Brian Balfour | August 27, 2018
If I wanted to keep poor people poor, there are several government policies I would favor. Let's count them down.
1: An Expanding Welfare StateFor starters, I would advocate for a robust and ever-expanding welfare state—programs like Medicaid, food stamps, unemployment insurance, etc. I would recognize that an effective recipe for keeping poor people poor is to create incentives that push them into decisions that prevent them from climbing out of poverty.
Case in point: A 2012 study by Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Public Welfare analyzed the decisions confronting individuals and families enrolled in various government welfare programs. Specifically, the study concluded that in the case of a single mother with two children ages 1 and 4 earning $29,000 a year through work would be eligible for government benefits (such as Medicaid, housing vouchers, and subsidized daycare) equivalent to roughly an additional $28,000.
Such a scenario puts this woman in a bind. If she finds a better job paying more, or picks up more hours, she risks losing substantial amounts of benefits. She would make her family financially worse off even though her paycheck would be bigger. Just to come out even, once taxes are factored in, she would need to find work paying about $69,000 a year to compensate for the lost welfare benefits. Not many low-skilled workers can make such a leap.
This scenario is commonly referred to as the welfare cliff. Confronted with this situation, many individuals understandably opt to continue receiving the government benefits. Rather than help individuals, the perverse economic incentives created by the “social safety net” trap aid recipients on welfare. And the longer they remain out of the workforce, or at lower levels of employment, the less employable they become. It is a vicious, self-reinforcing cycle that keeps people poor and dependent on the state.
Moreover, there is the impact the welfare state has on the family unit. Welfare programs break up families by replacing a father’s paycheck with a government check and benefits. Nationally, since LBJ’s Great Society ratcheted up government welfare programs in the mid-1960s, the rate of unmarried births has tripled.
In my home state of North Carolina, families are roughly five times as likely to be in poverty when there is no father in the home.
2: Progressive Taxation PolicyIf I wanted to keep poor people poor, I also would finance the welfare state poverty trap through punitive taxes on the job and wealth creators of society.
The key ingredient to economic growth, and thus a higher standard of living for society’s poor, is through productivity gains made possible by capital investment. High marginal taxes on profitable companies and small businesses alike discourage capital investment. As businesses decide to either not expand or take their businesses to more investment-friendly countries, job opportunities dry up.
3: Increase The Minimum WageIf I wanted to keep poor people poor, I would advocate for higher government-enforced minimum wages. The law of supply and demand tells us that the higher the price of a good or service, the less of it will be demanded (other things held equal, of course). The demand for low-skilled labor is no exception. Minimum wage laws are an effective tool to cut off the bottom rung of the career ladder.
Meanwhile, the higher wages will attract more job seekers willing to supply their labor at the higher price. Employers will be able to be more selective in their hiring, and as such the lower-skilled job seekers will be crowded out of these opportunities by higher-skilled, less-needy candidates. Minimum wage laws are an effective tool to cut off the bottom rung of the career ladder for those most in need of establishing work experience.
4: Support Restrictive “Green Energy” PoliciesIf I wanted to keep poor people poor, I would support government “green energy” initiatives that make energy more expensive. State and federal initiatives that mandate more expensive “renewable” energy mean that—in the words of President Obama--utility bills “necessarily skyrocket.” Poor people trying to scrape by just to stay even can scarcely afford higher electricity bills.
5: Increase The Business Regulatory BurdenIf I wanted to keep poor people poor, I would see to it that government imposes many costly regulations on businesses. Such tight restrictions discourage businesses from starting or expanding, Such tight restrictions discourage businesses from starting or expanding, meaning fewer job openings for those most in need of opportunity. And mountains of red tape force business to expend scarce resources on compliance costs rather than investing in their businesses and creating jobs. Higher-skilled compliance officer jobs will consume payroll that could have potentially gone toward opportunities for lower-skilled job seekers.
6: Inflate The Money SupplyIf I wanted to keep poor people poor, I would support “quantitative easing” policies. Under such programs, the Federal Reserve creates money out of thin air. The inflated money supply then erodes the value of the dollars sitting in your wallet or bank account. The poor are hit hardest by this inflation because their limited skill set makes it far more difficult for their incomes to keep up with the rising cost of living.
