Constitutional Awareness Pact

 Informing "We the People"

Chief Adviser Erlon Jones

   Erlon has been a huge part of the Pact and the smooth operation of the Pact. In March of 2016, he came aboard the CAP Executive Cabinet as the Press Secretary. He held this position until October of 2018, when he changed rolls to Chief Adviser. This title better envelops all of what Erlon does.

   He is responsible for many of the articles that are written in this section. Although he is not Press Secretary anymore, he will still submit articles from time to time.

Constitutional News From Other Sites!


Though CAP writes its' own articles, we also try to find articles from other sites that deal with the Constitution.


1. Memorial Day; The Visit     Fox News


2. Our Constitutionally Illiterate Faculty.     Daily Wire


3. George Washington Letter on God and the Constitution Surfaces.     Fox News


4. Justices Consider Expanding Gun Rights.     National Constitution Center


5. Beto O'Rourke's Constitutional Folly.     National Review


6. Happy Birthday (Kind of) to the 18th Amendment.     National Constitution Center


7. Beto O'Rourke is Deciding Whether the Constitution is Still Relevant.     Daily Wire


8. The Youngstown Decision and a Possible Border Wall Declaration.     National Constitution Center


9. Supreme Court to Rule on 40 Foot Memorial Cross at Center of Church-State Debate.     The New York Times


10. D.C. Might Start Allowing 16-Year-Olds to Vote for President.     Associated Press

Remembering Freedom's Sacrifice

5/27/19


   Today is Memorial Day! It is a day that is celebrated with cookouts, family get-togethers, games, and just an overall fun time. While these fun times are good and well, we must never forget the important reason we celebrate this day.

   We in America enjoy unprecedented freedom and prosperity under our Constitution. But this amazing America we live in has only been bought at a heavy price. Through America's history over a million men and women have paid the ultimate price for our freedom. They are the reason for this day.

   The Scripture says, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." So in-between the fun and games, let's never forget the ultimate showing of love and sacrifice that has been paid so we may be free. America is only free because of that. God bless America and may God bless the memory of those who gave all!


Isaac Hadam, Vice-President

Legislative Action and Student Indoctrination in the Classroom- A Bill Worth Passing?
3/10/19

   Recently legislation was introduced in the Maine House of Representatives that would prohibit school teachers from engaging in pushing political and ideological ideas in the classroom. I first heard about this proposed legislation listening to 101.3FM in the morning. The debate was interesting and brought out a lot of good points. In order to have a good discussion here, this is the proposed legislation from the House Clerk: 

129th MAINE LEGISLATURE FIRST REGULAR SESSION-2019 Legislative Document No. 589 H.P. 433 House of Representatives, February 5, 2019

Preamble.
Whereas, the purpose of public education in America is to produce knowledgeable and competent adults able to participate as informed citizens in the democratic process; and
Whereas, education in a democracy is best served by teaching students how to think, not telling them what to think; and
Whereas, our country is divided over many issues affecting its citizens; and
Whereas, it has been established through surveys that a majority of kindergarten to grade 12 teachers discuss controversial issues in their classrooms; and
Whereas, it has been established that some teacher training institutions, teacher licensing agencies, state education departments and professional teacher organizations have condoned and even encouraged this behavior under the guise of "teaching for social justice" and other
sectarian doctrines; and
Whereas, time spent on political or ideological indoctrination takes time away from instruction in the academic subjects taught by public educational institutions including the foundational subjects of mathematics, science, English, history and civics and prevents students from receiving the best possible public education as funded by the taxpayers of the State; and
Whereas, parents and taxpayers have a right to expect that taxpayer resources will be spent on education, not political or ideological indoctrination; now, therefore, be it
Sec. 1. State Board of Education to adopt rules prohibiting teachers in public schools from engaging in political, ideological or religious advocacy in the classroom.
Resolved: That the State Board of Education shall adopt rules prohibiting teachers in public schools from engaging in political, ideological or religious advocacy in the classroom. Rules adopted under this resolve must be clear and provide enforcement mechanisms for appropriate and professional ethical behavior by teachers licensed in the State in tax-supported schools to prohibit teachers using the classroom to engage in political, ideological or religious advocacy.
Sec. 2. Rules criteria. Resolved: That the rules required by this resolve must prohibit a teacher in a public school during class time or while otherwise operating within the scope of employment as a teacher from doing the following:
1. Endorsing, supporting or opposing any candidate or nominee for public office or any elected or appointed official regardless of whether the official is a member of the local, state or federal government;
2. Endorsing, supporting or opposing any pending, proposed or enacted legislation or regulation regardless of whether the legislation or regulation is pending or proposed or has been enacted at the local, state or federal level;
3. Endorsing, supporting or opposing any pending, proposed or decided court case or judicial action regardless of whether the court case or judicial action is at the local, state or federal level;
4. Endorsing, supporting or opposing any pending, proposed or executed executive action by an executive or executive branch agency at the local, state or federal level;
5. Introducing any controversial subject matter that is not germane to the topic of the course being taught;
6. Endorsing, supporting or engaging in any activity that hampers or impedes the lawful access of a military recruiter to the school campus;
7. Endorsing, supporting or engaging in any activity that hampers or impedes the actions of local, state or federal law enforcement;
8. Advocating in a partisan manner for any side of a controversial issue; the rules must require a teacher to provide students with materials supporting both sides of a controversial issue being addressed and to present both sides in a fair-minded, nonpartisan manner. For purposes of this paragraph, "controversial issue" means an issue that is a point made in an electoral party platform at the local, state or federal level; or
9. Segregating students according to race or singling out one racial group of students as responsible for the suffering or inequities experienced by another racial group of students.
Sec. 3. Violations; notice; training. Resolved: That rules adopted under this resolve must contain clear guidelines for enforcement and provide penalties for violations up to and including termination. The State Board of Education shall provide written notice to all affected teachers, parents and students of their respective rights and responsibilities under the rules and shall provide at least 3 hours of annual continuing teacher education to affected teachers to instruct the teachers in the teacher responsibilities required by the rules.
Sec. 4. Voluntary adoption of educator's code of ethics. Resolved: That all state professional teacher organizations and unions be requested to voluntarily adopt an educator's code of ethics and professional responsibility that incorporates the rules adopted pursuant to this resolve and that specifically prohibit teachers in kindergarten to grade 12 instruction from using the classroom for political indoctrination.
Sec. 5. Major substantive rules. Resolved: That rules adopted pursuant to this resolve are major substantive rules as defined by the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.
SUMMARY
This resolve directs the State Board of Education to adopt major substantive rules prohibiting teachers in public schools from engaging in political, religious or ideological advocacy in the classroom or from introducing any controversial subject matter that is not germane to the topic of the course being taught, with penalties for violations up to and including termination of the teacher. This resolve requires the State Board of Education to provide written notice of the rules to all affected teachers, parents and students and for teachers to receive annually at least 3 hours of continuing teacher education to instruct the teachers on the rules. Finally, this resolve requests professional teacher organizations and unions to voluntarily adopt an
educator's code of ethics and professional responsibility that incorporates the rules and that specifically prohibits teachers in kindergarten to grade 12 instruction from using the classroom for political indoctrination.

   I would invite CAP members to read this legislation and decide for themselves if it should be passed into law. What is my opinion? I’m glad someone finally asked. I think this legislation is well-intentioned, but cumbersome and unable to be enforced. I think school teachers should not be indoctrinating students or telling them what to think. This has always gone on, but is not so blatant and in your face as it is today. When I was a high school student at Fryeburg Academy, I struggled through American History class because of a biased teacher who held liberal viewpoints. When that teacher assigned us to write a paper agreeing or disagreeing with the statement “The United States Constitution was only written to protect the financial wealth and power of the founding fathers,” I wrote my paper disagreeing with that viewpoint. The teacher immediately gave me a failing grade with the statement “This is not creative writing class.” I soon learned to write more tempered papers in order to at least pass the class. Yes, I may have been a conservative high school student that didn’t hold the same ideological viewpoint as my teacher. But how did I turn out? I went on to work my way through college, earn two bachelor degrees, hold a managerial position for years with Maine State Government, care for my elderly grandfather and great-aunt, and also serve at my local church. I guess I didn’t need to be indoctrinated with another viewpoint. And I think students today don’t need that kind of garbage either. Teach them how to think and think critically, rather than what to think and become another dullard that goes with the flow. We have too many of those people today, as evidenced by many Twitter accounts and the Jussie Smollett fiasco going on.
   But realistically, I don’t see how this bill is even enforceable. We would constantly be lost in a debate over what is indoctrination and what is political or social bias and what is not. This would result in a lot of nit picking that would easily start eroding our rights to free speech and active government involvement. I like the quote of United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart who stated about pornography “I know it when I see it.” Although anyone with common sense could recognize what is indoctrination and political and social activism; we just don’t have that kind of common sense in our society nowadays. I would recommend that this bill not be passed into law and find some other alternative to what is going on in our schools today.

Erlon Jones, Chief Adviser

Is the Constitution Outdated?
1/31/19

   It seems like it is another week, and the leftists have sired yet another media darling for
themselves to champion. Last week, we had to endure the likes of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,
the newly elected Congresswoman for New York. Or I should say, newly elected social activist
from New York. Headed to Congress not to work for her constituents in New York state, but
rather to push her own maudlin agenda, Ocasio-Cortez received a dose of reality her first few
weeks in Washington. “I don’t have time for yoga” she lamented recently to the media. “Before
the campaign, I used to practice yoga 3-4 times a week, eat nutritiously, read and write for
leisure,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Instagram. “As soon as everything kicked up, that all went out
the window. I went from doing yoga and making wild rice and salmon dinners to eating fast food for dinner and falling asleep in my jeans and makeup.” As Ocasio-Cortez seemed to be channeling Marie Antoinette to no end, she was about to be overtaken by an even bigger media juggernaut. That is, failed Texas senate candidate Beto O’Rourke.
   Beto O’Rourke recently ran as a Democratic Senate candidate from Texas against incumbent Senator Ted Cruz. After losing in that race, he is considered a possible 2020 candidate for President of the United States. With his charm, liberal viewpoints, and “aw shucks” demeanor, he is poised to become a front-runner of the Democratic primary. Why should this be disconcerting to the American people? In a lengthy interview with The Washington Post, potential presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke wondered if the United States Constitution might be too outdated to deal with the issues facing the country.
   The reporter asked the Texas Democrat about a range of issues and noticed how he “boomeranged between a bright-eyed hope that the United States will soon dramatically change its approach to a whole host of issues and a dismal suspicion that the country is now incapable of implementing sweeping change,” according to the Washington Post. “Does this still work? Can an empire like ours with military presence in over 170 countries around the globe, with trading relationships … and security agreements in every continent, can it still be managed by the same principles that were set down 230-plus years ago?” O’Rourke asked about the United States Constitution.
   Yes, Beto, the United States Constitution still works. That’s precisely why you lost your senate race. Anyone who does not have a firm grip on the laws and liberties spelled out in the Constitution should not even be allowed near Washington DC. The United States Constitution addresses what our elected lawmakers can and can’t do; and draws a firm line for anything beyond that. That is why the social activism in our politics is ruining our country and weakening our Constitution. Thankfully, the Constitutional Awareness Pact exists to combat those types of attitudes that too many of our elected officials hold. Continue to follow us on Facebook and visit our website! With your help, our United States Constitution will become even more relevant for our times.

Erlon Jones, Chief Adviser
Let’s Defend the Constitution in 2019!
1/15/19

   As we move forward into the new year, the United States Constitution remains as embattled as
ever. Between government shutdowns, protests, and the clattering that is occurring on social
media; that old piece of parchment seems to be forgotten. Social activism is the subject of the
day, regardless of whose individual liberties it tramples. As our country descends into a chaos
that mirrors ancient Rome, we can practically hear the fiddles playing.
   But there’s hope! Like it or not, the United States Constitution still stands as our governing
structure. While that may be in danger, we can still stop the downward spiral before it is too late. Throughout this year, the Constitutional Awareness Pact will be as active as ever educating
American citizens about their constitutional rights and individual liberties. Our opinion is, an
informed electorate is the best safeguard to tyranny. Please consider attending CAP events,
becoming a member, and visiting our website and Facebook page continually. The ship may be rapidly approaching the breakers, but we will still be busy manning the lighthouse. As the Chief Advisor for this organization, I look forward to working together to maintain and uphold our United States Constitution. Please be sure to check back frequently for a solid analysis of the news events shaping our future. Have a great new year!

