What Does The Future Hold For The Republican Party? What’s a Conservative to do?

It would be no surprise to true conservatives that there is no love between them and the party.  After seeing gains in the House and Senate brought by “tea party” victories, most of these newer members have been held in contempt by the establishment leadershipeven to the point of supporting opponents in primary races.  This was true for my congressman, Tim Huelskamp.

The party that came to power as a third party and displaced the Whig party, the party of Lincoln, the home of smaller less intrusive government, lower taxes, lower spending and constitutional adherence is not even a shadow of its former self.

Conservatives are fought against, ridiculed, marginalized and thrown to the curb.

Maybe it’s time to define them. Many people wear the name conservative and describe themselves as such, however, I can call myself a car and sit in my garage, that does not make me a car.

People have begun connecting other words to conservative to help describe themselves:  compassionate, constitutional, and neo- to name a few.

I see a true conservative as a Classical Liberal, a Jeffersonian, a believer in maximum liberty and personal responsibility.  A true conservative believes in the founding principles and does not equivocate; there are lines of principle one does not cross.


Barry Goldwater
 was marginalized by both the Democrats and his own party.  Make no mistake about it, the Republican party has worn one hat in public and another in the back rooms where the deals are made.  The original intent was power in the hands of the people.  Face it, the party will NEVER relinquish its power to you.  That was once again clear when they fought rules changes that would close primaries to only Republican voters.

“I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed in their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is ‘needed’ before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents’ ‘interests,’ I shall reply that I was informed their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can.” – Barry Goldwater, “Conscience of A Conservative”

Back in June, I wrote an article about what poor communicators conservatives are.   First, we need to learn who we are, and then how to communicate our beliefs.  This is increasingly difficult in a world where most get their news and solidify their beliefs in tweets, headlines, and memes.  Barry Goldwater articulated what a true conservative politician is, but not what it would mean to the general public.

 

99977-abraham-lincoln-internet-quote

 

The Alt-Right movement has grown essentially using memes, more of a reflection of their followers than the leaders.  Of course, that is true with our electorate in general, our political leaders reflect the voters, not the other way around.

I see essentially four “types” of conservatives.

There are the establishment types who think winning is all that matters.  They will offer all sorts of government programs and incentives to “buy” votes…raising the minimum wage, health care, spending programs, such as the recently proposed maternity leave and childcare.  As long as the person in office has an (R) by their name and does not confuse the people with talk of the constitution, it’s all good.    Lindsey Graham, John McCain, Mitch McConnell, Chris Christie and Ann Coulter all come to mind.

There are those who see they’ve been handed lemons, so they decide to make lemonade.  Normally this is not a bad trait to make the best of things in life.  However, when you give in on foundational principles for the sake of winning, did you win or did the other “side” win?  These are the pragmatists, I’d include Sean Hannity and even Rush Limbaugh, along with those like Paul Ryan.

There are the ones who will voice their opposition to the party and its direction but will reluctantly go along.  The party knows this, so they really don’t care, these people will eventually play ball so the party ignores them, and their voices are muted in the end.  I love Mark Levin, but I have to put him in this spot.  I would also point out he does not hesitate to keep the heat on in the meantime.

Then there are the true conservatives.  They are attacked for being inflexible, stuck in the past, and out of touch.  Progressives HATE true conservatives.  Conservatism is to Progressivism what Kryptonite is to Superman.  This is an elite group, I’d say Senator Mike Lee and Congressman Tim Huelskamp along with Glenn Beck.

I’m not suggesting compromise is bad or should not be done, but compromise on constitutional principles always leads further away from the constitution.  We can and should debate on whether a road should be built and then what materials should be used, who the contractor should be.  There should be no debate or compromise on our natural rights and liberties.

Make no mistake about it, much of the Republican party is progressive.  Progressive does not mean liberal or “left;” it means government control.  You are not smart enough, or you are “too mean” (you don’t feel like you should have to give up your hard earned wages to support others’ poor decisions) to make your own choices, so they will make it all “fair” and “equal.

government-control1

I saw a comment the other day that we always have the lesser of two evils in elections.  I would suggest that the party has conditioned us to accept that premise.  It does not have to be so.

What’s a conservative to do?

This conservative is looking to the future-  this is a marathon.  No, not a marathon, this is an Iron Man endurance triathlon.  One does not participate in one of those without education and training.

As conservatives, we often think all we need to do is show up at the polls, and in so doing, we have verified Einstein’s definition of insanity.  If you follow my writing, you well know I promote each of you getting out of your comfort zone and becoming involved.  Politics is a nasty business and it is not for the faint of heart, however, if you are so moved we do need good solid conservatives in local, state and national government.  For most of us, there are other ways we can make a difference.  Find an effort that fits with you and get busy.

differAs for the original intent of this article, what of the Republican party?  To me, the party is dead.  While I do and will continue to vote for candidates who are Republicans, I do so with caution.  I have not supported any Republican committee since 2005, this is not a new feeling on my part.  The party has made it clear that the constitution and the framer’s original intent is no more than a footnote in history.  Conservatives have failed to retake the party for several years, leaving us with few options.

Other parties have sprung up and only time will tell if one of them or one yet unknown might take on the GOP and become the new home of conservatives.  In theory, the Libertarian party is a fit, but they have been taken over by the legalize all drugs crowd, and in nominating Gary Johnson showed they have no intention of playing to conservatives.  Had they nominated Austin Peterson, they would have had a serious contender for both conservative votes and the White House.

We have our work cut out for us and as long as we are “homeless” it will be made even more difficult.  I personally will focus my efforts outside politics.  We as a nation and republic…the people…have lost our way.  The family is in shambles, people are willfully ignorant, and God barely has His toe in the door of our homes.

