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It’s indisputable that Mark Jaede, a professor at St. Cloud State and a long-time DFL activist, used government property to help plan a political rally that was organized by Jane Conrad, a staffer at the Minnesota AFL-CIO. Apparently, Prof. Jaede doesn’t think that the rules apply to him.

Specifically, he must think this rule doesn’t apply to him:

Subpart D. Use of state property. All system property is also state property. With limited exceptions, state property is not to be used for personal or private use except as specifically authorized, such as limited personal use of computers as provided in System Procedure 5.22.1 and incidental use of system cell phones, as provided in System Procedure 5.22.1.

Earlier this week, Prof. Jaede posted this political announcement on St. Cloud State’s listserv system:

This message is from Jane Conrad, who can be reached at 320-267-0899:

A rally was planned to counter racist speaker Ron Branstner who was speaking at the VFW at 9 18th Ave N in St Cloud. Two hours after I let the police know about our action and after the police talked with management at the VFW the speaker was canceled. So I canceled the rally. However, I did find out that the VFW did allow the event to go forward with a racist speaker from Willmar, Bob Enos. To counter this we are planning a rally this Saturday at 1:00 in front of the VFW. Please join us a peaceful collective community action. We are all in this together.

When Prof. Jaede used his SCSU email address to highlight an AFL-CIO political rally, he used state property “for personal or private use.” He wasn’t conducting University business when he posted this event information. He seems to admit that in signing off:

Mark (writing as an individual faculty member who is concerned about having a community that welcomes all)

Considering the fact that Jaede’s been a DFL activist for years and considering the fact that he was using state resources to highlight an AFL-CIO political rally, does anyone take Prof. Jaede seriously when he insists that he’s doing this “as an individual faculty member who is concerned about having a community that welcomes all” and not as a DFL activist?

This morning, I got a copy of an email that Mark Jaede, a faculty member at St. Cloud State, published on SCSU’s Announce listserv. Here’s what Prof. Jaede published:

According to Jane Conrad’s email, Ron Branstner’s presentation was cancelled. According to Prof. Jaede’s second email, Bob Enos stepped in and made a speech. Here’s Prof. Jaede’s email about the Enos speech:

In both of Prof. Jaede’s emails, he referred to Jane Conrad. For those who aren’t familiar with her, here’s more information about Ms. Conrad:

This isn’t insignificant because Prof. Jaede is using a taxpayer-funded resource (SCSU’s email system) to highlight a political rally organized by Jane Conrad, a self-described AFL-CIO staffer, at the St. Cloud VFW.

Greg Jarrett is a private citizen who is interested in the State Department’s refugee resettlement program. Mssrs. Branstner and Enos have dealt with and researched this program. Here’s part of what Jarrett wrote when contacted by LFR:

The time has come for the Mayor and associated City Staff, President of SCSU, MNSCU Chancellor, St Cloud City Council and State Representatives to STOP an escalating and explosive situation that is in itself going to embarrass SCSU and the City of St Cloud again.

Here we have an AFL-CIO union-affiliated representative, Ms. Jane Conrad working in concert with a SCSU professor who was on the University time clock and is on SCSU’s payroll using internal taxpayer-funded email communications for purposes not associated with SCSU, not on SCSU property, NON SCSU Business for the purpose of agitation and SELF labeling of a public event for the second time. They have turned this into a “racial event”.

There is nothing “racial” about the economic impact of out of control Refugee Resettlement. Allowing these 2 radical militants to spin the topic and manipulate the Constitutional rights of others for personal beliefs and reasons is beyond insulting, irrational and borderline criminal in its direct purpose and intent.

Ms Jane Conrad and Professor Mark Jaede have taken upon themselves to self label and describe speaker Mr. Ron Branstner as “racist” and target the event for the sole purpose of starting an uprising of outrage. The St Cloud Police Department has also been made a pawn in this matter by Ms Conrad and Mr. Jaede by the now known threats prior to Mr. Branstner’s scheduled engagement. Ms Conrad was successful in her misguided mission to strong arm the Police Department and the VFW management to cancel the event.

Using taxpayer-funded resources to advance a political agenda is wrong, to say the least. Another thing that’s at stake here is SCSU’s reputation. If President Potter doesn’t immediately act to prevent Prof. Jaede’s improper use of SCSU’s email system, then he’s sending the signal that he’s ok with SCSU’s employees using SCSU’s taxpayer-funded email system for political use.

