VIDEO: Founder Of The #WalkAway Movement Explains Why the Democratic Party Has ‘No Future’

In a column titled “Socialism is Not Built on Compassion. It’s Built on Dehumanizing Others.” Barry Brownstein writes:

In The True Believer, a seminal book on mass movements by social philosopher Eric Hoffer, Hoffer writes: “Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in a devil. Usually, the strength of a mass movement is proportionate to the vividness and tangibility of its devil.”

[ … ]

Hatred begins when we dehumanize others. We lump individuals into a single homogeneous group. This other group becomes the target of hate when we believe ‘I am suffering because of them.’ [Emphasis added]

There are those who use this tactic with minorities in America, among them the gay community.

In an article titled “Founder Of The #WalkAway From Dems Movement Explains Why Their Party Has ‘No Future’” reports:

Brandon Straka, the founder of the #WalkAway movement, cried the night Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election to Donald Trump. Now, he’s urging Democrats to leave the party. Straka created the campaign that shares videos of people telling their stories on why they are now leaving the Democratic Party because Democrats have become too ‘divisive.’

[ … ]

“I think that if you’re a minority in America … there’s sort of this assumption that you are not wanted on the right,” he said.

He added that he believes the left takes minorities for granted and makes people feel that President Trump’s administration is looking to “hurt” them.

“If you’re a minority, you have a choice,” he said. [Emphasis added]

Brandon Straka had an epiphany, an experience of sudden and striking realization that his best interests do not lie in the Democratic Party.

Here is the YouTube video that has gone viral and started the #WalkAway from the Democratic Party movement.

Watch this interview between Brandon and Laura Ingraham.

Brandon Straka has now become a classical liberal. He has walked away from the Democratic party. Wikipedia defines a classical liberal as:

Classical liberalism is a political ideology and a branch of liberalism which advocates civil liberties under the rule of law with an emphasis on economic freedom.

If these ideas fit you then #WalkAway.

RELATED ARTICLE: Democrats Turn to Socialism

RELATED VIDEO: Why I Left the Left.

Too Young or Too Old… To Own a Gun?

A common theme among anti-gun extremists is what we often refer to as the “Goldilocks” approach to limiting access to firearms by law-abiding citizens.  Rather than admit that the ultimate goal is to disarm all Americans, those opposed to the Second Amendment create fictional arguments about why certain types of firearms, ammunition, or even accessories should be eliminated.

In the 70s, the goal was to ban handguns.  Since they could be carried concealed for personal protection, they were seen as being “too small.”  That argument fell out of fashion as more and more states passed Right-to-Carry laws that recognized the right to personal protection.

One subset of the anti-handgun hysteria included inexpensive handguns (so-called “Saturday Night Specials”), which were deemed “too cheap.”  When NRA and others pointed out this was an obvious attempt to disarm lower income citizens (who are often at higher risk to being victims of violent crime), the term “Saturday Night Special” faded from the gun-ban lexicon.

Another subset of the attack on handguns came with the introduction of Glocks, and other handguns that used polymers as part of their construction.  These were falsely claimed to be able to pass through metal detectors and x-ray machines undetected, and, thus, “too invisible” to be screened where firearm are prohibited (think airports).  Of course, this canard was quickly dispelled.

Ammunition has been attacked as “too lethal,” “too untraceable,” “too bad for the environment (lead),” “too inexpensive (so tax it),” and any number of other “toos.”

Rifles have been called “too powerful,” “too modifiable,” “too accurate,” “too similar to actual military arms,” and the list goes on.

Boiled down to its essence, after wading through myriad “too this” and “too that” arguments, the just-right “Goldilocks” of guns would likely be a break action .22 rifle, although finding acceptable lead-free ammunition might be a bit difficult.  But anti-gun extremists can still claim they don’t want to ban “all” guns.

The latest approach to “Goldilocks-style Gun Control,” though, seems to be focusing less on what you can own, and focusing more on who can own firearms.  And we don’t mean people with criminal records.

After the horrific tragedy that took place in Parkland, Florida, this year, age became the new battle cry for those seeking to limit gun ownership.  Rather than focusing on the obvious failures at various levels of government to identify the copious warning signs exhibited by the alleged perpetrator, extremists decided to focus on the fact that law-abiding citizens are able to exercise their rights protected under the Second Amendment when they reach the age of 18.  Although responsible young adults regularly leave home, join the military, get married, and begin voting at this age, the anti-gun community has decided this age is too young for one to exercise the right of gun ownership.

Eighteen-year-olds have not been prohibited from purchasing and possessing rifles and shotguns at the federal level, and in the vast majority of states, since the founding of our country.  Nonetheless, because of the violent acts of one individual, we have seen an onslaught of legislation throughout the country that seeks to raise the minimum age to purchase and/or possess rifles and shotguns from 18 to 21.  Because common sense has taken a back seat to raw emotionalism in today’s gun control debate, some of these efforts have seen success.

But being deemed “too young” to own firearms isn’t the only threat to face the pro-Second Amendment community.  There may be a new approach beginning to form.  You might soon be deemed “too old.”

An article by JoNel Aleccia and Melissa Bailey, published by Kaiser Health News (KHN) and PBS NewsHour, has begun making the rounds with a number of media outlets, such as CNN, and it discusses the issue of gun owners who may be suffering from dementia.  Sort of.

Dementia can be a devastating disorder.  It is a category of diseases, including Alzheimer’s, that affects the brain, and its impact on individuals varies widely.  Mild forms can lead to simple cognitive declines, such as slight memory loss, that are little different than one would experience during the normal aging process.  More severe and advanced cases of dementia, on the other hand, can lead to dramatic changes in those afflicted that would require professional health care, and perhaps even commitment to a dedicate healthcare facility.

Of course, discussing the problem of dementia is a conversation worthy of having.  Unfortunately, the KHN/PBS article is riddled with language that sounds like it came straight from one of the gun-ban groups being funded by anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg.  We can only presume it is likely to be used to promote anti-gun policies that focus on prohibition, and ignore reason and constitutional considerations.

The tone of the article (a lengthy one) is set early, when it inaccurately describes our nation with the all-too-commonly heard inflammatory claim that, today, “America copes with an epidemic of gun violence….”  In fact, America’s murder rate has fallen to a near all-time low.  If anything, we have been doing remarkably well since the violent crime peak in the early 90s, with violent crime and murder rates decreasing by about half.

But repeating anti-gun rhetoric is just the start.

Aleccia and Bailey go on to refer to an analysis of Washington state survey data that claims approximately 54,000 residents who are 65 and older have “some cognitive decline” as well as a firearm in the home.  Is this really important to note?  No, because two key facts are ignored.

First, cognitive decline is common among the elderly, and can manifest itself as simply slight memory loss.  It does not mean dementia is present.  In fact, the epidemiologist who analyzed the survey data even “cautions that the answers are self-reported and that people who’ve actually been diagnosed with dementia likely are unable to respond to the survey.”  So now, rather than dementia being the concern, it’s simply old age.

Second, the story refers to these people (again, likely just elderly folks with no known mental disorder) having “access to weapons,” as if that is a concern.  However, they may not even have access.  The survey apparently asked if there was a firearm in the home.  The person surveyed could very well be living in a home that has firearms in it, but not have access to the firearm.  A son or daughter who takes in a parent, for example, could be the person who owns the firearm in the home, and may not allow others access to it.

The authors also seem to lament, “Only five states have laws allowing families to petition a court to temporarily seize weapons from people who exhibit dangerous behavior.”  These are the so-called “red flag” or “extreme risk protection order” laws that are being promoted nationwide.  They generally lack sufficient due process protections necessary for deprivation of a constitutional right and are often rife for abuse.

