George Washington

The White Protestant Roots of American Racism

The United States Capitol Building holds a fantastic piece of artwork titled The Apotheosis of Washington. The fresco was painted by Constantino Brumidi in 1865, taking 11 months. The painting was completed at the end of the Civil War, two years after the construction of the dome. It is 180 ft (55 m) above the rotunda floor, covering 4,664 square ft (433.3 m2). The figures in the painting measure up to 15 ft (4.6 m) tall.
Brumidi had previously worked in the Vatican under Pope Gregory XVI, yet worked on a Pagan masterpiece in the United States.
There are a number of different themed sections to the fresco, which highlight different aspects of America and the Greco-Roman gods who rule over them. | http://www.whiteartwork.com/the-apotheosis-of-washington/

The New Republic

The Apotheosis of Washington,” painted in 1865 by Constantino Brumidi, is a fresco of the first president of the United States ascending to the heavens. The goddesses of Victory and Liberty, along with 13 maidens who represent America’s original colonies, flank George Washington; here, he’s elevated to the status of a god (and it’s worth noting that “apotheosis” actually means “deification”). In the 150 years since Brumidi’s last brushstroke, the painting’s characters have borne silent witness to the machinations of the U.S. Congress from the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol Building. When the fresco was completed, four million black people called the United States home but were only that year able to enjoy even the most limited experience of citizenship when the Civil War ended and the Emancipation Proclamation began the process of ending slavery. Of course, Brumidi’s fresco only features white faces.

His painting illustrates the complexities of a nation inextricably informed by the religious ethics of its founders and those who continue to wield power today: Religious white men, ascending to fame on the strength of their ideals. Even those founding fathers—who identified primarily as deists—shared views that aligned with Christian theologies. American society is heavily informed by this religious foundation, specifically in terms of racial injustice, even as religious identification declines.

A recent poll conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute on police brutality showed that between December 2014 and April 2015 the percentage of white Americans who believed that police killings of black Americans were part of a broader pattern jumped from 35 percent to 43 percent. White evangelical Protestants, on the other hand, see the recent homicides as isolated incidents—62 percent of them said that police treat blacks and whites equally. This isn’t an accident of demographics; it springs from the religious framework that undergirds American societal values. To deny the ongoing influence of Protestant ethics is to be willfully ignorant.

The “Protestant work ethic” is a term coined by sociologist Max Weber, whose seminal work, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism,delineated how links made by theologians between religion, work, and capital laid the groundwork for capitalism. Calvinist theology holds that only an elect few are predestined for salvation from birth, while the rest are damned. The anxiety this produced compelled people to look for hints or signs that they were members of the elect; they believed that material success was among the most notable indicators of God’s favor. Doing the hard work of creating God’s kingdom on Earth through a secular vocation was considered a pathway to God’s grace. The opposite also held true: Just as material success indicated God’s grace, poverty was a sign that you’d been denied God’s grace. In this context, slaves could be both blamed for their own plight and have the legitimacy of their labor erased.

“When the Protestant work ethic was being developed here, many people who were in the country weren’t even considered people and that continues to inform how we think about work,” said Jennifer Harvey, a professor of religion at Drake University whose research includes the intersection of morality in the context of white supremacy. “It cannot see certain kinds of work and labor as real and therefore virtuous,” she continued. It’s easy to be outraged when something as tangible as a video of a man being executed by police surfaces, but more insidious forms of racism still permeate our views of what does and does not constitute valid work—even among those who don’t subscribe to Protestant ethics.

A survey of millennials conducted by MTV showed that only 30 percent of whites reported being raised in families that talked about race at all. Adifferent survey from PRRI in 2014 found that “[W]hile more than three-quarters (76 percent) of black Americans, and roughly six-in-ten Hispanics (62 percent) and Asian Americans (58 percent), say that one of the big problems facing the country is that not everyone is given an equal chance in life, only half (50 percent) of white Americans agree.” An even more comprehensive study of young Americans in 2012 showed that 56 percent of white millennials believe the government “paid too much attention to the problems of blacks and other minorities.” Considering the fact that so many white people were raised in families that erased race by not talking about it at all, it’s not hard to see how the government’s attention to other races could seem excessive.

