Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tools For Teaching Our Children

We are all sold on the idea of teaching our children correct principles, but we don't always know how to go about teaching them, without boring them to death.

Yesterday I met a man named Bryan Knysh who owns  He wanted his kids to learn, but found their schoolwork boring and uninspiring.  He decided to stay a few steps ahead of what his kids were learning in school and make his own curriculum for them.  Now that's a dedicated dad! is one of the results. (Happy and learned kids is another, I'm sure.)

"The Kidport learning system applies visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning styles to help students better learn and understand."  The site is mostly about delivering high quality content efficiently.  There are learning modules, interactive workbooks, reference libraries, and projects with real world application.  Subjects include Math, Science, Social Studies, Language Arts, and Creative Arts.  The materials cater to grades K-8.

There is a whole section on the American Revolution.

I was inspired by this fathers dedication to his kids and the quality content on his site, so I wanted to share.  Maybe you can find some content to share or projects to do with your kids!

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Freedom Principle 3: Elect Virtuous Leaders

In the last post on Freedom Principle 2, I talked about only virtuous people being capable of freedom.  Freedom Principle number 3 follows by saying that the easiest way to secure virtuous people is to elect virtuous leaders.

"...thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness (unjust gain); and place such over them, to be rulers..."  -Exodus 18:21

The easiest way for us to determine which leaders can help foster public virtue is simply to look into their lives and see if they have private virtue.  Jefferson had a philosophy of "Natural Aristocracy".  He believed that those citizens who typified virtue in their private lives and demonstrated leadership, should rise to the occasion out of a sense of duty to an office of government.  Samuel Adams added that a public official should not be chosen if they lacked virtue and demonstrated wisdom.  Washington was a great example of Natural Aristocracy.  He allowed to be called out of retirement three times to serve the country and with no pay.

The opposite of Natural Aristocracy is "Artificial Aristocracy".  Examples are those that are born into influential families and obtained position in life because of their wealth or station (think Paris Hilton, perhaps?).  Of this matter Jefferson stated:
There is a natural aristocracy among men.  The grounds of this are virtue and talents... There is, also, an artificial aristocracy, founded on wealth and birth, without either virtue or talents; for with these it would belong to the first class.  The natural aristocracy I consider as the most precious gift of nature for the instruction, the trusts, and government of society.  And indeed, it would have been inconsistent in creation to have formed man for the social state, and not to have provided virtue and wisdom enough to manage the concerns of society.  May we not even say, that that form of government is the best, with provided the most effectually for a pure selection of these natural aristoi into the offices of government? (Ford, Writings of Thomas Jefferson, 9:425)
For promoting the public happiness, those persons whom nature has endowed with genius and virtue, should be rendered by liberal education worthy to receive, and able to guard the sacred deposit of the rights and liberties of their fellow citizens; and they should be called to that charge without regard to... birth, or other accidental condition or circumstance. (Ibid., 2:221.)
John Adams regarded politics to be a "divine science" and wondered how it was at all possible that "man should ever think of making it subservient to his own little passions and mean private interests."  He also believed in much preparation for a political career and wrote this beautiful sentiment to his wife in a letter:
... I must study politics and war, that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.  My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain. (Ibid., p. 188.)
Public office was to be considered an honor, not a place for position or profit.  While in America, people were rising to places of high office based on personal merit, Benjamin Franklin noted that in Europe, people were pining for positions because they paid so well.  One of the greatest, inspired decisions the Founders made was to pay politicians little or no compensation.  Even Washington's Presidential position allotted for a $25,000 salary, he opted not to take it.  It was the commonly accepted ideal that if the politicians could live without even the little compensation they were entitled to, they would.

Stop and think about it.  What kind of people would step up to serve for little to no compensation?  And what kind of people would be attracted to high office for substantial pay?  Those choosing to serve for little to nothing are probably feeling called to serve from a sense of duty and loyalty to a cause.  I'd much rather have that kind of leader than one who is bought with money.  This is not really a shameless plug for Ron Paul, but the truth is, he is the only Congressman that I know of who, like Washington and other Founders, declines his government paycheck.

The point of little to no pay in government offices is to attract men of public and private virtue and not power or position seekers.  Franklin believed there were two passions that have powerful influences over men... the love of power and the love of money; and that "when united in view of the same object, they have in many minds the most violent effects."  We don't have to look very far or wide to see that in our modern day government.

