The 2014 Iowa Senatorial Campaign: Stop the Regression toward Tyranny

Hello everyone,

Doris and I attended the Americans for Prosperity/National Review US Iowa Senate GOP Primary Debate last Wednesday (23 October) evening. I was going to give you a summary of the debate, but Doris and I agree that Kevin Hall, who writes for The Iowa Republican online news has written an excellent and comprehensive summary. The website is below.

First Iowa GOP U.S. Senate Debate: Winners and Losers (and Video)

Without the Democrat majority led by Nevada Senator Harry Reid and the enthusiastic support by Iowa Senator Harkin, much of President Obama’s liberal regressive agenda would be either stalled or history. I say regressive agenda because the so-called progressives seek to regress (return to a former state) our nation to the big-government, tyrannical rule from which our founding fathers fled and later delivered us. Unfortunately, some so-called conservative Republican Senators, under the guise of “facing reality” have supported Reid. This is why we need to pay close and careful attention to the conservative candidates for both the US Senate and US House of Representatives as they campaign throughout Iowa and other states.

We cannot allow our federal government to continue to expand its power and size. With every expansion, we lose more freedom. Whichever candidates we the people finally choose, we need to be sure that they will stand for conservative principles just as Senators Cruz and Lee stood almost alone in the Senate against funding Obama-Care. We must make their heroic efforts effective by adding to their number. US House Speaker John Boehner is not a small government person, but, in my view he led a heroic and intense effort to at least scale back and delay Obama-Care. Unfortunately, the effort ultimately failed.

The liberal, regressive Democrats and some of those who claimed to be conservatives trumpet that it was a wasted, foolish effort. But, the same could be said of our founding patriots who against all odds stood up and eventually spilled their precious blood for what they proclaimed was right. Ultimately, they prevailed and formed the most republican, free and prosperous nation the world has ever known. So, was Senators Cruz and Lee’s effort wasted? No, their stand was a call for all freedom-loving Americans to resist the encroaching tyranny of government dominated healthcare by coming to the aid of their country.

The House of Representatives must remain in Republican (preferably with more conservative members) hands. If enough of our senators and congressmen willing to stand up and insist that we abide by our founding principles of minimal, constitutional government funded by the lowest possible taxes are elected, our children and grandchildren will be able to enjoy futures characterized by prosperity and freedom. If not, the liberal, regressive legislators (both Democrat and Republican) will carry us to tyranny in which we will be constantly watched to make certain that we are valuable members of “the collective”.

Historically, nations that go this route marginalize and eventually eliminate those that are not deemed valuable to the collective. Can such a thing happen to our nation? About two thousand years ago, over about five hundred years of elected Republican rule, power gradually consolidated into the hands of a relatively few rich families allied with politicians. Although the apparatus of republican government remained for another five hundred years, the real power first devolved into the hands of Augustus Caesar (about 29 BC) and was passed along a long line of dictators until the fifth century. It is estimated that the Roman empire had a population of a hundred million. It happened to them and it can happen to us.

This first Iowa GOP Senatorial candidate debate was interesting and revealing. There will be many more opportunities across Iowa and other states to observe, listen and consider the candidates’ ideas and principles. I urge each of you to attend as many opportunities to meet and listen to the candidates as is possible. After you attend a function featuring any or all of the candidates, it will be of great service if you will share your impressions and thoughts. You can do this by emailing to teaparty@wethepeopletposi.com

May God bless America and all of us with discernment as we begin the 2014 campaign season.

Len

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Our forefathers on Redistribution of Wealth

Our founding fathers recognized that life is not fair. Most people today do not realize that until the nineteenth century, the vast majority of Europeans lived in grinding poverty with the constant specter of starvation and disease always before them. This condition was largely due to the fact that almost all the land and resources were owned and controlled by the Crown (the government) and a relatively few wealthy aristocrats. The little property that commoners owned was heavily taxed and the resulting income redistributed in whatever way the government wished.

It is a little known fact that the first American colonies, Jamestown (1608) and Plymouth (1620) were founded on socialist principles of communal property and work. The initial Jamestown colony was a commercial enterprise financed by the Virginia Company, a subsidiary of the London Company, which had been granted ownership via a charter given by King James I. The settlers were considered to be employees who were expected to work for the common good in order to benefit the Company. As a result, the initial colony was communal with no private ownership of land. Within three years, it became painfully evident that individuals had no incentive to prosper when the fruit of their labors was redistributed to those who did not want to work. Faced with the imminent failure of the colony, Deputy-Governor Dale in 1611 gave each Jamestown colonist three acres and made them responsible for their own survival. Each future colonist was given one acre.

The Mayflower venture was financed by the Plymouth Company (a subsidiary of the London Company). As in Jamestown, the colonists were considered Company employees who labored upon land owned by the Company. Once more, the colony did not prosper. Then, in 1623, under the leadership of Governor Bradford the Plymouth community gave each colonist one acre and instituted a free enterprise system largely based upon corn exchange.

