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Posts published in “Day: August 20, 2002”

We Must Teach Patriotism

Survival of American Culture at Stake in Textbook Fight

By Michael Quinn Sullivan

Should public schools teach children to hate America? According to some social studies textbooks proposed for use in our schools, and their apologists on the political left, the answer is yes.

As the battle over social studies textbooks continues later this month at Texas’ State Board of Education hearings, the very survival of our way of life is at stake.

Of course, the blame-America groups conduct their “I Object” campaigns of anti-Americanism under the pretense of combating “censorship” and promoting “academic freedom.” Make no mistake, though: left-wing groups want censorship. They unabashedly seek to censor the triumph of the American Experiment while discrediting opponents with assertions of hidden agendas colored with pejoratives.

In their view, America and free enterprise are to blame for everything bad. One textbook describes socialist systems as operating “for the good” of all people, while condemning our economy as greedy Never mind that the quality of life, by any measure, in socialist countries is far below that of the U.S.

One need only look at the standard of living in China, Cuba, Sweden, and elsewhere to see the utter failure of socialism. Why else do millions risk life and limb coming to the US from the “progressive” economies of the socialist world?

Those fanatics objecting to Texas’ open textbook selection process contemptuously sneer at “flag-waving conservatives” seeking to imbue classrooms with patriotism.

What is so wrong with patriotism? The laws of Texas demand patriotism be taught “in regular subject matter… and (considered) in the adoption of textbooks.” A deeply-held respect for our country, rooted in its ideals and history (failures and achievements alike), should be a source of honor, not scorn.

The Texas Education Code, Section 28,002, continues, “A primary purpose of the public school curriculum is to prepare thoughtful, active citizens who understand the importance of patriotism and can function productively in a free enterprise society with appreciation for the basic democratic values of our state and national heritage”

Patriotism – not a flag on a pole – inspired men to live and die so the beacon of liberty could shine brightly in our world. Our children must be taught the immeasurable contribution our nation, people and system has made improving the human condition. If children do not learn the historical value of our system today, as adults they will accept any other.

Some textbooks ridiculously claim slavery was invented by Western European societies. But while African and Asian nations still tolerate – even encourage – slavery, the people of the United States work to eradicate the shameful institution from the face of the planet. Similarly, the United States has led the way in protecting the environment, while socialist countries like China recklessly pollute our world.

Our children should learn it was the free-market culture of the United States that liberated Jews from Hitler’s socialist party-run death camps. The blood of thousands of Americans flowed at Omaha Beach so millions – indeed, billions – of people could live free of tyranny. It was the moral, economic and military might of the United States that crumbled the evil empire of the Soviet Union.
It wasn’t the socialist economies of Europe praised in textbooks that eradicated so much disease and pestilence; it has been the United States. The same system that put a man on the moon also makes it possible for high school dropouts from the worst of neighborhoods to become millionaires. No other nation can make such claims.

In a long-ago conversation with my grandfather, a highly decorated soldier whose service spanned multiple wars and decades, I asked what he thought of the vitriolic, anti-American protests of the 1960s and ‘70s,

“It made me proud,” he said to my surprise, before explaining: “More friends than I can count died, and I killed more people than I want to remember, to ensure stupid people could believe, say and do ridiculous things.”

That is the essence of our freedom. The anti-American movement is alive and well only because our system protects their freedom, if they succeed, and our children are brainwashed with anti-American, socialistic vitriol, our freedoms will be weakened in ways we cannot imagine.

Let the stupid people make their case, but Texans must demand the law be followed and textbooks promote what is good and just: our values, our ideals, and our history.

Abraham Lincoln warned that the Philosophy of the classroom in one generation will be the Philosophy of government in the next. That insight should cause us to shudder with fear, and inspire us to action. Our way of life is at stake.

Michael Sullivan is director of media and government relations for the Texas Public Policy Foundation. The Foundation’s textbook review is available a: www.tppf.org

Taking Stock of Your Hunting Guns

Expert gun builder and gunsmith Kerry O’Day examines one of the custom built, lightweight big game rifles his company MG-Arms produces.

