Friday, June 21, 2013

American Progressivism: Part 5 of 5

by R.J. Pestritto, Shipley Professor of the American Constitution at Hillsdale College

V. Progressivism and the Current Crisis

There are important connections between America’s original Progressive Era and the crisis we are facing today, and it is useful to consider these connections on two levels.

The first connection is at a general level, and concerns our abandonment of the Constitution. The present crisis did not appear out of nowhere, and didn’t simply begin with the election of Barack Obama. Politicians of both parties spent the better part of the 20th century disregarding the Constitution, as they looked to have government step up to solve every conceivable human problem. Thus it ought to be no surprise that the Constitution’s limits on government aren’t even part of the conversation today as our politicians debate the new interventions in our economy and society that seem to come daily.

Such a state of things would have greatly pleased America’s original progressives. As I’ve endeavored to explain in these pieces for the newsletter, progressives believed that the role of government should be determined not by our Constitution, but by whatever the needs of the day happened to be. This is why they sought to eradicate talk of the Constitution from our political discourse; today, that goal seems to have been realized.

The second connection between the original Progressive Era and our situation today has to do with policy. The progressives knew that our original system of government was not capable of handling all of the new tasks that they had in mind for it. So they envisioned creating a vast set of bureaucratic agencies. They argued that Congress should enact very broad and vague laws for supervising more and more facets of the American economy and society, and then delegate to the bureaucratic agencies the power and discretion to enact specific policies. Both Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt conceived of government in this way.

The New Deal certainly went a long way toward implementing this progressive vision, and what we have seen in our own situation with TARP and the various other interventions is simply greater steps toward the progressive plan. Our Congress has simply said to the Treasury agencies: here’s a trillion dollars, here’s all the legal authority you need, now go out, determine what is in the public interest, and spend and regulate accordingly. That is the progressive vision of government, in a nutshell.

For more on the Progressives, two of my books may be of interest:

1) American Progressivism, which I co-edited with American historian William Atto, contains a basic introduction to progressive ideas written by Professor Atto and me, and then several selections from the actual writings of Progressives like Wilson, TR, Dewey, Croly, and others. 

2) Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism, which is a much more in-depth look at Woodrow Wilson and how he was central to originating the liberalism that dominates America today. This is for those who are really interested in history and political theory. 

Religious Freedom "Undermines" Common Core?

That's what the Jefferson County (Louisville) Teachers Association (JCTA) told the Kentucky governor.

Earlier this year the KY legislature overwhelmingly passed HB 279, known as the Religious Freedom bill. After hearing from many groups who wrote letters opposing the bill (see here, 44% of the letters posted cite concerns over homosexual rights and include a letter from Planned Parenthood as well as an 8-page letter from out-of-state LAMDA), the Governor vetoed it and sent the letter below to constituents, explaining that he vetoed HB 279 because of its "impact on implementation of the new Common Core Standards in our schools."

What did HB 279 say?

"Government shall not substantially burden a person's freedom of religion. The right to act or refuse to act in a manner motivated by a sincerely held religious belief may not be substantially burdened unless the government proves by clear and convincing evidence that it has a compelling governmental interest in infringing the specific act or refusal to act and has used the least restrictive means to further that interest. A 'burden' shall include indirect burdens such as withholding benefits, assessing penalties, or an exclusion from programs or access to facilities."

That's it.

Here's the letter JCTA sent the Governor requesting his veto:

You can also find an online version of the Governor's statement here:

and the JCTA letter online here (p.11):

So, what do they know about Common Core that you don't?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Parents, Where Are You?

Is this Book About Harvesting Teenager Organs on Your School's Common Core Reading List?

The book, Unwind by Neal Shusterman, is disturbing parents across the nation as they discover it on their school's reading lists for junior high students.

Why are they upset?

