Christian Character, Children’s Literature, and McGuffey Readers

Dinner Topics for Monday

William McGuffey’s Great Educational Legacy

mcguffeyreaderParents and Homeschoolers: These wonderful books not only teach children to read, but provide classic character education as well.

key“The Christian religion, is the religion of our country. From it are derived our prevalent notions of the character of God, the great moral governor of the universe. On its doctrines are founded the peculiarities of our free institutions.”[ “From no source has the author drawn more conspicuously than from the sacred Scriptures. From all these extracts from the Bible I make no apology.” ~William McGuffey

From Wikipedia

William Holmes McGuffey (September 23, 1800 – May 4, 1873) was an American professor and college president who is best known for writing the McGuffey Readers, one of the nation’s first and most widely used series of textbooks. It is estimated that at least 122 million copies of McGuffey Readers were sold between 1836 and 1960, placing its sales in a category with the Bible and Webster’s Dictionary.

Early years

He was born the son of Alexander and Anna (Holmes) McGuffey near Claysville in Washington County, Pennsylvania, which is 45 miles southwest of Pittsburgh. In 1802 the McGuffey family moved further out into the frontier at Tuscarawas County, Ohio. He attended country school, and after receiving special instruction at Youngstown, he attended Greersburg Academy in Darlington, Pennsylvania. Afterwards, he attended and graduated from Pennsylvania’s Washington College, where he became an instructor.

He was close friends with Washington College’s President Andrew Wylie and lived in Wylie’s house for a time; they often would walk the 3 miles to Washington College together.[1]

Professional life

McGuffey left Washington College in 1826 to become a professor at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. A year later in 1827, he was married to Harriet Spinning of Dayton, Ohio, with whom he had five children. In 1829, he was ordained at Bethel Chapel as a minister in the Presbyterian Church. It was in Oxford that he created the most important contribution of his life: The McGuffey Readers. His books sold over 122 million copies. He was very fond of teaching and children as he geared the books toward a younger audience.

In 1836, he left Miami to become president of Cincinnati College, where he also served as a distinguished teacher and lecturer. He left Cincinnati in 1839 to become the 4th president of Ohio University, which he left in 1843 to become president of Woodward College (really a secondary school) in Cincinnati.

In 1845, McGuffey moved to Charlottesville, Virginia where he became Professor of Philosophy at the University of Virginia. A year after his first wife Harriet died in 1850, he married Miss Laura Howard, daughter of Dean Howard of the University of Virginia, in 1851. McGuffey is buried in the university burial ground, in Charlottesville, Virginia. The School of Education at Miami University is housed in McGuffey Hall which is named for him and his home in Oxford is a National Historic Landmark offering tours on weekdays.

Legacy

McGuffey is credited with the following quotation:

McGuffey“The Christian religion, is the religion of our country. From it are derived our prevalent notions of the character of God, the great moral governor of the universe. On its doctrines are founded the peculiarities of our free institutions.”[2]

The McGuffey School District in Washington County, Pennsylvania is named for William Holmes McGuffey. The industrialist Henry Ford cited McGuffey Readers as one of his most important childhood influences. In 1934 he had the log cabin where McGuffey was born moved to Greenfield Village, Ford’s museum of Americana at Dearborn, Michigan.

 More about William McGuffey in Wikipedia

 

 

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Literature: English Classic and William Shakespeare

Dinner Topics

William Shakespeare

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

ShakespeareWilliam Shakespeare (/ˈʃkspɪər/;[1] 26 April 1564 (baptised) – 23 April 1616)[nb 1] was an English poet, playwright and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist.[2] He is often called England’s national poet and the “Bard of Avon”.[3][nb 2] His extant works, including some collaborations, consist of about 38 plays,[nb 3] 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, the authorship of some of which is uncertain. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.[4]

Shakespeare was born and brought up in Stratford-upon-Avon. At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he had three children: Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. Between 1585 and 1592, he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part-owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, later known as the King’s Men. He appears to have retired to Stratford around 1613 at age 49, where he died three years later. Few records of Shakespeare’s private life survive, and there has been considerable speculation about such matters as his physical appearance, sexuality, religious beliefs, and whether the works attributed to him were written by others.[5]

Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1589 and 1613.[6][nb 4] His early plays were mainly comedies and histories, genres he raised to the peak of sophistication and artistry by the end of the 16th century. He then wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608, including Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, and Macbeth, considered some of the finest works in the English language. In his last phase, he wrote tragicomedies, also known as romances, and collaborated with other playwrights.

Many of his plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy during his lifetime. In 1623, John Heminges and Henry Condell, two friends and fellow actors of Shakespeare, published the First Folio, a collected edition of his dramatic works that included all but two of the plays now recognised as Shakespeare’s. It was prefaced with a poem by Ben Jonson, in which Shakespeare is hailed, presciently, as “not of an age, but for all time.”[7]

Shakespeare was a respected poet and playwright in his own day, but his reputation did not rise to its present heights until the 19th century. The Romantics, in particular, acclaimed Shakespeare’s genius, and the Victorians worshipped Shakespeare with a reverence that George Bernard Shaw called “bardolatry“.[8] In the 20th century, his work was repeatedly adopted and rediscovered by new movements in scholarship and performance. His plays remain highly popular today and are constantly studied, performed, and reinterpreted in diverse cultural and political contexts throughout the world.

More about Shakespeare

 

American History and Paul Revere’s Ride Poem

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

American History and Paul Revere’s Ride, the Poem

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

reverepaul1

Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, “If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,–
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm.”

Then he said “Good-night!” and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war;
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon like a prison bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.

Meanwhile, his friend through alley and street
Wanders and watches, with eager ears,
Till in the silence around him he hears
The muster of men at the barrack door,
The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,
And the measured tread of the grenadiers,
Marching down to their boats on the shore.

Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church,
By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the sombre rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade,–
By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town
And the moonlight flowing over all.

Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
In their night encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still
That he could hear, like a sentinel’s tread,
The watchful night-wind, as it went
Creeping along from tent to tent,
And seeming to whisper, “All is well!”
A moment only he feels the spell
Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread
Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
On a shadowy something far away,
Where the river widens to meet the bay,–
A line of black that bends and floats
On the rising tide like a bridge of boats.

Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now he patted his horse’s side,
Now he gazed at the landscape far and near,
Then, impetuous, stamped the earth,
And turned and tightened his saddle girth;
But mostly he watched with eager search
The belfry tower of the Old North Church,
As it rose above the graves on the hill,
Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.
And lo! as he looks, on the belfry’s height
A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns.

A hurry of hoofs in a village street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet;
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.
He has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
And under the alders that skirt its edge,
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.

It was twelve by the village clock
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
He heard the crowing of the cock,
And the barking of the farmer’s dog,
And felt the damp of the river fog,
That rises after the sun goes down.

It was one by the village clock,
When he galloped into Lexington.
He saw the gilded weathercock
Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
And the meeting-house windows, black and bare,
Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.

It was two by the village clock,
When he came to the bridge in Concord town.
He heard the bleating of the flock,
And the twitter of birds among the trees,
And felt the breath of the morning breeze
Blowing over the meadow brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket ball.

You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled,—
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.

So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm,—
A cry of defiance, and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo for evermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.

