Tag Archives: american history

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?

 

Independence Day, YouTube Music and Star Spangled Banner Anthem

Dinner Topics for Friday

Today, when our anthem is so disparaged, even destruction of a monument of its author Francis Scott Keys by criminal mobs, it is good to pause and remember the many sacrifices made so that anti-Americans are free to express their ingratitude. And to stand for the anthem, and defend our liberty.~C.D.

Independence Day: Liberty and Star Spangled Banner Anthem

news_flag_hdr5At church when we stand and sing the Star-Spangled Banner (it’s in our hymn book), I feel new hope that the majority of the American people still love this country and believe in American exceptionalism.  Politics alone are no longer the solution to our growing tyranny and loss of liberty. It is a cultural problem. Our only hope is to teach our children the gospel of Jesus Christ and the history and constitutional  principles that once  made this country a beacon of liberty to all the world–that is,  teach them Biblical values–the culture of liberty, and to restore America’s covenant with God. ~C.A. Davidson

flaghouseBarfootOh say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming, Whose broad strips and bright stars, through the perilous fight, o’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming? And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof thru the night that our flag was still there. Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave O’er the land of the free and  the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen thru mists of the deep, Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes, What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep, As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses? Now it catches the gleam, of the morning’s first beam, In full glory reflected now shines on the stream: ‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh, long may it wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh, thus be it ever, when free men shall stand Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation! Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation! Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, And this be our our motto: “In God is our trust!” And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

~Francis Scott Key

The Star-Spangled Banner” is the national anthem of the United States of America. The lyrics come from “Defence of Fort M’Henry”,[1] a poem written in 1814 by the 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships of the Royal Navy in Baltimore Harbor during the Battle of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812.

The poem was set to the tune of a popular British song written by John Stafford Smith for the Anacreontic Society, a men’s social club in London. “To Anacreon in Heaven” (or “The Anacreontic Song”), with various lyrics, was already popular in the United States. Set to Key’s poem and renamed “The Star-Spangled Banner”, it would soon become a well-known American patriotic song. With a range of one octave and one fifth (a semitone more than an octave and a half), it is known for being difficult to sing. Although the poem has four stanzas, only the first is commonly sung today.

“The Star-Spangled Banner” was recognized for official use by the United States Navy in 1889, and by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, and was made the national anthem by a congressional resolution on March 3, 1931 (46 Stat. 1508, codified at 36 U.S.C. § 301), which was signed by President Herbert Hoover.

Before 1931, other songs served as the hymns of American officialdom. “Hail, Columbia” served this purpose at official functions for most of the 19th century. “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee“, whose melody is identical to “God Save the Queen“, the British national anthem,[2] also served as a de facto anthem.[3] Following the War of 1812 and subsequent American wars, other songs emerged to compete for popularity at public events, among them “The Star-Spangled Banner”.

Constitution Series 18: Rights from God protected by Constitution, Records of History

Constitution Series 18:

Rights from God protected by Constitution, Records of History

Founding Principles of America:

28 Great Ideas that changed the world

5000leapThe practical application of this book review of Skousen educated wisdom is to leverage “We, The People’s” knowledge to easily expose ignorance, anarchy and tyranny, and hold the government accountable.

From The 5,000 Year Leap—A Miracle that Changed the World

By W. Cleon Skousen

US Constitution Series 18

Our Unalienable Rights from God are Best Protected by Written Records of History

keyoldThey had had many wars and serious contentions, and had fallen by the sword from time to time; and their language had become corrupted; and they had brought no records with them; and they denied the being of their Creator. ~Omni 1:17

No written records, no history

The one weakness of the Anglo-Saxon common law was that it was unwritten. Since its principles were known among the whole people, they seemed indifferent to the necessity of writing them down.

“Until the Anglo-Saxon conversion to Christianity it was unwritten and like all customary law was considered immutable. “ (Lovell, English Constitutional and Legal History, 7)

magna-cartaHowever, the Norman Conquest taught the Anglo-Saxons in England a bitter lesson. Many of their most treasured rights disappeared in a flood of blood and vindictive oppression. In fact, these rights were retained very slowly over a period of centuries and gradually they were written down. In A.D. 1215, during a national crisis, the sword was virtually put to the throat of King John in order to compel him to sign the Magna Charta, setting forth the traditional rights of freemen.

During that same century the “Model Parliament” came into being, which compelled the King to acknowledge the principle of no taxation without representation.

Through the centuries, the British have tried to manage their political affairs with no written constitution and have merely relied upon these fragmentary statures as a constitutional reference source. These proved helpful to the American Founders, but they felt that the structure of government should be codified in a more permanent, comprehensive form.

It will be appreciated, therefore, that the tradition of written constitutions in modern times is not of English origin but is entirely American, both in principle and practice.

