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As a rock music fan, I enjoy Pink Floyd. But “We don’t need no education” is bad advice for life.

When our kids graduate school, they no longer just have to compete with each other. They now compete in a global marketplace. Not only have low-skilled jobs moved abroad where labor is cheap, but to attract new high-paying, tech-based jobs to America (or even to work online), our kids need an education as good or better than students get in China, India, Israel and other nations. Sadly, our schools are not giving them the tools they need to compete in the 21st century.

I have a friend who owns a printing business. He gives job applicants a pencil and ruler, and asks them to mark an eighth of an inch, a sixteenth of an inch and other simple measurements on a piece of paper. He tells me that no more than one out of ten even has a clue what he’s talking about. If America’s students can get a high school diploma without knowing basic fractions, then all we’re equipping them to achieve is a fraction of the American Dream.

Of course, the cry always goes up, “We need to spend more on education!” But we already spend over $550 billion a year, more than 4 percent of the gross domestic product. If money equaled results, then Washington, DC, should be crawling with junior Einsteins. DC public schools spend over $30,000 per student per year, or $10,000 more than the tuition for an in-state graduate degree from the University of Virginia. Yet DC’s reading, writing and math scores are well below the national average. Money alone doesn’t fix the problem.

Those who are obsessed with “income inequality” want to tear down those who earn more, but have no ideas for helping those who earn less. Well, here’s one: finish high school! Nearly a third of US students drop out. Over their lives, they’ll earn, on average, a quarter million dollars less than high school graduates. They’re also more likely to suffer ill health, get involved in drugs and crime, and die nine years younger. Staying in school benefits both them and society.

But if we want students to learn, then schools have to make them want to learn. To ignite their curiosity and turn them into lifelong seekers of knowledge. That takes both involved parents and competent teachers who are rewarded for good results. Kids need to be taught how to think, not just memorize standardized tests. They also need to be taught real facts and real history, not trendy racist, socialist and anti-American propaganda.

Dropping arts and music classes is the most short-sighted budget cut a school can make. Studies show that music class helps kids do better in other subjects, develop social skills, and stay in school longer. It might also improve the current dismal state of pop music. We must remember that schools exist for the students, not for the teachers’ unions or the education bureaucracy (so open the schools and stop letting the unions keep them closed.) And we need to keep most decisions about education at the state and local levels, with close parental involvement, so they’re made by people who know the students best.

If you think that doesn’t matter, look at all the home-schooled students winning academic contests. Home is as local as you can get, yet those students are more than ready to compete on the world stage. Don’t you want your kids to be?

A blank book of pages

July 7, 2022

The first school in which we enroll, and the most important in shaping our future, is our home. A casual view of modern TV shows might lead us to believe that parents don’t matter. I contend that nothing matters more.

When Benjamin West was a boy, his mother left him in charge of his younger sister, Sally. Benjamin found bottles of colored ink and painted Sally’s portrait. When his mother arrived home, she discovered spilled ink and ruined paper. But before she had the chance to scold Benjamin, she saw the picture. Then she planted an encouraging kiss on his cheek. He would grow up to become of the greatest painters of historic and religious artworks, a teacher of many other famous artists, and a major force in launching Britain’s Royal Academy of Arts, for which he served as president. Benjamin West would later say, “My mother’s kiss made me a painter.”

Every child’s life is like a book of blank pages waiting to be written on. Something is written each day. A parent who exposes a child of hours of television, video games, unsupervised time on the Internet, and an occasional trip to church is not likely to raise a child whose value system will mirror that of the parent. The child will probably reflect the value system of the entertainment industry.

While researching for a book I co-wrote on juvenile delinquency (“Kids Who Kill”), I became aware that children need parents who are informed, involved and (yes) invasive in their children’s lives. There is no single fact that will explain why a child as young as eleven would commit mass murder, but one thing seems certain: the likelihood of this taking place decreases drastically when children have a stable home, good role models and parents who are clearly more afraid for their children than afraid of their children.

Too many parents fear angering or alienating their children. They convince themselves that love means avoiding asking their children questions about how their time is spent and who their friends are. They fool themselves into thinking they’re being good parents when they don’t hold their children accountable for their schoolwork and other activities. On the other hand, we shouldn’t be “helicopter parents” who are so overprotective that our children turn into a generation of “snowflakes” who cannot learn through their failures or develop a healthy maturity and independence.

The requirement of parents summed up in Ephesians 6:4 is simple yet profound: “Do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Children should not be driven to exasperation by parents who make demands that are so difficult to achieve that the children are prevented from succeeding. There’s a vast difference between breaking a child’s rebellious will and breaking his or her spirit.