Erlon Jones, Chief Adviser

A Good Reason to Keep the Second Amendment-And Hold the Mayo

10/31/18


   With all of the tragic news this week of a mass shootings at a Jewish synagogue and bombs
being mailed to politicians, I ran across a news article which really made me take a second look. This was a situation where a good guy with a gun, exercising his Second Amendment freedoms, prevented a tragedy at a restaurant. A brave dad armed with a pistol stopped what could have been a mass shooting Saturday inside an Alabama McDonald's when he took down a masked gunman who had stormed in and opened fire. The unidentified father was leaving the establishment with his sons when a masked man walked into the Birmingham fast-food
restaurant and started shooting, WBRC-TV reported. The father returned fire and, during the
ensuing shootout, the gunman, the father and one of the man's teenage sons were struck, according to the station. The gunman, who was not identified, later died of his injuries. The other two injuries were not considered life-threatening. 
   Markus Washington, one of the McDonald's employees, told WBRC-TV he was making two quarter-pounders when bullets started to fly. Washington said he ran into the freezer, where he heard about 15 shots fired. “I’m feeling grateful,” he told the station. “Wrapping my head around it all, I was just wishing someone would come wake me up from this nightmare.” Washington feared the worst as the shootout unfolded outside the freezer door. “All we hear is like different gunfire, so in my mind, I’m imagining everybody is dead. He’s looking for us,” he said. Washington added he was thankful the armed customer was there. “He’s my hero. Because I can only imagine how it would’ve gone if he wasn’t armed. We might not be here having this interview,” Washington said. 
   Authorities are now working to determine if the gunman intended to rob the restaurant, was targeting an employee or planned something more nefarious. “Things like this are difficult for both families. The gentleman who unfortunately lost his life, the teenage boy who is in the hospital recovering from his injuries and the father who is also recovering from his injuries,” Birmingham police spokesman Sgt. Bryan Shelton said, according to WVTM-13. “It's not easy being a father and watching your child get injured, get hurt like that. It's a really heart-wrenching experience."
   A good guy with a gun. Let’s all remember that when activists continue to chip away at our Second Amendment constitutional freedoms. There is a significant reason the founding fathers added the Second Amendment to our Bill of Rights. Whether it be lawless behavior from a foreign government, our own government, or a masked shooter, Americans have the right to stand up and defend themselves. Reading our constitution on a regular basis provides for a well-informed electorate and citizenship that will ensure that our constitutional freedoms continue. Thankfully, we have the Constitutional Awareness Pact leading the way.

Erlon Jones, Chief Adviser
The 1st Amendment Protects What?
10/8/18

   There was a survey recently released by the Freedom Forum Institute (FFI) that dealt
with the First Amendment. The survey is called the “State of the First Amendment” and it
surveyed 1,009 American adults. Here are the results as reported by the DailyWire.
   “When asked to name the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment, only one
person was able to name all five. 2% of respondents were able to name the right to
petition the government for a redress of grievances; 12% were able to name the right of
peaceful assembly; 13% were able to name freedom of the press; 15% were able to name
freedom of religion; and 56% were able to name freedom of speech.”
   Along with these alarmingly low numbers the DailyWire pointed out another statistic
from the survey: Forty percent of those surveyed couldn’t name a single freedom listed in
the First Amendment. As we start, let’s just take a quick look at the freedoms contained in the First Amendment.
   First, it protects freedom of religion. This basically means that you are free to worship God according to the dictates of your own conscience without government interference.
   Secondly, it protects the freedom of speech. This is critical to a free society because the freedom to say what you want, even if unpopular, allows different ideas and criticisms to come forward and to be considered without fear of reprisal.
   Third, the First Amendment protects the freedom of the press. No matter what President Trump says, a free press, when it is actually reporting news as opposed to political grandstanding like Jim Accosta, is very important at getting to the truth, informing the people, and holding government leaders accountable.
   Finally, the First Amendment protects the right to peacefully assemble, such as your local church service or AA meeting, and it protects the right to petition the government for redress of grievances, which basically guarantees the right to peacefully protest.
   These are some of the most basic freedoms we enjoy in America and the fact that so many people don’t know them, don’t know where to find them, or don’t know how to apply them is sad and very unhealthy for our nation. Once again, these aren’t deep parts of our Constitution, rather, they are basic liberties we take advantage of each and every day. These numbers strike right at the foundation of what our Founders intended the American people to have in order to preserve their liberties, and that foundation is the fact that the Founders anticipated the people to be well-informed about their freedoms and to be well versed in how their government was supposed to work.
   James Madison, considered the “Father of the Constitution,” said the following, “A well-instructed people alone can be permanently a free people.” George Washington also said, “A primary object…should be the education of our youth in the science of government. In a republic, what species of knowledge can be equally important?” This sentiment was made by Thomas Jefferson as well when he said, “…if we think them (the people) not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education.”
   All of these quotes have the same thing in common. If “We the People” intend to keep our freedom and to preserve our “inalienable” rights, then we must, a.) know what they are and b.) how to defend them. Just as knowing that you have car keys doesn’t help you if you don’t know where they are or how to use them. The FFI survey shows that it doesn’t help if we have some foggy understanding about our freedoms and just take them for granted. Rather, we should have a foundational and intimate understanding of what our freedoms are and how we can defend them from those who would, either accidentally or on purpose, try to take them from us.

Isaac Hadam, Vice-President
The National Anthem Controversy-Not Again!
9/14/18

   Nike’s polarizing decision to put Colin Kaepernick at the center of its latest ad campaign has
aggravated NFL employees, infuriated fans and even affected the sneaker giant’s stock. But
publicly, at least, the league is playing nice with its corporate partner. Of course they are.
   “The National Football League believes in dialogue, understanding and unity. We embrace the
role and responsibility of everyone involved with this game to promote meaningful, positive
change in our communities,” NFL Executive Vice President Jocelyn Moore said in a statement.
“The social justice issues that Colin and other professional athletes have raised deserve our
attention and action.” 
   This statement for me has the effect of a spoonful of Ipecac syrup. While the NFL issued a gentle statement, some league office staffers have expressed annoyance that a corporate partner would throw the national anthem controversy back into the news cycle only four days before the season's start. Nike and the NFL have a deal in place that runs through 2028, with the company supplying game-day uniforms and sideline apparel to all 32 franchises. Indeed, Nike’s iconic swoosh logo is a prominent part of all NFL events. 
   The Daily Caller reported that President Trump said in an interview Tuesday, “I think it’s a terrible message.” However, the president continued, “It is what this country is all about, that you have certain freedoms to do things that other people think you shouldn’t do, but I personally am on adifferent side of it.”
   President Trump has a valid constitutional point. Companies are free to do business with whom they choose. But like I always say, if you sit down to dinner with the devil, you had better eat with a long fork. Nike has elected to choose Kaepernick as their spokesman, and the NFL is contracted with Nike. The Nike controversy is likely to continue to cause the NFL more headaches over the whole national anthem flap. With constitutional rights come responsibility and using good judgement. We have the right to bear arms, but we must be careful and practice good gun safety. We have the right to free speech, but we cannot yell “fire” in a crowded movie theatre. Now the NFL is left with a difficult decision, which it may not be able to make since its contract with Nike lasts until 2028.
Now, I personally am going to exercise my constitutional rights and continue not buying any Nike products. Besides, Adidas sneakers fit my arch better.

Erlon Jones, Press Secretary

Why is Everything Politicized?

8/24/18


   The case of Mollie Tibbetts riveted the country’s attention to the small town of Brooklyn, Iowa for a month. Tibbetts was the 20 year old college student who disappeared last month after going out for a jog. After a search that garnered national attention; the sad news broke on August 21st that her body had been found. Shortly after that news broke, good news was announced; a suspect had been arrested and charged for her murder. Along with that announcement also came the news that the suspect is an illegal immigrant who was employed at a nearby farm.

   This whole story is incredibly saddening and it truly is a tragic event. The fact that such a quality person who had her whole life before her was killed in such a terrible way should upset anyone with a heart. However, the news had hardly been on the presses when Republicans, including President Trump, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, and others started to talk about changing immigration policy in light of Ms. Tibbetts murder.

   The problem that I see with this is that people of the right, including myself, criticize the left for politicizing shootings like Las Vegas before you can blink, but now it seems that Republicans have no qualms about doing it themselves when it comes to illegal immigrant crimes.

   Look, immigration is a serious Constitutional issue that Congress should be dealing with and changing. By criticizing the GOP for quickly politicizing this tragedy, I am not saying that we shouldn’t strengthen our border, fix our immigration system, and yes, in my opinion, build the wall. What I am saying is that in a society that is so fractured right now, maybe we should wait for at least 24-48 hours before we inject politics into this tragic situation. Why can’t we just use that first day or two to just come together as a nation and lift the family up in our thoughts and prayers that they would be comforted during this trying time?

   If I’m honest, I am very upset with the fact that an individual that shouldn’t have been here committed such a despicable act. However, one thing that has helped America be great is that the American people have, through our nation’s history, shown that we are capable of forgetting about politics temporarily to come together during times such as this.

   Once again, Congress needs to do its Constitutional job and address the immigration issue. They do a disservice to the American people when they simply ignore their responsibility as our representatives, and as people whose Constitutional duty it is to make law. Especially when there are some current things in immigration law that need fixing. But can’t we stop politicizing every tragedy two seconds after it happens? If we can’t, then how do we expect our Constitutional Republic to survive? Please keep Ms. Tibbetts family in your thoughts and prayers!


Isaac Hadam, Vice-President

Honoring One of Our Founding Fathers
8/9/18

   With all of the media frenzy recently about Trump and Putin, the trial on Paul Manafort, and the recent elections on Tuesday; it was nice to see something done that actually honored the United States Constitution. WMUR-TV 8 in Manchester, New Hampshire reported that the refurbished cemetery headstone honoring Nicholas Gilman was unveiled last month in Exeter. Descendants traveled from as far away as Alaska for the ceremony. 
   Gilman signed and helped ratify the Constitution, served in the U.S. House of Representatives during the first four Congresses and served in the U.S. Senate until his death in 1814. Nicholas was also a soldier in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, a delegate to the Continental Congress, and a signer of the U.S. Constitution, representing New Hampshire.
   His brother John Taylor Gilman was also very active in New Hampshire politics, serving as Governor of New Hampshire for 14 years, as well as a principal benefactor of Phillips Exeter Academy. Their childhood home in Exeter is now the American Independence Museum. Family members started an effort to replace Gilman's old, worn headstone two years ago. 
   Thanks to their efforts, we can continue to honor one of our founding fathers that helped craft our most important national document. Remembering this kind of history and our national heritage is an important foundation for preserving the Constitution.

Erlon Jones, Press Secretary

Brett Kavanaugh-Supreme Court Nominee


   President Donald Trump recently had the opportunity to select another justice to nominate to the United States Supreme Court. In today’s current climate of judicial activism, it is important for any president to select justices that will follow their sworn oath and uphold the principles and law of the Constitution. And with the selection of Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump shook the pail, and the cream rose to the top. 
   A little about Brett Kavanaugh: As an attorney working for Ken Starr, Kavanaugh played a lead role in drafting the Starr Report, which urged the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. [2] Kavanaugh led the investigation into the suicide of Clinton aide Vince Foster. After the 2000 U.S. presidential election (in which Kavanaugh worked for the George W. Bush campaign in the Florida recount), Kavanaugh joined Bush's staff, where he led the Administration's effort to identify and confirm judicial nominees. Kavanaugh was nominated to the Court of Appeals by President Bush in 2003. His confirmation hearings were contentious and stalled for three years over charges of partisanship. Kavanaugh was ultimately confirmed in May 2006 after a series of negotiations between Democratic and Republican U.S. Senators. 
   On July 9, 2018, President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh to become an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States following the vacancy created by the pending retirement of Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kavanaugh is characterized as a conservative Appellate Court justice, identified in his judicial temperament to being recognized as pro-life and "a stalwart originalist" in the tradition of Scalia and Thomas. This seems like welcome news to most Americans, who have been troubled by the swift rise of judicial activism, including calling Obamacare a “tax” and letting it continue, although that is actually one of Kavanaugh's weak points. 
   The role of the United States Supreme Court is to interpret law, not make it. And with the Supreme Court doing this, it has only spread like wildfire into appellate and circuit courts. It will be interesting to see what kind of showboating and grandstanding will take place during his nomination hearings.
   Let’s just say, it’s going to be a long, hot August in Washington. And CAP will certainly be watching these developments, and analyzing how this may affect our constitutional liberties. Staying informed is the best way to protect the Constitution, and participating in CAP will certainly be a benefit to any citizen.

Erlon Jones, Press Secretary
Eat at the Red Hen- Unless You Support Trump
7/7/18

   Sarah Huckabee Sanders ruffled a few feathers this last week when she decided to, of all things,
go out to eat. A restaurant owner in Lexington, Virginia kicked Sanders and her party out of her
restaurant ... on moral grounds. Others say the owner didn't want Huckabee Sanders in the
restaurant out of "moral conviction." That was the second time that week someone from the
Trump Administration was drummed out of a restaurant. Earlier that week, Homeland Security
Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen had been forced to leave a Mexican restaurant near The White House by some protesters. Well, apparently the Red Hen wasn’t much friendlier. “I’m not a huge fan of confrontation,” Stephanie Wilkinson, the owner said. “I have a business, and I want the business to thrive. This feels like the moment in our democracy when people have to make uncomfortable actions and decisions to uphold their morals.” Wilkinson had no regrets about her decision. “I would have done the same thing again,” she said “We just felt there are moments in time when people need to live their convictions. This appeared to be one.” One thing I learned on that story: Sanders was not the one who broke the news about her eviction from the restaurant. An employee of the restaurant did, on his Facebook account. Beside himself with glee, the waiter couldn’t wait to break the story. 
   Many people are drawing moral parallels between this incident and the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, which was recently decided in the Supreme Court. If you are someone who believes that Masterpiece Cakeshop ought to have been forced to bake a cake decorated for a gay wedding, but you think that Stephanie Wilkinson was right to kick Sarah Sanders out of her restaurant because she hates Sanders’s politics, then you are an unprincipled hypocrite. I believe that Masterpiece Cakeshop has that moral right, and I believe that the Red Hen has that right too. Whether they have that legal right is a different question, and whether they should act on that moral right is another. But there’s an important distinction here. Masterpiece did not try to
deny service across the board to gay customers. Its owner only wanted to deny them a custom-made wedding cake, because it violated his religious beliefs. Red Hen denied service across the board to Sanders and her party because they hate her politics. If Sarah Sanders had asked the Red Hen owner to cater a Trump party, that would have been a closer analogy. And if the Masterpiece Cakeshop owner had refused to serve gay men at all, that would be a closer analogy.
   Constitutionally, the restaurant owner had the right to ask Sandra Huckabee Sanders to leave. And the restaurant owner has plenty of supporters across the country. However, it is very sad when people have such hostility towards another person that they won't even serve them at their restaurant. Our Constitution requires us now more than ever to return to our moral foundations, so that our Constitution still has something to keep it solid.

