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What is the direction that the Party is going/wants to go?

I encourage anyone to respond. I've personally read the principles and platform, but it is the platform I feel that really states exactly what is to be done. Ultimately I feel the Party needs to expand the platform with identifiable policy recommendations and then juxtapose what we propose versus the Democrats, Greens, Libertarians, and Republicans (and how we differ or concur with those other major/minor parties which the public may be more familiar with). And, have an explicit link to candidates who have won elections under the Party banner with what they have implemented as an example of our folks' efficacy in government. To answer this question specifically though, I find it difficult to exactly say where we're going or want to go. I appreciate that we are moderates and have a decidedly centrist attitude towards any political polarization. However, I think that does create difficulty for the casual observer to know where we really stand. As an example I'll use the foreign policy section of the platform: We could offer an official response to what we feel is the use of NATO, operations in Afghanistan, the crisis in Syria, etc. I purposely use the foreign policy section because I feel this should be a little more "clear cut" to explain for moderates as opposed to the Affordable Care Act. Again, I understand the ambiguity for some domestic problems, but if there are areas where we can be more specific and the public can understand exactly what we mean then let's do that. On the other hand though, the education section of the platform has a greater amount of planks than almost any other, so I feel we should at least bring all others to that point. Ultimately both major parties have over 100 planks and I feel we can match and easily overtake that, with well researched and debated policy proposals (which have been voted on in a convention). The more we more offer people the better. And I hope this doesn't seem like rambling.

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Paid Membership

Now that we have a date and place for our next national convention, I'm wondering if it may be time to start requiring a paid membership for "voting membership."? I think that continuing to have the free membership for new members, to explore the party, is a good idea. I think that those who want to have more of a formal voice in the party should have a paid membership. I think $25 for annual national membership is very reasonable, and is consistent with what other parties charge for their general membership. State chapters can decide whether state membership should be required for themselves.

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Ranked Choice Voting

It looks like Maine is going to adopt Question 5: Ranked Choice Voting Do you want to allow voters to rank their choices of candidates in elections for U.S. Senate, Congress, Governor, State Senate, and State Representative, and to have ballots counted at the state level in multiple rounds in which last-place candidates are eliminated until a candidate wins by majority?

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Whig-like Politicians?

Is there any politicians on the scene (or who were on the recent scene in the past few decades), such as Presidential candidates or even politicians around the country, who fall 'in line' with Modern Whig Party values? Or, to rephrase maybe, if someone asked you what is an example of a Modern Whig Party politician who might you point to and why?

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Dues or no dues, that is the question...

In any organization's life, there comes a time where that organization must eventually transition from an informal structure to a formal one. During this transition, finances are one issue, as well as formal membership. The Modern Whig Party has reached this juncture. I would put forward that the party needs to establish formal membership, and that party dues are a necessary part of this. At present, while we have many hard working individuals all trying to accomplish rational political goals, we do not have a clear dividing line between those who are "in" the party, and those who, as on Face Book just "like" us. It seems a common sense matter, that the direction and operation of the party needs to be determined by members. It also seems a common sense matter, that members need to be identified by a certain level of commitment. While volunteerism, and participation in discussions do indicate commitment, they are hard to quantify. Money on the other hand is fairly simple to quantify. Money is also one of the key fuels in politics, and the lack of it is one of the biggest barriers to political growth. So given that we need money, and given that we need a way to determine who is and who is not a member of the party, dues make sense. Dues indicate a commitment to the party, provide the necessary financial means for growth of the party, and minimum level of support for the party's activities. Further, given that the party, in many areas of the country, has not yet grown to a level where state or regional structures can yet exist to handle finances, it makes sense that a certain portion of dues and donations paid be reserved for the state organizations responsible for party activities in the areas that such funds originated from, and that the national party treasury hold such funds for those states and manage the funds in such a way as to insure their use for party development in the states themselves. With this in mind, I propose that there be a $25 annual dues structure adopted for party membership, and that of that $25, $5 dollars be reserved for use within the state that the member is from. Further, I propose that the same 20% rate be used for all donations to the party, and that 20% be also reserved for use within the state that the donation originates from. By doing this, we can identify our membership, determine who can and cannot vote on party policy and platform matters, and eventually who can vote in party caucuses for candidate selection. We can also raise needed funds for operating costs, and for party development at both state and national levels. I don't think $25 is too much to ask. In this day and age, that is only about the cost of burger and fries for two. I don't fear that we will drive people away, because if someone is unwilling to pay party dues, they really are unwilling to commit to joining the party in the first place. The equivalent of Face Book "likes" do not equate to membership. Before we can move forward, we really do need to know who is actually with us. ---- Doug Harvey, LTC, MS, AKARNG (RET) MWP Director of Veterans and Active Duty Affairs

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What are your views regarding Federal Government?

