Monday, December 15, 2008

Remembering The Bill of Rights ... 217 Years After Its Ratification!

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Amendment II
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
Amendment III
No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Amendment V
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Amendment VI
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
Amendment VII
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Amendment VIII
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Amendment IX
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Amendment X
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Midwest Mothers for Liberty Conference Highlights

Fun was had by all ... at the Midwest Mothers for Liberty Conference!!

The Mothers Institute in partnership with the South Central Illinois Mothers for Liberty Meetup Group held its first Regional MfL Conference this past Saturday, September 27th. Twelve moms from 4 states gathered in Vandalia, Illinois, to share knowledge and forge friendships. After an opening welcome from Jan Stover, Founder and Director of The Mothers Institute, vendors had a chance to speak to the attendees about their products, services and organizations. Vendors speaking included Karin Vermillion representing South Central Mothers for Liberty Meetup Group, Leanna Clark representing The Clark Farm and the Bond-Fayette County Libertarians, Corben Rice representing Uncle Ben's Toys, Patty Tweedle representing the Bob Barr Presidential Campaign, and Jan Stover representing the Bake Back America Bake Sale and The Mothers Institute. Attendees then joined in a round table discussion sharing with each other what brought them to the Conference as well as a bit about themselves and their families.

Over lunch, Jan spoke about experiences with homeschooling and the public school system, as well as her passion for family and freedom ... all key elements in her decision to start The Mothers Institute in hopes of building an educational and networking resource for mothers of all ages and stages. She also discussed the goal of growing the "boots on the ground" aspect of the Institute, our Mothers for Liberty Meetup Groups.

After lunch, Leslie Whitney (with assistance from her mother, Robin Van Loon) demonstrated how to make homemade soap. After the demonstration, attendees had a chance to visit with Leslie and ask questions about the process. Conference attendees also received handouts on soap making and apron patterns courtesy of Leslie and her mom!

Next, Andrea Rice spoke on A Thomas Jefferson Education: Raising the Next Generation of Leaders offering attendees descriptions, discussions and tools to avoid a conveyor-belt education and instead provide age appropriate opportunities, materials and expectations for our children as well as enouraging the love for life-long learning within ourselves.

Following Andrea, Candidate Ruth Strebe-Motes offered a Behind the Scenes Look at Running for Office. Her comprehensive approach to making the decision to run for City Council and shared advice from her campaign experiences gave attendees encouragement to consider a future run for office of their own.

Along with the experience of the event itself, attendees took home a number of things from the Conference such as a complimentary coloring mug featuring The Mothers Institute and Mothers for Liberty logos as well as a "Choose Liberty" bumper stickers. Mugs were donated by Karin Vermillion and bumper stickers were donated by Jan Stover on behalf of the South Central Illinois Mothers for Liberty Meetup Group. Moms also went home with tasting treats purchased at the Back Bake America Bake Sale as well as great items from the Silent Auction. Proceeds went to support The Mothers Institute and the host MfL Meetup Group.Several of the Conference attendees stayed over for the evening Reception which was enjoyed by local liberty lovers as well.

Special thanks also goes to Don Stover for his "jack of all trades" contributions to the event and to the Sunshine House Health Food Store in Vandalia for their donations of chips, cookies, drinks and more.

Plans will be in the works shortly for a Mothers for Liberty NATIONAL Conference in 2009!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Suffragettes, The 19th Amendment and Women Today!

On August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment was ratified giving women the right to vote. The Suffragettes worked tirelessly - against what must have seemed like insurmountable odds at times - to ensure we women would have a voice in our own government.
To the young first time female voter of today, voting in the upcoming election may seem like the natural order of things ... but in the history of our nation, it is a relatively new occurrence for the female population to be able to walk into that voting booth and cast our vote for the candidate of our choice.

Without question, this August 18th, we should take a minute to remember the Suffragettes and how their dedication to such a worthy cause changed the political landscape - not only in their time, but for all time! To honor the legacy of these brave women, it is incumbent upon women today to continue the practice of an informed citizenry and educated electorate - which requires more than just casting a vote, but becoming an informed voter!

This November women should go to the polls with a working knowledge of our founding documents as well as an understanding of the candidates' platforms and voting records to proudly cast an informed vote while remembering the Suffragettes who made the opportunity possible!

Friday, July 11, 2008

"The Modern Mother of 1934" by Anna Roosevelt Dall

Truth and wisdom are true and wise no matter what the year!