Franklin prophesied that while they enjoyed the peace that brought little to no pay government positions then, that it wouldn't last long; that there "will always be a party for giving more to the rulers, that the rulers may in turn give more to them."  He foresaw that the way America could fall back into an executive with monarchial powers via profit in position.  He said:
There is scarce a king in a hundred who would not, if he could, follow the example of Pharaoh - get first all the people's money, then all their lands, and then make them and their children servants forever.
 Even before Franklin made his pleas for modest to no salaries, the Pennsylvania State Constitution said:
As every freeman, to preserve his independence, ought to have some profession, calling, trade, or farm, whereby he may honestly subsist, there can be no necessity for, nor use in, establishing offices of profit, the usual effects of which are dependence and servility, unbecoming freemen, in the possessors and expectants; faction, contention, corruption, and disorder among the people.  Wherefore, whenever and office, through increase of fees or otherwise, becomes profitable, as to occasion many to apply for it, the profits ought to be lessened by the legislature. (Ibid.)
Our Founders were men of amazing character.  They accepted the self-evident truths that they believed were necessary to be virtuous and moral people.  Cleon Skousen said, "Beliefs based on reason and self-evident truth bring a human being into harmony with natural law and the eternal realities of the cosmic universe."

Which is why the fourth freedom principle is Religion.  Oooh, a controversy may be brewing... 

In what ways do you see how high paying positions corrupt?  And what are all the ways our leaders are getting "paid"?  Please comment below.

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Principle 2: Only a Virtuous and Moral People are Capable of Freedom

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters." 
-Benjamin Franklin

Thomas Paine, author of Common Sense, sincerely believed that Americans got away from the European mindset, where all they wanted was luxury, indolence, amusement, and pleasure.  He believed American's were mostly ready for freedom, being industrious, frugal, and honest.  Tom believed this to be a result partially due to the fact that the people in America owned property (a discussion for another time).

John Page wrote to Jefferson, "a spirit of public virtue may transcend every private consideration."

I really had a problem with this when I was first learning about the spirit of public virtue.  It reminded me of socialists today, who put the so-called good of the whole before the individual.  But, here is the difference, public virtue is motivated by the individual, who continues to maintain their personal rights; whereas, socialism gives government the control to dictate to the people what is virtuous and moral.  It is the difference between charity and legal plunder.

James Madison said:
Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation.  No theoretical checks, no form of government, can render us secure.  To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea.  If there be sufficient virtue and intelligence in the community, it will be exercised in the selection of these men; so that we do not depend upon their virtue, or put confidence in our rulers, but in the people who are to choose them. (The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, 5 vols.)

It's easy to see today that the people are looking to the government to impose their virtue upon us through all the government sponsored programs and government controlled foreign aid.

Virtue is defined by moral excellence, goodness, and righteousness.  What is the standard for these qualities?  The Founders believed they were the Ten Commandments and the Bible.  If not these standards, then which?  There must be a standard to base everything upon, else all is up for debate.  What is righteous to me, may not be to you; but if we acknowledged a standard, then there is no room for argument unless otherwise due to interpretation.

George Washington declared in his farewell address:
Of all dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.  In vain would that men claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens... Let it simply be asked, where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice?  And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can maintained without religion.  Whatever may be conceded  to the influence of refined education...reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. (Padover, The Washington Papers, pp. 318-19.)
In our day, virtue is generally taught only in the home and at church.  Do you imagine your kids learning virtue in public school from their teachers?  I doubt it.  How about on the playground from the other kids.  Unlikely.

Benjamin Franklin said:
I think with you, that nothing is of more importance for the public weal, than to form and train up youth in wisdom and virtue.  Wise and good men are, in my opinion, the strength of the state; more so than riches or arms...
I think also, that general virtue is more probably to be expected and obtained from the education of  youth, than from the exhortations of adult persons; bad habits and vices of the mind being, like diseases of the body, more easily prevented [in youth] than cured [in adults].  I think, moreover, that talents for the education of youth are the gift of God; and that he on whom they are bestowed, whenever a way is opened for the use of them, is as strongly called as if he heard a voice from heaven... (The American Enlightenment p. 77.)
The schoolroom may have once been a place where virtue and morality were taught and expected, but today it is certainly not (at least in traditional public schooling).  We've got to take responsibility in our homes and be the example our children need for any hope of their own virtue and morality.  Many homeschooling families have taken such measures because they see the lack-of in the world.  Unfortunately, not all parents can or want to afford the luxury of homeschooling, and I believe there is otherwise hope if children are taught principle-based living and the standards from which those principles come.

