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Saturday, October 7, 2017

An Outsider’s Inside Look at Scientology

Marcus Clintonius

It was 1973. I was all of nineteen, definitely in what are called for some bizarre reason one’s “salad days.” In the past year I moved from home in Brooklyn first to Los Angeles to join some other ex-New Yorker compadres, and finally to San Francisco... by myself, with my life in one old suitcase.

I’d managed to get a job, under particularly seventies’ San Franciscan circumstances. I’d been approached by a gay man (practically a daily experience for me while living in the City at this time) in Union Square park who knew someone (of similar persuasion, it turns out) who worked at an employment agency. Following up on the lead I was able to secure an office job working for Union Oil.

The Union Oil tower was a famous landmark until it was torn down in 2005 to make way for two luxury condominium towers (Rincon Hill). It reigned over the at-the-time modest downtown skyline, and was a friendly sight greeting commuters as they embarked onto (or disembarked from) the Bay Bridge to or from homes in the East Bay. More than half of my working day was spent in that completely windowless tower, where old records were stored on tall dusty metal shelves. When records were needed to settle a customer’s dispute that went back beyond recent history, I was sent to find the necessary details.

Believe it or not, I had to pay a month’s salary to get this job. But that was standard practice for job seekers with no relevant local employment history — and especially for “transients.” When this was explained to me I had to admit that it made sense from the employer’s point-of-view. The previous decade had seen the “Summer of Love” migration of youths from all corners of the country... and some of them actually sought legitimate employment. They were called “transients” because that’s what they were. Finding a way to earn a living, some of them stayed. But most (probably) did not. I can sympathize with an employer having to pay for bringing a new hire up to speed only finding themselves in need of a replacement in six months. Still, I resented it. I was living pretty much hand-to-mouth.

As it turns out, I didn’t stay in that job very long either; but it wasn’t to continue my “transienting” ways — it was to get a better job.

My first residence in “the City” was a seedy hotel room in the Tenderloin district. I believe it was the cheapest digs listed in the classified ads of the SF Chronicle. (Was it really $60/week?) As soon as I saved enough bread from the Union Oil job I got my own apartment. I have very fond memories of that large studio apartment on Willard St. in Ashbury Heights. It was beautiful, and yes, with a (northward) view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

* * *

"The man who talks to plants"
During my first years in San Francisco I had many memorable experiences. I made some good friends, saw some great Grateful Dead concerts at Winterland, got laid a lot, even palled around with some hustlers and wannabe pimps; and hey — this was only my road game!

I also had a brief but fascinating experience with Scientology. It was during my first months there, when I was living in the seedy hotel on Post St. In the evening after work I would walk around the Union Square environs. At that time there was a Scientology church located nearby. They had their people on street corners inviting people to come in and “take a free personality test.”

Unlike most of the rubes that took the offer, I had heard about the infamous L Ron Hubbard (LRH) and Scientology. I even remembered seeing the front page of an English newspaper somewhere with a picture of a man holding a strange device with some wires connected to a plant. Headline: “The man who talks to plants.”

I don’t recall the precise provenance of my knowledge of Scientology — but I knew its nefarious nature. I knew that once you joined they never let you go. Specifically, that people who had some cursory involvement with it, no matter how brief, were relentlessly pursued; by phone, by mail, no matter which corner of the planet they traveled to.

So, I knew that one thing I would never do is give them a real name and address. And so, one evening, out of curiosity, I took up the offer, entered the Scientology sanctum, and took the “Personality Test.”

I should mention at this time — my “salad days,” remember — I was a pretty confident dude. Not only was I at the physical prime of life, I also count myself as blessed with a winning personality, above-average intelligence (isn’t everybody?), and in possession of a healthy emotional and psychological foundation due to being raised in a normal, functioning two-parent household by parents who loved me and taught me right from wrong.

I don’t remember the test questions, but I do remember thinking that they were very canny. On some of them it wasn’t at all clear which of the multiple choices was the “correct” answer. However, nothing prepared me for the shock of the results when they were showed me by my Scientology handler. The results were on a graph. My handler pointed to the line of my responses and coolly said, “Man, you’re kissing the bottom.”

Indeed, according to the graph I must’ve been a real loser. The line corresponding to my responses did indeed hover very close to the horizontal line at the bottom of the scale. What ensued was several hours’ worth of browbeating and back-and-forth between us as he tried to convince me how much I needed to take the $25 Communications Course.

I had made up my mind before even entering the place that not only was I not going to give my real contact information, I was not going to pay anything to take any course. I was there to find out as much as I could about Scientology because — it fascinated me.

I remember that as his pitch rolled on, and he was getting nowhere with me, the effort began to take its toll. He was tiring. It took some time but I eventually got him to reveal some things about himself. He admitted that he had tried many things. I don’t recall what exactly — perhaps “born-again” Christianity, perhaps EST, or maybe LSD, perhaps Hare Krishna, perhaps “Nam myoho renge kyo” chanting (which was a thing at the time) — but it was some list of belief systems that promised results for those lost souls in need of “the answer.”

To make a long story short, I eventually left for home, and Scientology did not fill another seat for a Communications Course that evening. I should mention that besides the one-on-one personality evaluation/sales pitch I also recall a group presentation that used charts and props to describe some Scientology theory of human behavior, how we seek ”affinity” at several levels of social organization: friends and family, community, nation, species, etc. They also explained some things about personal relationships; I recall something they called the “reach and withdraw dynamic.”

It was all pretty reasonable. There was nothing obviously objectionable. All in all, it seemed like a perfectly rational theory of relationships and the human condition. A theory, I mused, of which a thousand others could just as easily be constructed. You have to get up pretty early in the morning to fool Mrs. C’s second-born son.

I also got a taste of auditing on that first night. If you don’t know what auditing is, Google it. I was hooked up to an e-meter and briefly audited. The auditer asked me to think about everything I had done since waking up that day. Earlier in the day I needed a phone number. Since I was living in a hotel room, the only recourse was a phone booth (remember them?).

So I am now reliving that memory. I am in a phone booth thumbing through the phone book until I find the number I need. I must have neglected to bring a pen or paper, so I found myself tearing out the page I needed. At the moment I had this thought the auditer spoke up. At that thought the meter’s needle had jumped. He explained what happened, and that was the end of the demonstration. It was sufficient to convince me that auditing is indeed valid. Here’s what happened according to Scientology theory. I felt guilt at tearing out the page of a public phone book. I had done a bad thing, and I felt guilty about it. That act, the memory of it, created an “engram” which then lodged into permanent residence in my “Reactive Mind.”

The Reactive Mind sounds a whole lot like the subconscious, but if you wish to know more about the comparison between the two you will have to do some more Googling. I carry it as a badge of pride that I got my bachelor’s degree taking only one behavioral science course: Sociology 101. And indeed, upon taking it my suspicions were confirmed, and my disdain for the so-called “behavioral sciences” reinforced. But I digress.

Back to the Reactive Mind. The “Bridge to Total Freedom” is crossed by eventually extinguishing all the engrams in the Reactive Mind. This is done through auditing. The auditing is delivered in all the various and sundry courses and trainings that lead up to the state of “Clear.” One of the stated objectives of Scientology is to “Clear the planet.” That means to literally Clear at least 50% of the world’s population, at which time the Earth would become an infinitely better place to live, as the Scientology Clear-ed majority of the population would be in a position to mitigate and control the bad behavior of the minority non-Scientologists — the rest of the Earth’s population that hadn’t yet seen the light.

* * *

That evening was my initial exposure to Scientology. I don’t recall the circumstances, but somehow I became friends with several members of the Church. Of particular relevance to this story are two female roommates whom I’ll call Carol and Lynn. They would’ve been my age or slightly older. They were relatively new converts — not Clears or OTs (Operating Thetan). It was from them that I first heard what’s in the OT-III level “revelation” — Xenu and the whole sci-fi bit.

In retrospect, after watching Leah Remini’s show (Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, on the A&E network) I’m surprised that Carol and Lynn told me about this. First of all, they weren’t supposed to know (yet). But I guess in the rarified air of the Church of Scientology, rules get broken and it’s hard to resist sharing this “hidden knowledge” with one’s friends. Here I’m not so much speaking about Carol and Lynn sharing this with me (Lynn: “Xenu! He’s a bad dude!”), I’m talking about Scientology higher-ups who shared it with them. [1].