As parents, our goal should be to channel the energy of our children, rather than destroy their creative and curious natures given by God that motivate them to discover their unique purposes. We are further admonished to bring up our children “in the training and instruction of the Lord.” By both example and exhortation, parents are to nourish their children. Most values are caught and then taught. Our children are more likely to imitate what they see us do than what they hear us say.

We live in a world where a meal can be microwaved in seconds, and an Internet message can be transmitted around the world almost instantly (another reason why it would be nice if they were fact-checked before hitting “Send.”) But part of the legacy we must leave is raising children who understand that some things can’t be rushed. Patience is a virtue as well as a pathway to victory. Things of great value take time.

If the thing to which you ascribe the greatest value in your life is your children, then don’t they deserve the greatest amount of time, nurturing and guidance you can possible give?

(Adapted from the book, “Rare, Medium or Done Well: Make the Most of your Life.” )

When a lie gets repeated so often that everyone thinks it’s true, it’s called “conventional wisdom” – maybe because it happens so often at political conventions. These days, the conventional wisdom is that far-left ideas are the accepted, objective truth and anyone who questions them is an extremist or a believer in “disinformation.” Don’t buy it.

Throughout the Bush-Obama era, the media kept repeating “failed conservative policies” until even a lot of so-called conservatives believed it. So the voters put Democrats fully in power. It resulted in a sluggish economy, depressed job growth, rising income inequality, reduced wealth and opportunities for minorities, rising class and racial divisions, and abroad, a decline in US prestige and leadership and the advancement and emboldening of our enemies, including a terrorist “JV team” metastasizing into a worldwide threat. Not to mention big government schemes imposed against the will of the people. In Obama’s very first midterm election, voters gave the House back to the Republicans.

Polls began to show that most Americans wanted the government to do less and spend less. In France, where an actual Socialist was elected President, his huge tax hikes crashed the economy and made socialism as popular with the French as cheese in a can. The media were shocked when voters turned right in the next election. They should’ve known that nothing turns people off of socialism like actually experiencing it. Ask a Cuban or Venezuelan.

The elites responded by doubling down on the arrogance, condescension and name-calling of those who dared to challenge their divine right to rule. The people were forced to make their point even more clearly by shutting down large sections of the country with Tea Party protests, and demanding their culture and secure national borders back, and finally by shocking the elites with the election of Donald Trump. The media, who assumed that everyone would vote for Hillary because everything they talked to did, were shocked.

Trump reversed virtually every Obama policy. Result: ISIS was crushed, peace started breaking out in the Middle East, illegal immigration plummeted, the economy boomed, and unemployment for all groups fell to record lows while real wages rose for the first time in decades. It took the artificial shutdown of that economy due to COVID-19 to crush it. In 2020, a relentless, four-year media assault against Trump and…other factors…brought the Democrats back into full power. And just as the economy was starting to rebound, Biden brought back all the Obama policies and crushed it again.

If you ever wanted a laboratory demonstration of whose policies work and whose don’t, you could just look at the past three Administrations. It’s like watching someone turn off the lights, turn them back on, then turn them off again.

It is a shame that voters have to keep relearning the hard way that top-down, big government solutions and leftist utopian fantasies don’t work in reality. Young people can almost be excused for believing in socialism for the same reason they believe in the Tooth Fairy: they are empty vessels who get filled with whatever adults pour into them. The leftists certainly know that. Many parents have recently woken up to how dangerously remiss we’ve been in allowing leftists to take over our schools and fill those precious vessels with mental pollution.

But Republicans who promised small government and fiscal responsibility have let us down, too. Too many let deficits skyrocket, stuffed budgets with pork, and became cheerleaders for big government and disdainful toward the very Americans who put them in office. These so-called “conservatives” slammed me in 2007 for not being a “real conservative” because I pointed out problems in the economy that were hurting working people and criticized the lack of oversight of Wall Street’s excesses. Two years later, they wanted to spend $700 billion of our grandkids’ money to save Wall Street from its excesses. They abandoned government’s rightful role as a tough-but-impartial referee and wanted to use its power to pick winners and losers in the market. Is that “real conservatism?”

The truth is that voters didn’t turn their backs on conservatism, Republican politicians did. And despite the media’s claim that “We’re all socialists now,” Democrats didn’t sweep to power in 2008 by claiming to be government-bloating tax-and-spenders, but by swearing they’d changed and were now fiscally responsible. Of course, once they gave Obama, Pelosi and Reid unlimited power, voters quickly realized their terrible mistake and gave the House back to the GOP in the next election. But too many Republicans had already squandered their credibility, so when Democrats ballooned the deficit, they could deflect criticism by simply pointing at their opponents’ own record.

