Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Don’t Repeat the Past; Can’t Predict the Future
By Ramblin’ Rose

Minnesotans like to talk about weather. One adage advises anyone who is dissatisfied to wait ten minutes, and conditions will change. Others point to the plethora of meteorologists on the news channels and suggest that one of them should get it right—each forecast is different. Pick the one you like.

While current anarchists are trying to eradicate visual symbols of our history and to demean the Founding Fathers as evil and vile, even demanding the elimination of history from the curriculum because it is based upon “white privilege” and racism, William Strauss and Neil Howe in 1997 wrote their second book (The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy – What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny) on the seasons of history and the four generations in each saeculum.

Their observations and predictions are eerie. But since they divide the cycles by seasons, let’s consider their hypotheses.

The authors selected the term “saeculum” to denote the span of humans, that is, eighty years. They further declare that major turning points occur every 80 years when the United States goes through a crisis.

Within that framework, they have four generational (a generation represents the span of approximately 20 years) archetypes:

  • Heroes: work to achieve success
  • Prophets: seek wisdom to solve the next crisis
  • Artists: pursue personal fulfillment that helps undo society
  • Nomads: grow up in a crisis and search for the means to hold society together

Similarly, history is divided into four seasons:

  • Spring: the high
  • Summer: the awakening
  • Fall: the unraveling
  • Winter: the crisis, known as the “fourth turning”

Tyler O’Neill, PJMedia writer, summarizes the interaction of the events and the players with these words:

In a “fourth turning,” America faces a crisis, and the hero generation looks to the elderly prophet generation to give orders, while the nomad generation between them holds society together. After victory is achieved, America experiences a high, a period of societal stability, as the nomad generation holds the social order together, rewards the heroes, and inspires a rising generation of artists….”

This schema differs greatly from the standard belief that life occurs linearly.

Strauss and Howe examined the cycles in the timeline of the United States. They observed that some 80 years after the American Revolution (1776-1783) came the American Civil War (1860-1865), followed by the Great Depression and World War II (1929-1945). That leads to the prediction of another crisis…NOW.

They set the onset to start in 2006 (Remember the Great Recession of 2008?) and spiral to 2020 and lead to resolution in 2026. In the generational season of crisis, Americans are capable of tearing society apart. Consider the current hot-button issues related to civil rights addressed by the Supreme Court rather than through the legislative process, the rioters who seek to redistribute wealth and demolish symbols of “white supremacy.” (And they are of voting age.)

Unfortunately, things will presumably get worse before the crisis reaches a point that will cause Americans to again unite to restore national/societal cohesion. One prediction points to a “race war” between BLM and Antifa against patriotic Americans. The pandemic is another; both health and the economy are fractured. On a global scale, Europe and Asia, as US allies in WWII, are on the same cycles now and identify, with the US, that Communist China is a mutual foe. What will bring unity? We do not know.

While there is a sense of foreboding at this point in the generational paradigm, the “fourth turning” also presents opportunities for problem solving, economic growth and societal consensus.

This provides additional evidence that the election on November 3 will determine the direction of this nation. Will the Baby Boomers lead the Generation X and the Millennials to a united national vision, or will America lose? Citizens can aspire to renewed civic spirit to lead to another “high period” of harmony, unity, and victory.

Since we are not to know the future, we need to ground ourselves in God’s Word. Even so, many try to decipher the meaning behind all the symbolism of Revelation. They are unsuccessful. While it is difficult, we are to walk by Faith.

No matter how humans try to explain history and make their forecasts, God is in control. We learn from the past, live in the present, and believe in the future.

While testifying to the House Committee on Administration, Newt Gingrich showed that he’s still part history teacher, part patriot and part constitutionalist. It isn’t surprising to me that his list of accomplishments as Speaker is lengthy and impressive. Speaker Gingrich is still one of the most impressive intellects of our time.

During Speaker Gingrich’s testimony, Speaker Gingrich started with a lesson on the Constitution, then transitioned to a civics teacher before finishing as a school principal admonishing disobedient students. Specifically, I want to focus on Speaker Gingrich’s role of admonishing Congress.

