American Values

Books: ‘The Pioneers’ is a gentle reminder of the ideals and grit that made America

In a country preoccupied with presidential candidates preaching extreme liberalism and even unabashed socialism comes America’s greatest living historian, David McCullough, with a new and needed book. It’s called “The Pioneers” and the subtitle is its theme: “The heroic story of the settlers who brought the American ideal west.” Nowadays, while students at universities and public schools are learning a history often tainted by political correctness and revisionism, McCullough writes of a young country that might have been stillborn were it not for these pioneers. The founding fathers with whom most are familiar — Washington, Jefferson and Adams — play minor roles in McCullough’s book. Instead, we’re offered characters who are likely unfamiliar to most, such as Manasseh and Ephraim Cutler, Rufus Putnam and Samuel Hildreth. These and many others did the grunt work of nation building. The land on which McCullough mostly focuses was called The Northwest Territory, the initial boundaries of which included the Ohio and Muskinghum Rivers. Its inspiration was The Northwest Ordinance, passed by the Confederation Congress in 1787. The document contained this sentence in Article 3, long since abandoned to our detriment: “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” McCullough details the enormous sacrifices of men, women and children, who cleared trees, endured harsh weather and conquered lands, expanding the boundaries of the new nation. Yes, Native Americans were displaced in ways that were disgraceful. McCullough notes all that remained were their tribal names, which were assigned to rivers and towns. Among the tribes were the Delaware, Miami, Ottawa, Shawnee and Wyandot. Among the rivers named for them were the Cuyahoga and Chippewa Creek — the creek being a tributary of the Cuyahoga River — as was the Tuscarawas River. It was small consolation to native people who believed land was sacred and not to be owned and who preceded white settlers. As with his other books, McCullough’s writing style makes one feel a part of it all. What astounds is how much New Englanders were willing to sacrifice to explore foreign and hostile land and expand America’s borders. Many died of disease, accidents, bad weather and war with Native American tribes. Living conditions were harsh compared to what they had known in New England, but they persisted. In summing up the contributions of these pioneers, McCullough writes: “(they) had finished their work, each in his or her own way, and no matter the adversities to be faced, propelled as they were by high, worthy purpose. They accomplished what they had set out to do not for money, not for possessions or fame, but to advance the quality and opportunities of life — to propel as best they could the American ideals.” What do we consider to be our American ideals in 2019? The pioneers would likely see them in conflict with their own. Many of our forebears had a strong faith in God and were motivated by what they believed was His will in establishing a nation in which religious freedom and education were paramount. Most believed the Bible was the foundation of a good education. These pioneers also believed America had a purpose, sanctioned by God, which the world might wish to emulate. Slavery was abolished in Ohio by the state’s original constitution (1802), owing much to the anti-slavery efforts of Manasseh and Ephraim Cutler. “The Pioneers” is a rebuke to the entitlement mentality of the 21st century. It should be mandatory reading for all seeking a better understanding of the way we were and how far we have departed from the ideals of those great and heroic men and women of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Definitely look forward to reading this new book!  Thanks to veteran columnist Cal Thomas for bringing this to our attention.  Cal Thomas is America’s most widely syndicated op-ed columnist. His latest book is “What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America“. Readers may email Cal Thomas at tcaeditors@tribune.com.      🙂

Federal Appeals court rules House of Representatives can bar secular prayer from atheist

A D.C. federal appeals court ruled Friday that the House of Representatives does not have to allow a self-described atheist to deliver secular prayers. The Good Friday ruling concerned efforts by Dan Barker, co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, to pray in the House chamber as a guest chaplain — only to be turned down by Father Patrick Conroy, the House chaplain. The court, however, sided with Conroy in determining the House was in its right to require prayers be religious in nature. “We could not order Conroy to allow Barker to deliver a secular invocation because the House permissibly limits the opening prayer to religious prayer. Barker has therefore failed to state a claim for which relief can be granted,” the opinion stated. Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution declares that both the House and Senate “may determine the rules of its proceedings.” Barker had alleged that Conroy rejected him “because he is an atheist.” But the court determined that while that may be true, the House requirement that prayers be religious holds weight. “In other words, even if, as Barker alleges, he was actually excluded simply for being an atheist, he is entitled to none of the relief he seeks,” the opinion said. The tradition of House and Senate prayers goes back to 1789. The House and Senate both begin their legislative days with a religious invocation, frequently delivered by Conroy and his Senate counterpart Barry Black.

