Today’s Bookworm Beat is about inspired people and uninspiring, even creepy, politicians. It’s not all good, but it’s all interesting.
I prefer to think of myself as “helpful” rather than as a “pushover.” No matter the word, though, when certain people (children, spouse, clients, neighbors, siblings) say “jump,” my usual response is “how high?” I’ve been doing a lot of jumping lately, which explains the paucity of blogging.
It’s not all working for others, though. Some of what put a temporary break on my blogging is an existential ennui about the state of American politics. I’m quite pleased with what President Donald Trump has been doing in office, but I’m royally sickened by the utterly irrational hatred directed against him.
Even as the American media claims Trump is the world’s laughingstock because he fed fish wrong (he didn’t) or walked away from a tumbling leader (whom he couldn’t see) or incorrectly drank bottled water (there’s a correct way?), the rest of the world sees a quite effective leader who is helping reinstate America’s position in the world. More than that, I have a strong suspicion that, following the worldwide disasters following the Obama “lead from behind” vacuum, most nations will be happy to see America protecting Western civilization once again.
I did have one marginally interesting insight after discussing with a friend the fact that Franklin Roosevelt, a child of incredible privilege, was a hardcore socialist whose economic policies dragged the Depression out for almost an entire decade. FDR, I told my friend, is a reminder that, in America, Leftism is a disease of the upper classes. They are arrogant enough to believe that, if they control the levers of power, they can solve all America’s problems.
The rest of this post will be links to other stuff. Let me start with two links that carry with them the promise of creating better, strong young men and women in America.
Raising money for a good cause. The first link is to a fundraising request from Colonel George Bristol (USMC, Retired). Bristol, having served our country for 38 years, is now the headmaster of a small, classical Christian school. Before I get to his request, let me say that the friend who referred me to the fundraising page served under the Colonel and says that there are few finer men in America.
The school Bristol heads is an intellectually challenging, morally demanding environment that must compete for funding with other private institutions. It’s ironic, really, that America’s hard-Left, routinely-failing public schools have taxpayer money thrown at them, thanks to all-powerful teachers’ unions that use mandatory union dues to buy politicians who vote them raises. Meanwhile schools that make a difference struggle. But that’s the world in which we — and the Colonel’s school — live.
Bristol’s fundraiser asks that you believe in him as he believes in his school:
I am now 59 years old – and in the words of my friend and physical trainer of professionals Pavel Tsatsouline, Colonel George Bristol is “a hard man with very high mileage. He will never quit on a mission.” That statement is true, and I am committed to this community here at Whitefish Christian Academy – and my part of the mission is clear.
On 8 December 2017, I will execute a workout of 3000 repetitions to fund raise for families and teachers of our school. The exercise list will include all of the traditional exercises that I do here with our students: Pushups; Leg Raises; Kettlebell Swings; Dumbbell Clean and Press; Farmers Walk with 80 Pound Sandbag; Jump Rope; Indian Clubs; and the TRX Suspension Trainer. I will execute it in one workout session. This workout is one I taught a group of the students as part of a program called the Ministry of Strength that I initiated when I took over as Headmaster. My part of the mission is to give my all for this community. Giving my all to a worthy cause is something I learned in the Marine Corps. That is my part of the mission.
I got exhausted just reading about the Colonel’s planned exercise circuit. And here’s how you, if you have a little extra change lying around, can help:
Help me complete this mission. Help me by contributing to this group. Your contribution will give you a tax credit as per the 501C(3) status of my school. Any amount of money you can give will go EXCLUSIVELY to teacher and student scholarship. I am looking to raise $10,000.00 to give several families the ability to remain here. Time starts right now. You have my solemn word – as a Marine and a man – that every dollar contributed will go DIRECTLY to those in need.
Generous people have ensured that Bristol has already raised almost $12,000 for his school, but you know that whatever excess money doesn’t get used up this year will be used next year. So, as I said, if you have a little change lying around, it’s a good thing to seed the next generation of educated, moral people. Without them, what’s America to do?
Training Marines to be good, rather than telling them not to be bad. As you all know, as a parent, I subscribe with absolute fervor to a “Catch them being good” philosophy (which you can read about here). Indeed, I bring this philosophy to every area of my life. As part of my journey from insecure, verbally vicious, judgmental young bitch, to fairly secure, usually quite nice middle-aged lady, I’ve learned that appealing to people’s best instincts, rather than scolding them for their worst, is a marvelously effective way to get things done — and to do so with honor and good cheer.
No wonder, then, that I loved an article that my friend Sergeant Major Michael Burke of the United States Marine Corps wrote for the U.S. Naval Institute. I can summarize the article briefly — it urges the Pentagon to stop drowning Marines in endless, repetitive classes warning them away from all sorts of (often politically correct) bad behavior, while failing utterly to give them an inspiring vision of what it means to be a Marine. [Read more…]