Category Archives: Guest essays

The Ultimate Power: The People Themselves

By Karen Lees, Bill Norton and Mark Herr

Of America’s founding architects, Thomas Jefferson is arguably one of the greatest minds and ardent defenders of liberty and the fundamental rights of man. Yet he was wise enough to recognize that he was not immune from the corrupting effects of governing power.   THOMAS JEFFERSON

Jefferson said, “If once they [the people] become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress, and Assemblies, judges and governors shall all become wolves … Cherish therefore the spirit of our people, and keep alive their attention. Do not be too severe upon their errors, but reclaim them by enlightening them.”

From textbooks to illegals and everything in between, the federal government’s willingness to embrace anti-American policies has  awakened a sleeping giant. As a result, communities across America have witnessed a more active participation in local government by the people.

While some rolled over and hit the snooze button, many have answered the call to civic responsibility by becoming involved. The inalienable First Amendment right to petition the government for a redress of grievances has been dusted off and asserted. Citizens are beginning to hold their elected officials accountable. They are sincere, they are passionate, and they are engaged in the process.

Boston Tea Party Dec. 16th, 1773
Boston Tea Party
Dec. 16th, 1773

This would make Jefferson proud.

While the outcomes may not always be successful, the real achievement-which must not be overlooked-is the awakening itself. This rebirth is an indication that the people are in the process of rediscovering their individual liberty, personal responsibility and civic authority – attributes of freedom cherished by America’s original builders.

Jefferson continued, “The people are the only censors of their governors: and even their errors will tend to keep these to the true principles of their institution…The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right.”

The Republic is not won or lost on just one issue. But there is tremendous value in the experience, which will lead to more successful outcomes in future citizen efforts. Extraordinary understanding is gained in the process.

The ability to use the experience as training, along with proper instruction and focused energy, will be the key to success in continuing the experiment in self-governance the original designers began.   CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION 2

In order to keep the unique Republic we inherited, the proper balance of power between the people and the government at the federal, state, and local levels, must be restored as it was originally intended.

Whether our inheritance is claimed or not, We the People, brimming with power and energy, remain the stakeholders in a self-governing society. However, many citizens do not understand the governance process, have been alienated from it in the past, or have given up involvement altogether. To make matters worse, a few in governing positions make it clear they prefer it that way, contrary to America’s founding principles.

With daily reports of our basic freedoms being whittled away, many citizens feel more like a cowherd, begrudgingly manipulated by the issues, rather than the governed, from which all power is derived. This, combined with the politically correct speech used by some officials today, does more to divide than unite, contriving a nation of “We the Pieces” rather than “We the People”.   CONSTITUTION

Jefferson said, “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.”

With citizen training in the architect’s self-governing philosophy, the original design of limited government can be restored. Proper instruction is the key to demolishing the mind-forged manacles developed over decades. When the shackles are removed, the language of captivity is replaced by the language of liberty.

Jefferson made it clear. The correction will not happen by accident. He stated, “The qualifications for self-government in society are not innate. They are the result of habit and long training.”

The Language of Liberty® Series

The Language of Liberty® series is a collaborative effort of the Center   LANGUAGE OF LIBERTY CREST for Self Governance (CSG) Administrative Team. The authors include trainers, administrative staff, and selected students. They may be contacted at CSG is a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization, dedicated to training citizens in applied civics. To learn more, go to

The Natural Right of Private Property: The Proper Use of Eminent Domain

A Language of Liberty Article

By Karen Lees and Bill Norton, staff writers

He slammed his fist on the table in frustration and anger as he told the story of losing his house and business to eminent domain. His wife was startled as the dishes bounced on the jostled table and tears welled up. They felt violated, robbed, abandoned and fearful. “How can this happen in America?” they ask themselves in a daze of disbelief.

Last week’s Language of Liberty article was about eminent domain. A practice that is all too often abused by all levels of government. However, eminent domain does have a proper use under the Constitution.   CONSTITUTION MEMO

As an educational organization, the Center for Self-Governance seeks to teach citizens not only how to recognize government abuses, but to identify solutions and the proper boundaries of governmental jurisdictions.

