Category Archives: Western Civilization

What a mess. can we get out?

Have not heard it spoken this directly in a while. Are enough people paying attention?? Absent our omnipotent, sovereign God, I fear our future.  mrossol 

Michael Walsh

Michael Walsh
The Epoch Times.  September 14, 2020 Updated: September 15, 2020

The headline seems straightforward enough: “Portland woman accused of rioting faces both local and federal charges.” And the story amplifies: “a 29-year-old woman was arrested and federally charged for allegedly punching a Portland cop in the face during a riot in July. According to Justice Department court documents, Laurielle Yvette Aviles, of Portland, assaulted a police officer in an attempt to de-arrest a fellow rioter on July 3.”

There’s even a photo of the suspect, which is captioned, “A 29-year-old woman…” Then you look at the picture of “Laurielle Yvette,” see the acne, the mustache, and the beard, and all you can think of is the line from Austin Powers: that’s a man, baby.

Welcome to Krazytown, U.S.A., 2020, where an obvious biological male can claim to be a woman and the dutiful stenographers of the media repeat the equally obvious falsehood. (Other reports called Aviles a man, while the U.S. Attorney’s Office, in reporting a charge for felony civil disorder, didn’t take a side.) But with a full-frontal “critical theory” assault by the left on every facet and institution of American society, anything goes.

We used to laugh at things like the gradual modifications of the language (“vertically-challenged” instead of short, “chairperson” or simply “chair,” for chairman). In fact, comedian Bill Maher even had a show called Politically Incorrect from 1993 to 2002, in part to make fun of the trend toward PC.

But the Marxists of the Frankfurt School, who came to the United States as refugees from Hitler and stayed long enough to poison the minds of a generation and more of college students, understood that if you’re going to strike at the foundations of a society you loathe, you have to strike at them all, and the language was a good place to start. Everything from the American political system to the police to the justice system to the universities to the media, Hollywood and popular entertainment had to be assaulted, preferably simultaneously.

Which is exactly what is happening now. If a street fighter like Aviles wants to call himself a girl, so be it—but if he really is a biological woman there seems no evidence of it, and society should not be forced to humor his delusion under the pernicious non-virtue of “tolerance” bequeathed us by the Frankfurters. Especially when he’s punching a cop in the kisser.

But once you’ve become accustomed to doubting the evidence of your own senses—indeed, when your first instinct is to disbelieve them because you’ve internalized the punitive, nihilist relativism of the left—you’re a pushover for anything that comes next.

Rioting and Other Attacks

And so we have the left openly threatening even more intense rioting as we approach a critical presidential election they have all but promised to reject if they lose and try to steal in order to win—and yet they are trying to convince you that it’s President Trump who won’t go quietly should he lose.

Via a George Soros-funded front group called the Transition Integrity Project, they write: “We assess with a high degree of likelihood that November’s elections will be marked by a chaotic legal and political landscape. We also assess that the [sic] President Trump is likely to contest the result by both legal and extra-legal means, in an attempt to hold onto power.”

This is rich, coming from the party that has never accepted the results of the 2016 election, has fought a prolonged guerilla war in both the courts and the streets against Trump, sandbagged and continues to torture his first national security adviser, Mike Flynn, and impeached him over nothing on the say-so of a time bomb of a military officer who was lying in wait for him on the National Security Council. But then, the first rule of leftism is to hate your country and to believe the worst about it.

Don’t be fooled by the faux-national security phraseology (“we assess with a high degree of likelihood…”): allied thugs from Antifa and Black Lives Matter are currently actively involved in open insurrection in places like Portland and elsewhere. Meanwhile, the Democrats are hiding their candidate, the rapidly mentally deteriorating Joe Biden, by propping him up in his basement with a teleprompter and cue cards; and are mounting an unprecedented attack on the integrity of our electoral system under their usual deceptive rubric of “fairness.”

Meanwhile, it’s only a matter of time before they can no longer disguise or justify their elder abuse; even now they’re plotting their Torricelli Maneuver, in which they’ll yank Biden at the last minute and substitute either Kamala Harris or even Hillary Clinton at the top of the ticket. Talk about an October Surprise.

But the attacks go beyond the political, to the personal. Until recently, workers at the Sandia National Labs in New Mexico, which handles important issues of nuclear technology and American national security, and elsewhere in the government were being subjected to the racist claptrap known as “critical race theory”—another love child of the Frankfurt School—turning them into re-education camps in which to browbeat white employers about such Marxist fantasies as “systemic racism” and “white privilege.”