I’m not a lawyer but I’m still 100% certain that’s improper, if not illegal.

I’ve been critical of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for his handling of disciplining Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice and Greg Hardy. His disciplinary actions violated the NFL-NFLPA rules of the shop in terms of how long Commissioner Goodell could suspend players for. For instance, when Adrian struck his son with a wooden switch, the maximum suspension for such an offense was 2 games. Ditto with Ray Rice.

After the public outcry over the Rice suspension reached deafening levels after a video was found from inside the casino hotel showing Ray Rice hitting his then-fiancé, Commissioner Goodell instituted a new set of rules. In both the Rice and Peterson cases, federal judges ruled that the violations happened before the new rules went into effect. In those instances, the judges ruled that Commissioner Goodell hadn’t applied the existing “rules of the shop” in disciplining Rice and Peterson.

I fully support Commissioner Goodell’s ruling against Tom Brady for a multiple reasons, which I’ll get into shortly. First, though, it’s important to highlight what went into the NFL’s decision:

On or shortly before March 6, the day that Tom Brady met with independent investigator Ted Wells and his colleagues, Brady directed that the cell phone he had used for the prior four months be destroyed. He did so even though he was aware that the investigators had requested access to text messages and other electronic information that had been stored on that phone. ?During the four months that the cell phone was in use, Brady had exchanged nearly 10,000 text messages, none of which can now be retrieved from that device. The destruction of the cell phone was not disclosed until June 18, almost four months after the investigators had first sought electronic information from Brady.

Because the appeal that the NFLPA will file in federal court within the next 2 weeks will be about the process that the NFL used, they won’t be re-litigating Troy Vincent’s or Roger Goodell’s findings of facts. That’s why it’s certain that the federal appellate courts will uphold Brady’s suspension. That’s also why the judiciary won’t grant an injunction that would put Brady’s suspension on hold until the appeal can be heard.

Injunctions and TROs aren’t granted unless the court thinks that the plaintiff has a chance of winning on the merits of the case. That gets into the procedural part of this suspension.

Most importantly, the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA stipulates that the NFL commissioner has the right to hear the appeals for violations of league rules regarding the games itself. There’s a different procedure in place for what the NFL and NFLPA call personal conduct policies. Peterson’s and Rice’s violations violated the NFL’s personal conduct policies. Tom Brady’s violation had to do with the game itself.

Since the collective bargaining agreement gives Commissioner Goodell the right to hear Brady’s appeal, it’s difficult to see how a court could rule against the NFL in this case. Further, the fact that the NFL highlighted the fact that Brady destroyed his cell phone knowing that the NFL investigator wanted to look at the text messages between Brady and the Patriots’ locker room guys is a major red flag. There isn’t an honest investigator alive who wouldn’t think of this as a major infraction.

That’s like telling the IRS agent that you get rid of your tax returns every 2 years right before they audit you. Of course, that isn’t going to fly.

I don’t know when the NFLPA’s lawsuit will be heard or in which court it’ll be filed. What’s certain, though, is that it’ll end with Tom Brady serving a 4-game suspension.

This St. Cloud Times article is proof that overly meddlesome government isn’t just found within the confines of the federal government. This time, it’s found in Sauk Rapids. Last night, the Sauk Rapids voted unanimously to fine people who violate Sauk Rapids’ so-called nuisance ordinance. According to the article, the “fine for a first violation will be $100, the fine for a second notice of the violation will be $300 and the fine for the third notice will be $600. The fine for repeat offenders within a two-year period will also be $600.”

By now, you’re likely wondering what constitutes a nuisance ordinance violation. According to the Times’ article, homeowners can be fined for letting garbage accumulate. Homeowners can’t “allow peeling or blistering paint on more than 15 percent of a home,” either. The only part of the ordinance that’s justifiable is “keeping windows in working condition and walkways in good condition.” I’d consider the keeping of windows in working condition and maintaining sidewalks public safety issues.

Here’s where Sauk Rapids’ ordinance goes way too far:

The ordinance also prohibits vehicles including boats, four-wheelers, trailers or other defined vehicles from being parked in a residential yard unless parked in the driveway, licensed and road-worthy. They can be parked in a rear or side yard if they are licensed and operable.

If a homeowner wants to park their boat or RV in their back yard, the city should keep its nose out of that homeowner’s business. There’s a reason why it’s called private property. These busybodies seem to think that it’s called public-private property. They’re mistaken on that.

