The Other Side of The Conversation Regarding an Article V, Convention of States
October 03, 2022 By Leah Southwell Program Director for The John Birch Society
Can an Article V Convention for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution actually rein in the Federal government?
The Constitution is a Compact or Contract between We the People and the Federal government. It lays out very clearly and with simple language and stated as concisely as possible the limited and enumerated powers and proper authorities of the Federal government. The later added Bill of Rights, specifically in the ninth and tenth amendments, state clearly that just because it isn’t it isn’t named, the federal government can’t do anything not enumerated in the contract and that if we the people didn’t delegate a right or power, to the Federal government, it was to be retained by the states and or the people.
Does the Constitution limit the Federal government, yes, or no? If it hasn’t, why not? What error in the Constitution is causing the Federal government to have assumed unlimited powers?
Is the Constitution the problem and would amending it solve this problem? Or is the problem the lack of adherence? If a contract is not being abided by, do you add amendments or do you enforce it? Efforts to amend the Constitution to fix bad behavior of government is like amending the Ten Commandments to fix bad behavior of individuals.
You can not amend to remove a power never granted!
Why have we not been enforcing it? And who should have been doing this?
Primarily the state legislators should have been opposing usurpations of power? Finally, we the people should have been demanding it! We were supposed to be the guardians of the Constitution and electing representatives that took their oath to uphold it seriously.
Why have we not opposed these abuses of power?
Because often there is a benefit or bribe for complying with unconstitutional demands. Additionally, the Constitution was purposely eliminated from our education, leaving now three generations ignorant of it and to the principles needed to preserve liberty.
What would happen if the states stood up to these abuses and stopped complying?
Most states have over time made themselves deeply dependent on federal funding. They have agreed to comply out of fear of losing the free money and having to live within their own budget. Isn’t this like the pot calling the kettle black. We need to rein in federal spending but don’t decrease what you are sending to us, the states.
Where does this free money or bribe money come from?
The Federal Reserve System we live under is not Federal nor Constitutional. It is able to create money out of this air, used to bribe and enslave not only U.S citizens and states but the entire world. Please read The Creature from Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin. Should we perhaps look deeper at the root causes of our problems?
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Is there a role for an Article V convention, as it is constitutional?
Yes, it is constitutional. It is also a mechanism that has never been used in 235 years. We were given two ways to amend the Constitution. The only way we have ever used is the Congressional method of proposing amendments. Could there be a reason for this? Yes, there are many reasons why.
Why is the Convention method risky and fraught with unknowns?
The well-funded and most vocal lobbying organization pushing for a Convention is called Convention of States Action. They claim that by calling it a Convention of States it is not a Constitutional Convention. We are both talking about an Article V Convention for proposing amendments. It is the same thing. Calling it something other than it has always been called doesn’t change its nature or it’s lack of rules.
Blacks Law Dictionary defines it as;
"A duly constituted assembly of delegates or representatives of the people of a state or nation for the purpose of framing, revising, or amending its constitution. Art. V of U.S. Const, provides that a Constitutional Convention may be called on application of the Legislatures of two-thirds of the states."
What are the rules for a Convention?
Article V only gives us one clear instruction. Upon application of 34 states to Congress, Congress calls the convention. There are no other instructions for a Convention. If the goal is to circumvent Congress, then applying to them for a convention is a lousy way to do it! If the states want to have a meeting to discuss ways to rein them in, then suggest a regular meeting, don’t endanger the whole constitution! The rules being promoted to the state legislators such as them controlling it, that each state will have one vote, the ratification process ensures bad proposals from being ratified, that they will nominate and control the delegates and most egregiously promising that it can be limited, are not found in the Constitution. These assurances have been made up to sway the state legislators into believing this is a safe method.
In 1787 the convention delegates locked the doors and no one knew what the delegates were doing until they were done. Could they do that again? Would it be any better to televise it live where everyone knows the delegates. I’m sure no attempts to bribe or threaten the delegates by powerful interests could possibly happen!
Can a Convention be limited to specific topics?
Corpus Juris Secundum (a legal summary of 5 court decisions) states: “The members of a Constitutional Convention are the direct representatives of the people and, as such, they may exercise all powers that are vested in the people of the state. They derive their powers, not from the legislature, but from the people of the state. They derive their powers, not from the legislature, but from the people: hence, their power may not in any respect be limited or restrained by the legislature.
Under this view, it is a Legislative Body of the Highest Order and may not only frame, but may also enact and promulgate a constitution.
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Court decisions and state conventions have followed the precedent set by the 1787 constitutional convention. As the 1787 convention did, a convention today can ignore limits of power imposed by the states, and appeal to the ultimate power of the people themselves. State legislatures have no reason to expect they can control the convention Thus, a “limited” convention is a myth.
Ronald Reagan said, “Well, constitutional conventions are kind of prescribed as a last resort, because then once open, they could take up any number of things.”
How do we ensure that a Convention would not exceed its authority?
In our one and only previous federal Constitutional Convention in 1787, the delegates from 12 of the 13 attending states, were sent with commissions. The delegates debated during the convention if they had the power to throw out the Articles of Confederation and create a new form of government and a new Constitution. None said they were within their delegated powers to do this. Some said they didn’t have the power and should not proceed, some said they don’t have the power but should proceed anyway. Some left, knowing they were exceeding their authority.
Does this mean our Constitution was created illegally?
No! After great debate the 1787 delegates appealed to the ultimate sovereign power of the PEOPLE (not) the state commissions) for their authority.
Our most important founding document, The Declaration of Independence says,
"That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends [of securing our rights] it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it and to institute new government…"
The delegates decided the Articles of Confederation where not sufficient to these ends and they were justified in throwing it out and creating a new Constitution, changing our form of government from a Federal system to a National one.
How could any bad amendments possibly be ratified when 38 states are needed to approve them?