 

longfellowPerseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Lives of great men all remind us, we can make our lives sublime, and, departing, leave behind us, footprints on the sands of time.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

It takes less time to do a thing right, than it does to explain why you did it wrong.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (February 27, 1807 – March 24, 1882) was an American poet and educator whose works include “Paul Revere’s Ride“, The Song of Hiawatha, and Evangeline. He was also the first American to translate Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy and was one of the five Fireside Poets.

Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine, then part of Massachusetts, and studied at Bowdoin College. After spending time in Europe he became a professor at Bowdoin and, later, at Harvard College. His first major poetry collections were Voices of the Night (1839) and Ballads and Other Poems (1841). Longfellow retired from teaching in 1854 to focus on his writing, living the remainder of his life in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in a former headquarters of George Washington. His first wife Mary Potter died in 1835 after a miscarriage. His second wife Frances Appleton died in 1861 after sustaining burns when her dress caught fire. After her death, Longfellow had difficulty writing poetry for a time and focused on his translation. He died in 1882.

Longfellow wrote predominantly lyric poems, known for their musicality and often presenting stories of mythology and legend. He became the most popular American poet of his day and also had success overseas. He has been criticized, however, for imitating European styles and writing specifically for the masses

Early life and education

Longfellow was born on February 27, 1807, to Stephen Longfellow and Zilpah (Wadsworth) Longfellow in Portland, Maine,[1] then a district of Massachusetts,[2] and he grew up in what is now known as the Wadsworth-Longfellow House. His father was a lawyer, and his maternal grandfather, Peleg Wadsworth, was a general in the American Revolutionary War and a Member of Congress.[3] He was named after his mother’s brother Henry Wadsworth, a Navy lieutenant who had died three years earlier at the Battle of Tripoli.[4] Young Longfellow was the second of eight children;[5] his siblings were Stephen (1805), Elizabeth (1808), Anne (1810), Alexander (1814), Mary (1816), Ellen (1818), and Samuel (1819).

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was enrolled in a dame school at the age of three and by age six was enrolled at the private Portland Academy. In his years there, he earned a reputation as being very studious and became fluent in Latin.[6] His mother encouraged his enthusiasm for reading and learning, introducing him to Robinson Crusoe and Don Quixote.[7] He printed his first poem — a patriotic and historical four stanza poem called “The Battle of Lovell’s Pond” — in the Portland Gazette on November 17, 1820.[8] He stayed at the Portland Academy until the age of fourteen. He spent much of his summers as a child at his grandfather Peleg’s farm in the western Maine town of Hiram.

In the fall of 1822, the 15-year old Longfellow enrolled at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, alongside his brother Stephen.[6] His grandfather was a founder of the college[9] and his father was a trustee.[6] There, Longfellow met Nathaniel Hawthorne, who would later become his lifelong friend.[10] He boarded with a clergyman for a time before rooming on the third floor of what is now Maine Hall in 1823.[11] He joined the Peucinian Society, a group of students with Federalist leanings.[12] In his senior year, Longfellow wrote to his father about his aspirations:

Courtship of Frances Appleton

Longfellow began courting Frances “Fanny” Appleton, the daughter of a wealthy Boston industrialist, Nathan Appleton[48] and sister of Thomas Gold Appleton. At first, she was not interested but Longfellow was determined. In July 1839, he wrote to a friend: “[V]ictory hangs doubtful. The lady says she will not! I say she shall! It is not pride, but the madness of passion”.[49] His friend George Stillman Hillard encouraged Longfellow in the pursuit: “I delight to see you keeping up so stout a heart for the resolve to conquer is half the battle in love as well as war”.[50] During the courtship, Longfellow frequently walked from Cambridge to the Appleton home in Beacon Hill in Boston by crossing the Boston Bridge. That bridge was replaced in 1906 by a new bridge which was later renamed the Longfellow Bridge.

During his courtship, Longfellow continued writing and, in late 1839, published Hyperion, a book in prose inspired by his trips abroad[49] and his unsuccessful courtship of Fanny Appleton.[51] Amidst this, Longfellow fell into “periods of neurotic depression with moments of panic” and took a six-month leave of absence from Harvard to attend a health spa in the former Marienberg Benedictine Convent at Boppard in Germany.[51] After returning, Longfellow published a play in 1842, The Spanish Student, reflecting his memories from his time in Spain in the 1820s.[52] There was some confusion over its original manuscript. After being printed in Graham’s Magazine, its editor Rufus Wilmot Griswold saved the manuscript from the trash. Longfellow was surprised to hear that it had been saved, unusual for a printing office, and asked to borrow it so that he could revise it, forgetting to return it to Griswold. The often vindictive Griswold wrote an angry letter in response.[53]

Death of Frances

On July 9, 1861,[67] a hot day, Fanny was putting locks of her children’s hair into an envelope and attempting to seal it with hot sealing wax while Longfellow took a nap.[68] Her dress suddenly caught fire, though it is unclear exactly how;[69] it may have been burning wax or a lighted candle that fell on her dress.[70] Longfellow, awakened from his nap, rushed to help her and threw a rug over her, though it was too small. He stifled the flames with his body as best he could, but she was already badly burned.[69] Over a half a century later, Longfellow’s youngest daughter Annie explained the story differently, claiming that there had been no candle or wax but that the fire had started from a self-lighting match that had fallen on the floor.[61] In both versions of the story, however, Fanny was taken to her room to recover and a doctor was called. She was in and out of consciousness throughout the night and was administered ether. The next morning, July 10, 1861, she died shortly after 10 o’clock after requesting a cup of coffee.[71] Longfellow, in trying to save her, had burned himself badly enough for him to be unable to attend her funeral.[72] His facial injuries led him to stop shaving, thereafter wearing the beard which has become his trademark.[71]

Later life and death

Longfellow spent several years translating Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy. To aid him in perfecting the translation and reviewing proofs, he invited friends to weekly meetings every Wednesday starting in 1864.[76] The “Dante Club”, as it was called, regularly included William Dean Howells, James Russell Lowell, Charles Eliot Norton and other occasional guests.[77] The full three-volume translation was published in the spring of 1867, though Longfellow would continue to revise it,[78] and went through four printings in its first year.[79] By 1868, Longfellow’s annual income was over $48,000.[80] In 1874, Samuel Cutler Ward helped him sell the poem “The Hanging of the Crane” to the New York Ledger for $3,000; it was the highest price ever paid for a poem.[81]

During the 1860s, Longfellow supported abolitionism and especially hoped for reconciliation between the northern and southern states after the American Civil War. He wrote in his journal in 1878: “I have only one desire; and that is for harmony, and a frank and honest understanding between North and South”.[82] Longfellow, despite his aversion to public speaking, accepted an offer from Joshua Chamberlain to speak at his fiftieth reunion at Bowdoin College; he read the poem “Morituri Salutamus” so quietly that few could hear him.[83] The next year, 1876, he declined an offer to be nominated for the Board of Overseers at Harvard “for reasons very conclusive to my own mind”.[84]

 

 

History: Western Heritage Fiction

Dinner Topics for Tuesday

Western Heritage Author Louis L’Amour

keyEvery young adult, and adult as well, should read many of L’Amour’s books. There are at least 100 titles to choose from, and they are all great. He has my highest recommendation. While being easy and thrilling for the reluctant reader, his stories are still laced with sound principles of character education, moral absolutes, LAmour-westward-tidehistory, and traditional values. His work is a Hallmark of Western Civilization in America—certainly the best and most representative of American character, which our public education system today either ignores or despises. He teaches you how it was to live before law and order came to the American West, with powerful themes of good and evil. Start today to embark on this memorable literary adventure!