Dr. Ray Winbush is the director of the Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State University, and he said that his work in Baltimore has recently increased his exposure to racial conceptions of work and goodness. “White people will say, ‘Why don’t you black people pull yourselves up by your bootstraps. This is America, everyone is free to do what they want,’” Winbush told me. “But what was the civil rights struggle of the 1960s if not the greatest self-help movement in American history?” Through the old lens of work as an act that contributes to building God’s kingdom on Earth in a very physical way, the work of political organizing can’t be recognized as a legitimate form of labor. Denying the labor of black Americans reinforces white supremacy.

“The Protestant work ethic that influenced the founding of this country included a belief that the more material wealth you have, the closer you are to God,” said Robin DiAngelo, a professor whose research focuses on how white people are socialized to collude with institutional racism. “So during slavery, we said, ‘You must do all the work but we will never allow that to pay off.’ Now we don’t give black people access to work. Then and now they have not been allowed to participate in wealth building or granted the morality we attach to wealth.” This historical entanglement of property and virtue continues to inform racial views. “Property among white Americans is seen as something to be treasured and revered,” said Winbush. “Black Americans do not view themselves as truly owning anything in America.”

DiAngelo noted that we sing “The Star Spangled Banner” at sporting events and don’t even flinch at “the land of the free” lyric written in 1814, a time when the country was home to millions of slaves. Winbush pointed to the black neighborhood of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that was burned to the ground in 1921 by white mobs enraged by the incredible prosperity blacks had created there. Black attempts to participate in the promise of America are met consistently with this kind of violence. Ethicist Katie Geneva Cannon has written at length about how the institutional denial of citizenship and freedom to black people essentially wrote out the possibility of them ever being seen as virtuous in white society. “The ‘rightness of whiteness’ counted more than the basic political and civil rights of any Black person… Institutional slavery ended, but the virulent and intractable hatred that supported it did not,” Cannon wrote in The Emergence of Black Feminist Consciousness. Through both erasure and ignorance, we continue to deny the virtue and legitimacy of black citizenship and labor.

As we abandon our explicit ties to religion, religious ethics still inform our views of race, prosperity, and even personhood. It’s easy to blame older white Protestant evangelicals for the country’s residual racial strife, even as it represents white America’s refusal to interrogate the source of our worldviews and our tremendous social and political capital.

What is troubling about the fresco in the rotunda is that it functions as a mirror: The Congress those white faces look down upon is 92 percent Christian and 80 percent white. George Washington and his cohort of virtuous states are enshrined above so, theoretically, we’ll forever remember the virtuous, godly work of “protecting freedom.” Meanwhile, the black human lives whose uncompensated work built America’s prosperity—and the Capitol building—with their blood, sweat, and tears are consistently forgotten.

Alana Massey

Jeb Bush’s Favorite Author Rejects Democracy, Says The Hyper-Rich Should Seize Power

Colonial British monarchs would find a lot to like in Charles Murray's new book against democracy

Pre-Revolutionary kings would find a lot to like in Charles Murray’s new book against democracy | CREDIT: PUBLIC DOMAIN VIA WIKIPEDIA

THINK PROGRESS

At the height of 2011’s debt ceiling crisis, then-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) offered a candid explanation of why his party was willing to threaten permanent harm to the U.S. economy unless Congress agreed to change our founding document. “The Constitution must be amended to keep the government in check,” McConnell alleged. “We’ve tried persuasion. We’ve tried negotiations. We’ve tried elections. Nothing has worked.”

