A link to a short video on the John Jones Museum:
Should we have an Article V Convention of States in order to restore the original purpose of our government? According to some, such as constitutional lawyer and conservative radio personality Mark Levin, this is the only way to restore the original intent of our nation’s founding fathers. However, regardless of Levin’s good intentions, and I believe his willful disregard to the danger, the answer is no. Why? Because of exactly what happened during the last convention. These actions were never declared illegitimate and reversed and thus created a legal precedent. Regardless of anyone’s good intentions, no one, not even constitutional scholars, can predict what could happen if we had a new Convention of States.This author doesn’t take issue with Mark Levin for promoting a constitutional Convention of States. If one does eventually occur, everything he hopes to accomplish might also occur. That would be an ideal situation. The issue is with Mark Levin downplaying the dangers that a man of his credentials must know exists. Impeccable credentials don’t make you right all of the time. For every PhD or JD who makes an argument, I can find another PhD or JD that takes the opposite position. The highest goal of most constitutional lawyers is to argue a case before the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). It should go without saying that when the stakes are the highest, half will lose their cases.Understanding what happened in 1787 requires us to define what it is to have a constitutional government. You do not have to have a single document called The Constitution in order to be considered a constitutional government. If you do have a single document, it doesn’t have to be called The Constitution. Our parent nation, Great Britain, has no single document called a constitution, yet is still considered a Constitutional Monarchy. A constitutional government is simply a government that has a higher set of laws, principles, and conventions in which all members of that society are equally bound. This constitution is generally difficult to change. Great Britain’s constitution actually consists of many documents such as the Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights (English), the Petition of Right, and many more.In the United States, we have had two codified constitutions. Our first constitution was called the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union Between the States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, and Providence plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.This was a law in which all original thirteen states and their citizens were bound. Our second constitution is simply called the Constitution of the United States of America. Under both constitutions there is a mechanism for amending, or changing the relevant constitution.Under the original Articles of Confederation, there is Article XIII:“Every state shall abide by the determinations of the United States, in Congress assembled, on all questions which by this confederation are submitted to them. And the articles of this Confederation shall be inviolably observed by every state, and the union shall be perpetual; nor shall any alteration at any time hereafter be made in any of them, unless such alteration be agreed to in a Congress of the United States, and be afterwards, confirmed by the legislatures of every state.”Under the current Constitution of the United States, there is Article V:“The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.”Actually, there are many pros and cons to having a Convention of States as defined under Article V. The biggest reason to have a convention is to add amendments for such things as congressional term limits and the ability to recall our representatives. Both of these capabilities existed under the Articles of Confederation. These are amendments that Congress would unlikely propose under the common way of amending the Constitution. However, there is a sound reason not to have a Convention of States. Regardless of claims to the contrary by Mark Levin and others, there is a very real and undeniable possibility of a runaway convention. This is exactly what happened in 1787.Perhaps the best way of presenting both sides of the argument is to present the argument for having a Convention of States and then to present the counter argument that rebuts that argument.1. Our government has gotten away from the original intent of our founding fathers and the only way to bring us back to the concept of limited government is to amend the Constitution.Rebuttal: It is true that many of our founding fathers would be appalled by how far we have drifted away from this concept of limited government, at least at the federal level. Their first love was for the states in which they resided. However, to say they wanted limited government is a little misleading. The U.S. Constitution ceded only some of the many states sovereignty to the federal government. However, the many states reserved for themselves what is called police powers. Police powers consist of safety, morality, welfare, and health. To make absolutely sure they retained these powers; they embodied them in the 10th Amendment. A state’s police power is generally limited by two things. It is limited by its own constitution, which is typically modeled on the U.S. Constitution but is far more extensive. It is also limited when the courts have determined these laws are in violation of a personal right or a violation of other constitutional principles.Another misleading perception enhanced by many in conservative talk radio is that of a power hungry congress usurping the authority of the many states. This is only partially true. Representatives represent their constituents. As a nation we began drifting away from our principles even before the days of Teddy Roosevelt, which can be seen in such acts as The Sherman Antitrust Act. However, during the Howard Taft, Teddy Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson days, this trend accelerated. Socialism was sweeping the globe and progressivism, which I think of as socialism lite, took hold in both major parties in the United States. This is what caused the Republican Party to splinter, creating the upstart and short lived Bull Moose Party.The fear was that individual states were susceptible to falling under the influence of large corporations that were growing in size, capabilities, and wealth. These corporations were getting rich off of the growing interstate commerce, which was spurred on by the Industrial Revolution and the improvement in communications and transportation. Many people wanted a more powerful national government which they believed would be more capable of resisting these influences. In short, they wanted a counterbalance to large corporations.It should be noted that no constitutional amendment proposals that would have opposed these popular interests would have succeeded at the time. Thus a proposed constitutional amendment is not necessarily a cure-all as some might propose. Instead, a little education might go a long way.The courts resisted these political pressures for many years just as the Federalist Papers had envisioned. Their jurisprudence was based in our original Lockean principles right up until Franklin Delaware Roosevelt attempted to stack the court. In a democratic form of governance, the machinery for applying the brakes against the temporary passions of the masses (tyranny) can only hold out for so long. If the passions outlast the brakes, the masses eventually get their way.It should also be noted that the Supreme Court is part of the federal government. As such there is a potential conflict of interest when it comes to the SCOTUS applying the brakes against an encroaching federal government. As federal laws become more pervasive, affecting more and more individuals, the decisions of the Supreme Court also affect more and more people.However, not all brakes are created equal. The best brake against any encroachment from the powers that be, are from those with a vested counter interest to protect. This brake was supposed to come from the Senate which was originally elected by the many states congress. It is not the people, not the courts, not the President, and certainly not the U.S. Congress that has a vested interest in stopping the growing power of the federal government, it is the many states. When the 17th Amendment was enacted, the brakes were effectively removed. Some have argued that this was the beginning of mob rule.The last point is, simply because there is a rule against a certain action doesn’t mean those at the top of the political spectrum will follow it. How many times has a president thumbed his nose at the Constitution when signing an executive order? How many times has a statute been thrown out by the courts for trampling on a constitutional right? I suspect some members of the congress and possibly at least one president have not even bothered to read the Constitution. The only real way to expect compliance with the rules is for an informed electorate to hold politicians accountable at the polls. Of course this doesn’t work if the politician breaks the rules in the way the electorate wants. This is not only true of our current constitution, it was also true of the Articles of Confederation. The Philadelphia Convention was only the last convention out of a series of conventions. At the time, conventions of the states were unconstitutional unless authorized by the Confederation Congress.Articles of Confederation, Article VI, Section 2:“No two or more states shall enter into any treaty, confederation, or alliance whatever, between them, without the consent of the United States in Congress assembled, specifying accurately the purposes for which the same is to be entered into, and how long it shall continue.”Before the Philadelphia (constitutional) Convention, there was the Mt. Vernon Conference and the Annapolis Convention. These were convened for the purpose of working out issues between the states over trade outside of the deliberations of the Confederation Congress. This was another threat out of a plethora of threats to the prestige and authority of the Confederation Congress. If Rodney Dangerfield were a historical figure and an elected representative, he would have served in the Confederation Congress. These conventions, or states conferences were illegal under the Articles of Confederation unless approved by the Confederation Congress. Neither of them was. Even George Washington referred to them as “irregular,” which only goes to show that euphemisms have been used for a very long time. The Philadelphia Convention was reluctantly approved by the Confederation Congress on February 21, 1787, only after six states had already appointed their delegations. Then the Confederation Congress tightened the parameters on what could be negotiated. It called for:“Resolved that in the opinion of Congress it is expedient that on the second Monday in May next a convention of delegates who shall have been appointed by the several states be held at Philadelphia for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation and reporting to Congress and the several legislatures