America’s Constitution Made Easy (Part 4)

The war for independence from England had begun. Farmers, merchants, schoolteachers, pastors, and young boys would join Washington’s forces to defeat the redcoats from 1775-1783. Paul Revere and friends hung two lanterns for a short time in the steeple of Christ Church in Boston to warn that the British intended to use the sea to get to Lexington. He, then, made his way through the countryside on April 18, 1775 warning that the redcoats were coming to gather up munitions in Lexington. The first shots were fired at Lexington and Concord and then there was a deadly battle on Bunker Hill and Breed’s Hill on June 17th, 1775. Fort Ticonderoga would be captured from the British in May 1775. The newly formed Continental Army under General Washington would put a siege on Boston and starve out the British. The battles would go back and forth-victories for the Patriots and then for the British. The British armada would arrive in New York Harbor during the summer of 1776 with 400 ships. The Continental army would suffer serious defeat at the Battle of Brooklyn August 27, 1776. Washington would be surrounded by British troops and General Howe. He decided to miraculously ferry 9000 troops and supplies across the East River to Manhattan Island throughout the night and morning. A thick fog would prevent any British movement while the evacuation continued and succeeded under the blanket of God’s protection. The Battle of Kip’s Bay would shortly ensue, leaving New York City in the hands of the British. On Christmas night, December 1776, Washington moved his troops across the Delaware into Trenton, New Jersey. They would attack on December 26th and surprise the Hessian (German) army. The result would be a victory for the Patriots and an increase in morale after much defeat. There would be hunger, disease, desertion, intense cold (Valley Forge), but the troops persevered, trusting in God. There would be many calls to prayer, fasting, humility, repentance, and thankfulness throughout the war. Finally, in the Battle of Yorktown, Virginia, General Cornwallis would surrender to the Continental Army with the help of the French and General Lafayette on October 17, 1781. America was finally free.

British evacuation of Boston 1776

(British evacuating Boston 1776)

To be continued…

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America’s Constitution Made Easy (Part 3)

King George III did not receive the Olive Branch Petition from the colonists well. Tensions between England and the colonists continued to escalate. After much deliberation at the Second Continental Congress-Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence. There were many revisions and heartfelt discussions. 56 delegates from 13 colonies would bravely sign this document that officially separated America from England’s authority, dated July 4, 1776. The introduction (Preamble) to our country’s new government invoked human rights given to us by “their Creator” (God). Jefferson would write:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident,

that all men are created equal,

that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,

that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men,

deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,

laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness….”

These words are living today and apply to every person in our country. This would include the yet to be born living in mother’s wombs from conception to the very oldest person. The presumption here is love of God and love for one another. No person gets more rights, more votes, or exemptions from laws. Justice is justice for everyone.

To be continued…

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America’s Constitution Made Easy (Part 2)

1492 was the beginning of a new world era. Columbus would sail under the Spanish flag and discover lands not know to the Europeans. Shortly, thereafter, many European nations would send explorers seeking new opportunities in the new world. England attempted to start a colony in 1607 in Jamestown, Virginia. Thirteen years later, the Pilgrims would arrive in Plymouth to begin their successful plantation. The Puritans followed and established the Massachusetts Bay Colony with the help of Plymouth. Flash forward 100 years and there are colonies thriving throughout what is now the Northeastern United States. The French had their stake in the land, as well as, the English. The Native Americans had their land too. In 1756 the Seven Years’ War would begin between the French and English over land rights. A young 22 year old George Washington would fight in that war. He had 2 horses shot out from under him and 4 musket ball holes shot through his coat. Providence protected him for America’s future. After the war, England needed money to pay for their war debt. King George III and Parliament began taxing the colonists without giving them a voice in the matter. There was the Sugar Act of 1764, the Stamp Act of 1765, the Townshend Acts of 1767, and the Tea Act of 1773. Throughout all this, tension was rising between British soldiers and colonists. In 1770, the Boston Massacre occurred where 5 civilians would die. By the end of 1773, the Boston Tea Party would result in 342 chests of tea being dumped into the harbor from British ships. The First Continental Congress would meet from September 5, 1774-late October 1774. 55 representatives would be present from all of the colonies except Georgia. The meeting would be in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in Carpenters’ Hall discussing the repeal of the Intolerable Acts and attempting to establish peace with England. Tensions would continue to escalate, however, and the bloody battles of Lexington and Concord would ensue on April 19, 1775. In May 1775, the Second Continental Congress would gather again, but this time in the Pennsylvania State House, to draft an Olive Leaf Petition to King George III in the hopes of a peaceful resolution to the recent conflicts. A Continental Army was created with George Washington selected as the Commander-in Chief.

To be continued….