Furthermore, dementia is not a “temporary” disease.  It has no cure.  If an individual is exhibiting “dangerous behavior,” it is, in all likelihood, going to continue, and probably increase.  All states have a process to seek to have someone’s competency adjudicated or be involuntarily committed, which could result in a more permanent firearm prohibition. And, these laws generally protect due process by allowing individuals to put on their own defense and challenge the allegation before having their rights infringed by the state.

To make matters worse, Aleccia and Bailey also spoke with long-time anti-gun researcher Garen Wintemute, as part of their parroting of the false argument that NRA has stopped “public health research into the effects of gun violence.”  Wintemute is the director of the anti-gun University of California Firearm Violence Research Center, so it is clear that there is research going on.

Ultimately, while the subject of treatment for dementia patients is a very serious issue that deserves more scientific inquiry, using such a terrible disease as a pretext to preemptively disarm elderly Americans is unacceptable.  As we have said many times before, NRA supports any reasonable steps to fix America’s broken mental health system. But if the debate is going to move towards one more Goldilocks argument suggesting that just getting “too old” is reason enough to confiscate firearms, as this article might suggest, then that is a debate we will not bear.

Pennsylvania District Fights to Keep Parents From Watching Pro-LGBT Videos Students Were Required to Watch

At East Penn School district, officials don’t just indoctrinate kids — they refuse to show parents how! That’s the outrageous predicament Emmaus families find themselves in after they found out about a weeklong blitz of pro-LGBT videos that was required watching in every homeroom. And here’s the irony: while students were forced to watch them, parents weren’t allowed!

Local moms and dads only found out about the screenings through their kids, not because the administration bothered to inform them. Mike Huff, a parent of one of the students, was furious. “I do not support a publicly-funded school pushing any political or social views on children,” he told administrators. These were “purposeful, planned, indoctrination videos” that go against his family’s values. Yet, when Huff and others flooded the school office, demanding to see what they were showing kids, the response was simple: “No.”

“This was student work; this wasn’t staff work,” Superintendent Michael Schilder insisted. “This was not curriculum… This was student work that needs to be protected from public scrutiny.” But, as most adults pointed out, the “student work” was actually the product of the radical Gay Lesbian Straight Education Alliance (GLSEN), which has been infiltrating schools under parents’ noses for years.

At a school board meeting, East Penn parents lined up to blast the decision to keep the information from parents. “Our community deserves much better than this from the administration…” said mom Michelle Blagbrough. When officials refused to turn over the materials to parents, a group of them contacted Liberty Counsel to sue, if necessary. In a letter to the district earlier this week, attorneys threatened legal action.

“I am writing to request that the East Penn School district immediately provide to all parents requesting them the specific links to the four pro-homosexuality YouTube videos shown by the district to 2,800 high school students at Emmaus High School, as part of the district’s ‘Unity Week’ and ‘Day of Silence’ promotional activities.” If they refuse, Liberty Counsel promises “further action to prevent irreparable harm to the rights of local parents.”

By state law, the district can’t withhold curriculum from parents — a point attorneys drove home in their letter. “The Pennsylvania Administrative Code requires that the district provide parents the opportunity to review all instructional material shown to their children, prior to it being shown… The district has violated this requirement.” Parents, they reiterated, “not agents of the state, including teachers, and certainly not GLSEN or its teacher or student affiliates with the GSA, have the right to direct the upbringing and associations of minor children.”

LGBT activists have relied on a campaign of secrecy in schools for years. But for a public school to openly join those activists in keeping material from the parents of students is an incredible display of arrogance. If you have kids in government schools, protecting them from these influences is a full-time job. Stay vigilant — or better, consider other options!

This was originally published in Tony Perkins’ Washington Update, which is written with the aid of Family Research Council senior writers.


With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.


EDITORS NOTE: The  featured image was taken on June 23, 2018 – New York City, New York, USA – School pupils participate in the Pride March on June 24, 2018 in New York. The first March was held in 1970. (Credit Image: © Anna Sergeeva via ZUMA Wire) [Photo via Newscom]

Watch the Dehumanization of Law Enforcement in West Oakland, CA

In a column titled “Socialism is Not Built on Compassion. It’s Built on Dehumanizing Others.” Barry Brownstein writes:

In The True Believer, a seminal book on mass movements by social philosopher Eric Hoffer, Hoffer writes: “Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in a devil. Usually, the strength of a mass movement is proportionate to the vividness and tangibility of its devil.”

[ … ]

Hatred begins when we dehumanize others. We lump individuals into a single homogeneous group. This other group becomes the target of hate when we believe ‘I am suffering because of them.’

Feigning compassion in order to dehumanize others was vividly demonstrated by protesters in a West Oakland, California neighborhood.

The Federalist in a July 5, 2018 article titled “WATCH: Neighbors Protest ICE As It Breaks Up Child Sex Trafficking Ring reports:

Protesters wrote ‘Oakland PD is a disgrace’ in chalk on the ground, as ICE agents busted up a child prostitution ring in their neighborhood.

Video of neighbors protesting as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents broke up a child sex trafficking ring in their neighborhood has resurfaced, as politicians and activists call for the agency to be abolished.

A local CBS news station reported on the incident, which took place in West Oakland, California, last year. ICE began conducting the raid in the morning, waking up neighbors who saw ICE and Department of Homeland Security vehicles on the street.

Democratic Socialists of America logo

In Nazi Germany the devil was a Jew. In Venezuela, China, Cuba, Iran and North Korea the devil is anyone who opposes the state. For the Democratic Socialists of America, which is now the future of the Democratic Party, the devil is any of the following:

  • Those who voted for President Donald J. Trump
  • Anyone who is in the Trump administration
  • Anyone who is a Christian
  • Anyone who criticizes Islam
  • Anyone who criticizes the gay lifestyle
  • Anyone who believes marriage is between one man and one woman
  • Anyone who is white
  • Anyone who is black and supports President Trump
  • Anyone who is Hispanic and supports President Trump
  • Law enforcement including most recently ICE
  • Anyone Democratic Socialists, the new Democrat Party, disagree with
  • Anyone who loves America

As Brownstein notes, “An essential feature of socialism is to dehumanize others. Like millions in Pol Pot’s Cambodia or Mao’s China, millions of North Koreans have been taught to hate others. Millions in the ‘hostile class’ have been starved, brutalized, and murdered.”

Brownstein concludes, “Socialism will never produce a different outcome. How is it possible to insist that the next socialist regime will be different?”


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Socialism is Not Built on Compassion. It’s Built on Dehumanizing Others.

Barry Brownstein How is it possible to insist that the next socialist regime will be different?

by Barry Brownstein

Some claim capitalism dehumanizes individuals. Others claim Horatio Alger stories are a myth, believing individuals have little social or economic mobility under capitalism and cannot rise above the circumstances into which they are born.

If you believe capitalism does a worse job than socialism on social and economic mobility and that socialism treats people more humanely, please spend time in a collectivist country such as North Korea and report back.

In my essay, “People Are Less Selfish Under Capitalism,” I explore why individualism and free exchange make people more altruistic and trustworthy. The flip side of this issue reveals how and why collectivism dehumanizes individuals.

Collectivist Societies Are Held Together by Hate

In The True Believer, a seminal book on mass movements by social philosopher Eric Hoffer, Hoffer writes: “Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in a devil. Usually, the strength of a mass movement is proportionate to the vividness and tangibility of its devil.”

Hoffer recounts the story “of a Japanese mission that arrived in Berlin in 1932 to study the National Socialist movement.” British journalist Frederick Voigt “asked a member of the mission what he thought of the movement.”