such alterations and provisions therein as shall when agreed to in Congress and confirmed by the states render the federal constitution adequate to the exigencies of government and the preservation of the Union.”The emphasis is mine. “Sole and Express,” means “only this.” Even as our current Congress and current courts find ways to get around the wording in our Constitution, how can we be sure they won’t find a way to pervert the intent of any new amendments in the future? This disregard has been going on ever since we have had a constitution as history illustrates. Simply adding more words to the Constitution does not guarantee that the intent of any such additions will be followed by a future congress, executive branch, or the courts.2. There is no real danger. These are only proposals for new amendments. Any changes to the Constitution must be approved by three fourths of the states. If the Convention of States goes off the rails and recommends a bad amendment, they will not be able to get three fourths of the states to ratify it.Rebuttal: Who says it will require three fourths of the states to ratify anything? Under our first constitution, it required one-hundred percent of the states to ratify any changes. It also said that all of “. . . the articles of this Confederation shall be inviolably observed by every state . . .” This is the constitution that was in effect during the entire Philadelphia Convention. With Rhode Island boycotting the conference, referred to as “Rogue Island” by some, it became apparent that at least Rhode Island wasn’t going to ratify anything. This is one of the reasons the convention tossed out the Articles of Confederation for a completely new constitution. The new constitution only required nine out of thirteen states to switch it on and three-fourths of the states to change anything thereafter. Notice, this ratification criteria came from Article V and Article VII of the new constitution, not from the Articles of Confederation.This argument is the most popular argument used by those who want an Article V Convention of States. It is a good argument only if the convention does not toss out the Constitution altogether. This is what conservatives such as Mark Levin hope to achieve. However, this same argument also works against those wishing to amend the constitution regardless of which amendment process they use. If they are successful, then three-fourths of the states still need to ratify the proposed amendments at some future date. In other words, their proposed amendments may or may not ultimately get ratified. There are no guarantees. However, those who would want to start over with a new constitution have the legal and historical precedent in their favor to make throwing out the old constitution a viable option. In this case, the ratification process of three-fourths of the states would almost certainly go out the same window as the Constitution. We would be in a whole new ballgame with completely new rules.3. The wording in Article V of the U.S. Constitution does not provide a legal mechanism to toss out our current Constitution. It is only provides two ways of amending the Constitution. One of those ways is to convene a Convention of States which does not require presidential or congressional approval.Rebuttal: It is true that Article V of the United States Constitution does not have any language providing the legal framework in which you can replace the current constitution with another constitution, but why would it? The language in the Constitution only provides the legal framework for our current government. Any constitution that we want to endure should allow for changes to be made as needed or it could become as unworkable as the Articles of Confederation. It should always allow for amendments, changes, or as some might claim, fixes. However, it wouldn’t have any language describing how you dump it. Why even bother to write a constitution if you planned on dumping it later?Just as our current Constitution does not provide for replacement, neither did the Articles of Confederation provide for replacement. In fact the Articles of Confederation stated that the union under that constitution was perpetual. The Articles of Confederation clearly stated that it could only be changed when all of the states were in full agreement. Throwing the whole constitution out is a pretty big change. A one-hundred percent agreement is something that obviously did not happen, at least not right away.<9StatesEnact.png>After the ratification of the new constitution by New Hampshire, the ninth state, the new constitution was switched on, becoming the law of the land in those states that ratified it. The remaining states still operating under the Articles of Confederation were left in legal limbo as they should not have been able to reach a quorum. On a practical matter, the Confederation Congress still provided a limited transition function, accomplishing a few things extra-constitutionally, such as setting the date when the new constitution’s Electoral College would be selected. The last meeting of the Confederation Congress was held on March 2, 1789. The ardent anti-federalist Philip Pell from New York was the sole attendee. He adjourned the meeting sine die and dropped out of state and national politics. By definition, the very act of replacing one constitution for another is extra-constitutional.4. When appointing and sending a delegation to a Convention of States, states can forbid their delegates from doing anything other than proposing amendments to the current constitution.Rebuttal: This is true; the states can forbid an action. However, according to precedent, the delegates don’t have to listen. Here is some of the wording from the twelve states that sent representatives to Philadelphia:“. . . to join with them [other delegates from other states] in devising and discussing all such alterations and further provisions, as may be necessary to render the Federal Constitution [Articles of Confederation] adequate to the exigencies of the Union . . .”“. . . for the purpose of taking into consideration the state of the Union as to trade and other important objects, and of devising such further provisions as shall appear necessary to render the Constitution [Articles of Confederation] of the federal government adequate to the exigencies thereof.”“. . . of revising the Foederal Constitution [Articles of Confederation], for the purpose of making such alterations and amendments as the exigencies of our public affairs require . . .”“. . . to discuss and decide upon the most effectual means to remove the defects of our federal union . . .”“. . . to join with them in devising, deliberating on, and discussing, such Alterations and further Provisions, as may be necessary to render the Foederal Constitution [Articles of Confederation] adequate to the Exigencies of the Union . . .”“. . . in devising and discussing all such alterations and farther provisions, as may be necessary to render the federal constitution [Articles of Confederation] adequate to the exigencies of the union . . .”Authorizes the convention in Philadelphia with the limited purpose of “. . . sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation . . .”“. . . for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation . . . render the federal constitution [Articles of Confederation] adequate to the exigencies of government and the preservation of the union . . .”“. . . for the sole & express purpose of revising the articles of Confederation . . .” Further amended to include: “And it is further Resolved, that the Said Delegates on the part of this Commonwealth be, and they are hereby instructed not to accede to any alterations or additions that may be proposed to be made in the present Articles of Confederation, which may appear to them, not to consist with the true republican Spirit and Genius of the Said Confederation: and particularly that they by no means interfere with the fifth of the Said Articles which provides, ‘for the annual election of Delegates in Congress, with a power reserved to each State to recal its Delegates, or any of them within the Year & to send others in their stead for the remainder of the year – And which also provides, that no person shall be capable of being a Delegate for more than three years in any term of six years, or being a Delegate shall be capable of holding any Office under the United States for which he or any other for his benefit, receives any salary, fees, or emolument of any kind . . .’”“. . . authorised and impowered in devising and discussing all such alterations, clauses, articles and provisions as may be thought necessary to render the federal constitution [Articles of Confederation] entirely adequate to the actual situation and future good government of the confederated states . . . will effectually provide for the exigencies of the union.”“. . . for the sole & express Purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation . . . authorized and empowered . . . to discuss upon such Alterations and Provisions, agreeable to the general Principles of Republican Government, as they shall think proper, to render the federal Constitution [Articles of Confederation] adequate to the Exigencies of Government, and the Preservation of the Union . . .”“. . . for the purpose of revising the federal system, and to join with them in considering such alterations, and further provisions, as may be necessary to render the federal constitution [Articles of Confederation] adequate to the exigencies of the union . . .”“ . . . to discuss and decide upon the most effectual means to remedy the defects of our federal union; and to procure, and secure, the enlarged purposes which it was intended to effect . . .”Rhode Island did not send representatives. They later claimed their state required an election to send representatives for such a purpose as proposing alterations to a constitution. However, they were the only state not to require a state level constitutional convention in order to ratify the new constitution.Ten states directed their delegations to discuss ways of improving the Articles of Confederation with one state associating these changes to “trade” and “other important objects.” Three states forbade their delegations from doing anything but modifying the Articles of Confederation with the verbiage “sole and express.” Of these three, not only did Massachusetts forbid any negotiations other than modifying the Articles of Confederation, they specifically forbade changes that were later incorporated into the new constitution. The Confederation Congress forbade the delegates from doing anything other than modifying the Articles of Confederation, which is their explicit right under the Articles of Confederation.The North Carolina and New Hampshire delegations were the only delegations that appeared to have the latitude they needed to create a new constitution. Their states directed them to fix the union, not specifically to fix the constitution. For the Philadelphia Convention to do what they did was at best unauthorized and at worst, blatantly illegal. One of the reasons they succeeded was due to the secrecy surrounding the proceedings of the convention. The declared reason for this secrecy was to