Patriotism Book Review: Rush Revere and the Star Spangled Banner

Patriotism Book Review:

Rush Revere and the Star Spangled Banner

Rush Revere and the Star Spangled Banner

By Rush Limbaugh and Kathryn Adams Limbaugh

Winner of the 2014 Children’s Choice Book Award for Author of the Year

 

It’s the dawn of an important new day in America. Young readers, grab the reins and join Rush Revere, Liberty the horse, and the whole time-traveling crew in this patriotic historical adventure that takes you on an exciting trip to the  past to see our remarkable nation’s most iconic symbols up close and personal!

1787—that’s where we’re rush, rush, rushing off to next with our enthusiastic young friends in the Time-Traveling Crew (but not before causing a major security incident at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.!)

A funny case of mistaken identity and a wild chase through the busy streets of Philadelphia will ledad us to the famously introverted Father of our constitution, James Madison and the heated secret debates over the Constitution and the Bill  of Rights. Fast-forward a few years, and we’ll help his brave wife, Dolly, risk her life to save an important portrait from the White House as the British set Washington afire!

What greater symbol of our exceptional nation’s hard-won freedoms than the Star-Spangled Banner, sewn by American icon Betsy Ross?

Perhaps Francis Scott Key can explain what inspired him to pay tribute to our glorious flag by writing our beautiful national anthem. But watch out for the bombs bursting in air, because when we reach 1814, we’ll be front and center at a major battle to defend our liberty.

Jump back in the saddle with me, Rush Revere, and the Time-Traveling Crew, as my trusty horse, Liberty, takes us on another flying leap through American history into a past teeming with heroes and extraordinary citizens who have so much to teach us about patriotism.

All you need to bring is your curiosity about the birth of our democracy—I’ve got plenty of tricornered hats for everyone!

 

Go back in time to experience fht fight for American freedom firsthand, on the floors of Congress and the battlements of Fort McHenry, and ask:

What do the words of the national anthem really mean?

Who created the first flag of the United States?

What did Dolley Madison rescue when the British burned the Capitol?

Where is the U.S. Constitution kept?

Why was George Mason upset at the Constitutional Convention?

Why was the War of 1812 fought?

How did James Madison become the Father of the Constitution?

 

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History Facts: Economy, Taxation, and Integrity

History Facts:

Economy, Taxation, and Integrity

Calvin Coolidge represents the exact opposite of Left-wing politics.. Coolidge had integrity. He deserves a lot more respect than he ever got. ~C.A. Davidson

“Reprinted by permission from Imprimis, a publication of Hillsdale College.”

key“We must have no carelessness in our dealings with public property or the expenditure of public money. Such a condition is characteristic of undeveloped people, or of a decadent generation.” ~Calvin Coolidge

Senator Selden Spencer once took a walk with Coolidge around the White House grounds. To cheer the President up, Spencer pointed to the White House and asked playfully, “Who lives there?” “Nobody,” Coolidge replied. “They just come and go.”

It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones. ~Calvin Coolidge

Amity Shlaes
Author, Coolidge

calvincoolidgeCalvin Coolidge and the Moral Case for Economy

AMITY SHLAES is a syndicated columnist for Bloomberg, a director of the Four Percent Growth Project at the George W. Bush Presidential Center, and a member of the board of the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation. She has served as a member of the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal and as a columnist for the Financial Times, and is a recipient of the Hayek Prize and the Frederic Bastiat Prize for free-market journalism. She is the author of four books, Germany: The Empire Within, The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, The Greedy Hand: How Taxes Drive Americans Crazy and What to Do About It, and Coolidge.

The following is adapted from a talk given at Hillsdale College on January 27, 2013, during a conference on “The Federal Income Tax: A Centenary Consideration,” co-sponsored by the Center for Constructive Alternatives and the Ludwig von Mises Lecture Series.


WITH THE FEDERAL DEBT spiraling out of control, many Americans sense an urgent need to find a political leader who is able to say “no” to spending. Yet they fear that finding such a leader is impossible. Conservatives long for another Ronald Reagan. But is Reagan the right model? He was of course a tax cutter, reducing the top marginal rate from 70 to 28 percent. But his tax cuts—which vindicated supply-side economics by vastly increasing federal revenue—were bought partly through a bargain with Democrats who were eager to spend that revenue. Reagan was no budget cutter—indeed, the federal budget rose by over a third during his administration.

An alternative model for conservatives is Calvin Coolidge. President from 1923 to 1929, Coolidge sustained a budget surplus and left office with a smaller budget than the one he inherited. Over the same period, America experienced a proliferation of jobs, a dramatic increase in the standard of living, higher wages, and three to four percent annual economic growth. And the key to this was Coolidge’s penchant for saying “no.” If Reagan was the Great Communicator, Coolidge was the Great Refrainer.

Enter Coolidge
Following World War I, the federal debt stood ten times higher than before the war, and it was widely understood that the debt burden would become unbearable if interest rates rose. At the same time, the top income tax rate was over 70 percent, veterans were having trouble finding work, prices had risen while wages lagged, and workers in Seattle, New York, and Boston were talking revolution and taking to the streets. The Woodrow Wilson administration had nationalized the railroads for a time at the end of the war, and had encouraged stock exchanges to shut down for a time, and Progressives were now pushing for state or even federal control of water power and electricity. The business outlook was grim, and one of the biggest underlying problems was the lack of an orderly budgeting process: Congress brought proposals to the White House willy-nilly, and they were customarily approved.