The Modern Mother of 1934 as seen by Anna Roosevelt Dall...

The modern mother's great job is to bring up children who are brave, strong and adjustable to the changing world in which they live. That doesn't mean that these children can't be rebels; there is such a thing as being a well adjusted rebel.

If I had to put down a dictionary definition, I'd say a modern mother: Has a background of knowledge about child growth, physical, mental and emotional; has as her objective for her children their growth into self-reliant, independent men and women (yes, even independent of their mothers) ; has a friend-to-friend relationship with her children which includes all the characteristics of friendship - consideration, respect, confidence, and good manners; teacher her children the fundamental qualities of honesty, truthfulness, kindness, and tolerance by self-example instead of constant preaching ...

You aren't suppose to be perfect, and you might be very dull if you were. There's nothing worse than the mother who takes herself too seriously. Mistakes, and even the admission of mistakes, are to be expected! ... But mothers, like depressions and measles, can and do improve!
~ Anna Roosevelt Dall

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Declaration of Independence

Begin a tradition of reading the Declaration of Independence at your 4th of July celebrations ... Lest we forget!

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
hen in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

Signed by ...

New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

545 People

545 People
by Charlie Reese

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered why, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered why, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don't propose a federal budget. The president does.

You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don't control monetary policy, The Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president and nine Supreme Court justices - 545 human beings out of the 300 million - are directly, legally, morally and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress.

In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered but private central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority.

They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman or a president to do one cotton-picking thing.

I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault ... They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall!

No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits!

The president can only propose a budget.

He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes.

Who is the speaker of the House? PELOSI!

She is the leader of the majority party.

She and fellow House members, not the president, can approve any budget they want.
If the president vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million can not replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts - of incompetence and irresponsibility.

I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people.

When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red.

If the Marines are in IRAQ, it's because they want them in IRAQ.

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.

There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power.

Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like 'the economy,' 'inflation' or 'politics' that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.

They, and they alone, have the power.

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses - provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees.

We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper

Friday, June 6, 2008

"Lucky Jones"

With Fathers Day approaching, my thoughts turn to my dad. Although he has been gone for nearly 12 years now, the man he was and the legacy he left live on in those who knew him ...

My dad’s given name was Harry Donald Jones. Grandma affectionately called him Harry Don, childhood friends called him Donnie, business associates knew him as Don, but it was my Aunt Kathryn who gave him a nickname that was an apt discription of his life ... Lucky Jones.

Yes, he was lucky alright ... lucky in school, sports, business, love and life. But it was my brother, Jeff, and I who were really the lucky ones ... after all, we got Dad for a father.

For over forty years we had him in our lives. He taught us to swim, bowl and drive. He taught us to make change, check our math and treat people with respect. He told us he loved us and showed us he loved us. Yes, we were the lucky ones.

He was a dedicated son, loving husband, talented photographer, WWII veteran, respected businessman, wonderful dad, attentive grandfather and an all around decent human being. He was never too busy to listen, never too tired to help and was always there for us. Yes, we were the lucky ones.

Looking back on Dad’s life, I think its safe to say that while Lucky Jones started out as just a nickname, it ended up being the legacy he left his children.

I guess you could say that makes us second generation Lucky Joneses. Not a bad legacy, to be sure.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Thoughts on Stay-at-home-Mothering vs Daycare

The debate between stay-at-home-mothering vs daycare can sometimes get ugly but these thoughts have been rolling around in my head for some time now ... so here goes.

"I do not believe that all woman should stay home and have babies, but I am firmly convinced that all mothers should stay home and raise their children."

Now before I continue (or find some folks up in arms about the impracticality of my statement) let me also say this: I realize there are always exceptions to every rule. Some circumstances which would affect a mom's stay-at-home option might include: divorce, single parenting issues, mental and/or physical illness, finances, etc...But for lack of a set of circumstances beyond a mom's control, I do believe a mother's place is with her children. And if not possible at any one given moment in time, that should be the ultimate goal. And not just for the children, mind you, FOR THE MOTHER as well!

Mothering is a wonderful experience and I know I am certainly a better person for having dedicated my time and energy to full time parenting. Not only did my kids always know (as Doctor Phil says ;-) that their home was "a safe place to fall" - but as their mother in this process, I reaped the benefits (then and now) of a uniquely close and enduring relationship with my sons.

