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JFK, Reagan leadership helped bring down Berlin Wall

reagan jfk kennedyby Rick Hampson    •    USAToday

Ich bin ein Berliner,” John F. Kennedy proclaimed in 1963. Of communism’s defenders, he roared, “Let them come to Berlin!”

Standing at the communist barrier dividing the same city 24 years later, Ronald Reagan cried, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

The 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9 raises a nostalgic question: Whatever happened to the kind of inspirational presidential oratory that helped bring down that wall — and Soviet communism?

In the history of the American presidency, such triumphs are few and fragile. Even those great Berlin lines might not have been delivered.

Kennedy’s famous words were not in the final draft of his prepared text. The signature line in Reagan’s speech was strenuously resisted by senior advisers., and it didn’t make a big impression at the time.

Today, when President Obama’s rhetoric seems unable to stop aggression in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, the two Berlin speeches demonstrate the power of words to influence world affairs, as well as their limits. [Read more...]

Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, Actor Gary Sinise Honored at Frontiers of Freedom Annual Reagan Gala

Sinise Headshot CroppedWashington, DC — Frontiers of Freedom, a public advocacy group founded by the late Sen. Malcolm Wallop, R-Wy., announced Thursday it had presented in 2014 Ronald Reagan Award to actor Gary Sinise in recognition of his efforts to keep Reaganite values alive in Hollywood and for his work in support of wounded warriors and active duty servicemen and women.

“Gary Sinise is a true American patriot. His unselfish devotion to the cause of liberty, which is best expressed by his ongoing commitment to the health, morale, and well-being of America’s fighting men and women, makes him exceptionally worthy of the Reagan Award. The example Gary sets is one that other members of the film and entertainment community should seriously consider following,” George Landrith, president of Frontiers of Freedom said. [Read more...]

The Tale of Two Recoveries


by Michael Hausam

How often have you heard a Democrat prattle on and on about how well Barack Obama has done with the economy, given the mess he inherited? Usually, it’s some version of, “Things are getting better, but the economy the President started with was so awful, so he’s done as well as anyone could expect.”

When Ronald Reagan took over from Jimmy Carter in ’81, things were actually worse economically compared to when Obama took over from George W. Bush in ’08. [Read more...]

The Emerging Law of the Gun

Reagan Korea

by Peter Huessy

Russian President Vladimir Putin annexes the Crimea in gross violation of international law. What should America do, if anything?

There are many different ideas. Some suggest doing nothing. Some assert we cannot do anything. Others feel the consequences of letting such aggression stand will be serious.

The country’s divisions are certainly reflective of how divided on this Americans are.

What then is the proper role for America in the world that both keeps us safe and enhances our prosperity? [Read more...]

Ronald Reagan’s Christmas Messages

“In this day, when our freedom to worship is most precious, let us redouble our efforts to bring this and other greatest freedoms to all the peoples of the Earth.” (1988)

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by Scott L. Vanatter

Ronald Reagan believed in Americans. He believed in the promise of America, that Americans possessed the inherent and acquired power to rise to the occasion. This, because of the overt and unique design of the Founders to foster freedom and responsibility. Reagan was optimistic about America’s future. He believed that when freedom flourishes, responsibility and accomplishment would naturally follow. (Sometimes to the astonishment and even delight of our greatest skeptics.) Others assume the opposite; they believe that force or coercion is necessary to accomplish their ends. [Read more...]

Ronald Reagan’s Thanksgiving Day Messages

“We have seen the splendor of our natural resource spread across the tables of the world, and we have seen the splendor of freedom coursing with new vigor through the channels of history.” 

by Scott L. Vanatter

Ronald Reagan believed in America. He believed in America’s promise. He saw the best in his fellow Americans. We, too, believe in America, its promise, and see the best in our fellows.

At the beginning of our republic, President George Washington declared a Day of Thanksgiving his first year in office. In the midst of the sore trials of a massive Civil War, President Lincoln established a regular Day of Thanksgiving.

In the spirit of his predecessors, and while he tackled serious economic and foreign policy challenges, President Reagan delivered a series of eight Thanksgiving Day messages from 1981 through 1988. He repeated previous presidential calls to “set aside” this special day as one of thanksgiving and prayer to God. Further, he challenged the nation to recall and fulfill their responsibility to “give” to those who are less fortunate. There are those who lacked of the “abundance” which America enjoyed — they do not enjoy the abundance which comes as a result of our industry. Many around the world do not enjoy an “abundance of freedom.” America’s example of freedom is one of the lasting legacies we leave for a world — we are the last best hope of mankind. Reagan reminded us to live up to that legacy. [Read more...]

The Poor: Reagan vs. Obama

reaganfarewellby Ralph R. Reiland

I think the poor need another Reagan in the White House.

The income of black heads-of-households dropped by 10.9 percent from June 2009 to June 2013. This decline in black income is more than double the overall 4.4 percent drop nationally in real, adjusted for inflation, median household income during the same four years of alleged “recovery.”

Similarly, real incomes of those under age 25 fell by 9.6 percent over the same period — again, more than double the average drop in household income. [Read more...]

Ronald Reagan, “You’re out there on the frontier of freedom.”

Ronald Reagan said to conservatives, “You’re the troops. You’re out there on the frontier of freedom.” 

Reagan Korea

A young soldier stands guard in the cold, looking out over no-man’s-land through to the other side of the demilitarized zone and into North Korea. President Reagan is visiting the troops there that day. During the visit the young soldier turns to the president, salutes and says, “Mr. President, when you get home, tell them we’re on the frontier of freedom.”

Reagan concludes his final speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference with this brief story. He compares the gathered conservative movers and shakers to the “troops” who — like the soldier in the story — are on the forefront of defeating “totalitarianism.”