The Republican Party’s response in the 1920 election was to campaign for smaller government and for a return to what its presidential candidate, Warren Harding, dubbed “normalcy”—a curtailing of government interference in the economy to create a predictable environment in which business could confidently operate. Calvin Coolidge, a Massachusetts governor who had gained a national reputation by facing down a Boston police strike—“There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time,” he had declared—was chosen to be Harding’s running mate. And following their victory, Harding’s inaugural address set a different tone from that of the outgoing Wilson administration (and from that of the Obama administration today): “No altered system,” Harding said, “will work a miracle. Any wild experiment will only add to the confusion. Our best assurance lies in efficient administration of our proven system.”

One of Harding’s first steps was to shepherd through Congress the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, under which the executive branch gained authority over and took responsibility for the budget, even to the point of being able to impound money after it was budgeted. This legislation also gave the executive branch a special budget bureau—the forerunner to today’s Office of Management and Budget—over which Harding named a flamboyant Brigadier General, Charles Dawes, as director. Together they proceeded to summon department staff and their bosses to semiannual meetings at Continental Hall, where Dawes cajoled and shamed them into making spending cuts. In addition, Harding pushed through a tax cut, lowering the top rate to 58 percent; and in a move toward privatization, he proposed to sell off naval petroleum reserves in Wyoming to private companies.

Unfortunately, some of the men Harding appointed to key jobs proved susceptible to favoritism or bribery, and his administration soon became embroiled in scandal. In one instance, the cause of privatization sustained damage when it became clear that secret deals had taken place in the leasing of oil reserves at Teapot Dome. Then in the summer of 1923, during a trip out West to get away from the scandals and prepare for a new presidential campaign, Harding died suddenly.

Enter Coolidge, whose personality was at first deemed a negative—his face, Alice Roosevelt Longworth said, “looked as though he had been weaned on a pickle.” But canny political leaders, including Supreme Court Justice and former President William Howard Taft, quickly came to respect the new president. Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes, after visiting the White House a few times that August, noted that whereas Harding had never been alone, Coolidge often was; that whereas Harding was partial to group decisions, Coolidge made decisions himself; and most important, that whereas Harding’s customary answer was “yes,” Coolidge’s was “no.”

The former governor of Massachusetts was in his element when it came to budgeting. Within 24 hours of arriving back in Washington after Harding’s death, he met with his own budget director, Herbert Lord, and together they went on offense, announcing deepened cuts in two politically sensitive areas: spending on veterans and District of Columbia public works. In his public statements, Coolidge made clear he would have scant patience with anyone who didn’t go along: “We must have no carelessness in our dealings with public property or the expenditure of public money. Such a condition is characteristic of undeveloped people, or of a decadent generation.”

If Harding’s budget meetings had been rough, Coolidge’s were rougher. Lord first advertised a “Two Percent Club,” for executive branch staffers who managed to save two percent in their budgets. Then a “One Percent Club,” for those who had achieved two or more already. And finally a “Woodpecker Club,” for department heads who kept chipping away. Coolidge did not even find it beneath his pay grade to look at the use of pencils in the government: “I don’t know if I ever indicated to the conference that the cost of lead pencils to the government per year is about $125,000,” he instructed the press in 1926. “I am for economy, and after that I am for more economy,” he told voters.

Coolidge in Command
“It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones,” Coolidge had once advised his father. And indeed, while Harding had vetoed only six bills, Coolidge vetoed 50—including farming subsidies, even though he came from farming country. (“Farmers never had made much money,” he told a guest, and he didn’t see there was much the government could rightly do about it.) He also vetoed veterans’ pensions and government entry into the utilities sector.

Thanks to A.F. Branco at Legal Insurrection.com for his great cartoon

The Purpose of Tax Cuts

In short, Coolidge didn’t favor tax cuts as a means to increase revenue or to buy off Democrats. He favored them because they took government, the people’s servant, out of the way of the people. And this sense of government as servant extended to his own office.

Senator Selden Spencer once took a walk with Coolidge around the White House grounds. To cheer the President up, Spencer pointed to the White House and asked playfully, “Who lives there?” “Nobody,” Coolidge replied. “They just come and go.”

But as unpopular as he was in Washington, Coolidge proved enormously popular with voters. In 1924, the Progressive Party ran on a platform of government ownership of public power and a return to government ownership of railroads. Many thought the Progressive Party might split the Republican vote as it had in 1912, handing the presidency to the Democrats. As it happened, Progressive candidate Robert LaFollette indeed claimed more than 16 percent of the vote.

Yet Coolidge won with an absolute majority, gaining more votes than the Progressive and the Democrat combined. And in 1928, when Coolidge decided not to run for reelection despite the urging of party leaders who looked on his reelection as a sure bet, Herbert Hoover successfully ran on a pledge to continue Coolidge’s policies.

Unfortunately, Hoover didn’t live up to his pledge. Critics often confuse Hoover’s policies with Coolidge’s and complain that the latter did not prevent the Great Depression. That is an argument I take up at length in my previous book, The Forgotten Man, and is a topic for another day. Here let me just say that the Great Depression was as great and as long in duration as it was because, as economist Benjamin Anderson put it, the government under both Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt, unlike under Coolidge, chose to “play God.”

