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America needs a change of perspective on DC’s role



America needs a change of perspective on DCs role

There was a time, so I’ve heard, when civics class in high school imparted basic principles of our republic and the constitutional restraints imposed on government. Specifically, Americans were shown the federal government’s role was limited, Congress needed to act only within the constraints of their enumerated powers, the executive branch wan’t supposed to use loopholes to legislate, and the Supreme Court determined legality based on the Constitution.

Those lessons have been lost on recent generations. Washington DC has been accumulating “responsibilities” for decades now. Most Americans have simply grown accustomed to the federal government being involved with pretty much everything. Even issues that very clearly do not belong in their hands such as healthcare and marriage have had DC impose the “law of the land” to rein over them. This trend needs to stop.

Before we get into that, we have to understand how it happened so we can prevent it from happening in the future if and when we’re able to finally draw back their power.

Free stuff wins elections

The Democrats of yesteryear learned a very important lesson from FDR and others: if you give people free stuff, they’ll vote for you. Free stuff can be as simple as welfare and government-supplied employment or it can be as complex as healthcare and education, but invariably this free stuff comes at a great cost. We see this cost manifested directly through massive taxation; even the GOP’s proposed tax cut bill is more than we should be supplying to the national government. Those who look behind the curtain realize this cost has manifested in huge ways with the outrageous budgets, massive waste, and a gargantuan national debt.

It’s all about votes. The Republican Party has embraced this notion even if they pretend like they don’t. They’ll campaign on fiscal conservatism, then practice the complete opposite with Democratesque fiscal irresponsibility. We saw a glaring example of this with the Obamacare repeal we’ve been promised for seven years. Now that they actually have all the pieces in place to make it happen, they presented us with several replacement bills that do very little to actually repeal anything. These bills were redistribution schemes that kept the core of government-run and taxpayer-subsidized health insurance completely intact. Even with these atrocious “repeal and replacement” bills that were actually “tweak and rebrand” maneuvers, they still couldn’t put a bill on the President’s desk. Was it because there were enough conservatives in both chambers who saw through the facade of these non-repeals? No. Some did, but most of them went along with it. The bills didn’t pass because some Republicans felt they weren’t quite fiscally irresponsible enough.

Why couldn’t they just pass the full repeal they proudly placed on President Obama’s desk in 2015? Because they knew President Trump wouldn’t veto it. As always, they put on the show of limiting government but only as a bluff. When they have the opportunity to actually do it, they intentionally fumble. Why? Because they believe (falsely) that the optics of “taking away healthcare from millions” would doom them in the midterm elections.

Free stuff wins elections. Taking away free stuff loses elections. With this knowledge, how can we have any hope that we can reverse the expansion of DC’s size and scope?

The truth is against them

Ask any American if they trust government and believe that DC should be more involved in our lives. Most would shout a resounding “no!” Then ask why they continue to support people who give us government-run… everything. You’ll get various responses and you won’t be able to change anyone’s mind with this line of questioning. That’s the real problem we face as a nation. We’ve generally been indoctrinated into the thinking that government needs to fix the bulk of our problems.

Here’s the truth of the matter: the vast majority of things DC tries to fix fails miserably. Most Americans know this in their hearts, but they persist on believing the failure isn’t in government’s involvement but because the wrong people with the wrong ideas are in charge. Democrats blame Republicans. Republicans blame Democrats. Most people willfully ignore that it doesn’t matter which party is in control at any given time because the steady trend of decadence never ends. It’s always broken. From the Department of Education to the Environmental Protection Agency, we see nothing but failure after failure with a handful of occasional public relations wins sprinkled in.

The only way to put an end to this trend is to educate enough Americans about how government is really supposed to run. Parents, teachers, schools, school districts, cities, and states should be making decisions about education. Nobody outside of a state’s border should be able to get in between doctor and patient. The examples of how we limit government, particularly the trickle-down policies of Washington DC, are limitless. The examples of why we limit government (their abundant failures) are equally limitless. The truth is on our side.

There’s one piece of this puzzle that’s missing. How do we do this? How can we make Americans, whether conservative or liberal, understand that the best solutions come from individuals, states, and everywhere in-between with limited interference from DC? I wish I knew that answer. In fact, I’m actively trying to figure that out.

If the people can ever be made to realize many of the problems we face today are direct or indirect effects of expanding government, we’d have an opportunity to make real change. That real change can only happen when the people demand the federal government focus on what the Constitution allows on its plate. Everything else, as the 10th Amendment declares, “are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Christian, husband, father. EIC, NOQ Report. Co-Founder, the Federalist Party. Just a normal guy who will no longer sit around while the country heads in the wrong direction.

