Ben’s Blog


2016-12-03 They don’t seem to have a clue

December 3rd, 2016 | Comments Off on 2016-12-03 They don’t seem to have a clue |  Email This Post Email This Post

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

December 3, 2016

This is a letter to our friends –

They don’t seem to have a clue!

Grandparents – Have you ever said that about your grand-kids — or even your own kids?

The next “Principles of American Government” online course begins on January 10. I have been thrilled to see the gleam of understanding cross the face of PAG students. This is not a course about the Declaration and Constitution. This is a course designed to teach the philosophy and principles that caused those documents to be written!

Like anything of great value, this course comes with a great price and commitment:

· 75 very interactive minutes in a virtual online classroom twice a week for three months.

· 4 to 5 hours a week of quality reading and study time.

· Challenging thought and contemplation (critical thinking).

· $195 tuition plus text books.

Further details may be found on the ACH Study Groups web site (see letterhead). I recommend browsing the “Student Comments” tab as well as the course syllabus. I welcome phone, Skype and e-mail chats about the course.

For His-story & Government

Ben Gilmore

These columns are archived since 12/10/09

See www.ACHStudyGroups.com

“Ben’s Blog”


2016-11-20 The Popular Vote

November 20th, 2016 | Comments Off on 2016-11-20 The Popular Vote |  Email This Post Email This Post

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501   histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

November 20, 2016

This is a letter to our friends –

The Popular Vote

Every four years we hear arguments against the Electoral College.  As directed by our Constitution, the Electoral College is composed of “electors” appointed by their respective states.  These electors vote for President and send the results to the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.

Thus, when you cast your vote for President, you are really voting for your state’s electors that  favor your candidate.  It is possible for all the electors nation wide to favor one candidate while the “Popular Vote” of all the people who voted to favor another.

I believe this illustrates the wisdom of our founding fathers.

First: He is not the President of the people.  He is the President of the United States.  Every four years the 50 sovereign states get together and elect their President.  Were he elected by popular vote, a few population centers in the country would determine the winner and the citizens in smaller states would have no say in the results.

To understand what our founding fathers had in mind requires an understanding of some fundamentals.  Every human organization is governed by some mixture of three elements: rule of one; rule of a few; rule of many.

Rule of one is most efficient because one person has all the authority and power.  Rule of one is also the most dangerous to liberty should the ruler become corrupt.

Rule of a few is, or should be, wiser than rule of many, and more reliably honest than rule of one.

Rule of many is the most honest and well-meaning of the three, but is most easily deceived and lead astray.

Think of rule of many as “majority rule”.  The ultimate majority rule is a lynch mob – only one person objects!  Rule of many is called “democracy”.  It is nicknamed, “mobocracy”.

Our founding fathers chose “republic” as the basic form for our government.  A republic is composed of representatives from the various parts.  These representatives are elected by majority rule in the various parts.  They have opportunity to discuss issues and represent their constituents.

Think about it – The President represents rule of one.  His authority is checked by the legislature (rule of many).  And both the President and the legislature are limited by the Constitution in the hands of the Supreme Court (rule of a few).

Let us not modify a system that has protected liberty for so many.

These columns are archived since 12/10/09
See www.ACHStudyGroups.com
“Ben’s Blog”


2016-11-17 Thanksgiving

November 17th, 2016 | Comments Off on 2016-11-17 Thanksgiving |  Email This Post Email This Post

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

November 17, 2016

This is a letter to our friends –

Thanksgiving

Warm greetings. Just before the election, my mail-merge function and a batch of other software stopped working with reliability. I have no idea whether any of these blog posts were posted since then. Several days, some prayer with lots of tweeking and talk with techies appears to have fixed things. For this I am most thankful.

