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Institute On The Constitution Class Starting In Ashville, OH

IOTCWe the People have the duty to restrain a government operating outside Constitutional boundaries. The Institute on the Constitution invites you to learn how by discovering your American heritage and birthright.

INSTITUTE ON THE CONSTITUTION – Course Description & Information

A great history and non-partisan government class for adults and teens to be introduced to the U. S. Constitution, our Biblical heritage and the concept of limited government. Twelve weekly classes of approximately 2 hours each are comprised of a 30-minute video lecture, group review and discussion questions.

Beginning with the Bible you will learn of the origins of history, law and government, followed by stories of America’s discovery, settlement and evangelization from exciting, primary sources you never saw in school! Then, the worldview of the founding fathers is discussed, which leads straight to the text of the Constitution.

Your live instructors will be Chuck Michaelis, Executive Director of Camp American and Barry Sheets, Executive Director of the Institute for Principled Policy and owner of Principled Policy Consulting, LLC. Chuck is a biochemist with a voluminous knowledge of history. Barry has nearly two decades of experience working with elected officials and public policy. Lt. Colonel John Eidsmoe is the video instructor. Lt. Colonel Eidsmoe is a Constitutional attorney and professor with degrees in theology, law and political science. He is a published author and frequent lecturer at colleges, churches and community groups.

This timely and relevant course’s cost is $75 per person prior to February 2, 2015. Registrations taken after that date will be $85 per person. Couple and family rates are available (see registration link below). Your course fee includes the 12 weekly lectures, a Student Manual, and a number of supplemental books that will be read during the course.

CLASS DATES AND TIME – Begins Tuesday February 10th, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. for 12 weeks

CLASS LOCATION –Village Chapel United Methodist Church 30 Circleville Ave. Ashville, OH 43103 MAP

TO REGISTER, go to our ONLINE REGISTRATION PAGE- or you can CONTACT – Barry Sheets, 614-989-5293 (email-, Chuck Michaelis, 614-893-5986 (email-

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Principles and Policies Podcast for 1/17/2015- As The Culture Crumbles Where Is The Church?


Our Principles and Policies radio show for Saturday January 17, 2015. Barry Sheets and Chuck Michaelis look at some items in news and commentary that ask where the church is as the culture crumbles and try to answer why it seems to be MIA.

Article links- Christianity Is Losing In America

Apologetics: Two Reasons Not To Use When Sharing Your Faith

Faith Has Its Reasons

Posted in Apologetics, Biblical Worldview, Commentary, Podcast, The Church.

Principles and Policies Podcast for 1/3/2015- A Glimpse Ahead For 2015


Our Principles and Policies radio show for Saturday January 3, 2015. Barry Sheets and Chuck Michaelis do a follow-up to the repeat program played on December 27. The repeated program was our show from January 11, 2014 in which we looked ahead at 2014. Now in this show we look ahead at 2015 and talk about a few trends we see coming down the road in the short-term. What do you think is going to happen in the coming year?

Posted in Biblical Worldview, Commentary, Critical Thinking, General, Podcast.

Principles and Policies Podcast for 12/13/2014- Of Heartbeat Bills And Legislative Timidity


Our Principles and Policies radio show for Saturday December 13, 2014. Barry Sheets and Chuck Michaelis discuss the recent maneuvering of the Ohio Legislature, the Republican majority at least especially Ohio Senate president Keith Faber, and Governor John Kasich designed to make it look like something was being done to advance the Heartbeat bill when, really, they made it possible to kill that bill. Kasich and Faber were especially disingenuous claiming that the Heartbeat bill would actually lead to the killing of more babies using a “logic” that no one could actually follow but the news media dutifully and unquestioningly reported. Also discussed was a back door attempt by Attorney General Mike De Wine’s office to work around the Defense of Marriage amendment and abortion laws for those under guardianship.

Article links- Ohio Politics Now: Faber asks why lawmaker wants to ‘kill babies’ over heartbeat amendment

Anti-abortion heartbeat bill falls three votes short in Ohio House

GOP sinking on a ship of timidity, squandering historic win

Posted in Biblical Worldview, Commentary, Critical Thinking, Life Issues, Marriage and Family, Ohio Legislation, Podcast, Public Policy Principles News, Public Policy Radar, The Church.

Principles and Policies Podcast for 12/6/2014- The Effect Of Opening On Thanksgiving: A Bust?


Our Principles and Policies radio show for Saturday December 6, 2014. Barry Sheets and Chuck Michaelis discuss topics involving the economy and the insistence of some businesses that they open on holidays has actually backfired, the cost of oil and energy independence, the true state of government deficits and the fiscal responsibilities of our representatives.

Article links- Ponzi: Treasury Issues $1T in New Debt in 8 Weeks—To Pay Old Debt

John Boehner gears up to shut GOP immigration dissenters down

John Boehner is going to be House speaker in the 114th Congress. Boy was I wrong.

Posted in Biblical Worldview, Commentary, Critical Thinking, Economics, Podcast, Public Policy Principles News, Public Policy Radar.

