Hundreds of Turkish police officers backed by armored cars moved in on Istanbul’s Taksim Square early Tuesday morning and reclaimed the site after pulling out on June 1. By midday bulldozers had removed barricades of paving stones and corrugated iron. The crackdown surprised protesters, hundreds of whom had been sleeping in a makeshift camp in the adjoining Gezi Park. Some threw stones and incendiary devices in response, but the authorities are now in control of the focal point of Turkey’s most widespread anti-government protests in decades. Prior to the police action the protests appeared to be diminishing, with fewer demonstrators gathering in Taksim on Monday night than at any time since the unrest started on May 31.
That the unrest is abating has been evident from the muted reaction of the markets. In recent days the lira registered a modest decline, reaching the October 2011 level against its dollar/euro basket, but this may be seen as good news for Turkey’s export-oriented economy. The cost of insuring Turkish debt against default rose slightly but not alarmingly: it the same now as in August of last year, well below crisis levels.
A further sign of government confidence is the continuing clampdown on the Turkish army top brass. On June 6 a criminal court in Ankara approved an indictment filed by the prosecutor’s office under which 102 retired officers (76 of whom are in prison) will be tried for allegedly staging the military coup in 1997. Right now there are 450 active and retired officers accused of either toppling former governments, or making plans to unseat the current government. As The Daily Zaman’s columnist Lale Kemal noted the other day, this raises the issue of the state of the morale of the Turkish Armed Forces at a sensitive time.
In the early days of unrest, street protests in Turkey were compared in the Western media to the misnamed “Arab Spring.” The comparison was inaccurate: no regime change was on the cards, no foreign money and logistics were in evidence, and outside a few hotspots in Istanbul, Ankara, and a few other cities Turkey’s life went on as usual. The government remained firmly in control of the state apparatus, the police proved obedient, and the army—already purged of hundreds of senior officers and no longer a significant political factor—stayed silent.
Prime Minister Rejep Tayyip Erdogan’s decade-old, increasingly personal rule is being challenged, but that challenge comes from unexpected quarters: from his fellow religious conservatives who resent his authoritarian style and arrogance.
There are many influential Turks of Islamist persuasion—both within and outside the ruling AKP (Justice and Development Party)—who are increasingly disenchanted with Erdogan. They have not been adverse to the drift away from secularism at home and to the assertive pursuit of neo-Ottomanism abroad, but they believe that the power of “the Sultan” (as Erdogan is known among his friends and foes alike) needs to be curtailed. While they do not identify with the values and aspirations of the secular and liberal urban middle class which has provided the backbone of protests, some religious conservatives see recent unrest as an opportunity to persuade the “Sultan” that he needs to listen to the neglected pashas and viziers.
For the first time since he became prime minister 11 years ago, some AKP-friendly media outlets have started to criticize Erdogan, following his near-paranoid reaction to the demonstrations. His calling protesters looters, drunks, marauders, extremists, and foreign agents, his ominous hints that his “patience is running out,” and his calls for counter-rallies by his supporters have not played well with Turkey’s more cautious conservatives, especially in the business community, who see his combative style as counterproductive. They are uncomfortable with Erdogan’s portrayal of the protest as a struggle between the “white Turks” (non-religious, upper-class, urban elites) versus the ‘black Turks’ (socially conservative, lower-middle and working class Sunnis from Anatolia). Even in his hitherto reliable power base in the Anatolian heartland, President Abdullah Gul—Erdogan’s long-time ally—is now mentioned as someone who could pursue the long-term AKP project of de-Kemalizing Turkey with greater caution and tact.
The real test will come later this year, when Erdogan will try to change the constitution and inaugurate an authoritarian presidential system. On June 6 Foreign Affairs published an interesting article by Halil Karaveli which aptly summarized the “Sultan’s” problem: “Erdogan’s own party members sense the changing tide. Indeed, even before the protests, there was widespread uneasiness within the AKP ranks. Most AKP parliamentarians had little enthusiasm for Erdogan’s plan to change the constitution and introduce an executive presidency. His scheme would have concentrated all power into the hands of a supreme leader, a position that Erdogan covets, basically neutering all other government officials.”
There is unease with Erdogan in Washington, too. Nobody in the U.S. Administration wants a regime change in Ankara, but some old Turkish hands advocate more strongly worded criticism of Erdogan’s methods as a means of reining him in. His switch from neutrality to support for the rebellion in Syria a year ago was welcomed in Washington, but his continuing public advocacy of intervention is becoming wearisome in view of Bashar’s recent battlefield successes. His open support for Hamas in the Palestinian Authority, and his close links with the putative Kurdish statelet in northern Iraq, are also deemed problematic in Washington—not to mention his strident criticism of Israel, which has decisively turned Israel’s friends on the Hill against him.
The protesters cannot threaten the overall architecture of Turkish politics because the majority of Turks are in agreement with the dual policy of de-secularization of the state and capitalist-based growth. That growth has been impressive, almost on par with China after Deng, but it has not dampened political and cultural tensions. There is an inherent discrepancy at work between the Islamic stamp on the country’s cultural and political scene which Erdogan has imposed, and the deepening gap between Turkey’s haves and the have-nots which the decade of prosperity has produced. The AKP-connected new oligarchs, in many ways similar to their uncouth Russian and East European counterparts, are Erdogan’s creation. Thanks to their party political affiliations they have profited from massive government-financed construction projects—like the proposed redevelopment at Taksim that triggered off the protests two weeks ago. To a devout yet poor, unemployed or underemployed Turk, increasing social stratification is incompatible with Erdogan’s advocacy of Islamic moral and social values which are deeply egalitarian. The losers in the process of Turkey’s transition in the villages generally do not oppose further de-secularization, but their loyalty to Erdogan personally should no longer be taken for granted.
Erdogan is in trouble because the harmless Istanbul protests showed him to be an intransigent autocrat and his rivals within the establishment sense his weakness. Having scored his third consecutive election victory in 2011, Erdogan focused on empowering his core constituency through a crony capitalism. He also pushed through a series of measures for state enforcement of conservative religious mores, like banning Turkish Airways flight attendants from wearing red lipstick and restricting the sale and consumption of alcohol, which even his supporters see as unnecessarily divisive and potentially destabilizing. Abroad, they feel that he has overplayed his hand on Syria. Most Turks, AKP supporters and Kemalists alike, are opposed to Erdogan’s support for the Syrian rebels and advocacy of foreign intervention, which is perceived as an “American,” rather than “Turkish” policy. By overplaying his hand on Syria, Erdogan has forfeited his hoped-for role as the leader of the Islamic Greater Middle East. His foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s policy of “zero problems with all neighbors” has failed, not only in Syria, but also vis-à-vis Iraq and Iran, both of which support Bashar.
A powerful Sunni imam, Fethullah Gülen, may decide Erdogan’s political future. Little-known in the West—although he has lived in self-imposed exile in rural Pennsylvania for years—Gulen controls a global empire of media outlets (including Turkey’s top circulation daily), charities, businesses and schools now known simply as Hizmet (“The Service”). Shortly after the military coup in 1997, the army leaders started a purge of the movement. Gülen went abroad, was tried in absentia for seeking to overthrow Turkey’s secular order, but he was cleared in 2006, after Erdogan came to power. His is by far the most powerful religiously-based movement in Turkey, described as the country’s third power, alongside Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian AKP and Turkey’s decreasingly influential military. “While the group is often described as ‘shadowy’ or ‘mysterious,’ this is inaccurate,” according to journalist Claire Belinski, based in Istanbul. “Quite a bit is known about it. Its behavior is both observable and predictable.”
Having supported Erdogan’s rise to power in 2002, Gülen was able to expand his network within the political establishment. The two men had a strategic partnership at first, with Gülen providing the AKP with votes while Erdogan protected the “cemaat,” as the former’s network is known. Already by 2004 one-fifth of the AKP’s members of parliament were members of the Gülen movement, including the justice and culture ministers. In 2006, former police chief Adil Serdar Sacan estimated that the “Fethullahcis” held more than 80 percent of senior positions in the Turkish police force. As we noted in these pages last August, for all his philanthropic pretenses Gülen controls a fundamentalist sect calling for a New Islamic Age based on the “Turkish-Islamic Synthesis.” By now it is all-pervasive, with many rich businessmen, judges and senior civil servants donating an average of 10 percent of their income to thecemaat.
Gülen now feels strong enough to engineer Erdogan’s comeuppance that will not disrupt the regime while increasing the power of his followers. The rift between Erdogan (a fellow imam) and Gülen is now in the open. Speaking in the U.S. last week, the latter effectively blamed Erdogan for the protests: “Are the ones at fault those who were unconcerned, who underestimated [the protest] by labeling it as ‘this and that’? … If innocent people are killed, if some are choked with gas bombs and if some are blind enough not to see this, the fire could rage.” Shortly before the protests erupted Gülen warned against the arrogance of power, saying “even if a person is a believer, they can morally be a pharaoh… He may always look at people from on high, telling them ‘stay in your place’.”
Gülen seems to think that the power structure will not be unduly strained if Erdogan is weakened or even replaced. The army has been neutered and there is no strong leader in the ranks of secularists and liberals. The protesters have unwittingly aided Fethullahcis, ominously Stalinist in their steady march through Turkey’s institutions, against Erdogan’s Trotsky-like zeal for rapid re-Islamization.
California once again proved it is one of the least Second Amendment friendly states in America. State legislators just passed a $50 ammo permit fee and background check law. If liberals want to derail the right to bear arms and make sure that common citizens cannot afford to defend themselves, the cost-prohibitive per-purchase ammo fee law will surely do the trick.
The great ammo shortage of 2013 is still in full swing. Store shelves still remain quite empty and demand has driven prices up in many locations around the country. Between the over-zealous ammo grabbing by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and theCalifornia ammo permit law, gun owners in the West Coast state may soon be entirely out of bullets.
Making it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to obtain guns and ammunition will only increase the growing crime rate in the highly populated state. The California Senate appears to once again be demonstrating their willingness to infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of constituents. High taxes and the state’s distaste for the Constitution have prompted thousands of California residents to relocate elsewhere, Texas in particular.
Firearms expert and firearms expert and self-defense tactical trainer Patrick J.G. Troy had this to say about California’s permit fee:
“Since the Second Amendment to our Constitution only discusses the right of the people (that would be us) to keep and bear arms (have them in your possession and on your person), providing no specific protection for ammunition, the left sees this as their opportunity to make gun ownership of no value by eliminating the supply of ammunition.
