Nero’s fiddle plays on

By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings

Imagine a time when young people were taught to respect their elders; but not only taught, they were expected to show that respect. There’s a sign post ahead, your next stop… the Twilight Zone.

It wasn’t long ago children were taught to say, “Thank You, Sir”, “Please”, “May I”, “Excuse me” or a host of other standard pleasantries in order to express a mutual regard for each other.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that a fellow in Jacksonville, Florida is in big trouble after a serious confrontation with a bunch of young thugs who refused to turn down their music. You can read some of the details as reported in an A/P article, ‘Loud music’ shooter called himself ‘victim’ in jail calls.

“The Florida software designer accused of killing a black teenager during an argument over loud music compared himself to a rape victim, telling his fiancee in a recorded jailhouse phone call that the police were trying to blame him for the shooting when he was only defending himself.”


“Dunn, 47, was convicted Saturday of three counts of attempted second-degree murder for shooting at three of Davis’ friends who were all inside an SUV, but the jury hung on a first-degree murder charge for Davis’ death. Dunn, who is white, has argued that he fired at Davis after the teen threatened him and raised a shotgun or something that looked like one after he asked the teens to turn down their rap music. No shotgun was found in the SUV.”

Details were a bit sketchy as to how the incident escalated; but having a minor confrontation turn into a full blown war only takes a moment, sometimes half a moment. I’m not here to expound on the virtues of any presumed Stand Your Ground law, something which has surfaced among the politically correct media or whether or not the charges fit the crime; and surely a crime was committed; no, that’s not my purpose in writing.

The problem for Michael Dunn started long before being faced with a car full of disrespectful ‘turds’ (a police slang often used when not in front of the news media) with their music cranked up…, the problem started long before…

In the movie, Secondhand Lions, there’s a scene inside a general store with the McCann brothers sitting down at the counter to have lunch, their young protégé along side observing life. (This is just after Hub checked himself out of the hospital, having suffered a heart attack at the feed store while loading fifty pound sacks of lion meal into his truck.)

Several young men waltzed in and one of them was so bold as reach over and grab at the meal being enjoyed; but Hub McCann batted his hand in such a way as to challenge any further action.

Hood 1: Hey, who do you think you are, huh?

Garth: Just a dumb kid, Hub. Don’t kill him.

Hub: [to Garth] Right.

[Grabs Hood 1 by the throat]

Hub: I’m Hub McCann. I’ve fought in two World Wars and countless smaller ones on three continents. I led thousands of men into battle with everything from horses and swords to artillery and tanks. I’ve seen the headwaters of the Nile, and tribes of natives no white man had ever seen before. I’ve won and lost a dozen fortunes, KILLED MANY MEN and loved only one woman with a passion a FLEA like you could never begin to understand. That’s who I am. NOW, GO HOME, BOY!”

Maybe Michael Dunn is guilty of being an anachronism and nothing more. He’s found out our society no longer teaches or expects a modicum of respect for anyone much less for those who have earned it.

Several years ago while putting gas in my truck a young man in a fancy convertible pulled up on the far side of the lot with his music so loud as to be annoying even from a distance. A police unit at the pump next to me was also filling his gas tank, oblivious to the loud music.

My warped sense of humor kicked in as I challenged the officer, “Five bucks says you can’t shoot a hole in that radio on the first shot.”, as I aimed my hand, as if it were a pistol and clicking off a shot complete with imagined recoil in the general direction of the offending vehicle.

Some officers have no sense of humor. He quickly explained that shooting out the radio was against the law. In the back of my mind a less than wholesome thought came to mind, something like “No shirt Sherlock” except the second word only sounds like shirt.

In the end we all lose; an otherwise law abiding citizen’s life has been turned upside down and he’ll probably spend several years in prison. The three surviving ‘model citizens’ will continue to play their music as loud as they want without regard for anyone because they have no respect for anyone, to include themselves.

This could have been avoided with a little civility, something we’re sorely lacking. When family values, morality and the bible are removed from the public square and schools the fabric which holds everything together falls apart.

Nero’s fiddle plays on.

This article has been cross-posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government & The American Constitution.”


Article V Convention: How “Individuals of Insidious Views” Are Stealing Our Constitution

By Publius Huldah

Q: How are amendments to the federal Constitution made?
A: Article V of our Constitution provides two method of amending the Constitution:
1. Congress proposes amendments and presents them to the States for ratification; or
2. When 2/3 of the States apply for it, Congress calls a convention to propose amendments.

Q: Which method was used for our existing 27 amendments?
A: The first method was used for all 27 amendments including the Bill of Rights which were introduced into Congress by James Madison.3

Q: Is there a difference between a constitutional convention, con con, or Article V Convention?
A: These names have been used interchangeably during the last 50 years.