Principles and Policies Podcast for 11/29/2014- A Mixed Bag On New Cultural Norms And Government


Our Principles and Policies radio show for Saturday November 29, 2014. Barry Sheets and Chuck Michaelis discuss diverse topics like changing views of holidays like Thanksgiving and the effect of that on families, Gov. John Kasich, whether or not he is a “squish” or a RINO and his position on the Heartbeat Bill in the Ohio legislature, his understanding of biblical economics and his application of that. We use that to discuss what the Bible says about the law and the confiscation and reditribution of wealth. We also discuss Kasich’s support of Common Core on the same basis.

Article links- Kasich says “Caring about needy doesn’t mean I’m a RINO”

Margaret Carlson says Kasich is too much of a “squish” for conservatives

Posted in Apologetics, Biblical Worldview, Commentary, Critical Thinking, Economics, Life Issues, Ohio Legislation, Podcast, The Church, The Vote.

An Article V Convention: Fact Vs. Theory

There is a great deal of talk, more like shouting really, about Article V of the Constitution and what it does and doesn’t say. Currently, the “pro” side of the argument seems to have a nearly unstoppable momentum. Some proponents, many of them bearing the ill-defined and self-appointed political label of “conservative,” are working tirelessly to assure rightfully suspicious opponents and fence-sitters over to, if not actively opposing, a new convention. That these proponents have been as successful is testimony to the methodology they are using. It is our duty, however, to point out that the methodology they are using is that of the political left.

How so? Primarily, it is how the message is being disseminated. For instance, Article V convention proponents, generally speaking, don’t like debate. So, they actively work in ways to squeeze out opponents in public forums. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Goldwater Institute in recent years, as part of their well-funded convention campaign, invited state legislators from all over the country to attend meetings in a resort setting where they were treated to open bars, lobster and steak dinners, and golf outings sprinkled liberally with slick, professionally prepared handouts and Power Point presentations touting the wonders of the Article V convention process. These materials were prepared with talking points and “facts” compiled by so-called “conservative” constitutional “experts” and “scholars” who wrote papers purporting to prove that the Article V process was completely “safe” and totally in the control of the forces of constitutional conservatism. Furthermore, it was touted as the last, best hope to restore the republic to its roots in “liberty.” In the interim other groups like Convention of States have tapped into a mysterious fountain of money available to groups with large mailing lists of constitutionally uneducated families who can be easily swayed, out of loyalty to the leaders of these groups, to come over to the convention proponent side using the materials generated by ALEC and the Goldwater Institute.

Why would this be a problem? The problem is not with these groups using their wealth and influence to bring people to their viewpoint. That is how the game is played. The problem is with maneuvering opponents into a position of having no access to media, meetings, legislators, and other influential people and venues to counter their message. That’s not how the game is played if genuine debate is being courted. and that’s exactly the point. In Ohio legislators have given convention proponents nearly open access to committees and members of the Senate and the General Assembly. At the same time opponents have been relegated to discovering that convention-call resolutions have been fast-tracked, set for single hearings in committee followed by an immediate floor vote with only sponsor and proponent testimony (no opponents allowed!) are mere hours away and having to mount grassroots campaigns to get a fair hearing in a rigged environment AND prepare testimony. We have also found ourselves on the outside looking in when TEA Party groups hold state-wide meetings in which convention proponents are in control of the agenda and opponents are simply not permitted any access.

So, why are they running their campaigns this way? The answer is actually fairly simple. They know that we are well aware that their “scholars” and “experts” are hiding behind their degrees and reputations to offer less than honest presentations of what history, the Constitution, historical documents, court cases, etc. actually say about how a constitutional convention actually works and what it can and cannot do. They know that if we get equal access in these venues that we will ask questions, using the same materials they are presenting, that they cannot honestly answer in a way that supports their case, and they know we will call them on their dishonesty. They know what this will do to their case and will mean that the tens of millions of dollars (where is the money coming from?) spent on the campaign to get a new convention will have been wasted. And they also know we can do all this with short, simple and easy to understand presentations.

The video presented below is an illustration of what we mean.

Watch as we ask the following questions that the proponents of a new convention claim they have answered-

1) How many conventions of the type being asked for have there been in Anglo-American history?
2) What is the difference between an Article V “amendments convention,” a “convention of states,” and a “general” or “national convention?”
3) Is there any other kind of convention?
4) What exactly is an Article V convention and how much power does it have?
5) Why does a convention exist at all?
6) What has been the result of EVERY general convention called in Anglo-American history?
7) Who controls a convention?
8) Has any governing body ever controlled a convention? Has any body tried to control a convention?
9) Who is in charge of calling a national convention?
10) Why is the notion that it is the states who will control the delegates and agenda fatally flawed?
11) Why didn’t all 13 states send delegates to the Philadelphia convention?
12) What modern view of the relationship between the states and the Federal government insures that Congress controls all aspects of a convention?
13) What does Article XIII of the Articles of Convention mean for the supposedly iron-clad protection of the ratification procedure?
14) What did James Madison think would be the result of another convention?
15) What are the problems with what conventions are being called for and what are the problems with those proposed amendments?