Erlon Jones, Press Secretary
The Dangers of NH HB 1319!
6/27/18

   In my home state of New Hampshire, the legislature recently passed, and the governor
signed, HB 1319. This bill adds “gender identity” to the list of the sates anti-discrimination legislation. (Gender identity basically being the idea that a person who is born as a man should, if he claims to identify/feel like a woman, be treated as such) This bill is aimed at stopping discrimination against transgender individuals in the areas of housing, employment, and public accommodations. Many people have lauded the legislation as a great step in guaranteeing “equal rights” to all. However, while many are celebrating, I believe that this bill posses a serious threat to religious liberty. Where do I get this concern? Let’s look at the actual bill.
   A section of the bill that deals with discrimination in housing states, “354-A:10 Unlawful Discriminatory Practices. It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for any person, being the owner, lessee, sub-lessee, assignee, managing agent or other person having the right to rent or lease a dwelling or commercial structure or being in the business of selling or renting dwellings or commercial structures:
   I. To refuse to sell or rent after the receipt of a bona fide offer, or to refuse to negotiate for the sale or rental of, or otherwise make unavailable or deny, a dwelling or commercial structure to any person because of…that person's sexual orientation.”
   This bill outlaws someone from denying someone the ability to rent/lease a building from them on the basis of the renters “gender identity.” However, one would immediately ask the question of what happens if someone refuses due to a religious objection to the person’s lifestyle choice. An example of this would be a man who I know and respect used to rent out a house to people. However, as a Christian, he wouldn’t rent to a couple unless they were a heterosexual married couple. It wasn’t because he was an angry bigot; rather, he wouldn’t rent to someone who was involved in, what he considered to be, a sinful lifestyle. Is his First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion going to be treaded upon by this piece of legislation?
   The bill states something incredibly similar regarding discrimination in employment; which means that you can easily see this same dilemma playing out in the employment market. Should an employer be FORCED to employ someone who is transgender even if it is in violation of his religious beliefs?
   The issue that I see with HB 1319 is that if you just read the text of the bill; religious liberty will be under assault. If one doubts that people with religious convictions will be attacked under this law; they don’t need to look farther than the recent Masterpiece Cakeshop legal battle. Yes, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the bakery, but the ruling was very limited, and the case clearly shows that “anti-discrimination” laws are very
capable of being used to beat religious people down. My greatest concern is that a simple “anti-discrimination” law can be used to attack an American citizen’s right to freely worship God according to the dictates of their conscience. This attack on our freedom sets a dangerous precedent going forward. The precedent is that your Constitutional liberties can be taken away from you all in the name of “equality,” “inclusion,” and “tolerance.” And that thought should concern anyone who cares about liberty, the First Amendment, or their religious convictions.

Isaac Hadam, President
The Constitution and Who Changes Law!
6/22/18

   The press and the media are going absolutely crazy right now with recordings of illegal alien
children crying at the border. Many are blaming this on President Trump and his "Zero Tolerance" policy. Although a "zero tolerance" policy is simply enforcing the full letter of the law, the term is used by the left to make the administration sound hateful and heartless. This is a law that several presidents have had to deal with. This is nothing specific to the Trump Administration. What is interesting about this situation is the response from the Democrats, specifically Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). In a press conference with C-SPAN held on Tuesday, Senator Schumer called on President Trump to use a "flick of his pen" to fix the problem. He further said to the President, "you should and you must fix this
problem."
   In other words, Senator Schumer is calling on President Trump to sign an Executive Order which is supposed to end all the suffering at the border. However, the Constitution has some very specific instructions on this kind of issue. In Article 1, Section 1, of the U.S. Constitution, it states, "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives." This clearly states that ALL lawmaking power is granted to a Congress of the United States, not a President and his Executive Orders. Senator Schumer said that, "there are so many obstacles to legislation, and when the President can do it with his own pen, it makes no sense." The  Constitutional fact is that the President has no right to do it with his own pen. Also, isn't the job of legislators to overcome the obstacles of legislation and to make law? Thus Senator Schumer is simply refusing to do his job. Schumer went on to say, "Legislation is not the way to go here when it is so easy for the President to sign it. It is an excuse."
   The situation calls for the changing of law. According to the Constitution, this is exclusively Congress' job. I understand that the President did sign an Executive Order on Wednesday. I do not agree with what the President did. I understand he signed it because of the incompetence of the Congress, however, he still should not have signed an Executive Order which effectively changes the law. If the people of America want to see this law changed, they should contact their Representatives and Senators and request that this law be changed. Let's not forget that there is a Constitutional process that must be followed. The Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land!

Caleb Ness, Vice-President

Let Them Eat Cake!

6/8/18


   This week brought another victory for the United States Constitution and individual liberties.
The United States Supreme Court ruled in the case of a Colorado baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex couple that was getting married. The case – Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission – asked the high court to balance the religious rights of the baker against the couple’s right to equal treatment under the law. The decision to take on the case reflected renewed energy among the court's conservative justices, whose ranks have
recently been bolstered by the addition of Justice Neil Gorsuch to the high court. Jack Phillips,
the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., declined to make a cake for the
wedding celebration of two gay men in 2012. Phillips told the couple that he would make a
birthday cake but could not make a cake that would promote same-sex marriage due to his religious beliefs. Let’s look at the history behind this landmark case.
   Shopping for a cake for their upcoming wedding and celebration, couple David Mullins and Charlie Craig stopped into Masterpiece Cakeshop in July 2012. Jack Phillips, the bakery’s owner, informed the couple that he did not provide cakes for same-sex weddings and celebrations due to his religious beliefs. “What should have been a joyous occasion had turned into a humiliating occasion,” Deborah Munn, the mother of Craig, wrote in a blog post for the American Civil Liberties Union about the experience. (I would be humiliated too if I had my mother fight my battles for me.) The offended couple immediately filed suit against the bakery. The ACLU of Colorado represented the same-sex couple in their complaint against Phillips. In December 2013 Judge Robert Spencer of the Colorado Office of Administrative Courts decided — in line with the Colorado Civil Rights Division (CCRD) — that the bakeshop had violated a Colorado law which prohibits businesses from refusing service due to a person’s sexual orientation. Masterpiece Cakeshop appealed the decision. In May 2014 the Colorado Civil Rights Commission decided at a public hearing that Masterpiece had violated Colorado's Anti- Discrimination Act, or CADA. Phillips was ordered to change its company policies as well as offer “comprehensive staff training” to employees. The cake shop was also required to provide quarterly reports about how it handled prospective customers. Another appeal was filed, and in August 2015 the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled that Phillips cannot cite his religious beliefs in his refusal to provide a service to same-sex couples. With the ruling, Phillips could face a penalty if he continues to deny wedding cakes to same-sex couples. In April 2016 the Colorado Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal from Phillips. Not to be deterred, in July 2016, on behalf of Phillips, the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal nonprofit, petitioned the Supreme Court to hear the case. “We are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to ensure that government understands that its duty is to protect the people’s freedom to follow their beliefs personally and professionally, not force them to violate those beliefs as the price of earning a living,” ADF senior counsel Jeremy Tedesco said in a statement at the time. In June 2017, the Supreme Court agreed to consider the case during its next term, which began in the fall. 
   Fast forward to this week. The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in favor of Masterpiece Cakeshop. "The laws and the Constitution can, and in some instances must, protect gay persons and gay couples in the exercise of their civil rights, but religious and philosophical objections to gay marriage are protected views and in some instances protected forms of expression," the Court said in its decision. "While it is unexceptional that Colorado law can protect gay persons in acquiring products and services on the same terms and conditions as are offered to other members of the public, the law must be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion." Justice Anthony Kennedy said when the Colorado Civil Rights Commission made its decision "it did not do so with the religious neutrality that the Constitution requires." The opinion says the Commission "violated the Free Exercise Clause, and its order must be set aside." In its decision, the Supreme Court did not decide whether a business has the right to refuse to serve gay customers outright.      
   This case will hopefully cause a shift in how this issue is treated in the future. But at least a baker or florist can refuse to provide services for something they do not believe in. And that is something I would agree with. If I was a baker, I would certainly refuse to bake a cake for a Klu Klux clan rally, a Satanic worship ceremony, or a group that advocated murdering men because they were gay. We need to have that choice, or we can be forced to participate in anything. And that is a direct assault on our personal liberties, which the Constitution and Bill of Rights guarantees.

Erlon Jones, Press Secretary
Memorial Day! Just that; a Memorial!
5/28/18

   Memorial Day is often symbolized by get-togethers, cookouts, family football or baseball games, parades, and a great overall time. It is a time where families, friends, neighbors, and communities gather together to enjoy a fun, food-filled day. However, we all too often forget the real reason for the holiday. 
   America is the greatest nation on the face of the earth, but it wouldn’t be that way if it weren’t for those whom we are celebrating on Memorial Day. I am referring to the approximately 1.3 million men and women who have given their lives defending our country since the Revolutionary War. Freedom is an amazing blessing that we enjoy in this country, and we can’t forget the incredible cost that our liberty came at.
   This is also a day that should be looked at as one that unifies us as Americans. On our way back from a recent CAP speaking engagement, CAP’s Press Secretary and I stopped at an Applebee’s for some light refreshments. While there the receptionist complimented Erlon on his tie because it was patriotically themed. She stated that the tie represented what she stood for, and this lead to a brief conversation about how much we all appreciated our troops.
   This sort of story is exactly what we need to see more of. We didn’t know each other from Adam, but there was a basic belief that both parties had, and that belief was a deep appreciation for our military.
   On this Memorial Day we can still have cookouts and enjoy a good time. However, let’s not forget to be grateful for our Constitution, the freedoms we have in this land, and, most importantly, the great price paid for our freedoms that we enjoy. Freedom truly isn’t free!

Isaac Hadam, President
The United States Constitution and Free Exercise of Religion
5/25/18

   When I was a kid, which was only a few years ago, televangelists were a big deal in our country.
Television offered a new medium in which to spread the Gospel message, and many preachers
worked to utilize this medium for God’s work. Television ministers became household names,
such as Jimmy Swaggart, Oral Roberts, Pat Robertson, and Bob Harrington. Probably the most
well-known televangelist during this time was Jim Bakker. Unfortunately, Bakker was known
more for the scandal surrounding his ministry, as opposed to the successes he had with it.
Americans love a scandal. They cluck their tongues and put down the offending party, all the
while rubbing their hands together whispering, “tell me more.” Not only does Jim Bakker fit this
narrative, but his case provides an excellent representation of what happens when high-finance
religion runs into the federal government and the United States Constitution.
   Jim Bakker with his wife Tammy were famous. Together, Jim and Tammy built Heritage USA, a
2,300-acre Christian theme park and resort that drew nearly 6 million visitors at its peak in
1986. Their flock came to the Fort Mill, S.C., campus to splash in the water park, pray in a stone-
faced Upper Room meant to suggest the site of Jesus’ Last Supper, and cheer on televangelism’s most famous couple as they taped their TV talk show. PTL was short for “Praise the Lord,” though critics of the Bakkers’ opulent lifestyle – they bought vacation homes, high-priced cars, even an air-conditioning unit for their doghouse – suggested it should stand for “Pass the Loot.” Their shopping sprees reflected insatiable greed. In 1984, after an exhaustive run through luxury stores in Manhattan, they added $24,500 in furs (including a full-length Blackglama) and $27,500 in jewelry (one item was a $6,000 diamond bracelet) to their homeowner's insurance. While in New York, the couple stayed at a suite in the Waldorf Astoria, complete with a fireplace and baby grand piano. Wherever they traveled, their hotel bills were astronomical. Later that year, the couple chartered a Gulfstream for a $107,000 flight to Palm Springs. Jim's feet no sooner touched the ground than he raced off to buy three luxury cars, including two antique Rolls-Royces, totaling $170,000. They shared a secret suite at the Heritage Gold Hotel, with gold-plated bathroom fixtures and a 50-foot walk-in closet.
   Meanwhile, the Internal Revenue Service began investigating the ministry, as IRS rules prevent private inurement, which is using ministry funds for your own benefit. In addition, Bakker was operating a pyramid scheme, selling “lifetime partnerships” which was an offer of free lodging in exchange for a $2000 payment. However, these funds were used to pay other expenses in the ministry, rather than building the free lodging. Bakker and his wife made repeated claims that they were being persecuted by the federal government for being Christians, and having their free speech rights violated when the lifetime partnerships were investigated. Jim and Tammy made repeated claims that the IRS and Federal Communications Commission were trying to stifle free speech and free exercise of religion. But these histrionic speeches only postponed the inevitable. In 1987 Bakker resigned, after it was revealed that he had a brief tryst in 1980 with a church secretary, Jessica Hahn. He then paid Hahn $265,000 of hush money to cover up the tryst. When his empire came crashing down, Bakker was tried and convicted of several counts of wire and mail fraud. He served several years in prison. His ministry, which was around $70,000,000 in debt went into bankruptcy. 
   The First Amendment to the United States Constitution states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.’
   Was the IRS and FCC violating Bakker’s constitutional rights by investigating his ministry during the 1980’s? It is hard to say. Certainly, a church should not be allowed to defraud its followers. But I see this all the time in churches, where the congregation will become swept up with enthusiasm for a visiting preacher or evangelist, and they lose all sense of judgement and discernment. It’s like the old adage “a fool and his money are soon parted.” If this person is not legitimate, then they do irreparable damage to the cause. They may leave town after bouncing checks or involving church members in shady financial schemes. But if people want to give their money to a church or religious cause, then they should be able to. If I want to give money to build an addition onto church, or buy my pastor a new car, then I should be able to do that. That is my free choice as directed by the First Amendment. And balancing religion and politics has always been a touchy issue for most American politicians anyway. But we should always err on the side of the Constitution, even if that increases the risk of something bad happening. The IRS and FCC should investigate as needed but also needs to be careful not to tip the balance on this issue one way or another. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for my Benny Hinn program to begin on television.