“Ammo is in short supply nation wide and has been since BHO was re-elected. The Sandy Hook tragedy and subsequent gun banning/gun confiscation rhetoric that followed put the demand for ammunition over the top and that, coupled with the DHS actively seeking to deplete the national ammunition supply by purchasing 1.6 billion rounds, has left the retail shelves bare for months.
“Requiring a $50 ammo permit per purchase would make a box of defensive ammunition cost almost $100 for 20 rounds—that’s $2 per bullet. A box of 50 rounds of 22 Long Rifle ammunition (which would normally cost less than $2), would now cost $52 dollars. That’s over $1 per bullet for 22 Long Rifle ammunition. Essentially, the left is trying to make the cost of defending ourselves (a God-given right as proclaimed by our Founders and the Constitution) so high that we cannot afford to do so.
“In California, it is already illegal for a minor to purchase ammunition. Perhaps they enacted that law to keep gang members from purchasing ammunition at the local gun shop. The fact that California is rife with gangs and gang violence is testimony the failure of the left’s reactionary laws. Any thoughtful analysis would reveal that law-abiding citizens are not a problem in any regard. Criminals will always circumvent and violate our laws; that is what criminals do and why they are criminals.
“Criminals obtain their guns and ammunition from the black market. The same supply chain that brings all the illegal drugs into the USA sustains this market. Since BHO has arrogantly refused to secure our borders, the supply of guns, ammunition, and drugs continues to flow into the USA with the ever-increasing presence and magnitude of violent gangs whose members also cross freely into the USA via the same routes. Criminals do not need to purchase guns or ammunition from the supply chain that law-abiding citizens use. They procure their guns and ammo illegally from their own black-market supply chain that is inaccessible to law abiding citizens.
“There are numerous court cases in the US where law enforcement agencies have been sued for failing to protect victims of violent crimes. Every lawsuit was dismissed because the courts ruled that there is no relationship between law enforcement personnel and citizens, and therefore, law enforcement personnel have no duty to protect the citizenry. Rather, they only have a duty to uphold the law. The only time law enforcement personnel have a duty to protect an individual citizen is when that citizen is in the custody of those law enforcement personnel. So, if you are handcuffed and in the back of the police car, if you are in jail, if you are being detained by the police, or your liberty has been restricted by the police, these are the only times that law enforcement personnel have even a marginal duty to protect you, the citizen. As long as you are at liberty, you have no relationship with law enforcement and are on your own to protect yourself. That is the current state of the law in this regard.”
The California $50 ammo permit fee is only one aspect of the new gun control law. The bill also outlawed “large-capacity” magazines (over 10 rounds) and detachable magazines. The legislation also allows for the tracking of anyone who buys ammunition and puts into place a reporting system when more than 3,000 rounds are tallied at the cash register. The category of offenders prohibited from owning guns for a decade was also expanded by the California State lawmakers.
Every time an individual buys a box of ammo, they must submit personal information for review and pay a $50 permit fee. After the private details and money has been paid, the state will then, and only then, decide if the customer will be allowed to put the ammunition into a sack and walk out of the store. The same day purchase of ammunition in California may be a thing of the past, depending upon how long it takes for the background results to return.
Buying and manufacturing semi-automatic rifles which can accommodate detachable magazines will now be illegal as well. Any California citizen who currently owns such a weapon is mandated to immediately register the rifle with state officials. If California lawmakers would crack down on criminals and the overwhelming number of gang members in the state with as much venom as they are law-abiding citizens, jails in the Golden State would not have a single empty bed.
All the Second-Amendment-rights-infringing law will do is cost California’s gun stores and ammo retailers business—creating employee layoffs in the process. Gun owning residents will simply opt to buy their ammunition online and venture into a bordering state to fulfill their needs. The semi-automatic rifles portion of the law will do nothing to deter crime. As the viral video created by a county sheriff demonstrating how quickly any size magazine can be emptied and reloaded (by any level of shooter), a villain with several five or ten capacity magazines can still kill a multitude of people in a short amount of time.
Surviving Doomsday author Richard Duarte, who is also a Miami attorney and firearms expert, had this to say about the continued attack on the right to bear arms:
“In Florida we currently have a pending bill that would make it illegal for individuals to purchase ammunition unless they had completed a state-approved anger management class. Violations could result in 60 day to one year in jail… have we all lost our minds? And what kind of idiots are we electing to public office? How can any rational person look at this pending bill and think that it makes any sense at all, or that it would have any sort of positive impact? If it’s not already obvious, it will soon become painfully obvious that the average citizen has to start paying attention and taking a more active role in holding elected officials accountable for their actions. If we fail to do this, there will be a time, in the very near future, when we will look around and not recognize the country we live in.”
Duarte’s warnings and observations are extremely accurate. We already have to squint really hard to garner a glimpse of the America we once knew. California Attorney General Kamala Harris certified legislation which mandates that all new semi-automatic handguns utilize stamping technology. The stamps would provide identifying information on bullet casings.
Gun makers will not likely be willing to put infuse the stamping on all handguns simply to appease California or retrofit their entire line of existing firearms to comply with the new gun control law. The bill might not have been labeled as a handgun ban, but that is exactly what it will effectively do within the state. Whether or not a California citizen can order such a gun online or buy one from a border state without the bullet casings stamp without breaking the law remains unclear.
Signs like this one have been popping up in the yards of California gun owners:
“My neighbor doesn’t like guns, so I promise not to use mine to defend him.”
At this point, a poignant slogan born out of frustration is about the only recourse non-liberal Golden State residents have in the fight for their gun rights – unless they can afford to move. The desire to not have Ted Nugent living next door has been expressed by anti-Second Amendment activists in the state. The short-sightedness of such an argument may become tragically clear if the “Gun Free Zone” folks are faced with an intruder at their door. I would much rather have a Ted Nugent type living next door instead of a helpless victim who could not help me protect me family during a civil unrest scenario. A smile and a cold glass of lemonade will not dissuade a drug addict or gang member during a search for an easy target – but my Ruger handgun would make a lasting impression.
How do you feel about the California $50 ammo permit fee and other new gun control laws?
Source: Off The Grid News
Tom Francois was visited by the Secret Service merely because he posted anti-Obama messages for his “large”Twitter following to read. I am sick and tired of looking out the window to see if Old Glory is still flying to reaffirm my shaky belief that I still reside in America. Francois never threatened the president; he simply lambasts and lampoons his actions, facial expressions, and unconstitutional policies. The most thin-skinned president in the history of the Republic has proven once again that he has nothing but disdain for the First Amendment.
The Secret Service agents arrived at the home of Tom Francois and asked if they could come inside and take a look around. Noting that he had nothing to hide and not wanting to see his things tossed about if the agents were forced to wait for a warrant, the avid political cartoon creator let the men inside. Francois maintains that while he loathes Barack Obama’s policies, he has never threatened his being in any way, shape, or form. I scanned hundreds of Francois’ tweets (which were the cited reasons for the Secret Service agents arriving on the blogger’s porch), and saw nothing violent—just the same angst felt by millions of Constitution-loving patriots.
Francois was reportedly told by the Secret Service agents that his large Twitter following was a concern. While Tom does have a sizeable number of followers, his numbers do not make him anywhere near a household name – perhaps that is what President Obama was trying to prevent.
The Secret Service agents asked Francois to sign an Authorization to Review Medical and Mental Health Records form after a search premises document was signed. Tom signed the forms simply to facilitate matters so future visits would not be necessary. While the decision was both pragmatic and understandable, an American citizen should not feel compelled to share their medical and mental health records with the government simply because they exercised their First Amendment rights in front of 11,692 Twitterfollowers.
While the blogger’s signature was still drying on the intrusive documents, he was asked if he ever left his home state or traveled to Washington, D.C. The next question will not come as a shocker considering the current political climate. Secret Service agents asked Tom Francois is he owned any guns. President Obama apparently does not like either the First Amendment or the Second Amendment, and would probably be thrilled if we could just throw out the entire Constitution. A multitude of liberals feel the text the greatest nation in the world was founded upon is merely an outdated document anyway, so why would a Socialist-leaning president even bother to follow the freedom-ensuring dictates?
According to Tom Francois, Secret Service agents asked him if he had any intentions of “whacking” President Obama. The political cartoonist had this to say in response and during an Examiner interview:
“Of course not. I wish him no harm. I disagree with his policies and actions and I make no bones about it. It’s my First Amendment right and I intend to exercise it. I flat out told them I have never threatened Obama’s life! Yes, I despise him as you can plainly see, but I have that right! They actually admitted and agreed with me that I hadn’t threatened Obama. Yes, I am extremely critical of Obama in my posts, but I never cross the line and threaten his being. Ever. It’s just the idea of Obama’s Secret Service intruding on my life when they knew I wasn’t really a threat.”
The FBI reportedly compiled a thick file comprised of screenshots of Tom Francois’ Twitter posts. The agents also wanted to see the gun which a background check had already revealed Tom owned. When asked if they were loaded, Francois gave the same answer that any gun owner would utter, “What good are guns if they aren’t loaded?”
According to Tom, the Secret Service had this to say when he asked about why he was being harassed:
“They were concerned that since I have a large Twitter following, the things I said could be acted upon by some nut case out there! What the hell? They turned my life upside down for that?”
Francois also maintains that one Secret Service agent told him to be mindful of his actions, that “stepping over the line” means they will be back for his guns. Despite how much I loathe everything President Obama stands for, I would agree that any person who threatens the life of the president deserves to be in jail and have their world turned upside down – but only when such a violent threat has been made. A sarcastic cartoon posted on Twitter does not even come close to reaching a warrantless search or gun confiscation warning threshold.
The consent to search form Secret Service agents presented to Tom Francois allowed the men to search his computers, software, hardware, cell phones, date storage, and recording devices. The NSA could have saved the president’s men some time and just handed over all of Francois’ communications, since they have a massive facility filled with nearly all the same information on every single American citizen.
The privacy intrusion and trampling on the First Amendment did not end at Tom’s home. The Secret Service agents also paid a visit to his 22-year-old daughter’s house. The young woman was reportedly terrified about, not just what was unfolding in front of her, but for the safety of her father. The political cartoonist’s daughter stated that the agents told her that all the information would be turned over to Eric Holder, because he has the final word on what to do—if anything.
Yes boys and girls, if you or any other Americans listen to or view your non-threatening anti-Obama sentiments, you too could have Secret Service agents pounding on your front door. I hate, literally hate, that President Obama’s actions and policies have forced me to write (on numerous occasions) articles which can cast dedicated heroes like the Secret Service and police officers in a negative light. These brave men and women should never be ordered to undertake unconstitutional endeavors which put them at odds with their oath and the American people. The land of the free is becoming a tyrannical police state under the watchful guidance of the Obama administration.
