Dear President Trump – We Need More Youth Rallies

I have watched with great interest your ability get work done, move forward, and most of all, your ability to present your ideas at your rallies. It is the strength of the success of it all that causes the opposition to be concerned to the point of hate.

I’d like to suggest that a series of rallies with our young people would be the most productive way to instill a sense of patriotism in our young. I watched the Teen Student Action Summit on July 23rd where you were speaking.The enthusiasm of the young people was equal to that of the people at your regular rallies. I’m sure many of the other wonderful speakers had similar exciting responses. We need more such commanding opportunities for our young. Our young people need an opportunity to be excited about their heritage, their founders, their great founding documents and the blessings they have from their Creator to live in this most unique place, the United States of America.

There needs to be a counter to what the schools have done to the students relative to our values, our documents, our founders, and even to their opportunities. It occurred to me as I watched the interaction between you and the young people at this youth rally that we could bypass the indoctrination and transformation of our educational system and go directly with an injection of truth to our young. In my book, America First Again, I tried desperately to transmit the necessity for a new brand of patriotism in our country. During my nearly century of observation and my many decades as a professional educator including 22 years on a local school board, I have found that the wheels of change in our institution are glacially slow. Believe me I know, I have been a part of it for decades.

Mr. President, we need to move more like a tsunami. We need to be bold, big and energetic to recapture our youth. I have written a book titled, Reclaiming Education, but that does not capture what you can produce in a few rallies and youth action summits. The excitement, energy, spirit and soul that would come from these rallies and action summits would instill truth and patriotism to help remove the years of negative indoctrination from our educational system, the media and general bias in our culture. We need that special spirit of 76 again. Believe me, I know how difficult it is to change education. The transformers have done it over years; they knew that they had to own education and eliminate religion. They have been far too successful with both. I believe a series of rallies with our youth would be a most amazing and a productive way to help us recapture a new generation.

With the acknowledgement of Divine Guidance still available to us, I believe it can happen.

With great respect and gratitude for all that you are doing,

Sylvia

Grandma Tucker

Discrimination Exists in Areas Other Than Color

Today’s news is full of thoughts and comments about “discrimination.” The current squad, for instance, uses freely “women of color,” the term “racist,” “white privilege,” etc. It is all full of hate. No effort is made to build bridges to each other. The rhetoric is designed to gain power or privilege, not understanding. From almost a century perspective, let me share some of my experiences. Discrimination feels the same no matter what the species, but it doesn’t make it necessarily racist.

Let me tell you what my heart has endured…

I was called a “hayseed,” a kid from the country, which was meant to be a put down from town kids. Yet, I excelled in sports and academics in high school.

I was just 21 when I was told that I was too young to be an officer in the U.S. Navy. I proudly served as a Naval officer in World War II.

I was told that I was too honest to be a politician when I ran for State Superintendent of Public Instruction in California in 1970.

I was told that I was “too old” to start a doctoral program in psychology at UCLA when I was just 40. I finished my Doctorate in education in 1964.

I was told that I couldn’t be a Dean of Students at UC Riverside (I was only allowed to be Dean of Women) in the mid-sixties because I was a woman. 

I was told that I couldn’t be a Director of Upward Bound and work with black students because, “I was not only a woman but also white.”  I was then the Director at UC Riverside.

I was told, sometimes subtly and sometimes blatantly, that I could not be a Dean of Graduate Studies in response to several applications that I made for that job because I was a woman. At the time, I was Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Cincinnati.

At a school board meeting I was told, “You are old. You forget things, and can’t talk.” I served on a local school board for 22 years until I was 97. It was a pure, unadulterated case of age discrimination. It had all the earmarks of discrimination.

I am so blessed to be able to write, speak, read, and most of all think. For their own reasons, the person tries to put you in their mind-box. When you refuse to crawl in with them, their anger and efforts to make you fit the stereotype they have assigned is palpable.

I have been fortunate to live in USA where arrows to the heart do not have to destroy who you have been created to be. Yes, even at 98, discriminatory arrows of being Old in Age still feel the same as any other discrimination I’ve experienced.

