Summer 2011 Board Meeting of CRA

The California Republican Assembly (CRA) held a Board meeting on July 23rd. Much of the meeting was devoted to “Disciplinary Hearings” Related to 17 questionable units and eight members.

I attended the Fresno meeting and sat at one of the front tables. I had no vote in the proceedings and left the room only at the lunch break. Board members had to pay $35 to register for the event. This fee included some breakfast rolls and a box lunch. Any funds collected beyond the actual costs are normally split between the hosting unit and the state organization.

The meeting began shortly after 9 am. After the usual opening of such meetings (Pledge, invocation, etc.) some ground rules for debate were set and President Celeste Greig came to the podium. She began by describing the stream of emails that had been sent to her. Then she called Steve Frank to the front. Frank walked up to the podium carrying a large spool of string and some scissors. He was instructed to tie the string to Greig’s wrists and arms; since supporters of Karen England has apparently called her Frank’s puppet. After some laughter and applause Frank returned to his seat. Greig mentioned a raffle at the back of the room and then made appointments to several committees. Cliff Wagoner was made chair of the Charter Review Committee. Other members were appointed to this committee. Site Selection appointments were made and, Publication and Technology were combined into one committee and members were named. Some members previously asked to be part of these committees were replaced by others. Whether this was purposeful or due to a communications snafu is not known.

A report on the legal wrangling related to the TRO was made by Tom Hudson and Craig Alexander. The report was chronological from the first legal filing by Restore the CRA to the order to seek relief from the California Republican Party (CRP) via arbitration.

At this point the meeting was turned over to George Park for the disciplinary portion of the agenda. Park made some preliminary remarks to frame the issue that was before the Board. Most of these remarks centered on the actions of the former Membership Secretary, Peggy Mew.

I received the membership records from the former membership secretary some fifty odd days after the last convention. So that was about the beginning of June…What I received, I don’t even know how to explain in nice terms. It was a disaster. It is a disaster…But, as a result of reviewing the records, and the very lack of records that I received, it seems to me, based on what seems to be in the CRA treasury, and based on the dues that should have been reported from our units, and based on what I imaging, our best guess is on membership, we are short some ten thousand plus dollars in dues.

The simplest explanation for this is that Peggy Mew showed more members on the books than CRA appears to have received in dues. This is due to a combination of two issues.

The CRA Bylaws include the following passage: “Section 4.08. Remittance of Dues to Chartered Republican Assemblies. Each chartered Republican Assembly shall receive forty percent of the membership dues collected from members assigned to it.” Since the stock dues are $25, sixty percent or $15 goes to the state organization for the first member in each household. My chapter collects $15 for each additional member of the household. Sixty percent of $15 is $9. Given these rates per member and the $10K shortage, Mew appears to be carrying about 700 deadbeat members. Given the membership inflation that CRA is known for, this is not unexpected.

However, part of the discrepancy may be the result of how Mew would calculate the date dues of members were paid. Supposed you joined a chapter in June. Sometime in August, your unit treasurer sent a check for new members to the Membership Secretary. She might hold the check for a period of time before it was deposited. Next year a newly elected office in your unit might ask her when your dues expired. If she responded to your inquiry—which was a less than 50/50 proposition—you could easily be told your dues were up in October. You just got five free months of membership! I won’t say this always happened but I know that it did occur. Now amplify this one example over a few thousand members and the result is a chaotic mess.

I imaging the record dump that Park received from Mew was not much different than the old story of the CPA that got a shoebox full of receipts from some shopkeeper in the town square just days before the filing deadline. I have no reason to believe this problem is the result of fraud, I just think Mew did not pay attention to detail. In her defense, this is a voluntary position but a critical one.

Park then went on to deal with the rogue units—many of which were the dreaded “paper clubs.” Park reported that each unit was contacted via telephone, certified mail, snail mail and email—if the contact information was available. He stuck primarily to the officers listed on the information that he had. If the contact information was bad then the unit was in danger of being dechartered. If contact was made and the membership and other information was not provided or did not prove accurate the unit was also in danger.

