How Does a Small Centurion Voice Get Heard?

Mr. President, How does a small voice get heard?

In June of next year I will have lived one year shy of a century of the American Dream in this great Republic. I have lived and enjoyed the freedoms for all those many years, but I have also seen them slip away.

In the cacophony of sounds and the drumbeat of strained voices, it is hard to hear anybody outside of those constantly trying to reach your ear or criticize you. Mr.President, I am just one voice, but I am one who has enjoyed the privileges and opportunities afforded to me because I was fortunate enough to be born in this country. I love this country. Yes, I have lived the American Dream. I was born in Iowa, a small country town. I lived a life of meager means money wise, but lived a life full of integrity, values, hardwork and joy from a family that believes that the founding documents provide for that dream. Fortunately, I grew up with strong faith in my Creator. My faith taught me to get up each morning and try to serve someone, touch someone in some way, somehow, somewhere. I have been so blessed by my Creator to be given talents to serve and a deep faith to listen to what is important.

I was educated in country schools, town schools, small schools and ultimately received a doctorate from UCLA. I have been a teacher, counselor and administrator at all levels. I have also had the privilege of serving as a school board member for 23 years. I retired from Oregon State University in 1982 as a Professor and Dean Emeritus of Education. I went to work immediately at National University in San Diego to serve as Professor and Administrator of Education for another 13 years. I have written a book titled America First Again. I wish you could read it. It’s about our original documents; it’s about our founders; it’s about the transformers trying to change the course of our history. What would I do, Mr. President?

If I had the funds, I would make sure that all the history teachers were taught to teach American history from the original documents AND I would make certain that we returned to a curriculum that allowed every student, every person in America, and every new immigrant to understand those documents and how they relate to their freedoms and freedom in this country. Many in America do not even know these documents exist and believe that the constitution can be a transformational document. The Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the commitment of our founders are the basis of the freedoms we enjoy.

When the tenants of these documents are lost, our freedoms will be gone also. Mr. President, when I wrote America First Again first and second edition, it was with renewed understanding that when America is first we are not an arrogant nation, but a serving one and an important cog in the success of the world. Mr. President, this country is full of small voices filled with patriotism and appreciation for the freedoms we enjoy. How do we instill in our students this pride and appreciation of their freedom? How do we take the idea from patriotic voices to bolster your belief in this country? How do we reclaim our Christian heritage, understand our founders and refound our educational system? It has been totally usurped by those who are actively trying to change our country.

Mr.President, How does one small, almost centurion voice get heard?

Special Thoughts for the Christmas Season

It’s time to go back and look at the Mayflower Compact as an original self-governing document.

Yes, I remembered the Mayflower and those aboard that historical ship in my Thanksgiving prayers. These 102 brave souls endured the hardships of the journey only to find that they had landed in a place where they did not have a patent. They had been given permission by the Virginia Company of London to land anywhere on their holdings. They also were given permission to govern themselves. They knew with the winter coming that they had to go ashore. Before they went ashore, they produced and signed The Mayflower Compact.  They pledged to create a political body that would be ruled by law and based on the consent of the governed and in the “name of God.” It was the creation of a political document patterned after an original spiritual covenant.

The document clearly represents people of God creating their own government.  The creators made clear that the political power or the power of any person elected to govern would have such power come only from the people governed. It also made clear that they believed that they received their liberty and freedom from God. That’s what they were advancing. They were called Pilgrims because they moved from the tyranny of rulers and risked all for freedom of religion. That’s how they wanted to live and what they wanted to secure for those who followed.. These first freedom pioneers on our shores understood and acted on the covenant they knew between them and God. The incredible addition was the covenant between each other. Founding documents that  followed have been founded on the same Christian and political principles.

