Monday, January 30, 2017

 

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By Nancy Thorner & Bonnie O’Neil – 
 
The election of Donald Trump guarantees there will be significant changes in our country.   That is especially true considering Trump will begin his presidency with a Republican controlled House and Senate, which should help him make the course corrections he promised and which millions of voters agreed was necessary.  
 
One of the more troubling policy changes of the Obama years involved our military.  Obama’s attempt to propose a new policy to draft women into our military and/or authorizing military women to join men fighting in dangerous combat zones most likely will not emerge as a primary topic of discussion any time soon, but neither is the issue likely to be forgotten by its supporters.  
 
There are women who seek to have total equality with men regarding military assignments, in spite of evidence that indicates integrating them with men into combat zones produces negative risks that could seriously jeopardize their safety as well as others in their unit.  The evidence is undeniable but so is the tenacity of those who want the changes.  
 
Most Americans oppose the idea of drafting women for the military (Selective Service), but supporters insist equality is important, and lament the opposition is purely biased due to gender prejudice. 
 
Opening up combat positions to women
 
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s announcement in December 3, 2015, which opened all combat positions to women in 2016, is among the most momentous and controversial military decisions since President Harry S.Truman racially integrated the armed services in 1948.  In accordance, the Marines, Army, Navy and Air Force are moving ahead to carry out Carter’s order. 
 
However, even those who support women in combat positions, question whether young women should be required, like young men, to register for the military draft.  The issue of mandatory military registration for women remains highly contested.
 
Women being able to serve in combat zones is less contested but certainly controversial. The question often asked is why would women even want to be in combat zones?  These are four responses offered: 1. Women claim If they wanted to avoid war zones, they would have volunteered for the peace corps, 2. They believe they should have equal opportunities and not be hindered by their sex, 3. If they can pass the qualifications, they should not be denied the opportunity and 3. Serving in combat zones helps them receive higher  commendations and promotions.  
 
Senator McCain and his secretive provision
 
Senator McCain, who heads the Senate’s Armed Service and is supportive of women serving in the military, claimed that military leaders wanted a draft for women.  In May of 2016 he slipped provisions into the 2017 Defense Bill which permitted it. McCain had the support of  General Neller,  a Marine military official who agrees with McCain.  However, the General’s personal opinion is not an official position of the U.S. Marine Corps and should not be considered as such.
 
Consider that this was the same McCain who failed to conduct public hearings in his Senate Armed Services Committee in the Fall of 2015, after an official request was made by General Joseph Dunford (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) to the Secretary of State to explore exceptions to women-in-direct-ground-combat mandates. Dunford’s request to more carefully decide the prudence of women in combat zones was supported by solid empirical data.
 
General Dunford also recently urged all service members to avoid engaging in political arguments, stating the military should not undermine its own credibility.  The General stated “I have a duty to protect the integrity and political neutrality of our military profession.”  Apparently, the General understands the need to base this issue on facts and evidence rather than a politically based agenda.
 
General Dempsey concurred and made a plea to active service members requesting they not make political statements on social media, after a protest video inspired by 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was posted by a female sailor protesting what she considered racism in the national anthem.
 
Does gender integration make sense?
 
While advocates of gender integration say women are fully capable of performing the difficult and sometimes brutal tasks involved with combat, opponents state few women qualify for the higher standards and even fewer can meet the continual physical rigors of combat. They contend that female front-line soldiers could endanger their units and make them less lethal in battle.
 
The Center for Military Rediness, an independent, non-partisan, public policy organization, confirms this with their Don’t Draft Our Daughters Fact Sheet dated September 19, 2016.  More information is available at www.cmrlinkj.org.
 
National Security, not “Equality” should decide the Issue
 
If “Draft Our Daughters” legislation became law, any call-up of men ages 18-26 for military service would have to include an equal number of young women. Compelling arguments against drafting women state:
  • Even though some exceptional women may be able to meet minimal standards, the fact remains that most women cannot meet combat arms readiness standards while most men can and do.
  • A system that allows women to compete would have to divert scarce time and resources to find, evaluate, and ultimately train thousands of women ˗˗ just to find the very few who might be minimally qualified for difficult combat positions.
  • Jamming the SS system during a time of crisis, instead of concentrating on men who can be rapidly trained to fight in physically-demanding ground combat units, would create a political crisis and a paralyzing administrative overload at the worst possible time.
A new study confirms that women fall short of combat skills and documents that all-male units perform better than mixed gender ones. Critics of drafting women claim this should not be about satisfying social justice issues; it is about winning wars against dangerous enemies and protecting both our troops and the public from harm.
 
