Syria, the U. S. Constitution, and the War Powers Resolution

In the wake of the U. S. missile strike on the Syrian air base believed to have been used to mount a chemical weapons attack, there is no lack of the usual debate about, “it’s right, it’s wrong; it’s good, it’s bad; we should have, we shouldn’t have.” Most of the discussion revolves around personal opinion based on either pragmatic reasoning, or emotional feelings. A few are going beyond that level of debate and actually asking Constitutional questions.

I’m a bottom line kind of guy. I want to get to the root of a matter. All of the discussion about Assad, Russia, and ISIS; the TV news talking heads, so-called “experts,” and your favorite talk radio personality spouting the party line; even democrat vs republican, and liberal vs conservative; these all obfuscate the foundational issues and serve as a distraction that diverts our attention from the real questions we ought to be asking.

The bottom line of every political issue, and the place where every meaningful political discussion must begin, are the questions, “What is the revealed will of God in the matter at hand? How has His will been codified in the governing documents of our republic? And what are the just laws that have been made in pursuance of these?” The answer to these questions constitutes The Rule of Law, and we are not ruled by law until we are ruled by this hierarchy of authority. Continue reading

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A Tale of Two Surveys (Are the Parties Conning Us?)

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, depending whether you were receiving the “Republican 2017 Congressional District Census,” or the “Official 2017 Democratic Party Survey”; whether your party had just achieved victory, or suffered defeat; whether your party was in power, trying to defend the country against the forces of evil, or was out of power, trying to take the country back from the forces of evil. Whichever survey you received, one thing was certain: The country could only be saved if you “send us your money!”

But perhaps I should back up to start at the beginning of the story.

I’ve been receiving gimmick fundraising letters from the Republican Party for a long time. I mean, a really, really long time – like decades; and that is despite the fact that I’ve never in my life been an actual member of, nor donated to, the Republican Party. But that hasn’t stopped the republicans from sending me mailings, sometimes with a membership card, and at other times, an official survey seeking to discover the views of the “party faithful,” so that the new congress can set their agenda based on the opinions of some guy in Spokane Valley who isn’t even a member of the party.

However, I had never really thought about what kind of fundraising schemes the Democratic Party might be employing to extract funds from their target donors. Well, I recently found out when a friend shared a letter with me that he had received from the Democratic Party. Like me, and my non-association with the Republican Party, this friend has nothing to do with the Democratic Party. I don’t know what caused them to include him in their most recent mailing, but I’m glad they did, as it gave me a chance to compare the tactics of the two parties side by side.

What I discovered is that the similarities between the two mailings are just too great to ignore. Continue reading

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Honored by the SPLC

The organization that I chair, the Constitution Party of Washington, along with the party’s many other state affiliates, has been honored by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) with the title of “Extreme Antigovernment Group.” Please allow me to explain why this is an honor.

The Constitution Party is pro-civil government, pro-U. S. Constitution, and pro-rule of law. The Constitution Party understands that the rule of law emanates from the Creator who is the source of all authority; that authority has been delegated by God to man; that “we, the people,” have further delegated a portion of that authority to the institutions of civil government via the instruments of our state and federal constitutions. The only acts of governing that the Constitution Party opposes are those that violate the revealed will of the Creator or that violate the contract between we, the people, and the institutions of civil government.

Therefore, when the SPLC calls the Constitution Party “antigovernment,” it is by default saying that the only form of government that it views as legitimate is that which is unconstitutional, ungodly, or unbounded by the rule of law. Evidently, in the eyes of the SPLC, being “pro-government” means supporting administrations, bureaucracies, rules, and legislation that are outside of what the Creator, or we, the people, through our precious constitution, have authorized. Continue reading

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Asset Forfeiture

asset-forfeiture-300pA few days ago, I was directed to a YouTube video that prompted me to recall the danger, the un-constitutionality, and the uncivil nature of the practice called “civil asset forfeiture.” The first four minutes of the video featured President Trump and representatives of the National Sheriffs’ Association discussing the topic of asset forfeiture. The remaining six minutes consisted of dashcam footage showing the real life implementation of this practice of seizing assets without a court conviction, trial, arrest, or even having charges brought against the person whose assets were being seized.

For those unfamiliar with the concept of civil asset forfeiture, it goes something like this: Police pull a vehicle over, search it, find an unusual amount of cash, guns, or other items that they “suspect” of being obtained, or used, illegally. They then seize the cash, guns, or maybe even the vehicle, whether or not actual contraband was found, evidence of a crime was discovered, or the person driving the vehicle was charged with a crime. This also applies to depositing too much cash into a bank account, or depositing large sums of cash too often. The government can simply confiscate your money because they “suspect” you are engaging in something illegal. It is then up to you to hire an attorney, go to court, and prove you are innocent in order to get your money back.

