Boomerang Blog

Chief of Staff: The Abominable “No” Man

Jimmy Carter, the 39th president, had many admirable qualities. Despite being a highly educated, wealthy and supremely intelligent man, he was a man of great humility.   President Carter took office in 1977 determined to change the formality of the presidency. He told bands not to play “Hail to the Chief.” He wore sweaters on TV to encourage Americans to….Read more

What Happens When the 6th Amendment Is Ignored?

    It’s the stuff of cop shows: When someone is arrested the police say,  “if you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided for you.” Everyone knows these lines, but did you know the Miranda rights started with the Sixth Amendment?   Article III, section 2 of the Constitution says that all trials in America shall be by jury.  The Sixth….Read more

4 Ways To Avoid Another Vietnam

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After the second chemical attack on his own people by Syria’s Assad, the Trump administration, along with France and England, launched cruise missiles. The stated goal was to cripple Assad’s chemical programs, a valid reason for action.   This targeted attack came after one in 2017 by just the United States. Unfortunately it didn’t deter Assad from doing it again.….Read more

What You Need to Know About the 10th Amendment

  What powers and freedoms do states have?  States’ rights is tricky. The powerful in Washington want national authority to carry out their agenda, while those out of power invoke states’ rights. These positions are then reversed when one party loses office.   Generally, America’s political leaders put one principle first: the Vince Lombardi Principle. Do whatever you must so that….Read more

Knock Knock! Who’s There? The 4th Amendment

  Check out the case of federal judge Harold Baer, who tossed out 80 pounds of cocaine and heroine found on drug traffickers when he ruled a police search illegal.   Often Americans gripe about criminals getting off on such “technicalities.”   But are they mere technicalities? Catch criminals or protect privacy?   The Fourth Amendment seeks to balance the….Read more

Top 5 Acts of Civil Disobedience in American History

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  During the national School Walkout Day protests, two schools in the town where I formerly taught took very different approaches. At School A, student leaders met with administrators to design an “administrative-sanctioned plan” for a moment of silence and reading of gun violence statistics. The plan had no “political context,” but would instead “honor the students and staff who….Read more

VIDEO: Don’t Be Cruel and Unusual, Says the Eighth Amendment

                            A president can be impeached for “high crimes and misdemeanors,” but the U.S. Constitution doesn’t specify what those are. This caused a bitter partisan fight during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.   Interpreting the Constitution is not an easy job for the Supreme Court. Some meanings come….Read more

VIDEO: How to Deter Academic Dishonesty

    Academic dishonesty. Fancy words for cheating. How can a teacher both confront it aggressively and be supportive to young students? By turning the situation into another of those “teachable moments.”   A harrowing moment   Questioning one of your students about possible cheating is one of the hardest things teachers do. The institution has its rules and you….Read more

VIDEO: Declaration of Independence: A Radical Document

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Do you understand the Declaration of Independence beyond the fact that it divorced the American colonies from Great Britain? Today its words seem routine, but it’s hard to overstate how radical those ideas were at the time! Every revolution since America’s has been inspired by the words “all men are created equal.”  That idea about universal human rights was rejected….Read more

What Does the Second Amendment Mean?

    The Second Amendment means many things to many people. Why did the framers endow armed militias with a special place in the Bill of Rights?  The federal courts have contradicted one another.   In the end, it is up to ‘We The People’ to determine what regulations should be placed on gun ownership. Freedom of speech under the….Read more