Wednesday, January 10, 2024



[Published on Newsmax 

SOTU Would Only Let Biden Trumpet His Hollow 'Accomplishments' |]

Republicans should uninvite President Biden giving his State of the Union Address in the House Chamber.

Republicans can use this historic opportunity to draw attention to everything President Biden is doing to America. They know they will not convict Biden, or any of his Cabinet, using Impeachment.

Instead, Republicans can, in one master stroke, sanction Biden and realign the balance between the Legislative and Executive Branches.

There is no official reason for the speech.

There is not a requirement for it to be annual.

Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution only requires the President to “from time to time give to the Congress information of the State of the Union”.

There is no requirement for Congress granting the President the use of their Chamber for this ritualized taxpayer-funded infomercial.

Republicans would prove that the Congress is a co-equal branch, not subservient to the President. They would not be seen as a pack of trained seals clapping at dozens of cheap applause lines. They would not be the stage for ritualizing Biden's trumpeting hollow accomplishments and demonizing Republican opposition.

They would also avoid being put in awkward political binds as the President introduces controversial people seated next to the First lady, daring the Republicans not to applaud. Speaker Johnson would not have to maintain his dignity as Biden promotes the destruction of everything he holds dear.

Not inviting the President also brings the State of the Union back to its traditional position in American government.

President George Washington delivered the first State of the Union speech in person before a Joint Session of Congress on January 8, 1790. Since then, there have been 232 opportunities for Presidents to deliver their report before Congress. Presidents have delivered their report as a speech before a Joint Session of Congress only 108 times (46%).

The other 125 times were through written communication.

George Washington and John Adams delivered their State of the Union reports as speeches, but Thomas Jefferson was more comfortable with the written word. For 113 years, no other President delivered a State of the Union speech before Congress until Democrat Woodrow Wilson on December 2, 1913. This was part of Wilson’s elevating himself to new regal heights.

President Warren Harding continued this new practice. President Calvin Coolidge delivered his first and only State of the Union address on December 6, 1923, then went silent.

For ten years, Congress did not have to arrange a Joint Session for the State of the Union Address. Then Democrat Franklin Roosevelt asked for the forum in 1934. In 1946, President Harry Truman opted out of a formal speech because, during the previous nine months, he had spoken to five Joint Sessions of Congress relating to the end of World War II. In 1956, President Eisenhower opted out of the speech because he was still recovering from his September 24,1955 heart attack.

No one really missed the Presidential vanity hour. Twenty-six Presidents, including two of America’s greatest Presidential orators, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, choose not to speak to the Congress. Congress still operated. Legislative business proceeded. America survived.

Presidents issue a detailed Budget Message a few weeks after the State of the Union Report. This is a more tangible and actionable communication of the Administration’s priorities. Far more budget initiatives become reality than the dozens of empty promises made during a typical State of the Union address.

Americans have grown tired of this annual narcissistic charade.  President Bill Clinton’s first State of the Union Speech (SOTUS) was watched by a record 70 million.  The television audience for Biden’s 2023 SOTUS was only 27.3 million.

Congressional Republicans can reprimand Biden while reinventing government in the 21st Century. 

Let the President speak from the Oval Office and send a written version to Congress - that would more than meet the Constitutional requirement.

Sunday, December 24, 2023



[Published in Trump’s blind spot - The Sunday Guardian Live]

Republicans are rejoicing that Donald Trump says he has learned lessons from his first term and will unleash a full-scale assault on big government and the Deep State.  Democrats are raising alarms that Trump will exceed his powers to wreak vengeance and settle personal scores.  Trump’s recent musing about being a “one-day dictator” inflamed his critics and enraptured his supporters.

They will all be disappointed.

President Trump completely failed at personnel.  He never grasped the concept that “people are policy”. Unfortunately, Trump and his transition planners are already ignoring this maxim and heading for disaster.

Many of the people being discussed for Trump’s second term were ineffective in the first. Learning from one’s mistakes is a key to successful leadership.  It is not happening.

Trump and his Second-Term planners continually refuse to look to the Reagan Transition (1980-81) for inspiration and its leaders for advice.  The Reagan Transition is considered the best planned and executed transition in history.  Even liberal historians admit this. Its success was based on ideological alignment of all participants and a clear plan for how Reagan’s Revolution would become an operational reality. 