Erlon Jones, Press Secretary

The Royal Wedding and Monarchies
5/21/18

   As the news media gets whipped into a froth about the upcoming wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle of England, I thought it would be fun to compare our country’s form of
government and England’s. As we all know, the United States is a “federal democracy.” We are governed by the people, in the form of a Constitution which guides us in our government.
England on the other hand is governed by a monarchy. 
   A monarchy is a form of government in which a group, generally a family representing a dynasty (aristocracy), embodies the country'national identity and its head, the monarch, exercises the role of sovereignty. The actual power of the monarch may vary from purely symbolic (crowned republic), to partial and restricted (constitutional monarchy), to completely autocratic (absolute monarchy). Traditionally the monarch's post is inherited and lasts until death or abdication. In contrast, elective monarchies require the monarch to be elected. Both types have further variations as there are widely divergent structures and traditions defining monarchy. For example, in some elected monarchies only pedigrees are taken into account for eligibility of the next ruler, whereas many hereditary monarchies impose requirements regarding the religion, age, gender, mental capacity, etc. Occasionally this might create a situation of rival claimants whose legitimacy is subject to effective election. There have been cases where the term of a monarch's reign is either fixed in years or continues until certain goals are achieved: an invasion being repulsed, for instance. Monarchic rule was the most common form of government until the 19th century. England’s monarchy is limited, as Parliament mostly runs the country along with a Prime Minister. The Queen usually only shows up for royal ceremonies or cutting the ribbon at the local Market Basket. However, Saudi Arabia is ruled by a total monarchy, in which the King can issue decrees, make law, and punish whoever he wants. This is certainly a more efficient type of government, but not one I would readily want.
   So, despite the media fascination with royal weddings, I am going to turn the television off and be thankful for my United States Constitution and the individual liberties it provides to me. There is a very good reason we separated from England so many years ago. We got away from a tyrannical king and now we get to avoid hearing about Meghan Markle constantly. Now that is a liberty I can deal with!

Erlon Jones, Press Secretary

United Nations-Draining the Swamp!
5/9/18

   When Nikki Haley started as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, she warned she'd be
“taking names” of countries that do not have “our back.” Now, a newly released annual State
Department report on voting records at the world body will tell her who exactly is in America’s
corner – and who is not.  Like a diplomatic John Cena wielding a metal folding chair, Haley is
determined to drain the swamp at the United Nations. The report found that U.N. member
states only voted with the United States 31 percent of the time last year on resolutions at the
U.N. General Assembly – down 10 percent from the prior year.
   Reacting to the new report,
Haley said in a statement that it was not an “acceptable return” on the United States’ investment and suggested this could factor into aid decisions. Haley emphasized that U.S. taxpayers pay for 22 percent of the U.N. budget – more, she said, than the next three highest donor nations combined. Haley noted that the U.S. cares more about “being right than popular and are once again standing up for our interests and values” but said: “Either way, this is not an acceptable return on our investment. When we arrived at the UN last year, we said we would be taking names, and this list of voting records speaks for itself. President Trump wants to ensure that our foreign assistance dollars – the most generous in the world – always serve American interests, and we look forward to helping him see that the American people are no longer taken for granted.”
   First published in 1984, “The report to the Congress on Voting
Practices in the United Nations” reviews voting of the 193 members of the U.N. General Assembly (UNGA) and the 15 members of the Security Council, as well as several other items including resolutions related to Israel. According to the report, the country that voted least with the U.S. was Zimbabwe – having voted zero times with America. According to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) foreign aid explorer website, Zimbabwe received $58 million in aid for this year. Rounding out the bottom 10 nations not aligned with the U.S. were: Burundi, which received $2.9 million in U.S. aid; Iran (no U.S. aid); Syria ($72 million); Venezuela ($230,000); North Korea (no U.S. aid); Turkmenistan ($200,0000); Cuba ($115,000); Bolivia ($115,000); and South Africa ($100 million). All figures are from the USAID explorer website. As the largest contributor to the United Nations, U.S. taxpayers gave $10 billion in 2016 for voluntary and assessed contributions. Voluntary contributions go to fund agencies such as UNICEF and the World Food Program (WFP). Assessed contributions are obligatory payments made by all member states and based on such things as per capita income and population. It funds peacekeeping and the regular budget of the U.N.
   As the saying goes, nothing sanitizes like sunlight. And Ambassador Haley’s research into United Nations and their dealings is vital to the strength of our country and the United States Constitution. The Constitution not only protects our individual liberties but provides for our governance and defense from enemy forces. We need to be careful to cede our governance over to foreign powers or organizations. Especially ones that do not back us up when it counts. Thank you to Ambassador Haley for standing up for our country and the Constitution!

Erlon Jones, Press Secretary
We Can’t Lose California!-Or Can We?
4/28/18

   Advocates who want California to secede from the rest of the United States were given the
green light Monday to begin collecting signatures for their initiative. California’s Secretary of
State Alex Padilla announced the ballot proposal had been cleared. The latest measure would
ask voters in 2020 to decide whether to open up a secession discussion. If passed, a second
election would be held a year later asking voters to affirm the decision and become an
independent country. Advocates have until mid-October to gather 365,880 signatures of
registered voters to get it on the ballot.
   Marcus Ruiz Evans and Louis J. Marinelli, co-founders of the group Yes California, said the second vote would show that Californians are serious about secession and would strengthen the case for foreign governments to recognize the state’s independence. “We realize it may seem like a long time to wait,” Marinelli told The Times of San Diego. “But we need time to have a serious dialogue with the people of California about why they should support the independence referendum by voting yes. The voters need to make an informed decision when they go to the polls to determine California’s political future. Evans says his group's membership has grown four times its size since President Trump took office. There are about
44,000 current members. There have been multiple efforts in the past for California to break away from the rest of America. They have either been withdrawn or failed to gather the signatures required to advance. As the Yes California group gears up, another initiative to break up California into three separate states is also taking shape. That plan, backed by Silicon Valley billionaire Tim Draper, would create a northern California state with San Francisco at its core, another state near Los Angeles and a third that covers the Central Valley as well as San Diego. And if that were not enough, there’s yet another proposal in play known as “New California” that would cut out rural counties and make them into individual states. The founders of New California describe the rest of California as “ungovernable.”
   I’m so glad they offered their professional opinion on the matter. Now let’s see what the United States Constitution says about this. Article IV, Section 3 states “New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress. So If California wants to secede from the United States, they certainly have a constitutional path to take. And the way California has been acting lately, I doubt many American citizens would put up a fight. However, the Constitution states if the California
legislature and Congress approves, then this could happen. California could become a separate country, and be on its own for defense and tax revenue. And they would certainly have more time on their hands without bossing the rest of us around. But this pipe dream is doubtful to go
anywhere. As crazy as California is, it is unlikely they would take such a dramatic step. And if that doesn’t stop them, Congress certainly would. If California wants to become more manageable, then they need to respect the Constitution and stop shoving government into every aspect of its citizens’ lives. As Senator Rand Paul frequently says, “I want the federal government so small I can barely see it.” California may be well-suited to take this advice rather than crippling itself with such a dramatic move. Ronald Reagan must be spinning in his grave in Simi Valley at this idea. The idea of our 40 th president being buried in a foreign country is almost unthinkable. That alone is worth stopping this ridiculous secession discussion.

Erlon Jones, Press Secretary
Democrat Defends 2nd Amendment
4/21/18

   I saw a fairly recent news article the other day, and I had to do a double-take on one of the articles I was looking at.
Initially I thought some colossal mistake was made. The headline read that a Democratic Congressman was endorsing citizens to exercise their Second-Amendment rights to keep and bear arms. Surely some news reporter was going to get fired over this error in writing. But to my amazement, this actually happened.
   Democratic Congressman Tom Suozzi (D-New York)
recently suggested at a town hall that President Donald Trump’s opponents could take up arms against the president. The New York Democrat was speaking at an event in Huntington, New York, last week and said it was important to put pressure on the President, in a video obtained by the New York Post. “This is where the Second Amendment comes in, quite frankly,” Suozzi
said. “Because you know, what if the president was to ignore the courts? What would you do? What would we do?"
   Republican opponents immediately jumped on these statements. “When
resistance and obstruction don’t work out, Tom Suozzi proposes violence,” National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Chris Martin said in a statement. “He’s completely out of touch.” A spokesperson for Suozzi denied that the congressman was calling for “armed insurrection” against Trump. “Taking a page from such great Americans as Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, Congressman Suozzi explained why our founding fathers created the Second Amendment as a way for citizens to fight back against a tyrannical government that does not follow the rule of law,” senior adviser Kim Devlin said in a Monday
statement to Fox News. Devlin added: “To suggest his comments meant anything else or that he was advocating for an armed insurrection against the existing president is both irresponsible and ridiculous.”
   And the Congressman certainly wouldn’t have any help from anyone in the
room. One attendee at the town hall asked what the Second Amendment did, and the Congressman had to explain it to him. That person obviously needs to attend a few CAP meetings for some education around constitutional rights and personal liberties. But it seemed very interesting that this idea would be proposed now. If a Republican politician even remotely suggested that citizens take up arms against President Obama for his policies, a vitriolic clamor for his head would have resulted. Instead, the media for the most part overlooked this story. This event not only shows the common ignorance of our constitutional freedoms, but also
the double-standard that exists in our country today when it comes to the United States Constitution.
   However, I must admit that I am pleasantly surprised that a democratic politician is willing to defend the 2nd Amendment. I also think it is amazing that Republicans would attack his statements since he is basically siding with their point of view.

Erlon Jones, Press Secretary
The Constitution and the Fourth Amendment
4/16/18

   This week the United States Constitution was steamrolled by Robert Mueller’s investigation
into Russian corruption. Like the proverbial federal bridge to nowhere, this investigation seems
to be stuck on a treadmill to oblivion. First, this investigation was supposed to determine
whether Russia interfered in our 2016 elections. Now it has moved onto Hollywood actresses
with a flair for fornication. Federal agents who raided the home and office of the president's
attorney were looking for information about money paid to two women who claim they had an
affair with President Trump before he was president, as well as records related to the infamous
"Access Hollywood" tape. Television cameras captured President Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen walking in Manhattan Wednesday following FBI raids on his homes and office earlier this week. "I'm not worried" Cohen said. The New York Times first reported the connection to the  "Access Hollywood" tape. It is not clear what role, if any, Cohen played regarding the tape, which was made public about a month before the election. But the judge who issued the warrant would have to show the records were connected to a possible crime. The president on Wednesday continued his attacks on the Justice Department, tweeting that "much of the bad blood with Russia is caused by the fake & corrupt Russia investigation.
   Through all this noise, we need to see what the Constitution says about this issue. Was the independent counsel appropriate to raid Michael Cohen’s office? The FBI raid of Cohen's home, office and hotel room stemmed from information gathered during the course of special counsel
Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling but is part of a separate federal investigation. The searches were spearheaded by the FBI's public corruption unit. Investigators were also looking for information related to non-disclosure agreements between Cohen and
film star Stormy Daniels and former model Karen McDougal. Daniels, is cooperating with federal investigators. Cohen has admitted to paying her $130,000 ahead of the election, although the White House has continued to deny any encounter between Trump and the film star. The raids were personally approved by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. In addition, the FBI agents had a search warrant issued by a judge. This is an important part of the Bill of Rights.
   The Fourth Amendment states “The right of
the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Thus, the FBI agents had to appear before a judge and present probable cause that would result in the issue of a search warrant. The judge apparently decided that in this case a warrant would be reasonable.
   But the question that exists is, what does this search warrant have to do with Russian collusion in the elections? How does Stormy Daniels figure into this? And why did General Motors manufacture the Chevy Volt? These questions will be debated for some time in our country. In the meantime, our United States Constitution cannot tolerate the removal of individual liberties. And these liberties have been risked by the appointment of a independent counsel that has been given a blank check to go on multiple fishing expeditions. We need to stick to the constitutional rule of law to avoid incidences like this in the future. Any attack on our individual liberties that might occur needs to come to an end.