Specifically, Speaker Gingrich called out Congress essentially for being elitists and wimps:

Our national anthem says we are “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” Our Founding Fathers risked their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to defend freedom. The Civil War generation lost 630,000 Americans fighting for the Union and to end slavery. The Greatest Generation went across the planet risking its lives to defeat Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. By the way, through all these events, Congress met in person.

Now, we are told that our members of the House are too precious to risk their lives by coming to Washington.

To these members I would say: If freedom isn’t worth the risk, quit the Congress. Someone with more courage will replace you in a special election. The emotion driving the proposal for remote voting is an expression of a kind of cowardice I would never have expected to see in America.

Ms. Pelosi, like Democrat governors Whitmer, Walz, Pritzker and Inslee, likes being in total control. The thought that Democrats voted to vote from their districts isn’t surprising, though it is wimpy. Across the way on Capitol Hill, the Senate is meeting regularly and getting lots of things done. They’re confirming judges and holding Intelligence Committee and Judiciary Committee hearings. The Democrat House has gotten things done but only after getting dragged kicking and screaming to do their job.

We are asking children and teachers to go back to school, but House members can’t come to Washington. We are asking truckers to crisscross the country bringing us food and supplies, but their representatives have to hide in fear and vote electronically to avoid risk.

We have young men and women risking their lives all across the planet to protect freedom, but their elected leaders can’t risk being in a room with immediate access to doctors and remarkably little risk of anything bad happening.

I am embarrassed for this House that such a proposal could even get to a hearing.

Let’s be clear about something. If average citizens can function safely in a Walmart, Congresscritters should be able to figure out a way to function on Capitol Hill. The routine is simple. Wash hands frequently, stay socially distanced, cough into your shirt rather than across a room and finally, don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your hands. If the House can’t figure that out, then we need a different Speaker and a different (GOP) majority.

Here is Speaker Gingrich’s opening statement:

Whose Land? Whose Privilege?
By Ramblin’ Rose

Since late May, our nation has witnessed great destruction in the name of “justice.” But few seem to be able to articulate what really fuels the hatred…yes, hatred of our great country.

Granted, the First Amendment permits free expression and peaceful assembly. But the riots do not seem to fit within the stated parameters. Unless one professes that only black lives matter, what follows is only racism in reverse, filled with obscene epitaphs and frequently more violence.

Many white people have decided to bow before both BLM and Antifa, to apologize for their sins and the perceived sins of previous generations, to defund the police, to condone spikes in crime and utter anarchy. Those who refuse to utter those words and declare that “all lives matter” are mocked, called names and attacked verbally, physically, emotionally.

The “mob” maintains that there is “white privilege.” Many of us ask ‘what is white privilege?’ since we have not experienced it. Black athletes and Hollywood elites earn mega times more than middle class white people. Black students frequently attend better schools than white learners and often without having to pay for tuition or books. When a minority and a white person apply for the same job, the minority is the one with a paycheck. (Don’t forget the career politicians of any ilk.)

A couple of weeks ago, Mayor Ben Rozier of Bloomingdale, Georgia penned this definition of “privilege,” without even making it white privilege. Immediately, the council demanded his resignation. Read his words and determine for yourself if it is so inflammatory:

What is privilege? Privilege is wearing $200 sneakers when you’ve never had a job. Privilege is wearing $300 Beats headphones while living on public assistance. Privilege is having a Smartphone with a Data plan which you receive no bill for. Privilege is living in public subsidized housing where you don’t have a water bill, where rising property taxes and rents and energy costs have absolutely no effect on the amount of food you can put on your table. Privilege is the ability to go march against, and protest against anything that triggers you, without worry about calling out of work and the consequences that accompany such behavior. Privilege is having as many children as you want, regardless of your employment status, and be able to send them off to daycare or school you don’t pay for. Privilege is sending your kids to school early for the before school programs and breakfast, and then keeping them there for the after school program, all at no cost to you paid for by the people who DO HAVE TO DEAL WITH RISING TAXES AND COSTS! you know, us so called ‘PRIVILEGED’ the ones who pay while you TAKE TAKE TAKE!

