Terrorist Attack on Brussels Jewish Museum Triggered by “Climate of Hate”

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Policemen close the access of the scene of a shooting near the Jewish Museum in Brussels, on May 24, 2014. Three people were killed and one badly injured in a shooting Saturday near the Jewish Museum in Brussels. (Photo credit: AFP/ Belga Photo/NICOLAS MAETERLINCK

Reports have just come in  about a possible terrorist attack on The Jewish Museum in Brussels by a perpetrator and accomplice, one of whom  entered the lobby and shot dead two men and a woman seriously injuring a fourth person.. The attack took place in mid afternoon, GMT, not far from the EU headquarters in Belgium’s Capital city.  The Jewish Museum, which is not operated by the country’s Jewish community, was open on Saturday and is located in the antique district popular with visitors.

The recent ADL Global 100 Index of Antisemitism indicated that an estimated 27% of Belgians evinced some form of Antisemitism. Belgium has a large emigre Muslim community. A 2008  study  estimated that  6% of Belgian’s population, 628,751 were Muslim.  A November 2012 Gatestone Institute article by Soeren Kern, “Belgium Will Become an Islamic State” drew attention to Muslim dominance in Brussels, noting:

Speaking to a reporter from Radio Télévision Belge Francophone (RTBF), the public broadcasting service of the French-speaking part of Belgium, Ahrouch said: “The agenda is still the same, but our approach is different now. I think we have to sensitize people, make them understand the advantages to having Islamic people and Islamic laws. And then it will be completely natural to have Islamic laws and we will become an Islamic state.”

The reporter interjected: “An Islamic State in Belgium?” Ahrouch replied: “In Belgium, of course! I am for the Sharia. Islamic law, I am for it. It is a long-term struggle that will take decades or a century, but the movement has been launched.”

The rise of the Islam Party comes amid a burgeoning Muslim population in the Belgian capital. Muslims now make up one-quarter of the population of Brussels, according to a book recently published by the Catholic University of Leuven, the top Dutch-language university in Belgium.

In real terms, the number of Muslims in Brussels — where half of the number of Muslims in Belgium currently live — has reached 300,000, which means that the self-styled “Capital of Europe” is one of the most Islamic city in Europe.

Here are excerpts from the Times of Israel report, ‘Climate of hate’ blamed for attack on Brussels Jewish museum that kills 3″:

The murder of three people at the Brussels Jewish Museum Saturday afternoon was a result of “a climate of hate,” said Joel Rubinfeld, the head of the Belgian League against anti-Semitism.

Rubinfeld told AFP it clearly “is a terrorist act” as a man had been seen driving up and entering the museum before opening fire inside and running off.

One person remained in critical condition as a result of the shooting. Twelve people were being treated for shock, according to local sources.

“Two women and one man are dead, a third person is in hospital,” Interior Minister Joelle Milquet said at the scene. “We don’t yet know if they were tourists or staff, they haven’t been identified.”

Asked whether she believed it was an anti-Semitic attack, she said it was too early to say as a police and judicial inquiry was under way but that given the target “there are strong grounds for presuming so”.

One man was reported in custody after the attack.

Milquet said the government had moved to increase protection at Jewish buildings as well as the Israeli embassy.

The country’s foreign minister, Didier Reynders, tweeted Saturday that he was “shocked by the murders committed at the Jewish museum.”

“I am thinking of the victims I saw there and their families,” he said.

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Forensic experts examine the site of a shooting at the Jewish museum in Brussels, Saturday, May 24, 2014. (Photo credit: AP/Yves Logghe)

The La Libre newspaper said on its website that an Audi had driven up and parked outside the museum, and that both a passenger and the driver had gotten out.

It said the driver placed two bags on the ground and then opened fire on bystanders before driving off.

“A person wearing a backpack was seen opening fire before fleeing,” Radio Télévision Belge Francophone (RTBF) reported [in French].

Police and emergency services were at the site, which was blocked off in the Belgian capital.

The Jewish Museum of Belgium, which was not answering calls, is located in the heart of the Sablon district which is home to the city’s top antique dealers. The area is a popular weekend haunt for shoppers.

The museum is not run by the Jewish community, and is therefore open on Saturdays. There were visitors at the museum at the time of the shooting.

The head of Belgium’s Jewish Consistory told La Libre that “is is probably a terrorist act. For us it is an extremely serious act.”

Read more: ‘Climate of hate’ blamed for attack on Brussels Jewish museum that kills 3 | The Times of Israel

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RELATED STORY: Tel Aviv Couple Among Four Dead in Attack on Brussels Jewish Museum

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

Training our Soldiers to be Godless

“[T]he spiritual and moral health of the Armed Forces is a vital element in our national security.” – President Harry S. Truman, December 20, 1946.

During the 1950s and early 1960s a US Army lesson plan titled “One Nation Under God” listed two objectives: “To help the individual [soldier] to understand the effect of faith in a Supreme Being has had on the origin and development of our country” and “To lead the individual [soldier] to a recognition of the importance of the spiritual element in his training.” The fifty-minute lecture to all Army soldiers aimed at proving that “We as a nation are DEPENDENT upon and RESPONSIBLE to Almighty God.”

Today, there is a growing concern among former military leaders that the United States military is becoming more and more secular and therefore Godless. In 1998 Kathleen Johnson an Army Sergeant First Class founded the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers (MAAF). The group’s early efforts included letter writing campaigns reminding public figures such as Tom Brokaw not to use the phrase, “There are no atheists in foxholes.”

There are growing indications that the US military is being used as a “social petri dish” to further short term political agendas versus address growing kinetic national security threats from Iran, Russia, China, North Africa and Syria. Recent examples of this accelerating trend include:

  • Declaring climate change as a national security priority. In May 2014 the CNA Corporation’s Military Advisory Board issued the report National Security and the Accelerating Risks. The report states, “It is through this [CNA] analytical prism that 11 retired Generals and Admirals came together in 2007, under the moniker of CNA’s Military Advisory Board, to examine the security implications of climate change. Their landmark report, National Security and the Threat of Climate Change, was the first time that such an elite body of military leaders expressed their concern over the security implications of climate change.”
  • The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell by the US Congress in 2010. Dr. Judith Reisman reported that in the US military  in 2013 there were confirmed  10,700 rapes of men by men. Historically, only 17% of rapes are ever reported indicating that the number of men raped by men can be over 63,000 of the 1.2 million men in the military.
  • The growing restrictions placed upon both military chaplains and those in uniform on when, where and how they may proselytize and pray. The Thomas More Law Center released a video showing members of the US Armed Forces speaking out about the culture of fear and intimidation in the US military that is forcing Christian soldiers to hide their faith.
  • The de-funding of the US military as part of the sequestration imposed by Congress. Sequestration led former Congressman and Lieutenant Colonel Allen West, US Army (Ret.)  to ask, “So, as we decimate our military, cut retiree and veteran benefits, and cut benefits to our military families, [while] we are arming federal agencies. Why?”
  • The changes, over time, to the Rules of Engagement (ROE) that allows our military to function effectively in a hostile environment. Capt. Joseph John, USN/FBI (Ret) wrote, “Two well-known losses of combat personnel are examples of how the imposition of the new and ‘dangerous’ ROE forced on combat personnel increased the dangerous environment on the battlefield.  The first example was depicted in the movie ‘Lone Survivor’ where the fear of being charged by civilians in the Pentagon with war crimes, if they silenced a hostile Afghan, resulted in compromising an entire operation and resulted in the death of 3 SEALs.  The second event, Extortion 17, occurred because the request for suppression fire at a landing zone, that used to be normally approved to allow a helicopter to land in a hot zone, was denied by senior commanders because of the new and ‘dangerous’ ROE.  That lack of support resulted in the loss of 48 military personnel flying on Extortion 17 (those killed included 16 members of SEAL Team SIX, 20 Spec Ops Warriors, 5 helo crew members, and 7 Afghan military allies); Extortion 17 was the largest loss of life of US military personnel in one day in the 13 year history of combat operations in Afghanistan.  There have been thousands of incidents over the last 5 years that resulted in casualties that could have been avoided, if the “standard” ROE were being employed.

Each of these issues, and others such as the growing numbers of military suicides and cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, raise a red flag that the US military has lost its character and moral compass.

It appears God has been removed from the soldier, Godlessness is becoming the norm.

This is not a new issue. In the July 2000 Journal of Military History column Character Education in the U.S. Army, 1947-1977, Anne C. Loveland wrote,  “In 1947, amidst great fanfare, the US Army activated and experimental unit at Fort Knox, Kentucky, made up of 664 young men between the ages of 17 and 20 (average age 17 1/2). Since the autumn of 1945, the Truman Administration had been pressing Congress to institute universal military training (UMT), and the Fort Know unit was set up to demonstrate the kind of instruction it would involve… But the most publicized aspect of the experiment was the program of moral, religious, and citizenship instruction administered by three chaplains who delivered fifty-minute lectures on such subjects as ‘The Ten Commandments,’ ‘Grounds for Moral Conduct,’ ‘Purity in Thought, Word and Deed,’ ‘Marriage as a Sacred Institution,’ The Citizen and Morality,’ and ‘Citizen and Honesty’.”