Park made it known that he did change some of the recommendations that were on the written report that was circulated. Further modification was made as the process was rolled-out. Many units whose charters were revoked would be assigned to a CRA vice-president in their area along with Charter Review oversight to see about reconstituting the unit.

One member of the audience argued against dechartering units as follows,

“This is a self correcting problem. If these people really are paper units then they’re gonna disappear…As a general principle, I don’t think we need to be evicting units left and right. I think we should let is self correct, correct itself. If they really are a paper unit they’re gonna go away, expire. If they’re not, they’re gonna renew and then we’ll know…”

Shortly after this statement Tom Hudson replied,

I want to make sure we are all clear on what we are doing here. Don make a very important point that I think is true. In saying that if something is a paper club, that it will go way on its own. Well I agree with him but this is that process. There is no process in the Bylaws that says things just disappear into thin air…This is the process for how that happens.

It was announced that members on the rolls of dechartered units will be sent a letter notifying them that they are now members at large and encouraging them to either join another chapter or form a new unit in their area. Such members have all the rights of CRA membership except to be delegates to the state convention.

Of the seventeen units in the report, only two responded to the proposed actions of the board. Here is the disposition of the seventeen units.
Alpine Heights, Camp Pendleton, San Diego, Stanton were the first four units discussed. They were all dechartered.
• Next eight chapters in the Corona area were all dechartered. These units were: Citrus, Circle City, Corona Hills, Kinesco Valley, Norco, Rimpau, South Corona, and West Corona. It was hoped that the area vice-president and the Charter review Committee could encourage members to reconstitute one or more units in the area.
Mid-empire—a plaintiff in the ongoing litigation—was dechartered.
South Butte and Ladero Ranch units were put on probation. The term used at the meeting was “Jeopardy”. If corrective actions were taken, they could be restored to full status.
Yuba was dechartered.
• Lastly, Yolo County was dechartered. This should have happened in 1999 but the Board at that time refused to act.

Yuba and Yolo were dismissed in the course of the noon meal. Then the issue of removal of individual members was addressed. This portion of the meeting was begun with the intent to ban some members for life. However, comments by Norm Reece had a significant impact on this portion of the meeting.

I frankly think the CRA is made up of a lot of godly people. You know I just think that is a given. I think forgiveness and repentance is part of our Christian principles. I really feel as a Christian; for life? I just have a problem with that…That changes my vote.

As a result of Reece’s comments, no one was given a lifetime ban. The individuals listed below that were banned can re-apply to the Board for membership when their suspension is completed. Here are the results:
Paul Dillon 5 years
Karen England 10 years
Tim Lefever 10 years
David Reed 10 years
Tom Rogers 10 years
Mark Spanigal 5 years
Scott Voigts 1 year
Rick Marshal No action

Voigts, almost got off scot-free. He was part of the litigation but has done some positive things for CRA. The Board was reluctant to find agreement on his fate. This was due to comments made by Craig Alexander.

Conspicuously absent from the list was former Membership Secretary, Peggy Mew. Much of the chaos at the last convention was enabled by her obstruction and manipulation of club data in her possession.

My final comments on the meeting are related to what I believe is a flawed legal theory put forward by Tom Hudson and Craig Alexander several times over the course of the meeting. This involves the legal concept of “standing.”

The legally protectible stake or interest that an individual has in a dispute that entitles him to bring the controversy before the court to obtain judicial relief.

Standing, sometimes referred to as standing to sue, is the name of the federal law doctrine that focuses on whether a prospective plaintiff can show that some personal legal interest has been invaded by the defendant. It is not enough that a person is merely interested as a member of the general public in the resolution of the dispute. The person must have a personal stake in the outcome of the controversy.

Hudson and Alexander both expressed the belief that removing the Mid-Empire Republican Assembly and the individuals named in the complaint against the CRA as members of the organization would somehow result in them losing standing for both the current legal challenge as well as any future challenges that they might make. Since no one disputes that they were members at the time of the April convention, I think this is wishful thinking and has no practical effect on anything. Quite the opposite, I think it gives England more ammunition to use when she and the others in Restore the CRA take their case to arbitration at the California Republican Party.