Although both colonies continued to suffer deaths from disease and at Jamestown from warfare with the Indians, once they owned the land and were able to enjoy the fruits of their labor, the colonies immediately began to flourish. America quickly became one of the few places in the world where hunger was not a constant threat. Over the next century and a half, free enterprise and individual responsibility for their own prosperity, allowed Americans to become the healthiest and wealthiest people on the earth. The European soldiers that ravaged American holdings during the Revolutionary War (1775 – 1783) were amazed at the general wealth, health and stature of the colonists and were amazed at the lack of beggars and what today we might consider the downtrodden or oppressed. They were stunned at the size of the average American house and property holdings. Many of them were so impressed that they elected to stay in America after the War was concluded.

Our founding fathers were just as concerned about the poor and the disadvantaged as are we. But, they observed that government programs that take from the more prosperous segment of the population in order to give to the poor did not lead to prosperity. Benjamin Franklin said, “I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion about the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor is not making it easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.” Thomas Jefferson maintained that, “To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare others who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, “the guarantee to everyone of a free exercise of his industry, and the fruits acquired by it.” Samuel Adams agreed and said, “The utopian schemes of leveling (re-distribution of wealth) and a community of goods (central ownership of the means of production and distribution) are as visionary and impractical as those which vest all property with the crown. (These ideas) are arbitrary, despotic and in our government unconstitutional.” All three of these great men knew that wealth redistribution through government welfare programs leads to a population that is indolent and dependent upon government to provide what many of them will not provide for themselves. It is a well known adage that idleness leads to mischief. Perhaps because when one is given things easily, it becomes more tempting to question why someone else has more, which leads to efforts to take what someone else may have earned. When government sanctions the efforts to attain un-worked for and undeserving rewards, it encourages its denizens to ignore the laws of ownership and leads to thievery and lawlessness, such as characterized the recent Wall-Street demonstrators.

Judging from the recent elections, it seems that in spite of these warnings, about half of Americans today support President Obama and his administration’s vision of our government as the great re=distributer and leveler of wealth. George Washington ominously commented that, “Unfortunately, the nature of man is such that the experience of others is not attended to as it ought to be; we must feel ourselves before we can think or perceive the danger which threatens.” Let us hope (and pray to our merciful God) that enough of us perceive the dangerous signs of approaching tyranny that are becoming increasingly evident with this administration before we lose the means to rectify them.

Please, make a resolution that this year you are not going to continue to sit, worry and watch, but rather resolve to stand up and do something to sustain the dreams and work of freedom to which our forefathers devoted their lives and fortunes. Call, write, email, twitter or use facebook to let your local, state and federal lawmakers know your concerns. Join an organization composed of people that share them. Honor those that have risked and are risking everything in the continual struggle to have a government and society that honors and defends our inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
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May God bless you all.

Len

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Reflections and Determination

I am sitting at my desk reflecting upon the past year. The elections of 2010 signaled that most Americans wanted to stop and reverse the massive expansion of government size and power that had been led by President Obama. As has happened numerous times in the past, conservative forces surged forward to correct the leftward direction of the Obama administration and reclaim our individual liberties, traditional free enterprise economic system and Constitutionally limited government. Wisconsin resoundingly turned back the labor union’s challenge to the State’s conservative answer to its economic problems by sustaining Governor Scott Walker and some members of the state legislature. The Socialist/Communist Wall-Street demonstrators, although largely supported by the Obama administration were rejected by all but a tiny minority of Americans. So, 2012 began full of hope that America would rid itself of this current progressive, socialist administration by retaking control of the Senate and defeating a President that acted increasingly like an imperial monarch.

Since most people felt that our major problems were economical, it seemed sensible to most Republican conservatives to nominate an experienced businessman, Mitt Romney to replace Obama. Unfortunately, Romney’s record as Governor of Massachusetts, which included implementing a state-controlled healthcare program similar to Obama-Care and liberal social policies resulted in lukewarm support by most tea parties and other like-minded organizations. But, once he was officially nominated, most conservatives (I was one of them) held their noses and worked hard for him. Unfortunately, eight million conservatives decided that Romney was not that much better than President Obama and did not vote. The direct result was the most liberal, socialist leaning President in American history was narrowly (by popular vote) reelected. Fortunately, depending upon how one looks at it, although losing a few seats, Republicans (nominally conservative) retained control of the House of Representatives. Since big-government Republicans like Ohio Congressman John Boehnor (House Majority Leader) are largely in control, a path to smaller government and Constitutionally responsible legislation is murky at best.

Without any doubt, conservatives, including tea parties were slapped hard by the defeats in this election. But, this was just one major battle in our continuing effort to save our republic. We should not expect to role back a hundred years of liberal assaults and victories (mostly through government supported public education and commercial media) on constitutional government without meeting staunch resistance. We will lose some battles. But, we fight for the same goals of economic, social and religious freedoms for which our founding fathers fought. It took years of vigorous, but largely peaceful resistance against tyranny and then eight years (1776 – 1783) of war to overcome the most powerful nation in the world, England and then another six (1789) to establish the greatest and longest lived document supporting individual freedom that the world has ever known, our Constitution.