Until we change these things, the republic will continue its decline.

 

14390687_10208564736054753_1581926169564602193_n

John Adams described the American revolution as a revolution in thought… In his 1818 letter to Hezekiah Niles, he wrote:

“But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations. … This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution.”

 

 

 

Samuel Adams, while being more of a rabble–rouser, reflected the same sentiment with quotes like, “It does not take a majority to prevail… but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men,” and “How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain meaning of words!” He continued:  “He who is void of virtuous attachments in private life is, or very soon will be, void of all regard for his country. There is seldom an instance of a man guilty of betraying his country, who had not before lost the feeling of moral obligations in his private connections.”

Both were men of action and both believed that any revolution must start in the minds and hearts of men.

I hope you will work with us at Madison’s as we attempt to slowly but surely steer things back to the correct course.  Nothing worth having comes easily, and things that do are taken for granted.  Remember those who have gone on before and their sacrifice…

“Posterity, you will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in heaven that ever I took half the pains to preserve it.” – John Adams

Advertisements

A Convention to Propose Amendments to Restrain Federal Government – An Idea Whose Time Has Come

It was warm and humid, a typical September day in Williamsburg, VA.  Commissioners from each state had assembled earlier in the week to discuss the issues that plagued the states, all caused by an out of control federal government.

The assembly was addressed by Patrick Henry.  Mr. Henry reminded those gathered that Williamsburg was the birthplace of the idea of the republic.  Virginia was the largest of the colonies in population, and Williamsburg was a natural choice for this convention.

Also addressing the group was James Madison who reminded the gathering of the history leading to the Constitution, and the question as to whether we were capable of governing ourselves. George Washington made the point of the physical price paid, and encouraged those assembled to secure the blessings of liberty.

Of course, Henry, Madison, and Washington were played by men in period costumes and the delegates from each state met just this past week.  The meeting was planned as a dry run, or practice if you will, of an Article V Convention to propose amendments to our Constitution.

The Constitution had been drafted and was nearly ready for a vote.  James Mason raised the point that while the constitution had been written to allow for future changes in Article V, they could only be initiated by congress.  Mason made the point that if a government were to overreach its prescribed bounds, it was unlikely to restrain itself.  The provision was then added to allow states to do the same.

To date, all proposed amendments to the constitution have been initiated by congress.  Some have been good and others, well, not so much.  The people gave birth to the states and the states then gave birth to the federal government.  We have evolved to the point where now the phrase “consent of the governed” means that since they were elected, they can do as they please.

In reality, the former idea of the ‘divine right of power,”  the right of kings to rule was thrown off, and now the leaders come from within the people.  Knowing that people tend to abuse power, the constitution restrains those in the three branches. However, it only works when those leaders take their oath seriously.  Nowadays, they do as they please until and unless a judge says “stop.”  They spend their time trying to work around things rather than within the bounds of the constitution.

The Convention of States Project has been working in each state to pass resolutions calling for an Article V assembly to pass amendments strictly to restrict federal power.  While state conventions have been done many times before, one for the purpose of proposing amendments has not and some worry about the process.

Thus the reason for a Simulated Convention of States in Williamsburg this past week.  Committees met and then proposals were put to the group for open discussion, amendments to the proposals and final adoption or rejection.  While the process was abbreviated due to time constraints, the debate was excellent and deliberative.

I will not go into the details of the debate and results.  While it is long, about 7 hours, I would encourage you to watch and listen to the process.  Three delegates from each state give the group 150 minds, ideas and thought processes to cover all the angles.  This will not be held in a dark back room by cigar smoking deal makers.  Watch the simulation here: http://www.conventionofstates.com/sim_live.  All these commissioners showed a love of country, the constitution, and original intent.

Historically, legislators studied the constitution and endeavored to pass laws they knew would most likely pass constitutional muster.  Now they each try to outdo the other in buying votes with taxpayer dollars and using rules and regulations to control behaviour and control the people, resulting in a loss of liberty.

With a federal debt nearing $20 trillion and no end in sight to the excess in spending and overreach, the federal government which was created by the states is now in the process of eating its creator.  The time is now to put the brakes on this runaway train.

Madison’s CPC proudly supports and endorses the Convention of States Project.  We encourage you to become involved in your state and district.  To learn more, go to www.conventionofstates.com.
Photo Credit: “Patrick Henry Denounces Unjust Taxation”, &copy; 2008 <a title=”‘Patrick Henry Denounces Unjust Taxation’ published on Flickr by Marion Doss” href=”https://www.flickr.com/people/ooocha/”>Marion Doss</a>, <a title=”from Flickr” href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/ooocha/2908626444/”>Flickr</a> | <a title=”Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/” style=”font-size: .8em” href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>CC-BY-SA</a>

Life after the election will be…….

Monday night on my radio show I mused about this being the worst election cycle in my 63 years.  My study of history tells me it’s not the worst in our nation’s history, but it’s not a competition in we should endeavor to be the worst.

I have friends from the “other side of the aisle” who are deeply divided over Hillary and Bernie still to this day.  Many Bernie supporters cannot stand Hillary and do not understand why she is not in jail, as do I.  Certainly I do not need to explain the divide on “our” side.  Friendships and even families have split over Trump.

I have tried in my articles and posts to be fair and honest.  Sometimes the truth hurts and is not what people want to hear, but I feel it is not honest for me to sugar coat the truth.  My allegiance is to the constitution and I am terribly frustrated over friends who have abandoned this foundational document.

What will happen after November 8th?

