Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year, New Hope

Soon we will be celebrating New Years Day, 2009. 2008 was a thoroughly difficult and exhausting year for many people on many fronts. The seemingly never ending presidential campaign dragged on for months until Obama's historic victory. Historic gas prices, followed by a financial crisis of the first order. Detroit's Big 3 automakers came to the brink of collapse. For us Detroit Lions fans, the season was simply the greatest, NOT.

What is so wonderful about New Years Day is that it gives hope that the new year will be better than the last. This sense of optimism is perhaps bolstered for many by the President-elect and the new Congress. Only time will tell if that optimism is well placed.

Putting aside the larger picture, New Years Day is always a time to reflect about how we as individuals - and families - can turn a new leaf and improve upon our lives. Take a moment this holiday and see how you can improve on your life and those around you. Happy New Years!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Celebrate the Bill of Rights

(originally published in The Detroit News)

In the cacophony of the recession, the plight of the American automobile industry, perpetual state budget woes and the upcoming presidential inauguration, one could easily be excused for forgetting about today's momentous anniversary. Two hundred and seventeen years ago, the United States ratified the Bill of Rights. It continues to play an indispensable role in our constitutional order, and we should take a moment to celebrate its vibrant role in American life.
Although a Bill of Rights had been a key feature of protecting the rights of Englishmen, the Founding Fathers omitted it when they drafted the Constitution in 1787. This oversight generated heated opposition throughout the colonies as the people debated whether to adopt the new Constitution.
Fearful that a newly formed federal government would oppress the people and trample on the states, the Anti-Federalists clamored for the addition of a Bill of Rights. Thomas Jefferson, writing to James Madison from Paris, wrote that he opposed the adoption of the Constitution without a Bill of Rights. He explained that "a bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no government should refuse, or rest on inference."
Although the new Constitution was ratified over the objections of the Anti-Federalists, most ratifiers understood that the addition of a Bill of Rights would be of the highest priority to the newly established federal government. Madison fulfilled that promise by drafting a dozen amendments to the Constitution -- the first 10 of which were adopted quickly and dubbed the Bill of Rights.
The purpose of the Bill of Rights is to guarantee our unalienable rights from infringement by the federal (and with the adoption of the 14th Amendment) and state governments.
The First Amendment protects the freedoms of religion, speech, press, petition, and association; and bars the establishment of religion. The Second Amendment ensures that the right of the people to keep and bear arms, while the Third Amendment prohibits the quartering of troops in peacetime.
The Fourth Amendment bars unreasonable searches and seizures; the Fifth Amendment prohibits placing a criminal defendant in double jeopardy, self-incrimination and the deprivation of "life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." The same amendment requires that any taking of private property by the government be only for "public use" and with "just compensation."
The Sixth Amendment guarantees a speedy and public trial, the right to confront witnesses, and the right to counsel. The Seventh Amendment guarantees a jury trial, while the Eighth prohibits cruel and unusual punishments.
The Ninth Amendment guarantees those rights not otherwise expressly protected in the first eight amendments, while the Tenth reserves all "powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it by the States ... to the States respectively, or to the People."
The Constitution expressly protects the unalienable rights of individuals from government oppression. These protections are integrated into the Constitution, the Supreme Court noted, because the Founders "foresaw that troublous times would arise, when rulers and people would become restive under restraint, and seek by sharp and decisive measures to accomplish ends deemed just and proper; and that principles of constitutional liberty would be in peril, unless established by irreparable law. The history of the world had taught them that what was done in the past might be attempted in the future."
The Founders' wisdom is as powerful today as it was in 1791. Billions of people continue to suffer the infringement of their God-given rights because they have no meaningful Bill of Rights to protect them.
As the Declaration of Independence explained, America was founded on the self-evident first principle that all men and women are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; and the Bill of Rights is intended to protect them. In the course of human history, very few people have had the benefit of a Bill of Rights.
Unfortunately, recent studies reveal that our students, public and policy-makers are woefully ignorant of our Constitution, including the Bill of Rights. We are fools to think we can keep our rights when we are ignorant of them. Let us use today's anniversary to renew our commitment to the Bill of Rights in education and policymaking. Then we will be worthy of the legacy of freedom the Founders bequeathed to us.

For more on our First Principles and how we can better fulfill them, visit:

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Day of Infamy

Today marks the 67th anniversary of the Japanese sneak attack on the American Naval Base at Pearl Harbor. Over 2,000 American servicemen perished, 5 battleships were sunk, and several other ships were damaged or destroyed.Little did the Japanese (or their allies, the Nazis) realize what they had wrought. The attack in 1941 was begun by Japan, but by 1945 America finished it - by the total unconditional surrender of Japan. The Allies had already defeated Germany when Japan surrendered.What makes this anniversary - and America's victory - special is not the military triump of the United States. Wars have part and parcel of history for as long as man has been man. No, what is important is the victory of America's First Principles: the rule of law, unalienable rights, equality, the Social Compact, and limited government. These First Principles separated America from Japanese imperialism and fascist Germany, and have been the sparked that have revolutionized societies all over the world.

For more, http://americassurvivalguide.com.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008




For more about the importance of our history, visit http://americassurvivalguide.com.

Monday, November 10, 2008


November 11 marks Veterans' Day (historically Armistace Day, on which at 11:11 on 11/11, 1918, the war to end all wars ended). On this day we pay homage to all veterans across America - living and passed - who have dedicated their lives to protecting our freedoms and liberties. Far too often we overlook the sacrfices of those who committed enormous sacrifices on our behalf. Today I salute three veterans with whom I'm especially close:

(1) My grandfather, Steve Maniaci - veteran of WWII who fought, among other battles, the Battle of the Buldge. He barely escaped death several times and was one of the most honest, hardworking, decent, and greatest men I have ever known.
(2) Michael DeBruyn - my (literally) life long dear friend who attended the Naval Academy and spent several years in the Navy - most notably serving on a subs for months at a time. He left big business consulting to teach - now at the Shrine School in Royal Oak.
(3) Greg Reid - a great friend who also joined the navy and served admirably with an Admiral. Most recently he has begun his own investment management company - Symphony Investments (http://www.symphonyinvestmentgroup.com/)
Thanks to you and everyone else who have kept us free!

