Principle 3 – The most promising method of securing a virtuous people is to elect virtuous leaders.

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“Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who … will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man.” – Samuel Adams

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The other day I was watching CNN and the commentators were talking about how we are more forgiving of the Hollywood Celebrities indiscretions, than we are of our representatives in Washington. The idea that we compare our Hollywood Celebrities with our those in whose trust we place our lives says it all. The media has turned us into mindless sheep. We believe what we see on the boob tube. We are a nation that has become lazy, fat, and uneducated. And the politicians, advertisers, bankers and everyone else who wants our money or our votes – love us that way.

We do not seek virtue or honesty in our leaders, how could we? We no longer seriously value it in ourselves. We placed virtue and morals into the category of things to which we aspire. If we were educated, or, if we did have moral and virtuous leaders in Washington, leaders who were there as public servants for no reason other than to best represent the needs of the American people, we would not have a healthcare problem. If we had the type of representatives that our founding fathers were, and intended us to have, no corporation or banking institution could ever get away with any actions that were not in the best interest of the Citizens of the country. There would be no lobbyists in Washington if this was the American of our founding fathers. There would be no interest that stood between our representatives and us. Those who ran for office would do so for the same reason as one who joins the peace corp., to serve the greater good, as a calling. Our founding fathers considered politics a Divine Science, in this country it was a calling from God and they treated it, at great expense to themselves, as such.

Today, with the problems existing in healthcare, it has been said that if there is no great profit in medicine, we will no longer have doctors. This is insane. There have always been doctors or healers as far back as history. Once, to be a healer was a spiritual calling. Later, although not spiritual, it was still a calling to heal. If being a doctor were no longer a high paying career, there would be a different kind of doctor practicing medicine. A doctor would be one who felt a calling in his heart to heal. This is no different from any other calling. We see our soldiers who serve their country for little pay. There are police and firefighters who find it their calling to serve and protect, some come from generations with the same calling. Teachers are called to educate the young leaders and citizens of the future for so little money it is shameful, but still – they teach.

Ministers, who  generally make only enough to live on, still feel called to serve God and His children. There is no shortage, regardless of what we want to believe, of men and women who feel the need to be of service to their fellow human beings. John and Samuel Adams both sacrificed their fortunes to serve in public office. George Washington did not take the pay for his position as President, although his plantation had been wiped out by the Revolutionary war. The founding fathers believed that one of the most important pillars of the Constitution was the virtue of those who would be elected to enforce it.

Imagine for a moment, that teachers were elected. In order for the voters to know what the teacher was about, she would need to pay for TV time and advertising to reach the people and get the votes. This would cost money. So, the teacher of your children would have to make deals with whoever had the money to pay for the exposure necessary to be elected. This would mean that if they wanted to be elected for another year, they would have no choice but to teach your children what their contributors wanted taught. Regardless of how well meaning the teacher was initially, it would no longer be feasible for a teacher to take what was best for your children into account. The only thing that the teacher would worry about was teaching your children in a way that pleased whoever had to be pleased to raise the funds for the next election. The founding fathers knew the dangers of corporate involvement.

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“Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains. Thomas Jefferson

The way that you would feel about the education of your children being determined by whoever chose to pay for the means to be elected, is the way that our founding fathers felt about those who were chosen to represent the people in Washington. They believed very deeply that there should be no monetary incentive to become a public servant, and that is what our congressmen are, public servants. Not only our congressional representatives, but also our governors, mayors, council members, and all officials elected to represent our interests. Those who served after the signing of the Constitution did so as a sacred calling. The founding fathers did not consider these principles to be simply ‘good ideas’, they considered these principles to be the mortar that held the bricks of the Republic together. Self-government requires virtuous citizens and then virtuous leaders. Trusting men and or women to represent us in Washington, or even in our local city hall is much worse, and more profoundly destructive than leaving a gang of thieves to guard our most prized possessions. And what is more valuable than one’s life and liberty? Yet, we know that long before our representatives reach the polls, they have been forced to sell their services to corporations or special interests in order to even be considered for election.

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“History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling the money and its issuance.”
“There are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the of the people by the gradual and silent encroachment of those in power, than by violent an sudden usurpation.”
James Madison

The founding fathers believed that limiting the term of our Congressional Representatives to two years, would guarantee that if they were overcome by greed or some form of self-interest or corruption, the people could vote them out of office before they had enough time to hurt the country. However, with the system as it is today, that two year limit means that they have less time to prove to their benefactors that they are valuable enough to reinvest in. There is no time, or room, for the best interest of the people – therefore, what is best for the corporations and for the special interests is sold to us as what is best for the people.

Thomas Jefferson stated that there was what he called a “Natural Aristocracy”. This Natural Aristocracy was one that existed through a wealth of virtue, and talent. He was accustomed to what he considered the “Artificial Aristocracy”, founded on wealth or station of birth, lacking in virtue or talent, which, controlled the governing of European countries. He, as did all of our founding fathers, believed that in order to our Republic to remain strong in its service to its people, the rulers must be of the Natural Aristocracy and not the artificial one.

