In their Christian worldview, obedience to God took high precedence over country or government, and their primary allegiance was to the Lord Jesus Christ. As a result of the unwavering faith in Jesus and adherence to God’s enumerated principles the Founders were successful in overcoming those who opposed Unalienable Rights along with Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Unfortunately today, there are numerous examples of Christian in name only churches and organizations where there is direct opposition to God’s will, God’s ways and His solid principles. It pains me to point out that a Chaplain and former head of the National Association of Evangelicals in California switched allegiance to the homosexual rainbow flag. Pastors and counselors were directed to reject Biblical verses on sexuality and deny counseling for those seeking help in their struggle with same sex attraction and gender confusion. Many churches today are unwilling to stand on one of God’s foremost ancient principles. It is no wonder that millions of Christians are so blind that they prefer democrats and “rinos” who would wipe out their right to raise their children the right way over trump who is battling protect our exceptional republic from literal destruction. As the old saying goes, stupid is what stupid does.
The National Park Service has a useful list of the ways Presidents have celebrated the Fourth of July in the past. Some interesting ones (their editing is terrible, but this is copy&paste. Just assume a [sic] throughout):
1798 – President Adams is in Philadelphia where he reviews military parade with a reception later in the afternoon for guests.
1812 – Madison is at the Capitol for a ceremony, and then reviews a military parade before entertaining guests a the White house.
1848 – President Polk has guests at the White House, including former first lady Dolly Madison. Later he witnesses the laying of the cornerstone of the Washington Monument with future President Lincoln in attendance followed by a military parade.
1913 – President Wilson travels to Gettysburg, PA for a Fourth of July battle reunion speech.
So, contrary to some on Twitter, having military parades for the Fourth of July is hardly “unprecedented,” and we’ve managed to have military parades on Independence Day since, well, Independence.
The complaint that Trump is making the Fourth of July “political” would stun people like Lincoln, Jefferson, Madison, and either Adams.
Let’s be clear: the Fourth of July is a political holiday. Revolution is a political act.
Our Revolution was a military action — among other things — that freed us “to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them.”
It’s completely just that the U.S. military, yes with tanks and warplanes, should be part of the celebration of that inherently political act.
Of course, right now we have a peculiar situation in which celebrating the independence of America and the achievements of Americans is seen as not just political, but partisan, because a whole wing of American politics right now is dedicated to the proposition that all men are not created equal; that the clerisy, the lettered, those with Ivy-League degrees and the right family connections, form a distinct and natural aristocracy that should by rights not just govern, but rule.
So it’s no wonder that they object to this Independence Day parade; Trump’s election and his surprising success as president challenge their most deeply-held belief.
It challenges the belief that they rule by right.
It represents a successful challenge to their presumptions of superiority and the right to rule. And, like all aristocracies, in Jefferson’s words, they “fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes.”
Jefferson had an answer to that.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
The real message of the Fourth of July, with tanks and planes and fireworks and cookouts and beer and parties, is that we may consent to be governed, but we will not consent to be ruled.
And that the intended rulers cannot bear.
Colin Kaepernick’s history teachers should be ashamed of themselves. They either failed to teach him real history, or they succeeded in indoctrinating him into a false political narrative. Either way, he was short-changed and missed out on one of history’s greatest stories. To associate the 1776 American flag with slavery is to miss the purpose and genius of the American Revolution.
The former football player turned well-paid corporate activist put the kibosh on a special edition Nike shoe because it sported the Betsy Ross flag on the heel. I’m sure you’ve heard that much. Kaepernick’s reason, which I’m sure you’ve also heard, is that in his mind the 1776-era American flag “represents an era associated with slavery.”
That’s so clueless it’s difficult to know where to start. Slavery was abhorrent and did exist in the colonial era, and for decades afterward. Slavery existed for millennia before there were any colonists in America, and unfortunately, it still exists now. Slavery did not solely exist in America in 1776. It was not uniquely American. And the American Revolution was not fought for or about slavery.
The flag of Betsy Ross – who as a Facebook friend noted should be re-branded as an empowered woman business leader and cutting-edge designer of her era – represents much more than Kaepernick’s tunnel-vision misunderstanding of history.
“We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.” — C.S. Lewis
It can be hard to find hopeful voices. I found one. Steve Turley started a YouTube channel in 2016. He was encouraged to do so by a friend. Turley had been regaling his friend with analysis about the rise of nationalism and populism all over the world. His friend suggested that he could help many folks if he shared his analysis using the internet.
Turley now produces two ten minute YouTube’s a day. He analyzes current events from his unique hopeful perspective.
So many of us have become glum over the years. That was the biggest reason Maine’s good people faded from the front line of the battle against big sodomy. Thousands of folks worked tirelessly using democratic means to stop the so-called “gay” agenda. Like spoiled teenagers the sodomites and their fellow travelers refused to relent. They are much more dedicated to their “religion” than are Christians. We must shake off our glum stupor and return to the front lines of the culture war.
We must pray for words and actions that will open the eyes/minds of the good people around us to the imminent threat to civilization.