7: Impose High TariffsIf I wanted to keep poor people poor, I would impose heavy tariffs on foreign goods in order to limit imports. Sure, the domestic industries protected from competition by these tariffs would prosper, but at what cost? For example, tariffs on foreign steel may help the 170,000 American workers employed by the steel industry, but higher steel prices will harm those industries using steel as inputs—and the 6.5 million workers they employ. Ultimately, more jobs are likely to be destroyed than saved.
Furthermore, the price increases passed along to consumers disproportionately harm low-income households. The combination of fewer job opportunities and a higher cost of living certainly makes it harder for the poor to climb out of poverty.
Finally, if I wanted to keep poor people poor, I would most definitely not support a competitive, free market economy. As Milton Friedman once famously schooled Phil Donahue:
So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear that there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system.
You're Invited to an
Security Briefing with
"Connecting the Dots:
Politics and the Opioid
Crisis in America."
Our next ACT Cleveland meeting
is ONLINE, only, on Monday, October 22nd.
Watch from the comfort of your home.
Our next ACT Cleveland meeting will be available online, only, on Monday, October 22nd at 7:30 pm EST. You can watch from your home or wherever on your computer, tablet or smartphone at no charge.
Simply sign up and be ready to watch......It's that simple. Questions? Emailinfo@actcleveland.org.
Here's the Link to Register:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email from us, via Zoom, (not Eventbrite) containing information about joining the webinar.
Our next National Security briefing will feature Zack Taylor,
Chairman and Border Security Expert for the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers( NAFBO).
Purpose of NAFBPO is to educate Americans concerning Immigration and advocate for policies beneficial to America and speak against policies that are not beneficial to America.
His specialty as Game Warden and Border Patrol Officer was real time intelligence. Sometimes referred to as connecting the dots but doing it as things are happening.
His presentation is titled "How to Connect the Dots concerning Border Insecurity, Politics and the Opioid Crisis in America."
Zack's Impressive Career
Zack will be our guest, via Zoom, Monday, October 22nd, 7 pm EST.
Here's a quick video message from Zack on what he will talk about on the 22nd.
ACT Cleveland Chapter - Zack Taylor
Zack will be our guest speaker, via Zoom, and will be interviewed by our friend, Jim Simpson, who runs the "Pockets of Resistance."
Hope you can join us.
Dan & Bev
ACT for America-Cleveland Chapter,1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004
Sent by firstname.lastname@example.org
Burton Folsom | October 2, 2018
Capitalism Worked, But We Were Told It Didn't
We study history to learn from it. If we can discover what worked and what didn’t work, we can use this knowledge wisely to create a better future. Studying the triumph of American industry, for example, is important because it is the story of how the United States became the world’s leading economic power. Free markets worked well; government intervention usually failed.
The years when this happened, from 1865 to the early 1900s, saw the U.S. encourage entrepreneurs indirectly by limiting government. Slavery was abolished and so was the income tax. Federal spending was slashed and federal budgets had surpluses almost every year in the late 1800s. In other words, the federal government created more freedom and a stable marketplace in which entrepreneurs could operate.
To some extent, during the late 1800s—a period historians call the “Gilded Age”—American politicians learned from the past. They had dabbled in federal subsidies from steamships to transcontinental railroads, and those experiments dismally failed. Politicians then turned to free markets as a better strategy for economic development. The world-dominating achievements of Cornelius Vanderbilt, James J. Hill, John D. Rockefeller, and Charles Schwab validated America’s unprecedented limited government. And when politicians sometimes veered off course later with government interventions for tariffs, high income taxes, anti-trust laws, and an effort to run a steel plant to make armor for war—the results again often hindered American economic progress. Free markets worked well; government intervention usually failed.
Why is it, then, that for so many years, most historians have been teaching the opposite lesson? They have made no distinction between political entrepreneurs, who tried to succeed through federal aid, and market entrepreneurs, who avoided subsidies and sought to create better products at lower prices. Instead, most historians have preached that many, if not all, entrepreneurs were “robber barons.” They did not enrich the U.S. with their investments; instead, they bilked the public and corrupted political and economic life in America. Therefore, government intervention in the economy was needed to save the country from these greedy businessmen.
The Profound Influence Of Anti-Capitalists The catalyst for this negative view of American entrepreneurs was historian Matthew Josephson, who wrote a landmark book, The Robber Barons. Josephson, the son of a Jewish banker, grew up in New York and graduated from Columbia University, where he was inspired in the classroom by Charles Beard, America’s foremost progressive historian—and a man sympathetic to socialism. “Beard was nothing less than a spellbinder,” Josephson recalled, and Beard’s lectures helped guide him on a path to radical politics.