To learn more about the freedoms our Veterans have protected, visit:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

President Elect Obama - Fulfillment of the American Dream

As the Declaration of Independence proclaims, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal . . . .” Equality is a First Principle of our republic. Of course, in 1776 that First Principles was just as much of an aspiration as a reality.

Regardless of your political perspective, the election of Senator Obama as President has made that aspiration much more a reality. Paraphrasing yesterday’s victor, today we can all be proud – not as Republicans or Democrats, not as those in Blue or Red States – but as Americans, that we have elected a bi-racial man (whose father was a Kenyan who abandoned him when he was a very young boy) President of these great United States.

For more on our First Principles and how we can better fulfill them, visit:

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Stephen J. Murphy, III, An Exemplar of the Federal Judiciary

Last week I had the privilege to attend the investiture of Stephen J. Murphy, III. After years of waiting, he was appointed by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the US Senate to the federal court of the Eastern District of Michigan. Stephen has been my friend for several years. More importantly, he has been a superb community leader, as an assistant US Attorney, corporate counsel for General Motors, and most recently as the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan.

He will bring to the Court the temperment, professionalism, and scholarly approach that this important position demands. He will ensure that the law is interpreted as written, and applied fairly.

A tribute to his qualifications is that his nomination was supported by Michigan's two Democrat US Senators. At his investiture, he had a bi-partisan slate of esteemed speakers, including Senator Carl Levin (D), Governor Jennifer Granholm (D), Congressman Mike Rogers (R), and former Attorney General for the United States Peter Keisler (R).

Stephen, make us proud!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

New Citizenship Test - Step in the Right Direction?

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration this service recently began using a new test for applicants for American citizenship. The virtue of the old test was that it tested objective verifiable facts, such as the number of stripes on the flag or what the stars represent. The old test, however, required nothing more than a cursory understanding of American history and civics to pass.
The new test, on the other hand, has less objective answers, but probes more deeply into our American experiments. For example, when an applicant is asked “What does the Constitution do?”, correct answers include “sets up the government,” “defines the government,” and “protects the basic rights of Americans.”

That our new citizens will have a firm grasp of founding First Principles and history is still doubtful, but from what I can tell, at least this is a step in the right direction.
As with all new programs implemented by the federal government, whether this one will actually meets its goal will only be determined over time. Often our newest citizens are our most informed and patriotic. Let us hope that the new test bolsters this as well.
For more the importance of our understanding our First Principles and history, visit http://www.americassurvivalguide.com/index.php

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bailout Must Be Constitutional

In a time of crisis – when we most need to embrace our Constitution and founding principles –we are most tempted to ignore them. Today’s crisis involving the meltdown of Fannie Mae, Freddy Mac, American International Group Inc (AIG), Lehman Brothers, and the financial markets presents such an opportunity in spades. However, the Constitution and our founding history provide enormous insight for today’s political and economic leadership – if they would pay attention. After all, the origin of the American Constitution is just as much the product a severe financial crisis as it is the American Revolution.
Most Americans today have seem to forgotten that during the period between the winning of the American Revolution in 1781 and the ratification of the Constitution in 1789, America faced a severe financial crisis. As the result of the Revolution and accompanying disruption of trade with Great Britain, many indebted farmers and merchants faced dire economic circumstances. They were unable to pay their mortgages and financial institutions were calling in their debts.
The response to the crisis in many state capitols was to issue nearly worthless paper money and enact debtor relief legislation that invalidated previously legitimate private contracts. Some legislatures delayed or reduced the payment of public and private debts, refused to pay their quotas of national expenses, and raised their own salaries. Many restless debtors took the law into their own hands and sacked courthouses to prevent them from rendering and enforcing judgments against debtors. The result was economic devastation.
Most Americans, however, strongly believed in the unalienable rights to property and to pursue happiness without undue government interference. Indeed, James Madison – the father of the Constitution – observed that “protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property” was the “first object” of government. When reviewing the response of the states in connection with the financial crisis, Madison remarked that such laws “are contrary to the first principles of the social compact and to every principle of sound legislation.”
At the same time, states were engaged in trade wars with each other. They established tariffs and other taxes upon each others’ goods. Economic chaos was supreme.
In the wake of this crisis, the Founding generation convened the Constitutional Convention to establish a strong federal government to protect the unalienable rights of the people. The new Constitution enabled the creation of national market by granting Congress the authority to regulate interstate commerce. Trade barriers between the states were barred. The states were prohibited from issuing paper money and from impairing the obligations of contracts.
Other safeguards were placed in the Constitution to protect the unalienable rights of the people. To protect the taxpayers, for example, only the House of Representatives – the branch of government most representative and closest to the people – is permitted to originate any spending bills. Under the 5th Amendment, the taking of private property can only occur for public use, and only with just compensation.
Just a few days ago, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York agreed to lend AIG $85 billion and purchase 79.9% of the insurance giant – with no action from the House of Representatives or Senate. The obligations of Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac have been taken over by the federal government. In an almost forgotten move, the Treasury – again with no action from Congress – announced it would use a $50 billion Treasury fund to guarantee money-market mutual fund accounts. Secretary of Treasury Henry Paulson is calling for the assumption of $700 billion of bad debts from financial institutions through a taxpayer backed bailout, with extraordinary czar like powers over the economy to be assumed by him – an unelected cabinet official.
How any of this is consistent with the Constitution or our founding principles has not been explained. Nor has anyone really bothered to ask. Yet, the Constitution was carefully crafted to preserve our liberty through such provisions as the Bill of Rights, the separation of powers, checks and balances, federalism, and enumerated powers. Underlying the Constitution is a set of founding First Principles – the rule of law, equality, unalienable rights, the Social Compact, and limited government – all of which are important to maintaining our freedom.
Before we continue to lurch through this crisis, we should demand that our leaders only take actions that are consistent with the Constitution and the First Principles. After all, history is replete with examples of a people losing their liberties when a crisis arises. We are fools to think that we must be an exception. After all, if we are going to ignore the Constitution during a time of crisis, then is not worth the paper it is printed on.
[First published on-line at freep.com]

For more about the necessity of adhering to our First Principles and the Constitution, visit http://www.americassurvivalguide.com/index.php