allow all members the ability to explore all options without outside recrimination, or in the exact words, “licentious publications.” They certainly did.5. This government does not have the same problems the government had in 1788. In 1788 the Articles of Confederation government was insolvent. It had a large foreign debt and stood vulnerable to invasion. A single belligerent state could cause a war. It could not tax. It did not have the sole authority to coin a uniform currency. There was no independent federal judiciary. It could not make standardized rules for interstate and international commerce. There was no national army or navy and it did not possess the authority to draft soldiers or sailors. The country stood at risk of invasion from Britain in the north and Spain in the west and southeast. It could not put down insurrections. It could not enforce its own laws. It was difficult to pass federal laws and virtually impossible to amend the Articles of Confederation. The union was dying and a radical solution was necessary to save it. Considering the differences between then and now, tossing out a fixable constitution is highly unlikely.Rebuttal: While all of this is true, you wouldn’t believe it if you listened to the rhetoric from those who believe the Constitution is an old dusty and obsolete document standing in everyone’s way. While it might be unlikely that a convention would toss out the current constitution, it is not impossible. The unchallenged precedent exists. While most people would like to tweak what we have, there is a large group of people who would like to do much more. It is a progressive utopian dream of many to get rid of federalism altogether, reducing the semi-sovereignty of the many states to mere administrative districts of a larger and more capable national government.The precedence set in 1787 and maintained for 230 years gives these dreamers the legitimacy to throw out our current constitution in favor of a far more progressive document. All they need is enough delegates to go along. The ratification criteria for any new constitution would be whatever was decided in the convention. Should such an event occur, it would be highly unlikely the ratification process would remain the three fourths of the states that exist now. It could be as simple as a majority vote in a national referendum. In fact, in recent times this is the preferred way of legitimizing a new constitution as seen in places such as Egypt and Turkey.6. The Philadelphia Convention was held in secrecy. It could be required that a new Convention of States be open and transparent. If the many states observed the beginning of a runaway convention, they could put the brakes on it, even recalling their delegation.Rebuttal: It is true that the Philadelphia Convention was held in secrecy. Some have speculated that they never could have proposed a completely new constitution if the convention was open. The many states that were already uneasy about the convention would almost certainly have exerted any influence they could muster to get the convention back on track or shut it down completely. However, we have seen how things don’t always go the way we want or expect.The Obama Administration promised the most transparent administration ever. Very few people would argue this transparency actually occurred. The legislative construction of the Affordable Care Act was supposed to be transparent. Instead the bill’s evolving text was arguably buried in congressional committees and cabals, with only bits and pieces coming to light until it was ready for a vote. This is when Nancy Pelosi made her famous quote, “But we have to pass the [Senate] bill so you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.” The Patriot Act was advertised to the public as giving the government the ability to intercept messages between domestic residents (mostly U.S. citizens) and known terrorists living abroad. Somehow this morphed into a “haystack” of information that lowly technicians, outside of the permissions given by the U.S. FISA Court, could get their hands on. When the Affordable Care Act was challenged in the SCOTUS, most experts I spoke with felt certain it would be struck down. How could anyone be penalized for not engaging in commerce? Even the President glumly made comments indicating this likely outcome. However, the Roberts Court simply changed the word “penalty” to the word “tax” and said Congress has the constitutional authority to tax.Regardless of any promised transparency, many things can still go wrong. While there are non-objectionable deliberations on television and computer screens, there may be other actions taken behind the scenes. How will the many states recall their delegations if anything goes wrong and how long will it take? Each state may have different procedures for doing this. If it is by a resolution, then how long will it take to build a consensus if they can build one at all? How can we be sure our state representatives will act in a way we would like them to act? Will enough states recall their delegations to drop the convention below the necessary quorum required to function? If the convention carries the same character as the U.S. Congress, that of a federal deliberative body, will the states even be able to recall their delegations for the same reason we cannot recall members of Congress or place term limits on them? Will any challenges to a Convention of States end up in the court, allowing the convention even more time to finish their efforts? Depending on how quickly a Convention of States goes off the rails and how fast it moves thereafter, there may be little time for anyone to do anything at all. The thing to consider is that we don’t know how a Convention of States will go off the rails or how we will be able to respond to any and all circumstances. We can, however, safely assume that those who want a runaway convention have already conceived of cleaver ways to make this happen. Once again, they have history in their favor.7. It couldn’t happen. No one would support throwing out our constitution. You can try to force me to go along with such a farce, but bring lots of guns because I’ll certainly have mine.Rebuttal: It always seems to eventually get to this last argument. Our inception as a nation is steeped in bloody revolution. Thomas Jefferson said, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” This kind of sentiment still endures.A new constitution becomes an issue of legitimacy. We must remember that each of us represent a single voice in a larger chorus that exceeds 320 million people. We tend to discuss our values with others who share those same values. As a result, we often forget that this is a country that is almost equally split between those wanting the government to do more, and those wanting the government to do less. If there are enough people in a democratic form of government who want a new constitution in order to accomplish their vision for America, then this becomes a legitimate effort.In a democratic form of government, legitimacy is manifested through the perceptions of the majority, or possibly even a highly vocal minority. The last two presidents were elected by what their opponents might describe as populism running amuck. Should a constitutional convention of states replace the old constitution with a new constitution, and then a majority of people in the United States vote yes in a national referendum, it would be virtually impossible to roll back. The old constitution would be null and void. With the precedence of history and a majority popular vote, we would have a legitimate new government and there is nothing anyone could do to change it short of civil war.In summary, there are at least twelve short arguments against an Article V Convention of States which are as follows:
- The reason for the ratification of our current constitution is because of the wording in our current constitution, not the constitution that was in effect during the convention that recommended our current constitution.
- The replacement of constitutions was illegal under the constitution that was in effect while it was being replaced. It referred to the union under its authority as perpetual. It said all states must inviolably follow all of the articles that made up the constitution (Articles of Confederation). It said all of the states would have to be in full agreement to change anything in the constitution (Articles of Confederation), let alone replace it.
- The actions taken by the delegations in Philadelphia were unauthorized by all the states in attendance and prohibited by at least three of these states and the Confederation Congress.
- The very continuance of our current constitution provides the proof of legitimacy regarding the actions taken during the Philadelphia Convention. These actions set the legal precedence of replacing one constitution for another. This precedence happened despite the language in the constitution that was in effect at the time of the convention, the directives of the congress, and the directives of the states that sent the delegations. One cannot declare the actions taken during the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 illegal without also declaring our current constitution illegal. Even as we cannot declare the actions in Philadelphia illegal, we cannot declare similar actions that may occur in a modern Convention of States illegal either.
- One cannot depend on the courts to nullify any actions taken by a runaway convention, especially if the courts have an active role to play under the terms of a new government.
- The reason for the legitimacy of our current constitution is because enough people recognize it as being legitimate, not because of any documents or court proceedings that make it legitimate. A Constitutional Republic is also called a Representative Democracy. In any form of Democracy, something becomes legitimate when enough people say it is legitimate.
- It should go without saying that you cannot use any legal wording in our current constitution to ward off replacement of the same constitution if it has been replaced. As mentioned, the ability to replace a constitution is based in a sense of legitimacy by the people in a democratic form of government, not by any legalese that has arguably been made null and void. Replacing a constitution is by definition extra-constitutional.
- Even if a new Convention of States is transparent, the interests wanting to replace the Constitution may move quicker than the opposition simply due to the legalese and federal structure of our government. There is a multitude of moving parts in the machinery.
- Simply getting proposed amendments to our current constitution doesn’t guarantee ratification of these amendments. The general public must exert enough will to cause three-fourths of the many states to ratify the proposed amendments under the terms of our current constitution.
- Any wording in the Constitution, current or future is meaningless if the government is not held accountable by the electorate.
- One cannot provide every possible safeguard against a runaway convention as no one can predict exactly how a convention will runaway. For every safeguard put in place, there is a way around it.
