The Census and The American Community Survey: Do You Really Have to Answer All Those Questions?

CensusOn two different occasions I’ve been contacted by people who have received the American Community Survey (formerly known as the long form census). These people felt their privacy was being violated by the intrusive questions in the survey and that the federal government did not have the right to demand such information of them. They were being hounded by census bureau workers, threatened with fines and in one case even had a bureau employee show up at their church to serve them with papers. These people turned to me, as a Constitution Party state chairman, wanting to know if the survey really is mandatory and whether they would indeed be fined for not complying. Knowing that millions of other Americans are being confronted with this same dilemma, I decided to compile my findings as a public resource on the matter.

SOME BACKGROUND

It all began in 1787 with the drafting of the United States Constitution where Article I, Section 2 calls for an “enumeration” to be made once every ten years for the apportioning of representatives and direct taxes among the several states.

The nation’s first census was conducted in 1790 and consisted of only the name of the head of household and the number of other residents – just what you’d expect for a simple enumeration. However, by as early as 1810 the census had added inquiries regarding U.S. manufacturing capabilities with questions about social matters coming in 1850. In 1940 the dual long form/short form system was put into play with most households receiving the short form census with questions more appropriate to a simple enumeration and a portion of households receiving the long form census seeking detailed demographic information. Continue reading

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Is Ted Cruz Eligible to Be President and Do Conservatives Owe Obama an Apology?

Photo: Gage Skidmore

Photo by Gage Skidmore

I don’t mean to be a negative nitpicker, determined to shoot down the best hopes of traditional conservatives, but before everyone jumps on the Ted Cruz for President bandwagon, it seems that those who champion the cause of “The Rule of Law” should first address the question of Senator Cruz’s Constitutional eligibility to be President of the United States. It’s either that or publicly admit to being hypocrites who only use the rule of law argument when it suites our purposes.

The question is, what is a “natural born citizen,” which Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution requires the President to be. If it means having at least one parent who is a U.S. citizen, then both Cruz and Obama are equally eligible. If it means that both parents must be U.S. citizens, then neither Cruz nor Obama is eligible. If it means being born on U.S. soil, then we know that Cruz was not while Obama’s actual place of birth has been disputed for the better part of a decade now.

Attorney, professor of law, Constitutional scholar and Constitution Party 1996 Vice Presidential nominee, Dr. Herb Titus, holds that a natural born citizen is one whose parents are both U.S. citizens. Dr. Titus refers to Biblical precedent, something which our nation’s founders relied upon heavily in the framing of our form of government. I encourage everyone, especially Ted Cruz supporters, to consider Dr. Titus’ comments on the matter beginning at the 7:00 minute mark in this interview http://www.cynthiadavis.net/what-is-a-natural-born-citizen/.

Whichever view one might hold with regard to the definition of a natural born citizen, what seems apparent is that conservatives need to either ask Senator Curz to recuse himself from seeking the Presidency or apologize to Barack Obama for years of harassment over his birth certificate and the question of his actual place of birth.

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For more thoughts on the Ted Cruz candidacy, listen to the March 25 edition of “The Castle Report” and read “Ted Cruz: Pros And Cons” by 2008 Constitution Party Presidential candidate, Pastor Chuck Baldwin.

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What if the Republicans Nominate a Conservative?

The following was written on behalf of the Constitution Party National Committee to address a question that has often been posed regarding the fielding of a Presidential candidate.

ShockThe question has been raised in the past, and I’m sure it will come up again, as to what the Constitution Party would do should the Republican Party choose a “true conservative” (ie, constitutional) Presidential nominee. Would the Constitution Party still field a Presidential candidate, and if so, why?

The Constitution Party does not have an official policy on this matter, i.e. a resolution or a clause in the party constitution or bylaws. So far this has not been a problem and with each passing election cycle it appears less likely to ever be a problem.