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ignorance of Our Constitution Imperils Freedom

As we enter the final stretch of one of the most interesting presidential races in this generation, we should seriously reflect on the relevance of the Constitution, which was signed by the Founders 221 years ago during the past week. Such reflection reveals both the wonderful promise of America and the perils facing it.
The presence of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin ensure the smashing of prejudices and vindicate the promise of our Constitution.
Like the American Revolution and Declaration of Independence, the Constitution is based on certain first principles: the rule of law, equality, limited government and unalienable rights.
For far too long, America's commitment to equality was stained by terrible racial and gender bias. That the highest offices of the republic are within reach of a biracial man and a woman reveals the power of the idea of equality and the significant (albeit incomplete) progress America has made.
The election also highlights the fragility of our freedom.
We should be delighted that this election has engaged so many people. But in a society enraptured by the misbehavior of maladjusted celebrities, we need to leverage this election to increase the understanding of our Constitution.
We utterly depend on an informed electorate to maintain our freedoms and liberties. Yet there is overwhelming evidence of our ignorance and disdain of the Constitution and American history. Many studies reveal that our K-12 students, college students and the general public lack a basic understanding of our system of free government.
We are fools to think our free society will survive if we are ignorant of, or attack, what preserves our liberties. The people are the ultimate guardians of their own freedom -- and for far too long we have been abdicating that responsibility. And these are self-inflicted wounds -- the very definition of suicide.
As we complete this exciting election cycle, we must evaluate the candidates and determine whether their policies are consistent with or undermine equality, other rights, limited government and the rule of law.
We should demand that the candidates actually explain whether their proposals align with the Constitution and our foundational history.
Likewise, Americans should demand that our political leadership undertake several strong and critical reforms to preserve our freedoms.
These would include adopting an American freedom curriculum, in which American history and civics are taught every year in K-12. Teacher preparation and the bar exam should be changed so all teachers and lawyers are well versed in our history and principles.
By placing the Constitution and its principles at the forefront of the election and the reform agenda, we will have a hope of stopping ourselves from drinking our collective hemlock.

(Originally published in The Detroit News)
For more, visit www.AmericasSurvivalGuide.com

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Speaking Event

I am pleased to announce that Point of Relevance has invited me to speak at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial next Wednesday, September 24, at 7:00 pm. The topic is: "We Hold These Truths to be Self-Evident: The Creator and Our Founding First Principles."

The event is free and open to the public.
The War Memorial is located at 32 Lakeshore Dr, Grosse Pointe Farms.


September 17 is the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution by our Founding Fathers. Signed in 1787, and ratified in 1789, the Constitution is the oldest - and shortest - Constitution in effect in the world. And, if I may say so, the best.

Through the Constitution, we established a written rule of law. We embodied the revolutionary concepts of checks and balances, separation of powers, federalism, judicial review, elimination of nobility, civilian rule over the military, republican government, and many more advances.

Although the Founding Fathers were far from perfect, they certainly helped perfect the world.

Let us all spend a moment and give thanks to God that we have blessed with the Constitution.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Upcoming Speaking and Book Signing Appearances

I will be speaking about my book (see www.AmericasSurvivalGuide.com) at the Shelby Township Library - located on the east side of Van Dyke, just north of 23 Mile Road, on July 12, 2008, at 10:30 a.m.

I will be signing my book at the Meijer in Auburn Hills (800 Brown Road), on July 19, 2008 from Noon-2:00 p.m.

All are welcome!

Independence Day

Today we mark the independence of the most free nation the world has ever seen. Nothing is a better tribute than spending a few minutes reflecting on at least the beginning of the Declaration of Independence:

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

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 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 to 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. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

For the rest of the Declaration, as well as other founding documents and their importance to preserving our liberties, visit www.AmericasSurvivalGuide.com.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Sorry for the delay in posting, but I have just returned from a very lengthy vacation from Washington, D.C.

If you haven't been there lately (or ever), you should consider doing so soon. We were able to visit all three branches of government (a tour of the Capitol (thanks Congressman Knollenberg), a tour of the White House, and I heard the oral delivery of opinions by the Supreme Court). The Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, the National Archives, Library of Congress, Holocaust Museum, WW II Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, Marines' and Navy's Memorials, Georgetown, etc. are all inspiring in their own ways.

Although there is much wrong with America today, revisiting D.C. certainly can renew one's energy and lift one's spirit, and give us hope for the future.

Being able to view firsthand originals of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, and Madison's Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments was awe inspiring. As was our visit to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

To learn more about why its important to renew our knowledge and faith in America, visit http://www.americassurvivalguide.com/.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Upcoming Radio Appearance

On June 8, at 5-6 pm (EST), I will be on Jack Krasula's Anything is Possible show on WJR 760 AM. (It will be streaming on the web as well.) We will be covering a wide range of topics, including education reform, civics, and my book, America's Survival Guide.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Jack Lucas - Old Fashioned Patriot

According to the Associated Press, Jack Lucas was only 14 years old when he enrolled in the Marines to fight in World War II. (You can review the whole article at the detnews.com). He lied about his age and forged his mom's signature on his enrollment papers. Although I'm not one to support lying, he did so out of his love for his country and - a now quite old fashioned - sense of Patriotism.

Lucas was the youngest winner of the Medal of Honor (now made famous via videogames) when he jumped on 2 grenades in his trench to save the lives of his fellow soldiers during the fierce fighting at Iwo Jima. To get there, he had stowed away in a Navy ship and then revealed himself once in Japan.

This American Patriot just passed away this week.

That a 14 year old today would even contemplate such measures for love of country is hard to contemplate.

Mr. Lucas, rest in peace. May you be an inspiration for the newest generation.

For more about the importance of patriotism, visit http://www.americassurvivalguide.com/.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day: R.I.P. Our Sacred Dead

On Monday America is celebrating Memorial Day, a national holiday which began in practice shortly after the Civil War.

As Americans we often take for granted the freedoms and blessings that we enjoy each and every day. Those freedoms and blessings were won through the ultimate sacrifice of generations - current and past - dedicated to the survival of our free republic.

Our solemn obligation is to dedicate ourselves to the cause of America by advancing the cause of liberty today and for future generations.