I know this won’t happen unless Men develop their chests, instead of the organ lower down. The passions will not be enough in this war. We need the masculine virtues more than ever.
Lewis prefaced the thought quoted above with, “In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function.” Virtue and enterprise wither under womanishness — feminism … equality. He concludes his quote, “We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.” America is becoming ugly, chaotic and unfruitful as a result of castration. All people must be mentored into the virtues. We must not expect order if we stop teaching, and expecting, the masculine virtues in our boys and men.
Pity future generations who will live in a world scrubbed clean of the sins of our forefathers.
And sins there were. No one denies that. No one questions it. But to judge their entire lives — their foibles as well as their majestic accomplishments — without viewing both sides of their Janus face, demonstrates a towering ignorance and an aggressive denial of the truth.
What is truly frightening about the current attitude present in our “woke” culture, is the utter lack of care and concern for the damage being done to history on the part of the self-proclaimed arbiters of purity. Someone (always unnamed), somewhere might/could be offended by a sculpture, a painting, or a statue. The “offense” is that viewing this devil’s work might/could “trigger” an unwanted emotion of some kind. (Not to mention the encouragement it gives to white supremacists!)
Then there’s the case of the San Francisco school board voting to spend $600,000 to destroy a Depression-era mural of George Washington painted by an ardent Communist…..
Rod Dreher in a brilliant summation of the Weiss op-ed, refers to the school board’s action as “moralistic therapeutic barbarism.”
The school board is spending $600,000 to destroy a work of art. The mind boggles. If right-wingers were doing this because the mural was insufficiently reverent to George Washington, all left-wing Californians would see this idiotic iconoclasm for what it is. The religion of Social Justice is a thing of staggering stupidity and destructiveness. It is moralistic therapeutic barbarism. If you value art, literature, and freedom of thought and expression, you will fight hard to keep these people from coming to power within political and cultural institutions. It might be too late for California. But for the rest of us? We are creating a generation of sentimentalized Stalinists.
And that’s worth putting down your smartphone and fighting for a future where freedom, not tyranny rules.
Ed Driscoll last week called attention to an essay by Harry Stein about the continuing relevance of Eugene Lyons’s 1941 book The Red Decade because of its eerie parallels to the Stalinist tendencies of the 21st-century Left. A complete and cynical dishonesty was one of the hallmarks of Stalin-era Communism, as the Soviet regime engaged in grossly false propaganda to defend its power and conceal its bloody crimes.
One of the reasons younger people — and by “younger,” I mean, under 40 — are so vulnerable to leftist “progressive” propaganda is because they aren’t old enough to remember the Cold War. Today’s 35-year-old was in kindergarten when the Berlin Wall fell, and thus has no personal memory of what it was like to live during the decades when we were faced with the possibility of annihilation by Soviet aggression. The permanent sense of terror inspired by the menace of Communism, a godless creed of murderous hatred, was so deeply embedded into American culture during my youth that my children (the oldest of which was born some six months before the fall of the Berlin Wall) can scarcely understand what it was like. When my oldest was a teenager, I was driving her and her friend to a Christian music festival and, to pass the time, began talking about politics and history. I tried to explain to them how, growing up in a Baptist church in Georgia, I was horrified by stories of how Christians were persecuted in the Soviet Union, in Red China and wherever else Communist regimes came to power. The worldview of Communism — “historical materialism,” or “dialectical materialism” — was based explicitly in atheism, and Communists everywhere were determined to destroy Christianity. Imagine what it would be like to live in a dictatorship where you could go to prison for possessing a Bible!
“Godless commies!” I yelled, as we rolled along the highway, and the vehemence of my expression rather startled my daughter and her friend.
To deny the existence of God is, as Nietzsche foresaw, to deny that there is any eternal law. The categories of “good” and “evil” are meaningless to the atheist, so that the most basic of moral maxims — “Thou shalt not steal,” “Thou shalt not kill,” etc. — meant nothing to the godless Commies, whose only ideas of right and wrong were summarized by Lenin’s frightening question: “Who? Whom?” Anything that advanced the “dictatorship of the proletariat” was justified, including deliberate deceit and cold-blooded murder, so that the Communists claimed unquestioned authority to lie, steal and kill on behalf of their revolution, and none of their victims had any claim to justice.
Maybe because they don’t consider them the opposite sex and most people aren’t homosexual? And also that trans are mentally deranged people who normal people would rather interact with as little as possible?
I’ve found that most psychologists are not all that smart. Educated, yes, but that’s the problem.
A recent Journal of Social and Personal Relationships study found that nearly 90 percent of survey respondents are not interested in dating transgender people. In a Psychology Today article on the study, coauthor Karen Blair implies these findings demonstrate significant discrimination—or at least an unwillingness to be inclusive—in dating.
However, instead of pointing out the obvious truth that biological cues are foundational for sexual and romantic attraction, the author goes to great lengths to convey sympathy for the exclusion of transgenders in the dating field as if it’s merely a social justice issue. This is yet another avenue progressives are using to encourage others to deny biological reality and normalize abnormal behaviors.