But you can find out all you want about Xenu from Leah Rimini’s show (season 2, episode 4, “The Bridge to Total Freedom,” to be exact) or just google “Xenu Scientology.” I will say a little more about Xenu in a moment. This is not the essence of what I have to reveal.

If you wish to build an organization, a metaphorical army (which is a good way to describe the Church of Scientology, by the way), which of the following conditions would most likely ensure permanent loyalty; that is, which of the following would be most effective in preventing your “soldiers” from ever deserting?
  1. Exclusiveness. Instilling a sense of unique superiority over outsiders that only comes from membership in the group.
  2. Financial rewards.
  3. Intangible rewards: making you a better person with a fulfilling life — the contentment that comes from knowing you are living life in the correct way, benefiting not just yourself but also others, as you serve the greater good.
  4. Invoking terrible and painful punishments for leaving.

Though Scientology employs all of these except for (2) — and (4) is certainly not advertised — none of these choices is the correct answer. Read on.

Of my two Scientology friends, Carol was on the path, taking courses. Lynn, however was not presently taking any course. She was stymied.  It wasn’t the financial cost that was the impediment. (Though the cost was, and remains, mind-numbing, it is not what prevents these Paduwans from proceeding to the “Bridge of Total Freedom.” How they find the money for books, courses and auditing costing thousands and tens of thousands of dollars — auditing can run as high as $1,000 per hour, according to Rimini — I’ll never know. Refer to Leah Rimini’s show for anecdotal details.)

Scientology would not let Lynn take the course.

Once I explain the reason for this you will begin to understand the diabolically brilliant nature of Scientology as an organizing principle.

During some conversation, perhaps during the course she had taken, Lynn had revealed that some member(s) of her family opposed her involvement with Scientology. Someone in her family had clearly done his homework and would not give their seal of approval.

Now, Lynn was not bound by what her parents, or brother or sister or whomever it was, thought of Scientology. She was an independent adult, and this was 1973, not 1873. She did not require their permission. It was the Church that demanded she get their permission. Lynn could not take the next course until she had removed her family’s opposition.

Think about that. That means Scientologists who have fully committed themselves to the “path” (formally, the “Bridge of Total Freedom”) no longer had anyone in their immediate family who might be in a position, at some future time, to pull them back out if/when they become disenchanted. There was no longer any outside support system to turn to — they had already been convinced that Church involvement was fine, or they had been cut off by the Scientologist.  

* * *

I have nothing further on my two friends Carol and Lynn. I lost touch with them when I moved out of the Tenderloin — but I have more to tell.

Because of my friendship with Carol and Lynn I was able to volunteer at the Church. In retrospect it strikes me as sloppy security that they allowed someone to infiltrate so easily, but they did. While volunteering I got to observe several interesting (and remarkable) events. At one time while doing some filing I was able to observe a session of that very Communications Course I had worked so hard to resist enrolling in. The students were paired up across a long narrow table. The exercise was for one of each pair to say nasty insulting things to their partner across the table.  The partner’s job was to resist responding. Then they switched. I remember thinking at the time that it was a brilliant exercise; a stretching of normal interactions. I liken it to practicing free-throws from the top of the key so as to improve one’s shots from the free-throw line. If you can manage interactions at the extremes of behavior, normal communications would be that much easier. I could see how the Communications Course was probably really quite good.

On another occasion I managed to observe a presentation of self-auditing given by someone who had crossed the “bridge.” This guy was so advanced he could audit himself! So, he’s sitting up there on a raised platform auditing himself and suddenly breaks into laughter. He recounts that he just had a past-life memory of falling off a horse, in medieval times.

Did I mention that once someone has had their Reactive Mind cleared, they still may have to work on the Reactive Minds of their previous lives? Yes, reincarnation is firmly part of Scientology theory. Those that sign up for duty on the prestigious “Sea Org” sign a contract for — wait for it — one billion years. No lie.

* * *

An aside about this ability of Scientologists to access memories from past lives:

This facet of the cult’s behavior is actually instrumental in explaining something that defies rational explanation. Namely, when Scientologists reach OT-III and are shown L Ron Hubbard’s ridiculous grand space-opera revelation, how can they possibly buy into it?

In a nutshell, here’s the big reveal: 75 million years ago, Xenu, the dictator of the “Galactic Confederacy,” brought billions of his people to Earth in spacecrafts very similar to DC-8 jetliners, dropped them into volcanoes and then blew them up with H-bombs. But their spirits are immortal, and they adhered themselves to ... us, and are the real source of all our psychic problems that actual cause the engrams in our Reactive Minds. Or something. 
Bear in mind that these Scientologists have spent upwards of several hundred thousand dollars up to this point.

Tony Ortega, in his July 2012 Village Voice article, posits that the reason otherwise rational people can believe this is because they have already bought into “space-opera” stories — the ones they have themselves discovered in their self-delusionary auditing sessions. It should come as no surprise that with such far-fetched concepts already in the environment, people will quite naturally want to believe that they themselves were important people in their past lives. Hence past-life “memories” uncovered during auditing often involve events on other planets, including situations where they played pivotal roles in cosmic battles and such. According to Ortega, he knew of six Scientologists who believed they were Jesus Christ in their past lives.

Given that state-of-mind, believing in LRH’s big reveal about Xenu may in fact make perfect sense to them. Ortega is right.
For more info about Xenu and everything else Scientology, go to www.xenu.net, and be sure to read Ortega’s excellent Village Voice article.

* * *

And now a word about the actual work I was asked to do there while volunteering. Remember several passages ago where I said I knew about the infamous tactic of Scientology tracking down errant recruits who had left the fold? Well, that’s what I was tasked to do. I was told to go through their files and record the names of people who had not been contacted in some specific period of time (which I don’t recall... maybe a year or something like that). Those names would then be given to someone who would dutifully do their best to track down their whereabouts and reestablish contact, presumably by letter or phone call.

In the files I would see previous letters written to them. They were cheerful letters inquiring why they’d been out of touch? They would usually include some friendly comment about some item specific to the individual, such as “What did you think of the Communications Course?” or perhaps some message about something in their personal life.

While in those files I found some notable names, such as members of the Grateful Dead. I specifically recall seeing Robert Hunter’s file, and I can’t be sure about the others, but I know I saw one or two of the boys: Jerry, Bob, Phil or Billy.
* * *

And so ends my anecdotes. I will leave you with one last observation. That San Francisco Scientology office occupied several floors (at least two). It was always bustling with activity. All of the people had this unique science fiction-ey look in their eyes. It was scary. If you’re thinking now of Invasion of the Body Snatchers or some similar movie about a possessed population, you’re not far off the mark.

The classes that I observed, the clever exercises drills, all served to mold the minds of Scientologists. I remember having the impression of training people to operate at 100% efficiency, to be able to focus 100% of their mental activity to any task assigned them. A super effective human being — a “super-soldier,” as it were.

I left my little clandestine subterfuge with the sense that the Church of Scientology might be many things — cult, extraordinarily lawyered up criminal enterprise, winner of Best Bait-and-Switch Scam in Galactic Sector award for 43 trillion years in a row, an insane science-fiction author’s fantasy come to life — but it most definitely was not something to be laughed at.

# # #





[1] Tony Ortega, “Why do scientologists accept the Xenu story?” Village Voice. 21 July 2012 https://www.villagevoice.com/2012/07/21/why-do-scientologists-accept-the-xenu-story/  

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Who Controls the Gun-Controllers?

By Julian Edgens

In America we believe governmental authority comes from the consent of the governed, a concept that is meaningless if that consent cannot be revoked. If government has a total monopoly on force, then it's very easy for government to disallow the revocation of consent.

The 2nd Amendment, and the constitutional debate surrounding the Bill of Rights, makes clear that the purpose of prohibiting the infringement of the right to armaments is for just such a reason. The arguments against any standing federal armed force make it clear that it was they who the founders were worried about on this issue, not the common folk.