During the 1920s, after graduation, Josephson became a journalist, an expatriate to France, and, after his return, a part of New York’s literary elite. He and Beard reconnected in 1930, and the mentor urged his student to write a book denouncing the men who had launched America’s industrial power. “Oh! those respectable ones,” Beard said of America’s capitalists, “oh! their temples of respectability—how I detest them, how I would love to pull them all down!” Happily for Beard, Josephson was handy to do the job for him. Josephson dedicated The Robber Barons to Beard, the historian most responsible for the book’s contents.
Josephson began research for his book in 1932, the nadir of the Great Depression. Businessmen were a handy scapegoat for that crisis, and Josephson embraced a Marxist view that the Great Depression was perhaps the last phase in the fall of capitalism and the triumph of communism. In a written interview for Pravda, the Soviet newspaper, Josephson said he enjoyed watching “the breakdown of our cult of business success and optimism.” He added, “The freedom of the U.S.S.R. from our cycles of insanity is the strongest argument in the world for the reconstruction of our society in a new form that is as highly centralized as Russia’s. . . .”
Extreme Sympathy For The Communist PartyThough not a member of the Communist Party, Josephson co-authored an open letter of support for the Communist Party candidates for President of the United States in 1932. “We believe,” the letter said, “that the only effective way to protest against the chaos, the appalling wastefulness, and the indescribable misery inherent in the present economic system is to vote for the Communist candidates.”
Josephson traced the troubled capitalist system of the 1930s back to the entrepreneurs of the late 1800s. Thus, by explaining what he thought was the wasteful, greedy, and corrupt development of steel, oil, and other industries under capitalism, Josephson was explaining to readers why the Great Depression was occurring. “I am not a complete Marxist,” Josephson insisted, “But what I took to heart for my own project was his theory of the process of industrial concentration, in Vol. 1 of [Marx’s] Capital, which underlay my book.”
Josephson never intended to write an objective view of American economic life in the Gilded Age. He did little research and mainly used secondary sources that supported his Marxist viewpoint. As he had written in the New Republic, “Far from shunning propaganda, we must use it more nobly, more skillfully than our predecessors, and speak through it in the local language and slogans.” Thus he wrote The Robber Barons with dramatic stories, anecdotes, and innuendos that demeaned corporate America and made the case for massive government intervention.
The Lies Of The Robber BarronsWhen propaganda is the goal, accuracy is the victim. The Robber Barons is riddled with factual errors. On page 14 alone, Josephson makes at least a dozen errors in his account of Vanderbilt and the steamships. Here is one sentence with three errors:
At the time of the "shipping subsidy" scandals, aired in the Senate in 1858, it was seen that Vanderbilt and E. K. Collins of the Pacific Mail Steamship Line were the chief plunderers, sometimes conciliating, sometimes blackmailing each other.
First, E. K. Collins was never the head of the Pacific Mail Steamship Line; in fact, he had no connection with it at all. Second, Vanderbilt and William H. Aspinwall, the actual head of the Pacific Mail Steamship Line, were never “blackmailing each other.” Third, the Pacific Mail Steamship Line, not Vanderbilt, was the “chief plunderer.” Vanderbilt had no subsidy, and the Pacific Line did. In fact, Vanderbilt, through his low prices, exposed the federal subsidy as a scandal.
Perhaps more important than all of the errors, Josephson missed the distinction between market entrepreneurs like Vanderbilt, Hill, and Rockefeller and political entrepreneurs like Collins, Villard, and Gould. He lumped them all together. However, Josephson was honest enough to mention the achievements of some market entrepreneurs. James J. Hill, Josephson conceded, was an “able administrator,” and “far more efficient” than his subsidized competitors. Andrew Carnegie had a “well-integrated, technically superior plant”; and John D. Rockefeller was “a great innovator” with superb “marketing methods,” who displayed “unequaled efficiency and power of organization.” Most of Josephson’s ire is directed toward political entrepreneurs. The subsidized Henry Villard of the Northern Pacific Railroad, with his “bad grades and high interest charges” show that he “apparently knew little enough about railroad-building.” The leaders of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific, Josephson notes, “carried on [their actions] with a heedless abandon . . . [which] caused a waste of between 70 and 75 percent of the expenditure as against the normal rate of construction.” But it never occurs to Josephson that the subsidies government gave these railroads created the incentives that led their owners to overpay for materials and to build in unsafe areas. He quotes “one authority” on the railroads as saying, “The Federal government seems . . . to have assumed the major portion of the risk and the Associates seem to have derived the profits”—but Josephson never pursues the implication of that passage.