Unwind Review From School Library Journal:

"Starred Review. Grade 7 Up—Set in the future, the second civil war is fought over abortion. To end the war, a compromise is reached that ends the practice of abortion but creates an alternative called "unwinding." Between the ages of 13 and 17, parents or guardians can choose to have their children unwound, which involves having every part of their bodies harvested to be "donated" to another person so, technically, they don't really die. The complex and compelling plot follows three teens whose stories intertwine when they escape while on their way to the harvest camps. Fifteen-year-old Connor's parents can no longer control him. Lev, a tithe, was raised by religious parents for the sole purpose of being unwound. Risa, a ward of the state, is a victim of shrinking budgets since she is not a talented enough musician to be kept alive. Neal Shusterman's engrossing novel (S & S, 2007) is narrated in an even cadence and matter-of-fact tone that suits the author's straightforward narrative style. His wide array of voices makes the involved story line, which is left wide open for what is sure to be an interesting sequel, easy to follow. This gripping, thought-provoking novel is guaranteed to lead to interesting discussions about abortion, adoption, organ donation, religion, politics, and health care.—Karen T. Bilton, Mary Jacobs Memorial Library, Rocky Hill, NJ"

Now that you know what the book is about, see the equally-disturbing suggested strategies for teaching these complex and moral issues here:

Do you want these issues settled for your child by his teacher?? 

This is exactly why our students are growing up with values inconsistent with their parents. Take heed. They are the future politicians, business owners, and voters. The seeds planted now will give way to their fruit later. 

Perhaps MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry is right: Our children are not ours, but the state's.  

I can't help but draw that conclusion when I read such absurd quotes as this: "it's hard [for parents] to get up in the morning and fix lunch" for their children:

Good grief.

Parents have abdicated almost every parental duty to the state. 

Do we not hold any expectation for parents any longer? Have we given over so much authority, incrementally, bit-by-bit, that we now have totally dissolved parents of any duty to their children?

Webster defines "parent" as "A father or mother; he or she that produces young. The duties of parents to their children are to maintain, protect and educate them."

C'mon, parents, act like one. For the sake of your child, your neighbor, your nation.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Delusive Phantom of Hope

"...hugging the delusive phantom of Hope"

"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 the siren till she transforms us into beasts." 

Ponder that. 

All around me I see Americans eager for hope, something better, as they turn to government to meet their needs. She is much too obliged to carry the responsibility, but her yoke is not easy, for nothing is without cost. 

We must keep in mind that as civil government increases, our individual liberties decrease. We are losing hard-fought freedoms out of desperation for hope - hope for a job or income, hope for health and longevity, hope for safety and security. 

I'm reminded of Benjamin Franklin's conclusion...
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
But true hope can never be obtained from man, for man always disappoints. Everlasting hope can come only through the assurance of salvation in Jesus Christ. And the bonus? Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (2 Corinthians 3:17). So this Hope comes with freedom! 

Yesterday I revisited Patrick Henry's stirring speech given at a time when a new nation was contemplating its right to be free. We all should read it (and the Declaration of Independence) periodically to remember just how precious our sweet freedom is. Those above quotes about hope are from his speech.

On an aside, as you study history, search for materials (I'll post some resources at the end) that bring history alive, that tell the stories of men and women who possessed integrity, courage, and honor. Books that highlight God's Hand of Providence throughout our founding are especially heart-catching: how Washington desperately cried out to God amidst what appeared to be certain defeat, and then from nowhere a thick fog descended on the British troops, allowing for Americans to escape and go on to defeat the Brits; how another time all officers were killed in a bloody battle, but Washington miraculously survived, protected from a bullet that was dangerously close to taking his life; how men came together to institute a form of government never before experienced in any nation, based on the Biblical idea that man could govern himself and had no need for an monarch or dictator - what a concept!

I know it's long, but I'm attaching the famous Henry speech below for easy access. Revel in gratitude as you read. These men risked everything, for if they had failed, they all would have been hanged for treason - their actions truly required they pledge their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to one another. Their dependence on God gave them true hope for freedom.

