What Starts in South Carolina…
Lathan Watts, March 14, 2019
state legislature and the flagship university seem to be at odds over whether
college students should be required to study the U.S. Constitution, the
Declaration of Independence, and the Federalist papers. The legislature recently
updated the statute requiring study of the founding documents. The president of
the University of South Carolina previously criticized the requirement as
“archaic.” Ironically, the first state to leave the union is now trying to lead
the nation’s efforts to ensure, through education, that the Republic will
It is a fight worth having.
A recent study by
the Annenberg Public Policy Center revealed only one third of Americans could
name the three branches of government and another third could not name even one.
There’s little doubt such ignorance of basic civics is having profoundly
negative impact on our politics and culture.
The Annenberg survey also showed a
correlation between knowledge of the Constitution and a willingness to defend
the independence of the judiciary.
If the American education system
continues failing at basic civics instruction to such a degree reflected in the
Annenberg study, the importance of an independent judiciary’s role as guardian
of our God-given rights cannot be overstated. In fact, one could argue the
significance of the courts’ interpretation of the Constitution is inversely
proportional to the ignorance of the general population.
One problem inherent in a democratic
republic is that a constitutionally illiterate population is more likely to fall
for dangerous proposals like the progressive left’s new goal of “packing” the
Supreme Court with more justices to ensure outcomes more in line with their
policy ideology, or in the very least, block those nominees they can’t control.
And, it isn’t just citizens who appear to
lack civic knowledge.
Indeed, perhaps Annenberg should have polled
members of the U.S. Senate on Article VI of the Constitution and its strict
prohibition on a religious test for office. Based on the recent actions of
Sens. Feinstein, Harris, Hirono, and others, the results would likely mirror the
dangerous lack of knowledge of their constituents.
A bit of timeless wisdom often attributed
to Mark Twain (though unverified) is that a man that doesn’t read the newspapers
is uninformed and a man who reads the newspapers is misinformed. Another gifted
wordsmith, Ronald Reagan, was fond of saying his political opponents were, “not
ignorant, they just know so many things that aren’t so.”
Both quotes illustrate “knowing” things that
aren’t true to be even more dangerous than not knowing the truth. No area of the
law is a better example of this maxim than religious liberty. Over many years
the general public and even many members of the judiciary have accepted the idea
of church and state as
a canonical lens through which Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause
cases must be viewed despite the conspicuous absence of the phrase from the
The result has been an often-undeclared
yet overt government hostility to religion and to those seeking to live in
adherence to deeply held religious views spurred on by atheist and humanist
organizations hell bent on a religious cleansing of American life. One need only
consult the client list of the religious liberties bar for evidence.
The Founders placed religious freedom
first in the Bill of Rights because they knew that if government officials were
ever permitted to invade the space between man and God, there would be no limit
to government authority and inevitably the type of tyranny they fought an empire
to escape. The ignorance – or denial – of this fact among citizens, Senators and
the judiciary threatens our nation.
If we are to keep our Republic as
Benjamin Franklin admonished after the constitutional convention we must combine
a top-down and bottom-up approach to the threat of constitutional ignorance. We
need judges who strictly adhere to the text of the Constitution, fiercely guard
the rights of the people, and sternly enforce the separation of powers. To date,
President Trump’s nominees to the federal bench have been superbly qualified and
worthy of our trust to do so. Add to excellent jurists a population of citizens
who are well informed of their rights and our grand experiment in
self-government might just survive.
We also need citizens who elect to office
those who also adhere to the Constitution, confirming judges who do so without
politicizing the confirmation process.
A look back at American history reminds
us fights that start in South Carolina have monumental implications for the rest
of the nation. This current conflict between the state legislature and the
university is no different. A look even further back in human history cautions
with Divine wisdom, “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge…”
States Need to Fight Green New Deal
the Right Way
Brian Darling, March, 14, 2019
The fight over the so called “Green New
Deal” has gone into the states. Although this left-wing idea is pitched as a
plan to save the environment, it has elements that don’t have anything to do
with environmentalism and fall into the category of new entitlement spending and
an overall push for big government. Liberty minded activists in states need to
be smart in fighting this idea and to be careful not to overreach.
