By Nancy Thorner and Ed Ingold – 

Although the 1989 film, “Field of Dreams” (see film clip), as reviewed by Roger Ebert in the “Chicago Tribune” on April 29, 1989, had to do with a farmer standing in the middle of a cornfield hearing voices that tells him, “If you build it, he will come” (the voice seems to promise Joe Jackson will come and play on it), the same catch phrase from the movie reflects the Democrats’ “economic” recovery plan.  It you build roads and bridges, industry will respond by expanding and adding jobs.  What baloney!   

What about the stimulus packed signed into law by President in 2009?  In the stimulus package was $30 billion designated for infrastructure spending that was handed over to the states for shovel ready jobs.  It was thought that injecting money into transportation projects would not only put construction workers and contractors to work quickly, but it would also lay the groundwork for future economic growth and development.  Obama predicted the transportation money alone would put hundreds of thousands of workers on the job.

This report  found that states spent more than a third of the money on building new roads—rather than working on public transportation and fixing up existing roads and bridges.  As a result, states missed out on potentially thousands of new jobs, and bridges, roads, and overpasses around the country are still crumbing.

The Democratic mantra, according to “The Atlantic” in 2015, is that each dollar spent on “infrastructure” will add $1.44 to the economy. Democrat VP candidate cited a figure of $1.76, a reference which is undocumented. The economic windfall will come from the money spent on concrete, asphalt and labor, plus the money the laborers will spend on groceries and other items. In other words by planting good money in roads, money trees will spring forth and bear fruit. There are a couple of problems with this arithmetic. First, workers who would build these roads are already eating and buying things. And where does asphalt come from or the energy to roast limestone into cement?  From coal and oil Obama has pledged to eliminate.

“If you build it …” implies roads create industries and jobs, whereas the opposite is true. What business can you cite whose growth has been limited by the ability to move raw materials and goods or workers to their stations?  Add to this the fact that any business exhibiting success will be punished through taxation and regulation by Obama and his heir-apparent, Hillary Clinton. The truth is more business will create more tax revenue even without raising rates.  That revenue can be used to repair and improve the roads and bridges.

Going back to the 19th century, men like Andrew Carnegie and Henry Ford created a demand for roads at a time most highways were dirt (and often mud), when many were toll roads maintained by private entrepreneurs. Carnegie invested in railroads and found it hard to find steel for rails. He built steel mills to supply his railroads, as well as the framework for modern buildings. Henry Ford invented cars which were tall enough to navigate the rutted roads of the time. As people bought cars, they demanded public roads on which to drive, and cars became sleeker and faster.

Returning to coal and oil for a moment, Obama and Hillary want to replace them with “clean, renewable” energy as quickly as possible.  In 2015 the United States generated about 4 trillion kilowatthours of electricity, which runs our homes and business.  About 67% of the electricity generated was from fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and petroleum): 33% Coal; 30% Natural Gas; 1% Petroleum.  The production cost using fossil fuel is about $0.04 per kwh, compared to $0.25 per kwh for solar. In order to make the latter even remotely feasible, it is heavily subsidized by tax money (more accurately, borrowed money). Unlike fossil fuel, which is available on demand, “green” energy depends on the wind and sunlight.  There is no way, at present, to store excess energy for use when wind and sun aren’t available, so coal and natural gas provide the backup.

Trump, the builder

In a speech on August 19, 2016, in Diamondale, Michigan, Donald Trump promised to reverse The Obama/Clinton ban on coal and exploration, claiming it will produce over $6 trillion in tax revenues alone over the next 4 years, and at least 500,000 high paying jobs. Apparently Trump thinks we have enough people selling French fries and T-shirts.

Who will take these jobs? Trump has plans for education too, with a renewed emphasis on charter schools for children of depressed neighborhoods and others who want to learn skills beyond basic survival. The selection will be based on merit, not lotteries as in the magnet schools favored by Obama/Clinton and the Democrats.

Speaking of building things, there is the famous Trump Wall which Trump promises to build between Mexico and the United States to stem the flow of illegal immigration. This goal is corrupted by Democratic Spin Masters to say Trump is against all immigrants and immigration. However it is these legal immigrants who suffer the most from illegal immigration. Lacking education and language skills, new immigrants tend to occupy the lowest wage jobs. Illegal immigrants compete for the same jobs, but without documentation they must work at the offered wages without any real ability to complain.

