Power Grab or Stop Special Interest Money?

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signs the ...

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signs the act on July 5, 1935. Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins (right) looks on. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last year Mark Mix gave a talk at the Pro Family Legislators conference on compulsory unionism which I have found very informative. I’ve blogged about it before.

In 1935 the Wagner Act forced all workers in America to be in unions whether they liked it or not. Mr. Mix talked about Samuel Gompers who was an early union organizer who advocated for volunteerism as opposed to compulsory union membership. “No lasting gain has ever come from compulsion. If we seek to force, we but tear apart that which united, is invincible.” His reasoning was that unions would be more cohesive and stronger if they were voluntary groups. Unfortunately, Other union leaders did not agree. In 1935, at any rate, the Wagner Act made compulsory unionism the law of the land. This was and is in opposition to our 1st amendment freedom of association. In other words, if we have the freedom to choose with whom we will associate, don’t we have the converse right to choose with whom we will not associate?

Unions quickly gained an enormous amount of power. For instance, the Mineworkers Union basically shut down the war effort soon after by refusing to mine coal until their demands were met. Congress amended the Wagner Act with the Taft-Hartley Act in 1947. Among other things the act made it so states could enact ‘right to work’ laws. Since that time 22 states have opted for ‘right to work’ legislation. ‘Right to Work’ basically means no one can be compelled to join a union nor be compelled not to join a union. In other words, the only unions in ‘right to work’ states would be voluntary unions. Just like Gompers ennvisioned. Today our most prosperous states are those right to work states. The industries in heavily unionized states have crumbled or are crumbling under the overburden of union demands.

I for one am in favor of voluntary unionism. I am a member of a voluntary teacher association. I am also a member of the compulsory teachers union CTA.

There is legislation afoot that would allow teachers the choice of whether they want their union dues to be automatically deducted from their check as they are currently. I think this legislation has merit. Unions are calling it “The Corporate Power Grab Initiative“. The other side is calling it the “Stop Special Interest Money Now Act“. They have very different stories to tell about what the act does and does not do. One point of disagreement is on who gives more to politicians. CTA claims that corporations out give unions 15 to 1. But I was recently told by a CTA officer that CTA is the most powerful voice in Sacramento… Here is a site that tracks giving to politicians.

The Stop Special Interest Money Now Act may be the right act for giving freedom back to workers in California and eliminating the overbearing liberal voice of union officials in our state legislature. I invite you to read the text of the act for yourself and enter the discussion by making a comment here. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of this proposed law.

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Chuck Colson (1931-2012)

great book

Chuck Colson’s Autobiographical testimony (Photo credit: son.delorian)

Chuck Colson passed away this weekend. He will be missed as a conservative Christian voice. Perhaps because of his time on the inside and living the first half of his life without God, Chuck seemed to be able to find positions on issues that dealt with both the justice and compassion parts of the Gospel. Thankfully Chuck invested time in passing the leadership torch to the next generation. John Stonestreet and Eric Metaxas are currently standing in on his Breakpoint broadcast which I’ve listened to for years. I hope they continue to bring valuable analysis of current events from a Christian worldview.

Colson Center

Manhattan Declaration

The Point Radio with John Stonestreet

Eric Metaxas: Author

Monumental

National Monument to the Forefathers, Plymouth...

National Monument to the Forefathers, Plymouth Massachusetts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We just finished watching the movie Monumental on a preview screening night and really enjoyed it. Kirk Cameron did a superb job of walking us through an engaging history lesson of the Pilgrims rise, persecution, and departure from England in 1600s. He traces the journey from their secret meeting places, to the prisons where King James held them after their first escape attempt, to their haven in Holland. He follows their path finally on to the American continent. In Plymouth, Massachusetts, Cameron and his guide explain the rich symbolism set in granite in the National Monument to the Forefathers (pictured) that was erected in 1889 honoring the Pilgrims. Their winning strategy for building a society revolves around starting with faith, then morality, law, education, and finally liberty. We enjoyed the movie and recommend seeing it.

This movie will be received differently by different audiences depending on where they stand on the continuum of liberal to conservative. For instance, if they are pretty aware of the evidence for the religious background of the pilgrims and their foundation in biblical principles and agree with those principles they will probably be encouraged and enjoy this movie. If they have those same leanings of principle but were unaware of the evidence and history surrounding the Pilgrims coming to America, they will probably feel encouraged and somewhat incredulous. They may need to find some more answers to these questions. I recommend the book Original Intent for people in this category. If they find themselves more in agreement with the revisionist misinformation of the last 100+ years they will probably feel either uncomfortable or downright angry about the information portrayed in this movie. Monumental attempts to circumvent a lot of the liberal misinformation that has been brought forth in the last 50 – 100 years in America.

