October 2005


LEWDacris puts on misogynistic concert, crowd approves
Music Review
By: Eddie Jenkins
Heading into the Ludacris concert Thursday that has been marred by controversy almost since its inception, I knew most of what I was in store for but there was still a bit of an unknown. When I arrived at about 7:15 p.m. there was a large crowd of people wrapped around Burleson and Ball halls all the way to Warf-Pickel Hall. The concert sold out Thursday after ticket sales had trickled down after the first day of sales.
Finally, after waiting outside in the uncharacteristically cold October weather the gates opened and people began rushing in. The ticket-takers and bag collectors quickly became rattled by the overwhelming amount of people coming at them at once. After minutes of fumbling around and through everybody’s belongings and tickets they got the hang of what they were doing.
While some people where pouring in and running to their seats other non-East Tennessee State University students where still trying to find there way in without being accompanied by an ETSU student. “There were people standing to the side of the line so ETSU students would let them in,” said, Audrey Noll, a freshman early childhood development major at ETSU. “One of the security guys was like ‘you are lucky they came by’ when we let some of them in with us.”
After waiting for well over an hour for things to get started and the countless ramblings of the unnamed man who shot T-shirts into the crowd with the Homecoming schedule on the back of them, two large SUVs rolled into the Mini-Dome via a garage door on the Mini-Dome’s east side carrying Ludacris and the opening act Disturbing Tha Peace.
After two of the five songs that Disturbing Tha Peace rapped it dawned on me I could indeed be a rapper. I further analyzed the situation to see what essentials I would need to be a top name rapper.
Here is what I learned from Disturbing Tha Peace’s set. To become a rapper I would only need to make one phrase or line for my rap songs such as “Gucci duffle bag” or “Who the f— you talking to?” seemingly the only phrases “hollaed” by Disturbing Tha Peace throughout entire songs. After I had that one line I would just need to simply insert any of the following words around my phrase: hustlers, playa, b—-, gun, yeah what, pimp or any derivative there of, my rap group’s name, ho, oh and uh.
Yeah, I know what you are saying, most of those things are not even words. They are more of the sound persuasion. Well do not look at me – I am not the one that was doing this throughout Disturbing Tha Peace’s five-song set.
After taking notes and really studying what will be the outline for my forthcoming rap career, I am now on the hunt for a DJ. If you know one send him my way … we are going to make lots of cash, money and records.
Anyway this atrocious excuse for a musical group’s set finally came to an end, and a lot of the crowd was waiting impatiently on their feet for the controversial star that SGA President JR Husmillo fought so hard to get.
Finally Ludacris stormed onto the stage accompanied by DJ JC and his backup rapper Lil’ Fate into one of his songs. I say one of his songs because for the first four songs I could not hear a word they said because of the horrible acoustics the Mini-Dome provides that were compounded by the thunderous bass in each song.
“What the f— is going on?” Ludacris said following his first song. “I heard that it took you all a lot to get my ass here, so I better give you all your money’s worth. So we are just going to keep playing this shit all night.”
After a bit I recognized a few of Ludacris’ songs, somehow through the horrible sound, such as “Pimpin’ All Over the World,” “Move B—-” and “Act A Fool,” but something seemed odd to me about the amount of time he played each song. Compared to the actual record versions of his songs the live versions were incredibly short. “I thought it was stupid that he only played half his songs instead of the full version,” Noll said. Ludacris playing half his songs came as quite a surprise to me considering his decree at the beginning of the concert to “give you all your money’s worth.”
In between Ludacris’s shortened songs he brought his unusually misogynistic banter to the Mini-Dome. Among my favorites during his show were, “All the ladies in the house scream if your p—-‘s clean” and who could forget the highly intellectual conversation between Ludacris, DJ JC and Lil’ Fate, “How many of you ladies like being made love to?” Ludacris said. “How many of you ladies love to just get f—ed at the end of the night?” DJ JC said. “How many of you ladies love to have love made to you and get f—ed at the same time?” Lil’ Fate said.
“If your p—- is clean, I want to hear you scream” was a horrible request to make, but worse than that was the fact that most of the girls at the show screamed – a testament to the quality of most people who attended,” said Ryan Curtis, a junior at ETSU.
“I thought it (the Ludacris concert) was OK for not having to pay since we paid already, but I thought it was stupid that he singled out girls like he did.”
When Ludacris was not making misogynistic banter he was racing through 16 tracks of his material in about 45 minutes.
The majority of the crowd seemed to enjoy the 45-minute concert Ludacris gave them.
However from a review standpoint the sound was horrible, he cut down his songs to half their original length and the lewd banter hurt his show. * from a review standpoint * * * *for crowd reaction.
Love me detest me or indifferent, I want to know. Send any e-mails to XnotAcitizenX@gmail.com.

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The following is a response to my response to Maria Castigliola’s letter to the editor (which can be read in it’s entirity under the post “Maria’s Letter to the Editor”)…The slap in the face, really, is because while sitting in these SGA meetings, you Jama did not speak up. You sat there, not saying a word, but only raised your hand when asked for objections. You couldn’t argue with your colleagues, couldn’t stand up for your constituents in the face of the opposition. Instead, you walked out of there to the media and and any other organization that would listen. No, I was not at these meetings, but your fellow senators who have been “treating you with the upmost respect” talk. A lot. This is politics, and people talk. So while you bravely go standing up for your constituents, stand up to the right people. Maria Castigliola

The following is a letter that I gave to each member of the SGA before I publicly apologized at our meeting on October 11 (two days before Maria’s letter appeared in the East Tennessean). I can admit when I make a mistake, and certainly not speaking with the SGA before pursuing other avenues is one that I will never make again. I am open to constructive criticism, the likes of which was given by Bekah Edgar immediately following the Commission Meeting – quietly, and to my face – giving me the chance to prepare my statement to the SGA apologizing for not giving them the chance to answer my concerns during our meetings. I will always have the utmost respect for Bekah for coming to me personally and saying “Where the heck did that come from?!”
By the way, I have to say that I got a hearty laugh from Maria’s characterization of me as a “shameless resume builder” (see “CR’s You’ve Gotta Read This” post). My greatest career goal is to be a mother of many children, and I got great pleasure in imagining my children leaving the womb and asking to see my resume…
As I said, I am always open to constructive criticism…I truly appreciate being held accountable for my words and actions. If I’m wrong I want to know why; if I’m right I want to chance to tell you why. Personal attacks (especially ones that are so inaccurate!), however, serve no purpose and show the flaws in the one attacking, not the one being attacked. Maria may have had some good points, but wrapping them up in bitterness and what appeared to be some serious hatred took away from what might have been a solid argument (Steven Edwards’ letter was a good example of focusing on an argument rather than personal grievances.)
Anywho, I ate a little crow at the October 11 SGA meeting, and I’m not afraid to admit it…

JR, Josh, Aya, Cabinet, and Senators:

I have been made aware that some of you have become upset with me during the last week. I will not apologize for speaking up on behalf of students who didn’t feel as though they were being represented by the SGA. What I am truly sorry for is not speaking to you all first. In all honesty, I didn’t even think about it (but rest assured that, in the future, speaking to you will be the first thing that I do!). I felt that your minds had been made up and that the students that I was representing would best be served by speaking to those who were undecided on the issue. What I forgot was that we are a team, here to serve all of the students, and for me to not allow your input was wrong.

Please understand that I appreciate your opinions, and for me to assume that you would automatically discount my views was a gross underestimation of your integrity. Those of you to whom I have spoken have proven yourselves to be upstanding individuals who are entirely comfortable with opposing views, but entirely uncomfortable with being blindsided. Again, I apologize for appearing secretive.

I hope that we all can continue to work as a team on behalf of this university, and I hope that we can all be friends even through our mistakes and opposing opinions.

Sincerely,
Senator Jama Oliver

The platform of the Constitution Party

Preamble
The Constitution Party gratefully acknowledges the blessing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as Creator, Preserver and Ruler of the Universe and of these United States. We hereby appeal to Him for mercy, aid, comfort, guidance and the protection of His Providence as we work to restore and preserve these United States.
This great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been and are afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.
The goal of the Constitution Party is to restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations and to limit the federal government to its Constitutional boundaries.
The Constitution of the United States provides that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” The Constitution Party supports the original intent of this language. Therefore, the Constitution Party calls on all those who love liberty and value their inherent rights to join with us in the pursuit of these goals and in the restoration of these founding principles.
The U.S. Constitution established a Republic rooted in Biblical law, administered by representatives who are constitutionally elected by the citizens. In such a Republic all Life, Liberty and Property are protected because law rules.
We affirm the principles of inherent individual rights upon which these United States of America were founded:
That each individual is endowed by his Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are the rights to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness;
That the freedom to own, use, exchange, control, protect, and freely dispose of property is a natural, necessary and inseparable extension of the individual’s unalienable rights;
That the legitimate function of government is to secure these rights through the preservation of domestic tranquility, the maintenance of a strong national defense, and the promotion of equal justice for all;
That history makes clear that left unchecked, it is the nature of government to usurp the liberty of its citizens and eventually become a major violator of the people’s rights; and
That, therefore, it is essential to bind government with the chains of the Constitution and carefully divide and jealously limit government powers to those assigned by the consent of the governed.