Lessons from Coolidge

Beyond the inspiration of Coolidge’s example of principle and consistency, what are the lessons of his story that are relevant to our current situation? One certainly has to do with the mechanism of budgeting: The Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 provided a means for Harding and Coolidge to control the budget and the nation’s debt, and at the same time gave the people the ability to hold someone responsible. That law was gutted in the 1970s, when it became collateral damage in the anti-executive fervor following Watergate. The law that replaced it tilted budget authority back to Congress and has led to over-spending and lack of responsibility.

A second lesson concerns how we look at tax rates. When tax rates are set and judged according to how much revenue they bring in due to the Laffer Curve—which is how most of today’s tax cutters present them, thereby agreeing with tax hikers that the goal of tax policy is to increase revenue—tax policy can become a mechanism to expand government. The goals of legitimate government—American freedom and prosperity—are left by the wayside.

Thus the best case for lower taxes is the moral case—and as Coolidge well understood, a moral tax policy demands tough budgeting.

Finally, a lesson about politics. The popularity of Harding and Coolidge, and the success of their policies—especially Coolidge’s—following a long period of Progressive ascendancy, should give today’s conservatives hope. Coolidge in the 1920s, like Grover Cleveland in the previous century, distinguished government austerity from private-sector austerity, combined a policy of deficit cuts with one of tax cuts, and made a moral case for saying “no.” A political leader who does the same today is likely to find an electorate more inclined to respond “yes” than he or she expects.

Coolidge and Moral Economy, complete article

History Facts, William Blackstone, and Law of God

Dinner Topics for Tuesday

William Blackstone Quotes

keyMan, considered as a creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws of his Creator. It is binding over all the globe in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this. ~Blackstone

The doctrines thus delivered we call the revealed or divine law, and they are to be found only in the Holy Scriptures. These precepts, when revealed … tend in all their consequences to man’s felicity [happiness]. (Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England. 1:29-60, 64)

Those rights, then, which God and nature have established, and are therefore called natural rights, such as are life and liberty, need not the aid of human laws to be more effectually invested in every man than they are: neither do they receive any additional strength when declared by the municipal laws to be inviolable. On the contrary, no human legislature has power to abridge or destroy them, unless the owner shall himself the owner shall himself commit some act that amounts to a forfeiture. (Blackstone: Commentaries on the Laws of England)

Laws for human nature had been revealed by God, whereas the laws of the universe (natural law) must be learned through scientific investigation. (Commentaries, p.64) Blackstone stated that “upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation, depend all human laws …” (Ibid., p.65)

“Free men have arms; slaves do not.”
William Blackstone

“The liberty of the press is indeed essential to the nature of a free state: but this consists in laying no previous restraints upon publications, and not in freedom from censure for criminal matter when published. Every freeman has an undoubted right to lay what sentiments he pleases before the public: to forbid this, is to destroy the freedom of the press: but if he publishes what is improper, mischievous, or illegal, he must take the consequence of his own temerity.”
William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, Volume 4: A Facsimile of the First Edition of 1765-1769

 

William Blackstone

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Blackstone_from_NPGSir William Blackstone KC SL (10 July 1723 – 14 February 1780) was an English jurist, judge and Tory politician of the eighteenth century. He is most noted for writing the Commentaries on the Laws of England. Born into a middle-class family in London, Blackstone was educated at Charterhouse School before matriculating at Pembroke College, Oxford in 1738. After switching to and completing a Bachelor of Civil Law degree, he was made a Fellow of All Souls, Oxford on 2 November 1743, admitted to Middle Temple, and called to the Bar there in 1746. Following a slow start to his career as a barrister, Blackstone became heavily involved in university administration, becoming accountant, treasurer and bursar on 28 November 1746 and Senior Bursar in 1750. Blackstone is considered responsible for completing the Codrington Library and Warton Building, and simplifying the complex accounting system used by the college. On 3 July 1753 he formally gave up his practice as a barrister and instead embarked on a series of lectures on English law, the first of their kind. These were massively successful, earning him a total of £60,000 in 2014 terms, and led to the publication of An Analysis of the Laws of England in 1756, which repeatedly sold out and was used to preface his later works.

On 20 October 1758 Blackstone was confirmed as the first Vinerian Professor of English Law, immediately embarking on another series of lectures and publishing a similarly successful second treatise, titled A Discourse on the Study of the Law. With his growing fame, Blackstone successfully returned to the bar and maintained a good practice, also securing election as Tory Member of Parliament for the rotten borough of Hindon on 30 March 1761. In February 1766 he published the first volume of Commentaries on the Laws of England, considered his magnum opus—the completed work earned Blackstone £1,648,000 in 2014 terms. After repeated failures, he successfully gained appointment to the judiciary as a Justice of the Court of King’s Bench on 16 February 1770, leaving to replace Edward Clive as a Justice of the Common Pleas on 25 June. He remained in this position until his death, on 14 February 1780.

Blackstone’s legacy and main work of note is his Commentaries. Designed to provide a complete overview of English law, the four-volume treatise was repeatedly republished in 1770, 1773, 1774, 1775, 1778 and in a posthumous edition in 1783. Reprints of the first edition, intended for practical use rather than antiquary interest, were published until the 1870s in England and Wales, and a working version by Henry John Stephen, first published in 1841, was reprinted until after the Second World War. Legal education in England had stalled; Blackstone’s work gave the law “at least a veneer of scholarly respectability”.[1] William Searle Holdsworth, one of Blackstone’s successors as Vinerian Professor, argued that “If the Commentaries had not been written when they were written, I think it very doubtful that [the United States], and other English speaking countries would have so universally adopted the common law.”[2] In the United States, the Commentaries influenced John Marshall, James Wilson, John Jay, John Adams, James Kent and Abraham Lincoln, and remain frequently cited in Supreme Court decisions.