During the 2016 campaign and transition, Trump and his advisors repeatedly ignored those who led the Reagan transition.  Eventually, some of these experienced “Reaganites’ were allowed into his transition, but in minor roles.  Their detailed reports and recommendations were tossed aside.

Instead, Trump relied on former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus.  Trump felt he had to reward them for defending him at critical points in the 2016 Presidential Campaign.  However, they filled his transition and White House with their friends drawn from Bush, McCain, and Romney political circles.  These Christie/Priebus cronies never respected Trump or supported his populist, “America First” policies.  They went onto to undermine Trump at every turn.

Trump was his own worst enemy.  He shut out potential allies among the Reaganites and welcomed anti-Trump activists.  He compounded his mistakes by not filling key positions, thinking this crippled the bureaucracy.  Instead, it empowered the Deep State players, as no one was monitoring them.

The result was Trump never achieving operational control of the Executive Branch.  Obama holdovers remained astride key functions. “Washington Swamp” operatives pursued their own agendas.  Disloyal appointees, even among his senior staff, leaked sensitive information and ingratiated themselves with the opposition media.

There were attempts during Trump’s final year in office to correct these strategic mistakes.  They failed.  Biden was handed the gift of leftist programs, policies, projects, hires, and contracts that were started while Trump was still in office.  Trump’s last wave of loyalists was blindsided because there were too few placed in the wrong places.

Except for judicial appointments, Trump’s legacy was swept away.  America, and the world, are suffering the consequences.

The opportunity to bring fundamental, and lasting, change to the Executive Branch during Trump’s second term is already slipping away.

Planning for the next Republican Administration is fragmented among five competing organizations: The Heritage Foundation, the Center for Renewing America (CRA), Conservative Partnership Institute (CPI), Personnel Policy Organization (PPO), and the America First Policy Initiative (AFPI).

Besides duplicating effort, these five entities are competing with each other to raise millions of dollars to finance their operations.  They conveniently ignore that volunteers prepared for the 1980 Reagan Revolution and that the Reagan Transition’s federal support was supplemented by only $2 million in private funds from his “Kitchen Cabinet”.

The Trump Transition money chase has led to leaking detailed plans to the media. News outlets have published insider accounts of private meetings and decisions. The transition planning groups hope donors will be impressed with their proposed actions and write big checks. It is like General Eisenhower leaking plans for the Normandy Invasion to promote WWII War Bonds.

Leaking details may inspire donors, but it allows opponents to develop counter measures. It violates timeless wisdom, “boast when coming from battle, not going to it”.

They are ignoring a fundamental truism: change occurs because there is a mandate.  These competing organizations, along with Republicans everywhere, need to be making the case for their revolution.  Otherwise, they may not gain traction for their plans, and even lose the 2024 election.

Trump’s key strategy is to remove merit system protections for thousands of career government employees.  His advisors dismiss the fact that this could be derailed by Congress (if in Democrat hands) and the courts.  However, retroactively removing protections is probably unconstitutional.

Trump likes “blunt instruments” to get his way.  Reagan’s appointees “sweated the details” to establish complete control of the Executive Branch.  His appointees, and their political staff, thoroughly studied each agency and methodically implemented substantive and sustainable change.

Establishing a compelling mandate for change, and effectively implementing it, can be summarized by the “SARS” strategy: Stop; Abolish; Reverse; Streamline.

Every day, until the election, a vivid case must be made to:

-       Stop Biden’s Leftist assault on America. Detailed lists of executive orders, policy memos, budget plans, regulations, court cases, hires and contracts must be compiled and exposed.  Every agency and program must be searched.

-       Abolish every entity and program started by Biden and Obama.  We must roll back big government back to at least 2009.

-       Reverse Biden/Obama decisions, especially personnel.  Most Americans don’t realize there are countless advisory boards within each department and agency that shape policy.  Their members are selected by agency heads not the President. Reagan established a special unit to select loyalists for these panels.

-       Streamline the Executive Branch. Republicans should cite hundreds of reports generated by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the 74 Inspectors General among Departments and agencies. Each one exposes waste, fraud, and abuse, which can guide revolutionary change.

These “SARS” actions are opportunities to educate and motivate voters to elect a Republican President, Senate, and House in 2024.  Ignoring them places America’s future in jeopardy.

