A Tribute To Unsung Patriots

Hello everyone,

Now that the actual voting is about to begin starting with the Iowa caucuses on February 1st, the race to be an endorsed candidate for the office of President of the United States is becoming red hot. It looks as though Progressive Democrat Hillary Clinton’s staffers are desperately trying to breath new life into her faltering campaigns in Iowa and New Hampshire while Socialist Bernie Sanders’ staff is trying to upset what seemed at first to be a cake walk for Hillary. Meanwhile, on the Republican side, Populist Donald Trumps’ staff is trying to prove that he really can upset early predictions that his campaign would eventually crash and die because of his bombastic populist rhetoric. The other more conservative Republican candidates’ staffs are vigorously trying to find ways to impress potential voters that their candidate has what America needs to bring us back to what they see as traditional conservative values.

Given all the strident, largely negative media coverage and the increasing pleas for money and votes, it is easy to ignore the fact that every one of the potential candidates’ campaigns are supported and pushed forward by large numbers of dedicated, hard working and selfless individuals who voluntarily devote an inordinate amount of time and effort to their particular candidate. They may not agree on ideology and methods, but they are dedicated, largely anonymous patriots. This is why we take a moment to honor Dr. Ben Carson’s volunteer staffer, Braden Joplin, 25 who died on January 19th after being involved in a motor vehicle accident while campaigning in Cass County, Iowa. To his credit, Dr. Carson, who was in South Carolina immediately rushed to Omaha, Nebraska where Braden had been taken and suspended campaigning until last Thursday (January 21st) He also arranged for Braden’s parents to be flown to Omaha.

Dr. Carson wrote on his campaign web site,
“A presidential candidate asks a lot of his or her volunteers, working long hours in the cold, under-appreciated. They are the unsung heroes of the political process. The outpouring of support for Braden and his family from fellow candidates, as well as their staffs and volunteers, demonstrates that life will always transcend politics, and I thank them for their kind words. Please continue to keep Braden’s family and friends in your prayers as they struggle through this difficult time.”

We The People Tea Party of Southern Iowa are dedicated to the unique American electoral process. We are a group of conservative citizens and we stand for conservative values. But, we also recognize that there are many different visions for America and we honor those individuals, like Braden who sometimes work far from home in uncomfortable, challenging environments to ensure that our nation remains free and strong.

God Bless you all,

Len

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Donald Trump and the Constitution

There are many tea party and tea party like organizations across the United States. Some are small and some very large and have varying aspirations and goals. But, one of the unifying principles of the Tea Party movement is Constitutionally limited, fiscally responsible government that respects and upholds the Bill of Rights.

After considerable research and much reading, I have learned a great deal about the attitudes and goals of our founding fathers, our Declaration of Independence and our great Constitution. Within the second paragraph of the Declaration are these words:

“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.” These words are put into action through our Constitution and more specifically identified by the Bill of Rights.

Before the Constitution was ratified, there were many among the American population that thought the 7 Articles of the Constitution was sufficient to insure that Americans would always remain free. But, a growing number, knowing that historically governments trended toward accumulating power at the expense of individual rights insisted that ten amendments (now known as The Bill of Rights) be added to the proposed Constitution in order to safeguard individual Americans against government encroachment. So, adopting the Bill of Rights was the key, the essential element that enabled the necessary nine states to ratify the Constitution. Otherwise, our Constitution would not have been ratified and America might have been a very different place that may have resembled the panoply of small nations that comprise Europe.

The first of these amendments 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 to peacefully assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Notice that freedom of interference by government in our right to recognize and worship a Creator is the very first thing mentioned in our Bill of Rights.

This is why I am deeply concerned about Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump’s announcement that all Moslem immigration to the United States must be at least temporarily stopped. Mr. Trump may have good intentions, but his statement reveals an appalling lack of knowledge or else a blatant disregard for our Constitution. This is the very attitude that tea parties across the nation have so vehemently opposed in the Obama administration. Obama and his administration have spent the last seven years pushing the limits of their constitutionally given powers and when they deem it necessary have ignored them in order to achieve their progressive objectives.

