Pelosi’s Identity Politics Pork Barrel
March 24, 2020
“You never let a serious crisis go to waste,” Obama adviser Rahm Emanuel said during the country’s last major emergency. Now, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is bringing this noxious idea back as she uses the coronavirus pandemic to permanently stamp identity politics on corporate America.
Pelosi’s coronavirus relief bill is a veritable pork barrel for programs that would force corporations receiving government aid to implement “diversity and inclusion” initiatives that have nothing to do with combating COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, and preventing its spread.
In an age when the word “outrage” has lost its meaning through overuse, one is left speechless that the speaker of the House would hold the country’s physical and financial health hostage in an attempt to remake the corporate world along the lines of identity politics.
Pelosi’s bill uses the words diversity or diverse 63 times, the word inclusion 14 times, and the word minority 109 times as it lays money aside for large and small pet projects based on national divisions that depend on race, ethnicity, sex, disability status, etc.
This is not showing compassion for those in need; this is abusing the coronavirus emergency to reorder America.
Title V of Pelosi’s bill, “Investing in a Sustainable Recovery,” has sections on “Improving Corporate Governance Through Diversity” and “Diverse Investment Advisers.”
The bill is meticulous in its attempt to coerce companies to count Americans along identity categories in every nook and cranny of corporate activity.
The legislation stipulates: “Any corporation that receives federal aid related to COVID-19 must maintain officials and budget dedicated to diversity and inclusion for no less than 5 years after disbursement of funds.”
The oversight panel set up to distribute the funds “shall collect diversity data from any corporation that receives Federal aid related to COVID-19 and issue a report that will be made publicly available no later than one year after the disbursement of funds.”
That report must include:
the gender, race and ethnic identity (and to the extent possible results disaggregated by ethnic group) as otherwise known or provided voluntarily, for the total number of employees (full and part-time) and the career level of employees (executive and managers versus employees in other roles). … The number and dollar value invested with minority- and women-owned suppliers (and to the extent possible results disaggregated by ethnic group) including professional services (legal and consulting) and asset managers, and deposits and other accounts with minority depository institutions, as compared to all vendors investments.
Pelosi’s legislation would require companies to supply a comparison of pay among sexes and racial and ethnic minorities. They would have to equally hand over to the government demographic data on their corporate boards, the “reporting structure of lead diversity officials,” and the size of the budget and staff of offices dedicated to “diversity and inclusion.”
Pelosi’s bill would order the Securities and Exchange Commission to set up a Diversity and Advisory Group composed of college professors, government bureaucrats, and members of the private sector to carry out a study that would propose strategies to “increase gender, racial and ethnic diversity” on corporate boards.
Even grantees that hire service personnel who assist elderly households “shall consider and hire, at all levels of employment, and to greatest extent possible, a diverse staff, including by race, ethnicity, gender and disability status.”
No stone is left unturned in Nancy Pelosi’s effort to use the greatest crisis this country has faced in years to stamp identity politics on all aspects of the economy.
What it all has to do with combating the coronavirus or getting our economy humming again is a mystery.
But as Emanuel, who would become chief of staff to President Barack Obama, made clear in 2008, the moments of greatest urgency and fear create opportunities to do things that are completely unrelated to the crisis at hand—even if one must make one’s fellow citizens suffer a little longer.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision,” House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., told fellow lawmakers in a conference call last week, according to The Hill newspaper.
24 March, 2020
This is the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine’s (ESICM), and the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s (SCCM) new guidance on the management of critically ill adults with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) .
Evidence was assessed using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach.
The risk of patient-to-patient transmission in the ICU is currently unknown; therefore, adherence to infection control precautions is paramount. The following recommendations and suggestions are provided as considerations rather than a requirement to change institutional infection control policies.
- For healthcare workers performing aerosol-generating procedures on patients with COVID-19 in the ICU, fitted respirator masks (N95 respirators, FFP2, or equivalent) are recommended, as opposed to surgical/medical masks, in addition to other personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves, gown, face shield or safety goggles (best practice statement).
- Aerosol-generating procedures on ICU patients with COVID-19 should be performed in a negative pressure room to prevent the spread of contagious airborne pathogens from room to room. The main goal is to avoid the accidental release of pathogens into a larger space and open facility, thereby protecting healthcare workers and patients in a hospital setting (best practice statement).
- For healthcare workers providing usual care for non-ventilated patients with COVID, or who are performing non-aerosol-generating procedures on mechanically ventilated (closed circuit) patients with COVID-19, the panel suggests using surgical/medical masks, as opposed to respirator masks, in addition to other PPE (weak recommendation, low quality evidence).
- For healthcare workers performing endotracheal intubation on patients with COVID-19, the panel suggests using video-guided laryngoscopy, over direct laryngoscopy, if available (weak recommendation, low quality evidence).
- For patients with COVID-19 requiring endotracheal intubation, the panel recommends that endotracheal intubation be performed by the healthcare worker who is most experienced with airway management in order to minimise the number of attempts and risk of transmission (best practice statement).
Laboratory Diagnosis and Specimens
- For intubated and mechanically ventilated adults with suspicion of COVID-19, obtaining lower respiratory tract samples is suggested for diagnostic testing versus upper respiratory tract (nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal) samples (weak recommendation, low quality evidence). With regard to lower respiratory samples, the panel suggests obtaining endotracheal aspirates in preference to bronchial wash or bronchoalveolar lavage samples (weak recommendation, low quality evidence).
- In adults with COVID-19 and shock, the panel suggests using dynamic parameters skin temperature, capillary refilling time, and/or serum lactate measurement over static parameters in order to assess fluid responsiveness (weak recommendation, low quality evidence).
- For the acute resuscitation of adults with COVID-19 and shock, the panel suggests using a conservative over a liberal fluid strategy (weak recommendation, very low quality evidence); using crystalloids over colloids (strong recommendation, moderate quality evidence); and using buffered/balanced crystalloids over unbalanced crystalloids (weak recommendation, moderate quality evidence).
- For the acute resuscitation of adults with COVID-19 and shock, the panel recommends against using hydroxyethyl starches (strong recommendation, moderate quality evidence), gelatins (weak recommendation, low quality evidence), and dextrans (weak recommendation, low quality evidence).
- For adults with COVID-19 and shock, the panel suggests using norepinephrine as the first-line vasoactive agent, over other agents (weak recommendation, low quality evidence). If norepinephrine is not available, vasopressin or epinephrine is suggested (weak recommendation, low quality evidence). The panel recommends against using dopamine if norepinephrine is available (strong recommendation, high quality evidence). The panel suggests titrating vasoactive agents to target a MAP of 60 to 65 mmHg, rather than higher MAP targets (weak recommendation, low quality evidence).
- For adults with COVID-19 and shock with evidence of cardiac dysfunction and persistent hypoperfusion despite fluid resuscitation and norepinephrine, the panel suggests adding dobutamine, over increasing norepinephrine dose (weak recommendation, very low quality evidence).
- In adults with COVID-19, the panel suggests starting supplemental oxygen if the peripheral oxygen saturation (SPO2) is < 92% (weak recommendation, low quality evidence), and recommends starting supplemental oxygen if SPO2 is < 90% (strong recommendation, moderate quality evidence).
- In adults with COVID-19 and acute hypoxemic respiratory failure on oxygen, the panel recommends that SPO2 be maintained no higher than 96% (strong recommendation, moderate quality evidence).
