Hearts and Minds

…is an old phrase made famous in the ’60s and ’70s. The concept was valid. However, the implementation left a lot to be desired. The phrase came to me today as I read an article in the American Thinker. Most of the nation is watching the candidates for federal office. But there are hundreds of other candidates running for local, county and state offices as well and the prognosis for THEM is more telling on the sensibilities of the country. The outlook for the dems is potentially worse than anyone thought.

http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/content/images//2014-10-16%20Senate%20Map%20(600).png

Center for Politics Projected Map of the 2014 general election

One clarification. When the article below speaks of chambers, it counts the state Houses and state Senates separately. One state, Nebraska, has a single-chamber legislature. Nebraska is also, by state law, non-partisan. That leaves 98 partisan legislative chambers.

State Legislatures and 2014

By Bruce Walker, October 19, 2014

Most of the midterm attention seems to be on control of the United States Senate, with some attention on key gubernatorial races like Florida and Wisconsin, and with a smidgen of notion to the size of the Republican House majority after 2014.  Most pundits see Republicans padding that current majority by some seats.

There is another level to the 2014 midterm that passes almost completely under the political radar:  control of state legislatures.  Twenty years ago, in the 1994 midterms, Republicans made dramatic gains in state legislatures – a vital part of our constitutional system, which had been utterly dominated by Democrats for a century.

How weak had Republicans been in state legislatures?

Consider these data.  After the 1980 Reagan landslide, Democrats held 74 of the 98 partisan state legislative chambers.  After the 1984 Reagan landslide, in which Democrats carried only one state, Democrats held 67 out of the 98 chambers.  After George H. Bush beat Dukakis in 1988, Democrats held 72 out of 98 chambers.  Even when Republicans were winning the White House easily, Democrats held overwhelming strength in state legislatures.

This really changed when Newt Gingrich nationalized the midterm election with his Contract With America, which swept Republicans into secondary statewide elective offices, like lieutenant governor and state attorney general, as well as state legislative seats.  After the 1994 midterms, Republicans held 46 of the 98 state legislative chambers; they held the same number after Clinton was re-elected in 1996.  This strength actually grew after the 1998 midterms, when Republicans were losing House seats, and grew again after the 2000 presidential election. 

That was a tipping point.  Democrats had long, and rather boastfully, gerrymandered congressional districts so that the number of Democrats in the House was significantly larger than the number of votes Democrat candidates in House races received.  In the reapportionment and redistricting after the 2000 census, Republicans, for the first time in a century, could stop Democrat gerrymandering and, in fact, gerrymander themselves.

Just as importantly, Republicans could now stop Democrat gerrymandering of state legislative districts and could, in fact, draw the district lines in state legislatures to maximize the number of seats Republicans would win.  This strategy proved so resilient that even after the 2008 election – after two straight elections of big Democrat gains – Democrats held only 62 of the state legislative chambers, five fewer than they held after the 1984 Reagan landslide.

Hidden in the congressional gains of the 2010 Republican landslide, the GOP controlled 59 state legislative chambers, far more than at any time in modern history, and as a direct consequence of that, Republican governors like Scott Walker were able to push through laws to limit public employee unions, reduce voter fraud, and protect the sanctity of life, among other conservative reforms.  

Because 2010, like 2000, was the election to choose state legislatures who would draw congressional and state legislative districts for the next decade, this Republican midterm gain was particularly important.  So even when Obama was re-elected in 2012, the congressional seats that had been drawn after the census largely by Republican state legislators elected a comfortable (albeit smaller) House Republican majority, and the state legislative districts drawn largely by Republicans gave the GOP 56 of the 98 partisan state legislative chambers – a slight drop, but far more than Republicans had ever held in the heyday of Reagan or Eisenhower, both of whom won two landslide presidential elections.