Did CRA win the battle in such a way that they may ultimately lose the war? Not likely but you never know.

CRA Summer Bout on Saturday

Round two of the dust-up in the California Republican Assembly is scheduled for this Saturday. Rumors of “scorched-earth” retribution are circulating among both camps of the current dispute. The only written account that I have seen is from the Restore the CRA faction lead by Capitol Research Institute President Karen England. The email is short on facts and overflowing with sarcasm and disinformation; however, I have heard that some claims in their email are being considered by the newly elected board. Possibly on the agenda are plans de-chartering several units and then having trials of certain members that could face expulsion from the organization.

De-chartering some CRA units is based on their compliance with Restore the CRA’s request that local units withhold membership information for the Credentials Committee headed by George Park prior to the April convention. As far as I can ascertain, former Membership Secretary Peggy Mew has never turned her records over to the new Board or her replacement George Park. As a result, Park has no information that documents the existence of these rogue units. Since no records exists that prove these non-complying groups are legitimate, they will be deemed to not exist. If they wish recognition then they will have to go thru the chartering process—which is expected to be revised at the Saturday meeting.

If such an action were to happen, it should be done in an affirmative manner that says these are legitimate units in our records, any groups not on this list must submit themselves to the chartering process since the Board has no record of their existence and they refused multiple attempts requesting the information. However, the rumor is that each group in danger of losing their charter will be tried individually in front of the whole Board. A separate vote will then be taken to remove each chapter. I really hope the folks in charge have more sense than to adopt such a vindictive and time consuming strategy.

The other rumored agenda item is the trial and expulsion of several members that were leaders involved in Restore the CRA—including Karen England. I think such a move is beyond the legitimate boundaries of action that should be considered or taken by the Board. Such a move would be a sign of weakness by the current leadership and proof that England was correct in her diagnosis of the state of the CRA.

A friend tried to explain the current situation to me this way. Two factions in Placer County are fighting among themselves and this has spilled over into the CRA. Simultaneously, at least two factions in Orange County are also at war with each other. Many involved on opposing sides are CRA members. It just so happens that the two groups on the losing side in Placer and Orange have united to challenge the side in power in CRA. Whether this explanation adequately captures the outlines of the conflict, clearly folks from Placer and the O.C. are the focal points of the current controversy.

Lastly, since the CRA conflict is pending arbitration by the California Republican Party, it seems reasonable to think any heavy-handed retribution by the current CRA leadership against England and the Restore the CRA folks could turn into a suicide pact for the group. England has a lot more friends in the CRP and than in CRA leadership. CRA should tread lightly or there may be hell to pay.

I can see it now on Saturday morning…
The command is given to form the circular firing squad. Then as the Republicans face each other across the circle the order is given, “Ready, Fire, Aim.” Yep, just another day of Party politics.

Amazon Tax to the Ballot

Yeah. is taking the newly imposed tax to the ballot. The California legislature is willing to take a one billion loss just to say they tax Internet sales. California has no way to track these sales taxes except to have complete access to all sales records of Amazon and their California affiliates. Amazon and other online retailers can’t be compelled to give these records to the government. California would lose this fight in Federal Court but it would take years and they would have to go thru the Ninth Circuit to win. The ballot is a better place to start and they have the funds to see this thru to the end.

Kenneth C Davis another History Revisionist

My wife ran across an article that appeared on the Des Moines Register website. It was called “Historian: Why U.S. is not a Christian nation” by Kenneth C Davis.|head

The author “cherry picks” a few historical references—mostly related to Thomas Jefferson—and his letter to the Danbury Baptist association to try to prove the “wall of separation between church and state” is the original intent of the Founders. It is his contention that the belief that America was founded as a “Christian nation” was an invention of the 20th century.

The Constitution and the views of these founding fathers trump all arguments about references to God in presidential speeches (permitted under the First Amendment), on money (not introduced until the Civil War), the Pledge of Allegiance (“under God” added in 1954) and in the national motto “In God We Trust” (adopted by law in 1956).