Blair explains that she and a colleague asked 1,000 survey participants, “Would you consider as a potential dating partner (check all that apply):
- a cisgender woman [someone who lives as her sex]
- a cisgender man [someone who lives as his sex]
- a transgender woman [a man who tries to look like a woman]
- a transgender man [a woman who tries to look like a man]
- a person with a non-binary gender identification” [someone who tries to look neither male nor female]
The results showed “87.5% of the participants who were asked this very question only checked off the cisgender options and excluded transgender and non-binary individuals from their hypothetical dating pool.”
Blair explains how important finding love is to happiness. Hardly anyone would disagree with her there. Then she goes on to say, “If very few people are willing to date trans people, what does this mean for their health and well-being? If trans and non-binary people lack access to one of the most stable sources of social support, this could explain some of the existing health disparities within trans communities.”
Instead of analyzing why this might be the case, or what it might say about the transgender movement, Blair immediately assumes trans people are being actively excluded, even discriminated against. Obviously, her logic goes, nearly 900 people are wrong.
Blair didn’t ask why respondents felt disinclined to date transgenders, Perhaps it was never her intention to extrapolate on the data, but I think it’s important to attempt to do so. This data on dating could hold many clues for why so many people struggle with defending the transgender movement.
Duh: Attraction Is About Sex
United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- One of the most important things Second Amendment supporters can do to preserve freedom is to make sure that respect and support for our freedoms is passed down to future generations. Thankfully, there is a new generation of Second Amendment defenders arising, thanks to the work of a number of organizations.
Students for Concealed Carry has been one of these organizations. Perhaps the most prominent voice to come from it – albeit not without some controversy – is Antonia Okafor. When anti-Second Amendment extremists are trying to paint defenders of the Second Amendment with certain terms, Okafor can readily shoot that down, and has the potential to make those extremists look like liars, but also could provoke them into doing something stupid.
In fact, Ms. Okafor is just part of something we are seeing in some other groups that support the Second Amendment, notably Turning Point USA: The next generation of Second Amendment defenders is diverse. We’re seeing African Americans like Ms. Okafor, Candace Owens (former communications director at TPUSA), 2018 and 2020 U.S. Senate candidate John James, rapper/fashion designer Kanye West, and NRATV’s Colin Noir. Hispanic Americans like TPUSA’s Anna Paulina and NRATV’s Gabby Franco are also prominently defending the Second Amendment.
Even the Washington Post had to acknowledge that there are members of the LGBTQ community who support our right to keep and bear arms. Just the fact that one member of that community works on the NRA’s social media will start conversations, and those are opportunities to change minds.
To put it bluntly, Turning Point USA has been doing very well in providing a platform and a voice that is getting a message that includes support of the Second Amendment out to people in communities that traditional Second Amendment advocacy has had difficulty connecting with. In this sense, they have put the NRA to shame.
This organization is also proving that getting the message to those walks of life is possible. It takes hard work, hustle, patience, and sacrificing preconceived notions and perceptions, but it is very doable. The NRA would be well served to poach some of TPUSA’s talent in this field, not to mention hiring some translators to reflect the current reality of multi-lingual ballots. The failure to develop effective outreach in those communities is something Wayne LaPierre and NRA brass need to be held accountable for.
This is not to say NRA has been ignoring the next generation. NRA University is quietly establishing a presence on campus, even as it has been overshadowed by Students for Concealed Carry and Turning Point USA. This helps prepare young activists to defend the Second Amendment. The National Rifle Association also features the NRA Collegiate Coalition and employs Campus Coordinators. While many of those involved in these programs are not household names like Ms. Okafor yet, you can bet they will be involved in the defense of our freedoms in the future.
Defending the Second Amendment in school can be a tough row to hoe, and you can bet hostile administrators and teachers will look for excuses to wreck the future of a high school or college student for supporting the Second Amendment (the method may be something unrelated and way in the past). However, looking over these groups of young pro-Second Amendment activists, it is safe to assume that that the fight for the Second Amendment is in very good hands for the future.
If someone predicted half a century ago that a Los Angeles police station or indeed L.A. City Hall would be in danger of periodic, flea-borne infectious typhus outbreaks, he would have been considered unhinged. After all, the city that gave us the modern freeway system is not supposed to resemble Justinian’s sixth-century Constantinople. Yet typhus, along with outbreaks of infectious hepatitis A, are in the news on California streets.
The sidewalks of the state’s major cities are homes to piles of used needles, feces, and refuse. Hygienists warn that permissive municipal governments are setting the stage — through spiking populations of history’s banes of fleas, lice, and rats — for possible dark-age outbreaks of plague or worse.
High tech does its part not to clean the streets but to create defecation apps that electronically warn tourists and hoi polloi how to avoid walking blindly into piles of sidewalk excrement.
In Californian logic, public defecation butts up against progressive tolerance, so it is exempt from the law. Yet for a suburbanite to build a patio without a permit, for example, costs one dearly in fines. Indeed, a new patio without a permit can be deemed more dangerous to the public health than piles of excrement in the public workplace.
