The descent was gradual—a slide into the tawdry, the trivial and the inane, into the charade on cable news channels such as Fox and MSNBC in which hosts hold up corporate political puppets to laud or ridicule, and treat celebrity foibles as legitimate news. But if I had to pick a date when commercial television decided amassing corporate money and providing entertainment were its central mission, when it consciously chose to become a carnival act, it would probably be Feb. 25, 2003, when MSNBC took Phil Donahue off the air because of his opposition to the calls for war in Iraq
Donahue and Bill Moyers, the last honest men on national television, were the only two major TV news personalities who presented the viewpoints of those of us who challenged the rush to war in Iraq. General Electric and Microsoft—MSNBC’s founders and defense contractors that went on to make tremendous profits from the war—were not about to tolerate a dissenting voice. Donahue was fired, and at PBS Moyers was subjected to tremendous pressure. An internal MSNBC memo leaked to the press stated that Donahue was hurting the image of the network. He would be a “difficult public face for NBC in a time of war,” the memo read. Donahue never returned to the airwaves.
The celebrity trolls who currently reign on commercial television, who bill themselves as liberal or conservative, read from the same corporate script. They spin the same court gossip. They ignore what the corporate state wants ignored. They champion what the corporate state wants championed. They do not challenge or acknowledge the structures of corporate power. Their role is to funnel viewer energy back into our dead political system—to make us believe that Democrats or Republicans are not corporate pawns. The cable shows, whose hyperbolic hosts work to make us afraid self-identified liberals or self-identified conservatives, are part of a rigged political system, one in which it is impossible to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, General Electric or ExxonMobil. These corporations, in return for the fear-based propaganda, pay the lavish salaries of celebrity news people, usually in the millions of dollars. They make their shows profitable. And when there is war these news personalities assume their “patriotic” roles as cheerleaders, as Chris Matthews—who makes an estimated $5 million a year—did, along with the other MSNBC and Fox hosts.
It does not matter that these celebrities and their guests, usually retired generals or government officials, got the war terribly wrong. Just as it does not matter that Francis Fukuyama and Thomas Friedman were wrong on the wonders of unfettered corporate capitalism and globalization. What mattered then and what matters now is likability—known in television and advertising as the Q score—not honesty and truth. Television news celebrities are in the business of sales, not journalism. They peddle the ideology of the corporate state. And too many of us are buying.
The lie of omission is still a lie. It is what these news celebrities do not mention that exposes their complicity with corporate power. They do not speak about Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act, a provision that allows the government to use the military to hold U.S. citizens and strip them of due process. They do not decry the trashing of our most basic civil liberties, allowing acts such as warrantless wiretapping and executive orders for the assassination of U.S. citizens. They do not devote significant time to climate scientists to explain the crisis that is enveloping our planet. They do not confront the reckless assault of the fossil fuel industry on the ecosystem. They very rarely produce long-form documentaries or news reports on our urban and rural poor, who have been rendered invisible, or on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or on corporate corruption on Wall Street. That is not why they are paid. They are paid to stymie meaningful debate. They are paid to discredit or ignore the nation’s most astute critics of corporatism, among them Cornel West, Medea Benjamin, Ralph Nader and Noam Chomsky. They are paid to chatter mindlessly, hour after hour, filling our heads with the theater of the absurd. They play clips of their television rivals ridiculing them and ridicule their rivals in return. Television news looks as if it was lifted from Rudyard Kipling’s portrait of the Bandar-log monkeys in “The Jungle Book.” The Bandar-log, considered insane by the other animals in the jungle because of their complete self-absorption, lack of discipline and outsized vanity, chant in unison: “We are great. We are free. We are wonderful. We are the most wonderful people in all the jungle! We all say so, and so it must be true.”
When I reached him by phone recently in New York, Donahue said of the pressure the network put on him near the end, “It evolved into an absurdity.” He continued: “We were told we had to have two conservatives for every liberal on the show. I was considered a liberal. I could have Richard Perle on alone but not Dennis Kucinich. You felt the tremendous fear corporate media had for being on an unpopular side during the ramp-up for a war. And let’s not forget that General Electric’s biggest customer at the time was Donald Rumsfeld [then the secretary of defense]. Elite media features elite power. No other voices are heard.”
Donahue spent four years after leaving MSNBC making the movie documentary “Body of War” with fellow director/producer Ellen Spiro, about the paralyzed Iraq War veteran Tomas Young. The film, which Donahue funded himself, began when he accompanied Nader to visit Young in the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
“Here is this kid lying there whacked on morphine,” Donahue said. “His mother, as we are standing by the bed looking down, explained his injuries. ‘He is a T-4. The bullet came through the collarbone and exited between the shoulder blades. He is paralyzed from the nipples down.’ He was emaciated. His cheekbones were sticking out. He was as white as the sheets he was lying on. He was 24 years old. … I thought, ‘People should see this. This is awful.’ ”
Donahue noted that only a very small percentage of Americans have a close relative who fought in Iraq or Afghanistan and an even smaller number make the personal sacrifice of a Tomas Young. “Nobody sees the pain,” he said. “The war is sanitized.”
“I said, ‘Tomas, I want to make a movie that shows the pain, I want to make a movie that shows up close what war really means, but I can’t do it without your permission,’ ” Donahue remembered. “Tomas said, ‘I do too.’ ”
But once again Donahue ran into the corporate monolith: Commercial distributors proved reluctant to pick up the film. Donahue was told that the film, although it had received great critical acclaim, was too depressing and not uplifting. Distributors asked him who would go to see a film about someone in a wheelchair. Donahue managed to get openings in Chicago, Seattle, Palm Springs, New York, Washington and Boston, but the runs were painfully brief.
“I didn’t have the money to run full-page ads,” he said. “Hollywood often spends more on promotion than it does on the movie. And so we died. What happens now is that peace groups are showing it. We opened the Veterans for Peace convention in Miami. Failure is not unfamiliar to me. And yet, I am stunned at how many Americans stand mute.”
Chris Hedges, whose column is published Mondays on Truthdig, spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.
Victoria’s Secret (VS) has sunk to a new low – and I didn’t think that was possible. Recently the retailer introduced a line of intimate apparel that they’re calling “Bright, Young Things.” The new line is designed to appeal to teen and tween girls. Get a load of this:
In the spring line, you’ll find an array of panties, from lace back cheeksters with the word “Wild” on the back, to a lace trim thong with “Call Me” on the front, to green-and-white polka-dot hipsters reading “Feeling Lucky? (Source)
So – the decision makers at VS see nothing wrong with targeting middle and high school girls for the purpose of purchasing lace trimmed thongs with “Call me” emblazoned on the front? Do these people not comprehend that this new line exploits girls? Have they no sense of decency?
Because the company is in business to make money it appears every decision is strictly about the bottom (pardon the pun) line: “Sales of lingerie for younger women are a $1.5 billion-a-year business for Victoria’s Secret’s Pink line, which also woos girls.” If making a profit means the company has to hyper-sexualize girls – because that’s what they’re doing – so be it. Dads, how do you feel about your 12-year-old wearing hipster panties that ask the question: “Feeling lucky?” Would you think it cute? This is what I was referring to when I said that Victoria’s Secret has sunk to a new low. One can only hope that parents will have the good sense to shop elsewhere for their precious daughter’s undergarments.
But VS is not the only organization pushing sleazy undergarments to young girls. According to Bloomberg Business Week, retailers of top name brands such as Hot Topic and Urban Outfitters present their garments as cute vs. sexy. Marcie Merriman, founder of consulting firm PrimalGrowth, candidly reveals that retailers are “all going to say they’re targeting 18- to 22-year-olds, but the reality is you’re going to get the younger customer.”
The Bloomberg article maintains that intimate apparel for girls generates big bucks for retailers – more than $11.1 billion in annual sales! Limited Brands has done even better – its VS Pink brand has done $1.5 billion and expects to do even better in the coming years.
Bloomberg also reports this sad fact:
A decade ago girls had little choice in underwear; a training bra was often a plain garment bought at Target (TGT). No longer. “Sensuality and body image continues to be a message that young girls are seeing and are being exposed to in a much less controlled fashion perhaps than even 10, 12 years ago,” says Dan Stanek, executive vice president at consultancy Big Red Rooster. They’re aiming to imitate the lingerie styles worn by celebrities seen on the Web, he says.
Lingerie makers have to be careful adjusting their messaging for a younger audience so it’s more about the girl and less about dressing in a way that’s appealing for men…” Moreover, “Merchandisers must “use the word ‘pretty’ more than ‘sexy’…. (Source)
Sly devils, aren’t they?
Teen Girl Magazine “Seventeen”
While I’m on the subject of hyper-sexualizing teens and tweens, according to a March 11 Fox News report:
Ashley Benson, 23, knows what sells to America’s 12-year-old girls: sex, including threesomes. Together with Seventeen magazine, the actress is promoting her new movie “Spring Breakers” on the magazine’s cover, despite the fact that the movie is being hyped elsewhere for its steamy sex scene between Benson, actress Vanessa Hudgens, 24, and actor James Franco. The movie is rated R for strong sexual content, language, nudity, drug use and violence. Seventeen targets an audience of females, aged 12 to 19.
What, no cannibalism?
From the Media Research Center:
“Seventeen” Entertainment Director, Carissa Rosenberg Tozzi, introduced the interview with Benson by asking girls, “Ever feel like you want to try something different, but everyone else wants you to stay exactly the same?” The article sought empathy, relating how “It’s super-frustrating to be pigeon-holed like that – and Ashley Benson knows exactly how it feels.”
According to Tozzi, Benson desired to “branch out and try something edgier” in her new “Spring Breakers” role. She wanted to be “bold” because, in Benson’s words, “as long as you’re happy, that’s what’s important.”
In an effort to be viewd as bold and edgy, the Disney star happily cast off her wholesome image, much the same as teen idol Miley Cyrus did a few years ago when she decided to change her wholesome image to sultry seductress. In a column I wrote entitled America’s Moral Implosion I disclosed what young Miley was up to:
In her raunchy new music video single “Who Owns My Heart” fans won’t recognize the cute teenage girl who plays the title role of Hanna Montana on the Disney channel. Miley is17-years-old and apparently thinks she’s all grown up. If appearances are any indication, she seems quite comfortable in her new role. Watching the video makes one think that writhing on a bed wearing only underwear and grinding with males and females on the dance floor wearing short shorts and a reveling top is old hat for Lady Miley. One thing’s for sure: Miley Cyrus is no longer the Disney darling she once was. Watch her video. See the new Barbarella do her thing.
I also pointed out that ever since the early sixties secularists have done their best to denigrate and coarsen the culture. Five decades later most adults don’t bat an eye when they see “teenage girls parade around in public, scantily dressed, wearing getups that 20 years ago only prostitutes turning tricks on street corners would dare dress in.” And I warned that, “unbridled immorality is part and parcel of the secular worldview.” Moreover:
Young people abuse drugs and alcohol. They lie, cheat and steal without remorse. They do not flinch at brutality. Instead of portraying vampires and witches as villains, they are the new heroes and heroines. Coarse language spews forth from the mouths of preteens…there is little or no respect for authority or for adults…selfishness and narcissism has become the rule, not the exception. What more proof do we need that liberalism brings destruction to a nation?
Dysfunctional Hollywood Liberals
To a great extent, the entertainment industry (EI) is to blame for sexualizing girls. It’s a well known fact that liberals are the movers and shakers in the EI. And those who work in entertainment, especially celebrities, are largely to blame for corrupting society.
Pro-family and religious conservatives are not the ones that have brought us the culture of death and destruction – liberals have. Liberals, aka progressives, insist that all mention of God and the scriptures be removed from the public square through their misinterpretation of the First Amendment. Was the First Amendment really intended to rid public education of prayer and the Bible, while at the same time giving license to pornography that has introduced society to every sort of evil imaginable?
Track the increase of gruesome crimes against children such as rape, sodomy and abductions since 1947 and you’ll find a huge spike. No one can blame Bible reading and prayer for the upswing in crime against children. No. The blame must be laid squarely upon the shoulders of hedonist “progressives” for the simple reason that they are the ones to blame for our nation’s descent onto moral relativism – the belief that there is no right or wrong and that morality does not exist – and if everyone’s doing it then it must be okay.
A large number of Americans worry that society is experiencing a moral meltdown. They point to Hollywood as the main culprit for this. Yet Hollywood’s elites choose to ignore the obvious. Instead of producing wholesome entertainment, which many people seem to want, the EI continually turns out filth – and the more twisted the better. Sex, violence and occult themes have increased in movies, on TV programs, video games, board games, and so on. Sex sells in magazines. Clothing manufactures sell sex. Even so-called Christian retailers are selling sex! (I reported on this in depth in my columnThe “New Breed” of Christian Fashion.)
A July 2012 study suggests that children who watch sex on TV programs and movies will be more promiscuous and sexually active from a younger age. “Psychologists concluded that teenagers exposed to more sex on screen in popular films are likely to have sexual relations with more people and without using condoms.”
Dr. Ross O’Hara, who led the study, cautioned:
This study, and its confluence with other work, strongly suggests that parents need to restrict their children from seeing sexual content in movies at young ages. (Source)
What To Do?
I’ll close with an excerpt from a column I wrote entitled Liberals Created the Culture of Evil and Death, Part 1 where I offered the following advice on ways to turn the clock back to a time when children were allowed to be children, before America took a very dark turn:
First, Bible believing Christians must share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the lost. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith” (Rom 1:15-7).
We must make disciples of all nations. (Mat. 28:19) This is a command not a suggestion. People will not change unless hearts and minds are changed. It is men and women who need changing, not just the system (but the system needs changing too). There’s a Holy Spirit filled power in the gospel that can change the most hardened criminal into a saint.
Second, Christian parents must instill in their children a Christian worldview on a variety of moral issues such as premarital sex, bearing babies out of wedlock, abortion, homosexuality, biblical marriage, gambling and drug use.
Third, parents must address what’s going on in the government-run-schools they send their children to, where individual thinking is discouraged and group-think is rewarded. What kids are being exposed to is humanistic education. A large number of our public school teachers and counselors are radical liberals. Their aim is to persuade students to reject their parent’s values and instill their own leftist ideology. In her book “Total Truth,” Nancy Pearcey warns parents that they’re youngsters “must be equipped to analyze and critique the competing worldviews they will encounter when they leave home” and she explains how to equip them. In short, young people must have the confidence to stand up for what they believe, both in college and the workplace. Turning the other cheek has never deterred a liberal.
Fourth, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” Why is this important? “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry” (2 Tim 4:2-5).
Fifth, pray! “Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit” (James 5:17, 18). When you pray you must pray to the only true God.
Upstate New York’s Catskill Mountain Range is a bucolic place near and dear to my heart. It’s where storybook character Rip Van Winkle enjoyed his legendary slumber, and its scenery hasn’t changed much since he was born of Washington Irving’s fertile imagination. Yet, like Van Winkle, if I’d fallen asleep for 20 years when first arriving in that verdant heaven, I, too, would have noticed some profound changes upon awakening.
