Uncommon Sense with Glenn Mollette

To celebrate the Fourth of July, I have a song, Let That Old Flag Wave, which I wrote and which has been recorded and published by Johnny House Records and Johnny House Publishing, both of Nashville, Tennessee.
The record is available at Amazon.com and the song is also online at YouTube. Its lyrics go like this:

Flying high across the sky is such a sight to me.
It represents love and a whole lot of blood given for folks like you and me.

It stands so grand across this dear land, never once has it embarrassed me.
And I lift my head up high and my heart is filled with pride and I’m here ’cause that old flag waves!

Let that old flag wave! Let that old flag wave! It has a lot to say. It’s our story flying high.
It reminds us of our past, of our heroes who made it last, about our people who died to set us free.
Let that old flag wave!

The stars and stripes remind us of a life we don’t appreciate.
Freedom to pray and freedom to say what’s on our minds.
Freedom to pursue the dreams of our youth – let’s let that old flag wave!

Let that old flag wave! Let that old flag wave! It has a lot to say. It’s our story flying high.
It reminds us of our past, of our heroes who made it last, about our people who died to set us free.
Let that old flag wave!

Today the flag still stands but we live in a land of demand.
We take her for all she’s got and expect her to give her best.
It’s up to you and me to continue this liberty ’cause our children are coming this way.
Let that old flag wave!

Let that old flag wave! Let that old flag wave! It has a lot to say. It’s our story flying high.
It reminds us of our past, of our heroes who made it last, about our people who died to set us free.
Let that old flag wave! Let that old flag wave! Let that old flag wave! Let that old
flag wave!

Glenn Mollette is an American author whose syndicated column is read in all 50 US states.

Tortorici, Melissa            Melissa Tortorici

By guest writer Melissa Tortorici

With a heavy heart, the staff and students of Texas City independent school district mark the passing of long-time trustee Manuel Guajardo, who was in his 25th year of service to us.
He had a long history of active civic involvement in the school district, in the city and in Galveston County.
Manuel served on the ISD board of trustees for almost 25 years, serving as vice president and president several times, and also represented the region 4 education service area on Texas Association Of School Boards for 14 years.Guajardo, Manuel 2016
He was involved in the Texas City community for more than 53 years and was a proud father, grandfather and great-grandfather, being married to his wife Mary for 61 years.
He became involved with Hispanic issues in 1962 when he became a member of Political Association Of Spanish Organizations while living in Palacios, remaining a member until 1975.
In 1965, Manuel and Mary became members of Texas City’s LULAC council 255 and Manuel went on to hold all elected positions within the Texas City chapter. During his service he was instrumental in bettering educational, housing, and employment opportunities for countless underprivileged people in the community.
As a result, last summer, Mr and Mrs Guajardo were both honored by LULAC national president Margaret Moran for dedicating more than 50 years of service to the organization.
Manuel was responsible for helping to organize Texas City’s first Cinco De Mayo celebration, a celebration that continues to this very day. In 1975, the mayor appointed him to the board of directors of the city’s housing authority. He served on the board until 1992 and was its president for several years.
In 1976, he was the driving force behind the implementation of bilingual education in the Texas City school system. In 1977, he successfully fought for the inclusion of Hispanic and African-American teachers in the ISD and became the first Hispanic to run for public office. Even though he was not elected, his candidacy produced a record number of votes in the election. That year, he was also the driving force behind the establishment of the nation’s first LULAC recreational park in Texas City, built on three acres of land donated by council 255.
Still in 1977, Manuel and Mary became the first husband-and-wife team to win the LULAC district 8 awards for man and woman of the year.
During the same year, he served on College Of The Mainland’s advisory board, as part of which he was instrumental in curbing problems between students of its three main cultures – Hispanics, African-Americans and whites.
In 1980, Manuel became involved with SER – Jobs For Progress and eventually served on that organization’s board. The program used federal funds to train or re-train unemployed residents of our community and educated young adults with vocational or college training to make productive citizens of young adults.
In 1987, while president of the Texas City housing authority, he proposed a drug-prevention program to the city commission. Four years later, the proposal was approved and our community received $100,000 in federal funds. Through the years, Manuel was a member of three major community-service clubs in Texas City, Optimist, Lions and Rotary, becoming became a Paul Harris fellow through Rotary International for his generosity.
He was an active member of First Presbyterian church, where he served as an elder and Sunday-school superintendent and on the church’s building and personnel committees.
Manuel’s community involvement was extensive and is exemplified by the fact that his employer awarded him the Goodyear Spirit award for his years of service and his civic accomplishments. In July, 2002, he was recognized by US congressman Nick Lampson for his many years of service to his community with a congressional recognition award as the recipient of the Henry Gonzales Latino Leadership award.
The Texas City ISD community was positively impacted by Manuel Guajardo’s dedication and leadership. His impact and devotion to us will never be forgotten.
Melissa Tortorici is communications director for Texas City independent school district.

