About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Don't Throw Away Your Shot

click on graphic to enlarge
America was honored in August 2015 when Hamilton opened on Broadway after playing to capacity audiences off-Broadway.  Carol & I saw the play in September & it continues to play to 102% standing room capacity audiences.
I have never seen a better play – it is excellent & inspirational both as a civics & history lesson as well as a tribute that honors America – none of which is any longer taught in government K-12 schools or American colleges for that matter.
Click here to hear the writer & star Lin-Manuel Miranda sing the opening song of the play @ a special White House performance.  Hamilton is sold out for about the next year – but you can get the CD online with accompanying pamphlets that includes all the lyrics.
Hamilton is the other side of the 1776 coin where out forefathers in Philadelphia were determining whether or not to declare independence while George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, & James Monroe were actually fighting the war for our independence – all three of these great men crossed the Delaware River on Christmas night 1776 & fought in the crucial Battle Of Trenton.  Hamilton goes on, after the Revolutionary War, to describe the struggles of America's fledgling government & of course the play ends following the duel with Aaron Burr in Weehawken, NJ on July 11, 1804 when Hamilton fires his shot in the air (see graphic above).
One of the themes of the play was Hamilton's line "I am not throwin away my shot!"
And of course Hamilton didn't throw away his shot in that he started with nothing except wanting to contribute to America's independence & wound up indispensably serving in America's ragtag military with George Washington that won that independence, writing the majority of the Federalist Papers after being one of our Founding Fathers who finalized the Constitution, & serving as the country's first Treasury Secretary from which position he took the country from bankruptcy to prosperity & became the architect of the U.S. financial system. 
The producers have agreed to offer tickets to the play @ half price ($140 per ticket full price) for 20,000 NYC 11th grade students from schools with high percentages of students from low-income families to see Hamilton – The Rockefeller Foundation pledged to contribute $60 per ticket & each student will pay $10 (whether Hamilton is on the $10 bill on not).
click on photos to enlarge
Six hundred & forty such students attended the play when it was off-Broadway & the success of the program was best summed up by a sponsor from the Theatre Development Fund who said "We had students who were in tears because they felt like they were Americans for the first time."
The president of the Rockefeller Foundation said "Here's a story that talks about American history & the ideals of American democracy, & it features an immigrant who is impoverished initially & shows through perseverance & grit what he can achieve, in a vernacular that speaks to young people, written by a product of New York public education.  Could there possibly be a better combination in terms of speaking to students?"
And of course there couldn't be. 
The executive director of the Gilder Lehrman Institute Of American History said she would count the project as a success "if we've inspired a young generation to take history seriously, to get personally involved in it, and someday to serve the country as Hamilton did." 
So @ this time of year for making New Year's resolutions "raise a glass to freedom" & don't throw away your shot.


  1. Sent to my grandson, he likes history.

  2. Dear Doug – I couldn’t agree more. The musical is absolutely terrific and we are mentioning it in an upcoming report on the Crisis in Civic Education.

    I have downloaded all the music and I listen to it every day.

    I am also on the board of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association and proud to say that we presented Lin-Manuel Miranda with the George Washington Book prize for this terrific work.

    Happy New Year!