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Heritage Foundation Report: Family Dinner Benefits Include Prevention of Substance Abuse

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Heritage Foundation Report: Family Dinner Benefits Include Prevention of Substance Abuse Dear Epicworld readers, I’ve been telling my readers  this for more than 15 years! And now family dinners are more important than ever.~C.D.   Family Day – A Day to Eat … Continue reading

George Washington Facts, Quotations

Dinner Topics for George Washington’s Birthday

Heritage Foundation:

George Washington Deserves His Own Day, Not Presidents Day

georgewashingtonQuotations

It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.
~George Washington

Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. ~George Washington

Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected. ~George Washington

2nd Amendment

Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples’ liberty’s teeth.

~George Washington

The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good. ~George Washington

Morality

Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason

and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. ~George Washington

The time is near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves.

~George Washington

Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience.

~George Washington

Experience teaches us that it is much easier to prevent an enemy from posting themselves than it is to dislodge them after they have got possession. ~George Washington

The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments. ~George Washington

Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light. ~George Washington

I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man. ~George Washington


History Facts: What the Constitution Really says about race and Slavery

History Facts:

What the Constitution Really says about race and Slavery

David Azarrad

Daily Signal, Heritage Foundation

keyIn no way can the Constitution be said to be pro-slavery. The principles of natural right undergirding it are resolutely anti-slavery. Its language conveys disapproval of slavery. Contrary to a popular misconception, the Constitution also does not say that only white males who owned property could vote.

lincoln-statueOne hundred and fifty years ago this month, the 13th Amendment officially was ratified, and with it, slavery finally was abolished in America. The New York World hailed it as “one of the most important reforms ever accomplished by voluntary human agency.”

The newspaper said the amendment “takes out of politics, and consigns to history, an institution incongruous to our political system, inconsistent with justice and repugnant to the humane sentiments fostered by Christian civilization.”

With the passage of the 13th Amendment—which states that “[n]either slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction”—the central contradiction at the heart of the Founding was resolved.

constitution1Eighty-nine years after the Declaration of Independence had proclaimed all men to be free and equal, race-based chattel slavery would be no more in the United States.

While all today recognize this momentous accomplishment, many remain confused about the status of slavery under the original Constitution. Textbooks and history books routinely dismiss the Constitution as racist and pro-slavery. The New York Times, among others, continues to casually assert that the Constitution affirmed African-Americans to be worth only three-fifths of a human being.

Ironically, many Americans who are resolutely opposed to racism unwittingly agree with Chief Justice Roger Taney’s claim in Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) that the Founders’ Constitution regarded blacks as “so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect, and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit.” In this view, the worst Supreme Court case decision in American history was actually correctly decided.

The argument that the Constitution is racist suffers from one fatal flaw: the concept of race does not exist in the Constitution.

Such arguments have unsettling implications for the health of our republic. They teach citizens to despise their founding charter and to be ashamed of their country’s origins. They make the Constitution an object of contempt rather than reverence. And they foster alienation and resentment among African-American citizens by excluding them from our Constitution.

The received wisdom in this case is wrong. If we turn to the actual text of the Constitution and the debates that gave rise to it, a different picture emerges. The case for a racist, pro-slavery Constitution collapses under closer scrutiny.

Race and the Constitution

The argument that the Constitution is racist suffers from one fatal flaw: the concept of race does not exist in the Constitution. Nowhere in the Constitution—or in the Declaration of Independence, for that matter—are human beings classified according to race, skin color, or ethnicity (nor, one should add, sex, religion, or any other of the left’s favored groupings). Our founding principles are colorblind (although our history, regrettably, has not been).

The Constitution speaks of people, citizens, persons, other persons (a euphemism for slaves) and Indians not taxed (in which case, it is their tax-exempt status, and not their skin color, that matters). The first references to “race” and “color” occur in the 15th Amendment’s guarantee of the right to vote, ratified in 1870.

The infamous three-fifths clause, which more nonsense has been written than any other clause, does not declare that a black person is worth 60 percent of a white person. It says that for purposes of determining the number of representatives for each state in the House (and direct taxes), the government would count only three-fifths of the slaves, and not all of them, as the Southern states, who wanted to gain more seats, had insisted. The 60,000 or so free blacks in the North and the South were counted on par with whites.

Contrary to a popular misconception, the Constitution also does not say that only white males who owned property could vote. The Constitution defers to the states to determine who shall be eligible to vote (Article I, Section 2, Clause 1). It is a little known fact of American history that black citizens were voting in perhaps as many as 10 states at the time of the founding (the precise number is unclear, but only Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia explicitly restricted suffrage to whites).

Slavery and the Constitution

Not only does the Constitution not mention blacks or whites, but it also doesn’t mention slaves or slavery. Throughout the document, slaves are referred to as persons to underscore their humanity. As James Madison remarked during the constitutional convention, it was “wrong to admit in the Constitution the idea that there could be property in men.”

The Constitution refers to slaves using three different formulations: “other persons” (Article I, Section 2, Clause 3), “such persons as any of the states now existing shall think proper to admit” (Article I, Section 9, Clause 1), and a “person held to service or labor in one state, under the laws thereof” (Article IV, Section 2, Clause 3).

Although these circumlocutions may not have done much to improve the lot of slaves, they are important, as they denied constitutional legitimacy to the institution of slavery. The practice remained legal, but slaveholders could not invoke the supreme law of the land to defend its legitimacy. These formulations make clear that slavery is a state institution that is tolerated—but not sanctioned—by the national government and the Constitution.

Reading the original Constitution, a visitor from a foreign land would simply have no way of knowing that race-based slavery existed in America. As Abraham Lincoln would later explain:

Thus, the thing is hid away, in the Constitution, just as an afflicted man hides away a wen or a cancer, which he dares not cut out at once, lest he bleed to death.

Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), former slave and abolitionist broke whites' stereotypes about African Americans in the decades prior to the U.S. Civil War. His literary and oratorical excellence, and his dignified bearing, converted many to support the abolition of slavery in the United States. 1855 portrait. (Newscom TagID: evhistorypix007462.jpg) [Photo via Newscom]

Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), former slave and abolitionist broke whites’ stereotypes about African Americans in the decades prior to the U.S. Civil War. His literary and oratorical excellence, and his dignified bearing, converted many to support the abolition of slavery in the United States. 1855 portrait. (Newscom TagID: evhistorypix007462.jpg) [Photo via Newscom]

One could go even further and argue, as Frederick Douglass did in the lead-up to the Civil War, that none of the clauses of the Constitution should be interpreted as applying to slaves. The “language of the law must be construed strictly in favor of justice and liberty,” he argued.

