A Trip to Hillsdale College, 175 years!

The first week of October, Hubby and I flew to Michigan, to attend the Hillsdale College 175th Anniversary Gala, and the dedication of the new Christ Chapel.  The weather was fine on the flight out, and we got to see Mount Rainier from above.

Mt. Rainier

We arrived in Detroit, picked up the rental car, and headed south toward the town of Hillsdale.  It was a beautiful day for a nice drive.  We stayed in the town of Coldwater, about 30 minutes south of Hillsdale, due to the fact that Gala attendees had taken up ALL of the available hotel rooms for miles around!  We learned that there were about 800 people there, and around 600 on a waiting list, which just blew our minds.  The Hillsdale Campus had never entertained that many people at once.

When we arrived in Coldwater, this retail store caught my eye immediately, and I told Hubby that I just had to get a picture.  What with Dick’s Sporting Goods publicizing their decision to stop selling guns, this was an interesting sign in the front windows.

GunsSoldHere

Our Second Amendment-supporting friends got a kick out of this.

The following morning we were rousted out early, since the first program started at 9:30AM. We grabbed a bite to eat before they finished up the breakfast buffet, and headed over to the Searle Auditorium to hear a presentation on the new Hillsdale Master’s Degree in Classical Education.  Hillsdale is doing their best to encourage real education, not the progressive indoctrination most kids get these days in government schools.  This new program will help train the right kind of teachers.  Next, we heard a great presentation on the School of Government.  Would that all politicians could be educated at Hillsdale!

Lunch that day was quite elaborate (like all the meals at the conference), with carefully-plated dishes that looked very artistic. Are we supposed to eat this?

175thDessert

We were fortunate to meet up with our Ricochet friends Susan and Jerry from Florida.  We got to sit with them at all the meals except the last one.  You can get an idea from this picture of how many people there were at this celebration.

LunchWithSusan-Jerry

And that’s only half the room!  There were almost as many tables behind us!  The lunch speaker was Victor Davis Hanson, whom we had met previously on two Hillsdale Cruises. His topic was Nationalism Good and Bad: Lessons from History, and as usual he spoke without notes.  Mr. Hanson is a veritable treasure, and every word he speaks is golden.

After lunch, we boarded a bus for the short ride over to the Performing Arts building to see a short selection from the college’s presentation of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice.  The student actors were wonderful, and got a standing ovation from this audience.  I had never actually seen any of the play before, and I was impressed by how well it was done.

We learned that this production included the senior project of one of the students of stage design.  I was very impressed!

MerchantOfVenice-stage

The student cast was also pretty impressive.

MerchantOfVenice-cast

On the last night, we actually went to see the full production, with some other Ricochet friends, and at the end, the cast got standing ovations, cheers, and whistles from the mostly-student audience.  They sure deserved it.

We finished the play and chose to walk back to campus rather than ride the bus.  Smart, because it was only a two-block walk!  The bus had driven a lot farther than that to get there.

We then got back in the car and drove to our hotel to dress for dinner and the evening’s activities.  First there was a reception in a building described as a tent.  Well, it was bigger and more permanent-looking than most tents we’d seen before!

OutsideBigTent

Inside the tent, there was a nice bar setup, and tables of finger food.  The decorations were pretty elaborate, too.

InsideBigTent

And there was a student group providing entertainment.  They were very good!

StringQuartet

After the reception, we went in to dinner.  After the meal, there were two speakers.  First was Dr. Larry Arnn, the President of Hillsdale.  Dr. Arnn is quite a remarkable guy, and everyone loves to hear him speak, on whatever topic.  Tonight’s speech described the 175th Anniversary, and the History and Purpose of Hillsdale College.  Or the Reason for the Season.

Next was everyone’s favorite Rush Guest Host, Mark Steyn, speaking on American Academia.  He got lots of laughs, and some groans, as everyone in this audience is pretty familiar with the horrid state of most modern universities.  After dinner, it was back in the car to the hotel, to rest up for the Big Day.

At 9:30AM the following day, we proceeded to the new Christ Chapel for the formal Dedication Ceremony.  We had seen the outside of the Chapel the previous day, and it looked amazing.

ChristChapelFront

We proceeded inside for the dedication, and we were a bit late, so seated way on the side in the back.  But we did have a view.