Commentary from

"Not only is this speech Patrick Henry’s most enduring legacy, it is one of the best exponents of both the reason and the passion that gave birth to the Revolutionary War.  This rousing call to arms held that the war had already begun in the eyes of the British soldiers, and sought to disillusion any who still hoped for peace through submission to the rule of the crown.  It was made from the floor of the Second Virginia Convention being held at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia."

Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775:
Artist's rendering of Patrick Henry delivering a speech at the
Virginia Ratifying Convention on June 5th, 1778

"NO man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope that it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen, if entertaining, as I do, opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely, and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. 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 fulfill 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 offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country and of an act of disloyalty towards 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 the 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 warlike 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 motives 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 on 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 longer.  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 contending - if 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 the 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!

"It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. 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!"

History Resources:

Friday, June 14, 2013

Reps Need Our Help to Stop Amnesty

Bachmann, Gohmert, & Steve King Appeal Directly To Beck And His Audience: ‘We’re Losing Badly…’

Bachmann adds that we stopped this before, and we need to do it again.

But is anyone paying attention?

See brief video here..

Read more:

Common Core: The Corporate Players

Exxon's support push of Common Core is raising eyebrows and many questions. Of all issues, why this one?

Why is Exxon arm-twisting Pennsylvania, telling them to move quickly with Common Core?

What is the connection between Common Core and oil?

A National Curriculum

And for those who continue to argue that standards do not result in a national curriculum...

Bill Gates says that "identifying common standards is just the starting point."

Costly Exxon Mobile ad says, "We'll only know if this effort has succeeded when the curriculum and tests are aligned to these [Common Core] standards."

No Federal Fingerprints...Really?

And Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, has announced that $350 MILLION from the Stimulus (there's that secret pot of Progressive gold again) have been set aside to create FEDERAL tests that align with Common Core Standards. "When the tests are aligned to the common standards, the curriculum will line up as well."[Bill Gates]

And now we hear the real deal...

"And it will unleash a powerful market of people providing services for better teaching. For the first time, there will be a large uniformed base of customers." [Gates]

Let's review that again...

Common Core will produce a whole new customer base for those providing educational materials. let's put all the Common Core pieces together with the corporate players known to be in bed with the Obama administration:

>Microsoft supplies the technology,
>Google the information-gathering,
>GE the facial imaging (fMRI) component of the data mining

and, voila, you have the foundation for the Common Core State Standards Initiative - brilliant!

See report and hear audios here:

But the oil...why the oil?

How Does Gang of Eight's Amnesty Differ From 1986 Amnesty?

Uh, not so much.

Edwin Meese, a witness to the 1986 amnesty bill, compares it to the current "Gang of Eight" bill. His letter to the editor appears in today's Wall Street Journal:

I Recall the 1986 Immigration Act Rather Differently

Karl Rove's recollection of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act ("Immigration Reform and the Hispanic Vote," op-ed, June 6) is, shall we say, highly selective. That law, he writes, "essentially told those here illegally that if they had arrived in the U.S. prior to 1982 and wanted to become citizens, simply raise your right hand." He asserts that the Gang of Eight bill is different because it "has plenty of penalties and hurdles for those here illegally who seek citizenship."

Well, I was there in '86. I read that bill carefully. (We did that back then.) And I can tell you that Mr. Rove's blithe description of the bill is way off the mark.

The 1986 act didn't turn illegal immigrants into citizens on the spot. It granted temporary resident status only to those who could prove they had resided continuously in America for five years. After 18 months, their status could be upgraded to permanent residency, and only after another five years could they become U.S. citizens.

But advancement to citizenship was not automatic. Immigrants had to satisfy various requirements along the way. They had to pay application fees, learn to speak English, understand American civics, pass a medical exam and register for military selective service. Those with convictions for a felony or three misdemeanors were ineligible.

Sound familiar? It's pretty much the same "penalties and hurdles" set forth by the Gang of Eight. Today they call it a "roadmap to citizenship." Ronald Reagan called it "amnesty."

The '86 reform bill also had supposedly "rigorous" border security and immigration law enforcement provisions. So how did that pan out? On the day Reagan signed "comprehensive" reform into law, only one thing changed: Millions of unlawful immigrants gained "legal" status. The promised crackdowns on security and enforcement never happened. Only amnesty prevailed.

