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Michael Connelly

Welcome to my website and Blog. I am a U.S. Army veteran, a Constitutional attorney, Executive Director of the United States Justice Foundation, and a published author, freelance writer, and teacher. I am the author of five books,  "Riders in the Sky: The Ghosts and Legends of Philmont Scout Ranch", "The Mortarmen", a story about my father's unit in WW II; my novel, "Amayehli: A Story of America", "America's Liveliest Ghosts" and my newly released patriotic novel "The Rag". In addition, I have an affordable, pocket size booklet on the Constitution called "Our Constitution" that is receiving great reviews. You can read more about these books by going to the pages on each book on this website.

You may also want to check out my radio talk show that airs every Wednesday at 4:00 Eastern. Here is the website containing the link: http://americaswebradio.com/our-constitution/ You can also follow me on Twitter @MichaelMrobertc

I have a non profit corporation named the Constitutional Law Alliance (CLA).To find out more about the the CLA and the type of projects we are working on go to the webite at www.constitution.jigsy.com. You will see information about a booklet I have written titled "Our Constitution".

The Blog you see below is designed to deal with the challenges to our Constitutional rights that are being made almost daily.  I will try to post articles frequently and your comments are welcome.

New feature! I have added a new feature to my blog. I will be placing Legislative Alerts on the blog to notify you of specific pieces of legislation pending in Congress that contain direct threats to our Constitution. 

I am available to speak on Constitutional issues to groups both large and small. To request a speaking engagement email me at mrobertc@hotmail.com. I am also a frequent guest on radio talk shows around the country. If you have a show you would like to have me on, you can contact me at the same email address.

Check out my "Our Constitution" video on You Tube. It is in two parts:

Our Constitution, Part 1
Our Constitution, Part 2

 

Liberal Myths

LIBERAL MYTHS

 

For years, the liberals in this country have used their control of most of the main stream media and our education system to push their leftist political agenda with the ultimate goal of destroying our Constitutional Republic and replacing it with their version of the socialist/communist paradise. They have perpetuated what I call “liberal myths” that are used to alter what Americans know and believe about our heritage and our form of government.

 

Unfortunately, they have been very successful, and while their myths are based on misinformation and outright lies many of them have become enshrined in our culture where they are presented as facts and taught to our children in their textbooks. Any attempts to refute these so called facts are deemed “politically incorrect” and must be shut own.

 

In an attempt to counter this, I am going to do a series of articles on my blog exposing the liberal myths and providing the truth. Ultimately I hope to turn this into a book. Below is the first article and it deals with the myths about the war in Vietnam.  

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Myth 1: The Vietnam War was a civil war.

 

Vietnam was formerly known as Indochina because it was controlled for centuries by the Chinese, then the French, the Japanese, and then the French again. At the end of WWII the influence of the communists was strong in the northern part of the area, and capitalism was the choice in the south. In 1954 a treaty called the Geneva accords established North and South Vietnam as separate countries. The truth is that there had never been a single Vietnam as a nation.

 

A civil war is defined a as war between people in the same country. The Vietnam War started when the North Vietnamese supported an insurgency in the south, and eventually became a full scale invasion of South Vietnam by the North Vietnam Army. The United States had historically provided economic and military support of the south. This was not a civil war, but a war between the communist north and the democratic south with the north being supported by the communist governments of the Soviet Union, Chins, and North Korea.

 

Myth 2: The vast majority of American soldiers who fought in Vietnam were blacks or poorly educated whites who were drafted. Black soldiers were used as cannon fodder, and had a much higher percentage of casualties then white soldiers

 

In fact, 2/3% of the American soldiers who fought in Vietnam were volunteers. 79% of them had a high school education or better. The number of black soldiers who served in Vietnam was roughly 12% of the total, almost identical to the percentage of black citizens in the United States at the time. 86% of the American casualties were Caucasians. The casualty rate of the black soldiers was around 12%, the same percentage of the blacks who served

 

Myth 3: The 1968 Tet offensive was a major victory for the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Communists.