And those contentious monuments to the Ten Commandments found around the country and occasionally challenged in court? Many of them were installed as a publicity stunt for Cecile B. DeMille’s 1956 Hollywood spectacle, “The Ten Commandments.”|head

This is dishonest history disguised as scholarship. Please note that he does not quote anything prior to 1954 that references God to try to prove his argument. Were he an honest historian, Davis would give the reason that God was added to the Pledge and our Motto was a reaction to the rise of the Soviet Union and their official doctrine of a secular, atheistic empire. No one that knows history would use these things as the only proof that America was founded as a Christian Nation. This is a simple misdirection on his part.

His claim about the Ten Commandments is even more bogus. The Bible including the Ten Commandments has been the core of school curriculum in the West since the Reformation. The Bible and Shakespeare were the primary books that Abraham Lincoln used to educate himself. Only since the rise of Darwin, Marx and other secularists has this changed.

As Paul Harvey used to say, “And now the rest of the story.”

The Washington Monument

When the monument was under construction in 1854, the Washington National Monument Society ran out of money and the project ground to a halt. Twenty-five years later, the U.S. Government took over and completed the upper two-thirds of the structure by 1884 using marble from a different quarry.

On the 140-foot landing of the monument, a memorial stone is inscribed with a prayer from the city of Baltimore. It reads “May Heaven to this union continue its beneficence; may brotherly affection with union be perpetual; may the free constitution which is the work of our ancestors be sacredly maintained and its administration be stamped with wisdom and with virtue.”

On the 260-foot landing of the Washington Monument memorial stones quote Proverbs 10:7, Proverb 22:6, and Luke 17:6. These stones were presented by Sunday school children from New York and Philadelphia…

The cornerstone for the monument was laid on July 4, 1848, within the cornerstone rests the Holy Bible, presented by the Bible Society. The monument was opened to the public on October 9, 1888. In total, there are 36,491 stones. Inserted into the interior walls of the monument are 188 carved stones presented by individuals, societies, cities, states, and nations of the world.


Few people know that engraved on the metal cap to the monument, towering 555 feet above the ground are the words, “Praise be to God.” In addition, several tribute blocks line the staircase, and they are inscribed with Bible verses: “Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not; for such is the Kingdom of God (Luke 18:16),” “Search the Scriptures (John 5:39; Acts 17:11),” and “Holiness unto the Lord (Exodus 28:36); 39:30; Zechariah 14:20).”

In addition, the following Scriptures appear on the Washington Monument. Below I quote the King James because this is likely the version that was used.

The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot.  Proverb 10:7

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverb 22:6

And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamore tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you. Luke 17:6

Other taxpayer funded monuments include references to God and the Bible.

Further east, along the Mall’s north side, stands the National Archives.  No building in Washington, save perhaps the Library of Congress, is more emblematic of this nation’s desire to preserve its history as the key to a secure future. Carved in stone adjacent to the entrance of the Archives are the words “What is past is prologue,” appropriately introducing the original parchment of the United States Constitution inside. Inlaid at the Archives’ entrance is a bronze medallion of the Ten Commandments, surrounded by four winged figures representing Legislation, Justice, History, and War and Defense, a testament to the Archives’ architects’ bold witness to the centrality of biblical truth to the American experience.

Still further east, the level expanse of the Mall gives way to the gentle rise of Jenkins’ Hill, known by its more political name, Capitol Hill. Below the west front of the Capitol, where our presidents take their inaugural oaths, lay gardens planted with the offerings of people and organizations from around the world. One such planting is a group of five crabapple trees, donated by the people of Iowa in memory of the five Sullivan brothers, sons of the Hawkeye State, who served and died together aboard the U.S.S. Juneau in World War II. This living monument, eloquent beyond words, reminds Americans of the “costly sacrifice” so many families have laid, in Lincoln’s words, “on the altar of freedom.”