Of course, things have changed, and technology has accelerated greatly, meaning whereas in the past the army had access to comparatively tame firepower (black powder weapons), they now have access to missiles, drones, tanks, aircraft, and a high level of organization never foreseen in 1787 (though they were leery of any standing military). Civilian armaments cannot compete; even in just the area of infantry weapons, all but the most basic military weapons are banned or highly regulated. Clearly, if we're going to update the law in the spirit of the 2nd Amendment, by any standard civilian access to arms has fallen behind.

There are some who will, no doubt, point in horror and disbelief that anyone could say something so heartless after an event like Las Vegas. Don't I know that someone used a machinegun to murder a crowd of people? Yes, and we have already seen that miserable harpy use this as an excuse to call for the continued banning of suppressors, which has nothing to do with anything. The gun debate is punctuated by examples of evil people doing evil things, followed immediately by emotional calls to "do something." But we have seen in Europe that even a functionally total ban on firearms has done little to prevent mass killings.

"But don't you know that guns make it worse?" Perhaps, perhaps not. It certainly seems that way this time, but it didn't when Timothy McVeigh blew up a federal building in Oklahoma City. If he had decided to open fire from a bell tower he might have murdered fewer children. But such things miss the point. Banning guns in America is literally impossible for a host of reasons. Even if Congress passed a bill banning guns and the President signed it tomorrow, there would be major changes in how we operate as a country, but terrorists and deranged individuals intent on murder would still be there and they would still be able to accomplish their goals through other means.

Even if it were possible to eliminate all guns and to prevent all violence by terrorists and maniacs, there is another even more insidious threat: government violence against its own people. The 20th century should put to rest any doubts about this. Unchecked governments can and have killed their own people, and in staggering numbers. The estimates for the 20th century put the number of dead at over 100 million innocents.

So now we've come full circle. Do we truly want "dangerous liberty" or "peaceful slavery"? Even someone who knowingly chooses peaceful slavery might be shocked to find out being peacefully slaughtered is still in the cards. If you're defenseless, it always is.



# # #

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Microaggressions, Institutional Racism and Other Faith-based Tautologies

Julian Edgens


"Microaggressions" and "institutional racism" are both responses to the incredible dwindling of racism in America over the past century or so. Both are the result of those who thrive on combating racism or who gain meaning from their status as victims of racism not being able to point to enough obvious or compelling examples thereof. Both are what you might call "invisible" or "faith based" racism — racism that you can only see if you know where to look and have enough faith that it's there. They are of the same root as the hoaxes we have seen lately, where nooses or swastikas, etc. have been found to have been created and displayed by the very people who they are supposed to be directed against.

A microaggression is something that someone does or says that is taken as racist by an observer. It "reveals" that the person is secretly racist and pretty good at hiding it; or that they do not realize they are racist. The idea is that objective analysis of the thing done or said can't be definitively proven to be racist — otherwise it would just be called racism. But in the mind of the offended, this only reinforces just how insidious and genius it really is and how "blind" or "ignorant" someone really is if they can't or won't see it. Of course, literally anything anyone has said or done or will ever do or say can be taken this way if someone has decided to, because it is based entirely on the perception of a third party. Observation in the field shows this to be the case — I'll bet anyone who has had a political discussion on the internet with a lefty regarding race has seen countless examples of this.

Institutional racism is the same idea, but applied to statistics instead of an individual case. The beautiful thing about statistics, of course, is that they can be used to prove anything as long as the right information is examined and, just as importantly, not examined. Institutional racism takes any set of data that purports to show a disproportionate negative impact on racial minorities and then concludes that the cause is racism. No further analysis needed. Again, I'm sure anyone who has had a political discussion on the internet with a lefty will have seen plenty of examples.

Sadly, the left will use any of the above, declare that they win the discussion, and that if you don't agree you are sadly ignorant and/or the Enemy. There is no arguing with them, because anyone who seriously cites microaggressions or institutional racism as if it is evidence that's worth a damn has renounced reason.

The saddest part of all of this is that as the left froths at the mouth against white people and all this "racism", it encourages everyone to actually be racist — minorities because they are told they are constantly under attack, and whites because they are told everything they do is evil — that they actually are evil and there isn't anything they can do to change or absolve themselves of it. The left's desperate need to fight racism is actually creating more racism from both sides. That's a real tragedy because there are many awesome people of all skin colors who get lumped in together when we judge people based on... their skin color. Just one more example of why the left as a movement is morally bankrupt.

# # #

Monday, August 21, 2017

Yes Virginia, Antifa and BLM are Worse ...

“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.” 

—George Orwell, 1984

Yes Virginia, Antifa and BLM are Worse ...
Mark Charalambous


Since Trump had the audacity to mention that the “other side” at Charlottesville was “also very violent,” he’s accused of implying a moral equivalence between the white nationalists protesting the removal of Civil War monuments and the protesters that greeted them with clubs and rocks. He is guilty of the capital crime of “insufficient condemnation of Nazis.”

Politicians and political pundits elbow their way to the public square to proclaim their loathing for Nazism, denounce Trump, and prove their fidelity to the herd. 

We are now in the midst of an orgy of virtue-signaling. I am reminded of the scene in 1984 where the sheeple assemble in a propaganda hate-fest directed at Emanuel Goldstein, reaching catharsis after an orgasmic crescendo of mutual hate for the leader of the resistance movement.

Perhaps to preserve this moment of mutual admiration for our moral purity we should declare a new national holiday ... to ensure that “Never again will there be another Charlottesville”?

I propose “Virtue-Signaling Day.”

This continuous exercise in self-righteous collective moral masturbation can only be explained as a tremendous release of pent-up energy. The pressure had been building since the start of Trump’s presidential campaign.  It reached the boiling point when he won, and just needed one bona fide event of right-wing extremism to blow.

Alan Watts beautifully expressed the Buddhist existentialist notion of “now-ness” when he said “This moment is exactly what you’ve been waiting for!” I offer this slightly less profound abstraction: Charlottesville is exactly what the Left had been waiting for—and with a fatality to boot! 

How dare President Trump imply a moral equivalence between Antifa and Black Lives Matter and... Nazism?

Granted, the Unite the Right rally did include bona fide racists chanting anti-Semitic slogans, replete with their silly flags and regalia. But what kind of actual threat is really posed by the KKK and neo-Nazis today? The last neo-Nazi rally I remember hearing about occurred in 1978 in Skokie, Illinois. It was only newsworthy because they were defended by the ACLU. Alright, so maybe just because they average two marches every 39 years, maybe that’s ‘cause they wield so much power in the institutions of government, academia, the media, and the entertainment industry that they don’t need to hold rallies. Or maybe their real power is hidden—the nefarious man behind the curtain—pulling the strings of the dupes in government and industry, anxiously awaiting that “Order 666” signal to be given so they can dispense with the charade and take the reins of power.

Or maybe they are a tiny minority of ineffectual clowns, with no power anywhere but in their own “castles,” mutually reinforcing their own illusions with their secret handshakes at their secret meetings.

Where is the threat of white power? Where is the college professor that casually mocks Hillary Clinton in the classroom during the presidential campaign, assuming that no one in the room would object? Where is the Congressman tweeting her wish for the assassination of President Obama?  Where is the college professor tweeting “Let Them All Fucking Die” in response to a shoot-up of a black crowd by a white nationalist?

Where is the rabid gang of Young Republicans shutting down a university to protest a speaking engagement by a transgender rights activist?  Where are the Hollywood awards celebrating movies that criticize sexual deviancy, Islam, or the appalling degree of violence in black communities? Where are the calls for the extinction of the black race?

In case you’ve been living on Pluto for the past few years, these scenarios all have real-life analogues, but with left and right-wing antagonists reversed.


Back to that “moral equivalency.”  Racism and discrimination (under the law) are unquestionably un-American. But, it hasn’t always been so. In 1787 not only was slavery legal, but the voting franchise was restricted not just to men, but to men who owned property.  So when we call things “un-American” we have to be careful to qualify what we say to account for the evolution of our values and laws over time.

What about the “other guys”—meaning Antifa and Black Lives Matter? Let’s measure how consistent their values are with American principles.