The amendment McConnell and his fellow Republicans sought was misleadingly named the “Balanced Budget Amendment” — a name that was misleading not because it was inaccurate, but because it was incomplete. The amendment wouldn’t have simply forced a balanced budget at the federal level, it would have forced spending cuts that were so severe that they would have cost 15 million people their jobs and caused “the economy to shrink by about 17 percent instead of growing by an expected 2 percent,” according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. It was, in essence, an effort to permanently impose Tea Party economics on the nation, and to use a manufactured crisis to do so.

Few politicians are willing to admit what McConnell admitted when he confessed that elections have not “worked” to bring about the policy Republicans tried to impose on the nation in 2011. Elected officials, after all, only hold their jobs at the sufferance of the voters, and a politician who openly admits that they only believe in democracy insofar as it achieves their desired ends gives the middle finger to those voters and to the very process that allows those voters to have a say in how they are governed.

Charles Murray, an author who GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush recently named first when he was asked which books have had a big impact upon him, is not an elected official, so he is free to rail against democracy to his heart’s content. And that is exactly what he does in his new book, By The People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission.

Pay no attention to the title. Government “by the people” is the last thing Murray cares to see. Murray admits that the kind of government he seeks, a libertarian fantasy where much of our nation’s regulatory and welfare state has been dismantled, is “beyond the reach of the electoral process and the legislative process.” He also thinks it beyond the branch of government that is appointed by elected officials. The Supreme Court, Murray claims, “destroyed” constitutional “limits on the federal government’s spending authority” when it upheld Social Security in 1937. Since then, the federal government has violated a “tacit compact” establishing that it would not “unilaterally impose a position on the moral disputes that divided America” (Murray traces the voiding of this compact to 1964, the year that Congress banned whites-only lunch counters).

King George’s Revenge

Murray is probably best known for co-authoring 1994’s The Bell Curve, a quasi-eugenic tract which argued that black people are genetically disposed to be less intelligent that white people. Yet, while The Bell Curvepractically spawned an entire field of scholarship devoted to debunking it,” Murray remains one of the most influential conservative thinkers in America today.

Dr. Murray’s pre-Bell Curve work shaped the welfare reforms enacted in the 1990s. Former Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan cited Murray in 2014 to claim that there is a culture of laziness “in our inner cities in particular.” Last April, when Jeb Bush was asked what he liked to read, he replied “I like Charles Murray books to be honest with you, which means I’m a total nerd I guess.”

So when Murray speaks, powerful and influential men (and his acolytes are, almost invariably, men) listen, including men who shape our nation’s fiscal policy and men who could be president someday.

By The People, however, rejects outright the idea that Murray’s vision for a less generous and well-regulated society can be achieved through appeals to elected officials — or even through appeals to unelected judges. The government Murray seeks is “not going to happen by winning presidential elections and getting the right people appointed to the Supreme Court.” Rather, By The People, is a call for people sympathetic to Murray’s goals — and most importantly, for fantastically rich people sympathetic to those goals — to subvert the legitimate constitutional process entirely.

“The emergence of many billion-dollar-plus private fortunes over the last three decades,” Murray writes, “has enabled the private sector to take on ambitious national or even international tasks that formerly could be done only by nation-states.” Murray’s most ambitious proposal is a legal defense fund, which “could get started if just one wealthy American cared enough to contribute, say, a few hundred million dollars,” that would essentially give that wealthy American veto power over much of U.S. law.

Murray, in other words, would rather transfer much of our sovereign nation’s power to govern itself to a single privileged individual than continue to live under the government America’s voters have chosen. It’s possible that no American has done more to advance the cause of monarchy since Benedict Arnold.

Madison’s Ghost

One of the heroes of By The People is James Madison, or, at least, a somewhat ahistoric depiction of Madison favored by Murray. Madison, as Murray correctly notes, favored an interpretation of the Constitution that would have made much of the modern regulatory and welfare state impossible (other members of the founding generation, including George Washington, interpreted the Constitution much more expansively than Madison). Thus, Murray states in his introduction, “[i]f we could restore limited government as Madison understood it, all of our agendas would be largely fulfilled.” Murray even names his proposal for a billionaire-funded organization intended to thwart governance the “Madison Fund.”