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  1. alienmotives

    November 28, 2017 at 1:07 am

    Just saw a diary on RedState about the attempted coup for the Federalist Party. While never officially a member, I did – and do – promote it and will continue to do so only so long as people like the founders are in charge of it. Thank you for all you do, and have done.

  2. Michelle Laflamme

    November 28, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    JD, we are working on this solution you seek. Convention of States Project has become an enormous opportunity for citizens to realize their role as self-governed grassroots activists. The project gets them involved with the state legislators and they see, first hand, how their petition and participation influences the decisions made by our state lawmakers. In the process they become students of the Constitution and understand the meaning of Federalism. I have learned so much being a part of this organization and am now State Director here in Florida. We see and appreciate the need for an informed and engaged electorate that will place good Constitution honoring servants into office at all levels. We’re all in this together and the fight continues on several fronts for this noble and just cause that is vital to save our republic. Take heart, dear friend. You are recognized and trusted and appreciated. Fight on.

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Culture and Religion

Let’s Just Say It: The Socialist-Left Doesn’t Really Care About Protecting Children.




The Socialist Left cares more about gun confiscation than any common sense ideas that will really protect kids.

Once again, we are witness to the nation’s Socialist-Left blithely assuming the unearned mantle of moral superiority because they supposedly care for ‘the children’. Allegedly ‘objective’ journalists are falling all over themselves to promote a nascent campaign to destroy our common sense civil rights to the exclusion of steps that will really ‘Do Something’.

It is not without a hint of irony that the nation’s Socialist-Left does not care about children before they are born.  But soon after they become a precious commodity that must be protected at all costs – including everyone’s fundamental human rights. Those who are merely a cluster of cells or some other humanity denying pejorative in the womb, suddenly become children to be exploited for political gain upon their full emergence into the world.

Gun Control Doesn’t Work – If it did, Chicago would be the safest city in the nation.

Before the nation’s Socialist-Left is celebrated by the world with the laurels protector of children par excellence, shouldn’t we check their alleged solutions as to whether they work? For if gun control doesn’t work, then they are merely setting up next the mass murder tragedy, and for another round of attacks on our civil rights.

Examine their much ballyhooed utterances over the past few days: The national socialist left is promising a little temporary safety exchange for a mere pittance of our essential liberty. Of course, if they are pressed on the point, they will respond with some sort of meaningless boilerplate about cutting down the carnage. Even so, such vague promises are hardly worth the loss of liberty it would entail.

So what are we getting for the low-low cost of our freedom? How do their ‘solutions’ fair in the real world? Do they actually protect people? Or do they make the situation worse – far worse?

Well, we already know that very much like it’s tyrannical half-sister socialism, Gun control doesn’t work. Just ask the good people of Chicago or Caracas whether or not depriving the innocent of their means of self-defence will protect them. Parenthetically speaking, if gun control actually worked in some mythical Utopia, we would be hearing it about 24/7. This fantasy world doesn’t exist, but there are other steps that can be taken to save at least one life – and isn’t that the standard by which such things are measured?

Commonsense steps that will really protect children and their Civil Rights.

There have been plenty of suggested initiatives that will help reduce these terrorist attacks, from containing the contagion by reducing the killer’s media profile to providing better security. Not to mention restoring basic discipline and a moral underpinning to our children, or simply letting people defend themselves getting rid of the insanity of so-called “Gun Free” zones.

But instead of discussing steps that will actually work, the Socialist-Left ridicules them.  Or they insanely advocate we go further in removing God from the public square or decree them to be a redirection from their real obsession.

The Takeaway

To be perfectly blunt about it: The most disgusting aspect of this whole cycle is that it won’t do a thing to protect children and we will be back here doing the very same thing in a few weeks or months. That is what is sickening about this whole affair, and just crediting the Socialist-Left with just a modicum of basic intelligence will show that they know this as well.

To the nation’s Socialist-Left, getting to their ultimate goal gun confiscation is far more important than the lives of children they supposedly want to protect. They care more about depriving people of the means to resist [how’s that for a word?] to their Marxist tyranny than everyone’s safety, and they are willing to climb over the bodies of children to get there. If the nation’s Socialist-Left really cared about protecting children they would advocate what works instead of what brings them power.

