Thursday, July 22, 2010

An Obsession with Race Undermines the Race to the American Dream…

When you are obsessed with race, things can only get worse. The more the president and politicians push programs that favor any group over another you end up with resentment and conflict. Every civilization in history has had groups that have been discriminated against, and enslaved because human nature is what it is and will never change. Our founders knew that through their studies of civilization and political systems, and attempted to do their best constructing a system that focused on individuals and not groups.

Many Americans continue to reference our founders as racist because slavery was accepted in the original draft of the constitution, but anyone that studies the founders understands many of our greatest thinkers knew that our system of government would eventually lead to undermining slavery on principle. At least that was the hope of many. Slavery was not a product of America; slavery was a normal practice in every society including African society where most of our slaves were from. There is still slavery in Africa and other places around the world. But in America it is repulsive to think about or witness slavery today. The concept makes most Americans angry and we would never accept formalized slavery in this country, or would we?

Having grown up in the Bronx NY, I have witnessed another form of slavery and it comes in the form of a government program. Too many Black Americans have been shackled by a promise that government programs are the solution to their deplorable conditions within many of their communities. It started with welfare programs that destroyed the Black family by demanding that there be no father in the household in order to get benefits for the women and children. It continued with housing projects that looked more like jail cells than apartments, and it continues with government education that offers little hope to escape the circumstances many children find themselves born into in the inner cities of America.

It is heartbreaking to see Black males in too many cities standing on corners waiting, for what I don’t know, as life and the American Dream pass them by. And still generation after generation the promises of government enslave them into a cycle of poverty that can only be broken by the will of each individual. Not as a group, but one by one, breaking the cycle and getting out of these communities that have a culture of dependence. Easy to say, what to do?

Stop focusing on race. By focusing on race what we are saying is that the Black community is inferior and can’t lift themselves up by their own bootstraps, and that is absolute garbage. We need to end the education system as we know it and encourage entrepreneurial programs that focus on learning skills that focus on fundamentals and train children to be competitive in the American Dream. It would help if we could have a conversation about this subject without bringing up race, and looking at the fundamental problems within the community just like there are fundamental problems in every community. And they all can be fixed the same way with education and self reliance.

It is sad to watch a president that had a great opportunity to lift all Americans beyond the superficial platitudes of race squander the opportunity by dividing the country through “social equality” programs that have nothing equal about them. Human beings are not equal in outcome. We all have unique skills to offer the world and those skills will garner what the market values them to be. We cannot guarantee equal outcomes and that is what our founders knew. We are all created equal and what we do is a result of what we work toward as individuals. No guarantees of success just the guarantee that in our country if you work hard you have a chance to succeed. As a society that is the best opportunity we can offer everyone equally. To take from one to give to another through some “social justice” philosophy is not justice at all; it is divisive.

That is what we see today. A president and administration that has drifted dangerously away from our founding principles and by doing so is bringing back slavery through the guise of “shared responsibility”. The only shared responsibility we have is to abide by the laws and constitution of this land. That is what will end racism. Otherwise we will continue to resent what one group gets or takes from the others without justification except for the fact that their skin is a different color… That is divisive and will destroy the founding principles that have made this country the beacon for every race, creed, and gender…

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

McInnis can ignore the issue and we can ignore him at the polls…

I wonder how many people that vote based on principle are going to enthusiastically support or even support Scott McInnis if he for some strange reason gets the Republican primary nod. I can’t imagine any republican that knows of the plagiarism will vote for Scott in the primary. But stranger things have happened in politics.

But this is Colorado where there is still some semblance of values, and too many people that refuse to hold their noses and vote for an unelectable candidate in the general election. Talk about dowsing the enthusiasm of the conservative voter in Colorado by making McInnis the candidate. He may think he can just dismiss this as a mistake and move on but principled people don’t move on so easily.