God Bless our Sacred Dead, may they rest in peace.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Book Signing, May 17

I am pleased to announce my upcoming book signing event on SATURDAY MAY 17 at the Barnes and Noble on Telegraph Road just south of Maple (15 mile road) (on the east side of the street/just north of Big Boy), from 2-7 PM.

I will be signing my recently released book, America's Survival Guide, How to Stop America's Impending Suicide by Reclaiming Our First Principles and History.

If you are unable to make the event (due to conflicts or distance), please visit my website at www.AmericasSurvivalGuide.com (the book is also available at barnesandnoble.com and Amazon.com, among other on-line retailers).

If you have already purchased the book, my many thanks - but please don't be shy in stopping by the event - we would love to see you - the more the merrier.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


On May 7, 1945, the war in Europe ended. Nazi Germany surrendered. General Dwight Eisenhower accepted the Nazi surrender at a little red schoolhouse in Reims, France. The following day, President Harry S. Truman proclaimed V-E Day (i.e., Victory-Europe).

The struggle in Europe was perhaps an unparalled battle between the forces of good, led by the United States of America, and the forces of evil, led by Nazi Germany. Embracing freedom, America fought to preserve the First Principles of the rule of law, equality, the Social Compact, limited government, and unalienable rights. Nazi Germany, on the other hand, fought to preserve a totalitarian dictatorship built on terror, lawlessness, and eugenics.

Thankfully the forces of good triumphed - at an enormous sacrifice. The soldiers, workers, and leaders of that time deserve our unending thanks.

For more on American history and our First Principles, visit:

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May Day v Law Day

May 1 has historically been celebrated by socialists and communists as "May Day." Replete with military parades and large public gatherings, communist dictators across the world celebrated the triumph of their totalitatarian systems over their own people.

In reaction, the American Bar Association began 50 years ago to celebrate "Law Day" on May 1. Although the ABA has often taken controversial stands on major issues of the day, Law Day is perhaps their finest public service. This year's theme is "The Rule of Law." The ABA is hosting a series of activities across the nation dedicated to this theme.

In light of the importance of the Rule of Law in America, its celebration is a very fitting juxtaposition of the rule of terror propagated by dictatorships - communist and otherwise - throughout the word. The Rule of Law is an indispensible First Principle of America. The idea that every person must follow the law, including those who are in the government, is the bedrock of American freedom. Only when the leaders of the nation are held accountable to the same law applicable to all citizens can all citizens achieve equality and justice.

For more on the importance of the Rule of Law, American history and our First Principles, visit:

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Shot Heard Around the World

Today is the anniversary of the "Shot Heard Around the World." Also dubbed "Patriot's Day" - this is the anniversary of when our forefathers fired the first shots of the American Revolution at the Battle of Lexington.

At that time Americans were facing the most important decision of the life of our people - whether to tamely submit to British oppression - or to fight. The Battles of Lexington and Concord put the issue to rest - we would fight.

In the immediate aftermath of the Battle at Lexington, Dr Joseph Warren wrote that “to the persecution and tyranny of [the King’s] cruel ministry we will not tamely submit – appealing to Heaven for justice of our cause, we determine to die or be free."

One can rightfully ask whether such a spirit exists today. Clearly the men and women risking their lives overseas understand that freedom is not free, but what of the rest of us?

For more on American history and our First Principles, visit:http://www.americassurvivalguide.com/

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tax Day

Today is April 15 - the day of reckoning for taxes. According to theScott Hodge, President of the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, "Government continues to dominate the American taxpayer’s budget. Americans will still spend more on taxes in 2008 than they will spend on food, clothing and housing combined.”

This is a superb day for reflection about the size, scope, and purpose of the federal and state governments. As we move forward, voters, policy-makers, and think tanks should seriously review whether tax policy supports - or undermines - the Constitution and our First Principles. We should thoughtfully consider whether the enormous federal budget - as well as large state budgets - are serving our principles well. Spending without such scrutiny appears to be the norm, yet Americans appear to be more dischanted than ever with government. Viewing our taxes through the lense of our history and First Principles would bring some needed discipline to our fiscal and budgetary policy.

For more, check out http://www.americassurvivalguide.com/index.php

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Michigan Students Struggle In Writing

According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 73 percent of Michigan 8th graders were not proficient in writing - statistically the same as the last test in 2002. Meanwhile, there is a move afoot in Michigan to strip out essays and short answers in the MEAP and MERIT tests because of cost concerns.

None of this portends well for Michigan or the nation. Effective communication - including old fashioned reading and writing, is essential to America's ability to function as a free republic. An uninformed public - and a public that is unable to effectively write - is in peril.

To see what America needs to combat this crisis and others, visit:

Friday, March 28, 2008

15th Amendment to the US Constitution March 30, 1870

Guest commentary by Tom Watkins:

