Thursday, October 8, 2009

Most Americans don’t realize that the Constitution originally called for the State Legislatures to appoint the Senate in the Federal Government. If fact it operated this way for well over 100 years. A discussion on why it changed would require a longer treatment then this post would allow, however consider what John Dickinson, a signer of the Constitution, had to say about the dangers of having the Senate elected by popular vote:

If the state government were excluded from all agency in the national one, and
all power drawn from the people at large, the consequence would be that the
national government would move in the same direction as the state governments
now do, and would run into all the same mischief’s. The reform would only
unite the thirteen small streams into one great current, pursuing the same
course without any opposition whatever.

The 17th Amendment of the US Constitution passed in 1913 has dramatically disrupted the balance of power. Senators since this date have been elected by the popular vote of the people. Mr. Dickinson’s preceding quote has proven to be prophetic as we have witnessed the rapid increase in the size of the Federal Government and its reach into the affairs of the States. The result has been the erosion of one of the most important separations of powers created by the Constitution. Today as a result, “We The People” have less ability to check the unconstitutional actions which are proposed and passed by the Federal Government.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Why make laws? Shoot, what is law anyway?

In order to understand what law is and why laws should be written, one must understand that there is a fourth unalienable not found in the Declaration of Independence.

That is the natural right to protect and defend ones’ life, liberty and property.

Frederic Bastiat, in “The Law” defines law this way. “It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense.”

“If every person has the right to defend, even by force, his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly.”

“…Thus, the principle of collective right, …is based on individual right.”

We see, therefore, that all law has its genesis in individual inalienable rights, that, consequently, government derives its power and authority from the individuals it governs and can only do “what [individuals] have a natural and lawful right to do [themselves].”

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Either you believe in freedom and equality or you don’t!

Every question and issue in the domain of current events comes back to the basic question as to whether or not you believe in freedom or not and whether you believe in equality or not.

At the core of this question is whether or not you believe in the three unalienable rights found in the Declaration of Independence:

1. Life
2. Liberty
3. Pursuit of Happiness (Property)

As Frederic Bastiat in “The Law” says “In spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God (referring to life, liberty and property) precede all human legislation, and are superior to it.

“Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.”

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Case for Character – Part 3

In response to the Stamp Act of 1765 John Adams said:

…liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people who have a right from the frame of their nature to knowledge, as their Creator who does nothing in vain, has given them understanding and a desire to know. But besides this they have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible divine right to the most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge, I mean of the characters and conduct of their rulers.
I’ve often heard it said that what we need in Washington are men and women of character, people like George Washington. While I agree with this statement I am concerned that “We The People” are not doing what it takes to measure the character of our elected officials. After all if you and I don’t do this, who will? Here are some simple steps that enable one to judge the character of their lawmakers:

1. Be aware of major laws proposed by Congress
2. Express your opinion to our elected officials and ask them for their position
3. Check their response against their voting record
4. Hold them accountable for consistently adhering to sound principle
a. This means you must be educated on principles of morality and sound economic and social governance
5. Prepare future generations by teaching them our moral obligation to God, family
and country. Do this in your homes, schools (we’ll teach you how we can do this here as well), churches, community organizations etc.

While this may seem overwhelming at first glance, there are some simple ways you can begin this process. I assure you that it is an investment that we owe ourselves, our progenitors and our children. Liberty is priceless. Let us at the Thomas Jefferson Center assist you in learning to appreciate, love, value and defend the rich heritage of this great country so that we can select people of great moral character to represent us. Allow us to teach the principles of the Constitution so that together we can preserve a great nation. The results will astound you and your attitude for America will go from despair to hope!

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Three Part Series (part 2 of 3)

In March of 1783, even though the British had surrendered about a year and a half earlier, Washington’s troops were still on active duty. Congress had failed to pay them and establish a fully functional government. It was in this desperate invironment that Washington’s officers were secretly working to force Congress’ hand through a military coup. Fortunately, Washington caught wind of this and delivered a speech to his men in New York to avert this disaster that would threaten this great freedom experiment. The following excerpt comes from this speech:

And let me conjure you, in the name of our common country, as you value your own sacred honor, as you respect the rights of humanity, and as you regard the military and national character of America, to express your utmost horror and detestation of the man who wishes, under any specious pretenses, to overturn the liberties of our country, and who wickedly attempts to open the floodgates of civil discord and deluge our rising empire in blood.