About two decades ago, many rural Catskill teens — sons of farmers and hunters and fishermen — suddenly started donning baggy pants and reflecting “gangsta’” counter-culture despite living nowhere near any large urban center. The following generation of teens experienced today’s recent cultural evolution and often sport multiple tattoos and body piercings despite living nowhere near NYC’s grungy East Village. Yet I’m wrong in a sense: those places were actually very close — a television set away.
My old hinterland haunt was once place where, if you wiggled the rabbit-ear antenna just right, you could pull in one or two TV stations. And what could you see? Perhaps reruns of The Brady Bunch, perhaps the news. But about a quarter century ago came VCRs and video stores; then cable and satellite TV; and, finally, the Internet. The serpent had entered Eden.
In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, much fire has been directed at gun advocates in general and the National Rifle Association in particular. In response, the organization has implicated Hollywood and popular culture in general for mainstreaming mindless violence. Yet even many Second Amendment advocates part company with the NRA on this point. After all, blaming entertainment for crime smacks of blaming guns. Yet there’s quite a profound difference: guns don’t transmit values. But how we use guns— and knives, fists and words — on screen certainly does.
This message is often a tough sell, however, as it’s very natural to defend one’s entertainment. We grow up with certain shows, movies, characters and music and often become emotionally attached to them; in fact, we may identify with them so closely that an attack upon them can be taken personally. It’s the same phenomenon that causes an avid sports fan to defend his favorite team as if it’s his favored son. And it is then we may hear that old refrain, “It isn’t the entertainment; it’s the values learned at home” (they’re actually one and the same since entertainment enters the home with, in the least, the parents’ tacit approval).
Yet it appears few really believe that refrain. Sure, depending on our ideology, we may disagree on what entertainment is destructive, but that it can be destructive is something on which consensus exists. Just consider, for instance, that when James Cameron’s film Avatar was released, there was much talk in the conservative blogosphere about its containing environmentalist, anti-corporate and anti-American propaganda. At the other end of the spectrum, liberals wanted the old show Amos ‘n Andy taken off the air because it contained what they considered harmful stereotypes. Or think of how critics worried that Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ would stoke anti-Jewish sentiment or that Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ would inspire anti-Christian feelings, and how the Catholic League complained that The Da Vinci Code was anti-Catholic. Now, I’m not commenting on these claims’ validity. My only point is that when our own sacred cows are being slaughtered, few of us will say, “Well, yeah, the work attacks my cause, but I don’t care because it’s the values taught at home that really matter.”
The truth? Entertainment is powerful. This is why Adolf Hitler had his propaganda filmmaker, Leni Riefenstahl, and why all modern regimes have at times created their own propaganda films. It’s why the ancient Greeks saw fit to censor the arts and American localities traditionally had obscenity laws. And it is why, while “The pen is mightier than the sword” and a picture mightier still, being worth a “thousand words,” we have to wonder how many words moving footage coupled with sound would be. How mighty art thou, Tinseltown? Well, we worry that a child witnessing one parent continually abuse the other will learn to be violent, as children learn by example. Yet often forgotten is that while a person can model behavior seven feet away from the television, he can also model it seven feet away through the television.
And what effect do our entertainment role models have? Much relevant research exists, and the picture it paints isn’t pretty. For instance, a definitive 1990s study published by The Journal of the American Medical Association found that in every society in which TV was introduced, there was an explosion in violent crime and murder within 15 years. As an example, TV had been banned in South Africa for internal security reasons until 1975, at which point the nation had a lower murder rate than other lands with similar demographics. The country’s legalization of TV prompted psychiatrist Dr. Brandon Centerwall to predict “that white South African homicide rates would double within 10 to 15 years after the introduction of television….” But he was wrong.
By 1987 they had more than doubled.
Then the Guardian told us in 2003 that, “…Bhutan, the fabled Himalayan Shangri-la, became the last nation on earth to introduce television. Suddenly a culture, barely changed in centuries, was bombarded by 46 cable channels. And all too soon came Bhutan’s first crime wave — murder, fraud, drug offences.” The serpent had struck again.
And exactly how it strikes is interesting…and scary. Lt. Col. David Grossman, a former West Point military psychologist and one of the world’s foremost experts on what he calls “killology,” explains the process well. In his essay “Trained to Kill,” he speaks of how the military learned that during WWII only 15 to 20 percent of riflemen would actually shoot at an exposed enemy soldier. Yet this rate was increased to 55 percent during the Korean War and then 90 percent in Vietnam. How? By applying psychological principles, says Grossman, identical to the forces our children are exposed to through entertainment. They are (all quotations are Grossman’s):
- Brutalization and desensitization: this occurs in boot camp where the training is designed “to break down your existing mores and norms and to accept a new set of values that embrace destruction, violence, and death as a way of life.” Entertainment can perhaps be even more effective when doing this to children because the process often starts when they’re too young to distinguish between fantasy and reality. Grossman explains:
- To have a child of three, four, or five watch a “splatter” movie, learning to relate to a character for the first 90 minutes and then in the last 30 minutes watch helplessly as that new friend is hunted and brutally murdered is the moral and psychological equivalent of introducing your child to a friend, letting [him] play with that friend, and then butchering that friend in front of your child’s eyes.
- Classical conditioning: the Japanese employed this during WWII. Soldiers would have to watch and cheer as a few of their comrades bayoneted prisoners to death. All the servicemen were then “treated to sake, the best meal they had had in months, and to so-called comfort girls. The result? They learned to associate committing violent acts with pleasure.” Likewise, today “[o]ur children watch vivid pictures of human suffering and death, learning to associate it with their favorite soft drink and candy bar, or their girlfriend’s perfume.”
- Operant conditioning: “When people are frightened or angry, they will do what they have been conditioned to do…. [It’s] stimulus-response, stimulus-response.” Thus, one of the ways the military increased riflemen’s willingness to shoot exposed enemies was to switch from the bull’s-eye targets of WWII training to “realistic, man-shaped silhouettes that pop into their field of view.” The soldiers have only a split-second to engage this new “stimulus” with the response of firing reflexively. As for kids, “every time a child plays an interactive point-and-shoot video game, he is learning the exact same conditioned reflex and motor skills.” This can help explain, says Grossman, why robbers under stress will sometimes reflexively shoot victims even when it wasn’t “part of the plan.”
If the above seems at all simplistic, note that it’s a life’s work boiled-down to 500 words. Suffice it to say, however, that entertainment has an effect. And do we really consider today’s entertainment benign? We’ve transitioned from a pre-TV America where boys sometimes brought real guns to school for target shooting to a TV-addicted America where boys bring toy guns to school and get suspended. And, of course, the reasons for this societal sea change are complex. But if we’re going to point to one factor, is it wiser to blame the AR-15 than PG-13?
The year is 632 A.D., and Muslim hordes have set their sights on the Mideast and North Africa — the old Christian world. And the Caliphate, as the Islamic realm is called, will not be denied. Syria and Iraq fall in 636. Palestine is next in 638. And Byzantine Egypt and North Africa, not even Arab lands, are conquered by 642 and 709, respectively. Then, just two years later, the Muslims cross the Strait of Gibraltar and enter Iberia (now Spain and Portugal). The invasion of Europe has begun.
And the new continent seems no impediment to Islam. After vanquishing much of Visigothic Iberia by 718, the Muslims cross the Pyrenees Mountains into Gaul (now France) and move northward. Now it is 732, and they are approaching Tours, a mere 126 miles from Paris. The Western world — what’s left of Christendom — could very well be on its way to extinction.
Europe is currently easy prey, comprising disunited, often belligerent kingdoms and duchies recently decimated by plague. In contrast, the Islamic world is a burgeoning civilization; so much so, in fact, that it views the Europeans as barbarians. The Muslims also command enormous battle-hardened military forces and have enjoyed almost unparalleled breadth and rapidity of conquest, while Europe no longer has standing armies. It largely relies on peasants to do its fighting, men available only when crops aren’t beckoning. Yet the Christian Europeans do have one great asset: Charles of Herstal, grandfather of Charlemagne.
Sensing the coming storm as early as 721, Charles realized he was going to need a professional, well-oiled fighting force if he was to tackle the Moorish wave washing across Christendom. So, using Catholic Church resources, he set out to train just such an army. And now, 11 years later, it will be put to the ultimate test.
With a horde of 80,000 men, the Muslims once again start moving north in 732 under the leadership of Emir Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi. And after defeating Odo the Great and sacking his Duchy of Aquitaine, there is nothing standing between Al Ghafiqi and Paris — except Charles of Herstal and his Frankish and Burgundian army. The two leaders would lock horns in October, on a battlefield between the towns of Tours and Poitier.
When the fateful day arrives, Al Ghafiqi is shocked by what lies before him. The “barbarians” have mustered a force the size of which he isn’t used to seeing in these European backwaters. He nonetheless enjoys a great advantage, outnumbering the Christians by perhaps as much as two to one and possessing heavy cavalry, while his adversaries are limited to infantry. The outcome should still be favorable. And it is.
Charles routs the Muslim forces, stopping their advance into Europe cold. He will eventually chase them back across the Pyrenees Mountains, saving Gaul — and perhaps all of Western civilization— from the sword of Islam. His miraculous 732 victory becomes known as the Battle of Tours (or Poitiers), and it wins him the moniker “Martellus.” Thus do we now know him as Charles Martel, which translates into Charles the Hammer.
Yet the Abode of Islam would not stop hammering Christendom. It is now 1095, and the Muslims are threatening Europe from the east. After seizing most of the Byzantine Empire’s territory 400 years prior, they have now, just recently, subdued Anatolia (most of modern Turkey), thus robbing the Byzantines of the majority of their remaining land. The Muslims are now poised to move west into Greece itself or perhaps north into the Balkans — Europe’s “back door.” And Byzantine emperor Alexius I in Constantinople knows that his realm is too weak to resist. What is he to do?
Alexius decides to approach the Church. Although he and current pope Urban II have been rivals, the pontiff recognizes Islamic expansion to be a clear and present danger. So he decides to address the matter at the Council of Clermont in 1095. In a rousing sermon in front of more than 650 clerics and Christian nobles, he appeals to Europeans to stop bickering amongst themselves and rally to the aid of their eastern brothers. What follows is an excerpt of his words as recorded by the Fulcher of Chartres:
Your brethren who live in the east are in urgent need of your help, and you must hasten to give them the aid which has often been promised them. For, as the most of you have heard, the Turks and Arabs have attacked them and have conquered the territory of Romania [the Greek empire] as far west as the shore of the Mediterranean and the Hellespont, which is called the Arm of St. George. They have occupied more and more of the lands of those Christians, and have overcome them in seven battles. They have killed and captured many, and have destroyed the churches and devastated the empire. If you permit them to continue thus for awhile with impunity, the faithful of God will be much more widely attacked by them. On this account I, or rather the Lord, beseech you as Christ’s heralds to publish this everywhere and to persuade all people of whatever rank, foot-soldiers and knights, poor and rich, to carry aid promptly to those Christians….
And thus was born the 11th-century Hammer writ large: the Crusades.
Like Martel’s campaigns before them, the Crusades were defensive actions designed to stave off Muslim aggression. Oh, this isn’t what you learned in college, I know. It’s not what we hear from the media. It isn’t what’s portrayed by Hollywood. But it is the truth. And it was explained well by Thomas Madden, Chair of the History Department at Saint LouisUniversity. In “The Real History of the Crusades” he wrote:
The Crusades are generally portrayed as a series of holy wars against Islam led by power-mad popes and fought by religious fanatics. They are supposed to have been the epitome of self-righteousness and intolerance, a black stain on the history of the Catholic Church in particular and Western civilization in general. A breed of proto-imperialists, the Crusaders introduced Western aggression to the peaceful Middle East and then deformed the enlightened Muslim culture, leaving it in ruins.
… [But] Christians in the eleventh century were not paranoid fanatics. Muslims really were gunning for them. While Muslims can be peaceful, Islam was born in war and grew the same way. From the time of Mohammed, the means of Muslim expansion was always the sword. Muslim thought divides the world into two spheres, the Abode of Islam and the Abode of War…. In the eleventh century, the Seljuk Turks conquered Asia Minor (modern Turkey), which had been Christian since the time of St. Paul. The old Roman Empire, known to modern historians as the Byzantine Empire, was reduced to little more than Greece.
… [The Crusades] were not the brainchild of an ambitious pope or rapacious knights but a response to more than four centuries of conquests in which Muslims had already captured two-thirds of the old Christian world. At some point, Christianity as a faith and a culture had to defend itself or be subsumed by Islam. The Crusades were that defense.
And that is why I defend them today. No, they weren’t perfectly executed, nor could they achieve all their objectives any more than the Cold War truly vanquished the left. Evil is always afoot. But note that the Mideast and North Africa had more Christians than did Europe at the time of the early Muslim invasions — but no one to Crusade for them. Thus, it’s easy to imagine that, were it not for our hammering medieval heroes, we could well be what the Mideast is today. And unless we shelve multiculturalism and become what those crusaders were yesterday, we may not have a tomorrow.
Hollywood And The Past…
History is commonly regarded as an attempt to produce a structured account of the past. It proclaims to tell us what really happened, but in most cases it fails to do that. Instead it is set to conceal our shame, to hide those various elements, events, incidents and occurrences in our past which we cannot cope with. History, therefore, can be regarded as a system of concealment. Accordingly, the role of the true historian is similar to that of the psychoanalyst: both aim to unveil the repressed. For the psychoanalyst, it is the unconscious mind. For the historian, it is our collective shame.
Yet, one may wonder, how many historians really engage in such a task? How many historians are courageous enough to open the Pandora Box? How many historians are brave enough to challenge Jewish History for real? How many historians dare to ask why Jews? Why do Jews suffer time after time? Is it really the Goyim who are inherently murderous, or is there something unsettling in Jewish culture or collectivism? But Jewish history is obviously far from being alone here: every people’s past is, in fact, as problematic. Can Palestinians really explain to themselves how is it that after more than a century of struggle, they wake up to find out that their current capital has become a NGO haven largely funded by George Soros’ Open Society? Can the Brits once and for all look in the mirror and explain to themselves why, in their Imperial Wars Museum, they erected a Holocaust exhibition dedicated to the destruction of the Jews? Shouldn’t the Brits be slightly more courageous and look into one of the many Shoas they themselves inflicted on others? Clearly they have an impressive back catalogue to choose from.
