Recently the Supreme Court issued an opinion regarding the Trump Administration’s effort to put a citizenship question on the 2020 census. We've been told by leading Democrats that the inclusion of the question is an effort to marginalize minorities, scare immigrants and, as Nancy Pelosi said, “making America white again.”
But what is the truth (and history) of this question and the census?
It bothers me immensely when politicians and talking heads propose intellectually lazy and dishonest policies that they know will do more harm than good. Then your friends, family and the faceless and, often nameless, folks on social media jump on the bandwagon. Their prescriptions are not based on principles (or so I thought) rather they appear to be based on party (or group think).
I am no longer willing to cut these folks any slack because they can easily spend a few minutes on an Internet search and read multiple sides of any argument or policy. They can easily spend a few minutes trying to determine what the truth is.
Why then does this phenomonon exist? Why do those who subscribe to this form of public policy advocacy resort to low-ball tactics when it comes to the treatment of their ideological foes? You know: name-calling, violence, vilification, shutting down the speech of dissenters, mocking, de-platforming, boycotting, and censorship!
After much reflection and study, I believe these people are, indeed, principle-driven. That principle is winning - - - winning at all costs. Nothing else explains this behavior.
In the last two episodes, I introduced or re-introduced you to The Federalist Papers and discussed some of the checks and balances in the Constitution - the legislative and executive branches of government. Today we are going to discuss, as Paul Harvey used to say, “The rest of the story!” – the Judicial branch, States Rights, taxation, the military, and a brief look at the Necessary and Proper and Supremacy clauses of the Constitution.
In Episode 43, The Truth About the Federalist Papers - Part I, I introduced (or re-introduced) you to the Federalist Papers. We discussed why the founders thought it was necessary to create a new document rather than amend the Articles of Confederation. In this episode, we look at two of the three branches of government created by this new Constitution - the legislative and executive branches.
Along the way we have uncovered the progressive tearing down of the constitutional republic the founders bequeathed us.
The Federalist Papers were written and published in New York newspapers in 1787-1788 in order to sway public opinion to approve and ratify the newly devised United States Constitution. The essays were written by three prominent members of the founding generation - Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay.
I consider these essays the user’s guide for the Constitution and, therefore, deserve at least a perfunctory understanding. Short of reading the debates from the constitutional convention and the state ratification debates, the Federalist Papers provide some of the best insights into the United States Constitution.
In this episode, we will cover 25-26 essays - those covering the topics of the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation, the arguments for a stronger centralized government and the system of checks and balances devised by the Constitution. In the next episode we will cover the Executive and Legislative branches followed by an episode that covers everything else - the judiciary, taxation, states’ rights and a few important miscellaneous musings.
In Episode #41, I covered the truth about the gender pay gap and refuted the often-cited statistic that women earn $0.77 on the dollar that men earn for the same work.
Suffice it to say, I thought I was done with this topic but over the last month, during the women’s World Cup soccer tournament, we have been inundated with news commentary, articles, and social justice sermons disguised as ESPN Sports Center episodes on earnings disparity in professional soccer. So now I am forced to jump back into the fray and expose another opportunistic faux outrage.
The news is filled with stories about millennials and their student loans. We are told that, because of student loans, they are waiting longer to move out of their parents' home, get married, buy their first house and start families. We are told it is a generation crushed by debt. Unfortunately, very little time is spent analyzing why this is the case.
Why are college costs so much higher than they were in the past?
What is the truth about student loan debt and the cost of college?
In this episode we examine the historical record of the national Democratic Party and then fast-forward to present day and uncover the real motivations behind their radical agenda.
Why do they take such hard line positions on policies like abortion, illegal immigration, welfare, gay marriage, socialized medicine, guns control, climate change, minimum wage and higher taxes? Why do they advocate for socialism? None of these policies have the support of the majority of Americans yet they are all a prominent fixture in the platform that the national Democratic Party.
As most of you probably remember from your middle school civics class, the first ten amendments of the United States Constitution are known as the Bill of Rights. What you probably do NOT know is those amendments only apply to the federal government. They were included in the Constitution as a way to insure the states that this newly created federal government would be limited in power. They would not be able to infringe upon the people's freedom of speech or their right to bear arms; they would not be able to quarter their soldiers in our homes, perform unreasonable search and seizures without probable cause, prosecute us without a speedy jury trial or impose excessive fines. But most importantly, the Tenth Amendment specifically states that any powers not granted to the federal government (mostly in Article I, Section 8) is left to the states.