Mayflower-compact-hero2-ABeginnings of a Written Constitution in America

The first written charter in America was in 1620, when the Mayflower Compact came into being. Later the charter concept evolved into a more comprehensive type of constitution when Thomas Hooker and his associates adopted the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut in 1639. It is interesting that the Connecticut charter makes no reference to the Crown or the British Government as the source of its authority. (Skousen, 217-218)

American Constitution Represents Wisdom of Many

signers3Montesquieu pointed out that when it comes to legislating (which includes the setting up of constitutions), the writing of the statute or charter is “oftentimes better regulated by many than by a single person.” In harmony with this same sentiment, the American Founding Fathers considered it wise to “legislate” their constitution by filtering it through the wisdom and experiences of many delegates assembled in a convention rather than leaving it to the genius of some individual.

It is always difficult to operate through a committee, a group, or a convention as the Founding Fathers did. Nevertheless, the history of the convention demonstrates that the final product was far stronger than any individual could have written it. Time has also proven the tremendous advantage of having a completely written document for reference purposes rather than relying upon tradition and a few scattered statutes as the fundamental law of the land. (Skousen 220-221)

Why Young Adults need to know about Judeo-Christian Heritage and Freedom of Religion

NEXT—

Principle 19: Only Limited Powers should be delegated to Government; all others being Retained in the People

History Facts: World War 2 Heroes Remember D Day

History Facts:

World War 2  Heroes Remember D Day

The Heroes of D-Day in Their Own Words, 72 Years Later

John Hayward

Time will inevitably take the last heroes of D-Day from us, but a few remain, telling their stories to rapt audiences across the nation.

7th June 1944:  American assault troops and equipment landing on Omaha beach on the Northern coast of France, the smoke in the background is from naval gunfire supporting the attack.  (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
7th June 1944: American assault troops and equipment landing on Omaha beach on the Northern coast of France, the smoke in the background is from naval gunfire supporting the attack. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Donald Rutter of the 82nd Airborne recalled having a decent red-eye flight from England to France, but then he jumped out of a perfectly good airplane, and his whole day went to hell.

He said a sniper’s bullet went over his shoulder to hit his lieutenant, and he wound up hiding from 20mm cannon fire in a barn.

“But I happened to survive it,” Rutter, now 94, told his local paper, the Reading Eagle. He said what happened next was “a long story.”

“I could go on and on. I’ll have to write a book,” he said.

The Reading Eagle cites historians who say that even with the surge of pop-culture interest in D-Day over the past generation, ranging from movies like Saving Private Ryan to video games that strive to recreate the experience of storming the beaches of Normandy, most people do not have an accurate impression of what the landing was really like. This makes the recollections of the remaining veterans an invaluable historical resource.

“We want them to have their stories known to others,” said Berks County Department of Veterans Affairs Executive Director Dale G. Derr. “I wish I could articulate what it means when a WW II vet sits down with you.”

That opportunity will only grow more scarce in the future, as the Reading Eagle estimates that just 855,000 World War II veterans remain in the U.S., and they are departing at a rate of 800 a day.

72 years ago, Frank McCalment of South Bend, Indiana was a 22-year-old Navy gunner, who woke up from a night on the deck of the heavy cruiser USS Augusta to see a B-17 bomber burning in the sky overhead.

“We saw a lot of young fellows going in (to shore) on landing craft. I felt sorry for them,” said McCalment, quoted by the South Bend Tribune.

He spent that endless day loading hundred-pound shells into the Augusta’s 5-inch guns, as they pounded German emplacements on the French coast. “We had superior air power. The sky was almost black with Allied airplanes,” he said. “The Germans were firing back. Thank the good Lord, they never hit us.”

A point made by both D-Day veterans and historians is that D-Day was the beginning of a long and difficult struggle, whose end was nowhere in sight on the day the invasion began. McCalment recalled the Augusta providing fire support for General George Patton himself a few weeks later, when Patton needed help with some German tanks.

MemorialDay191-year-old Robert Levine of Teaneck, New Jersey was 19 when he came ashore on Utah Beach. On the far side of Hill 122, retreating Germans ambushed his unit, filled his leg with shrapnel from a grenade, and took him prisoner. Then he got hit by shrapnel from the very same American mortar shells he had been delivering to forward positions at the time of his capture.

He woke up on the kitchen table of a French farmhouse that had been pressed into service as a German field hospital.

“For you, the war is over,” said a German military doctor, as he prepared to amputate Levine’s leg. Then the doctor noticed the letter “H” stamped on the prisoner’s dog tags… identifying him as Hebrew.

“I had just turned 19, and I thought that was the end for me. I was never going to see my 20th birthday, I knew it,” he recalled.

To his astonishment, he woke up in an improvised recovery room, without his injured leg – or his dog tags. The German doctor hid the tags to conceal Levine’s identity. “That’s the second way he saved my life,” Levine said.

It took him forty years, but he eventually tracked down the doctor, after leaving his contact information at the D-Day museum in Les Perrieres, and taking up a correspondence with a former German prisoner of war whose first letter began, “Dear Robert: Do you mind a former enemy calling you ‘Dear?’”

With his new friend’s help, Levine finally found the home of the man who saved him, only to learn he had already passed away. He presented the doctor’s widow with the hand-written card he found in place of his dog tags when he woke up in that recovery room, containing vital medical information about his injuries.