The Guardian vs. Athens
The past is dangerous territory; it can induce inconvenient stories. This fact alone may explain why the true Historian is often presented as a public enemy. However, the Left has invented an academic method to tackle the issue. The ‘progressive’ historian functions to produce a ‘politically correct’, ‘inoffensive’ tale of the past. By means of zigzagging, it navigates its way, while paying its dues to the concealed and producing endless ad-hoc deviations that leave the ‘repressed’ untouched. The progressive subject is there to produce a ‘non- essentialist’ and ‘unoffending’ account of the past on the expense of the so-called ‘reactionary’. The Guardian is an emblem of such an approach, it would, for instance, ban any criticism of Jewish culture or Jewishness, yet it provides a televised platform for two rabid Zionist so they can discuss Arab culture and Islamism. The Guardian wouldn’t mind offending ‘Islamists’ or British ‘nationalists’ but it would be very careful not to hurt any Jewish sensitivities. Such version of politics or the past is impervious to truthfulness, coherence, consistency or integrity. In fact, the progressive discourse is far from being ‘the guardian of the truth’, it is actually set as ‘the guardian of the discourse’ and I am referring here to Left discourse in particular.
But surely there is an alternative to the ‘progressive’ attitude to the past. The true historian is actually a philosopher – an essentialist – a thinker who posits the question ‘what does it mean to be in the world and what does it take to live amongst others’? The true historian transcends beyond the singular, the particular and the personal. He or she is searching for the condition of the possibility of that which drives our past, present and future. The true historian dwells on Being and Time, he or she is searching for a humanist lesson and an ethical insight while looking into the poem, the art, the beauty, the reason but also into the fear. The true historian is an essentialist who digs out the concealed, for he or she knows that the repressed is the kernel of the truth.
Leo Strauss provides us with a very useful insight in that regard. Western civilization, he contends, oscillates between two intellectual and spiritual poles – Athens and Jerusalem. Athens — the birthplace of democracy, home for reason, philosophy, art and science. Jerusalem — the city of God where God’s law prevails. The philosopher, the true historian, or the essentialist, for that matter, is obviously the Athenian. The Jerusalemite, in that regard, is ‘the guardian of the discourse’, the one who keeps the gate, just to maintain law and order on the expense of ecstasies, poesis, beauty, reason and truth.
Spielberg vs. Tarantino
Hollywood provides us with an insight into this oscillation between Athens and Jerusalem: between the Jerusalemite ‘guardian of the discourse’ and the Athenian contender – the ‘essentialist’ public enemy. On the Left side of the map we find Steven Spielberg, the ‘progressive’ genius. On his Right we meet peosis itself, Quentin Tarantino, the ‘essentialist’.
Spielberg, provides us with the ultimate sanitized historical epic. The facts are cherry picked just to produce a pre meditated pseudo ethical tale that maintains the righteous discourse, law and order but, most importantly, the primacy of Jewish suffering (Schindler’s List and Munich). Spielberg brings to life a grand epic with a clear retrospective take on the past. Spielberg tactic is, in most cases, pretty simple. He would juxtapose a vivid transparent binary opposition: Nazis vs. Jews, Israeli vs. Palestinians , North vs. South, Righteousness vs. Slavery. Somehow, we always know, in advance who are the baddies and who are the goodies. We clearly know who to side with.
Binary opposition is indeed a safe route. It provides a clear distinction between the ‘Kosher’ and the ‘forbidden’. But Spielberg is far from being a banal mind. He also allows a highly calculated and carefully meditated oscillation. In a universalist gesture of courtesy he would let a single Nazi into the family of the kind. He would allow the odd Palestinian to be a victim. It can all happen as long as the main frame of the discourse remains intact. Spielberg is clearly an arch guardian of discourse – being a master of his art-form, he will certainly maintain your attention for at least 90 minutes of a historic cinematic cocktail made of factual mishmash. All you have to do is to follow the plot to the end. By then the pre-digested ethical message is safely replanted at the hub of your self-loving narcissistic universe.
Unlike Spielberg, Tarantino is not concerned with factuality; he may even repel historicity. Tarantino may as well believe that the notion of ‘the message’ or morality are over rated. Tarantino is an essentialist, he is interested in human nature, in Being and he seems to be fascinated in particular in vengeance and its universality. For the obvious reasons, his totally farfetched Inglorious Bastards throws light on present Israeli collective blood thirstiness as being detected at the time of Operation Cast lead. The fictional cinematic creation of a revengeful murderous WWII Jewish commando unit is there to throw the light on the devastating contemporary reality of Jewish lobbies’ lust for violence in their relentless push for a world war against Iran and beyond. But Inglorious Bastards may as well have a universal appeal because the Old Testament’s ‘eye for and eye’ has become the Anglo American political driving force in the aftermath of 9/11.
Abe’le vs. Django
What may seem as a spiritual clash between Jerusalemite Spielberg and Athenian Tarantino is more than apparent in their recent works.
The history of slavery in America is indeed a problematic topic and, for obvious reasons, many aspects of this chapter are still kept deeply within the domain of the concealed. Once again Spielberg and Tarantino have produced a distinctively different accounts of this chapter.
In his recent historical epic Lincoln, Spielberg, made Abraham Lincoln into a Neocon ‘moral interventionist’ who against all (political) odds, abolished slavery. I guess that Spielberg knows enough American history to gather that his cinematic account is a crude Zigzag attempt, for the anti slavery political campaign was a mere pretext for a bloody war driven by clear economical objectives.
As one may expect, Spielberg peppers his tale with more than a few genuine historical anecdotes. He is certainly paying the necessary dues just to keep the shame shoved deep under the carpet. His Lincoln is cherished as a morally driven hero of human brotherhood. And the entire plot carries all the symptoms of contemporary AIPAC lobby assault within the Capitol. Being one of the arch guardians of the discourse, Spielberg has successfully fulfilled his task. He added a substantial cinematic layer to ensure that America’s true shame remains deeply repressed or shall we say, untouched.
Needles to mention that Spielberg’s take on Lincoln has been cheered by the Jewish press. They called the president Avraham Lincoln Avinu (our father, Hebrew) in The Tablet Magazine. ‘Avraham’, according to the Tablet, is the definitive good Jew. “As imagined by Spielberg and Kushner, Lincoln’s Lincoln is the ultimate mensch. He is a skilled natural psychologist, an interpreter of dreams, and a man blessed with an extraordinarily clever and subtle legal mind.” In short, Spielberg’s Lincoln is Abe’le who combines the skills, the gift and the traits of Moses, Freud as well as Alan Dershowitz. However, some Jews complain about the film. “As an American Jewish historian, writes Lance J. Sussman, “I’m afraid I have to say I am somewhat disappointed with the latest Spielberg film. So much of it is so good, but it would have been even better if he had put at least one Jew in the movie, somewhere.”
I guess that Spielberg may find it hard to please the entire tribe. Quentin Tarantino, however, doesn’t even try. Tarantino is, in fact, doing the complete opposite. Through a phantasmic epic that confesses zero interest in any form of historicity or factuality whatsoever, he manages, in his latest masterpiece Django Unchained, to dig out the darkest secrets of Slavery. He scratches the concealed and judging by the reaction of another cinematic genius Spike Lee, he has clearly managed to get pretty deep.
By putting into play a stylistic spectacle within the Western genre Tarantino manages to dwell on every aspect we are advised to leave untouched. He deals with biological determinism, White supremacy and cruelty. But he also turns his lens onto slaves’ passivity, subservience and collaboration. The Athenian director builds here a set of Greek mythological God like characters; Django (Jamie Fox), is the unruly king of revenge and Schultz (Christoph Waltz) the German dentist turned bounty hunter is the master of wit, kindness and humanity with a giant wisdom tooth shining over his caravan. Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) is the Hegelian (racist) Master and Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson) is the Hegelian Slave, emerging as the personification of social transformation. To a certain extent, the relationships between Candie and Stephen could be seen as one of the most profound yet subversive cinematic takes on Hegel’s master-slave dialectic.
In Hegel’s dialectic two self-consciousness’ are constituted via a process of mirroring. In Django Unchained, Stephen the slave, seems to convey the ultimate form of subservience, yet this is merely on the surface. In reality Stephen is way more sophisticated and observant than his master Candie. He is on his way up. It is hard to determine whether Stephen is a collaborator or if he really runs the entire show. And yet in Tarantino’s latest, Hegel’s dialectic is, somehow, compartmentalized. Django, once unchained, is clearly impervious to the Hegelian dialectic spiel. His incidental liberation induces in him a true spirit of relentless resilience. When it comes to it, he kills the Master, the Slave and everyone else who happens to be around, he bends every rule including the ‘rules of nature’ (biological determinism). By the time the epic is over, Django leaves behind a wreckage of the Candie’s plantation, the cinematic symbol of the dying old South and the ‘Master Slave Dialectic’. Yet, as Django rides on a horse towards the rising sun together with his free wife Broomhilda von Shaft (Kerry Washington), we are awakened to the far fetched cinematic fantasy. In reality, I mean the world out of the cinema, the Candie’s plantation would, in all likelihood, remain intact and Django would probably be chained up again. In practice, Tarantino cynically juxtaposes the dream (the cinematic reality) and reality (as we know it). By doing so he manages to illuminate the depth of misery that is entangled with the human condition and in Black reality in America in particular.
Tarantino is certainly not a ‘guardian of the discourse.’ Quite the opposite, he is the bitterest enemy of stagnation. As in his previous works, his latest spectacle is an essentialist assault on correctness and ‘self-love’. Tarantino indeed turns over many stones and unleashes many vipers into the room. Yet being a devout Athenian he doesn’t intend to produce a single answer or a moral lesson. He leaves us perplexed yet cheerful. For Tarantino, I guess, dilemma is the existential essence. Spielberg, on, the other hand, provides all the necessary answers. After all, within the ‘progressive’ politically-correct discourse, it is the answers that determine, in retrospective, what questions we are entitled to raise.
If Leo Strauss is correct and Western civilization should be seen as an oscillation between Athens and Jerusalem, truth must be said – we can really do with many more Athenians and their essentialist reflections. In short, we are in a desperate need of many more Tarantinos to counter Jerusalem and its ambassadors.
Truth told, this American observer has attended his share of international conferences and has traveled in more than 70 countries. But never has he visited such a complex country, evolving culture, and striving energized society, populated by idealistic people of great warmth, sense of humor and caring for those in need as he experiences in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Except when traveling in his own country.
Being in Iran during these tense times is to experience an epiphany. Which is that Iranians and Americans have so very many needs and interests in common-yes even in our religious beliefs- that both peoples should immediately repair our countries relations and return to the days when 60,000 Iranian students studied in the US and thousands of Americans lived and worked in Iran- all in singular harmony and with myriad mutual benefits.
The deep connection among Muslims and Christians from the seventh century sacrifice at Karbala by Hussein bin Ali and the first century sacrifice at Calvary by Jesus Christ, established forever a claimed divine principle of sacrifice of one’s self to resist injustice for the greater good of the community. This bond underpins and connects the two religions and their followers inextricably.
There is probably no country more misunderstood in America than Iran And its due almost entirely to politically motivated demonizations and misrepresentations, including, but not limited to, what President Ahmadinejad really said during speeches relating to the US and the West and the historical imperative to liberate occupied Palestine and every country’s right to develop nuclear energy and to live independently and free of US-led western hegemony. Most Americans’ perceptions of Iran, according to Iranian friends, are limited to images of President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad accused of delivering anti-American speeches.
Another example is the media reports of the 2/09/13 celebration of the 34th anniversary of the Iranian revolution where the BBC and most other media reported the crowds were “frenzied and chanting death to America.” I was there and this report is rubbish. I did hear from time to time a few chants mixed in with revolutionary songs, religious exhortations, and just plain fun. Helping others by offering water and heavy laden older citizens or kids was the motif.
People were happy not angry and they could not have been more friendly or curious about the Americans they came upon and who helped them pick up Iranian leaflet flags that blew or were dropped onto the streets as the Americans understood Iranian pride in their flag and not wanting to see it walked on or subjected to disrespect.
One does not have to look further than the morning newspapers for examples and to find the likes of Zionist apologist, Iranophobe and Islamophode Jennifer Rubin, in her Washington Post screed. Ms. Rubin, on Valentine’s Day had only poisonous invective in her heart for any American- even cupid one imagines- who would dare express any remotely objective idea about Iran. Rubin, a former AIPAC volunteer, lambasted Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, former US Senator, Chuck Hagel, as nearly all 52 Zionist organizations in America have done this past month, because he advocates mutual respect and friendship with Iran. Hagel’s unforgiveable sins includee his words on the subject of criminal US-led sanctions against Iran and Syria and the need to build trust and normalize relations through dialogue.
Said Hagel about U.S.-Iran relations: “We shouldn’t be putting conditions on talks or putting all other issues to the side except one issue that we will ‘dictate’ to Iran.” As far back as 2007, Hagel stated that “In the Middle East of the 21st century, Iran will be a key center of gravity… a significant regional power. The United States cannot change that reality. America’s strategic 21st-century regional policy for the Middle East must acknowledge the role of Iran today and over the next 25 years.” Hagel continued: “On Afghanistan, the United States and Iran found common interests — defeating the Taliban and Islamic radicals, stabilizing Afghanistan, stopping the opium production and the flow of opium coming into Iran. From these common interests emerged common actions working toward a common purpose. It was in the interests of Iran to work with the U.S. in Afghanistan. It was not a matter of helping America or strengthening America’s presence in Central Asia. It was a clear-eyed and self-serving action for Iran.”
Hagel may have erred a bit on Afghanistan and the Taliban, but Rubin found Hagel’s point of view treasonous and has joined the the US Zionist lobby’s call for a witch-hunt when she asks her readers: “Why would the president select someone so deferential toward the Islamic revolutionary government? ..During the Congressional recess, the Senate should think about that. And it might be interesting to find out who was helping him with these intensely pro-Tehran speeches.
In Iran today one does not hear Rubinesque hate speech or even lectures about the 1953 US-UK overthrow of Iranian leader Mohammad Mossedeg or the shooting down on July 3, 1988 of the commercial passenger aircraft Iran Air Flight 655 (IIR655) or the US giving chemical weapons to Iraq, during its US backed aggression, or even the assassination of Iranian scientists or a number of other US green lighted aggressions against the country.
Much more often, conversations are likely to turn to the need to improve relations and friendly questions about what foreigners are experiencing in Iran and if they need assistance in doing something or information about their country. Iranians are as open as Americans are by their very nature, and unlike many other countries no subject for discussion is taboo. For this observer it included topics such as the “morality police”, execution of drug dealers and homosexuals, “stoning” of women, attacks on the Bahá’í Faith, which is the country’s second-largest religion after Islam, the 2009 “Green Revolution” and any other subject that came to mine, including drinking alcohol and public dating.
One hilarious conversation this observer had with four early 20’s female students during a Conference last week was about the number (more than 60%) of Chador wearing women who openly wear makeup these days, how Iranian society is changing rapidly, and the amount of hair some women expose while in public and wondering if this was not prohibited by Fatwa and how they deal with it. Their responses were immediate and nearly all at once. No one had even seen one of the Western hyped “morality police” for a long time and they are few and far between. One young lady explained that its true she wears her hijab 2/3’s the way back on her head and “if one of those guys dares to say something I will either tell him to mind his own business or if I am in a good mood I will act really, really surprised, shrug my shoulders, wink at him and say something like, “Oh so very sorry, really I am!. It was a big gust of wind that must have blown it back on my head without me noticing!” Even if there had not even been so much as a soft breeze in days.