What a difference 138 years make. On March 30, 1870, 83 years after the adoption of the U.S. Constitution, the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was adopted. Fast forward 138 years and it is possible that an African American may become the 44th President of the United States. How time flies when you are being denied.
The irony of the ratification of the 15th Amendment to the Constitution during 1869 is that it was enacted along party lines. But not as the racial politics break down in the 21st century, with the Democratic Party capturing the majority of the Black vote. No, in 1869 Republicans primarily supported the amendment and Democrats mostly opposed it. What a difference 138 years make.
If it were not for the Black vote in 1868, the Republican presidential candidate Ulysses S. Grant would have lost the popular vote. To put it succinctly, without the Black vote General Grant might have lost the election. The Republicans were not going to leave future elections to chance - they were going to give the former slaves the right to vote as a means of maintaining their control. They were the Karl Rove's of their day - doing whatever was necessary in order to hold on to power.
While there was some idealism and sense of justice from Democrats and Republicans for equal rights that prompted this amendment, it was equally, if not more so, done as a counterweight against a Democratic Party that was making electoral gains across the South. Many believe that the main impetus behind the 15th Amendment was the Republican goal to entrench its political power in both the North and the South. Black votes would help accomplish that end.
Let's remember that passing laws are only part of any battle. While the 15th Amendment was passed, there were still tremendous efforts to deny Black people the right to vote in this country for nearly another hundred years. There were efforts of voter intimidation, poll taxes, the establishment of grandfather clauses, (i.e., you could vote if your grandfather did), property ownership clauses and literacy tests to try to circumvent the law and prevent the "Negro" the right to vote, thereby disenfranchising Blacks.
Republicans regarded the 15th Amendment as the crowning achievement of Reconstruction after the Civil War.
Today we can see the result of providing all the tools that our founding fathers called for when they wrote the Constitution of the United States of America that was adopted on September 17, 1787.
The Founding Fathers were far from perfect. They were unable to find an acceptable compromise on the issue of slavery which divided the Colonies and was thwarting an agreement on the remainder of the Constitution. Accordingly, they made the decision to keep the status quo, leaving people enslaved and kicking the tough issue down the road for future generations to solve. It would take the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, 178 years after the adoption of the Constitution, before the majority of African Americans in the South were registered to vote.
Today an African American, Sen. Senator Barack Obama is poised to become our next President. We have reason to stand tall as Americans as we continue to act out our forefathers' dream - of a country where all men and women are created equal.
It has taken many years, a Civil War, countless struggles, sacrifices, lost lives, political machinations and the Constitution being amended seventeen times, besides the ten included in the Bill of Rights, to get to this point today.
Today, Sen. Obama is the exclamation point on a great experiment of self government: the United States of America.
Regardless of your political affiliation or what happens on election day, it is a proud day for us all. We have come along way. As Sen. Obama likes to remind us, "Yes We Can."
This Col. is part one of a two part series. It provides a snapshot of how Sen. Barack Obama is poised to become the next President of the United States of America. Come back to this same space next week and read about how the 19th Amendment has helped women and how Sen. Clinton is standing on the shoulders of women who fought for the right to vote and may be poised to leap to the Presidency.

Don’t forget to visit my website to order a copy of America’s Survival Guide (http://www.americassurvivalguide.com/index.php).

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Busy Couple of Weeks

In the last two weeks I have spoken to the Bloomfield Women’s Republican Club and the Mt. Clemens Public Library. The Bloomfield event is airing on local cable. I also just taped a show of Practical Law with Henry Gorbein. I also was interviewed on WMUZ 103.5 and appeared on WDIV-TV. I also discussed efiling at the Oakland County Bar Association’s Symposium on efiling. Throw in seeing theatre productions of Junglebook and Jesus Christ Superstar, and WJR’s St Patrick’s Day Party, and I’ve had a very eventful two week period.

Most important, Happy Easter!

Don’t forget to visit my website to order a copy of America’s Survival Guide (http://www.americassurvivalguide.com/index.php).

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Ides of March

March 15 is the Ides of March. Most famously, it is the day on which Julius Caesar was slain in the Roman Senate by a leading Senators. Leading the conspirators was Brutus - a friend of Ceasar - who determined that assassinating Caesar was the only way to prevent Caesar from subverting the republic into an empire. In the end, Brutus was correct. Only it wasn't Julius Caesar who became the first emperor - it was Augustus Caesar - after a bloody civil war that claimed the lives of the leaders of the republican faction - including Brutus (at his own hands).

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Gender equality and Saudi Arabia

Although some are quick to criticize the state of gender equality in America, they seldom speak out about the appalling status of women in other nations. As but one example, as a kingdom (yes, it still has a king) ruled under Islamic law, Saudi Arabia deprives its women of basic legal rights. Women cannot vote. They are barred from many professions. They must ride in the back of public buses. A women’s testimony is only worth one half of a man’s testimony. Criminal sexual conduct cases against women require women to produce four witnesses. Women cannot drive – in fact, they can not even be in a car with a male who is not a relative. They cannot appear before a judge without a male representative, or travel abroad without the permission of a male guardian. Women must not show their faces in public or they will oppressed by the police. And there is more.

Although not perfect, America has made tremendous strides in gender equality, and appears ready to elect a woman as President (if the right candidate). Our progress has been made because of our belief in the First Principle of equality. With more hard work, we can continue to make progress on this important journey.

For more on the First Principle of equality and gender, visit:

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Mr. Adams and the Boston Massacre

238 years ago today, British troops fired into an angry mob and slaughtered five colonists in Boston. American patriots soon referred to the incident as “The Boston Massacre.”

Although America did not declare independence until over six years later, the incident served as one of critical incidents toward the drive to independence. The good people of Boston would commemorate the anniversary of the incident through various gatherings, speeches, etc. The orators on such occasions enlivened the spirits of the colonists to maintain their liberties and freedoms in the face of British oppression.

In a paradoxical manner, the Boston Massacre also revealed the inner strength of America’s commitment to our First Principles. A leading revolutionary figure and future President of the United States – John Adams – defended the British captain and soldiers at trial. Although he was concerned about his law practice, reputation, and safety, he felt the rule of law and justice required a fair trial and able defense. The captain, and 6 of 8 soldiers were acquitted.

Adams’s service was a tribute to liberty, the rule of law, and justice – and something that is almost unimaginable today – the risking of a prominent politician’s reputation to do the right thing. Adams recalled his defense as “one of the most gallant, generous, manly, and disinterested actions of my whole life, and one of the best pieces of service I ever rendered my country.” As usual, he was right.

For more on American history and our First Principles, visit:

Friday, February 29, 2008

Proud to be an American

Lately some very high profile individuals have either appeared to be ashamed of being an American or, at the very least, have not been proud of America for most of their lives. I don’t know about you, but despite all of America’s imperfections – including some terrible historical stains – I am very proud to be a citizen of this great country.

America is not perfect. But what country is? Close scrutiny of the history and current circumstances surrounding any nation will reveal horrible injustices. What makes America different – in a singularly unique way in human history –is that we hold ourselves to ideas and ideals that force ourselves to introspectively review ourselves, and then work to improve our imperfections.

Most nations have been forged in blood and are united by language, ethnic group, culture, tradition, and heritage. This is still true – look what happened to Yugoslavia. Its last remnants were torn asunder when Kosovo became the world’s newest nation.

America, however, is forged on our First Principles as enunciated in our Declaration of Independence: the rule of law, unalienable rights, equality, the social compact, and limited government.

Those First Principles resulted in emancipation, women’s suffrage, and the great civil rights movement. This is not a heritage to be ashamed of, but to be proud of. I know I am.