Do we have any bad amendments now? I would say the 16th (federal income tax) and the 17th (direct elections of Senators) most definitely did not improve our situation or make us freer. Did the prohibition amendment not have to be rescinded? We know that destructive amendments could pass the current ratification process.
Could the ratification requirements be changed in a convention?
During the only one we had in 1787, they were! The Articles of Confederation stated that all states must unanimously agree to any amendments. During the convention it was changed in the new constitution to only ¾ of the states were needed to amend the constitution. What would stop them from changing it to a simple majority of the states or even a direct election of the people to approve amendments!
Is this the right time for a Convention?
With such extreme division in our country today. Would we be able to agree on anything? James Madison the father of the Constitution said, “If a General Convention [called by unanimous consent or by Article V] were to take place for the avowed and sole purpose of revising the Constitution… an election into would be courted by the most violent partisans on both sides; it…would no doubt contain individuals of insidious views, who … might have a dangerous opportunity of sapping the very foundations of the fabric.”
What in our constitutional structure needs to be changed? And who, in a modern convention, could be trusted with such awesome power?
Is the push for a Convention a conservative effort?
No, there are lobbying organizations on the left and the right pushing for a convention. The left opposes the Convention of the States efforts but support a convention for their leftist issues like abolishing the 2nd amendment and the electoral college and now to enshrine the right to an abortion. The left works toward a convention in left leaning states and the right works on it in the right leaning states.
Why did Sen. Tom Coburn, Sen. Jim de Mint and now Sen. Rick Santorum endorse Convention of States efforts?
Could it be because they were paid well to do that? Based on the 990 from COSA, we know that Coburn and de Mint were both paid around a quarter of a million $ to be their spokesmen. Maybe someone could ask how much Sen. Santorum is being paid? Being a lobbyist is much more lucrative than being a legislator.
We also know that the founder and leader of Convention of States, Mark Meckler in combination of salaries from his wife and son have had a combined income of close to a half a million dollars in some years. Who wouldn’t give their all to promote a convention for that kind of money? Not exactly grassroots!
Those opposing a convention have no organization or financial support, just the passion for preserving and protecting one of the most successful forms of government ever conceived.
If not Article V, then what?
The answer is enforcement, nullification and an educated electorate who holds their representatives accountable for their actions and replaces them when they don’t.
Nullification is firmly grounded in the text of the U. S. Constitution. Specifically, Article VI binds state legislators along with members of Congress, judges and all other officers at large to their oath “to support this Constitution.”
Article VI also states, “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United Stated which shall be made in Pursuance thereof… shall be the supreme Law of the Land.”
State legislators are required to uphold and implement only those laws that are “made in Pursuance” to the Constitution. Any laws not made in Pursuance thereof” are therefore not the “supreme Law of the Land” and as such state legislators are under no obligation to enforce or carry out their provisions.
An excellent read to understand this principle from a biblical view is The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrate by Matthew J. Trewhella
State legislators have the power to stop abuses right now and have always had this power. A simpler and effortless solution for state legislators, would be to abdicate their role and let a convention try to fix an out-of-control D.C. The odds of any amendments that could force the Feds to abide by them when they are currently disregarding all the others is zero.
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Without a well-informed electorate, who understands what a Constitutionalist looks like, we have no hope. Current Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky said, “Show me a single state where Constitutionalists comprise a majority of the state legislature. At this point in history, an Article V Convention would be a disaster.”
We need a revival of understanding of our Constitutional principles and the ideals of liberty. We can’t expect less government if we aren’t willing to take back our own responsibilities as states and as individuals! No proposed constitutional amendment can substitute for an electorate and elected officials who are well educated about the Constitution.
If you have legislators standing strong against government overreach, support them and encourage them to do what so few will. If you agree that a convention under the current sentiment is a dangerous and an ineffective solution, then contact your representatives now and let them know. They are being bombarded, threatened and bribed from well-funded lobbying organizations attempting to pressure them to apply to Congress for a convention. So far this year, Convention of States Action has invested large sums of out of state money to influence elections of SD legislators through dirty attack ads on those who have held strong in opposing this as a viable solution. They need to hear from you! Let’s address the true root of the problem and work on a real but not simple solution!
This article expresses my own personal opinions and may not be those of my employer, The John Birch Society. For more information you can go to The New American magazine. www.thenewamerican.com and the John Birch Society www.jbs.org There you will also find our excellent Constitution Course called, The Constitution is the Solution, exposing the many threats to our American foundation. You may also contact me at email@example.com. I would also be happy to speak to any groups wanting to learn more about this issue and would be happy to debate anyone in favor of a convention.
After receiving a Freedom of Information Act Request from Hartford resident Cindy Meyer, seeking the state's purchase order and agreement with ESS (Elections Systems and Software), Barnett responded “the Secretary of State’s office does not have any contracts with Elections Systems & Software (ES&S).”
The Freedom Caucus is now demanding full transparency and cooperation on behalf of the voters of South Dakota.
Rep. Mulally also alleges that the SD Freedom Caucus, comprised of elected members of the State's House of Representatives, "has faced numerous attempts to suppress their investigation into the matter, including threats of exorbitant fees, legally questionable fees, [and] or intimidation on the part of State Attorneys."
Rep. Mulally states that "the South Dakota Freedom Caucus will not be threatened or intimidated," and goes on to conclude that these alleged threats will not stop their investigative efforts on behalf of South Dakota's citizens.
Amidst the back-drop of lush and rolling farms, signs opposing two proposed carbon capture pipelines span the rural countryside of Eastern South Dakota. While farmers and landowners are opposed to the new carbon pipeline, various Chambers of Commerce have backed the idea and welcome the new business venture. In the middle of these two sides, sits the impartial elected watchdog group known as the South Dakota (PUC) Public Utilities Commission.
The Public Utilities Commission was created in 1882 by South Dakota's legislature, and has been given legislative and
statutory authority under Title 49 of the South Dakota Code. The state of South Dakota determines, via the legislature, how the PUC is to operate and arbitrate each case filing that comes before the Commission.