A new year is a time for reflection. But, reflection is a waste of time if it does not result in new and stronger determination to push forward toward our goals. The tea parties and like-minded organizations are already meeting, planning and coordinating their efforts to promote conservative ideals of free enterprise and fiscally responsible and smaller, constitutionally limited government.

If you would like to join in our efforts, find and join a local tea party. One method to find an Iowa organization is to go to the web-site: iagrc.com sponsored by the Iowa Grassroots Coalition. Click on “members”, then on the Iowa map to find one that is closest to you. Call the telephone number or contact the listed person through e-mail.

May God bless each of you as we enter this New Year.

Len

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Consitutional rule by the people versus judicial tyranny.

A recent letter to the editor in our local newspaper urged us to vote to retain all of our Iowa State Supreme Court Justices. The writer said that the American judicial system must be insulated from partisan politics and claimed that the current effort to unseat Iowa State Supreme Court Justice Wiggins is due to “ultra conservative influences” which are presumably against same-sex marriage. Personally, I do not think that it is ultra conservative to insist that those who govern us must do so within the bounds of our Federal and State Constitutions.

The issue of retaining State Supreme Court Justice Wiggins is not just about same-sex marriage. More importantly, it is about who rules our state; the people through their elected representatives or unelected, appointed judges. In the case of Varnum vs. Brien, Justice Wiggins and his fellow justices had every right to judge the constitutionality of the Iowa Defense of Marriage Act. However, they added on page 67 of that decision , “Consequently, the language in Iowa Code section 595.2 limiting marriage to a man and a woman must be stricken from the statute, and the remaining statutory language must be interpreted and applied in a manner allowing gay and lesbian people full access to the institution of civil marriage.” This judicial demand was a violation of the separation of powers because the Iowa Constitution states that only the Iowa Legislature has the power to create law and the Governor to enforce it. The Attorney General (an elected official) ignored the Constitution and bypassed the law-making authority of the Iowa Legislature by ordering the state to issue same-sex marriage licenses. Our Legislature and the Governor failed to stand up and demand that the judges stay within Constitutional limits. Thus, our government failed to uphold our Constitution at every level. Fortunately, we can hold those in our Legislative and Executive branches accountable through our votes.

Our founding fathers knew that to allow judges to create law was a recipe for eventual judicial tyranny. This is why Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist Paper number 78 emphasized that under the (at that time proposed) Federal Constitution, the judiciary had judgment, but no enforcement powers. He warned that, “…there is no liberty, if the power of judging be not separated from the legislative and executive powers.” Hamilton’s contemporary, Thomas Jefferson was deeply concerned that judges with lifetime appointments would interpret laws in ways that increased judiciary power, which without being answerable to the people (through lifetime appointments) would allow it to gradually dominate the legislative and executive branches. He said that, in his judgment the impeachment process was not sufficient to insure that judges behaved properly in accordance with republican principles of government. He went on to suggest that at prescribed times, federal judges should be reviewed by the Senate and President for good behavior. Unfortunately, his suggestions were never implemented and the result, as he foresaw has been increasing legislative edicts and orders for their enforcement from the judicial bench.

The same-sex marriage issue can be settled through either the adoption or rejection of a Constitutional amendment (either at the state level and/or the national level) defining marriage as being between one woman and one man. However, no amount of “fixing” a Constitution will be able to protect us from judges who, without fear of being held accountable for their decisions feel they have a right to issue edicts that carry the force of law.

Iowa wisely amended our state constitution to correct what Jefferson saw as a major weakness in the US Constitution. Similar to federal judges, Iowa Supreme Court judges are appointed and are expected to obey the laws or face impeachment and removal. However, in cases where the oversight responsibility of the Iowa Legislature and the Executive fails to be in accordance with the people’s estimate of good behavior, they are given a Constitutional recourse to decide, through their vote whether or not a judge must be removed. This is right and in accordance with republican principals of government that demands that no human being should be elected or appointed to any position of power without being accountable to the people by whom he or she has been granted that power. A vote of NO on the retention of Iowa State Justice Wiggins is an unmistakable warning to the judiciary that Iowa is still a state based upon our Constitution and the will of its people.

May God bless and keep you all,

Len Edwards

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Obama-care: Who is Responsible for Taking Care of My Brother?

Sister Simone Campbell, a politically active Catholic nun (a member of Network; a Catholic Social Justice lobby), believes that she is doing the right thing by supporting President Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act (Obama-care). She said during the recent National Democratic Convention that the Act “is part of my pro-life stance and the right thing to do.” And that, “I am my sister’s keeper. I am my brother’s keeper.” This was an obvious call for well meaning Christians who have similar beliefs to support (with their votes) Obama and Obama-care.