Here in these western lands men were fighting again the age-old struggle for freedom and for civilization, which is one that always must be fought for. The weak and those unwilling to make the struggle, soon resign their liberties for the protection of powerful men or paid armies; they begin by being protected, they end by being subjected. ~ Louis L’Amour

 

louislamourhondoheadder_01hondoheadder_02hondoheadder_03The man who would become Louis L’Amour grew up in the fading days of the American frontier. He was born Louis Dearborn LaMoore on March 22, 1908, the last of seven children in the family of Dr. Louis Charles LaMoore and Emily Dearborn LaMoore. His home, for the first fifteen years of his life, was Jamestown, North Dakota, a medium sized farming community situated in the valley where Pipestem Creek flows into the James River. Doctor LaMoore was a large animal veterinarian who came to Dakota Territory in 1882. As times changed he also sold farm machinery, bossed harvesting crews, and held several positions in city and state government.

Though the land around Jamestown was mostly given to farming, Louis and his older brothers often met cowboys as they came through on the Northern Pacific Railroad, traveling to market with stockcars full of cattle or returning to their ranches in the western part of the North Dakota or Montana. For awhile Dr. L.C. LaMoore was a state Livestock Inspector, a post that required him to certify the health of all the cattle that came through the Jamestown area.

When Louis was very young his grandfather, Abraham Truman Dearborn, came to live in a little house just in back of the LaMoore’s. He told Louis of the great battles in history and of his own experiences as a soldier in both the civil and Indian wars. Two of Louis’ uncles had worked on ranches for many years, one as a manager and the other as an itinerate cowboy. It was in the company of men such as these that Louis was first exposed to the history and adventure of the American Frontier.

Louis loved to collect books and finally he had both the space and the money to do so. His private library grew from some 3,000 to nearly 10,000 books and half again as many journals and periodicals.True to his athletic past he would spend an hour or two every day lifting weights, skipping rope and punching a heavy bag, first in a paved area of his small back yard in Hollywood, later, in the garage that he had converted into a gymnasium. Starting in 1966 he would take his family to spend the summer in Durango, CO, a place he had visited briefly with a mining buddy in the in the late 1920s. For over ten years they spent the month of August at the Strater Hotel, Louis dividing his time between writing in a corner room over the Diamond Belle Saloon and hiking in the La Plata or San Juan Mountains. In later years he participated in the Presidential Committee on Space, a Ute/Commanche peace treaty, and was on the National Board of the Library of Congress’ Center for the Book.

Read more about Louis L’Amour

 

Culture Wars: Christian Fiction Literature and The Hobbit Party vs. Big Government

Culture Wars:

Christian Fiction Literature and The Hobbit Party vs. Big Government

Dinner Topics for Wednesday

‘The Hobbit Party’ uncovers Tolkien’s anti-big government message

Michael Haverluck

American Family Association “Perspective”

keyHobbits may love big parties, but they hate big government, say the authors of The Hobbit Party: The Vision of Freedom that Tolkien Got, and the West Forgot.

hobbit_partyEven though many authors over the years have written about how J.R.R. Tolkien uses numerous Christian analogies throughout his epic series, little attention has been given to the political motivations behind the author of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit when he penned the escapist novels. Through The Hobbit Party, co-authors Dr. Jonathan Witt and Dr. Jay Richards dig deep into Middle-Earth to uncover how Tolkien’s epic series celebrates freedom, trade and limited government — all hot topics that continue[d] to be visited as the November midterm elections approach[ed].

Blending Witt’s evangelical Christian background with the Catholic faith that Richards shares with Tolkien, The Hobbit Party explores answers as to why the celebrated author rejected large top-down solutions as a remedy to the many societal ills plaguing modern times.

“He was deeply worried about where Western democracy was headed and about the many people it was damaging,” the authors divulged about Tolkien. “But he believed the way to confront cultural decay was, well, culturally — in other words, not through government edicts or government planners or government ‘sharers,’ but through the leavening work of great and good art, through discourse grounded in truth and reason, and through the hard and patient work of modeling whatever is worth rescuing and cultivating in civilization.”

berlinwallreaganThe authors insist that Tolkien’s stance on keeping big government out when it comes to assisting the needy should not be misinterpreted as insensitivity toward the poor, downtrodden or dispossessed. Instead, they interpret Tolkien’s worldview to reflect his desire for people’s freedom, which should never be undermined through governments’ intervening social programs.

In fact, Witt and Richards would agree that Tolkien shared the same mindset of former United States President and California Governor Ronald Wilson Reagan when it comes to restricting the role of government to ensure freedom.

“I hope we have once again reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited,” Reagan proclaimed while in office. “There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: as government expands, liberty contracts.”

Forging their point

Many Tolkien experts and literary critics agree with Witt and Richards that the timeless author exuded an unmistakable desire for liberty and limited government through his chronicles of Middle-Earth — a passion that was driven by his biblical understanding of man and God’s creation.

hobbitshire2“The hobbits’ Shire is a microcosm of Victorian England in every way, especially the way everything works fine without interference from the institutions of the state,” expressed Tom Shippey, author of The Road to Middle-Earth. “But can the Shire really be a model for our more complex times? The Hobbit Party, with its punning title, makes the case that it can be, should be, was meant to be, and that The Lord of the Rings expands the argument to give us images of an ethical as well as ecological politics, ever more badly needed.”

Thomas Howard, who wrote Dove Descending: A Journey into T.S. Eliot’s ‘Four Quartets,’ argues that Witt and Richards touch on something in The Hobbit Party that should be studied and expounded on during political science courses in today’s universities.

“Richards and Witt have opened up an often-ignored aspect of Tolkien’s work, namely the sense in which his myth bespeaks a political and economic order that stands in stark, even violent, contrast to the presiding power structures that dominate this unhappy globe,” Howard asserts.

Richards, who serves as senior fellow at the Discovery Institute and as an assistant research professor at the Catholic University of America’s School of Business and Economics, is a New York Times bestselling author who has tackled many issues concerning Christians and society, including Money, Greed, and GodThe Privileged Planet and The Untamed God. As executive editor for “The Stream,” Richards frequently speaks to the deleterious consequences of government taking a big role when it comes to societal and economic issues.

Witt, who works alongside Richards as managing editor of “The Stream,” is a research and media fellow at the Acton Institute. He is also a senior fellow for Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Cultures and formerly served as an English professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. As co-author of A Meaningful World and the lead writer for the “PovertyCure” series and the award-winning film Poverty, Inc., Witt is widely recognized for his candid take on the invasive role of government and its detrimental effects on society.

It’s about time

With multiple works touching on the spiritual significance of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, few have come to realize that the iconic author – who spent much of his life in Africa and fellowshipped with C.S. Lewis in England – was just as zealous of an advocate for economic freedom and small government as he was a fiery dissident of tyranny.

Consequently, Witt and Richards illustrate how Tolkien’s passion for freedom is readily witnessed throughout Tolkien’s epic works, which are said to show how Sauron’s campaign of takeover of overreaching evil leads to political, economic and moral bankruptcy.

No current author appreciates The Hobbit Party’s contemporary and relevant message more than British scholar, Joseph Pearce, author of Bilbo’s Journey: Discovering the Hidden Meaning of ‘The Hobbit’ and Literary Giants, Literary Catholics.

hobbitshire1“If much has been written on the religious significance of The Lord of the Rings, less has been written on its political significance — and the little that has been written is often erroneous in its conclusions and ignorant of Tolkien’s intentions,” Pearce points out. “Much more work is needed in this area, not least because Tolkien stated, implicitly at least, that the political significance of the work was second only to the religious in its importance.”