- Considering the very real and present danger of a runaway convention and the almost certain civil unrest that would follow in its wake, perhaps alternatives such as taking back our educational institutions and mass media outlets would be a better solution. If the status quo is allowed to continue, then the number of those who believe the government should do more will continue to grow while the number of those who believe government should do less will continue to shrink. Forcing the majority of people to accept the values of the few through the machinery of federalism, if possible, will only last for a season. Eventually the majority will get their way. This is the real reason why we are where we are today. The government doing more things for more people is what a majority of people, in one way or another, have wanted for a very long time. Sometimes the truth hurts, but the only long-term solution is to convince the majority of people that the original vision of limited government was and is, the best kind of government.Regardless of what some conservative lawyers say, the risk of a run-away convention resulting in a catastrophe is not zero. No one can deny the precedence of the past or the inability to put in place adequate safeguards for any and all events that could go wrong. So you decide, is the risk worth it?~~~~~~~~~~~WORTH TAKING 8 Minutes to hear Bill Still’s take on the Con Con:
This is an article written by Sam Blumenfeld in the 1980s:
The other day I was having dinner at a friend’s house and was chatting with his
12-year-old daughter who attends a local public school. I asked her how she was doing,
and she told me that she hated school-not merely disliked schoo~ but hated it. I had
hoped that her parents would home-school her. But they just couldn’t do it. I told her I
thought I knew why she hated school-because it was boring. Yes, she replied. It was
boring. And then I said, “And you’re probably not learning much also.” She wanted to
know what I meant by that. So I asked her to name the first three wars that the United
States was involved with. She got the first one all right, the Revolutionary War. But the
only other war she could think of was the Civil War, and she had no idea when that took
The second war, I told her, was the one fought against the Barbary pirates of
North Africa who kidnapped Americans for ransom. An American invasion of
Tripolitania brought that war to a victorious end. My friend’s daughter had never heard
of that war. The fact is that most Americans have never heard of it. But the anthem of
the U.S. Marine Corps should remind us: “From the halls ofMontezuma, to the Shores of
The third war was the War of 1812. She had never heard of that one either. She
had never heard of the Battle of New Orleans, or the burning of Washington by the
British, or Andrew Jackson, the hero of that war who later became our seventh President.
“But I know all about the Industrial Revolution,” she volunteered. It turned out
that her class had been studying the cotton mills ofNew England and how young girls
were being exploited by the mill owners who were rich and mean. So, at the age of 12,
she was already being indoctrinated to view factory owners as exploiters of poor young
She had heard ofEli Whitney and the cotton gin. But she had never heard of
Robert Fulton and the steamboat. In other words, the public schools were teaching
“social studies” not history. Their aim was to indoctrinate children in a pro-socialist view
of our history by emphasizing the meanness of capitalism.
But homeschoolers have the freedom to teach history as history and not as
propagandistic social studies. History is such a fascinating subject and can be studied in
so many different ways: chronologically, by reading biographies and autobiographies, by
unit studies, by concentrating on certain eras and events. The Civil War commands great
interest for many reasons. Thousands of books have been written about virtually every
aspect of that war. There are even organizations that stage mock battles of the Civil War,
with uniforms and weapons made to the exact specifications of the real things.
Every American should have a foundational knowledge of American history in
order to affirm one’s American identity and heritage. Our nation’s history is such a
remarkable story, so full of great and wonderful people, so vibrant with human endeavor
and enterprise, so stirring in its afftrmation of freedom and love of country, that it
behooves a home schooling parent to learn and teach history to one’s children as a means
of making sure that a child understands what it means to be an American.
Americans, and homeschoolers in particular, have a responsibility of transferring
to future generations the philosophy of our founding fathers, who sacrificed so much so
that we could enjoy the fruits of liberty. It is only through knowledge of history that we
can make sure that our free society continues to exist in decades ahead.
It is, of course, a tragedy that millions of young Americans will never learn
history in their public schools, which have betrayed the trust that parents have, over the
years, placed in them. But it is the opinion of this writer that government schools have
never been compatible with the principles of a free society in which parents have the
responsibility of educating their children in accordance with their own values and beliefs.
Prof. Benjamin Bloom, father of Outcome-Based Education, wrote in his famous
Taxonomy: “By educational objectives, we mean explicit formulations of the ways in
which students are expected to be changed by the educative process. That is, the ways in
which they will change in their thinking, their feelings, and their actions.”
Knowing how important it was to start indoctrinating children as early as
possible, Bloom wrote: “The evidence points out convincingly to the fact that age is a
factor operating against attempts to effect a complete or thorough-going reorganization of
attitudes and values …. The evidence collected thus far suggests that a single hour of
classroom activity under certain conditions may bring about a major reorganization in
cognitive as well as affective behaviors.”
Those are not the words of an educator who respects the values and beliefs of
parents whose children he is about to indoctrinate.
A link to the article from the Sam Blumenfeld Archives:
Several week ago while driving in rural New Hampshire, I turned on the radio and the first thing that came on was a talk show on NPR. The host was interviewing a college professor on the subject of cursive. The professor, a mother of a teenage boy, informed us of a study she conducted on the difference between students who know cursive vs. those who do not. She had my attention. Her study led he to conclude that cursive writers had better grades. Alas, I thought, a Sam Blumenfeld disciple, and on NPR no less! I pulled over the van in order to write down her name, and contact info. But a minute later, this professor said she was against teaching cursive. She explained that her son was traumatized by it. The poor dear. She claimed that cursive was unnecessary, a product of a bygone era. Was she advocating the dumbing down of America? I think so. I never did write down her contact info.
A week later, I visited the Lillian Nordica Homestead in Farmington, Maine to donatesome artifacts to the homestead that were in Sam’s estate. The curator, Crystal Williams, lamented that a young lady volunteer was unable to read cursive, and therefore unable to read Lillian’s numerous cursive letters.
Sam was a strident proponent of cursive first. He pointed out that all toddlers use circular motions when scribbling, and rightfully noted that cursive was natural. Sam wrote the book “How to Tutor” which contains lessons on cursive. Here is a link to the lessons:
If taught using these lessons, your children will not be traumatized.
A link to a short video on the John Jones Museum:
Editors note: This article fron the early 1980s, was originally typed and contains some typos which we were not able to correct. A link to a PDF version: http://blumenfeld.campconstitution.net/Transcripts/The%20Wonderful%20World%20Of%20Charity.pdf
By Samuel L. Blumenfeld
Laissez-faire — or a reasonable facsimile thereof — is alive
and well in the wonderful world of nonprofit organizations better
known in America as philanthropy. Anyone can start a charity around
some worthy medical, educational or cultural cause, get a mailing
list, send out a quarter of a million letters pleading for money,
and then wait for the checks to roll in. This is one of the great
freedoms Americans can still joyfully exercise, a freedom that some
people would like to curtail.
And that’s why your mailbox on some days is literally crammed
with letters from such organizations as the American Civil Liberties
Union Foundation, the Sierra Club, American Leprosy Missions, The
Salvation Army, the Cousteau Society, Planned Parenthood, the Epilepsy
Foundation of America, Alternatives to Abortion International,
Animal Protection Institute of America, Sacred Heart Auto League,
Leukemia Society of America, etc.
Would you believe that the cumulative list of tax-exempt
organizarions compiled by the Internal Revenue Service has over
250,000 entries? And that doesn’t tell the whole story, for under
one umbrella organization . may be hundreds of branches or chapters
that are j ust as tax exempt as the parent group . . Would you believe
that Americans give to charity at a rate of over $100 million a day?
Would you believe that America’s total giving — $47.74 billion In
1980 — is more than the national budgets of all but uine of the
160 nations listed in the World Almanac? (Brazil’s national budget
in 1979 was $18.83; Canada’s, $44.75 billion.)
The simple truth is that Americans are the most generous people
on earth. They give about $180 per capita each year to charity,
whereas Canadians give only about $35, and Englishmen a mere $20.
Large-scale philanthropy is a peculiarly American phenomenon for a
number of very good reasons: (1) Americans in ‘ general rely less on
government to get things done than do people in other nations;
(2) Americans, because of their wealth, are grateful for their good
fortune and are thus easily persuaded by religious conviction or a
sense of altruism to help the less fortunate and contrbute to worthy
causes; (3) the tax-exempt status of the nonprofit organization has
made it economically attractive to conduct certain medical, cultural,
educational and scentific enterprises in the nonprofit format;
(4) fund-raising has been developed into a very highly skilled
profession, with the result that more people are being persuaded to
give to more causes than ever before.
become the favorite
Contrary to the popular belief that foundations are the big
givers in America, the fact is that individuals contribute over
80 percent of the total given to charity. In 1980 that came to
And that is why direct-mail solicitations have
way to reach potential donors. They go to
inqividuals in their homes where the letters can be read in an easy
chair in close proximity to a personal checkbook. The appeal letter,
skillfully written by a w|ll-paid professional, is intended to
enlist the reader’s interest and symp}thy to the extent that he
or she will write out a check immediately, slip it in the prepaid
reply envelope, and mail it in the morning. An appeal letter that
is set aside for future answering seldom gets ansv?~reu because the
appeals that arrive in the next day’s mail may command greater
interest and sympathy.
