To the Heroes of the Confederate State of North Carolina (1861-65)

 

SILENT SAM (Chapel Hill) - face shot

by Diane Rufino, September 3, 2018

On the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill stood the noble statue of “Silent Sam,” the Confederate soldier who stood vigilant watch over the campus. It stood on McCorkle place, the University’s upper quad, facing Franklin Street.

“Sam” represented those young students who had left the campus when Lincoln’s war came, and who willingly went off to do their duty for their beloved state. More than 1000 students enlisted and fought, representing at least 40% of the total number of students at the university, a record surpassed by only one other institution (North or South) – the University of Virginia. Like her home state in general, Chapel Hill gave more than her share to the defense of the South.

Sam is “silent” because he carries no ammunition and therefore cannot fire his gun.

The monument was given to the campus by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1909 and it was finally erected on campus in 1913. A bronze plaque in bas-relief on the front of the memorial’s base depicted a woman, representing the state of North Carolina, convincing a young student to fight for the Southern cause. The student is shown dropping his books, representing students leaving their studies. A small bronze inscription plaque on the left side of the base read:  “Erected under the auspices of the North Carolina division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy aided by the alumni of the university.”  And another bronze inscription plaque on the right read:

“To the Sons of the University who entered the War of 1861-65 in answer to the call of their country and whose lives taught the lesson of their great commander that Duty is the sublimest word in the English language.”

We can call him “Silent Sam” because of another reason. He speaks no particular message. He conveys no message other than to acknowledge that young men fought for North Carolina and the Confederacy. That is, the monument to the students who left Chapel Hill to fight is a memorial, just like the gravestone or headstone marking the grave of one who has passed is a memorial. It conveys no particular message other than to memorialize the person’s life and to note some particular aspect of that life. It is a historical marker. My father’s gravestone marks the date he was born and the day he passed and acknowledges that he served in the US Navy. Silent Sam, as a statue, merely recognizes the fact that approximately 1000 young men from Chapel Hill left their studies to serve their home-state in a war that was forced upon her. It is a marker, nothing more…. It says nothing about the students, as individuals, who gave up their youth and who, in great part, gave up their lives; we know nothing about their politics, whether they agreed with North Carolina’s decision to secede, or their position regarding the war. We simply know, thanks to the gentle reminder that Silent Sam provides, that Chapel Hill gave heavily to defend her state. Again, 40% of its student body left to defend her principles. That’s quite noteworthy; that’s quite a sacrifice.

Nowadays, most students know very little, if any, of history or the significance of the monument that graces – graced – its campus. After all, Silent Sam is over a hundred years old. And that’s a fatal defect in our state’s public school history curriculum and in the liberal teachings at our universities. In most cases, the only history that people of North Carolina will ever learn is what they are taught by often under-educated teachers in middle school or in high school. That’s it. Many students at Chapel Hill view Silent Sam merely as a really cool statue and as just another place to sit on a warm spring afternoon.

But now there are groups (a very insignificant minority, but loud, obnoxious, violent ones) who all of a sudden construe Silent Sam as a monument representing regional pride and therefore a symbol of ongoing racial oppression. They impute speech to where no speech is spoken. They impute a message where none is expressed. Again, Silent Sam is merely a historical marker. For more than one hundred years, students and other individuals have been able to walk by the statute without feeling oppressed or triggered, but now, all of a sudden, in 2018, an era reaping the fruits of desegregation and full civil rights to African-Americans (to be fair, they are actually given heightened protection of their rights; instead of “Equal Protection,” they are given “Special Protection”), groups wish to rehash the past and dwell on an era long gone. It is an era that you would think most people would love to finally put behind them.

And so, on Monday, August 20, Silent Sam was attacked, vandalized, desecrated, maliciously destroyed, and toppled to the ground.  The bronze statue of the young soldier came crashing down, being pulled down from his post by a howling mob of masked and unmasked protesters, after his pedestal was covered in red paint. There were approximately 250 protesters at the scene, joining UNC-Chapel Hill professor Dwayne Dixon, the de facto leader of the protest and assault on Silent Sam. Dixon is the current cultural anthropology professor at Chapel Hill. Video footage from CNN affiliate WRAL-TV shows protesters putting up poles and banners around the statue during daylight, and then when nightfall came, the statue was tumbled and students were seen cheering. Protesters could also be seen kicking Silent Sam’s head and putting dirt all over the statue. Campus police took orders (from who?) to stand down and allowed protesters to topple the statue without resistance.

So far, three people have been arrested for the literal act of tearing down Silent Sam. Jonathan Fitzgerald Fuller, Lauren Aucoin, and Raul Arce Jimenez have been charged with misdemeanor rioting and misdemeanor defacing a public monument. Seven more activists were arrested several days later, on that following Saturday, when a follow-up protest turned violent, with left-wingers unsuccessfully charging a campus building, assaulting people, and trying to light fire to a Confederate flag. Professor Dixon has not been fired by the university, but he is being investigated and his network of criminal collaborators apparently is unraveling.

According to Big League Politics, the leaders of the protest that resulted in the toppling of Silent Sam are members of Antifa. These same individuals helped organize the fatal Antifa “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017. A woman needlessly lost her life at that rally when a protester ran his car into a crowd of people. Big League Politics reported that it obtained information on the suspects which it turned over to Chapel Hill police officers. The evidence, they say, exposes a close-knit sect of left-wing agitators mostly based in Durham, who have links to several high-profile activists, including Chelsea Manning (the trans-woman, born as Bradley Edward Manning and served in the US army where he/she leaked sensitive military information in violation of the Espionage Act, for which he/she was court-martialed and imprisoned for). This network of left-wing agitators operates in part out of the Elevate MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) gym, located in Durham, where they apparently practice combat techniques.

The attack on and then the toppling of Silent Sam sparked outrage from the university’s leaders, from alumni, and from our state legislature, and perhaps most passionately of all from the great many people who love North Carolina, appreciate her history and decision to oppose Lincoln, and who are deeply and horribly offended by the destruction and desecration of her monuments. UNC system president Margaret Spellings and UNC Board of Governors chairman Harry Smith issued a joint statement, which read:

      “Campus leadership is in collaboration with campus police, who are pulling together a timeline of the events, reviewing video evidence, and conducting interviews that will inform a full criminal investigation. The safety and security of our students, faculty, and staff are paramount. And the actions last evening were unacceptable, dangerous, and incomprehensible. We are a nation of laws—and mob rule and the intentional destruction of public property will not be tolerated.”

Speaker of the NC House, Tim Moore, issued a more powerful statement:

       “There is no place for the destruction of property on our college campuses or in any North Carolina community; the perpetrators should be arrested and prosecuted by public safety officials to make clear that mob rule and acts of violence will not be tolerated in our state.”

Let’s look at the lunacy that surrounds this malicious desecration of Silent Sam.

As I mentioned above, the statue of Silent Sam is a marker, a historic marker, essentially no different from a grave marker, or from the World War II Memorial in Washington DC, which is dedicated to those Americans who served in the armed forces and who served the war effort as civilians. It recognizes the sacrifice made by Chapel Hill, which should be acknowledged and should be remembered. Sports achievements and sports figures and coaches are memorialized so why shouldn’t the students who made the ultimate sacrifice be memorialized?

Ignoring the neutrality of the monument, the protesters on August 20, fixated instead on a comment spoken at the dedication ceremony of Silent Sam on June 2, 1913, by alumnus and highly-successful industrialist Julian Carr.  Those words were highly-controversial and extraordinarily racially insensitive.

Carr began his speech with profound appreciation for the students who left the university for the war effort:

       There are no words that I have been able to find in the vocabulary of the English language that fittingly express my feelings in this presence of this occasion. But you know and I know, that though I might speak with the tongue of men and of angels, neither song nor story could fittingly honor this glorious event. The whole Southland is sanctified by the precious blood of the student Confederate soldier. Their sublime courage has thrown upon the sky of Dixie a picture so bright and beautiful that neither defeat, nor disaster, nor oppression, nor smoke, nor fire, nor devastation, nor desolation, dire and calamitous, and I might with truth add, the world, the flesh nor the Devil has been able to mar or blemish it. The tragedy of history fails to record anywhere upon its sublime pages anything comparable to it. All the time will be the millennium of their glory.

       The canopy of the South is studded with stars which shall grow brighter and brighter as the ages in their endless procession succeed each other.

        No nobler young men ever lived; no braver soldiers ever answered the bugle call nor marched under a battle flag.

         They fought, not for conquest, not for coercion, but from a high and holy sense of duty.  They were like the Knights of the Holy Grail, they served for the reward of serving, they suffered for the reward of suffering, they endured for the reward of enduring, they fought for the reward of duty done. They served, they suffered, they endured, they fought, [and died – crossed out] for their childhood homes, their firesides, the honor of their ancestors, their loved ones, their own native land.

          This noble gift of the United Daughters of the Confederacy touches deeply and tenderly the heart of every man who has the privilege of claiming the University of North Carolina as his Alma Mater. It is in harmony with the eternal fitness of things that the Old North State’s daughters of to-day should commemorate the heroism of the men and youths whom the mothers and sisters, the wives and sweethearts of half a century ago sent forth to battle for the South. As Niobe wept over her sons slain by Apollo, so the tears of our women were shed over the consummate sacrifice of their loved ones. And as the gods transformed Niobe into a marble statue, and set this upon a high mountain, as our native goddesses erect this monument of bronze to honor the valor of all those whom fought and died for the Sacred Cause, as well as for the living sons of this grand old University.

Next, Carr gave praise to the women of the South, the noble wives and mothers:

        The war between the states was fought, really, by the women who stayed at home. Had they uttered a cry, had they complained, the morale of Lee’s army would have been dissipated in a day…..

        God bless the noble women of my dear Southland, who are to-day as thoroughly convinced of the justice of that cause. They are the guardians of the sacred honor the departed; they will protect the memory of the hero’s spirit no less than preserve from desecration from the sand of his body.  Nothing in all the marvelous record can equal the fortitude, the constancy, the devotion of the women of the South……”

Being an alumnus of Chapel Hill, and one of those young men who enlisted and fought for the Confederacy, he reminded the audience of the enormous sacrifice born by his university:

        Of the students and alumni of the University of North Carolina, about 1800 entered the Confederate army, of whom 842 belonged to the generation of 1850-1862. The University had in the service 1 lieutenant-general, 4 major-generals, 13 brigadier-generals, 71 colonels, 30 lieutenant-colonels, 65 majors, 46 adjutants, 71 surgeons, 254 captains, 161 lieutenants, 38 non-commissioned officers and about 1000 privates.

        I regard it as eminently appropriate to refer briefly at his point to the magnificent showing made by our state in the military service of the Confederacy. North Carolina furnished 84 regiments, 16 battalions and 13 unattached companies, besides the companies and individuals serving in commands from other states, and 9 regiments of Home Guards. Losses on the battlefield and by disease indicate that her contribution to the Confederate army was somewhat more than 1 to 5, while here military population stood in the proportion of 1 to 9. The entire Confederate loss on the battlefield was 74,524, of which North Carolina’s share was 19,673, or more than one-fourth; 59, 297 died of disease, and of these, 20,602 were North Carolinians.

       And I dare to affirm this day, that if every State of the South had done what North Carolina did without a murmur, always faithful to its duty whatever the groans of the victims, there never would have been an Appomattox; Grant would have followed Meade and Pope; Burnside, Hooker, McDowell and McClellan, and the political geography of America would have been re-written.