Sanctity of Life
The pre-born child, whose life begins at fertilization, is a human being created in God’s image. The first duty of the law is to prevent the shedding of innocent blood. It is, therefore, the duty of all civil governments to secure and to safeguard the lives of the pre-born.
To that end, the Constitution of the United States was ordained and established for “ourselves and our posterity.” Under no circumstances may the federal government fund or otherwise support any state or local government or any organization or entity, foreign or domestic, which advocates, encourages or participates in the practice of abortion. We also oppose the distribution and use of all abortifacients.
We affirm the God-given legal personhood of all unborn human beings, without exception. As to matters of rape and incest, it is unconscionable to take the life of an innocent child for the crimes of his father.
No government may legalize the taking of the unalienable right to life without justification, including the life of the pre-born; abortion may not be declared lawful by any institution of state or local government – legislative, judicial, or executive. The right to life should not be made dependent upon a vote of a majority of any legislative body.
In addition, Article IV of the Constitution guarantees to each state a republican form of government. Therefore, although a Supreme Court opinion is binding on the parties to the controversy as to the particulars of the case, it is not a political rule for the nation. Roe v. Wade is an illegitimate usurpation of authority, contrary to the law of the nation’s Charter and Constitution. It must be resisted by all civil government officials, federal, state, and local, and by all branches of the government – legislative, executive, and judicial.
We affirm both the authority and duty of Congress to limit the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in all cases of abortion in accordance with the U.S. Constitution, Article III, Section 2.
In office, we shall only appoint to the federal judiciary, and to other positions of federal authority, qualified individuals who publicly acknowledge and commit themselves to the legal personhood of the pre-born child. In addition, we will do all that is within our power to encourage federal, state, and local government officials to protect the sanctity of the life of the pre-born through legislation, executive action, and judicial enforcement of the law of the land.
Further, we condemn the misuse of federal laws against pro-life demonstrators, and strongly urge the repeal of the FACE Acts as an unconstitutional expansion of federal power into areas reserved to the states or people by the Tenth Amendment.
In addition, we oppose the funding and legalization of bio-research involving human embryonic or pre-embryonic cells.
Finally, we also oppose all government “legalization” of euthanasia, infanticide and suicide.

AIDS
HIV / AIDS is a contagious disease which is dangerous to public health. It should not be treated as a civil rights issue. Under no circumstances should the federal government continue to subsidize activities which have the effect of encouraging perverted or promiscuous sexual conduct. Criminal penalties should apply to those whose willful acts of omission or commission place members of the public at risk of contracting HIV / AIDS.

Bring Government Back Home
The closer civil government is to the people, the more responsible, responsive, and accountable it is likely to be. The Constitution, itself, in Articles I through VI, enumerates the powers which may be exercised by the federal government. Of particular importance is Article I, Section 8 which delineates the authority of the Congress.
The federal government was clearly established as a government of limited authority. The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution specifically provides that: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Over time, the limitations of federal government power imposed by the Constitution have been substantially eroded. Preservation of constitutional government requires a restoration of the balance of authority between the federal government and the States as provided in the Constitution, itself, and as intended and construed by those who framed and ratified that document.
We pledge to be faithful to this constitutional requirement and to work methodically to restore to the States and to the people their rightful control over legislative, judicial, executive, and regulatory functions which are not constitutionally delegated to the federal government.
We stand opposed to any regionalization of governments, at any level, which results in removal of decision-making powers from the people or those directly elected by the people.

Character and Moral Conduct
Public respect and esteem toward public officials has fallen to a shameful level. The Constitution Party finds that a cause of this national state of disgrace is the deterioration of personal character among government leaders, exacerbated by the lack of public outcry against immoral conduct by public office holders. Our party leaders and public officials must display exemplary qualities of honesty, integrity, reliability, moral uprightness, fidelity, prudence, temperance, justice, fortitude, self-restraint, courage, kindness, and compassion. If they cannot be trusted in private life, neither can they be trusted in public life.
It is imperative the members and nominated candidates representing the Constitution Party and its state affiliates recognize the importance of demonstrating good character in their own lives.

Congressional Reform
The Congress of the United States has become an overpaid, overstaffed, self-serving institution. It confiscates taxpayer funds to finance exorbitant and unconstitutionally determined salaries, pensions, and perks. Most members of Congress have become more accountable to the Washington establishment than to the people in their home districts. Both houses of Congress are all too often unresponsive and irresponsible, arrogantly placing themselves above the very laws they enact, and beyond the control of the citizens they have sworn to represent and serve.
We seek to abolish Congressional pensions.
It is time for the American people to renew effective supervision of their public servants, to restore right standards and to take back the government. Congress must once again be accountable to the people and obedient to the Constitution, repealing all laws that delegate legislative powers to regulatory agencies, bureaucracies, private organizations, the Federal Reserve Board, international agencies, the President, and the judiciary.
The U.S. Constitution, as originally framed in Article I, Section 3, provided for U.S. Senators to be elected by state legislators. This provided the states direct representation in the legislative branch so as to deter the usurpation of powers that are Constitutionally reserved to the states or to the people.
The Seventeenth Amendment (providing for direct, popular election of U.S. Senators) took away from state governments their Constitutional role of indirect participation in the federal legislative process.
If we are to see a return to the states those powers, programs, and sources of revenue that the federal government has unconstitutionally taken away, then it is also vital that we repeal the Seventeenth Amendment and return to state legislatures the function of electing the U.S. Senate. In so doing, this would return the U.S. Senate to being a body that represents the legislatures of the several states on the federal level and, thus, a tremendously vital part of the designed checks and balances of power that our Constitution originally provided.
We support legislation to prohibit the attachment of unrelated riders to bills. Any amendments must fit within the scope and object of the original bill.
We support legislation to require that the Congressional Record contain an accurate record of proceedings. Members of Congress are not to be permitted to rewrite the speeches delivered during the course of debates, or other remarks offered from the floors of their respective houses; nor may any additional materials be inserted in the Record, except those referred to in the speaker’s presentation and for which space is reserved.

Conscription
Compulsory government service is incompatible with individual liberty.
We oppose imposition of the draft, the registration law, compulsory military training or any other form of compulsory government service.
We support a well-trained and highly organized volunteer state home militia, and voluntary Reserve Officer Training Corps (R.O.T.C.) military training in our schools, colleges, and universities.

Constitutional Convention
We affirm the original text of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. We affirm that the nation’s Charter, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution contain the foundational law of the federal union. We condemn, therefore, all legislative, executive, and judicial action that departs from the texts and intent of the Charter and the Constitution and their original meaning.
We oppose any attempt to call for a Constitutional convention, for any purpose whatsoever, because it cannot be limited to any single issue, and such convention could seriously erode our Constitutionally protected unalienable rights.

Copyrights and Patents
Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution states that Congress shall have the power “to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing” copyright and patent protection for authors and inventors.
We oppose the unconstitutional transfer of authority over copyright and patent policy from Congress to other agencies, domestic or foreign.
We favor more vigorous efforts in both domestic and foreign markets to protect the interests of owners in their copyrights and patents.

Cost of Big Government
A legitimate and primary purpose of civil government is to safeguard the God-given rights of its citizens; namely, life, liberty, and property. Only those duties, functions, and programs specifically assigned to the federal government by the Constitution should be funded. We call upon Congress and the President to stop all federal expenditures which are not specifically authorized by the U. S. Constitution, and to restore to the states those powers, programs, and sources of revenue that the federal government has usurped.
Budget considerations are greatly impacted by the ever rising national debt. Interest on the debt is one of the largest expenses of government, and unless the interest is paid, the debt will continue to grow as interest is added to interest. If we are to get rid of the debt, a time needs to be set within which the debt will be funded, and then pay it off within that period. Whatever the payoff period may be, three things must happen within that time.
The annual reductions have to be made without fail.
All interest must be paid as it accrues; and
The government must not spend more than it takes in during the payoff period.
One of the greatest contributors to deficit spending is war. If the country is to get rid of debt, the United States cannot become gratuitously involved in constant wars. Constitutional government, as the founders envisioned it, was not imperial. It was certainly not contemplated that America would police the world at the taxpayers’ expense.
We call for the systematic reduction of the federal debt through, but not limited to, the elimination of further borrowing and the elimination of unconstitutional programs and agencies.
We call upon the President to use his Constitutional veto power to stop irresponsible and unconstitutional appropriations, and use his Constitutional authority to refuse to spend any money appropriated by Congress for unconstitutional programs or in excess of Constitutionally imposed tax revenue.
The debt could be more rapidly eliminated if certain lands and other assets currently held by the federal government were sold, and the proceeds applied to the debt. This policy should be employed, and funds from the sale of all such assets should be specifically applied to debt reduction.
We reject the misleading use of the terms “surplus” and “balanced budget” as long as we have public debt. We oppose dishonest accounting practices such as “off-budget items” used to hide unconstitutional spending practices.
We call for an end to the raiding by the federal government of the Social Security, Railroad Retirement and Medicare funds. We believe that over a protracted period the Social Security system may be privatized without disadvantage to the beneficiaries of the system. However, the program has been in place since the 1930s, and workers and their employers were taxed for the program and paid in good faith. The government promised to deliver the benefits, and must meet this commitment.
We call for the abolition of the Civil Service system, which is perceived to confer on government employees a “property right” regarding their jobs.