Although begging for alms is probably as old as the human race,
soliciting contributions by mail is a relatively new phenomenon
which, in the computer age, has become a highly sophisticated business.
Legend has it that direct-mail fund-raising was started in Italy
in 1835 by Saint Vincent Pallotti, an advisor to the Pope, wh0 sent
letters to potential donors appealing for money to support his
works of mercy. Undoubtedly Father Pallotti wrote some very persuasive
letters, for he opened a whole new world of charitable enterprise.
Today some direct-mail specialists charge as much as $5,000
to write a good, hard-hitting letter for a client — who might be
a magazine publisher, a sales house, or a charity. In 1978 about
34 billion form letters were sent through the mail by businesses and
organizations trying to drum up mail-order response. Their
success accounted for about 12 percent of all retail sales,
addqng up to $83 billion in gross revenues.
That’s a lot ofBut it all starts with a mailing list. You just don’t send
out letters to everyone in the phone book. You try to get a list
of people most likely to respond to your appeal. Richard Viguerie,
the direct-mail king for conservative. causes, built his thriving
empire on a list of contributors to the Goldwater campaign of 1964.
Hqving those names and addresses was literally like having money
n the bank. These were people interested in any number of
conservative causes. The result was the birth of numeyous sinqle
issue organizations that began laying the groundwork for a conservative
Likewise, ln 1972 the liberals put together their own mailing
list from contributors to the McGovern campaign. This list, compiled
by direct-mail specialist Morris Dees, had a half million names to
begin with. If you were on this list, you no doubt have received
since then several hundreds of solicitations from liberal causes.
And, of course, organizations will exchange or buy lists to expand
their reach. One contributor who gave $15 to the Kent State Fund
soon began receiving solicitations from the followers of Karen
Silkwood, the Union of Concerned Scientists (nuclear power) and
the Greenpeace Foundation (baby seals). There is a very lively
traffic in lists, with brokers offering whole catalogues of specialized
lists for rent — doctors, lawyers, teachers, salesmen, home-owners,
boat-owners, farmers, pilots, ministers, etc. Some lists are
computer-coded so that they can be broken down by sex, level of
,donation, ethnic derivation of surname, and zip code, which makes
it pretty easy for an organization or business to direct its
campaign to a very specific group of people.
Renting a list is not cheap. The cost will run between $15
and $60 per thousand names. But that’s only the beginning. There’s
also postage, paper, and printing to pay for — not to mention the
overhead of an office. On the average, the overall cost for a mailing
of 100,000 pieces is about $20,000, or 20 cen¡3 apiece. A resronse
of 2 perc¢nt is considered highly successful. If those 2,000
respondees contribute an average of about $15 each, your income
will be about $30,000, leaving your organization about $10,000 to
spend on the cause.
Actually, in its first year no new charity is expected to raise
much more money than is needed to simply get it off the ground.
The payoff comes after the first year when contributors renew their
donations and the organization developes a loyal following of
interested people and a specialized mailing list of its own.
Because there is now so much competition in direc£-mail.
solicitations, fund-raisers are using all sorts of gimmicks to get
people to respond. Public affairs groups may enclose opinion
polls or postage stamps. Religious charities often enclose plastic
key chains and medallions. Health agencies tend to favor seals.
Other gimmicks include sweepstake tickets, greeting cards, ball-point
pens, return address labels, and bright new pennies. The hope
is that these “gifts” will induce the receiver to send some money
back in the return envelope. The gimmicks often work, for no one
likes to feel that he or she is taking something for nothing,
particularly from a charity. Naturally all of this gimmickry
increases the cost of fund-raising.
There is a great deal of debate over what constitutes fair
operating costs for a chartable organization. Some charities are
accused of spending too much money on raising money and not enough
on the charity itself. That was the case with the Sister Kenny
Foundation which in the years 1952-9 collected $30,674,000 from
the public to help rehabilitate victims of infantile paralysis.
Of that money, 53%, or $16,260,000, went for “overhead” and fundraising
costs. Thus, less than half the money collected was
actually used for therapeutic purposes.
Was this a result of fraud, greed, or plain poor management?
In this case it turned out to be a matter of greed, and the promoters
involved one of whom was a well-known operator in the charity
business were found guilty of mail fraud and conspiracy and were
sent to jail.
But the truth of the matter is that charitable organizations,
subject to the strong pressures of a highly competitive marketplace,
have become more and more like businesses, p la gue d wit the same
economic problems, expected to perform with the same efficiency.
Yet, as we all know, businesses can fail. They can lose money as
well as make it, and the same holds true for the charitable organization,
One ought not to automatically suspect fraud if a charity can’t
quite make it.
In a field of activity as large, diverse, and open as fund-raising
there are bound to be some sharp operators and some shady dealings
and practices. However, most of the people who start charitable
organizatlons are motivated by the desire to serve some worthy causes.
The hired help, however, may not be so altruistically motivated.
The professionals who run the biggest charities are paid salaries
comparable to their peers in government and industry. For example,
five officers of Disabled American Veterans are paid about $49,000
and the top executive officer earns nearly $63,000. Were these
same services performed by a government agency at taxpayer expense
the saiaries would be the same but the staff would, no doubt, be
twice as large.
As for the lower echelon workers, they are no more self-sacrificial
than their counterparts in business or government. Some have been
known to even strike for higher wages. That was the case in the
mid 1970’s when 120 staff members of New York’s Association for the
Help of Retarded Children walked off their jobs and did not return
until they had received $800 in annual increases over their pay
which ranged from $5,100 to $10,000.
How can you as a consumer know which of the charities are worth
contributing to? Most contributors give to causes that interest them.
If the cause is a vital one, they rarely worry about how efficient
the organization championing it is. But if you do want to find out
something about a specific nonprofit organization, there are two
information agencies that can help you: the National Information
Bureau (419 Park Ave., South, New York, N. Y. 10016) and the
Philanthropic Advisory Service of the Council of Better Business
Bureaus (1150 Seventeenth St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036). The
NIB keeps tabs on the finances and activities of almost 400 national
charities. The NIB rates charitiEs according to how well they
measure up to the eight standards which the agency feels every wellintentioned,
well-run chaity should meet:
(1) An active and responsible governing body with effective
administrative control, serving without compensation and holding
[2) A legitimate purpose with no avoidable duplication of
the work of other sound organizations.
(3) Reasonable management efficiency with adequate material
and personnel resources to carry on its stated program together with
reasonable dministration nd fund-raising expense.
(4) Consultation and cooperation with established agencies in
the same and related fields.
(5) Ethical methods of publicity, promoton and fund solicitation.
(6) No payment of commissions for fund raising, no mailing of
unordered tickets or mercharldise with a request for money in return,
no general telephone solicitation of the public and no use of
icentitled government employees to solicit the public.
(7) An annual audit employing the Uniform Accounting Standards
and prepared by an independent certified public accountant, showing
all support/revenue and expenses in reasonable detail. A combined
audit of the national office and affiliates is required.
(8) A detailed annual budget consistent with the Uniform
The NIB publishes a rating list, updated each month, of some
365 national charities entitled the “Wise Giving Guide,” available
free on request. In-depth individual reports are also available,
with a limit of three per request.
Th2 Council of Better Business Burearus maintains files on
about 7,0 00 national nonprofit organizations that solicit public
support. It publishes a rating list of the 360 or so most active
ones. Detailed reports on any charities monitored by CBBB are
available on request. The rating list can be had for $1.
¥he NIB and the CBBB do not always agree in their evaluations
of particular organizations. But both watchdog groups have
reservations about the following charities: American Brotherhood
for the Blind, AMVETS National Service Foundation, Christian
Appalachian Project, Cousteau Society, David Livingstone Missionary
Found¦tion, Disabled American Veterans, Guiding Eyes for the Blind,
Help Hospitalized Veterans, Korean Relief, Paralyzed Veterans of
America, Salesian Missions, Seeing Eye, Southern Poverty Law Center,
Southwest In§ian Foundation, and World Ch¨ngers.