Perhaps Mr. Trump should rephrase his statements to say that it is a metaphor for a wall which already exists – the law?  It is the law which is being ignored or usurped by the current administration. The law is not just a wall but a ceiling, which extends from border to border and beyond.

The other thing Mr. Trump can rebuild is our relationships with other countries. President Obama has pursued “deals” with our enemies and ignored our friends. It is based on the philosophy that any deal is better than no deal. Mr. Trump built his business on the principle that a bad deal is worse than no deal. In a negotiation, you can’t get the best deal if you are unwilling to walk away from the table. This is a technique well known to anyone who has bargained for a new car.  It is utterly foreign to a President and his designated successor, who have apparently never owned a car nor driven one.




Friday, August 12, 2016

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By Nancy Thorner – 
“A Salute to Rep. David Brat was presented by Family-Pac Federal, Paul Caprio, Director, at a private luncheon event held at Harry Caray’s MVP Room, 33 W. Kinzie St., Chicago, IL  60011.  David Brat received Family-Pac’s “Congressman of the Year” award at last year’s Family Pac’s 14th Anniversary Boat Cruise on Lake Michigan.  He was also the featured speaker. Brat, a Republican, has been the representative for Virginia’s 7th congressional district since Nov 12, 2014, when he defeated Eric Cantor in 2012. Hislegislative record is impressive. According to Heritage Action Score card, Rep. Brat has a lifetime average of 95%, in contrast to a 67% average of all Republicans.
Prior to lunch being served and enjoyed, Paul Caprio expressed his disappointment over the failure of the Republican majority in Congress to take charge of the purse strings, with specific mention of the Budget Authorization Bill which included $543 million for Planned Parenthood and even $289 million in additional spending for the most hated of all government agencies, the IRS.  Rep. Brat went counter to the Party establishment in support of the grass roots when he voted “nay.”
John McEnroe, Chairman of the Board, introduced Rep. Brat.  Emphasized was the unique prospective Brat brought to the House, having earned a masters of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in economics from American University.  Brat worked for the World Bank assisting developing world economies and in the private sector for Arthur Andersen before he became a professor of economics and chairman of the economics department at Randolph Macon College.
In keeping with Rep. Brat’s background in religion and history, John McEnroe recommended Brat’s recently published book, “American Underdog: Proof that Principles Matter”, published on June 28, 2016, which emphasizes the role history and classic philosophy in the future of America.  Rev. Brat’s book can be purchased here.
Rep. Brat’s remarks about the moral and economic lessons of our civilization
Rep. Brat mused how few politicians share this nation’s Judeo-Christian background with their voters.  Although senators and representatives do attend prayers sessions at the Capitol, an hour or so later they are “stabbing” fellow legislators on the floor of the House or Senate.  This question posed by Rep. Brat drew a blank. What is staring Paul Ryan in the U.S. Chamber from where he is sitting?  The answer:  Moses.
In referencing his book, Brat believe that in order to change the status quo we must tap into moral and economic lessons that are as old as our civilization, citing the following three areas that encompass the  philosophical roots of Western civilization and the ideas of classical Greece:
  • The Judeo-Christian tradition, which Rev. Brat currently believes to be at a critical point in this nation Separation of Church and State is now under attack. Our Founders believed rights came from God, not government.
  • The rule of law which is necessary for a civil society to exist or chaos takes over.
  •  Free-market economics where a large number of small factories compete against one another.  70% of jobs come from small business.
Rep. Brat’s staggering statistics from the CBO
According to David Brat the government is spending far beyond its means, and the cost to finance this enormous debt will only grow.  The situation exists, in part, to a sluggish economy and huge government spending programs, but it is further exacerbated by this nation’s deficit spending which increases the amount the government needs to borrow and the cost of the borrowing.  Brat predicted that by 2027 all federal revenues will go towards paying for mandatory programs and interest on the debt.  Unless our government takes on even more debt there won’t be any money left to pay for roads, bridges, education, the military, etc., unless this nation takes on even more debt.
Rep. Brat gave these staggering and extremely cautionary statistics according to projections from the Congressional Budget Office, the CBO report.
  • In 2008 the Federal debt held by the public was equal to 39 percent of gross domestic product; now it is 75 percent of GDP and on track to 86 percent of GDP in 2016 and to 141 percent in 2046.  This would be the highest ratio of debt to GDP ever recorded.  What has been the highest ratio, 106 percent, was recorded just after World War II.
  • The Social Security program will be insolvent in the next few years, as the Disability Insurance trust fund is scheduled to run out in fiscal year 2022 and the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance trust fund will be exhausted in calendar year 2030. Federal spending on health care is expected to increase 60 percent to 8.9 percent of GDP in 30 years, thanks mostly to increases in Medicare spending.
  • During the past 10 years Federal outlays for Social Security and Medicare made up almost 40 percent of the government’s non-interest spending, compared with 16 percent 50 years ago.  Medicare will be in deep trouble in 10 years.
  • In 10 years debt will average $1.2 trillion a year.
Rep. Brat stressed the importance of candidates becoming involved with NFIB (National Federation of Independence Business) as a way to win elections and get things right again with this nation.  Executive over reach and government regulations are strangling small businesses when it comes to job creation.
Freedom Caucus vs. the Patriot Group
When Rep. Brat was asked how he is treated in the House, Brat related this story.  House leaders don’t get it on slashing the federal budget. Aren’t Conservatives supposed to stand for fiscal discipline, balanced budgets and reducing government waste.  But despite Republican control of both the Senate and the House, the deficit is set to go up over $100 billion to the $530 billion range. Last year marked the highest level of federal government spending ever.
As a member of the Freedom Caucus, Brat and other Freedom Caucus members provided solutions on how to trim $30 billion from the Obama-Boehner deal budget number, but they were meet with scorn, even cursed at, by Patriot Group members, of which Bob Dold is a member.  In contrast to House Freedom Caucus members who don’t receive funding to run for reelection, the Patriot Program — chaired by GOP Rep. Steve Stivers of Ohio — will provide fundraising and organizational help to its twelve members as Republicans seek to protect their historic majority.
Trump or Hillary?
Despite all the media attacks against Trump in the current Trump-Hillary battle, Rep. Brat still believes Trump will win, that the experts are wrong, because this is an unusual election.
If Hillary should be elected president, for those Republican who say that in four years Hillary can be taken out and an acceptable Republican candidate can then be chosen to run, this is but a pipe dream.  With academia and the media all in the tank for Hillary even now, how would four years from now be any different?  She could easily knock out a second term.  Brat is unsure whether this nation can survive if Hillary is elected.  Every time a legislator comes out to publicly announce that he/she is not supporting Trump, their action will lower Republican turnout.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Friday, August 05, 2016