Source: Off The Grid News
Last week the Senate passed Resolution 65, mandating a new round of sanctions against Iran and promising to support Israel if it should choose to launch a unilateral war. The bill contradicted explicit US policy in a number of areas: it imposed secondary penalties on US allies; it lowered the bar for military action to Israel’s preferred language of “nuclear capability” rather than acquisition of a nuclear weapon; and it interferes with the attempt to reach a diplomatic resolution to the nuclear impasse at a delicate time. No wonder Secretary of State John Kerry implored Congress not to pass the bill when he testified before the Senate Foreign relations committee last month.
Nevertheless, the Senate bill came to a vote on May 22, and the result – in a roll call vote – was 99-0 in favor of the bill.
In the last Congress, another Iran Sanctions measure – an amendment attached to the 2012 Defense Appropriation Bill — was also opposed by the Obama administration. The provision, probably illegal under WTO rules, mandated secondary penalties against foreign banks which did business with Iran’s oil sector (US banks were already banned from doing so). Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner wrote a letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee “to express the Administration’s strong opposition to this amendment because, in its current form, it threatens to undermine the effective, carefully phased, and sustainable approach we have taken to build strong international pressure against Iran.” Two State Department officials of the Administration testified against the amendment; Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry also opposed the measure.
However, when the amendment’s sponsors insisted on a roll call vote, it passed 100-0. Even Senator Kerry voted for the measure he had earlier opposed.
To understand how this can happen, it is useful to look at the Israel Lobby’s legislative MO — as well as the larger dynamic around Israel advocacy within the US Congress, in our political system and in the press.
AIPAC, of course, is the premier Israel Lobby organization. Every March at its annual Conference the group assembles a huge turnout of moneyed and grassroots lobbyists. Scores of members of Congress from both parties and political aspirants of all stripes jockey to express their loyalty to the Lobby. It is at these conferences that AIPAC’s major legislative priorities for the year are unveiled. This always includes renewed (and increased) military aid for Israel and for the last ten years or so various measures to oppose, sanction and preferably make war on to overthrow the Islamic Republic of Iran — Israel’s last remaining serious military opponent in the Middle East.
Here is the way it works.
–In the days before the yearly AIPAC conference in early March, reliable members of Congress from both parties – preferably non-Jews – are prevailed upon to submit AIPAC-drafted bills with a substantial number of initial bi-partisan sponsors. This year the highlighted legislation included House Res. 850, The Nuclear Iran Prevention Act of 2013,introduced on February 28 by California Democrat Rep. Edward Royce and 31 co-sponsors (16 Democrats and 15 Republicans); and Senate Res. 65, Strongly Supporting the Full Implementation of United States and International Sanctions On Iran, also introduced on February 28 by the every dependable Senator Lindsey Graham [R-SC] and 22 initial co-sponsors (13 Democrats and 9 Republicans). Another bill, apparently a late entry from the March 2-4 Conference itself, did not follow the preferred pattern. House Res. 938, The United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013 was introduced hurriedly on March 4 by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen [R-FL27] with only two Democratic co-sponsors. These three bills embodied AIPAC’s 2013 declared legislative priorities: Prevent Iranian Nuclear Weapons Capability; Strengthen U.S.-Israel Strategic Cooperation; Support Security Assistance for Israel.
– Then, before leaving Washington, the AIPAC Conference attendees launch themselves on Capitol Hill to recruit more co-sponsors for the AIPAC bills. Initially, this is mostly pushing on an open door, as many legislators are eager to join the bandwagon; some were simply not asked earlier in the interest of bi-partisan balance; some were not quick enough to get listed when the initial bills were introduced. Within a few weeks of the AIPAC Conference Senate Res. 65 had an additional 55 co-sponsors, House Res. 850 added more than 250 sponsors; and House Res. 983 more than 150.
–The effort continues to line up more cosponsors with the aim of securing an irresistible momentum for the bills. Many legislators simply take more time to pin down; others (few) might have been reluctant holdouts persuaded not to find themselves isolated against the AIPAC juggernaut. An AIPAC staffer once famously bragged that “in twenty-four hours, we could have the signatures of seventy senators on a napkin”. It took a little longer this time, but Senate Res. 65 already had 91 co-sponsors before it came up for a vote. House Res. 850, still pending, now has 351 co-sponsors; H. Res. 983 has 271.
–Not all AIPAC-initiated legislation follows this pattern. Other bills or amendments come up during the year and are pushed as opportunities or needs present themselves. Some of these bills – and the frequent “Congressional Letters” of support for Israel — have little practical impact on policy but are part of AIPAC’s promotion of discipline among US legislators. I call it “puppy training,” so that members of Congress are reflexively obedient to AIPAC’s legislative agenda. The 29 standing ovations for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he addressed Congress in 2011 are a good illustration of the outcome. Pavlov had nothing on the Israel Lobby.
It might be tempting to conclude – as AIPAC and its allies contend – that Congress acts in response to the overwhelming public support for Israel. However, it is important to observe that votes on the Lobby’s bills are rarely much publicized in the US – as opposed to Israeli –mainstream media. Of course, the pro-Israel political machine, the Rightwing and Zionist blogosphere do pay close attention, ever-ready to reward or punish legislative misbehavior. Most of the public remains, by design, completely unaware of these political maneuverings. Not long ago, House Republican Whip Eric Cantor proposed voting separately on military aid to Israel so as to insulate it from potential cuts to Pentagon spending, but he was quickly persuaded to drop the idea. The Israel Lobby prefers to have the $3 billion plus in annual aid to Israel discretely hidden within the vast Defense Appropriation Bill.
So the power of AIPAC derives not fundamentally from Israel’s vast popularity. Although opinion polls do regularly confirm the public supports Israel at a much higher level than the Palestinians (no surprise), substantial pluralities still prefer that the US stay neutral in the conflict. I have seen no polling about support for the billions in military aid to Israel each year. It is hard to imagine that the majority response would be anything but negative in the light of cuts to funding other popular government programs. Not surprisingly the Lobby prefers “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” on the question of yearly $billions for Israel.
The apparent dominance of the Israel Lobby in Congress stems from what I would call “asymmetric politics”. AIPAC represents the power of a well-funded and single-issue political machine. It is quick to punish recalcitrant legislators – or to reward good behavior with dollars and campaign support from the many PACS and rich donors who take its direction.
On the other side, the advocates for Palestinian rights are scattered, poor and little threat to incumbent legislators. The Arab and Muslim communities cannot match the Israel Lobby’s Jewish financial base or it mobilized grassroots numbers. Many of their communities are relatively new in the US, insecure and targeted by the well-funded complex of anti-Arab, anti-Muslim mobilization since 9/11. The great mass of the public are simply not involved and not paying much attention to the Israel-Palestine conflict or much aware of pro-Israel political power in Congress.
Seen in this light, members of Congress – ever averse to risk, as are all elected officials – are behaving rationally when they defer to the Israel Lobby. They pay little or no price for playing ball with AIPAC and risk a backlash with no apparent reward if they don’t.
As for the broader anti-war and progressive movements, even when they have adopted good positions on Palestinian rights or opposing the Lobby-supported drive for war with Iran, these issues usually turn out to be “expendable” in comparison to other agendas.
Two recent examples will illustrate this dynamic.
This Spring, a well-established national peace organization, with a significant branch in Massachusetts, decided to endorse Democratic Rep. Ed Markey prior to the special primary election for John Kerry’s vacated Senate seat. Markey is on the right side of most issues progressive hold dear, but he was also an initial supporter of the Iraq War. And he has become a very reliable backer of Israel-Lobby legislative priorities, where in Massachusetts he is something of an outlier on these issues. He was among only three Mass delegation co-sponsors of H. Res. 850 and among only two of H. Res. 983. He is also a dependable signer of whatever letter AIPAC is collecting signatures for, such as the one supporting the assault on Gaza a few years ago.
Some members of the peace organization argued in favor of no endorsement for Markey – at least in the primary – because of his poor record on Iran and Palestine, but they were outvoted. The majority argued that an endorsement and fundraising for Markey would give them “access” to promote better positions on these issues after the election. A cynic may wonder whether Markey, or any other progressive legislator would take this seriously. A long-serving national board member of the group resigned in protest.
Then there is Massachusetts’ celebrity Senator Elizabeth Warren. Many of her progressive supporters were uneasy over the boiler-plate pro-Israel language on her campaign web site, however there was little doubt that she was a genuine populist on other issues and would bring a rare progressive voice to the halls of Congress. This, in large measure, she has done.
However, when push came to shove, Sen. Warren was persuaded to add her name as a sponsor to Senate Res. 65 – late to be sure (not until May 7) – and she joined in the unanimous vote in favor of the bill. Now Warren, a faculty member of Harvard Law School undoubtedly knows the score on the Israel and Iran issues. It is hard to imagine she hasn’t had certain conversations in the Faculty Club about Palestine, heard about the many events at her school on issues of Human Rights and International Law in the Middle East or understood the role of the Israel Lobby in war-promotion and military spending.
No doubt Warren rationalized her vote pragmatically. Why risk becoming an isolated Senate freshman and losing her political credibility? Why not submit to what was required in order to give her space to battle on other political issues she cared about? For Senator Warren – as for so many progressives and Liberals — her seat is worth the price of a vote for AIPAC.
This is the way asymmetric politics works for the Israel Lobby. It is the dynamic that puts our country in opposition to most of the world with respect to International Law and peace in the Middle East. And it may yet succeed in getting us into a war with Iran.
Youths in Stockholm Sweden mainly of immigrant backgrounds have set cars on fire and confronted the police with stones and rage for five consecutive nights.
Sweden, the panacea and poster child nation for the globalists is starting to receive the fruits of their labor, which is the balkanization of Sweden through the globalist policy of multiculturalism.
You reap what you sow
The multicultural plague that has infected much of Western Europe has purposely resulted in a disenfranchised minority of young people with immigrant backgrounds from the east, who cannot find work, feel marginalized by a society that has deep cultural and philosophical roots that are in direct opposition to any new ethnic group with no affinity to their hosting country. The result is balkanization and conflict, the wet dream for any globalist narcissist.
Not even a highly socialized country like Sweden is immune to multicultural terror. Sweden presently has superlative social services and a very generous welfare system. Yet, the modern welfare state is not enough to curtail simmering ethnic tensions.
The globalists want massive immigration to destabilize the West, and in this they have succeeded, they have destroyed the cultural and religious integrity of Western Europe and North America. When the manufactured implosion of the financial system in the West occurs, full fledged rioting will commence a race war where ethnic communities will be battling each other into oblivion. The classic chaotic divide and conquer scenario.