The ratings may not ma©e much sense to those who contribute to
organizations because of the causes they espouse rather than because
they meet a set of standards devised by some self-appointed watchdogs.
For example, I found that several of my favorite organizations did
not get the approval of the NIB, while others which I didn’t like at
all made the approval list. I hate to think that the NIB’s rating
system is biased. But one thing is certain: you can’t base your
glvlng decisions solely on their criteria and findings. All of which
means that even the work of a watchdog agency must be monitored for
its own inherent prejudices. There is more to a charity or a nonprofit
organization thar. the frequency of its board meetings and
the cost of its fund-raising.
There have been attempts in some states to legislate limits
on fund-raising costs. In Florida the limit is 25 percent of the
funds raised; in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, the limit is
35 percent; and in New York and New Jersey it is 50 percent. Clearly
it is impossible to come up with a figure that means anything.
It’s like trying to legislate limits on how much a businessman may
put into a ne business before he turns a profit. Start up costs
for nonprofit organizations are subject to just about as many
variables, pre ictable and unpredictable, as those for businesses.
All tax-exempt organizations — except churches _.- are required
by the IRS to file annual financial reports. These reports really
tell us as much as we have to know about how a particular nonprofit
organization is handling its money. In addition, these reports are
thoroughly analyzed by the NIB and the CBBB. Therefore, if any
contributor has doubts or reservations about any charity, he can
always get plenty of information about it. Nonprofit organizations
will send you their annual reports on request.
But because church-affiliated charities are not required to
submit annual financial reports to the IRS — remember separation
of church and state — it is far more difficult for the contributor
to find out how that charity is handling its funds. We assume that th
priests, ministers, and rabbis who administer these charities are
_.L.L’-‘ …… …………. ,1
kept honest by the higher laws of their respective religions. But
even men of the cloth are susceptible to temptation. In fact, a
recent scandal involving a well-known Catholic charity reminds us
that Original Sin has not gone the way of the Latin mass.
Foy years the Pall ottine Fathers of Baltimore, a venerable
Roman Catholic missionary order with 2200 priests and brothers in
’23 countries, had been soliciting contributions by mail. In fact,
the order was founded in 1835 by Saint Vincent Pallotti, the father
of direct-mail fund-raising. From that modest beginning grew a
mammoth direct-mail charity which is now run from a warehouse in
Bltimore with computerized mailing lists, automatic typewriters and
high-speed envelope stuffers.
From June 1974 through December 1975 the order sent out 150
million appeals, some of which contained ball-point pens, calendars,
prayer cards, and sweepstakes tickets. The response during that
period added up to $20 million of which less than 3 percent ever
reached the charitable missions. The bulk was used to pay for the
mailings, including a postage bill of $2 million a year.
This alone was dismal pnough, but when a federal probe into a
Maryland bank revealed that the Pallottine Fathers had loaned the
bnnk $87,000, the state attorney general began an investigation
that finally led to the indictment and conviction in 1978 of the
charity’s fund-raising director, the Very Rev. Guido John Carcich.
It turned out that millions of the charity’s funds had been
invest8d in real estate and business ventures, including a portable
classroom manufacturing company owned by the nephew of the Pallottjne
CharityFathers’ accountant. An investigation into that company resulted in
the indictment of Maryland’s school construction chief. Another
Pallottine loan of $54,000 helped pay for Maryland Governor Marvin
Mandel’s 1974 divorce; and $52,000 was used for the purchase of a
house for Father Carcich’s niece.
When all the faces were finally known, Father Carcich pleaded
guilty to diverting $2.2 million of the charity’s funds into 28
secret bank accounts. Under a plea-bargaining arrangement, Father
Carcich was placed on probation for 18 months Qnd ordered to work
for one year in the Maryland penal system “ministering to the needs
of prisoners.” Meanwhile, the order was stripped of its fiscal
autonomy by senior officials of the Catholic Church who also imposed
a moratorium on future Pallottine financial dealings pending a
review of its fund-raising methods and philosophy.
It would be wrong to conclude from the Pallottine case that
the charity world is riddled with crooks and charlatans. There
about as much fraud in the nonprofit sector as one is likely to
find in government or business, perhps even less these days because
of the inordinate publicity charity frauds get. Cal Bakal, author
1Sof USA, states that from $500 million to $1.5 billion is
estimated to wind up with chaity charlatans. That’s about 2 percent
of the total $47.74 billion contributed to all charitable organizations.
One can philosophize that it’s part of the cost we must bear if we
are to enjoy the freedom to organize and raise money for any cause
that grabs hold of us.
Some social critics have suggested that we create a federal
agency to regulate and police charitable organizations. But instantly
you would have to exclude religious organizations from such government
regulation because of our long-standing tradition of separation of
church and state. In 1980 religion received $22.15 billion in
contributions, or 46.3 percent of all charitable giving. Thus, -almost
half of all charitable acIivity would be exempt from government
On the other hand, government regulation would merely create
another expensive federal bureaucracy which would generate tons of
needless paperwork and red tape. It would place a damper on nonprofit
entrepreneurship, it would inhibit the starting of new organizations
and solidify the dominance of the establishment charit)es. Federal
regulations would increase the cost of fund-raising without improving
the quality of services rendered. They might reduce the chance
of fraud, but they would not solve the problems of human error and
mismanagement. But worsJ of all, they might also kill the vitality
of the nonprofit sector which depends so heavily on personal motivation
and the freedom to act forcefully in its behalf. Bureaucracy is no
substitute for individual initiative and dedication.
Charity – 16
entrepreneurship, it would inhibit the starting of new organizations
and solidify the dominance of the establishment charities. Federal
rºgulations would increase the cost of fund-raising without improving
the q»ality of services rendered. They might reduce the chance
of fraud, but they would not solve the problems of human error and
mismanagement. But worst of all, they might also kill the vitality
of the nonprofit sector which depends so heavily on pe¼sonal motivation
and the freedom to act forcefully in its behalf. Bureaucracy is no
substitute for individual initiative and dedication.
Meanwhile, fund-raisers are worried about the future. They
don’t know if Reagan’s new tax policies will help or hurt charitable
giving. But one thing is certain: people will continue to give as
long as there are good causes to support and enough persuasive
fund-raisers to do the asking. One 27-year-old sheet metal worker who
pledged $20 to a policeman’s benefit association in response to a
phone solicita’tion summed up the feelings of a lot of contributors
when asked why he gave :
“It’s hard for me to say no when someone wants my help ,
when they come right out and ask me. I want people to like me. I feel
that I have failed or fallen short in some way when I refuse to help
people. I’d rather pay the $20 than feel bad about it for several days
because I didn’t pay it½ Twenty dollars isn’t very much . . . I can
handle that much.”
But not every donor is a soft touch. Here’s what a 50-year-old
sports store owner replied when asked by Paul Schneiter, author of
The Art of why he gave a motor boat and three canoes wortil
Charity – 17
$6,500 to a parochial high school: “I ‘m basically stingy about
donating, except where the church is concerned. I believe in
their programs. • Another reason I gave is because I would rather
control where my money goes than simply turn it over to the Internal
But perhaps the 52-year-old owner of a grocery store who
gave $2,500 to a boys’ club hit the nail on the head when he said:
“When the boys’ club president and two of the boys visited me and
asked for the money, I just didn’t want to refuse • • . . They. made
me feel important, and I just couldn’t let them down .. .. You
know, after you make some big purchase you feel blue about it for
days afterward, wondering if you did the right thing. But after
I gave that $2,500, it wasn’t that way. It was just a great feeling}
and the feeling comes back every time I think about it.n
For many Americans? giving to charity is a sure way to
experience that great feeling — whether it be in giving fifty cen·ts
to a down-and-outer, SIOO to a Jerry Lewis telethon for Muscular
Distrophy, or S105 million to a university. Yes, that much money,
in Coca Cola stock, was given to Emory University in 1980 by the
Emily & Ernest Woodruff Fund, ,the largest single gift in the history
of philanthropy_ It ·s assumed that great feelings — in some cases
approaching delir.ium was had by all. Of such stuff are ·the
dreams of fund-raisers made.’
