Footnotes: Research from TV 1/6/2011

San Fran Happy Meal Ban

  • They have banned the Happy Meal in San Francisco
  • The ban is scheduled to take effect December 2011—restaurants in the city would be allowed to distribute toys with meals only if they contained fewer than 600 calories and less than 640 mg of sodium.  Less than 35% of calories in the meals could come from fat (less than 10 percent from saturated fat).

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20021754-10391704.html

November 4, 2010 9:42 AM

Happy Meal Ban in San Francisco: Food Police or Fat Fighter?

Posted by David W Freeman 63 comments

(CBS) If Ronald McDonald is looking a bit glum these days, there's a reason:

They've banned the Happy Meal in San Francisco.

Actually, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to ban restaurants from handing out toys with meals that fail to meet basic nutritional standards for fat, calories, and sodium. That would include the Happy Meal, which has been a fat-packed fave of hungry children for decades.

Backers of the bill said it would help promote healthy eating habits and help in the fight against childhood obesity, which has tripled in the past 30 years, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Our children are sick," Supervisor Eric Mar, who sponsored the measure, told Reuters. "Rates of obesity in San Francisco are disturbingly high, especially among children of color. This is a challenge to the restaurant industry to think about children's health first and join the wide range of local restaurants that have already made this commitment."

Mar may not be exaggerating. Up to 30 percent of the city's fifth-graders are overweight, the New York Times reported.

Under the ban - scheduled to take effect December 2011 - restaurants in the Golden Gate City would be allowed to distribute toys with meals only if they contained fewer than 600 calories and less than 640 mg of sodium, according to Canadian broadcaster CTV. In addition, less than 35 percent of calories in the meals could come from fat (less than 10 percent from saturated fat).

Sound reasonable? Marisa Sherry, a registered dietitian in New York City, certainly thinks so. "Whatever it takes to get restaurants to help fight childhood obesity is a great thing," she told CBS News.

But McDonald's isn't so happy about the happy meal ban.

"We are extremely disappointed with today's decision," company spokesman Danya Proud said in a statement, according to Reuters. "It's not what our customers want, nor is it something they asked for."

Of course, there are other things McDonald's customers haven't requested.

Like getting fat.

Congress reading the Constitution

Urgent: House leaving out portions of the Constitution

Per Pergram-Capitol Hill

The House is leaving out reading portions of the Constitution that have been amended.

In other words, portions of the Constitution are never DELETED. Just amended. Yet, Republicans are LEAVING OUT portions of the Constitution that no longer have power. But are STILL THERE in the Constitution. For instance, the part about counting slaves and Native Americans as 3/5ths of a person, et al.

But they are skipping over some of these sections or parts which are antiquated or in some cases, perhaps offensive.

For instance, they did not read the 18th Amendment which imposed prohibition in 1919. However, they did read the 21st Amedment which repealed prohibition in 1933.

This is why Reps. Jay Inslee (D-WA), Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) and even Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) raised hackles on the floor.

Now here's the inherit issue with reading the Constitution this way.

Congress's own Joint Committee on Printing (which is an official committee, not an ad hoc organization)...has printed HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of copies of the U.S. Constitution which they shop around the Hill. They are in numerous Congressional offices for constituents and passersby to pick up, et al.

ALL of those copies of the Constitution...which Congress itself has authorized to print and distribute...contain the original language and the amendments. Yet that is not what is being read today.

I should point out however that the Joint Committee on Printing that authorized the printings of those Constitutions...came under Democratic control. The Chair and vice chairs were Rep. Robert Brady (D-PA) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). Others on the committee includes Reps. Michael Capuano (D-MA), Susan Davis (D-CA), then-Rep. Vern Ehlers (R-MI) and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). The Senate members include President Pro Tempore Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), then-Sen. Robert Bennett (R-UT) and Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA).

Something to watch: What will those copies of the Constitution contain once the new Joint Committee on Printing is consituted?

