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|VOL. 44, NO. 5||P.O. BOX 618, ALTON, ILLINOIS 62002||DECEMBER 2010|
Good Books You Might Have Missed
U.S. Senator Jim DeMint begins his book on Saving Freedom with the story of the Gingerbread Man, who evaded capture until he came to the river and accepted the offer of a fox to take him across. He tried to stay away from the fox's mouth, but as the river waters rose, he had to come closer, until finally the fox ate him. This story is a metaphor for America. We began by valuing liberty above all else, but we increasingly have lost confidence in our ability to succeed without major help from the government.
Almost every Act of Congress brings America under more government control. Our society is rapidly exchanging liberty for more and more entitlements, and too many people now rely on the government rather than on themselves to improve their lives. This trend toward socialism can, however, be reversed.
DeMint believes that the rich do have an obligation to share resources with the poor, but that charity works more effectively when managed by churches and private groups. Socialism promises to spread the wealth, but it actually spreads poverty and imposes the costs on future generations.
A particularly interesting section of DeMint's book explains how Christianity's respect for reason led to improvements in science and commerce that have made America so successful and prosperous. As individuals and as a country, Senator DeMint believes that we can save our freedom only if we respect the Constitution and take responsibility for our own future rather than expecting government to solve our problems.
Saving Freedom: We Can Stop America's Slide Into Socialism, by U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (B&H Publishing Group, 2009)
David Limbaugh, who is well known as a lawyer, author, speaker, and commentator on national affairs, has written a new book called Crimes Against Liberty: An Indictment of President Barack Obama. Already, Obama's presidency has proven to be destructive, according to attorney Limbaugh. He organizes his allegations into three primary themes: offenses against Americans, offenses against American institutions, and offenses against America's general welfare and security.
Part I of the book paints a disturbing portrait of the President as a prevaricating, narcissistic bully who regularly runs roughshod over anyone who disagrees with him. Limbaugh describes Obama's two dozen broken promises and lies.
Part II cites numerous examples of Obama acting as a "dictator" by making end runs around legislative rules and constitutional checks on presidential power. This section also details the President's unprecedented assault on the financial, health care, banking, insurance and auto industries.
Part III outlines Obama's reckless spending policies and his pattern of insulting and betraying American allies while kowtowing to our enemies. The chapter "See No Evil" recounts the president's načve approach to national security. His treaties obliging America to unilaterally reduce our defense capabilities and his refusal to acknowledge the connection between Islam and terrorism are of particular concern.
Limbaugh's particular contribution is collecting and organizing the episodes that constitute Obama's record. The sheer volume of disingenuous statements and acts of bad faith assembled here prove these are not isolated "mistakes," but an intentional pattern of behavior, documented in 100 pages of footnotes.
Crimes Against Liberty, by David Limbaugh (Regnery, 2010)
This book is an excellent primer for anyone who seeks to know how Communists are recruited and molded to become agents for an un-American ideology. It describes Communist techniques for seizing power and setting up fronts and captive organizations.
Dr. Fred Schwarz, an Australian, came to the United States in the mid-1950s and spent 50 years in our country teaching Americans to understand Communism. His knowledge of the theory, strategy, tactics, objectives, and successes of Communism was profound. He is best known for his five-day "schools," which Phyllis Schlafly persuaded him to start in 1957.
The essence of Dr. Schwarz's message was published in his 1960 book, You Can Trust the Communists . . . To Be Communists. When he completed his 50-year mission in the United States and returned to Australia, he bequeathed his organization, the Christian Anti-Communism Crusade, and its publications to a worthy successor, David Noebel of Summit Ministries. David Noebel has just re-published Dr. Schwarz's book under the title You Can Still Trust the Communists . . . To Be Communists, adding several chapters of his own to update us on the continued Communist assault on capitalism and Christianity, along with a useful bibliography. Communism did not die when the Soviet Empire collapsed. It still exists in Cuba, Venezuela, China, and, unfortunately, on the campuses of many U.S. colleges and universities.