There seems to be no good reason why a thoroughly scientific dictatorship should ever be overthrown.
~Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
The recent movement to investigate, and even break up, the current tech oligarchy has gained support on both sides of the Atlantic, and even leapt across the gaping divide in American politics. The immediate concerns relate to such things as the control of key markets by one or two firms, the huge concentration of wealth accruing to the tech elite and, increasingly, the oligarchy’s control over and manipulation of information pipelines.
What has not been discussed nearly as much is the end game of the oligarchs. What kind of world do they have in mind for us? Their vision of what our society should look like is not one most people—on the Left or Right—would like to see. And yet, unless unchecked, it could well be the world we, and particularly our children, will inhabit.Almost 40 years ago, in his book The Third Wave, the futurist Alvin Toffler described technology as “the dawn of a new civilization” with vast opportunities for societal and human growth. But instead we are lurching towards what Taichi Sakaiya has called “a high-tech middle ages.” In his landmark 1973 work, The Coming of Post-Industrial Society, Daniel Bell predicted that, by handing ultimate economic and cultural power to a small number of technologists and financiers the opportunity to monetize every aspect of human behavior and emotion, we would be handing them the chance to fulfill “a social alchemist’s dream: the dream of ordering mass society.”
The New Aristocracy
Like the barbarian princes who seized control of western Europe after the fall of Rome, the oligarchs have captured the digital landscape from the old industrial corporations and have proceeded to concentrate it in ever-fewer hands. Like the Medieval aristocracy, the ruling tech oligarchy—epitomized by firms such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft—have never produced a single coherent political manifesto laying out the technocratic vision of the future. Nevertheless, it is possible to get a sense of what the internet elite believe and, more tellingly, to see the outlines of the world they want to create.
This tiny sliver of humanity, with their relatively small cadre of financiers, engineers, data scientists, and marketers, now control the exploitation of our personal data, what Alibaba founder, Jack Ma calls the “electricity of the 21st century.” Their “super platforms,” as one analyst noted, “now operate as “digital gatekeepers” lording over “e-monopsonies” that control enormous parts of the economy. Their growing power, notes a recent World Bank Study, is built on “natural monopolies” that adhere to web-based business, and have served to further widen class divides not only in the United States but around the world.
President Trump isn’t much of an outdoorsman, aside from golf.
But maybe more than any president since Teddy Roosevelt, he understands the importance of others getting outside to boat, hunt, fish, shoot, and hike and their demands for access to federal lands and waterways.
“He’s basically said, ‘Git-R-Done,’” said Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, who is spearheading the opening of 1.4 million acres and elimination of 7,500 regulations limiting access.
“The president fundamentally gets that hunters and anglers are the true conservationists in our society. He understands that history and that we need to act in efforts to expand hunting and fishing while at the same time being respectful of private land rights, respectful of state law,” added Bernhardt.
It’s great to be in #Ohio today announcing our plans to significantly expand access and opportunities for #hunting and #fishing in this country! I had a fantastic time with scouts from Perrysburg Troop 167 at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge to kick things off! @USFWS @boyscouts pic.twitter.com/95CQByILMu
— Secretary David Bernhardt (@SecBernhardt) June 5, 2019
The campaign to open access to the outdoors is a personal one for Bernhardt. In an interview, he said that living next to federal land as a kid in western Colorado helped shaped his life.
“Having those opportunities to succeed and fail made me more confident and made me more willing to accept challenges,” said Bernhardt. “If I lived somewhere where my parents had to drive 300 miles for me to hunt or fish, it wouldn’t have happened at all, though that might have been a lot better for my grades.”
The Rise of Progressive Occultism
Or why Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez felt compelled to share her birth chart.
That ‘rise’ can backfire on them.
Back in March 2019, an elected government representative shared something personal about her spiritual identity. Not a preferred Bible verse or a conversion story. Rather, progressive New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shared her birth-time with a self-described psychic and astrologer, Arthur Lipp-Bonewits, who in turn shared her entire birth chart with what can only be described as Astrology Twitter.
Astrology Twitter went wild. So did the mainstream media, with outlets from Vox to The Cut to Allure speculating about what Ocasio-Cortez’s astrological chart could tell us about her fitness for political office. “AOC’s Aries Moon indicates that she’s emotionally fed by a certain amount of independence, self-determination, and spontaneity,” concluded Allure’s Jeanna Kadlec. “But that independence always finds a way home.”
Meanwhile, Lipp-Bonewits told The Cut’s Madeleine Aggeler that the stars predicted that Ocasio-Cortez’s “career in politics is likely to last the rest of her life.”
Ocasio-Cortez’s decision to share her birth-time with Lipp-Bonewits might be an unprecedented move for a political figure—Hillary Clinton famously avoided the question, sparking years of debate among astrologers. But it was also a canny one. Twenty-nine percent of Americans say they believe in astrology, according to a 2018 Pew poll, while just 22 percent of Americans call themselves mainline Protestants.
More importantly, however, AOC’s gambit taps into the way in which progressive millennials have appropriated the rhetoric, imagery, and rituals of what was once called the “New Age”—from astrology to witchcraft—as both a political and spiritual statement of identity.