ChapelGallery

The first speaker was Dr. Arnn.  But it was the second speaker who inspired everyone, and that was Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

JusticeThomasSpeaks

After the Dedication Ceremony was over, everyone left the Chapel, and was standing outside waiting for the call to lunch.  That included Board President Pat Sajak, Dr. Arnn, and some Hillsdale students.

Pat,Larry,pals

With the Chapel empty, we walked back up the stairs, and got some time with the organ master, who described the features of the Fritts Organ, made by a company in Tacoma, Washington, and got to hear some samples of what it could do. Remarkable!

ChapelSanctuary

That’s Hubby in the foreground.  Now, the Organ:

FrittsOrgan

OrganPipes

And get a load of all those switches!  Even the pedals have extra switches.

Switches-organ

Then we all trooped back into lunch and more speakers.  The lunch speaker was Mollie Hemingway, whose talk was about the political divide in America.  We all had extensive experience with that.

After lunch, we went to a presentation on the Barney Charter School Initiative, with which we were already familiar.  See who was there:

Thomas,Steyn,Arnn

That was as close as we got to Justice Thomas.  His Security was everywhere, although this audience was about the most congenial and welcoming he could ever ask for.  After that, it was back in the car to the hotel to change for dinner.

The dinner speakers were Dr. Arnn, Mr. Sajak, and Stephen VanAndel, Vice Chairman of the Board, introducing the new Four Pillars Campaign, to raise zillions of dollars for Hillsdale.  There was an excellent video, of Hillsdale students and faculty describing the school.  I can think of no worthier place to donate than to Hillsdale College.  We are so proud of what they are doing, and we are endowing a scholarship for a music student.

After dinner, it was back to the Chapel, for a concert by the Hillsdale Symphony Orchestra.  They were magnificent!

HillsdaleOrchestra

But the best part of all was the end.  The conductor had promised us a big surprise, and that it was.  The Choir all trooped up to the front, and the orchestra and choir played and sang the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah.  I tell you, there were few dry eyes in that audience, as the student musicians and singers praised the Lord in song.

After the concert, there was a reception in the Tent, and music by Hillsdale’s Jazz Band.

NightChapel

JazzBand

And that was the official finish of the 175th Anniversary Gala.  However, we stayed another day, so we could do some shopping and sightseeing.

We parked on the edge of Campus, and we saw an animal that we last saw there in 2010. I don’t think we have these in Washington.  Have you ever seen a black squirrel?  They were very pretty.

BlackSquirrel

We next went to the Grewcock Student Union to do some shopping in the bookstore. And guess who we met on the way?  I just had to get my picture taken with the guy.

RB-Churchill

When we were done with our shopping, we went over to the Music Building, so we could see where our money will be going, when we endow our scholarship. I guess you can tell that this must be the Music Building.

MusicBuilding

It was a school day, so we did hear various ensembles, and a student taking a private violin lesson.

Then we got back into the car and did some sightseeing before returning to our hotel to rest and pack to leave the next day.  We saw a fair amount of fields with already-harvested corn, with the stalks still standing.

MichiganField

This was an excellent trip.  We renewed our commitment to Hillsdale, and we look forward to visiting again soon, before another nine years go by!

 

“Peaceful Religion” you say? More proof that…

“Peaceful Religion” you say?  More proof that…

Islam Is Evil.  Pure Evil.

Hundreds of innocent worshippers all over Sri Lanka were murdered at their Easter services, by massive bombs placed among the pews at their churches.  The death toll is hundreds, and climbing.

This is your “peaceful” religion.  This is heartbreaking.  This is what should inspire justified outrage among Christians and Jews everywhere.

I believe Islam is Evil…

I believe Islam is Evil…

…but I find myself in sympathy with a particular group of Muslims, whose culture is facing extinction.  Over the last year, I have been reading in the Wall Street Journal about how China is closely observing all its people, placing cameras equipped with cutting-edge facial-recognition software, wherever the people are.  China is building a ubiquitous “social credit” system for ALL its people, where they are continually observed at every activity, work and play, and judged for worthiness.  Those deemed unworthy are denied jobs, the ability to travel, and other benefits of life.  This horrifies me.