- In mechanically ventilated adults with COVID-19 and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), the panel recommends using low tidal volume (Vt) ventilation (Vt 4-8 mL/kg of predicted body weight), over higher tidal volumes (Vt>8 mL/kg) (strong recommendation, moderate quality evidence); targeting plateau pressures (Pplat) of < 30 cm H2O (strong recommendation, moderate quality evidence); and using a conservative fluid strategy over a liberal fluid strategy (weak recommendation, low quality evidence).
- In mechanically ventilated adults with COVID-19 and respiratory failure (without ARDS), the panel suggests against the routine use of systemic corticosteroids (weak recommendation, low quality evidence).
- In mechanically ventilated adults with COVID-19 and ARDS, the panel suggests using systemic corticosteroids, over not using corticosteroids (weak recommendation, low quality evidence).
- In mechanically ventilated patients with COVID-19 and respiratory failure, the panel suggests using empiric antimicrobials/antibacterial agents, over no antimicrobials (weak recommendation, low quality evidence).
- For critically ill adults with COVID-19 who develop fever, the panel suggests using acetaminophen/paracetamol for temperature control, over no treatment (weak recommendation, low quality evidence).
- For critically ill adults with COVID-19, the panel suggests against the routine use of lopinavir/ritonavir (weak recommendation, low quality evidence).
- There is insufficient evidence to issue a recommendation on the use of other antiviral agents in critically ill adults with COVID-19.
18 mars 2020
Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin as a treatment of COVID-19: results of an open label non-randomized clinical trial
pdf article to download: Hydroxychloroquine_final_DOI_IJAA
Percentage of patients with PCR-positive nasopharyngeal samples from inclusion to day 6 post-inclusion in COVID-19 patients treated with hydroxychloroquine only, in COVID-19 patients treated with hydroxychloroquine and azithomycin combination, and in COVID-19 control patients.
Please cite this work as Gautret et al. (2020) Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin as a treatment of COVID‐19: results of an open‐label non‐randomized clinical trial. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents – In Press 17 March 2020 – DOI : 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2020.105949
Seasonal flu is causing many more deaths than COVID-19. The problem is that people die because what is communicated is often a response to fear generated by our present mass communication leaving out the complete picture. Unfortunately, government bureaucrats choose their own prejudiced focuses, and rely on what they and the majority want to believe.
Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with numbers constantly escalating, estimates that more 34 million people have been sickened by the flu, from 350,000 to 620,000 people have been hospitalized, and from 20,000 to 52,000 people have died from it. COVID-19 cases pale in comparison to the number of flu cases, and unlike COVID-19, seasonal flu is in every state and every community in the US. Like hurricanes, the magnitude of Katrina, Ebola, HIV, MERS, SARS, H1N1 flu, and on and on, true freedom only exists within the bounds of immutable Law.
What Has President Trump Accomplished?
Despite all the hindrance of the unconstitutional actions of a Congress violating their oaths of office, the following is but a partial list of all he has accomplished since taking office.
* President Trump recently signed into law three bills to benefit Native Americans. One gives compensation to a Spokane tribe for loss of their lands in the mid-1900s, one funds native language programs, and the third gives federal recognition to the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians in Montana.
* He finalized the creation of Space Force as our 6th Military branch.
* Our President signed a law to make cruelty to animals a federal felony so that animal abusers face tougher consequences.
* Violent crime has fallen every year he’s been in office after rising during the 2 years before he was elected.
* Trump’s EPA gave $100 million to fix the water infrastructure problem in Flint, Michigan.
* Under Trump’s leadership, in 2018 the U.S. surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest producer of crude oil. We are energy independent.
* Trump signed a law ending the gag orders on pharmacists that prevented them from sharing money-saving information.
* Trump signed the “Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act” (FOSTA), which includes the “Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act” (SESTA) which both give law enforcement and victims new tools to fight sex trafficking.
* Trump signed a bill to require airports to provide spaces for breastfeeding moms.
* The 25% lowest-paid Americans enjoyed a 4.5% income boost in November 2019, which outpaces a 2.9% gain in earnings for the country’s highest-paid workers.
* Low-wage workers are benefiting from higher minimum wages and from corporations that are increasing entry-level pay.
* Trump signed the biggest wilderness protection and conservation bill in a decade and designated 375,000 acres as protected land.
* Trump signed the Save our Seas Act which funds $10 million per year to clean tons of plastic and garbage from the ocean.
* He signed a bill this year allowing some drug imports from Canada so that prescription prices would go down.
* Trump signed an executive order this year that forces all healthcare providers to disclose the cost of their services so that Americans can comparison shop and know how much less providers charge insurance companies.
* When signing that bill he said no American should be blindsided by bills for medical services they never agreed to in advance.
* Hospitals will now be required to post their standard charges for services, which include the discounted price a hospital is willing to accept.
* In the eight years prior to President Trump’s inauguration, prescription drug prices increased by an average of 3.6% per year. Under Trump, drug prices have seen year-over-year declines in nine of the last ten months, with a 1.1% drop as of the most recent month.
* He created a White House VA Hotline to help veterans and principally staffed it with veterans and direct family members of veterans.
* VA employees are being held accountable for poor performance, with more than 4,000 VA employees removed, demoted, and suspended so far.
* Issued an executive order requiring the Secretaries of Defense, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs to submit a joint plan to provide veterans access to access to mental health treatment as they transition to civilian life.
* Because of a bill signed and championed by Trump, In 2020, most federal employees will see their pay increase by an average of 3.1% — the largest raise in more than 10 years.
* Trump signed into a law up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave for millions of federal workers.
* Trump administration will provide HIV prevention drugs for free to 200,000 uninsured patients per year for 11 years.
* All-time record retail sales during the 2019 holidays.
* Trump signed an order allowing small businesses to group together when buying insurance to get a better price
* President Trump signed the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act that provides funding for states to develop maternal mortality reviews to better understand maternal complications and identify solutions and largely focuses on reducing the higher mortality rates for Black Americans.
* In 2018, President Trump signed the groundbreaking First Step Act, a criminal justice bill which enacted reforms that make our justice system fairer and help former inmates successfully return to society.
* The First Step Act’s reforms addressed inequities in sentencing laws that disproportionately harmed Black Americans and reformed mandatory minimums that created unfair outcomes.
* The First Step Act expanded judicial discretion in sentencing of non-violent crimes.
* Over 90% of those benefiting from the retroactive sentencing reductions in the First Step Act are Black Americans.
* The First Step Act provides rehabilitative programs to inmates, helping them successfully rejoin society and not return to crime.
* Trump increased funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) by more than 14%.
* Trump signed legislation forgiving Hurricane Katrina debt that threatened HBCUs.
* New single-family home sales are up 31.6% in October 2019 compared to just one year ago.
* Made HBCUs a priority by creating the position of executive director of the White House Initiative on HBCUs.
* Trump received the Bipartisan Justice Award at a historically black college for his criminal justice reform accomplishments.
* The poverty rate fell to a 17-year low of 11.8% under the Trump administration as a result of a jobs-rich environment.
* Poverty rates for African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans have reached their lowest levels since the U.S. began collecting such data.
* President Trump signed a bill that creates five national monuments, expands several national parks, adds 1.3 million acres of wilderness, and permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
* Trump’s USDA committed $124 Million to rebuild rural water infrastructure.
* Consumer confidence and small business confidence is at an all time high.
* More than 7 million jobs created since election.
* More Americans are now employed than ever recorded before in our history.
* More than 400,000 manufacturing jobs created since his election.
* Trump appointed 5 openly gay ambassadors.
* Trump ordered Ric Grenell, his openly gay ambassador to Germany, to lead a global initiative to decriminalize homosexuality across the globe. This is the same man he recently appointed to replace Macgruder as temporary head of NIS, and now under fire from the Left and the Establishment.