As some attempt to destroy our historical memorials and statues, they do not seem to understand that we must learn from our story in order to avoid repeating it.

White privilege has morphed into “white supremacy.” That is the term used to reference President Trump’s July 4th (actually on July 3rd) celebration in the Black Hills. The Lakota tribe claims that the land belongs to them and not to the United Stated.

Let’s check with the impartial (tongue-in-cheek) historical source to authenticate the information. There we read “The Arikara arrived by AD 1500, followed by the Cheyenne, Crow, Kiowa and Pawnee. The Lakota (also known as Sioux) arrived from Minnesota in the 18th century and drove out the other tribes, who moved west.”

It appears that the Lakota-Sioux were not the original owners and, in fact, drove out other Native Americans who had forced out other tribes. One must also consider if the Arikara were residents there prior to 1500 AD or if they, too, were conquerors.

Wikipedia does not document their history other than to note that they were semi-nomadic people. If they did not displace any other humans, should they not be judged to the changes they caused to the environment? The killing of buffalo? The destruction of vegetation to cultivate their crops? Whose land did they occupy?

Yes, as we go back to determine who has more or longer-lasting rights, the arguments become illogical.

While we gather to celebrate the UNITED States of America, we see only division, angst, and hatred.

Many days I wish that those who hate this country and its history so much would just leave—as they often threaten but never seem to be able to fulfill their own promises.

Many still stand for the flag and OUR national anthem and kneel at the foot of the Cross. God, please heal our land and re-unite our citizens—the ones who love you and this nation.

Columbus—Explorer vs. Conqueror // Enrichment vs Destruction
By Ramblin’ Rose

Recently the US championed that after a lengthy hiatus, we again launched a shuttle from our soil to outer space to continue explorations. Humankind has always dreamed of what lies beyond the horizon.

Well, not all, apparently. As the mourning of the wrongful murder of George Floyd morphed into protests into vandalism into anarchy, the focus of the emotional outbursts had changed from white vs. black to the rejection and destruction of anything of this country, its history, its foundation. Rather than following the agenda stated to explore changes to better civilization, the morphed plan seems to be to destroy this country and return to the glory prior to 1492. Or, maybe even prior to 1700 B.C. when slavery was recorded—the domination of one person over another for forced labor.

At the epicenter of the riots and anarchy in the metro area in Minnesota, the indigenous peoples toppled a statue of Christopher Columbus. (Yes, similar destruction occurred in other cities. In fact, monuments commemorating historical leaders and events in many “Western” countries have met similar destruction.) But why Columbus? Why the native Americans? How did the events of May 25th turn to the hatred for Columbus?

Columbus, as the prototypical Western white male, not Columbus the man, epitomizes the perceived prejudices of the Europeans against the native peoples, according to the multiculturalists. Dinesh D’Souza, an Indian-born American author and filmmaker, defines multiculturalism as “a denial of all Western claims to truth.”

Was Columbus an explorer or a conqueror of the New World? Our world?

Columbus sought a shorter trade route to India and sailed west. But he never set foot on the soil of North America in any of his four voyages to the New World. History credits him with calling the indigenous peoples “Indians” because he thought he had discovered the way to India. On his first voyage, he landed on an island in the Caribbean, probably San Salvador.

Yes, initially Columbus expressed his prejudice about the peaceful islanders, the Tainos. He said that the men were handsome and the women beautiful. D’Souza writes “…He praised the generosity and lack of guile among the Tainos, contrasting their virtues with Spanish vices. He insisted that although they were without religion, they were not idolaters; he was confident that their conversion would come through gentle persuasion and not through force.The reason, he noted, is that Indians possess a high natural intelligence. There is no evidence that Columbus thought that Indians were congenitally or racially inferior to Europeans…” Reportedly, other explorers (Pedro Alvares Cabral, Amerigo Vespucci, Ferdinand Magellan, and Walter Raleigh) provided similarly positive impressions about the native peoples.