We have a conundrum and it keeps getting worse. Those boots are definitely made for walking, but they ain’t walking over the good people of Colorado. I hope we’re better than that!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Words Mean Things…

The process of writing our constitution was painstakingly debated because words mean things. When you choose words it is important they reflect the meaning you intend so it is no wonder there is a concerted effort underfoot to change the meaning of words and history by the enemies of our constitution, and it is happening every day, every chance they get.

Take for instance the president and secretary of state discussing our right to “freedom of worship” as opposed to right to “the free exercise of religion” as stated in the constitution. At first glance they may seem similar but freedom to worship is not the same as freedom of religion. There are many religions that define the terms of how they worship therefore free to practice their religion. Freedom to worship is not religion specific and taken to the next step could be defined by the government since it is not tied to religion. For some this may seem trivial but for thinking individuals it is the difference between protecting their religion and losing their religion.

Words and phrases slightly altered can be the difference of a free people and a people governed through tyranny. The first amendment states:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The choice of the words our founders used is clear to the intent of this amendment. But these words have been turned upside down to argue that no religious mention can happen in a public building. You tell me where those words are found in this amendment?

The second amendment states:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

One of the most challenged amendments of the first ten clearly stated protects the individual right to keep and bear Arms. It is often argued that this right is tied to being in a militia which its opponents equate to the military. But the definition of militia, is not the military. In the context of the day, a “militia” was every “ordinary citizen’s” responsibility to protect the state. It was independent of an organized military as we have today. So when it is stated a well regulated “militia”, they are not talking about the military, they are talking about “ordinary citizens”. To make it even clearer they added, “the right of the people…” It was as if they could see into the future.

In order to challenge this amendment its opponents have resorted to distorting the meanings of the words and phrases as well as ignored the context of the time.

Words make up the foundation of our constitution and were chosen with particular care. We can’t ignore the meaning of words, or when they are tied to other words and phrases, and we can’t ignore the context and meaning of words at the time they were written.

That is why the enemies of our constitution are always trying to breathe “life” into the document, arguing it is living. It is why the constitution’s enemies are always trying to evolve the meanings of words to meet their goals to undermine constitutional law, and it is why we need to remember; words mean things, and to never forget the context they were written in so we can protect the constitution…

Our freedom and future depend on our understanding of history…

A Rant - Looking For Political Answers in All the Wrong Places…

Scott McInnis and Dan Maes have rattled the cages of conservatives concerned with the direction of the federal government. Some of us were hoping to stop an out of control federal government by electing a strong conservative Governor that would use his power to take back the responsibilities outlined for the state in our U.S. Constitution. What are we going to do in Colorado?

Colorado is in trouble, and conservatives in particular are going to be left with a choice that is handed to us by the leaders of the Republican Party. The same party that has helped drive our federal government into our board rooms, our living rooms, and lunch rooms. These “limited government” advocates want a government limited to what they want and be damned the constitution. The same party that spends lavishly on expenses for party leaders while purporting to support the small business community they are robbing blind with taxation. The same party that has made it nearly impossible to see the line between them and the democrats with the exception of abortion and the Supreme Court. The party that knows no end to what the federal government can “help” us accomplish.

We are supposed to believe they are going to choose a candidate that will have the interest of the common business man, common citizen, and the future of our children at the forefront of their efforts. As John Stossel is famous for saying, “Give me a break!”

The choice for Governor on the democratic side is an enemy of the people. He is an elitist that believes and is supported by people that believe in global governance, global warming, universal taking of rights through healthcare, and every other utopian scheme that is bound to assist in our destruction as a state and nation.

This is what we get to choose from in Colorado? What are we Oshkosh (sorry Oshkosh!)? Who are we as a people to be left with this despicable set of circumstances with all of our eggs in the basket of a handful of incompetent party leaders? What have we done to deserve this predicament we are in? We have ignored the political process for too long and we must organize around something other than the Republican’s choice for a candidate.