By Nancy Thorner and Ed Ingold – 

Donald Trump’s somewhat disjointed reference to the Ukraine and Russia’s intentions, and his swift denunciation by the Left merit a further examination. Of course the liberal press is firmly behind Hillary and Obama, and will seize on any opportunity to deprecate Trump without allowing any amplification of the issues. Let’s look back a couple of years.

 In 2014, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych put off efforts to commit to joining NATO in favor of strengthening ties with Russia.  Besides Ukraine’s long association with Russia, and as one of the former Soviet States, nearly 20% of its residents are ethnic Russians, even more in the strategically important Crimean peninsula. Ukrainians opposed to Yanukovych staged a number of increasingly violent demonstrations, which provoked equally violent reaction by the police.

President Obama threw his support behind the demonstrators, and when the elected President, Yanukovych was forced to flee the country, quickly recognized the rebel government as the legitimate representative of the country. Yanukovych fled to Russia, mounted a public relations campaign against the rebellion, and gained the support of Putin and the Russian people. Russia shares an 800 mile border with the Ukraine, and the Crimea has been a strategic warm-water port for Russia for centuries.

While it is easy to sympathize with pro-western sentiments among the Ukrainian majority, this situation is yet another example where Obama has thrown his support against a legitimate government in the name of “human rights.” He did this in Libya, Egypt and Syria, with little thought of the consequences, and no viable plan to follow through in rebuilding those nations. Thirty years ago, President Carter did the same with Iran, deposing the legitimate government of the Shaw and replacing it with the theocratic rule of the Ayatolas. Carter pressured the Shah to make what he termed human rights concessions by releasing political prisoners and relaxing press censorship. Khomeini could never have succeeded without Carter. The Islamic Revolution would have been stillborn.

To some extent President Bush made the same mistake with Iraq, when attempting nation building, but the situation was made worse when Obama pulled out, leaving the Shiites at the mercy of militant Sunnis with no chance of mediation or reconciliation.

