RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE

by Diane Rufino, August 9, 2021

When I’m out in the pool, I usually bring Alexa outside with me to listen to my extensive Bruce Springsteen songlist. I especially look forward to his duet with Tom Morello on “The Ghost of Tom Joad.” It’s a real rocking version. I had never heard of Tom Morello before and so I looked him up. I learned that his is the lead guitarist for the group Rage Against the Machine.

I thought to myself: “What a great name for a band!”  My instinct told that the name was a reference, a bold reference, to their protest against an aggressive, intrusive government. Indeed, their songs express political views which are, to a great extent, extreme and revolutionary.

A definition of “machine” comes from the highly entertaining movie (one of my all-time favorites!), 3 IDIOTS, where the ultra-competitive student explains that “a machine is anything that reduces human effort. … Anything that simplifies work, or saves time, is a machine.”

I think of the government as a machine. On the one hand, for the great many Americans who rely on government hand-outs to sustain them, the government certainly can be seen as machine as it “reduces human effort” in getting education, learning a skill, getting a job (and all that it entails), and providing for oneself. On the other hand, it can be seen as a machine in that it is capable of doing a great many tasks, in a centralized manner.  The bottom line is that a large and aggressive government is seen (by those in DC, by career DC politicians, by “the swamp”) as an expedient.  “It gets the job done.” Who believes that?  Most times, as we have seen over the many years, government has become inexpedient. Ronald Reagan once said: “Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other.”   

As I have made clear in my article posted on January 23, titled “A Re-Declaration of Independence,” [https://forloveofgodandcountry.com/2021/01/23/a-re-declaration-of-independence/ ], government has exceedingly abused its powers under the Constitution and over the many years, has usurped many powers reserved historically to the States. (refer to the Tenth Amendment and James Madison’s commentary in The Federalist Papers No. 45).  It continues to do so, becoming more abusive with each Democratic administration. I listed 47 examples of how the US federal government has become tyrannical and has not only been abusing its powers under the Constitution but creating assuming new powers as well, usurping them from the States and from you and I (the People), but I could have easily listed so many more.

The federal government has created an entitlement culture, it has expanded the welfare program (Reagan wisely commented: “Welfare’s purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence.”), it has taken over public education and healthcare (both of which are unconstitutional actions), it weaponizes its many agencies (mostly unconstitutional) to target political opponents (ex: Obama’s IRS and now Biden’s IRS), it uses taxpayer-funded bailouts to rescue failing banks and businesses (the ones IT deems are worthy, thereby destroying the free-market system and picking “winners and losers”), it refuses to enforce one of its primary responsibilities – that of controlling immigration at our borders, it puts the interests of illegal aliens ahead of honest, law-abiding, and decent American citizens, it (Obama, that is, using his “pen and phone”) passed DACA, an unconstitutional program (thereby usurping rightful powers that belonged to the legislative branch), it abuses its taxing and spending powers to wantonly and arbitrarily raise taxes in order to compensate illegal aliens, enlarge the entitlement system, send grants to the States (unconstitutional; with such grants, the government is able to do an “end run” around the Constitution), and bail out certain select banks and businesses, it has been using Homeland Security and the FISA courts to spy on ordinary American citizens, reporters, and even a presidential candidate (Trump), it has restructuring Social Security deductions so that they are no longer a “personal property right” but rather a government slush-fund (thanks to the Supreme Court), it uses its full power to attack gun rights and gun-rights groups for the purpose of enacting gun control and burdening our Second Amendment rights, it has used Homeland Security Department to issue a directive to all law-enforcement agencies identifying conservative individuals and groups (those who “cling to their guns and religion…”) as potential home-grown terrorists (see “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” April 7, 2009 – just 2 ½ months after Obama was inaugurated), it colludes with the lame-stream media to propagandize (“the mouthpiece of the Democrats”), it colludes with the lame-stream media and left-wing radical groups to shut down the free speech and free assembly rights of conservatives, it colludes with the lame-stream media to incite hatred and bullying of conservatives, patriots, veterans, and conservative groups, inciting and encouraging violence from radical groups (BLM, Antifa, etc) to further a political agenda, it continues to lie to the American people and spreads falsehoods (at the very minimum, it sends out only one-sided information and data, discrediting the other side as if it is omniscient – think JFK assassination, RFK assassination, the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr, Benghazi, Carter Page, the FISA warrants, “Trump and Russian Collusion,” global warming, etc), it has been working the American people up regarding the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, misleading them with incorrect and one-sided information concerning the rise in the number of cases and concerning the vaccines, shutting education, businesses, and travel down, causing many small (and large as well) businesses to go out of business and the loss of 20.6 million jobs (as of June 2020, with 7.7 million jobs providing healthcare benefits) resulting in an unemployment rate not seen since the Great Depression in the 1930s, it has resurrected racism in this country where it hasn’t existed in many many years (implementing Critical Race Theory for example), and much more. And most recently, it has ignored (if not been complicit in) the massive voter fraud and election tampering in the 2020 presidential election that continues to be proven with each passing month, each audit, and each lawsuit filed.

Ask yourself:  Are you happy with the government’s take-over of healthcare, even though it was unconstitutional in its undertaking and then unconstitutional in the manner Chief Justice John Roberts attempted to save it?  If you were paying for your own health insurance, are you happy that your premiums have gone up substantially?  Are you happy with the government’s handling of the COVID outbreak?  Do you enjoy having to “mask up” everywhere you go?

Who looks at our current deranged and formerly racist president, deranged and vengeful House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the cabal of corrupted and corruptible politicians in DC and thinks: ‘Yes, I trust them to do more to control my life and raise my children?’  Well, we know which group of people is happy to watch as the leviathan in DC grows ever larger and ever stronger, and never ask such questions.

I, on the other hand, despise the syndicate in DC (“The criminal syndicate known as the government of the United States”).  In the summer of 2009, I started a Tea Party group in my home county of Pitt in North Carolina and have been involved in running it and furthering its mission ever since. The Tea Party movement started, initially, as a fiscally conservative political movement within the Republican Party after CNBC report Rick Santelli called for a “tea party” from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on February 19, 2009 after some heated words about the federal bail-out program. Of course, the name refers to the famous Boston Tea Party of December 16, 1773, the first in a series of events that ultimately led to the colonies’ fight for independence (American Revolution)  

Members of the movement called for lower taxes, for a reduction in the size and scope of government, for fiscal responsibility (ie, for reduced federal spending at home and abroad, for personal responsibility, for a strict separation of powers, for states’ rights (the power of the Tenth Amendment), and for free markets (unconstrained by government). In short, the movement stands for a smaller government of limited functions, as defined by the US Constitution and understood by the States when they ratified the unifying document.

I believe the motto of the Tea Party movement can be summed up by a famous quote by Henry David Thoeau: “Government is best when it governs least.”

The Tea Party movement is a grassroots movement to reign in the size and scope of the government.  After all, the Declaration of Independence proclaims that it the inherent right of the people to do so.  I see it as a duty.

Sadly, we’ve had far too many ambitious presidents and ambitious Congressmen, all too willing and eager to ignore the Constitution and anxious to grow the machine. They have done far too much damage. The greatest damage, in my opinion, was done by Abraham Lincoln in his deceitful plan to wage war against the Confederacy. He twisted and transformed the Constitution, and in doing so has left the lasting legacy that the inalienable and inherent rights articulated in the Declaration of Independence are no longer recognized. [The southern states, which gave our country the most intelligent and prolific of founding fathers, and which historically have been the most patriotic and loyal to the United States, just wanted to be left alone].  Democrats have historically and traditionally the party of big government and of animus to the Declaration and the Constitution (both which constrain their agenda). Conservatives have been the ones to at least make attempts to respect what our Founders gave us.

The last presidents to recognize constitutional limits and have acted to curb or curtail the growth of the federal government, or to even have downsized it were:

(1)  George Washington – He was committed to over-seeing a limited federal government (except for signing a bill creating a National Bank)

(2)  Thomas Jefferson – He was the author of the world-famous Declaration of Independence, arguably our most important and influential founding document. He eliminated taxes and otherwise was extremely fiscally conservative. He also fought the growing power of the judiciary.

(3)  James Madison – He drafted the US Constitution (“father of the Constitution”) and the Bill of Rights. He used his veto power to reign in the legislative branch that desperately wanted to expand the power of the federal government.

(4)  Martin Van Buren – He was dedicated to a limited federal government and used his veto power to reign in Congress.

(5)  John Tyler – He believed that tariffs imposed by the federal government were unconstitutional and he strongly supported States’ Rights.

(6)  Franklin Pierce –  He respected States’ Rights and would not allow the federal government to encroach upon them.

(7)  Grover Cleveland – He was known as the “last small government Democratic president.” He was anti-tax, anti- government tariff, and against an aggressive Congress (in fact, he used his veto power 414 times). He also refused to enlarge the influence of the US around the world (including Canada, Central America, and South America).

(8)  William Howard Taft – He was perhaps the last president in American history to believe in the limited powers of the Chief Executive.

(9)  Calvin Coolidge – He was a firm believer in the free market and believed the federal government should stay out of its way. He cut federal taxes by 50%, eliminated farm subsidies, and cut government spending by almost half.

(10)  Ronald Reagan – One can truly say that he lived up to his famous quote that “government is the problem, not the solution.”  He cut taxes, shaved budgets for non-military programs, historically forced the bankruptcy and then the downfall of Russia, reduced assistance to state and local governments, and implemented a massive down-sizing of government regulation and oversight.

(11)  Donald Trump – He was called “the most pure conservative President ever” by New York Magazine. He pursued pro-business policies, significantly reduced unemployment, reduced taxes and government regulation, confronted NATO regarding its unfair financial burden on the US, re-negotiated and signed new and equitable trade deals with foreign countries, and in doing so, led to one of the greatest economic booms in American history.  FACT.  He also influenced the judiciary for generations to come by not only appointing 3 conservative justices to the Supreme Court but also appointing more than 200 judges to the federal benches.

In short, the federal government, over the years, has assumed greater and greater power to intrude upon our lives, to run our lives, to coerce our businesses, to unduly burden our inalienable and God-given rights, to burden our property, and to interfere with our “pursuit of happiness,” believing it is helping its citizens (by helping take care of us and thus “reducing human effort”), by relieving us of the God-given right of free will and of the freedom to “pursue happiness.” Why exercise one’s God-given rights, why work, why get an education when government will take care of you and provide all the essentials for you. But you then have to ask yourself: If government doesn’t trust you to exercise your freedom and liberty, then why do we need freedom and liberty at all?  Why do we continue to use the phrase “The Land of the Free” when truthfully, we really aren’t free after all. We certainly can’t exercise all our rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” freely, as well as the rights and privileges guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. Increasingly, government creates and endorses policies to make the poorer and non-working (but capable of work) members of society “more comfortable in their poverty” rather than to pursue policies that are aimed at eradicating poverty. (This is one of the many areas I have devote my attention and have come up with solutions).  Why?  Because the government has no real interest in eradicating poverty. Poverty makes for good politics. It is a political expedient for the Democatic Party; it’s the foundation of their political agenda. Ignoring its motivation, the government has been using its powers as a massive re-distribution of wealth scheme, siphoning money from the upper but mostly middle class to those it believes need subsidizing.

President Ronald Reagan once explained (July 1, 1975): “If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. If we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is. Now, I can’t say that I will agree with all the things that the present group who call themselves Libertarians in the sense of a party say, because I think that like in any political movement there are shades, and there are libertarians who are almost over at the point of wanting no government at all or anarchy. I believe there are legitimate government functions. There is a legitimate need in an orderly society for some government to maintain freedom or we will have tyranny by individuals. The strongest man on the block will run the neighborhood. We have government to ensure that we don’t each one of us have to carry a club to defend ourselves….”

Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty.

When he was stumping for Barry Goldwater during the 1964 presidential election, Reagan gave a famous speech (perhaps one of his most famous) titled “A Time for Choosing” in which he said: “This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves. You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well, I’d like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There’s only an up or down – the upside is man’s old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, but the downside is the path to the ant heap of totalitarianism. And regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.”

We all feel this foreboding sense that America is on a decline, although we enjoyed a short period of optimism with Donald Trump in the White House.

I rage against the Machine every day. I write, I help educate, I use my First Amendment rights to discuss and debate political issues, I come up with solutions and remedies, and I criticize all branches of government when they abuse their power and impose unconstitutional laws and policies.  I started a Tea Party movement in my county back in 2009 (which I am still active in to this day), I take up activist causes, I have established relationships with my representatives (federal, state, and local), and I provide free legal advice (especially when it comes to those who are victims of unconstitutional, abusive, or arbitrary government action).  I do it for my children and for my grandchildren someday. I do it for my friends and neighbors, whom I have great affection for, I do for those who are poor and uneducated and unable to comprehend the importance of our rights and the need to protect them, I do it for those unable to articulate or speak out, I do it for God.  And I do it for you too.

Many have raged against the machine over the years.  Reagan reminded us of this back in 1964, when he summoned the spirit of Patrick Henry: “You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. Is nothing in life is worth dying for?  Should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross? Should the patriots at Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard ’round the world? The martyrs of history were not fools, and our honored dead who gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis didn’t die in vain…… You and I have the courage to say to our enemies, ‘There is a price we will not pay.’ ‘There is a point beyond which they must not advance.’

I hope wherever you are, you too are raging against the machine. A wise President Reagan concluded his “A Time for Choosing” Speech (1964) with these words: “You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on Earth, or we will sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.”

You may forget lessons, birthdays, jokes, and memorable quotes, but always remember these words: “Thank You Lord,” “ I Love You,” “….. Til Death Do We Part,” and “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.”   These are the important words to live by and which give our lives meaning.

References:

Diane Rufino, “A RE-DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE,” January 23, 2021 –  https://forloveofgodandcountry.com/2021/01/23/a-re-declaration-of-independence/

Text, Ronald Reagan speech, “A Time for Choosing” (September 27, 1964)  –  https://www.reaganlibrary.gov/reagans/ronald-reagan/time-choosing-speech-october-27-1964

Stephanie Soucheray, “US Job Losses Due to COVID-19 Highest Since Great Depression, Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, May 8, 2020.  Referenced at:  https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2020/05/us-job-losses-due-covid-19-highest-great-depression

James Madison, Federalist No 45 –  https://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/fed45.asp

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected.

The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State. The operations of the federal government will be most extensive and important in times of war and danger; those of the State governments, in times of peace and security. As the former periods will probably bear a small proportion to the latter, the State governments will here enjoy another advantage over the federal government. The more adequate, indeed, the federal powers may be rendered to the national defense, the less frequent will be those scenes of danger which might favor their ascendancy over the governments of the particular States. If the new Constitution be examined with accuracy and candor, it will be found that the change which it proposes consists much less in the addition of NEW POWERS to the Union, than in the invigoration of its ORIGINAL POWERS. The regulation of commerce, it is true, is a new power; but that seems to be an addition which few oppose, and from which no apprehensions are entertained. The powers relating to war and peace, armies and fleets, treaties and finance, with the other more considerable powers, are all vested in the existing Congress by the articles of Confederation. The proposed change does not enlarge these powers; it only substitutes a more effectual mode of administering them. The change relating to taxation may be regarded as the most important; ….. “

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To the Pitt County Commissioners, Put our Confederate Soldiers Monument Back !! Confederate Lives Mattered

by Diane Rufino, August 4, 2021

The Pitt County Confederate Soldiers Monument, sitting on the corner out in front of the Pitt County Courthouse, where it has proudly and majestically stood from November 11, 1914 until the Pitt County Commissioners (7-2), the diabolical cowards that they are, had it removed on June 22, 2020.

The following is a history of the Pitt County Confederate Soldiers Monument and its removal from the Pitt County Courthouse premises: 

The Pitt County Confederate Soldiers Monument is a simple yet eloquent memorial to the Confederate soldiers who died in the War Between the States. It presents a common soldier statue situated atop a tall tapered column. The soldier stands with his arms crossed as they rest atop the muzzle of his rifle with the butt resting on the ground in front of him. He wears a Confederate uniform with a wide brimmed hat. The column bears a bas-relief image of a Confederate flag unfurled around its pole. The plinth contains a medallion above the inscription, and the initials of the Confederate States of America are engraved on the cap above.

The Confederate Soldiers Monument, dedicated to “Our Confederate Dead” and “Erected by the People of Pitt County in Grateful Remembrance of the Courage and Fortitude of Her Confederate Soldiers,” was dedicated on November 11, 1914 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. It is clearly a monument reflecting an important period in our American and North Carolina history, as well as being a monument of remembrance.  Its inscription reads: “Theirs was not to make reply, Theirs was not to reason why. Theirs was but to do and die.”

There is quite a distinguished and honorable history associated with the monument (also considered as a memorial). During the days of July 19 to 23, 1863, Greenville was raided as part of the Union effort under General Edward Potter to disable the rail routes in the eastern part of the state along with the cotton mills at Rocky Mount. Potter’s advance through New Bern, Kinston, Greenville, Rocky Mount, and Tarboro has become known as Potter’s Raid. Potter and his troops entered Greenville on Sunday the 19th without being met by Confederate troops. Locals reported widespread looting by the Union soldiers following the departure of the troops late in the afternoon.

The Pitt County Confederate Soldiers Monument has been the subject of calls for removal since 2006. A group of citizens petitioned The County Commissioners requesting removal of the towering and distinguished statue from its position on the front corner of the Pitt County Courthouse. On Monday, June 15, 2020, the Pitt County Board of Commissioners voted 7-2 (the two members being Tom Coulson and Lauren White) to immediately remove and relocate the monument. This decision apparently came in the wake of civil protest around the country and in our state following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May 2020 by police.

The monument was removed on June 22 and June 23, 2020, under cover of night, and relocated to storage. Apparently, it was Pitt County Sheriff Paula Dance who arranged for the crane and the demolition crew.  Its location would not be revealed to the public. However, after more than a year since the monument was taken down from the courthouse premises, the question of where it will be relocated has still not been addressed. Would those same board members approve a motion to go through the many Pitt County cemeteries and have particular grave headstones removed?  Board of Commissioners Chairman Melvin McLawhorn indicated that the board would make a decision where to relocate the monument in accordance with state law. And officials suggested that removal, storage, and relocation might cost upwards of $100,000, of course to be borne by the taxpayers. One suggestion for its new location was offered by Mr. Ephraigm Smith, a former County Commission, and that would be on his property, the Pig Palace which is located on Hwy 43 in the Chicod section of Pitt County (private property).  It was suggested that the Sons of Confederate Veterans (https://scv.org) take ownership of the monument in order that it remain in the hands of a non-profit public organization rather than private hands. On July 30 of this year the Commissioners adopted this proposal, thus “gifting” the Pitt County Confederate Soldiers Monument to the Sons of Confederate Veterans with certain restrictions (including requiring the monument to be relocated to a suitable site within Pitt County). Further discussion included having Ephraigm Smith lease his property, The Pig Palace, to the SCV, for purposes of the relocation. [As of August 2, 2021, Mr. Smith has not signed any such lease].  As he has stated in an interview with Amber Lake of WITN: “It’s a part of history. It’s probably not a part of history that we all will appreciate, but it is a part of the history of the South and North nonetheless.”

In the same story by Ms. Lake, a Chicod resident has this to say: “The monument doesn’t represent us. And what does it represent? It represents division in the United States and right now, we don’t really need anymore especially where it’s sitting on Hwy 43, a major highway, right next to an elementary school and right down the road from a high school. This sends a bad message.”

A monument, like a work of art, offers different interpretations to different people. There is no copyright on an interpretation. The monument may not represent that particular Chicod resident, but the monument was not dedicated or erected for him. It was dedicated to all the residents of Pitt County. It is part of the legacy of Pitt County and North Carolina in general.

Myron Rouse, a Pitt County resident, commented for another WITN article on the subject: “The monument is not a problem with me because hatred is in the heart. Not in a statue. But at the same time, I understand that a lot of people don’t want to visualize it on public property. This is where we come in a courthouse and we try to get blind justice and so often we don’t receive it so to start off before you even walk in, to see the symbol of racism, the courthouse is just not the proper place for it.”