Because the Constitution does not explicitly recognize slavery and does not therefore admit that slaves were property, all the protections it affords to persons could be applied to slaves. “Anyone of these provisions in the hands of abolition statesmen, and backed up by a right moral sentiment, would put an end to slavery in America,” Douglass concluded.

Those who want to see what a racist and pro-slavery Constitution would look like should turn to the Confederate Constitution of 1861. Though it largely mimics the Constitution, it is replete with references to “the institution of negro slavery,” “negroes of the African race,” and “negro slaves.” It specifically forbids the Confederate Congress from passing any “law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves.”

Contrary to a popular misconception, the Constitution also does not say that only white males who owned property could vote.

One can readily imagine any number of clauses that could have been added to our Constitution to enshrine slavery. The manumission of slaves could have been prohibited. A national right to bring one’s slaves to any state could have been recognized. Congress could have been barred from interfering in any way with the transatlantic slave trade.

It is true that the Constitution of 1787 failed to abolish slavery. The constitutional convention was convened not to free the slaves, but to amend the Articles of Confederation. The slave-holding states would have never consented to a new Constitution that struck a blow at their peculiar institution. The Constitution did, however, empower Congress to prevent its spread and set it on a course of extinction, while leaving the states free to abolish it within their own territory at any time.

Regrettably, early Congresses did not pursue a consistent anti-slavery policy. This, however, is not an indictment of the Constitution itself. As Frederick Douglass explained: “A chart is one thing, the course of a vessel is another. The Constitution may be right, the government wrong.”

Congress and the Slave Trade

ThomasJeffersonIn his original draft of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson called the African slave trade an “execrable commerce” and an affront “against human nature itself.” Because of a concession to slave-holding interests, the Constitution stipulates that it may not be abolished “prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight” (Article I, Section 9, Clause 1).

In the meantime, Congress could discourage the importation of slaves from abroad by imposing a duty “not exceeding 10 dollars on each person” (Article I, Section 9, Clause 1). Although early Congresses considered such measures, they were never enacted.

Early Congresses did, however, regulate the transatlantic slave trade, pursuant to their power “to regulate commerce with foreign nations” (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3). In 1794, 1800, and 1803, statutes were passed that severely restricted American participation in it. No American shipyard could be used to build ships that would engage in the slave trade, nor could any ship sailing from an American port traffic in slaves abroad. Americans were also prohibited from investing in the slave trade.

Finally, on the very first day on which it was constitutionally permissible to do so—Jan. 1, 1808—the slave trade was abolished by law.

The law, which President Thomas Jefferson signed, stipulated stiff penalties for any American convicted of participating in the slave trade: up to $10,000 in fines and five to 10 years in prison. In 1823, a new law was passed that punished slave-trading with death.

Congress and the Expansion of Slavery

Banning the importation of slaves would not by itself put an end to slavery in the United States. Slavery would grow naturally even if no new slaves were brought into the country.

Although Congress could not prevent this, it could prevent slavery from spreading geographically to the territories from which new states would eventually be created.

Congress has the power “to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States” (Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2), to forbid the migration of slaves into the new territories (Article I, Section 9, Clause 1), and to stipulate conditions for statehood (Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2).

In no way could the Constitution be said to be pro-slavery. The principles of natural right undergirding it are resolutely anti-slavery. Its language conveys disapproval of slavery.

Regrettably, early Congresses did not prevent the spread of slavery. Between 1798 and 1822, Congress enacted 10 territorial acts. Only half excluded slavery.

As a result, seven slaveholding states and five free states were admitted into the union. The seeds of what Abraham Lincoln would later call the crisis of the house divided were sown.

Slavery in the Existing States

As for the existing slaveholding states that had ratified the Constitution, what could Congress do to restrict the growth of slavery within their borders? Here Congress had more limited options. After 1808, “the migration” of slaves across state lines could have been prohibited (Article I, Section 9, Clause 1). This was never done.

In principle, slavery could have been taxed out of existence. However, the requirement that direct taxes be apportioned among the states made it impossible to exclusively target slaveholders. A capitation or head tax, for example, even though it would have been more costly for Southerners, would also impose a heavy burden on Northerners.

While one could perhaps have circumvented the apportionment requirement by calling for an indirect tax on slaves—as Sen. Charles Sumner, R-Mass., would later do during the Civil War—such arguments were not made in the early republic.

There was one clause in the original Constitution that required cooperation with slaveholders and protected the institution of slavery. Slaves who escaped to freedom were to “be delivered up” to their masters (Article IV, Section 2, Clause 3). The motion to include a fugitive slave clause at the constitutional convention passed unanimously and without debate. This would seem to indicate that all knew it would be futile to try to oppose such a measure.

James Madison

James Madison

The debate instead focused on the wording. Whereas the original draft had referred to a “person legally held to service or labor in one state,” the final version instead refers to a “person held to service or labor in one state, under the laws thereof.” This change, Madison explains in his notes, was to comply “with the wish of some who thought the term legal equivocal,” as it gave the impression “that slavery was legal in a moral view,” rather than merely permissible under the law.

This remark by Madison captures the Constitution’s stance vis-à-vis slavery: permissible, but not moral. Legal, but not legitimate.

In no way can the Constitution be said to be pro-slavery. The principles of natural right undergirding it are resolutely anti-slavery. Its language conveys disapproval of slavery. And it contains within it several provisions that could have been and were at times used to prevent the spread of slavery.

This may not make it an anti-slavery Constitution. But even before the 13th Amendment, it was a Constitution that, if placed in the right hands, could be made to serve the cause of freedom.

 

http://dailysignal.com/2015/12/28/what-the-constitution-really-says-about-race-and-slavery/

Culture Wars: Liberal Lies about Mass Murderers and Communism for Kids, and What You Can Do About It

Culture Wars:  

Liberal Lies about Mass Murderers and ‘Communism for Kids’, and What You Can Do About It

‘Communism for Kids’ Turns Deadly Ideology Into a Fairy Tale

Average review rating of 123 reviews on Amazon: 2 stars

For behold, they do study at this time that they may destroy the liberty of thy people. ~Alma 8:17

Jarrett Stepman

Heritage Foundation Daily Signal

In order to make the deadliest ideology of the 20th century palatable to young Americans, “Communism for Kids” is coming to a bookstore near you.

