Tuesday, November 30, 2021

LIGHT THERAPY SHINES THROUGH

 

[Published in Newsmax]

Rapidly mainstreaming breakthrough medical research, sometimes called "bench to bedside," has become a bipartisan priority. The rapid development and dissemination of COVID-19 vaccines established a new focus on how lives can be saved and improved if regulatory pathways, research resources, and the medical professional acceptance were better aligned.

Dr. Tara Schwetz, a senior member of the President's Office of Science and Technology, is driving the establishment of the new Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H). Legislation to establish and fund ARPA-H is now moving through Congress.

This new agency is patterned after the Defense Department's DARPA, the "gold standard" for creative, paradigm-busting research and application.

One of the premiere examples of a paradigm-busting breakthrough medical technology is Photobiomodulation (PBM), also known as red light therapy.

PBM's effectiveness and future were recently showcased when scientists and practitioners presented their latest research to leaders from research institutions, research hospitals, cancer clinics, and medical schools at PBM2021.

Dr. Schwetz joined members of Congress as a keynote speaker to address scientists and medical professionals from 20 countries at the PBM2021 Global Conference on the importance of innovative medical technology.

PBM is a noninvasive, FDA cleared, medical technology that directs red and near-infrared light into mitochondria to restore normal cell function and reduce inflammation. It is a natural process aiding a natural process.

PBM has been used in over 100 million patient treatments without any documented side effects. PBM's role in speeding recovery and reducing side-effects from cancer treatments is documented as reducing the cost of care by up to 73%.

PBM therapy is successfully helping veterans with managing pain, treating neurological conditions, and speeding wound healing throughout the Veterans Integrated Services Networks (VISNs), including the Martinsburg VA Medical Center, the VA Boston Healthcare System, the Salt Lake City VAMC, and the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago.

PBM prevents the painful side effects of cancer chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) recommends PBM as the standard of care for preventing oral mucositis. PBM is now preventing cancer therapy side effects at leading cancer centers, including St. Jude's Children Research Hospital, MD Anderson Cancer Center, and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard

PBM therapy's efficacy is supported by over 800 randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and 8,000 research studies, many published in leading scientific journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and The Lancet.

There are currently over 190 active PBM clinical trials. Awareness of, and support for, PBM therapy is expanding thanks to formal presentations to policy leaders on its benefits for pain management, wound healing, and preventing cancer therapy side effects.

These presentations ranged from congressional briefings to testimony before the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), federal Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force, the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) Board of Scientific Counselors, and the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Photobiomodulation's "light revolution" hopes to follow in the path blazed by other important medical technology that went from exotic to commonplace. MRIs and sonograms are just two breakthrough technologies that overcame initial resistance to become integral to maintaining our health.

Friday, September 3, 2021

AFGHAN ABANDONMENT

 

[Published on Newsmax]

America’s catastrophic retreat from Afghanistan did not need to happen.

It was not just a failure of commonsense. It was multiple violations of State and Defense Department regulations.

There are very clear and detailed procedures for evacuating embassy personnel, American citizens, and host country nationals linked to the mission. The Defense Department has its own very clear and detailed procedures

These evacuation procedures are institutionalized in the U.S. Code, Code of Federal Regulations, and Executive Orders.

In July 1998, there was a clear and detailed Memorandum of Understanding signed between the DOD and State on evacuation coordination “of U.S. Citizens and Nationals and Designated Other Persons from Threatened areas overseas.” 

Those responsible for ignoring and blatantly violating these longstanding rules must be held fully accountable and punished.

The lives already lost, and the many more lives still in danger, are a terrible price to pay for their criminal incompetence and negligence.

The other outrage is how this widespread malpractice, possibly malicious, violated the norms of protecting Americans and their allies dating back to our nation’s founding.

James Monroe, as ambassador to France, embodied the noblest values of America’s Foreign Service. He established a lasting set of values for those representing America abroad.

When the horrors of the French Revolution swept over Marquis de Lafayette and his family, Monroe and his wife, risked their own lives to save them. This was dangerous.

Lafayette’s wife, Adrienne, had watched her grandmother, mother, and sister die on the guillotine. She languished in prison awaiting her own execution, while the Prussians imprisoned her husband.

