Restore Our American Republic

News and Views May 23, 2018

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It is my sincere belief that in order to fulfill ROAR ‘s mission of restoring the foundation of rights and individualism in America it is essential to initiate fundamental changes in our educational system. Toward that end, in this ROAR newsletter Tasha Stacey will be continuing her review of The Art of Reasoning by David Kelley to provide:  (1) insights on how to use Kelley’s work to aid students in the classroom, and (2) Provide insights to parents and interested parties who wish to take action to counteract the indoctrination occurring in our public schools across America.

   We will also be examining the “human flourishing” approach to energy and environmental issues as presented in The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels by Alex Epstein as well as its importance to the rejuvenation of the Enlightenment spirit in America.

   To restore the republic in America we need ideas and leaders to help spread those ideas. To assist with that effort, I would like to introduce, or rather re-introduce readers to a leader that most are probably familiar with: King Arthur. I will be reviewing one of my favorite King Arthur movies starring Clive Owens and Keira Knightley. This recent updating of the Arthur legend has one of the most inspiring examples of leadership that I have ever witnessed.

      As always, if you have questions, comments, or suggestions regarding this newsletter or ROAR’s operations, please contact us.

Sincerely,

Mike Gemmell
Founder and President, Restore Our American Republic, LLC

 

 

Solving America’s Greatest Conflict is now available for purchase on Kindle for $4.99 or paperback for $9.99!
 

From Reviewer, Dr. Jay Lehr, Science Director, The Heartland Institute believes that was this simple pamphlet to be read by the average freedom long, apolitical American, the creeping collectivism that has undermined so much of what our founding Fathers intended in the American Constitution could begin to be overturned. Over more than a century the public has been brainwashed into believing that some nebulous concept of public good takes precedence over the individual rights and freedoms that differentiated our nation from all others on earth. The individual has been cowed into believing that his or her rights are pursued only at the expense of that “public good.” This allowed our citizens to be led into a socialist society not of his or her making or desire. It has been a clever and underhanded subterfuge that has come close to bringing down the entire nation. Fortunately, Mike Gemmell has the understanding and presence to address this issue head on in a manner that will be clear to any thinking American. His work is a “tour de force.” I lecture to thousands of men and women across America every year. I would love the opportunity to put this important message into all of their hands.

Review: The Art of Reasoning: An Introduction to               Logic and Critical Thinking – Part 4

By Tasha Stacey

In my review of The Art of Reasoning by David Kelley, I have followed the natural progression of his book starting with his discussion of fundamental building blocks known as “arguments” and then following his development as he progressed toward increasingly complex propositions. In this essay, I will relate these ideas to education in general and the ROAR mission in particular.

   During my years in school, I remember being handed a history book by one of my middle school teachers. We were told to read to ourselves and then do the exercises in the book. This was a “fend for yourselves” approach to teaching. I now realize the problem with that approach was that none of us at that time had the basic reasoning skills and capacity for independent thought needed to be successful in that situation. We lacked the tools needed to: (1) identify the central point of a topic, (2) grasp the cause and effect relationships between that point and other historical facts related to it, and (3) because of items (1) and (2), we had no idea how to develop a hierarchy of ideas to support and explain the important points on any given topic. Instead of a well-developed hierarchy of knowledge, everything that we absorbed was a hodgepodge of facts and dates to be memorized for a test and then quickly forgotten.

   However, after reading The Art of Reasoning, I can confidently say:

I now have the tools to understand how to build my knowledge on any subject starting with the  fundamental foundational building blocks up to the more challenging/complex ideas that can be derived from them.

    A core part of ROAR’s mission is the improvement of education in America. In addition to learning better reasoning skills to gain a greater appreciation for subjects such as history, literature, etc., there is rampant indoctrination occurring at all levels in our educational system that must be counteracted. Because of this, it is imperative that parents become actively involved with their children’s education. But given the fact that homeschooling is not a viable option for most parents, how do parents counteract the indoctrination their children are being subjected to? Kelley’s book is a viable  answer to that question. By using Kelley’s systematic development of argument to proposition to ever more complex proposition, parents can learn to break down and competently refute the indoctrination arguments being foisted upon their children such as those discussed in ROAR’s April 17thnewsletter, “Indoctrination in our K-12 Public Schools…and How to Fight it.”