Read more about William Blackstone

 

Defining Moment: American Covenant with God

Defining Moment:

American Covenant with God

keyThe fate of unborn Millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army. . . Let us therefore relay upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the Supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is.”~ George Washington [3]

covenant2Sometimes denotes an agreement between persons or nations; more often between God and man; but in this latter case it is important to notice that the two parties to the agreement do not stand in the relation of independent and equal contractors. God in his good pleasure fixes the terms, which man accepts. The same word is sometimes rendered “testament.”

The gospel is so arranged that principles and ordinances are received by covenant placing the recipient under strong obligation and responsibility to honor the commitment. Thurs the severe consequences to Ananias and Sapphira, who deliberately broke their covenant and lied unto God. (Acts 5:1-11)[1]

Prayer-at-Valley-forge-500George Washington, the Covenant Leader

“We have nothing, my Dear Sir to depend upon, but the protection of a kind Providence.” (Washington in a letter to John Adams)

When Washington and his troops were trapped at Brooklyn Heights, he called for his men to repent and be righteous, to do those things which would bring the blessings of heaven. This was in the pattern of a covenant relationship.

GENERAL ORDERS, HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK, MAY 15, 1776:

Friday [May] 17th, Instant to be observed as a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer, humbly to supplicate the mercy of Almighty God, that it would please him to pardon all our manifold sins and transgressions, and to prosper the Arms of the United Colonies, and finally establish the peace and freedom of America, upon  a solid and lasting foundation.[2]

 

The fate of unborn Millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army. . . Let us therefore relay upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the Supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is.”[3]

Washington understood the power of the Declaration of Independence. On July 9, 1776, he had the Declaration read to his men.

Const-signers-AmericansWhoRiskedAllThe commitment and dedication of the signers is revealed in the covenantal concluding statement:

“With a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

After the reading, he reminded his men:

“The blessing and protection of Heaven are at all times necessary but especially so in times of public distress and danger–The General hopes and trusts, that every officer and man, will endeavour so to live, and act, as becomes a Christian soldier defending the dearest Rights and Liberties of his country.” [4]

 

[1] Bible Dictionary, 651

[2] Bennett, The Spirit of America, 393

[3] Novak, Michael and Jana, Washington’s God: Religion, Liberty, and the Father of our Country, 71

[4] Bennett, The Spirit of America, 390

America First: Wisconsin new Jobs Available 13,000; Taxpayer Money Saved; United Nations Push Back

America First:

Wisconsin new Jobs Available 13,000; Taxpayer Money Saved; United Nations Push Back

Wisconsin new Jobs Available 13,000

Trump Celebrates Foxconn Plant in Wisconsin

RUSH: This is kind of cool. President Trump is right now, as we speak, in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, at the ribbon cutting for the new Foxconn plant there. Foxconn is the Taiwanese company that assembles iPhones in both mainland China and India, a number of other places. And they’re opening a plant in Wisconsin, 13,000 jobs will be created. I think they’re gonna make LCD screens or any number of sized TV sets and iPad size. I don’t think they got much to do with iPhone production there, but Trump just talked about how brilliant a guy Scott Walker is.

Scott Walker said this would have never happened — Foxconn, nobody would have ever come to Wisconsin to open this plant, 13,000 new jobs — if it weren’t for the Donald Trump. And that is undeniably true. So much of what’s happened in the country that had not happened before in the modern era, recent years. Trump’s making it happen.

Poll: More Americans Believe Country ‘Better Off’ With GOP Congress

 Thanks to A.F. Branco at Comically Incorrect  for his great cartoon

 

Poll: Majority of Americans in Battleground Districts Support Trump’s Wall

Hispanic Americans Support Trump Order on Family Detentions

 

“We cannot allow all of these people to invade our Country,” Trump wrote in one of several tweets. “When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came. Our system is a mockery to good immigration policy and Law and Order. Most children come without parents. ~Pres. Trump

Gallup: Satisfaction with direction of country highest since 2005

 

Taxpayer Money Saved

Citizens Against Government Waste Praises White House Reorganization Plan

CAGW hailed the White House’s plan released this month to streamline and reorganize the federal government. The plan represents the culmination of a process that began in March 2017 when President Trump issued an executive order directing the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) “to submit … a proposed plan to reorganize the executive branch in order to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of agencies.” CAGW worked with OMB throughout the process, and many of the proposals in the President’s plan mirror recommendations CAGW has made for years in its annual Prime Cuts. Highlights of the plan include merging the Departments of Education and Labor to meet the needs of citizens from the classroom to the workforce; selling assets owned by the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Power Marketing Administrations,

saving taxpayers $9.5 billion over 10 years;

moving all federal record keeping to an electronic format and ending the collection of paper records after 2022; and privatizing the United States Postal Service to lower its cost structure and put it back on sound financial footing. Read more about President Trump’s plan to reorganize the federal government.

United Nations Push Back

US leaves UN Human Rights Council over ‘bias against Israel’

Ambassador Nikki Haley pointed to the membership of countries like China, Cuba and Venezuela that are themselves accused of rights violations and charged that the council has a “chronic bias against Israel.”

The withdrawal didn’t come as a surprise.

National Security Adviser John Bolton opposed the council’s creation in 2006.

In a speech to the body last year, Haley called it out for what she said was its “relentless, pathological campaign” against the Jewish state.

