Olive Branch Petition

College of Political Knowledge

The weekend arrives and the old professor wants to extend the readers knowledge of the founding of this country.

The year is 1775, a year before the DoI, and the rebellion stew in the Colonies is starting to boil.

The Founding Fathers tried to head off any armed rebellion by offering England a document to prevent a war……known as the “Olive Branch Petition……

On July 8, 1775, the Continental Congress, forerunner of what would become the government of the United States, signed the so called “Olive Branch Petition,” a last ditch effort to prevent a war of independence against Britain by the American Colonies.   Adopted by the Continental Congress on July 5th, the signing made this last effort at peace official.  The acceptance of this American overture to the British government had little chance of success, especially since the Continental Congress had already authorized the invasion of Canada and on July 6, 1775, had issued a “Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms,” a justification for the American Colonies to take up arms against their British overlords.

The British response to the actions and words of American patriots was to issue “A Proclamation for Suppressing Rebellion and Sedition,” a notice by King George III of Britain that the Americans were considered in rebellion and that such rebellion would be put down by military and law enforcement action, the rebels being treated as traitors to the crown.  The Battle of Bunker Hill had already taken place on June 17, 1775, enraging the King George III, and with the state of communications in those days being limited by how quickly ships could transit the Atlantic Ocean, events could easily outstrip the ability of leaders to consider actions and send replies to communications and events.  Thus, the Olive Branch Petition was basically doomed to failure to prevent the American Revolutionary War (of Independence) from the start.

July 8, 1775: Last Chance to Avoid American Revolution (Olive Branch Petition Signed)

Few are taught that war was tried to be avoided……

Next was the Revolutionary War a mistake?

Interesting question, right?

Of course, evaluating the wisdom of the American Revolution means dealing with counterfactuals. As any historian would tell you, this is a messy business. We obviously can’t be entirely sure how America would have fared if it had stayed in the British Empire longer, perhaps gaining independence a century or so later, along with Canada.

But I’m reasonably confident a world in which the revolution never happened would be better than the one we live in now, for three main reasons: Slavery would’ve been abolished earlier, American Indians would’ve faced rampant persecution but not the outright ethnic cleansing Andrew Jackson and other American leaders perpetrated, and America would have a parliamentary system of government that makes policymaking easier and lessens the risk of democratic collapse.

https://www.vox.com/2015/7/2/8884885/american-revolution-mistake

There is so much more to the Founding of this country than most Americans are unaware of….other than the DoI and the Constitution and the knowledge stops there.

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Can This Country Move On?

In this era of deep partisan divide the country suffers….but can it move on and return to the days when there was modest harmony that will allow the nation to move forward…..instead of stuck in the 1950s.

Maybe we could take a lesson from our Founder Father, James Madison…..(of course I will give some historic perspective…it is what I do)…..

How do we get beyond the hyper-partisanship? Lessons drawn from our preeminent constitutional founder James Madison might prove helpful.

At first blush, Madison might seem like an unlikely Sherpa to guide us on this quest. In the first place, his most famous argument, found in Federalist Number 10, teaches that “the latent causes of faction” are not situational but are rather “sown in the nature of man.” Since a factious tendency in free governments cannot be overcome, he says, we must accept “the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government.”

In the second place, Madison played no small role in establishing the first organized political party in the young republic. He first coined the phrase, the “Republican Party,” and while serving as apparatchik for the Jeffersonian Republicans, he often succumbed to the same partisan fervor we complain about today.

Yet Madison remains a valuable object lesson for these very reasons. First, it is precisely because he knew that factions could not be removed from free government that he actively sought ways to defang them to render them less destructive. Second, it is not Madison’s most partisan activities that teach us how to get beyond polarization, but rather the arc of his whole life and career. Madison’s earlier operations were one reason why the 1790s have been characterized as a “decade-long shouting match.” Yet he retired from the presidency in 1817 in what was widely regarded as an “era of good feelings.”

https://www.realclearpublicaffairs.com/articles/2021/03/18/madisons_five_lessons_for_overcoming_polarization_660476.html

CIVICS!  There is an answer.

