Tag: courage

QotD: Courage, Liberty, and Happiness

 

Those who won our independence . . . believed liberty to be the secret of happiness, and courage to be the secret of liberty. They believed that freedom to think as you will and to speak as you think are means indispensable to the discovery and spread of political truth; that, without free speech and assembly, discussion would be futile; that, with them, discussion affords ordinarily adequate protection against the dissemination of noxious doctrine; that the greatest menace to freedom is an inert people; that public discussion is a political duty, and that this should be a fundamental principle of the American government. – Justice Louis Brandeis

If any single quote summarizes the cause of our present unhappiness, it is this one. Without liberty, one cannot be happy. Without courage, one cannot be free. Today far too many lack the courage required for liberty. They lack the courage to speak freely, to take the consequences of defying absurd edicts and to disregard specious arguments made by so-called experts. They fear to go their own way and defy the mob. It is easier to go along, to not make waves.

Truly Brave: 1968 Olympics Women’s Gymnastics Champion

 

Vera Caslavska 1968 brave gymnastI started writing this in the hours after American gymnast Simone Biles withdrew from the Olympic women’s team competition. Then I let it sit to see what the rest of the story might be. From the beginning, I found that Simone Biles, at age 24, was on track to be the second oldest women’s all-around Olympic champion. This naturally led to the oldest modern Olympic women’s all-around gymnastics champion, who won at the age of 26 in Mexico in 1968. The Czechoslovakian Věra Čáslavská, one of only two two-time all-around Olympic champions in women’s gymnastics, performed under far more real pressure, with far more real courage, facing far more real consequences than any athlete in Tokyo.

Simone Biles

Simone Biles approached the 2020 (2021) Olympic Games as the defending all-around champion and the heavy favorite to repeat. She performed well in events leading up to Tokyo. Indeed, she landed a new, very difficult move on the floor exercise months before these Olympics.

Jealousy: The Real Root of All Evil

 

Think money is the root of all evil?  Wrong. It isn’t. Granted, it’s right up there with the major players, and certainly worthy enough, but the real problem is jealousy.  Jealousy starts wars, ends marriages, kills friendships, jobs and industries.  Seriously. Jealousy is the root of all evil.

While money is a regular passenger on the Jealousy Express, it’s not the driver. And, nowhere in the Ten Commandments is money mentioned.  It’s implicit, sure, but jealousy is the inherent antagonist: Thou shall not steal…anything…not just cash. Now, not coveting your neighbor’s wife or goods…bingo!  That’s where the utterly repugnant and deservedly maligned jealousy thing takes center stage.

Gov. Ron DeSantis Defies the Media and the Federal Government

 

Republican governors all over the country are taking care of their states regarding Covid-19 to mixed reviews. At least most of them aren’t crippling their economies or insisting on lockdowns. I can’t help bragging about Florida’s governor, however, because he does whatever he thinks is necessary—and he’s faced an irate CDC and has been denounced by the media.

Let me tell you about Ron DeSantis. While Gov. Andrew Cuomo was signing the death warrants for hundreds of senior citizens in New York when he sent them into nursing homes, Ron DeSantis protected the nursing homes until it was clear that residents could safely be visited. He has also defied the recommendations of Dr. Anthony Fauci, knowing that the good doctor wasn’t using the science at all, nor good sense, but was making political decisions. Most recently DeSantis was chastised for two decisions: the first was deciding to prioritize vaccines for the elderly. According to Peacock Network, this was clearly a political decision. I guess targeting the most vulnerable group is considered high politics.

A second decision was criticized when the governor set up “pop-up” vaccination centers in Manatee County for a community of elderly residents. (We had a similar vaccination center set-up in our 55+ community, and vaccinations were limited to those 65+.) He was criticized for ignoring federal guidelines and decided to offer vaccinations to the most vulnerable. I guess the critics believed that old people were more likely to vote Republican.