Monroe’s wife, Elizabeth, braved mobs, and revolutionary guards, to enter the Hotel de La Force prison demanding to see Adrienne. Her display of resolve ended Adrienne’s two-year confinement.

Monroe’s Parisian apartment served as a sanctuary for American’s fleeing the Revolution, including Thomas Paine.

This timeless set of fundamental values was on full display during my tenure as U.S. Peace Corps Director in Malawi, East Africa.

As a member of the Embassy Executive Team, I was involved in evacuation simulations. We identified mustering points throughout Malawi for gathering evacuees and constantly refined ways to quickly move everyone from the official, and unofficial, American communities to safety.

We slept with walkie talkies by our beds, testing them every Wednesday morning.

Visits from NATO officials, and State Department physical security experts, guided us on improving site security and transportation options.

We all played a role in identifying and maintaining contact with Americans living and working throughout the country. These included Americans working with multi-national organizations, such as the World Bank, UNESCO, and WHO.

There was also an array of individuals and families tied to religious missions, NGOs and businesses.

My primary role was to keep the Peace Corps volunteers safe. In the mid-1980s landlines, radios and physical travel were the only means of communication.

This was supplemented by maintaining a seamless relationship with the American Embassy team and officials within the Malawi government at all levels. I visited all 28 districts, building relationships with district officials, mayors and tribal leaders.

This was intended to forge bonds so they would look out for my volunteers and other Americans scattered across the country.

There was also close coordination between the other volunteer networks from Japan, Sweden, Canada and the U.K. My tenure as chair of the Volunteer Council developed collaborative protocols for emergency communication and logistical support.

There were the volunteers themselves. A Peace Corps Volunteer Council served as an ongoing forum for improving the effectiveness and health of the volunteers. It also became an opportunity to coach its members on leadership, communication and problem-solving skills.

The most able became the informal regional leaders for supporting their colleagues in the field, and to serve as hubs for disseminating information, and possibly for mustering in an emergency.

Malawi was generally safe, but the lower third of the country was a peninsula surrounded by Mozambique. From 1977 until 1992 RENAMO, the Cuban and Soviet backed government, fought a vicious civil war with anti-Communist FRELIMO. On countless occasions, the competing forces would transit southern Malawi as a shortcut.

The obsession with safety and health permeated everything we did at the embassy and within the Peace Corps. This is what Americans should always expect from their overseas missions.

It is appalling and abhorrent that these time-honored, and legally binding responsibilities were so completely ignored in the rush to abandon Afghanistan.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

LESSONS NOT LEARNED

 

[Also published on Newsmax]

Trump’s supporters are stirring.  They are aghast at the Biden era, feeling it is based on years of lies, conspiracies, and “fake news”.

Trump’s detractors continue to stir.  They hope relentless investigations will lead to Trump in handcuffs and ultimately in jail. 

Both sides want “payback”.  The anti-Trumps want finality and an object lesson, that assures no outsider ever again gets close to draining the Swamp.  The pro-Trumpsters want to retake the Legislative Branch in 2022 and the Executive Branch in 2024. 

Trump’s “populist revolution” will only succeed if he and his supporters learn lessons from the last four years.

“Republicans hold office.  Democrats hold power.” mused Mark Steyn on a recent Fox News show.

Trump and his supporters must understand this in all its manifestations, should they ever hope to achieve their vision.

Trump failed at the very basic level of wielding power.  He ignored the maxims: “People equal policy” and “Personnel is policy”.  Adhering to these maxims allowed the Reagan revolution to eradicate the Soviet Union and its empire, while shifting America’s political center of gravity for the first time since 1932.  Adhering to these maxims allowed the Gingrich revolution to reinvent Congressional operations for the first time since 1789, while re-establishing a competitive Legislative Branch for the first time since 1932.

Reagan’s and Gingrich’s revolutions made removing their opponents their first order of business.

All Carter appointees were removed within the first weeks of Reagan taking office.  Their badges were confiscated, and their security clearances revoked.  A team went door-to-door throughout the White House and Executive Office buildings assuring every Carter person, every pro-Carter careerist, every pro-Carter detailee, and every pro-Carter contractor were marched out the door.  Careerists were reassigned, contracts were cancelled.  