In 2020, the endless media assaults on Trump and the false messaging that Biden was a moderate centrist hoodwinked the voters yet again into putting the Democrats back into power. From his first day in power, Biden surrounded himself with leftists who couldn’t wait to bloat government, reverse all of Trump’s successful policies, raise taxes, spend money like water, regulate everything that moves, and turn the whole country into a coast-to-coast version of one of the failing cities Democrats have run for decades. It didn’t take long for buyers’ remorse to hit Americans harder than COVID-19.

For a localized example of this pendulum effect, look at New York City. It became a nightmare until voters finally replaced Democrat David Dinkins with Republican Rudy Giuliani. Under Rudy, the Big Apple staged a huge comeback that was kept going by faux Republican Mike Bloomberg. But by then, it had been a long time since the bad old day. New Yorkers forgot how bad it could get. So they turned over the keys to Dinkins protégé Bill DeBlasio, and they soon found out how bad things could quickly turn. They still haven’t learned their lesson: they elected another Democrat who promised to fix things, but hasn’t. We’ll see how bad things have to get before they finally yell for the Republicans to come save them again.

As George Santayana observed, those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. No wonder Democrats hate teaching kids real American history.

From Jefferson’s belief that government closest to the people governs best to Reagan’s faith in free markets, from low taxes to letting markets instead of government make business decisions, conservative ideas work whenever they’re tried. Unfortunately, party leaders and the media are wildly out of touch with most Americans, and they are the ones with Hollywood, the media and social media acting as a 24-hour PR megaphone for bad leftist policies. This amplifies the liberal side and suppresses the conservative side so much that not only is the tail wagging the dog, but it’s like a Chihuahua’s tail wagging a St. Bernard. Too often, they succeed in hoodwinking the voters into giving them power again, despite decades of failure. But once in power, they quickly remind people why they should never be entrusted with it.

As that great Republican Abraham Lincoln observed, you can fool some of the people all of the time (they’re called “progressives”) and all the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. Let’s pray that this November will be another of those “won’t get fooled again” elections.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/the-media-bubble-is-real-study-shows-massive-disconnect-between-journalists-public/ar-AAYJIPD

How can we all be so connected, and our government be so disconnected?

One of the benefits of living in the 21st century is that thanks to jet travel and the Internet, I constantly talk to Americans from every state and every walk of life. And believe me, they are not shy about sharing their opinions. It gives me a perspective that I wish more of our politicians and media people inside the Beltway Bubble could experience.

According to a recent Pew Research survey, 65% of journalists think the news media is doing a good job of covering the important stories of the day, while only 35% of the public agree.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/the-media-bubble-is-real-study-shows-massive-disconnect-between-journalists-public/ar-AAYJIPD

If I had to explain that yawning gap between the media’s public approval and its self-approval in one world , it would be “disconnection” (although I would accept “narcissism.”) I don’t think there’s ever been a time when the media was so out of touch with the people they’re supposed to be serving. You’d think the shock they experienced on Election night 2016 would’ve caused them to reflect a bit and make some changes, but they only doubled down on the demonizing of people they never talk to.

They apparently really believed in 2016 that when voters demanded “change,” they wanted bigger deficits and a bloated, more powerful regulatory state. Trust me, based on what they told me, they did not. And they didn’t think they were getting that when they voted for Biden, either. They’re so angry now not only because Biden’s policies are making their lives so much harder but because many believe they were the victims of a massive bait-and-switch con.

If you ask most Americans what they want from government, it’s not to have every aspect of their lives regulated and “transformed,” including those that worked a lot better before the government “improved” them. They don’t want 2,000-page bills nobody’s read, or bureaucrats telling them which doctor they can see or how much money they’re allowed to make. The list of what most Americans say they want from government is actually pretty short: national defense, secure borders, safe streets; smooth highways; health care for veterans, seniors, poor children, the disabled (all those who genuinely can’t help themselves); good schools, firefighters and (yes) police – now more than ever.  And it would be nice if the trash were picked up on time. That’s about it.

Yet somehow, the government finds so many ways to meddle in our lives that federal, state and local government spending combined now equals about 44% of America’s entire gross domestic product. And in some big cities, they don’t pick up the garbage at all. They just let people live in it.

In poll after poll, despite claims that socialism is on the rise, most Americans say they want less government and less spending. Even those who say they want government handouts like “Medicare For All” abruptly change their tunes when told what it will do to their tax bills and quality of services. They don’t give a hoot what the talking heads or the endlessly-surprised economists or the “too-big-to-fail” Wall Street failures say: they want government out of their lives, out of their wallets and out of their way.

Sadly, whenever political candidates support that philosophy, their opponents and the media paint them as cold-hearted and uncaring. Compassion has been redefined as the willingness to spend limitless amounts of other people’s money. The media also devote almost no time to examining political philosophies and a lot of time to gotcha games, gaffes, fake news and who’s ahead in the horse race.

But the horse is now out of the barn. For eight years, Americans experienced firsthand the results of so-called “progressive” policies. Government out of control, a health care boondoggle two-thirds of us didn’t want, and the economy still struggling long after it should’ve roared back.