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Blue wave looking weak in Pennsylvania special election



Comparable to the Arizona Special Election that is to take next week, the Pennsylvania 18th district is in a special election situation because of unacceptable behavior of Rep. Tim Murphy who during an extramarital affair reportedly asked his mistress to get an abortion. The Republicans have handily controlled PA18 for years and don’t want Murphy’s buffoonery to mess things up. The Republican champion in this race is Rick Saccone.  An open seat in a northern state presents a great opportunity for Democrats to cash in on the Blue Wave they keep boasting. The victory of Doug Jones provides a road win Democrats have so far lacked since 2016. Looking to be PA18’s Doug Jones is Conor Lamb. Lamb is an assistant US attorney who served in the Marine Corps. His platform emphasizes healthcare related issues as well as student debt and energy.

Who is Rick Saccone?

The House of Representatives would be a promotion for the current State Rep. However, Rick Saccone hardly has an active record in the PA legislature. For the most part, Saccone has a record of sponsoring lighthearted, if not outright nonsensical bills, such as a resolution appreciating Heinz Ward and Juneteenth. In the legislature, he has a record of voting in favor of guns and unborn. However, Rick Saccone is not a limited government conservative on a local level. In the past he has voted for tax increases.

State of the Race

As of now, all of the recent polling has the 18th district reliably in the GOP’s hands. However, polling in 2018 will likely continue its downward trend of effectiveness. So take it with a grain of salt. The endorsements are piling high for Rick Saccone. He has the thumbs up from both Trump and Pence, along with several conservative organizations. The recent polling is perhaps responsible for what seems like the Democrats capping their support for Lamb. The GOP, on the contrary, is throwing heavy cash on keeping a seat where Tim Murphy ran unopposed in 2016.

Rating: Likely Republican

My Take

Rick Saccone will in my mind comes away as the winner on March 13th. However, he is not nearly suitable for the job as he should be. He legislative record is one of recognizing days of the year as special for a person or group. He does not have a record of sponsoring serious conservative legislation. Though he does have a record of voting conservative, he isn’t a leader on the issues he is campaigning on. The GOP is right to break the bank for his campaign as they aren’t short on cash in this moment. Saccone isn’t a strong candidate in my opinion, but, with some bankroll, he is.

Conor Lamb isn’t a weak candidate but doesn’t have the resources. As for the Democrats, this investment looks like its going sour. Special elections present a time for more eggs to be placed in a single basket. But the Democrats seem to know they are unlikely to win. The Senate races of 2018 looks bleak for them, so the Blue Wave is supposed to take or come close to securing the House of Representatives. In order to do that, they need road wins. Just like the Arizona 8th, this will not be that road win. The crest of the Blue Wave is getting shorter and shorter.

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Educational Malpractice, Pt 2: Failure of identity politics on display



“What a snake pit.” Those were the words of one teacher, commenting on Twitter in response to my February 6th article (detailing the malfeasance uncovered after a local principle blew the whistle in a fiery letter released to the public), to describe the Shelby County Schools system (SCS).

Another person commented, “I would wager there are more instances of this sort of behavior going on across the country in similarly-positioned school systems.”

Neither comment brought me any joy, but I suspect both are correct.

For this, I continue in my examination into my local school system, an examination of issues which are often diluted in reports published by our compliant, local press. Perhaps removing the veil can bring positive change to other school systems.

What hasn’t been said in the press, I intend to say.

The Death of a Successful School System

Shelby County Schools, headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, has not always been embroiled in scandal and failure. In fact, Shelby County Schools has a record of proven success, earning high ratings year after year.

That all ended, just 5 years ago, with the largest school system consolidation in American history: the Memphis City Schools (MCS) system was completely dissolved and then merged with the Shelby County Schools (SCS) system.

Historical Corruption and White Flight

In Memphis, history repeats itself: politicians who have been convicted of criminal corruption are routinely re-elected.

Take Rickey Peete, for example. Beginning in the 1980’s, Rickey Peete served on the Memphis City Schools Board, and was then elected to the Memphis City Council.

  • In 1989, Peete was convicted of taking bribes and extortion, and served a 2 ½ year prison sentence.
  • In 1995, Rickey Peete was again elected to the Memphis City Council, and was later re-elected 2 more times!
  • In 2007, Peete was, once again, convicted for extortion and accepting bribes, earning himself a 4-year prison sentence. “He and fellow council member Edmund Ford were charged in late 2006 with taking bribes from former County Commissioner Joe Cooper, who was recording their conversations for the FBI,” (Memphis Flyer).

Then there are the Fords; a family of politicians that could be described as a criminal enterprise. And, lest we forget, the FBI’s Operation Tennessee Waltz offers a sobering reminder of the corruption that has haunted the area.

