.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Baldwin Wins Constitution Party Nomination

Chuck Baldwin of Florida, the Constitution Party's 2004 vice presidential nominee, has won the party's presidential nomination. Baldwin this morning defeated former ambassador Alan Keyes of Maryland by a wide margin. All 14 of Mississippi's delegates voted for Baldwin, as did all nine of Louisiana's.

In an address to the convention last night, Howard Phillips, the party's founder and three-time presidential nominee, attacked Keyes as a neoconservative, a warmonger, and an egomaniac and endorsed Baldwin for the nomination. James Clymer of Pennsylvania, the party's national chairman and 2004 nominee against Sen. Arlen Specter, followed Phillips and opined that it was not a good idea to criticize fellow party members (Keyes only recently left the Republican Party).

As soon as it was clear that Keyes would not win the nomination, the live feed of the convention disappeared from his website. Last time I looked at the site, his backers were blasting the Constitution Party.

The next big order of business is for the convention to nominate the candidate for vice president.

Third Party Watch has coverage of the convention, including extensive comments, here, here, here, here, and here.

Here's a biography of Chuck Baldwin.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Constitution Party Convention Live

Several people are liveblogging the Constitution Party's national convention in Kansas City. One of the candidates for the presidential nomination, Daniel Imperato, sounds like a real piece of work. He reportedly claims that he has-- or can get-- the pope's support!

Libertarians and Child Pornography

From Politics1.com:

Research scientist, medical professor and Libertarian activist Mary Ruwart -- a frontrunner for the LP presidential nomination -- is in hot water over statements she previously wrote in her book Short Answers to the Tough Questions on the issue of child pornography. Ruwart has been a frequent LP candidate for US Senate and other offices in the past, and has been a popular speaker at LP gatherings nationwide for many years. This is what Ruwart wrote in response to the question, "How can a libertarian argue against child pornography?":

"Children who willingly participate in sexual acts have the right to make that decision as well, even if it's distasteful to us personally. Some children will make poor choices just as some adults do in smoking and drinking to excess. When we outlaw child pornography, the prices paid for child performers rise, increasing the incentives for parents to use children against their will."

Two of Ruwart's rival LP candidates -- college professor George Phillies and wealthy sports handicapper [bookie?] Wayne Allyn Root -- are now calling on her to quit the race. Don't expect Ruwart to exit, however. The bottom line: Ruwart's stumble probably locks up the LP nomination for former GOP Congressman Bob Barr [of Georgia] at next month's nominating convention.

He Calls Me Mama

His mother evidently did not consider destroying this young man before he had a chance at life. Having been born prematurely myself, I'm a sucker for stories like this one. ~~ SteveR

By Kathleene S. Baker

When playtime rolls around, Chance Armstrong prefers painting far and above any toys or other activities. At two years of age, he recently had his first art exhibit at City Arts in Wichita, Kansas. With the proceeds, he and his single mother aim for a noteworthy goal-- earning enough that Chance can enroll in Dolphin Therapy in Florida. Said therapy has proven to be quite beneficial for children with special needs, but it is costly.


Chance was named before his birth, not knowing how fitting it would be. Born after only 28 weeks of gestation, Chance faced the grim possibility of not surviving-- as did his mother. When pre-eclampsia[1] struck, their fate rested in the hands of God.

Mom remained in intensive care for 10 anxiety-ridden days while her tiny son struggled to live. After three months in Neonatal Intensive Care the very fragile infant went home, but each day that passed was filled with uncertainty. The doctors had been straightforward about Chance's future. He faced the probability of numerous health problems: mental retardation, cerebral palsy, blindness, deafness, and cystic fibrosis, to name only a few. Soon two additional obstacles were thrown in his path-- the need for kidney and heart surgery. Inexplicably, Chance dodged all of these maladies!

Chance keeps a hectic schedule with various physical therapy appointments-- a total of seven each week. Visits with his doctors are all too frequent. After being told he would never crawl, he does crawl, even though he lags behind others his age. His vocabulary is limited but continues to grow. When I last saw Chance he was giving high fives like they were going out of style! With this little boy's determination and progress to date, hopes are high for all he is yet to achieve. Despite the monumental challenges that have been encountered thus far, Chance fills his mom's life with love, light and joy.