And finally, he concluded by lamenting over the difference the soldiers made:

        It is not for us to question the decrees of Providence. Let us be grateful that our struggle, keeping alive the grand principle of local self-government and State sovereignty has thus far held the American people from that consolidated despotism whose name, whether Republic or Empire, is of but little importance as compared with its rule………….

       Why were the stars, in their unapproachable glory, set in the skies above us, if there is no hope? Why was the rainbow ever painted before our eyes, if there is no promise?

       There must be, there IS a land that is fairer than day, where the rainbow never fades, where stars never go down, where these longings of immortality shall leap like angels from the temple of our hearts, and bring us rest; where the good and true, who fall before us like Autumn leaves, shall forever stay in our presence. There, there, fellow comrades, is the Confederate soldier’s paradise, the Confederate soldier’s heaven of eternal rest.

       That for which they battled in memory of this monument is reared, as well as for the survivors of that bloody drama, was not achieved. But the cause for which they fought is not lost, never can be, never will be lost while it is enshrined in the hearts of the people of the South, especially the hearts of the dear, loyal, patriotic women, who, like so many Vestal Virgins (God’s name be praised), keep the fires lighted upon the Altars. Nay, as long as men anywhere pay tribute to the self-sacrificing spirit of a peoples’ ideal.

        Ah! never shall the land forget.

Unfortunately, in his long speech, Julian Carr included this most offensive comment:

        “I trust I may be pardoned for one allusion, howbeit it is rather personal. One hundred yards from where we stand, less than ninety days perhaps after my return from Appomattox, I horse-whipped a negro wench until her skirts hung in shreds, because upon the streets of this quiet village she had publicly insulted and maligned a Southern Lady, and then rushed for protection to these University buildings where was stationed a garrison of 100 Federal soldiers. I performed the pleasing duty in the immediate presence of the entire garrison, and for thirty nights afterwards slept with a double-barrel shot gun under my head.”

The protesters and the criminals who destroyed Silent Sam worked themselves into a frenzy over these few lines taken from a speech that was otherwise a wonderful and stirring testament and tribute to the young Tarheels who fought, to the university itself, and to the South in general. This racist comment was given after  Carr had gone into great deal acknowledging the sacrifice that Southern women made during the war. One can excuse him for defending the honor of a Southern lady, no doubt who had lost several family members in the fighting, but certainly not in the manner he chose and certainly not in the memory he chose to remember.

Nevertheless, one can criticize the comments and even criticize the speaker, who was merely one out of several that afternoon at the ceremony. But the monument is neutral and makes no such statement.

I compare the destruction of Silent Sam to a hypothetical scenario, and that involves Korean War opponents destroying my father’s gravestone just because he fought in that war. My father’s gravestone notes his service to the country, just like the Silent Sam monument. Destroying the Silent Sam monument would be like those protesters destroying my father’s gravestone because he fought in the Korean War, a war that they disagreed with, yet without actually knowing whether, on a personal level, he himself agreed or disagreed with our country’s involvement in that war.

The mob protested at Chapel Hill because they don’t like the side that the students fought for but not knowing whether those boys agreed with or disagreed with the war.  It’s not like the boys had a choice; there was a conscription law in place. Take a minute to look at the face of Silent Sam… so young. His whole life ahead of him yet Lincoln forced him into a war that should not have come and over issues he couldn’t possibly understand.

But the notion that all Southerners, all those who fought for the Confederacy, and all the individual Southern states left the Union for the express purpose of perpetuating slavery and perpetuating white supremacy is ludicrous, reckless, disingenuous, and contrary to the historical record. The movement simply wants to discredit the South, impugn its conservative leanings, and malign the memory of those who gave their last full measure. Simply put, it wants the South to be so disgraced that it has no choice but to sit quietly by as progressives erase its history and maintain its position that the South was comprised of evil white men and was an evil society and of course it was to blame for the war. Simply put, it wants to disgrace and shame the South into succumbing to liberal politics.

Real history supports the South.

The war was not about slavery and it was not about white supremacy.

Writing in December of 1861 in a London weekly publication, the famous English author, Charles Dickens, who was a strong opponent of slavery, said this about the war going on in America: “The Northern onslaught upon slavery is no more than a piece of specious humbug disguised to conceal its desire for economic control of the United States.”

Five years after the end of the War, prominent Northern abolitionist, attorney and legal scholar, Lysander Spooner commented on the disingenuous efforts of the North to re-characterize the war: “All these cries of having ‘abolished slavery,’ of having ‘saved the country,’ of having ‘preserved the Union,’ of establishing a ‘government of consent,’ and of ‘maintaining the national honor’ are all gross, shameless, transparent cheats—so transparent that they ought to deceive no one.”

A little-known fact is that President Woodrow Wilson wrote a multi-volume history series titled History of the American People. In it, he offered this explanation as to why the issue of slavery was so exaggerated during and after the war: “It was necessary to put the South at a moral disadvantage by transforming the contest from a war waged against states fighting for their independence into a war waged against states fighting for the maintenance and extension of slavery.”

Jay Schalin of the James G. Martin Center wrote, in a recent (Aug. 22) article:

      “Silent Sam, the statue of a weary, stoic Confederate Army foot soldier, came crashing down Monday night, pulled down from his post at the edge of the UNC-Chapel Hill campus by a mob of protesters. But a lot more fell than a Progressive-era statue of a Confederate soldier. Another brick in the wall that separates civilization and barbarism was dislodged. Another small part of the social contract that calls on us to settle our differences through dialogue and consensus disappeared. Another thin thread in the rule of law was severed.

       Even those who feel that Silent Sam was a symbol of racism—as did the mob—should be concerned about his rough treatment. Whether you believe that Sam represented white supremacy, the dignity of the common soldier, or simply the historical record of the state and campus, he now represents the defense of civil society and rule of law. And his rude descent from his perch was an assault on that civility.”

North Carolina has more than 200 Civil War memorials, statues and markers, according to Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina, a project of the UNC-Chapel Hill Library. Most of the 54 statues and 20 memorials honor Confederates. Each of those monuments and memorials gives us an opportunity to learn about the state’s history and to have a dialogue about how that history played out. Each monument is a learning opportunity. And I suggest, strongly, that we need to take advantage of every learning opportunity because education about our state’s history is abysmal.  I had one lady who told me she’s lived in the state for over 30 years and had no idea of the circumstances under which North Carolina seceded and joined the Confederacy. I had a couple just the other night whom I dined with who told me that they moved to NC 13 years ago and assumed she seceded over slavery; that’s what she was always taught. I’ve spoken with many, many people, including elderly folks, who were born in the state and lived here all their lives and they also have been misled about its history.

The victorious North has succeeded in teaching history as it wanted it to be taught. That’s what victors do, right? They have the luxury of telling their version of history – the history that exonerates their cause, and all their evil schemes and crimes, and transfers blame for the war to the vanquished. And that’s why everyone believes that the North perpetrated the war to free the slaves and to save the Union (the heroes!) while the South started the war to protect its right to own slaves and to maintain its white supremist society (the villains!). Yet nothing could be farther from the truth, as I’ll explain later.

In 2015, the NC General Assembly passed a bill protecting the state’s historic monuments and memorials (“objects of remembrance”). See Senate Bill 22 (S22, which amended NC Statues, § 100 (“Statues, Protection of Monuments, Memorials, Works of Art”).  The bill outlines procedures for removing monuments deemed to commemorate “an event, person or military service that is part of North Carolina’s history” and provides that only an act of the General Assembly would permit the removal of such a monument. Several Democrats wanted the monuments to be removed or destroyed and some wanted local authorities to have the authority to decide for themselves. For example, Democratic Rep. Cecil Brockman of High Point argued that Confederate soldiers “were traitors to this country, and they don’t deserve the same respect as those who fought in other wars.”

Tell that to the families who lost their relatives to a war that Lincoln forced on the state.

In signing the bill, Governor McCrory commented: “I remain committed to ensuring that our past, present and future state monuments tell the complete story of North Carolina.”  He believed this was an important and urgent goal, one that needed to be addressed in the growing climate of wonton destruction of all things confederate and the removal and maligning of the name of any person of historical significance who once owned slaves or spoke in favor of the institution of slavery.

Of course, Democratic Governor Roy Cooper wants the statues to come down and wants the bill repealed. (Maybe that’s why, when the statues were desecrated and toppled at the old Durham courthouse and now at Chapel Hill, law enforcement was instructed to stand down and allow the malicious destruction).

When it comes to the Confederacy, the Civil War, and Abraham Lincoln, the general public is in desperate need of education. And apparently, so are many members of our state General Assembly. To try to shut down discussions that our historical monuments inspire, to take them down and deny people the opportunity to learn an authentic piece of our state’s history, to misrepresent why North Carolina seceded, to condemn the entire existence and plight of the Confederacy simply because of its acceptance of slavery, and to attribute only horrible motives to the southern states in their decision to separate from the federal government is to prove one’s lack of education.

John M. Taylor, author of Union At All Costs: From Confederation to Consolidation, wrote:

        “There is no mystery why lovers of big government strongly loathe the Confederacy and worship Lincoln. The Confederate soldier represents the last true defense of consensual constitutional government, and they were the last real threat to the omnipotent leviathan state. In the Confederate soldier, tyranny saw its most prominent and most dangerous enemy, and the supporters of modern-day Big Brotherism recognize that. They still fear him, and with good reason, because he strikes at them from beyond the grave. He does this through his blood, which still flows through the veins of tens of millions of his descendants.”

The consolidation of all government in Washington DC, resulting from the total subjugation of the States, will not be complete until all reminders of the Confederacy and her defense of self-government and self-determination are removed and/or destroyed and history is completely re-written and the past erased and forgotten. The progressives are using the useless idiots to help this “progress.” Useless idiots willingly drink political kool-aid. They are the ones who are most easily manipulated, the ones unable to think for themselves, the ones incapable of intellectually confronting an opposing viewpoint, the ones who see injustice and victimhood everywhere, the ones who think the most important characteristic about a person is the color of their skin, the ones who are weak of character, and the ones who have no clue whatsoever what free speech really means.  And so they resort to thug-like tactics, screaming, threats, foul and otherwise offensive language, wonton destruction, looting, and public disturbances.

Again, for over a hundred years, monuments and memorials had nothing to fear from people. People used to be mature. People knew that when it came to the Civil War and that era, there are two sides of the story.

Society has certain “progressed,” wouldn’t you say?

CONFEDERATE MONUMENT - Pitt County Courthouse

I took this pic of the monument at the Pitt County courthouse dedicated to her Confederate soldiers who died fighting in Lincoln’s war of aggression. “Theirs was not to make reply or to reason why, but only to do and die.” Let that sink in. For those who, through sheer ignorance and disrespect, destroy and otherwise mark up and ruin confederate statues, they need to be forced to learn the true history of the inappropriately-termed “civil war.” For those who don’t know, a “civil war” refers to a war between groups in the same country who are fighting over control of the common government. By this very definition, the war between the states cannot technically or truthfully be called the “Civil War.”  First of all, the South seceded and legally formed a separate country, and secondly, it wanted nothing to do with the federal government. In fact, in the states’ individual ordinances of secession, they made it clear that the government had become their enemy, had encouraged and instigated violence against them, had sought to put the interests of the North far above theirs, and had intentionally and discriminately used the sole revenue option (tariffs, duties and posts) as a means to plunder their wealth, and consequently, they wanted to break all bonds with the government of the United States.