Well, is the Christian belief in caring for others consistent with supporting a gigantic government program such as Obama-care? Under this legislation, among other things, every US citizen will be forced to buy health insurance or pay a substantial monetary penalty (defined as a tax by the US Supreme Court). Included within this Act, a panel appointed by our government will decide for us (regardless of our desires) the need and the type of care for every participant. So, is this program consistent with the teachings of Jesus?

What follows is not a sermon, but rather a short exploration into these important questions. The Bible (accepted by Christians as the Word of God) tells us that God was particularly concerned about Israel’s disadvantaged people, especially widows and orphans. In fact, according to the Bible, God allowed Israel to be conquered and its population scattered, in part because it either ignored or took advantage of the helpless (widows and orphans). So, it would be reasonable to expect that Jesus, the Son of God (many Christians believe that Jesus was the human expression of God) would also demand that His followers assist the helpless.

All four Gospels contained within the Bible consistently show that Jesus was deeply concerned with the plight of the poor, the lame, the sick and the outcasts of Jewish society. He touched and healed many that were classified as unclean (a woman who had an issue of blood, men suffering from leprosy and people possessed by demons), dined with unpopular tax collectors and associated with what the religious authorities claimed were sinners. But, did Jesus, to whom nuns like Sister Campbell form a sacred marriage-like covenant, insist that the helpless be helped through government programs such as President Obama’s Affordable Care Act? Perhaps within a larger context, did Jesus insist upon government mandated social justice?

As we read the Gospels, we find that one of the shocking aspects of the ministry of Jesus was His seeming lack of concern about the Roman and the subservient domestic governments’ oppressive policies. Jesus made just two somewhat political remarks; the people should pay taxes to the government (give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s) and that its’ official, Pontius Pilate was allowed to have power by God. Further, when Pilate asks Jesus if He is a king, Jesus replies that His kingdom is not of this world, implying that the type of worldly government was not important. Since the Roman government was clearly a strict and often abusive alien power that had conquered, ruled and sometimes massacred Jews (God’s chosen people), this may seem (especially to social justice advocates) to be astonishing. Additionally, during His three-year ministry, He pointedly accused the Jewish authorities (Pharisees, Sadducees Chief Priests and Elders) of abuse and hypocrisy yet, surprisingly urged the people to submit to their authority.

When confronted by Judas and His disciples about the high monetary value of a flask of fragrant oil (Spikenard) that a woman was pouring over His head (they wanted to sell it and give the money to the poor), Jesus observed that her actions were justified and continued by saying that they would always have poor people. Where is the social justice in that statement? Shockingly, Jesus seemed to support a system of unequal wealth when he told the parable of the gold talents (two servants invested their talents and made profits while one did not invest, made no profit and was condemned). He ignored social justice when, in a different parable he supported the right of a property owner to pay men that he contracted to work in his vineyard the same wages even though some had worked all day and others just an hour.

In summary, Jesus’ teachings are filled with our individual responsibilities to care for each other. But nowhere does He demand that we fulfill these through impersonal government programs. Rather, His teachings are all about personal, individual responses to God and each other. It is this individualist character that underlies the timeless strengths of His message that has appealed to countless people through the last two millennia. For example, he tells Nicodemus that he (an individual) must be born again to enter heaven. His message in the Sermon on the Mount is replete with observations of and instructions to individuals. The story of the Good Samaritan illustrates three individual responses (a priest, a Levite and a Samaritan) to a victim of robbery and physical abuse. The victim is ignored by the first two, but assisted by the Samaritan. It is significant that the Samaritan does not proceed to a government official or office to inform them of the man’s plight; rather, he both actively cares for the unfortunate victim himself and then makes certain that someone else provides the care that he cannot.

For Christians, the Word of God clearly shows that we are indeed responsible to care for each other. We, like Sister Campbell are called to be our brother and sister’s keeper. Jesus commands that we must “love our neighbor as ourselves” and to “love each other as He loves us.” However, the Word of God shows that He did not do this through advocating or sponsoring mandatory government welfare programs. Indeed, He emphasized our individual responsibilities, which require that we be free to choose to either obey or disobey His commandments.

Finally, because our forefathers constructed a government based upon their belief in His endowment of individual freedom (all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness), our Republic has prospered until we are now blessed with more wealth and power than they could have imagined. Sister Campbell’s declaration that she is her brother and sister’s keeper is entirely consistent with the teachings of Jesus as presented within the Bible. But, her support of Obama-care, which strips away our freedom to choose our healthcare future, is not.

May God bless and keep you all,

Len

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Voting, the Ark of Our Republic.

Sadly, since 1972, only about 52% of eligible citizens voted in presidential elections. The percentage for congressional elections that occur between those for President plummets to about 37%. I am convinced, after reading many books and papers about and by our founding fathers that they would be outraged by such non-participation in such a crucial exercise.