The national version of the Green New Deal is
described by CNN as
a ”14-page resolution [that] envisions a shift to 100% renewable and
zero-emission energy sources, and calls for the creation of millions of new
high-wage jobs to help wipe out poverty." CNN describes
the resolution as emphasizing “massive public investment in wind and solar
production, zero-emission vehicles and high-speed rail, energy-efficient
buildings, and smart power grids, as well as ‘working collaboratively’ with
farmers and ranchers to move towards sustainable agriculture techniques.” The
resolution also addresses “historic injustices visited upon the poor and people
of color.” This is a grab bag of left-wing ideas tossed into one green package
that has become the centerpiece of a national debate.
It is important to note that our economy
has been a great driver of innovation in the energy sector producing “clean
coal,” solar and electric cars. Conservatives don’t want the government to play
favorites and help out solar and plug-in cars, yet there is nothing wrong with
renewables competing in the private sector if they can prove efficient while
convincing consumers to use them. Some people don’t care about the personal cost
of renewables and just want to use renewables to feel like they are helping the
environment and that is every American's right.
The state of Virginia has become a
battleground over environmental policy and a Virginia version of the Green New
Deal. A local
Virginia paper posted
an op-ed on May 5, 2019 where the VA plan was described as “a moratorium
beginning Jan. 1, 2020 on approval by any permitting agency on any new major
fossil fuel projects. The legislation defined fossil fuels as ‘coal, petroleum,
natural gas or any derivative of coal, petroleum, or natural gas that is used
for fuel.” They want 80% from solar, onshore and offshore wind, geothermal and
ocean tidal sources of energy. The plan is not realistic and likely will not go
anywhere in the Virginia legislature.
Some have already started to fight over a
privately-funded plan on private property in Spotsylvania, Virginia and calling
it part of a VA Green New Deal. This is an overreach and a mischaracterization
of that private plan.
The Virginia sPower solar plan falls into the
category of private individuals and corporations engaging in private contractual
relationships that don’t have anything to do with the core agenda of the Green
New Deal. This project in Virginia is a $615 million private
investment that, according to the Free-Lance
Fredericksburg, will create “800-1,000 local employees during construction,
including electricians, site contractors, landscapers, mechanics, heavy
equipment operators, engineers, waste management, and security guards.” The
project will generate “$110 million in economic output and another $164 million
over the life of the project” as well as “approximately $13 million in new gross
tax revenues for the county, which reflects a 1,800 percent increase over
current tax generation without impacts on schools, public safety, transportation
or other county services.” Blind hatred of the Green New Deal should not lead
Virginia residents to reflexively oppose this private plan on private property.
Conservatives want to stop the use of
government subsidies and tax benefits to push renewables while discriminating
against fossil fuels. The markets should rule these private decisions. Our
nation has used efficiency and technological advances to lower emissions
dramatically over the past few decades showing that capitalism and free markets
It is also true that people deserve the
freedom to choose renewables if they want. Renewables, or a mix of the most
efficient ones, may be the future of generating energy for Americans, yet only
solar and wind seem to have taken hold in a few communities. If private
companies want to spend cash on renewables, then that is their choice.
When the government tries to force
renewables on Americans at a high cost, that is wrong and should be stopped.
The “Green New Deal” has polled as popular yet expect those poll numbers to
plummet when the American people get wise to this shell game the left is playing
by mixing environmental politics and the push to expand entitlement programs.
Back on Setember 1, 2013 on a Sunday afternoon around 1 pm the new Dietz &
Watson Meat Processing Plant located in Delanco, NJ had a roof fire break out.
Normally firefighters would go up on the roof and make roof cuts confine and
extinguish the fire. However due to the roof being covered with electric
generating solar panels this was imposible due to the danger of electrocution by
firefighters coming into contact with these solar panels. The fire burned for
two days with over 200 firefighters used in stopping the fire. The Philadelphia
Fire Department was called to help stop the fire. The Fire Chief in command when
ask by reporters why it took so long he explained that had this been a normal
flat roof building the fire could have been contained in a matter of minutes,
Due to the solar panels and danger of electrocution the firefighters had fight
from aerial trucks. Solar panels are charged by Sun light and as long as the Sun
shines they make electricity there is no off and on switch. The estimated loss
from this fire was well over a million dollars and put people out of work for
With new homes
going up in Red Bridge, Locust Town Center, Western Hills, Whispering Hills,
Barbara Ann Park, Abbington, and a proposed new sub division on Elm Street.
Plans are well underway for new Commerical, Retail, and Restaurants. I will post