Demonstrating the need for a tangible “devil,” the member replied, “It is magnificent. I wish we could have something like it in Japan, only we can’t, because we haven’t got any Jews.”

Without stirring primitive hatred pitting “us” against “them,” there can be no unwavering allegiance of the population when a mass movement fails to deliver on its promises.

When socialism’s inevitability fails, the ruling elites have to shift the attention of the population to a scapegoat. Someone or some group other than the political leadership needs to be blamed.

When human beings are not consumed by thoughts of differences and hate, they naturally connect with the humanity in others. As psychology professor Nour Kteily observes, “We have this incredible capacity for cooperation; it’s what makes us human in many ways. And yet we have this capacity for othering.”

Hatred begins when we dehumanize others. We lump individuals into a single homogeneous group. This other group becomes the target of hate when we believe ‘I am suffering because of them.’

Philosophy professor Michelle Maiese provides insight into how othering leads to deindividuation, which leads to dehumanization and opens a moral loophole to justify harming others:

Deindividuation facilitates dehumanization as well. This is the psychological process whereby a person is seen as a member of a category or group rather than as an individual. Because people who are deindividuated seem less than fully human, they are viewed as less protected by social norms against aggression than those who are individuated. It then becomes easier to rationalize contentious moves or severe actions taken against one’s opponents.

Once certain groups are stigmatized as evil, morally inferior, and not fully human, the persecution of those groups becomes more psychologically acceptable. Restraints against aggression and violence begin to disappear. Not surprisingly, dehumanization increases the likelihood of violence and may cause a conflict to escalate out of control. Once a violence break over has occurred, it may seem even more acceptable for people to do things that they would have regarded as morally unthinkable before.

The Nazis depicted Jews as rats. Hutu officials in Rwanda called Tutsis cockroaches. Stripped of their humanity, Jews and Tutsis became victims of genocide.

Like the Japanese, North Koreans have no Jews, but the North Koreans have made a “devil” out Americans—and much of their own population.

North Korean defector Hyeonseo Lee grew up thinking her country “was the greatest nation on earth.” In her book, The Girl With Seven Names, Lee explains how she was taught that “South Korean children were dressed in rags” and “scavenged for food on garbage heaps and suffered the sadistic cruelty of American soldiers, who used them for target practice, ran them over in jeeps, or made them polish boots.” Lee’s teacher showed “cartoon drawings of children begging barefoot in winter.”

Those in North Korea suffer unimaginable deprivations and do not understand how much better off the rest of the world is. The North Korean house of horrors is held together by brute force, unrelenting propaganda, and indoctrinated hate.

Like Hyeonseo Lee, Yeonmi Park is a North Korean defector. In her book, In Order to Live, Park tells of North Korean school children learning arithmetic by counting the number of dead “American bastards.”

Stirring up hatred against Americans, however, is not enough to keep the Kims in power in North Korea. Few North Koreans will ever encounter an American.

Sadly, the greatest hatred of the ruling elites in North Korea is reserved for their own people when their allegiance to the state is judged as less than absolute. According to the NK Hidden Gulag blog, a project supported by the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, this class of citizens allegedly harbors “counter-revolutionary attitudes or associations, including being guilty of what North Korean gulag expert David Hawk describes as ‘wrong-doing, wrong-thinking, wrong-knowledge, wrong-association, or the wrong-class background.’”

A Feudal System

North Korean people live under seongbun, a rigid system of social classification from which there is no hope of escape. Once classified, the only possible social movement is down.

All 23 million North Koreans are classified into one of three categories: “loyal, wavering, or hostile.” Hyeonseo Lee describes the seongbun system:

Within the three broad categories there are fifty-one gradations of status, ranging from the ruling Kim family at the top, to political prisoners with no hope of release at the bottom.

The irony was that the new communist state had created a social hierarchy more elaborate and stratified than anything seen in the time of the feudal emperors. People in the hostile class, which made up about 40 per cent of the population, learned not to dream. They got assigned to farms and mines and manual labour.

An essential feature of seongbun is the doctrine of yeon-jwa-je for the collective punishment of political crimes. As the yeon-jwa-je edict, issued by Kim Il-sung in 1970, states, “The seed of factionalists or enemies of class, whoever they are, must be eliminated through three generations.”

Lee describes how the Bowibu, the secret police of North Korea, rely on neighbors “to inform on neighbours; children to spy on children; workers to watch co-workers; and the head of the neighbourhood people’s unit, the banjang, [to maintain] an organized system of surveillance on every family in her unit.”

Collective guilt, yeon-jwa-je, creates a population that lives in a state of fear and paranoia.

Lee adds that the “Bowibu weren’t interested in the real crimes that affected people, such as theft, which was rife, or corruption, but only in political disloyalty, the faintest hint of which, real or imagined, was enough to make an entire family–grandparents, parents and children–disappear. Their house would be roped off; they’d be taken away in a truck at night, and not seen again.”

Sitting on a newspaper with a Kim’s face” is a “crime” that can send three generations to North Korean concentration camps.

Worship of the Kim dynasty is demanded of the population. Lee describes one manifestation of this worship:

Our entire family life, eating, socializing and sleeping, took place beneath the portraits. I was growing up under their gaze. Looking after them was the first rule of every family. In fact they represented a second family, wiser and more benign even than our own parents. They depicted our Great Leader Kim Il-sung, who founded our country, and his beloved son Kim Jong-il, the Dear Leader, who would one day succeed him. Their distant, airbrushed faces took pride of place in our home, and in all homes. They hung like icons in every building I ever entered. From an early age I helped my mother clean them. We used a special cloth provided by the government, which could not be used for cleaning anything else.

Relentless North Korean propaganda has claimed that some gave their lives to save the “sacred” portraits:

Each year, stories of portrait-saving heroics would be featured in the media. My parents would hear a radio report commending a grandfather who’d waded through treacherous flood water holding the portraits above his head (he’d saved them, but sacrificed his own life in the attempt), or see a photograph in the Rodong Sinmun, the national daily, of a couple sitting precariously on the tiled roof of their hut after a catastrophic mudslide, clutching the sacred portraits. The newspaper exhorted all citizens to emulate the example of these real-life heroes.

Here is the ultimate dehumanization: all that truly matters in North Korea are the lives of the Kims. “Even those dying from starvation…they said ‘I’m worried about Kim Jong Il, the leader. His health. His safety.’”

There Is Nothing Unique about North Korea

In the vast system of North Korean concentration camps, North Korean guards treat their fellow North Koreans brutally. Indoctrinated in seongbun and yeon-jwa-je, guards see prisoners as less-than-human, counter-revolutionary “others.”

In his book Long Road Home: Testimony of a North Korean Camp Survivor, Yong Kim offers a searing testimony of the brutality in North Korean concentration camps. Yong Kim is one of the only known survivors of camp No. 14. Yong Kim details the plight of inmates forced to work over 12 hours a day doing dangerous and hard work on “three handfuls of corn kernels accompanied by a little rough salt and a bowl of watery soup—a portion deliberately designed to starve inmates to slow and excruciating death.”

As Yong Kim writes, “Prisoners were beyond the point of feeling hungry, so they felt constantly delirious. But what was really killing us was psychological and emotional torture. No family members were allowed to stay together.” (Recall that three generations of North Koreans are imprisoned for political crimes.)

