Principles And Values

I have had a couple of days to think on this, and my initial thoughts seem to return. There is a problem I must discuss, because I believe a good man has been wronged, and only openness and the truth might mitigate the damage done by a person who seems to have an agenda to destroy his reputation and career.

I am a member of a local 912 group. The group name, based on where we were as a country the day after 9/11/2001, as well as representing the nine principles, and twelve values somewhat randomly arrived at by Glenn Beck for his radio and TV program. As a country after 9/11 we were in solidarity, and there was a sense that no partisan divide would break our will to unify and combat that which attacked us. The principles and values Beck chose to highlight are those things he felt were quite American by nature, and reflect the spirit this country’s foundation is built upon.

The Nine Principles

  1. America is good.
  2. I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life.
  3. I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.
  4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.
  5. If you break the law, you pay the penalty. Justice is blind, no one is above it.
  6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.
  7. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with whom I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.
  8. It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion.
  9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.

The Twelve Values

  1. Honesty
  2. Reverence
  3. Hope
  4. Thrift
  5. Humility
  6. Charity
  7. Sincerity
  8. Moderation
  9. Hard Work
  10. Courage
  11. Personal Responsibility
  12. Gratitude

The group has members from both sides of the aisle. It REGULARLY sees 60-70 people show up weekly, at what might seem to some, a poor time for a convenient gathering. The constitution is discussed, and reviewed. Outreach projects to teach the constitution have been underway, and have been greatly successful. We have organized community rallies and a major Tea Party that drew thousands. The group has striven to get citizens involved in all areas of government, and has become a place to learn about those areas WITHOUT endorsing any candidate.

Admittedly, the group leans conservative, but we have had speakers and presentations that were not from party persuasions normally associated with ‘conservative’ thought. We have occasional disagreements on how best to pursue projects, but for the most part allow our core beliefs and values to guide us to the best end.

The members generally share the principles described above. And as far as I have seen, do their best to pursue those values that advance our culture and country.

But as with any large group that is seen as highly successful, is thriving, and moves forward in a positive manner, there are those who may believe membership itself brings them to that better place the rest of us are still trying to reach. That simply being a part of an organization with goals, means they have reached those goals.. By default.

We have those in this group. I know it.. We all know it. But we don’t seek them out. We don’t identify, and speaking for myself would rather passively set an example if I am able, to those who might not know how to pursue such values as outlined above. Sometimes ugliness will rear its head however, and we must deal with it either in a spiritual manner, or confront it directly.

I pray this direct discussion finds a few who are wiser than I on such issues.

As regular readers have known, I have now organized three separate bus excursions, as well as other extracurricular activities with regard to our liberties, our freedom, our challenge to a growing governing power, the latest, being a trip to Washington DC for the Glenn Beck rally which involved 912 members and non members alike. This trip was August 28.

For this last trip, I was unable to ride with the bus to DC, and in a strange twist of fate found myself loading as a substitute passenger, recently retired Michigan Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Weaver. In fact for one leg of the trip before the Bus left the state and I bid the passengers a fare-thee-well wave, I was fortunate to have as a passenger in my personal vehicle, Justice Weaver for an hour and 15 minute discussion on the last leg of the Michigan stops.

Given the events leading up to her retirement, it seemed to me an opportunity not to be missed. Weaver is an engaging personality, and was not at all a disappointment from an information gatherer’s perspective. She likes to talk, has real things to talk about, and has enough of a history that would behoove someone who might even be openly critical of her judicial tenure to listen carefully.

I did.

As some things do however, it took some time for me to really process all that she said in that drive between Grand Rapids and Okemos. It was one side of the coin. I have talked a little about it on these pages as well as elsewhere, but only that which stood out as understandable. What else she said has festered somewhat, until I heard it again in a video she produced of her speech to our 912 group that she joined immediately after that trip in late August.

The video appeared on a website that appears to have as one of its missions, the changing of our Michigan Supreme Court in a way that would reduce the number of Justice Bob Youngs.. by one. It appeared shortly before another event the 912 group was to have: a speaking engagement by Justice Young and candidate Mary Beth Kelly. The video was mostly Justice Weaver talking down Justice Young.

I saw the video, and as I was not at the group meeting that day, it occurred to me that maybe the joining of the 912 group by Justice Weaver was not as purely driven as her being Glenn Beck’s biggest fan. The timing notwithstanding I am still a rather trusting sort, and concluded personally that much like horses on Mackinac Island will have other horses they hate instinctively, so it must be with some prized ponies in the stables of our judiciary.