Governments at all levels think that they can dictate what people can do with the people’s private property. Whether it’s the EPA telling citizens that they can’t build their dream home on private property because there’s a single low spot that the federal government considers a wetland or whether it’s the Minnesota Board of Soil and Water or Department of Natural Resources telling farmers what they can and can’t do in raising crops or whether it’s a city council telling private property owners what things are permissible on the property owner’s property, government apparently thinks that they’re co-owners of the property.

If they want to be co-owners, then let them make half of the mortgage payment and pay half of the property taxes. If they won’t do that, then they should butt out and devote their time to running the city efficiently while keeping their collective noses out of their citizens’ private property.

There’s a situation that’s approaching crisis status here in central Minnesota. The federal refugee resettlement program is out of control because local governments are saying that it’s beyond their control because it’s funded by appropriations from the U.S. State Department. Meanwhile, the State Department is able to say that their funding of the program is limited to 6 months, which means that cities and counties have their budgets exhausted faster by what essentially is a massive unfunded mandate from the federal government.

Bob Enos has taken quite an interest in this program. He’s done tons of research into the subject. He’s attended meetings. He’s spoken out about how cities, counties and school districts have been negatively affected by this State Department program. His ‘thanks’ for that time and leg-work has been criticism.

Enos has focused like a laser on the financial impact these refugees have had on cities, counties and school districts. Recently he addressed the Willmar City Council. This videotape is of his presentation:

Here’s part of what Mr. Enos said:

We’ve been working on an issue that’s become pretty important to us which has to do with the subject of the resettlement of political refugees around the world and how that affects our counties particularly. I don’t know if you’ve had any briefings on this matter but back in November, the coordinator for the refugee resettlement program for the state of Minnesota in St. Paul requested the director of Family Services here at the County to organize a meeting that took place over a couple of days. Twenty people attended from 3 county agencies, the Willmar School District as well as city hall. The Mayor-elect was there. A couple of vice presidents from Jenny O were there. The subject of the meeting had to do with migration of refugees to Kandiyohi County. We’re used to thinking of the refugee issue in terms of those that are leaving the refugee camps in east Africa and winding up on our shores and going out to the cities and the counties.

The big issue lately that we can’t seem to get a handle on very easily, particularly from a financial planning standpoint, and that has to do with the secondary relocation of refugees from other states around the country. The most recent data that we’re seeing now from the State of Minnesota, specifically from the Department of Health, now tells us that of every city and town, the city that is attracting the most refugees is Minneapolis. The city that’s attracting the second-most refugees is Willmar, not St. Paul, not Bloomington, not St. Cloud, Mankato, Worthington. Willmar.

We suspect that, for the most part, most of this has to do with family re-unification but, best guess, there’s a number of factors contributing to this. What we’re seeing is the Somali community, in particular, is such a size and critical mass, that that critical mass is, in and of itself, the primary magnet for refugees coming here from Atlanta, California and Texas. The last time we knew, we were looking at a number roughly of 2,000 or roughly 10% of our population. We know that’s quite conservative.

I’ve been to 2 other meetings subsequent to the meeting held in November. One was held out in St. Cloud and was sponsored by Lutheran Social Services organization, which in Minnesota, is called the # 1 volunteer agency or VOLAG, which is a private contractor with the State Department and the Department of Health and Human Services from the federal government to aid in that relocation within the first 6 months that they’re here. That meeting, interestingly enough, had about 35 stakeholders, people that have some part, some incentive, some exposure to the program. There was not a single elected official there from the City of St. Cloud or the county. There were no representatives of the School District and these are the places where we’re seeing the most impact, and, of course, the schools.

The federal contracts that the VOLAGs have, though they’re hardly volunteers, requires that they quarterly have meetings with stakeholders. Those stakeholders are supposed to include members of the community. I would take that a member of the community to be an elected representative and I have not been to a meeting where I’ve seen a city councilman, a county commissioner or anyone of an elected status.

What’s particularly disturbing is that nobody from the St. Cloud City Council, the school district or the Stearns County commissioners attended the meeting hosted by the St. Cloud chapter of Lutheran Social Services. Were they unaware of the meeting? Were they simply disinterested in the meeting? Or didn’t they attend it for a different reason?

That’s just what’s happening now. Minnesota’s U.S. senators Klobuchar and Franken “are advocating that the U.S. participate, along with the UN High Commissioner of Refugees in the relocation next year of 130,000 Syrian Muslim refugees.” Enos then said that “the director of the intelligence division of the FBI testified 2 months ago before Congress that the problem with bringing in refugees from failed states like Somalia and Syria is that there’s no infrastructure for our government to vet those people coming from overseas. There’s no record. There’s no office. There’s no way of knowing what we’re getting when they show up other than the good word and the good faith of the U.N.”