The programs were an offshoot of what author Heather Mac Donald has called the “diversity delusion,” the notion that workplaces are somehow—they never quite specify how—improved by ethnic nose-counting and by stirring racial division, instead of by aptitude and merit. Upon learning about it, Trump wisely and immediately put a stop to such pernicious nonsense via executive order, calling it a “sickness” and “anti-American propaganda.”

Which it is—but that is precisely its point.

Blaming ‘Climate Change’

In the realm of nature, perfectly predictable wildfires in California during—wait for it—wildfire season have been exacerbated by the state’s insane “conservation” policies, which are precisely designed to make fires worse so that tinpots like Gov. Gavin Newsom can blame the pink elephant of “climate change.” Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi, last seen making an illegal visit to the beauty parlor in San Francisco, tells us that “Mother Nature is angry”—not just about the wildfires but also hurricanes (during hurricane season).

And it’s all our fault, of course.

And then there is the Great CCP Virus lockdown-and-muzzle harum-scarum. Long past the Chinese Communist Party virus’s peak—if it was designed as a biological weapon, it fizzled badly—and well past the point of any meaningful physical danger to the vast majority of the population, the left continues to use Covid-19 as an economic club with which to confine citizens to quarters, abrogate their right to peaceful assembly and free expression of religion, force them to wear a face mask, and beat the formerly roaring economy senseless.

“Two weeks to slow the spread,” they told us. But now it’s clear that, should the left win power, they will never let us go. As far as they are concerned, the “new normal” is here to stay, comrade.

If the colossal failure of the “experts” and most Democrat politicians who used flawed models and their innate taste for tyranny to wreak havoc on nations around the world don’t suffer severe professional consequences after the people finally come to their senses and realize we’ve all been had, then there really will be no justice, no peace.

Which is why it’s good to see a federal judge in Pennsylvania decide on Monday that Gov. Tom Wolf’s onerous lockdown regulations were unconstitutional. District judge William Stickman IV ruled that the governor’s orders violated the First Amendment’s right to peaceable assembly, and the due process and equal protection clauses of the 13th and 14th amendments.

Wrote Stickman: “the solution to a national crisis can never be permitted to supersede the commitment to individual liberty that stands as the foundation of the American experiment.”

‘Shook Up World’

And how’s that experiment faring? Just the other day, a so-far unidentified gunman coolly walked up to a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s car in Compton and shot both the deputies inside; although badly wounded, they are expected to live. As the wounded officers were taken to a nearby hospital, a mob blockaded the emergency room and shouted, “We hope they die!”

To which the Sheriff, Alex Villanueva, commented: “It pisses me off. It dismays me at the same time.”

That’s his righteous indignation? A $100,000 reward has been offered for information leading to an arrest—but it’s a measure of how defenseless and overlawyered a society we’ve become that that’s the best we can do. Back in the 1920s and ’30s a cop shooter would have been the object of a citywide manhunt, and most likely he would have gone down in a hail of vengeful gunfire.

But we’re more sophisticated today as we return to paganism and superstition. We believe that a guy with stubble makes a plausible female, that the Dreaded Covid will kill you if you’re having a beer in a bar with some pals but not if you’re all having dinner and a beer with the same guys at a table a few feet away. We believe that the exhaust from a car’s engine enrages the goddess Gaia, that whole swaths of cities being razed is non-violent protest (and besides we had it coming).

Most preposterous of all, we believe that a senile old man who blandly asserts that Edison did not invent the light bulb, snarls at people with the effrontery to challenge him, and takes prepared questions from the Democrat propagandists in the media in advance is a viable presidential candidate.

We believe that the laws of our republic are racist, the founders should be dug up and hanged, that black lives only matter when the police are involved, and that our most critical national-security institutions are better served by critical theory than expertise in nuclear physics.

Who are you going to believe—the Progressive Left or your lying eyes? As the Kinks sang in “Lola,” their classic song about a transvestite—“It’s a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world.”

We’d better get it straightened out, pronto.