From Carter to Obama this nation has received little support from our European allies, but through it all American has earned the lasting distrust of secular Middle Eastern countries like Jordan, Turkey and Israel.  Russia, on the other hand, has an economy smaller than that of California, yet it holds a strong influence over European countries. Nearly all of the petroleum and natural gas for Europe flows through Russia at the pleasure of President Putin.

What was Obama’s reaction to strengthen our position?  Rather than establish a strategic backup plan, Obama has systematically dismantled our petroleum and gas industries by EPA fiat, has refused to approve the Keystone Pipeline, has halted all exploitation on federal land, and has allowing Saudi Arabia to dump oil into the U.S. at a price below production costs with the intent to economically cripple our domestic producers.

In summary, enemies do not fear us and our friends do not trust us.  Our largest deficit is national will.  In 2004, we destroyed the Iraqi city of Fallujah in order to root out Islamist terrorists. Then in 2011, we pulled our troops out of Iraq, despite predictions that Iraq would fall apart. In 2009, we demanded Assad leave power in Syria,    but we did not use military force to accomplish our demand. In the resulting civil war, Islamist terrorists seized half of Syria and Iraq.

In November 2015, the Islamists—now called ISIS rather than al-Qaeda—massacred 130 civilians in Paris. But the American political system was unable to unite behind committing forces, as we did in Fallujah a decade ago. Why? Our commander in chief has rejected deploying Americans in ground combat because he believes eternal war is the nature of the Muslim Middle East. He refuses to utter the words “Islamic terrorist.” The same is true of Hillary Clinton. Our Congress will not even debate a resolution to authorize the use of ground forces for fear of how the vote would affect reelection.

Lastly, as reported by the “Wall Street Journal” on August 3, 2016, the Obama administrations secretly funneled 400 million dollars in cash to the Iranians back in January. The revelation was particularly notable in that it coincided with the release of four American prisoners being held by the Iranians, leading to speculation that the payment was, indeed, a ransom payment.  The Iranians certainly celebrated the U.S. payment as ‘ransom money.”  U.S. Iranian hostage, Abedini, tells of Iran holding the plane on the tarmac until the ransom plane arrived. It is a policy for the U.S. never to pay ransom, as this only encourages more kidnappings. It is significant that the transaction was in cash. Obama’s excuse is that since we do not have diplomatic relations with Iran, we couldn’t simply write a check. This is as implausible as Hillary’s excuse that she couldn’t have two email accounts on her Blackberry. If so, was the $1.5 billion for the Iran Nuclear Deal delivered in a tanker, riding low in the water with a load of bullion?

Sensible steps can turn things around, but that depends upon the next commander in chief. So far in the twenty-first century, due to our vast wealth and technologies, we have not been sorely tested. Our beloved nation does not have a martial spirit, and perhaps does not need one. It does need a military inculcated with a warrior spirit.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

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By Nancy Thorner – 

In its continuing series of free Wednesday night events, The Heartland Institute on July 27 served as host to Eric O’Keefe on his topic, “The Use of State Power to Silence Patriots.”

For much of the past 35 years O’Keefe, a Libertarian, has encouraged the establishment of independent political organizations to hold politicians accountable. One such organization was the Wisconsin Club for Growth, which played a large role in supporting Gov. Scott Walker’s reform of union regulations in 2011 and 2012. That support led to O’Keefe becoming a target of Milwaukee County prosecutor John Chisholm’s so-called “John Doe” investigations of conservative groups and individuals in the Badger State.

In turn, O’Keefe made himself the lead plaintiff in federal and state lawsuits to halt the sweeping government abuses which were part of the John Doe investigations – which were conducted in secret and without the targets being able to solicit help from family, friends, and even lawyers.

O’Keefe likewise serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Citizens for Self-Governance, a national organization supporting a Convention of States to invoke Article V to amend the U.S. Constitution (ConCon). There is, however, an organized push-back against the movement and what it hopes to achieve. [Full disclosure: I had this article published at Illinois Review on why ConCon is a bad idea.]

What Is a ‘John Doe’ Investigation?

