A Pastor’s Dream 30 Years Ago foresaw a ‘terrible dictator’ as President — How It Could Be

A pastor dreamed of an African-American president with Obama’s description, well-liked at first, but he became a ‘terrible dictator.’ The dream was not shared widely because it seemed impossible in the 1980’s. (Google or click ‘Jack Darnall’s Dream‘)

Jack Darnall, a Seventh-day Adventist pastor was running a ‘prepper’ Bible prophecy course 36 years ago in California when this author met him. Darnall is deceased but his dream describes a tall, thin, close-cropped hair and large eared, black president who became a ‘terrible dictator.’ We look now at how he could be president when Christ comes.

Five ‘when-then’ events from 2015 signal the end-time ‘day of the Lord,’ to begin this spring, based on the solar eclipse followed by a blood moon two weeks later on Passover in 2015. The Bible says, “The sun shall be darkened and the moon turned to blood before [paniym means facing the day of the Lord.” in the last verses of Joel’s 2nd chapter. Those signal events of 2015 face this year.

“The day of the Lord” brings bad news for Israel because the 14th of Zechariah shows it linked to hostile forces surrounding Jerusalem with houses rifled and women raped. Additional basis for this is explained here. If we see this at Passover, a biblical time of judgment, it signals Christ’s sayings in the last half of Matthew’s 24th chapter as follows:

“Learn a parable of a fig tree.” It was a tree that had leaves but no fruit. It represented the Jewish nation, professing to be a godly nation, but they lacked the fruits of righteousness. In an acted parable, Christ cursed the fig tree and it withered in the 21st chapter of Matthew. But how about the United States now? We profess to be a godly nation, but Roe v Wade showed the U.S. more like Egypt that killed infants.

God took Israel from Egypt to a covenant relationship, later saying, “I am married to you,” and it’s in that sense Christians should understand the wedding parables and God’s protection of His covenant-keeping people in the land of the covenant as the context of the New Covenant Promise shows in the 31st of Jeremiah and affirmed by the apostle Paul in his 3rd chapter to the Galatians, last verse.

“As the days of Noah,” we may expect a sudden calamity that causes many deaths and devastates our nation–it’s probably an earthquake that does this because “the day of the Lord” is linked to an earthquake in several passages and the apostle Paul said it comes with “sudden destruction” when they say ‘Peace and safety’ (Iran Nuclear Treaty) in the 5th chapter of Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians.

“Then shall two be in the field. One shall be taken and the other left.” This was the basis of fictional  books and movies on a sudden rapture, but it ignores the context at the end of the 17th chapter of Luke where the disciples asked, Where [taken]? Christ said, Where the body is, there will the vultures be. This reference by Christ may be about martial law as a result of the earthquake (previous paragraph) and Obama’s executive orders to stay in power rather than have free elections.

“The goodman, if he had known, would have watched, and not suffered his house to be broken by the thief.” The house being broken supports the idea of an earthquake and Christ said if we don’t watch, He will come as a thief to us in the 3rd chapter of Revelation. It is this coming of Christ that could fit Jack Darnall’s dream, even this spring.

“The evil servant thinks his lord delays his coming and begins to smite fellow servants.” We see Islam smiting Christians, but Christ’s meaning could include the prophetic picture of a UN New World Order. The 24th chapter of Matthew ends with “Then shall the kingdom be like 10 virgins,” a parable that implies we are asleep with our lights out re the wedding parables that are poorly understood, but explained in an article here.

European Civilization: R.I.P.

In early September 1999, on a combined business/pleasure trip to Europe, I had my one and only opportunity to cross the English Channel on a hovercraft from Dover to Calais.  However, since the hovercraft Princess Margaret and Princess Anne were temporarily out of service, it became necessary to cross the channel aboard the Seacat Great Britain from Folkstone, south of Dover, to Boulogne on the French seacoast, some 30 miles south of Calais.

Arriving in Calais on a Sunday afternoon, we found the Avis rental car agency at the Calais train station was closed for the day.  However, the manager of Avis’s Calais office was kind enough to interrupt his day off long enough for us to obtain our reserved rental car.  It also gave us a few hours to tour the town centre of that beautifully restored city that was all but leveled during World War II.  But life in Calais has changed dramatically in the past fifteen years and it is unlikely, given local conditions, that Avis or Hertz still maintains rental agencies in Calais.

On January 4, 2016 I published a column questioning whether we are now witnessing the end of European civilization.  In that column, I questioned how people in the U.S. and Europe would respond to the bloodshed that is certain to occur when millions of well-armed muhajirs flood into Europe.  When asked by German journalist Jurgen Todenhofer if ISIS was prepared to kill every Shiite Muslim on Earth, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi scoffed, “One-hundred fifty million or 500 million, we don’t care; it’s only a technical problem for us.  We are ready to do that.”

So if ISIS considers the difference between killing 150 million or 500 million Shia to be a mere “technicality,” how will the people of Europe handle a full-scale onslaught by such people?  Will they be prepared to do whatever is necessary to save European civilization, or are they simply too war weary from having two world wars fought on their soil to even defend themselves?  The answer to that question becomes clearer with each passing day, and nowhere do we see a greater example of European spinelessness than in present-day Calais.  To illustrate, I will quote a recent speech by a French housewife named Simone, a lifelong resident of Calais.  She said:

“My name is Simone, and I live in Calais.  I am a native Calaisienne.  My parents were also… I have always lived there and Calais used to be a very nice town… We had peace, we had security, and there were always a lot of people about in summer and in winter…”

Then she went on to describe how former Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy had decided to close the nearby Sangatte refugee camp, causing the inhabitants to descend upon Calais.  She said, “Even I, at the beginning, I said they are unhappy people.  They are lost. They have nothing.  Maybe we could help them.  And I cannot tell you how it happened from one day to the next, but we soon found ourselves with thousands.  I say thousands of migrants… actually, at the moment, there are 18,000 in what they call the ‘Jungle.’  Yes, 18,000.

“It’s terrible because they really made a city within the city.  They have discotheques, shops,

schools, hairdressers.  They even have… er… no, I cannot say it but I think you understand… for

the needs of the gentlemen, of course.  They made roads; they gave names to these streets.  They elected a mayor.  Yet, the police cannot enter what they call the ‘Muslim part.’  It is prohibited.

“Until then, we could perhaps have been able to bear it, but one cannot bear the unbearable.  When one sees that, incessantly, every day, every night, there are riots.  They come to the town centre… two, three, four thousand, everywhere.  They bash cars with iron rods, they attack people.  They even attack children.  There are rapes, there is theft, it is unimaginable what we suffer.  They enter private houses when people are at home.  They just enter; they want to eat; they help themselves.  Sometimes they also bash the people, stealing what they can, and afterwards, what they cannot take they destroy.  And when we want to defend ourselves we have the police on our backs.  The police have not accepted any complaints for a long time.

“My own son has been attacked.  He was walking quietly in the city centre.  He was listening to his music.  He had the earphones in his ears when someone tapped him on the shoulder.  He turned around, thinking it was one of his friends.  Instead, he was facing three clandestins (illegals) and he took a big blow to the face with an iron bar.  My son is quite strong, so he managed to defend himself and the three took some blows.  But then he heard some noise.  There were about thirty migrants who came to massacre him.  As he is no kamikaze, he fled.  When I saw my son come home like that, frankly, I told myself they could have killed him…

“They attack children when they return from school, or when they go to school or to the college.  They go so far as to take the school buses, enter the school bus with the children.  On January 23rd they started a big riot in Calais.  It was terrible… They went as far as attacking the statue of General De Gaulle.  They wrote on it, ‘F_ _ _ France,’ with the ISIS flag underneath… They demonstrate because of their conditions, but the more one gives them the more they demand…

“I loved very much to go to what I call the ‘grave’ of my son… it’s at the sea.  I lost my son and we put his ashes into the sea.  It was his wish; I respected his wish.  I said to my husband in the evening, ‘Take me to the grave of my son.  I need it.  I cannot do it any longer because even just to cross the town centre of Calais you put yourself in danger.  In the evening, as soon as it gets  dark, one is in danger.  I cannot go there any longer, where I loved to go.  I cannot any more (sobbing), it’s not possible.  I am afraid.  I’m afraid and there are many like us in Calais…

“The government has abandoned us.  They have decided to make of Calais a (wasteland), and if we don’t move we will be burdened with all the migrants of France here and we are finished.  We are dead.  And the Calaisians are like sheep.  I don’t understand them.  Yesterday I was in that (anti-Islam) demonstration; I was in the middle of it with my husband, my son, and friends.  And there was General (Christian) Piquemal…  And what I saw yesterday I won’t hide it from you.  I could not sleep all night because I have reviewed the scene incessantly.  They did not talk about it on the TV, the radio, not even in the newspapers.  We saw him arrested, manhandled like a thief.  He who, after all, is a French icon, an image of France who deserves respect and all the honours due to his rank.  Like a thug, we saw him pushed to the ground.  The policeman put his foot on his neck.  I promise you. We saw it.