If you believe the horrors of North Korea are an aberration, you are wrong. History shows socialist states dehumanize others, grouping them into hostile classes, as UCLA professor Kim Suk-Young explains in her introduction to Long Road Home:

We find practices similar to the North Korean seongbun, which marked undesired social groups and stigmatized them permanently in the aftermath of the socialist revolution. Richard K. Carton notes that “every Communist assumption of power—in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and Albania—was accompanied by mass arrests aimed primarily at the elimination of the opposition. Some prisoners were interned and others were assigned to forced labor.” Likewise, in the People’s Republic of China, as Philip F. Williams and Yenna Wu’s study shows, a similar process of grouping undesirable people took place on a massive scale: “Justification of large-scale political arrests … would recur in the legal policies of and criminal law instituted by successive Chinese Communist regimes throughout the twentieth century. This general pattern was much the same for Leninist regimes throughout Eurasia, especially during the phase of consolidation.”

The ruling class needs the hostile class to be a scapegoat and also a source of labor, as Suk-Young points out:

What is intriguing about this effort at massive elimination of certain social classes, however, is not only the creation of the so-called antirevolutionary class but also the fact that most of the antirevolutionaries ended up being absorbed by the state as a source of free labor. As Williams and Yu argue, “Because of their bad class background and the government’s need for cheap labor, able-bodied rich farmers and landlords who were charged with no crime at all were also often conscripted for coercive service in the hard labor brigades.”

An essential feature of socialism is to dehumanize others. Like millions in Pol Pot’s Cambodia or Mao’s China, millions of North Koreans have been taught to hate others. Millions in the “hostile class” have been starved, brutalized, and murdered. Socialism will never produce a different outcome. How is it possible to insist that the next socialist regime will be different?


Barry Brownstein

Barry Brownstein

Barry Brownstein is professor emeritus of economics and leadership at the University of Baltimore. He is the author of The Inner-Work of Leadership. To receive Barry’s essays subscribe at Mindset Shifts.


How Politics Distorts Our Perceptions

What’s Really Wrong With Inequality?

Polish lawmaker: ‘We will not receive even one Muslim…this is why Poland is so safe’

“There are a billion people in Africa. In the European Union, we have what, 500 million? How many Africans can we take? Don’t misunderstand me, we want to help the people who are suffering, but we need to help them where they are, at home. It’s not about being racist, nationalist — it’s about adopting a logical, rational system.”

Indeed. But he will be excoriated as a racist nationalist anyway. It’s what the Left does.

“EXCLUSIVE: Polish Lawmaker Speaks Out After Cathy Newman’s Latest Car Crash Interview on Illegal Migration,” by Jack Montgomery, Breitbart, July 3, 2018 (thanks to David):

Polish lawmaker Dominik Tarczyński has stuck to his guns following a frank interviewon the migrant crisis with Cathy Newman, insisting his government will not take a single illegal migrant because that is what his party promised before the elections.

The Channel 4 presenter, who became infamous online following her viral interviewwith Canadian scholar Jordan Peterson, had demanded to know how many “refugees” Poland had taken, to which the Law and Justice Party (PiS) politician replied: “Zero.”

“And you’re proud of that?” Newman demanded.

“If you are asking me about Muslim illegal immigrants, none, not even one, will come to Poland,” Tarczyński repeated.

“We took over two million Ukrainians — who are working, who are peaceful — in Poland. We will not receive even one Muslim, because this is what we promised… this is why our government was elected; this is why Poland is so safe, this is why we have not had even one terror attack,” he said.

“We can be called ‘populists’, ‘nationalists’, ‘racists’, I don’t care — I care about my family, and about my country.”

Breitbart London contacted the Polish lawmaker for his thoughts on the explosive interview, asking if he still felt confident that it was Poland’s strategy on the migrant crisis which had spared his country from the radical Islamic terror attacks which have plagued countries such as GermanySweden, and Spain.

Mr Tarczyński insisted that “strategy” did not come into it and that the Law and Justice government’s decision to refuse migrants from the Middle East and North Africa came down to something much more simple.

“It hasn’t been about strategy for us, but simply keeping our promises to the Polish people,” he explained.

“We promised to say no to illegal immigrants in Poland before the elections in 2015, and we have kept our promises to the voters who elected us because that’s what they expected,” he said.

“It’s incredible that these people in the European media and the European Commission — who are unelected, by the way — can’t understand this. We made a promise to the people, and we have a democratic responsibility to keep it.”

Mr Tarczyński described how he had visited genuine refugees in the Lebanese camps neighbouring Syria several times — “unlike many of Poland’s critics” — and that they made it clear to them that genuinely needy refugees simply could not afford to pay people-smugglers to make the long journey through the Near East and South-Eastern Europe to the welfare states of North-West Europe.

He added that, as the migrant crisis expanded to take in sub-Saharan Africans as well as the Middle-Easterners, open borders were simply not a viable solution to the problem.

“There are a billion people in Africa,” he said matter of factly. “In the European Union, we have what, 500 million? How many Africans can we take?” he asked.

“Don’t misunderstand me, we want to help the people who are suffering, but we need to help them where they are, at home. It’s not about being racist, nationalist — it’s about adopting a logical, rational system….

RELATED ARTICLE: Canada is Funding and Supporting Terrorism Front Groups with Taxpayers’ Money

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on Jihad Watch.

Congressional Republicans Unite Behind Conservative Budget

The Republican Study Committee, a conservative caucus of 158 Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives, releases an annual budget called “A Framework for United Conservatism.”

Its aim is to unite conservatives in Congress behind a long-term fiscal plan.

This year’s Framework builds on the RSC’s fiscal year 2018 budget both of which embody conservative principles, sharing many similarities with Heritage’s Blueprint for Balance; 55 percent of Heritage’s proposals are fully included in the 2018 Framework.

The Heritage Blueprint serves as, in the words of Politico’s Sarah Ferris, “a conservative dream budget” for lawmakers who seek to balance the federal budget and put power back into the hands of the American people.

The 2018 RSC budget also takes significant steps towards curbing federal regulation and unleashing economic growth. Recognizing that the U.S. fiscal challenge cannot be effectively addressed without entitlement reform, RSC’s Framework puts forth recommendations to fix Medicare and Social Security.

RSC’s budget also makes significant progress in areas like agriculture, energy, welfare reform, health care, and retirement security.

Both the RSC’s Framework and Heritage’s Blueprint would eliminate or reform programs run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The policy proposals endorsed by both organizations would help to end cronyism, reduce regulation, and promote competition.

One example is a recommendation to eliminate the federal sugar program, which serves as a hidden tax on consumers by raising sugar prices.

Both the Blueprint and the Framework also recommend eliminating the USDA’s Rural Business Cooperative Service, a program which, among other things, unfairly picks winners and losers in the energy sector.

On welfare reform, the Framework and the Blueprint include three major goals: promote work and marriage, pay for outcomes rather than services, and require transparency in welfare spending and benefits.

Restructuring welfare in such a way does two things. It ensures that those who need assistance receive benefits, and it promotes a culture of self-sufficiency.

The RSC budget also makes substantial progress on Medicaid reform.

One significant proposal supported by the RSC and Heritage experts would put the program on a budget. Four categories of enrollees—children and able-bodied adults, the disabled, low-income Medicare beneficiaries, and long-term beneficiaries—should be financed separately subject to an aggregate federal spending cap. Restructuring Medicaid in this way would increase transparency and accountability while also keeping the program on a stable fiscal path.

Moreover, disaggregation of Medicaid funding would help ensure that the program would be more tailored to the specific needs of each group, protecting especially the most vulnerable from seeing their Medicaid allotment being consumed by the Medicaid expansion population.

The RSC budget also incorporates proposals to fix Social Security and Medicare. Harmonizing the age of eligibility for both of those programs, a recommendation in both the Framework and the Blueprint, is a common sense reform that would be a good step toward slowing the growth of Medicare spending.