“The program developed for the Fort Knox experimental unit and subsequently expanded to the Army as a whole emphasized three inter-dependent components: religion, character building, and citizenship,” notes Loveland. “Army publications explicitly stated the religious basis of Character guidance, pointed out that the principles the chaplains taught came from God. A lecture entitled ‘Natural Law’ and ‘Moral Law’ concluded with the declaration that ‘our chief responsibly as moral beings is toward God.”

Over time Loveland reports that there was push back against character and morals training by unit commanders, who wanted the time spent on unit training. Loveland writes, “Whatever the reason for it, it is clear that chaplain disaffection played as important a role as command resistance in undermining character education in the 1970s. In 1977, the Army officially discontinued the already moribund Human Self Development program [which replaced moral and character programs]. Thus ended the Army’s thirty-year experiment in character education.”

Loveland concludes, “If the concern with national preparedness in the 1940s impelled Army leaders to institute character education, the decision to end the draft in 1973 hastened the demise of the program. In the early 1970s, when Army leaders began planning implementation of the all-volunteer force, they decided to deemphasize the existing character education program. With public approval of the draft no longer a concern, they sidelined a program designed to inculcate personal and civic values in an army of citizen-soldiers, relying instead on a revitalized military ethic to teach the values and behavior of professional soldiers.”

I submit that the values and behaviors of professional soldiers are not comparable to the character and morals of citizen soldiers. The question is: Do we now have a Godless military?

RELATED ARTICLES:

Plan Would Let Transgender People Serve Openly in Military

The Case for Military Prayer

Alaska’s Joint Army-Air Force Base Promotes, Sponsors First Drag Queen Event for Families, Children

The following are part of a collection of articles from the Air Force Law Review 2007, 59 A.F. L. Rev. 1

Religion in the Military: Navigating the channel between the religion clauses
Katcoff v. Marsh at twenty-one: The Military Chaplaincy and the Separation of Church and State
“Religion and the US Military” After Dinner Speech for the International Symposium on Military Ethics Springfield, VA on January 25, 2007
Evangelical Proselytizing at the U.S. Air Force Academy: The Civilian-Military Controversy, 2004-2006
Jesus killed Mohammed: The crusade for a Christian military By Jeff Sharlet
Pastoral Care in a New Public: Lessons Learned in the Public Square

Austrian Elisabeth Sabditsch-Woff Speaks at March For Persecuted Christians in Orlando, FL

On May 17, 2014 200+ people participated in a Prayer March For Persecuted Christians. Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff held a similar March For Persecuted Christians in Austria which was the inspiration for this one. Rev. Bruce Lieske attended the March in Austria inspiring him to do the same here in Orlando, FL

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Frontpage Magazine writes, “Sabaditsch-Wolff discussed her own well-publicized ordeals and subsequent activism stemming from criticizing Islam, a faith described by her as a “religion of peace” that “is not really peaceful to those who speak the truth.” Daughter of a diplomat, she had already developed reservations about Islam during her childhood stay in Iran right before the 1978-1979 revolution. During her diplomatic tenure, postings to Kuwait encompassing the 1990 Iraq invasion and to Libya where she saw her landlord on September 11, 2001, blame the Jews for Al-Qaeda’s terrorist attacks that day only increased these concerns.
The controversy surrounding Sabaditsch-Wolff began with her comments before an October 2009 Vienna seminar of the rightwing Austrian Freedom Party (Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs or FPÖ). Discussing canonical accounts of Islam’s mid-50s prophet Muhammad consummating a marriage with a nine-year old Aisha, Sabaditsch-Wolff asked “what do you call” this “if not pedophilia?” Subsequently, Sabaditsch-Wolff received hate speech charges under Section 283 of the Austrian Criminal Code.

The trial found insufficient evidence for the Section 283 charge. Yet the judge’s initiative brought a Section 188 charge against the denigration of recognized religions, resulting in a 480 Euro fine on February 15, 2011, later upheld. Thus Sabaditsch-Wolff concluded that under Europe’s various speech restrictions “you may not call a spade a spade” with respect to Islam.

This ordeal made Sabaditsch-Wolff devote herself to opposing Islamic totalitarianism, with her main “playground” the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). This 1975-founded non-treaty organization “many people have never heard of” contains 57 states, including the United States and Canada, formulating various legally non-binding agreements in the areas of security, economics, and human rights. Here Sabaditsch-Wolff focuses on the OSCE’s Human Dimension covering human rights, in particular the Warsaw-based Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).

Thank you to Elisabeth for traveling all the way from Austria in support of our Prayer March For Persecuted Christians.

“LGBT” Teachers Conference in Boston – Part II: Pushing ‘Gay’ clubs in Middle Schools

The latest push: “Gay” clubs for kids in middle schools. Here’s how they get them in — and what comes with them.

The homosexual-transgender movement is working hard to indoctrinate schoolchildren as young as possible. By far, the most effective way is to get them into school-based “gay” clubs that are run by activist, often radical, adults, but though otherwise unsupervised. They have been working at this for several years (see our 2008 report) but are now ramping up their efforts considerably.

We reported last week, on this year’s annual GLSEN Conference in Boston which brought together LGBT teachers, activists, and supportive administrators to discuss their latest tactics for the schools.

A prominent part covered strategies for setting up “gay-straight alliance” (GSA) clubs in as many middle schools as possible, given that most high schools now have them.

Getting kids to feel involved — especially middle school students — is a major tactic of the LGBT movement. These buttons were given out at the GLSEN Conference in Boston.

At that conference, there were kids as young as 11 and 12, and that younger age group was clearly the focus of much of the conference.

Middle school student gives speech at LGBT conference opening session

Middle school are such an important target that GLSEN recruited an activist “LGBT” middle school student to address the conference’s opening session. She said she’s bisexual (in middle school!) and that her sister is lesbian.

The girl spoke about how she helped organize the “Day of Silence” in her middle school. She said that one teacher was reluctant to put up the posters because of parent conferences that evening, saying that parents might not be comfortable seeing it. The girl labeled the teacher “ignorant” and said the teacher is “no longer working at the school” (which brought a cheer).

She added that “kids are figuring out who they are younger than ever” (i.e., being persuaded to self-identify as L, G, B, or T) and that “we need to create a safe environment for them in the lower grades.” This was a mantra that was repeated again and again in the conference. (“Safe environment” is the Orwellian term for a school that aggressively enforces pro-“LGBT” sexual ideology and suppresses all dissent.)

Given that middle school students would not have these ideas and talking points on their own, this shows how well the adult activists instruct them.

Helping kids be “safe” at school is the Orwellian term for aggressively enforcing pro-“LGBT” sexual ideology — and more importantly, suppressing all dissent. In particular, it’s used very effectively to confront any criticism by adults, including parents.

The workshop: “Starting a Middle School GSA”

The LGBT movement is getting serious about the lower grades. One of the prominent workshops at the GLSEN conference was “Starting a Middle School GSA.”

At first glance, a “gay” club for middle school students would seem beyond something even most liberals would buy into. But that’s simply another challenge for the movement to overcome. After all, it wasn’t too long ago that ANY “gay” club at all, even in high school, was beyond the pale.

Here is how the conference program listed it:

3.1 Starting a Middle School GSA: A Sustainable, Grassroots Approach
Practical advice and encouragement for students, staff, parents and community members who would like to establish a sustainable GSA in their local middle school.

Presenter(s): Anna Watson, Friends of the Ottoson Middle School [Arlington, MA] GSA

This workshop gave step-by-step instructions by a seasoned activist.

The presenter, Anna Watson, started out by saying that she believes that “coming out” is a “life-saving adventure” and that kids are coming out at younger and younger ages. Thus, they need support groups to help them do that.

She told the workshop attendees that she has been an “LGBTQ” activist and organizer for several years. In particular, she is interested in starting GSA-type groups for young people.

“Queering the ‘Burbs Since 1992.”  Anna Watson gave out this card at the workshop. She is no casual activist, obviously.

She said that in city schools there are lots of GSAs, but it’s different in the suburbs. This is likely because the parents are more attentive to what’s happening in the schools. She used the term “suburban gap” and said that just a few people with a lot of energy can make it happen.

The strategy: Build up incrementally then hit with petition!

Her goal at the Ottoson Middle School in Arlington, Mass., was to put in a GSA with “permanent club” status — with a line item in the school budget for financial support.

At first, the principal was resistant, even though Arlington is a very liberal town.

The homosexual movement has found that a very effective approach for overcoming resistant school officials is using a petition as a pressure tactic, along with other maneuvers.

Watson’s tactic was to do incremental, smaller things to set up an informal GSA and have it become active as much as possible in the school. They would get everything else in place so that there would be no procedural or other excuse not to allow it. Then they would go over the head of the principal and blitz the superintendent with a petition — with as large a force as necessary — to push it over the top with a demand it be given permanent “club” status in the school.