What makes finger painting (and sometimes toes) so stimulating to this youngster? Is it the slick feel of the paint or is he intrigued with color? Is it both? Even though he has not yet learned his colors, Mom can now decipher which one he is asking for; he is quite finicky about which hues go into each design he produces. They've spent countless hours creating works of art and have developed a system that works seamlessly. Chance giggles and his bright eyes dance with every new masterpiece, and he only stops when Mom says it's bath time. Each art session leaves him smeared and smudged-- sporting a rainbow of colors from head to toe, a near duplicate of the canvas just completed. And Mom doesn't fare much better!

When being interviewed before the art exhibit, Mom made a beautiful statement about her son: "Many people go their entire lifetime without ever meeting one of their heroes; I am truly blessed and honored that my hero calls me mama!"

Will Chance one day become a famous artist? Only time will tell, but his work is inspiring. It can be viewed on his very own website: LoveOfChance.

City Arts deserves a huge thank you for their
efforts in assisting this young fellow with his
goal, dolphin therapy.

Kathy was born and raised in the small town of Augusta, Kansas, a few miles outside of Wichita. She married a native Texan, Jerry, in 1977 and was soon transplanted to Dallas. A large city offers many things, but she misses the slower pace of small town America. Kathy has two stepchildren and four grandchildren. Pets have always played a huge part in her life. In fact, they were her inspiration to begin writing. Kathy's website can be viewed at: YELLOW ROSE, or she can be contacted at Lnstrlady@aol.com.


[1] Eclampsia is a sudden attack of convulsions during pregnancy or childbirth.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Governor Delivers

Born prematurely, Trig is the couple's fifth child and has Down Syndrome.

UPDATE: Currently, more than 80 percent of Down Syndrome babies are aborted. Here's a related story on Gov. Palin's support for a special legislative session to pass bills restricting abortion.

by Rebecca George | Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Gov. Sarah Palin’s [R-Alaska] decision to make the eight-hour flight from Dallas to Anchorage has some people wondering about the possible safety hazards of flying while in the late stages of pregnancy.

The governor, eight months into her pregnancy, noticed amniotic fluid Thursday morning prior to giving a keynote luncheon address at the Republican Governor’s Energy Conference in Texas. After wrapping up the speech, Palin and her husband consulted with her physician about possibly flying home on an earlier flight. After being granted permission from her doctor, she and her husband proceeded with the trek home.

At that point, Palin was only having minor contractions and was not showing signs of active labor, Sharon Leighow, the governor’s spokeswoman, said on Monday.

After the baby was born, Palin told her staff members that her experiences from four previous pregnancies made her comfortable with the signs of active labor. She felt that neither she nor her baby were in any danger, and so she flew home as scheduled.

Most airlines have specific policies concerning air travel during pregnancy, especially during the final months. For women traveling in the final month of pregnancy, a “permission-to-travel” letter is required by her primary physician. However, most restrictions rely on an honor policy that leaves the decision to notify the airline in the hands of the passenger.

The governor did not feel the need to inform the airline of her condition, Leighow said.

Alaska Airlines is one of the few airlines that does not have a policy regarding flight during pregnancy.

“We leave the decision to fly up to our customers and their medical advisers,” according to Alaska Airlines representative Caroline Boren.

Palin told her staff that she would not have boarded the plane had she thought she or her baby were in danger.

Had Palin needed medical assistance during the flight... More, including photos & comments>>>

Video From Constitution Party Convention

From MyFox KansasCity:

Kansas City hosted a political convention on Wednesday night, but not for Republicans or Democrats. It was for the Constitution Party, the third largest party in the country. This week delegates pick their presidential nominee. You may not know a lot about the party yet, but with so much dissatisfaction within the ranks of the GOP, you might hear more about it this year. Especially because one of the candidates vying for the presidential nominee is a big name in politics: Alan Keyes. Watch Fox News video>>>

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Constitution Party Convenes in Kansas City

From Ballot Access News:

The Constitution Party national convention in Kansas City will actually vote for a presidential nominee on Saturday, April 26, starting at 8 AM. Nominating speeches will have been made the preceding day. There will probably be a strong vote for former Ambassador Alan Keyes, a strong vote for 2004 vice presidential nominee Chuck Baldwin, and a strong vote for drafting Congressman Ron Paul.