The Election of 2016 was not a surprise to me. I predicted it months in advance because, unlike so many people who claim to represent or report on the American people, I actually talk to – and more importantly, listen to - people. Things were turning around quite well before a pandemic artificially shut down the economy and people let the media bamboozle them into blaming Trump and thinking they’d be bringing back moderation and “normality” if they elected Biden.

Now, they find themselves stuck with a combination of Obama and Jimmy Carter times 10. This isn’t what they voted for, but they’re getting it good and hard.

I predict that, despite the media’s best efforts to bamboozle us, politicians who try to sell Americans on socialistic, big government policies will eventually fail, for the same reason that a used car salesman has a hard time selling a lemon to the same customer twice. I think those politicians know it, too; hence their desperation to take over elections so they can control the results, and to rig the government through schemes like eliminating the Senate filibuster and the Electoral College and stacking the Supreme Court. They claim to be protecting “our democracy” while trying to silence and neuter all political opposition. They have to kill democracy to save it.

I also predict that politicians who were elected on a promise not to “fundamentally transform” America will remain in office only as long as they remember that Americans did not elect them to turn the United States into Venezuela.

The Leaders we need

July 5, 2022

We all knew a kid in school who just had to run everything. Remember the classmate who insisted on picking the games you’d all play at recess, where you’d go after school, even who was “in” or “out” of your group? In high school, that kid had a compulsive need to be the leader of every student organization. You just wanted to say, “Hey! You’re not the boss of me!” Whatever happened to those kids? I wouldn’t be surprised if most ended up in government. We certainly have no shortage of people there who think they know how to live your life and spend your paycheck better than you do.

I’m convinced the world is divided into people who just want to live their own lives and those who, for some reason, have an uncontrollable urge to tell everyone else how to live. Unfortunately, to that latter group, government seems like the ideal place to work, and at the moment, they are getting 99.9% of all the attention from the media. As more of them gravitated toward government, Congress abdicated much of its legislating authority to unelected bureaucrats. Their bureaus grew like kudzu, and so did their regulations with the force of law (but no input from the people.) Then one day, we looked up and discovered we had a crushing national debt and were paying huge salaries to an army of people who enforce how big your soda should be and who couldn’t be fired and who is allowed to come into your daughter’s locker room. That’s when sane people realized that government is the LAST place these out-of-control control freaks needed to be.

The temptation for government to overreach is hardly new. In fact, it stretches back to the beginning of recorded history, and I bet even earlier than that. There’s a story in the ninth chapter of the book of Judges in the Old Testament about Gideon’s son Abimelech, who craved leadership and stature - not to serve the people but to control them and make them serve him. He said, “Give me dominion over your lives, and I will simplify your existence.” Wow, does that sound familiar? It’s basically the entire Democratic platform. Our government has taken us pretty far down that same road, but does your life seem any simpler -- or just a lot less free?

Anyway, back to Abimelech. He had a very smart younger brother, Jotham, who came up with a clever tale about three trees: an olive tree, a fig tree, and a vine tree. All three were fine trees that produced lots of fruit. All were offered the exalted position of “King Of All Trees,” but all three turned it down. The plant that wanted to be “King Of All Trees” was the bramble bush, a weak plant that produces no fruit at all. Jotham’s point was that only the weak and nonproductive have the desire to rule everyone else. Does that lesson not resonate like a gong right now?

When anyone aspires to a position of power, take a long, hard look. If that person seemingly crawled out of the cradle with an ambition to be President, then beware! Anytime someone talks about “running the country,” alarm bells should sound. No one – not the President, not Congress, no one person – “runs the country” or should aspire to.

That’s why the Founders took such pains to divide and limit federal power, and why we need to reinstate those limits that have been trampled in recent years, whether by Presidents ruling via executive order or out-of-control judges legislating from the bench or unelected bureaucrats abusing their power to try to influence the results of elections. If we allow any one person or entity to ignore those limits and assume the power to run everything, we won’t be able to stop them when they run America into the ground.

We should pick leaders who resemble the trees in the Bible story that don’t need or crave power but that have shown they bear good fruit. As it is said, by their fruits ye shall know them. Government has more than enough nuts already.

 


BY MIKE HUCKABEE

My staffers will be off this week for a well-deserved break, but keep checking in daily. We’ve prepared lots of great material in advance, and we’ll have a daily round-up of the latest news. And as always, if anything major happens, everyone will drop their hot dogs and sparklers and rush back to their PCs to keep you informed. Thank you for subscribing and I hope you enjoy today’s newsletter. 

There is no Evening Edition for those subscribers.