“Even the merchants have lost 40-60 percent of their income, whereas before, Calais was a

flourishing city; it was lively, animated, gay.  There were always foreigners during the summer holidays and at the end-of-year celebrations.  Today, there is nothing left.  All the shops that had opened in the centre of town have closed down, one after the other.  Calais is a dead town… And when they come into town armed with their iron bars and their Molotov cocktails, watch out.

“And let’s speak about Madame Bouchart, the Mayor of Calais (hisses and boos).  I will tell you what I call her.  I call her ‘the slug.’  Yes, because the longer it is since she was elected mayor of Calais, the fatter she gets.  And frankly, she does nothing for the residents of Calais.  She got millions of Euros in assistance for the residents of Calais.  It was for helping the Calaisians, to help them in finding employment.  The first thing she organized was the construction of containers to house the migrants.  She had them made in Brittany, not even in Calais.  The only jobs she created in Calais… I know it because I have a friend who was offered one… were fifty jobs to clean up the crap left by the migrants… Voila!  The jobs proposed by Mme. Bouchart.

“And now there is something more: the ‘No Borders’ (organization).  It is the worst rabble you can have because they are the ones who push the illegals we have in Calais to create havoc.  Let’s call it ‘screw things up,’ but it’s much worse than that.  They are at the four corners of town with their walkie-talkies giving orders.  I have seen the riot police retreat before the migrants.  This made me cry because I told myself that’s not normal.  It’s not normal.  We are in our homes, we are in our country, we are in our town.  The riot police should rather order the migrants to step back, and not the reverse.  So they demonstrate because they want €2,000 pocket money per month…  They want a car, and also a house, of course.

“Let’s speak about houses.  When we see that Mme. Bouchart has evicted people from their homes in Calais, which were close to the zone of ‘Les Dunes,’ because it was not viable for them.  Because the migrants were too close, they suffered attacks, theft, and more.  She has evicted them even though they paid their rent.  Even I, they are evicting me from my house next month.  They are taking my house from me, and yet we have always been honest.  But it’s too long a story.  There was a judgment and they will sell my house next month, when there is nothing we can be reproached with.

“My husband is sick; he has cancer… but never mind.  The French have to be crushed, they have to be evicted.  One has to take everything from them to leave the space for the rabble who want to colonize us.  And they tell us these are ‘cultural enrichments’ for us.  I ask myself where their cultural riches are.  Because if it is to sack, to destroy, to steal, to rape, and so on, the French were fully capable of doing it themselves.  One only has to ask…”

With an all-out, no-holds-barred effort by the civilized world, the forces of ISIS can be utterly destroyed.  But even if we are able to achieve that result, we must also understand that this will not be the end of the matter.  Even if Islam is temporarily chastened by the loss of millions, they will lick their wounds for a time and then they’ll be back with even greater bloodlust than before.

The 18,000 Muslims who now clog the French end of the Chunnel at Calais want nothing more than to find their way into England where Islam has a major foothold… a foothold that is nothing more than a jumping off point for the U.S.  What is now happening in Calais will soon happen in U.S. cities such as Dearborn and Hamtramck.  Are we prepared for that, or does political correctness demand that we continue to hope for Muslim “moderation?”

You be the judge.

RELATED ARTICLE: The Next Syrian Refugee Crisis: Child Brides

eu pessimists by country chart

The Bible and Hayek on What We Owe Strangers by Sarah Skwire

It’s so much easier to sympathize with our own problems and with the problems of those we love than with the problems of complete strangers.

Adam Smith observes in The Theory of Moral Sentiments that our ability to sympathize with ourselves is, in fact, so out of all proportion to our ability to sympathize with others that the thought of losing one of our little fingers can keep us up all night in fearful anticipation, while we can sleep easily with the knowledge that hundreds of thousands on the opposite side of the world have just died in an earthquake.

Hayek makes the same point in The Fatal Conceit:

Moreover, the structures of the extended order are made up not only of individuals but also of many, often overlapping, sub-orders within which old instinctual responses, such as solidarity and altruism, continue to retain some importance by assisting voluntary collaboration, even though they are incapable, by themselves, of creating a basis for the more extended order. Part of our present difficulty is that we must constantly adjust our lives, our thoughts and our emotions, in order to live simultaneously within different kinds of orders according to different rules.

It may not be the best part of our humanity, but it is a very human part. We care more about those we see more often, understand more thoroughly, and with whom we share more in common.

And maybe that’s not so bad. We treat family differently, after all. My daughter will get a giant pink fluffy stuffed unicorn from me on her birthday. I don’t believe that I am similarly obligated to provide fuzzy equines for all other eight-year-olds. Different treatment is a way of acknowledging different kinds of bonds between people and different levels of responsibility to them.

All of this is on my mind because the other night, after I gave a talk on liberty and culture, an audience member and I had a discussion about banking, debt, and interest rates during which he carefully explained to me how Jews lend each other money for no interest, but when they lend to Christians, the sky’s the limit. Everyone knows it, because it’s in the Bible.

He was right, sort of. It is in the Bible, sort of.

It’s right there in Deuteronomy 23:

You shall not give interest to your brother [whether it be] interest on money, interest on food, or interest on any [other] item for which interest is [normally] taken. You may [however], give interest to a gentile, but to your brother you shall not give interest, in order that the Lord your God shall bless you in every one of your endeavors on the land to which you are coming to possess.

But textual interpretation is a tricky business. And textual interpretation of a text that has existed for thousands of years and been wrangled with by millions of interpreters — well, it doesn’t get much trickier than that.

But it seems worth noting that the word used here (both in translation and in Hebrew) is literally “brother.” This has been interpreted over the years to mean “fellow Jew.” But the word, as given, is brother.

What I think the passage means to emphasize by using this word — regardless of whether we are talking about literal brothers, or just “brothers” — is the importance and of treating those who are closest to us with particular care and concern. The kind of business relationship that is part of Hayek’s extended order, or that is located in an outer ring of Smith’s concentric circles of sympathy, doesn’t come with extra moral responsibilities to one another. A price is agreed on. A bargain is struck. An exchange is made. Everyone is content. But in an intimate order — with brothers or sisters, husbands or wives, parents or children — we have a responsibility to give more and do more than in the extended order.

And so observant Jews are told that they should not pay or charge interest to brothers — whomever they consider those brothers to be.

Though it has been interpreted uncharitably by many over the years, this passage from Deuteronomy is not a passage about cheating the outsider. This is a passage about taking special care of those who are closest to our hearts. It’s hard to find anything to object to in that.

Sarah SkwireSarah Skwire

Sarah Skwire is the poetry editor of the Freeman and a senior fellow at Liberty Fund, Inc. She is a poet and author of the writing textbook Writing with a Thesis. She is a member of the FEE Faculty Network.

Will a ‘Socialist’ Government Make Us Freer? by Jason Kuznicki

“Socialism” is a weasel word.

Consider that the adjective “socialist” applies commonly — even plausibly — to countries with vastly different ex ante institutions and with vastly different social and economic outcomes. Yet Canada, Norway, Venezuela, and Cuba can’t all be one thing. Does socialism mean substantial freedom of the press, as in Norway? Or does it mean the vicious suppression of dissent, as in Venezuela?

We need more clarity here before we decide whether socialism is a worthwhile social system, and whether, as Will Wilkinson recommends, we ought to support a socialist candidate for president.