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/publisher-news/article/45645-upcoming-newsouth-huck-finn-eliminates-the-n-word.html

Home -> Industry News -> Publisher News

Upcoming NewSouth 'Huck Finn' Eliminates the 'N' Word

By Marc Schultz

Jan 03, 2011

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Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a classic by most any measure—T.S. Eliot called it a masterpiece, and Ernest Hemingway pronounced it the source of "all modern American literature." Yet, for decades, it has been disappearing from grade school curricula across the country, relegated to optional reading lists, or banned outright, appearing again and again on lists of the nation's most challenged books, and all for its repeated use of a single, singularly offensive word: "nigger."

Twain himself defined a "classic" as "a book which people praise and don't read." Rather than see Twain's most important work succumb to that fate, Twain scholar Alan Gribben and NewSouth Books plan to release a version of Huckleberry Finn, in a single volume with The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, that does away with the "n" word (as well as the "in" word, "Injun") by replacing it with the word "slave."

"This is not an effort to render Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn colorblind," said Gribben, speaking from his office at Auburn University at Montgomery, where he's spent most of the past 20 years heading the English department. "Race matters in these books. It's a matter of how you express that in the 21st century."

The idea of a more politically correct Finn came to the 69-year-old English professor over years of teaching and outreach, during which he habitually replaced the word with "slave" when reading aloud. Gribben grew up without ever hearing the "n" word ("My mother said it's only useful to identify [those who use it as] the wrong kind of people") and became increasingly aware of its jarring effect as he moved South and started a family. "My daughter went to a magnet school and one of her best friends was an African-American girl. She loathed the book, could barely read it."

Including the table of contents, the slur appears 219 times in Finn. What finally convinced Gribben to turn his back on grad school training and academic tradition, in which allegiance to the author's intent is sacrosanct, was his involvement with the National Endowment for the Arts' Big Read Alabama.

Tom Sawyer was selected for 2009's Big Read Alabama, and the NEA tapped NewSouth, in Montgomery, to produce an edition for the project. NewSouth contracted Gribben to write the introduction, which led him to reading and speaking engagements at libraries across the state. Each reading brought groups of 80 to 100 people "eager to read, eager to talk," but "a different kind of audience than a professor usually encounters; what we always called ‘the general reader.'

"After a number of talks, I was sought out by local teachers, and to a person they said we would love to teach this novel, and Huckleberry Finn, but we feel we can't do it anymore. In the new classroom, it's really not acceptable." Gribben became determined to offer an alternative for grade school classrooms and "general readers" that would allow them to appreciate and enjoy all the book has to offer. "For a single word to form a barrier, it seems such an unnecessary state of affairs," he said.

Gribben has no illusions about the new edition's potential for controversy. "I'm hoping that people will welcome this new option, but I suspect that textual purists will be horrified," he said. "Already, one professor told me that he is very disappointed that I was involved in this." Indeed, Twain scholar Thomas Wortham, at UCLA, compared Gribben to Thomas Bowdler (who published expurgated versions of Shakespeare for family reading), telling PW that "a book like Professor Gribben has imagined doesn't challenge children [and their teachers] to ask, ‘Why would a child like Huck use such reprehensible language?' "

Of course, others have been much more enthusiastic—including the cofounders of NewSouth, publisher Suzanne La Rosa and editor-in-chief Randall Williams. In addition to the mutual success of their Tom Sawyer collaboration, Gribben thought NewSouth's reputation for publishing challenging books on Southern culture made them the ideal—perhaps the only—house he could approach with his radical idea.

"What he suggested," said La Rosa, "was that there was a market for a book in which the n-word was switched out for something less hurtful, less controversial. We recognized that some people would say that this was censorship of a kind, but our feeling is that there are plenty of other books out there—all of them, in fact—that faithfully replicate the text, and that this was simply an option for those who were increasingly uncomfortable, as he put it, insisting students read a text which was so incredibly hurtful."