* Through Trump’s Anti-Trafficking Coordination Team (ACTeam) initiative, Federal law enforcement more than doubled convictions of human traffickers and increased the number of defendants charged by 75% in ACTeam districts.
* In 2018, the Department of Justice (DoJ) dismantled an organization that was the internet’s leading source of prostitution-related advertisements resulting in sex trafficking.
* Trump’s OMB published new anti-trafficking guidance for government procurement officials to more effectively combat human trafficking.
* Trump’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations arrested 1,588 criminals associated with Human Trafficking.
* Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services provided funding to support the National Human Trafficking Hotline to identify perpetrators and give victims the help they need.
* The hotline identified 16,862 potential human trafficking cases.
* Trump’s DoJ provided grants to organizations that support human trafficking victims – serving nearly 9,000 cases from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018.
* The Department of Homeland Security has hired more victim assistance specialists, helping victims get resources and support.
* President Trump has called on Congress to pass school choice legislation so that no child is trapped in a failing school because of his or her zip code.
* The President signed funding legislation in September 2018 that increased funding for school choice by $42 million.
* The tax cuts signed into law by President Trump promote school choice by allowing families to use 529 college savings plans for elementary and secondary education.
* Under his leadership ISIS has lost most of their territory and been largely dismantled.
* ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was killed.
* Signed the first Perkins CTE reauthorization since 2006, authorizing more than $1 billion for states each year to fund vocational and career education programs.
* Executive order expanding apprenticeship opportunities for students and workers.
* Trump issued an Executive Order prohibiting the U.S. government from discriminating against Christians or punishing expressions of faith.
* Signed an executive order that allows the government to withhold money from college campuses deemed to be anti-Semitic and who fail to combat anti-Semitism.
* President Trump ordered a halt to U.S. tax money going to international organizations that fund or perform abortions.
* Trump imposed sanctions on the socialists in Venezuela who have killed their citizens.
* Finalized new trade agreement with South Korea.
* Made a deal with the European Union to increase U.S. energy exports to Europe.
* Withdrew the U.S. from the job killing TPP deal.
* Secured $250 billion in new trade and investment deals in China and $12 billion in Vietnam.
* Okayed up to $12 billion in aid for farmers affected by unfair trade retaliation.
* Has had over a dozen US hostages freed, including those Obama could not get freed.
* Trump signed the Music Modernization Act, the biggest change to copyright law in decades.
* Trump secured billions that will fund the building of a wall at our southern border.
* The Trump Administration is promoting second chance hiring to give former inmates the opportunity to live crime-free lives and find meaningful employment.
* Trump’s DOJ and the Board Of Prisons launched a new “Ready to Work Initiative” to help connect employers directly with former prisoners.
* President Trump’s historic tax cut legislation included new Opportunity Zone Incentives to promote investment in low-income communities across the country.
* 8,764 communities across the country have been designated as Opportunity Zones.
* Opportunity Zones are expected to spur $100 billion in long-term private capital investment in economically distressed communities across the country.
* Trump directed the Education Secretary to end Common Core.
* Trump signed the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund into law.
* Trump signed measure funding prevention programs for Veteran suicide.
* Companies have brought back over a trillion dollars from overseas because of the TCJA bill that Trump signed.
* Manufacturing jobs are growing at the fastest rate in more than 30 years.
* The Stock Market has reached record highs.
* Median household income has hit highest level ever recorded.
* African-American unemployment is at an all time low.
* Hispanic-American unemployment is at an all time low.
* Asian-American unemployment is at an all time low.
* Women’s unemployment rate is at a 65 year low.
* Youth unemployment is at a 50 year low.
* We have the lowest unemployment rate ever recorded.
* The Pledge to America’s Workers has resulted in employers committing to train more than 4 million Americans.
* 95 percent of U.S. manufacturers are optimistic about the future — the highest ever.
* As a result of the Republican tax bill, small businesses will have the lowest top marginal tax rate in more than 80 years.
* Record number of regulations eliminated that hurt small businesses.
* Signed welfare reform requiring able-bodied adults who don’t have children to work or look for work if they’re on welfare.
* Under Trump, the FDA approved more affordable generic drugs than ever before in history.
* Reformed Medicare program to stop hospitals from overcharging low-income seniors on their drugs—saving seniors 100’s of millions of $$$ this year alone.
* Signed Right-To-Try legislation allowing terminally ill patients to try experimental treatment that wasn’t allowed before.
* Secured $6 billion in new funding to fight the opioid epidemic.
* Signed VA Choice Act and VA Accountability Act, expanded VA telehealth services, walk-in-clinics, and same-day urgent primary and mental health care.
* U.S. oil production recently reached all-time high so we are less dependent on oil from the Middle East.
* The U.S. is a net natural gas exporter for the first time since 1957.
* NATO allies increased their defense spending because of his pressure campaign.
* Withdrew the United States from the job-killing Paris Climate Accord in 2017 and that same year the U.S. still led the world by having the largest reduction in Carbon emissions.
* Has his circuit court judge nominees being confirmed faster than any other new administration.
* Had his Supreme Court Justice’s Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh confirmed. Remember that prior to the election, we published an article that said that if for no other reason than to prevent the judicial activism tyranny, he should be elected to nominate judges loyal to the original intention of the Constitution.
* Moved U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
* Agreed to a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada that will increase jobs here and result in billions coming in.
* Reached a breakthrough agreement with the E.U. to increase U.S. exports.
* Imposed tariffs on China in response to China’s forced technology transfer, intellectual property theft, and their chronically abusive trade practices, and has agreed to a Part One trade deal with China.
* Signed legislation to improve the National Suicide Hotline.
* Signed the most comprehensive childhood cancer legislation ever into law, which will advance childhood cancer research and improve treatments.
* The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law by Trump doubled the maximum amount of the child tax credit available to parents and lifted the income limits so more people could claim it.
* It also created a new tax credit for other dependents.
* In 2018, President Trump signed into law a $2.4 billion funding increase for the Child Care and Development Fund, providing a total of $8.1 billion to States to fund child care for low-income families.
* The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC) signed into law by Trump provides a tax credit equal to 20-35% of child care expenses, $3,000 per child and $6,000 per family + Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) allow you to set aside up to $5,000 in pre-tax dollars to use for child care.
* In 2019 President Donald Trump signed the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education and Support Act (CARES) into law which allocates $1.8 billion in funding over the next five years to help people with autism spectrum disorder and to help their families.
* In 2019 President Trump signed into law two funding packages providing nearly $19 million in new funding for Lupus specific research and education programs, as well an additional $41.7 billion in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the most Lupus funding ever.
* Another upcoming accomplishment to add: In the next week or two Trump will be signing the first major anti-robocall law in decades called the TRACED Act (Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence.) Once it’s the law, the TRACED Act will extend the period of time the FCC has to catch and punish those who intentionally break telemarketing restrictions. The bill also requires voice service providers to develop a framework to verify calls are legitimate before they reach your phone.
* US stock market continually hits all-time record highs.
* While fighting the obstruction of Congress trying to prevent him from fulfilling his promises to the American people, among other actions never reported by the liberal media, he has quietly used DoD money to build the border wall. The expressed intention of the Constitution is to “provide for the common defense”.
President Trump has misspoken, and has admitted to his past failures, but he has never violated his oath of office! On that note, the Constitution places the responsibility for ambassadors and foreign affairs on him except for the Senate’s advise and consent authority. It is his duty to prevent American taxpayer money from funding foreign government corruption!!!