Iranian women are smart, strong willed-even a bit pushy at times and naturally alluring. Who would want to join some “morality police” unit? The ladies explained that if one comes up to you on the street and if you are really rude to him and tell him to get lost, or worse, you might get a ticket and your parents would have to come to the police station and sign a pledge that you would try to do better about trying to observe some modesty in public. Again rather different from what the MSM tells us in the West.
And it’s clear whether attending an international conference on Hollywoodism (www.hollywoodism.org) at the Azadi (Freedom Hotel-formerly the pre-Revolution Hyatt ), traveling on the Tehran subway (far cleaner than New Yorks!) exploring street souks, visiting the Holy Defense Museum (explaining the 8 years Iran-Iraq war) or visiting the home of Imam Ruhollah Khomeini, who led the 1979 Revolution and was Iran’s leader until his death on June 3,1989 in or walking, for miles it seemed, among the nearly two million people marching to Azadi Square to commemorate this month’s 34th anniversary of the Revolution when the people of Iran overthrew the American agent, Shah Reza Palavi, that the Iranian people are kind and they are gifted.
When I got on the crowded Tehran subway, two young men immediately stood up to offer this observer their seats. And then we engaged in a very interesting long animated conversation. Said, Hamzeh, “You know, we feel like we understand America and we should be friends. Both of our countries are culturally unique somehow. Your country evolved from European culture but moved in very distinct direction. In our history Islam arrived via the Arabs but as you have been seeing I am sure, our identity is completely different from Arab countries.”
Mahmoud joined in: “Our society is also made up of many minorities, but we have a single Iranian identity and are very proud of our culture. We’re also familiar with Western ways. For the last 200 years, we were open to the Western world and influenced by European culture, even if some of the ideas, like democracy, have never had a chance to really develop properly but we will continue trying. But we also know what it’s like to be a superpower. For us it was a long time ago, but we played an important role in this part of the world for many centuries so we can never see ourselves as subject to western or eastern hegemony.”
No experience impressed a group of American visiting Iran, including this one, than the home of Imam Kohmeini and learning from his neighbors and students about the man, scholar and revolutionary. Visiting his home and Hassineyeh which have been kept just as they were the day he died, one neighbor recounted how
Ayatollah’s Khomeini’s wife Khadije Saghafi, who passed away in 2009, told her friends that she had only one wish her whole life that the Imam never granted to her. And that was that she wished for him to ask her for a glass of water at least once. But he never did. The sweet and gentle husband and father did not want even the wind to visit his family’s faces too harshly or for himself to impose on them. Another neighbor told us, “When we visited his home we often found the Imam washing the dishes, sweeping the floor, and helping in other household chores.
According to others who knew him well, the Imam led a life of utmost piety and spirituality. In the severe winters of Qom, the he would wake up each night, perform ablution the act of washing oneself for ritual purification) with ice water, and offer his night prayers. His Mafatih (prayer almanac) had to be rebound every few weeks because of how much he used it. Before he began lecturing his students on political activism, he emphasized to them the importance of spirituality and attaining the nearness of Allah.
The simplicity of life style and the modesty of Iran’s revolutionary, Imam Khomeini leader has universal appeal including American ideals.
There is every reason for Washington’s new administration to reach out to Iran, not just with words but with actions. The American and Iranian people fervently want this and it wills inestimably benefit both societies. The solution to positive the current straightened Iran-US relations includes contact, visitations, discussions and more discussions and from this both peoples can pressure their governments to leave the past behind and develop bonds of friendship.
Condemned By Every Syllable They Utter…
Tehran — Azadeh, a graduate law student from Tehran University, on the sidelines of Iran’s Third Annual Hollywoodism (www.hollywoodism.orghttp) reminded her interlocutors, of the obvious damming admissions last week by two US politicians:
“It would be a defense lawyer’s worst nightmare wouldn’t it? I mean to have one’s clients, in this case the Vice-President of the United States and the outgoing Secretary of state confess so publicly to serial international crimes against a civilian population?”
The confessions and the crimes, she correctly enumerated to her audience, were those admitted to by US Vice-President Joe Biden and outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this past week.
Both of the US officials, in discussing US relations with the Islamic Republic, openly admitted that the US-led sanctions against Iran (and Syria) are politically motivated and constitute a “soft-war” against the nearly 80 million people of Iran (23 million people in Syria) in order to achieve regime change.
Mrs. Clinton, was the first of the dynamic duo to be heard from. She acknowledged that the harsh US sanctions were intended to target and send the people of Iran a message. “So we hope that the Iranian people will make known their concerns… so my message to Iranians is do something about this.”
Some listening concluded she meant food riots and inflation riots to overthrow the Iranian government. An Australian Broadcasting Company interviewer asked Clinton on January 31 of last year: “If you have issues with the government of Iran, why destroy the Iranian people with the current sanctions in place? It’s very difficult to find certain medicines in Iran. Where is your sense of humanity?”
What the Clinton interrogator had in mind, she explained later, were the US-led sanctions reducing Iran’s GDP growth (-1.1% GDP) resulting in an inflation of 21.0% that is being felt mostly by the civilian population. As well as periodic food shortages in the supermarkets of such staples such as rice, there are price rises on everything. For example, per page printing for students is up as much as 400% and the cost of a used car up 300%. In general, supermarket items have risen 100 to 300 percent or higher over the past twenty-four months and, devastating for many, certain lifesaving medicines are no longer available.
Clinton: “Well, first, let me say on the medicine and on food and other necessities, there are no sanctions.” This statement is utter nonsense and Mrs. Clinton knows it.
The targeting process by the US Treasury Department is well entrenched in Washington. When dear reader is next in Washington, DC, perhaps on a tour bus riding down NW Pennsylvania Avenue following a visit to the US Capitol, consider getting off the bus at 15th and Pennsylvania at the US Department of the Treasury. Walk around the main building and you will see an Annex building. This building, as Clinton knows well, and like Biden, has visited more than once, houses the Office of Financial Assets Control (OFAC). The well-funded agency’s work includes precisely targeting “food and medicines and other necessities” in order to force the civilian population of Iran to achieve regime change.
For more than two hundred years, since the War of 1812, when OFAC was founded to sanction the British, the office has become expert at imposing sanctions and it has done so more than 2000 times. OFAC currently uses a large team of specialists and computers to think-up, design, test, and send to AIPAC and certain pro-Zionist officials and members of congress their work-product topped off by recommendations.
OFAC and its Treasury Department associates have had a hand in virtually every US sanction applied to Iran since President Jimmy Carter issued Executive Order 12170 in November 1979 freezing about $12 billion in Iranian assets, including bank deposits, gold and other properties. From the State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act in 1979 to the Syria Accountability Act of 2004, more than a dozen Presidential Executive Orders including the 2011-2012 Executive orders which froze the US property of high-rankling Syrian and Iranian officials and more broadly E.O. 13582 which froze all governmental assets of the Syrian government and prohibited Americans from doing business with the Syrian government and banned all US import of Syrian petroleum products.
What OFAC does with its data base is science not art. It can calculate quite precisely the economic effect on the civilian population of a single action designating one company, bank, government entity or infrastructure system of a country. OFAC, on behalf of its government, electronically wages a cold war against its civilian targets.
This week OFAC and the Treasury Department blacklisted Iran’s state broadcasting authority, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, responsible for broadcast policy in Iran and overseas production at Iranian television and radio channels, potentially limiting viewing and listening opportunities for Iran’s civilian population. Its director, Ezzatollah Zarghami, was included
in the action. Additionally sanctioned are Iran’s Internet-policing agencies and a major electronics producer. David S. Cohen, the pro-Zionist Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, who oversees the OFAC sanctions effort, reportedly following meetings with Israeli officials, said last week’s actions were meant to “tighten the screws and intensify the economic pressure against the Iranian regime.”
In reality, the sanctions target the civilian population and the “Iranian regime” won’t be much affected. The same applies to Syria. Despite the public relations language that “food and medicine are exempted from the brutal US-led sanctions, as OFAC well knows, the reality is something else. They know well the chilling effects of the sanctions on international suppliers of medicines and food stuffs with respect to a targeted country. The US Treasury department has thousands of gigabytes of data confirming that the boards of directors of international business do not, and will not allow their companies to risk millions of dollars in profits by technically violating any of the thousands of details in the sanctions — many of which are subject to interpretation — for the sake of doing business with Iran or Syria. This is why there are severe shortages of medicines and certain foodstuffs in these sanctioned countries and to state otherwise is Orwellian News-Speak.
OFAC does not operate in a vacuum. It works closely with other US agencies including the 16 intelligence agencies that together make up the UN Intelligence Community. Together they have applied sanctions of great breadth and severity against the civilian populations of Syria and Iran. These sanctions have been bolstered on occasion by several direct and/or green-lighted Israeli assassinations and cyber-assaults, hoping to foment civil unrest to achieve regime change and other political goals.
A few days after Mrs. Clinton’s somewhat inadvertent confession that the US government intentionally targets the civilian population of Iran, Vice President Joe Biden chimed in on the 4th of February that the US was ready to hold direct negotiations with Iran but added the caveat, “We have also made clear that Iran’s leaders need not sentence their people to economic deprivation,” acknowledging as did Hillary that the US sanctions are intended to target and harm the Iranian and Syrian people. A senior Obama administration official described the latest step as “a significant turning of the screw,” meaning that the people of Iran face a “stark choice” between bowing to US demands and reviving their oil revenue, the country’s economic lifeblood or more and more sanctions will follow until they do.
This targeting of Iran’s and Syria’s civilian population by US-led sanctions is a massive violation of the principles, standards and rules of international law and their most fundamental underpinnings which is the protection of civilians.
The 1977 Additional Protocols to the 1949 Geneva Conventions prohibit any measure that has the effect of depriving a civilian population of objects indispensable to its survival. Article 70 of Protocol I mandates relief operations to aid a civilian population that is “not adequately provided” with supplies and Article 18 of Protocol II requires relief operations for a civilian population that suffers “undue hardship owing to a lack of supplies essential for its survival, such as foodstuffs and medical supplies.”
Prohibition on Starvation as a Method of Warfare
• Under international humanitarian law, civilians enjoy a right to humanitarian assistance during armed conflicts.
• Art. 23 of the Fourth Geneva Convention obligates states to facilitate the free passage and distribution of relief goods including medicines, foodstuffs, clothing and tonics intended for children under 15, expectant mothers, and maternity cases.
• Art. 70 of Additional Protocol I prohibits interfering with delivery of relief goods to all members of the civilian population.
• US-led sanctions are prohibited by the principle of proportionality found in Arts. 51 and 57 of Additional Protocol I.
• Under the terms of Art. 3 common to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, humanitarian and relief actions must be taken. Pursuant to Art. 18(2) of Additional Protocol II, relief societies must be allowed to offer their services to provide humanitarian relief
• The US-led sanctions violate the Rule of Distinction between civilians and combatants
The Right to life
The US-led sanctions violate the right to life incorporated in numerous international human rights instruments including Art. 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966; Art. 2 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, 1950; and Art. 4 of the African Charter of Human Rights, 1981.
The Rights of the Child
One of the groups most vulnerable to US-led sanctions in Syria and Iran are children. The rights of children are laid down in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989, which currently stands as the most widely ratified international agreement. Most relevant in the context of the US-led sanctions are Arts. 6 and 24 of the Convention, according to which every child has the inherent right to life and the right to the highest attainable standard of health and access to medical services.
If “terrorism” means, as the United States government defines it as the targeting of civilians in order to induce political change from their government, what is it called when the American government itself applies intense economic suffering on a civilian population, causing malnutrition, illnesses, starvation and death in order to induce regime change?
The US-led sanctions against Iran and Syria are illegal, inhumane, ineffective, immoral and outrageous. They must be resisted every day by every person of good will, everywhere, until they are withdrawn.
The obvious has already been said about placing women in front-line combat positions. Their presence will reduce unit cohesiveness; male soldiers’ natural instinct to protect women will influence battlefield decisions; there will be the problem of sexual impropriety within the ranks and of rape when women are captured; women will have more trouble measuring up to the physical and psychological demands of battle; special accommodations will no doubt be made so that women may tend to feminine concerns; and, as the high pregnancy rate aboard naval vessels has proven, having young men and women operate in close quarters is folly. Yet the truth is that it was just a matter of time before women were allowed in combat; it’s a piece that fits seamlessly into the modern sex-role puzzle. And it’s not surprising if a majority of Americans support the policy; they are sex-role puzzled.
When I worked with children years ago, one of my students, an 11-year-old boy, guessed that the women’s world record for the mile would be faster than the men’s when a question about the matter was put to him. In the same vein, a respondent to one of my articles mentioned a young man she knew who opined that women and men should compete together in sports. When she informed him that this would eliminate athletic opportunities for women — boys’ American high school records surpass women’s world records — he was surprised that the gap between the sexes was so great. You may be surprised at a knowledge gap so great. Don’t be.
For a few decades now, children have been raised seeing women in combat. Movies and television shows have long featured masculinized female characters who talk, act, and fight like men — except when they’re shown fighting even better and vanquishing men. If a show features a male hero, he almost invariably has to be balanced with a tough(er?) heroine. Professional wrestling will now occasionally even show women grappling with men (yes, it’s fake, but not to a seven-year-old). Kids also have equality dogma drummed into them; equality this and equality that, and the only departure from it is when they’re exposed to entertainment that makes men appear weak or to specious science indicating female superiority. It is another example of how the left presents the young with a distorted picture of reality.
It’s thus no surprise that people make poor decisions on policy affecting the sexes. We better understand the different roles of horses and dogs because we perceive their characteristic strengths and weaknesses; likewise, how can we understand what roles are suggested by the sexes’ characteristic qualities if we blind ourselves to them?
Ah, dare I speak of “roles”? Some will now accuse me of fostering sex stereotyping, the very thing the left has been combating with the agenda outlined earlier. (This, by the way, is one of the main reasons Hollywood mainstreamed masculinized female characters: they wanted to change how people think. It worked.) All right, let’s discuss stereotypes.
One of these stereotype opponents would be Beck Laxton, a British mother who strives to raises “gender neutral” children and has said, “Stereotypes seem fundamentally stupid. Why would you want to slot people into boxes?” Thus, Laxton believes in allowing her son to find his own sex-role path; as Shine’s Piper Weiss tells us, she is on a quest to “let her kid just be a kid.” But this raises a question: if putting people in boxes is such an imposition, why put your kid in a kid box?
In other words, why impose species-oriented norms on a child and put him in a human box? After all, we instill ideas about identity and innumerable other things when we put children in clothing; cut their hair; teach them to wash and brush their teeth; teach them language, manners, a conception of virtue, and social norms; and laugh at some behaviors while frowning at others. But do we consider that, like self-professed canine “Wolfie Blackheart,” the child may later decide that homo-sapiens status isn’t for him?