BTW, in a libertarian world, with no income tax, it would be much more do-able financially for moms to stay-at-home. :-)

Just a thought ... and as always, comments are appreciated.


Monday, April 28, 2008

"Bake Back America"

I love the phrase AND the concept, Bake Back America! I first heard it used by a friend of mine, Debbie Hopper, who is the founder of Mothers Against the Draft.

During our conversation, we discussed how generations of moms have been successful in promoting and funding causes they believe in with tried and true methods such as bake sales ... and rather than reinventing the wheel, we moms with causes today might want to return to those same tried and true methods.

And since many moms share the desire to "Take Back America" ... take it back from the socialist, the fascists, and those in power who have conveniently forgotten the limitations of government set forth by the Constitution itself, combining the bake sale tradition with the goal of returning our country to its founding roots ... the name "Bake Back America" seemed like a perfect blend.

So ....

In the long tradition of American mothers and grandmothers, The Mothers Institute is planning a series of bake sales in an effort to bring public awareness to the organization and to serve as fundraisers for the Institute, the Mothers for Liberty Meetup Groups and community endeavors. In preparation for such upcoming events, MI is holding its first "Bake Back America" Recipe Contest and they are looking for YOUR best bread, cookie, cake, and pie recipes! The top three winning recipes will be posted on their website, distributed to the Mothers for Liberty Meetup Groups and baked all across America during the first Bake Back America Bake Sale (date to be announced). In addition, the first place winner will also receive a Mothers Institute Apron.
Individuals may submit up to three recipes. Submissions may be sent in via The Mothers Institute website by visiting the homepage, clicking the Subscribe-Contact page and typing your favorite recipe(s) into the Message box. Or you may go directly to the Contact page via this link: Submissions will be accepted through May 30, 2008

Time Capsule for Liberty

The Mothers Institute Suggests Creating a Family “Time Capsule for Liberty”

Many families enjoy such hobbies as scrapbooking, photojournaling, crafting and more. Telling stories of our lives, preserving memories, and recording the significant events of our time is often uniquely accomplished by these talents and techniques. The Mothers Institute is encouraging moms across the country to consider using these talents in the creation of their own family “Time Capsule for Liberty”.

Knowing many of the ways families promote and practice the concepts of liberty in their homes, neighborhoods, and communities, the items produced for/included in such a time capsule would, no doubt, be inspiring! “Letters to the Editor”, family photos taken at community protests/political rallies, photos of children undertaking a free market project, campaign buttons from a respected candidate, artwork and stories children create with liberty as their theme – this list is endless!

And getting the whole family involved in such a project can be great fun!

The Mothers Institute would also like to hear from moms with more suggestions for time capsule content and would enjoy receiving photos of time capsules as well!

Simply send your Family's "Time Capsule for Liberty" suggestions and photos to The Mothers Institute via the website's Subscribe/Contact page at:


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Children Learn What They Live

Children Learn What They Live
By Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Daughters of the Revolution ... Mothers of the Republic

We, as American women, are all Daughters of the Revolution. Yes, proven blood line or not, this is our birthright. Lineage intact or unknown, this is our heritage. The extraordinary women of the American Revolution are unquestionably our Founding Mothers and so, in turn, we are their daughters ... generation after generation ... of the Revolution.

And just as we are daughters and mothers in life, we also carry both titles in the continued quest for Liberty. As the American Revolution saw the birth of a nation and gave way to the growth of a newly formed Republic, the women of that great time in history gave birth to new ideas and teachings which educated and encouraged a new generation of young Patriots. Women organized such movements as the Daughters of Liberty and the Republican Motherhood to instill in their children, not only the Founders’ vision, but the tools to become an educated, responsible electorate and citizenry.

The brave and eloquent women of our history have laid the groundwork for today’s outspoken female patriots and patriots yet to come. From Abigal Adams and Mercy Otis Warren to Dr. Mary Ruwart, Wendy McElroy and Claire Wolfe - American women have moved through the ages while writing, teaching, advocating and practicing liberty.

Just as our Founding Mothers joined forces and organized movements, women today - as daughters and mothers - are still carrying the message of freedom and responsibility, still protecting our Republic.

From coast to coast, women are flying the banner of "eternal vigilance" - under different names and in different styles - but the banner continues to fly high none-the-less. From our nation’s western boundaries hail such advocates for liberty as Mothers Against the Draft, the Association of Libertarian Feminists, and the Liberty Belles. From the heartland springs our Mothers for Liberty and The Mothers Institute and from the east we find the Liberty Ladies and the Free Staters.