It's unclear as to whether C-SPAN will cover the convention, but Keyes will have a live stream from his website daily from 8 AM to 11 PM Central time. This stream started today and will continue through Saturday, the last day of the convention.


by W. James Antle III | The American Spectator

In the grand tradition of the Boston Tea Party, Tax Day is as good a time as any to begin a struggle for independence. Perhaps that's why perennial candidate Alan Keyes picked April 15 to announce his departure from the Republican Party, though a cheeky blogger for the Los Angeles Times had a slightly different take: "Alan Keyes officially leaves GOP and hardly anyone notices."

Keyes certainly didn't have a noticeable impact on the 2008 Republican presidential primaries, where his highly unorthodox campaign made both his 43-point loss to Barack Obama in the 2004 Illinois Senate race and his 42-point defeat by Barbara Mikulski during a 1992 Maryland Senate run seem like successes by comparison. Keyes spent much of his time campaigning in Texas, where he won just 0.62 percent of the vote. His best showing was in the Kansas caucus, where he received 1.5 percent. Keyes's bizarre performance at the Des Moines Register debate before the Iowa caucuses was the first -- and last -- time he made news during his GOP run.

This week, Keyes is expected to make a bid for the Constitution Party's presidential nomination, which will be determined at the party's national convention in Kansas City, Missouri, on Friday and Saturday. "If Dr. Keyes's positions on the issues square up with the CP platform we'd be thrilled to have him represent us and offer Americans a choice that the other 'Big Box' parties don't," says Constitution Party communications director Mary Starrett. But there is no guarantee that Keyes will be finding electoral success in his new party either.

At first glance, Keyes ought to be a good fit for the Constitution Party. Both are unapologetically pro-life and animated by Christian conservative issues. Both favor the abolition of the income tax. Keyes has in the past addressed the party's gatherings, hobnobbed with its leaders, and championed many of their political causes. But the Constitution Party is predominantly paleoconservative and Keyes isn't exactly.

Many Constitution Party members are former Pat Buchanan Republicans. Veteran leader and three-time presidential candidate Howard Phillips thrice sought to have Buchanan run on the party's national ticket. The bad blood between the Buchanan brigades and the Keyesters dates back to the 1996 Republican primaries, when many of the former saw Keyes as a stalking horse out to siphon pro-life, socially conservative votes away from Buchanan. Keyes took 7 percent in the Iowa caucuses, for example, where Bob Dole only beat Buchanan by three points.

Other party members point to philosophical differences with Keyes. Trent Hill of the Louisiana Constitution Party told me in an e-mail that Keyes "is a good man" who will be "respected and welcomed by all within the party." But he expressed concerns about Keyes's "interventionist leanings" when it comes to foreign policy. "Also at issue, especially with some of the more philosophically astute delegates, is that Keyes is a friend of... Read more>>>

Your Tax Dollars At Work

From The Clarion-Ledger, April 23:

I see the Legislature is still trying to come up with a solution to the Medicaid deficit ("Medicaid problems unresolved," April 18). Let me suggest that we require the recipients not own a car that is more valuable than the average taxpayer's vehicle.

If the legislators would spend a day in a pharmacy that has a drive through window, they would have a better understanding of where the tax dollars go.

For example, a few weeks ago I overheard my partner explaining to a customer that her child's cough syrup was not covered and was told it would be $12.95. The customer replied that she thought everything was covered, just leave it off. My partner came over and whispered, "go see what's she's driving." This poor, downtrodden customer who couldn't pay for her child's cough syrup was in a new Toyota Sequoia limited edition (it had the gold trim). I noticed as she drove away her vanity tag read, "God Bless America."

We must be nuts to provide free medicine for people who drive $50,000 vehicles. I have also seen Lincoln Navigators, Mercedes, satellite radios, a large $40 bottle of Dewar's scotch, a guy smoking a cigarette while I am filling $300 worth of breathing medicines and, one night, a Medicaid customer came through in a SUV with a rack on top. I asked, "Isn't that a ski rack?" She said, "(Oh yes) we love to snow ski."


Amory (long "A") is located in Monroe County in northeast Mississippi.