For an increasing number of left-leaning millennials—more and more of whom do not belong to any organized religion—occult spirituality isn’t just a form of personal practice, self-care with more sage. Rather, it’s a metaphysical canvas for the American culture wars in the post-Trump era: pitting the self-identified Davids of seemingly secular progressivism against the Goliath of nationalist evangelical Christianity.
There’s the coven of Brooklyn witches who publicly hexed then-Supreme Court candidate Brett Kavanaugh to the acclamation of the thousands-strong “Magic Resistance”—anti-Trump witches (among them: pop singer Lana del Rey) who used at-home folk magic to “bind” the president in the months following his inauguration.
From time to time, some gun control supporter will start off by saying something like, “I support the Second Amendment, but…”
Of course, the moment they say the word “but,” most gun rights advocates brace themselves for the inevitable call for restricting people’s Second Amendment rights. There are exceptions, but not many.
While we routinely call any gun control measure an attack on the Second Amendment, there’s been a growing movement that really is trying to attack the Second. Some want to repeal it. Others want tochange the text so that it specifically allows gun control to pass Supreme Court scrutiny.
A revised Second Amendment could spell out the relationship between public safety and private rights in more detail. It could give clear safeguards for people with no history of legal trouble or mental instability to continue to own guns while giving more authority to the government to guarantee that only people unlikely to misuse guns would have them. The precise details would have to be worked out through negotiations, but the general approach — rights for safe users, prohibitions or heavy regulations for others — could work.
Critics might argue that the prospects for success are too low or that the process would take too long, but one must ask, “Compared with what?” The nation has been arguing over gun regulation since the dramatic rise in handgun crime in the 1960s. No amount of public pressure or circumstance has compelled gun owners to give in. Nor will it: Ordinary people who don’t misuse their guns have no reason to agree to give up their security or their hobbies to satisfy someone else’s theory about how to combat gun violence. This fact is not going to change, making legislative changes difficult even if Heller were overturned.
Of course, the reason critics argue the prospects for success are too low is that if you can’t even get gun control to pass in Congress, just how in the hell are you going to pass a constitutional amendment?
Anti-gunners are typically so convinced of their righteousness that they can’t imagine losing. They’ve set up the NRA as a boogieman primarily because then they have someone to blame for their failures. They’re oblivious to the fact that large numbers of people don’t agree with them.
Further, they don’t understand how those people are distributed.
You see, they love polls that claim most people want some degree of gun control. What they fail to understand is how the American population is distributed. For a constitutional amendment, that’s an important fact. The majority of the American population are centered in a handful of states. Really, a handful of large urban centers, when you get right down to it.
So, in a world where Congress is fairly evenly split between both parties–no one has more than a slim majority in their respective chambers of Congress–it’s virtually impossible to get the two-thirds majority in both chambers to advance an amendment, but let’s say that it happened. That’s when that population distribution thing becomes an issue for anti-gunners.
Ratifying an amendment requires three-quarters of the states to vote in favor of ratifying it. That means that while California, New York, and New Jersey will be thrilled to vote for such a measure, it’ll need 35 other states to vote in favor of ratification in order to become an Amendment.
This is where the anti-gunners delusion comes into play.
In their mind, that’s precisely what will happen. Somewhere in the neighborhood of half the states that voted for President Trump in 2016 will somehow decide to vote in favor of a constitutional amendment permitting gun control simply because.
Nothing really new here, just a good reiteration.
In the novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” part of the dystopian government that George Orwell imagined was its use of the language of “Newspeak,” a simplification of the English language to serve the needs of the state. Newspeak altered thoughts, so that people were rendered incapable of thinking outside Party lines.
We now see this same principle at play in political correctness, in which concepts behind words are being altered to fit political narratives, and people are censoring their thoughts to not violate the artificial morals of the state.
The effects of political correctness can be found most clearly where the concept originates: under the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as Mao Zedong created the concept in 1967 to control public dissent at the start of the Cultural Revolution. The idea was simple: support the regime’s policies and you are politically correct. Oppose them, and you can be targeted and destroyed.
In its details, the CCP’s use of political correctness is different from the way it’s used in the United States and Europe, yet underneath it has the same purpose. Under the Chinese regime, it’s used as an artificial moral system to guard the policies of the CCP. In the United States, it’s used as an artificial moral system to guard socialist policies.
We would be better off as a country with a longer discussion about the ‘Columbiner’ subculture, and how to prevent teenagers and other young people from falling under its sway.
Yesterday’s shooting at the STEM school in Highlands Ranch, Colo. — only a few miles from Columbine high school — involved two shooters, which is rare in school shootings. The school will be closed for the rest of the week and other schools in the area are adding additional security.
This comes just a few weeks after parents in the area awoke to warnings that an armed 18-year-old woman with an infatuation with the massacre had flown across the country to Colorado; she later was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. And this year marked the 20th anniversary of the Columbine shooting; the date fell on a Saturday with the community marking its third annual “Day of Service” and other events to remember that awful day.