Camp Constitution’s annual family camp is less than week away. We have an excellent line up of speakers, and plenty of activies.
Here is the daily schedule not including the junior camper schedule:
Sunday July 2nd 4:00 PM Registration by Mr. Everett) + 4:00 PM staff mtg.
6:30 PM Entrance Quiz (in Cafeteria / Mess Hall) All campers age 11 and up; Staff
7:45 PM Camp Orientation by Mr. Shurtleff, Mr. Hoderny, Mr. Kalis …
9:00 AM Know the Constitution by Mr.Hal Shurtleff
10:00 AM Crimes of the Educators by Mr. Alex Newman
11:00 AM The New World Order by Mr. John McManus
1:00 PM Class Picture – See 2010: (face Hebron deck & drive: mountain view; picnic tables as risers?)
6:30 PM The Climate-Change Hoax by Professor Willie Soon–Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
7:45 PM Target of a Smear – Senator Joseph McCarthy by Mr. McManus
Tuesday, July 4th Independence Day!
10:00 AM Faith of the Signers by Rev. Steven Craft
11:00 AM The Lives of [some of] the Signers by Mrs. Catherine White
1:00 PM “High Flying Frisbee Dogs and Magic Show” with Mr. Eric Conover
6:30 PM “Red Pill Politics” Live Radio Show! Dave Kopac interviews Rev. Craft, and others
7:45 PM Signing of the Declaration of Independence with (Mr.) Eric Eastman
(8:00 Shuttle campers to…) 9:00 PM Rindge Center for the fireworks!
9:00 AM Environmental Alarmism Refuted by Professor Willie Soon – Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysics Ctr.
10:00 AM U.S. Constitution Article I (Legislative branch / powers of Congress) by Mr. Norman Tregenza
11:00 AM The U.S. Constitution vs. Sharia Law by Father Michael Carl
1:00 PM Optional – Field Trip: Rindge Historic Society
6:30 PM Applying 10 Commandments to Advocate for Bill of Rights in Contemporary Issues Mr. Earl Wallace
7:45 PM Article 2 (Executive branch) and Article 3 (Judicial branch) by Mrs. White / Mrs. Harper
9:00 AM 13 Rules for Radicals Used to Redistribute Wealth & Wreck the Republic by Mr. Earl Wallace
10:00 AM Declarations and Preambles by Mrs. White
11:00 AM The Moral American by Mr. John Hoderny
1:00 PM Optional – Hike up Mount Monadnock
6:30 PM The Right to Keep and Bear Arms by Mr. Larry Pratt – Gun Owners of America (GOA)
7:45 PM Engaging America by Michael King of the Massachusetts Family Institute
9:00 AM Refuting the Gun Controllers by Mr. Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America (GOA)
10:00 AM History of Drug Addiction in America by Dr. Kishore [M.D.]
11:00 AM Articles 4=States, 5=Amending it, 6=Debts, Supremacy, Oaths, & 7= “Done!” 17Sept., 1787
6:30 PM The Electoral College [How It Saves Us from Runaway Mob Rule] by Tom Moor
7:45 PM Exit Quiz – Teaching Staff
9:00 AM Color, Communism, and Common Sense by Rev. Craft
10:00 AM Death by Government by Mr. Chris Kalis
11:00 AM Actions Anyone Can Take to Confront Lies & Claim Liberties by Mr. Wallace
1:00 PM Optional Workshop: First Aid – by Mr. Scott Richards, EMT
6:30 PM Test Review w/ Mr. Tregenza & Mrs. Harper
7:45 PM Awards & Graduation Mr. Shurtleff and Rev. Craft
CAMP CONSTITUTION – General Daily Schedule A.D. 2017
Note: All buildings at Toah Nipi are named for Biblical places of refuge.
Bethel – Building next to stairway to lake & campfire; has Newspaper Office, Girls Dorm, Faculty Rooms
Hebron – Bldg. w/front porch supported by cross; Mess Hall / Ping-Pong; Boys Dorm; Classrooms; VIPs
Every morning: (Monday – Sunday)
[Except Tues. July 4th, when all morning events =1 hour later, & NO 9:00 AM CLASS!!]
M, W, Th, F, Sat., Sun. :
6:30 AM Polar Bear Swim / Run (optional)
7:00 AM Non-polar bears, Wake-up!
7:50 AM Flagpole: Devotions, Announcements +
Recite Preamble to US Constitution and/or Pledge at Flagpole
8:00 AM Breakfast Hebron (Main Building) Meet on porch until line opens.
8:30 Staff Meeting – Hebron // Students in Cabins cleaning & decorating
Classes (Mon-Sat) at 9:00,* 10:00, and 11:00 AM (with mini-breaks between classes)
*Tuesday, July 4th – No 9:00 AM class on Independence Day
Locations – See other side for detailed class list:
Classes are in Hebron (just upstairs from Cafeteria / Mess Hall)
Meet in Mess Hall: Sun, July 2, 6:45pm – Placement Quiz; & Fri., July 7, 7:45pm – Exit Quiz
Lunch at Noon – Meet on Hebron porch for grace (Monday – Saturday)
1:00–5:30 PM = Recreation, Swimming + Pictures, Hikes, or Field Trips…
Evenings: (Sunday – Saturday):
Dress-up only for Saturday Supper and Graduation
5:30 PM Dinner (Meet on Hebron porch for grace)
6:30 PM Classroom
7:20 PM Flagpole
7:45 PM Classroom
8:35 Break – Rooms to get long sleeves, or mosquito stuff, and…
9:00 PM Campfire (Bring Flashlight & Song Book!); beware mosquitoes!)
10:00 PM Break – Snacks** & Camp Newspapers usually available in Mess Hall.
10:30 PM in Cabins
11:00 PM Lights Out!
** Pizza Party – after Campfire Saturday evening! Class pictures if ordered. Take pictures of and with friends,
exchange phone and e-mail information! You may also wish to organize for your trip home, take down your
cabin decorations, and plan for next year!
Final Sunday morning, clean up room and bathroom. Use cleaning supplies and vacuum, as needed, to tidy up.
A good rule-of-thumb, as they say: “Always leave a place as good as, or better than, you found it!” Safe Travels!
We are delighted over the number of views and downloads the Sam Blumenfeld Archives is receiving.
Here are the stats for the month of May 2017:
Alpha-phonics Workbook 6727
Alpha-phonics Instruction Manual 1241
Are Public Schools Harming Your Kids – CT.mp4 1058
Marlowe-Shakespeare Connection (editor).pdf 1039
America’s Future – On Public Education.mp4 549
Are Public Schools Harming Your Kids – Stockton CA 1986.mp4 513
America First Ep1.mp4 486
Foreign Traffic accounts for roughly 25% of all traffic
Russian Federation 11,042
And in the past five months:
2017: 845, 081 hits with 29,304 Workbooks downloaded over 5 months.
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Professor Willie Soon, who will be an instructor at this year’s Camp Constitution’s family camp shared with us a memo he received from the White House Press Office:
Topline: The Paris Accord is a BAD deal for Americans, and the President’s action today is keeping his campaign promise to put American workers first. The Accord was negotiated poorly by the Obama Administration and signed out of desperation. It frontloads costs on the American people to the detriment of our economy and job growth while extracting meaningless commitments from the world’s top global emitters, like China. The U.S. is already leading the world in energy production and doesn’t need a bad deal that will harm American workers.
UNDERMINES U.S. Competitiveness and Jobs
According to a study by NERA Consulting, meeting the Obama Administration’s requirements in the Paris Accord would cost the U.S. economy nearly $3 trillion over the next several decades.
By 2040, our economy would lose 6.5 million industrial sector jobs – including 3.1 million manufacturing sector jobs
o It would effectively decapitate our coal industry, which now supplies about one-third of our electric power
The deal was negotiated BADLY, and extracts meaningless commitments from the world’s top polluters
The Obama-negotiated Accord imposes unrealistic targets on the U.S. for reducing our carbon emissions, while giving countries like China a free pass for years to come.
o Under the Accord, China will actually increase emissions until 2030
The U.S. is ALREADY a Clean Energy and Oil & Gas Energy Leader; we can reduce our emissions and continue to produce American energy without the Paris Accord
America has already reduced its carbon-dioxide emissions dramatically.
o Since 2006, CO2 emissions have declined by 12 percent, and are expected to continue to decline.
o According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the U.S. is the leader in oil & gas production.