There are some great comments linked to this letter.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

New Lyrics for Hits From the '60s and '70s

Some of the artists of the 1960s and 1970s are revising their hits with new lyrics to accommodate aging baby boomers. These include:

Herman's Hermits-- 'Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Walker'
Ringo Starr-- 'I Get By With a Little Help From Depends'
The Bee Gees-- 'How Can You Mend a Broken Hip?'
Bobby Darin-- 'Splish Splash, I Was Havin' a Flash'
Roberta Flack-- 'The First Time Ever I Forgot Your Face'
Johnny Nash-- 'I Can't See So Clearly Now'
Paul Simon-- 'Fifty Ways to Lose Your Liver'
The Commodores-- 'Once, Twice, Three Times to the Bathroom'
Marvin Gaye-- 'I Heard It Through the Grape Nuts'
Procol Harem-- 'A Whiter Shade of Hair'
Leo Sayer-- 'You Make Me Feel Like Napping'
The Temptations-- 'Papa's Got a Kidney Stone'
ABBA-- 'Denture Queen'
Tony Orlando and Dawn-- 'Knock 3 Times On The Ceiling If You Hear Me Fall'[1]
Helen Reddy-- 'I Am Woman, Hear Me Snore'
Willie Nelson-- 'On the Commode Again,' and my favorite,
Leslie Gore-- 'It's My Procedure, and I'll Cry If I Want To.'

~~ Author unknown

I don't think Bobby Darin or Marvin Gaye will be doing any revising...


[1] "I've fallen... and I can't get up!"

"In Due Season"

From Timothy Birdnow:

"If you establish a democracy, you must in due time reap the fruits of a democracy. You will in due season have great impatience of the public burdens, combined in due season with great increase of the public expenditure. You will in due season have wars entered into from passion and not from reason; and you will in due season submit to peace ignominiously sought and ignominiously obtained, which will diminish your authority and perhaps endanger your independence. You will in due season find your property is less valuable, and your freedom less complete.”

— Benjamin Disraeli, author and British Conservative prime minister in the late 1800s

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Debate on Idaho's Open Primary System

Keith Roark, chairman of the Idaho Democratic Party, wrote an opinion piece, "Idahoans Deserve Primary Election Freedom." He lambasted Idaho Republicans for their efforts to gain the right to close GOP primaries. Here's my reponse to this column.

In 1986, the U. S. Supreme Court gave political parties the right to invite independents to vote in their primaries. This is up to each party; the state has no say-so in the matter. Tashjian v. Republican Party of Connecticut

In 1995, a federal appeals court ruled that, when the state requires parties to hold primaries, the state must pay the costs of those primaries. (Republican Party v. Faulkner County, Arkansas) If left to their own devices, the parties would be very unlikely to hold primaries, due to the expense. Since the voters are accustomed to primaries, the state will continue to mandate them.

If (1) an independent voter wishes to vote in a party's primary, and (2) that party does not invite independents into its primaries, then that voter should simply re-register with that party. The voter can always switch back to independent status after the primary.

The role of the courts is merely to decide the constitutionality of Idaho's open primary law. If the law is struck down, each party will then be free to decide who votes in its primaries. Unless state law forbids it, a party will even be able to invite members of opposing parties to vote in its primaries.

My take on all of this is HERE.


Several comments followed mine. Here's my response to them.

A state law prohibiting parties from inviting independents into their primaries would be unconstitutional, as it would violate the U. S. Supreme Court's (SCOTUS's) 1986 Tashjian ruling. Furthermore, in 2007, a federal district court held that Arizona could not force the Libertarians to let independents vote in their primaries (Arizona Libertarian Party v. Brewer). Again, it's up to each party as to whether independents may vote in its primary.

What Mr. Riley calls a "semi-open" primary is actually a semi-closed primary: a party invites independents to vote in its primary.

Under the SCOTUS's ruling in an Oklahoma case, Clingman v. Beaver (2005), state law MAY prohibit parties from inviting members of opposing parties to vote in their primaries. When a state enacts such a law, each party then has the option of having a semi-closed primary or a closed primary. In the latter, of course, only party members may vote.

In at least 42 states, each primary voter's choice of party is publicly recorded.

The primary setups in two states are worth mentioning. In Utah, which registers voters by party, the Republicans invite independents into their primaries. But the Democrats invite ALL voters-- even registered Republicans-- to vote in Democratic primaries.

