Stop Fighting the Fruit – Start Chopping the Root

Axe to Root - 295I’m always looking for the principle behind a thing, the key thing, the root thing, the thing that makes it all work. I can’t walk into a building without starting to analyze the structure to figure out which is a load-bearing wall, which is a facade, what holds this up and what supports that.

I’m that way with politics and government too. I want to find the foundational principles that make for good government, the eternal truths that can tell me which policies are right or wrong. I want to make sure I’m getting to the root of the matter and am not being distracted by something superficial.

I realize not everyone is like me and I don’t expect you to be. However, there are times in life when we absolutely must understand what is at the root of a matter and make sure we are dealing with it at the source. If not, we’ll be destined to futility in our dealings with it and we’ll never be able to fix it when it’s broken. Think about it – you don’t go to a doctor just to talk with him about how you feel, then have him give you something to relieve those symptoms. You go to a doctor to have him correctly diagnose the root cause of the symptoms so you can fix the problem at its source.

Likewise, in matters of politics and civil government, we cannot afford to become distracted with superficial things that are mere symptoms of a more systemic, root matter. We risk getting caught up in treating the symptoms of our political ailment and failing to fight the disease at the root.

I was recently reminded of the importance of understanding key issues, principles and underlying causes while reviewing an article by Memphis attorney and 2008 Constitution Party Vice Presidential nominee, Darrell Castle. In his article on “How the Republic Became a Monarchy,” Darrell went all the way back to President Woodrow Wilson, the 16th Amendment (the income tax) and the establishing of the Federal Reserve in order to show his readers how key things that happened 100 years ago are at the root of much of what we are dealing with today. I highly recommend a review of Darrell’s article, both for the sake of the information provided in it and as an exercise in learning to identify key issues that are at the root of our nation’s maladies. If you prefer, the same information is available as a four part series of audio podcasts (about 5min each) at www.castlereport.us (Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4).

While I say this in love, seeking the best interest of my friends, brethren and fellow countrymen, I have to point out that the Christian-conervative-right has, in great part, lost sight of the key issues, root matters and foundational principles. We have become distracted with the symptoms of the diseases that plague our land and have come to devote the majority of our time and effort to suppressing the symptoms instead of eradicating the disease.

The conservative movement has become like a man with a tree in his backyard that is producing poisonous fruit. His strategy is to grab a stick and start swinging at whatever piece of fruit happens to catch his eye, hoping to knock some of it off the branch before it matures. But no matter how frantically he swings at the fruit, it keeps coming back faster than he can knock it down. He has become so distracted by his frenzied fight with the fruit on the branches that he fails to notice the root feeding the tree. If he would just take an ax and start chopping off the roots instead, he could rid himself of all the toxic fruit.

Through a combination of distraction and a forgetfulness of the foundational Biblical values, strict Constitutional limits and key principles of liberty, the conservative movement has come to a place of counting a slower loss as a win and the partial alleviating of a symptom as a major victory. Today’s conservatism appears to only be playing defense and is singularly devoted to the strategy of trying to slow the spread of the disease and ease some of the symptoms. My friend, former Montana State Representative, Rick Jore, refers to members of his former party who follow this strategy as, “Slow Death Republicans.”

Let’s look at just a few examples of key issues, root causes and foundational principles versus distractions and treating the symptoms.

THE INCOME TAX

How much time and energy did the conservative movement expend fighting to get, and later to keep, the so called “Bush tax cuts”? By the attention given to them, those tax cuts would appear to have been the conservative event of the decade and probably were the high water mark of conservative achievement during that period. But how much difference did those tax cuts actually make in your everyday life? How much more disposable income do you have now?

The fact is that those tax cuts only made a few minor adjustments to a huge, complex and evil system of taxation that a Republican President and Republican controlled Congress had it in their power to abolish – possibly by repealing the 16th Amendment, but at least by defunding and dismantling the IRS. Conservatives heralded as a tremendous victory this barely discernible relief brought to just one of the nation’s multitude of maladies. But the conservative movement, as represented by those to whom it had handed the reins of power, utterly passed up the opportunity to lay the ax to a major root providing the revenues that feed a plethora of un-Constitutional branches of government.