The kitchen table story above has occurred over and over again as tens of thousands of citizens have had their homes and businesses condemned or seized, and handed over to private developers. With the taking of their property, they have also lost a portion of their lives and liberty; the life and liberty spent to obtain the property in their “pursuit of happiness”.

If, as an individual, any one of us took property from our neighbor and gave to another neighbor, we would be tried for theft and incarcerated. If our entire neighborhood voted to take a neighbor’s property and give it to another, the thieves would also pay the same penalty. We do not have the right to individually or collectively take from one individual to give to another.

If we are to operate under the premise that government derives its authority from the people, the government does not have the right to take from one to give to another. We cannot give that which we do not own. This is blatant theft. Of course, it is not legal, regardless of what the courts say.   CONSTITUTION BURNING

The abuse of eminent domain violates fundamental natural law, alienates from the unalienable right to property, and creates an environment in which the two citizens or entities do not have equal protection under the law.

The protection of these three principles: natural law, unalienable rights, and equal protection, are all above the opinion of any court and are why governments are instituted in the first place. The created can never overrule the principles of their creation. In this case, the creator being We the People.

Amendment V of the Constitution states that no individual shall “be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.” The individual must be in violation of law and must be afforded a trial before that property can be taken.

If a city condemns a property and seizes it, calling it due process, does that same logic hold true to a life as well? Can government administratively take a life? If government can violate one natural right, it opens the door to violateCONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION 2 all the others.

The Constitution continues, “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” There is no constitutional authority to take property for anything other than public use, such as roads. Under that one and only condition, just compensation must be made. If the property is sold or given to a private entity, it is not a proper use of eminent domain.

In the 2005 Kelo v New London ruling the Supreme Court said that taking from one private citizen and giving to another under the guise of “economic development” is “public use.” No property is   

Supreme Court
Supreme Court

safe with this logic. Following the court’s thinking, any home can be taken to build a bigger one or any business can be taken in favor of another business, at a bureaucrat’s whim.

Thankfully, more than 40 states rushed to pass strong eminent domain restrictions in the wake of the Kelo decision.

We are a nation of laws, not the whims of men, whether they wear robes or not.

Our form of government is specifically designed to protect individual rights, but these rights will be protected only if We the People enforce the boundaries that our Constitution has drawn around government.

“The Language of Liberty®” series is a collaborative effort of the Center for Self Governance (CSG) Administrative Team. The authors include trainers, administrative staff, and selected students. They may be contacted at Please include the article’s title and date of publication. CSG is a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization, dedicated to training citizens in applied civics. To learn more, go to

Coach is Right is proud to publish Language of Liberty articles by CiR staff writer Karen Lees, Bill Norton and Sylvia Zika.

It’s time we acknowledge the dangers posed by Muslims and the Religion of Islam

By John Porter, guest writer

With the events we are watching unfold in Europe and much of the Middle East; with the constant attacks on people of many other nations, including the United States, there is concern and discussion in our country and indeed, all over the world about the war being waged by, “Muslim Radicals” on behalf of their Religion of Islam. This is a war against all people who are not of the Muslim faith or who do not support Islam and Sharia Law. Make no  

Muslim Brotherhood
Muslim Brotherhood

mistake, we are under attack by Muslims.

If anyone speaks of the Muslims who are waging this war without including the qualifying terms “Islamic Radicals,” they are chastised rather harshly for not being politically correct. Have you ever wondered why the so called moderate Muslims, who may not embrace terrorism, do not speak up in outrage against and put a stop to what is being waged in the name of their religion, Islam? I submit to you it is because they are not the devout Muslims. Those who are waging this war of murder and other atrocities are devout Muslims, true to their faith and the teachings of their Holy Koran.   TERRORISTS They are indeed radical because the Religion of Islam is a Radical Religion. Islamic Radicals and the Religion of Islam are one and the same. Moderate Muslim only means you are not a true and devout Muslim, guided in all things by the teachings and commands of your Holy Book, the Koran.