Our Godless Constitution?

Constitution of the United States of America (...

Constitution of the United States of America (page 2) (Photo credit: The U.S. National Archives)

Is the Constitution of the United States a godless document? This idea stems from modernism. Modernism is the belief that the way things are now is the way they have always been. Fortunately that is simply fallacious thinking. Here are a few reasons that show the Founders did not write a godless Constitution.

First of all, the Constitution is not our original founding document. It is based on the Declaration of Independence, which clearly acknowledges God. What is the evidence we can use to see that the Declaration of Independence is our original founding document? Besides its historical significance in breaking our ties with the British monarchy, there are 27 grievances listed in the Declaration of Independence as the reasons we were making that break. Each of those grievances are dealt with and resolved by various clauses in the Constitution. The framers of the Constitution explained that there was a problem/solution relationship between the two.

Here is an example:

Declaration:  “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.”

Constitution:  “Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.”

The problem (listed fourth in the Declaration) of King George requiring the colonial legislatures to convene in far away locations is dealt with in Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution. This is just one such example; there are 26 others.

Another reason involves an acknowledgement of God in the text of the Constitution. The attestation clause (VII) reads,

“Done in convention by the unanimous consent of the states present the seventeenth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven and of the independence of the United States of America the twelfth.”

While some might argue that it was simply the convention of the time, the acknowledgement of Jesus Christ (our Lord) in the date, is an example of the intentions of the signers. The numbering of twelve years sets the Declaration as the beginning of the United States; laying the foundation as it were. The Constitution is filling out the form; giving structure to the government of the new nation.

The twelve years mentioned above is another piece of evidence for the Declaration being our founding document. The Declaration of Independence is quite clearly a document that recognizes God’s sovereignty over human governments:

“When in the course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s

God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.
We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness…” (emphasis mine)

There is more evidence that demonstrates that the Constitution was a document acknowledging God. David Barton explains several more in his teaching: God and the Constitution. Please check it out. Read the Constitution and Declaration of Independence for yourself. There’s an app for that! Become informed on the intended structure of our government.

Reining in the Judiciary

I recently completed a DVD series entitled “Citizen’s Guide to America’s Founding Documents“. I am encouraging my colleagues to watch and discuss the series as well.

One of the points which I have found most interesting about this course is the discussion of the federal judiciary. The judiciary is actually the smallest and least significant part of the federal government. If you look at the actual text of the Constitution there are something like 53 clauses which describe the function of the legislative branch. There are about 18 clauses that describe the function of the executive branch, but only about 6 clauses that discuss the function and form of the judicial branch. So even the weighting of attention given in the Constitution demonstrates the relative size, strength, and importance of the three branches.

The judicial branch would like us to believe that they are an equal and equally powerful part of the federal government but if you read the Federalist Papers you can see that the founding fathers saw that the legislative branch should be the dominant branch and the judicial branch would pose no threat to the freedom of the people. Unfortunately starting with Marbury versus Madison, then the Dred Scott case, the Supreme Court has attempted to assert its will over both the executive and the legislative branches. The Constitution calls only for a Supreme Court, not for all the lower federal courts. The fact is that Congress has the power to decide how long the Supreme Court can meet, how many members should be on the Supreme Court, and can eliminate all the federal appellate courts, circuit courts, etc., except for the actual Supreme Court.

I for one see that the current low state of our nation has been hastened by a tyranny of unelected “lifetime” appointment judges. It is time for us to put them in their place by either having the legislature exercise its true authority over the judicial branch, or by amending the constitution to require judges to undergo affirming and reaffirming votes by the people or by Congress once ever ten years. As far as I’ve heard, Newt Gingrich is the only 2012 candidate that has brought up this topic. He was soundly attacked in the media notwithstanding the fact that he was citing Constitution chapter and verse. Click this link for his white paper on the subject.

Voluntary Associations

Photo, 1 May 1912 – Bain Coll. (LOC) (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)”]Socialists in Union Square, N.Y.C. [large crow...On a recent WallBuilders Live! episode we got to hear from Mark Mix on the topic of public sector unions. In 1935 union membership became compulsory although there was some softening of this policy in the 40s with Right to Work states. Even at that time it was thought that public sector unions were unnecessary. Fast forward to today, public sector unions comprise one of the largest segments of union workers.

Voluntary associations are much more powerful than any compulsory forced associations. Unions usually break this rule and are therefore not good for companies, government, or workers in general. We might be able to take advantage of this fact by connecting within our union on a voluntary basis to work for union reform, therefore, building a stronger organization within the compulsory union structure.

This reminds me of Seth Godin’s book Tribes. A tribe is a group of people with a mission, a leader, and a way to communicate. A small but motivated and cohesive tribe can get a lot done.