This is unprecedented. It isn’t that the U.S. hasn’t accepted refugees before. It’s that the U.S. hasn’t accepted political refugees from failed nations with substantial populations of terrorists before. This isn’t something to be taken lightly. If ever there was a situation when additional caution is required, this is that situation.

What’s required is a slowdown for multiple reasons. It’s totally justifiable for taxpayers to know the financial impact this ‘federal’ program is having on their property taxes and state government programs. It’s also justified for the federal government to put in place a verification system that doesn’t bring ISIS terrorists to the United States on our dime.

Until these issues are satisfactorily resolved, skepticism will be justified.

When President Obama essentially opened the border a couple of years ago, he did it with the intent of forcing Republicans into passing “comprehensive immigration reform.” President Obama’s plan caused tons of chaos, which was his plan. Rather than just watching Texas get overrun with illegal aliens, then-Gov. Perry stepped into the breach. He ended the chaos. He restored order. He earned praise from border security hawks for, first, filling the gap and, second, eliminating the chaos.

Donald Trump was nowhere to be found at the time. Perhaps he was too busy visiting one of his world-class golf courses. Perhaps he was putting together his next real estate deal. Wherever he was, he wasn’t interested in border security.

Recently, Trump has tried selling the image that he’s a border security hawk. He wasn’t one before. Why should we think that he’ll change into one now?

On the other hand, we’ve seen proof that Gov. Perry is a border security hawk. Gov. Perry’s statement this week highlights who’s qualified and who isn’t:

“Donald Trump continues to demonstrate his fundamental misunderstanding of border security. Make no mistake – border security is a federal responsibility, but when I met with President Obama last year and it became clear he would not act, I told him if he would not secure the border, Texas would. Rather than thanking Texas for stepping into a gap it shouldn’t have to fill, Mr. Trump has made clear that he believes the states should fend for themselves on border security. Not only is this wrong, it perpetuates the same failed policies that have left our southern border porous and vulnerable.

I have a message for my fellow Republicans and the independents who will be voting in the primary process: what Mr. Trump is offering is not conservatism, it is Trump-ism – a toxic mix of demagoguery and nonsense.

America doesn’t need another president who pays lip service when issues of national security are at stake. America doesn’t need another president who will pass the buck on border security. We need a president who will finally act to secure the border after decades of failed leadership in Washington, D.C. And Mr. Trump has done nothing to prove that he is the president America needs.”

It’s apparent to thoughtful people that Trump isn’t serious. He’s great at talking the talk. He’s terrible at walking the walk. Trump is all talk and no walk.

We don’t need someone that eccentric and that flighty in charge of border security. Trump’s dabbled in politics for years, mostly specializing in crony capitalism. America needs a president who will shut down the border and restore sanity.

That disqualifies Donald Trump.

Saying that Donald Trump isn’t a constitutional conservative is understatement. Calling Trump a despicable man who’s only interested in himself is totally justifiable, especially in light of this video:

DONALD TRUMP: In life, you have a thing called condemnation and cities have a right to condemn for the good of the city, whether it’s New York, whether it’s Los Angeles, whether it’s any other place. Atlantic City is one of those places and it’s got the right to condemn.
DANA BERLINER: In the 1990s, Donald Trump was behind an outrageous case of eminent domain abuse. Vera Coking was an elderly widow who lived in her home alongside Atlantic City’s Boardwalk. She bought that home and Donald Trump wanted Vera’s home so he could build parking for his casino across the street.
TRUMP: Everyone coming into Atlantic City sees that property and it’s not fair to Atlantic City and the people. They’re staring at this terrible house instead of staring at beautiful fountains and beautiful other things that would be good.
JOHN STOSSEL: You’re bullying these people out…
TRUMP: Excuse me. That’s wrong. For you to use the word bully is very unfair. This is a government case. This is not a Donald Trump…
STOSSEL: Yes, it’s Donald Trump. It’s you and your cronies in government working together.
TRUMP: For you to call these people cronies is very unfair. You’re calling good public servants cronies.
BERLINER: An unaccountable state agency tried to condemn Vera Coking’s property and transfer it to Donald Trump. He convinced the government officials to use their eminent domain power to take Vera’s home. This was public power but it was used for private gain.