Un-equal burdens on Women
 
Further information from empirical studies have repeatedly shown that womens’ rates of injury are two- to ten-times greater than mens’ and even higher in load-bearing military occupations, which prompts critics of women in combat  to state:
  • It would not be “fair” or “equal” to register or draft women for military combat, since most do not have an equal opportunity to survive or to help fellow soldiers survive in that environment.
  • Misplaced resentment by feminists is no excuse; both military and civilian women have always volunteered and served in times of national emergency, and they will do so again. A mandatory draft simply is not needed and should not be lawfully required.
It would be prudent for Congress to initiate open hearings and allow the public to examine recent scientific research, tests comparing the physical capabilities of male and female volunteers, and be knowledgeable of the myriad of other serious problems associated with combining men and women in combat zones.
 
Facts proving there are numerous problems with the “Our Daughters Law” must be publicly exposed and documented.  It is not just common sense but facts which prove that allowing women to join men in combat zones creates unnecessary problems that would likely impede future readiness and thus create a potential catastrophic national emergency.  
 
Reprieve from Obama’s social experiments in military under a Trump Presidency
 
As reported on FoxNew.com on January 11, 2017, under Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis, President Trump’s Pentagon is likely to abandon social experiments for core missions to what could be an old-school emphasis on combat readiness and the spirit of the United States military. It is no surprise that certain Senate Democrats initially opposed his nomination.  Now that the General has been confirmed, it will be interesting to see if he remains consistent with his viewpoint on this issue and not be intimidated by the size and political power recently demonstrated by the politically charged “Women Marches”  in cities throughout our country protesting  our newly elected President and a perceived opinion he lacks concern for women.
 
Some critics say many of Obama’s decisions and choices were born more out of his passion to be “politically correct” and thus devoid of enough factual evidence to support what many found highly problematic decisions. That method of decision making is in direct contrast to the traditional U.S. military approach, which is one reason Obama’s interference in changing military policy was quietly questioned by military leaders, as well as the public.
 
This issue needs to be a top priority and a thorough investigation initiated by the Trump Administration in conjunction with our military leaders. Facts are essential going forward, not only so that the public can be assured our military has not been compromised by unnecessary and potentially harmful politically charged changes, but so that America retains the most powerful military possible to protect our people from enemies.
 
Military under General James Mattis 
 
Will General Mattis revisit the Obama Administration’s decision to name Navy ships for civil rights activists rather than those who bravely risked and/or gave their lives serving on those ships to protect all American citizens?  Many in the military hope that policy will be among the first to revisited.
Another questionable action initiated by the Obama administration regarded new rules that minimized expressions of Christianity in the ranks.  An example of this is several officers were disciplined for displaying bibles or gospel verses in their private quarters.  This appears to be in direct contradiction of our Constitutional right of religious freedom, which should not be   set aside for those in the military. Quite the opposite; those in harms way need this right more than most.
 
According to defense contractor and retired Army Col. Robert Maginnia, General Mattis will likely “bring the warrior ethos back to the Pentagon. Retired Army Gen. Jack Keane, a Fox News contributor, said the strong emphasis on social reform in the last eight years sometimes came at the expense of the military’s core objective.  As Keane was quoted saying:
 
“Social engineering was a distractor from what the main mission of the United States military was about. We were involved in conflict and war, and these reforms achieved a level of prominence that subordinated the issue of war itself.”
 
General Mattis and Women
 
General Mattis has made statements that indicate his position on this subject.  said women should not be in combat because, if they were, the nation’s enemies would no longer fear America’s awesome determination to defend herself.  He said “physical standards for combat jobs would become more lax and women would not have privacy for their bodily functions.  Mattis wisely stated there will be no more political correctness, just a focus on being warriors.
 
In a book on civilian-military relations, co-edited with Kori Schake, Mattis warned of the danger of civilian leaders with a “progressive agenda.”  His book also warns that “an uninformed public is permitting political leaders to impose an accretion of social conventions that are diminishing the combat power of our military.”
 
Conservatives must be wary of progressive Democrats
 
Despite positive signs in the soon-to-be Trump administration, the push to draft women as well as integrate them among men in combat zones will not go quietly away and neither will many other changes initiated within the last decade. Progressive Democrats will do their best to block Conservative Republicans from replacing specific Obama in initiated laws. Recent demonstrations within our cities seem to prove that point.
 
Conservatives now have the advantage and a widow of opportunity to work with the Trump administration to make America great again, but how long will it continue?  After all, it was Senator McCain, a Republican, who last year inserted the amendment in the 2017 National Defense bill that Obama came close to signing into law.  Each of us must use this time and opportunity wisely to make needed and appropriate changes where necessary, but also fight against bills which we see as potentially harmful.  The “silent majority” must find its voice and speak out so that both liberal and conservative voices are equally heard. Hold our media accountable for truth and fairness, because our future depends upon it.
 