I wrote an article recently asking this question, actually, “Will the nation face chaos regardless who wins in November?” Read about it here: http://madisonscpc.net/2016/09/will-the-nation-face-chaos-regardless-who-wins-in-november/

I could tell by comments that many never read the article.  There are many on both sides who predict violence and chaos in the post-election days. While I cannot predict with any certainty what lies ahead, I believe any chaos will not be a result of the election, however, it could be that the results will exacerbate other problems and add to the “perfect storm”.

All I can assure you is that after the election, I will remain a staunch supporter and guardian of the Constitution.  I have never allowed party loyalty to affect my judgement.  I was critical of Nixon and Ford as I was of Carter and Clinton.  While I love most of what Reagan stood for and accomplished, I was critical of his shortcomings.  Bush 41 was a terrible disappointment, I actually stopped supporting any Republican party committee during the Bush 43 administration.

Congress and the president went off the rails during those eight years.  When Obama took office he simply continued the extra-constitutional actions.  Remember, most people love a king or dictator when they are doing what WE like.

It is likely that over half of the population will be upset over the results in November.  How they will react is anybody’s guess.  Since we are going into the winter months, I suspect that most of the hype is just that, hype.  Rioters and such just don’t typically feel all that much like rioting in the cold and snow.

What will life be after November 8th?  For me, it will be the same as November 7th.  I will tell you the truth, regardless of who occupies the White House.  If the occupant is a guardian of the Constitution, I will tell you and sing their praises.  If not, I will tell you and condemn them.

Since compromise always takes us further from the constitutional principles, I expect to have plenty to say.  I would hope to be able to motivate you to learn and act.  Politicians and parties, for the most part, are not the guardians of the constitution, they are its enemy.  We are the guardians.  Prepare yourself, arm yourself with the truth and join the fight…fight as if the very republic depends on you…because it does.

Photo Credit: “Listening to Music on the Train” http://www.flickr.com

September 11th, a Foundational Quake

On September 11, 2001, every one of us had our world rocked to the very foundation. At the time, I was a captain with United Airlines thus my nation, my company, my career, and my friends were directly attacked.

Luckily, I was at home that day. It was a clear warm day in Kansas too. In fact, I was putting a steel roof on a shop building I had.   The days had been quite hot, so I was up at sunrise to work before the sun got too high.

I took a break to get a drink and rest a bit, and turned on the TV to FOX and Friends while I took a seat in our sunroom. They were just being alerted to a fire in one of the towers. Reports were that a small plane had flown into the tower, and as smoke flowed out of the gaping hole I took note of the clear skies.

While these towers are quite tall, that is very low altitude for a plane over a metropolitan area and with unrestricted visibility the likelihood this was some random accident seemed remote. Some witnesses were saying it was a small twin-engine plane; I learned later that it was an American Airlines Flight 11, a Boeing 767.

After awhile, I decided I needed to get back to work. I stood up to leave and watched as a commercial jet flew into the second tower-  the fire and debris spewing out the other side. The emotions that went through me at that moment were legion.  This was United Airlines Flight 175, another Boeing 767.

World Trade Center Attack from Flickr via Wylio

© 2010 CliffFlickr | CC-BY

Word of other hijacked planes began to circulate. I had visions of dozens of planes being flown into buildings in all the major cities. The phone rang. It was the first of probably 50 calls that day asking if I was flying or at home.

Next, word came that American Airlines Flight 77, a Boeing 757 flew into the Pentagon and United Flight 93 had made a U-turn and was flying towards Washington D.C.  Would U.S. fighter pilots be called on to shoot down a civilian airliner over U.S. soil?

How would this day end?

I always wondered if the swift action of the administration to ground all flights may have thwarted more hijacking plans. To this day, the thought of dead pilots and flight attendants laying on the floor of United Flight 93 as the operator heard Todd Beemer say, “Let’s roll” and he and his fellow passengers knew what they had to do, brings tears to my eyes. They knew the rules of the game had changed. No longer were planes hijacked for ransom or to fly to asylum; they had become guided missiles.

I did not watch the movie inspired by this event, it is just too close to home.

The nation was in shock for several days. When flights were no longer grounded, I was commuting from my home in Kansas to my base in Los Angeles, changing planes at Denver International when President Bush spoke to the nation. The terminal was nearly empty, but what people were there, all crowded around the TVs and watched silently as he spoke. We were not conservatives and liberals, Republicans and Democrats, we were all Americans.

I’ll share two stories I learned in those coming days. A close friend who was also a United pilot told me about his daughter who was a flight attendant for American. She was inbound to LaGuardia airport in New York the morning of the 11th. She was going through the cabin checking for seatbelts and such, when a passenger told her one of the towers was on fire. He pointed out the window and she leaned over to look, and she saw the second plane hit.  She told her dad, “It didn’t even look real, it was more like a movie.”

The other story is from a B-727 cockpit crew on that day. They all happened to be former military. They were about half way from Dallas to Denver when they got a computer message from dispatch, “Security OK?” They responded “Yes.”  A Moment later, another message, “Are you sure, security OK?” Once again they responded “Yes,” and of course, the three of them began to speculate the reason for the questions. Then a message from Air Traffic Control (ATC) came:  “United XXXX, now cleared direct Denver, no restrictions.” The crew looked at each other.

First the questions from dispatch and now this. Clearances like that are never given, and they really did not know what it meant. The captain asked ATC, “Please explain.”

“You are cleared direct to Denver, do not turn, do not slow down, get on the ground as soon as you can.” As former members of the military, they all believed us to be at war, but they assumed it was a nuclear war with Russia, China, or a rogue nation. The reality of what the situation was, never came to their minds.

As I reflect on these events, I am saddened by many things. The loss of life, of course, is first and foremost. The changes to my job, company, and career were dramatic, and many friends were laid off for years. The reaction to growing government in response to the attack- to exchange liberty for security. In the end, we have neither, nor do we deserve them.