In spite of arrows of discrimination, I can look at the rainbows on my ceiling and see the promise of tomorrow. I can walk by the orange trees and cherish the fragrance and know what those blossoms will become. I can check out the dome of blue above, the songs of the birds, the breezes in the palms and go on serving and trying to make a difference in someone’s life. I am grateful for it all. 

 

Is the U.S. Exceptional?

Yes! Definitely! You Bet! Absolutely! Without Question!

Start by asking yourself a question. How could so young a nation have become what we have become, and how could such an upstart do all that we have done in such a short period of time if we were not exceptional? Our history is minute in time in comparison with some other countries, yet we have done so much. Being exceptional doesn’t make you better than others; it makes you different with different gifts and different responsibilities. And we are different, or at least we were at our inception. So what makes us so different?

Our Founders were very special people. They created a new nation that would have a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Many leaders and nations claim this, but our Founders did it. They created founding documents that could correct the evils they had experienced with government interactions with its people, and documents that would assure the  “of, by, and for.” They understood the nature of human beings and the temptations and foibles that accompany power. They understood the corruption that often follows power. They created a system of checks and balances. They meant to have a citizen government; unfortunately, we have nearly come to have a government of political professionals.

They created a Bill of Rights, a set of guarantees that would assure liberty and freedom for all its citizens then and now. They could not possibly have created what they created if they had not been futurists as well as realists. They did everything that they could to secure for the generations to follow what they fought and died for. These founding documents were not fashioned from thin air. A look at the governments of the various colonial states tell much about the breeding ground for the thoughts, deliberations, and actions of these incredible men. And they did all of this at their own peril and the peril of their families.

Think about this. Our founding is unique. It is exceptional. No nation before or since our founding has been given governing documents like those  that created our republic. Our Founders knew this was a job bigger than all of them. That’s why they acknowledged the presence of Divine Guidance. They knew that they had to have their God in the middle of the circle. So many of the principles and values found in early governing documents came from their strong Christian heritage, from their Bible. That’s how we became “the shining city on the hill.”

The light of that “city” is what makes us exceptional. We are willing to share that light. That’s why we try to shine the light of freedom, even in the most difficult of circumstances. We fight and die for our freedom and the freedom of others. We believe our rights come from our Creator, not our government. We believe in small, citizen government. We believe in limited government. We believe in hard work, self-responsibility, honesty and integrity, in serving and helping those in need, in being frugal, and in individual rights. And so much more.

We are exceptional. Not better than, but exceptional. Others saying it is not so does not change that. Only we can make us not exceptional by forgetting what makes us exceptional or destroying what keeps us exceptional.

“Send Her Back”

I don’t want to “send her back.” I want her to appreciate the many opportunities that this great country, which I love, has provided to her. I want her to love this country that has allowed her to become a congresswoman. For 98 years I have enjoyed the fruits of my founders; I have enjoyed the freedom given to me by the constitution and our founding documents. I was born wrapped in the red, white, and blue of our magnificent flag.

Perhaps a return visit to the two places she left would be a stark reminder of why she became an refugee. As an educator for decades, I wonder how someone who has achieved what she has can seemingly hate this country so much. Behavior and words need to match in this respect. Wanting to transform this country to a place for “opportunities that exist for all” denies recognition of the opportunities that she has been given and used freely.

What other country in the world would this be possible? To rise from refugee status to a member of one of our deliberative bodies, the “House of Representatives.” What other country in the world would allow her make the comments she is making about her new land? No, I don’t want to “send her back,” I want her to appreciate one of the reasons for our founding, religious freedom. I want her to appreciate her ability to follow her faith as I have been able to do. I want her to feel wrapped in the flag. No, I don’t want to “send her back,” I want her to share all the positive things that have happened to her in this great land. Surely she must know deep inside that this divinely guided experiment, this awesome Republic, is one of a kind. It is unique. I want her to tell the world, including the countries from which she fled, what this great land provides for all of its citizens and so many others. Most certainly it has been provided to her in a short period of time. No, I don’t want to “send her back,” I just want her to be as grateful as I am for all this country means, all it represents and all of its values.

I have been questioning how someone can become so absolute and sure of her philosophical base in such a short amount of time. What other country does freedom ring to the extent that this would be possible?