RSC similarly includes a recommendation to combine Medicare Parts A and B, which would integrate hospital and physician services while saving billions of dollars.

These recommendations, alongside others found in both the RSC budget and the Blueprint, would allow for more focused funding to those who need assistance the most and help to curb the growth of Medicare spending, a major contributor to the national debt.

In the realm of Social Security, the RSC fully endorses Texas Republican Rep. Sam Johnson’s Social Security Reform Act of 2016, which is designed to permanently save Social Security by targeting benefits to those most in need, among other reforms.

Heritage experts identified the policies in the Johnson plan as a reasonable, targeted, and fiscally responsible approach to begin reforming Social Security.

There are some policies not yet addressed by the RSC that would be helpful in reducing the size and scope of government.

The Framework shies away from serious consideration of three major overhauls of the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs mentioned in the Blueprint: ending enrollment in VA medical care for veterans in priority groups 7 and 8, eliminating concurrent receipt of retirement pay and disability compensation, and narrowing eligibility for veterans disability by excluding disabilities unrelated to military duties.

These proposals would focus scarce dollars on veterans with the most severe disabilities and ensure better service to our veterans.

In the education sphere, the RSC ought to consider rescinding “gainful employment” regulations on for-profit higher education institutions, which would allow more flexibility for nontraditional students who seek to learn in vocational or other types of schools.

The RSC’s budget notably includes a significant number of proposals that, if implemented, would move in the right direction to protect individual liberty, enable economic growth, and lift some of the heavy weight of a bloated federal government off of the backs of American families.

Both chambers of Congress should seize 2018 to begin the critical and overdue process of reducing spending, rightsizing the federal bureaucracy, and realigning federal programs with those functions granted to Congress by the Constitution.

Republicans control the House and Senate –it’s on them to follow the law and pursue a joint budget resolution to trigger reconciliation this year. Heritage’s Blueprint and the RSC’s Framework pave the way.


Dody Eid is a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation.

Portrait of Romina Boccia

Romina Boccia focuses on federal spending and the national debt as the deputy director of Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies and the Grover M. Hermann fellow in federal budgetary affairs at The Heritage Foundation. Read her research. Twitter: .

Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.


EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is by Mega/Newscom.

Massachusetts Governor Signs Gun Seizure Bill

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker signed a bill on Tuesday allowing for temporary gun confiscation without any due process in Massachusetts.

Bill H4670 enables a family or household member, which includes roommates, relatives or significant others, to remove firearms, firearm identification cards and ammunition from any individual deemed to be a danger to oneself or others.


Surrendered goods can be confiscated for up to one year, with the ability to renew the order, but an individual can try to appeal the ruling.

Baker defended the so-called ‘red flag law’ over twitter calling it a “model for the nation.”

Massachusetts is the 12th state to enact such gun seizure laws, according to Huffington Post. It is also the seventh state to do so since the February school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

The bill also establishes a licensing procedure for stun guns after Massachusetts’ top court deemed in April that banning the weapon was unconstitutional.

EDITORS NOTE: Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities for this original content, email The featured image is of a March 24, 2018 – Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. – Participants of the rally react to a speaker on stage in Boston Common, Boston. Tens of thousands of people came out to support the March for our Lives and the rally in Boston Common in solidarity with dozens of anti-gun violence marches taking place throughout the county on this day. (Credit Image: © Alena Kuzub via ZUMA Wire) [Photo via Newscom]

Your Children Are Yours, Not The State’s

by Peter B. Gemma

At the end of the 2015 school year, a day after his 89th birthday, author and homeschool movement icon Samuel Blumenfeld passed away. In its obituary, the Boston Globe noted, “His mother was illiterate, and when Mr. Blumenfeld was a child he struggled to help her learn the rudiments of reading and writing.” His first foray into tutoring was successful, and he went onto a teaching career and an advocate of education reform.

Blumenfeld wrote a dozen books on foundational reading methods, elitist academic power brokers, and the how and why of homeschooling. His better known titles include Is Public Education NecessaryAlpha-Phonics: A Primer for Beginning Readers, and How to Tutor.

A graduate of the City College of New York, Blumenfeld spent 10 years as a book and magazine editor, and he taught in public and private schools, including one for children with learning disabilities and behavioral problems. He wrote for a wide variety of publications including the New York Times, American Legion magazine, Esquire, and Commentary. In the libertarian Reason magazine, he opined:

“The simple truth that experiences taught us is that the most potent significant expression of statism is a State educational system. Without it, statism is impossible. With it, the State can, it has, become everything.”

In the 1950s, Rudolf Flesch’s seminal work, Why Johnny Can’t Read, set in place battle lines between parents and public schools. Sam Blumenfeld’s 1970s bestsellers, The New Illiterates and How You Can Keep Your Child from Becoming One and How to Start Your Own Private School and Why You Need One provided high-powered ammunition that kick-started a revolution. Pulitzer Prize winning author John Updike praised The New Illiterates as a “spirited indictment” of public education.

Why Johnny Can’t Read taught parents that the comprehensive and systematic instruction in phonics had been replaced with the whole-word or look-say method of teaching. The whole-word method essentially treats words as if they were drawings. Instead of teaching children the letters and sounds that go with them, they’re taught to see each word as a picture made up of scribbles. Blumenfeld held that children have become so adept in this illogical process that they can “read” words upside-down, the same way they can identify inverted photos of giraffes. He believed students could not identify new words or understand their meaning without depending on someone to tell them what they are looking at.

Theodor Geisel, “Dr. Seuss,” agreed. In a 1981 interview he asserted:

That damned Cat in the Hat took nine months until I was satisfied. I did it for a textbook house and they sent me a word list. That was due to [psychologist and education dogmatist] John Dewey in the Twenties: they threw out phonic reading and went to word recognition, as if you’re reading a Chinese pictograph instead of blending sounds of different letters. I think killing phonics was one of the greatest causes of illiteracy in the country. I read their list [of suggested words] three times and I almost went out of my head. I said I’ll read it once more and if I can find two words that rhyme that’d be the title of my book. I found ‘cat’ and ‘hat.’

The long-term impact of teaching the “look-see” method of reading has proved disastrous. According to the Program for International Student Assessment, which collects test results from 65 countries, the U.S. ranked number 20 in reading. Statistics compiled by the 34 member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development graded American teenagers 21st in reading.

When Blumenfeld began crusading for home-based education, it was virtually illegal in a majority of states, but today there is more of a free market in education. The evolution tells a compelling story. The National Center for Education Statistics determined that in 2015 more than 2.2 million students — about 3.4 percent of children 6-17 years old — were taught at home, up from 2.2 percent in 2007.  The Washington Postreports that in D.C., the number of registered homeschooling families grew by a third over the past two years.

Homeschooled students consistently score higher grades than their public school peers. In 2014, their average SAT scores were 70 points higher in critical reading and 48 points higher in writing than the average scores of all students. A 2015 study found black homeschooled students scored 23 to 42 percentile points above black public school students.

One new factor in the uptick in homeschooled children: safety. “When the Parkland shooting happened, our phone calls and emails exploded,” Tim Lambert, president at the Texas Home School Coalition told the Washington Times. “In the last couple of months, our numbers have doubled. We’re dealing with probably between 1,200 and 1,400 calls and emails per month, and prior to that it was 600 to 700.”

Of course the main reason for teaching children at home remains quality control. In a speech at Michigan’s Hillsdale College, Blumenfeld assessed in-vogue teaching methods:

“If education consists of the interaction between an effective teacher and a willing learner, then you can’t have it in a psych lab that has neither. In the lab you have the trainer and the trainee, the controller and the controlled, the experimenter and the subject, the therapist and the patient.  What should go on in a classroom is teaching and learning. What goes on in the psych lab is stimulus and response, diagnosis and treatment.”