Later, Columbus found another reality in the islands. The men he left when he returned to Spain were savagely murdered by the Arawak tribes who also inhabited the region. That reality also contradicts the rosy history reported by the indigenous peoples, specifically the American Indian Movement, aka AIM.

While the exact history and origin of those called Native Americans are still under debate, it seems certain that they were not native to the Americas. Nor is the date or the path of their arrival without discussion. What is widely accepted is that they came from somewhere else. Many theorize that they arrived from Asia (some claim Africa) via the Bering Strait…probably in waves. They were not all from one homogeneous people; they identified as members of different tribes, and they fought and conquered one another for land, property, slaves, and power. Their battles were brutal.

By the time that Cortes arrived at the Yucatan Peninsula, the migrations had reached through the Americas. The Mayans had suffered defeat at the hands of the Aztecs who inhabited central Mexico. The Mayans welcomed the Spaniards, thinking that they were gods—armor, horses and weapons, and also allies in battling the Aztecs when they learned that the Spaniards planned to attack the Aztecs for their gold.

But one must also ask, who had extracted the gold from the mines? Could they have been the slaves captured from other indigenous tribes conquered by the Aztecs prior to the arrival of the White Man? Definitively, yes, according to historians.

In a Twitter exchange between Senator Ted Cruz and Ilhan Omar, Cruz schooled Omar with these words: “As an ‘indigenous person’ myself, I am amused by the left’s cherry-picking of history. My people, the Choctaw, were in a constant state of war with other nations, prior to European colonization of North America. My tribe also owned slaves and fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War, and instead of a rebuke, we get cradle-to-grave free health care at the expense of taxpayers. If Columbus hadn’t stumbled across Hispaniola, Cuba and the Americas, someone else would have. Discovery of the region by European nations was inevitable, as were the diseases and innovations they brought with them. My region in Oklahoma was a battlefield before a single European ever set foot on the continent. Some tribes in the area, prior to the Indian Removal Act, beheaded some of their enemies and captured others as slaves.”

Those clear descriptions do not fit the narrative of the Leftists. Maybe even the modern history curricula in our schools do not match history as much as they align with the 1619 project. D’Souza observes “…Columbus has metamorphosed from a grand crusader into a genocidal maniac and a precursor to Hitler. American Indians are now beyond reproach, canonized as moral and ecological saints.”

It appears that the riots are not really about the death of a black man on May 25th. It appears that BLM, Antifa and now AIM found a moment that afforded them an opportunity to attack Western civilization and realize its destruction. What will follow? Anarchy just as with primitive cultures. We are living the dark side of Humanity.

While campaigning, then-Candidate Trump would say that Americans would get tired of all the winning if they elected him. As the 2020 election nears, Victor Davis Hanson has written this article that’s appropriately titled “Trumped Out?” I’m not. Give me 4 more years of this. I’m loving it.

Hanson is apparently loving it, too:

The August jobs report “unexpectedly” reminds us that never have so many Americans been at work. The 3.7 percent unemployment rate continues to be the lowest peacetime unemployment figure in 50 years. Black and Hispanic unemployment remain at record lows. Workers’ wages continue to rise. Talk of recession is belied by low interest, low inflation, low unemployment and a strong stock market. The result is that millions of Americans enjoy far better lives than they had in 2016.

If President Trump isn’t re-elected, what will happen? Here’s Hanson’s opinion into that:

When we look to alternatives, all we seem to hear is multi-trillion-dollar hare-brained schemes from radical progressives and socialists masquerading as Democrats at a time of record national debt. The Green New Deal, Medicare for All, free healthcare for illegal aliens, reparations, the abolition of $1.5 trillion in student loan debt, and free tuition for all—are the stuff of fantasies and either would have to be repudiated by any of the Democratic nominees who actually was elected, or would destroy an already indebted nation.

That doesn’t sound attractive. That’s what would likely happen with a Democrat president. Democrats control the House. The woman who really runs the House is so radical that she thinks this isn’t radical enough. I’m not talking about Nancy Pelosi. I’m talking about AOC. This is what awaits us if AOC ever assumes total control:

But these are not normal times. There is (for now) no longer a Democratic Party. Instead, it is a revolutionary Jacobin movement that believes socialism is our salvation, that identity politics is our creed, that gun confiscation is our duty, that the abrupt end of fossil fuels is coming very soon, that open borders is our new demography, and that the archetypical unmarried, childless, urban hipster is our model woke citizen.