My almost-century perspective has allowed me to experience all the positive things and also things I have worked extremely hard to change. I know that unless we retain the principles and practices of our founding and live through our founding documents that our country will be something quite different. Unless we remain one nation indivisible under God with liberty and justice for all, we will our lose freedom.

God’s Creations Revisited

I want to share with you a document I wrote when I had nearly-full sight and had the mobility to walk greater distances. Now I cannot see some of the things I talk about in the article below; I do not take the extensive walks I used to take, but as I reread about God’s creations and the magic palate, I found that I was just as grateful now with the memories as I was when I first experienced them. Now let me share with you what I experienced in May 2014. The beauty is the same; I see it differently.

What a beautiful day. The walk to the end of the driveway is always an adventure. It is one I take everyday in my trek around the house. While it is the same driveway, the walk is always different. The blossoms are at a different state in their journey. The birds and their songs are different at different hours; their flight patterns vary with the tasks of the hour. The palm fronds are greeting the sky in different ways as they meet the morning breezes. The sun greets me at a different angle. The shadows cast their magic with the path of the sun. The breezes say hello with a gentle brush across my face.

            The sky is its own study each morning. This morning it is a blue dome with white, fleecy clouds covering it like a white lace covering a blue tablecloth. Yesterday it was a beautiful, clear, blue dome. The silhouette of the palm fronds against the blue is an impressive piece of nature’s artistry. The mountains across the valley stand majestically as they lend their beauty to the horizon.

            The yellow iris proudly present themselves as they add their beauty to the scene; it seems each is proclaiming it is the perfect blossom. The  bronze day lilies vie for attention as they stand among the iris. Nature mixes in the red, pink, and rose colors of the geraniums that trail along the driveway and sometimes climb the palm trees. God’s artistry creates amazing pieces of art in nature.

            As I proceed around the house, I can smell the last vestiges of the perfume of the orange blossoms; they are rapidly pursuing their journey. In a few days there will be little green nubbins, the first sign of the next piece of their destiny. They, too, will soon mirror the mature fruit left on the trees. An orange tree, like so much of nature, is a beauty to behold. And how magical when you can see the evolution day by day. How can one not be grateful?

            I never cease to be amazed as I turn the corner. I leave the fragrance of the orange blossoms; I know in just a few feet the roses will start  to share their varied perfumes. They have to share their beauty with the vastness of the view across the valley. As I look across the valley, the avocado trees in the foreground add the incredible greenness of their foliage to the scene. But in a few more steps, the roses send out their calling cards. A rose is something special. And each of the many that I have sends its individual greeting card. The beauty of the buds, the fullness of the blossom, the attempt of each petal to last as long as possible–all magic. The colors an variety are unbelievable.

            And that’s just some of the plants. Now add the glory of a hawk, the pride pace of a road-runner, the scamper of a ground squirrel. or the tail of a rabbit scurrying away. The sound of the music from the many birds that love their nests in my palm trees, add the symphony to the scene. Even the crows add their base notes to the sound.

                 How could I not be grateful enough to understand that tomorrow my walk will be looking at another artistic rendering of God’s magnificent creations? I hope your grateful walk today was as beautiful as mine.

Continuing College Woes – Debt, Irrelevancy, Entitlement, Etc.,

As I looked across the countryside from my patio. I marveled at the beauty. How could a country girl from Iowa be so fortunate? Somehow my mind went back to the first school I attended on the Sand Cove, a country school near New Albin,Iowa. I was just four, but I didn’t know I was too young for the first grade. I loved it. I found a gold mine. I had a teacher and big kids to answer my many questions about my world.

I rather quickly traversed my early school experiences; my teacher’s faces had the same smiles; the wonder of the books and maps and the globe was still vivid; I could place my finger on the globe and dream. All held memories of excitement. High school in Lansing, Iowa, where my coach, Eddie Albertson, and the other wonderful teachers worked their magic, was small. The superintendent had a sign in his small office that read: There is always room at the top. It just added confirmation to what I already knew. I wasn’t staying on the bottom rung of any ladder–my own or any ladder placed in front of me.