Columbine wasn’t just a massacre; it was a form of ideation, and it cracked open some barrier that made the unthinkable thinkable for many disturbed, deeply troubled, and angry individuals. Some family members of the victims are still getting harassed, two decades later:
Coni Sanders’ father Dave Sanders was the only teacher killed at Columbine.
To this day, Sanders still gets bombarded with messages from what she calls “Columbiners,” people obsessed with every last detail of the massacre that took her father.
“There are hundreds of social media accounts claiming to be the killers,” Sanders said. “Worse, some claim to be my dad.”
Maybe you love more background checks for gun purchases, maybe you don’t, but either way, background checks for gun purchases won’t solve the problem of angry, emotionally unstable young people developing an obsession about Columbine. And when a teenager starts getting obsessed about Columbine, the odds of him attempting a school shooting increase dramatically:
“The phenomenon is feeding on itself,” said Peter Langman, a psychologist who is the author of “Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shooters” and who runs the website SchoolShooters.info. “It’s gaining momentum, and the more there are, the more there will be.”
Mr. Langman has created a mass-shooter diagram tracking the influence Columbine has had on more than 30 other rampage attacks at schools and elsewhere, from California to Germany. The diagram resembles a corporate flowchart, with lines branching out and intersecting, but all of them flowing out of two names: the Columbine killers.
In the past, we’ve seen past moral panics about cultural factors that are only tangentially related to teen violence — heavy-metal music, Dungeons and Dragons, violent movies, and video games. But the Columbiner subculture is explicitly about school shootings, and almost always portrays mass murder as a form of justice or retribution. If law enforcement monitors jihadist and other extremist groups that have potential for mass-casualty attacks, they should be monitoring this one.
God bless everyone living in the Columbine and its surrounding communities. They just want to live their lives in peace, not be forced into the role of someone else’s symbol.
For generations, younger Americans found Communists just as scary as Count Dracula, the Wicked Witch of the West, and Darth Vader. Socialism, so strongly associated with Marx and Lenin, never caught on in the United States. To modern millennials, however, fear of socialism seems as ancient as a rotary phone.
In March 2019, Axios released results from a Harris poll showing that about half of millennial and Generation Z respondents believed that “our economy should be mostly socialist.” That result is no outlier, but rather a consistent finding over recent years. In 2018, Gallup found that 51 percent of 18- to 29-year-old Americans view socialism favorably; only 45 percent look at capitalism positively.
An August 2018 YouGov poll revealed that only 30 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds had good feelings toward capitalism, while 35 percent regarded socialism positively. Bernie Sanders, an avowed Democratic Socialist, nearly captured the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, thanks in part to youth support. Another Democratic Socialist, newly elected House member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York, herself a millennial, has achieved overnight celebrity, accumulating more than 3 million Twitter followers while trumpeting a 70 percent marginal tax rate.
Just 25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, how can socialism have made such a comeback? The likeliest answer: the Great Recession left millennials looking for alternatives to capitalism, without the Cold War ideological guideposts that positioned older generations. Both the Right and the Left have redefined socialism, moreover, so that many young supporters now think that it just means a cuddlier, more equitable government.
Yet even if socialism has been redefined, its rising approval among the young is still a problem for proponents of economic liberty. For decades, apostles of free markets could condemn bad economic ideas merely by branding them “socialist,” because real-world Marxists did such a good job of showing how much evil could radiate from a state-controlled economy. But those negative examples are mostly vanquished now.
The task ahead is to convince today’s young people that society requires liberty as well as compassion. The private ingenuity that generates new products and new jobs needs both incentives and reasonable regulation. If our current politics tell us anything, it is that this case must be made again, with arguments that resonate among Americans who’ve probably never heard of Lavrentiy Beria.
Today is the National Day of Prayer.
General George Washington’s Prayer
I now make it my earnest prayer, that God would have the United States in his holy protection, that he would incline the hearts of the Citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to Government, to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another, for their fellow citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for their brethren who have served in the Field, and finally, that he would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all, to do Justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that Charity, humility and pacific temper of mind, which were the Characteristicks of the Devine Author of our blessed Religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy Nation.
From Milton Friedman’s introduction in 1994 to the 50th-anniversary edition of Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom:
To understand why it is that ‘good’ men in positions of power will produce evil, while the ordinary man without power but able to engage in voluntary cooperation with his neighbors will produce good, requires analysis and thought, subordinating the emotions to the rational faculty.
Surely that is one answer to the perennial mystery of why collectivism [and socialism], with its demonstrated record of producing tyranny and misery, is so widely regarded as superior to individualism, with its demonstrated record of producing freedom and plenty. The argument for collectivism is simple if false; it is an immediate emotional argument. The argument for individualism is subtle and sophisticated; it is an indirect rational argument. And the emotional facilities are more highly developed in most men than the rational, paradoxically or especially even in those who regard themselves as intellectuals.
