Tag Archives: Politics

Why We Need Less Government

“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”  ~Ronald Reagan

By Alden L. Benton

The freedom to create and innovate is the foundation of a thriving and free economy.  Basic rules to ensure public health and safety are also fundamental.  However, when rules interfere with the functioning of the economy, and worse, when they intrude on how individuals and families live their lives, it is time to say no.

In the last 50 years, the so-called administrative state has grown into an unruly, unaccountable behemoth that is sucking the life out of our country, even attacking the political institutions that spawned it.

While the current uproar in the media is about dark state “leaks” attempting to bring down a duly elected president, for many the rules spewed out almost daily reach out to interfere with the daily life of the average citizen.  Worse, they can also interfere with people and organizations that attempt to solve vexing social issues for which a leviathan government and its administrative state have no clue and no solution.

On May 19, the Daily Signal released a video showing how the administrative state forced a non-profit group in Vista, California, to choose between their drug-free policies and federal funding.

This group, Solutions for Change, proves that private, local groups are effective in solving problems that big government cannot, and at a far lower cost.  Moreover, yes, they are now doing it without taxpayer money.

I have included the video below.  Please watch it and become a vocal advocate of this group and others like them, who suffer under the heel of the boot of the administrative state.

 

 

“When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.”
~Ronald Reagan


©2017 Alden L. Benton / Independence Creek Enterprises
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The King of All Freeloaders

By Alden L. Benton

I usually begin my posts with a short, pertinent quote on the topic I will cover.  The quote I have chosen today is longer, but it reflects the theme I have attempted to maintain throughout the life of this blog.  The quote is from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Solzhenitsyn knew the evils of the power of an unrestrained government.  After fighting for the Soviet Union during World War II, Solzhenitsyn wrote letters to a friend that criticized of Joseph Stalin.  He was arrested.  He spent eight years in prison labor camps, and then three more years in exile for daring to write private letters criticizing their dear leader.  Solzhenitsyn’s words bring a chilling warning about the ever-increasing power of government and the real dangers it poses to the individual and illuminate why the Constitution and the Bill of Rights must be protected at all costs.

“Our present system is unique in world history, because over and above its physical and economic constraints, it demands of us total surrender of our souls, continuous and active participation in the general, conscious lie.  To this putrefaction of the soul, this spiritual enslavement, human beings who wish to be human cannot consent.  When Caesar, having exacted what is Caesar’s, demands still more insistently that we render him what is God’s — that is a sacrifice we dare not make!”
~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, from Under the Rubble (1974)

This is the ultimate goal of the Left.  Take our power.  Take our money.  Take our freedom.  Take our souls.

Enter stage left, California Governor Jerry “Governor Moonbeam” Brown.

Red State reported yesterday (May 16, 2017) that Governor Brown, responding to outrage over a $52 billion tax increase to fund the failing golden parachute known as CalPERS, and other state programs, called the state’s wage earners “freeloaders.”

The Democratic super majority in the California legislature rammed through legislation that will hurt poor and middle-income wage earners.  The bill (SB1) includes a 12 cent increase in the gas tax (which is already one of the highest in the nation), and an increase in car registration fees averaging from $50 to $180 per car.  Fuel fees will also rise for agriculture equipment, trucks, and off-highway vehicles (OHV) including boats.

These fees are imposed under the guise of user fees.  On the surface, this is true.  However, a major part of this tax/fee hike is not related to the highways it purports will be improved.  Much of the revenue will go to pay off loans from other funds, to bail out failed funds, fund non-transportation related programs, and pork barrel funding ($500 million) for an extension of the high-speed rail fiasco into Merced County and to finish a “parkway” leading into UC Merced to pay off a key Assemblyman.

Back to Governor Moonbeam.

In all of his full-blown, pompous, callous, leftist, arrogance, the governor is calling those who pay the bills in this state, including his inflated salary, freeloaders.

In reality, he is the California King of Freeloaders.

Governor Brown has never had a real job.

Governor Brown attended a seminary, became a lawyer, and won a seat on the Los Angeles City College board of trustees.  Brown has never worked as a lawyer or in any truly meaningful, gainful employment.  When he wasn’t being paid by the state government (Governor twice, state attorney general), he worked as Democratic party hack, even running a failed campaign for president.

That the people of California, the people who struggle every day against the massive state bureaucracy, the people who pay a larger share of their hard-earned money to the dysfunctional state leviathan than any other state, are considered by the ruling-class elite to be freeloaders is obscene beyond words.

According to the Washington Times, there is an initiative proposed for the November 2018 ballot.  This is a step in the right direction as the state’s initiative and referendum process gives the voters of the state the ultimate power of veto.  However, we need to go farther.

It is time for the people of California to rise once more and recall the governor, and every representative from every party who voted for this insanity or who supports the governor’s arrogance and stupidity.

“If people give up their attachment to expansive government, they will feel free to fight the income tax.”
~ Sheldon Richman, Your Money or Your Life: Why We Must Abolish the Income Tax (1999)


©2017 Alden L. Benton / Independence Creek Enterprises
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An Open Letter to Congress Part 2

“Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it.  If it keeps moving, regulate it.  And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”  ~Ronald Reagan

By Alden L. Benton

In my last post, I began an open letter to Congress criticizing their self-serving cowardice and lack of integrity.  I issued a warning that we are watching and we will judge them harshly if they fail to deliver as promised.

Today I lay out a basic plan, an agenda, for Congress to fulfill the mandate delivered in the last election.  In doing this, I am making a leap of faith.  I am assuming that the majority of Congress will grow a spine and have the courage and integrity to look beyond the next election, and beyond the demands of the donor and lobbying class, to solve the festering long-term problems that face the nation.

To all the members of the House of Representatives and the Senate:

When your loyalty returns to the people, and to the nation, the solutions to our problems become amazingly clear and simple.  Here is a simple agenda that this Congress can easily complete and send to the president’s desk.

Repeal Obamacare and its myriad regulations in its entirety.  Do not replace it with another form of big government boondoggle.

If necessary, pass simple clear legislation, under the true meaning of the commerce clause, to ensure individuals are able to participate fully in a free and open market to purchase a health insurance policy from another state.

Make any adjustments, such as protecting individuals with preexisting condition, simply and directly in separately deliberated legislation.

Tax reform is even simpler.

Eliminate the entire labyrinth of the U.S. tax code.

Replace the tax code with a flat tax.  Everyone will pay a truly fair share.  If the rate is 10 per cent, then both the rich and the poor will pay their proportionate share.  No games.  No deductions.  No withholding.  No Internal Revenue Service.

Balancing the budget is not rocket science.

As any responsible head of household would do, cut up the credit cards, stop borrowing, and stop spending more than is earned.

This is a simple, rational concept that even Congress should understand and they could easily apply it to the federal budget process if they can put aside their selfish partisan wrangling and gets down to the business of putting the long-term well-being of country ahead of themselves.

Additionally, if spending and revenue are balanced, there will be no need, except in extreme emergencies, to borrow money.  As the old saying goes, never a borrower or lender be.

By balancing the budget and eliminating borrowing, the national debt will decline over time.  By balancing the budget, and funding only the projects deemed absolutely necessary and within the limitations of the enumerated powers in the Constitution, the need for large, ineffective, and costly federal bureaucracies becomes unnecessary, effectively downsizing the government.  In effect, this drains the swamp.

As spending contracts, the government contracts, and the less the government has to spend creates a smaller pie for the lobbyists and big donors to carve, thereby lessening their influence, and minimizing government interference in our lives.

We must make hard choices in order to achieve these goals.  Attitudes, both inside and outside of our government, must change.

The decades long tax and spend mentality must die.

The “gimme” mentality must die.  There can be no more free rides.

We must restructure the major entitlement programs (Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid) to maintain their continued viability and their ability to continue to serve their recipients.

It all starts with Congress.  Congress must grow a spine.  Congress must muster the courage and integrity to deal with these long-term issues now.  The country cannot wait.

The time to act is now.  We cannot wait until sometime far in the future in a galaxy far, far away, when all the stars and planets are in perfect alignment.

“A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have.”  ~Barry Goldwater


©2017 Alden L. Benton / Independence Creek Enterprises
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An Open Letter to Congress Part 1

“Where is the politician who has not promised to fight to the death for lower taxes — and who has not proceeded to vote for the very spending projects that make tax cuts impossible?”  ~Barry Goldwater

By Alden L. Benton

To all the members of the House of Representatives and the Senate:

We, the people, spoke last November and swept the majority of into office because of your campaign promises.

You all have made similar promises, promises to repeal Obamacare, restructure the tax code, and balance the budget.

We also want you to take steps to eliminate the national debt, return to the rule of law, and to drain the swamp that is Washington, D.C.

Words are cheap.

We are closely watching what you do, and so far, you have failed.

We have a warning for all of you from any political party: Do what we ask.  Period.  As my father would say, we want no ifs ands or buts.

It is called integrity.

If you fail us, if you break our trust, the only way you will ever see Washington, D.C., again will be through the windows of a tour bus.

Since most of you are career politicians who spend your days wheeling and dealing, peddling lies, corruption, influence, while pursuing obstructive self-interest and party political gain, it is clear that none of you have a clue what integrity means.

Integrity is defined as an adherence to moral and ethical principles; having a soundness of moral character; honesty, the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished.

Your constituents demand integrity, the alignment of your words and your deeds.

To act without integrity makes you undependable, corrupt, a liar, and unfit to clean the toilets in your respective legislative chambers, let alone the privilege of representing the people of your respective states.

We are weary of your ineffectiveness, your sloth, your blatant, self-serving submission to the lobbying class, and your cowardice.

In fear, you retreat from your responsibilities to us.  You refuse to effectively and boldly, face the issues that plague our nation out of fear you will lose the next election, or fear that you may offend a big donor, whether they are the likes of George Soros or the Koch brothers.

You serve us.  You have sworn to uphold the Constitution.  To do less is malfeasance of office and blatant cowardice.

The nation is in trouble.  We can no longer kick the proverbial can down the road.  The time is NOW.

I am the son of a working man and a stay-at-home mom.  My father and my brother served our nation with honor through military service.

It is your sacred duty to all veterans, living and dead, and to every citizen of the United States of America, to save this great country from its pending destruction, both financial and social.

“The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”  ~Ronald Reagan


©2017 Alden L. Benton / Independence Creek Enterprises
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Close Encounter with a Snowflake

“The trouble with our Liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.”  ~ Ronald Reagan

By Alden L. Benton

I live in the deepest of blue la-la land called California.  However, even in the cesspool of sanctuary cities, Governor Moonbeam, and Hollywood, there are enclaves of conservatism.

I live in a small city in eastern Los Angeles County that is generally conservative.  I go to a conservative, faith-based church, and most of my friends are conservative, and the rest lean slightly left but are not the foaming-at-the-mouth wacko’s we see on the news in Berkeley and elsewhere.

That being said, in my daily life I rarely have the “pleasure” of meeting any of the safe space-seeking, hypersensitive, pseudo-educated members of the eternally offended class, called snowflakes.