Quote of the Day: Cowardice

 

“When cowardice is made respectable, its followers are without number both from among the weak and the strong; it easily becomes a fashion.” ― Eric Hoffer

So, has cowardice become a fashion? The excessive timidity over Covid suggests it may well have. So, too, do increased reports of police not just ceasing to be proactive about policing – spending time avoiding getting into “situations.” But it has gone beyond that, with police refusing to make arrests of violent and dangerous criminals for fear of the adverse reaction should the perpetrator receive his just desserts when resisting arrest.

Quote of the Day: Such Men

 

“Where do we get such men? They leave this ship and they do their job. Then they must find this speck lost somewhere on the sea. When the find it they have to land on its pitching deck. Where do we get such men?” — RAdm. George Tarrant in The Bridges at Toko Ri, James Michener

The Bridge at Toko Ri was a novella Michener wrote in 1953. at the end of the Korean War. Set during that war, one of its themes was the question of whether the generation that became adults after World War II had the intestinal fortitude to stand up to the challenges of those times. Some felt that this new generation lacked the courage, the endurance, and the determination of the men who had fought World War II. They were weak and would fail, those people thought.

Heroes Fighting Cancel Culture

 

So many of you have inspired me with your posts of the people, companies, and organizations fighting back against cancel culture. In some ways, the number of people who speak out seems small; every time I see a new person, I keep wishing there were more; I’ve decided I want to have one place I can go and periodically review a list of them, to remind myself there are many more than I’ve realized.

Also, I’m sure there are some people whom we’ve missed, even people in our own personal universe, who’ve risked their lives, reputations, and jobs but speak out anyway. So, I’m going to list a few of those who have heartened me through their actions and courage. And I hope you’ll add to the list!

One of the most difficult institutions to call out are the universities. Several employees at universities have been singled out and are fighting back:

Taking Back Academia Begins with the States

 

Academia is broken and needs reform. Much of higher education is thoroughly corrupted by ideology and groupthink, including the STEM Departments, and instead of educated, well-rounded national and global citizens and scholars, are churning out mindlessly chanting, self-righteous, totalitarian, and censorious ignoramuses.

Clearly, just waiting for employment and taxation {chortle} to rectify so many years of maleducation and indoctrination is not a solution. Therefore, more active measures are needed.

Quote of the Day: Courage

 

“A decline in courage may be the most striking feature, which an outside observer notices in the West in our days. The Western world has lost its civil courage, both as a whole and separately, in each country, each government, each political party, and, of course, in the United Nations. Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling groups and the intellectual elite, causing an impression of loss of courage by the entire society. Of course, there are many courageous individuals, but they have no determining influence on public life.” – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

How much of our government today is marked by a lack of courage? We see it most clearly in the response to the COVID-19 epidemic. The states, counties, and cities whose leaders are most frightened are the ones maintaining the lockdown longest. Especially the politicians who fear the electorate and mistrust the common sense of the average person.

Group Writing: Do You Believe in ‘If’ Anymore?

 

One of the reasons I like the occasional music posts on Ricochet is that I’ve spent most of my life quite disconnected from whatever was going on in the contemporary entertainment world, and the posts give me a window into what I might have missed (and whether or not I’m glad I did). Although we moved to the United States only a couple of months before The Beatles took the “Ed Sullivan Show” by storm, I never owned a Beatles album. And while The Rolling Stones were hot during my years at British boarding school, we weren’t allowed to listen to them; Mick Jagger’s hips and lips being (in the opinion of the good ladies running The Abbey School) a bridge too far, even for the radio.

Prior to that, my experience ran to the blue wind-up gramophone in Nigeria and the 78, 45, and 33RPM records we’d either brought with us from England or borrowed from the Officers’ Club, and programs such as Desert Island Discs on the BBC World Service. After that, with a few notable exceptions when I would, in a transgressive mood, listen to Jeff Christie on KQV, the most youth-oriented local AM station (he later resumed his birth name and achieved some measure of fame as Rush Limbaugh), I left the music scene to others, and largely ignored it myself.