For more on why you should be proud to be an American, visit:http://www.americassurvivalguide.com/index.php

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Upcoming Book Signing

I am returning to the Little Professor Bookcenter this upcoming Saturday, March 1, from 11 am - 1pm, at 17075 Silver Parkway, Fenton, MI 48340 [(810) 629-3193].

This is another great independent bookstore. Stop by if you are in the area!

Michigan Council for Social Studies - A Voice for Our Liberties

Last Tuesday, I spoke at a break-out session at the annual conference of the Michigan Council for the Social Studies (MCSS) regarding my book, America’s Survival Guide, How to Stop America’s Impending Suicide by Reclaiming Our First Principles and History (http://www.americassurvivalguide.com/index.php). The MCSS provided complimentary copies of my book to conference attendees.

I appreciated speaking with some of the old vanguard in the fight to preserve social studies, including Roy Sovis, Amy Bloom, and J. Kelli Sweet - and meeting the new - like Kimberly Meade. My daughter Leah had a great time at the lunch and exhibit hall - and tolerated her father's comments at the break-out session.

MCSS has been on the frontlines of advocating for excellent social studies education for all of Michigan’s children. Under the able leadership of Executive Director J. Kelli Sweet, President Tom Costello, and many others, MCSS provides excellent advocacy and training for social studies educators They are simply indispensable, and epitomize the power and need of nonprofits to preserve our constitutional order.

To learn more about MCSS, check out http://www.michcouncilss.org/.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Kudos to the Nomad Bookhouse

To commemorate President’s Day, I gave a speech and signed my book, America’s Survival Guide (http://www.americassurvivalguide.com/index.php), at the Nomad Bookhouse in Jackson, Michigan. Tucked in downtown Jackson, Nomad is a charming and warm independent bookstore, chock full of interesting titles. It also has a great backroom for children’s books. Most important, the owner, Bridget Rothenberger, is a committed, engaging, and warm person who really enlivens the book signing experience. Kudos! Nomad is located at 229 S. Mechanical Street, Jackson, MI. Check it out at http://www.nomadbookhouse.com/ (517-990-0700 is the general phone).

Independent bookstores like Nomad are all the more important in the age of big box book retailers, which primarily focus on commercial books to churn, as opposed to quality books that inform and educate.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Ethical lawyers are critical to maintaining our freedoms

(Originally published in The Detroit News)

The indispensable role of attorneys in maintaining the integrity of our system of justice has been all over the news. Indeed, one can hardly read the newspaper on any given day without coming across cases and controversies calling into question the ethical behavior of some lawyers. I can't comment on any case, but America benefits when the public becomes more aware and interested in the legal system.

Former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren reminded us long ago that "A dedicated bench and a militant bar are the natural leaders" to preserving our liberties. Warren explained that "Without an independent judiciary there can be no freedom. Without a militant bar to assert in court the constitutional rights of individuals regardless of how unpopular those assertions might be at the moment, such rights become merely 'sounding brass and tinkling cymbals.'"

Lawyers have a special trust and duty to maintain our freedoms. For this reason, lawyers in Michigan are required to attend an accredited law school and pass the bar examination. Lawyers are expected to be well versed in legal ethics to even begin the practice of law. Moreover, the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct carefully sets the parameters of permissible legal practice. The vast majority of lawyers comply with these ethical guidelines. However, on occasion, a few lawyers lose focus and instead place attempts to prevail in litigation above their ethical duties. When this occurs, the integrity of the system of justice is severely undermined. Lawyers are officers of the court and their conduct reflects upon the sanctity of the entire system of justice, which supports our freedoms.

Accordingly, the rules of ethics prohibit a lawyer from making a false statement of material fact or law to a court. In fact, lawyers may have a duty to disclose something if silence could be construed as a misrepresentation. Lawyers are also prohibited from offering evidence they know to be false or suborning perjury. Lawyers must not unlawfully destroy evidence or conceal documents. Dishonesty, fraud, deceit, misrepresentation and conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice are all considered professional misconduct. Furthermore, lawyers are barred from encouraging or assisting others to violate the rules of professional misconduct and have an obligation to report misconduct of others. Lawyers who violate the rules of professional conduct are subject to strong sanctions by the Attorney Grievance Commission, as well as the inherent constitutional oversight authority of applicable courts. Lawyers may face charges of contempt of court or obstruction of justice if they improperly interfere with judicial proceedings. If a lawyer aids another in covering up a crime, they can be charged with the felony of accessory after the fact.

The courts are the people's instrument of justice. To make a mockery of the sacred role of the court is to undermine the core of our system of republican self-government. We have duty to ensure that potential ethical breaches are vigorously reviewed and, if proven, sanctioned.

For more, visit http://www.americassurvivalguide.com/index.php

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Happy Birthday President Lincoln

February 12 is President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. There was a time when it was recognized as a national holiday. Currently we celebrate his birthday along with all of the other presidents on President’s Day. This state of affairs is most unfortunate.

Along with George Washington, Lincoln is deserving of his own holiday. He led the country through a controversial, bitter and bloody Civil War – and prevailed. He emancipated the slaves. He was a brilliant political leader who influences the basic underpinnings of the American experience today. For more on Lincoln and his importance, visit http://www.americassurvivalguide.com/index.php

Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is the most important speech in American history. My tribute to Lincoln this year is to post it here and to suggest to you that you honor him and America by sharing his words with others on his birthday:

Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a
new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men
are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing
whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long
endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate
a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their
lives that the nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we
should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate – we
can not consecrate – we can not hallow – this ground. The brave men, living and
dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add
or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but
it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be
dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus so
far nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task
remaining before us – that from those honored dead we take increased devotion to
that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here
highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation,
under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the
people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Courts Must Not Tolerate Any Contempt for the Truth

(Originally published in the Detroit Free Press, 2/5/08)