New Hampshire also registers voters by party. On primary day, an independent may vote in either the Democratic or the Republican primary by changing his registration at the polling place. On emerging from the voting booth, such a voter may either stick with his new party or switch back to independent status.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Left-Wing Presidential Candidates' Debate

"Jihad Cindy" McKinney, the former Democratic congresswoman from Georgia, is now a member of the Green Party and lives in northern California. Anything in which Comrade McKinney is involved has the potential for fireworks.

From Ballot Access News:

Democracy Unplugged is sponsoring a presidential candidates’ forum for the various parties that advocate socialism, plus candidates seeking the Green Party nomination. See the press release here. The event will be in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, April 18, at 7:30 PM. Invited are all the candidates seeking the Green nomination, as well as the presidential nominees of the Socialist Party, the Socialist Workers Party, and the Party for Socialism and Liberation. Actually attending will be a spokesperson for the Socialist Party’s presidential candidate, and the vice-presidential candidate of the Party for Socialism and Liberation. It is not yet known if the Socialist Workers Party presidential candidate, or any SWP spokesperson, will attend. Among the Greens, it is likely but not certain that Cynthia McKinney will attend.

Find the Lowest Gasoline Prices




Daily Fuel Gauge Report


Protect Yourself Against Fraud!

A corporate attorney reportedly sent the following out to the employees in his company:

(1) Do not sign the backs of your credit cards. Instead, put 'PHOTO ID REQUIRED.'

(2) When writing a check to pay on your credit card account, DO NOT put the complete card account number on the 'For' line. Instead, just put the last four digits. The credit card company knows the rest of the number, and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the check processing channels won't have access to it.

(3) Put your work phone number on your checks instead of your home phone number. If you have a post office box, use that instead of your home address. If you do not have a post office box, use your work address. Never have your social security number printed on your checks (DUH!). You can add it if it is necessary, but if you have it printed, anyone can get it.

(4) Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Do both sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel, if necessary. Keep the photocopy in a safe place. I also carry a photocopy of my passport when I travel either in the U. S. or abroad. We've all heard horror stories about fraud that is committed when someone's name, address, social security number, credit cards, etc., are stolen.

Unfortunately, I, an attorney, have firsthand knowledge of fraud because my wallet was stolen recently. Within a week, the thief (or thieves) ordered an expensive monthly cell phone package, applied for a VISA credit card, had a credit line approved to buy a Gateway computer, received a PIN number from the Department of Motor Vehicles to change my driving record information online, and more.

But here's some critical information to limit the damage in case this happens to you or someone you know:

(5) We have been told we should cancel our credit cards immediately. But the key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so you know whom to call. Keep those where you can find them.

(6) File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit cards, etc., are stolen. This proves to credit providers that you are diligent, and this is the first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one).

But here's what is perhaps most important of all (I never even thought to do this):

(7) Call the three national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and also call the Social Security fraud line number. I had never heard of doing that until advised by a bank that called to tell me that an application for credit was made over the Internet in my name. Having these alerts in place means any company that checks your credit learns that your information has been stolen, and they have to contact you by phone to authorize any new credit.

By the time I was advised to do this-- almost two weeks after the theft occurred-- all the damage had already been done. There are records of all the credit checks prompted by the thieves' purchases, none of which I knew about before placing the alerts. Since then, no additional damage has been done to me, and the thieves threw my wallet away shortly afterward (someone turned it in). The alerts seem to have stopped the crooks dead in their tracks.

Now, here are the contact numbers you will need in case your wallet is stolen:

(1) Equifax: 1-800-525-6285

(2) Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742

(3) Trans Union : 1-800-680-7289

(4) Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271

~~ Author unknown

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Demographics of U. S. Newspapers

1. The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country.

2. The Washington Post is read by people who think they run the country.

3. The New York Times is read by people who think they should run the country and who are very good at solving crossword puzzles.

4. USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don't really understand The New York Times. They do, however, like their statistics shown in pie charts.

5. The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn't mind running the country -- if they could find the time -- and if they didn't have to leave Southern California to do it.

6. The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country and did a poor job of it, thank you very much.

7. The New York Daily News is read by people who aren't too sure who's running the country and don't really care as long as they can get a seat on the commuter train.