As adults, it's even hard for us to be the disciplined people we need to be to be a good example for our kids.  Are we making exceptions for ourselves that we wouldn't allow for our children?  I know I am guilty and I strive to make better choices all the time.  Like Benjamin Franklin said, it's a lot easier to 'train up a child in the way he should go' than it is to change as an adult.  If our children grew up knowing correct principles they would be much ahead in life, as all that is left is for them to come to their own testimony of their correctness.

Our Founders believed wholeheartedly that our Constitution was made only for a moral and righteous people and wholly inadequate to govern any other.  As righteousness is down in the world today, it is no wonder our Constitution is hanging by a thread.

But alas, there is hope for us yet.  As more virtuous and moral people rise up and gain the courage to vote their conscience, instead of the lesser of two evils, we can elect virtuous and moral leaders, which leads us to Principle number three...

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Freedom Principle 1: Natural Law

The great political thinker, Marcus Tullius Cicero, was a Roman political writer, ahead of his time, and held the highest office of state, Roman Consul.  He studied law in Rome, and Philosophy in Athens.  He wrote The Republic and the Laws projecting some future society full of promise based on a thing called, Natural Law.

So what is Natural Law?  Jefferson referred to it in the Declaration of Independence as, "the laws of Nature and of Nature's God."  I know volumes have been written on this subject alone; I hope to give a brief idea of what it means.  In a nutshell, Natural Law is an established way of 'right conduct' within the laws of our Creator.  Natural Law is not negotiable, and it does not cease to exist because someone doesn't agree with, or like it.  It's a fact and a law of the Universe, like gravity.  It is the Creator's order of things.

The Founders were clearly influenced by Cicero and his recognition of Natural Law.

Cicero defined Natural Law as 'true law', and says:

True law is right reason in agreement with nature; it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting; it summons  to duty by its commands, and averts from wrongdoing by its prohibitions... It is a sin to try to alter this law, nor is it allowable to repeal any part of it, and it is impossible to abolish it entirely.  We cannot be freed from its obligations by senate or people, and we need not look outside ourselves for an expounder or interpreter of it.  And there will not be different laws at Rome and at Athens, or different laws now and in the future, but one eternal and unchangeable law will be valid for all nations and all times, and there will be one master and ruler, that is God, over us all, for he is the author of this law, its promulgator, and its enforcing judge.  Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself nd denying his human nature, and by reason of this very fact he will suffer the worst punishment. (Quoted in Ebenstein, Great Political Thinkers, p. 133.)
Cicero also proffered that since man is the only created being with a rational mind, shared only by God, that we must have right reason in common, and therefore also, Law in common.  He said we must conceive of this whole universe as one big commonwealth of man and the gods.

He asserted that right reason coupled with government regulation of human relations was called 'justice.'  Cicero regarded love as a mighty social bond and pointed out that justice was impossible without it, under the principles of God's just laws:
For these virtues originate in our natural inclination to love our fellow-men, and this is the foundation of justice. (Ibid., p. 134)
Cicero believed emphatically that what is "right is based, not upon men's opinions, but upon Nature" and that is was impossible to ratify an evil "law".  In other words, you cannot make right a thing that goes against Natural Law, by a popularity vote.  Of course, Cicero says it best:
The most foolish notion of all is the belief that everything is just which is found in the customs or law of nations... What of the many deadly, the many pestilential statutes which nations put in force?  These no more deserve to be called laws than the rules a band of robbers might pass in their assembly.  For if ignorant and unskillful men have prescribed deadly poisons instead of healing drugs, these cannot possibly be called physicians' prescriptions; neither in a nation can a statute of any sort be called a law, even though the nation, in spite of being a ruinous regulation has accepted it.  (Ibid., pp. 134-35.)
But if the principles of Justice were founded on the decrees of peoples, the edicts of princes, or the decisions of judges, then Justice would sanction robbery and adultery and forgery o wills, in case these acts were approved by the votes or decrees of the populace.  But if so great a power belongs to the decisions and decrees of fools that the law of Nature can be changed by their votes, then why do they not ordain that what is bad and baneful shall be considered good and salutary?  Or, if a law can make Justice Injustice, can it not also make good our of bad?  (Ibid., pp. 134-35.)
It is clear to see why our Founders expressed the absolute need for a virtuous and moral society.  Anything less would produce inharmonious consequences.