In Murray’s narrative, Madison becomes a Lovecraftian deity — dead, but not entirely dead, and still capable of working ill in American society. In his house at Montpelier, dead James Madison waits dreaming.

The real James Madison would be shocked by this suggestion that his dead-but-dreaming tentacle could reach into the future and re-instigate long-settled battles over the Constitution. Needless to say, the view Murray attributes to Madison — the view that, among other things, would lead to Social Security being declared unconstitutional — did not prevail in American history. And Madison, unlike Murray, was reluctant to displace well-settled constitutional law. As a congressman, Madison opposed the creation of the First Bank of the United States on constitutional grounds. Yet, as president, Madison signed the law creating a Second Bank. He explained that the nation had accepted the First Bank, and he viewed this acceptance as “a construction put on the Constitution by the nation, which, having made it, had the supreme right to declare its meaning.”

Madison, it should also be noted, admitted late in life that his reading of the Constitution was not consistent with the document’s text. Nevertheless, he argued that “[t]o take [the Constitution’s words] in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.”

To his credit, Murray acknowledges that undoing the entire post-New Deal state is not a realistic goal. The Supreme Court, he laments, “never overturns a decision like Helvering,” the 1937 case upholding Social Security, “because such a ruling would not be obeyed and the Court’s legitimacy would be shattered.” Yet the limits Murray would impose on the federal government are simply breathtaking. All employment law, according to Murray, must be subject to the strictest level of constitutional scrutiny. So must all land use regulation, and all laws that fall into vague categories Murray describes as regulations that “prescribe best practice in a craft or profession” or that “prevent people from taking voluntary risks.”

If these limits were actually imposed on the federal government, the minimum wage, overtime laws, most environmental protections and financial reforms, many worker safety laws and even, potentially, anti-discrimination laws would all fall by the wayside.

The Koch Veto

To impose these limits on society, Murray claims that his Madison Fund can essentially harass the government into compliance. The federal government, Murray claims, cannot enforce the entirety of federal law “without voluntary public compliance.” Federal resources are limited, and only a small fraction of these limited resources have been directed towards enforcement. Thus, Murray argues, by simply refusing to comply with the law and contesting every enforcement action in court, regulated entities can effectively drain the government’s resources and prevent it from engaging in meaningful enforcement.

The Madison Fund would spearhead this campaign of harassment, defending “people who are technically guilty of violating regulations that should not exist, drawing out that litigation as long as possible, making enforcement of the regulations more expensive to the regulatory agency than they’re worth, and reimbursing fines that are levied.”

There are, of course, a number of practical obstacles to this plan. One, as Murray acknowledges, is the need to find enough people with “billion-dollar-plus private fortune[s]” who are willing to contribute to such a campaign. Another is the need to find lawyers willing to risk their law licenses in order to become pawns in Murray’s game. Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires attorneys to certify that they are not filing court documents “for any improper purpose, such as to harass, cause unnecessary delay, or needlessly increase the cost of litigation.” The American Bar Association’s (ABA) Model Rules of Processional Conduct provide that a “lawyer shall not bring or defend a proceeding, or assert or controvert an issue therein, unless there is a basis in law and fact for doing so that is not frivolous.” Admittedly, lawyers have more leeway in criminal cases, but the legal profession generally frowns upon attorneys who engage in the kind of legally meritless harassment Murray proposes.

Nevertheless, Murray’s proposal cannot be dismissed out of hand simply because it is built upon a foundation of frivolous litigation. The first Supreme Court case attacking Obamacare was widely derided as meritless — an ABA poll of legal experts found that 85 percent believed that the law would be upheld. And yet the justices came within a hair of repealing the entire law. The lawyers behind a more recent attack on the Affordable Care Act, King v. Burwell, make demonstrably false claims about the history of the law, and they rely upon a completely unworkable method of interpreting statutes. But that hasn’t stopped at least some members of the Supreme Court from taking this lawsuit seriously. Conservatives simply have more leeway to assert meritless legal arguments than they once did.

