Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Supreme Court rules in favor of religious liberty and school choice


Montana violated the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment when it barred religious schools from participating in a tax credit program established by the Legislature, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Tuesday.

“The application of the no-aid provision discriminated against religious schools and the families whose children attend or hope to attend them in violation of the Free Exercise Clause of the Federal Constitution,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue.

The program, set up in 2015, allowed individuals and businesses to take tax credits on donations to organizations that granted scholarships to students to attend private schools. The case stemmed from a denial of scholarship funds to several parents including Kendra Espinoza, who sought to use the scholarship money to send her two daughters to Stillwater Christian School.

The public interest law firm Institute for Justice, which represented the plaintiffs, hailed the ruling as a “major victory to parents who want to choose the best school for their children, including religious schools.”

Big Sky Scholarships, an organization set up specifically to distribute tax credit scholarships, distributed money to Stillwater Christian School and other private schools in the state.

The executive branch of Montana was divided on how to implement the program in light of the “no-aid clause” in the state constitution, which prevents tax dollars from going to religious entities. So-called Blaine amendments have their roots in anti-Catholic bigotry, according to IJ.

The Department of Revenue tried to bar money from going to religious schools, implementing a regulation referred to as Rule 1, but the Montana attorney general disagreed. The Montana Supreme Court sided with the department in 2018 and struck down the entire program, leading to the Supreme Court case.

The ruling today will open up the school choice program to families who want to send their kids to religiously affiliated schools. According to NPR, “70% of all private schools in Montana are religiously affiliated,” and 12 of the 13 schools that received funding from the Big Sky organization were religious schools.

The Trump administration praised the ruling. The White House stated that “school choice is a civil rights issue,” adding that “no parent should be forced to send their child to a failing school.”

Corey DeAngelis, director of school choice for the Reason Foundation, also praised the ruling on Twitter: “Barring aid from religious schools discriminates against religious schools and families who want that kind of education for their children.”

Today’s ruling is a victory for school choice advocates and especially for low-income and minority families, who benefit the most from the programs. The Heritage Foundation argues that breaking up the public school monopoly and giving students a variety of schools to choose from helps improve graduation rates, citing a study on the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Leo Terrell: Black Lives Matter is 'profiting' on a 'false narrative'

By Victor Garcia | Fox News

Terrell blasted the narrative that "systemic discrimination" was real, saying that a large portion of law enforcement meant well.

Civil rights attorney Leo Terrell joins "Life, Liberty & Levin" on Sunday night where he addresses his issues with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, saying the organization's motivation is money and calling them "profiteers."

"This is why Black Lives Matter is basically, in my opinion, the Al Sharpton of the 21st century. They're profiteers. They are profiting on trying to give a narrative, a false narrative that is white racist cops, deaths destroying the black community," Terrell told host Mark Levin.

"You point out Chicago. No [BLM] presence walking through the neighborhood protesting to stop black-on-black crime. Al Sharpton goes to the George Floyd funeral. You use a funeral to launch a campaign speech attacking Donald Trump. I don't see Al Sharpton in Chicago. That 3-year-old kid who was killed. You know why? Because it's not profitable. There's no money to be made."

Terrell blasted the narrative that "systemic discrimination" was real, saying that a large portion of law enforcement meant well.

"And we talk about Chicago. You talk about Atlanta. You talk about Washington, D.C., and L.A., this big lie, Mark, of systemic discrimination. How can you have systemic discrimination in Chicago when the leadership of minority?" Terrell said. "I know systemic discrimination is, it does not exist. But yet this is the narrative that the Black Lives leadership portrays."

"They don't know what they're talking about. This is not 1960. We don't have Bull Connor and the German shepherds," Terrell said. "This is 2020. I an African-American on your show. It's not like it was 50 years ago. But Black Lives Matter and the Democratic leadership wants you to think it's 1960. Well, I'm sick of that narrative."

Levin asked the civil rights activist if Black Lives Matters was a "growing element" within the Democratic Party.

"Black Lives Matter have [sic] dominated social media... and the perception is that they control the Democratic Party," Terrell said. "I'm hoping, I'm begging I'm praying that they don't control the Democratic Party. But the current status right now, it is, it has controlled the Democratic Party. It has muted Democratic leadership. The Democratic leadership is afraid of Black Lives Matter for a variety of reasons."