They constructed our government so that we would have office holders who serve, under God and a Constitution on the sufferance of We the People. They constructed the Constitution with many checks and balances to insure as much as possible that differing interests (and greedy ambitions) would be neutralized so as to insure that the people would remain free from tyranny. Patrick Henry wrote, “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government — lest it come to dominate our lives and interests”

But, by far their most important solution to any threat of tyranny was the ability of the people to change their government at relatively short intervals through a peaceful vote rather than through violent conflict. Thomas Jefferson wrote, “The elective franchise, if guarded as the ark of our safety, will peaceably dissipate all combinations to subvert a Constitution, dictated by the wisdom, and resting on the will of the people. “ The biblical Ark was the indispensable vessel that saved mankind. If Noah had chosen to not build it, those of us reading this blog would not be alive. When we choose to not vote, we are choosing to relinquish the only franchise that can save our Republic from the flood of tyranny and the death of freedm for us and our children.

The way I see it, this year’s election (November 6th) may be the most crucial since we became a nation. We have a stark choice between the current progressive administration’s policies of a large government that aggressively assaults our liberties with virtually unlimited regulatory and enforcement powers and those that favor conservative policies of a much smaller limited, less powerful government. The current administration consider our government as a wise, benevolent and trustworthy big brother while their opponents consider it as a necessary, but more opportunistic acquaintance that, if left unchecked will potentially grow into a lethal enemy of our free Republic. John Adams wrote, “The jaws of power are always open to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing” and George Washington wrote, “Government is not reason; it is not eloquence. It is force. And force, like fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”

Some of you may not agree with my opinions and you are certainly entitled to your own. For yourself, your children and your grandchildren, please VOTE!

May God bless and keep you all.

Len

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Vote For Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

Hello Everyone,

It has been a while since I have blogged. I plan on doing it more often.

As I am sure you all are aware, the national elections are rapidly approaching (November 6th). Looks as though we will have a somewhat moderate Republican, Governor Mitt Romney as the apparent “conservative” choice to run for President of our beloved country. There is much debate on just how liberal and/or conservative Mitt Romney was as governor of the predominantly liberal state of Massachusetts. Some say that he was too willing to compromise. I have even heard that there are some conservatives who will not vote at all rather than compromise their values with a vote for Governor Romney. I think this attitude is unfortunate. Not voting is a vote for the status quo, which is the current administration.

Most of us recognize that it is impossible to govern without bearing in mind the attitudes, needs and desires of those that are governed. A great administrator is one that is willing and able to compromise on some issues without compromising his or her core values. Governor Romney says that his ideas on such things as abortion and marriage have changed since he left the office.

I think that most of us will admit that all of us change our attitudes as we mature and learn. On a personal note, there was a time, when I was very young that I was an agnostic. Many years ago, older, but still young, I accepted the Lord Jesus as my Savior and I have only been enriched by that acceptance. I believe the Governor when he says that he has had a change of heart on very important social issues such as abortion and traditional marriage. I will continue to believe him until I have reason to not do so.

There is certainly little doubt that Governor Romney understands our free market economy and has the skills and experience necessary to navigate our fiscally beleaguered country toward a more healthy fiscal state. Understandably, a sound fiscal economy is necessary to provide the private sector jobs that have been so elusive to President Obama. Certainly, Governor Romney would have to stretch a long way to be as liberally left as President Barack Obama who has implemented unprecedented and massive government oversight and control of our economy. Considering his Kenyan father’s intense anti-colonial attitude taught to the President by his mother and the socialist/Marxist nature of his upbringing and education, if given a second 4-year term, I think that we can look for even more of the same as he seeks to “fundamentally” change America.

Several months ago, I read Dinesh D’Souza’s book, “The Roots of Obama’s Rage” and last week, I saw his recently released movie, “2016, Obama’s America”. Everyone who wants to know the why of President Obama’s actions and what he is likely to do if given another term should see this movie! I think that you will agree with me that if we want to preserve the vision of life, liberty and the freedom to pursue happiness that was given to us by our esteemed founding fathers, we must not only get rid of President Obama and his administration through our votes, but we must do so in such great numbers that the Democratic party members will realize that this nation will not allow those who promote radical, far-left policies to ever gain power again.

Speaking for myself (our tea party does not endorse any particular candidate, but does promote and endorse our founding fathers’ conservative principles), if Governor Romney becomes the alternative to President Obama and there seems little doubt that he will be selected, he will certainly have my vote and I hope he will have yours. I am a 21-year retired US Air Force veteran and have been and always will be an American patriot. I must take a positive stand and action by voting to remove what I believe to be the greatest domestic threat to the principles upon which our nation was built that we have faced since the War for Independence.

