Flags Unfurled: Presley O’Bannon – Tripoli Hero to Marine Corps Legend

Growing up with the name O’Bannon I was vaguely aware that there was a famous person named Presley O’Bannon who was important in American History. When I got married 37 years ago to a Marine Corp veteran who has a degree in history, I was informed that not only was Presley O’Bannon an important figure in history, he was especially important to the Marines. The United States Marine Corps hymn opens with “From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli, we fight our country’s battles on the land and on the sea.” Presley O’Bannon was the man who led battles on the shores of Tripoli from whence the song lyrics came.

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Commentary: Teaching Unbiased American History

In his Gettysburg Address at the height of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln pointed out that the United States was “conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” “Now,” he continued, “we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.”

Thankfully, we are not in a civil war today – and, one hopes, never will be again. We are, however, in a battle for the soul of our country.

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Commentary: Great American Stories Such as ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’

Bert and Ernie

This week in 1946, “It’s a Wonderful Life” was screened for the first time at the Globe Theatre in New York City. Audiences weren’t quite sure what to make of the film, even though it starred Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed and was directed by Frank Capra. Perhaps the economic jeopardy of life in Depression-era small towns was still all too real. Or maybe the specter of sons and husbands returning from the front reminded audiences of how many American fighting men had not come back from Europe or the Pacific.

Stewart, the leading man who portrayed small-town savings-and-loan owner George Bailey in Capra’s movie, was such a charismatic leading man that when studio executive Jack Warner heard in 1965 about Ronald Reagan’s plans to run for governor of California, he quipped, “No, no! Jimmy Stewart for governor. Ronald Reagan for best friend.”

But casting in movies, as in life, can be deceiving. It was something of an in-joke, for instance, to have Jimmy Stewart play the older brother who flunks his Army physical in “It’s a Wonderful Life” and can’t go to war. In real life, Stewart and Frank Capra both enlisted in the military after making “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” together in 1939. The Italian-born Capra, then in his 40s, produced an evocative series of films for the military called “Why We Fight.” Stewart did his part, too, and then some. After winning Best Actor for his role in 1940’s “The Philadelphia Story,” Stewart had become the most bankable star in Hollywood. Nonetheless, by the time Pearl Harbor was bombed, he was already in uniform, pulling duty at Moffett Field, south of San Francisco, in the Army Air Corps. By the end of World War II, Stewart had flown 20 combat missions in a B-24, become a squadron leader, been awarded a chest full of medals, and risen in rank from corporal to colonel.

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Commentary: Recall, Remove and Replace Every Last Soros Prosecutor

George Soros

Last year, our nation experienced the largest increase in murder in American history and the largest number of drug overdose deaths ever recorded. This carnage continues today and is not distributed equally. Instead, it is concentrated in cities and localities where radical, left-wing, George Soros progressives have captured state and district attorney offices. These legal arsonists condemn our rule of law as “systemically racist” and have not simply abused prosecutorial discretion, they have embraced prosecutorial nullification. As a result, a contagion of crime has infected virtually every neighborhood under their charge.

Soros prosecutors refuse to enforce laws against shoplifting, drug trafficking, and entire categories of felonies and misdemeanors. In Chicago, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx allows theft under $1,000 to go unpunished. In Manhattan, District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. refuses to enforce laws against prostitution. In Baltimore, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby has unilaterally declared the war on drugs “over” and is refusing to criminally charge drug dealers in the middle of the worst drug crisis in American history. For a time, Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon even stopped enforcing laws against disturbing the peace, resisting arrest, and making criminal threats.

All of these cities have paid a terrible price for these insane policies. Last year, the number of homicides in Chicago rose by 56%, and more than 1,000 Cook County residents have been murdered in 2021. In New York City, murder increased 47% and shootings soared 97%. In 2020, the murder rate in Baltimore was higher than El Salvador’s or Guatemala’s — nations from which citizens often attempt to claim asylum purely based on gang violence and murder—and this year murder in Baltimore is on track to be even higher. Murder in Los Angeles rose 36% last year and is on track to rise another 17% this year.

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