Terrell said he believes "the most insulting" reason Democrats are afraid of the movement is that they think they speak for all African-Americans.

"Let me be clear, Black Lives Matter does not speak for Leo Terrell. And there is no representative, there is no monolithic group like Black Lives Matter that speak for African-Americans," Terrell said. "We are individuals and we have our own individual opinion. I can assure you those African-Americans in these Democratic cities, they want law and order."




The Thin Blue Line

By Linda Goudsmit

There are good cops and there are bad cops. There are good doctors and there are bad doctors.

The 24/7 fake news media insists that the mob is tearing down statues, smashing windows, looting, and burning down cities because a bad cop killed a man. I don't think so.

Does the mob burn down hospitals when a bad doctor kills a patient? No, why not? Because there is no advantage to the rulers of the mob in burning hospitals to the ground. The phrase "mob rule" is a misnomer because the mob is not self-ruled, the mob does not rule the mob, the mob has leaders. ANTIFA and Black Lives Matter (BLM) are racist, supremacist, anti-American domestic terrorist organizations. Their leaders advocate the overthrow of the U.S. government, reverse discrimination, and eliminating police departments.

In a civilized society there are lawful remedies to remove bad cops and bad doctors. It can be legitimately argued that it is difficult to remove bad cops and bad doctors because their unions and licensing boards are self-monitoring and self-governing. Police unions require too many infractions for removal, and medical doctors can simply move to another state and practice elsewhere without any limitation or public disclosure. In a civilized society, the remedy for these difficulties is changing the guidelines for removal, or even the structure of the governing bodies themselves.

So, why the violence and support of anarchy? Because the rulers of the mob are not looking for lawful reform to remove bad cops - the rulers of the mob want to remove the rule of law. There are no laws without law enforcement, only chaos.

The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), the largest fraternal organization of sworn law enforcement officers in the United States has over 330,000 members organized in 2,200 chapters (lodges) across the country. According to the FOP:

"The five-cornered star tends to remind us of the allegiance we owe to our Flag and is a symbol of the authority with which we are entrusted. It is an honor the people we serve bestow upon us. They place their confidence and trust in us; serve them proudly. Midway between the points and center of the star is a blue field representative of the thin blue line protecting those we serve. Within the half circle over the centerpiece is our motto, 'Jus, Fidus, Libertatum' which translated means 'Law is a Safeguard of Freedom.'"

The thin blue line is what keeps society from descending into violent chaos.

The advantage of tearing down statues, smashing windows, looting, and burning down cities for the rulers of the mob is overwhelming social chaos to make the country ungovernable. Why? Because social chaos is the prerequisite for seismic social change. The mob rulers fully intend to fundamentally transform America and replace our constitutional republic with socialism.

Antifa and BLM are foot soldiers of the revolution. The identifiable mob leaders are contracted by the unobserved globalist elite. It is the globalist bosses who are directing the social chaos by funding and fomenting mob violence, and by neutering the police force with radical leftist stand-down policies.

Voter beware! The goal of the radical leftist Democrat party and their globalist bosses is not regulatory reform. Their ultimate goal is to replace the existing blue police force with their own mercenary stormtroopers. Antifa and BLM will become the brownshirts of the new normal in America. The radical leftist Democrat war on police is the last stage in the globalist war on America.

Social chaos in Minneapolis, Portland, and Seattle are the blueprint for establishing autonomous zones that will fundamentally transform America from freedom to tyranny. Parallel NO-GO zones established by Islamists in European countries have been stunningly successful in eliminating the laws and law enforcement of the host country, and in fundamentally transforming the zones from freedom to tyranny under Islamic sharia law.

Eliminating the police force and dissolving the second amendment are the strategic goals of the globalist initiative that leave Americans totally unprotected and vulnerable to globalist takeover. Without the protection of the thin blue line, the globalist elite bosses can win their war on America. All they have to do is convince Americans that all cops are bad cops. Corporate sponsors of BLM and Antifa support the globalist effort with virtue signaling platitudes.

