294 – Planting Time?

August 26th, 2021

IN DEFENSE OF COMMON SENSE
By Hetty Gray

# 294

“Planting Time?”

August 26, 2021

Time takes a toll on a committed writer. A background in history — both political and military — fuels the angst I feel, and have felt, for some years now.

When speaking to my collegiate classes, I tried hard to explain the importance of history and how a working knowledge of the same is invaluable to a society.
History is a concise series of warning signs — red ones — that alert you to upcoming troubles. History, alas, does repeat itself. And that working knowledge of history?Sadly, we have lost that.

Much to my chagrin, the genesis of this loss goes back to one Joseph Stalin — yes, the despicable leader of Russia. Read the following quotes and then see just where we are going and to what ends some people will go to see that we get there.

“A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.”
? Joseph Stalin

“Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the vote decide everything.”
? Joseph Stalin

“Education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.”
? Joseph Stalin

Let’s begin with the subject of death. It is unimaginable to conceptualize the number of deaths attributed to Stalin. In his book, “Unnatural Deaths in the U.S.S.R.: 1928-1954,” I.G. Dyadkin estimated that the USSR suffered 56 to 62 million “unnatural deaths” during that period, with 34 to 49 million directly.

Not exactly a score one would care to emulate. In comparison, the Holocaust, the horrible result of unrestrained, undeserved hatred of ethnic and religious groups — homosexuals, gypsies, and Jews specifically, cost far less lives. Deaths under Hitler’s “Final Solution” range from 4.5 to 6 million.

In terms of widespread knowledge among the peoples of the world, the Holocaust gets much more attention than Stalin’s genocide of his own people. Historians still feel that few Russians ever understood the ghastly number of deaths he caused. That may explain the allegiance to Russian governments throughout the years — or the fact that dissenters simply disappeared or were summarily killed.

It was only under the liaison between President Ronald Reagan and Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev that a glint of hope surfaced for Russia. Sadly, with his successors, including Vladamir Putin (former KGB), that hope is now as dead as those who dare to oppose the elite political class in today’s Russia. And those days are not gone. I cite the 2018 poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko London.

The Soviet Union as a political entity may be dead; but, given the recent happenings in the Middle East, she may be poised to once again move against the peoples of Eastern Europe. Now, once firm allies now worry about the once unflagging belief in the USA as their unquestioned defender.

And those millions who died? Yes. Tragedy vs. statistic. How cruel and how typical of tyrannical leaders.

As for one death, we see in the mainstream media today how one death can inspire riots, looting, rampant destruction of our cities. And the response of local leaders? Nil. This is more than sad, it only fuels copycat behavior. Ignore the fact of their leadership affiliation? No. Democrats all. Irresponsible. Unbelievable to “fly over country.”

Now, we come to voting. The sturdy foundation of our republic (not democracy, folks — republic), voting descended into a study in how to cheat and get away with it. Oh, the lefties will scream accusations all they wish, but it comes down to closing polls in the middle of the night, kicking out poll workers, boarding up windows to work away with nobody being able to see, and the ridiculous practice of drop boxes and mail in votes. Ever see that before? Nope. It isn’t as if we weren’t either. Former President Jimmy Carter partnered with former Secretary of State James Baker III. Both men warned of this sixteen years before it happened.

The Carter- Baker Commission of 2005

The commission was organized by American University’s Center for Democracy and Election Management and hearings began on April 18, 2005, with the goal of putting forth a set of recommendations to raise confidence in the electoral system. The report, released on September 19, 2005, “recommends a modern electoral system built on five pillars: (1) a universal and up-to-date registration list, accessible to the public; (2) a uniform voter identification system that is implemented in a way that increases, not impedes, participation; (3) measures to enhance ballot integrity and voter access; (4) a voter-verifiable paper trail and improved security of voting systems; and (5) electoral institutions that are impartial, professional, and independent.

The implementation of a universal voter registration system where states (instead of local jurisdictions such as county or township) are responsible for the accuracy and quality of voter lists. This recommendation includes the proposal of a distributed database in which the registration lists can be shared interstate.

Creation of a uniform system of voter identification based on an identification card. This includes the recommendation that states issue free photo-id cards in an affirmative role to those without a driver’s license

Addition of measures to increase voter participation by asking states to assume a greater responsibility to register citizens, make voting more convenient, offer more information on registration lists and voting, host civic education programs, and more.

The inclusion of an auditable backup on paper for electronic voting systems in order to provide confidence that ballots cast using these machines are counted accurately.
The strengthening and restructuring of the system by which elections have been administered in the country through a reconstitution of the EAC and state election agencies on a non-partisan basis.

In addition, the two men also suggested these reforms:

• A proposal that the media improve coverage of election by providing longer candidate discourse – at least five minutes – each night in the month preceding the election.
Remember how the “so called” moderator(s) cut off Donald Trump when he attempted to pose questions relating to the Biden family and their activities? Five minutes of truth could have saved our country the situation we suffer now.

• Ask that media voluntarily refrain from projecting presidential election results until polls close in the 48 contiguous states.
Remember how the major networks who failed to call the election around 10 PM with huge leads across the board for Donald Trump and the GOP. Thanks to the media, we have a colossal mess.

• States provide unrestricted access toll legitimate domestic and international election observers.
Closed doors, boarded up windows, trucks arriving in the middle of the night loaded with ballots from another state, boxes pulled from beneath tables, ballots entered multiple times, falsified water leaks (I hardly deem an overflowing toilet a risk to the building involved.), and machines susceptible to insertion of memory cards and chips to assign a different weight to votes for a particular candidate. And all in cities run by Democrats. Sound familiar?

• Changing the Presidential Primary schedule by creating four regional primaries
I’m not sure how much progress has been made on this front. The straw polls and traditional sites seem to have become the ingrown toenail of our election system.

• For states to certify their presidential election prior to the “safe harbor” date. In addition, for states to enact new statutes to ensure that its resolution of all election disputes are given conclusive effect by Congress under United States Code

The United States Code on Elections reads as follows (Title 3):

Title 3 – The President
Chapter 1. Presidential Elections and Vacancies
Section:

1. Time of appointing electors.
2. Failure to make choice on prescribed day.
3. Number of electors.
4. Vacancies in electoral college.
5. Determination of controversy as to appointment of electors.
6. Credentials of electors; transmission to Archivist of the United States and to Congress; public inspection.
7. Meeting and vote of electors.
8. Manner of voting.
9. Certificates of votes for President and Vice President.
10. Sealing and endorsing certificates.
11. Disposition of certificates.
12. Failure of certificates of electors to reach President of the Senate or Archivist of the United States; demand on State for certificate.
13. Same; demand on district judge for certificate.
14. Forfeiture for messenger’s neglect of duty.
15. Counting electoral votes in Congress.
16. Same; seats for officers and Members of two Houses in joint meeting.
17. Same; limit of debate in each House.
18. Same; parliamentary procedure at joint meeting.
19. Vacancy in offices of both President and Vice President; officers eligible to act.
20. Resignation or refusal of office.
I could go on, in depth, on the election process. Yet, today, with the grinding distrust of the 2020 Presidential Election, the additional problem of those drop boxes surfaces. Placed among inner city neighborhoods widely run by Democrats adept at the other ugly practice of ballot harvesting (going door to door offering money for a mail in ballot from the resident), the disaster we saw was nearly a foregone conclusion. And remember who funded them?

The trouble with most voters like me is that we are too trusting. It is against our better nature to distrust the election process we have known for a lifetime.
It’s high time we rethought that posture and began to really consider following the suggestions made by Carter and Baker.

This brings us to the third Stalin quote:

“Education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.”

Beginning in the 1940s, the socialist mindset crept into the faculties of our colleges and universities. Honored institutions — many founded on the Christian faith — morphed, bit by bit, professor by professor, subject by subject, into an ugly conglomeration of misinformation and a leftist agenda. This misinformation began the slow process of turning students against their country. History taught with an agenda toward the socialist and communist viewpoint, demonizing practical, long-held beliefs in God and family, an increased incentive to depend upon the government, an abandonment of self-reliance and initiative, and the death pride in achievement through hard work.

It has not stopped. If anything, it has metastasized to our lower schools. CRT is an excellent example. What is taught is vastly more important than who teaches it. Let scientists and engineers teach the math courses. Let writers teach English. Let historians teach history. And so it should go. The teachers’ unions have worn out their usefulness. They are nothing less than influence peddlers and they come first — not the kids. They wield unbelievable financial clout and push folks around consistently. I have heard that the sole reason many teachers join the union(s) is for the liability coverage.

Well, insurance companies, here’s an opening for you. Offer liability coverage for teachers without the union rope attached. Entrepreneurs, go for it! And who suffers most? The children and what’s left of the American family.

Today we find ourselves aghast at what has happened. The family, once the mainstay of our culture, is nearly gone. It all began with “The Great Society.” Even in the midst of slavery and inopportunity, the black family thrived. Yet, when women began to receive money for children in a home absent a father, the slow collapse began.

Take a look at this: Among white families, 2.8 percent were headed by women in 1950, 6 percent in 1960, and 13.9 percent in 1982, compared with 8.3 percent, 20.7 percent and 47.1 percent for blacks in those years. And then there is the work of Daniel Patrick Moynihan:

His report, known as The Moynihan Report, examined the link between black poverty and family structure. It hypothesized that the destruction of the black nuclear family structure would hinder further progress toward economic and political equality. And so it goes.

I had a great professor in graduate school who knew black society inside and out. She claimed that more than 90% of black families included a father, mother and children before the government hand-outs began. Even with all they faced, their families, grounded in their faith, saw them through turbulent times. When well-known black celebrities began call this problem out in the 1980s and 1990s, the victimization demons attacked them for their common- sense stance.