THE FEDERAL RESERVE

Conservatives spend massive amounts of time and energy fighting policies and agendas that come down through a vast maze of un-Constitutional and extra-Constitutional bureaus, agencies and programs. All forms of federal taxation combined are not sufficient to support the heavy load of all these agencies and programs. In other words, these can only exist through deficit spending – deficit spending that is facilitated by the existence of the Federal Reserve and its ability to create fiat funny money out of thin air, backed by nothing. During the conservative reign of complete Republican control from 2000 to 2006, the President and Congress had it within their power to repeal the Federal Reserve Act and restore Constitutionally authorized money coined by Congress and backed by gold. This would have chopped off another major root that feeds the branches of un-Constitutional government through deficit spending. But who in the dominant conservative movement or the Republican Party even alluded to this possibility, much less called for it?

GREAT SOCIETY” PROGRAMS

This isn’t just happening at the federal level. The distraction from key issues and fundamental principles is taking place in the states too. Today’s brand of conservatism at the state level seems to consist of contending for performance audits and better management of the state’s many Great Society, welfare and social services programs. Conservative law makers tout it as a great victory whenever they can sustain the current state programs and agencies without raising taxes. But if the conservative movement were remembering its origins in the principles of liberty and limited government in the spirit of the American founders, it would be contending for the complete defunding and dismantling of every one of those socialist programs. And in case you think it’s the Democrats that won’t let them do it, keep in mind that fully half of the states are currently under complete Republican control with a majority in both houses and the governorship.

EDUCATION

Today’s brand of conservatism thinks it is really taking a stand when it answers the education establishment’s demands for increased funding with timid suggestions that maybe we should audit the government schools first, or evaluate teacher performance. But the Bible teaches that the education of children is the sole responsibility and jurisdiction of parents. When government mandates and regulates the educating of children, it comes between parent and child, violates the God ordained order and is outside of its God given jurisdiction. When government taxes one man for the education of another man’s child, it now engages in legalized plunder, violation of that man’s liberty and establishes socialism. If conservatives were discerning the root matters and committed to fundamental principles, they would be calling for the abolition of government run education, not trying to “fix it.”

BEING “CONSERVATIVE” SOCIALISTS

Just the other day, I received an email from a “conservative” legislator representing one of the most conservative districts in my state. One of the bragging points in his legislative report was that he had brought home the bacon to the tune of $1million for a “skills center” (aka vocational school). This is a foray by government into an area of education where many privately operated vocational schools and technical institutes have been meeting the need quite well. This is governments’ making the conscious choice to go into competition with existing private sector business and doing so with the advantage of being taxpayer-subsidized. Today’s “new conservatism” boasts that it brings home the bacon, gets us our “fair share” from the bucket of socialist slop and, by the way, it pats us on the back for being fiscally responsible, bragging that our “skills” center has the lowest cost per square foot of any similar socialist program across the state – boy, aren’t we conservative!

The Republicans are not in the majority in my state and may not have had anything to do with funding this particular program, but it’s sad when the best that the new conservatism can do is to congratulate ourselves as to what fiscally responsible socialists we are. Even if a legislator is not in a position to eliminate such socialistic programs from the state’s budget, couldn’t he, we, or the conservative movement, at least use an occasion like this as an opportunity to share a lesson on fundamental principles of liberty, limited government, private sector free enterprise and Biblical jurisdictions? How is anyone going to learn to discern socialism from liberty, or know that it’s bad and why it’s wrong when “conservative” legislators don’t speak out against it?

These are just a few examples that show us that the conservative movement has become distracted from the key issues and root matters and has ceased fighting the disease and settled for treating the symptoms instead. The new conservatism, as manifested by the Republican Party at least, now accepts socialism and prides itself on being able to make un-Constitutional, secular humanist, socialist, big government work better than the other party.

We need to learn to think like Americans again because we’ve obviously forgotten. May I recommend the short weekly commentaries of Institute on the Constitution co-founder and 2004 Constitution Party Presidential nominee, Michael Anthony Peroutka, at www.theamericanview.com. Subscribe today and in no time at all Michael will have you thinking like an American again and believing that “there is a God; our rights come from Him; government exists to protect those rights.”