The Petition presented to the Superintendent (and Anna Watson’s timeline of events)

That strategy worked perfectly. Here’s the timeline of events that Watson described:

1. Starting in the fall of 2010, Watson began discussing it with the principal. Since the principal had an interest in anti-bullying, Watson positioned it as an anti-bullying group.
2. Spring 2011: Watson established an “informal” GSA group at the school that met every other week. She submitted a grant to the local “Arlington Education Fund” for funding.
3. Fall 2011: The grant was awarded from the local group. The GSA’s outside activities, including a stipend to the adult staff advisor, were now funded and it started meeting every week.
4. Spring 2012: The GSA began giving out “Human Rights” awards to students at the school. They also attended the GLSEN Conference that year, brought in “educational” groups, and established a “peer leader” program in the school.
5. Fall 2012: They persuaded the principal’s discretionary fund, the PTO, and the Parent Advisory Council to give the GSA funding. They also had volunteers raise money in the community.
6. Fall 2013: The petition was put together and formally presented to the Superintendent, accompanied by a lot of pressure.  The superintendent easily capitulated and granted the GSA permanent club status and a budget item in the school budget. They achieved their goals.

The principal and any other staff who might have been resistant were completely steamrolled. It’s a strategy that can be replicated at other schools where there is any significant resistance.

Other comments at the workshop

Many of the other people at the workshop were experienced GSA activists. Some of their remarks and ideas on starting a GSA were interesting:

  • Some schools have made it easier by having a less overt title, such as calling it an “affinity” group rather than a GSA.
  • One person said, “For school clubs, no permission slips are needed. Thus parents do not know. The same is true for GSAs. You don’t have to let your parents know. There is a sort of goodwill around it.”
  • They always say that GSA’s are about “school safety” and suicide prevention. They also remember to make a point to say that GSAs “are not about sex.”
  • One teacher recommended that the GSA follow the GLSEN “Ally week” program. (See more on that below.)

How to get kids to come to their first GSA meeting? Most middle school kids would not normally think of going to a “gay” club. So the LGBT activists use a variety of tricks and misleading tactics. Once the kids are there, it’s easier to persuade or pressure them to keep coming back.

Here are some of the ideas brought up by activists at the workshop:

  • Announcing a “cheese & food” party.
  • Getting the school football coach to come is a great draw for bringing kids to a GSA meeting.
  • One school put up posters with the message: “You don’t have to be gay to be in the GSA.”

For a larger view click on the flyer.

The LGBT movement will use any tactic they can to lure kids into their “gay” clubs for the first time. GLSEN passed out this information at the Conference.

What is Watson’s next project? Apparently, her next goal is to set up AGLY (“Arlington Gay and Lesbian Youth”) which would probably be a youth/adult “gay” club not connected with the school. There are several of those around the state, supported at least in part by taxpayers.

GSAs: A poisonous experience for vulnerable kids

In our experience going back nearly twenty years working with parents and kids, the GSAs in the schools are emotionally poisonous and physically dangerous to vulnerable kids, many of whom have serious psychological issues to deal with. And GSAs are often run by radical “gay” adults who themselves are psychologically dysfunctional.

GSAs persuade students that homosexuality, transgenderism, etc., is perfectly normal to engage in. They take troubled kids and tell them that if they feel “different” or that they “don’t fit in” then they’re probably really “gay” or “transgender.” This causes enormous trauma down the road. We’ve seen that these kinds of “clubs” lead kids into engaging in perverse sexual activities.

Also in GSAs: Indoctrinating kids in radical “queer theory” as “LGBT allies”

But additionally, a purpose of GSAs is to indoctrinate the kids (including those calling themselves “straight”) in the radical ideas of the LGBT movement, which they term “queer theory.” Most people are not aware just how extreme this is. Then the GSA leaders have the kids spread those ideas to the rest of the school through events like the “Day of Silence”“Gay History Month”, and “Transgender Awareness Day.”

When getting this training, the kids are told that this helps them become “allies” of the LGBTs. The concept of being an “ally” pushed very hard throughout the schools. It becomes another identity for the kids in their fight for so-called social justice.

At the GLSEN Conference, this “training” pamphlet, titled “Ally Packet” was given out. It’s a pretty frightening example of what the LGBT movement teaches children, and what parents know almost nothing about.

“Ally Packet” given out at GLSEN Conference

Here are just a few examples and excerpts from the 8-page pamphlet. THIS is what the LGBT movement is teaching schoolchildren:

What is an Ally?
An ally is a member of the dominant social group who takes a stand against social injustice directed at target group(s) – for example .. . heterosexual individuals who speak out against heterosexism and homophobia. An ally works to be an agenda of social change rather than an agenda of oppression.

Characteristics of an ally
Recognizing that unlearning oppressive beliefs is a lifelong process.

Appropriate Group Terminology
Genderqueer: A term used by individuals, especially transgender youth, who identify as neither male nor female, or as both, and who often seek to blur gender lines.

Appropriate Social Justice Terminology
Gender-Normative Privilege: The benefits and advantages that gender-normative people receive in genderist culture.

Inappropriate Terminology
Homosexual: A clinical term for gay men and sometimes lesbians.
Transvestite: An outdated clinical term for crossdressers.

What are Biphobia, Homophobia, and Transphobia?
Example of Biphobia: Believing that bisexuals are confused or indecisive about their sexuality. Example of Transphobia: Believing that cross-dressing is a sexual perversion or that people who cross-dress do so for sexual gratification.

How to Be an Ally to LGBT People
Validate people’s gender expression. For example, if a person assigned male at birth identifies as female, refer to that person as “she” and use her chosen name.
Educate yourself about LGBT histories, cultures, and concerns.
Support and involve yourself in LGBT organizations and causes.

What is Heterosexual Privilege?
You can belong to the religious denomination of your choice and know that your sexuality will not be denounced by its religious leaders.
You can expect to see people of your sexuality positively presented on nearly every television show and in nearly every movie.

Myths and Realities of LGBT Life
Myth: The majority of child molesters are gay men. Reality: Very few gay men molest children. Myth: Bisexual men are largely responsible for the spread of HIV/AIDS to heterosexual women. Reality: This stereotyping of bisexual men ignores the realities of AIDS. It is unsafe sexual practices and needle-sharing behavior, not membership in a particular group, that spreads HIV.

Lots of help from your tax dollars

In Massachusetts, once these “clubs” are set up, they get substantial organizational and financial help from the state. This will likely become more prevalent in other states.

Among other things, the Mass. State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education maintains a staff to make sure that the GSA clubs across the state are properly organized and that the school is cooperating with them. The Department also provides training for GSA adult leaders.

In addition, the state-funded Mass LGBTQ Youth Commission goes into the schools and works directly with students and pushes LGBT programs statewide.

Just the beginning

The GSAs and the “training” are, unfortunately, just the foundation of what the LGBT movement is doing in the nation’s high schools and now, the middle schools.

In upcoming posts we will reveal more from the 2014 GLSEN Conference. As we’ve said, most people are completely uninformed of what the LGBT movement does with schoolchildren . . . and where this leads beyond the school doors.

The Good Thing About the Donald Sterling Incident by Michael Nolan

The NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers have become relevant for the first time in decades. They came to dominate the news, however, because their long-reviled owner’s stark racism finally handed a smoking gun to somebody. It figures that, just as they got a taste of the on-court success Donald Sterling never seemed all that concerned with bringing to them, he one-upped them off the court.

In case you don’t know, a tape of Sterling telling his girlfriend not to bring black people to his games or to advertise that she associates with them was leaked to TMZ last weekend.

This page will give you all the detail you want on the case. Or type “Sterling Clippers” into Google and buckle in.

Of course Sterling’s comments are despicable. They’re so blatant and blunt, I admit my first reaction was astonishment that anyone holding such racist thoughts would say them out loud. I thought they had to be fakes. But they didn’t leave any room for doubt.

Heck, I wondered how anyone could get up in arms about Magic Johnson. Magic Johnson? I’m from the land of Larry Bird (that’s “Larry Legend” to you) and I still love Magic.

Well, the tape wasn’t a fake. So this is one of the rare, cut-and-dried instances where it’s easy to call “racism.” There’s nothing else to call it. High-profile racial controversies are rarely so simply a matter of good guys/bad guys. That doesn’t stop people from coming out of the woodwork to portray them as such and, in the process, try to spread guilt far and wide.

So it’s kind of a relief that, in this case, there’s no real danger of that. There’s still a difficult question: How do you deal with a racist? It’s a lot more complicated than it sounds; front-office employees might have had a lot fewer options than the players. Sterling might have been little more than a tyrannical boss—everyone, sooner or later, has to learn to put up with one of those—about whom nasty rumors floated. Now they aren’t rumors.

The key is that now we can prove he acted on his racism. It wouldn’t be totally okay if he just harbored these feelings. But at least keeping them inside constrains action to some degree. That doesn’t apply here. This case is, if anything, actually encouraging.

Here’s why: Within hours, the people who do business with Sterling—starting with the players and coach who sell tickets and jerseys and stake him to a slice of the ever-more-lucrative broadcast rights pie—brought the full weight of their social power to bear against him.

Around here, we tend to like spontaneous action. Well, here it is.

The labor-vs.-management framework sportswriters like to apply to collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations usually rings a little hollow. We’re not talking about miners asking not to be killed at work only to see Pinkerton agents set loose on them with clubs and guns.