Additionally, under South Dakota state code, ex-parte law prohibits any Commissioner from espousing an opinion, or discussing the details of an open docket case. While legally unable to give details, PUC Chair Chris Nelson spoke to The Dakota Leader in an effort to explain the process, outlined in state code, which defines how the PUC is allowed to operate.
Nelson has served on the Commission for eleven and a half years and says, "the role of the PUC, in most simplistic terms, is to protect utility consumers or rate-payers in the state of SD."
Public utility providers are often limited in quantity due to the infrastructure needed to provide each utility. Infrastructure that is not only expensive, but expansive in order to link structures like schools, homes, businesses, and farms across an entire grid of water pipes, electrical lines, or telecom towers.
According to Nelson, this creates an almost monopolistic-like environment in which the Public Utilities Commission was created to regulate for price and service quality.
"The companies who provide utility services are limited, which creates an almost monopolistic-like environment," Nelson shares in an interview with TDL. "It's the role of the PUC to make sure these companies keep prices reasonable, or capped, while also ensuring that the floor doesn't drop out on the quality of services provided."
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Nelson also explains that the Commission does not have the ability to make laws, but instead the Commission operates more like a court under a quasi-judicial jurisdiction called, administrative procedure.
"The PUC does not have legislative authority, instead the state legislature tells the PUC how it is allowed to proceed, or make quasi-judicial decisions called Administrative decisions. There is a strict formal process we must go through before ever coming to a decision. That formal process, laid out in state law, requires a process of fact finding, evidence and public testimony, and even after the Commission makes an Administrative decision, that decision can immediately be appealed to the circuit court and over-turned," Nelson shares.
Like a judge, South Dakota law compels Commissioners to be impartial and unbiased in how they approach every hearing. "The law is very clear, and requires PUC Commissioners to be unbiased in how they approach each case," Nelson shares. "Commissioners are not allowed to espouse their own opinions, and any conflicts of interest actually require Commissioners to recuse themselves," Nelson points out.
Recently, Summit Carbon Solutions requested an extension on their application for a pipeline in order to work out route changes. Nelson says that the pipeline proposed by Summit has been placed on an indefinite hold, until the mapped route is finalized.
However, Nelson says before Commissioners ever vote on the issue, a process of discovery, pre-filings and testimony will take place throughout various procedural hearings. During this time, the PUC will set aside time for briefs when the company, PUC staff and interveners opposed to the pipeline will all have ample opportunities to voice their views.
This process can take an entire year, and Nelson shares that it will likely be well into next year before the pipeline case will go to a vote before the Commission.
In stark contrast to legislators, when Commissioners are judging if a utility has a right to a permit, it is based on a criteria in state law, not the personal views of any Commissioner. This is also the case with Eminent Domain, a process made confusing by neighboring state's laws.
Eminent domain is a hot topic right now, with around twenty different lawsuits currently pending related to the Summit Carbon pipeline alone. Again, the PUC does not have jurisdiction or authority over Eminent Domain, because it too is defined in state law. According to state law, "Eminent Domain can be exercised in acquiring right of way as prescribed by statute," and "by any pipeline companies owning a pipeline which is a common carrier as defined by § 49-7-11."
In neighboring Iowa, state law gives some discretionary authority to the Utility Board to declare Eminent Domain. However, under South Dakota state law, the PUC has no involvement regarding Eminent Domain, or who can exercise it. Disputes over Eminent Domain are likewise settled by the Circuit Court, and of the twenty cases currently pending, some are preemptive landowner cases, while others appear to be filed by Summit for surveying access.
South Dakota lawmakers are currently reviewing the laws that govern the PUC, and Eminent Domain. Representative Marty Overweg (R-HD19) chairs the Natural Resources Committee in the South Dakota state legislature. Rep. Overweg tells The Dakota Leader that lawmakers are looking into changes that can be made to state law for this coming legislative session. "Legislation can be expected this coming session," Overweg states.
In addition to arbitrating the pipeline cases, the PUC has also received an application for a 17.9% rate increase by Xcel Energy. The PUC has a full year in which to process the rate increase request, and has suspended the rate increase for six months the longest amount of time allowed by law. Nelson shares that the Commission will take this time to fully review the financial disclosures of Xcel in order to make sure the company's request is "reasonable, necessary and prudent."
This legislative session may impact how the PUC is able to proceed going forward. However, state legislation will hinge upon how Federal law will be interpreted, support from the Governor, and Congressional Representatives of South Dakota, in Washington D.C.
An FAQ can be located on the front page of the PUC website to help the public understand the process better. In addition, the meeting minutes, documents filed, audio of each hearing, and final orders (granting or denying applications) can be found at puc.sd.gov.
In 2017, Dakota State University tied for second place at the Argonne National Laboratory Cyber Defense Competition, against Kansas State University. While DSU bellies in comparison to the size and student enrollment of KSU, the Beacom Institute on DSU campus has played a significant role in turning out leaders of industry. The facilities have also caught the eye of High-ranking executives from Amazon, Citibank, Google, General Motors, Symantec, Visa and the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE).
“What you’re doing here in terms of a threshold for giving us the resources to enact cybersecurity should be emulated around the country,” said Chris Murphy, GM’s chief privacy officer. “This is a most impressive facility.”
Dakota State University's Applied Research Lab has now received a 90 million dollar investment for expanding the cyber security labs at the Madison and Sioux Falls campuses. The public-private partnership agreement will, "more than double the number of cybersecurity students and faculty, create 400-500 high paying jobs and prevent “brain drain,” by keeping South Dakota graduates in state while playing a key role in protecting our national security," Senator Casey Crabtree (R-Madison) stated.
The infrastructure and educational advancements are timely considering recent geopolitical events, and a driving need to combat threats of nuclear aggression.