Score one for the Constitution..and freedom OF religion; not freedom FROM religion.  Our founders would have been proud of this court ruling.  Glad that sh_t disturbing, self-righteous, rabble-rousing, Christian-hating Dan Barker was smacked down.  Excellent!    🙂

Jay Leno says he likes domestic cars because ‘I’m American’

Jay Leno can, and pretty much does own any car he wants to. The legendary comic has over 150 of them in a collection that runs the gamut from an original Fiat 500 microcar to a McLaren F1 worth over $17 million. You’ll also find plenty of Bugatti, Lamborghini, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz models parked in the two warehouses he stores them all in. “I’ve got a lot of different cars. I don’t use cars for anything practical at all,” Leno told Fox News Autos. “When my wife and I go out to eat, if there’s not a parking space in front of the restaurant that I can’t see from my table, we are not eating there – thank you very much, okay?” But while he’s often seen driving around L.A. and across the TV screen in foreign classics, when it comes to new cars, he roots for the home team. “I like domestic cars myself because I’m American and I’d like to see the money stay here,” Leno said. So, what are his favorites? Leno said he thinks the high-performance Ford F-150 Raptor is “terrific.” “It’s a really, really good vehicle – I like that a lot.” He’s also such a fan of the Ford GT supercar that he was one of the first people to plunk down $450,000 to buy one. But when it comes to bargain sports cars, he says the Chevrolet Corvette is the world’s best. “You get Lamborghini performance at Chevrolet prices. I mean, the Corvette [ZR1] has 755 horsepower for a third of the price you’d get for a Ferrari or a Lamborghini, and since it’s a Chevy – you can fix it with a hammer and BOOM.” Leno knows what he’s talking about, because he works on his cars himself. Including the 1955 Buick Roadmaster he bought in 1972 for $350 when he moved to California and that he still owns today.

🙂

 

PHOTOS: Melania Trump Shines Bright Assembling Red Cross Care Packages for American Troops

First Lady Melania Trump shined bright on Tuesday as she assembled care packages with the Red Cross for American troops and service members stationed overseas. Mrs. Trump embraced the families of American troops in a patriotic ensemble of entirely red, white, and blue — how appropriate! Mrs. Trump’s striped cashmere sweater is by Madeleine Thompson, matching the red stripe of the garment with her red skinny jeans and flats. In a speech at the Red Cross event, Mrs. Trump thanked the U.S. military for their service and their families for the sacrifices they have made. “I’m very thankful for the men and women in uniform who sacrifice daily to protect not only the American people, but our freedoms and way of life,” Mrs. Trump said. “Our prayers remain with all those serving overseas and the families who wait for them to come home.”

Please click on the text above to see photos and videos from yesterday’s event.  Major kudos to our First Lady for her efforts here.  She gets it!  Outstanding!!!      🙂