 

This is a myth created entirely by the mainstream American media that was supporting the anti-war movement in the United States. The Tet offensive was launched by the communist North Vietnam Army (NVA) using the Viet Cong forces in the south and the NVA. Because of the element of surprise there were some initial small victories for the communists, but the U.S. and South Vietnamese forces quickly rallied and in the end it was a disastrous defeat for the communists. The Viet Cong were virtually destroyed as a fighting force and the North Vietnamese army had 45,000 men killed. It was a major victory for the U.S. military and the South Vietnamese army but was reported by the American media as a victory for the enemy,  

 

Myth 4: The U.S. military lost the war in Vietnam.

 

The fact is that the U.S. military never lost a significant battle during the Vietnam War. When American troops were withdrawn the North Vietnamese Army had been soundly defeated and forced back across the border between North and South Vietnam. However, the U.S. Congress decided to make a political decision to terminate the funding that had been pledged to the South Vietnamese army. The equipment, weapons and ammunition that were a part of this pledge were cut off.

 

When the communist government of North Vietnam learned of this it launched an all out invasion of the south and soon overwhelmed the South Vietnamese army leading to the fall of Saigon in 1975. In other words, it was the politicians in Washington D.C. , not the U.S. military that lost the war.

 

Myth 5: The people of South Vietnam benefited greatly from the outcome of the war.

 

In fact, this is the greatest of myths about the war. It is estimated that up to 2 million people in South Vietnam died in communist concentration camps with through starvation and mistreatment or by outright executions. This was in line with the actions during the war itself when the Viet Cong and the North Vietnam troops routinely entered South Vietnamese towns and villages and executed the civic leaders, school teachers, and religious leaders and their families.                             

 

CHRISTMAS 1944

 

          This has become a Christmas tradition for me and some of you have seen this post before, but it is that time of year when I start thinking about the importance of friends and family and why I should be thankful for the country I live in. It is also the time when I think about those fellow Americans who have stepped forward in the past and the present to place their lives on the line so that the rest of us can celebrate this holy season in freedom and peace.

The true story below is about my father and a Christmas seventy three years ago. I wrote it many years ago and it has been reprinted and put on websites around the world. You can read the full story in my book “The Mortarmen” I offer this story once again to honor our heroes of yesterday, today, and tomorrow, including my two sons, Major Sean Connelly and Captain Tim Connelly, both currently serving in the army. Come to think of it, this story is really about all of them because it epitomizes who and what they are.

 

Christmas 1944

 

The frigid night air cut through the Lieutenant’s army issue coat as he stopped in the knee deep snow to survey the perimeter. A heavy snow continued to fall on this Christmas Eve 1944, but it was not a silent night. The flashes of artillery lit the sky and generated a rumble like distant thunder as the young officer finished his tour of the unit’s outposts. He was an officer in Company B, 87th Chemical Mortar Battalion, the men who fired the big 4.2 mortars which were so critical to the effort of the infantry to advance. They were someplace in Belgium, he really had no clue where, and for the first time in a while the battalion was together again. All four companies had been brought in to help stop the German breakthrough. They didn’t know it, but the 87th was about to be thrown right into the heart of the Battle of the Bulge.

As the Lieutenant finished his rounds he wearily dragged himself into the monastery where the command had taken refuge for the night. The warmth that enveloped him as he entered the large community room was certainly welcomed. He glanced around and saw his comrades sprawled in every available space. They were bedraggled and exhausted after 201 days of almost continuous combat, and by the looks on their faces you could tell that it was only going to get worse. Despite the thickness of the monastery walls, a new sound intruded the quick crack of tank gunfire.

 Everyone knew what that meant; American tankers were making a last ditch stand against the German armored columns in the area. They were outnumbered and outgunned and their Sherman tanks stood no chance against the awesome German Tiger tanks, but they fought anyway. When the battle ended, and it would before dawn, then the 87th became part of the last American line of defense. The war hung in the balance, and so did the lives of everyone in this ancient house of God.

The Lieutenant found a place to sit against one wall and sank down in exhaustion, gratefully accepting the wine, bread and cheese being offered by the monks. In the corner of the room, a soldier fiddled with the dial of a radio, finally picking up the armed forces station. Christmas carols filled the room, but only added to the loneliness. Then as, the sound of the tank battle increased in intensity, a new song started on the radio, Bing Crosby singing "White Christmas."