Across this nation, women’s activism and accomplishments are furthering the cause of liberty, and sharing the Founding Mothers’ call to "protect and defend" our nation’s original message of Independence. Whether it be on a national or local scene, women like Sharon Harris, president of Advocates for Self-Government; Elaine Badnarik, mother of Libertarian Presidential Candidate Michael Badnarik and a candidate for Lt. Governor herself, or Debbie Hopper, founder of Mothers Against the Draft, women continue to reach out with the essential good news of liberty - and we as Daughters of the Revolution and as Mothers of the Republic are charged with doing the same.

How well we fulfill that charge, and by what means, is both fodder and inspiration for our new non-profit organization, The Mothers Institute, and its grassroots effort via the many Mothers for Liberty Meetup Groups that are now springing up throughout the United States.

We - Daughters of the Revolution and Mothers of the Republic - can and must make a difference ... for ourselves, our children, and our nation!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Mothers for Liberty Meetup Groups ... A Real "Boots on the Ground" Approach

There is no denying that we moms are often the "boots on the ground" when it comes to fighting for causes which benefit our children. And as mothers raising the next generation of free-thinking, independent individuals ... we are indeed at the forefront of the fight for liberty!

Mothers for Liberty we are!

And to assist in that effort ... connecting like-minded, liberty-loving moms on a local basis, I have started the first Mothers for Liberty Meetup Group - hoping groups like this will spring up across America. I invite everyone to check out my new South Central Illinois Mothers for Liberty Meetup Group at: and join if you'd like ... especially if you live in Illinois or one of our neighboring states.

And if any self-professed Mothers for Liberty out there want to start a Mothers for Liberty Meetup Group in YOUR OWN AREA, just drop me a note and I'll be happy to share the how-to's of getting things up and running.

Let's spread the word together ... boots on the ground!


Should We Ask the Government for Everything?

Have a favorite charity? Suffer from a devastating illness? Want a new museum in your community? Well just ask the federal government for money ... right? Wrong.

We have become so used to turning to the federal government for everything we want or need that we as a nation have long since forgotten the purpose of government - and perhaps worse yet, we have forgotten the difference between government and society. As Thomas Paine wrote “Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil in its worst state an intolerable one ...”

Wanting to help find a solution to a problem, promote a worthy cause, find a cure for a disease are all honorable tasks and benefit society ... but funding for such endeavors should come from society – NOT from government. The more we turn towards government, the less we turn towards each other ... and individuals, neighborhoods and communities loose their sense of self and strength in the process.

It is time we Americans look to each other for creative answers to our problems ... and cut the strings which always come with government intervention and oversight. Let us reclaim society's blessings and further remember the "Common Sense" words of Thomas Paine ...

“SOME writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.

Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamities is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer! Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built on the ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform, and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest; and this he is induced to do by the same prudence which in every other case advises him out of two evils to choose the least. Wherefore, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows that whatever form thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expense and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others...”

For the complete text ...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Many Seasons of Life

In another forum I frequent, a woman suggested that mothers who stay home with their children are little more than babysitters and are shortchanging themselves and their communities by not "doing more". She also suggested that women are taken less seriously by men when acquiescing to the age old sentiment that "A woman's place is in the home".

Below is my response to her ....

I think something your observation and opinion forget to acknowledge is the many seasons of life. We as women are not defined by a single season, but rather the sum total of all the wonderful seasons our lives embrace.

Before I was married and had children, I owned my own business. After my first child was born (premature and with a variety of allergies) I sold the business to take care of him full time. Initially I had planned to keep the business and take my son to work with me ... but his needs required more than that situation would have allowed.

Recognizing he was my first priority ... it was out with the business and in with full time parenting. I became a stay-at-home mom from then on and 4 years later when my second son was born, he was a welcome addition to the family. Never did I think of myself as my children's babysitter ... I was/am their mother, their teacher and their friend. And on the few occasions when my husband took care of the boys solo, never did I say he was babysitting them - as I have heard many people comment when dads are home with the little ones. It seems to me that knowing they are his children too, and he is in the process of caring for them ... it is not babysitting either!

That said, I was totally devoted to my sons' care when they were little, totally devoted to their education when they were homeschooled and when they were in the public school setting. Initially that left very little time for outside activities, but as they grew and the seasons of their lives changed, so did mine.