You Can Trust the Communists . . . To Be Communists, by Dr. Fred C. Schwarz and David A. Noebel (Christian Anti-Communism Crusade, 2010)
In her most recent bestselling book called Guilty, Ann Coulter exposes the tactic used so often and so successfully by liberals and feminists of claiming they are victims of an unjust and oppressive society. The liberals like to claim that the poor are victimized by the rich, and the feminists claim they are discriminated against by men in a patriarchal society.
The "victim" ploy works pretty well despite the generosity that characterizes Americans. We give more to charity than the citizens of any other country. After the 2004 tsunami, the U.S. government gave $350 million in aid — and private American citizens donated a whopping additional $2 billion. The liberals are always very eager to tax Americans to give away other people's money. In 1998, Al Gore gave only $353 to charity. Ted Kennedy gave only about 1% of his income to charity, whereas George W. Bush gave away over 10% of his income throughout his presidency.
Ann Coulter is a brave writer. She dares to question the "victim" status of the modern single mother. She's not talking about widows or wives who have been abandoned by no-good husbands. She describes the cultural changes and government policies that created an explosion of single moms and pretends it's an OK lifestyle, leaving the taxpayers to pay the bills.
Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America, by Ann Coulter (Crown Forum, 2009)
As recently as World War II, America was a nation that embraced the Judeo-Christian sex ethic. Then, in 1948 Alfred Kinsey's book Sexual Behavior in the Human Male taught Americans that they were hypocrites, secret adulterers or perverts. Pretending to be scientific, Kinsey peddled the falsehood that 95% of American men had committed a sexual offense under 1940s law, and 37% had had at least one homosexual experience. That was the start of the sexual revolution that changed forever the culture of America.
These unproven claims were repeated in the media echo chamber. Kinsey was lauded as a scientific pioneer whose research liberated Americans from a repressed libido.
The scientific and academic veneer of Kinsey's work was the key to its widespread acceptance. He claimed it was based on research, and he dressed up his falsehoods with charts and figures.
Kinsey's disciples spread his so-called "scientific research" to the media, universities, and health professionals. Eventually, Kinsey's views about sex became dominant not only in the universities but also in the entire K-12 school system. The graphic nature of current elementary school sex education can be traced directly to Kinsey.
Sexual Sabotage: How One Mad Scientist Unleashed a Plague of Corruption and Contagion on America, by Judith A. Reisman, Ph.D. (WND Books, 2010)
Attorney and author Dee Wampler debunks the myths about church and state that are so often used to marginalize the opinions of religious people. Over the past three decades, the First Amendment has been twisted to remove God from public life. If that trend is not stopped, we'll have no rights given by God, only rights given by the government. And what government has given, it can take away.
Starting with Christopher Columbus, this author quotes from one historical figure after another to show that, until very recently, everyone agreed that religion was absolutely central to American life. George Washington said, "Do not let anyone claim to be a true American if they ever attempt to remove religion from politics."
One especially interesting chapter examines the life and beliefs of Thomas Jefferson, supposedly the leading exponent of the so-called separation of church and state. Dee Wampler proves that Jefferson did not mean what the secularists want him to have meant. Jefferson attended church in the House of Representatives "constantly" for seven years. Wampler lists dozens of other ways that Jefferson's life and practices do not comport with the misinterpretation of the First Amendment that is so often credited to him.
With its readable format and full-color pictures, One Nation Under God is an excellent short textbook on the history of religion in America that encourages Americans to reclaim their heritage, to rebuild America's foundations, and to preserve the nation from further decline.
One Nation Under God, by Dee Wampler (Evergreen Press, 2008)
It certainly was not inevitable that Ronald Reagan would be elected President in 1980. Conservatives had suffered so many defeats that they didn't anticipate Reagan's victory. As late as Election Day, newspaper headlines reported the Reagan-Carter race "too close to call."