Michael Walsh is the editor of The-Pipeline.org and the author of “The Devil’s Pleasure Palace” and “The Fiery Angel,” both published by Encounter Books. His latest book, “Last Stands,” a cultural study of military history from the Greeks to the Korean War, will be published in December by St. Martin’s Press.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/full-scale-assault-on-societys-foundations-gives-us-a-shook-up-world_3500118.html?ref=brief_Opinions&utm_source=morningbrief&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=mb

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What Islamists and ‘Wokeists’ Have in Common

I’m afraid too many people do not want to see or hear this message; it will more than likely fracture their political paradigm, and that is painful. Hiding head in the sand is less painful . . . in the short run. mrossol

WSJ 9/10/2020 by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

There were many American heroes on 9/11, but the greatest were the passengers and crew of Flight 93. Not only did they avert what al Qaeda planned—a direct hit on the White House—but they also embodied Patrick Henry’s credo “Give me liberty, or give me death!”

Do those words still have a meaning in the America of 2020? For two decades, I have opposed the fanatical illiberalism of those strands of Islam that gave rise to al Qaeda. I broke with my Somali family and ultimately with their faith because I believed that it is human freedom that should be sacrosanct, not antiquated doctrines that demand submission by the individual.

So implacable are the proponents of Shariah that I have faced repeated death threats. Yet I have always consoled myself that, in the U.S., freedom of conscience and expression rank above any set of religious beliefs. It was partly for this reason that I moved here and became a citizen in 2013.

It never occurred to me that free speech would come under threat in my newly adopted country. Even when I first encountered what has come to be known as “cancel culture”—in 2014 I was invited to receive an honorary degree at Brandeis University and then ungraciously disinvited—I didn’t fret too much. I was inclined to dismiss the alliance of campus leftists and Islamists as a lunatic fringe.

But the power of the illiberal elements in the American left has grown, not just on campus but in the media and many corporations. They have inculcated in a generation of students an ideology that has much more in common with the intolerant doctrines of a religious cult than with the secular political thought I studied at Holland’s Leiden University.

In the debates after 9/11, many people sought materialist explanations for the attacks. American foreign policy in the Middle East was blamed, or lack of education and employment opportunities in the Arab world. I argued that none of these could explain the motivations of the plotters and hijackers, who in any case were far from underprivileged. Their goal was religious and political: to wage jihad against their kin if they didn’t accept a literal interpretation of Islam, to denounce Arab governments as corrupt and their Western allies as infidels, and ultimately to overthrow the established order in the Middle East and establish a caliphate.

American policy makers preferred the materialist explanations, as they implied actions to solve the problem: invasion, regime change, democratization. It was unpopular to suggest that the terrorists might have unshakable immaterial convictions.

Nineteen years on, we see a similar dynamic, only this time it is within our borders. Naive observers explain this summer’s protests in terms of African-Americans’ material disadvantages. These are real, as are the (worse) socio-economic problems of the Arab world. But they aren’t the main driver of the protests, which appear to be led mainly by well-off white people.

Their ideology goes by many names: cancel culture, social justice, critical race theory, intersectionality. For simplicity, I call it all Wokeism.

I am not about to equate Wokeism and Islamism. Islamism is a militant strain of an ancient faith. Its adherents have a coherent sense of what God wants them to achieve on earth to earn rewards in the afterlife. Wokeism is in many ways a Marxist creed; it offers no hereafter. Wokeism divides society into myriad identities, whereas Islamists’ segmentation is simpler: believers and unbelievers, men and women.

There are many other differences. But consider the resemblances. The adherents of each constantly pursue ideological purity, certain of their own rectitude. Neither Islamists nor the Woke will engage in debate; both prefer indoctrination of the submissive and damnation of those who resist.

The two ideologies have distinctive rituals: Islamists shout “Allahu Akbar” and “Death to America”; the Woke chant “Black lives matter” and “I can’t breathe.” Islamists pray to Mecca; the Woke take the knee. Both like burning the American flag.

Both believe that those who refuse conversion may be harassed, or worse. Both take offense at every opportunity and seek not just apologies but concessions. Islamism inveighs against “blasphemy”; Wokeism wants to outlaw “hate speech.” Islamists use the word “Islamophobia” to silence critics; the Woke do the same with “racism.”

Islamists despise Jews; the Woke say they just hate Israel, but the anti-Semitism is pervasive. The two share a fondness for iconoclasm: statues, beware.

Both ideologies aim to tear down the existing system and replace it with utopias that always turn out to be hellish anarchies: Islamic State in Raqqa, the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone in Seattle. Both are collectivist: Group identity trumps the individual. Both tolerate—and often glorify—violence carried out by zealots.

This Sept. 11, then, let’s dismiss the fairy stories about the enemies of a free society. Their grievances aren’t merely economic and they won’t be satisfied with jobs or entitlements. Their motivations are ideological and they will be satisfied only with power.