May I challenge us to begin scrutinizing every political issue to discern the difference between key issues and mere distractions. Darrell Castle’s news and commentary podcsats can help with this. It only takes 5 minutes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at www.castlereport.us.

Then, once we’ve learned to tell the difference between the root and the fruit, let’s grab our ax and start chopping at the root.

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Draft Judge Napolitano – But Not as a Republican

Photo by Gage Skidmore

Photo by Gage Skidmore

The other night I ran across a Facebook page titled “Draft Judge Andrew Napolitano for President.” I found that it is associated with a website devoted to the same purpose of convincing the judge to seek the Presidency in 2016. I like Judge Napolitano. I’m not aware of his having ever said anything that I disagree with and I would be pleased to have him as President. However, I have one problem with this effort.

The “Draft the Judge” petition concludes by calling on “Judge Andrew Napolitano to offer himself as a ‘Republican‘ candidate for President of the United States” (emphasis added). This despite the fact that after identifying numerous of our country’s ills, the petition rightly identifies both the Republican and Democrat Parties as the source of our problems, stating that they have “worked in tandem as an entrenched political duopoly to put the United States on this path, despite both parties’ claiming fundamental ideological differences.” Continue reading

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Liberty Amendments and a Proposed Article V Convention – Are We Saving the Republic or Chasing Vain Hope

Rescue - 350Our Constitutional form of government is in peril. The intent of the framers of the U.S. Constitution is ignored with impunity. The concept of liberty through limited government is lost on nearly all that we send to DC. The national debt spirals out of control. The powers reserved to the states and the people are usurped as though the 10th Amendment has somehow been repealed.

It is upon this stage that Mark Levin’s Liberty Amendments and calls for a Convention of States enters. As I suppose most are already aware, conservative talk radio host, Mark Levin, published a book this past summer titled, The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic. In his book, Mr. Levin proposes eleven amendments to the U.S. Constitution intended to rein in an unruly, reckless and usurpatious federal government. Continue reading

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Two New Christmas Classics Recommended For My Friends

Christmas Holly - Upper LeftChristmas Holly - Upper Right

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son… John 3:16

Why? Because he believes we are worth saving.
How thankful we should be that he places that kind of value on us; that God would value us enough to give his son for us; that Jesus would place more value on us, and on the hope of restoring us to fellowship with himself, than he placed on his own life.

God thinks you’re worth having in his kingdom and in his very own family.

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. John 3:17 Continue reading

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Interview on “The RIGHT Spokane Perspective”


Download mp3

IMG_0790 Cropped Close - 150 ThumbnailOn Wednesday, December 18, I was a guest on “The RIGHT Spokane Perspective,” a locally generated radio program aired weekdays at 9:00am on Spokane’s KTRW, 630AM. The program is co-hosted by Spokane City Councilman, Mike Fagan, and former Washington State Senator, Jeff Baxter. In this half hour interview, we discussed the Constitution Party, its principles and policies and the general spiritual and political state of the nation.

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Root Out Fear

In my Thanksgiving Day message, I alluded to the problem that Christians and political conservatives have with negativism and fear. This is a serious problem and it effects us on all levels, spirit, soul and body.

SPIRIT
Of greatest importance is the fact that fear is a spiritual force. Fear comes against us with pressures calculated to turn our spirit mechanism that God designed for faith, away from trusting in God and expecting in the promises of His word. Fear is actually perverted faith. Fear is faith in evil instead of good; faith in death instead of life; faith in Satan’s threats instead of God’s promises. Fear expects an evil outcome, then starts to speak it, then starts to plan for it. Continue reading