The insight of Witt and Richards is also applauded by Acton Institute research director Samuel Gregg, author of Becoming Europe. Gregg understands and recognizes the deleterious effects of governments over-regulating society and insists that The Hobbit Partywill transform the way readers have viewed Tolkien’s politics in the past.

“J.R.R. Tolkien is one of the most widely read but arguably misunderstood of the twentieth century’s literary geniuses,” Gregg asserts. “In this book, Witt and Richards lift the veil on Tolkien and reveal a political and, yes, economic thinker who constantly surprises readers and whose insights are even more valuable for our time than his own.”

Tolkien ‘red,’ not ‘blue?’

tolkienDespite many different takes on Tolkien’s political leaning in the past, The Hobbit Party clearly lays out what many literary critics consider to be “red” blood flowing through the Hobbit creator’s veins.

“As with the best works of the imagination, Middle-Earth invites one into a true reality, one immersed in timeless and universal truths,” says Bradley J. Birzer, author of American Cicero: The Life of Charles Carroll and a visiting scholar in Conservative Thought at the University of Colorado, Boulder. “Witt and Richards brilliantly delve into the most profound depths of Tolkien’s endlessly fascinating soul. A true conservative in the old sense, he recorded the stories of a world in chaos, but saved by the integrity of the person willing to surrender to grace. This work offers us a true feast: the feast of nobility, truth, goodness, and beauty.”

The Institute for Faith, Work & Economics vice president Art Lindsley takes it a step further, noting how Tolkien portrays Sauron’s regime as a socialist takeover of the world, a point that is captured in The Hobbit Party.

“Beautifully written, this work gives fascinating insights into the realm of Middle-Earth,” Lindsley proclaims. “Moreover, it is a tour of the important issues of our world through Tolkien’s eyes, including limited government, man’s temptation to power, freedom, just war, socialism, distributism, localism, love and death. These topics are woven seamlessly throughout, and you will leave the book with unforgettable impressions of these themes illustrated by Tolkien’s imagery.”

Tolkien’s conservatism is also impressed by David Goldman, who penned How Civilizations Die. He believes the authors of The Hobbit Party clearly present their case that Tolkien gave numerous warning signs about leftist agendas working to destroy Western culture through their reckless expansion of government.

“Witt and Richards do a brilliant job of rescuing Tolkien’s literary legacy from the clutches of the cultural left,” Goldman declares. “They reveal Tolkien as a profoundly Catholic thinker, with deep insights into the fundamental issue of religion, namely man’s attempt to grapple with his own mortality. As a conservative’s companion to Tolkien, The Hobbit Party renews our appreciation of Tolkien’s contribution to literature and his profound impact on our culture.”

Michael Haverluck is a freelance journalist based in Southern California.

 

Liberal Attack on Children’s Stories, Home School

Liberal Attack on Thomas the Train

 

Thomas_Tank_Engine_1If you have a child or grandchild, you’re familiar with “Thomas the Tank Engine,” the gentle kid’s show featuring a fleet of talking trains. The wildly popular animated series is based on British children’s books written by the Rev. Wilbert Awdry in the early 1940s featuring the adventures of Thomas and his train friends who work for Sir Topham Hatt on the Isle of Sodor. Well—and this won’t surprise anyone who understands the left—libs despise the series. Last year, a Brit Labour transport official complained, “The only female characters are an annoyance, a nuisance, and in some cases a danger to the functioning of the railway.”

And now “social justice” writer Tracy Van Slyke has taken to the pages of The [UK] Guardian to blow her stack over the show’s “twisted” and “subversive” messages—the value of hard work and friendship. Van Slyke runs out of pejoratives as she accuses the series of “classism, sexism, anti-environmentalism bordering on racism.” Not to mention colonialism, elitism, despotism. She hates that “these trains perform tasks dictated by their imperious, little white boss,” who “orders the trains to do everything from hauling freight to carrying passengers to running whatever random errand he wants done, whenever he wants it done—regardless of their pre-existing schedules.” In other words, doing their job. The horror. ~Limbaugh Letter, September, p.4

School for Scoundrels

schoolindoctrinationThe Washington, D.C. school system has long been rated one of the most dangerous in the country. But according to Investor’s Business Daily, the feds have pressured D.C. schools to stop suspending problem kids—in favor of U.S. Education Department-approved “anger management” counseling. Why? Because the Regime doesn’t like the “racial disparity” in suspension statistics: African American students are six times more likely to be suspended than white students.

IBD reports: “Instead of kicking bullies and troublemakers out of classrooms, teachers will now have to join them in ‘restorative justice’ circles, where they’ll chat about the racial ‘root causes’ of their misbehavior. Teachers will undergo training in ‘cultural competency’ and ‘cultural responsiveness and institutional bias.’ Those who over-discipline students of color will be singled out for rebuke.”

Better suggestion: require all Washington politicians to send their kids to D.C. public schools. This crap would disappear overnight. ~Limbaugh Letter, October, p.4

Pre-election smear machine goes crazy

Exclusive: David Kupelian documents Alinsky tactics gone wild in 1 congressional race

David Kupelian

“Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule.”

Well, not quite “impossible.” In fact, let’s give it a nice, big counterattack.

RushLiberalismLIES_largeThe “Ridicule” directive, of course, is the oft-cited “Fifth Rule” from “Rules for Radicals,” the left’s notorious playbook penned by Chicago Marxist Saul Alinsky, who originated “community organizing” and served as a major role model for Barack Obama.

In the run-up to the all-important Nov. 4 election, voters are being treated to an extreme example of sustained left-wing ridicule of a very good man, scientist and congressional candidate, Art Robinson. Alinsky’s dictum – that when all else fails, when you cannot credibly challenge your opponent on any other level, defame, mock and ridicule him – is taking center stage in Robinson’s challenge to the co-founder of the radical Congressional Progressive Caucus, the powerful 14-term Rep. Peter DeFazio.

Just as it was during the first match-up between these two opposite sorts of men in 2010, and again in 2012, the November 2014 congressional race epitomizes everything that is rotten – and wonderful – about America today, and about the historic choice Americans will make next month.

But first, ask yourself a question: If you were a left-wing progressive congressman – someone who played a key role in giving the nation Barack Obama as president and who has supported him all along the way – and you were being challenged by a solid, well-liked, highly intelligent, plain-talking conservative in next month’s midterms when all the polls show a majority of voters are disgusted with Obama-supporting Democrats, what would you do?

Peter DeFazio is one of the House of Representatives’ most influential progressives, having not only chaired the Congressional Progressive Caucus and supported Obamacare, but even having proposed a “Robin Hood Tax” on all financial trades, a key demand of the crazy Occupy movement and heavily supported by billionaire leftist George Soros.

What about foreign policy? DeFazio was one of only 37 House members who voted against the “Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act” prohibiting U.S. aid to the Hamas-led Palestinian government “until it renounces violence, recognizes Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, and accepts all previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements.”

And DeFazio has supported virtually every pro-abortion measure, even voting in favor of the ghastly partial-birth abortion procedure. In case you’ve forgotten what that is, allow me to refresh your memory: The now-outlawed intact dilation and extraction (“partial birth abortion”) procedure consists of pulling a living baby feet-first out of the womb and into the birth canal, except for the head, stabbing the base of the baby’s skull with surgical scissors, inserting a tube into the wound, sucking out the baby’s brain with a suction machine (causing the skull to collapse) and delivering a now-dead baby.