As Colorado citizens we should reject both parties and organize around an individual willing to fight the federal takeover of our economy, liberty, and future. Damn it - we can do better than this…

Friday, July 16, 2010

Why any Attempt to Cut Obesity by the Federal Government is Unconstitutional…

Michelle Obama, unelected wife of Barack Obama is on a kick to reduce obesity in America, specifically our kids, and more specifically by unconstitutional mandates. Why is this attempt unconstitutional? Like most things the federal government does or is doing, it is not part of the defined powers in the constitution. The reason the founders defined, specifically the things the federal government can do was to insure they would not do things like decide your menu at home, in school or any place else where we eat. The constitution is designed to LIMIT the federal government to specific enumerated powers. The rest is left to individuals and the state. It is about protecting freedom from tyranny.

Michelle Obama is free to use the “bully pulpit” as the wife of the president to encourage people to eat healthy, but that’s where her or any federal bureaucrat’s power is supposed to end.

Within the unconstitutional healthcare bill there is a provision, that “every American’s electronic health record must: Calculate body mass index. Automatically calculate and display body mass index based on a person’s height and weight.”

I say no. As an individual citizen protected by the U.S. Constitution, I will not allow my body mass index to be recorded for the federal government to analyze. Why, first it invades my privacy and second I know what they are going to do with that information, they are going to control people’s lives. How you say? When the data is crunched and the BMI is calculated the results will be used to determine what foods the federal government will ban from consumption. They will say we are too fat and we must end the production of Twinkies in this country. Laugh but it’s not funny. I like Twinkies and ho ho’s, and Hershey bars, and Reese’s Pieces, and chocolate cake and freedom, and if I want to get fat, that is my right.

Again you say, by being fat you will cost the federal government more in healthcare. No I will not because I pay for my own healthcare. Again you say, eventually the federal government will be the only insurer for healthcare and I say I would rather die. This is why healthcare is unconstitutional. It goes beyond any enumerated power, and no matter how you or I feel about obesity and the efforts to curb it, you can’t use the federal government beyond its constitutional powers, otherwise you infringe on my freedoms. In order to protect freedom we MUST hold the federal government in check no matter what the issue of the day is. Do you see what has happened?

It is so obvious when you start to follow the logic of these tyrants dressed up as do gooders. They know better than you on what you should eat, drive, study, career, retire, do you see now?

We are being boiled one unconstitutional bill after another. Slowly these bills create a web of chains on our freedom, and one day we wake up to a knock on the door, “Mr. Hand, we see you didn’t fill out your BMI and we must take you down to the government controlled hospital to weigh and measure you. As soon as we finish that we will taking you to the prison cell to serve the sentence of two years for failing to conform to health regulation UPTHECREEK 101.”

The constitution must be adhered to and every Governor of every state must nullify every federal law that is passed that does not meet constitutional muster… Next we will discuss nullification…

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Obama Healthcare may actually save the free market…

What? Are you crazy! This president despises the free market and is creating policies that are destroying the free market! You say… Well think about it carefully. Take healthcare for instance.

Living with a nurse for 25 years, you can imagine how many conversations we have had regarding healthcare. Me, a student of politics, and self proclaimed policy analyst, and my wife, have had many opportunities to discuss the impact of government intervention in healthcare. Here’s what I conclude.

Government control of healthcare will be a debacle because the government is incompetent (Medicare and Medicaid are already a debacle). The federal government is incompetent for these fundamental reasons; lack of accountability, hiring practices and policies, no profit motive, no connection to the consumer of the service, and imbedded unions that protect the incompetent employees that are all too common in government agencies.

Healthcare is personal and therefore extremely emotional. If we combine this with the reasons government is incompetent we have a recipe for disaster. That is why the only way to save the quality and access to healthcare is a free market model. And the Obama policies are driving the free market solution. These policy wonks don’t realize it yet, but America will not accept rationing or subpar medical services, and will do whatever necessary to get quality medical care. They have seen what the system can be, and the American people will never be convinced they can’t have it again. And that is why the free market will undoubtedly emerge just like it has in every country that has socialized medicine. As long as people have money to pay for private services they will. That’s a fact socialists don’t understand! So, here is what is happening in healthcare already that will save the free market.