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Last month, Raven Aerostar invited experts from U.S. Government, U.S. Military, and industry partners to its Sioux Falls location to discuss current and emerging lighter-than-air capabilities and challenges. Aerostar stratospheric balloons provide critical advantages for various missions, bridging key capability gaps in ISR and communication in dynamic environments.
In a release from the company, President Jim Nelson stated "the primary purpose of this forum was to expand an already strong partnership and innovation between the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, and the Stratospheric Capabilities Industry,” Nelson said. “Aerostar brought together a mix of industry partners providing highly specialized technology to South Dakota to demonstrate how our products are integrated to achieve objectives on the battlefield, at the site of natural disasters, and in other austere environments. Working together, high-altitude capabilities can save lives.”
September 21, 2022 By Jay Bhattacharya and Mikko Packalen
Consumer inflation rate in the US has remained above 4% since April 2021, 5% since June 2021, and 8% since March 2022. This last month’s inflation report came in at 8.4%, above analysts’ forecasts, disappointing hopes that the inflation rate might start to subside.
A significant part of the current inflation is a rather obvious result of the massive covid relief and stimulus packages and the production and supply-chain disruptions caused by lockdowns and other covid restrictions
High inflation is forcing people to adjust their lifestyles and consumption patterns and accept a diminished standard of living. Consumers’ widespread and deep frustration has linked inflation with a stiff political cost. The public has good reasons to ask whether politicians should have pursued more prudent policy measures that would have avoided high inflation.
But politicians are not the only group facing questions about inflation. The economics profession is also under scrutiny. The one profession tasked with evaluating and informing the public about the pros and cons of different policies failed to raise the alarm about inflation.
Did economists not see inflation coming? Or, if inflation was not a surprise, why did economists not raise the alarm about the policies that led to it?
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The answer to these questions is disheartening. Many in the economics profession did see that government policies of the last couple of years would result in high inflation. But most who saw it coming chose not to inform the public or raise the alarm until it was too late.
Jason Furman, former Chairman of President Obama’s council of economic advisors and current Harvard professor, commented recently that most academic economists have been ‘skeptical (mostly silently)’ of the stimulus packages. The high inflation we see today is partly the price of the economics profession’s self-censorship.
The economics profession’s determined silence on inflation is on display in regular surveys of top U.S. economists conducted by the Initiative on Global Markets of the University of Chicago School of Business. The initiative and surveys aim to help policymakers make informed decisions on ongoing policy debates.
None of the 35 surveys from January 2020 to May 2021 included questions about the potential inflationary impacts of covid restrictions and relief packages. Neither did the respondents bring up this concern in their free-form answers to the many survey questions about covid policy during this time.
The surveys only bring up inflation as a topic in June 2021, after the prospect of further lockdowns seemed remote. Congress had already approved the covid relief packages, and inflation had increased substantially.
September is “Suicide Prevention Month.” It is a great opportunity for all of us to reach out and do our buddy checks!
There are many reasons that veterans in particular feel like there is no way out of a difficult time – whether its PTSD, MSD, survivor’s guilt, financial strain, family problems, or a combination of these. But it’s up to all of us to help veterans realize that that they are not alone, that help, and resources are available.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, now known as the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, is a free, confidential crisis resource that veterans and their families can access any day, any time. Trained responders are ready to listen, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. It’s three quick digits – dial 988 and then press 1.
The VA also has a website and app called “PTSD Coach.” This tool provides education about PTSD, information about professional care, a self-assessment for PTSD, opportunities to find support, and tools that can help veterans manage their stressors. Visit: https://mobile.va.gov/app/ptsd-coach.
South Dakota’s Departments of Social Services, Health, Education, Tribal Relations, Ag and Natural Resources, and Veterans Affairs have been working together for the past three years on a statewide suicide prevention plan. This group has collected data, developed education and training programs, and developed communication messages. The South Dakota Suicide Prevention website provides a lot of information and resources. Visit: https://sdsuicideprevention.org/.
South Dakota has two VA medical centers, two Vet Centers, eight Community Based Out-Patient Clinics, numerous mental health care facilities, and 11 community mental health centers to assist veterans and their families.
In addition, we have county and tribal veterans service officers in every corner of the state, we have over 20 veterans service organizations located within the borders of South Dakota, and we have our team here at the South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs.
Remember, we are all in this together. Support is just a call, click, or text away.
Veterans, don’t wait – reach out!
For more information, contact: Audry Ricketts (South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs) at 605-773-8242 or firstname.lastname@example.org --Department Of Veterans Affairs
How does inflation impact a business, and how can you build an inflation-proof business by making critical changes to boost revenue? The reasons and the remedies might surprise you, but they can be critical to preparing for inflation and surviving its impact. In fact, how your company reacts to small business inflation can become a sustainable competitive advantage! Here's how:
Is inflation ever normal? In less turbulent economic conditions, inflation is a normal and manageable fact of business life. In short, small business inflation can be defined as:
A continual rise in the pricing of goods and services.
Of course, inflation impacts buying power for the consumer, too. When inflationary price increases across the economic landscape are small and expected, preparing for inflation is somewhat easily accomplished in one (or both) of two ways:
Raising prices of products and services to cover the cost of goods and cost of operations
Cutting source material and/or operating costs
It's when unexpectedly high inflation prevails that businesses often lack the confidence and agility to respond.
How Does Inflation Impact a Business?
Preparing for inflation and executing steps for protection against inflation first requires understanding how inflation impacts businesses. Again, in stable economic times, inflation is less troublesome for business owners. In fact, research shows that inflation barely registers as a concern for most. But when inflation spikes, worry grows.