Scot Faulkner served as Chief Administrative Officer of the U.S. House of Representatives. He was Director of Personnel for the 1980 Reagan Campaign, served on the Presidential Transition team, and on Reagan’s White House Staff.  He currently advises corporations on strategic change.



Wednesday, November 29, 2023



[Published on Newsmax. 2024 Wakeup Call |]

Republicans are euphoric about Biden’s slump in the polls.  They must realize that their path to victory on November 5, 2024, is not assured.

Biden’s latest poll numbers are terrible, but not historic. They pale in comparison with other Presidential low points: Nixon (23%), Carter (28%), Bush 41 (29%), Bush 43 (19%), Trump (29%). A large plurality of the electorate remains loyal even with everything falling apart.

The 2023 elections should be a wake-up call.

Once again, Republicans under performed.  They lost both houses of the Virginia Legislature.  The parental revolt went nowhere.  Conservative, pro-parent Schools Board candidates made little headway.  No change in Loudoun County, the epicenter of the parents’ revolt.  A pick-up of one in Prince William County. A complete shut-out in Fairfax County.

Loudoun County’s Leftist Commonwealth Attorney, Buta Biberaj, was defeated, but only by 300 votes. Amazing given everything that was exposed about her ideological reign.

Across America, voters ignored parent rights candidates.  This raises the question as to whether Youngkin’s 2021 narrow upset victory over Terry McAuliffe had more to do with the Democrat ignoring calls to step aside and letting two African-American women compete for the Governorship.

The lessons of 2020, 2022, and now 2023 need to be understood if Republicans have any chance of retaking the White House and Senate, while maintaining their razor-thin majority in the House.

Money is one factor.  Republicans were out-raised and outspent.  While some candidates can overcome the money deficit with tireless door-to-door campaigning and imaginative social media, money remains a major determiner of success.

The biggest issue is abortion. 

Fear drives votes.  When fear goes away so does the fervor.  The Dobbs Decision turned fear for the unborn turned into fear for those seeking an abortion.  Republican turnout faded as Democrat turnout soared. 

Something similar happened after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Legions of “Cold War” conservatives and “Captive Nations” activists declared victory and retired.  They won the war, but few remained to win the peace.  The Balkan wars and rise of Putin are just some of the results of those leaving the battle.

The same thing is happening in the wake of the Dobbs decision.

Justice Samuel Alito’s brilliant ruling should have ushered in conservative ascendancy. Unfortunately, pro-life activists bungled their messaging.  Even with a two-month head start from the leaked opinion, Republicans and their pro-life allies ceded the initiative to pro-abortion forces.

Fear became the message.  Leftist media and candidates declared Republicans would make the fictional totalitarian story of the “Handmaid’s Tale” a reality.

In Virginia, Democrats poured nearly $17 million on abortion-focused ads, warning that if Governor Youngkin won legislative majorities he would “ban” abortion. Republicans spent less than $2 million in counter ads.

Republicans undermined their cause.  Alito built a constitutional firewall around his decision.  He countered the dissenters by explicitly asserting Dobbs only applied to abortion not other rights. He established the threshold for reviewing future state abortion laws, “abortion is not a fundamental right, the lowest standard of review must apply to abortion laws, under which the laws must be sustained if they rationally relate to a legitimate state interest”. 

Unfortunately, Alito’s firewall vanished before the decision was officially released.  In his concurrence, Justice Clarance Thomas opened the door for challenging other rights granted under “substantive due process”, including contraception, gay marriage, and private sexual acts. 

Republicans in Congress introduced national abortion bills, completely misreading Alito’s decision.  Republican Governors and legislators pushed for severe abortion restrictions and hinted at pursuing Thomas’ concept of eradicating other “rights”.

This messaging disaster was a windfall for Democrats.  They will build on their 2022 and 2023 success by amplifying the “Handmaid’s Tale” theme in 2024.

Democrats are shaping the Republican apocalypse: Trump is a crook, Trump is dangerous, January 6 must be avenged, Republicans are racists, Republicans are coming for all your rights.

Republicans must fight back.  They will not get a perp walk for the Biden family, they will not get a Senate conviction if they impeach Alejandro Mayorkas or Joe Biden. 

Republicans need something huge to breakthrough the Left’s media wall.  While Fox News programs beat the competition one-on-one, the Left drowns it out 8-1 for total television news audience.  The Left’s margin among major print media is worse.  Biden corruption, crime stories, and economic woes are not even covered by most media outlets. 

