Easter Isn’t About Bunnies and Candy

“But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.” – 1 Cor 15:12-19, NIV

Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead, and is free from the shackles of death.  So shall we be if we also believe and declare Him as our Savior.

Citizen Control–Epilogue

“There are places in the world where it is hard to imagine that anything is wrong.  It’s merely an illusion, and only the foolish think otherwise. But even more foolish are the people that cling to that illusion as if it were reality.  They are the ones that stand to lose the most when the illusion fades like so many stars in the morning sky.” – “Broken – A Podcast Novel”, Episode 1

We, as Citizens of the United States, cannot be foolish enough to believe that our government will abide by the Constitution, The Bill of Rights, and the Amendments to the Constitution without the oversight of the People.  Recent events have punctuated this statement with one if not more exclamation points.

Government overreach into the lives of the People of the United States is approaching Orwellian levels.  The doublespeak and outright lying by the politicians is surpassed only by the levels of hypocrisy exhibited by their words and actions.  And then there is this:

“In half a lifetime, many Americans has seen their God dethroned, their heroes defiled, their culture polluted, their values assaulted, their country invaded, and themselves demonized as extremists and bigots for holding on to beliefs Americans have held for generations.” – Pat Buchanan, “The Death of the West”

Throughout history, various governments have been pitted against the people of that country.  The government seeks control over the citizenry.  The citizenry seeks freedom from the government to carry out their lives as they see fit.  This is but one of the reasons that people came to this land before there was a United States.  And this idea, this concept, is embodied into the Constitution and the Bill of Rights – The PEOPLE have the power over the government.

Somewhere along the line, this has been turned around.  Through a combination of inattentiveness, subversion by both the well-meaning and the power-hungry, and by a blind faith that our government via elected representatives would abide by the foundational documents of this country, the balance of power has shifted from the People to the government.  And government intends to keep that power.

“Governments don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking.  That is against their interests.

“They want obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork.  And just dumb enough to passively accept it.” – George Carlin

The first four parts of this series outlined that our government, our elected representatives, have slowly but surely put the People in a place where the power now rests with the government.  If one puts aside political convictions and objectively reviews the actions of the past two administrations, one would see that the freedoms of the People of the United States have been severely curtailed.  What remains of our freedoms is only…

An illusion…

“”For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the Heavenly realms.” – Ephesians 6:12

Citizen Control–Part 4

“Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.” – Ronald Reagan

“Man is not free unless government is limited.” – Ronald Reagan

The above two quotes from Ronald Reagan sum up the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  It is an absolute abomination that the current government violates both of these statements as well as the Founding Documents of this country.  The problem is that many people within this country are oblivious to the apparent disregard our government & politicians have for the principles of our Founding Documents.

This last statement follows up the previous post in this series with this question:  In your government and/or civics classes, did your curriculum include a study of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights?  Or was it a footnote in the history of this country?  In my classes in the 70’s, the answer is “No.”  My son’s textbooks and classes definitely did not.

The Constitution of the United States is a very simple document that outlines the roles and responsibilities of the three branches of government.  The Bill of Rights (the first ten Amendments to the Constitution) are the Rights of the People have over the government.  Both documents are easy to read, and can be read in 15 minutes or less.  But the implications of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are far reaching.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” – Preamble to the Constitution of the United States

“THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.” Preamble to The Bill of Rights

When read together, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights state that the People have power over the Government, not the other way around.  Let’s take a few examples of where the Government is not following our Founding Documents.

The most recent example of a violation of the Founding Documents is the Federal mandating of the purchase of health insurance.  No where in the Constitution does it state that as a condition of citizenship a person must purchase a product offered by a private company.  Our Supreme Court has played it fast & loose by accepting (wrongly) that this act is a tax – the fact remains that a citizen must purchase this product or face a penalty.

Another issue that is facing the modern Citizen is privacy.  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.”

The warrantless gatherings of emails, phone records, and other information by the NSA is a violation of the Fourth Amendment if not in practice, then in spirit.  Now I understand that the Patriot Act supposedly authorizes the gathering of such records, and if so, the Patriot Act violates the Fourth Amendment.