93-year-old Ray Stewart of Gastonia, N.C. was a 20-year-old gunner on a tank whose crew called themselves “Hell on Wheels.” He remembered rolling into action with the 2nd Armored Division three days after the invasion began, as part of a replacement force.

“I was just like everybody else on D-Day. We didn’t know what was going on,” said Stewart, making a point that could be difficult for young people raised in the Information Age to appreciate. Frank McCalment, the USS Augusta’s gunner, noted that the crew of his ship learned something big was in the wind because the King of England came aboard for a tour, followed soon afterward by Lt. General Omar Bradley.

90-year-old Louis Palermo was part of the second wave of the Omaha Beach assault, after watching the first wave get torn to shreds by heavy German artillery and machine gun fire. He piled out of a Higgins boat, into a storm of bullets and bombs… and then spent 10 minutes wading ashore. This was followed by an hour dug into the bloody sand, while 2,500 men died around him.

“A lot of my comrades got killed. The Germans were throwing everything at us,” he recalled.

Palermo spent the next six months living in foxholes, took a shrapnel hit during the Battle of the Bulge, and was at one point declared MIA after he got separated from his unit for a week. Fortunately, his letter of reassurance that he was still alive reached his mother right after the letter from the Army that said he had been lost.

Amazingly, while he was telling his story to the LI Herald last week, Palermo’s wife of nearly sixty years, Norma, walked into the room and declared, “This is the most I’ve ever heard about it.”

“I just hope we don’t get into another war. I don’t want to see the younger generations go into combat anymore,” said Palermo.

memorial-day2arlingtonContrary to the modern fashion, he thought businesses should be shut down on Memorial Day, to observe a national moment of silence. “The heroes are the guys that got killed over there, that are buried. They sacrificed their lives,” he said.

John Provini of Connecticut recalled seeing three ships behind him taking hits, one of them blown out of the water, during landing operations… and that was two months before D-Day, when his group was training to prepare for the attack, and came under fire from the Germans.

He was nevertheless among the first troops to hit the beaches when Operation Overlord went down. “When you look up, it was sunny day, you couldn’t see the sun because of all the planes,” the Connecticut veteran told CTStyle in a Memorial Day interview.

Provini said he handles the weight of his D-Day memories by remembering, “The good outweighs the bad, and call it a day.”

90-year-old Don Carragher of St. Augustine joined the Navy at 17, hoping to serve on a battleship, but since he was color-blind, he was assigned to the Seabees. He spent six months building barges for the invasion, then volunteered for duty as a signalman during the invasion. His post gave him an incomparable view of the battle.

“The guns from our destroyers and cruisers was unbelievable, and the German bombs, the 88 mm, they were coming over like crazy. You didn’t have time to figure out what was going on. The noise was deafening. But I saw it. I saw things no 18-year-old should see,” he told the St. Augustine Record. “You see dead bodies and there’s nothing funny about it, there’s nothing clever about it, there’s nothing nice about it. It’s unbelievable what men can do to each other.”

Given a chance to come ashore and stretch his legs on the day after D-Day, Carragher said he could only handle ten minutes on the beach, because he was “a bundle of nerves” from thinking about all the men who had died there.

Charles Norman Shay, who journeyed to Normandy this year to deliver a speech despite being almost 92 years old, was a medic with the 1st U.S. Infantry Division. D-Day was his first day in combat.

“The seas were red with the blood of men who were wounded or sacrificed their lives,” he says. “It was very devastating. I had to cleanse my soul – well, not cleanse my soul, but I had to think a lot about it and push what I was experiencing out of my mind so I could function the way I was trained to function,” Shay, a Penobscot Indian, recalled to Indian Country Today.

Half his company, and seven out of nine officers, were dead or wounded by noon on June 6th, 1944. He found his friend Edward Morocewitz dying on the beach from a stomach wound. “I could not even bandage him properly,” he said. “I gave him a shot of morphine, and, well, we said goodbye to each other forever, because he died.”

He began returning to Normandy every year in 2007, to “take up contact” with the fallen, and “let them know they’re not forgotten,” with a stop at Morocewitz’s grave on every visit.

“This was one of the biggest operations in military history. And it was a success. And, well, I was perhaps happy and sad to be a part of it,” said Shay.

Memorial Day: Museum Honors War Heroes

National WWII museum: WE OWE THEM

vetsweowethemHe blinked his eyes rapidly and tears began to moisten his 90-year-old cheeks as memories of war flooded his mind.

“I guess everybody has those feelings,” World War II veteran Harry Robinson told AFA Journal about his recent trip to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Robinson grew up on a farm in Clay County, Mississippi, and voluntarily joined the U.S. Marine Corps when he was 18 years old. After his enlistment, he rode a train from Jackson, Mississippi, to San Diego, California, and then spent two-and-one-half years overseas. Robinson served as a cook and a baker, so he didn’t experience actual combat other than an invasion of Guam that included his platoon. And he was at home on leave when the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.