Rose, Lila 2016                Lila Rose

By guest writer Lila Rose

On Monday, in an abhorrent decision, the US supreme court put women and preborn children in further danger by striking down Texas’ ability to enact basic health and safety standards for abortion facilities.
In the case of Whole Woman’s Health v Hellerstedt, the abortion industry challenged Texas’ very basic regulations, which ensured that abortion facilities followed hospital-like standards, ranging from minimum widths for hallways – to allow gurneys through in cases of emergency – to the number of nurses required to be on duty.
With the supreme-court decision, the nightmares – from filthy, unsanitary equipment to women’s deaths – will continue at abortion facilities that remain virtually unregulated.
The justices who have chosen to strike down Texas’ law reveal their extreme pro-abortion bias, going so far as to reject the established authority of states to enact laws to ensure the safety of their own citizens.
Just as it did with its unjust decision in Roe v Wade, the supreme court has once again refused to recognize the basic human rights of the preborn child or the grave indignity that abortion does to women.
Polls show that people’s hearts and minds are changing on abortion as science now shows that human life begins at conception, but the court remains stuck in the anti-science, pro-abortion ideology of the 1970s.
While no woman or preborn child is safe in an abortion facility, it ought to raise huge red flags that the abortion industry – while claiming the banner of “women’s health” – is willing to compromise women’s safety by refusing to meet the same basic health and safety standards that most medical centers do and on which everyone should be able to agree.
As justice Samuel Alito wrote in his dissent, Kermit Gosnell’s abortion house of horrors would have been closed down and the lives of a woman and three infants would have been saved if these laws were in place in his state.
It’s tragic and unjust that the supreme court refuses to acknowledge that abortion is a violent and brutal act against women and a horrific human-rights abuse against children, stripping them of their first human right – life.
Monday’s decision only emboldens my organization, Live Action, to continue exposing the horrific and dangerous actions of the abortion industry and the special interests that harbor it.
Together, we can do what the supreme court can never do – continue to change hearts and minds about abortion and the humanity of the preborn child until the operations and influence of the abortion industry and lobby are ended and the right to life of every preborn child is protected.
Lila Rose is founder and president of Live Action, an Arlington, Virginia, educational nonprofit dedicated to inspiring a culture of life in America and beyond.

This ’n’ That by Nicky De Lange

There’s a reason this column is called This ’N’ That. Sometimes you just wind up with a bunch of assorted items that don’t really go together but you need or want to touch on them briefly. Today is one of those times.160629 Lamborghini Veneno Roadster
I’ll start with an apology for an error that appeared here a couple of weeks ago when I wrote about my newest “favorite” TV show, The West Texas Investors Club.
I mistakenly said the program appears on channel MSNBC. It doesn’t. It’s on CNBC.
At least I was sort of close. And I didn’t realize that the show is now in its second season, so be sure to catch last season in reruns as well as the new episodes.
I also tried to quote the really good summary at the beginning of each show but couldn’t remember it all. It’s too funny not to repeat it and get it right this time.
“Deals will be made, lives will be changed, beer will be spilled” – is that a great concept or what?
And, finally, an interesting fact about one of the stars of West Texas Investors Club, Mike “Rooster” McConaughey. He has a pretty famous younger brother; 16 years younger, in fact. Ever seen Matthew McConaughey in a movie?
And now for a really great quote I heard on Jay Leno’s Garage. (Yes, I do have an odd taste in television programs.)
One of Jay’s recent celebrity guests was Robert Herjavec, one of the multimillionaire sharks from Shark Tank. Herjavec is a big fan of sports cars and he took Leno for a ride in his Lamborghini, a car I’ve always loved.
According to Herjavec, Frank Sinatra was known to have said something along the lines of  “People who think they’ve made it buy a Ferrari; people who actually have made it buy a Lamborghini”. That’s one way of looking at it.
Which reminds me of a conversation I had with my son years ago, when he was in high school.
Like a lot of boys, he was completely car crazy. If it had four wheels, he knew who made it, what it cost and how big the engine was.
That was his main topic of interest. While I like sports cars, especially Corvettes, and Jaguars like the XKE, I wasn’t as fascinated as he was.
One day he said: “Mom, you really don’t care all that much about cars, do you?”
I said I didn’t, as long as my vehicle could do what I needed it to do.
He then asked: “If you could have any car you wanted, what would it be?”
Without missing a beat, I answered: “A Lamborghini.”
He looked at me in shock and said: “Do you know how much they cost?”
My reply? “Hey, you
said I could have whatever
I wanted!”
I’m still waiting for my quarter-million-dollar-plus Lamborghini.

