L. Neil Smith's
Number 303, January 23, 2005

"I am very serious about this offer."

If at First You Don't Succeed...
by Lex Concord

Exclusive to TLE


We the People, in order to dissolve an imperfect union, establish a better one, and to really secure the blessings of Liberty this time, do ordain and establish this new Constitution for the several States of America, and the various Non-Contiguous Communities (NCCs) which may be formed hereunder.

Article I. The Legislative Branch

Section 1. No National Legislature

There shall be no national Legislature, Congress, Assembly, or any other such body. Laws beyond those protecting the rights to Life, Liberty, and Property are inherently inimical to Liberty, and ought to be abolished forthwith. Laws protecting the rights to Life, Liberty, and Property are already common to all State governments, and are neither necessary nor desirable at the national level, due to differences of interpretation and culture.

Section 2. Previous Acts Void

Any and all Laws, Bills, Acts, and Treaties heretofore enacted or ratified by any preceding national Legislature, Congress, or Assembly are hereby null and void. Any and all Debts or Obligations entered into by any preceding national Legislature, Congress, or Assembly are hereby repudiated.

Article II. The Executive Branch

Section 1. The Grand Poobah

The national figure head under this Constitution shall be known as the Grand Poobah. The Grand Poobah shall be selected annually, based on a four-part competition, with one part being public speaking ability, one part the presentation of results of a charitable project, one part on business suit or evening dress as appropriate, and one part on swimsuit modeling. The Grand Poobah shall alternate between male and female candidates in alternate years, and shall not serve more than one term. No parent, sibling, child, or direct descendant of a Grand Poobah may ever enter the competition.

Section 2. Duties of the Grand Poobah

The Grand Poobah shall meet the kings, queens, presidents, prime ministers, or other leaders of other nations as appropriate, but shall never enter into any Agreement or Treaty with any of them under any circumstances.

The Grand Poobah shall call to congratulate the winning teams of the championships of the three most popular team sports, based on annual television ratings.

The Grand Poobah shall publicly read the Bill of Rights on December 15th of each year.

The Grand Poobah shall publicly read the Declaration of Independence on July 4th of each year.

The Grand Poobah shall research and present a report on the third Monday of February of each year on one crime against the Liberty of the American People perpetrated by a previous president under the previous Constitution.

Section 3. Qualification and Compensation

The Grand Poobah shall be at least 18 years old and shall have been born in the jurisdiction of one of the States or NCCs ratifying this Constitution.

The Grand Poobah shall receive no financial compensation of any kind for his or her services.

Section 4. Executive Orders

The Grand Poobah shall not write, issue, declare, make, or otherwise disseminate any Executive Order of any kind. All Executive Orders, pronouncements, or decrees by any president or other executive under any preceding Constitution is hereby vacated.

Article III. The Judicial Branch

There shall be no national court system. Disputes between States or NCCs should be settled in the courts of a mutually acceptable, neutral third State or NCC. Disputes between individuals should be settled by a mutually agreed upon dispute resolution agency, or under State or NCC courts, if such courts exist and are acceptable to both parties in the dispute.

Article IV. States and NCCs

Section 1. States

The people of each of the fifty States of the preceding union may form whatever Government they choose, and organize it in whatever form they deem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Section 2. Non-Contiguous Communities (NCCs)

Any group of at least 10,000 individuals may form a Non-Contiguous Community (NCC), and thereby absolve themselves of allegiance to any geographically defined State.

Section 3. Free Trade, Emigration, and Money

No State or NCC may enact any restrictions on emigration to any other State or NCC, or any Duty, Tax, Excise, or Impost on any goods transported into or out of their State or NCC. Debts between States or NCCs shall be paid only in Gold or Silver.

Section 4. Mutual Defense

Any attack upon any of the States or NCCs ratifying this Constitution shall be promptly considered by each such State or NCC, which may come to the aid of the attacked State or NCC if such aid is deemed proper, at their sole discretion.

Section 5. Non-Aggression

All States and NCCs ratifying this Constitution pledge to refrain from attacking, invading, or declaring War on any of the other States and NCCs also ratifying this Constitution, and any other Foreign States or Nations, except when acting in response to an actual attack or invasion upon themselves or one of the other States or NCCs ratifying this Constitution.

Article V. Amendment and Secession

Section 1. No Amendments

This Constitution may not be amended in any way.

Section 2. Secession

Any Individual, State, or NCC may withdraw from this agreement at any time, upon publishing written notice to that effect, but no such Individual, State, or NCC may claim jurisdiction over any other Individual, State, or NCC without their express written consent.

Article VI. National Government

In case you missed it, there is no national government. There is only a Grand Poobah, whose duties are exclusively ceremonial.

Article VII. Ratification

The ratification of the Conventions of nine States or NCCs shall be sufficient for the establishment of this Constitution between the States and NCCs so ratifying the same. (Hey, if nine was enough in 1789, it's enough today.)


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