For the Lieutenant the song immediately invoked memories of the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas on the farm in Mason City, Iowa and of how far away he was from those he loved. He could not help himself, the tears began to flow and embarrassed, he glanced around the room to see if anyone had noticed. His eyes fell first on the Company Commander, Captain J.J. Marshall, one of the toughest men the Lieutenant had ever known. The Captain sat ramrod straight, unashamed, as tears streamed down his stubbly cheeks. It was universal that night, strong men, the bravest of the brave, cried over a Christmas carol, and over the homes many would never see again.

As dawn broke the next morning, Christmas Day, the battalion was again split up with Company B assigned to take up mortar positions in support of what was left of the 289th infantry, 75th Division, and defend a Belgium village called Sadzot, a key location in the thin American defense line. For three days they fired their mortars in support of the hastily assembled defense units, and then disaster struck. Early in the predawn hours of Dec. 28th enemy elements of the 12 SS Panzer Division, the infamous Hitler Jugend, broke through the infantry lines and overran the mortar position.

They hastily assembled all of the men they could, and the mortarmen fought a delaying action, fighting hand to hand and house to house against overwhelming numbers. As the fighting retreat continued, the men of company B were joined by remaining elements of the 509th Parachute Battalion which had formed a new defensive position north of the village. There they held until reinforced and then joined a counterattack which retook the village, and recaptured six of their nine mortars and most of their vehicles.

It was later learned that this makeshift force of Americans had successfully stopped a major attack by German troops designed to capture a major highway intersection which would have broken the American line. No one has ever been able to tell me how they won. History recorded it as a classic situation where the attacking enemy held all of the advantages, yet was stopped by the cold determination of a hand full of defenders on the verge of physical and mental collapse. Somehow, they emerged victorious, with Company B reporting almost half of its men killed, wounded, or missing.

For his actions during the defense of Sadzot the Lieutenant and the other men of the company received both the French and Belgium Croix de Guerre medals. I know the story of that lonely Christmas Eve and the ensuing days from my Father’s diary. He was the young Lieutenant, Roy E. Connelly, Co. B. 87th Chemical Mortar Battalion. He would read that story to us on Christmas Eve every year until his death in 1987, and then I took over the job with my children.

He never read it without crying over the friends he lost during that Christmas season of 1944, and to this day, I can not read it or even write about it without the same reaction. What was done during that six day period by the men of Co. B and the other companies of the 87th, who also held the line, surpasses the ability of most of us to comprehend. They fought for each other, and they fought for us. We must never forget.

FOR MY DAD, AND THE MEN OF THE 87TH

THE ROAD TO TYRANNY

Imagine the following scenario; you live in a country where the universities have been taken over by a particular political party. Professors who don’t religiously follow the party’s philosophy are purged from the university, and students are subjected to continuous party line propaganda. If they fail to follow the party line their grades may suffer or they will be humiliated by their professors and silenced.

 

          Most of the news media is taken over by the party and instead of reporting the news provide nothing but political propaganda towing the party line. The propaganda is continuing and relentless and any reporters or news outlets that don’t follow the party line suffer from constant attacks. When the news media is controlled what is reported is not necessarily true, but instead is tailored to push the political agenda of the party.

 

          Freedom of speech is severely restricted or abolished entirely.  Only those who support the party are allowed to speak freely, and then they are carefully monitored to make sure their speech is correct according to party standards. This applies even if the party does not currently control the government because it lays the ground work for the way that it will be when it ultimately controls the nation.

 

          Freedom of religion must be severely restricted or abolished entirely.  No one should be allowed to worship a power higher than that of the state. All religions, particularly Christianity, should be constantly attacked in order to diminish their influence over the population.

 

          Due to the possibility of resistance to the party and the government the population should not be allowed to own firearms. This will actually begin with a requirement for all privately owned guns to be registered with the government. That will allow for the ultimate confiscation of all privately owned weapons that could be used to resist government tyranny.

 

If this all sounds familiar it because this was the playbook used by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party to take control of Germany in the 1930s. The liberals in this county are now following exactly the same playbook in order to bring us to the same disastrous place where the German people ended up, losing their freedom and even identity.   

TO AMERICA’S VETERANS

This article is not political in any way. It is a Veterans Day tribute to my brothers and sisters who have fought and often died for our country for over 240 years. Your bravery has occurred on American soil during the Revolution and the War of 1812 and on numerous foreign battlefields around the world. You always fought for the same thing, the oath you took to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic.