Continue reading here…

Boehner Will Sue Obama For Stuff He Thought Was Totally Fine Under George W. Bush

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) |CREDIT: AP PHOTO/J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE

Think Progress

Business as usual for this do nothing congress…sue the POTUS for recess appointments he made because they were not doing the work they were elected to do…

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) confirmed Wednesday that he will file a federal lawsuit challenging the executive actions of President Barack Obama, despite supporting President George W. Bush’s extensive use of executive authority.

Boehner said at a news conference, “You know the constitution makes it clear that the president’s job is to faithfully execute the laws and in my view the President has not faithfully executed the laws.” He added that the suit was “about defending the institution in which we serve” because “what we’ve seen clearly over the past 5 years is an effort to erode the power of the legislative branch.” He refused to say which specific actions he believes to be illegal.

President Obama has issued about 180 executive orders — a power that has been utilized byevery president since George Washington except for the brief-tenured William Henry Harrison — and taken other executive actions. A Boehner spokesman denounced these as “a clear record of ignoring the American people’s elected representatives and exceeding his constitutional authority, which has dangerous implications for both our system of government and our economy.”

But Boehner embraced the power of a Republican president to take action, even at times when he would circumvent Congress by doing so. President George W. Bush’s issuedhundreds of orders of his own over his eight years in office. In 2001 and 2007, Boehner strongly supported unilateral actions by Bush to prevent embryonic stem-cell research involving new embryos, saying the 2001 decision “preserves the sanctity of life and allows limited research that could help millions of Americans suffering from life-threatening diseases.” He endorsed a 2008 Bush executive order to limit earmarks. In the final days of Bush’s second term, he even wrote to the president asking him to use an executive order to exempt a historic steamboat from safety regulations after Congress opted not to do so.

Boehner even pushed for administrative compliance with one of President Obama’s executive orders. In 2010, he asked Obama for a progress report on implementation of an executive order banning taxpayer funding for abortion in Obamacare. In a letter to then-Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, he noted that the order had “paved the way” for the law’s passage and that the lack of update on implementation “does little to diminish widespread skepticism about the administration’s commitment to enforcing the Executive Order and preventing the law law from increasing federal support for abortion.”

While the president has limited power to act via executive order — the U.S. Supreme Court has even suggested that it would hold one of President Obama’s most controversial executive actions.

As of February, Obama had issued fewer executive orders than all but one of the other presidents since World War II.

 

 

Karl Rove Ranks Bush’s Presidency Somewhere ‘Up There,’ Just Below Washington, Lincoln, Reagan, FDR

Karl Rove just can’t seem to get it right on certain issues.   After all, he wrongly predicted the 2012 election would go to Mitt Romney then had a rather embarrassing display on Fox News on election night when he didn’t believe that Obama had won.  Not to mention that many American citizens and foreign nationals around the globe believe Mr. Rove is a war criminal.

So this from the guy who hasn’t gotten anything right since the 2000 election?  I think Rove has been around too long and all the big money deals with deep pocket donors contributing to his various PACs may just be taking its toll on poor Karl.  Not to mention that the Hague wants to have a little talk with Rove’s colleagues from the Bush administration: Cheney and Rove, Rice and Rumsfeld about the “war” in Iraq.  In fact none of the above can travel to Europe at this time…

The Huffington Post

Former President George W. Bush isn’t quite a George Washington or an Abraham Lincoln, his former campaign strategist Karl Rove admitted to ABC News on Thursday, but according to Rove, he’s not too far off.

“The greats, you can’t touch: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, FDR,” Rove said in Dallas at the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center. “But yeah, I’d put him up there.”