But the group who has been feeling these effects the most are the Uighurs, a Muslim group that lives in Western China’s Xinjiang Province.  The Communist Han Chinese government deeply fears these Muslims, and thinks of them as terrorists.  So many Uighurs have been literally placed in concentration camps; removed from their homes and detained against their will.  Their mosques that haven’t been torn down, have been abandoned, and they are not permitted to communicate with friends or family outside (and even inside) China.  The malevolent Chinese Communists call these camps “vocational education centers“.  Ha!  Uighur neighborhoods are still and silent, and the people left there are afraid to worship, or venture very far from home.

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The Communist Chinese are pretty good at this sort of thing.  Remember the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s?  Where children turned in their parents to the authorities, and intellectuals were sent to collective farms in the countryside for “re-education”.  An entire generation of Chinese was subjected to stunted development.  And how about Tibet?  Since being conquered by China, it has become a shadow of its former self, its people subjugated, their culture denied.

All in all, the Chinese Uighurs have actually been pretty peaceful, and not nearly as bloodthirsty as their Arab co-religionists.  But the ChiComs can have NO hint of difference or rebellion inside their borders, so they ruthlessly destroy the millennium-old culture of its smaller ethnic groups.  Han Chinese move into and take over the homelands of the Uighur, leaving their cities nearly unrecognizable.

I still think that Islam is Evil, but what the Chinese are doing to their Muslim minority is purely criminal, and Evil in itself.  Many in the modern world think of China as the world’s biggest market for exports, or as an exotic vacation destination.  Knowing what I do about how China treats its own people, I would never, ever go to China, for any reason.  They should not get any Western tourist dollars, which just help perpetuate the evil.  They certainly won’t be getting any of my dollars.

I LOVE this Ricochet Post, so I’m re-blogging it here. “Insulting Jews Everywhere, a Call to Congress”

I LOVE this Ricochet Post, so I’m re-blogging it here.  “Insulting Jews Everywhere, a Call to Congress”

Last week’s wimpy resolution against “hate” brought this excellent response from a Jewish friend.  I 100% agree.  Do you?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Members of Congress,

You should be embarrassed by your lack of courage regarding the anti-Semitism resolution that has been proposed, and apologize to Jews everywhere. How could you even think of changing the resolution to include every single group discriminated against? I am insulted and disgusted by your decisions to consider these changes, since you are either politically stupid or historically uneducated. Let me explain why:

First, to equate anti-Semitism with any other group that is discriminated against is ludicrous. We are not just talking about discrimination: we are talking about centuries of murder, torture, isolation, hatred, marginalizing and rejecting the Jews. Centuries. Every other group in America pales historically in comparison in several ways. Tell me about the centuries of hatred against LGBTQ communities; explain how blacks in this country were victims of hatred in the United States more than 500 years ago (since they weren’t a slave population in this country before then).

Second, Judaism is one basis of the founding of this country. Its values, morals and ethics have become the basis of Christianity and Islam. Isn’t it finally due some public support in our times by condemning those who would destroy or marginalize us?

Third, anti-Semitism is alive and well in almost every country in the world, whether you are talking about Europe, Asia or Africa. Jews have often been the scapegoat of choice for 4,000 years, by nearly every religion and every civilization. Unlike many other groups, I speak as a Jew who refuses to speak about being victimized; instead, I speak the truth. I acknowledge the anti-Semitism I’ve experienced, and I choose to rise above it, rather than blame all of society for this treatment. I don’t expect special favors, reparations, or any kind of compensation. I will take care of myself, thank you.

But when societies begin to show signs (including the U.S.) of increased anti-Semitic activity, I become concerned. Individual anti-Semitic acts are one thing; organized groups determined to spew their hatred on Jews, just because they are Jews. must be called out. These other groups that have been named have plenty of advocates, at political, cultural and educational levels. Where are the champions of the Jews?

I was comforted and proud that the U.S. was going to make a stand against anti-Semitism, as we see growing polarization, groups segregating themselves and aligning against Jews in particular. I understand that the resolution has no legal power. At the same time, we would be making a statement not just to Americans but to the world that we will not stand for anti-Semitism. Other groups have already spoken out for their constituency. Who will speak out for Jews?

I still hope that when the resolution is finalized and announced, politics are put aside. That extremists are discredited. And that wisdom, justice and compassion reign. That we condemn only anti-Semitism for this resolution.