8. The New York Post is read by people who don't care who is running the country as long as the leaders do something really scandalous, preferably while intoxicated.

9. The Miami Herald is read by people who are running another country but need the baseball scores.

10. The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren't sure if there is a country or that anyone is running it, but if so, they oppose all that the leaders stand for. There are occasional exceptions if the leaders are handicapped-minority-feminist-atheist-dwarfs who also happen to be illegal aliens from any other country or galaxy-- provided of course, that they are not Republicans.

11. The National Enquirer is read by people trapped in line at the grocery store.

12. The New Orleans Times-Picayune is read by people who have recently caught a fish and need something in which to wrap it.

13. The Jackson Free Press is read by people as they line their birdcages or their cats' litterboxes.

~~ Author unknown (except for No. 13)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

America's Christian Heritage

This guest column is from my friend Tim Birdnow of St. Louis, Missouri. It's a response to D. K.'s comments on my "Atheist Holiday" post.

Uh, D. K., George Washington made the statement "It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible" on September 19, 1796.

This also from Washington:

George Washington as he resigned his commission as general of the Continental Army on December 23, 1783: "I consider it an indispensable duty to close this last solemn act of my official life by commending the interests of our dearest country to the protection of Almighty God and those who have the superintendence of them into His holy keeping."

He also said:

"The time is now and near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have property they can call their own; whether their houses and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed, and themselves consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human efforts will deliver them. The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on courage and conduct of this army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us the only choice of brave resistance, or the most abject submission. We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die."


"No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States."

"To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest Glory to laud the more distinguished Character of Christian."

"The propitious smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which heaven itself has ordained." (First Inaugural Address)

"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable support. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars." (Farewell Address, 1796)

"It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible." (Farewell Address, 1796)

"I am sure that never was a people, who had more reason to acknowledge a Divine interposition in their affairs, then those of the United States; and I should be pained to believe that they have forgotten that agency, which was so often manifested during our Revolution, or that they failed to consider the omnipotence of that God who is alone able to protect them."

Washington was not alone in this. Consider the Mayflower Compact.

(That website had a couple of other interesting quotes-
Edmund Burke (1729-1797), outstanding orator, author, and leader in Great Britain, defended the colonies in Parliament. "There is but one law for all, namely, that law which governs all law, the law of our Creator."

Patrick Henry (1736-1799), five-time Governor of Virginia, whose "Give me liberty or give me death" speech has made him immortal, said: "It cannot be emphasized too strongly, nor too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. . ."

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), third U.S. president, chosen to write the Declaration of Independence, said: "I have little doubt that the whole country will soon be rallied to the unity of our Creator, and, I hope, to the pure doctrines of Jesus also." He proclaimed that it was the God of the Bible who founded America in his 1805 inaugural address: "I shall need, too, the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our forefathers, as Israel of old, from their native land and planted them in this country." )

Here is a website that takes the Bible and compares passages to Founding documents and laws.

Here are another and another.

It should be noted that the phrase ``laws of Nature and Nature`s God`` featured in the Declaration of Independence was a specific reference to John Locke`s Second Treatise on Civil Government and William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England. In each instance it was a reference to Divine Law, which meant in the culture of the times, BIBLICAL law.

This from John Adams and John Hancock:

"We Recognize No Sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus!" [April 18, 1775]

This from John Adams:

``The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principals of Christianity, I will avow that I believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.``
``[July 4th] ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.``
-John Adams in a letter written to Abigail on the day the Declaration was approved by Congress

Samuel Adams:

``Let divines and philosophers, statesmen and patriots, unite their endeavors to renovate the age by impressing the minds of men with the importance of educating their little boys and girls, inculcating in the minds of youth the fear and love of the Deity… and leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system.`` [October 4, 1790]

Ben Franklin:

``God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel``
Constitutional Convention of 1787 | original manuscript of this speech

Alexander Hamilton:

"For my own part, I sincerely esteem it [the Constitution] a system which without the finger of God, never could have been suggested and agreed upon by such a diversity of interests." [1787 after the Constitutional Convention]

John Jay [first chief justice of the United States]:

"Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers." Source: October 12, 1816. The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, Henry P. Johnston, ed., (New York: Burt Franklin, 1970), Vol. IV, p. 393.