This newly released book from MIT Press “proposes a different kind of communism, one that is true to its ideals and free from authoritarianism.”

The death toll from communist regimes in the 20th century is well-documented. One study found that more people were killed under communism than homicide and genocide combined, and only 9 million more people were killed in World War I and World War II combined than under governments of this ideology.

Another study showed how the mass killings of civilians by their own governments took an immediate nosedive after the collapse of the Soviet Union and international communism.

According to the Amazon synopsis, the book weaves a fairy tale of “jealous princesses, fancy swords, displaced peasants, mean bosses, and tired workers.”

It is bewildering why MIT Press would publish a book that cutesies up the political creed that gave the world Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Fidel Castro, and many more of the world’s most prolific mass murderers. None of these brutal dictators are mentioned in the book, according to The Washington Free Beacon.

Communism seemingly gets a pass to be re-imagined as a sweet fable while it’s inconceivable that a book called “Fascism for Kids” would ever be printed by a reputable publisher. (Fascism is very similar to communism, with a slightly different label. ~C.D.)

Marion Smith of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation wrote, according to The Washington Free Beacon:

While I can imagine a book so titled that would make a valuable contribution to a reader’s understanding of the truth about communism, the book MIT Press published is not it. ‘Communism for Kids’ whitewashes and infantilizes ideas that, when put into action, have cost more than 100 million lives.

This odd attempt to get kids into communism is unlikely to spawn a new generation of true believers on its own, but it does highlight the growing problem for younger Americans who are generally clueless about even recent history.

As The Daily Signal previously reported, a study from the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation found that millennials, in particular, are stunningly ignorant about what occurred under the Soviet Union and other communist regimes just a generation ago.

Liberal Lies—

One-third of millennials surveyed actually believe that more people were killed under former President George W. Bush than under Soviet dictator Stalin.

If one truly wants to teach young Americans what communism is really about, it would be better to hand them a copy of the classic “Animal Farm,” by George Orwell.

The book is an allegory—using farm animals as stand-ins—about the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia a century ago. The revolutionary promise of “all animals are equal” is used to overthrow farmers, but quickly turns into a new, even more oppressive tyranny under animal overlords

A reign of forced labor, intimidation, and terror puts the animals under the thumb of their new masters—their ideals used to prop up an all-powerful regime. The refashioned creed becomes “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” In the end, human, or rather “animal,” nature proved to be more powerful than any ideology.

As the Roman poet Horace once said: “You can drive out nature with a pitchfork, but she will ever hurry back.”

This lesson from Orwell would be a much better way to teach young people about destructive ideology than a fanciful account of how “true” communism—minus the mean authoritarian stuff and mass murder—would be truly grand.

Under communism, tyranny is a feature, not a bug.

Excerpt from Birthright, Critical Thinking: Defining Communism, Socialism, and Fascism

Chapter 53—At the Memorial

                Darcy Lipscomb makes the following comment to her father: “Don’t you know that Nazism is the German word for National Socialism? Nazism, socialism, communism, fascism—they’re all the same. You know, the old tyranny thing—controlling people’s lives and stifling freedom of speech …”

Comment: In today’s society, many people think that Nazism (or fascism) is the opposite of socialism. This is incorrect. Don’t allow yourself to be confused. Darcy is right. These four “isms” are simply variations of the same thing.

Communism and socialism—all property and businesses are owned and controlled by a large bureaucratic government; the government controls the nation’s economy. Karl Marx, founder of communism, encouraged war between the rich and poor, or “class warfare”.

                Fascism (formerly Nazism)—although big businesses may be owned by individuals, they are controlled by the government, which is led by a strong dictator. In addition to class warfare, fascism includes racial strife. Fascist tyrants enforce their demands with groups of bullies, which under Nazism were called the Gestapo.

  All these “isms” engage in thought control, stifling freedom of speech, press, and religion, and persecuting dissenters, to the point of imprisonment or death. In Birthright, these tyrannical systems are called the Order of Kohor. As you study current events, history, and foreign affairs, just keep it simple by remembering that all these systems enforce their ideology with the sword, or violence.

Why the truth is not taught in Public Schools

More about Birthright

Buy Birthright here   and teach your kids critical thinking in an engaging way

 

 

Moral Support: Heritage Foundation influences Trump Transition, supports Jeff Sessions Attorney General nomination

Moral Support:

Heritage Foundation influences Trump Transition, supports Jeff Sessions Attorney General nomination

Heritage Foundation ‘one of the most influential forces’ shaping Trump transition

heritageaction[T]he Heritage Foundation has emerged as one of the most influential forces shaping President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team, embedding the veteran Washington group into the operation of a candidate who ran loudly against the Beltway.

Part gate-keeper, part brain trust and part boots on the ground, Heritage is both a major presence on the transition team itself, and a crucial conduit between Trump’s orbit and the once-skeptical conservative leaders who ultimately helped get him elected.

Heritage is “absolutely the fulcrum, and essential to staffing the administration with people who reflect Trump’s commitments across the board,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, the head of the prominent Susan B. Anthony List group…

Heritage experts spent much of the past year preparing Mandate for Leadership, a series of reports outlining specific policies the new administration should enact. Heritage also helped craft a list of potential conservative Supreme Court appointees–and as Politico notes, “it’s hard to overstate the importance of that list.”

The Politico writeup also explains that Heritage helped build a “shadow transition team” by identifying conservatives who could serve in the administration:

Three sources from different conservative groups said that Heritage employees have been soliciting, stockpiling and vetting resumes for months with an eye on stacking Trump’s administration with conservative appointees across the government. One source described the efforts as a “shadow transition team,” and “an effort to have the right kind of people in there.”

Heritage ‘one of the most influential forces’ shaping Trump transition

 

Why Jeff Sessions is the perfect pick for attorney general.