Republicans confronting hate may trump Democrats promoting fear.  A few Democrats broke ranks on Rashida Tlaib’s pro-terrorist remarks.  Donors to some colleges and universities pulled their funds to protest religion-based assaults. 

Reacting to the Democrat’s reality is a recipe for failure.

Republicans must shape a resonant reality to gain victory in 2024. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2023



In March 1980, President Ronald Reagan asked Jerry Carmen to lead the General Services Administration (the GSA).

At the time the GSA was the Federal Government’s most corrupt and wasteful agency. 

Jerry’s mission, direct from President Reagan, was to clean-up the GSA or shut it down. 

Three years later the GSA had dropped from 36,000 employees to 12,000, thanks to the most thorough hiring freeze instituted under Reagan.

The GSA’s duplicative offices and obsolete operations were gone.

In its place was the best run Federal Agency in 1984. 

Jerry saved tens of billions of taxpayer dollars.

This is how bad it got. 

An employee cabal orchestrated an insider contract scam to renovate the 8th Floor Utility Rooms at the GSA Headquarters Building.

It wasn’t until they requested a contract extension that people remembered the GSA Headquarters only had seven floors.

Jerry created a secure “war room” where we placed the entire GSA organization on its walls.

We then rolled plastic sheets over the personnel charts.  Using grease pencils, we “x-ed” out offices and operations that were flagged by Inspector General Reports and Whistle Blowers, marking them for extinction.  

Once personnel actions were recorded, we erased the notations.

When Leftist Congresswoman, Pat Schroeder, demanded our work files we were able to honestly say there were none.

Jerry was “laser focused” on his mission.

A Union official met with Jerry to protest the hiring freeze.

A few minutes into the meeting, Jerry picked up the bowl of Jelly Belly candy on his desk and began picking out and eating the red ones.

The Union official noticed this and commented, “You really like those red ones.  What makes them so special?”

Jerry answered, “The meeting is over when the red ones are gone”.

Jerry’s main achievement was creating a business-based culture grounded in honesty and integrity.

The Director of the Springfield Supply Depot called Jerry declaring that he needed to buy 12 additional forklifts to meet the new work deadlines.

Jerry immediately drove himself to the Depot.  He rushed past the guards and raced through the warehouse counting twenty idle forklifts. 

The Director was immediately removed from his position and fired within the week.

Jerry embodied the commitment to excellence, the courage of convictions, and the bravery of a true leader. 

Jerry’s accomplishments, and how he accomplished them, will inspire generations to come.

Sunday, November 5, 2023



[Published in the Sunday Guardian of India - 

The day that changed the Middle East - The Sunday Guardian Live]

November 4, 2023, marks the 44th anniversary of the Iranian Hostage Crisis.

It is a pivotal event along the path of Iran becoming the world’s primary supporter of Islamic terrorism. For 444 days, 52 Americans were imprisoned in brutal conditions.  

The story of how Iran went from a reliable pro-West ally to the center of Fundamentalist Islamic Terror begins with President Jimmy Carter, and his administration’s, involvement in the Iranian Revolution.

Islam’s three major sects, Sunni, Shiite, and Sufi, all harbor the seeds of violence and hatred.  In 1881 a Sufi mystic ignited the Mahdi Revolt in the Sudan leading to eighteen years of death and misery throughout the upper Nile.  During World War II, the Sunni Grand Mufti of Jerusalem befriended Hitler and helped Heinrich Himmler form Islamic Stormtrooper units to kill Jews in the Balkans.

After World War II, Islam secularized as mainstream leaders embraced Western economic interests to tap their vast oil and gas reserves.  Activists became embroiled in the Middle East’s Cold War chess board, aiding U.S., or Soviet, interests.

The Iranian Revolution changed that.  Through the success of the Iranian Revolution, Islamic extremists of all sects embraced the words of Shiite Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini:

“If the form of government willed by Islam were to come into being, none of the governments now existing in the world would be able to resist it; they would all capitulate.”

Islamic dominance became an end in and of itself. 

This did not have to happen.

Iran was a pivotal regional player for 2,500 years.  The Persian Empire was the bane of ancient Greece.  As the Greek Empire withered, Persia, later Iran, remained a political, economic, and cultural force. This is why their 1979 Revolution and subsequent confrontation with the U.S. inspired radicals throughout the Islamic world to become the Taliban, ISIS, Hamas, and others.