You’ll recognize this bunch. They peddle their lies so well. They know that hate and anger are far easier to inspire than love and acceptance.

Don’t tell me that black children aren’t intelligent. I taught in a township school where students were bussed from inner city neighborhoods, and I came face to face with marvelous kids — bright, interesting, and determined. Sadly, their parents were left out of participating with them due to lack of transportation and distance. The once thriving neighborhood schools with involved parenting so common in the 1950s and 1960s waned. Today, they are, for all intents and purposes, dead.

So, here we have it. Deaths are inconsequential — just statistics. Who counts the votes tops the actual votes cast. Education in the wrong hands poisons our young people.

My only question is this: Do we, as a people, have the corporate will and determination to fight the cancel culture and those who claim to be woke?
When it comes to corporate America, money talks. I have never been a big one for boycotts, but the left makes them work. They threaten big business and cajole the boards of directors into decisions that make absolutely no sense in economic terms.

Forget the green push. I remember when “being GREEN” meant you knew next to nothing. For me, nothing has changed in that department.

You reap what you sow. Isn’t it about time to tear up the fields and replant?

Think about it.

293 “”Where are they?”

June 20th, 2021

IN DEFENSE OF COMMON SENSE
By Hetty Gray

# 293

June 20, 2021

“Where are they?”

Today, people across this nation pause to honor fathers. Sadly, countless families lack that bulwark of the basic societal unit.

All the cards and gifts aside, I focus on the day that far too many acknowledge. “What is it?” you ask. It is Father’s Day. Not the father we know or have known on earth, but our Heavenly Father. Cast aside by so many Americans, He is forgotten or ignored — perilously so.

Year by year, decade by decade, we have witnessed the erosion of keeping the Sabbath holy. Youth athletic organizations pack Sundays with games and meets. That weekly workout beckons. Sleeping in tops attending a worship service. Thankfully, most professional sports do not intrude on Sunday mornings, but for many tailgating preparations do.

Where once Sunday marked the day of rest and worship, it has morphed into just another day of spectator sport, carpool responsibility, or leisure activities where the individual comes first and God does not. How sad.

If this isn’t bad enough, the damage is far worse in terms of government and leadership. Devout, prayerful people across America were thrilled and heartened when President Donald J. Trump extolled God in his speeches, in his press conferences, and in The Oval Office. Not since President Ronald Reagan had Americans heard Biblical wisdom and God’s laws uttered without reservation and with so much confidence.

We are a nation founded on liberty. And what does the Bible say about liberty? Romans 8: Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (2 Cor. 3)

Bible laws are firm. Bible laws are fair. Bible laws do not play favorites. Biblical laws apply to everyone. How easy to forget, but at what cost? Complacency is a dangerous mindset. Yet, even at that, there is another mindset that is deadly. Ignorance.

Until the last ten or so years, to ignore law enforcement came with high costs. You know where that mindset has gone lately. To ignore parental guidance came with grounding or loss of major privileges. To ignore orders from a boss came with job loss. To ignore health symptoms came with consequences that could be deadly. But, to ignore God?

The left tries to paint faith as a weakness. In fact, it is the antithesis of weakness. Faith is strength — the strength that each of us needs. What’s more, it is the strength that they fear. It is their fear that fuels their fight against people of faith.

The seminal question? Will America experience the revival needed to forge forward in God’s name?

Every societal shortfall can come full circle. The stark reality is alive in the Old Testament. Nations and peoples who turned against Almighty God did not fare well. When you consider how far many parts of our nation have fallen from Grace, it is not far-fetched to imagine that — given the propensity of the left to cajole and tempt uninformed people with all manner of government assistance
— that we totter atop the cliff from which the fall yields no recovery.

Once upon a time, the American work ethic was the envy of the world. The limits of one’s career was unlimited. Working hard led to success. I consider the current situation of giving out money not to work as downright criminal. Why? It is robbery. Government money robs the worker of the reward and personal worth on which no price may be accrued. Dependency upon the government exacts the highest price from those who do work.

Now, we come to current government. Two nations on this planet were founded on the word of God: America in 1776 and Israel in 1948. For all the caterwauling of the liberal left that consistently defends the Palestinians and the Hamas terrorists claiming that Israel is “occupying” parts of Palestine, they ignore the fact that God promised that land to the Jews thousands of years ago. As Pastor John Hagee said this morning, “Israel is not occupying Palestine, it owns it.”

We watch in complete horror as people who claim to be leaders continue to undermine the foundation of the United States, pushing to cancel freedom of speech, to impugn religious life and ignore the U.S. Constitution, determined to interpret it as they see fit.

The Bible existed long before America. But America was founded on the God of the Bible. The Ten Commandments are not mere suggestions. Ponder what world be like if every nation and every person espoused them and followed them to the letter
God’s rules to the letter

The Ten Commandments (paraphrased for use herein)

“Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.

Thou shalt not make yourself an idol or any form and bow down to worship them.

Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain.

Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.

Honor thy father and mother.

You shall not murder.

You shall not commit adultery.

You shall not steal.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
YYou shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

As simple as these rules are, they are also the most difficult to the unbeliever. Today we have people in our highest levels of government who decry faith and who manifestly wish doom on those of us who put our trust in God.

This is more than a sad assessment, readers — it is a death rattle. So, as I listen to the small group whose distain for Israel is bitter to its core, whose belief is lacking, and whose answer to everything is “their way,” I step back.

I go to the source of all wisdom. I go to the Bible. The answer to any situation is found within its pages. Without Judaism, there is no Christianity. Without the Bible, man is lost. God’s commandments are simple. They are clear.

God help us if we do not stand up and fight against the left and its clearly poisonous agenda.

So, now I ask the question of the day: “Where are they? Where are the Christians in Congress?”

AWOL. Absent Without Law. God’s law. These elected officials are not above it. Someone needs to remind them of that fact.

Think about this:

Romans 8:31
“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?”

292 – Memorial Day

May 30th, 2021

IN DEFENSE OF COMMON SENSE
By Hetty Gray

# 292

Memorial Day
May 30, 2021

My generation is nearly the four-score mark. Reared by parents and teachers who loved this country, our patriotism was imbedded with a deep respect for those who serve in our military. The families in our community that had lost their fathers, sons, brothers, uncles, grandsons underscored the sacrifice from coast to coast.

My parents’ generation fought in World War II. They knew that freedom was not free and that defending those who fell under the Axis Powers was a duty imbued with a love for the freedom that they had lost. Compounding their zeal was the fact that countless numbers of those soldiers, sailors, airmen and merchant mariners represented the offspring of immigrants who had come to America from Europe and Scandinavia.

Today, across this land, people strolled among the tombstones cemeteries of every description – military, church, community, family….

The brass plaques and white stones should make us all proud. I ignore those who would decry the holiday as unnecessary. They are oblivious to truth and ignorant of their own history.

Whenever you see a person with a cap from one of our armed services, stop and thank him or her for the service given. We are a volunteer army. Skills today demand far more than aiming a rifle or driving a tank. Yet, at the heart of the service, is love of country.

May none of us fail to remember that every freedom we enjoy was paid for in the blood and treasure of those who came before us, stood up and took it upon themselves to defend the most precious of all rights. We are free. They gave us that freedom.

God bless our fallen and wounded. God bless America. She needs God more now than ever.

291 – The Task at Hand

February 18th, 2021

IN DEENSE OF COMMON SENSE
By Hetty Gray

# 291

February 18, 2021

“The Task at Hand”

In many ways this is the easiest column I have written, in other ways, the hardest. Life is like that vine that wraps itself about the limbs of rural Indiana trees, bittersweet.

In 1989 I bought my then 70-year-old mother radio. It was a small table model, not of the type I knew as a child. Those wonderful radios were pieces of art-deco furniture. Fine wood, ours was at least four feet tall and sported a multi-piece dial that could switch bands with the flick of your fingers. Some far-away stations broadcast a strong signal easily picked up hundreds of miles away. One was the famous “THREE W E,” Cleveland, Ohio.

Radio was key to American entertainment through the Second World War. Most Americans heard of Pearl Harbor by radio. FDR’s famous “Fireside Chats” commanded attention in homes from coast to coast. Dramas like “The Shadow” and “Inner Sanctum” held rapt listeners in — to put in another plug — “Suspense.” Comedy also held a place in the lineup. “Fibber McGee and Molly,” along with “Our Miss Brooks” inspired laughter with good, clean fun. “The Jack Benny Show” and that familiar entreaty “Rochester…” brings back memories to a lot of us. Those shows had no nasty, vulgar words or insulting jabs so common today. Lines were funny and clean. Evenings gathered around the radio was commonplace for families decades ago and; for many of us, awaken fond memories.

Soap operas brought in a daytime audience. I still remember my grandmother sitting at her sewing machine listening to “The Romance of Helen Trent.” Hearing the cars shift gears is comical now, but oh so familiar then. That the names of those radio shows come to mind so easily gives you an idea of how important they were in family life and highlight an important aspect of their influence — their lasting ability.

A few years shy of eighty, I realize that over the years I have lost people in my life that I consider highly influential. One was my father. I was 38 when he died, but my formative years were awash with his wit and wisdom. He had a keen sense of humor and loved a good joke. Like my husband, it didn’t take a lot to trigger one from his deep repertoire of material. He laughed a lot as I recall and was always very good in emergencies. He kept his head.

I can trace his loss more to habit than years. He was just 64 when he died. Far too young. At this point I have already outlived him by thirteen years. Having been born on the 13th of the month, he poked fun at superstition. Such was his attitude toward my thirteenth birthday. September 13, 1957 was the 256th day of the year 1957 in the Gregorian calendar. There were 109 days
remaining until the end of the year. The day of the week was Friday. If you are trying to learn Spanish then this day of the week in Spanish is viernes.