Credit must be given to the global elite; the West is reverting back to a neo-feudal system controlled by aristocratic authoritarians who are determined to steal all the goodies before they collapse everything. This staged economic and social demolition of all Western countries by what can be faithfully described as demonic forces, is geared for only one outcome – a world government controlled by centralized banks.
The current riots in Stockholm, and not long ago riots in London and Paris, are the visible birth pangs to major economic and social upheaval. Creating antagonism where there wasn’t any before in Western Europe by mass immigration from the East, and in the United States via massive illegal immigration from Mexico is a diabolical tool used by the global elite to destabilize and overwhelm countries with profound cultural heritages. It is about destroying rich historic cultures and replacing it with high tech nihilism.
The recent hacking murder of a British soldier in London is another obvious failure of multiculturalism and the nefarious ‘war on terror’.
Multiculturalism is nothing more than cultural rot on a grand scale. It exemplifies aberrant and deviant behavior over traditional morality. It glorifies death over life, where good is evil and evil is good, to kill you in order to save you.
Progressives and social engineers, the minions of the globalists, will excuse the rioting in Sweden as an expected result of racism, ignorance and inequality in the country; ultimately believing they can somehow influence through public education the fallacy of so called racism to children that are by their own engineering being chemically dumbed down by fluoride and vaccines. This is beyond stupidity, it is diabolically insane.
A stupid unthinking populace is what they really want, a population of chemicalized zombies who will unthinkingly accept ‘wars of aggression’ on thousand year old homophobic cultures at the same time allowing these bombed out natives to immigrate to the countries that are bombing them. Dislocation and cultural castration on a global scale will be the final result of this technocratic aggression throughout the world, exactly what the global elite are trying to achieve.
This cannot end well; the technocrats and kleptocrats will continue to ferment violence and war worldwide resulting in massive death, and what’s left living in the end will be placed in their universal gulag run by crazed psychopaths.
So when you see your cities going up in flames because of so called extremists, know very well that it is all being designed for you, so you can willingly join the club of the castrated and chained.
Take off your partisan hat and open your minds to the actual uninterrupted high treason that is part of the foreign policy establishment. Party politics is often just a show that plays to their respective bases. However, the tract and direction of extending the transnational empire just continues on a global scale. The full-blown treason committed by every administration that practices the internationalist vision of democracy domination is really a masquerade for worldwide dominion. Presidents are mere temporary talking heads for the oligarchy that actually rules. Murdering their own diplomats and hired help is incidental, when 1,455,590 Iraqi deaths since the U.S. invasion are ignored and dismissed.
Just how well is the consistent and bipartisan aggressive interventionist foreign policy doing? Go over the list of The Arab Spring country by country.
The Wall Street Journal provides a timeline on U.S. Government Reaction to the Benghazi Attack. “For days after the Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi, Libya, intelligence officials and the Obama administration said it was likely the outgrowth of protests sparked by an anti-Islamic video made in the U.S. Follow some of the administration statements on the Libya attack.”The infamous propaganda voice for the Obamaistas, Media Matters puts forth their partisan spin in, What Dick Cheney’s Benghazi Criticism Misses.
“David Martosko of the Daily Mail Online provided former Vice President Dick Cheney a platform to criticize the Obama administration’s failure to anticipate the September 11, 2012 attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, without noting that seven attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities occurred during the Bush administration.”
Such diversion seeks to limit focus on the literal events that caused the Benghazi attack and the real reasons why Ambassador Christopher Stevens was left to perish by the Obama/Clinton foreign policy team of betrayers.
The shameful chronicle of the intentional and politically motivated stand down that doomed Stevens and his defenders was sensitively told during Gregory Hicks’ 30 Minute Recount of Benghazi Attack. While the Congressional hearings were praised for the attempt to restrain partisan grandstanding, the Washington press corps avoids placing blame on the administration as a tenant of their loyalty test. A government cover-up is made easy when the imperium friendly media is reporting on a proclaimed progressive administration.
The facts necessitate that even the venerable CBS mainstream media machine reluctantly admits that the Thousands of Libyan missiles from Qaddafi era missing in action, are a central concern with the overthrow of the Libyan regime.
“In the case of Libya’s missing MANPADS, there was also concern they would get into the Syrian conflict. “Once they start getting sold on the black market, we can’t control them,” says one source.
The source added he’s unaware of any U.S. attempt to send recovered Libyan MANPADS to arm Syrian rebels seeking to depose President Bashar al-Assad.”
According to the Business Insider, the veracity of this CBS source is questionable. Connect the dots and go back to the reason why a cover-up of the Benghazi murders becomes crucial to the long-term goals to destabilize the Middle East. The US Is Openly Sending Heavy Weapons From Libya To Syrian Rebels cites the following:
“The Obama administration has decided to launch a covert operation to send heavy weapons to Syrian rebels, Christina Lamb of The Sunday Times of London reports.Diplomatic sources told the Sunday Times that the U.S. “bought weapons from the stockpiles of Libya’s former dictator Muammar Gaddafi.”
The heavy arms include mortars, rocket propelled grenades, anti-tank missiles and the controversial anti-aircraft heat-seeking SA-7 missiles, which are integral to countering Bashar Al-Assad’s bombing campaign.”
Now compute the decades old design for the territory as stated by Wes Clark and the neocon dream. Glenn Greenwald provides further documentation in Salon that the various Middle Eastern and North African wars were planned before 9/11:
“General Wesley Clark … said the aim of this plot [to "destroy the governments in ... Iraq, ... Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran"] was this: “They wanted us to destabilize the Middle East, turn it upside down, make it under our control.” He then recounted a conversation he had had ten years earlier with Paul Wolfowitz — back in 1991 — in which the then-number-3-Pentagon-official, after criticizing Bush 41 for not toppling Saddam, told Clark: “But one thing we did learn [from the Persian Gulf War] is that we can use our military in the region – in the Middle East – and the Soviets won’t stop us. And we’ve got about 5 or 10 years to clean up those old Soviet regimes – Syria, Iran [sic], Iraq – before the next great superpower comes on to challenge us.” Clark said he was shocked by Wolfowitz’s desires because, as Clark put it: “the purpose of the military is to start wars and change governments? It’s not to deter conflicts?”
The diabolic union between Neoconservatives and Neoliberals produces a litter of demonic adventures that build up the body count and push the region into a globalist cesspit of satanic dimensions. In order to comprehend the interconnection of conflicts it is important to understand the deceptive war on terror and the assembled alliance with the Al Qaeda bogyman.
The message in the essay, It’s Dishonest to Talk about Benghazi Without Talking About the Syrian War, is a reality that many cowardly Americans are unwilling to deal with, much less act upon.
“Both parties are avoiding the bigger picture … The fact that Democrats and Republicans alike have been using Benghazi as the center of U.S. efforts to arm the Al Qaeda-affiliated Syrian rebels.
Specifically, the U.S. supported opposition which overthrew Libya’s Gadaffi was largely comprised of Al Qaeda terrorists.According to a 2007 report by West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center’s center, the Libyan city of Benghazi was one of Al Qaeda’s main headquarters – and bases for sending Al Qaeda fighters into Iraq – prior to the overthrow of Gaddafi:”
What possible justification is there to intervene in Syria? The presupposed civil war is really a designed coup d’état overthrow that only benefits a greater Israel regional expansion. Note how the policy wonks work in their nefarious planning for destabilization. The flagship establishment mouthpiece Foreign Policy has the mission to signal the intentions of government stratagem as the master plans are implemented, in the article How to destabilize the Assad regime.
“In order to re-up its strategy, the administration should employ a cross-governmental approach that enlists the Treasury, Commerce, and Defense Departments. The Treasury Department should use sanctions to limit Assad’s ability to repatriate funds from oil exports and more properly enforce the 2012 GRAHVITY sanctions prohibiting the transfer of internet, communications, or surveillance technology to Syria. The Treasury Department should also prohibit U.S. companies from doing business with Assad’s enablers by designating those entities that continue to supply him with resources. Congress could bolster the latter measure by requiring federal contractors to certify that they are not in business with Assad’s enablers. Congress should also prohibit foreign financial institutions enabling Assad from doing business with U.S. banks. Meanwhile the Commerce Department should secure tighter control over the delivery of information and communications technology to Syria especially through authorized foreign distributors. Finally, as mandated by an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013, the Pentagon should cease its business with Rosoboronexport, one of Assad’s chief enablers, instead of entering into new contracts as it has expressed the intention to do.”
What do you call the treachery, when your own government is committing the subversiveness?
The cryptic psychopolitical spook Dr. Steve Pieczenik presents an astounding analysis that answers this question in the You Tube, Benghazi Truth: Obama Was Running Secret Army. His call to action is a rare and daring challenge to the military that is worth a sober assessment if for no other reason than observing the anxious and flabbergasted reaction from Alex Jones. The treason committed, depends upon the nationalist loyalties of the government agents. In this case, the evidence seems well placed that the security apparatus is serving the wrong master.The substance of the Benghazi duplicity and scandalous evasion of accountability is an entrenched practice that permeates every level of command and control. The courage of Gregory Hicks, Mark Thompson and Eric Nordstrom is an act of legitimate patriotism seldom seen out of Foggy Bottom.
If professional State Department public servants can speak truth to power, where are the guts of the General Military Officers? If the Joint Chiefs of Staff is a brood of poodle puppies and lap dogs, God Save the Republic. Dr. Pieczenik is In Search of James Mattoon Scott. Most subservient subjects are oblivious to the Seven Days in May scenario. Perpetuating the myth, that civilian command preserves the constitutional liberties of citizens, does not conform to the record of presidential dictatorship. When state treason is codified normality, the mere murder of four more Americans is hardly an afterthought to the executioners of the country. Respecting commander in chief traitors is an absurd national death wish.
With the victory of disgraced former governor Mark Sanford in the recent South Carolina congressional race, there are bound to be those who would equate his supporters with Bill Clinton’s. After all, both men were unfaithful to their wives. Both men lied to their constituents about it. And both men had supporters who voted party over principle, didn’t they? Not exactly.
For sure, there are Republicans imbued with the libertine spirit of the age who, often sexually compromised themselves, can easily justify Sanford’s behavior. There are Republicans who buy into the tripe that a politician’s “personal life” should have no bearing on his fitness for office, as if the personal doesn’t influence the public. There are even more Republicans who rationalize their vote by saying that Sanford has confessed his sin and must be forgiven, ignoring that we don’t know if he truly is a changed man and that forgiveness doesn’t obviate worldly consequences. Yet there are many other GOP voters — and they may be in the majority — who take another position. And it’s one that well illustrates a profound difference between liberals and conservatives.