La Rosa and Williams committed to a short turnaround, looking to get the finished product on shelves by February. Mark Twain's Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn: The NewSouth Edition will be a $24.95 hardcover, with a 7,500 first printing. In the meantime, Gribben has gone back to the original holographs to craft his edition, which is also unusual in combining the two "boy books," as he calls them, into a single volume. But the heart of the matter is opening up the novels to a much broader, younger, and less experienced reading audience: "Dr. Gribben recognizes that he's putting his reputation at stake as a Twain scholar," said La Rosa. "But he's so compassionate, and so believes in the value of teaching Twain, that he's committed to this major departure. I almost don't want to acknowledge this, but it feels like he's saving the books. His willingness to take this chance—I was very touched."

B BLOCK- E2 E3

YOU HAVE TO EMPOWER YOURSELF. AND EDUCATE YOURSELF, YOU CANT LOOK AT THE STORIES OF THE FISH,  YOU HAVE TO GO GOOGLE AND SEARCH THIS YOURSELF- QUESTION EVERYTHING- AND YOU MUST UNDERSTAND THAT YOU HAVE TO TEACH YOUR KIDS HOW TO DO IT, NO ONE ELSE WILL. THEY ARE TEACHING WHAT THEY ANSWERS ARE IN SCHOOL- THEY TEACH WHAT TO THINK NOT HOW TO THINK- AND YOU MUST REVERSE THAT PROCESS

GO BACK TO THE PAPER-

THIS ECON STORY MAKES IT SEEM LIKE EVERYTHING IS GOOD..

BUT GAS PRICES AND ICE CREAM MAKE ME THINK OTHERWISE

LEMME SHOW YOU THE PUZZLE..(SHOW B-BOARD AND TABLE TOP PUZZLE)

WHEN YOU PUT THE PIECES TOGETHER, IT ALL MAKES SENSE

/////////////

GLENN SOT – January 21, 2009

You know man, I'm just like you. I watch the news and I see it and I'm like, wait a minute, that's not a separate story. These stories are all connected. The media never puts them together like a puzzle, but that's really what the news is.

2 PUZZLES

Image of a riot with the followings words over it: RADICALS, UNIONS, FOOD PRICES, GAS PRICES, FRANCES FOX PIVEN, VAN JONES

CONTRADICTORY ECONOMIC HEADLINES

GOOD – 1/6/11

  • WSJ: “Private Sector See Hiring Surge”
  • WSJ: “The Dollar Leaves Rivals In Its Wake”
  • WSJ: “Stocks Continue to Roll, Adding 31.71 Points”
  • USA Today: “Gold investors get glittering returns”
  • USA Today: “Real estate funds defy forecasts”
  • USA Today: “Hiring report pushes stocks higher”
  • FT: “Jobs data increase confidence in recovery”

BAD – 1/6/11

  • WSJ: “Food Prices Surge, Lifting Unrest Fears”
  • WSJ: “Option for Failing Banks: Chapter 11”
  • USA Today: “Liens for unpaid tax bills hits nearly 2-decade high”
  • FT: “Food price shock threat as commodities soar”

TRACKING FOOD PRICES

The 9/12 super seniors

http://www.912superseniors.org/cola-project/cola-project-results/

  • Whole milk in Coldwater, Michigan Walmart was 4.57/ gal the other day.
  • We are empty nesters and do not spend a lot on food, however, you can imagine my surprise when I saw that the price for a pound of Land of Lakes butter was $4.49, and the store was displaying it as if was on sale. My fear is that it might be a good price a couple of weeks from now.

Barbara Samuells, 9/12 Super Seniors

  • Before Christmas we weren’t seeing much, if anything, stagnant. Now, wow! Right after Christmas, prices are skyrocketing.
  • Buying the same product, but its smaller packaging, quantity. Seniors who are watching and tracking. Smaller product and price increase. Lot of comments about that!
  • Emails from seniors who are living on social security and now in real trouble. Gas gone up so much and the groceries going up so much. Increases in home heating oil. New property tax bills with increases. 2 people in danger of losing homes that they worked to pay off. It doesn’t take much….10% here and there. A lot of people don’t have flexibility. They planned as carefully as they could.
  • Some people have told me they’re going to the store with magnifying glass and handheld calculator to figure out the small changes.