It was not a civil war, therefore, but technically, a war of aggression. The North sought to militarily and violently, force the southern states back into the Union. In 1865, at Appomattox, the Union ceased to be a voluntary union of states but rather one of coercion and subjugation.

North Carolina’s history when it comes to the years 1860-1865 is one of honor and loyalty to principle.

It cannot be emphasized enough that North Carolina did NOT want to secede. She had great affection and loyalty to the Union, despite all the efforts the North took to tax her and the other southern states discriminately and punishingly and to frustrate and harm her interests. In fact, she would be the last state to secede.

Her intention was to remain in the Union. As seven Southern states seceded after the election of Abraham Lincoln and prior to his inauguration [SC – 12/24/1860; Miss – 1/9/1860; FL – 1/10; AL – 1/11; GA – 1/19; and LA – 1/26], North Carolina remained loyal to the Union. In fact, she refused to even consider secession. On February 28, 1861, North Carolinian voters decided against convening a convention to consider secession by a vote of 47,322 to 46,672. That’s how strongly they wished to remain a part of the Union, EVEN as hostilities grew against the south and against its institution of slavery, and even as sentiment was growing and getting more heated for its abolition.

On March 4, Lincoln was inaugurated as the 16th president of the United States, and on March 11, the Confederate Constitution was adopted, officially signaling to the North and to the world that a new and independent country, the Confederate States of America, was established.

But everything changed when Lincoln began to consider the consequences of the loss of the Southern and Gulf states to the United States, the North (and western territories), and to the federal government and its ability to govern effectively. In order to preserve the power of federal government and maintain the wealth and prosperity of the industrial North, Lincoln decided that the states would need to be forced back into the Union. But under what circumstances could he do that?

And thus, Lincoln devised the scheme which would force South Carolina to fire shots at Fort Sumter thereby giving him the moral justification to invade the South and start the war. The Fort was attacked on April 12 and on April 13, Union commander, Major Robert Anderson, raised a white flag of surrender to Confederate Brig. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard.

On April 14, Lincoln demanded troops, including from North Carolina, for his invasion. It was only then that North Carolina found reason to separate from the government of Abraham Lincoln.

The reason, the real reason, North Carolina seceded was because Abraham Lincoln, thru his War Secretary, Simon Cameron, demanded that North Carolina send its share of 75,000 troops to “put down the rebellion” (ie, to invade the South and wage war against her). The Governor of NC, John Ellis, refusing to believe the US Constitution authorizes the government to force one state to take up arms against another, replied on April 15: “I regard the levy of troops made by the administration as a usurpation of authority.  I can be no party to this wicked violation of the laws of the country and to the war upon the liberties of a free people. You can get no troops from North Carolina.”

The next month, the state called a convention to consider secession and this time, on May 20, 1861, the people of the state voted to approve an Ordinance of Secession from the United States.

So, the REAL history of North Carolina and the Civil War (more aptly, the War of Northern Aggression or the War to Prevent Southern Independence), is that she seceded ONLY when Lincoln gave her the ultimatum: If she was to remain in the Union, she would need to pick up arms and wage war against her neighbors, the states she was close to and the ones she had far more in common with than any in the North. North Carolina seceded over principle. She seceded over the proper construction of the US Constitution and the authority it granted to each of the branches of government in DC and especially as that power with respect to the sovereignty of each individual state. She did NOT understand the Constitution (nor would she have ever ratified it) to have the power to force or coerce one state to wage war or engage in violence against another state, and MOST especially, to do so for the government’s bidding, to further its ambitious agenda, or to consolidate power in the federal government).

She did NOT secede over slavery, she did NOT secede over any white supremacy agenda, she did NOT secede to further any oppression against black persons…….  She seceded on principle. She seceded in support of the greatest government principle of all — the federal government was created for only limited purposes and when a government exceeds its delegated authority, it becomes tyrannical and ambitious and the people – ANY people – when they so decide, have the natural right to alter or abolish that government and establish a new one that suits them better.

Once North Carolina made the decision to dissolve its political bond to the government of the United States and join her Southern neighbors in the Confederacy, the monument in front of the Pitt County Courthouse is correct – NC soldiers had no opportunity to reason why or make any other reply other than to fight and defend their honor and their principles, including that government cannot demand that States remain in a Union that violates their rights or no longer serves their interest or demand that they wage war against each other for subjugation. North Carolina — we need to remain proud of her. And schools, teachers, and parents NEED to teach our history correctly so that mental midgets and ignoranuses stop tearing down monuments to that history and that struggle.

North Carolina provided more men (133, 905) for the Confederate cause than any other state.  This number comprised approximately one-sixth of the Confederate fighting force. Put another way, every sixth Confederate soldier who lie dead on the battlefield was a North Carolinian.  At the infamous battle of Gettysburg (July 1-3, 1863), North Carolina provided thirty-two regimens. A large statue was erected in her honor, which reads:

To the eternal glory of the North Carolina

soldiers. Who on this battlefield displayed

heroism unsurpassed sacrificing all in support

of their cause. Their valorous deeds will be

enshrined in the hearts of men long after

these transient memorials have crumbled into

dust.

Thirty two North Carolina regiments were in

action at Gettysburg July 1,2,3, 1863.  One

Confederate soldier in every four who fell here

was a North Carolinian.

Of the total number of men North Carolina sent to defend her principles and to support the Confederate cause in general, for independence, one sixth (approximately 20,000) became casualties of war.  Disease took another 20,000 lives. According to historian Paul Escott, the state “had only about one-ninth of the Confederacy’s white population,” yet “it furnished one-sixth of its fighting men.”  In sum, 30 % (approximately 40,000) of those fighting for the Confederacy died during the war.

North Carolina provided numerous generals to the Confederate cause as well.  The most famous include Braxton Bragg, Daniel H. Hill, William Dorsey Pender, Stephen Dodson Ramseur, Robert F. Hoke, and James J. Pettigrew. Less famous yet important generals included L.O.B. Branch and Bryan Grimes.

The university Board of Governors promises that Silent Sam will be restored to its original place on Chapel Hill’s campus within about two and a half months. North Carolina law mandates that a historical monument that is removed from its location must be returned within 90 days.  Meanwhile, police are making some arrests and stating that more arrests could be forthcoming. The Board is visibly outraged at the conduct of campus police, who took orders to stand down and allowed protesters to topple the statue without resistance.

Ben “Cooter” Jones, from the TV show Dukes of Hazzard and an alumnus of Chapel Hill, wrote this about the toppling of Silent Sam:

       “Our South is a land of many secrets and many truths. The radical trash who tore down Silent Sam and those academic idiots who enable them are not worthy to walk on the same ground as Gabriel Jacobs [Jones’ great great Uncle Gabriel Jacobs who died in pursuit of northern General McClellan]. Silent Sam will rise again, and we, not they, shall overcome.”

 

References:

Sam Jones, “Silent Sam and Me,” Abbeville Institute, August 22, 2018.  Referenced at:  https://www.abbevilleinstitute.org/blog/silent-sam-and-me/?mc_cid=7e8e1f035b&mc_eid=3c62e340ff

UNC- Chapel Hill Graduate School – Landmarks (“Silent Sam”) –  https://gradschool.unc.edu/funding/gradschool/weiss/interesting_place/landmarks/sam.html

Reverend Mark Creech, “Why the Issue of Confederate Memorials is of Significant Consequence,” Christian Action League, Aug. 24, 2018.  Referenced at:    https://christianactionleague.org/news/why-the-issue-of-confederate-memorials-is-of-significant-consequence/

Ben Jones, “Silent Sam and Me,” Abbeville Institute, August 22, 2018.  Referenced at:  https://www.abbevilleinstitute.org/blog/silent-sam-and-me/?mc_cid=7e8e1f035b&mc_eid=3c62e340ff

Leonard M. Scruggs, “Remembering Robert E. Lee: Measuring True Greatness,” The Tribune Papers, January 18, 2018.  Referenced at:  http://www.thetribunepapers.com/2018/01/18/remembering-robert-e-lee-measuring-true-greatness/

Jay Schalin, “Silent Sam’s Last Stand,” James G. Martin Center, August 22, 2018.  Referenced at:  https://www.jamesgmartin.center/2018/08/silent-sams-last-stand/?gclid=CjwKCAjwtvnbBRA5EiwAcRvnpqE764rb-WBb-DQoo-1SeQsjQFHU0JI2tvPeUqzFnKH5PFS73xFO6hoCdoQQAvD_BwE

Patricia Howley, “Silent Sam Destroyers Identified As The Antifa Leaders From Charlottesville,” Big League Politics, August 27, 2018.  Referenced at:  https://bigleaguepolitics.com/silent-sam-destroyers-identified-as-the-antifa-leaders-from-charlottesville/

Julian Carr’s Speech at the Dedication of Silent Sam at Chapel Hill, June 2, 1913 –  http://hgreen.people.ua.edu/transcription-carr-speech.html

Civil War, Day By Day (UNC- Chapel Hill Library) –  April 15, NC Governor John Ellis’ Response to War Secretary Simon Cameron Request for Troops for Lincoln’s Invasion of the South –  https://blogs.lib.unc.edu/civilwar/index.php/2011/04/15/15-april-1861-telegram-exchange-between-n-c-governor-john-ellis-and-u-s-secretary-of-war-simon-Cameron/

Diane Rufino, “To The Protesters of North Carolina’s State Monuments and the Agitators Regarding the State History: The Most Effective Means of Protesting is to MOVE OUT & STAY OUT of NORTH CAROLINA!,” ‘For Love of God and Country’ Blog, Aug. 28, 2018.  Referenced at:  https://forloveofgodandcountry.com/2018/08/28/to-the-protesters-of-north-carolinas-state-monuments-and-the-agitators-regarding-the-state-history-the-most-effective-means-of-protesting-is-to-move-out-stay-out-of-north-carolina/

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To the Protesters of North Carolina’s State Monuments and the Agitators Regarding the State History: The Most Effective Means of Protesting is to MOVE OUT & STAY OUT of NORTH CAROLINA !!

SILENT SAM (Chapel Hill)

by Diane Rufino, August 28, 2018

Every day I get angrier and angrier at people who act out their aggressions which are based on lies, mistruths, and liberal indoctrination. I’m talking about the desecration and the toppling of the Silent Sam monument at Chapel Hill – a monument dedicated NOT to the Confederate cause and NOT to the support of slavery and NOT in support of white supremacy, but rather erected simply to remember the 1000 or so young men who were students at Chapel Hill during the years 1861-65 who enlisted and fought for their state. The monument to those young men was akin to a headstone or other grave marker, or even to the Tomb to the Unknown Soldier.  And yet, a group of protesters, many from the hate/home-grown terrorist group Antifa, sought to tear it down.

I’m sorry, but these people need to study their history before acting out like a bunch of mental defective crybabies, destroying public property, and disrespecting the sacrifice of those who fought in a war that they didn’t ask for and probably couldn’t even comprehend why it was being forced on them. (Hint: It has NOTHING to do with slavery or white supremacy. For those looking for the true committed white supremacists, look to Abraham Lincoln himself and his party affiliates), and look to the northern and western states/territories).

North Carolina did NOT want to secede. She had great affection and loyalty to the Union, despite all the efforts the North took to tax her and the other southern states discriminately and punishingly and to frustrate and harm her interests. In fact, she was the last state to secede. The reason she seceded was because Abraham Lincoln, thru his War Secretary, Simon Cameron, demanded that North Carolina send thousands of troops to “put down the rebellion” in the wake of Fort Sumter (ie, to invade the South and wage war against her). The Governor of NC, John Ellis, replied on April 15: “I regard the levy of troops made by the administration as a usurpation of authority.  I can be no party to this wicked violation of the laws of the country and to the war upon the liberties of a free people. You will get no troops from North Carolina.”