Eventually, even as a stay-at-home mom, I started a small news-magazine with a friend and eventually co-founded a magazine for Senior Citizens with my mother. By that time, my oldest son was in public school - but my youngest, whom I was still homeschooling, often traveled with me to do interviews, get advertising and deliver the magazine to 30+ communities.

After both of my sons entered college and moved away, a new season in my life began. My husband and I became very active in politics and eventually I was appointed to serve as Executive Director of the Libertarian Party of Illinois. During that time, as I spoke to Libertarians throughout the state, I found many men were very respectful when they learned of my homeschooling efforts. Not from “a woman's place is in the home" attitude, but rather a "good for you for bucking the system and putting your libertarian ideals into action" attitude.

I suggest no matter what opinions and statistics reflect regarding equality, we are all only as equal or unequal as we personally feel. Recognizing that staying at home and raising our children is of value, knowing that our children grow up and leave home grateful and secure for the time and attention we have given them, and knowing that the different seasons in our life are not limiting - but rather appropriate, productive and wonderful – makes us women a viable force to be reckoned with on many fronts.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

"The Mothers Act" ... a quaint little name for another invasive piece of legislation!

The Mothers Act ... yes, its a quaint little name for another invasive and expensive piece of legislation more formally known as Bill S. 1375: Mom's Opportunity to Access Health, Education, Research, and Support for Postpartum Depression Act.

The legislation is currently in committee via the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions after passing overwhelmingly in the House.

With just a quick look at the summary of the bill (below) an individual more trusting of the government than myself might find it harmless at first - but upon further reading, red flags will no doubt show themselves to many a concerned American!

Sumary: THE MOTHERS ACT amends the Public Health Service Act to require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to award grants to: (1) states to provide to women who have recently given birth and their families, before such women leave their birthing centers, education concerning postpartum depression, postpartum mood and anxiety disorders, and postpartum psychosis and to screen new mothers for such postpartum conditions during their first year of postnatal checkup visits; and (2) public or nonprofit private entities to provide for the delivery of essential services to individuals with such postpartum conditions and their families. Requires the Secretary, acting through the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the heads of other federal agencies that administer federal health programs, to organize a series of national meetings that are designed to develop a research plan for postpartum depression and psychosis. Requires the Secretary, acting through the Director, to expand and intensify research relating to postpartum conditions to carry out such plan.

For those friends and visitors here who have read the summary and perhaps even clicked on the link to learn more about the bill, I'd like to pose the following questions ... First, when has the government ever awarded grants/provided funding to individual states for specific programs without having strings attached??? Think No Child Left Behind and our Interstate Highway system.

And secondly, what makes government via its agencies qualified to educate, screen, council and medicate new mothers and their families in an unbiased manner??? Should those agencies offer advice, will they be inclined to provide alternative methods of treatment as well, considering Big Pharma is Big Business in Washington??? Worse yet, might the mention of drug-free options be prohibited?

Our nation needs less government intervention and oversight - not more!!!

As government continues to intervene in the lives of individuals and families, promising solutions to all that ails us via government services, we have become a nation suffering the consequences of turning away from the very family and community assistance once accepted as natural and turning towards government as a solution.

Government assistance always includes government bureaucracy ... and sometime the waiting game can be a dangerous proposition to someone in real need. How often have we all heard of someone falling between the cracks, no matter how many government agencies were supposed to be providing services? Once the government gets us use to them being in our living rooms, birthing rooms and medicine cabinets, the drug companies and the politicians benefit ... and We the People suffer.

It would benefit us as a nation to rekindle the practice of young and/or new mothers creating and looking to their own support system which could included their mother, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, neighbors, friends, co-workers, a trusted family doctor or other health care professional, etc ... women (and men) who are available for wise counsel (or sometimes simply to offer the new mom a night out on the town or a few extra hours of sleep!)

Help keep the government out of our living rooms, birthing rooms, medicine cabinets and doctors offices! Call your Senators today and tell them to vote NO on The Mothers Act! Let keep our private lives and our medical concerns private ... without bureaucratic oversight and intervention!


Monday, February 25, 2008

Starting this blog, called to mind several pieces about mothering I had written and published in the past. With my children grown now, its always heartwarming for me to take a look back and remember just how much they inspired me during their growing up years.