Saturday, January 21, 2017 –  Thorner/O’Neil:  Will Trump drop his predecessor’s ridiculous notion of drafting women?  http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2017/01/thorneroneil-will-trump-drop-the-ridiculous-notion-of-drafting-women.html#more

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By Nancy Thorner & Bonnie O’Neil – 

A debate continues within our country as to whether women should serve in the military in positions of combat duty as opposed to nursing and clerical work. Conversations continue as to what positions and specific assignments might be included as standard for women and whether the government should automatically include women in the “draft” process.

The issue first arose in 1945 when Congress was poised to do something previously unthinkable: draft women. There was a pressing need for this change, because the intense Normandy invasion and other WW II military offensives had produced enormous casualty figures.   Our Army medical resources were strained to the breaking point, creating an acute shortage of nurses which was said to be jeopardizing the care given to our wounded men.

This prompted President Franklin D. Roosevelt to use his State of the Union Address on January 6, 1945, to paint a grim picture of the crisis and take the unprecedented step of conscripting women into the military. The army, he said, needed 18,000 more nurses to bring the Army Nurse Corps to a strength of 60,000.

It is important to understand the uniqueness of this specific time in history. World War II was all consuming to our people, the military, and officials, as it personally touched and therefore impacted every one of their lives in some way. The thought of wounded soldiers being unable to receive immediate care due to a severe shortage of nurses was unthinkable and thus received support it might not have had in less urgent times. 

The Senate Military Affairs Committee approved a conscription bill on March 28, 1945, and sent it to the full Senate.  The publicity surrounding the draft debate spurred enlistments. In the week after Roosevelt’s address, 4,000 nurses applied for army duty—twice the number for the last two months of 1944.   Soon thereafter the war seemed to be coming to an end, and thus the issue became less important and less discussed.

May, 1981: Case of “Rostker v. Goldberg”

Fast forward to May, 1981, the war had been over for decades and Americans were now engrossed in their civilian lives but the Supreme Court was now considering whether to compel women to be drafted in the case of Rostker v. Goldberg.  At the time Phyllis Schlafly, founder of Eagle Forum, and an ally of hers in Congress, Rep. Billy Lee Evans (D-GA), were strongly opposed to the legislation introduced in the 97th Congress, Session 1, H.R. 2791 (Woman’s Draft Exemption Act).  They threatened to withdraw jurisdiction from the courts if needed to prevent women from being drafted. The following month a divided Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution does not compel drafting women, based on the then-existing exclusion of women from combat. 

It may be of interest to note that Democrat President Jimmy Carter approved drafting women for the military.

Obama Administration opens military to draft of women

Nearly thirty-five years later the Obama Administration removed the exclusion of women from combat, and some now argue that the Constitution requires that the Selective Service registration apply to women just as it does to men.

In December of 2015, Barack Obama’s Defense Secretary Ashton Carter reversed centuries of U.S. military tradition with this historic announcement that all military occupational specialties would now be open to women. 

“Women will be allowed to drive tanks, fire mortars, and lead infantry soldiers into combat,” he stated, provided that the women can meet the same physical and professional standards as men. They’ll be able to serve as Army Rangers and Green BeretsNavy SEALsMarine Corps infantry, Air Force and parajumpers previously open only to men.”

Joint Chiefs Chairman Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, who was alone among the service chiefs in opposing the total integration of women into the force, was absent from Ashton Carter’s announcement at a Pentagon briefing.

Senator McCain slips in proposal draft for women

Following this change of military tradition, during a closed-door meeting in May of 2016 and without prior notice, Republican Armed Service Committee Chairman John McCain (R-AZ) proposed  legislation as an amendment extending the draft to women into the National Defense Authorization Act (a key piece of military funding legislation) to force 18 to 26 year-old women to register with Selective Service for a possible future draft and to further establish a commission on National Service to explore other options for co-ed conscription.  The legislation was meant to be a milestone in women’s equality for the military.

Although House Republicans were successful in stripping the House bill of the provision found in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to include America’s young women in a national military draft, the “Draft our Daughters” provision remained in the Senate’s version of the NDAA. 

On November 1, 2016, the Senate overwhelmingly passed a $602 billion defense bill that included an amendment that would require women to register for the draft (known as Selective Service) for the first time in American history. 