I am a conservative and have been a staunch member of the tea party movement for more than five years. I believe that violation of the Constitution’s restraints and principals are just as egregious for Republicans as for Democrats, for conservatives as well as liberal/progressives.

May God bless you all,

Len

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Congressional Term Limits: An Answer for Our Times?

The rate of reelection over the last 50 years to the US Congress has varied from 85% to over 90%. Yet, about three fourths of the electorate (the people) think we need term limits (82% of Republicans and 65% of Democrats) for Congress members. It is clear that career congressional members stay in congress in spite of the majority of the people’s wishes. This is largely because of their access to outside media, experienced campaign staff members, large donations via lobby groups and super-pacs (for political favors), and restructuring of voting districts (gerrymandering).

Ever the pragmatists, many politicians have learned to use the American electorate’s desire to limit Congressional terms by pledging to support it in their campaigns. Then, once elected many (one third of 39 Republican’s elected in 1994) simply renege and stay in office as long as possible.

After the 1994 elections, which gave the Republicans control of both the US Senate and the House term limits legislation actually passed with a 227 to 204 majority. However, the bill failed because an amendment to the Constitution requires a 2/3 majority. It is hard to say how many legislators voted for the amendment knowing that Congress would never get the required majority. The US Supreme Court ruled in 1995 that the states could not limit the terms of federally elected officials. Since then, just five states have asked the US Congress to pass legislation limiting their member’s terms.

Thomas Jefferson, the main author of the US Declaration of Independence and our third president saw clearly the dangers of unrestricted terms for federal offices. Here are some quotes:

“All [reforms ] can be… [achieved] peaceably by the people confining their choice of representatives and senators to persons attached to republican government and the principles of 1776; not office hunters, but farmers whose interests are entirely agricultural. Such men are the true representatives of the great American interest and are alone to be relied on for expressing the proper American sentiments.” Thomas Jefferson to A, Campbell, 1797

“A government by representatives elected by the people at short periods was our object, and our maxim…was, ‘where annual elections ends, tyranny begins;’ nor have our departures from it been sanctioned by the happiness of their effects.” Thomas Jefferson to S. Adams, 1800

“I apprehend that the total abandonment of the principle of rotation in the offices of President and Senator will end in abuse.” Thomas Jefferson to E, Rutledge, 1788

Jefferson’s proposal for term limits in the Virginia Constitution summarizes his concern that unlimited terms of office lead to career politicians, corruption and isolation from those who elect them.

“I proposed the representatives (and not the people) should choose the [state] Senate…To make them independent I had proposed that they should hold their places for nine years and then go out (one third every three years) and be incapable forever of being reelected to that house. My idea was that if they might be reelected, they would be casting their eye forward to the period of election (however distant) and be currying favor with the electors and consequently dependent upon them. My reason for fixing them in office for a term of years rather then for life was that they might have an idea that they were at a certain period to return into the mass of people and become the governed instead of the governor, which might still keep alive that regard to the public good that otherwise they might perhaps be induced by their independence to forget.” Thomas Jefferson to E. Pendleton, 1776

Conservative author and columnist, Walter Donway writes eloquently at thesavvystreet.com, “Today, the Jeffersonian vision is not about farmers versus bankers, or planters versus manufacturers; but the essence remains—neither a political class nor economic power should rule the republic. This is not to say there is a equivalence between political power (the power of law, initiation of force) and economic power (the power of production, offering incentives). But today, government, by means of regulation, taxing or tax breaks, penalties or subsidies—all the ways that “crony capitalism” marries the power of politicians to the interests of businessmen—can affect the success, even survival, of virtually any enterprise or entire industry. In the mixed economy, or crony capitalism, the line between economic power and political power blurs. America’s leading companies, especially on Wall Street, make handsome contributions to both Democratic and Republican candidates because they cannot afford to have an important politician in office to whom they do not have “access.””