But in this case, the labor side (well, the one that anyone notices, and the one with leverage) took control of the situation. Active and former players took their protests directly to the public—in interviews, via Twitter and other social media outlets—and made it clear they could and would inflict massive damage on the NBA if management got away with this behavior.

Even former players, like Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson (Jordan is part owner of another NBA team, Johnson part owner of baseball’s L.A. Dodgers)—two media-savvy guys if ever there were any—used their platforms to bring pressure. LeBron James took the gloves off, and he’s still playing.

Other owners also got into the act, only hedging a little about the authenticity of the tape—Sterling’s a litigious sort and likely to start filing lawsuits if there’s even a whiff of defamation.

Sponsors moved away as quickly as they could, too.

More to the point, the Clippers were set to boycott their Monday-night playoff game. Apparently all the other teams playing that night were ready also. I don’t know what U.S. labor laws—which tend to have a lot of strict, complex rules about strikes—would say about this. I don’t know if the players even cared about that. It doesn’t look like they did, and that’s how it should be.

Then, of course, NBA commissioner Adam Silver dropped the hammer. I didn’t know until this story broke that there was such a thing as an NBA Constitution; apparently it’s a secret document only the owners get to see. But it does allow them to force an owner out of the league.

I’m among those who’d like to see racism completely eradicated from human society. I doubt that’s a realistic goal, but then neither is permanent peace, justice, and prosperity, and yet I still want those things.

But the approach to that eradication is everything. Consider some extreme scenarios: If mind-control chips could be installed in every potential bigot, the monetary costs would amount to nothing next to all the others (social, psychological, you name it). A couple steps back from that extreme, maybe allowing the State to execute, immediately, anyone who could be shown to have the “wrong” opinions (bigotry, homophobia, violent religious extremism, approval of the New England Patriots) would at least make everyone clam up about it. But then the fights over who got to be in charge would be even more vicious and divisive than U.S. politics are already. You think arguments over school curricula or who gets to say what a marriage is are nasty?

I don’t think outcomes such as these are very likely, and I doubt anyone else does, either. But informal mechanisms of imposing costs on these kinds of attitudes tend to get short shrift. After all, if there’s a controversy big enough to break out of the sports pages, politicians are going to get a whiff of it and elbow their way to the front of the pack in responding to it.

I’m aware that a politician was involved here; the players turned to former NBA player and current Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson for some advice and leadership. That’s a far different scenario. Johnson, after all, was a former player. And he has a lot more experience in crisis management, negotiation, leadership, and a host of other skills than NBA players—who’ve spend most of their lives honing their playing abilities and anyway still have work to do—are likely to have.

Maybe someone would want to mount some kind of First Amendment argument here. But that’s bogus: The NBA’s relationship to the State is, like that of every other sports league in the United States, pretty murky and distasteful. It still remains a private organization. Private organizations should get a very wide berth to choose the people with whom they’ll do business, and who gets let in. That should include giving the boot to a guy this far beyond the pale. Those fleeing sponsors? Well, they were exercising their First Amendment rights, too.

But the point is, this isn’t an issue of the State punishing or restricting anyone’s speech. The First Amendment protects people who object as much as it does people saying objectionable things. The only meaningful constraints there have to do with matters of civility and etiquette—which the league values—and Sterling had already placed himself well outside of that kind of consideration.

I know there are people who are frustrated—at the very least—that when Sterling sells, he’s going to make a huge profit on the purchase, aside from whatever he’s pocketed since he bought the team in 1982. I’d bet there are plenty of people who want the team simply taken from him, along with the $2.5 million fine.

And it’s galling that he’s still going to be rich—and probably still a cro-magnon bigot—after all of this shakes out. It’s galling whenever lousy people get rich. This is why it was so easy to pass off the narrative that 2008 was only about Wall Street sleazeballs, and why, even though I don’t buy that narrative, I don’t sympathize with those Wall Street sleazeballs. It takes an effort to remind myself that “Wall Street” and “sleazeballs” aren’t actually 100 percent synonymous. That’s bias on my part.

The NBA can’t address the infuriating fact that bad people prosper sometimes. But the important point is that they shouldn’t. Because rules matter, and the more freedom people have to draw up the rules by which they’ll associate, the more flexibility societies have to address both desires and problems on whatever scale they occur. On the one hand, this is why it’s good to be able to move to another state if you don’t like the regime in your current one. On the other, it’s why the feds are maybe the worst people to, say, weigh in on the proper interpretation of the bylaws of a local Masonic Lodge.

It’s reassuring that the NBA has rules in place that do not restrain it from doing something in a case like this. And, as bad a name as profit has, it’s also doing its backstopping work: If the rules hadn’t allowed the NBA to address this situation this way, well, the players could have hit the owners and the league right where it hurts and walked off the court. There’s no telling if they would have been able to recoup any losses they might have incurred that way. I’m not clear what the rules are on that point. But kudos to every player willing to go to the wall about that; I’d bet they didn’t spend a ton of time reading bylaws and contract clauses, and that’s as it should be.

As a final note, I thought Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, showed a lot of guts. I can see why people in the league (and fans of the rival San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets) might find the guy obnoxious, and I don’t know enough about him to give him any sort of blanket endorsement. But I do like his willingness to go out in public and poke the NBA (and the NFL, even, which I think was recently granted its own SWAT team) when he thinks something stinks. He doesn’t seem intimidated by the imperious, authoritarian air that pro sports league offices tend to cultivate.

But he aired a concern that, in its complexity, is probably familiar to every libertarian who’s ever so much as thought about states’ rights and had to confront the very real likelihood that, in response, people will accuse him of being pro-slavery and worse. Here’s his statement:

“What Donald said was wrong. It was abhorrent,” Cuban said. “There’s no place for racism in the NBA, any business I’m associated with. But at the same time, that’s a decision I make. I think you’ve got to be very, very careful when you start making blanket statements about what people say and think, as opposed to what they do. It’s a very, very slippery slope.”

There’s always a danger—and it’s heightened in a case like this one, where the person in question was so blatantly, despicably clear about it—in letting the emotional reaction carry the day and calling for someone’s head. I can imagine someone wanting that literally to be taken from Sterling. I can’t blame them. And I don’t see any problem at all with emotions getting involved here. But Cuban’s exactly the sort of guy who, if the NBA is given blanket permission to punish at will for whatever they don’t like about an owner, would be . . . well, he’d still be doing other stuff, a lot of which at least sounds cool. But he’d be kicked out of the league faster than you can say “Mavericks’ maverick owner.”

So I give him credit here for making this point, even at the risk of some opportunist jumping on his statement as evidence that he doesn’t really hate racism—and therefore is probably a racist himself. Or that he actually defended Sterling, which . . . well, go reread that quote.

But he makes a point about rules and the importance of people being able to form and change them in private groups, and hopefully to serve all members of those groups. I hope this topic comes up more in the following weeks, as the NBA maneuvers to rid itself of Sterling and avoid an avalanche of lawsuits.

But for now, this story is the main headline (warning: Maybe Not Safe for Work). And the secondary header is that nobody was just going to submit to whatever solution their “leaders” or our rulers came up with.

Utterly eliminating racism—like, even in its faintest shades, from the innermost hearts of everyone—isn’t easy; it might not be possible. But bigotry can be made a lot more expensive. Too expensive, even, for a guy who hands out Bentleys like other people bum cigarettes.

ABOUT MICHAEL NOLAN

Michael Nolan is the managing editor of The Freeman.

RELATED STORIES:

Sterling Surrenders Control of Clippers To Wife…
Mark Cuban blasts critics: ‘A racist I am not’…

The Catholic Cemetery: Is your final resting place based on convenience or Catholicism?

20130527-IMG_0515Nobody gets out of here alive…so, one needs to make plans on a final resting place before you go meet the One who created you in the first place. How does one go about selecting that “final resting place”? Does one go to the neighborhood, secular cemetery, where it is so convenient to get to? If one happens to be Catholic, does he or she consider being buried in a Catholic Cemetery or is your family OK with a secular cemetery? How strong does one’s faith come into play in selecting that cemetery in which one will be buried in? What if that person served our country in the military? Does he or she elect to be buried in that Veteran’s cemetery because it reflects that this person served in our armed forces? Does that person elect to be buried in that same cemetery because it is free of cost? How does one put a price tag on eternal life?

This is a critical topic that can truly create some serious heated discussion because not many people (especially when they are young and healthy), give it much thought as so many of us almost feel like we are immortal. After all, who likes to talk about their death? Who is ever in the mood to talk about his own funeral arrangements? Specially when you are 56 years old and full of life and energy. But, it is a reality – a part of life that every single person has to deal with, sooner or later. And, it is a very important decision – a life-long decision, an eternal decision. Only one person in the history of the world has ever risen from the dead, and because of that incredible feat on Easter Sunday 2,000 years ago, Christians believe in the Resurrection, life everlasting…And, because of what Jesus did three days after His death, Christians – specifically Catholics – place tremendous importance on that final resting place…or, at least they should. Hold on to that thought. Don’t change the channel. Don’t change your major…major?