As A Mom

http://www.asamom.org/

Lori Parker, As A Mom

  • meat product – beef, roast, chicken – up
  • dairy – eggs, butter, cheese - up
  • staples – white rice, pasta, cheerios and Quaker Oats, toilet paper - up

Inflation Study, December 1 - 7, 2010

  • The survey results for the week of December 1 - 7, 2010 contain 223 respondents

representing 42 states.

  • Prices observed are REGULAR PRICES for the week indicated
  • 24 of the 37 items tracked in the survey (65%) had increases in average price over

the previous week.

DRUDGE REPORT MAP OF ANIMAL DEATHS

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=201817256339889828327.0004991bca25af104a22b

HERITAGE FOUNDATION ARTICLE

http://blog.heritage.org/?p=49134

Morning Bell: Obama Will Make You Pay More at the Pump

Posted By Rory Cooper On December 29, 2010 @ 8:45 am In Energy and Environment81 Comments

“What do you say to people who are losing patience with gas prices at $3 a gallon? And how much of a political price do you think you’re paying for that, right now?” This was a question asked of the president at a press conference [1] in August…of 2006. The president was George W. Bush. In fact, it was a question that was asked in one way or another regularly during the entire eight years of the Bush presidency, regardless of where energy prices stood at that moment.

In May 2004, The New York Times reported [2] that congressional Democrats “were stepping up pressure on the Bush Administration to ease gasoline prices,” when prices were still under $2/gallon. In April 2005, at another press conference, a journalist stated [3]: “Mr. President a majority of Americans disapprove of your handling of social security, gas prices…” In 2006, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) exclaimed [4]: “Since George Bush and Dick Cheney took over as president and vice president, gas prices have doubled…They are too cozy with the oil industry” after she drove one less-than-energy-efficient block to a press conference at a local Exxon station.

In 2008, then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) “blasted [5]” the president for rising gas prices on his (and her) watch. In July 2008, ABC News asked [6] the president what was his “short term advice for Americans about gas prices?” repeating a nearly identical question asked at a February 2008 press conference. In April 2008, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said [7] gas prices were “the number one issue facing America today.”

You get the point. Yet, at the end of President Bush’s presidency, gas prices were 9% lower than when he took office [8] (adjusted for inflation). So where have these outspoken critics been since Bush left office?

Since President Barack Obama was inaugurated, gas prices have been on the steady rise [9], as have home energy prices. During his tenure, he presided over arguably the worst federal response to an oil spill in our nation’s history, and has pressed legislation on Capitol Hill that would, in his own words, cause electricity prices to “skyrocket [10].” Yet there has been almost nothing said by the media as consumers face $3/gallon gasoline at the pump in December for the first time in U.S. history [11] and see their home heating bills soar in the winter months.

Now this week, analysts including former president of Shell Oil, John Hofmeister, say Americans could be paying $5/gallon of gasoline by 2012 [12]. Investment banks are predicting a return to$100/barrel oil [13], and OPEC is refusing to raise production [13]. All of this news would be less frightening if the White House were focusing on potential ways to lower energy prices. Instead, President Obama is admittedly fixated with raising them.

Just last week (as frigid temperatures and blizzards blasted Europe and the U.S.), the EPA announced that it will begin regulating power plants and oil refineries [14] in an attempt to curb global warming. The new regulations will seek to cut greenhouse gas emissions by making it more expensive to turn fossil fuels into energy. And Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced [14] that the Bureau of Land Management would issue new rules making it harder to develop natural resources on government-owned land. These measures will not only drive up the cost of electricity and gasoline but will also make us more dependent on foreign sources of energy.

But none of these actions compare to the brazen way President Obama has unilaterally declared the U.S. oil industry dead. During the BP oil spill, Obama needlessly declared a moratorium on deepwater and shallow water drilling [15], since no White House advisers apparently could draw a distinction between the two. After two federal courts said the moratorium was illegal, the Obama administration instead moved to a de facto moratorium [15], by issuing no permits, while speeding up the permitting process for wind farms. [16]

In October, President Obama “lifted” the moratorium, but since then has issued almost no new permits. In late November, his administration effectively issued a seven-year ban on drilling [17] in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and across the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. We’re not even talking about ANWR anymore; these are publicly and politically accepted areas of drilling. These actions, of course, increase our reliance on foreign oil, which as OPEC points out, will only become more expensive in the near future.