After the fourth term of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the Congress passed the 24th amendment, which limits the President to the traditional two terms. But, those were different days when concern for the integrity of the Constitution, the financial health of the nation, and the welfare of the majority of the electorate was still the main concern of Congress. There have been and still are a few members of Congress who have limited themselves to one or two terms. But, to expect the majority of them to give up the gravy train is, without a miracle futile.

Author, Mark Levin’s answer is The Liberty Amendments (available at Amazon.com). The first section of his first amendment (there are eleven) limits the total number of years any one person can serve in the US Congress (Senate and House) to 12 years. The second section assures current congressional members that they can only serve the remainder of their terms if they have served more than the maximum 12 years.

In my view, his amendments are not just laudable, but absolutely vital if we are to preserve a nation that promotes individual freedom with equality under just laws. But, it can only happen if our current crop of mostly self-serving legislators (Republicans and Democrats) are replaced with legislators who deeply value our Constitution, our founding father’s vision of a self-governing nation of free peoples and that see themselves as servants of we the people.

This will only happen over a long time period (perhaps decades) from the bottom up. It will happen when enough state legislators become convinced that term limits is critical to the continued life of our nation. Then, those members of the US Congress, elected by the people who installed those conservative state legislators will finally endorse and promote term limits.

God bless you all,

Len

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A Matter of Truth, Justice and the American Way

Hello everyone,

When I was a child, one of my favorite heroes was Superman. I still vividly remember him standing proudly next to a waving American flag while the television announcer proclaimed that Superman stood for truth, justice and the American way. Truth and justice are universal terms that do not apply solely to Americans, but what is the American Way?

In my view, America, like no other nation on earth has stood for the rights of life, liberty and the freedom to pursue ones own destiny unfettered by class, race, religion or ethnicity. Of course, like all fallible human beings, we have not always lived up to those high standards. But, to a large degree, it is the standards that matter because without them and the Constitution necessary to maintain them, we would be just as so many progressives assert no different then any other nation.

Freedom requires that we must be internally responsible. In a perfect society, there would be no need for government and its necessary limitations upon our individual freedoms. Unfortunately, there are no perfect people and therefore no perfect society. Our Constitution was created because our founders recognized that we all generally seek after our own welfare even at the expense of other people. It is human nature (I would say our fallen nature) to seek power to dominate and take advantage of anything necessary to attain our goals.

The unique feature of our American government as our founders created it is that it rests upon the fact that we are all ultimately answerable to our Creator. It is because of Him and our fundamental beliefs (ethos) that we temper our individual freedoms and that we try to treat each other with respect and even love. One result is that we obey laws, not just because we face punishment if we do not obey but rather because it is the right thing to do for the welfare of others as well as for ourselves.

This emphasis upon a divine mandate for individuals to be (with minimal government interference) whatever their dreams, talents and drive to succeed allow, has led us to become the most dynamic, wealthiest and strongest nation that the world has ever seen. But, along with the promise of blessings based upon recognition and obedience to a higher power then government comes a warning. When we rely upon the standards of behavior exhibited by and demanded by the politically powerful, without regard to the Creator proclaimed in our Declaration of Independence, we are in grave danger of stagnation, mediocrity, weakness and eventual tyranny.

Our founders warned that if the cornerstone of our nation ever becomes something other than our Creator, then we truly will become as any other nation. We will no longer have the drive to remain free. We will become what so many progressives are attempting to make us; a people dependent upon and shackled by a government that demands complete obedience without regard to any higher power.