Rove’s claim came after an aggressive defense of Bush’s legacy, which he said history would view favorably more quickly than most thought. Bush left office in 2009 as themost unpopular outgoing president in the history of Gallup polling. Rove pointed to arecent poll that showed his popularity at 47 percent to argue that Bush was already experiencing a turnaround.

Rove also said that Bush deserved more positive treatment, claiming that he “kept us safe after 9/11” and “tackled the big issues of trying to reform Social Security, Medicare, immigration, education.” He also defended the Iraq War as “the right thing to do.”

(Watch Rove’s entire interview at Yahoo News.)

Bush’s recent return to the main stage has highlighted the controversial decisions that he made as president, renewing a dormant battle between his supporters and his opponents. While Rove has been one of Bush’s most vocal defenders, writing a column in the Wall Street Journal this week jabbing back at his former boss’ critics, Bush himself has consistently maintained that his legacy doesn’t need defending.

In an interview published in USA Today last week, Bush declared that “there’s no need to defend myself” on issues like the Iraq War.

“I did what I did and ultimately history will judge,” he said.

That said, nobody has ever said you can’t attempt to nudge history into your corner. On Thursday, former President Bill Clinton ribbed Bush on that point, saying that his impressive facility was “the latest, grandest example of the eternal struggle of former presidents to rewrite history.”

 

White House responds to secessionists, impeachment advocates and beer aficionados

Thank you Wonk Blog!

The Washington Post – Wonk Blog

You may have heard how the White House has rejected a petition to build a Death Star (“The administration does not support blowing up planets”). But it’s not the only fringe idea that’s prompted an official response from the administration, which promised to reply to any “We the People” petition that gathered more than 25,000 signatures. Here are a couple of choice replies:

Secession? We’ve been through this already, folks.

As President Abraham Lincoln explained in his first inaug(David James /Disney/Dreamworks)ural address in 1861, “in contemplation of universal law and of the Constitution the Union of these States is perpetual.” In the years that followed, more than 600,000 Americans died in a long and bloody civil war that vindicated the principle that the Constitution establishes a permanent union between the States. And shortly after the Civil War ended, the Supreme Court confirmed that “[t]he Constitution, in all its provisions, looks to an indestructible Union composed of indestructible States. (Response to ”Deport Everyone That Signed A Petition To Withdraw Their State From The United States Of America,” which the administration didn’t quite address in its response.)

Thanks for letting us know you want to impeach the president! No, really.

Believe it or not, petitions like the one you signed are one of the reasons we think We the People is such a valuable tool. There are few resources that do more to help us engage directly with people about the issues that matter to them — especially people who disagree with us. So let us use this opportunity to set the record straight…Here’s the important thing, though. Even though this request isn’t going to happen, we want you to walk away from this process with knowledge that we’re doing our best to listen — even to our harshest critics. (Response to “We request that Obama be impeached for the following reasons.)

Want the White House’s own beer recipe? Here you go!

To be honest, we were surprised that the beer turned out so well since none of us had brewed beer before. As far as we know the White House Honey Brown Ale is the first alcohol brewed or distilled on the White House grounds. George Washington brewed beer and distilled whiskey at Mount Vernon and Thomas Jefferson made wine but there’s no evidence that any beer has been brewed in the White House…Like many home brewers who add secret ingredients to make their beer unique, all of our brews have honey that we tapped from the first ever bee-hive on the South Lawn. The honey gives the beer a rich aroma and a nice finish but it doesn’t sweeten it. (Response to “Release the recipe for the Honey Ale home brewed at the White House,” which includes the recipes at the bottom.)

You can read the rest of the White House’s responses to citizens petitions here.

2nd Amendment

I’m bookmarking the following site.  I really appreciate its historical facts

Cognitive Dissidence

Thanks to the vast right wing echo chamber, it appears that we cannot have a real debate on guns until we first make clear what the Founders had in mind when they authored the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution.

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Unfortunately, the right wing echo chamber has been hard at work trying to convince people that the 2nd Amendment was written to protect people from their “tyrannical Government”!   Studying the Founders, we realize that is wrong and just plain silly!