Crime
Crime, in most cases, is to be dealt with by state and local governments. To the degree that the federal government, in its legislation, in its judicial actions, in its regulations, and in its executive branch activities, interferes with the ability of the people in their communities to apprehend, judge, and penalize accused lawbreakers, it bears responsibility for the climate of crime, which has grown more destructive with each passing year.
We favor the right of states and localities to execute criminals convicted of capital crimes and to require restitution for the victims of criminals. Federal involvement in state and local criminal justice processes should be limited to that which is Constitutionally required.
All who are accused of crimes, petty to capital, shall have a trial by jury upon request, and the jury shall be fully informed of its right to nullify the law. Furthermore, we oppose defendants being charged and tried by both state and federal jurisdictions under different laws for the same alleged criminal act, thus violating the constitutionally secured prohibition against double jeopardy.
We recognize that a real result of the designation of “hate crime” is to extend federal jurisdiction to crimes which would otherwise be in the province of the states.

Defense
It is a primary obligation of the federal government to provide for the common defense, and to be vigilant regarding potential threats, prospective capabilities, and perceived intentions of potential enemies.
We oppose unilateral disarmament and dismemberment of America’s defense infrastructure. That which is hastily torn down will not be easily rebuilt.
We condemn the presidential assumption of authority to deploy American troops into combat without a declaration of war by Congress, pursuant to Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution.
Under no circumstances would we commit U.S. forces to serve under any foreign flag or command. We are opposed to any New World Order, and we reject U.S. participation in or a relinquishing of command to any foreign authority.
The goal of U.S. security policy is to defend the national security interests of the United States. Therefore, except in time of declared war, for the purposes of state security, no state national guard or reserve troops shall be called upon to support or conduct operations in foreign theatres.
We should be the friend of liberty everywhere, but the guarantor and provisioner of ours alone.
We call for the maintenance of a strong, state-of-the-art military on land, sea, in the air, and in space. We urge the executive and legislative branches to continue to provide for the modernization of our armed forces, in keeping with advancing technologies and a constantly changing world situation. We call for the deployment of a fully-operational strategic defense system as soon as possible.
We believe that all defense expenditures should be directly related to the protection of our nation, and that every item of expenditure must be carefully reviewed to eliminate foreign aid, waste, fraud, theft, inefficiency, and excess profits from all defense contracts and military expenditures.
We reject the policies and practices that permit women to train for or participate in combat. Because of the radical feminization of the military over the past two decades, it must be recognized that these “advances” undermine the integrity and morale of our military organizations by dual qualification standards and forced integration.
We support the restoration of “well regulated militia[s]” at the state and/or community levels.
Under no circumstances should we have unilaterally surrendered our military base rights in Panama. The sovereign right of the United States to the United States territory of the Canal Zone has been jeopardized by treaties between the United States and Panama. Inasmuch as the United States bought both the sovereignty and the grant ownership of the ten-mile-wide Canal Zone, we propose that the government of the United States restore and protect its sovereign right and exclusive jurisdiction of the Canal Zone in perpetuity, and renegotiate the treaties with Panama by which the ownership of the canal was surrendered to Panama.
It should be a priority goal of the President and Congress to insist on enforcement of that portion of the 1978 Panama Canal Neutrality Treaty which prohibits control of the entrances to the Panama Canal by any entity not part of the Republic of Panama or the United States of America. By this standard, the award of port facilities at the entrances to the Panama Canal to Hutchison Whampoa, a Hong Kong company closely linked to the Chinese Communist People’s Liberation Army, must be overturned. Similarly, Congress and the President should take advantage of Panama Canal treaty provisions to negotiate the return of a U.S. military presence at the isthmus of Panama. At a time when the U.S. Navy is one-third its former size, it is essential that rapid transit of U.S. military vessels between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans be assured.

Domestic Federal Aid
The Constitution assigns all powers not delegated to the federal government to the states or the people.
Domestic federal “aid” not authorized by the Constitution is not only illegal, it is immoral.
We call upon the states, therefore, to decline to accept all monies from the federal government for any purpose not specifically and clearly articulated in the Constitution, and reject all federal mandates and regulations which are unconstitutional, thus restoring the intended balance of power between the states and their creation, the U.S. Government.

Drug Abuse
The Constitution Party will uphold the right of states and localities to restrict access to drugs and to enforce such restrictions. We support legislation to stop the flow of illegal drugs into the United States from foreign sources. As a matter of self-defense, retaliatory policies including embargoes, sanctions, and tariffs, should be considered.
At the same time, we will take care to prevent violations of the Constitutional and civil rights of American citizens. Searches without probable cause and seizures without due process must be prohibited, and the presumption of innocence must be preserved.

Education
All teaching is related to basic assumptions about God and man. Education as a whole, therefore, cannot be separated from religious faith. The law of our Creator assigns the authority and responsibility of educating children to their parents. Education should be free from all federal government subsidies, including vouchers, tax incentives, and loans, except with respect to veterans.
Because the federal government has absolutely no jurisdiction concerning the education of our children, the United States Department of Education should be abolished; all federal legislation related to education should be repealed. No federal laws subsidizing or regulating the education of children should be enacted. Under no circumstances should the federal government be involved in national teacher certification, educational curricula, textbook selection, learning standards, comprehensive sex education, psychological and psychiatric research testing programs, and personnel.
Because control over education is now being relegated to departments other than the Department of Education, we clarify that no federal agency, department, board, or other entity may exercise jurisdiction over any aspect of children’s upbringing. Education, training, and discipline of children are properly placed in the domain of their parents.
We support the unimpeded right of parents to provide for the education of their children in the manner they deem best, including home, private or religious. We oppose all legislation from any level of government that would interfere with or restrict that liberty. We support equitable tax relief for families whose children do not attend government schools.
So that parents need not defy the law by refusing to send their children to schools of which they disapprove, compulsory attendance laws should be repealed.

Election Reform
The Constitution Party seeks the restoration of an electoral process which is controlled at the state and local level and is beyond manipulation by federal judges and bureaucrats. The federal government has unconstitutionally and unwisely preempted control in matters of district boundaries, electoral procedures, and campaign activities.
The Voting Rights Act should be repealed. The Federal Election Campaign Act, including its 1974 amendments, and the Federal Election Commission should be abolished.
Each citizen should have the right to seek public office in accordance with the qualifications set forth in federal and state constitutions. Additional restrictions and obligations governing candidate eligibility and campaign procedures burden unconstitutionally the fairness and accountability of our political system.
To encourage free and fair elections, all candidates must be treated equally. We call for an end to designated “Major Party” status that gives an unfair advantage to some candidates by providing ballot access and taxpayer dollars, while requiring others for the same office to gather petition signatures or meet other, more stringent criteria.
We call for a repeal of all federal campaign finance laws (i.e. McCain-Feingold) due to their violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
In order to avoid election fraud, we urge an end to electronic or mechanical voting processes and a return to the manual counting process overseen by, and accountable to, voters resident in each precinct where the votes are cast.

Electoral College
Article II, Section I of the U.S. Constitution states, in part: “Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of senators and representatives to which the state may be entitled in the Congress: but no senator or representative, or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector.” This established our Electoral College.
Although the Constitution does not require the states to adhere to any specific manner in electing these electors or how they cast their votes, it suggests, by its wording, that prominent individuals from each congressional district, and from the state at large, would be elected or appointed as electors that represent that district. Under this arrangement, a voter would vote for three individuals, one to represent his district and two “at large” representatives to represent his state. These electors, in turn, would then carefully and deliberately select the candidate for president. Under this system each congressional district could, in essence, select a different candidate. The candidate with the most electors nationwide would become the next president.
This was the general procedure used until the 1830’s, at which time all the states, except for South Carolina, changed to a “general ticket.”
The “general ticket” system is still in use today. Inherently, it causes corruption by the inequitable transfer of power from congressional districts to the states and large cities at the expense of rural communities.
The Constitution Party encourages states to eliminate the “general ticket” system and return to the procedure intended by the Framers.

Energy
We call attention to the continuing need of the United States for a sufficient supply of energy for national security.
Private property rights should be respected, and the federal government should not interfere with the development of potential energy sources, including natural gas, hydroelectric power, solar energy, wind generators, and nuclear energy.
We call for abolishing the Department of Energy.