To be clear, this is not a racial reference.  This is a conservative label attached, primarily, to a specific subset of leftist: the deranged, undisciplined, self-centered campus cowards who demand censorship and safe spaces where they can color and hide from real life.

Pathetic.

It finally happened.  I had my first close encounter of the ugly kind with a snowflake.

Believe me; it was indeed like dealing with an alien from another planet.  Then again, that is insulting to any intelligent life form that may be out there somewhere in the expanse of the cosmos.

I offended my not-so-friendly local snowflake by not acknowledging her royal highn-ass by saying hello.  This prompted a self-righteous, patronizing lecture on my manners punctuated by foul epithets.

A snowflake and a hypocrite.  So much for extending the respect and manners demanded in her little politically correct bubble world to anyone else.

As a Christian, I try to follow the rules of life Jesus gave us.  One of those was to love your enemy.  This is perhaps one of his most challenging dictates.  I have great difficulty loving self-involved fools.

Jesus, suffering the torture of the crucifixion, forgave those who were murdering him by asking, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”  (Luke 23:34 KJV)  If Jesus could forgive his killers, I think I need try  much, much harder to forgive my enemies.

In trying to obey his teachings, I have come to realize from where our problems come. 

For at least the last 65 years our institutions, the media, the courts, Congress (with some brief relief), and the tax-funded school system have been controlled by the secular (read Godless) progressives otherwise known as Democrats and RINOs (Republicans in Name Only).

The Godless progressives have systematically removed God, and the principles he gives us, from a large part of America.  You see this every day with their disrespect for others, their disregard for the sanctity of human life, the foul epithets, their lascivious libertine lifestyles, and economic tyranny.

The best hope for the future of America is through a new awakening, a nation-wide awakening of the Christian faith.  The principles that once made us great sprang from the principles, teachings, and morality of Jesus.

I applaud churches that send missionaries abroad.  However, it is time to send missionaries among us here in the United States.  As Christians, we need to control the narrative.  We need to get our own house in order; now.

“If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”  ~ George Washington

“Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom — and no such thing as public liberty without freedom of speech.”  ~ Benjamin Franklin


©2017 Alden L. Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises
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Time to Bring a Gun to the Fight

“You wanna know how to get Capone?  They pull a knife, you pull a gun.  He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue.  That’s the Chicago way!  And that’s how you get Capone.  Now do you want to do that?  Are you ready to do that?”
~Officer Jim Malone to Eliot Ness in The Untouchables (1987)

By Alden L. Benton

Dennis Prager once said, “There are two parties: The dangerous party and the stupid party.  I belong to the stupid party.”  So do I.  Of course, he was referring to the Republican Party. 

However, now is not the time to remain stupid.  Now is the time to get smart.  As conservatives, we work with logic supported by facts and a firm belief in the rule of law and the law of the land (the Constitution).

Our adversaries of the secular-progressive left do not share these principles.  They do not argue with logic and reason.  They do not respect the rule of law.  All of these things are nothing to them but obstacles to their agenda, an agenda of total servitude for the rest of us.  They argue with invective, trite clichés, and a litany of pre-rehearsed Pablum.  They are totally devoid of reason, and worse, of common sense.

It is time we stop trying to reason with the secular-progressive left.  It is futile.  It is time to fight them and destroy their warped, enslaving ideology.

For at least the next four years, we have the power: control of all three branches of the federal government.  It is time we use that power to marginalize the left and relegate them, and their putrid Godless dehumanizing ideology, to the ash can of history.

Karl Marx and Frederick Engels first introduced the fantasies the left holds dear in the mid-1800’s and ever since then those ideas have failed time after time.  The utopian fantasies of a perfect world fail in practice — every time. 

To see the truth of the abject failure of socialism/communism, an inconvenient truth the Left desperately wants to hide, one needs to look no further than North Korea or Venezuela.

If you don’t want to be a slave on the Left’s plantation, now is the time to act.

We are engaged in a war, a war we cannot afford to lose.  It is not a war of violence, at least not yet, rather it is a war over who controls the destiny of our nation and of our society.  In this war, we cannot be pacifists ­­­— we must fight.

We must refuse to play their childish game.  Refuse to be silent.  Refuse to be shouted down.  Refuse to cave to their tantrums and overt threats of violence.

Refuse to adhere to the tyranny of political correctness.  Adhere to verifiable, indisputable facts.  Speak the truth and say what needs to be said.  The insanity of the so-called principles of the left pale and collapse in the face of the truth.  Debunk their claims and refuse their relativism and see them cower and hide like the churlish children they are.

Enough! 

Right turn only.

“Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem.  Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.  Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it.  If it keeps moving, regulate it.  If it stops moving, subsidize it.  The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much.”

~Ronald Reagan


© 2017 Alden L. Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises
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The Republic is Under Attack

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
~ Tenth Amendment, 1791

By Alden L. Benton

The foundation of our Republic is under attack.  It is not from an external power, or even a terrorist state.  The Republic is under attack from a nefarious group of termites knowing its structure: The unelected, privileged class of the shadow government, or dark state, of entrenched bureaucrats.

These individuals, many who are holdovers from the Obama administration, are engaging in agenda-driven activities to undermine the new president, his policies, and his staff.

It could be argued that their discontent with President Trump is legitimate and, even as a public employee who serves at the pleasure of the president, they have a protected right to speak out against him.  Their discontent is not at issue rather it is their actions that I question.

The case of General Flynn, the president’s former national security advisor, clearly illustrates the danger of an extra-constitutional, unaccountable arm of the dark state populated by partisan bureaucrats who think that they, and their opinions, are superior to those of the people and our duly elected officials.

In the Flynn case, credible reports have surfaced that individuals in the so-called “intelligence” community have used the resources designed to protect the nation to bring down a political opponent with half-truths and unsubstantiated innuendo.

In addition, ever since the election, the dark state of intelligence gatherers has been “leaking” sensitive national security information to the media in attempts to embarrass the president and derail his foreign policy.

This disruption and breach of security is unprecedented.  At best, it is espionage; at worst, it is treason.

The president must step up efforts to investigate and ferret out the individuals responsible.  At a minimum, he must remove those responsible from their positions, ban them from government whether as a direct employee or contractor, and pursue criminal prosecution.

The secular progressives in their deranged opposition to President Trump will characterize the spies spying on the president as whistleblowers.

Mule fritters!

They are rogue bureaucrats who are willing to sacrifice individuals, national security, and the rule of law, on the godless altar of their own self-centered ideology.  In their utopian fantasy world, the only rule is the ends justify the means, no matter who gets hurt or what damage is caused.

More than 62 million people voted for Donald Trump.  He received 304 electoral votes.  We all have the right to disagree and to protest what the president does or does not do.  However, he is the president and he must govern as he sees fit within the constraints of the constitution and the rule of law. 

Opposition to his policies must also conform to the same principles.  Ordered liberty and our constitutional republic depend on the rule of law to which we all must conform, even the secular progressive subversives in the privileged elite of the dark state.

“The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”  ~ James Madison, Federalist 47, 1788


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Cut Up the Credit Card and Downsize

“A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away.”  ~Barry Goldwater

By Alden L. Benton

There are many reasons to reduce the size of government.  The freedom to work, live, and create, are the foundations of ordered liberty.  The continuation, indeed, the enhancement, of liberty demands reining in the power of government at all levels of society from the national behemoth down to the tyranny of homeowner’s associations.

Another issue associated with the size and scope of government is the cost of government.  We have a government that is running on credit with an ever-increasing burden of debt.  The cradle-to-grave social policies of the secular progressives threaten the nation with bankruptcy.

The secular progressive answer to this issue is always the same: tax the rich.  They forget the wise words of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher who said, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

The secular progressive argument is fallacious and delusional.  The scope of government and its cost continues to grow.  Contrary to the secular progressive mantra, the government cannot, and should not, solve all the issues that plague society. 

We have fought a “War on Poverty” for more than 5o years at cost of more than $22 trillion, and that does not include Medicare and Social Security (The War on Poverty After 50 Years: Heritage Foundation 2014).  The result of this “war” is absolute failure for as a result we now have an entrenched underclass of “gimme” people living off our money.

Another fallacy perpetrated by the secular progressives is that the money one earns by their own labor is not one’s own, but the government’s.  A vast majority of individuals, families, and business know how to budget their resources and don’t need the government to “help.”  Again, ordered liberty is in fundamental opposition to the secular progressive command and control scheme

The secular progressives also insist that there is never enough money, thus their constant demands for higher taxes.  According to CNS News, “The U.S. Treasury hauled in a record of approximately $1,084,840,000,000 in tax revenues in the first four months of fiscal 2017 (Oct. 1, 2016 through Jan. 31, 2017),” according to the Monthly Treasury Statement .

Despite this record-breaking tax take, in the same four months the federal government spent $1.2 trillion, $156.9 billion more than it collected. 

There are only two ways to sustain this type of runaway spending: raise taxes or borrow.  The secular progressives want both. The problem is our government, unlike the average American taxpayer, has no credit limit.  As the size and scope of our government grows, the amount of debt also grows.

Currently, the national debt of the United States stands at $20 trillion and growing.  To put this in perspective, according to the U.S. Debt Clock every man, woman, and child owes $61,550.  More pertinent, each taxpayer owes $166,766.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) measures the health of a nation’s economy.  GDP is the total of goods and services produced.  Debt, as a percentage of GDP, reflects the tax and spending policies of a nation.  The United States owes approximately $3 trillion dollars more than the entire value of its GDP.  (Current GDP $16.9 trillion)

Public debt determines, in part, the amount of liberty we enjoy as public debt directly reflects the size and scope of government.

We have a new president who brings to the table the idea of a more streamlined, efficient, and more limited government.  However, Congress approved his nomination of a new Secretary of Education.  If the president truly seeks to minimize government’s impact on its citizens, he must begin the process of downsizing the government.

President Trump has missed an opportunity to strike a blow against the government leviathan.  Instead of nominating a new secretary of Education, the president needs to eliminate the more than $270 billion boondoggle that does not educate one single child: the Department of Education.

Education is a local concern.  The only role of government in education is to set minimum curriculum requirements and teacher credentialing guidelines.  At a minimum, governing schools is the responsibility of the individual states; at best, it is the purview of local school boards.

It is time to slay the leviathan and reclaim our God-given liberty before the leviathan, and the swamp rats that operate it, enslaves us, and the generations that follow.  Dismantling the Department of Education is a good place to start.

“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 have failed 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 be attacked for neglecting my constituents’ ‘interests,’ I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty, and in that cause I am doing the very best I can.”  ~Barry Goldwater


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Get Over It!

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.”
~Abraham Lincoln

By Alden L. Benton

I am tired. 

I am tired of the mule muffins littering the landscape.  So today, I am going to channel my inner Drill Instructor and willfully become blatantly politically incorrect.

The left will call me a bully, if, indeed, they are that polite, but I do not care.  Some things need saying and I am not afraid to say them.

George Orwell once said, “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”  Political correctness is the antithesis of liberty and I choose liberty and freedom over the tyranny of political correctness.