The point is that it isn’t a matter of whether we’ll put children in boxes; that is unavoidable.
It’s a matter of putting them in the correct boxes.
And we put a little human in a human box not because we’ve been brainwashed with some arbitrary social construct but because he was born in a human body, and it’s better for everyone if is he is socialized as a human than trained as a ferret. His human status involves unique abilities and relative physical weaknesses; thus do we apply “species stereotyping” when raising him. Of course, he may announce when he is 18 that he is a ferret, or something slightly larger, such as Robert Reich. That’s what mental institutions are for.
The truth is that we only hear complaints about stereotypes when those stereotypes are out of fashion — or out of favor with the “fashionable” set. For example, it’s now common to scoff at traditional female portrayals such as that of devoted housewife June Cleaver in Leave it to Beaver. But what of her husband, Ward? Do little boys dream of growing up, wearing a suit, and working 9 to 5 at a job that is probably drudgery? Yet what would have been better? Should Ward Cleaver have been cast as a layabout Beat Generation type who some nights never came home, drank like a fish, mainlined heroin, and frequented bathhouses? Would it have been healthy to destroy the Cleaver stereotype and institute a new one such as that reflected in the now cancelled All My Babies’ Mommas? I think men should be pushed toward the box of gainfully employed, loving, responsible father — that’s the only way civilization can survive. And women have their boxes, too.
This is where “sex stereotyping” (the term gender is misused today) comes into play. Sure, we’ve heard that it places children in a potential-stifling straitjacket. But there is another theory, one considered self-evident truth not long ago. It goes like this: at issue here isn’t negatively connoted “stereotyping.” Rather, just as we give humans a species-specific upbringing, we should give a boy a sex-specific upbringing; this is not because we’ve fallen victim to some arbitrary social construct but because he was born in a boy’s body (that’s called a clue). Is this stifling? On the contrary, just as you may provide art-specific opportunities to help a child with a proclivity for art exploit his potential, sex-specific childrearing helps the sexes cultivate and augment their unique potential. That is how boys and girls come to full flower as men and women.
I haven’t said much here about women in combat, and for good reason. It’s just a branch on the feminist tree, a branch whose appearance was just a matter of time. And now I’ll be the hatchet man.
Even science, which often eventually catches up with common sense, tells us that the sexes have different characteristic qualities and strengths. And since “male” and “female” are real and different statuses, also real are the adjectives that describe what is characteristic of each one, “masculine” and “feminine.” It also then follows that the verbs “masculinize” and “feminize” describe actual changes that really can be effected.
Taking it further, the sexes’ different proclivities imply different roles, which we call masculine and feminine roles. Two of these, “mother” and “father,” are of inestimable importance because they constitute the nucleus of civilization’s central building block: the family. Thus, anything that diminishes the chances of the sexes successfully performing those roles threatens to destroy the family — and, hence, civilization.
Given this, should we accept any social norm that discourages the cultivation of a sex’s respective qualities or serves to masculinize women or feminize men? Does it behoove us to steer girls toward masculine endeavors? Those are the big questions — and they get at the big picture.
And this answers the little-picture question of women in combat. If warfare isn’t a masculine endeavor, what is? And if putting women in military uniforms, giving them weaponry, and teaching them to be warriors doesn’t masculinize them, what does? And what does it say about our society that the masculinization of women has reached this advanced stage?
It says that the feminist tree is deep-rooted and tall, with a canopy that blocks out the light of common sense. The sooner that tree is burnt to ashes with the world’s fiercest accelerant, the better.
In December 2012 the Prime Minster of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev, caused a stir by speaking straight-faced to reporters about extraterrestrial beings.
In a candid moment after a televised interview, he made statements to a reporter that instantly got the attention of many.
After completing an on-air interview with five television reporters on December 7, 2012, Prime Minister Medvedev continued to respond to reporters and made some off-air comments without realizing that the microphone was still on. He was then asked by one reporter if “the president is handed secret files on aliens when he receives the briefcase needed to activate Russia’s nuclear arsenal,” Medvedev responded:
Along with the briefcase with nuclear codes, the president of the country is given a special ‘top secret’ folder. This folder in its entirety contains information about aliens who visited our planet… Along with this, you are given a report of the absolutely secret special service that exercises control over aliens on the territory of our country… More detailed information on this topic you can get from a well-known movie called Men In Black… I will not tell you how many of them are among us because it may cause panic.
News reports treated the admission as a joke, especially with the assumed reference to the well known Hollywood ’Men in Black’ film. However many speculate at Medvedev’s frank, ’matter-of-fact’ attitude, and also that he called “Men in Black” a documentary film.
The “Men In Black” documentary is a well known film in Russia that details UFO cases:
In the Russian Men In Black (MIB) documentary, a number of prominent UFO cases in Russia and the USA are discussed. The Roswell UFO crash is covered, along with a number of extraterrestrial abduction cases, and UFOs disabling nuclear weapons facilities. The documentary examines testimony that extraterrestrial bases have been established on Earth, and that some are in restricted US military areas with the full knowledge of the Pentagon. The documentary even goes on to seriously discuss President Eisenhower’s alleged meeting with extraterrestrials, where agreements were reached with some of the visitors giving them permission to take some of the Earth’s resources in exchange for advanced technology.
While these statements by Prime Minister Medvedev are remarkable, either for his surprisingly dry teasing, or for his unexpected disclosure, it should be noted that he’s not the first high-profile source to speak on extraterrestrials and what finding life could mean to humanity.
Indeed the Vatican has already publicly discussed their plan for extraterrestrial life, and former Canadian Cabinet Minister Paul Hellyer is well known for his stance on UFOs. These sources can be added to the list of former astronauts that detail their experiences with unexplained phenomena and military and government coverups.
What makes Medvedev’s words more interesting is a newly released document that is to be covered at Davos – the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting of world leaders in business, banking, and politics. They’re meeting in Switzerland from the 23rd to 27th of January not only to discuss economics, but also to address financial crises, environmental challenges, and global government.
Apparently, aliens are ALSO on the agenda.
The EUTimes.net writes:
Medvedev is scheduled to open this years Forum where as many as 50 heads of government, including Germany’s Angela Merkel and Britain’s David Cameron, will attend the five-day meeting that begins on 23 January.
Critical to note about this years Forum is that the WEF, in their 2013 Executive Summary, scheduled for debate and discussion a number of items under their X Factors from Nature category, and which includes the “discovery of alien life” of which they state: “Proof of life elsewhere in the universe could have profound psychological implications for human belief systems.”
From the Summary:
X Factors from Nature
Developed in partnership with the editors of Nature, a leading science journal, the chapter on “X Factors” looks beyond the landscape of 50 global risks to alert decision-makers to five emerging game-changers:
- Runaway climate change: Is it possible that we have already passed a point of no return and that Earth’s atmosphere is tipping rapidly into an inhospitable state?
- Significant cognitive enhancement: Ethical dilemmas akin to doping in sports could start to extend into daily working life; an arms race in the neural “enhancement” of combat troops could also ensue.
- Rogue deployment of geoengineering: Technology is now being developed to manipulate the climate; a state or private individual could use it unilaterally.
- Costs of living longer: Medical advances are prolonging life, but long-term palliative care is expensive. Covering the costs associated with old age could be a struggle.
- Discovery of alien life: Proof of life elsewhere in the universe could have profound psychological implications for human belief systems.
The Global Risks report is the flagship research publication of the World Economic Forum’s Risk Response Network, which provides an independent platform for stakeholders to explore ways to collaborate on building resilience to global risks. Further information can be found at www.weforum.org/risk
For the millions of people pressing for disclosure of the existence of extraterrestrial life and an end to the secrecy and coverup involved, this Davos ’Executive Summary’, and remarks by the PM of Russia, might mark yet another ’small step for mankind’ towards admission.
Source: Elizabeth Leafloor | RedIceCreations.com
A couple of weeks ago, while I was surfing the net for articles to include in the Email Brigade News Report, I came across a piece entitled “Provocative Clothing Company Creates Tees to Help Christian Girls be ‘Playful’ for Jesus.” For obvious reasons the headline grabbed my attention.
Featured in the article is a picture of an attractive young woman in a sexy pose seated on a bed wearing a tank top with the words “God knows my secrets.”
From the Christian News Service story:
A California-based clothing company is targeting professing Christian girls who seek to be provocative and “playful” in the way that they dress, all in the name of Jesus Christ.
The company Heart OMG says that its line of clothing for girls is “heavenly inspired” and is “a delightful mix of fun, fashion, faith and love.”
“At Heart OMG, we believe in sharing our faith and love through fashion, while embracing our fun and characteristic lifestyle, as well as giving back to the ones in need,” the clothing company’s website states. “Every single irresistible Heart OMG piece is wonderfully made to complement those playful and fashion forward individuals who celebrate life, and are eager to make their faith and love a true influence to the world.”
If you visit Heart OMG’s website (although I don’t recommend it) you’ll discover the story of “New Love and True Love”:
Once upon a time three lovely girls found a new love in Jesus Christ.
God had gifted each girl with a special talent. They gathered their gifts and became the worship crew at church. Through music they expressed their faith & love. This love grows stronger every moment.
The girls soon realize that this new love is definitely the “True Love” they had been looking for.
It all starts on a sunny Sunday morning. Scroll down the page and you’ll see photos of the trio sitting in a convertible in front of a church. Two girls are wearing off the shoulder t-shirts and, it appears, nothing is worn underneath. On the front of one of the shirts is the graphic “Worship Crew.”
Another photo shows the titillating trio decked out in short shorts, four inch heels and a pound and a half of makeup on their faces as they stroll up the walk toward the church…looking like hookers.
Further down the page the girls are now lounging on a bed together in suggestive poses. One of them is sporting a pink night shirt with a large graphic of an ice cream sundae with a cherry on top. “Sweet Jesus” adorns a purple cup.
Under the heading “When New Love Becomes True Love” one of the girls is reading a Bible (hopefully 1 John). The shirt she’s wearing has a graphic of two large red apples. You can guess where the apples are purposely placed. What does this tell you about the creative minds that designed a whole collection of “Christian” t-shirts?
Another photo shows the trio in church perched on what appears to be the edge of the stage, hands clasped in prayer. The girl wearing the “Worship Crew” shirt has an open Bible on her lap. Two of the girls are wearing off the shoulder shirts that are, well, way off the shoulder…in church.
If the trashy apparel Heart OMG produces is “heavenly inspired” like they claim, I’m the Angel Gabriel.
As I investigated the website I discovered this tidbit in the “About” section:
EVERY SINGLE IRRESISTIBLE HEART OMG PIECE IS WONDERFULLY
MADE TO COMPLEMENT THOSE PLAYFUL & FASHION FORWARD
INDIVIDUALS WHO CELEBRATE LIFE, AND EAGER TO MAKE THEIR
FAITH & LOVE A TRUE INFLUENCE TO THE WORLD.
If the advertisements/photos on the site depict the fashion trend for the “new breed” of Christian women, then the visible Church is in far worse shape than I thought.
Before I move on I need to make something clear. I’m not saying that the girls in the photos are Christians. I came across an acknowledgment at the bottom of the page stating only that they’re models. But that’s neither here nor there. The fact of the matter is that whoever owns Heart OMG has hired models who presumably are Christians. Certainly the girls who visit the site think they are! And let’s not forget that a photographer is involved and perhaps a marketing person as well. I’m going to presume these people are professing Christians. And if that’s indeed the case, my question to them is, why do you choose to participate in pushing a clothing line that dishonors God?
For years I’ve reported on the ways Hollywood and the liberal elite have made it their goal to sexualize young girls (here, here, here, here and here). However, this is the first time I’ve dedicated an entire article to so-called Christians who seem bent on sexualizing teens and tweens.
I first wrote about tawdry church attire in 2006 and conveyed how the pastor of my former church handled a sticky situation:
The church I attend once held outdoor services during the summer. Not anymore. The reason given by our pastor–with no apology–is the “inappropriate way people dress.” When it’s hot outside some folks show up pretty much undressed, and I am not prone to exaggeration. Women attend services dressed in short shorts, low-cut clingy tops, or crops. In some cases skintight low-rider jeans are worn as low as they go so that permanent artwork (tattoos) etched into backs and hips can be viewed by all. Excuse my bluntness, ladies, but exposing your butt crack in church is unacceptable, even if you’re sporting a Rembrandt across your back.
I also objected to the clothing worn by young guys, the ones who aren’t the least bit concerned with their grungy appearance. But my point here is that Bible believing, God honoring Christian females mustn’t wear flashy, flamboyant, tight fitting, low cut, sexually explicit clothing to church – or anywhere else! Being uninhibited and unreserved may be A-ok with “Sweet Jesus.” But being “too sexy for my shirt” is not A-ok with the Jesus of the Bible.
In 1Timothy 2:9, 10 Paul reminds women:
In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness [modesty of appearance and manner] and sobriety [self-restraint].
Likewise, Peter had something to say to women in the early church:
But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. (1 Peter 3:4)
Jesus Christ gives His followers this command:
As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (1 Peter 1:14-16)
Getting back to my’06 article, I pointed out that one of the problems with trying to be cool is that, followers of Jesus aren’t supposed to be cool; they’re supposed to be holy. But few pastors preach on holiness these days. Even though we serve a holy God and are called to be holy as He is holy, the message of sin and repentance has been diluted to appeal to the “felt needs” of today’s self-absorbed audience. People want to leave the church feeling good about themselves. No one wants to hear anything “negative” anymore. “That’s what liberalism is,” says Gene Edward Veith, “changing your theology to fit whatever the culture is.” (Source)
Our younger generation is being preyed upon by adults that will do anything for a buck. Adults are the ones who peddle the raunchy products that hyper-sexualize the culture. Young people, especially, are demeaned and exploited for profit. A word of warning to sleaze peddling “Christians”: God deems what you’re doing a grave sin. Repent!
Back in 2008 I penned a piece entitled “Hyper-sexualizing girls.” In it I described how even professing Christians are participating in this terrible offense against God. I asked,
And what, pray tell, is the Church doing to put a stop to the madness? The sad fact is that many Christians have yielded to the culture. And those that have are just as complicit in hyper-sexualizing youngsters as liberals are. So I pose this question to followers of Jesus Christ: Why do you suppose the world doesn’t believe what Christians have to say?
The answer is that Christians don’t live what they say they believe. Instead they live like the world.