The importance of telling the truth while under oath in court has been recently splashed across the front page. Putting aside any commentary on any particular case, this heightened public awareness is needed and welcome.
That perjury is commonplace is the dirty little secret of modern litigation. Seasoned lawyers and judges more than suspect that many litigants file false affidavits, provide baseless testimony in sworn depositions, and lie under oath at trial. Although people may hear and see events differently, often trial testimony is so diametrically opposed that there is no rational explanation other than at least one witness is simply lying.
Indeed, at times, the extrinsic evidence that a witness is committing perjury becomes overwhelming.
The failure to rapidly pursue blatant perjury leads to the deterioration of the rule of law and the administration of justice, and it undermines our form of self-government. To assume that perjury is a fact of life that cannot or should not be vindicated in the courts of law only exacerbates the situation and leads to the disillusionment of those who do not engage in such conduct.
If litigants understand that they can blatantly lie under oath -- even when extrinsic evidence clearly proves the falsity of the statements -- we only degrade the rule of law, a First Principle of our republic.
Lies under oath lead to violating court orders; broken court orders lead to more serious crimes. Contemnors are simply emboldened to lie with impunity and to violate court orders without consequence.
Moreover, the courts are the people's instrument of justice. To make a mockery of the sacred role of the court is to undermine the very core of our system of self-government.
If the truth does not matter in our courts of law, how can it matter elsewhere? If we will not enforce the law in our own courts, how can we expect that it will be adhered to outside of them? If the oath means nothing, it should not be given.
On the other hand, if the rule of law is to prevail, the oath should be vigorously enforced, and those who breach the same should be held accountable for their misconduct. Indeed, Michigan and federal jurisprudence has long held that it is the duty of a conscientious court to punish criminal contempt, regardless of how forgiving or reluctant the judge might otherwise be to pursue the matter.
Perhaps uniquely in the state, my court has held several criminal contempt proceedings based on false testimony that occurred in a prior proceeding. Although rare, they have been important in protecting the integrity of the administration of justice.
For example, one conviction for criminal contempt arose out of the perjury and production of false documents that occurred during a double armed robbery trial.
In another proceeding, a counselor falsely testified about the security of a facility in which a bond violator was subsequently placed; contrary to the false testimony that misled both the people and the court, the bonder was able to leave on his own accord, thereby endangering the community.
Others found in contempt include a woman who took the wrong child to a paternity test, witnesses who admitted lying under oath in depositions, and a party who forged a signature on an employment agreement.
Apparently word has spread. I have been told by a number of prominent litigators and judges that they are aware of the criminal contempt proceedings that have occurred in my court, and that they support the revivification of the oath. In addition, at my urging and with the unanimous support of the Michigan Supreme Court, the Legislature recently enhanced the penalties for criminal contempt. These efforts appear to be working; I have had a dearth of contempt matters in my court for several months.
With some luck, these efforts will spread, and the importance of the oath will be affirmed and strengthened to better protect the core of our system of justice.

For more on the importance of the First Principle of the rule of law and the role of the courts in preserving of liberty, see http://www.americassurvivalguide.com/index.php.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Super Bowl Sunday v Super Tuesday

I, along with most of the rest of the nation, will be watching the Super Bowl today. (And like many, I will be enjoying the hospitality of a friend’s house – thanks Mr. Krebs!) Perhaps the Patriots will make history or perhaps the Giants will win the biggest upset since the Pistons dismantled the Lakers in the NBA Finals a few years ago.

Regardless of the outcome, we can rest assured that millions of people not only will be tune in, they have been debating the probable outcome for the last couple of weeks. For days – if not weeks – after the game, millions will continue to discuss the game, and the commercials.

Compare this activity to the general level engagement of the polity in connection with Super Tuesday. Two days after the Super Bowl, nearly half the states will participate in the presidential selection process (via caucus or primary) for the major party candidates. Despite the fact that the nation is at a critical crossroads (Iraq, Afghanistan, looming recession, housing crisis, social security, deficits, etc.), the general public has paid far less time and energy on Super Tuesday than the Super Bowl. Presidential elections themselves receive less participation.

How we expect to survive as a free nation when we spend more time and energy on sports than on selecting our most important political leader is beyond me. We need to make the political process more important, and view the Super Bowl for what it is – a great game for a great sport – and nothing more.

If you still have the opportunity to vote in the primary process or are interested in how to make elections as important as sports, check out my website (including its review of the candidates) at http://www.americassurvivalguide.com/index.php.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Obama's success a victory for equalty

Senator Barack Obama's huge win in this weekend's South Carolina Democrat primary, combined with his earlier showings (including his win in Iowa), are a remarkable turning point for America. That he prevailed - and by a whopping margin - below the Mason-Dixon line reveals that the First Principle of equality is prevailing like never before in American politics.

America has long been committed to the principle that all men are created equal, but the reality was often quite different. Today, Obama's campaign is giving added life to that promise. Regardless of the outcome of the Democrat primary or the general election, Americans can be proud to have reached this milestone.

Perhaps someday - sooner that most thought possible - the race and gender of a candidate will be irrelevant to the voters.

For more about the First Principle of equality, go to AmericasSurvivalGuide.com.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

How King helped America achieve dream of equalty

Originally published in the Detroit News:

Wednesday, January 16, 2008
How King helped America achieve dream of equality
Michael Warren
As is apt to happen during the presidential primary season, politicians have wrapped themselves in the flag and America's icons. Quite appropriately, many candidates are harkening to the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. In fact, a small primary eruption occurred when the leading Democrat candidates, U.S. Sens. Hillary Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois, sparred over his contributions to the American Dream.

As we approach the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday (his birthday was Tuesday), we should take the opportunity to put aside partisanship and invective. Instead, we should focus on King's pivotal role in moving the country toward realizing the yet unfulfilled dream of racial equality.

The Declaration of Independence so eloquently penned by Thomas Jefferson and the Second Continental Congress declares as a self-evident truth the First Principle that "all men are created." Of course, at the time of the Declaration, that self-evident truth was honored in the breach as much as in reality. Jefferson and many other Founding Fathers owned slaves; indentured servants were common; and women were disenfranchised.

However, the principle of equality was so powerful that over time it assaulted and eventually tore down the bulwarks of inequality. Even before the nation was born, many Founding Fathers railed against the hypocrisy of slavery in light of the self-evident truth that all men were created equal by the Creator. Abolitionists continued this tradition through the antebellum period.