Last December 2nd this column handicapped the candidates for President:

”Trump – As president, I believe he would be very good at getting things done. His following would stay with him with popular support for a time. This would make him a powerful leader. On the other hand – Nothing exists without a set of rules to govern it. Trump appears to me to lack a depth of understanding about the rules that will “make America great again”. I believe he would not respect private property, or the limits on the president by the legislature and courts. We would have exchanged a traitorous-tyrant for a patriotic-tyrant. A tyrant nonetheless. Tyranny is unstable.”

I am thankful that I appear to be right about his being a powerful patriotic leader. I am also thankful that I appear to have been wrong about his not respecting legislative and legal limits. He appears to be surrounding himself with well qualified mentors.

It has become somewhat of a tradition to have the Thanksgiving table set with 5 small grains of corn in honor of the Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving feast. Another is to have someone read “Pilgrim Fathers” by the late Larry Wagner, during the Thanksgiving meal. I will Paste it at the end after a page-break so it will be on one page.

The entire Gilmore clan together with many friends and extended family will be together this Thanksgiving. Our best wishes go out to you and yours. We are truly thankful for our country.

Pilgrim Fathers

By the late Lawrence Wagner

“The second harvest gathered since they crossed Atlantic waters,

A feast of thankfulness was set by grateful Pilgrim Fathers:

So great the providence of God, so blest with fruit their labors,

So sweet the bond among their band, such peace with Indian neighbors.

“But most among the festive crowd could count harsh years of toil.

Of wand’ring for their faith in God, of want on alien soil.

Of flagging hopes and faith, bad health, of chills that hell could send,

Of half their number that had died before first winter’s end.

Of hunger pangs that second year in their New Plymouth home,

Of weeks when all they ate a day was five small grains of corn.

A few remembered treasure lost, of titles cast aside,

But all could measure conscience’ cost in tears and trampled pride.

Oh, at this feast could they foresee their blessed future years?

That nevermore would they know want, nor run from any fears!

Then after prayers of gratitude, before the feast was set,

Each plate was served five grains of corn, lest anyone forget!

A humble band in hardship born, rejected by their own,

A rock flung o’re the ocean, they were laid a cornerstone.

By them God stamped His pattern for a nation on the land,

And seeds of freedom under God were planted by their hand.

Oh, pray their heirs would ever know how dear was freedom’s cost,

And know to hold their faith and freedom dear, or see them lost,

And praise the Providence that brought those pilgrims to this shore,

And eat the grains of memory, or pay the price once more.

These columns are archived since 12/10/2009

See www.ACHStudyGroups.com

“Ben’s Blog”


2016-10-18 Lest we forget

October 18th, 2016 | Comments Off on 2016-10-18 Lest we forget |  Email This Post Email This Post

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

October 18, 2016

This is a letter to our friends –

Lest we forget

An English philosopher, John Locke, inspired colonial America’s pulpits and pews. His words have inspired me.

“To understand political power right (correctly), and derive it from its original (its beginning), we must consider what state all men are naturally in, and that is a state of perfect freedom, to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions, and persons as they think fit, within the bounds of the Law of Nature, without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man.”

It is a good thing to think back to the very basics of “perfect freedom”. The earth has everything you need to sustain a healthy life. You are its only resident – “perfect freedom”. Yet even that freedom has limits – the “Law of Nature”. (Defy the law of gravity and fly off a cliff. The law inflicts harsh penalties!)

Add a second resident – The Law of Nature further limits your “perfect freedom”. (Your actions may not interfere with the other’s actions.)

Now add 10 then 100 then 10,000 residents and we have a need to “understand political power”.

“The State of Nature has a Law of Nature to govern it, which obliges everyone: and Reason which is that law, teaches all mankind who will but consult it, that all are equal and independent. No one ought to harm another in his Life, Health, Liberty, or Possessions.”

Many of Locke’s phrases are to be found in America’s early documents.

“For men being all the workmanship of One Omnipotent and Infinitely wise Maker: All the servants of One Sovereign Master, sent into the world by His order, and about His business, they are His property, whose workmanship they are, made to last during His, not one another’s pleasure.”