Given his crazy, left-wing voting record, the only way DeFazio stays in power decade after decade in a somewhat conservative district is by cultivating a folksy Oregonian hayseed exterior, while relying largely on far-left union financing, and especially, by ruthlessly smearing his opponent and scaring voters right before the election.

But again, what else is an entrenched, elitist progressive hack to do? He’s been in Congress so long – 28 years – he probably can’t do anything else, you know, out in the real world.

Meanwhile, Robinson, who last year was named chairman of the Oregon Republican Party, is the diametric opposite of DeFazio: He is a respected research scientist, a Reagan conservative with abundant common sense, and a man of courage and humility. In short, he’s exactly what most Americans are looking for in a congressman right now, with their beloved country just about shredded into little pieces thanks to the policies of the ultimate “progressive” president, Barack Obama.

Since DeFazio cannot – indeed, refuses to – debate the issues or his record or how to get America out of the death spiral it’s in thanks to wacko progressive policies, he really has only one possible campaign strategy, the same one he used in 2010 and 2012. Namely, ridicule your opponent, make him out to be the crazy one, unhinged, delusional, two-faced, dangerous and deceptive. In other words, exactly what you are.

Four years ago, again two years ago, and for a third time right now, DeFazio’s attack machine relies on a series of outrageous ads accusing Robinson of being funded by Big Oil, of being in the pocket of Wall Street, of planning on shutting down the nation’s public schools, of planning the demise of the Social Security system – and even of plotting to put radioactive waste in Americans’ drinking water! Oh, and he is also called a racist (of course).

Since so many voters now recognize that progressivism – a cuddly name for socialism and Marxism – has been destroying America, DeFazio’s one and only re-election strategy mirrors that of the progressive-in-chief Barack Obama: Do everything possible to demonize your opponent as a truly dangerous wacko, since most voters are so totally disgusted with you they wouldn’t send you back to Washington under any other circumstance.

Please bear with me for a moment while I tell you what kind of a man Art Robinson – whom I’ve known personally for many years – really is.

A Ph.D. research scientist of international stature, Robinson co-founded, with Nobel-winner Linus Pauling, the Linus Pauling Institute in Menlo Park, Calif. Then in 1980, with the help of his chemist wife Laurelee, Robinson, famed biochemist Martin Kamen and Nobel Laureate Bruce Merrifield founded the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. While carrying out influential research, Art and Laurelee also raised and homeschooled their six children on 350 idyllic acres in southern Oregon.

Then tragedy struck. In 1988, Laurelee died suddenly from hemorrhagic pancreatitis, leaving Art alone to care for all those children ranging from 18 months up to 12 years of age. What did he do in such a terrible, crushing circumstance?

Art restructured their homeschooling curriculum in such a way that his children could, to a considerable extent, teach themselves. He also eventually packaged the curriculum and offered it to the homeschooling world. “The Robinson Curriculum” apparently works pretty well, as today all six of Art’s children either have doctorate degrees or will shortly. One has a chemistry Ph.D., two have doctorates in veterinary medicine, one recently received his Ph.D. in nuclear engineering, while the last two have been in the Oregon State University graduate program working toward their own nuclear engineering Ph.D.s.

Oh, and how’d they pay for all that expensive college and postgraduate schooling – six times? Sales of “The Robinson Curriculum,” which remains very popular among homeschoolers and is used as a supplement by many public schoolers. It currently has 60,000 users.

Talk about the American can-do spirit!

homeschoolrobinsonOne example of his can-do attitude: Robinson has single-handedly documented the utter lack of unanimity in the scientific community on man-made global warming through a petition he started – not an online petition, mind you, but an actual document physically signed – that to date has been signed by more than 31,000 scientists, including more than 9,000 Ph.D.s. All 31,000 agree “there is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.”

So that’s my view of Art Robinson. And while DeFazio’s view is that Robinson is – and I quote – a “pathological nut-job,” some of the nation’s most credible people think otherwise:

  • “I strongly endorse Art Robinson for election to the U.S. Congress. In the 15 years I have known Art, I have found him to be an outstanding scientist, a man of uncompromising integrity. Art’s depth of knowledge of the economic, scientific, energy, and industrial challenges that face our nation is unparalleled. Men of his ability are urgently needed in Washington.” – Steve Forbes, publisher and entrepreneur
  • “Dr. Robinson is one of the most gifted scientists I have ever met.” – Martin Kamen, Fermi Prize recipient and discoverer of Carbon 14
  • “Arthur Robinson has the respect of a very significant portion of the scientific community.” – Frederic Seitz, former president of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences
  • “In my experience with space flight, I have come to know many men of excellence. Art Robinson is the best can-do guy I know. He’s what we need in Washington, and I think Oregon voters should elect Art Robinson. He’s a treasure.” – Scott Carpenter, Mercury astronaut
  • “Art Robinson’s philosophy is that the government is far too intrusive in our lives. He understands we have to stop the spending in Washington, the growth of the national debt, and allow the Constitution to function. I strongly recommend the 4th congressional district of Oregon put Art Robinson in the Congress of the United States.” – Harrison Schmitt, Apollo astronaut and former U.S. senator

Racist? Mad scientist? Big Oil?

All that sounds great, you might be thinking, but what about those allegations from DeFazio and his proxies that Robinson is a dangerous, wacko extremist? Any truth to them?

Let’s take a look:

  • One part of “The Robinson Curriculum” is a recommendation that students read as many as possible of the 99 short, classic historical novels for children penned by celebrated British author G.A. Henty (kind of like the “Hardy Boys” books). Now it happens that in one of these 99 Victorian-era books – all of which Robinson personally reprinted on his own printing press and offered to the public as an adjunct to his homeschooling curriculum – one fictional character makes a two-sentence remark while in Africa that could be considered racially insensitive by today’s standards. Because of this, candidate Art Robinson is being labeled a racist.

Yes, I know, it’s insane. But wait – there’s more.
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2014/10/pre-election-smear-machine-goes-crazy/#G3dS0ejKh4mlkjkd.99

Building Character: Champions of Liberty

Building Character, Champions of Liberty

 Character-Education

Ode to the Epic Hero

Epic Hero resize medYour epic quest begins at birth

To find your purpose here on earth.

Along the way your heart will learn

How good from evil to discern.

Moments in time will come to define

Trials of your soul, to test and refine.

 

Discover things that will be treasured,

Perhaps not always in money measured—

Gems of knowledge, virtue, truth,

Eternal standards for families and youth—

To strengthen, protect, and to prepare

A way to escape the enemy’s snare.

 

biblicallampThe journey of life demands your part—

Courage, faith, and a willing heart.

You need not fall, though you may stumble,

For angels fail not to help the humble.

Your lone small flame may not seem bright,

Yet it reveals the way to greater light.

 

Day by day, big and little—

Answers await life’s every riddle.

Just when you think you can’t continue,

You’ll find the epic hero within you.

Honor and virtue will be your choice.

Return home triumphant, and rejoice.