We also know that Founders wanted every man to be part of a “well regulated militia” instead of have a standing army.  They wanted everyone to band together to protect out country when the time came, instead of having a standing army.  Standing armies scared them:  Thomas Jefferson himself called them “an engine of oppression.”

Later, in an 1814 letter to Thomas Cooper, Jefferson wrote of standing armies: “The Greeks and Romans had no standing armies, yet they defended themselves. The Greeks by their laws, and the Romans by the spirit of their people, took care to put into the hands of their rulers no such engine of oppression as a standing army. Their system was to make every man a soldier and oblige him to repair to the standard of his country whenever that was reared. This made them invincible; and the same remedy will make us so.”

Had the early framers of the Constitution embraced a standing army during times of peace, then there would be no need for a regulated militia, and thus no need for the 2nd Amendment.

 Need some more:

In fact, during that first gun debate, the state of New Hampshire introduced an amendment that gave the government permission to confiscate guns when citizens “are or have been in Actual Rebellion.” To those early legislators in New Hampshire, the right to bear arms stops as soon as those arms are taken up against our “we the people” government.

Just ask the ancestors of those who participated in the Whiskey Rebellion. In 1794, armed Americans took up guns against what they viewed as a tyrannical George Washington administration imposing taxes on whiskey. President Washington called up 13,000 militia men, and personally led the troops to squash the rebellion of armed citizens in Bedford, Pennsylvania. No Army. No right to have guns to overthrow the oppressive US government.

Need some more let’s look  at the 1794 Whiskey Rebellion:

On August 1, 1794, President George Washington was once again leading troops. Only this time Washington was not striking out against the British but rather against fellow Americans. The occasion for this was the Whiskey Rebellion. Various efforts had been made to diminish the heated opposition towards the tax on distilled liquors. However, there was only one man who has derived the best course of action. That man, President George Washington, deserves all the credit and recognition for his actions concerning the Whiskey Rebellion. In September 1791 the western counties of Pennsylvania broke out in rebellion against a federal “excise” tax on the distillation of liquor. After local and federal officials were attacked, President Washington and his advisors decided to send troops to assuage the region. On August 14, 1792, under the militia law, Henry Knox (secretary of war) had called for 12,950 troops.

The Founders who had just overcome the British to form our own country, had no interest in the people that they governed doing the same thing to them.  So when there was that possibility George Washington squashed it quickly!

http://youtu.be/dBtZ6go_R4g

So its time to listen to people like General McChrystal:

 “I spent a career carrying typically either an M16 or an M4 Carbine. An M4 Carbine fires a .223 caliber round which is 5.56 mm at about 3000 feet per second. When it hits a human body, the effects are devastating. It’s designed for that,” McChrystal explained. “That’s what our soldiers ought to carry. I personally don’t think there’s any need for that kind of weaponry on the streets and particularly around the schools in America.”

By the way, Hitler encouraged the ownership of guns….he didn’t take your guns!  

GOP California Lawmaker Opposes Texting And Driving Fine Because It’s Not What ‘The Founders Intended’

 

George Washington, who probably didn’t have much of an opinion at all about cell phones

It’s past ‘silly season’ on the current political calendar but a lot of GOP politicians didn’t get the memo.  I’m now wondering if these people even know that what they’re saying is hilarious?

Think Progress

A California state legislator railed against a proposed $10 “texting and driving” fine increase in an appropriations committee hearing Wednesday, arguing that “policing ourselves” is “what the founders intended.” If passed, the bill wouldincrease the base fine for texting and driving from $20 to $30, with the $10 increase to be used for a public awareness program. Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-59), however, warned that such an increase would cause George Washington to roll over in his grave:

DONNELLY: And I think the fact that you might cause a death, someone else’s death or your own, is such a powerful prohibiter of that, that we really don’t need to be increasing the fine. And I don’t think we need to have the cops pulling people over and giving them texting tickets. I see the cops driving down the street texting. So when a cop is driving down the street texting, and then he’s going to give me a ticket for texting, I think it’s wrong. And I think ultimately, there’s a great consequence to that kind of behavior. And as intelligent, rational human beings who live in a free society, is it too much to ask that we just police ourselves? It just seems that’s what the founders intended. And I feel like this is just more of a nanny state government that costs us a lot of money, and ultimately abridges more and more liberties to the point that – is the government going to tell me where I can go next? Or how many miles I can drive?