The globalist mainstream media promotes the globalist effort with demonstrably false accusations of systemic racism that are repeated incessantly. The war on America is a comprehensive attack on American freedom. Law is a safeguard of freedom, and there is no rule of law without law enforcement. Of course the ultimate target of the revolution is the police. The thin blue line is what stands between anarchy and freedom. What the useful idiots protesting in support of Antifa and BLM do not realize, is that after the chaos comes the tyranny of globalist oppression.

There are no individual freedoms in the New World Order of the globalist elite. The unified globalized world is a binary socio-political system with the globalist ruling elite at the the top of the pyramid, and the enslaved population who serve them below. Globalism is the twenty-first century name for feudalism. The New World Order is the very old system of masters and slaves.

VOTER BEWARE! The radical leftist political mob in Washington plans to use your vote to transfer your freedoms, your liberties, and your constitutional rights to the waiting globalist elite. Political Armageddon is scheduled on November 3, 2020.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Cuomo’s Covid Chutzpah: Texas and Florida have a long way to go to match New York’s virus record.

By The Editorial Board | The Wall Street Journal

Texas and Florida put their economic reopenings on pause Friday amid new coronavirus flare-ups, and you can almost feel the Schadenfreude rising from newsrooms and Democratic offices. Serves those Republican-run states right for opening so quickly!

The truth is that those states began reopening several weeks ago, and not all states that have reopened have had major outbreaks. The causes of the flare-ups are varied. Some may spread among young people ignoring social-distancing advice. Border counties in Texas have been especially hard hit, perhaps from cross-border migration from hard-hit Mexico. Houston had 60,000 people at the George Floyd funeral and demonstration three weeks ago, and masks weren’t ubiquitous.

The outbreaks are worrying, but the reopening was always going to require trial and error. Opening up bars to regular business may have been a mistake, and now Florida and Texas are shutting them down or limiting the number of patrons. The flare-ups should cause people to be more cautious, but they don’t justify the economic and public-health damage of strict new state-wide lockdowns.

As for chutzpah, the prize goes to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who reveled in the misery of others on Friday: “Oh, I say to them all, look at the numbers. You played politics with this virus and you lost. You told the people of your state and you told the people of this country, White House, ‘Don’t worry about it. Just open up, go about your business, this is all Democratic hyperbole.’ Oh, really? Now you see 27 states with the numbers going up. You see the death projections going up.”

To reinforce his thumb in the eye, Mr. Cuomo declared that travelers to New York from Utah, Arizona, Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida will need to quarantine for 14 days. The order applies to states either with a positive-test rate over 10% or more than 10 in 100,000 residents testing positive per day over the last seven days. This will be difficult to enforce, but Mr. Cuomo said New York police may pull over cars with out-of-state licenses.

This comes with ill-grace from the man whose state still has by far the most virus infections and deaths. He’s also contradicting his own statements from earlier in the pandemic. When Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo in March had police stop cars with New York license plates, Mr. Cuomo threatened to sue and tweeted, “We will not let New Yorkers be discriminated against.” Now he’s discriminating against other states, and notice that just one of his eight target states is run by a Democrat.

Mr. Cuomo is responsible for the single worst public-policy mistake of this pandemic: His administration’s order requiring nursing homes to accept Covid-19 patients from hospitals. That bad judgment let the virus rampage through institutions with the most vulnerable populations. Florida has some 4,000 homes for assisted senior living but locked down those facilities and it tests every worker at those institutions every two weeks.

None of the new state flare-ups come close to the severity of New York’s. New York state’s average positivity test rate exceeded 30% in late March and peaked above 50% in early April. Deaths are a lagging indicator, but New York had more than 900 fatalities a day at the peak. That’s more than as many daily deaths as there are in the entire U.S., with the exception of Friday when New Jersey reclassified some 1,854 deaths as probable from the virus.

The Statista website, which tracks Covid deaths, reports that as of June 26 New Jersey (167) and New York (161) had far and away the most virus deaths in the country per 100,000 people. Arizona had 21, Florida only 15, and Texas eight.