~C.A.Davidson

Copyright 2010 © by Christine A. Davidson

Epic Heroes Quest—for Youthknightonhorse

 

Epic Heroes in Training

 

Literature for Children, Government Control, and Hunger Games

Culture: Don’t be fooled—Hunger Games is not conservative; it is anti-capitalism literature, written by an admitted Far Left liberal

keyI grew up in the fifties. I am working on a novel for Young Adults,  to teach traditional values to the rising generation. So I checked out the first Hunger Games book, to get a feel for what youth are reading these days. I couldn’t get past the first chapter. It was so depressing! I perused other books on the YA shelves in the library and find a disturbing preoccupation with death and perversion.

The second caller to the Rush Limbaugh show on this subject said that the kids are forced to kill each other for the entertainment of the “capital, the bourgeoisie”. Those words are from Karl Marx. Check the transcript, the second Debbie said that. I have been studying history for 50 years, and I am alert to this kind of thing. This is extremely subtle.

Then when Rush noted that this author is an admitted Far Left liberal, it only confirms the truth about this assault on our culture. As you read this post, look for the subtle deceptions that the caller is falling for. The deception of the adversary is subtle! We must be alert and aware so as not to be deceived. ~C.A. Davidson

Rush Limbaugh

RUSH:  Wait, are we talking about the movies or the books here?

barrymarxCALLER:  Both.  In the books, it is there because it is kind of to show you how bad this government is forcing their people, their citizens to compromise their personal beliefs and devalue life the way they do for entertainment for the bourgeoisie capital people.  And the command-and-control government doesn’t give the people in the district, to put it in your terms, the ruling class versus the country class —

RUSH:  Okay, let me try this.  Let me ask you a question.

RUSH:  I just want to know what you think.  As you watch these movies or read the books, and you imagine young people who vote Democrat and think Obama’s great and love big government — as they watch these movies — are they going to be inclined to be more in favor of Democrats and big government or are they going to think, “Wow, this is not good.  I don’t want to support government if it does this kind of thing”?

RUSH:  Let me ask you: Would you describe the books and the movies as anti-government?

RUSH:  Okay, who is the hero?

obamadictatorimagesCALLER:  Well, the main heroes are Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, who are, as you mentioned before — spoiler alert — two survivors in the first book.  And they go on, and they have to kind of become a part of this system that they don’t agree with, and then they basically try from the inside out to have their own personal statement, own personal protests. Katniss sort of becomes the beacon of the revolution, the symbol of hope that things can change.

I haven’t seen any of these movies and I haven’t read any of the books, and I’ll tell you why.  The title is The Hunger Games, and then when I first heard what these movies are about, I didn’t get the connection between the title, and then when I saw everybody in it winning awards, “Well, to hell with that.” (interruption)  What?  (interruption)  Yeah.  See, I’m being told, “No, it’s really, really good, the kids killing kids, it’s just a minor part, it doesn’t –“ (interruption)  Right, they don’t.  If everything I’ve heard so far about it, we ought to have legions of teenagers marching to the polls voting every Democrat out of office if the movies and books are that good.  And we don’t, do we?  (interruption)  What’s that?  (interruption)  Oh.  Well, you know, it’s fascinating.

They don’t get it

You take a look at what people see, it always is amazing to me.  That’s why I try to keep an open mind about everybody’s perception of things.  I mean, here kids are killing kids, it’s not a big deal!  Okay.  Yeah.  “They have to because they’re being told to, and then they eventually rebel against it and they get rid of the oppressive government,” while they vote for one to live under themselves over and over again. 

Well, I look at polling data, Millennials are openly telling pollsters how much they hate big government.  They don’t like it. They think it’s ineffective and they’re voting for it at the same time, which I also understand, because I understand why they’re doing it, and it all comes down to Republican branding, when you get down to basics.

These movies are sick.  They are about socialism and government control of food, and they are dystopian.” 

RUSH:  Okay, so I just got an e-mail from somebody I know who is 60.  “Don’t believe what these two callers have told you.  These movies are sick.  They are about socialism and government control of food, and they are dystopian.” 

Now, I think I understand this.  Follow me on this.  We’ve had two women call today who praised these books to the hilt.  They’re really, really good.

I don’t know how old those women were.  I couldn’t tell.  It’s really tough to guess based on voices.  So I’m not going to.

childrenslitforestBut you take somebody who was nine or 10 years old in the fifties and take them through the sixties, teenage years, you put this movie in front of them back then, and it’s a horror story.  Kids killing kids just was not portrayed.  War movies were.  But even the war movies back then, nowhere near the realism that you get today in terms of the gore.  But the idea of a movie that is entertaining that has good in it, that shows a government making kids kill each other, unheard of. 

So you take somebody who grew up, their formative years were the fifties and sixties, you put this movie in front of ’em and I guarantee you they’re gonna get sick.  But you put the movie in front of kids today, “Ah, it’s just no big deal.”  I mean, compared to the what else they’ve seen and what else they’ve heard, what else they’ve been exposed to, it’s no big deal.  Maybe they can even see themselves in it.  And I find all this fascinating.

When I was 60, I was not gonna look at what was going on with young people when I’m 60 and immediately put it down as trash or whatever.

But I can honestly tell you that something like this would never even have gotten made back in the fifties or sixties. Would you agree with that?

Something like this couldn’t even get made.  And why?  Because it’s rotten.  It’s an absolutely horrible, worthless premise.  And yet today, it’s award-winning. 

Now, is that so hard to understand in an era where abortion occurs for the convenience of the living?  I think not.  There are reasons why what used to be considered coarse and taboo or intolerable, today is considered art.  I remember the outrage when Piss Christ happened, Andres Serrano, the crucifix.  Piece of art, submerged in a jar of urine.  And we were told we had to learn to appreciate it.

Here’s the difference, folks.  Or one of the differences.  You put The Hunger Games or something like it, Mad Max, one of these dystopian movies.  What is troubling to me is the dystopian nature of these things, that there’s no good in the world anymore, that everything is rot and everybody’s corrupt and everything’s sick.  (interruption)  No, I’m not talking about just this movie. 

I’m talking about if I had somebody from the current Drive-By Media here explaining why The Hunger Games or movies like them are winning awards, it’s because, “This is the world people live in today, Rush, this is what life is about to them.  They’re scared.  This is what they see as possibly their future.”

To which I would say, “Why?  How has that happened?”  It wasn’t all that long ago that the future was an optimistic thing, not a pessimistic thing.  It wasn’t that long ago that young people couldn’t wait to get out of the house; couldn’t wait to strike out on their own; couldn’t wait to make their own way in the world.  And the reason for that was bubbling effusive optimism, eagerness.  But today there’s not so much of that.  There’s a lot of pessimism, fear, and even dystopianism, in the media, that defenders of it, “Well, this is what the world is to them today.” Then I would say, “How did that happen?  That’s a shame.”

  My only point is I finally found out who wrote these Hunger Game books and movies, Suzanne Collins, and she admits to being a far-left liberal, concerned with the environment, concerned with too much war and economic deprivation.  (laughing) I told somebody: “Well, she made a mistake, then, because her movies are real Republican.” 

No, they’re not.  That’s my point.  They can’t possibly be.

Dystopia

You know, back when I was young eating up whatever, the media that I liked back then was, be it entertainment, books, movies, TV shows, it was all for the most part, at the end of the day, end of the movie, optimism triumphed.  There was no such thing as a dystopian.  That didn’t happen until the left got totally concerned with nuclear weapons in the seventies and the eighties and the Phil Donahue show and so forth. Then you had the Mad Max movies which were post-apocalyptic world where there was no gasoline except what you could steal.  Everything dystopia, the opposite of utopia.  Dystopia is just absolute disaster.