However, if I could go back in time, I might choose to go back to 9/12 and those days that followed. We were not defined and divided by presidential candidates or politics. We were Americans, united in purpose, united in sorrow and united in our resolve.

Sadly, it will likely take another catastrophic event to brings us closer to God and each other again.

Photo Credit: “Flight 93 NPS”, © 2015 U.S. Department of the InteriorFlickr | CC-BY-SA

The Lesson of Haman

Some Christians view the Old Testament as something that does not apply to us today. While the laws, feasts, and rituals may not, the lessons of how God deals with his people and what He expects from them certainly do. Today I’d like to look at the book of Esther.

We typically look at the Book of Esther from the standpoint of Esther and Mordecai, and how they worked together to save the Jews from annihilation roughly 500 years before the birth of Jesus. Their actions saved the Jews, and paved the way for the building of the Wall in Jerusalem.

As I have watched the political climate in recent years, I am reminded of central Biblical figures who believe in their own greatness and success. Nebuchadnezzar certainly comes to mind;  He was warned to recognize his power and wealth was at the hand of God, and not his own doing.  As he reveled in his majesty, God struck him, and he lived as a beast in the fields for a substantial time. Only when he “came to his senses” and recognized God as the ruler over all, did he regain his position.

The villain of the story of Esther, Haman, is a descendant of the Amalekite King Agag. Another lesson here, of course, is that if King Saul had obeyed God, there would have been no descendants of Agag.

HamanHaman is an elitist. As with the elitists of ancient times and today, they believe they alone are capable of ruling and dealing with the common people. They also relish in the recognition of their position and power.

It is an interesting twist in that Haman came to power after Mordecai told Queen Esther of a plot to kill the king. After the conspirators were hung, Haman was made the Viceroy or number two in power over the whole kingdom. King Ahasuerus (Xerxes I) decreed that Haman should be bowed down to and shown the ultimate respect and honor – something that Haman no doubt loved.

The recognition of his position, the adoration, and signs of obeisance was not only desired by Haman- it was demanded. As Mordecai sat at the gate of the palace, he refused to bow while all others gave the visual of respect by bowing.

It would have been a very simple thing for Mordecai to have bowed down, to just do that simple act to make peace and avoid problems. But he could not. He would not. It was a matter of conscience. Had he bowed it would have been a lie, and it would have given an honor to a man that should be reserved for God.

An enraged Haman plotted to get even. However, it was not enough to take out only Mordecai, but all the Jews. The anger and hatred were not to be left unsatisfied. A decree was issued by the king; a date was set for all the Jews in the kingdom to be plundered and killed. It was as if a presidential candidate was not satisfied with winning the nomination; he had to take out his rival – and not only the rival but the entire party. But, I digress.

Esther 5:9 Then went Haman forth that day joyful and with a glad heart: but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king’s gate, that he stood not up, nor moved for him, he was full of indignation against Mordecai.

5:10 Nevertheless Haman refrained himself: and when he came home, he sent and called for his friends, and Zeresh, his wife.

5:11 And Haman told them of the glory of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and all the things wherein the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the princes and servants of the king.

5:12 Haman said moreover, Yea, Esther the queen did let no man come in with the king unto the banquet that she had prepared but myself; and to morrow am I invited unto her also with the king.

5:13 Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate.

5:14 Then said Zeresh his wife and all his friends unto him, Let a gallows be made of fifty cubits high, and to morrow speak thou unto the king that Mordecai may be hanged thereon: then go thou in merrily with the king unto the banquet. And the thing pleased Haman, and he caused the gallows to be made.

In Haman’s mind, his power and position were, well, YugeHe was a winner- the greatest. He would not rest until his nemesis was publically humiliated and destroyed. He had devised a foolproof way to make sure his revenge was complete.

Of course, we know this to be a classic case of “What goes around, comes around.”

Rembrandt - Haman Begging Esther for Mercy

 

At a banquet for the King and Haman, Haman expected to be honored, but Queen Esther exposed Haman’s wickedness. 

7:1 So the king and Haman came to banquet with Esther, the queen.

7:2 And the king said again unto Esther on the second day at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition, queen Esther? And it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? And it shall be performed, even to the half of the kingdom.

7:3 Then Esther the queen answered and said, If I have found favor in thy sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request:

7:4 For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had held my tongue, although the enemy could not countervail the king’s damage.

7:5 Then the King Ahasuerus answered and said unto Esther, the queen, Who is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so?

7:6 And Esther said, The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman. Then Haman was afraid before the king and the queen.

7:7 And the king arising from the banquet of wine in his wrath went into the palace garden: and Haman stood up to make a request for his life to Esther the queen; for he saw that there was evil determined against him by the king.

7:8 Then the king returned out of the palace garden into the place of the banquet of wine, and Haman was fallen upon the bed whereon Esther was. Then said the king, Will he force the queen also before me in the house? As the word went out of king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face.

7:9 And Harbonah, one of the chamberlains, said before the king, Behold also, the gallows fifty cubits high, which Haman had made for Mordecai, who spoken good for the king, standeth in the house of Haman. Then the king said, Hang him thereon.

7:10 So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king’s wrath pacified.

8:1 On that day did the king Ahasuerus give the house of Haman the Jews’ enemy unto Esther, the queen. And Mordecai came before the king; for Esther had told what he was unto her.

8:2 And the king took off his ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it unto Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.

Is there a lesson to be learned here?  Perhaps a warning?

I believe so. However, at this point, we are mere spectators who can only prepare the best we can for the eventual outcome.