However, this did not happen without energizing the opposition.  In December of 2016 conservatives secured an important victory.  17 Senate conservatives signed a letter, championed by Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), advocating opposition to any defense bill that included the “Draft our Daughters” provision. The provision was ultimately removed during conference negotiations, marking an important win for the conservatives.

On December 23, 2016, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act, a compromised version which called for a commission to study two related issues: Whether women should be included in Selective Service and whether the Selective Service system itself should be abolished.

President Obama is the first president, since President Jimmy Carter, to endorse universal draft registration for women when they turn 18.   

The question now being asked is what impact the election of Donald Trump might have on this issue. Will it influence the discussion within the Commission and/or will their recommendations be compatible with those of Republicans who now dominate the House and Senate? The issue may soon be decided, but history indicates it never seems to be permanently settled.  Hopefully, the Commission will enact a “wait and see” policy, because it is far easier to enact a policy than it is to reverse it once in place.

The Crusaders Band Led the March in Chants
Photos by Benjamin Weadick

By Nancy Thorner – 

I applaud Mark Weyermuller for his well-written article with photos published on Monday, January 16, at Illinois Review, Where’s Weyermuller Marching with Life Lovers in Chicago.  As Mark related in the first paragraph of his article:

“Thousands of pro-life activists marched Sunday in Chicago to celebrate life and protest abortion in America. The march is held annually at this time of year in response to the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion 44 years on January 22, 1973, commonly called Roe V. Wade.  There are estimates that 55 million babies have been legally killed (some say murdered) in that time.”

The Crusaders for Life Strike a pose

From Marytown to Federal Plaza in Chicago

My participation in the Chicago March for Life started from Marytown at 1600 W. Park Ave. in Libertyville via a bus arranged by The Lake County Right to Life, a sponsor of the March for Life Chicago.  Joining me aboard the 55 seat coach bus were four members of a home school family of eight from Wauconda, Illinois:  Barrett, Benjamin, Elizabeth and Timothy Weadick.  We drove together to board the bus from our church, Lakeview Presbyterian Church PCA in Mundelein. 

On the way to Chicago Benjamin, 17, told me that upon reaching Chicago he and his brother, Barrett, would be leaving me and their younger sister and brother to join up with the Crusaders for life from Volo IL. I was further told by Benjamin that Crusaders would also be there from St. John Cantius in Chicago, and that the St. John Cantius in Chicago and St. Peter’s in Volo together form one group.  

As Mr. Weyermuller had not mentioned the appearance of this noteworthy group of young people in his March for Life Chicago article, I was all ears to learn more about the Crusaders who meet monthly at St. Peter’s in Volo, IL, the group in which Barrett and Benjamin Weadick participate. 

Benjamin Weadick related how before the parade this past Sunday the Crusaders blew up all the balloons and assembled the balloon trees.  They then drove around Chicago in open top buses in their bright yellow outfits and balloons.    

Determined not to miss any of the Crusaders’ participation in the parade, I made sure I was near the front of the march after the rally ended with the two younger Weadick children.  I wasn’t disappointed and observed:

  • A band leading chants for the people at the rally.
  • Teams of people holding balloon lines above crowds.
  • Crusaders cheering on the other marchers. 

Crusaders preparing the Balloons  The Crusaders wore the signiture brght yellow_

About the Crusaders

I later learned more about the Crusaders, an amazing group of young people, from Rose Lareau, age 18, who serves as secretary of the Crusaders.  Rose explained how the Volo crusaders and the Saint John Cantius crusaders are one in the same.  “We’re all one large group.  We just have our meeting at Volo and at Cantius because Volo is a far drive for many.” 

As related by Rose: 

The Crusaders have a meeting once a month to talk about any up-coming events that might interest the group.  Usually the meeting also includes a pro-life speaker.  Crusaders believe that every child deserves to live no matter how they were conceived and no matter if they have a possibility of being handy capped or with any other disorder. 

Yellow is worn as a sign of joy.  Yellow is also worn because of the Vatican flag.  The gold on the Vatican flag represents spiritual power which all Crusaders have within themselves.  This spiritual power leads Crusaders to cheer, pray, and even jump around, as they display the joy and love they have for everyone, even the pro-choicers. 

Crusaders don’t hate pro-choice individuals; no one should hate them.  We should instead feel sorry for them and pray that their hearts will be changed and see the wrong in abortion.  Every single person that God has ever made should have the chance to live. No one should have any say over a tiny child’s life. It’s all God’s choice, and He has a plan for every single person.

Account by Rose of Crusader participation

The morning of the Chicago March, Crusaders went to mass and prayed for the unborn children. After mass the balloons were blown up and tied onto our balloon lines. While most the crusaders were doing that, the drummers were in another room practicing their drumming for all the dancing and cheering.  Once it was 11:30, we all went outside to the double decker buses and trolleys.  We hung signs on the buses and brought out with us our balloons. 