20130527-IMG_8267A Catholic Cemetery is more than a place for the burial of the dead. It represents the continuation, even in death of the harmony and spiritual alliance which makes the Catholic members of one great family, thereby constituting it an actual family plot. A Catholic Cemetery exists because of our belief in the resurrection of the body at the end of time here on earth. It is truly sacred ground and hold the bodies, once temples of the Holy Spirit, until the Lord comes again in glory. It serves as a symbol of the extended community of believers – a community broken by death. Catholic Cemeteries serve as a constant reminder that death is just a part of the journey that leads to new life. By dying, Jesus destroyed our death. By rising, He restored our life…

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me will never die” – John 11:25-26

Christians are citizens of two cities: Heaven and Earth. The Catholic Cemetery helps to illuminate the path from Earth to Heaven. The Catholic Cemetery, as a tangible witness to faith in the resurrection, provides a visible reminder that our loved ones are at rest in the peace of Christ. Our faith tells us that those who have gone before us in death are “asleep”, awaiting the final resurrection when all will be joined together – body and soul. The Catholic Cemetery marks the place where those who have worshiped together in life in this world await life with Christ in the next. They remind us that life is not ended, but changed. By burying the remains of our loved ones in Catholic Cemeteries, and by continued prayer for them, we fulfill both, a Spiritual and Corporal Work of Mercy.

There are only two places in the Catholic Faith that are consecrated – The Church and the Cemetery.

With all this being said, and knowing that Catholic Cemeteries are unique and are considered “consecrated” ground – why is it that the majority of Catholics in this country still end up being buried in the neighborhood, secular cemetery? If a “cradle” Catholic was baptized in a Catholic Church; was confirmed in a Catholic Church; and was married in a Catholic Church – why “on earth” (pardon the pun), would he or she not elect to be buried in a Catholic Cemetery, representing the Catholic Church?

Friends: Acknowledging the fact that secular and Catholic Cemeteries are about the same in price, it comes down to the focus of this much argued debate: “Convenience vs. Catholicism”

Being buried in a convenient, secular cemetery that has not been consecrated
versus
Being buried in a Catholic Cemetery that has been consecrated

and is in tune with what the Holy Catholic Church teaches.

20130527-IMG_8311Knowing that a cemetery will be your final resting place – for eternity – and knowing that you are 4th generation Catholic (baptized, confirmed, married in a Catholic Church, just like everybody in your family for decades) – what would behoove that serious “cradle” Catholic to change his major right at the end of life – just before he was to be awarded his degree in “Catholicism”? The key to the Kingdom. A place of eternal rest with his Heavenly Father.

I view life on earth as if we were all going through college for an entire lifetime. We are constantly studying, always learning, always growing. There are no semesters off. When a Catholic picks his “major” for life – Catholicism – he or she should stay focused on that major throughout his or her entire life. He or she should take courses that are in line with that degree – being baptized, confirmed and married in a Catholic Church; attending Mass a few times per week (every Sunday, without fail); going to confession a few times per year; visiting the sick at hospitals; ministering to the poor and the homeless; being involved with “Pro-Life” events & protecting the unborn 24/7; going on mission trips to Third World countries; protecting the Catholic Church from any and every intrinsic evil that attacks her; attending church events such as priest & diaconate ordinations, fundraising events for the church and the other countless events and activities that take place in all our parishes throughout the year. You get the point. These are the “courses” that all Catholics need to take – the “Requirements” they need to pass in order to receive that diploma at the end of life – a P.H.D. in Catholicism, where P.H.D. stands for: Praising His Divinity.

If this “dedicated” Catholic who has taken all of these courses and requirements throughout his entire lifetime in order to get that P.H.D. in Catholicism and has passed all of these courses with flying colors – decides to change his major at the very last moment – what do you think is going to happen? Will he receive his degree and enter into the Kingdom with his Heavenly Father as a Catholic in good standing? In other words – after going through his entire life as a devout, practicing Catholic – he decides to change course at the last minute and elects to be buried in the neighborhood, secular cemetery as opposed to the Catholic Cemetery (which is part of his requirements in order to receive his P.H.D. in his major, Catholicism) – what do you think will happen? The better question is:

Why in GOD’S name would a Catholic in good standing for all of his life on earth even think of being buried in a “non-Catholic” Cemetery when he has fulfilled every single requirement he needed for his P.H.D. in Catholicism to enter into the Kingdom – by changing his major at the last moment – opening up the risk of not entering the Kingdom because he did not fulfill his requirements as a good and faithful Catholic servant? Why would a Catholic even chance it and challenge GOD by disobeying Him and not following His Way, Truth & Life all the way through until death due us part?

20130527-IMG_8279Only our Creator knows the answer to those questions and I, for one, would never even want to question GOD Almighty when it comes to my salvation. It’s all about Faith and believing in our Heavenly Father. In a nutshell, I would rather live my entire life believing that there is a GOD and finding out at the end of my life that there is no GOD – as opposed to living my entire life believing that there is no GOD and at the end of my life find out that there is a GOD…Read that 3 times and just let that statement sink in for one moment.

GOD is watching it all, folks. Stick with your major. See you at Queen of Peace Catholic Cemetery.

New Florida School District Policy: Spy on Students’ Behavior when Off Campus

Sarasota County School Board Members

Sarasota County School Board members: Back row – Dr. Todd (resigned), Goodwin, Kovach. Front row – Zucker and Chair Brown.

The School Board of Sarasota County, Florida will vote to adopt a revised bullying and harassment policy at the June 17, 2014 board meeting. According to Scott Ferguson, Communications Specialist Sarasota County Schools, “The changes to the bullying and harassment policy were recommended by staff based on a state Department of Education requirement that Florida School Board bullying/harassment policies include staff members in addition to students. Staff also recommended clarification about cyber-bullying.” [Emphasis added]

Paragraph I-B-5 is new and covers cyber-bullying. The Bullying and Harassment 2.70 revised policy states:

B. The District upholds that bullying or harassment of any student or school employee is prohibited

1. During any education program or activity conducted by a public K-12 educational institution;
2. During any school-related or school-sponsored program or activity;
3. On a school bus of a public K-12 educational institution; or
4. Through the use of data or computer software that is accessed through a computer, computer system, or computer network of a public K- 12 education institution; or
5. Through the use of data or computer software that is accessed at a non-school–related location, activity, function, or program or through the use of technology or an electronic device that is not owned, leased, or used by a school district or school, if the bullying substantially interferes with or limits the victim’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or opportunities offered by a school or substantially disrupts the education process or orderly operation of a school or department. This paragraph does not require a school to staff or monitor any non-school-related activity, function, or program.

Parents and concerned citizens are questioning the Sarasota County School Boards authority to prohibit or be involved in the “monitoring” of  student activities while off campus. Many find this a clear over reach in authority and can place students, and others, in a position to “monitor” (spy on) fellow students. The broad language, while “not requiring” it, can allow schools and staff to monitor students’ non-related activities, functions and programs.

Paragraph II-B defines cyber-bullying as:

Cyberbullying means bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, which includes, but is not limited to, any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic system, photoelectronic system, or photooptical system, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, Internet communications, instant messages, or facsimile communications. Cyberbullying includes the creation of a webpage or webblog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person, or the knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages, if the creation or impersonation creates any of the conditions enumerated in the definition of bullying. Cyberbullying also includes the distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of material on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons, if the distribution or posting creates any of the conditions enumerated in the definition of bullying. [My emphasis]

Is this a fix to a problem that does not exist? There are approximately 40,000 students in Sarasota County district schools. According to Ferguson:

Regarding data on bullying, here are the responses to questions posed to high school students in our district in a recent survey:

During the past 12 months, have you ever been bullied on school property?

(3,408 respondents)

a. Yes

22.3

b. No

77.7

During the past 12 months, have you ever been electronically bullied, such as through e-mail, chat rooms, instant messaging, Web sites, or text messaging?

(3409 respondents)

a. Yes

18.9

b. No

81.1

From the start of the current school year through May 7, there have been 16 expulsions for bullying and 34 expulsions for threats/intimidation.

According to the districts 2014 data .0004 percent of students have been expelled for bullying. The number is so small, yet the policy revisions are so broad. Is the intent to stop bullying or something more nefarious?

Is the Sarasota County School Board using cyber-bullying to infringe on the First Amendment rights of students to freely express themselves on and off campus? Is this school board becoming the NSA of education monitoring of all digital communications? Is this policy a bridge too far in trying to control the behavior of children beyond the school grounds? Is this policy an attempt to stifle students from speaking out based on their beliefs?

Is this policy using a sledge hammer to pound down a ten penny nail?

Children will be children. Peer pressure is both part of growing up and part of life.  It is not the role of this or any other school board to decide what is proper behavior and what is not in the cyber world. That is best left up to parents.

Peter Baklinski writes on a different twist to anti-bulling campaigns, like that in Sarasota County:

While much of the past 15 years has left the goals of the gay ant-bullying scheme carefully unspoken, a recent article in an online homosexual publication let the cat out of the bag.

