rooms or ethnic cleansing going on. What there is in Mexico includes abundant resources, tremendous coastlines, a general belief in the principles of capitalism and a favorable climate.
Unfortunately, those on the left in America don’t see it that way. To them, any effort to secure our borders is all about racism. Perhaps that is because the first, last and only time the left was ever on the right side of any social issue was civil rights in the 1960s. In an attempt to relive the “glory days” they try to define every social issue in terms of race. This reasoning is flawed, and in this instance the evidence is in the fact that the majority of Hispanic U.S. citizens support securing the border. Then again, maybe after living in a racist country like America for a period of time, they might have become racists themselves. Yes, that’s it.
Michael R. Rhodanz, Mesa
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