For too long the workings of society and the government has become second class or at best an afterthought in our educational policies.

That needs to change….

Teach our children about the workings of this country….do it now.

Lastly, the question is not can we move on but rather will we?

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“lego ergo scribo”

Hamilton You Don’t Know

The Musical Hamilton has brought attention to one of our founding fathers….but all the glitz and toe taping tunes does not truly give a proper look at the man…..Hamilton (the Show not the man) won 16 Tony Awards and a Pulitzer…..but that means little about the man……

Leave it to the Old Professor to point out the hidden truths……

Alexander Hamilton, “uncompromising abolitionist”? Not according to a new research paper that depicts the celebrated Founding Father as a slaveholder for much of his life, the Guardian reports. “When we say Hamilton didn’t enslave people, we’re erasing them from the story,” the paper’s author, Jessie Serfilippi, tells the New York Times. “The most important thing is they were here. We need to acknowledge them.” Serfilippi based her work on documents at the Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site in Albany, NY, the former home of a slaveholding family Hamilton married into in 1780. She argues that Hamilton not only helped clients and family members buy slaves—which is already well-documented—but owned enslaved people in his home.

Serfilippi points out mentions of slave-holding in Hamilton’s correspondence and his cash books. In one case, Hamilton appears to have paid $250 for “2 negro servants purchased … for me,” while another cash-book entry refers to Hamilton getting $100 for the “term” of a “Negro boy”—which “absolutely indicates that Hamilton enslaved the boy,” writes Serfilippi. Not all her evidence is new, but it’s turning heads at a time when America is reckoning with its painful legacy of slavery. Serfilippi’s work also contradicts more recent depictions of Hamilton: Ron Chernow, whose Hamilton biography inspired the hit musical and called him an “uncompromising abolitionist,” said Serfilippi’s research was “terrific” but omitted “all information that would contradict her conclusions.”

There even about 70% of Americans that think Hamilton was once a president of the US……

Alexander Hamilton was many things—a bastard from the Caribbean, the founder of the Bank of New York, the father of the US Coast Guard, and the first Secretary of the Treasury, to name a few. But the man who died in a duel against Aaron Burr at the age of 49 was never president of the United States. And yet most Americans think he was, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis report in the journal Psychological Science. “About 71% of Americans [in our survey] are fairly certain that Alexander Hamilton is among our nation’s past presidents,” one researcher says. “Their confidence in Hamilton having been president is fairly high—higher than for six or so actual presidents.” The 326 participants were given a list of 41 actual presidents alongside 82 “lures” and told to pick out the presidents and say how certain they were of each answer.

Then there is the man that killed Hamilton in the duel, Aaron Burr….a vice president that few Americans know of at all.

Aaron Burr, in full Aaron Burr, Jr., (born February 6, 1756, Newark, New Jersey [U.S.]—died September 14, 1836, Port Richmond, New York, U.S.), third vice president of the United States (1801–05), who killed his political rival, Alexander Hamilton, in a duel (1804) and whose turbulent political career ended with his arrest for treason in 1807.

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What Is The Purpose Of Impeachment?

Paper #5 of 5

This is a thought in a series of thoughts on the impeachment process.

The Senate Trial begins tomorrow…..all the jurors have been sworn in and signed the oath….time to get down to business.

Is Trump guilty or not?

I care not this series of posts are about the impeachment process not some silly notion of tribalism.

An easy answer for those that look for easy answers…..for those that want to pass on the whining of politicians and pundits.

Yes one of the purposes for the process of impeachment is to remove the president from office (a process that has not been very effective by the way)…..but it is NOT the only purpose for the process.

Time to look t the Founding Fathers and their opinions and thoughts on the process need to be brought out…..

As Congress considers formal charges of impeachment against President Donald Trump, they should consider words spoken at the Constitutional Convention, when the Founders explained that impeachment was intended to have many important purposes, not just removing a president from office.

