The Other Newport: Newport, RI

While traveling to the Northeast to help fellow young conservatives combat leftist ideas on campus last week, I made a pit stop in Newport, RI to see what’s there. Since I grew up near Newport Beach, California, I never imagined I could like another Newport until I visited the older one here on the East Coast.

For those of you unfamiliar with Rhode Island, it’s the smallest state in the union boasting the longest official name. I kid you not. It’s officially known as the “State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.” (I first learned this two years ago when I paid my first visit to the state.) Historically speaking, RI is famous for giving rise to religious tolerance during the colonial era.

Newport, RI is a city rich in history. First and foremost, it was the site of George Washington’s famous speech at Touro Synagogue on August 18, 1790. Here’s the full text from his speech:

Gentlemen:

While I received with much satisfaction your address replete with expressions of esteem, I rejoice in the opportunity of assuring you that I shall always retain grateful remembrance of the cordial welcome I experienced on my visit to Newport from all classes of citizens.

The reflection on the days of difficulty and danger which are past is rendered the more sweet from a consciousness that they are succeeded by days of uncommon prosperity and security.

If we have wisdom to make the best use of the advantages with which we are now favored, we cannot fail, under the just administration of a good government, to become a great and happy people.

The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy — a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship.

It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

It would be inconsistent with the frankness of my character not to avow that I am pleased with your favorable opinion of my administration and fervent wishes for my felicity.

May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants — while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.

May the father of all mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in His own due time and way everlastingly happy.

G. Washington

Source: George Washington: A Collection, ed. W.B. Allen (Liberty Fund: Indianapolis, 1988)

Secondly, it was a summer getaway for both Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy. (Kennedy even got married there at St. Mary’s Church.)

Moreover, Newport is home to some rich naval history as it boasts the Naval War College.

While in Newport, I was able to explore some cool attractions. First up was driving near some mansions on the coast, with the most famous one being the Breakers. They date back to the Gilded Age and are open to the public.

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Map of Newport mansions

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The Breakers – Newport, RI

If I hadn’t been pressed for time, I would have spent more time exploring them. These estates are alluring and beautifully crafted. (Free enterprise FTW!)

Next stop was the International Tennis Hall of Fame. It’s a place where tennis greats are inducted and given high honors. I especially loved visiting this place because it brought back memories of my high school tennis days. Who can resist grass tennis courts?

GAB NEWPORT

Me posing at the International Tennis Hall of Fame

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Statue of Int’l Tennis Hall of Fame founder

After driving to the Breakers and Int’l Tennis Hall of Fame, my final stop was downtown Newport, RI.

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Marveling Newport Harbor

 

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Cute soap bars made to look like cupcakes at a harbor-side shop in Newport, RI.

What’s the takeaway from this blog post?  It isn’t the Newport I grew up with, but it’s a Newport I can learn to equally appreciate and enjoy. Go visit Newport, RI!

 

New Counter Cultured Column: UCSB Killer Elliot Rodger is to Blame for Massacre

I’ve penned a new column at Counter Cultured. Below is an excerpt:

I want to start this article by first extending my thoughts and prayers to the victims of the Isla Vista massacre. I spent summer 2010 in downtown Santa Barbara and will always cherish the time I spent living there. No town should be subjected to this kind of horror. Please join me in offering your condolences to those in the UC-Santa Barbara area.

Following the massacre, unsurprisingly, many leftists have made calls to ban guns and to dismantle gun groups. Additionally, radical feminists gave birth to the viral yet misleading #YesAllWomen hashtag to blame the massacre on men.

22-year-old Elliot Rodger, a Santa Barbara City College student and son of Hollywood director Peter Rodger, went on a killing spree May 23 with knives and guns that left six coeds dead and countless others injured. He ultimately died following a confrontation with Santa Barbara police.

Elliot Rodger was a deeply disturbed guy. From his bizarre YouTube videos to his 140-page manifesto, Rodger appeared to be self-absorbed, antagonistic towards others, and troubled from early on.

I’ll be appearing on NRANews’ Cam and Company Show today at 2:40pm ET to discuss the article!

Canadian PM Stephen Harper Gives Epic Speech Condemning Communism

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, arguably one of the most conservative premiers out there today, delivered a keynote address excoriating communism during a “Tribute to Liberty” event this past weekend.

Here’s some text from the speech, courtesy of Huffington Post Canada:

“During the 20th century, communism’s poisonous ideology and ruthless practices slowly bled into countries around the world, on almost every continent,” Harper said.

“The result was catastrophic. More than 100 million souls were lost — an almost incomprehensible number.”

The evening’s goal was to help raise money for Tribute to Liberty, which aims for a permanent memorial in Ottawa to communism’s “hundreds of millions” of victims.

In 2010, the Conservative government said it would support the monument.

Future generations of Canadians, Harper said, must be reminded that peace was earned through struggle and sacrifice.

In language reminiscent of the height of the Cold War, Harper lambasted communism and oppressive or even murderous ideologies.

“Evil comes in many forms and seems to reinvent itself time and again,” he said.

“But whatever it calls itself — Nazism, Marxist-Leninism, today, terrorism — they all have one thing in common: the destruction, the end of human liberty.”

Canadians, the prime minister said, are well aware of that destruction.