It was too hot to think about hunting. Nevertheless, a few weeks ago, I fast-forwarded my thinking to bird hunting season. That’s quite a revelation for me as well as for a lot of other bird hunters, I know. During this time of year, many sportsmen get busy with late summer activities such as fishing, boating, and last minute family vacations. They wake up one morning and realize that the opening of dove season and the kick-off to the shooting seasons is only a few days away. I speak from long years of experience.

The thing that jogged my thinking into reality was when I happened to retrieve a sleek side-by-side 12 gauge Browning from its hiding place. In looking at the trim lines and engraved receiver, I had pledged that this year I wanted to take it where it belonged – to the hunting fields, shooting at upland birds. Although I had owned it for many years, the reason for the non-use was that the shotgun needed some reworking and a little special care to elevate it to a classic upland bird gun.

I knew just who to call. I contacted long-time friend Kerry O’Day, who owns MG – Arms (formerly Match Grade Ammo) at 281-821-8282 to explain what I needed. When I arrived at MG-Arms on Treaschwig, Kerry’s eyes lit up when I handed him the shotgun. “I’ve always had a weakness for good looking side-by-sides,” he said, as he examined the gun. “I’ll take special care of it for you.”

I asked him to re-choke one of the barrels to an improved cylinder and to install a decelerator-type recoil pad on the stock to reduce a little kick during an afternoon of shooting. O’Day also agreed to polish the shell chambers and clean the barrels to put the little shotgun in top-notch hunting condition.

If you own guns like most outdoorsmen do, finding and keeping a good gunsmith is as important as having a good mechanic, a good dentist, or a good woman, but not necessarily in that order.

When placing a gun in the hands of a gunsmith, you are entrusting someone with a favorite hunting firearm, which may have considerable monetary value as well as an irreplaceable sentimental value. You need to make sure that the person is not only knowledgeable and qualified, but also trustworthy. Avoid the “shade tree” type gunsmiths at all costs. You usually get what you pay for. When talking to the person who will be doing the work on your weapon, don’t be shy about pressing for details on their experience and qualifications.

Kerry opened his full service arms business over 20 years ago and has been working on guns most of his adult life. He and his wife Carol are both dedicated big game hunters, and both have Safari Club International and Boone and Crockett record trophies to their credit. It is only logical that they hunt with the sporting arms they custom build.
Gunsmithing and repair is only a small part of the O’Days’ business. A significant portion of their service is building custom made high caliber but lightweight hunting rifles and large caliber pistols used to hunt big game. Each year, they take orders for custom-built firearms from customers all over the world. They also build custom gunstocks carved from wood or molded from synthetic materials with detailed finishes.

Another service MG-Arms offers is custom loads. Ammunition is hand loaded to the customer’s specifications for his or her own gun. The loads are tested, sighted in, and a data sheet is printed out recording their specific performance and accuracy.

Most gun owners know that the main reason firearms jam is because they are not being kept thoroughly clean. A build-up of dust, moisture, oil, and gunpowder residue is the cause of most malfunctions. Especially for gas operated semi-automatics, the vat bath type cleaning using solvents and oil is a good way to insure that they are clean, says O’Day.

Many hunters are guilty of putting off retrieving their guns from the closet, dusting them off, and getting them ready for a hunting trip until just before the opening of hunting season.

Take the time to get your guns ready for the fall before the crush of the crowds of last minute sportsmen overwhelm local gun shops, even if all of your guns are in perfect working order, you may need a scope mounted, a recoil pad installed, or a trigger pull adjusted. Any customizing to your favorite firearm takes time. If a hard-to-get part has to be ordered, it may cause an extra delay. Don’t expect an overnight miracle.

Now that I have my side-by-side shotgun back looking and working like new, I’m ready for the bird-hunting season. I’m also ready for some cooler weather.

Pet of the Week

August 20, 2002

This week’s featured pet is a four and a half month old female orange tabby cat. She has big sparkling eyes and a personality to match!

Like all the animals at the Harris County Rabies/Animal Control Shelter, she has been spayed and has all her shots.