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DAILY BIBLE VERSE

I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

Philippians 3:14 NLT

If you have a favorite Bible Verse you want to see in one of our newsletters, please email [email protected]


The Leaders We Need

We all knew a kid in school who just had to run everything. Remember the classmate who insisted on picking the games you’d all play at recess, where you’d go after school, even who was “in” or “out” of your group? In high school, that kid had a compulsive need to be the leader of every student organization. You just wanted to say, “Hey! You’re not the boss of me!” Whatever happened to those kids? I wouldn’t be surprised if most ended up in government. We certainly have no shortage of people there who think they know how to live your life and spend your paycheck better than you do.

I’m convinced the world is divided into people who just want to live their own lives and those who, for some reason, have an uncontrollable urge to tell everyone else how to live. Unfortunately, to that latter group, government seems like the ideal place to work, and at the moment, they are getting 99.9% of all the attention from the media. As more of them gravitated toward government, Congress abdicated much of its legislating authority to unelected bureaucrats. Their bureaus grew like kudzu, and so did their regulations with the force of law (but no input from the people.) Then one day, we looked up and discovered we had a crushing national debt and were paying huge salaries to an army of people who enforce how big your soda should be and who couldn’t be fired and who is allowed to come into your daughter’s locker room. That’s when sane people realized that government is the LAST place these out-of-control control freaks needed to be.

The temptation for government to overreach is hardly new. In fact, it stretches back to the beginning of recorded history, and I bet even earlier than that. There’s a story in the ninth chapter of the book of Judges in the Old Testament about Gideon’s son Abimelech, who craved leadership and stature - not to serve the people but to control them and make them serve him. He said, “Give me dominion over your lives, and I will simplify your existence.” Wow, does that sound familiar? It’s basically the entire Democratic platform. Our government has taken us pretty far down that same road, but does your life seem any simpler -- or just a lot less free?

Anyway, back to Abimelech. He had a very smart younger brother, Jotham, who came up with a clever tale about three trees: an olive tree, a fig tree, and a vine tree. All three were fine trees that produced lots of fruit. All were offered the exalted position of “King Of All Trees,” but all three turned it down. The plant that wanted to be “King Of All Trees” was the bramble bush, a weak plant that produces no fruit at all. Jotham’s point was that only the weak and nonproductive have the desire to rule everyone else. Does that lesson not resonate like a gong right now?

When anyone aspires to a position of power, take a long, hard look. If that person seemingly crawled out of the cradle with an ambition to be President, then beware! Anytime someone talks about “running the country,” alarm bells should sound. No one – not the President, not Congress, no one person – “runs the country” or should aspire to.

That’s why the Founders took such pains to divide and limit federal power, and why we need to reinstate those limits that have been trampled in recent years, whether by Presidents ruling via executive order or out-of-control judges legislating from the bench or unelected bureaucrats abusing their power to try to influence the results of elections. If we allow any one person or entity to ignore those limits and assume the power to run everything, we won’t be able to stop them when they run America into the ground.

We should pick leaders who resemble the trees in the Bible story that don’t need or crave power but that have shown they bear good fruit. As it is said, by their fruits ye shall know them. Government has more than enough nuts already.

LEAVE ME A COMMENT, I READ THEM!


More Farmers, Fewer Lawyers

I hope you’re having a great 4th of July week, but between the celebratory fireworks on one hand and the anti-American political fireworks on the other, let’s take just a moment to reflect on what Independence Day really means and how it led to the freedoms and blessings that far too many Americans fail to appreciate these days.

Most historians (not New York Times writers, but real historians) mark the beginning of America as the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776. But in truth, there was still a long road to travel before America as we know it came to be. First, of course, there was the matter of fighting a bloody revolution against Great Britain, one where victory was an overwhelming longshot, and win or lose, the leaders risked their lives, honor and fortunes. Victory was followed by more heated battles over what kind of government we would have.

Our Forefathers finally agreed to a blueprint, the Constitution, that wasn’t even introduced until 1789 – over 13 years later. Today, many Americans take those hard-won freedoms very lightly and seem eager to trade them away for false promises of security. Many can’t even name the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. Maybe they’d cherish them more if they knew how close they came to not having them at all.

Did you know that the Constitution very nearly got passed without the Bill of Rights? Even some of the wisest of our forefathers thought a Bill of Rights was a dangerous idea. Alexander Hamilton argued that it was risky to list the rights the government couldn’t take away because then, politicians might try to grab any and every power that wasn’t specifically prohibited to them (apparently, the ability to rap wasn’t the only way Hamilton predicted the 21st century). He and many others also felt that a Bill of Rights was unnecessary: since nobody was surrendering their God-given rights by agreeing to the Constitution, there was no need to list them, right? Hamilton wrote, “Why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do?”