Experience has strongly confirmed Hayek’s central insight—that coordination of men’s activities through central direction and through voluntary cooperation are roads going in very different directions: the first to serfdom, the second to freedom. That experience has also strongly reinforced a secondary theme—central direction is also a road to poverty for the ordinary man; voluntary cooperation, a road to plenty. The battle for freedom must be won over and over again. The socialists in all parties to whom Hayek dedicated his book must once again be persuaded or defeated if they and we are to remain free men.
By Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht
We are living in a new era, a time when added security is needed in places where it was previously not considered essential. We need to ask how society got to this point. I believe too many observers are addressing symptoms and not the root of the caustic violence occurring across this country.
On the one hand, we see violent and deadly acts from extremists on all sides of the political spectrum. However, from my perspective and experience, I have come to the conclusion that American society is on the wrong path.
While hate emerges from both sides of the aisle, a feeling of acute helplessness causes violence. The rancor of the left – pundits and politicians – the bullying and demonizing, the denunciations of alternate political views as immoral and untenable, has pushed many buttons on unstable haters all over country.
We should not point fingers. However, the identity politics being pushed constantly by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Forward newspaper and website, the ACLU, the NY Times, and similar organizations, create an environment in which hatred has become the dominant cultural theme of our day. By denouncing political opponents as haters, they isolate and demonize whole swaths of this country, whose fringes are driven further
Those trafficking in the narrative of identity politics are the fascists of the left, ironically and inadvertently partnering with the hateful alt-right nationalists leading our commonwealth to a roiling state of discomfiture and enmity.
Our country is in big trouble when irresponsible leaders, who refuse to take responsibility for their overheated rhetoric, lead national human rights organizations. They see hate everywhere and suspect every opinion that does not reflect their own. Their overactive defensiveness causes untold damage by vilifying those outside their political circles.
I do not mean to assign blame for shootings to leftist leaders. The blame lies only in those who undertake these heinous attacks. I refer to the climate that encourages hatred to blossom into full-fledged violence. The would-be defenders of freedom of the left cause the real purveyors of violence and hatred to gain many fellow travelers. As dialogue disappears and responsible figures refuse to lead, chaos and loathing bubble uncontrollably.
Being a mensch means adhering to standards, boundaries, goals, respect for oneself and respect for all of G-D’s creations. Western society, and particularly the United States, used to have a culture of faith, responsibility, respect and ethics.
The leftists have replaced this culture of faith, responsibility and boundaries with one lacking definitions of ethical human activity and morality to the point that “thou shalt not murder” bears little meaning for too many people in this society. Those who disagree are labeled haters, shouted down and forced out of the public square. Many who could act and lead with sound moral and logical strength have been weakened by this culture of leftist shaming and denouncing.
Strength of character comes from following a clear path in life based upon a “higher” reality called the Creator, G-D, or in Hebrew, Hashem.
Over the past decades, nearly every civil rights organization in America has acquired the cultural high ground by abandoning a strong foundation in G-D and faith. These civil rights organizations have failed, yes failed miserably, in creating a more just moral and tolerant society. The absolutist demands for diversity have caused a profound lack of diversity. As reverence for G-D has decreased, so has reverence for humanity. As abortions and cases of euthanasia increase, so do suicides. Without G-D, we cannot build a better society.
My fellow Americans of all ethnicities and communities let us all return to our divinely bestowed responsibilities as individuals and not put our faith in the many failed organizations that collect so ably our financial support and destroy the moral fabric and strength of our society.
The time for a paradigm shift for every American is now. We need to restore dignity, self-respect and faith in the Al-mighty.
May the Creator of us all allow us to regain the sense of brotherhood and sisterhood of all humanity, recognize that we are all children of One Creator, and direct our activities to wholesome and true unity with recognition of the One who has mercy on His Creations.
With love and respect and with sincere blessing rooted in the Source of all blessings,
Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht,
In 1989, alongside several U.S. officers, William S. Lind helped to originate fourth-generation war (4GW) theory.
Lind served as a legislative aide for Senator Robert Taft, Jr., of Ohio from 1973 through 1976 and held a similar position with Senator Gary Hart of Colorado from 1977 to 1986. He is the author of the Maneuver Warfare Handbook (Westview Press, 1985) and co-author, with Gary Hart, of America Can Win: The Case for Military Reform.
The Left has adopted the word “woke” to describe people who have accepted the ideology of cultural Marxism and are willing to act on it. The equivalent I hear most often for the Right is “getting it”. What does it mean to “get it”?
First, it means understanding that the Left is no longer made up of liberals. It is now dominated by cultural Marxists, believers in the ideology concocted largely by the Frankfurt School that translates Marxism from economic into cultural terms. Like all Marxists, cultural Marxists are totalitarians. There is nothing “liberal” about them, in any sense of the word. Their goal, as we see from what they do on college campuses they control, is to punish any thought or expression that deviates from their views. The usual terms for such a deviation are “racism”, “sexism”, and “homophobia”. (Denunciation for these imagined sins is itself “ism-ism”, the magical belief that realities such as differences among races or between the sexes can be nullified by calling them names ending in “ism”.) Cultural Marxism’s call for “equality” is a lie; it seeks to put Blacks over White (and Asians), women over men, and gays over straights. Everything noble, beautiful, or grand is to be pulled down while whatever floats down humanity’s sewer is to be plopped on the civic altar with a demand we bow down and worship it.