The next month, the state called a convention to consider secession and this time, on May 20, 1861, the people of the state voted to approve an Ordinance of Secession from the United States. [Only three months earlier, in February, North Carolinians by popular vote refused to even call a convention to consider a Secession Ordinance. That’s how strongly they wished to remain a part of the Union, EVEN as hostilities grew against the south and against its institution of slavery, and even as sentiment was growing and getting more heated for its abolition].

So, the REAL history of North Carolina and the Civil War (more aptly, the War of Northern Aggression or the War to Prevent Southern Independence), is that she seceded ONLY when Lincoln gave her the ultimatum: If she was to remain in the Union, she would need to pick up arms and wage war against her neighbors, the states she was close to and the ones she had far more in common with than any in the North. North Carolina seceded over principle. She seceded over the proper construction of the US Constitution and the authority it granted to each of the branches of government in DC and especially as that power with respect to the sovereignty of each individual state. She did NOT understand the Constitution (nor would she have ever ratified it) to have the power to force or coerce one state to wage war or engage in violence against another state, and MOST especially, to do so for the government’s bidding, to further its ambitious agenda, or to consolidate power in the federal government).

She did NOT secede over slavery, she did NOT secede over any white supremacy agenda, she did NOT secede to further any oppression against black persons…….  She seceded on principle. She seceded in support of the greatest government principle of all — the federal government was created for only limited purposes and when a government exceeds its delegated authority, it becomes tyrannical and ambitious and the people – ANY people – when they so decide, have the natural right to alter or abolish that government and establish a new one that suits them better.

The Silent Sam incident serves to show us here in North Carolina that our state history is not known and is not being properly taught. It is a proud and distinguished history. Perhaps the remedy is to gut the political and history departments of our state universities and have their programs reviewed by state historians to make sure that accurate and respectful history is taught, and not some progressive/liberal view that seeks to taint her principles that serves its purposes: to excuses the gross constitutional violations of Abraham Lincoln and his administration, that justifies his willing slaughter of over 620,000 Americans, that justifies the government’s initiation and prosecution of the war, that justifies the consolidation of government power over the states, and that justifies the grand monument to Lincoln on the national mall (“He saved the nation!  He preserved the Union!”)

As I have said for years in describing the notion that Lincoln “saved the Union” —   LINCOLN SAVING THE UNION IS LIKE A HUSBAND BEATING HIS WIFE TO SAVE THE MARRIAGE.

Don’t let North Carolina down.  Remember the principles she, at one time, held so dear. Remember the cause she so honorably and so generously gave.  Preserve her history and her honor.

With that explanation, here is a meme I just created.

 

MEME - Antifa Protesting Confederate Statues (If You Don't Like NC History, the best way to protest is to MOVE OUT)

Amending the NC State Constitution: The Six 2018 Ballot Initiatives

NC Legislature - building

by Diane Rufino, August 26, 2018

This overview is written for the purpose of educating North Carolina voters on the six proposed amendments to the North Carolina state constitution.

I.  WHAT YOU WILL SEE ON THE BALLOT:  The following will likely be the language you will see on November’s ballot with respect to the six (6) proposed amendments to the North Carolina constitution. I say “likely” because two of the amendments (#3 and #4 below) were challenged by Governor Roy Cooper and a federal judge granted his injunction – meaning that absent a challenge by the legislature that is successful OR having the legislature re-drafting them, those amendments, as originally written and communicated, cannot appear on November’s ballot. Amendments #3 and #4 below contain the re-drafted language, as of August 24, but we don’t know yet if Cooper will re-challenge.

So, as of today (Aug. 26), the language you will likely see on November’s ballot regarding the proposed amendments to the NC state Constitution is as follows:

Amendment 1:           [  ]  For     [  ]  Against

Constitutional amendment protecting the right of the people to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife.

 

Amendment 2:           [  ]  For     [  ]  Against

Constitutional amendment to strengthen protections for victims of crime; to establish certain absolute basic rights for victims; and to ensure the enforcement of these rights.

 

Amendment 3:           [  ]  For     [  ]  Against

Constitutional amendment to establish an eight-member Bipartisan Board of Ethics and Elections Enforcement in the Constitution to administer ethics and elections law.

 

Amendment 4:           [  ]  For     [  ]  Against

Constitutional amendment to change the process for filling judicial vacancies that occur between judicial elections from a process in which the Governor has sole appointment power to a process in which the people of the State nominate individuals to fill vacancies by way of a commission comprised of appointees made by the judicial, executive, and legislative branches charged with making recommendations to the legislature as to which nominees are deemed qualified; then the legislature will recommend nominees to the Governor via legislative action not subject to gubernatorial veto; and the Governor will appoint judges from among these nominees.

 

Amendment 5:           [  ]  For     [  ]  Against

Constitutional amendment to reduce the income tax rate in North Carolina to a maximum allowable rate of seven percent.

 

Amendment 6:           [  ]  For     [  ]  Against

Constitutional amendment to require voters to provide photo identification before voting in person.

 

II.  WHAT THE AMENDMENTS MEAN and WHAT THEY SEEK TO ACHIEVE: The NC legislature considered various potential constitutional amendments, in addition to the ones which will appear on November’s ballot. Some of the additional amendments considered included removing Article I, Section 4 (“Secession Prohibited”), removing Article I, Section 5 (“Paramount Allegiance to the Federal Government”), removing the provision in Article I, Section 30 (“Militia and the Right to Bear Arms”) which can serve to limit the right of conceal carry (“Nothing herein shall justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons, or prevent the General Assembly from enacting penal statutes against that practice”), and removing the limitation in Article VI, Section 4 (“Qualification for Voter Registration”) which is can be characterized as a Jim Crow-era law.  Instead of putting all of the proposed amendments on the ballot, the legislature polled all their potential suggestions across the state and decided to use only the top six.  The highest-polling amendments were: #1: The Right to Hunt, Fish, & Harvest Wildlife, and #2: Voter ID.  These amendments, by the way, polled highest across political lines, racial lines, income differential, education, etc.  [NC state constitution –  https://www.ncleg.net/Legislation/constitution/ncconstitution.html ]

The following is an explanation of each proposed six constitutional amendment (Ballot Initiative), as well as the corresponding NC bill that contains its full language.  All bills can be accessed from www.ncleg.net

Amendment 1:   [Senate bill 677 – S677]

This amendment enshrines the public’s natural right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife in the state constitution, to be free from any potential attempt to limit or to burden such right. While enshrining this natural right (mentioned in Genesis), it also has the effect of setting up potential challenges to hunting restrictions by saying that any limits on this right can only come from laws intended to promote wildlife conservation and to protect the future of hunting and fishing.

 

Amendment 2:   [House bill 551 – HB551]

The rights of people who are victims of crimes are delineated and enshrined in this amendment, and are:

  • Being notified of criminal proceedings against the accused (the perpetrator)
  • The right for the victim to speak at all hearings involving plea, sentencing, parole, or the release of the defendant
  • The right to “full and timely” restitution (the right to be “made whole” by the defendant/perpetrator; the right to be put back into the position as if the crime had not been committed)
  • The right to be “reasonably protected” from the defendant
  • A “prompt conclusion” to the case (prompt closure for the victim)
  • Victims’ attorneys can petition the court to enforce any of the above provisions

 

Amendment 3:   [House bill 913 – HB913]

This amendment would give more power over appointments to the legislature (the General Assembly), thus taking power away from the Governor who currently has been delegated such authority. The proposed amendment clarifies that the General Assembly has “control over any executive, legislative, or judicial appointment,” although the bill (HB913) doesn’t say exactly how the legislature would exert that control.  [The intent is to vest power to make potentially important appointments – ones who exert power and influence over policy and enforcement in the state – with the legislature, which is the body closest to the people. The legislature, or General Assembly, is “the people’s body,” where accountability in government is most achievable.  Legislators in both chambers serve two-year terms.]

 

Amendment 4:   [Senate bill 814 – S814]

This amendment changes the rules for who appoints judges when vacancies occur between elections. Appointments to fill judicial vacanices that occur between elections can account for up to 40% of judges who sit on the courts in the state of North Carolina. Currently, the Governor appoints them. Under the proposed amendment, a system would be set up where anybody in the state could submit nominations to a non-partisan “Judicial Merit Commission” which would then evaluate the fitness of those nominations and then send that information to the General Assembly. The legislature would then pick two names to send to the Governor. In cases where the vacancy occurs right before an election, the Chief Justice of the NC Supreme Court would make the selection instead of the Governor.   [Judicial appointments are extremely important. We’ve all witnessed over the years how liberals and progressives (ie, the Democratic Party) have sought to get around established law or policy, or to advance their agenda faster than the general public would allow thru the ordinary democratic process, by going to the courts where there are too many liberal and otherwise unprincipled, inexperienced, and untested judges, and judges appointed merely in exchange for political favors and donations, who are happy and without conscience to do so. The intent of this amendment is to vest power to make judicial appointments with the legislature, which is the body closest to the people. The legislature, or General Assembly, is “the people’s body,” where accountability in government is most achievable.  Legislators in both chambers serve two-year terms and therefore can quickly be removed for abusing their power or for using the judicial appointments power recklessly.]

 

Amendment 5:   [Senate bill 75 – S75]

This amendment caps the state income tax at 7 percent (7%), which means that the General Assembly would be prevented from instituting an income tax in excess of that. Currently, the NC constitution caps the income tax rate at 10 percent (10%). The initial bill from the Senate would have set the cap at 5.5% which is essentially the current tax rate.

Governor Cooper and left-leaning interest groups are opposed to this amendment because they want the General Assembly to have the flexibility to increase the tax rate should the state need it in an emergency situation. The Republicans, however, have provided for such an emergency, through the state’s “Rainy Day Fund,” which currently contains $2 billion. The legislature further requries each county to have 8% of surplus funds in reserve. Cooper hates the fact that the state has this fund just sitting there. He thinks it should be plundered and used for whatever the state government thinks is more pressing at the time. Cooper believes the proper way to raise emergency funds is by raising the state taxation rate. Republicans, on the other hand, believe that is a bad way to raise such funds. The reason it believes such is that it takes too long to raise the money; sales tax, they believe, is the fastest way.

 

Amendment 6:   [House bill 1092 – HB1092]

This amendment is intended to provide the photo identification requirement for voters that the 2013 NC omnibus Voter ID law required but which was struck down by the 4th Circuit of Appeals in 2016. (It is termed an “omnibus” bill because it made several changes to NC;s election laws, in addition to adding the photo ID requirement).  Currently 34 states have some form of a Voter ID law. And all of the southern states have one except North Carolina.

 

III.  CURRENT STATUS OF THE BALLOT INITIATIVES (the lawsuits)

Four of the six ballot initiatives (proposed constitutional amendments) are currently being challenged; opponents want them kept off November’s ballot.  The only initiatives not being challenged are the ones protecting the Right to Hunt & Fish and Victims’ Rights (which are the first two listed above).

On August 15, Governor Roy Cooper sued to challenge the initiatives that deal with his appointments power (amendments #3 and #4 above).  The language of the amendments above represents the “revised” or re-drafted” language in response to Cooper’s legal challenge.