An approach that clearly will not do is to apply the term “socialism” to virtually all foreign countries. Shabby as that definition may be, some do seem to use it, both favorably and not. The result is that “socialism” has grown popular largely because a lot of people have concluded that the American status quo stinks. Maybe it does stink, but that doesn’t endow “socialism” with a proper definition.

Let’s see what happens when we drill down to the level of institutions.

Now, we might personally wish that the word “socialism” meant “the social system in which the state owns the means of production and runs the major industries of the nation.”

This is a workable definition: It has a clear genus and differentia; it includes some systems, while excluding others; and it’s not obviously self-referential. It’s also the definition preferred by many important political actors in the twentieth century, including Vladimir Lenin.

Lenin’s definition was not a bad one. But it’s far from the only current, taxonomically proper definition of socialism. As Will Wilkinson rightly notes, socialism also commonly means “the social system in which the state uses taxation to provide an extensive social safety net.”

And yet, as Will also notes, “ownership of the means of production” and “provision of a social safety net” are logically independent policies. A state can do one, the other, both, or neither. Of these four possibilities, there’s only one that can’t plausibly be called a socialism — and not a single state on earth behaves this way!

Better terms are in order, but I know that whatever I propose here isn’t going to stick, so I’m not going to try. Instead I want to look at some of the consequences that may arise from our fuzzy terminology.

One danger is that we may believe and support one conception of “socialism” —only to find that the agents we’ve tasked with supplying it have had other ideas all along: We may want Norway but get Venezuela. Wittingly or unwittingly.

Before we say “oh please, of course we’ll end up in Norway,” let’s recall how eager our leftist intelligentsia has been to praise Chavez’s Venezuela — and even declare it an “economic miracle” — until the truth became unavoidable: The “miracle” of socialism in Venezuela turned out to be nothing more than a transient oil boom. Yet leftist intellectuals are the very sorts of people who will be drawn, by self-selection, to an administration that is proud to call itself socialist.

There’s some resemblance to a “motte-and-bailey” process here: they cultivate the rich, desirable fields of the bailey, until they are attacked, at which point they retreat to the well-fortified motte. The easily defensible motte is the comfortable social democracy of northern Europe, which we all agree is pretty nice and happens to have quite a few free-market features. The bailey is the Cuban revolution.

This motte-and-bailey process does not need to be deliberate; it may be the result of a genuinely patchwork socialist coalition. No one in the coalition needs to have bad faith. An equivocal word is all that’s needed, and one is already on hand.

Even when we look only at one country, the problem remains: We may only want some institutional parts of Denmark — and we may want them for good reasons, such as Denmark’s relatively loose regulatory environment. But what we get may only be the other institutional parts of Denmark — such as its high personal income taxes. (Worth noting: Bernie Sanders has explicitly promised the higher personal income taxes, while his views on regulation are anything but Danish.)

Will thinks that electing someone on the far left of the American political spectrum could be somewhat good for liberty, but I’m far from convinced. Remember what happened the last time we put just a center-leftist in the White House: By the very same measures of economic freedom that Will uses to tout Denmark’s success, America’s economic freedom ranking sharply declined. And that decline was the direct result of Barack Obama’s left-wing economic policies. We got a larger welfare state and higher taxes, but we also got much more command-and-control regulation.

Faced with similar objections from others, Will has already performed a nice sidestep: He has replied that voting for Sanders is — obviously — just a strategic move: “Obviously,” he writes, “President Bernie Sanders wouldn’t get to implement his economic policy.” Emphasis his.

To which I’d ask: Do you really mean that Sanders would achieve none of his economic agenda? At all? Because I can name at least two items that seem like safe bets: more protectionism and stricter controls on immigration. A lot of Sanders’s ideas will indeed be dead on arrival, but these two won’t, and he would be delighted to make a bipartisan deal that cuts against most everything that Will, the Niskanen Center, and libertarians generally claim to stand for. Cheering for a guy who would happily bury your legislative agenda, and who stands a good chance of actually doing it seems… well, odd.

There is also a frank inconsistency to Will’s argument: The claim that Sanders will make us more like Denmark can’t be squared with the claim that Sanders will be totally ineffective. Arguing both is just throwing spaghetti on the wall — and hoping the result looks like libertarianism.

Would Sanders decriminalize marijuana? Or reform the criminal justice system? Or start fewer wars? Or spend less on defense? Or give us all puppies? I don’t know. Obama promised to close Guantanamo. He promised to be much better on civil liberties. He promised not to start “dumb wars” or bomb new and exotic countries. He even promised accountability for torture.

In 2008, I made the terrible mistake of counting those promises in his favor. We’ve seen how well that worked out.

It’s completely beyond me why I should trust similarly tangential promises this time around — particularly from a candidate like Sanders, whose record on foreign policy is already disturbingly clear. None of the rest of these desiderata have anything to do with state control over our economic life, which would appear to be the one thing the left wants most of all. (Marijuana: illegal in Cuba. Legal in North Korea. Yay freedom?)

Ultimately, I think that electing someone significantly further left than Obama will not help matters in any sense at all, except maybe that it will show how little trust we should put in anyone who willingly wears the socialist label. The only good outcome of a Sanders administration may be that we’ll all say to ourselves afterward: “Well, we won’t be trying that again!”

Now, I am prepared to believe, exactly as Will writes, that “‘social democracy,’ as it actually exists, is sometimes more ‘libertarian’ than the good old U.S. of A.” That’s true, at least in a few senses. Consider, for instance, that Denmark isn’t drone bombing unknown persons in Pakistan using a type of algorithm that can’t seem to deliver interesting Facebook ads. (One could say that, as usual, Denmark is letting us do their dirty work for them, with their full approval, but I won’t press the point.)

Either way, that’s still a pretty low bar, no? Meanwhile, there remains plenty of room for us to imitate some other bad things — things that we aren’t doing now, but that Denmark is doing, like taxing its citizens way, way too much. The fact that these things are a part of the complex conglomerate known as northern European social democracy doesn’t necessarily make them good, exactly as remote control assassination doesn’t become good merely by virtue of being American.

In short: Point taken about social democracy. At times, some of it isn’t completely terrible. But that only gets us so far, and not quite to the Sanders slot in the ballot box.

Jason KuznickiJason Kuznicki

Jason Kuznicki is the editor of Cato Unbound.

A Salute to Authentic Men

In an age where masculinity is often mistaken for male patriarchy, I want to commend the men remaining true to who they were created to be. As the country continues its descent down the road of gender ambiguity, they will be crucial to its restoration.

So many men have succumbed to the cries of the culture which desire to press them into a submissive mold. In numerous atmospheres they are told to defer to the woman, but don’t dare compliment her, because that could be seen as sexual harassment. In addition, they are advised to avoid politically charged topics at work, because it is not proper.

Heaven forbid a conversation comes up about abortion, and a man comments on the sanctity of life. Most liberal leaning people seem to think this issue is entirely the  woman’s choice, leaving the man out of the equation.

This belief has excused men from accountability and led to the surrendering of responsibilities in the family unit. And with the introduction of lesbian unions, who manage to acquire children, there will be little male influence in these families.

In this climate there is a growing animosity for authentic men and the roles that are rightfully theirs in society. It starts as early as preschool where boys have been disciplined for innocent acts such as bringing toy guns to school or kissing a cute little girl on the cheek. It only gets worse as these boys grow into young men and young adults.

Just the other day a good friend of mine was relating a story about when he dropped his son off at a new school. Like all parents, you want your child to make friends and feel comfortable. My friend decided to bring along a soccer ball to kick around with his son in hopes of gathering possible acquaintances for him to meet. He was surprised at the number of boys who came up immediately wanting to play and even race my friend.

There is undoubtedly a vacuum of male leadership in the inner cities where so often children grow up fatherless, but also in the number of broken families through divorce. Sadly the result can be men who question their identity. On the flip side those men who have had positive role models in a father, uncle, coaches, etc., usually grow up to be strong men.

Authentic men speak unapologetically about what they believe to be truth, gladly take leadership roles, and don’t remain silent or still when obvious wrongs are occurring. Their character shines through especially in the midst of stressful situations. And yes, they pay tasteful compliments to women that promote self-esteem while showing them respect.

Consider what John Eldredge, author of Wild at Heart, said about men needing permission to be true to their heart and their passions, and how that effects a woman.

