U.S. Constitution

U.S. Constitution: A Celebration of Freedom

Many countries have claimed the title of “republic” throughout the centuries, but it was in name only.  A republic is defined as representative government, representatives who are subject to the democratic voting public (citizens, usually men, but in the late 19th and early 20th century to include women). What has made the American republic unique, and still standing to this day?  Our Constitution.  This week passed the 230th anniversary of our Founding Document!

Progressives believe it should be a living, breathing document… that it changes with time.  But that is because they wish to interpret it how they see fit, to change the culture without democratic debate.  Conservatives align with the Founding Fathers – that the document should remain true to the Framer’s intent, which prevents rule by the mob. If you wish to change it, there is a process: amendments.

This week we celebrated Constitution Day on Monday, September 17th – and we are reminded of the importance of keeping its “original intent.”  It should also be a reminder of how important this seminal document is to our history, our freedoms, and as we watch the news each day… our future!

 I. Why the Constitution Should be Applied Utilizing the Framer’s “Original Intent”:

  1. Ensures that decisions are rooted in history, tradition, culture, and the rule of law. Critics of “originalism,” “strict constructionism,” and/or “original intent” usually follow the same script:  minorities could not vote, women could not vote, and therefore the document is flawed.  That of course is flawed thinking.  The Framers were men of the Enlightenment, and as stated above, they left a process in place to make such changes – it was called amendments.  And where the Constitution did not address a particular social injustice when signed – such as universal voting rights or the immorality of slavery – the amendment process eventually corrected those issues over time.
  2. Framers were enlightened men, inspired by divine guidance. John Adams said it best – “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”  Interpreting the Constitution with “original intent” helps us remain fervently committed to a just and moral foundation of right and wrong.  Each ruling that has gone against the Framer’s intent has usually resulted in a decline in morality… that of course is self-evident today.  And as morality and justice give way to progressivism, the social decline will continue.
  3. It works… always has. Recent cases such as DC v. Heller – which preserved the 2nd Amendment – helped preserve Constitutional protections for U.S. citizens.  Without a Constitution that is foundational and fixed to certain moral and civic truths, then future governments can simply change the meaning of your rights as the mob of voters dictate.  The Constitution is here not to give us our rights, but to protect us from government taking them.  Freedom of speech, trial by jury, no search and seizure… American freedom from tyrannical government is enshrined in the hallowed words of our founding document!

“The Constitution is the guide which I never will abandon” – George Washington, 1795.  It is pretty hard to argue with that sentiment, and it speaks to the finite nature of the document.  How can something guide you if you are allowed to change it?

The country celebrated a week of important moments in American history, this past week, yet they were hard to notice from the news coverage.  In addition to Constitution Day, we also celebrated the birthday of the Air Force and the CIA.  Take a moment to reflect on the importance of these American institutions.  They help protect our freedoms, and what protects our freedoms from government intervention – the Constitution – is the most important American institution of all!

Hurricane Harvey Rescue

Hurricane Harvey Reveals the True Spirit of America

Waiting for the media to blame President Trump for the response to Hurricane Harvey, the loss of life from the hurricane… for the very existence of hurricanes.

To focus on politics would be to lose sight of the daily heroism of our first responders, and equally important, everyday people who possess the God-given strength to face, and overcome, overwhelming adversity.  As Hurricane Harvey struck Houston this past week, it is clear the devastation and loss of life will be catastrophic for so many people in the great state of Texas.  But it will also show, once again, the greatness of the American people when faced with an unprecedented challenge… we shall, as always, overcome.

Hurricane Harvey Earth with hurricane harvey
Harvey was a Category 4, which is a major hurricane.  Some of the big, catastrophic hurricanes to hit the U.S. have included the following:

  1. 1900 – Galvetson, TX Hurricane – Category 4. The lack of modern technology and an early warning system resulted in the worst loss of life from a hurricane in US history, between 8,000 and 12,000 dead.
  2. 1928 – Lake Okeechobee (FL) Hurricane. Believed to be a Category 3, again the lack of early warning systems resulted in approximately 3,000 deaths.
  3. 2005 – Hurricane Katrina – New Orleans, LA – Category 3. Not the largest, but because of New Orleans being essentially below sea level… combined with inept local leadership in preparation for the storm, Katrina took 1,500 lives and was the most expensive rebuild in U.S. history to date, totaling in excess of $108 billion.

Harvey was different than most storms since it was not the predictable wind damage, but heavy rains (combined with storm surge) which caused flooding to be far worse than anticipated.  Rainfall is estimated in excess of 50 inches – that’s chest deep on the average American.  Harvey may end up being the most expensive rebuild when all is said and done.  But we remain blessed as a country to have such resourceful and resilient citizens.  Anywhere else in the world, when a catastrophe of this magnitude strikes, the death toll is usually far greater.  Imagine how worse things could be without the modern technology and infrastructure necessary to deal with natural disasters.    But the strongest resource we have are the American people – strong and resolute in the eye of the storm, and those not directly affected are always ready to lend a helping hand.

Those heroes are a reflection of the best in all of us, and they are already visible in the aftermath of Harvey.  The “Cajun Navy” formed a flotilla heading towards Houston to lend a helping hand and to rescue thousands in need… Houston SWAT officer Daryl Hudeck rescued a mother clutching her infant child amidst a raging storm surge… Dr. Stephen Kimmel canoed to the Houston hospital to perform surgery on a teenager that needed immediate care or would have died… the scale and scope of Americans of every race and creed taking on personal risk to aid their neighbor is simply immeasurable.