US leaves UN Human Rights Council over ‘bias against Israel’

Trump Administration To Remove US From UN Human Rights Council

The United Nations Human Right Council was created in 2006 to shed light on human rights abuses around the globe. It, unfortunately, has not served that purpose and has been hampered by geopolitical bias since its inception.

Ambassador Nikki Haley has said, “For our part, the United States will not sit quietly while this body, supposedly dedicated to human rights, continues to damage the cause of human rights. In the end, no speech and no structural reforms will save the members of the Human Rights Council from themselves.”

ALERT: Trump To Shun The United Nations

 

Book Reviews: Hand of God in American Revolution

Dinner Topics for Independence Day

Book Reviews: Hand of God in American Revolution

key“We have a new land, a new constitution, a new government, and I believe now the fight is going to be to keep it. The fight between good and evil. A shooting war comes and it goes, but the war between the good and the bad—it never ends.” ~Matthew Dunson in A More Perfect Union, p.529

Through the eyes of the heroes in this powerful series, the reader can see the Hand of God in the American Revolution, as He prepared the way for a land of liberty to base operations for the spreading of gospel teachings to all the world. ~C.D.

Prelude to Glory

By Ron Carter

Volume 1

prelude-glory1Our Sacred Honor

Few stories are as compelling as that of the birth of the United States of America. It is a story of courage and sacrifice, of commitment to freedom and faith. Above all, however, the events that marked America’s beginnings were a prelude to the glory that would arise upon the land through the restoration of the gospel.

Those pivotal pre-Restoration events are brought to life in the epic historical fiction series Prelude to Glory. In volume I, Our Sacred Honor, author Ron Carter transports readers to the 1770s to witness key episodes of the Revolutionary War, from the opening encounter at Lexington (where “the shot heard round the world” is fired) to the incredible sea battle off the east coast of England (where the American commander John Paul Jones exclaims, “I have not yet begun to fight!”). But this is much more than a story of kings and generals. Though we certainly get to meet the likes of Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and Benedict Arnold, the author focuses on the perspective of common people. Thus, through the eyes of the fictional Dunson family of Boston we see what it was like to live in everyday colonial America, to fight among the minutemen, to sail the seas at wartime and to experience love and heartache as America’s destiny unfolds.

The underlying spiritual nature of that destiny is powerfully woven into the fabric of the story. And this spiritual perspective will give readers a better understanding of why the Founding Fathers were moved upon to champion a cause to which they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

Volume 2

prelude-glory2The Times That Try Men’s Souls

By Ron Carter

“These are the times that try men’s souls,” writes journalist Thomas Paine at the end of 1776, a dark time in America’s struggle for freedom. As the dramatic events depicted in volume 2 of the monumental Prelude to Glory series show, the high price of liberty for which colonists fought would include great sacrifice and endurance—even in the face of apparent defeat.

Focusing primarily on events between June and December 1776, this book follows Billy Weems (friend of Matthew Dunson from volume I) tot eh battlefields in the New York area, where General George Washington commands the Continental army. Early on, Billy meets and befriends Eli Stroud, a white man raised by Iroquois Indians, who lends his unusual talents to the Revolutionary cause. But as events unfold, the Americas’ situation looks more and more bleak. A series of engagements with the enemy leaves the colonial soldiers pummeled and staggering, driven to disastrous retreat again and again. By December 1776, the war for independence seems all but lost. Nevertheless, determination and hope remain alive, along with a powerful sense that divine providence is watching over the Americans.

As with the previous volume, author Ron Carter re-creates these historic episodes in such a way as to transport readers back in time. Along with fascinating fictional characters, he provides engaging portraits of such luminaries as George Washington, Nathan Hale (“I regret that I have but one life to give for my country”), and the intrepid John Glover. Through this powerful story, readers will come to appreciate the fortitude it took for Patriots to stand firm and resolute during these times that tried men’s souls.

 

Volume 3

prelude-glory3To Decide Our Destiny

Washington spoke. It seemed his voice was subdued, quiet, yet it reached every man in the Delaware Regiment.

“My brave fellows, you have done all I asked you to do, and more than could be reasonably expected; but your country is at stake, your wives, your houses, and all that you hold dear. You have worn yourselves out with fatigues and hardships, but we know not how to spare you. If you will consent to stay only one month longer, you will render that service to the cause of liberty, and to your country, which you probably never can do under any other circumstances. The present is emphatically the crisis which is to decide our destiny.”

He stopped. He raised a hand as though to speak further, but there were no words he could think of that would add strength to what he had already said. He slowly lowered his hand and reined his horse to the right and raised it to a trot, back towards his officers and Turlock.

Turlock did not know how long he stood without moving, without breathing, aware Washington had been touched by a power not of any man, knowing that at that moment, somehow, the course of the world’s history hung in the balance.

In the frigid winter marking the end of 1776 and the beginning of 1777, the Continental army is faced with the overwhelming truth that they are losing the Revolution. The British have pummeled them with a series of bloody battles that have ripped the Americans to tattered shreds and have driven them to retreat so vast that it crosses two colony lines. The American camp, now crouching on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River, is helpless as the British move more than three thousand Hessian soldiers into position. Only the black waters of the Delaware River prevent a total ruin. Only a desperate plan promises a chance of success.

Volume 4

prelude-glory4The Hand of Providence

“Writing home?” Billy asked.

“To Mother. How does this sound? ‘It was a glorious sight to see the haughty Brittons march out and surrender their arms to an army which but a little before they despised and called palltroons.’”