Iran’s modern history began as part of the East-West conflict following World War II.  The Soviets heavily influenced and manipulated Iran’s first elected government.  On August 19, 1953, British and America intelligence toppled that government and returned Shah Modammad Reza to power.

“The Shah” as he became known globally, was reform minded.  He launched his “White Revolution” to build a modern, pro-West, pro-capitalist Iran in 1963.  The Shah’s “Revolution” built the region’s largest middle class, and broke centuries of tradition by enfranchising women.  

The Shah was opposed by many traditional powers, including fundamentalist Islamic leaders like the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.  Khomeini’s agitation for violent opposition to the Shah’s reforms led to his arrest and exile.

Throughout his reign, the Shah was vexed by radical Islamic and communist agitation. His secret police brutally suppressed fringe dissidents.  This balancing act between western reforms and control worked well, with a trend towards more reforms as the Shah aged.  The Shah enjoyed warm relationships with American Presidents of both parties and was rewarded with lavish military aid.

That changed in 1977.

From the beginning, the Carter Administration expressed disdain for the Shah.  President Carter pressed for the release of political prisoners. The Shah complied, allowing many Islamic radicals the freedom to openly oppose him.

Not satisfied with the pace or breadth of the Shah’s reforms, Carter envoys began a dialogue with the Ayatollah Khomeini, first at his home in Iraq and more intensely when he moved to a Paris suburb.

Indications that the U.S. was souring on the Shah emboldened dissidents across the political spectrum to confront the regime.  Demonstrations, riots, and general strikes began to destabilize the Shah and his government.  In response, the Shah accelerated reforms.  This was viewed as weakness by the opposition.

The Western media, especially the BBC, began to promote the Ayatollah as a moderate alternative to the Shah’s “brutal regime”. The Ayatollah assured U.S. intelligence operatives and State Department officials that he would only be the “figure head” for a western parliamentary system. 

During the fall of 1978, strikes and demonstrations paralyzed the country. The Carter Administration, led by Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and U.S. Ambassador to Iran William Sullivan, coalesced around abandoning the Shah and helping install Khomeini, who they viewed as a “moderate clergyman” who would be Iran’s “Ghandi-like” spiritual leader.

Time and political capital ran out. On January 16, 1979, the Shah, after arranging for an interim government, resigned and went into exile.

The balance of power shifted to the Iranian Military. 

While the Shah was preparing for his departure, General Robert Huyser, Deputy Commander of NATO, and his top aides, arrived in Iran.  They were under Carter’s orders to neutralize the military leaders.  Using ties of friendship, promises of aid, and assurance of safety, Huyser and his team convinced the Iranian commanders to allow the transitional government to finalize arrangements for Khomeini becoming part of the new government.  

Subsequently, many of these Iranian military leaders, and their families, were slaughtered. Khomeini and his Islamic Republican Guard toppled the transitional government and seized power during the Spring of 1979.  “It was a most despicable act of treachery, for which I will always be ashamed” admitted one NATO general years later.

The radicalization of Iran occurred at lightning speed.  Khomeini and his lieutenants remade Iran’s government and society into a totalitarian fundamentalist Islamic state.  Anyone who opposed their Islamic Revolution were driven into exile, imprisoned, or killed. 

Khomeini’s earlier assurances of moderation and working with the West vanished.  Radicalized mobs turned their attention to eradicating all vestiges of the West.  This included the U.S. Embassy.

The first attack on the U.S. Embassy occurred on the morning of February 14, 1979.  Coincidently, this was the same day that Adolph Dubs, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, was kidnapped and fatally shot by Muslim extremists in Kabul.  In Tehran, Ambassador Sullivan surrendered the U.S. Embassy and was able to resolve the occupation within hours through negotiations with the Iranian Foreign Minister.

Despite this attack, and the bloodshed in Kabul, nothing was done to either close the Tehran Embassy, reduce personnel, or strengthen its defenses.  During the takeover, Embassy personnel failed to burn sensitive documents as their furnaces malfunctioned.  They installed cheaper paper shredders.  During the 444-day occupation, rug weavers were employed to reconstruct the sensitive shredded documents, creating global embarrassment of America.