Pastor Kenneth Jones, also a Pitt County resident, offered this comment at one Commissioner meeting: “I would like to see it out back. That doesn’t mean it necessarily will be. You can’t destroy America because of certain things individuals don’t like.”

By demolishing the foundation to the Pitt County Confederate Soldiers Monument, the County Commissioners have evidenced their intent to be “rid of the monument” and of their intent to never have it removed to the Pitt County Courthouse premises. By having Pitt County Sheriff Paula Dance there to supervise adds an element of complicity,  a layer of government over-reach, and frankly, a threat of local tyranny.

The monument was “gifted to the People of Pitt County to honor the legacy of their county by the United Daughters of the Confederacy; it was not gifted to the Pitt County Board of Commissioners.

Most of this information comes from the site:  https://www.ncpedia.org/monument/pitt-county-confederate

As history shows, the great majority of Confederate soldiers were from small farms, just barely getting by, and not having any slaves. For all we know, the individual soldiers had individual opinions and views concerning the War to Prevent Southern Independence (aka, the War Between the States). Some certainly supported the secession movement and supported defending their new country, and some certainly supported slavery (or were ambiguous on the position). Others may have opposed the secession of the southern states, opposed the war, and opposed the institution of slavery.  It is also known that North Carolina suffered the highest number of losses of any state in the Confederacy at the battle of Gettysburg (July 1-3, 1863, in Gettysburg, PA), with a staggering 6,124 casualties. Statistically, that amounts to 25% (1 out of every 4) of all Confederate dead in that historic and significant battle. Yes, North Carolina more than paid the price for defending the Confederate States of America. In fact, some historians (noted on a monument at Gettysburg) estimate that 1 out of every 7 soldiers who died on the many battlefields of the War was from North Carolina.

Clyde Wilson, a noted historian of the Confederacy and member of the Abbeville Institute, published a short manual titled “Lies My Teacher Told Me” in 2016.  In this manual, he wrote:

“When we had the controversy over the Confederate flag in South Carolina in 2000, some 90 or more historians issued a statement declaring that the war was about slavery and nothing but slavery and that all contrary explanations are invalid. Fifty years ago, however, the foremost American historians believed that the war was primarily about economic interests and that slavery was a lesser issue (it became an issue only when it became politically expedient to raise it). The Kindergarten lesson of history is that human experience can be seen from more than one perspective. Never let yourself be put down by a so-called expert who claims to know more about ancestors than you do. The qualities needed for understanding history are not some special expertise but are the same qualities you look for in a good juror – the ability to examine the evidence and weigh it impartially and fairly. And history is not some disembodied truth. All history is the story of somebody’s experience. When we talk about the War it is our history we are talking about; it is part of our identity. To tell libelous lies about our ancestors is a direct attack on who we are. It is right and natural for all people to honor their forefathers. We have every right to honor our Confederate forebearers because they are ours. But there is more to it than that. We Southerners are especially fortunate in our forefathers. (The greatest minds of our founding generation came from the South. The supreme intellect that was able to craft our admirable founding documents – Thomas Jefferson with the Declaration of Independence and James Madison with the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights – were citizens of Virginia. Also, the first 7 of our 12 US presidents hail from the South). Our Southern forebearers not only won a place in our hearts, as their descendants, but they also won the lasting admiration of everyone in the civilized world who values an indominable spirit in defense of Freedom and Liberty…   Foreigners have a great advantage in judging the right and wrong of the War Between the States. They do not automatically assume that everything Yankees did and do is righteous, true, and unselfish. They view Yankees without the rose-colored glasses with which Yankees view themselves.  (Remember, the victors get the benefit of ‘telling the story’).

The most basic simple fact about the War is that it was a war of invasion and conquest. (It was a war to destroy the founding principle, as set forth in the Declaration of Independence, of secession as an inherent and an inalienable right of each sovereign state. In fact, the Declaration itself was a secessionist document.). Once you get clear on this basic fact, everything else falls into place. This is no secret. It is plain in the record. The rulers of the North openly declared that it was a war of conquest, to crush and punish disobedience to government, to establish a powerful central government (as Alexander Hamilton originally called for), and to keep the South captive, as a source of wealth to benefit Northern businesses, infrastructure, and politicians. Abraham Lincoln’s pretty words about ‘saving the union’ and ‘saving government of the people, by the people, and for the people’ were merely window dressing and the exact opposite of the truth. His War was not at all for the purpose of preserving the Union. It was for the purpose of turning the Union into something that it was not meant to be.

The US government, comprised of representation from the Northern states and border states and under the control of a minority party (the Republican Party) launched a massive invasion of the South (note that almost all the battles were fought in the South, including the horrendous “March to the Sea” which involved a scorched-earth policy to inflict the maximum amount of damage and destruction). The Union destroyed the democratic, legitimate elected governments of fourteen Southern states (The Confederate States of America), killed as many of our forefathers as they possibly could, and then deprived them of their citizenship, deprived the former Confederate States of their rightful representation in Congress, subjected them to military occupation (under the punitive Reconstruction Acts), and did many other things that no American, North or South, could previously have imagined were possible. The War was so unpopular in the North that thousands of people (who, by the way, may not have owned slaves, but were fervently anti-black) were imprisoned by Lincoln and the Union Army without due process and elections (mainly in the border states) were conducted at bayonet point, and they had to import 300,000 foreign mercenaries to fill up its army.

What was the main reason the Southern states seceded?  Historians refuse to accept what those states plainly said: that they were tired of being ripped off by federal legislation that picked their pockets to siphon money for the benefit some people and select businesses in the North, that they could prove that this was the real economic effect of the Tariff (of Abominations, of 1828, then in 1832, and finally, Lincoln promised to raise the tariff back to its highest level. It was called the ‘Tariff of Abominations’ because of the effects it had on the Southern economy. It set a 38% tax on some imported goods and a 45% tax on certain imported raw materials.), and that they thought the Union should be of mutual benefit to all the states father than a burden to some in order to benefit others. (In fact, the Constitution was adopted by the states on the condition that it would create a ‘common government’ to manage the states equally).”

There are additional books on the subject, written by intellectually credible authors, including: “Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States: The Irrefutable Argument,” by Gene Kizer Jr, “The Un-Civil War: Shattering the Historical Myths,” by Leonard M. Scruggs (a native of North Carolina), and “Is Davis a Traitor: Or Was Secession a Constitutional Right Previous to the War,” by Albert Taylor Bledsoe (originally published right after the War, in 1866), and “Southern Independence: Why War?” by Charles T. Pace (forward by Clyde Wilson).

Southerners are the most regionally loyal citizens of the United States. But paradoxically – or not – they have traditionally been the most loyal to the country at large, ready to repel insult or injury even though historically they have been the most vilified, maligned, and ridiculed people of the United States. Their loyalty has been severely tested, especially considering that all they ever asked was to be left alone.

Getting back to the Pitt County Confederate Soldiers Monument, One citizen opposed to the monument called it “racist and oppressive.”  Another said the monument was “erected to intimidate Negros when the Klan were riding through and burning homes and lynching people.” Jerry McRoy, enjoying a family legacy dating back to the American Revolution era, offers his esteemed view: “I see this monument as part of our local legacy… NOT as a legacy of hate, oppression, or subjugation, but rather, as a legacy of the bravery of the soldiers who laid down their lives to protect this county and this state. The Confederate soldiers memorialized by this monument were serving their country and their state with true loyalty. They were being true to themselves, to the principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence, and to their forefathers. They had something the seven duplicitous City County Commissions seem to lack…  loyalty and fortitude. The grit and determination in their convictions drove their service and sacrifice…. And sustained and justified their last full measure.” 

Officials elected by the people are obligated to abide by the laws of the state of North Carolina. They are not above the law and are not expected to break laws of the state and the federal government. They are not expected to betray the public trust; they are not expected to pander to one racial or ideological group over another or others. The seven Criminals, I mean, Commissioners, imputed a racist message to the monument when, in all honesty and clarity, none existed. The monument was simply a memorial to the young men who fought and died for their country, their state, and their new nation, just as a cemetery headstone memorializes the person interned below it. The Confederate Dead monument does not have a single inscription referencing slavery or the supremacy of the white race. In fact, there is no mention of slavery at all. It does not glorify the war nor promote any ill-motivated reason for fighting against the Union Army. It is facially neutral. Any racial overtone or racist connotation is merely a figment of one’s imagination. As Jerry McRoy noted in his letters to the local paper and to individual Commissioners: “Hatred is not found in a statue or monument. It starts in the mind of the individual and flows from animus in the heart.”

All said and done, the 7 members of the Pitt County Board of Commissioners (“The County Criminals” aka, “The County Cowards” aka, “The Criminal Enterprise Known as the Pitt County Board of Commissioners”) missed a golden opportunity to use the Pitt County Confederate Soldiers Monument issue as a chance to educate members of society, of Pitt County, on the War Between the States, the events leading up to it and the reasons the Southern States decided to leave the Union and form a new independent country, as was their sovereign right to do so. Objects, monuments, statues…  they are connected to history. And again, the fundamental lesson of history is that human experience can be seen from more than one perspective.

We can’t erase history or shove it down into the black recesses of history books that are never read merely because some people find the “story” offensive.  History is not a series of events that entertain the senses and delight the soul; sometimes it’s painful and a reminder of a time in our past when we didn’t live up to our founding principles. But still, it’s part of history. It provides an opportunity for individuals to discuss, debate, and learn; it provides an opportunity to share their views.

The lasting consequence of this dubious action, clearly in violation of North Carolina General Statute G.S. §100-2.1 (“Protection of Monuments, Memorials, and Works of Art”) and also in violation of federal Executive Order 13933 (signed June 26, 2020), may be to resurrect racism where it hasn’t existed for many many years.

Clearly, there are many potential legal challenges to the actions of the 7 Pitt County Commissioners and I wouldn’t put it past the good and decent citizens of Pitt County to pursue them. Some remedies which I know have been discussed include: ((a) The mandatory (if not voluntary) resignation of the 7 County Criminals, including County Manager Elliott; (b) The mandatory (if not voluntary) resignation of Pitt County Sheriff Paula Dance; and (c) Relocating the Pitt County Confederate Soldiers Monument back to its original place at the courthouse.  There are certainly others, but it’s not my place to give those plans away.

If anyone would like more information about the monument’s removal, about the criminal conduct of the seven members of the Pitt County Board of Commissioners, the illegal action taken by Sheriff Paula Dance, or if anyone would like to get involved to see justice done regarding the actions taken by the Commissioners and in doing so, to once again bring honor to those Pitt County Confederate soldiers who gave their last full measure, please contact Mr. Jerry McRoy at (908) 246-8881. Concerned citizens can make a difference !!

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North Carolina Needs an Audit and Here’s Why

The following article (“North Carolina Needs an Audit and Here’s Why”) was written by my friend Marcus Karachun and published in Big League Politics on July 28. [ https://bigleaguepolitics.com/north-carolina-needs-an-audit-and-heres-why/ ]

Democrats continuously harp about how the 2020 election was somehow the “most secure” election in history. The source of their claim? An environmental scientist turned lawyer with zero election experience. But that doesn’t really matter to them. Their goal isn’t to give voters reliable information – it’s to keep voters from asking questions.

But no matter how much the Democrats, mainstream media, and big tech might censor us and shut us down, we need to keep asking questions and demanding an audit of the 2020 election here in North Carolina. It may be inconvenient to them, but it’s no secret to us that corrupt politicians abused so-called “emergency” powers to unconstitutionally rewrite our election laws, eliminate almost every protection against fraud, and then then turned around and lied about how the election was supposedly “secure” (it wasn’t).

Now, the Democrat-controlled Board of Elections in North Carolina is trying to keep lawmakers from investigating the election by threatening them with lawsuits and refusing to turn over information needed for an investigation. What are they so afraid of? What are they hiding?

In the business world, when there’s this much evidence of fraud, you audit. Sure, you might find nothing. You might find something. But what’s certain is that you’ll be closer to the truth, whether big tech and the media think that’s inconvenient or not. Knowledge is the only way we can fix our election processes and secure the vote so that once again, North Carolina can have confidence in our election results.

Here are the facts.

I. Governor Cooper Refused To Clean The Voter Rolls

Voter rolls serve as the first line of defense against voter fraud as the master list of registered voters. Our voter rolls are totally corrupted with deceased voters and ineligible illegal aliens and other non-citizens – it’s well-documented that non-citizens do attempt to vote – yet nothing is being done about it.

When the North Carolina legislature tried to pass a bill that would have purged illegals from the voting rolls, Democrat legislators tried to stop it. When a majority of legislators voted for it and sent it to Governor Cooper, he vetoed it.

Nobody disagrees that illegal aliens are ineligible to vote. So why is Governor Cooper and the Democrats trying to keep illegals on the voter rolls as registered voters, when the law says that’s illegal?

II. The Democrats Enabled Potentially Massive Fraud

There’s no way to guarantee the security of an election without making sure that every single person who walks in to cast a vote is authenticated as the voter they say they are. Thanks to a Democrat-appointee judge erroneously blocking Voter ID for the 2020 election, nobody had their ID checked when they went to vote. They could have been anybody.

But it gets even worse: Voter ID wasn’t just blocked and failed to authenticate registered voters who showed up to vote. It was blocked for same-day voter registrations, meaning people who showed up on election day or during the early voting period to vote in the 2020 election didn’t have to show an ID or proof of residency to register to vote. That is outrageous.

And what of Absentee Ballots, which have historically been secured by two witness signatures and notarization? In 2020, those requirements were eliminated, meaning North Carolina election officials had no way of knowing whether the absentee ballot was actually signed by the person claiming to sign it, and worse still, whether that vote was “harvested” as part of an illegal ballot harvesting operation, especially since North Carolina allowed anonymous, unmonitored absentee ballot drop boxes. Plus, countless North Carolina residents reported receiving absentee ballots even though they never requested them.

Voting under somebody else’s name is illegal. Harvesting ballots is illegal. There may be countless undiscovered illegal votes, made possible by incompetent or corrupt politicians stripping way every voter identity safeguard.

In Arizona, the forensic audit found that 11,326 confirmed voters “were not on the voter rolls on November 7th, but were added to the voter rolls by December 4,” after they had already voted. With so many problems with authentication, we need an audit to see just how many illegal votes were cast, and where.

III. North Carolina Voting Machines Are Woefully Insecure

In North Carolina, countless mistakes or deliberate changes were made that have made it difficult for voters to have full faith in the final counts of the 2020 election.

In 2020, North Carolina approved the use of Election Systems and Software (ES&S) voting machines. These machines, manufactured in China with funding from foreign investors, have widely-known security issues. Alarmingly, these voting machines – already potentially vulnerable to cyber-attacks or intentional manipulation – include a software function that lets the person operating the machine manipulate vote counts. There may be other problems, but the State Board of Elections redacted half of the manual so that nobody can fully understand these machines.

If we knew how ES&S machines work, we might be able to find out why there were so many flaws to the counting process on election night, or why Congressional District 1 results stalled out at 78% for over nine days. No state legislator I’ve spoken to has an answer for this. This alone is reason to audit the election. Vote counting cannot just stop for nine days.

One of these is not like the others.

Across North Carolina, counting issues, undercounts, and miscounts occurred frequently enough to concern every voter. For example, an entire precinct was left completely unreported in Pitt County for several days after the election. In other words, no counting results were being submitted at all from that precinct. This cannot be allowed to happen.

IV. The 2020 Election Was Subject to Unprecedented Interference

The 2020 election was the first in which mainstream media organizations, big tech companies, “elites,” and even postal workers sought to take down an incumbent president by interfering in the election.

Big tech companies like Facebook, whose founder Mark Zuckerberg is a known supporter of Democrats, poured hundreds millions of dollars into “election infrastructure” in Democrat cities, including $5.2 million in North Carolina. With how Facebook, Twitter, Google, and other tech companies censor conservatives, is there any question about who that money was intended to benefit?

Even worse, the National Association of Letter Carriers, one of the biggest postal workers unions, endorsed Biden. Any union or company that is tasked with handling election ballot delivery should never be allowed to endorse a presidential candidate. Given all of the mail-in ballots, were postal workers influenced to work against President Trump? One Wisconsin postal worker swore on an affidavit (under penalty of perjury) that there was a scheme to “backdate” over 100,000 mail-in ballots to make them look like they were mailed before the deadline, since many states including North Carolina counted absentee ballots that were mailed before – but arrived after – election day.

V. Conclusion

It’s clear as day that with the corruption of North Carolina voter rolls, impossibility of authenticating voters, insecure Chinese voting machines, and outside interference, the results of the 2020 election demand higher scrutiny and a full forensic audit.

Some elected officials have come out and claimed that the vote in North Carolina was already audited, but this is a complete and total lie, or serious ignorance by people who should know better. We’ve had recounts. We’ve had a few spot-checks. We have not had an audit. The procedures that have taken place have been limited in scope and not comprehensive. A true forensic audit, like the one taking place in Arizona, means every ballot gets hand-checked, voting systems are examined, voter identity and eligibility is checked, and any illegal votes are uncovered.

I join countless North Carolinians in calling for a comprehensive forensic audit of the 2020 election. In Arizona, the Maricopa County forensic audit has revealed tremendous problems with the administering of the 2020 election, and clear examples of tampering with election materials and security breaches for voting systems and other voting equipment and unclear chain of custody of ballots. That is just the tip of the iceberg, as only one part of their audit has been completed.

All the evidence discussed above (and more) demands an investigation, and It’s time we conduct a full forensic audit of the 2020 election in North Carolina.

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If You Don’t Like the United States, then Leave !!

by Diane Rufino, June 28, 2021

At Saturday’s U.S. Olympic Track and Field trials, June 26, athlete Gwen Berry, who calls herself an “activist,” was standing on the podium after receiving her bronze medal in the hammer throw when she turned to face the stands and not the American flag, as the US National Anthem was playing.

Gold and silver medalists DeAnna Price and Brooke Andersen faced the flag with their right hands over the heart while Berry faced away. She eventually picked up a black T-shirt with the words “Activist Athlete” printed on the front and draped it over her head. As she herself explains: “”My purpose and my mission is bigger than sports. I’m here to represent those … who died due to systemic racism. That’s the important part. That’s why I’m going. That’s why I’m here today.” 

I didn’t realize that the Olympic forum was a place for individual athletes to express their personal views and political protests. What I DO KNOW is that the athletes on any Olympic team are representing the United States and the values she represents, and every one of the athletes should be required to show her respect.

Do you know what the American flag and the National Anthem mean to me?  They are symbols of the greatest country on earth and they remind me how very lucky I am to have been born here.

The flag, in particular, represents the ideal on which our country was founded; it symbolizes Freedom and Liberty. It reminds us of the reasons the many states came together over 200 years ago to form a union, and why the additional states then joined as well – most importantly because they believed in the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution (the unadulterated version). 

The flag, and the National Anthem as well, will always touch my heart knowing that over the years it has inspired young men and women who value liberty and who love this country deeply to enlist, to fight wars on her behalf, to bring stability to areas of civil unrest, to help spread her values overseas, and to even put his or her life on the line to do so. Often they end up giving their last full measure. I’ll always think of the horrors our young Americans went through in Word War I, in World War II, in Vietnam and Korea, and are going through now with the war on terror. 

Others, so much courageous than I, have fought and died so that myself and every other American, including those who hate this country (like Gwen Berry does and in fact, most liberals and progressives) can speak freely, protest robustly, pray everyday to the God they love, keep and bear firearms in their homes, have the right to privacy and due process, and in general, to live life as a free citizen.

Gwen Berry is a piece of sh**, excuse my French. Not only did she turn her back to the flag, but she covered her face with a shirt reading “Activist Athlete.” The United States didn’t offer her a spot on its Olympic team to push her particular cause; it wanted a superior athlete for the great world competition. Not every platform is an occasion to focus on race or racism. She is an Olympic-grade athlete not because of her skin color but because she is extremely gifted athletically. If she is hates the country for its history, and if the flag and National Anthem offend her so, then why does she even want to represent our country in the first place? Any medal she may earn for the team will never be worth the disrespect she shows and the shame she brings upon us as a country. She certainly doesn’t represent any appreciable portion of the people. Why doesn’t she just settle to perform for some liberal university.

Did she, perhaps, take her cue from another activist athlete, Megan Rapinoe ?