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“For I agree with you that there is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents. Formerly bodily powers gave place among the aristoi. But since the invention of gunpowder has armed the weak as well as the strong with missile death, bodily strength, like beauty, good humor, politeness and other accomplishments, has become but an auxiliary ground of distinction. There is also an artificial aristocracy founded on wealth and birth, without either virtue or talents; for with these it would belong to the first class. The natural aristocracy I consider as the most precious gift of nature for the instruction, the trusts, and government of society. And indeed it would have been inconsistent in creation to have formed man for the social state, and not to have provided virtue and wisdom enough to manage the concerns of the society. May we not even say that that form of government is the best which provides the most effectually for a pure selection of these natural aristoi into the offices of government? The artificial aristocracy is a mischievous ingredient in government, and provision should be made to prevent it’s ascendancy.” Thomas Jefferson to John Adams

It all makes such sense, and, we will not reach back to these principles through design, because we are all too consumed by the material world and the overwhelming task of freeing our legislature from the tentacles of greed. This cancer has grown too large and is too incorporated in our system to extract it. So, the patient, the material, capitalist nation that we have grown to know and depend upon will die. So that the Republic, the nation that our forefathers founded under Divine Inspiration can be reborn from the ashes – like the phoenix.

Happiness Is Knowing When We Have Enough


More or less is never enough, but enough is always enough.
No one who has enough is ever unhappy. Most of us actually have enough to be content right in front of us, but as we are programmed, we are not looking there to find it. We are looking at what someone else has or at what someone else tells us that we should have.

Enough means that you can finally stop seeking more. One day it dawned on me that if there were any reason that I should consider myself lucky, it would be that I always have enough. I have had very little money and I have had a lot of money, but at each stage the things that I wanted were within my reach. It was not that I did not know that there existed more than I had; I just never wanted more than I could have. My life was the most content; it had the most room for happiness, when I did not have those things that I could live without.

I have a friend who I always felt was very beautiful. She was short in height had beautiful dark hair and a beautiful olive complexion. She never felt that she was attractive because she was not a tall blond. It came to me that she could never be happy with herself, with that kind of image. How could she ever be happy with herself when the best that she could be could never be what she considered to be the best? So many people are not happy because what they believe will make them happy is always somewhere over there, yet to be obtained. When we do finally get that thing that is over there, suddenly there is another thing that is better than ours somewhere else. We are always wanting, always seeking what we do not have and always overlooking what we do have.

Happiness is always in having more, or in something else. We don’t have any idea how to have enough. Most of what we have today is ours because at some point we wanted it. What happened to the wanting when it became ours? It is a question of whether it was the thing that we wanted or just a feeling that we expected to have by owning it. We are conditioned only to be happy with more. The only way to be good enough is to be better. Being better gives us wiggle room for failure.

The funny thing is that we are that someone else with that something else to someone else. As we are looking at our neighbor, that same neighbor is looking at us. If this were to be our last moment, it would contain all that we will ever have. When we can want what we have we will have enough. What we have at any given moment must be enough because it is all that there is and because it is ours.

We have what the Universe intended for us to have in each moment of our lives. We are complete. If you can look back at your life and recapture the fullness of each experience, you will see that you have enough.

When we can look within to find our personal value and not attach it to things outside of ourselves we will then begin with enough. Whatever we have or whatever we lose, we still have the ability, and we still have the power within to build with what is left, even if it is nothing, it is a beginning. We are endowed with enough, anything that we add to that is extra. We are already complete.

The ultimate lesson is that we have always had enough, not from the birth of our physical form, but from the birth of our soul. For the soul this is an important lesson. Our journey here as souls is fourfold. First we must obtain, next we must see the emptiness in what we have obtained. Next we must let go and finally we must see and be in awe of, what is left after we have let go of all of the things that we have obtained.

Barack Obama – A Guiding Star

It is difficult to know how to process the idea that a presidential candidate can fill a stadium to the same capacity as a rock star. But think about it, how does a rocker become a rock star? It’s all about the music. Before we see their faces, we hear their music – and if the music hits us in just that certain way, if it makes us feel something that other music does not make us feel – we become captivated. When we see the singer or group, we want to feel that we can believe that the music and the instrument are one. If they are, it brings us a sense of peace, if they are not, regardless of the music or the instrument that it comes from we feel a discord. We want our apples from an apple tree. We may love oak trees, but we will never trust an apple if it comes from one.