Doctor pay is being cut by Medicare and Medicaid. These payments have not kept up with inflation and more and more doctors are refusing Medicare and Medicaid patients. Private insurance payments are based on the Medicare rate schedule so again doctors are finding it harder and harder to get market value for their services. Place this fact on top of the cost of medical school and missed opportunity costs based on the many years it takes to become a doctor, and you create an environment that incents early retirement and discourages new doctors from entering the profession. The current conditions and future concerns in the healthcare market are increasing doctor retirements and reducing the number of doctors entering the field, creating less supply while the demand is guaranteed to increase with the perception of “free” government healthcare.

In conversations with healthcare professionals what you are starting to hear more loudly than ever is private pay and free market principles as the solution. More and more doctors are starting to refuse private and government insurance programs and taking cash payment or creating their own payment plans through their practice. The more these doctors opt out of insurance the bigger the private pay market will become. In the end it will mean better care for patients at the market cost of services. As this happens more and more students will again consider the investment to become a doctor a good one.

Doctors will be able to influence change based on the demand for their services, and I predict as doctors become scarce, large corporations, and pools of small businesses will begin to hire private doctors to provide healthcare for their employees. Doctors no longer will have to be administrators and can focus on care while making a healthy paycheck. Corporations will eliminate the huge headache of administering multiple insurance plans and will be able to customize more affordable and accessible healthcare for their employees. Combine the rejection of private and government insurance with a demand from business to take care of their employees, and the government will be forced to yield control.

In conclusion, the private business of healthcare is going to thrive because of the burdens and incompetence that is occurring through bloated government and private health insurance bureaucracies. The free market will find a way to survive. Healthcare is too important and personal to leave to government or large insurance bureaucracies. The only solution left is the free market. There is nowhere else this industry can go. It has been over regulated for too long and is at a breaking point. The only way the United States healthcare “system” can survive is in a free market, entrepreneurial environment where people are free to go to doctors and pay a fare rate for the services. Insurance and government have become too expensive.

In the end, people will realize that the free market is the best answer to a healthy economic future and will re-embrace this foundational principle of our country…

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Social Security; Unconstitutional but Fixable...

Social Security is simply a promise made by the federal government to take money from my paycheck (and the rest of the current workforce) and pass it on to people that have reached retirement age and put it into their account. There is no “lockbox” or “account” with money in it. The money that is needed to be paid to current retirees is directly transferred, and any current “surplus” is used to pay for other federal services and falsely offsets the federal debt. The surplus is running out because the federal government has spent every penny of what have should have gone into a “lockbox” or individual “account” on other “services” or handouts.

The original idea of Social Security was to “insure” that poor elderly folks had at least a small stipend so they could survive and not starve when they were no longer able to work. Over the years, self interested politicians have promoted the perception that Social Security is a pension fund. Unfortunately what this perception has accomplished is an “I paid in, I should get my money back in retirement” expectation. That is not sustainable. With the addition of COLA (cost of living adjustments), and the increased life expectancy compared to when the program began, most retirees today get much more in return than what they put into the system. The percentage of wages taken today is much higher than the current retirees put in, but it is still unsustainable and immoral. It is immoral because the retirees today are taking the money from their children’s paycheck whether they need it or not. Many of the current retirees are selfishly bankrupting the future of their grandkids. If the Social Security checks stopped for individuals after the amount put in was exhausted, I would rescind the charge. But try to touch Social Security today and the argument that ensues is the I “deserve” or are “entitled” to get these freebies because I paid in and was “promised” these “benefits.” As a politician Social Security is the third rail, for thinking people it is a problem that needs to be addressed even if the elderly scream and threaten to vote against the people that need to fix the program. The alternative is, well, coming fast; a generational revolt.