One of the paintings in the U.S. Capitol depicting great moments in  American history is of Reverend John Robinson’s prayer meeting aboard the Mayflower before it sailed for America. How many children, or the rest of us, have been shown or have seen the Bible and the name of Jesus on the open page as a part of the true history of America? The painting is just one visible sign of our beginnings. Most of our founding rests in the documents like the Mayflower Compact and those that followed. They were explicitly and carefully designed to help us be a self-governing people and to remind us of the origins of our freedoms.

Yes, this Christmas is a good time to go back and look at our self-governing document that was created before we ever landed and see what those first pilgrims produced.

 

Raw, Unadulterated Hate Leads to the Deadly D’s

DIVISION. DECEPTION. DENIAL. DISCOURAGEMENT. DESTRUCTION.

In my near-century of life, in this magnificent Republic, I have never witnessed the kind of raw, unadulterated, unfiltered hate that causes our Republic to shake and shiver; the earthquake of this hate will take us down a path of losing our precious Republic and therefore our freedoms. I have witnessed division in every institution that I have served or been a part of: school, church, college, etc.

In all parts of our lives, we encounter differences of opinion; some can be angry discussions, while others can be calm and pure, productive dialogue. After the differences of opinion are aired and ultimately settled as we carry out our government as our founders intended, we may still have divisions, but they are not hateful, self-destroying actions. We go on carrying out government of the wise people who gave us this magnificent Republic, one-of-a-kind government. But the division that exists in our country now is a different species than our founders anticipated as a result of differences of opinion, whether it be political, personal, educational or any part of our life.

The hate for President Trump has no bounds. It has tons of energy and unswerving, unwilling commitment to remove him from office. Traditionally, we elect a president and go on with knowledge that our constitution and founding documents have served us well. Also, with the knowledge that if not satisfied with the government elected, our founders have provided us with an out – elect new people. This process was meant to keep the power in the hands of the people – We The People. But it is obvious that our very Republic stands at the brink of a chasm of hate that has no bottom. This unfiltered hate for Trump and his followers leads to the Deadly D’s. The results are obvious – Division, Deception, Discouragement, Denial and ultimate Destruction of our Republic.

The founders had great discussion over many of these issues in our government. We need to send in the substitutes for the hate mongers. We need to send in people of good will, people of unending love, people with absolute integrity, people who encourage each other and people who build not destroy. The final remedy is to discuss honestly our foundings and our blessings. We need to sprinkle all these discussions with raw unfiltered, unswerving love for our country and each other.

 

 

America First – Status of Our Ship of State

 America First  was published in 1916 by the American Book Company. It was written by Jasper L. McBrien, who at the time of the writing was School Extension Specialist for the United States Bureau of Education, and a former Superintendent of Public Instruction of Nebraska.

McBrien writes in the Foreward:

The rising generation, both native-born and foreign, to get the full meaning of this slogan (America First) in its far-reaching significance, must have time for study and reflection along patriotic lines. There must be the right material on which the American youth may settle their thoughts for a definite end in patriotism if our country is to have a new birth of freedom and if ‘this government of the people, by the people, and for the people is not to perish from the earth.’ The prime and vital service of amalgamating into one homogenous body the children alike of those who are born here and of those who come here from so many different lands must be rendered this Republic by the school teachers of America.  

Brien continues: The purpose of this book is to furnish the teachers and pupils of our country, material with which the idea of true Americanism may be developed until ‘America First’ shall become the slogan of every man, woman, and child in the United States.

 I cannot say it better.

I have lived most of the years since this book was published. I have lived the changes. I believe that we need a large dose of patriotism and an understanding of our history now more than ever before. In my 98 years, I have seen our ship of state on so many different courses. But, I’ve never seen the culture in such turmoil and division as exists now. Nor have I seen such effort to render us rudderless. This always seems so tragic when we have been given by our Founders the greatest set of maps, our founding documents, ever devised for any people with which to keep a ship of state on course. They were carefully designed to make certain that the government was of the people, by the people, and for the people.