“Why would we push anti-bullying programs or social studies classes that teach kids about the historical contributions of famous queers unless we wanted to deliberately educate children to accept queer sexuality as normal?,” wrote Daniel Villarreal on Queerty.com, a website that promotes the gay agenda.

“We want educators to teach future generations of children to accept queer sexuality. In fact, our very future depends on it. Recruiting children? You bet we are,” he added.

“I for one,” continued Villarreal, “certainly want tons of school children to learn that it’s OK to be gay, that people of the same sex should be allowed to legally marry each other, and that anyone can kiss a person of the same sex without feeling like a freak. And I would very much like for many of these young boys to grow up and start f**ing men.”

For a fuller description please see the special report on Jennings by Mass Resistance.

For those who wish to contact the Sarasota County School Board and District staff about the new policy:

To email all School Board members:
boardmembers@sarasotacountyschools.net

Jane Goodwin Chair
jane.goodwin@sarasotacountyschools.net

Frank Kovach Vice Chair 
frank.kovach@sarasotacountyschools.net

Shirley Brown
shirley.brown@sarasotacountyschools.net

Caroline Zucker 
caroline.zucker@sarasotacountyschools.net

District 1: To be announced

Zoe Marshall,
Administrative Assistant
zoe.marshall@sarasotacountyschools.net

Phone: (941) 927-9000 ext. 31147

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“LGBT” Teachers Conference in Boston – Part II: Pushing ‘Gay’ clubs in middle schools

Are Liberal Democrats Slaves to their Muslim Masters?

My columns and newsletter are read by many Muslims and Liberal Democrats, as well as those from the right of the political spectrum.  For the sake of my liberal Democrat readers who have a limited knowledge of Islam, I will keep this article simple and to the point. My intent is to educate about how the liberal Democratic world views are similar to and differ from Islam. The following table provides twenty categories for comparison of key policies liberal Democrats hold and compares them to Islamic laws and policy:

Liberal Democrats    Islam     
Pro-Homosexuality and same sex marriage Punishment is death for homosexuals and Lesbians
Women are equal or superior to Men It takes 4 Women to make 1 Man
Do not advocate marriage and Sex to Children Islam/Shariah allow marrying infants to aged men and allow the girl to be ‘raped’ at age 9
Abortions is allowed Abortions are allowed
Advocate for big Government Big Government only in Non-Muslim Countries
Advocate against First Amendment for ALL First Amendment for Muslims only
Anti-Guns and Second Amendment Pro Guns, Chemical, Nuclear and Biological weapons for Muslims
Haters for all things ‘Right Sided’ Haters of all non-Muslims: Specifically Jews and Christians
Separation of Church and State Allah above any form of man-made Government
Do not advocate Freedom of Religion (aside from Islam) Does not advocate ANY Freedoms of Religion (aside from Islam)
Anti-War Strong Advocates for war (jihad) anytime and anywhere
Anti-Christian & Jewish: Lovers of Islam Anti Any Religion Except For Islam
Strong Haters of Jesus Strong Haters of Christians and the Jewish Jesus
Against the Death Penalty for felons Advocates for killing and executions of anyone (without trial)
Anti-Big Oil Companies Strong Advocates of Big Oil
Very Hypocritical Very Hypocritical
Haters of America Haters of America
Haters of Israel Haters of Israel
Pro-Obama Pro-Obama until a Stronger Muslim becomes President
Anti-U.S. Constitution Anti-U.S. Constitution
Animal Rights Advocates Haters of all things with 2 or more legs

The above is just a sampling of Liberal Democrat and Islamic views.  Of the twenty-one issues, the liberal Democrat and the Islamic ideology align together on just eight of the twenty, or 40%.  

Why then do liberals support an ideology that is so different from their own core values?

This phenomenon is known as rational irrationality. Rational irrationality is not double-think — it does not state that the individual deliberately chooses to believe something he or she knows to be false. Rather, the theory is that, when the costs of having erroneous beliefs are low, people relax their intellectual standards and allow themselves to be more easily influenced by fallacious reasoning, cognitive biases and emotional appeals. In other words, people do not deliberately seek to believe false things but rather stop putting in the intellectual effort to be open to evidence that may contradict their beliefs.

My analysis is that for liberal Democrats the Islamic ideology frightens them so much, that it is easier to align themselves with ideologies that are over 60% contrary to their own.  They do not fear conservatives because they realize Christians are a God loving people and will not intentionally harm them.

In a prison you have the weak and the strong.  The strong always prey upon the weak.  The weak will always align themselves with their enemies because it is easier to kneel than to fight.

Our U.S. military has always had the reputation of being strong, therefor the majority of military personnel traditionally have conservative values.  They do not run or kneel to the enemy.  They fight the enemy even if it means their own death is certain.

With a weak Commander in Chief we have seen our military deteriorate. There are still many more brave heroes than there are liberal Democrats, but the gap is closing. It will not be long before same sex marriages in the military will be the norm, instead of abnormal.

There is nothing that can change a liberal Democrat into a strong fighting machine.  One has to have a love for their country that only the strong can appreciate and respect.

Leftists Cancel School Honors Night — Too “Exclusive”

It’s increasingly the case in America that the nail that sticks up gets hammered down. A case in point is Archie R. Cole Middle School in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. Writes East Greenwich Patch:

Citing concerns about the “exclusive nature” of the annual honors night at Archie R. Cole Middle School, school officials have decided to scrap the tradition.

Instead, students who would normally be recognized at the annual spring tradition will be honored during team-based recognition ceremonies and graduation.

The notice was sent to parents over the weekend in an e-mail signed by School Principal Alexis Meyer and Assistant Principal Dan Seger.

Certainly, we must battle feelings-bruising exclusivity. Thus do I have a question: Will Principal Meyer and Assistant Principal Seger now also lobby to eliminate the position of “principal” or at least for the elimination of the term? After all, as Dictionary.com informs, the word means, “1.first or highest in rank, importance, value, etc.; chief; foremost.” And the Online Etymology Dictionary states, “c.1300, ‘main, principal, chief, dominant, most important;’ also ‘great, large,’ from Old French principal ‘main, most important,’ of persons, ‘princely, high-ranking’ (11c.), from Latin principalis ‘first in importance; original, primitive,’ from princeps (see prince).”

That sounds awfully excusive to me. Note that “Princeps” was an official title of Roman Emperors that translated into “First Citizen.” And I can’t imagine that these egalitarian educators could tolerate such anti-egalitarian positions and titles. Or do I have it wrong?

Is it that refusal to recognize achievement is only to be applied to other people’s achievement?

This much reminds me of Elizabeth “Fauxcahontas” Warren, now senator from Taxachusetts. She not only supported affirmative action while saying nothing about the remarkably un-diverse faculty she was part of at Harvard Law School, but then — despite being white enough for two people — claimed Cherokee heritage, presumably to benefit from the Affirmative Action Daily Double: being female and minority. (Give her credit, though, as she could have gone for the Trifecta and claimed lesbian status, too.)

So I guess it’s poor blue-collar guys, such as the firemen in New Haven, Connecticut, who have to maintain Warren’s principles. Meanwhile, education’s other elitists will maintain their principals and whatever other exclusiveness benefits them. As with the Marxists in the former USSR, North Korea and elsewhere — who had/ have the best residences, cars, vacations and other free-market fruits — leftist policies are for the little people.

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

RELATED STORIES:

School reverses course after canceling honors night for being too ‘exclusive’
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RELATED VIDEO: Teacher admits he helped write Common Core to end “white privilege”:

[youtube]http://youtu.be/LQ8Nr3_2724[/youtube]

From The “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” Department: The Rise of Polyamorous Relationships

Unbeknownst to the general public, freshman composition has become the point of attack by all those who would like to tear down the superstructure of our civilization.  In the 1990s we had the attack by the maternalists on the thesis statement for its “phallologocentrism” (i.e., logic).  They argued that the five-paragraph essay replicated the thinking of the patriarchy, so should be replaced.

Patriarchal monogamous heterosexual marriage is being challenged by single-sexed, but now polyamorous relationships. One newly minted Ph.D. is on her way to spreading this thinking as a professor as she celebrates the successful defense of her dissertation on “The Rhetoric and Composition of Polyamory,” or the love of everything, including all of nature.  For those of us not up on the latest in composition studies, she builds on previous scholarship:

As a quick review, I offer this definition by ecosexualities scholar Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio: “Polyamory is a state of being, an awareness, and/or a lifestyle that involves mutually acknowledged, simultaneous relationships of a romantic and/or sexual nature between more than two persons. . . . Polyamorous people erode the myth that being part of a closed dyad is the only authentic form of love” (2004, p. 165)

Open-Relationship-Continuum

I didn’t know that one could be an “ecosexualities scholar.”

This all fits into the race-class-gender attack on Western civilization in this way:

While the language of polyamory is a language of equality,  monormativity is that of hierarchy where relationships become a strategic game, where the goal is to become the “best” or “only” or “most” in a partner’s eyes, to the exclusion of all others.

Researchers in rhetoric and composition can analyze these new words that the polyamorous are creating, asking how this rhetoric is changing the cultural paradigm for relating.