Craig Shirley's book tells the exhilarating story of how Reagan triumphed and made us believe it was morning in America again. In one of the most interesting parts of this book, Craig Shirley describes the unprecedented story of how Establishment and media busybodies at the 1980 Republican National Convention in Detroit tried to get Ronald Reagan to accept Gerald Ford as an unconstitutional "co-president." The book gives a behind-the-scenes account of Reagan's 1980 campaign and landslide victory.
Mr. Shirley interviewed more than 150 insiders. This book is a comprehensive history of the 1980 campaign which was a turning point in American political history and dramatically altered the history of the entire world. His victory ended a half-century of liberalism, reversed a depression, and replaced our appeasement of the Soviet Union with a policy (in Reagan's words) of "we win, they lose." Reagan's leadership led to the collapse of the evil empire, and gave rise to a new generation of conservatism.
Rendezvous with Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign that Changed America, by Craig Shirley (Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2009)
This book describes 20th century politics through separate chapters on five leaders who built the conservative movement: Robert Taft, William Buckley, Barry Goldwater, Phyllis Schlafly, and Ronald Reagan. What distinguishes this book from other recent books on the conservative movement is the author's analysis of the persona of each of those five and how their personalities interacted with their life work in politics: where they came from ideologically, what made them tick, and how they combined their lifestyles with their political activities.
The author correctly identified Robert Taft as the inventor of the modern conservative movement. Long before it was cool to be identified as a conservative, Taft set conservatism on its virtue-claiming course by calling for a society not only with a higher standard of living but with higher standards of character. William Buckley was pictured as adding an intellectual dimension to conservatism, combining anti-Communism with deference to religious faith, and starting the campaign to make liberal a negative word. Barry Goldwater, whom Farber calls "conservatism's John the Baptist figure," led the conservative takeover of the Republican Party, but that dissipated soon after his 1964 defeat.
The author explains how Phyllis Schlafly gave new life to the conservative movement in the 1970s by energizing a network of grassroot activists who wanted to keep the traditional family safe from the feminist agenda. The chapter on Ronald Reagan describes how his optimistic personality made conservatism popular and conservatives nationally electable.
The final chapter is on George W. Bush, whose personality Farber explains very well, but whose presidency, according to Farber, marked "the end of the conservative ascendancy." Farber never guessed that conservatism could rebound as it did on November 2, 2010 after his book was published.
The Rise and Fall of Modern American Conservatism: A Short History, by David Farber (Princeton University Press, 2010)
One of America's most respected scholars, Thomas Sowell, examines the mindset and biases of the intelligentsia and their bad influence on public policy and society. Dr. Sowell defines intellectuals as "people whose occupations deal primarily with ideas — writers, academics, and the like." Their work products are not subject to the everyday accountability faced by engineers, brain surgeons and scientists. The intellectuals have influence since their ideas are disseminated more widely than ever by journalists, teachers, legislators, and lawyers.
According to Dr. Sowell, intellectuals often offer "solutions" to social "problems," or "raise the alarm about some dire danger they claim to have discovered." They believe their specialized expertise makes them qualified to prescribe social policies for others. But the intellectuals are not subject to restraints of the marketplace. Intellectuals rarely lose jobs or suffer loss of reputation for even their most outrageous and false positions, as long as they promote the same worldview as their peers.
Dr. Thomas Sowell makes his case with lots of examples from economics, law, criminology, and foreign policy. He criticizes the intellectuals for ignoring the knowledge and experience of those for whom they presume to make decisions. When the intellectuals are just plain wrong, they pay no price in money or reputation.