To make myself clear, mule muffins are the worthless globs of waste left behind by jackasses, in this case, the political left.

To the jackasses of the left: You lost.  Get over it.

The system worked as designed.  Get over it.

You fielded a flawed candidate who lost.  Get over it.

Your candidate ran an ineffective campaign and lost.  Get over it.

The statist agenda of the left has failed.  Get over it. 

The wisdom of Ronald Reagan illuminates the adverse effects of statism.  Statism is a system where human rights are derived from the government not, as the Declaration of Independence states, from the laws of nature and nature’s God. 

Ronald Reagan said, “I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited.  There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: as government expands, liberty contracts.”

In contrast, H.L. Mencken, best illustrates the underlying principles of statism when he said, “The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it.”

To the sensitive little snowflakes hiding in their university safe spaces: Man up and get over it.  You are in more danger from the Boogeyman than you are from the president-elect.

To the nattering nabobs of negativity, the prevaricating reprobates otherwise known as the mainstream media: You failed.  Get over it. 

Instead of doubling down with lies, hyperbole, and hysteria, perhaps it is time for some serious introspection by the media as to why their credibility is in the toilet ready to be flushed into irrelevance.

To all who voted red in November: Thank you.

It is time to celebrate as America took a giant step back from the abyss of social statism.  However, once the inaugural balls are over, the hard work begins.

Once the new president takes his seat in the oval office, we must continue to exert pressure to ensure he starts the nation firmly down the path that leads to liberty and justice for all and in this quest, we must not fall victim to the siren call of the false prophet of bipartisanism.  Bipartisanism is the code word of the Republican Party establishment for “we like things that protect our cozy little powerbase.”

To the party establishment: we won — get over it.

To the new president and Congress: We won. 

We have an opportunity to repair our nation by restoring the rule of law and the founding principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution.  We have the opportunity to limit the size and scope of our government and thereby to increase the blessings of ordered liberty.

However, as citizens we must hold Congress and the new president accountable.  We must hold the president-elect to his promises to “Make America Great Again,” for if we fail, we all lose, and we will not have the opportunity to get over it.


“When the people fear the government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people there is liberty.”
~John Basil Barnhill

“When plunder has become a way of life for a group of people living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it, and a moral code that glorifies it.”
~Frédéric Bastiat


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We the People — Part 2

“Every step we take towards making the State our Caretaker of our lives, by that much we move toward making the State our Master.”
~Dwight D. Eisenhower

By Alden Benton

Several propositions on the California ballot involve bonds (borrowing) and taxation (paying).  Before you read further, please click on the link and watch this 5-minute video from Prager University: Video: Is America’s Tax System Fair?

The first measure on the California ballot is Proposition 51.

Proposition 51 asks California voters to approve $9 billion dollars of general obligation bonds for new construction and modernization of public K-12 public schools including Charter Schools and Vocational Education facilities.

California Community Colleges projects are also eligible for Proposition 51 funds.

A general obligation bond is a long-term debt paid from the state’s general fund.  Investors buy bonds and are paid interest.  The bonds sold under the authority of Proposition 51 will be repaid in 35 years.

According to the California Legislative Analyst, the cost to repay Proposition 51 bonds, based on an estimated 5 per cent interest rate, will be $17.6 billion dollars, including at least $8.6 billion in interest.  As a result, these bonds will cost California taxpayers $500 million per year.

Generally, bonds are used to finance large projects such as schools, dams, bridges, or prisons that are too costly fund on a one-time basis.

According to a January 2016 article in the San Francisco Chronicle, California has $400 billion dollars in debt and faces higher interest rates to finance its debt due to the state’s credit rating.  (Read the Article Here)  Any general obligation bond is backed by the credit of the state (the taxpayer).

Currently (Fiscal Year 2016), Californians are paying $2.4 billion per year to repay bonds previously passed for school facilities.  Proposition 51 will add another $0.5 billion to that debt for a total bond debt for school facilities of $2.9 billion annually.

Of the funds raised by Proposition 51 bonds, $3 billion is allocated for K-12 new construction and another $3 billion for modernization.  K-12 career technical education facilities would be allocated $500 million and K-12 Charter School facilities another $500 million.  California Community College projects are allocated $2 billion.

There are limitations on how the money is spent.  Proposition 51 money can be used for new construction only if there is not enough room for current students, or for projected students.  Buildings are not eligible for modernization unless they are at least 25 years old.

Proposition 51 money does not pay for all of the costs of a new construction or modernization project.  Local districts are responsible for 50 per cent of the cost of land and new construction projects for K-12 schools.  Additionally, local K-12 districts are responsible for 40 per cent of the costs of modernization projects.

For modernization of Charter Schools and Vocational Education facilities, the Proposition 51 funds will only cover 50 per cent of the costs.  Proposition 51 also caps grants for Technical Education modernization at $1.5 million and at $3 million for new construction.

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
~H. L. Mencken


© 2016 A. L. Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises
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We the People — Part 1

“The people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government and to reform, alter, or totally change the same when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it.”
~Alexander Hamilton

By Alden Benton

There are less than 30 days until the national election on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. 

While most of our attention is focused on the race for the presidency, the entire House of Representatives and one-third of the United States Senate will also be selected.  In addition, there are myriad state and local elections to select those who would govern and to settle numerous policy decisions.

In California, where I reside and vote, voters have two important tools to keep their government in check: initiative and referendum.  The California State Constitution allows Californians, with a specified number of qualified signatures, to recall any state elected official.  The last time this happened was in 2003, when voters recalled then Governor Gray Davis and replaced him with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

California also allows its citizens to enact new laws, force laws passed by the legislature onto the ballot for a public vote, or amend the state’s Constitution through the initiative process.  In the November 8 election, voters will decide the fate of 17 initiatives on a variety of issues facing the state.

This article is the first in a series to explain what each measure proposes to do, without the partisan noise and bias muddling the issues. 

As a disclaimer, I am a registered Republican in the deep blue state of California.  Those of you who know me, or have read my articles, know I have a conservative worldview. 

However, in my analysis of these measures, I will endeavor to stick to the letter of each measure in determining its potential effects.  Whether or not those outcomes are acceptable to my readers is their choice.

I fully subscribe to the motto of the old Scripps‑Howard newspapers, “Give light and the people will find their own way.”  That light is the truth, unbiased by personal feelings or political ideology.

Here are nine rules I follow during election season.  These rules help save my sanity, keep my friends, and cut through all the nonsense propagated on television, radio, and the internet.  These rules ensure that I reach reasoned conclusions about the candidates and proposals put before me.

  • Rule 1: Politicians and political commercials lie.
  • Rule 2: Throw away all political mailings (See Rule 1)
  • Rule 3: Stop listening to, or reading, the news (See Rule 1)
  • Rule 4: Forget the debates and forums.  They are all pre-planned, staged circuses (See Rule 1)
  • Rule 5: If you want to keep them, do not talk politics with your friends and family
  • Rule 6: The official titles of the initiative proposals are misleading or deceptive (See Rule 1)
  • Rule 7: Never read the arguments for or against a proposition (See Rule 1)
  • Rule 8: Always read the background and summary of the Legislative Analyst
  • Rule 9: If you want to know exactly what you are voting for, always read the text of the proposal (See Rule 1).

In Part 2, I will begin my analysis of the California ballot propositions.

“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote…that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.”  ~Samuel Adams


© 2016 A.L. Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises
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Politics & Insanity: Other Voices

“Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.”  ~Samuel Adams

By Alden L. Benton

In today’s blog I thought I’d give everyone a listicle of things I’ve run across on the internet (including the word listicle) in the past few days.

The first item is a link to an article from Town Hall about who really is less qualified to be POTUS.  200 Reasons Hillary Clinton Should Not Be President  Second is a tale of how Miss Hillary has been bullied and oppressed.  No, I’m not kidding because the thought is almost as stupid as Colin Kaepernick.  Hillary — Interrupted

The third item offers some revealing food for thought regarding the politicization of the rule of law.  Tale of Two Cities   Item four, is a gem on narrative building by the one and only Jonah Goldberg.  This article, and the one which precedes it, help to explain how the so-called progressives work to bastardize the political and judicial systems to further their corrupt and perverted agenda.  Narrative Building Has Become a Political Obsession

Number five on the hit parade is a call to action for all Christians in the United States and exposes the progressive left’s attempts to destroy the church, ruin the elemental family, and usurp parental control.  LGBT Activists Are Coming For Your Children

The last word about Trump in this column is item six.  This column illustrates that the narrative of the media and reality are not in the same universe.  I’m With You

I am getting pooped out, so item seven is my final entry in my listicle.

Ronald Reagan once said, “The nine most frightening words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” 

California’s current governor, Governor Moonbeam, aka Jerry Brown, Jr., and a majority of the California legislature, have fallen completely off of the sanity wagon and into the Pacific Ocean in a Quixotic attempt to eliminate the alleged effects of California Cow Farts

On a lighter side, here are three editorial cartoons from the pages of Town Hall.com

robertariail-01

Copyright Robert Ariail via TownHall.com

glenn-mccoy-02

Copyright Glenn McCoy via TownHall.com

glenn-mccoy-01

Copyright Glenn McCoy via TownHall.com


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Last Word

“Every step we take towards making the State our Caretaker of our lives, by that much we move toward making the State our Master.”  ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

By Alden Benton

Each morning I open my email, scan the day’s news, and read columns from conservative authors I respect.

Since Donald Trump entered the race to become president, he has faced a profusion of criticism from the political Left and Right.  This is an appropriate part of the political process, especially in the primary elections where the voters select their candidates.

Now that the two major political parties have chosen their respective candidates, the battle is now between two contrasting and competing ideologies.  It is now “us” versus “them,” no matter which side you support.

Almost every day I see columns from conservative writers who have become virtually unhinged at the notion of a Trump candidacy, let alone the prospect of him actually becoming president.

Trump is flawed.  Trump is not the best candidate.  If that is the way one feels, then don’t vote for him.

Conservative writers and commentators need to stop denigrating Trump.  Trump is more than capable of making a fool of himself, he doesn’t need any help.  The constant harangue against Trump damages the down ticket, the Republican candidates running for election to the House, the Senate, and myriad state offices.

These nattering nabobs of negativism (Thank you Spiro T Agnew), inadvertently encourage voters to stay home.  This negativity affects down-ticket conservatives.

It is time these so-called bastions of conservatism stop worrying about Trump, and start worrying about Clinton.                                                                                                    .

If Clinton wins the presidency, the only hope of fending off the Democrat party’s destructive agenda is to win solid conservative majorities in both houses of Congress.  To do otherwise will ensure the continuation of the Progressive “transformation,” what Bernie Sanders calls a revolution, for decades to come; a transformation from which we may never recover.

It is past time that everyone stop obsessing about Trump.  If your conscience will not allow you to vote for Trump, don’t, but vote. 

There are alternatives to Trump.  The Libertarian party has candidates running for president and vice president.  Voters may cast a write-in vote, or simply leave the box for president and vice president blank.