Men slowed and stopped, listening in the firelight as Boardman read on.

“Surely the hand of Providence work’d wonderfully in favour of America.”

More than fifty men had gathered to listen as Boardman concluded

“I hope every heart will be affected by the wonderful goodness of God in delivering so many of our enemy into our hands, with so little loss on our side.”

Boardman raised his eyes back to Billy, and for the first time realized he was surrounded. The men peered down at him, sitting beside his campfire. They wiped at their eyes, then nodded to him as they moved on.

Boardman watched them go, then turned back to Billy. “Was it too much? Did I say it too strong?”

Billy stared at the fire for a moment. “No, it wasn’t too strong. It was fine. It was fitting. The hand of Providence was with us.”

 

Volume 5

prelude-glory5aA Cold, Bleak Hill

December 22, 1777

To the Hnble Henry Laurens, President,

Congress of The United States:

Sir:

It is with infinite pain and concern that I must again dwell on the state of the Commissary’s department. I do not know from what cause this alarming deficiency or rather total failure of supplies arises, but unless more vigorous exertions and better regulations take place, and immediately, this army must dissolve.

Regarding the Pennsylvania Supreme Executive Council and their declared wish that this army should attack the enemy, I can assure those Gentlemen that it is a much easier and less distressing thing to draw remonstrances in a comfortable room by a good fireside than to occupy a cold, bleak hill and sleep under frost and snow without clothes or blankets. However, although the Council seems to have little feeling for the naked and distressed soldiers, I feel superabundantly for them, and from my soul pity those miseries they are now suffering, which it is in my power neither to relieve nor prevent.

George Washington

Valley Forge

 

Volume 6

prelude-glory6The World Turned Upside Down

Having underestimated the resolve and strength of the Continental Army in New England, Great retain adopts a new strategy in the war to subdue the American rebels. British general Sir Henry Clinton leads British and German Forces in an invasion of the South, hoping to use success there as a springboard to subdue the Northern colonies.

At first the British Southern campaign seems an unqualified success when in December 1778, American general Benjamin Lincoln surrenders his entire command army at Savannah, Georgia, and a second army at Charleston, South Carolina. But the British are not prepared for the fierce resistance from the common people in the Southern colonies. Famed guerrilla fighters Dan Morgan, Nathanael Greene, and Frances Marion (the Swamp Fox) use frontier skills and tactics learned in Indian warfare to erode the British forces and wear down British resolve.

Meanwhile, Benedict Arnold enters into treasonous negotiations to surrender Fort West Point to the British, thus betraying the American cause and earning for himself the ignominious title of traitor.

Finally, with the French providing much-needed financial, naval, and military aid, General Washington traps the British at Yorktown, where American and French forces mount a prolonged siege and compel the surrender of General Charles Cornwallis. The embittered and once-proud British see the American victory as evidence that the world has truly been “turned upside down.”

In this sixth volume of his acclaimed Prelude to Glory series, author Ron Carter has crafted another compelling chapter in his depiction of the Revolutionary War. Readers will be interested to learn the fates of beloved fictional characters. Through their stories and others, Carter brings to vivid life the legendary places, people, and battles that were part of America’s quest for liberty and independence.

Volume 7

prelude-glory7The Impending Storm

October 19, 1781: The great guns at Yorktown fell silent, British General Cornwallis surrendered, and England conceded the war. For one euphoric moment a shout of jubilation rolled forth in America – and then harsh reality gripped the country. America was thirteen separate countries, each with its own money, political organization, culture, and history. Congress was essentially powerless. Border tariffs sprang up between states, with cannons to enforce them. Quarrels over control of the great rivers brought states to the brink of war. Banks lacked gold and silver to support their paper currency; bankruptcies raged. The military was paid with unenforceable written promises, and destitute soldiers marched on to Philadelphia, demanding their wages. Finally, in 1786, still unpaid, the soldiers revolted, closing down many New England courthouses to stop the bankruptcy courts from seizing their farms. Shooting erupted; Americans killed Americans. The impending storm was threatening to break.

 

Volume 8

prelude-glory8A More Perfect Union

Within minutes each delegate had a copy spread on his desk and was leaned forward, locked in silence, with an intensity seldom seen during the convention, while he slowly, thoughtfully read the document.

The preamble no longer named all thirteen states. Rather, it stated with simple dignity, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

For several minutes a hush held in the East Room. Every man sensed a feeling in his soul that rose in his breast to hold him silent. What had they created? No one had gotten everything he had contended for, but everyone had gotten something. Some were satisfied with it, some disgruntled, a few disappointed. Some reckoned it was the work of fifty-five men who had reached inside themselves for the best they had. Others remembered the words of John Adams: “God is the great legislator of the universe.”

“We have a new land, a new constitution, a new government, and I believe now the fight is going to be to keep it. The fight between good and evil. A shooting war comes and it goes, but the war between the good and the bad—it never ends.” ~Matthew Dunson in A More Perfect Union, p.529

 

Volume 9

prelude-glory9By the Dawn’s Early Light

On the deck of the sloop, soaked to the skin, squinting in the rain, the Americans, Key, Skinner, and Beanes, stood at the rail, transfixed, watching the British warships rain destruction on the fort as never before in history. They saw the yellow fire trails of the rockets and the white bursts of bombs over the fort, and they listened to the continuous roar of the big guns, staring, unable to believe tat Armistead had not surrendered rather than face total destruction.