    When I was first given the opportunity to study this book, I looked through it and thought: “Wow, what is all of this stuff?” Being me, I thought I knew everything this book had to offer such as what definitions meant, what a proposition was, how to classify groups into diagrams, etc. However, by studying the information and the method of presentation by Kelley, I have greatly enhanced my understanding of these and other important ideas. For that precious gift, I sincerely and gratefully salute Dr. Kelley’s brilliance. If you were given the opportunity to expand your mind via Kelley’s book for yourself and/or your children would you take it? I sincerely hope your answer to that question would be a resounding—YES!

Tasha Stacey was born (1994) and raised in Grand Junction, Colorado. She obtained a principle scholarship to attend Colorado Mesa University for Culinary Arts, and became a certified personal trainer through the online course ISSA. She has an entrepreneurial heart and officially opened up her business this year, ServeFlow, LLC.

 

 

(Photo:Blake Thornberry)

Review: The moral case for fossil fuels by Alex Epstein

The two most positive thinkers I have known are Dr. Jay Lehr, Science Director at the Heartland Institute and my late friend E.G. (Ernie) Ross. I look forward to telling readers about the remarkable Dr. Lehr in a future issue, but today is for Ernie Ross an economist, journalist, defense expert, and positive thinker extraordinaire. During Ernie’s heyday in the 1980s and 1990s, much of the pro-liberty literature was rather dark and dour. However, being as independent as he was he blazed his own trail and instead chose to emphasize the positive. Taped to his computer terminal as a daily reminder was his mantra: What about the positive? So it is in Ernie’s memory I would like to introduce readers to someone who is carrying on that positive-thinking legacy: Alex Epstein and his relentlessly positive book:The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, 2014.  

   Positive thinking/vision is particularly important for those who wish to initiate the cultural reforms needed in our world. Changing the status quo is always a challenging proposition because: (1) that status quo typically likes things the way they are and resists change (2) The status quo has often framed the issues in such a way as to shift public opinion toward the continuation of things as they are, and (3) Effective leadership to groups attempting to go against the grain of the status quo is virtually impossible without a positive vision being provided. Such is the case with fossil fuels which have been viewed since the advent of the environmental movement in the early 1960s as, at best, a necessary evil and at worst evil incarnate. And then along came Alex Epstein with his views on human flourishing as expressed in The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels. . .

   Epstein no doubt knew a great deal about the nature of the status quo in the realm of energy and environmentalism when he launched his enterprise, Center for Industrial Progress. In 2012 as a relative unknown he challenged to a debate the man generally considered the most prominent environmentalist of our day: Bill McKibben. Procuring McKibben’s appearance to debate the issue of fossil fuels use in public cost Epstein $10,000, a considerable sum especially at a crucial time in the launching of Center for Industrial Progress. 

  Mckibben’s view of fossil fuels is expressed in his book The End of Nature:

“Our goal should be a “humble world” one where we have less impact on our environment and “Human happiness would be of secondary importance.”

   Epstein’s view that “human flourishing” should be the standard of value successfully carried the day in their debate and is amply defended in his book with startling facts such as:

·         As fossil fuel use increased from 1980 to 2012, levels from the six major air pollutants measured by the EPA to develop air quality standards all went down (p. 19)

·         As fossil fuel use has increased in developing countries such as China and India, life expectancy has also dramatically increased (p. 14)

·         As fossil fuel use has increased in those same countries, economic well being as measured by GDP hasincreased accordingly (p. 14)

·         As CO2 emissions have rapidly escalated since 1900, climate-related deaths have gone down dramatically (p. 24).

    As Epstein explains, the so-called pundits have for decades been spectacularly wrong in their dire predictions because they invariably focus on the risks of technology but never thebenefits. This deeply flawed worldview is a direct result of the environmental ideology promoted by Rachel Carson in Silent Spring the bestselling work that effectively launched the environmental movement in the U.S. and around the world.

   The importance of “human flourishing” and its use in energy and environmental issues cannot be overstated. I consider it to be a 21st century update of the Enlightenment spirit of unbounded optimism that America was founded upon. It is no accident that the world’s first republic came to be created in the country where the spirit of the Enlightenment had penetrated most deeply. Unfortunately, that spirit of boundless optimism emanating from a culture-wide respect for the human faculty of reason has been seriously damaged in the intervening years from America’s birth to the present day. By his demonstration of the validity of the principle of human flourishing in energy and environmental issues, Epstein has taken a giant step toward restoring the Enlightenment spirit that the U.S. rests upon. Those who care about the future of America and understand the relationship of the principle of human flourishing to that futureneed to read this book.