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Specific Small Business Inflation Challenges
Inflation certainly brings its share of big-picture concerns. It can also manifest with specific challenges which may include:
Higher costs of goods as suppliers raise prices
Supply chain disruptions as normal supplier staffing, and operations are affected
Higher operating costs via increased overhead throughout the company
Tighter margins if prices for the company's goods and services lag behind price increases by suppliers
Higher interest rates for new debt
Customer dissatisfaction and/or defection
Reduced sales or market share, especially if the company's goods or services are seen as non-essential in the marketplace
Painful cost cutting, including operating costs – which may require staff or benefit reductions
How Inflation Impacts Businesses ... Positively
Although inflation is often seen (rightly so) in a negative light, it can spawn some positive outcomes as well. These include:
Existing debt becoming more economical compared to new debt
Margins on current inventory improving if prices increase on sold goods
Higher profits if increased prices and reduced costs more than account for cost of inflation
Identification of areas for performance improvement and cost reduction opportunities throughout the business operation
How to Respond to and Protect Against Inflation by Focusing on Sales
After cutting costs and raising prices, what can the small business owner do to turn inflation's business impact into a competitive advantage? One way is to focus on sales. Here are some strategic and tactical ways to make sure your sales operation can be more effective, efficient, and profitable in response to inflationary influences:
Enhance Your Sales Plan
A new economic landscape can change industries and marketplaces almost overnight. Is your Sales Plan still relevant? If you're not sure, take steps to:
Leverage business intelligence to increase your sales growth rate
Create the sales organization that fits your sales objectives
Build the proper compensation model to drive desired behavior
Hire the needed sales resources
Improve Your Sales Process
Does your current sales process still work in the altered competitive landscape? If not, be sure to:
Include customized sales cycle steps that fit your company and industry
Produce predictable sales forecasting
Create rules of engagement that are understood by everyone
Implement sales force automation to streamline your processes
Execute and Grow Sales
Beyond strategy and processes, empower your sales operation by:
Managing your sales team and holding them accountable
Precisely defining goals for sales and business growth potential
Creating/utilizing forecast and pipeline management tools
Developing sales metrics to measure key sales objectives and daily activities
For a clearer picture of how inflation impacts businesses and how to "inflation-proof" your business, contact me today (DM or email@example.com) to learn more.
“Girls in Sports,” May be Moot For Schools Receiving Federal Funding, or COVID Dollars
September 19, 2022 By Breeauna Sagdal
Comments were due by Monday September 12, 2022 to address proposed rule changes published in July by the Department of Education. According to the Federal Register, those rule changes were adopted and incorporated Friday September 16, 2022.
The rule change clarifies the term "sex" under Tittle IX, and applies to any educational facility that accepts federal funding. The new clarification reads, "schools and institutions that receive Federal financial assistance eliminate discrimination on the basis of sex in their education programs or activities. The Department therefore proposes that the current regulations should be amended to provide greater clarity regarding the scope of sex discrimination, including recipients' obligations not to discriminate based on sex stereotypes, sex characteristics, pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity."
The rule change also increased the scope of applicability to include educational activities, like sports.
"Further, the Department proposes that the current regulations could better account for the variety of education programs or activities covered by Title IX, which include recipients' education programs or activities serving students in elementary schools, secondary schools, and post-secondary institutions."
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The Department of Education requested these new proposals, after what they call an "extensive review of its regulations implementing Title IX, as well as the live and written comments received during a nationwide virtual public hearing on Title IX held in June 2021."
In addition, the Office for Civil Rights held numerous listening sessions with a wide array of stakeholders on various issues related to Title IX, and considered input from stakeholders during meetings held in 2022 under Executive Order 12866.
As noted near the end of the 1,000 page document, the newly adopted definitions have also replaced the term "primary schools" with "LEA" (Local Educational Agencies), in order to include private pre-schools, elementary schools and beyond. Federal funding has also been expanded to mean COVID-19 relief funds, previously received, in addition to federal funding currently being received.
The newly adopted definitions will likely impact state policies, and potentially nullify state laws like last year's "girls in sports bill," signed by Governor Kristi Noem. The Dakota Leader has reached out to the Governor's office for comment, but has yet to hear back at this time.
Help Support The Dakota Leader... DONATE TODAY!
--Breeauna Sagdal- Health and Policy Journalist for The Dakota Leader
*Language Warning* Leader Bee is satire intended for entertainment only
On November 04, 2019- Leading up to the 2020 "most secure election that ever took place," John Oliver discusses "how voting machines work, how they don’t, and how we can fix them."
Were they fixed? Naaahhh, but after Biden won the 2020 election fair and square it's just those sore MAGA-Trump-insurrectionist losers complaining. Even in the states that Trump won, anyone who dares to question the integrity of these machines, are the biggest threat to democracy today!
235 Years Later, We Discuss the Ratification of the U.S Constitution
[The Dakota Leader spent a morning interviewing SD Director of Convention of States Shirlee Meier from her home in Sioux Falls, SD, during September, the month when the US Constitution was ratified in 1787].
TDL(The Dakota Leader): Hello, Director Meier! Thank you for joining us today!
SM (Shirlee Meier) – Thank you for having me. I appreciate the interview and spreading the word about Convention of States.
TDL: Well, this is September, and it’s the month when the US Constitution was actually ratified back in 1787. So, we thought we’d talk to you about Article V, Convention of States, as we have previously reported on at TDL. But before we get to that, please tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got involved in this movement here in South Dakota.
SM – I retired from federal service after about 49 years and I was looking for something to do with my time. I checked out some different groups to volunteer with. I came across this Convention of States group and I went in, signed the petition, and volunteered. At that time, I did NOT hear back from anyone for 4–5 months. So I signed it again and volunteered and STILL didn’t hear back from anyone. Then I found a number for COS and contacted Ginny Rapini and told her I signed the petition and wanted to volunteer and still hadn’t heard from anyone. I then heard from David Schneider (regional director for COS), and then I became a volunteer, district captain, grassroots coordinator and then state director.
TDL: How long?
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SM – I signed the petition in 2015 and joined then. And at that time we had a state director, but he wasn’t very active. Also at that time there were only two district captains (two brothers) and they weren’t very active, either.