In 1967, the National Education Association proclaimed it would, “become a political power second to no other special interest group.” In his 1984 book, NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education, Blumenfeld often cautioned, “Public school teachers, once loved and respected for their devotion to their profession, have become militantly politicized and are now the most active and powerful advocates of the political and social agendas of the radical left.”

In his writings and speeches Blumenfeld warned that, “Those who rose highest in the public schools establishment and the National Education Association (NEA) were those most strongly committed to secularism and statism. Those two complementary philosophies fuel the vision of NEA leaders, who seek a utopian world, freed from Biblical constraints, ruled by humanist politicians, and taught by progressive educators. Parental rights and religious freedom are swallowed up by the surpassing rights and rules of the greater community — the controlled collective.”

Sam Blumenfeld’s last book, Crimes of the Educators, was published just before he died. In it he wrote, “The unhappy truth is that today’s public schools have rejected the values of the Founding Fathers and adopted values from nineteenth-century European social utopians that completely contradict our own concepts of individual freedom. And they have invented new values under the umbrella of ‘social justice’ in order to advance society toward their idea of moral perfection.”

Margaret Mead once said, “My grandmother wanted me to have an education, so she kept me out of school.”  Thank goodness Sam Blumenfeld took that quip very seriously.


Peter B. Gemma is an award-winning freelance writer whose articles have appeared in, the Washington Examiner, and USA Today.


Eliminating Identity Politics From the Schools and the US Census

UK Schools Are Banning Skirts in Favor of Gender Neutral Options

RELATED VIDEO: Dangerous People Are Teaching Your Kids

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Revolutionary Act.

Two of America’s Top Coworking Spaces Located in Florida

Since taking office Florida Governor Rick Scott has made it his mission to make the Sunshine State a beacon for entrepreneurship. Inc. magazine released its list of 23 of the Best Coworking Spaces in the U.S. Two of America’s top coworking spaces are located in Florida.

Larry KimCEO of MobileMonkey, Inc., writes:

Coworking spaces make it ridiculously easy for entrepreneurs today to find an office space.

Back in 2008, when I first started looking for office space for my new startup, the process was insanely difficult. You could either lease or sublease.

The leases were long. Usually they tried to lock me into a multi-year lease. Plus, there were additional expenses, such as furniture, Internet access, and cleaning.

Long leases make hiring a big issue for growing startups. Your office needs can change every six months to a year. So that usually leaves you with two equally bad options. You can either:

  • Overpay for too much office space that you’ll (hopefully) grow into.
  • Pay for a space you know you’ll probably outgrow before the lease is up.

All of this made life pretty hard for startups.

That was before the rise of coworking spaces.

Florida’s top coworking spaces are:

The LAB Miami

This chill coworking space filled with a talented and diverse group of people is located in an ultra-hip Wynwood area of Miami, Florida. The LAB Miami is ideal for anyone seeking excellent vibes, friendly staff, and a motivating atmosphere.

Hub Sarasota

Located in Sarasota, Florida, the HuB shared office space is a great place to work and network with great people. It’s home to a creative atmosphere and is also fantastic for networking, education, and collaboration.

Here’s how people at HuB Sarasota talk about their coworking space:

HuB Sarasota’s motto is “Create something. From nothing.”

That is as American as hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet.

A POST-ROE WORLD: Reversing Roe v. Wade won’t solve the abortion crisis — but it’s a necessary beginning

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s resignation is sending the Left into a panic, terrified a fifth conservative vote could lead to overturning Roe v. Wade — what Democrats like Sen. Dianne Feinstein have hallowed as “super-precedent.” Meanwhile, pro-life groups are jubilant, waiting in hopeful expectation that the decision even abortion supporter Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg has called unjustified “heavy-handed judicial intervention” will be consigned to the trash bin of jurisprudential history.

But what would a post-Roe world look like? Contrary to popular opinion, reversing Roe would not solve the abortion crisis in this country; it would simply kick the question back to the states to decide on a state-by-state basis, as was the regime pre-Roe.

Historically, since the founding of this nation, abortion has always been a matter within the purview and jurisdiction of the states, and never a federal matter. It wasn’t until 1973 in Roe that this changed. Critics claim with Roe that not only did the U.S. Supreme Court usurp jurisdiction over a question that belonged to the states, the justices also distorted the Constitution’s “right to privacy,” interpreting it in a way never intended.

In the years immediately before Roe, the majority of states had outlawed abortion except for the life or health of the mother, while four had legalized it and 13 had allowed abortion in limited circumstances. The trend, however, was moving towards legalization — until Roe, when five justices on the High Court determined by judicial fiat that the states no longer had the right to decide the matter. The straitjacket ruling of Roe imposed on all 50 states — mostly against their will — led to a polarization that even abortion supporters recognize has harmed the country.


The legal landscape in the early 1970s before Roe v. Wade (courtesy of The Washington Post)

Roe, I believe, would have been more acceptable as a judicial decision if it had not gone beyond a ruling on the extreme statute before the Court,” said feminist Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg. “Heavy-handed judicial intervention was difficult to justify and appears to have provoked, not resolved, conflict.”

Some states already have “trigger laws” in case Roe is overturned. Laws in Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota and South Dakota will automatically outlaw abortion if Roe is reversed, the wording of South Dakota’s law, for instance, making clear it goes into effect “on the date that the states are recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court to have the authority to prohibit abortion at all stages of pregnancy.”

Other states have abortion bans still on the books from pre-Roe times, which could be revived and enforced if the case is struck down.

And then there are states that have enshrined the right to abortion in their constitution, including Alaska, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey and New Mexico, and who will likely continue to keep abortion legal.

But the issue would no longer be a federal matter, resolved instead on a state-by-state basis through the ballot box — as it was for approximately 200 years before Roe. With the right to travel protected under the Constitution, individuals who reject their state’s abortion law can lobby to change them, or else move to another state.

Pro-lifers will still have to battle to educate and inform the public about the reality of abortion, and continue to work to restore a Culture of Life, state by state (something pro-lifers were already busily engaged in before Roe) — but at least in a post-Roe world, outlawing Planned Parenthood mills and shutting down abortionists’ business would no longer be an impossible scenario but a real possibility — one out of reach of the long arm of the Supreme Court.

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Vesting in Lavender

Anthony Esolen recalls a time when there was a solidity in belief: in the differences between the sexes and in the Church and its servants. 

Do you remember a time, readers, when you could spend a whole day, actually a whole month, occasionally even a year, and not give one passing thought to the issue of sexual perversions?

Do you remember a time when not one liberal in a thousand would have thought it a good idea to have drag queens do story-hour for children in a public library? When people who fell into sexual perversion, or who are alleged to have done so, or who are alleged to have wanted to do so though they did not, or who are alleged to have been the sorts of people who would have wanted to do so if they had known What We Know Now, were not held up for the admiration of children, in their school textbooks?

Do you remember a time when not one liberal in a thousand would have thought that a man who said he was a woman or a woman who said she was a man was in touch with reality and not prey to a destructive fantasy or delusion?

Do you remember a time when liberals, precisely because they were liberals, held men and women up to high standards of sexual decency, and (wrongly) believed that they were capable of maintaining those standards without the ministrations of the Church?

Do you remember a time when it would not have occurred to you in a hundred years that your priest was anything other than an ordinary man, a real man, following the special call of the Lord? A man who in another life, with a different call, would have been married with a passel of children, a pillar of his community?