That’s the difference to me.  And if you check, if you’d be open-minded, if you check attitudes today, take a look at Millennials.  What are they telling you?  They’ve lost faith.  American dream’s over.  No chance for them.  Those days are long gone, as far as they’re concerned.  All they face is $200,000 minimum student loan debt, no job.  And they’re not blaming Obama.  They’re just down on America.  The old promise of America doesn’t exist for them.  And I think a never-ending barrage of pessimism and dystopianism has to have played a role in that attitudinal thinking. 

RushRevere9In fact, folks, this is one of the reasons why the whole notion of writing children’s books on American history appealed to me, because it was an opportunity to restore — I mean, the story of this country is a fascinating story in human history.  It doesn’t need any embellishment. It doesn’t need any exaggeration.  What happened in founding this country is an absolute miracle when it comes to human history on this planet.  It is just an amazing story.  But you and I all know that what’s happened — and not just in the education system — is the whole idea of what America stands for has been under assault for a long time when the multiculturalists came in and got control of things.  And it’s worked. 

All you need to do is look at polling data of attitudes and measure how much optimism versus pessimism there is out there, and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.  These Hunger Games books are for kids, 14 to 16.  They’re not for adults, but adults go watch the movies and read the books, and I do think that there is a real craving, sad though this may be, I think there’s a real craving among many conservatives to see their values reflected in popular culture, because we’ve lost it, admittedly.  Everybody admits we’ve lost it. 

So if you are a conservative and you’re sitting around waiting for your values to be reflected in popular culture, as long as it’s owned by the left, it isn’t gonna happen.  But if you’re desperate to see it you might go watch a movie and think, “A-ha!  It’s a secret conservative message!  Look at that!”  And you’re being fooled.  Well, when the producer, the writer, the director, and everybody in it is a staunch ultraliberal, then you… (interruption)  Yes, it is!  It damn well is the intent.  (interruption)  No.  It’s for people to figure out that it’s Obama, it’s fine, but it’s not just Obama.  It’s liberalism, totalitarianism, authoritarianism. 

George III represents tyranny.  And so if you put modern words uttered by liberals in the mouth of George III the message is to convey what tyranny is to young readers.  Well, I don’t know President Snow from President Frost ’cause I haven’t seen these movies, and now you’re making me so mad about this, I don’t care that I want to.  But I’m almost obligated to now.  What does Hunger Games have to do with it?  Why did they call it Hunger Games?  It’s obviously not about games and it’s not about hunger. (interruption) Oh, they don’t have enough food, do they?  Oh, so they kill people in order to have enough food to eat? (interruption) They don’t kill people?

Folks, it’s also true that there’s just plain bad people out there. No matter what you do, there’s evil out there and no amount of gun control or caring or concern, no number of hashtags is gonna stop it.  But, see, that reality is overlooked and events like this are all rolled in to the dystopian nature the left presents everybody, this overall pessimistic view.  And they benefit from it, is the point.  Things are so bad, you need your big government run by us to protect you from all of this horror that’s out there, that this country has become. 

It’s insidious to me.  I think this country’s story is amazing, and I think it’s optimistic.  I think it’s uplifting.  The story of this country and our Founding Fathers is some of the greatest inspiration people can expose themselves to.  

Hunger Games Author is Far Left Liberal, anti-Capitalist

ObamaCommunistRUSH:  You know what I thought I’d do?  I thought I’d go to some popular liberal website and just put in the search term “Hunger Games” and see what I got, and that’s what I did.  I went to the Huffing and Puffington Post, and I entered “Hunger Games” as a search term, and I found a headline to a story on the Hunger Games movies at the Huffing and Puffington Post.  Do you want to know what it says? 

“The Hunger Games and the death of winner-take-all capitalism.”  So at the Huffing and Puffington Post they clearly watched the Hunger Games and they were cheering it. (paraphrased) “This is the greatest thing for socialism we’ve ever seen! Why, this thing destroys free market capitalism!” Now again, I haven’t seen these flicks, haven’t read these books. So I’m at a little bit of a disadvantage. 

I could fake it like many hosts would lie to you and claim they’ve seen the movies. I haven’t. I don’t care that I haven’t seen ’em yet, and can still discuss it.  I just think it’s fascinating.  I got all these people telling me today, “Rush, this is a secret message. The conservatives… Boy, Hollywood is really ripping into big government.”  Well, here’s a big government website saying it’s the best movie for their view that they’ve ever seen.

And how about this:

“The death of winner-take-all capitalism”?  Capitalism is not winner-take-all.  Liberalism is!  Liberalism is where everybody’s poor except the Fidel Castros of the world.  It’s just the exact opposite. 

Moral Repair Plan: Literature for Children, American Victory

Dinner Topics for Thursday

keyHere in these western lands men were fighting again the age-old struggle for freedom and for civilization, which is one that always must be fought for. The weak and those unwilling to make the struggle, soon resign their liberties for the protection of powerful men or paid armies; they begin by being protected, they end by being subjected. ~ Louis L’Amour (A Man Called Noon)

 

RushRevere91. Rush Limbaugh Children’s Author of the Year

Worthy Literature for Children—

RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, you are listening to your harmless, lovable, little fuzzball host, Rush Limbaugh, well-known radio raconteur bon vivant, and now children’s book Author of the Year.  The awards were handed out last night by the Children’s Book Council, and I want to take a moment here to thank everyone in the audience, particularly the young people who voted.  This is an award where the readers determine the winners.

Kathryn and I flew up after the program yesterday to New York for the awards banquet, the event.  This is the seventh annual.  It’s relatively new, and it’s combined with the children’s literacy project, and what a great evening.  It was a wonderful event, and I had, honestly, to make sure you understand, no expectation of winning this thing.  When they announced my name I was momentarily frozen.  We were sitting in the front row with a couple people from Simon & Schuster, the well known publishing house. Mitchell Ivers and Jean Anne Rose, they were there with us.  It was just a really, really nice event.

I have to tell you, there were so many immigrants that came up to me before the event started, when everybody was being seated and during the event, and they were telling me what coming to America meant to them. One of them was the photographer, one of the official photographers for the event.  There were a lot of people that were working the event that came up and wanted me to understand how much America had meant to them, and it was really great.

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2014/05/15/thank_you_to_everyone_for_making_me_the_children_s_choice_book_awards_author_of_the_year

 

2. A note to “fiscal conservatives” from a social conservative

Why libertarianism can never work without morality and religion

By Dennis Prager

family5prayingdinnerOne frequently hears this political self-identification: “I’m socially liberal, but fiscally conservative.” Or, “If the Republicans weren’t conservative on so many social issues, I would vote Republican.” Or, “It’s too bad the Christian right dominates the Republican Party. I would vote for the Republicans on fiscal issues, but I can’t stand the religious right.”

The same sentiment holds among many inside the Republican Party. Most secular conservatives and the libertarian wing of the party agree: Let’s jettison all this social stuff—most prominently opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion, and this unnecessary commitment to religion—and just stand for small government and personal liberty.

The entire American experiment in smaller government—and even in secular government—was based on Americans individually being actively religious. The founders—unlike the European men of the Enlightenment then and the left today—understood that people are not basically good. That is a defining belief of Judaism and Christianity. Therefore the great majority of people need moral religion and belief in accountability to a morally judging God to be good. In other words, you will either have the big God or Judaism and Christianity or the big state of the left.