Swooning For Stalin Josephson “enjoyed writing about my ‘scoundrels’,” and when The Robber Barons came out in March 1934, it became the number one bestselling book of non-fiction in the U.S. for six months. Even more amazing, the author was not in America to promote his book. He left for Russia to explore Stalin’s communist experiment. While there, Josephson was a celebrity and was taken on carefully guided tours of Russian steel mills and shoe factories. He attended official dinners and even talked with select Russian writers and artists. He was ecstatic. The Soviet Union, Josephson said, “seemed like the hope of the world—the only large nation run by men of reason.”
Josephson, under careful Russian supervision, never met any of the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians who were starving to death at the time under Stalin’s brutal collectivization; nor did Josephson see the Soviet gulags, or prisons, where thousands of dissenters were forced into hard labor and early deaths. Josephson also never realized that the Soviet factories he saw were often directly copied from Western capitalist factories—and were funded by Stalin’s confiscatory taxation. Instead, Josephson thought he had stumbled into a workers’ paradise, the logical result of central planning and superior leaders.
“Before people pass judgment on Comrade Stalin,” Josephson wrote, “they ought to come here and see his Works, his Opus Major, in many volumes with their own eyes. It is very impressive; and few other statesmen in all history have so much to show.” In truth, Stalin had almost nothing to show. His model industries—car factories, railroads, and hydroelectric plants, for example—were borrowed or built by Americans or Europeans, often with grain confiscated from starving Soviet farmers.
The Falsehoods Became The CanonWith his best-selling book out, Josephson came back to America to glowing reviews and massive sales. For example, historian Allan Nevins called The Robber Barons a “tour de force” and the Virginia Quarterly Review proclaimed it to be “required reading.” Even more important to Josephson, his progressive vision of economic history began infiltrating the writing of high school and college texts. The term “robber barons” became the new label for America’s leading entrepreneurs of the late 1800s—and beyond. Historian Thomas Brewer, who in 1970 edited The Robber Barons: Saints or Sinners? observed that the majority of writers “still adhere to the ‘robber baron’ interpretation.” Historian David Shi agrees: “For well over a generation, The Robber Barons remained the standard work in its field.” For many textbook writers, it still is. In the main study guide for the Advanced Placement U.S. history exam for 2015, the writers say, America [1877-1900] looked to have entered a period of prosperity with a handful of families having amassed unprecedented wealth, but the affluence of the few was built on the poverty of many.
Having condemned American entrepreneurs and promoted more government as the solution, Josephson began work on a sequel called The Politicos, which described the politics of the Gilded Age. Like his research for The Robber Barons, Josephson mainly did quick reading of those secondary sources in sympathy with his ideas. His book was hastily written and riddled with errors and distortions. In fact, Josephson confessed to Charles Beard that “in spite of all my precautions there might be a good many historical inaccuracies in my book.” Beard retorted, “All works of history are inaccurate,” and he urged Josephson to publish his book anyway, which he did.
If Josephson’s research was so sloppy, and his interpretation so biased, how did his Robber Baron view come to prevail in the writing of U.S. history? First, Josephson published his book in 1934, in the dark days of the Great Depression. Progressive historians had begun to dominate the writing of history and they were eager to blame a new generation of robber barons for the collapse of the American economy. The Robber Barons was embraced by key Marxist historians, who influenced much of the historical profession after World War II.
In doing so, these historians overlooked the ruinous government interventions under Presidents Hoover and Roosevelt that helped spark the Great Depression and cause it to persist. Those harmful federal policies include the Federal Reserve’s untimely raising of interest rates, making it harder to borrow money; President Hoover’s blundering Farm Board; his signing of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff, the highest in U.S. history; and his disastrous Reconstruction Finance Corporation, which dispensed massive corporate bailouts to political entrepreneurs. Finally, Hoover muzzled investment by repealing the Mellon tax cuts and promoting a huge tax hike. These various interventions stifled market entrepreneurs and emboldened political entrepreneurs. But historians have neglected that part of the story.