I fear the shoals, the rocks, the reefs, and horrific storms ahead. With the dialogue of pending impeachment, the hate expressed by the media and various factions, the general tenor of discontent in our country are all signs of trouble in our Republic. The constant battle of the “transfomers” to change our country to something far from its founding is very dangerous to that very founding. The desire to change fundamental principles and documents in our nation is a sign that the battle is real and intense. These people who hate the Captain of our ship so intensely that they are willing to sell their souls to insist on a new Captain. We are in dangerous waters; we need to pay close attention to what these entrenched change-agents are doing to our Republic. They want to turn our founding documents and founding principles to the opposite extremes. Socialism, as they profess it, makes extinct our remarkable constitution and founding documents that keep us governmentally a republic. That is our heritage, that is our uniqueness and that better be our future.

 

Religious Freedom and Our Schools

One of the more amazing things that I have come to examine more and more is how cleverly the transformers have used “religious freedom,” one of the great tenets on which our Founders based everything. Diabolically, they have taken this great foundation of tolerance for all religions and turned it on its back. They used our deep desire for tolerance of religion to preach to us about tolerance in all areas. While they are extracting tolerance from us, they are free to practice intolerance. If we show the least bit of resistance, they know how to make most of us feel guilty. They have most certainly used all areas of our society when and how ever they could.

They have flooded our schools with multiculturalism. They have used our national instincts for tolerance to promote their agenda. While they have been removing more and more Christian ideas and ideals from our books, they have been putting more and more about other religions in our school books. While they are teaching our kids more and more about tolerating other religion, they have been distorting the historical facts about the religious content of our beginnings.

Universities, where I have spent much of my career, are the worst offenders. To find a conservative professor is quite a task. I have taught my classes during student strikes; I was told by my peers that I must not do that. Opposing the strike was not a good political move. I insisted that I was only conforming with what they were striking for—freedom of speech and assembly. If the students who were striking had the right to not attend class, then the students who wanted to attend class must have the same right. Oddly, no one seemed to be able to dispute that logic.

Universities are populated with boatloads of Marxists. Many don’t outwardly admit to the name, but they teach and indoctrinate their students with those ideals. Most young people who attend the liberal colleges, most are, come home after a short time to discuss with their parents if conservative, how wrong they are. “You don’t understand. Your way of thinking is old fashioned. There are more modern ways of thinking about our political system and our economy.”

The change in many, including my own, occurs when they get their first pay check and discover how little “they have left” after all the deductions are made. “Mom, this is not fair.” It’s a natural place to take them back to what you taught them in the first place. They find an eternal truth. Old doesn’t mean bad or outdated. So it is with our Founding Documents, our founding ideals, and our God given rights. They are no more out of style than the Bible is for a Christian. .

Churches have been used extensively to fight the battles of the transformers. The strange part of this is that one would expect most religions to want to keep Christ in Christmas, would want to keep our Christian beginnings in the textbooks and in our teaching, and our God given rights ever before our student’s eyes as God given rather than government given. I suspect that sometimes our church people are the most vulnerable to the tolerance pleas and the subsequent guilt that follows if they don’t succumb.

Our School Boards that succumb to the distortion of the holidays, who don’t follow what’s in their textbooks or what is being taught in their classrooms, are also at fault. It is difficult at the school board level to know. Often you are “protected” from knowing for the fear of “micromanagement.” Our young people are in school many hours a day during their formative years. The inclusions and exclusions in our textbooks are critical to our future. As McBrien said in America First many years ago, “There must be the right material on which the American youth may settle their thoughts for a definite end in patriotism if our country is to have a new birth of freedom and if “this government of the people, by the people, and for the people is not to perish from the earth.”  This is so true for this day.

 

 

 

Political Correctness and Tolerance

One of the great cornerstones of our republic is tolerance. Our Founders came from  various countries where religious freedom was not present, and other freedoms were restricted. Property was in the hands of a few. Government rule was in the hands of a king or monarch of some sort. Freedom to speak and to assemble were restricted if present at all. Justice systems were autocratic and often trials did not exist; one person could be judge and jury. Our Founders were seekers of freedom.