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America’s Constitution Made Easy (Part 1)

“Every child (citizen) in America should be acquainted with his own country. He should read books that furnish him with ideas that will be useful to him in life and practice. As soon as he opens his lips, he should rehearse the history of his own country.” (Noah Webster 1788)

As a public educator for decades, I can attest that our educational institutions have robbed this generation of a proper educational history of this country. “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which factual knowledge gives.” (James Madison) While mostly meaningless busy work fills students’ backpacks and fills hours of their days-the majority do do not know that the United States Constitution is the oldest written document that continues to be used in our nation to restrain the government from usurpation. George Washington pledged to never abandon the guide of the Constitution as he was unanimously “elected” to govern America while protecting individual liberty and extending justice to everyone.

Let’s take a trip back to the Middle Ages in England. This is where liberty began to grow. King Henry I was challenged by the barons and earls who did not accept his governing policies. This resulted in the Charter of Liberties that contained 14 declarations that bound the king to certain laws that protected church officials and nobles from injustice.

A century later, The Magna Carta was written in 1215. This was the first document forced onto an English king by barons to restrain his power and protect their privileges. Within this document justice was instituted in that no free man could be punished except through the law of the land. Thomas Jefferson was well acquainted with this document as he wrote the Declaration of Independence and insisted on a Bill of Rights being included in the Constitution.

To be continued…

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2021 Resolution: Grow Some Edibles

There is nothing like working in a garden-getting your hands dirty, digging, planting, harvesting…in the sunshine and outdoors. The ecosystem comes to life—birds of many kinds and colors visit throughout the day, varieties of butterflies flutter by, pollinate, and multiply throughout the year, bees busily and faithfully buzz from flower to flower. The soil is full of life too-red worms wiggling, bacteria and fungi decomposing, and other microorganisms doing what they were created to do-to help the roots nutrify their fruit and flowers.

Producing good soil is not easy. It took us years to transform our black adobe clay into a nutrient dense dirt. We used organic chicken manure from our hens and lots of mulch and compost. It also takes years to build up a good garden. We have fruit trees, berry bushes, and seasonal perennials working together to keep pests at a minimum.

A study in Finland found that children who took care of plants in planter boxes that used forest undergrowth, showed that the diversity in their gut microbes improved and their skin was healthier. These changes were noticed in about a month. So why not start the new year in a garden? We usually start our morning there–getting morning sunlight all year long while maintaining our bird bath and managing our small space.

“The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” (Genesis 2:15)

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Thanksgiving Story in One Minute: Pilgrims, Squanto, Feast

The Pilgrims were a group of dedicated Christians who lived in a town called Scrooby in Nottinghamshire, England. This group included William Bradford, the future governor of Plymouth and William Brewster, a church leader. They wanted to worship their God according to the history of the church going back to the Apostle’s teaching in the first century. The Church of England was more traditional and required conformity to their order of worship. After struggling with conformity to the State’s idea of worship, this small group decided to “separate” from England. First. they moved to the Dutch Netherlands and settled in Leyden. They had religious freedom, but struggled with finding good work and were concerned about their children losing their language and nationality. They decided to adventure to the new world and contracted with a 43 year old English merchant named Thomas Weston- financed by the Council of New England. Their first ship, the Speedwell was leaky and they had to turn back. The second ship, the Mayflower, was 3 times larger with 102 passengers, but they got a late start. On a 65 day voyage 4 died before arriving to Plymouth. By the next summer, 50 more would be dead. On Monday, November 21, 1620, a shallop full of men would arrive somewhere between Captain’s Hill and The Rock to explore while the Mayflower remained moored in Provincetown Harbor. The men (Planters) on board had contracted to work for 7 years (with the Adventurers) for their passage. The first native to greet the Pilgrims was an Abenaki Sagamore named Samoset. He surprised the Pilgrims when he arrived in their village and began speaking broken English to them. Samoset learned to speak English from British fishermen up near what is now Maine. He went back to the tribe he was visiting and told Squanto that there were some nice people living where his tribe used to be, but they were doing everything wrong in planting their crops .(It is estimated that Squanto was born about 1580 near Plymouth, Massachusetts. In 1614, he was kidnapped by an English explorer named Thomas Hunt who brought him to Spain where he was sold into slavery. Squanto escaped and eventually returned to North America-having learned English along the way. Sadly, Paxtuxet, the place of Squanto’s tribe, had been wiped out by a plague about 4 years before he arrived back home.) The Pilgrims had settled there. Samoset was visiting the Wampanoag Chieftain Massasoit at the time of the first meeting. On March 16,1621, Samoset entered the encampment at Plymouth, greeted the colonists in English and asked for some beer. After spending the night with the Pilgrims, he left to return with the five others, who brought deerskins to trade. Since it was Sunday, they did not want to do business on the Sabbath day, but offered food to them and were hospitable. On March 22, 1621, Samoset brought back Squanto. Squanto would stay with the Pilgrims and would be their interpreter . He was considered a “special instrument of God”. He showed them how to grow corn so that it would be fruitful. He guided them to unknown places and never left them until his death. He told them how to use fish to replenish the exhausted soil. He showed them the brook that was full of fish in April and how to live off the land that he knew so well. In his last days, Squanto fell ill of Indian fever and asked the governor to pray for him that he might go to the Englishmen’s God in heaven. According to sources, the first Thanksgiving, in the Fall of 1621, included waterfowl, wild turkeys, fish, venison, and possibly some of the following items. The Pilgrim’s gardens were probably filled with cabbages, artichokes, carrots, cucumbers, collards, parsnips, turnips, beets, onions garlic, radishes, lettuce and spinach. They would grow seasoning herbs like sage, thyme, parsley, marjoram, and fennel. Both the natives and Pilgrim women grew beans and squashes like pumpkins. Cranberries, Concord grapes, and nuts like walnuts and chestnuts may have been on the menu as well. They also grew and dried blueberries and currants. There was much to celebrate that first full harvest season. It is believed that because munitions were fired to celebrate, that natives showed up too, and the celebration and unity continued between them. Peace would exist between the Wampanoag and Pilgrims for 24 years.