Eventually, a case like this made its way to the Supreme Court. We know it as Kelo v. New London. The Rehnquist Court sided with the developers. An entire neighborhood was demolished, supposedly to build a shopping mall. After the ruling, though, the development never happened. An entire neighborhood was destroyed for nothing. Here’s more to the Trump-Stossel fight:

STOSSEL: Basic to freedom is that if you own something, it’s yours. The government doesn’t just come and take it away…
TRUMP: Do you want to live in a city where you can’t build schools? Do you want to live in a city where you can’t build roads or highways or have access to hospitals? Condemnation is a necessary evil.
STOSSEL: But you’re not talking about a hospital. You’re talking about a building that a rich guy finds ugly.

This is proof that Trump is no more a constitutional conservative than Hillary Clinton.

What’s disgusting is the fact that otherwise level-headed Republicans are actually buying Trump’s schtick. They’re saying that he’s a fighter. They’re partially right. Trump can always be counted on to fight for the things that interest Trump. Trump’s hardline statements against illegal immigration are part of a charade that’s soon to be exposed. Trump is, putting it charitably, a temporary border hawk. That’ll become apparent when the opposition research on Trump shows how his properties were built with illegal immigrants.

Donald Trump is no more a conservative than Hillary is. In fact, Trump has contributed to her campaigns in the past. He’s also contributed to the Clinton Foundation.

This morning, Donald Trump predicted that he’d win the Hispanic vote during his interview on NBC. Trump is nothing if not arrogant and dishonest. That he’s said that he’ll win the Hispanic vote shows just how gigantic his ego is and just how much his mouth resembles a sawed-off shotgun.

Trump’s been riding high while proclaiming that he’s the only candidate in either party who’ll tell it like it is. What chutzpah. There’s no question that there are plenty of candidates who talk like career politicians. Ranked high in that category are Jeb! (quick, everyone forget his last name!), Hillary Clinton, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and George Pataki just like there’s no question that Trump sounds too anti-politician.

All presidential candidates have over-sized egos. That’s the way it’s been for 75 years. Trump’s ego is bigger than all of the presidents of the Twentieth Century and this century. Here’s Trump’s prediction:

Donald Trump said Wednesday that he believes he will win the Latino vote, slamming Hillary Clinton for promoting what he called an immigration policy that would “let everybody come in… killers, criminals, drug dealers.”

“I have a great relationship with the Mexican people. I have many people working for me – look at the job in Washington – I have many legal immigrants working with me. And many of them come from Mexico. They love me, I love them,” the 2016 GOP contender said in an interview with NBC News. “And I’ll tell you something, if I get the nomination, I’ll win the Latino vote.”

First, we don’t need a candidate who thinks that the presidency is just another opportunity to market himself. That’s all this is. Second, even though he has Hispanics working for him, that’ll get ignored because he said that Hillary’s immigration policy would “let everybody come in… killers, criminals, drug dealers.”

That isn’t the path to winning the Hispanic vote.

When we get closer to making our decisions, people will reject Trump’s loose cannon approach and start gravitating towards serious candidates that don’t need to hear their voice every 10 minutes. The minute that that starts is the minute Mr. Trump will fade, then disappear.

The St. Cloud Times published House DFL Leader Paul Thissen’s op-ed this weekend. Suffice it to say that it would’ve been about 22 words if you omitted the DFL’s dishonest chanting points. Let’s debunk the most disgusting of Thissen’s dishonesties, starting with this:

Students at the St. Cloud State University recently learned they will receive a tuition hike next year. Raising tuition is essentially a tax increase because you’re taking money out of the pockets of students, many who simply can’t afford it. Now, thanks to these misplaced priorities, the cost of tuition, room and board for 2015-16 in St. Cloud will be almost $17,000.

This tuition hike wasn’t caused by the GOP legislature. It’s been caused by 5 years of mismanagement by President Potter. He insisted that enrollment was fine while it was dropping by 20+ % in a 5 year period. He insisted that we needed to build an upscale apartment complex even though there wasn’t a demand for it. That project has cost SCSU $7.7 million in 5 years. He paid EMG $417,000 to rebrand SCSU. Potter spent another $50,000 to find out that the professors think he plays office politics and that he doesn’t mean what he says.

SCSU’s scholastic reputation has taken a significant hit. SCSU’s financial standing has taken a significant hit, too, because FY2015’s deficit was more than $9,500,000. That’s before the news that there’s a good chance SCSU’s deficit for FY2016 will be in the millions of dollars, too.