I supported Mark Sanford against his opponent, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, with no regrets or apologies. Why? Well, I think I speak for millions of conservatives when I say that what cost Sanford his governorship was absolutely wrong and not to be excused under any circumstances. I would prefer that candidates such as him get primaried out of the equation, but this didn’t happen, perhaps because SC has open primaries (how many Democrats voted for Sanford in the primary to give Busch a vulnerable opponent?). And while what he did was a sin, there are other kinds of sins as well.
One of them is advocating nation and culture-killing leftist policy.
SC’s special congressional election didn’t give us the choice between an angel and demon or even an angel and sinner. Rather, on one side we had a man who was unfaithful to his wife, a red flag telling us to watch him even more closely. On the other we had a woman who is unfaithful to Truth and everything good and great for which America stands, a redder flag telling us she should be dismissed promptly. For people such as Busch are ensuring that America won’t stand for long.
But Bill Clinton’s voters were generally different. Far from hating the sin and supporting the sinner, too frequently these ideologists became apologists and promoted the sinner by rubber stamping the sin. How often did we have to hear nauseating refrains such as “It’s only sex” or “Who cares if he got a _______ in the Oval Office?”? Why, one liberal man even said to me, quite passionately, about Slick Willie’s affair with Monica Lewinsky, “He did the right thing” (hey, who wouldn’t abuse his position and debauch a young intern if given the chance?). And then, of course, there was the truly idiotic rationalization “Character doesn’t matter,” which, of course, may seem an attractive philosophy when you haven’t got any.
Then there is the Sandra Fluke factor. Where is the conservative equivalent of Nina Burleigh, who in 1998 said about Clinton, “I would be happy to give him a _______ just to thank him for keeping abortion legal. I think American women should be lining up with their presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs”? While liberal women certainly don’t like being the betrayed wife, a noticeable number of them seemed to like the idea of being the Slickster’s other woman. And then they get upset when the Rush Limbaughs of the world call them sluts.
The bottom line is that Bill Clinton’s supporters were willing to define deviancy downwards just to lift a reprobate upwards, as they moved their nation closer to permanent moral defeat in the name of temporary political victory.
Of course, a major reason why this didn’t bother them brings us to another difference between liberals and conservatives: liberals dislike the morals that condemn things such as adultery in the first place. Thus, while we may view their actions as the “sacrifice” of virtue on the altar of political success, to them it was something quite different: the killing of two Bald Eagles with one stone.
Any discussion on liberty presupposes an understanding of human nature. Today, the utter confusion and distorted mindset of humankind, relegates animal instincts, as the premier motivation for salacious existence. The criteria for a cordial civilization have long been “consigned to the dustbins of history“. Standards for civil and moral conduct are debased by a global disintegration to achieve the ‘good’ for the hunt of acting ‘nice’. Polite and pleasant facades are no substitute for truth and meaning. Yet, the heights of evil transactions seem to be hailed routinely, as the only achievement that power hungry sociopaths aspire to impose on the rest of the planet. Never-ending conflict is inherent in the human condition, while the state of liberty is unusual and resides within the character of the ethical spirit.
The spread of international humanism as a social value-system is fundamentally hedonistic. The pretence of caring about humanity by adopting a regulatory anatomical structure of benign coercion has relegated individual dignity to the graves of a universal cemetery. At every turn in the propaganda evangelism cycle, the media masters preach a gospel of fake tolerance and respect, while implementing policies and dictates, based upon hate and oppression.
The confessedly exposed religion of their belief is in a hegemonic demon of worldwide enslavement. The defect in the progressive creed requires the extermination of individualistic sovereignty. The whole, as long as it conforms to the orthodox version of subjugation, requires every unique person, to obey the community master of social welfare.
According to the Barack Hussein Obama II epithet, the epistle of his self-indulgence lecture is offered up as a path to worldly happiness. Mere mortals need to sacrifice their integrity to a demon deity, upon an altar of desolation and abandonment. The devil of state adoration demands mandatory veneration.
Hell on earth is the inevitable result from the elimination of personal liberty. The foundation of civilization rests upon the free will of each mortal and the cement of society is the ability of every person to make independent decisions and accept responsibility for their actions. The principles of the Christian gospel, the sacred heritage of the worth in each person and the traditional values of the golden rule are immutable and indisputable. Even so, the collectivist culture rejects the very core cornerstone that has provided the only intermittent sanctuary from the pillaging of the barbarians.
Even an eastern establishment agent like The Atlantic has to admit the evident in the article, There’s No Room for Civil Liberties in Obama’s Inauguration View of America. Wendy Kaminer uses the erroneous illusion of a difference in a partisan political ideology. “The authoritarian right and egalitarian left meet in the middle on at least one issue: Neither side values the rights of the individual.” Stating the obvious, there is no manifest departure within the communalist system that hates any citizen objections to the supremacy of the State. Ms. Kaminer continues:
“Civil libertarians have been cataloguing and futilely litigating the gross abuses of post-9/11 era for years. They include, but are probably not limited to, summary detention and torture; the prosecution of whistleblowers; surveillance of peaceful protesters; the criminalization of journalism and peaceful human-rights activism; extensive blacklisting that would have been the envy of Joe McCarthy; and secrecy about a shadow legal system that makes the president’s “we the people” trope seem less inspirational than sarcastic.
Precisely because civil libertarians have focused on these abuses, they’re old news — which means that progressives reveling in Obama’s speech can’t claim ignorance of them. When they applaud the president’s “muscular liberalism,” without qualification, they’re effectively applauding his strong-arm security state.
When Obama praised collective action in his address, he wasn’t praising efforts by individuals to organize against government abuses. He was praising organized support for government programs.”
Conversely, concluding that the state is the ultimate enemy of the individual, missing the true lesson of the human experience. The addiction to authoritarian discipline is not motivated primarily out of a fear of reprisals, but more often stems from a desire to belong to a social order. The dread of being labeled an outsider and a social misfit creates more self-imposed compliance, with an acceptable politically correct stance, than the threat of fines or incarceration.
The artificial disposition of public or even interpersonal discourse, illustrates the extent and length people go to avoid asking the most profound questions, much less an attempt to discover answers for social issues. The lack of meaningful dialogue is symptomatic of a terminal disease that strips away the flesh from the bone of a cadaver, awaiting a funeral.
The essence of a reasoned relationship with another person or an entire society must be founded upon a mutual respect and common interest. How can a solitary national bear loyalty to a government that tramples inherent rights, which are ordained by God at birth, not delegated by government fiat?
With the unholy alliance of the corporatist/state fascist economy, the model of a system of psychopathic delusion becomes the official reality. People relish in their self-induced mental illness and celebrate their diminished capacity from accepting their subservient and docile role. Liberty cannot survive when citizenry willingly surrender.
Mark Tapscott makes the case that Individual liberty cannot survive a republic of civic dunces.
“As with so much else, James Madison captures the profoundly serious implications of raising a generation politically crippled by its gross civic ignorance in a single concise statement about the difference between Europe and America: “In Europe, charters of liberty have been granted by power. America has set the example … of charters of power granted by liberty.”
If you don’t grasp how Madison’s simple equation makes all the difference in the world in how this country is governed, then you probably don’t understand why liberals and conservatives disagree on just about everything.”
The Obama administration is engaged in the Europeanization of America. Note this transition removes the historic race, ethnic and cultural differences, that created the vibrant civilization, which produced Western thought and social institutions. In its place, a new world order of an ecumenical hierarchy of globalist plutocrats, running a technological prison planet of apes, is in the making.
No liberty exists for anthropoids! Ironically, “the Forbidden Zone was once a paradise. Your breed made a desert of it, ages ago”, applies to the authoritarians that would be King Kong in domain of Dr. Zaius. When George Taylor laments, “YOU MANIACS! YOU BLEW IT UP! OH, DAMN YOU! GODDAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!’; the fans of the POTUS dictatorship, whoever is in office at the time, deserves their oblivion.Is it so difficult to see the destructive conversion going on in a country that once understood the purpose of the American Revolution? The preachers from the pulpits of press conferences want you to believe that their pronouncements are from on high. The fools, who extend them credibility in the face of official tyranny, much less their acquiescence and submission, are endorsing treason.
Liberty must be defended, not with superior firepower, but with eternal determination. Since the lack of willpower is the critical problem, what would it take to motivate the lethargic minions to take real affirmative action? Pray tell the squeamish dare not get involved. Just the mere thought of offending your overlords, is far too audacious, in a feeble attempt to practice personal self-respect.
The village of the damned is as close as your adjacent neighborhood. Living a life of liberty is too intrepid of a concept for most registered party voters. As the evidence mounts that, the dictatorship of the proletariat is not confined solely to Marxist regimes, but is eminently thriving in the land of the former brave and bold.
The Madisonian framework model of federalism and separation of powers is long dead. Even the appearance of Liberty in public institutions is scorned upon as an affront to the supremacy of state authority. Individual autonomy and specific actions is the principle purpose of the genuine patriot, while the last refuge of the scoundrel is the pledge of allegiance to the admiralty flag.
Since the decline of the original Republic, the chronicle into totalitarianism is nearly complete. Now the gatekeepers of the oligarchy look and act like Dr. Zaius. When he admits that he has always known that human civilization existed long before apes ruled the planet, he really is saying that the nation was once lead by representatives of sovereign individuals and is now ruled by egomaniac tyrants that like to whip their knuckle dragging serfs.The reason the country is doomed lies squarely upon the shoulders of the docile. With the criminalization of society, the faint-hearted demand harsher penalties for anyone, who defies the slave state. Do not just blame the elites sitting on high for all the ills of our national plight. The little people, gaming the system, bear the scarlet letter of shame for their lust of government adoration. As long as the rebellion of courage remains in a stage of limbo, the cowardly primates of Amerika will obey their orders.
For a couple of decades there has been a big push by numerous evangelical leaders to incorporate pagan practices into the visible Church. These unbiblical practices have their origins in Eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism, likewise the New Age movement. Roman Catholic Trappist Monks fully embraced Eastern religion’s pagan practices. Through the writings of Thomas Merton, Basil Pennington, William Menninger and Thomas Keating these practices have been introduced into mainline Protestant churches as well as independent, nondenominational, charismatic and Pentecostal churches.
Those who wish to develop a more meaningful prayer life are urged by popular evangelicals such as Dallas Willard, Richard Foster, Rick Warren, John Ortberg, Ruth Haley Barton and Tony Campolo, just to name a few, to undertake a mystical prayer practice called The Silence.
How does one achieve The Silence? By practicing eastern-style mantra meditation aka Transcendental Meditation (TM).