And then I went to college. What an opportunity. I had no money; I had no job. I certainly did not have a college wardrobe. I didn’t have any idea what that might even be. But I never allowed those facts to cloud my screen of opportunity. I had the most important ingredient. I had faith. I did not have to see the entire path before I took the first step. And my experience and heritage taught me that hard work produced answers to dreams.

My mental journey stopped. I was back in the reality of today. I listened to the news while I was eating my breakfast. There were the college audiences gathered to hear the campaign rhetoric. These young voters are being trained better each year to believe that a college education is their right. But that’s not where the entitlement stops. They want grants. When there are no grants available, they are convinced that they are entitled to loans. They are convinced that the money they borrow is a good investment for their future. They get deeper and deeper in debt. Each loan, they think, will get them closer to the pay-off of their investment.

Colleges set a great table of choices; students can feast at the table no matter the cost since most are not spending their money. Tuition costs have risen sharply. College debt of students has become enormous. Young people finish a degree or two or even the terminal degree for a profession, and find themselves with staggering debt. They remove their cap and gown, say goodbye to their college buddies, and head out to collect on their investment. They have the piece of paper that says they’re ready. And maybe they are, but for what decade.

Educators have a thing about relevancy. We spend vast sums of money to make curriculum relevant for our students. But somehow while we fiddle with the same set of stuff, we haven’t noticed that the music is the same. We have the same disciplines in our colleges, the same teaching methods, the same kinds of classroom, and professors with tenure and their disciplines to protect to keep it that way. I hate to say this, because I love books and I have a lot of them, but our libraries are filled with books that will never be used again.

But back to our college students who are campaign targets. So far what I have heard is what they are entitled to have, including current talk of forgiving student loans. They are being trained to become permanent members of the culture of entitlement.

I want to hear some talk about students being responsible for their choices. I want to hear some straight talk about jobs. Tell them to be careful about their choices; check the economy. Tell them to ask the professor or advisor who is recommending  college majors to them, to give them the name of five recent grads of the program so they can check out where they work and what their pay is. Tell them to keep track of technology. Ask the young people who graduated in the last couple of years what the future holds for them. Ask them if the field they chose has any relevancy in this decade. Ask them if they need the expensive degree they have to do the job they are doing. And what about parents who held two jobs so their kids could get not only an irrelevant education but also were probably taught values that are contrary to parental values and to our founding principles.

In the past couple of years, I have talked with so many of my friends who have children or grandchildren with expensive college educations who are working for minimum wages in retail or fast food places. They have no chance to pay off their debt  with minimum wage.They feel cheated, deceived, and discouraged. Their hope is for change.

Don’t misunderstand me. I still believe in the value of a college education. And I have respect for the degrees people earn; I am proud of my doctorate from UCLA.  And if someone wants to study one of the great disciplines for enjoyment and knowledge, that’s great  But if they hope that their education is directly job-related, there needs to be more “truth in lending,” and colleges and universities need to have more job-relevant majors. If colleges and universities are to exist in the future, they must serve this generation and the generations of the future rather than the tenured professors who occupy their hallowed halls. I mean no disrespect for those many great and noble professors at our universities; I was a tenured professor at major universities. But I truly believe that our colleges and universities must become relevant, and they must be totally honest about how they fit into the future of this great republic.

Trumped by Trump Who Couldn’t Win

The election of Trump was not possible, the transformers thought. This political novice could not win. He was not schooled in the political process.

This television celebrity and New York businessman was clearly outmatched by the Clinton and Obama schooled and well-funded machines. They pretended to  be of the people and for the people. The astounding and unexpected outcomes proved otherwise. Donald Trump was elected as the man who really cared about the people.

 He cares about their lost jobs, their declining life style, the fewer dollars they had in their pockets, the drugs on their streets and the lack of assimilation of new immigrants. They believed that he cares about our military people and our veterans. They believed that he cared about our laws and those who enforce them. He talked directly to the people. He turned out to be the candidate most willing and most skilled with new technology. He used the social media. He fooled all the pundits; successful predictors of elections were not even off track; they were in the bushes.