After the 2014 midterm, which looks increasingly like a Republican wave election that will bring victory to Republicans in state elections as well as Senate and House elections, that 56 state legislative chambers could grow – perhaps a lot.  The Democrat majority makes for just one vote in the Colorado Senate, Iowa Senate, Nevada Senate, and Washington Senate.  In other chambers, the Democrat majority could easily be swept away by a modest Republican tide: Colorado House, Maine Senate, Minnesota House, Minnesota Senate, Nevada House, New Mexico Senate, New Mexico House, New York Senate, Oregon House, Oregon Senate, Washington House, and West Virginia House. 

Depending upon the outcome of gubernatorial races, this could put Republicans in a position to actually control state government in sates like Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Iowa.  These legislatures could pass and Republican governors sign new laws that rein in the political levies of public employee unions or create new and more effective ways to investigate and prosecute voter fraud.

No one is going to be talking about state legislative races on the Tuesday evening of this midterm, but the impact on politics and policies could be huge.

Liberal tyranny is spreading everywhere from Houston’s Mayor Annise Parker attempting to suppress religious speech to the city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, ordering two pastors to officiate same-sex marriages or face fines and/or imprisonment. These two examples of suppression of free religious speech is no different from Kansas City’s Mayor Sly James passing an ordinance banning the open carry of a weapon, “to send a message,” to open carry advocates. The purpose of the ordinance was, again, the suppression of free speech and expression.

In the end, all these acts by government are suppression of ‘unalienable’ and constitutional rights by leftist controlled governments. That is why gaining control of local and state governments is so important. Political rot starts at the top. Political recovery begins at the bottom.

A Kipling sort of way…

Bobbie Burns whetted my appetite yesterday. Today, the choice will be from Rudyard Kipling and, with the tales of atrocities by ISIS in the news, uniquely appropriate. Kipling’s poem, it addition to its worth as literature, has lessons to teach us all. With that in mind, I give you Rudyard Kipling’s, The Grave of the Hundred Heads.


The Grave of the
Hundred Head


There’s a widow in sleepy Chester
Who weeps for her only son;
There’s a grave on the Pabeng River,
A grave that the Burmans shun;
And there’s Subadar Prag Tewarri
Who tells how the work was done.

A Snider squibbed in the jungle,
Somebody laughed and fled,
And the men of the First Shikaris
Picked up their Subaltern dead,
With a big blue mark in his forehead
And the back blown out of his head.

Subadar Prag Tewarri,
Jemadar Hira Lal,
Took command of the party,
Twenty rifles in all,
Marched them down to the river
As the day was beginning to fall.

They buried the boy by the river,
A blanket over his face—
They wept for their dead Lieutenant,
The men of an alien race—
They made a samadh in his honor,
A mark for his resting-place.

For they swore by the Holy Water,
They swore by the salt they ate,
That the soul of Lieutenant Eshmitt Sahib
Should go to his God in state,
With fifty file of Burmans
To open him Heaven’s gate.

The men of the First Shikaris
Marched till the break of day,
Till they came to the rebel village,
The village of Pabengmay—
A jingal covered the clearing,
Calthrops hampered the way.

Subadar Prag Tewarri,
Bidding them load with ball,
Halted a dozen rifles
Under the village wall;
Sent out a flanking-party
With Jemadar Hira Lal.

The men of the First Shikaris
Shouted and smote and slew,
Turning the grinning jingal
On to the howling crew.
The Jemadar’s flanking-party
Butchered the folk who flew.

Long was the morn of slaughter,
Long was the list of slain,
Five score heads were taken,
Five score heads and twain;
And the men of the First Shikaris
Went back to their grave again,

Each man bearing a basket
Red as his palms that day,
Red as the blazing village –
The village of Pabengmay,
And the “drip-drip-drip” from the baskets
Reddened the grass by the way.

They made a pile of their trophies
High as a tall man’s chin,
Head upon head distorted,
Set in a sightless grin,
Anger and pain and terror
Stamped on the smoke-scorched skin.

Subadar Prag Tewarri
Put the head of the Boh
On the top of the mound of triumph,
The head of his son below—
With the sword and the peacock-banner
That the world might behold and know.

Thus the samadh was perfect,
Thus was the lesson plain
Of the wrath of the First Shikaris –
The price of a white man slain;
And the men of the First Shikaris
Went back into camp again.