I could go on, but that would be beating a dead horse. American law is unquestionably based on Judeo-Christian principles, and, yes, a judge should consider the Bible a primary source. Oh, by the way, British common law is quite a bit different from Roman law, as anyone who has visited Quebec or Louisiana is aware.

The Quotable Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson (1743-1826) authored the Declaration of Independence and later served as the first U. S. secretary of state, the second vice president, and the third president (1801-1809). He also founded the Republican Party, which evolved into today's Democratic Party, and which is the world's oldest continuous political party. He wrote this first statement when he was age 80.

"[T]he States can best govern our home concerns and the general
government our foreign ones. I wish, therefore...never to see
all offices transferred to Washington, where, further withdrawn
from the eyes of the people, they may more secretly be bought
and sold at market."

-- Thomas Jefferson (letter to Judge William Johnson, 12 June 1823)

Reference: Original Intent, Barton (261); original Memoir,
Correspondence, and Miscellanies, From the Papers of Thomas


Jefferson was a farmer...

"If the present Congress errs in too much talking, how can it
be otherwise in a body to which the people send 150 lawyers,
whose trade it is to question everything, yield nothing, & talk
by the hour? That 150 lawyers should do business together ought
not to be expected."

-- Thomas Jefferson (Autobiography, 1821)

Reference: Jefferson: Writings, Peterson, editor, Library of America


"For I agree with you that there is a natural aristocracy
among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents."

-- Thomas Jefferson (letter to John Adams, 28 October 1813)

Reference: Jefferson Writings, Lemay, editor, 1305.


He was 33 years old when he wrote the Declaration.

"The Declaration of Independence...[is the] declaratory charter
of our rights, and the rights of man."

-- Thomas Jefferson (letter to Samuel Adams Wells, 12 May 1821)

Reference: The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Memorial Edition,
Lipscomb and Bergh, editors, volume 15 (200)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Idaho Republicans Again Challenge Open Primary Law

UPDATE: Here is the complaint in Idaho Republican Party v. Ysursa.

In an open primary, a party's primary ballot is available to any voter who wants it. There are two types of open primaries: Mississippi is one of the 13 states with "open primary, public record," meaning that each primary voter's choice of party is publicly recorded. Idaho, in contrast, is one of the eight states with "open primary, private choice": each primary voter picks a party in secret, and no record is made of this choice.

Last year 71 Idaho Republican Party activists challenged their state-mandated open primary, but a U. S. district judge dismissed the lawsuit on the ground that the activists lacked standing. The judge said that such a suit must be filed by the party itself.

In 2006 the Idaho Republican Convention first passed a resolution calling for closed GOP primaries. In January 2008, the state central committee-- the party's governing body-- again approved a resolution favoring "members only" Republican primaries. The resolution said that an effort should be made to effect this change in the 2008 session of the legislature; failing that, the party should bring a new lawsuit against the open primary.

The recently-ended session of the heavily-Republican Idaho legislature failed to pass legislation modifying the primary election law. The Senate did pass a bill, 20-15, to switch to "open primary, public record," but the House refused to consider it. The Republican governor opposes changing the primary setup, as the state GOP chairman also steadfastly has. The chairman is up for re-election at the state convention in June, and he may have a contest from former state Sen. Rod Beck, who has spearheaded the efforts to change the primary election law.

Late Friday, the Republican Party filed a new federal lawsuit against the state-mandated open primary. The Idaho GOP will be able to cite U. S. District Judge Allen Pepper's 2007 ruling that Mississippi's open primary law is unconstitutional. If the 5th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans agrees with Pepper, the Idaho Republicans will also be able to cite that decision. Mississippi Democratic Party v. Barbour

The Idaho GOP can cite the 4th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals as well, which held in the suit brought by a unit of the Virginia Republican Party that there is a circumstance in which the party may close its primary to non-members. Miller v. Cunningham

Ben Ysursa, Idaho's Republican secretary of state, will assist the attorney general in defending the 36-year-old open primary law against the lawsuit. Ysursa was quoted as saying that the state has the right to control publicly financed primaries. His statement flies in the face of the Mississippi and Virginia precedents as well as the 2000 U. S. Supreme Court precedent in California Democratic Party v. Jones.