Key stood frozen to the rail as the dull light strengthened in the rain, and he could see the dim outline of the fort.

Something fluttered above the black outline, and then it took form and shape, and Key gasped when he understood it was the flag! Key’s heart was pounding in his chest. He wiped at his eyes and then reached inside his coat for an envelope and a pencil, and began to write the thoughts that came flooding from deep within.

Oh say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light. . .

Historical Fiction Book Reviews: They Made American Dream Possible

 Historical Fiction Book Reviews:

They Made American Dream Possible

 

prelude-glory2“THESE ARE THE TIMES THAT TRY MEN’S SOULS,” said Thomas Paine, inspiring Americans to fight for independence from the tyranny of the British Empire. In Prelude to Glory, the amazing series of historical novels on the founding of America, author Ron Carter shows us in heart-breaking, gut-wrenching detail the extent of courage, suffering, and sacrifice endured by the American colonists to give birth to this great free country.

In the series, the American Revolution and founding is portrayed from a Christian point of view. Miracles that saved the Americans time and time again leave no doubt that God’s hand was in the founding of this country. Americans felt the Holy Spirit in their lives. It was the American Dream to enjoy liberty—freedom of religion, speech, and all the unalienable rights we receive only from God.

America is a one-of-a-kind country. In their best-selling book Seven Tipping Points that Saved the World, authors Chris and Ted Stewart point out that the default position of world history is oppression and slavery. Never in any place or at any time in history had a country been able to govern itself successfully. What the Americans were fighting for was only a Dream. The whole world thought it was impossible—some scoffed, others held their breath in hope. But they did win it—against impossible odds.

AFAdiscouragement_home After suffering greatly in recent years, God has given Americans another chance. We are seeing our beloved country return to her former greatness as a leader of the free world.  Even so, today we are again at war—a Culture War. There are some—certainly not a majority, as they would have you believe—who want to destroy the American Dream.

WE WON’T KEEP AMERICA FREE WITHOUT A FIGHT.   I urge you to read the Prelude to Glory series by Ron Carter.  When I read about all that those valiant Americans endured so we could enjoy freedom in our beloved nation, I ask myself, “How dare I roll over, submit, surrender, or quit? How dare I quit, give up and forfeit the hard-won liberty that God, through those noble founders, has bequeathed to us?”

lamour-comstock-lode Louis L’Amour’s Comstock Lode is another powerful story about a man who wouldn’t give up. This memorable hero is named Val Trevallion. Trevallion was a good man who nevertheless had enemies, perhaps because he was good. He and a good friend ended up trapped in a mine, because someone deliberately set off explosives in an attempt to bury them alive, and the truth along with them. Nobody knew they were there, and the situation looked utterly hopeless, with yards of rock to dig through in a short time before they ran out of oxygen. But Val would not give up.

He knew no other way. All his life there had been a battle, and all his life he had worked. He would go down working, go down fighting, go out trying as he had always done. Had he known how, he would have quit, but life had taught him everything but that.[1]

I don’t know about you, but I can relate. Do you feel buried by an avalanche of political correctness, with your freedom of speech stifled, your freedom of religion crushed by explosive, unconstitutional acts? Do you feel smothered by so much vitriolic, in-your-face opposition that you can scarcely breathe?

Well, the rest of the story is that Val had helped countless people everywhere he went. The people in the town missed him, suspected foul play, and started looking for him. They banded together, climbed the mountain to the mine, and helped him and his friend to get out.[2]

As columnist David French noted, “When it comes to the core of their faith, millions of Christians will echo, by word and deed, the words of Martin Luther: HERE WE STAND. WE CAN DO NO OTHER. “

optimismYou and I know that America will not be saved in Washington D.C. by spineless politicians who are betraying us. If we want to rescue our birthright of American liberty and Biblical values, we must start digging out toxic lies around us and putting down grass-roots of truth by teaching our families gospel principles.

At the end of the day, the only thing that will matter in the eyes of God is: whose side are we on? What did we stand for?

Remember that Thomas Jefferson said, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” And never forget that truth is our most powerful weapon.

truth1Let us all press on in the work of the Lord,

That when life is o’er we may gain a reward;

In the fight for right let us wield a sword,

The mighty sword of truth.

Fear not, though the enemy deride,

Courage, for the Lord is on our side.

We will heed not what the wicked may say,

But the Lord alone we will obey. ~ Evan Stephens

Don’t give up the American Dream,

Christine Davidson

Imparting Biblical Family Values—Made Easy! Click Here

1) Comstock Lode, by Louis L’Amour

2) Please don’t consider this a spoiler. The whole story is an epic of character builder which is well-worth the read. . .one of the few books I still enjoy more than once.

Moral Support: President Trump Character Education Moment to Congress for Immigration Debacle: ‘No Lunch for You!’ Gives Steaks to Walter Reed Medical Center

Moral Support:

President Trump Character Education Moment to Congress for Immigration Debacle: ‘No Lunch for You!’ Gives Steaks to Walter Reed Medical Center

Trump Takes Away Congress’ Annual Ribeye ‘Picnic’, Sends Steaks To…

Andrew West

Donald Trump is a President unlike any that we have seen in our lifetimes, and for reasons that are just beyond comprehension for the career politicos who’ve only known the grooming of the Beltway.

there hasn’t ever been a Congressman Trump or Councilman Trump.

No, we got the CEO-in-Chief instead, and it has done wonders for our economy.

Now, however, another piece of the humanist in President Trump is showing through, as a debate over Congress’ ineffectual work on immigration rages.