His past is public record, as is his integrity in keeping his promises. The only perfect person died over two thousand years ago. Our enemies spew their smokescreen of lies and deceptions in their attack on America aided by the traitors in the liberal media. We are in a great civil war.
From socialism to unbridled capitalism, this President fights with a sword of justice for all.
Dismiss the Impeachment Trial
Without any evidence admissible under the Federal Rules of Evidence indicating a crime or misdemeanor, and no crime or misdemeanor defined by the U.S. Code included in any count of the Articles of Impeachment of President Trump, the Senate trial should be dismissed for the lack of grounds.
Whether by a Senate vote to dismiss or by an action before the Supreme Court, this blatant attack on the Constitution by members of Congress must not be tolerated. If dismissed by Senate vote, any Senator may still pursue a ruling / writ of certiorari by the Supreme Court determining whether any impeachment can be brought without any evidence of a crime or misdemeanor, itself violating the Constitution.
Secondly, this action by some members of the House advanced by some members of the Senate is a violation of those members oath of office, and they must be held accountable.
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution.
Worse, this egregious action by those we elect to offices of honor and trust is another in the ongoing attacks of these domestic enemies on the very heart of Constitution. The structure and language of the Constitution are framed to carry out and enable the Framers’ intention. That intention is ideologically declared, in part, in the Declaration of Independence, and is further expanded upon in the voluminous writings of the Framers and Founders such as are found in the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers. Records of the Constitutional Convention and the first Congresses confirm the Framers’ intention that there be justice for all! Additionally, those same public records emphasize the Framers’ fear of the public majority, and their intention to limit the Federal government.
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Reflected in those writings are intentions that may not be displaced by those seeking to destroy all that made America great. Most important for any law and particularly the “supreme law of the land” is the reality that without holding to the intention of the makers of the law, the opinions and interpretations of those holding the reins of political power result in injustice and tyranny. In the instance before us, members of the House attempt to violate the Constitution on multiple counts to institute their own laws and deprive us of the freedoms the Bill of Rights is intended to protect.
Most threatening to liberty and justice for all is the fact that these traitors are also members of the same party that championed the slavery that led to the Civil War. Now they attempt to enslave voters succumbing to their bribes soliciting their votes seeking election to public office. They seek to eliminate the checks and balances on governments the Framers put in place to protect minorities from the injustice of majorities. They seek to make government a god eliminating the “one Nation under God” intended and paid for in blood and sacrifice by the men and women who gave birth to America. Instead of relying on the Laws of “divine Providence” whose Author provided the countless miracles which enabled a segment of the colonists who had no army, no navy, and no unified military organization to defeat the mightiest army and navy of their time, they call to the religions of humanism to reject and ignore the truths of science and history.
It is these ideologic enemies who ignore, reject, and seek to replace the structure of government protecting us from unjust government power with three separate and equal branches. Already succeeding in abrogating and removing many states’ rights and taxing us with indirect taxes, Congress makes laws and privileges for itself that remain unavailable to the common citizen. Running amuck over civil rights, the tyranny of the administrative state they fund and institute operates without reasonable and appropriate Congressional oversight. These same enemies suggest and promote doing away with the Electoral College; enslaving Americans with a socialist agenda; tolerating unbridled capitalism; and burdening our “posterity” with unconscionable debt.
These public enemies would have us forget the lessons of the past. Not having enough workers with a work ethic and skills necessary to succeed in a free and just environment nearly brought disaster to the Jamestown colony. Governor Bradford of the Plymouth Colony writes of the failures of socialism. President Washington warns of the failures of government currently afflicting our Nation. President Lincoln lived and died fighting the party now still seeking to divide us. Bonhoeffer warned us of the toleration of unjust government. Truman showed us the cost of just resolve. Rev. Dr. M.L. King, Jr. showed us the success of just dedication and sacrifice. President Reagan orchestrated the downfall of the Soviet Union. Mother Theresa showed us grace and compassion.
The Senate must confront and defeat this attack on the Constitution by dismissing the impeachment trial, and seek judgment on those attacking this one Nation under God.
When you think about racial equality and civil rights, which political party comes to mind? The Republicans? Or, the Democrats? Most people would probably say the Democrats. But this answer is incorrect.
Since its founding in 1829, the Democratic Party has fought against every major civil rights initiative, and has a long history of discrimination.
The Democratic Party defended slavery, started the Civil War, opposed Reconstruction, founded the Ku Klux Klan, imposed segregation, perpetrated lynchings, and fought against the civil rights acts of the 1950s and 1960s.
In contrast, the Republican Party was founded in 1854 as an anti-slavery party. Its mission was to stop the spread of slaver y into the new western territories with the aim of abolishing it entirely. This effort, however, was dealt a major blow by the Supreme Court. In the 1857 case Dred Scott v. Sandford, the court ruled that slaves aren’t citizens; they’re property. The seven justices who voted in favor of slavery? All Democrats. The two justices who dissented? Both Republicans.
The slavery question was, of course, ultimately resolved by a bloody civil war. The commander-in-chief during that war was the first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln – the man who freed the slaves.
Six days after the Confederate army surrendered, John Wilkes Booth, a Democrat, assassinated President Lincoln. Lincoln’s vice president, a Democrat named Andrew Johnson, assumed the presidency. But Johnson adamantly opposed Lincoln’s plan to integrate the newly freed slaves into the South’s economic and social order.
Johnson and the Democratic Party were unified in their opposition to the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery; the 14th Amendment, which gave blacks citizenship; and the 15th Amendment, which gave blacks the vote. All three passed only because of universal Republican support.
During the era of Reconstruction, federal troops stationed in the south helped secure rights for the newly freed slaves. Hundreds of black men were elected to southern state legislatures as Republicans, and 22 black Republicans served in the US Congress by 1900. The Democrats did not elect a black man to Congress until 1935.
But after Reconstruction ended, when the federal troops went home, Democrats roared back into power in the South. They quickly reestablished white supremacy across the region with measures like black codes – laws that restricted the ability of blacks to own property and run businesses. And they imposed poll taxes and literacy tests, used to subvert the black citizen’s right to vote.
And how was all of this enforced? By terror — much of it instigated by the Ku Klux Klan, founded by a Democrat, Nathan Bedford Forrest.
As historian Eric Foner – himself a Democrat – notes: “In effect, the Klan was a military force serving the interests of the Democratic Party.”
President Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, shared many views with the Klan. He re-segregated many federal agencies, and even screened the first movie ever played at the White House – the racist film “The Birth of a Nation,” originally entitled “The Clansman.”
A few decades later, the only serious congressional opposition to the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 came from Democrats. Eighty percent of Republicans in Congress supported the bill. Less than 70 percent of Democrats did. Democratic senators filibustered the bill for 75 days, until Republicans mustered the few extra votes needed to break the logjam.
And when all of their efforts to enslave blacks, keep them enslaved, and then keep them from voting had failed, the Democrats came up with a new strategy: If black people are going to vote, they might as well vote for Democrats. As President Lyndon Johnson was purported to have said about the Civil Rights Act, “I’ll have them n*****s voting Democrat for two hundred years.”
So now, the Democratic Party prospers on the votes of the very people it has spent much of its history oppressing.
Democrats falsely claim that the Republican Party is the villain, when in reality it’s the failed policies of the Democratic Party that have kept blacks down. Massive government welfare has decimated the black family. Opposition to school choice has kept them trapped in failing schools. Politically correct policing has left black neighborhoods defenseless against violent crime.
So, when you think about racial equality and civil rights, which political party should come to mind?
Carol Swain, former professor of political science and law at Vanderbilt University.