Please don’t disappoint me.

P.S. Don’t bother to mention Ms. Omar; just censure her and remove her from committees. I don’t want her scapegoated in this resolution and thus make her a martyr.

Some of the many Jewish members of Congress halfheartedly opposed this watered-down denunciation of bigotry, but still added their names to it.  Like I have said many times, modern Jews are Liberals first, and everything else, even Jewish, later.

The West Virginia GOP Has it Right

People seem to be getting all worked up and outraged at this poster that was displayed at a West Virginia Republican booth.

9-11Omar

They have the right idea, in my opinion.  As I recall at the time of the September 11, 2001 attacks, members of the rather-large “Somali community” in Seattle were seen rejoicing at the horror of the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York by a gang of Islamist Terrorists.  None of the terrorists was Somali, but they were all Muslims.

Islam is an Evil Religion.  The two Muslim women elected to congress from the states of Michigan and Minnesota have continually displayed their Muslim hatred of Israel and Jews.  They belong to Evil, and the one pictured above demonstrates it every day.

Is This New York Abortion Law Evil?

Or, as Ben Shapiro puts it,

New York Governor Cuomo wants to ban the Death Penalty…Except for Unborn Children; go ahead and kill those.

abortionny

Last week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the most comprehensive abortion law in the United States.  This new law, passed by the now-100%-Democrat controlled Legislature, allows termination of a pregnancy up to the moment of birth.  Yes, that is correct, New York now allows a full-term BABY to be murdered if the mother and her doctor deem her health in danger.  Various “news” outlets describe this as “updating” New York abortion laws, and “adding strong legal protections” for “abortion rights”.

The above-mentioned Governor of New York is nominally a Catholic.  As I remember it, the Catholic Church forbids contraception, and defines abortion as murder.  And the Catholic Bishops have reacted to this new law that is celebrated by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Bishops call for Cuomo to be excommunicated.

cuomocelebrates

Look at that tag line on the podium.  No Time to Wait.  And the title of the new law is the “Reproductive Health Act”.  However, one thing the act ignores is the fact that the pregnant woman is not the only individual affected by abortion.  What about the child?  Well, this new law in New York deems that child disposable.    The statistics show that, in New York, more black babies are aborted than are born.  Does this indicate discrimination against minorities?  Nope, the Progressives in New York are perfectly fine with it, since Abortion is their Holy Sacrament.

And what about the Abortion Doctors?  Doesn’t the Hippocratic Oath say “First Do No Harm”?  I guess that in New York, the Culture of Death rules even the medical profession.    This list was taken off a Web Site called “safest abortion”, by a medical group, NY OB-GYN Associates.

  • Teenagers do not need their parent’s permission to have an abortion.
  • There are no waiting periods
  • No need for state approval
  • Patients can perform their abortion in their doctor’s office.
  • New York State Medicaid covers abortion for women with a low income.

Although, there are some pro-life doctors who have spoken out against this destructive (literally!) new law.  But it appears that they are in the minority.

It is a crying shame, what Feminism hath wrought in the United States, and around the world.  Human beings are reduced to the status of afterthoughts, permitted to be done away with, even if they can sustain life if allowed to be born.  I never had children myself, but this new law makes me very sad.  I weep for the babies who will not be allowed to live, and contribute to the tapestry that is Humanity.

 

In honor of Chanukah, pictures of Israel

This week marks the holiday of Chanukah, and the victory of the Maccabees over the Greek desecrators of the Temple.  The ancient Jews, fighting for their homeland, were fierce warriors, who were not finally defeated until the Romans did so in 70AD with the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.  Here are some pictures that I took on our trip to Israel in 2007.

Walls, Masada
Walls and room, Masada, Israel

Evidence of another group of brave Jews, who committed suicide rather than surrender to the Romans.

View from Wall of Jerusalem Old City.
View from the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel. This is MY Country.

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This is the view from Masada, toward the Dead Sea.  Dry, but absolutely beautiful.

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The lower pool at Ein Gedi, oasis amid the parched wilderness.

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The ancient city of Caesarea, on the Mediterranean Sea.  The city of Herod the Great.

WailingWallWomen
Women at the Wailing Wall, remnant of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. These are MY People.

Happy Chanukah to all.