Thus, plagued by decades of political woes and poor policies, more and more people moved out of Memphis – often incurring debt in order to do so – and into the surrounding cities hoping to escape the rising crime rates and the downward decent in quality and safety of the city’s troubled schools.

Although the areas of Shelby County which are outside of the City of Memphis are just slightly over 50% white, the departure of city residents away from Memphis is pejoratively called “white flight.”

The Funding Structure  –

All county residents’ county-wide property taxes were divided between the Memphis City Schools and the Shelby County Schools based on the number of students. This structure allocated more funds to the City of Memphis since the city’s schools had a higher number of students than the county’s school system.

The Memphis City Schools operated as a special school district. Residents of Memphis paid additional property taxes that were allocated to the city’s schools. As such, Memphis City Schools operated with a larger budget; funded by county and city residents, allowing for significantly higher per-student spending than that of Shelby County Schools.

In addition to various special programs, Memphis City Schools students’ athletics were publicly funded, while Shelby County students’ athletics were funded entirely by their parents.

Yet, Memphis City Schools were constantly facing funding difficulties, and threatening to dissolve the school system entirely became a norm.

In an act of desperation, hoping to keep the crooked fingers of Memphis corruption from taking over the county’s high-functioning, successful school district, the Shelby County Schools board began exploring legal ways of obtaining special district status for the county system, the same special district status that Memphis City Schools enjoyed.

A Hostile Takeover

By 2010, due to mismanagement and corruption, the City of Memphis had defaulted on tens of millions of dollars designated for the city’s schools. In a rushed vote brought on by funding woes and by the efforts of SCS to obtain special district status, the MCS school board hastily threw in the towel, voting to dissolve the charter of Memphis City Schools altogether.

A referendum vote was then scheduled for Memphis residents to approve the council’s choice for system dissolution. County residents did not have any voice in what was to happen to their school system should MCS merge into it.

If the referendum passed, Memphis representatives, based on population, would then secure the majority of SCS school board seats.

It passed, and the Memphis City Schools system officially ceased to exist.

Those Rich, Racist Bastards!

Leading up to the referendum vote, “journalists” and education “advocates” and politicians repeatedly put forth the premise that education in Shelby County was unequal, despite the higher public spending per pupil and the public funding of various support programs in Memphis City schools which would disappear should the city schools be dissolved.

The residents of the suburbs and of unincorporated Shelby County were labeled racists and their genuine concern for their children was painted as an attempt to maintain boundaries of segregation. County residents were framed as rich white people who hate black people and who are inexcusably greedy, selfishly hoarding their riches in hopes of keeping black children in poverty.

In the county schools, technology such as Promethean Boards and learning programs such as Accelerated reader were entirely funded by parents. This technology was absent from Memphis City Schools. The stark contrast in parental involvement the positive effects of high levels of parental involvement on student achievement was brushed aside, as if invalid.

With complete disregard for the studies highlighting the negative effects of system mergers on students, especially low-income minority students, the “advocates” persisted.

The gross failures of the Memphis City Schools system which had persisted because of systemic corruption, a climate of mediocrity, and vast ineptitude was simply re-framed as “separate and unequal education.” 

City residents swallowed this racist, classist, shamefully dishonest ploy hook, line, and sinker.

Memphis City Schools system officially merged into Shelby County Schools in 2013; representatives from Memphis secured majority rule of the SCS board, effecting every single public school-attending child in the county.

Shelby County Schools became the largest school system in the country.

Curiously, and reeking of Memphis politics, the attorney representing the Memphis City Schools during the years-long merger process then became the superintendent for the new, unified Shelby County Schools system.

The Results

Predictably, the endemic dysfunction that characterized Memphis City Schools now characterizes the Shelby County Schools system. The same failing schools are still failing. The same inept leadership keeps on leading.

Even rumors of school board corruption still persist.

The worst result, which was completely predictable I must add, was the phenomenon of once high-performing schools across the county subsequently dropping precipitously in quality.

For example, what was once a top-performing elementary school around the corner from my house is now a level 1 school (at the bottom of the rankings).

The problems that plagued Memphis City Schools were never addressed.

 It was far easier to feign virtuous, employing the abhorrent politics of identity, than it was to seek genuine solutions. So, it should be absolutely no surprise that the results have been, in a nutshell, the spread of failure.

Thankfully, for at least some of Shelby County’s children, the story doesn’t end here. There was a great divorce that took place, benefitting thousands of students.

Yet, it is because of this “divorce” that the residents of Shelby County are once again being plastered as racists and classists, rich whites, on a national scale; and residents have become the target of well-funded, Marxist proponents of the “sustainability” movement.

This, I will discuss in Part 3 (the final part).

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