Hello there Whigs ! I am so eager to be apart of this great website ! I just want shoot a simple question with complex implications: What do you think of the Federal Government ? Some people want to dissolve it right away, others believe it is a tool to be used for social well being. I look forward to all responses !

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Coffee Party USA ?

Hello Whigs ! What is your your opinion on the Coffee Party movement ? It seems to have originated as an antithesis of the Tea Party. But by some things I have read, it looks more moderate/Centrist at the present time. Has anyone attended a meeting of the sorts/know anybody who is apart of it ?

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Trump's solution to the VA problem.... what do you think?

Like always, I have been scanning the news feeds for relevant issues and ideas. I just came across this news item, and I thought I should put it out there for comment. Each candidate has plusses and minuses and Donald Trump is certainly among the most controversial, but I will give him this, he does have ideas, and some of them might actually work. The question I have for you is this: Is this one of them? Check out the following link and comment freely. https://gma.yahoo.com/donald-trump-outlines-plan-reform-veterans-affairs-185615935--abc-news-topstories.html

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A View and Interpretation of Federalist Paper No. 10

Here is a link to Federalist Paper No. 10:http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/fed10.asp As presented by “Federalist Paper No. 10” James Madison views the matter of public opinion with many different attitude. From one perspective Madison acknowledges the necessity of division between people's’ beliefs and opinions and he also concedes that a society in which every citizen hold the same beliefs and views in truly impossible. Therefore, acknowledges the need for division that creates a healthy divide between parties which allow loyalty to be granted to citizens, allowing the average man to align with a party and faction that fits his perspective. However, Madison also acknowledges the fact that public opinion can often be extremely disparate leading to divides that are unhealthy for the unity of the nation and can undermine the power and control of the state. This often occurs, as Madison claims, when factionalism and partisanism occurs, dividing the nation along a line which can split the populace into two belligerent, opposing sides. Madison also presents the fact that when such division in public opinion occurs it can often tear apart the fabric of the newly established democratic systems often causing a division that can potentially mitigate the efficacy of the national government. This all originates from the fact that America was at the time very unique, for globally this experiment of a democratic government allowed the people's opinions to have a large stake in the running of the government, which can be extremely detrimental when the nation is divided and severely separated and can lead to problems in national administration. Similarly, Madison believed that the nation could potentially fall under an injurious rule of the people in which the people of the nation, who in many ways are the source of the nation’s sovereignty can become tyrannical and force the government to be hindered by their opinions and actions, mitigating the power held by “enlightened statesmen”. In many respects, Madison presents a blatant negative perspective towards the separation and destruction that could be made via the divisions of the public opinions and their predisposition to given factions. Additionally, Madison clearly concedes the fact that in a representative democracy such state divisions on public opinion are inevitable, regardless of the destruction and inefficacies Madison claimed they caused. Likewise, Madison presented the system of a republic as a way that the nation can attain a balance between control and/or hinderance by public opinion and can save the nation from the tyranny of a few despotic leaders. Madison also claimed that sovereignty should rest with the people however factions that create division were inherently damaging to the nation. Consequently, Madison established the idea that although the forces of public opinion may at times hinder (as Madison clearly stated that he perceived factionalism and division in public opinion to fetter the government) the unity and progress of the union, it is perpetually vital for the government to be able to set aside what is “popular” to do what they deem is right for the people of nation while supporting the spirit and underlying passion of a popular government.