Lastman - Triumph of Mordechai

 

 

Photo credit: Ahasuerus and Haman at the Feast of Esther – Rembrandt, 1660

The World’s Most Powerful Motivation

Emotions. Our emotions are the world’s most powerful motivators.

A general list of emotions includes joy, sadness, anger, trust, anticipation, love, surprise, and fear. Think back on your life and you will see that all the most memorable moments, both good and bad, are tied to your emotional response.

A few quotes regarding heroes:

“No hero is braver than an ordinary man, he’s just braver five minutes longer.” -Ronald Reagan

“Do you know who a hero is? Nine times out of ten, a hero is someone who is tired enough, cold enough, and hungry enough not to give a damn. I don’t give a damn.” -Hawkeye Pierce in M*A*S*H

“True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others, at whatever cost.” -Arthur Ashe

Each is driven by an emotion. I questioned whether greed might be an emotion, and my research shows a real division of thought. Many believe it is an emotion while others say it is a character trait. In the end, the reason a person is greedy may not matter, only the fact that they are is relevant.

I would suggest greed is tied to selfishness. If we were to look at Arthur Ashe’s quote above, we might see the hero is tied to selflessness. I would also suggest we are not likely to ever find a selfish hero.

Who uses emotions to their advantage?

Advertisers use emotion to sell their products. This is not always bad, however, it is likely that most of us have purchased something based on emotion that we later realized we really did not need and will not use. Advertisers also serve a purpose by educating consumers as to the products they may want but are unaware it exists.

Fear is likely the most powerful of emotions.

Criminals use surprise and fear to their advantage. It is seldom an alert and a prepared person is a victim of their crimes. The careless and those who are unaware often suffer the consequences.

Terrorists and politicians are probably the biggest offenders of using emotion to sway people, massive groups of people. A murderer or rapist might terrorize a neighborhood or even a city. Terrorists and politicians control entire nations or even regions of the world with their tactics.

We are well aware of what terrorists do to control our behavior, and we have also seen what happens when they encounter an aware and prepared victim. There are numerous examples of intended victims who took control of the situation and refused to be a victim. They may not have planned that day to be a hero, but their response made them one nonetheless.

Politicians are, generally speaking, terrorists in their own right.

“Hillary Clinton wants to abolish the Second Amendment,” Donald Trump said May 7 at a rally in Washington. “Hillary Clinton wants to take your guns away, and she wants to abolish the Second Amendment.”

Donald Trump says November’s US presidential election “is going to be rigged,” making the claim twice on Monday. The property tycoon also called his rival Hillary Clinton “the Devil”.

Hillary Clinton, cautioning that any Trump-appointed justices would be likely to roll back workers’ and abortion rights and “demolish pillars of the progressive movement.”

“What kind of justice would President Trump appoint, or for that matter what kind of attorney general?” she asked, noting the Republican front-runner wants a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country and the deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants.

“Once you make the extreme normal, you open the door to even worse,” she said in Madison, Wisconsin, as part of a two-day trip to the state ahead of its April 5 Democratic and Republican primary elections.

Whether we look at presidential, congressional or state level politicians, we see the same thing. The other guy will do terrible things and I can stop them, I can save you…I can be the hero. Remember, there is a way to protect yourself from criminals, terrorists, and politicians – awareness, education and preparation.

The following quote is widely attributed to Benjamin Franklin, however, it is unclear if that is accurate. The quote does have solid elements of truth, so here it is.

“Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for supper. Liberty (or freedom) is a well informed and armed sheep contesting the vote.”

Joan of Arc from Flickr via Wylio

© 2006 DavidFlickr | CC-BY

The salvation of our republic will not come from a self-appointed hero who raises the most money and acquires the most votes – it will be those who through awareness, education, preparation and personal responsibility refuse to be a victim to parties or politicians. These will be the true heroes.

Photo Credit: “Angel sculpture, Martyrs’ Square – Place des Martyrs – Martelaarsplaats 2”, © 2009 Dr Les (Leszek – Leslie) SachsFlickr | CC-BY

The Men Who Would Be Kings

Put yourself in their shoes for a moment.

They have endeavored for years to secure both personal and collective rights. Some have traveled great distances in difficult circumstances to petition Parliament and the King. Some have forsaken their own personal wealth and station in life to secure for others the chance to seek their own.

When letters and negotiations fell short of the goal, they put their lives on the line. When the current government beat them physically, financially and emotionally, they did not waver. When some of them died, when friends and family members were lost, they did not faint.

Then the most powerful army and navy of the day was sent to put them in line, to stamp out this rebellion of ungrateful colonists. They put down their pens, picked up their rifles and muskets, and put their blood where their mouth was. There were more defeats than victories, and it took aid from France, but in the end, they secured the victory. The war was over.

And they walked away.

George Washington from Flickr via Wylio

© 2009 Joye~Flickr | CC-BY

No, they did not give up. They could have been an oligarchy; certainly, George Washington could have been king. What other president was elected (1789 and 1792) unanimously…twice?

He wanted to go home to his farm. When asked to help the new nation after the fighting was over his remark was, “Have I not yet done enough for my country?”

The Apotheosis of Washington shows Washington being lifted in the clouds to Glory, flanked by representations of Liberty and Victory. This is what they thought of General Washington.

Imagine how these men were idolized by most people. It would have been so easy to accept the power the people would willingly give them. However, to even be “benevolent dictators,” would have made them all hypocrites and liars.

No, after wrestling with and breaking the wild stallion, they handed the reins to us. I know I use this often, but it is important we understand the importance of the following comment by Ben Franklin. When asked what sort of government the congress had devised, whether a monarchy or a republic, he replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

Let’s break that short statement down.