Papa loved anything mechanical and cameras certainly fell into that genre. I wish I had the picture he took of me that day. I was standing under a ladder holding a black cat. My mother always had cats, so it wasn’t a hard prop to find at our house. Again, the humor element….

Although there were attendant causes for his death, smoking certainly fit into the picture. While the habit still beckons to people worldwide, it is probably more difficult to explain to the younger generations. Big tobacco had a wide reach in the 1920s and 1930s. Advertising was left to ingenuity. Oh, there were magazine ads, yes; but the real customer was Hollywood. Tobacco companies paid for actors and actresses to smoke in the movies. Considered chic and glamorous, it exerted a lot of influence on audiences.

Who can forget the final scene of Bette Davis and Claude Rains in the final scene of 1942’s “Now Voyager.” Even the dialogue sticks with avid movie fans.
“Don’t ask for the moon. We have the stars.”

How does this fit with today? Stars are beacons and command attention. Yesterday, I, along with millions of other listeners, lost just such a presence with the death of a radio icon. If you are a listener even for a short time, you will have heard the familiar line, “… from my formerly nicotine-stained fingers.” Yes, Rush smoked and joked about it. Yet, smoking is no laughing matter. It probably contributed to his losing his life. Back to him….

A little research gives us his biography. Rush Hudson Limbaugh III was an American radio personality, conservative political commentator, author, and television show host. Best known as the host of his radio show The Rush Limbaugh Show, he was nationally syndicated on 600 AM and FM radio stations.
It should come as no surprise, I am a “Ditto Head” and proud of it. I have a sweatshirt from the Limbaugh Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies and a greeting card emblazoned “Rush for President, ‘96” in my office. Back to Rush….

Born Rush Hudson Limbaugh III, January 12, 1951, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, he
Died February 17, 2021, in Palm Beach, Florida, home of the Excellence in Broadcasting Network, “E.I.B.” and its “Golden Microphone.”

Many of the Limbaugh men were lawyers. His brother David is an accomplished lawyer and writer. His books are amazing. Talent, while “on loan from God” was not limited to Rush. Long-time listeners would hear him laud the example set by his family and the values deeply instilled in him by generations of forebears.

Anyone who has ever walked into my woodshop has seen “Ditto” on my dry erase board. A listener for well over thirty years, I seldom missed a show unless life and responsibilities drew me away from an available radio. I downloaded a chart of Rush stations so that I could listen in the vehicle when traveling. With the advent of “I (Heart) Radio,” I could pick up his show on my Mac. (He was a big supporter of Steve Jobs and anything Apple. We had that in common!)

In short, his show was a daily routine for me.. Like the theme from “M.A.S.H,” those first few notes of “My city was gone” by the Pretenders guitar heralded another edition of Rush. The 1982 song now has a life of its own.

Over all those years, I gleaned more than I could ever have expected the first time I listened. My passion is history — American and world — so I fully appreciated his attention to detail and his amazing way of putting really difficult happenings in lay terms that anyone could understand. As a former teacher, I can say that takes real talent and background.

I laugh when I remember “Dan’s Bake Sale” in Colorado. Long-time listeners will know just what I mean by this. The entire story links to our 45th president and a call that Rush took from a listener on “Open Line Friday.” Let me quote just some of it to provide a proper context. It gives weight to the fact that Rush Limbaugh inspired virtually millions of his listeners.

CALLER: “Mega dittos, Rush. I listened to you since 1987 before you had that bake sale for Dan up in Colorado. I was calling to know that we have a president who’s a street fighter. He’s not gonna back down because of the fact that he was raised and brought up being for God, home and country. Plus, he came up earning his way. He’s won and he lost lots of money. He knows the inside of running a business and everything, and he’s gonna run the country the same way. So that’s why I voted for him, and I would still vote for him.

RUSH: You don’t have any regrets about voting for him?
CALLER: Not at all. And the thing is, usually when I answer a questionnaire that I go apply a job, I skip over what my ethnicity is, because I am Afro-American. I consider myself an American. That’s all I am is an American, and that’s why I’m for America ’cause I was raised up the same way.
RUSH: Wow. That’s incredible. So you’re not hyphenated at all. You just call yourself a flat-out American?
CALLER: I’m an American. I am an American. I believe in our country. I believe in God, home and country. This country has given us many opportunities. Even when we fail, it allows us to be able to take it back on our feet if we’re willing to work, and we can achieve despite whatever else is going on. That’s why I like Trump. Because Trump is a fighter. He will not quit. He’s using the tools he has at hand and he’s gonna succeed because of that. He’s not gonna allow his party to beat him, he’s not gonna allow the Democrats to beat him, he’s not gonna allow the media to beat him.
RUSH: Let me ask you a quick question. Is there anything that the mainstream media has reported or tried to report that’s made you stop and think for a minute? Has there been a single instance where they’ve made you doubt your support for Trump?
CALLER: Never. Remember, I listened to you since before 1987, just about. I know the fact that you said the media lies and cannot be trusted and it’s been proven time and time and time again.
RUSH: Oh.
CALLER: They never tell the truth. Why would I believe them?
RUSH: There you go. There you go. Dan’s Bake Sale. That was like in 1989.
(This conversation is from Rush’s website. If you haven’t checked out the site, you should. I hope it continues in some form. It is a treasure trove of information and entertainment.)
This exchange echoes a theme we know all too well. The power of truth over the mainstream garbage fueling hate. I never met Rush, but neither did nearly all of his listeners. He digested very complex subjects into “down home” language. He never failed to credit his parents and family for bringing him up with solid values. He was the first to recount how he had failed as a young man. At one point he lived out of his car. He was fired. He rebounded. It took until he was 37 years
From there, the show rescued a dying AM Radio business and spawned an avid following that continues to this day. And what of the future? If anyone believes that his physical death means the end of his impact on us, that person is sorely mistaken.
At a time when our educators are removing William Shakespeare from curricula, editing history to fit their narrative, and inserting the fallacy of racism into virtually every corner of life, it has never been more important than to continue Rush’s pivotal push for patriotism and teaching accurate history — mistakes and all. Every society makes mistakes, but rewriting history denies wisdom to our students. It hobbles them to recognize missteps in our culture and learn from the past. The left decries the Founding Fathers because they held slaves. But so did the African people who sold their very own people into slavery. Yes, their form of slavery took a different form, yet they did not hesitate to sell their own. Their people were no more than chattel.
It should not be lost on any of us that those amazing men of 1775 brought forth a nation with three operative words, “We the people.” Never before had such a document come forth. “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” was to be bestowed on all people. It is as true today as it was then.
Why else would hordes of people from around the world want to come here? If, as the left claims, America is such a horrible place, why would they clamor to come? What amazes me and so many others is how one man with deep Midwestern roots — from the “Show Me” state of Missouri — could have ignited a flame likened to that of Washington, Jefferson, and Hamilton 214 years later!
It took faith, honesty, integrity, courage and perseverance — qualities we need today more than ever.
From its beginning decades ago, this column has defended common sense. Hence, its title. It does no less now.
Our loss was inevitable. As Rush said two weeks ago, “…we all have an expiration date.” And so it was for him.
To continue his work is noble. To persist in that effort is critical — not only to the morals and values of our country — but to its very survival. This is not the time to be faint of heart. Now is the time to rekindle the flame that Rush lit in his millions of listeners.
An optimist to the core, Rush saw struggle against the leftists as his calling. What’s more, he took harsh criticism in stride and laughed at it in the process.
I have written this line before. Americans need to be able to laugh again. Cancel culture cannot win. We need to stop it in its tracks. Rush knew that. He fought for the ideals that we hold dear and he fought for them each and every day. Those who knew him well said that he worked up to ten hours a day just to prepare for this three-hour marathon, five day a week broadcast. I believe it. He was a wellhouse of information and if he didn’t know the details a caller wanted, he would get them. He loved his listeners and we loved him.
He was not bashful about his religious beliefs. He was unabashed in discussing it. His easily professed, personal relationship with Jesus Christ armed him with the inner strength to face cancer. He knew a better life awaited him. He never wavered in his faith. Our goodbye was God’s welcome.
This is not the time to be faint of heart. This is the time to rekindle the flame that Rush lit in us. This is the time to come together. As my grandmother said, “Many hands make light work.” To continue his work is noble, of course. To persist is crucial to America’s survival.
To do less is to ignore his contribution. He gave us so much. We owe him no less.
Think about.
God’s speed, Rush.
30

290 – Power of Words

February 12th, 2021

IN DEFENSE OF COMMON SENSE
By Hetty Gray

# 290

February 12, 2021

“Word Power”

Weeks have elapsed since my last column. I apologize, but I’ve been thinking.

Ah, thinking — another activity common to my age group. You see, we were taught to listen, read and then decide. Oh, if that were the case today among all our people. Well, America made a turn last month. It’s as if you stand in the hallway of a hospital and hear the phrase “a turn for the worse.”

I lamented in a column about ten years ago that Americans had forgotten how to laugh and find humor in everyday situations. I had no idea that what I viewed as a shortfall in levity would morph into the left’s anger and vengeance we see today. There is nothing funny about current events.

My parents and grandparents’ generations lived through World War I and World War II. They recognized first-hand the calamity wrought by Fascist, Socialist and Communist governments. The post-World War II baby boom and attendant surge in home ownership and economic growth gave rise to the bright, hopeful world of my parents.