Social conservatives know that they need fiscal conservatives. They know that the bigger the state, the smaller the God. They know that proponents of the ever-larger state want their own gods—like Mother Earth—to replace the Bible’s God. Fiscal conservatives need to understand that they need social conservatives. They need them philosophically …and they need them politically. There will never be enough Americans who re fiscally but not socially conservative to win a national election. Sorry.

 

3. 11 Reasons the Left Has Not Won the Culture War

Don’t miss this! It is needed encouragement.

John Nolte

from Breitbart

minuteman1. While judges are legalizing gay marriage, Christianity is making a major comeback in the free market of  entertainment.  

2. While pot is being legalized in a few states, the pro-abortion movement is on its heels in a majority of states and in opinion polls.  

3. While television shows become more sex-driven, elsewhere on television the masculine male is making a comeback on wildly popular reality shows that celebrate the working class and their traditional values.  

4. While Colbert wins David Letterman’s spot, Jimmy Fallon figured out he had to remain apolitical if he wanted to remain number one.

5. While the rise of the weak, neurotic, man-child metrosexual-nerd dominates one forgettable movie after another, a new Golden Age in television has brought us an assembly line of flawed but masculine anti-heroes — “real men” protagonists like Jack Bauer, Don Draper, Walter White, Raylan Givens, Tony Soprano, the cast of The Walking Dead, Boardwalk Empire, and even House of Cards

6. While Miley twerks and MTV baby-mamas, unions and the union mentality are dying.

7. While the left-wing mainstream media figures out how to survive, conservative media is on the upswing.

pledgeofallegiancechildren8. While the gaystapo makes war against those who don’t wish to celebrate the gay-married,  the demand for charter schools and school choice grows.  

9. While we’re paying for Sandra Fluke’s right to birth control, we’re prevailing on our Second Amendment civil rights in ways unimagined just ten years ago.

10. While our federal government is constructing Orwellian First Amendment Zones, the Supreme Court is slowly suffocating the campaign finance laws that gave our government, union and media overseers a near-monopoly on political speech.

11. Occupy is dead. The Tea Party lives.

Read More at Breitbart

 

 

4.  Another Victory for American Constitutional Law

Florida bans foreign laws like Sharia

news_flag_hdr5ACT FOR AMERICA ACHIEVES ANOTHER VICTORY!

FLORIDA APPLICATION OF FOREIGN LAW IN COURTS BILL BECOMES LAW

This past Monday, May 12th, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed SB 386, the “Application of Foreign Law in Courts” bill into law. It’s been a long haul – four years to be exact – but the continued pressure by our grassroots activists has resulted in yet another important legislative win. Thank you!

The new law will help protect Floridians from foreign law that is inconsistent with American values, such as Islamic sharia law.

This issue is one of our top priorities, and ACT! for America has been aggressively working similar legislation in states all across the nation.

As a result of our efforts, Florida joins eight other states that have a law on the books restricting foreign laws in state courts. The others are:

Alabama
Arizona
Kansas
Louisiana
North Carolina
Oklahoma
Tennessee
Washington

Literature: Learn from Bible, Lord of the Rings

Advice for the Leader: Learn wisdom from the Bible, and Wizard in Lord of the Rings

Eyes That Know What to Look For

keyAn example from Tolkien’s literature, The Lord of the Rings, illustrates different approaches to problem-solving.

Scriptures, like life, can be puzzling.  In The Lord of the Rings, author Tolkien deliberately places a riddle.  Like the characters here, we, too, are often compelled to think before we can progress.

gandalfFrodo and his friends come to a set of doors through which they must pass to proceed on their way.  In plain sight on the door are the words, “Speak, friend, and enter.”  They try to decide what word they are to speak, so that they may enter.  Gandalf the wizard assures them they can figure it out, if they only have eyes that know what to look for.

They each bring different approaches to the problem-solving process.  Merry seeks further information.  Gimli the dwarf draws on previous experience.  Frodo reflects on his education. Gandalf exercises his expert training, seeks a more subtle meaning, and pauses to ponder the problem. Boromir complains.

This is a similitude to unlocking the door to meaning in the scriptures.  Because of the perilous times in which He lived, the Savior spoke in parables.  Each parable was simple yet masterful, woven with many layers of meaning.  The meaning grasped depended entirely upon the heart condition of the hearer.  People from many different backgrounds came to listen, and their interpretations could be as numerous and diverse as they themselves were.

Jesus5000Jesus, too, used key words as a signal that He had a message for those among His listeners who were prepared to receive it.  The clue was simply, “he that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

If you have eyes that know what to look for, you will always be rewarded when you search the scriptures— not only with important clues, but with messages that speak to your heart and bless your life.

You will see how epic heroes in the scriptures resolved both personal relationship challenges and the perplexities of national leadership.  This understanding can empower you to respond with comparable nobility to modern challenges as well.

Dinner Topics

*Problem-solving, Literature, Parables

1. How do parables inspire people to make righteous choices?

2.  Why do parables have universal appeal?

3.  Why was the Savior’s use of parables so effective?

4.  Malcolm Muggeridge said, “All happenings great and small are parables whereby God speaks. The art of life is to get the message.”

Speak, Friend, and Enter

Day by day, big and little—Answers await life’s every riddle

In The Lord of the Rings, Gandalf the wizard and his friends find themselves before an unyielding door that blocks the progress of their journey through a hostile wilderness. On the arch over the door are inscribed the words, “Speak, Friend, and Enter.”  But precisely what they should speak, which would open the door, remains a mystery to them.  Gandalf, who has visited this place before, informs his companions that the doors could not be forced inward, nor would they open from the outside.

Gandalf meditated for some time. Suddenly he called out a word in the elven language, and the doors opened.  After the old wizard had sorted through all his vast store of knowledge, he was astounded to discover that the answer had been before him all the time.  The password was, simply, “Friend,” just as was written on the door.  He admitted that even wise old wizards could still learn something.

JesusatdoorDoors to everything good, whether it be opportunity, freedom, or simply joy, are opened outward by small and humble means, and at that, from the inside.  For Gandalf, it was not the force of pride or worldly power, but his simple humility that opened the door. The children of Israel, also on their wilderness journey, encountered a more serious problem to solve.  They were bitten by fiery flying serpents.  Moses raised up a type or symbol of their Redeemer.  The solution was simple.  The only labor they had to perform in order to be healed was to look at this type, raised up in the wilderness.  “Look to God and live,” they were instructed.  But because of the simpleness of the way, there were many who refused to look, and perished.

Why would anyone fail to do such a simple thing, at the hazard of life itself?  Perhaps they did not have “eyes that know what to look for.”  It has been said that God is “able to show forth great power, which looks small unto the understanding of men.”(Ether 3:5)

At the meridian of time, in a place so obscure and humble that it was overlooked by the wise and mighty of the world, our Redeemer was born.  If this same small, innocuous event occurred in our time, we might well wonder if our own eyes would know what to look for; if we would see our Friend, and open the doors of our souls.

Dinner  Topics

Humility enhances the effectiveness of leadership. *Humility

1.  In what ways do we sometimes misjudge by the outward appearance?

2.  How is God’s way different from the ways of the world?

3.  Give examples of how solutions to the most vexing problems are often profoundly simple.

4.  From Gandalf’s example, what do we learn about the importance of humility in leadership?

Copyright 2010 © C.A. Davidson