A critical debate took place on July 20, 1787, which resulted in adding the impeachment clause to the U.S. Constitution. Benjamin Franklin, the oldest and probably wisest delegate at the Convention, said that when the president falls under suspicion, a “regular and peaceable inquiry” is needed.

…statements made at the Constitutional Convention explaining that the Founders viewed impeachment as a regular practice with three purposes:

  • To remind both the country and the president that he is not above the law
  • To deter abuses of power
  • To provide a fair and reliable method to resolve suspicions about misconduct.

https://www.juancole.com/2019/12/founders-removal-purpose-impeachment.html

If one is to debate or bitch about the process of impeachment then maybe a little knowledge would help……(Hahahaha…..I know in the era of mass stupid knowledge the last thing these mental midgets need)…..

Does anyone know what the term “oversight” means?

(Look it up…I am sure you can use Google by now)

The Founders were concerned that there could be an “imperial president” if there were no oversight…..

I have a problem…I do not care whether Trump is convicted or not, my problem is the oath taken by people that have already made up their minds…..this will be a joke for late night TV….not a political exercise.

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“lego ergo scribo”

Thomas Paine In Paris

I guess it is no secret that I am a fan of Thomas Paine…he did more to establish the United States than many of our so-called Founding Fathers.

I have written many times about Thomas Paine……just a couple of my posts…..

https://lobotero.com/2009/06/08/thank-you-thomas-paine/

https://lobotero.com/2010/07/04/thomas-paine-the-father-of-the-u-s-of-a/

And then there is everybody’s hero, George Washington…..a person that I do not think should be held to such high esteem…..he should be known as the first president but then that is about all the accolades I will give him.

But to me the highest form of political cowardice was when Washington, the man not the city, ignored Paine’s pleas for help when he was arrested in Paris in 1793.

On December 28, 1793, at the height of the Reign of Terror in France, Paris police rousted Thomas Paine in the cold hours before dawn, arrested him as a “foreign conspirator” and locked him in a wet, 10-by-8-foot cellar in Luxembourg Prison. The only light came from cracks in a boarded-up window. Paine was sure the guillotine awaited him.

Citizen Thomas Paine, whose pamphlet Common Sense helped ignite the American Revolution, was an enthusiastic early supporter of the French Revolution. He received a hero’s welcome when he arrived in Paris in 1792 and was even granted honorary French citizenship and a seat in the National Convention, the body charged with writing a constitution for the new republic. But Paine angered Maximilien Robespierre and other Jacobin extremists when he urged the Convention to spare the life of the deposed French king, Louis XVI. Instead, Jacobins brandished the king’s severed head in front of a cheering crowd. Then they proceeded to round up thousands of suspected counterrevolutionaries who, Paine observed, fell “as fast as the guillotine could cut their heads off.” Now they’d come for him, too.

Thomas Paine’s Revolutionary Reckoning

Of course there are some the dispute the reason why Washington refused to help Paine…..I have heard many from religious to economic…..it matters NOT to me….Paine was the soul of the Revolution and in as such this country owed him all its support and assistance when needed.

But instead it was possibly divine providence that saved Paine….matters not for it WAS NOT the president of the United States.

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“lego ergo scribo”

 

John Hancock

How much do you know about American history?

Since the US Constitution is in the news almost daily….let’s look at one of the boyz of Summer that gave us the document……

For instance one of the founding fathers, John Hancock…..what do you know beyond his famous signature?

John Hancock and his signature are two of the best-known elements related to the Declaration of Independence. But how much do you know about the former president of the Continental Congress?

On May 24, 1775, Hancock was named as the presiding officer over the Second Continental Congress, which was meeting in Philadelphia to discuss the military threat posed by the British. A little more than a year later, Hancock was the first to sign the document declaring independence.

Here are 10 facts about the man whose name is now synonymous with impressive signatures.

1. Hancock was a wealthy guy. He was from Massachusetts and his family had money, which he inherited when his uncle died. In fact, Hancock may have been the richest man in New England when he inherited a shipping fortune.