“The Christian life,” says Warren Weirsbe, “is not a playground, but a battlefield.” [Read Eph. 6:11-12] Those who commit to follow Jesus Christ have got to get off the playground and make haste to the battlefield. Your children’s future is at stake. And I’m not talking to you nominal Christians. I’m talking to those who are serious about their commitment to Christ. Yes, fighting the culture is an uphill fight. But we can win some battles! “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9). (Source)
In closing, I’ll restate what I said above. Bible believing Christians who really want to glorify God must steer clear of the “new breed” of Christian fashion and dress modestly. Believers must pray that so-called Christians who are promoting trashy clothing to impressionable girls will have a change of heart. What can change hearts and minds? The Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Should Christians “judge” others? You betcha!—By Marsha West
Solving problems with violence is as American as apple pie…
The National Rifle Association (NRA) has become public enemy number one amongst left-leaning Americans since the most recent incident of random shooting. Is blaming the NRA a convenient way for Americans to avoid some necessary soul searching: a refusal to address the deeply-rooted cultural problem of violence being the preferred method of conflict resolution and most popular source of entertainment in areas that include sports, movies, TV, and video games? In essence, violence provides the backdrop to nearly all aspects of life in the United States. The government has glamorized violence by conducting endless wars, maintaining a gargantuan prison system, and keeping the death penalty legal. The US economy has increasingly become a war economy since 2001, and the business of death is booming. Recruitment centers for the US military are popping up in every high school and shopping mall. Television and cinema advertisements for the Marines have the slick and sexy look of Hollywood trailers. “Be all you can be!” says Uncle Sam, who carefully omits from his sales pitch that the main requirements for the job are the willingness to kill and get killed.
Can one blame the NRA when the US president runs a kill list from the White House?
A couple of days after the assassination of Osama bin Laden, president Obama’s approval rating jumped up more than five percent. Mr. Obama was proud and excited to take responsibility for the extrajudicial killing: “shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda.” Everywhere, newspaper headlines shouted “We took him out!” and the US public glowed from the pleasure of doing away with their favorite bogeyman. Killing people for the US federal government has become a quite simple affair that can even be done remotely, as in a video game, with drones that reach anywhere in the world from Yemen to Pakistan. The countless innocent victims of these drone attacks are called “collateral damage.” Most people in the US could care less about them, the understanding being that it is all right to kill people who had the bad luck to go to a market, mosque, or wedding at the wrong time.
So a man loses his job and kills his boss and numerous colleagues at his place of work. This has become so common that it is called “going postal,” or more politely, “workplace violence.” Every year, more than 10 Americans on average are gunned down in such workplace killing sprees. The enemy is quite close, especially for women. For example, of 429,729 homicide FBI files examined by evolutionary psychologist David Buss, 13,670 (or 3%) were cases in which a husband killed his wife. Thus, in their more intimate roles as jilted lovers or unloved sons, a small fraction of men murder not only their mates or parents but also everyone else who happens to be nearby at the wrong time. Why should collateral damage be solely the purview of the President? After all, he is considered to be the country’s ultimate role model. And why should Americans be surprised by an endemic violence problem when their role model, their foremost example of what one does with power, runs an assassination program directly from the White House?
Guns and America: A love affair
One week after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Mr. Wayne LaPierre broke the NRA’s silence with a press conference. LaPierre argued that only more guns in the hands of “good guys” could stop America’s killing spree.
“I call on Congress today to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation. Innocent lives might have been spared if armed security was present at Sandy Hook. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” said LaPierre. Besides this “good guy with gun” versus “bad guy with guns” argument, reminiscent of a John Wayne Western movie cliche, LaPierre blamed the mass shootings on popular culture like “vicious, violent video games” such as ‘Bulletstorm’, ‘Grand Theft Auto’, ‘Mortal Kombat’ and ‘Splatterhouse’ and on movies such as ‘American Psycho’ and ‘Natural Born Killer’ for “portraying life as a joke and murder as a way of life. In a race to the bottom, media conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate, and offend every standard of civilized society by bringing on ever-more-toxic mix of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty into our homes,” added LaPierre.
The supposed adverse effect of popular culture on vulnerable minds is a perennial argument that gets brought up after each shooting, although the details vary. But this argument is about as sound as blaming a flood on the movie “Waterworld.” Violence is ubiquitous in American life, and it is quite natural that it should pervade American fantasies and popular culture.
Who are LaPierre’s “good guys?” Might they be the policemen who routinely criminalize and kill innocent black youths in urban centers? Might they be part of the growing security sector? Or could they be the teenage students who meet a life-size cardboard cutout of a machine-gun toting soldier at the entrance to their high schools every day? One moment of impatience about growing into full adulthood is all it takes for them to sign away their lives. Thus the dear children survive elementary school, junior high school, and finally high school, only to be sent off to kill people in places like Haiti, Iraq, and Afghanistan. There they learn not to distinguish those who are defending their countries from invasion from those who either cannot fight (like children and the elderly) or choose not to fight. The cost is their very soul. Many return hollowed out and suicidal.
A culture of death
By far the most violent practice of the US is capital punishment, in which a person is made completely defenseless and then killed in cold blood by the state with the collusion of its citizens. The shooters, who are well aware of this, typically conclude their sprees in a quick suicide, thus depriving the state of the sadistic process involving a protracted stay on death row and numerous appeals. The practice of the death penalty is all the more gruesome for its discrimination based on race and the innocence of many of those killed. An Innocence Project study in 2011 discovered that, of 230 individuals exonerated in the US by DNA Testing, 17 had been sentenced to die.
For US presidential candidates, the support of capital punishment has become a rite of passage: the ultimate proof of their willingness to kill the innocent so as to support an expansion of US wars and weapons sales. Former US President Clinton suspended his presidential campaign so he could return to Arkansas to make sure Ricky Ray Rector was executed. Rector was so mentally impaired and clueless about his fate that, before his execution, he asked the guards to save his pecan pie “for later.” On the evening of George W. Bush’s inauguration as Governor, the state of Texas executed Mario Marquez, who was brain damaged and had the skills of a seven-year old; later, when Mr. Bush was a presidential candidate, he mocked Karla Faye Tucker in an interview a year after her execution. On November 6, while Mr. Obama celebrated his reelection with an elated public by hugging his wife, mentally-ill Oklahoma inmate Garry Allen, who had been watching the election with great enthusiasm, was executed.
The violence of the state, domestically and abroad, is pervasive. It is celebrated: even sexy. Violence breeds more violence and, in a sense, we have become collateral damage.
Source: News Junkie Post
The so-called conservative talking head at MSNBC, Joe Scarborough, railed that the Connecticut shootings “must change everything.” Scarborough’s inference is that America needs stricter gun control laws. He said, “They [politicians] must . . . be forced to defend our children,” by enacting more gun control laws. Scarborough went on to rant, “I say good luck to the gun lobbyists, good luck to the Hollywood lawyer who tries to hide behind twisted readings of our Bill of Rights.”
This is the same Joe Scarborough who was elected to Congress in 1994 from the First Congressional District of Florida. He ran as a staunch pro-Second Amendment conservative. He was elected to Congress by staunch Pro-Second Amendment conservatives. Now, Scarborough is joining the chorus of the anti-gun left by adding his voice for more gun control.
At one time, Joe and I were fairly close. I hosted a prominent radio talk show in Joe’s district at the time and did everything I could do to help him win that US House seat. At one time, Joe, and several members of his family, verbalized to me that had it not been for my support, he would not have won his congressional seat. At the time, I was proud to do it.
Joe was a different guy then. That was before he suddenly resigned his seat in Congress, before he landed a gig at MSNBC, and before he became a multimillionaire. Since then, I’ve watched Joe Scarborough morph into something different altogether. I no longer know Joe Scarborough.
I remember him telling me some 15 years or so ago that he had his sights set on the White House around the 2016 election. Is that what this is all about, Joe? Are you reading the tea leaves after the Connecticut shootings, and you think you’re going to ride an anti-gun wave to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? It ain’t gonna happen, Joe!
In the first place, the only anti-gun wave taking place in America is inside the Beltway and inside the establishment media, which is where it’s always been. In the second place, those of us who still believe in the Second Amendment are not the ones who have “twisted readings” of the Bill of Rights. Has anyone noticed the record gun sales that are taking place right now? Gun shops nationwide are literally wiped out of AR-15-style rifles, along with their accompanying magazines. Gun manufacturers are back-ordered into the indefinite future. Joe, do you now believe that all of these millions of honest, hard-working American citizens have a “twisted reading” of the Bill of Rights?
Joe, you used to quote the Second Amendment at your campaign rallies, remember? It reads, “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
Joe, you know as well as I do, that the right of people to keep and bear arms has nothing to do with hunting or target shooting. It has everything to do with “the security of a free state.” It has everything to do with the ability of free citizens within a free State to defend themselves against the potential oppression and tyranny of the federal government. That was the meaning and purpose of the Second Amendment. Minus and plus nothing! Humanly speaking, the only thing that separates free people from the tyrannical propensities of the federal government is a well-armed citizenry. One could even say that they only thing that separates the free people of the world from global tyranny is the well-armed citizenry of the people of the United States!
Beyond that, the number of innocent people whose lives are taken by some mentally-deranged wacko with a gun is miniscule compared to the number of innocent people whose lives are saved BECAUSE THEY HAD A GUN.
Nationally, some 8,000 people are killed by a gun annually, including a significant percentage of suicide deaths. Joe, 8,000 is the number of people whose lives are saved with a gun in TWO DAYS. That’s right, according to US Justice Department statistics, at least 4,000 people use a firearm to defend themselves and others against violent attacks EVERY DAY. Joe, why don’t you, and the rest of the national media, report that fact?
Something needs to change, alright, Joe! It’s time for the federal government and various State governments to stop denying people the right to defend themselves!
Have you ever noticed that these “crazy” killers always select a “gun-free” zone to do their killing? Gee! I wonder why? When is the last time you ever heard of a “crazy” guy opening fire on people at a shooting range? How about a gun shop? Or maybe a police station? Never happens! Why? Because the miscreant knows that people at those places are armed and will shoot back. Gun-free zones are actually free-to-kill zones!
If we really want to reduce the number of these mass killings, here is the way to do it:
1. Expunge the federal and State laws prohibiting teachers, principals, administrators, university students of age, etc., from being armed in the classroom and on school property. In other words, allow adults to do what adults should be allowed to do in a free society: defend themselves and those who are unable to do so.
Thomas Jefferson, and the rest of America’s founders, understood the need for honest men to be armed, which is why they included the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights. Jefferson said, “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms… disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. … Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants.” And at no time did the Founding Fathers attempt to clarify or restrict the type of firearm people could possess.
Gun control laws definitely “make it worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants.” Those federal and State lawmakers who passed laws restricting the right of people to arm themselves, along with those police agencies and private organizations that called for the disarmament of the citizens of Connecticut, certainly made it worse for those victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School and better for the murderer who took their lives. Had just one of those adults at the school been armed, the outcome of this tragedy could have been much different.
Larry Pratt is the Executive Director of Gun Owners of America (GOA). In a public statement, he said, “Gun control supporters have the blood of little children on their hands. Federal and state laws combined to insure that no teacher, no administrator, no adult had a gun at the Newtown school where the children were murdered. This tragedy underscores the urgency of getting rid of gun bans in school zones. The only thing accomplished by gun free zones is to insure that mass murderers can slay more before they are finally confronted by someone with a gun.”
Speaking of the GOA, it is very disconcerting that their sister organization, the largest pro-gun advocacy group in the country, the National Rifle Association (NRA), has been totally silent on the Connecticut shootings. An NRA spokesman recently said that the organization would issue a statement on Friday.
I have to tell you, I have a sinking feeling in my gut that the NRA is fixing to cave-in to political correctness and compromise with gun control advocates on some sort of gun control legislation already being written. I hope I’m wrong. We will find out tomorrow.
2. Stop making celebrities out of these killers.
The truth is, Joe Scarborough, and the rest of the national news media, are encouraging these mentally unstable people like this Lanza creep to “go out with a bang.” The national media is obsessed with inundating the American citizenry with every little detail about these cold-blooded killers. Pat Buchanan made an excellent observation on this point.
Buchanan said, “This was a premeditated and purposeful act of mass murder, and the devil that did it knew exactly what he was doing and why.
“When he put four bullets into his mother’s head while she lay in bed, Adam Lanza wanted her life ended along with his. When he headed for Sandy Hook Elementary, with the Glocks and Bushmaster rifle, he knew he would encounter no armed resistance.
“Before he went into that school to shoot 20, 30 or 40 children, barely more than babies, he knew his slaughter would be so stomach-turning and heart-wrenching that the TV crews would come running.
“And by day’s end, the world would know who Adam Lanza was.
“Lanza kept firing at the children until he heard the sirens. Then he pulled out one of the Glocks, put it to his head and ended it, knowing he was on his way to becoming world famous.
“Just as Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold of Columbine are famous. Just as James Holmes, the ‘Joker’ of the Aurora ‘Dark Knight Rising’ massacre, is famous. Just as Jared Lee Loughner, the Tucson mass murderer who shot Gabby Giffords, is famous.
“A desire to be famous coupled with a dead conscience is the common thread running through these recurring atrocities. These loners and losers want us to know who they are. And, to succeed now, each almost has to outdo in horror those who went before.”
See Pat’s column at:
Anybody remember when “streakers” would run on the gridiron during nationally-televised football games? At first, network cameras would show the fellow running like a maniac around the field until an official or player would put him on the ground. Then they wised up: they stopped showing the idiot on national television. So, when is the last time you remember a nationally-televised football game being interrupted by a “streaker”?
The national attention that the mainstream media gives to these sick individuals is unconscionable. If Scarborough really wants to do something about reducing mass killings, he should use his position in the national media to stop making celebrities out of cold-blooded killers. Or is it really about ratings, viewership, and bottom-line profits, after all?
3. Restore a God-consciousness in the heart of America.
When prayer and Bible reading were expelled from America’s schools in 1962 and 1963, something else went missing: a consciousness of God.
I’m not talking about teaching religion; I’m talking about recognizing the moral soul of man and its responsibility to behave morally. Virtually every belief-system in the world teaches that mankind is accountable, in one way or another, to his Creator. It is a Natural Law that is as old as man himself. In simple terms, it’s called “the fear of God.” But since the US Supreme Court ordered prayer and Bible reading out of America’s public schools, our educational institutions are more than “gun-free” zones, they are “God-free” zones!
Will Joe Scarborough use the national platform he has been given to talk about restoring the fear of God in America? The national news media is as guilty as public schools in ignoring, or even belittling, the fear of God. If we are not created as moral beings, if there really is no such thing as right and wrong, if we really are nothing but soulless animals, why should we be shocked when we act like it?
Plus, there is a plethora of other issues that should be discussed when assessing the kind of barbarity that took place in Newtown, Connecticut. What about the medications that are being used so pervasively today? America has become a drugged society! Drugs are deemed the answer for everything. From the earliest years, millions and millions of America’s children have been given drugs, including behavioral modification drugs.
What about dark government operations? How many national disasters have the fingerprints of dark government on them? How would we know if they did? Who are those two guys outside Sandy Hook school whom police apprehended, handcuffed, and took into custody? Why did eyewitnesses to the shootings say there were at least two shooters? Is it true that the fathers of the mass-killers in both Newtown, Connecticut, and Aurora, Colorado, were both slated to testify in the gigantic LIBOR banking scandal? And, if so, there is no way that this is a coincidence, so who is investigating and reporting on this part of the story?