President Trump speaks of our Heritage. He speaks of our Founders and their founding principles and their belief in Divine Guidance in the founding or our republic. He openly invokes the blessings of our Creator. He believes that our rights come from that Creator and not from our government.

He believes in smaller government; he wants to drain the swamp in Washington D.C. He has signed executive orders that will help veterans to be assured of better care, create greater energy dependence, and reduced regulations that have been intruding in our personal and professional lives. His actions continue to give more power back to the people; that is what our Founders intended; it is what they pledged their all to create. Their very lives were in jeopardy when they gathered on that Hot Philadelphia day to sign our Declaration of Independence. So many of our young and old do not know when it was signed, or certainly they have no idea of the fifty-six brave men who risked it all to give us the freedom we enjoy, abuse and in so many ways do not understand.

Our fight and founding for religious tolerance has been turned upside down. It has been used to create “tolerance” for all other religions and a lack of tolerance and respect for our Christian Heritage. Our country was founded on tolerance of various Christian differences. We still have vestiges of those difference in our various states.

The transformers have been eminently successful up to now. I have hope that we have not slipped over into the abyss of diminishing freedoms. I see our President invoking the blessing of our Creator. I see him fighting again for many of our founding values and principles. I see the work to make America First, Again.  I see a President who is proud of our Heritage and potential. I see a President acting with strength and energy to return our country to We the People.

The transformers have gained too much. They have shown that they are well funded by those who would destroy who we are and what we stand for. As we fight to help people become more independent and self-reliant, they will fight for more free things and entitlement rights. As we fight to live by the rule of law, they will fight to create chaos, even violence. As we fight to return power to the people, the transformers will fight for bigger government on all levels. As we fight for an educational system that is locally controlled  and is awe inspiring and creatively individualistic, they will fight for federal control, especially through the money channels.

As we continue to restore the manger scenes to our Christmas pageants and city and community displays, the few who disagree will find company with the transformers.  As we fight to make certain that the pulpit in our churches and synagogues stand as beacons of religious freedom and not bastions for “social justice”–code words for so many intolerant attitudes about marriage, gender, race, ethnicity, abortion, and so many others. But perhaps, most of all, Christian attitudes about real social justice.

I have watched all of these happenings. I just finished my sixth term on a local school board, believe it or not. I live in a small rural community; but it’s not like small towns of most of my life. I watched the mighty Mississippi roll by my small town–Lansing, Iowa. The mighty Mississippi still rolls by unaware of Moore’s Law (overall processing power of computers will double every two years) and the tremendous advances in technology. So much is the same; so much has changed.   

When I did my doctoral work at UCLA, the computer I was privileged to use filled the room. Not all of that and much more is on a smart phone. The source of all of this information is in the “cloud.” Will our humanity be able to change enough to “catch up” to the pace of technological change. Will robots be making decisions for us or  will we be telling the robots what to do?

Excerpt from America First, Again Second Edition – Chapter titled “Trumped 2017”

The Signers- 56 Brave Men

It was on July 4, 1776, that the church bells finally started to ring over Philadelphia. The Declaration of Independence had been adopted. There had been much secrecy surrounding the meetings of the brave souls who risked everything, including the charge of treason, to be in that room that day.

The 56 men were lawyers, pastors, merchants, physicians, and farmers. There was a printer, a musician, an inventor, and more. They were men going about their lives, fulfilling their dreams, and playing with their children. Then, as now, lawyers made up the largest group; there were 24. Pennsylvania had the most signers with nine. Benjamin Franklin was the oldest; he was 70. John Rutherford was the youngest; he was 26. Eight were born in Europe.

John Hancock’s signature is the largest and most prominent. He was the first to sign and the signature rests in its own white space. The name became synonymous with “signature.” “Give me your John Hancock,” or “Put your John Hancock here,” means your signature. His signature was as flamboyant as was his reported life style.

Have you ever wondered what the derivation of “gerrymandering” is? I have, but I never have taken the time to find out. When I read the short biographies of the signers this week, I learned so many interesting things. Among the signers was Eldridge Gerry, a man from Massachusetts. Eldridge was a graduate of Harvard College, a merchant, governor, he opposed the federal constitution, and taught us about redistricting. He was soundly criticized for redistricting to advantage his political party for re-election. “Gerrymandering” has been with us for awhile.