Do you remember a time when a priest could march alongside miners and auto workers and look like one of them, not like a breathless female reporter in the locker room of a football team? Do you remember when nobody, absolutely nobody, would have considered that a female reporter should even be in that locker room?

Do you remember a time when divorce was a scandal? I do. Do you remember a time when family-owned motels would not let unmarried people book one room instead of two? Do you remember a time when boys and girls actually dated, and when the vast territory between loneliness and going to bed as a married couple had not been strafed and scorched and left with not a single healthy custom standing – a cultural Nagasaki and Hiroshima, from sea to sea?

And now this, about Cardinal McCarrick. 
The cardinal, choosing his words precisely, says he has no memory of ever having engaged in the sexual abuse of the erstwhile young man who is now accusing him.

About that accusation I have no confident opinion, nor need I have. For when you have a gorilla in the living room, thrashing the furniture, chewing the upholstery, and defecating in plain sight and smell, you do not ask whether it was also the gorilla who smashed the light bulb.

The Last General Absolution of the Munster Fusiliers at Rue du Bois by Fortunino Matania, 1916. It is assumed that the painting was destroyed during the German blitz of London in WWII. Certainly the original is missing.

The cardinal has cautiously denied one sin, while not bothering to address the thousand others. For all these years, according to witnesses at last speaking out, he has been vesting in lavender, compromising young men in his charge, including those who he made sure would see his misdeeds though they did not participate in them, and exerting all the subtle pressure of power and prestige to keep those who demurred – who did not enjoy bunking with Uncle Ted – from speaking out.

He has pointedly not said, “I have never had sexual relations with a seminarian or a priest.”
 It was a perversion of the male protective brotherhood, whose noblest and purest manifestation is the apostolic band.

Unlike those brothers the apostles, who went forth into the world to lay down their lives for Christ and the Church, these bands in our day have used the Church as a cover, and a means of procurement. They have turned the Church inward upon themselves and their essentially narcissistic and childish desires and deeds.

We should not then be surprised that the Church, in their hands, becomes contentedly anti-apostolic and anti-evangelistic. The leaders make common cause with ambitious women against their enemies: ordinary, healthy, self-assured, masculine men and the women who love and esteem them.

The Mass itself is made soft and effeminate – neither masculine nor feminine. I have often noted that every single hymn in vast repertory of Christian hymnody that has anything to do with fighting for Christ, hymns going back all the way to Prudentius and Venantius Fortunatus, has been banished from the hymnals, except for For All the Saints.

That one exception we may attribute to the need to have something or other for All Saints’ Day, and even then, in many hymnals I have seen, the lyrics are made squishy, or the stanzas with the most fight in them are simply dropped.
 These leaders are simply not interested in taking on the world.

But that is the raison d’être of the brotherhood. Men who are friends, soldiers in the field, do not gaze into each other’s eyes, melting. Your drill sergeant does not call himself Uncle Ted. He does not write lovey letters to you, after he has snuggled you into a compromise. He does not engage in spiritual bribery and blackmail.

Men who stand shoulder to shoulder – you can picture them in your mind’s eye, leaning against a fence or a car or a tank – look out in the same direction, towards the world to conquer. That has been the orientation, the direction to take, of every true leader of men the Church has known, from Peter and Paul to Benedict, from Francis and Dominic to Ignatius, from John Bosco to Jose Maria Escriva.

We have the Lord’s own choice to follow, ordaining men to form that band of brothers. Men, not just anatomical males. They might get something done.

Anthony Esolen

Anthony Esolen

Anthony Esolen is a lecturer, translator, and writer. His latest books are Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child and Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture. He directs the Center for the Restoration of Catholic Culture at Thomas More College of the Liberal Arts.

EDITORS NOTE: © 2018 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.orgThe Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own. The featured image is of Boy Scout Casey Chambers carring a rainbow flag during the San Francisco Gay Pride Festival in California June 29, 2014. REUTERS/Noah Berger

Why the Escalation in Suicides?

A couple of months ago, I produced a presentation titled, “The PRIDE Renewal Tour,” which noted the changes in our culture and what can be done about them. Among the subjects discussed, I reviewed a recent report from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) regarding how youth suicides have skyrocketed 70% over the last decade. “According to the CDC, nearly 45,000 Americans age 10 or older died by suicide in 2016, making it the 10th leading cause of death.” It is also the 2nd leading cause of death among young people, ages 15-24.

According to Tom Simon, one of the authors of the CDC report, the increase in suicides is not limited to just our youth, “We know that overall in the US, we’re seeing increases in suicide rates across all age groups.”

This was amplified by the recent suicides of designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain. Although it is unclear as to precisely why they decided to take their own lives, it was reported they suffered from depression. Despite their success, they simply couldn’t find happiness and contentment.

From their deaths, the public is slowly becoming aware of the growing trend in suicide, particularly among our youth. So what is causing this, failure? This certainly was not the case with Spade and Bourdain. Perhaps it was triggered by the influx of drugs and technology. Maybe it is simple depression, which has also been growing over the years. A recent REPORT claims “15 percent of the adult population will experience depression at some point in their lifetime.” Of that, “nearly 50 percent of all people diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.”

Again, we can look at the influences of drug and technology addiction, but I believe it goes deeper than this, specifically a loss of meaning in life which particularly affects our youth. To this end, let us consider the slow erosion of our MORAL VALUES as reported annually by the Gallup organization.

I have been following this since 2012 and in just the past six years alone, there has been a noticeable decline; when asked, “HOW WOULD YOU RATE THE OVERALL STATE OF MORAL VALUES IN THIS COUNTRY TODAY?”

2012 2018
36% 37% ONLY FAIR
43% 49% POOR

We can blame this erosion on the media’s distorted views of morality, the failure of the family unit to properly teach their youth, and the decline of organized religion. As to the latter, both Gallup and Harris have produced polls showing the belief in a Supreme Being is slowly declining. Further, attendance at religious institutions is also dwindling; “65 percent of churches are declining or plateaued.”

Even more disturbing is fewer younger people are going to church which, of course, affects membership. Consequently, “for every new church that opens, four close.” For many years, churches and temples preached the lessons of right and wrong, but with fewer attendees, these lessons now go unheeded. It has become glaringly obvious to churches they must change in order to survive, be it the venue or how to disseminate their message.

More importantly, STUDIES make a direct connection between the rise of youth suicides on a loss of sense of purpose as derived from the decline of religion. In other words, as religion declines, youth suicides skyrocket. It is not a coincidence.

We would like to believe money, fame, and success leads to happiness. As evidenced by celebrities such as Spade and Bourdain, this is not the case. It’s a matter of how we see ourselves, our role in society, and learning to live a meaningful life, which are all lessons we should learn from our family, our schools, and our places of worship. However, if we do not support such institutions, we are doomed to watch our suicide rate continue to escalate unabated.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Keep the Faith!

EDITORS NOTE: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies. Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Happy Birthday America! A July 4th Celebration of Unity and Separation

The birth of a nation like the birth of a child celebrates unity and separation simultaneously. The child is born and exists outside the mother’s body as a separate entity and at the same time becomes a part of an expanded family unit. So it is with countries. When America was born in 1776 she became a separate entity existing outside of Great Britain. America’s Declaration of Independence celebrated the country’s separateness at the same time it established the unity of an extended family of American citizenry.

Most discussions focus on the benefits of unity – few examine the advantages of separateness. Our country is young but our Founding Fathers had centuries of European history to teach them the value of separateness.