Q: What is a “convention of states”?
A: That is what the people pushing for an Article V convention now call it.

Q: Who is behind this push for an Art. V convention?
A: The push to impose a new Constitution by means of an Article V convention (and using a “balanced budget” amendment as justification) started in 1963 with the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations.1 Today, it is pushed by:
• Hundreds of progressive (Marxist) groups listed at https://movetoamend.org/organizations
George Soros
Michael Farris, Esq., of “Convention of States” (COS), and author of the “parental rights” amendment which delegates power over children to the federal & state governments.
Nick Dranias, Esq., of the Compact for America, Inc., whose “balanced budget” amendment imposes a new national sales or VAT tax on the American People.
• Former law professor, Rob Natelson.
Nullification denier and law professor, Randy Barnett, who proposes an amendment which delegates to Congress the power to regulate “emissions” [EPA now exercises usurped powers].
• Nullification denier and birther denier, Mark Levin, Esq., whose “balanced budget” amendment legalizes Congress’ unconstitutional spending and does nothing to control the debt.

Q: Why do they want an Article V Convention?
A: The only way to get rid of our existing Constitution and Bill of Rights is to have an Article V convention where they can re-write our Constitution. Jordan Sillars, Communications Director for Michael Farris’ “Convention of States”, said:

“… 3. I think the majority of Americans are too lazy to elect honest politicians. But I think some men and women could be found who are morally and intellectually capable of re-writing the Constitution” [boldface mine].

Q: How can they impose a new constitution if ¾ of the States don’t agree to it?
A: Only amendments require ratification by ¾ of the States (see Art. V). But a new constitution would have its own new method of ratification – it can be whatever the drafters want. For example, the proposed Constitution for the Newstates of America is ratified by a referendum called by the President.

Q: Can a convention be stopped from proposing a new Constitution?
A: No. Once the delegates are duly appointed & assembled, they are acting under the inherent authority of A People to alter or abolish their form of government [Declaration of Independence, 2nd para]; and have the sovereign power to do whatever they want at the convention.

Q: Is this what happened at the Federal Convention of 1787?
A: Yes. Pursuant to Article XIII of The Articles of Confederation, the Continental Congress resolved on February 21, 1787 (p 71-74) to call a convention to be held at Philadelphia “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”. But the delegates ignored this limitation and wrote a new Constitution. Because of this inherent authority of delegates, it is impossible to stop it from happening at another convention. And George Washington, James Madison, Ben Franklin, and Alexander Hamilton won’t be there to protect you.

Q: Did the delegates at the Convention of 1787 introduce a new mode of ratification for the new Constitution?
A: Yes. The Articles of Confederation required the approval of all 13 States for amendments to the Articles to be ratified. But the new Constitution provided it would become effective if only 9 of the 13 States ratified it (Art. VII, cl. 1, U.S. Constitution).

Q: Who would be delegates at a Convention?
A: Either Congress appoints whomever they want; or State governments appoint whomever they want.

Q: Who would be chairman at a convention?
A: We don’t know. But chairmen have lots of power – and George Washington won’t be chairman.

Q: But if the States appoint the delegates, won’t a convention be safe?
A: Who controls your State? They will be the ones who choose the delegates if Congress permits the States to appoint delegates. Are the people who control your State virtuous, wise, honest, and true? [Tell PH if they are, so she can move there.]

Q: But aren’t the States the ones to rein in the federal government?
A: They should have been, but the States have become major consumers of federal funding. Federal funds make up almost 35% of the States’ annual budgets. The States don’t want to rein in the feds – they don’t want to lose their federal funding.

Q: Did Thomas Jefferson say the federal Constitution should be amended every 20 years?
A: No! In his letter to Samuel Kercheval of July 12, 1816, Jefferson wrote about the Constitution for the State of Virginia, which he said needed major revision. And remember James Madison’s words in Federalist No. 45 (3rd para from the end):

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce … The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which … concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.” [boldface mine]

The powers delegated to the feds are “few and defined” – what’s to amend? All else is reserved to the States or the People – so State Constitutions would need more frequent amendments. Do you see?

Q: Did Alexander Hamilton say in Federalist No 85 (next to last para) that a convention is safe?
A: No! He said, respecting the ratification of amendments, that we “may safely rely on the disposition of the State legislatures to erect barriers against the encroachments of the national authority”. But today, our State legislatures don’t protect us from federal encroachments because:
• We have been so dumbed down by progressive education that we know nothing & can’t think;
• State legislatures have been bought off with federal funds; and
• Our public and personal morality is in the sewer.

Q: Did Our Framers – the ones who signed The Constitution – think conventions a fine idea?
A: No!
Mr. Pinckney said on September 15, 1787:

“Conventions are serious things, and ought not to be repeated.”