Starting in September 1979, radical students began planning a more extensive assault on the Embassy.  This included daily demonstrations outside the U.S. Embassy to trigger an Embassy security response.  This allowed organizers to assess the size and capabilities of the Embassy security forces. 

On November 4, 1979, one of the demonstrations erupted into an all-out conflict within the Embassy’s Visa processing public entrance.  The assault leaders deployed approximately 500 students.  Female students hid metal cutters under their robes, which were used to breach the Embassy gates.

Khomeini immediately issued a statement of support, declaring it “the second revolution” and the U.S. Embassy an “American spy den in Tehran”.

What followed was an unending ordeal of terror and deprivation for the 66 hostages, who through various releases, were reduced to a core of 52.  The 2012 film “Argo” chronicled the audacious escape of six Americans who had been outside the U.S. Embassy at the time of the takeover. 

On April 24, 1980, trying to break out of this chronic crisis, Carter initiated an ill-conceived, and poorly executed, rescue mission called Operation Eagle Claw.  It ended with crashed helicopters and eight dead soldiers at the staging area outside of the Iranian Capital, designated Desert One.  Another attempt was made through diplomacy as part of a hoped for “October Surprise”, but the Iranians cancelled the deal just as planes were being mustered at Andrews Air Force Base.

Carter paid the price for his Iranian duplicity. On November 4, 1980, Ronald Reagan obliterated Carter in the worst defeat suffered by an incumbent President since Herbert Hoover in 1932. 

Unfortunately, the world continues to pay the price for Carter unleashing Iranian terror.

Tuesday, October 31, 2023



[Published in Newsmax Show UN the Door |]

It's time for the United Nations (UN) to leave America.

The UN has definitely overstayed its welcome.  Recent remarks by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and the overwhelming adoption of a Hamas inspired resolution by the General Assembly, crossed the line of decency.

These actions should be the last of many straws that the UN has heaped on American soil.

The UN’s being on the wrong side of issues is terrible by any measure.  It turned a blind eye to the tens of millions killed by Communism.  The UN continues to ignore the lives destroyed by slavery and tribal wars.  The UN ignores those suffering under tyrants who lead many of their member nations. The UN ignores how corruption and waste infests every aspect of its operations.

On December 10, 1945, the U.S. Congress formally invited the United Nations to have its headquarters in America.  Congress can formally uninvite the UN.

The New York City School System spends $80 million a year for educating the children of UN Diplomats. It spends $8 million a year on protecting UN Diplomats and handling the traffic snarls during the annual opening of the General Assembly.  The U.S. State Department spends $31 million a year on protecting UN Diplomats.

NYC annually loses $72 million in property tax revenue as the UN Headquarters sits on tax exempt land. UN employees are tax exempt from federal and state income taxes.  Annually, this revenue loss is approximately $400 million in federal and state taxes and $26 million for NYC.

The NYC government will not miss $16 million in unpaid parking tickets from UN Diplomats.

The U.S. will not miss it.  Intelligence agencies consistently describe the United Nations as a “spy nest”.  On February 28, 2022, the Biden Administration exposed and expelled 12 spies within Russia’s UN delegation.  How many spies are operating under diplomatic cover among the 193 member delegations?

So where should the United Nations go?  Johannesburg, South Africa.

The current political environment of South Africa is a United Nations creation.  Starting on November 6, 1962, South Africa’s government was singled-out for extinction.  Over the years, harsher measures were implemented to pressure South African leaders to share power with their native population.  This included suspending South Africa’s UN Membership on November 14, 1974.  In 1994, the UN welcomed South Africa back into the fold after democratic reforms were implemented.

Moving the UN to Johannesburg would bring its policies “home to roost”.

Johannesburg has the third highest crime rate in Africa.  While it is cheaper to live there than NYC, it has terrible public transportation, high air pollution, and prone to power outages.

Third world dictators may have difficulty enticing their delegations to work in Johannesburg once the swanky apartments and lavish NYC expense account restaurants are a thing of the past.

The most compelling reason for the United Nations to move to Johannesburg is the BRICS.

Formed in 2010, the BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa have established an alternative global reality to the G7 and G20 nations.  The BRICS nations hope to overtake the western-oriented groups of nations as the focus of 21st Century economic and political vitality.

Moving the UN to Johannesburg places it at the center of BRICS’ geopolitics. That is a plus for them. 

The $2 billion in local job creation would be the West’s final gift to South Africa’s economy.