Finally, this all spells disaster for the jobs market. Higher energy prices translate into higher costs for small businesses, which cause less hiring. Energy producers are moving platforms out [18] of U.S. waters rather than have multi-million dollar assets sit idle as the president destroys an industry. And local businesses and retailers who service this industry along the coast are losing money and employees, if not entirely shutting down [18].

President Obama knows energy prices are skyrocketing. The liberal mantra has long been to disincentivize Americans from purchasing cheap fossil fuels, by driving costs up. Because the only way consumers will choose the vastly-more-expensive wind and solar alternatives is if all prices are high, rather than wait for the market to bring alternative prices down. This is a reckless and devastating way to make a point about global warming at the expense of American families.

Nearly no questions [15] have been asked of President Obama by the media regarding [19]: 1) his bungled response to the oil spill; 2) his unilateral policies that are creating higher home energy prices; 3) rising gas and oil prices; or 4) the de facto moratorium on domestic oil exploration. It’s time to start asking the White House some tough questions [19]. A two year moratorium on accountability is long enough.

Quick Hits:

  • Home prices across 20 major metropolitan areas fell 1.3% [20] in October from September, the third straight month-over-month drop.
  • Japan has abandoned their global warming regulation scheme [21] due to expected job losses.
  • On January 2nd, the Obama administration will officially start regulating [22] greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The Chamber of Commerce is allying with Big Labor [23] to oppose a House Republican rule change designed to cut federal government spending.
  • According to Rasmussen Reports [24], only 21% of voters support the FCC’s push to begin regulating the internet.


Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2010/12/29/morning-bell-obama-wants-you-to-pay-more-at-the-pump/

URLs in this post:

[1] at a press conference: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/21/AR2006082100469.html

[2] The New York Times reported: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/18/business/18reserve.html

[3] stated: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/28/politics/29bush_transcript_web.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print&position=

[4] exclaimed: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/26/AR2006042602307.html

[5] blasted: http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local&id=6250899

[6] ABC News asked: http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/ken-shepherd/2008/07/15/liveblog-president-bushs-july-15-news-conference

[7] said: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90041712

[8] gas prices were 9% lower than when he took office: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jan/06/price-dip-adjusts-bushs-gas-legacy/

[9] gas prices have been on the steady rise: http://www.eia.doe.gov/petroleum/data_publications/wrgp/mogas_history.html

[10] skyrocket: 

[11] $3/gallon gasoline at the pump in December for the first time in U.S. history: http://www.myfoxdc.com/dpp/traffic/national-gas-prices-averaging-3-a-gallon-for-the-first-time-at-christmas-122210

[12] $5/gallon of gasoline by 2012: http://money.cnn.com/2010/12/27/markets/oil_commodities/index.htm

[13] $100/barrel oil: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Oil-holds-at-91-per-apf-34009732.html?x=0

[14] regulating power plants and oil refineries: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/23/AR2010122305477.html

[15] Obama needlessly declared a moratorium on deepwater and shallow water drilling: http://blog.heritage.org/2010/09/30/landrieu-begs-obama-to-stop-killing-jobs-and-end-the-moratorium/

[16] speeding up the permitting process for wind farms.: http://blog.heritage.org/2010/12/01/government-speeds-permitting-for-wind-farms-as-gulf-drilling-continues-to-lag/

[17] effectively issued a seven-year ban on drilling: http://blog.heritage.org/2010/12/01/seven-years-of-bad-policy-government-maintains-offshore-drilling-ban/

[18] moving platforms out: http://blog.heritage.org/2010/11/23/obamas-war-on-gulf-drilling-sends-american-jobs-overseas/

[19] have been asked of President Obama by the media regarding: http://blog.heritage.org/2010/07/16/did-you-feel-the-earthquake-mr-president-and-10-questions-he-wasnt-asked/

[20] fell 1.3%: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203513204576047491075731426.html?mod=WSJ_hp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsThird

[21] abandoned their global warming regulation scheme: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6BR06120101228

[22] officially start regulating: http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/environment/2010-12-29-Obamaclimatefull29_ST_N.htm

[23] Chamber of Commerce is allying with Big Labor: http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/appropriations/135325-business-groups-unions-unite-to-oppose-gop-transport-rules-change

[24] Rasmussen Reports:http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/december_2010/just_21_want_fcc_to_regulate_internet_most_fear_regulation_would_promote_political_agenda

Click here to print.