Perhaps Mr. Cuomo is touting outbreaks elsewhere because he hopes they will help people forget his record. He ought to be thanking everyone, in Washington and other states, who helped New York in its hour of desperate need.

Urgent Call to Action for D.C. - Volunteers Needed - Oath Keepers

Urgent call to action for DC: volunteers needed to provide security escorts & to protect monuments, such as the WWII monument (which was defaced by anti-American idiots).


We have a duty to step up and defend our nation, our communities, our historic monuments, and our fellow Americans from this violent Marxist insurrection, intent on overthrowing our Constitution and laws.

Those of us with the training and experience to be defenders have an even greater obligation to step up. Get it done right where you live, in your home town and state. But if you can also go to D.C., we need you there.

Oath Keepers are stepping up to defend police families, people under threat, businesses, homes, and monuments nationwide. Please support our efforts and more importantly please step up to help.

You are needed to help provide security escorts for patriotic Americans who simply want to peaceably assemble in DC or visit our national monuments without being attacked by violent leftists. Please step up and volunteer.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

An Underappreciated American Scholar

Source: (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Dr. Thomas Sowell has been both a friend and a colleague of mine for over a half-century. On June 30, he will have completed his 90th year of life, and I want to highlight some important features of that life. 

Sowell was born in Gastonia, North Carolina, in 1930. As part of the Great Migration northward during the 1930s and '40s, he and his family moved to Harlem, New York. Sowell attended the prestigious Stuyvesant High School but dropped out. In 1951, he was drafted into the military and assigned to the U.S. Marine Corps, where he became a photographer. Photography remains his hobby today.

After his military tour of duty, Sowell took night classes at Howard University, where he was encouraged to apply to Harvard University. He earned a bachelor's degree in economics and graduated magna cum laude in 1958. The next year, he earned a master's degree from Columbia University. Ten years later, Sowell earned a Ph.D. in economics from the prestigious economics department at the University of Chicago. 

As Sowell explains in his autobiography, "A Personal Odyssey," for most of his time in college, he considered himself a Marxist. After studying the effects of a variety of government regulations, such as the minimum wage law, Sowell concluded that free markets are the best alternative, particularly for disadvantaged people.

Sowell taught economics at several universities, including Howard University, Rutgers, Cornell, Brandeis University, Amherst College and UCLA. Since 1980, he has been a senior fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, where he holds the Rose and Milton Friedman fellowship. By the way, Nobel laureates Milton Friedman and George Stigler were two of Sowell's tenacious mentors when he was a student at the University of Chicago.

Most of those familiar with Sowell's writings do not have any idea about his early research interests in the history of economic thought. His dissertation, titled "Say's Law and the General Glut Controversy," analyzed the work of French economist Jean-Baptiste Say. His early research in the history of economic thought that appeared in refereed academic journals included writings on Sir Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Karl Marx, Samuel Bailey and Jean Charles Leonard de Sismondi. These and later writings make up his 19 scholarly publications.

Most academics do not publish that many scholarly articles in a lifetime. And, in addition, Sowell has written 56 books, among them "Say's Law: An Historical Analysis," "Knowledge and Decisions," "A Conflict of Visions," "Late-Talking Children," "Basic Economics," "Discrimination and Disparities" and most recently "Charter Schools and Their Enemies." A full list of his publications can be found on his website. 

Sowell's writings do not end with scholarly publications and books. He has authored 72 essays in periodicals and books, wrote 32 book reviews and was a regular columnist for Creators Syndicate for 25 years, Forbes magazine for eight years, Scripps Howard News Service from 1984 to 1990, and the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner from 1978 to 1980. Sowell has had occasional columns in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Washington Star, Newsweek, The Times (London), Newsday and The Stanford Daily. My colleague not only writes when you and I are asleep or enjoying ourselves, but he might write with two hands.

Sowell cares about people. He believes that compassionate policy requires dispassionate analysis. He takes seriously the admonition given to physicians, "primum non nocere" (first, do no harm). In many respects, Sowell is an Austrian economist like the great Nobel laureate Friedrich Hayek, who often talked about elites and their "pretense of knowledge." These are people who believe that they have the ability and knowledge to organize society in a way better than people left to their own devices -- what Hayek called the fatal conceit. Their vision requires the use of the coercive powers of government.