I would like to conclude with these thoughts. Like many of you, I was politically asleep for many years. We have learned hard lessons associated with largely ignoring our leaders’ (both Republicans and Democrats) behaviors. Now, we are awake. No matter who wins the 2012 elections, as active tea party members among other like-minded groups, we know that we have had and will continue to have a strong voice in the affairs of our precious nation. We will only get stronger and we will be watching!

May God bless and keep you all.

Len

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Welcome to 2012!!

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to 2012! It has been an active year filled with political rallies, speeches and caucus preparations. Most people I know are relieved that the incredible numbers of telephone, television and mail ads for or against the political candidates are finally over. But…it is not over! Our Iowa caucus was just the opening act!! As the national elections get closer, the political ads will increase until, like a giant wave, it will culminate with the November elections for national and state offices. This is the normal, sometimes frustrating and irritating characteristics of our unique, but precious Republican process through which “we the people” rule our nation.

But, as frustrating as it is, we must pay attention because this president and his administration views government in profoundly different ways than did our founding fathers.

His flagrant disregard for Constitutional limits on government (illustrated by his recent presidential appointments that violate the US Constitution) and federal law (illustrated by his refusal to enforce immigration laws and refusal to legally support the Defense of Marriage Act); his embrace of crony-capitalism (illustrated by the selected Wall Street/Bank bailouts); his shameless promotion of class warfare (illustrated by his support of the Wall-Street Occupiers); his disregard for the majority (illustrated by the shameless maneuvering to pass Obama-Care over the objections of the majority of Americans); and his reckless, seemingly unending increases in spending (our debt is approaching 16 trillion dollars) means that it is crucial that he be defeated and replaced in this coming election. If allowed another four years, he will oversee a growing debt so large that it will be impossible to repay. Under the exploding number of regulations associated with Obama-Care and other expansionist programs, his government will continue to grow with a corresponding decrease in our and our children’s freedoms.

We must not be complacent if we are to preserve our free nation from unending debt and massive government interference, reorganization and over-regulation. You can make a difference!

By choosing to be a member of our tea party, you are declaring your support for our founding fathers’ goals of a small fiscally responsible government controlled by the people through our Constitution. Those fundamental goals are under attack by this administration. Like our forefathers, we can and must resist this unprecedented assault on our freedoms in every peaceful manner possible. Personal attendance and active participation at tea party meetings to share ideas and brainstorm on effective means to get our message out to our local area and to organize to support whomever is selected as the conservative alternative to Obama is crucial in our mission to unseat him.

Get involved by attending our first meeting of 2012 (Thursday, January 19th at 7 PM at the Lamoni Community Center) at which we will present names to sustain or replace the executive committee: Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer (elections will be conducted during the February meeting). Republican candidate for the new district 14 State Senate, Amy Sinclair will be our guest speaker.

Finally, voluntary financial support is important to pay the monthly rental of the Lamoni Community Center, the annual fee for our tea party web site and to develop and/or buy materials for display and/or distribution (T-Shirts, buttons, pamphlets, booklets, etc.). Anyone wishing to donate can give to We The People Tea Party of Southern Iowa. Checks can be sent to P.O. Box 122, Lamoni, IA 50140. Donations are not tax deductible.

Our forefathers developed our government with multiple layers in order to give us time to consider, resist and reverse attempts to fundamentally change our free-enterprise/bottom up republican system. We only have about 9 months left.

May God bless you and all those who are standing up to preserve our nation,

Len

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Tea Party: A Proud American Heritage

Hello Everyone!

A person surprised me yesterday by saying, with some derision that the term, “Tea Party” was first used by the media to categorize the grassroots uprising against the exploding expansion of federal government power and unbridled spending. He claimed that, for some unknown reason, the term was then embraced by many of the protesting groups. This is the reason that his group, though dedicated to similar goals chose to not label themselves as a tea party.

Frankly, I do not know who labeled the modern protest movements as “Tea Parties”. However, most of us know that on December 16, 1773, a group of our forefathers (my ancestor; Samuel Poore among them) chose to peacefully defy the British government’s (the leading power of the 18th century) decree that it was their right to govern and tax the American colonies without the colonist’s consent. The men, some of whom were dressed as Mohawks (a tribe of Native Americans) boarded three British merchant ships and threw more than 300 bales of valuable East Indian tea into Boston Harbor. The British Parliament responded in 1774 with the Coercive Acts which closed Boston harbor to commerce. This in turn led to the convening of the First Continental Congress and the rest is history.

What is not generally known is that black-market tea was widely available at much lower cost than British East India tea. In other words, tea was plentiful and available at acceptable prices. So, the Boston Tea Party was not about the increased cost due to the tax on tea. It was a protest against a government that ignored the people’s unalienable right to have a voice in their government. It was about freedom. The Boston Tea Party was a ringing declaration to the world and future generations that no government has the right to decree its will over the people without their consent.