If you would like to adopt her, please visit the shelter at 602 Canino, west of the Hardy Toll Road.

Please call 281-999-3191 for information and shelter hours.

Texas signs eighth concealed handgun reciprocity agreement

Texas has signed a reciprocal agreement with Wyoming, allowing citizens with concealed handgun licenses issued by Wyoming to legally carry concealed handguns in Texas, and vice versa.

Col. Thomas A. Davis Jr., director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, signed the reciprocity agreement with the state of Wyoming, allowing licensees to visit Texas with their concealed handguns.

”This agreement will allow licensed Texans to travel freely in Wyoming, while enjoying the same or similar privileges their licenses give them at home,” Davis said.

This reciprocity agreement-the eighth Texas has reached with another state-was made possible by 1997 changes to the state’s concealed handgun law. Texas also has reciprocity agreements with Arkansas, Louisiana, Arizona, Florida, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Kentucky.

”Texans should remember that laws vary from state to state, and before traveling, license holders should educate themselves about laws in other states that govern where and when they can legally carry their concealed handguns,” Davis said.

A girl and her board in “Blue Crush”

Kate Bosworth plays the surfer girl with the most promise, Michelle Rodriguez and Sanoe Lake are her surfer girl friends and Mika Boorem is her surfer girl little sister in the surfing movie “Blue Crush.”

Hollywood is not far from the ocean, which might explain why there’s a long history of the specialized genre of surf movies.

Every few years a movie comes out trying to capture the flavor and feel of the surf culture, but unless you’re interested, you probably avoid these movies – which are fairly similar.

“Blue Crush,” the latest surf film, does have a slight twist and it will make you at least want to go to the beach, if not catch a wave.

The twist is not original, but it’s welcome: This time around the focus is on female surfers in a male dominated sport and the dangers of surfing in general. There’s also campy fun and a straight-out-of-the-book romance as well as some gorgeous surfing shots and Hawaiian scenery.

Having spent my formative years in Hawaii immersed in the hang loose culture, I’d have to say the filmmakers get more right than wrong about the way things are there.

It’s the scenery that is memorable, not the plot, which is the same old athlete trying to do her best in the face of adversity. Pretty young Anne Marie (Kate Bosworth) lives to surf, but she’s having trouble getting over the fact that she almost died doing what she loves. This is holding her back from competing in the Pipe Masters surf competition that is held in her back yard, the North Shore of Oahu.

Anne Marie is physically ready for the competition. We know this because we see her running on the beach, doing sit-ups, pulling her friends while jogging on the ocean bottom and other training methods. Plus, her body is perfect. She is not ready psychologically. We know this because she has nightmares and sudden visions of her head hitting coral.

She can take the snide, territorial remarks from the guys – some of them played by non-acting locals to add authenticity. What Anne Marie has trouble with, other then her fear of drowning, is the fact that her mother abandoned her and her 14-year-old sister to run off with a man. Penny (Mika Boorem Mel Gibson’s daughter in “The Patriot”) is turning into a partying beach bum while Anne Marie just wants her to get an education and be a good girl.

She doesn’t want Penny to work as a maid at a local resort, which is what she and her two housemates do. That is until Anne Marie gets fired for telling a guest that he’s a slob. Michelle Rodriguez (“The Fast and the Furious”) and Hawaii native Sanoe Lake are her surfing buddies/housemates.

The slob’s friend (cutie Matthew Davis, last seen in “Legally Blond”), a professional quarterback, is attracted to Anne Marie and asks her to give him surfing lessons. Not surprisingly, surfing is not all they do.

“Blue Crush” – a pretty lame title – is a girl empowerment movie. Anne Marie’s quarterback tells her one reason he likes her is because she is not the type of girl to ask a man what to do. This is right after she has an identity crisis and asks him what to do. Never fear, she comes to her senses and does the right thing in the end – of course.

Bosworth, who you might recall from “Remember the Titans,” is very appealing and did most of her own surfing, as did all the girls. The real big waves were handled by professional doubles. No blue screens were used and you can tell.