 

Senator Sessions and Donald Trump

Senator Sessions and Donald Trump

Last week, Trump nominated Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., for attorney general. Conservatives are excited — and for good reason. Heritage President Jim DeMint said that “No one will work harder than Jeff Sessions to defend the freedoms and safety of all Americans as attorney general. Not surprisingly, liberal news outlets are reporting that Sessions’ road to confirmation could face Democrat opposition. Heritage’s Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow, says that is what makes him such a good nominee. “Sen. Sessions is battle-tested. He has shown that he will stand up to the vicious and spiteful lies cast by the left in the heat of political fights over constitutional principles.” Read his commentary on FoxNews.com. Meanwhile, Heritage staff continue to assist Trump’s transition with guidance on nominees and conservative policy solutions.

 

Pentagon to End Gun-Free Zones on Military Bases

AWR Hawkins

gun-free-zonesOn November 18, the Pentagon issued a Defense Department directive that will “allow Department of Defense (D0D) personnel to carry firearms and employ deadly force while performing official duties.”

Secretary of Defense Robert Work approved the directive.

Military.com reports that the directive “also provides detailed guidance to the services for permitting soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guard personnel to carry privately owned firearms on DoD property.” It authorizes “commanders, 05 and above…[to] grant permission to DoD personnel requesting to carry a privately owned firearm (concealed or open carry) on DoD property for a personal protection purpose not related to performance of an official duty or status.”

President-elect Donald Trump ran on removing gun-free zones from military bases. On July 9, 2015, Breitbart News reported that Trump pledged to end the gun-free scenarios for U.S. troops by “[mandating] that soldiers remain armed and on alert at our military bases.”

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/11/22/pentagon-end-gun-free-zones-military-bases/

Report: President-Elect Trump Called Family of Slain Texas Cop

Judge spanks transgender-obsessed Obama

Reaffirms nationwide injunction blocking White House policy for trans bathroom in schools

Bob Unruh

culture-wars-education-crimesThe ruling this week from U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor left intact his nationwide injunction against Obama’s decision that transgender public school students can use the restroom of their choice, rather than the restroom designated for their biological gender.
The Obama administration contends that when Congress adopted the nondiscrimination law in 1972, it had open restrooms and showers in mind.

At that time, the judge pointed out, “It cannot be disputed that the plain meaning of the term sex as used in [existing law] when it was enacted by DOE following passage of Title IX meant the biological and anatomical differences between male and female students as determined at their birth.”
See what American education has become, in “Crimes of the Educators: How Utopians Are Using Government Schools to Destroy America’s Children.”

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2016/11/judge-catches-obama-in-transgender-bathroom-lie/

 

 

 

Heritage Foundation Report: Choosing SCOTUS Justices, Stopping Planned Parenthood, Voter Fraud

Moral Solutions—

Heritage Foundation Report:

Choosing Supreme Court Justices, Stopping Planned Parenthood, Voter Fraud

What One Woman Is Doing to Take Down Planned Parenthood

life-vs-abortionWhile Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, is celebrating its 100th anniversary Sunday, one organization is working tirelessly to put Planned Parenthood out of business.

CEO Brandi Swindell founded Stanton Healthcare in 2006. According to the Stanton Project’s website, it has branched out from a room in a doctor’s office to an international affiliate program.

Stanton Healthcare is a nonprofit medical facility that provides pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, client advocacy, and other life-affirming programs that respect the “dignity of both mother and child.”

“Planned Parenthood is coming up on their 100th anniversary and we are coming up on our 10th. We are looking to replace and outlast Planned Parenthood,” Swindell told The Daily Signal in a phone interview.

“I founded Stanton Healthcare in 2006,” said Swindell. “I have been doing pro-life work for 16 or 17 years and have worked on the national level and co-founded Generation Life.”

Here Are 3 New Cases of Voter Fraud. Governments Must Ensure Vote Integrity as Election Day Looms.

Jason Snead

cartoon-vote-fraud

Thanks to A.F. Branco at Legal Insurrection for another great cartoon

As Election Day looms large, Americans are as divided as ever on the future direction of the country and many of our most pressing issues.

One issue that ought to unite the country, however, is the need for election integrity. After all, it is through the ballot box that voters will select our local, state, and federal leaders. It is imperative that the vote accurately reflects the will of our citizens.

Many on the left, however, are unconcerned with the protection of each individual’s vote. They quickly dismiss voter fraud as a myth meant to justify voter suppression. Perhaps progressives are so quick to kill the debate because they know that the facts are not on their side.

Indeed, voter fraud is a very real and ongoing threat to the integrity of the political process, and The Heritage Foundation’s “Does Your Vote Count” project tracks this “nonexistent” problem. Today, we are adding 16 new confirmed convictions for voter fraud to our voter fraud database. That brings the count to over 430 criminal convictions for election fraud.

Missouri

voter-fraud2In North St. Louis, incumbent Penny Hubbard won the 2016 Democratic primary for Missouri’s 78th House District by 90 votes. Her challenger, Bruce Franks Jr., contested the results, citing a lopsided absentee vote tally that heavily favored Hubbard. Franks had carried the in-person vote.

District Judge Rex Burlison determined that a sufficient number of improper absentee ballots had been cast to change the results of the election, and ordered a second election. Franks won the redo by a margin of 1,533 votes.

North Carolina

Pasco Parker, a 63-year-old Tennessee resident, admitted to voting in three states during the 2012 federal election. He mailed in an absentee ballot to both Florida and North Carolina, and he voted in person in Tennessee.

Parker pleaded guilty to felony voting fraud and felony voter registration. He received a prison sentence of six to 17 months, and was ordered to complete 48 hours of community service. His prison time was later suspended in favor of 24 months of supervised probation.

Parker’s case speaks to the need for states to adopt policies meant to make it easier to identify duplicate voting and ensure those who do so are brought to justice. Most current state policies are inadequate; indeed, Parker’s fraud may well have gone undetected were it not for the investigatory efforts of a North Carolina volunteer voting watchdog group, the Voter Integrity Project.

Kentucky

voter-fraudMagoffin County Magistrate Gary Risner, Deputy County Clerk Larry Shepherd, and Tami Jo Risner (Gary Risner’s ex-wife) were convicted of felony voter fraud for a vote buying scheme to boost a host of candidates in the 2014 election.

An accomplice, Scotty L. McCarty, was also charged, but pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and ultimately testified against the others.

McCarty revealed that the group had participated in vote buying conspiracies in several elections dating back to 2010. He testified that Shepherd contributed $10,000 and Tami Jo Risner contributed $2,000 to the vote buying operation, paying individuals $50 apiece to vote for their slate of candidates.