I cling to the hope that most Americans are still willing as a nation to fight and, if necessary, to die to preserve our freedoms, our rights, our customs, our history. That was the spirit of Flight 93. It was the spirit that ultimately defeated al Qaeda and Islamic State. But it is not the spirit of today’s “woke” protesters. And it is time that we all woke up to that reality.

Ms. Hirsi Ali is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and founder of the AHA Foundation. She served as a member of the Dutch Parliament from 2003-2006.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/what-islamists-and-wokeists-have-in-common-11599779507?mod=opinion_major_pos4

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MY PERSPECTIVE ON THE CURRENT STATE OF AFFAIRS

This is a work-in-progress. It will be my attempt to outline my thinking on the current state of America and to a lesser extent, the rest of the western world, and then . . .

  1. Verifiable, objective truth
  2. There is objective good and evil, bad
  3. Man is inclined to evil, wrong
  4. Racism is primarily a function of the human heart.
  5. The Constitution of the United States is as good a “constituting framework” as there has been implemented in history.
  6. The United States experience, while not perfect, is about as good as the world has ever seen.
  7. More people have risk their lives trying to get to the USA than any other country. There is a reason why this is so.
  8. The nuclear family (one man-one woman) is the best institution for the well-being of society. Without wide-spread practice/adoption of this model, societal functioning becomes very frail.
  9. Slavery was never the intent of the founders of the United States, but was allowed as a compromise to get the bulk of the founding document.
  10. No country other than the USA has fought a civil war over the institution of slavery. The priority of the majority (the North) was to maintain the union of the states, AND abolish slavery.
  11. The response of many governmental office holders has been “unconstitutional” in their over-reach of authority.
  12. There is more systemic racism than many [non-black] Americans want to admit, but the American society is not built on a primarily racial framework, and there has been much reduction in “systemic racism” since 1776.
  13. The net affect of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has been negative.
  14. The Democrat party has done more hinder progress of African Americans than help.
  15. The concept of “Systemic Racism” is being used to push America solidly into the progressive camp. See this post.
  16. “Systemic Racism” is not a logical construct. [Reference]

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No guarantee we can save the country

The unvarnished truth. So much in this article. The urgency for those who love America is great. We need to act. We need to speak. We need to work to keep ours a country of law and the constitution. No other country has ever been as great as the United States of America. I hope we can save the country. mrossol

WSJ 7/31/2020. by Andrew A Michta

Czesław Miłosz, a future Nobel Prize-winning poet who had just defected from Poland, began work in 1951 on a book called “The Captive Mind.” Even as Stalinist totalitarianism tightened its grip on Eastern Europe, many Western European intellectuals lauded the brave new world of Soviet communism as a model for overcoming “bourgeois forces,” which in their view had caused World War II. Living in Paris, Miłosz wrote his book, which was published in 1953, to warn the West of what happens to the human mind and soul in a totalitarian system. 

Miłosz knew from experience, having lived through the Communist takeover, how totalitarianism strips men and women of their liberty, transforming them into “affirmative cogs” in service of the state and obliterating what had taken centuries of Western political development to achieve. Totalitarianism not only enslaved people physically but crippled their spirit. It did so by replacing ordinary human language, in which words signify things in the outside world, with ideologically sanctioned language, in which words signify the dominant party’s ever-changing ideas of what is and is not true.

 

Since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, nationwide protests, which quickly turned to riots, have been hijacked by the neo-Marxist left, morphing into an all-out assault on American cities and institutions. This assault is underpinned by an audacious attempt to rewrite history that turns specific past events into weapons not only to overpower political opponents but also to recast all of American history as a litany of racial transgressions.

The radicals have turned race into a lens through which to view the country’s history, and not simply because they are obsessed with race. They have done so because it allows them to identify and separate those groups that deserve affirmation, in their view, and those that do not. What is taking place is the resegregation of America, the endpoint of which will be the rejection of everything the civil-rights movement stood for. 

What is driving the radical protesters and rioters—who are enabled and manipulated by the “digital intelligentsia” in the press and an expanding segment of the political and business classes—is contempt for the freedom of anyone who fails to comport with their image of a just society. In authoritarian systems those in power seek to proscribe certain forms of political speech and social activity. Totalitarians claim unconditional authority to reach deep into each person’s conscience. They prescribe an interpretation of the world and dictate the language with which citizens are permitted to express that interpretation. Authoritarian regimes leave largely untouched the private civic sphere of human activity; totalitarians destroy traditional value systems and reorder the culture. That is why they are harder to overthrow. 