Below is the full video of Harper’s speech:

Here in the U.S., Congress recently approved Black Ribbon Day to be held August 23rd.  This day will honor the victims of Soviet communism and National Socialism, which is much-needed.

Will Obama and the Left  have the courage to condemn communism like PM  Harper did? (I highly doubt it.)

New Townhall Column: Commies Aren’t Cool-Honor Its Victims On May Day Instead

I’ve penned a new column at Townhall.com called “Communists Aren’t Cool: Honor Victims of Communism This May Day” to highlight the importance of educating our fellow Americans about the horrors of communism.

Here’s an excerpt:

Comrades of the world, unite!

Today is May Day, or International Workers Day. What better way to mark this occasion than calling for the destruction of free enterprise or pledging allegiance to Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx. Don’t you know? Capitalism is evil and has caused more deaths than communism, says self-appointed historian and Occupy miscreant Jesse A. Myerson.

According to the Chicago-based group International Workers of the World, May Day began in 1886 with the help of anarchists and radical leftists:

 

On May 1, 1886, more than 300,000 workers in 13,000 businesses across the United States walked off their jobs in the first May Day celebration in history. In Chicago, the epicenter for the 8-hour day agitators, 40,000 went out on strike with the anarchists in the forefront of the public’s eye. With their fiery speeches and revolutionary ideology of direct action, anarchists and anarchism became respected and embraced by the working people and despised by the capitalists.

Rather than giving credence to disgruntled Marxists and communists on May 1, why not use this day to highlight the ills of global communism by honoring its victims?

Continue reading at Townhall.com.

UPDATE:

Linked by Wayne Dupree and Heritage Action for America.

UPDATE II:

Linked by congressional candidate Igor Birman, Congressman Steve Stockman, JBANC, and Heritage Foundation.

UDPATE III:

Linked by Legal Insurrection and Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

Come Hear Me Talk to the Catholic University College Republicans Tomorrow

Hi everyone!

It’s been a while since I last gave a speech or had a speaking engagement, so I’m happy to announce that I, my friends AnnaMaria Fronzaglia from Congressman Tim Huelskamp’s (R-KS) office and Katherine Rosario from Heritage Action, and Barney Keller from Club for Growth, will discuss how we navigated ourselves to a conservative career path. The panel will be moderated by Dr. James Wallner of the Senate Steering Committee.

Quite honestly, I’m excited the students will get to hear from us rather than more establishment Republican young professionals. Hehe.

cuaHere’s more information about the event:

Join College Republicans this Wednesday in Hannan 108 at 7.30PM for a panel discussion of where conservatism can take you in the work place! The panelists include Gabriella Hoffman, Regional Field Coordinator for the Leadership Institute, AnnaMaria Fronzaglia, Legislative Director for Congressman Tim Heulskamp (KS-01), and Katherine Rosario, Deputy Communications Director for Heritage Action, and Barney Keller, communications director for the Club for Growth.

The panel moderator is Dr. James Wallner, Executive Director of the Senate Republican Steering Committee who was named one of the Hill’s 50 most influential staffers by Roll Call.

Hope to see you there!

Happy Birthday to Chick-fil-A Founder Truett Cathy!

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Like so many of you, I’m a proud patron of “hate-chicken” haven Chick-fil-A.

Today, I hope you join me in showing appreciation for this company by wishing its founder – Truett Cathy – a happy 93rd birthday.

Mr. Cathy, thank you for giving millions of Americans the opportunity in indulge in delicious chicken sandwiches. Thank you for employing thousands of people and demonstrating the beauty of free enterprise. Thank you for having strong convictions against attacks from naysayers.

Happy Birthday, good sir!

New Townhall Column: ‘Of Tolerance and Tyranny’

I’ve penned a new column at Townhall.com today on tolerance and religious liberty. Check it out!

Support traditional marriage? Believe in the First Amendment and religious liberty? Congrats, you’re a bigoted “fascist” and “homophobe”!

Brouhaha recently erupted over Arizona Senate Bill 1062—the bill that garnered national attention after being falsely maligned and derided as “anti-gay.” The two-page bill defined free exercise of religion as “practice or observance of religion, including the ability to act or refusal to act in a manner substantially motivated by a religious belief, whether or not the exercise is compulsory or central to a larger system of religious belief.” Simply put, the bill would have reaffirmed the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed into law by former President Bill Clinton.

Cato Institute’s Ilya Shapiro detailed how SB 1062 would have protected business owners from government coercion:

This doesn’t mean that people can “do whatever they want” – laws against murder would still trump religious human sacrifice – but it would prevent the government from forcing people to violate their religion if that can at all be avoided. Moreover, there’s no mention of sexual orientation (or any other class or category).

Governor Jan Brewer (R-AZ) ultimately vetoed the bill after caving to pressure from opponents.

Conservative talk show host Tammy Bruce—who is a lesbian—criticized Brewer in a column for submitting to the radical gay Left’s bullying tactics:

It has been disgusting to watch supposed gay “leadership” drag young gays and lesbians through an indoctrination that insists that in order to have equality, you must force other people to do your will, make them betray who they are, and punish them if they offend you.

Attacks on religious liberty are real and shouldn’t go unnoticed.

Continue reading at Townhall.com.