Then a silence came to the river,
A hush fell over the shore,
And Bohs that were brave departed,
And Sniders squibbed no more;
For the Burmans said
That a white man’s head
Must be paid for with heads five-score.

There’s a widow in sleepy Chester
Who weeps for her only son;
There’s a grave on the Pabeng River,
A grave that the Burmans shun;
And there’s Subadar Prag Tewarri
Who tells how the work was done.

 

Aft Gang Agley

One of the things I found I liked during college was reading literature as it was originally written, Shakespeare, Chaucer and Robert Burns’ poetry for example. Often, these pieces have been rewritten in modern english and lose their impact, especially Bobbie Burns.

One of Burns more famous pieces of Poetry is, “To a Mouse,” or as Burns originally called it, “Tae a Moose.”

Tae a Moose

Wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty
Wi bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee,
Wi’ murdering pattle.

I’m truly sorry man’s dominion
Has broken Nature’s social union,
An’ justifies that ill opinion
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth born companion
An’ fellow mortal!

I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen icker in a thrave
‘S a sma’ request;
I’ll get a blessin wi’ the lave,
An’ never miss’t.

Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!
It’s silly wa’s the win’s are strewin!
An’ naething, now, to big a new ane,
O’ foggage green!
An’ bleak December’s win’s ensuin,
Baith snell an’ keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an’ waste,
An’ weary winter comin fast,
An’ cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro’ thy cell.

That wee bit heap o’ leaves an’ stibble,
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
Now thou’s turned out, for a’ thy trouble,
But house or hald,
To thole the winter’s sleety dribble,
An’ cranreuch cauld.

But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!

Still thou are blest, compared wi’ me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But och! I backward cast my e’e,
On prospects drear!
An’ forward, tho’ I canna see,
I guess an’ fear!

Aft Gang Agley,” or, “Oft goes awry.” That’s been my week. So instead of some pithy comments on local, state or national politics, I give you Bobby Burns, instead. You can find some additional information here if you need a translation of some of Burns’ term. If you find Burns too difficult to read, this link will help you.

Liberal Assault on Truth

Liberals, democrats, seem to be inheritantly incapable of being truthful. Whenever they are pressed for truth, they attack the opposition. Case in point. The City of Houston passed an ordinance that restricted the 1st Amendment and free speech. When the residents submitted a petition to abolish the ordinance, the city council claimed the petition was faulty, regardless of the 50,000 signatures. Much more than the number required for action.

In Kansas City, Missouri, the city council, at the instigation of Mayor Sly James, passed an ordinance banning Open Carry of a firearm. Their motivation was not public safety, nor a request from law enforcement. Open Carry had been legal in Kansas City for decades and had never been an issue—until Mayor Sly James made it one.

Mayor James publicly stated that the ordinance, “was intended to send a message,” to Open Carry advocates. That made the issue, not a 2nd Amendment issue, but a 1st Amendment issue, banning the free expression of those Open Carry advocates. A lawyer friend said the ordinance and the public admission of the motivation behind it, was clearly illegal, a constitutional violation. But, he said, it would take a barrel of $100 dollar bills to fight it in court and so far, no one with deep pockets has come forward to finance a lawsuit against the ordinance.

In Houston, because Houston’s churches were in opposition of the ordinance and by extension the Mayor who was a self-avowed homosexual, the Churches have been subpoenaed to submit transcripts of their sermons that opposed the ordinance. The subpoenas are a direct violation of the 1st Amendment. The churches and church leaders are banding together to fight the city of Houston on this issue.

An article appeared in the American Thinker that addresses this lack of truthfulness by liberal and democrats. With the actions of the Houston Mayor and City Council, its timing could not have been more appropriate.

Liberals Wage War on the Truth

By Trevor Thomas, October 15, 2014

When it comes to political “wars,” in spite of the meme perpetrated by most liberals, no one is more hawkish than modern liberals and the political party that they own, the Democrat Party. By and large since the 1960s, their efforts are summed up by one succinct and extremely accurate appellation: a war on the truth.