These groups both have a track record. There is no uncertainty about what they do. For the past two-plus years the antics of these groups have been plastered across the news—for those willing to watch. Antifa has been the main instigator of the various riots at several college campuses. They embrace violence as a legitimate tool.

Antifa haven’t been protesting actual Nazis or even so-called white nationalists. They have been disrupting the speaking engagements of conservatives who have the audacity to challenge their worldview. People such as Milo Yiannopoulos, Ann Coulter, Ben Shapiro, and the criminology scholar Heather MacDonald. None of these people advocate for white nationalism, let alone Nazism. They simply disagree with the standard victim-feminism, black-victimization and Islam-is-the-religion-of-peace narratives. And it goes without saying that given the opportunity each of them handily destroys those tropes, which is why they have to be silenced.

So what exactly does Antifa oppose?  It opposes the very concept of the US as a sovereign nation. One of its slogans is “No nations, no borders, fuck deportation.” That’s why they’re often called anarchists. But that’s not all that’s on their short list. They oppose free speech—freedom of thought itself. And free speech is foundational to what is considered “American.” It’s enshrined as the first of the amendments in the Bill of Rights. It takes a back seat to no other freedom. It is the fundamental liberty, without which all others are meaningless (apologies to Second-Amendmenters).

So, quite frankly, there is no moral equivalence between racism and the threat posed by Antifa. Antifa stands in violent opposition to foundational American values. Antifa is the greater threat. It is by far the greater evil.

With respect to Black Lives Matter, that other equally violent pillar of the Left’s “Resist” movement, they stand accused of the very thing they ostensibly oppose: racism. They hate whites, the cancer of the human race, who need to apologize for their whiteness and pay reparations for their crimes. Borrowing the “privilege” meme from that brilliant victim-feminist thought contagion “male privilege,” whites are ordered to “own their white privilege” and denounce it.

This latest incarnation of black empowerment calls for segregation—in college dorms, graduation commencements, and now even in college freshman orientations. BLM has openly called for the killing of cops (“Pigs in a blanket, fry ‘em like bacon”), and the call is heard and answered. Sixty-four cops targeted and killed for being cops last year. Blacks are taking “community solutions for restorative justice” into their own hands.

BLM have also been instrumental in the disruptions of conservative guest speakers on the campus. They too, openly flaunt their rejection of free speech—for whites.

And what power is wielded by these left-wing groups? Are they impotent, like the white nationalists? Hardly. Local authorities and college administrators alike cower in compliance to BLM demands. Hollywood lionizes them. Politicians step aside to give them their podiums. The mainstream media bends over backwards to avoid criticizing them. It’s deny, minimize, then rationalize. And remember, the news correction that comes later (if at all) is quickly forgotten while the original “errors” live on as long as they lend credence to the narrative. And there is no correction for that most powerful of journalistic biases: omission. Just don’t report it. So while Fareed Zakaria refers to ISIS terrorists as “warriors,” the media put “Free Speech” in quotes when reporting on the Boston Free Speech Rally the weekend after Charlottesville (despite the fact that the organizers distanced themselves from white nationalism and invited speakers from both the Left—“true liberals”—and Right).

Since the Trump campaign began in June 2015, the Academy has made a mockery of free speech. How ironic that the birthplace of the Free Speech movement in the sixties, UC Berkeley, was the scene of the worst protest of them all earlier this year when Antifa, BLM and other barbarians successfully prevented Milo Yiannopoulos from speaking. Chanting “Hate speech is not free speech,” they set fires, threw Molotov cocktails and smashed windows at the Student Union building where the Breitbart editor was scheduled to speak. Not confining their “protest” to the campus, they also vandalized shops off-campus.

And since “domestic terrorism” has been brought into the conversation...

Violence and threats of violence against civilians?
Check.

... with a political objective?
Yes.

Can you be more specific?
Sure. Conservatives are targeted with violence to make people afraid of expressing their opinions if they aren’t in agreement with the politically correct “progressive” positions of the Left.

There is no question as to which of the two sides in the “battle for Charlottesville” is the most dangerous and poses the greater threat to the Republic. On the one hand is a group chanting “The Jews will not replace us,” who have no support in any segment of society—and on the other we have the mob. The barbarians who proudly proclaim their intolerance for any viewpoints that challenge their militant left-wing orthodoxy. The faithful zealots who fan the flames of racial animosity and openly embrace violence to silence any “infidels.” And yet it is these who are sanitized by the media and enjoy popular support.

The great danger is that the mob has the approval of the media, academia, Hollywood... all the institutions of society that frame the issues and shape public opinion. Who stands against them? Apparently only the alt-right.


# # #

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Movie Review: Wonder Woman A Solid Hit


Wonder Woman a Solid Hit
Gal Gadot Stuns in the Title Role
Mark Charalambous, June 2017

Yes, it’s true. Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman. I know it’s already a cliché, but this cliché has seldom been worn so appropriately. I cannot imagine another actress as Wonder Woman. Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman is indelible. She is simply riveting on the screen. That much was evident from her first appearance in Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice—owing mainly to her physical appearance. The directors chose a woman more reflective of the mythic origins; not casting a Nordic beauty like Lynda Carter, but a middle-eastern beauty. Gal Gadot is Israeli. The look is different from previous incarnations from both television and the comic books, and it works to perfection.

But the really good news from Wonder Woman is that Gal Gadot is not only perfectly matched visually to the role, her character is also beautifully written! 

This Wonder Woman is no smart-aleck, kick-ass gender-feminist seizing any opportunity to pummel men and ridicule our inadequacies while educating the audience on the evils of patriarchal oppression.  Rather, she is what would be expected of a woman raised in a world without men, of a warrior caste, and raised to fear and distrust the “other”: men. She is an innocent. And that is how she acts and responds to the Europe of WW1—as well as to her love interest, British military spy Steve Trevor, adequately played by Chris Pine.

Diana (she is not called “Wonder Woman” in the movie; presumably this will happen in the upcoming Justice League movie, the next in line from the DC franchise) was raised to believe that Zeus created the Amazons to protect mankind. A great conflict between the Gods resulted in the evil antagonist Ares, God of War, sowing evil, hatred and war among mankind. When she decides to accompany Trevor back to the “world of men,” it is with the explicit aim of killing Ares. She assumes that this will immediately put an end to all of mankind’s strife, including the “war to end all wars.”

Later, this belief is severely tested and leads to Diana’s epiphany that enables her to reach her next level as a warrior, when she will eventually team up with Batman and the other members of the Justice League.

Upon arrival in London, her innocence serves as a device for social commentary when she is exposed to the “modern” world. When Trevor’s secretary explains her job to Diana, she responds “Where I come from, that’s called slavery.”  Earlier, in Themyscira, the hidden Amazon island into which chance draws Trevor and the War, he shows her his watch and explains it's function. Diana responds by asking him why he needs a device to tell him what to do?

Under less skillful direction, these bits could’ve come across as hackneyed or contrived. But to writer Allan Heinberg and Gadot’s credit, they provide endearing moments of comic relief.

 (A word about Chris Pine. He made his bones playing Captain Kirk in the reconstituted Star Trek franchise. Clearly, he did his homework well.  Perhaps too well. If I closed my eyes I could believe Bill Shatner himself was speaking some of his lines. Pine has, perhaps inadvertently, adopted many of Shatner’s speech patterns, and even his facial mannerisms.)

Sure, Wonder Woman is replete with social justice messaging (besides Trevor her entourage includes a middle-eastern POC and a Native American), but Gal Gadot is so sincere, believable—and winning—in the role, that I don’t feel like I’m being hit over the head with it.

Naturally, Diana has plenty of opportunities to display her martial superiority to mere barroom thugs and heavily-armed German soldiers alike with only a sword, shield and her lasso. She is an Amazon fighting in the Great War. But that is to be expected. This is who the character is. What we don’t get is the typical absurdities we’ve come to expect from the genre, such as beautiful women in high heels and lingerie handily dispatching gangs of thugs. Cue Atomic Blonde trailer.

Yes, Wonder Woman fails the Taylor Test[1], how could it not? We are, after all, talking about an Amazon—the cultural archetype of a “strong woman.”  They and she, a 1940s comic book character inspired by the ancient Greek legend, are not products of present-day feminism.