Did you know that our unalienable rights come from Natural Law?  Here are more examples of Natural Law:
  • Habeas Corpus
  • Limited Government
  • Separation of Powers
  • Checks and Balances
  • the right to Contract
  • Justice by Reparation
  • the right to Bear Arms
  • the institution of Marriage
  • No Taxation without Representation
In fact, Natural Law is the foundation of what we've to come to know as The People's Law and the American Constitution is grounded in it.

Natural Law is what Thomas Jefferson was talking about when he famously said:
We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
 We will explore what the other unalienable rights we have in the 8th Freedom Principle. 

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Audit the Fed: What For?

When you hear anything about "Audit the Fed", or "End the Fed", you might associate it with Ron Paul.  Fair enough, as he is the leading voice today in that cause.  I am very careful to keep this blog about freedom principles, and not about partisan issues.  You may feel this crosses the line, but I'm not promoting Ron Paul, or bashing any party; I'm promoting a principle of freedom.  You can read and decide.

What is the Federal Reserve? 
It's not federal and there are no reserves.  In a nutshell, it's a central bank run by world bankers, who have assumed many of the rights of Congress.  In 1910 a group of men, mostly chiefs of major corporations and bankers, met on Jekyll Island in secret to create what we know today as the Federal Reserve.  They assume the right to print 'fiat' (or fake) money at whim.

Why is a central bank bad?  
The Americans did not want a central bank because they saw the destruction to Europe's economy after central banks caused them to become their debtors.  The secretive group of Jekyll Island knew this, so they called themselves the Federal Reserve, so as not to tip off they were actually a central bank, and have the appearance of being controlled by Congress.  In fact, Congress is quite controlled by them when it comes to money matters.

When the Rothschilds attempted to infiltrate the Unites States with a central bank after we gained our freedom, President Andrew Jackson abolished it and had these words:

"The bold effort the present bank has made to control the government, the distress it had wantonly produced...are but premonitions of the fate that awaits the American people should they be deluded into a perpetuation of this institution or the establishment of another like it."

In other words, President Jackson was warning us against the dangerous oppression of a central bank.  You ever heard the quip, "Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer?"  The reason for that is so you can know your enemy well enough to guard yourself against them.

Communism is an enemy of America.  Karl Marx was hired by a mysterious group called the League of Just Men to write the Communist Manifesto.  In this manifesto is a sort of check off list to achieve communism.  A central bank is number five on the list of ten.  You can read the list here.  The list is quite startling.  Draw your own conclusions.  Lenin said that establishing a central bank was 90% of communizing a country.

The Federal Reserve has the power to manipulate our entire economy by created inflation or deflation, a recession or boom, and sending stock market prices up or down.  Former Congressman Wright Patman, Chairman of the House Banking Committee said:
"In the United States today we have in effect two governments... We have the duly constituted  Government... Then we have an independent, uncontrolled and uncoordinated government in the Federal Reserve System, operating the money powers which are reserved to Congress by the Constitution."
Finally, just for the sake of knowing, you can view the charts of ownership and interest in the privately held Federal Reserve here. You will recognize many of the names, including:  J.P. Morgan Chase, Rothschilds, Lehman Brothers, Paul Warburg, Rockefellers, to name a few.

This is just a brief overview of why we can't, in good conscience, ignore the Federal Reserve; we need to take some action to see that they are held accountable and ultimately abolished.

To learn more about the cause, please consider Ron Paul's book, End the Fed.

Thomas Jefferson said to John Adams:
"I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies."