I challenge the claim that Islam is a religion of peace. It is in fact a religion of submission. The war Islamists are waging against mankind will only be won when all people submit to Islam and Sharia Law through either conversion or death. I state without reservation: ALL MUSLIMS WHO ARE DEDICATED TO THEIR FAITH AND THE TEACHINGS OF THE KORAN HAVE AS THEIR GOAL THE TOTAL DESTRUCTION OF ALL NATIONS WITH SECULAR, CONSTITUTIONAL FORMS OF GOVERNMENT. THE IMPLEMENTATION OF SHARIA LAW WITHIN THOSE NATIONS AND THE SUBMISSION OF ALL PEOPLE TO ISLAM; THESE ARE   

ISIS Terrorists
ISIS Terrorists

THE TRUE GOALS OF ALL DEVOUT MUSLIMS. Such is the meaning of the Religion of Islam.

It is not only a religion but a form of government with its own law called Sharia, a very evil thing in itself. It is the only religion in the world which has an overriding goal to control and dominate all human beings on earth. There is no other religion which seeks absolute power and authority over all mankind. And that power shall be obtained by means of deadly force if that is what it takes.

If we are to survive it is an ABSOLUTE MUST that we recognize this powerful and fundamental difference between Islam and the other religions of the civilized world. Ladies and gentlemen, WE    Islam will dominate worldARE AT WAR. It is World War III. When our nation is at war, who is Constitutionally, the Supreme Commander of all efforts to defeat our enemies? It is our president.

No American President has ever been so partial to Muslims and  Islam as President Barack Obama. He will not refer to our attackers as what they are. He cannot bring himself to say the words, Islamic terrorism. What does it say about our chances of survival in the United States when the Commander in Chief refuses to publicly recognize who we are fighting? Every world leader of any standing has declared that we are confronted by the actions of Islamic Terrorists except one–President Obama of the United States.

The events we are watching unfold in Europe and the Middle East, the be-headings of Americans by the Islamic State and other such events of murder and mayhem have taken place without our president so much as naming the enemy. This has aroused concerns in many that President Obama might in fact be a Muslim. There is an Islamic doctrine known as “taqiyya” that permits Muslims to   OBAMA CHRISTIAN MUSLIM deny they are Muslim if it would be dangerous to admit the truth and to knowingly deceive infidels (anyone who is not a Muslim). Ask yourself if you believe Barack Obama to be capable of lying, or of being deceitful to achieve an end.

No, I cannot prove that Barack Obama is a Muslim. However, he has never made a secret of the fact that both his father and stepfather were Muslims. It is well documented that when he lived in Indonesia he attended a madrassa-a school devoted to the teaching of Islam-until he was ten years of age.

Many of us have seen his interview with George Stephanopoulus, when Obama said “John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith” and Stephanopoulus was quick to suggest to Obama that he meant to say his “Christian faith”? Obama quickly responded, “Yes my Christian faith.” Can you imagine any Christian you know,    under any circumstances accidentally calling himself a Muslim?    OBAMA MUSLIM 2Again, no I can not prove Obama to be a Muslim. He has publicly referred to the Muslim call to prayer as “one of the prettiest sounds on earth at sunset.” He has recited its opening lines with a perfect Arabic accent saying “Allah is supreme…I witness that there is no God but Allah.” Is Barack Obama a Muslim? I think in his heart of hearts, he is. What do you think? Be your own judge.

What we are witnessing today in France, other countries of Europe, Australia, Iraq, and Syria will spread into the United States. WE ABSOLUTELY MUST STOP THINKING, “THAT CAN’T HAPPEN HERE.” I assure you if we don’t enlighten ourselves and  TERRORISTS 3 stop allowing our lives to be ruled by political correctness, it can and surely WILL happen here. The issue is now front and center in our current presidential race. It is time to consider the threat posed to our nation and our liberty. After all, it is up to us.

When America is Great Again

Enjoy this first rate poem sent yesterday to CiR by reader Judy B.