At the same time teams of Reaganites took complete control of core operations within every department and agency: the Executive Secretariats and the offices of Legal Counsel, Personnel, Finance, and Procurement.  Legions of Reagan appointees instantaneously overwhelmed the Executive Branch, methodically reviewing every recent and pending action, ending and reversing those not in full accord with the Reagan agenda. This included personnel actions, training, contracts, grants, legal actions, regulations, publications, meetings, and anything else of substance.

In some agencies, such as the General Services Administration (GSA) the center of government corruption under Carter, every employee was assessed and a new agency culture, complete with new position descriptions, hiring & promotion criteria, administrative processes, and accountability systems were put in place.  Pro-Reagan whistle blowers, investigative media, and congressional oversight professionals identified those careerists who were trustworthy to build viable cores of competent loyalists deep in every nook and cranny of the Executive Branch. 

The Gingrich Revolution began the same way.  Within an hour of becoming Speaker, every top administrator and administrative assistant was fired and walked out the door. Their files were seized, their security clearances revoked.  New House rules and reform legislation eradicated forty years of “kleptocracy” that robbed public funds and furnishings from the Capitol.  A new management team completely reinvented Congressional operations propelling the 18th century work culture and processes into the 21st.

In both cases, Reagan, Gingrich, and their operational teams, had a “sense of urgency” that drove them to clear the landscape of the old guard and ways.  They had a clear vision and detailed plans. They never blinked.  They never stood still.  They never leaked.  They never tolerated disloyalty.

Unfortunately, Trump and his team did the opposite.  They were told, in detail, by Reagan and Gingrich alums, what needed to be done.  They heard but never listened or learned.

The result was Trump never having control over his Administration.  Obama holdovers ran the White House correspondence unit for the first two years.  Obama, Clinton, and Deep State operatives remained in control of everything.  Those who were terminated never had their ID badges or security clearances removed.

Trump was too trusting of Swamp dwellers.  His Transition was run by Bush and Romney operatives.  His White House was filled with RINOs.  Confidential information, even from small meetings, was leaked to the media within minutes.

 Trump’s holding back on making appointments was “penny wise but pound foolish”.  He never had overwhelming forces in any department or agency.  He never had control of core operations.  That is why his initiatives withered after he signed Executive Orders.  There was no one there to implement them. On the other hand, political holdovers and anti-Trump bureaucrats ran rampant.  They derailed pro-Trump efforts while allowing ongoing Obama/Clinton policies, personnel actions, training, contracts, grants, legal actions, regulations, publications, and meetings to continue unabated.  

Despite this, Trump hobbled regulations, made foreign policy strides, and had legislative victories. Unfortunately, they are all being reversed in the Biden era.

Imagine what Trump could have done had he learned the lessons of Reagan and Gingrich?

 

 


Thursday, June 10, 2021

THE THIN BLUE LINE

 

[Also published on Newsmax]

“Mine has a gun!”

“Mine does too!”

My wife, Vicki, and I were spread-eagled against the sides of our car.  An older white man was holding his Glock on her, a younger Black man was holding his Glock on me.

Moments earlier, I was looking at the posted menu outside a restaurant we visited years before.  Vicki had dropped me at their front door while she drove to the parking area behind the restaurant.  Then things began to happen.

Vicki roared out of the alley, slammed on the breaks, and screamed, “get in!”

I jumped in and we quickly drove off.

“Something bad is happening back there”, gasped Vicki, “guys were on the ground.  Others had guns.”

Two blocks later, an unmarked police car was speeding up from behind us with lights flashing.  We saw a strip mall on our right and pulled in.

The two men jumped out of their car and, with guns drawn, stood on each side of our car and shouted for us to get out, turn around, and put our hands on the roof.

We complied.

After checking our IDs they holstered their weapons and apologized. 

The older man was FBI, and the younger a policeman.  They explained they were part of a drug taskforce that was arresting people from inside the restaurant, which they claimed was a drug trafficking hub.  Our car matched the description of one of the drug dealer vehicles.

They apologized again and wished us a pleasant evening. We cautiously continued home, waiting for our adrenaline levels to return to normal.

We had become a statistic – “an unjust police stop”.

Police interactions have become the lightning rod for the Left’s assault on law & order. It is now commonplace for the media, activists, and politicians to showcase incidents of police shootings. Breaking news occurs when victims are unarmed criminals, or the rare instances of unarmed non-criminals, being killed, wounded, or just “harassed”.