Alexander Hamilton wrote of:

“…the utter improbability of assembling a new convention, under circumstances in any degree so favorable to a happy issue, as those in which the late convention met, deliberated, and concluded…” Federalist No. 85 (9th para)

James Madison said in his letter of Nov. 2, 1788 to Turberville:2

“3… an election into it would be courted by the most violent partizans on both sides; it … would be the very focus of that flame which has already too much heated men of all parties; would no doubt contain individuals of insidious views, who under the mask of seeking alterations popular in some parts but inadmissible in other parts of the Union might have a dangerous opportunity of sapping the very foundations of the fabric. … it seems scarcely to be presumable that the deliberations of the body could be conducted in harmony, or terminate in the general good. Having witnessed the difficulties and dangers experienced by the first Convention, which assembled under every propitious circumstance, I should tremble for the result of a Second, meeting in the present temper of America…” [boldface mine]

Q: Do we have “violent partizans” or “individuals of insidious views” who seek a “dangerous opportunity to sap the very foundations of the fabric” of our country?
A: Yes, and they have been pushing for an Article V convention since 1963.

Q: What did our Framers say about the purpose of amendments to the Constitution?
the novelty and difficulty of what they were doing would require periodic revision (Mr. Gerry on June 5, 1787);
• remedy defects in the Constitution (Hamilton on Sep. 10, 1787);
• useful amendments would address the “organization of the government, not … the mass of its powers” (Federalist No. 85, 13th para); and
• “amendment of errors” & “useful alterations” suggested by experience (Federalist No. 43 at 8.)3

Q: But those pushing for a convention say the remedy for politicians who violate the Constitution is to amend the Constitution.
A: Yes, that is their crazy claim: that even though for over a century, the feds have been usurping hundreds of powers not delegated in the Constitution, all we have to do is amend the Constitution, and everyone will start obeying it.4

Q: But they say the feds would obey future amendments because the feds haven’t violated recent amendments, such as women’s suffrage.
A: Of the 15 amendments ratified since the 12th in 1804; 10 increased the powers of the feds (13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 23rd, 24th, 26th); and 4 were “housekeeping” amendments (20th, 22nd, 25th, 27th) – so of course the feds “obeyed” those.5

Q: What about their claim that the feds violate the Constitution because they don’t understand it?
A: Rubbish! Our Constitution is so simple that Hamilton said The People were “the natural guardians of the Constitution”. The Oath of office at Art. VI, clause 3, implicitly requires the feds to learn it. For phrases the feds have perverted – such as the “interstate commerce”, “general welfare” & “necessary and proper” clauses, a quick look into The Federalist Papers reveals the original intent. I illustrate that here and elsewhere.

Q: How do we get rid of the bad amendments such as the 16th &17th?
A: Repeal them the same way we repealed the 18th amendment. Instead of sending to Congress people who don’t know the Constitution; send people who know the Constitution and commit to repealing the bad amendments. And if they don’t act to repeal them, fire them!

Q: Why was the “convention method” put in Article V?
A: This chart compiles the references in Madison’s Journal of the Federal Convention of 1787 to what became Article V.
• Law professor John A. Eidsmoe suggests the convention method of Article V was added rather hastily, at the time when the delegates were closing their deliberations, and this provision did not receive the careful attention given to most other provisions of the Constitution.
• It may also have been a compromise designed to induce Gov. Morris, Gerry, Mason, & Randolph to sign the Constitution.6

Q: Why can’t what happens at the convention be controlled by federal or State laws?
A: We are naïve and tell ourselves that people will “play by the rules”. So we assume all we have to do is make some laws saying delegates can’t exceed the scope of the call, and everyone will obey it.

But if they don’t, who is going to enforce these laws you have so much faith in? The feds? Obama would love the constitution for the Newstates of America – it makes him dictator! He won’t prosecute delegates who violate the call. Your State government? They sold you out to the feds long ago. Errant delegates will be protected by the feds. It doesn’t matter what a law says if it isn’t enforced.

Ever since 1963, globalists have intended to use an Article V convention as the means for imposing a new Constitution on us. Today, George Soros – the destroyer of countries – is financing the push for a convention. Don’t let him and his minions destroy America.


This little chart illustrates our Constitution & Declaration and the enumerated powers delegated to the federal government. For 100 years, we elected politicians who ignore them. We don’t understand that the amendments proposed by Michael Farris, Mark Levin, Randy Barnett, & Nick Dranias increase the powers of the federal government because we don’t know the list of enumerated powers in the Constitution. You could remedy that: Print out the chart and read the Constitution & Declaration!