May God bless you all,

By Len Edwards

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American History and Obama

Hello All,

I have often wondered how President Obama and his administration will be known in history. I suppose it depends upon who writes the history. Certainly, he will be historically immortalized as America’s first African American Minority President by all sides; from the most liberal to the most conservative

Some things that the liberal, progressive historians will maintain is that he was a towering advocate and organizer for a more beneficent, brotherly government that advocated for and protected minorities, women, the poor and the disadvantaged. They will point toward his seemingly humble “lead from behind” concepts that encouraged other nations to deal with their own policies free of American “interference” and his “we are only one family in the family of nations” that marginalized “American Exceptionalism”. He will be praised for ending the Iraq War, bringing the troops home from Afghanistan and drastically decreasing the size and cost of the American military. They will be sure to include his internationally inclusive “America without borders” immigration policies and his progressive “evolving document” philosophy in interpreting the Constitution. Then lastly, they will laud his “fundamental transformation” efforts to change America from an “equal opportunity” to an “equal outcomes” nation in which wealth is redistributed by government policies, programs and edicts from those who have to those who have less.

But, what do we suppose conservative historians might say? The appearance of beneficence and brotherliness was only a facade used to increase government power at the expense of our liberty and freedoms. His Department of Justice abused this power to dominate and coerce state and local governments and law enforcement to conform with federal administration policies of special consideration to minorities versus the white majority. His administration demonstrated that the government has always been a dangerous tiger that must be carefully and watchfully leashed by its owners; the American people. Protecting minorities, women, the poor and the disadvantaged must be a function of individual freedom guided by religious morals and ethics and not by a colossal, overpowering government. The corruption and abuse of power demonstrated that redistributing (sharing) wealth can only be accomplished through individual and corporate altruism if individual freedom is to be preserved. Obama’s administration misunderstood that we are not an exceptional nation because of our wealth and the things we possess. Rather we are exceptional because we are free to have life, liberty and to pursue happiness (property) with minimal government interference. Because we are free and religious, we seek to encourage and lead the world to see and follow our example.

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Global Warming, Really?

Hello Everyone,

President Obama recently said that climate change (by this he means global warming) is the most dangerous crisis facing our nation. This implies that Russia’s covert, but not so secret war against Ukraine, China’s rapid expansion in sea power and territory, North Korea’s nuclear and long-range missile advances, Iran’s stated goal of destroying Israel and America, and Isis efforts to attack America and reestablish the ancient Islamic Caliphate in the Mideast and Africa are secondary crises. Climate change must be serious indeed.

Over the long term, rapidly rising temperatures with accompanying melting ice caps and rising sea levels would have very serious and possibly catastrophic consequences. On the other hand, even if the earth’s atmospheric temperature is rising, given enough time, the long-term consequences might be serious, but not necessarily catastrophic. Then, of course if the globe were actually cooling (as many scientists claimed in the 1960s and 70s), we would be faced with very different, but still serious consequences.

Without doubt, the planet’s Carbon Dioxide (CO2) levels are rising and man-made aerosols may be one of the causes. In 1988, the United Nations (UN) created the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to examine man made causes of climate change. Unfortunately, in the subsequent 1992 meeting of the IPCC, it became clear that no other explanations for climate change would be considered. Every scientist knows that the sun is by far the overwhelming driving mechanism for the earth’s climate. Yet, scientists who claimed that changes in the sun could fully explain the observed rise in temperatures were ridiculed and marginalized. This somewhat intolerant attitude has spread increasingly over the world’s scientific and political communities with serious consequences for those scientists and other individuals who question that increasing CO2 levels are necessarily linked to increasing temperatures that lead to catastrophic geophysical changes.

Of course, it should be remembered that climate change that leads to a global catastrophe gives a needed world-wide crisis (Rahm Emanuel’s rule: “Never let a good crisis go to waste”) for the progressive mindset that promotes the anti capitalist, anti-private property, anti-individual freedom, pro-collectivist world state encased within the UN Agenda 21. After all, this Agenda rests upon state control of all the earth’s resources (land, air, water).

Most Americans do not realize that President H W Bush signed onto the Agenda 21 document. President Clinton complied with the Agenda by creating the President’s Council on Sustainable Development. Because of the inflammatory nature (to Americans) of Agenda 21’s collectivist, Marxist language, it is being implemented in America using such names as; Smart Growth, Sustainable Development, Comprehensive Planning, and Growth Management. What better excuse than the need to collectively control resources in order to cool the planet and prepare for a world-wide environmental catastrophe.

