In his inaugural address of April 30, 1789, President George Washington said, “The propitious smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which heaven itself has ordained.” George Washington was not alone among the early presidents and other patriots who recognized a higher source of authority for our country. Too often we look to our government as the initiator and provider of blessings to the People. We breathlessly await an opinion from the Supreme Court, as if Moses himself were delivering news from on high. This should not be. Eternal rules of order and justice are not ordained out of a depraved heart. We must pay attention when “government is in session” to stay alert to what laws and actions are being considered for our good. Our fellow citizens, in both Jefferson City and Washington D.C., require our heartfelt support and prayers as they perform their legislative duties.
Pet Project of the Surveillance State
We all love SMART! Especially being told by others that we are SMART! Smart phones, smart cities, smart meters all make sense to us as they benefit us in many ways. But, is there another level of SMART we need to pay attention to?
“Good thinking, 99!”
In the late 1960s, families laughed at “Get Smart … an American comedy television series that satirizes the secret agent genre. It was … [a combination of] James Bond and Inspector Clouseau. Some of the popular catchphrases generated during its run, included:
“Would you believe …,” “Good thinking, 99,” “Missed it by that much!,” “Sorry about that, Chief,” “The old (such-and-such) trick,” “And loving it,” “I asked you not to tell me that …”
No one read the following article after the Parkland School Shooting:
DATELINE: In wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, it was revealed that the Nikolas Cruz was allowed, and even encouraged (with one exception that we know about) to act out the philosophy of moral relativism. As part of his class assignments in government and economic classes, the shooter made a video, which showed himself as a hit man, a protection ring of sorts, who could be hired out to wreak justice on jocks who picked on other students. The video was violent and ended with him bludgeoning the head of a dummy amid much fake blood. When another of the students was asked if this was not odd, she “noted that many of the videos were violent and that her own contained sexual scenes. “Everybody’s video involved fighting,’’ she said.1
Everett Piper, President, Oklahoma Wesleyan University, August 26, 2016, (http://www.okwu.edu)
The school year has started and the “snowflake” rebellion of 2015 is anything but dead. Micro-aggressions, trigger warnings, and demands for “safe spaces” continue to dominate the campus news from coast to coast. As the university president who wrote the viral “This is Not a Day Care” op-ed, I have been called by the media in recent days with essentially this question: “Dr. Piper, okay – your ‘Not a Day Care’ piece identified the problem, but what’s the solution?”
Here’s my answer:
In 1948, Richard Weaver told us “ideas have consequences.” A few short years earlier, Hitler said, “Let me control the textbooks and I will control the State.” Huxley and Orwell warned of dystopias where education would be used as a means to total power and total control. Yes, ideas clearly do have consequences. Good ideas lead to good culture and good government, and bad ideas lead to bad culture and bad government. As your grandmother said: Garbage in, garbage out. She was right – ideas matter.
NEW EFFORTS TO GET YOUR DATA
A new federal panel has been created called the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking. Already hearings have been held (October 21, 2016, and up to March 13, 2017) documenting the push by private technocrats and governmental agencies at all levels for collecting unrestricted individually identified data on every American. Truth in Education recently published a lengthy article on what this means and compared it to the Chinese system, which is used to control every individual in China. Here is an eye-opening clip of that article:
In Missouri on the first Tuesday in April (April 4, 2017), elections are held for local school boards and municipal government. Because this involves thousands of candidates, it is beyond FRONT LINE’s scope to survey all of them and then report their policy preferences. Therefore, it falls upon you, the citizen, to find out who they are, and then contact them about why they are running and what they believe are the important issues to address. To help your conversations with them, here are just a few suggestions. Obviously, there will be more local issues to discuss. Check your local community newspaper to get up to speed.
Castles and Culture
For six years, Americans were glued to their televisions watching Downton Abbey, the award winning series created by Julian Fellows. The story spans 12 years, (1912-1925) of “gripping drama centered on a great English estate on the cusp of a vanishing way of life. … Americans fell in love with Downton Abbey’s Granthams and their family of servants and have followed them through sweeping change, scandals, love, ambition, heartbreak, and hope ever since. … Downton Abbey delivers wit, wisdom, passion, and a phenomenon that is, at its heart, utterly human.”1 A global audience of over 120 million people has viewed it, and it is one of the top-ever programs aired on PBS .2
“Stories sympathetic to virtue, preservation of property, and admiration of nobility and of wealth can be told beautifully and to wide audiences,” said Jerry Bowyer in the February 14, 2013, issue of Forbes Magazine. Likewise, in Vanity Fair David Kamp wrote, “In its clear delineation between the goodies and baddies, in its regulated dosages of highs and lows, the show is welcome counter-programing to the slow burning despair and moral ambiguity of most quality drama on television right now.” 3
Dear friend of truth,
My eleventh summer was spent in a small, Norman Rockwellesque town where my brother and I and five friends were able to ride our bikes anywhere, day or night.
Even though we never thought about danger, these were the days of the Cold War, and news reports about Senator McCarthy were daily events. We frequently heard that “there were communists under every bed.” (Some of us actually looked under our beds to ensure that we were safe.)
One day, our band of seven observed two very hippie-looking kids coming out of a shack near the river. We were impressionable and imaginative children, so just one look at these two scruffy college-age people made us believe that we knew just WHO they really were. Communists! Although they were part of the local summer artist school from Michigan State, we decided that the art school was actually a “front,” and as good citizens, we must do our duty.
When I was 16, my younger brother and I, along with three friends decided to surprise another group of friends who had embarked upon a camping trip on Lake Michigan. Contrary to parental warnings, we slid our two outboards from an inland lake, around a dam, and onto Lake Michigan. Growing up, we had all heard stories of the dangers of sudden storms on this part of Lake Michigan where hundreds of shipwrecks have occurred.
The spring issue of FRONT LINE (presidential primary was March 15) documented Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s positions on issues. Since then, additional information has become available concerning their backgrounds or stands on issues, which we have updated. Libertarian Gary Johnson is now included in this summary, since he will be on all 50 state ballots.
This is not intended to be a comprehensive review, but it is a brief highlight of what distinguishes each candidate. There are clear differences between the Democratic, Republican and Libertarian parties as well as the candidates themselves. (See Page E-5 for the comparisons of the Republican and Democrat Platforms.) Whether it’s the how the candidates view the role of judges in making law, the raising of taxes, or national defense, the differences will make a significant impact on the nation depending on who is ultimately elected.