The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation has just launched a new website for our summer seminar for teachers, which includes the registration form and scholarship application.

National Seminar for High School Educators
July 16-18 and July 18-20, 2018
Washington, DC

Check out the website click here

The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation is hosting the 2018 National Seminar for High School Educators on July 16-18 and July 18-20 in Washington, DC.

The 24-hour professional development program is free to middle school and high school educators interested in teaching about the history of communism and its collectivist legacy.

The seminar blends together scholarly lectures, peer discussions, and pedagogical sessions to carefully balance content and pedagogy. These components are supplemented with short biographical films and in-person testimonials from witnesses and dissidents who resided in communist countries both past and present.

Past seminar participants experienced statistically significant growth in their confidence and capability to teach about a wide range of subjects, such as: communist ideology and history; the character of totalitarian governmental systems and practices; and the legacy of communist and post-communist states today, including the personal stories of witnesses, dissidents, and victims.

Seminar participants also receive and have the opportunity to work through the second edition of the Foundation’s curricular supplement—Communism: Its Ideology, Its History, and Its Legacy—developed by Dr. Lee Edwards, Dr. Paul Kengor, and Claire McCaffery Griffin, and used in schools across the nation.

Over 80% of past participants rated the seminar as better than other professional development programs in which they’ve participated.

The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation is a Washington, DC-based, nonprofit education and human rights organization devoted to commemorating the more than 100 million victims of communism around the world and to the freedom of those still living under totalitarian regimes.

300 New Jersey Avenue, NW Suite 900, Washington, DC 20001
(202) 629-9500

Check out the website click here

H.R.1 – An Act to provide for reconciliation pursuant to titles II and V of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2018.

Summary: H.R.1 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.1. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.
Shown Here:
Introduced in House (11/02/2017)

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to reduce tax rates and modify policies, credits, and deductions for individuals and businesses.

With respect to individuals, the bill:

replaces the seven existing tax brackets (10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, 35%, and 39.6%) with four brackets (12%, 25%, 35%, and 39.6%),
increases the standard deduction,
repeals the deduction for personal exemptions,
establishes a 25% maximum rate on the business income of individuals,
increases the child tax credit and establishes a new family tax credit,
repeals the overall limitation on certain itemized deductions,
limits the mortgage interest deduction for debt incurred after November 2, 2017, to mortgages of up to $500,000 (currently $1 million),
repeals the deduction for state and local income or sales taxes not paid or accrued in a trade or business,
repeals the deduction for medical expenses,
consolidates and repeals several education-related deductions and credits,
repeals the alternative minimum tax, and
repeals the estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes in six years.

For businesses, the bill:

reduces the corporate tax rate from a maximum of 35% to a flat 20% rate (25% for personal services corporations),
allows increased expensing of the costs of certain property,
limits the deductibility of net interest expenses to 30% of the business’s adjusted taxable income,
repeals the work opportunity tax credit,
terminates the exclusion for interest on private activity bonds,
modifies or repeals various energy-related deductions and credits,
modifies the taxation of foreign income, and
imposes an excise tax on certain payments from domestic corporations to related foreign corporations.

The bill also repeals or modifies several additional credits and deductions for individuals and businesses.

Click here to read the bill.

Pearl Harbor: Hawaii Was Surprised; FDR Was Not

The New American – On Sunday, December 7, 1941, Japan launched a sneak attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, shattering the peace of a beautiful Hawaiian morning and leaving much of the fleet broken and burning. The destruction and death that the Japanese military visited upon Pearl Harbor that day — 18 naval vessels (including eight battleships) sunk or heavily damaged, 188 planes destroyed, over 2,000 servicemen killed — were exacerbated by the fact that American commanders in Hawaii were caught by surprise. But that was not the case in Washington.

Comprehensive research has shown not only that Washington knew in advance of the attack, but that it deliberately withheld its foreknowledge from our commanders in Hawaii in the hope that the “surprise” attack would catapult the U.S. into World War II. Oliver Lyttleton, British Minister of Production, stated in 1944: “Japan was provoked into attacking America at Pearl Harbor. It is a travesty of history to say that America was forced into the war.”

Click here to read more.

A wee bit of history if, we may. Lusty Beggars, Dissolute Women, Sorners, Gypsies, and Vagabonds for Virginia.

History.org – Colonial Virginia was always intended to be a piece of England translated to the Chesapeake Bay. King James I expected his three kingdoms—Scotland and Ireland being the other two—to develop their own American colonies. By 1640, however, the surviving overseas plantations were all English, and neither Scots nor Irish were especially welcome. Nevertheless, many a Scot still made his way to Virginia, though not always under circumstances that commended the journey.

Scotland’s dealings with the Old Dominion began in 1628. They generally were thought to have gone moribund until about 1668, after Charles II had assumed the three thrones. Indeed, the idea has been that Scots reached Virginia with regularity only after the Act of Union of 1707 created the United Kingdom of Great Britain. That overlooks a migration of Scots that began in the 1650s.

Click here to read more of this very interesting article.

History of Memorial Day and Observance

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. Over two dozen cities and towns claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day.

Regardless of the exact date or location of its origins, one thing is clear – Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead. It was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed. The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.

On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.

The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war).

It is now observed in almost every state on the last Monday in May with Congressional passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363). This helped ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays, though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19th in Texas; April 26th in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10th in South Carolina; and June 3rd (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee. – Source: http://www.usmemorialday.org/?page_id=2

Observance

american-half-staff-flag
In traditional observance, the flag of the United States is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day. The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country. At noon, their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.Section 1082 of the 1998 Defense Authorization Act adds the flying of the POW-MIA flag on all Federal and U.S. Military Installations on Memorial Day. The POW-MIA flag is to be half-staffed until noon along with the National flag.

Other traditional observances included wearing red poppies, visiting cemeteries and placing flags or flowers on the graves of our fallen heroes, and visiting memorials.

Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years and many Americans have forgotten the meaning and traditions of the day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored or neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades.

There are a few notable exceptions. Since the late 1950s on the Thursday before Memorial Day, 1,200 soldiers of the 3rd U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing. In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day. More recently, beginning in 1998, on the Saturday before the observed day for Memorial Day, the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each of approximately 15,300 grave sites of soldiers buried at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye’s Heights (the Luminaria Program). And in 2004, Washington D.C. held its first Memorial Day parade in over 60 years.

To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed in December 2000. It asks that at 3 p.m. local time all Americans “voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of Remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to Taps.” Source: http://www.usmemorialday.org/?page_id=35

“OUR DEBT TO THE HEROIC MEN AND VALIANT WOMEN IN THE SERVICE OF OUR COUNTRY CAN NEVER BE REPAID. THEY HAVE EARNED OUR UNDYING GRATITUDE. AMERICA WILL NEVER FORGET THEIR SACRIFICES.” – PRESIDENT HARRY S. TRUMAN