He tells the story to them, “because,” he said, “you’re the troops.” He illustrates the comparison, telling them, “You’re out there on the frontier of freedom.” He then repeats what the soldier said to him (“Mr. President, we’re on the frontier of freedom.”) And immediately afterwards adds the pithy coda to the very end of the speech, “Well, so are you.”

And so we are. Or should be. [Read more...]

Ronald Reagan on the 50th Anniversary of D-Day, Omaha Beach

“We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we may always be free.”

by Scott L. Vanatter

In one of his last public speeches, Ronald Reagan returned on June 6, 1994 to Omaha Beach to speak a ceremony commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Invasion of Europe, D-Day. Later that year we learned of the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease, and he retired from public view.

He repeated much of what he said ten years previous to this occasion. Again he spoke of the veterans of that Invasion who could share with us the “fear of being on the boat waiting to land.” How their loved ones could later “see the ocean and feel the sea sickness.” With them we “can see the looks on his fellow soldiers’ faces — the fear, the anguish, the uncertainty of what lay ahead.” Reagan then challenged us to “feel the strength and courage of the men who took those first steps through the tide to what must have surely looked like instant death.” [Read more...]

Ronald Reagan on the 40th Anniversary of D-Day, Pointe du Hoc

“These are the Boys of Pointe du Hoc”

by Scott L. Vanatter

Forty years after the Allied forces landed at Normandy, President Reagan spoke commemorating those who stormed the beaches.

On June 6, 1984 he spoke at the U.S. Ranger Monument at Pointe du Hoc, France. He opened his remarks by recalling that “Europe had been under a terrible shadow. Free nations had fallen, Jews cried out in the camps, millions cried out for liberation. Europe was enslaved, and the world prayed for its rescue.”

Poignantly he described, “the boys of Pointe du Hoc” who “took the cliffs” as “champions who helped free a continent.” He cited a poem by Stephen Spender, that the men “left the vivid air signed with your honor.’ [Read more...]

Ronald Reagan on the 40th Anniversary of D-Day, Omaha Beach

“They came not as Conquerors, but as Liberators”

by Scott L. Vanatter

After speaking at Pointe du Hoc earlier in the day (June 6, 1984), President Reagan also spoke at Omaha Beach, France.

He began by harking to Lincoln’s challenge that “we can only honor” those who stormed the beaches and cliffs “by rededicating ourselves to the cause for which they gave a last full measure of devotion.”

Again that day he reminded a world facing another kind of aggression, a still existent Soviet Union, that the Allies “came not as conquerors, but as liberators. When these troops swept across the French countryside and into the forests of Belgium and Luxembourg they came not to take, but to return what had been wrongly seized.” [Read more...]

Missile Defense: projecting strength rather than weakness

by George Landrith   Missile Defense

Ronald Reagan coined the phrase, “Peace through strength,” but it was not a new idea and it had not been an historically partisan concept. It dates back to George Washington who said, “To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.” Washington and Reagan understood that peace is achieved through strength and conversely that weakness invites attack. This was once a universally accepted truth among American leaders. Current events prove, it should again become American policy regardless of party.

We live in a dangerous world. Kim Jung-un is threatening military invasions and nuclear attacks. We’ve recently learned that the North Koreans are much closer to being able to put a nuclear warhead on a missile than was previously believed. China, already a nuclear power, is rapidly developing a large navy and stealth aircraft. Russia has been sending its military aircraft into American airspace on provocative test missions. [Read more...]

Lady Thatcher taught me self-reliance

“Baroness Thatcher’s influence on my development as an entrepreneur goes far deeper than that, to my most fundamental beliefs. . . Baroness Thatcher’s lesson was clear: you get out what you put in, regardless of gender or race.”

by Sahar Hashemi

Often, we only realise the value of things when they’re gone, which is exactly what happened to me when I heard of Baroness Thatcher’s death.

The news made me suddenly aware of the huge impact she has had on my life and how, although I had never consciously acknowledged it before, I am one of Thatcher’s children and her values are deeply entrenched in my psyche. [Read more...]

Lady Thatcher restored self-reliance

“Margaret Thatcher transcended identity politics — it was her ideas not her gender that mattered”

by Cal Thomas

There is a story about Margaret Thatcher, which is probably apocryphal, but speaks volumes about the strength of Britain’s first female prime minister, who died Monday at age 87.

Following her election in 1979, the story goes that Thatcher took her all-male cabinet out to dinner. The waiter asked what she would like. “I’ll have the beef,” she said. The waiter asked, “What about the vegetables?” “They’ll have the same,” Thatcher replied. [Read more...]

[Flashback Interview] The Iron Lady on Individual Self-Reliance (“There is no such thing as society.”)

“All too often the ills of this country are passed off as those of society. Similarly, when action is required, society is called upon to act. But society as such does not exist except as a concept. Society is made up of people. It is people who have duties and beliefs and resolve. It is people who get things done. She prefers to think in terms of the acts of individuals and families as the real sinews of society rather than of society as an abstract concept. Her approach to society reflects her fundamental belief in personal responsibility and choice. To leave things to ‘society’ is to run away from the real decisions, practical responsibility and effective action.”

Margaret_Thatcherby Scott L. Vanatter

Four score and seven years ago Margaret Thatcher was born in Grantham, Lincolnshire County. Today she belongs to the ages.

Of course, she always has belonged to the ages — at least since her principled leadership helped bring Britain back from the brink of a crippling socialist ruin. For good reason a Soviet journalist labeled her the Iron Lady. With Ronald Reagan she led the free world in the face of a once fearful Soviet Union.

Below are excerpts of an interview she gave as Prime Minister at No. 10 Downing Street, on September, 23, 1987. It was immediately controversial because she made the case that there was “no such thing as Society.” [Read more...]