From the moment the 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson arrived at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1776, he was on the radical side. That caused John Adams to like him immediately. Then the Congress stuck Jefferson and Adams together on the five-man committee to write a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain, and their mutual admiration society began.

Jefferson thought Adams should write the Declaration. But Adams protested, saying, “It can't come from me because I'm obnoxious and disliked." Adams reasoned that Jefferson was not obnoxious or disliked, therefore he should write it. Plus, he flattered Jefferson, by telling him he was a great writer. It was a master class in passing the buck.

So, over the next 17 days, Jefferson holed up in his room, applying his lawyer skills to the ideas of the Enlightenment. He borrowed freely from existing documents like the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He later wrote that “he was not striving for originality of principle or sentiment." Instead, he hoped his words served as “an expression of the American mind."

It's safe to say he achieved his goal.

The five-man committee changed about 25 percent of Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration before submitting it to Congress. Then, Congress altered about one-fifth of that draft. But most of the final Declaration's words are Jefferson's, including the most famous passage — the Preamble — which Congress left intact. The result is nothing less than America's mission statement, the words that ultimately bind the nation together. And words that we desperately need to rediscover because of our boiling partisan rage.

The Declaration is brilliant in structure and purpose. It was designed for multiple audiences: the King of Great Britain, the colonists, and the world. And it was designed for multiple purposes: rallying the troops, gaining foreign allies, and announcing the creation of a new country.

The Declaration is structured in five sections: the Introduction, Preamble, the Body composed of two parts, and the Conclusion. It's basically the most genius breakup letter ever written.

In the Introduction, step 1 is the notificationI think we need to break up. And to be fair, I feel I owe you an explanation...

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…

The Continental Congress felt they were entitled by “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" to “dissolve the political bands," but they needed to prove the legitimacy of their cause. They were defying the world's most powerful nation and needed to motivate foreign allies to join the effort. So, they set their struggle within the entire “Course of human events." They're saying, this is no petty political spat — this is a major event in world history.

Step 2 is declaring what you believe in, your standardsHere's what I'm looking for in a healthy relationship...

This is the most famous part of the Declaration; the part school children recite — the Preamble:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That's as much as many Americans know of the Declaration. But the Preamble is the DNA of our nation, and it really needs to be taken as a whole:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Preamble takes us through a logical progression: All men are created equal; God gives all humans certain inherent rights that cannot be denied; these include the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; to protect those rights, we have governments set up; but when a government fails to protect our inherent rights, people have the right to change or replace it.

Government is only there to protect the rights of mankind. They don't have any power unless we give it to them. That was an extraordinarily radical concept then and we're drifting away from it now.

The Preamble is the justification for revolution. But note how they don't mention Great Britain yet. And again, note how they frame it within a universal context. These are fundamental principles, not just squabbling between neighbors. These are the principles that make the Declaration just as relevant today. It's not just a dusty parchment that applied in 1776.

Step 3 is laying out your caseHere's why things didn't work out between us. It's not me, it's you...

This is Part 1 of the Body of the Declaration. It's the section where Jefferson gets to flex his lawyer muscles by listing 27 grievances against the British crown. This is the specific proof of their right to rebellion:

He has obstructed the administration of justice...

For imposing taxes on us without our consent...

For suspending our own legislatures...

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

Again, Congress presented these “causes which impel them to separation" in universal terms to appeal to an international audience. It's like they were saying, by joining our fight you'll be joining mankind's overall fight against tyranny.

Step 4 is demonstrating the actions you took I really tried to make this relationship work, and here's how...