Second, America is not a democracy. It is an oligarchy, run by a “new class” that rules both in Washington and on Wall Street. The new class has three main characteristics: it can’t make things work, it uses its wealth and power to exempt itself from the consequences of things not working, and it cares about only one thing, namely remaining the new class. It is made up overwhelmingly of people who want to be something, not people who want to do something. It knuckles under to cultural Marxism not because it believes in it–t believes in nothing but its own right to money and power–but because it is made up of moral cowards. Principles have a nasty habit of getting in the way of career progression.
The Wall Street wing of the new class–each wing supports the other–has become the top 1% financially in part by exporting the jobs of middle-class Americans. By moving a great deal of our manufacturing abroad, with white-collar jobs now following fast, the 1% has obliterated the blue-collar middle class that was the pride of 1950’s America. Middle class Americans now find themselves falling further and further behind until they can no longer afford a middle-class way of life.
Third, this whole rotten structure is about to fall. Heartland Americans are fed up with cultural Marxism, also known as “political correctness”, that’s one of the main reasons they voted for President Trump. The 2016 electoral map, seen by county, shows a vast red America with a few tiny blue enclaves. Red America will not let itself be ruled by those enclaves any longer.
Economically, the whole world is headed for a massive debt crisis, which means not a recession but a depression. When that hits, everyone but the 1% will become poor. Already, young people entering the labor force find it almost impossible to get a job with a living wage. In a depression, no one can find work, and moving home with mom and dad isn’t an option because they don’t have any money themselves.
Does this mean revolution? Over roughly the past five centuries, it might have. Now, in an era when the state is in decline, it is more likely to mean devolution. People will seek, and find, ways to disconnect themselves from the new class, a.k.a. the Establishment, and Washington; from cultural Marxism and its clients; and from a dead globalist economy. To the degree this happens peacefully, it will not be a bad thing. A return to local economies, local government, and local solutions to problems would be beneficial and welcome. This shift is in fact already underway, drawing on ideas from both the Left and Right.
Unfortunately, neither Washington, nor Wall Street, nor the cultural Marxists are likely to step aside voluntarily or peacefully. The collapse of the current order will probably get messy. Disorder is not something any conservative can ever welcome. But “getting it” includes being ready if disorder comes.
Thoughts from a hipster coffee shop
My generation is becoming the largest voting bloc in the country. We have an opportunity to continue to propel us forward with the gifts capitalism and democracy has given us. The other option is that we can fall into the trap of entitlement and relapse into restrictive socialist destitution. The choice doesn’t seem too hard, does it?
The author is much too generous to Occasional-Cortex.
I’m sitting in a small coffee shop near Nokomis trying to think of what to write about. I scroll through my newsfeed on my phone looking at the latest headlines of Democratic candidates calling for policies to “fix” the so-called injustices of capitalism. I put my phone down and continue to look around. I see people talking freely, working on their MacBook’s, ordering food they get in an instant, seeing cars go by outside, and it dawned on me.
We live in the most privileged time in the most prosperous nation and we’ve become completely blind to it.
Vehicles, food, technology, freedom to associate with whom we choose. These things are so ingrained in our American way of life we don’t give them a second thought. We are so well off here in the United States that our poverty line begins 31 times above the global average. Thirty. One. Times. Virtually no one in the United States is considered poor by global standards. Yet, in a time where we can order a product off Amazon with one click and have it at our doorstep the next day, we are unappreciative, unsatisfied, and ungrateful.
Our unappreciation is evident as the popularity of socialist policies among my generation continues to grow. Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently said to Newsweek talking about the millennial generation, “An entire generation, which is now becoming one of the largest electorates in America, came of age and never saw American prosperity.”
Never saw American prosperity. Let that sink in. When I first read that statement, I thought to myself, that was quite literally the most entitled and factually illiterate thing I’ve ever heard in my 26 years on this earth. Now, I’m not attributing Miss Ocasio-Cortez’s words to outright dishonesty. [I am] I do think she whole-heartedly believes the words she said to be true. Many young people agree with her, which is entirely misguided. My generation is being indoctrinated by a mainstream narrative to actually believe we have never seen prosperity. I know this first hand.
When I co-founded the Home Depot in 1979, I just been fired and I was broke,” Bernie Marcus continued. “There’s no other country in the world that has a system where someone under these circumstances could turn a simple idea and hard work into a company that employs more than 400,000 people and has created thousands of successful millionaires. While I’m no longer in the management of the Home Depot I still believe in the free market enterprise system that helped build it.”
“That’s why it pains me to see people in this country glorifying socialism; young people especially have been indoctrinated into believing that free enterprise is immoral, because it enriches the greedy and depresses the poor,” Marcus said in the video. “The reality is that the free market system has created the biggest middle class population in the world. And while some may say socialism is well-intentioned the fact is it robs people of their independence their dignity and their finances leading to government dependence suppression of ideas and lower standards of living for those under its thumb.