Sheep.

By in large, people are sheep. You’re reminded of a scene from the 1967 film version of Far From the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy’s brilliant novel. On a high pasture bluff overlooking the sea, a crazed sheepdog drives his master’s flock toward the edge of a cliff. The bellwether ram blindly gallops for all he’s worth until he leaves solid ground, taking his fatal leap. Behind him, every last one of his extended family follows suit — every last one dashed on the jagged rocks, hundreds of feet below. Not one of them hesitated. Not one flinched. Not one ewe. Not one lamb. Not one wether. Not one bullock. Not one asked Speedy McDuff where in blazes he was going, or why. Not one turned to her cousin and shrieked, “Bleat . . .baa . . .maa . . . bleat . . . ” (Translation — “Blimey, Matilda, where’s the bloody fire?”). Staring pointblank at eternity, they behaved exactly like — well — like sheep. Yes, you will say these are creatures without cognitive skills. You can’t judge them anymore than you can judge a toddler who plays with matches. But, given centuries of historical evidence, you do have ample reason to judge adult human sheep. These are people, human beings who march with the mob. Intoxicated, the German sheep followed the demonic tirades of a certified Nazi psychopath. Millions of German, Polish and Czech sheep  shuffled submissively onto boxcars and into death camps. Under the boots of kings and emperors, generations of peasants and slaves dutifully accepted their subservient station in life and obediently bowed to the bidding of their privileged betters. If history has proven only one thing, it is that genocide and sheep were made for each other. Thankfully, by the grace of God, in the mid-to-late 18th century, a handful of men decided to be, in the words of Peter Finch (aka, Howard Beale), “mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore.” A handful of men decided that the days of acting as sheep were over. Against all odds, they not only sent King George packing, but also gave future generations a Gift for The Ages — an immaculate political doctrine dedicated to the utterly preposterous idea of Individual Freedom. With the Declaration of independence as a belief code, they set about crafting a Charter between Governments and the People. Strip away all the “whereof’s” and “whereafter’s” and what you have left is a set of rules that have a single, all-powerful purpose — to limit the centralized “Federal” Government to a very narrow authority and jurisdiction — and to give utmost sovereignty to the States. But it so happened these gents were truly educated — in the ways of the world, in history, and in the Nature of Man. They didn’t trust in future lawmakers’ fealty to The Constitution. These Founders — in fact — predicted that the Federal Government would gradually overstep its jurisdiction and would creep into outright tyranny — if left unchecked. And the people — the sheep — would sit comfortably on the sidelines to observe their freedoms erode like the ever shifting banks of an ancient river. Welcome to the United States of America, circa 2017. The sheep are indeed milling about. You see the danger. You whine about it. You sit in groups, state the obvious, chew your cud and wait for the next election. But nothing changes. The Fed grows larger. The dependent States grow weaker. The Founders predicted it — but they gave you — the sheep — the remedy to stop the runaway Federal train. In their genius, they created Article V of the Constitution — that gives the States the supreme, inviolable power to not only stop the train, but also to detach most of its cars. You must ask why every State in the Union has not already called for A Convention of States. Why? You must ask why any thinking person — any average person, any official lawmaker — would oppose this exceptional remedy to end the Federal corruption and madness, and restore the balances of power. You ask the “why” question, knowing all along that you don’t want to hear the answer. You have to face it. You have an unstoppable Federal train because the people either want to ride that train or they just don’t care. You see, by in large, sad to say, the people are sheep.

Take The Field.

This Fodder posting is an interruption to the traditional self appointed judgment and opinion dumps that routinely plow the ancient ground of human folly. Instead, what follows is a report from Mark Meckler, co-founder of the Convention of States (COS) movement. You should pay the closest attention to this historic undertaking. And you should leave the sidelines and take the field. No matter where you live, if you do nothing else, simply take a minute to read below and add your name to the COS petition. If you believe the Federal Government will restrain itself from growing exponentially and restrain itself from meddling in every facet of  your life; if you think Donald single-handedly can restore The Constitutional limitations on the Fed; you better lay off the Kool-Aid.  Ed.

Excerpts from Mark Meckler & COS Team
It’s easy to idolize people, to put them on a pedestal and assume they’re better than they are. Actors, athletes, politicians and many other celebrities disappoint us. Some make their flaws more obvious than others. Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace; Bill Clinton was impeached. Most have failed us in some way. Conservative hero Ronald Reagan – a favorite here at the COS office — vowed to do away with the Department of Education. Yet the Federal Government grew under his administration; and, yes, his DOE swelled even larger.

Now, many of you are hopeful about Donald Trump’s presidency. So are we. But no matter his good intentions, Congress will resist and his power as President is limited. You have witnessed Congress blocking improvements time and again. No one has earned the distrust of American voters like the current established political leaders. Ideally, Trump will try to “drain the swamp” as he colorfully promised. But ask yourself, “How can he remove the sludge of ego and corruption from Congress?” Electing and appointing better leaders and Cabinet members won’t cut it. Changing people is only temporary. We didn’t amass a $20+ trillion debt by electing better people.