Hurricane Harvey will remain in the news for awhile, and then the next headline will take its place.  The people of Houston, the state of Texas, and the rain-drenched surrounding areas, will be rebuilding for years to come.  Take a moment to pray for those who have lost, and those that remain in need.  And remember that despite this terrible event, it could have been much worse if we lived anywhere else.  Thank God we are, and remain, Americans!

American Flag - Hurricane Harvey

 

Markets were affected, especially oil companies and refineries, it will be interesting to see how this impacts the markets over the next few weeks.  August is already a down month so far.  A great place to avoid that worry is principal protection products… call us now to learn more! 877-912-1919

Adversity is nothing new

Adversity Is Nothing New

Thanks to the glory of free markets, capitalism has been able to produce the technology and develop the resources to make man richer and more prosperous than ever before in human history.  While the Bible is clear that we will always have the poor among us, more people have been lifted out of poverty, and fewer people are in poverty, than ever before.

This generation enjoys every modern convenience imaginable, and even the poorest among us have access to cell phones, air conditioning, food, shelter, clothing and health care.  Under these conditions, as compared to the past, you would think we would be living in calm, tranquil times.

Ummm… no.

 Why in these unprecedented times of wealth and prosperity are we seemingly less happy and more afraid of the future?  There have always been times of adversity and uncertainty… but the one critical difference today may be that everyone is aware of it.

Satellite TV, the media companies and most of all, the internet, have fostered a sense of fear and division.  Headlines of a world in disarray have been amplified.  If you only watch the 6 o’clock news, or scroll through Facebook, that is what you are fed every night.

But, world changing events are nothing new. Consider these events from this past week in history:

  1. 1642 – Civil War begins in England. Charles I declares war on Parliament at Nottingham.
  2. 1849 – The Portuguese governor is assassinated in Macao. Having decreed multiple ordinances which the Chinese considered anti-Chinese, the Portuguese colonial leader was killed by masked assailants in China.
  3. 1911 – the Mona Lisa is stolen from the Louvre. The Mona Lisa was stolen this week in 1911, and was not recovered for over 2 years.  It had been hanging in the Louvre for over 100 years when it was taken.
  4. 1945 – War in Vietnam begins. Ho Chi Minh overthrows the Free French government in the immediate aftermath of World War II.  He was inspired by the anti-colonial message found in the American Declaration of Independence.  French paratroopers land in southern Indochina, and the Vietnam War would last 28 years, with Americans replacing the French in the early 60’s and losing over 58,000 US soldiers to the conflict.  Vietnamese losses, both military and civilian, will exceed 4 million during this time frame.
  5. 1962 – OAS gunmen attempt to assassinate Charles De Gaulle in France. Jean Bastien-Thiry, a French air force lieutenant colonel and famed weapons expert attempted to kill President de Gaulle for agreeing to Algerian independence.  It would be one of many attempts on the lives of Western leaders through the brutal decade of the 60s.
  6. 1971 – Bolivian Colonel Hugo Suarez ousts leftist President-General Juan Torres in a CIA-backed coup. The 60s and 70s were rife with CIA activity to ensure communism did not gain a foothold in Central America.  Dwarfed by concern over the Vietnam War, it is unlikely CIA activity would have remained discreet in the era of twitter.
  7. 1971 – FBI arrests members of The Camden 28 anti-war group. While law enforcement today is being ordered to stand down when violence erupts in many American cities, American leadership has historically taken action against leftist subversion.
  8. 1975 – Sara Jane Moore attempts to assassinate President Gerald Ford. This was the 2nd attempt on Ford’s life in less than a month.  Moore was a leftist radical who had grown to hate America.  She received a life sentence and after serving 32 years  was released on parole at the age of 77.  She said on the Today show she deeply regretted her actions and that she was “blinded by her radical political views.”
  9. 1983 – Benigno Aquino gunned down in Manilla airport. Aquino was the only opposition leader to the autocratic rein of Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines; however, he drew support from Marxist guerrillas in the country.  As our primary base in the Pacific and a long-time strategic asset, the U.S. tolerated and supported Marcos well into the 1980s.  The assassination helped galvanize anti-Marcos forces, and Aquino’s widowed wife would eventually win the Presidential elections in 1986.
  10. 1995 – The Siege at Ruby Ridge. Randy Weaver and his family were survivalists who lived on their homestead in Naples, Idaho.  A neighbor who lost a land dispute with Weaver, and was forced to pay $5,100 in the settlement, began writing the FBI about Weaver threatening the President, and being a member of the Aryan Nations.  Weaver had a friend, Frank Kumnick, who was a member of the Christian Identity group “Covenant, Sword and Arm of the Lord,” but Weaver was not a member.  The resulting investigation by several government agencies led to the standoff at Weaver’s home on Ruby Ridge.  An FBI officer shot and killed Weaver’s son, wife, and dog in the standoff, while Weaver returned fire killing a federal ATF agent.   In the end, Weaver surrendered – he was arrested and indicted – but all charges were eventually dropped.  Weaver won a civil suit of $3.1 million from the government over the events which occurred.

These events all happened this week in history.  Somehow, we made it through.  So, while much of the news today is filled with chaos and division, remember that the world has never been a place without struggles and conflict.  Today, we enjoy unprecedented technology, an abundance of food and shelter, and extraordinary wealth and resources.  Free market capitalism has virtually eradicated poverty wherever it has been tried.  This week, don’t focus on the news provided by the news media. Take a moment to enjoy your family and all of the modern conveniences which make life easier than in the past. Count your blessings that you enjoy such benefits in the land of the free and the home of the brave… America!