What is the goal of TM? To gain “ultimate knowledge of God by a direct experience that bypasses the mind.”
What must one do to attain this sort of mind-altering experience? Settle into a quiet comfortable place and with eyes closed repeat a word or phrase from Scripture over and over until the thinking process shuts down to the point of silence…..and, low and behold, the practitioner will allegedly have an encounter with God in the spirit realm.
Our final goal is ‘union with God,’ which is a pure relationship where we see ‘nothing.’ (Source)
Wow. Sounds a bit New Age, doesn’t it? No doubt about it! And because it is New Age, why, pray tell, do shepherds of the flock not have a problem pushing this sort of practice on their sheep?
Contemplative prayerUndoubtedly many Christians have never heard of The Silence. Be that as it may, terms such as ; centering prayer; lectio divina; Divine presence; sacred word; transformation/transforming union; listening prayer; soaking prayer; and breath prayer may ring a bell. But it matters not what term we use; what matters is that to pray The Silence is unbiblical.
Former New Ager Marcia Montenegro wrote an in depth essay on Contemplative Prayer (CP) entitled “Contemplating Contemplative Prayer: Is It Really Prayer?” Marcia warns us that,
The influence of Buddhism and Hinduism on Contemplative Prayer … is apparent. Words such as “detachment,” “transformation,” “emptiness,” “enlightenment” and “awakening” swim in and out of the waters of these books. The use of such terms certainly mandates a closer inspection of what is being taught, despite the fact that contemplative prayer is presented as Christian practice.
Themes that one finds echoed in the CP movement include the notions that true prayer is: silent, beyond words, beyond thought, does away with the “false self,” triggers transformation of consciousness, and is an awakening. Suggested techniques often include breathing exercises, visualization, repetition of a word or phrase, and detachment from thinking. (Source)
Evangelical pastor Gary Gilley also tells us what to watch out for:
[C]ontemplative prayer is not the same as prayer defined biblically; “sacred reading” (also called lectio divina) of Scripture is not the same as Bible study; meditation (mystically encountering God) is not the same as knowing God and so forth. Many of the same terms are used, but as the classical liberals, and the more recent emergents, are fond of doing, they take our terms, including biblical ones, and give them new definitions and twists. (Source)
Paul wrote, “Train yourself for godliness” (1 Tim. 4:7). This sort of training promotes Christlikeness. The ESV translates “train” as “discipline.” To “train yourself for godliness” means a call to holy living. It also means hard work. According to the John MacArthur Study Bible study notes, “train” is an athletic term “denoting the rigorous, self-sacrificing exercise an athlete undergoes. Spiritual self-discipline is the path to godly living.” Training such as this has been termed “spiritual exercises” or “spiritual disciplines.” As a result of “spiritual disciplines” many Christians now practice Contemplative Prayer. Many CP practitioners believe that they’re receiving direct revelations from God. “From years of studying mystics of all stripes,” says Ken Silva, “I can tell you their perceived revelations then trump the texts of Holy Scripture for them. In other words, rather than testing these experiences by God’s Word, now these (CP) practitioners … are instead using their feelings to interpret the Bible through what they think God is saying. I’m telling you, the tragic fact is, the mainstream of professing Christendom is rapidly devolving into all kinds of silly superstitions.” (Source)
Gospel Coalition’s D.A. Carson explains the spiritual disciplines thusly:
Nowadays spiritual disciplines may include Bible reading, meditation, worship, giving away money, fasting, solitude, fellowship, deeds of service, evangelism, almsgiving, creation care, journaling, missionary work, and more. It may include vows of celibacy, self-flagellation, and chanting mantras. In popular usage, some of these so-called spiritual disciplines are entirely divorced from any specific doctrine whatsoever, Christian or otherwise: they are merely a matter of technique. That is why people sometimes say, “For your doctrine, by all means commit yourselves to evangelical confessionalism. But when it comes to the spiritual disciplines, turn to Catholicism or perhaps Buddhism.” What is universally presupposed by the expression “spiritual discipline” is that such disciplines are intended to increase our spirituality. From a Christian perspective, however, it is simply not possible to increase one’s spirituality without possessing the Holy Spirit and submitting to his transforming instruction and power. Techniques are never neutral. They are invariably loaded with theological presuppositions, often unrecognized. (emphasis added) (Source)
As I said above, many Christians feel like something is missing from their prayer life and they long to “connect with God” in a more meaningful way. So they’ll do just about anything to “cultivate intimacy with God,” including unbiblical meditation. The irony is that they’ll attempt to defend an unbiblical practice by quoting Scripture. Take for example Joshua 1:8:
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
Some Christians will argue that Joshua 1:8 shows that God approves of this mind emptying type of meditation. Wrong! The text is instructing us to meditate on God’s Word, not to empty our minds.
I’ll explain biblical mediation in a moment. But first let’s look at how Webster’s defines meditation:
The words Ponder, Meditate, Muse, and Ruminate are synonyms and mean to consider or examine attentively or deliberately. PONDER implies a careful weighing of a problem or, often, prolonged inconclusive thinking about a matter; MEDITATE implies a definite focusing of one’s thoughts on something as to understand it deeply; muse suggests a more or less focused daydreaming as in remembrance; RUMINATE implies going over the same matter in one’s thoughts again and again but suggests little of either purposive thinking or rapt absorption.
Now let’s look at Psalm 119 to see what the Bible teaches on meditation:
I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. (119:15).
Princes also did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes. (119:23)
Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works. (119:27)
My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes. (119:48)
See also: 119:78, 119:97, 119:99,119:148.
The Apostle Paul says the following:
Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. (2Tim 2:7)
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think [mediated] on these things. (Phil 4:8)
Could the Almighty have made the meaning of meditation any clearer? God has also made it abundantly clear that He forbids His people to indulge in any form of pagan idolatry. So practicing mystical mantra meditation is going against God! This alone should be enough to scare individuals away from this type of approach to prayer.
When it comes to pagan practices God leaves no room for doubt: Do it and die spiritually…even physically, as in King Saul’s case.
Over the years I have dealt with “Christian yoga” in several of my columns. So I’ll briefly touch on it here for the simple reason that a large number of Christ followers have wholeheartedly embraced the Buddhist practice of yoga. Even churches offer yoga classes with a Christian spin on it! Not surprisingly, enterprising Christians head up successful yoga businesses such as “Holy Yoga,” “PraiseMoves and “Yahweh Yoga” (YY) just to name a few. YY’s website promises to “increase the kingdom of Jesus Christ by establishing, providing and maintaining a Christian yoga studio and teaching academy that honors God in all business and ministry endeavors. Yahweh Yoga seeks to…empower men and women to de-stress, to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ and to improve their mind, body and spirit…”
It’s not a stretch to say that the language used to promote YY comes right out of the New Age handbook.
Here’s the bottom line. So-called Christian yoga has nothing in common with authentic Christianity. In fact, the Bible warns:
For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. (Eph 5:8-11)
In one of my columns entitled Can A Pagan Practice Be “Christianized” I drew attention to the fact that:
Yoga is being marketed to mainline churches with the assurance of creating stress reduction, developing self-confidence, and improving concentration. It is also marketed to business and industry, athletes, senior citizens, students, teens and adolescents. Because of our fast paced life-style, who wouldn’t want to reduce stress? This is why yoga classes have become so popular.
Now here’s the main reason Christians should avoid yoga. Christian apologists John Ankerberg and John Weldon maintain that, “The basic premise of yoga theory is the fundamental unity of all existence: God, man, and all of creation are ultimately one divine reality.” To explain the basic premise, the authors quote from an editorial in the Yoga Journal:
“We are all aware that yoga means ‘union’ and that the practice of yoga unites body, breath, and mind, lower and higher energy centers and, ultimately self and God, or higher Self. But more broadly, yoga directs our attention to the unity or oneness that underlies our fragmented experiences and equally fragmented world. Family, friends, the Druze guerrilla in Lebanon, the great whale migrating north — all share the same essential [divine] nature.”
This quote alone should raise concerns among Christians but when looked at in light of Bible expositor John MacArthur’s comments extracted from a CNN Primetime interview where he was asked “Should Christians practice yoga,” it ought to be completely clear that Christians should not participate:
John MacArthur…wondered why Christians would want to “borrow a term that is part of a false religion” (that clashes with historic orthodox Christianity). MacArthur contends that Christians shouldn’t put themselves in weird physical positions, empty their minds, focus on him or herself, and try to find the “god within” as a way to relieve stress. “This is practicing a false religion,” he said rather pointedly. Then he boldly shared the gospel. He said in order to have a whole and complete life, Christians must go to the Word of God, to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, “The idea of Christianity is to fill your mind with biblical truth and focus on the God which is above you.”
We can be thankful that there are a few Christian leaders in America who are willing to stand up for the truth.
In conclusion, “Christian mysticism” has emerged from false religious systems. But instead of fleeing from magical mystical practices, scores of Christians have embraced them! The brethren must be warned that Scripture strictly forbids uniting with pagans and apostates. Moreover, those who profess Christ must be admonished not to participate in Contemplative Prayer or any sort of mantra meditation for the reason that spiritual harm can result from it.
So far we have we heard arguments about the “sociological” impact of faux marriage and, from pro-marriage (conservative) lawyer Charles Cooper, about awaiting “additional information from the jurisdictions where this experiment is still maturing,” as if the case is just a matter of whether the Court should be an agent of social engineering at this time and in this instance. Justice Anthony Kennedy, who could be the swing vote in the case, weighed in on both sides of the debate, saying, “There’s substance to the point that sociological information is new. We have 5 years of information to weigh against 2,000 years of history or more.” But he also claimed that California’s “40,000 children with same-sex parents…want their parents to have full recognition and full status” and asked Cooper, “The voice of those children is important in this case, don’t you think?” My answer?
No, it isn’t.
The only voice that matters is the Constitution’s. The whole point in having rule of law is that its application is not dependent upon what the “voice” of a given group of Americans might say at any given time (or upon some smaller group’s conception of what that voice demands), regardless of how sympathetic that group may be. Would you want First Amendment rights to be negotiable based on how a compelling “voice” may be able to tug on heartstrings?
And the Constitution is silent on marriage, meaning that the issue is the domain of the states. What, though, if the states legislate a marriage standard that has negative “sociological” impact? Well, what if a state institutes a poorly conceived driver’s test or productivity-stifling tax laws and regulations? The proper remedy is the ballot box. The Constitution prohibits unconstitutional ideas — not merely bad ones — and these two categories often don’t intersect. Thus, a justice’s legitimate role is not arbiter of sociological impact, but only of constitutionality. Yet many today behave as if “bad” is synonymous with “unconstitutional” and as if both are defined as “whatever I don’t happen to like.”