 

It does not matter if you were drafted into service or volunteered; you chose not to run and hide, but to serve. You signed a blank check to your country and your fellow Americans to pledge everything up to and including your lives to protect their freedom. This makes you one of the true elites in America; you are the bravest of the brave.

 

You had no safe spaces where you could hide, and you didn’t ask for any. You did your duty and you did it proudly. You are a true American hero, and you must never forget that, and as veterans we must never let Americans forget us and our brothers and sisters at arms. We have sacrificed too much to let our country slip away into the darkness, and become anything less than the Constitutional Republic we all fought to defend.

 

My family members have served in every war America has fought from the Revolution to the current war on terror. Two of them were killed during the Civil War, one fighting for the north died at Vicksburg, while the other fighting for the south was killed at Gettysburg. I honor both of their memories. My father was in combat for 326 straight days during World War II, and I have two sons still serving today. I honor them and all who have served, and our family will keep their memory alive.

 

Many people in our nation have similar family histories and must keep their legacy alive for future generations so that they will learn the values that we were taught and pass them on so that America will survive. Happy Veterans Day!

THE END GAME

While heroes in Las Vegas were still trying to rescue victims and comfort the survivors and the families of those who were lost, the American left was already turning the massacre into a political movement for more gun control. Hillary Clinton was one of the first to tweet out a call for limitations on the Second Amendment, and to attack the NRA, but that is not surprising since her ego is making her desperate to prove that she is not irrelevant.

 

          However, she was quickly followed by the Hollywood elite, who are protected by their own personally armed body guards, the leaders of the Democrat party, and the far left media. They all seem to be calling for the same things, universal background checks, the outlawing of so-called assault weapons, which most of them can’t even define, and the closing of the so-called gun show loopholes that they also can’t define.

 

          They are desperate to convince the majority of the American people to believe such proposals are reasonable and will actually prevent gun crimes and mass shootings. It has already been proven in cities like Chicago and States like California that they don’t work, but that is beside the point for the left, because these regulations are not the end game. They are just the beginning and they are following the track of Nazi Germany and other totalitarian dictatorships.

 

          In the late 1920s the Weimer Republic ordered that all private owned firearms be registered with the government. However, by the early 1930’s the government recognized that it had made a terrible mistake. While law abiding Germans were complying with the law and registering their firearms, the members of the violence prone groups like the communists and Nazis were not. The government took steps to protect the records from being made public, but it was too late. A few years later when Adolf Hitler took control the list of registered gun owners were used to disarm the German people to prevent resistance to the Nazis.

 

          It has become obvious over the last few decades that for years the ultimate goal of the leftists in this country is to abolish the Constitution and all of the rights that it contains and turn our country into a socialist or communist state. In such a country the elites are in control of every aspect of the lives of the rest of us and we will essentially be their slaves. However, they have a problem because is the same country that once consisted of 13 individual colonies under British domination. When the British decided to forcefully continue to get the colonists to submit to its will it moved to disarm the colonists by seizing the weapons stored at Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts. 

 

          That did not end well for the British and thus the Second Amendment to the Constitution was ultimately adopted. Now the leftists in this country are faced with a major problem. In order to oppress the American people they must first disarm us. In order to accomplish that they must first be able to identify the Americans who legally own firearms. Then they must find people who will do their dirty work.

 

It won’t be the members of the U.S. military, military veterans, or most local police and sheriff’s deputies. They also cannot rely on the campus snowflakes they have created who just want the government to take care of them, or the liberal college professors or Hollywood and corporate elites. While they certainly agree with the ultimate goal they are certainly not going to risk their own lives to bring it about.

 

          They will instead have to rely on the criminal elements in this country that will work as their paid mercenaries. This will include violent gang members like those in MS-13 who are being actively protected by the liberals that control sanctuary cities, counties, and even states. They will also rely on members of violent groups like Black Lives Matter and ANTIFA that are committed to destroying America. If all else fails they will rely on foreign mercenaries who will come from places like Syria, Libya, or Iran.

 

I chronical this in my popular patriotic novel “The Rag” where I show what happens when the government starts to limit constitutional rights including the right to keep and bear arms. I also write about how the American people ultimately resist. I apparently have struck a nerve with the left because they initially launched an all-out assault of negative comments on Amazon. However, the liberals at Amazon soon took over the attack.

