From The Marketplace: Bannor Toys – Keeping American-Made Craftsmanship Alive

“We want them to understand that an actual family made their toys, not an assembly line.”

— Stacey Bannor, Bannor Toys


Toy Pic 1Soon after starting up an in-home daycare in central Iowa, Stacey Bannor realized having a good selection of reliable toys at her disposal was crucial for her business. Growing tired of dealing with constantly breaking toys and safety recalls from toy manufacturers, Stacey set out to put together a collection of durable, educational toys she could be proud to show off to prospective clients.

Stacey’s husband, Jesse, who worked in the home mortgage division of a large banking company, loved woodworking as a hobby. He started crafting toys for Stacey to use in her daycare, using beautiful maple, walnut and cherry hardwoods.

Jesse built baby rattles, wooden cars and trucks, building blocks and some floor toys. The toys became excellent additions to Stacey’s daycare collection, and the Bannors realized there might be others looking for these same types of quality, American-made toys. They decided to turn Jesse’s hobby into a toy-making business.

“Once we realized that there were others out there looking for the same things in a toy we knew we had a shot,” Stacey told The Marketplace.

Toy Pic 2

In a blog post earlier this year, Jesse wrote the following explanation for why he chose to accept the risk of quitting his job in order to start a family business:

“I used to have an office job. It was a pretty god job, the pay was ok, the hours were reliable and decent. Maybe it is because I’m a bit eccentric, maybe it is because I get bored – but it just didn’t feel natural to me to sit in a cubicle surrounded by 500 other cubicles. Not to say that is a bad thing, I also have family in mortgage and insurance and they are every bit as valuable as those of us who do labor or “hands on” work.  I just felt a calling to DO and to MAKE and that is why I ended up back in my woodshop.”


Toy Pic 3

The early days of their business were full of ups and downs for the Bannors, quite literally at times. Stacey recounted an experience to The Marketplace that took place right after they’d moved their workshop from their home to a 3,000-square foot warehouse with 20-foot ceilings. Jesse was there doing some electrical work by himself, when Stacey decided to head over to see how he was doing.

“I am so glad we walked down there this day,” Stacey said, because shortly after arriving, she heard Jesse screaming her name.

“So I run out to the workshop part and see him hanging from the rafters and the ladder slid halfway down the wall! After I got the ladder back up and he got down safely, we could not stop laughing about it, thank goodness he has good reflexes and didn’t fall down with the ladder!” she said, adding as small business owners they’re simply learning as they go.

Toy Pic 4

From the outset of their business, the Bannors understood they wouldn’t be the only people out there making American-made wooden toys. They decided early on they wouldn’t let their competition bother them. Stacey wrote the following in their company blog:

“We don’t compete with other wooden toy makers. We just don’t. It’s not who we are and we don’t think it’s a healthy focus for Bannor Toys. Every minute we spend worried about what someone else is doing is time we are not focused on where we are taking Bannor Toys! We aren’t the toy shop who brags about our products or uses fancy words to promote ourselves. We just don’t operate like that and it makes us tremendously uncomfortable. Jesse and I love what we do. We love our customers. We love being able to give back to our communities. We love that our toys make kids smile. We love to think outside the box and try new things. That’s it! (We also love to support other small American made businesses!)”

Toy Pic 5

As new shop owners at The Marketplace by TheBlaze, the Bannors add to the vibrancy and passion found only in the finest collection of small businesses

To learn more, visit Bannor Toys at The Marketplace by TheBlaze.

Most self-proclaimed Marxists know very little about Marxism. Some of them have all the buzzwords memorized. They talk about the exploits of labor. They talk about the slavery of capitalist society and the alienation caused by capital. They talk about the evils of power and domination.

But they don't actually believe what they say. Or else they wouldn't be such violent hypocrites. And we're not being dramatic when we say "violent."

For them, Marxism is a political tool that they use to degrade and annoy their political enemies.

They don't actually care about the working class.

Another important thing to remember about Marxists is that they talk about how they want to defend the working class, but they don't actually understand the working class. They definitely don't realize that the working class is composed mostly of so many of the people they hate. Because, here's the thing, they don't actually care about the working class. Or the middle class. They wouldn't have the slightest clue how to actually work, not the way we do. For them, work involves ranting about how work and labor are evil.

Ironically, if their communist utopia actually arrived, they would be the first ones against the wall. Because they have nothing to offer except dissent. They have no practical use and no real connection to reality.

Again ironically, they are the ultimate proof of the success of capitalism. The fact that they can freely call for its demise, in tweets that they send from their capitalistic iPhones, is proof that capitalism affords them tremendous luxuries.

Their specialty is complaining. They are fanatics of a religion that is endlessly cynical.

They sneer at Christianity for promising Heaven in exchange for good deeds on earth — which is a terrible description of Christianity, but it's what they actually believe — and at the same time they criticize Christianity for promising a utopia, they give their unconditional devotion to a religion that promises a utopia.