See this link for background information regarding the so-called John Doe investigations in Wisconsin. From that link:

  • In Wisconsin, a John Doe investigation is the equivalent of a grand jury probe, only without jurors.
  • The first John Doe probe in 2011 looked at whether Gov. Walker’s staff, while he was a Milwaukee County executive, did campaign work during their county work shifts. 
  • A second John Doe probe was launched by prosecutors in August 2012 to look into potential unlawful Walker campaign activity. The investigation, now stalled by legal wrangling, is trying to determine whether his 2012 recall campaign illegally collaborated with independent groups. So far no charges have been filed against Walker.

George Will Called John Doe the Nastiest Political Tactic of 2014

The media went all out in covering the John Doe investigations in Wisconsin that violated the civil liberties of conservatives. Conservatives who were engaged in Wisconsin political debates were subject to pre-dawn home raids, dozens of subpoenas, and a smear campaign. All were conducted by Chisholm and his political allies. As noted above and explained in his talk at Heartland, O’Keefe led the effort to terminate the assault by defying a secrecy order and taking the story to the Wall Street Journal. He then organized several lawsuits against the prosecution team to put an end to the egregious, unconstitutional investigations.

The following is what George Will called the nastiest political tactic this year, in an Oct. 24, 2014 Washington Post column:     

“The early-morning paramilitary-style raids on citizens’ homes were conducted by law enforcement officers, sometimes wearing bulletproof vests and lugging battering rams, pounding on doors and issuing threats. Spouses were separated as the police seized computers, including those of children still in pajamas. Clothes drawers, including the children’s, were ransacked, cellphones were confiscated and the citizens were told that it would be a crime to tell anyone of the raids.”

George Will – who felt the need to leave the Republican Party when Trump became the GOP’s presidential nominee – described how Chisholm targeted dozens of conservative activists in his John Doe investigations, which began when Walker defeated a national union effort to oust him. The probe had to do with whether there was illegal coordination between the governor and the conservatives targeted in the raid over supposed violations of campaign finance law.

The Probes Themselves Were Corrupt

In his Heartland talk, O’Keefe explained how Chisholm abused Wisconsin’s John Doe investigation process to launch utterly corrupt, sweeping, and virtually unsupervised investigations of conservatives. Gag orders were imposed and subpoenas issued to prevent Chisholm’s targets from defending themselves or rebutting politically motivated leaks. Chisholm’s aim was achieved: It had a chilling effect on conservative speech. But O’Keefe did noted that it wasn’t just the force of law (the gag order) that kept the targets silent. They had to also think about their families and their jobs. Just the intimidation – and public humiliation of the raids – could destroy their lives. Nevertheless, it was shocking to hear that such tactics were happening here in America. Other states have similar John Doe investigatory powers, but they have not been abused at the scale seen in Wisconsin.

In September 2014, O’Keefe asked for a special prosecutor to look into Chisholm’s secret probe of alleged campaign finance allegations during the 2011 and 2012 recall campaigns. In the complaint, and a separate civil litigation, O’Keefe alleged Chisholm, a Democrat, had committed misconduct in office by conducting a political vendetta against conservatives. O’Keefe told the Heartland audience what he really thinks was behind the John Doe investigations: Chisholm’s wife is a teacher and union member, and the district attorney was angry about Walker’s repeal of most collective bargaining for public employees. 

Chisholm: Too Powerful to be Investigated?

O’Keefe said he didn’t expect Chisholm to accept an outside investigation into his conduct and conflict of interest, and he found nearly 50 elected district attorneys from around Wisconsin also declined a request to investigate him. The United States Supreme Court wouldn’t intervene, either, ruling in May 2015 that it is up to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which put the investigations on temporary hold, if they should be struck down altogether.

What are the broader implications? The goal has always been about damaging Walker and removing him from office. And worse still, it’s part of a broader national campaign to silence conservative speech.

Controversy in the Heartland Q&A Session 

It was during the Q&A session when O’Keefe’s answer to a question from an audience member created a stir among some in the room, including me. O’Keefe’s admitted that he had put together “Delegates Unbound” at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland – a failed attempt to have all bound delegates vote their conscience (presumably against Donald Trump) on the first ballot. O’Keefe said if his effort succeeded, Sen. Ted Cruz would have been nominated over Trump. O’Keefe didn’t mince words in railing against the Republican Party and Reince Priebus for preventing the Delegates Unbound vote, thereby “ignoring the will of the people.” 

View the YouTube video of the live-stream of the event here, and visit Heartland’s events page for future free talks.