So what’s the solution? First, end COLA’s. Second, limit payouts to $750.00 a month per retiree starting with people that are currently 50 years of age and under (that includes me). Third, money collected needs to be put into individual accounts and taken out of the general fund. Individuals should be able to select where the money goes in conservative mutual funds. Finally, cap Social Security deductions from paychecks to 3%, end compulsory employer contributions, and allow individuals to opt out of the system if they have private retirement funds set up.

The result? People will change their saving habits or face limited retirement opportunities. More people will save for retirement through the 401-K plans (No matter what liberals say, it is safer than a bankrupt, unsustainable ponsey scheme the government is currently running). Politicians will have to find another way to balance the budget. Employers will have their burden of paying into Social Security eliminated, freeing up resources to be used elsewhere. If people fail to prepare for retirement they can apply for welfare because currently that is what Social Security has become.

The truth about Social Security is that the current retirees are getting a free ride and we all know nothing is free. It is being paid for by the grandchildren they claim to love. If we really want to fix Social Security we have to face facts. The constitution gives no authority to the federal government to administer a “retirement program.” It is an individual responsibility to prepare for retirement. Having a “safety net” and not a “hammock” should be the path we take.

I think these are the things that will get us there. All due respect to my elders and the constitution…

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Bill of Rights; A Shield Against Progressives

The “progressive” movement is a belief that as time changes the way government works must change as well. The problem with the movement is it is not founded in principle. It is not based upon any solid foundational principles which make it an enemy of individual liberty. How do we determine what needs to be changed if there are no principles?

If someone says they are progressive, ask them to define their principles of government, and how they differ from the principles in the constitution. What you will find is they have only a couple of principles and they begin with the end to your freedom. The first principle of a progressive is the belief there are people that know how to govern your life better than you. They do not believe we are all created equal or that there is a creator. They despise private property and due process. They squirm at free speech that disagrees with their free speech. They want everyone to get the same civics education; theirs. They despise history and our founders. These only scratch the surface of their contempt for you and liberty.

When you read the Bill of Rights (first ten amendments to the constitution) remember the “principles” of progressives and determine which movement has your best interest at heart; the constitutional movement or the progressive movement?

• First Amendment – Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

How do you change a right to free speech for the better? Do we want the government establishing our faith? What would you change?

• Second Amendment – A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

This is one of the most attacked amendments in the constitution. Progressives believe our rights to defend ourselves and freedom should be determined by the same government our founders feared so much that they included this amendment in the constitution.

• Third Amendment – No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Do we want to allow our military to invade our homes at will? I don’t think that principle has changed over time.

• Fourth Amendment – The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

This amendment is fundamental to keeping government out of our personal affairs, limiting their ability to search us without probable cause. I believe much of the Patriot Act has dangerously ignored this amendment. It is politically popular with conservatives until they read the act. When reading the Patriot Act a chill should run up your spine. 9/11 and fear has created an environment that has given pause to this amendment.

• Fifth Amendment – No person shall be held to answer for any capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

This is due process, double jeopardy, self incrimination, and eminent domain. Has the world progressed where these rights need to be changed?

• Sixth Amendment – In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

• Seventh Amendment – In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

• Eighth Amendment – Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

• Ninth Amendment – The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

• Tenth Amendment – The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

I ask you to honestly review these rights and determine what you would change. Be careful what you ask for; it may cost you your liberty from a progressive and over reaching federal government...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

What Happens if Dan Maes Drops Out?

I do not know enough about Dan’s financial situation to comment about whether or not he will be permanently damaged by it, but I am concerned for the future of Colorado. Having just dropped out of the race for Governor due to a lack of support and time, I know how complex the financial disclosure rules are and the maze it is to navigate through. But what happens if Dan drops out?

I am a constitutionalist, conservative in the Jefferson school, and Scott McInnis is not a constitutionalist. He has spent too much time in the federal government in my opinion and honestly, I don’t trust him at this point. I definitely don’t want to see Hickenlooper because we all know where he will take us, so again, where is a conservative to turn?