All decked out in yellow, we were ready to drive around Chicago by noon. We left Saint John Cantius and were on our way around the city to cheer and sing and to spread the love and joy the crusaders have for everyone around them.  A few people booed or yelled at us, but we just smiled and kept cheering and waving.  When going under some bridges, it was a very tight squeeze because we had balloons and signs, but we made it through.

Finally arriving at the site of the rally where other pro-lifers were already gathered, there was much cheering and waving because of the felt happiness at seeing everyone.  We unloaded the buses and trolleys, taking our signs and balloons with us.  Attending the rally, we were excited to see alumni crusader, Randy Dziak, up there speaking on the raised platform. 

The rally having ended, we started the march around the city, using all our energy in cheering and jumping around — and in the process losing our voices — while taking lots of pictures and videos of everyone.

At the conclusion of March for Life Chicago, crusaders from Saint John Cantius in Chicago and Saint Peter’s in Volo expressed felt love for their participation in the Chicago March, hoping they brought much joy to everyone as they waved, smiled, and sang.  

Weekend events

160 Crusaders, including the Volo Crusaders, will be taking buses on a three-day march tour and will attend marches in Springfield IL, Jan 27; St. Louis, Missouri, Jan 28; and Indianapolis IN on Jan 29.  Barrett and Benjamin Weadick will be participating.

In past years the Crusaders have attended the DC March for life in a similar fashion by taking buses to the march.

Learn more about the Crusaders by checking out this website.  http://www.lifeballoons.com/


Constitution
By Nancy Thorner – 
 
The Convention of the States (COS) is an Article V Constitutional Convention (Con-Con), supported and funded by well-connected conservatives that refuse to acknowledge the danger their effort could usher onto our republic. 
 
Radio talk show host, Mark Levin, started pushing for a constitutional convention several years ago, arguing in his book, The Liberty Amendments, that such a convention is the last hope “to reform the federal government from its degenerate, bloated, imperial structure back to its (smaller) republican roots.” 
Unfortunately, many otherwise well-educated and well-meaning conservatives have succumbed to Levin’s siren to insist that an Article V convention is the only way to restore the balance of federalism in our Republic.
 
They evidently are not aware that under Article V of the Constitution, our founding fathers established two methods for future generations to add amendments to the Constitution:  1) either two-thirds of both houses of Congress can propose an amendment, and then three-fourths of the states ratify if they call it. . . or not – the safe method or 2) two-thirds (34) of the states call for a federal constitutional convention, and then three-fourths of the states ratify whatever amendments are proposed by the convention. This method must be avoided at all costs.  It could lead to a runaway convention in which our original Constitution would be scrapped and a new Constitution would be substituted. 
 
Consider also a big financier of global fascism, George Soros. Soros is pumping millions of dollars into the same Article V campaign that is being promoted by Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Allen West, and other popular conservative spokesmen, as he pushes for a new “progressive” U.S. Constitution by the year 2020.
 
Conservatives must not be fooled by Con Con activists
 
Conservatives should shudder at the thought of a convention populated by activists, who endowed with power have a Soros credit card in their pocket and a commitment to “social justice” as their purpose.  Instead, many grassroots, Tea Party, and Christian groups are being infiltrated with progressive ideas by people presenting themselves as Conservatives, Christians, or Patriots.
 
The enemies of the Constitution are targeting 2017 for passage of the Convention of States (COS).  They are
gearing up to exploit the Republican majorities in state legislatures.
 
A sign that the Con Con issue is really heating up is that during the past month there has been more than 60 articles reflecting the big push for a “Con Con” (Article V Convention, misnamed a “Convention of States” or “COS”)  In that 69 of the 99 state legislative chambers are now controlled by the Republican Party, the possibility now exists for Con Con to be passed under the guise of “term limits” or a “balanced budget amendment.” 
 
The good news is that Gun Owners of America just reaffirmed their opposition to Con Con.  (The NRA, having at least one Board member who is a Con Con supporter, won’t speak out against a Con Con.) Without question, one of the first things a Con Con would do is to dilute or repeal the Second Amendment.
 
