Art Should Reveal Uncomfortable Truths

To Kill a Mockingbird book cover

by Oletta Branstiter Should art be created to make us feel comfortable? The school district in Biloxi, Mississippi recently decided to eliminate To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, from the 8th-grade reading list. The reason? “Language in the book makes some people uncomfortable.” Was the complaint based on the historical and contextual use of the word “nigger”? Or was it more insidious? Do the objections reflect the same lack of understanding that led to the banning of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain?…

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Trump’s Malignant Normality And The Historical Precursors

photo of Trump rally attendees

by Tony Wyman Malignant Normality and the rise of Donald Trump The effect of Donald Trump’s election as President of the United States has been to create a state of what Dr. Robert Jay Lifton, psychiatrist and author of studies on the psychological effects of war and political violence, calls “malignant normality.” We’ve seen, over the period that Mr. Trump has maintained his position of prominence on the American stage, a gradual and begrudging acceptance of the president’s crude and belligerent treatment of others, from foreign leaders to fellow Americans,…

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National Unity Rests On Pillars Of Principle

Pillars representing five styles of architecture

by Oletta Branstiter Unity rests on the strength of our Principles. When I teach Our Nation’s Foundations to 5th and 6th graders, I create a huge graphic on a Library wall that includes metaphorical representations of our Republic. My purpose is to portray our nation’s government founded on solid ground and strong ideological support. My hope is that these lessons will inspire unity on those principles so that the next generation will work to restore our Constitutional Republic.   The bottom layer of Bedrock represents the Natural Law of our…

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Trump’s Ethnic Nationalism is Not the Same as Reagan’s Civic Nationalism

US_Navy Aerial_view_of_the_Washington_Monument

by Tony Wyman Trump’s Ethnic Nationalism America’s last nationalist president was Ronald Reagan, but there was a stark difference between the nationalism of the country’s 40th and 45th presidents. In 1980, when the country elected Ronald Reagan president by a 51% to 41% margin, America was reeling from the failures of the Carter Administration. Soaring unemployment, the humiliation of the Iranian hostage crisis and the resultant military catastrophe during our attempt to rescue them, the decline in American prestige around the world and an overarching sense of pessimism about the…

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Why Did Christopher Columbus Set Sail in 1492? Perhaps Because He Was A Jew.

by Oletta Branstiter Indigenous People’s Day Congratulations, Denver, Berkeley, Santa Cruz, Los Angeles and dozens of other cities. You’ve jumped onto the politically correct bandwagon and replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day. Would these city council members have preferred that explorers just stay home? Do they wish Columbus and his entourage had stayed in Spain? By focusing on the negative narratives of “New World” discoveries, these cities are furthering a narrative that continues a history of prejudice, in more ways than one. Italian Americans have expressed their opposition to…

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Renewing National Unity By Restoring Reliance On Providence

George Washington in prayer

by Oletta Branstiter What happened To National Unity? Remember how united we were after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001? What happened? In sixteen short years – less than a generation – we’ve lost our fundamental fellowship. The first blow to our unity in the aftermath of this tragedy was the administration of Barrack Hussein Obama. He spent too much time and effort sowing and nurturing seeds of racial division. His negative pronouncements denied the very cultural achievements that procured the election of a President with African-American heritage. As…

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Our Nation’s Foundations – Lesson Seven: Free Enterprise Capitalism

Store front mural of "Mr Money Bags" - the iconic character of the Monopoly Game

by Oletta Branstiter Our Nation’s Foundations – Lesson Seven: Free Enterprise By now, if you’ve been “building” a wall graphic or virtual computer graphic representing Our Nation’s Foundations, your picture includes the bottom layer of “Bedrock” – The Natural Law of Unalienable Rights, “Bricks” – The Rule of Law in a Republic, the first Four “Pillars” of Principle: Limited Government, Individual Liberty, Personal Responsibility, and National Security. Our final Pillar of Principle is Free Enterprise. Add another pillar and let students place summary notes on the graphic. Let’s Make a…

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Are We Just Putting Off The Inevitable In Afghanistan?

An Australian service light armored vehicle drives through Tangi Valley, Afghanistan, March 29. The terrain of Tangi Valley is notoriously rough, but the ASLAV maneuvers across it with ease, said Australian army Lt. McLeod Wood, a troop leader for 2nd Cavalry Regiment, Mentoring Task Force 2, Combined Team Uruzgan.

by Tony Wyman After campaigning on the pledge to pull all American troops from Afghanistan, President Trump reversed course in August and announced a new plan that, essentially, continued President Obama‘s strategy, with one major change. That change, putting pressure on the Taliban‘s sponsor, Pakistan, is a major course correction from the Obama Administration’s failed strategy that allowed the Taliban to resurge in the mountainous country. But will it succeed? In the president’s first major foreign policy address of his time in office, delivered on August 21, he committed the…

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Our Nation’s Foundations – Lesson Five: Personal Responsibility

Faith, Hope, Charity stones

by Oletta Branstiter Personal Responsibility Now, it’s time to consider Personal Responsibility. This is our third pillar of principle. Duplicate your pillars to make a third. Let students add note cards with summarized information from this lesson. Our Founders and Framers knew that no government ruled by We the People could be successful unless every person took responsibility for his or her own actions. Be accountable for your own decisions. Have family rules that benefit the entire family unit. Be a good neighbor – a valuable citizen in your local…

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Where Did Real Men Go? Women; The Blame is Partially Yours

direction signs one point right (strength) the other pointing opposite left (weakness)

 J. Lee Where Did Real Men Go? What happened? I want to stress this story is not an attempt to bash men. In fact, this story also addresses the woman’s movement who is equally responsible. I don’t think men are 100% at fault, because women have done their part in role confusion. Society has hit a crossroad of extreme gender confusion. Some men have lost their masculinity and some women have lost their femininity. Traditional roles have been replaced with uncertainty. We have lost harmony and balance between male and female…

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