But the war was real; Robinson was a part of it and forever impacted by it.

“I have forgiven, but I haven’t forgotten,” Robinson said. His memories became reality again as he and his family toured the museum.

“I’m so thankful I came back [from war] without a bruise or anything,” he said while fighting back tears. “So many people lost their lives over there. I hope that visitors to the museum recognize the fact that so many gave their lives.”

The National World War II Museum opened its doors June 6, 2000, after its founder, the late  historian Steven Ambrose, had the idea to build it in memory of Andrew Jackson Higgins. Higgins built the boats that were used as landing craft by the United States to win WWII. Higgins Shipyard in New Orleans built some 20,000 of those boats, thus the reason the museum is located in the Big Easy.

“The museum tells the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world,” William M. “Bill” Detweiler, J.D., told AFA Journal. “It tells why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today so that all generations will understand the price of freedom and be inspired by what they learn. That’s our mission statement.”

Detweiler is the museum’s consultant for military and veterans affairs.

“The museum is a passion for me,” Detweiler said. He has been with the museum since before there was a museum, dating back to his service as national commander of the American Legion (1994-95). During that time he was in a dispute with the Smithsonian Institute over the display of the Enola Gay, a Boeing B-29 Superfortress WWII bomber that became the first aircraft to drop an atomic bomb.

“I got involved on behalf of the American Legion and spent my whole year as national commander trying to defend the courage and honor of the men and women of the war years and to defend President Truman’s decision to drop the bombs to bring the war to a conclusion,” Detweiler explained.

Because of his work, he was elected to the board of the museum a few years later.

Ceremonies
Presently, Detweiler handles all of the outreach and relations dealing with the military on both the local and national levels. This involves special ceremonies presented by the museum as well as assisting with special functions initiated by branches of the military.

“We host major ceremonies on patriotic holidays like Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and the Fourth of July,” Detweiler said.

Plans are still being finalized for this year’s Memorial Day celebration, but in years past it has consisted of a speaker, music by the museum’s Navy band and Marine Corps band, and a POW/MIA ceremony provided by a Jr. ROTC cadet program from one of the local high schools.

“It’s a very elaborate ceremony that’s put on by these high school students in memory of those who have paid the supreme sacrifice and have been lost in war,” Detweiler explained. The Memorial Day program is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. (CT) and is open to the public.

On June 6, the museum is planning a major observance to mark the 70th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy. There is a related event planned almost every day during the week of June 1-8.

Education
The museum reaches out not only to veterans and their loved ones but also to families, schools, students and the community. The purpose of the museum is to help people understand WWII, how it influences the world today and what future generations can learn from it.

“In order to keep young people interested, the exhibits have to be such that they appeal to younger people and that they raise their interests and keep their attention,” Detweiler said.

That’s why the museum always has an ongoing project and is constantly incorporating advanced technology to make the museum relevant both now and in the future.

One of the most powerful aspects of the museum, according to Detweiler, is a feature presentation titled Beyond All Boundaries that runs daily on the hour. It’s a 4-D film produced by actor Tom Hanks that tells the story of the war in less than an hour.

The museum also houses thousands of oral histories, statements from WWII veterans and members of the home front. One of the museum pavilions has been remodeled to look like a train station from the 1940s. Visitors purchase tickets and board a train car that uses technology to take them on a computerized ride through the countryside in order to experience life during the era.

At the museum’s Stage Door Canteen, bands play, the Victory Belles sing, and swing dance lessons are taught on occasion. In the restoration facility, visitors can watch as men and women work to restore a WWII patrol boat similar to the one on which President John F. Kennedy served.

The United States Freedom Pavilion, which opened earlier this year, houses five vintage WWII planes. The planes hang 90 feet in the air, and catwalks allow visitors to walk right up to the planes and look inside them.

There are various hands-on educational projects, events and exhibits like the Classroom Victory Garden Project that teaches elementary students the importance of community during a time of war. The museum holds summer camps for children as well as various activities for families including Night at the Museum, when a child and parent stay in the museum overnight, watch movies and make crafts.

“We’re an educational facility,” Detweiler explained. “We are not a museum of guns and bullets. We’re not about gore. No veteran who has ever seen combat wants to see war or combat again.

“We want families to realize the sacrifices and what it took, what these men and women did, in order to earn and protect the freedoms that we continue to enjoy today,” he said. “We really encourage families who still have a living World War II vet or family member who was working on the home front during World War II to come on in and take a look. It’s worth the visit. It really is.”

– See more at: http://www.afajournal.org/archives/2010-present/2014/may/features/national-wwii-museum-reminds-us-%E2%80%A6-we-owe-them.aspx#sthash.8QMGv7Rg.dpuf

 

For more information:
National World War II Museum
504-528-1944
info@nationalww2museum.org – See more at: http://www.afajournal.org/archives/2010-present/2014/may/features/national-wwii-museum-reminds-us-%E2%80%A6-we-owe-them.aspx#sthash.8QMGv7Rg.dpuf

Memorial Day: Remembering World War 2 Heroes

Memorial Day: Remembering World War 2 Heroes

This World War II Soldier’s Story Reminds Us of Why Memorial Day Matters

James Carafano

memorial-day2arlingtonIf any day is more than just a day, then Memorial Day is it.