Even though the number of police shootings are down, and police being shot are up, interactions that end badly are being promoted as evidence of America being a fundamentally racist unjust society.

Problematic Police interactions are positioned to justify teaching Critical Race Theory, 1619, White Privilege, Systematic Racism, Institutional Racism, Conscious Inclusion, and Unconscious Bias in classrooms and work settings.  It has ushered in changing terms from “Equality” to “Equity”.  It is the driving force behind “defunding the police” and “reimagining law enforcement”.

Police pull over about 20 million drivers across the United States each year, according to Stanford University.  Various studies try to prove racial bias, and profiling, lead to “unjust police stops” and escalation to violence against “people of color”.

Newsweek recently reported there is “significant data showing” that the U.S. is plagued by “systemic racism.” Their evidence is the “NAACP found that from 2017 to 2020, Black men were five times more likely than white people to be stopped by law enforcement without a valid reason.”

However, the Left’s facts, do not match the real facts.


A 2016 study in the Journal of Social Issues shows:

  • “Latina/os comprised 42.2% of the sample and 41.9% of Latina/os reported being stopped.”
  • “Black or African Americans comprised 24.7% of the sample [and] 25.8% reported being stopped.”
  • “Whites comprised 20.2% of the sample and 22.6% were stopped.” 

The Manhattan Institute recently reported:

“In 2018 there were 7,407 black homicide victims. Assuming a comparable number of victims last year, those nine unarmed black victims of police shootings represent 0.1% of all African-Americans killed in 2019. By contrast, a police officer is 18½ times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer.”

Justice Quarterly reported on a New Jersey study finding that while black drivers were more likely to be pulled over than white drivers, “police stop rates matched very closely the rates at which drivers” of different races “exceeded the speed limit by 15 mph.”

Dueling studies and statistics miss the real factor. 

The major factor in preventing “unjust police stops” from escalating is what Vicki and I did during ours – we complied.

Imagine if we had sped up instead of pulling over.  Imagine if we had refused to get out of our car.  Imagine if we had assaulted the plain clothes officers.  We would have become a very different statistic, no matter our race or gender.

There is a legitimate role for law enforcement in any society.  It is a risky, thankless, and stressful task. 

We should honor those who wake-up every day to assure our peace and security.


Thursday, March 18, 2021

America Opposes Britain's Power Grab - Taxation

 

[Part of the 90 Day Study: Our Lives, Our Fortunes & Our Sacred Honor – 

Exploring the Declaration of Independence]

90-Day Study Essay Schedule 2021 – Constituting America

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE: Grievance Number 10.   “He has erected a multitude of New Offices and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance”.

Grievance Ten in the Declaration of Independence focuses on the most visible aspect of “taxation without representation”, which was foundational to the American Revolution.

England was deep in debt after prevailing in the first worldwide war of the modern era.  The Seven Years War (1756-1763) engaged all European countries, big and small, in a struggle for territorial and political dominance of the European Continent.  It rapidly spread to battling over control of colonies and trade routes throughout Africa, Asia, the Americas, and the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. 

What was known as the “French and Indian War” in North America was just a small part of this larger world war.

After the British victory, British Prime Minister, Lord Grenville (1763-1765), desperately sought ways to pay off the crippling war debt.  Grenville choose to ignore the fact that American colonists paid, fought, and died to defeat France in North America.  Instead, he promoted the concept that the beneficiaries of the war (American colonists) should pay for it. He also asserted that American colonists should pay for retaining twenty battalions of British soldiers that remained to pacify the people conquered in the former French territories.

Grenville’s first step was to enforce existing customs duties.  Many British Customs officials managed collections through intermediaries while remaining in England.  Grenville forced them to relocate to America as part of his general crack down on smuggling, lax enforcement, and spotty revenue collection. Expanded numbers of Customs Officers became more aggressive in using search warrants, called "writs of assistance", to track down smuggled goods. Warehouses were seized and ships were captured to bolster Royal revenue collection.  Royal Customs officials became a permanent and pervasive presence in Colonial seaports along the Atlantic coast.

Benjamin Franklin cautioned that “what England gained from taxes would be lost in trade”.   A post-War economic recession proved him prophetic.

The shortfall in Customs revenue led to the Stamp Act of 1765, the first internal tax levied directly on American colonists by the British Parliament. Prior to the Stamp Act taxes were only levied by local government through their elected officials.  Now a government, 3,500 miles away, was asserting control, without the knowledge, approval, or oversight of the colonists.

