(April 21, 2008)
[If you want your letters to be published, you must include your first and last names and your city and state of residence. Also, please, enter in the subject line of your e-mail "letter to the editor," and specify the article or the subject on which you are commenting.]
The Unrepresented American People: Gilles d'Aymery's Blips #68
Thank you for mentioning "Thirty-Thousand.org" in your recent commentary (on the state of our "democracy," in your Blips #68).
Thirty-Thousand.org ( "TTO" ) presents a complicated topic that is not easy to explain and is difficult to understand! Very few people think about the size of the US House of Representatives and the consequences of maintaining an oligarchy. Moreover, people frequently do not recognize that this is a non-partisan cause.
The size of the US House of Representatives has been fixed at 435 Representatives ever since 1913 (except for a four-year period when it was temporarily increased to 437).
In 1929, this number (435) was made permanent by an act of Congress. During the debates preceding that act, Missouri Representative Ralph Lozier stated:
I am unalterably opposed to limiting the membership of the House to the arbitrary number of 435. Why 435? Why not 400? Why not 300? Why not 250, 450, 535, or 600? Why is this number 435 sacred? What merit is there in having a membership of 435 that we would not have if the membership were 335 or 535? There is no sanctity in the number 435 ... There is absolutely no reason, philosophy, or common sense in arbitrarily fixing the membership of the House at 435 or at any other number.The challenge posed by Representative Lozier in 1928 is still valid: is 435 a sacrosanct number or should it be subject to debate?
The historical record shows that the Founding Fathers intended that the population of congressional districts never exceed 50,000. Today their average size is 700,000; by 2100 their average size will be 1.3 million. As a result, we no longer have federal Representatives that faithfully and honorably represent the interests of their constituents. We believe this to be the root cause of why our government has become "broken." This goes right to the heart of the principle "That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed" (from the Declaration of Independence).
Moreover, as a result of "fixing" the size of our House of Representatives, some congressional districts are nearly twice as large as others and, consequently, our federal House is in egregious violation of the Constitutional principle of "one person one vote."
Related to this matter is the little-known fact that the very first amendment proposed in the U.S. Bill of Rights was never ratified. What was the purpose of that amendment? Why was it completely forgotten after being ratified by all but one state? Why does it contain an inexplicable mathematical defect? To learn more about this interesting subject, please read this story:
http://enlargethehouse.blogtownhall.com/default.aspx (note the links provided within the article).
A list of relevant articles is also provided at the bottom of this Web page:
An overview of this subject is also provided on the home page of http://www.thirty-thousand.org.
Feel free to contact me at quidamATthirty-thousand.org if you have any questions.
Jeff E. Quidam
Dunwoody, Georgia, USA - April 7, 2008
[Ed. Readers should also look at the project Change Congress, created by Lawrence Lessig, a professor at Stanford Law School.]
Trust Congress to set up an Article V Convention and to obey the Constitution? Carol Warner Christen's Power, Profits, Propaganda Unbound
To the Editor:
My initial reaction to this heart-wrenching confession of a deeply saddened American was that I too was born in 1939 and I think that those of us who have a half century or more of witnessing first-hand the decline of America see so many ugly truths that the vast majority of Americans block from their consciousness -- because they are just too painful.
It is extremely difficult to maintain any optimism about fixing our nation. I urge Carol and other similarly saddened people to examine our effort at foavc.org to get Congress to obey the Constitution and give us our first Article V convention to consider constitutional amendments -- that the Founders anticipated would be needed when citizens lost trust in the federal government. We old folks know that that day has surely arrived, as the recent national poll that found 81 percent of Americans believing the nation is on the wrong track surely supports.
Further, we cannot elect our way out of our mess. Obama with all his fancy rhetoric never informs and educates the public that only through a number of constitutional amendments can we achieve truly fundamental political reforms.
Joel S. Hirschhorn
Chevy Chase, Maryland, USA - April 7, 2008
Both Kurt Vonnegut and Philip Greenspan had it Right!
To the Editor:
A reader keeps asking me what the message is in my writing. I tell him that I don't mess with those things. He looks unhappy. I think of telling him the old joke about Western Union delivering such stuff. But I decide not to. Too old, it will date me.