Intellectuals and Society, by Dr. Thomas Sowell (Basic Books, 2009)
According to author and activist Tom Pauken, the Republican Party has been hijacked. He claims that "What passes for conservatism in the post-Reagan era is barely recognizable to many who were grassroots activists in the early days of the conservative movement." As a result, he says many people are confused about what conservatism really is. Tom Pauken is a straight shooting Texan who aims to clear up the confusion in his book called Bringing America Home. He primarily blames the pragmatists and "neo-cons" who oversaw much of George W. Bush's domestic policy. Conservative principles of limited government, federalism and limited spending fell by the wayside, as President Bush doubled the size of the Department of Education and gave us a big expansion of entitlements in the Medicare prescription bill.
Tom Pauken blames the neo-conservatives for most of Bush's mistakes. They were former left-wing Democrats who broke ranks with their party but nevertheless believe that big government is OK if they are in charge. The neo-cons wanted the United States to impose democracy by force in the Middle East and throughout the world. In contrast, traditional conservatives believe that our foreign policy should be based on America's national interests, and they are not willing to send troops around the world to engage in nation-building.
Tom Pauken also criticizes how our culture now tolerates everything except God and how the concept of good and evil has been replaced by political correctness. Tom Pauken urges that we return to classic conservative principles on tax policy and constitutional principles.
Bringing America Home, by Tom Pauken (Chronicles Press, 2010)
Former journalism teacher Orlean Koehle exposes the plan to form a North American Union similar to the European Union by bringing about an economic and political merger between the United States, Mexico and Canada. Borders between the three countries would be erased, and they would share only an outer security "perimeter." The U.S. executive branch has entered into a series of agreements and treaties that move us towards this North American Union without congressional or citizen oversight. The author describes the meeting between then-President George W. Bush, Vicente Fox of Mexico, and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin in 2005 to form what they called the Security and Prosperity Partnership. The purpose was to bring about "convergence, harmonization and integration" of the laws and policies of the three nations.
The ultimate goal of this plan, asserts the author, is global governance and economic integration under a socialist regime. She quotes from globalist proponents and their actions to prove the existence of their plan. The strength of the book is Orlean Koehle's abundance of quotes from people and public records, along with relevant citations. Mrs. Koehle's book includes the history of the United Nations, the European Union, and the NAFTA superhighway, which are all key parts of the push for one-world government. One chapter offers encouraging examples of ordinary citizens, legislators and public figures who have thwarted parts of the globalist plans, at least for now.
By Stealth and Deception: USA Transformation and its Parallel to the European Union, by Orlean Koehle (XLibris Corporation, 2010)
The famous educator Robert Hutchins made a profound statement when he said, "To destroy the Western tradition of independent thought, it is not necessary to burn the books. All we have to do is leave them unread for a couple of generations."
This is a useful anthology to help us recall the great words that shaped Western civilization and our heritage. It's also a good guide to helpful quotations from conservatives and the great books that shaped their thinking.
This book includes quotations from across the political spectrum, but the high value that this author places on liberty and capitalism differentiates this anthology from all the others. The widely used Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, for example, selected dozens of quotations from John F. Kennedy and Franklin D. Roosevelt but only three from Ronald Reagan.
Great Quotations that Shaped the Western World, by Carl Middleton (Paragon House, 2008)
This book is essentially a primer on the founding principles every American should have learned in school, but probably didn't. The Founding Fathers devised a government that, for the first time in history, allowed people to come together to decide how they should govern themselves and secure their natural rights given by God.
Spalding's book gives a broad overview of the experiences and philosophies that influenced the Founders. They did not make the Supreme Court the final authority in interpreting the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson wrote: "To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy."
Spalding explains how modern so-called progressive ideas of relativism and human perfectibility led us away from the founding principles and into big government with its bloated central bureaucracy, newly discovered "rights" for various factions, and ever-expanding entitlement programs. In rediscovering the Constitution's original design, we can see how far we've strayed from it, and we can take steps to restore the liberties that made America great.
We Still Hold These Truths: Rediscovering Our Principles, Reclaiming Our Future, by Matthew Spalding (Intercollegiate Studies Institute; 2nd edition, 2010)