Shepherd also revealed that in a 2010 election, while acting as a precinct officer, he added 60 votes to the total for a candidate and Tami Jo Risner signed the names of those who hadn’t voted to cover the discrepancy.

The Magoffin fraudsters will be sentenced in December. They each face a potential five-year prison sentence.

The right to vote is essential to the American system of government. Consequently, election integrity must be preserved to ensure that every legitimate vote counts, and that our elections accurately reflect the will of the citizenry. But before government at all levels can remedy the problem of voter fraud, politicians must first acknowledge that it exists.

Heritage’s report, “Does Your Vote Count,” discusses the history of, reasons for, and myths about voter fraud. It also suggests practical, commonsense changes that will both protect American elections while encouraging all eligible voters to register and cast their ballots.

As shown in the Missouri 78th House District case, and many other cases in our database, voter fraud can drastically influence the outcome of elections and usurp the will of the people. It’s a serious problem that deserves a serious solution.

Supreme Court: One vote matters

A single Supreme Court justice can uphold or trample the Constitution

Heritage Youtube on SCOTUS justices

 

Ed Feulner

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

supreme-courtIt doesn’t always come down to one vote.

Look back at some of the most notable U.S. Supreme Court decisions, and you find some of the best were decided by an overwhelming majority.

Brown v. Board of Education, which outlawed racial segregation in public schools, was unanimous, in fact. So was NLRB v. Noel Canning, which reinforced the fact that a president cannot make recess appointments when the Senate is in session.

Some of the worst, too, were similarly lopsided. Plessy v. Ferguson, a pre-Brown case that allowed segregated public facilities, was decided by a 7-1 vote. The infamous Roe v. Wade, which struck down state laws outlawing abortion, was 7-2.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/oct/17/one-supreme-court-justices-can-uphold-trample-cons/

 

 

Election 2016: Donald Trump, Supreme Court Justices, and American Survival

Election 2016:

Donald Trump, Supreme Court Justices, and American Survival

21 reasons NeverTrumpsters might want to vote for Trump

Trump beefs up list of Supreme Court candidates

‘Constitutional values and principles our country was founded on are in jeopardy’

Antonin Scalia, supreme Court Justice

Antonin Scalia, supreme Court Justice

GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump beefed up his list of possible nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court, adding the names of two more judges from Colorado and the junior senator from Utah in an effort to convince voters he would put a judge on the bench in the mold of the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

“We have a very clear choice in this election. The freedoms we cherish and the constitutional values and principles our country was founded on are in jeopardy,” he said.

He earlier listed about a dozen possible nominees, when he provided names that made up a star-studded assembly of jurists strong on individual rights and constitutional principles.

Fox News commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano described them as “serious” candidates.

Two of the newly added names are from Colorado, and also listed is the junior senator from Utah, giving the list an emphasis on the West.

“The responsibility is greater than ever to protect and uphold these freedoms and I will appoint justices, who like Justice Scalia, will protect our liberty with the highest regard for the Constitution,” Trump added. “This list is definitive and I will choose only from it in picking future justices of the United States Supreme Court.

“I would like to thank the Federalist Society, The Heritage Foundation and the many other individuals who helped in composing this list of 21 highly respected who are the kind of scholars that we need to preserve the very core of our country, and make it greater than ever before.”

Read the history of the attacks on marriage and the family, from the days of Karl Marx and Margaret Sanger to those now pushing for mandatory recognition of same-sex “marriage,” in “Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left has Sabotaged Family and Marriage.”

At issue is the growing progressive bent of the Supreme Court, with the expectation Hillary Clinton, as president, would follow the lead of Barack Obama in appointing justices like Elena Kagan and Sonio Sotomayor, who voted to create same-sex “marriage” in the nation despite the Constitution’s silence on the issue.

justice3-courthouseIn fact, Kagan had publicly endorsed the idea while the issue was pending before the court by performing same-sex “weddings,” and then refused a request to sit out the decision, which was criticized by top legal experts as unconnected to the Constitution, because of her bias.

For now, the high court is split 4-4 ideologically. Critics fear that the wrong appointee could actually facilitate the demise of, for example, the Second Amendment across the U.S.

Trump, on the other hand, is trying to assure Americans his justices will follow the Constitution and the law.

Among the additions to Trump’s list are Timothy Tymkovich and Neil Gorsuch, both on the 10th U.S. Court of Apeals in Denver. Both were appointed by President George W. Bush and the Colorado Independent describes them as conservative.

That report noted Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, was in Colorado and warned people to think about what a court nominated by Hillary Clinton would do.

justice“We’re electing a president for the next four years and that president is probably going to set a course of direction of the Supreme Court of the United States for the next 40 years,” Pence said. “You better think about that real hard, Colorado.”

Also added to Trump’s list was Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, the only nonjurist to be added.

Trump earlier had named Colorado Supreme Court Justice Allison Eid as a potential candidate.

The additions to list, and their biographies, from the Trump campaign:

  • Keith Blackwell is a justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia. He was appointed to the position in 2012. He had previously served on the Court of Appeals of Georgia. Before serving on the bench, Justice Blackwell was a deputy special attorney general of the State of Georgia, an assistant district attorney in Cobb County, and a commercial litigator in private practice. Justice Blackwell is a graduate of the University of Georgia School of Law.
  • Charles Canady is a justice of the Supreme Court of Florida. He has served in that role since 2008, and he served as the court’s chief justice from 2010 to 2012. Prior to his appointment, Justice Canady served as a judge of the Florida Second District Court of Appeal and as a member of the United States House of Representatives for four terms. Justice Canady is a graduate of Yale Law School.
  • Neil Gorsuch is a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He was appointed to the position in 2006. Judge Gorsuch previously served in the Justice Department as a deputy assistant attorney general. Judge Gorsuch was a Marshall Scholar and received his law degree from Harvard. He clerked for Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy.
  • Mike Lee is the junior U.S. senator from Utah and currently serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He has previously served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Utah and as a Supreme Court Clerk for Justice Alito.
  • Edward Mansfield is a justice of the Iowa Supreme Court. He was appointed to the court in 2011 and retained by voters in 2012. Justice Mansfield previously served as a judge of the Iowa Court of Appeals. He also teaches law at Drake University as an adjunct professor. Justice Mansfield is a graduate of Yale Law School.
  • Federico Moreno is a judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida and a member of the Judicial Conference of the United States. He previously served as a state and county court judge in Florida. Judge Moreno is a graduate of the University of Miami School of Law.
  • moses-supreme-court1Margaret A. Ryan has been a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces since 2006. Judge Ryan served in the Marine Corps through deployments in the Philippines and the Gulf War. She then attended Notre Dame Law School through a military scholarship and served as a JAG officer for four years. Judge Ryan clerked for Judge J. Michael Luttig of the Fourth Circuit and Justice Clarence Thomas.
  • Amul Thapar is a judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, serving since his appointment in 2007, when he became the first South Asian Article III judge. He has taught law students at the University of Cincinnati and Georgetown. Judge Thapar has served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Washington, D.C. and the Southern District of Ohio. Immediately prior to his judicial appointment, Judge Thapar was the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. Judge Thapar received his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley.
  • Timothy Tymkovich is the chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Judge Tymkovich was appointed to the bench in 2003. He previously served as Colorado Solicitor General. Judge Tymkovich is a graduate of the University of Colorado College of Law.
  • Robert Young is the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Michigan. He was appointed to the court in 1999, and became part of a majority of justices who embraced originalism and led what one scholar described as a “textualism revolution.” Justice Young previously served as a judge on the Michigan Court of Appeals. Chief Justice Young is a graduate of Harvard Law School.