Entertainment diluted the self-motivation of my generation and its children. I admit it, I am as guilty as the next one for the Pac Man mentality. Oh, how my boys enjoyed those video games! Reared by parents who read voraciously, I too find great solace in books. I regret that my children do not share my love of reading. To this day, I still read about one book a month on average. For the last 57 years, I have read one particular book every year — Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. Adding George Orwell’s 1984, the picture painted is so familiar that it is scary. New words creep into the vocabulary and their purveyors label other words off limits.

I could go on and on with this discussion, but it would be to no good end. Shockingly, a new edition of TASS (Soviet government-controlled media) thrives in mainstream media. Ernie Pyle and his peers are rolling over in their graves.

I cite my own experience. My hometown paper began as a merger of The Shelbyville Democrat and The Shelbyville Republican. Voila – The Shelbyville News! The paper was careful to present two sides and let the readers decide. Locally owned until about ten years ago, it was purchased by an out-of-state syndicate with distinctly left leanings. My column ran weekly and I had quite a good following. However, the kiss of death was that I was very conservative in my writings. Much to management’s chagrin, I dealt in facts, not feelings.

The paper delayed publication of one column of which I was particularly proud until the editor found an opposite viewpoint from a San Francisco columnist. The paper ran both pieces. Mine was edited (gutted, really) while the other ran in its entirety. I could see the writing on the wall, and it didn’t take too long until my column was a thing of the past.

I was told that I could write on any subject or event so long as it happened within the physical county boundaries. I felt that the newspaper failed to recognize that readers had a much wider view. I told the paper to call me back when the federal government had money in the bank, world peace was solved, UFOs were explained, and cancer was cured — and all done within Shelby County.

A restricted world view is dangerous. Once most Americans felt that the Democratic party was more allied to the working man and the Republican party was more allied with business. The opposite is true today, and — in light of the tech industry — bigger is not necessarily better. The last four years saw more opportunity and support for American small business than in the last thirty years. It all boiled down to leadership.

I cite four American presidents: George Washington, Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump. Patriots all, they loved their country. Washington was a landowner and a farmer; Truman and Trump were independent businessmen. Reagan headed the Screen Actors Guild and was a spokesperson for General Electric and governed California. He often called his state the fourth largest economy in the world. All knew the value of a dollar, the worth of a good day’s work and each appreciated the American worker. Moreover, all four had good common sense.

Of the paintings of George Washington, most of us recall the black and white rendering that hung in elementary classrooms. However, my favorite is Washington kneeling in the snow, praying for his troops — praying for guidance at Valley Forge. He sought God. He had faith. He led.

Truman took the presidency and led after FDR’s death. If you know anything about him, you know that one of his monikers was “Give ‘em hell, Harry!” I doubt if anyone came down on him for his colorful language or his blunt attitude. The sign on his desk in the Oval Office said it all. “The buck stops here.” A haberdasher by trade, Truman took to his new role and brought a sense of Midwestern wisdom, minus the folksiness elites now associate with
“fly over country.”

Reagan had a way with words, perhaps stoked by his acting background. Yet, all of his biographers reiterate his deep and abiding faith in God. God, country, family…. interminable values that have held this country in good stead for nearly 235 years.

Ronald Reagan strode forth with the movements of a much younger man and his persona intimidated Gorbachev at November, 1985 meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. Blustery weather saw Gorbachev in a heavy winter coat and Reagan in a suit. The striking contrast of a youthful looking Reagan and an old and tired Gorbachev was not lost on the world.

The bottom line? None of these presidents hesitated to extol the Lord. Each called on God to bless America, each thanked God for this nation, and each reminded us we are all created by that same, omnificent, loving God.

The press didn’t call Ronald Reagan “The Great Communicator” for no good reason. For all his speeches, perhaps the most important was his farewell address. Its entirety is much too long, so I offer excerpts and large font for emphasis.

(Courtesy State of Utah, State Library)

Ronald Reagan
Farewell Address to the Nation January 11, 1989

My fellow Americans:
This is the 34th time I’ll speak to you from the Oval Office and the last. We’ve been together eight years now, and soon it’ll be time for me to go. But before I do, I wanted to share some thoughts, some of which I’ve been saving for a long time.

It’s been the honor of my life to be your President. So many of you have written the past few weeks to say thanks, but I could say as much to you. Nancy and I are grateful for the opportunity you gave us to serve.

One of the things about the Presidency is that you’re always somewhat apart. You spend a lot of time going by too fast in a car someone else is driving and seeing the people through tinted glass—the parents holding up a child, and the wave you saw too late and couldn’t return. And so many times I wanted to stop and reach out from behind the glass and connect. Well, maybe I can do a little of that tonight.
People ask how I feel about leaving. And the fact is, “parting is such sweet sorrow.” The sweet part is California and the ranch and freedom. The sorrow—the goodbyes, of course, and leaving this beautiful place.

You know, down the hall and up the stairs from this office is the part of the White House where the President and his family live. There are a few favorite windows I have up there that I like to stand and look out of early in the morning. The view is over the grounds here to the Washington Monument, and then the Mali and the Jefferson Memorial. But on mornings when the humidity is low, you can see past the Jefferson to the river, the Potomac, and the Virginia shore. Someone said that’s the view Lincoln had when he saw the smoke rising from the Battle of Bull Run. I see more prosaic things: the grass on the banks, the morning traffic as people make their way to work, now and then a sailboat on the river.

Something that happened to me a few years ago reflects some of this. It was back in 1981, and I was attending my first big economic summit, which was held that year in Canada. The meeting place rotates among the member countries. The opening meeting was a formal dinner for the heads of government of the seven industrialized nations. Now, I sat there like the new kid in school and listened, and it was all Francois this and Helmut that. They dropped titles and spoke to one another on a first-name basis. Well, at one point I sort of leaned in and said, “My name’s Ron.” Well, in that same year, we began the actions we felt would ignite an economic comeback—cut taxes and regulation, started to cut spending. And soon the recovery began.

Two years later, another economic summit with pretty much the same cast. At the big opening meeting we all got together, and all of a sudden, just for a moment, I saw that everyone was just sitting there looking at me. And then one of them broke the silence. “Tell us about the American miracle,” he said.

And in all of that time I won a nickname, “The Great Communicator.” But I never thought it was my style or the words I used that made a difference: it was the content. I wasn’t a great communicator, but I communicated great things, and they didn’t spring full bloom from my brow, they came from the heart of a great nation—from our experience, our wisdom, and our belief in the principles that have guided us for two centuries. They called it the Reagan revolution. Well, I’ll accept that, but for me it always seemed more like the great rediscovery, a rediscovery of our values and our common sense.

Common sense told us that when you put a big tax on something, the people will produce less of it. So, we cut the people’s tax rates, and the people produced more than ever before. The economy bloomed like a plant that had been cut back and could now grow quicker and stronger. Our economic program brought about the longest peacetime expansion in our history: real family income up, the poverty rate down, entrepreneurship booming, and an explosion in research and new technology. We’re exporting more than ever because American industry became more competitive and at the same time, we summoned the national will to knock down protectionist walls abroad instead of erecting them at home.

Common sense also told us that to preserve the peace, we’d have to become strong again after years of weakness and confusion. So, we rebuilt our defenses, and this New Year we toasted the new peacefulness around the globe. Not only have the superpowers actually begun to reduce their stockpiles of nuclear weapons—and hope for even more progress is bright—but the regional conflicts that rack the globe are also beginning to cease. The Persian Gulf is no longer a war zone. The Soviets are leaving Afghanistan. The Vietnamese are preparing to pull out of Cambodia, and an American- mediated accord will soon send 50,000 Cuban troops home from Angola.

The lesson of all this was, of course, that because we’re a great nation, our challenges seem complex. It will always be this way. But as long as we remember our first principles and believe in ourselves, the future will always be ours. And something else we learned: Once you begin a great movement, there’s no telling where it will end. We meant to change a nation, and instead, we changed a world.
Countries across the globe are turning to free markets and free speech and turning away from the ideologies of the past. For them, the great rediscovery of the 1980s has been that, lo and behold, the moral way of government is the practical way of government: Democracy, the profoundly good, is also the profoundly productive.

When you’ve got to the point when you can celebrate the anniversaries of your 39th birthday you can sit back sometimes, review your life, and see it flowing before you. For me there was a fork in the river, and it was right in the middle of my life. I never meant to go into politics. It wasn’t my intention when I was young. But I was raised to believe you had to pay your way for the blessings bestowed on you. I was happy with my career in the entertainment world, but I ultimately went into politics because I wanted to protect something precious.

Ours was the first revolution in the history of mankind that truly reversed the course of government, and with three little words: “We the People.” “We the People” tell the government what to do; it doesn’t tell us. “We the People” are the driver; the government is the car. And we decide where it should go, and by what route, and how fast. Almost all the world’s constitutions are documents in which governments tell the people what their privileges are. Our Constitution is a document in which “We the People” tell the government what it is allowed to do. “We the People” are free.

This belief has been the underlying basis for everything I’ve tried to do these past eight years.
But back in the 1960s, when I began, it seemed to me that we’d begun reversing the order of things— that through more and more rules and regulations and confiscatory taxes, the government was taking more of our money, more of our options, and more of our freedom. I went into politics in part to put up my hand and say, “Stop.” I was a citizen politician, and it seemed the right thing for a citizen to do.

I think we have stopped a lot of what needed stopping. And I hope we have once again reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.

(Speaking on Russia) …nothing is less free than pure communism…

(On his trip to Moscow….)