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A Historical Consideration of Significant Eras in the Supreme Court of the United States

Throughout the history of the judicial system of the United States, different Supreme Court Justices have taken a different approach to the functions and abilities of our government. Over the 226 years of the Supreme Court’s existence there has been a multitude of different approaches to government which have been illustrated via their decisions on significant Supreme Court cases. These rulings can determine an immense amount about a justice’s political preferences, affiliation, and beliefs as a public officer in a critical office. One such example is our current Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, John Roberts. In many respects, although Roberts is a Republican, he embodies many key attributes of a liberal and has, in the past, sided with many liberal policies. One example of Roberts more liberal side is his ruling in the case of National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius in 2012. John Roberts’ decision in favor of the Affordable Care Act was absolutely pivotal in establishing his tendency and ability to side with pro-left and more liberal policy that have given him a more liberal appearance to many politicians over the last 4 years. Additionally, although Roberts has identified himself as a conservative Republican in the past, the modern Chief Justice has been approving plans that, by his fellow Republicans’ standards, have been relatively liberal. Although not all of Robert’ decisions have been liberal, his more pro-liberal stance in his conventional and expected rulings have lead many to hail him as a powerful moderate (and by some perceptions a possible emerging liberal). For example, Roberts’ ruling in the cases of Morse v. Frederick in 2007 and United States v. Stevens in 2010 were demonstrations of the moderate and liberal approach Roberts’ tends to take in his political rulings. This case specifically deals with the First Amendment and its applicability into messages that portray illegal activity or even violence. Contrary to Roberts’ claimed conservative stance, he makes a more moderate and liberal decision that such areas of speech are not conclusively protected by the First Amendment and this type of speech can be can be stopped and limited, a critical step in the evolution of jurisprudence of the modern Supreme Court. Another critical justice of the Supreme Court was Chief Justice Earl Warren. Warren was pivotal in implementing several levels of liberalism in the Supreme Court of the 1950’s through 1960’s. Specifically, Warren’s career was marked by massive reform in the United States including the transition of African-American Civil Rights which witnessed the desegregation of public schools. This institution of desegregation is critical to the history of the nation and the ke court case that illustrated the liberality of Warren and his fellow justices was the Gideon v. Wainwright of 1963 and the 1954 case of Brown v. Board of Education. Warren’s decision in the latter case was considered extremely liberal during its time and it encompassed the wider reforms made by the “Warren Court” under Warren’s office of Chief Justice. Another case that has made Warren a historically renowned liberal is his ruling in the case of Abington School District v. Schempp in 1963. This historically vital case centered around the constitutionality of bible readings in public schools, a common practice in america prior to the case. Warren’s decision, which concluded the case, made this action unconstitutional on the basis of its violation of the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution. In this specific case the clause was used to explain that have school-sponsored religious practices is tantamount to forcing a religious ideology on a child and that it is not in anyway the right or responsibility of the school system to make any form of prayer and have children recite it in the school. According to the Cornell University Law School’s account of the case, Chief Justice Warren declared that “the First Amendment, in its final form, did not simply bar a congressional enactment establishing a church; it forbade all laws respecting an establishment of religion. Thus, this Court has given the Amendment a broad interpretation . . . in the light of its history and the evils it was designed forever to suppress” The significance of Warren’s opinion in this case is the solidification of his liberal perspective on American law and the American judicial system. Moreover, Warren’s perspective on this religious topic reaffirms his predisposition to support secular liberalism, a position that believes in the firm separation of public affairs from the authority of spirituality and the church, during his time as Chief Justice. Along with Warren, another important and influential Chief Justice of the 20th century was William Rehnquist. Rehnquist was influential in his time for being a powerful Chief Justice and a conservative. Throughout his life as a Chief Justice, Rehnquist made several conservative and controversial rulings on cases along with holding relatively conservative views on religion and its necessity and implementation in the public. One of the most crucial examples of this was in Rehnquist’s fervent belief during his time as Justice in the constitutional division of authority between the states and the administrative national government, a concept also known as federalism. Throughout Rehnquist’s time as Associate then Chief Justice on the Supreme Court he advocated for politically pro-conservative policies. As a conservative Rehnquist fervently advocated, during his time on the Supreme Court, for the restitution of prayers in school after it had been taken away and revoked by his predecessor, Earl Warren. Rehnquist also made massive advocations and defences for the separation of government from certain issue; moreover, as a conservative Rehnquist fervently opposed overbearing national policies, and, as is typical of a conservative, advocated for less national regulation on many issues and comparatively smaller government. This sentiment was expressed in several landmark Supreme Court Cases. One such case was the 1973 landmark case of Roe v. Wade. In this case, Rehnquist then an associate justice dissented the majority decision of on abortion law and claimed in his dissent that the United States and its law simply had no business in determining the life or death of a mother’s unborn child. To the conservative Rehnquist this was a flagrant violation of U.S. Constitutional protocol. Another similar dilemma, dealt with in the 1997 case of City of Boerne v. Flores, which identified the role the Supreme Court would play in analyzing cases in the future. To briefly summarize the impact of the case, the case