And the NAACP, along with Clean Air Carolina, sued to challenge those amendments, plus the ones limiting the general assembly on its taxing power and requiring a photo identification to vote. The parties asked for injunctive relief.  Governor Cooper challenged the language of the amendments, alleging they are misleading and do not adequately inform voters as to what provisions in the state constitution they seek to amend and what they seek to achieve. Furthermore, he claimed the amendments would “take a wrecking ball to the separation of powers” in Raleigh. The NAACP and Clean Air Carolina challenged the Voter ID amendment on the grounds that it is will disparately impact African-Americans and is therefore an attempt to target them and disenfranchise their voting rights and challenged the Income Tax cap on the grounds that the legislature shouldn’t be precluded from increasing the tax rate (above 7%) if it needs to.

The original language of the amendments, before the revision, and which was the language challenged by Cooper, was as follows:

Amendment 3:  Constitutional amendment to establish a bipartisan Board of Ethics and Elections to administer ethics and election laws, to clarify the appointment authority of the Legislative and the Judicial branches, and to prohibit legislators from serving on boards and commissioners exercising executive or judicial authority.

Amendment 4:  Constitutional amendment to change the process for filling judicial vacancies that occur between judicial elections from a process in which the Governor has sole appointment power to a process in which the people of the State nominate individuals to fill vacancies by way of a commission comprised of appointees made by the judicial, executive, and legislative branches charged with making recommendations to the legislature as to which nominees are deemed qualified; then the legislature will recommend nominees to the Governor via legislative action not subject to gubernatorial veto; and the Governor will appoint judges from among these nominees.

On August 21, a 3-judge panel agreed with Governor Cooper and granted the injunction. The panel, however, disagreed with the NAACP and Clean Air Carolina on their separate challenges (Voter ID and Income Tax). The panel held that there is no proof to show that Voter ID is discriminatory or that the requirement to present one to vote actually poses a meaningful burden or prevents a person from voting. If a person is truly intent on voting, the requirement of a photo ID poses no reasonable hardship.

[Injunctive Order, issued on August 21 –  https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4779492-18-CVS-9805-Order-on-Injunctive-Relief.html ]

The 3-judge panel found fault with the language of the amendments (#3 and #4), claiming that initiative #3 doesn’t adequately explain what the amendment seeks to achieve and initiative #4 is simply misleading. Consequently, the NC Board of Elections is enjoined (prevented) from printing ballots containing initiatives #3 and #4.

Does this court ruling mean that the amendments will not be on November’s ballot??   No.  There are two options open to the legislature:  (1)  They can appeal the ruling; or (2) The General Assembly can convene a special session to re-write the ballot text to overcome the defects as identified by the court.  The General Assembly has already has convened a special session. The House met on Friday, August 24, to re-draft the amendments, and the Senate will approve them tomorrow (Monday, August 27).

 

IV.  VOTER FRAUD – Does it Exist?  Is there a Potential for Voter Fraud Here in NC?

Regarding Voter Fraud, the Heritage Foundation explains:

“There are three take-away points:

  • The right to vote in a free and fair election is the most basic civil right, one on which many other rights of the American people depend.
  • Congress and the states should guarantee that every eligible individual is able to vote and that no one’s vote is stolen or diluted.
  • Voter fraud is real and hundreds of convictions have been made and documented.”

First of all, let’s review constitutional jurisprudence on regarding state Photo ID voter laws.

In the years after the turn of the century (2000 onward), the states began becoming aware of voting fraud and voting irregularities. One by one they began instituting laws designed to reduce the likelihood of fraud and to ensure integrity in their election process. A federal commission was even empaneled to study voter fraud and it concluded that it exists and recommended that each state enact some sort of law to address voter integrity. In the aftermath of that conclusion, more and more states began enacting laws. These laws essentially fell into four categories: those with a strict photo ID requirement, those with a relaxed photo ID requirement, those requesting an ID (but photo not required), and those with a strict non ID requirement.  The strictest voter law and the one potentially posing the greatest burden to a person’s right to vote is a Strict Photo ID law. A challenge to such a Photo ID law was heard by the Supreme Court in 2008, in the case Crawford v. Marion County Board of Elections.  [For an overview of the laws in the 50 states:  http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/voter-id.aspx ]

In 2005, the Indiana state legislature passed a law requiring all voters who cast a ballot in person to present an acceptable photo ID, issued either by the United States (a federal ID) or by the state of Indiana (such as a driver’s license). Again, Indiana’s Voter ID law was of the strict photo ID type. The Democratic Party of Indiana and interest groups representing African-Americans and elderly citizens filed suit and challenged the law, alleging that it constituted an undue burden on the right to vote.

At trial, the challengers could not produce any witness who could not meet the law’s ID requirement, who could not obtain an acceptable identification. (The Indiana law, as did NC’s Voter ID law, includes a provision that should a person not be able to afford a photo ID or not be able to obtain one, the state would provide one for them, free of charge). The federal district court (federal trial court) upheld the law but on appeal, the appellate court appeared to be divided. The dissenting judge claimed that the law was a “thinly-veiled attempt to dampen turn-out by those likely to vote for Democratic candidates.”  The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.

Note:  It was not alleged that Indiana’s strict photo ID voter law negatively or disparately impacted any other minority group, other than African-Americans.  It should also be noted that almost all minority groups vote Democratic.  (Why are African-Americans singled out?  Could it be that they are incapable of the same responsibilities that other citizens are capable of?  Or is it more likely related to the fact that 90% or so of African-Americans identify as Democrats and that African-Americans make up the largest of America’s minority groups?)

The Supreme Court heard the case and handed down its opinion in 2008. There were actually two majority opinions written by the court (something very rare). One was written by the very liberal justice, John Paul Stevens, and the other was written by the very conservative justice, Antonin Scalia. The Court held that Indiana’s strict Photo ID law was closely-related to the state’s legitimate state interest in preventing voter fraud and ensuring integrity in its elections. The Court further held that the photo requirement was merely a slight burden imposed on a person’s right to vote which in no way outweighed that legitimate state interest. The Court characterized the strict photo requirement in Indiana’s law as “Neutral and Non-Discriminatory.”

The Crawford case tells us, and each state legislature, that a strict photo requirement in a voter law: (1) Poses no meaningful burden to the right to vote; and (2) is, on its face, “Neutral and Non-Discriminatory.”  It should also instruct every court in the federal judiciary of the same. Supreme Court opinions, once handed down for the first time on a particular issue, become precedent.  Precedent refers to a “preceding” opinion which is to be regarded as a guide to be applied in subsequent similar cases.

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals should have applied the Crawford opinion when it heard the appeal from the NAACP and other interest groups regarding the NC Voter ID law rather than substituting its own judgement for that of the NC General Assembly on a law that was, on its face, neutral and non-discriminatory (and in fact, more relaxed than the Indiana law), and therefore it should have upheld it.

Discussing Voter Fraud and the unfortunately opinion by the 4th Circuit, Jay Delancy of the NC Voter Integrity Project explained that 90% (or more) of African-Americans are registered as Democrats and vote Democratic. And so there will always be a racial impact, or a racial component or racial argument, in anything having to do with politics, political posturing, political decisions, or political policy. There will always be a racial impact when a state legislature does any tweaking to its election laws or when it re-draws its district lines, or gerrymanders.  Because of the extraordinarily high political identity of African-Americans with the Democratic Party, one can never truly separate race from politics or from political party.

He continued, explaining that a law designated to prevent voter fraud (which has been consistently and historically perpetrated primarily by the Democratic Party) will of course be seen racial. The re-drawing of district lines designed to benefit the political party in power, which happens to be allowed by law, will necessarily also have a racial component. It is NOT intentional discrimination based on race and there is NO impact based on race. It is what it is simply because of the extraordinarily high racial political identity.

Jay has educated groups, the NC legislature, the NC Board of Elections, other states, the FOX News audience, and even Rachel Maddow over the years on voter fraud, instances of actual voter fraud, the many insidious ways that fraud is committed, the various ways that the potential for fraud exists, and how such potential can be mitigated. For example, in 2012, the NC Voter Integrity Project reported to the State Board of Elections 30,000 deceased voters still on the NC voter registration rolls. Under Democratic control at the time, the Board chose to do nothing and the names were never purged.  Also in 2012, the Voter Integrity Project noted that 175,000 “inactive” voters suddenly became active by in-person, on-the-day-of-election voting. Most of those 175,000 “inactive” voters had been highly suspicious to begin with. They had unreliable addresses or had mail returned to the Board of Elections. Yet suddenly, a huge number of such voters showed up to vote.

Looking for instances of fraud, Jay decided to use a novel method which cross-referenced two different lists of individuals. He looked at the information provided by the state Board of Elections of those who voted in the 2012 election and cross-referenced those names with those individuals who had sought to be disqualified to serve jury duty in the state. In North Carolina, persons can legally get out of jury duty, subject to perjury, if they fall into any one of 4 categories: (1) felon;  (2) non-citizen;  (3) reside outside the district;  (4) cannot speak English.  Jay looked at the list of individuals who got out of jury duty by asserting they are “non-citizens” and cross-checked to see how many of them voted in the 2012 election. He found thousands of such potentially fraudulent voters. He took the information to the NC Board of Elections (state Board of Elections) and after several years, they finally settled with the matter out of court. Jay said he is pleased with the outcome.

Here are some of the ways that voter fraud is committed:

  • Voting early and voting often (or just voting often), in the same jurisdiction
  • Duplicate voting – registering in multiple locations and voting in the same election in more than one jurisdiction
  • Using the name of a person that has died (but whose name still remains on the state voter registration rolls) to vote
  • Voting as an illegal alien (Jay has found many persons who presented, under penalty of perjury, that they couldn’t serve jury duty because they were not a legal citizen yet voted)
  • Voting using the name and address of someone who has moved away
  • Voting using the name and address of a convicted felon (felons temporarily lose the right to vote but remain registered)
  • Voting even though the person is a convicted felon
  • Voting using a false identity
  • Voting using a false registration: (voting under fraudulent voter registrations that either use a phony name and a real or fake address or claim residence in a particular jurisdiction where the registered voter does not actually live and is not entitled to vote). In Wake and Durham counties, 150 fake voters were created by ACORN. The NC Voter Integrity Project believes there were more, but they stopped looking at some point. They took the information to the state Board of Election by it chose not to investigate or prosecute
  • Fraudulent use of absentee ballots (requesting absentee ballots and voting without the knowledge of the actual voter; or obtaining the absentee ballot from a voter and either filling it in directly and forging the voter’s signature or illegally telling the voter who to vote for)
  • Voting using a non-existent address (those campaigning for office and who canvass neighborhoods to talk to voters, using information provided by the Board of Elections will find addresses on the list but no physical address existing)
  • Using the address of someone the person knows for purposes of voting fraudulently (Ex: sometimes there will be 8, 10, 12, 15, 20 persons voting using the very same address, even when the address is in an area zoned only for single-family)
  • Buying votes (paying voters to cast either an in-person or absentee ballot for a particular candidate)
  • Voting in multiple counties for the same election
  • Voters creating fake addresses
  • Unions providing funds to have its members establish “temporary” residences in targeted states prior to elections (while not actually moving or living there) and then voting in those states
  • Persons misappropriating other person’s addresses (a friend of mine, just for the heck of it, looked up her address with the Board of Elections and found that several persons were registered to vote from her address, in addition to her and her husband, the only legal residents)
  • Political “community-organizers” going into high schools to register students, including those who are illegal, by giving out false information (such as “you can vote even if you aren’t a citizen”)
  • Groups intent on perpetrating fraud on the election process have gone through cemeteries, taking down names and other information from gravestones of those who recently passed away (each state has a law that instructs the Board of Elections of how often it must purge the names from its voter rolls of those who have passed. See the Appendix at the end of the article)
  • Voters intent on committing voter fraud have purposely voted in more than one state for the same election (for example, Jay has found several who have voted not only in North Carolina, but also in Tennessee and Florida in the same election)
  • Volunteers with a political party (usually Democratic) going to nursing homes, retirement communities, and other elder care facilities to register or re-register members, and then filling out their mail-in ballots or busing them to the polling location and voting for them (under the guise of being a caregiver); many elderly persons in such homes, communities and facilities lack the mental capacity to know how they are voting or lack the ability to prevent the volunteer from coercing their vote
  • Handing out fake ID’s to homeless persons, addicts, or other persons who cannot provide proof of residence (usually providing a free lunch or $5.00) and then taking them to the polls
  • Illegal “assistance” at the polls (forcing or intimidating voters—particularly the elderly, disabled, illiterate, and those for whom English is a second language—to vote for particular candidates while supposedly providing them with “assistance”)
  • Altering the vote count (changing the actual vote count either in a precinct or at the central location where votes are counted)
  • Ballot petition fraud (forging the signatures of registered voters on the ballot petitions that must be filed with election officials in some states for a candidate or issue to be listed on the official ballot)