SM – Someone in charge of a certain district. Call people, follow up with people who’ve signed the petition to see if they wish to volunteer, organize events about Convention of States, anything to spread the word about Convention of States and get people involved.
TDL – And then you just kind of went up from there?
SM - Actually, when I became grassroots coordinator, I didn’t put in for it; our regional director basically MADE me the grassroots cordinator.
TDL – Obviously you didn’t fight it.
SM – No, I just went ahead, took some courses from the COSU (Convention of States University) and just … did it. After a while as GC, I asked Dave, “Are we ever going to get a state director?” Dave literally told me, “Oh, didn’t I tell you: you ARE the state director!” I said: “Oh, ok!” I was already doing the work of all of them anyway, and so – there it goes.
TDL – And what time was this?
SM – I don’t remember. But in 2016 that was the first time I went to the capital (Pierre) with Dave Schneider, and we were the only two there for Convention of States. I remember as district captain, he said, “Go talk to that legislator.” I said, “Are you crazy! I’m not going to go talk to them!” But eventually I got over that, and now I can talk to legislators without being intimidated.
Gradually, I got to know legislators, and talked to them, and wasn’t so scared stiff. It’s a learning process, but if you just do it slowly, gradually, and get to know people and let them know you.
TDL – Is it true that you send Christmas cards every year to legislators, whether they voted for COS or not?
SM – Yes, and I also send them thank-yous, whether they voted for us or not, to honor their legislative service. Even if I disagree with their vote maybe [laughs].
TDL: Interesting, thank you. So where do you go to promote this and how do you do that, or have already done that?
SM – We do different things. We are in parades, at fairs, town hall meetings (if it’s an hour or so away I usually get a volunteer to help figure out where to host it). We print out fliers to post in towns. Much of it is word of mouth from our volunteers in different districts. Back when we had the Shopping News I used to put an ad in it. I suppose if you knew all of the small newspapers you could put in an ad in all of them. But, really, word of mouth is the best.
TDL: Does everyone agree with your argument of Article V in South Dakota?
SM – No. We have those that oppose us. The John Birch Society and Eagle Forum oppose it. Most of the time it’s because of bad information that they have been given. But if you read Article V of the Constitution, there are only two ways to make amendments to the Constitution: one is Congress in Washington, or state legislators can do it if they vote for the resolution. It’s calling a Convention of States for PROPOSING AMENDMENTS to the Constitution. It’s not opening up the Constitution.
TDL: Ms. Meier, why is an Article V Convention of States even necessary? What about the argument that we just need to interpret the Constitution as it’s written, and that’s what we need to do and that’s it. Why go the extra mile of the process of an Article V Convention of States?
SM – Number one, that came about as the Founding Fathers were signing the Constitution, and George Mason said wait a minute: we have given Congress a way to make amendments to this Constitution, but we have not given the PEOPLE a way to make amendments to the US Constitution, and he wanted that in there, and so it was put in there. Otherwise, ONLY Washington, DC, and your legislators would have the power to do that, and no power at all for the people themselves to do that.
Also, with the idea of interpreting, we’re not living under THAT Constitution, so to “interpret” the current one is to have nothing like what the Founders actually wanted us to live under. The one the Founders gave us is 39 pages. The one that we actually live under NOW is 2,000 pages, when you add in the Supreme Court rulings and Administrative Rules from the Executive Branch.
TDL: That’s a sizable difference.
(Pictured. The US Constitution of 39 pages and the 2010 version with all Supreme Course decisions, over 2000 pages. SD Convention of States Booth, Turner County Fair, August 16, 2022).
SM – OK, in order to call a Convention of States for proposing Amendments to the Constitution, you need to have 34 state legislatures pass a resolution which is basically the same resolution (only a few words difference) for each state, because they (Washington) will throw it out. Now, they’re (Congress is) notified, and they get a copy of it, and if a resolution differs substantially from all of the others (with subject matters being different) it’ll get thrown out. So, Congress does have the power to throw it out IF it does. Ours has only three topics: (1) Term limits on Congress in Washington, DC; (2) Fiscal responsibility; (3) Rein in the power and scope of the federal government. That’s it. Those three.
TDL: How do you that?
SM – How you do that is you get 34 state legislatures to pass the same resolution. Once a resolution is passed in 34 states, Washington – and this is the only part that they will play – will set a time and place for the meeting. They cannot wait 2–3 years. They have to set it immediately. But even if they don’t, the state legislatures CAN pick their own time and place of meeting. And, also, the state legislatures, once they’ve met in one place, they can change the venue at will.
Then the state legislatures select their state delegates. They can send 1 or they can send 15. It doesn’t matter, though, because it’s always one state, one vote. And the states HAVE to pay their delegates’ room and board and expenses while they’re at the meeting.
So when they come together to make up the amendments, they would divide up into like into three different committees covering the three different subjects. They’d discuss this and discuss the wording of each amendment that they look at. They may come up with 1 or 20 amendments. That’s up to them.
TDL: But only on those topics.
SM – Yes. If any other topic is brought up, like gun control or abortion, or anything that is not part of those topics, that person (delegate) CAN be sent home by the Convention. That’s up to the state legislature. And each state gives their delegate a COMMISSION – which is a formal charge they have to obey …
TDL: Just like in 1787.
SM – Yes, just like that. They did send some home in 1787, too.
So once they come up with their amendments, each of their amendments has to be approved by 26 states in order to come OUT of the Convention itself. Once that’s done, if that’s done, they have to go back to the states for ratification. Each of the amendments has to be ratified by 38 states in order to become a direct part of the Constitution.
TDL – So, directly. The Supreme Court, or Congress, or the president has no say at all?
SM – No say. This is a function of the states. Remember, the states created the federal government, and not the other way around.
TDL – So at that point, those amendments are now officially a part of the Constitution, like the 27 we have?
SM – Yes.
TDL – Thank you for that explanation. And this Article V process has always been there?