In other words, who is conducting serious independent investigations today? Who in the national media takes old-fashioned investigative reporting seriously these days? Obviously, not Joe Scarborough.
Then, there is the issue of responsibility. We are taught from childhood that no one is responsible for anything. Everyone is a victim! It’s always someone else’s fault. From our eating and drinking habits, to our smoking or chewing habits, to the choices we make and don’t make, to the friends we hang out with, to the cars we drive, to the places we recreate, to the movies we watch, ad infinitum, we are all told that we are victims. It’s not our fault! So, now we’ve got to disarm the entire country, because one person behaved irresponsibly?
President Ronald Reagan nailed it when he said, “We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.” Amen!
I am also reminded of when I was in Israel, I saw ordinary citizens (including teachers) carrying Uzi submachine guns just about everywhere. And in Switzerland, just about every man in the country is expected to keep rifles (including fully automatic ones) in their homes and train with them often. Furthermore, in Switzerland, the gun crime rate is so low that statistics are not even kept. Plus, the Swiss army even sells used guns to the general public when new models are issued. Gee! I wonder why we don’t hear about crazy people shooting up schools and movie theaters in those two countries?
Also think about this: how is it that so many of these do-gooders, who rail for more gun control, hide behind guns every day? They live in gated mansions with armed bodyguards protecting the property. They travel with armed bodyguards when they travel in public. How many guns protect Barack Obama every day? How many guns protect Nancy Pelosi? How many armed guards protect the newscasters and staff at the NBC studios where Joe Scarborough goes to work every day? It’s okay for the rich and famous to be protected by people carrying guns–including fully-automatic assault weapons–but average citizens like you and I are not afforded the same right.
So, who determines whose life is more valuable than others? Are the lives of the members of Congress and the national news media more valuable than the boys and girls in America’s schools? Are they more valuable than the lives of ordinary people who shop, go to movies, go to church, eat in restaurants, and go about their daily lives? The rich and famous in Washington, D.C., and New York City (how many guns protect Mayor Michael Bloomberg?) hire other people to protect them, and then they turn around and tell us that we don’t have the right to protect ourselves! I think there are at least a couple of words that describe such people.
Yes, Joe, something needs to change alright!
The New World Order, designed around a functional police state that is encouraged by continuous popular cultural messages, is apparent to even the most avid establishment apologist. Liberty and freedom, hardly ever mentioned in a positive light by the mass media, is a direct threat to the ruling class. The proliferation of degenerate behavior is lauded so that those who object to such conduct will be demeaned as outcasts of the decadent society. The imposition of a police state is necessary to coerce decent people into forced obedience.
Cultural celebrities and icons come and go, but their art often rings on for good or bad. Political propaganda, embedded in media projects, has transcended subliminal messages and now emphasizes in your face brashness. The breakdown of the traditional value society is so complete, that what was once viewed as insulting political disinformation now passes as a promotion for a loyalist NWO drama.
“Instead, Homeland presents a retuned version of the same unshakeable assurance that, even when things are really complicated, American values are the fairest, the most right and the best. Sure, the series shows US forces doing terrible things: covering up a drone attack that kills civilians in Iraq; trigger-happy in a US mosque, leaving innocents dead there, too. But these are presented as necessary acts in pursuit of far worse crimes. Homeland’s core message is that the US means well, but sometimes has to do bad things; while the Arab and/or Muslim enemy doesn’t mean well and hence does unfathomably bad things. Not much of a progression really, is it?”
When the postmortem of the Patriotic Act era is dissected, the treason of intelligence community operations will be written in their full horror. The police state glorified in Homeland episodes is meant to prepare the public for the next stage of centralized oppression.
While cable or broadcast TV is so removed from Little House on the Prairie, today’s programming is designed to facilitate the psychological acceptance of the transition into a maximum lock down prison society.
In the essay, Mass Mind Control Through Network Television, Alex Ansary warns of the prison industrial complex.
“Turn on your local newscast. You have a few minutes of blue-collar crime, hardly any white collar crime, a few minutes of sports, misc. chit chat, random political jibber-jabber, and a look at the weather that no one is forecasting correctly. Is that what happened in your town? And we’re supposed to own the airwaves! The mainstream media openly supports the interests of the prison industrial complex. The stories focus on minority criminal groups, and exploit the real threat to appear much more dangerous than they are. Think about the growing per capita number of prisoners in the country. Then remember that this is happening at the same time that our prison boom began. The police on our streets have created criminals. The focus is to keep us in a state of fear, that way the elitists can attack any group they want to without fear of consequence. This is why the media is continuing to craft the timeless art of dehumanization.”
The cutting edge of mind control has long included the use of music and lyrics that produce subconscious meanings. Now the fascist messages in street music indoctrinate not only the youth but target to reinforce the despotic aspirations of TSA flunkies.
The article, The Transhumanist and Police State Agenda in Pop Music, provides two examples of globalist messages disguised as performances by Rihanna and Beyonce.
“In hip-hop slang, the term “hard” usually refers to someone who is street-savvy, gritty, rebellious and who is decisively “not down with police”. Hard transposes this term to a military context. Her militaristic video features a gang of uniformed men dancing under the orders of “General Rihanna”. We’ve come a long way from Public Enemy’s Fight the Power…it is now Submit to the Power. All of this military/dictatorial imagery is mixed with Rihanna’s sexy moves and outfits, appealing to the masses’ basest instinct: sex.”
“Beyonce walks on stage with a bunch of men dressed in riot gear… the type of unit a police state would use to repress opposition during popular turmoil. What are they doing in Beyonce’s performance? Contributing to permeate popular culture with police-state imagery.”
In the follow-up account, you can read the description mentioned in this report.
“Two recent examples of the perpetuation of the police state agenda in popular culture are Jay-Z and Kanye West’s music video No Church in the Wild and Adam Lambert’s Never Close our Eyes. In spite of, or perhaps because of, the fact that these songs are two different genres that aim to reach two different markets, they both contribute to the saturation of popular culture with police state imagery. While the authorities are not necessarily portrayed as the “good guys”, they are nevertheless there, as if their presence at any kind of public demonstration is normal.”
Contrast this dark brute force portrayal, with an age of optimism and hope. The peace and love themes in the music and political actions of John Lennon offer a rudimentary alternative to the grisly atrocities that the establishment commits routinely in the name of national security.
Gangster rap has little in common with All You Need is Love.
Rebellion of youth is natural, but resigned acceptance for submission to the police state is repression. The thirty-two years since his assassination has been one long road into oblivion. Read the “Interview With Investigative Reporter Jack Jones” for insights into the elimination of a dangerous messenger of peace.What a long way away from John Lennon’s lyrics in the song Revolution.
You say you’ll change the constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it’s the institution
Well, you know
You’d better free your mind instead
But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
You ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow
Now, transition from the mental liberation of the Beetle era, and go back and examine the overt war crimes of the premier American despot, Abraham Lincoln. Biographer and jingoism jezebel LBJ groupie, Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln served as the backdrop of Steven Spielberg’s production of the recent released Lincoln film.
Alec Ryan writes in the American Renaissance:
“In the modern Hollywood narrative, all American history revolves around the Sacred Black Experience. Lincoln confirms this, bending historical truth to paint the most ruthless, bloody-minded, strong-willed American leader in history as some kind of smug, pre-post-modern storyteller croaking gamely through the difficulties like a paleface Obama sans teleprompter. The few Southerners are snarling, greasy bigots, recoiling before the erect, scowling black Union guards as they slink by during a meeting that led to the Hampton Roads peace conference of February 1865.
The film has throughout a sense of hushed awe, as if kowtowing to its own self-evident righteousness. There is no balance, no complexity, no sense of inner struggle or desperation. No opposing arguments. Its simplistic outlook more closely resembles the popcorn-psychology Avengers or Justice League rather than the serious historical movie that it clearly wishes to be acclaimed.”
The point of evaluating the worship adoration of the destroyer of the Republic with the authoritarianism of the newly re-elected president is to equate the despotism of both of their regimes. The imposition of the police state is part of the master plan to enslave the inherent autonomy of free citizens.
The insidious popular culture strips the institutions of traditional constitutional protections and separations of powers by diminishing the will of sovereign citizens to fight tyranny. The goal of imposing savage dehumanizing ruthlessness seeks to spread the Sons of Anarchy mindset into positions of authority. The merging of law enforcement into the ranks of criminal organizations becomes a common occurrence in the police state environment.
Once upon a time, the peace officer maintained order and balance. Now law enforcement deems that natural rights are arbitrary and conditional on obedience to government dictates.
911 provided the excuse to inflict a “War of Terror” under the disguise of national security. The Homeland program scripts that foster the ends justify the means are repugnant to every liberty advocate. Each day, the evolving police state is becoming more invasive and punitive.
A culture that glorifies jack booted thugs that order innocent citizens around as sinister terrorists destroys the essence of the nation. The New World Order essentially uses depressing indoctrination of the inevitability for submission to their mind game matrix.
The walking dead that accept a dependent society administered by bureaucratic goons, willingly tolerant a fate of bondage. Since texting is all the rage and the written language is sorely deficient, maybe the best way to communicate though the popular culture is to withdraw from the experience as much as possible. Try one on one contact; you might be surprised with the results.
Stories can be ingeniously “spun” so their significance is dimmed. The main facts might be mentioned; but the emphasis is expertly shifted and important details are placed toward the end. Opposing testimony is featured throughout. The “spun” story, a murmur of its prior self, is then buried on a back page.
A more radical, more Orwellian technique is to pretend that the story never happened. News is thus “disappeared.” Savor the irony. A vast organization–allegedly set up to find news–ends up functioning as a screening device to identify undesirable stories and hide them.
This second technique seems more commonplace and reckless in the Obama era. Previously, the Times could ignore a story, confident that few people would realize it hadn’t been covered. In the age of the internet and the New Media, the Times has to know that a big portion of the population will hear about significant stories. Bizarrely, the Times doesn’t seem to care about its own declining prestige.
Here then are three big stories NOT reported in the New York Times.
1) Hollywood Heroine. During the 2008 primary season, Bettina Viviano, a producer with serious film credits, was deeply involved in the campaign to nominate Hillary Clinton. She was typical of thousands of smart professional women who assumed that Hillary would be the nominee; and they wanted to be part of the process. Shockingly, they discovered that politics is a rough game indeed when played by the gang from Chicago.
Bettina Viviano witnessed intimidation, fraud, anything you can think of that gangster politicians have done throughout history. Viviano and colleague Gigi Gaston decided to make a documentary about this tainted primary. The title is “We Will Not Be Silenced.” Two things happened: lots of people had grim stories to tell; and great pressure was brought to shut down the project. Indeed, it was put on hold during 2009.
In the spring of 2012, Viviano decided she couldn’t remain silent. She wrote some articles, gave some interviews. She’s an impressive witness and tells a fascinating story. She argues that had the primary been conducted legally, Hillary would have been the candidate. More surprising to many is Viviano’s comment that everyone in the campaign assumed Obama was ineligible, and that Bill Clinton would step forward at the proper time to dismiss Obama’s legitimacy. He didn’t do this, Viviano said, because he was threatened. Anyway, at risk to her career (at least), Viviano told a detailed story that unfolds over months and now years. This is not some little anecdote but a big slice of American political history that should have been served up on the front page of every paper in America: INSIDERS SAY OBAMA MACHINE STOLE NOMINATION.
It’s far more significant than anything we heard about Herman Cain; but the Times covered Herman Cain in scores of stories, smirking, scorning, chortling (in a tone the Times would call “racist” if the subject were Obama.)
But if you go to the New York Times now to learn about a far more important chapter in our history, here’s what the search engine says: “Your search - bettina viviano, hillary clinton - did not match any documents.”
2) “America’s Sheriff.” This nickname tells you that Joe Arpaio is a national figure, and that probably millions of people know about his activities. He held a press conference on March 1, 2012, to announce that Obama’s newest birth certificate was most likely a forgery. Later in the year, July 17, he held a second press conference to announce there’s no doubt: the official White House birth certificate is a digital forgery. This is a huge story with many unique features, just what journalists used to hunger for. There’s only one investigation by a law enforcement group into this birth certificate, and only one nationally famous sheriff. Not to mention, somebody in the White House is committing forgery.
The Times touched on this story a few times fleetingly, with no detail or forensic curiosity. At present there is a long biographical sketch of Arpaio, about 1500 words, on the Times website, with this single reference: “Mr. Arpaio has waged an increasingly bitter dispute with the Obama administration, including questioning the president’s birth certificate and portraying the civil rights investigation as politicized.”
This is almost comedy journalism. As Arpaio himself has mentioned, if a reporter wants to win a Pulitzer, all he has to do is refute the sheriff’s investigation.
3) Handicapper. Wayne Allyn Root is, according to his August 6 article and video, “one of the most accurate Las Vegas oddsmakers and prognosticators.” Furthermore, Root was in Columbia’s Class of ‘83, the president’s class. Root notes that virtually nobody remembers seeing this guy. But the real question is how does a student with mediocre grades, a fondness for reefer, and not much money manage to attend several Ivy League schools? Root plays the biggest hunch of his career, claiming that Obama had all his records sealed because he most likely attended Columbia as a “foreign exchange student.” In that classification, Obama did not need good grades, money, or even to attend class.
Rush Limbaugh read the entire column on the air. Root’s prognostications went viral. At that point, the Times should at least report the story. If they could refute Root’s analysis, why not do it?
This story, of course occurred a few months after another equally huge story that Obama, on his literary agent’s website, said he was from Kenya. This claim remained on the web for more than 10 years. Meanwhile, the president’s birth certificate has been denounced as a fake. A Republican politician would not survive two days with these convergent accusations hanging in the air. The Times would report them in banner headlines.
Times search engine reports: “Your search [last 12 months] - wayne allyn root - did not match any documents.
Where the president is concerned, the Times sees no evil, hears no evil, and reports no evil. The wider tragedy is that this faux-newspaper dictates what all the lesser papers will bother to report. Check your local paper: did it report these stories?
People should be asking when did “media whore” become a tautology? Once upon a time, media whore referred to people who would do anything to be mentioned in the news. Now the phrase better refers to media that will do anything to avoid mentioning the news.
Education is my main beat; I think of this as an education story. The media won’t report facts. Schools try not to teach facts. There almost seems to be, throughout our society, what Martin Gross called “a conspiracy of ignorance.”
Thomas Sowell, author and columnist, says: “Barack Obama is one of those people who are often wrong but never in doubt.”
Headline on European Union Times site says: “French Leader Sarkozy Slams Obama, Warns He Might Be Insane.” ad for $40?
Bettina Viviano, Hollywood producer who worked for Hillary in 2008 campaign, says, “We were always told that Bill was going to tell the truth [about Obama’s ineligibility]… Fours years later, I’m actually shocked that anybody thinks he is legit.”