Barack Obama looks like a character out of a Norman Rockwell painting who overdosed on bronzers. He looks like Huckleberry Fin out in the sun too long. He just looks like an average American. From his first speech at the Democratic National Convention, his story sounds like a story out of the “American Dream Book”:

“My father was a foreign student, born and raised in a small village in Kenya. He grew up herding goats, went to school in a tin- roof shack. His father, my grandfather, was a cook, a domestic servant to the British.
But my grandfather had larger dreams for his son. Through hard work and perseverance my father got a scholarship to study in a magical place, America, that’s shown as a beacon of freedom and opportunity to so many who had come before him. While studying here my father met my mother. She was born in a town on the other side of the world, in Kansas. Her father worked on oil rigs and farms through most of the Depression. The day after Pearl Harbor, my grandfather signed up for duty, joined Patton’s army, marched across Europe. Back home my grandmother raised a baby and went to work on a bomber assembly line. After the war, they studied on the GI Bill, bought a house through FHA and later moved west, all the way to Hawaii, in search of opportunity. And they too had big dreams for their daughter, a common dream born of two continents.
My parents shared not only an improbable love; they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation. They would give me an African name, Barack, or “blessed,” believing that in a tolerant America, your name is no barrier to success.”

Black people say that he wouldn’t face the problems that he faces if he were White. White people say that he wouldn’t get the attention that he gets if he were White. There are Black people who don’t trust him because he is not Black enough. There are White people who don’t trust him because he is too Black. Still he packs them in from both races.

I worked in the Title Insurance industry it had functioned the same way for decades. Because it was different than other industries and very set in its ways of functioning, it almost always hired from within. When I first tried to get a job there at a company in that business I was told that it was just too costly to train someone from the outside. Years later I entered the industry as a temp and ended up making it a career. When my Boss was asked to open his own office, he put me in charge of staffing.

The majority of the staff that I hired were, like I was, from outside the industry. This was because I felt that the way the industry functioned was outdated and financially wasteful. I was not going to hire a staff from within the industry because it would be too costly to untrain them. Experience is just another word for habit. If someone is experienced in doing things in a system that is failing, it merely means that they are experienced at working within a failing system. Einstein said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it”. No system can be changed by the same level of consciousness that created it either. If we want a change – we must look outside of the box. And you can’t get more outside of the box than Barak Obama And yet, at the same time he exemplifies the best of the box, he represents the purest form of the American Dream. He is not anti-war, not a peacenik. In that same speech in 2004, he said:

“I thought of the 900 men and women, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and neighbors who won’t be returning to their own hometowns. I thought of the families I had met who were struggling to get by without a loved one’s full income or whose loved ones had returned with a limb missing or nerves shattered, but still lacked long-term health benefits because they were Reservists.
When we send our young men and women into harm’s way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they are going, to care for their families while they’re gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return and to never, ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace and earn the respect of the world.
Now, let me be clear. Let me be clear. We have real enemies in the world. These enemies must be found. They must be pursued. And they must be defeated.”

Yes, he is outside of the box, but think about it, isn’t the outside of the box supposed to let you know what is inside? How does he represent what is inside the box of the United States of America?
He says this:

“…If there’s a child on the south side of Chicago who can’t read, that matters to me, even if it’s not my child.
If there’s a senior citizen somewhere who can’t pay for their prescription and having to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it’s not my grandparent.
If there’s an Arab-American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties.
It is that fundamental belief — it is that fundamental belief — I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sisters’ keeper — that makes this country work.
It’s what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family: “E pluribus unum,” out of many, one.
Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes.
Well, I say to them tonight, there’s not a liberal America and a conservative America; there’s the United States of America.
There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.
The pundits, the pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue States: red states for Republicans, blue States for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don’t like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states.
We coach little league in the blue states and, yes, we’ve got some gay friends in the red states.
There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq, and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq.
We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.”

…“I’m talking about something more substantial. It’s the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs; the hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores; the hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta; the hope of a millworker’s son who dares to defy the odds; the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too.
Hope in the face of difficulty, hope in the face of uncertainty, the audacity of hope: In the end, that is God’s greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation, a belief in things not seen, a belief that there are better days ahead.
I believe that we can give our middle class relief and provide working families with a road to opportunity.
I believe we can provide jobs for the jobless, homes to the homeless, and reclaim young people in cities across America from violence and despair.
I believe that we have a righteous wind at our backs, and that as we stand on the crossroads of history, we can make the right choices and meet the challenges that face us.”

Those who fear the fact that this country is a melting pot fear Barack Obama – he is the product of our melting pot. But he is not a superstar. He is the appropriate voice for the message that our forefathers created 222 years ago when they met to define our country. He is not a superstar, we gather around the world to hear him speak, partly because his is a message that we, the people of the world, need desperately to believe in again. Yet, it is even more than that – more than anything it is because that little voice inside of each of us tells us that he believes his message. He believes that we can be more than the capital of Capitalism. He believes that we can be, once again, “One Nation, under God – Indivisible… with Liberty and Justice for All.” And most of all, he believes in us. We are in very dark times – we don’t need someone who does the same thing in a different way. We don’t need someone experienced in what it takes to get to where we are, because where we are is lost. We need someone inexperienced in the system that is faulty – we need someone who believes in the spirit of our country, and has the foresight to recreate the system so that it mirrors that spirit, uncorrupted by experts. We need a star to guide us out of the darkness of despair with his belief – his hope – his vision. Someone who believes that each and everyone of us are better than what we have been promised and even more than that – better than what we have been given.