It’s ironic that Hamilton made that argument. Later on, as the first Treasury Secretary, he cited powers that the Constitution merely implied that the government had in order to take on debt, create a federal bank and impose unpopular taxes. Over a century later, when the federal income tax was passed, some lawmakers wanted to include a 10% limit, but they were voted down. Opponents scoffed that it was absurd to think the government would ever steal as much as 10% of an American’s hard-earned wages. Flash forward just 30 years, and they were happily taxing away 94%. So just imagine how few freedoms we’d have today if they’d listened to Hamilton and decided it wasn’t necessary to put specific limits on government power.

Luckily for us all, Thomas Jefferson won the argument, and the Bill of Rights was added. They even included the 9th amendment, which I’ll bet most people can’t even describe. Here’s what it says:

“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

It means that just because some God-given rights aren’t specifically listed, that doesn’t mean the people cede them to the government. Maybe because so many of the framers were also farmers, they understood that like weeds, government tends to grow and grow, choking out the productive crops -- and like a bull, it will trample you if you don’t corral it. (Also, it produces the same thing a bull does.)

So if we want to preserve our freedoms, and keep government limited, maybe we should send more farmers to Washington -- and fewer lawyers.

LEAVE ME A COMMENT, I READ THEM!


The True Story of Yankee Doodle

Usually around the Fourth of July, we hear a lot of songs about all the great things about America: “God Bless America,” “God Bless The USA,” “America the Beautiful” (although you might not have heard them this year because of some people whining that hearing God’s name or praise for America “triggers” them.) But before them all, even before “The Star-Spangled Banner,” there was the original American patriotic anthem, “Yankee Doodle.” However, it didn’t start out as a celebration of Americans, but as a mockery of them.

Since 1776, the song “Yankee Doodle” has been as much a symbol of America as the flag. Every child learns it from the cradle (or used to.) But many of us grew up without ever knowing what it really means. Like, why did he call his cap macaroni? Did he use cheese for hair mousse? (I’ll bet a lot of recent college graduates actually believe that and think he was a speciesist exploiter of cows.) Well, I’ll answer those questions and more.

“Yankee Doodle” dates back long before 1776. It most likely started as a German nursery rhyme, since “dudel” is an Old German word for “fool.” It first became associated with America when British soldiers made up their own lyrics to it to mock the ragtag American Revolutionaries. That baffling line – “stuck a feather in his cap and called it macaroni” – makes sense when you know that a macaroni wig was one of those ridiculously large powdered wigs that dandies of the time wore. The Brits were ridiculing Americans as a bunch of hayseeds, so dumb they’d think sticking a feather in their hat would make them look sophisticated. Imagine a Huffington Post article about Trump voters from Alabama, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of just how much arrogant condescension they intended to convey.

Unfortunately for the British, it turned out wars weren’t settled according to who had the spiffiest uniforms (in fact, red coats just made you an easier target.) Those unfashionable Americans were fighting for their homes, their families and their freedom. So they did what Americans have done ever since: they took the ridicule aimed at them, threw it back in the faces of those who mocked them, and got the last laugh. “Yankee Doodle” was the Babylon Bee of its time.

The Americans took the song that was meant to belittle them and adopted it as their anthem. They marched to it in the streets, sang it in bars, and made up their own new lyrics to promote the cause of freedom and glorify leaders like General Washington, “upon his strapping stallion.” It wasn’t long before the British learned to dread the sound of that tune, especially when it was played on a fife and drum, accompanied by American militiamen. A Boston newspaper reported that Minutemen who captured two British officers forced them to dance to “Yankee Doodle” until they collapsed. After that, the Brits admitted that that mocking little song didn’t sound so funny to them anymore.

Well, now you know how “Yankee Doodle” came to be the unofficial American battle anthem that later inspired another great patriotic song for this time of year, George M. Cohan’s “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” As Cohan proudly sang, “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy, a Yankee Doodle, do or die…A real live nephew of my Uncle Sam, Born on the Fourth of July!”

Of course, Cohan was actually born on the third of July. But that’s another story for another day.


NEWS RECAP

TRAGEDY:

There was a tragic mass shooting during a Fourth of July Parade Monday in Highland Park, Illinois, an upscale suburb of Chicago. Six people were killed and more than 30 injured by a shooter who opened fire sniper-like on the crowd from the top of a building. After a brief pursuit, police arrested 22-year-old Robert “Bobby” E. Crimo III. A self-styled “hip-hop phenom” who has multiple face tattoos and goes by the name “Awake the Rapper,” Crimo has some pretty disturbing social media posts, but again, nobody seemed to pick up on the danger he posed. The gun he used was reportedly obtained legally. Here's a link to Fox News' continually updated reports.

https://www.foxnews.com/live-news/highland-park-illinois-fourth-of-july-parade-shooting

Crimo had barely been arrested before some people were trying to score political points by claiming he was a Trump supporter (which seems unlikely, given that he followed Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton on Twitter) or to call for more gun control laws. But whatever his politics are, those issues can wait until after (A.) we actually know the facts, and (B.) we focus on the most important issue, which is praying for the victims and their families, and keeping up with the news to see if there’s anything we can do to help them.  