was able to set an example upon which future case decision were predicated. Specifically, Rehnquist’s conservative opinions about the limitations of Supreme Court jurisdiction over issues stayed true through his time in office as an Associate Justice to his time as a Chief Justice. Another crucial Rehnquist case was the 1981 case of Rostker v. Goldberg. This case showed Rehnquist's conservatism in greater depth that other cases. The case was specifically based on the Rehnquist’s interpretation of the Constitution in concern to the fifth amendment of the United States. Specifically, it dealt with the ethics of having only men apply for selective service, which, in 1981, was a significant dilemma for the Supreme Court. By Rehnquist's (and the court’s) decision the selective service’s policy of only including men for potential service was within its rightful constitutional guidelines. In Rehnquist’s own words, “The Constitution requires that Congress treat similarly situated persons similarly, not that it engage in gestures of superficial equality.” These words have resonated with the nation for over thirty years now and Rehnquist’s impact via his opinions and conservative predispositions has left an indelible precedent on the Supreme Court along with a lasting memory of Chief Justice Rehnquist. In the history of the U.S. Supreme Court there has also been a significant amount of strong and able Chief Justices during the 19th century as well. One prime example of this was Chief Justice John Marshall. Marshall, in his career on the Supreme Court, is often viewed as a conservative for the time in which he was a Chief Justice. A main point that supports this position is Marshall's strict and austere perspective on the use, utilization, and interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. In his words, Marshall declared in 1803, when ruling on Marbury v. Madison that “A Law repugnant to the Constitution is void.” This perspective on the contents of the 1803 landmark Supreme Court case establishes the firm and relentless fervor of of John Marshall to uphold and interpret the Constitution in a strictly constructionist sense. Moreover, John Marshall’s ability to establish judicial review in the Supreme Court and uphold it throughout other court decisions was critical to the fledgling American judicial system. For example, Marshall’s court ruling in the 1824 case of Gibbons v. Ogden demonstrated the supremacy of the Constitution and the superiority of the Supreme Court in comparison to other laws established in lower courts. A similar assertion is made in the decision of the 1819 case of McCulloch v. Maryland. In this case specifically, the concept of legal superiority and state superiority in law was heavily scrutinized. Under Marshall’s court, the ruling was in favor of the nation entity, the Second Bank of the United States and the ultimate verdict cited the Necessary and Proper (Elastic) Clause of the Constitution, effectively reiterating the supremacy of the highest law in the land being interpreted and viewed by the highest court in the land. This view of jurisprudence was central to Marshall’s core conservative and constitutional beliefs as Chief Justice that established his policies of abiding by the Constitution. The concepts of judicial review, constitutional interpretation, and austere promotion of constitutional law instituted by Marshall was able to set a firm judicial and legal precedent that is crucial in the establishment of American jurisprudence to this day. In addition to the name of John Marshall, Chief Justice Roger Taney was also a critical force in the U.S. Supreme Court during the 19th century. Most of Taney’s decisions in office revolved around the institution of slavery, which became a highly controversial subject during Taney’s time in office. From the perspective of political alignment, Taney is widely considered to be a conservative. Although Taney was, by political affiliation, a Democrat, the party ideals of the time were very different than what they are now and there is a massive difference between modern “liberal” Democrats and the quite conservative Democrats of the early 19th Century. In Taney’s career, as previously mentioned, many of his decision revolved around the highly controversial institution of slavery and the legal ramifications and liberties a slave had in the U.S. One of Taney’s most famous and important cases, the 1857 case of Dred Scott v. Sandford was a critical suit that was pivotal in lighting the flames that fomented a civil war. Moreover, this case demonstrated Taney’s conservatism, for like his predecessor Marshall, Taney based the majority of his controversial decisions off of the document that had been used consistently to guide American jurisprudence, the U.S. Constitution. Therefore, Taney ultimately sided against the case of Dred Scott and decided in 1863 that the black populace and their descendents in bondage possessed “no rights which the white man was bound to respect.” Many people in the modern-era of liberalism and freedom for the African-American race have referred to Taney as the “Leviathan of Slavery”, however, it was not his stubbornness to keep slavery, but rather his adherence to a constitution that did not disallow slavery or offer any equality to races that caused him to make such rulings as in the case of Dred Scott. Another important Taney decision made on the subject of slavery was the Prigg v. Pennsylvania of 1842. This case was extremely critical, firstly in its solidification and affirmation of the powers of the government over states and secondly, the ability of men to be taken from lands of freedom and returned to slavery and bondage. This case and issue specifically has fueled much historical debate over the ethics of the fugitive slave laws which were the main concern of the case.Similar, yet less known than the Dred Scott and Prigg cases was the 1837 case of Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge in which Taney analyzed a clause of Article I of the Constitution the Contract Clause. In the case the validity of a charter to build a bridge came under intense scrutiny by officials in the city of Boston. Taney, who ultimately ruled on the case, referred to the U.S. Constitution to formulate his verdict and took a textualized approach, citing direct information from the document to validate his court. Therefore, Taney as a Chief Justice was a relatively conservative justice of the U.S. Supreme Court who used an extremely textualized interpretation of the Constitution to decide his cases, essentially drawing conclusions “by the book”. Therefore, throughout U.S. history there has been many trends in liberalism and conservatism in the Supreme Court. Each individual preference and fluctuation in political alignment has fascinatingly left its own unique legacy, precedent, and impact on the nation.