Environment
It is our responsibility to be prudent, productive, and efficient stewards of God’s natural resources. In that role, we are commanded to be fruitful and multiply, and to replenish the earth and develop it (e.g., to turn deserts into farms and wastelands into groves). This requires a proper and continuing dynamic balance between development and conservation, between use and preservation.
In keeping with this requirement, we wholeheartedly support realistic efforts to preserve the environment and reduce pollution – air, water, and land. We reject, however, the argument that this objective ought to be pursued by costly governmental interference, accompanied by multitudes of regulations and the heavy hand of arrogant bureaucrats spurred on by irresponsible pressure groups.
The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution limits the federal power of eminent domain solely to the purchase of private property with just compensation for public use, such as military reservations and government office buildings – not for public ownership, such as urban renewal, environmental protection, or historic preservation. Under no circumstances may the federal government take private property, by means of rules and regulations which preclude or substantially reduce the productive use of the property, even with just compensation.
We call for a return to the states and to the people all lands which are held by the federal government without authorization by the Constitution.
We also call for repeal of federal wetlands legislation and the federal Endangered Species Act. Moreover, we oppose any attempt to designate private or public property as United Nations World Heritage sites or Biosphere reserves. We call for an end to United States participation in UN programs such as UNESCO, Man and the Biosphere, and the UN Council on Sustainable Development. We oppose environmental treaties and conventions such as the Biodiversity Treaty, the Convention on Climate Control, and Agenda 21, which destroy our sovereignty and right to private property.

Executive Orders
We oppose the use of Presidential executive orders that make law or otherwise usurp the Constitutional authority and responsibilities of the legislative and judicial branches. This Constitutionally subversive practice must be stopped by Congress. All unconstitutional executive orders must be repealed.

Family
The law of our Creator defines marriage as the union between one man and one woman. The marriage covenant is the foundation of the family, and the family is fundamental in the maintenance of a stable, healthy and prosperous social order. No government may legitimately authorize or define marriage or family relations contrary to what God has instituted. We are opposed to amending the U.S. Constitution for the purpose of defining marriage.
We reject the notion that sexual offenders are deserving of legal favor or special protection, and affirm the rights of states and localities to proscribe offensive sexual behavior. We oppose all efforts to impose a new sexual legal order through the federal court system. We stand against so-called “sexual orientation” and “hate crime” statutes that attempt to legitimize inappropriate sexual behavior and to stifle public resistance to its expression. We oppose government funding of “partner” benefits for unmarried individuals. Finally, we oppose any legal recognition of homosexual unions.
We recognize that parents have the fundamental right and responsibility to nurture, educate, and discipline their children. We oppose the assumption of any of these responsibilities by any governmental agency without the express delegation of the parents or legal due process. We affirm the value of the father and the mother in the home, and we oppose efforts to legalize adoption of children by homosexual singles or couples.
We affirm both the authority and duty of Congress to limit the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in all cases of state sodomy laws in accordance with the U.S. Constitution, Article III, Section 2.

Foreign Policy
National Sovereignty
The United States is properly a free and sovereign republic which should strive to live in peace with all nations, without interfering in their internal affairs, and without permitting their interference in ours. We are, therefore, unalterably opposed to entangling alliances – via treaties, or any other form of commitment – which compromise our national sovereignty, or commit us to intervention in foreign wars.
To this end, we shall:
steadfastly oppose American participation in any form of world government organization, including any world court under United Nations auspices;
call upon the President, and Congress, to terminate United States membership in the United Nations, and its subsidiary organizations, and terminate U.S. participation in all so-called U.N. peace keeping operations;
bar the United Nations, and its subsidiaries, from further operation, including raising of funds, on United States territory; and
propose that the Constitution be obeyed to prohibit the United States government from entering any treaty, or other agreement, which makes any commitment of American military forces or tax money, compromises the sovereignty of the United States, or accomplishes a purpose properly the subject of domestic law. In this connection we specifically denounce the agreement establishing the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) and any other such trade agreements, either bi-lateral or regional in nature. All treaties must be subordinate to the Constitution, since the Constitution is the only instrument which empowers and limits the federal government.
American troops must serve only under American commanders, not those of the United Nations or foreign countries.
Pacts and Agreements
Since World War II, the United States has increasingly played the undesirable role of an international policeman. Through our involvements abroad our country is being changed from a republic to a world empire in which our freedoms are being sacrificed on an alter of international involvement. The United States is now committed by treaty to defend foreign nations in all parts of the world, and by agreements other than treaties to defend more. Therefore, we call upon the President, and Congress, to immediately commence a systematic withdrawal from these treaties and agreements, each of which holds the potential to plunge America into war in some far-flung corner of the earth.
NATO, for instance, serves no defensive purpose for the United States, and this country should withdraw from it.
Unconstitutional, Undeclared Wars
Since World War II, the United States has been involved in tragic, unconstitutional, undeclared wars which cost our country the lives of many thousands of young Americans. These wars were the direct and foreseeable result of the bi-partisan interventionist policy of both Democrat and Republican administrations.
The Constitution Party is opposed to the continuation of the same interventionist policy, with that policy’s capacity to involve our country in repeated wars.
We demand that:
never again shall United States troops be employed on any foreign field of battle without a declaration of war by Congress, as required by the United States Constitution;
Congress refuse to fund unconstitutional, undeclared wars pursuant to presidential whim or international obligations under which American sovereignty has been transferred to multi-national agencies.
Foreign Involvement
The Constitution Party has consistently opposed American involvement in conflicts in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe, and Central and South America. The United States has no interest in these areas which would justify the sacrifice of Americans on foreign battlefields – nor is our country properly cast as a merchant of death in international arms races.
We propose that the United States repudiate any commitment, express or implied, to send U.S. troops to participate in foreign conflicts, whether unilaterally, under NATO auspices, or as a part of the United Nations “peace-keeping” operations; and cease financing, or arming of belligerents in the world’s troubled areas.
We support the principle of the Monroe Doctrine, which expresses U.S. opposition to European adventurism in the Western Hemisphere.
We call upon the Congress to immediately terminate American military presence in all foreign countries where such U.S. presence constitutes an invitation for this nation to become involved in, or further participate in, foreign wars.
We are opposed to the negotiation or ratification of any treaty which would deprive United States citizens of their rights under the United States Constitution.

Foreign Aid
Since World War II, the United States has engaged in the greatest international giveaway program ever conceived by man, and is now spending billions of dollars each year to aid foreign nations. There is no constitutional basis for foreign aid. These expenditures have won us no friends, and constitute a major drain on the resources of our taxpayers. Therefore, we demand that:
no further funds be appropriated for any kind of foreign aid program;
United States participation in international lending institutions, such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, be ended;
the Export-Import Bank be abolished;
all government subsidies, tax preferences, and investment guarantees to encourage U.S. businesses to invest in foreign lands be immediately terminated; and all debts owed to the United States by foreign countries, or foreign entities, be collected.

Gambling
Gambling promotes an increase in crime, destruction of family values, and a decline in the moral fiber of our country. We are opposed to government sponsorship, involvement in, or promotion of gambling, such as lotteries, or subsidization of Native American casinos in the name of economic development. We call for the repeal of federal legislation that usurps state and local authority regarding authorization and regulation of tribal casinos in the states.

Gun Control
The right to bear arms is inherent in the right of self defense, defense of the family, and defense against tyranny, conferred on the individual and the community by our Creator to safeguard life, liberty, and property, as well as to help preserve the independence of the nation.
The right to keep and bear arms is guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the Constitution; it may not properly be infringed upon or denied.
The Constitution Party upholds the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms. We oppose attempts to prohibit ownership of guns by law-abiding citizens, and stand against all laws which would require the registration of guns or ammunition.
We emphasize that when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have them. In such circumstances, the peaceful citizen’s protection against the criminal would be seriously jeopardized.
We call for the repeal of all federal firearms legislation, beginning with Federal Firearms Act of 1968.
We call for the rescinding of all executive orders, the prohibition of any future executive orders, and the prohibition of treaty ratification which would in any way limit the right to keep and bear arms.

Health Care and Government
The Constitution Party opposes the governmentalization and bureaucratization of American medicine. Government regulation and subsidy constitutes a threat to both the quality and availability of patient-oriented health care and treatment.
Hospitals, doctors, and other health care providers should be accountable to patients – not to politicians, insurance bureaucrats, or HMO Administrators.
If the supply of medical care is controlled by the federal government, then officers of that government will determine which demand is satisfied. The result will be the rationing of services, higher costs, poorer results – and the power of life and death transferred from caring physicians to unaccountable political overseers.
We denounce any civil government entity using age or any other personal characteristic to: preclude people and insurance firms from freely contracting for medical coverage; conscript such people into socialized medicine, e.g., Medicare; or prohibit these people from using insurance payments and/or their own money to obtain medical services in addition to, or to augment the quality of, those services prescribed by the program.
We applaud proposals for employee-controlled “family coverage” health insurance plans based on cash value life insurance principles.
The federal government has no Constitutional provision to regulate or restrict the freedom of the people to have access to medical care, supplies or treatments. We advocate, therefore, the elimination of the federal Food and Drug Administration, as it has been the federal agency primarily responsible for prohibiting beneficial products, treatments, and technologies here in the United States that are freely available in much of the rest of the civilized world.
We affirm freedom of choice of practitioner and treatment for all citizens for their health care.
We support the right of patients to seek redress of their grievances through the courts against insurers and/or HMO’s.
We condemn the misrepresentations made by the Federal Administration in securing passage of the recently enacted Medicare prescription drug bill, and the use of such legislation to secure government subsidies to special interests, such as the HMOs, and to protect the artificially high cost to consumers of prescription drugs.