A second reason for Josephson’s triumph is that The Robber Barons was embraced by key Marxist historians, who influenced much of the historical profession after World War II. Richard Hofstadter, for example, was a long-time professor at Columbia University. He twice won the Pulitzer Prize, he wrote best-selling history books, and he helped train a generation of prominent historians. Yet Hofstadter had joined the Young Communist League in college and later joined the Communist Party. “My fundamental reason for joining [the Communist Party],” Hofstadter said, “is that I don’t like capitalism and want to get rid of it.” Although Hofstadter soon quit the Communist Party, he maintained his hostility to capitalism and expressed it in Social Darwinism in American Thought, in The Age of Reform, and in a popular co-authored textbook, The United States: The History of a Republic.
CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE FORUM TO BE HELD ON OCTOBER 10th, 2018
Time: 7:00 - 8:30 PM
Location: City Council Chambers
Please join us..
John Ward 1
Liz Ward 2
Paul Ward 3
Mike Ward 4
When... Friday October 12th
Where... Southway Bowl...1222 33rd St South St Cloud
Time...11:30 set up .. 12:30 to 2:30 pm.. introduction of candidates with short bios by each
Who invited? Your supporters and potential supporters
Why? People are familiar with the current council members but need to meet the challengers and hear why a change is needed..
Time for a change on the St Cloud City Council! .... meet the candidates that will listen to the people and continue the stand alone efforts retiring council member Jeff Johnson has been urging the current council to do... needed study session to discuss multiple impacts on our city with refugee resettlement and if a moratorium on refugee resettlement is needed. Other concerns also addressed.
Attendees will want to take flyers and signs for their neighbors and friends in their wards.
Some will want to donate to your campaigns.
Sign in at door .. only supporters and potential supporters welcome.
Coffee and drinks available .. free cookies
Please let me know if you can attend.
Dr Palmer has already confirmed he can attend.
Thank you very much,
320 253 2652
Jarrett Stepman | October 5, 2018
In America, we celebrate democracy and are justifiably proud that this nation was founded on the idea that the people should rule. That’s why it is so important that Americans be informed about their government. They are partakers in it. In fact, they control it. Under tyrannical systems, it matters little if the people are informed about political life. Autocrats make decisions for the people whether they like it or not. But in our republic, we rely on the informed decision-making of citizens to judge policies and the leaders who will implement them. Unfortunately, we are not very well-informed.
According to a recently released survey, Americans are woefully uneducated about the most basic facts of our history, to the point where most couldn’t even pass a basic citizenship test.
A study by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation found that only 1 in 3 Americans can actually pass the U.S. citizenship test, which asks the most basic questions about our history and how our system of government works.
Passing the test requires answering 60 percent of questions correctly, but a majority of those participating in the survey couldn’t even do that.
“With voters heading to the polls next month, an informed and engaged citizenry is essential,” Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship Foundation, said.
“Unfortunately, this study found the average American to be woefully uninformed regarding America’s history and incapable of passing the U.S. citizenship test. It would be an error to view these findings as merely an embarrassment. Knowledge of the history of our country is fundamental to maintaining a democratic society, which is imperiled today.”
The survey listed some of the embarrassing answers given on the test.
-Seventy-two percent of respondents either incorrectly identified or were unsure which states comprised the original 13 colonies;
-Only 24 percent could correctly identify one thing Benjamin Franklin was famous for, with 37 percent believing he invented the lightbulb;
-Only 24 percent knew the correct answer as to why the colonists fought the British;
-Twelve percent incorrectly thought WWII General Dwight Eisenhower led troops in the Civil War, while 6 percent thought he was a Vietnam War general;
-While most knew the cause of the Cold War, 2 percent said it was climate change.
Young people performed worst on the test. Out of all test-takers under the age of 45, only 19 percent passed.
Given these numbers, it’s no wonder why so many young Americans say they would rather live under socialism than capitalism, and have little understanding of what that would mean in reality.
On the one hand, there is a case for forgetting history. Many cultures cling to historical grievances to the point where history becomes a major impediment to future success. Treated wrongly, historical memory can be toxic rather than helpful.
We don’t want to become trapped by the past, but we do want to learn from it in order to avoid repeating past mistakes and build a better future. As citizens, knowledge of the past and of civics is crucial. Lacking such knowledge is unhealthy for a free country, and even dangerous, given how bad political life can become.