“They need a deeper understanding of why they long for adventures and battles and a Beauty-and why God made them just like that. They need a deeper understanding of why women long to be fought for, to be swept up into adventure, and to be the Beauty. For that is how God made them as well.”

When women are around men who are comfortable in their own skin, it is encouraging, comforting and intoxicating. I would venture to say many marriages could benefit from the husband embracing true masculinity, because it yields legitimate femininity. It is a cycle that has gotten interrupted by a civilization that is growing more antagonistic of  gender norms.

Societal norms, for the way men should and ought to act, have been established over hundreds of years in America. But many men have grown away from these norms in part because of the feminist movement. Women and women’s issues seem to remain at the forefront of daytime talk shows and most definitely the  hot button topic of the liberal left, not to mention Hollywood’s bent.

Men who are undeterred by worldly discouragement don’t back down from confrontation due to their beliefs, and they stand up for those who can’t help themselves. I have had the privilege of knowing many men throughout my life who mirror these qualities.

Part of the reason for this article is to thank those of you who, despite the counter-pressure, continue in your roles. Believe me, in circles of respectful women, you are appreciated. I would also urge other men, who have dismissed their true calling, to step up to the plate and make a stand in these areas discussed. Your influence could be limitless.

We are in desperate need of authentic men, and if their numbers grow, they just may encourage the rebirth of true femininity in America.

The Reprobate Mind of America

In what will most likely be known to historians as the last greatest friendship between a conservative and a liberal, Americans will forever memorialize the snapshot in time of Justice Antonin “Nino” Scalia and his longtime friend Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the back of an elephant waving to a nearby crowd.

It is Justice Scalia’s sudden and unexpected death that has escalated anxiety among Americans of what is yet to come. The Scalia-Ginsburg friendship could very well be the last living generation given over to civility in which agreeing to disagree is simply a stimulating conversation piece among friends.  The issues have become far too vile, as the American sliding scale has gradually redefined right and wrong.  We have walked in hatred one to another. We have made other gods our God. We have made ourselves our God.

We now face the final precipice in which America is now at the point of no return, unable to reconcile our stark differences without the strong and loving hands of divine intervention. Signs and wonders in the skies, ancient prophecies unfolding, earthquakes, and cataclysmic events all point to the end of an era now that America has succumbed to a reprobate mind, with one final chance to change directions and charter a new course.

Ancient teachings have long predicted the perilous times in the last days when it has been foretold that the evidence of such a culture will show people to be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderous, lacking self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God…having a form of godliness but denying its power.  These are the descriptions as described by Paul, known for writing over half of New Testament.

Perhaps teacher Don Koenig developed some of the most thought-provoking ideas, when he posed poignant questions that act as a litmus test of the modern American mindset:  Why is almost everything on TV about sex, violence, and the abnormal?  Why is porn half the Internet traffic that is not marked as Spam?  Why does America have the highest incarceration rate in the world?  Why do Americans use illegal and legal mind-altering drugs more than any other nation on Earth?  The list goes on in his essay aptly entitled, “Many Exhibit Insanity Because God Gave Them Over to a Reprobate Mind“.

Where there is a reprobate mind, otherwise reputable men and women, no longer conform to sound doctrine, but alter it to suit their selfish desires. The reprobate mind turns away from truth and turns towards myths.  The reprobate society is one in which truth is censored and suppressed by wickedness.  The reprobate man says he knows God, but neither glorifies Him, nor gives thanks to Him.  Instead his thinking has become futile, his foolish heart darkened.  He claims to be wise, but has become a fool, exchanging the glory of an immortal God for mortal things.

The reprobate society is filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, depravity. It is plagued by envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice. It is filled with gossips, slanderers, God-haters, those who are insolent, arrogant and boastful and invent ways of doing evil.  They do all of these things as well as condone those who practice them.

Justice Antonin Scalia’s leadership and presence in the Supreme Court was representative of one of America’s final vestiges of hope, a protective shield from forces of darkness and an anchor that secured a once great society from being overcome by the reprobate abyss.

Without an adequate replacement to fill Justice Scalia’s seat in the judicial branch of government and principled leadership in the executive branch, both currently at stake, we risk even further departing from the Judeo-Christian benchmark that has established America’s rule of law throughout the generations, and civilization as we know it will cease to exist.

No matter what our particular shortcomings as a nation and as individuals may be, let us never deny the existence of our one true Creator. Let us always uphold Truth, even when we are far from making good choices in our own power. Let us continue to put our hope in the God of our fathers and halt the impending destruction of our beloved America, one in which our children can experience kindness, joy, peace, and the other freedoms that have been the bedrock of the greatest nation on Earth.  It is then, and only then, that America will be released from the invisible choke-hold that is threatening our future and currently destroying us from within.

European pressure cooker set to explode as countries unilaterally close borders

A major crisis is at hand as the Balkan countries close their borders (following Austria’s lead).

Because there is no serious will to do so, there is nothing to effectively stop the flow of illegal migrants into Greece from Turkey. Greek leaders fear their country will become one big refugee camp as the migrants cannot move toward Germany (the country whose streets they believe are paved with gold!).

Here is the story at the Malta Independent.  And below is a screen shot of the flow yesterday showing 2,972 came in from Turkey but the flow northward has all but stopped.

Go to the interactive map and move the courser back over the last month to see the astounding numbers that were moving into Austria and then Germany in recent weeks.

Screenshot (26)

eu pessimists by country chart

The Independent:

The rift over how to handle Europe’s immigration crisis ripped wide open Friday. As nations along the Balkans migrant route took more unilateral actions to shut down their borders, diplomats from EU nations bordering the Mediterranean rallied around Greece, the epicenter of the crisis.

Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides – speaking on behalf of colleagues from France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Malta and Greece – said decisions on how to deal with the migrant influx that have already been made by the 28-nation bloc cannot be implemented selectively by some countries.

“This issue is testing our unity and ability to handle it,” Kasoulides told a news conference after an EU Mediterranean Group meeting. “The EU Med Group are the front-line states and we all share the view that unilateral actions cannot be a solution to this crisis.”

[….]

The Greek government is blaming Austria – a fellow member of Europe’s passport-free Schengen Area – for the flare-up in the crisis. Austria imposed strict border restrictions last week, creating a domino effect as those controls were also implemented by Balkan countries further south along the Balkans migration route.

[….]

Thousands of migrants are pouring into Greece every day and officials fear the country could turn into “a giant refugee camp” if they are unable to move north due to borders closures.

Continue reading here.  What a mess!

Go here for all of our ‘Invasion of Europe’ news.

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No, It’s Not Your 1st Amendment Right to ‘Talk Dirty’ to a Child by Dani Bianculli

Criminal laws must be updated to adapt to the new Internet community.

Like any other community the Internet is a place for business, relationships, dating and unfortunately criminal activity, including the sexual exploitation and abuse of children. This is why the National Center on Sexual Exploitation has filed an amicus brief for a court case in Georgia stating that it should not be legal to “talk dirty” to a child.

The Georgia Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on February 22ndregarding this First Amendment challenge to a Georgia statute criminalizing obscene Internet contact with a child. NCOSE believes that Georgia’s statute is necessary to protect children from harm because the First Amendment does not protect sexually exploitive speech to children. The person challenging the statute, states in his brief to the Court that he has a First Amendment right to “talk dirty to a child.” We at NCOSE, think absolutely not. This is not harmless chatting but rather child exploitation. And the most frightening aspect of this case is that a very similar statute in Texas[1] has already been struck down on First Amendment grounds led by the same defense attorney challenging the statute in this case.

The sad and scary reality is that child sexual abuse and exploitation has moved online. And due to the nature of the Internet the problem is only growing. A child predator has instant, anonymous access to children all over the country, and even the world. Meanwhile, young adolescents looking to make friends while both curious and naïve about sex are virtually all online, all the time.[2] And this is not on the family computer under the watchful eyes of mom and dad but on tablets and smartphones, which are carried around with the child everywhere they go.[3] This means those who would mean to harm these children can find them on social media platforms and chat rooms any time, anywhere, and children of these young ages tend to share too much information and actively seek out online friendships. Especially, those children who are most vulnerable to sexual abuse.