Now I’d like to discuss the glue that holds my whole project together: “relationship literacy.” Relationship literacy refers to the reflexive, critical fluency with which learners can understand, analyze, discuss, and reflect upon their own as well as others’ relationship styles, choices, practices, values, and ethics. People who have made a commitment to acquire relationship literacy understand more clearly than most how relationships, particularly romantic or intimate relationships, are constrained or supported by cultural norms.

Nigeria: Two Kidnapped Christian Girls Escape from Boko Haram

According to Voice of the Martyrs (VOM), “Two sisters, Kamka, 19, and Naya, 16, were sleeping when radical Muslims invaded their home. The armed terrorists entered their brother’s room and shot him in the hand before demanding to know where the girls’ father was. When they realized the two sisters were not married and their father was not home, they took the girls by force.”

VOM is providing assistance to these two sisters who recently escaped captivity from Boko Haram.

The Boko Haram terrorist group has declared war on Christians in Nigeria, frequently attacking Christian villages, burning Christians’ houses and murdering indiscriminately. They also kidnap teenage girls and force them to convert and marry Boko Haram members.

After forcing Kamka and Naya to walk through the woods at gunpoint, the terrorists immediately put them to work fetching water and cooking. A few days later, the girls were told that both of them were to be married. “We’re too young,” Naya protested. But the leader then showed them his daughter, a girl of 7 or 8, who was already married.

“If we refused to cooperate, we would be killed,” Naya told a VOM worker. “The man whom I was forced to marry took me. He picked up his gun and a knife and threatened to murder me if I continued to resist.”

The sisters cried and prayed together, unsure of what would become of them. But after two weeks, a Muslim woman took pity on them. While fetching water with the girls, she showed them an escape route and told them to run away.

The girls escaped under cover of darkness. They knocked on the door of the first house they came to, praying the owner would be friendly. Although he was Muslim, the man took pity on the girls. He allowed them to bathe and eat, and then had his sister take them to a nearby Christian village.

The girls were traumatized by their experience but are now doing reasonably well. Since it is unsafe for them to return to their home, VOM is providing care for them at a safe house through one of our project partners.

“I thank God that He has saved us from the hands of these bad people,” Naya said. “Everything is now behind me and I’m not afraid anymore. I only want to look forward now.”

And Kamka is also thankful for God’s protection. “I am very grateful that many Christians pray for me,” she said. “Despite what I’ve been through, I still have faith in God.”

The Voice of the Martyrs invites you to support our work in Nigeria. Your contributions help believers like Naya and Kamka as well as providing support to families of martyrs and medical assistance to victims of extremist attacks.

ABOUT VOM

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To order your copy of Tortured for Christ click on the image.

The Voice of the Martyrs is a non-profit, inter-denominational Christian organization dedicated to assisting the persecuted church worldwide. VOM was founded in 1967 by Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, who was imprisoned 14 years in Communist Romania for his faith in Christ. His wife, Sabina, was imprisoned for three years. In the 1960s, Richard, Sabina, and their son, Mihai, were ransomed out of Romania and came to the United States. Through their travels, the Wurmbrands spread the message of the atrocities that Christians face in restricted nations, while establishing a network of offices dedicated to assisting the persecuted church. The Voice of the Martyrs continues in this mission around the world today.  To learn more about the VOM mission click here.

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For Equality — Against Privilege: Reclaiming a lost ideal by Sheldon Richman

This TGIF originally ran July 7, 2006.

The freedom philosophy can be boiled down to two phrases: for equality, against privilege.

Intuitively, this should sound uncontroversial. We just finished celebrating the Fourth of July, which commemorates the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson’s elegant statement of the freedom philosophy proclaims: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. But since then the idea of equality has acquired many meanings that either work against the freedom philosophy or give it weak support. So how can it be a pillar of liberty?

As Auburn University philosopher Roderick T. Long wrote in The Freeman (“Liberty: The Other Equality”), notions such as equality under the law and equality of freedom fall short as libertarian ideals. After all, we could be equal under unlibertarian law (everyone gets drafted) or we could all have an equally small area of freedom (everyone may do whatever he wants between noon and three on alternate Wednesdays). That would be equality of a sort but not liberty.

Economic Equality

The objections to economic equality are well known. Since in the free market unequal incomes are to be expected as a result of variations in talent, ambition, energy, health, luck, perception of consumer preferences, and so on, economic equality could be attempted (but not achieved) only through monstrous and continuing aggression by government officers. Something approaching equal poverty might be achieved (the political elite would no doubt be more equal than others), but equality at a decent level of prosperity is beyond the State’s ability, as Cuba and North Korea illustrate.

This would seem to leave little content for Jefferson’s ringing phrase. But Long shows that this is not the case. There is a significant sense of equality that gets short shrift in political philosophy, most likely because it is the libertarian sense. We do our cause an injustice by neglecting it.

The best-known formulation of this sense is from John Locke, Jefferson’s inspiration for the Declaration. Long writes:

Locke defines a state . . . of equality as one wherein all the power and jurisdiction is reciprocal, no one having more than another, there being nothing more evident than that creatures of the same species and rank, promiscuously born to all the same advantages of nature, and the use of the same faculties, should also be equal one amongst another, without subordination or subjection. . . . [Emphasis added.]

In short, by the equality of men Locke and Jefferson meant not that all men are or ought to be equal in material advantages, but that all men (today it would be all persons, regardless of gender) are equal in authority. To subject an unconsenting person to one’s own will is to treat that person as one’s subordinate — illegitimately so, if we are all naturally equal.

Locke reinforced his thought thus:

[B]eing all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions. . . . And, being furnished with like faculties, sharing all in one community of nature, there cannot be supposed any such subordination among us that may authorise us to destroy one another, as if we were made for one another’s uses, as the inferior ranks of creatures are for ours.

Long goes on to say that this Lockean equality (it can also be found in earlier writers, such as the Levellers, a group of English laissez-faire radicals) provides a powerful underpinning for the freedom philosophy:

The upshot of libertarian equality, equality in authority, is that government can possess no rights that its subjects lack–unless they freely surrender such rights by “deputation, commission, and free consent.” Since I have no right over anyone else’s person or property, I cannot delegate to government a right over anyone else’s person or property. . . . Libertarian equality . . . involves not merely equality before those who administer the law, but equality with them. Government must be restrained within the moral bounds applicable to private citizens. If I may not take your property without your consent, neither may the state.

Frederic Bastiat made the same argument in his great work The Law.

Anti-Privilege

Opposition to privilege is simply the corollary of libertarian equality. If all are equal in authority, then no one may live at the expense of others without their consent. The word privilege is often used equivocally, but it has its roots in the idea of legal favoritism. It is composed of privus, meaning single, and lex or lege, meaning law. Thus a privilege is a government act that (forcibly) bestows favors on one person, or the few.

Historically, government’s primary function has been to exploit the industrious–anyone who works and trades in the market–for the sake of the political class, which prefers collecting subsidies to earning wages or profits. (This original class analysis was formulated by the laissez-faire theorists Charles Comte and Charles Dunoyer, students of the economist J. B. Say, in the first half of the nineteenth century). The privileges take the form of tariffs, licenses, monopolies, land grants, [patents], and other subsidies. These enable favored interests to increase their incomes beyond what the market would provide, either by forcibly extracting wealth from producers or by barring them from competitively serving consumers. The name for this privilege-based system is mercantilism, and in many ways it lives on today even in market-oriented economies, which is why they are often called mixed economies.

The privilege part of the mix is a rank injustice against all honest industrious people and a violation of the principle of equal authority that animated so many early Americans.

Champions of liberty have a constant challenge in finding fresh and compelling ways to teach their philosophy to people with different perspectives. I have a hunch there is an audience looking for a philosophy that embraces equality of authority and opposes privilege.

ABOUT SHELDON RICHMAN

Sheldon Richman is the former editor of The Freeman and TheFreemanOnline.org, and a contributor to The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. He is the author of Separating School and State: How to Liberate America’s Families.

CLICHES OF PROGRESSIVISM #3 – Equality Serves the Common Good by Lawrence W. Reed

The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) is proud to partner with Young America’s Foundation (YAF) to produce “Clichés of Progressivism,” a series of insightful commentaries covering topics of free enterprise, income inequality, and limited government.

Our society is inundated with half-truths and misconceptions about the economy in general and free enterprise in particular. The “Clichés of Progressivism” series is meant to equip students with the arguments necessary to inform debate and correct the record where bias and errors abound.

Leaders and experts who support free enterprise and who understand the importance of fiscal responsibility and entrepreneurship will author the pieces. A book will be released in 2015 featuring the best editorials in the series. The opinion editorials and columns will be published weekly on the websites of both YAF and FEE: www.yaf.org and www.FEE.org.

See the index of the published chapters here.

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#3 – Equality Serves the Common Good

“Free people are not equal, and equal people are not free.”

I wish I could remember who first said that. It ought to rank as one of the great truths of all time, and one that is fraught with profound meaning.

Equality before the law—for instance, being judged innocent or guilty based on whether you committed the crime, not on what color, sex, or creed you represent—is a noble ideal and not at issue here. The “equalness” to which the statement above refers pertains to economic income or material wealth.