Erlon Jones, Press Secretary

Showdown on the Border-The Constitution and the Caravan

4/6/18


   The news this week has been filled with stories about a band of foreign immigrants traveling
through Mexico to the United States border. This tight-knit caravan has generated a lot of media excitement, especially now that Donald Trump is the president. The Central American caravan headed north toward the United States through Mexico may have attracted the attention of President Donald Trump and others for good reason — it’s one of the largest since the group Pueblo Sin Fronteras began staging its annual pilgrimage through Mexico a decade ago. President Trump is accusing the Mexican government of doing far too little to stem the flow of people coming through the country’s southern border on their way to the U.S. as they flee violence and poverty back home. The media and liberal activists are using it as an opportunity to weep and wring their hands about border walls and locked doors. I doubt if Rachel Maddow or Anderson Cooper leaves their home doors unlocked at night for just anyoneto walk in. But not to fear, the caravan of Central American migrants that President Trump has portrayed as an emblem of flawed immigration policy in the United States began to splinter on Thursday, as hundreds of people departed this rural town aboard buses and on foot, abandoning the decrepit municipal sports complex where their journey had stalled for five nights. But the movement’s organizers insisted that the caravan would regroup in the Mexican city of Puebla in the next few days before continuing to Mexico City, where it would officially end after meetings with government officials and possibly a street protest.

   Speaking to reporters earlier this week, Mr. Trump said he had pressured the Mexican government to act against the caravan, a claim that drew a firm rebuttal from the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto, which said the caravan’s halt here in Matías Romero was a decision of the organizers, not the result of domestic or international pressure. Mr. Peña Nieto sharply criticized Mr. Trump’s plan to send National Guard troops to the border. That’s right, we now have a president that is willing to stand up for our own citizens. That means, even if the caravan of immigrants held together, they would certainly be stopped at the border.

   Even though Trump is being roundly criticized for this effort, the media has failed to mention that President Bush sent the National Guard to the Mexican border in 2006, and President Obama in 2010. But this president is determined not to play ball with these activists. Instead of allowing them to bully us Americans, Trump is using this as an opportunity to point out the flaws in our immigration policies, and the lack of action from previous administrations.

   Constitutionally, the President is on firm ground in this effort. Article II, Section 2 states in part “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States…” Further, the Congress has the duty to back up the President in this effort, as Article I, Section 8 states in part “To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions…” Any caravan of non-citizens intending to ram-raid their way into our country should be treated as an invading force and should be stopped at the border by the military. And this is
even more important since the military cannot be used to enforce civilian laws. Therefore, this confrontation needs to take place constitutionally at the border so that the military can respond, not the border patrol. However, this point may be moot since the caravan appears to have fallen apart.

   But just because this caravan was made up of a group of vans traveling through Mexico, it should not be treated any different than if Britain sent a caravan of warships over the Atlantic, or Cuba sent a flotilla across the Gulf of Mexico, or Canada sent Justin Bieber over the border. (Oh, too late!) As Americans, we need to be aware of what is in our Constitution, and make sure our government leaders follow suit. This means enforcing power through the Constitution or pushing government back because of limited Constitutional authority. That being said, let’s not encourage any more foreign immigrant caravans. Or Canadian pop singers.


Erlon Jones, Press Secretary
Justice Stevens Hits the 2nd Amendment
3/30/18

   Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is calling for the repeal of the 2nd Amendment to allow for significant gun control legislation. The 97-year- old Stevens says in an essay on The New York Times website that repeal would weaken the National Rifle Association's ability to "block constructive gun control legislation." Stevens was on the losing end of a 2008 ruling in which the high court held that the 2nd Amendment gives individuals the right to own a gun for self-defense. He had previously called for changing the 2nd Amendment to permit gun control. Stevens says the decision in that case, District of Columbia v. Heller, "has provided the N.R.A. with a propaganda weapon of immense power." Stevens retired from the court in 2010, after more than 35 years. That was probably a smart decision given his wanton disregard for constitutional liberties.
   The Second Amendment is very clear on the right of citizens to bear arms and to protect themselves from the tyranny of government. Every time there is a school shooting or some other tragic event, too many people run to the cameras and start wringing their hands and make emotional pleas for more gun control. Unfortunately, we have seen too often that if guns are banned or limited, criminals will find other devices for mass murder, including trucks, planes, and pressure cookers. It is important to realize that rights and liberties come with moral responsibilities that are part of citizenship. Freedom without a moral guide will lead to either anarchy or tyranny. And the Constitution certainly can’t tolerate that. In the opinion of this writer,  Justice Stevens needs to go back to his front porch and have a nice, long rest.

Erlon Jones, Press Secretary
Scandals and Skeletons- The United States Postal Service and the Star-Route Scandal
3/1/18

   It has been a while since we visited our Scandals and Skeletons series. Since most of the scandal appears to be in Hollywood as of late, I thought it would be fun to look at one of the most long-running scandals in history, the Star Route scandal that occurred from the mid-late 1800s. This scandal involved the United States Postal Service, and lasted through the administrations of
several presidents. The United States Constitution lays out the requirements for a postal service
in Article I, Section 8. In June 1788, the ninth state ratified the Constitution, which gave Congress the power “To establish Post Offices and post Roads” in Article I, Section 8. A year later, the Act of September 22, 1789 continued the Post Office and made the Postmaster General subject to the direction of the President. Four days later, President Washington appointed Samuel Osgood as the first Postmaster General under the Constitution. A population of almost four million was served by 75 Post Offices and about 2,400 miles of post roads. The Post Office received two one-year extensions by the Acts of August 4, 1790, and March 3, 1791. The Act of February 20, 1792, continued the Post Office for another two years and formally admitted newspapers to the mails, gave Congress the power to establish post routes, and prohibited postal officials from opening letters. Later legislation enlarged the duties of the Post Office, strengthened and unified its organization, and provided rules for its development. The Act of May 8, 1794, continued the Post Office indefinitely
   In 1845, Congress decided to establish “Star Routes” which were inland mail delivery routes. The Star Route scandal involved a lucrative 19th century scheme whereby postal officials received bribes in exchange for awarding postal delivery contracts in southern and western areas. After the Civil War, these highly prized routes increased due to rapid expansion in the West and South West regions of the United States. The potential for illicit profits made the Postal Service ripe for corruption and scandal due to defects in the laws and regulations. The way the swindle worked was that contractors would first make low "straw" bids for the routes, while other contractors in the ring would make exorbitantly high bids. Through a series of default bidding, the ring contractor would receive the contract route at an exorbitant high price. Profits from the excessively high contracts would be split between ring leaders. The ring consisted of a complex relationship between brokers, contractors, and appointed members of the Post Office. Millions of dollars were being depleted from the national treasury.
   Investigations by Congress into corruption began as early as 1872 during the Grant Administration. This investigation result had been tainted by bribery, while an 1876 investigation managed to shut down the Star Route frauds temporarily. A resurgence of graft stealthily took place in 1878 in the Hayes Administration, continuing into the Garfield Administration. In April 1880, another Congressional investigation was launched. President  Rutherford B. Hayes, in an effort of reform, stopped further awarding of Star Route contracts. In April 1881, President James Garfield launched an investigation into the Star Routecorruption. Garfield's investigation revealed among the major players involved were some of the large contractors, the Second Assistant Postmaster-General Thomas Brady , some of the subordinates in the department, and Arkansas Senator Stephen Dorsey, who became Secretary of the Republican National Committee during James Garfield’s 1880 presidential campaign. After Garfield's death by assassination, President Chester Arthur pursued the investigation. Two federal prosecution trials took place in 1882 and 1883, and the postal ring was finally shut down. Although the fraudulent scheme was widespread, there were few convictions. Brady and Dorsey were acquitted by the jury in the 1883 trial.
   Although Washington may seem corrupt today, it has always been corrupt. The writers of the United States Constitution feared this would happen, and put many safeguards in place to prevent and address these issues. Because of this, corruption can be taken care of before it begins to shake the foundations of our government. That is just another reason why our Constitution is important to our freedom. It’s too bad Hollywood didn’t have a constitution, they could probably use one right now.

Erlon Jones, Press Secretary
California Meets the Supremacy Clause
2/25/18

   At the beginning of 2018, the state of California became a so-called ‘sanctuary state.’ In general terms this means that California will not help the federal government enforce federal immigration law. A piece of legislation that helps make the state of California a ‘sanctuary state’ is called ‘The Immigration Worker Protection Act.’ The law makes it illegal for a privately-owned business to voluntarily help Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) track down illegal immigrants that might be working for their business. According to the Sacramento Bee, employers are also required to inform their workers before a federal audit of employee records takes place. Businesses that violate the law could face fines up to $10,000. In a recent news conference, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra mentioned this provision in the law saying, “If they (the employers) voluntarily start giving up information about their employees or access to their employees in ways that contradict our new California laws, they subject themselves to actions by my office.” Mr. Becerra went on to say, “We will prosecute those who violate the law.” But is an employer truly in trouble if he breaks California state law and helps ICE enforce federal immigration law?
   The simple Constitutional answer is “No.” Article VI, Paragraph II, of the U.S. Constitution contains something called the ‘Supremacy Clause’ which reads, “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.” 
   This portion of the Constitution enshrines the United States Constitution and the laws of the United States as the supreme law of the land; superior to any law passed by state government or any state Constitution. Therefore, the idea that a business caught voluntarily assisting ICE enforce federal law could get in trouble under California state law seems somewhat ridiculous. The federal government is given the right to deal with immigration in the Constitution and, therefore, federal immigration law takes precedence over any law that California attempts to pass on the issue.
   Alexander Hamilton discussed the ‘Supremacy Clause’ in Federalist Paper Number 33, where he wrote, “But it is said that the laws of the Union are to be the supreme law of the land. But what inference can be drawn from this, or what would they amount to, if they were not to be supreme? It is evident they would amount to nothing. A LAW, by the very meaning of the term, includes supremacy.” However, Hamilton made another point when he wrote, “Though a law, therefore, laying a tax for the use of the United States would be supreme in its nature, and could not legally be opposed or controlled, yet a law for abrogating or preventing the collection of a tax laid by the authority of the State, (unless upon imports and exports), would not be the supreme law of the land, but a usurpation of power not granted by the Constitution.” In other words, Hamilton makes the point that the laws passed by Congress obviously need to be within their constitutional purview. Otherwise the law is unconstitutional, and therefore is not supreme. But as I have already mentioned, Congress does have power over the issue of immigration, and this makes federal immigration laws supreme.
   The issue of illegal immigration is a very hot topic of debate in the realm of today’s politics. Both sides feel strongly about the issue and disagreement is totally acceptable. However, neither side must, in their zeal to push particular policy, attempt to override the rule of law that is established by the Constitution. And when something like this happens, I wonder why some of the politicians in California are capable of passing bills that are blatantly unconstitutional.

Isaac Hadam, President
President Trump- Unfit for Office?
2/18/18

   Ice cream, hamburgers, and Kentucky Fried Chicken. Now that sounds like a meal I could throw my support behind. However, I’m sure this kind of frequent diet would get me a stern lecture from my doctor. Not to mention I wouldn’t be able to fit into my summer wardrobe, my
favorite pair of jeans, or even my bathrobe. But I digress. 
   Recently, President Trump’s physician received a real grilling over Trump’s diet and exercise routine. Reporters threw a litany of conspiracy theories and wild accusations around at the press briefing. Maybe they thought that if they threw enough spaghetti up against the wall, maybe it would stick. Unless Trump ate it first. He does have a good appetite and has a penchant for fast food and diet sodas. But this doesn’t seem to affect his health or ability to serve as president. Dr. Ronny Jackson stated that President Donald Trump’s overall health “is excellent” and he did “exceedingly well” on cognitive screening designed to detect early signs of memory loss and other neurological functions. He had issued a blanket declaration that Trump was in “excellent health” after the recent exam and promised to provide a fuller readout. 
   He reported that the 6-foot- 3 president weighed in at 239 pounds, 3 pounds heavier than he was in September 2016, the last time Trump revealed his weight to the public. Trump’s blood pressure was 122 over 74, and his total cholesterol was 223, which is higher than recommended. Trump was 70 when he took office on Jan. 20, 2017, making him the oldest person ever elected to the presidency. Trump’s heart exam was normal, with regular rhythm and no abnormal sounds, which Jackson said led him to conclude with confidence that Trump “has a very strong and a very probable possibility of making it completely through his presidency with no medical issues.” Trump has no heart disease. 
   Despite this, reporters grilled Dr. Jackson for nearly an hour on Trump’s fitness for office and posed several theories on why he might be unfit for office. Its time to put away the whip, the horse is dead. 
   Amendment XXV, Section 4 of the United States Constitution states “Whenever the Vice-President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice-President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President. Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.” 
   So, despite all the conspiracy theories that abounded at that ridiculous press conference, it looks like President Trump will remain as President. That will certainly cause a few snowflakes to melt. And it is doubtful Trump will put down his cheeseburger long enough to declare himself unavailable or unable to discharge his duties. It looks like the alt left will have to find another way to get rid of Trump.

Erlon Jones, Press Secretary
The State of the Union and the Constitution
2/9/18

   Millions of Americans tuned into their television sets last week for the annual State of
the Union address by President Donald Trump. This event, held in the House of Representatives chamber, is always a big event in Washington. 
   But many people have no idea that a report on the State of the Union from the President is constitutionally mandated. Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution states “He [the President] shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.” The State of the Union speech is addressed in the first part of this section.
   The President usually gives a speech that addresses current issues facing the country and sets a vision for the next year. Today, it is televised live on television. Warren Harding's 1922 speech was the first to be broadcast on radio, albeit to a limited audience, while Calvin Coolidge's 1923 speech was the first to be broadcast across the nation. Harry Truman's 1947 address was the first to be broadcast on television. Lyndon B. Johnson's address in 1965 was the first delivered in the evening. Three years later, in 1968, television networks in the United States, for the first time, imposed no time limit for their coverage of a State of the Union address. Delivered by Lyndon B. Johnson, this address was followed by extensive televised commentary by, among others, Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Milton Friedman. Ronald Reagan's 1986 State of the Union Address is the only one to have been postponed. He had planned to deliver it on January 28, 1986 but postponed it for a week after learning of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster and instead addressed the nation on the day's events. Bill Clinton's 1997 address was the first broadcast available live on the World Wide Web. 
   There is also a darker side of the State of the Union address. Customarily, one cabinet member (the designated survivor) does not attend the speech, in order to provide continuity in the line of succession in the event that a catastrophe disables the President, the Vice President, and other succeeding officers gathered in the House chamber. For instance, the Secretary of Education or the Secretary of the Interior will stay home, in the unlikely event a disaster would wipe out the Presidential cabinet, and they would be rushed to the Capitol to be sworn in as the new President. Additionally, since the September 11 attacks in 2001, a few members of Congress have been asked to relocate to undisclosed locations for the duration of the speech to form a ruling Congress in the event of a disaster. But that event is unlikely, so we should just go ahead and enjoy the speech. 
   So as the media discusses the State of the Union address and the political pundits weigh in; we can be confident that this constitutional requirement is being met, and our United States Constitution is still functioning for our benefit today.

