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.

What is Civilization?

English: Newly enfranchised women voting in th...

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I recently heard a presentation by Rabbi Daniel Lapin on WallBuilders Live! He spoke to the question of “What is Civilization?” Lapin asserts that the world today is engaged in a epic struggle between civilization and barbarism. Lapin claims that there is only one civilization. The society built upon the precepts in the Bible. People and society are prone to that third law of thermodynamics otherwise known as entropy. We tend to on our own go toward barbarism as a default state. Only with the civilizing influence of the Biblical principles will we rise from that barbaric inclination.

Some of the defining characteristics of civilization include: respectful treatment of women, private property rights, and sanitation practices. Only in civilized society do women have any place of respect. In barbaric society men relate to women as either hermaphrodites or callous womanizers. In civilized society we find the concept that we can purchase the rights to a particular area of land. In barbaric society we believe that we are simply advanced animals. Animals really have no sense of the ownership of property. Animals only protect their own territory but do not claim it has their own. Communism, socialism and other similar materialistic, humanistic, philosophies denying the place of private property. You can spot marks of civilization by how people deal with waste and filth. In civilization sewage is disposed of safely and properly if you visit an Occupy Wall Street encampment you will quickly see whether you are dealing with civilized people or barbarians.

If you tell legislators they can resolve all teenage problems by painting a blue spot on the left ear of all teenagers, they would implement that policy in short order. However, if you tell legislators you can eliminate virtually all teenage problems by having a strong Bible-based education, they will refuse. They would rather have the problem than that solution. In barbarism there is a primal pleasure that comes with destruction. Many who are in the Occupy Wall Street movement are participating in that wrong minded pleasure. As teachers we want to be part of building up young people and civilized society. According to Lapin (and I tend to agree) the only way to accomplish that end is with Biblically based teaching.

The Great Recovery

If you are a teacher in California these days, you might be having to live a little leaner these days. My wife and I have been using Dave Ramsey’s financial materials for a few years now. He has a method for handling finances in a practical methodical way. If you are needing help managing your income and expenses I highly recommend Dave Ramsey’s program.

I received an article from Dave Ramsey’s The Great Recovery movement entitled What Should You Expect from your Candidates? I appreciate Dave’s usual no-nonsense approach to politics. He emphasizes the fact that I have a lot more to do with what happens in my personal finances than Washington does. I need to vote and participate in our political process to get the best available leaders in office. But if I am waiting around expecting Washington or Sacramento to fix my financial situation, I’m going to be waiting a long time. And their solution will never work as well as something I could have come up with on my own. The thing that will fix my financial situation best is my own paying attention, learning, working hard, living on a budget, etc.

A quick summary of the characteristics includes the following:

  • Integrity
  • Cuts wasteful spending
  • Common sense
  • A good steward of money
  • Someone who listens
  • Strong leadership ability
  • Quick problem solving

If you’d like to read the article in its entirety click on this link What Should You Expect from your Candidates? You can also follow the link to learn more about The Great Recovery: a national recovery program that is guaranteed to be successful because it doesn’t depend on Washington. The Great Recovery appeals up the chain of command from Washington to fix our national financial problem. The Great Recovery appeals to We The People.

Hear the Republican Candidates Speak up on Life and Family issues

Just a quick post to spread the word on this unique look at some of the leading conservative presidential candidates. I have been a bit turned off by some of the debates I’ve seen with the Republican candidates. There are some important issues that I’m not really hearing about. I have a feeling the people organizing these debates don’t really want the candidates to have a chance to speak out on pro-life, pro-family issues. Well, someone arranged for an event that dealt directly with these issues. It was the Thanksgiving Family Forum held in Des Moines, Iowa on November 19. If you did not get a chance to see it you can click on the link provided below.

I would like to address the issue of allegations against Hermann Kane that have come up this past month. If there is a factual basis for these allegations, they are an issue to consider in his candidacy. We cannot separate private morality from public integrity. To think we could do so would be foolhardy. At the same time, if it comes down to it, because of his overall more conservative stance, I would rather have a Herman Kane in office than another four years with Barack Obama. Obama has been driving our blessed nation toward the precipice of socialism since he came into office. This has to end.

Waking Up

I started working in public education over 10 years ago. I wanted to make a difference in children’s lives. I had a serious faith in Jesus, but I simply did my job and kept quiet about my faith and convictions. I avoided political issues related to school. When it came to politics or union involvement I kept my head down and did my job. Now I realize that I and many other sincere conservative Christian teachers have done exactly the same thing. We have kept quiet with our heads down and do our best in the classroom trying to love children and teach our students. Unfortunately through this practice of avoidance we have allowed ourselves to become marginalized. By staying quiet and not speaking up, I have allowed wrong policies to become entrenched in the rules and culture of our schools and workplace.