Immigration
We affirm the integrity of the international borders of the United States and the Constitutional authority and duty of the federal government to guard and to protect those borders, including the regulation of the numbers and of the qualifications of immigrants into the country.
Each year approximately one million legal immigrants and almost as many illegal aliens enter the United States. These immigrants – including illegal aliens – have been made eligible for various kinds of public assistance, including housing, education, Social Security, and legal services. This unconstitutional drain on the federal Treasury is having a severe and adverse impact on our economy, increasing the cost of government at federal, state, and local levels, adding to the tax burden, and stressing the fabric of society. The mass importation of people with low standards of living threatens the wage structure of the American worker and the labor balance in our country.
We oppose the abuse of the H-1B and L-1 visa provisions of the immigration act which are displacing American workers with foreign.
We favor a moratorium on immigration to the United States, except in extreme hardship cases or in other individual special circumstances, until the availability of all federal subsidies and assistance be discontinued, and proper security procedures have been instituted to protect against terrorist infiltration.
We also insist that every individual group and/or private agency which requests the admission of an immigrant to the U.S., on whatever basis, be required to commit legally to provide housing and sustenance for such immigrants, bear full responsibility for the economic independence of the immigrants, and post appropriate bonds to seal such covenants.
The Constitution Party demands that the federal government restore immigration policies based on the practice that potential immigrants will be disqualified from admission to the U.S. if, on the grounds of health, criminality, morals, or financial dependence, they would impose an improper burden on the United States, any state, or any citizen of the United States.
We oppose the provision of welfare subsidies and other taxpayer-supported benefits to illegal aliens, and reject the practice of bestowing U.S. citizenship on children born to illegal alien parents while in this country.
We oppose any extension of amnesty to illegal aliens. We call for the use of U.S. troops to protect the states against invasion.
We oppose bilingual ballots. We insist that those who wish to take part in the electoral process and governance of this nation be required to read and comprehend basic English as a precondition of citizenship. We support English as the official language for all governmental business by the United States.

The Judiciary
The United States Constitution does not provide for lifetime appointment of federal judges, but only for a term of office during good behavior. We support Congressional enforcement of the Constitutional rule of good behavior and to restrain judicial activism by properly removing offending judges through the process of impeachment provided for in Article I, § 2 and 3 of the Constitution. Furthermore, Congress must exert the power it possesses to prohibit all federal courts from hearing cases which Congress deems to be outside federal jurisdiction pursuant to Article III, § 2 of the Constitution.
We particularly support all the legislation which would remove from Federal appellate review jurisdiction matters involving acknowledgement of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.
We commend Former Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court for his defense of the display of the Ten Commandments, and condemn those who persecuted him and removed him from office for his morally and legally just stand.
We deny the validity of judicial rulings that use foreign court rulings to overturn U.S. precedent.

Money and Banking
Money functions as both a medium of exchange and a symbol of a nation’s morality.
The Founding Fathers established a system of “coin” money that was designed to prohibit the “improper and wicked” manipulation of the nation’s medium of exchange while guaranteeing the power of the citizens’ earnings.
The federal government has departed from the principle of “coin” money as defined by the U.S. Constitution and the Mint Act of 1792 and has granted unconstitutional control of the nation’s monetary and banking system to the private Federal Reserve System.
The Constitution Party recommends a substantive reform of the system of Federal taxation. In order for such reform to be effective, it is necessary that the United States:
Return to the money system set forth in the Constitution;
Repeal the Federal Reserve Act, and reform the current Federal Reserve banks to become clearing houses only; and
Prohibit fractional reserve banking.
It is our intention that no system of “debt money” shall be imposed on the people of the United States. We support a debt free, interest free money system.

Personal and Private Property Security
We affirm the Fourth Amendment right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, including arbitrary or de facto registration, general and unwarranted electronic surveillance, national computer databases, and national identification cards. We also reaffirm that civil governments must be strictly limited in their powers to intrude upon the persons and private property of individual citizens, in particular, that no place be searched and no thing be seized, except upon proof of probable cause that a crime has been committed and the proper judicial warrant issued.
We further reaffirm the common-law rule that protects the people from any search or seizure whatsoever when that search or seizure violates the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
We deplore and oppose vigorously legislation and executive action that deprive the people of their Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights under claims of necessity to “combat terrorism” or to “protect national security.”
We oppose legislation and administrative action utilizing asset forfeiture laws which enable the confiscation of the private property of persons not involved in the crime. Forfeiture of assets can only be enforced after conviction of the property owner as a penalty for the crime. Such forfeitures must follow full due process of law under criminal prosecution standards.
We oppose the monitoring and controlling of the financial transactions of the people through such proposed laws as “Know Your Customer.” Banks should be repositories of treasure and fiduciaries for the people, not enforcers for the State. Any information regarding customer transactions the State obtains from banks must be subject to the traditional Fourth Amendment safeguards.
We support privacy legislation that prohibits private parties from discriminating against individuals who refuse to disclose or obtain a Social Security number. We also call for legislation prohibiting all governmental entities from requiring the use of the Social Security number except for Social Security transactions. Additionally, we call for the repeal of all laws, regulations, and statutes that require the use of the Social Security number for any purpose other than Social Security transactions.

Pornography
Pornography, at best, is a distortion of the true nature of sex created by God for the procreative union between one man and one woman in the holy bonds of matrimony, and at worst, is a destructive element of society resulting in significant and real emotional, physical, spiritual and financial costs to individuals, families and communities. We call on our local, state and federal governments to uphold our cherished First Amendment right to free speech by vigorously enforcing our laws against obscenity to maintain a degree of separation between that which is truly speech and that which only seeks to distort and destroy.
With the advent of the Internet and the benevolent neglect of the previous administrations, the pornography industry enjoyed uninhibited growth and expansion until the point today that we live in a sex-saturated society where almost nothing remains untainted by its perversion. While we believe in the responsibility of the individual and corporate entities to regulate themselves, we also believe that our collective representative body we call government plays a vital role in establishing and maintaining the highest level of decency in our community standards.

Religious Freedom
Article I of the Bill of Rights reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
Our Constitution grants no authority to the federal government either to grant or deny the religious expressions of the people in any place. Both the First and Tenth Amendments forbid such tyranny.
We call upon all branches of government to cease their attacks on the religious liberties of the people and the states, regardless of the forum in which these liberties are exercised.
We assert that any form of taxation on churches and other religious organizations is a direct and dangerous step toward state control of the church. Such intrusion is prohibited by the Constitution and must be halted.
We assert that private organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America, can determine their own membership, volunteers, and employment based on their oaths and creeds.

Social Security
The Constitution grants no authority to the federal government to administrate a Social Security system. The Constitution Party advocates phasing out the entire Social Security program, while continuing to meet the obligations already incurred under the system. Until the current Social Security system can be responsibly phased out, we propose that:
The Social Security tax not be a “rainy day” fund which politicians can pirate, or from which they can borrow to cover their errors and pay for their excesses.
Individuals who have contributed to Social Security be allowed to withdraw those funds and transfer them into an IRA or similar investments under the control of the individual contributor.
Any sort of merger between the U.S. Social Security System and that of any foreign country be banned, so the distribution of benefits will not go to persons who have not qualified for payments under American law as legal residents.
Earning limitations on persons aged 62 and over be removed, so that they may earn any amount of additional income without placing their benefits at risk.
Those provisions of the Social Security system which penalize those born during the “notch years” between 1917 and 1926 be repealed, and that such persons be placed on the same benefit schedules as all other beneficiaries.
We support the right of individuals to choose between private retirement and pension programs, either at their place of employment or independently.

Statehood
We oppose any effort to confer statehood on the District of Columbia or any representation in Congress comparable to that of an independent state in the federal union.
We oppose efforts to confer statehood upon the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or expand statehood beyond the current fifty states.
We acknowledge that each state’s membership in the Union is voluntary.
We support the equal footing doctrine co-equal with the original thirteen states for all states coming into and having entered the Union as states.

State Sovereignty
Our federal republic was created by joint action of the several states. It has been gradually perverted into a socialist machine for federal control in the domestic affairs of the states.
The federal government has no authority to mandate policies relating to state education, natural resources, transportation, private business, housing, health care, ad infinitum.
The Constitution Party calls for the federal government to divest itself of operations not authorized by the Constitution. We call upon Congress to extract the federal government from such enterprises, whether or not they compete with private enterprise.