This is Part 2 of the Body. It explains how the colonists attempted to plead their case directly to the British people, only to have the door slammed in their face:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury...

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice... We must, therefore... hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

This basically wrapped up America's argument for independence — we haven't been treated justly, we tried to talk to you about it, but since you refuse to listen and things are only getting worse, we're done here.

Step 5 is stating your intent — So, I think it's best if we go our separate ways. And my decision is final...

This is the powerful Conclusion. If people know any part of the Declaration besides the Preamble, this is it:

...that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved...

They left no room for doubt. The relationship was over, and America was going to reboot, on its own, with all the rights of an independent nation.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The message was clear — this was no pitchfork mob. These were serious men who had carefully thought through the issues before taking action. They were putting everything on the line for this cause.

The Declaration of Independence is a landmark in the history of democracy because it was the first formal statement of a people announcing their right to choose their own government. That seems so obvious to us now, but in 1776 it was radical and unprecedented.

In 1825, Jefferson wrote that the purpose of the Declaration was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of… but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm… to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take."

You're not going to do better than the Declaration of Independence. Sure, it worked as a means of breaking away from Great Britain, but its genius is that its principles of equality, inherent rights, and self-government work for all time — as long as we actually know and pursue those principles.

On June 7, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House, better known today as Independence Hall. Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence. The “Lee Resolution" was short and sweet:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

Intense debate followed, and the Congress voted 7 to 5 (with New York abstaining) to postpone a vote on Lee's Resolution. They called a recess for three weeks. In the meantime, the delegates felt they needed to explain what they were doing in writing. So, before the recess, they appointed a five-man committee to come up with a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain. They appointed two men from New England — Roger Sherman and John Adams; two from the middle colonies — Robert Livingston and Benjamin Franklin; and one Southerner — Thomas Jefferson. The responsibility for writing what would become the Declaration of Independence fell to Jefferson.

In the rotunda of the National Archives building in Washington, D.C., there are three original documents on permanent display: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. These are the three pillars of the United States, yet America barely seems to know them anymore. We need to get reacquainted — quickly.

In a letter to his friend John Adams in 1816, Jefferson wrote: “I like the dreams of the future, better than the history of the past."

America used to be a forward-looking nation of dreamers. We still are in spots, but the national attitude that we hear broadcast loudest across media is not looking toward the future with optimism and hope. In late 2017, a national poll found 59% of Americans think we are currently at the “lowest point in our nation's history that they can remember."

America spends far too much time looking to the past for blame and excuse. And let's be honest, even the Right is often more concerned with “owning the left" than helping point anyone toward the practical principles of the Declaration of Independence. America has clearly lost touch with who we are as a nation. We have a national identity crisis.

The Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

It is urgent that we get reacquainted with the Declaration of Independence because postmodernism would have us believe that we've evolved beyond the America of our founding documents, and thus they're irrelevant to the present and the future. But the Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

Today, much of the nation is so addicted to partisan indignation that "day-to-day" indignation isn't enough to feed the addiction. So, we're reaching into America's past to help us get our fix. In 2016, Democrats in the Louisiana state legislature tabled a bill that would have required fourth through sixth graders to recite the opening lines of the Declaration. They didn't table it because they thought it would be too difficult or too patriotic. They tabled it because the requirement would include the phrase “all men are created equal" and the progressives in the Louisiana legislature didn't want the children to have to recite a lie. Representative Barbara Norton said, “One thing that I do know is, all men are not created equal. When I think back in 1776, July the fourth, African Americans were slaves. And for you to bring a bill to request that our children will recite the Declaration, I think it's a little bit unfair to us. To ask our children to recite something that's not the truth. And for you to ask those children to repeat the Declaration stating that all men's are free. I think that's unfair."

Remarkable — an elected representative saying it wouldn't be fair for students to have to recite the Declaration because “all men are not created equal." Another Louisiana Democrat explained that the government born out of the Declaration “was used against races of people." I guess they missed that part in school where they might have learned that the same government later made slavery illegal and amended the Constitution to guarantee all men equal protection under the law. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were an admission of guilt by the nation regarding slavery, and an effort to right the wrongs.