All these men were so very interesting; but they were much more. They were extraordinary patriots. They pledged everything to the cause of freedom, and they risked everything. And most of them gave everything. They saw their land and homes destroyed, and the men with fleets of ships and merchants with successful businesses saw it all destroyed. Their families as well were targets.

The bells rang in Philadelphia and our freedom was born. We got up this morning in this free land. Conversations and the news quickly turned to the celebrations of the day. Fireworks displays, band concerts, parties, patriotic parades, flags waving, and families and friends gathering. Hot dogs at the baseball game and barbecues at the park, or maybe a swim party. This is our fourth of July.

When I took my grateful walk this morning, I took a little extra time to be grateful for my freedom. It was foggy at 6 o’clock, and I could see very little just a short distance from me or just the shadows of the buildings below me by the stream at the bottom of the slopes. In a short hour or so, all would be visible. When the fog cleared, it would all be there as it was yesterday when the sun broke through. All this to be grateful for in a free land.

When the signers woke up on the morning of July 4, 1776, they still had work to do. It would be well into the afternoon before the bells could ring over Philadelphia.

We still have work to do; freedom is not free nor is it sustained with fireworks and holiday parties, picnics, and parades.

Keeping the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave

It behooves us to understand what is going on around us. I know the news gets really monotonous and totally confusing if you change from channel to channel Where is the truth?  It’s not fun to watch violent protests. It’s annoying to see demonstrated how little our people know about their Christian beginnings in this great nation. It is disconcerting to see our young indoctrinated away from most conservative and Christian values and principles in our schools at all levels.

I believe if we are to survive we must embrace our successes without apology. We must restore our founding values and principles in our people, particularly the young. We need to restore personal responsibility, self-reliance, work ethics, true compassion for others, integrity, honesty, joy, tolerance, self-respect and respect for others. These are gifts of the Spirit.  Our laws were time-tested through the ages before they were ever put into our legal structure. Sharia law or any other attempt at law must not be tolerated as substitutes for our legal system. Other legal systems must not be tolerated in the name of religious tolerance. Our very founding depended on these time-tested ideas for living together in peace and harmony.

Recently I heard a commentator say that America First was a racist slogan. I do not know how that is even possible as a concept, even semantically. I  believe President Trump feels that wanting American to be First Again is founded on the humble idea that when America is First, it has more to share. It’s light casts a broader and brighter spectrum. It is a better model for people who need hope; it is a better friend to those in need. Only if we grow arrogant, forget the Divine guidance we received at our founding, and think we did it ourselves, can it be otherwise. I believe that we have the choice of  being America First, Again, or not being the republic that our Founders gave us.

We must ask ourselves if we are willing to fight tyranny with the same commitment that our Founders made. They gave us documents to follow and guide us. We must not allow them to become transitional, situational, or modernized.

I love America. I have traveled the world. I did not find any place on any continent where I wanted to live. I found beauty, uniqueness, discovery, celebration, wonder, respect, protest, war, compassion, and love. But each time I stepped back on American soil, I found my home–land of the free and home of the brave.

My flag flies proudly every day; I see it wave gently in the soft and gentle breezes. I see it hanging like a wet noodle, limp and its beautiful stars and stripes not visible. Some times it seems to be sending me messages about how it is being viewed by many. I have seen it tattered and torn as it survives the storms. I am reminded of those brave men who looked for it “over the ramparts” that fateful morning. It was flying just as my flag made it through the storm. I gently take it down, and I replace it with a new one made in the U.S.A.

God is first in my life, and my America is first in my heart. As long as my heart pumps, I will do what I can to make America First, Again. As long as I can speak or see to write, I will share the importance of Christian Heritage of America.

Our Founders knew.

We must know and teach our children to know.

We the people must know. We the people must be the lamps in the dark corners of tyranny; we the people must protest the squandering of our taxes; we the people are all we have to keep this incredible experiment, our republic — the “land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Excerpt from America First, Again Second Edition – Chapter titled “Trumped 2017”