---

EXPLOITATION

Whenever there’s a tragedy, some people will always try to exploit it to sow division or tear down America. That’s the kneejerk response for too many media outlets. But for a welcome antidote to those toxic narratives, read this by Sean Dietrich.

https://seandietrich.com/mendon-missouri/

It’s about the deadly crash and derailment of an Amtrak train in Mendon, Missouri, but it tells a side of the story that hardly any news outlets mentioned. It’s the story of the hundreds of local people of all ages, ethnicities, beliefs and economic backgrounds who immediately rushed to the scene to do anything they could to try and help save and comfort the victims, all of whom were strangers to them. Remember this July 4th, that is the real America, not the false hateful, racist caricature that we’re constantly being fed.

---

CNN SAYS RECESSIONS ARE RACIST

Latest thing that’s racist, according to CNN: Economists who notice we’re entering a recession while Joe Biden is in office.

https://spectator.org/cnn-wants-you-to-know-that-recession-declarations-are-racist/

 

---

URGENCY IS RACIST TOO

And what’s not only racist, but “white supremacist?” Acting with “urgency.”

https://reason.com/2022/07/02/urgency-is-a-white-supremacy-value-oregon-health-authority/

It sounds as if the Oregon health official who came up with that has some notion that black people aren’t capable of acting with urgency, which sounds like an incredibly racist idea pulled from old Stepin Fetchit movies.

 ---

BAD MOOD

I hope you had a safe, fun and patriotic Fourth of July. Not wanting to ruin your good mood, I’ll just pass this along for you to read later. It’s a round-up of some of the overpaid media and Hollywood figures who spent the 4th cursing America and badmouthing the flag and other symbols of this great nation.

https://www.foxnews.com/media/fourth-july-medias-history-bashing-america-symbols-democracy

What do you want to bet that next July 4th, each and every one of them will still be cursing this nation, still claiming it’s so much better somewhere else, and yet still living here?

---

ROMNEY INTERVIEW

I think Mitt Romney had the right idea when he was tweeting under the pseudonym of “Pierre Delecto.” He should’ve given this interview to the Atlantic under a fake name.

https://redstate.com/bobhoge/2022/07/04/mitt-romney-drops-a-dark-depressing-july-4th-message-in-the-atlantic-n588734

---

TIME TO DEFUND NPR

NPR used to always read the Declaration of Independence on the air as a 4th of July tradition. But this year, they decided to “break with tradition” and show us how much better one of the greatest and most important documents in the history of the written word could have been if only it had been edited by a woke NPR wonk. Maybe it’s time we broke with the tradition of our tax dollars funding this.

https://redstate.com/sister-toldjah/2022/07/04/calls-to-defund-npr-ring-out-after-network-absurdly-goes-woke-on-independence-day-n588843

---

HIGHER EDUCATION FAILURE

Here’s yet another example of how today’s colleges are definitely not preparing students for real life:

https://www.foxbusiness.com/economy/employee-fired-refusing-work-roe-v-wade-ruling

Michael Lopez was a young production coordinator for Universal Music. His job required him every Friday to process reports on new music releases and email them to 275 people who needed them to do their jobs. But last Friday, he decided not to do it. Instead, he sent an email reading, "I didn't do them today. I'm in mourning due to the attack on people with uteruses in the US. Federally guaranteed access to abortion is gone. Vivendi and Universal Music Group must stop donating to anti-abortion, anti-queer and anti-trans politicians. Politicians like Marsha Blackburn, Ken Buck, Victoria Spartz, etc. Or expect more unproductive days. Yours in fury, Michael Lopez." 

Lopez is now slamming Universal Music for firing a “queer, brown person” like him during Pride Month, just for “Not doing your job, disrupting the day of 275 people and poor judgement.” He accused them of only caring about profits and of saying “F--- you to the working class.”

Um, Michael? I don’t know if you can comprehend this, but when you claim you’re just too triggered to do your job, you’re not doing “work.” You’re doing “woke.”  Keep up this attitude, and you’ll never be part of the working class again.

 


 

I JUST WANTED TO SAY: 

Thank you for reading my newsletter. 

For more news, visit my website.