In my book, Thomas Sowell is one of the greatest economist-philosophers of our age, and I am proud to say that he is one of my best friends. Sowell demonstrates something that is uniquely American: just because you know where a person ended up in life, you cannot be sure about where he started. Unlike many other societies, an American need not start at the top to get to the top. That is something all Americans should be proud of and jealously guard -- the socioeconomic mobility that comes from a relatively free society.

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

Friday, June 26, 2020

The Facebook Ad Boycott Is About Silencing Conservatives, Not Stopping ‘Hate’

In the latest twist on cancel culture, major corporate advertisers are pulling ads from Facebook as part of a #StopHateForProfit campaign launched last week by the Anti-Defamation League. But this campaign isn’t about stopping hate.

On Wednesday, Goodby Silverstein & Partners – which represents companies such as BMW, Frito-Lay, PepsiCo and HP – said it’s joining what is supposed to be a month-long Facebook boycott in July.

“We are taking this action to protest the platform’s irresponsible propagation of hate speech, racism, and misleading voter information,” the ad agency tweeted.

Goodby joins the likes of The North Face, Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, Eileen Fisher, Eddie Bauer, Magnolia Pictures, Upwork, HigherRing, Dashlane and Talkspace in pledging to yank ads from Facebook in July.

The Anti-Defamation League teamed up with the NAACP, and lesser-known groups such as Sleeping Giants, Color of Change, Free Press and Common Sense, to launch the boycott in response, it says, “to Facebook’s long history of allowing racist, violent and verifiably false content to run rampant on its platform.”

But it doesn’t take much investigative work to realize that this campaign is really about pressuring Facebook to do more than it already is to block conservative speech.

In the press release announcing the boycott, NAACP President Derrick Johnson complains that Facebook won’t take “significant steps to remove political propaganda from its platform.” 

Wait. What’s racist or violent about political propaganda? And who decides what makes certain political speech “propaganda”?

Johnson also complains that Facebook is “complacent in the spread of misinformation.” Doesn’t the left consider anything conservatives say to be “misinformation”?

Facebook is also guilty, the boycott group says, of “protecting … voter suppression.”

Dig a little deeper and you realize that “voter suppression” can mean anything from campaigns to mislead voters about when or where they should vote, to completely legitimate claims that imposing an all-mail voting system this November would create new opportunities for fraud.

Next, take a look at the groups organizing the campaign.

Sleeping Giants describes itself as “a campaign to make bigotry and sexism less profitable.” Its mission appears to be deplatforming conservatives.

The organization cheered, for example, when Twitter announced that it was permanently banning British commentator Katie Hopkins, who had a million followers on the platform and has been a columnist for The Sun and The Daily Mail, but whose views were apparently too controversial (read conservative) for Twitter. This is a platform, mind you where the hashtag #killTrump is perfectly OK.

Color of Change calls itself the nation’s largest online racial justice organization and has as one of its goals “dismantling right-wing … infrastructure/support” and “challenging … anti-progressive Trump administration and state policies.”

Its president, Rashad Robinson, has come out in favor of defunding the police, which he calls a “violent institution.”

Common Sense Media is run by Jim Steyer, who has close ties to Hillary Clinton and is the brother of environmental extremist Tom Steyer.

Net neutrality advocacy group Free Press is also involved in the campaign, which is supremely ironic given that its support for net neutrality is premised on “enabling anyone to share and access information of their choosing without interference.” Is it not aware that it’s specifically demanding that Facebook disable and interfere with users’ ability to “share and access information of their choosing”?

The Anti-Defamation League’s decision to attack Facebook is also curious, since Twitter is rife with anti-Semitic language. Two years ago, in fact, the ADL found at least 4.2 million anti-Semitic tweets over a 12-month period.Just a few days ago, the ADL took fire for its weak response to anti-Semitic tweets from rapper Ice Cube, about which it was able to muster only the term “disheartening.”

Why does Twitter get a free pass from these groups? Could it be because Twitter has been aggressively attacking President Donald Trump and those who want limited government, low taxes, free markets, free speech, and the right to own a gun?