If nothing else, I hope this incident will serve as a wake-up call. This conduct – this outright and most public of disrespectful acts against our country – should never again be tolerated. At home, we honor and support freedom of speech and expression. But on the national stage, when performing as a representative (athletic representative) of the United States, that freedom of speech and expression is suspended. It must be suspended. The United States, thru taxpayer funding, spends a lot of money on its Olympic athletes and in return, all she asks for is respect and loyalty. The Olympics is about solidarity, not division. We have enough of that here.

With that in mind, I believe there should be a requirement, or Pledge, for all those athletes who wish to represent the United States on any of its Olympic teams.  The questions should include:

  •  Do you pledge to show respect to the United States, to the US flag, and the American National Anthem?
  •  Will you conduct yourself at all times, in the public eye, with respect and class?
  •  If you consider yourself an ‘activist,’ a member of any ‘woke’ group, or have any other personal crusade issues, will you agree to put them aside and abide by (1) and (2) above?


If the answer to any of these questions is “No,” then the response should be “Too Bad, So Sad, GO HOME!” – or better yet, go to another country!

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Hats Off to the American Democrat Party

by Diane Rufino, June 24, 2021

The Democrat Party of the United States…..  I have to hand it to you…..

Your plans and platforms have been so progressive, your policies so vile and offensive, your methods so discriminatory, arbitrary,, irrational, and insulting, your goals so utterly divisive and without merit, your rationale so self-serving, blindly-ambitious, and contrary to facts and science, your messaging so revealing a contempt for many, and your loyalties so un-American that you have managed to inspire a whole host of (fascist and Marxist) political parties and regimes all over the world – in particular, the most heinous regime of all, the Nazi Party.

Some say that the Nazi Party was born in Munich, in 1919. Adolf Hitler was living there at the time…  a time when the city was consumed with revolutionary activity. He was employed as an intelligence officer and given information about those involved in fomenting a workers’ revolt. To follow up on this lead, Hitler was sent to a meeting of the German Workers’ Party at the city’s Sterneckerbrau, which was a brewery with an inn attached to it. The German Workers’ Party was established by a man named Anton Drexler, who was very specific in the platform he believed would be most attractive to war-torn German workers. He wanted a workers’ party that was strongly nationalistic, desiring the elimination of the Jews, and the recognition of Aryan superiority. Liking very much what he heard, Hitler joined the party.

Over the next few months, Hitler impressed Drexler so much that he was given greater and greater responsibility for developing the party’s political aims and its methods of propaganda. On February 24, 1920, Hitler gave his most effective speech yet, at the city’s Hofbrauhaus, in which he outlined the party’s 25-point manifesto.

Two month’s later, the party was renamed the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (or Nazi Party).  Meetings were well-attended and often rowdy… most likely due to Hitler’s fiery speeches which stirred up nationalist passions. To deal with the resulting security issues, Hitler formed the Sturmabteilung (better known as the SA or “brown shirts”) for protection.  Within the year, he was able to replace Drexler as party leader.

On the night of November 6, 1923, Nazi stormtroppers attempted to take over several government buildings while Hitler gave a table-top speech in Munich’s Burgerbraukeller to a crowd of about 3,000 people. In that speech, he announced plans for a national revolution and the formation of a new government. This event is famously known as the Beer Hall Putsch. Unfortunately, the event lacked organization and eventually broke down into chaos. The next day, the Nazis marched through the center of the city towards the war ministry building, but were stopped by the police. A fierce gun battle ensued leaving 18 dead, and Hitler was arrested and charged with high treason.  He was found guilty of high treason for his part in planning a revolution to topple the short-lived Weimar Republic and sentenced to prison for five years.   

[November 9, 1918, with Germany on the verge of defeat at the end of World War I, Kaiser Wilhelm II, the emperor of German, abdicated under pressure from US President Woodrow Wilson. German Generals Ludendorff and Hindenburg then handed the reigns of power over to the left-leaning Social Democrats, giving them the job of forming a democratic republic (the system favored by the victors). On November 9, a republic was proclaimed – the Weimar Republic].

During 1924, with Hitler in prison and writing his book (his manifesto), MEIN KAMPF, he also found time to plan his route to power (by democratic means). Taking cues from other extremist parties, particularly the Communists, he began to organize small local branches of the party and youth organizations of like-minded supporters. He expanded the SA, selecting his most fanatical supporters, many of whom were for former soldiers, to join the newly-formed Sschutzstuffel (or SS) and the Hitler Youth. Next he began to talk about ending the republic and replace it with a government that would serve the German people and their interests far better.  He began to talk about the “Jewish problem” and the “Communist problem.” He blamed both groups for selling out the country and for being the main cause of Germany’s problems.

In October 1929, disaster struck the republic with the Wall Street Crash, The economic effects of the Great Depression that followed were felt all over the world. Germany, however, was affected in a particularly bad way. US banks which had loaned Germany money to ease its misery under the Treaty of Versailles (the highly retributive treaty that ended WWI and blamed Germany almost entirely) were forced to call in those loans and ask for the return of the money. Economic collapse followed in Germany. Businesses went bankrupt and unemployment soared. During the winters of 1930-31, and 1931-32, over six million Germans were unemployed. Statistically, that meant that in one in every two families, the breadwinner was out of work.

The time was ripe for change. Hitler’s Nazi Party was looking way more attractive.

Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda, ramped up his propaganda efforts, creating catchy campaign slogans and posters, appealing to people’s emotions rather than their brains.  Goebbels explained his methods: “There are two ways to make a revolution, You can blast your enemy with machine guns until he acknowledges the superiority of those holding the machine guns. That is one way. Or you can transform the nation through a revolution of the spirit….

In March 1932, Adolf Hitler stood I the presidential election, coming in second to the incumbent Paul von Hindenburg. Hitler demanded to be made chancellor but was refused. In January 1933, however, Hindenburg realized that in order to get his policies through, he would need someone in the post who had support in the Reichstag, and consequently, he appointed Hitler as chancellor.

In March 1933, Hitler called for another election (hoping to get more Nazis elected) and the Nazi propaganda machine exploded into overdrive, This time, the Nazi Party had the additional advantages of holding power over the opposition press and having control of the streets either by the police or the SA. A few days before the election, the Reichstag building was mysteriously set on fire. Hitler was quick to blame the Communists, claiming this was the beginning of an uprising or revolt. He demanded emergency powers to deal with the incident and President Hindenburg obliged, with the Emergency Powers Act. Arrests followed immediately and some 4000 Communists, along with other Nazi opponents, were taken off the streets.

The election that Hitler called for saw the Nazis win their biggest ever share of the vote (43.9 percent), which secured an absolute majority of 52 percent. Hitler immediately banned the Communist Party and engineered the passing of the Enabling Act, which gave him the power to rule by decree rather than passing laws through the Reichstag and the president. Essentially, the Act enabled Adolf Hitler to assume dictatorial powers. And assuming such powers he did.  He used the Enabling Act to restrict or suspend many of the German peoples’ civil rights.

Within weeks, dictator Hitler had cleared the civil service, court and education systems of “alien elements,” including Jews and other Nazi critics, banned all trade unions, passed a law preventing the formation of new political parties, and taken control of all German state governments. The following year, 1934, Hitler began sending any remaining political opponents to the hastily-built “wild camps” – the forerunners of the more permanent concentration camps. He perceived some of these “remaining political opponents” to be among his own camp, in the SA, and so on the week-end of June 29-30, he launched the so-called “Night of the Long Knives” against the leadership of the SA. Squads of SS men murdered up to 400 people that week-end.

On August 1, Hitler’s cabinet enacted a law abolishing the office of President and combining its powers with those of the Chancellor. Thus, Adolf Hitler became head of state as well as the head of government, giving him full control of the legislative and executive branches of government. (He would later pass a law asserting himself as head of Germany’s state church).  The following day, on August 2, Paul von Hindenburg passed away, and Hitler quickly anointed himself as the supreme leader (the “Fuhrer”) of Germany. Following the announcement, the army swore an oath of personal loyalty to him.

This marked the start of the Third Reich.

When looking for policies to promote and ways to articulate them, Adolf Hitler and leadership members of his Nazi Party looked to The US Democratic Party, especially the Southern Democrats. After all, the Southern Democrats were highly successful at prioritizing white supremacy, at classifying its citizens into superior class or race and an inferior race (and mixing of the two, socially and certainly sexually was essentially looked down upon or forbidden), and at keeping its inferior class without firearms and without an opportunity to vote. Nazi Party ideas for mass propaganda, ethnic cleansing and eugenics, its use of fear, threats, intimidation, and strong-arm tactics, and even its plan for the “Final Solution” of the Jews came from the Democrat Party and its ilk.

As we all know, Adolf Hitler outlined his core beliefs on race and the creation of a superior Aryan race (“The Master Race”) in his book MEIN KAMPF (“My Struggle”) which he wrote, with the help of a ghost writer, while he was in prison in 1925. Influenced by views on Social Darwinism and eugenics, he believed that interbreeding between different racial and ethnic groups was wrong, was against science, would bring about harmful consequences, and would hamper the development of his master race. He claimed that “Blood mixture and the resultant drop in the racial purity level is the sole cause of the dying out of old cultures….”  Hitler’s ideas included the characterization of races into “uber” and “untermenschen (which means ‘superior’ and ‘inferior’ peoples) and the exploitation of one by the other. Because the German people, as he explained, are superior, it would only be natural for Aryan subordination of the inferior and weaker races, such as the Jews, Gypsies, Slavs (Poles, Serbs, Russians) and others.  The Aryan master race would also dominate and subordinate the physically and mentally disabled, of course.

Hitler began to pursue and implement his racial policies once he was in power (January 1933).  He instigated a program, on several levels, to cleanse German society of those he regarded as “biological threats to the nation’s health.”  First, he had to prevent the propagation of the “unfit.”  He had a term for them – “useless mouths.”  He would achieve this initially through forced sterilization. He would later resort to euthanasia or other means of forced killing, with his “Removing the Useless Mouths” program.

In late 1939, a new set of duties were added to the Nazi regime’s program of mass murder …. Working with Hitler’s doctor, Philipp Bouhler, the national manager of the Nazi Party organization, was given the responsibility for planning and implementing a secret program – Aktion T4 (after its head address in Tiergartenstrasse, in Berlin).  In line with the Nazi Party plan for racial purity, Aktion T4 involved the systemic euthanasia or forced killing of “useless mouths.”  Useless mouths included the insane, other asylum inmates, and those with incurable illnesses or conditions. In Hitler’s view, such ‘useless mouths” were an unnecessary drain on the resources of the Reich. [Research suggests that the total number of deaths in the Reich and in occupied eastern Europe at the hands of Aktion T4 and later other euthanasia programs was well over 300,000 individuals].

The Nazis were convinced that forced sterilization and forced killing of those with mental and physical disabilities was justified by utilitarian and economic concerns. The measure of an individual’s worth, and hence life, according to Nazi doctrine, should be viewed in economic terms. After all, preventing them from reproducing or killing them was critical to help reduce the cost of the taking care of the “defectives” or non-producing members of the population. The Nazis claimed that its doctrine was simply reflective of basic utilitarian moral principles.

[According to a 2012 article in the medical journal The Lancet, the Nazi effort to purge their society of undesirables included 350,000 coerced sterilizations, the euthanasia of 260,000 psychiatric patients, the practice of eugenics, race medicine, the killing of children regarded as “defective,” and at least 25,000 experiments].

Then, of course, came the real object of his “genetic purity” program – the creation of an Aryan Master Race. It would involve the breeding of pure Germans to produce the blonde, blue-eyed individuals that would be the hallmark of such a race. It would involve Eugenics. And it would also involve the dehumanization of the Jewish race, removing them from German society, and passing laws (The Nuremberg Race Laws of 1935) excluding German Jews from Reich citizenship, prohibiting them from marrying or having sexual relations with persons of “German or related blood,” disenfranchising them from owning and operating a business, owning property, and depriving them of most political rights.

The volume of laws against them made it crystal clear to the Jews just how deeply they were despised.

During the Holocaust, the Nazis described the Jews as “Christ killers,” as “rats,” and as “Untermenschen” (subhumans). They didn’t mean the term untermenschen metaphorically.. Oh no. They didn’t mean they were like subhumans. They meant they were literally subhuman.   

The bottom line was that there MUST not be any inter-breeding and hence dilution of the fine Aryan genes from the “rats” that were the Jews.

Females wanting an abortion refer to their condition as nothing more than “a clump of cells.” Liberals and progressives (ie, Democrats) refer to whites (other than themselves, of course) as “white supremacists,” as “oppressors,” and as “domestic terrorists.”  Hutus involved in infamous the Rwanda genocide called the Tutsis “cockroaches.” Slave owners throughout history considered slaves “property,” “an inferior race only fit to serve other races,” and sometimes even “subhuman animals.”  To the Nazis, as it is to the Communists, Marxists, Socialists, Fascists, and the US Democrat Party, it is important to define and describe certain classes of people (including the unborn) in wretched and dehumanizing terms because that is what opens the door for cruelty and even genocide. 

Margaret Sanger, a God-send to the Democrat Party and champion to liberals and progressives everywhere, the woman who championed eugenics and founded Planned Parenthood, outlined her core belief in a book she published in 1922. She described, as her main objectives: “More children from the fit and less from the unfit — that is the chief aim of birth control.” The people Sanger considered “unfit” were “all non-Aryan people.” She estimated that these people–the “dysgenic races,” which comprised 70 percent of the American population at the time, posed a “great biological menace to the future of civilization . . . and (they) deserved to be treated like criminals.”  She proposed a method to “segregate morons who are increasing and multiplying.” According to her book and in her discussion of her views, successful implementation of her proposals, according to her , would result in “a race of thoroughbreds.”

Does this sound similar to Nazi ideology?  The similarity to Nazi doctrine was definitely not a coincidence. As it turned out, Sanger devoted the entire April 1933 issue of Birth Control Review to eugenics. One of the articles, “Eugenic Sterilization: An Urgent Need,” which was written by Ernst Rudin, Hitler’s director of genetic sterilization and a founder of the Nazi Society for Racial Hygiene. [Many people didn’t or don’t know that Sanger’s early campaign was aimed primarily at east Europeans. By 1939, however, she began to target blacks by creating the “Negro Project,” to promote birth control and sterilization specifically within the black community, which is what most people associate her with].

The Nuremberg Laws (or Nuremberg Race Laws) were instituted on September 15, 1935.  At their annual party rally, the Nazis announce new laws that revoke Reich citizenship for Jews and prohibit Jews from marrying or having sexual relations with persons of “German or related blood.” “Racial infamy,” as it became known, was made a criminal offense. The Nuremberg Laws defined a “Jew” as someone with three or four Jewish grandparents. Consequently, the Nazis classified thousands of people as Jews who had converted from Judaism to another religion, among them even Roman Catholic priests and nuns and Protestant ministers whose grandparents were Jewish.

On October 18 of that same year, new marriage requirements were instituted. The “Law for the Protection of the Hereditary Health of the German People” required all prospective marriage partners to obtain from the public health authorities a certificate of fitness to marry. Such certificates were refused to those suffering from “hereditary illnesses” and contagious diseases and those attempting to marry in violation of the Nuremberg Laws.

On November 14, the Nuremberg Law were extended to other groups. The first supplemental decree of the Nuremberg Laws extended the prohibition on marriage or sexual relations between people who could produce “racially suspect” offspring. A week later, the minister of the interior interpreted this term to mean relations between “those of German or related blood” and Gypsies, Black people, or their offspring.

The Nuremberg Race Laws were just the beginning. First the Jews were denied the benefits of being a German citizen, they were denied the ability to own a business, to own a home, to marry outside their race, etc.  Next came the forced removal of the Jews from Germany and all occupied territories of eastern Europe and confinement first in “ghettos” and then to concentration camps (at first referred to as “work camps”). Then came the coup d’grace…. The Final Solution.

The dehumanization of the Jews by the Nazi Party provided the rationale for the outright discrimination of the Jews, the expulsion of them from German society, the prohibition of Germans inter-marrying with them, and the rounding them up and sending them to ghettos and work camps. It apparently also caused the German people, and in almost all cases, the world community in general, to ignore what the Nazis had in mind all along – the extermination and genocide of the Jews in Germany and in all its occupied territories. The dehumanization of the Jews has rightfully been considered as the single most factor that enabled the most heinous event in the 20th century and perhaps all of human history – The Final Solution, in which more than six million Jews were systematically killed, mostly by sending them to the gas chamber or by shooting them. Dehumanization makes such carnage possible.

In one of the last entries in Joseph Goebbels diary (1945), he wrote: “It’s necessary to exterminate these Jews like rats, once and for all. In Germany, thank God, we’ve already taken care of that. I hope that the world will follow this example.”

The term “Final Solution of the Jewish Question” was a euphemism used by Nazi Germany’s leaders. It referred to the mass murder of Europe’s Jews and it represented their absolute callousness towards the Jewish race. It brought an end to policies aimed at encouraging or forcing Jews to leave the German Reich and other parts of Europe. Those policies were replaced by systematic annihilation. The genocide of the Jews was the culmination of a decade of increasingly severe discriminatory measures aimed at getting rid of the “Jewish problem.”

It isn’t clear when exactly Hitler decided to murder Europe’s Jewish population. But we do know that he left the ultimate plan and the details to one of his closest associates, Reinhard Heydrich, the chief of Germany’s Security Police. On January 20, 1942, Heydrich held a secret meeting known as the Wannsee Conference at which he and other attendees discussed the Final Solution and its implementation. [A little-known fact is that

Nazi leaders envisioned killing 11 million Jews as part of the Final Solution. They succeeded in murdering 6 million], for which they were tried and brought to justice for. 

The Nuremberg trials were conducted by an international tribunal made up of representatives from the United States, the Soviet Union, France and Great Britain. It was the first trial of its kind in history, and the testimony that was heard would shock the world. The trial began on November 20, 1945 and continued for almost a full year, until October 16, 1946. Twenty-four high-ranking Nazis went on trial in Nuremberg, Germany, for atrocities committed during World War II. Lord Justice Geoffrey Lawrence, the British member, presided over the proceedings, which lasted 10 months and consisted of 216 court sessions.

In his opening statement at the start of the Nuremburg Trials, on November 30, 1945, US Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, who was appointed to be the chief US prosecutor, said: “In the prisoners’ dock sit twenty-odd broken men…. Their personal capacity for evil is forever past. It is hard now to perceive in these men as captives the power by which., as Nazi leaders, they once dominated much of the world and terrified most of it. Merely as individuals, their fate is of little consequence…… What makes this inquest significant is that these prisoners are living symbols of racial hatreds, of terrorism and violence, and of the arrogance and cruelty of power….. Civilization can afford no compromise with the social forces which would gain renewed strength if we deal ambiguously or indecisively with men in whom those forces now precariously survive.”

In his speech before sentencing, Lord Justice Geoffrey Lawrence, President of the Tribunal, said of the accused: “They have been responsible in large measure for the miseries and suffering of millions of men, women, and children… Without their military guidance, the aggressive ambitions of Hitler and his fellow Nazis would have been academic and sterile… they were a ruthless and military caste….. Many of these men have made a mockery of the soldier’s oath of obedience to military orders. When it suits their defence they say they had to obey; when confronted with Hitler’s brutal crimes which are shown to have been in their general knowledge, they say they disobeyed. The truth is that they actively participated in all these crimes or sat silent and acquiescent, witnessing the commission of crimes on a scale larger and more shocking than the world has ever had the misfortune to know.”

On October 1, 1946, 12 architects of Nazi policy were sentenced to death. Seven others were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 10 years to life, and three were acquitted. Of the original 24 defendants, one, Robert Ley, committed suicide while in prison, and another, Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach, was deemed mentally and physically incompetent to stand trial. Among those condemned to death by hanging were Joachim von Ribbentrop, Nazi minister of foreign affairs; Hermann Goering, leader of the Gestapo and the Luftwaffe; Alfred Jodl, head of the German armed forces staff; and Wilhelm Frick, minister of the interior.  On October 16, 10 of the architects of Nazi policy were hanged. Goering, who at sentencing was called the “leading war aggressor and creator of the oppressive program against the Jews,” committed suicide by poison on the eve of his scheduled execution. Nazi Party leader Martin Bormann was condemned to death in absentia (but is now believed to have died in May 1945).

