Monday, July 14, 2014
In today's Motivation Moment Monday, our pasts and futures go head-to-head:
In today's Motivation Moment Monday, our pasts and futures go head-to-head:
Below are speeches I recently gave in New York.
The first two are parts I and 2 of a speech in Red Hook, NY, at Red Hook Residential Center's Youth Empowerment Day, where I was the featured motivational speaker. Red Hook is a facility for court-appointed male "juvenile delinquents." This event took place on June 11th.
Immediately following this speech, a resident took the microphone to express what my speech meant to him. What a testimonial!
Happy Father's Day, dads! You have loved and raised your children, and we are all the better for it. Thank you, and God bless you!
Dr. Maya Angelou died today. That's a statement that's difficult to write. It was even more difficult to read this morning when I received a text message with the news.
Just last night, as I sat at the hair salon, my stylist was playing a CD that had a track where Angelou was speaking. But more than that moment standing out to me are the many moments I spent as a teacher sharing Maya Angelou's life story, exposing students to her poetry, and dramatically reciting that poetry to those students. I will never forget the looks on their faces as they would watch me walk around the room in one of those recitations of either "Phenomenal Woman" or "Still I Rise." I will never forget how the poem made students feel; they were uplifted, inspired, and validated.
My first year as a teacher, I taught high school. I read Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings with my tenth grade honors English class. And for the rest of my 17-plus-year career as a junior high school English teacher, my classes would read an excerpt of that autobiographical work. Students learned of her hardships growing up with her grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas, after her birth in St. Louis, Missouri. They learned of the abuse she suffered at the hands of her mother's boyfriend, her emotional inability to speak afterwards, her transformation that resulted from Bertha Flowers, a teacher who reached out to her, and her powerful emergence as a leading voice in our world. Several years ago, a co-worker and I organized a trip to take our seventh graders to hear the poet speak at the Palace Theater in Albany, NY.
I resigned from teaching in October of last year to pursue other endeavors; that was seven months ago. It's odd to me, however, that today is the day I feel that a major aspect of my career has been laid to rest for the first time. Maya Angelou was a key part of my professional life and connection with my students. They were fascinated by her story and loved her poetry. In fact, I received a Facebook inbox today from a former student. He wrote:
Hello Mrs Ross.. I don't know if you remember me but you were my 8th grade teacher.. I know you heard about the passing of Maya Angelou.. Just made me think of the best English teacher I ever had because I know you were a huge fan of her art and literature. If it wasn't for you I wouldn't have been able to enjoy her work.
I cried when I heard the news. I remember the first poem I read of hers and it was in your class.
Perhaps you have the day off today. Perhaps you're hosting a barbecue for family and friends. Whatever your plans, please remember what Memorial Day is all about.
Memorial Day is more than free time and great company. It is the opportunity to honor those who paid the ultimate price in service to our country. That involves honoring those brave warriors, paying tribute to the veterans among us, praying for those who currently serve, and thanking God for the freedoms we enjoy.
Happy Memorial Day--and God bless America.
Here's my favorite picture of my dad, a Vietnam veteran:
Governor Palin highlighted the hypocrisy of the lamestream media in a Facebook post on Monday, May 19th. While I thought Karl Rove's "brain damage" comments were ill-advised, Palin certainly reminds us that there's a glaring, shameful double standard in journalism---and beyond.
An article linked today on Drudge:
Hey! Hillary’s brain is off-limits! Leave her health records alone! Democrats are right – scouring records of a female candidate is just politics of personal destruction, and for the media to engage in it would be unfair, unethical, and absolutely UNPRECEDENTED. You can’t probe a woman like that because, well, it’s a war on women!
Bunch of sexist, big meanies engaging in something heretofore unheard of, for shame.
America, you deserve fair and consistent coverage of relevant issues before deciding a Presidential/Vice Presidential ticket, so have faith the agenda-less media will refuse to push whispers and wildly inaccurate information about a partisan politician’s body part. Goodness, no one credible would print lies, continually harass a candidate’s doctor, disrupt local hospital staff, or even offer to pay locals to give “quotes” about her health records to be included in a “research book” by a public university professor (your tax dollars at work?) which the candidate’s attorney will need to respond to.
Thank goodness liberals are consistent in refusing to apply double standards, thanks to their disdain for hypocrisy – so they’ll come through once again! Rest assured these self-designated protectors of what they obviously believe is the “weaker sex” needing protection in the political arena will elevate political discourse. Apparently, Democrats demand their next chosen one’s brain must be absent. Opposition – go there exploring a liberal’s brain and you find nothing; or, find something and you’re just trying to distract voters from the REAL issues.