One opportunity to form a tribe is happening right now. Several of us in our district are starting to meet to work our way through the Citizen’s Guide to America’s Founding Documents. This is a DVD course looking at the Constitution from a historical lens. I have found refreshing perspective and encouragement in this program.

Getting the Bible Back into the Classroom

KJV BibleThe WallBuilders Live! broadcast this Thursday, 1/19/2012 highlighted the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools (NCBCPS)program. This is a curriculum that teaches the Bible as a historical and literary text. The program draws connections with the Constitution, presidential inaugural addresses, the conflict in the Middle East, and a host of literary allusions and idioms that originate from the Bible. There is an electronic version which provides wider access to students. The classes already are in place in nearly 600 school districts, over 2,000 schools, and over 500,000 students have been through the class in the last 15 years. NCBCPS has a package for presenting to your local school board to get this for credit class into your high school or junior high. You can request a package on their website.

Some people might wonder if this is illegal in light of the wrong-headed Supreme Court opinion of 1963. NCBCPS deals with the legal question on the website. The fact is that within that opinion Supreme Court Justice Clark supported the use of the Bible as a literary and historical source:

“It certainly may be said that the Bible is worthy of study for its literacy and historic qualities. Nothing we have said here indicates that such study of the Bible or of religion, when presented objectively as part of a secular program of education, may not be effected consistently with the First Amendment.”

School District of Abington Township v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203,225 (1963)


Growing up Global vs. American Exceptionalism

English: Composite image of the Earth at night...

View of Earth's lights at night

I’m all for being respectful of and interested in other cultures. Some of my closest friends are from different cultural backgrounds. Unfortunately it is becoming increasingly popular among today’s educators to attempt to cast our lives on the planet as being more meaningful as global citizens rather than American citizens. This practice once again unmoors people from the historical context of real life and attempts to build a fantasy world that has never worked and will never work on this side of heaven.

If you forget where you come from you don’t know who you are. If teachers do not teach the role that America has played in history in the last century (or rather focus on America’s mistakes rather than her successes see my post on poststructuralism), it is no wonder that students blindly accept notions that:

  • America should become like Europe and the rest of the world
  • America should bend over backwards to somehow make up for our place in the world power structure
  • We as Americans should subject our futures and our economic well-being to severe risk because of pseudoscientific environmental doomsday nonsense

Rather than teachers guiding their students to be global citizens, we should instead be teaching children what has made America great… What has made America strong… Why America has been the refuge of choice for millions of people over the last two centuries. We should not teach children that America needs to become like the rest of the world. That is a huge mistake on the part of many politicians and teachers today.

The documentary Agenda: The Grinding Down of America shines some telling light on this discussion. I recommend obtaining a copy and watching it at your earliest convenience. Agenda explains how teaching our children socialist concepts has been weakening America for the last several decades and threatens to destroy her from the inside out.

Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7

Posters like Allen Saalberg's strengthened Ame...

If we forget where we have come from we won’t know who we are. Pearl Harbor Day unfortunately is an important day in our history. WallBuilders Broadcast. It has fallen into obscurity in the last 70 years. This is another example of our left leaning media and higher education establishment pointing Americans away from our true history.

December 7, 1941 was very much like September 11, 2001. The United States was attacked without warning by a foreign adversary. Both heinous attacks provoked us to openly enter a war. The attack on Pearl Harbor day provoked our entrance into and justification for our actions in World War II. The attack was committed by the military forces of Japan against our military forces in Hawaii. The terrorist attacks of September 11 were committed by terrorists against civilians. While our war on terror (in fact, no war, ever) has resulted in some collateral damage against civilian people and sites, our overall war effort has been our official military forces against the rather unofficial insurgent, terrorist forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other terrorist-friendly places.

A couple of historical notes that might be of interest today:
September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City: V...

Image via Wikipedia

The Barbary Coast war in the Marine Corps hymn we hear the words from the halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli. The Shores of Tripoli referred to our first war after our war for Independence. North African Muslims were attacking American ships at sea, taking Americans hostage, and then charging ransom for American citizens to be returned, usually in very poor condition from their treatment. In other words that war in the early 1800s was a war on terrorism. Here is a link to the WallBuilders Live! presentation that discusses this point. It has been packaged for sale since I first heard it back in 2007.

Just as the liberal media distractors have pulled our attention and favor away from our war on terror, liberal edu-crats have all but silenced the education of our young people on World War II. Watch this video where Ray Comfort asks young adults questions about Hitler. Many of them seem to have no idea who he was and what brutality he led in Europe during World War II.

Let us not forget our heroes, our fallen, or our past on Pearl Harbor Day.