One of our biggest problems today is that we often focus on tearing down our history rather than learning from it. That needs to change.
If these sobering test results tell us anything, it’s that we need to consider a fundamental change in how we approach education in the United States. And despite what some voices say, education funding is not the problem.
The U.S. ranks, globally, near the top in spending on elementary and secondary education, yet we don’t appear to be getting much bang for the buck. Perhaps it’s time we take a harder look at the public school monopoly that’s failing students and leaving generations of Americans without a basic understanding of our past.
More generally, we’ve failed to uphold Ronald Reagan’s call for an informed patriotism and more civic ritual—necessary qualities for the maintenance of a free country—in favor of negative and ideologically narrow accounts of America’s past now en vogue in our schools.
This is a recipe for a dark future and needs to change.
Same week Congress approved First Amendment, it requested Washington declare Nation's first National Day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God
The First Amendment, together with the first Ten Amendments, called the Bill of Rights, were passed in the First Session of Congress, which was meeting in New York City.
These Amendments were intended to be "handcuffs" or limitations on the power of the new Federal Government.
The Bill of Rights were signed by two individuals in the U.S. Congress: Vice-President John Adams, as President of the Senate, and Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, as the First Speaker of the House, who was also an ordained Lutheran minster.
America's God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations
The PREAMBLE to the Bill of Rights reveals the intent of the States to prevent the Federal Government from an "abuse of its powers," insisting "restrictive clauses" should be placed on it:
"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 ... as amendments to the Constitution of the United States."
The First Amendment began:
"CONGRESS shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
Websters 1828 Dictionary defined "respecting" as: "regarding," "concerning," or "relating to."
In other words, when the subject of "an establishment of religion" came before the Federal Government, their response was to be "hands off," as religion was under each individual State's jurisdiction.
In his Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, 1833, Justice Joseph Story stated:
"In some of the States, Episcopalians constituted the predominant sect; in other, Presbyterians; in others, Congregationalists; in others, Quakers ...
It was impossible that there should not arise ... jealousy ... if the national government were left free to create a religious establishment.
The only security was in the abolishing the power ... But this alone would have been an imperfect security, if it had not been followed up by a declaration of the right of the free exercise of religion ...
Thus, the whole power over the subject of religion is left exclusively to the State governments."
BACKFIRED-A Nation Founded for Religious Tolerance No Longer Tolerates the Religion of Its Founders
In the First Amendment, the states also limited the Federal Congress from:
"... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Congress was the only branch of government that made laws, so it was the focus of the restrictions.
If the founders could have seen into the future that the Supreme Court would make laws from the bench, or thatPresidents would make laws through executive orders and regulations, they might have worded the First Amendment:
"CONGRESS, the SUPREME COURT and the PRESIDENT shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF."
The Bill of Rights were passed by Congress on September 25, 1789, and sent to the States for ratification.
The same week Congress approved the First Amendment, they requested President George Washington to declare the United States' First National Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer to Almighty God.
President Washington declared on OCTOBER 3, 1789:
"Whereas it is the DUTY of all nations to acknowledge the Providence of ALMIGHTY GOD, to obey His will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and
Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me
'to recommend to the People of the United States A DAY OF PUBLIC THANKSGIVING AND PRAYER to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of ALMIGHTY GOD, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to ESTABLISH A FORM OF GOVERNMENT for their safety and happiness;'
Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the twenty-sixth day of November next, to be devoted by the People of these United States to the service of that GREAT AND GLORIOUS BEING, who is the BENEFICENT AUTHOR of all the good that was, that is, or that will be;
That we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks,
for His kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation;
for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of HIS PROVIDENCE, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war;
for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed,
for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to ESTABLISH CONSTITUTIONS OF GOVERNMENT for our safety and happiness, and PARTICULARLY THE NATIONAL ONE NOW LATELY INSTITUTED,
for the CIVIL AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge;
and in general for all the great and various favors which He hath been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to THE GREAT LORD AND RULER OF NATIONS, and beseech Him
to pardon our national and other transgressions,
to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually;
to render OUR NATIONAL GOVERNMENT a blessing to all the People, by constantly being A GOVERNMENT OF WISE, JUST AND CONSTITUTIONAL LAWS, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed;
to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord;
TO PROMOTE THE KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICE OF TRUE RELIGION AND VIRTUE, and the increase of science among them and us;
and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3rd of October, IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine. -George Washington."