Fast-forward a few decades later as the Civil War ended and the slaves were freed. Congress passed and the states ratified the Fourteenth Amendment in order to permanently codify the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which essentially insured that the newly freed slaves were treated equally under the law. It contained a few familiar phrases like, "privileges or immunities", "due process", and "equal protection".
Unfortunately for all of us, over the ensuing 150 years the Supreme Court, as it is apt to do, has perverted the Constitution (rather than protect and defend it) and found ways to apply the Bill of Rights to the states. This is known as the Incorporation Doctrine.
Proving God’s existence or the fact that Jesus rose from the dead, will never be proven in a manner we are all familiar with from watching TV legal dramas – beyond a reasonable doubt. However, I have found Frank Turek and Norman Geisler’s approach to apologetics most helpful. Specifically their approach in their best seller I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist.
In today’s episode, I am going to present three arguments for the existence of God: (1) The Cosmological Argument, which argues that since the universe had a beginning something had to be the cause. The most logical explanation is that that "something" is God. (2) The Anthropic Principle which is the idea that the complexity of the universe proves the God exists and; (3) The Teleological Argument which reasons that the best explanation for the complex fine-tuning of the universe and life on Earth is an Intelligent Designer (or God).
The call for the elimination of the Electoral College by liberals, progressives and Democrats continues to swell. After all, they rationalize, Bush got less votes than Gore and Trump got less votes than Clinton so why should they be President? Fortunately for the rest of America, the Founding Fathers had enough foresight to include the Electoral College process in the Constitution to protect the country as a whole from the tyranny of the majority.
In this episode, I give a brief history lesson on the Electoral College and explain why the, now underway, National Popular Vote movement, with the goal of eliminating the Electoral College, is both dangerous to the country and, of course, unconstitutional.
In Episode #2 – The Truth About Abortion, I introduced the question “What about the baby?” I suggested that you ask that question anytime you are in a conversation with a pro-abortion advocate. We also discussed fetus development and addressed common arguments put forward by these same advocates.
This episode has evolved into a cornucopia of abortion outtakes, contradictions, absurdities, and the disclosure of evil measures taken by pro-abortionists. Much of this was covered in my book, Pritical Thinking.
Today's episode continues our examination of socialism. We will discuss a series of "Questions for Skeptics" that you can use to engage those who believe socialism is a viable social and economic option. We also examine so-called socialism in Scandinavian countries. Then we look at socialism and religion followed by a brief look at the solution to socialism - free market capitalism.
With the current state of the Democratic Party and their push for socialism, I felt compelled to record this episode knowing this is going to be a long road between now and the 2020 election. This information needs to be available to counter their message of disdain for the wealthy, free stuff, greed, and resentment.
In this episode we discuss the lack of socialist society success stories, the immorality of socialism, Democratic Socialism, socialistic incrementalism in America, and we examine how socialism violates both economic and natural laws.
When I first started studying Christian apologetics someone gave me a copy of I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist by Frank Turek and Norman Geisler. If you read just one book this year and you are curious about Christianity or looking to bolster your current faith or, for that matter, you are a skeptic of Christianity, I cannot encourage you enough to read this book. One of the most profound insights I ever got into Christianity came from Chapters 9-12, which covers the historical reliability of the New Testament. Much of what I discuss in today’s episode comes from these three chapters. I hope you find it as profound as I did.
I recently watched a John Stossel report on Reason TV that caught my attention. It was essentially a defense of the e-cigarette industry. Prior to seeing that report, my general perception of e-cigarettes and vaping was negative. It wasn’t based on anything tangible, just a compilation of whatever news coverage I had consumed up to that point.
With Stossel’s gentle prodding, I read up on e-cigarettes and I started seeing some recurring themes that we often discuss on the Truth Quest Podcast – namely unconstitutional federal government involvement in the free markets and media bias. I had to get to the bottom of the smear campaign against e-cigarettes and vaping. Tune in to see what I found.
In the previous episode, #27 The Truth About the Federal Reserve – An Introduction, I laid the groundwork for this episode. So now that you know what the Fed is, why it was created and how it creates money, let’s look at the results of the last 100+ years since this monstrosity was created.
We will discuss the constitutionality of the Fed, how it creates inflation, its impact on savers and people on fixed incomes, malinvestment, bailouts, how it funds the welfare and warfare state, the gold standard, and I conclude the episode with a side-by-side comparison of the current monetary system dominated by the Fed with one without it.