But life has a way of reminding you of big things through small incidents. Once, during the heady days of the Moscow summit, Nancy and I decided to break off from the entourage one afternoon to visit the shops on Arbat Street—that’s a little street just off Moscow’s main shopping area. Even though our visit was a surprise, every Russian there immediately recognized us and called out our names and reached for our hands. We were just about swept away by the warmth. You could almost feel the possibilities in all that joy. But within seconds, a KGB detail pushed their way toward us and began pushing and shoving the people in the crowd. It was an interesting moment. It reminded me that while the man on the street in the Soviet Union yearns for peace, the government is Communist. And those who run it are
Communists, and that means we and they view such issues as freedom and human rights very differently.

Finally, there is a great tradition of warnings in Presidential farewells, and I’ve got one that’s been on my mind for some time. But oddly enough it starts with one of the things I’m proudest of in the past eight years: the resurgence of national pride that I called the new patriotism. This national feeling is good, but it won’t count for much, and it won’t last unless it’s grounded in thoughtfulness and knowledge.

An informed patriotism is what we want. And are we doing a good enough job teaching our children what America is and what she represents in the long history of the world? Those of us who are over 35 or so years of age grew up in a different America. We were taught, very directly, what it means to be an American. And we absorbed, almost in the air, a love of country and an appreciation of its institutions. If you didn’t get these things from your family you got them from the neighborhood, from the father down the street who fought in Korea or the family who lost someone at Anzio. Or you could get a sense of patriotism from school. And if all else failed you could get a sense of patriotism from the popular culture. The movies celebrated democratic values and implicitly reinforced the idea that America was special. TV was like that, too, through the mid-sixties.

But now, we’re about to enter the nineties, and some things have changed. Younger parents aren’t sure that an unambivalent appreciation of America is the right thing to teach modern children. And as for those who create the popular culture, well-grounded patriotism is no longer the style. Our spirit is back, but we haven’t reinstitutionalized it. We’ve got to do a better job of getting across that America is freedom– freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise. And freedom is special and rare. It’s fragile; it needs production.

So, we’ve got to teach history based not on what’s in fashion but what’s important — -why the Pilgrims came here, who Jimmy Doolittle was, and what those 30 seconds over Tokyo meant. You know, four years ago on the 40th anniversary of D-day, I read a letter from a young woman writing to her late father, who’d fought on Omaha Beach. Her name was Lisa Zanatta Henn, and she said, “we will always remember, we will never forget what the boys of Normandy did. ” Well, let’s help her keep her word. If we forget what we did, we won’t know who we are. I’m warning of an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit. Let’s start with some basics: more attention to American history and a greater emphasis on civic ritual.

And let me offer lesson number one about America: All great change in America begins at the dinner table. So, tomorrow night in the kitchen I hope the talking begins. And children, if your parents haven’t been teaching you what it means to be an American, let ’em know and nail ’em on it. That would be a very American thing to do.
And that’s about all I have to say tonight, except for one thing. The past few days when I’ve been at that window upstairs, I’ve thought a bit of the “shining city upon a hill.” The phrase comes from John Winthrop, who wrote it to describe the America he imagined. What he imagined was important because he was an early Pilgrim, an early freedom man. He journeyed here on what today we’d call a little wooden boat; and like the other Pilgrims, he was looking for a home that would be free.

I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I
don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still.

And how stands the city on this winter night? More prosperous, more secure, and happier than it was eight years ago. But more than that: After 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true on the granite ridge, and her glow has held steady no matter what storm. And she’s still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home.

We’ve done our part. And as I walk off into the city streets, a final word to the men and women of the Reagan revolution, the men and women across America who for eight years did the work that brought America back. My friends: We did it. We weren’t just marking time. We made a difference. We made the city stronger, we made the city freer, and we left her in good hands.

All in all, not bad, not bad at all.

And so, goodbye, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.
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I am remiss if I neglect another quote by Ronald Reagan. It rings so true today:

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.

Another famous Reagan quip is this: “The most terrifying words in the English language are ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’ ”

And so, I end with my comments on what is now called “The Woke” — that assemblage of individuals and groups moving to silence anyone who disagrees with them, a group that holds such beliefs that astonishes anyone with common sense and a good understanding of American and world history. Its “cancel culture” is absurd, violates any tenet of free speech, and undermines our Constitution.

It’s not the word “WOKE” that scares me. It’s the word WAKE.

What will the “Woke” leave in their wake?

It is not too late for us to combat this movement. No bad behavior persists if people step in to stop it. If we do nothing, why should they quit?

Be “Woke?” Never. Instead, BEWARE!

Think about it.

288 “Ode to Omilee”

January 15th, 2021

IN DEFENSE OF COMMON SENSE
By Hetty Gray

January 15, 2021

“Ode to Omilee”

It is a rare occurrence for me to write about one person in particular. And so, this is only one of three columns over the past twenty-plus years that I do so.

I was seventeen, out of high school one year, and working at a short-term mental hospital on the Indiana University Medical Center campus along White River in Indianapolis. Many of you will remember the distinctive x-shape of Larue Carter Memorial Hospital. A short-term facility, it had little in common with long-term psychiatric hospitals scattered around the state.

Working as a psychiatric pool secretary, I was responsible for typing up physical and mental examinations of patients. The woman in charge was Freda Stearley of Brazil. Serving as the Medical Records officer, she oversaw our work and made sure that records were available to the staff doctors and the medical students completing their education at the Indiana University School of Medicine. She was the epitome of efficiency and inspired each of us to do our very best.

Interesting is a mild word to describe the detailed information that went through our department. I met a young woman whose husband was a conscientious objector then stationed at Fort Harrison on the east side. They were Mennonite and she gave me the best recipes. Today they are retired farmers in Kansas. We have kept in touch consistently for sixty years this coming fall. Sadly, that doesn’t hold true for the rest
of my group.

The three other women in our complement were lovely black ladies, each of whom had an astonishingly different background. One of the women was married and an accomplished seamstress. Another was shy and said little when we would gather for lunch in the hospital cafeteria. She sketched beautifully, I appreciated her talent as an artist. Did she continue in her art? I don’t know. And then there was Omilee….

I’ve often wondered what happened to Omilee. She was a pure delight. Soft-spoken and very friendly, I can still see her smile. She just lit up when someone mentioned pets and family. Tiny, almost frail in appearance, she favored white blouses and fitted skirts. We chatted a lot and became friends in short order.

A few months after I began to work at the hospital, I had a chance to attend a Ray Charles concert at the newly-opened Clowes Hall at Butler University. At that time I drove the thirty plus miles to work every day. My father outfitted my tiny Ford Falcon with a transistor radio to allow me to listen to WIBC for traffic and weather reports. To drive back home county and return in time to make the concert would have been very difficult indeed.

Omilee knew that I was going and she was excited for me. She asked me if I would like to go home with her and change clothes so that I didn’t run such a tight schedule. I jumped at the chance. That trip to the Chandler household was seminal in my life. I learned a lot that fall afternoon. I remember that I had saved to buy a dark red dress at the Major T. Jester Department Store in Shelbyville. Since my grandmother was a professional dressmaker and my mother sewed beautifully, it was a rare thing to have a “store bought” dress. Funny that I remember things like that….

After work, Omilee hopped into the car with me and we were off. She walked to work. She lived close to the hospital. Twenty years later, in 1982, that street became the home of the Indiana University Natatorium.

Looking back, I can picture that street today with no problem whatsoever. Mature trees lined the streets. Sidewalks were narrow, but uncluttered. Most of the homes were two-story, clapboard structures with wide front porches and small front yards. Very few had garages, so residents parked curbside. Some owners cultivated lovely flowerbeds, while others chose simple shrubbery. Flower boxes adorned quite a few porches and window boxes added colors to other homes.

What made Omilee’s home a bit different was a long, gently slanted ramp carefully fitted to one side of the front porch railing. I saw it as we made our way up the eight or so steps to the porch, but it didn’t make sense until I was well inside.

Since the house sat on the east side of the street, the late afternoon sun streamed through the front door and the living room windows. Not a thing was out of place. Because I had plenty of time to change, the two of us walked back to the kitchen to have a visit. As I walked through the kitchen door a charming woman greeted me with “Well, now, I finally meet you, dear!” It was Omilee’s mother. Confined to a wheelchair, she beamed with enthusiasm and I felt so welcome. Evidently, Omilee had mentioned me and her mother probably curious about me.

I sat with her mother and chatted while Omilee went about beginning to plan their evening meal. For the life of me I cannot remember her mother’s first name, but she was such a nice person. However, my upbringing would have had me address her as Mrs. Chandler anyway. To have used a first name for an adult would have been rare for me. She asked me about my family. I told her my only sibling was a brother four years older than I and that he was serving with the National Guard as a crewmember on an Army helicopter.

She pointed to a picture on the wall. It was her son, Omilee’s brother, resplendent in his uniform. A U.S. Navy man, he inspired a lot of pride in his mother. I don’t know exactly what happened that left Mrs. Chandler unable to walk, but that disability certainly didn’t dim her zest for life. It was clear by listening to her that she and Omilee were active in their church. It was interesting to note how her family and my family had a lot in common.

Looking back, a that time nobody in my department earned a lot of money. We did our work and made the going wage for clerical workers in a state institution. Yet, each one of us honed a keen appreciation for good health, especially good mental health. Being privy to the records of people with mental problems really made you thankful for your own personal stability and instilled empathy for those afflicted.

Mrs. Chandler had every reason to be proud of her children. Omilee would rise very early in the morning to bathe and dress her mother. After preparing breakfast for them both, she would either pack her own lunch or plan to eat a light meal at the hospital. It was easy to see that they had a warm, loving relationship. I had no idea how long that Omilee’s mother had been unable to get around, but since the wheelchair was well-worn, it probably had been years. Time flew and we chatted that day.

When time grew short, Omilee directed me to an upstairs bedroom, and she made sure that there was a fresh towel in the bathroom for me to use when I changed clothes.