(Parenthetically, it is worth noting that recent discoveries in cultural anthropology have unearthed evidence that the legends may have a historical basis. Evidence of a female-dominated culture of horse-riding archers has been found in Mongolia, where the descendants of the Sauromations of the Russian Steppes eventually migrated.)

You may have noticed the buzz of negative criticism for the movie from feminist quarters. A lot was riding on this movie. The standard screed regarding female superheroes (we can’t refer to them as “superheroines” anymore) in film is that ... for some unknown reason... they fall short at the box office.  There is a great resistance to acknowledging that—surprise!—superhero comics are primarily read by boys. Boys’ interest in superheroes is a part of growing up, anticipating their own entry into manhood; a way to vicariously imagine themselves as ideals of manly heroism.

For readers largely unfamiliar with the evolution of comic books over the past several decades, female superheroes in comic books often ventured into what, in a simpler age, would be called soft-core porn. With the advent of the internet adolescent boys now have images of the real thing to satisfy their hormonal urges, but it is quite clear from images of female characters such as Power Girl and Harley-Quinn that female superhero comics served that purpose. 



So, feminists eagerly anticipated this movie. After all, Wonder Woman is the mother of all female superheroes. They were hoping for a glass-ceiling event. A movie to level the playing field and show once and for all that men bear no inherent athletic superiority to women and boys should hold no monopoly on comic book superhero movies. And when it was announced that a woman would direct it (Patty Jenkins) ... well!

But spearheading an attack across No Man’s Land in the Belgian Front, handily trouncing armed German soldiers as well as thugs in London, and chafing against the oppression of women in “modern” society is insufficient. She isn’t a sexually aggressive, preferably lesbian, full-time advertisement for feminist righteous indignation at everything male. Additionally, she is designed to satisfy male concepts of female beauty.  

Here’s what Slate writer Christina Cauterucci wrote in her review:

“To me, whatever chance Wonder Woman had of being some kind of feminist antidote to the overabundance of superhero movies made by and for bros was blown by its prevailing occupation with the titular heroine’s sex appeal.
... By the time the action got too fast-paced and loud for any more characters to marvel at Diana’s fine bod and bone structure, I was about an hour past being sick of the ‘sexy lady is also hyper competent’ joke.”[1]

Excuse me, Ms. Cauterucci, but I think your penis envy is showing.

Furthermore, she’s white—and horror-of-horrors!—falls in love with a man.

What we got instead was a love story. A story with the message that love redeems mankind. The story of a man’s love for a demi-goddess, and a goddesses’ love for mankind—and the most bitter pill of all—a woman’s love for a man.

On top of feminist antipathy, opposition is coming from the Islamic quarter. Gal Gadot served in the Israeli Defense Forces, which is required of all Israeli citizens. She also publicly condemned Hamas in a Facebook post during military actions in Gaza in 2014. Hence, the movie has been banned in Lebanon and Tunisia, and was pulled from a film festival in Algeria.

Politics does indeed make strange bedfellows—with feminism and Islam being perhaps the strangest of all.

The ultimate message is one of love. That may sound trite these days—especially considering the turn taken by the DC movie franchises lately—but it is proving welcome to movie-goers and critics alike. Feminists will have to be content with the first successful female superhero movie, directed by a woman no less, that redeems a franchise. Sorry if it’s not enough. I loved it.

Wonder Woman is not a perfect film. There’s plenty to criticize.  But any flaws are more than made up for by a new screen star that commands your complete attention every moment she is on-screen. I look forward to more Gal Gadot Wonder Woman.

# # #




[1] B. Taylor. “An action/comic book movie is approved if it doesn't have a token scene where the lead female—unarmed and single-handedly—beats up a team of armed men, demonstrating superior martial prowess to the male main character/hero.”  Notes From the 3rd Rail: Civilization in the Crosshairs, Marcus Clintonius Americus

Monday, March 13, 2017

Book Review: Chaos Theory in a Tokyo Bar

Chaos Theory in a Tokyo Barby Pierce Timberlake

Mark Charalambous


With Chaos Theory in a Tokyo Bar, Pierce Timberlake uses a past event, an evening in a bar in Tokyo, as his launching point into another of his sublime meditations on the human condition.

The topic this time is the psychology of risk. Timberlake’s fictional alter-ego Thomas finds himself at age twenty in Tokyo visiting his parents, where his military father is deployed.  The impetus for his first foray into the nature of risk is a young soldier who more-or-less invites himself to their table.

The young GI is gung-ho to get to Vietnam, “where the action is.” Thus begins Timberlake’s first analysis of the human propensity to engage in risk.  Does a young man’s sense of invincibility merely stem from the seeming unreality of death, as its natural occurrence is so far in the future that its acknowledgement can’t find purchase in the mind?  Or is there more to it?

Timberlake springs backwards and forwards in time from the Tokyo bar to visit other moments in Thomas’s life when he confronted fear and took the road of recklessness.

There’s the ten-year-old Thomas who decides to swim off the northern California coast and may have encountered a shark. There’s the slightly older motorcycle-riding Thomas who takes up the gauntlet thrown down by a passel of teenagers in a Mustang on a dangerous 2-lane coastal road. Several other instances are recounted, each one leading into a further exploration of why people take chances with their lives.

The list of causes builds with each story. In his words:
“To the factors Thomas had previously considered that he thought could lead an individual into reckless behavior—egotistical paralysis that won’t allow you to deviate from a course once you’ve taken it; acclimation, when a minor risk increases gradually; social pressure—Thomas could add a fourth:  a tendency toward solipsism.”

Readers of Timberlake know that his philosophical excursions always lead into mind-bending spaces. Is the many-worlds theory of quantum uncertainty an expression of chaos theory writ loud across the multiverse? Is it possible than in near-death circumstances reality branches into universes where we do actually die, but then our consciousness transfers to an alternate universe where we continue our lives?

Timberlake’s thought experiments are guaranteed to stimulate the imaginations of the reader. My thoughts drifted to reflecting on how the size of the “world” increased non-linearly with each new scientific revolution.  First the “world” was centered on our globe with a firmament hiding the heaven that shone through its holes (the stars). The Copernican revolution (really renaissance, since it was known in the ancient world) expanded the size of the “world” by orders of magnitude. Further advances in astronomy revealed that each star in the sky was an actual sun, which may have its own planetary system. Yet another increase in the size of the “world,” by a greater order of magnitude. Next, the discovery of galaxies. Some of those stars were actually entire galaxies: another increase in the size of the “world”—now formally renamed the universe—again by even larger orders of magnitude.

What then about the multiverse? An infinite number of universes, a new one created with each quantum event’s collapse of its wave equation.  Such an increase in size of the “world” (after all, we can’t just use plain old pedestrian “universe” to describe this reality) is beyond human imagining. We have no hope of appreciating the size of such a beast.

Perhaps it is at this point that solipsism enters the picture. As our minds employ the scientific method to ever greater advances, refining and periodically overthrowing past scientific paradigms, we are forced to entertain the notion that perhaps we are not really perceiving the world (with ever greater accuracy) as much as we are actually conceiving the world.

This last cause of recklessness, solipsism, is further illustrated by what I found to be the most engaging part of the book: the account of Thomas’ off-and-on employment by the larger-than-life “Alan,” a truly colorful character.  Emerald smuggler? Drug smuggler? Hi-roller gambler. Perhaps bullshit artist. Probably all of the above in various measures, Thomas concludes.

Being myself relatively risk-averse, I find myself drawn to stories about those people at the opposite end of that spectrum. I recall being fascinated listening to a Vegas gambler on an NPR program recount a couple of days in his life in the casinos. It is inconceivable to me that someone could possess several hundred thousand dollars resulting from a good day’s gambling, and then under no coercion whatsoever lose it all the next day. This kind of behavior is not just anathema to me, it’s totally alien.

In one of Thomas’s excursions with Alan, his employer enters into a casino game called “Bank Bingo” in a bar in Panama. This is the quintessential story of the sucker lured into losing everything in a game where he is clearly being duped. They were not even familiar with this game. They “learned” it on the spot. I’m a sucker for harrowing tales of gamblers in the throes of losing yet unable to quit the game.

For the reader’s sake I won’t reveal how Alan’s “tryst” with Bank Bingo ends...