The modern tea parties have that same declaration. We are just plain folks who, like my forefather that lived so long ago are declaring that we have had enough of government mandates and decrees put into place over “we the people’s” objections. Most of us did not foresee that our government would assault such things as our rights to freely express and practice religion, support and decree that unborn children have no unalienable right to life, condone and support vigorous attempts to destroy God’s definition of marriage, encourage practices that are forbidden by the Word of God and assume the right to increasingly take and redistribute our hard-earned wealth without our consent.

We are responding in the tradition of the first “Tea Party” when we peacefully and respectfully organize and work against those who believe the government has the right to ignore the will of the governed while we encourage and support those who dedicate themselves to govern according to the principles expressed by our founders in such documents as the US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence and abide by the standards of ethics, morality and devotion that are expressed and commanded by our Creator.

Personally, I can think of no better term for this movement than Tea Party.

May God bless and keep you all,

Len

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Welcome to Our Blog

Hello everyone!

I am Leonard (Len) Edwards, Chairman of We The People Tea Party of Southern Iowa. I am also a proud veteran (21 years and 3 months) of the United States Air Force and, as most veterans, a Patriot. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that the men and women in the United States military think that they are just doing a job. Most of them that I have known are intensely patriotic. They have to be to live the military lifestyle where they may be safely at home with their beloved family one-day and serving (perhaps fighting) in some far off land the next. It demands selflessness and a devotion to duty and honor that few other professions require. Every soldier, sailor and airman promises with their sacred honor that they will, if necessary die to insure that this nation, this “city on a hill” remains free for their family and loved ones. But just as importantly, most of them serve so that the world will know that it is only possible for mankind to have life, liberty and prosperity through the rule of “We The People” UNDER GOD.

Yes, I am also a Christian; a believer that without the ultimate source of right and wrong; the ultimate arbiter of justice, mercy and grace, all our efforts at ruling ourselves as a free people are doomed to failure. Our founding fathers agreed with me. So far as I know, all the signers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution believed in God. The overwhelming majority were devout Christians. Some were ordained Christian ministers. Even Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were convinced that devotion to a power higher than man’s government is absolutely necessary for mankind to have any hope to rule himself and remain free. I mention these three because they were probably the most deistic of all the 250 or so founding fathers. All three were at least doubtful that Jesus was divine. Yet, unlike deists, they believed that there exists a God that is intensely involved in human affairs, promises eternal life to those who believe and are obedient to His principles and whose guidance is indispensible if this nation is to remain free. They proclaimed that while government must not be allowed to establish nor sustain any state sponsored religion, it must encourage and assist its citizens to believe in and practice their own freely chosen one. All three proclaimed that by far, the religion that was most likely to maintain and sustain a government ruled by the people was Christianity. They understood that no government could control its people through intimidation and coercion and still allow the people to be free. It is only possible for men to be free if they control themselves and to do this, they must obey a higher authority than government. So, we must be a nation that is ruled by “We The People” UNDER GOD or we cannot remain free.

Our founding fathers believed the instruments that would educate the people in the basics of good citizenry and religion was the family, the public schools and the churches. Initially, every school taught Christianity and Christian principles as well as the standard fare such as English, history, mathematics and government. Local communities were responsible for the content, staffing, funding and running of their schools. Ultimately, the state legislatures were largely responsible to oversee the education of their citizens. Today, our federal government has all but taken over our public schools and is vigorously erasing any religious influence within our schools and other public institutions. So, we must support non-public home, chartered and religious schools to teach and encourage our citizens to learn about, believe in and obey the principles laid down by our Creator. We must also vigorously work to limit or rid federal influences from our public schools. This does not take away nor penalize anyone’s desire to not believe in Christ or God. A free society must allow its citizens to follow their conscience so long as it is within the law of our land. Yet, it does demand that an unbeliever live their life in accordance with and in obedience to the law that is based upon Godly principles.

A cornerstone inherent in the founding of this nation was that every citizen has a God-given and unalienable right to pursue and keep wealth (called the pursuit of happiness in the Constitution). Therefore, they were extremely sensitive about taxation. They intended for the federal government to be continually leashed by small budgets and limited powers. To them, heavy taxation and large state-run welfare and social programs such as then existed in European countries led to slavery of the common person. So, they wanted every tax to be levied with the consent of the people. That is why all tax legislation is required by the Constitution to originate in the House of Representatives, which is the portion of the legislative branch that is most directly elected by and therefore is the most direct voice of the people. To insure that the Representatives support fiscally responsible legislation that is acceptable to their constituents, the Constitution requires that they must answer for their actions by facing reelection every two years. The founding fathers also tried to insure that the Federal government would remain small and controllable by restricting its revenue to indirect taxes such as import and export duties. This was meant to ensure that the national government could not overwhelm the state governments through shear wealth. Additionally, it prevented the government from redistributing wealth, which our founders said stripped the incentive for citizens to prosper by their own labor and encouraged those who would not work to remain idle and live on the labors of others. It also makes the non-workers dependent upon and therefore particularly susceptible to government influence. Today, because of the 16th amendment to the Constitution, our national government collects huge amounts of money through direct federal income tax in addition to indirect taxes. Only about one half our citizens pay the income tax while the other half either pays nothing or enjoys undeserved (redistributed) refunds. So, we must restore fiscal sanity and perspective by repealing the 16th amendment to force the federal government to return to the relatively small government intended by our founders. A growing number of citizens are in favor of either a flat tax (requires the 16th amendment) that taxes everyone equally or the Fair tax (does not require the 16th amendment), which restricts the government (as our founding fathers intended) to an indirect national sales tax.