In 1946, the Nuremberg Doctors’ Trial was the first of twelve military tribunals held in Germany after the defeat of Germany and Japan. Twenty doctors and three administrators — twenty-two men and a single woman — stood accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity. They had participated in Hitler’s euthanasia program, in which around 200,000 mentally and physically handicapped people deemed unfit to live were gassed to death, and they performed fiendish medical experiments on thousands of Jewish, Russian, Roma and Polish prisoners.  Principal prosecutor Telford Taylor began his opening statement with these somber words:

The defendants in this case are charged with murders, tortures and other atrocities committed in the name of medical science. The victims of these crimes are numbered in the hundreds of thousands. A handful only are still alive; a few of the survivors will appear in this courtroom. But most of these miserable victims were slaughtered outright or died in the course of the tortures to which they were subjected … To their murderers, these wretched people were not individuals at all. They came in wholesale lots and were treated worse than animals.”

The Nazi regime has fallen into the categories of “barbarism and brutality”, of “man’s inhumane treatment of his fellow man.”  In fact, it was only during the Nuremberg Trials that the horrors and brutality of the Holocaust were discussed in a public forum. The world finally learned just how depraved, sadistic, and callous the Nazis were.  Quickly, Hitler was forgotten and the German people embarrassed and ashamed at what their leaders were capable of. 

But the same cannot be said for America’s Democratic Party. It still refuses to believe that it was responsible for so many bad things for so many years. Like good Democrats, party leaders and members blame all the ills of our country on others. And the worst of it all is that the Party continues to do bad things, such as divide the country along the lines of race, of rigging elections, falsifying data, commandeering the mainstream media in order to send out misinformation, committing crimes (such as violating the Espionage Act,  and getting away with them, of using a false standard of interpretation (“it’s a living, breathing document”) in order to transform the US Constitution without having to follow the legal route (which is outlined in Article V), of vilifying good, decent, and patriotic Americans for the sole purpose of elevating other classes of persons, of continuing to treat blacks as “victims” (and to make sure they continue to think of themselves in such terms), and of polluting the education system with lies, falsehoods, and policies based on hate. inciting violence,

America’s Democratic Party, you can indeed be proud of your record: 

(A).  The creation of the Ku Klux Klan.  The Ku Klux Klan was a militant organization that threatened and intimidated blacks from possessing firearms, owning property, running for office, and voting. It was especially effective at intimidation and violence, and especially effective at preventing blacks from going to the ballot box.

(B).  The design and implementation of Jim Crow laws, which effectively established a segregated society. This was known as the Jim Crow era, an era that witnessed the systematic discrimination and oppression of black people, particularly in the South.

(C).  The Prevention of blacks from Voting.  The Southern Democrats used many devices and schemes to keep blacks from casting a vote and having their voices heard:

  •  Literacy Tests.  Literacy tests, as proponents would claim, were used to prove an applicant’s ability to read and understand English. They claimed that the exams ensured an educated and informed electorate. In practice, of course, they were used to disqualify immigrants and the poor, who had less education. In the South they were used to prevent African Americans from registering to vote. For example, in Mississippi, applicants were required to transcribe and interpret a section of the state constitution and write an essay on the responsibilities of citizenship. Registration officials selected the questions and interpreted the answers, effectively choosing which applicants to pass and which to fail.  [The Voting Rights Act ended the use of literacy tests in the South in 1965 and the rest of the country in 1970].
  • Poll Taxes.  Poll taxes are essentially a voting fee. The use of poll taxes began in the 1890s as a legal way to keep blacks from voting in southern states. Eligible voters were required to pay their poll tax before they could cast a ballot. A “grandfather clause” excused some poor whites from payment if they had an ancestor who voted before the Civil War, but there were no exemptions for blacks.
  • Voter Roll Purges.  From time to time, white Democrat officials would purge the voting rolls, often of black persons (because almost every black person was assumed to belong to the Republican Party). These persons would arrive at the polls only to find out that they “were not registered to vote.” 
  •  All-White Primary Elections.  In the South, from about 1900 – 1960, blacks were not allowed to vote in the Democrat Party primary elections. White Democrats said the Democrat Party was a “club” and did not allow black members. And so, blacks could not participate and vote in the only elections that mattered.
  •  Violence.  Blacks who tried to vote were threatened, beaten, and even killed. Their family members were often also harmed and sometimes their homes would be burned down.

(D)  The Obama Years. It was during the two terms that Barack Obama sat in the Oval Office that overt and obvious government targeting of political opponents took place.  (And by “political opponents” I mean Tea Party groups, other patriot groups, and most other true conservatives).  And it was never officially challenged nor was Obama ever called to explain or to answer for it.

  •  In an unguarded moment in April 2008, just weeks ahead of the Pennsylvania primary, Barack Obama, then a freshman senator at the cusp of a historic presidential bid, turned the nation’s attention to Pennsylvania’s working-class voters, a group hard hit by job losses. Speaking behind closed doors at a fundraiser in San Francisco, the then-presidential hopeful spoke of the resentment across the state’s rust belt:  “You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them… They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
  •  How prophetic those words would turn out to be. Just 3 short months after being sworn in as President, he went right to work in having his Department of Homeland Security, with Janet Napolitano as Secretary, issue a new statement of guidance on who exactly are the greatest threats to America –Tea Party leaders, Tea Party and other patriotic groups), white supremacists, anti-government persons and groups (ie, “Obama haters”), military veterans, other veterans, disgruntled military personnel and veterans, persons and groups which advocate for militias, “Christian Identity” organizations, supporters of the second amendment (the right to keep and bear arms), those who oppose gun control, those who are reported to be making bulk purchases of ammunition, and those calling for enforcement and even strengthening of immigration laws. The report lumps all such persons and organizations into one term – “Rightwing Extremists.” The title of the newly-created guidance, which was issued on April 7, 2009, was “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.”  [You can read the document below in the Addendum]. To the Obama administration, they posed the greatest threat of extreme opposition to his policies, posed the greatest threat of becoming radicalized, and posed the greatest threat to American peace, and therefore needed to be “watched” by all levels of law enforcement (federal, state, and even local) and scrutinized. 

The report inter-changes the term “Rightwing Extremists” with another, more incendiary term – “Rightwing Terrorists.”  At one point, the report makes this audacious statement: “Most statements by rightwing extremists have been rhetorical, expressing concerns about the election of the first African American president, but stopping short of calls for violent action.”

  • And then the IRS, under Lois Lerner, targeted all groups being a “Tea Party” or having “tea party” or “patriot” or “liberty” in their names to have their application for tax-exemption status denied. It turned out to be a huge scandal. President Obama publicly stated that he was sure that it was simply an oversight on Ms. Lerner’s part and there was no animus or intent in her department’s rejects, but an audit found otherwise.

US federal tax law, specifically Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. § 501(c)), exempts certain types of nonprofit organizations from having to pay federal income tax. The statutory language of IRC 501(c)(4) generally requires civic organizations described in that section to be “operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare”. Treasury regulations interpreting this statutory language apply a more relaxed standard, namely, that the organization “is operated primarily for the purpose of bringing about civic betterments and social improvements”. As a result, the IRS traditionally has permitted organizations described in IRC 501(c)(4) to engage in lobbying and political campaign activities if those activities are not the organization’s primary activity.

The fact is that Obama was looking out for his re-election campaign in 2012 and wanted to make sure Tea Party and other patriot and conservative groups were not organized under the tax laws and thus unable to meaningfully influence the election – whether to promote his opposition candidate or to take out campaign ads tarnishing his name and record.  Plain and simple, it was government-sponsored targeting and suppression of political opponents.

Indeed, President Obama turned the government against certain classes of citizens. He weaponized the government specifically against Tea Party and other patriot groups, their leaders, veterans, Christians, and good old-fashioned patriotic conservative citizens who, yes, “cling to their guns and their religion,” just as the Americans did who founded this country, who worked hard to build her into a superpower, and who join the armed services to defend her and to go to the rescue of others. Those who “cling to their guns and religion” are the salt of the earth (ie, they represent the best or noblest elements of our country).  .

(E).  Black Lives Matter Movement. The Democrat Party sees everything in terms of race; it classifies everything in terms of race. Any act by a white man against a black man (even if unintentional) is an act of white supremacy and an act of oppression against the black man. And so, it is no wonder, that when Obama quickly went public about a “home break-in” in Boston before knowing the facts, he incited a national racial dialogue and began the great racial divide that continues to plague our country.  On July 16, Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct after an incident at his home in Cambridge, MA.  He was arrested by local police officer Sgt. James Crowley, who was responding to a 911 caller’s report of men breaking and entering the residence. (no mention of race was made on that call). The story, though, caught attention because of the potential racial overtones — Sgt. James Crowley, who arrested Gates, is white. And Gates raised the issue of whether he might have been “profiled.”  President Obama, when asked about the incident at a news conference the following week, said he thought police “acted stupidly.”  He clearly insinuated that police profile blacks and that inherent racism continues to plague law enforcement. With Obama’s unchecked comments, racism came through the floors and infected our country.

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement is an off-shoot of such an infection. BLM is characterized as a “political and social movement” that protests against incidents of police brutality and racially-motivated violence against black people. Their tactics often involve acts of violence and wonton destruction of property, including looting, burning, beatings, etc.  The movement began in July 2013 with the use of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on social media after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of black teen Trayvon Martin 17 months earlier in February 2012. (Note that the results of an investigation and a court ruling found that it was Trayvon who initiated a deadly conflict with Zimmerman and it was Zimmerman who rightly acted in self-defense]. The movement became nationally recognized for street demonstrations following the 2014 deaths of two African Americans, that of Michael Brown (which resulted in protests and unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, a city near St. Louis) and Eric Garner in New York City (who told police over and over that he could not breathe when they tried to subdue him… needlessly). Since the Ferguson protests, participants in the movement have demonstrated against the deaths of numerous other African Americans by police actions or while in police custody.

During the days of nightly Black Lives Matter riots, Democrat Governor Roy Cooper told business owners in downtown Raleigh that since “white supremacy” and “poverty” exist, they deserve to have their businesses looted, burned down, and eventually closed down.  We all see how violence and wonton property destruction is able to cure racism.

(F).  The lowering of Education Standards.  To address the black achievement gap in education, black advocacy groups claim that black students need changes to educational policies, structures, and standards.

(G).  Anti-Police Sentiment and Senseless Violence Against Police Officers. Anti-police sentiment is an off-shoot of the Black Lives Matter movement. They are essentially tied together in one big modern racist movement. Anti-police sentiment spread across the country exponentially by leftist activist groups during the protests and riots that followed the death of convicted felon George Floyd, a black man, during an arrest (gone bad) in Minneapolis last year. As we all remember, the officer knelt on Floyd’s neck and back for more than eight minutes as he repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe. He then became unresponsive. Since then, anti-police sentiment has grown.

The rise in an anti-police sentiment has manifested itself in attacks, some targeted and/or premeditated, on officers, patrol vehicles and precinct stationhouses, leaving cops around the country vulnerable, facing an increased risk in harm or death on the job, or feeling under siege. In what sane world would people want to make enemies of the ones sworn to “serve and protect”?

All in all, 45 officers were killed in 2020 simply for wearing the uniform and so far in 2021, 28 officers have been killed for the same reason. In response, police officers are leaving the job in record numbers. The top three police departments in the country have lost thousands of officers, by an increase in retirements, transfers, or outright resignations. The largest police department in the country, the New York Police Department (NYPD) is down about 1,500 officers, mostly on account of hostility towards law enforcement and threats from such organizations as BLM. And the result is clear – crime is spiking. While overall crime in the city continues to decline slightly, shootings are still on the rise. The number of shootings in NYC, for example, doubled in 2020 (as compared to 2019). And so far (as of the middle of June), 721 people have been shot, which is the highest number since 2002. In sum, shootings in NYC have gone up 100 percent since the anti-police movement started.

The Chicago Police Department has lost more than 700 officers since 2019 and shootings in the windy city have gone up 50 percent.  The Los Angeles Police Department has lost more than 600 officers since 2019 and the number of shootings has gone up 40 percent.

The bottom line is that movement that has been vilifying law enforcement has resulted in the enormous increase in crime, with murders and shootings topping the list. 

(H).  The Pushing of Critical Race Theory in government agencies and offices, in private businesses, and in US public schools. According to expert Christopher Rufo: “Critical race theory is the idea that the United States is a fundamentally racist country and that all of our institutions including the law, culture, business, the economy are all designed to maintain white supremacy. And the critical race theorists argue that all of these institutions are in a sense beyond reforming, they really need to be completely dismantled in order to liberate the oppressed people… It sounds extreme but I think the best way to think about it is you take the old Marxist concept of the proletariat and the bourgeoisie or the oppressed and the oppressor. But instead of looking at it in economic terms as Marx did you change it and you graft the new identity politics and you think of it in racial terms. So, instead of the poor and the rich it’s essentially the white and the people of color are the two dynamics. And this is the new oppressor and oppressed and all of the old Marxist, dialectic is really just reinterpreted through the lens of race. And that’s really at the heart of critical race theory. And then what you see is that that basic academic concept is repackaged in diversity trainings, articles, academic literature, HR programs, but that’s really the key core philosophical concept at its heart….. According to the critical race theorists these institutions were designed in many cases explicitly to uphold white supremacy and then over time they’ve shifted where we don’t have explicit racism, slavery, then segregation. And they basically say oppression hasn’t been abolished, oppression has simply become more sophisticated, become more subtle, become more insidious. So they make the argument that we have a system today that is akin to slavery but it’s more implicit, it’s more subconscious, it’s more hidden. And again, the constant they hold is that racism and white supremacy are constant, they’re ubiquitous, they’re everywhere at all times. It’s just up to the intelligentsia or the vanguard to understand it, uncover it and demolish it.

With respect to education, Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a policy or plan to have educators and administrators in our North Carolina public school system emphasize RACE and how racism is inherent and prevalent in our society and in our country as a whole – whether intentional, unintentional, direct, subtle, incidental, or systemic. And by emphasizing it and teaching it to our children, they are indoctrinating them also to focus on race and to see things in terms of race. We’re talking about children whose brains are not yet fully developed and who are especially vulnerable and susceptible to what is taught to them. As we all know, discrimination and racism go back to the days of slavery and then the Jim Crow era, and apparently to progressives and Democrats, the discrimination still continues. In fact, they say, it’s now engrained into our system. 

Inherent in Critical Race Theory is the notion that whites are “privileged” in this county and therefore somehow bad; they are seen as “oppressors” who overwhelmingly benefit in our society. And African-Americans continue to be victims of discrimination and systemic racism; they continue to be the oppressed. Basically, CRT is just another form of racism. It is substituting a new form of racism for the racism of the past. It is unconstitutional, as it offends the fourteenth amendment, the words in our Declaration of Independence (“that all men are created equal”), and our fundamental notions of equality. Equally, it flies in the face of the Golden Rule where we are taught to treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves.

According to Sloan Rachmuth, president of Education First Alliance, NC: “Racial discrimination and critical race theory matter, not just because they erode the fabric of this nation, or threaten our freedom, they matter because they fly in the face of the belief that every person, every child, is just as important as the next.”

References:

“Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” Office of Homeland Security, April 7, 2009.   Referenced at: https://fas.org/irp/eprint/rightwing.pdf 

Michael K. Flaherty, “A White Lie,” The American Spectator, August, 1992.   Referenced at:  http://groups.csail.mit.edu/mac/users/rauch/abortion_eugenics/american-spectator_eugenics.html

Ivey DeJesus, “How Will Pennsylvanians Who ‘Cling to Guns and Religion’ Remember Barack Obama?,” Referenced at  https://www.pennlive.com/news/2017/01/obama_legacy_presidency_pennsy.html

Richard Dargie and Julian Flanders, THE NAZIS’ FLIGHT FROM JUSTICE, Arcturus Publishing Limited, 2021.

The Nuremberg Race Laws,” The Holocaust Encyclopedia –  https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/the-nuremberg-race-laws

‘Less Than Human’: The Psychology Of Cruelty,” NPR.  Referenced at:  https://www.npr.org/2011/03/29/134956180/criminals-see-their-victims-as-less-than-human

Madeline St. Amour, “What Happens Before College Matters,” Inside Higher Ed, October 20, 2020.  Referenced at:  https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/10/20/black-students-need-changes-policies-and-structures-beyond-higher-education

[Forward:  Experts agree higher education needs to do more to create equity for Black students. But more attention needs to be paid to barriers Black students face before they step foot on campus].

Diane Rufino, “What is Critical Race Theory, Where Did it Come From, and Where Is It Going?” www.forloveofgodandcountry.com, April 29, 2021.  Referenced at:  https://forloveofgodandcountry.com/2021/04/30/critical-race-theory-what-it-is-where-it-came-from-and-where-its-going/

Sloan Rachmuth, “What is Critical Race Theory in Education?” Education First Alliance, June 15, 2021.  Referenced at:  https://www.edfirstnc.org/post/what-is-critical-race-theory-in-education

“The Final Solution,” Holocaust Encyclopedia –   https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/final-solution-overview

Bill Moyers, “How the Nazis Used Jim Crow Laws as the Model for Their Race Laws,” Bill Moyers Show, October 13, 2017.  Referenced at:  https://billmoyers.com/story/hitler-america-nazi-race-law/

Petr Svab, “Police Officers Leaving in Droves; Crime Spiking,” Epoch Times, June 23, 2021.  (hard copy)

ADDENDUM:  OFFICE OF HOMELEAND SECURITY; OFFICE OF INTELLIGENCE & ANALYSIS

Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment

April 7, 2009

Prepared by the Extremism and Radicalization Branch, Homeland Environment Threat Analysis Division. Coordinated with the FBI.

Scope:

This product is one of a series of intelligence assessments published by the Extremism and Radicalization Branch to facilitate a greater understanding of the phenomenon of violent radicalization in the United States. The information is provided to federal, state, local, and tribal counterterrorism and law enforcement officials so they may effectively deter, prevent, preempt, or respond to terrorist attacks against the United States. Federal efforts to influence domestic public opinion must be conducted in an overt and transparent manner, clearly identifying United States Government sponsorship

Key Findings  —

The DHS/Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) has no specific information that domestic rightwing*

 terrorists are currently planning acts of violence, but rightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues. The economic downturn and the election of the first

African American president present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and recruitment.

— Threats from white supremacist and violent antigovernment groups during 2009 have been largely rhetorical and have not indicated plans to carry out violent acts. Nevertheless, the consequences of a prolonged economic

downturn—including real estate foreclosures, unemployment, and an inability to obtain credit—could create a fertile recruiting environment for rightwing extremists and even result in confrontations between such groups and government authorities similar to those in the past.

— Rightwing extremists have capitalized on the election of the first African American president, and are focusing their efforts to recruit new members, mobilize existing supporters, and broaden their scope and appeal

through propaganda, but they have not yet turned to attack planning.

The current economic and political climate has some similarities to the 1990s when rightwing extremism experienced a resurgence fueled largely by an economic recession, criticism about the outsourcing of jobs, and the perceived threat to U.S. power and sovereignty by other foreign powers.

— During the 1990s, these issues contributed to the growth in the number of domestic rightwing terrorist and extremist groups and an increase in violent acts targeting government facilities, law enforcement officers, banks, and infrastructure sectors.

— Growth of these groups subsided in reaction to increased government scrutiny as a result of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and disrupted plots, improvements in the economy, and the continued U.S. standing

as the preeminent world power.

The possible passage of new restrictions on firearms and the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks.

— Proposed imposition of firearms restrictions and weapons bans likely would attract new members into the ranks of rightwing extremist groups, as well as potentially spur some of them to begin planning and training for

violence against the government. The high volume of purchases and stockpiling of weapons and ammunition by rightwing extremists in anticipation of restrictions and bans in some parts of the country continue to be a primary concern to law enforcement.

— Returning veterans possess combat skills and experience that are attractive to rightwing extremists. DHS/I&A is concerned that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to boost their violent capabilities.