Coming Events at The Heartland Institute

Jim Lakely, Communication Director at The Heartland Institute, introduced Eric O’Keefe and later fielded questions directed to O’Keefe by those watching the live-stream. Prior to introducing O’Keefe, Lakely had four “housecleaning” items to celebrate and share:

1.  The Heartland Institute has a redesigned website. Please check it out!

2.  The Michael Parry Mazur Memorial Library was touted as the newest addition to The Heartland Institute. It has the best collection of books on free markets, economics, and liberty anywhere in the Midwest. 

3.   If you are a young conservative or libertarian considering a career in the free-market movement, spend 10 weeks working side-by-side with others who share your interests in Heartland’s internship program

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Thorner: Hultgren, Barton awarded for conservative efforts on Family PAC Boat Cruise

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Congressman Randy Hultgren and wife Christy with author David Barton and wife Cheryl

By Nancy Thorner – 

The 25th Annual Family-Pac Boat Cruise held on Monday, July 25, was a great success aboard The Fort Dearborn, which left from the North Pier in Chicago to cruise out on Lake Michigan with 125 dedicated Family-Pac members and friends on board.  Among the participants were many elected politicians, those running for re-election, and first time candidates. Once the cruise was underway, a hearty buffet dinner was served below deck to be enjoyed by guests as they watched the Chicago skyline while seated at tables on the upper deck.

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Paul Caprio, Sandy Rios          State Rep. Tom Morrison, Bonnie Quirke, Sen. Dan McConchie
Pro-family individuals and groups participate in Caprio’s 25th annual cruise
Sandy Rios, fresh from the GOP Cleveland convention, served as the Master of Ceremonies, as she has for many of the Family Pac annual cruises.  Sandy is Director of Governmental Affairs for the American Family Association, one of America’s largest, pro-family grassroots organizations. Based in Washington, DC, and host of “Sandy Rios in the Morning on AFR Talk” which can be heard on nearly 200 stations through the American Family Radio network. 
The program opened appropriately with the a prayer given by Rev. Bob VandenBosch of Chatham, head of One Nation Under God Foundation, followed by the “Star Spangled Banner” sung by opera singer Nadine Vorenkamp. 
Pro-family candidates on the cruise included Senator Dan McConchieRep. Tom MorrisonDan Patlak, State Senate candidates Mike Amrozowicz (district 31) and Tracy Smodilla (district 22) as well as State Rep. candidates Dan Gott (district 55), Heidi Holan(district 46), and Steven Reick (district 63). Former State Representatives Cal SkinnerBob Biggins, and Penny Pullen, former president on Eagle Forum in ILonce again joined us.  Among the veteran cruise goers were David Smith (I.F.I), Bonnie Quirke (Lake County Right to Life), Mary Anne Hackett (Catholic Citizens of Illinois), and Joe Scheidler (Pro-life Action League).
Honoring of David Barton and Rep. Randy Hultgren with Family-Pac awards
Every year Family-Pac presents the “Person of the Year” award.  This year’s award was presented to featured speaker, David Barton, a famed Christian historian, who Family PAC founder and executive director Paul Caprio called “a great Christian patriot and American”.  Caprio further noted that although many people stand up for values, unlike Barton, they don’t have the courage to stand up against powerful forces to say “no” when no must be said.  David Barton is the Founder and President of WallBuilders, a national pro-family organization that presents America’s forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on our moral, religious and constitutional heritage.  Check out Barton’s book, “The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson.” 
Following the honoring of David Barton, Rep. Randy Hultgren (R -14th) was presented Family-Pac’s “Congressman of the Year” Award for standing strong for principle, as when Randy voted against the $1.14 trillion spending package sent by Congress to President Barack Obama to avoid a government shutdown. Randy was also cited for his work on Abstinence Education.
“Freedom of Conscience” discussed by Barton at private reception prior to cruise
For those who were fortunate to attend the reception held by the One Nation Under God Foundation prior to the cruise at the Pinstripes restaurant, 435 E. Illinois St., Chicago, IL, David Barton expounded upon “Freedom of Conscience” as it was originally meant to be known. 
As expressed by Barton:  “We have lost the “Right of Conscience” 1) because we don’t teach history any more, and 2) because we no longer understand what an inalienable right is.  They are rights coming from God and not the government, period.”
Consider this quote from Thomas Jefferson:
“No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprises of the civil authority.”
When the Founding Fathers talked about the 1st Amendment it was always in terms of conscience.  Right of Conscience, once considered the highest clause in the Constitution by our Founding Fathers, is now the one that is so readily being trashed: a cake must be baked, photographs must be taken, or pizza’s delivered, which are all forced participation to honor tender consciences. 
If the Right of Conscience cannot be protected as an inalienable right, then the government is going to regulate everything below that as well. This is what we are seeing across the country today. It’s not permissible for you to express your free speech or to exercise your conscience; instead, we’re going to force you to endorse what we do and participate in it.   