A republic:”  A state in which the supreme power is held by the people, their elected representatives, and has an elected or nominated am president, rather than a monarch.

If you:”  If indicates the result is not etched in stone; things could change. You. Not us or our republic, yours. It became our possession, we own it with full rights and title.

Keep:”  Keep can be a noun, meaning a place of safety. Our republic is a place of safety and security from tyranny. However here Mr. Franklin used “keep” as a verb, a word requiring action by those who wish to “keep” or retain it. If someone tries to take it, we have to do whatever is necessary to prevent the thieves and vandals from taking or destroying it.

John Adams from Flickr via Wylio

© 2008 CliffFlickr | CC-BY

“The jaws of power are always open to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing.” -John Adams

“Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself.” -John Adams

“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” -John Adams (The Works of John Adams, ed. C. F. Adams, Boston: Little, Brown Co., 1851, 4:31)

Samuel Adams - US Capitol from Flickr via Wylio

© 2008 KelliFlickr | CC-BY

“If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”    -Samuel Adams

“He, therefore, is the truest friend to the liberty of this country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man….The sum of all is, if we would most truly enjoy this gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people.”       -Samuel Adams

“If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”  -Samuel Adams

That last quote rings daily in my ears. We, as a people, who claim to love liberty, have done little to protect it. We have the world’s most powerful military. We will not be overcome by an invading force. Between our military and the unsubstantiated statement of General Yamamoto that there would be a rifle behind every blade of grass, we will not be taken by force.

No, our liberty has been taken from us already- bit by bit. And we let it happen.

We have been handed one the greatest gifts on this earth. The greatest gift-  God’s gift of His son. We have been as shepherds watching a valuable flock. While we are vigilant in watching for threats from without the “keep,”  we have been oblivious to the wolves in sheepskins who have systematically killed and eaten nearly every sheep in our care.

It is past time for us to weed out the wolves and rebuild the herd.

photo credit: Washington, 2013 via photopin (license)

There’s Now Nothing They Will Not Do

In Sacramento, CA a Naval reservist was sentenced for mishandling classified military materials.

A federal attorney announced Wednesday that Bryan Nishimura of Folsom, California, pleaded guilty to the unauthorized removal and retention of classified materials.  Nishimura, deployed in Afghanistan in 2007 and 2008 as a regional engineer, admitted to downloading classified briefings and digital records onto his personal electronic devices. He carried the materials off base and brought them back to the U.S. when his deployment ended.  An FBI search of Nishimura’s home turned up classified materials but did not reveal evidence he intended to distribute them.

He was sentenced to two years of probation and a $7,500 fine and was ordered to surrender his security clearance. He is barred from seeking a future security clearance. 

According to Director James Comey (disclosure [from National Review author]: a former colleague and longtime friend of mine), Hillary Clinton checked every box required for a felony violation of Section 793(f) of the federal penal code (Title 18): With lawful access to highly classified information she acted with gross negligence in removing and causing it to be removed it from its proper place of custody, and she transmitted it and caused it to be transmitted to others not authorized to have it, in patent violation of her trust. Director Comey even conceded that former Secretary Clinton was “extremely careless” and strongly suggested that her recklessness very likely led to communications (her own and those she corresponded with) being intercepted by foreign intelligence services. Yet, Director Comey recommended against prosecution of the law violations he clearly found on the ground that there was no intent to harm the United States.

Secretary Clinton Travels to Afghanistan from Flickr via Wylio

© 2009 U.S. Department of State, Flickr | GOV

How do we reconcile these two cases?  In the first case it was determined that there was no intent to distribute classified materials, nor was it likely that the information was read or stolen by unauthorized personnel, but Bryan Nishimura was found guilty.  In the second case it was stated that Mrs. Clinton was careless and reckless and Mr. Comey’s statement verifies violation of federal laws, but he did not recommend prosecution.  Perhaps, Lady Justice had a corner of her blindfold lifted and her thumb on the scale.  I read a comment that said Comey should have stated that no prosecutor would bring charges against any high-level official.  Comey also stated, “To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences.  To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions.  But that is not what we are deciding now.”

Director Comey has rewritten a clearly worded federal criminal statute.  In so doing, he has come dangerously close to saying that grossly negligent handling of classified information should not result in serious consequences for high-level officials.  In a nation where the rule of law is supposed to matter, this is troubling. -Ted Cruz

SWAT from Flickr via Wylio

© 2010 U.S. Army Europe, Flickr | CC-BY

SCOTUS refused to take a case that infringes on gun owners, and another that forces a pharmacy to sell contraceptives against their religious beliefs.  We have to allow transgenders or perverts (you can’t tell which until it is too late) in bathrooms with our wives and daughters.  The military must now accommodate transgenders in their ranks.  Before we know it, we will be forced to buy health insurance whether we want it or not….

The IRS denies due process to conservative groups that disagree with the government, yet Lois Lerner was not indicted for these acts, and has since retired without consequence.  The EPA fines a rancher who builds a permitted pond on his property.  The same EPA dumps millions of gallons of toxic wastewater in a river and nothing happens.  The Bureau of Land Management takes rancher’s lands that have been in the family for generations. The list goes on…

It seems there is no end to the corruption, the waste, and the tyranny.

I remember saying to friends after Obama’s reelection, “Wait for the last 2 years when there are no more elections to worry about.  You haven’t seen anything yet.” I wish I had been wrong.

We just celebrated “Independence Day.”  We may have gained independence from Great Britain, but we are not independent of Washington DC.  What can we do?  The states gave birth to the federal government to offer protection from external and internal forces, to protect the natural rights of the people.  But as Dr. Frankenstein gave birth to a monster that went out of control and terrorized the community, the states have created a monster that terrorizes the people and the states.  The states have no option but to capture and control the monster, but how?  In 1860 and 1861 several states simply said they’d had enough and attempted to withdraw from a union that no longer served them.  We know how that worked out.