This Committee wrote in Impeachment, All Smoke and Mirrors – An Attempt to Cover Up the Truth, suggesting that as in all their ongoing attacks on America, liberals and their media allies not only disseminate lies and deceptions, they egregiously violate the original intention of the Constitution attempting to obscure and distract from the indelible truths of history.
Sunday, 5 January, 2020
When Shiite members of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) attacked the American embassy in Baghdad, in a deliberate recreation of the attack on our embassy in Tehran that had ushered in a new age of Shiite terror, the media was quick to label it ‘Trump’s Benghazi’.
The parallels are certainly there.
In both Benghazi and Baghdad, Islamist terror militias who we thought were our allies turned on the United States. In both cases, there was nothing surprising or unexpected about this inevitable development to anyone except foreign policy experts and the media.
And, in both Benghazi and Baghdad, the Obama administration’s policy of cultivating Islamic terrorists had come home to roost.
The Islamists who attacked the embassy were not Trump’s allies, but Obama’s allies.
When Hadi al-Amiri, the head of the Badr Brigade, the former military wing of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, came to the White House, it was in 2011, not 2017.
The close IRGC ally was welcomed by Barack Obama, and played a role in the embassy attack. The IRGC, Iran’s global terror hub, had been listed as a terror group by President Trump, a move resisted by Barack Obama dating back to his time in the Senate.
Once in the White House, Obama’s policies so empowered and enabled the IRGC that in one of the most infamous incidents in American history, members of the Islamic terror group captured and humiliated American sailors. There is little doubt that the IRGC was the hidden hand behind the embassy attack in Baghdad through its PMF proxies.
The rise of ISIS and the attack on our embassy in Baghdad had their roots in Obama’s backing for Iraq’s Shiite dominated government in Baghdad. The Bush administration had tried to unite Sunni and Shiite Muslims into a political system that would sideline Al Qaeda on the Sunni side and Iran on the Shiite side. Iraqi civil society was probably always doomed, but Obama’s Iraq policy was to turn the country over to the terrorists.
Obama wanted to pull out of Iraq as soon as possible. His plan for a quick pullout was to allow Iran a free hand in Baghdad. Iraq’s central government dominated by Shiite Islamists loyal to Iran allowed Islamic militias backed and trained by Iran to execute gays and impose Islamic law in the streets. The Sunni tribal leaders who had made the ‘awakening’ against Al Qaeda possible were ignored when they came to D.C. seeking support against Iran.
While the media went on touting Obama’s incredible successes in Iraq, the country split into two terror camps. While the Popular Mobilization Forces rolled up Shiite areas, Al Qaeda in Iraq reinvented itself as ISIS.
Unlike President Trump, Obama chose not to hit ISIS hard. Instead, after Iraq’s military collapsed, his administration’s anti-ISIS strategy relied heavily on supporting the Shiite PMF militias which included embedded Iranian forces.
Obama had helped birth the Islamic State by backing Iran’s takeover of Iraq. Forced to fight ISIS, he doubled down on the same strategy. And that completed the takeover.
The marginalization of the Kurds, whose attempts at creating an independent state were crushed by the Shiite regime in Baghdad, and the Sunnis, who had been caught between Iran and ISIS, ended military opposition to the Iranian takeover of Iraq.
But political protests against the Iranian puppet regime broke out, leading to violent clashes between protesters and PMF thugs, PMF attacks on Americans, American retaliation against PMFs, and the attack on the United States embassy by the PMFs.
Iran’s takeover of Iraq, like its involvement in Yemen’s civil war, in Lebanon, Syria, and Gaza, had been funded by the wages of Obama’s nuclear sellout. The billions that the Obama administration had directly and indirectly handed to the terrorists of Tehran were used to fund soft and hard influence across the region.
The Iran deal didn’t just mean that the terror regime was able to continue building up its nuclear program, but that it could increase its financial commitments to Hamas, help build up Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen, and the PMFs in Iraq.
Iran had four things to offer its Shiite (and occasional Sunni fellow travelers ranging from Hamas to Al Qaeda) Islamist allies. These were weapons, training, a global network, and money. Of these money was the most generic, but also the most important.
Islamic terrorism is only partly built on the suicidal fanatics willing to die for Allah. It’s mostly built on amateur and professional killers who want to get paid.
Choke off the money and recruitment drops
Under Obama, billions in foreign currency were illegally flown into Iran on unmarked cargo planes, but Trump cut off the cash.
The cash crunch not only weakened Iran’s regime, where fresh protests arose, but its terror networks, including in Iraq, began facing their own cash shortages. And so Iran’s rulers, their IRGC hidden hand, and their Islamist PMF proxies decided to send America and the protesters a message.
Earlier this year, the Trump administration had sanctioned the South Wealth Resources Company (SWRC), allegedly a key conduit for the IRGC’s ability to smuggle weapons and money in and through Iraq.
The sanctioning of the IRGC itself had met with anger from the Badr Brigade and Hadi al-Amiri. The conflict escalated with Kataeb Hezbollah, a PMF, attacking Americans. The death of an American contractor in a Kataeb Hezbollah rocket attack raised the stakes. President Trump struck back with airstrikes against Kataeb Hezbollah. And Kataeb Hezbollah attacked the embassy.
Kataeb Hezbollah is another project of the IRGC and is led by Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis who was part of the attack on the embassy. Muhandis is the Deputy Commander of PMF who is linked to the 1983 truck bombing of the US embassy in Kuwait which, had it been better planned, could have destroyed the facility.
After the airstrikes, Al-Muhandis warned, that “the response to the Americans will be harsh.”
But who helped build up this terrorist infrastructure? The Obama administration did. Beyond its illegal foreign cash shipments to Iran and the sanctions relief, the PMFs benefited from US foreign aid directed through Iraq’s Interior Ministry.
Even as Iraq’s Interior Ministry was headed by a Badr leader trained by Iranian forces who had been arrested for smuggling explosives used to attack American soldiers, our foreign aid kept flowing through an Iraqi ministry run by terrorists.
The Obama administration was funding terrorists to fight terrorism. It was the same disastrous scenario that had led to the massacre in Benghazi.
The only difference was that the blowback took longer to arrive in Baghdad than it did in Benghazi.
Obama’s foreign policy operatives and the media have blamed the embassy attack on Trump’s pressure on Iran, rather than on Obama’s appeasement of Iran.
This is a variation of the same cynical Obama administration strategy which manufactured a fake intelligence community consensus blaming Benghazi on a protest over a Mohammed YouTube video, instead of a coordinated transnational wave of Islamist attacks coordinated well ahead of time to coincide with September 11.
The Obama administration may be history, but the damage it did still revebrates through the region as the Islamist forces it unleashed continue to tear apart nations and to threaten American lives.
The Attack On America – Here and Now
Prior to the attack on America on September 11, 2001, the first edition of The Attack on America described the constant presence in societies throughout the ages of those emanating evil and injustice who perpetrate the attacks on those seeking to live, according to the words of the Declaration of Independence, availing themselves of those “unalienable Rights” “endowed by our Creator’.
It looks at the progressions from the Framers’ and Founders’ intentions described in the ideologic preamble to the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, to governments arising from and motivated by the rejection of truth and justice as defined by immutable Law. From studying history to five hundred before Christ, those who gave birth to America saw that the immutable Law displayed in “the laws of Nature, and of Nature’s God” translated into the unchanging reality of human behavior. “Before matter, energy, time, space, and all abstract reality, there was first Law giving everything order.” – The Attack on America
Focusing on the history of the American political tradition, it follows the ideologic changes in America from colonists in the first Great Awakening, through the Revolution, the great Civil War, etc. to the present.