2. He was a bright student. Young Hancock graduated from Harvard at the age of 17. He was also a quick learner in the business world.

3. Hancock should have been a Loyalist, but he wasn’t. With his wealth and social standing, Hancock should have been a leading member of an elite group that didn’t want independence. Instead, he sympathized with people like John and Samuel Adams, who were patriots.

4. John Hancock, smuggler? Well, he may have been an importer, too, but goods like tea that arrived in New England on Hancock’s ships may have escaped paying a duty. The suspicions led the British to seize Hancock’s ship, Liberty, which started a riot. John Adams got Hancock off the hook from the smuggling charges.

5. Hancock also had a role in the Boston Tea Party incident. While Hancock wasn’t on a ship tossing tea overboard, he was at meetings when outrage was vented at the British. He riled up the crowd with a famous statement: “Let every man do what is right in his own eyes.”

6. The British really didn’t like Hancock. The British troops that set out to Lexington and Concord in 1775 may have been hunting for Hancock and his friend, John Adams, as well as for military supplies that were stored for militia use. Hancock had to be talked out of taking the battlefield against the redcoats. And his arrest was ordered by the British after the battles.

7. Hancock was a behind-the-scenes force early in the American Revolution. Hancock raised money for the Revolution, he helped secure troops, and he played a role in getting naval forces organized. But a homesick Hancock left Congress in 1777 to return to Massachusetts.

8. He was the longtime governor of Massachusetts. Hancock was elected in 1780 to lead his state and was its governor for most of the remaining years of his life. He was immensely popular in his home state.

9. Hancock wasn’t at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Hancock had health issues by 1787 and wasn’t in the Massachusetts delegation. But he played a key role in his state’s ratification of the Constitution, when he overcame his own objections about the lack of a Bill of Rights to urge its passage.

10. What’s the deal with the signature? It’s not true that Hancock signed the Declaration in a big way to taunt the King of England. The legend goes that Hancock stated that “King George will be able to read that!” In reality, Hancock was the first to sign in a matter fitting for the president of the Congress. And only one other person was in the room when he signed it, unlike in that famous painting that shows a gaggle of patriots witnessing the event. Hancock did take a big risk: His signature was evidence of treason if things didn’t go well in the war!

They do not make Americans like that any more…..or should I say American politicians?

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Class Dismissed!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

 

The Real Constitutional Crisis

#2 In A Series

To help my reader keep up begin with Part One……https://lobotero.com/2019/11/25/thoughts-on-impeachment-and-the-trial/

As the House portion of this drama draws to a close we hear daily that we are in a Constitutional crisis….on that point I agree for we have a leader that thumbs his nose at the Constitution……

Yes I said “Thumbs” and in a wealth of ways……just a few of the ways he is in violation of the document……

Violation of Constitution on Domestic Emoluments; Violation of Constitution on Foreign Emoluments; Incitement of Violence; Interference With Voting Rights; Discrimination Based On Religion; Illegal War; Illegal Threat of Nuclear War; Abuse of Pardon Power; Obstruction of Justice; Politicizing Prosecutions; Failure to Reasonably Prepare for or Respond to Hurricanes Harvey and Maria; Separating Children and Infants from Families; Illegally Attempting to Influence an Election Tax Fraud and Public Misrepresentation; Assaulting Freedom of the Press; Supporting a Coup in Venezuela; Unconstitutional Declaration of Emergency; Instructing Border Patrol to Violate the Law; Refusal to Comply With Subpoenas; Declaration of Emergency Without Basis In Order to Violate the Will of Congress; Illegal Proliferation of Nuclear Technology; Illegally Removing the United States from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

I know a few in that list is a bit of a stretch but it all comes down to interpretation

The Constitution itself is the crisis that we keep hearing about in the MSM and from those pundits with an agenda……