States have been trying to protect children from predators since the dawn of the Internet ageabuse moved online child but there is still much left unaddressed and technology has changed faster than laws have been updated. Most States have laws against online solicitation of minors. And most States have laws against exposing oneself to a minor in person or selling minors obscene or indecent materials. But what if an adult uses a webcam to expose himself/herself to minor online? Or what if he/she describes in graphic detail sexual encounters, or sexual acts he/she would like to perform on the child he/she is speaking to via online messaging? And even more disturbing, what if the adult instructs the child to touch themselves sexually, directing and commanding their movements? These are real examples of the activities which have been prosecuted under this Georgia statute. And without this statute such activity would considered legal. This activity does not fall under other statutes aimed at prohibiting child abuse and exploitation. But because these actions, which amount to cybersex, and sometimes even remote child molestation, are occurring via Internet chat there is a real possibility that it could be given a pass under the guise of First Amendment freedom.

This serious confusion over the First Amendment’s role in the Internet space could cause serious consequences for children who are being victimized and traumatized by predators online. And it would be completely inconsistent with First Amendment jurisprudence. The First Amendment does not protect child exploitation and has always restricted a minor’s access to material that is harmful to them. And the content of these communications meet the standard for material that is harmful to minors. But because harmful to minors laws do not encompass live online communications this statute is needed to cover this ground.

The Supreme Court of the United States has already held that material, such as magazines, books, pictures, or videos containing sexually explicit nudity or sex acts appealing to the prurient interest of a child may be restricted to children, even material that would not be obscene as to adults, without offending the First Amendment. In fact, the Supreme Court has placed the protection of children from sexual exploitation as the highest priority of the States and material that is harmful to them receives no First Amendment protection in its distribution to children. The Georgia state legislature used the same language that has been upheld in harmful to minors laws and merely applied these restrictions to live streaming video or instant message conversations online. Further, we argue that these online communications are even more harmful than obscene magazines or videos, and therefore the State has an even greater interest in protecting children, because it is not simply mass produced and available to children, but created for a specific targeted child by an adult. The exposure is intentional and crafted around that particular child’s vulnerabilities and inexperience with sexual matters.

Furthermore, freedom of speech does not protect criminal speech. For example, conspiracy, which amounts to criminal conversations, obscenity, and advertisements and solicitations for child pornography are all “speech” and yet completely excluded from First Amendment protection. Similarly, there is no reason why conversations or webcam video which would be rightfully restricted if printed in a book or contained on a DVD cannot be restricted merely because they occur in real-time through the medium of Internet communications. Such harmful material does not become transformed into political speech imbued with value simply because it takes place online.

And this statute is careful to prohibit only conversations between an adult and a child online which intentionally exploit and abuse a child. The statute requires belief by the adult that he/she is speaking to a child and the intention to sexually arouse either himself/herself or the child. Any doubt or concerns about overbreadth are dispelled in looking at the statute’s real world application. It reveals that what is in fact prohibited is the grooming of children for sexual abuse and/or exposing them to sexually explicit language and images. Such actions are harmful to children and inherently exploitive.

States must be able to extend the protections for children that already exist in the physical world to the realm of the Internet. And the State of Georgia has properly done so with this statute. This is why the National Center on Sexual Exploitation has written and filed an amicus brief to inform the Georgia Supreme Court on the exploitive nature of the content restricted in this statute, how such exposure to sexually explicit material is harmful to children, how the sexualization of children is harmful to them, and that such explicit conversations are a well recognized tool by researchers and law enforcement in the grooming of a child for further sexual abuse by child predators and should therefore receive no First Amendment protection.

Read the National Center on Sexual Exploitation Brief Here

END NOTES:

[1] See Ex Parte Lo, 424 S.W.3d 10, 24–25 (Tex. Crim. App. 2013).

[2] “Fully 95% of all teens ages 12-17 are now online.” http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/teens-fact-sheet/

[3] Id. “Three-quarters (74%) of teens have accessed the internet through a mobile device such as a cell phone or tablet.  One-quarter of teens (25%) access the internet mostly on a cell phone.”

Dani Bianculli

Dani BianculliEXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE LAW CENTER

Dani Bianculli joined the NCOSE team as Director of the Law Center in August of 2015. Dani has a passion for human rights issues especially those affecting women and children. This passion is what led to her decision to attend law school. Dani received the Wilberforce Award, a full academic scholarship for those with human rights interests, to attend Regent University School of Law. While at Regent, Dani was in the Honors Program, a member of the Moot Court Board, the Journal of Global Justice and Public Policy, and the Student Bar Association. During her studies Dani interned with the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) and the Florida Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.

Prior to law school Dani worked as a government relations intern for multiple DC policy organizations and graduated from the University of Central Florida with dual degrees in Psychology and Marketing.

Cupcake Kasich is a (Rather Dull) Tyrant Enabler

When Governor John Kasich said recently that he probably should be running in the Democrat Party, he wasn’t kidding. Although seeking office in Cuba might be even more fitting.

Taking a break from lecturing us on how we must accept amnesty, the presidential contender recently weighed in on the case of the Oregon bakers fined $135,000 for refusing to bake a cake for a faux wedding. Mentioned briefly in Thursday’s GOP presidential debate, here are his comments, made on Monday at the University of Virginia:

I think, frankly, our churches should not be forced to do anything that’s not consistent with them. But if you’re a cupcake maker and somebody wants a cupcake, make them a cupcake. Let’s not have a big lawsuit or argument over all this stuff — move on. The next thing, you know, they might be saying, if you’re divorced you shouldn’t get a cupcake.

Now, Kasich is a man who just loves the idea of moving on. After the Obergefell v. Hodges decision last June, he said that recognition of faux marriage was “the law of the land and we’ll abide by it” and that now “it’s time to move on.” It’s no wonder Republicans long ago move on from the idea of him as president.

Kasich managed to squeeze a remarkable number of misconceptions into his three sentences. First, while the cupcake lines may be cute to some and possess rhetorical flair, they’re nonsense. There’s not one Christian baker persecuted by governments recently who said he wouldn’t bake “cupcakes” or anything else for a given group; in fact, these businessmen have made clear that they serve homosexuals all the time. This isn’t about serving a certain type of people.

It’s about servicing a certain type of event.

Only someone who hasn’t bothered to ponder the matter deeply or who’s intellectually dishonest could miss this simple fact. And I’ll put it to you, Governor Kasich: can you cite any other time in American history when the government compelled a businessman to service an event he found morally objectionable? This is unprecedented. And is it really a road we want to go down?

If so, can the government compel a Jewish or black businessman to cater, respectively, a Nazi or KKK affair? How about a forcing a Muslim restaurateur to serve pork at an event for the National Pork Producers Council? Or is this another situation where government gets to pick winners and losers, this time in matters of conscience?

Of course, this is already happening, which brings us to Kasich’s divorcé cupcake eater. The proper analogy here doesn’t involve serving such a person because, again, the bakers in question serve homosexuals.

The proper analogy involves servicing an event celebrating a divorce.

Government wouldn’t even consider compelling participation in the above, or in events celebrating adultery, fornication, polygamy (yet) or auto-eroticism. So why the double standard? Well, homosexuals have very effective lobbying groups and millions of enablers — such as Cupcake Kasich.

Kasich‘s “churches should not be forced to do anything that’s not consistent with them. But…” comment is also interesting. Our First Amendment reads “Congress shall make no law…prohibiting the free exercise” of religion. For those who say this is only meant to restrain the central government’s legislature (and I’m sympathetic to this view), note that the constitution of Kasich’s own state dictates that no “interference with the rights of conscience be permitted.” And since he was commenting on a case involving Oregon residents, consider that the Beaver State’s constitution likewise reads, “No law shall in any case whatever control the free exercise, and enjoyment of religeous [sic] opinions, or interfere with the rights of conscience.”

Now, “exercise” is action; thus, at issue here isn’t just the freedom of religious belief, but of acting on that belief. Of course, there are limits in that we don’t allow practices such as human sacrifice. But anything considered legitimate action under these constitutions is allowed in churches. And here’s the point: none of these constitutions limit this free exercise to church property.

Thus, any type of exercise allowable in church is allowable outside of it.

So for this reason alone, the action against the Oregon bakers was unconstitutional. Since a person can refuse to be party to a faux wedding within a church, he can also refuse to be party to a faux wedding outside of it.