The agreement funds a UN Climate Slush Fund underwritten by American taxpayers
President Obama committed $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund – which is about 30 percent of the initial funding – without authorization from Congress
With $20 trillion in debt, the U.S. taxpayers should not be paying to subsidize other countries’ energy needs.
The deal also accomplishes LITTLE for the climate
According to researchers at MIT, if all member nations met their obligations, the impact on the climate would be negligible. The impacts have been estimated to be likely to reduce global temperature rise by less than .2 degrees Celsius in 2100.
This article from the Sam Blumenfeld Archives was written over 10 years ago:
Oriana Fallaci, the intrepid Italian journalist, known for her no-holds-barred interviews of world leaders and celebrities, has written a book which the Moslems in Europe have tried to ban. Titled The Rage and the Pride, it was written as a response to the attack on New York and Washington on September 11,2001, in which 3,000 human beings perished in the World Trade Center Towers, in four hijacked airliners, and in the Pentagon, killed by Islamic fundamentalists. The book is a powerful alarm to wake up the West to the Reverse Crusade launched by this Islamic Pearl Harbor. Fallaci is the only writer I know of who has connected what happened on 9/ll with what has been going on in Europe for the last fifteen years: a massive invasion by Moslem immigrants. She characterizes this invasion as the Reverse Crusade, by which the Moslems hope to dominate Christian Europe from which they were expelled in the 15th century. She writes: People are afraid to speak against the Islamic world. Afraid to offend, and to be punished for offending, the sons of Allah. You can insult the Christians, the Buddhists, the Hindus, the Jews. You can slander the Catholics, you can spit on the Madonna and Jesus Christ. But, woe betide the citizen who pronounces a word against the Islamic religion.
What particularly disturbs Fallaci is the extent to which Italy has been impacted by the Moslem invasion. And the reason why Italy permits these immigrants to stay is because Italians have the lowest birthrate in Europe, and they don’t want the menial jobs. But the hope has always been that immigrants would be absorbed into Italian culture, so that the generation born in Italy would adopt Italian or Western ways and attitudes. But Fallaci writes: Because our cultural identity has been well defmed for thousands of years we cannot bear a migratory wave of people who have nothing to do with us … who are not ready to become like us, to be absorbed by us …. Who, on the contrary, aim to absorb us. To change our principles, our values, our identity, our way of life. And who in the meantime molest us with their retrograde ignorance, their retrograde bigotry, their retrograde religion. I am saying that in our culture there is no room for the muezzins, for the minarets, for the phony abstemious, for the humiliating chador, for the degrading burkah. Fallaci is infuriated by the way Islamic fundamentalists treat women. She quotes the two testaments that Muhammed Atlah, the leader of the 9/11 attack, left for his parents: “At my funeral I do not want impure things. Meaning, animals and women …. Not even around my grave do I want impure beings. Especially the most impure: pregnant women.” But of course, there was no funeral for Attah who was burnt to ashes with the rest of his fellow hijackers and the passengers in the plane. It requires a diabolical mind to believe that this is something God called for. There is nothing in Judaism or Christianity that calls for such diabolical behavior. And there is nothing in Biblical religion that calls for the total degradation of women. The burkah is probably the most degrading form of dress ever conceived by any culture for women. It puts them in a mo bile prison, reducing them to a form of chattel, a movable piece of personal property. They have no rights, no freedoms, and are forced to remain ignorant, illiterate, and enslaved by their husbands.
In Afghanistan, women have been given the right not to wear the burkah, which was required under the Taliban. Yet, there are many women in Afghanistan who still wear the burkah because of custom and the fear of their husbands. What is amazing is how passively the Europeans have allowed this invasion to take place. It’s as if the Islamization of Europe were taking place in a cultural vacuum. But it is not so much a cultural vacuum as it is a spiritual one. Western Europe has long fallen away from its Christian roots mainly through the prevalence of its atheist leftists in positions of power in politics and academe. Christianity has been replaced by communism and socialism, the two utopian philosophies of the 20<1> century for which millions of human beings were sacrificed. And so, why resist the Islamic invasion which is being aided and abetted by the Left. But the rise of Le Pen in France, and so-called right-wingers elsewhere in Europe, are the rumblings of a growing opposition to Islamization. Brigitte Bardot, the famous French mm star, has written her own passionate book, A Scream in the Silence, in which she proclaims: “I am against the Islamization of France …. For centuries our forefathers, the ancients, our grandfathers, our fathers gave their lives to chase all successive invaders from France.” But when will the French fight back? There are now six million Muslims in France who want the right to send their daughters to secular public schools wearing the chador. They want to impose their culture on France, and they are a power to be reckoned with. It was Charles de Gaulle who betrayed the Christian West, in 1962, when he surrendered French Algeria to the Arabs, forcing the flight of over a million Europeans and Jews from North Africa. It was the presence of France in North Africa that kept the Arabs in check and permitted the creation of a productive civilization in that part of the world. But de Gaulle’s retreat from North Africa made the Reverse Crusade inevitable. France had invaded Aljgeria in 1830 to put a stop to Moslem depredations along the Mediterranean coast. The French stayed, and Europeans settled there, building farms, vineyards, factories, and a European way of life. Algeria became a prosperous French colony in which the Arabs enjoyed a high degree of safety and freedom. Today, with the French gone, Islamic radicals are free to slit the throats of children sleeping in their beds. And so, six million Algerians have gone to France, with a large contingent of anti Semitic radicals among them. And they have brought Islam with them. With the Islamization of Europe has come a resurgence of anti-Semitism sparked by the hatred of Israel. The Arab-European League, a militant Arab nationalist party, is one of the Islamic groups responsible for inciting hatred of Jews. In pro-Palestinian marches in Antwerp, Belgium, police warned Jews not to go to their temples because their safety could not be guaranteed. Some European Jews are emigrating to Israel. But Israel is not exactly a safe haven.
The Jerusalem Report of June 2, 2003 reported: Ran Baron, 23, Yanai Weiss, 46, and French immigrant Dominique Caroline Hass, 29, were killed and about 60 wounded when a suicide bomber identified as AssifHanif, 21, of Britain blew himself up outside Mike’s Place, a beachfront pub in Tel Aviv on April 30. An accomplice of Hanifs, Omar Sharif, 27, also of Britain, escaped after his suicide bomb failed to detonate. Over 700 Israelis have been killed by suicide bombers since the beginning of this latest Intifada. And it is interesting that suicide bombers are now being recruited among European Moslems in this world-wide religious war. Fallaci writes: All the so-called Revolutions of Islam began in the mosques. Not in the Universities, as the [liberals 1 want us to believe. Behind every Islamic terrorist there is an Imam, and Khomeini was an Imam …. And I declare that many Imams (too many) are spiritual guides to terrorism. What do the Imams in the mosques of America preach? Is a non-Moslem American permitted to enter a mosque and [md out? Over the years I have attended Jewish synagogues, Protestant churches, Catholic churches, Mormon churches, and never did I hear a sermon that preached hatred of someone or anyone. But Islam is a religion of hatred that has no place in a tolerant Christian civilization. We wonder if some young American Moslems are being prepared to become the suicide bombers of the future. We hope the Homeland Security Department knows the answer. But all they presently see in their American liberators is disorganization and confusion. Nobody knows who’s in charge, not even American soldiers know. Thus, our troops are confronted daily by angry mobs that want jobs, or food, or relief; none of which our troops can provide. WIllIe the United States wants Iraq to be run by the Iraqis, the transition from Saddam’s murderous regime to a benign democracy may take much longer than we think. In the interim, the Iraqis need American authority to bring them out of chaos. They need a symbolic figure of authority who represents American goals and can create the framework of a reconstructed democratic Iraq. But where is that authority? Where is that top man who can hold press conferences and speak on Iraqi television to assure the Iraqis of what our intentions are? Meanwhile, we have a glaring vacancy at the top, indicating chaos and disorganization among the liberators.
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