Voting is a right and a privilege.  It is also the duty of every adult citizen to make an informed choice.  However you envision the future of the United States, make your voice heard: Vote.

———————————

“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!”  ~Benjamin Franklin


©2016 Alden L. Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises
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A Moral Change of Mind

“For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions, even on important subjects, which I once thought right but found to be otherwise.”
~Benjamin Franklin

By Alden L. Benton

Now that the circus of the party conventions is over, it is time to take a serious look at the candidates they’ve presented to us who want to become the next president of the United States.

A fundamental question arises that all voters must answer: Which candidate represents the vision of America I would like to see?  This question transcends politics, personality, and party.  Both candidates have flaws.  So how should we vote, or should we even vote?

First, yes we must vote.  Voting is a right all adult citizens possess.  It is also a privilege.  We must take extreme care in deciding whom to select as the next president.

The individual voter owes it to the nation to make an informed decision.  The greatest danger to our republic and our liberty is the low-information voter, for as John Adams said, “Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people.”

In recent columns, I wrote about the lack of principles of the leading candidates and suggested following the recommendation of Charles Spurgeon who said, “Of two evils, choose neither.”  My most recent column suggested an alternative solution, a solution that I no longer feel is viable.

After some research and thought, I have decided to go in another direction.

The future of America is at stake in this election and that future is far more important than party or personality.

My vision is to rebuild America, to restore the rule of law, to restore its founding principles, to restore its strength and vitality, to make us secure, and to return control of our lives to the people.

Finally, this election provides Americans the opportunity, perhaps our last, to marginalize those who would enslave us.  The so-called Progressives and their programs will do just that for, as John Adams also said,

“There are two ways to conquer and enslave a country.  One is by the sword.  The other is by debt.”

We all have been misinformed and, at worst, lied to, and manipulated by, the Progressive propaganda machine that masquerades as the mass media.  Conservative and religious thinking, coupled with principled behavior, are enemies of a cause that demands conformity. 

Progressives demand conformity through political correctness and silence enforced by shouting down those who disagree.  If that fails, they call you a racist or some other form of politically contrived phobia.  Finally, if you don’t sit down and shut up, Progressives, like schoolyard bullies when they don’t get their way, resort to violence.

Intimidation, fear, and political violence have no place in a Republic or in any civilized society.

If preserving my vision for the future of America and crippling the Progressive movement means voting for a flawed candidate, then morally, that is what I must do.

Therefore, the only viable choice to make this vision of America possible is to cast my vote for Donald Trump.

I encourage you to read this article by Wayne Grudem: Why Voting for Donald Trump Is a Morally Good Choice.  Gruden, a professor of theology and biblical studies, presents a reasoned, detailed, and eloquent argument for this position.

 Finally, to underscore the importance of this election, Dennis Prager wrote,

“… it is vital to understand what will happen if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency.  This country will be so far from what the Founding Fathers wanted, so different from what the #NeverTrumpers have always fought for, that it is almost impossible to see how America could recover from her — or any Democrat’s — victory.”

“Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.”  ~James 4:17 NASB

“Always stand on principle … even if you stand alone.”  ~John Adams


©2016 Alden L. Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises
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The Malady and the Cure: A Principled Decision

By Alden Benton

Author’s Note: My apologies for the length of this post.  I encourage you to read through to the end.  I have suffered, along with most of you, through the tedious primary process.  I am tired and fed up.  As a nation we’re in trouble.  We have been presented with two substandard, evil candidates who are unfit to occupy the White House.  There is, however, a way to fix it.  It will take the effort of large numbers of principled people to accomplish.  It is in this light that I pose the issues and offer my solution in this post.

While the president golfs and worries about which bathroom a minute fraction of the population should use, the People’s Republic of China is busy restructuring and modernizing its military to better fight a war, according to the Washington Free Beacon.  The article discusses a Defense Department report to Congress assessing the capabilities of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA).  The article is here and the complete Pentagon report is here.

The so-called mainstream media is mute on this as well as other existential threats such as ISIS and radical Islam.  Like the president, they are obsessed with the notion that guys who think they are girls should use the women’s restroom or vice versa.  At the risk of being called some kind of phobic epithet, I think the nation has far larger problems than this.  It is a non-issue manufactured by the president and his supporters as a distraction.

During the current presidential campaign, the leading candidates from both parties have ignored the increasing threats both China and ISIS pose, and have instead, like playground bullies, chosen to argue and call each other names while our nation suffers internally and is threatened externally.

The only candidates who spoke to the issue of defense and national recovery were Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, both of whom were shouted down by the bully tactics and sound bite half (or less) truths of Trump’s waffling, lies, and obfuscation.

While Trump refuses to put forth any rational, legal, or ethical plan for anything, Hillary Clinton is pandering to the entitlement “gimme” class, trying to outdo her admittedly socialist opponent by promising even more “free stuff,” things any rational person knows are, in reality, not free.

Defense and national recovery and prosperity are not on Clinton’s mind either, after all, as she infamously told a Congressional hearing into the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, including the U.S. ambassador, “What does it matter?”

Clinton, and her successor, in instituting the agenda of the president, have alienated allies, placated and emboldened our adversaries, and handcuffed our military in its fight against a terrorist enemy that the president refuses to even name, let alone acknowledge.

National security and national recovery have become nothing but convenient sound bites to lure unsophisticated and low-information voters to the respective camps of the candidates.

Principles and civility have been placed in the trash as both candidates demean themselves, and the nation, with profane and inane utterances meant only to massage the gullible and dupe the rest of us.

Neither candidate wants to return to economic prosperity and ordered liberty where the Constitution, the rule of law, and honest competition prevail.

Other than their sex and political label, Trump and Clinton are basically identical, two sides of the same coin, a coin minted in Barack Obama’s image. That image is of two Machiavellian narcissists; vain, self-absorbed individuals who place political expediency above morality and use lies, corruption, and deceit to carry out their policies.

According to Guttmacher.org, from 1973 through 2011, there were 53 million abortions in the United States.  That is 1,394,737 babies murdered per year in every one of the 38 years since Roe v. Wade made abortion a “right.”

Both candidates are just fine with the murder of millions of unborn children and funding it through the government — our money given to Planned Parenthood and forced subsidies of abortion through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and its forced premium participation.

Obamacare is neither affordable, nor providing care.  In fact, Obamacare is rationing care to seniors on Medicare by encouraging hospitals to provide less care by giving bonuses to the hospitals that spend the least caring for the elderly.  In California alone, this evil practice has resulted in more than 11,000 preventable deaths.

Trump is happy with this massive boondoggle and Clinton wants to expand it.

Neither candidate has given any thought to reducing or eliminating the economy-killing, unaccountable administrative state that is micromanaging our lives and businesses.

Clinton is poised to spend us into oblivion with her “feel good free for all” policies.  Trump, on the other hand wants to inflate our way out of debt, ruining both our national credit and the economy, and he proposes to finish the job (pun intended) of killing our economy with restrictive trade and tariff policies.

Both candidates have the potential to turn the United States into a third world nation, if they don’t destroy us in an outright global war first.

In a previous column, I said that I had no answer to the dilemma of which candidate to vote for.  I now have the answer that I alluded to in that post.

One of the checks and balances written into the constitution is representative government.  We chose our members of Congress and they represent us.  In fact, until the ratification of the 17th Amendment in 1913, U.S. senators were chosen by state legislatures, who were in turn elected by the people.

While the 17th Amendment diluted this check by allowing direct election of U.S. senators, one very important check remains: the Electoral College.

The Electoral College was a compromise between direct election of the president and Congress electing the president to maintain the idea of a constitutional representative republic.

Electors are chosen by the states and each state has electors equal to the number of Congressional districts, plus one for each of the state’s two U.S. senators.  The ratification of the 23rd Amendment also gave the District of Columbia three electors.

The Electoral College consists of 538 electors and a majority of 270 electors is required for a candidate to become president.  If no candidate gets the required majority, the House of Representatives will elect the president from the three candidates that received the most electoral votes.  The Senate will elect the vice president from the top two vice presidential candidates.

Sadly, the election to choose the leader of the free world has deteriorated into a brawl between two cults and their celebrity idiot idols.  This election has taken the democratic processes of our constitutional republic, and turned them into the chaos of mob rule that is pure democracy.

To salvage this election, and perhaps our nation, I have chosen to follow Charles Spurgeon’s advice: “Of two evils, choose neither.”

I am not advocating staying away from the polling place. Rather, I am advocating an unofficial third party vote to elect a ticket of Cruz and Rubio.

Vote your ballot. However, instead of voting for the evil that is Clinton or the evil that is Trump, write in Ted Cruz for president and Marco Rubio for vice president.  If enough people choose to write in these men, the election could be denied to both Clinton and Trump.

This provides a chance to elect qualified men of virtue and honor rather than making an unconscionable choice between two lying, unprincipled, narcissists bent on destroying the United States.  It also offers a constitutional work-around to evade the two-party system that has consistently rewarded the pimps, panderers, and lobbyists.

Life offers no guarantees, nor does my plan.  However, writing in two highly qualified candidates to attempt to prevent our destruction at the hands of either the evil of Clinton or the evil of Trump is well worth the risk.


©2016 Alden L. Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises
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Voter Angst

 

“A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy.  While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.”
~ Samuel Adams

By Alden L. Benton

Virtue, as defined by Dictionary.com, is conformity of one’s life and conduct to moral and ethical principles; uprightness; rectitude.  Inherent in this is respect for others, including their rights and property, and a general civility.

In all of the elections of this century, these principles have been conspicuously absent.  In fact, they are sadly absent from a large segment of the population, especially those who expound the progressive-statist philosophy.  Sadly, this morally bankrupt trend to incivility is no longer confined to the left, but is infecting the rest of society as well.

There is no true discourse between opposing viewpoints, just attacks based on emotion, smear tactics, and disinformation.  This nonsense is being spewed from both sides of the spectrum in this election, leaving us with sound bites and campaign slogans, instead of a rational discussion of real problems and their potential solution.

As I have said before, we are faced with selecting from dumb and dumber to be our president.  This is causing many potential voters a great deal of angst.  It seems that no matter how we vote, or even whether we vote, we will lose.

I do not have an answer.

I am a life-long conservative and a Christian.  That having been said, all I can do for myself is to seek knowledge from scripture and pray for guidance.  In fact, if more Americans would apply the principles of their faith to their everyday lives, we would not have found ourselves in our present quandary.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
~ Martin Luther King Jr.


©2016 Alden L. Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises
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Heads They Win, Tails You Lose

“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 is designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for any other.” 

~John Adams

By Alden L. Benton

The hoopla of the primaries is all but over. 

The upcoming party conventions are an expensive waste of time and effort as the two leading candidates have been assured the nomination of their party.

We have been presented with two very distasteful candidates.  To participate in the process, we are now forced to choose between a treasonous liar and an arrogant, pompous gasbag.  Dumb versus dumber: Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump.

Clinton is a socialist masquerading as a Democrat.  Trump is a Democrat masquerading as a Republican.