I read and hear a lot about how bad the Federal Reserve is for America. The cries for “Audit the Fed” continue to grow louder. Inherently I understand that government intervention always causes market distortions but trying to explain how the Federal Reserve detrimentally impacts the economy at a level that the average person can understand has proved daunting. But I am going to give it a shot in this episode and the next one.
In this episode I am going to introduce you to the Federal Reserve – explain what it is, why and how it was created and explain how it creates money.
Episode #28 will be spent looking at the Fed's record over the 100+ years of its existence and argue why it should be abolished.
As I thought ahead to the publication of this week’s episode, I noticed that it would fall on the week of Christmas. I glanced up at my bookshelf and pulled down my copy of In Defense of Faith by David Brog and I realized the message Brog presents in that book was a perfect foundation from which to base this week’s episode on.
Brog describes his book’s purpose as a rebuttal to the claim that people of faith are responsible for our greatest sorrows, bloodshed, war, hatred. His primary message is the Judeo-Christian tradition has been an overwhelming force for good throughout history with its message of equality and sanctity of all humans combined with the call to love one another. It’s the idea that all humans are made in the image of God and, therefore, are worthy of respect.
When you look at the atrocities committed in the world over time, you will notice that most of them were perpetrated with a purposeful rejection of the Judeo-Christian tradition.
Another fiscal year has come and gone and another spending resolution deadline is looming. It seems like every year we go through the same exercise with the political class arguing and casting blame on each other over who is going to cause the latest, pending government shutdown.
Well guess what? It is largely inconsequential. The amount of federal spending that Congress actually controls is around 14% of the budget. So we are supposed to tie ourselves in knots over a minuscule part of the budget while the federal government continues its ever-expanding march into unconstitutional areas of American's lives. It's all an unnecessary distraction from the real problems that plague our nation and it is a distraction from Congress' abdication of most of their constitutional duties.
We are told that protective tariffs are necessary to save jobs. We are told that high-wage countries like the United States cannot compete with low-wage countries like Vietnam and China. We are told that the dumping of products needs to be addressed with protective tariffs. But we are never told the whole truth. Politicians and mainstream news outlets never really evaluate the whole picture when it comes to tariffs. They never explain who really pays. They never ask the question: What about the consumer?
The federal government is not supposed to be this gargantuan entity that is involved in virtually every aspect of our lives. The states created the federal government via the Constitution. They granted the federal government a few powers while all others were left to the states. Unfortunately, modern America's political system is a far cry from the Founder's vision of limited power at the federal level. Fortunately there is a method whereby the power that the federal government tries to wield can be checked. That method is called nullification.
Nullification is the practice whereby states resist federal actions that they deem unconstitutional. In this episode, I introduce you to the concept, dispel quite a few inaccurate assumptions made by mainstream news outlets and so-called historians and provide you with several examples of nullification efforts currently going on today.
I owe a debt of gratitude to Tom Woods and The Tenth Amendment Center who have written extensively on this subject.
This is the fourth episode focusing on a Christian apologetic topic. In Episode #5 we talked about The Truth About the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. In Episode #10, we covered The Truth About God and Evil and in Episode #15 we talked about The Truth About Prayer.
What I want to talk to you about today is the remarkable (and dare I say, miraculous) story of a carpenter named Jesus from a map dot in the middle of the Middle East who lived over 2,000 years ago and the truth about the impact He left on the world.
I’ve heard Jesus Christ called a lot of things but the most accurate word is “radical”. Let me know if you agree after listening to this episode.
For those of you who are fans of Rush Limbaugh, you know that every year on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving he reads an excerpt from his 1993 best-seller, See I Told You So. It is his way of setting the record straight about the holiday we are about to celebrate. In this episode, I read this excerpt as my way of trying to get to the truth about Thanksgiving.
President Trump recently stirred up a hornets nest when he mentioned that he was considering signing an executive order ending birthright citizenship. As you might expect progressives went crazy, while Democrats and establishment Republicans denounced and/or, in the case of Senator Tim Scott (SC) or outgoing Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, politely “disagreed” with the President. Either way, this provides us with an opportunity to examine the Constitution and, being the constitutional geek that I am, I cannot resist.
Do you ever question the amount of time and energy spent fretting about the politics coming out of Washington D.C.? The Founding Fathers never thought that the average American would spend much time pondering the goings-on in D.C. After all, the federal government's power was constitutionally restricted. In this brief episode, I suggest an alternative to our seemingly unending focus on all things D.C.
Gun control is one of the most contentious issues in American politics. The pro-Second Amendment, pro-gun arguments are so much more persuasive and based on facts, common sense, and logic that gun control advocates should be embarrassed to even engage in an argument.