Since the '86 amnesty, the number of illegal immigrants has quadrupled. That should teach Congress a very important lesson: Amnesty "bends" the rule of law. And bending the rule of law to reach a "comprehensive" deal winds up provoking wholesale breaking of the law. Ultimately, it encourages millions more to risk entering the country illegally in the hope that one day they, too, might receive amnesty.

On legislation as important as this, lawmakers must take the time to read the bill, not rely on others' characterizations of what it says. We can't afford to have Congress "pass the bill to find out what's in it."

Edwin Meese III


Mr. Meese was U.S. attorney general 1985-88.

American Progressivism: Part 4 of 5

by R.J. Pestritto, Shipley Professor of the American Constitution at Hillsdale College

IV. Progressivism and Socialism

Since the Progressives had such a limitless view of state power, and since they wanted to downplay the founders’ emphasis on individual rights, it is only natural to ask if they subscribed to socialism. There are several things to consider in answering this question.

First, when considering the relationship of progressivism
 to socialism, we must be clear that we are talking about the similarity in the philosophy of government; we are not suggesting that America’s progressives were the kind of moral monsters that we see in the history of some socialist or fascist regimes (although it is the case that their racial views – particularly those of Woodrow Wilson – were indeed morally reprehensible).

Second, we must also bear in mind that there was an actual socialist movement during the Progressive Era, and prominent progressives such as Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt were critics of it. In fact, Wilson and Roosevelt both ran against a socialist candidate in the 1912 election (Eugene Debs). The progressives were ambivalent about the socialist movement of their day not so much because they disagreed with it in principle, but because the American socialist movement was a movement of the lower classes. The progressives were elitists; they looked down their noses at the socialists, considering them a kind of rabble.

Keeping these points in mind, it is, nonetheless, the case that the progressive conception of government closely coincided with the socialist conception. Both progressivism and socialism champion the prerogatives of the state over the prerogatives of the individual. Wilson himself made this connection very plain in a revealing essay he wrote in 1887 called “Socialism and Democracy.” Wilson’s begins this essay by defining socialism, explaining that it stands for unfettered state power, which trumps any notion of individual rights. It “proposes that all idea of a limitation of public authority by individual rights be put out of view,” Wilson wrote, and “that no line can be drawn between private and public affairs which the State may not cross at will.” After laying out this definition of socialism, Wilson explains that he finds nothing wrong with it in principle, since it was merely the logical extension of genuine democratic theory. It gives all power to the people, in their collective capacity, to carry out their will through the exercise of governmental power, unlimited by any undemocratic idea like individual rights. He elaborated:

“In fundamental theory socialism and democracy are almost if not quite one and the same. They both rest at bottom upon the absolute right of the community to determine its own destiny and that of its members. Limits of wisdom and convenience to the public control there may be: limits of principle there are, upon strict analysis, none.”

Roosevelt, too, argued for a new conception of government, where individual natural rights would no longer serve as a principled boundary that the state was prohibited from crossing. He called in his New Nationalism program for the state to take an active role in effecting economic equality by way of superintending the use of private property. Private property rights, which had been serving as a brake on the more aggressive progressive policy proposals, were to be respected, Roosevelt argued, only insofar as the government approved of the property’s social usefulness. He wrote:

“We grudge no man a fortune in civil life if it is honorably obtained and well used. It is not even enough that it should have been gained without doing damage to the community. We should permit it to be gained only so long as the gaining represents benefit 
to the community. This, I know, implies a policy of a far more active governmental interference with social and economic conditions in this country than we have yet had, but I think we have got to face the fact that such an increase in governmental control is now necessary.”

In the next and final piece, we will consider the some of the most important connections between the original progressives and the resurgence of progressivism today. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

And We Wonder Why We're In This Mess? Interesting Education Quotes

Is This Why We Need Universal Preschool?