Mothering ... I Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way

When I was young, I had no great desire to get married or have children - it somehow didn't fit into the equation of my life ... an yet, here I sit, married nearly 18 years with two kids and wouldn't have it any other way.

For someone that showed very few maternal instincts as a youth, I did an "about face" when my children actually came along; I suddenly believed in natural childbirth, breast-feeding, stay-at-home-mothering, and homeschooling - all of which I did with a passion (and I'm still homeschooling my youngest today). Its interesting how those little faces can miraculously transform our original conception of the world ... and our place in it.

Somewhere we make that jump - that transition - from being children ourselves to raising children of our own. And on that sometimes, wonderful, sometimes bumpy journey, we grow up and grow into a way of life that brings out the best in us.

Mothering these last 16 years, I have given more than I have taken, been awake a whole lot more than I have been asleep, and have been blessed more than I could have imagined. Its a strange mixture of love, hope, frustration and fun ... and, no, I wouldn't have it any other way!

Reprinted from The Senior Review copyright © 1997 Jan J. Stover

A Mother's Work of Art

If I were but an artist
Who could make a paint brush dance
By placing brush to canvas
In a rare but timely dance

I'd paint the splendor of the moment
Capturing in time
The gentle transition
Of a babe no longer mine

To a little boy discovering
Venturing out into to world
Standing still and at the same time
Into the future he seems hurled

If I were but an artist
Who could make a paint brush soar
I would paint this little being
As I've ne'er seen him before

Capturing on canvas
His clumsiness and grace
The frustration and accomplishment
Both seen upon his face

The child within the babe awakening to life
The babe within the child reckoning with strife

And if I were but an artist
Who could make a paint brush sing
I would paint with brilliant colors
The gladness this child brings

His temper and his tenderness
Would blend a brighter hue
Than any paint could on a pallet
Ever hope to do

And with each stroke would be revealed
The beginnings of a man
Arms outstretched to a world unknown
In hopes to understand.

Reprinted from The Senior Review copyright © 1997 Jan J. Stover

Sunday, February 24, 2008

What is Radical Responsible Mothering ?

Before I offer a definition of the term Radical Responsible Mothering, I thought it would be appropriate to first offer a sampling of Merriam-Websters’ definitions of the individual words: radical and responsible.

Radical: 1) of, relating to, or proceeding from a root: as of growing from the root of a plant 2) of or relating to the origin: fundamental 3) a: marked by a considerable departure from the usual or traditional: extreme, b: tending or disposed to make extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutions c: of, relating to, or constituting a political group associated with views, practices, and policies of extreme change d: advocating extreme measures to retain or restore a (political) state of affairs.

Responsible: 1) a: liable to be called on to answer or to be called to account as the primary cause, motive, or agent; b: being the cause or explanation, c: liable to legal review or in case of fault to penalties 2) a: able to answer for one’s conduct and obligations: trustworthy b: able to choose for oneself between right and wrong 3) marked by or involving responsibility or accountability
I like these definitions - hearty, encompassing, flavorful - so much more than today’s often limited and skewed interpretation of the two terms.

Far too often, the word radical evokes negative connotations - when in fact it clearly defines motherhood at its core. Claiming Webster’s first and second definitions, to be radical means to be at the origin or the root of our children’s lives - their conception, birth and development from infancy to maturity. Claiming the third set of definitions we see motherhood at its best: ready, willing and able to step outside the norm, to investigate options, to make extreme changes - and to take on traditions, institutions and authorities for the sake of our children.

The word responsible traditionally carries with it positive overtones and its definition is perhaps more often understood than that of the word radical. Again, the practice of being responsible is a core principle of motherhood. Webster’s definition reminds us that we as mothers are the primary agents of our children’s health and well-being. We are also the cause of and explanation for much of the world around them. Clearly our own choices teach them right from wrong. And how we accept our own responsibility and accountability in the raising of our children will be reflected in them as they grow and mature.

Understanding these two words separately, gives us a better sense of their joint meaning. Radical Responsible Mothering suggests the importance of passing on personal core values, but with a pliable approach. Radical Responsible Mothering encourages mentoring with an open mind. And ultimately, Radical Responsible Mothering is the ever present awareness that there is no greater responsibility or privilege than to raise one’s children with a devotion and dedication that rises above the needs, impositions and mandates of society. Consequently, when the individual child is cared for, raised in love, allowed to flourish and create, both society and the individual are the benefactors!