The ill-named progressivism that has inspired shrill demands to dismantle police forces and destroy statues is only a small manifestation of a massive project aimed at the re-education of the American population. The goal of this project is to negate the story of the American republic and replace it with a tale anchored exclusively in race categories and narratives of oppression. The nature of this exercise, with its sledgehammer rhetoric that obliterates complexities in favor of one-dimensional “correct” interpretations, is as close to Marxist agitprop as one can get. 

Why do American elites, who might be expected to favor preserving the nation that has elevated them, support the effort to dismantle it? Their thinking seems to be that the radicals destroying monuments and issuing wholesale denunciations of America’s past are wreaking destruction on ordinary Americans and their history, not on the elites and their ideology. Today’s elites as a rule do not believe they have any obligation to serve the public, only to rule it, and so they express little or no disapproval of college students toppling statues on federal land or looters raiding supermarkets. To criticize them would open elites to the charges of “populism” and “racism.”

 

Yet the elites are playing a dangerous game. Such “canceling”—of historical and living figures alike—increasingly mirrors what happened under communism in the Soviet bloc, where the accusation of being out of step with the party was enough to end one’s career and nullify one’s reputation. 

This is about more than statues and history. Those who control the symbols of political discourse can dominate the culture and control the collective consciousness. If you doubt this, ask yourself why there has been so little backlash from ordinary, nonelite Americans. Our sense of self has been progressively deconstructed. We feel in our bones the wrongness of the violence being visited on the nation but lack the language to speak against it. 

The resegregation of American society is fundamentally undemocratic and un-American. It envisions a social hierarchy based on DNA. It is also incompatible with individual freedom and constitutional government. Hence the drive to overhaul the U.S. Constitution, rewrite textbooks, and restructure museums by race and sex quotas.

Democracy cannot survive in a society in which winners and losers are adjudicated arbitrarily according to criteria beyond individual control. Any society built around the principle of skin color will become a caste system in which accident, not merit, will allocate value and benefit. Civil society will be buried once and for all. 

The current radical trends carry the seeds of violence unseen in the U.S. since the Civil War. The activists ascendant in American cities insist on the dominance of their ideological precepts, brooking no alternative. Such absolutism forces Americans away from the realm of political compromise into one of unrelenting axiology, with one side claiming a monopoly on virtue and decency while the other is expected to accept its status as perpetually evil, and thus assume a permanent penitent stance for all its real and imagined misdeeds across history. 

Only when the state creates a space for an unbiased debate over history can a discussion truly take place unhindered by ideology and dogma. Only then can a society move toward a consensus on a shared understanding of its past and how its collective memory should be shaped. The U.S. is roiled by spasms of violence and intolerance today because government at all levels—public education systems, states that allow universities to promulgate speech codes and “safe spaces,” court decisions that define constitutionally protected speech as, in effect, everything but political speech—has abdicated its duty to protect the public space. Children are rampaging through the cities because the adults have left the room.

America is in the throes of a destructive ideological experiment, subjected to a sweeping and increasingly state-sanctioned reordering of its collective memory, with the increasingly totalitarian left given free rein to dominate public discourse. Miłosz, who died in 2004, would see an American mind bloated by a steady diet of identity politics and group grievance served up by ideologues in schools nationwide. These ideologues have nearly succeeded in remaking our politics and culture; ¨, by credentialed bureaucrats, and by politicians shaped in the monochrome factories of intellectual uniformity that are America’s institutions of higher learning. 

 

American society is faced with a stark binary choice. Either we push back against the unrelenting assault of the neo-Marxist narrative, or we yield to the totalitarian impulse now in full view in our politics. It is no longer enough to wait for the next election, or to pin our hopes on a “silent majority” that will eventually stop the madness. There may be no such majority. If there is, its members may no longer be able to articulate what they see unfolding around them. It is hard to call things by their proper names in a society whose elites insist on calling looters and arsonists “protesters,” national monuments “symbols of racism,” and the victims of looting and arson the beneficiaries of “white privilege.” The challenge is massive, but it starts with the simple act of calling things by their proper names.

Mr. Michta is dean of the College of International and Security Studies at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-captive-mind-and-americas-resegregation-11596222112?mod=opinion_lead_pos5

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