Home > Uncategorized > Did Glenn Beck Paraphrase or Plagiarize Frederick Douglass Without Attribution? (Nov. 17, 2003)

Did Glenn Beck Paraphrase or Plagiarize Frederick Douglass Without Attribution? (Nov. 17, 2003)

Thursday, November 18, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments


I have not read Glenn Beck’s book, Broke: The Plan to Restore Our Trust, Truth and Treasure, and I do not yet know if he sourced his own quotation in his book to Frederick Douglass. If you have the book please check page 351(?) to see if Frederick Douglass is footnoted and post your comment here.

The president knows how to give a good speech, right? I mean, isn’t that the one thing he’s good at. I can give a good speech

He knows how to use propaganda every time something goes wrong. Why didn’t the American people do it? Because he didn’t give a good enough speech, right?



PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: What I haven’t always been successful at doing is breaking through the noise and speaking directly to the American people. It’s a matter of persuading people and giving them confidence and bringing them together and setting a tone and making an argument that people can understand. And I think we haven’t always been successful at that.


BECK: So, sometimes, he can’t make the argument clear enough. He can’t break through the noise. So, I just want to play the highlights of the speeches here that he has given to convince you where he hasn’t been able to say — find the right set of words — some of the highlights here on the speeches where it’s important for you to be groped or your children to be groped at the airport for security reasons.

Here they are:

Oh, I forgot. He hasn’t given one.

Isn’t that weird? He hasn’t given a speech.

Now, why would this administration be pushing policies that make no common sense, enrich his friends, disenfranchise the people with the government and not once explain or give a speech? Create tension, fear, anger, division between the people and the government and not give a speech.

What do you suppose the — what do you suppose the end of that is? Let me show you the last line from my book “Broke.” Here it is: “Our government has found out how much injustice Americans are willing to quietly accept, but it has yet to see what happens when we’ve had enough.”.


“Let me give you a word of the philosophy of reform. The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims, have been born of earnest struggle. The conflict has been exciting, agitating, all-absorbing, and for the time being, putting all other tumults to silence. It must do this or it does nothing. If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.”

“This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. In the light of these ideas, Negroes will be hunted at the North, and held and flogged at the South so long as they submit to those devilish outrages, and make no resistance, either moral or physical. Men may not get all they pay for in this world; but they must certainly pay for all they get. If we ever get free from the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal. We must do this by labor, by suffering, by sacrifice, and if needs be, by our lives and the lives of others.”
Frederick Douglass, 1857

Source: Douglass, Frederick. [1857] (1985). “The Significance of Emancipation in the West Indies.” Speech, Canandaigua, New York, August 3, 1857; collected in pamphlet by author. In The Frederick Douglass Papers. Series One: Speeches, Debates, and Interviews. Volume 3: 1855-63. Edited by John W. Blassingame. New Haven: Yale University Press, p. 204.

Note that Douglass himself later misdated this speech as being on August 4, 1857, using that date for his pamphlet reprint. That incorrect date is cited in Foner, Life and Writings, 2: 426-39.

The full title of the pamphlet produced by Douglass is: “Two Speeches, By Frederick Douglass: One on West India Emancipation, Delivered at Canandaigua, Aug. 4th, and the Other on the Dred Scott Decision, Delivered in New York, on the Occasion of the Anniversary of the American Abolition Society, May, 1857.” It was published in Rochester, New York in 1857.

In another section of the speech, Douglass complained that in America the great question always seems to be “will it pay?” Quoting from Revelation 14:6, Douglass admonishes:

“…if such a people as ours had heard the beloved disciple of the Lord, exclaiming in the rapture of the apocalyptic vision,

“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people;” they, instead of answering, Amen Glory to God in the Highest, would have responded,— but brother John, will it pay? Can money be made out of it? Will it make the rich richer, and the strong stronger? How will it effect property? In the eyes of such people, there is no God but wealth; no right and wrong but profit and loss….[Our] national morality and religion have reached a depth of baseness than which there is no lower deep.”

Frederick Douglass, 1857

Source: The Frederick Douglass Papers, p. 197.


The American Legal System is Corrupt Beyond Recognition!” Screams Judge Edith Jones

On February 28, 2003 Judge Edith Jones of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (became the Chief Judge of the Fifth Circuit on January 16, 2006) told the Federalist Society of Harvard Law School that the American legal system is corrupt almost beyond recognition.

She said that the question of what is morally right is routinely sacrificed to what is politically expedient. The change has come because legal philosophy has descended to nihilism.

“The first 100 years of American lawyers were trained on Blackstone, who wrote that: ‘The law of nature–dictated by God himself–is binding in all counties and at all times; no human laws are of any validity if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid derive all force and all their authority from this original.’ The Framers created a government of limited power with this understanding of the rule of law – that it was dependent on transcendent religious obligation,” said Jones.

“This is not a prescription for intolerance or narrow sectarianism for unalienable rights were given by God to all our fellow citizens. Having lost sight of the moral and religious foundations of the rule of law, we are vulnerable to the destruction of our freedom, our equality before the law and our self-respect. It is my fervent hope that this new century will experience a revival of the original understanding of the rule of law and its roots.”