Victory over Con Con in Congress
 
Pro-Constitutional Convention advocates tried to sneak a deceptive provision into the new House Rules on the first day Congress was back in session, Tuesday, January 3, 2017.  The provision — which became the second order of business in the House after the election of Speaker Paul Ryan — was deceptively called the “10 Amendment” rule (regarding the 10th Amendment) and would have purportedly limited a Con Con (Article V Convention) to the amendments initially proposed.  In other words, the proposed Rules change was a pretentious hoax that would have merely created a false appearance of protection.  There is no way to limit the proposed type or number of Con Con amendments during an Article V convention). 
The Rules change proposal failed and was not included in the House Rules for the 2017 session.  You may find the full text here of the newly adopted House Rules
 
Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) proposed the deceptive 10th Amendment Rule; Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform based in D.C., fully endorsed the Rules change.  In a letter to Congress members dated January 2, 2017, Norquist asked the House to change its Rules in a way that would encourage calling a Con Con or Article V convention.  The first two paragraphs of Norquist’s letter to Congress are noted below (For the full text of Norquist’s letter see here):
January 2, 2017
 
Dear Republican Members of Congress:
I write to urge you to support an Amendment to the House Rules package proposed by Rep. Kevin Cramer and endorsed by House Rules Chair Pete Sessions that could help restore the Article I Legislative Power of Congress.
 
The proposed “10th Amendment Rule” would protect the Constitution by recognizing and enforcing the Constitution and especially the 10th Amendment power of states to strictly limit the scope of a Constitutional Amendment process initiated by the states…
Grover Norquist specifically cited Pete Session, House Rules Chair, as being supportive of the “10th Amendment Rule. It just so happens that Rep. Sessions is from Texas, from where much of the pressure for Con Con is coming. Both the governor and lieutenant governor of Texas have built big political war chests and both have been persuaded to support a Con Con, which has already been pre-filed there as the Convention of States legislation.  
 
Check out Grover P. Norquist’s interactive relationship map to observe observe the scope of his influence and wide spread connections.   This article discusses the coalitions formed by Article V Con-Con groups, and who is holding hands with whom.  
 
Existing state applications for an Article V Convention and resolutions rescinding prior applications 
 
Not only is Texas being targeted. Former U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, in an article published recently by multiple newspapers in Wisconsin, demonstrates that Wisconsin is being targeted by the COS project.  He described himself as the “honorary chairman” of the apparently unrelated American Transparency organization, but he’s featured on the Convention of States website. It is interesting that Tom Coburn was part of the Never Trump movement, as many in COS likewise were and might still be.  Posted information about Tom Coburn can be found here.  Read here Andy Schlafly’s rebuttal to Coburn’s editorial. 
Two years ago Section 3(d) of the rules package authorized the Judiciary Committee to maintain a public list of state applications for an Article V convention or resolutions rescinding prior applications.  Before then, there was never any central list of applications.  The status of states can be found here.  
  • Twelve states have been targeted for 2017 by the promoters of a constitutional convention — a “Con Con” or “Convention of States”.
  • Eight states have enacted resolutions for a Convention of States, some using language different from others, but each of the eight states should rescind its call.
  • Seventeen states that have passed a Convention of States should rescind it.  A recent example is the rescission by Delaware of all of its prior resolutions for a Con Con.
  • Here are some efforts at rescission 2017.
Argument against a Convention of States 
 
Following are some of the best arguments against a Convention of States to defeat the enemies of the Constitution who seek a constitutional convention to change it:
  • *Require a fiscal note, which is billions of dollars in lost entitlements to states
  • Justice Scalia called this proposal for an Article V convention a “horrible idea” at a public event less than a year before he passed away.
  • Phyllis Schlafly completely opposed a Con Con and Convention of States, and all variations on the concept.
  •  Convention of States would be a vote against the conservative Republican national platform, which emphatically rejected this.
  •  Convention of States would enable liberals to repeal the Electoral College.
  •  Convention of States would open the door to repealing the Second Amendment.
  •  Convention of States would facilitate a new constitutional right to taxpayer-funded abortion.
*For example, in which of the targeted states can we compel the legislature to attach a fiscal note for the planned constitutional convention, including delegate expenses and the loss to the state of federal entitlements? Forcing a fiscal note to the tune of the millions or billions of dollars. for the Con Con project would stop it in these targeted Republican states.
 
Past opposition to Con Con
 
 
1) Barry Goldwater said: “[I am] totally opposed [to a Constitutional Convention]…We may wind up with a Constitution so far different from that we have lived under for two hundred years that the Republic might not be able to continue.”
 
2) Chief Justice Warren Burger said:  “There is no effective way to limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitutional Convention. The convention could make its own rules and set its own agenda. Congress might try to limit the convention to one amendment or to one issue, but there is no way to assure that the convention would obey.  After a convention is convened, it will be too late to stop the convention if we don’t like its agenda.  The meeting in 1787 ignored the limit placed by the confederation Congress “for the sole and express purpose.”
 