Every child in America entering school at the age of five is insane because he comes to school with certain allegiances to our founding fathers, toward our elected officials, toward his parents, toward a belief in a supernatural being, and toward the sovereignty of this nation as a separate entity. It’s up to you as teachers to make all these sick children well – by creating the international child of the future.” 

- Dr. Chester M Pierce, Harvard Professor of Education and Psychiatry, to the Association for Childhood Education International

And remember Bloom's Taxonomy from college?

“...a student attains ‘higher order thinking’ when he no longer believes in right or wrong. A large part of what we call good teaching is a teacher’s ability to obtain affective objectives by challenging the student’s fixed beliefs... a large part of what we call teaching is that the teacher should be able to use education to reorganize a child’s thoughts, attitudes, and feelings.”
- Benjamin Bloom, Psychologist and Educator Famous for his Hierarchy of Learning

Here are some good ones from an education researcher and theorist who has published influential models for renewing schools and teacher education [Source: Wikipedia]...

Most youth still hold the same values of their parents... if we do not alter this pattern, if we don’t resocialize, our system will decay.”

Public education has served as a check on the power of parents, and this is another powerful reason for maintaining it.

- John Goodlad, Disciple of Dewey, Father of Constructivism

Music to Reid, Nausea to Conservatives

Oh, boy.



Then, get on the horn...

Contact your congressmen here: Senators and Representatives

On Monday, the Senate voted to move to a vote on the amnesty bill, S744. Click here to find out how your senator voted.

It's coming folks.

Prior to the 1986 amnesty bill, California was solidly Republican. Amnesty without controls turned red California to blue. Progressives successfully turned Colorado to blue in the 2012 elections. They now have their sights set on Texas. Are they hoping to use this amnesty to turn the entire nation? 

If we can see this, why can't the Republicans in DC?  

The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America - Free Download

Enjoy (I use that word loosely) this free download of The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America...and never see education the same:
"[Author] Charlotte Iserbyt is the consummate whistleblower! Iserbyt served as Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), U.S. Department of Education, during the first Reagan Administration, where she first blew the whistle on a major technology initiative which would control curriculum in America's classrooms. Iserbyt is a former school board director in Camden, Maine and was co-founder and research analyst of Guardians of Education for Maine (GEM) from 1978 to 2000. She has also served in the American Red Cross on Guam and Japan during the Korean War, and in the United States Foreign Service in Belgium and in the Republic of South Africa. Iserbyt is a speaker and writer, best known for her 1985 booklet Back to Basics Reform or OBE: Skinnerian International Curriculum and her 1989 pamphlet Soviets in the Classroom: America's Latest Education Fad which  covered the details of the U.S.-Soviet and Carnegie-Soviet Education Agreements which remain in effect to this day. She is a freelance writer and has had articles published in Human Events, The Washington Times, The Bangor Daily News, and included in the record of Congressional hearings."

Monday, June 10, 2013

Government Snooping on Millions of Americans

PATRIOT Act author suddenly shocked by powers he created...

"The latest Obama scandal has put in motion the wheels of political hypocrisy (once again). A whistleblower has revealed that the Obama administration has been using PATRIOT Act provisions to collect telephone records on millions of innocent Americans in bulk.

"Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) is blasting the administration for 'excessive and un-American' abuses of the PATRIOT Act."

But he's the one who wrote it...

Read more at The American Vision

Friday, June 7, 2013

American Progressivism: Part 3 of 5

by R.J. Pestritto, Shipley Professor of the American Constitution at Hillsdale College

III. How the Progressives Originated the Modern Presidency 

As I explained in my last piece, the Progressives wanted to disregard the Constitution in order to enlarge vastly the scope of government. As a practical matter, how was this to be done? It happened in a variety of ways, but principal among them was a fundamental change in the American presidency. 

Under the system of our founders, government was to have sufficient strength and energy to accomplish its ends, but those ends were strictly limited by the Constitution. The principal way in which the Constitution keeps the government within its boundaries is through the separation of powers. As readers of The Federalist and of Thomas Jefferson know, the point of separation of powers is to keep any one set of hands from wielding all of the power in national government.