Some scholars doubt Locke’s Christian commitment. Locke was asked, “What is the shortest and surest way for a young gentleman to attain a true knowledge of the Christian religion?” His response –

Let him study the Holy Scriptures, especially in the New Testament. Therein are contained the words of eternal life. It has God for its Author, Salvation for its end, and Truth without any mixture of error for its matter.”

Good advice for us all!

These columns are archived since 12/10/09

See www.ACHStudyGroups.com

“Ben’s Blog”


2016-10-16 About the November ballot

October 17th, 2016 | Comments Off on 2016-10-16 About the November ballot |  Email This Post Email This Post

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

October 17, 2016

This is a letter to our friends –

About the November ballot

In 1960 I walked my first precinct. Because of those years and this column, about this time in the election cycle I receive requests for my thoughts. Perhaps this “broadcast” response will be enough for everyone.

Your vote is sacred. As with all of your choices, you hold the ultimate responsibility. A responsibility you cannot delegate. Seeking council is wise, but the ultimate decision is up to you alone.

What follows are my thoughts.

Regarding Trump or Hillary – There is a lot of discussion about “character”. Every man is a sinner. We should expect candidates to highlight their opponent’s character flaws. Each of us is vulnerable to opposition research. I see signs of consistent corruption in Hillary’s character. I see signs of efforts to improve on Trump’s part.

More significantly – There is no doubt about the nature of a Hillary Clinton administration. That is – a continuation of the drift toward government control over every aspect of our lives. There is at least the promise of a radical improvement with a Donald Trump administration. That is – a Supreme Court that honors our Constitution, a fight to fix a corrupted government, a restored military, and a growth focused economy with secure borders. All that to make America great again.

A vote for anyone other than Trump, or a decision not to vote, is in fact, a vote for Hillary. Some will say that doesn’t count for California where the Democrats are sure to win. That is not a certainty until the votes are cast!

Regarding the down ballot – Issues are important in the spring primaries. Once decided, the down ballot becomes a numbers game. Your choice is limited to which party you are going to make the majority party. In turn that structures committees and chairs. Your weak representative with an “R” by his name may cause a good guy to win an important position.

Regarding the initiatives & propositions — Begin with a “no” vote bias. These are issues that should be debated and settled by our legislature. Instead, the cowards have tossed hot potato issues into our lap to do their job! On the other hand sometimes we the people need such opportunities to override a corrupt legislature.

Next – An absolute “no” vote for any effort to increase funds to government. When funds are cut, corrupt politicians punish voters by decreasing funds to hospitals and other necessities. The only way to smoke out the dead wood is to cut their funding while demanding they fund the necessities.

If still in doubt – Consider the individuals and organizations that endorse an initiative. If they are unfamiliar to you, a simple google search is usually sufficient.

These are the way I make my ballot choices. I hope you find them useful.

After the election God will still be on His throne. Will you be able to hold your head high, having prayerfully cast your vote as you believe He wished? Or will you be ashamed of your lack of faith?

These columns are archived since 12/10/09

See www.ACHStudyGroups.com

“Ben’s Blog”


2016-10-14 Words mean things

October 14th, 2016 | Comments Off on 2016-10-14 Words mean things |  Email This Post Email This Post

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

October 14, 2016

This is a letter to our friends –

Words mean things

The other day I heard Speaker Ryan describe himself as a “conservative”. Then he defined the terms in such an ambiguous way that I was embarrassed.

One of my mentors, Edward Hunter, taught me, “Never use a word you are not prepared to define. Ask others to define their words. Unless you understand one another’s definitions, there is miscommunication.”

May I share my definitions for “liberal”, “conservative”, and “moderate”. These are common terms today that appear to me to beg sound definitions. It does no good to make a definition the one wearing the label will not accept. Further – my definitions apply to American politics and may not be valid internationally.

Most liberals readily accept my definition, “Liberal – One who makes decisions in an effort to produce the best results.” They seem surprised that I (a conservative) understand their philosophy. “Well,” they say, “What is a conservative?”