 “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.”  Proverbs 27:12 
 

Trump

By Nancy Thorner – 

The future of the Supreme Court was the most important issue for pro-life voters when they voted overwhelmingly for Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the U.S. on November 9, 2016.  Throughout his campaign, Trump repeated promised he would appoint pro-life justices, in contrast to those pro-abortion Hillary Clinton would select. Based upon the next president’s nominations, the Supreme Court could determine whether 58 million more abortions would take place, or if pre-born children will once again enjoy legal protection. 

In Donald Trump’s op-ed published on November 6, 2016, at USA Today, “Why you should vote for me,” he put the spotlight on the importance of the Supreme Court.  Included was this statement:  “I will restore the constitutional rule of law and nominate Supreme Court justices who will do the same.”

Of merit is Trump’s pro-life pledge made in his third debate with moderator Chris Wallace, noted here, in which Trump tells Wallace that the judges he will appoint will be pro-life.  Trump’s response when Wallace asked Trump specifically if he wanted the court, including the justices Trump would name, to overturn Roe v. Wade:

If we put another two or perhaps three justices on, that is really what will happen. That will happen automatically in my opinion. Because I am putting pro-life justices on the court. I will say this. It will go back to the states and the states will then make a determination.

Trump’s letter addressed to Dear Pro-LIfe Leaders in September of 2016  lays out Trump’s pro-life commitments in an even stronger form addressing these four specific commitments: nominating pro-life justices; signing into law the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act; defending Planned Parenthood; and making the Hyde Amendment permanent. 

Trump to be held accountable to his pro-life pledge

To insure that Trump does live up to his promise to appoint pro-life judges and that he is held accountable if he errs, Andy Schlafly, a director of Eagle Forum and son of its great founder, Phyllis Schlafly, drafted a coalition letter (read here) that was delivered to both President-elect Trump in New York and Vice President-elect Pence in D.C. on Thursday, December 29, 2016. A remarkable 90 groups have signed onto Schlafly’s coalition letter. Paul Caprio of Family Pac Federal and David Smith of the Illinois Family Institute were signers here in Illinois.  More groups continue to ask to join Schlafly’s coalition letter. Additions are welcomed.  

A segment of  Schlafly’s coalition letter was read on Fox News Sunday.  The segment was aired again later on Sunday. This widely-viewed news show likewise used Schlafly’s evaluation of the candidates.  It is is important that you view Schlafly’s chart to garner how he rates the Supreme Court candidates.  

Tony Perkins recently said, “There’s clearly some on the list that are better than others.”  There are, indeed, vast differences among candidates on the list, especially with respect to Trump’s pro-life pledge.  Some of the candidates (including Sykes and Colloton) have even repeatedly taken the pro-abortion side. 

The importance of pro-life judges

Why is it so important that Trump does nominate someone who will fill the vacancy left by Scalia’s death with a candidate in the image of Scalia? 

The biggest prize in the presidential election was always the Supreme Court. President-elect Donald J. Trump is now positioned to make it more conservative, possibly for generations to come.  Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat, vacant since he died in February, will almost certainly be filled by a conservative nominee.  Thus, the Court will be back to its full strength and will again tilt right, as it has for decades, emboldening Chief Justice John Roberts and leaving Kennedy as the ultimate decider.   

Of note is that the man or woman who replaces Scalia on the bench won’t change its balance of power.  Trump’s more lasting impact is dependent on the other eight justices, particularly those old enough to favor retirement or risk dying in office. Liberal justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer are 83 and 78, respectively, and Justice Anthony Kennedy, a conservative who often sides with liberals on major cases, is 80.  If the president-elect gets to replace any of these three after taking office, the court will shift to the right.

It is therefore important that Trump’s not only upholds his pro-life pledge in making his selection of the first U.S. Supreme Court vacancy to replace Scalia, but that All of Trump’s expected 100+ judicial nominees should be pro-life.  The advisers to the first President Bush thought he could get away with breaking his “no new taxes” pledge, but he couldn’t. It’s a mistake for anyone to recommend, even implicitly, that Trump break his pro-life pledge.

Trump’s list of 21 scrutinized

In a few brief remarks to reporters at Trump Tower in New York City on Wednesday, November 17, Kellyanne Conway said the president-elect will make a Supreme Court pick from the list of 21 candidates he identified during his campaign. What should we make of Trump’s much-publicized list of 21 potential high court nominees 

In an interview with Steve Deace of Conservative Review on December 12, 2016, Andy Schlafly expressed misgivings about the list of 21 potential Supreme Court candidates, raising the question as to why pro-life advocates should be skeptical of Trump’s list. Schlafly, believing that the Supreme Court has more influence than the president does, at least within our country as it currently stands, is in the forefront of making sure that Trump isn’t fooled or mislead into nominating a Supreme Court candidate who cannot be certified as 100% pro-life. 