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Lesson in Government Structure Part III

Jefferson on Monarchs Found in Office
"I have spoken of the Federalists as if they were a homogeneous body, but this is not the truth.  Under that name lurks the heretical sect of monarchists.  Afraid to wear their own name, they creep under the mantle of Federalism, and the Federalists, like sheep permit the fox to take shelter among them, when pursued by dogs.  These mane have no right to office.  If a monarchist be in office, anywhere, and it be known to the President, the oath he has taken to support the Constitution imperiously requires the instantaneous dismission of such officer; and I hold the President criminal if he permitted such to remain.  To appoint a monarchist to conduct the affairs of a republic, is like appointing an atheist to the priesthood.  As to the real federalists, I take them to my bosom as brothers.  I view them as honest men, friends to the present Constitution." (From a newspaper letter, June 1803; Paul Leiciester Ford, ed., The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, 10 vols.)
The monarchists were a fringe element of the Federalists.  You've heard the term "RINO" (Republican In Name Only).  These monarchists that Jefferson warns of could be referred to as "FINO" (Federalists...), as they really had a tyrannical bent, if not agenda.  I wonder how many people in office today would remain so if Jefferson came back and was granted authority.

The Founders often warned against drifting toward the collectivist left, or welfare state where government offers to take care of people from birth to death, thus abandoning their freedom and rights.  Jefferson said,

"If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy."(Bergh, Writings of Thomas Jefferson, 10:342)

Jefferson believed it was immoral for one generation to pass on debt to the next, saying, "we shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves; and consequently within what may be deemed the period of a generation, or the life [expectancy] of the majority." (Ibid,. 13"358.)  He was against deficit spending and confiscatory taxation.

The Founders also advocated the equal protection of rights - in our day, often confused with the providing of equal things.  They absolutely advocated against getting involved in the equal distribution of things, and pooling property.  Samuel Adams said:
"The Utopian schemes of leveling [redistribution of the wealth] and a community of goods [central ownership of the means of production and distribution], are as visionary and impractical as those which vest all property in the Crown.  [These ideas] are arbitrary, despotic, and, in our government, unconstitutional." (William V. Wells, The Life and Public Services of Samuel Adams, 3 vols.)
It was important to the Founders to educate the masses on what they believed to be these self-evident truths.  Jefferson said, "If a nation expect to be ignorant an free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.  No other sure foundation can be devised for the preservation of freedom and happiness... Preach... a crusade against ignorance; establish and improve the law for educating the common people.  Let our countrymen know that the people alone can protect us against these evils [of misgovernment]." (Bergh, Writings of Thomas Jefferson, 5:396-97.)

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Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Lesson in Government Structure Part II

The first written constitution in modern times was in 1639 by Reverend Thomas Hooker; it was called the "Fundamental Orders of Connecticut." It was actually based on the principles recorded by Moses. You can read about the ancient Israelite principles in the first chapter of Deuteronomy. This constitutional charter operated successfully and was even adopted by Rhode Island. Connecticut and Rhode Island were the only two states that didn't have to write new constitutions when the English colonies were converted to independent states.

The People's Law in ancient Israel was much like that of the Anglo-Saxons:

  • They were set up as a commonwealth of freemen.  A basic tenant was: "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof." (Leviticus 25:10)  
  • This inscription appears on the American Liberty Bell.
       Whenever the Israelites fell into the temptation to have slaves or bond-servants, they were reprimanded.  Around 600 B.C., a divine reprimand was given through Jeremiah: "Ye have not hearkened unto me, in proclaiming liberty every one to his brother, and every man to his neighbor: behold, I proclaim a liberty for you, saith the Lord." (Jeremiah 34:17)
  • All of the people were organized into small manageable units where the representative of each family had a voice and a vote.  This organizing process was launched after Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, saw him trying to govern the people under Ruler's Law.  (See Exodus 18:13-26)
       When the structure was completed the Israelites were organized as follows: (click to see bigger version)

  • There was specific emphasis on strong, local self-government.  Problems were solved to the greatest possible extent on the level where they originated.  The record says: "The hard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves."  (Exodus 18:26)
  • The entire code of justice was based primarily on reparation to the victim rather than fines and punishment by the commonwealth.  (Reference to this procedure will be found in Exodus, Chapters 21 and 22.)  The one crime for which no "satisfaction" could be given was first-degree murder.  The penalty was death.  (See Numbers 35:31.)
  • Leaders were elcted and new laws were approved by the common consent of the people.  (See 2 Samuel 2:4, 1 Chr. 29:22; for the rejection of a leader, see 2 Chr. 10:16; for the approval of the new laws, see Exodus 19:8.)
  • Accused persons were presumed to be innocent until proven guilty.  Evidence had to be strong enough to remove any question of doubt as to guilt.  Borderline cases were decided in favor of the accused and he was released.  It was felt that if he were actually guilty, his punishment could be left to the judgment of God in the future life.*
The Founders hoped to memorialize both the ancient Israelites and the Anglo-Saxons by representing them on the official seal of the United States.  Though not accepted by Congress, these drafts from Franklin, Jefferson, and Adams, reveal their feelings toward the Bible.  Note that Franklin and Jefferson are often thought of to be anti-Christian or anti-religious.