SM – Yes, it’s always been there. George Mason absolutely made sure that it would be in there.
SM – Not enough. Many, but it’s hard to know, as it’s an election year. We’ve lost some supporters, but we’ve also gained some new ones that support it. It’s hard at this point, right now, to tell you exactly where we stand. We won’t know until the election’s over in November, but right now I’d say 50–50.
TDL: Director Meier, South Dakota elected, overwhelmingly, both President Dwight Eisenhower in 1952 and 1956, and also President Ronald Reagan in both 1980 and 1984. Although Convention of States is nonpartisan, were you aware that both of these Presidents advocated, either as President, or before being elected [audio included on both links] an Article V Convention of States to restrain government?
President Eisenhower – National Endowment For Humanities; President Reagan - Wikipedia
SM – Absolutely.
TDL: Let’s clear this up: is the Article V, Convention of States organization, either nationally OR here in South Dakota, funded by George Soros, The Open Society Institute, the World Economic Forum, The Government of Communist China, The Government of Russia, The Government of North Korea, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The United Nations, Michael Bloomberg, The Council on Foreign Relations, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Ford Foundation, Apple, Inc, Blackrock, or Hydra?
SM – No, we are not [laughing]. We are funded by donations from volunteers, large and small. Some on a regular basis (monthly) and some not so. We are just volunteers, but we don’t have any high-paying people just support us.
SM – OK, we are all volunteers. We do not have any paid employees!
SM – None. None of us. Our regional director (not in the state) is paid. We only have, nationally, about 50 paid employees (people who do our website, our attorneys, etc.). Everybody else is a volunteer. They volunteer their time, talents, and treasures and that’s it.
TDL: Is there any possible way that the organization that you’re president of in South Dakota in any way misinterpreted what Article V reads or means?
SM – No, because I can get the Constitution and I can read exactly what it says, if you’d like me to.
TDL: What’s the term “Con-Con,” and who came up with it?
SM – “Con-Con” stands for Constitutional Convention. And there are those who say that if we use Article V that we are using a Constitution Convention. This is not true. Big difference between a Constitutional Convention and an Article V Convention with the States proposing amendments. The original Con-Con was to repair the Articles of Confederation. They realized that they couldn’t repair them. So they rescheduled their meeting and came up with our US Constitution. If you read Article V, you see that all that is is a proposing of Amendments to the Constitution. And it still has to go through the process that we mentioned. You’re not rewriting the Constitution. You’re just adding amendments to the 27 that we have now.
TDL: Is it true that states – even colonies – got together all of the time to solve problems throughout US history in order to solve problems?
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SM – Yes, they did it all of the time. Sometimes it was two colonies, sometimes three. It was for various issues: taxation, or various things.
TDL: And they did this even as colonies?
SM – Yes, even as colonies. They didn’t all come together. Sometimes it was 3¬–4, depending upon the issue.
SM – That’s right. So, anyway, some of these believe that the very Constitution we’ve been living under that our Founding Fathers gave us is illegitimate.
TDL: Very interesting. What, if you know, is the solution that the John Birch Society, or even the Eagle Forum, has for our out-of-control government, if not an Article V COS? Article V itself is only 143 words.
SM – They basically do not have a solution. It’s basically leave things as is and it’ll work itself out. That’s basically it.
TDL: Do you think they can articulate a solution without using the word “not” in it?
SM – Well because in South Dakota – and I’m going out on a limb here, and some might not like this – but we have a lot of RINOs. They may have an “R” behind their name, but they vote like the opposition. They’re not true, real conservatives. Because if you talk to them and ask them why they vote on some things, their answer is not clear. And also, there are those who are more worried about their careers and being IN the legislature and living up to their true values. They can basically be bought off or scared, and I don’t think that’s right that legislators should be threatened by other legislators. People should vote their conscience. And if they can’t do that then they shouldn’t be in the legislature. That’s my honest opinion.
TDL: You’ve gone all around the state at various venues. What are you hearing from South Dakotans on this issue, generally?
SM – Well, I can tell you, especially at the fairs, etc., they’re not happy with the COS being voted down, and the legislators that opposed us and what they did. I heard that so many times, and they named names. And they’re not happy. The people in SD want a COS passed here. I can tell you that. There are more for us than against us. Some are more timid in their statements than others, but they want it passed and think it should’ve been done a couple of years ago.
TDL: You take people on bus tours to Pierre to lobby for this every year during session. Has that changed over the past few years?
SM – I can tell you that when I first started going, there were only two of us there, myself and Dave Schneider. This year (2022) we had 120 people. We are growing more and more people, and we have to have more people to have this. And even some legislators are coming around. Some legislators will never change. They think they know best and that’s that. But more and more people are coming and showing up and supporting Convention of States. And we have almost 17,000 petition signers here in South Dakota.
TDL: Let’s say South Dakota passes the resolution this year. What does Article V Convention of States here in South Dakota, or nationally, do in that case afterwards?
SM – OK, if we pass it here (hopefully we’ll be state number 20) we will stay active because there are those who’ll try to have it rescinded, and we’d have to start all over again. But regardless, we will be active with the legislature until a Convention of States is actually called. And then we’d stay active listening to the Convention itself!
TDL: What do you think about the recent poll by the Trafalgar group that showed that most people – including 81% of Republicans and 50.2% of Democrats – support an Article V Convention of States?
SM – I think that’s right on target. We do have many Democrats that like it, but their leadership won’t let them vote for it or speak for it. But that’s about it. There’s a lot of independents and Libertarians that support us as well.
SM – Senator Coburn was a senator [from Oklahoma] in Washington, DC, and he left because Washington, DC, was so corrupt, and he joined COS as an advisor, and he advised us on different things, and unfortunately he passed away from cancer in 2020.
SM – It’s like a lot of things. Probably a lot of people do not know this. If people would really check into the history, and in their state, they’d be surprised at some things they support, or don’t support, in the past.