As a state party chairman, I can say that it has been the practice of our state affiliate to avoid running a Constitution Party candidate in opposition to a constitutionally sound incumbent whose performance in office comports with our platform. However, in cases of a constitutionally sound candidate who is not an incumbent, we view the ballot as belonging equally to all candidates and parties. We feel no compulsion to drop out of a race just because some people think that a candidate with a different party initial after his name is more likely to win. Continue reading

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School Boards “Gaming the System” at Taxpayer Expense

Letter to the editor submitted to the Spokesman Review in regard to Washington’s February 10, 2015 special election

It’s special election time again – that time of year when we waste taxpayer dollars to print, mail and process ballots with only one or two items on them – usually a school bond or levy. Ostensibly, these are issues that could not be foreseen at the last regular election and which cannot wait until the next. Hence, school district officials appeal to county commissioners for a “special” election as provided in state law for dealing with such emergencies as school administrators not being able to project revenues and expenses far enough in advance to place these matters on a regular election ballot. But do these issues appear on special election ballots merely because school boards are incapable of planning ahead, or is it because voter participation is notoriously low at these elections, making it easier for the education establishment and its associated special interests to carry the vote? I would be curious to see the outcome of such bond/levy issues if county commissioners were to stand up to school districts, refuse to waste taxpayer dollars on special elections and tell the education establishment they’ll just have to place their bond issues on a regular election ballot like everyone else.

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God’s Special Favor for Those Who Honor Him

A friend recently pointed out a passage of scripture to me that she found comforting with regard to the fears that some people have about the end times, judgment and the things coming upon the earth. As someone who is engaged in political activism, I found the passage particularly relevant as I so often hear Christians expressing fear of their political adversaries, expectations of judgment on the land and general dread for what appears to be coming upon the nation. Many are so fearful that they are willing to compromise values, principles and sound policies in order to “win” at the polls. I have long contended that I would rather be found honoring God, upholding an uncompromisingly right standard and trusting Him to honor and care for me. I think this passage makes my case particularly well, especially in the Message translation.

“Then those whose lives honored GOD got together and talked it over. GOD saw what they were doing and listened in. A book was opened in God’s presence and minutes were taken of the meeting, with the names of the GOD-fearers written down, all the names of those who honored GOD’s name. GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies said, “They’re mine, all mine. They’ll get special treatment when I go into action. I treat them with the same consideration and kindness that parents give the child who honors them. Once more you’ll see the difference it makes between being a person who does the right thing and one who doesn’t, between serving God and not serving him.” (Malachi 3:16-18 MSG)

This passage is talking about a time when many of God’s covenant people – Israel – were not fully honoring, trusting and obeying Him. Yet God was paying attention and took special note of the remnant among His people who did truly honor Him and did not compromise His right standards.

I implore my fellow believers to remember this the next time you’re confronted with a ballot featuring a godless candidate, a compromised candidate and an overtly God-honoring, Constitution-upholding candidate whom, you’re told, “can’t win,” leaving you convinced you must “vote for the guy who can beat the evil candidate.” Do not be fooled. We are in a time of great deception! Instead, take note of the favor that God shows to those who honor Him, then determine to be numbered among them!

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Seeking the Remnant Leaders

As a strict constitutionist, I may be able to find some faults with the Reagan administration, such as increased national debt or not always toeing a perfectly constitutional line, but I am reminded by this video that Ronald Reagan stands in stark contrast to today’s political leaders – most so called “conservatives” included – as a sincere Christian man who publicly acknowledged God and possessed that true form of patriotism that honestly sought the best interests of his country. I challenge you to watch the video, then ask yourself how many men you can name who possess this kind of spirit and character among those inside the beltway today, or in your state government, or your city, or…?

I’ve been honored to know a few men – very few – cut from similar cloth, mostly from my association with the Constitution Party. However, I’m hard pressed to name men of such character among the dominant leadership of the Christian-conservative-right in our day. There are a handful of such men out there, but they are not being propelled to positions of prominence. It appears that the Christian right, the conservative movement, TEA Parties and the like, are preferring leaders with big names and political clout – men who can give them a seat at the table of power or who can win at the polls. Nevertheless, God always has a remnant reserved for Himself who have not bowed the knee to false gods nor compromised for political expediency, including a handful of remnant leaders with the values and patriotism of a Ronald Reagan. The question is, will God’s people seek out and rally around those remnant leaders or will they prefer to follow populist movements, power brokers and a favored party as they sell their Christian and American birthrights for a bowl of political pottage?