The Stamp Act imposed a tax on all paper documents in the colonies.  This included legal documents, playing cards, newspapers, and land titles. Stamps had to be purchased with British sterling, rather than local paper currency, causing additional economic hardship. Proof of payment required affixing a Royal Stamp on documents, thus the name.

The February 1765 Parliament debate on the Stamp Tax reveals the growing chasm between King George III and his proponents versus the American Colonists:

Prime Minister Grenville:

"and now will these Americans, children planted by our care, nourished up by our indulgence until they are grown to a degree of strength and opulence, and protected by our arms, will they grudge to contribute their mite to relieve us from heavy weight of the burden which we lie under?"

 

Colonel Isaac Barré [Member of Parliament and friend of Benjamin Franklin] responded:

“They planted by your care? No! Your oppression planted ‘em in America. They fled from your tyranny to a then uncultivated and unhospitable country where they exposed themselves to almost all the hardships to which human nature is liable…

 

“They nourished by your indulgence? They grew by your neglect of ‘em. As soon as you began to care about ‘em, that care was exercised in sending persons to rule over 'em, in one department and another, who were perhaps the deputies of deputies to some member of this house, sent to spy out their liberty, to misrepresent their actions and to prey upon 'em; men whose behavior on many occasions has caused the blood of those sons of liberty to recoil within them....

 

“They protected by your arms? They have nobly taken up arms in your defense, have exerted a valor amidst their constant and laborious industry for the defense of a country whose frontier while drenched in blood, its interior parts have yielded all its little savings to your emolument .... The people I believe are as truly loyal as any subjects the King has, but a people jealous of their liberties, and who will vindicate them if ever they should be violated."

 

BarrĂ©’s reference to the “sons of liberty” became the moniker for the Boston Patriots for years to come.

 

Parliament passed the Stamp Act on March 22, 1765.  Hundreds of Royal commissioned “Stamp Agents” arrived in major towns across the American colonies.  They were met with riots and attacks.  In October 1765, representatives from nine of the colonies met at the City Hall in New York City to coordinate opposition, a forerunner to the Continental Congresses. In the face of mounting opposition, and concerns for the safety of Royal Tax officials, the Parliament repealed the Stamp Act on February 22, 1766.

 

While seeming to address colonial concerns, Parliament linked repealing the Stamp Act to passage of the Declaratory Act.  This Act affirmed Parliament’s authority to pass any colonial legislation it saw fit, without input, notice, or representation. The Declaratory Act galvanized colonial concerns about “taxation without representation”, first raised with the Stamp Act.

 

Charles Townshend (August 1766-September 1767) became Prime Minister and developed additional imperatives for taxing the Colonies.  It was no longer just about paying war debt, it was about consolidating Imperial power. 

 

Raising taxes, and trade-based duties and fees, would provide enough money for the British Crown to “reimagine” colonial administration by directly paying Colonial Governors, Judges, and other senior officials.  American-based officials would now owe their livelihood directly to King George III instead of the colonists and colonial assemblies.  By “liberating” royal officials from their financial dependence on American legislatures, Townshend hoped to eliminate the most tangible obstacle preventing regular enforcement of parliamentary laws and royal directives.

 

Higher revenue from the American colonies were also to provide enough funds for Townsend to reduce the British Land Tax, consolidating his Party’s support in future elections.

The “Townshend Acts” created new taxes on numerous consumer goods.  The Acts authorized and funded the hiring of the much referenced, “multitude of New Offices and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.”  Legions of Royal tax collectors and Customs Officers arrived from England to establish new or expanded operations in every major colonial trading center. 

Townshend died before his initiatives swept through the colonies.  Widespread opposition and protests led to the repeal most taxes in April 1770.  The controversial tax on tea remained.

The Tea Tax, and the “swarms of Officers”, remained daily reminders of oppression by unaccountable Royal officials.  Arthur Lee, serving as an observer for Massachusetts before the British Parliament, mused whether any Member of Parliament actually, "know us, or we him? No! Is he bound in duty and interest to preserve our liberty and property? No! Is he acquainted with our circumstances, situation, wants, etc.? No! What then are we to expect from him? Nothing but taxes without end!"

