Wednesday, May 20, 2015

From Fear to Freedom By Gary Sumner

From Fear to Freedom
WWII - Never Forget - Never Again
By Gary Sumner

"Compelling story, impeccable research, excellent writing."
--Brian Sussman, KSFO Radio Talk Show Host & bestselling author

In Gary Sumner's new book, From Fear to Freedom: WWII - Never Forget - Never Again, he tells the story of a prisoner who tried to escape one of Hitler's prison camps but disappeared. In both the Pacific and European theaters in WWII, prisoners who tried to escape were sentenced to severe punishment - even death. In From Fear to Freedom, his heroine, Nikki Brown, an investigative reporter, went on a quest to Germany to find out what had happened to a POW from WWII who her grandfather had told her about.

As history tells us, Adolf Hitler ruled with an iron fist during his horrifying reign. When the war was coming to an end, the Nazis in more than one case put POWs in barns and then set them on fire. The Nazis wanted no witnesses to testify against them. The dead, however, spoke loud and clear of the Nazis' barbarism.

Of the hundreds of Hitler's prison camps, Commandant Schmidt was in charge of the camp where a young Army Air Corps pilot, Captain James Hansen, was held. The Commandant had countless rules, each with its own punishment. Escape attempts carried the death penalty. Captain Hansen nevertheless tried to escape, and like the others before him, he failed. When he was marched back into camp, the Commandant greeted him with: "Welcome back, Captain. Care to take a walk?" The commandant gave those condemned to death a choice: the firing squad or an unknown fate, deep in the woods. When they came to a stop, Hansen realized the other choice was what he feared the most.

Nikki's grandfather Vince was also a POW in Commandant Schmidt's camp, where he witnessed Captain Hansen being led into the woods. The Captain was the only one who never returned to face the firing squad. Whatever was in the woods, Hansen chose the unknown. What was in the woods? Only Commandant Schmidt knew and he kept that a secret.

Many years later, Nikki's grandfather Vince shared his war experiences with his young granddaughter, gradually revealing more and more as she grew old enough to handle the truth and understand the valuable life lessons that history teaches. When she finally learns the story of the mysterious young Army Air Corp pilot, she sets out on a journey to find out who he was and his fate. It is a journey that led her across the United States to Germany where she discovered the terrifying power of fear, the inspirational power of faith, and the he healing power of forgiveness.

About the Author: Gary Sumner comes from a long line of patriots starting in the 1600s. The most famous was Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts. Senator Sumner was nearly beaten to death for his stance against slavery. He and Lincoln, were such good friends, when the President was shot, the Senator was allowed to stay with him during the night while he lay dying. Gary has dedicated more than thirty years of research on the courageous lives of dedicated Americans and pivotal events of our country's history. Gary has uniquely woven history with a twist of a mystery into an intriguing book, leaving the reader wanting to learn more.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Life Under Compulsion By Anthony Esolen

How to Raise Kids Who Can Resist Today's 
Life Under Compulsion
New Book Shows Parents How to Give Children Solid Foundations in an Increasingly Hostile Culture

"Esolen signals with this book his presence in the top rank of authors of cultural criticism."
--The American Spectator

How do you raise a child who can sit with a good book and read? ...who doesn't have to buy the latest gadget? ...who is not bound to the instant urge, wherever it may be found? Thoughtful parents everywhere ask these kinds of questions but struggle to find answers. But now the acclaimed author Anthony Esolen shows the way in his new book, the eagerly anticipated follow-up to his influential Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child.

In Life Under Compulsion: Ten Ways to Destroy the Humanity of Your Child, Esolen targets how contemporary life harms our children--Common Core, smartphones, video games, sex ed, travel teams, Twitter, politicians, popular music, advertising, a world with more genders than there are flavors of ice cream, and much more. We always talk about "freedom," all the while we're raising children who are slaves to compulsions.