That is until the morning of the presentation by Justice Young.

The venue which we hold our 912 meetings has a non partisan policy. The organization which owns our room that we rent is a non-profit and cannot be seen as endorsing any candidate, and though events for political candidates have been hosted there, they must remain private parties. Advertising for drop in or as an event of a political nature violates the charter, and can threaten the status.

Our presentation on the constitution by Justice Young was adjourned by the coincidental nature of his candidacy for the upcoming election, and what now appears to be a willful attempt to make his life miserable. Somehow, the local news organizations ‘discovered’ his speaking engagement, and again, coincidentally, discovered the controversy being ginned up with the Weaver presentation from a week earlier. It became front page news, when it shouldn’t have been even a page 3 piece.

It was not a political event, no signs, not even a sticker, but rather an opportunity that our group had to hear from a man who is a sitting Michigan Supreme Court Justice. About the constitution.

And we had to tell him to hit the road.

I speak for myself when I write, but I have no doubt that many who were there and witnessed this unfold have many regrets. It is truly sad when the actions of so few can deprive the many of what promised to be an excellent presentation. He had pledged his time to us and we had to turn him away.

Its bad enough to see the lies the left has unleashed on Justice Young in some recent commercials. Lies about environmental issues, or pollution by oil concerns. Lies he has already answered:

” Here is the very most basic answer: my decision in the Nestle case (which is the subject of that commercial) had NOTHING to do with the BP oil spill or the Enbridge spill in Kalamazoo. In the Nestle case, I wrote the opinion that held that only plaintiffs who have suffered an actual harm as a result of a defendant’s misconduct can bring a lawsuit against that defendant.

Pretty common sense, right? You must suffer an actual harm to bring a lawsuit against another person. In fact, in the Nestle case, the Michigan Supreme Court specifically held that some of those plaintiffs could continue with their lawsuit!

The Court did NOT hold that polluters could not be liable; the Court did NOT hold that individual citizens who are harmed cannot bring a lawsuit; we did NOT overturn at 30-year old law; we did NOT hold that Michigan taxpayers must pay the bill for environmental harms; the ruling had NOTHING to do with BP or Enbridge, which occurred years later. Unfortunately, nearly every single claim in this commercial is simply not true. “

Indeed.. It’s also notable the Michigan Democrats had a back up plan of showing him as a ‘sleeping judge’ in the manner they confused voters about Cliff Taylor. We have published before the evidence of this activity.

But to have a member of this group, this 912 group, which has committed itself to things so right, and so truly admirable, do something as despicable as abuse the trust of the group for her personal vendetta, is disappointing.  Perhaps a re-review of the Principles and Values could provide some guidance, maybe starting with a little humility.

The future should have no use for such abuses of our charity. And a good man whom should be the recipient of our deepest respect is deserving of an apology.

5 comments for “Principles And Values

  1. Jayne Frank
    October 30, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    Very thoughtful article Jason. As one who was in the parking lot with Justice Young when he left the room, I apologized for the group,that the partisan issue had come up at all, and mostly I apologized for myself, because so deep in my soul I felt humiliated and knew that much damage had been done and quite frankly it took me back to places and actions of my father and grandfather’s generation where I thought I would never be again. I agree with you that if the person causing this problem cannot find it in their heart to apologize to Justice Young and the group, that at least our 912 group can compose an open letter of apology to Justice Young and post it on our site.

  2. Beth Webster
    October 31, 2010 at 4:13 am

    Good article, Jason. It put into words unsettling feelings I had that I couldn’t express in any coherent fashion. I was somewhat awed by Justice Weaver and put more weight to her words than they warranted even when they nudged that old ‘red flag’ in my head. Thank you for your clear head and your courage in taking on such a controversial topic.

  3. Jeri Irene LeRoi
    October 31, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Thank you Jason for expressing so well the event and feelings of so many on that day. It is clear, Judge Young did not deserve this treatment. In addition, the venue and the host of the event were all dismayed by the repercussions of the event. Along with the apology to Judge Young and the meeting location, aplogies to all that were turned away because of the misrepresentation by the local press is also in order. Thanks Jason for pulling all the facts together so all who were touched by the event will have the whole story.

  4. Penny Nelson
    November 1, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Holy cow. Thank you for clearing the air. I should remind myself not to be so easily swayed. I MUST question, as Glenn Beck says repeatedly.

    Thank you again SOOO much.

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