Erlon Jones, Press Secretary

The Mueller Probe and the Constitution

2/2/18


   Headlines have been splashed around in the national media about President Trump and Russian collusion in the 2016 election. Allegations are everywhere that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to alter or sway the election in Trump’s favor. As if Hillary Clinton’s getting pushed into a van didn’t do that already. But thankfully the Justice Department appointed a special prosecutor, which will investigate the case and finally bring some justice to this matter. Robert Mueller is a stellar example of uprightness and honesty in federal government. The investigation was viewed as a torch of truth and that they would make justice prevail, and finally bring the Trump administration to its knees.
   Well, well, well. It looks like the Squeaky Clean Investigation has some dirt under his fingernails. This came in the form of two FBI agents that were assigned to the team that Mueller led to investigate Russian collusion. Peter Strzok and Lisa Page were two FBI agents that were discovered to be in the tank for Hillary Clinton and were dismissed from their positions in the Mueller probe. And not only were they biased in favor of the Clinton campaign, the two of them had a romantic relationship going on. But these two were doing more than the typical two teenagers sitting at the drive-in movie kissing until their braces sparked. Thousands of text messages were released that showed both agents were not pleased with the rise of Trump during the 2016 election. Both bash Trump and express concerns about being too tough on Hillary Clinton during an investigation into the use of her private email server. The pair exchanged some 50,000 text messages throughout the presidential election and first year of the Trump administration, many of them with anti-Trump sentiments. Peter Strzok is a veteran counterintelligence agent who was assigned to both the investigation into Clinton’s personal email server and Muller's probe into possible collusion between Trump officials and Russians during the election. Strzok was removed from the Russia investigation after it was revealed that he exchanged anti-Trump text messages with Page, a senior FBI lawyer. It was then reported that Strzok left the probe and was reassigned to the human resources division in August 2017. That’s like the the local sheriff getting demoted to town dog-catcher. Or Hillary Clinton losing a presidential election. Oh, wait, she did. Twice.

   The irregularities in the Clinton-emails investigation are breathtaking: the failure to use the grand jury to compel the production of key physical evidence; the Justice Department’s collaboration with defense lawyers to restrict the FBI’s ability to pursue obvious lines of inquiry and examine digital evidence; immunity grants to suspects who should have been charged with crimes and pressured to cooperate; allowing subjects of the investigation to be present for each other’s FBI interviews and even to act as lawyers for Clinton, in violation of legal and ethical rules; Comey’s preparation of a statement exonerating Clinton months before the investigation was complete and key witnesses, including Clinton herself, were interviewed; and the “coincidental” tarmac meeting between Obama attorney general Loretta Lynch and Mrs. Clinton’s husband just days before Hillary Clinton sat for a perfunctory FBI interview complete with tea and crumpets. But when it comes to President Trump, four arrests have been made of his operatives, none of which the charges even related to the campaign. But it shows how the Justice Department was tipped in favor of Hillary Clinton, especially when you see two FBI agents texting each other when they should have been home with their spouses. (Yes, that’s right, Agent Strzok is married. And not to Lisa Page) It’s interesting what comes crawling out then the swamp begins to drain.
   Certainly, civil servants are allowed to have their own personal political views. That is their right that belongs to every American citizen. But when personal views start affecting how they do their job, then that kind of bias cannot be tolerated. Especially with our criminal justice system, which promises “liberty and justice for all.” The United States Constitution demands and ensures protection and liberties to every citizen. And when these liberties are being threatened by two FBI agents that are tilting their hand in favor of one side, then that cannot be tolerated. Now that Peter Strzok is in the personnel office, he can find a job for Hillary Clinton. I’m sure the Justice Department has a lot of servers that need wiping with a cloth.


Erlon Jones, Press Secretary

The Constitution and the New California Movement
1/26/18

   I noticed an interesting article in the news this week about the state of California being divided
up into two parts. This was not your typical succession article which we have debated here before. But rather, there is a proposition being made to divide California into two states, with the new state being named “New California.” The “New California” movement, founded by Robert Preston and Tom Reed, seeks to consolidate rural California into a state separate from the coast. Preston and Reed say the citizens of the state live “under a tyrannical form of government that does not "constitutional requirements." There's something wrong when you have a rural county such as this one, and you go down to Orange County which is mostly urban, and it has the same set of problems, and it happens because of how the state is being governed and taxed," Preston told CBS Sacramento. The "founders" have evoked Article IV Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution as justification for establishing a new state with a new state constitution. It states that a consensus must be reached by the state legislatures of California as well as Congress. The process, according to New California representatives, could take 10 to 18 months. The New California movement unveiled a “Declaration of Independence,” earlier this week that called for a “free and Independent State” with “full power to establish and maintain law and order, to promote general prosperity.” Wow, these guys certainly mean business. We could have used them at the Alamo. And you can’t blame people for being upset. The urban areas of California tend to run the state such as Sacramento, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. These hotbeds of alt left politics usually overwhelm the voters in more urban, conservative areas of the state. Thus, California is seen as a “blue” state which always votes for the Democrats’ candidates. And further, these large urban areas soak up the majority of state funding for projects. A small part of the state speaks for the majority. Doesn’t sound very balanced to me.
   I share their frustration. I live in Maine. We are a largely rural, conservative state. However, we have two counties at the very southern part of the state that have the lion’s share of the votes in any election, and they always vote for the alt left. Cities such as Portland and Lewiston are very liberal oriented and make their voices known. This is in direct contradiction to the more northern parts of the state. And because these two counties hold the lion’s share of the population, the more rural areas tend to take a back seat when it comes to state funding for roads, bridges, and government offices. Like a mewling brat that has been fed too much candy, the southern, liberal areas of the state usually get what they want at the expense of others. And Mainers know this. Every few years, someone tries to start a movement to split Maine into two states, to make it more governable and equal.
   So, I know how rural Californians feel. Article IV, Section 3 of the Constitution states “New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.” The Constitution gives specific instructions for citizens if they wish to start altering their respective states.
   But I would caution against these moves. If states start dividing and/or joining together frequently, then chaos could easily ensue, especially given todays charged political climate. If California starts dividing up, then other states may as well. And it may not be for a good, well thought-out reason. If a mob of people get fired up over some minor issue, then out will come the torches and pitchforks, and a new state will be formed. In the long run, this will be unsustainable for our union. If I was California or Maine, I would find another solution to the problem. We certainly don’t want an American flag with over 200 stars on it.

Erlon Jones, Press Seceretary
A Great Place to Be!
1/19/18

   The morning show on Fox News, Fox & Friends, recently had an interview that I believe speaks to the very core of how special America is. They interviewed a 10 year- old boy from Peru named Jaryd Cueto. What was so special about the interview? Jaryd had just taken the oath and had become a U.S. citizen. When asked what it felt like to be an official American citizen; his answer was, “It feels, like, amazing.” Although he seemed a little lost for words at times during the interview, as some kids might be in front of a large TV audience, there can be no doubt that he was very happy and excited to be an American citizen. Why is this so important?
   All too often people complain about the problems with America and don’t take the time to be thankful for the true blessings of this land. Jaryd understands what it is like to be a none-citizen and he appears to be happier about being a citizen than not being one. Why is this? Because as someone who started living their life in a different country, he understands how much better we have it here.
   There is no other nation in the history of the world with this kind of freedom and prosperity. America was built as a nation where if you live by a decent moral code and are willing to work hard; you are able to achieve great things. You might not end up as a millionaire, but you would be able to improve your life, and you would be able to leave your children better off than yourself. The American dream is something that truly is synonymous with our great nation, because only here, in America, is it truly achievable. And this atmosphere is maintained in a large part due to the Constitution.
   The Constitution truly is a one of a kind document for a one of a kind country. Our Constitution is a special document, because, unlike other countries constitutions, our Constitution is a document telling the government what it is allowed to do, rather than a document telling the people what they are allowed to do. Instead of the government forcing its will on the people, the Constitution keeps the government restrained and gives individuals the freedom to take their fate into their own hands.
   This is not to say that America doesn’t have its problems. Sure we do! And we should fix problems when they arise. However, instead of whining about America’s problems all day, like some do, maybe they should look at the problems faced by others in places like China, North Korea, Iran, and others. If this is done, they will soon realize how blessed we are to be American citizens. If a ten year-old boy understands how blessed Americans
are; maybe it’s time for some adults to take a closer look at the thought.

Isaac Hadam, President

Even Robots Need the First Amendment

1/10/18

   As we enter the new year, Americans look ahead to a year filled with hope, optimism, and
renewed confidence. A fresh beginning, and a chance to make all things new. What a great day! Even an ardent progressive activist couldn’t spoil this good time with an attack on the First Amendment. Wait a minute, he did. Meet Jay Malsky, a comedian and part-time drag queen from New York City, (where else?), who was vacationing at Disneyland in Florida along with thousands of other families. Apparently, Malsky took issue with Disney’s Hall of President’s attraction which featured a President Trump robot. The Hall of Presidents attraction features several mechanical, talking presidential robots featuring the current as well as past presidents. Each robot speaks for about a minute, then shuts off and another begins speaking. This attraction is enjoyed by millions of visitors each year.

   That is, until Malsky came upon the scene. When the President Trump robot lit up and began speaking, Malsky displayed a meltdown not seen since Fukushima Reactor Number 2. He began screaming “Lock him up!” along with other derisions aimed at the 45 th president. Upset visitors told Malsky to stop yelling, as children became frightened and was putting a damper on the event. Eventually security showed up and removed Malsky from the exhibit, followed by clapping applause from the audience. It’s too bad the Presidential Robots couldn’t clap as well.
   What was Malsky’s response? Was it shame and sorrow for disrupting everyone’s vacation. No, instead it was complete and total arrogance and rebellion. “Anyone that’s upset I disrupted a family vacation can check their privilege and consider getting mad about the thousands of
children being taken away from their parents because of Trump’s racist immigration policies, or the families of the hundreds of trans Americans murdered each year by transphobic and homophobic people, or the negative impacts of the tax bill on poor and middle-income Americans,” Malsky said. That’s nice, now where is the Space Mountain ride? It appears that even robots cannot enjoy free speech rights in this country without being heckled and derided. For many progressives, Americans are not individuals – each unique and special in his or her own way. Your skin color, gender, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status are what’s most important. So long to the days when individuals are judged by their character. In victimhood politics, all that matters is the situation you were born into. Now, more than ever, it’s important that real American patriots continue to teach the true spirit of our country: that all people are worthy of respect until they prove otherwise, including robots. That is the foundation of our United States Constitution, and we should hold these values high as we enter the new year.


Erlon Jones, Press Secretary

Happy Holidays and Pass the Ammunition

12/30/17


   It is the holiday season, with all its trimmings, trees, and ribbons. Santa Claus whisks from
house delivering presents to all, as families lovingly gather to trim the tree and make
snickerdoodles. It is a scene right out of a Martha Stuart catalog, that gives a warm, tingly
feeling to all that encounter it. However, this scene was interrupted last week at the United
Nations in New York. What should have been a nice family gathering turned into a free for all
that would rival a World Wrestling Entertainment smackdown.
   The trouble started when President Trump announced that the United States was moving its
embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, thus recognizing it as the official capital of Israel. This raised the ire of many countries, along with several extremist groups in the Middle-East. With their
feathers ruffled, these nations went running to the United Nations to seek refuge and address the situation. But considering how weak the United Nations is, it was akin to standing next to a 90-pound weakling when the pack of schoolyard bullies approached. And this time, the United States was not going to be intimidated or forced to cower in the corner. Enter Nikki Haley, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations. She marched up to the assembled group began firing on both barrels. Like John Cena wielding a metal folding chair, she systematically put the United Nations in its place, warning that the United States “would remember this vote.” In one speech, Haley reversed decades of weakness shown by the United States toward our enemies. She stood up for the right of the United States to locate its foreign embassies where they want, including Jerusalem. Of course, at the end of this speech, the United Nations reverted to form, and voted to condemn the embassy move. Apparently, they just aren’t with the program.
   Article II, Section 3 of the United States Constitution gives the President the ability to receive foreign ambassadors from other countries. The President also has executive power when dictating what happens to our embassies on foreign soil, based on years of precedent. And in this case, Congress agreed with him. Congress, since the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 has urged the United States to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to relocate our Embassy to Israel to that city.  The United States Senate reaffirmed the Act in a unanimous vote on June 5, 2017. Thus, President Trump was merely acting on what Congress had already recommended twice, even though the President did not need that congressional authority to act.
   The embassy move will go forward, despite the United Nation’s weak-kneed vote. President Trump is following constitutional authority with this move. However, the move is now running afoul of other foreign countries. Good. I would rather trust in the United States Constitution, rather than the constitution of some far-flung country with a tin-pot dictator. And since at this point in time the United States is the most powerful country on earth, we have great precedence. Happy New Year everyone!