Conservative – One who makes decisions by the best principles he can find, and lets the results take care of themselves.” That often causes a pause then, “Well – I am a moderate.”

Moderate – A liberal that cannot define his positon.” He replies, “I can too!” and proceeds. When he is finished I ask, “What is the difference between that and a liberal?”

You cannot manipulate results (consequences). When you tell a lie you are trying to manipulate consequences. It never works out well.

“When you choose an action you choose a consequence!” [Harry Conn]

These columns are archived since 12/10/09

See www.ACHStudyGroups.com

“Ben’s Blog”


2016-10-02 PAG Assignment for week of 10/02/2016

October 13th, 2016 | Comments Off on 2016-10-02 PAG Assignment for week of 10/02/2016 |  Email This Post Email This Post

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

October 13, 2016

This is a letter to our friends –

After the election …

After the election when Donald Trump has won the Presidency along with strong majorities in Congress, we want to be careful to put the credit where it belongs.

After the election when the big news stories feature the “movement” of we the people that overwhelmed massive efforts at voter fraud, we want to be careful to put the credit where it belongs.

After the election when every new day unveils outstanding appointments scheduled for the next Administration, we want to be careful to put the credit where it belongs.

After the election when, for the first time in many of our lives, there is a community spirit of joy and confidence, we want to be careful to put the credit where it belongs.

“We the people” may have contributed time and treasure – so did our opponents.

“We the people” truly deserve justice not post-election grace!

“We the people” are the generation that forsook the education of our children.

“We the people” forsook responsibility for governing our local, state and national culture.

“We the people” misused then turned our backs on the God-given liberty our betters bled and died to leave us.

True credit for saving America will belong to our Creator God. America will have been saved and salvaged for His sake, not for ours. What God has invested in North America is not for Americans alone, but as a demonstration to the world of principles. Principles of Christian self-government: Faith and Steadfastness; Brotherly Love and Christian Care; Diligence and Industry; Liberty of Conscience.

After the election, were the truth to be known, all Americans should offer honor and thanks to the tireless and unknown intercessors who prayed without ceasing in behalf of what God has done in America!

These columns are archived since 12/10/09

See www.ACHStudyGroups.com

“Ben’s Blog”


2016-10-08 Casting first stones

October 8th, 2016 | Comments Off on 2016-10-08 Casting first stones |  Email This Post Email This Post

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

October 8, 2016

This is a letter to our friends –

Casting first stones

All men are sinners. Agree quickly and take the subject back to principle. Else your opponent will put you in the position of defending a man’s sin.

I write this on the eve of the second debate. I urge readers not to defend Donald Trump. Rather – Defend the principles his presidency will enhance. The trap is set. The bait is there. Please do not take it.

A Trump presidency promises acceptable Supreme Court appointments.

A Trump presidency promises positive economic improvement.

A Trump presidency promises greater border security.

A Trump presidency promises a challenge to political corruption.

A Trump presidency promises an enhanced military policy.

The alternative does not promise – We are assured of continued degradation.

David slew Goliath and the army of the living God chased the Philistines off of the battle field. Had they been listening to the Philistine news-casts, they would have heard of a rebellious, rock throwing teen, worried about what Goliath’s four brothers (also giants) were planning to do.

Those who take the bait and seek to defend Donald Trump’s intemperate statements are in a no win situation. Rather, agree the statements were intemperate, then insist on discussing principle. We must not lose the last chance to save our nation over locker room talk. An issue that is dwarfed by the magnitude of the political corruption now being exposed.

A vote for other than Trump is a vote for Hillary Clinton.

Choosing not to vote is a vote for Hillary Clinton.

Stay focused upon the goal.

These columns are archived since 12/10/09

See www.ACHStudyGroups.com

“Ben’s Blog”


2016-08-16 What is He like

August 17th, 2016 | Comments Off on 2016-08-16 What is He like |  Email This Post Email This Post

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

August 17, 2016

This is a letter to our friends –

What is He like?