Timberlake’s last speculation is on Alan’s psychological makeup—what is it that drives people like him to take huge risks, to slough off hundred-thousand-dollar losses with just a wry remark? Perhaps it is a tendency to solipsism: the belief (not disprovable, by the way) that only YOU are real. Everything else, including all other people, is but a show for your benefit. Only you “exist” in the ultimate sense.  If solipsism is buried deep into your psyche, then your behavior ultimately doesn’t matter. Risky behaviors would be par for the course for such people.

Chaos Theory in a Tokyo Bar is a fine work. I look forward to more from Timberlake.


# # #

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Welcome to the Counter-Revolution


(The following essay is excerpted from the book:
Notes from the 3rd Rail: Civilization in the Crosshairs
by Marcus Clintonius Americus, now available on Amazon.com.)


In a speech that will live in infamy delivered to an adoring crowd at an LGBT gala fundraiser in Manhattan this year[1], presidential Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton identified half of Trump’s supporters as a “basket of deplorables.” She then specified in no uncertain terms what she meant: “The sexists… the racists… the homophobic… the xenophobic… the Islamophobic.”

The following weekend on Meet the Press those comments were described by one of the (liberal) panelists as “politically incorrect.”[2] But these very words—the ’isms and ’ophobias—are the very watchwords of political correctness. When used by liberal politicians and pundits they are an instruction to stop thinking: “Do not listen to anything that person has to say; banish them from our moral universe. We have done the thinking for you.”

According to this worldview, if you prefer to see pretty women in your television programs—that’s sexist. If you perceive affirmative action as a liberal’s idea of “good” discrimination, and thus oppose it on principle, you are racist. If your mind recoils at the thought of a weepy toddler clutching his teddy bear, creeping to his parents’ bedroom for comfort after a scary dream, and opening the door to discover his ‘dads’ engaged in anal sex, you’re a homophobe. If you believe the government has a responsibility to control immigration with a secure border, subject to robust and strictly enforced laws, you may be a xenophobe. If you fear Islamic terrorism, or disagree with President Obama and Hillary Clinton that ISIS has “nothing to do with Islam,” (after all, “Islam has been woven into the fabric of country since our founding”[3]), you suffer from Islamophobia.

Is it any wonder that Hillary’s “deplorables” responded overnight with “Proud to be Deplorable” T-shirts and Facebook memes? Hillary has unwittingly attacked mainstream America.

These words, “sexist, racist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobe,” are the very passwords into the cultural left’s zeitgeist. Using such words is a very clever tactic. Destroy your opponent’s legitimacy by defining him as suffering from an irrational fear of your particular self-identification or deviancy.

The Left use the words “diversity” and “inclusive” to establish the moral high ground from which to launch attacks on retrograde “sexist,” “racist,” “homophobic,” etc., Americans. Thus they stand in defense of the helpless victims of the various ‘isms and ‘ophobias. Diversity is also a device to justify a hiring or admission decision based on something other than merit—plausible deniability for rejecting the most qualified applicant. As employer non-discrimination clauses grow to absurd lengths, the same goal could be more easily met by specifying the one group it is okay to discriminate against, the one group not identified in any list of the “oppressed,” the one group not in the “Obama Coalition”: white non-Hispanic males… oh, and now, Asians.
In the identity politics sweepstakes, a scorecard is needed to make correct hiring and school admission decisions.

Identity Politics Scorecard
Black
+1
White
-1
Hispanic
+1
Asian
-1
Female
+1
Male
-1
LGBT
+1
Heterosexual
-1
non-Judeo-Christian
+1

By this tally, I am a “negative-three-fer.” As a college applicant I would need an SAT score 320 points higher than an African-American to gain acceptance to a private university[4]. As a job applicant I would be passed over by any female, black, or homosexual candidates that otherwise satisfied the minimum job requirements—especially in academia.
*  *  *  *  *

Is there a driving philosophy behind political correctness?

The guiding principle behind political correctness appears to be an omnipresent and abiding fear that things should not be as they are— that something has gone horribly wrong. “Social engineering” is required to redress the wrongs inflicted on a hapless humanity by … Nature? Why should women have their career aspirations handicapped by the burdens of childbearing? Why not men? Who ordained that men are more likely to pursue athletics and physically demanding work? Ph.Ds. in STEM fields should be distributed equally between the sexes as well as among the races. The fact that this is not so is proof of sexist and racist social constructs and “privileges.” 

Some have tried to decode political correctness by tracing it back to an academic artifice of the sixties known as “Deconstruction,” attributed to the French philosopher Jacques Derrida[5]. His ideas of meaning and words in language were extended into the socio-political sphere in the 1980s.

Others trace it back further to the “Critical Theory” philosophy developed at the Frankfurt School, an institute founded in 1923 to advance Marxism in Germany. Critical Theory seeks to confront the social, historical and ideological forces and structures inherent in our pathological, unreconstructed (along Marxist lines) societies. The Institute was closed by Hitler in 1933 and forced to relocate, finding fertile ground at New York’s Columbia University. It’s believed that much of the leftist turn in academia in the U.S. can be attributed directly to this transplanting.

There is no doubt that today’s identity politics and political correctness owe a debt to the Frankfurt School’s Critical Theory as well as to Derrida’s Deconstructionism, but are they the sine qua non? When Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton concocts a new government initiative to address racial iniquities, are they really consulting Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals? Is the feminist deconstruction of third-person pronouns into gender-neutral ones really all a communist plot?[6]

C’mon. Regardless of its origins, political correctness is a movement that now has a life of its own. It no longer matters which historical antecedents you prefer to cite or whom you wish to blame. Today’s social justice warriors aren’t thinking about Karl Marx or the roots of Critical Theory, they’re busy transforming their personal spheres of influence and landscaping our world, one binary-gender challenging pronoun at a time.
*  *  *  *  *

In practice, decisions based on political correctness require choosing the unfamiliar or underrepresented over the expected and conventional—or, dare I say it?—normal. Jobs requiring physical strength are traditionally dominated by men. Soldiering, policing, firefighting, construction. Under today’s diversity regimes, the physically weaker sex must be encouraged to fill these positions. Why? Because. In fields where nurturing, patience and empathy are at a premium, traits traditionally associated with women (for good reason), men are encouraged to apply.

Regarding race, the new paradigm is not a strict reversal of norms.  Anything dominated by whites should be incentivized for people of color. However, there are no inducements for whites in any field dominated by African-Americans. There is no affirmative action policy for the NBA or NFL.

These are all examples of identity politics point-scoring. Black favored over white. “LGBT” preferred over heterosexual. Female trumps male (except in U.S. presidential elections). Muslim before Christian (embarrassingly evident in refugee immigration policy[7]). Is there a pattern here? Is there a grand design behind this, or is it simply random mass insanity?

Cultural self-othering

Social scientists describe the process of “othering” as: the human tendency to believe that the group (race, religion, ethnicity, culture, gender, country, sexual orientation etc.) that they are a part of is inherently the “right” way to be human. This often results in hostility towards those not part of a group, as they can be seen as a threat or liability that is detrimental to the group's existence, creating an “us vs. them” mentality.[8] 

We in the West are undergoing a cultural self-othering. Our culture is “othering” itself! This is the unifying principal underlying political correctness that afflicts not just the U.S., but Western Europe. A culture turning against itself. Is this where civilizations go to die... like reality show Survivor “tribal councils” of attrition: the fittest eliminated after their contributions deemed no longer essential; their advantages outweighed by the threat they pose to the collective mediocrity of the remaining group?

Let’s take a preliminary look at each of Hillary’s “deplorables”—the cultural left’s toxic ‘isms and ‘ophobias, before they are further explored in the essays.

*  *  *  *  *

“The sexists …”

Feminist provocateur Alison Bechdel coined the “Bechdel Test” in 1985 to rate movies according to a feminist litmus test.[9] The three criteria for a movie passing the test are:

(1) it has to have at least two women in it, who have names, and
(2) talk to each other, about
(3) something besides a man.