Thankfully, our Founding Fathers planned ahead. They created three separate branches of government to help keep each in check. The checks and balances haven’t worked out quite as they expected, have they? But the Founders weren’t naïve – hardly. They anticipated excessive Federal control and the threat of tyranny. So they gave us an “emergency cord” in Article V – so that we the people could pull that cord if the three branches fail to keep each other in check. Tom Jefferson warned against having “confidence in man,” but that we should “bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”

As Trump (and Reagan before him) have used the phrase so well, we do want to “drain the swamp” ego, incompetence and corruption. Thanks to our Founding Fathers, we – and only we — actually have the power and the obligation to do it. Donald Trump said this in his Inaugural Speech, “Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning because today, we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you, the people.”

North Carolina is on the front lines in the fight for liberty. Because you stood with us from the start, I wanted to give you the “inside scoop” of what has transpired to date and where we stand today in The Tar Heel State regarding the COS Resolution.

NC filed the Article V Convention of States resolution on February 7th in both houses. Since 2016 was a budget only session, this is our time and we must take advantage of it. Representative Bert Jones is leading the way as our Sponsor. With a strategic plan in place, it is North Carolina’s time to shine.

On the national front, Washington DC will undoubtedly resist  President Trump’s promises. It is human nature. Even Reagan failed to reduce the size and scope of the federal government. This is no time for ‘We The People’ to rest. We can’t rely on those inside DC to do this, no matter how well intentioned. What is needed is not just a change in personnel, but a change in structure to create long-term permanent change.

Everywhere, people are waiting for a long-term solution. State by state, Americans are fighting to restore liberty and North Carolinians are no exception. Over 17,000 of you have signed the COS petition asking their legislators to vote yes on the COS Resolution. NC will take a stand and stand behind the Constitution.

UPDATE
44 STATES HAVE FILED THE COS RESOLUTION
8 STATES HAVE PASSED THE RESOLUTION
COS HAS HOUSE FLOOR VOTE WINS IN 18 STATES
COS HAS SENATE FLOOR VOTE WINS IN 11 STATES
COS HAS COMMITTEE WINS IN 24 STATES

Sign the petition here and now.
www.conventionofstates.com

Reminder to those of you who are new to the objectives of this movement:
This is not a Constitutional Convention. It is a Convention of States to offer amendments as empowered under Article V of The Constitution. With ratification approval of 34 states, the COS would call the convention to offer amendments in three legally restricted areas: 1. To place fiscal restraints on the Federal Government; 2. To limit the Power and Scope of the Federal Government; 3. To set Term Limits on Federal officials. MM

Sum Total.

The British colonel rested his arms on the railing of his enemy’s recently constructed bridge. He peered into the early morning mist. It was a moment of reflection. He spoke quietly, haltingly. “But there are times . . . when suddenly you realize you’re nearer the end than the beginning. You wonder . . . you ask yourself . . . what the sum total of your life represents . . . what difference your being there at any time made to anything . . . or if it made any difference at all, really . . . particularly in comparison with other men’s careers. I don’t know whether that kind of thinking is very healthy . . . but I must admit I’ve had some thoughts along those lines . . . from time to time.” Big movies tend to send big messages. Healthy thinker or not, Colonel Nicholson had every reason to ponder his life. In wartime, at a jungle POW camp, death was his ready companion, only a heartbeat away, ever present. Eventually, in war or peace, everyone reaches the season of death. You don’t make speeches about it. You don’t stand on a bridge and mutter platitudes. But you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t occasionally consider the conduct of your life — to ask if your existence has meant anything beyond your own survival — if by intent or by chance you moved the needle a fraction or raised the bar an inch. To be sure, your resume won’t break new ground. Maybe dig up some anticipated things somebody can list in an obit or say during final ceremonies. Creditable stuff, to be fair.  Exaggerated stuff, perhaps. Typical involvements, yes. Military. Civic clubs. Chambers of Commerce. Churches. Social Clubs. Political activism. Charities, awards. plaques and pats on the back. No transformative exploit to mention. No invention. No feat of heroism. Anyway, if you insist on living too long, no one’s around to know or remember the journey, especially your dislocated years — the apprehensive, anxious boyhood, the thirst for attention, the need for acceptance, the scratching and clawing to dig out of economic deprivation. And no one knows, or wants to know, about the stuff in the closet. God forbid. Unfortunately, God already knows. Well, Colonel, you were right. This kind of thinking isn’t healthy. Even more, it’s a shabby brand of narcissism and vanity — of morbid self pity in the face of loss, staring at mortality. You’re better served to get off that bridge. Forget the epilogue and remember things worth remembering. When you wrote the petition in 10th grade biology class that all but two students signed, refusing to take an unjust test from a  luscious female teacher fresh out of college. The scandal rocked the school and you prepared for maximum security at the state penitentiary. When you stood at the urinal under Duke indoor stadium and bummed your first cigarette off a New Jersey freshman whose swarthy kisser easily passed for a 40-year-old good fella. On a moonlit night, in Duke gardens, lusting for coed Pat Petit whose name you thought couldn’t be coincidental. When you stood on the mound, staring down at 6’7″ clean-up hitter and All American Frank Howard of the Ohio State National Champions, waving a club that looked 10 feet long. Then, on that still, summer afternoon, when you saw the brunette doll in her backyard, wearing cuffed blue jeans, white sweat shirt, white socks and saddle oxfords; and heard the tinkling laugh. Her name was Nancy. In that instant, real life began. So you see, Colonel, self evaluation is a pointless exercise. You’re better served  to ask , “What difference her being there at any time made to anything.” That’s easy. All the difference in the world. Ask anyone.

The ranting and raving of critical Dick.