Poignant VIDEO Recalls the Christmas Truce of 1914

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Sainsbury’s, the second largest chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom, commemorated the 100th anniversary of the First World War’s “Christmas Truce” a couple years back with this incredibly poignant ad. As described by The Telegraph:

“On Christmas Day 100 years ago, British and German soldiers put down their weapons and ventured into No Man’s Land to wish each other Merry Christmas.

The video portrays the Christmas Day truce, as it was described in letters and diaries from both sides.

It begins with the German troops singing Silent Night, before the carol is taken up by the British men sitting just a few hundred yards away in their trench.

Eventually a young British soldier, Jim, dares to leave his trench and greet his rivals. Soon both sides are exchanging stories and festive greetings. A football match even takes place before the two armies exchange parting gifts…”

May the humanity of these soldiers amidst the insanity of a world at war give us all hope. Simply a beautiful reminder of a long ago event.

 

The Impassioned Populism of George Bailey

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As part of our family’s Thanksgiving Day tradition we once again watched the 1946 classic movie, It’s a Wonderful Life starring Jimmy Stewart. I’m not going to rehash the plot of Frank Capra’s most famous film at this time, as no doubt the vast majority of readers are familiar with it. Needless to say, the theme of Stewart & Capra’s masterpiece is timeless and universal: No man is a failure who has friends.

While watching the movie again this year something else struck me: the overtly populist message of the film, most particularly as it is represented with Stewart’s Oscar nominated performance as George Bailey, the quintessential small town American.

It is during George’s defense of the family operated Bailey Bros. Building and Loan against the evil, aging, oligarch Mr. Potter (brilliantly portrayed by the legendary actor Lionel Barrymore) that we are treated to the populist theme of the movie.

In this current year of Brexit, Bernie and ultimately Trump, George Bailey’s impassioned defense of the working man against the elite takes on an entirely new sense of meaning.

Potter: …and all because a few starry-eyed dreamers like Peter Bailey stir ’em up and fill their head with a lot of impossible ideas. Now, I say —

Bailey: Just a minute – just a minute. Now, hold on, Mr. Potter. Just a minute. Now, you’re right when you say my father was no business man. I know that. Why he ever started this cheap, penny-ante Building and Loan, I’ll never know. But neither you nor anybody else can say anything against his character, because his whole life was — Why, in the twenty-five years since he and Uncle Billy started this thing, he never once thought of himself. Isn’t that right, Uncle Billy? He didn’t save enough money to send Harry to school, let alone me. But he did help a few people get outta your slums, Mr. Potter. And what’s wrong with that? Why — here, you’re all businessmen here. Don’t it make them better citizens? Doesn’t it make them better customers?

You, you said that they — What’d you say just a minute ago? They had to wait and save their money before they even thought of a decent home. Wait? Wait for what?! Until their children grow up and leave them? Until they’re so old and broken-down that — You know how long it takes a workin’ man to save five thousand dollars? Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you’re talking about, they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath? Anyway, my father didn’t think so. People were human beings to him, but to you, a warped, frustrated old man, they’re cattle. Well, in my book he died a much richer man than you’ll ever be.

Potter: I’m not interested in your book. I’m talkin’ about the Building and Loan.

Bailey: I know very well what you’re talking about. You’re talking about something you can’t get your fingers on, and it’s galling you. That’s what you’re talking about, I know. Well…I’ve said too much. I — You’re…the Board here. You do what you want with this thing. There’s just one thing more, though. This town needs this measly one-horse institution if only to have some place where people can come without crawling to Potter. Come on, Uncle Billy!

HUGE Education Reform Likely Under Trump

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“As your President, I will be the nation’s biggest cheerleader for school choice. I want every single inner city child in America who is today trapped in a failing school to have the freedom – the civil right – to attend the school of their choice. I understand many stale old politicians will resist. But it’s time for our country to start thinking big once again. We spend too much time quibbling over the smallest words, when we should spend our time dreaming about the great adventures that lie ahead.” – Donald J. Trump

There may be no greater impact felt by the electoral victory of Donald Trump than in the area of education. This is somewhat ironic considering how little time or attention has been given to the topic since Mr. Trump’s surprise win on November 8. But considering what candidate Trump promised, there appears to be HUGE potential for positive reform in America’s education policy.