Many people do not understand that the doomsday predictions on accelerating climate change are based upon computer models, which generally summarize and quantify scientists somewhat limited understanding. Those models are in somewhat agreement in predicting that increasing CO2 levels cause air temperatures to rise. But, surprisingly, in contrast to the models predictions satellite monitoring of global temperatures show actual temperatures have stayed remarkably stable since the late 1990s. In spite of record summer heat and winter cold located at specific areas, average yearly global temperatures have not increased significantly for more than 18 years. Satellite observations show that the upper atmosphere, which models predict should be warming, is actually cooling. Arctic ice at the North Pole is decreasing, but Antarctic ice at the South Pole is rapidly increasing. In fact, the observed amount of Antarctic sea ice is at record high levels. Sea levels may be rising very slightly, although there is disagreement over any rise. A recent study from the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology shows that CO2 (a tiny .04% or 400 parts per million of our atmosphere) has much less effect on temperatures then previously thought. Although this one study does not necessarily support eliminating global warming as a more distant threat, further studies that incorporate his results reduce the threat significantly. John Cleman, the co-founder of the Weather Channel goes even further when he insists that the theory of man-made climate change is not credible. But, perhaps the most destabilizing fact for global warming supporters is the gross manipulation of raw temperature data (in almost every case the temperature was raised up to 1 degree Celsius) done by the supposedly trustworthy US Government Historical Climate Network, the Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the National Climate Data Center to explain the discrepancies between model predictions and actual temperatures.

So, is climate change happening? As a former weather forecaster for the US Air Force, I can say with certainty, yes! Our climate is always changing. There have been cyclical warming and cooling periods since weather began. For example, 75 years ago the Arctic ice pack shrank even more than today due to a major shift in an Atlantic Ocean current. In spite of the climate change hysteria that seems to be sweeping across our news medias, the present observable raw data does not support near term inevitable climate catastrophe due to global warming.

May God bless you all,

Len

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Is Congress really exempt from Obamacare? The real story.

Hello everyone,

During our last tea party meeting (May 21st), we discussed a Tea Party Patriot’s (TPP) initiative urging tea parties to participate in active demonstrations on the 17th of June against US Senators and/or Representatives exempting themselves from the mandates of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Some of our members said that they would be willing, if possible to participate in a demonstration. On the face of it, it certainly seems fair that Congress be under the same laws as the rest of Americans. So, I decided that I would do some research into congressional participation or non-participation in Obamacare. I found that, like most things in government, things are not as clear and simple as it might seem at first glance. So, here is some history.

US Senator from Iowa, Chuck Grassley (along with all the Republican members of Congress) tried very hard to scuttle Obamacare from its inception. Unfortunately, in spite of overwhelming disapproval by the American people, the Democrat dominated Senate and House rammed the over 2000 page legislation through with unethical strategies of secret deals, political bribery, intimidation and out right strong arm tactics.

In 2009, once it was clear that the legislation would be adopted, in a last ditch effort to derail Obamacare, Senator Grassley insisted that the law require Congress to participate under the same mandate as every other American. Surprisingly, the Democrat majority embraced his amendment (probably to show an illusion of bipartisan support for the bill). Grassley’s amendment meant that Congress had to select their healthcare plan from an Obamacare healthcare exchange instead of from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) that serves more than 8 million federal employees. Grassley expected that members of Congress and their staffs would use the government subsidies provided through FEHBP to fund their healthcare through Obamacare. However, the version of the amendment that became part of the Obamacare package did not specify where the subsidies, if any would come for congressional employees. Without clarification, this meant Congress and their staffs would have to pay additional thousands of dollars for unsubsidized healthcare premiums. Remember, the law mandates that Congress members and staff must participate in the exchanges in order to be eligible for any financial assistance to pay for premiums. Naturally, Grassley and his congressional colleagues were very concerned that their employees would lose their current levels of healthcare coverage because of the radical increase in costs. The result might have been losing some valuable employees. Congress appealed to the Obama administration to clarify this apparent oversight.