So this boycott is nothing more than a politically motivated attempt to silence non-leftist speech. Companies backing it should be ashamed of themselves, not Facebook.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Uncle Tom The Movie: An oral history of the American Black Conservative

Written by Ryder Ansell, Larry Elder, Justin Malone

A collection of intimate interviews with some of America’s most provocative black conservative thinkers, Uncle Tom takes a different look at being black in America. Featuring media personalities, ministers, civil rights activist, veterans, and a self-employed plumber, the film explores their personal journeys of navigating the world as one of America’s most misunderstood political and cultural groups: The American Black Conservative.

In this eye-opening film from Director Justin Malone and Executive Producer Larry Elder, Uncle Tom examines self-empowerment, individualism and rejecting the victim narrative. Uncle Tom shows us a different perspective of American History from this often ignored and ridiculed group.

Cast: Col. Allen B. West, Robert L. Woodson, Brandon Tatum, Carol Swain, Chad O. Jackson, Larry Elder, Herman Cain, Eugene J. Ralph, SR., Jesse Lee Peterson, Damani B. Felder, Kelvin Austin, Patricia Watson, King Face, Joel Patrick, Pastor Stephen Broden, Michael Ayetrwa, R.C. Maxwell, Rob Smith, Viswanag Burra, Candace Owens

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Balanced and Unvarnished : Why mobs are tearing down America's monuments

Tucker Carlson: These aren't protests. This is a totalitarian political movement and someone needs to save us from it.

A Violent Transformation

By Rick Hayes

The "Black Lives Matter" movement's actual goals are better understood by listening to one of the founders' own words. "We're trained Marxists," said Patrisse Cullors. 

Along with wanting to remove President Trump from office and defunding police, the movement openly emphasizes, "disrupting the Western prescribed nuclear family structure." 

In short, Black Lives Matter has little to do with the death of George Floyd and everything to do with terminating the nation's norms and transforming America into a socialist country. The statues being toppled are symbolic of the history of America systematically being erased.

As the cities of America burn, members of Congress fiddle as Nero did. Change needs to come, but it is not the change proposed by BLM.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

'The American Crisis;' 250 years after Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine statue in Norfolk, England. Shutterstock photo

“To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, and whose philosophy in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead.”
– Thomas Paine

In 1980, when Ronald Reagan accepted his party's nomination for president, he reminisced about our nation’s past and its "shared values." He mentioned how far America had drifted from the ethos of our founding of national unity, individual responsibility, with a patriotic and a limited government. He called for a return to the spirit of principles and ideas of Thomas Paine’s, “Common Sense.”

Of all our great founders whose ideas he wanted for America, Ronald Reagan quoted the one who was not honored as a founder, Thomas Paine. Although he inspired and unified the colonies with enlightenment teachings, Paine was considered too radical to attend the Convention of 1787. And his insight into our socio-political future was never reflected in the writing of our Constitution.

In 1774, Ben Franklin told Thomas Paine he was needed in the New World. Within months Paine was editor of the Philadelphia Magazine, where he penned the ideals that unified the colonies and brought them to revolt. Paine wrote, “America was in a crisis.” Until they had undivided unity, they’d never become a nation.

“We have it in our power to begin the world over again.”
– Thomas Paine

When Paine arrived in America, the colonies were unhappy as servants to the crown. But they were content with what America gave them and tolerated British abuse. When Paine wrote his pamphlet, “Common Sense” aka “The American Crisis,” he wanted to alert the colonies: until they worked for the collective good of a nation united under one flag, they’d always be in a state of constant crisis.

In contrast, to many founders who were educated with money and status, Paine was philistine and appealed to commoners. “Common Sense” is considered the crucial tool used to bring the idea of sovereignty to middle class colonials and challenged them to revolt.

“Without the pen of the author of 'Common Sense,' the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain.”
– John Adams

During the Revolution when Washington’s army was on the verge of defeat, he asked Paine if he would read passages of “American Crisis” to troops at Valley Forge. The genesis of Paine’s work was a copious enlightenment theme of axioms that formulated the caliber of the American Dream. Paine believed that unity and respect for the rights of man were the only way society could survive.