Both candidates are disingenuous hypocrites unworthy, politically or morally, of even visiting the White House, let alone occupying it as president.

Neither candidate has offered any tangible or detailed solutions to the myriad ailments and issues facing the United States now and into the future.

Neither candidate will take us forward, indeed, they most likely will, at best, maintain the status quo of massive debt, irresponsible spending, burdensome regulations, ever- higher taxes on the 100 per cent, and the ever-creeping loss of personal freedom under the guise of security, safety, and “free” stuff for all.  At worst, either candidate will accelerate our descent into the hell of socialism.

We have been forced to choose between the lesser of two evils.  This is not acceptable.  Charles Spurgeon, a 19th century Baptist preacher and author, advises us:
“Of two evils, choose neither.”

For those of you reading my blog for the first time, I am conservative and a Christian.  I believe that, to the best of our abilities, you work hard and take care of your family, honor God, and work hard at living a principled, ethical, and moral life.  In this context, Spurgeon’s advice is sound.

Advance the calendar from the mid-1800s of Spurgeon’s time to 2016.  The United States is fast becoming a godless, socialistic state transformed from a nation based on the rule of law and ordered liberty to a liberty-killing governmental leviathan that seeks to control every aspect of human behavior.  Spurgeon’s advice remains sound.

Which do we choose?  Who do we choose? 

Do we choose dumb or dumber?

Do we choose a liar and criminal or a gasbag pretender?

Do we choose democracy and a republic based upon ordered liberty, the rule of law, and opportunity, or socialism and government sanctioned equality of outcome resulting in poverty and misery?

Unfortunately, the only choices presented in the upcoming election are not between opposing principles, but between two unprincipled individuals.

Heads they win, tails you lose.

“Of two evils, choose neither.”

“Evil things are easy things: for they are natural to our fallen nature.  Right things are rare flowers that need cultivation.”  ~Charles Spurgeon


©2016 Alden L. Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises
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Case for Open Carry

By Alden L. Benton

Last Friday a gunman killed two and wounded three in a bar in Tel Aviv, Israel. (The Blaze)  Last October, two men shot and stabbed passengers on a bus in Jerusalem killing two before police shot them. (BBC News)

In an interview, Moshe Nussbaum, Israel Channel 2 television’s police reporter, noted the difference between the two attacks.

“Notice the unfathomable difference between incidents that occurred in Jerusalem — whether they were shooting attacks or stabbing attacks — which always ended when one of the citizens or one of the guards … there was always someone who shot at the terrorist or the shooter as opposed to the incident in Tel Aviv,” Nussbaum said. (from The Blaze)

Israel Channel 2 reported that, “Given that some of the attacks have been stopped by gun-carrying civilians, Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan in October eased citizens’ access to guns, calling gun owners a ‘force multiplier’ in combating the nearly daily Palestinian stabbing and car-ramming attacks since September.”

Armed citizens as a force multiplier against criminals, terrorists, and, if necessary, our own government: this is what the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was written to ensure.  However, the American Left, led by President B. Hussein Obama, wants to disarm us rather than making it easier to protect ourselves, our families, and our property.

Now consider the attacks last year in Paris, France, and San Bernardino, California.  France and California have one thing in common: the government has virtually disarmed its citizens either by direct prohibition of firearms or through strict licensing and control.

In Paris, according to CNN, 128 people were killed by gunfire last October.  In San Bernardino, 14 were murdered by two gunmen last December.

Back to Israel.  “Gun permits are required for owning guns in Israel…. [I]n Israel licensed gun owners are free to carry their guns at all times.  In addition, off-duty police and IDF (Israel Defense Force) soldiers carry their guns off their bases.  Erdan was also considering a move to allow those employed as security guards to take their weapons home,” Israel Channel 2 reported via The Blaze.

If just one person at the Christmas party in San Bernardino had been armed, the death toll would have been significantly lower and would have included the two perpetrators.  In Paris, the results of that attack would have been quite different if the terrorists had confronted an armed citizenry.

The police, no matter where one resides, are reactive.  Yes, they can collect intelligence and perhaps foil a violent plot.  However, in most instances the police only respond to violence.

Israel has it right.  Make it easier for citizens to arm themselves.  Criminals and terrorists are cowards.  They prey on the weak and unprepared.

The victims in Paris and San Bernardino were not prepared.

Do not fool yourselves.  The United Sates is at war.  It is not a war that will be won by military might alone.  The fight has come to our doors and we must be prepared.

Our government, at all levels, must take heed for they cannot protect us.

Deep blue, left-controlled states like California must follow the lead of Texas where open carry of a pistol or rifle is legal.

The United States must follow the lead of Israel and allow the military and police to carry their firearms at all the times.

This is the only way to stay safe in the modern world of individual jihad.  The president and the Left need to get out of the way and let the Second Amendment fulfill its promise of a safe and secure society without trampling on our individual, and collective, liberty.


© 2016
Alden L. Benton / Independence Creek Enterprises
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Looking Back to Look Forward

By Alden L. Benton

At the end of the year most writers take a look back at the previous year.  This year, to celebrate the passing of 2015 and to usher in 2016, I am going to look back in order to look forward.

This week I have been looking back at all my blog posts since I began this blog.  In reviewing what I have written, I found two posts from 2012 that are just as relevant today, perhaps more so, than they were four years ago.  An Unreasonable Man from February 1, 2012, and from August 23, 2012, Promises.


An Unreasonable Man

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.  Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”  ~George Bernard Shaw

By Alden L. Benton

To many, I am an unreasonable man.  I believe in God, morality, and the Constitution.  Being of Scots-Irish ancestry, I will not bend or bow before any earthly power and will fight to the death those who would try to force me to do otherwise.

I believe that life, for a moral and ethical person, is really quite simple: things are either right, or they are wrong.  There are no gray areas, no nuances; right or wrong, no more, no less.  This mindset enables and supports my everyday decision-making process.

I ask every moral and ethical person to consider this paradigm when deciding who will be our next president.

We will hear all manner of falsifications, misinformation, vitriol, charges, counter charges, and other useless information throughout the campaign.  Ignore it!  Look instead to the candidates’ records and to their public character and use your moral conscience to decide who is, or is not worthy of your support.

It is moral men and women who vote their conscience who will ultimately save America.  Moreover, one’s moral compass must be the ultimate guide in selecting a president who will lead with strength and determination rooted in the Constitution, and in his own moral and ethical rectitude.

Thomas Paine once wrote,

“These are the times that try men’s souls.  The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.  Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.  What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.”
~Thomas Paine, The Crisis, December 23, 1776

Now, 239 years later, our nation is again in crisis.  The policies of the previous century have failed and threaten to enslave not only this generation, but generations to come.

If you believe in America, its exceptionalism, in an individual’s God-given right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness as they see fit, then you must exercise your conscience and your moral fortitude to stand against the forces that are amassed at our gates bent on destroying us.

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace.  We ask not your counsels or your arms.  Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.  May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”
~Samuel Adams


Promises

By Alden L. Benton

Promises are important in every society. Anytime two or more people need to accomplish a task or engage in commerce, promises are integral to the arrangement.

Promises take many forms and range from God’s promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the Old Testament to His promise to us all in John 3:16 in the New Testament. On another level, there are promises we make to our children, our spouses, and our elderly. In the broader society, promises are represented by contracts, laws, and, ultimately, the Constitution.

Without these rules, these agreements, society would soon cease to function.  From deciding which side of the highway we will drive upon, who will have the right-of-way, to the guarantees of a contract and the prohibitions, the minimum moral code, embodied by the body of statutory law, society would soon revert to chaos.

This is the essence of ordered liberty and of a moral society. Ordered liberty imposes a minimum order on the free will of mankind. It ensures a free society based on fundamental rights such as due process, property rights, contract rights and obligations, as well as a minimum acceptable moral and ethical standard.

When promises are broken and agreements abrogated, that minimum moral code has not been honored.  Today, these obligations and promises are seen in relative terms. Put simply, this is chaos and it is breaking down the fabric of our society.

Signed for a mortgage you could never repay? Don’t worry, it doesn’t matter, we’ll make someone else pay. Don’t have a home because you didn’t pay your mortgage? It doesn’t matter, go take over an empty house the bank owns.

Promise your children something special if they behave? Stand by your words or they will never trust you again. Told your grandmother you’d visit her and begged off with some lame excuse? You hurt her more than you could ever know.

The issue for us all, individually or as a society, is integrity. Integrity is the unification of word and deed; of intent and action. As an old adage says, “I can’t hear your words because your actions are so loud.”

Integrity is a standard to which we must hold ourselves accountable and judge others by. It is a simple binary (one or zero) decision: they have it or not. Do they keep their promises, honor their contracts, obey the law (moral and legal), and, in the United States, respect the supreme law of the land – the Constitution?

No one is perfect, but we, both as individuals and as a society, must strive to attain and maintain personal integrity. Without it, we are nothing but charlatans and thieves.

Remember this every time you make, or accept, a promise.

Remember this when you cast your ballot next November.


© 2012 and 2015 by Alden L. Benton / Independence Creek Enterprises

Can They Even Read?

“It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant.  It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.”  ~Ronald Reagan

By Alden L. Benton

Here is a simple description of the modern American political Left:

  1. To be a part of the political Left you have to be arrogant.
  2. You must believe that you are the smartest human being ever.
  3. You must think you have the answer to all of life’s pressing problems.
  4. You must not answer to any moral authority other than your own constantly shifting needs and wants, i.e. what feels good.
  5. You must make certain that no one is ever offended by anything.
  6. You must ensure that everyone is completely safe from harm
  7. You must force your ideas upon everyone else, whether they agree with you or not.
  8. You must ignore the lessons of the past because you are smarter than anyone who came before you.

Arrogance is a given.  We all like to think we’re smart and can come with some rational answers to things.  However, the political Left doesn’t acknowledge that they are really no smarter, and I would say in reality dumber, than the rest of us.

Just look at the president.  He offers no new or original political thinking.  His policies and views are just bad re-runs of things that have been tried before—and resulted in failure.  They think it’s smart — NOT!

Trying the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.

Real life is not perfect and carefree.  It is full of trials and troubles that test our resolve, our fortitude, our morals, and our faith.  Life is dangerous.  No government can keep us completely free of harm.  It is our personal responsibility.

As Ronald Reagan once said, “Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.”

And as far as not wanting anyone to suffer from some offense, real or imagined, I say hogwash.  The entire principle of free speech is based upon saying what is on your mind and in your heart.  If that offends you — Deal with it! 

The whole idea of political correctness (PC) is power through censorship.  This power of social censorship prevents any meaningful discussion about anything.  It promotes fear. 

It leads me to wonder when they are going to rename the card suit of spades in a world where the radical gays think the Christmas food fruitcake is homophobic.

The old rock and roll singer Frank Zappa summed up PC the best when he said, “Political correctness is the language of cowardice.”

The last two points in my list are obvious flaws that people in power suffer from on both sides of the political aisle.  It is worth mentioning because for the Left, it is not just a malady, but also an entire way of life both in and out of politics.