Sometimes remembering just one soldier reminds us why.

His name was Lawrence Gordon. He grew-up on a hard-scrabble farm in Canada. After Pearl Harbor, he decided to join the American Army. The Americans had better “kit.”

The Army sent Gordon into the center of the storm, as the allies battled from the beaches of Normandy breaking through the German defenses and then racing to encircle the enemy as it withdrew from France.

Gordon was on the sharp edge of the bayonet. His cavalry unit, in thinly skinned armored vehicles, was dispatched way to the front or the flanks to find the enemy before the more heavily armored columns were called up to engage. Sometimes “finding” the enemy started with a wild exchange of gunfire or the unexpected burst of mortar rounds. Patrols could go from tense silence to vicious firefights in seconds. Gordon’s letters home to the family and his girl kept up their spirits with assurances he was safe and surrounded by dependable comrades and delivered a travelogue of his little unit’s march across France.

One day the letters stopped.

The family received a partially burned wallet. They knew it was his. The picture of his girl was singed but still recognizable. But other than a few personal effects, there was no explanation of what had happened to Lawrence Gordon—and no body. He was missing in action—and would remain so for almost 70 years.

A documentary, “Honoring a Commitment,” by a young filmmaker named Jeb Henry, tells the extraordinary story of how his loved ones found Private Gordon and brought him home.

The new film, recently screened at The Heritage Foundation in partnership with National Review, is part detective story and part love story, a journey of a family’s determined unrelenting effort to find and honor a brave man.

Remembering Private Gordon is important for all of us. Any remembrance of war that doesn’t include the telling of individual stories lessens the purpose of the day–and why it is important that we remember.

Sometimes the enormity of war overwhelms the truth that all great struggles are just the sum of individual stories. Each is more than just the story of one soldier’s service and sacrifice. Their service ripples across their families, friends and their communities. Memorial Day reminds us it is the noble sacrifice of many that makes us who we are.

Every soldier’s story of World War II is worth telling. Every story of every soldier in every war has value. Every generation of American soldiers is the greatest generation. What is most extraordinary about the extraordinary story of Private Gordon and his extraordinary family is that it is singularly representative of what the fight for freedom and the eternal struggle for the preservation of liberty really means.

MemorialDay1They Stood For Something and We Owe Them Something’: Reagan’s 1986 Memorial Day Speech

Remembering Those Who Never Came Home

Hayek Quotes: Liberty, Socialism, and Economy

Dinner Topics for Monday

Quotes by Friedrich Hayek

keyIf we wish to preserve a free society, it is essential that we recognize that the desirability of a particular object is not sufficient justification for the use of coercion. ~Friedrich August von Hayek

Even the striving for equality by means of a directed economy can result only in an officially enforced inequality – an authoritarian determination of the status of each individual in the new hierarchical order. ~Friedrich August von Hayek

We must face the fact that the preservation of individual freedom is incompatible with a full satisfaction of our views of distributive justice. ~Friedrich August von Hayek

socialjusticeThe mirage of social justice

F. A. Hayek made many valuable contributions to the field of economics as well as to the disciplines of philosophy and politics. This volume represents the second of Hayek’s comprehensive three-part study of the relations between law and liberty. … Google Books

hayekbooksocialismThe Fatal Conceit

Book by Friedrich Hayek

The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism is a non-fiction book written by the economist and political philosopher Friedrich Hayek and edited by William Warren Bartley. Wikipedia

Published: 1988Author: Friedrich Hayek

Friedrich Hayek

Friedrich August Hayek ( 8 May 1899 – 23 March 1992), born in Austria-Hungary as Friedrich August von Hayek and frequently known as F. A. Hayek, was an Austrian, later turned British,[1] economist and philosopher best known for his defense of classical liberalism. In 1974, Hayek shared the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (with Gunnar Myrdal) for his “pioneering work in the theory of money and economic fluctuations and … penetrating analysis of the interdependence of economic, social and institutional phenomena”.[2]

Hayek is an economist[3] and major political thinker of the twentieth century.[4] Hayek’s account of how changing prices communicate information which enables individuals to coordinate their plans is widely regarded as an important achievement in economics.[5] He also contributed to the fields of systems thinking, jurisprudence, neuroscience, and the history of ideas.[6]

Hayek served in World War I and said that his experience in the war and his desire to help avoid the mistakes that had led to the war led him to his career. Hayek lived in Austria, Great Britain, the United States and Germany, and became a British subject in 1938. He spent most of his academic life at the London School of Economics (LSE), the University of Chicago, and the University of Freiburg.