The U.S. Capitol also bears public witness to the legacy of biblically inspired faith that Americans have passed on from generation to generation. New England statesman and orator Daniel Webster was voted by the United States Senate in the 1980s as one of the five greatest senators ever to serve in that chamber. In 1851, when the new House and Senate wings of the Capitol were begun, Webster gave a speech that was deposited in the cornerstone. Its final words are these:

If, therefore, it shall hereafter be the will of God that this structure should fall from the base, that its foundations be upturned, and this deposit brought to the eyes of men, be it then known, that on this day the Union of the United States of America stands firm, that their constitution still exists unimpaired, and with all of its original usefulness and glory, growing every day stronger and stronger in the affection of the great body of the American people, and attracting more and more the admiration of the world. And all here assembled, whether belonging to public life or to private life, with hearts devotedly thankful to Almighty God for the preservation of the liberty and happiness of the country, unite in sincere and fervent prayers that this deposit, and the walls and arches, the domes and towers, the columns and the entablatures, now to be erected over it, may endure forever.

Lincoln Memorial Commissioned 1910 Dedicated 1922

National Archives opened in 1935

US Capitol Building was built in 1793 and continued to grow periodically.

The whole Washington Mall was purposely designed as a crucifix. Google “Laus Deo” and see for more information.

You may ask what about the contemporaries of Thomas Jefferson. Davis don’t go into that issue on purpose and neither did he explain what a test oath is or how it related to Article VI of the US Constitution. Why because it proves the falsehood of his claims.

Most states had a state sponsored church at the time that the US Constitution was ratified. No States saw a conflict between having a State sponsored church and the First Amendment.

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.

The First Amendment only restricts the national government from establishing one Church for all of the United States. We often forget that the States created the national government and not the other way around. Many States did sponsor churches of one denomination or another.

The last part of Article VI of the US Constitution reads:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

What is a test oath? It is an oath of adherence to certain beliefs in God and was often required in States as a condition of holding public office. It is consistent with the First Amendment that no national church be established. This keeps America from being just like England where the monarch was both head of state and head of the church.

In the Middle Ages, kings, princes, and feudal lords demanded oaths of loyalty from their vassals. Not just to the prince, but to his religion as well. After the Reformation, if a prince became a Lutheran, everyone in his realm became a Lutheran. By law. Anyone accepting a political office or public trust took an oath of loyalty to the prince and to the Catholic (or Lutheran, or whatever) faith.

In America, many of the colonies limited political offices to members of the Church of England, or other denominations. After the Revolution against Britain, very few people wanted their tax dollars to pay the salaries of the clergy for the Church of England (no surprise). But which denomination would be supported by taxes and oaths? The colonists decided to eliminate taxes and oaths which favored any particular denomination. Before the Constitution was written, every state had eliminated the requirement that public office holders be members of a particular denomination. The Revolution (not the First Amendment) effectively marked the end of test oaths and “established churches.”

But every state still required that politicians believe in God. Atheists could not take an oath of any kind. An oath was a declaration of belief in God. That’s what an oath is: The oath taker declares that he believes in God and that he is fully aware that God will judge him if what he says is false or if what he promises is not fulfilled.

At the time the Constitution was ratified, these two points were universally understood:

• An oath could be taken only by someone who believed in God.
• An oath of office could be taken by anyone who believed in God, regardless of denominational affiliation. In short, no other “religious test” would be required.

Both before and after the Constitution was ratified, the states required candidates to be Biblically qualified to take the oath of office. They were not required to affirm their membership in a particular denomination, but they were required to swear that they were Christians. If you were not a Christian, you could not hold office.

If memory serves correctly, Georgia was the last state to drop the requirement that a person had to believe in God in order to testify in a court of law. This was in the 1980’s. It makes sense; if you don’t believe that God will punish you for bearing false witness (violating one of the Ten Commandments) for lying on the witness stand then what compels you to tell the truth?