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Sweet Summer Corn Steps from our Door

Yesterday, I harvested our corn.  We sprouted it in March…so it took a while to mature.  We live in climate zone 10-with micro-climates on our small space.  Raccoons visit us almost nightly.  A few weeks ago, my husband awoke to the sound of foraging…and in the full moon light watched our corn patch dance as our visitors dug for delicious red worms.  Our corn was spared-perhaps a bit tilted by harvest.  I prepared the soil with chicken manure and wood chips when transplanting the corn sprouts.  I kept the soil wet.  We had no insect infestation and are looking forward to dinner tonight with our locally grown harvest.judo private 041

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Unmasking FDR, 32nd President by 8th Grade Student

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the longest serving president in U.S. history. President Roosevelt was elected to third term during the Great Depression. His economic policy was questionable. World War II would bring war to our shores. FDR had an unusual friendship with Joseph Stalin. He broke his oath to keep the Constitution. President Roosevelt died in his fourth term.

The economic policy of FDR violated the Constitution. He meddled in farming. He created the Federal Grain Act which was similar to Stalin’s communist control of wheat in Russia. He destroyed food to raise the prices of cotton, wheat, …etc. A farmer in Ohio, (Wickard vs. Filvurn 1942), was told he could not grow his own wheat for his family’s use. Roosevelt’s Public Work’s Program took money from the productive in the form of taxes, which extended the Depression. His foreign policy was not any better than his economic policy.

President Roosevelt’s foreign policy was unconstitutional. He provoked the Japanese by sending American “cruisers” near Japanese warships. FDR said, “I don’t mind losing one or two cruisers (1,800 men), but do not take a chance on losing 5 or 6.”. He also put pressure on Japan to break their alliance with Italy and Germany. It worked, and Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, killing over 2,400 men. Roosevelt’s response was, this as quoted by his wife Eleanor, “In spite of his anxiety, Franklin was in a way more serene (after the attack) than he had appeared in a long time. I think it was steadying to know finally that the die was cast… [It] was far from the shock it proved to the contrary in general. We had been expecting something of sort for a long time.”. FDR accomplished his goal of getting America into WWII.

Many people do not know about Roosevelt’s unusual friendship with Joseph Stalin. He nicknamed him “Uncle Joe”. FDR gave legitimacy to Stalin’s eastern European takeover. It seemed that they agreed with each other. Socialism was more of FDR’s goal than liberty.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt robbed Americans of their liberty. He expanded and created many government programs. His domestic policies in agriculture disrupted the free market. Thousands of young boys/men where killed in WWII. Communist expansion in Europe occurred without disapproval. FDR’s presidency trampled individual rights, prosperity, and foreign policy.

Bibliography

1) Woods,Thomas E. The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Washington, DC; Regnery Publishing Inc, 2004.

2) Napolitano, Judge Andrew P. Lies The Government Told You. Nashville, Tennessee; Thomas Nellson, 2010.

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American History, 1776 Remembered

All students should listen to this at least once a year….to remember…”History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”  Mark Twain

 

 

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Constitutional Fireworks

4th-of-july-fireworks

 

After four drafts, Thomas Jefferson presented this to the Continental Congress, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…”  Twelve years later, in 1788, James Madison would convey the Constitution at the Constitutional Convention.

The ideas that were drafted in these two brilliant documents came from English law and history.  The documents establish a contractual relationship between the people and the government.  A relationship is a two way dialogue.  These amazing documents declare that the government has one job:  To protect the individual liberties of its citizens.  Commerce (business) was to be regular (not regulated).  Money is to be honest and the markets are to be free.  The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were written to keep government away from infringing on God given individual liberty.  The Constitution is a small, dense document which clearly states how far government can go, while preserving the rights of the people in the Bill of Rights.  These documents were written acknowledging each person’s God given individual rights-using God given morality (Bible) as their guide.  Our founders acknowledged that we are one nation under God (Psalm 2).  The more people understand their God given rights as given in the Bible, the more the people will know what the “consent of the governed” means.  Happy Independence Day 2020!

 

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