At this point little is known about the next administrations plans beyond a few key basics. As noted today by the Los Angeles Times:

“He has said he might eliminate or scale back the U.S. Department of Education. He wants to create a new school voucher program, support home-schooling, beef up childcare subsidies.”

For parents and educators looking to bust up the educational monopoly of the federal government and teachers unions, this is music to our ears. Even more promising is this tidbit of information courtesy of the Times as well:

“Traditionally, for example, both candidates appear before the American Federation of Teachers union to be considered for endorsement, said the union’s president, Randi Weingarten. Trump didn’t come — and the transition team has not returned her calls.”

Politically, this is a winning issue whose time has come.

Gone are the days when Democrats (and even some Republicans) could claim that school choice was somehow dangerous or damaging for children and society. The steady increase of charter schools and homeschooling in recent years has changed the manner in which the public (the voting public that is) perceives educational options for their children.

The ongoing loss of confidence in public education has coincided with this increase in support for school choice. As Gallup has noted, those who have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in public schools plummeted to 29% in 2012, down from 33% in 2007/2008, and down from 58% in 1973, the first time Gallup included public schools in their survey.

After decades of struggle against the government, political, and educational establishment, it appears that parents and their children might finally have a reason to celebrate.

Considering the Left’s long time control over the public schools, and their willingness to wage the culture wars through the indoctrination of the youngest and most impressionable-our children-education reform under the Trump administration has the potential to be an area of huge importance.

We can only hope.

 

This is What a Godless Generation Looks Like

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Millennials are triggered. Thousands are in the streets protesting the election of Donald Trump to the presidency. While some of the demonstrators are no doubt paid operatives of the Left, many are simply members of America’s self-entitlement generation. And they are throwing a major league temper tantrum.

Since when do Americans protest and riot against the results of a FAIR election? Hasn’t anyone taught them how adults are supposed to behave when their candidate loses? Instead we have to hear nonsense about younger voters being “wounded” by Mr. Trump’s electoral victory. Describing the psyche of student protestors, Berkley High Principal Sam Pasarow told NBC News:

“They’re angry. They’re crying and they feel unsafe. There’s a great amount of solidarity.”

Fear. Anger. Unsafe. Despair. These are the emotions, the feelings, that reportedly are fueling the unrest. That seems to be the consensus of the Left, the Right, and the media.

I would like to suggest that there is another significant factor at play here: Hopelessness. We are seeing what a godless generation looks like. These demonstrations are the actions of a group of Americans who look to the state and to political causes to provide meaning and purpose.

Millennials (b. 1980-1995) were raised without the traditional, cultural, constructs of organized religion. As the Pew Research Center discovered with their 2014 Religuous Landscape Survey:

“Millennials – especially the youngest Millennials, who have entered adulthood since the first Landscape Study was conducted – are far less religious than their elders. For example, only 27% of Millennials say they attend religious services on a weekly basis, compared with 51% of adults in the Silent generation…Only about half of Millennials say they believe in God with absolute certainty, compared with seven-in-ten Americans in the Silent and Baby Boom cohorts. And only about four-in-ten Millennials say religion is very important in their lives, compared with more than half in the older generational cohorts.”

This is the generation of unaffiliation and unbelief. A staggering 25 percent of Americans born after 1980 are not religious, with half of those either atheist or agnostic at best.

While I’m not a fan of Senator John McCain (R-AZ), he made a salient point when running for the Republican nomination in 2000, one very applicable here. Sen. McCain often said that young people want to belong to something bigger than just themselves. The Millennials are no different, except (instead of a cause) they were handed an empty box by their parents. The very same boomers and Gen X parents complaining the loudest about these pampered protestors in the streets actually raised this godless generation! Even worse, they handed over the ideological formation of their children to college professors and Hollywood elites. The Left was happy to fill the void.

It’s a sad day when a generation looks to Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, or Hillary Clinton for their hope. It’s a scary time for a nation when a generation looks to politics for their purpose. The manifestation of this generational experiment of removing God and religion from the public square can be seen in the violence and destruction taking place today.

God help us.

[Photo Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images]