Current Economic and Political Climate  —

DHS/I&A assesses that a number of economic and political factors are driving a resurgence in rightwing extremist recruitment and radicalization activity. Despite similarities to the climate of the 1990s, the threat posed by lone wolves and small terrorist cells is more pronounced than in past years. In addition, the historical election of an African American president and the prospect of policy changes are proving to be a driving force for rightwing extremist recruitment and radicalization.

— A recent example of the potential violence associated with a rise in rightwing extremism may be found in the shooting deaths of three police officers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on 4 April 2009. The alleged gunman’s reaction reportedly was influenced by his racist ideology and belief in antigovernment conspiracy theories related to gun confiscations, citizen detention camps, and a Jewish-controlled “one world government.”

Exploiting Economic Downturn  —

Rightwing extremist chatter on the Internet continues to focus on the economy, the perceived loss of U.S. jobs in the manufacturing and construction sectors, and home foreclosures. Anti-Semitic extremists attribute these losses to a deliberate conspiracy conducted by a cabal of Jewish “financial elites.” These “accusatory” tactics are employed to draw new recruits into rightwing extremist groups and further radicalize those already subscribing to extremist beliefs. DHS/I&A assesses this trend is likely to accelerate if the economy is perceived to worsen.

Historical Presidential Election  —

Rightwing extremists are harnessing this historical election as a recruitment tool. Many rightwing extremists are antagonistic toward the new presidential administration and its perceived stance on a range of issues, including immigration and citizenship, the expansion of social programs to minorities, and restrictions on firearms ownership and use. Rightwing extremists are increasingly galvanized by these concerns and leverage them as drivers for recruitment. From the 2008 election timeframe to the present, rightwing extremists have capitalized on related racial and political prejudices in expanded propaganda campaigns, thereby reaching out to a wider audience of potential sympathizers.

—  Most statements by rightwing extremists have been rhetorical, expressing concerns about the election of the first African American president, but stopping short of calls for violent action. In two instances in the run-up to the election, extremists appeared to be in the early planning stages of some threatening activity targeting the Democratic nominee, but law enforcement interceded.

Revisiting the 1990s  —

Paralleling the current national climate, rightwing extremists during the 1990s exploited a variety of social issues and political themes to increase group visibility and recruit new members. Prominent among these themes were the militia movement’s opposition to gun control efforts, criticism of free trade agreements (particularly those with Mexico), and highlighting perceived government infringement on civil liberties as well as white supremacists’ longstanding exploitation of social issues such as abortion, inter-racial crimes, and same-sex marriage. During the 1990s, these issues contributed to the growth in the number of domestic rightwing terrorist and extremist groups and an increase in violent acts targeting government facilities, law enforcement officers, banks, and infrastructure sectors.

Economic Hardship and Extremism  —

Historically, domestic rightwing extremists have feared, predicted, and anticipated a cataclysmic economic collapse in the United States. Prominent antigovernment conspiracy theorists have incorporated aspects of an impending economic collapse to intensify fear and paranoia among like-minded individuals and to attract recruits during times of economic uncertainty. Conspiracy theories involving declarations of martial law, impending civil strife or racial conflict, suspension of the U.S. Constitution, and the creation of citizen detention camps often incorporate aspects of a failed economy. Antigovernment conspiracy theories and “end times” prophecies could motivate extremist individuals and groups to stockpile food, ammunition, and weapons. These teachings also have been linked with the radicalization of domestic extremist individuals and groups in the past, such as violent Christian Identity organizations and extremist members of the militia movement.

Illegal Immigration  —

Rightwing extremists were concerned during the 1990s with the perception that illegal immigrants were taking away American jobs through their willingness to work at significantly lower wages. They also opposed free trade agreements, arguing that these arrangements resulted in Americans losing jobs to countries such as Mexico.

Over the past five years, various rightwing extremists, including militias and white supremacists, have adopted the immigration issue as a call to action, rallying point, and recruiting tool. Debates over appropriate immigration levels and enforcement policy generally fall within the realm of protected political speech under the First Amendment, but in some cases, anti-immigration or strident pro-enforcement fervor has been directed

against specific groups and has the potential to turn violent.

DHS/I&A assesses that rightwing extremist groups’ frustration over a perceived lack of government action on illegal immigration has the potential to incite individuals or small groups toward violence. If such violence were to occur, it likely would be isolated, small-scale, and directed at specific immigration-related targets.

— DHS/I&A notes that prominent civil rights organizations have observed an increase in anti-Hispanic crimes over the past five years.

— In April 2007, six militia members were arrested for various weapons and explosives violations. Open source reporting alleged that those arrested had discussed and conducted surveillance for a machinegun attack on Hispanics.

— A militia member in Wyoming was arrested in February 2007 after communicating his plans to travel to the Mexican border to kill immigrants crossing into the United States.

Legislative and Judicial Drivers  —

Many rightwing extremist groups perceive recent gun control legislation as a threat to their right to bear arms and in response have increased weapons and ammunition stockpiling, as well as renewed participation in paramilitary training exercises. Such activity, combined with a heightened level of extremist paranoia, has the potential to facilitate criminal activity and violence.

—  During the 1990s, rightwing extremist hostility toward government was fueled by the implementation of restrictive gun laws—such as the Brady Law that established a 5-day waiting period prior to purchasing a handgun and the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act that limited the sale of various types of assault rifles—and federal law enforcement’s handling of the confrontations at Waco, Texas and Ruby Ridge, Idaho.

— On the current front, legislation has been proposed this year requiring mandatory registration of all firearms in the United States. Similar legislation was introduced in 2008 in several states proposing mandatory tagging

and registration of ammunition. It is unclear if either bill will be passed into law; nonetheless, a correlation may exist between the potential passage of gun control legislation and increased hoarding of ammunition, weapons stockpiling, and paramilitary training activities among rightwing extremists.

Open-source reporting of wartime ammunition shortages has likely spurred rightwing extremists—as well as law-abiding Americans—to make bulk purchases of ammunition. These shortages have increased the cost of ammunition, further exacerbating rightwing extremist paranoia and leading to further stockpiling activity. Both rightwing extremists and law-abiding citizens share a belief that rising crime rates attributed to a slumping economy make the purchase of legitimate firearms a wise move at this time.

Weapons rights and gun-control legislation are likely to be hotly contested subjects of political debate in light of the 2008 Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller in which the Court reaffirmed an individual’s right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but left open to debate the precise contours of that right. Because debates over constitutional rights are intense, and parties on all sides have deeply held, sincere, but vastly divergent beliefs, violent extremists may attempt to co-opt the debate and use the controversy as a radicalization tool.

Perceived Threat from Rise of Other Countries  — 

Rightwing extremist paranoia of foreign regimes could escalate or be magnified in the event of an economic crisis or military confrontation, harkening back to the “New World Order” conspiracy theories of the 1990s. The dissolution of Communist countries in Eastern Europe and the end of the Soviet Union in the 1990s led some rightwing extremists to believe that a “New World Order” would bring about a world government that would usurp the sovereignty of the United States and its Constitution, thus infringing upon their liberty. The dynamics in 2009 are somewhat similar, as other countries, including China, India, and Russia, as well as some smaller, oil-producing states, are experiencing a rise in economic power and influence.

— Fear of Communist regimes and related conspiracy theories characterizing the U.S. Government’s role as either complicit in a foreign invasion or acquiescing as part of a “One World Government” plan inspired

extremist members of the militia movement to target government and military facilities in past years.

—  Law enforcement in 1996 arrested three rightwing militia members in Battle Creek, Michigan with pipe bombs, automatic weapons, and military ordnance that they planned to use in attacks on nearby military and federal facilities and infrastructure targets.

— Rightwing extremist views bemoan the decline of U.S. stature and have recently focused on themes such as the loss of U.S. manufacturing capability to China and India, Russia’s control of energy resources and use of these to pressure other countries, and China’s investment in U.S. real estate and corporations as a part of subversion strategy.

Disgruntled Military Veterans  —

DHS/I&A assesses that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat. These skills and knowledge have the potential to boost the capabilities of extremists—including lone wolves or small terrorist cells—to carry out

violence. The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned, or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today.

—  After Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1990-1991, some returning military veterans—including Timothy McVeigh—joined or associated with rightwing extremist groups.

— A prominent civil rights organization reported in 2006 that “large numbers of potentially violent neo-Nazis, skinheads, and other white supremacists are now learning the art of warfare in the [U.S.] armed forces.”

— The FBI noted in a 2008 report on the white supremacist movement that some returning military veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have joined extremist groups.

Outlook  —

DHS/I&A assesses that the combination of environmental factors that echo the 1990s, including heightened interest in legislation for tighter firearms restrictions and returning military veterans, as well as several new trends, including an uncertain economy and a perceived rising influence of other countries, may be invigorating

rightwing extremist activity, specifically the white supremacist and militia movements. To the extent that these factors persist, rightwing extremism is likely to grow in strength.

Unlike the earlier period, the advent of the Internet and other informationage technologies since the 1990s has given domestic extremists greater access to information related to bomb-making, weapons training, and tactics, as well as targeting of individuals, organizations, and facilities, potentially making extremist individuals and

groups more dangerous and the consequences of their violence more severe. New technologies also permit domestic extremists to send and receive encrypted communications and to network with other extremists throughout the country and abroad, making it much more difficult for law enforcement to deter, prevent, or preempt a violent extremist attack.

A number of law enforcement actions and external factors were effective in limiting the militia movement during the 1990s and could be utilized in today’s climate.

Following the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City, the militia movement declined in total membership and in the number of organized groups because many members distanced

themselves from the movement as a result of the intense scrutiny militias received after the bombing.

—  Militia membership continued to decline after the turn of the millennium as a result of law enforcement disruptions of multiple terrorist plots linked to violent rightwing extremists, new legislation banning paramilitary training, and militia frustration that the “revolution” never materialized.

— Although the U.S. economy experienced a significant recovery and many perceived a concomitant rise in U.S. standing in the world, white supremacist groups continued to experience slight growth.

DHS/I&A will be working with its state and local partners over the next several months to ascertain with greater regional specificity the rise in rightwing extremist activity in the United States, with a particular emphasis on the political, economic, and social factors that drive rightwing extremist radicalization.

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WHAT IF?

by Diane Rufino, June 19, 2021

Today, June 19, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced on Twitter that he had just signed a Resolution asserting Texas state sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment over all powers not granted to the federal government by the US Constitution. The Resolution officially notifies the President and Congress to cease acts that encroach upon the powers of the States.

No further information was given about the Resolution, what it actually states, its force, or how far Texas intends to take it.

But what if….

What if Texas is really willing serious about stopping federal over-reach and encroachment into its sovereign powers and what if she is really willing to fight this time for that sovereignty?  What if the Tenth Amendment really does matter to Texas?  And what if she can convince other states to join with her?

The Tenth Amendment is a critical amendment. It reads: “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.”  To be more exact, the Tenth Amendment is n restatement of the fundamental nature of our government system – the division of sovereign power between the States and the federal government, which is also known as “federalism.”  The Preamble to the Bill of Rights makes this clear (as well as gives the reason for the Bill of Rights): “The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

Since there wasn’t any additional information that I could find regarding the Resolution Governor Abbott referred to, I did some digging into what the Texas legislature has been doing. As it turns out, Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 12, a resolution “to claim sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment” was filed in the Texas legislature on February 12 of this year by state Senator Brandon Creighton (R). State representative Phil King (R) filed a House Concurrent Resolution alongside Creighton’s, to allow passage of the measure in both chambers of the Texas legislature.

Senator Creighton’s Concurrent Resolution aims to not just “claim sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment” but to, “serve as notice and demand that the federal government, as our agent, halt and reverse, effective immediately, its practice of assuming powers and imposing mandates and laws upon the states for purposes not enumerated by the Constitution of the United States of America.”  Additionally, the Resolution asks that “all compulsory federal legislation NOT necessary to ensure rights guaranteed the people under the Constitution of the United States that directs states to comply under threat of civil or criminal penalties or sanctions or that requires states to pass legislation or lose federal funding be prohibited and repealed.”

Furthermore, SCR12 requests that the federal government stop “assuming powers and imposing mandates and laws upon the States for purposes not enumerated by the Constitution of the United States of America.” [You can read the entire text of the Senate Concurrent Resolution, SCR12 below, in the Addendum].

As defined in the Texas Legislative Glossary, “a concurrent resolution is used to convey the sentiment of the legislature and may offer a commendation, a memorial, a statement of congratulations, a welcome, or a request for action by another governmental entity.

In an article by Suzaenne Weiss (“Sovereignty Measures and Other Steps May Indicate an Upsurge iin Anti-Federal Sentiment in Legislatures”), she writes:

Discontent over federal mandates in areas ranging from health care to gun control to national security is fueling a states’ rights revival in legislatures across the country.

In 2009, formal protests against federal encroachment on states’ authority and prerogatives under the Tenth Amendment—in the form of sovereignty resolutions or memorials—were considered by legislators in 37 states. Although many of them never made it out of committee or failed on initial floor votes, roughly half were approved in at least one legislative chamber. And in seven states—Alaska, Idaho, Louisiana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Tennessee—the measures passed in both the House and Senate.

Some examples include:

Since 2007, more than two dozen states have passed resolutions or laws denouncing and refusing to implement the federal REAL ID Act, which imposes rigorous security, authentication and issuance standards for driver’s licenses and state ID cards.

Fourteen states have asserted their right—through legislation or voter-approved initiatives—to permit and control the medicinal use of marijuana.

Montana and Tennessee in 2009 enacted legislation declaring that firearms and ammunition manufactured, sold and used within their borders are not subject to federal regulations and taxes. Similar measures have been introduced in Florida, South Carolina, Texas and several other states over the past year.

The Arizona Legislature recently voted to place a referendum on the fall 2010 ballot that would guarantee the state’s residents the right to opt out of ‘any potential national health-care system.’

In Moncrief’s view, the growth of the state sovereignty movement over the past several years is attributable in large part to the Internet, which has facilitated efforts on the part of conservatives to force issues out of Washington and into states, where they might have a better chance of winning them.

Oklahoma’s resolution, for example, declares that ‘many federal laws are in direct violation of the 10th Amendment,” effectively “commandeering the legislative and regulatory processes of the states.’ It demands prohibition or repeal of mandates that come without adequate federal funding and/or require states to comply under threat of penalties or sanctions.

In Tennessee, the sovereignty resolution approved by legislators, and subsequently signed by Governor Phil Bredesen, calls for creating a joint working group of states ‘to enumerate the abuses of authority by the federal government and to seek repeal of the assumption of powers and the imposed mandates.’ New Hampshire’s resolution, which was voted down in March 2009, went so far as to lay out a variant of the 19th century “doctrine of nullification,” which holds that states have the right to declare null and void any federal laws they deem unconstitutional.”

It is also worth noting that just barely 3 weeks after President Biden assumed office, not only was the State Sovereignty Concurrent Resolution introduced, but a bill (not just a resolution) was also introduced calling for the secession of Texas. The bill (HB 1359), filed by state Representative Kyle Biedermann (R), calls for the re-creation of Texas as an independent republic.

The bottom line is that if the States are willing to have a backbone, if they are willing to re-assert their rights and powers under the Tenth Amendment, and if there’s widespread support, people can resist the federal government at the state level.

References

Jessica Shorten, “Creighton Files Tenth Amendment Resolution In Texas Legislature,” Montgomery County Gazette, February 12, 2021.  Referenced at:  https://emcgazette.com/creighton-files-tenth-amendment-resolution-in-texas-legislature-p4763-214.htm

Suzanne Weiss, “Sovereignty Measures and Other Steps May Indicate an Upsurge in Anti-Federal Sentiment in Legislatures,” NCSL.  Referenced at:  https://www.ncsl.org/research/about-state-legislatures/facing-off-with-the-feds.aspx

Tenth Amendment Resolution, Tenth Amendment Center – https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/10th-amendment-resolution/

SCR12, Concurrent Resolution Text –  https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/87R/billtext/html/SC00012I.htm

——————————————————————————————-   

ADDENDUM:  I.  SCR12 (Texas Legislature)

By: Creighton            S.C.R. No. 12

CONCURRENT RESOLUTION –

WHEREAS, Each member of the legislature has sworn a solemn oath to defend our United States and Texas Constitutions and takesgreat pride in being a citizen of the United States of America,where citizens have the right to petition their government forredress of grievances; and

WHEREAS, Section 1, Article I, Texas Constitution, states that “the perpetuity of the Union depend[s] upon the preservation of the right of local self-government, unimpaired to all the States”; Section 2, Article I, declares, “All political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their benefit. The faith of the people of Texas stands pledged to the preservation of a republican form of government, and, subject to this limitation only, they have at all times the inalienable right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think expedient”; and

WHEREAS, The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America reads as follows: “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”; and

WHEREAS, The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America defines the total scope of federal power as being that specifically granted by the U.S. Constitution and no more; and

WHEREAS, The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America means that the federal government was created by the states specifically to be an agent of the states with powers both limited and enumerated; and

WHEREAS, Today, in 2021, the states are demonstrably treated as agents of the federal government; and

WHEREAS, Many powers assumed by the federal government as well as federal laws and mandates are in direct violation of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America; and

WHEREAS, The Tenth Amendment assures that we, the people of the United States of America and each sovereign state in the Union of States, have always had rights that the federal government may not usurp; and

WHEREAS, Section 4, Article IV, of the United States Constitution says, “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government,” and the Ninth Amendment states, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”; and

WHEREAS, The United States Supreme Court has ruled in New York v. United States, 505 U.S. 144 (1992), that Congress may not simply commandeer the legislative and regulatory processes of the states; and

WHEREAS, A number of proposals from previous administrations, as well as from Congress, may further violate the Constitution of the United States of America; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the 87th Legislature of the State of Texas hereby claim sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States of America; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That this serve as notice and demand that the federal government, as our agent, halt and reverse, effective immediately, its practice of assuming powers and imposing mandates and laws upon the states for purposes not enumerated by the Constitution of the United States of America; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That all compulsory federal legislation not necessary to ensure rights guaranteed the people under the Constitution of the United States that directs states to comply under threat of civil or criminal penalties or sanctions or that requires states to pass legislation or lose federal funding be prohibited and repealed; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That the Texas secretary of state forward official copies of this resolution to the president of the United States, to the president of the Senate and the speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States Congress, and to all members of the Texas delegation to Congress with the request that this resolution be officially entered in the Congressional Record as a memorial to the Congress of the United States of America.

II.  A SAMPLE “TENTH AMENDMENT RESOLUTION”  (from the Tenth Amendment Center, with some of my own additions)

The following is a sample 10th Amendment House Concurrent Resolution approved by the Tenth Amendment Center. Activists, we encourage you to send this to your state senators and representatives – and ask them to introduce this resolution in your state.

A RESOLUTION affirming the sovereignty of the People of the State of _________.

WHEREAS, in the American system, sovereignty is defined as final authority, and the People, not government, are sovereign; and

WHEREAS, the people of the State of __________ are not united with the People of the other forty-nine states that comprise the United States of America on a principle of unlimited submission to their federal government; and

WHEREAS, all power not delegated by the people to government is retained; and

WHEREAS, the People of the several States comprising the United States of America created the federal government to be their agent for certain enumerated purposes only (that is, to carry out functions common to them) and intended that it enjoys no more power than that granted to it by the Constitution; and

WHEREAS, the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads as follows: “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;” and

WHEREAS, the Tenth Amendment defines the total scope of federal power as being that which has been expressly delegated BY THE PEOPLE (through their State Conventions) to the federal government in the Constitution of the United States, and also any incidental powers which may be absolutely necessary and proper to carry into execution those enumerated powers; with the rest being left to state governments or the people themselves; and

WHEREAS, In Federalist No. 45, James Madison explained: “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.” 