In the history of our nation, only the pro-slavery Democrats of the 19th century rival the political deception employed by today’s liberals that lead the modern Democrat Party. Support of everything from abortion, to gender perversions, homosexuality, pornography, a redefinition of marriage, wicked climate policies, and an enslaving welfare state have made today’s Democrat Party little more than a modern-day Mephistopheles. Instead of magic to lure their Faustian targets, today’s Democrats employ, among other things, bribery, class warfare, fear, greed, lust, propaganda, scientism, vengeance, and violence.

This is really unsurprising. When your politics regularly conflict with absolute truth, constant deception is required. The evidence is, of course, all around us. This is especially the case given that we are in the midst of another election season. Take note of the political ads run by Democrats. How long before we get to meet the next Julia or Pajama Boy? How many times will we get to hear about, if elected, what Democrats will do in order to give out more goodies from the government? Where will the next fraudulent statistics in the “War on Women” originate?

How much “linguistic limbo” will Democrats perform in order blandly to describe their embracing of the “right” to kill children in the womb? (Or they simply video their abortions and tell us that everything is “super great!”) What deceit will liberals use to explain or embrace the fiscal and medical disaster that is Obamacare? How many times will we get to hear the phrase “marriage equality” (knowing full well that the liberal position on marriage also “discriminates”)?

How far away will Democrats attempt to run from what they really are in order to keep themselves in power? Liberals all over the country are running from Obama and their own party in an attempt to win elections. As most who are following this election season know well, Democrats are going so far as to avoid the label “Democrat” or even admit that they voted for Obama.

In Kansas, Greg Orman is a Democrat running as an Independent. He has shamelessly refused to say with which party he would caucus if elected. “Truth makes the Devil blush,” wrote the English historian Thomas Fuller. As liberalism has created a culture that is nearly bereft of shame, today’s Democrats rarely blush, even as they mock their wheelchair-bound opponents. This usually happens only when someone becomes a political liability (as did the Democrat candidate that Orman replaced) and not because some proper moral standard has been violated.

If Orman does win, as the Wall Street Journal notes, he will most certainly owe his election to Washington Democrats. Kentucky Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes squirmed like Jim Carrey in Liar Liar as she attempted to avoid revealing to the Louisville Courier-Journal editorial board whether she voted for Obama in the last presidential election. Mary Landrieu and Michelle Nunn have played similar games as they try to win U.S. Senate seats in conservative states.

Given how far our culture has fallen morally, getting elected in the United States these days is much more challenging when you are accountable to absolute truths. As I noted earlier this year, because their moral bar is so low and easily adjusted to whatever is politically popular, liberals today generally have an easier time “playing politics” than conservatives — especially Christian conservatives.

When asked recently how to break the stalemate in the culture war that divides American conservatives and liberals, Catholic scholar George Weigel replied, “When you have a gnostic philosophy that ignores the very fabric of reality — and it is wed to a coercive state — it’s hard to know where to go.”

Ignoring “the very fabric of reality” is a frequent practice of modern liberals. Liberalism is so far removed from truth and reality that many liberals today can’t even acknowledge explicit evil when confronted with it. Ben Affleck has plenty of company among his fellow leftists when it comes to denying the rotten fruit of Islam. As the recent exchange with fellow liberal Bill Maher illustrated, many American liberals, in the name of the supreme virtue of liberalism – tolerance — will eagerly and angrily deny lesser virtues of their “faith.”

“Tolerance is a virtue of a man without convictions,” wrote G.K. Chesterton. A “man without convictions” who frequently “ignores the very fabric of reality” and who is enthusiastically “wed to a coercive state” is an apt description of modern liberals, but not perfect. In spite of what they themselves might think — lost in their fallacy that is today’s tolerance — liberals are not completely tolerant, and thus not devoid of convictions.

The convictions of modern liberalism are numerous and growing: Abortion, homosexuality, hook-ups, same-sex marriage, gender confusion, man-made global warming, universal healthcare, income redistribution, and whatever is the next perversion or deceit that will strike at the heart of biblical truths.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident” helped launch the American Revolution. If America is to remain, we need a spiritual revolution bringing us back to those truths that were once so “self-evident.”