Donald Trump describes Obama: “[P]robably in the history of presidents of the United States, he’s our worst at foreign policy….I think the economy is a disaster. Foreign policy is a disaster.”
Adam Carolla, entertainer, says that Obama is like a bad Adam Sandler movie, and that Americans are smart enough to know they don’t want a sequel.
Burgess Owens, former NFL star, calls Obama an “empathy-free president” and urges blacks not to vote for him.
Pat Boone, famous crooner, says, “I was in Kenya a year and a half ago and everybody said, ‘You know, he was born here.’…Esteemed experts have dubbed the certificate a fake. Why else would he be hiding all of his records?”
Victoria Jackson, once an SNL regular, has a famous song on YouTube titled “There’s A Communist Living in the White House!!”
Bill Clinton, while attempting to cajole Ted Kennedy into supporting Hillary in 2008, insisted that Obama was too young and inexperienced. Clinton said, “You know, Ted, a few years ago, this guy would have been carrying our bags.”
KISS star Gene Simmons, discussing Isreal’s situation, says: “President Obama has no fuckin’ idea what the world is like….I’m sorry I voted for him.”
Clint Eastwood calls Obama “the biggest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.”
Israeli science site agrees with “America’s Sheriff” Joe Arpaio: birth certificate is “a blatantly fake document.”
Alan Keyes, who ran unsuccessfully against Obama for the state’s open Senate seat in 2004. said in 2008: “Obama is a radical communist…He is going to destroy this country, and we are either going to stop him or the United States of America is going to cease to exist.”
Kevin DuJan, blogger and former Chicago gossip columnist, says: “It was preposterous to the people I knew then to think Obama was going [to be able] to keep his gay life secret.”
Michael Savage, talk show host, says: ”This is a very dangerous man…. This man is the most dangerous, most divisive, most evil – I’ll use the word evil – president in the history of America.”
Ted Nugent, musician, speaks of “this vile, evil, America hating administration.”
Casino magnate Steve Wynn says: “I’m telling you that the business community in this country is frightened to death of the weird political philosophy of the President of the United States. And until he’s gone, everybody’s going to be sitting on their thumbs.”
Dave Mustaine, Megadeth star, says he suspects that Fast and Furious, Aurora mass murder, and Sikh killings are Obama Administration schemes to suppress Second Amendment.
Reverend James David Manning, Harlem minister, says “Obama is not a US citizen….Obama is pure, unadulterated evil… He has disrespected black people to the Nth degree.”
Jay Leno jokes: “President Obama will begin a three-state bus tour. I believe the three states are confusion, delusion, and desperation. ”
Hillary Clinton declared in 2008, “Shame on you, Barack Obama!”
(Add your favorite celebrity criticisms of Obama in COMMENTS.)
Fourteen centuries of Islam have fatally undermined Christianity in the land of its birth. The decline of the Christian remnant in the Middle East has been accelerated in recent decades, and accompanied by the indifference of the post-Christian West to its impending demise. Once-thriving Christian communities are now tiny minorities, and in most countries of the region their percentages have been reduced to single digits. Whether they disappear completely will partly depend on Western leaders belatedly taking an interest in Christian plight and persecution. This seems most unlikely, as the examples of Iraq, Egypt and Syria demonstrate.
In Syria the Obama administration is fully committed to supporting the rebels, although it should be well aware of the ideological outlook and long-term objectives of Bashar al-Assad’s foes. They are Sunni fundamentalists. The partnerships forged thus far are ominous. The New York Times reported last June that CIA officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey, deciding which Syrian opposition fighters across the border will receive arms. The weapons are being funneled across the Turkish border “by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood.”
Syria is the region’s only remaining country where Christians live effectively as equals with their Muslim neighbors. It has the second largest Christian community in the region (after Egypt), some 2.5 million strong. Most of them are supporting President Bashar Al Assad amidst ongoing rebellion in the country because they prefer a dictator who guarantees the rights as a religious minority to the grim future that Assad’s departure might bring. According to George Ajjan, an American political strategist of Syrian origin, an existential fear about a bloody fate awaiting them—should the Assad regime fall in Syria—is the main driver behind the Christian community’s almost unanimous support of its policies:
“The secular regime of the Baath Party dominated over the past four decades by the Alawites, a heterodox Shiite sect to which the Assad family belongs, undoubtedly secured life and liberty for the Christians— although dire economic circumstances resulting from the regime’s failure to provide growth have driven many middle-class Christians to emigrate, seeking a better standard of living abroad. Taking that into account, the commonly-cited figure of 10% Christians is perhaps close to double the real number living in Syria at the start of the uprising.”
It is not to be doubted that if the Obama Administration is successful in its stated objective of bringing Assad down, the Christians in Syria will follow their Iraqi brethren into exile. The predictable consequences of Assad’s fall and the Brotherhood’s victory would be the creation of a Shari’a-based Islamic state.
According to political analyst James Jatras, it sometimes appears as if Washington’s policy toward the unrest sweeping the Middle East is impacted by a network of Muslim Brotherhood agents working in cohorts with Obama who is only pretending to have strayed from his Islamic birth (as defined by Sharia). If this scenario is even only partly correct, Jatras says, then it would be hard to see how the result would be different from the one we have:
“If the conscious goal of the policy were the final uprooting of Christ’s followers from the region of His birth and earthly ministry, it could not have been better crafted. No one can doubt that should the regime of Bashar al-Assad fall, Syria’s Christians (primarily Orthodox), already singled out for attack by the ‘democratic’ opposition, would be subject to a full-scale campaign of elimination that they (unlike the Alawites, who at least can try to defend themselves in mountain areas in which they predominate) are unlikely to survive as a living community. It is thus not too strong to accuse, in so many words, those bipartisan champions of ‘Free Syria’ who urge outside intervention of advocating Christian genocide, whether or not that is their conscious intention.”
That this scenario seems acceptable to the Obama Administration became obvious in October 2011 when Dalia Mogahed, Obama’s adviser on Muslim affairs, blocked a delegation of Middle Eastern Christians led by Lebanon’s Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rai from meeting with Obama and members of his national security team at the White House. Mogahed reportedly cancelled the meeting at the request of the Muslim Brotherhood in her native Egypt. Rai has warned repeatedly that a Brotherhood-led regime would be a disaster for Syria’s Christian minority, but his admonitions are unwelcome in Washington.
Last July, the Department of State vigorously lobbied against bipartisan Congressional legislation to send “protection envoys” to the Middle East to examine the position of the Christian minorities. The State Department called the protection envoy role “unnecessary, duplicative and likely counter-productive.” In the meantime, tens of thousands of Syria’s Christians have already fled rebel-controlled areas as Islamists who dominate in the rebel ranks target them for murder, extortion and kidnapping. As George Ajjan concludes, this gradual downward demographic pressure of recent years will explode with the exodus of Christians from Syria that is occurring and will accelerate without an end to the current armed conflict:
“Should the uprising continue, with the regime losing control of more and more territory to armed rebels and law and order further breaking down, Christians will increasingly become the targets of intimidation tactics, kidnapping, and overt hostility—if not ethnic cleansing from mixed areas.”
At the same time, Administration officials pressed Egyptian generals into gradual surrender to the Muslim Brotherhood’s takeover of the country. The decision to treat the Muslim Brotherhood as a strategic partner has been on the cards at least since February 10 of last year—one day before Hosni Mubarak’s resignation— when President Obama’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper made an astounding statement. He told the House of Representatives Select Committee on Intelligence that the Brotherhood “is an umbrella term for a variety of movements… a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried al-Qaida as a perversion of Islam.”
The assertion by a top-ranking member of Obama’s team that the Muslim Brotherhood is “largely secular” defies belief. It came into being in 1928 as an outright reaction against secularism, which the Egyptian elites had largely embraced during the British dominance in the country. To this day the Brotherhood’s simple credo remains the same: “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.” Contrary to Clapper’s assurances, the Brotherhood is an archetypical Islamic revivalist movement that opposes the ascendancy of secular ideas and advocates a return to integral Islam as a solution to the ills that had befallen Muslim societies. Today it has branches in every traditionally Muslim country and all over the world, including the United States. Its members share the same long-term goal: the establishment of a world-wide Islamic state based on Sharia law. As is to be expected, they believe that the Koran and the Tradition justify violence to overthrow un-Islamic governments, and they look upon America as a sworn enemy.
During the Cold War, Washington routinely pandered to various Islamists as a means of weakening secular Arab nationalist regimes. In the mid 1950s, the Americans even promoted the idea of forming an Islamic bloc—led by Saudi Arabia—to counter the Nasserist movement. That approach may have made some sense during the Cold War, but it certainly makes none today. The strategy of effective support for Islamic ambitions against the Soviets in Afghanistan has helped turn Islamic radicalism into a truly global phenomenon detrimental to U.S. security interests. The ridiculous notion that the Muslim Brotherhood can become America’s user-friendly partner merely proves that the architects of our Middle Eastern policy have learned nothing and forgotten nothing.
Egypt’s dwindling Copts have seen their position deteriorate over the past year from precarious to perilous. Already facing discrimination and harassment from Mubarak’s secular regime, they now see that things could get a lot worse under the Islamists who are now poised to take complete power. Their annus horribilis started on New Year’s Day 2011, when a powerful car bomb targeted a Coptic church in Alexandria, killing 25 parishioners and wounding nearly 100 just as they were finishing midnight liturgy. The next turning point was the Maspero massacre on October 9, 2011, when 27 unarmed Christian protesters were killed and hundreds more injured, not by some shadowy Islamic extremists but by the military. An official commission—established by the Army—has unsurprisingly absolved the Army of all responsibility for the killings.
Egypt shows that the prospect of the end of Christianity in Syria as a direct consequence of American policy is not unique, nor limited to one party or administration. The almost complete Muslim Brotherhood takeover of Egypt already is accompanied by an accelerating Coptic exodus, as church attacks and kidnappings (mainly of girls, who after rape and supposed “conversion” to Islam are denied return to their families).
The process is accelerating. On August 1 Sherif Gadallah, a prominent lawyer from Alexandria, submitted a report to the public prosecutor demanding the exclusion of Copts from the committee in charge of forming Egypt’s constitution. That same week a sectarian crisis escalated in the village of Dahshur, only 25 miles south of Cairo, where hundreds of Muslims torched and looted Coptic businesses and homes. “As 120 families had already fled the village … the businesses and homes were an easy game for the mob to make a complete clean-up of everything that could be looted,” said Coptic activist Wagih Jacob. “The security forces were at the scene of the crime while it was taking place and did nothing at all.” The Coptic Orthodox Church issued a statement criticizing officials “for not dealing firmly with the events, demanding the speedy arrest of the perpetrators, the provision of security to the village Copts, their return to their homes, and monetary compensation for all those affected.” Its adherents see the Dahshur incident as a continuation of the Mubarak-era policy of collective punishment of Copts. Renowned Egyptian novelist Alaa Al-Aswany said, “What if the Americans acted the same way as the extremists of Dahshur; would you accept the expulsion of Muslims of America in response to Bin Laden’s terrorism?”
Egypt’s ongoing transition to what passes for democracy in the Muslim world is going to make matters far worse for the Copts, who are fearful the army and courts will not shield them from ever-greater discrimination and harassment. The Freedom and Justice Party, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Muslim Brotherhood, now controls the country’s parliament, and the president is a Brotherhood disciple. The adherents of political Islam are in charge. Their spiritual leader is Sheikh Ali Gomaa, the Grand Mufti of Egypt, who in a recent video reminded the faithful that Christians are infidels. The Sheikh’s position is in line with orthodox Islamic teaching, which may explain the fact that he is still hailed in the West as a moderate. Five years ago, a U.S. News article described him as “a highly promoted champion of moderate Islam.” As a result, according to an August 14 report in El Fegr, jihadi organizations openly distribute leaflets inciting for the killing of Copts and promising them “a tragic end if they do not return to the truth” (Islam). The letter even names contact points and a location, Sheikh Ahmed Mosque in Kasfrit, where those supportive of such goals should rally after Friday prayers and join forces.
“Liberation” of Iraq from Saddam Hussein’s secular dictatorship has devastated that country’s Christian community, with many taking refuge in Syria, where they are now again under threat. “At least proponents of Muslim liberation in the Middle East can claim, however implausibly, that the negative impact on local Christians is an unintended and regrettable consequence of a fundamentally humane and progressive program,” James Jatras says.
“But in the Balkans, specifically in Kosovo and in Muslim-controlled areas of Bosnia, no crocodile tears are required. The victims are Serbs, and of course they deserve everything they get. But excuses and window-dressing aside, the bottom line is the same: Washington—supposedly the great global opponent of jihad terror—in fact is the consistent supporter of militant Islamization of one country after another, with the predictable result of streams of Christian refugees, burned churches, murdered clergy, and enslaved girls. Given the collusion between our government and media, not one American in ten has a clue what our government is doing in our name and with our money.”
Iraq’s dwindling Christian population marked Christmas 2011 with bomb attacks across Baghdad that killed dozens of them. After U.S. forces completed their withdrawal from the country, Christian exodus from Iraq accelerated. “Our faithful in Iraq live in fear,” Chaldean Bishop Shlemon Warduni complained, “they feel there is no peace, no security, so they go where they can live in peace… The government cannot ensure their lives.”
The Christian community in Iraq was some two million strong before the US-led invasion of 2003. Up to four-fifths is estimated to have left the country in recent years following a series of attacks by Muslim extremists. While they were still there, the U.S. forces did little to protect them, leaving the task to the Iraqis. On October 31, 2010, an assault on a Baghdad church left 44 worshippers, two priests and seven security force members dead. According to Louis Sako, Chaldean archbishop of Kirkuk, “the security forces are not sufficiently prepared to ensure the protection of Christians.” He says that 57 churches and houses of worship in Iraq have been attacked since the invasion with a thousand Christians killed and more than 6 000 wounded.
At the outset of the Islamic conquests under Muhammad’s successors all of these lands were 100 percent Christian. By the time the Ottomans took over they had a Christian plurality, and in Palestine and Lebanon the outright majority. Under the British Mandate (1919-1947), Palestine officially was a Christian country. Bethlehem, for instance, had a population that was 90 percent Christian. Today, they are disappearing: Bethlehem is now less than 10 percent Christian. Among almost three million Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, only 50,000 Christians remain. Within the pre-1967 borders of Israel there are six million people; only two percent are Christians. In the city of Jerusalem the Christian population has declined from 45,000 in 1940 to a few thousand today. At the current rate of decline, the Christian population will be a fraction of one percent in the year 2020, and there will be no living church in the land of Christ
If the Jewish or Muslim population of America or Western Europe were to start declining at a similar rate, there would be an outcry from their co-religionists all over the world. There would be government-funded programs to establish the causes and provide remedies, and heart-rendering Hollywood movies. The endangered minority would be awarded instant victim status and be celebrated as such by the media and academia. But the disappearing Middle Eastern Christians, or their remnant, remain invisible to the Western world. It is evidently hard to be “post-Christian” without becoming anti-Christian.