In 1984, he was appointed as a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour by Queen Elizabeth II on the advice of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher for his “services to the study of economics”.[7] He was the first recipient of the Hanns Martin Schleyer Prize in 1984.[8] He also received the US Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991 from president George H. W. Bush.[9] In 2011, his article The Use of Knowledge in Society was selected as one of the top 20 articles published in the American Economic Review during its first 100 years.[10]

More about Hayek from Wikipedia

The Hayek Center

US Constitution Series 17: Checks and Balances in the Constitution Prevent Abuse of Power

 Checks and Balances in the Constitution Prevent Abuse of Power

From The 5,000 Year Leap—A Miracle that Changed the World

By W. Cleon Skousen

A System of Checks and Balances Should Be Adopted to Prevent the Abuse of Power

Failure to use Checks and Balances effectively Causing Problems Today

media cover up swampJust how difficult this task turned out to be is demonstrated in a number of problems which have arisen in our own day. The failure to use the checks and balances effectively has allowed the judiciary to create new laws (called judicial legislation) by pretending to be merely interpreting the old ones. Failure to use the checks and balances has also allowed the President to make thousands of new laws, instead of Congress, by issuing executive orders. It has allowed the federal government to invade the reserved rights of the states on a massive scale. It has allowed the legislature to impose taxes on the people never contemplated by the Founders of the Constitution. (Skousen, 207-208)

Checks and Balances in the Constitution

A number of procedures were tried in various states to protect the will of the people, but they were montesquieumostly ineffective. The American Founding Fathers were impressed by the concept of checks and balances set forth by Charles Montesquieu. They eventually achieved a system of checks and balances far more complex than those envisioned by Montesquieu. These included the following provisions:

  1. The House of Representatives serves as a check on the Senate since no statute can become law without the approval of the House.
  2. At the same time the Senate (representing the legislatures of the states before the 17th Amendment) serves as a check on the House of Representatives since no statute can become law without its approval.
  3. A President can restrain both the House and the Senate by using his veto to send back any bill not meeting with his approval.
  4. The Congress has, on the other hand, a check on the President by being able to pass a bill over the President’s veto with a two-thirds majority of each house.
  5. The legislature also has a further check on the President through its power of discrimination in appropriating funds for the operation of the executive branch.
  6. The President must have the approval of the Senate in filling important offices of the executive branch.
  7. The President must also have the approval of the Senate before any treaties with foreign nations can go into effect.
  8. The Congress has the authority to conduct investigations of the executive branch to determine whether or not funds are being properly expended and the laws enforced.
  9. constitutionThe President has a certain amount of political influence on the legislature by letting it be known that he will not support the reelection of those who oppose his program.
  10. The executive branch also has a further check on the Congress by using its discretionary powers in establishing military bases, building dams, improving navigable rivers, and building interstate highways so as to favor those areas from which the President feels he is getting support by their representatives.
  11. The judiciary has a check on the legislature through its authority to review all laws and determine their constitutionality.
  12. The Congress, on the other hand, has a restraining power over the judiciary by having the constitutional authority to restrict the extent of its jurisdiction.
  13. The Congress also has the power to impeach any of the judges who are guilty of treason, high crimes, or misdemeanors.
  14. The President also has a check on the judiciary by having the power to nominate new judges subject to the approval of the Senate.
  15. The Congress has further restraining power over the judiciary by having control of appropriations for the operation of the federal court system.
  16. The Congress is able to initiate amendments to the Constitution which, if approved by three-fourths of the states, could seriously affect the operation of both the executive and judicial branches.
  17. The Congress, by joint resolution, can terminate certain powers granted to the President (such as war powers) without his consent.
  18. The people have a check on their Congressmen every two years; on their President every four years; and on their Senators every six years. (Skousen, 211-213)

George Washington on the Importance of Preserving the Founders’ Checks and Balances System

George WashingtonThe spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power and proneness to abuse it which predominates in the human heart is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position.

The necessity of reciprocal checks in the exercise of political power, by dividing and distributing it into different depositories and constituting each the guardian of the public weal against invasions by the others, has been evinced by experiments ancient and modern, some of them in our country and under our own eyes.

To preserve them must be as necessary as to institute them.

If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.

The Founders’ Device for “Peaceful” Self-Repair

signers3During nearly two centuries that the Constitution has been in operation, it has carried the nation through a series of traumatic crises. Not the least of these have been those occasions when some branch of government became arrogantly officious in the administration of its assigned task or flagrantly violated the restrictions which the Constitution placed upon it. As President Washington indicated, there is a tendency for some of this to occur continually, as is the case in our own day, but when it reaches a point of genuine crisis there is built-in Constitutional machinery to take care of it.

Other Countries lack Means of Peaceful Self-Repair

By way of contrast, we have scores of nations which claim to have copied the United States Constitution, but which failed to incorporate adequate checks and balances. In those countries, the only remedy, when elected presidents have suspended the constitution and used the army to stay in power, has been to resort to machine guns and bombs to oust the usurper. This occurs time after time. What the Founders wished to achieve in the Constitution of 1787 was machinery for the peaceful means of self-repair when the system went out of balance.