This is just a brief survey of the material that proves that the author, Kenneth C Davis is a liar. Properly understood, Jefferson’s wall only protects the Church from the State. The Founders never envisioned that the State should be free from the influence of Christianity. Quite the opposite, our Founders assume that a Christian people are necessary for freedom and liberty. Davis isn’t interested in religious liberty; he is really advocating freedom from religion not of religion. Davis dare not cite the Mayflower Compact or other documents that came from the colonial period because none support his claim.

Jefferson’s letter to the Newbury Baptists was just an obscure document until the Supreme Court elevated it as the basis of a decision issued in 1947. So why is Davis so upset that “under God” was added to the Pledge just seven short years after has precious “wall of separation” was created by the Supreme Court? Jefferson’s wall doesn’t even mean what the Court said it did in 1947. It was just a tool to get them the outcome that they wanted; a “fig leaf” to give them political cover for their decision. It’s no different than the current Court quoting European law as precedent when no such case can be cited within our own court system. It is a device for the Court to legislate from the bench. Talk about violating original intent!

Reaction to SB 48: Tilting at Windmills

This week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the Mark Leno bill that mandated that all California public schools must integrate instruction of lesbian, gay and bi-sexual people into their curriculum from Kindergarten thru high school. That Brown signed yet another stupid social engineering bill from Leno is no surprise, I was disappointed by the predictable reactionary response from some on the Conservative side of the isle.

As usual, our guys are suffering a loss of big picture. They want to reverse SB 48—which I think is a good idea—but they have no interest in not only reversing SB 48 but protecting our children from similar legislation that has been passed as well as any more stupid ideas that might be forced upon us in the future.

Clearly the quickest route to challenge bad legislation is through the ballot initiative process. But what kind of initiative? Do we simply just reverse SB 48 knowing that they will tweak it slightly and pass it again or do we try to reform the system in a way that such legislation is meaningless? If they both cost the same to bring before voters then which is the wiser course of action? Which will have the best possibility of success?

Yesterday I received an email that advocated a simple reversal of SB 48. This was my response.

This is not a strategic way of dealing with this issue. It would be better to do a ballot initiative to put curriculum decisions into the hands of local school boards. If local schools could decide textbooks and standards and not have these decisions forced upon them by legislators and the State Dept of Education, you would allow more accountability for education and protect children from these stupid mandates from people like Mark Leno.

Fighting SB48 head-on is a losing proposition. First it will rally the gays, unions and the Democrat Party against you. Second, we don’t have the money to fight this battle. Third, when we lose, it will embolden the other side to take this nationwide. In the end we will be worse-off for fighting on their terms. You need to redefine this issue in a way that advances favorable reasons why local control is better than these stupid and irrelevant (and politically correct) social engineering mandates.

California schools are in the bottom of the nation in terms of education. Arguing against Mark Leno and mandates for social engineering should be argued on the basis that our children and the teachers don’t have time for this B.S. when the children can’t learn the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic. Make SB48 irrelevant by placing curriculum control on a local level. This is both the Republican way and the way our Founders intended these decisions to be made.


Then last night I saw this on the KOVR TV website.

Group Begins Pushing Back Against Gay History Bill

SACRAMENTO, California (AP) – A family advocacy group is already challenging a new California law that adds lessons about gays to social studies classes.

Paulo Sibaja of the Sacramento-based Capitol Resource Institute said he started the process Friday for a statewide vote to overturn the bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown a day earlier.

Brown, a Democrat, signed SB 48, making California the first state in the nation to teach about gays and lesbians in a public school curriculum.

Advocates say the new law will teach students to be more accepting in light of the bullying that happens to gay students. It also ensures that students are taught about the contributions of people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender in social studies.

Conservatives opposed the law, saying it would teach children to accept homosexuality.

Then this morning I was sent the following:


The letter was sent all in capital letters which we all know is reserved for shouting. Will shouting at me do any good? Not likely.

Neither the author quoted above nor the Capitol Resource Institute has a proverbial “pot to piss in” so where do they think they will get the millions of dollars to qualify a ballot initiative or run the campaign necessary to win. To run a successful campaign they will need around 30 million dollars just to be credible. As they have defined it, this is such a narrow issue that they have no hope of winning.