To no small degree, “our” (their) archaic Constitution is the constitutional crisis. It helped hatched the Trumpenstein and it is helping keep it in office perhaps for five or, God help us, more years. The way to get rid of this terrible tyrant is through a mass and prolonged popular rebellion that includes among its demands the call for a new national charter, one that includes among its provisions (just for starters) the abolition of anti-democratic absurdities like the Electoral College, the disenfranchisements of Puerto Rico and Washington DC, the provision of two Senators to each state regardless of its population size, the lifetime appointment of Supreme Court Justices, and the eviction of private money from public elections. The whole damn system that spat up/shat out Malignant Orange is guilty as Hell. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote not long before his death, “the real issue to be faced” beyond superficial matters is “the radical reconstruction of society itself.”

The Real Constitutional Crisis: The Constitution

Then we have those that say “not to worry this to shall pass”…..I say WRONG!

Even a former GOP Representative Justin Amash has made his thoughts known….

Independent Rep. Justin Amash said on Wednesday that U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland’s testimony to House Intelligence Committee hearing on impeachment was the latest evidence against President Donald Trump that—if Trump was a regular person facing a grand jury—would result in certain indictment.

Amash, who left the Republican party in July 2019 over Trump’s behavior and the refusal of GOP leaders to hold him accountable, pointed out on Twitter that “impeachment in the House is an indictment.”

“If this were an ordinary prosecution, there’s no grand jury in America that would not return an indictment on the facts and evidence presented in these hearings,” said Amash.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/11/20/ex-republican-justin-amash-says-theres-not-jury-country-wouldnt-indict-trump-based

One conservative (politician) with a spine does not a party make…..PERIOD!

The Trump presidency has changed everything and we will have a long journey back to normalcy…..if ever.

Apparently an oath given before God (if you believe that sort of thing) does not matter……..

Before you toadies go on the attack maybe it would help to refresh your memory (if you have one) of what the Constitution is all about…..

https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution

Better Angels My Ass!

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Constitution Day–17 September

We celebrate the founding of our country on Independence Day on 04 July….but all most people know is they have the day off and BBQ and drink beer.

Image result for constitution day images

Personally, I think the day we should celebrate is 17 September, Constitution Day, because it was when it became official….the US became a republic.

Constitution Day and Citizenship Day is observed each year on September 17 to commemorate the signing of the Constitution on September 17, 1787, and “recognize all who, by coming of age or by naturalization, have become citizens.”

This commemoration had its origin in 1940, when Congress passed a joint resolution authorizing and requesting the President to issue annually a proclamation setting aside the third Sunday in May for the public recognition of all who had attained the status of American citizenship. The designation for this day was “I Am An American Day.”

In 1952 Congress repealed this joint resolution and passed a new law moving the date to September 17 to commemorate “the formation and signing, on September 17, 1787, of the Constitution of the United States.” The day was still designated as “Citizenship Day” and retained its original purpose of recognizing all those who had attained American citizenship. This law urged civil and educational authorities of states, counties, cities and towns to make plans for the proper observance of the day and “for the complete instruction of citizens in their responsibilities and opportunities as citizens of the United States and of the State and locality in which they reside.”

In 2004 under Senator Byrd’s urging, Congress changed the designation of this day to “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day” and added two new requirements in the commemoration of this Day. The first is that the head of every federal agency provide each employee with educational and training materials concerning the Constitution on September 17th. The second is that each educational institution which receives Federal funds should hold a program for students every September 17th.

https://www.loc.gov/law/help/commemorative-observations/constitution-day.php

Image result for constitution day images

This day is far more indicative of the nation that we were to become than the laundry list of grievances against England……

Then there is another document we should be celebrating……

The year was 1789.

And it was a very good year.

A writing of a document that is overshadowed by another document and is part of that document, the Constitution….that document would become known as the Bill of Rights…..

A list of the amendments that would define the society in which we now reside…..but is it as it should be today?

It’s been 230 years since James Madison drafted the Bill of Rights—the first ten amendments to the Constitution—as a means of protecting the people against government tyranny, and what do we have to show for it?

Nothing good.