It was a short visit; but, to me, it was priceless. To this day, nearly sixty years later, I have not forgotten that afternoon in the Chandler home. Love reigned. It is critical to realize the time period. This was 1962, nearing the end of the Civil Rights Movement that had begun in the 1940s and just a year before Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous speech on the mall in Washington, D.C. August 28, 1963.

The black community was well-established on the west side of Indianapolis. Madame C. J. Walker’s fine building stood along Indiana Avenue, but the most notorious venue was the Fox Theater. According to the Indiana Historical Society, the theater’s genesis dated to the summer of 1909 when it was built at the corner of Illinois and New York Streets as The Colonial Theater. Its expansive interior seated 1400 people and it shared a building with The Colonial Hotel. Vaudeville was the darling of the day and performances were well attended. But by the mid-1930s, vaudeville’s place as the most popular entertainment of the day was eclipsed by Hollywood.

In 1937, the theater’s name changed to The Empress, a venue that showed motion pictures. The name didn’t last long, though; and in December of 1937, it changed to The Fox. Entertainment switched from movies to burlesque. Although that particular artform originated in Europe as a Victorian form of entertainment, the burlesque of The Fox was carefully choreographed strip tease to music — hence the reputation of The Fox on Indy’s West side. Today, the old Indiana Avenue no longer exists between Illinois and Capitol Avenue.

Artform changed once again, and in the 1970s The Fox screened so-called “adult films.” With quite a colorful history, The Fox can still raise an eyebrow of those of us over 75. A wry smile or a shake of the head…. But, in its day, The Fox was the pride of residents in the area, even if it had spawned quite a unique reputation.
Indiana Avenue also featured music. Take a look at the picture below that was featured in The Indianapolis Star. Retro Indy was a great article published February 25, 2015. Quoting the piece,”
“During its heyday in the 1930s and early ’40s, Indiana Avenue was the Broadway of black Indianapolis. From New York Street northwest to the old City Hospital near the White River was the center of black business and cultural life.
Known as “Funky Broadway,” “The Yellow Brick Road,” and “The Grand Ol’ Street,” Indiana Avenue was home to thriving black businesses and a vibrant club scene.
At the Sunset Terrace, one could hear Count Basie’s Orchestra, Lionel Hampton, B.B. King, Eddie Vinson and other big band and blues acts.

Patrons enjoy a jazz performance at Henri’s Café Lounge, a club located at 408 Indiana Avenue in Indianapolis owned by Henry Vance. The musicians are Wes Montgomery on guitar, Willis Kirk on drums, Monk Montgomery on bass, and Buddy Montgomery on piano. Photo, Indiana Historical Society.

Some of the era’s great jazz musicians and singers got their start on The Avenue, including the Hamptons, Wes Montgomery, Leroy Vinegar, Freddie Hubbard, Jimmy Lunsford, Jimmy Coe, J.J. Johnson, Earl Walker and the original Inkspots.
Like New York’s Harlem, Indiana Avenue was a product of segregation. Blacks were restricted from white neighborhoods and could not shop at many white-owned establishments Downtown.”
Given that background and what was happening in American society at the time, plus the fact that I hailed from a small town that accepted its black citizens as neighbors and friends, the Chandler household was a haven for me and a reminder that all of us are God’s children and that no one of us chooses our parents. We all have one Father in Heaven.
The warmth and hospitality shown to me by Omilee and her family, coupled with the intense loyalty and love of the Chandler children for their mother, made a deep impression on me — an impression that lives to this day. I’m sure that they had no idea of how deeply that afternoon visit affected me.
In the contentious climate of our inner cities today, it is hard to imagine a time when — despite poor treatment and discrimination — most folks, black and white, got along with little animosity. Like today’s saying, “It is what it is,” back then “it was what it was.” It would change. It has changed.
The family unit is central to society. And so it was with the Chandlers. I know that Omilee’s father had died, but I never inquired as to the circumstances. Relegated to a wheelchair, Mrs. Chandler depended on her children and they followed through in grand style. They welcomed me into their home as a friend. Neighbors who saw Omilee arrive with me didn’t so much as give us a second glance. Oh, that it were like that everywhere in America today.
We have lost the empathy and compassion so imbedded in the America of my youth. We worked through the rigors of integration, and had family units like the Chandlers held forth as the norm, I strongly believe that we wouldn’t be in the harried fracas we see today. The one emotion that destroys all in its path is hate. Hatred never accomplishes, yet it beckons. We see that today. Anger is easy to incite. And once incited, anger destroys people and property.
Yet, hope lives among the faithful. Pastors look to Heaven and ask that we love one another as Christ asked us to do. Truly, the Chandlers did just that. They loved one another and they loved others. Their home, however humble, was a haven for family and visitors alike. The pride they took in their home was evident at every turn.
The Chandler children earned my respect. Their example impacted me. Omilee was so devoted to her mother. I never heard her mention a boyfriend or dating. Reflecting on those days, I wonder if she avoided entanglements in order to care for her mother. If she did make that sacrifice, it was never evident in her attitude. I will always respect her.
I learned that Omilee’s brother sent money home to help his mother and his sister. I know it must have been hard for both brother and sister. Honor, love, loyalty, integrity, pride — hallmarks of the Chandler family.
I wonder, did Omilee ever marry or did she live out her life taking care of her mother and enjoying her friends and her church. She was about six years old than I was when we worked together. That would put in her eighties now.
Like me, she has an unusual name. Perhaps someone will read this column and recognize that warm, open, wonderful person that I knew so many years ago. Knowing her as I did, and recognizing the work ethic of her family, current events would flummox them. Theirs was not a family that harbored hatred. They would grieve and pray for change.

Think about it.

276 “Letters of home”

January 7th, 2021

IN DEFENSE OF COMMON SENSE
By Hetty Gray

# 287

January 7, 2021

“Letters of home….”

On first glance, the content may be murky. Allow me to extrapolate.

First, the letter “F.” Not the dismal, much uttered term that exemplifies profanity. I delve more to the core than to surface nonsense.

Five. Five years ago a successful businessman and his wife descended a golden moving stairs to begin a movement to elevate America. Four. A farce said some. And so it began. Every day for four years mainstream media and leftists attacked this man. And for what? He offered basic business sense to a bloated, out of control government spending machine.

And what did he do? He delivered. Apply that term broadly to the United States government. He came from a solid Christian background. If you have the opportunity to watch two videos, go find them on the web. One is “The Hebrides Revival,” and the other is “Donald’s Bible.” You will learn a lot about Donald John Trump.

To many of us, he was the hope for our country. He put the phrase “America First” out there for the world to see, followed by “Made in America.” No longer could he stand by and see us on the proverbial short end of the stick — footing the bill for the world at large. He put his career behind him and jumped headlong into a swamp — a swamp far worse than any of us imagined.

“B” Blunt? You bet. To the point. His words mirrored those of countless millions of Americans who never had the luxury of operating their households with no thought to a budget. Don’t let Congress make excuses for their behavior when it comes to money. Instead of planning ahead, they have — for decade — failed to negotiate a budget until the very last minute. Using a government “shut down” as the ax, they slashed any thought of cutting back.

Better. He knew that American could do better and he set about to see that it turned the corner to better days.

Back to “F” — what has been the effect on the American people? Well, leftists have gone at it tooth and nail to destroy the FOUNDATIONS of our lives. Freedom is on the chopping block. If you don’t believe that, then just heed what the left has in mind for you. FAITH is not an option. Churches across this nation have capitulated to a closing mechanism so handy to those who want nothing less than to demoralize and depress the society. How have we become sheep and listened to these people. Had we protected those of us most vulnerable to this virus (a Chinese gift, by the way), business could have continued. Consider Florida. It has the largest population of old folks and Florida is doing well. Blue states are collapsing, only to depend of government. How convenient for the leftists.

FINANCIAL HEALTH. Cross that off, too. Widespread business closures have dismantled what was, for centuries, the be-all end-all of success. Opportunity. Entrepreneurship. Ambition. Accomplishment. All these and more…

What better way to destroy an entire country than to dismantle, one by one, the critical parts of its life. The recent “rules changes” in the House of Representatives should shake Americans to the core. Banned words of the Culture Police now include mother, father, son, daughter, aunt and uncle. Sadly, this is probably just the beginning.

There will be historians who look back at this time — if our Republic survives this onslaught — and assess the early 21st century. Don’t expect those in power to consider what your family will face. They operate for the “greater good” don’t you see? Do you feel good about that position?

Nothing corrupts more than power, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Power, for itself alone, shines as the enemy of peace. Rumors of BLM and Antifa agitators inserting themselves into the rally to support the president. flew about our nation’s capital well ahead of the rally.

The Trump rallies, over the years, were happy events. Those attending did not leave piles of trash in their wake. Enthusiasm reigned and those very few who sought to disrupt were removed immediately. Media mocked the events. Violence was only apparent when protestors showed up and started it all by themselves. Remember Senator Rand Paul and his wife when they were surrounded by anarchists as they walked back along the streets of Washington, D.C.? Remember the mobs destroying beautiful statues? Where was the outcry then? It was absent.

Now, contrast the riots in Portland and other cities where anarchists rioted in the streets, torching and looting buildings and destroying family businesses Americans died at their hands. And the mainstream media’s take? They made excuses for the criminals and expounded psychological trash with abandon. Those mobs had a “cause.” Really?

Did the left condemn these riots? No. They were completely silent. They labeled them “peaceful protests.” Media anger is selective. It only targets conservatives. It ignores what it wants to support.