On August 7th, 2013, the administration’s US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) declared that since they are federal employees, Congress members and their staffs would be eligible for an employer (the federal government) contribution to help pay for their healthcare premiums. However, according to the wording within Obamacare, the only legal way for this to happen is if the Congress member and staff are considered as a small business rather than as individuals.

OPM mandated that Congress and their staffs were required to go through the small business portion of the Washington DC Exchange (called SHOP). The problem is the DC Exchange defines a small business as any business with less than 50 employees. Although some members of Congress maintain staffs of less than 50, each Congress member is not considered as a small business and the US Congress employs thousands. After a lawsuit was filed, the DC health officials admitted that Congress does not fall within the small business definition of their exchange. However, OPM decided that the limitation of 50 employees for small businesses was not valid. I was surprised to learn that the Small Business Administration (SBA) defines a small business as anything from 1500 to 50 employees depending upon what the business does. DC later declared that the OPM guidance for federal employees and the size of small businesses overrides the DC law and thus Congress can utilize its Small Business Exchange.

So, is Congress participating in Obamacare? YES! Is it legal for FEHBP to subsidize the premiums for Congress members and their staff? According to the Obama Administration’s OPM and the DC health officials, YES. According to Judicial Watch and TPP, NO. This sounds like something the courts will have to decide.

In my view, after investigating the issue, the main culprit is Obamacare and an administration that is prone to make its own laws without appealing to Congress. Given the somewhat nebulous and generalized nature of Obamacare, Senator Grassley and other members of Congress are attempting to navigate through a flawed, dangerous healthcare mandate that hopefully will crumble from its own weight or judicial decisions in the near future.

It is tempting to completely paint the US Congress in dark colors. Certainly, our forefathers would approve of our tea party’s conservative, rather suspicious view of all things government. But, as potentially threatening as it is to individual freedoms, government is a necessity and as much as possible, we need to be fair with our criticisms. The investigation I did was strictly via the internet, so there could be facts of which I am not aware. However, I think my results show that we must be as aware as possible of any situation for which we decide to take rather drastic action such as even peaceful demonstrating. We must be certain that we are focusing our criticism and/or actions against or in support of the proper person, party or administration.

God Bless,

Len Edwards
Chairman

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Does Our Constitution Support Slavery?

Like many of you, I thank God that I live in a country where our basic freedoms of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (which our founders considered as property) are guaranteed by our Creator, rather than by the whims of human beings in the name of government. Yet, it seems that a hallmark of being human is to abuse these basic rights in order to obtain advantage over others. To their credit, our founders recognized this and created our Constitution to use competing self-interest within specific enumerated powers to help insure that government would never completely dominate our lives enough to infringe upon or take away these freedoms. Our Constitution was revered the world over for its proclamation that those that govern must be held accountable to the people, if individual freedom is to be established and endure. It was therefore ironic and a terrible tragedy that slavery, the antitheses of those freedoms expressed in our Declaration of Independence was allowed to continue.

But, contrary to what some believe, it was not because the Constitution was a pro-slavery document. Frederick Douglas, a former slave and the premier proponent for abolishing slavery said on July 5th, 1852 (less than ten years before the beginning of the Civil War),

“…the Constitution according to its plain reading and I defy the presentation of a single pro-slavery clause in it. On the other hand it will be found to contain principles and purposes, entirely hostile to the existence of slavery. (from “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” by Frederick Douglas recorded in Douglas Papers, Vol II.)