Tariffs and Trade
Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution states that Congress shall have the power “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations.” Congress may not abdicate or transfer to others these Constitutional powers. We oppose, therefore, the unconstitutional transfer of authority over U.S. trade policy from Congress to agencies, domestic or foreign, which improperly exercise policy-setting functions with respect to U.S. trade policy.
We favor the abolition of the Office of Special Trade Representative, and insist on the withdrawal of the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the World Trade Organization (WTO), and all other agreements wherein agencies other than the Congress of the United States improperly assume responsibility for establishing American trade policies.
Article I, Section 8 provides that duties, imposts, and excises are legitimate revenue-raising measures on which the United States government may properly rely. We support a tariff based revenue system, as did the Founding Fathers, which was the policy of the United States during most of the nation’s history. In no event will the U.S. tariff on any foreign import be less than the difference between the foreign item’s cost of production and the cost of production of a similar item produced in the United States. The cost of production of a U.S. product shall include, but not be limited to, all compensation, including fringe benefits, paid to American workers, and environmental costs of doing business imposed on business by federal, state, and local governments.
Tariffs are not only a constitutional source of revenue, but, wisely administered, are an aid to preservation of the national economy. Since the adoption of the 1934 Trade Agreements Act, the United States government has engaged in a free trade policy which has destroyed or endangered important segments of our domestic agriculture and industry, undercut the wages of our working men and women, and totally destroyed or shipped abroad the jobs of hundreds of thousands of workers. This free trade policy is being used to foster socialism in America through welfare and subsidy programs.
We oppose all international trade agreements which have the effect of diminishing America’s economic self-sufficiency and of exporting jobs, the loss of which impoverishes American families, undermines American communities, and diminishes America’s capacity for economic self-reliance, and the provision of national defense.
We see our country and its workers as more than bargaining chips for multinational corporations and international banks in their ill-conceived and evil New World Order.
We reject the trade concept of normal trade relations (Most Favored Nation status), used to curry favor with regimes whose domestic and international policies are abhorrent to decent people everywhere, and which are in fundamental conflict with the vital interests of the United States of America.
We strongly oppose unconstitutional “Trade Promotion Authority,” which transfers the establishment of trade policy from Congress to the Executive branch of government.
In the name of free trade, multi-national corporations have been given tax breaks by the U.S. government which are not available to American businesses, and the money extracted from U.S. taxpayers has been used by the government to subsidize exports and encourage businesses to move abroad. Such improprieties must cease.
The United States government should establish the firm policy that U.S. or multinational businesses investing abroad do so at their own risk. There is no obligation by our Government to protect those businesses with the lives of our service personnel, or the taxes of our citizens.
In the area of national security, foreign interests have been abetted in gaining access to America’s high-tech secrets under the guise of commercial enterprise. We propose that technology transfers which compromise national security be made illegal, and urge that all violators be prosecuted. We demand that all weapons systems, military uniforms and equipment purchased for the American military be domestically produced in their entirety along with all their component parts.
We oppose the practice of any officer of the United States government, or spouse thereof, who, subsequent to Federal government employment is employed to represent a foreign government or other foreign entity, public or private, for purposes of influencing public opinion or policy on matters affecting U.S. trade with such foreign government or entity.

Taxes
The Constitution, in Article I, Section 8, gives Congress the power “to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts, and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States.”
In Article I, Section 9, the original document made clear that “no Capitation, or other direct Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census of Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.” It is moreover established that “No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.”
Since 1913, our Constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property have been abridged and diminished by the imposition on each of us of Federal income, payroll, and estate taxes. This is an unconstitutional Federal assumption of direct taxing authority.
The Internal Revenue Service is the enforcement arm of the Federal government’s present unjust tax system. Citizens, both in groups and as individuals, have repeatedly sought responses from the IRS bureaucracy as to the basis for the agency’s tax policies and procedures. No answers have been forthcoming although a responsible government must be answerable to the people and has a duty to those it is supposed to serve.
We propose legislation to abolish the Internal Revenue Service, and will veto any authorization, appropriation, or continuing resolution which contains any funding whatsoever for that illicit and unconstitutional agency. We are opposed to the flat-rate tax, national sales tax, and value added tax proposals that are being promoted as an improvement to the current tax system. The Sixteenth Amendment does not provide authority for an un-apportioned direct tax.
Moreover, it is our intention to replace, with a tariff based revenue system supplemented by excise taxes, the current tax system of the U.S. government (including income taxes, payroll taxes, and estate taxes.)
To the degree that tariffs on foreign products, and excises, are insufficient to cover the legitimate Constitutional costs of the federal government, we will offer an apportioned “state-rate tax” in which the responsibility for covering the cost of unmet obligations will be divided among the several states in accordance with their proportion of the total population of the United States, excluding the District of Columbia. Thus, if a state contains 10 percent of the nation’s citizens, it will be responsible for assuming payment of 10 percent of the annual deficit.
The effect of this “state-rate tax” will be to encourage politicians to argue for less, rather than more, federal spending, and less state spending as well.
To the extent permitted by the Constitution, we believe that the taxation of corporations is an appropriate source of government revenue. The Supreme Court has defined “income” as a “gain or increase arising from corporate activity or privilege.” People are not corporations, and corporations need not be treated as “people” for the purposes of taxation.
There is substantial evidence that the 16th Amendment was never legally ratified. When elected, we will act to cease collection of direct Federal personal income taxes. We also support ratification of the Liberty Amendment which would repeal the Sixteenth Amendment, and provide that “Congress shall not levy taxes on personal incomes, estates, and/or gifts.”
We support the use of motor fuel excise taxes, at rates not in excess of those currently imposed, to be used exclusively for the erection, maintenance, and administration of Federal highways. These taxes should never be used for “demonstration projects”, mass transit, or for other non-highway purposes.
We support the use of excise taxes to curb the use of tax dollars for media advertising, and to provide so-called “tax abatements,” “tax incentives,” and “economic development grants,” which are pretexts to raid the public treasury and rob the workingman for the benefit of wealthy interests favored by the politicians.

Terrorism and Personal Liberty
America is engaged in an undeclared war with an ill-defined enemy (terrorism), a war which threatens to be never ending, and which is being used to vastly expand government power, particularly that of the executive branch, at the expense of the individual liberties of the American people.
The “war on terrorism” is serving as an excuse for the government to spend beyond its income, expand the Federal bureaucracy, and socialize the nation through taxpayer bailouts of the airlines, subsidies to the giant insurance corporations, and other Federal programs.
We deplore and vigorously oppose legislation and executive action, that deprive the people of their rights secured under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments under the guise of “combating terrorism” or “protecting national security.” Examples of such legislation are the National Security Act, the USA PATRIOT Act, and the proposed Domestic Securities Enhancement Act (colloquially known as “Patriot II”).
The National Security Act is used by the federal government as a shroud to prevent the American people and our elected officials from knowing how much and where our tax dollars are spent from covert operations around the world. The National Security Act prevents the release of Executive Orders and Presidential Decision Directives, e.g., PDD 25, to the American people and our elected representatives. Not only are many of these used to thwart justice in the name of national security, but some of the operations under this act may threaten our very national sovereignty.
The USA PATRIOT Act permits arrests without warrants and secret detention without counsel, wiretaps without court supervision, searches and seizures without notification to the individual whose property is invaded, and a host of other violations of the legal safeguards our nation has historically developed according to principles descending from the Fourth and Fifth Amendments.
Since we will no longer have a free nation while the federal government (or the governments of the several states, as the federal government may authorize) can violate our historic rights under such laws, we call for the rejection of all such laws and the ceasing of any such further proposals including the aforementioned Domestic Securities Enhancement Act.
The Constitution Party is unalterably opposed to the criminal acts of terrorists, and their organizations, as well as the governments which condone them. Individuals responsible for acts of terrorism must be punished for their crimes, including the infliction of capital punishment where appropriate. In responding to terrorism, however, the United States must avoid acts of retaliation abroad which destroy innocent human lives, creating enmity toward the United States and its people; and
In accord with the views of our Founding Fathers, we must disengage this nation from the international entanglements which generate foreign hatred of the United States, and are used as the excuse for terrorist attacks on America and its people. The ‘war on terrorism” is not a proper excuse for perpetual U.S. occupation of foreign lands, military assaults on countries which have not injured us, or perpetual commitment of taxpayer dollars to finance foreign governments.

Veterans
The Constitution Party appreciates the contributions of our servicemen and veterans to the preservation of American freedom. We shall continue to recognize their contributions to the national welfare by providing equitable pay and benefits to our military personnel, and generous health, education, and other benefits to veterans.
We vigorously resist the attempt by any government agency to nullify or reduce earned benefits to veterans and their survivors, including but not limited to, compensation, pensions, education, and health care.