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Posted in Commentary, Con-Con Con Job, Constitution, Critical Thinking, Federal Legislation, General, Ohio Legislation, Public Policy Principles News, Public Policy Radar, The Church.

Principles and Policies Podcast for 11/22/2014- What Do The 2014 Election Results Really Mean?


Our Principles and Policies radio show for Saturday November 22, 2014. Barry Sheets and Chuck Michaelis take a more detailed look at the election results and discuss what it all means, including what you can expect in the next 2 years.

Posted in Biblical Worldview, Commentary, Constitution, Critical Thinking, Podcast, Public Policy Principles News, Public Policy Radar, The Vote.

Constitutional Brinksmanship: Series Introduction

Constitutional Brinksmanship;
Amending the Constitution by National Convention

By Russell L. Caplan

Occasionally a book comes out that has a quiet importance. Quiet because almost no one has read it. Important because those who have read it founcliff_edge_signd it to be a repository of information and analysis that speaks to an issue that has a historic importance to a large number of people or even an entire nation. The book we are beginning a review of is such a book. Unless you are a Constitution geek or academic the chances are you’ve never heard of this book let alone read it. As the name indicates it is a book about amending the Constitution. But not in the usual way, the way we’ve gotten all 27 of the existing amendments. No, this book is about a current hot topic- the Article V convention method.

If you haven’t heard anything about the current effort to have a new constitutional convention called and you travel in conservative or liberal political circles then ask around or just wait. You’ll hear about it. And what you will hear will, sadly, be mostly just plain wrong, either based on honest misinformation or, worse, on deliberate obfuscation with a specific political goal in holding a new constitutional convention, especially on the conservative side. The liberal side is more honest; they want a constitutional convention in order to write a new constitution. And be sure that among the propaganda that is currently being disseminated, mostly among conservatives, is that even the phrase “constitutional convention” in relation to an Article V convention is a “misnomer.” The current propaganda is that an Article V convention isn’t a “constitutional convention” at all. It is, in fact, either an “amendments convention or a “convention of states.” There is currently a national group with this very name, Convention of States, who is diligently working in the homeschool community to convince mostly constitutionally illiterate conservatives that a “convention of states” is the only “answer” currently at our disposal to “reign in” an out of control federal government and that there are virtually no risks in it. “Don’t worry,” the proponents claim, “the process is completely in the hands of the states and most state legislatures are under Republican control.” As if this was any comfort, even if true. It isn’t true but more on that later.

It is this confusion and deliberate obfuscation that makes this a very important book, one worthy of a review. “Why?” you might ask. For a number of very good reasons. First, this book is more than 25 years old and is long out of print. That means it isn’t easy to find and is usually expensive when you can find it. And both sides of the new constitutional convention (con con) debate have used this book as a reference. Second, its age demonstrates that movements to call a new constitutional convention are nothing new. There is a new effort to use the Article V mechanism about every 10-15 years. In the 80’s it was about a “balanced budget amendment (BBA).” In the 90’s it was about the so-called “flat tax.” The current movement has numerous goals among the different political viewpoints, chief among them a BBA, term limits, etc. from the conservative side and the elimination of the Electoral College, re-writing the second amendment, federalizing control of campaign finance, among many others on the liberal side. The con con movements of the recent past lost momentum when it was made clear by opponents that the considerable risks of a new convention outweighed the alleged benefits. Many of the same arguments from the movements of the 80’s, 90’s have been recycled by the current proponents, despite being handily refuted by conservative watchdog groups like Eagle Forum and even the John Birch Society. But the arguments have a new sophistication from the conservative side that reveals that there is a great deal of money being poured into the effort, the source of which is difficult if not impossible to track down.

These new arguments now have the backing of a bevy of “constitutional experts” and “scholars.” Some of these “experts” quote liberally from the book we are reviewing. It is sad to report that some of these “scholars” have demonstrated that they are willing to twist and deliberately misinterpret what the books, historical documents, court decisions they are using to make their cases actually say. Even worse, it appears that they believe that they can do this because of their status as “experts” and “scholars.” They know that most will simply take them at their word and not bother to follow the footnotes of their books and papers to see if the documents quoted actually say what is claimed in the writings of these “scholars” and “experts.” This in fact is how we discovered this particular book. Several of us at the Institute for Principled Policy actually began finding some of the sometimes obscure references of these authors and reading them. What we discovered was disturbing. But, more about that in the review which we will be doing chapter by chapter.

You may never take the time to track down and read this book. We hope you do and we hope this sparks your interest in fact checking so-called experts who may hold the future of the governance of your country and your liberty in their hands.

Posted in Biblical Worldview, Book Review, Commentary, Constitution, Critical Thinking, Federal Legislation, Ohio Legislation, Public Policy Radar.