CC2009: Day Five RecapSubmitted by someguy on Sun, 11/15/2009 - 23:42
Summary by Richard Church, Wi delegate:
Today is Sunday. I would have liked to attend chapel this morning, but I am so far behind on sleep already that I can't sacrifice an extra hour to attend. There are Christian chapel services every morning and I hope I will be able to attend at least once or twice in the coming week.
I am pleased with the results of the day. There... Now you know that I can do more than criticize. In actuality, I have not enjoyed being the pessimist for the last few days. I am glad that things are finally starting to roll as the committees come back with their reports. As time grows shorter in the days ahead, I'm confident that the delegates will see the need to discontinue the "chit-chat" altogether.
Our morning presentation was from David Adler of the University of Idaho. The topic was the war powers clause. He gave a brief history of how Congress has exercised, and failed to properly exercise, their power to declare war. Although it seems we have been involved in constant conflict for the last 50 years, we have not actually declared war since World War II. Rather, Congress has often delegated the power to decide on the use of force to the president. This has been especially true under the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. This violates the intent of the Constitution which was to have Congress choose whether to declare war, and then have the President execute the war as Commander-In-Chief.
After the presentation and one of our daily "chat sessions", we got down to business working on the report that had been returned by the Second Amendment Committee. I mentioned in my post yesterday that the committee had failed to include language encouraging citizens to exercise their right to "open carry." But there was no chance to bring this issue up in the morning session.
I moved to divide the question and to vote on the separate sections of the report individually, and the motion carried. Each committee report will have three sections: one addressed to the Congress, one addressed to the States and one proposing civic action to the people. In my opinion, the first two parts of the report were fine, but the last needed some work because of the "open carry" exclusion. I thought that the first two parts would pass easily, but I assumed too much.
A motion was made to change some wording in the first section. However, the person making the motion thought we were on the second part, so his motion was ridiculous. (I found out later that it wasn't even his motion. He was next in line and someone asked him to present their motion, which he unfortunately agreed to do.) I was glad that fellow Wisconsin delegate Rudy Eckert got some time at the microphone during this session. Eventually, after some debate, the report was sent back to the committee for them to revise it.
We enjoyed an excellent brunch followed by several presentations. Gary Kah, Christian speaker, author and delegate from Indiana, introduced the movie "Shadow Government" that has recently been released by Cloud Ten Pictures. I had actually heard about this movie just days before the Continental Congress on the radio program "Crosstalk" on VCY America. The movie, based on a book by Grant Jeffrey, deals with the use of technology by both government and private companies to identify and track every action of our daily lives.
After watching about half of the film, we were joined via video by Karen Albrecht, who is featured in the film. She spoke about Constitutional privacy issues in regard to REAL ID, the Patriot Act, and airline travel. A DVD of the movie and a copy of Gary Kah's book "En Route to Global Occupation" were graciously given to every delegate.
Following our afternoon "chat session," we continued to work on a revised report from the Second Amendment Committee. This time the issue of "open carry" was brought to the forefront. There was some procedural confusion at the beginning which resulted in the body actually adopting the entire report as written, but then deciding to reconsider (on my motion, I might add) the Civic Action portion for the purpose of discussing "open carry." This means that we actually passed the first two parts, but could continue to work on the Civic Action part.
An initial amendment was discussed first. I actually didn't like this amendment, as it was not as strongly worded as others I had seen, but I was in favor of it nonetheless. It represented a compromise by many delegates to come to an acceptable agreement. There was much debate, but possibly the most moving statement was from Catherine Bleish of Missouri. She explained how she had never heard of "open carry" before the Continental Congress, but was now looking forward to seeking out an "open carry" group in her area to collectively exercise the right to bear arms. However, this first Open Carry Amendment was voted down by a vote of 20-22.
Another "open carry" amendment was offered and we didn't have a chance to vote on it before our time expired. I believe that the amendment will pass tomorrow and I intend to speak in favor of it if I have the opportunity.
So my summary of today's action is that several more committees were formed today: one on yesterday's topic of natural born citizenship, and one for each of today's topics of War Powers and Privacy. In addition, we passed remedial instructions to Congress and the States calling for the repeal of all laws that infringe the right to keep and bear arms.