Are the Tea Party folks going to turn to the Libertarian or Constitutionalist candidates? Not likely since so many have at some time been in the Republican Party or are Independents who lean conservative. This dilemma that Dan has put us in is disappointing and concerns me because we are going to need a Governor that stands up to the federal government just like Arizona has but is Scott McInnis that guy?

In my opinion we are at a critical point in our country’s survival as we constitutionalists know it, and we need to support Governor’s that not only understand the constitution but are willing to fight the federal government to take back our rightful place in the structure of the republic.

Again, what is a conservative to do?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

U.S. Federal Government vs. AZ; A Constitutional Failure…

Does the United States Federal government have the authority to sue Arizona for passing a law regarding illegal immigration? Yes, because it is one of the specific responsibilities given to the feds by our constitution. Will they win? No, because the reason Arizona had to pass a law on illegal immigration was the fact that the federal government has failed to protect the U.S border against illegal entry. That illegal entry is impacting the state of Arizona to a point that the state legislature and governor would be irresponsible if they didn’t take the steps necessary to protect their citizens.

The lawsuit is actually upside down. Arizona would have been on much firmer ground to sue the federal government. The responsibility falls on the federal government to protect the border and control illegal immigration, and they have failed miserably. And it is not just this administration. This has been a problem for too many years and it is time to end this debacle. We have American citizens being killed and threatened by foreigners and the government stands by and does nothing.

If a Chinese ship pulled up to Boston Harbor filled with Chinese soldiers and shot an American dead, what would the federal government’s response be? I’m not sure anyone these days could answer that. At one time it would have been easy to say we would destroy the ship, the soldiers, and possibly declare war. Today we have lost that survival instinct, pride, and national spirit at the federal political level. So what are we to do as states and citizens?

The constitution is clear, we are a republic, and the states are independent of the federal government to take action on their own on. So when the federal government fails in its responsibilities it is incumbent upon the states and citizens to act. That is what Arizona has done. There has been talk about the “Supremacy Clause” and the idea that federal laws trump state laws. That is only true when the laws that are created at the state level conflict with the constitutional duty of the federal government. That is why in the case of Arizona, the federal government has the authority to sue. The fact that they have the audacity to sue shows their arrogance and disrespect for the constitution and the people of the great state of Arizona.

The Arizona law does nothing unconstitutional. It is simply a reaction to the federal government being out of compliance with the constitution. The Obama administration should be ashamed and embarrassed of themselves that Arizona had to step up and do the federal government’s job, but shame is beyond this group, and embarrassment is not a trait that trumps arrogance.

The U.S. Constitution is the document that defines the limited powers of the federal government and when there is no specific reference to an issue in the constitution the tenth amendment kicks in. Today our government has been turned upside down from its intended form which was to keep the control of government close to the people and away from a central authority. No other sentence in the constitution says it more clearly than the Tenth Amendment;

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

The reason the federal government is suing Arizona is because they themselves have failed to protect the border. That doesn’t make sense but that’s what happens when we drift from our founding principles. Nothing makes sense…

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Topic #1 Declaration of Independence

Lesson # 4 – The Declaration lays the foundation of the confederation and eventually the constitution.

The founding fathers laid down the foundation to what was to become the United States in the words they chose in the Declaration of Independence (DOI). Although the DOI is not statute (law), it is fundamental to help us understand the context in which our federal government was to be built upon. It outlined a belief in a God, Divine Providence and natural law, individual rights not hereditary or class consideration, the importance of free flowing commerce (free markets), limited taxation and limited central government, and the need for a security structure to protect the sovereign states.

The values of our nation are found within the Declaration and provides excellent context for the Articles of Confederation and the final version of our U.S. Constitution. When you read the constitution you find addressed within the document many of the grievances outlined in the Declaration.