Washington watch with Lee Hamilton

It’s so easy in a presidential election year to forget that our system is not about a single person. This year especially, when the dynamics of the presidential contest have dominated news coverage so thoroughly that even the US senate and house races have largely disappeared from view, the crucial role that citizens play – apart from serving as voters in the presidential drama – isn’t even
an afterthought.

‘Because we will not
solve all our challenges in a
single generation, we must
teach effective citizenship to
our children’

Yet effective citizenship is the base on which our representative democracy rests. Our vitality as a country depends on the involvement of millions of people in their neighborhoods and communities, in interest groups and civic organizations, in groups agitating for change and in groups defending the status quo.
So just what constitutes effective citizenship? I believe it’s made up of several elements.
First, a confident belief that change is possible – that the country can indeed make progress over time thanks to the efforts both of ordinary people and of political leaders.
In his recent speech at Howard University, president Barack Obama noted that, by almost every measure, the country has moved forward over the past three decades. The poverty rate is down, as are the rates for crime and for teenage pregnancy.
More Americans are achieving college degrees, more women are working and earning more money and many cities are far healthier than they were in the 1980s.
Yes, we have miles to go on many fronts but, on the whole, I’ll take where we stand today over where we stood in the 1980s. Our system is working better for more people than it did then.
The people who helped make this happen understood two things – that progress was possible and that it required their efforts. This might seem too obvious even to say, but those who were most effective had an impact because they had the skills to make a difference.
I’m talking here about the fundamental ability we should all have as citizens to solve problems in a representative democracy that’s filled with people who have different beliefs, perspectives and experiences. That means knowing how to work together with all kinds of people, being able to find common ground, being forthright about aims and methods, forging connections to key officials and other players who can help advance a cause, building consensus and communicating ideas effectively.
I use the word “skills” but, in the end, good citizenship is as much about temperament as it is about ability. Mutual respect, tolerance, empathy, civility, humility, honesty, resolve – these are the simple virtues that our nation depends on in its citizens, not because they’re nice to see but because, in a vibrant and diverse democracy, they’re crucial for making progress.
So is a willingness to step up to challenges. The people who make a difference in our system are the ones who not only identify a problem but then plunge into fixing it.
I frequently hear from people who are exasperated by the obstacles they have to overcome in order to make a difference – fellow citizens who are ignorant of the system, politicians who are too obtuse or self-interested to see the light, incompetence in the bureaucracy, officials protecting turf, etc. But here’s the thing; those obstacles will always be there. You just have to keep plugging away at overcoming them, whether by casting an informed ballot, sitting down with – or protesting against – political leaders or finding the myriad ways in which you can improve the quality of life for your neighbors and fellow Americans.
You might already have picked up on the final quality that makes for effective citizenship, and it’s a tough one. For the most part, we’re not going to solve our challenges in a single generation. So we have to educate our children and those who come after us in the same skill sets I’ve been talking about.
That’s because, as I said at the start, our representative democracy is not all about the presidency. We – you, our fellow citizens and I – are responsible for the future of our neighborhoods and our nation. Unless we all shoulder the obligation to learn the skills we need to shepherd it into the future, and then teach those skills to others, our country and our system will struggle.
Lee Hamilton, who was a member of the US house of representatives for 34 years, is a senior adviser for Indiana University’s center on representative government, a distinguished scholar at the university’s school of global and international studies and a professor of practice at its school of public and environmental affairs.