WHEREAS, States acting under the authority granted to them by the Tenth Amendment have the ability to create innovative policy strategies that accommodate the unique needs, cultural traditions, and priorities of their jurisdictions; and


WHEREAS, recognizing the critical role that States play as fifty independent laboratories of democracy, innovation, solutions, and modern laws, the encroaching upon the sovereign powers of the States guaranteed and restated by the Tenth Amendment by the federal government threatens that essential role; and

WHEREAS, State governments are experiencing unprecedented shortfalls in revenue and are generally bound by constitutionally-balanced budget requirements, thereby struggling to pay for their own policies and programs, while the federal government taxes unconstitutionally the People in order to then turn around and “award” states various grants (which come with federal “conditions”); the government is unconstitutionally doing an end-run around the Constitution with this system; and

WHEREAS, powers, too numerous to list for the purposes of this resolution, have been exercised, past and present, by federal administrations, under the leadership of both Democrats and Republicans, which infringe on the sovereignty of the people of this state, and may further violate the Constitution of the United States; and

WHERERAS, despite the fiscal position of states and the articulated intent of the Tenth Amendment, the federal government continues to impose unfunded mandates and continues to pre-empt state sovereignty, treating the States as nothing more than agents of the federal government (rather than the reverse)

WHEREAS, when powers are assumed by the federal government which have not been delegated to it by the People, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy; that without this remedy, the People of this State would be under the dominion, absolute and unlimited, of whoever might exercise this right of judgment for them.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE  _____ OF THE _______ GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ______, WITH THE SENATE

CONCURRING, that we hereby affirm the sovereignty of the People of the State of _______ under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise delegated to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States; and, be it further

RESOLVED, that this Resolution shall serve as a Notice and Demand to the federal government to cease and desist any and all activities outside the scope of their constitutionally-delegated powers; and, it be further

RESOLVED, that a committee of conference be appointed by this legislature, which shall have as its charge to recommend and propose legislation which would have the effect of nullifying specific federal laws and regulations which are outside the scope of the powers delegated by the People to the federal government in the Constitution; and, be it further

RESOLVED, that a committee of correspondence be appointed, which shall have as its charge to communicate the preceding resolutions to the Legislatures of the several States; to assure them that this State continues in the same esteem of their friendship as currently exists;  that it considers union, for specified national purposes, and particularly those enumerated in the Constitution of the United States, to be friendly to the peace, happiness and prosperity of all the States; and, be it further

RESOLVED, that a certified copy of this resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker and the Clerk of the United States House of Representatives, and to each member of this State’s Congressional delegation with the request that this resolution be officially entered in the Congressional Record as a memorial to the Congress of the United States of America.

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IS NULLIFICATION A VIABLE OPTION TO CURB FEDERAL ABUSE?

By Diane Rufino, June 17, 2021

On June 15, I posted a question and some of my personal thoughts on the matter. I noted that our nation’s culture and politics has perhaps reached a tipping point where two competing ideologies cannot get along and the rift is actively destroying the country we all love. I asked if it is time to think of some serious remedies, including the necessity of the states’ invoking the doctrine of Nullification (which Thomas Jefferson himself termed “the “rightful remedy” to curb federal abuse), the possibility of splitting the states up, having one entire part of the country secede, holding an Article V Convention, etc etc.  My point for the post was to get people thinking that if we don’t act soon, and act with wisdom, prudence, and with the care and concern that our Founding Fathers did over 200 years ago, we might very well face the loss of our great constitutional republic.

Two days later, I received a response to that (short) post by a man named Christopher Shelley (junehog.wordpress.com).  He wrote: “Nullification is not a Constitutional option. We had this argument — it’s called the Civil War. It was a bad idea when suggested by Jefferson; continued to be bad (in addition to unconstitutional) when advocated by John C. Calhoun, and remains a bad idea. I understand you are unhappy, but the only Constitutional remedy for your unhappiness are further elections.”

First of all, Mr. Shelley believes that elections are the only way we can address problems in our country. He assumes, for some reason, that we citizens have any modicum of confidence in their results. Well, we don’t. that option – that “ONLY option,” as he puts it, is no option at all. As we have learned from the 1960 election, an outcome can be predetermined. As we have learned most shockingly in 2020, election apparatus can be rigged, software can be hacked, votes tampered with, and again, the outcome can be pre-determined. That’s hardly a testament to a “democratic” process. 

Second of all, he believes that the issue of Nullification – an extra-constitutional principle, a powerful tool in the arsenal of States’ powers – was “settled” (ie, de-legitimized) by Lincoln’s Civil War.  Let’s be clear…. Abraham Lincoln was the greatest tyrant this country ever had and our country and our government has never been the same since. He told an oath of office, per Article II, Section 1, clause 8:  Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:– I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”  He took a sacred vow to uphold the Constitution, not to distort it or destroy it.  For that, he should have been brought up on impeachment charges and removed from office. Alternatively, he should have been tried as a traitor – a traitor to the Constitution.

One man alone cannot undo the foundations of a country, particularly when it is for purely financial reasons (not genuine concern to the integrity of the Union) and when it could be used to justify him invading the southern states and subjugating them back into the Union. (As I have always said: “Lincoln using force against the South to save the Union is like a man beating his wife to save the marriage.”)  Lincoln had no right to advocate that the Constitution created a “perpetual Union” (thus never allowing a state to secede) when such words were NOT once mentioned in the document. (They were, however, mentioned in the Articles of Confederation, and we all know what happened with that flimsy union…..  All the states seceded from that Union and eventually formed a new Union based on the US Constitution).

As I mentioned above, Lincoln was a tyrant, and as history would have it, he was assassinated for being such a usurper. There was no reason that once Lincoln was out of the picture, the government could have condemned his actions and reversed his policies – either offering the South the opportunity to re-think their decision to secede and form a new country or to officially recognize their status as the Confederate States of America.  

Third, the Civil War did nothing to settle the issue of Nullification. You probably meant to say that the war settled the issue of secession, which it temporarily did but only through the use of force.  But again, an act of one tyrant does not destroy fundamental principles upon which a country was founded.  Our country is too important to permit its founding values to be ignored or perverted. (Or discarded because it doesn’t suit the government’s purposes).

So the short answer to Mr. Shelley is: (1) Nullification is, and always will be, the “rightful remedy” to curb federal abuse, and (2) Taking our chances at the ballot box every 2 – 4 years, when elections are not honest, trustworthy, or transparent, is NOT the “ONLY constitutional option. People should spend more time reading the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. More serious options need to be entertained. And by people a whole lot more open-minded than Mr. Shelley and more committed to the faithful adherence to the US Constitution and to helping to preserve our republic.

I welcome comments like Mr. Shelley’s. I welcome the opportunity to explain why Nullification is a viable option. I welcome the opportunity to explain why Nullification is the PERFECT option… indeed, as Jefferson wrote, “the rightful remedy.”

Just like Gene Kizer Jr. (author of the book “Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States”) and Leonard M. Scruggs (author of the book “The Un-Civil War (Shattering the Historical Myths)” welcome the opportunity to explain why Secession is a legitimate option when faced with federal tyranny, and just as Albert Taylor Bledsoe (author of the 1866 book “Is Davis a Traitor? Or Was Secession a Constitutional Right Previous to the War of 1861?”) eagerly welcomed the opportunity to defend Jefferson Davis and the right of the southern states to secede, I welcome the opportunity to discuss Nullification.

First, let’s discuss what “Nullification” is.  To be clear, it was not the brainchild of Thomas Jefferson, as many contend. Jefferson was just the person who articulated the doctrine best. [See later, The Kentucky Resolves of 1798 and then The Kentucky Resolves of 1799].  Nullification is actually part of the law of compacts; it is a natural remedy belonging to a sovereign state. Thomas Woods explains: “Nullification is the Jeffersonian idea that the states of the American Union must judge the constitutionality of the acts of their agent, the federal government, since no impartial arbiter between them exists,” and if the state or states determine that such act, policy, executive action, or federal judicial ruling is not consistent with powers delegated to the federal government, then that state or states reserve the right to NULLIFY such act, policy, executive action, or ruling. Because the particular power is not delegated to the government, such action is deemed unconstitutional, it is without authority, it is, from its inception, null and void and therefore unenforceable.

There is, obviously, no provision in the Constitution that explicitly authorizes nullification. That was not Jefferson’s point. He, and later John C. Calhoun, suggested that it was in the nature of compacts that no one side could have the exclusive right of interpreting its terms. This was especially true in the case of the federal compact (ie, the US Constitution), since Jefferson and Calhoun contended that the federal government was not a party to it, having itself been brought into being by the joint action of the states in creating a compact among themselves. Since the federal government was merely the agent of the states, it could hardly presume to tell the states, with no room for disagreement or appeal, what their own Constitution meant.

A serious question is this: Will the federal government police itself?  Will it call itself out and ask the states not to enforce their laws and policies?  Never. It must be the co-equal sovereigns, the individual States, who must take on that responsibility.

Thomas Woods calls Nullification “the Jeffersonian Brake on Government.”

How are they tasked with this responsibility?  Our government system is designed and described as one of “Dual Sovereignty.”  We have 2 sets of sovereigns – a federal government and the group of individual States – each having the rights of a sovereign as divided by the US Constitution. In fact, it could be argued that the States are the more powerful sovereigns as they are responsible for a greater number of issues – internal issues (such as voting, education, criminal matters, property matters, certification, etc etc)  Each is sovereign over its specified objects. As for the federal government, it is sovereign only as to the express objects delegated to it. And as for the States, they are sovereign as to everything else (except those objects prohibited to it under Article I, Section 9). The Tenth Amendment is a restatement of the concept of federalism. [“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.”]  

Dual Sovereignty is a unique feature of our American government and is the ideal system to keep each sovereign in check. Each sovereign is naturally expected to be a jealous guardian over its sphere of power. And if and when the other dares to invade into the other’s sphere, that other sovereign has every natural (sovereign) right to push back and reclaim that sphere of power. This is federalism. This is how it is supposed to work. It is the greatest, the most effective of checks and balances against a central government that always pushes the limits, uses the courts to expand its power

James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 41, “For what purpose could the enumeration of particulars be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power?” In 1792, he said: If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every state, county, and parish, and pay them out of the public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision for the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, everything, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress.”

The issue of which powers were delegated to the federal government exploded into rigorous and contentious debates at the state ratifying conventions (in which each state individually elected delegates given the task of deciding whether or not to adopt the Constitution drafted in Philadelphia in 1787). Time and time again, the Constitution was characterized by its supporters as granting only those powers that the states “expressly delegated” to it. That means the states themselves entered the Union with the express assurance that this was how the Constitution would be understood.

At the New York Convention, even Alexander Hamilton, one of the strongest advocates of a powerful central government and among the least committed to the cause of states’ rights, declared that, in all federations, the proposed American one not excepted, “whatever is not expressly given to the Federal Head is reserved to the members.” The people, moreover, had “already delegated their sovereignty and their powers to their several state governments, and these cannot be recalled and given to another, without an express act.”  When New York ratified the Constitution, it accompanied its ratification with a brief rendition of the nature of the Union it understood itself to be joining.: “Every power, jurisdiction, and right which is not by the said Constitution clearly delegated to the United States of America, or the departments of the government thereof, remains to the people of the several States, or to their respective State governments.”

The people of half a dozen states were specifically assured that the proposed federal government would indeed possess only those powers expressly delegated to it. For example, at the Pennsylvania Convention, James Wilson said that “everything not expressly mentioned will be presumed to be purposely omitted,”  At the North Carolina Convention, Governor Samuel Johnston explained that “Congress cannot assume any other powers than those expressly given them, without a palpable violation of the Constitution,” adding that the “powers of Congress are all circumscribed, defined, and clearly laid down. So far they may go, but no farther.”  Charles Pinckney told the convention in South Carolina that the federal government could not execute or assume any powers except those that “were expressly delegated.”  James Madison emphasized the same point repeatedly both in his essays and at his state’s ratifying convention. In Federalist No. 40, he noted that “the general powers are limited, and that the States, in all unenumerated cases, are left in enjoyment of their sovereign and independent jurisdiction.”  In Federalist No. 45, he observed: “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”  

At the Virginia Convention, Madison noted that the federal government would have “defined and limited objects beyond which it cannot extend its jurisdiction.”  Let us be reminded that it was James Madison, for all intents and purposes, who WROTE the US Constitution. He of all people should know what the words, phrases, and provisions mean. And then on top of that, he wrote most of the essays in the Federalist Papers, specifically, and in great detail, to explain the document to all the states who were ready to debate it and take up the decision for its adoption. Many of the states, in fact, did come to rely on those essays, and in compact law (ie, contract law), any definitions, extraneous documentation (such as the Federalist Papers), explanations, provisos, comments, attending clauses, etc that touch on and influence their understanding of the document become PART OF THE COMPACT. Furthermore, they would apply to all member states equally.

In 1789, the Salem Mercury of Massachusetts published Roger Sherman’s “Observations on the New Federal Constitution, and the Alterations That Have Been Proposed as Amendments.”  Sherman was a Connecticut lawyer who signed the Constitution and who went on to become a US congressman and then senator. Sherman concurred with Madison: “The powers vested in the federal government are particularly defined so that each state still retains its sovereignty in what concerns its own internal government, and a right to exercise every power of a sovereign State, not expressly delegated to the government of the United States.”

Samuel Chase, as partisan a Federalist as ever lived, declared in the case Calder v. Bull (1798) that “the several State legislatures retain all powers of legislation, delegated to them by the State constitutions; which are not expressly taken away by the Constitution of the United States.”

And then we have the writings of our Founding Fathers, Supreme Court justices, and other important figures, on what it means to be “constitutional”:

“All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void.”   —  Chief Justice John Marshall in Marbury v.Madison, 1803

“Every law consistent with the Constitution will have been made in pursuance of the powers granted by it. Every usurpation or law repugnant to it cannot have been made in pursuance of its powers. The latter will be nugatory and void.”   — Thomas Jefferson, Elliot, p. 4:187-88

“…the laws of Congress are restricted to a certain sphere, and when they depart from this sphere, they are no longer supreme or binding. In the same manner the states have certain independent power, in which their laws are supreme.”   —  Alexander Hamilton, Elliot, 2:362

“This Constitution, as to the powers therein granted, is constantly to be the supreme law of the land.… It is not the supreme law in the exercise of a power not granted.”   —  William Davie, Pennsylvania, p. 277

“There is no position which depends on clearer principles than that every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the commission under which it is exercised, is void. No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid.”   —  Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers No. 78

“Clearly, a federal law which is contrary to the Constitution is no law at all; it is null, void, invalid. And a Supreme Court decision, which is not a ‘law,’ has no ‘supremacy’—even if it is faithfully interpreting the Constitution. So it is the height of absurdity to claim that a Supreme Court decision that manifestly violates the Constitution is the ‘supreme law of the land.’”   —  William Jasper

As it turns out, our earliest administrations were issuing unconstitutional laws. President George Washington ignored Thomas Jefferson on the matter of a national bank (not a power delegated to the government in the Constitution) and instead, sided with his Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton to request a bill to create a National Bank.  Following so, the House of Representatives passed a bill establishing the first Bank of the United States, the Senate concurred, and on February 25, 1791, President Washington signed it into law. The bill was unconstitutional.  In the next administration, with President John Adams in the White House, the United States was involved in a quasi-war with France. Hostilities were brewing and all-out war was a possibility. Adams oversaw the passage, on June 18, 1798, of four pieces of controversial legislation known together as the Alien and Sedition Acts. The obvious unconstitutionality of these acts, most especially the Sedition Act, undermined and marred the Adams’ administration and in fact, helped Thomas Jefferson to win the presidency four years later in 1800.

Our great Founders, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison felt the time was right to address what should and could be done when the federal government assumes powers not delegated to it and passes unconstitutional laws. In 1798, they drafted a series of resolutions for the several state legislatures to “nullify” those unconstitutional federal laws. The resolutions are famously known as The Virginia Resolves of 1798 (Madison), The Kentucky Resolves of 1798 (Jefferson), and The Kentucky Resolves of 1799 (Jefferson).

In his Virginia Resolves of 1798, James Madison wrote:

RESOLVED, That the General Assembly of Virginia, doth unequivocably express a firm resolution to maintain and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of this State, against every aggression either foreign or domestic, and that they will support the government of the United States in all measures warranted by the former.

That this assembly most solemnly declares a warm attachment to the Union of the States, to maintain which it pledges all its powers; and that for this end, it is their duty to watch over and oppose every infraction of those principles which constitute the only basis of that Union, because a faithful observance of them, can alone secure it’s existence and the public happiness.

That this Assembly doth explicitly and peremptorily declare, that it views the powers of the federal government, as resulting from the compact, to which the states are parties; as limited by the plain sense and intention of the instrument constituting the compact; as no further valid that they are authorized by the grants enumerated in that compact; and that in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties appertaining to them.”

Thomas Jefferson wrote, in his Kentucky Resolves of 1798, of the specific remedy of Nullification:

1. RESOLVED, That the several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their General Government; but that, by a compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a General Government for special purposes, — delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving, each State to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self-government; and that whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force; that to this compact each State acceded as a State, and is an integral party, its co-States forming, as to itself, the other party: that the government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself; since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers; but that, as in all other cases of compact among powers having no common judge, each party has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress.

2. Resolved, ……..

3. Resolved, That it is true as a general principle, and is also expressly declared by one of the amendments to the Constitution, that “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;” and that no power over the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, or freedom of the press being delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, all lawful powers respecting the same did of right remain, and were reserved to the States or the people: that thus was manifested their determination to retain to themselves the right of judging how far the licentiousness of speech and of the press may be abridged without lessening their useful freedom, and how far those abuses which cannot be separated from their use should be tolerated, rather than the use be destroyed. And thus also they guarded against all abridgment by the United States of the freedom of religious opinions and exercises, and retained to themselves the right of protecting the same, as this State, by a law passed on the general demand of its citizens, had already protected them from all human restraint or interference. And that in addition to this general principle and express declaration, another and more special provision has been made by one of the amendments to the Constitution, which expressly declares, that “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:” thereby guarding in the same sentence, and under the same words, the freedom of religion, of speech, and of the press: insomuch, that whatever violated either, throws down the sanctuary which covers the others, and that libels, falsehood, and defamation, equally with heresy and false religion, are withheld from the cognizance of federal tribunals. That, therefore, the act of Congress of the United States, passed on the 14th day of July, 1798, titled “An Act for the Punishment of Certain Crimes Against the United States,” which does abridge the freedom of the press, is not law, but is altogether void, and of no force.

4. Resolved, That alien friends are under the jurisdiction and protection of the laws of the State wherein they are: that no power over them has been delegated to the United States, nor prohibited to the individual States, distinct from their power over citizens. And it being true as a general principle, and one of the amendments to the Constitution having also declared, that “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,” the act of the Congress of the United States, passed on the — day of July, 1798, titled “An Act Concerning Aliens,” which assumes powers over alien friends, not delegated by the Constitution, is not law, but is altogether void, and of no force.

5. Resolved, ………

6. Resolved, That the imprisonment of a person under the protection of the laws of this commonwealth, on his failure to obey the simple _order_ of the President to depart out of the United States, as is undertaken by said act titled “An Act Concerning Aliens,” is contrary to the Constitution, one amendment to which has provided that “no person shall be deprived of liberty without due process of law;” and that another having provided that “in all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right to public trial by an impartial jury, 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,” the same act, undertaking to authorize the President to remove a person out of the United States, who is under the protection of the law, on his own suspicion, without accusation, without jury, without public trial, without confrontation of the witnesses against him, without hearing witnesses in his favor, without defense, without counsel, is contrary to the provision also of the Constitution, is therefore not law, but utterly void, and of no force…

7. Resolved, ……..

8th. Resolved, That a committee of conference and correspondence be appointed, who shall have in charge to communicate the preceding resolutions to the legislatures of the several States; to assure them that this commonwealth continues in the same esteem of their friendship and union which it has manifested from that moment at which a common danger first suggested a common union: that it considers union, for specified national purposes, and particularly to those specified in their late federal compact, to be friendly to the peace, happiness and prosperity of all the States: that faithful to that compact, according to the plain intent and meaning in which it was understood and acceded to by the several parties, it is sincerely anxious for its preservation: that it does also believe, that to take from the States all the powers of self-government and transfer them to a general and consolidated government, without regard to the special delegations and reservations solemnly agreed to in that compact, is not for the peace, happiness or prosperity of these States; and that therefore this commonwealth is determined, as it doubts not its co-States are, to submit to undelegated, and consequently unlimited powers in no man, or body of men on earth: that in cases of an abuse of the delegated powers, the members of the General Government, being chosen by the people, a change by the people would be the constitutional remedy; but, where powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a NULLIFICATION of the act is the rightful remedy: that every State has a natural right in cases not within the compact, (casus non foederis,) to nullify of their own authority all assumptions of power by others within their limits: that without this right, they would be under the dominion, absolute and unlimited, of whosoever might exercise this right of judgment for them: ………   In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution. That this commonwealth does therefore call on its co-States for an expression of their sentiments on the acts concerning aliens, and for the punishment of certain crimes herein before specified, plainly declaring whether these acts are or are not authorized by the federal compact. And it doubts not that their sense will be so announced as to prove their attachment unaltered to limited government, whether general or particular. And that the rights and liberties of their co-States will be exposed to no dangers by remaining embarked in a common bottom with their own. That they will concur with this commonwealth in considering the said acts as so palpably against the Constitution as to amount to an undisguised declaration that that compact is not meant to be the measure of the powers of the General Government, but that it will proceed in the exercise over these States, of all powers whatsoever: that they will view this as seizing the rights of the States, and consolidating them in the hands of the General Government, with a power assumed to bind the States, not merely as the cases made federal, (casus foederis,) but in all cases whatsoever, by laws made, not with their consent, but by others against their consent: that this would be to surrender the form of government we have chosen, and live under one deriving its powers from its own will, and not from our authority; and that the co-States, recurring to their natural right in cases not made federal, will concur in declaring these acts void, and of no force, and will each take measures of its own for providing that neither these acts, nor any others of the General Government not plainly and intentionally authorized by the Constitution, shall be exercised within their respective territories.