Threats to the Rule of Law

The legal system itself.
The government.
The most comprehensive threat is contemporary legal philosopy.

“Throughout my professional life, American legal education has been ruled by theories like positivism, the residue of legal realism, critical legal studies, post-modernism and other philosophical fashions,” said Jones. “Each of these theories has a lot to say about the ‘is’ of law, but none of them addresses the ‘ought,’ the moral foundation or direction of law.”

Jones quoted Roger C. Cramton, a law professor at Cornell University, who wrote in the 1970s that “the ordinary religion of the law school classroom” is “a moral relativism tending toward nihilism, a pragmatism tending toward an amoral instrumentalism, a realism tending toward cynicism, an individualism tending toward atomism, and a faith in reason and democratic processes tending toward mere credulity and idolatry.”

Jones said that all of these threats to the rule of law have a common thread running through them, and she quoted Professor Harold Berman to identify it: “The traditional Western beliefs in the structural integrity of law, its ongoingness, its religious roots, its transcendent qualities, are disappearing not only from the minds of law teachers and law students but also from the consciousness of the vast majority of citizens, the people as a whole; and more than that, they are disappearing from the law itself. The law itself is becoming more fragmented, more subjective, geared more to expediency and less to morality. The historical soil of the Western legal tradition is being washed away and the tradition itself is threatened with collapse.”

Judge Jones concluded with another thought from George Washington: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness – these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.”

Upon taking questions from students, Judge Jones recommended Michael Novak’s book, On Two Wings: Humble Faith and Common Sense.

“Natural law is not a prescriptive way to solve problems,” Jones said. “It is a way to look at life starting with the Ten Commandments.”

Judge Edith Jones’ remarks inspired me to write my nihilistic poem which I include here:

A Nihilistic Form of Government, This United States!
By Don Hamrick

© 2004 Don Hamrick

Give us this day our daily servilism,
So that actual freedom may never taunt,
The spirit in us, into a future pugilism.
Lest the government forever haunt.
……………………………………………….How long?

Henry Hyde confessed that fateful day,
The Constitution, no longer relevant.
’Tis our fault we are slaves today,
We refused to be freedom’s adjuvant.
……………………………………………….How long?

Our Republican government, overthrown,
By the Department of Homeland Insecurity.
Terrorism, its propaganda, overblown,
Freedom guaranteed by enslavement to security.
……………………………………………….How long?

A new mythos proclaimed from this nihilism,
Only deadens our sense of discernment.
From this ethos of paranoia comes this falabilism,
You can’t be trusted. But trust the government.
……………………………………………….How long?

Deceiving us in a blanket of security,
That we are safe from a world of dangers.
Forever oppressed our sense of responsibility,
To protect ourselves from such harbingers.
……………………………………………….How long?

In vain we plead our Second Amendment right
To contest government edicts from on high
The courts rule our arguments as so much tripe
They say it does not apply on the thigh
……………………………………………….How long?

Three doors of government slammed shut
Leaving us to agitate for want of freedom
The rule of law now is anything but
As we live in this wretched thraldom
……………………………………………….How long?

How long will we sit and cower
Resenting those who act above the law
Before we stand up for balance of power
To stop the advancing rape of law
……………………………………………….How long?

Lost to us now our Bill of Rights
This Nihilistic government frights.
……………………………………………….Will it be much longer?

I originally intended a declarative answer as the last line in the poem above  — “It won’t be much longer.” However, I felt that the poem with such a declaration would be misconstrued by the Federal Government as a threat to the United States Government. So, I chose to end the poem with a rhetorical question to leave a sense of dispair and hopelessness with the reader in 2004 as Frederick Douglass did in 1857 and as Glenn Beck did in 2010.

TSA Sexual Assualts as Security
and the
Declaration of Independence

But the final question is will the American people rebell against the Obama Government? And to what extinct? Lawsuits? Civil Disobedience? Mass protests? Riots? or Revolution? What event will trigger each of these stages of rebellion? Or will the American people submit to slavery? What is slavery but the power of the Federal Government to sexually assualt you and call it security? And if such slavery to the Government is representative of a despotice Government then the words of the Declaration of Independence:

… 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.  …

 My Definitions of Certain Phrases

to abolish it, and to institute new government: Preferred method is through general elections. Revolution is the method of last resort. But determining when the method of last resort is appropriate is dependent upon the circumstances behind the decision and the severity of the governance involved. But exactly what singular event will push the tipping scale to revolution is the most problematic decision for a people.

should not be changed for light and transient causes: The Obama Administration’s attempt to destroy the free market system of our economy  and Government and impose a Socialist or Communist system of government is exemplified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and TSA’s sexaul assualt method of airport security. Why spend millions for these full body scanners when private screening rooms are available where the passengers can disrobe to an absolute state of nudity? The effect would still be the same!

absolute despotism: Are we there yet?

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