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The Loyal Opposition

Given that Donald J. Trump is almost certainly our next president, I believe it's more important than ever for all moderates, centrists, reasonable liberals and sensible conservatives to join together in a loyal opposition. Because only by speaking with a loud and unified voice can we hope to blunt the damage this man--and I use the term loosely--could cause to our country and our world. To that end, I propose we start a discussion on the best way to build that opposition. I think at minimum we need a better communications platform to get our word out. We also need to work out some means for people to debate issues in a controlled fashion (like local debating societies or citizen assemblies) so that the people can find and build on common ground. I'm not sure blog posts are adequate for that purpose. This isn't about building a third party movement anymore. It's about the future of this Republic and its people. Trump cannot be allowed to govern unchallenged. With Congress in Republican hands, only an organized, active, and extremely vocal citizenry can provide that challenge.

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Suggested Read Concerning Campaign Finance

I was skimming through today's news feeds when I found this article on CBS. If you haven't read it already, I think you should. Campaign finance has become one of the biggest issues in politics today, and is a major factor in the widening gap between rich and poor in our country as the middle class gets squeezed more and more. Here is the link to the article: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/poll-americans-say-money-has-too-much-influence-in-campaigns/

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New member

Hello from Plano, Texas. I just announced to my FB friends as follows: "Repulsed by the clanishness of the two major parties, and uncomfortable with Libertarianism, which sees government as inherently evil, I have finally found a political home: the Modern Whig Party. Seriously, it exists. I may run for judge as a Whig. Check out my campaign slogan: 'A chicken in every pot, and a Whig on every head.' Modern Whigs are pragmatic, non-ideological, and service-oriented, especially to veterans."

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Should rationalizing politics be a Whig concern?

Human cognitive science makes it clear - politics is subjective, intuitive and far more irrational than not. Should the Whigs care about that? Is reasoned politics not an important concern?

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Should allowing discussion on this forum be a Whig concern?

As a policy researcher for the New York State MWP I would like to know whether this forum is broken or being so aggressively censored as to render discussion impossible. When I first joined the Whigs one of my first conversations with he NYS party chair was about why this forum is so underutilized and why there aren't more fora for discussion of the whig movement. If my experience in the last weeks is any indication, I am not surprised. Nearly every post to a thread not started by Douglas has subsequent posts deleted. I don't know if this is automatic, or if it is the result of overactive censoring. However, I do know that whatever the cause it can't be good for the party. I have seen no rules violations in the posts deleted (though it might be good to discuss these rules as well). The current picture of our party discourse is "people comment on Douglas Harvey reading the paper".... That is great (love you Doug) but it isn't the total picture this forum should communicate.