But the actual trend in film and television with respect to gender has an entirely different complexion than that which causes Ms. Bechdel such angst. Feminists target “gender stereotypes” in the popular culture. Gender roles are being intentionally reversed. The strong, silent male lead has been replaced with the “strong,” often emotionally detached, female lead. The Hunger Games, Gravity, The Force Awakens. In each there must be a doting, weaker, man-in-waiting—or two of them in competition for the heroine (“hero?”). Speaking of heroines, feminists have convinced Hollywood that using the female genderized form of “actor” is sexist. “Actresses” no longer exist. Now there can no longer be any binary distinction; there are only “actors”—male, female, or presumably any of the other 31 flavors of “gender.”

Unfortunately, it is not just the male hero’s traditional manly virtues of strength, integrity, independence and his familial roles of builder and protector that have been transplanted to female roles. Often today’s female lead exhibits one or more of the baser traits usually associated with men: callousness, brutality, licentiousness, sociopathy and selfishness, and particularly sexual aggressiveness coupled with cavalier treatment of bed partners. Even James Bond displayed tenderness to his many sexual conquests. Today’s “strong woman” lead is often not so encumbered. “Do me hard… and there’s the door. I don’t do cuddling.”

Alison Bechdel may think she has seized upon a clever example of how our culture undervalues women, but the transformation of the entertainment industry under the prescriptions of feminism is far more pervasive and insidious.

Social critic Billy Taylor has countered with the Taylor Test, to rate the suitability of movies that don’t pander to politically correct feminist gender “corrections” as described above.

Taylor Test

(1) A movie passes if it has a positive portrayal of a father—and the mother is also an existing, active character in the story.
(2) An action/comic book movie is approved if it doesn't have a token scene where the lead female—unarmed and single-handedly—beats up a team of armed men, demonstrating superior martial prowess to the male main character/hero.

To clarify and underscore (1), he adds: “There are movies with positive father figures, but try to find one where he isn't essentially just a surrogate mother—i.e., the mother in the story has died or is nonexistent for some other reason.”

When the delusional feminist narratives of female superior physical prowess are repeated often enough, they are eventually believed. Until, that is, some intrepid researcher finds funding to study the correlation between police fatalities—both cops and perps—and female police officers.
   
*  *  *  *  *

The drumbeat of victim-feminism is never-ending. There must be an unwritten rule at NPR that a morning’s news isn’t complete without at least one story highlighting female empowerment triumphing over some manifestation of patriarchal oppression, or some other aspect of female victimization.

One of feminism’s more successful political memes has been the “war on women.”  It is repeatedly used to bludgeon male politicians and to specifically target the Republican Party. Once “war on women” is invoked the offender is immediately put on the defensive by a news media culture that reflexively panders to any claims of female victimization.

But the myth of a war on women is a fallacy of ginormous proportions. This egregious lie is in fact the exact opposite of the truth. Logic counters: It is impossible for there to be a war on women. Why? Because a war on men has been waging for decades, and if there was also a war on women, there is a war on everyone. This renders any “war on women” narrative nonsensical.

That there is a war on men, however, is indisputable once the politically correct blinders are taken off. Choose any domain: school, family, the workplace, the legal system. All are now arguably dominions of female empowerment. The “feminist jurisprudence” that proliferates throughout civil and criminal law arms a woman with the legal weapons to destroy a man, and virtually guarantees it in the gladiatorial arena of family law. (Refer to “Getting to ‘No’”.)

Feminism’s two highest priorities are the “freedom to choose,” i.e., the right to kill their unborn babies, and the promotion of sexual deviancy (aka “sexual freedom”). The line between pop culture and pornography is blurring. Before too long it will disappear altogether. Pop culture idols Miley Cyrus and Kim Kardashian, adored by millions of teens and tweeners, have both made explicit pornographic videos, freely available to anyone with an internet connection. It’s no wonder that “making a sex tape” is now a rite of passage for many young women. Compare with its counterpart of past generations: losing one’s virginity.

Having already achieved the goal of economic control over men via draconian child support laws and full legal ownership of the “means of reproduction,” the ultimate objective of overthrowing “the patriarchy” is exposed. The dismantling of the biological nuclear family, the basic building-block of society and the bedrock of civilization itself, may prove to be the ultimate act of the West’s self-othering.

We see the first fruits of the feminist War on Fatherhood in our African-American communities where two-thirds of black children are raised without their fathers. This leads us directly to …

*  *  *  *  *

“The racists …”

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) narrative holds that police use deadly force disproportionately with blacks because their lives are disposable —specifically, of less value than whites’. But the facts show that blacks are not killed by police in disproportionate numbers. Furthermore, the implied “racist” police are just as likely to be black or Hispanic.

According to Heather McDonald writing for the Wall Street Journal:

Four recent studies show that if there is a bias in police shootings, it works in favor of blacks and against whites Officers’ use of lethal force following an arrest for a violent felony is more than twice the rate for whites as for black arrestees, according to one study. Another study showed that officers were three times less likely to shoot unarmed black suspects than unarmed whites.[10]

On the rare occasion that BLM is held to scrutiny by news pundits—or, even rarer, politicians—the counter-argument invariably used is that the number of African-Americans killed by police is miniscule compared to the number killed in inner cities like Chicago, by criminals.  The gotcha question then posed to BLM is: “Since the overwhelming majority of victims of inner-city violence are African-American, why do you ignore this violence against blacks?”

It is an odd way to argue, as the same crime data can be used to point out the obvious: that blacks commit a hugely disproportionate amount of killings and violent crime nationwide overall. The shocking numbers of blacks killed in inner cities are not being killed by roving bands of white punks from the suburbs. They are killing each other. Time magazine somberly reports that 40% of deaths at the hands of law enforcement are black men—“though they make up only 6% of the U.S. population...”[11]  Peculiarly absent is the far more significant fact that this same 6% of the population is responsible for almost 40% of the nation’s murders.

The raw crime data (not statistically sampled) compiled by the FBI can be examined—to ends that would never be tolerated by CNN or The New York Times—to produce stats showing that the BLM black victimization narrative is a fallacy of ginormous proportions.

The 2010 census provides the following estimates for the U.S. population in 2015[12]:  

  •   Non-Hispanic whites were 63.9% of the estimated population.
  •   Non-Hispanic blacks were 12.3% of the estimated population.

FBI crime data (again, raw data) reveals there were 6,137 single-victim/single-offender murders in 2015[13]. For 112 of these (1.8%) the offender’s race is listed as unknown. If we crunch the numbers relative to the remaining 98.2% (6,025) of the known-identity single-victim/single-offender murders in 2015 we arrive at the following murder statistics:

  •  Non-Hispanic whites committed 48.1% (2,897).
  •  Non-Hispanic blacks committed 48.7% (2,934).

Blacks committed more total murders than whites even though the white population is 5.2 times the size of the black population. This means blacks commit more than five times as many murders as whites, in proportion to their populations. A little over twelve percent of the population is responsible for almost half the nation’s homicides (single victim-single offender).

If the numbers are broken down further by sex they produce a staggering indictment of black men. Black males commit 38.2% of the total murders, yet they make up only 6% of the population.  Black men are committing murder at a rate 6.4 times their proportion of the population.

(Note: The reason single-offender/single-victim data are used is because the data for all murders (15,326 in 2015)[14] has a very high percentage of “unknown” offenders: 31.2% (4,787). Presumably many or most of these are unsolved murders—which is a scary thought.  But more importantly this number is comparable in size to the raw numbers for murders known to be committed by whites (4,636) and blacks (5,620), rendering any statistical comparisons essentially meaningless.)

It is indefensible that these facts about black violence are completely ignored while the nation is self-flagellating over the supposed persecution of young black males.  In our inner cities the police are dealing with a deadly subpopulation. These young black males, usually bereft of a nurturing home environment with mother and father present, are often a hair-trigger away from lethal combustion. Of course there are going to be incidents where police officers react with fatal force due to rational fears.

The sad truth is that the African-American community in the inner cities is largely a broken one. Norms of civil behavior and moral conduct, including the simple intrinsic value of human life, have fled from the predominately African-American inner cities like Chicago and Detroit along with whites. The riots in Baltimore, Ferguson, Louisville and Charlotte revealed to television audiences nationwide the stark reality of a broken African-American culture. Looting, trashing and burning down their own neighborhoods, with callous disregard for the merchants who invest their fortunes to service the needs of these communities, these miscreants are stoking the fires of racial animus BLM is ostensibly trying to stamp out.