DVD The Real Intent of Jefferson on Separation of Church and State
Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Earl Burger stated in the case of Marsh v. Chambers (675 F. 2d 228, 233; 8th Cir. 1982; review allowed, 463 U.S. 783; 1982):
"The men who wrote the First Amendment religion clause did not view paid legislative chaplainsand opening prayers as a violation of that amendment ...
The practice of opening sessions with prayer has continued without interruption ever since that early session of Congress ...
It can hardly be thought that in the SAME WEEK the members of the first Congress VOTED to appoint and pay a CHAPLAIN for each House and also VOTED to approve the draft of the FIRST AMENDMENT ... (that) they intended to forbid what they had just declared ACCEPTABLE."
In the Supreme Court case of Town of Greece, NY, v. Galloway et al, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the decision, May 5, 2014:
"Respondents maintain that prayer must be nonsectarian ... and they fault the town for permitting guest chaplains to deliver prayers that 'use overtly Christian terms' or 'invoke specifics of Christian theology' ...
An insistence on nonsectarian or ecumenical prayer as a single, fixed standard is not consistent with the tradition of legislative prayer ...
The Congress that drafted the First Amendment would have been accustomed to invocations containing explicitly religious themes of the sort respondents find objectionable.
One of the Senate's first chaplains, the Rev. William White, gave prayers in a series that included the Lord's Prayer, the Collect for Ash Wednesday, prayers for peace and grace, a general thanksgiving, St. Chrysostom's Prayer, and a prayer seeking 'the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, &c ...'"
Justice Kennedy continued in Greece v. Galloway:
"The decidedly Christian nature of these prayers must not be dismissed as the relic of a time when our Nation was less pluralistic than it is today.
Congress continues to permit its appointed and visiting chaplains to express themselves in a religious idiom ...
To hold that invocations must be nonsectarian would force the legislatures ... and the courts ... to act as ... censors of religious speech...
Government may not mandate a civic religion that stifles any but the most generic reference to the sacred any more than it may prescribe a religious orthodoxy ..."
"Respondents argue, in effect, that legislative prayer may be addressed only to a generic God.
The law and the Court could not draw this line for each specific prayer or seek to require ministers to set aside their nuanced and deeply personal beliefs for vague and artificial ones.
There is doubt, in any event, that consensus might be reached as to what qualifies as generic or nonsectarian ..."
"While these prayers vary in their degree of religiosity, they often seek peace for the Nation, wisdom for its lawmakers, and justice for its people, values that count as universal and that are embodied not only in religious traditions, but in our founding documents and laws ...
The first prayer delivered to the Continental Congress by the Rev. Jacob Duché on Sept. 7, 1774, provides an example:
'Be Thou present O God of Wisdom and direct the counsel of this Honorable Assembly;
enable them to settle all things on the best and surest foundations;
that the scene of blood may be speedily closed;
that Order, Harmony, and Peace be effectually restored, and the Truth and Justice, Religion and Piety, prevail and flourish among the people.
Preserve the health of their bodies, and the vigor of their minds, shower down on them, and the millions they here represent, such temporal Blessings as Thou seest expedient for them in this world, and crown them with everlasting Glory in the world to come.
All this we ask in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Saviour, Amen ...'"
Supreme Court Justice Kennedy concluded the Greece v. Galloway decision, May 5, 2014::
"From the earliest days of the Nation, these invocations have been addressed to assemblies comprising many different creeds ...
Our tradition assumes that adult citizens, firm in their own beliefs, can tolerate and perhaps appreciate a ceremonial prayer delivered by a person of a different faith."
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The ‘Uppity Peasant Candidates’
October 2nd, 2018
Jenny Berg’s article is one of the best articles I’ve seen in the SC Times in quite a while. Congratulations, Jenny.
Ms. Berg’s article highlighted the 3 candidates running against incumbents this year. John Palmer is challenging incumbent Dave Masters in Ward 1. Liz Baklaich is challenging RINO Steve Laraway in Ward 2. Paul Brandmire is running against John Libert in Ward 3. Each of the incumbents are part of the city councilmembers that I disparagingly ‘nicknamed’ “the 5 ostriches“. Laraway, Libert and Masters would each rather bury their heads in the sand than listen to their constituents. They’re bought and paid for by special interests. By contrast, I’ve known Dr. Palmer, Mr. Brandmire and Ms. Baklaich a total of easily more than 20 years. Here’s what they told Ms. Berg:
Many of the candidates taking on incumbents — John Palmer in Ward 1, Liz Baklaich in Ward 2 and Paul Brandmire in Ward 3 — resoundingly said they don’t think the process was transparent. “I know (Mayor) Dave Kleis has said it’s been transparent, that they put out the word but I didn’t see anything,” said Brandmire, a retired U.S. Air Force officer who works for Schill Trucking. “All of a sudden it was announced that this was happening and boom — the next thing you know the trees are down.”