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Necessary Amendments to the Constitution? My Daily Read 2/23/2016

Greetings Fellow Whigs ( to you curious others who might be reading this), I came across this article on line from Huffington Post today while skimming through the news. The author makes an argument for three proposed constitutional amendments:  One regarding judicial appointments, another defining the term "Natural Born Citizen", and finally one which deals with equal rights.  Lately, I have also seen a push for an amendment supporting term limits, and I myself have suggested an amendment which changes the way members of both houses of Congress are paid (putting their pay under the control of their respective state legislatures).  At any rate, I would hope you will read this article at the address provided at the end of this post, and as always, comment freely.  Your opinions in these matters do count, especially as we in the MWP attempt to restore representative government to the United States.  You can read the article here:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rodney-wilson/three-constitutional-amen_b_9281086.html?ref=yfp

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Whig Party Goals

I would love to see some discussion on goals for the party. I signed up and signed a petition, but I have no idea on where the party is going and what to do next. What am a volunteering to do if I sign up? How can I sell this party to those who think that the two party system is here to stay? Here are a few suggestion to provoke a conversation (I know eventually there will be a place to discuss strategy...). 1. Focus on recruiting well know moderate Republicans and Democrats to the Modern Whig Party and promising to fund them in their next election. 2. Increase the size of the Modern Whig party to 100,000 members. 3. Run advertising commercials in states that Presidential candidates are campaigning in. The narrative should be demonstrating that the Republicans and Democrats together have broken American. The right has pushed the financial deregulation on the right which led to the Saving and Loans crisis in the 80s and the crash in 2008. The left in turn pushed house ownership which helped lead to a bubble in the housing market. The left in turn has continually pushed the growth of entitlement programs etc. 4. Get Modern Whig hosting shows on talk radio. 5. Try to get five homegrown Modern Whigs elected each election cycle. 6. The strategy for the Whig party should be to be a powerful minority that can swing the vote on important issues. 7. Open up 100 Whig party clubs on college campuses in the next two years. 8. Have bumper stickers. 9. Try to attract a few household names to the party. 10. Connect to centrist think tanks.

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An 11th amendment to the Bill of Rights?

The MWP has a great platform, but there is no plank that addresses individual liberties, except for the one that reaffirms the Second Amendment. You hear a lot of people talk these days about violations of a citizen's right to privacy. But how is the right to privacy defined legally? Some would say that the Fourth Amendment does that: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, ..., shall not be violated." Others would say that the sum of all legal precedents on the matter are used as guidance in legal cases. But is that enough? In the current age of electronic surveillance, computer hacking, identity theft, etc., it seems as though our right to privacy is eroding. Do we need a Constitutional amendment to spell what right to privacy means, and put limits on the government's ability to infringe on it?

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My Daily Read: November 15th, 2015

As usual, I was scanning through the news feeds this morning, and checking my email inbox.... Today most of the news was just a rehash of the Paris Terror Incident mixed in with Ronda Rousey's UFC defeat. However, in my inbox there was another political email from Dinesh D'Souza. D'Souza is an interesting character. He's pretty smart, a little naïve, and really, really charismatic. In the email was a link to a video of a speech he gave on October 17th, 2015. The link to the video will be at the end of this posting. Now I know it is just over 57 minutes in length, but this one is worth watching. You may not agree with his positions, but have a look at his tactics. I myself kind of like his description of American Politics using the "rope and ladder" examples. To understand this fully, you really must watch the video. Needless to say, the MWP approach is more of a ladder than a rope. However, in the last third of the video he describes a situation with COSTCO. The entire scenario bears close examination. Is this a tactic we as a Political Party can use? In what situations would it be appropriate? In the COSTCO case, it was a spontaneous reaction to a corporate action. Could this be used deliberately and strategically? At any rate, here is the link to the video, watch it, think about it, and comment freely here: http://www.dineshdsouza.com/news/video-dsousa-what-the-democrats-a gang-of criminals-have-in-common/ --Doug Harvey, LTC, MS, AKARNG (RET), MWP Director of Veterans and Active Duty Affairs

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