Regarding the list of 21, Schlafly explains that the 21 names were put forth by the Trump campaign to calm people down and to reassure them he would pick a good, strict constructionist to the Supreme Court.  Some of names did come from The Heritage Foundation, while others came from the Federalist Society.  As a member of the Federalist Society, “Schlafly points out that the Federalist Society is not a pro-life organization.”

This has led to multiple nominees to the Supreme Court who voted with the pro-abortion side.

Even so, pressure is building to deflect Trump away from his pledge by the Federalist Society.  The Institute for Justice just published an article in USA Today here that says nothing about Trump’s pro-life pledge and ends up endorsing the most pro-abortion judge on the list of 21 given to Trump, Diane Sykes.

Trump transition team identifies the eight front runners

A report from Politico on January 1, 2017, did narrow down and identify the eight front runner that the Trump transition team has identified to replace late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.  The profiles are here on the eight possible nominees:  William Pryor, Diane Sykes, Raymond Kethledge, Joan Larsen, Neil Gorsuch, Steven Colloton, Raymond Gruender, and Thomas Hardiman. 

 According to Andy Schlafly, most of the candidates in the Politico report are names we should be worried about.  Of concern to Andy are Diane Sykes, Steve Colloton, Joan Larson, Neil Gorsuch, Raymond Kethledge, and William Pryor, who recently decided to grant homosexual groups access to middle schools as young as sixth grade to establish their “clubs.”  Charles Canady from the Florida Supreme Court most impressed Andy on Trump’s list of 21, yet Canady didn’t even make the narrowed down Politico Trump list which identified the eight front runners.

Organized opposition will attempt to undo Trump’s pro-life pledge

Self-described “pro-life” groups in D.C. must be held more accountable.  Some don’t even say they support Trump’s pro-life pledge, while others are obviously not speaking out as they should be.  Some even tried to talk others out of speaking out.

Yesterday the Democrats in opposition said they would try to block whoever the nominee is.  So we should continue to insist on a pro-life nominee worth fighting for, because it is going to be a fight regardless.  If Trump’s advisers persuade him to break his pro-life pledge, then it will become a disastrous replay of the first President Bush’s breaking of his famous “no new taxes” pledge. 

The media and senators will push for a woman because all four women on the list are not pro-life.  But there are plenty of pro-life women judges having better qualifications than those on the list.  The most-qualified pro-life women should be interviewed for the job.   Judges Jennifer Elrod and Edith Jones, both recommended in Schlafly’s coalition letter, should be interviewed by Trump for the job.

Trump’s pledge to the American people in the final debate and afterwards was to pick only pro-life nominees, not to pick only from the list.  For a job that lasts 30+ years, we should not accept anything less than the best. 

Nancy Thorner is a citizen journalist and conservative activist from Chicago’s northern suburbs.


 Daily Herald, Fence Post letter –  Nancy J. Thorner

posted: 1/4/2017 1:00 AM

Electoral college overrides popular vote

Our Founding Fathers were brilliant, as they foresaw the concentration of population in some states over others as something to account for in the Constitution. The final tally indicated that Trump lost the popular vote by 2.8 million, but he beat Clinton by 3 million votes outside of California and New York, two liberal states where Hillary would have won no matter what.

Should those who live in states with much smaller populations just roll over and say: “We don’t care if the presidential candidates ignore us entirely, as the wisdom and judgment of California and New York are far superior to our own?”

As such, our Founding Fathers established the electoral college as a process, not a place, in our constitution as a compromise between election of the president by a vote in Congress and election of the president by a popular vote of qualified citizens.

Each state’s entitled allotment of electors equals the number of members in its congressional House delegation plus two more for its senators. Trump won 60 percent of those elections: a decisive majority in the only tally that counted to win the presidency. How then is it that in the wake of an election that was constitutionally decided, there were mobs in the streets, petitions on the internet and email containing death threats, all aimed at trying to dissuade members of the electoral college from doing their sworn duty?

Those who are still whining over Trump’s victory simply don’t understand the difference between a republic and a democracy. The founders understood that a republic could weather all sorts of internal conflicts, but a democracy could easily morph into a mobocracy. If we hadn’t dropped ethics, civics and American history, from the school curriculum, perhaps today we wouldn’t find ourselves hip-deep in arrogant, ignorant, celebrities.

Nancy J. Thorner

Lake Bluff