The Blessing of Domestic Tranquility

church-1Some of us have had to travel or live in nations during a time of turmoil and revolution. Even one such experience will usually convince the most skeptical activist that there is nothing to be gained and a great deal to be lost by resorting to violence to bring about political change. Once a constitution has been established and the machinery developed for remedy or repair by peaceful means, this is the most intelligent and satisfactory route to pursue. It requires more patience, but given time, the results are more certain.

To solve problems by peaceful means was the primary purpose of the United States Constitution.

(Skousen, 214-215)

NEXT: 18th Principle—The Unalienable Rights of the People are most likely to be Preserved if the Principles of Government are Set Forth in a Written Constitution

US Constitution Series 16: Our Government has 3 Parts—Law, President, and Courts

History Facts: Founding Father James Monroe and the Monroe Doctrine

History Facts:

Founding Father James Monroe and the Monroe Doctrine

James Monroe (/mənˈroʊ/; April 28, 1758 – July 4, 1831) was an American statesman who served from 1817 to 1825 as the fifth President of the United States. Monroe was the last president among the Founding Fathers of the United States as well as the Virginian dynasty; he also represented the end of the Republican Generation in that office.[1] Born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, Monroe was of the planter class and fought in the American Revolutionary War. He was wounded in the Battle of Trenton with a musket ball to his shoulder. After studying law under Thomas Jefferson from 1780 to 1783, he served as a delegate in the Continental Congress.

As an anti-federalist delegate to the Virginia convention that considered ratification of the United States Constitution, Monroe opposed ratification, claiming it gave too much power to the central government. He took an active part in the new government, and in 1790 he was elected to the Senate of the first United States Congress, where he joined the Democratic-Republicans. He gained experience as an executive as the Governor of Virginia and rose to national prominence as a diplomat in France, when he helped negotiate the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. During the War of 1812, Monroe served in critical roles as Secretary of State and the Secretary of War under President James Madison.[2]

Facing little opposition from the fractured Federalist Party, Monroe was easily elected president in 1816, winning over 80 percent of the electoral vote and becoming the last president during the First Party System era of American politics. As president, he sought to ease partisan tensions, embarking on a tour of the country that was well received. With the ratification of the Treaty of 1818, under the successful diplomacy of his Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, the United States extended its reach from the Atlantic to the Pacific, by acquiring harbor and fishing rights in the Pacific Northwest; the United States and Britain jointly occupied the Oregon Country. In addition to the acquisition of Florida, the 1819 Adams–Onís Treaty secured the border of the United States along the 42nd Parallel to the Pacific Ocean and represented America’s first determined attempt at creating an “American global empire”.[3] As nationalism surged, partisan fury subsided, and the “Era of Good Feelings” ensued, until the Panic of 1819 struck, and a dispute over the admission of Missouri embroiled the country in 1820. Nonetheless, Monroe won near-unanimous reelection.

Monroe supported the founding of colonies in Africa for freed slaves that would eventually form the nation of Liberia, whose capital, Monrovia, is named in his honor. In 1823, he announced the United States’ opposition to any European intervention in the recently independent countries of the Americas with the Monroe Doctrine, which became a landmark in American foreign policy. His presidency concluded the first period of American presidential history before the beginning of Jacksonian democracy and the Second Party System era. Following his retirement in 1825, Monroe was plagued by financial difficulties. He died in New York City on July 4, 1831. He has been ranked in the aggregate by scholars as the 16th most successful president.

Revolutionary War service

Monroe wounded in battle of Trenton, Revolutionary War, and cited for bravery

In early 1776, about a year and a half after his enrollment, Monroe dropped out of college and joined the 3rd Virginia Regiment in the Continental Army.[8] As the fledgling army valued literacy in its officers, Monroe was commissioned with the rank of lieutenant, serving under Captain William Washington. After months of training, Monroe and seven hundred Virginia infantrymen were called north to serve in the New York and New Jersey campaign. Shortly after the Virginians arrived, Washington led the army in a retreat from New York City into New Jersey and then across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania. In December, Monroe took part in a surprise attack on a Hessian encampment. Though the attack was successful, Monroe suffered a severed artery in the battle and nearly died. In the aftermath of the battle, Washington cited Monroe and Washington for their bravery, and promoted Monroe to the rank of captain. After his wounds healed, Monroe returned to Virginia to recruit his own company of soldiers.[9] Monroe’s participation in the battle was memorialized in John Trumbull‘s painting, The Capture of the Hessians at Trenton, December 26, 1776, as well as Emanuel Leutze‘s Washington Crossing the Delaware.[10]

Monroe Doctrine

After the Napoleonic wars (which ended in 1815), almost all of Spain’s and Portugal’s colonies in Latin America revolted and declared independence. Americans welcomed this development as a validation of the spirit of Republicanism. Secretary of State John Quincy Adams suggested delaying formal recognition until Florida was secured. The problem of imperial invasion was intensified by a Russian claim to the Pacific coast down to the fifty-first parallel and simultaneous European pressure to have all of Latin America returned to its colonial status.[citation needed]