Rep. Thissen wants to blame the GOP legislature for the SCSU tuition increase when President Potter is the one to blame. Rep. Thissen’s never let important things like facts get in the way of a dishonest diatribe, though.

Making college affordable should be a higher priority for our Legislature, as it was over the past two years. In 2013, Gov. Dayton and our DFL-led Legislature froze tuition for all Minnesota students for two years, despite a $627 million deficit.

It’s disgusting that Rep. Thissen thinks that the tuition problem is caused by the legislature not spending enough. Why hasn’t Rep. Thissen looked at the possibility that DFL legislators have let the MnSCU Central Office and university presidents spend like drunken sailors?

Chancellor Rosenstone paid McKinsey & Co. $2,000,000 for a couple months of work that college professors could’ve done. Why isn’t Rep. Thissen complaining about wasting money on Charting the Future? Is it because he doesn’t care about how much gets spent as long as he gets to play Santa Claus with the taxpayers’ money?

If Rep. Thissen’s attitude is that he isn’t interested in spending money wisely, then he’s part of the problem. He definitely isn’t part of the solution.

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I’ve watched the video of Red Skelton reciting the Pledge of Allegiance many times. It’s never failed to lift my spirits. Here is that video:

This most recent time, a few words struck me and stayed with me, possibly because of recent events. Here’s the text of Red Skelton’s commentary on the Pledge of Allegiance:

When I was a small boy in Vincennes, Indiana, I heard, I think, one of the most outstanding speeches I ever heard in my life. I think it compares with the Sermon on the Mount, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, and Socrates’ Speech to the Students.

We had just finished reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, and he [Mr. Lasswell, the Principal of Vincennes High School] called us all together, and he says, “Uh, boys and girls, I have been listening to you recite the Pledge of Allegiance all semester, and it seems that it has become monotonous to you. Or, could it be, you do not understand the meaning of each word? If I may, I would like to recite the pledge, and give you a definition for each word:

I — Me; an individual; a committee of one.

Pledge — Dedicate all of my worldly good to give without self-pity.

Allegiance — My love and my devotion.

To the Flag — Our standard. “Old Glory”; a symbol of courage. And wherever she waves, there is respect, because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts “Freedom is everybody’s job.”

of the United — That means we have all come together.

States — Individual communities that have united into 48 great states; 48 individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose; all divided by imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common cause, and that’s love of country —

Of America.

And to the Republic — A Republic: a sovereign state in which power is invested into the representatives chosen by the people to govern; and the government is the people; and it’s from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.

For which it stands

One Nation — Meaning “so blessed by God.”

[Under God]

Indivisible — Incapable of being divided.

With Liberty — Which is freedom; the right of power for one to live his own life without fears, threats, or any sort of retaliation.

And Justice — The principle and qualities of dealing fairly with others.

For All — For All. That means, boys and girls, it’s as much your country as it is mine.

Now let me hear you recite the Pledge of Allegiance:

I pledge allegiance
to the Flag of the United States of America,
and to the Republic, for which it stands;
one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country, and two words have been added to the Pledge of Allegiance: Under God. Wouldn’t it be a pity if someone said, “That is a prayer” — and that be eliminated from our schools, too?

This time, this part of the Pledge jumped out at me:

And to the Republic — A Republic: a sovereign state in which power is invested into the representatives chosen by the people to govern; and the government is the people; and it’s from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.

Let’s ask ourselves a fundamental question this Independence Day. Let’s think it through before answering because getting this question right is essential.

Does our government see itself as getting its authority from the people? Or does our government think that they give us our marching orders? When the Supreme Court told us that each of the sovereign states had to do what the Supreme Court instructed them to do, it’s undeniable that government was telling We the People what to do. Isn’t it true that we’re ruled more by bureaucrats appointed by politicians than we’re governed by We The People?

This sentence stood out, too:

With Liberty — Which is freedom; the right of power for one to live his own life without fears, threats, or any sort of retaliation.

When people live in fear of the IRS or the Justice Department destroying their lives simply because they have different political beliefs, then Americans of all political stripes need to throw people out. ASAP. Government that tells We The People what they can and can’t do is a destructive, tyrannical force. Whether this government is as tyrannical as the government that we declared our independence from 239 years ago today is something that historians can argue about.

Still, there’s no credible disputing that the current government isn’t the virtuous government that our Founding Fathers gave us.