 

          First Amazon decided to remove the novel as an e-book, and all of my other books claiming that since my name is the same as the mystery writer, and therefore is a copy write violation. That is totally bogus, because individual names cannot be copywrited. Then they began to systematically remove the most favorable reviews of the novel.

 

          However, the censorship on the left that millions of Americans own firearms and most will not willingly surrender them, and if necessary will use them to fight to protect their freedom.

TAKING A KNEE

For the spoiled overpaid professional athletes in the NFL and NBA who hate America and want to make a political statement against the police who risk their lives to protect us every day taking a knee during out national anthem is an acceptable form of protest. To me and other American veterans and active members of the active military it is totally unacceptable. In fact, it is the ultimate insult.

 

For us taking a knee is what we do to honor our fallen comrades. There is the iconic image, now immortalized in a statue of a grieving soldier taking a knee in front of a pair of military boots and an inverted rifle with a helmet on its butt. Originally, the inverted rifle and helmet was used by American soldiers to alert the teams that retrieved dead soldiers of their locations. The rifle with a bayonet was stuck in the ground with the helmet of the dead soldier and his dog tags so they could be identified.

 

Preferably it was at the head of the shallow grave the soldier was buried in, but often in the heat of combat there was no time for burial so it was to mark the site of the unburied body. So for us, taking a knee is a way of expressing our grief for a dead comrade, and our respect for the reasons that they died. Most of the elitist players of the NFL have never seen or heard of this act of respect in the military, or if they have don’t understand its meaning, or don’t care.

 

In the case of Colin Kaepernick who started this, he is kneeling because he hates our country and wants to pay homage to his real heroes, Fidel Castro who brutalized and oppressed the people of Cuba for decades, and Che Guevara. Guevara was an especially brutal terrorist, whose specialty was leading his men into unarmed towns, executing all of the men and boys, and then raping the women and girls before murdering them. This has made him a hero of ignorant members of the left like Kaepernick.

 

I am not a sports star, millionaire, or Hollywood elitist although I have been many things in my life. I have been a lawyer, a teacher, a public speaker, a published author, a freelance writer, and a radio talk show host. None of that sets me above any other hard working American who believes in God and out country. However, those things are what I have done, not who I am. Who I was, still am, and always will be is an American soldier. This means that I will always stand at attention and salute when the National Anthem is played, and I will kneel and pray when I attend the funeral of one of my fellow soldiers.

 

However, unless there is a drastic change I will never watch another NFL game or ever buy any products or services pushed by its sponsors.

THE REAL AMERICA

 

If you watch the news presented by the mainstream media you will be bombarded by stories about the United States of America being a divided nation. A nation that is divided along racial lines, religious lines, political party lines, and economic lines. These alleged divisions are established so they can be exploited by those who want to push a specific political agenda. However, I dispute the validity of these divisions because I live in the real America and I have proof that it still exists and is stronger than ever.  

          In a previous article I wrote about the amazing help that was given to us by friends, neighbors, and strangers from all over Texas and neighboring states like Louisiana, after our small ranch took a direct hit from a massive F5 tornado on April 29th. This help was unconditional and came from church groups, first responders, Boy Scouts, and just families who showed up at our door with water, food, chain saws and in some cases heavy equipment to help us clean up our property and save what we could.

No one asked us about our political affiliation or who we had voted for in the last election. No one asked about our religion and until they met us they did not know the color of our skin or our ethnic background, and none of that mattered anyway. All they knew was that we were fellow Texans and fellow Americans. In addition, they did not ask for money, and refused my offer to buy them lunch. One volunteer firefighter from another town drove for 23 miles to the nearest functioning gas station to get five gallons of gas for my emergency generator, and then refused my offer to pay him. All of these volunteers worked for hours to help us.  

          What is also notable is that a remarkable number of the people who came to help were military veterans, who had already served their country in conflicts like Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq, Afghanistan, and other war zones. Yet, here they were, still serving their fellow Americans. We are back in our home after 39 days in a motel, but we still have a long road to recovery, but we will make it and we still have people volunteering to help.

          On this Fourth of July holiday as I have two of my sons still on active duty with the U.S. Army and think back on my own service and that of my father. I believe that the America we live in is the one envisioned by our founding fathers. It may be under attack, but it is not beaten and not even broken. We still live in the greatest nation on earth and based on what I have seen it will not die.