Put another way, then, the statement might read, “Free people will earn different incomes. Where people have the same income, they cannot be free.”

Economic equality in a free society is a mirage that redistributionists envision—and too often are willing to shed both blood and treasure to accomplish. But free people are different people, so it should not come as a surprise that they earn different incomes. Our talents and abilities are not identical. We don’t all work as hard. And even if we all were magically made equal in wealth tonight, we’d be unequal in the morning because some of us would spend it and some of us would save it.

To produce even a rough measure of economic equality, governments must issue the following orders and back them up with firing squads and prisons: “Don’t excel or work harder than the next guy, don’t come up with any new ideas, don’t take any risks, and don’t do anything differently from what you did yesterday.” In other words, don’t be human.

The fact that free people are not equal in economic terms is not to be lamented. It is, rather, a cause for rejoicing. Economic inequality, when it derives from the voluntary interaction of creative individuals and not from political power, testifies to the fact that people are being themselves, each putting his uniqueness to work in ways that are fulfilling to himself and of value to others. As the French would say in a different context, Vive la difference!

People obsessed with economic equality—egalitarianism, to employ the more clinical term—do strange things. They become envious of others. They covet. They divide society into two piles: villains and victims. They spend far more time dragging someone else down than they do pulling themselves up. They’re not fun to be around. And if they make it to a legislature, they can do real harm. Then they not only call the cops, they are the cops.

Examples of injurious laws motivated by egalitarian sentiments are, of course, legion. They form the blueprint of the modern welfare state’s redistributive apparatus. A particularly classic case was the 1990 hike in excise taxes on boats, aircraft, and jewelry. The sponsors of the bill in Congress presumed that only rich people buy boats, aircraft, and jewelry. Taxing those objects would teach the rich a lesson, help narrow the gap between the “haves” and “have-nots,” and raise a projected $31 million in new revenues for the federal Treasury in 1991.

What really occurred was much different. A subsequent study by economists for the Joint Economic Committee of Congress showed that the rich did not line up by the flock to be sheared: Total revenue from the new taxes in 1991 was only $16.6 million. Especially hard-hit was the boating industry, where a total of 7,600 jobs were wiped out. In the aircraft industry, 1,470 people were pink-slipped. And in jewelry manufacturing, 330 joined the jobless ranks just so congressmen could salve their egalitarian consciences.

Those lost jobs, the study revealed, prompted a $24.2 million outlay for unemployment benefits. That’s right—$16.6 million came in, $24.2 million went out, for a net loss to the deficit-ridden Treasury of $7.6 million. To advance the cause of economic equality by a punitive measure, Congress succeeded in nothing more than making almost all of us a little bit poorer.

To the rabid egalitarian, however, intentions count for everything and consequences mean little. It’s more important to pontificate and assail than it is to produce results that are constructive or that even live up to the stated objective. Getting Congress to undo the damage it does with bad ideas like this is always a daunting challenge.

In July 1995 economic inequality made headlines with the publication of a study by New York University economist Edward Wolff. The latest in a long line of screeds that purport to show that free markets are making the rich richer and the poor poorer, Wolff’s work was celebrated in the mainstream media. “The most telling finding,” the author wrote, “is that the share of marketable net worth held by the top 1 percent, which had fallen by 10 percentage points between 1945 and 1976, rose to 39 percent in 1989, compared with 34 percent in 1983.” Those at the bottom end of the income scale, meanwhile, saw their wealth erode over the period—if the Wolff study is to be believed.

On close and dispassionate inspection, however, it turns out that the study didn’t tell the whole story, if indeed it told any of it. Not only did Wolff employ a very narrow measure that inherently exaggerates wealth disparity, he also ignored the mobility of individuals up and down the income scale. An editorial in the August 28, 1995, Investor’s Business Daily laid it out straight: “Different people make up ‘the wealthy’ from year to year. The latest data from income-tax returns . . . show that most of 1979’s top-earning 20 percent had fallen to a lower income bracket by 1988.”

Of those who made up the bottom 20 percent in 1979, just 14.2 percent were still there in 1988. Some 20.7 percent had moved up one bracket, while 35 percent had moved up two, 25.3 percent had moved up three, and 14.7 percent had joined the top-earning 20 percent.

If economic inequality is an ailment, punishing effort and success is no cure in any event. Coercive measures that aim to redistribute wealth prompt the smart or politically well-connected “haves” to seek refuge in havens here or abroad, while the hapless “have-nots” bear the full brunt of economic decline. A more productive expenditure of time would be to work to erase the mass of intrusive government that ensures that the “have-nots” are also the “cannots.”

This economic equality thing is not compassion. When it’s just an idea, it’s bunk. When it’s public policy, it’s illogic writ large.

 

Lawrence W. Reed
President
Foundation for Economic Education

 

Summary

  • If people are free, they will be different. That reflects their individuality and their contributions to others in the marketplace. It requires force to make them the same.
  • Talents, industriousness, and savings are three of many reasons why we earn different incomes in a free society.
  • Forcing people to be equal economically may make misguided egalitarians feel better, but it does real harm to real people.
  • For further information, see http://tinyurl.com/m4rwevwhttp://tinyurl.com/k9mpesc, and http://tinyurl.com/lk6avaw.

20130918_larryreedauthorABOUT LAWRENCE W. REED

Lawrence W. (“Larry”) Reed became president of FEE in 2008 after serving as chairman of its board of trustees in the 1990s and both writing and speaking for FEE since the late 1970s. Prior to becoming FEE’s president, he served for 20 years as president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, Michigan. He also taught economics full-time from 1977 to 1984 at Northwood University in Michigan and chaired its department of economics from 1982 to 1984.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of FEE and Shutterstock.

Brandeis Unbecoming: A New Student Video Defending Hirsi Ali

Brandeis University’s 2014 commencement ceremony was marred by Brandeis President Fred Lawrence’s disgraceful decision to deny Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born fearless champion of Muslim women’s rights an honorary degree. Hirsi Ali is one of the most prominent fighters against forced marriage, female genital mutilation, and honor killings in the Muslim world.

Student activist Chloe Valdary expresses her outrage at Brandeis President Lawrence’s hypocritical decision in a short video produced by Americans for Peace and Tolerance.

Brandeis President Lawrence gave in to radical faculty who insisted that: “We cannot accept Ms. Hirsi Ali’s triumphalist narrative of western civilization, rooted in a core belief of the cultural backwardness of non-western peoples.”

Lawrence has been severely criticized in the press and by Brandeis graduates and students for this decision. Chloe’s powerful indictment provides the clearest contrast yet between Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s moral courage and Fred Lawrence’s lack of it.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/P5oLXb9FtLA[/youtube]

 

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The “Children of War: Nine Months to Freedom” Movie Serves as a Timely Reminder of Islamist War Crimes

BRUSSELS, May 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ –The 1971 War of Liberation in Bangladesh remains the template for many of the conflicts that define the late 20th century. At a time when many defenders of human rights were apprehensive that this template was fast being forgotten, the release of the Indian movie Children of War recalls the horrific massacre and genocide and once again reminds the world of the brutalities committed by the Pakistani army in collusion with the Jamaat-e-Islami and its associated organisation. The movie, whose promos had been available for quite some time on YouTube, depicts the dark times in the nine-month-long Bangladeshi struggle for freedom, and shows how the Pakistani army instigated massacres against millions of people, especially crimes against women.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/oGfh5Vwa83A[/youtube]

Planned and calculated killing of intellectuals throughout the nine months of atrocities, the vigilante groups- led by Al-Badr and Al-Shams-who were radical collaborators recruited by the Pakistani Army-played an important role in the genocide. Most of those collaborators belonged to the political parties Jamaat-e-Islami and the Muslim League, who were convinced by the West Pakistanis that as pure Muslims they had a duty to save the integrity of the largest Muslim country (Pakistan) and  destroy those who were enemies of Islam. The movie recalls these horrors in an appealing manner.

The movie touches a subject that has been brushed aside for long because of the vested interests of previous governments in Bangladesh. At a time when vested interests in the West have questioned the very legitimacy of the 1971 War Crimes Tribunal, the events depicted in this movie come as a strong rebuff to such apologists. Not surprising, therefore, that this movie has been banned in Pakistan!

A leading critic has very aptly described this movie as “a true blue epic of mind-numbing intensity, a kind of cinema that David Lean would have attempted were he a witness to the barbarism that went into the formation ofBangladesh… This isn’t really a film. It’s a work of art, tempestuous and terrific. Yes, this is a masterpiece,” meant to shake up the international community that genocide is not only history, but what a country gets when fundamentalist intolerance is encouraged by political vendetta to inflict the rape of a generational civilisation.

As a conscientious Member of European Parliament, I consider it as my responsibility to strongly recommended to the European Parliament and other European institutions – committed to the principles of secularism, democracy and tolerance – to promote this movie in order to witness the realist depiction of events of the 1971 genocide in Bangladesh perpetrated by the Pakistani army and the Jamaat. ‘Children of War’ is not just a movie, it is also a plea for justice, to continue the noble struggle, not between two religions, but between extremists and liberals, of every religio-cultural denominations.