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ANOTHER TERRIFIC EAGLE COUNCIL GOES INTO THE HISTORY BOOKS. Eagle Council XXXI will be remembered for Sean Hannity's rousing luncheon speech, for Phyllis Schlafly's stirring narrative and film record of the battle against ERA at the Friday evening banquet, and for many other thrilling moments.

Eagles gathered at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia September 20-22 for the 31st annual leadership conference, preceded by a round table meeting for state Eagle Forum chairmen to share their accomplishments of the past year. Two new state chairmen were introduced and warmly welcomed: Debbie Johnson of Alaska and Terrie Paske of Montana. Our prayers were requested for Florida Chairman Lanny Moore who is ill.

The opening general session Friday afternoon focused on serious threats to our public educational system. The program began with Pacific Justice Institute's Brad Dacus relating shocking examples of anti-family and anti-Christian bias in our schools. Larry Gipson, a co-founder of Mathematically Correct, spoke on the successful fight against "fuzzy math" in California. Next came a hard-hitting presentation on the accelerating federalization of American education, still being implemented as outlined in the School-to-Work scheme with its appalling "workforce" planned-economy ideology. Members of Minnesota's watchdog Maple River Ed.Coalition painted a frightening picture of students being tracked into dead-end job categories as early as seventh grade, and of federally imposed standards, tests and textbooks all coming to your state soon. Congressman Bob Barr (R-GA) closed the afternoon session with a warning of the many ways we are losing our privacy rights in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

Karen Santorum, wife of pro-life leader Sen. Rick Santorum (R, PA), was honored as Homemaker of the Year at the Friday evening banquet. Mrs. Santorum has a law degree, but chooses to stay at home and home-school her seven children. Phyllis Schlafly then led the crowd in a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the defeat of ERA by giving her personal recollections of the battle she led, accompanied by an exciting film record, and climaxed by the music of Bill and Prudence Fields singing "The Impossible Dream" and "Great Day." Saturday morning's sessions focused on the weakness of our border security and unchecked illegal immigration, as presented by columnist Joel Mowbray, Center for Immigration studies scholar Steven Camarota and columnist and author Michelle Malkin. The question of the combat readiness of our U.S. Armed services was addressed by Rep., Roscoe Bartlett who lamented the "coed nonsense" in our military, and by Eagle Elaine Donnelly, who described the dangers of double standards.

A cheering crowd of Eagles and guests were "Hannitized" at the Saturday luncheon, and stood in long lines to get autographs on their copies of his best-selling book, Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War over Liberalism. In Saturday afternoon's panels, Eagle Cathie Adams showed how the U.N. pits poor nations against rich ones and encourages class warfare; and Eagle Maude Rathgeber related how more and more private property is being seized and taken out of productivity in the West, and warned that environmentalists and federal programs like "Scenic By-Ways", urban sprawl and the Conservation and Restoration Act threaten us all. Dr. Verne Bacharach of Appalachian State University produced evidence that pre-school education such as North Carolina's "Smart Start" at a cost of $300 million, do not improve the academic or intellectual performance of children at all, and are merely free baby-sitting. In a panel on Doing the Impossible, Carole Nunn told how she and other parents had challenged and won a court case against a New Jersey "nosy questionnaire" in the schools; and Nevada Eagle leader Janine Hansen shared her advice on stopping totalitarian health powers.

Saturday evening featured the Presentation of Eagle Awards, and a stimulating but disturbing description by Pat Buchanan of the decline of Christianity (and birth rates) in the West while Islam is on the move, as outlined in his book The Death of the West. Buchanan warned, "When faith dies, culture dies."

Following religious services, Sunday morning's program opened with a second panel on Doing the Impossible, featuring the dynamic freshman Virginia Delegate Winsome Sears, who won election against an entrenched incumbent and over impossible odds, giving God the credit; labor and delivery room nurse Jill Stanek, whose courage and persistence resulted in the passage by Congress of the Born Alive bill; and Oklahoma City TV Reporter Jayna Davis, who is still battling to force U.S. authorities to recognize the evidence she uncovered about Iraqi connections to the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995.

Our luncheon speaker, Major Gen. Bob Hollingsworth, testified to numerous instances in combat during his long military career in which he credits God and the prayers of his loved ones for keeping him safe. He paid his highest compliment to Phyllis Schlafly and the Eagles by comparing their dedication, honor and courage to the Marines. The Council was brought to a close with the traditional singing of "God Be With Us Till We Meet Again."

Eagle Forum Leadership Conference 2002
Phyllis Schlafly presenting Eagle Forum's Fulltime Homemaker of the Year  Award to Mrs. Rick Santorum Phyllis Schlafly presenting Eagle Forum's Fulltime Homemaker of the Year Award to Mrs. Rick Santorum  

Sean Hannity speaking on "Let Freedom Ring" 

Sean Hannity

Sean Hannity and Phyllis Schlafly Sean Hannity and Phyllis Schlafly

Pat Buchanan and Phyllis Schlafly
Pat Buchanan spoke on "The Assault Against the West"

Pat Buchanan and Phyllis Schlafly

Bob Barr Congressman Bob Barr speaking on "Losing our Liberties?"

Senator Michelle Bachmann
speaking on School-to-Work

Sen. Michelle Bachmann

Jayna Davis Jayna Davis speaking on Secrets of the Oklahoma City Bombing

General Bob Hollingsworth  

General Bob Hollingsworth

Arkansas Eagles led by State President Betsy Hagen (in green). 

Arkansas Eagles

Arizona Eagles led by State President Susan Stradling (3rd from left) and Utah Eagles Arizona Eagles led by State President Susan Stradling (3rd from left) and Utah Eagles led by State President Gayle Ruzicka (2nd from right)

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