D-DAY REMEMBERED

On June 6, 2017 it will be seventy three years since my father, 1Lt. Roy Connelly, landed on Utah Beach with the other brave men of the 87th Chemical Mortar Battalion.  My father died in 1987, but in 2005 as I was finishing up my book about the unit,  I had the honor of attending the battalion’s final reunion, and meeting with eleven of these remarkable men.

          After their banquet, they all sat down with me at a big table in the hotel lounge and I put a small tape recorder in the center of the table and let them talk about their experiences. Now I knew the story of these men through my extensive research of not only the day to day history of the battalion, but each of the four companies.

          I also knew the history of the men at the table. I knew which ones had won medals for heroism and which ones had received one or more purple hearts for wounds received in combat. I heard a lot of stories that night and had collected many more through telephone interviews, questionnaires filled out by the unit veterans, and the diaries some of them sent to me. Yet, none of these men would allow me to call them heroes. They would refer to their buddies as heroes, but not themselves, regardless of the facts that I knew about them.

          To hear them talk, they were just average GIs who did the job they were told to do. I knew better because as I chronicle in my book “The Mortarmen” these men who fired the 4.2” mortars, the heaviest in the U.S. military were in combat for 326 straight days. They fought on the Cherbourg Peninsula, in the Hurtgen Forest, and in the Battle of the Bulge. They captured the key German City of Cologne, and they liberated the Nazi death camp at Nordhausen.

          They fired their mortars in support of the 3rd, 4th, and 75th Infantry divisions, the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions, the 2nd and 5th Armored Divisions, and many other units. Almost every original member of the 87th was killed, wounded, or captured at some point. These men fought for their country and their unit, but mostly they fought for each other. Their loyalty to their fellow warriors was so strong that many hid minor wounds or had more serious wounds treated by the unit medics and refused to be shipped back to a field hospital. Their fear was that they might be reassigned to a unit other than the 87th.

          Now, seventy three years later only a few of the men of this distinguished unit are still alive and the same is true of the thousands of other soldiers who landed on the beaches of Normandy. These are the men of the “Longest Day” and they must never be forgotten.

Tornado

 

          I had originally planned on posting several new articles on my blog last week, but as some of you already know things have changed dramatically in our lives. Last Saturday evening nine tornados were reported in our area of East Texas. Five of them, including a massive F5 were actually on the ground at the same time in our county of Van Zandt. The F5 storm was on the ground for an incredible 51 miles and caused immense damage. That is the one that made a direct hit on our small ranch near Canton, Texas.

          We made it to our safe room in time thanks to a Code Red warning from the Canton fire department, and miraculously survived. When it was all over our house was only one of five in the area that has not been completely demolished. However, it has been severely damaged and has been deemed unlivable so our insurance company has put us up in a motel. We have over thirty trees on our property blown down including all five of our pear trees.

          One of our oak trees came down on my pickup truck and broke it in half. One of our other two cars was totaled, but the other one suffered only minor damage and is drivable. The top of a big pine tree in our front yard was torn off and ended up coming through the roof of our house, landing above my home office. The ceiling seemed to be mostly intact, but today split open and partially collapsed. The roof to our well house was torn off, and our enclosed aluminum six car garage, work shop and storage area was demolished. All of my ranch equipment including my small tractor, tools, chainsaw etc. was totaled. Currently no power and only what water my emergency generator call draw from our damaged well.

          On the up side the outpouring of support from the people of Canton and in fact all of Texas has been amazing. Within two hours of the tornado two Van Zandt County Sheriff’s deputies showed up at our door to check on us. They had to walk in because of the downed trees on our driveway and road. The next morning, our neighbors, many of whom had damage to their own homes, showed up with members of the Canton fire Department to cut through the debris so we could get out of our home. People from all over the area, including surrounding counties showed up with food and water. Local restaurants and churches opened up as shelters and served free hot meals.

          Police and deputies from all over Texas have come in to patrol the area to protect us from looters, although any potential looters should know that it can be a very dangerous occupation in East Texas. Most of us will just shoot you. We also had utility companies from all over the state to put up new lines and poles so the power can be restored. The city of Canton had power within 48 hours, but those of us who live in the boonies will have to wait longer.