Interestingly, Kasich and others seem to be espousing a kind of “dual truth” philosophy, which I understand is part of Islamic theology. This basically states what what’s “religiously true” may not be true beyond the religious realm (whatever that’s supposed to be). But a moral issue doesn’t cease to be a moral issue because it moves down the block.

The action against the bakers is unconstitutional for another reason. Perhaps invariably, part of creating a wedding cake is placing a written message on it; in the case of faux weddings, this message would relate to faux marriage. Even two male figurines placed on top of the cake relate a message; note here that the courts have rule that symbolic speech is covered under the First Amendment. And where does the government have the constitutional power to compel people to be party to a message they find morally objectionable? Forced speech is not free speech.

Of course, none of this would be an issue if we accepted a principle even many conservatives today reject: freedom of association. Think about it: you have a right to include in or exclude from your home whomever you please, for any reason whatsoever, whether it’s because the person is a smoker, non-smoker, black, white, Catholic, Protestant, or because you simply don’t like his face.

Why should you lose this right merely because you erect a few more tables and sell food?

Or because you bake cakes, take pictures, plan weddings or conduct some other kind of commerce?

It’s still your property, paid for with your own money and created by the sweat of your own brow. Is a man’s home not his castle?

Of course, this all goes back to a Supreme Court ruling stating that private businesses can be viewed as “public accommodations,” which was a huge step toward the Marxist standard disallowing private property. And it has led to endless litigation, with the Boy Scouts sued by homosexuals, atheists and a girl (who wanted to be a “boy” scout); the PGA Tour sued by a handicapped golfer who wanted a dispensation from the rules; Abercrombie & Fitch sued by a Muslim woman who wanted to wear her hijab on the job; and Barnes & Noble sued by a male employee who claimed he suddenly was a female employee, just to name a few cases. It has also led, now, to some Americans being confronted with a Hobson’s choice: cast the exercise of your faith to the winds and bow before the government’s agenda, or kiss making a living goodbye.

Is all of this worth it just to stop less than one percent of the population from discriminating in unfashionable ways? And remember, freedom of association is like any other freedom: it’s only the unpopular exercise of it that needs protection. As for popular exercise, its popularity is usually protection enough.

As for Kasich’s desire for popularity, it’s pretty hard to achieve when your implied campaign slogan is “A chicken-hearted politician in every office and a coerced cupcake in every cupboard.”

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com

Obama Administration Admits Sanctuary Cities are a Significant Public Safety Problem

Sanctuary-Cities-MapPresidential Candidates Must be Asked to Respond.

“Voters should have an opportunity to know how the next president would deal with sanctuary policies that the current administration now acknowledges to be dangerous and illegal.” Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

WASHINGTON, D.C. /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Department of Justice conceded that sanctuary jurisdictions impede federal immigration enforcement and pose a significant danger to public safety and that such policies violate federal law. That acknowledgement came in a letter, written by Assistant Attorney General Peter J. Kadzik to Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas), Chairman of the House Appropriations on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, which was released shortly before Attorney General Loretta Lynch testified before the subcommittee on Wednesday.

“Kadzik’s letter represents the first clear admission by the Obama administration that sanctuary jurisdictions pose a risk to public safety and that they violate federal law,” stated Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). “In the past, including in the aftermath of last summer’s killing in San Francisco of Kate Steinle by an illegal alien with a long criminal record, the administration has dismissed the connection between sanctuary policies and public safety as mere anomalies. Now it is on record acknowledging the dangers of not enforcing our nation’s immigration laws.”

FAIR is calling upon all of the candidates vying for the presidency in the 2016 elections to clearly state their positions on sanctuary jurisdictions, “Each of the people seeking to be our next president must tell the American people if they agree with the Obama administration’s assessment that sanctuary policies endanger public safety and are a violation of federal statutes and what specific actions they would take to compel those jurisdictions to comply with federal law,” declared Stein.

“Immigration has become a central issue in the 2016 campaign, driven in part by the public’s perception that their safety is unnecessarily at risk due to sanctuary policies and the federal government’s refusal to hold jurisdictions that implement those policies accountable. Voters should have an opportunity to know how the next president would deal with sanctuary policies that the current administration now acknowledges to be dangerous and illegal,” Stein concluded.

fair logoABOUT FAIR  

Founded in 1979, FAIR is the country’s largest immigration reform group.  With more than 250,000 members nationwide, FAIR fights for immigration policies that serve national interests, not special interests.

FAIR believes that immigration reform must enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs, preserve our environment, and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced.

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U.S. Doctors Propose Female Genital ‘Alteration’ vs. ‘Mutilation’ as a ‘Compromise’

‘I am beyond horrified by [these] so called “ethicists” …There is NO compromise against the immorality and barbarism of FGM.’ — Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser.

Writing in the British Journal of Medial Ethics, two U.S.-based doctors have proposed that as a “compromise solution,” it would be better to adopt a “more nuanced position” on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) — one “that acknowledges a wide spectrum of procedures that alter female genitalia.”

The doctors think that the worldwide drive in recent years to completely eradicate the brutal practice, without allowing “minor” modifications is “culturally insensitive and supremacist and discriminatory towards women.”

They argue that criminalizing FGM in Western countries has pushed the practice underground in the U.K. and the U.S. and given rise to “vacation cutting,” a phenomena where girls are taken to their native countries during summer vacations for the harmful and traumatic procedure.

Doctors Kavita Shah Arora, director of quality, obstetrics and gynecology at the MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland and Dr. Allan Jacobs, professor of reproductive medicine at Stony Brook University, believe that minor alterations of the female genitalia do not “reach the threshold of a human rights violation” and should not be considered child abuse.

Although the doctors say that a “wide spectrum” of procedures that alter the female genitalia would be acceptable, they fail to delineate exactly what these alterations would entail, save for two specifically mentioned: a small cut to the external genitalia or the removal of the hood that covers the clitoris.

The faultiness of their arguments is many-fold. But first, let us own up to the facts.

FGM is a brutal, barbarian practice in which involves partial or complete removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

FGM ranges from the removal of the clitoral hood, the partial or total removal of the clitoris, the removal of part or all of the exterior female genitalia including the labia minora and labia majora to the stitching or narrowing of the vaginal opening, leaving a small opening for urine and menstrual blood.

The procedure, in its worst cases, can also involve burning the tissue, scraping of tissue surrounding the vaginal orifice, cutting inside of the vagina itself or introduction of corrosive substances into the vagina for the purpose of tightening.

Horrific and permanent side effects are associated with FGM.

Every year, it is estimated that 3 million girls undergo FGM, with over 200 million women in over 30 countries estimated to have endured the procedure.

The doctor’s claim that mutilating babies, girls and young women is “culturally insensitive” and “discriminatory towards women” is outrageous, when considering that the “minor” alterations proposed are both traumatic and life-changing.

A simple medical search of the purpose of the clitoral hood – which the doctors blithely propose removing – shows that this part of the body not only has tremendous immunological importance to a woman’s body but also greatly contributes to a woman’s sexual pleasure, without which, sexual relations may be painful.

As for a “simple” nick, “it’s a lie for anyone who thinks that a nick will reduce the harm,” says Mariama Diallo, a counselor and  African community specialist at Sanctuary for Families, a New York–based gender violence nonprofit organizations. “The effect on the survivor is the same. The psychological effect is exactly the same.”

The doctor’s argument that the West’s criminalization of FGM has pushed it underground in Western countries is not a defensible claim. Worldwide efforts to completely eradicate FGM – by educating communities in Africa and the Middle East (where the great prevalence occurs) have made tremendous strides.

Changing attitudes in these Third World countries has a tremendous influence on their natives who have immigrated to the West. The combination of changed attitudes and criminalization can be a powerful deterrent to an immigrant family’s decision not to have their daughter cut.

Voicing the criticism of anti-FGM campaigners who have said that this proposal would undermine the international push to completely eradicate the practice, Diallo asks, “How can we end FGM by a nick?”

Writing on his Facebook page, Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser says more bluntly, “Both as a bioethicist of 20 years and as a lifetime anti-Islamist Muslim dedicated to reform I am beyond horrified by the position of these so called “ethicists” based in the US (Cleveland and NYC). There is NO compromise against the immorality and barbarism of FGM. To give some utilitarian explanation or excuse gives the Islamist supremacists and theocrats a pass and sets the clock back hundreds of years upon the movement for women’s rights in Muslim communities.”