They were often dissidents seeking religious freedom as the basis for other freedoms. Because they wanted to be free to practice their religious choice, they sought this for all people. For this to become reality in their new home, they demanded freedom to practice their own beliefs and the freedom for others to practice their beliefs. Thus this great principle of tolerance was basic. Tolerance was a necessity. This tolerance was embedded in their personal lives and guaranteed in their governing documents.

We became a super-tolerant nation. We welcomed others. Our Statue of Liberty became the symbol for the masses seeking freedom. Ellis Island became the beginning of that road  for the many seeking freedom they longed for.

Unfortunately, that very tolerance and acceptance of other peoples, views and other religions have been used to transform, to undermine, to try to destroy our founding principles and even our founding documents. That very tolerance for all religions has been used to diminish our Christian heritage. That tolerance has been used to distort the values and principles of our republic.

Our history books have watered down our founding; they have heralded other cultures and religions while omitting our Christian founding. We have become afraid to acknowledge our exceptionality and instead apologize  for our freedoms and successes. Our tolerance has been transformed into political correctness.

We need to stand tall; we need to appreciate what our exceptionality has allowed us to do and be. We need to be proud of the values and principles embodied in our founding documents. We have not kept the light from the “shining city on the hill”  focused on us only. We have sent the beams of freedom’s light all around the world. We have given of ourselves and our plenty. We have fought and died for the freedoms born of the tolerance we inherited.

Now we must become intolerant of those who would use our tolerance against us. We must not feel guilty of our heritage. We must not fear to be exceptional. We must again proclaim with verve and gusto the founding principles of this great republic. We must, because the alternative is unthinkable.

What Can We Do? What Can We Do? Saving Our Republic

A little obscurity elicits interesting behaviors and observations.

As I sat at the end of the driveway this morning, I could still see the hills in the distance. But they were far from chiseled images against a clear blue sky. They were still very visible, but the details were a little obscure.

Wow! Kind of like my nation and my church. One practices situational constitutionality and the other practices situational Bibliocity, obscuring the truths that lie in these two great, timeless documents. Oh, Yes! The pundits say these times require an update on these two timeless documents. These same people, the transformers, preach you have to consider the time in which they were written. How could you possibly impose the same standards, values, and ideas of those times on us in these modern times? They ask.

For us to try to understand the current mass murders and terrible things that are happening in our culture, we must understand that the teaching of biblical values and constitutional truths, our history, have been largely eliminated from our schools. Even the current terrible happenings, and this is true in most cases, there are warnings in school records. If one were to search diligently at lower levels of the social and emotional climate for these young people, we would find triggers there. Perhaps even as early as when they first appear at our school door. In my almost century of observation as an educator, I have watched the erosion of the teaching of our founding documents, our real history, and the removal of moral and ethical stories that carried the biblical values that made us so great.

As my mind wanders through the past many years, and I recognize in the annals of my memory of political and legal debate here and there, the foggy “modernizing” of our precious founding documents. A little fog here, a little fog there. Here a little fog, there a little fog, and everywhere a little fog.  The fog comes generally in the form of subtle attacks on the great freedoms built into our founding documents. The hope and change artists can’t change the words so they change the perceptions of the words. They put words into the mouths of our founders. The fog of perception is easy to add a little at a time. A drop at a time works. A constant drip can ultimately erode cement.

I plead with us to remove the obscurity and lift the fog from the two areas that were evident in our founding and not evident in our schools now. In my book, Refounding Education, I have talked extensively about the environment we need. In my book, America First Again second edition, I have tried to recreate the road that the transformers, those who would destroy our constitution and Christian values, have taken. We must close that road so no obscurity or fog exists to cloud the truth and rebuild a new road.

Yes, I believe we need to refound education. We need to refound an educational system that will produce an informed citizenry that understands and works to save our Republic.