Opinion: MLB’s Opening Day: What the NFL could learn from Major League Baseball

On Major League Baseball’s opening day Thursday, hope springs eternal across the country. Even as Chicago Cubs fans shiver in their puffy blue jackets, New York Yankees fans rub their hands together in the Bronx, and millions of baseball fans search box scores at work, a unity among people from all backgrounds not only exists, it flourishes. So does patriotism. The “Star-Spangled Banner” actually debuted in the sports world thanks to baseball. In 1918 during Game 1 of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs, Babe Ruth – a man who would become arguably the most iconic home run hitter – and his teammates first sang along to the national anthem. The Cubs followed suit, and the pageantry quickly spread to every team across the league. Appropriately, baseball earned the nickname “America’s Pastime.” Now, compare that to the modern-day National Football League, where the en vogue trend has been to kneel for our country’s most emblematic sign of solidarity. This movement, spearheaded by the now-unemployed Colin Kaepernick, is meant to protest police brutality against African-Americans. Supporters will tell you it has nothing to do with the flag … despite players using the American flag as a prop to give themselves the most publicity. When President Trump weighed in on the matter, which he repeatedly and rightfully did, at least 200 players knelt or sat during the anthem last Sept. 24. Many of those players – on the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars rosters – actually had the audacity to still stand for “God Save the Queen” prior to kick off in London. It was a blatant sign of disrespect, followed months later by an even more egregious act. The league rejected a print ad for this year’s Super Bowl program that read “#PleaseStand.” In response, a NFL spokesperson said the Super Bowl has “never been a place for advertising that could be considered by some as a political statement.” Hey, Commissioner Roger Goodell, how about you tell your own players that? You know how many baseball players have knelt during the national anthem? One. Bruce Maxwell, a catcher for the Oakland A’s, joined in the protest late last fall. It was short-lived and he failed to garner any participation from teammates. This is in part because most baseball players see the consequences of an ongoing problem in this current political climate: Debate isn’t just relegated to politics anymore. Athletes and coaches increasingly use America’s beloved pastimes, and their participation in them, as a method of division. But in reality, sports should exist as a way to bring Americans together. Just one regular baseball season provides 162 opportunities for refuge from tiresome rigors of everyday life or from the wounds of tragedy. At Yankee Stadium in Game 3 of the 2001 World Series, baseball helped Americans transcend the most horrific act of terrorism on U.S. soil – 9/11. Against security recommendations, then-President George W. Bush decided to make an appearance and throw out the first pitch. He strode onto the field waving one hand and holding a baseball in the other. Smiling ear to ear, the president took the mound and calmness instantly enveloped the stadium. As soon as the ball hit the catcher’s mitt, cheers and chants of “U-S-A” erupted. “The country, which was rallying at the time, had further caused a rally to see baseball being played, and I was just a part of that,” President Bush told ESPN. “I didn’t realize how symbolic it was, though, ‘til I made it to the mound.” Even before that game, baseball helped bring Americans back to normalcy after 9/11. The Mets and Braves played each other when games resumed that season after the tragedy, and for one beautiful, brief moment two bitter division rivals tipped their caps to the people of New York City and shared a feeling of resiliency. That same embodiment of hope propelled an already extremely talented Houston Astros roster to a World Series clinch over the Dodgers last year. Game 6 scored Fox its best ratings in almost a decade after the Dodgers staged a rallying comeback. Even though the larger market team didn’t win the Commissioner’s Trophy, it felt like the whole country shared a piece of joy with the Astros. As Houston learned from Hurricane Harvey, catastrophe can strike from Mother Nature too, and even though thousands of Houston residents lost most of their belongings and homes, a baseball team managed to rekindle their spirit. All of our spirits will once again reignite with pleasure as the 2018 baseball season kicks off. As you enjoy a hot dog, watch a flyover, and tip your cap to veterans, take a minute to appreciate the beauty of a sport that, unlike the NFL, contributes to and enhances the patriotic fabric of our country.

Agreed!  And, well said Britt!  Former ESPN reporter Britt McHenry is the author of that spot-on op/ed.  Excellent!!     🙂

Starnes: Pence Leaves NFL Game After Players Take Knee During National Anthem

On Sunday, Vice President and American Patriot Mike Pence walked out of the Indianapolis Colts game against the San Franciscio 49ers after several players took a knee during the national anthem. “I left today’s Colts game because President Trump and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem,” the vice president wrote on Twitter. I reckon the vice president (like many professional football fans) finally got tired of tolerating the boorish behavior of a bunch of intolerant, unAmerican malcontents. “At at time when so many Americans are inspiring our nation with their courage, resolve, and resilience, now, more than ever, we should rally around our Flag and everything that unites us,” he added. The Indianapolis Star reports no Colts players disrespected the national anthem, but several 49ers did. “While everyone is entitled to their own opinions, I don’t think it’s too much to ask NFL players to respect the Flag and our National Anthem. I stand with President Trump, I stand with our soldiers, and I will always stand for our Flag and our National Anthem,” he wrote. God bless you, Vice President Pence for standing up and doing the right thing. We can only hope that more patriotic Americans will follow the vice president’s lead and turn off the National Football League.