Those three candidates also said they don’t feel the council members listened to the concerns of residents who wrote to the candidates or spoke at public hearings.
“What a tragedy,” said Palmer, a former St. Cloud State University professor. “I think that’s a reflection of the freedom of the people being suppressed. I think it’s a perfect example of what should unite us as citizens and demand a more thoughtful, open process.”
Residents who spoke at a Feb. 12 public hearing relayed concerns about losing parkland and trees, as well as the notion that selling parkland could be seen as bad public policy. Laraway, Libert and Masters aren’t interested in listening. They’ve shown their spots. Those spots aren’t changing because they won’t listen to We The People. Once that happens, it’s time to find new leadership. This year, I’m recommending that voters elect this trio [John Palmer, Liz Baklaich, and Paul Brandmire], along with Mike Conway, to sweep out this batch of ostriches:
Dear Representative Emmer,
I have written before about housing shortage, specifically for disabled and elderly poor in Saint Cloud MN, partly based on our own family's experience with a disabled adult son. Due to our extremely high immigrant population in Saint Cloud, housing shortages (and lack of increased HUD housing units based on new immigration ) has put many poor elderly and legally disabled disabled citizens in a similar shortfall for safe affordable housing in an apartment of their choice ( section 8 vs. public housing building). As you know, non-citizens with green cards may access housing supports, and there is a more than 10 year wait to even apply for section 8 housing in a safe neighborhood. Unfortunately for the high Somali population, many of their families are living in substandard housing as well, as promised housing supports (federal HUD) never happened after over 10,000 immigrants were brought to Saint Cloud by Lutheran social services.
Section 8/ vouchers are supposed to be prioritized to elderly low income and legally disabled citizens. however, when trying to get our son on a list for HUD housing based on his disabled status, a city official told me that many of the section 8 slots were held by non-citizen individuals with green cards.
Meanwhile, the previous "over 55" protective buildings for elderly have been integrated, so that I know of some elderly/disabled individuals who are having to live in public housing buildings with loud, noisy and sometimes rowdy individuals with drug or mental health problems.
In Saint Cloud MN, there is a severe problem of bedbugs throughout the public housing building, so elderly people are having to regularly replace furniture and live in unsafe buildings.
-please limit public housing (HUD section 8) priority to citizens who are disabled and elderly, before able bodied individuals
-please enact work requirements for able bodied individuals receiving cash , housing and health benefits. (Our legally disabled son with autism works part time)
-Limit HUD housing duration/ occupancy for non-disabled , able bodied individuals, so that we are helping people to move "up", not depend on entitlements
-please REINSTATE elderly only (over 55 housing buildings) based on income, so our seniors have a safe, healthy place to live out their final years.
John W. Palmer, Ph.D
News for Immediate Release
October 1, 2018
On Thursday the 27th of September Liz Baklaich and John Palmer completed an all day workshop titled Public Office as a Public Trust, Ethics of Public Stewardship. The workshop was led by Stephen B. Young, Global Executive Director, Caux Round Table for Moral Capitalism. Liz Baklaich and John Palmer, candidates for the St. Cloud City Council received certificates of completion which recognize their dedication to the study of public service in the finest traditions of American constitutional democracy.
As a follow up to the workshop Stephen B. Young will be the presenter at a “Red Hat Forum” entitled Public Office as a Public Trust conducted in the Mississippi Room of the St. Cloud Public on October 24th from 7 PM to 8:30 PM. The event is open to the public and all candidates for public office are urged to attend. Mr. Young will make an hour long presentation and be available for audience Q&A for the last half. Mr. Young is also available for interview/appearance prior to the event.
For information about the Caux Round Table go to:
http://www.cauxroundtable.org/index.cfm or contact Mr. Young at firstname.lastname@example.org
For information about the “Red Hat Forums” contact John W. Palmer at email@example.com or Liz Baklaich at firstname.lastname@example.org