Successfully arguing this issue really only requires you to repeat the words of gun control advocates back to them with a little commentary. The illogical nature of their arguments and the place of ignorance from which they often argue is quite easy to identify and dismantle for any intellectually honest person.
Every year the country waits with bated breath over the latest Supreme Court opinions. If we were living true to the Constitution, this would never happen because the Supreme Court is not supreme when it comes to deciding the constitutionality of a law! Think you disagree? Listen to learn the truth about the Supreme Court.
The reason the American healthcare system is in such a mess is because of decades of government intervention and the third-party payer system. If we reduce government involvement and bring back capitalistic, free market principles, conditions will improve; it’s almost guaranteed. In a nutshell, real healthcare reform can be accomplished by encouraging a patient-centered, market-based system that eliminates or, at least, minimizes government involvement in the system.
True to the title of this episode, I will walk you through some concrete examples of how the American healthcare system can be reformed.
This is the second of four healthcare-related episodes. In Episode #9, I discussed the truth about healthcare in America as a way to lay the groundwork for the other three – the truth about socialized medicine, the truth about Obamacare, and the truth about real healthcare reform.
The truth about socialized medicine or government-run medical systems is wherever it has been implemented, the results have been people suffering from shortages, rationing of care, long wait times, a lower level of care, there is no incentive to shop for better prices (or better service), and the denial of experimental drugs, innovative procedures, and new technologies.
Why would we willingly endorse and enroll in a healthcare system that has proven to be inferior to the one we currently have?
Why would we willingly put our health in the hands of a bunch of faceless bureaucrats who could care less about us personally?
What is it about other nations' socialized medicine programs that is worthy of emulation?
I have several healthcare-related episodes in the works including one on Obamacare, one on socialized medicine, and one on healthcare reform. In order to lay the groundwork for those future episodes, I thought it was important to discuss healthcare in America in general and dispel some myths or lies or propaganda (depending on your perspective). If you listen to the the mainstream media, liberal think tanks, or national Democrats, you are left believing that the American healthcare system is no better than some third world countries.
While the bashing of the American healthcare system has been relentless, is it the truth? Listen and find out!
This episode will tackle the issue of climate change or global cooling or global warming (depending on what decade in which the issue is being pushed). Specifically we are going to review this topic from the perspective of the propaganda, lies, and deception that surround the topic.
The list is long but I tackle five instances:
The Hockey Stick Temperature Chart. The claim that 97% of climate scientists are in agreement. The University of East Anglia scandal. Al Gore's movie, The Inconvenient Truth The ridiculous claim that "the debate is settled" and "there is consensus".
The bottom line is, with such a prolific history of data manipulation, lies, and propaganda, why is there a lack of healthy skepticism around the claims made by climate change alarmist?
We are going to tackle the minimum wage issue with facts, figures, economic laws, and logic rather than, what we usually get - emotional calls for the wage rate increase using illogical arguments that are in direct opposition to economic law.
I want to start with a quote by Thomas Sowell from his epic book, Basic Economics that really lays the foundation for this discussion. On page 237 he said:
“By the simplest and most basic economics, a price artificially raised tends to cause more to be supplied and less to be demanded than when prices are left to be determined by supply and demand in a free market. The result is a surplus, whether the price that is set artificially high is that of farm produce or labor.”
Today I am going to lay out facts about this historical event – the resurrection of a man known as Jesus of Nazareth. For those of you who are Christians, I believe this conversation will bolster your faith. After all, without the resurrection, Christianity is nothing; our faith is futile. 1 Corinthians 15:17
For those of you who are atheists, agnostics, undecided and anywhere in between, just consider this an ancient history lesson and simply ingest what I share. Perhaps it will change or tilt your heart in His direction.
In America we are living through a perpetual constitutional crisis. The heavy restrictions placed on the federal government by the United States Constitution have been largely ignored for most of the country's history. We have experienced both small and incremental steps in the power and growth of the federal government (federal agencies, bureaucracies and regulations) as well as large and unprecedented leaps (the Alien and Sedition Acts, the internment of Japanese, The Patriot Act, and NSA spying).
In this episode I hope to influence the way you look at the federal government going forward - through the eyes of the Founding Fathers.
As mentioned in previous episodes, questions are powerful methods of persuasion especially when you require skeptics to answer them. In Episode 2, I posed the question "WHAT ABOUT THE BABY?" Today I will pose the question, "WHERE IN THE CONSTITUITON?" This is a question I hope you ask every time you evaluate the actions of our elected and unelected officials in Washington, D.C.