Yet, the progressive logic goes something like this: many of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson who wrote it, owned slaves; slavery is evil; therefore, the Declaration of Independence is not valid because it was created by evil slave owners.

It's a sad reality that the left has a very hard time appreciating the universal merits of the Declaration of Independence because they're so hung up on the long-dead issue of slavery. And just to be clear — because people love to take things out of context — of course slavery was horrible. Yes, it is a total stain on our history. But defending the Declaration of Independence is not an effort to excuse any aspect of slavery.

Okay then, people might say, how could the Founders approve the phrase “All men are created equal," when many of them owned slaves? How did they miss that?

They didn't miss it. In fact, Thomas Jefferson included an anti-slavery passage in his first draft of the Declaration. The paragraph blasted King George for condoning slavery and preventing the American Colonies from passing legislation to ban slavery:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights to life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere... Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

We don't say “execrable" that much anymore. It means, utterly detestable, abominable, abhorrent — basically very bad.

Jefferson was upset when Georgia and North Carolina threw up the biggest resistance to that paragraph. Ultimately, those two states twisted Congress' arm to delete the paragraph.

Still, how could a man calling the slave trade “execrable" be a slaveowner himself? No doubt about it, Jefferson was a flawed human being. He even had slaves from his estate in Virginia attending him while he was in Philadelphia, in the very apartment where he was writing the Declaration.

Many of the Southern Founders deeply believed in the principles of the Declaration yet couldn't bring themselves to upend the basis of their livelihood. By 1806, Virginia law made it more difficult for slave owners to free their slaves, especially if the owner had significant debts as Jefferson did.

At the same time, the Founders were not idiots. They understood the ramifications of signing on to the principles described so eloquently in the Declaration. They understood that logically, slavery would eventually have to be abolished in America because it was unjust, and the words they were committing to paper said as much. Remember, John Adams was on the committee of five that worked on the Declaration and he later said that the Revolution would never be complete until the slaves were free.

Also, the same generation that signed the Declaration started the process of abolition by banning the importation of slaves in 1807. Jefferson was President at the time and he urged Congress to pass the law.

America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough.

The Declaration took a major step toward crippling the institution of slavery. It made the argument for the first time about the fundamental rights of all humans which completely undermined slavery. Planting the seeds to end slavery is not nearly commendable enough for leftist critics, but you can't discount the fact that the seeds were planted. It's like they started an expiration clock for slavery by approving the Declaration. Everything that happened almost a century later to end slavery, and then a century after that with the Civil Rights movement, flowed from the principles voiced in the Declaration.

Ironically for a movement that calls itself progressive, it is obsessed with retrying and judging the past over and over. Progressives consider this a better use of time than actually putting past abuses in the rearview and striving not to be defined by ancestral failures.

It can be very constructive to look to the past, but not when it's used to flog each other in the present. Examining history is useful in providing a road map for the future. And America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough. But it's right there, the original, under glass. The ink is fading, but the words won't die — as long as we continue to discuss them.

'Good Morning Texas' gives exclusive preview of Mercury One museum

Screen shot from Good Morning Texas

Mercury One is holding a special exhibition over the 4th of July weekend, using hundreds of artifacts, documents and augmented reality experiences to showcase the history of slavery — including slavery today — and a path forward. Good Morning Texas reporter Paige McCoy Smith went through the exhibit for an exclusive preview with Mercury One's chief operating officer Michael Little on Tuesday.

Watch the video below to see the full preview.

Click here to purchase tickets to the museum (running from July 4 - 7).

Over the weekend, journalist Andy Ngo and several other apparent right-leaning people were brutally beaten by masked-gangs of Antifa protesters in Portland, Oregon. Short for "antifascist," Antifa claims to be fighting for social justice and tolerance — by forcibly and violently silencing anyone with opposing opinions. Ngo, who was kicked, punched, and sprayed with an unknown substance, is currently still in the hospital with a "brain bleed" as a result of the savage attack. Watch the video to get the details from Glenn.