If Paine had been at the Convention, our country would be different today. They denied him entry since his wish-list to end slavery, grant universal suffrage, and to establish a parliament that could be replaced when they did not act in the people’s best interests were judged too radical at the time.

“Let them call me a rebel, and I welcome it. I feel no concern within my soul.”
– Thomas Paine

Reflecting back, Paine’s clairvoyance was uncanny. It took decades for women to get the right to vote. Our republican democracy, without the ability to issue a no-confidence vote for incompetent lawmakers, has come back to haunt us since the first Congress met in 1789. It took a bloody Civil War to end slavery, which resulted in a new crisis that took another 100 years to bring to an end.

Confederate John Wilkes Booth planned to kidnap President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War and take him to the Confederate capital, Richmond, but his plot failed. So when he learned Lincoln would be at Ford Theater on the eve of April 14, he shot him in the head and exclaimed, “The South is now avenged.” Lincoln’s murder put pro-slavery Democrat Vice President Andrew Johnson in charge of Reconstruction, which resulted in chaos and social unrest that would haunt America for centuries!

Lincoln’s Republican Congress approved a Reconstruction program that guaranteed political and civil rights for Southern blacks. But when Johnson took office, he convinced the Democrats to block black suffrage and civil rights programs. Johnson vetoed bills providing provisions for the displaced slaves and military trials for those accused of violating the rights of all black Americans. He vetoed the Republican Civil Rights Act of 1866 and refused to sign the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments.

Andrew Johnson continued to lobby Democrats to block all Reconstruction programs. Instead of helping to assimilate former slaves into society, he rebuilt the southern segregationist wing of the post war Democratic Party. He allowed Democrats to manage their own Reconstruction programs, which opened the door for them to replace the institution of slavery with the institution of segregation.

“To deny a man the right to vote is to deny him the right to protect his every right.”
– Thomas Paine

When Johnson urged Southern Democrats to boycott constitutional conventions, Congress passed legislation empowering the military to initiate conventions and override Democratic boycotts. Under the auspices of Northern Republicans, by 1868 Congress readmitted seven Southern states, North and South Carolina, Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Louisiana, back into the Union.

On Feb. 24, 1868, the House inevitably impeached Andrew Johnson and filed 11 charges against him for violating the Tenure of Office Act and the Command of the Army Acts and bringing disgrace to his office. But the Senate failed to convict him by one vote and he avoided conviction. If our nation had a parliamentary system, as Thomas Paine had proposed, a prime minister who lost the support of the legislature could have been simply removed from office by a no confidence vote.

The racism of Andrew Johnson and his refusal to enforce legislation to acclimate former slaves into American society enabled southern Democrats to deny the rights of black Americans and chattel them into second class citizenship. It took 100 years of blood, sweat and tears to finish the tenants of Republican Reconstruction that Lincoln had already approved. If Thomas Paine had been invited to the Convention, we could have abolished slavery in 1787 and changed the course of our history.

Thomas Paine told us, “Character is much easier kept than recovered.” Paine is considered one of our greatest Enlightenment thinkers. Since he came from the working class he knew their problems and how to remedy them. He was a self educated brilliant writer and thinker who foresaw the future and passionately alerted others of the necessity to correct socio-political problems expeditiously, or face the consequences in the future.

“He who dares not offend cannot be honest.”
– Thomas Paine

Why does history repeat itself: Because we don’t profit from our mistakes. We’ve spent years trying to correct the sins of our past. But without education and civic leaders demanding teachers instruct our youth “true American history,” students will grow up unaware who created their problems and who has always tried to remedy them. As a result, we’ll always have people who continue to blame the wrong people for their failures and admire those who caused them. Until they know their history and take responsibility for their actions, they will always be a liability and never an asset to society; because:

“Reason obeys itself and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.”
– Thomas Paine

Contributing Columnist William Haupt III is a retired professional journalist, author, and citizen legislator in California for over 40 years. He got his start working to approve California Proposition 13.

Monday, June 22, 2020

FLASHBACK: The Democrats Created and Own the Confederate Flag

By DEROY MURDOCK | National Review

June 26, 2015

(Joe Raedle/Getty)

‘My hope is that by removing a symbol that divides us, we can move forward as a state in harmony,” Governor Nikki Haley (R., S.C.) said Monday, in the aftermath of the terrorist massacre perpetrated by ├╝ber-racist Dylann Storm Roof.