Over my dead body. President Trump has had quite the effect on otherwise timid Republicans. Check out the ‘Trump effect’ on Lindsey Graham:

It’s important that traditional-thinking people decimate today’s AOC Democrats. They’re despicable. They’re the antithesis of fair-minded. Today’s AOC Democrats don’t see the United States as the greatest protector of human rights or civil rights. Check out what Robert Francis O’Rourke thinks of your right to protect your family:

Prof. Hanson is a historian by trade. When he makes statements about history, I pay attention. That’s why I paid attention to this statement:

I cannot remember a moment in U.S. history when a presidential candidate conspired with the intelligence community of the lame-duck administration of the same party to destroy a presidential rival.

Robert Mueller forever discredited the idea of a special counsel, given his unprofessionalism, bias, and apparent incompetence that ate up 22 months of the Trump presidency. Even in the crude post-1960s, we have never seen anything like the current assassination rhetoric of Hollywood celebrities and the boasts of doing bodily harm to the president by his political opponents.

That’s what AOC’s Democratic Party is about. They’re mostly interested in trampling anyone, whether it’s a Republican, a Democrat who isn’t sufficiently woke or an apolitical person, who doesn’t march in lockstep with them. I don’t agree with each of President Trump’s tweets. I certainly disagreed with his idea of bringing the Taliban to Camp David. But I’ve literally thanked God that he’s our president. I thank God because he’s a fighter. As Prof. Hanson said, “After all that, the strange thing is not that Trump can be occasionally wearisome, but that he is even still breathing.”

According to Ashley Fairbanks’ bio, Ms. Fairbanks is a progressive with an education from the University of Minnesota, where Ms. Fairbanks studied “American Indian studies and Political Science.” The reason I mention this is because Ms. Fairbanks wrote this article, which was heavy on the guilt trip and short on tolerance.

Early in Ms. Fairbanks’ article, she wrote “People learn the real history, the important stuff, from books. People learn from knowing people different than themselves. Lessons you must have missed.” According to her bio, Ms. Fairbanks “is an Anishinaabe woman and citizen of the White Earth Nation. She operates as a socially-conscious designer and public artist. She works with a cohort of artists that do racial justice popular education and organizing. She seeks to use her design skills to activate people around issues ranging from police brutality to environmental justice. She has worked with the Energy Action Coalition, Indigenous Environmental Network and Honor the Earth to create campaigns around the KXL and Sandpiper pipelines and protecting our water from mining.”

Based on that information, it’s difficult picturing Ms. Fairbanks interacting with people different than herself. This information makes it even more difficult to believe that she interacts with anyone who isn’t a hardline progressive and environmental activist:

Ashley sits on the board of Voices for Racial Justice. She went to the University of Minnesota to study American Indian studies and Political Science, and has completed Intermedia Arts Creative Community Leadership Institute, NACDI’s Native Organizing and Leadership Institute, The Humphrey School’s Roy Wilkins Community Policy Fellowship and is a 2016 Forecast Public Art Emerging Public Artist Grantee.

That’s the resume of a SJW. This paragraph encapsulates Ms. Fairbanks’ thinking:

We often forget that the history that we are teaching students shapes their entire worldview, not just their ideas on history. When we are taught white history, white science, white literature, and people of color and indigenous people get one week in our designated month, we are teaching white supremacy.

I’d love to hear Ms. Fairbanks’ definition of what white science is. I think I understand what white literature and white history are but science is science. I don’t doubt that white literature is different than the literature written from a black person’s perspective. I’m certain, however, that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west whether you’re black, brown, yellow or white. I’m equally certain that gravity works by the same principles for people of all races.

Understanding those things makes me think that Ms. Fairbanks’ opinions are either jaded or incorrect or both. I won’t automatically reject everything she’s said but I’ll maintain a healthy skepticism.