Note: Epstein’s book is written for the general reader and requires no specialized knowledge to read. For more information on the Enlightenment era and why it serves as the foundation for the republic in America, please see ROAR’s lead essay: “The Defining Spirit of America.”

Poster Credit: BLT Communications, LLC

An Heroic Leader for the Ages

   Why do we need heroes and leaders? What are their essential qualities, and how can we foster this quality in people of all ages especially the upcoming generation? These are questions of timeless importance and never more so than in present-day America of the 21stcentury.

   For myself, I remember first being inspired by the heroes I came across in Greek myths in my early teen years. I was captivated by the heroes of the Iliad and the Odyssey, Heracles, Perseus, and many others. Later I realized that fictional stories have great value in the shaping of character of those who take the time to enjoy them and ponder their meaning. For example, as I think back on my life and the times I was not the man I wanted to be, fictional archetypes helped inspire me to keep trying to be the kind of man those heroes represented to me. More than once I would think to myself: “I may not be Heracles, or Howard Roark, or Mike Hammer yet, but I will keep these figures in the forefront of my mind until I become my own version of these heroic archetypes.

  Hero-leaders of all ages typically have the following qualities: (1) They have a vision of how their world should be (2) They are men/women of integrity who stand by their values as they pursue that vision (3) Because of their vision, integrity, and courage to persevere in difficult circumstances, others willingly follow them as they pursue that vision.

   All of these qualities are desperately needed in today’s world. We need more heroes and leaders to help the U.S. and the West resuscitate a world mired in a sea of corrosive philosophic ideas and the effects those ideas are having on our cultural institutions. To counter the indoctrination occurring at all levels of our public education system, we need to present impressionable minds with inspirational ideals of hero-leaders.

   For these reasons, I would like to introduce readers to a hero-leader presented against the background of the King Arthur legend, but one that many historians believe has a basis in historical fact. The 2005 movie, King Arthur, was produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and stars Clive Owen and Keira Knightley.

    The Arthur in Bruckheimer’s movie is not the Arthur of myth, but rather a conscripted Roman soldier forced to fight in the Roman army at a time that Rome is falling apart and the Dark Ages are nearly upon them. In this story, Arthur leads an elite group of knights who revere him– and vice versa– for his courage in battle and integrity to his values.

The question that Arthur must face–and answer–to save himself, his men, and others depending on him is: What IS right(?) when his world is falling apart, and his men are furious with the Church authority who has betrayed them and forced them to engage in a suicide rescue mission.

   As if the situation were not complex enough, he and his men must form an alliance with the native Britons, a people they have been fighting against for the past 15 years. And worse still, his mentor the Christian philosopher, Pelagius, has just been killed leaving Arthur adrift from the inside out. Yet Arthur and his men face it all, with a courage and intellect that causes Guinevere, a fiery native Briton who initially challenges the choices Arthur has made, to fall passionately in love with him and he with her.

    Guinevere shows herself to be a heroine worthy of Arthur, and vice versa, in a moving scene near the end of the movie:

Guinevere: “I can see why you think you have nothing left here. You have your deeds . . .”

Arthur: “Deeds by themselves are meaningless unless they serve a higher purpose! We have waged a war to protect a Rome that does not exist. Is that the deed I am to be judged by?”

Guinevere: “You stayed and fought when you could have run. You bloodied evil men. You did all that for no reason?”

Arthur: “Pelagius told me once that there is no worse death than the end of hope.”

Gunevere: “. . . What are you afraid of Arthur? You’re like this country, Britons with a Roman father. Rome is DEAD! This place, this land, your HOME– is the last outpost of freedom, of everything you hold dear.” Reaching up to touch his cheek, “These . . . are. . . your. . . people.”

     Hollywood churns out a lot of forgettable movies these days, but this time thanks to Jerry Bruckheimer, a great script, and a talented set of actors, they really got it right. See this inspiring movie of an unforgettable hero-leader and take these lessons home with you to live in your own life, as I have in mine. – Mike Gemmell

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Summary

In ROAR’s continuing attempt to emphasize education reform, we’ve seen further examples of how Tasha Stacey envisions The Art of Reasoning can supplement a conventional educational curriculum and also be used to help prevent the further indoctrination of students in our public education system. We hope that readers of our review of  The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels and Alex Epstein’s views on human flourishing will be excited by his relentlessly positive perspective and help spread the word about this marvelous work.  We also hope readers understand the importance of leadership archetypes such as the one presented in our review of the Jerry Bruckheimer King Arthur movie especially for inspiring up and coming leaders in America.

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