The 2nd edition of The Attack on America discusses and validates what the First Edition forecasts. Not a prediction, it highlights the consequences of failed human behavior throughout history magnified and accentuated in political action.
Beyond Reason examines, in detail, the how and the why humanity has constantly and repetitively rejected Truth and Justice to embrace the failed ideologies of its own invention. Studying history in the American political tradition, it is abundantly apparent and vividly displayed that the crises we exist in are a result of following the lies and deceptions unrelentingly tempting our species in every environment and political organization over time.
Set My People Free examines how individual error and failure, when translated by choice to the political organizations we empower and authorize, result in governments that never succeed or endure. “True freedom is found within the bounds of God’s intention.” – Set My People Free
Attorney General Barr’s comments below reiterate and emphasize the messages and truths expressed in The Attack on America, Beyond Reason, and Set My People Free. Liberty and justice for all as defined by immutable Law evinced in the indelible reality of true science and history uncontaminated by lies, deceptions, discrimination, and prejudice are the prime requisites of any successful enduring government. Called by any name, in any belief system, whether acknowledging or denying the one true God, the Ten Commandments control all human relationships.
The attack on America is here and now! Those “domestic” enemies in our midst, some would call traitors, were and are recognized by those who paid and pay for our freedom.
Attorney General William P. Barr’s Remarks to the Law School and the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture at the University of Notre Dame
South Bend, IN | Friday, October 11, 2019
Thank you to the Notre Dame Law School and the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture for graciously extending an invitation to address you today. I’d also like to express gratitude to Tony de Nicola, whose generous support has shaped – and continues to shape – countless minds through examination of the Catholic moral and intellectual tradition.
Today, I would like to share some thoughts with you about religious liberty in America. It’s an important priority in this Administration and for this Department of Justice.
We have set up a task force within the Department with different components that have equities in this area, including the Solicitor General’s Office, the Civil Division, the Office of Legal Counsel, and other offices. We have regular meetings. We keep an eye out for cases or events around the country where states are misapplying the Establishment Clause in a way that discriminates against people of faith, or cases where states adopt laws that impinge upon the free exercise of religion.
From the Founding Era onward, there was strong consensus about the centrality of religious liberty in the United States.
The imperative of protecting religious freedom was not just a nod in the direction of piety. It reflects the Framers’ belief that religion was indispensable to sustaining our free system of government.
In his renowned 1785 pamphlet, “Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments,” James Madison described religious liberty as “a right towards men” but “a duty towards the Creator,” and a “duty….precedent both in order of time and degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society.”
It has been over 230 years since that small group of colonial lawyers led a revolution and launched what they viewed as a great experiment, establishing a society fundamentally different than those that had gone before.
They crafted a magnificent charter of freedom – the United States Constitution – which provides for limited government, while leaving “the People” broadly at liberty to pursue our lives both as individuals and through free associations.
This quantum leap in liberty has been the mainspring of unprecedented human progress, not only for Americans, but for people around the world.
In the 20th century, our form of free society faced a severe test.
There had always been the question whether a democracy so solicitous of individual freedom could stand up against a regimented totalitarian state.
That question was answered with a resounding “yes” as the United States stood up against and defeated, first fascism, and then communism.
But in the 21st century, we face an entirely different kind of challenge.
The challenge we face is precisely what the Founding Fathers foresaw would be our supreme test as a free society.
They never thought the main danger to the republic came from external foes. The central question was whether, over the long haul, we could handle freedom. The question was whether the citizens in such a free society could maintain the moral discipline and virtue necessary for the survival of free institutions.
By and large, the Founding generation’s view of human nature was drawn from the classical Christian tradition.
These practical statesmen understood that individuals, while having the potential for great good, also had the capacity for great evil.
Men are subject to powerful passions and appetites, and, if unrestrained, are capable of ruthlessly riding roughshod over their neighbors and the community at large.
No society can exist without some means for restraining individual rapacity.
But, if you rely on the coercive power of government to impose restraints, this will inevitably lead to a government that is too controlling, and you will end up with no liberty, just tyranny.
On the other hand, unless you have some effective restraint, you end up with something equally dangerous – licentiousness – the unbridled pursuit of personal appetites at the expense of the common good. This is just another form of tyranny – where the individual is enslaved by his appetites, and the possibility of any healthy community life crumbles.
Edmund Burke summed up this point in his typically colorful language:
“Men are qualified for civil liberty, in exact proportion to their disposition to put chains upon their appetites…. Society cannot exist unless a controlling power be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”
So the Founders decided to take a gamble. They called it a great experiment.
They would leave “the People” broad liberty, limit the coercive power of the government, and place their trust in self-discipline and the virtue of the American people.
In the words of Madison, “We have staked our future on the ability of each of us to govern ourselves…”
This is really what was meant by “self-government.” It did not mean primarily the mechanics by which we select a representative legislative body. It referred to the capacity of each individual to restrain and govern themselves.
But what was the source of this internal controlling power? In a free republic, those restraints could not be handed down from above by philosopher kings.
Instead, social order must flow up from the people themselves – freely obeying the dictates of inwardly-possessed and commonly-shared moral values. And to control willful human beings, with an infinite capacity to rationalize, those moral values must rest on authority independent of men’s will – they must flow from a transcendent Supreme Being.
In short, in the Framers’ view, free government was only suitable and sustainable for a religious people – a people who recognized that there was a transcendent moral order antecedent to both the state and man-made law and who had the discipline to control themselves according to those enduring principles.
As John Adams put it, “We have no government armed with the power which is capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.”
As Father John Courtney Murray observed, the American tenet was not that:
“Free government is inevitable, only that it is possible, and that its possibility can be realized only when the people as a whole are inwardly governed by the recognized imperatives of the universal moral order.”
How does religion promote the moral discipline and virtue needed to support free government?
First, it gives us the right rules to live by. The Founding generation were Christians. They believed that the Judeo-Christian moral system corresponds to the true nature of man. Those moral precepts start with the two great commandments – to Love God with your whole heart, soul, and mind; and to Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself.
But they also include the guidance of natural law – a real, transcendent moral order which flows from God’s eternal law – the divine wisdom by which the whole of creation is ordered. The eternal law is impressed upon, and reflected in, all created things.
From the nature of things we can, through reason, experience, discern standards of right and wrong that exist independent of human will.
Modern secularists dismiss this idea of morality as other-worldly superstition imposed by a kill-joy clergy. In fact, Judeo-Christian moral standards are the ultimate utilitarian rules for human conduct.
They reflect the rules that are best for man, not in the by and by, but in the here and now. They are like God’s instruction manual for the best running of man and human society.
By the same token, violations of these moral laws have bad, real-world consequences for man and society. We may not pay the price immediately, but over time the harm is real.
Religion helps promote moral discipline within society. Because man is fallen, we don’t automatically conform ourselves to moral rules even when we know they are good for us.
But religion helps teach, train, and habituate people to want what is good. It does not do this primarily by formal laws – that is, through coercion. It does this through moral education and by informing society’s informal rules – its customs and traditions which reflect the wisdom and experience of the ages.
In other words, religion helps frame moral culture within society that instills and reinforces moral discipline.
I think we all recognize that over the past 50 years religion has been under increasing attack.
On the one hand, we have seen the steady erosion of our traditional Judeo-Christian moral system and a comprehensive effort to drive it from the public square.
On the other hand, we see the growing ascendancy of secularism and the doctrine of moral relativism.
By any honest assessment, the consequences of this moral upheaval have been grim.
Virtually every measure of social pathology continues to gain ground.