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There’s no question about whether Ted Cruz is a skilled debater. Apparently, though, his debating skills are limited. Sen. Cruz thinks that political opportunity outweighs the need for honesty and intelligence. This time, Sen. Cruz thinks that creating a no-fly zone in Syria is foolish.

During his interview with Bloomberg, Sen. Cruz criticized Sen. Rubio and Mrs. Clinton “for supporting a no-fly zone and arming the so-called moderate rebels. I think none of that makes any sense. In my view, we have no dog in the fight of the Syrian civil war,” he said, arguing that Rubio and Clinton “are repeating the very same mistakes they made in Libya. They’ve demonstrated they’ve learned nothing.'”

Sen. Cruz should be ashamed of himself. Saying that a no-fly zone is a mistake is a mistake. I suspect that he knows that but he couldn’t resist the opportunity of linking Sen. Rubio and Mrs. Clinton. Building a safe haven, which a no-fly zone would do, might cause a dramatic reduction in refugees leaving Syria.

Is Sen. Cruz foolish enough to think that a dramatic reduction in Syrian refugees fleeing their country is a mistake? Seriously? Is Sen. Cruz foolish enough to think that potentially reducing the number of ISIS terrorists using the crisis to get into western Europe and the United States is a mistake? If he is, then he isn’t qualified to be commander-in-chief.

I don’t think Sen. Cruz is that stupid. I think, though, that Sen. Cruz can’t resist being a political opportunist, even if that means being dishonest.

“If the Obama administration and the Washington neo-cons succeed in toppling Assad, Syria will be handed over to radical Islamic terrorists. ISIS will rule Syria.”

Sen. Cruz, establishing a no-fly zone is the opposite of toppling Assad. It’s simply creating a safe haven for victims of Assad’s brutality. It wouldn’t require but a handful of US boots on the ground while protecting Syrians.

If you want to talk about learning from the past, let’s look into how establishing a no-fly zone in 1991 in northern Iraq created Kurdistan. The US protected the Kurds from Saddam Hussein after Operation Desert Storm. Now the Peshmerga, the Kurds’ army, are one of our best allies in the Arab world. If that’s Sen. Cruz’s definition of a mistake, he should visit Their definition of mistake is “an error in action, calculation, opinion, or judgment caused by poor reasoning, carelessness, insufficient knowledge, etc.”

I’d argue that protecting the Kurds and creating a loyal Arab ally in the heart of the Middle East is a success story.

A former supervisor of mine occasionally sends out videos or pictures to a group of friends. I’m fortunate to be part of that group. The videos and pictures are frequently about principles that this great nation was founded on. Sometimes, they’re about mocking trendy things that tear at the fabric of this great nation. This video doesn’t fit neatly into either of those categories. It fits into a category all its own:

This video fits into the category of ‘When America was great, America was good, too.’ In the course of my lifetime, I’ve seen a handful of people that I consider great Americans. Ronald Reagan sits atop that group. He isn’t alone. He’s joined by Billy Graham, Bob Hope, Red Skelton and John Wayne.

These men shared a compelling set of traits that’s in short supply these days. That set of traits are humility, modesty and a willingness to work together. It’s important to note that these heroes didn’t tolerate big egos or mean-spiritedness.

That’s why America was good when it was a great and prospering nation.

Natan Sharansky’s op-ed provides a stunning contrast between the Obama administration’s Iran capitulation and President Eisenhower’s negotiations with the then-Soviet Union. Check this out:

For starters, consider that the Soviet regime felt obliged to make its first ideological concession simply to enter into negotiations with the United States about economic cooperation. At the end of the 1950s, Moscow abandoned its doctrine of fomenting a worldwide communist revolution and adopted in its place a credo of peaceful coexistence between communism and capitalism. The Soviet leadership paid a high price for this concession, both internally, in the form of millions of citizens, like me, who had been obliged to study Marxism and Leninism as the truth and now found their partial abandonment confusing, and internationally, in their relations with the Chinese and other dogmatic communists who viewed the change as a betrayal. Nevertheless, the Soviet government understood that it had no other way to get what it needed from the United States.