Now the question of whether or not the American political Left can read.  To be honest the evidence leaves me wondering. 

It is clear they do not read the U.S. Constitution, they do not read the Bible, and they can’t be bothered reading history books or the legislation they vote on.  If they do, they either don’t understand what they have read or misinterpret or manipulate its meaning.

What has drawn me to this question is an article published on Breitbart.com with this headline: Veterans Affairs Bans Christmas Cards to Troops Over Religious Content.

What on earth are these fools thinking about?

Whatever one’s opinion on our current wars, the government, or anyone else, has absolutely no right to deny any wounded warrior a Christmas card.  These men and women gave us their service in the most ugly of circumstances — war.  Censoring their mail for religious content is not the way to repay them. They did not fight to preserve censorship or an anti-Christian attack government.

Christmas, despite the fact it has morphed into a commercial holiday, is still a fundamentally religious, Christian religious holiday that is officially recognized by the U.S. Government.

The actions of the Veterans Administration over the past few years is just one battle in a war being waged by the political Left against both the U.S. Constitution and Christianity.  If you defeat one, you defeat the other and gain total control.

First, it is clear that the political Left, even those who profess religious, simply cannot accept that there is a higher power greater than them or their idea of an all-powerful government.  Those of us who call ourselves Christians answer only to God.

The second front in this attack is on Amendment 1 of the United States Constitution.  Amendment 1 states,

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

This amendment frightens the political Left the most.  It is the foundation of our liberty and a fundamental protection against the power of government.  It is clear and concise.  

Without the First Amendment, we will be forced to worship at the altar of an all-powerful government led by a self-proclaimed Messiah; without it, we will not be allowed to say what is on our minds or question the government; without it, we cannot meet in peaceful protest to give voice to our concerns.  We will become enslaved, in body and in soul.

This is not the world in which I choose to live my earthly life.

This is not the world I want to leave to my children and the generations that follow me.

I will never bend my knee, or my will, to anyone but God and will teach my children to do the same.

Yes, the political left can read, but they only read what would help them take control of the rest of us.

We must stand and fight before it is too late.

“You and I have a rendezvous with destiny.  We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness.  If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us we justified our brief moment here.  We did all that could be done.”  ~Ronald Reagan


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News Bites and Other Thoughts for May 10

“The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create whatever the form of government, a real despotism.  A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position.”  ~George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796

By Alden L. Benton

Call to Action

In March 2013, I wrote two posts here describing the Constitutional violations contained in the National Defense Appropriations Act (NDAA) (Taking Back America — One Small Step in California Part 1: The Problem) and about California’s attempt to protect its citizens from the extra-Constitutional sections of the NDAA (Taking Back America — One Small Step in California Part 2: The Rightful Remedy and a Call to Action).

The “remedy,” Assembly Bill 351, passed its first committee hurdle on April 4.  However, the bill is mired in the legislative swamp of another committee.  On April 10, the bill went to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for consideration with amendments.  The text of the amended bill is here: AB-351.

Please contact the chair of the Appropriations Committee (Mike Gatto) and the committee members (Committee Members and Contact Information) and politely urge their swift approval of AB 351.

Why the Second Amendment is Important

“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe.  The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States.”  ~Noah Webster

Expectations

When we elect people to public office, we expect them to have the basic ability to read, write, and think with some degree of clarity and common sense — unless they are Democrats, in which case none of the above applies. 

Many of our representatives are lawyers so one would think that when considering a piece of legislation that they would gather evidence regarding what the proposed law would accomplish and that they would actually read the text of what they will be voting upon.

We know how well that worked in the frenetic push to pass the more than 2,000 page ObamaCare bill.  Opps, I’m sorry, I mean the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  By the way, if you can’t sleep or have nothing better to do, you can find a copy of the PPACA here.

Well, despite public uproar, Congress appears to be both deaf and dumb.  According to a story in the Washington Times, 64 of 100 Senators who will be voting on a border security bill have never visited the southern border of the United States. 

These are the same people who spend thousands of your dollars on “fact-finding missions” (read vacations at our expense) to faraway places like Tahiti or Monaco.  

Unfortunately, they can’t bother with a quick flight down to El Paso, Texas, Tucson, Arizona, or San Diego, California to take a look and actually see what is happening through their own eyes, not the rosy glasses of Homeland Security Secretary Janet “Big Sis” Napolitano who believes the border is secure. 

Note to Secretary Napolitano: The fact there are an estimated 12 million (and growing) people in the United States illegally suggests the border is not secure!  Doh! 

Anyway, by visiting the southern border, the Senators might actually learn something.  Who knows, maybe they’ll even read the bill.  On the other hand, the chances of that happening is slim and none — and slim has already left town.

How Stupid Can They Get?

Ronald Reagan once said, “Government is like a baby.  An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.”  Put bluntly, money goes in and expensive manure comes out. 

Enter the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). 

Ever since their creation, the TSA has failed in their mission.  From groping grannies and 3-year-olds, to allowing the shoe bomber and the underwear bomber to board flights unmolested, the TSA is the model for government inefficiency. 

According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 2012 budget, the TSA budget was $8.1 billion, consuming 14 per cent of the $56.9 billion DHS budget.

According to The Hill, Congress is now demanding the TSA reduce or eliminate $800,000 a year it spends on warehouse fees to store outdated and useless equipment.

Warehouse rental consumes 9.9 per cent of the TSA budget storing junk, but they cry that they can’t find 2 per cent in savings to meet sequester demands.  Forrest Gump had it right, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

“Where there is no law, there is no liberty; and nothing deserves the name of law but that which is certain and universal in its operation upon all the members of the community.”  ~Benjamin Rush, letter to David Ramsay, 1788


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Cut Up the Credit Card

“A nation of well informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins.”  ~Benjamin Franklin

By Alden L. Benton

According to a Heritage Foundation report, Congress has an opportunity to do what all debtors should do — cut up the credit card and prioritize debt payments.

House Resolution 807 will do just that.  The bill, according to Heritage Action, “… would require the Treasury Secretary to pay the principal and interest on America’s debt obligations and make Social Security payments before any other payments in the event the debt ceiling is reached.  In effect, the bill begins the process of prioritizing federal spending.”

Under this bill, political pressure to raise the debt ceiling would separate the spendthrifts from the frugal and expose the lies and distortions that fly every time we approach the debt ceiling.

If we as a nation are ever going to lower, or eliminate, the national debt we must begin to live with our means.  If the essentials are paid first, then there should be a greater emphasis on eliminating unnecessary spending and waste in the programs that remain. 

In fact, this new enforced frugality could signal a dramatic change in the size and scope of government.  When it comes to government, the government that governs best governs least least — and costs a whole lot less.

However, there is peril in this approach.  The spenders in Congress could easily succumb to the urge to “enhance revenue” to make certain their pork and pet projects survive.  Translated into plain language, that means more taxes for the same old nonsense.

Despite this problem, HR 807 is an important first step towards fiscal responsibility.  In the end, we must make hard choices — choices made in the best interests of the country as a whole, not in the interest of politicians and special interests.

The first hard choice is to stop borrowing.  The second hard choice is to change the tax code to a simple flat tax structure where all but the truly poor pay.  The rate should be capped and changes constrained by a Constitutional amendment.

The answer is simple: stop borrowing, cap spending, and reduce taxes.  This is the only answer that will ensure the economic future of the United States, or any country.

Unfortunately, there are far too few men and women of courage and integrity in the halls of government, at any level, who have the will to what is necessary. 

It is up to us to replace the weak and corrupt with honest and courageous individuals of integrity.  The time to start is now.  All of the U.S. House of Representatives and one-third of the U.S. Senate, plus myriad state and local offices, are up for election in 2014.

Make 2014 a year of change that matters, a year where We, the people take back our government, and our future, from the corrupt, self-serving political elite who are destroying our lives, our liberty, and our happiness.

“To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, ‘the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, & the fruits acquired by it.’”  ~Thomas Jefferson


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Desecration of Hallowed Ground

“Nobody can acquire honor by doing what is wrong.”  ~Thomas Jefferson

By Alden L. Benton

Remember Joe “The Plumber” Werzelbacher?  He was the man who precipitated then candidate Obama’s infamous unscripted remark about spreading the wealth around. 

Well, Joe has a blog (joeofamerica.com) and he reports that if a woman named Julie Frein gets her way, the Boston marathon murderer Tamerlan Tsarnaev would be buried in the plot to which she thinks she is entitled at Arlington National Cemetery.  Joe says Frein served two years of a four-year enlistment in the Air Force and her discharge was honorable. 

According to a FoxNews video (USAF Vet Offers National Cemetery Plot To Dead Boston Bomber!!), Frein may be eligible for an Arlington plot due to her husband’s service.  However, according to my reading of the regulations stating who is eligible for burial at Arlington (Arlington Regulations), Frein is only eligible under very limited circumstances.  The regulations appear silent as to whether or not Frein could simply give away her plot even if she were eligible.

Her teary-eyed appeal to bury the monster who murdered and maimed innocent citizens next to then men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country is, at best, sickening.  Exodus 20:13 is clear: “You shall not murder” (English Standard Version) and in Judaism, murder is the only unforgivable sin because the dead cannot forgive their assailants.

Julie Frein wants us to forgive this dead Islamic terrorist and “get over it.”  Unfortunately, Krystle Campbell, 29, Martin Richard, 8, and Lu Lingzi, 23, cannot forgive the soulless, cowardly, Islamist cretin who murdered them, nor should we.

Look at the pictures below and remember how they died.  Never forget what happened in Boston that day. Never get over it.

Never.

Whether your eyes fill with tears or your heart fills with anger, call, write, or email Congress to make certain the Veteran’s Administration does not allow this terrorist to rest with heroes in the hallowed ground of Arlington National Cemetery.

MARTIN RICHARD, 8

MARTIN RICHARD, 8

LU LINGZI, 23

LU LINGZI, 23

KRYSTLE CAMPBELL, 29

KRYSTLE CAMPBELL, 29

It is time for all Americans to rise and stand against the sickness that has engulfed our country, the sickness personified by fools like Julie Frein. 

It is time to return to the values of courage, honor, and true fairness that made us great.  It is time we revisit the powerful words Abraham Lincoln so eloquently spoke in 1863 to begin to understand what we have lost and why people like the Tsarnaev brothers, and their enablers like Frein, are dangerous not just for their violence, but for their destructive influence on our society as a whole.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

~Abraham Lincoln,  Address Delivered at the Dedication of the Cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, November 19, 1863

May the dead of the Boston atrocity rest in peace, the wounded recover swiftly from their wounds, and justice prevail.


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A Week as a “Low Information” Voter

“Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge
among the people.” ~John Adams

By Alden L. Benton

I have not been on the internet for a week. 

In the age of 24/7 information overload, I found that I could actually survive and function with a massive reduction in my information intake. 

I don’t mean to minimize the need to be an informed citizen or the need to be aware of what is happening in one’s surroundings.  In fact, I mean quite the contrary, as information is a vital part of modern society.