Jefferson took one step further and stream-lined the Kentucky Resolves above, to give us the Kentucky Resolves of 1799, Again, he refers specifically to the term “Nullification: 

RESOLVED, That this commonwealth considers the federal union, upon the terms and for the purposes specified in the late compact, as conducive to the liberty and happiness of the several states: That it does now unequivocally declare its attachment to the Union, and to that compact, agreeable to its obvious and real intention, and will be among the last to seek its dissolution: That if those who administer the general government be permitted to transgress the limits fixed by that compact, by a total disregard to the special delegations of power therein contained, annihilation of the state governments, and the erection upon their ruins, of a general consolidated government, will be the inevitable consequence: That the principle and construction contended for by sundry of the state legislatures, that the general government is the exclusive judge of the extent of the powers delegated to it, stop nothing short of despotism; since the discretion of those who administer the government, and not the constitution, would be the measure of their powers: That the several states who formed that instrument, being sovereign and independent, have the unquestionable right to judge of its infraction; and that a NULLIFICATION, by those sovereignties, of all unauthorized acts done under colour of that instrument, is the rightful remedy……..

Let me ask you, Mr. Shelley: If the federal government has the exclusive right to judge the extent of its own powers, as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison warned, it will continue to grow – regardless of elections, the separation of powers, and other much-touted limits on government power. As it stands now, the federal government has a monopoly on the meaning of the Constitution (through its appointment to the federal bench of liberal and progressive justices who consider the Constitution a “living, breathing document” rather than a compact memorializing the intentions of the States when they delegated the specific powers to the central government, what the provisions were intended to mean, and the scope of those powers). Whatever power it wants and whatever power it doesn’t want the States to have, it will usually be successful at the Supreme Court.

If Nullification is taken off the table (“It was a bad idea then and a bad idea now,” according to Mr. Shelley), if this most powerful weapon in the arsenal of states to check the abuses of the federal government is to taken from them, then we essentially have no effective way to prevent the federal government from doing whatever it wants……. (As Madison warned in Federalist No. 41).

I don’t know about you, Mr. Shelley, but I’ll take Thomas Jefferson’s word over yours.  I’ll take it every time. He’s the one with the authority and the insight as to what our founding principles are. He wrote the Declaration of Independence for God’s sake. And he wrote, or helped to write, a lot of other important founding documents as well

The Tenth Amendment expressly informs that the states retain all their sovereign powers (minus any power voluntarily and expressly delegated to the federal government or any prohibited to them by the Constitution). Whenever the federal government assumes powers not delegated to it by that document, it naturally encroaches on the powers of another sovereign (ie, the States, or even the People themselves). The States need to defend their sovereignty or they will lose it – little by little, inch by inch., legislation but legislation, court ruling by court ruling. That is why Nullification is a founding principle. It is the companion to the Tenth Amendment. It is the teeth of the Tenth Amendment. The States, as Jefferson and Madison make clear, have every right to declare actions of the government unconstitutional, declare them “null and void,” and refuse to enforce them. When they do so, proper government balance is restored. That is what Nullification is all about and that is why it is such a powerful tool.

People who don’t understand the power of this doctrine should stop bashing it and start to read up on it. The longevity of our country just may depend on its use.

Mr. Shelley, you accuse me of being “unhappy,” and I am. I’m unhappy and frustrated.  And I accuse you of being close-minded because you fear that nullification would do nothing useful except produce chaos.   

I hope what I’ve written here makes some sense to you and you will give the topic a second chance.


References:

Thomas E. Woods, Jr, NULLIFICATION – How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century, Regnery Publishing, Inc (Washington DC), 2010.

The Kentucky Resolves of 1799 –  https://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/kenres.asp

The Virginia and Kentucky Resolves of 1798-1799, Jack Miller Center – https://jackmillercenter.org/cd-resources/virginia-kentucky-resolutions/

Thomas Woods, “Nullification: The Jeffersonian Brake on Government

A Government Cannot Determine the Scope of Its Own Powers,” Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), March 1, 2002.   Referenced at:  https://fee.org/articles/nullification-the-jeffersonian-brake-on-government/

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AN OVERVIEW OF THE HISTORY & MEANING OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT

by Diane Rufino, May 2017 – June 17, 2021

INTRODUCTION

“No free man shall be debarred (denied) the use of arms.” –  as proposed by Thomas Jefferson for Virginia’s Bill of Rights, 1776

The Federal Farmer (anti-Federalist author) in 1788: “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught how to use them.”

Patrick Henry to the Virginia Convention to Ratify the US Constitution, in June 1788: “The great object is that every man be armed.”

The Federal Gazette, dated June 18, 1789, described James Madison’s proposal for a Bill of Rights: “The people are confirmed in their right to keep and bear their private arms.”

“We have found no historical evidence that the Second Amendment applies only to members of a select militia while on active duty. All the evidence indicates that the amendment, like other parts of the Bill of Rights, applies to and protects individual Americans.”   —  The Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit (2001)

The Second Amendment: “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.”

THE HISTORY OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT –

The history behind the Second Amendment goes back well before the colonies were even settled. It goes back to the very history of the fore-fathers and founders of our country, the “subjects” of England who were often targeted by the King as political or religious enemies, had their firearms confiscated, often had their property stripped from them, and sometimes found themselves in jail for no reason other than they were disfavored and perhaps seen as a threat. It goes back most definitely and clearly to the history of England, the country that gave us so much of our common law, gave us the precursor to our US Bill of Rights, and gave us much of the foundation upon which we designed and crafted our Declaration of Independence, our constitutions (federal and state), and our systems of government.

In medieval England, there was no royal army. There wasn’t enough money or control to have such a formal army. Instead, the King would have to count on his subjects to fight for him – to fight for the kingdom. And so, by law, the King established a citizen militia. By law – The Militia Laws – every make subject beginning at a certain age, was required to own guns, have ammunition, be expected to know how to operate them, and show up for regular training sessions. Citizens could be called up at any time by the King to form the militia and so they always had to be in a state of readiness. Henry VIII, who reigned from 1509 – 1547, lowered the age of the males required to be trained to use guns. Under his rule, fathers were required to have their sons from age 7 and older trained in the use of firearms. “Bring them up in shooting!” was the motto.  

In other words, citizens (or “subjects”), had a DUTY to keep and bear arms.

150 years, in 1688, this medieval “duty” to keep and bear arms became an “indubitable right.”  [That is, a fundamental right, an unquestioned right, a non-disputed right)

How did this happen??

Gun ownership transformed into a “right” during the tumultuous 17th century in England, and for understandable reasons. The transformation arose out of a conflict between King Charles I and Parliament. Remember, Parliament is the so-called “People’s House.” Having a “people’s house” or Parliament was one of the rights the barons wanted King John to recognize in the Magna Carta – the “Great Charter.” If they were to be taxed, which they often were (and which they also passed along to those below them, the tenants on their land) to fund the Kings’ endless battles and wars, they wanted to have representation in those discussions and decisions.

As it turned out, Parliament refused to tax the people to provide the funding for the wars that King Charles wanted to fight and so he disbanded the Parliament. He did so several times. He went on to tax the people directly himself, thus violating their right to representation. (Where have we heard the protest “No Taxation without Representation!” before ?)  Eventually, in 1642, civil war broke out and certain members of Parliament (called a “rump” Parliament), led by Oliver Cromwell, brought charges against Charles for high treason. He was captured, tried, convicted, and beheaded on January 30, 1649. His sons, the future King Charles II and King James II had fled to France at the time.

After Cromwell died and his son took over, rather than there being stability in England, there was mass chaos. The people, out of sheer desperation, asked Charles II to come back to England, assert his right to the throne, and rule, which he did. But what did Charles II come home to?  He returned to a country that turned on his father – a country that beheaded him. He also returned to a country that was very well-armed. Almost immediately, being distrustful of his subjects, he sought to disarm them and control the bearing of arms. That is, he sought strict control on who exactly could have firearms and how many firearms they could possess. He instituted serious gun control measures, both on individuals and on manufacturers. Gun manufacturers had to report to the King how many guns they manufactured each week and who purchased them. There were controls on the importing of guns, licenses were required for subjects who needed to move weapons around the countryside, and subjects had to report if they were traveling with a firearm. In the year 1660, King Charles II issued a series of orders to disarm those citizens (subjects) that he deemed were, would be, or could be  political opponents. One particular act that Parliament passed in 1662 was especially repugnant. It was the Militia Act of 1662 and it gave militia officers the power to disarm anyone they believed was likely to be an opponent of the Crown. At first, the Act was actively enforced. In 1671, Parliament passed the Game Act, which proved to be the greatest control over ownership of firearms that England ever had. The Game Act listed a whole host of weapons that were prohibited for hunting, and at the head of that list was guns !!

Charles II died having produced no heir, and thus he was succeeded by his brother James II. King James II would use the Game Act to try to disarm all those subjects who he deemed were not well-enough off. In other words, he tried to limit gun ownership to only those of a certain social class of subjects. He sent out mass orders to confiscate firearms and to disarm the citizenry. According to the historical record, the orders were apparently not carried out. But the actions of the King to disarm his subjects certainly incited concern and fear among the people of England.

And so finally, inn 1688, the English people had had enough. They, together with a union of Parliamentarians, invited William and Mary of Orange (Netherlands) to take over the throne and depose King James II. (Mary was the daughter of James II). The members of Parliament and the people themselves promised they would oust James and offer no resistance to William and Mary IF they agreed to sign a Bill of Rights acknowledging the rights of the people and promised to be held to that agreement lest they would forfeit the monarchy. William and Mary agreed. They sailed from Orange and were met with the support of the citizenry in what would be known as the “Bloodless Revolution” (or “Glorious Revolution”). James was forced to flee.

A new Parliament was formed (not one loyal to James, who was still alive and still with a claim to the throne) and this new Parliament decided that a Bill of Rights was necessary to re-affirm all the essential rights asserted in the Magna Carta and all the rights that had been imperiled by James II. In order to tie the new King and Queen to an obligation to abide by these rights, the same statue that elevated William and Mary to the throne also contained those rights – the “Charter of Rights,” aka “The Charter of Ancient and Indubitable Rights,” aka, “The English Bill of Rights of 1689.”  In fact, this Bill of Rights of 1689 was referred to as “The New Magna Carta.” The statute created a contractual obligation. It tied the right of the King and Queen to rule to an obligation to respect the rights contained in the Charter.

One of those rights was the right of British subjects to have arms for their defense (self-defense) “suitable to their position and allowed by law.”  Actually, only Protestants were recognized to have that right. England had just gone through the Protestant Reformation.

Arms seizure weighted heavily during the deliberations in Parliament as it drafted the Bill of Rights of 1689. So incensed that the people, in mass, had been targeted for arms confiscation under the Militia Act (and even some members of Parliament had been targeted as well), that the people and Parliament felt that the “duty” to have and bear arms was actually a RIGHT. The ability to arm oneself for self-defense is and ought to be, they reasoned, an essential right of humanity.

Indeed, by 1688, and then enshrined in the English Bill of Rights of 1689, the duty to be armed became a right. One of the rights of Englishmen because the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense, and of course, to resist a tyrannical King or government. Never again would a lawful citizen be stripped of his firearm by the King or an act of Parliament.

Between 1803 and 1776, the rights of Englishmen became the rights of Americans. After all, the New World was claimed by England and the colonists considered them English subjects, entitled to all the rights and protections afforded to those in England proper. In 1661, with the constant threat of hostile Indians and hostile French and Dutch settlers and traders, the colony of Virginia required all able-bodied men to have firearms and to be trained monthly in their use. Each county had its chief militia officer.

As relations with Great Britain began to deteriorate, especially after the Boston Tea Party and then the punishing response by the King and Parliament with the Intolerable Acts (which shut down Boston Harbor, abolished the Massachusetts colonial government, installed a British General (General Gage) and his redcoats in its place, and established the Quartering Act), the colonists began to collect firearms and stockpile gunpowder and artillery. And not just in Massachusetts, but in other colonies as well. Word was spreading among the colonies of the growing tyranny by the King.

Anyway, someone tipped off General Gage to the colonial stockpile at Concord, as well as the location of the “traitors” – those Sons of Liberty leaders, such as Samuel Adams, John Hancock, etc, who organized the infamous Boston Tea Party – which was in the town of Lexington, and on the night of April 18, 1775, he sent a column of soldiers to destroy the supplies. Their trip led them first through Lexington, where they encountered a small group of colonial militiamen. A shot went off (no one knows how it happened, or from which side), but the response was immediate. Shots rang out and an armed conflict between the mighty empire of Great Britain and Massachusetts had begun. The revolution began.

Virginians began to stockpile their ammunition in Williamsburg, in anticipation that British troops would come to subjugate them as well. A general alarm was spreading among the colonies, fueled by great patriots like Samuel Adams and John Hancock, Patrick Henry and Thomas Paine – that the British were removing gunpowder from the public stock in order to render the colonists unable to resist the Crown….  Just as King Charles II and King James II had done to their subjects approximately 100 years earlier in England. It was this general alarm that prompted Patrick Henry to introduce resolutions at a secret meeting of the Second Virginia Convention on March 23, 1775 at the Old St. John’s Church in Richmond to raise up the militia in every country and train them as quickly as possible. He believed so strongly that this was necessary that he gave that impassioned speech we all associate with him – “I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry’s resolutions read simply:

“Resolved, that a well-regulated militia composed of gentlemen and yeomen is the natural strength and only security of a free government; that such a militia in this colony would forever render it unnecessary for the mother country to keep among us, for the purpose of our defense, any standing army of mercenary forces, always subversive of the quiet, and dangerous to the liberties of the people, and would obviate the pretext of taxing us for their support.

That the establishment of such a militia is at this time peculiarly necessary, by the state of our laws for the protection and defence of the country some of which have already expired, and others will shortly do so; and that the known remissness of government in calling us together in a legislative capacity renders it too insecure in this time of danger and distress, to rely that opportunity will be given of renewing them in General Assembly or making any provision to secure our inestimable rights and liberties from those farther violations with which they are threatened.

Resolved therefore, that this colony be immediately put into a posture of defence: and that Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, Robert Carter Nicholas, Benjamin Harrison, Lemuel Riddick, George Washington, Adam Stephen, Andrew Lewis, William Christian, Edmund Pendleton, Thomas Jefferson and Isaac Zane, Esquires, be a committee to prepare a plan for the embodying arming and disciplining such a number of men as may be sufficient for that purpose.”

Perhaps the most rousing speech delivered in colonial America was by Patrick Henry and it was in support of these resolutions:  You may have read this speech, or at least the last paragraph of it in school, but I strongly urge you to read it now in its entirety. As you do, note his references to what has been happening in Boston, in Concord and Lexington, the imposition of the retaliatory Intolerable Acts, and the threat of the redcoats moving down to Virginia and other colonies with the same intent. Also, keep in mind the mindset of our Founders… men like Henry, Thomas Jefferson, Lee, Washington who were keenly aware of the history of the people England, the continued struggle to assert their rights, to seek assurances, to have them violated, and only to have to try to re-assert them again, and again…..

Here is the entire speech: 

“The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfil the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offence, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the majesty of heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years, to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves, and the House? Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with these war-like preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled, that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask, gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us; they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done, to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne. In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending²if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained, we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!

They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations; and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry was right, war was coming. And he was also right about the intent of the British to disarm the colonies, to subjugate them (because, after all, the King and the Parliament as well, considered the colonists as annoying little children).  Just weeks after his famous speech at St. John’s Church, Virginia’s royal governor ordered British sailors to raid the armory at Williamsburg and to take the gunpowder back aboard their ships, which they did.

With the raid on the armory at Williamsburg, thus confirming Patrick Henry’s worst fears, the most powerful colony in the South (Virginia) was driven into an alliance with the most powerful colony in the North (Massachusetts).  The Boston Revolution soon became an American Revolution.

Thus, the American revolution started over our RIGHT to keep and bear arms. Tensions between the colonies and Great Britain may have started over the right not to be taxed without representation in Parliament (the body from which such taxing measures arose), but the actual revolution itself erupted over the actions of the Crown to disarm the people.

So, the colonies fought for their independence, for their rights and for the right of self-determination and self-preservation as free men and women. And they won… against all odds, they won.

Once the colonies proclaimed their independence, the strongest sign they could send to demonstrate that independence was to assume statehood and adopt state constitutions (the signs of sovereignty).  And so, each colony organized itself as a state and drafted and adopted a constitution. Most also adopted a Bill of Rights, in one form or another.

The question for this article is: How did we get the language of our Second Amendment and what does it actually mean? 

Different states provided different models for the right to bear arms. In 1776, George Mason went to work on the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He introduced the enumerated rights with a statement of nature’s law and a statement of the relationship of individuals and government, in general.  He wrote:

THAT all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

That all power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people; that magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all times amenable to them.

That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the people, nation, or community; of all the various modes and forms of government that is best, which is capable of producing the greatest degree of happiness and safety, and is most effectually secured against the danger of mal-administration; and that whenever any government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community hath an indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right, to reform, alter, or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public weal.

Then he addressed the right to arms:

That a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided, as dangerous to liberty….

The Virginia Declaration of Rights was adopted June 12, 1776.

Thomas Jefferson submitted a draft of a Bill of Rights to be taken up at the upcoming convention (to draft a constitution for the first government of the “united” states, which as we know, was the Articles of Confederation). He wrote: “No free man shall be debarred the use of arms.”

The Pennsylvania Bill of Rights, adopted in September 1776, recognized a right to bear arms for both self-defense and in defense of the State.

1.  That all men are born equally free, and independent; and have certain, natural, inherent, and inalienable rights; amongst which are; the enjoying and defending of life and liberty; acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

XIII. That the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and the state.

In March 1780, Massachusetts adopted its Constitution and Bill of Rights, written by John Adams. It acknowledged a right to keep and bear arms, but added that it was for “the common good.”  The MA Bill of Rights read, in part:

The end of the institution, maintenance and administration of government, is to secure the existence of the body-politic; to protect it; and to furnish the individuals who compose it, with the power of enjoying, in safety and tranquility, their natural rights, and the blessings of life: And whenever these great objects are not obtained, the people have a right to alter the government, and to take measures necessary for their safety, prosperity and happiness.

The body-politic is formed by a voluntary association of individuals: It is a social compact, by which the whole people covenants with each citizen, and each citizen with the whole people, that all shall be governed by certain laws for the common good.

Part the First. A Declaration of the Rights of the Inhabitants of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Art. I.  All men are born free and equal, and have certain natural, essential, and unalienable rights; among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; that of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property; in fine, that of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness.

XVII.  The people have a right to keep and to bear arms for the common defense.

Looking at these three Constitutions and Bills of Right, we can see that there were at least three (3) colonial models to address the right to arms.