Back to letters. If there is one letter than exemplifies the weakness of those who seek to take this country in the worst direction possible, it is “L.” Where is LOVE of country? LOVE of fellow man. Were is LOYALTY? Oh, they are loyal all right — to each other. But the deep love of America is nowhere to be seen — or heard.

All of us who shudder at what undoubtedly lies around the corner cannot remain silent. Silence is acceptance. We cannot turn the other way. If we do, we are no better than those on the left who stood by and watched those riots and said not a word.

Our voices are muffled by big tech. Big business, for all of its strong points, is a means of power. Just look at the entities that own our media. The crux of communism is the suppression of information. That is what we see today. Out only resource is Talk Radio, and just how long do you think the left will tolerate that? It sickens me to think what the FCC could do to what is left of free speech on the airwaves.

Only one entity is infallible. It is not man. It is God. When a nation turns against God, the result is not good. Not all of us have turned against God, but enough have to warrant a lot of attention. Churches allied with a national governing body have lost their independence. Politicized to a disgusting degree, the pulpit is not what it once was. People of faith are expendable to the left. We are much too risky to have around. We hold to the Ten Commandments.

Why not take a look at these basic rules for order and consider critically what has happened.

Read The Ten Commandments with the last election in mind.

Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.
The left seeks to replace God with government.

Thou shalt make no idols.
Lest I say more?

You shalt not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
What was that Obama said, “folks who cling to their religion….” ?

Keep the Sabbath day holy.
The left is doing its best to sabotage the Sabbath.

Honor your father and mother.
Now Pelosi and minions mandate that the very names themselves are off limits

You shall not steal.
Oops! The election again.

You shall not commit adultery.
… unless you are a Democrat.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
If we made a list of the false accusations against Donald Trump….

You shall not covet.
Ah, yes. Covet. That certainly applies to the Presidency and those Georgia Senate seats.

And so we have it. We are left to try to survive under a group of people hell bent (good term, huh?) to take over our lives and turn topsy turvy the beacon of hope known as America.

Take heart. A friend of mine offered a bit of wisdom, and it fits well to the situation in which we find ourselves.

Like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, we find ourselves in a fiery furnace. It matters not that we are in that fiery furnace. What matters is who is in there with us. If God be for us, then who can be against us?

286 December 9, 2020 “Two or More”

December 9th, 2020

IN DEFENSE OF COMMON SENSE
By Hetty Gray

# 286 – “Two or more…”

December 9, 2020

Monday was a seminal day in American history. That day, an unprovoked sneak attack on Pearl Harbor would launch the United States into World War II. Young men, some in their teens, lost their lives when the Empire of Japan struck on a sylvan Sunday morning in Hawaii. Pearl Harbor and Ford Field saw men and equipment fall as Japanese fighters pummeled both installations in hopes of crippling the American fleet in the Pacific.

For the first time in more than twenty years, I failed to file a column. It bothered me quite a bit, but something held me back. I didn’t realize just what until around two o’clock this morning. Now I know that my reticence was prompted by a larger goal than the annual column in response to the old familiar phrase, “Remember Pearl Harbor.”

My passion in education has always centered on political science. Honed in elementary school years, further polished in high school and inspired at Franklin College Yu Long Ling, a mainland-China born professor whose family fled to Taiwan before “The Cultural Revolution,” a man who had held high responsibility in Taiwan, a man who appreciated the United States far more than his students could imagine.

Looking back now in my middle 70s, I see even more clearly what for years, I and many others of my vintage and slightly younger, watched — our country sliding toward an abyss. The beginning of the Declaration of Independence, while strong in patriots, began to fade among others. Where our schools once consistently taught of the Founding Fathers and their immense sacrifice, we saw the decimation of such education replaced by a new form of idolatry — government. That love of country so instilled in us, was being supplanted by forces hell bent on destruction, but mindful that it could not be accomplished quickly. Hence, the consistent and malicious whittling away at the values that founded this nation.

If you think this is a new judgment, it is not. It dates back to less than fifty years after July 4, 1776.

America, founded and built by sheer effort and determination, inspired a visiting Frenchman, a crucible for democratic thought and critique. Heed Alexis DeTocqueville’s warnings. Heed them now.

The year was 1831. These are but a few of his quotes.

The Tyranny of the Majority

Tocqueville does not mean that the majority in a democracy will always act tyrannically, only that nothing can prevent it from so doing. He further argues that tendency to acquiesce in the rightness of majority opinion has negative long-term consequences on national character and culture.

The greatest danger Tocqueville saw was that public opinion would become an all-powerful force, and that the majority could tyrannize unpopular minorities and marginal individuals. I taught it in three sections, described below.

Lesson One. The Omnipotence of the Majority
In this lesson, students are introduced to Tocqueville’s argument about the “omnipotent” power of the majority in America and its consequences. After an initial statement that the “very essence” of democracy is majority rule, he contrasts the means by which state constitutions artificially increase the power of the majority with the U.S. Constitution, which checks that power.

Lesson Two. The Tyranny of the Majority
In this lesson, students continue their examination of Tocqueville’s argument about the power of the majority and its consequences. Having suggested previously that the majority can crush a minority without even hearing its screams, he elaborates on the dangers of unchecked and unlimited power in democratic America and how to deal with it.

Lesson Three. The Power of the Majority over Thought
In Tocqueville’s discussion of how the majority in America constrains freedom of thought, he makes some of the most extreme criticisms against democracy. For example, he says “I do not know any country where, in general, less independence of mind and genuine freedom of discussion reign than in America”; and, “there is no freedom of mind in America.”

The following quotes add more than meat to the outline. I challenge each of you readers to take time to ponder their content and then go back to your daily life without reflection. For me, it is impossible to do.

Alexis De Tocqueville on America

Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.

(If this does not harken to Donald J. Trump’s consistent message, I don’t know what does.)

Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.

The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.

(Consider the actions today’s Democratic Party.)

Society will develop a new kind of servitude which covers the surface of society with a network of complicated rules, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate. It does not tyrannize but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.

(Thank you, so-called educators. This is what you have done to our children.)

It is easier for the world to accept a simple lie than a complex truth.

Despotism often presents itself as the repairer of all the ills suffered, the support of just rights, defender of the oppressed, and founder of order.

(Again, this is precisely the mantra of today’s Democrat Party in America.)

The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults

I studied the Quran a great deal. I came away from that study with the conviction that by and large there have been few religions in the world as deadly to men as that of Muhammad. As far as I can see, it is the principal cause of the decadence so visible today in the Muslim world and, though less absurd than the polytheism of old, its social and political tendencies are in my opinion more to be feared, and I therefore regard it as a form of decadence rather than a form of progress in relation to paganism itself.

(Again, bear in mind this was from the 1800s, not after the Moorish invasion of Spain or Post-911.)

Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom…. The subjection of individuals will increase amongst democratic nations, not only in the same proportion as their equality, but in the same proportion as their ignorance.

(The need for actual history being taught — our weakness for decades.)

As for me, I am deeply a democrat; this is why I am in no way a socialist. Democracy and socialism cannot go together. You can’t have it both ways. Socialism is a new form of slavery.

(And what has the Democratic Party done for blacks in this country? Look at their voting records. They blocked legislation at every turn, supported segregation in schools, espoused Jim Crow laws, and would have stopped the Civil Rights Bill in its tracks had not Republicans stepped up and voted it into law. Tell me, have our government teachers taught that in classrooms? )

I do not know if the people of the United States would vote for superior men if they ran for office, but there can be no doubt that such men do not run.

(Donald Trump is such a man.)

When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness.

Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.

(Label faith as a weakness. Close the houses of worship, open bars, abortion clinics and marijuana, and crush small business while big business continues unchecked.)

Any measure that establishes legal charity on a permanent basis and gives it an administrative form thereby creates an idle and lazy class, living at the expense of the industrial and working class.

(And so we have the social programs pushed by the left, stoked by the specter of victimization — no individual effort encouraged whatsoever….)

Upon my arrival in the United States the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention; and the longer I stayed there, the more I perceived the great political consequences resulting from this new state of things. In France, I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom marching in opposite directions. But in America I found they were intimately united and that they reigned in common over the same country.

And so, readers, we come to the present. Faith is the crux of our nation. It remains the strong foundation from which this amazing country came. Are we now to stand aside and allow those who attack it to win?

There is a time to pause and a time to fight. These are fighting times. But what is our weapon?

While some may judge it trite, the answer is prayer. Years ago, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, born in El Paso, Illinois, was a familiar figure on early television. He had a huge audience and viewers did not separate him out because he was Catholic. His goodness and intelligence shone forth in every airing of his program.

He warned of what we see now. What’s more, he gave us guidance and direction for what we could do.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Founded on God, America still has a chance. Please heed Bishop Sheen’s warning. God hears prayers. Now is the time for each of us to pray. In times of trouble, God is the only resource. Seek him out. Pray for America.

I end with Matthew 18:20

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. American King James Version For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the middle of them.

Now is not the time to “think about it.” Now is the time to do it.

285 The “In” Crowd

November 18th, 2020

IN DEFENSE OF COMMON SENSE
By Hetty Gray

November 19, 2020

# 285 The “In” crowd.

I remember, do you? I remember when love of country was widespread. I remember when movies were wholesome and uplifting. I remember when the male lead in a play or a movie (when not a villain) was kind, protective of women and children and aspired to a strong work ethic. I remember when marriage was the accepted societal foundation from which to bring a child into the world. I remember when America saw her churches crowded on the Sabbath. I remember when Sundays were set aside for family gatherings and a break from the work week. Aside from health professionals and other workers whose jobs required Sunday hours, Sunday was a day of rest.

I remember when….