Monroe informed Congress in March 1822 that permanent stable governments had been established in the United Provinces of the River Plate (the core of present-day Argentina), Colombia, Chile, and Mexico. Adams, under Monroe’s supervision, wrote the instructions for the ministers (ambassadors) to these new countries. They declared that the policy of the United States was to uphold republican institutions and to seek treaties of commerce on a most-favored-nation basis. The United States would support inter-American congresses dedicated to the development of economic and political institutions fundamentally differing from those prevailing in Europe. The articulation of an “American system” distinct from that of Europe was a basic tenet of Monroe’s policy toward Latin America. Monroe took pride as the United States was the first nation to extend recognition and to set an example to the rest of the world for its support of the “cause of liberty and humanity”.[citation needed]

Monroe formally announced in his message to Congress on December 2, 1823, what was later called the Monroe Doctrine. He proclaimed that the Americas should be free from future European colonization and free from European interference in sovereign countries’ affairs. It further stated the United States’ intention to stay neutral in wars amongst European powers and their colonies, but to consider new colonies or interference with independent countries in the Americas as hostile acts toward the United States.[b]

Although it is Monroe’s most famous contribution to history, the speech was written by Adams, who designed the doctrine in cooperation with Britain.[79] Monroe and Adams realized that American recognition would not protect the new countries against military intervention to restore Spain’s power. In October 1823, Richard Rush, the American minister in London, advised that Foreign Secretary George Canning was proposing that the U.S. and Britain jointly declare their opposition to European intervention. Britain, with its powerful navy, also opposed re-conquest of Latin America and suggested that the United States join in proclaiming a “hands off” policy. Galvanized by the British initiative, Monroe consulted with American leaders and then formulated a plan with Adams. Ex-Presidents Jefferson and Madison counseled Monroe to accept the offer, but Adams advised, “It would be more candid … to avow our principles explicitly to Russia and France, than to come in as a cock-boat in the wake of the British man-of-war.” Monroe accepted Adams’ advice. Not only must Latin America be left alone, he warned, but also Russia must not encroach southward on the Pacific coast. “the American continents,” he stated, “by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European Power.”[citation needed]

The Monroe Doctrine at the time of its adoption thus pertained more to the Russians in North America than to the former Spanish colonies. The result was a system of American isolationism under the sponsorship of the British navy. The Monroe Doctrine held that the United States considered the Western Hemisphere as no longer a place for European colonization; that any future effort to gain further political control in the hemisphere or to violate the independence of existing states would be treated as an act of hostility; and finally that there existed two different and incompatible political systems in the world. The United States, therefore, promised to refrain from intervention in European affairs and demanded Europe to abstain from interfering with American matters. There were few serious European attempts at intervention.[

More about James Monroe

US Constitution Series 16: Our Government has 3 Parts—Law, President, and Courts

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US Constitution Series 16: Three Separate Branches of Government—Legislative, Executive, and Judicial

John Adams Pushes Separation-of-Powers Doctrine: Law, President, and Courts

3-branches-govtIn 1776, when it first became apparent that the American people would have to set up their own government, John Adams practically stood alone in advocating a government built on a separation of powers. Even before the Declaration of Independence he was advocating a new national government with three separate departments but found himself severely criticized for such a revolutionary idea. (Skousen, 198)

John Adams Studies the “Divine Science” of Good Government

It is interesting that John Adams should have been the first among the Founding Fathers to capture the vision of Montesquieu in setting up a self-repairing national government under the separation-of-powers doctrine. As we pointed out earlier, he looked upon politics as a “divine science,” and determined to devote his life to its study. (Skousen, 199)

John Adams Writes Separation of Powers into a the Massachusetts Constitution

[I]n spite of all the opposition John Adams encountered, he did succeed, almost single-handedly, in getting his state to adopt a constitution based on separation of powers. (Skousen, 201)

The Modern Apostle of the Divine Science of Good Government Unappreciated for a Century

johnadams2In later years, Adams was successful in getting his ideas incorporated in the U.S. Constitution, but he was never able to gain a genuine acceptance of himself. Even though he was elected the first Vice President of the United States and the second President, he very shortly disappeared into history with scarcely a ripple. A hundred years after the founding of the country, neither Washington nor Massachusetts had erected any kind of monument to John Adams. It was only as scholars began digging into the origins of American constitutionalism that John Adams suddenly loomed up into proper perspective. Even he suspected there would be very few who would remember what he had attempted to accomplish. (Skousen, 201)

A Constitution for 300 Million Freemen

Nevertheless his political precepts of the “divine science” of government caught on. Even Pennsylvania revised its constitution to include the separation of powers principle, and Benjamin Franklin, one of the last to be converted, finally acknowledged that the Constitution of the United States with its separation of powers was as perfect as man could be expected to produce. He urged all of the members of the Convention to sign it so that it would have unanimous support.

John Adams said it was his aspiration “to see rising in America an empire of liberty, and the prospect of two or three hundred millions of freemen, without one noble or one king among them.” (Koch, The American Enlightenment, p. 191)

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Principle 17: A System of Checks and Balances to Prevent the Abuse of Power

US Constitution Series 15: Government, Liberty, and Business Economy