The legal assault on Idaho's open primary law is being led by the conservatives who dominate the Republican Party. There is talk that, if the suit succeeds, the more-moderate Republicans may break away and start a new party.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Atheist Holiday

Have you heard about this case? Great answer from the judge!

In Florida, an atheist became incensed over the preparation for Easter and Passover holidays. He decided to contact his lawyer about the discrimination inflicted on atheists by the constant celebrations afforded to Christians and Jews with all their holidays, while atheists had no holiday to celebrate.

The case was brought before a judge. After listening to the long,
passionate presentation by the lawyer, the judge banged his gavel and
declared, "Case dismissed!"

The lawyer immediately stood and objected to the ruling and said, "Your honor, how can you possibly dismiss this case? The Christians have Christmas, Easter and many other observances. Jews have Passover, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah... yet my client and all other atheists have no such holiday!"

The judge leaned forward in his chair and simply said, "Obviously your client is too confused to even know about, much less celebrate his own atheists' holiday!" The lawyer pompously said, "Your honor, we are unaware of any such holiday for atheists. Just when might that holiday be, your honor?"

The judge said, "Well, it comes every year on exactly the same
date-- April 1st! Since our calendar sets April 1st as April Fools
Day, consider that Psalm 14:1 states, 'The fool says in his heart,
there is no God.' Thus, in my opinion, if your client says there is no
God, then by scripture, he is a fool, and April 1st is his holiday!

"Now have a good day and get out of my courtroom!!"

~~ Author unknown

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Crossover Voters Treated Differently

Since 1987, Mississippi has had a law that says primary voters' party loyalty may be verbally challenged at the polls, but it has seldom been used.

Ohio's system is like Mississippi's in that (1) voters do not register by party, and (2) each primary voter's choice of party is publicly recorded.

The Mississippi Democrats' lawsuit against our primary election law is now in the 5th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. If (1) this law is struck down and (2) party registration is not enacted, the Democrats, in order to block Republicans from Democratic primaries, would likely have to resort to requiring primary voters to sign a statement at the polls similar to the one mentioned below.

From Ohio.com - AP:

Some Ohio counties challenged voters who switched parties when they voted in the state's March 4 primary, while other counties challenged none, a newspaper review found.

The discrepancies show it's time to review a century-old state law that outlines who can vote in party primaries, elections experts say.

More than 20,000 crossover voters in Cuyahoga County _ the state's largest county and a Democratic stronghold _ were told by poll workers to sign statements pledging allegiance to their new party.

But a review by The Columbus Dispatch published Friday found Franklin County and other counties didn't challenge any party switchers, while some counties only did so at the polls, but not if the voters used an absentee ballot.

In Mahoning County, which includes Youngstown, crossover voters were challenged but still got a ballot even if they wouldn't sign the form. Other counties' elections staffers instructed poll workers to challenge, but they believe the directive was not followed consistently.

Ohio has had a law since 1909 to discourage voters in primaries from interfering with a party selecting its general election candidates, said Don McTigue, a veteran elections lawyer.

It is the duty of the presiding judge at a polling site to challenge any voter who wants to switch parties, according to state law. The judge must have the voter sign a form saying they support the principles of a particular political party and desire to be affiliated with it.

Ohio's elections chief, Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, said...Keep reading>>>

A Major Upset Is Looming

Former state Rep. Erik Fleming, the Democratic nominee for U. S. senator, will kick off his fall campaign with a sentimental visit to the Simpson County gravesite of Robert "Blowtorch" Mason[1]. This event will come close on the heels of Fleming gaining the support of erstwhile rival Shawn O'Hara by endorsing O'Hara's proposal for snow cone stands at rest stops.

After barnstorming the state with O'Hara and Lyndon LaRouche by his side, Fleming will score a stunning upset on November 4, edging out Mississippi's senior senator, Thad Cochran. Cochran will be so shocked that he will wait until the wee hours of Wednesday morning to concede.

Senator-elect Fleming will immediately become the darling of the mainstream media, who will run headline stories touting him as "the next Barack Obama."

Shortly after being sworn in to the Senate, Fleming will send his wife to measure the drapes at the White House.


[1] No comparison is intended between Fleming and Blowtorch. That would be grossly unfair... since, as far as we know, Erik doesn't know a single thing about welding.