The Senate was originally created to be the voice of the sovereign states and a strong check on federal power. To accomplish this, the founding fathers required that senators be selected by the elected legislatures of their state. This splitting of the legislative branch was meant to insure that both the popular and the sovereign state’s interests were considered in any legislation. Today, the senators are elected directly by the people of each state, bypassing their legislatures and thus the sovereignty of the states has largely been compromised. This is why federal power has exploded while state power has declined. So, we must restore the balance between state and national interests by repealing the 17th amendment to the Constitution.

Many of our founding fathers felt that members of Congress should not be allowed to serve unlimited terms. Many others felt that the nation would benefit the most from long serving, experienced Congress members. Time has shown that elected positions without term limits leads to officials who are more concerned about maintaining their lucrative positions than serving the people by whom they are elected. This is a recipe for and invites corruption, which many times circumvents the Constitution and even oppresses the people they are supposed to be serving. So, all elected and appointed positions should have term limits.

The Constitution gives the federal government the power to regulate inter-state commerce. Unfortunately, the judicial branch has interpreted this power extremely liberally by allowing the term inter-state commerce to mean almost every transaction in which a person even remotely participates in commerce between states. Recently, the current administration has used unprecedented powers it claims are inherent in its Constitutionally given mandates to tax and regulate inter-state commerce. Repealing the 16th amendment will be a major blow to the federal government’s power to decree unlimited taxes. However, it will take a Supreme Court decision to prevent an unlimited expansion of federal power to mandate all kinds of commercial activity, including the right to force and control participation in commerce via the new national health care legislation. So, we must vigorously encourage the Supreme Court to strike down this legislation and in so doing put firm limits on federal power to regulate commerce. Additionally, we must actively support members of the legislature in their efforts to repeal this unprecedented expansion of government power.

Thomas Jefferson and others were deeply concerned that there were inadequate controls over the powers of the judicial branch. Jefferson felt that the judicial branch, even though it has no enforcement power could become the instrument through which federal power would eventually become supreme and dictatorial. He felt that the impeachment power given to Congress to provide some control over the appointed (not elected) federal judges including the Supreme Court Justices was unwieldy and had such a high standard required for convicting and removing a judge that it would be seldom, if ever used. This has proven to be the case. Except for criminal activities, it is virtually impossible to remove a federally appointed judge. Therefore, federal judges can interpret the law and the Constitution in any manner, which invites decisions to expand judicial power until it dominates, by proxy the other two branches. Our current unelected federal judiciary strike down laws, force modifications in legal behavior and interpret the Constitution however they please without being accountable to anyone. This has resulted in the removal of prayer in public schools, an increasing level of hostility to religious expression in public places and reversal of positive encouragement of religion and religious standards, which the founding fathers said is necessary for our nation to remain free. It has also resulted in unprecedented decisions that proclaim an unwritten right to privacy, which continues to allow millions of unborn human beings to be murdered. Jefferson recommended that the Supreme Court judges be reviewed after a certain number of years by the congressional and executive branches. Although this still insolates federal judges from direct accountability to the people, it at least makes them accountable to their elected representatives.

I believe our founding fathers would be profoundly saddened by just how far we have allowed our government to stray from our Constitution. Given our current financial and Constitutional crises, we are in grave danger of losing the freedoms for which they labored and risked so much. Some of them did lose everything. Actually, we are faced today with many of the same choices over which they struggled. Socialism and Communism seem to be on the march. We have a president and administration that is closer to those philosophies than ever in history. With every increase in government power, our freedoms diminish. That is why I am in the Tea Party movement. I do not enjoy political activism. But, sometimes I have to do things that I otherwise, in better, more safe times would not dream of doing. I have had the honor of serving this unmatched, incredible nation as a soldier for more than 20 years. I love her. I cannot bear to lose that “shining city on a hill”. But, my concern is not just for me. I am 66 years old and so most of my time on this earth is gone. I hope and pray that I am wise enough to allow the Lord’s gracious Spirit to guide and direct me in this effort. Like all of you who read this blog, I want that shining, illustrious dream for my children and their children and their children on down to the time when our dear Lord returns to finally give us a pure undefiled version of the freedoms that our forefathers tried so valiantly to give us.

Len Edwards

PS I cordially invite anyone reading this to join in this effort. Our Tea Party meets every third Thursday of every month at the Lamoni Community Center, Lamoni, Iowa at 7 pm.

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