But then we come to the equal-protection matter. Shouldn’t homosexuals have the right to marry if other Americans enjoy that right? Yes, they should.
They have a right to form that union with a member of the opposite sex that we call marriage.
This isn’t just rhetoric. It is in fact a point that gets to the very heart of the matter, and traditionalists ignore it at their own peril.
Before you can debate whether or not there is a right to a thing, you have to know what that thing is. What is marriage? If we agree that it’s the union between a man and woman, then there is no argument because no one is trying to stop any adult American from entering into such a union. Ah, but the anti-marriage (liberal) side will reject this time-honored definition, and this brings us to the point: the marriage debate is not a matter of rights.
It is a matter of definitions.
It is also brings us to the Achilles heel of the anti-marriage side. They attack traditionalists with the notion that the time-honored definition of marriage is exclusive and discriminatory, but then defend themselves by saying that their agitation for faux marriage won’t lead to polygamy and other conceptions of “marriage” being legalized. But what is implicit in these claims is contradictory. For if they’re putting forth an alternative definition — such as marriage being the union of any two adults — they’re also being exclusive and discriminatory, as any definition excludes what doesn’t meet it. Yet if they don’t put forth an alternative definition and exclude something, they are including everything. And everything encompasses every conception of “marriage” imaginable. This definitional failure would also contribute to the destruction of the institution because the closer marriage gets to meaning anything, the closer it gets to meaning nothing.
This brings us to traditionalists’ great mistake: falsely accusing the other side of redefining marriage. They’ve done no such thing because they haven’t, in fact, consistently propounded any alternative definition. To do this would be, once again, to relinquish their illusory high ground of inclusivity and the bigotry hammer they use against traditionalists. So if the anti-marriage side isn’t redefining the institution, what are they actually doing?
They are “undefining” it.
To reiterate, this is a process by which marriage is rendered meaningless and is ultimately destroyed. This definitional problem is why the left has very smartly framed this issue as a matter of rights. And, tragically, traditionalists have fallen into the trap of arguing it on this basis, of letting the left define nothing — except the debate.
So the relevant questions here are obvious. If the left cannot say what marriage is, how can they be so sure about what it isn’t? If they cannot put forth what they’re sure is the right definition of it, how can they say with credibility that the time-honored one is wrong?
This also should inform judicial decisions. If the Supreme Court were to reflexively accept the time-honored definition of marriage, it would simply say that homosexuals already have a right to marry — to form a union with a member of the opposite sex — and that’s that. Barring this, however, it seems that before the justices could rule on laws pertaining to this thing called marriage, they’d have to rule on what this thing is in the first place, something clearly beyond their scope. And why should they even consider redefining the institution when the movement represented by the plaintiffs before them hasn’t even bothered to do so?
This is also why, when crafting pro-marriage laws and amendments, framers should not use language stating that “marriage will be limited to a man and a woman”; rather, it should read, “Marriage is defined as the union between one man and one woman.” This makes clear that it isn’t people being limited — but an institution. This matters because people have rights; institutions don’t. If you extend legal recognition to some Americans’ marriages, you may have to extend it to all marriages. But this doesn’t mean that if you extend legal recognition to one conception of marriage, you have to extend it to all conceptions.
Of course, winning the debate in the realm of reason won’t hold sway with people awash in the effluent of emotion. But it certainly doesn’t help if conservatives conserve nothing but yesterday’s liberals’ victories, one of which is to convince us to speak of “gay marriage” and “traditional marriage,” as if the former actually exists and the latter isn’t a redundancy. So remember that this debate isn’t about rights but definitions, and something that doesn’t meet the definition of “marriage” doesn’t exist as a marriage. And you cannot have a right to that which doesn’t exist.
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?
With the election of Pope Francis, there has been an almost “catholic” attempt to determine if he is liberal or conservative. CBS claims he is a “staunch conservative” based on the fact that, as correspondent Allen Pizzey put it, he “opposes abortion, supports celibacy, and called gay adoption discrimination against children,” not to mention his opposition to faux marriage. Tingle Central’s Chris Matthews said that the new pontiff is economically “progressive,” which, if we were to be informed by actual statistics, should mean he wouldn’t give one red cent to anybody. But none of these analysts will peg the pope because they’re using the provisional to understand a man defined by an institution based in the perpetual. And the reality is this: the terms “liberal,” “conservative,” and “moderate” are, in the truest sense, meaningless in Catholic circles. And understanding why holds a lesson for all of us.
Republican Ohio senator Rob Portman recently announced that he now supports faux marriage, and other self-proclaimed conservatives, such as CNN News’ Margaret Hoover, have long done so. On the other hand, conservative Cliff Kincaid was recently scored by Michelle Malkin’s site Twitchy for writing, “There is no such thing as a ‘gay conservative,’ unless the term ‘conservative’ has lost all meaning,” prompting Renew America’s Bryan Fischer to accuse the Malkinites of “trying to redefine conservatism.” But Kincaid gets it close to right and Fischer is wrong.
Conservatism never had enduring meaning because it was never truly defined in the first place.
Understand that all places and times — that is, all modern times — have had their conservatives. Europe has its conservatives, but their general attitude toward faux marriage ranges from support to blithe indifference, and they don’t trouble much over abortion. And conservatives in the 1950s Soviet Union were communists when ours were staunchly anti-communist. The lesson here? The only consistent definition of “conservative” is “a desire to maintain the status quo.” Thus, what the average conservative is changes with the status quo.
This also means that as the status quo degrades, so will the day’s conservatism.
This is why G.K. Chesterton once said, “The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.”
Many conservatives bristle when I point this out. But it’s nothing personal; hey, you may be as principled as St. Thomas More. But facts are facts, and they’re illuminated by our American political history. Most all liberal programs and social innovations — Social Security, Medicare, the Department of Education, the principle that government may prohibit unfashionable discrimination in business, and many others — were opposed at their birth by their day’s conservatives. Most are also supported by the majority of our day’s conservatives. What happened? It’s called operating based on ephemeral fashions and not timeless Truth.
Conservatives are the caboose to liberals’ locomotive: liberals propose all the changes; extract incremental compromise; and, getting a slice here, a few crumbs there, and a morsel elsewhere, eventually have the whole loaf. The result is that tradition is starved to death and fertilizes the ground in which sprout the weeds of Wormwood.
And what will happen, barring some pattern-changing civilizational upheaval, is obvious. As you principled old-guard types die out, more malleable conservatives become further inured, and tomorrow’s conservatives are born and mature, faux marriage will be taken for granted as it is in Sweden (US polls have already shifted on the issue), and ObamaCare will be considered as necessary as the NHS is in Britain.
The problem is that conservatism is like liberalism in that it reflects relativism. Conservatives are on one side of the political and cultural spectrum as defenders of the status quo, though it’s a role they perform poorly; liberals are on the other side as the overthrowers of the status quo.
And they meet in the left-of-center.
That spectrum’s middle point then moves further away from Truth as society’s consensus views become increasingly corrupted. In other words, the spectrum is fluid because it’s determined by man’s whims, and the same is true of the definitions of the terms used to describe the positions on it: liberal, conservative, and moderate.
Of course, many conservatives are not in bed with relativism, though some have certainly fallen victim to that characteristic cultural disease of modernity. But the point is that if you’re not a relativist — if you hold that your beliefs are eternally right and not just on the right — you’re closer to Catholicism than to any consistent notions about “conservatism,” whether you realize it or not.
The Catholic position is not conservative or liberal, but superior, and you don’t have to be Catholic to understand that this is not a claim born of sectarian chauvinism. The Church does not define itself based on a given society’s political and cultural spectrum, but based on Absolute Truth, which she recognizes to be transcendent, eternal, and unchanging. You may disagree with her conception of Truth, perhaps even profoundly, yet believing that Truth exists is the only rational position.
This relates to a conversion experience I had a long, long time ago. I realized that if there wasn’t something deeper than the political, deeper than the cultural even — if man’s opinions were all there is — then my “conservative” views were essentially meaningless. Sure, I liked them as I liked chocolate ice cream, but if they were just flavors of the day, how could I credibly say they were any better than liberal ones? To thus boast there had to a transcendent yardstick for judging such things. There had to be Truth.
This is the understanding of Catholicism as well, which, as Chesterton also said, “talks as if it were the truth; as if it were a real messenger refusing to tamper with a real message.” Liberalism will tamper, and conservatism will, in the least, yield to the tampering. This is because while William F. Buckley said that a conservative’s role was to “stand athwart history, yelling Stop…,” at what should we stop? Where is the destination? We can be a caboose making ourselves heavier and harder to pull, but at the end of the day we’re not striving for a definite destination; instead, we always behave as if there is no destination, but happiness perhaps lies in continual movement down that road to we know not where. And without an unchanging, eternal vision of our terminus, that will be our eternal error.
The Church has just such a vision. You may love it or you may hate it, but one thing you won’t do is change it. And this is why virtually all the Church’s secular critics, and even most of her secular fans, cannot understand her. They know of a world determined by man and his majority vote, a place where money and lobbying and protesting bend wills. But the Church bends to only one immutable will. This is why it’s so silly when journalists run headlines such as the Huffington Post’s “Pope Francis Against [sic] Gay Marriage, Gay Adoption.” It may as well be thought newsworthy that he upholds “Thou shalt do no murder” or that he breathes air and ingests food. What the secular left finds so shockingly politically incorrect about the Church involves definitive teaching, which means that it has a basis in Truth, cannot change, and must be obeyed by peons and popes alike.
Note that this doesn’t mean a given prelate can’t have what we call liberal or conservative instincts, and I have my reservations about Pope Francis, with his being a South American Jesuit. But the point is that when the media anxiously wait for a “liberal” pope that will deliver the Church to evil, they don’t realize that while such a man could exercise liberal tendencies, he could only do so outside the context of definitive teaching on faith and dogma. There is no “amendment process” for the commandments and their corollaries.
So while many in the media are trying to agitate against the Church, their relativistic understanding would preclude their covering her properly even if they wanted to. They’re used to a world of provisional beliefs, such as liberalism and conservatism, which lack defined doctrine or even an institution that could credibly render such and thus are defined only by their adherents. This is much as how we learned the ways of ducks not by consulting a Duck bible or catechism, but by observing their behavior.
But the Church doesn’t quack like a duck. She has a magisterium (teaching office) that has set certain doctrines in stone, and a Catholic’s relationship with respect to them is neither conservative nor liberal. The relevant terms are orthodox and heterodox or, to use a less fashionable word, heretical.