In America today, the government does whatever it wants, freedom be damned.

We can pretend that the Constitution, which was written to hold the government accountable, is still our governing document, but the reality of life in the American police state tells a different story.

“We the people” have been terrorized, traumatized, and tricked into a semi-permanent state of compliance by a government that cares nothing for our lives or our liberties.

The Bill of Rights Turns 230: What Do We Have to Show for It? Nothing Good

Sometimes I feel as if these “Rights” are just words written two centuries ago that mean little today.

These are used as political props more than a blueprint for a society and its people.

Take some time and educate yourself on this document……too many people give it lip service without knowing the first thing about the document.

Learn about the Constitution……https://constitution.org/

Learn as much as you can about the US Constitution…..https://constitutioncenter.org/

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Class Dismissed!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

A Different Look At The DoI

I waited awhile after the 4th for I did not want this post to crap on the celebrations taking place for our country….some more important than others.

First there was an important clause in the original writing of the DoI….it is called the “Slavery Clause”…….I wrote about the “Clause” several years ago…..https://lobotero.com/2010/02/26/the-slavery-clause-black-history-month/

More on this “Clause”…..

As a tribute to the great events that occurred 241 years ago, I wanted to recognize the importance of the unity of purpose behind supporting liberty in all of its forms. While an unequivocal statement of natural rights and the virtues of liberty, the Declaration of Independence also came close to bringing another vital aspect of liberty to the forefront of public attention. As has been addressed in multiple fascinating podcasts (Joe Janes, Robert Olwell), a censure of slavery and George III’s connection to the slave trade was in the first draft of the Declaration.

The Deleted Clause of the Declaration of Independence

There are some (I admit that I am one as well) that feel that the DoI is not a document that should be revered ……basically because it is a racist, sexist and bigoted document…..it is an important one that should be taught in its entirety.

It is painful to write about the shortcomings of the Declaration of Independence. The historic document was officially approved by the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776 — a mere two days after the Lee Resolution formally declared the American colonies to be independent of the British Empire. Because the American colonists ultimately prevailed in their revolution against King George III, the document has been immortalized as one of the opening salvos in the ongoing fight for human freedom that continues to this very day. Without this seminal text, every social justice movement that has followed would never have come to pass.

Yet despite its overwhelmingly positive impact on history, the Declaration of Independence was also a product of its time — and bears some of the shortcomings of its era, including sexism, racism and prejudice against Native Americans. Here is a look at the events leading up to the creation of that document, as well as involved in its actual signing, which one must inspect for a more rounded look at this period in history:

https://www.salon.com/2019/07/04/fourth-of-julys-ugly-truth-exposed-the-declaration-of-independence-is-sexist-racist-and-prejudice/

Again I would like to stress that this is a great nation with great people and that the entire history should be taught not just the glowing items that are cherry picked…..when this is done it becomes revisionist and finally a LIE.

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“Making America Great Again”–Part 7

This is a continuation of the series written by Maj.  Danny Sjursen about the history about this country …the creation, the war, the battles, the history.

It is the 1780’s and the war is winding down and then Founding Fathers are looking to the creation of a government to run the land that just liberated from England.

Part 7 of “American History for Truthdiggers.”

The Brits Are Gone: Now What?

“The evils we experience flow from the excess of democracy. The people do not want virtue, but are the dupes of pretended patriots.” —Elbridge Gerry, delegate to the Constitutional Convention (1787)

It has become, by now, like American scripture. We all know the prevailing myths, history as written by the winners. Virtuous American patriots, having beaten the tyrannical British, set out to frame the most durable republican government in the history of humankind. The crowning achievement came when our Founding Fathers met in Philadelphia in 1787 to draft an American gospel: the Constitution. The war had ended, officially, in 1783.

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/american-history-for-truthdiggers-flowering-or-excess-of-democracy-the-1780s/

Damn!  This is good stuff….I hope all are enjoying this look at American history….a look that your textbooks have left out for various reasons.

Class dismissed!