Messages pestages, I tell him instead. He looks insulted. I say to read our Phil Greenspan in Swans: "Terrorists, shmerrorists, it's all part of the rhetoric bullshit." (See " Rhetoric And Reality: Democracy And Hypocrisy," March 13, 2006.)
Kurt Vonnegut said in Timequake, "We are here on Earth to fart around. Don't let anybody tell you any different."
But he wrote Slaughterhouse-Five, the best American antiwar book ever.
Lecce, Italy - April 8, 2008
American Exceptionalism: Carol Warner Christen's Power, Profits, Propaganda Unbound
To the Editor:
The American people are just fine with this because they believe in American Exceptionalism: the very best people who came up with the very best society -- government -- economic system that ever existed on the face of this planet.
Well let me tell you something: unless we DROP this LIE entirely and EXTREMELY SOON, we, after the end of WW3, or the 2nd Coming of Christ, take your pick, we will be known as the very WORST people who created the very WORST society -- government -- economic system that ever existed on the face of this planet!
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA - April 17, 2008
Remember Peter Handke and Serbia? Gilles d'Aymery's The Peter Handke Controversy (May 2006)
To the Editor:
I wanted to thank Gilles d'Aymery for the article about Peter Handke. I had been surfing the Web for something about him, and had started to despair, seeing that most articles pro and con seemed to accept the idea that his support of the "Serbian Hitler" was some sort of artistic, or eccentric aberration. I remember back to those dark days corporate media demonisation of the Serbs; back before the declaration of the newly minted NATO narco-state, Kosovo, along with today's story of starving Haitians protesting in Port au Prince and being beaten back by UN troops protecting another US/UN installed narco state, not to mention the Afghan one, etc... I'd read this article in Global Research by Marjaleena Repo about the PR firm that was paid to sell the bombing campaign, the "hostile takeover" of a sovereign state by triumphant capitalism. I don't want to try your patience, but I'd like to attach this portion of the article at the end. Myself, living in North America, I had to suffer through the breast beating of the caviar left, the likes of Susan Sontag bleating about "rape camps" and other apologists of empire like Ignatieff, the Orwellian constructs like "humanitarian bombing," Yugoslav plants bombed to make way for Mercedes, Frankfort School philosophers mugged by Heidegerean nihilists in the universities, along with the return of pop sociobiology and the other intellectual trappings of soft totalitarianism. From the article in Global Research:
The pack-journalism over the last ten years has also succeeded in hoodwinking many Canadians into thinking that what is at stake is the good-riddance of a Serbian Hitler who has attempted a "final solution" of sorts on assorted ethnic groups in Yugoslavia. A lot of well-intentioned people are cheering the bombing of yet another pariah nation into the Stone Age. With the accumulated effects of media rumour-mongering and willful disinformation, who can blame these folks for their barely controlled blood thirst? After all, because Hitler wasn't stopped in time, millions perished in concentration camps, goes the heart-felt argument.
Montreal, Quebec - April 9, 2008
Gilles d'Aymery responds:
Thank you, Mr. Winspear, to remind me and our readership of the latest example (before Iraq) of a world gone awry for the benefits of the oligarchy. I have written a lot about Handke and Yugoslavia. On Handke, please check "The Hanging Of Peter Handke From The Orthodox Gallows" and "Three Faces Of Ostracism." On Yugoslavia, you will need to peruse our archives. There are so many articles and essays that I cannot cite them all in this space. But one can write at his or her heart's content thanks to the First Amendment of the US Constitution; it does not mean that it is being read by the masses or acknowledged in the corporate media. Hence, Main Street, utterly uninformed and disinformed, remains clueless as the game keeps going unabated.
Thank you again for your input. It's a satisfying experience, emotionally at least, to see a tiny, tiny few people, walk the same untraveled path. Keep in touch, if you will.
We appreciate and welcome your comments. Please, enter in the subject line of your e-mail "letter to the editor," and specify the article or the subject you are commenting on at the beginning of your e-mail. Also, ***PLEASE,*** sign your e-mail with your name ***AND*** add your city, state, country, address, and phone number. If we publish your opinion we will only include your name, city, state, and country. Send your comments to the Editor. (Letters may be shortened and edited.)