Erlon Jones, Press Secretary

Were the Founders Against Tax Cuts?

12/27/17


   The major debate over the GOP tax bill is over as President Trump officially signed it into law. During the debate over the tax bill there were many numbers thrown around and claims made about what the bill would or wouldn’t do. One of the most interesting claims came from House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who said “It (the tax bill) does violence to the vision of our Founders.” Why don’t we take a look at whether her claim was accurate or not.

   First things first, this tax bill will give a vast majority of Americans a tax break. There will be a small percentage that will pay more, predominantly in states with high state tax rates. But as a general rule, this bill will lower taxes for the average American. So do tax cuts really do violence to the Founders’ vision?

   Well, if one goes back to their 2nd grade history class they will remember one of the main reasons that the colonists were disgruntled with Great Britain was because of what they deemed to be unreasonable and unfair taxes. Now there were many other reasons, twenty-seven are listed in the Declaration of Independence, but there can be no doubt that the issue of taxes was high on the totem pole. Now that the history lesson is over, let’s

look at what the Founders had to say about taxes.

   The Founders did understand that the taxes were necessary for a nation with James Madison saying that the ability to tax people “is essential to the very existence of government.” However, our Founders also realized that the government should be very careful about how much they tax their citizens. Benjamin Franklin said, “It would be a hard government that should tax its people one-tenth part of their income.” John Marshall said, “The power to tax is the power to destroy.” So while the Founders understood that taxes are needed to run a government, they also understood that the government should be very careful on how much they should tax their people.

   One final fact worth pointing out is that the Founders’ didn’t even allow for a Federal income tax in the Constitution. The Federal income tax was instituted by the 16th Amendment which was ratified in 1913. So it would be accurate to say that the Founders were not exactly fans of Federal income tax, since they didn’t even add a provision for it in the Constitution.

   I would say that based on the three things we have looked at, the Founders would have no problem with taxes being lowered. Now, if Ms. Pelosi wants to argue over whether the GOP tax bill is good or not is totally fine, but to say that a bill that cuts taxes for most Americans is somehow in violation of the Founders’ vision is clearly uneducated at best.


Isaac Hadam, President

Merry Christmas!
12/22/17

   It is the Christmas season. Yes, the Christmas season, not the “holiday” season. Usually one can say, “Merry Christmas” without setting off a firestorm. However, there are still some that are offended by such a notion.
   This is very evident in the state of Connecticut. Republican lawmakers volunteering for the
Salvation Army were out in force raising money for mentally disabled, poor, and starving. With
today’s political climate in our country, there would be trouble. And it wasn’t long in coming. “I
received a letter from the group and they suggested quite strongly that I should refrain from
volunteering from any organization or charity that is religious based,” State Senator George
Logan stated. The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Wisconsin-based group of atheists,
agnostics and free-thinkers experienced a bad case of ruffled feathers after they learned that Republican lawmakers were raising money for the Salvation Army. Their letter to Senator Logan minced no words. “We urge you to consider supporting only secular charities in the future,” the group wrote. “This will ensure that representatives do not give the appearance of promoting an overtly Christian mission and will prevent citizens from feeling ostracized by their elected representatives because of their religious beliefs or sexual preference.” This certainly raised the ire of Senator Logan. “Their whole premise is I should not work with any organization that has any religious ties because it may offend someone in the community,” Sen. Logan stated in disgust.
   The money raised by the bell ringers funds a variety of Salvation Army ministries – from homeless shelters to addiction programs to providing warm coats for children. Sen. Logan dismissed arguments from the Freedom From Religion Foundation that helping the Salvation Army was a separation of church and state issue. “It doesn’t mean lawmakers like myself are supposed to turn our back to our faith. That is not the intent,” he said. “The purpose of ringing those bells is to raise money for the needy.” Senator Logan instead continued to ring bells for the Salvation Army. By doing this, Senator Logan not only stood up for every poor and needy person, but also stood up for our United States Constitution. Many more people will have a Merry Christmas thanks to Senator Logan. I bet that curdled the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s egg nog. Now, let’s have a Merry Christmas and look forward to another year of defending our Constitution!

Erlon Jones, Press Secretary

A Lifetime in Congress
12/15/17

   It seems like nowadays no one can open up their newspapers or turn on their television sets
without reading about a sexual harassment scandal. Anyone can be a target nowadays,
whether they are guilty or not. And now as the swamp gets drained in Washington, DC; we are
now starting to witness the snakes and snapping turtles that are fervently moving towards
shore as their once-protective body of water rapidly recedes. Congressional sexual harassment slush funds and large financial settlements are being revealed, and the resulting stink is present for all to see.
   Speaking of slow-moving turtles, Michigan Representative John Conyers has decided to resign his seat in Congress after 52 years serving in that body. And in that 52 years, Conyers has developed an impressive resume of accomplishments. Unfortunately, it was not for helping his home state of Michigan. Instead, it was a truckload of sexual harassment allegations, with revelations of financial payouts that would bring Carnegie-Mellon to its knees. If only he had worked that hard on cleaning up Detroit and assisting the automobile industry with their comeback. Now look what he has left his Michigan constituents with. The Lincoln Mark IV and the bill for several lawsuits. Multiple accusers have come forward, and legal briefs, once
considered not newsworthy, are now major revelations. Like most crooks that get caught, Conyers immediately checked himself into the hospital for “stress.” This certainly didn’t impede his ability to do several telephone interviews with radio and television stations. However, his luck finally failed him. With anti-sexual harassment sentiment sweeping the nation, Conyers was eventually forced to resign his seat in Congress, and Minnesota Senator Al Franken is next on the hit parade. With multiple allegations flying at him, along with full-color photographs, Franken announced that he would be resigning. His support in the Senate is about as rickety as Hillary Clinton’s explanation on Benghazi.
   Constitutional scholars have reason to be concerned about this. The founding fathers of our country were very fearful of men and government corruption. And scandals like this demonstrate that fear very succinctly. Power and money tend to corrupt people very easily, and safeguards need to be in place when this corruption involves our federal government. Our United States Constitution is essentially a letter to the government from the people of this country that outlines what the people want. And that is for government to be restrained and kept in check. Otherwise, we end up as taxpayers funding sexual harassment payouts, and supporting hearings on criminal and immoral activities. This is exactly why it is so important for citizens to read and understand the Constitution.

Erlon Jones, Press Secretary

Scandals and Skeletons-Nothing New Under the Sun

12/11/17


   Voters in Alabama will go to the polls this week and vote in a special election to fill the Senate
seat previously held by Jeff Sessions, who is now United States Attorney General. The media
has been gripped lately with allegations of sexual misconduct, moral failures, and charges of
racism. So far that is not anything out of the ordinary in a political election. In fact, the more
salacious the allegations, the more interest the election is likely to draw. It will be interesting to
see what voter turnout is on December 12, and who actually votes for who. This certainly isn’t
the first-time voters have had to go to the polls, and hold their noses as they dropped their
ballot in the box.
   In the Chappaquiddick incident on July 18, 1969, Mary Jo Kopechne, a female passenger of United States Senator Ted Kennedy, was killed when he “accidentally” drove his car off a bridge and into a tidal channel on Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts. Kennedy swam free and left the scene, not reporting the accident for nine hours, and Kopechne died in the vehicle. In the early hours of July 19, Kopechne’s body and the car were recovered. Kennedy pleaded guilty to a charge of leaving the scene of an accident after causing injury and received a two-month suspended jail sentence. The incident became a national scandal, however Kennedy would continue to serve many more terms in the Senate until his death in 2009 due to a brain tumor.
   The Keating Five were five United States Senators accused of corruption in 1989, igniting a major political scandal as part of the larger Savings and Loan crisis of the late 1980s. Basically they had prevented Charles Keating, Chairman of the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association from being audited in return for receiving campaign funding. Unfortunately for everybody else in America the association collapsed under the corruption causing billions of dollars of damages and ruining the reputations of the senators. Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) was one of these Senators, but was still re-elected and continues to serve in the Senate today.
   William Blount was a Continental Congressman and a signatory of the Constitution, but he also holds the dubious distinction of being the first politician to be expelled from the United States Senate. In 1796, while serving as Senator for the new state of Tennessee, Blount hatched a scheme to aid the British in seizing Spanish-held territory in what is now Louisiana and Florida. The plan called for frontiersmen and Cherokee Indians to revolt against the Spanish and drive them off the Gulf Coast. The region would then become a British colony, opening it to settlers and allowing Blount—who owned huge tracts of Western land—to make a killing on his investments. Unfortunately for Blount, his plot unraveled in 1797 after one of his conspiratorial letters found its way to President John Adams. That July, the Senate voted to expel him from its ranks, but a subsequent impeachment trial was dismissed due to lack of jurisdiction. The scandal did little to slow Blount’s political career. Despite being labeled a scoundrel in Washington, he remained popular in Tennessee and was later elected to the state legislature and appointed speaker.
   House and senate floor debates have always been heated, but 1856 marked one of the few occasions where they resulted in bloodshed. During a discussion of the Kansas-Nebraska Act—a law that allowed the citizens of those territories to vote on whether they would allow slavery—abolitionist Senator Charles Sumner gave a fiery speech in which he branded South Carolina’s Andrew Butler a “zealot” who was enamored with the “harlot” of slavery. The words came as a grave insult to Preston Brooks, a proslavery congressman who also happened to be Butler’s nephew. Just three days later, Brooks confronted Sumner in the Senate chamber and assaulted him with a metal-topped cane, repeatedly bludgeoning him over the head until the stick splintered into pieces. The cane attack left Sumner so badly injured that he was forced to spend over three years in recovery in Europe. Brooks, meanwhile, was fined for assault and put under congressional investigation, but a measure to expel him from the House of Representatives failed to gather the required two-thirds majority. He voluntarily resigned in July 1856, only to be reseated by his constituents a few days later. In a preview of the divisions that would lead to the Civil War, the scandal saw Brooks simultaneously denounced in the North and hailed as a hero in the South. Supporters even sent him replacement canes, including one inscribed with the words “Hit Him Again.”
   So, at the end of the day, let’s not fret over the political mud-slinging in Alabama, or elsewhere. It has occurred since our country began, and will continue to happen as we move forward. Thankfully we have the United States Constitution in place to keep things from getting too out of hand. Now, where are those documents I need to shred?

Erlon Jones, Press Secretary

  A Date Which will Live in Infamy

12/7/17


  Today we remember the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 that sent the U.S. into WW2. I just wanted to take this time to salute the men who died that day defending our country, and to thank those who served then and those who serve now. I am truly grateful for their sacrifice. But people have been dying for our freedoms long before Pearl Harbor. It has been estimated that including the Revolutionary War 666,440+ Americans have died in COMBAT alone. This staggering number reminds me of the price that FREEDOM and LIBERTY carry, and it is most certainly not cheap.                                                                                                                               Another staggering statistic is that there are approximately only 558,000 U.S. World War 2 veterans left out of the 16 million who served our country during that war. Also WW2 veterans are dying at the rate of approximately 492 per DAY. One of my two grandfathers who served in WW2 has passed away. These BRAVE and AMAZING men are quietly slipping into the annals of history and it is our duty as the benefactors of their sacrifice to honor and thank them. Also to listen to their stories that we may never forget their sacrifice for this nation and the freedoms it stands for. So I just want to personally thank those who served (and died) in WW2 for their service to this great nation. May God bless those men and may God bless the United States of America.


                                                                                                                                                                                     Isaac Hadam, President

Dred Scott and President James Buchanan Meet the Constitution

12/4/17


   One of the founding principles of the United States Constitution is the separation of powers
between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. This separation was carefully crafted
by the founding fathers, and for good reason. When one branch of government start becoming
too powerful an imbalance occurs, and the Constitution functions to remedy that problem. An
unsatisfactory condition can also occur if two branches of government start colluding with each
other in order to set national policy or law. This is precisely what happened with President
James Buchanan and the United States Supreme Court in 1857.
   The United States in the 1850’s was a bubbling pot of stew that was about to go from simmer to boil. Tensions were high around the country as the issue of slavery was becoming the main topic of discussion. Everyone knew that this situation could erupt into an ugly situation. Enter James Buchanan. Elected President in 1856, Buchanan sought to remedy this situation, with the assistance of the Supreme Court. At the time Buchanan was elected, the Court was deciding the case of Dred Scott. Scott was an enslaved African-American man who had sued for his freedom, saying that because he had lived for four years in states and territories where slavery was illegal, he should be emancipated. In order to influence the Court’s decision, Buchanan reached out and influenced several of the justices on the Court. Buchanan felt that if Court ruled against Scott, and left the issue of slavery up to individual states, then the country would peaceably come together. Buchanan also speculated that if the Supreme Court’s decision was viewed as a final statement on slavery, this would add to the stability of the situation. The Court ruled against Scott, declaring that all black people “were not and could never become citizens of the United States. Therefore, Scott had no grounds to sue in the first place, the court said. Abolitionists were furious, this ruling declared the Missouri Compromise unconstitutional, and the decision was one of the factors in destroying the balance between North and South, igniting the Civil War which began four years later in 1861. It is doubtful that President Buchanan had any ill intent or malice when he made this calculated political gamble. He knew what could possibly be coming down the road in regards to slavery, and it was not a pretty scene. His attempt at staving off a civil war was admirable, but also brought about significant consequences for the country. When two branches of government try to collude with each other on an issue or situation, then the balance of powers is disrupted. The Constitution prevents this kind of meddling, and for good reason.
   I want to add that no matter what President Buchanan did, he may have never been able to prevent the Civil War. Too many historians are quick to blame Buchanan for creating the situation that led to hostilities breaking out. Since Buchanan is one of my favorite presidents, I am quick to come to his defense. His attempt to influence the Dred Scott decision certainly did not help matters at all. But the United States Civil War was decades in the making. Buchanan at that point in history may have just been trying to “take the tiger by the tail.” Unfortunately, sometimes events happen that are beyond anyone’s control. That is why it is so important to study, protect, and defend our Constitution. That way we are protected as a country no matter
what the situation.