Rather, it was because of the beliefs expressed in the Declaration of Independence and codified in the Constitution that slavery in America was finally erased. Frederick Douglas also observed on May 14th, 1857,

“I know of no soil better adapted to the growth of reform than American soil. I know of no country where the conditions for affecting great changes in the settled order of things, for the development of right ideas of liberty and humanity, are more favorable than here in these United States. The very groundwork of this government is a good repository of Christian civilization. The Constitution, as well as the Declaration of Independence, and the sentiments of the founders of the Republic, give us a platform broad enough, and strong enough, to support the most comprehensive plans for the freedom and elevation of all the people of this country, without regard to color, class, or clime. “ (from “Speech on the Dred Scott Decision” by Frederick Douglas recorded in Life and Writings, Vol II.)

Within ten years after his speech, we had paid a terrible price in American blood (both white American and African American) for that offense against the very God from which our freedoms come. Abuses of our individual freedom has and will continue to come, but it is not supported nor justified by our Constitution. It is in spite of it.

May God bless and keep you all,

Len Edwards

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Our “radical: Tea Party?

Hello everyone,

After reading a particularly hostile article in our local small town newspaper about the nature of “the tea party”, I realized that the national media and the “progressives” (I like to call them regressives) have succeeded in painting our fundamentally patriotic movement in very rabid colors. So, I wrote the following article to help educate the author of the article as well as the rest of our local community about the true nature of the tea parties.

First, the tea party is not one unified political party. It is more accurately described as a popular, grass roots movement. One major purpose of the tea party movement is to balance the liberal, progressive trends toward big, expensive government and high taxes with conservative values of less expensive smaller government and low taxes that historically have made our nation the envy of the world. The progressive trends have long been established, promoted and supported by Democrat, Independent and Republican legislators. One result is a huge, often inept, expensive and bureaucratic government that has built a debt of more than 18 trillion dollars. By 2016, that debt will be over 20 trillion. Every child born in America already owes more than $54,000. The tea parties believe that the irresponsible borrowing and unrestrained spending is an abuse and must stop if our beloved nation is to survive.

Tea parties want government to be restricted to the concepts within such documents as the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. This is one reason why they urge Congress to use the safeguards against government abuse that is enshrined within the Constitution and the rule of law. They insist that regardless of party affiliation, elected officials be held strictly accountable for their competence, honesty and integrity. Some may call this radical, but it is exactly what our founders created and intended.

Most tea parties are small groups of citizens who are not radical, but are concerned and want to do something about our nation’s health. Although a tea party may align with one or more larger tea party movements such as the nationwide Tea Party Patriots among others, each one is totally independent. It has its own values, charter, organization, goals and objectives. For example, some want to add a balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution. Others see Common Core as an unwarranted and dangerous intrusion upon state and local rights and still others are concerned about illegal immigration and our porous borders. Of course, most tea parties are concerned about and work on several issues.

Finally, some tea party members are Republicans, Libertarians, Independents, Democrats, and some have no party affiliation. Some individual members choose to be deeply engaged in political activities and actively support candidates and various conservative causes. Some choose to run for elected office. Others simply want to be informed about current issues so they can participate with an informed vote.

Our local tea party encourages education about our founders and the documents that they created, stays informed about local, state and national issues, coordinates with other tea party like groups and strongly encourages others to participate in the governing process by voting. These are all things that our founding fathers would have approved. They are only “radical” in that they promote and support self-limited government which insures that we the people remain free with the rights and liberties to pursue our unique paths to happiness.

We The People Tea Party of Southern Iowa meet at the Lamoni Community Center every third Thursday at 7 PM. Next meeting is March 19th.

May God bless all of you,

Len Edwards

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Fundamental Transformation? Needed: A Voter Revolution!

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to 2014! This is the year that the pinnacle of the Progressive (I call it regressive) agenda; Obamacare slides into high gear and this is the year we can stop it cold!