In reality, our options are few.

We could as individuals pack up and leave the country, there are a few havens around the world that are destinations for those of sufficient financial means.  This option, of course, is available to the “One Percent”, while the average person could never consider this choice.

We could gather pitch forks and torches in Washington and demand the resignation of all elected officials and bureaucrats. Of course, most of us have jobs and families and, if you know the history of the “Bonus Army,” that does not have a happy ending either.

CPC Eagle and Flag

I’ve discussed nullification before, the idea that individuals and states can simply refuse to comply with federal laws, regulations, and directives.  This has very limited potential, especially when the federal government shuts off the money spigot to the programs on which so many people depend. Just imagine SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) cards, not being filled one time.  I believe there are instances where nullification can have an effect, but it is not the main “tool in the toolbox.”

Secession, moving, marching and nullifying, in the end, are not going to change what is happening, and what will probably happen down the road.  I believe there are three options, only one of which is desirable at all; a complete collapse, a revolution, or an Article V Convention of States.

A collapse due to the weight of debt added to domestic and international affairs could and will occur in the future.  Imagine the Depression of 1929 when there were only 120 million people and none of them dependent on government programs — because there were none — happening with a population of 320 million, when over 52 million participated in major, means-tested government assistance programs each month in 2012, according to a US Census Bureau report released May 28, 2015.

A revolution is unthinkable and the death toll would be astronomical, plus the outcome would be dependent entirely on the winner.  It would be the combination of a collapse plus the fighting.

We are left as a nation with one alternative to the status quo, actually using the Constitution to correct the path we are on.

U.S. Constitution — No. 4 from Flickr via Wylio

© 2009 Chuck Coker, Flickr | CC-BY-ND

Article V – The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.

Congress refuses to fix the abuse…our representatives are part of the problem.  It is up to us and the states. This is not a Constitutional Convention, it only proposes amendments which then have to be ratified by ¾ of the states.

CPC Greg AbbottGov. Greg Abbott, aiming to spark a national conversation about states’ rights, said Friday that he wants Texas to lead the call for a convention, to amend the U.S. Constitution and wrest power from a federal government “run amok.”  “If we are going to fight for, protect and hand on to the next generation, the freedom that [President] Reagan spoke of … then we have to take the lead to restore the rule of law in America.” 

Senator Ted Cruz, in a article he wrote a year ago after the gay marriage decision by the Supreme Court, stated, “And if Congress will not act, passing the constitutional amendments needed to correct this lawlessness, then the movement from the people for an Article V Convention of the States — to propose the amendments directly — will grow stronger and stronger.”

Mark Levin, author of The Liberty Amendments, states:

The purpose of Article V is to restore constitutional government, should that still be possible. And that was and is its purpose.

This is quintessential federalism. It’s authorized by Article V. George Mason originally proposed this remedy. George Washington and the other delegates at the Constitutional Convention, including James Madison, voted for it, as did the state ratification conventions. Such modern notables as Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan, Dwight Eisenhower, among others, supported it. An aging Madison would later refer to Article V as a way to avoid the growing hostilities between the states. Abraham Lincoln did the same thing, but it was too late to avoid the Civil War. And the reform amendments I propose in my book, among other things, empower the legislatures to override or bypass the federal government in matters where the framers intended the states to hold sway. Thus, the issue is not whether the federal government nullifies the amendments. The amendments empower the states to act.

Are you “Mad as hell and not going to take it any more?” The time to act is now, more than ever.

www.cosaction.com

Blind Squirrels and Marijuana — It’s All About Control

It’s not often I find myself in agreement with Bernie Sanders, but then I understand that even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in awhile.  With all due respect to Bernie, he’s the squirrel.

Senator Sanders introduced S. 2237: Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2015, this past November.  The odds of the bill passing are probably quite low, but let’s look at the larger picture.  This is about government control, not just marijuana, or squirrels.

I am not a fan of big government.  I see myself as a Jeffersonian, a classical liberal.  Not all founders agreed, but for the most part, they favored maximum personal liberty and minimum government power; government existed to protect liberty, not to restrict or distribute.

Drugs from Flickr via Wylio

© 2012 Stephan RosgerFlickr | CC-BY

Liberty requires us to have more personal responsibility. Businesses and salespeople, “snake oil” salesmen, tried to take advantage of customers, and there were problems with hidden ingredients including narcotics and other undisclosed “poisons.”  Laws were passed at the state level to protect citizens from unscrupulous business practices.  However, in the late 19th century, the beginnings of “crony capitalism” appeared, as pharmaceutical societies pushed for sales to be restricted to pharmacies, and supported the listing of cannabis as a poison. [1]

There was a huge shift after the Civil War.  The federal government now held the ultimate power, and one either complied, or suffered the consequences of disobeying, the positions of the federal government.  It is interesting to note that the late 19th century is also the period in which the progressive movement began to grow and impact the nation, and the attacks on God and religion began, as well.  The move was well underway to replace God with government.

All drugs were legal and readily available anywhere in the world, but progressives needed to control people’s lives.  The Harrison Narcotic Act of 1914 was the first instance of the United States enacting a ban on the domestic distribution of drugs.  Government stepped in “for their own good,” because people were incapable of making good decisions.  This is also the time of the early eugenicists and population control advocates.