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org

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VIDEO: The Real Racists of America

Racism has become big politics in America and we call out some of the hate mongers doing harm to this nation!

Homeschooled Weirdoes and the Culture of Conformity by B.K. Marcus

Remember that weird kid in school? I don’t mean the really scary one. I mean the borderline oddball. The one you had to talk to a bit to spot the weirdness. The boy who never knew what TV show everyone was talking about. The girl who, when you asked her what her favorite music group was, answered some long name that ended in “quartet.” The kid who thought you meant soccer when you said football.

How did you treat that kid? (Or were you that kid?)

In “Homeschooling, Socialization, and the New Groupthink,” I suggested that the most useful definition of socialization is “ensuring that a child becomes sociable, that he or she develops the intelligence and social reflexes that promote peaceful and pleasurable interactions.” I also suggested that some of homeschooling’s critics might mean something more sinister: indoctrination into a particular vision of society.

But after reading my article, third-grade schoolteacher Heather Lakemacher, commenting on Facebook, pointed out yet a different meaning of socialization: not seeming weird.

This is the real reason, she said, “why this stereotype of the poorly socialized homeschooler exists.” Whereas I had only addressed adult perceptions of homeschooled children, the true culprit, she said, is other kids:

Many of us who were educated in a traditional school have vivid memories of meeting other kids our age who were homeschooled and thinking, “Oh my god! This kid is so WEIRD!” It’s entirely possible that the child in question grew up to be a happy, well-adjusted, productive member of society. …

However, I think the stereotype exists because of the power of those childhood interactions with a peer who just didn’t behave in the way we were expecting them to behave. That’s not an argument against homeschooling, but data will always have a hard time dispelling emotionally charged memories.

She’s right. Odd kids can make a lasting impression.

Grownups regularly note how polite my homeschooled son is, or how he’ll talk to them at all when so many other kids clam up and fail to make eye contact. Adults find his lack of awkwardness with them charming. But what do schooled kids see?

Diane Flynn Keith, a veteran homeschooling mom and author of the book Carschooling, writes that homeschooled kids are, in fact, “not well-socialized in the traditional school sense.”

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but there’s nothing “normal” about our kids. Your homeschooled child is odd compared to the schooled population because they have not experienced ongoing school-based socialization and standardization. …

They haven’t been indoctrinated in the same way. They have not been steeped in the popular consumer culture to the degree that most schooled kids have been. They are not adult-phobic and peer-dependent. (“Yes, My Grown Homeschooled Children Are Odd — And Yours Will Be Too!“)

And most of the time, homeschooling parents love that about our kids — and about homeschooling in general. We don’t want them to be standard. Whether we admit it or not, we tend to think they’re better than the standard. But it’s true that our socially flexible and resilient children can be puzzling to their traditionally schooled peers, and vice versa.

So why does the assessment of weirdness flow only in one direction? Why don’t homeschooled kids think the mainstream schoolchildren are weird?

One answer is that our kids know the mainstream experience through television, movies, and books. They may not always track the finer distinctions between Degrassi High and Hogwarts, but they certainly know a lot more about schools and schooling than mainstream kids know about education outside a classroom.

But I think that even without the pop-cultural lens on the schooling experience, homeschooled kids are just less likely to see anyone as weird. It’s just not a part of their semantic reflexes. Instead they think, “I don’t get him,” or “I’m not into the same stuff she is.”

As a result, homeschooled kids aren’t just more tolerant of diversity; they’re probably also more diverse. And that’s a lot of what gets labeled weird by those who are better assimilated into the mainstream culture.

What’s probably obvious to anyone familiar with homeschooling is that it’s good for the emotional health of kids who don’t easily fit in. What is less obvious is the damage that a culture of conformity does not just to the oddballs in that culture but also to the kids who conform with ease — and to the liberty of the larger society.

For over half a century, studies have shown that the need for social acceptance not only changes our behavior but can even make us perceive the world differently — and incorrectly.

In the early 1950s, psychologist Solomon Asch conducted a series of experiments on the dangers of group influence. When presented with simple problems that 95 percent of individuals could answer correctly when free of group influence, 75 percent of Asch’s test subjects would get the answer wrong when it meant concurring with the group.

In 2005, neuroscientist Gregory Berns conducted an updated version of Asch’s experiments, complete with brain scans to determine if the wrong answers were a conscious acquiescence to social pressure or if, instead, test subjects believed that their group-influenced wrong answers were in fact correct. Not only did the subjects report that they thought their wrong answers were right; the brain scans seemed to confirm it: they showed greater activity in the problem-solving regions of the brain than in those areas associated with conscious decision-making. And the nonconformists who went against the group and gave correct answers showed heightened activity in the part of the brain associated with fear and anxiety.

Commenting on the implications of these experiments, author Susan Cain writes,

Many of our most important civic institutions, from elections to jury trials to the very idea of majority rule, depend on dissenting voices. But when the group is literally capable of changing our perceptions, and when to stand alone is to activate primitive, powerful, and unconscious feelings of rejection, then the health of these institutions seems far more vulnerable than we think. (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking)

Groupthink, in other words, is dangerous to a free society. And we don’t always realize when we’re not thinking for ourselves.

This kind of cognitive conformity, however, isn’t fixed or universal. Not only does it vary, for example, between East and West; it has also declined in the West since the 1950s, according to a 1996 review of 133 Asch-type studies from 17 countries. That review assessed the cultures in which the studies took place to see if their results “related cross-culturally to individualism [versus] collectivism.” Unsurprisingly, test subjects were least susceptible to the reality-distorting effects of the group in the more individualistic national cultures.

We should expect the same to be true of more and less individualistic subcultures. I bet homeschoolers, for example, are less likely to show the Asch effect. I suspect the same thing of the oddballs at school.

That doesn’t mean everyone should homeschool, or that only weirdoes can be independent thinkers, but it does suggest that the more a culture values independence and diversity, the less vulnerable it will be to the distortions of conformity. And if socialization means helping kids fit in more easily with the culture of their peers, then parents of homeschoolers and schooled kids alike may want to reconsider the value of socializing our children.

B.K. Marcus

B.K. Marcus

B.K. Marcus is editor of the Freeman.

The Average American Today Is Richer than John D. Rockefeller by Donald J. Boudreaux

This Atlantic story reveals how Americans lived 100 years ago. By the standards of a middle-class American today, that lifestyle was poor, inconvenient, dreary, and dangerous. (Only a few years later — in 1924 — the 16-year-old son of a sitting US president would die of an infected blister that the boy got on his toe while playing tennis on the White House grounds.)

So here’s a question that I’ve asked in one form or another on earlier occasions, but that is so probing that I ask it again: What is the minimum amount of money that you would demand in exchange for your going back to live even as John D. Rockefeller lived in 1916?

21.7 million 2016 dollars (which are about one million 1916 dollars)? Would that do it? What about a billion 2016 — or 1916 — dollars? Would this sizable sum of dollars be enough to enable you to purchase a quantity of high-quality 1916 goods and services that would at least make you indifferent between living in 1916 America and living (on your current income) in 2016 America?

Think about it. Hard. Carefully.

If you were a 1916 American billionaire you could, of course, afford prime real-estate. You could afford a home on 5th Avenue or one overlooking the Pacific Ocean or one on your own tropical island somewhere (or all three). But when you traveled from your Manhattan digs to your west-coast palace, it would take a few days, and if you made that trip during the summer months, you’d likely not have air-conditioning in your private railroad car.

And while you might have air-conditioning in your New York home, many of the friends’ homes that you visit — as well as restaurants and business offices that you frequent — were not air-conditioned. In the winter, many were also poorly heated by today’s standards.

To travel to Europe took you several days. To get to foreign lands beyond Europe took you even longer.

Might you want to deliver a package or letter overnight from New York City to someone in Los Angeles? Sorry. Impossible.

You could neither listen to radio (the first commercial radio broadcast occurred in 1920) nor watch television. You could, however, afford the state-of-the-art phonograph of the era. (It wasn’t stereo, though. And — I feel certain — even today’s vinylphiles would prefer listening to music played off of a modern compact disc to listening to music played off of a 1916 phonograph record.) Obviously, you could not download music.