Read the history of the attacks on marriage and the family, from the days of Karl Marx and Margaret Sanger to those now pushing for mandatory recognition of same-sex “marriage,” in “Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left has Sabotaged Family and Marriage.”

The earlier possible nominees:

  • Steven Colloton of Iowa is a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, a position he has held since President George W. Bush appointed him in 2003. Judge Colloton has a résumé that also includes distinguished service as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa, a Special Assistant to the Attorney General in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, and a lecturer of law at the University of Iowa. He received his law degree from Yale, and he clerked for Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Judge Colloton is an Iowa native.
  • Allison Eid of Colorado is an associate justice of the Colorado Supreme Court. Colorado Governor Bill Owens appointed her to the seat in 2006; she was later retained for a full term by the voters (with 75% of voters favoring retention). Prior to her judicial service, Justice Eid served as Colorado’s solicitor general and as a law professor at the University of Colorado. Justice Eid attended the University of Chicago Law School, and she clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas.
  • Raymond Gruender of Missouri has been a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit since his 2004 appointment by President George W. Bush. Judge Gruender, who sits in St. Louis, Missouri, has extensive prosecutorial experience, culminating with his time as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri. Judge Gruender received a law degree and an M.B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis.
  • Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania has been a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit since 2007. Prior to serving as a circuit judge, he served as a judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania since 2003. Before his judicial service, Judge Hardiman worked in private practice in Washington, D.C. and Pittsburgh. Judge Hardiman was the first in his family to attend college, graduating from Notre Dame.
  • Raymond Kethledge of Michigan has been a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit since 2008. Before his judicial service, Judge Kethledge served as judiciary counsel to Michigan Senator Spencer Abraham, worked as a partner in two law firms, and worked as an in-house counsel for the Ford Motor Company. Judge Kethledge obtained his law degree from the University of Michigan and clerked for Justice Anthony Kennedy.
  • Joan Larsen of Michigan is an Associate Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court. Justice Larsen was a professor at the University of Michigan School of Law from 1998 until her appointment to the bench. In 2002, she temporarily left academia to work as an Assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel. Justice Larsen received her law degree from Northwestern and clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia.
  • Thomas Lee of Utah has been an Associate Justice of the Utah Supreme Court since 2010. Beginning in 1997, he served on the faculty of Brigham Young University Law School, where he still teaches in an adjunct capacity. Justice Lee was Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department’s Civil Division from 2004 to 2005. Justice Lee attended the University of Chicago Law School, and he clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas. Justice Lee is also the son of former U.S. Solicitor General Rex Lee and the brother of current U.S. Senator Mike Lee.
  • William Pryor Jr. of Alabama is a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He has served on the court since 2004. Judge Pryor became the Alabama Attorney General in 1997 upon Jeff Sessions’s election to the U.S. Senate. Judge Pryor was then elected in his own right in 1998 and reelected in 2002. In 2013, Judge Pryor was confirmed to a term on the United States Sentencing Commission. Judge Pryor received his law degree from Tulane, and he clerked for Judge John Minor Wisdom of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
  • David Stras of Minnesota has been an Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court since 2010. After his initial appointment, he was elected to a six-year term in 2012. Prior to his judicial service, Judge Stras worked as a legal academic at the University of Minnesota Law School. In his time there, he wrote extensively about the function and structure of the judiciary. Justice Stras received his law degree and an M.B.A. from the University of Kansas. He clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas.
  • Diane Sykes of Wisconsin has served as a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit since 2004. Prior to her federal appointment, Judge Sykes had been a Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court since 1999 and a Wisconsin trial court judge of both civil and criminal matters before that. Judge Sykes received her law degree from Marquette.
  • Don Willett of Texas has been a Justice of the Texas Supreme Court since 2005. He was initially appointed by Governor Rick Perry and has been reelected by the voters twice. Prior to his judicial service, Judge Willett worked as a senior fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, as an advisor in George W. Bush’s gubernatorial and presidential administrations, as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy, and as a Deputy Attorney General under then-Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. Justice Willett received his law degree and a master’s degree from Duke.

The Associated Press suggested Trump’s goal with the list is to “earn the trust of still-skeptical establishment Republicans who question his electability in the general election, as well as conservatives in his party still wary of his commitment to their cause.”

At Powerline blog, Paul Mirengoff wrote: “The list confirms what I have heard – that Trump’s talking to the right conservatives when it comes to the Supreme Court. It doesn’t guarantee a conservative nominee, but it does highlight what is probably the best argument, from a conservative perspective, for voting for Trump – his judicial nominations (and not just to the Supreme Court) are virtually sure to be vastly better than Hillary Clinton’s.”
Read more at

http://www.wnd.com/2016/09/trump-beefs-up-list-of-supreme-court-candidates/

 

Moral Solutions: De-fund Planned Parenthood

Moral Solutions:

De-fund Planned Parenthood

This Butchery, Inc, is “non-profit”? Give me a break!