The early 20th century saw The Pure Food and Drug Act, requiring accurate labeling of specific drugs including alcohol, cocaine, heroin, morphine and cannabis, with contents and dosage.  These all continued to be available without a prescription as long as they were properly labeled.  Estimates show the sale of these medicines declined by 33% after the mandate. [2]

Laws and Acts were passed in the ensuing years restricting the sale of narcotics.  In 1919, Prohibition became law, banning alcohol in all 48 states, and followed by the regulation of cannabis in 1925.  The Federal Bureau of Narcotics was created in 1930, and by 1933, Prohibition was repealed.  Most bureaucracy created during Prohibition now shifted to drugs.  A clear connection exists between government and money.  The pharmaceutical companies did not like the competition; they wanted control, and used the government to secure their market.

In the mid 1930’s, Government tried using law to control behavior — it did not work.  Other laws were passed at this time, controlling drugs and guns.  Government cannot control behavior with laws and regulations.  In a free society, those controls must come from within a person.  If the government controls private behavior, we cannot have a free society.

Cannabis from Flickr via Wylio

© 2012 24oranges.nlFlickr | CC-BY-SA

In reality, it appears that drug laws are a protection for pharmaceutical companies, and to what end?   According to data from the Centers for Disease Control nearly 88,000 people die each year in alcohol related deaths.  Drug overdoses total just half that number, with fully one-third of those from prescription drugs. Poison cannabis?  Zero deaths.

I have never tried cannabis in any form, and have no desire to do so.  I don’t drink alcoholic beverages either, which is my personal choice.  As a pilot, I have always been a “control freak,” and do not like anything that makes me feel as if I am losing control.  I do not believe, however, it is the job of government, or me, to control the choices of others, unless those choices infringe on the rights of other individuals.

I know a woman with cancer.  Surgery, chemo and radiation were not options for her, and she was sent home to die.  Having nothing to lose, she obtained cannabis oil legally from Colorado.  Her brain tumor has shrunk significantly, and she is still alive years after her expected demise.  Who is the government to tell her, or anyone else, they cannot obtain a treatment option such as this?  For that matter, who is the government to tell anyone they cannot obtain a drug, pharmaceutical or otherwise, for their treatment?

Many conservatives do not agree; I ask you to stop and think.  The same government with the power to say what substances you may have, also says what guns you may have.  In recent years, it has also regulated what you may or may not say, where you may live, what is acceptable housing, even which toilet and light bulb you must buy.  This is for your own good, of course, and our government has always been a faultless judge of the good and acceptable, including what you must buy.

To my fellow conservatives who think my views are nuts or dangerous, your opinion is a danger to liberty. Many so-called conservatives are quite willing to have government do whatever it likes, especially things from which they benefit.

“The jaws of power are always open to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing.”  -John Adams

“If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace.  We seek not your counsel, nor your arms.  Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”  -Samuel Adams

 

[1] “Chemist & Druggist” (London, New York City, Melbourne: Bern Brothers) 28:68,330.1886 [2]
[2] Musto, David F. (1999). The American Disease: Origins of Narcotic Control (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-512509-6.

Photo Credit: “squirrels”, © 2015 James HavardFlickr | CC-BY

Lives, Fortunes and Sacred Honor

It was not one event. It was not even a series of events or edicts that sparked a Revolution.

Men and women have longed for freedom as long as there have been rulers. Historically, as people formed groups for protection. For those who are willing to give up liberty for security, there are also those who are willing to take advantage of this sentiment for their own lust for power and wealth.

Our founders did not just wake up one day and say they’d had enough; there was a long history of men demanding their God-given rights. This was a history they knew well.

The Declaration of Independence is the last of documents in the genealogy of our independence. The first was the 1100 Charter of Liberty, the 2nd was the Magna Carta of 1215, the Petition of Rights of 1628, the Grand Remonstrance of 1641 and the English Bill of Rights of 1689. All of these led to the 6th document in the roots of liberty, the Declaration of Independence.

If one were to look at the details of these documents, the evolution that took place is clear.  Our Declaration of Independence was without a doubt, the culmination of man’s drive for self-determination and liberty.

There are a number of emails and sites telling us of the hardships endured by the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence.  All men and women throughout history who stood for freedom, often did so at great personal risk. We are certainly familiar with the fate of William Wallace in the Scot’s quest for freedom.

It is easy to say in retrospect, that most of the men who signed our Declaration of Independence did not, in fact, suffer any dire consequences from their action. That was not a foregone conclusion. “We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.” This quote by Benjamin Franklin certainly indicates their acknowledgment of the potential result of their action.

George Washington from Flickr via Wylio

© 2009 History RewoundFlickr | CC-BY

Liberty is of divine origin.

Liberty has a price.

Liberty is secured by government.

Liberty requires unity.

Liberty is maintained by obedience to law.

Liberty is dependent upon virtue.

Liberty affords the path to happiness.

These 7 principles of liberty are derived from First Inaugural Address on April 30, 1789, and from his Farewell Address, September 17, 1796. If ever anyone understood, taught, and lived these great precepts, it was George Washington.

 

Our first president also knew the double-edged sword of government. “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence,—it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant, and a fearful master; never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.”

We are to be the guardians of liberty. Consider this excerpt from the Declaration:

“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. 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.”

As we reflect on this great document and the true meaning of this day, we should also examine what sort of guardians we have been, and are to be. Benjamin Franklin, when asked what sort of government the congress had given the people said, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”Keep is a verb and verbs require action. There is no question that with all the government agencies that exist today, their rules, and regulations, our liberties are held strictly at the pleasure of those in power.

“Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present Generation, to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it.”

John Adams wrote this closing paragraph to Abigail in a letter, 26 April 1777. What do you suppose John would think of the Republic today? To me, this is not “The 4th of July,” this is Independence Day.

What have WE done to preserve it? What have we done to secure it?

I hope each of you will reflect on the sacrifices made for our nation.