In speaking about the state of the church, Barton presented these disturbing facts.  Never before has this nation faced the high rate of Bible illiteracy as exists today.  76% of Protestants do not want to see abortion overturned.  In comparing how Christians and non-Christians deal with moral issues, David Barton quoted figures that spoke of no difference between Christians and non-Christians.  Striking fact included:  

  • There are 370,000 churches in America, but only 28% of them actually believe in the Bible.
  • In asking members of Bible believing churches to rank issues as to what they might wish to hear from the pulpit, of the 14 issues receiving 70% approval, none came out of the Bible.

As far as what make a church successful, a successful church was equated with the size of its congregation, amount of offering received, the number of programs offered, how many are on the staff, and the square feet covered by a church.  Instead of expressing concern over why the thinking of Christians and non-Christians is virtually identical on moral issues, a numbers game is being played.

David Barton speaks on board The Fort Dearborn

Aboard The Fort Dearborn, participants were captivated by David Barton’s remarks about this nation’s exceptionalism and of his participation in the GOP Convention.

Speaking of the “Constitution”, Caprio reminded guests that God is wisdom and that our rights come from God. Not being able to count on our public schools or society to promote Christian values, he introduced Barton as a great Christian patriot. educator, and American. 

David Barton’s initial remarks were of his participation in the GOP Cleveland Convention. This is the seventh convention David has attended and his third time on the Platform Committee as the male member of the Texas delegation (one male and one female member is sent by each state – 112 delegates in all).  Two conservative Republicans were selected to represent Illinois on the Platform Committee, Jack Lynch and Stephanie Holderfield.  Stephanie was also a participant in the cruise and spoke about proudly about her role.  Although platforms can be influenced by the delegates themselves, by input from outside group, and by party elites stiff arming parts of the platform, Barton believes that what emerged from the Platform Committee was the most conservative Republican platform ever. Donald Trump didn’t try to interfere, but instead left all up to those assigned to write the platform.

In defending American exceptionalism, Barton noted how unusual it is for a nation having just passed its 240th birthday, to have had only one revolution and one Constitution.  American exceptionalism is on display in the masterful crafting of our “Constitution” and “The Declaration of Independence” by our Founding Fathers.  God has surely blessed this nation, yet there are those who wish to deny America’s exceptionalism through efforts to make the Constitution a valueless document.

The 1st sentence of the 2nd paragraph of the “Declaration of Independence” sets forth these two principles that are unique to this nation:

  • There is a “Creator,” which is the first step to a limited government, as government is not God.
  • We are “Endowed by our Creator,” the second step to limited government, as our rights belong to God, not government. 

Article VII (known as the Ratification Clause), although the last and shortest of the Constitution’s articles, made possible the enactment of the legal and political process that was needed to replace the “Articles of Confederation” with the “Constitution of the United States.”   Article VII not only expressed the Constitution’s view of the Union, but it also echoed the Declaration of Independence’s view of the relation between positive and natural law.

When speaking about the lack of knowledge of this nation’s history among high school students and adults alike, Barton compared the results of tests taken by immigrants to become American citizens and those of students and adults.  While 93% of immigrants could answer the questions, only 3% of high school students could pass the test. 70% of Americans did not know that the Constitution was the supreme law of the land.

Paul Caprio’s final message to attendees

As The Fort Dearborn headed back to its mooring at Chicago’s North Pier, and with the skyline of Chicago and Navy Pier now lit up to create an impressive sight, the singing of patriotic songs, led by Sandy Rios, capped off a beautiful and inspirational evening.  What has become a yearly highlight was Joe Scheidler (Pro-life Action League) leading the singing in the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

Caprio’s final remarks as the boat pulled into dock: “Now it’s time for all of us to get to work, register more value voters, and get them to the polls in November to elect our pro-family candidates…From top to bottom.”