Liberals and democrats have perverted our Constitution. We must all fight to take it back.

Followup: MO Constitutional Amendments

I wrote about the four Missouri Constitutional Amendments that will appear on the ballot November 4th.  I recommended voting YES for amendments 2, 3 and 10; voting NO on amendment 6.

Yesterday I reported that I’d seen ads only about Amendment #3, the education reform amendment. Since then, an ad has appeared about Amendment #10 that would constrain the governor from withholding appropriated funds at his whim.

The ad below, using a Kansas City resident and sponsored by the Missouri Club from Growth, if very effective. Watch, listen and understand why this amendment is necessary.


***

Amendment #6, a bad amendment to loosen the constraints on absentee voting, is getting some press as well. Negative press, that is. The St Louis Post-Dispatch reported that even democrat Secretary of State Jason Kander is not supportive of the amendment.

Early voting proposal draws opposition from Missouri elections official

JEFFERSON CITY • Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander wants to make it easier for people to vote before Election Day. But he opposes Amendment 6, the advance voting proposal that the Legislature placed on the Nov. 4 statewide ballot.

Kander, the state’s chief elections official, said in an interview Monday that the proposed constitutional amendment would set up a confusing system of on-again, off-again voting, cost the state $2 million and jeopardize the security of the ballot box.

“I’m a huge proponent of early voting, but I can’t support changing the constitution in a way that will require us to go back and fix it almost immediately,” said Kander, a Democrat.

Current Missouri law provides for absentee voting up to six weeks prior to an election provided the voter states he is out of the area or unable to vote on election day. Unfortunately, most county clerks rubber stamp absentee ballot requests and fail to ask for justification as required by law. Our current absentee voting is rife with fraud. We do not need to make voting fraud easier.

***

Political columnist Michael Barone, writing for Rasmussen Reports, examines the Kansas and South Dakota senatorial races where ‘independents’ may win. Barone says…

Will Independent Candidates’ Support Dissipate in Kansas and South Dakota?

A Commentary By Michael Barone

One question I’m asked in every electoral cycle is, “What are the surprise races in this election?” My answer in recent years has been, “There are no surprises, because any unexpected development becomes universally known in seconds.”   

There have been two such developments in this cycle. One in Kansas: the emergence about five weeks ago of independent Greg Orman (and the withdrawal from the ballot of the Democratic nominee) as a strong competitor against 34-year Capitol Hill veteran Republican Sen. Pat Roberts.   

The other was in South Dakota: a poll showing Larry Pressler, a former Republican senator running as an independent, within the statistical margin of error of Republican nominee Mike Rounds and ahead of Democrat Rick Weiland.

Unless these polls are dreadfully wrong, there’s no question that many Kansas and South Dakota voters have been changing their minds. That’s in contrast to the relatively static preferences of voters in other states with serious Senate contests, where only a few percent seem to have been moving around.   

Both these states’ contests feature purportedly independent candidates. In September, Gallup reported, 58 percent of Americans said that a third political party was needed. So maybe it’s not surprising that, when presented with a well-known independent candidate, many voters consider voting for him.

An independent presidential candidate who achieves critical mass can be competitive, as Ross Perot seemed to be until he withdrew suddenly in July 1992 or as polls in 1995 suggested Colin Powell would have been as an independent candidate. But usually support for third candidates dissipates by Election Day.   

Will it this year? Perhaps Pressler, who voted twice for Obama, will displace Weiland as the chief alternative to Rounds in South Dakota. But he faces an uphill climb in a state that voted 58 percent for Mitt Romney.  

In Kansas (60 percent Romney), Roberts has banked on that with a simple message — I’m the real Republican; he’s a Democrat. He’s running even if you average the three polls conducted this month.   

My guess is that oscillating polls will give way to familiar results in South Dakota and Kansas…or maybe not.

The latest Kansas poll released this week showed a reversal for Pat Roberts over Greg Orman. I’ve not seen one for South Dakota but I would not be surprised to see a reversal there as well for Republican Mike Rounds over Independent Larry Pressler. In three weeks, we’ll see who wins and which poll and analyst was correct.