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Nothing’s Gonna Change

No Change - 350

The day after last week’s election, when I started hearing the reports of a “Great Republican Victory” – not only in D.C., but across the land and even in my own state – my first reaction was, “nothing’s gonna change.” That night, I spoke with my friend, former Missouri State Representative turned podcaster, Cynthia Davis, and her comment to me was (I paraphrase), “nothing’s gonna change.” The next day I read the weekly column of liberty movement leader and patriot pastor, my friend Chuck Baldwin, and his take on the election was, “nothing’s gonna change.” Yesterday, 2004 Constitution Party Presidential candidate, Michael Peroutka, published his weekly video commentary in which he subtly prompts the astute observer to realize that, “nothing’s gonna change.”

Is this just sour grapes on my part? Are my friends and I all a bunch of negative Nellies? After all, aren’t we supposed to give a person (or party) a chance to prove themselves before we judge them? Continue reading

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GOP Should Rename itself the “Brand X” Party

I just read something very insightful in an article published in the Yakima Herald. In yet another article about GOP internal strife, I read these words:

“the state GOP has a policy of not endorsing one Republican over another.”

I have been noticing for some time now that the Washington State GOP consistently fails to give it’s approval to any particular “R” candidate, but I had chalked it up to the party’s generally weak and gutless lack of leadership. Perhaps I’m still a bit naive, but I really didn’t realize that the state GOP had an actual policy of not endorsing one “R” candidate over another.

Can - Brand X - 200x300In a state with a top-two primary, where anyone can walk in off the street, plunk down their filing fee, have his name placed on the ballot and choose what party initial, if any, he wants placed after his name, the GOP has consciously chosen a policy of complete abdication of leadership, allowing anyone to run under their party banner without being either endorsed or opposed by the party on the basis of minor details like adherence to the party platform.

If this is going to be their policy, then the GOP should change its name to something generic, like “Brand X,” as there’s no way for voters to know what’s inside the package when purchasing an “R” candidate at the polls. This is tantamount to a company developing a brand name, then selling labels bearing its name for anyone, anywhere, to slap on anything and call it official, genuine, certified “Brand X.” Continue reading

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It’s Us Versus Them and the Problem is Us

Us vs Them 295In a world with an “us versus them” mentality, it’s always “them” that are the problem… right? We’re never the cause of our own troubles, that would be unthinkable. It’s always the other guy who fouls everything up. We’re innocent. If only the whole world were left to us, it would be a utopian paradise.

The same phenomenon exists in the political arena where the “us versus them” mentality finds that it is always the other political party that is the problem. You name the trouble, the other party caused it. Whether we’re talking Democrat vs Republican, left vs right, liberal vs conservative, one thing is certain, the other side is the root of all evil. If only the country were turned over to our side, to our favored “ism” or political party, we would make it a utopian paradise.

While I can’t speak for those who identify with the liberal-left or Democrat side of this equation, I do spend a lot of time around people who identify as Christian, conservative or who faithfully and unquestioningly vote Republican and who know for certain that they’re not the problem. They couldn’t possibly be responsible for any of America’s ills as they’re on the right side, profess the right “ism” and vote for the candidate with the right initial after his name. If only the Christian side, the conservative side, the “right” side could prevail at the ballot box and fill the halls of power with people who have the right party initial after their name, America would become a utopian paradise… right? Continue reading

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Is the Constitution Dead?

Constitution & Flag 225Today we celebrate the 227th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution and ask the question, “is the Constitution dead?” Has it survived despite the many years of degradation it has suffered or did it succumb long ago?

The other day I was confronted with the idea that perhaps the Constitution is already null and void and has been for some time now based on the many unconstitutional acts of the federal government, some beginning as long as a hundred years ago. I’ll be the first to admit that much, perhaps even most of what the federal government does, is not allowed under the Constitution. But does that mean that the Constitution has failed, that it doesn’t work, that it is no longer valid, has become irrelevant and that we should quit contending for the founding principles of the American Constitutional republic? Or does it merely mean that we the people have ignorantly and foolishly elected persons who are now subjecting us to an unconstitutional, and therefore alien, form of government?

I believe some people confuse conservatism with Constitutionalism and the conservative movement with the current efforts of Constitutionists. The two tend to be treated as synonymous and lumped together under one title. I admit that some who are called conservatives are Constitutionists, though not all, and Constitutionalism is what conservatism once was, or sought to be. However, Constitutionalism and modern conservatism are quite different entities. I contend that it is conservatism that has expired and lapsed into irrelevance while the principles of Constitutionalism remain ever relevant and worthy of our most valiant efforts to contend for. Continue reading

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