I began to wake up from this broken, weak, retreating position when I began to listen to WallBuilders Live! as a podcast about four years ago. I found someone who was talking about America in a way that I hadn’t heard before, talking about our founding fathers and their faith, and having evidence of original documentation to show their faithfulness. I started to hear a group of people talking about not just fighting a desperate, losing battle against the liberal slide of our nation but actually pushing forward into and winning battles for our nation… a group of people who are optimistic and positive about taking back the land. I’ve become encouraged to take a stand, to speak up, to begin using my sphere of influence to take back the land. For me a big part of the journey that was beginning to get the positive and encouraging input from WallBuilders, from Dave Ramsey, from Chuck Colson, from Zig Ziglar. That’s why I include links to their programs on my resources page and in this post. I want to encourage you to start listening as well.

Avoiding the Historical Traps of the Left

First page of Constitution of the United States

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Avoiding the Historical Traps of the Left – summarized from WallBuildersLive!

WallBuilders is one of my favorite organizations for informing, encouraging, and equipping Christian conservatives to take back the land.  I encourage you to check out their half hour show available in some areas on the radio and online.

“David Barton gives a presentation on avoiding the historic traps of the left. Listen as he presents facts about our nation that you were never taught. What is it about our history that the left doesn’t want us to know? Our nation has Christian roots. When we understand that, we will understand where we come from and where we are going.”

Below is my brief summary of the traps. For a detailed and enjoyable explanation of each one, go listen to the archive of the series of six shows starting August 23, 2011.

1. Poststructuralism – to believe that only groups not individuals give meaning to the whole. This trap makes us consider people not as individuals but as members of groups. They consider everyone on the merits of their group membership. This is coupled with the belief that the Bill of Rights protects the rights of the minority from the rights of the majority not the rights of individuals from an overreaching government.

2. Modernism. Modernism is to use a modern context to interpret any events whether fairly recent or in the distant past. For example, Thomas Jefferson attended church in the Capitol building during his presidency. He even ordered the Marine Corps band to play foe the worship services. Some would look at this through a modern lens and say he misunderstood the Constitution, but it is more likely to say that he understood it, but we’ve grown to misunderstand it now.

3. Academic collectivism. This trap happens when a series or set of academics agree amongst themselves and reference each other’s works to back up their assertions. They rarely, never, or selectively go back to historical documents for fact-finding. Instead they simply cite one another’s work to support their theories. This tends to get away from anything based on history and ends up allowing them to support the agenda of their choosing.

4. Minimalism is the practice of focusing on a tiny subset of what was happening at a time in the past as though that is all that was happening. An example would include saying that we separated from England because of taxation without representation. This is one of the reasons but it is one of 27 reasons. Unfortunately that is probably the only reason most schoolchildren could give today.

5. Deconstructionism a steady stream of negative designed to tear down the positive image in the mind of the people. When the historians and press only focus on negative aspects of the founding era and from founding fathers lives, people are not aware of the positive things and the Christian religious nature of many of their beliefs and actions. It changes our attitude toward our country and its founding.

Again, this was simply my brief summary of the traps. For a detailed and enjoyable explanation of each one, go to the archive of the series of six shows starting August 23, 2011 and listen for yourself.

Origins of this Blog

I have several reasons for starting this blog. The main purpose is to encourage conservative educators to use our voices. We can influence our schools to become places where children are raised up with good morals and manners once again. We have been silent followers for too long, meekly going along with what has become the immoral liberal agenda of teachers unions. I have put together my resources page to help teachers who want to get started.

One motivating event happened as a result of a recent local union election. At a rep council meeting I had learned that candidates were not supposed to use district communication systems for campaigning. I myself was not a candidate, but I had strong opinions about which candidate I would like to see elected. I decided to email and speak to some of my colleagues encouraging them to vote the same way I would be voting.

As the election progressed and the votes were counted, I was very excited when the candidates I was supporting won by a three to one margin. Unfortunately the losing side decided to dispute the results. We had one rep council meeting where the election was upheld locally. This was followed by a CTA ruling that the election was to be upheld.

When my efforts to communicate my opinions were called into question, I decided that maybe I had better use a more public, transparent method of communicating my views. I had already been thinking of blogging about conservative issues. The election experience crystalized that thought. I have a feeling there might be a number of other committed teachers who are feeling marginalized by the liberal agenda of the bulk of CTA’s leadership. You’re not the only one! There are lots of us. We can push back.

I had some uncertainty about starting a blog. I don’t have a lot of experience blogging, a wonderful 21st-century innovation that allows the common person to have a voice that can potentially be heard across the community, the country, the world. You will notice as I post entries on this blog that I approach the conservative point of view from a Christian perspective. In my deliberations this perspective gives the best explanation for understanding and living in this world we live in. I do recognize that others have reached a conservative point of view from other perspectives. I welcome allies from various backgrounds, and respectful, civil discourse from any side. For my part, I will be attempting to examine issues from a Christian perspective.