Exactly!!  Thanks to culter warrior Todd Starnes for this spot-on on/ed.  And, thank you to VP Mike Pence for taking a principled stand against these loser NFL players who take a knee, or lock arms during the playing of our National Anthem.  What a bunch of self-righteous, arrogant, disrespectful, nauseating tools.  We’re all SO over it!

Opinion: The Nuclear Option: Why Columbus Deserves His Day

Happy Columbus Day! In this era of Making America Great Again, it is true and wonderful to celebrate this great and glorious holiday and sing high praises for the good and daring adventurer who discovered America. In fourteen-hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. The story of Christopher Columbus inspires American pride for his unquenchable curiosity, his desire to see new lands and meet new people, and his relentless drive for industry. He sailed through sunshine, wind and rain. He sailed by night; he sailed by day; he used the stars to find his way. One person who appreciates Spain’s great explorer is President Donald Trump. “Five hundred and twenty-five years ago, Christopher Columbus completed an ambitious and daring voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas,” said Mr. Trump, sounding like a man who appreciates risk and accomplishment. Kind of like building great skyscrapers in great cities of the world. “The voyage was a remarkable and then-unparallelled feat that helped launch the age of exploration and discovery,” Mr. Trump proclaimed from the White House. “The permanent arrival of Europeans to the Americas was the transformative event that undeniably and fundamentally changed the course of human history and set the stage for the development of our great nation.” This, of course, would ultimately spark the greatest revolution in human history. Imagine just how radical was the notion that man’s rights derive from God and not a king or government. This fierce and bloody demand for self-governance would give birth to the greatest country on earth and became the blueprint for ending the savage global institution of slavery. Mr. Trump also honors Columbus as a “skilled navigator and man of faith.” He thanked both Spain and Italy for their contributions to discovering America. As thrilling as it is to dance back and forth across the lines of Mr. Trump’s simple Columbus Day proclamation, this is also a time of sober reflection over the past eight years with a president who viewed Columbus in a drastically different light. Americans must, President Barack Obama lectured a year ago, “acknowledge the pain and suffering reflected in the stories of Native Americans who had long resided on this land prior to the arrival of European newcomers.” Just as Mr. Trump’s statement sounds like that of a master builder who creates what he dreams, Mr. Obama’s statement sounds like a dreamless street organizer hell bent on whipping up discontent and sewing racial discord. Anyway, isn’t it incredibly xenophobic and — according to Democrats — outright racist to say that Native Americans should be protected from outside invaders just because they had “long resided on this land prior to the arrival” of others? In other words, it’s just fine for Mr. Obama to refer to Columbus as an illegal alien. But it is completely racist for Mr. Trump to talk about illegal aliens who come into our country and rape or murder our citizens. “America First” is racist. But “Native America First” is totally fine. And you wonder why the barbarians in Iran, theocratic thugs in Syria and crazy little Rocket Man in North Korea have been laughing contemptuously at us for the past eight years as they plotted the annihilation of civilized people? The only statue that should be torn down today is the one in the fictitious town of Springfield on “The Simpsons.” It is a statue of former failed President Jimmy Carter. When it was unveiled, the townspeople shrieked and declared the preachy huckster “History’s Monster!” In Springfield, the statue of Jimmy Carter should be torn down and replaced with a statue of Barack Obama, “History’s True Monster.”

Agreed!!  And well said, Charlie.  Columnist Charles Hurt is the author of that outstanding, and timely, op/ed.  Happy Columbus Day!!