Ryan Lochte, Orion and the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate

Those who still care about the Olympics have heard ad nauseam about Mr. Ryan Lochte and three other US Olympic swimmers who got drunk, urinated on a gas station wall, was challenged by police and then claimed to have been victimized by armed robbers. When finally caught out in his exaggeration or what used to be known as a lie, the 32-year old Mr. Lochte apologized for his immaturity.

We can assume from his immaturity that Mr. Lochte did not attend a religious school. If he had done so, he might have read the Old Testament warnings against those that “pissith against the wall” but only if he had been exposed to the King James Version or the Rheims Douay. He may also have learned about Orion, the ancient Greek mythological hunter, especially since urine is one remote etymology of Orion. Mr. Lochte could now become Orion, the modern hunter of gas station restrooms.

After the sniggering dies down about Mr. Lochte’s inability to hold his liquor, all we are left with is another winning athlete busted for anti-social behavior with a trite apology on his lips. Let’s remember what Mr. Lochte actually did. As a United States Olympic athlete, he was invited to a foreign country where he embarrassed himself and us. Not because he lost, but because he won. He urinated on his hosts even though he was the victor.

No gentlemen he. Nor is he a positive example for our children to admire despite his athletic skills. Though his $25,000 bonus and his sponsorship opportunities are being threatened, I suspect his immaturity will be quickly forgotten. For the rest of us, Mr. Lochte presents a problem for those who wish to teach children self-respect and proper manners toward others.

The General Assembly passed Act 195 earlier this year defining the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate. Within the Life and Career Characteristics section several ideals were listed that our students should be taught or as the actual wording in the bill says “Students finally also must be offered reasonable exposure, examples, and information on the state’s vision of life and career characteristics such as: Integrity, Self Direction, Global Perspective, Perseverance, Work Ethic, and Interpersonal Skills.”

The Act does not expressly say that negative examples may be used but Mr. Lochte expressly presents poor examples of Integrity, Interpersonal Skills and Global Perspective. Only the gas station wall can attest to his Self Direction.

As I read through the Graduate Profile prior to passage, I thought about one important ideal that was omitted – the notion of honor – not just showing honor to another person but the development of an honor code for oneself. A personal code of how you will behave and what behavior you will tolerate from others. Maybe Interpersonal Skills have taken the place of an honor code. Interpersonal Skills suggest acceptance while an honor code suggests mere tolerance. Our society often confuses the two.

Over the next few weeks, I intend to write a short series on our state’s “honor culture” and how the notion of personal honor and honor codes should be revived in our education system. In the interim, one warning remains whether our graduates learn personal honor or interpersonal skills, if they urinate on their employer’s office wall, they will be terminated.

ClintonWorld: Not Your Average Arkansas Trailer Park

As the WSJ revealed this morning in the never-ending email scandal, Bill and Hillary Clinton became buddies with Nigerian/Lebanese billionaire Gilbert Chagoury during the early 1990’s.

The outrage this morning stems from a suggestion in the emails that Hillary Clinton has been trading jobs, money and favors of international diplomacy with Chagoury. This should come as no surprise.

During Bill Clinton’s presidency, Gilbert Chagoury was buddies with Nigerian Dictator Sabi Abachas. So much so, that after Abaches unexpected death, Chagoury had to pay $300 million to the new Nigerian government just to indemnify himself of possible criminal charges stemming from his relationship with Abaches.

Sabi Abachas was a brutal dictator who created an international furor in the 1990’s when he executed Ken Saro-Wiwa and 8 other political activists from Ogoniland, a minority tribal region within Nigeria.

The activists demanded freedom for their tribe and a fair share of the revenue from oil deposits in Ogoniland – a demand opposed by Abaches and his buddies who control the international oil companies. The activists were hanged for their troubles. Nobody has denied that ClintonWorld can be a swinging kind of place.

All of this from just one of the Clinton’s cronies. Imagine how swinging the next four years will be in they ascend the presidency again.

Winners: the Clintons’, billionaires, brutal dictators, oil companies.

Losers: political activists, minorities, freedom, rule of law.

A Prayer For Dallas

The murders of five police officers and the attempted murder of another six police officers in Dallas leave me almost speechless; such is my sadness and anger.

We should pray continually for the police officers in our own communities who defend us but especially today, we should pray for those defending Dallas and the families of their fellow officers who sacrificed their lives for the common good. As our Lord Jesus Christ said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

We should pray for our right to protest peaceably and to defend ourselves. The attack in Dallas last night was an attack on both. The murders (or terrorists given their method of attack and regardless of motive) prevented a large group of Americans from peaceable protesting. Americans were silenced and terrorized as unidentified gunman murdered those whose duty it was to protect the protestors and the general public. We cannot stand down from this assault.

We should pray for wisdom as we hold accountable our political and community leaders who seem not to understand the true nature of these assaults. We should condemn those use this tragedy to advance themselves or their political agenda especially an agenda designed to deny us the right to defend ourselves.

We should pray for our presidential candidates and use this opportunity to listen very closely to Mr. Trump and Ms. Clinton. Their words during this crisis will reveal if either have the high quality of leadership necessary to stand for freedom as our country moves through these perilous times.

We should pray for ourselves and for our fellow Americans to find the peace and understanding that only comes from above. We should extend peace and understanding to each other so that we may stand united against all those who would take our freedoms from us.

Tommy Stringer