You see, today was supposed to be the annual congressional “picnic”, which is literally just a 5-star meal served in a tent to these Washington fat cats.

Seeing the disparity between Congress’ work load and their free lunch is disheartening enough for me…can you imagine how our “America First” President felt?

Well, there’s no need to speculate, as the Commander in Chief has given us an answer.

That’s right:  cancelled.  When asked why, the President gave a very blue collar answer.

As the immigration debacle looms large over the halls of Congress, President Donald Trump decided to scrap the lawmakers’ annual congressional picnic at the White House because it just didn’t feel “right.”

“I was just walking over to the Oval Office and I said, ‘You know, it doesn’t feel right to have a picnic for Congress when we’re working on doing something very important,’” Trump said Wednesday, according to Politico. “It didn’t feel exactly right to me.”

Wasting food would have only added insult to injury, so the President did what any MAGA-hat-wearing populist POTUS would do:  He sent all those ridiculous ribeye steaks over to Walter Reed.

All the food will be served Friday for lunch at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, according to a report from Bloomberg News. The food will be given to patients, caregivers, and employees at the Warrior and Family Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

“All perishables donated to Walter Reed. Non perishables to be repurposed for future events,” Stephanie Grisham, spokeswoman for first lady Melania Trump, said

Trump Economic Boom, plummeting Unemployment Rates, Capitalism Benefits vs.Mainstream Media Censorship Blackout

Trump Economic Boom, plummeting Unemployment Rates, Capitalism Benefits vs.Mainstream Media Censorship Blackout

 

The Trump Economy: Story of the Decade

Rush Limbaugh

In any other climate, in any other atmosphere, this would be leading every cable newscast, and everybody would be happy about it, because this is restoring America’s wealth. Exactly one of the many things Trump said that he was gonna do. Make America rich again, “Make America Great Again.” You know the refrain. He talked endlessly of restoring America’s wealth, and here it is happening. This is the story of the decade.

“It just isn’t done!”

That seems to be a never-ending refrain for everybody in the Washington establishment talking about Trump: “It just isn’t done! We just don’t do it this way.” So that’s all they’ve got is to suggest here that Trump has broken the law or has violated a sacrosanct convention. But no matter how hard they try, they cannot drown out or obliterate the news. The United States added 223,000 jobs in May, beating expectations. The so-called experts were forecasting in the high 180,000s. Jobs were added all across the employment sector.

Manufacturing added 18,000 jobs.

They’re coming back, and they are roaring back. You know what else? Retail jobs: 31,000 new retail jobs. Everybody’s out there talking about how retail is dying because of the internet. Well, 31,000 retail jobs. Construction grew by 25,000 new jobs. The mining sector — which both Obama and Hillary promised to put out of business.

There are 6,000 new jobs in the mining sector. The service sector of our economy, service providers: 171,000 new jobs in May. Unemployment, 3.8%. That’s the lowest since George W. Bush was in… Actually, it’s early 2000. Bush assumed office in early 2001, and he had– in the early days of his administration — a low unemployment rate. Then 9/11 happened, and bottom fell out. But that’s how far you have to go back. You have to go back 18, 19 years to find unemployment this low, 3.8%. I have to tell you, this is considered statistically full employment.

And what that means is that when you get 3.8% of the people unemployed, those are the people that maybe don’t want to work or unemployable because it’s not logical to think that everybody in America could have a job. Unless, of course, you work for Bernie Sanders, who wants to have the federal government hire everybody.

Ben Garrison

Oh! And speaking of that. Donald Trump has cut the federal payroll by 24,000 jobs. That is another branch of draining the swamp that he is succeeding at.

But the point is we’re seeing a lot of excitement for historic improvements in minority unemployment numbers. The unemployment rate for men over 16 is 3.9%! Guess what it is for women, another group Republicans supposedly hate. It’s 3.6%.

I haven’t seen conservative men complaining about that, either. I haven’t seen any conservatives complaining about any of the good news on jobs for African-Americans, minorities, and women! Yet we’re sexist bigots, right?

Barack Obama… The date of this is June 1st, 2016.

RUSH: Okay. Listen to this. Obama, Indiana, June 1st, PBS special, questions for Obama. “What about the jobs we’ve lost? Are they coming back, Mr. President?”

OBAMA: And so what we have to do is to make sure that folks are trained for the jobs that are comin’ in now because some of those jobs of the past are just not gonna come back. And when somebody says — like the person you just mentioned who I’m not gonna advertise for — that he’s gonna bring all these jobs back? Well, how exactly are y’gonna do that? What’re you gonna do? There’s no answer to it. He just says, “I’m gonna negotiate a better deal.” (stammering) Well, how…? What…? How exactly are you going to negotiate that? What magic wand do you have? And usually the answer is, he duh’n’t have’n answer.

 

RUSH: Yes, he does: Capitalism and the American people — 18,000 manufacturing jobs back. He has an answer. He’s always had the answer. It’s called capitalism and faith in the American people!

 

“It’s just not done this way!”

 

RUSH: “You’re not supposed to pardon people until you’re about to leave office! This just isn’t done this way!” It could be one of the identifiers of the Trump administration: “It’s just not done this way!” You mean like reviving the economy, bringing back jobs, restoring America’s wealth and place in the world? Now, I have to tell you, there is nowhere you can go today anywhere in the Drive-By Media to get even 10% of what I just told you in the way I presented it.

They’re gonna ignore this.