However, it is not the quantity of information consumed that is important, but the quality of that information.  Having spent most of my day catching up with the onslaught of a week’s worth of email, I have made some observations.

Most of the so-called mainstream media have failed in the last week. First, they failed in their silence on the trial of a doctor accused of murdering babies who survived abortion.  Second, the failed in their sloppiness, in using too many words that were not checked for accuracy in their coverage of the Boston bombings and the search for suspects.  Perhaps they should heed the words of Abraham Lincoln when he said, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

Social media, like Facebook and Twitter, are useful tools.  However, they became dangerous weapons of false and misleading information during the investigation of the bombings in Boston.  Thousands of people armed with Smart phones with photo and video capabilities were far more useful.

Our nation faces threats as dangerous as North Korean missiles and al Qaeda — hackers.  They steal, destroy, and disrupt from their shadowy lairs.  If this sounds farfetched to you, it was a false story reporting that the White House had been bombed that sent the stock market plummeting.  Hackers planted the story on the Associated Press Twitter account. 

The term “low-information voter” is really an epithet hurled at everyday Americans by the so-called political and intellectual elite that inhabit government and the Pacific and Atlantic coasts.  These people don’t have a clue.  They live in relative wealth and privilege and refuse to acknowledge their nearsightedness.  Real people have jobs and families that occupy most of their waking hours and cannot spend hours on end following the event de jour.  They struggle to find answers with little or bad information because most of the mainstream media is biased and unreliable.  They have little time to search for the truth.

In dealing with the Soviet Union, Ronald Reagan said, “Trust, but verify.”  Today, we all must operate on the principle of verify, and then question — especially when dealing with our own government and media.

“…Cities may be rebuilt, and a People reduced to Poverty, may acquire fresh Property: But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored.  Liberty once lost is lost forever.  When the People once surrendered their share in the Legislature, and their Right of defending the Limitations upon the Government, and of resisting every Encroachment upon them, they can never regain it.”  ~John Adams


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Why We Fought and Why We Must Fight Again

“There is a time for all things, a time to preach and a time to pray, but those times have passed away.  There is a time to fight, and that time has now come.”  ~Reverend John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg (1746-1807), sermon in Woodstock, Virginia, January 1776

 By Alden L. Benton

In a 2005 article on WallBuilders.com titled God: Missing in Action from American History, David Barton outlines how Progressives have revised American history by changing the focus from people to economics.

This change of focus ignores the social, moral, and religious foundation laid down by the founding generation.  With this change of focus, the Progressives have marginalized the role of people and their faith in the founding and development of the United States.

In addition, this change of focus to economics masks the truth about the grievances, which led to our separation from England and has created an uninformed, if not illiterate population where the founding documents and principles are concerned.

According to Barton, “Today, however, history is presented in such an edited, revised, and politically-correct manner that God’s hand is rarely visible – and even the historic role of famous Godly leaders in education, business, politics, and the military is now virtually unacknowledged.”

He continues, saying that, this shift of focus to the economics of history have relegates all but one of the 27 grievances stated in the Declaration of Independence to irrelevance.  According to Progressives, it was all about taxation without representation.

As usual, the Progressives are dead wrong.

The Declaration of Independence is clear in listing just what the problems were that led to rebellion.  It is clear what the founders felt was tyranny.

The Spanish philosopher George Santayana said, “Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.”  He was correct, for through the ignorance foisted on us by Progressives, we not only fail to understand our roots, our heritage, but our future course.

The Declaration of Independence lists 27 issues the King of England would not resolve.  We rebelled.  Today, many of these grievances can be leveled at our own government.  I have listed those 27 grievances below, pulled directly from the Declaration, in their original language.  The bullet numbers were added for clarity.

Read these grievances carefully.  Apply their words to the actions of our government today and decide whether it is time to fight.

  1. He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
  2. He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
  3. He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
  4. He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
  5. He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
  6. He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
  7. He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
  8. He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
  9. He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
  10. He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
  11. He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
  12. He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
  13. He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
  14. For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
  15. For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
  16. For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
  17. For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
  18. For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
  19. For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
  20. For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
  21. For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
  22. For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
  23. He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
  24. He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
  25. He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
  26. He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
  27. He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

 “No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and virtue is preserved.  On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders.”  ~Samuel Adams


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Disturbing

By Alden L. Benton 

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace.  We ask not your counsels or arms.  Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.  May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”
~Samuel Adams, speech at the Philadelphia State House, August 1, 1776

 Two articles published today have disturbing implications for our future safety and freedom as defined in the founding documents.

 First, is an article from Godfather Politics that reports a United States Army training program identifies Evangelical Christians, Catholics, Mormons, and Orthodox Jews as terrorists on the same level as Hamas, al-Qaida, and the Klu Klux Klan.

The training was part of the Army Reserve Equal Opportunity program. The slide that listed examples of “religious extremism” put Evangelical Christianity as the first entry and included the Jewish Defense League, Catholicism and even “Islamophobia” alongside the Muslim Brotherhood, Sunni Muslims and Hamas, according to Ted Cronn, the articles author.

I find this offensive and disturbing.  That an official course of the United States military, no matter  who authored it, would make such an accusation is chilling and its existence makes one wonder just how secure our God-given rights specified by the Constitution really are in this age of intolerance.

However, what this atrocity sheds light upon is how deathly afraid the president and his slobbering sycophants are of grass-roots America.  The strength of our faith and our foundation in right and moral thinking are indeed a danger to the immoral, lewd, and lascivious who populate the political Left and are in direct conflict with their vacuous, non-beliefs. 

This is why “they” want your guns.  This is why “they” want to educate your children; and why “they” want to take away your right to speak, worship, and associate with whom you please. 

“It is in the interest of a tyrant to keep his people poor, so that they may not be able to afford the cost of protecting themselves by arms and be so occupied with their daily tasks that they have no time for rebellion.”  ~Aristotle

The second article that disturbs me comes from Freedom OutpostIn this article, Tim Brown reports that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has sent an email to U.S. Border Patrol Agents stating that due to budget cuts and a shortage of ammunition they “will not be issued any new proficiency ammunition for next quarter.”

This email was sent after DHS purchased enough ammunition to support taking over a moderately sized country — more than 250 million rounds in their last purchase — for as yet undisclosed purposes.

According to the article, the local chapter 2554 of the National Border Patrol Council asks, “We get a 32% pay cut, even though Congress gave CBP enough money to cover salaries, and now we can’t even maintain proficiency with our service weapons to defend ourselves in the field…..Why is there an ammunition shortage?  Why can’t Border Patrol agents get enough ammunition to maintain proficiency, especially at a time of increased cross-border smuggling and illegal activity?  Where is all this ammunition going?”

This is serious national security threat as well when your border agents are not properly armed. However, it is a logical extension from an administration who has already admonished them to not fire their weapons, but run, hide and throw things. 

I guess the DHS would rather use the ammunition on those they consider real terrorists, like Christians, Jews, and Mormons, rather than waste it on drug smugglers, human traffickers, and other violent criminals coming across our borders.

 “Today, we need a nation of Minutemen, citizens who are not only prepared to take arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as the basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom.” ~John F. Kennedy


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New Strength and Vision for the Fight Ahead

We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”  ~Abraham Lincoln

By Alden L. Benton

Writing a quality blog on a regular basis is a lot of work.  I constantly read email, news articles, and commentary.  This is not only physically and mentally tiring, it is challenging emotionally and spiritually as well.

I am a positive person by nature.  I try to find the good in the people and events I encounter every day.  However, as I read and think about the path our country is traveling it is not only difficult to keep a positive mind, it becomes difficult to steer away from anger and depression as I constantly read about the latest stupidity or power grab perpetrated by someone who is supposed to be serving us.

My words have been absent from this space for three weeks not because there is nothing to write about, but rather because I found it necessary to rest my mind and to contemplate the roots of my positivism and the historic events of both the founding of our nation and the events of Holy Week.

In both of these events, I find an overriding theme of positivism, of hope, of looking forward to, and creating something better.  This is the strength of a Christian and the strength of a patriot.

Yes, it matters what the forces aligned against freedom do, but it matters more what we do in opposing them.  We cannot allow ourselves to be dragged down into the mud of hopelessness and despair by their words and deeds.  Rather, we must remain secure in our knowledge that the principles we hold, the principles upon which our nation was founded, are right and good.

We cannot compromise.  We must win, but we must win the battle of ideas — of what is truly right for this country — and we cannot do this with negativism.  We cannot ignore the negatives and the naysayers; we must address and confront them with great conviction and strength. 

It often appears that the forces of darkness and evil have all the power, all of the tools.  This is their tactic: to try control the discussion by controlling the tools and the definitions of words and the “truth” of events.  To counter this, we must be diligent and knowledgeable.  Truth is constant, but in our society, it is very difficult to dig out. 

Is the God-given freedom to live one’s life as they choose worth fighting for?  Is securing the blessings of liberty and a free society for generations to come worth the price of diligence and knowledge?

I have found the answer to these questions through tireless reading, positive thinking, and faith in God.  I will not let the forces aligned against me win without a fight.  And it is here, through my words, that I will continue that fight, promoting the great ideas of liberty and freedom that drove our founders, and still drive Americans today.

My path is clear and my voice will no longer be silent.

What I am suggesting is that each of us turn from the negativism that permeates our society and look for the remarkable good among those with whom we associate, that we speak of one another’s virtues more than we speak of one another’s faults, that optimism replace pessimism, that our faith exceed our fears.  When I was a young man and was prone to speak critically, my father would say: “Cynics do not contribute, skeptics do not create, doubters do not achieve.”  ~Gordon B. Hinckley


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Bits and Pieces from Around the Web

“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”  ~Ronald Reagan

By Alden L. Benton

Instead of my usual post, today I will let the perpetrators of various events and insanities speak for themselves with bits and bytes I have pulled from around the internet.

Say What?

According to Big Government, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi claims “tax cuts are spending.”  Yes, you read that correctly.  Not to outdo herself, she went on to claim that she and the Democrats in the previous Congress were responsible for a total cut in the budget of $2.8 trillion when in reality, a state Pelosi chooses not to visit, the budget and spending actually increased nearly a trillion dollars during her 5-year reign as Speaker of the House.

Parking Your Tax Dollars

According to the Weekly Standard, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) just spent $6 million of your taxes — on parking spaces.  HHS leased 1,076 parking spaces next to its offices in Bethesda, Maryland, for five years.  This works out to $1,115 per space per year.  No word if any of the government-union employees will be paying to park.

Expensive Public Failure

Ben Shapiro writes on Big Government that:

According to officials from City University of New York, a full 80 percent of high school graduates in New York City who are headed to CUNY colleges can’t read properly, write or do basic math when they graduate.  As CBS Local reports, “They had to re-learn basic skills – reading, writing, and math – first before they could begin college courses.”

And that’s for the students who graduate and head to CUNY.  New York City has the lowest graduation rate for black and Hispanic male students in the nation, with only 37 percent graduating.  But teachers start off making $45,530 with benefits, and max out at over $100,000.