Missouri Ballot: Constitutional Amendments

Were you aware there are several Constitutional Amendments on the Missouri ballot next month? Many people do not. Only one proposed amendment is getting any attention because it affects education. That one amendment strikes at the education unions, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and their embedded group of administrators and school board members that I call ‘the Education Mafia.’

I’ll speak more about that amendment later, but first let’s examine each amendment in numerical order. The amendments are numbered: #2, #3, #6 and #10. If you would like to do some personal research, follow this link  at www.sos.mo.gov/elections/2014ballot/ and page down past August to the November ballot issues.

The first one, Constitutional Amendment 2, is to restore the ability to use a defendant’s past history as evidence. The defendant’s personal history, if he has a ‘propensity’ to act in a particular manner, would be usable in some cases. The federal government and thirty-three states allow ‘propensity evidence‘, sometimes call ‘character evidence,’ in court. Missouri’s Supreme Court struck down the use of such evidence in 2007.

This amendment allows propensity evidence to be used again in specific cases—sexual offenses against minors. If the amendment is passed, such evidence can be presented in court if the Judge examines the evidence and rules if it is appropriate to the case. For instance, a history of kiting checks would likely not be allowed in a sexual offense trial unless the writing of fraudulent checks can be linked to the sexual offense—difficult, if at all possible. However, other prior offenses that can be linked to other sexual offenses, may be presented if the Judge agrees. Prosecutors across the state are in favor of this amendment.

I recommend voting, “Yes!” on Amendment #2.

Constitution Amendment 3 has the education unions and the Education Mafia up in arms. Why? Because it looses the stricture imposed by tenure. Teachers can be easily fired—and are fired, within the first five years in their positions. After five years of continued employment, they may apply for tenure.

Usually tenure is granted. Thereafter, it is nearly impossible to fire the teacher—or administrator even with extensive documentation. Amendment 3 provides another process to remove ineffective teachers and to support and promote good teachers. How? By performance. This amendment will allow school board to evaluate teachers and administrators by performance, not by longevity.

I’m not surprised the unions, administrators and union shills are screaming. It makes educators accountable by their demonstrated performance. The unions scream it means testing. That’s one method. It isn’t, however, the only method. But testing is one means of determining performance and school boards are free to use testing—or other quality measurements, as justification to remove ineffective teachers, administrators, or to reward good, effective teachers.

In short, it introduces accountability in education and that is what has the unions and the education mafia up in arms. Frankly, anything that constrains tenure and enforces accountability is a step in the right direction. For education, whenever the unions scream, you know it will improve the final product, the knowledge base of our children.

Constitutional Amendment #3 was sponsored by a citizen’s initiative, not through the legislature. With the power of the education lobby, this amendment would never be presented much less passed. we’re fortunate we have the ability to propose Constitutional Amendment without passage through Jeff City.

I recommend voting, “Yes!” on Amendment #3.

Constitutional Amendment #6 is an attempt to legalize one method of vote fraud—early voting. You remember the old adage, ‘vote early, vote often’? This would allow that by loosening the current absentee voting law. The way fraud happens is that Joe Blow votes early, then he shows up on election day and votes again. County clerks don’t cross-reference early voters on the rolls sent to the polls. There is nothing to prevent a voter who voted early from voting again. Once a ballot has been run through the voting machine, who can tell if that vote was proper or not?

County clerks are supposed to require justification for absentee ballots. How many do so? I know my current democrat county clerks does not. Consequently, this is a bad amendment. It allows more vote fraud. I recommend voting, “No!”

Constitutional Amendment #10 is complicated and concerns the ability of the Governor to withhold funds appropriated by the Legislature. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has a line-item veto for the state budget and he used it heavily in the last legislative session. When the Legislature returned, a significant amount of those line-item vetos were overturned.

The Governor may, if there is a shortfall in state revenues, justify withholding funds at his discretion. However, democrat Jay Nixon has been withholding funds, usually from education, when no shortfall in revenue exists to justify withholding the funds. This amendment corrects some of the loopholes that currently exists that allows the Governor to abuse his power.

