Boomerang Blog

Where America’s past collides with its present.

“We must not be enemies”

During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln gave a speech in which he expressed sympathy for the south. A female listener asked how he could not see that the southerners were irreconcilable enemies who must be annihilated. Lincoln observed, for her and for all of us today, that the best way to defeat an enemy is to turn him into….Read more

Horrific Triangle Fire Deaths Spark Labor Reforms

More than 145 female garment workers died in the 1911 Triangle Fire in New York City, a notorious conflagration that brought to light  the precarious working conditions of sweatshops.  Masses of people, many immigrants, worked long hours in 19th century sweatshops. On March 26, 1911, the consequences burned into the national soul and remain with America to this day.  ….Read more

[VIDEO] DisOrder in the Supreme Court

    The Supreme Court plays an enormous role in the day-to-day lives of Americans. Think of the basic kitchen table issues at your house: The price of your medications, rising tuition bills, the cost of your daughter’s imported soccer cleats. Chances are the SCOTUS has ruled a case affecting those. The role and powers of the Court mean that….Read more

Andrew Jackson Dissed by His Own VP, Also Anonymously

  An anonymous essay attacking the president surfaces in D.C.  The town is abuzz. The claims are extreme. It even threatens mass resistance to stop the tyrant in the White House. But who wrote it? No one steps forward, and speculation runs wild.   The president starts an internal probe to identify the culprit. And the search leads to……his own….Read more

Democracy and the First Amendment

The First Amendment is the very foundation of a free American society.   Religious liberty, for starters.   Government in America may not interfere with religious practices, and no religious denomination may usurp legislative powers to impose theocracy. The famous phrase, “wall of separation between church and state,” was first used by Thomas Jefferson in 1802.   The founders were….Read more

Ninth Amendment: Stretch Marks on the Bill of Rights

The Ninth Amendment is one of the most controversial of the amendments because it’s another of those inkblot tests. The Bill of Rights itself almost didn’t make it.   Alexander Hamilton calls a bill of rights dangerous   While drafting the Constitution, Hamilton claimed that a citizens’ bill of rights was not only irrelevant but even dangerous. He opposed including….Read more

Do Off-Duty Teachers Surrender Their First Amendment Rights?

      Natalie Munroe was an English teacher in a northeastern Pennsylvania high school.   She was in good standing until district parents came across her blog online. Munroe had some very unflattering things to say about some of her her students. “A disgusting brood of insolent, unappreciative, selfish brats,” was one of the more gracious things she called….Read more

Puerto Rican Statehood? It May Be Getting Closer

Since the devastation of Hurricanes Maria and Irma, Puerto Rico’s quest for statehood seems even more urgent. Several Republicans, as well as Democrats, in Congress support the move.   Puerto Rico has copied Tennessee (in 1796) by sending a delegation of “senators and representatives” to Congress to agitate for statehood.   Tennessee succeeded. Other states used unorthodox means, such as….Read more

Is the Third Amendment Even Needed, Anymore?

Most Americans don’t worry about having to feed and house government soldiers, so it doesn’t seem that the Third Amendment is significant to present-day society. Some observers say that it’s obsolete and no longer needed in the Bill of Rights.   It reads:   No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of….Read more

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