It’s not just [Mayor] Bloomberg and New York.  In the city of Los Angeles, according to The Education Trust-West, just one in every 20 black kindergarteners will graduate from a four-year California college.  Overall, a whopping 40 percent of high school students entering public colleges across the country require at least one remedial class in reading, writing or math.

This is the legacy of a teachers union-driven system in our major cities.  And it is minorities who pay the highest price.

Politically Correct Culture War

Here is the latest obscenity in the far-Left’s war on American culture and our children.  Todd Starnes reports on Fox Radio News that:

A Michigan elementary school is defending its decision to confiscate a third-graders batch of homemade cupcakes because the birthday treats were decorated with plastic green Army soldiers.

Casey Fountain told Fox News that the principal of his son’s elementary school called the cupcakes “insensitive” — in light of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

“It disgusted me,” he said. “It’s vile they lump true American heroes with psychopathic killers.”

This story, coupled with the previous one, make a sound case for home schooling our children.

Talk NOT Cheap!

Every time House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama sit down and talk, it costs every one of us money — lots of money.  According to CNS News and Patriot Post, the deals made between these two men have added $21, 817 in new debt per household.

At the close of business on March 4, 2011, when the first Boehner-Obama spending deal took effect, the federal debt was $14,182,627,184,881.03, according to the U.S. Treasury.  As of the close of business on March 6, 2013, when the Republican-controlled House passed its latest CR, the federal debt was $16,692,238,790,019.20.

That means the federal government’s debt has increased $2,509,611,605,138.17 since the first Boehner-Obama deal took effect.

There are now approximately 115,031,000 households in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  The $2,509,611,605,138.17 increase in the debt since the first Boehner-Obama equals about $21,817 per household.

Mr. President, Mr. Speaker: please sit down and stop talking to each other.

2013 Dumbest Idea — So Far

Forrest Gump was right, stupid is as stupid does, and a Berkeley, California, city councilman proves the point.

According to CBS Local News San Francisco, Gordon Wozniak, a Berkeley city councilman, has suggested that a tax on email may be wise way to help fund the United States Postal Service.

“There should be something like a bit tax.  I mean a bit tax could be a cent per-gigabit and they would still make, probably, billions of dollars a year…And there should be, also, a very tiny tax on email,” Wozniak said at Tuesday’s meeting.

Wozniak said this would not only help fund the cash-strapped post office, but also discourage spam.

I guess Mr. Wozniak never heard of spam filters. 

Part of the problem with the Post Office is its management and union structure.  In addition, it is a child spawned by Congress and has tried to live under some bizarre rules and regulations.  All of this combined has led to its current state of non-competitiveness. 

However, Wozniak and his ilk are true to the Left’s compulsion to subsidize failure instead of fixing it.  Yet another tax to be stolen and mismanaged by the central government is not the answer. 

“The government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it.  If it keeps moving, regulate it.  And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”  ~Ronald Reagan


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Taking Back America — One Small Step in California Part 2: The Rightful Remedy and a Call to Action

“Whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers … a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy.”
~Thomas Jefferson: The Kentucky Resolution, 1798

By Alden L. Benton

In Part 1 of this post, I explained the unconstitutional attack on our liberties posed by the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) as well as the history and principle of nullification. 

In Part 2 I explain the choice California has to exercise “the rightful remedy” to protect its citizens from the unconstitutional attack on their liberties contained within the 2012 NDAA.

The Kentucky Resolution of 1798 was clear and succinct about the role and relationship of the states to one another and their relationship to the Federal government:

Resolved, that the several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principles of unlimited submission to their General Government; but that by compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States and of amendments thereto, they constituted a General Government for special purposes, delegated to that Government certain definite powers, reserving each State to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self Government; and that whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force: That to this compact each State acceded as a State, and is an integral party, its co-States forming as to itself, the other party: That the Government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself, since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers; but that as in all other cases of compact among parties having no common Judge, each party has an equal right to judge of itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress.

California must exercise “the rightful remedy” to protect its citizens from the constitutionally offensive portions of the 2012 NDAA. It is now California’s turn to put the Federal government back in its Constitutional cage. 

AB 351 has been introduced in the California Assembly and is set for hearings in the Committee on Public Safety.  AB 351 is a first step in taking back America as it prohibits enforcement of the unconstitutional parts of the 2012 NDAA in California.  Follow this link to read a copy of AB 351.

I ask all my readers who care about America and its principles to call the Public Safety Committee members and politely ask that they vote YES on AB 351 to move this important bill out of their committee and to the full Assembly for consideration.  Here is a list of committee members and their telephone numbers.

Tom Ammiano, Chair                        (916) 319-2017
Melissa Melendez, Vice-chair         (916) 319-2067
Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr.                  (916) 319-2059
Holly J. Mitchell                                  (916) 319-2054
Bill Quirk                                                (916) 319-2020
Nancy Skinner                                      (916) 319-2015
Marie Waldron                                     (916) 319-2075

A phone call is best, but if you rather send an email you can find the committee members’ contact information by following this link: http://apsf.assembly.ca.gov/membersstaff.

This is just the beginning of a long fight.  AB 351 must clear the Public Safety Committee and then be voted on by the full Assembly.  After the bill clears the Assembly, it goes to the State Senate and, if passed, on to the governor for his signature. 

We must keep pressure on all of the members of the Assembly and State Senate to secure passage of this important legislation.  Finally, upon its passage, we must pressure the governor to sign this bill into law.

Do not listen to the Democrats and other leftists.  Nullification is NOT racist or a dire precursor to any other imagined catastrophe.  Nullification only threatens the overreach of uncontrolled centralized government power. 

Nullification is a Jeffersonian brake on the power of the Federal government.  As Jefferson once said, it is “the rightful remedy” for at the time of his statement, the choices were few: arms or submission.  In other words, fight another revolution or submit to ever-expanding federal power.

California is the largest, and perhaps most liberal state of the Union.  The passage of AB 351 here will send a clear message to the other 49 states as well as a clear message to Congress concerning the rights of the States and of the people.

“Potentially, a government is the most dangerous threat to man’s rights: it holds a legal monopoly on the use of physical force against legally disarmed victims.”  ~Ayn Rand


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Taking Back America — One Small Step in California Part 1: The Problem

“The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”  ~Albert Einstein

By Alden L. Benton

On December 31, 2011, President Obama, in effect, suspended key portions of the United States Constitution.  He did not act alone in his treason.  He was aided and abetted by 283 co-conspirators in the U.S. House of Representatives (190 Republicans), and 86 in the U.S. Senate (40 Republicans) — all individuals elected by the people to serve the people and sworn to the best of their ability “… preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”  (Article 2, Section 1, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution)

The legislation to which I refer is HR 1540, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA).  (PDF of final bill)

The 2012 NDAA is a dangerous expansion of government power that opens the door to the total control of a police state.  The 2012 NDAA rips at the very fabric of our basic rights set forth in the U.S. Constitution.

According to the Tenth Amendment Center and the Rhode Island Liberty Coalition, the 2012 NDAA authorizes:

  • The President to indefinitely detain, without charge, any person, including a citizen of the United States or a lawful resident alien, regardless of whether the person is apprehended inside or outside the borders of the United States.
  • Indefinite detention of persons apprehended within the United States without charge or trial.
  • Prosecution by military tribunals under the law of war for persons apprehended within the United States.
  • Transfer of persons apprehended within the United States to foreign jurisdictions.

The 2012 NDAA violates the following portions of the United States Constitution:

  • Article I Section 9, Clause 2’s right to seek Writ of Habeas Corpus;
  • The First Amendment’s right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances;
  • The Fourth Amendment’s right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures;
  • The Fifth Amendment’s right to be free from charge for an infamous or capitol crime until presentment or indictment by a Grand Jury;
  • The Fifth Amendment’s right to be free from deprivation of life, liberty, or property, without Due Process of law;
  • The Sixth Amendment’s right in criminal prosecutions to enjoy a speedy trial by an impartial jury in the State and District where the crime shall have been committed;
  • The Sixth Amendment’s right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation;
  • The Sixth Amendment’s right confront witnesses;
  • The Sixth Amendment’s right to Counsel;
  • The Eighth Amendment’s right to be free from excessive bail and fines, and cruel and unusual punishment;
  • The Fourteenth Amendment’s right to be free from deprivation of life, liberty, or property, without Due Process of law;
  • Article I Section 2’s right to be free from deprivation of life or liberty without Due Process of law;
  • Article I Section 5’s right to have prompt recourse to the laws for all injuries to one’s person;
  • Article I Section 6’s right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure;
  • Article I Section 7’s right to be free from capital charge absent a grand jury indictment, or felony charge absent grand jury indictment absent information signed by the attorney general;
  • Article I, Section 8’s right to be free from excessive bail;
  • Article I Section 9’s right to bail and right to Habeas Corpus;
  • Article I Section 10’s right to a speedy pubic trial by an impartial jury, right to have the assistance of counsel, and the right to be free from deprivation of life, liberty, or property, unless by the judgment of peers;
  • Article I Section 14’s right to be presumed innocent until pronounced guilty by the law;
  • Article I Section 15’s right to a trial by Jury;
  • Article I Section 18’s requirement that the military authority is subordinate to the civil authority.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, Congress passed this abomination and the president signed it.  To my knowledge, there have been no significant legal challenges to the provisions of the 2012 NDAA.

However, there is hope.  A number of states, including ultra-liberal California, have introduced legislation to nullify the more onerous provisions of the 2012 NDAA through the provisions of the Tenth Amendment. 

The Tenth Amendment states:

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

It is from this delineation of powers that the idea of nullification springs.  The idea of nullification is not new.  Nullification, the idea that the states can invalidate Federal laws, began with the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions (1798 and 1799).  Written by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions sought to invalidate the Alien and Sedition Acts, a set of laws passed by Congress in 1798.

Of the four laws that made up the Alien and Sedition Acts, the Sedition Act concerned Madison and Jefferson the most as, contrary to the First Amendment to the Constitution it levied fines or imprisonment for individuals who criticized the government, Congress, or president in speech or print.

In the pre-Civil War era, states used nullification to negate the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.  The Fugitive Slave Act stated that any black who was determined to be more than a certain number of miles from his home was considered a fugitive and could be thrown in jail without the benefit of the right to Habeas Corpus, a trial, or to even give testimony in his own defense.  The law forced citizens to help federal “commissioners” capture runaway slaves.  In addition, a captured runaway could not testify on his own behalf and was not entitled to a court trial.

A number of states in the North responded to this attack on the Constitution by passing personal liberty laws.  These laws nullified the Fugitive Slave Act by making it all but impossible to enforce, guaranteeing due process rights for accused runaways, extending Habeas Corpus, provided for jury trials, and harshly punishing false testimony.

In Part 2 of this post I will explain the choice California has to exercise “the rightful remedy” to protect its citizens from the unconstitutional attack on their liberties contained within the 2012 NDAA.

“Whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers … a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy.”  Thomas Jefferson: The Kentucky Resolution, 1798


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