Esolen reveals ten ways to destroy the humanity of your child:

  1. Keep children kenneled up in a school where they learn to be content with "life under compulsion"
  2. Ignore the true meaning of education and reduce it all to training children in meaningless "skills"
  3. Turn childhood into nothing more than preparation for a dull, lim­ited adulthood focused only on work
  4. Reduce language to Orwellian doublespeak that keeps them from thinking
  5. In the name of "freedom" and "choice," celebrate lusts, not love
  6. Insist that we should not judge anyone--but then judge harshly anyone deemed "intolerant"
  7. Ignore history except to justify your favored cause as "inevitable"
  8. Sever ties to home and put as much distance as possible between parents and children
  9. Teach kids to be comfortable in the mob--to look, think, and act like everyone else
  10. Deny the transcendent
Life Under Compulsion is an indispensable guide for any parent who wants to help a child break free from the shackles and enjoy a truly free and full life. It restores lost wisdom about education, parenting, literature, music, art, philosophy, and leisure. Esolen draws on great thinkers of the Western tradition, from Aristotle and Cicero to Dante and Shakespeare to John Adams and C.S. Lewis - to remind us what human freedom truly means: truth, beauty, goodness, love, faith, and virtue.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anthony Esolen is the author of Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child, and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization. He is also the translator and editor of the celebrated three-volume Modern Library edition of Dante's Divine Comedy. He is a professor of English at Providence College and a senior editor of Touchstone magazine.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

By the People By Charles Murray

Halt the Growth of Oppressive Government

Rebuilding Liberty without Permission
By Charles Murray

"A road map to recapture true American exceptionalism. With passion, brilliance, and a keen sense of the radical essence of what America means, Charles Murray dismisses what passes for political debate today and offers an audacious plan to restore the liberty our founders bequeathed to us."
--Edward Crane, President Emeritus, Cato Institute

American liberty is under assault. Whether we are trying to run a business, practice a vocation, raise our families, cooperate with our neighbors, or follow our religious beliefs, we run afoul of the government--not because we are doing anything wrong but because the government has decided it knows better. From The New York Times bestselling author of Coming Apart comes a provocative manifesto on how to turn back the assault on American liberties and rebuild our freedom from the ground up.

In BY THE PEOPLE: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission, Charles Murray illustrates how the federal government has unilaterally decided that it can and should tell us how to live our lives. If we object, they threaten, "Fight this, and we'll ruin you." Free-market economists, conservative intellectuals, Tea Party evangelists, and libertarians alike extol the virtues of limited government. Never have so many coalesced behind a set of ideas so widely accepted and been so staggeringly far from political reality.

Political processes, meant to check federal power, have been broken. The Constitution has been neutered by the courts and the legislative process has become systemically corrupt, no matter which party is in control. Meanwhile, the federal government has grown at a dizzying rate in the last half-century, culminating in the current leviathan where federal spending accounts for 24% of GDP, the government lists 20 million employees, and federal funding comprises a quarter of all state and local revenues. Despite a sympathetic Supreme Court majority and a Republican Congress, the American ideal of limited government is on life support.

What has become clear to all supporters of the least government necessary to support individual liberty and free speech is this: the people must wrest back control of their own destinies or the American Project will fail. Amid these signs of a decayed civil liberties system, Murray has identified some good news from beyond the Beltway:
  • Tech­nology is siphoning power from sclerotic government agencies and putting it in the hands of individuals and communities.
  • The re-diversification of American culture is making local freedom attractive to liberals as well as conservatives.
  • People across the political spectrum are increasingly alienated from a regulatory state that nakedly serves its own interests rather than those of ordinary Americans.
With these strong signs of a shift in American socio-politics, Murray reveals an even more shocking truth that he believes Americans are ready to exploit. Despite its vast size, the federal government operates under a fatal assumption. For all its legal power and claims to authority, its daily survival depends on our voluntary assent to its laws. Civil disobedience backstopped by legal defense funds can make largeportions of the 180,000-page Federal Code of Regulations unenforceable through a targeted program that identifies regulations that arbitrarily and capriciously tell us what to do. Americans have it within their power to make the federal government an insurable hazard, like hurricanes and floods, leaving us once again free to live our lives as we see fit.

BY THE PEOPLE does not require that only libertarians and conservatives participate--Murray recognizes the need for varied perspectives in reshaping the nation. The book's hopeful message is that rebuilding our traditional freedoms does not require electing a right-thinking Congress or president, nor does it require five right-thinking justices on the Supreme Court. It can be done by "We the people," using America's unique civil society to put government back in its proper box.

About the Author: Charles Murray is the W. H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. He came to national attention first in 1984 with Losing Ground and most recently in 2012 with Coming Apart.