This seal portrays the ancient Israelites going through the wilderness led by God's pillar of fire.  This part of America's history has virtually disappeared from most history books.

The Articles of Confederation and the Constitutional Convention

Before the United States Constitution as we know it, were the Articles of Confederation written by John Dickinson.  Under the Articles were no executive, no judiciary, no taxing power, and no enforcement power.  On the Power Spectrum, they fell somewhere between People's Law and Anarchy (no law.)  It basically allowed for recommendations to the states with the hope that the states would then respond favorably... which they often did not.

Some say that the suffering at Valley Forge and Morristown reflected the weakness of the central government under the Articles of Confederation.  Some amazing facts about Valley Forge:  for six weeks they mostly ate a mixture of baked flour, water, and salt, called fire-cakes; of 8000 soldiers, around 3000 abandoned Washington, 200 resigned, 2000 died of starvation and disease.  Washington attributed this to the weakness of the central government.  Sad, but think of the ones that stayed with Washington - they didn't have to, they watched many of their fellow statesmen walk away, they knew they were up against starvation, or an otherwise brutal death, but they stayed.  They believed.  They knew they were part of a cause bigger than themselves.

The Constitutional Convention of 1787 lasted four months - happening at a time when the dollar was inflated almost out of existence (history repeating), the economy was deeply depressed (history repeating), rioting had broken out, New England threatened to secede, and England and Spain were waiting in the wings to snatch up the states.  We can only imagine what kind of pressure the delegates were under as they labored over the ideas that would make for the United States Constitution.

With some issues taking as many as sixty ballots to resolve a matter, there were three issues not resolved after the four months of deliberating (issues of slavery, proportionate representation, and regulation of commerce).  On September 17, 1787, President Washington signed the draft and sent it to Congress, Congress ratified the Constitution without change.  The states were invited to send suggested amendments, and they sent 189.  The amendments were reduced to 12 by James Madison, 10 of them were approved and ratified by the states, and thus were born our Bill of Rights.

The Founders found the balance of power and James Madison described it as follows:
"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined.  Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite... The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State." (Federalist Papers, No. 45, pp. 292-93)
And this selection by Madison, my friends, is so profoundly relevant for us today to understand and grasp.

The American Eagle was born.  The central head, which has two eyes, being the law-making or legislative function including the House and the Senate, which must see eye-to-eye before any legislation can become law.  A second head is the administrative or Executive Department with authority going to the President, operating on a defined framework of limited power.  A third head represents the judiciary branch, given the task of guarding the Constitution and its original intent as designed by the Founders; all three heads operating on a single neck, not able to function independently.

The heads of the eagle are balanced by the neck, and the neck is balanced by the wings.  Wing 1 is the problem solving wing, or wings of compassion.  Wing 2 is responsible to conserve the nation's resources and the people's freedom.  It must ask Wing 1, "Can we afford it?" and "What will it do to the rights and freedom of the people?"  Balanced properly, the eagle soars.  If the wings get out of balance, America dips either toward tyranny or anarchy.  If wing 1 decides to fix every problem the nation faces with no regard to monetary cost or cost to individual liberty, we get tyranny.  If wing 2 won't solve any problems in order to save money at all costs, or as not to disturb the peace, we have people taking matters into their own hands, causing anarchy.

I end Part II with Franklin's, and many of our own, appropriate great fear: "I am apprehensive, therefore - perhaps too apprehensive - that the Government of these States may in future times end in a monarchy.  But this catastrophe, I think, may be long delayed, if in our proposed system we not sow the seeds of contention, faction, and tumult, by making our posts of honor places of profit."  (Albert Henry Smyth, ed., The Writings of Benjamin Franklin, 10 vols.)

Contention?  Faction?  Tumult?  Posts of honor places of profit?  Oh, my.  Mr. Franklin and his comrades are weeping silently among us, I'm sure.  I say it in all sincerity and respect.

* List and Moses Organization photo taken from The 5000 Year Leap by Cleon Skousen.

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