Just look at the next election cycle. We have new legislative districts in all 50 states, Presidential primaries, congressional races, some important US Senate races and we are arguably in the midst of a depression (not a recession) and you want to wage this war against the gays, the unions and the Democrat Party. The public employee unions in California have over 250 million dollars to spend in the next election. Give these realities, where are you going to find the money from the private sector that you need to run a stop SB 48 campaign? What did you not understand about the stop AB 23 campaign? It was funded by businesses not a bunch of poor folks in churches and they lost badly. Why would the stop AB 48 campaign be any different?

Scripture and common sense both tell us not to start something that we cannot successfully complete. Instead of tilting at the SB 48 windmill why not do something that reforms the educational process and returns local control and accountability. If Leno’s stupid bill gets negated by the empowerment of local school districts then too bad.

I often say that we are playing checkers—usually badly—while the other side is playing chess. They are several moves ahead and we are marveling at what they are able to accomplish. Is it any wonder that we lose so badly? Not really! Strategic thinking in conservative political circles is a rare commodity.

Isaac Air Freight-Fun in the Son

his is a review that I wrote for I’m glad this classic LP is finally available as an mp3 download.

Isaac Air Freight is a trio of funny guys that features the talents of Dan Rupple, Dave Toole and Larry Watt. Watt left after this LP was released. He was replaced by Mitch Teemley. Isaac Air Freight was a group that performed comedy in churches and Christian music festivals. Mostly their material consisted parodies of Bible stories and various contemporary pop-culture icons.

Fun in the Son was originally released in 1978 by Maranatha. At the time Maranatha was home to Daniel Amos, Parable, Sweet Comfort Band and many other cutting edge contemporary Christian groups. I never recall seeing Fun in the Son released on CD; however, portions were available on a three CD set from an online source.

To understand some of the context of the first two albums you need to remember the influence that Hal Lindsey’s Late Great Planet Earth had on the evangelical community of the 1970’s. Rapture fever was rampant in many circles. America was experiencing the malaise of the Carter administration with double digit inflation and gasoline lines. Paul Ehrlich’s Population Bomb was believed by many to be fact. Many Americans were convinced that “The End” was near. Against this backdrop, Isaac Air Freight was launched to provide a vehicle for Christians to bring the gospel to a generation that was literally abandoning the faith of their fathers and seeking after other gods.

“Let’s Trade Your Salvation” is a full-on parody of the popular TV game show “Let’s Make a Deal” It features the contestant Buck Weaser—a recurring character on the album—wheeling and dealing with host Monty Lucifer for his salvation. This is one of Isaac Air Freight’s best skits ever.

“Religion Store” is the first of several parodies on cults that were released on their various albums. 1978 is the year when Jim Jones had his Kool-Aid laced mass-suicide. Cults and drugs were the major worries of parents during this era.

“Bible Junkie” is a monologue by a young man that comes clean about his addiction to “The Word.” This clever segment uses many terms used at the time by heroin addicts that are applied to a man that is zealous about his relationship with God. It concludes with, “I’m hooked; but I’m hooked on the real thing.”

The concluding skit is “Jerusalem Dragnet.” This is one of the best parodies of Jack Webb’s “Dragnet” that I have ever heard. It is the story of the arrest and crucifixion of Jesus from the point of view of sergeant Friday and his partner. Judas betrays Jesus for bowling money. Peter denied Jesus three times and then the rooster crows. This parody was so popular that “Jerusalem Dragnet II” was released a few albums later. There are a few very inside references that you may not get without explanation. The music playing on the stereo is “Peter, James, and John” by Parable—another Maranatha band. You will also hear music artist Malcolm doing a “walk-on” looking for Alwyn.

“The Last World Series Report” has some memorable lines. “I still remember that great game Daniel had some years back against the Lions. Shut `em out as I recall.”

“Crazy Christians” and “Rapture Airlines” are the first of many fake commercials that Isaac Air Freight did over their many LPs.

This is a great album and I’m glad to see it on Amazon for downloading. Now I have one less reason to buy a USB turntable.