See, the country’s just swell under the Obama regime (which includes any cabinet member who’d lie and prove ineptitude by shining the boot that’s now on America’s neck). With enormous issues to debate before choosing a Presidential/Vice Presidential ticket, have confidence no mean-spirited salaciousness will be pushed by “real journalists.”
Nope. This just doesn’t happen at this respectable level of American politics.
Just ask me. And Trig.
- Sarah Palin
Governor Palin appeared on "The Tonight Show" with Jimmy Fallon Wednesday night. Below, watch the skit, in which she, "Putin," and "President Obama" appear. Funny stuff:
(Video courtesy of BreitbartTV)
After the RNC blatantly snubbed Governor Palin by omitting her from their Women's History Month tribute, I penned the following piece for Breitbart News:
Saturday, the Republican National Committee (RNC) released a statement in honor of Women’s History Month in which they highlighted women trailblazers, mentioning some prominent women in the Republican Party. Conspicuously absent, however, was former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Republicans “played a leading role in securing women’s right to vote,” Chairman Reince Priebus and Co-Chairman Sharon Day wrote, adding that Susan B. Anthony joined with other suffragists to pass the 19th Amendment, which was finally accomplished in 1919.
Boasting a unique role Republican women have played, they stated:
Republican women have a history of being trailblazers, breaking ground and glass ceilings--from Margaret Chase Smith, the first woman to be elected to both the House and the Senate, to the nation’s first Latina governor, Susana Martinez of New Mexico and the country’s youngest sitting governor, Nikki Haley of South Carolina.
Palin was the first woman ever selected to run on a GOP presidential ticket, as well as the first female governor of Alaska and youngest governor--male or female--of Alaska.
Since her spot on the 2008 ticket, Palin has helped get Republican women elected by making key endorsements that brought both support and finances--women such as Susana Martinez and Nikki Haley, two women the RNC praised in their statement.
It is most commendable for the RNC, often accused of waging a “war on women,” to pay tribute to Women’s History Month, just as they recognized Black History Month in February. But Palin's omission from the tribute is surprising.
SIKESTON, Missouri—Dr. Ben Carson, who garnered popularity and support from American conservatives when he criticized President Obama during a 2013 National Prayer Breakfast speech, spoke to a packed house in Southeast Missouri on February 22nd. Though he discussed a challenging childhood, an even more challenging career, a dishonest media, and a corrupt Washington, D.C., his rallying cry was for unity and courage in America.
Dr. Carson’s own courage was obvious during that prayer breakfast speech over a year ago, and it was on display once again at Sikeston Field House on Saturday evening. He began by warning the crowd that he was likely to offend some. “I am not politically correct. I don’t buy into the politically correct dogma,” he said. “The last time I checked, this is America,” he added, praising the First Amendment. Applause erupted for the neurosurgeon many are already hoping will run for President of the United States. In fact, the first question during the question and answer session was about that very topic. His answer: “I have no intention of running for public office. However, I leave everything in the hands of God. If He wants me to run, I will.”
Clearly, the doctor’s faith—both in God and in American exceptionalism—were evident as he spoke to the crowd about the foundation of the nation and the possibilities America yet possesses, despite obstacles yet to overcome.
And he knows about possibilities and obstacles. Raised mostly by a single mom in a Detroit ghetto filled with violence, murders, roaches, and rats, he began to contemplate his future when a sunbeam made its way through his window. He had never expected to live past 25, as that was life as he knew it; that’s all he saw. The difference for him was a mother who worked ungodly hours to overcome the odds—a mom who refused to go on welfare because, she said, everyone she saw who got on welfare never got off. So instead of being dependent on government, she was thrifty. She would offer to pick beans for people on their land: “I’ll pick three for you and one for us.” Noting that the government could learn a lot from his mother, Carson stated, “I suspect if my mother was the Secretary of the Treasury, we wouldn’t be in the shape that we’re in.”
Of all that’s ailing America, including the decline of education, Obamacare, politicians run amok, and government spending, the doctor offered various prescriptions. The Founders, he said, knew that the country relied on an informed populace. We must not be misled by “slick politicians and a dishonest media.” If we will “spend a half hour learning something new every single day … [we] become a formidable friend of truth and a formidable enemy of deception.”
Citing numerous examples of the country’s exceptionalism, he declared, “Don’t tell me America is not an exceptional nation!” Thus, he said, America must take her place and lead. If we don’t lead, he said, we will cease to be the pinnacle, and someone else will fill the void. To lead, we must recognize that our young people are “our most precious resource,” and we simply “can’t afford to waste those resources.”