Again, to compare and contrast them concisely, addressing them in the order they were adopted:

(1)  The Virginia model emphasizes the militia.  “A well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state…”

(2)  The Pennsylvania model doesn’t mention militia; it emphases self-defense and defense of the State.  “The people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and the State.”

(3)  The Massachusetts model took the Pennsylvania approach, but added a limitation in the form of the clause “for the common defense, and added the people also have a right to “keep” arms.  “The people have a right to keep and bear arms for the common defense.”

These models would become important when our new nation would look to draft a national Bill of Rights.

And that time came in 1787, when after certain leading state leaders – namely, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton – found the Articles of Confederation unworkable for the growing union and took the initiative to call up a new constitutional convention. The Convention was held in Philadelphia from May to September 1787 and rather than heed the constitutional call of the Convention to “amend” the Articles of Confederation, a brand new plan of government was pursued and a brand new Constitution was drafted. Although the delegates from 12 states labored through the hot summer months of that year, engaged in countless debates, and pursued and negotiated through many contentious issues, in the end the final draft, the US Constitution, was not acceptable to many of the delegates. Seven delegates to the Convention walked out and refused to sign it on the last day – September 20, including Virginia’s George Mason. These delegates either complained that it conferred too much power to the federal government (mainly, an unlimited power to tax and spent, and to raise an army) or that it lacked a Bill of Rights, or both. Many of those who did not sign it were anti-Federalists, those who feared a weakening of the States at the hands of the federal government.

Nevertheless, once the Constitution was signed, it went to the States, which, acting in their own conventions, would take up the issue of ratification. If they ratified the Constitution, they would become part of the Union of States and if they didn’t, they would not.  Delaware ratified first, by a unanimous vote. Then came Pennsylvania, New Jersey (unanimous vote), Georgia (unanimous vote), and Connecticut (overwhelmingly). In January 1788, Massachusetts called its convention. Samuel Adams, who, although he did not attend the Philadelphia Convention, attended the ratifying convention. Assessing the Constitution, he addressed the Convention:

“And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience, or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceful citizens, from keeping their own arms, or to raise standing armies, unless necessary for the defense of the United States or of one or more of them, or to prevent the people from petitioning, in a peaceable and orderly manner, the federal legislature, for a redress of grievances, or to subject the people to unreasonable searches and seizures of their persons, papers, or possessions.”

Samuel Adams is the strongest unsung hero of the Second Amendment. His writings on the right to have and bear arms goes back many years, even before his days in the Sons of Liberty.

Next, Maryland ratified the Constitution (overwhelmingly), then South Carolina, and finally New Hampshire (narrowly).  When New Hampshire ratified in June 1788, it became the ninth state to do so.  According to Article VII of the Constitution, the Constitution would go into effect when 9 states ratified. And so, the new Union was born.

But this new Union was still terribly fractured.  Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island still hadn’t decided. Actually, North Carolina met in Convention on August 2, 1788 but quickly rejected the Constitution (193-75). It agreed to meet again; it was waiting to see what the other States did regarding a Bill of Rights.

When New Hampshire ratified the Constitution on June 21, 1788, the Virginia Convention was actually still going on. It was contentious. Virginia, New York, and North Carolina were not expected to ratify, and the issue was over a Bill of Rights, which James Madison had argued in Philadelphia was not necessary. George Mason and Edmund Pendleton, two of the delegates from Virginia at the Philadelphia Convention who would not sign the Constitution, were now delegates at the Virginia Ratifying Convention and were committed to preventing the document from being ratified. These men, and many others, were already calling for another Constitutional Convention – particularly George Mason, and he had the potential power to move the plan forward. Mason and Pendleton were joined in sentiment at the Convention by Patrick Henry, who was highly skeptical of the Constitution and was confident it would lead to the consolidation of the states under the federal government.

At issue at the Virginia Ratifying Convention was essentially the concerns of the anti-Federalists, which was that the Constitution lacked a Bill of Rights (and that the government tended to be overly-ambitious and powerful).  The Virginia view, in general, was that a Bill of Rights is the very least that a government owes to its people. Mason argued for a Bill of Rights, and of course, any Bill of Rights worth its salt would have to include a right to bear arms. Patrick Henry told the Convention: “The great object is that every man be armed!”

In the end, a compromise was reached.  James Madison promised that if the Virginia delegation would ratify the Constitution in the Convention he would recommend to the first US Congress that a Bill of Rights be added, as a series of amendments. Madison was known to be a trustworthy man and so, the Constitution was narrowly ratified on June 25 (89-79). However, the Virginia delegation did not merely ratify; in anticipation of a national Bill of Rights, it also proposed and drafted a series of amendments for consideration.

“Resolved, that, previous to the ratification of the new Constitution of government recommended by the late federal Convention, a declaration of rights, asserting, and securing from encroachment, the great principles of civil and religious liberty, and the unalienable rights of the people, together with amendments to the most exceptionable parts of the said Constitution of government, ought to be referred by this Convention to the other states in the American confederacy for their consideration”

When the Virginia delegation went back to write the amendments they would recommend, they looked to the Massachusetts and the Pennsylvania models, in addition to their own model.  The language that they came up with is as follows: “That the people have a right to keep and bear arms; that a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state.”

The right to bear arms for defense of oneself and the State comes from the Pennsylvania model. The right to keep and bear arms comes from the Massachusetts model.  By removing express limitations (such as “for the common good” or other qualifiers that might be later construed to limit the right (“for defense of themselves and the State”), the first part of the proposed amendment construes the right to arms in its broadest terms. The second part of the proposed amendment comes from the Virginia model and addresses the militia. The Virginia delegation already believed it was expressed in its broadest terms.

So, the Second Amendment actually articulates two separate thoughts and two separate rights, but both connected by the right to defense and self-defense. The intentional, conscious effort was to express the right to arms in the broadest terms possible, to be understood in its broadest sense.

The New York Convention followed. It wrapped up on July 26, one month after the Virginia Convention. It was another contentious convention. As in Virginia, it was a battle between anti-Federalists and Federalists.  On the anti-Federalist side, the words of the Federal Farmer (possibly Richard Henry Lee) were invoked: “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught how to use them.”  Daniel Webster, for the Federalists, answered: “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword because the whole body of the people are armed and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be raised in the United States.”  [to paraphrase: Because of the fact that the people are armed and therefore superior to any troops raised by the United States, they can prevent the execution of any law they perceive not to be just and constitutional].

The debates in New York led to the most famous work on the meaning and intent of the Constitution – the Federalist Papers.  In fact, Madison addresses the militia (and a standing army) in Federalist No. 46.  He wrote: “The people will never have to worry about a standing army because of the state militias.”

The New York Convention very narrowly ratified the Constitution (30-27). But as Virginia did, it called for a Bill of Rights and provided several for consideration.  North Carolina went on to ratify, but only because a Bill of Rights has actually been adopted!  And then Rhode Island ratified after that.

The Constitution was adopted on June 12, 1788 when the ninth state, New Hampshire ratified it. Fall 1788 saw the first national elections and as expected, James Madison was elected to the House of Representatives. In the months after the election and before taking his seat in Congress, which was in New York City at the time), Madison sat at his home in Montpelier and drafted a Bill of Rights. He drew from the proposed amendments that were submitted by the states.  He planned to bring them with him to the first session of Congress and present them, thus making good on his promise. He drafted twelve amendments.

On June 8, 1789, Madison stood up in the House of Representatives and proposed what would become the federal Bill of Rights. His proposed Second Amendment read: “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well-armed and well-regulated militia being the best security of a free country; but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.”

The first Congress amended Madison’s proposal; it removed the language concerning the conscientious-objector.  Then a committee was formed – a drafting committee – consisting of Madison himself and Roger Sherman, an anti-Federalist, to provide the final draft. The final draft of the Second Amendment was a pared-down version which read: “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.”

In the debates in the Senate on the proposed Bill of Rights, a motion was made to insert into the Second Amendment the words “for the common defense” next to the words “bear arms.”  It was rejected !!

On September 25, 1789, Congress approved the amendments (all 12 of them) and then they were sent to the states.

James Madison’s friend, Tench Coxe, of Philadelphia, provided the most comprehensive analysis of the Second Amendment in a publication under the pen name “The Pennsylvanian.” It was printed in all the states.  He wrote: “As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which might be occasionally called to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the next article [the Second Amendment] in their right to keep and bear their private arms.”

The Bill of Rights was ratified on December 15, 1791.

All the leading commentators of the day saw the right to bear arms as an individual right, including  US Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story (1811-1845), who was the leading constitutional expert and commentator during the early-mid 20th century, Michigan Supreme Court Justice Thomas Cooley (1864-1885), the leading constitutional commentator at the end of the 19th century, and Sir William Blackstone, the leading English commentator who was very influential on our founders and framers.

St. George Tucker, who first gained fame as a Revolutionary War hero from Virginia, became famous again for writing a very famous treatise. In 1803, he wrote a 5-volume set, being characterized as the American version of Blackstone’s “Commentaries.”  It was titled: Blackstone’s Commentaries, with Notes of Reference to the Constitution & Laws of the Federal Government of the United States & of the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Tucker was seen as the best source and authority on the original intent and early interpretation of the US Constitution until about 1825, and his work has been cited by the US Supreme Court over forty times. For those looking to understand the meaning and intent of the Constitution at the time it was adopted and as it served our first sessions of government, it would be interesting to read Tucker’s volumes.

Tucker wrote about Blackstone’s exposition on the right to arms as it existed in the English law and explained how it applied to the United States. Tucker wrote: “’The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.’ This amendment is without any qualification as to their condition or degree, as in the case of the British government.”

He went on to elaborate even further:  Explaining the scope of the amendment, he wrote: “This [the Second Amendment] may be considered the true palladium of liberty…  The right of the self-defense is the first law of nature; in most governments, it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, then liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.”

In 1825, Tucker’s treatise was replaced by the text written by William Rawle – A View of the Constitution of the United States of America. Regarding the Second Amendment, Rawle wrote in his book: “No clause in the Constitution could by any rule of construction be conceived to give to Congress a power to disarm the people..”  [Rawle was part of the convention in Pennsylvania that ratified the US Bill of Rights; he was offered the position of first US Attorney General but turned it down].

The most influential constitutional commentator of the late 19th century and early 20th century was Thomas Cooley. He was considered the greatest legal mind of the time. He wrote the text: The General Principles of Constitutional Law in the United States of America.  In his text, he explains exactly what the right is that is protected in the Second Amendment: “It may be supposed from the phraseology of this provision that the right to keep and bear arms was only guaranteed to the militia, but this would be an interpretation not warranted by the intent. The militia, as has been elsewhere explained, consists of those persons who, under the law, are liable to the performance of military duty, and are officered and enrolled for service when called upon. But the law may make provision for the enrollment of all who are fit to perform military duty, or of a small number only, or it may wholly omit to make any provision at all; and if the right were limited to those enrolled, the purpose of this guaranty might be defeated altogether by the actions or neglect to act of the government it was meant to hold in check. The meaning of the provision undoubtedly is that the people, from whom the militia must be taken, shall have the right to keep and bear arms, and that they need no permission or regulation of law for the purpose…”

Professor Randy Burnett of Boston University’s School of Law sums up the history of the Second Amendment this way: “What is shown by the historical record is that we have statements made before the second amendment was proposed, while the second amendment was being considered, and immediately after the second amendment was ratified, each of which reflects the understanding of the speaker that the amendment protects an individual right to have and bear arms.  What we don’t have – what we don’t find in the historical record is a single example of any contemporary at the time of the second amendment referring to it as anything other than an individual right.”

Professor Eugene Volokh, of the UCLA School of Law, comments: “Throughout the 1700’s, throughout the 1800’s, and up until the early 1900’s, the right to bear arms was universally seen as an individual right. There was virtually no authority for the collective rights/ states’ right point of view.” (States right to call a militia, that is).

But yet, in the late 20th century and now in the 21st century, somehow this history means nothing?

“The Second Amendment is a right held by States and does not protect the possession of a weapon by a private citizen.”  — The Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit (2000)

“The right to keep and bear arms is meant solely to protect the right of the States to keep and maintain an armed militia.”   — The Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit (1996)

The conservatives on the bench in the District of Columbia v. Heller case and then in the McDonald v. Chicago case got it right. They chose to be intellectually honest.

References:

DVD:  “In Search of the Second Amendment (A Documentary),” produced and directed by David T. Hardy (2006).  Second Amendment Films LLC

Diane Rufino, “Making Sense of the Meaning and Intent of the Second Amendment,” May 24, 2017.  Referenced from her blogsite:  https://forloveofgodandcountry.com/2017/05/25/making-sense-of-the-meaning-and-intent-of-the-second-amendment-its-not-hard-folks/

United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939)

District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008)

McDonald v. Chicago, 561 US 742 (2010)

Resolutions of the Provincial Congress of Virginia (Patrick Henry) regarding the militia, March 23, 1775 – http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/res_cong_va_1775.asp

Don B. Kates, Jr.  “Handgun Prohibition and the Original Meaning of the Second Amendment,” 82 Michigan Law Review (MICH. L. REV.) 204-273 (1983).    Referenced:  http://www.constitution.org/2ll/2ndschol/57mich.pdf

George Mason, the Virginia Declaration of Rights.  Referenced at:  http://www.history.org/almanack/life/politics/varights.cfm

Virginia’s Ratification of the Constitution, Elliott’s Debates (June 25, 1788) –  http://teachingamericanhistory.org/ratification/elliot/vol3/june25/

The proposed amendments to the Bill of Rights submitted by the State of Virginia (June 27, 1788) –  http://teachingamericanhistory.org/ratification/elliot/vol3/june27/

Teaching American History (an Intereactive Resource) –  http://teachingamericanhistory.org/ratification/overview/

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Why So Many Empty Churches?

[ This pic is of St. Barnabus Church, in Snow Hill, N.C. ]

The following exceptional article was written by my friend, Reverend Mark Creech, head of the Christian Action League (based in Raleigh, NC). He posted it on the Christian Action League website on June 11, 2021. You can access the original article here: https://christianactionleague.org/why-so-many-empty-churches-a-reminder-and-warning-for-southern-baptists/

WHY SO MANY EMPTY CHURCHES? A REMINDER AND WARNING FOR SOUTHERN BAPTISTS.

In my hometown, prominently sitting high on a hill, is an old and empty Episcopal church. No one attends there anymore. It’s a historical edifice, which serves no purpose for the community except to reminisce about the way things were. For me, that old church depicts both a reminder and a warning.

In an interesting article for The Atlantic, Jonathan Merritt writes about “America’s Epidemic of Empty Churches.” Merritt says:

“Many of our nation’s churches can no longer afford to maintain their structures – 6000 to 10,000 churches die each year in America – and that number will likely grow. Though more than 70 percent of our citizens still claim to be Christian, congregational participation is less central to many Americans’ faith than it once was. Most denominations are declining as a share of the overall population, and donations to congregations have been falling for decades. Meanwhile, religiously unaffiliated Americans, nicknamed the ‘nones,’ are growing as a share of the U.S. population.”

Merritt’s assessment matches a recent report by Yonat Shimron, a Religious News Service reporter, who notes a study from the Center for Analytics, Research and Data, affiliated with the United Church of Christ. That study says “that in the decade ending in 2020, 3,850 to 7,700 houses of worship close per year in the United States, or 75 to 150 congregations per week.” Shimron added these figures are expected to “double or triple in the wake of the pandemic.”

Many reasons could be offered as to why such declines are occurring, but most of them, I believe, would only address symptoms and not the root cause.

In an article for ChurchLeadership.org, Dr. Richard J. Krejcir makes an astute observation:

“What we hear as responses from most of our church leaders are the excuses of ‘cultural decay’ and ‘changing values’ and that ‘the average American views the church with little regard.’ These are authentic factors, but they are just symptoms. The bigger question seems to be what led up to these ‘symptoms?’ What led to the problems of cultural decay and the downgrading of moral absolutes? There is more to it than changing values; after all, a change in values has a root cause. A symptom is usually caused by a systemic disease or an explicit psychological problem.”

It may sound like an oversimplification of the dilemma, but I believe the real issue has to do with the sincerity and earnestness of our love for Christ.

In Revelation, chapter 2, is recorded Jesus’ letter to the church of Ephesus. The letter commends the church’s good points, such as their labor, patience, intolerance of those who worked evil, and their discernment of religious fraud. Nevertheless, said Jesus, “I have this against you, that you have lost your first love” (Rev. 2:4).

Some scholars say it’s unclear whether the reference talks about their diminished love for God or their love for each other, but it’s hard to read the Scriptures and not conclude that the two passions hang together.

Thus, Christ commands them to return to their first love, or he will remove their lampstand from its place, which speaks to the power of their influence.

In his commentary on the book of Revelation, Dr. Henry Morris says that in Ephesus, “the warmth of their original love – for one another, for the lost, for the Lord was beginning to cool. But this sad testimony can be applied to multitudes of churches in every age, and every church needs continually to search its heart and test its love…the Ephesian warning still applies.”

Today, there is no church in the Turkish location once known as Ephesus. In fact, there is no Ephesus. Islam has been firmly established in the region – a region the apostle Paul himself once thoroughly evangelized. One can only wonder what that area might be like now if only the church had maintained and practiced its first love.

Do you remember what first love was like when you fell in love with your wife or husband? You could barely do anything but think of him or her. You were thrilled at your newfound relationship. You wanted to tell everyone. You couldn’t do enough for the one you loved. You took every opportunity to be with your beloved. Such is first love, which tends to wane if we’re not careful.

It can be this way in our churches too.

“We can build our lovely buildings and make them worshipful and comfortable. We can sing the sweetest music and listen to the most orthodox sermons,” wrote the late Southern Baptist preacher, W. Hershell Ford. “We can have everything just right, but if it is not all done in love for Christ, it means nothing, and God is greatly displeased. Every true church is started in love. The people have a love for Christ, making them work and sweat and pray to get the church going. Then when things are running smoothly, the danger of leaving love out arises.”

When my fellow Southern Baptists meet in Nashville, Tennessee, for their annual convention in the next few days, I hope they will remember this lesson from our Lord about losing our first love.

This convention meeting is expected to host one of the largest, if not the largest group of messengers in convention history. A firestorm has already started, and some serious wrongs may need to be righted. This can be a necessary part of church life and shouldn’t be neglected. Still I earnestly pray it’s not forgotten that no amount of religious orthodoxy, labor, or loyalty can ever suffice for a deficit in Christian love.

To forget this will only leave our great nation strewn with more empty church buildings. It may even mean the loss of our country.

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HAS THE TIME FINALLY COME?

by Diane Rufino, June 15, 2021

QUESTION: Do you believe our country is irreparably divided between two competing and non-overlapping ideologies? Do you believe that to try to negotiate and make concessions will only further erode the precarious existence that already threatens the integrity of our once-great republic?

Do you think we are heading for something serious, such as a revolution, secession, or even a state-sponsored Article V Convention to amend our government (whether for good or bad, but chances are that it will make concessions to government)?

Do you think we, as a country, are ready to engage in serious thoughts and discussions about the states’ “rightful remedy” of Nullification in order to check the over-reach and abuse of the federal government? Or do you think the States lack the backbone to push back? Do you think we, as a country, are ready to have a serious discussion about secession and the right of each State to do so (articulated in the Declaration of Independence) in order to shed itself of a government that has “become destructive” of its rightful and legitimate ends?

We all know that the second paragraph of the Declaration instructs: “… 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….”

The fact is that state districts are actually trying to do just that now – to secede from their existing states. They want to escape the liberal history and politics of their state by petitioning to join a conservative neighboring state.

Another attempt to “secede” in a sense is by mass migration of people from liberal states to conservative ones. That’s why California has so greatly lost a huge number of citizens (and lost seats in Congress) and the same with New York and Illinois and maybe New Jersey too.

If we can’t live together trustingly and with enough common values to hold us together, than I personally think it’s best to split up so both sides can live in their version of peace and prosperity (and of course, size of government and intrusion in their lives. If the States refuse to nullify abusive acts of the federal government and if we take secession off the table, then we are likely headed for revolution or another civil war. And then, very possible, we face losing the greatest gift our founding generation and Founding Fathers gave us (and the world), which was a near-perfect constitutional republic. But that’s just my opinion.

Your thoughts……

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