The ever expanding and intrusive presence of tax collectors and customs officers merited several mentions in the “Petition to the King” as part of the documents issued by the First Continental Congress in 1774, and became Grievance Ten in the Declaration of Independence in 1776.


Monday, March 15, 2021

America Opposes Britain’s Power Grab – Immigration

 

[Part of the 90 Day Study: Our Lives, Our Fortunes & Our Sacred Honor – 

Exploring the Declaration of Independence]

90-Day Study Essay Schedule 2021 – Constituting America

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE: Grievance Number 7.  "He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands."

In December 1773, King George III (reigned 1760-1820) suspended the “Plantation” or “Immigration” Act of 1740.  His intent was to strike at the heart of the economic engine fueling economic independence among the American colonies.  His other goal was to extinguish momentum for independent thought and religious expression.  These actions formed the basis for Grievance Seven in the Declaration of Independence.

George II (reigned 1727-1760) was the last foreign-born King of England.  He supported expansive and permissive immigration to the American Colonies.  In his world view, expanding population among the colonies generated demand for British goods.  Skilled immigrants would increase the productivity and profitability of colonial agriculture, bringing healthy returns among Royal Charter holders and their investors.

Just as important, the attraction of America as a land of opportunity and tolerance served as a “safety valve” for removing “free thinking” or “noncomformist” Protestants, and restive Scots and Irish, from the “home country” through legally approved immigration.  Church of England supporters and Royalists were more than happy to be rid of them after nearly 200 years of strife.

England also benefited from helping oppressed minorities, such as the Huguenots (French Protestants), leave Europe.  It allowed England to gain the “moral high ground” in the geopolitical power struggles of the time. Bringing Scandinavian and German peoples to America forged important alliances while enriching the economic and cultural mix of the Colonies.

On June 1, 1740, the “Plantation” or “Immigration” Act of 1740 went into effect to streamline immigration and naturalization.  It allowed any Protestant alien residing in any of their American colonies for seven years, without being absent from that colony for more than two months, to be deemed "his Majesty’s natural-born subjects of this Kingdom."  Over the course of several years, individual Colonies began to directly administer immigration and citizenship.  Many colonies, led by Pennsylvania, expanded coverage to include Catholics and Jews.

Benjamin Franklin was an eloquent supporter of immigration:

Strangers are welcome because there is room enough for them all, and therefore the old Inhabitants are not jealous of them; the Laws protect them sufficiently so that they have no need of the Patronage of great Men; and everyone will enjoy securely the Profits of his Industry…

"These new settlers to America create a growing demand for our merchandise, to the greater employment of our manufacturers...

 Multitudes of poor People from England, Ireland, Scotland and Germany, have by this means in a few Years become wealthy Farmers.  They create a continual demand for more Artisans of all the necessary and useful kinds, to supply those cultivators of the earth with houses, and with furniture & utensils of the grosser sorts which cannot so well be brought from Europe. Tolerably good Workmen in any of those mechanic arts, are sure to find employ, and to be well paid for their work, there being no restraints preventing strangers from exercising any art they understand, nor any permission necessary.”

 These free-wheeling immigration and citizenship policies came to an abrupt end when George III became King.

 The King’s Advisors raised concerns that non-English immigrants had little connection or loyalty to the “Mother Country” or its ruler.  In this world view, the expanding and diversifying colonial population was creating an independent challenge to the economic and political power of England.

 King George sent secret agents to America to assess the condition and “state-of-mind” of the colonists. “A large influx of liberty-loving German emigrants was observed, and the King was advised to discourage these immigrations”.

 Based upon these reports and recommendations, George III began to delay and obstruct new migration from England and other parts of Europe. In his Royal Proclamation of 1763, he prevented settlement west of the Appalachians, hoping to limit further agricultural growth. This angered those wanting to settle in the west, and ignited opposition from those with significant investments in western real estate.

 King George, and his Prime Minister, Lord North, took additional actions to end immigration, naturalization, and expansion of the Colonial economy.  In December 1773, they forbid Colonial naturalization of aliens, under any conditions.  A ban on royal land grants was finalized in February 1774.