Heritage Foundation Explains Why Planned Parenthood Doesn’t Need Taxpayer Funding

Bethany Murphy

On CNN.com last week, Heritage Foundation expert Chuck Donovan made the case to fiscal conservatives that they should support defunding Planned Parenthood.

abortion-defund-p-parenthoodDespite cries that without federal subsidies Planned Parenthood would be forced to stop providing services to women, the nonprofit organization has run budget surpluses since 2008. Additionally, Donovan points out that much of what the organization does is hardly critical:

Will women’s health suffer because of the funding limits Rep. Mike Pence and 239 of his House colleagues have adopted? Highly unlikely. In addition to being over-funded and therefore much more capable of belt-tightening than most charities, Planned Parenthood is not the sole provider of any of the legitimate services it offers. It provides little prenatal care and hardly any adoption assistance. It does not, despite impressions to the contrary, offer mammograms at its centers but provides referrals instead.

On economic merit alone, Planned Parenthood should be near the top of the cut list. To begin with, as Chuck Donovan at the Heritage Foundation has pointed out, Planned Parenthood is awash in net income. From 2002 to 2007, the national organization and its affiliates took in $388 million more than they spent on programs and services,’ the groups write in the new letter.  ’Even in the midst of the recession, the president of the organization still received more than $337,000 in an annual salary and tens of thousands more in benefits and allowances.  Planned Parenthood is receiving a rolling, annual bailout, and they don’t even need it.’

Heritage Foundation National Security alert: Beware of the zombie Lame Duck Congress

Heritage Foundation National Security alert:

Beware of the zombie Lame Duck Congress

zombiescartoon-obama-lame-duck2When Congress returns, only a few working days will remain before the end of the fiscal year and a continuing resolution, or CR, is likely. Conservatives are pushing for a long-term CR to avoid a lame-duck session where lawmakers could ram through controversial legislation without consequence. Read our report on the dangers of lame-duck sessions.

The Sacrifices Made by the Signers of the Declaration of Independence

The Sacrifices Made by the Signers of the Declaration of Independence

Michael Sabo

Michael Sabo is a research assistant for the B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics at The Heritage Foundation.

Const-signers-AmericansWhoRiskedAllWhen reading the Declaration of Independence, it is easy to focus only on the sweeping language of the second paragraph and skip over the names and mutual pledge of the signers at its conclusion.

Though the principles enunciated in its opening paragraphs, such as the self-evident truth that all men are created equal, provide the moral and philosophical foundation on which the American regime rests, it is important to acknowledge that declaring principles alone secures nothing.

Principles need to be enforced by individuals who have the habits of character necessary to fight for them, and perhaps even die for them, if need be. In a time where talk of rights dominates our political discourse, a focus on duties is indispensable in order to teach citizens the responsibilities they owe toward each other and their posterity.

The signers’ mutual pledge to themselves to sacrifice their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor for the cause of independence shows that these men took seriously their duties to the people of the new nation.

A look at the historical record will show this to be beyond dispute.

Of the 56 men who signed the declaration, 12 fought in battles as members of state militias, five were captured and imprisoned during the Revolutionary War, 17 lost property as a result of British raids, and five lost their fortunes in helping fund the Continental Army and state militias battle the redcoats.

Below we will explore the sacrifices the signers made on behalf of the American cause.

Thomas Heyward Jr., Edward Rutledge, and Arthur Middleton

Thomas Heyward Jr. of South Carolina was a signer of both the declaration and the Articles of Confederation. Heyward drew the ire of the British when, as a circuit court judge, he presided over the trial of several loyalists who were found guilty of treason. The prisoners were summarily executed in full view of British troops. In 1779, he joined the South Carolina militia as a captain of artillery.

Heyward’s compatriot in the South Carolina delegation, Edward Rutledge, also served in the state militia. At age 26, Rutledge was the youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence. After returning home from attending the Second Continental Congress in 1777, he joined the militia as captain of an artillery battalion.

decofindependenceBoth Heyward and Rutledge aided their country in the battle at Port Royal Island, where they helped Gen. Moultrie defeat British Maj. William Gardiner and his troops.

Arthur Middleton, the last of the South Carolina delegation who served in the militia, took up arms against the British during the siege of Charleston in 1780. His fellow signers, Heyward and Rutledge, fought in that battle as well.

Upon the surrender of Charleston, all three men were captured by the British and were sent to a prison in St. Augustine, Florida, which was reserved for people the British thought were particularly dangerous. They were held there for almost a year before being released. On route to Philadelphia for a prisoner exchange in July 1781, Heyward almost drowned. He survived his fall overboard by clinging to the ship’s rudder until he could be rescued.

During the British occupation of Charleston, Commandant Nisbet Balfour ordered the seizure of many estates in Charleston, including those owned by Heyward and Middleton.

During his imprisonment, Heyward’s wife died at home, and his estate and property were heavily damaged. Rutledge’s estate was left intact, but his family had to sell many of their belongings in order to make the trip to Philadelphia to reunite with him after his release. Middleton’s estate was left relatively untouched, but his collection of rare paintings was destroyed during the British occupation of his home. 

Thomas Nelson Jr.

Thomas Nelson Jr. of the Commonwealth of Virginia was appointed to the position of brigadier general and commander-in-chief of the Virginia militia by Gov. Patrick Henry in August 1777. At that time it was thought that the British would be making a full scale invasion of the state. Nelson was able to muster only a few hundred men to defend Virginia, but the British instead decided to attack Philadelphia.

Nelson inherited a vast family fortune, much of which he used to support the American effort. He personally paid for the return journey home of 70 troops he had led to meet the British in Philadelphia during the summer of 1778. In the spring of 1780, Nelson signed his name to a loan for $2 million that was needed to purchase provisions for the French fleet that was coming to America’s aid in the war.

As then-governor of Virginia, during the Battle of Yorktown he ordered American troops to fire upon his mansion, which had been commandeered by Gen. Cornwallis and his men. 

Richard Stockton

A member of the New Jersey delegation, Richard Stockton, had his estate commandeered by the British for use as a headquarters. As they left, British troops burned all his personal effects—including his library, private papers, furniture, and clothes.

Though Stockton was in hiding at the time, he ultimately did not escape capture; a traitor led the British to his position in November 1776. He was held captive in Amboy, New Jersey, and was then sent to New York City where he was imprisoned in a jail reserved for common criminals. Incensed by his treatment, Congress worked with British Gen. William Howe to obtain his release.