Before anyone accuses me of coddling criminals, or hating cops, let me say that I fully support the confiscating of contraband and the long-held practice of “criminal” (versus “civil”) asset forfeiture in which assets are retained by the state only if guilt of criminal activity is proven in a court of law beyond a reasonable doubt. I also fully support, and am grateful for, our servants in law enforcement who, in the spirit of Romans 13:3, make themselves a terror to evil works. I’m also persuaded that, 99% of the time, cops get it right and use civil asset forfeiture on actual “bad guys.” Continue reading

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Obedience is the Highest Expression of Faith

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The Political Movement That Cried “Soros!”

woman-fear-300pFor some time now, conservatives have used George Soros as a sort of political litmus test to prove the presence of evil. Any candidate or cause receiving support from the globalist billionaire is quickly labeled “an enemy of freedom,” to be feared and dreaded as a threat to the republic, and which must be opposed by every means.

For example, in the recent Presidential election, if any conservatives were not sufficiently motivated to support Mr. Trump, Hillary Clinton’s association with Mr. Soros could always be pointed to as token evidence of her being the antichrist’s evil stepsister and harbinger of doom, who must be defeated at any cost.

Mr. Soros’ support of a given democratic candidate has often provided the impetus for calling all conservatives to rally to the aid of the republican opponent – any republican – every republican – anything to deliver ourselves from the clutches of a Soros-backed democrat. Continue reading

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Caring for the Needy

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Course Correction

compass-300pI recently discovered a pamphlet in a pile of materials on my desk that was waiting to be sorted. The pamphlet contained the text of a speech given by former Nixon administration official, Constitution Party founder, and champion of the conservative cause, Howard Phillips. The speech, titled, “Under What Authority?,” was given as the keynote address at the 1996 National Affairs Briefing, attended by over 50 conservative leaders and 3,000 activists in Memphis, Tennessee. The speech is the kind of thing that I cut my political teeth on, and it’s an example of the rhetoric that was fanning the flames of the Christian-Conservative-Right of just 21 years ago.

After reading Howard’s words in that pamphlet, and rehearsing the issues that were part of the conservative agenda back then, I find myself questioning whether the movement has been checking to see that it is still on course, or if it even remembers its original destination. Continue reading

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Merry Christmas

The Story Behind The Christmas Story

saint-and-children-300pI expect we’re all aware that Christmas isn’t really about Black Friday sales and going to the mall to see how much stuff you can cram into the trunk of your car to haul home and put under a dead tree in your living room. I trust we all understand that Christmas is really about commemorating the first coming of Christ to earth when he came to be the Savior; the Redeemer; the Atoning Sacrifice; “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

But Jesus came and did all those things long before we started celebrating “Christmas.” So where did Christmas come from? How did it get started and how did it develop into what it is today? And what about this Santa Claus character, what’s up with that?

There is a story behind the celebrating of Christmas, and behind Santa Claus too, and it begins with a fourth century saint – Saint Nicholas. I was recently treated to the telling of that story by one of America’s premier historians, Bill Federer, who was interviewed by my friend and fellow Constitution Party supporter, Cynthia Davis, on her Home Front podcast.

In addition to reading your favorite Bible passages about the Word being made flesh and dwelling among us, and maybe going to a special church service, and, of course, getting together with family on Christmas Day, and eating w-a-a-a-a-y too much, I encourage you to listen to this special message: “Is Santa Claus Real,” and to learn about the origins of the celebration of Christmas. I would hope that reviewing the roots of this holiday might become a habit with us and that it might lead to our emulating Saint Nicholas (Yes, he’s real!) and his acts of Christian charity.

Merry Christmas! May the Blessing of the Lord come upon you and overtake you in the coming year.

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The Most Important Election of Your Lifetime

ballot-boxWhen conservative talk radio host, Glenn Beck, announced he would not be voting for Trump, and suggested that, if Hillary wins, we can oppose her agenda in Congress, live to fight another day and work to elect a conservative in 2020, the right reacted in shock and horror, angrily contending, “the nation cannot survive Hillary!” “It will be too late to save America in 2020!” “All will be lost!” Then repeating the mantra used in every Presidential election year: This is the most important election of our lifetime!

I became politically active back in the mid 1990s and from that time until now have heard this same battle cry repeated by the right every four years, declaring this to be, “the most important election of our lifetime,” then assuring me that if the Democrat wins this time, the country is doomed and America will be lost. Perhaps this time conservatives will turn out to be right, but, excuse me, while I ignore the inane droning of a slogan that is beginning to make the boy who cried wolf sound credible.

Will a Clinton Presidency spell America’s doom? Perhaps. But then I’m not altogether certain the Constitutional rule of law would survive a Trump Presidency either.

Will the federal government go the wrong direction under a Clinton Presidency? I expect so. But from a Biblical, Constitutional, liberty, rule of law and sound fiscal policy perspective, the country has gone the wrong direction under every President, Democrat and Republican alike, for at least the last 28 years since Reagan, and, even then, fiscal policy didn’t fare so well.

For as long as fear has been driving the conservative right to compromise and lower their standards in order to “beat the Democrat,” America has moved progressively farther and farther from her Biblical and Constitutional moorings, regardless of which party is at the helm. America might not survive Hillary Clinton, but liberty and the sound principles of good government, upon which our constitutional republic was founded, already are not surviving the compromises of the Christian-conservative-right.

The election at which we stop compromising Biblical values and the Constitutional rule of law, will be the election at which America’s restoration can begin. It happens one vote at a time, one election at a time, and it starts with you, and needs to begin now.

Welcome to the most important election of your lifetime.

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