 England’s far reaching assault on colonial naturalization laws and suspending the “Plantation Act” was considered intolerable, and therefore, was included in the grievances listed in the Declaration of Independence

Fourteen years later, the “Plantation Act of 1740" would be the model for the “Naturalization Act of 1790”, the first immigration policy of the new nation.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

America Opposes Britain’s Power Grab – Right to Assembly

 

[Part of the 90 Day Study: Our Lives, Our Fortunes & Our Sacred Honor – 

Exploring the Declaration of Independence]

90-Day Study Essay Schedule 2021 – Constituting America

Declaration of Independence: Grievance Number 4. “He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.”

Public meetings and public records have been fundamental to representative government since its inception.  They are the basis for resolving differences, forging agreements, and holding public officials accountable.  They are integral to a free society.

It is not surprising that the British Crown’s assault on these fundamentals is among the top Grievances listed in the Declaration of Independence.

The escalating protests over onerous and draconian British Colonial policies and taxes crested with the “Boston Tea Party” on December 16, 1773.  Sons of Liberty activists dumped over a million dollars (in 21st Century value) of tea into Boston Harbor.

Lord North, the British Prime Minister (1770-1790), retaliated with harsh measures to suppress dissent and disrupt the culture of self-government, which he viewed as the root cause of the chaos. 

On May 2, 1774, North declared Massachusetts was "in a distempered state of disturbance and opposition to the laws of the mother country."

On May 20, 1774, Parliament passed the Massachusetts Government Act, which nullified the Massachusetts Charter of 1691. Under the Act, Royal Governor Thomas Gage dissolved the Massachusetts provincial assembly.  He then required them to meet in Salem, citing Boston as “unsafe”.  

The move to Salem had the intended effect of forcing Massachusetts’ legislators to travel and find food and lodging in a small town of 1,600 instead of among the 16,000 population of Boston.  The infrastructure for supporting legislative operations were nonexistent (stenographers, printers, legal offices, media, and messengers).  

Worse, there was no provision for moving any of the colony’s official records to Salem.  Any research or reference entailed a day’s travel each way from Salem to Boston and back again.  It achieved the British goal of “fatiguing them [legislators] into compliance with his measures”.

Similar actions were taken against the elected assemblies in Virginia and North Carolina.   North Carolina’s legislature was forced from their colonial capital of Brunswick to meet in New Bern.  In Virginia, Royal Governor, Lord Dunmore, dissolved the House of Burgesses and refused to call them back into session.  In defiance of the Governor, the colonial representatives reconvened at the Raleigh Tavern in Williamsburg.  Patrick Henry’s famous “Give me liberty, or give me death!” speech was presented during another banned session held at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Richmond (March 23, 1775).

The dislocation and dissolution of these Colonial Legislatures led to the same disruption and “discomfort” experienced by Massachusetts’ elected representatives. The goal of punishing opposition and suppressing dissent was achieved by forcing elected officials into “places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records”.  It certainly interfered with the colony's public business and prevented officials from "access to information necessary to conduct it". Eventually, all Colonial Governors dissolved their legislatures.  

The British Parliament also moved to eradicate local town meetings because, “a great abuse has been made of the power of calling them, and the inhabitants have, contrary to the design of their institution, been used to treat upon matters of the most general concerns, and to pass dangerous and unwarrantable resolves.”  Ongoing local meetings were replaced by annual meetings only called with the Colonial Governor’s permission, or not at all.

A series of five punitive acts were passed by Parliament intended to restrict public discourse and punish opponents.  It was England’s hope the “Intolerable Acts” would intimidate rebellious Colonists into submission. The “Acts” ignited a firestorm of outrage throughout Colonial America.  More importantly, it generated a unity of purpose and inspired a willingness for collective action among leaders in the previously fragmented American colonies.

The First Continental Congress met in the Carpenters Hall in Philadelphia from September 5-October 26, 1774. All colonies, except Georgia, were represented.  They issued the “Declaration of Rights and Grievances” which established a philosophy of government, and list of contentious issues, that would be echoed in the Declaration of Independence less than two years later.

The delegates created the “Continental Association”, which invoked non-importation, non-consumption of British goods, and non-exportation of American goods to England until the “Intolerable Acts” were rescinded.

King George and Lord North responded with a major show of force in Boston.  As British troops became increasingly visible on the city’s streets, Governor Gage created a network of informants to identify and arrest dissidents. 

Alerted to weapons being stockpiled in Lexington, Gage launched the fateful sortie that led to the “shot heard around the world”.