Jay Delancy is the foremost expert in North Carolina on voter fraud and speaks about it frequently. He is a watchdog who works tirelessly to identify instances of voter fraud, to identify schemes, to support efforts by our state legislature to protect against voter fraud, to suggest ways to minimize potential voter fraud, and to educate about voter fraud. He provides updates on his Facebook page, including this one video he made:  https://www.facebook.com/11818728/videos/10105605658577189/?id=11818728

With all the opportunities and potential for voter fraud, the state values the procedures and provisions put into our election laws to address the problem, including the provisions for cleaning out voter registration lists and the provision for “Confirmation Mailings” (to confirm that a listed voter still resides at the address registered).  These provisions are common-sense and valuable.

However, liberal judges don’t necessarily think so. There have been several instances where courts have instructed Boards of Election to reinstate voters who have been removed from the voter registration rolls for good and documented cause and recently, a judge struck down a provision allowing voters who have been determined to no longer reside at a certain address to be removed from the voter rolls.

On August 8, a federal judge invalidated part of North Carolina’s election law – the provision that allows one voter to challenge another’s residency. This provision was used successfully by watchdog and election integrity groups to scrub thousands of names off the voter registration rolls in NC ahead of the 2016 election. (Not one error was made and no one was disenfranchised of his or her right or ability to vote). The goal of this provision, of course, was to prevent someone seeking to fraudulently cast a vote or to cast an additional vote by using the name and address of someone no longer living or no longer residing at the address.

Volunteers with the NC Voter Integrity Project had used this provision to purge 3500 – 4000 voters from the voter registration rolls in Cumberland, Moore, and Beaufort counties. The NAACP challenged the removal of those names, and challenged the provision itself, alleging that the purge of voters disproportionately targets African-American voters. (Again, everything negatively impacts only African-Americans).  The NAACP, however, did not make clear how it believes the provision so disproportionately targets them.

Jay Delancy, the director of the NC Voter Integrity Project, said the effort in those counties had one purpose and one purpose only and that was reduce the potential for voter fraud.

In striking down the provision, the judge (Judge Biggs) said that the provision is pre-empted by the 1993 federal “Motor Voter” law, an initiative by the Clinton administration aimed at expanding voter opportunities by registering teens when they go for their drivers permit and license. The “Motor Voter” law (officially name: “The National Voter Registration Act”) mandates certain procedures to reduce the risk that a voter’s registration might be erroneously cancelled. The judge said that allowing one voter to challenge another’s residency contravenes these procedures and frustrates an important goal of the law.

It should be noted that the residency challenges under the challenged provision are not frivolous challenges, but are in line with established election law. Each residency challenge in Cumberland, Moore, and Beaufort counties followed after a postcard was mailed to a particular voter and it was returned as “Undeliverable.” [This scheme was devised by a member of my Tea Party group].  County Elections Boards are allowed to accept returned mail as evidence that the particular voter doesn’t currently live at the address. But that isn’t the end of the inquiry or determination. Before the name is removed from the voter registration rolls, a hearing is called where the challenged voter can present evidence to show that he or she still lives there. If the voter doesn’t appear for the hearing or cannot or does not refute the evidence, then he or she is removed from the voter roll. In other words, North Carolina election laws ensure that their provisions meet due process requirements.

Regardless of the fact that due process requirements are met, Judge Biggs nevertheless struck down the common-sense provision and ordered the Boards of Elections in Cumberland, Moore, and Beaufort counties to reinstate all of the 3500-4000 cancelled voter registrations.

Jay is asking the state legislature to revise state election law to add provisions to once again empower citizens who wish to help minimize the opportunity and potential for voter fraud by helping to identify and challenge illegal and fraudulent voters.

 

References:

Jay Delancy addresses voter fraud on Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/11818728/videos/10105605658577189/?id=11818728

Voter Identification Requirements – Voter ID Laws –  http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/voter-id.aspx

Governor Cooper’s Injunctive Order, issued on August 21 –  https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4779492-18-CVS-9805-Order-on-Injunctive-Relief.html

NC state constitution –  https://www.ncleg.net/Legislation/constitution/ncconstitution.html

Heritage Foundation Explains Voter Fraud –  https://www.heritage.org/election-integrity/heritage-explains/voter-fraud

Maintenance of State Voter Registration Lists: A Review of Relevant Policies and Procedures –  https://nass.org/sites/default/files/reports/nass-report-voter-reg-maintenance-final-dec17.pdf

 

APPENDIX:

MAINTENANCE OF STATE VOTER REGISTRATION LISTS:  A REVIEW OF RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Referenced at:  https://nass.org/sites/default/files/reports/nass-report-voter-reg-maintenance-final-dec17.pdf

Verification of Voter Registration Information —

The voter registration system attempts to match driver’s license numbers with the motor vehicle database. If the last four digits of the voter’s social security number (SSN4) are provided, the number is checked against the Social Security Administration (SSA) database through the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA). If no match is found, the voter will be notified. If the information remains unverified, the applicant must show identification before voting.

Address Confirmation Procedures —

County boards of elections attempt to verify the address of initial voter registration applicants by sending a notice to the applicant by non-forwardable mail, at the address provided on the application form. The county will register the applicant if the Postal Service does not return the notice as undeliverable to the county board. If the first notice is returned as undeliverable, then the county board will send a second notice by non-forwardable mail to the same address to which the first notice was sent. If the second notice is not returned as undeliverable, then the county board will register the applicant. (See NCGS § 163-82.7)

Each county board of elections conducts a program to remove from the registration list voters who have moved out of the county, and update registration records of persons who have moved within the county. (163-82.14)

After every congressional election, each board of elections sends a confirmation mailing to every voter if the board has not confirmed the voter’s address by another means. (163-82.14)

If a voter fails to respond to a confirmation mailing, and does not vote in an election from the date of the notice through the next two general federal elections, the voter will be removed from the voter registration list. (16382.14)

Removal of Names –

A voter will be removed from the registration list if the voter:

  • dies;
  • is convicted of a felony;
  • confirms in writing a change of address outside of the county;
  • fails to respond to a confirmation notice and does not vote or update the voter’s registration through two general elections. (163-82.14)

Obtaining the Names of Voters who are Deceased or Convicted of a Crime –

Each month the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services provides the State Board of Elections with the names of deceased persons who were residents of the state, and the Board distributes the appropriate information to each county board of elections. (163-82.14)

Each month the State Board of Elections provides the county board of elections with the names of persons from that county who have been convicted of a felony. (163-82.14)

Upon receipt of a notice of felony conviction from the US Attorney, the Executive Director of the State Board of Elections will notify the appropriate county.

‘The Boss’ becomes ‘The Bully’! Since Bruce Springsteen is boycotting North Carolina, NC needs to boycott him!

Springsteen - Cancels Show

by Diane Rufino, April 9, 2016

I AM NOW BOYCOTTING BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN! PLEASE JOIN ME!!  

Bruce Springsteen cancelled his upcoming show in Greensboro as a protest against the state’s controversial ‘bathroom’ law – HB2. HB2 provides that public bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers assigned separately for Males and for Females can only be used by those individuals who have the correct biological genitalia. A person’s sex is identified on one’s birth certificate. A person who is truly a transgender – which means “crossing from one gender to another – is one who has made certain commitments to making that cross, including having a medical procedure and hormone treatments. Once these “concrete” steps are taken, the person’s birth certificate is changed and then there is no issue about which bathroom the person can rightfully use (and feel comfortable in, as well as the others who use in). Absent any concrete steps towards changing one’s sex, then we just have a gender confused individual.

I am a Jersey Girl and have always been proud of it. I have always considered myself blessed to be born and raised in a state that values education and success, appreciates culture, and enjoys the unity and pride that great Jersey rockers like Bruce Springsteen and John Bon Jovi foster. For most of my life, I have made it a priority to buy every Springsteen album, update every Springsteen playlist, share his music with my new neighbors (North Carolinians), and attend every one of his NC concerts. That loyalty ends today.

It is one thing to make great music and give a great show. There is an implicit bond made made with fans. Great music and great shows earn loyalty which eventually benefit the musician when he no longer can make great music and put out great albums. Fans let certain things slide. But to let fans down because of a personal grudge and a personal campaign is a material breach of that bond and that loyalty. Fans have gone through far worse in their tolerance of Springsteen and in the distance and inconvenience to attend his shows than he has in his tolerance of North Carolina’s HB2.

To be clear, Springsteen lives in California and NOT in North Carolina. Laws that affect his backyard are made by politicians that he has a voice in electing. He needs to respect the backyard that belongs to the people in North Carolina, as they’ve created through THEIR voice and their duly-elected officials.’

And above all else, he needs to respect the loyalty of his fans. My guess is that a good chunk of his fans, including those who WOULD HAVE attended his Greensboro show, think like him and also are offended by HB2.

Now, I wanted to write a more scathing opinion of Springsteen, the bully, but frankly I am swamped with school work and in preparing lessons for my US Government & Politics class. I work hard to prepare lessons that are objective and are fair to both sides of all issues. That is the very least that my students expect and that is what politics is about… the robust education and discussion/debate on issues that determine what government will do for us and what laws should be passed for the best interests of our communities. Luckily, I found a rant that sums up perfectly how I now feel about Springsteen, and I don’t think its author will object to me sharing it.

From Jerseynut.blogspot.com:

I used to really dig Springsteen. The best I’d ever known in Rock, absolutely the best.

On a beautiful day in Los Angeles at the reservoir, many people were walking. Springsteen came toward me and my girl Rona, a cute and savvy Jewish girl from Brentwood. He was walking with his then wife, I think her name was Julia (?). I remember what they were wearing. Shorts, socks, tennis shoes, t-shirts, zippered hoodies, baseball caps and big sunglasses. Springsteen had that shit eatin’ grin on his face…he finally got a half way decent chick. A feeling only another guy would know and understand.