There really wasn’t very much in the way of movies for you to watch, even though you could afford to build your own home movie theater.

Your telephone was attached to a wall. You could not use it to Skype.

Your luxury limo was far more likely to break down while you were being chauffeured about town than is your car today to break down while you are driving yourself to your yoga class. While broken down and waiting patiently in the back seat for your chauffeur to finish fixing your limo, you could not telephone anyone to inform that person that you’ll be late for your meeting.

Even when in residence at your Manhattan home, if you had a hankering for some Thai red curry or Vindaloo chicken or Vietnamese Pho or a falafel, you were out of luck: even in the unlikely event that you even knew of such exquisite dishes, your chef likely had no idea how to prepare them, and New York’s restaurant scene had yet to feature such exotic fare. And while you might have had the money in 1916 to afford to supply yourself with a daily bowlful of blueberries at your New York home in January, even for mighty-rich you the expense was likely not worthwhile.

Your wi-fi connection was painfully slow — oh, wait, right: it didn’t exist. No matter, because you had neither computer nor access to the Internet. (My gosh, there weren’t even any blogs for you to read!)

Even the best medical care back then was horrid by today’s standards: it was much more painful and much less effective. (Remember young Coolidge.) Antibiotics weren’t available. Erectile dysfunction? Bipolar disorder? Live with ailments such as these. That was your only option.

You (if you are a woman) or (if you are a man) your wife and, in either case, your daughter and your sister had a much higher chance of dying as a result of giving birth than is the case today. The child herself or himself was much less likely to survive infancy than is the typical American newborn today.

Dental care wasn’t any better. Your money didn’t buy you a toothbrush with vibrating bristles. (You could, however, afford the very finest dentures.)

Despite your vanity, you couldn’t have purchased contact lenses, reliable hair restoration, or modern, safe breast augmentation. And forget about liposuction to vacuum away the results of your having dined on far too many cream-sauce-covered terrapin.

Birth control was primitive: it was less reliable and far more disruptive of pleasure than are any of the many inexpensive and widely available birth-control methods of today.

Of course, you adore precious-weacious little Rover, but your riches probably could not buy for Rover veterinary care of the sort that is routine in every burgh throughout the land today.

You were completely cut off from the cultural richness that globalization has spawned over the past century. There was no American-inspired, British-generated rock’n’roll played on electric guitars. And no reggae. Jazz was still a toddler, with only few recordings of it.

You could afford to buy the finest Swiss watches and clocks, but even they couldn’t keep time as accurately as does a cheap Timex today (not to mention the accuracy of the time kept by your smartphone).

Honestly, I wouldn’t be remotely tempted to quit the 2016 me so that I could be a one-billion-dollar-richer me in 1916. This fact means that, by 1916 standards, I am today more than a billionaire. It means, at least given my preferences, I am today materially richer than was John D. Rockefeller in 1916. And if, as I think is true, my preferences here are not unusual, then nearly every middle-class American today is richer than was America’s richest man a mere 100 years ago.

This post first appeared at Cafe Hayek.

Donald J. BoudreauxDonald J. Boudreaux

Donald Boudreaux is asenior fellow with the F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, a Mercatus Center Board Member, a professor of economics and former economics-department chair at George Mason University and, a former FEE president.

ONLINE POLL: Catholics have our own vote going on

VOTE HERE

TRANSCRIPT

Last week we asked you to send in the names of Catholics you think have had the most positive influence on the spiritual lives of Catholics in the past 50 or hundred years or so. We had a thousand submissions and dozens and dozens of names — close to a hundred, in fact.

So we combed through all of them, keeping close tally, and here is the final list of the top 20 from your submissions you now go to vote on. All you have to do is click on the link and vote for the single person you feel has had the greatest impact for good on the spiritual lives of Catholics, like we said, in the past 50 to 100 years.

So here, in no particular order are those on the list:

  • Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who spent most of her life working with and caring for the destitute in India.
  • Saint Faustina, the visionary to whom Our Blessed Lord appeared in Poland and revealed the treasure of the Divine Mercy.
  • Saint Maximilian Kolbe, who gave up his life in exchange for a fellow prisoner in Auschwitz.
  • Mother Angelica, the feisty religious sister who began EWTN and set the tone for media-minded Catholics to hold bishops accountable while catechizing bombastically.
  • Saint Padre Pio, the mystic who suffered for 50 years and experienced intense spiritual combat on behalf of souls.
  • Pope St. Pius X, the first of the pontiffs to face the heresy of Modernism head on and prophetically warn the world’s bishops of its dangers.
  • Bishop Athanasius Schneider, who travels the world to fight the errors of modernism and restore a proper understanding of the Eucharist.
  • Venerable Pope Pius XII, who has been maligned despite his efforts to save hundreds of thousands of Jews from Nazi extermination.
  • Venerable Abp. Fulton Sheen, who used his charisma and intelligence in television in the 1950s to showcase Catholicism to the United States.
  • Cardinal Robert Sarah, who has fought ferociously from his curial post in Rome to defend orthodoxy against the onslaught of Modernism.
  • Saint Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei, who dedicated his life to advancing the idea of sanctifying the world through the presence of committed laity.
  • Pope St. John Paul II, who brought the majesty of Catholic truth to a worldwide audience through the media during his nearly 30-year reign.
  • Pope Benedict XVI, the right hand man of Pope John Paul for 25 years, who served as watchdog of the Faith, and as Pope restored the wider use of the Traditional Latin Mass.
  • Father John Corapi, whose preaching style and orthodox message resonated with hundreds of thousands of Catholics in the earlier days on EWTN.
  • Cardinal Raymond Burke, the former prefect of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome, whose heroic and tireless efforts at battling dissent have brought international praise and admiration.
  • Servant of God Fr. John Hardon, who dedicated his life to catechetical instruction in his Marian Catechist Program and dozens of books.
  • G.K. Chesterton, the author whose wit and simple explanations of theological truths and social/cultural trends brought many converts to the Catholic faith.
  • Cardinal Francis Arinze, the most prominent African prelate in living memory who strenuously defends the liturgy and fights against liturgical abuses.
  • Dr. Scott Hahn, the notable Presbyterian convert and current scholar, whose personal story became a springboard for many protestants to convert to Catholicism.
  • And the von Hildebrands — Dietrich and Alice — who dedicated their lives to teaching and instructing thousands of people through education and writing.

So there you have it — twenty of the most notable Catholics of the last hundred years selected by you to now be voted on.

We would be remiss if we didn’t say some wonderful Catholic examples didn’t crack the top vote-getters, but do deserve honorable mention: San Francsico archbishop Salvatore Cordileone; Fr. Patrick Peyton, the Rosary Crusade priest; Capuchin Friar Ven. Solanus Casey from right here in Detroit; Bd. Pope Paul VI, who suffered greatly but preserved Church teaching in the face of tremendous opposition; Pope Leo XIII, who confronted the evil of socialism, and so on.

We Catholics are spoiled for choice when it comes to those giants whose shoulders we stand on. And spoiled for choice we are in this poll.

Who do you think is the single most notable Catholic on that list of 20, who you think has had the greatest impact for good on the Faith? Vote for just one (and we know, it is very tough).

Vote for one, and in Friday’s “Vortex,” we will bring you final results. Pass this “Vortex” to your friends and family and tell them to vote. Who do you think is the single most significant Catholic on this list, your list? And remember — you can only vote for one. We’ll keep voting open until noon EST on Thursday, and we’ll have the results for you on Friday.

It’s good to reflect and discuss and think about these kinds of things. Too often we have horrible examples in the Church of scandalous leaders and dissidents. Pondering over a list like this reminds us that Our Blessed Lord is always raising up saints and wonderful examples to inspire and help us lead holy lives.

Also for some quick reminders about upcoming events at ChurchMilitant.com, we’re hosting our fourth annual Retreat at Sea coming up on April 2, leaving from Los Angeles, California, and I’ll be doing a conference Saturday March 12 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Blessed be GOD.  Now get thinking and voting.

EDITORS NOTE: Originally published at ChurchMilitant.com. Watch “The Download” Every Week, Monday-Friday. Click here for Church Militant Premium—Start your 15-day Free Trial.