As The Blue Tail Gadfly said, even though “the Constitution is not being enforced, it still declares this federal government LAWLESS! The true rule of law is still on our side, but not for much longer if the Constitution is allowed to be foolishly altered.”

1 http://patriotcoalition.com/docs/Ford-Pursuit-of-Globalism.pdf

2 Those pushing for a convention are not telling the truth about what Madison said in his letter to Turberville. The only way you can know who is telling the truth is to study the letter.

3 Madison did not endorse the “convention method” of proposing amendments. He always said that when States want amendments, they should instruct their congressional delegation to pursue it:

Madison’s comments & proposals at the Federal Convention of 1787 show this.

• In his letter of 1788 to Turberville, he speaks of the two methods of proposing amendments:
“2. A Convention cannot be called … without the previous application of ⅔ of the State legislatures…The difficulties … must …be much greater than will attend the origination of amendments in Congress, which may be done at the … [instruction] of a single State Legislature… ”

• How was the Bill of Rights handled? On May 5, 1789, Rep. Bland (p. 258-261) introduced into Congress a petition from Virginia for an Art. V Convention to propose amendments. On June 8, 1789, Madison (p. 448-460) circumvented Bland and introduced the amendments for Congress to propose to the States. On September 24, 1789, Congress sent them to the States for ratification.

4 If your spouse violates the marriage vows, amend the vows and your marriage will be saved!
If motorists violate the speed limit, amend the speed limit and safety will be restored!
When politicians violate the Constitution, amend the Constitution, and all will obey it!

5 It is important to understand that the proposed amendments drafted by Randy Barnett, Mark Levin, Nick Dranias, and Michael Farris all increase the powers of the federal government by legalizing powers they have already usurped – or they delegate new powers to the federal government.

6 The Constitution was a product of compromise: Alexander Hamilton was an abolitionist – but the Constitution permitted slavery. James Madison wanted to stop the importation of slaves immediately (Federalist No. 42, 6th para); but Art. I, Sec. 9, clause 1 permitted it to continue 20 more years. Hamilton said the Constitution wasn’t perfect, but “is the best that the present views and circumstances of the country will permit” (Federalist No. 85, 6th – 8th paras). The “convention” provision of Art. V seems to have been added – on the last day of deliberations (Sep. 15, 1787) – to induce Gerry, Mason, & Randolph to sign the Constitution. But they still refused to sign.


Watcher’s Council Nominations – Partying At The Brink Edition

The Watcher’s Council

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

This week, The Blue Ridge Forum, Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion and The Pirate’s Cove earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (which won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out Wednesday morning

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members, while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

The Council In Action!:

Greg Aydt over at Rhymes With Right was profiled in a column by the Houston Chronicle after his stand against ‘paid political endorsements’ for GOP candidates in his local county. He has more on the story in his Council nomination this week.

My latest piece, ‘About That Letter From 150 Prominent American Jewsis up at The Times Of Israel and concerns a letter sent to Israeli PM Netanyahu by a number of self-styled American Jewish leaders, whom they are and what it really means. My thanks to all of you whom linked to it and tweeted it.

Debra Heine of Nice Deb posts regularly at Breitbart, and her latest piece is up The Time Patrick Kennedy Channeled Matt Foley On The House Floor (Video). Comedy gold!

Elise Ronan of Liberty’s Spirit has a new piece up at The Times of Israel, ‘Assimilating The Guilt,’ about special needs children and the emotions it can bring out in their parents.

Noted author and Council Alumni Trever Loudon continues with his book tour for his latest opus, “The Enemies Within: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress.” He’ll be appearing on the Glenn Beck Program on ‘The Blaze’ TV next month, with taping scheduled for March 27th.

He’ll also be appearing:

At the American Academy for Constitutional Education
Wednesday, February 19 at 6:30 pm, Immaculate Heart High School
625 E. Magee Raod
Tucson, AZ 85704

On Shane Krauser’s radio show on 1100 KNFX starting at 1:00 pm February 20

At the Scottsdale TEA Party
Thursday, February 20 | 6:30 pm at the Chaparral Suites
5001 N. Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85250

As the opening speaker at The Western Conservative Conference
Friday, February 21 at 6:00 pm and again February 22, held at the Phoenix Convention Center
100 N. 3rd Street
Phoenix, AZ 85004

February 22nd on 1100AM with KFNX Host, Steve Kates, 2:00 pm and again on The ‘Proclaiming Liberty Show’ with Christian Tisch, 960AM 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Feb 23rd on The Lisa Benson Show, KKNT 960AM, Phoenix 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Speaking to The Las Vegas TEA Party
Wednesday, February 26 | 6:30 – 8:00 pm at A Thyme for All Seasons
310 East Warm Springs, Las Vegas, NV 89119

So, let’s see what we have this week…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!