Erlon Jones, Press Secretary

California FACT Act- The First Amendment Weighs In

11/29/17


   The First Amendment to the United States Constitution has surfaced this week. And this
time, its headed to the Supreme Court. A problematic law was passed, in all places, California,
that required pro-life family centers to post information promoting abortions. Under the so-
called Reproductive FACT Act, which California passed in 2015, pro-life centers must post a sign
in their waiting area that provides information to patients on how to obtain a state-funded
abortion. The sign must also list a phone number for the patient to call to get the abortion
process started. Noncompliance with this mandate could result in massive fines that could
cripple pro-life centers.
   Forcing pro-life pregnancy centers to become abortion referral agencies is a mandate that
appears to violate the foundational principles of these faith-based agencies. This is government-compelled speech, and it is clearly unconstitutional. State and federal courts in Illinois, Maryland, and elsewhere have found such laws unconstitutional, and in fact, a California state court judge ruled recently that this very law violates the free speech rights of California pregnancy centers under the state’s constitution. This law seems to violate both Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion. Not only does this law appear unconstitutional, it doesn’t make any sense. It would be akin to Alcoholics Anonymous groups being forced to give the nearest location of a liquor store to their members, or car dealerships being forced to advertise train or airplane tickets. Let’s hope the Supreme Court puts an end to this nonsense and rules against the law. This will be a Supreme Court case that CAP will definitely keep an eye on.

Erlon Jones, Press Secretary

So Help Me God. Unconstitutional?

11/25/17


   Thanksgiving isn’t too far in the rear view mirror for me to share something I’m thankful for. That
something is being born an American. I haven’t gone through the hassle of becoming an American citizen. Instead, I was simply born a citizen of the greatest country in the world. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a foreign citizen who finally comes to the end of the line and is able to take the oath to become a U.S. citizen. However, for at least one migrant, saying the oath may be the hardest part of the process.
   Olga Paule Perrier-Bilbo is a French citizen who has lived in Massachusetts since 2000 and is now ready to become a U.S. citizen. But she is suing the U.S. government because the oath of citizenship includes saying the words “So help me God,” which she claims would violate her right to religious freedom because she is an atheist. Her lawsuit said in part, “The current oath violates the first ten words of the Bill of Rights, and to participate in a ceremony which violates that key portion of the United States Constitution is not supporting or defending the Constitution as the oath demands.” It’s important to note that in 2009 she was offered a chance to become an American citizen without saying “So help me God,” but she refused, saying that reciting the modified oath would make her “feel less than a full new citizen.” The lawsuit went on to say, “(The) Plaintiff is unwilling to start her new life as an American citizen in some second-class status solely because she chooses to follow her religious precepts.” Apart from the fact that she clearly thinks she is entitled to having all of her wishes granted; is her claim that the phrase “So help me God” violates the First Amendment even true?
   The simple answer is…no! America’s heritage is deeply rooted in a belief in God and there is no way to escape the fact that America was founded on a set of values that are deeply tied to Judeo-Christian thought. The pilgrims landed in America to escape religious persecution and to worship God according to the dictates of their consciences. The Founding Fathers declared our independence from Great Britain with a “firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence,” and with the belief that all men are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” In 1956, President
Eisenhower signed a law that made “In God We Trust” the official motto of the United States of America. When we pledge allegiance to the flag, we say that we are “one nation, under God.”
   As far as saying “So help me God” when you make an oath; I find it hard to believe that the Founders thought it was in violation of the First Amendment. George Washington himself said, “So help me God” when being sworn in as President. Surely Washington wouldn’t have violated the document he had helped craft and there was never any protest from the Founders, showing that they certainly didn’t feel that this was unconstitutional.
Also, the phrase “So help me God” was put into oaths as early as the Judiciary Act of 1789. This act included “So help me God” in the oaths of U.S. officers other than the President. (Such as judges) This act was passed by the First United States Congress, indicating once again that our Founders didn’t believe the phrase violated the First Amendment.
   Ms. Perrier-Bilbo is entitled to her own opinion about the existence of God. But it is very arrogant of her to suggest that she understands the meaning of the First Amendment better than those who actually wrote it. So, she can either recite the full version of the oath or she can recite the modified version. It’s as simple as that; though in either case I would also advise her to act her age, and instead of whining and complaining, be thankful for the opportunity to become an American citizen.

Isaac Hadam, President

A Photo Is Worth a Thousand Words

11/20/17


   One subject has dominated the media this week, the issue of sexual harassment and assault. Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore was on the hot seat, having to answer charges of inappropriate behavior with young women. Thankfully for Moore, Senator Al Franken (D-
Minnesota) walked into the china shop and tripped, resulting in crashing and tinkling like never
seen before. And “seen” might be the right word, as Senator Franken’s inappropriate behavior
was detailed in glitzy, full-size color photographs displayed on every cable news outlet in the
country. Calls are being made for disciplinary action against Senator Franken, and calls are
being made for the Senate to expel Roy Moore from the Senate if he is elected. While Senator
Franken locates a broom and dustpan, let’s look at how the United States Constitution deals with these matters.
   Under the Constitution (Article I, Section 5) the House and Senate each have the authority to punish its members for “disorderly behavior.”  Under the rules Congress has adopted, each chamber has three options for dealing with problematic colleagues. The House and Senate can censure or reprimand a member by a majority vote. This, the least of the possible acts of punishment, is a formal condemnation that still allows the person to remain in office. The House and Senate can also each exclude someone by a majority vote, which prevents an elected member from taking their seat because they lack the technical credentials. Finally, the most severe punishment available to the House and Senate is to expel a seated member for improper behavior, which requires the consent of two-thirds of the membership. Some instances of this include: William Stanberry was censured in 1832 for insulting the speaker; Lovell Rousseau was censured in 1866 for assaulting a member. The Senate famously censured Joseph McCarthy in 1954. Democratic Senator Thomas Dodd was censured in 1967 for having used campaign funds for his own personal benefit. In 1979, the House censured Michigan Representative Charles Diggs, who had to stand in the well as Speaker Tip O’Neill rebuked him, when he was convicted for payroll fraud and kickbacks. Representatives Dan Crane and Gerry Studds were censured for improper sexual relations with pages in 1983. More recently, the
House reprimanded South Carolina Representative Joe Wilson after he shouted, “you lie” at former President Obama while he addressed Congress. Multiple expulsions in both chambers took place around the time of the Civil War when support for secession and the Confederacy were deemed intolerable. And, in October 1980, the House expelled Pennsylvania Representative Michael Myers who had been convicted of bribery as part of the ABSCAM scandal, when members were caught on tape taking bribes from FBI agents dressed as Arab Sheiks. And in July 2002, the House expelled the eccentric James Traficant of Ohio who had been convicted for racketeering, bribery, and tax evasion. The last time a senator was expelled
was in 1862. 
   It will be interesting to see what happens to Roy Moore and Senator Franken as events move forward. It would be surprising if the Senate or anyone in Washington will want to step into this mess. And this is even more likely, since Washington DC is notorious for being a hotbed of corruption and immortality, which would result in more corpses being unearthed as more fingers get pointed. So, it looks like the Constitution will decide matters, by either allowing the voters to decide at the polls, or the Senate can deal with the issues if they feel that action is warranted. Leaving these matters in the hands of the voters seems appropriate to me in these two cases. Senator Franken apologized to the woman he touched inappropriately, and she publicly accepted his apology. The questionable evidence to support the allegations against Roy Moore consists of multiple accusers and his own roundabout answers to simple yes or no questions. However, no matter what happens, the Constitution will be up to the challenge.

Erlon Jones, Press Secretary
The Constitution and Coffee
10/20/17

   It seems implausible that a cup of coffee would set off a national uproar over constitutional
liberties. But it happened last week in Seattle. Of course it happened in Seattle, where else. The
owner of a coffee shop threw out a group of coffee drinkers. Still doesn’t make sense? Let me
set the story up for you.
   A group of pro-life Christian activists were in a Seattle neighborhood passing out leaflets
opposing abortion. The group stopped in to the Bedlam coffee shop, owned by a gay man, and
ordered some drinks. There would be trouble, and it wasn’t long in coming. The owner of the
coffee shop, Ben Borgman, ordered the group out of the coffee shop in a profanity-laden,
vulgar tirade. His screeds could be heard through the neighborhood as he booted the Christians
out the door. The video that captured this event relayed an angry man with an extremely vulgar
mouth to match. It seems like only yesterday I was writing about a Christian cake baker that
was being sued for not making a cake for a marriage between two men. These two men were
demanding service at a business for themselves. But now it seems the tables have turned, and
Mr. Borgman feels he can engage in hypocrisy at the highest level and refuse service to Christians.
   What does this have to do with the United States Constitution? Everything. We have personal
liberties guaranteed by the constitution such as free trade, the right to free speech, and the right to make choices based on what we want, not necessarily what the government wants. I don’t care for Mr. Borgman’s attitude or mouth. But if he wants to run his business that way, it is his choice. I doubt if he will stay in business that long if he keeps acting like a self-appointed public avenger in his coffee shop. Likewise, the baker of the wedding cakes has the right to refuse service to someone, and let the chips fall where they may regarding his business. The Constitution gives us that choice, and I am glad for it.

Erlon Jones, Press Secretary

Charlie Gard: A Dangerous Warning to Our Freedom

8/5/17

   By now many people have heard the name Charlie Gard. He was an 11 month old boy in Great Britain who suffered from a rare degenerative disease that ends in death. His parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, raised 1.6 million dollars to take Charlie to America, on their tab, for experimental treatment that didn’t exist in Britain due to the UK’s single payer health care system. However, the hospital refused to release Charlie to his parents because they claimed that moving Charlie would cause him more pain, and that it would be better for him to die with “dignity.” The parents challenged the hospital and a dragged out court process began that took the attention of many people in both Britain and the U.S. A petition was even passed around to convince politicians in Washington to make Charlie a U.S. citizen so that he would then be extradited to America for the treatment. The drama even drew the attention of President Trump who tweeted (Imagine that) his support for Charlie Gard and his parents. Despite many efforts by Gard’s supporters, a European Union court ruled in favor of the hospital and decided that Charlie should die with “dignity” instead of seeking the experimental treatment. Although the struggle over Charlie’s future continued for a little while after that ruling, the parents had to end their attempts to save their son since so much time transpired that Charlie was beyond hope of saving. The drama ended on July 28, 2017, when the plug was pulled and Charlie was officially dead.

   Why do I take the time to tell you about this sad incident? The reason is that we must take this as a warning sign about what happens when government grows too big and decides that it can play God in other people’s lives. One of the Declaration of Independence’s best known lines is; “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Our Founders understood, and lived by the belief, that man is made in God’s image and that therefore all human life is precious. Now obviously this incident with Charlie didn’t happen in America, but we must never forget that once government oversteps its bounds they begin to make decisions that are not in their power to make.

   Fortunately, we in America have a Constitution that restricts what our government can and can’t do. However, we as citizens need to know what the Constitution says in order to ensure that our government doesn’t overstep its bounds. If we don’t know what the limitations of government are, then we run the risk of having someone like Charlie being born in the United States and being deprived of the most valuable gift, life.


Isaac Hadam, Vice-President

Keeping the Constitution at the Forefront of the Health Care Debate

7/30/17

   As the national health care saga goes on endlessly in Washington, it is easy to drift off into

another world. Rather than listen to a political issue be debated ad nauseum, it is much more

fun to go to the beach, eat lobster, or go to the symphony. At this point, watching paint dry

would be more entertaining. 

   But before we tune out completely, I noticed one constitutional issue that came up this week during the ruckus in Washington. This week’s proposed health care bill failed to pass the

Senate. Angry about this latest setback, President Trump took to Twitter, demanding that the

United States Senate change its rules so that bills could be passed by a simple majority. That is,

a bill would need at least 51 votes to pass. Currently Senate rules allow for a 60-vote majority.

With 52 Republicans and 48 Democrats, this can be challenging. Add to that a handful of weak-

kneed Republicans like Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and it can be nearly impossible to get anything done. I completely agree with President Trump in his frustration, and the Senate may need to consider changing its rules based on the current

political climate. The peoples’ business needs to get done in Washington, no matter what party is in power.

   However, President Trump needs to realize that the United States Constitution provides for separation of powers. It is not up to him to tell the Senate what they should be doing. Even if the Senate is in the wrong, the separation of powers exists for a very good reason. We don’t want one person running the country. Otherwise, we might as well appoint a king to rule over us. Things would certainly get done easier and more efficiently, but we would lose most of our basic freedoms and liberties. That is what the Constitution is designed for, and why our leaders need to refer to it every time they are in Washington. A federal republic may be inefficient at times, but I’ll keep it over another King George.


Erlon Jones, Press Secretary