The Fifth Amendment states:

“…nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

In 2005, the Supreme Court held that government, under eminent domain law, could transfer property from one private party to another if “just compensation” is given and the transfer is in the public good.  At issue was a person did not want to sell their property to a developer wanting to build a shopping mall.  For the sake of jobs and tax revenue, the government sued and won.  This ruling legalized the virtual theft of private assets on the whim of whoever is in power, and I believe in violation of the Fifth Amendment, no matter what the Supreme Court ruled.

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” – Ronald Reagan

It is now up to the average citizen to educate themselves as to the rights of a Citizen of the United States, and to what limitations that the government is legally to follow.  In today’s low-information voter, that isn’t likely to happen until government personally impacts that person.  Usually, it is then too late.

We must indeed be vigilant and vocal with our representatives, holding them accountable to their oaths to this country and to the People they represent.  Otherwise, we will indeed get the country we truly deserve.

Citizen Control–Part 3

Captain Renault: “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!”

Croupier: “Your winnings, sir.”

Casablanca, 1942

In the first two parts of this series, I have shown that our government is in the process of controlling the United States citizenry through economic means (taxes and rampant spending),  unfettered interference (mind-numbing laws & regulations), and an increasing reliance upon government for daily needs by the population (Welfare, healthcare insurance, and other subsidies).  And government, via the political class, is hell-bent on keeping their power over the People.

One of the ways that government has been keeping control over the population has been in the field of education.  “Common Core” is only the latest of education schemes designed to inhibit learning and increase dependence upon government to “help.”  I seem to remember in my earlier years the “new math” craze where the right answer didn’t matter as long as the method was correct (which is utter BS, by the way – if the method is correct, you will arrive at the correct answer).

I was taught to read using phonics.  My son was encouraged to use the whole word method (i.e., word memorization).  I will tell you right now, trying to memorize a dictionary is impossible unless you are a savant.  To this day, he has difficulty reading even after tutoring in phonics – his Asperger’s Syndrome inhibits his “unlearning” a faulty method.

Which is why we appear to have 50 million functional illiterate people

There have been several news articles in recent weeks concerning Common Core, especially math.  The following graphic is a perfect example why this learning methodology isn’t worth the paper it’s written on:

A parent’s letter to “Jack” – Priceless!!

I’m pleased to see my home state of Indiana has rejected Common Core lock, stock, and barrel.  More states and school districts are following suit.

One of the things that irritated me beyond belief with the school system is that they constantly teach how to pass a test, usually leading up to the SAT or ACT standardized tests for admittance to colleges and universities.  It frosted me to see kids doing well on these tests, getting accepted to colleges and universities, but having to take remedial classes just so they would have a half a chance to make it through the first semester.

And the above is in addition to the “let’s make everyone feel special” movement to supposedly boost self-esteem.  Let me tell you – when my son got out of high-school, expected to walk into a business expecting to get a job, and was promptly rejected multiple times, he found out very quickly that the world is not a fair place by any stretch of the imagination.  He found out what the schools were saying was wrong and his old man was right – self-esteem is earned and learned, not given out like candy and bogus grades.

President Carter created the Department of Education in 1979 ”to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.”  In my humble opinion, the opposite is true – other countries are surpassing the United States despite more money being funneled into the education system (NPR report here).  We are not even in the top 20 of developed nations.

So here’s where we are now at:  Children and young adults are graduating from high school and college without a firm grasp upon the basics of reading, writing, arithmetic, and critical thinking skills.  The result is that we now have a undereducated population, otherwise known as the low-information voter who is easier to be manipulated because they have not learned these basics.

“Education is not merely neglected in many of our schools today, but is replaced to a great extent by ideological indoctrination.” – Thomas Sowell

“If the education of our kids comes from radio, television, newspapers – if that’s where they get most of their knowledge from, and not from the schools, then the powers that be are definitely in charge, because they own all those outlets.” – Maynard James Keenan

It’s not a big stretch to hear Fred Sanford telling the country, “You big dummy!” and it be true.  The ship of public education in this country is sinking fast, and the public is jumping ship to private and charter schools – at least those that can afford it.  For those that cannot, they will be subjected to an expensive, sub-standard education mandated by faceless bureaucrats at the State & Federal levels.

Pity, for no one knows what potential is lost by the under education of children…and the resulting increased control of those same children as adults.