The Progressives, especially Woodrow Wilson, hated the separation of powers for precisely this reason: it made government inefficient, and made it difficult, if not impossible, to expand the power of government so that it could take on all of the new tasks that Progressives had in mind. So they looked to the presidency as a way of getting around this obstacle.

Under the original system, the president was merely leader of a single branch, or part, of the government, and thus could not provide leadership of the government as a whole. In his book Constitutional Government, Wilson urged that “leadership and control must be lodged somewhere.” The president, Wilson pointed out, was the only politician who could claim to speak for the people as a whole, and thus he called upon the president to rise above the separation of powers – to consider himself not merely as chief of a single branch of government, but as the popular leader of the whole of national politics. Wilson even contrasted the “constitutional aspect” of the presidency – its constitutionally defined role as chief of one of the three co-equal branches of government – to the “political” function of the president, where he could use his connection to public opinion as a tool for moving all of the branches of government in the direction called for by the people.

It was in this way that Wilson believed the original intention of the separation of powers system could be circumvented, and the enhanced presidency could be a means energizing the kind of active national government that the progressive agenda required.

In the next piece, we’ll consider whether the principles of the Progressives made them socialists.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Gang of Eight Amnesty Bill S.744

A series of informative articles by Phyllis Schlafly of Eagle Forum...

>Betrays Americans

>Increases Unemployment

>They Can't Even Defend It

*Does not secure border first
*Allows Obama bureaucrats to issue waivers at will
*Weakens existing border-entry law
*Fails to enforce prohibition on college tuition preference to illegals while guaranteeing states' right to offer in-state tuition to future illegals
*Gives immediately 11 million work permits
*Discriminates against college-educated American citizens
*No numerical limits to immigrants
*Increases taxpayer burden: 11 million amnestied aliens will receive $9.4 trillion in government services over their lifetime, but pay only $3.1 trillion in taxes, for a net cost of $6.3 trillion
*Special exclusions for states of bill authors (and this is a surprise?)
*Even handouts for immigration lawyers and community organizers

Tell your senators, "No!" to S.744:

Common Core: Is it a Conspiracy if it's True?

Does a "conspiracy" cease to exist if the facts support it?

Progressives say, "No, it's still a conspiracy." That's because accusing their opponents of "conspiracy" is right out of 1960s radical Saul Alinsky's playbook, Rules for Radicals, to distract and discredit opponents rather than debate issues...because they cannot win when the issues are brought in the light.

Here's a prime example...

In her article, Building Common Ground for the Common Core, Jefferson County (Kentucky) Board of Education member Debbie Wesslund uses forms of the word "conspiracy" no less than four times in this short and baseless (read dishonest) talking-point drivel. (Is that too harsh?)

Today, this article gets my attention: Common Core Conspiracy!. A.J. Cameron goes down the path, following the consequences of implementing these national substandards.
"In discussing the many negatives and lies embedded within the Common Core has become apparent that most people are...missing the bigger picture!
"By standardizing testing across ALL spectrums...parents are going to realize they are expending thousands of dollars for a curriculum that is virtually the same as that provided within the public school system...As this reality is grasped, many, if not most parents will discontinue paying the extra costs for private and/or parochial education.  With the exodus from private and parochial emptying the classrooms, even those who are willing to pay the additional costs for their child’s education will find their school is closed, for lack of enough students.  Additionally, homeschoolers will become frustrated when they are forced to alter their teaching curriculum to prepare their children for the ‘state’ mandated testing...Over time, private, parochial and homeschooled students will begin to be herded into the public school system.
Cameron asserts that the results will be a demand for more public school teachers, more money into the system, and more Democrats obliged to answer the demands. Read his piece in detail here:

Is it a conspiracy if all the facts point to ObamaCore as a national education system with states, communities, local districts, and parents having no control or even input?

Webster's 1828 American English Dictionary defines "conspiracy" as "a combination of men for an evil purpose."

Is it a conspiracy?