News Recap

July 5, 2022

TRAGEDY:

There was a tragic mass shooting during a Fourth of July Parade Monday in Highland Park, Illinois, an upscale suburb of Chicago. Six people were killed and more than 30 injured by a shooter who opened fire sniper-like on the crowd from the top of a building. After a brief pursuit, police arrested 22-year-old Robert “Bobby” E. Crimo III. A self-styled “hip-hop phenom” who has multiple face tattoos and goes by the name “Awake the Rapper,” Crimo has some pretty disturbing social media posts, but again, nobody seemed to pick up on the danger he posed. The gun he used was reportedly obtained legally. Here's a link to Fox News' continually updated reports.

https://www.foxnews.com/live-news/highland-park-illinois-fourth-of-july-parade-shooting

Crimo had barely been arrested before some people were trying to score political points by claiming he was a Trump supporter (which seems unlikely, given that he followed Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton on Twitter) or to call for more gun control laws. But whatever his politics are, those issues can wait until after (A.) we actually know the facts, and (B.) we focus on the most important issue, which is praying for the victims and their families, and keeping up with the news to see if there’s anything we can do to help them.  

---

EXPLOITATION

Whenever there’s a tragedy, some people will always try to exploit it to sow division or tear down America. That’s the kneejerk response for too many media outlets. But for a welcome antidote to those toxic narratives, read this by Sean Dietrich.

https://seandietrich.com/mendon-missouri/

It’s about the deadly crash and derailment of an Amtrak train in Mendon, Missouri, but it tells a side of the story that hardly any news outlets mentioned. It’s the story of the hundreds of local people of all ages, ethnicities, beliefs and economic backgrounds who immediately rushed to the scene to do anything they could to try and help save and comfort the victims, all of whom were strangers to them. Remember this July 4th, that is the real America, not the false hateful, racist caricature that we’re constantly being fed.

---

CNN SAYS RECESSIONS ARE RACIST

Latest thing that’s racist, according to CNN: Economists who notice we’re entering a recession while Joe Biden is in office.

https://spectator.org/cnn-wants-you-to-know-that-recession-declarations-are-racist/

 

---

URGENCY IS RACIST TOO

And what’s not only racist, but “white supremacist?” Acting with “urgency.”

https://reason.com/2022/07/02/urgency-is-a-white-supremacy-value-oregon-health-authority/

It sounds as if the Oregon health official who came up with that has some notion that black people aren’t capable of acting with urgency, which sounds like an incredibly racist idea pulled from old Stepin Fetchit movies.

 ---

BAD MOOD

I hope you had a safe, fun and patriotic Fourth of July. Not wanting to ruin your good mood, I’ll just pass this along for you to read later. It’s a round-up of some of the overpaid media and Hollywood figures who spent the 4th cursing America and badmouthing the flag and other symbols of this great nation.

https://www.foxnews.com/media/fourth-july-medias-history-bashing-america-symbols-democracy

What do you want to bet that next July 4th, each and every one of them will still be cursing this nation, still claiming it’s so much better somewhere else, and yet still living here?

---

ROMNEY INTERVIEW

I think Mitt Romney had the right idea when he was tweeting under the pseudonym of “Pierre Delecto.” He should’ve given this interview to the Atlantic under a fake name.

https://redstate.com/bobhoge/2022/07/04/mitt-romney-drops-a-dark-depressing-july-4th-message-in-the-atlantic-n588734

---

TIME TO DEFUND NPR

NPR used to always read the Declaration of Independence on the air as a 4th of July tradition. But this year, they decided to “break with tradition” and show us how much better one of the greatest and most important documents in the history of the written word could have been if only it had been edited by a woke NPR wonk. Maybe it’s time we broke with the tradition of our tax dollars funding this.

https://redstate.com/sister-toldjah/2022/07/04/calls-to-defund-npr-ring-out-after-network-absurdly-goes-woke-on-independence-day-n588843

---

HIGHER EDUCATION FAILURE

Here’s yet another example of how today’s colleges are definitely not preparing students for real life:

https://www.foxbusiness.com/economy/employee-fired-refusing-work-roe-v-wade-ruling

Michael Lopez was a young production coordinator for Universal Music. His job required him every Friday to process reports on new music releases and email them to 275 people who needed them to do their jobs. But last Friday, he decided not to do it. Instead, he sent an email reading, "I didn't do them today. I'm in mourning due to the attack on people with uteruses in the US. Federally guaranteed access to abortion is gone. Vivendi and Universal Music Group must stop donating to anti-abortion, anti-queer and anti-trans politicians. Politicians like Marsha Blackburn, Ken Buck, Victoria Spartz, etc. Or expect more unproductive days. Yours in fury, Michael Lopez." 

Lopez is now slamming Universal Music for firing a “queer, brown person” like him during Pride Month, just for “Not doing your job, disrupting the day of 275 people and poor judgement.” He accused them of only caring about profits and of saying “F--- you to the working class.”

Um, Michael? I don’t know if you can comprehend this, but when you claim you’re just too triggered to do your job, you’re not doing “work.” You’re doing “woke.”  Keep up this attitude, and you’ll never be part of the working class again.