In 1863, Abraham Lincoln reaffirmed this principle in the Gettysburg Address when he explained that the nation was "conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." Armed with this, Lincoln and the Union Army eventually liberated the slaves. Likewise, the Radical Republican Congress enacted Reconstruction to affirm the principle of equality.

Yet, the promise of racial equality was quashed with the infamous Tilden-Hayes presidential election of 1876 and the abandonment of Reconstruction thereafter. Not until Martin Luther King Jr., along with many other courageous leaders and foot soldiers, was America forced to more fully confront the legacy of racism.

King's efforts were deeply rooted in equality. Writing from a jail cell in Birmingham, Ala., in 1963, he predicted that African-Americans "will reach the goal of freedom in Birmingham and all over the nation, because the goal of America is freedom." He explained that "One day the South will know that when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters, they were in reality standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the sacred values in our Judeo-Christian heritage, bringing our nation back to those great wells of democracy that were dug deep by the Founding Fathers in their formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence."

Inspired by this understanding and the struggles of the civil rights movement, Congress passed a series of civil rights laws; and America has moved -- all too slowly -- to embrace the full ramifications of equality.

As we approach the holiday on Monday, our schools, museums, politicians and the media should reflect on King's achievements during this critical period and pay homage to his indispensable role in making America accountable to equality.

To fulfill his legacy, all of America's citizens and students need to be well versed about equality and continue King's demand that we unequivocally apply it.

For more visit www.AmericasSurvivalGuide.com

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Michigan's Republican (GOP) Primary Offers Opportunity to Apply First Principles

Two days from now, Michigan voters will be going to the polls to cast their vote in the presidential primary. Because of the timing of the primary, all of the leading Democrats are boycotting the election. The Republican primary, on the other hand, is a spirited contest drawing major GOP candidates Mitt Romney, John McCain, and Mike Huckabee to the state over the last few days. The primary offers voters - many whom are just focusing on the election - an excellent opportunity to evaluate the candidates in light of our First Principles and History.

When evaluating the 2008 presidential candidates, consider whether they understand that too many of our students and voters do not adequately understand our First Principles and History.

Ask whether the candidates understand our First Principles. Do the presidential candidates understand the rule of law, equality, unalienable rights, the Social Compact, and limited government? How will they approach public policy issues in light of those First Principles?

Ask whether the candidates understand the Declaration of Independence, the American Revolution, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Gettysburg Address, and the great civil rights movements.

Do the candidates respect key components of American government, such as federalism, enumerated powers, judicial review, separation of powers, and checks and balances?

Do the presidential candidates have a comprehensive understanding of American history, and will they draw upon our rich history when they confront the issues of the day?

Will they support the education, media, holiday, legal, nonprofit, and political reforms America needs to survive?

To help you better evaluate the candidates, review my website's more elaborate review of whether the Next President Will Save America at www.AmericasSurvivalGuide.com

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Special Guest Post by Tom Watkins: You Are a "Good Man" Judge Warren

He is a conservative and compassionate Republican and I am a reform-minded Democrat. He cast a deciding vote to help propel me into a major statewide policy role and I spoke at his investiture to become a circuit court judge. We come at public policy issues from a different slant, yet on a number of issues; especially debates dealing with kids, we remarkably end up at a similar space.

We have learned that we can disagree, and do so often but we do not need to be disagreeable and in fact can and are friends. We both wish there was more of this behavior taking place in our state and nations capital today.

What brings us together is a sense of obligation to make government work as effectively and efficiently as we can while upholding our democratic principles and ideals. We both understand and have played politics but know when and how to come together for the common good of our state and nation.

I am speaking about Oakland County Circurt Judge, and former state board of education member, Michael David Warren, Jr. Judge Warren is some one I respect and pay the highest compliment when I call him a "good man."

Judge Warren is a patriot and someone who loves this country and the principles and ideals on which this land of our was founded. The judge does not simply think deep thoughts he has put his thoughts into action in his new book: "America's Survival Guide, How to Stop America's Impending Suicide by Reclaiming Our First Principles and History."

The book was published on Constitution Day - the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution (September 17, 2007) - by Mill City Press and cost $15.99. You can order the book at Amazon.com or by going to the Judges Web site: www.AmericasSurvivalGuide.com

The book is as I describe it in on the dust jacket is "A comprehensive tour de force of what is going wrong with our republic and how to make it right. It does not matter if you come from the ideological left, right or straight-down the middle - this book is worth reading if you love America and cherish our freedom." It is a "one stop, full-service" primer to raise the alarm about the impending suicide of America and to help stop it.

In "America's Survival Guide," Warren describes how America is slowly committing suicide. He believes that contrary to popular wisdom, the most serious threat to America does not spring from overseas adversaries. The threat is from within. As the famous cartoon character, Pogo once declared: "We have met the enemy and it is us!" America's history and First Principles have been cast aside and denigrated by the public, educators, mainstream media, legal profession, and politicians. According to Warren, this state of affairs imperils the country's very survival; and these are self-inflicted wounds - the very definition of suicide. This is a must read book for everyone that is concerned about the direction our nation is moving today.
Besides being an author, Michael Warren is also a leading voice regarding social studies reform. As a sitting judge, former member of the Michigan State Board of Education, and board member of several education nonprofit organizations (including the Michigan Center for Civic Education and the Michigan Council on Economics Education) he is a forceful and powerful advocate in support of preserving America unique ideals.

He received national exposure when he challenged the Michigan Department of Education's attempt to excise the words "America" and "American" from the classroom. He has written extensively about education reform and the importance of American history and civics.

It has been written that those that forget history are doomed to repeat it. Judge Warren is a strong advocate to assure that American's history is not going to be forgotten on his watch.
No, we do not agree on everything. Yet as my first boss would often remind me, "if we both agreed on everything - one of us would not be necessary."

As I think of our relationship, I think we should find a way to bottle it and sell to the ultra partisan crowd in Lansing that seem to spend more time on "political gottcha" than solving our collective problems. Perhaps some one will read this column and be compelled to read the Judges book: "America's Survival Guide," and give it to all the members in the Executive and Legislative branches of government both in Lansing and Washington.

Read Judge Warren's book, "America's Survival Guide, How to Stop America's Impending Suicide by Reclaiming Our First Principles and History." Remember, if you don't know your history or where you are going - any path will take you there.