Watch it:

For the record, drivers distracted by their cellphones killed an estimated 16,000 people from 2001 to 2007. So this law has nothing to do with some kind of “nanny state” effort to protect people from themselves, and everything to do with eliminating a dangerous activity that kills thousands of innocents every year.

Donnelly is right in one respect, however. There can be no doubt that the founders did not foresee liberty-squashing texting and driving laws, for the same reason their vision of American government says nothing about the Internet, space shuttles, automatic dishwashers, the Industrial Revolution, iPads or the short-lived professional baseball career of Michael Jordan.

Assemblyman Donnelly, for his part, has not yet explained how he thinks Thomas Jefferson would have regulated the nuclear power industry.

 

Rush Limbaugh Outraged Obama’s Thanksgiving Declaration Thanks Native Americans

Mediaite

President Obama’s “wildly distorted” version of Thanksgiving– where the pilgrims and Native Americans traded food and wealth during a cold winter– has greatly upset Rush Limbaugh. In fact, Limbaugh was so shocked the president would thank Native Americans for their “rich culture,” he thought the White House’s official Thanksgiving declaration was a hoax.

Compared to George Washington’s 1789 declaration, Limbaugh argues, Obama’s is practically sacrilege. Decrying “the myth of the first Thanksgiving,” Limbaugh read an excerpt of the President’s declaration, adding personal touches in places like “Native Americans’ rich culture continues to add to our nation’s heritage” (here he inserted “at their casinos and reservations.” Then he repeated several variations of “this has got to be a parody” to himself incredulously as he mulled over the text, which he followed by interpreting President Obama’s comments: “We were the invaders… we were incompetent idiots, we didn’t know how to feed ourselves, so they came along and showed us how, and that’s what Thanksgiving is all about.”

Speaking with a caller, Limbaugh clarified what the real story of Thanksgiving is about: “the true story of Thanksgiving is how socialism failed,” he tells the caller, noting that “the Indians didn’t teach us capitalism” and “we shared our bounty with them… because we first failed as socialists.” The caller, David, seemed thrilled with that explanation, but it sounds like the sort of thing American history scholars may have a bit of a problem with.

The audio from today’s radio show below:

Glenn Beck Admits Lying: ‘I Thought It Would Be A Little Easier’ (VIDEO)

Glenn Beck

Image via Wikipedia

Huffington Post

After being called on a white lie he told during his Restoring Honor rally, Glenn Beck admitted Thursday that he stretched the truth because he “thought it would be a little easier.”

Beck had claimed that he held George Washington’s handwritten first Inaugural Address in his hands at the National Archives, but a spokeswoman at the institution said he did no such thing. Keith Olbermann, Ed Schultz and others called him out for the fabrication.

Thursday on his radio show, Beck copped to the lie. (RELATED: Lies By Prominent Americans.)

“I thought it would be a little easier in the speech,” Beck said, than to go into the following elaborate explanation (via Mediaite):

Yesterday I went to the National Archives, and they opened up the vault, and they put on their gloves and then they put it on a tray. They wheeled it over and it’s all in this hard plastic and you’re sitting down at a table and you can’t, because of Sandy Berger, I had a long conversation with him about this, you can’t actually touch any of the documents, these are very very rare. So what they do, they have it in this plastic thing and they hold them right in front of you, you can’t touch them but then you can say ‘can you turn it over,’ and then they turn it over for you and then you look at it. I thought it was a little clumsy to explain it that way.