When America is great again
We’ll remember who we are
A nation born of heroes
Beneath the stripes and stars

Our place in the world will be restored
Our friends and foes alike
Will once again be awestruck
When the Eagle retakes flight

Our homeland will flourish
Our borders will be struck
Invasion by illegals
No longer run amok

The architects of hatred
Division and disdain
Will be crushed by We The People
When America is great again

We’ll heal the scars of oppression
By ruling class elites
And banish the forces of evil
From our nations’ streets

Political corruption
Will be found & rooted out
Replaced by Christian values
Cuz that’s what we’re about

Once more our law enforcement
Can protect us without fear
Of being killed or prosecuted
On that we will be clear

Our vets will be honored
Our soldiers revered
By a grateful nation
They will be cured

Anxious to celebrate the 4th of July
Instead of wanting to break down & cry
American Proud, shouted loud
When America is Great Again

Judy B

Why Property Rights Matter

From the Language of Liberty Series

By Karen Lees and Sylvia ZikaLANGUAGE OF LIBERTY CREST

John Adams said, “The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God … anarchy and tyranny commence. Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist.”

I am not a politician or public figure. I am one of many Americans whose property is under assault by government. I am a student of self-governance living in New Jersey. My state and local governments make a habit of redistributing privately held property among the private parties it chooses. This is absolutely forbidden by the U.S. Constitution. If it can happen here in my state, it can happen anywhere in America.

Attorney Jennifer Kruckeberg writes: “Corporations . . . are proposing the following assignment: ‘Find me your most prominent location, get rid of what is on it, help me pay for it, and maybe you will be lucky enough to have me move to your city.’”

To clear out areas for big business, local governments force mom and pop businesses to leave. Multimillion-dollar companies establish close relationships with government officials in communities across the nation where they squeeze out, come hell or high water, any opposition.

Court rulings disregard constitutional protections of private property located in the “takings clause” and play a big part in the abuses of property rights. They also disregard the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, which prohibits denying any person equal application of law.

Assume a big box store wants to build in your town. And they want your property upon which to do it. What chance do you have against a huge corporation?

None! For if the local government wants the corporation’s presence in their town badly enough, they will not follow the rule of law. Justice and the right to own property will be thrown out the window as local authorities obscure important facts.

Of course the property owner may seek protection of his rights from the court which will order the matter back to the same local government for a hearing.

But this is a process which can take years. And how can a rehearing give the property owner an opportunity to present objections after the big box store has been fully built and operational for over 10 years?

The property owner is the only one in this scenario who follows what they believe to be the proper course of action according to law. They realize too late that the entire project had been rigged in favor of the big box store from the beginning.

Is there anything positive that might come from such a process of defending private property rights? Yes!

A clearer understanding of the inner-workings of government was gleaned. Valuable information was gathered. A few elected officials clearly revealed themselves as opponents of liberty. Eventually, they must face the voters during the next election   CONSTITUTION MEMO cycle. The people will be made aware of the officials who violated the Constitution and their oath of office. Citizens will be rallied against those who failed to act as proper representatives of the people. This will be just as our founders intended.

Additionally, in the process of verbalizing this story, the ability to articulate a message to fellow citizens was sharpened. Writing articles such as this one has increased public awareness about property rights and why they are so important to our freedom. Perhaps other Americans will be inspired to take action when they see property rights threatened.

Our Founders understood that liberty means one must have the freedom to keep what has been earned through one’s own labor. American colonists believed it unjust to have the fruits of their work confiscated by a powerful, dictatorial British government. What was wrong for individuals to do to one another was wrong for government to do to the people. The Founders devised a government which would secure the people’s natural rights of property, not take them away.

As James Madison said, “Government is instituted to protect property of every sort …. This being the end of government, that alone is a just government which impartially secures to every man whatever is his own.” 

“The Language of Liberty®” is a collaborative effort of the Center for Self Governance (CSG) Administrative Team. The authors include trainers, administrative staff, and selected students. They may be contacted at Please include the article’s title and date of publication. CSG is a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization, dedicated to training citizens in applied civics. To learn more, go to