Dr. Carson expressed a passion for the profession to which he gave himself. “To be able to take the most important thing a person has—their health—and give it back to them in an enhanced form” is priceless. He spoke boldly about the disaster that is Obamacare and the immorality of making something as important as health a political issue. Carson detailed his own healthcare plan, one aspect of which is an HSA--a Health Savings Account. An HSA would provide every American $2,000 every year, wouldn’t expire, and could be shifted within a family.
The problem we have when it comes to health care, education, gay marriage, or the other issues we face as a country is a lack of unity and courage, said Carson. People allow politics to get in the way of communication, which reflects Saul Alinsky’s first rule in Rules for Radicals. According to Carson, Alinsky said, “Make the masses of the populace think what they think is outdated and the way you think is the only way to think.” He added, “And [when] you involve the media, that’s how political corruption happens.” This formula shuts down communication because people are afraid of the backlash.
Instead of succumbing to this form of control, he said, we must be willing to do what’s best for all people. “Health care for the American people,” for example, “should not be politics. It should be taking care of the American people.” He implored the crowd not to “let the few turn us into enemies.” To avoid that, dialogue is essential. Alinsky knew the power of unifying and having meaningful dialogue, which is why he said never have a conversation with your enemy because in so doing you humanize him, “and your job is to demonize him.”
To move forward in this critical state in which we find ourselves, we must be willing to have the difficult conversations, to go to people who may not have voted in twenty years, encourage them to tune in to the issues, get them informed and registered to vote—so we can vote out those who put politics over people. “I am not a registered Democrat or Republican,” he revealed; he’s an independent. But if he had to register, though, it would be with the Logical Party. Simply stated, he advised, “Let’s do the things that make sense.”
Ultimately, Carson concluded, we must think about what those who came before us fought for, allowing that to give us courage today to do the right things—which usually are the hard things. Women went to work in factories vacated by fighting men. George Washington fought alongside his men. They did this not so we could have manufactured wars on women, age, and class. They did what they did so we could have “a free nation of, for, and by the people.” They demonstrated bravery, and we must do the same, he implored, for the sake of those who will come after us.
Sharing the story of the poet Francis Scott Key who was overjoyed upon realizing after much worry “that our flag was still there,” Carson said that at the base of that flag, bodies of Americans who took turns holding up the flag were strewn. There was a price paid. Key’s revered words exult, “O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?” However, Dr. Carson stated before taking his seat, “We must remember that we cannot be free if we are not brave.”
Texas, it starts with you!
2014 is here. The choices are becoming clearer, and the battle lines are being drawn. The GOP Beltway crowd has convinced itself that the way to maintain or retake the majority is through compromise and capitulation on important issues like amnesty, Obamacare, and the ever-increasing federal debt. They think that by making deals with a deeply unpopular and divisive incumbent president on issues that Americans oppose, they’ll somehow endear themselves to voters.
Enough is enough. The permanent political class in D.C. won’t listen. So, let’s start putting our efforts behind good new candidates who will go to Washington not to line their own pockets, but to help restore our country. It’s time to put inspiration, ingenuity, and integrity over incumbency in the GOP.
Let’s start in Texas. The lines couldn’t be clearer. Katrina Pierson is an emerging leader and important voice for the future of the grassroots conservative movement. Her life’s story is full of hardships she has fought to overcome, which taught her firsthand the importance of self-reliance, hard work, and the blessings of liberty.
A feisty fighter for freedom, Katrina is taking on a powerful incumbent who has so lost touch with the people of his district that he’s not even bothering to spend much time in Texas anymore. It’s not only his district he’s lost touch with, but also the issues important to the voters there. He used his powerful position to oppose the movement to defund Obamacare, has voted to raise the debt ceiling, and has been an advocate for the NSA intrusion into our freedoms. When asked about Katrina’s primary challenge, he said, “these things happen.” Yes, they do. We all know what happens when we come together to support a good candidate like Katrina – the permanent political class loses and We the People win! We win by electing a fighter we can depend on like Katrina Pierson. Ted Cruz calls Katrina “an utterly fearless principled conservative.” He should know. Katrina was among the conservative grassroots warriors in Texas who worked tirelessly to elect Senator Cruz.
Early voting started yesterday, Texas. Get out now and vote for Katrina. Send a message to the GOP elites on behalf of Katrina, just like you did for Ted Cruz in 2012.
And while you are out there voting for Katrina, check the box for another good conservative – Greg Abbott for Governor of Texas. Like Katrina, Greg has overcome many personal obstacles and challenges, which have made him a believer in the power of liberty and the need to defend our freedoms from the overreach of an out-of-control federal government. If he is good enough for Ted Nugent, he is good enough for me!
You can learn more about Katrina Pierson at: www.katrinaforcongress.com
and more about Greg Abbott at: www.gregabbott.com
God bless you and God bless America.
- Sarah Palin