Haley, a rising Republican star, is correct to lower the Confederate flag. It has reflected Democratic racial oppression since it was stitched together in 1861, and has been hoisted by Democrats ever since. Just as Republicans — led by President Abraham Lincoln — valiantly crushed the Democrat-run Confederacy, Republicans proudly should banish the Stars and Bars to private property and history museums. They also should remind Americans that Democrats waved this frightful banner until very recently.

Images like this one perpetuate the Left’s relentless lie that the Confederate flag is a Republican creation, rather than a Democratic invention.

As the Civil War began, the Army of Northern Virginia, led by eventual Democratic activist Robert E. Lee, adopted the battle flag that is under contention today. It became the secessionists’ national banner in 1863. Its designer, William T. Thompson, praised it in the Savannah Daily Morning News that May 4:

As a national emblem, it is significant of our higher cause, the cause of a superior race, and a higher civilization contending against ignorance, infidelity, and barbarism. Another merit in the new flag is, that it bears no resemblance to the now infamous banner of the Yankee vandals.

Two years later, that flag was in tatters. The North beat the South, and the Confederacy was gone with the wind.

How did this symbol of a pro-slavery breakaway republic wind up atop South Carolina’s state capitol? As the debate raged over civil rights in 1961, the Democratic legislature under Governor Ernest “Fritz” Hollings, a Democrat, raised the Stars and Bars to mark the “Confederate War Centennial.”

About that time, Hollings presented a Confederate flag to President John F. Kennedy, another Democrat.

Of course, Democratic U.S. senators such as former KKK Grand Cyclops Robert Byrd of West Virginia, Tennessee’s Albert Gore Sr. (father of you know who), and Arkansas’s J. William Fulbright (Bill Clinton’s mentor) stood shoulder to shoulder with Hollings and other segregationist Democratic governors, most notably Arkansas’s Orval Faubus and Alabama’s George Wallace. (Wallace installed the rebel flag over his statehouse in 1963, the day before Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy arrived to discuss integration.) While Byrd and Company filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964, these state executives blocked schoolhouse doors to exclude blacks.

Illinois’s Republican senator Everett Dirksen finally broke the bigoted Democrats’ filibuster and got the Civil Rights Act approved for the signature of Democratic president Lyndon Johnson.

As a Democratic governor, Bill Clinton in 1987 signed Act 116, which concerned his state banner. It read: “The blue star above the word ‘ARKANSAS’ is to commemorate the Confederate States of America.”

When Bill ran for president, some of his political paraphernalia featured Confederate flags. So did some of Hillary’s presidential-campaign buttons in 2008.

Former governor Howard Dean (D., Vt.) told the Democratic National Committee in 2003 that “white folks in the South who drive pickup trucks with Confederate-flag decals on the back ought to be voting with us.” That November, Dean declared: “I still want to be the candidate for guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks.” Two years later, he became chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Meanwhile, back in South Carolina, Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jim Hodges huddled in May 1998 with the white-supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens. “Hodges got right to the point,” reported the newspaper the State. “He said that, as governor, he would not initiate any action to bring the banner down.”

Hodges won.

Two years later, the state legislature passed and Hodges signed a proposal first offered by his GOP predecessor, David Beasley. The Confederate banner was removed from the capitol dome and flown beside a Confederate memorial on the legislature’s lawn.

So, now, Republican Haley has united Republicans and Democrats, both black and white, to complete what Republican Beasley began and reverse the insult started under Democrat Hollings.


The Left insists that Americans recognize racism today and acknowledge its stain on our history. We already do this daily, from private discussions to national conversations (Ferguson, Baltimore), motion pictures (12 Years a SlaveSelma), and even Black History Month. To that end, Democrats should stop flinging their Confederate flag onto the Grand Old Party. Instead, knock-kneed Republicans should steel themselves for once and demand that Democrats concede that they invented this intimidating standard and deployed it for more than a century to keep blacks down.

DEROY MURDOCK is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online.