          Strangers with chainsaws have been showing up all week to help clear our property and on Friday, May 5, the cavalry arrived. A non-profit charity organization called the Minuteman Disaster Response team from McKinney, Texas showed up with chainsaws and heavy equipment to start seriously clearing our property. They worked all day and then came back today and were joined by volunteers from Mabank, Texas who were sent by a friend of mine in Dallas. All total there were almost 100 volunteers on my property and at my neighbors, who were hit harder than we were, and they did a remarkable job.

          It will still be weeks before we get a new roof on our home and can get moved back in, and even longer until our other buildings can be restored and we have full power. However, we are truly blessed, because we survived, there are five confirmed dead in the area and many apparently still missing. In addition, out of approximately 30 homes in our immediate area ours is one of only five still standing. All others were demolished.

          A final rather bizarre note, when the initial volunteers were cutting a path through the downed trees for us to leave our home there was a huge live oak tree that I estimated to weigh a thousand pounds, but was later told probably weighed over 3,000 pounds, was not a tree from my property or any of the surrounding properties. The roots were intact so it had been pulled out of the ground and may have come from miles away. That is an indication of how powerful this storm was.        

Michael Connelly

mrobertc@hotmail.com

THE NUCLEAR OPTION

There has been a lot of discussion about Republicans in the U.S. Senate using what is called the “nuclear option” to get an outstanding nominee Neil Gorsuch appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. This was needed to overcome the “cloture” rule that requires 60 Senators to vote to allow a Supreme Court nominee to even be voted on by the Senate. Unfortunately, the same rule also applies to most of all regular legislation brought before the Senate including those laws passed by the House of Representatives.

          The U.S. Constitution provides for bills to be adopted, and nominees to be onfirmed by a majority vote in the Senate with the Vice President casting the deciding vote if the Senate is evenly split. The Senate is also allowed to set its own rules but there is nothing indicating that they can override the majority vote requirement, yet that is what the Senate did that in 1917 when it adopted a two thirds vote cloture rule. That proved to be a disaster since the overwhelming majority was virtually never reached, despite the fact that in those days members of the Senate were patriots and would vote for legislation that was good for the country not just their political party.

          Yet, there was still gridlock in many cases so in 1975 the Senate changed its rules to set the current 60 vote threshold. Both parties used it to their advantage when the other party controlled the Senate. Then the Democrats under Harry Reid decided in 2013 to get rid of the cloture rule when it came to Obama nominated federal judges at the district and appellate level that were being blocked by Republicans because of many of the nominees far left leanings. The Senate democrats were all on board with this change and Chuck Schumer was particularly enthusiastic.

          However, now that the Republicans have taken a page from the Democrat playbook and invoked the nuclear option to get Neil Gorsuch confirmed to the Supreme Court, Schumer and many other Democrats are absolutely hysterical. It seems that the cloture rule should only apply to Republicans, not to the Democrat elitists who consider themselves above the law. They are adamantly opposed to Judge Gorsuch because he believes in the Constitution that Democrats generally view as an archaic document that is getting in the way of their game plan to destroy our constitutional republic and create a “socialist paradise” in its place.

          However, while I fully support use of the nuclear option to confirm Judge Gorsuch; as a constitutional lawyer I have a problem with the entire cloture rule. I believe it is unconstitutional and should be entirely abolished by the Senate. The fact is that the cloture rule dilutes my vote and those of all other Americans who vote for Senators. Instead of having my Senators effectively represent me by voting to pass or defeat legislation by a majority vote, as provided in the Constitution, their votes are often meaningless.

          For example, I have been working for the last four years with veterans who are being arbitrarily denied their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Eighteen months ago I also predicted that the same methods were going to be employed to disarm Social Security recipients, That has also come true and the House of Representatives has passed legislation to stop these abuses. However, initial indications are that Senate democrats will use the cloture rule to stop both of these bills from coming to the full Senate for a vote.

          That will happen because under the cloture rule the two votes of the Senators in Texas that will represent me will be meaningless while the votes of the two Democrat senators from Massachusetts will count along with all other votes by Senate democrats. America’s heroes and our senior citizens will continue to be denied their constitutional rights. For this and other compelling reasons, it is imperative that we call on Republican senators to permanently abolish the 60 vote cloture rule and give us back our Constitution and the ability of Congress to act with majority votes of 51.

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