This may offend modernistic ears, but it’s the only way to not quack like a duck — and end up quacking differently in every time and place. The terms conservative and liberal are relatively new; in saner ages, there was no right and left, only right and wrong. That is the mindset we must recapture today, and it’s why I long ago stopped calling myself a conservative. Why be devoted to conserving the decades-old victories of heretics — or as some today call them, liberals? Why be on the right side of the political spectrum when even that is well to the side of Truth? And there is only Truth…and everything else.
And everything else is nothing at all.
Well, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is at it again. In their typical obsessive hate-filled paranoia, the SPLC has issued another baseless assassination piece against anyone whom they consider to be “right-wing.” They call their hit piece, “The Year in Hate and Extremism.” Of course, only “right-wing” leaders are so characterized. According to the SPLC, left-wing leaders are always the voices of reason and goodness. Barf!
The SPLC article lists several conservative leaders as examples of “hate and extremism.” They include Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), U.S. Representative Trey Radel (R-FL), former Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack, Matt Barber of the Liberty Counsel, FOX News radio host Todd Starnes, and ConservativeDaily.com’s Tony Adkins. “Even further to the right,” according to the SPLC, are Oath Keepers (founded by Stewart Rhodes), Judicial Watch’s Larry Klayman, and, yes, yours truly.
I take special delight in knowing that the SPLC ALWAYS puts me on or near the top of their most “dangerous” patriot lists. (Richard Mack and Stewart Rhodes also seem to merit this same attention.) I can’t tell you what a relief this is to me! I would hate to think that all of this work that I’m doing would somehow be overlooked by an extremist left-wing hate group like the SPLC. Plus, every time the SPLC puts me on one of their lists, donations, contributions, and support for my work always skyrocket. So, if you want to put your money behind a man who especially irritates the SPLC, you can donate to Chuck Baldwin Live here:
The SPLC maintains that 2012 saw a dramatic increase in the number of right-wing “hate groups.” Again, according to the SPLC, there are no left-wing hate groups. Of course, the SPLC doesn’t bother to name or locate these groups. Everyone is just supposed to take their word that they exist.
In addition, the SPLC maintains that anyone who opposes the UN’s Agenda 21 is also part of the “radical right,” as is anyone who belongs to the John Birch Society. Predictably, the SPLC report associates any and all of the above with neo-Nazis. This is a typical tactic of the SPLC (and other ultra-liberal organizations) to discredit conservatives by associating them with Nazis.
See the SPLC report at:
Back in 2010, the SPLC issued its list of 40 patriot leaders: people whom they consider to be part of the “radical right.” And, yes, Chuck Baldwin is at the very top of the list. Others who made the list in 2010 include Stewart Rhodes and Richard Mack (again), Alex Jones, Devvy Kidd, Cliff Kincaid, Jack McLamb, John McManus, Daniel New, Larry Pratt, Joel Skousen, Edwin Vieira, Jr., Andrew Napolitano, and Ron Paul.
See my column on this report at:
The SPLC is such a paranoid, extremist, ultra-liberal organization it would seem that only those who are the most biased and prejudiced in their liberal philosophy could even take them half-way seriously. Unfortunately, however, the SPLC is one of the most-often quoted sources by the mainstream media. Of course, most Americans realize that the mainstream media, for the most part, is itself extremely biased in favor of a left-wing agenda, so it is not surprising that they would gravitate to the left-wing paranoia that emanates from the SPLC.
However, even more unfortunate is the fact that the Department of Justice (DOJ) in Washington, D.C., also gives credence to the SPLC’s ultra-left-wing propaganda. This is the most disturbing part of the SPLC hysteria: the nation’s law enforcement agencies that receive instructions, bulletins, memos, briefs, etc., from the DOJ are watching the feds regurgitate the left-wing propaganda of the SPLC. This is why State police agencies, such as what we saw happen in Missouri’s MIAC report, end up characterizing conservatives as “extremist hate groups.” They got it from the DOJ, which got it from the SPLC.
So, how is it that a private extremist organization such as the SPLC is given this kind of notoriety and credibility by the federal government?
In a previous column, I pointed out that the SPLC and DOJ enjoy a very cozy relationship. In that column I said, “The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in Montgomery, Alabama, has long been used by the federal government and the national press corps to paint conservative organizations as ‘extremists,’ ‘anti-government,’ ‘hate groups,’ etc. No sooner would the SPLC issue some attack piece in their newsletter and police agencies all over the country would be issuing bulletins to their officers regurgitating what the SPLC had just spewed out. No private organization has this kind of connection to, and influence over, police agencies nationwide without collaboration with the Department of Justice (DOJ) in Washington, D.C. Well, now, we have evidence that such a collaboration exists.
“Brietbart.com has just released a report by Judicial Watch confirming that the DOJ and the SPLC are intricately tied to the hip. The report states, ‘Judicial Watch (JW), a Washington D.C. based non-partisan educational foundation, released some two dozen pages of emails it obtained on Tuesday revealing connections between the Department of Justice Civil Rights and Tax divisions and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).’”
See the column at:
That the DOJ has such a cozy relationship with this type of ultra-liberal organization should be cause for concern by all Americans. After all, justice is supposed to be adjudicated equally to all men–conservatives or liberals–according to the rule of law, not parceled out with the taint of bias and prejudice.
So, the SPLC is at it again. And, once again, I am flattered to be included in their list, because a man is known as much by his enemies as he is his friends. If the SPLC is attacking me, I must be doing something right.
One day back in high school, a very interesting English teacher asked our class a moral question: if you could press a button and get a million dollars, but a little old man — with no family, friends, or ties of any kind — in the backwoods of China would die, would you push that button?
Approximately a third of the class raised their hands in the affirmative.
This story always comes to mind when I ponder the abortion question. The old line of the pro-abortion lobby was that they wanted abortion to be “safe, legal, and rare,” implying it’s some sort of necessary evil. Their reasoning always was, “Well, we don’t know when human life begins, so whether or not to end a pregnancy should be the woman’s choice.” Of course, this position was never morally or philosophically sound. After all, if what lies within the womb is just an “unviable tissue mass,” why worry about abortion being “rare”? Oh, yes, the pro-aborts aren’t sure about the intrauterine being’s status. All right, then what they’re essentially saying is that they’ll err on the side of recklessness. It may be murder, you know — so we’ll just do it a little bit.
Yet the truth is different still.
The militant pro-aborts couldn’t have cared less about any of the above.
It was simply that pushing the button worked for them.
And now that we’ve descended further down the rabbit hole of atheism and barbarity, the mask is coming off. New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo just recently bloviated about keeping people safe from imaginary “assault weapons,” but then in a later speech advocated abortion almost without restriction. He repeated passionately, “It’s her body, her choice!” — three times. Interestingly, this political tactic for manipulating the masses was recommended by Adolf Hitler in Mein Kampf: he said that the average person had a very short memory, so you must use pithy, catchy slogans and repeat them frequently. Hey, now we know why talk-show host Bob Grant dubbed Cuomo’s father, a former NY governor, “Il Duce.”
But Cuomo the Younger has plenty of company. When Barack Obama infected the Illinois Senate, he voted against the Born Alive Infants Protection Act (BAIPA) and inveighed against it on the Senate floor — on more than one occasion. And understand this law’s purpose. It would sometimes happen that a baby was born alive during a botched abortion, and, well, a good contract killer always finishes the job. So these poor children would be left to die of exposure, perhaps in lonely, soiled storerooms. And BAIPA would have prohibited this. But Push-button Obama?
He clearly had no problem with it.
Of course, he did say during the 2008 campaign that the question of when human life begins was above his “pay grade.” But how far above? Is it that the president believes human life begins when a person can vote Democrat?
A better explanation was provided by former Obama aide Neera Tanden, who said that her ex-boss “really doesn’t like people.” And, well, people are people, no matter how small (hat tip: Dr. Seuss).
In reality, however, my erstwhile high-school peers, Cuomo, Obama, and the rest of the Push-button Baal worshipers are simply moving closer to intellectual consistency as they move further from moral sanity. After all, think about where the “pro-choice” position takes us. It doesn’t really matter what month one says human life “may” begin because we’re always presented with the same correlative questions. What week of that month? What day of that week? What hour and minute of that day? And, then, what second of that minute?
This lends perspective. For what we then must accept is that one second the intrauterine entity isn’t a person, but the next second it — although I suppose at that moment we can say “he” — somehow magically becomes one. And this isn’t even the moment of conception, a seminal event without which there would be no development in the womb whatsoever. So how, pro-aborts, does this humanizing transformation take place?
And this logic also applies to the justification of abortion throughout pregnancy…and beyond. After all, if it’s okay to kill the intrauterine being in a certain month, what is the exact week, day, hour, and second of that month before which it isn’t morally licit? This is a case where when seconds count, the police will never come because the wrong second deems you push-button prey.
But here is the reality: that being inside the womb is a person. And forget the intellectual contortions — the truth will out. If it’s all right to murder an innocent person one second, there is no reason to think it isn’t okay the next, and then the next and the next and…well, finish the progression. So is Obama’s tolerance for killing the already born really surprising? “Already born” simply refers to a change in a person’s location — not status. And, note, the same is true of “born a long, long time ago.”
This brings us back to my question of how the post-conception, second-to-second humanizing transformation occurs. The only logical (which isn’t necessarily synonymous with correct) argument is that the moment in question is when the being is implanted with a soul; this is, after all, why Christians say that conception is when personhood begins. Yet theological discussions would be pointless here because the vanguard pro-aborts are secularists who, by and large, don’t subscribe to antiquated ideas about souls and “sky fairies.” They are materialists.
And this is why the atheistic world view ultimately makes respect for life incomprehensible. For if we don’t have souls, we’re just some pounds of chemicals and water — mere organic robots — as Stephen Hawking says he considers us. And what could be wrong with terminating the function of a robot? This “insight” frees you from the burden of performing more complex intellectual contortions. Big robot, small robot, temporarily residing inside a larger robot; what does it matter? Robots are robots, no matter how tall.
Taking the matter further, note that if there is no God, there can be no transcendent Moral Truth. Following from this is that what we call morality is just a reflection of man’s wants, which means there isn’t really any such thing as right and wrong; as the liberals are wont to say, it’s all just a matter of “perspective.” And with no Truth but only taste, no virtues but only “values,” the formula becomes, as occultist Aleister Crowley devilishly put it, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.”
This is why I’ve said that if the leftists’ moral relativism is taken to its logical conclusion, the result is sociopathy. After all, how does a conscience compute, fellow organic robots, if there is nothing to be conscientious about?
Now perhaps you better understand why leftists’ behavior is often so sociopathic. And be afraid, be very afraid. Once the godless left has the power and the mask drops completely, it may be you who they push the button on next.