 

 

Youth Reaching for the Horizon of Hope Rather than Accepting the Scraps of Despair

After watching the exciting dynamics of the youth summit in Washington D.C. on July 23rd, I was drawn again to the Jonathan Livingston Seagull story. This amazing seagull was flying toward the horizon with new ideas and new hope to find more than the other seagulls who were picking up scraps behind cruise ships. Like Jonathon who believed there was more beauty and excitement in the realm in which he was flying, these young people love their Republic and want to seek the horizon of opportunity. Like Jonathon they believe in themselves and understand that in their beloved country they are free to become everything they were born to be.

This seagull defied the orders of the Supreme Council to be like all the other seagulls on the beach. Be happy with your lot in life to pick up the scraps. Stay along the shore where you won’t encounter the storms beyond the shoreline. Just look at the setting sun on the horizon; it’s not yours to follow, they admonished.

But Jonathan wasn’t an ordinary seagull. He wasn’t like the other seagulls who conformed to the restrictions and limitations of mediocrity that prohibited his freedom. He tried new things. He ventured out beyond the horizon and found much beyond the scraps on the beach. He found beauty, excitement, and fulfillment as he dared to do all that he was created to do. But the Supreme Council of Seagulls was displeased with this horrible behavior. How could he shame them so much?

A Supreme Council of Transformers, those trying to change our beloved Republic, is asking us to stay on the beach and pick up the scraps. These folks are quick to encourage us to stay on unemployment insurance; if we went beyond that horizon we might find something exciting and want to work. They are quick to encourage us to apply for food stamps; once we accept food stamps when we don’t really need them, we will become accustomed to expecting someone else to feed us. It becomes our right. When students can borrow several hundred thousand dollars to get an education, they have lost the joy and satisfaction of their first job, their feeling of self-reliance. They owe so much; how can they be grateful? They can only hope “someone will rescue them from this terrible burden.” This slide into the culture of entitlement has not brought them hope. It has bought them dependence and a lack of self-worth.

Where are the Jonathans who will say no to the scraps? Where are the Jonathans who will fly loops of self-reliance and who will fly toward the horizons of opportunity? Where are the Jonathans  who will appear before the Supreme Council of Transformers and declare their right and responsibility to fly in the open skies created for them?  Where are the Jonathans who will dare to teach their young about the free skies and teach them to reject the scraps on the beach of no hope and change? I know they exist; I saw them in the Teen Student Action Summit.

I know the Jonathans exist. But we must encourage the Jonathans to come together in the Jonathan fly-over. If I am still flying toward the horizon at 98, there must be millions of Jonathans out there who can fly circles around me and even land at night. The scraps on the beach have never satisfied me, and I refuse to be satisfied now. I still have a voice and I will use it to convince, to teach, to cajole, to promote the horizons given to us in our founding documents. I will continue to model in the best way I know how the tenets of self-reliance, independence, integrity, compassion, truth, love, frugality, joy, and humility. I am fortunate to live in a nation that was founded on these great principles.

Dr. Ben Franklin, I will do all I can to restore our exceptional heritage to its former greatness. Only then can we continue to be the force for good in the world that freedom brings. We cannot do it as partially free people. We cannot do it when we have replaced the word responsibility with rights.

We can do it when we work, act, and think, with the faith of the birds of the air who sing in the dark before the first light arrives. We can do it with the courage of our Founders who faced death and loss of everything they had to assemble and write our great founding documents. We can do it by teaching our people to fish instead of throwing them a fish. We can do it with love, humility, and the presence of the Divine Guidance that gave us this great, one-of-a-kind nation.

We must insist that the rivers of hope and change flow toward freedom, not toward servitude of spirit and being. We must insist that only streams of self-reliance, independence, thrift, and political integrity are allowed to flow into the rivers of hope of a free nation.

To all you Jonathans. If you haven’t flown toward the horizon lately, the air is fresher out there. If you have been satisfied with one scrap on the beach of entitlement and servitude, throw it down and know that you were created to be much more.

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.