He later states, “You will defeat the insidious designs of our enemies…and give one more distinguished proof of an exampled patriotism and patient virtue…” He was pleading with them to allow the rule of law to be supreme, rather then the whims of a dictator.
After delivering the speech, the men were still somewhat unconvinced. He then pulled from his pocket a letter from Congress outlining their intentions to pay them. Biographer James T. Flexner describes what happened next:

The officers stirred impatiently in their seats, and then suddenly every heart missed a beat. Something was the matter with his Excellency. He seemed unable to read the paper. He paused in bewilderment. He fumbled in his waistcoat pocket and then he pulled out something that only his intimates had seen him wear: a pair of glasses. He explained, ‘Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for I have not only grown grey but almost blind in the service of my country.’ This simple statement achieved what all Washington’s rhetoric and all his argument had been unable to achieve. The officers were instantly in tears, and from behind shining drops, their eyes looked with love at the commander who had led them all so far and so long.

After Washington finished the letter, all officers present unanimously voted to support Washington and Congress’ proposal. I will submit that it was Washington’s character, forged and tested over time in all types of challenging situations that gave him the moral authority in this exact moment to stir men’s hearts to support his vision. We are the beneficiaries of that character today. We therefore have an obligation to encourage the presence of that same type of character in our public positions of trust.

Stay tuned for the conclusion of this 3-part series.

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Three Part Series (part 1 of 3)

How do we find, support and keep men and women of character in public office? Before I answer this question allow me to propose the model we should be looking for by relating a story about George Washington. For those who have truly studied about President Washington, I can hear you skeptically saying, “Impossible! You just don’t find Washingtons today.” To that I reply, “Nonsense.” First, we as a society are not placing men like Washington before our youth and heralding them as virtuous souls whose examples are worthy of emulation, instead many are maligning their character. Second, we are simply not doing our part to seek out, encourage and support those individuals who have the right character to be worthy of the public trust. Third, we are not teaching character as a moral/spiritual (in subsequent posts I’ll define what I mean by spiritual) obligation in our schools today. Stick with me because these people truly do exist if you are willing to look.

With that said, allow me to present the standard of character for our public officials by relating one of the great stories in our Nation’s history—a story about General George Washington. Remember as you read this that Washington put great effort into building his own character every day and as a result he had the ability to lead men of all stations of life to victory in our Revolutionary War. Against all odds he succeeded. His character was such that he was able to withstand the greatest of all temptation; his men’s proposal to make him king of America.

Come back soon to hear the rest of the story...

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Why study the Constitution and the US Success Formula?

To answer this question I call upon the great Statesman Thomas Jefferson who had this to say concerning the Constitution:

"We owe every other sacrifice to ourselves, to our federal brethren, AND TO THE WORLD AT LARGE, to pursue with temper and perseverance the great experiment which shall prove that man is capable of living in society, governing itself by laws self-imposed, and securing to its members the enjoyment of life, liberty, property, and peace; and further show, that even when the government of its choice shall manifest a tendency to degeneracy, we are not at once to despair, but that the will and the watchfulness of its sounder parts will reform its aberrations, recall it to original and legitimate principles and restrain it within the rightful limits of self government.”

How can we expect to accomplish this with out at least a basic understanding of the principles of self-government? The Thomas Jefferson Center classes inspired by the late Dr. W. Cleon Skousen's Miracle of America Course will walk you through these principles. Listen to Dr. Skousen tell the story of Eldridge Cleaver, a former Black Panther, as an illustration of the impact of both ignoring these principles and later embracing them. You'll also hear Eldridge Cleaver express regret that he was not taught these principles earlier in life.

To attend the Healing of America constitutional studies course by Dr. W. Cleon Skousen and Dr. Glenn J. Kimber email us at

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