TDL: Speaking of books, what books do you recommend people read in order to understand the actual Article V of the US Constitution, or the Convention of States itself?
SM – Yes [laughing], we have applied. We’ll see. We haven’t heard back yet.
TDL: Do you think that, if you do put up the COS Tree again in Pierre this year, that the John Birch Society or the Eagle Forum or others opposed will have a “we’re against that tree over there” tree at the State Capitol in Pierre?
SM – [Laughing] – It wouldn’t surprise me. I don’t think they’d be allowed to do that (laughing).
SM – No. And I can tell you that Convention of States will not debate politicians, etc., because it has been proven to us is that they will take things that we say and turn that against us. If anyone wants to hear it, there was one between Michael Farris and the John Birch Society, and that’s on YouTube. That’s the last debate that we did and that we will do.
TDL: So I take it you’re going to travel to Pierre yet again this next legislative session in 2023, and keep on advocating for SD to pass the Article V Resolution?
SM – Yes, we will be there.
TDL: You’ve mentioned more people are coming every year in support of Article V. How about those opposed to it?
SM – Umm, it varies. They’re losing ground as to why they oppose us. It’s becoming more and more evident, as more are learning the truth about Article V, and there’s less and less opposition to it. I do know that those opposed are getting more vocal and outspoken to you in person. I think it’s like someone who’s losing a battle: they get more aggressive.
TDL: Who’s your favorite Founding Father, generally?
SM – George Washington. My next one is Abraham Lincoln (though he’s not a Founding Father).
TDL :Why Mr. Washington?
SM – He was a very Christian man. He stood up for what he believed, even in opposition, and he didn’t back down. And he wasn’t in it for himself; he was in it for his country and his fellow man. His whole character, he just stands out in my mind.
TDL: Are you going to keep on doing this, even though you’re retired and this is all volunteer?
SM– As long as I can I plan on it!
TDL: Director Meier, thank you for your time, and Happy Constitution Month!
SM – Thank you! Happy Constitution Month to you, too!
Editor's Note: The Dakota Leader neither endorses or opposes COS. This segment is intended for educational value during the commemoration of the 235th year, post ratification of the U.S Constitution.
Last year, a similarly comprised committee to that of the 2015 committee, was created to offer a new proposal. However, sources on the Board of Education have told The Dakota Leader that the product was a total flop, sparked outrage and had more than 600 people testify against the first draft.
"For whatever reason, Native American history and culture was stripped out of the proposed standards, and the entire thing turned out to be a nightmare," our source shared on the condition of anonymity. At issue, was the removal of over a dozen references to the Oceti Sakowin tribe, which led to public outrage, and a march on the Capitol in September of last year.
The Board of Education put out a statement regarding the first draft, and said that the process should start over and be, "free from political activism and agendas." In response, Gov. Kristi Noem agreed, then announced a new committee would be created. The new committee was chaired by Noem's former Chief of Staff, Mark Miller in consultation with William Morrisey, a former Hillsdale College Professor and various Tribal Leaders.
Professor Morrisey led the work group, and placed an open invitation for educators, and tribal leaders to help craft the new standards. In August the new group released their draft standards. Within 24 hours the South Dakota Teacher's Union (SDEA) released a statement deriding the new draft as not being age appropriate and employing memorization over critical thinking skills.
In an effort to try and better understand both sides of the argument, The Dakota Leader reached out to Utah Professor Connor Warner. Professor Warner authored a published study in 2015, in which he analyzed the Social Studies Standards of 14 states. Hoping to end harmful stigmatizations of Indigenous peoples, that he shares in the study have impacted his wife, Warner set about trying to find root causes of bias.
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"She doesn't look like an Indian!" Warner shares that new acquaintances often carry stigmas about how his wife "should look." "I tell new
acquaintances that my wife is a citizen of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Such a
statement is, of course, untrue. My wife “looks” exactly like an Indian; she is an Indian, which is
a complex social, political, cultural, and ethnic identity," Warner shares anecdotally.
The study claims that schools have played a large role in creating stigmas and bias, as they
serve as "vehicles of assimilation and deculturalization." Most notably, the study found that Native history and culture was mainly being taught in elementary school, and limited to historical representations of Indigenous people like Pocahontas.
The study offers that bias is likely created due to the fact that living representations of Native people, life on or off the reservation, and important socioeconomic cues, are largely left out of the conversation.
Professor Warner reviewed the newly proposed South Dakota Social Studies Standards, and compared them against the 2015 standards at our request. "The 2015 standards are much less specific, leaving it up to districts or even individual teachers to decide what knowledge and skills to use in order to meet those standards. As with anything in education, there are pros and cons to both approaches," Warner responded.
"The proposed standards show a significant increase in reference to Native peoples and nations, probably more comprehensive than most states in the country," Warner says. Adding, "however, from an educator’s standpoint, I can envision the proposed standards receiving pushback because they are very detailed and prescriptive. The proposed standards are knowledge heavy—that is, they prescribe very specific things that students need to know (e.g. the lists of people, etc)."
Others appear to be more divided on the standards along political lines, as evidenced by the comment section of Gov. Noem's social media accounts.
The proposed standards are based upon Hillsdale Curriculum, currently being taught nation-wide. As a result, many have taken aim at the involvement of William Morrisey, and say the standards are part of a "culture war."
Last week Breitbart gained access to exclusive emails sent from Dr Becky Guffin, chair of the Education Commission, who has tried to "torpedo" the standards from behind the scenes. The Dakota Leader has also been made aware that various curriculum directors state-wide have sent out emails, or held in-person meetings with staff, to mount opposition to the standards.
Meanwhile, a coalition of parents have told The Dakota Leader that they are hopeful, and look forward to the challenges of "more rigorous content focused on factual history, without politics involved." Parents say they intend on being at the meeting Monday, in an effort to "counteract the teacher's unions," who they say "are pushing CRT." (Critical Race Theory)