Missouri State Senator Ed Emery provided this description of Amendment 10. From his October 10th, 2014 legislative update…

Amendment 10 
(Proposed by the General Assembly.)
 
This amendment clarifies expectations on how a governor should prepare his annual budget proposal. It also provides a check on any governor who tries to manipulate budget withholdings for political purposes. Frustration with the current governor’s approach to budgeting and spending demands that something be done to prevent similar abuses in the future. If Amendment 10 passes, a governor is prevented from counting his chickens before they are hatched. He/she could not forecast revenues, for example, based on the anticipation that the General Assembly will pass a tax increase— it has been done.

Amendment 10 also provides a path for the Legislature to override a governor’s operating fund withholdings similar to the procedure now employed to override a veto. Abuses to the governor’s power to withhold funds make it necessary to provide a check and balance on behalf of those agencies that are being used as political pawns.

Senator Emery recommends we vote, “Yes!” on this amendment. I agree. For years we’ve heard the democrats and the education mafia claim we’re not spending enough on education. It’s a lie. The legislature has appropriated more than enough funds—it has been the democrat governor, Jay Nixon, who has been withholding funds from education.

When you enter the voting booth in two weeks and see the list of proposed amendments, remember to vote, Yes, Yes, NO, and Yes for Amendments 2, 3, 6, and 10. Or, vote yes for all except for #6.

See you at the polls.

What is Liberty?

My wife and I attended a Young Republican BBQ last night. The organizers scheduled four speakers, a state Representative from the eastern side of Missouri, Paul Curtman, two local state Senators, Will Kraus and Ed Emery, and the President of the Missouri Alliance for Freedom, Ryan Johnson.

I don’t think the speakers conferred and selected a topic; their schedules were too varied. When all were finished, all had spoken about the same two items: What is Liberty and what is the purpose of Government?

Paul Curtman spoke how, when he was in the military in Afghanistan, he asked himself why he was there and for what purpose. He studied what was a soldier’s duty and why anyone would assume those duties. That lead him to examine our Constitution closely. His conclusion about the purpose of government, of constitutions, and the nature of liberty was remarkably similar to the conclusions of the others.

Will Kraus, a reservist and officer in the Missouri National Guard, had similar thoughts. He reviewed some of his sponsored legislation and how those bills supported Liberty and constrained the excesses of government.

http://www.senate.mo.gov/13info/graphics/d31-photo.gif

Ed Emery, Missouri State Senator, District 31

What is Liberty? What is the purpose of government? Ed Emery, the last speaker, closed the discussion saying, “Liberty and purpose of government is defined in the second paragraph of our Declaration of Independence.”

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.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed[.]

Liberty is ‘certain unalienable Rights, among these are Life and the Pursuit of Happiness.’ The purpose of government is to assist in the achievement of those unalienable Rights. Government has no other purpose than this.

That definition certainly differs with the purpose of government as defined in most of our educational systems and the views of liberals. In our view, the conservative view, government is subordinate and subject to the people. Pubic education and liberals, progressives as they like to call themselves, have the opposite view—people are subordinate to government.

The question now comes to us, how are we to maintain that original viewpoint and return government to its original purpose and definition? That too, has a simple answer—examine and question candidates for office. Examine them closely, their voting records, listen to their speeches, question them ask for their definition of Liberty and Government. If the answers satisfy you, help with their campaigns, help fund those campaigns, and always, always, keep them in you eye and monitor their actions once in office.

Never let them forget they are under scrutiny. The good ones, those officeholders and candidates who support your beliefs in Liberty and Government will appreciate your efforts. Those officeholders and candidates who hide their views from you deserve only your scorn and efforts to remove them from office.

The two questions, define liberty and define government, are easy questions to ask. It should be as simple for officeholders and candidates to answer. It is the duty of the voter to ask, judge, and to support the officeholder or candidate…or his opponent, whomever that may be, who will support Liberty and the Declaration’s definition of the purpose of government.