After we passed each other I really felt the urge to “jack that muther fucker”. Reasons: For sellin’ out his music (only sissyboy chumps sell out there music), and for sellin’ out on the United States of America. Springsteens liberal and negative viewpoints on this country bruised the image of the only true Promised Land. The land of the United States of America. The land and everything that the Pilgrims gave up just to gain so little for their personal selves. Freedom…you can’t hold it in your hands…you can only hold it in your heart…

Springsteen is now just an old piece of shit with money, a past, and disrespect for his wife. When you take a vow and you take a wife, you make a covenant with God. With God and Country, you may not sell out. God is too powerful and country is too cherished. Springsteen for me is now dead…

http://jerseynut.blogspot.com/2010/04/bruce-springsteen-born-to-be-liberal.html

BOYCOTTS GO BOTH WAYS. I HOPE THE GOOD FOLKS OF THE SOUTHERN STATES WILL BOYCOTT SPRINGSTEEN… the man who used to be called “The Boss.” Now he’s just a bully. How he’s just another elitist who uses his celebrity to be a social and political Bully when others don’t think like he does.

Is that Springsteen giving us the finger? (see pic below)

RESOLUTION PROPOSING TO ELIMINATE ARTICLE 1, SECTION 4 (“SECESSION PROHIBITED”) FROM THE NC STATE CONSTITUTION

Written and Proposed by Diane Rufino

RESOLUTION TO REMOVE ARTICLE I: SECTION 4 from the NORTH CAROLINA CONSTITUTION

This is a resolution to propose that Article I, Section 4 be removed from the NC state constitution, in part to acknowledge that the federal government unconstitutionally required the provision and in part to reassert state sovereignty

Whereas, Article I, Section 4 of the NC state constitution reads:  “Sec. 4.  Secession prohibited. This State shall ever remain a member of the American Union; the people thereof are part of the American nation; there is no right on the part of this State to secede; and all attempts, from whatever source or upon whatever pretext, to dissolve this Union or to sever this Nation, shall be resisted with the whole power of the State.”;

Whereas, in 1865, under orders from President Abraham Lincoln, North Carolina’s provisional governor, William W. Holden, called a convention to write a new constitution for the state and to submit it to the US Congress for approval as one of the preconditions for re-admission into the Union. Two requirements for re-admission were the ratification of the 13th amendment (to reject slavery) and a provision in the state constitution rejecting the right of secession;

Whereas, North Carolina was put in a seriously compromising position whereby she had no representation in the US Congress but would continue to be governed by its laws and policies.  Re-admission would allow representation;

Whereas, in order to be admitted back into the Union, the provision “secession prohibited” was included in the state constitution,

Whereas, the provision was added against the will of the people (the new constitution was rejected in a popular vote) and hence undemocratic;

Whereas, the US promises a republican form of government in every state (one of the very reasons Lincoln felt justified in waging the Civil War);

Whereas, the provision was added under coercion (and amounts to a “forced confession”);

Whereas, the provision is a badge of shame; it attaches a stigma to the state and the people of North Carolina as a result of being defeated and plundered by the North in the Civil War;

Whereas, the provision continues to punish North Carolina for daring to side with her neighbors in 1861 rather than invade and wage war against them.  [After seven states had already seceded, Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, sent a telegram to NC Gov. Ellis telling him that North Carolina would be expected to furnish two regiments to make war on the seceded States. The governor closed his refusal with these words: “I can be no party to this wicked violation of the laws of the country, and to this war upon the liberties of a free people. You can get no troops from North Carolina.”];

Whereas, North Carolina had no intention of seceding UNTIL it became clear that she would be required to wage war against her sister southern states (the states she had more in common with), and hence was coerced into secession. [In 1861, after her neighbors had already taken action, NC sounded rejected a convention to vote on secession];

Whereas, while North Carolina voted against a convention and rejected secession, it never gave up its belief in two principles: first, that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land pursuant to the express delegations of power held therein, that those express delegations define the extent of its powers with each state holding reserve sovereign powers (tenth amendment), and that the Federal government could not force one State to fight another;

Whereas, after the Civil War was concluded, the US Constitution was never altered to redefine the relationship of the States to the federal government, and thus, the states continued to retain all its reserved rights of state sovereignty under the tenth amendment;

Whereas, the Preamble to the Bill of Rights continues to emphasize how important each of the rights and privileges expressed in the first ten amendments in the establishment of the Union, the design of government, and the harmony of our federation (united states).  [”The Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution”];

Whereas, secession is an inherent right under a state’s sovereign powers, pursuant it its right of self-determination and self-preservation;

Whereas, secession is a fundamental right embodied in the Declaration of Independence [Under the Treaty of Paris, 1783, King George III acknowledged that the state of North Carolina, a sovereign state, had seceded from Great Britain];

Whereas, the right of secession being fundamental and inalienable, it can never limited by the federal government in any way, including by hiding behind the Constitution;

Whereas, the provision amounts to a forced denial of North Carolina’s fundamental right of sovereignty;

Whereas, the provision continues to punish the state for daring to remain loyal to founding principles of sovereignty;

Whereas, the provision acts as a badge of shame;

Whereas, the state of North Carolina, while recognizing all of the above as true, has no intention of abandoning its fellow states and leaving the Union.

Therefore, be it Resolved, that the People of the State of North Carolina demand that Article I, Section 4 be removed from the state constitution.

NC Flag

Two Ways of Educating

Education - Indoctrination Center        by  Diane Rufino, December 24, 2013

At some schools, usually independent (not accepting federal dollars) and religious, students read old books, including Plato’s Republic.  In the Republic, they read the story of Gyges’ ring that makes the wearer of it invisible.  One of Socrates’ conversants in the Republic, a young man named Glaucon (who happened to be Plato’s older brother; both were students of Socrates), raises the question: ‘Why would a man in possession of such a ring not use it to do and obtain whatever he wishes?  Why would he not use the ring’s powers, for instance, to become a tyrant?’  In response, Socrates turns the discussion to another question: ‘What is the right way for a man to live?  What is just by nature and what is unjust?’

In parochial schools, such as John Paul II Catholic High School (where I teach), students are also regularly guided by the teachings of the Bible. With respect to the teachings of Jesus, it was Jesus himself who boiled the lessons down to two commandments. When asked by a teacher of law which of God’s laws are most important (Mark 12:28-31), Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  As with books like the Republic, the teachings of the Bible emphasize the proper way for a man to live.  They establish a value system of love, compassion, and charity.  They teach that individuals should use their talents, their abilities, their powers to do good, and not just for themselves but for others as well.

These Socratic questions were once at the center or core of education. But in American education as a whole, and thanks in great part to policies directed by the federal government, these questions have been abandoned. Teaching ‘morality,’ as it turns out, is too offensive.  Even sadder is the tacit denial that such a focus in education serves no sound social purpose.  Thankfully, these Socratic and Socratic-type questions remain at the center or core of education at many institutions that believe that a proper education includes an emphasis on morality and ethics.

At John Paul II Catholic High School, St. Peter’s, and other parochial schools, and perhaps some charter schools as well, there is often a core group of course that all students, regardless of their path, are required to take. This core has a unifying principle, as explained above, such as the idea that there is a right way to live.

Compare this to the “core” that defines the latest bright idea of the education establishment – Common Core.  At its core is the imposition of national one-size-fits-all, copyrighted and licensed educational standards on American public schools all across the country for top-down universal control over the teaching of our children. When one looks into Common Core, it becomes clear that it has no unifying principle, such as I have described above.

Absent the kind of questions posed by Socrates in the Republic or the lessons of community found in the Bible, or in the plays of Shakespeare that pit good versus evil/right versus wrong, modern educators treat students chiefly as factors of production, as moldable young adults to be trained for productive jobs, as dictated by the economy at the time.  And although we all wish productive jobs for our children, as parents we know that they are not chiefly job-seekers or factors of production. “After all, how many of us, if we were given the choice between having our children earn a lot of money and being bad, or struggling economically and being good, would choose the former?”

Another example of the turn taken by modern education is exemplified by a passage from the Teacher’s Guide for Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition, published in 1991 by the College Board – the influential organization that, among other things, administers the SAT exam. It was written by an English professor from Agnes Scott College in Georgia:

“AP teachers are implementing the best of the new pedagogies that have influenced leading institutions of higher learning. Perhaps most importantly, as Arthur Applebee explains, ‘objectivity’ and ‘factuality’ have lost preeminence.  Instruction has become ‘less a matter of transmittal of an objective and culturally sanctioned body of knowledge,’ and more a matter of helping individuals learn to construct their own realities.  This moves English courses away from the concept of subject matter to be memorized and toward ‘a body of knowledge, skills, and strategies that must be constructed by the learner out of experiences and interactions within the social context of the classroom.’  Emphasis is on the processes of language and thought, ‘processes that are shaped by a given cultural community and which also help students become part of the cultural community.’  Contemporary educators no doubt hope students will shape values and ethical systems as they engage in these interactions, acquiring principles that will help them live in a mad, mad world.”

Thomas Jefferson, perhaps one of our more prolific Founding Fathers, wrote or had his hand directly in at least four of the five organic laws that provide the ideological and legal foundation of our country. He wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Northwest Ordinance, gave direction to James Madison in his drafting of the US Constitution, and provided the voice of reason and conscience to Madison again when it came time to add a Bill of Rights.  The Northwest Ordinance, adopted in 1787, and passed again in 1789, contains the following beautiful sentence: “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary for good government and the happiness of mankind, the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”  Accordingly, Congress proceeded to give 1/36th of the land in the vast Northwest Territory – including Michigan and four other states – as an endowment, controlled by the states, to support education in each township.

Consider the current text of the North Carolina state constitution (the constitution of 1971; see below), which sets forth government’s obligations in the state. Article I, Sec. 15 (Education”) provides:  “The people have a right to the privilege of education, and it is the duty of the State to guard and maintain that right.”  Article IX, Sec. 1 deals specifically with Education in the state.  That section (“Education encouraged”) reads: “Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools, libraries, and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

Could the difference be more stark between the older and newer goals of education?  Between leading students toward an understanding of the right way to live in a comprehensible world, and telling them they must shape their own values and make their own reality in a world gone mad?  And why aren’t more states, like my state of North Carolina which has vowed to guard and maintain its right to provide education to its citizens (and to promote morality), rejecting Common Core?

So, what is the right way for a man and a woman to live?

Do we trust that question to a government that has vowed to remain neutral on religion and on morality (tipping clearly towards immorality) and conducts itself in every instance without ethics?  Or do we reflect on that question in our own states and ask ourselves what we would like to expect from our own citizens?  Ultimately, parents want to be proud of their children.

 

[Note: The NC state constitution has been amended several times. The original constitution, adopted in 1776 by the general assembly (no input from the people) created the government for the new state; the constitution of 1868 was adopted and submitted to the US Congress for approval as required for re-admission to the Union after the Civil War (later amended to end discrimination against African Americans); and the constitution of 1971, which reorganized the entire state government in light of the requirements of the modern economy and society (more of a reorganization rather than adding anything new)].

 

**  [This short article is based on an article by Larry P. Arnn, Hillsdale College, Dec. 2013, Vol. 42, No. 12.]

 

Nullify Now! Coming to Raleigh, NC

Nullification - Tenth Amendment language    by Diane Rufino, May 27, 2013
The NC Tenth Amendment Center is organizing a Nullify Now! Rally in Raleigh this fall. Nullify Now! is a national tour, sponsored by the Tenth Amendment Center and Foundation for a Free Society, to educate and activate Americans on the Jeffersonian principle of Nullification. Nullification, simply put, is the right of the state, under the Tenth Amendment and Supremacy Clause, to reject, nullify, and refuse to enforce unconstitutional federal acts – from all three branches!!  The Raleigh event will be in September or October, depending upon the venue that is chosen. We want to start getting the word out now and ask that people share the information with as many people and groups as possible. There is perhaps nothing more important in the defense of liberty in our current precarious times than the education of ordinary Americans and state officials on the topic of Nullification. And given the hostility of our current leadership in the state legislature to states’ rights movements and the general reluctance in both houses to stand up to unconstitutional federal action, the time is now to begin that education.  Nullify Now.