These grievances directly quoted from the DOI are specifically addressed within the final version of the constitution:

“For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent”
“For quartering large bodies
of armed troops among us or depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial
by Jury”
“He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior
to the Civil Power”
“He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent
hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance”
“He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their
offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries”
“He has forbidden his
Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in
their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he
has utterly neglected to attend to them”
“For cutting off our Trade with all
parts of the world”
“For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most
valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments"
“For suspending our own
Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us
in all cases whatsoever”
“He has plundered our seas,
ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people”

These grievances are all addressed in the constitution but more importantly they give us the context in which our founders viewed a central government. From the balance of powers, right to a trial by jury, and what became the final amendment in our Bill of Rights, the tenth amendment, we start to understand that what the founders were attempting to do was to limit the central government and balance it so it would never again dominate the several states.

As we continue to look at our founding and constitution, we will revisit the Declaration to give us context to the founding principles that survived the final draft, and we will see how important the DOI is to our long standing principles.

There were many arguments around the final version of the constitution. Every one of the arguments was measured against the impact those words and sentences would have on individual liberty, state’s rights, religious freedom, moral values, free trade and security.

It is often overlooked that for ten years after independence our states were engaged in an agreement called the Articles of Confederation. This confederation of independent states was considered perfectly acceptable for many Americans at the time. There were only a handful of exceptions, including the all important security of the several states that were seen too weak and in need of more definition. Understanding the weaknesses of the AOC will help with additional context for our analysis of the intent of constitutional powers granted to the federal government.

It was a miracle that the constitution was written, agreed upon, and eventually ratified. The specific amendments to insure ratification (Bill of Rights, specifically the tenth amendment) need to be understood to address the way our federal government operates today.

All of the founding documents are timeless. Reading the founding documents in the context of their day gives us the foundation necessary to argue against a growing federal government in context today. The principles are the same, only the names have changed that are feverishly trying to “transform” our nation into a body politic our founders would find repulsive…

Friday, July 2, 2010

July 4th - Celebrating the Declaration of Independence, Individual Freedom and Limited Government…

It seems like we live in a different country than we did only a few short years ago. The spirit of America is being re-defined by a central government that is in total opposition to the founding principles of our country and history. Our founders put in place the documents necessary to keep us from the current “transformation” but we have failed to learn them, understand them, and enforce them.

The Declaration of Independence which we celebrate this weekend established the determination of the new alliance of American colonies to be independent from central authority, and instead replaced it with individual rights to self determination. Where are those principles today?

I still believe there are more people that believe in free markets, individual liberty, self reliance, and the idea of a limited central government, but we no longer measure the activity of our federal government in those terms. We have been fractured into self interested groups who have become dependent on the largesse of a central government’s ability to take money from one individual or corporation and hand it over to another with nothing more than a stroke of the pen and a political contribution in an envelope. We have been corrupted to accept the immoral taking of our neighbor’s wealth.

We have started to accept the “right” to healthcare, the “right” to a particular wage, the “right” to an education, the “right” to a prosperous retirement, the “right” to food and shelter without even a whispering of constitutional or moral authority. The declaration and constitution are prudent in the rights that are outlined because our founders understood rights must stand independent of intrusion on other people’s rights. Our founders understood history well enough to know that the only true rights we have are Life, Liberty, and the PURSUIT of happiness. They knew no man or government could guarantee the outcome of happiness for anybody. They understood every human being would define the outcome differently but insuring the opportunity to pursue happiness would unleash the economic power that has resulted in the most prosperous nation on earth.

As we continue to accept the abject poverty of government intrusion on individual desire and potential, we should consider why we have so many people dependent on the government for their current miserable existence. As we have drifted further from our founding principles the principles that have replaced them have been determined not by individuals but a central bureaucracy determined to create equal misery throughout the land.

By implementing programs that guarantee government payments but reduce individual incentive we have shackled generations of Americans that were once ancestors of slaves into a new slavery of government dependence. The once open promise of this great American Dream has been stolen by an out of control central government. To return to true happiness every individual must determine if they or the government are going to be the source of their happiness. The people that choose the government will limit their potential to what a politician and bureaucrat can steal from others. If they choose to place the pursuit of happiness in their own hands the potential for happiness is unlimited.