Wage and Price Control
We deny that civil government has the authority to set wages and prices; so doing is inconsistent with principles of individual liberty and the free market.
Welfare
God, who endows us with life, liberty, property, and the right to pursue happiness, also exhorts individuals to care for the needy, the sick, the homeless, the aged, and those who are otherwise unable to care for themselves.
America’s welfare crisis is a government-induced crisis. Government social and cultural policies have undermined the work ethic, even as the government’s economic and regulatory policies have undermined the ability of our citizens to obtain work.
Charity, and provision of welfare to those in need, is not a Constitutional responsibility of the federal government. Under no circumstances should the taxpayers of the United States be obligated, under penalty of law through forced taxation, to assume the cost of providing welfare for other citizens. Neither should taxpayers be indentured to subsidize welfare for persons who enter the United States illegally.
The message of Christian charity is fundamentally at odds with the concept of welfare maintenance as a right. In many cases, welfare provisions by the Federal government are not only misdirected, but morally destructive. It is the intended purpose of civil government to safeguard life, liberty and property – not to redistribute wealth. Such redistribution is contrary to the Biblical command against theft.
We encourage individuals, families, churches, civic groups and other private organizations, to fulfill their personal responsibility to help those in need.

For more information go to http://www.constitutionparty.com

I couldn’t have said it better myself…here’s to Julie Dickey!!! –Jama

Dear Editor,
In his recent letter, Steven Edwards wrote “The point is that you can’t have a society that values the free expression of ideas if, for those ideas to reach people, the public has to already value them so they can get the funds to express them.”
On the contrary, how individuals choose to spend their money is a form of free expression.
In addition to supporting causes they believe in, it is quite common for people to boycott what they do not approve of.
For instance, at one time it was common to test cosmetic products on animals. A large group of people boycotted the companies which did this and as a result, such testing rarely occurs anymore.
In the nineteenth century, abolitionists refused to purchase products such as cotton, silk and tobacco which were produced by slave labor in the South.
When The Simpsons was introduced on FOX a large group of people boycotted Burger King and other advertisers who gave their money in support of that show. As a result, Burger King withdrew thier commercial support of The Simpsons for a period of time. These are all examples of people using their money to express their views.
The argument that we should all be forced to fund campus activities whether we approve them or not is like saying that every student should be forced to give money to a church, because some students want it to be supported; or to a political candidate because some people on campus want them to be elected (this is how special interest groups get around campaign contribution laws).
By the same argument, we should be supporting lectures by the KKK and the supporters of terrorism.
Personally I would object to my college funds being spent on such speakers, just as I resent being expected to pay for concerts that I do not approve of and have no intention of attending.
We are not talking about censorship mandated by “parents, authorities and government watchdogs” here. This is individuals and personal choices.
Ludacris has the right to express his ideas all he wants, but other individuals such as the students at ETSU have the right to express their ideas as well. One way that individuals do that is by choosing when, where and how they spend their money.
Extracurricular events which are not required for attaining a degree are fine, but let those who choose to participate pay the cost. By being forced to pay for a concert whose performer I find morally incomprehensible, my right to free expression is being infringed.
Julie Dickey

The coherence theory of knowledge asserts that epistemic justification can be realized by determining how well a new belief fits within the existing system. The theory relies on the inferability of one belief to another, along with how one belief some aspect of the external world, and the ability to gain access, based on the Doxastic Presumption, to a belief system that is approximately like the one that the believer actually possesses. There are three major objections to the coherence theory: the alternative coherent systems objection, the input objection, and the truth objection. Each of these objections will be answered, but I would first like to give attention to an addition to the theory, one that allows for observation to factor in to the ability for one’s coherent system to grow and change based on changes in the external world. This addition will help us answer the input objection, which I will explain a little later.
It would seem to be a contradiction to allow for observational input from the external world since observational data is necessarily non-inferential and the coherence theory requires that all justification be based on how well a belief coheres with the overall system (which is necessarily inferential in nature); however, there are two different ways in which a belief can be considered inferential or non-inferential. The first way is how the belief was arrived at, or how I came to believe such-and-such. In this sense, it seems fairly obvious that not all beliefs can be inferential, unless there is a vast system of a priori beliefs that we are born with, or we somehow have access to an infinite number of beliefs that we can reference in order to acquire any other belief. The second way a belief can be considered inferential or non-inferential is by how it is justified. A belief can (in theory) be inferentially justified in virtue of its relation with the other beliefs in the system, or it might be justified in some other, non-inferential way, such as some data from the external world. It is in the latter way that a belief must be considered inferential in order to remain a part of the framework for coherence theory. It is important to understand that the coherentist is not arguing that every belief must be inferential in every way. It would be rather absurd to say that a belief, especially an observational belief, must be inferential in origin in order for it to become a part of a coherent belief system. What the coherentist is pointing out is that, while it is quite possible that a belief is non-inferential in origin, it must have some sort of inferability with other beliefs in the system in order to be justified.
It is entirely conceivable for a proponent of the coherence theory to insist that observational beliefs be non-inferential in the manner in which it was arrived at, for this would allow for a belief justified by an appeal to coherence to act as an independent check on the system. Instead of relying on current beliefs to cause other beliefs, observation from the external world can be brought into the system to “check out” the trustworthiness of existing beliefs. This would actually be the ideal situation for the coherentist!
Imagine for a moment that I have come to hold a belief (that is not yet justified) that there is a cookie in my hand. I did not infer this belief from anything, rather it was cognitively spontaneous. This belief is a prime example of observational knowledge: I see the cookie in my hand, I feel it crumble in my palm, I smell the chocolate chips. This is the sort of belief that strikes me based on my senses. What we now need to consider is how this belief is to be justified. Lawrence BonJour offers a justificatory argument for cognitively spontaneous beliefs that I have modified slightly to fit our example:
(1) I have a cognitively spontaneous belief, let’s call it K, that there is a cookie in my hand.
(2) Conditions C obtain (this is to say that my current situation is one in which it is possible that there is a cookie in my hand).
(3) “Cognitively spontaneous visual [sensory] beliefs of kind K in conditions C are very likely to be true.”
Therefore my belief that there is a cookie in my hand is very likely to be true.
Therefore, there is probably a cookie in my hand.
Of course, as knowledgeable coherentists, we know that in order for my belief to be completely justified, each of the premises must be justified in turn, but we are well on our way to allowing input into our coherence framework without opposing our fundamental assertions. The interesting point of this justificatory argument is that my belief does not have its justification intrinsically (which is dangerously foundationalist). Instead its justification is dependent on the context in which the belief came into existence, how well it coheres with the other beliefs in my system, and its overall explanatory value. This is how the coherentist must account for all types of observational knowledge.
So far we have discussed instances of positive observational belief, but we must also consider negative observational belief. As I sit in my most comfortable and stylish antique chair, I come to have the belief that there is no beer in my hand. It’s not that I see the absence of beer in my hand, it’s simply a matter of failing to see its presence; I have no spontaneous sensory belief that there is a beer in my hand, even though the conditions are such that it is possible for there to be a beer in my hand. This is an interesting feature of spontaneous observational beliefs: not only are they most likely really there when I observe them, but they are also likely to be observed in situations where they can be observed. BonJour refers to this quality as converse reliability, or the fact that an object that causes some sort of observational belief can be held reliable in the negative sense, as well as the positive.
So, my observational beliefs can be considered epistemically reliable based on prior epistemic qualifications (my education on the reliability of such beliefs) that qualify such beliefs as ones that tend to be dependable. We now have a coherentist account for observation that has three major requirements: (1) There must be some grouping of observations that are discernible to the person that has them, (2) The grouping of observations must be epistemically reliable in both the positive and negative aspects, and (3) The believer must have access to the premises of the justification for the observations in question.
There is much more that could be said about this additional piece of the coherence theory, but we may proceed now with an understanding that it is possible in the aforementioned way, to account for observation in a coherence system of beliefs, and we are now able to move on to answering the three major objections mentioned earlier.
The input objection alleges that the coherence system, as a theory that seeks to avoid externalism, cannot allow for input from the external world. This suggests that any correspondence between my belief system and the external world is the result of either a miracle or an accident. We are, however, after our discussion of observation, now in a position to refute a large part of this objection. If the coherence account of observation is accurate, then there is no longer any lack of input from the external world with a system that relies only on the internal system to justify knowledge. If our account is true, and there are recognizable groups of observations that are likely to occur, and indeed do occur, then we have justifiable knowledge as a result of information gathered outside the internal system that allows it to grow and change based upon new information gathered from the external world.
There are however, some aspects of this objection that remain unanswered, even with an account for observation. First, some may wonder if cognitively spontaneous beliefs qualify as input in any more than a minimal sense, or, put another way, as input that can really count as a contribution from the external world. On the empirical level, operating from within the system (as a coherentist insists), this data does count as “real”, as it is input that is caused in a significant way by the external world.
The second, thus far unanswered, element of the input objection is the suggestion that it would be possible for one to construct what might be considered to be an epistemically justified system of beliefs without sufficient input from the external world. We can, however, stipulate that any justifiable coherent belief system must have sufficient input from the external world, thus eliminating the possibility for one to leave this important feature out of their belief system and still be considered epistemically responsible.
The alternative coherent systems objection suggests that there is a very distinct possibility that there are equally coherent belief systems that exist that would prevent us from accepting one belief system over the other. But with the ability to allow input from the external world through observation, this objection loses some of its strength. It simply doesn’t seem like a major problem as long as we are eventually able to figure out which belief system is the “right” one. As a matter of fact, this is exactly what occurs in the study of science when there are competing, seemingly equal, hypotheses; the scientist must figure out which one is correct through experimentation and observation. It is reasonable to take our seemingly equally coherent belief systems and test them through observation to see which one is correct, and that we can expect that the most accurate belief system will win out.
The final objection, the truth objection, may be the most difficult to answer to the satisfaction of a skeptic or foundationalist. This objection states that there is no reason to conclude that the coherence theory truth-conducive; that is, it offers system that gives us only true beliefs. Because one of the most important tasks of any epistemological theory is to lead us to truth, the inability to answer this objection would be devastating to the coherence theory.
A satisfactory answer to this objection is one that can show that, at the very least, the coherence theory of justification results in correspondence with the truth. The correspondence theory of truth holds that a belief is true if it agrees with the equivalent independent reality. For example, my belief that there is a cookie in my hand is true if, in fact, there is a cookie in my hand and my belief that there is not a beer in my hand is true if there really is no beer in my hand.
One thing that we must assume is that there actually is a real external world that our beliefs can match-up with. So we must subscribe to some form of realism.
Correspondence is the relationship between two things: the truth-bearer (the thing that is true) and the portion of reality that makes the truth-bearer true. There is some dispute over what tat truth-bearer actually is, but here we will go ahead and assume that the truth-bearer is a proposition. The second term has been said to be a “fact”, but it better serves us to consider that term the actual independent reality that makes the truth-bearer true; that is, the events, situations, etc. that make up the reality in which the proposition in question is true.
We can now move on to a standard skeptical objection that can be raised for almost any theory of knowledge. There is the possibility that although my belief system is coherent, corresponds with the world, and this thus an accurate measure of what I “know”, that my knowledge is not really knowledge at all, but an illusion. In this case, my justificatory system has failed and I do not know all that I thought I knew. This could theoretically occur as a result of a mental illness, an evil scientist who has fooled me, a brain in a vat, into thinking that I am a real person, or an evil demon who is causing the world to (falsely) correspond to my belief system. The Cartesian “evil demon” is probably the objection used most often, so we will answer to it specifically.
The evil demon in question is one whose mission is to cause the world to correspond to my belief system for the sole purpose of confusing me now and forevermore. This demon is steadfast, never wavering, always making sure that things are not as they should be, but are rather the way my belief system would have them be. In this situation, I would never know that I was being tricked; nevertheless, while my beliefs may be justified and entirely coherent, what I believe to be the truth is not the truth and my belief system is not actually truth-conducive.
Because there are so many ways that cognitively spontaneous beliefs could be caused by the world, it seems rather unlikely that they would be caused in such a way that they adhere to the strict principles of the correspondence theory, and as a result very a priori unlikely that the correspondence theory is true. The interesting point here is whether reasons can be found to believe that the correspondence theory is a priori less likely to be true than the evil demon hypothesis, or vice versa. There appear to be more evidence that supports the correspondence theory than the evil demon, not the least of which is biological evolution, which shows how cognitive beings with spontaneous beliefs could (and did) come to exist).
The whole point of a skeptical hypothesis such as the evil demon is to be equally compatible with any other system so that it is neither able to be refuted nor confirmed. This is not entirely possible with a theory that relies on the spatio-temporal world, which has a definite and orderly character, unlike the evil demon’s, whose causes and effects can be both defined and predicted. The world is not a neutral producer of beliefs like the evil demon, but instead causes beliefs based on its nature – in a definite and orderly fashion. This can be seen by looking at our beliefs, determining where they originated, and showing that they came about in an orderly way. In this case, the correspondence theory, which is framed by distinct patterns of causation, would be more plausible.
With solid answers for both the input and alternative coherent systems objections, and the makings of a reasonable answer for the skeptic on the truth objection, it seems that the coherence theory is quite an acceptable account of knowledge. The coherentist’s version of epistemic justification maintains an internalist framework while allowing for input from the external world, and seems to be the most truth-conducive of any epistemological theory offered thus far.