For those that know anything about professional woman’s surfing – not me – you’ll recognize some familiar faces making cameos.

“Blue Crush” is a pleasant, slight fantasy, with little to say other than that girls can surf with the boys and Hawaii is pretty. If you demand more than that from your movies you need to look elsewhere.

Rated-PG-13 sexual content, teen partying, language and a fight

Happy 14th Birthday, August 20th to Danielle J. Smith

Danielle is a 8th grade student at Hambrick Middle School where she participates in the band and on the vollyball team. She is a member of the New Pleasant Grove Baptist Church where she is an active member of the Girl Scouts of America and member of the youth choir. This birthday message comes from her mom (Daphne Walters), Dad (Bruce Walters), Brother (Deandrae Smith), Grandmother (Evelyn Smith), Uncle (Andrae Smith) and her special Godmother (Cly Whittaker) and host of family and friends. May God bless her with many more!!

In Memory of Mary H. Andrade

11-16-56 • 8-8-01

It’s been a year since you left. I can’t believe it only seems like it was all yesterday

I don’t know what it is but I’m always sad and depress

I love you with all my heart

I couldn’t stand to live another day without you
I sit in my room at night and think why the hell I couldn’t go with you

I wanna leave and go be with you because I can’t stop thinking about you

I know its been one long year but it seems like yesterday!! Your loved always by husband Juan Andrade, sons: Larry and Paul, daughters Marlo, MaryAlice, Marie, Marina, also many niece, nephews, grandchildren, sisters, brothers. We miss you also and always!! Rest in peace!!

Simply eat, simply give at Aug. 29 Hunger Lunch

Eat a simple meal and help buy a cow for a poor community in Honduras at Hunger Lunch, Aug. 29 at Baylor College of Medicine.

The student-run Baylor World Health Organization is sponsoring the event, held in the foyer of the Alkek building at Baylor, One Baylor Plaza. Cost is $2 and includes beans, rice, tortillas and salsa provided by Chipotle.

Proceeds will benefit building a “nutritional device,” such as a chicken coop or a cow, for the people of Santa Anna.

Baylor’s Shoulder to Shoulder program visits Santa Anna twice a year to provide medical services to the children, women and men of the surrounding areas.

Hunger Lunch is part of the Baylor World Health Organization’s International Health Week, Aug. 24 to Aug. 30. The week also features an International Health Fair on August 29 in the Alkek lobby from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. For more information contact Anju Ganeshappa at 713-796-2834.

Aldine Y.O.U.T.H to host after school program

The Aldine Y.O.U.T.H. community center, 4700 Aldine Mail Rt., is holding 2 registrations for its after school program. Registration dates are Wednesday, August 21st at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, August 24th at 11 a.m.

You must be on time and parent and child must attend in order for the child to begin. The program is free, but a $10.00/month snack fee will be charged. If you miss these registration dates, you can call the Center to set up a time to come in for orientation.

The after school program will be held Monday – Thursday from 3:30 – 6 p.m. beginning Monday, August 26th. Children must be 5 years old or older to attend. Activities include homework assistance, computer lab, tutoring, snacks, sports, arts & crafts, games, and more.

The center is offering stipends for 5 after school tutors ages l0th grade to adult. To apply, please come by the center and fill out an application as soon as possible. Volunteers are always needed for this program others.

For more information, call the community center at 281-449-4828.

Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church presents Youth Choir Annual Day

Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church proudly presents our youth as they celebrate the Youth Choir Annual Day. We thank God for the many blessings He has bestowed upon us as we strive to serve Him. Matrons: Sis. T. Brown, Sis. M. Brown and Sis. Riston. Musician: Sis. B. Emanuel, Percussionist: Bro. D. Everett, and Bass Guitarist, Bro. H. Brown. Rev. S. B. Brown, Sr. Pastor. The youth has also established The Angelic Praise Dancers with Sis. B. Emanuel director and Sis. Rashetta Mack dance co-ordinator. The Lord is truly blessing us. We would like to thank all of our members, friends and relatives for supporting our efforts in purchasing the new uniforms for our youth.

May God continue to bless each and everyone of you.