The Soviets capitulated because they didn’t have any options. Soviet negotiators thought that President Eisenhower was a serious, hard-nosed negotiator. They didn’t fear him like they feared President Reagan but they knew they couldn’t take liberties with Eisenhower.

As a result of their capitulation, the Soviets experienced a shaming that they never recovered from. It took several more decades before the gulags closed and the dissidents were freed but the Soviets had been dealt a stunning defeat.

Imagine what would have happened if instead, after completing a round of negotiations over disarmament, the Soviet Union had declared that its right to expand communism across the continent was not up for discussion. This would have spelled the end of the talks. Yet today, Iran feels no need to tone down its rhetoric calling for the death of America and wiping Israel off the map.

The Iranians sized up President Obama and figured it out that he wasn’t a serious negotiator. To the Iranians, President Obama looked like a mark in a con man’s sights. They figured that President Obama could be flipped. That’s because they knew he was a desperate man in search of a legacy. As a result, the Iranians played hardball with him.

The sanctions were working. Iran’s mullahs would’ve been toppled if President Obama was interested in that. Unfortunately for Israel and the US, President Obama wasn’t interested in dealing the Iranian regime a death blow. Because President Obama zigged when other administrations would’ve zagged, Iran is poised to become a Middle East hegemon with a nuclear weapon.

While negotiating with the Soviet Union, U.S. administrations of all stripes felt certain of the moral superiority of their political system over the Soviet one. They felt they were speaking in the name of their people and the free world as a whole, while the leaders of the Soviet regime could speak for no one but themselves and the declining number of true believers still loyal to their ideology.

President Obama’s legacy will be his administration-long apology tour. He’s felt that the United States wasn’t a force for good. This will be his fitting epitaph:

It’ll take a generation to clean up all the history-changing messes he’s created. President Clinton said that the 1990s represented a “vacation from history.” On 9/11, history came to collect on that debt.

It might well be that 2009-2016 will be called the United States’ vacation from being the United States.

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Lynne Cheney has a bone to pick with the College Board, which she writes about eloquently in this op-ed. Here’s what’s got Mrs. Cheney upset:

If you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

—President Ronald Reagan, speech at the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, 1987

It isn’t that Lynne Cheney has a problem with President Reagan’s speech at the Brandenburg Gate. It’s the context in which the College Board uses President Reagan’s speech that’s got her upset:

President Reagan’s challenge to Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev remains one of the most dramatic calls for freedom in our time. Thus I was heartened to find a passage from Reagan’s speech on the sample of the new Advanced Placement U.S. history exam that students will take for the first time in May. It seemed for a moment that students would be encouraged to learn about positive aspects of our past rather than be directed to focus on the negative, as happens all too often.

But when I looked closer to see the purpose for which the quotation was used, I found that it is held up as an example of “increased assertiveness and bellicosity” on the part of the U.S. in the 1980s. That’s the answer to a multiple-choice question about what Reagan’s speech reflects.

No notice is taken of the connection the president made between freedom and human flourishing, no attention to the fact that within 2 1/2 years of the speech, people were chipping off pieces of the Berlin Wall as souvenirs. Instead of acknowledging important ideas and historical context, test makers have reduced President Reagan’s most eloquent moment to warmongering.

This stuff might as well come straight out of the Obama foreign policy handbook.

But I digress.

It’s apparent that Mrs. Cheney thinks the College Board is filled with members of the PC Police:

When educators, academics and other concerned citizens realized how many notable figures were missing and how negative was the view of American history presented, they spoke out forcefully. The response of the College Board was to release the sample exam that features Ronald Reagan as a warmonger.

It doesn’t stop there. On the multiple-choice part of the sample exam, there are 18 sections, and eight of them take up the oppression of women, blacks and immigrants. Knowing about the experiences of these groups is important—but truth requires that accomplishment be recognized as well as oppression, and the exam doesn’t have questions on subjects such as the transforming leadership of Martin Luther King Jr.

The AP Test should be used to show which students have the best grasp of American history — all of American history. It’s cheating the brightest students when many of the most influential Americans aren’t used in a history test.

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