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Being Thankful Every Day

Pilgrims

Ah yes, it’s upon us once again, that most organic of American holidays where in the tradition of our ancestors and the spirit of the Pilgrims, we set ourselves apart unto a day of wanton and self-abusive engorgement of massive quantities of everything we can haul home from the grocery store in the back of our SUV, to be followed by self-indulgent entertainment provided by dozens of premium sports channels before retiring early in preparation for a day of unrivaled, frantic, frenzied mass retail consumerism as we compete to feed our greed for more stuff to fill our already overflowing houses with. Ah yes, the Pilgrims would be amazed at what we’ve done with their day of thanksgiving. I’m sure that if the good and Godly Governor Bradford who issued that first thanksgiving proclamation were here today, he would give us all a swift kick in the behind. Continue reading

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American Perspective 2013 General Election Voter Guide (Washington State)

APVoterGuide_headerimage(Karen)

The following are voter recommendations and supporting information for Initiatives to the Legislature, Advisory Votes and Spokane County Proposition 1, on the November 5, 2013, Washington State General Election ballot.


INITIATIVES TO THE LEGISLATURE

Initiative to the Legislature 517
This measure would set penalties for interfering with or retaliating against signature-gatherers and petition-signers; require that all measures receiving sufficient signatures appear on the ballot; and extend time for gathering initiative petition signatures.

vote “YES” is recommended

Given that the petition and initiative process aligns with the spirit of both the U.S. Constitution (1st Amendment) and Washington State Constitution (section 4), it is Continue reading

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Everything You Never Wanted to Know About the Affordable Care Act and Hoped No One Would Ever Tell You

While the truth about the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (aka “Obamacare”) may not be pretty, and certainly isn’t fun to hear, simply sticking our head in the sand doesn’t make it go away and ignorance does not guarantee bliss.

Many of us are already tired of hearing the endless discussions on the news or talk radio programs. However, most of the rhetoric has been void of substance or has focused on minutia that goes over our heads and just makes our minds gloss over.

To help us understand what this act really is and how it will affect us, I offer the following two resources.

Obamacare and Its Impact on Americans

Darrell's Picture - Cropped - 175pMemphis, Tennessee attorney and 2008 Vice Presidential candidate, Darrell Castle, reviews the Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare,” and the impact it will have on employers and the employed, the insured and the uninsured, and all Americans. This is a step by step break down and overview of what Obamacare is and what it does.

Both audio and video versions of this 30 minute presentation are available at http://www.castlereport.us/obamacare-and-its-impact-on-americans-2/

Obamacare: What it Means to Us

DavisHead - 175pIn her October 8 podcast, four term Missouri State Representative, Cynthia Davis, interviews health insurance industry expert, Vincent K Blair, to discuss the way Obamacare is affecting the insurance industry and what to expect next. Cynthia asks the question, “is it the ‘Affordable HealthCare and Patient Protection Act’ or is it really the Unaffordable Lack-of-Care and Patient Victimization Act?”

Listen online or download at http://www.cynthiadavis.net/obamacare/

Make no mistake about it, the Affordable Care Act is a line in the sand that is already forcing many to choose between their moral values and religious convictions or having health coverage or staying in business. This isn’t just about healthcare, it’s about freedom.

By the way, in case you think the answer is as simple as changing which party is in power, so far, the Republican plan appears to be to simply replace the Affordable Care Act with a different set of socialistic mandates, controls and unconstitutional usurpations.

So what do I consider to be the real answer? Get government out of the healthcare business – completely! I’m not talking about less government involvement, I’m talking about none. As for the uninsured or under insured, charities funded through free-will donations are the legitimate solution. However, making our own healthcare decisions, providing for our own coverage and acting in compassion to care for others all requires individual responsibility. Perhaps that’s what America really needs instead of more government programs and mandates.

Please forward and share this information with friends and family who may not fully understand what this act is all about or how it fundamentally changes the American health care system, the American way of life and the American form of government. Yes, I said it changes our form of government – from one that once protected individual rights and freedom of choice to one that violates those rights, removes choice and requires the purchase of a product or payment of a penalty if you fail to participate. That’s a fundamental change to our traditional form of government.

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Celebrate Constitution Day

Constitution Day600Today, September 17, commemorates the signing of the United States Constitution, the document that both frames our form of government and simultaneously protects our liberties by strictly limiting the powers granted to that government. As Patrick Henry put it: Continue reading

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