We must reject the current move to “transform” America, and return to our founding principles so we can again celebrate true independence. Too many people today are dependent on government for their existence. We must all celebrate July 4th for what it truly represented to our founders; freedom from government, freedom to pursue individual happiness, and limited government intrusion into our lives.

God Bless America and thank you for giving us the men that were smart enough to know and document the rights you bestowed on us… Now it is our responsibility to understand them, reaffirm them, and protect them…

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Topic - Central Government Inefficiency and Fraud

Why the founders created a limited central government:

MIAMI – A federal program designed to help impoverished families heat and
cool their homes wasted more than $100 million paying the electric bills of
thousands of applicants who were dead, in prison or living in million-dollar
mansions, according to a government investigation.
The U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services spent $5 billion through the Low-Income Home Energy
Assistance Program in 2009, doling out money to states with little oversight of
the program. Some states don't verify applicants' identifies or income. For
example, the program helped pay the electric bill of a woman who lives in a $2
million home in a wealthy Chicago suburb and drives a Mercedes, according to the
yet-to-be released report obtained by The Associated Press.

The Government Accountability Office studied the program after a 2007
investigation by Pennsylvania's state auditor found 429 applicants received more
than $162,000 using the Social Security numbers of dead people.

The investigation found HHS paid thousands of dollars to people who were
obviously ineligible for the program.
• HHS paid $3.9 million to 11,000
applicants who used the identities of dead people.
• HHS paid $370,000 to
725 applicants who were in prison.
• HHS paid $671,000 to about 1,100 people
who made more than the maximum income to qualify for the program.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said she was "very disturbed" by the


Topic #1 Declaration of Independence

Lesson #3 – The result of overreaching central government is dangerous to our liberty and free market economy.

It is clear when you read the Declaration of Independence that our founders felt there was no other path than breaking the ties they had with the King and a central control in Britain. It was determined that the King and the Parliament were going to force their will on the colonies and this was something the founder’s found immoral. They did not reject taxation or regulations on commerce in general, but the central government showed no willingness to listen to the people of America or limit the amount of taxation on the economy of production in America. The founder’s were also concerned about the deliberate discounting of the liberty of the individuals in the American lands.

Taxes increased, freedom decreased, and there was a determined effort by the central government to crush local leaders and any sense of independence amongst the colonies. So in an effort to justify their actions against the crown they listed their grievances. I urge you to read the list of grievances and substitute some of the federal government’s actions and mandates we see today. The conclusion I have reached is we are at a similar turning point in history today.
The difference is the first declaration was against a central authority of an unresponsive King and Parliament. Today we have an unresponsive President and Congress. And the final difference is we have a constitution to return to because of our founder’s great wisdom.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same
Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their
right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards
for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these
Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their
former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain
is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object
the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let
Facts be submitted to a candid world.

There were three main categories of grievances:
• A disregard for individual liberty
• A disregard for free market economy
• A disregard for local laws and governance

Sound familiar?

The final paragraph of the Declaration of Independence:

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General
Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the
rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good
People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united
Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they
are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political
connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be
totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power
to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do
all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for
the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of
Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and
our sacred Honor.

We can easily see that today our states are being treated as the colonies were with contempt for the Tenth Amendment and the republican form of government. Notice the founder’s faith in a divine providence. They again show their commitment to a creator with their reference to “Divine Providence”, understanding that the form of government chosen was directly related to the idea of a power greater than any man or king. The federal government of today has ignored the constitution of which they have sworn allegiance and it is up the Governors of the states and the people to again declare our commitment to the right to rule ourselves without the heavy hand of government.

As a student of history we can see the dangers inherent in a central power with the ability to tax us at will, and limit our free markets and liberty. We can learn a lot from our founders.