The event capitalizes on the best-selling book “Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century,” by historian Thomas Woods.  Thanks to this important contribution by Mr. Woods, the doctrine of nullification, a founding principle, is being re-introduced to Americans and being revived all over the country. Its power and significance is ever more clear now that our own government has become a source of tyranny and oppression. Thomas Woods is a Senior Fellow at the Mises Institute and the author of other best-sellers, such as “Meltdown,” and “Rollback.”

In a nutshell, nullification is a constitutional doctrine that acknowledges the division of power between the federal government and the States – ie, the federal nature of our government. The right of each sovereign – the federal government and each state – to jealously guard its powers, and the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution, which announces that only those laws made in pursuance to the delegated powers to each branch, are supreme and enforceable. In other words, any law that is not made in pursuance of a power expressly delegated to the government or any law made that abuses any constitutional power is null and void and unenforceable. The term “Nullification” was coined by Thomas Jefferson in 1799 in addressing the unconstitutionality of the Alien and Sedition Acts, but the fact is that the doctrine is as deeply rooted in our founding as is the sovereignty of the individual, the inalienability of fundamental liberties, federalism, supremacy, and checks and balances. When the state delegates met in Philadelphia in 1787 to draft a new constitution, their task was to design a common government that would take care of overlapping functions and allow the states to sufficiently unite. James Madison, the major architect of the Convention and of the “new” government, arrived in Philadelphia with quite a different scheme than what he eventually came to embrace. He arrived as a “nationalist,” believing in a strong national government of centralized powers that compromised the sovereignty of the individual states. In fact, his scheme of government would have given the federal government a “negative” (or a veto) on any state action that the government believed was at odds with its interests. But communications with Thomas Jefferson (letters from France) and a stark rejection by an overwhelming majority of delegates helped him understand the wisdom of a “federal” government of limited powers, with the “negative” (or veto) being given to the States who would be the sovereigns most likely to find their powers intruded upon and jeopardized.  Therefore, the legislative branch was designed as a bicameral branch, with one house representing the interests of the states (Senate), which gave the states an immediate opportunity to “negate” or veto an act of the legislature that it believed exceeded the scope of the Constitution and encroached upon the powers of the States.  To further entrench the notion that States retain the bulk of their sovereign powers and therefore have a right to assert them, the Tenth Amendment was proposed by the states and added to the Constitution (otherwise they wouldn’t ratify it).  A state “negative” is what Jefferson would later refer to as “nullification.”

For almost 200 years, the federal government has looked to its constitutional limitations with disdain.  It dared to take the position that the Constitution is one of hidden and implied powers and that government needs what it needs.  And it found a way around those limitations. First the Supreme Court delegated itself the exclusive power to declare what the Constitution means and what powers the government has. Yes, a branch of the government declared it would figure out what powers it has. And from that moment, the exercise of constitutional interpretation evolved into an opportunity for nine unelected individuals to use the bench to re-interpret our Constitution, to transform the intent of government, and to effect societal change (good and bad). Thomas Jefferson warned about this: “To consider the Judges of the Superior Court as the ultimate arbiters of constitutional questions would be a dangerous doctrine which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. They have with others, the same passion for party, for power, and for the privileges of their corps – and their power is the most dangerous as they are in office for life, and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the Elective control. The Constitution has elected no single tribunal.  I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves.”  The questions are these: Will federal politicians act to limit their own power?  Will federal judges limit their power?  The answer to both questions is no.  If  the federal government – all 3 branches – were ever to be the sole and exclusive arbiter of the extent of their own power, that power would always grow. And then we are in a position where the “abuses and usurpations” of government and of human liberties that were levied against King George of England and which justified the fight for our independence are being willingly tolerated here in the United States in the 21st century.  Nothing can be more dangerous since the Constitution is the document that protects our precious rights laid out in the Declaration of Independence. Education on the doctrine of nullification is an education on how the States and the People can constitutionally exercise rights that the government now believes don’t exist.

Critics contend that states have no power to review the constitutionality of federal laws and federal action.

“That’s what the courts are for,” they say.  Those very courts, after the Supreme Court’s pronouncement in Marbury v. Madison (1803) that the federal courts are to interpret the Constitution and judges are limited by its precise wording and intention, have gone way beyond simple constitutional interpretation to make policy from the bench. Those very courts, after the decision in Marbury, have reclassified the Constitution as a “living, breathing document” that is no longer confined to traditional interpretation.  Those same courts have rendered decisions on secession and nullification when those topics aren’t even addressed in the Constitution (federal courts are limited to federal questions – alleged violations of the US Constitution, federal law, or a treaty to which the US is a party).  Those same courts told Dred Scott that black people don’t have any rights under our Declaration or Constitution and approved the indefinite detention of an entire race of citizens in the 1940′s.  No freedom-loving person should be looking at the courts to defend and preserve liberty.

The States, and not the courts, will be the ones to stop unconstitutional federal mandates.  As Thomas Jefferson said, Nullification is the “Rightful Remedy.”

Since September 2010, the Tenth Amendment Center has been hosting a national tour to educate people on this topic and to re-engage them with their Constitution and principles of freedom. The goal is to teach about nullification, its constitutional basis, when it’s been used in history, why the criticisms (ie, “It’s unconstitutional because the Supreme Court has ruled on it” and “The Civil War settled it”) are misinformed, why nullification has become more popular, why Americans need to learn about this doctrine, and its potential. So far, Nullify Now! events have been held in Orlando, Philadelphia, Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Austin, Jacksonville, and Manchester, NH.  Raleigh is the next conference. Our neighbors, South Carolina and Virginia, are both planning them in their states. Future events are also being organized in the Bay Area, CA, Seattle, Las Vegas, Miami, Indianapolis, Chicago, and in the states of Idaho, Wisconsin, and South Dakota.

The opponents of nullification and the mainstream media want Americans to believe that Nullification is an evil doctrine because it was used to support slavery. They want to shame citizens into believing that to support this concept is to be un-American and to somehow endorse the mindset that gave rise to the Civil War. These false arguments are the very reason that the Tenth Amendment Center felt it was necessary to begin a campaign of proper education.  The truth will allow everyone to come to an educated conclusion about nullification.

The Tenth Amendment knows that the topic of Nullification is one clouded in mystery. People want to know more but don’t know where to learn about it truthfully. They want to believe there is a constitutional way for their states to protect their individual rights. In North Carolina, people have heard disturbing comments from their elected state leaders in the past year, such as the following: “Because NC lost the Civil War, we have no right to second-guess the actions and policies of the federal government.”  “The state constitution forbids us to second-guess the federal government. It’s essentially a surrender document that hasn’t been amended.”  “The 10th Amendment no longer means what it used to. That was decided by the Civil War.”  “The US Constitution doesn’t mean what it used to and we really don’t know what it means now.”  ”Nullification is an outdated, racist doctrine that was used for bad and has no legitimacy.” “The legitimacy of Nullification was decided by the Supreme Court.”  Can these statements possibly be correct?  Education will give people of North Carolina the answer. We hope it will also educate those officials who articulated these offensive positions. Fortunately, the Tenth Amendment Center promotes the topic of Nullification from the mouth and pen of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, our most important of Founding Fathers. Each wrote a critical founding document and therefore are the proper authorities on the subject.

I’m sure liberty-minded folks support the notion that the federal government is one of limited powers and that the Supremacy Clause is a recognition of that limit and not an open invitation to the government to rule supremely on any and all objects it wants to. It can’t be that the federal government has the sole and exclusive authority to declare what the constitution means and how it applies to its branches and powers. The government can’t be sole and exclusive authority on the extent of its own powers. It’s a sure path to tyranny. I agree that the term “Nullification” scares many people and puts them on the offensive because of the crisis of 1832 with John Calhoun and South Carolina and because of the actions of Southern Democratic leaders in the post-Brown v. Board of Education era to repudiate the decision to integrate schools and society. I certainly get it and understand the negative connotations. But the positive exercises (not necessarily summoning the term “nullification”) have far out-weighed them, such as the actions of the Sons of Liberty which so thoroughly frustrated the British agents in the colonies prior to 1776 that such intolerable acts as the Stamp Act and Quartering Acts could never be enforced, the insistence in the Constitutional Convention in 1787 and in the individual state ratifying conventions for a state “negative” on the federal government (the Senate branch and the Tenth Amendment are examples), the nullification of the Fugitive Slave Act by the southern states, the nullification by a state court of Wisconsin (Glover case 1854) of the Fugitive Slave Act (in fact, the WI court said, despite what the US Supreme Court would later say in Dred Scott that Africans were not a class of persons covered by the Constitution or Declaration and hence were not entitled to any protections offered by those documents, including not having a right to bring suit, slaves and former slaves absolutely have a right to bring an action in a court of law), the state opposition to the federal Real ID which has effectively prevented its enforcement, the nullification of the NDAA by Virginia, and the rejection of state health insurance exchanges by 26 states as a way to show their opposition to federal intrusion into a state matter – healthcare, These are just a few instances of nullification (the pushing back of the federal government because it attempted to over-reach its constitutional authority.

There are many things going on at the national level which threaten our precious American freedoms. The War on Terrorism has expanded executive powers and extended the Rules of War to our homeland, thereby clashing with our Bill of Rights. There is talk of limiting the scope of the Second Amendment. The federal taxing power has been expanded by the Obamacare decision to give the government the option of coercing and controlling human conduct in the marketplace and in controlling human behavior in general.  Unelected officials are using the full power of the federal government to target, harass, censor, and intimidate American citizens. And privacy rights have never been so fragile. Everyone has an issue that is important to them, whether it be gun ownership rights, losing control over one’s healthcare because of Obamacare, gay marriage, the expansion of Homeland Security to spy on ordinary Americans, the drones-in-the-sky program, etc.  It may not be my issue or your issue, but collectively they all touch on the one thing that unites us in a common title – that of an “American.”  Americans enjoy a country where the government is tasked first and foremost with protecting their freedom.  When I think of how groups try to shut each other down or marginalize their issues, I can’t help but think of the words that Pastor Martin Niemoller wrote in light of the Nazi Holocaust:

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a communist;

Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a socialist;

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a trade unionist;

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a Jew;

Then they came for me–
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

To minimize the freedom and expression of one group is to minimize freedom and express for all.

Take, for example, the Daily Kos. It accuses conservatives of trying to prevent and thwart social progress in the United States.  It writes that “their weapons of choice are nullification and secession.” It writes that conservatives resort to “these pernicious ideas in order to prevail on such issues as the rights of the unborn and gun rights.” To equate conservatives as enemies of the state is to silence the voice of our Founding Fathers on critical issues that touch on successful government and human liberty. To shut down those who speak for the unborn is to deny the unborn a voice.

The Daily Kos is wrong.  The weapon of choice for conservatives is education.

Please plan to attend the Nullify Now! event in Raleigh this fall. Once the date and venue are set, it will be posted on the NC Tenth Amendment Center website and Facebook page. In the meantime, please help spread the word.

      ***  Diane Rufino is the Deputy Director of the NC Tenth Amendment Center