In trying to form a more perfect union our Founding Fathers examined the political systems of their day and rejected them all. They said NO to monarchies, NO to totalitarianism, NO to authoritarianism, NO to theocracies, and NO to every form of collectivism that prioritizes the group over the individuals in it.

Separateness from Great Britain, separation of church and state, and the separateness of the individual were essential to American freedom, liberty, and upward mobility. On July 4, 1776 the Continental Congress voted to adopt the Declaration of Independence and declared their separateness as the United States of America.

For almost two centuries people came to America in search of religious freedom and the opportunity for upward mobility that was the American dream. Coming to America was a chance to be free of monarchies, theocracies, caste systems, and authoritarian, totalitarian political systems demanding subservience to the state. America was the land of opportunity because it was the land of individualism, the meritocracy, and upward mobility.

For almost two centuries, from the pioneer days until the end of WWII, American culture and institutions supported traditional American values of individualism and the meritocracy. America’s children were encouraged to grow up, work hard, and become productive emotionally ADULT members of society. Love of country was reinforced with history lessons and student recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. Love of family was supported with social norms that reinforced marriage and family life. Love of god was reinforced with the moral and ethical teachings of the church. Patriotic nationalism was the unifying principle of the extended American family that transcended differences among individuals, individual families, religions, and political views.

What made America great was the Founding Fathers’ insistence upon individualism and the meritocracy because together they incentivized growth and development. The harshness of the environment demanded that pioneers live in the adult world of objective reality and personal responsibility. If they did not work hard and till the soil they starved. If they did not build shelters they froze. America eventually became the most powerful country on Earth. What happened?

The Culture War on America that began in the 60s was the sinister plan to destroy America from within by targeting its infrastructure of self-reliance, emotional adulthood, and the meritocracy that produced American exceptionalism. The Culture War was designed to infantilize Americans and regress them backwards to a permanent state of childish dependence where they could be controlled. Collectivism was brought to America.

The staggering difference between 18th century America and 21st century America is reflected in the political bifurcation evident in the country today. Conservatives want to make America great again by promoting emotional adulthood, independence, personal responsibility, and objective reality. Leftist liberals want to regress America into a collectivist socialist state of eternal childhood, dependence, government responsibility, and subjective reality.

Collectivism appeals to the generation of dependent millennials many of whom still live in their parents’ basements. WHY? Because collectivism requires dependence and rewards dependence. Collectivism celebrates group identity – individualism celebrates adult separateness and independence. Socialism, the fashionable political system preferred by childish millennials, offers eternal childhood and escape from freedom, but requires total surrender to government authority.

Young people without coping skills who require safe spaces, Play-Doh, service dogs, counseling services, and censorship to protect them from opposing ideas are the fruits of the radical leftist culture war on America seeking to create a childish, unaware, compliant public. Temper tantrums, uncontrolled outbursts of profanity, and calls for violence are all symptomatic of underdeveloped children disguised as chronological adults. Thought precedes behavior. Thinking like a child produces childish behavior.

Aging into chronological adulthood is an involuntary biological certainty as long as that person is alive. Emotional adulthood is an expectation and was an essential part of the growth process in pioneer days. That was then and this is now. Emotional adulthood in the 21st century is no longer an expectation it is a choice. Here is the problem.

A nation of children cannot sustain itself – society requires the leadership of rational adults living in objective reality to make decisions. So, when people choose free stuff over freedom they must understand that they are paying for their free stuff with their freedom and independence. This is no small thing. The taker must understand that dependence on the government is like dependence on parents – the giver makes the rules not the taker.

The people who choose freedom over free stuff must understand that their individual freedom is paid for with their individual personal responsibility. Choosing to be an emotional adulthood requires personal responsibility and surrendering the dependence of childhood. Separateness is the essential element of adulthood. Millennials must choose to be the adult or choose to remain the child. They must choose independence and separateness or choose to remain dependent on the government.

Children are born into this world completely self-absorbed without a sense of “other.” They live in a state of infantile fusion until they can identify “other” and recognize their separateness. The task of childhood is to emerge from this state of fusion and mature into an emotional adult capable of nurturing so the cycle of life can continue.

Dear America: Who’s Driving the Bus? is a philosophy book written to help people understand why they do what they do. The universal paradigm it presents explains why the choice to become an emotional adult or to remain an emotional child is so complicated. Who prevails in this internal personal emotional struggle between growing up or remaining a dependent emotional child will determine the future of America.

Our nation celebrates its independence and separateness on July 4th. Our nation needs its children to grow up into emotionally mature responsible adults living in objective reality for our celebration of independence to continue. Nations have a cycle of life parallel to the human cycle of life. Independence is a choice and a struggle for nations as well as for children.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the Goudsmit Pundicity.

Happy Independence Day: Our Forgotten Founding

The American left loved it when Obama proclaimed early in his presidency that we are no longer a Christian nation.

While actively seducing illegals to invade our country, Obama strove to deport and seal our borders from the God of the Bible. Obama was the most biblically hostile president in U.S. History.

America was founded upon a rock-solid foundation of Christianity. Five historic crucial battles were won by divine intervention; God’s hand on America.

“The future and success of America is not in this Constitution, but in the laws of God upon which this Constitution is founded.” – James Madison

“The reason that Christianity is the best friend of government is because Christianity is the only religion that changes the heart.” – Thomas Jefferson“The Bible is the rock on which this Republic rests.” – Andrew Jackson

“It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ! For this very reason, peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity and freedom of worship here.” – Patrick Henry

“If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering and to prosper; but if we and our posterity neglect its instructions and authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity.” – Daniel Webster

“The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were. . . . the general principles of Christianity.” – John Adams

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People.” – John Adams

“America was born a Christian nation – America was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of Holy Scripture. That if they would see America free and pure they will make their own spirits free and pure by this baptism of the Holy Spirit” – Woodrow Wilson

It was extremely disturbing witnessing Obama’s 8 years of diminishing the dignity of what it means to be an American; undermining our legacy of courage, individualism and self-reliance. Obama encouraged Americans to get on welfare.

Outrageously, Obama used Spanish-speaking soap operas to encourage illegals to apply for food stamps, claiming it was the moral thing to do for their families.

He demeaned risk-taking small business owners by telling them, “You didn’t build that.” Under Obama, fraudulent disability claims and Americans receiving unemployment checks skyrocketed. Black unemployment went through the roof, sending blacks economically backwards.

As a Christian nation, we love giving people a hand up and setting them free to fly on their own. That’s the America way. “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” While this proverb is not in the Bible, the principle is biblical.

The anti-Christian American left’s goal is to addict as many Americans as possible to total dependency on government – creating entitlement junkies willing to surrender total control of their lives to big brother. Obamacare actually dictated which Americans would live or die. Obama admitted that under his healthcare grandma would probably be given a painkiller rather than a pacemaker.

Everywhere you turn, you see America’s cultural decline in the family, morality, education and the arts. The American left promotes class envy, racial hate, victim mindsets, irresponsibility, laziness and hatred for achievers.

My heart wanted to scream from the rooftops, “We are better than this, WE ARE AMERICANS!” Instead, I wrote a song.

Hollywood film director Robert Kirk has produced a new stunningly moving music video using my original song titled, “We Are Americans”.

The release of the new “We Are Americans” music video is July 4th.

My fellow Americans we have fallen away from biblical principles and values which have made America the shining city on a hill. During your July 4th Independence Day celebration, between eating burgers and hot-dogs, please gather your family to enjoy this new 4 minute music video reminding us of who we are as Americans. Thanks and God Bless.

Thank God president Trump is turning our country back to its roots of religious liberty. He is putting Americans back to work, defending our borders and restoring the special-ness of being an American.

Happy Independence Day!

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