In 2004, most of us had never heard of then Democratic Senator Barack Obama from Illinois.  It did not take long before we learned through the media that he was born in Hawaii, raised primarily by his mother and her parents, was a Harvard graduate who specialized in Constitutional law and a community organizer.  Ominously, it also became known that his parentage, a great many of his educators and his circle of friends were avowed Marxists. But, then Senator Obama claimed that, though his surrounding mentors (one was his pastor) leaned toward Marxist Collectivism, he was not an idealogue and would govern according to Constitutional principals.  So, it was a little hard for most people, especially those who were not particularly interested in politics to fully understand what President Obama meant when he proclaimed upon winning the 2008 presidential election that “fundamental change has come to America”. Most hoped that he meant it when he promised an honest and transparent national government that would bring order to an apparently out of control and collapsing economy.  Most were willing to wait and see if President Obama’s mantra of wealth control and redistribution would be the needed solution to bring back and insure their prosperity. Then came the bailouts for the largest banks, for General Motors and Chrysler, and the labor unions to name a few. The national debt quickly exploded to more than 15 trillion dollars. The Affordable Healthcare Act (Obamacare) was pushed through a progressive controlled congress via backroom deals and political bribery over the objections of a majority of the American public. But, most Americans were still willing to give President Obama and his administration the benefit of a doubt. After all, he had promised that most Americans would be relatively unaffected by Obamacare. It was reassuring when he said that they would be able to keep their current healthcare plans and their doctors. Then came the dishonesty and subterfuge associated with the Bengazi disaster, the administration’s illegal use of the Internal Revenue Service to suppress conservative opposition, and the revealing of secret monitoring of electronic communications and massive gathering of personal information on almost every American by the National Security Agency. But, even though it increasingly looked as though the lack of transparency and truthfulness came from the top echelons of the administration, most Americans were reluctant to accept that President Obama was knowingly dishonest. Then finally, after more then five million Americans lost their healthcare plans and their doctors, largely because their plans did not conform to Obamacare’s standards, it was revealed that he knew from the beginning that these plus many more privately funded healthcare plans would be lost. There could be no doubt that he had promised something that he knew would not be delivered in order to achieve his political objectives.

I suppose that like most Americans, I believe that a certain amount of political manipulation, subterfuge and deal-making in order to achieve the compromises necessary for the government to function within widely diverse ideologies and cultures is to be expected. But, I also believe that most Americans expect their president to be truthful with them. Clearly, this president was not. Every administration reflects its leader. In spite of President Obama’s promises, this one is no different.

The national polls show that Americans are finally getting to know the real Barack Obama as a devoted, radical leftist who will lie, manipulate, threaten, bribe and push executive power to the limits and beyond Constitutional bounds to achieve his objective to “fundamentally transform America” into a society ruled by a government that controls every aspect of our lives. If this president has his way, America and Americans will lose the liberty and freedoms for which so many have fought and died for 238 years.

But, our Constitution was created by men fully aware of history’s relatively brief experiments in libertarian government. Given their appreciation for the lust men have for power, our founding fathers knew that assaults on our freedoms were sure to come. So, they created a government with checks and balances for power that uses competitive interests to contain the threats to individual liberties. Since the beginning of our republic, but mainly within the last hundred years, so called Progressives ( I would call them Regressives) have sought to gain power in order to “equal the playing field” through minimizing the Constitution, government edict and oppression. But, our Constitution, though battered and bruised still stands. It still contains the weapons needed to once more defeat those, like Barack Obama and many of those within his administration who seek to destroy our individual liberties and freedom.

In November, 2014, supporters of individual freedom and limited government powers as written in the Constitution have an opportunity to replace enough Progressive Senators and Congressmen (both Democrats and Republicans) to stop their efforts to “fundamentally transform America” cold. But, it will require electing a veto-proof conservative (not necessarily just Republican) majority; two thirds of both the Senate and the House of Representatives. This will require all of us to be informed on the critical issues, learn about the candidates (both Republican and Democrat) to make sure they are true conservatives, get involved in the election process and then make sure we and every conservative  we know vote.

Our nation does not need another civil war. But, it does need a voter revolution if our freedoms are to be preserved for ourselves as well as for our children.

May God bless and keep all of you,

Len

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