In 1965, the illegitimacy rate was eight percent. In 1992, when I was last Attorney General, it was 25 percent. Today it is over 40 percent. In many of our large urban areas, it is around 70 percent.
Along with the wreckage of the family, we are seeing record levels of depression and mental illness, dispirited young people, soaring suicide rates, increasing numbers of angry and alienated young males, an increase in senseless violence, and a deadly drug epidemic.
As you all know, over 70,000 people die a year from drug overdoses. That is more causalities in a year than we experienced during the entire Vietnam War.
I will not dwell on all the bitter results of the new secular age. Suffice it to say that the campaign to destroy the traditional moral order has brought with it immense suffering, wreckage, and misery. And yet, the forces of secularism, ignoring these tragic results, press on with even greater militancy.
Among these militant secularists are many so-called “progressives.” But where is the progress?
We are told we are living in a post-Christian era. But what has replaced the Judeo-Christian moral system? What is it that can fill the spiritual void in the hearts of the individual person? And what is a system of values that can sustain human social life?
The fact is that no secular creed has emerged capable of performing the role of religion.
Scholarship suggests that religion has been integral to the development and thriving of Homo sapiens since we emerged roughly 50,000 years ago. It is just for the past few hundred years we have experimented in living without religion.
We hear much today about our humane values. But, in the final analysis, what undergirds these values? What commands our adherence to them?
What we call “values” today are really nothing more than mere sentimentality, still drawing on the vapor trails of Christianity.
Now, there have been times and places where the traditional moral order has been shaken.
In the past, societies – like the human body – seem to have a self-healing mechanism – a self-correcting mechanism that gets things back on course if things go too far.
The consequences of moral chaos become too pressing. The opinion of decent people rebels. They coalesce and rally against obvious excess. Periods of moral entrenchment follow periods of excess.
This is the idea of the pendulum. We have all thought that after a while the “pendulum will swing back.”
But today we face something different that may mean that we cannot count on the pendulum swinging back.
First is the force, fervor, and comprehensiveness of the assault on religion we are experiencing today. This is not decay; it is organized destruction. Secularists, and their allies among the “progressives,” have marshaled all the force of mass communications, popular culture, the entertainment industry, and academia in an unremitting assault on religion and traditional values.
These instruments are used not only to affirmatively promote secular orthodoxy, but also drown out and silence opposing voices, and to attack viciously and hold up to ridicule any dissenters.
One of the ironies, as some have observed, is that the secular project has itself become a religion, pursued with religious fervor. It is taking on all the trappings of a religion, including inquisitions and excommunication.
Those who defy the creed risk a figurative burning at the stake – social, educational, and professional ostracism and exclusion waged through lawsuits and savage social media campaigns.
The pervasiveness and power of our high-tech popular culture fuels apostasy in another way. It provides an unprecedented degree of distraction.
Part of the human condition is that there are big questions that should stare us in the face. Are we created or are we purely material accidents? Does our life have any meaning or purpose? But, as Blaise Pascal observed, instead of grappling with these questions, humans can be easily distracted from thinking about the “final things.”
Indeed, we now live in the age of distraction where we can envelop ourselves in a world of digital stimulation and universal connectivity. And we have almost limitless ways of indulging all our physical appetites.
There is another modern phenomenon that suppresses society’s self-corrective mechanisms – that makes it harder for society to restore itself.
In the past, when societies are threatened by moral chaos, the overall social costs of licentiousness and irresponsible personal conduct becomes so high that society ultimately recoils and reevaluates the path that it is on.
But today – in the face of all the increasing pathologies – instead of addressing the underlying cause, we have the State in the role of alleviator of bad consequences. We call on the State to mitigate the social costs of personal misconduct and irresponsibility.
So the reaction to growing illegitimacy is not sexual responsibility, but abortion.
The reaction to drug addiction is safe injection sites.
The solution to the breakdown of the family is for the State to set itself up as the ersatz husband for single mothers and the ersatz father to their children.
The call comes for more and more social programs to deal with the wreckage. While we think we are solving problems, we are underwriting them.
We start with an untrammeled freedom and we end up as dependents of a coercive state on which we depend.
Interestingly, this idea of the State as the alleviator of bad consequences has given rise to a new moral system that goes hand-in-hand with the secularization of society. It can be called the system of “macro-morality.” It is in some ways an inversion of Christian morality.
Christianity teaches a micro-morality. We transform the world by focusing on our own personal morality and transformation.
The new secular religion teaches macro-morality. One’s morality is not gauged by their private conduct, but rather on their commitment to political causes and collective action to address social problems.
This system allows us to not worry so much about the strictures on our private lives, while we find salvation on the picket-line. We can signal our finely-tuned moral sensibilities by demonstrating for this cause or that.
Something happened recently that crystalized the difference between these moral systems. I was attending Mass at a parish I did not usually go to in Washington, D.C. At the end of Mass, the Chairman of the Social Justice Committee got up to give his report to the parish. He pointed to the growing homeless problem in D.C. and explained that more mobile soup kitchens were needed to feed them. This being a Catholic church, I expected him to call for volunteers to go out and provide this need. Instead, he recounted all the visits that the Committee had made to the D.C. government to lobby for higher taxes and more spending to fund mobile soup kitchen.
A third phenomenon which makes it difficult for the pendulum to swing back is the way law is being used as a battering ram to break down traditional moral values and to establish moral relativism as a new orthodoxy.
Law is being used as weapon in a couple of ways.
First, either through legislation but more frequently through judicial interpretation, secularists have been continually seeking to eliminate laws that reflect traditional moral norms.
At first, this involved rolling back laws that prohibited certain kinds of conduct. Thus, the watershed decision legalizing abortion. And since then, the legalization of euthanasia. The list goes on.
More recently, we have seen the law used aggressively to force religious people and entities to subscribe to practices and policies that are antithetical to their faith.
The problem is not that religion is being forced on others. The problem is that irreligion and secular values are being forced on people of faith.
This reminds me of how some Roman emperors could not leave their loyal Christian subjects in peace but would mandate that they violate their conscience by offering religious sacrifice to the emperor as a god.
Similarly, militant secularists today do not have a live and let live spirit – they are not content to leave religious people alone to practice their faith. Instead, they seem to take a delight in compelling people to violate their conscience.
For example, the last Administration sought to force religious employers, including Catholic religious orders, to violate their sincerely held religious views by funding contraceptive and abortifacient coverage in their health plans. Similarly, California has sought to require pro-life pregnancy centers to provide notices of abortion rights.
This refusal to accommodate the free exercise of religion is relatively recent. Just 25 years ago, there was broad consensus in our society that our laws should accommodate religious belief.
In 1993, Congress passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act – RFRA. The purpose of the statute was to promote maximum accommodation to religion when the government adopted broad policies that could impinge on religious practice.
At the time, RFRA was not controversial. It was introduced by Chuck Schumer with 170 cosponsors in the House, and was introduced by Ted Kennedy and Orrin Hatch with 59 additional cosponsors in the Senate. It passed by voice vote in the House and by a vote of 97-3 in the Senate.
Recently, as the process of secularization has accelerated, RFRA has come under assault, and the idea of religious accommodation has fallen out of favor.
Because this Administration firmly supports accommodation of religion, the battleground has shifted to the states. Some state governments are now attempting to compel religious individuals and entities to subscribe to practices, or to espouse viewpoints, that are incompatible with their religion.
Ground zero for these attacks on religion are the schools. To me, this is the most serious challenge to religious liberty.