George Walton

Because of his small build and stature, George Walton was thought to be the youngest of the signers of the declaration (he was actually in his mid-30s). He hailed from Georgia and served as colonel in the first regiment of the state militia in 1778. During the siege of Savannah, a cannonball broke Walton’s leg, which led to his being captured. He was held captive for nine months and was released in the early fall of 1779 in a prisoner exchange for a British navy captain.

At the same time Walton was held prisoner, his wife Dorothy was captured by the British. She was imprisoned on an island in the West Indies and was eventually freed after a prisoner exchange. During the Waltons’ confinement, the British ransacked their home.

George Clymer

British troops destroyed the home of George Clymer of Pennsylvania in September 1777 when they captured Philadelphia. Though his home was outside of the city, it was right in the middle of the path of the British march. American loyalists pointed out to the British homes belonging to patriots, which of course included Clymer’s estate.

Clymer also contributed to the war monetarily. He converted his entire fortune into continental currency, a risky move considering the likelihood that the currency would be rendered worthless. He also told wealthy friends to contribute to the American cause.

Robert Morris

A delegate from Pennsylvania, Robert Morris helped insure Washington’s victory at Yorktown by using his own credit to obtain the supplies necessary to defeat the British. He spent more than $1 million (not adjusted for inflation) of his own money to accomplish this.

While serving as superintendent of finance of the United States, Morris regularly used his own financial resources to obtain much needed supplies. Using his own funds, for example, he purchased one thousand barrels of flour for Washington’s men in late spring of 1778.

Lewis Morris

Lewis Morris of New York served as a major general in the state militia. Morris devoted himself to recruiting men to serve in the militia and to help keep supplies up, which was a constant problem. For almost the entire length of the war, the British occupied his home, Morrisania, and used it as their headquarters. This forced Morris to live off of his close friends and associates until the war ended in 1783.

John Hancock

John Hancock of Massachusetts, the man with the largest signature on the declaration, served in the militia as major general in 1778. Hancock was put in command of approximately 6,000 men during the Rhode Island campaign. That campaign was ultimately unsuccessful because the French failed to carry out their end of the bargain.

Caesar Rodney

Caesar Rodney served in the Delaware militia as well, attaining the rank of brigadier general. Rodney famously road on horseback straight from Dover to Philadelphia to cast his vote in favor of declaring independence (the Delaware delegation was split). He was with his men in the field during the brutal winter of 1776, helped quash an uprising in Delaware (there were a large number of loyalists within the state), and helped in George Washington’s effort to defend Philadelphia from being taken by the British.

Carter Braxton

Carter Braxton of the Virginia delegation accumulated massive personal debts helping the American effort in the war. He loaned 10,000 pounds sterling to Congress, which was never repaid. He also spent much of his wealth outfitting American ships so that they could carry more cargo. Due to the British capturing some of his vessels and others being lost out on the high seas, he suffered great financial calamity. These accumulated losses left him bankrupt by war’s end.

Oliver Wolcott

A delegate from Connecticut, Oliver Wolcott served as captain and then major general in the state militia. In 1776, he was appointed to lead 14 regiments in defense of New York City. He also commanded thousands of men in the Battle of Saratoga. Wolcott worked tirelessly to recruit for the Connecticut militia, which, like the army in general, was sorely lacking in numbers within its ranks. 

William Whipple

William Whipple of New Hampshire served as brigadier general in the state militia. He fought against Gen. Burgoyne at the battles of Stillwater and Saratoga (commonly pointed to as the turning point for Americans in the war) in 1777. The following year, Whipple participated in the retaking of Rhode Island.

Thomas McKean

Thomas McKean of Delaware served as colonel in the Delaware state militia. Once McKean was appointed to the office of President of Delaware in 1777, he was targeted by the British (the British captured John McKinley, the previous president). He had to move his family on five occasions because of raids by both the British and local Indian tribes.

Francis Lewis

Francis Lewis of New York signed the declaration on August 2, 1776. Although he was present when independence was declared a month earlier, the New York delegation did not get permission from the state’s legislature to sign the document. A few months after affixing his signature on the declaration, British troops destroyed the Long Island estate of Lewis. They took Lewis’ wife and put her in prison where she was tortured on a regular basis. Under the direction of George Washington, she was finally returned in a prisoner exchange two years later.

quote-ben-franklin-tyrannyBenjamin Franklin

Known as the sage of Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania was the oldest of the signers of the declaration. Prior to setting sail for France in late 1776 to ask the French for assistance in the war, Franklin gave his entire fortune to Congress to help fund the war.

John Hart

Hessian mercenaries plundered signer John Hart’s 400-acre farm outside of Hopewell, New Jersey. Prior to his farm being captured, Hart was forced to leave his family because of advancing British troops. During his absence, his wife died, and his children were sent to live with neighbors.

William Ellery

The estate of William Ellery of Delaware was burned down during the British occupation of Newport, Rhode Island. Ellery served in the Second Continental Congress until the British left Newport, which they held for three years. He returned home in order to salvage what was left of his property.

Joseph Hewes

With his fortunes built on trade, Joseph Hewes of North Carolina was a vigorous proponent of the decision of the First Continental Congress to cut off all imports and exports with the British. This of course had the effect of drying up his wealth. Interestingly, Hewes also renounced his Quaker religion in order to support the war.

James Smith

A delegate from Pennsylvania, James Smith served in the Pennsylvania militia as captain, colonel, and then as brigadier general. He was one of the first to raise men for the possibility of defending his home state, a duty he took up beginning as early as 1774.

Benjamin Harrison

Benjamin Harrison of Virginia, whose son and grandson both served as U.S. presidents, complained in a letter to Gov. William Livingston of New Jersey that his debts had accumulated substantially because of the “ravages” and “plunderings” of the British.

William Floyd

While William Floyd of New York served as a delegate in the Second Continental Congress, the British sacked his estate, forcing his family to flee. Though they made it safely to Connecticut, his family was left without a home for the duration of the war.

William Hooper

William Hooper of North Carolina outlasted British raiders who were looking to capture him and his family. In 1782, he and his family fled Wilmington after it fell to the British. Though much of his property was destroyed, he and his family were reunited at the conclusion of the war.

Lyman Hall

The British destroyed the home and plantation of Lyman Hall of Georgia. Luckily, his family escaped before the British arrived and moved up North to be with him.