Times have changed. Advancements in medicine and science have come “light years” since the 1960s when I was a teenager. Job descriptions morphed into acronyms. If you said IT to someone when I was growing up, they would shake their heads. IT? What would that have meant? It is so easy to summon help today. Not too many years ago, the only to get help if you were on the road would have been to find a pay phone or a business. Poor Clark Kent. Superman would have a hard time finding an acceptable changing place in the age of cell phones. A few pay phones still exist, but they are mounted on poles and not enclosed. I guess Superman would fare better in England. I just love those bright red British phone booths.

It is great to use all the new gadgets that our grandchildren take for granted but ones that still inspire a sense of awe among senior citizens. A trip to the movies can involve a short walk from the kitchen to the family room and a click of a button. This virus situation could spell closures of countless movie theaters. Sad for a lot of people who work in those places.

Being up-to-date and savvy is challenging, but many of us have adapted to the new phones and video recorders with relative easy. We are “in” with that realm of technology.

But there is another “in” crowd. This category of people is one that boggles the mind. They have a world view so far away from that of traditional Americans so familiar to my generation.

Their mindset has been on full display over the past three and half years. Launched into a mad orbit of criticism once Donald Trump won the Republican nomination, their animosity exploded like a Saturn 5 rocket on the launchpad once Trump was elected and inaugurated. Nothing was beyond their scope, not their “cooked up” Russia collusion or any of their other attendant accusations. Devoid of solid ideas, their attack mechanisms are aimed at destroying the reputations of anyone opposed to them.

Allied with today’s Democratic Party we broadcast media and Silicon Valley. That should alarm anyone, considering the power of both groups. No longer are the main networks owned by individuals but are controlled by large corporations with no base in journalism. That shouldn’t be a surprise, considering how they conduct themselves. While some areas of our economy may thrive with big businessmen, media that should focus on the public good has become an outlet to showcase both sides of major issues. Clearly, that is not the case. All Americans that get their news from the major networks have been shortchanged and hoodwinked by media.

What terms describe the “in” crowd?

Intolerant – of conservatives, or God forbid, Republicans!

Incestuous – strong ties to mainstream media
Incompetent – not properly suited or well-qualified to the purpose
Inconsiderate – no regard for others
Indebted – to the elite and big tech (Money talks!)
Inept – unsuitable
Infamous – having an exceedingly bad reputation
Infuriating – inciting anger
Inhuman – lacking kindness or pity (support abortion, even to newborns)
Inofficous– contrary to moral duty
Insatiate – never satisfied
Insidious – treacherous
Insipid – unpalatable
Insolent – arrogant, presumptuous
Intemperate – not moderate
Intentional – deliberate (and how!)
Intolerable – unbearable
Inurbane –rude
Invective –abuse characterized by insult
Invidious – inciting ill will, offensive

They would like to be
Indomitable – incapable of being overcome, subdued or vanquished
Invulnerable – immune to attack
Inviolate – intact

If America pays attention, they will never achieve in those terms.

Instead, their epitaph should be:
Inmates – residents of a prison

My 2 cents’ worth? Indefensible!
In Memoriam – the Democratic Party

Think about it.

283 “Backward Glance, Forward Chance?”

November 11th, 2020

IN DEFENSE OF COMMON SENSE
By Hetty Gray

November 7, 2020

# 283 “Backward Glance, Forward Chance?”

I know readers note that I have not posted a column on my website in an inordinately long time. The last was July 4th, and a month from today will be December 7th. Both dates conjure up the role of the military and the importance of the mettle of which Americans have been known since its founding. Even more rare is the fact that I file a column on a Sunday. However, considering my continuing prayers over the last three weeks, it seems logical.

It’s been about thirty years since I taught government at the collegiate level. Even then I recognized a gross lack of civics education among my students, the majority of which were juniors. Now that meant that it had been six years since any one of them had been in an eighth grade social studies class.

My foundation in American history and government was honed early on by Ray Beck at Thomas A. Hendricks Elementary school. He introduced us to the mechanics of elections and tried to impart the critical nature of how votes matter. Moreover, he told us that voters should expect performance from elected officials much as fans and coaches expect it from athletes.

I did my best to bring my college students up to speed. They were all old enough to vote, and some had done so. Sadly, most had not. They simply didn’t see the value in it. Apart from ignoring the precious right that Americans have, their ignorance of their responsibility in the process was glaring indeed.

One day, years earlier when teaching a high school senior government class, I had all the students pull of billfolds and purses and write their names on painter’s tape before dropping them in to a barrel at the front of the classroom. I beheld befuddled expressions and — to a person — one could envision a balloon enclosing a question mark above each head, just as one would see in a cartoon.

I was teaching how Congress was apportioned in the House of Representatives. If you have ever seen the mathematical equation that goes into that, you might be taken aback. It’s long and complicated.

I wrote out the equation and how it related to Indiana. Then I made a statement that really lit a fire under those teenagers. I asked them what they would think if I took a good percentage of their money and did precisely as I pleased with it, leaving them no input at all in how I spent it.

You can imagine the reaction. My point was that when an American does not vote, then he or she has no right to complain how the government sees fit to spend their money. It was interesting to hear their comments. Some had heard taxes discussed at home, but they hadn’t put it in the context of spending without any oversight.

Back to the campus. My junior students were ill-equipped to understand the basics of how elections work and the responsibility of being an informed voter. If you know anything about sheep, then you understand that they will follow the leader even it if over a cliff to sudden death. Blind allegiance to any group is just as bad — and extremely dangerous when applied to political affiliation.

I never espoused either major party, but I gave one warning that should be familiar to you. I told them that elected officials could serve interminably short of losing an election. As you know members of the U. S. House of Representatives stand for election every two years. The Senate has a six-year term, but not all U. S. Senators stand for election at the same time. Some governors serve for however many terms their states allow. Presidents serve for four years but are limited to two terms. The exception was a third term for Franklin Delano Roosevelt who led America during World War II. Since then, the law has changed. Now two terms are the maximum for the highest office in the land.

After explaining the ruminations of the election process, I gave them a warning. If I were to guess, some of them witnessed my description since 2016. What did I tell them?

You have less to fear from elected officials, even up to and including the presidency, than from the undergirding bureaucracy. People who work in that realm often serve for decades. My bottom line was, and is, that bureaucrats consider all elected officials — including the president — “part time help.” You see, they come and go. The bureaucracy, on the other hand, equates to President Ronald Reagan’s description of eternal life. He said that the closest thing to eternal life in America is a government program. Well, who do you think runs those programs?

We have shortchanged at least two generations of our students by not teaching them the amazing story of America and her founding. I shudder to think what those hardy, battle-ready patriots would think if they could witness what we see in America today.

Free and fair elections should be the hallmark of our country. Voter ID is only common sense. (Oh, I forgot Common Sense died and her children, logic and reason, are in critical condition!) The franchise is envied worldwide.

Do we value it so little that we refuse to enforce even the bare minimum of standards? Do we turn aside after seeing poll workers expel observers to one party (with cheers, by the way) and cover windows to block anyone’s view?

If we can put a rover on Mars, I maintain that we can standardize the voting procedures for the nation and put an end to voter fraud. Ah, yes. It is out there, throwing a dark, menacing shadow across the specter of Alexander Hamilton with tears in his eyes. All he fought for, all many of his fellow patriots died for, is taken so lightly as to make a joke of it. This not a game. This is the life and death of an entire nation.

What has happened to our news agencies in this country is a travesty. The only time you can witness a “free press” is if your local dry cleaner offers it as a special or a bonus for patronage.

The investigative reporter is an endangered species. He or she exists in a number of smaller forums, but — overall — the fourth estate has abandoned its role as arbiter of truth and adopted loyalty to a single political party.

How can we expect our young people to value the franchise if they do not even understand how it was purchased with blood and treasure of countless Americans?

I lay the blame for this pitiful lack of knowledge to educators and teachers’ unions who teach a vacuous form of history — a recitation lacking the energy and enthusiasm that imparts love of country. Yes, not only have many Americans no love of country, but they also have no love for their fellow man.

Pity the nation that goes down the path that lies before us. We open abortion clinics, liquor stores and gambling halls and close down churches. We allow doctors and nurses to kill babies within the womb — innocent souls, innocent people — who cannot defend themselves.

There are those among us who push for sanctuary cities and states where felons are protected and the public is put at risk. And open borders? How long do you think any form of government social programs will last when buried under unbelievable numbers of illegals?

What is most distressing is that had Americans been taught to love their country, respect its traditions, encouraged to adopt a strong work ethic and take voting seriously, the results would not even been close. It would have been a landslide for freedom of the individual and as little government involvement as absolutely necessary!

Moreover, this election was more than a choice between two men and two parties. This election was a clear choice between good and evil. This is a good country. Nobody can convince me otherwise. My grandmother taught me a great deal. One of her lessons shines yet today. Totty told me that the devil never comes ugly. No, he is bedecked in ribbons and flowers, offering all manner of rewards if you follow him.

Who know what the ongoing legal actions will bring. I think many of us have witnessed a great deal of chicanery with no punishment. We need to see change. We need a “sea change” to expose wrongdoing, punish the offenders and reward putting the country first. With regard to punishment, it’s not the severity of the punishment that it paramount, it’s the certainty of it.

To my chagrin, and that of untold numbers of Americans, he continues to recruit. A friend sent me a quote today, and in addition to one of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, it is very germane.

It in from a time gone by, a time when one civilization led the world in knowledge, power, and military might.

Take heed and then think about what is happening in America today.

“Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adores him and rejoiced in his path and given him triumphal processions… Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the “wonderful new good society” which shall now be Rome’s — interpreted to mean ‘more money, more easy, more security, and more living fatly at the expense of the industrious.”

Cicero

Reflect on this election. 2020 is supposed to mean “vision.” Think about it.