For anyone who has a religious faith, by far the most important part of exercising that faith is the teaching of that religion to our children. The passing on of the faith. There is no greater gift we can give our children and no greater expression of love.
For the government to interfere in that process is a monstrous invasion of religious liberty.
Yet here is where the battle is being joined, and I see the secularists are attacking on three fronts.
The first front relates to the content of public school curriculum. Many states are adopting curriculum that is incompatible with traditional religious principles according to which parents are attempting to raise their children. They often do so without any opt out for religious families.
Thus, for example, New Jersey recently passed a law requiring public schools to adopt an LGBT curriculum that many feel is inconsistent with traditional Christian teaching. Similar laws have been passed in California and Illinois. And the Orange County Board of Education in California issued an opinion that “parents who disagree with the instructional materials related to gender, gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation may not excuse their children from this instruction.”
Indeed, in some cases, the schools may not even warn parents about lessons they plan to teach on controversial subjects relating to sexual behavior and relationships.
This puts parents who dissent from the secular orthodoxy to a difficult choice: Try to scrape together the money for private school or home schooling, or allow their children to be inculcated with messages that they fundamentally reject.
A second axis of attack in the realm of education are state policies designed to starve religious schools of generally-available funds and encouraging students to choose secular options. Montana, for example, created a program that provided tax credits to those who donated to a scholarship program that underprivileged students could use to attend private school. The point of the program was to provide greater parental and student choice in education and to provide better educations to needy youth.
But Montana expressly excluded religiously-affiliated private schools from the program. And when that exclusion was challenged in court by parents who wanted to use the scholarships to attend a nondenominational Christian school, the Montana Supreme Court required the state to eliminate the program rather than allow parents to use scholarships for religious schools.
It justified this action by pointing to a provision in Montana’s State Constitution commonly referred to as a “Blaine Amendment.” Blaine Amendments were passed at a time of rampant anti-Catholic animus in this country, and typically disqualify religious institutions from receiving any direct or indirect payments from a state’s funds.
The case is now in the Supreme Court, and we filed a brief explaining why Montana’s Blaine Amendment violates the First Amendment.
A third kind of assault on religious freedom in education have been recent efforts to use state laws to force religious schools to adhere to secular orthodoxy. For example, right here in Indiana, a teacher sued the Catholic Archbishop of Indianapolis for directing the Catholic schools within his diocese that they could not employ teachers in same-sex marriages because the example of those same-sex marriages would undermine the schools’ teaching on the Catholic view of marriage and complementarity between the sexes.
This lawsuit clearly infringes the First Amendment rights of the Archdiocese by interfering both with its expressive association and with its church autonomy. The Department of Justice filed a statement of interest in the state court making these points, and we hope that the state court will soon dismiss the case.
Taken together, these cases paint a disturbing picture. We see the State requiring local public schools to insert themselves into contentious social debates, without regard for the religious views of their students or parents. In effect, these states are requiring local communities to make their public schools inhospitable to families with traditional religious values; those families are implicitly told that they should conform or leave.
At the same time, pressure is placed on religious schools to abandon their religious convictions. Simply because of their religious character, they are starved of funds – students who would otherwise choose to attend them are told they may only receive scholarships if they turn their sights elsewhere.
Simultaneously, they are threatened in tort and, eventually, will undoubtedly be threatened with denial of accreditation if they adhere to their religious character. If these measures are successful, those with religious convictions will become still more marginalized.
I do not mean to suggest that there is no hope for moral renewal in our country.
But we cannot sit back and just hope the pendulum is going to swing back toward sanity.
As Catholics, we are committed to the Judeo-Christian values that have made this country great.
And we know that the first thing we have to do to promote renewal is to ensure that we are putting our principles into practice in our own personal private lives.
We understand that only by transforming ourselves can we transform the world beyond ourselves.
This is tough work. It is hard to resist the constant seductions of our contemporary society. This is where we need grace, prayer, and the help of our church.
Beyond this, we must place greater emphasis on the moral education of our children.
Education is not vocational training. It is leading our children to the recognition that there is truth and helping them develop the faculties to discern and love the truth and the discipline to live by it.
We cannot have a moral renaissance unless we succeed in passing to the next generation our faith and values in full vigor.
The times are hostile to this. Public agencies, including public schools, are becoming secularized and increasingly are actively promoting moral relativism.
If ever there was a need for a resurgence of Catholic education – and more generally religiously-affiliated schools – it is today.
I think we should do all we can to promote and support authentic Catholic education at all levels.
Finally, as lawyers, we should be particularly active in the struggle that is being waged against religion on the legal plane.
We must be vigilant to resist efforts by the forces of secularization to drive religious viewpoints from the public square and to impinge upon the free exercise of our faith.
I can assure you that, as long as I am Attorney General, the Department of Justice will be at the forefront of this effort, ready to fight for the most cherished of our liberties: the freedom to live according to our faith.
Thank you for the opportunity to talk with you today. And God bless you and Notre Dame.
Protecting and Defending the Constitution Means Obeying It
The book, Set My People Free describes the failures of Congress to constitutionally address the changing political and economic circumstances of our times. It suggests constitutional remedies and solutions available for Congress to correct those failures. Only by obeying the original intention of the Constitution can those we elect to represent us protect and defend it.
With the House unconstitutionally passing Articles of Impeachment against President Trump, a whole new dimension of members of that body violating their oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution has been entered. Their actions have moved the attack on America on to a battlefield as real as any in our great Civil War. These “domestic” enemies have, with lies and deceptions, insidiously escalated the attack on America to a level surpassing that of those “foreign” enemies on September 11, 2001. They threaten the very structure of government intended and ratified in “the supreme law of the land”.
The Constitution is very clear. Impeachment shall occur for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors”. Under constitutional authority, Article I, Section 8, Congress may make laws defining such crimes and misdemeanors. Upon passage by both the House and Senate, signing by the President or override of a veto, Congress enacts law which is still subject to judicial scrutiny. The three branches have separate and equal constitutionally defined authority. Grounds for impeachment are to be found in the rule and order of law as enacted by both the Senate and House concurring.
The House and the Senate alone may only each make rules for their own conduct and administration. Nowhere in the U.S. Code is there any law unicamerally enacted or defined.
The House is without constitutional grounds to impeach except under the rule and order of law enacted under constitutionally defined due process. Abuse of power and obstruction of Congress as interpreted by the House are not found in the U.S. Code as a crime, let alone a “high” crime, or misdemeanor.
A member of the Senate should move for the Chief Justice to constitutionally dismiss the impeachment!
Alternately, Constitutional scholars can argue that the Senate with a two thirds vote could override the dismissal.
Any member of the House of Representatives voting for impeachment on the grounds of abuse of power or obstruction of Congress should be removed from office with due process for violation of their oath of office. Unfortunately, due process will not take place until after the next Congressional election assuming that those elected would uphold their oath of office.
The Constitution and the Bill of Rights afford protections and safeguards against a failed Congress, as well as against judicial activism, socialism, unbridled capitalism, and all the failed political “isms” rejected by true science and uncorrupted uncontaminated history.
But, freedom and justice for all are not free. Every loyal American must fight in this great new civil war against those “enemies, foreign and domestic” who attack the original intention of the Constitution.
Remember that without calling to the greed and avarice of the public majority, the 16th Amendment; fueling and enabling the unconstitutional tyranny of the administrative state, and responsible for the unconstitutional unconscionable national debt; would have never been ratified. Also recall that this Committee stated that if for no other reason than to confront judicial activism, President Trump should be elected. Now, those we elected betray our trust and unconstitutionally impeach a duly elected President who has sought only to fulfill his campaign promises to the American people.