In the last post we reasoned that every person who ever lived can know that there is a creator-God. We concluded that every man (generic) has a choice to honor the existence of God, or seek to deny His existence by rationalizing an alternative first cause.

Such speculation leads to absurd theories. A lifeless golden statue of a calf made by human hands is worthy of worship as a supreme being! A large explosion in space began a chain reaction that caused everything we see to evolve without intelligent design!

Ultimately all that produces concepts of what God is like. That is, man creates a god in his own image!

What can we know of God’s being and personality – given: ONLY our surroundings and ourselves?

God is all-knowing and very big or very fast or both in order to form the universe. Since the universe exhibits great energy and power, God has even more to have created it! Since physical laws hold the universe together, God is omnipresent.

God likes what he created because he arranged for it to reproduce itself. That was his choice. He did not have to do that. God made rocks and dirt and trees and plants and animals. All this is governed by the laws of nature – cause and effect; photosynthesis; instinct.

God also chose to make man. Unlike all His other creations, God made man to be governed by choice – as He himself is governed!

Everything that has life has a means for sustaining that life. Man needs food, water and air – all provided. Man needs liberty to seek those things – all provided. Man needs to gather (make it his property) for it to nourish – all provided. Therefore God wants what sustains man – He cares.

Consider – There is a wholesome means of fulfillment of every need we discover. Now consider – What if you had a real need that could not be fulfilled! That would cause real suffering. Conclusion – God loves you.

This line of reasoning leads to an image of God that is loving, joyous, peaceful (and wrathful!), patient, gentle, good, faithful, humble, self-controlled.

I agree that the Bible teaches all these things. My point is – All men are capable of discovering them on their own and thus, are without excuse,

These columns are archived since 12/10/09

See www.ACHStudyGroups.com

“Ben’s Blog”


2016-08-14 God is

August 14th, 2016 | Comments Off on 2016-08-14 God is |  Email This Post Email This Post

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

August 14, 2016

This is a letter to our friends –

God is

God was introducing Himself to Moses in the wilderness. He chose to speak from a burning bush. Moses asked for His name. God replied, “You may call me, ‘I am’.” That is – “God is!”

I want to write about basic principles. Until a person accepts that God is, nothing else will make any sense. “Believing that random chance created the universe we see around us is absurd! For can anything be more unreasonable than to pretend that random chance could produce intelligent beings?” 1

Quoting accounts from the Bible is worthless to someone who has not discovered its reliability. Mankind knew there was a creator-God long before the first words were written in scripture. How then, does one discover that – God is?

Montesquieu nailed it! Everything – literally everything – shouts the existence of God! Consider the vast universe. The stars and planets are all governed by laws of nature that could not have come from random chance. There must have been intelligent design.

Or – Shift from macro- to micro-creation. A tiny seed contains the “DNA” of its parent fruit tree. Accepting that and rejecting intelligent design is absurd! How can a person plant the seed and later eat the fruit and not accept the existence of an intelligent designer?

Every person has himself to consider as a “creation”. What a phenomenal machine! Just consider the eye with its many parts each working together to produce an electronic image in your brain! The simple fact that you can “see” should thunder the existence of a creator!

To summarize – Every human being that has ever lived has the universe around him, macro- and micro-, demanding the existence of an intelligent Creator! Further – Every human being that has ever lived has his own body continuously demonstrating intelligent design! No doctor can be an honest atheist!

As if that were not enough, “I am” has taken residence within every human being that has ever lived in the form of a conscience. Every human being that has ever lived has been created with the ability to choose to obey or disobey that conscience.

The sum total of those choices, I believe, will determine the eternal future of every human being’s soul.

1 [paraphrasing Montesquieu “The Spirit of Laws”, circa 1748]

These columns are archived since 12/10/09

See www.ACHStudyGroups.com

“Ben’s Blog”


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