Thus, in the ’60s and ’70s, what did manage to seep into my musical gestalt was mostly the stuff my mother listened to or played on the gramophone–a world largely comprised of male crooners and peppy young women singing cheerful and upbeat songs. Almost all of them were British, and you’ve probably heard of them rarely, if at all. Men like Val Doonican. Matt Munro (best known for the title song of the movie Born Free), Des O’Connor, Frankie Vaughan. Women like Alma Cogan, Cilla Black Clodagh Rodgers, and Sandie Shaw. (Sometimes, when Mum was in a jazz sort of mood, Johnny Dankworth and Cleo Laine.)

Member Post

 

Earl sat catty-corner to me in the large black chair that he always sat in with the meditation group. His thumb and index finger cradled his chin as he nodded his head. I could sense the change in his listening; rather than preparing what he would say next, he was reflecting on my words and […]

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Quote of the Day: Cowardice and Courage

 

“This republic was not established by cowards; and cowards will not preserve it.” ― Elmer Davis

Just when you think the story of the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School cannot get worse, it does. Apparently a security guard saw the shooter (I won’t name him) entering the high school armed. He did not confront the shooter. I cannot blame the guard for that; he was unarmed. Neither did he do what he was supposed to do: raise an alarm. Instead he called a fellow security guard inside the school (also unarmed), and went about his business. The fellow guard also did not raise the alarm. Instead he locked himself in a safe room.

Member Post

 

Do you recognize the author? “My modest goal is to re-propose the call to holiness in a practical way for our own time, with all its risks, challenges and opportunities. For the Lord has chosen each one of us “to be holy and blameless before him in love” (Eph 1:4). We are never completely ourselves […]

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The Not So Quiet Legacy of Sir Nicholas Winton

 

On the heels of a recent post by @Jon about legacy, I read a story about a man who, at the tender age of 29, began to create a legacy that would not be revealed for 50 more years. Jon asked the question, “How do you want to be remembered? Sometimes fate answers that question for us. Even in the midst of the darkest of times, a light was shining brightly, illuminated from a quiet soul with no thoughts of legacy, who rose to the challenge of his day.

In 1938-1939, Nicholas Winton single-handedly began to rescue Jewish children from the Holocaust. He brought 669 Jewish children from Czechoslovakia to Great Britain, in an operation later known as the Czech Kindertransport, helping them to find new families who gave them a home.  Most of the children’s parents would perish in the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. He never mentioned the children he rescued to anyone.

One day, some 50 years later, his wife, Grete, found a notebook in the attic containing the names and pictures of all the children that her husband had saved.  Grete gave the notebook to a journalist and Winton was invited to appear on a television program. He didn’t know the audience was comprised of all the people whose lives he had saved. Now adults, they came to express their profound thankfulness. When counting the 669 children that he saved, along with their offspring of children and grandchildren, Nicholas Winton saved the lives of over 15,000 people.

Member Post

 

An amazing story of courage and quick thinking took place about 20 minutes from my house this past weekend. In Panama City Beach, some children ventured too far out in the Gulf and were caught in a riptide. If you’ve ever been caught up in one, it’s hard to get out. Some years back, I […]

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Member Post

 

Since I don’t like deadlines, I almost always finish my projects early. This post was no exception. And I grumbled about the finished project for several days. At first I identified a couple of people whom I sincerely admire, who had several attributes that I believed made them winners. I couldn’t help wondering why I […]

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Welcome to the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast for May 9, 2017, it’s the Profiles in Leftism edition of the show brought to you by ZipRecruiter and SimpliSafe. This week the GOP is celebrating the passage, through one house of Congress, a repeal, only not really a repeal of the People’s Healthcare bill, AKA: ACA, AKA Obamacare. (Just an aside, but why is the conservative press trying to run away from the rumor that our Representatives drank beer after the victory? Isn’t that a good thing? Beer?).

Anyway, every liberal in America with a megaphone is screaming bloody murder. And even some conservatives are screaming that socialized medicine is now cast in concrete. I mean, lighten up folks. We take issue, however, with one Poli. Sci. Professor from Duke who somehow got the august editors of The Hill to publish one of the most shallow (and at the same time pompous) diatribes on any subject I have ever read in my life. I really do recommend you read it and comment on it on Ricochet (if you *are* haha, a *member*).