They are fanatics of a religion that is endlessly cynical.

They think capitalism has turned us into machines. Which is a bad interpretation of Marx's concept of the General Intellect, the idea that humans are the ones who create machines, so humans, not God, are the creators.

They think that the only way to achieve the perfect society is by radically changing and even destroying the current society. It's what they mean when they say things about the "status quo" and "hegemony" and the "established order." They believe that the system is broken and the way to fix it is to destroy, destroy, destroy.

Critical race theory actually takes it a step farther. It tells us that the racist system can never be changed. That racism is the original sin that white people can never overcome. Of course, critical race theorists suggest "alternative institutions," but these "alternative institutions" are basically the same as the ones we have now, only less effective and actually racist.

Marx's violent revolution never happened. Or at least it never succeeded. Marx's followers have had to take a different approach. And now, we are living through the Revolution of Constant Whining.

This post is part of a series on critical race theory. Read the full series here.

Americans are losing faith in our justice system and the idea that legal consequences are applied equally — even to powerful elites in office.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to detail what he believes will come next with the Durham investigation, which hopefully will provide answers to the Obama FBI's alleged attempts to sabotage former President Donald Trump and his campaign years ago.

Rep. Nunes and Glenn assert that we know Trump did NOT collude with Russia, and that several members of the FBI possibly committed huge abuses of power. So, when will we see justice?

Watch the video clip below:

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The corporate media is doing everything it can to protect Dr. Anthony Fauci after Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) roasted him for allegedly lying to Congress about funding gain-of-function research in Wuhan, China.

During an extremely heated exchange at a Senate hearing on Tuesday, Sen. Paul challenged Dr. Fauci — who, as the director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, oversees research programs at the National Institute of Health — on whether the NIH funded dangerous gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Dr. Fauci denied the claims, but as Sen. Paul knows, there are documents that prove Dr. Fauci's NIH was funding gain-of-function research in the Wuhan biolab before COVID-19 broke out in China.

On "The Glenn Beck Program," Glenn and Producer Stu Burguiere presented the proof, because Dr. Fauci's shifting defenses don't change the truth.

Watch the video clip below:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution, and live the American dream.

Critical race theory: A special brand of evil


Part of what makes it hard for us to challenge the left is that their beliefs are complicated. We don't mean complicated in a positive way. They aren't complicated the way love is complicated. They're complicated because there's no good explanation for them, no basis in reality.

The left cannot pull their heads out of the clouds. They are stuck on romantic ideas, abstract ideas, universal ideas. They talk in theories. They see the world through ideologies. They cannot divorce themselves from their own academic fixations. And — contrary to what they believe and how they act — it's not because leftists are smarter than the rest of us. And studies have repeatedly shown that leftists are the least happy people in the country. Marx was no different. The Communist Manifesto talks about how the rise of cities "rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life."

Studies have repeatedly shown that leftists are the least happy people in the country.

Instead of admitting that they're pathological hypocrites, they tell us that we're dumb and tell us to educate ourselves. Okay, so we educate ourselves; we return with a coherent argument. Then they say, "Well, you can't actually understand what you just said unless you understand the work of this other obscure Marxist writer. So educate yourselves more."

It's basically the "No True Scotsman" fallacy, the idea that when you point out a flaw in someone's argument, they say, "Well, that's a bad example."

After a while, it becomes obvious that there is no final destination for their bread-crumb trail. Everything they say is based on something that somebody else said, which is based on something somebody else said.

Take critical race theory. We're sure you've noticed by now that it is not evidence-based — at all. It is not, as academics say, a quantitative method. It doesn't use objective facts and data to arrive at conclusions. Probably because most of those conclusions don't have any basis in reality.

Critical race theory is based on feelings. These feelings are based on theories that are also based on feelings.

We wanted to trace the history of critical race theory back to the point where its special brand of evil began. What allowed it to become the toxic, racist monster that it is today?

Later, we'll tell you about some of the snobs who created critical theory, which laid the groundwork for CRT. But if you follow the bread-crumb trail from their ideas, you wind up with Marxism.

For years, the staff has devoted a lot of time to researching Marxism. We have read a lot of Marx and Marxist writing. It's part of our promise to you to be as informed as possible, so that you know where to go for answers; so that you know what to say when your back is up against the wall. What happens when we take the bread-crumb trail back farther, past Marxism? What is it based on?

This is the point where Marxism became Marxism and not just extra-angry socialism.

It's actually based on the work of one of the most important philosophers in human history, a 19th-century German philosopher named Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.

This is the point where Marxism became Marxism and not just extra-angry socialism. And, as you'll see in just a bit, if we look at Hegel's actual ideas, it's obvious that Marx completely misrepresented them in order to confirm his own fantasies.

So, in a way, that's where the bread-crumb trail ends: With Marx's misrepresentation of an incredibly important, incredibly useful philosophy, a philosophy that's actually pretty conservative.

This post is part of a series on critical race theory. Read the full series here.