I must say, although I still do not believe that Ludacris is educational, culturally significant, or worth the $170,000 ETSU spent to get him here, Steven raises a very interesting point. See my additional comments at the end. –Jama

Dear Editor,
I found this quote from a poster on Jama Oliver’s web page, http://www.jamesoliver.us/jama/?p=6#comments, concerning the recent Ludacris disaster: “I, as well as a number of my friends, pay money for an education, not for concerts.”
Yes, you do. You pay for a certain type of culture: an area where the free exploration of ideas is not hindered by parents, authority figures and government watchdogs. An “education” is not just learning that Plato was Aristotle’s teacher. An education is the intellectual, emotional AND moral growth fostered by the interaction of ideas. This includes the interaction of my world-view with Karl Marx, G. H. W. Bush and, yes, Ludacris.
That nearly everyone might walk away from the concert sharing (for a time, at least) the Ludacris view on women is irrelevant, in the same way that the possibility of everyone leaving a Howard Zinn lecture an anarcho-socialist is irrelevant. What matters is that Ludacris (and Zinn) CAN come here on everyone’s dime.
Another quote from the poster: “The point is, if the ETSU SGA wants to have concerts, they need to get the money from the people who want to see the concert, not from every single student.”
The point is that you can’t have a society that values the free expression of ideas if, for those ideas to reach people, the public has to already value them so they can get the funds to express them.
I’m glad that my money supports the Campus Crusade for Christ AND the ETSU Feminist Club, because it’s only by getting society to listen to all varieties of opinions that people can grow.
Feeling threatened to explore or express an idea because of the perceived hostility of those around you is NOT conducive to intellectual growth.
Tailoring your idea to what the public already believes, so you can get the money to spread that very idea, is one of the most damaging things I can think of for a society that values the independence of mind. The universities are possibly the only places in the world that this restriction on the expression of ideas does not hold.
Emphasis is not (and should not be) given on the popularity or profitability of a subject, but its mere existence in the free market of ideas.
It’s not possible to develop intellectual curiosity and intellectual CONFIDENCE, which is the whole damn reason for universities anyway, if a feeling of deference to the ideas of the majority opinion are allowed to shape the way students experience the world.
Steven Edwards

I do wonder, however, if the pop duo Lynx and Lamb (white nationalist teenage girls who spread their hatred of non-whites through their music) would be equally as welcome at ETSU, or any other university. An interesting point is that white-nationalist musicians claim to be doing exactly the same thing that rap artists like Ludacris are doing – sharing and expanding their culture. I am certainly not comforable with either type of hate, be it toward women as with Ludacris or toward non-whites as with Lynx and Lamb.
There is a very distinct difference, however, between the introduction of the topic of hatred towards women as seen in rap music or hatred toward non-whites as seen in white nationalist music in the context of a classroom and actually paying those artists to come to the campus and perform a concert. I would agree that the best way to grow intellectually is to be exposed to ideas that differ from your own (I am, remember, a conservative christian majoring in philosophy at a secular university), however an on-campus orgie is not necessary to learn about sexual devience nor is a concert glorifying the most deviant side of African-American culture necessary to foster diversity or cultural awareness. Neither do I think that one can claim that the typical popular music concert is an environment conducive to a learning experience. If we want to be exposed to the rap music culture as an educational experience (which I seriously doubt is the goal of bringing Ludacris to campus), then lets offer a class on the topic. The fact of the matter is that Ludacris is coming to campus purely for entertainment purposes that have nothing to do with education or enhancing the educational or cultural environment as a whole. If it were an educational endeavor then the students wouldn’t be paying for it out of our “student activities fee”, which by law is to be used only for non-academic events. –Jama

Like many of you are doing this time of year, I decided that it was time to bring my one plant that I haven’t killed over the summer inside so that I can kill it over the winter (some people have a green thumb, mine is more of a brown color – they call me the kiss of death at the local greenhouse). Anywho, I determined that the pretty hybiscus could sit on top of a bar stool in the kitchen (so the cat can’t reach it – she likes to eat plants). So I brought the plant in, sat it on the bar stool, and everything was going really well until I decided to water it. What I forgot is that most flower pots have little holes in the bottom so that excess water can run out and keep the plant from drowning to death (I, for one, have forgotten to unplug those little holes in a new flower pot or two and have thus been guilty of drowning a plant to death). I only remembered the existence of those little holes after I had dumped nearly the entire watering can full of water on top of the poor plant. I thought that maybe a grocery bag would do the trick until I could get one of those plastic plate thingies that catch the water for you. It didn’t work. I ended up with a watering can’s worth of water in my kitchen floor and now the plant is back outside just waiting to freeze to death. I promise I’m good with animals, it’s only plants that I viciously murder on a regular basis…

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