It is also a plus for the G7/G20 (all BRICS countries are members of the G20).  Having the UN “out of sight, out of mind” places it where it should be - on the other side of the planet wallowing in its anti-West, anti-freedom, anti-capitalist agenda.  The rants of its leaders and its resolutions will not have the same “gravitas” deprived of its “New York City, USA” imprimatur.  UN diplomats will not have easy access to the U.S. media being 7,900 miles away.

Having the United Nations out of the United States would be a giant step forward in clearing the West’s political landscape. 

Congress can go on the record now for sending the UN packing. It will take a Republican President to make it a reality.

Sunday, August 27, 2023



[Part of Constituting America's "Ninety for Ninety" Series on America's Founding Principles.

Principle of Freedom of Assembly - Constituting America]

“New England town meetings have proved themselves the wisest invention ever devised by the wit of man for the perfect exercise of self-government and for its preservation."

Thomas Jefferson, 1816

“Local assemblies of citizens constitute the strength of free nations. Town-meetings are to liberty what primary schools are to science; they bring it within the people’s reach, they teach men how to use and how to enjoy it. A nation may establish a system of free government, but without the spirit of municipal institutions it cannot have the spirit of liberty.

Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835

The concept of people openly gathering to discuss matters of public interest was developed among the ancient Greek city states in the 6th Century B.C.  It became known as “Athenian Democracy” under the leadership of Pericles (461-429 B.C.) during Athens’ “Golden Age”.  Participation was open to all adult free male citizens.

In actions that would be repeated throughout history, Athenian public meetings were suppressed to centralize government power.  This occurred in 322 B.C. by the rulers of the Macedonian Empire, first Philip II and then his son, Alexander “the Great”.

Freedom of assembly vanished during the Roman Empire and the feudal states.  People could still petition the chief, warlord, or king for grievances, but local democracy was lost.

Iceland rekindled community-based democracy in 930 A.D. 

The Althing (Norse for “assembly field”) was an open area (near present day Reykjavik) reserved for the annual gathering to discuss and decide issues facing the community.  The presiding official, Lögsögumaður (Norse for “Law Speaker”), stood on a central rock outcropping known as the Lögberg (Norse for “Law Rock”).  He established the procedures for the Althing and declared decisions after open discussion and voting.  All free men had the right to attend and participate.

The Althing lost its authority when Iceland was annexed by Norway in 1262.

In 1231, the freedom of assembly, and early federalism, arose among the various independent regions (Cantons) in Switzerland. The Landsgemeinde (German for "cantonal assembly) was established as a system of direct democracy, open voting, and majority rule among the communitas hominum (Latin for “the community of men”).  This terminology was to emphasize that it was an assembly of all citizens, not just the elite. 

Citizens of the Swiss Cantons fiercely defended their assemblies.  In 1499, they defeated the forces of Emperor Maxmillian I, the Holy Roman Emperor, at the battle of Dornach.  They retain their system to this day.

The practice of holding town meetings in Colonial America evolved from 17th Century English “vestry” meetings.  These meetings allowed parishioners to discuss and decide issues relating to their local parish.  These became integral to New England communities in the mid to late 1600s.  Their agendas ranged beyond church governance to community matters. 

In 1691, the Colonial Parliament (General Court) of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts passed a Charter that declared that final authority on bylaws rested with town meetings. In 1694, the Massachusetts General Court granted town meetings the authority to appoint assessors. In 1715 it granted town meetings the right to elect their own presiding officers (moderators) instead of relying on outside appointees 

Colonial meeting houses remain places of reverence in small towns throughout New England.

It is not surprising that eradicating town meetings, and restricting the right to free assembly, were key elements in Britan’s suppression of America’s Independence movement in the early 1770s.

Lord North, the British Prime Minister (1770-1790), instituted 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, the British Parliament passed the Massachusetts Government Act, which nullified the Massachusetts Charter of 1691. It abolished 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.

In a bold “illegal” act to assert its right to free assembly, the First Continental Congress met in the Carpenters Hall in Philadelphia from September 5-October 26, 1774. Twelve of the thirteen colonies (Georgia opted out) were represented.  They issued the “Declaration of Rights and Grievances”, the first unified protest of Britian’s anti-colonial actions. 

The British Crown’s assault on the right to free assembly was among the top Grievances listed in the Declaration of Independence less than two years later.