The statistics of social pathologies in black communities are legion. In the U.S. two out of three African-American children are raised without a father in the home[15]. In 2004, 8.4 percent of black males age 25 to 29 were in prison[16]. One in six black men have been incarcerated since 2001[17]. On any given day, 30% of black males between 20 and 29 are “involved” in the criminal justice system[18].  The dreary list is endless. The cause isn’t poverty. It’s not lack of “school choice.” Nor is it decades of Democratic Party local governance. And it’s not a racist criminal justice system that treats blacks disproportionally harsher. It is the direct result of the breakdown of the nuclear family with a male bread-winner, specifically, the absence of fathers. Men are socialized within the family unit. This isn’t rocket science. What has happened to the African-American communities in the last several decades should set off alarm bells for everyone supposedly concerned about “social justice” as well as public safety.

Ultimately the blame for the dire state of the inner city black communities must rest upon the principals themselves. However, the secondary cause, the one that guarantees its insolubility, is the response of the white liberal establishment. By reinforcing the sense of victimization in the black community ostensibly to conscious and unconscious “institutional racism,” they effectively prevent blacks from owning responsibility for their actions and choices.   As long as “racist policing” and “white privilege” can be blamed, why look at the relationship between fatherless households and gang violence? The message to African-Americans from the white liberal elites in the New York Times editorial office and the ivory towers of academia is that they are victims of institutional racism. Exhibit A: almost universal support among the liberal elites for Black Lives Matter.

Black violence matters. Unfortunately, we can expect politicians to continue to pretend it doesn’t exist, but we should demand more from responsible social scientists (what few there are). Alas… a cursory google search on “black violence causes” reveals the extent to which social scientists will go to avoid assigning blame where it belongs. Here are some of the “causes”:

  •   legacy of slavery
  •   poverty
  •   public housing
  •   joblessness
  •   failing schools

Following the Baltimore riot in April 2015, a video went viral of a black mother publicly assaulting her son after she recognized him as one of the rioters from the TV news reports. Cable news talking heads roundly applauded her. FoxNews court jester Greg Gutfeld cheerfully suggested to his The Five co-hosts that she be acclaimed “mom of the year.”[19]  But take off the PC blinders and a different truth emerges. Sure, few people would argue with the “ass-whooping” for what he did—but does anyone seriously think that this instance of corporal punishment was an isolated event? Does anyone even bother to wonder, ‘Where’s the dad?”  Not to suggest that this boy would not have joined the rioting if only his dad was in the home—though it might’ve positively affected the probabilities of same. But a single-parent maternal household is a severely stressed one.

Here’s the sensible take-away: This boy has probably been beaten by this “mother of the year” throughout his entire young life. Violence has probably been a lifelong companion largely because it has been modeled for him by his mother. The African-American culture is one with more than its share of violence, and it is evident in practically every aspect of it. Rap and hip-hop music is stylistically confrontational and assaultive; readily displaying in its musicality the belligerent nature of African-American social habits. (Refer to “Janay Rice and the Domestic Violence Narrative,”)

White liberal elites pander to the aggressive and even criminal popular black cultural memes. Witness Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins boogieing to “It’s hard out here for a pimp,” at the 2006 Oscars when it won the award for Best Original Song[20]. Contrary to all logic, such endorsement by whites of the baser elements of black culture is no longer welcomed—it’s attacked as “cultural appropriation.” African-American college students are demanding—believe it or not—to be segregated from whites to protect their cultural integrity. And colleges across the nation are actually accommodating these requests, introducing segregated dorms to alleviate the sensitive feelings of black students for whom the overall white, systemic racist culture on campus is just too… oppressive.[21]

Pandering to the false myth of black victimization and its corollary, the campaign against “white privilege,” is just one more example of our cultural implosion. Our great national heritage built from the founding principles of European colonialists is regularly pilloried by academics, its virtues replaced with the cults of multiculturalism and victimology.
Eschewing the role of fatherlessness as the chief cause of social pathology in black communities can rightly be blamed on feminism. To admit that children, especially black boys, suffer immeasurably without the father role model, is to admit the fraud inherent in the feminist myth of single-motherhood and the disposability of men.  And that, of course, could never be countenanced. Go to “the sexists…” Rinse and repeat. 
*  *  *  *  *

The homophobic …”

A bakery in Portland, Oregon is harassed, fined and eventually driven out of business because their Christian owners wouldn’t bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple[22]. Sweet Cakes by Melissa closed its doors in September, 2016 after being fined $135,000.

A similar case with a Lakewood, CO bakery, Masterpiece Cake Shop, is being appealed to the Supreme Court after the state’s highest court refused to hear the appeal.

An individual who believes they were born the wrong sex demands the right to be publicly accommodated according to his/her “true” “gender.” A nationwide campaign ensues to end the concept of male and female—i.e., “binary-sexed”—bathrooms.

The movement for “LGBT” rights is the latest of the cultural left’s seemingly never ending social justice movements. But I make no distinction between the LGBT movement and feminism—the former is the love-child of the latter, and would not exist without it. Destabilizing the biological nuclear family, the atomic unit of civil society, by attacking its weakest link, fatherhood, was always a prerequisite for a successful homosexual movement. There would be no gay marriage, “gender-neutral” bathrooms, or disfiguring of the English language by legal force if not for the “women’s liberation” movement. “Pro-feminist” males (in this instance it is appropriate to eschew “men” in favor of “males”) in the movement are only too happy to play subordinate roles to women as a further demonstration of their defiance of the masculine role inflicted upon them by Nature. As would be expected, the overwhelming number of gay married couples establishing families with children are lesbian.

The rise of feminism in a culture directly correlates with declining birth rates for a multitude of reasons. In Massachusetts, the birthplace of gay marriage in the U.S., homosexuals now account for 40 percent of all adoptions. The state agency that oversees adoptions, DCF (Department of Children & Families; formerly the notorious DSS), proactively promotes homosexuality. In 2006 they selected a gay (male) couple as Parents of The Year. Recently they issued new guidelines asserting they are now "setting new expectations; we are weeding out some of the ... destructive behaviors that are occurring," regarding foster parents who hold “traditional values.”[23]
Is it any wonder that Russia banned U.S. adoptions of its orphans in 2012?[24]

Recognizing that the promotion of homosexuality to children—largely as a consequence of the legalization of gay marriage and adoption—is one of the last wheels to fall off in our descent into social and moral chaos, we can exercise our imaginations to speculate on what leavings of normalcy remain to be jettisoned. Polygamy and pedophilia come immediately to mind.

*  *  *  *  *

The political successes of the gay rights movement rest largely upon the principle that human rights should never be subject to a popular vote, the so-called “tyranny of the majority” argument. That is, without any safety check, democracy allows a majority of citizens to effectively disenfranchise a segment of the population that is in disfavor for some reason or another. Sounds reasonable. What could be worse than the majority of the people voting in some law that targets a selected minority?

A lot.

Try a tyranny of the minority. This is when a minority segment of the population imposes an alien set of values on the majority, enforced with new rules. And this is what we have today, one more expression of self-othering. One more poisoned fruit from the tree of political correctness. A striking example is the disfigurement of the English language with thirty-one flavors of new personal pronouns, and imposition of criminal sanctions for noncompliance with same, coupled with bizarre rules for bathrooms, all to accommodate the mental illness of the teeny-tiniest fraction of the population.

Meanwhile, not resting on their laurels, our brahmins of normalcy in the APA continually float trial balloons to normalize adult-child sexual relationships.[25] Eventually, those that oppose it will be branded with another scarlet letter, another toxic “ism” or “ophobia” and cast into Hillary’s basket of deplorables. “Pedophobic,” perhaps?

Word to the wise: A people that can be convinced that procreation isn’t a prerequisite for any rational definition of marriage can be convinced of anything.
*  *  *  *  *

“The xenophobic … the Islamophobic …”

Turning to religious “deplorables,” our Christian heritage is regularly under attack by cultural leftists. When addressing the deadly toll on innocent human life due to ISIS and Islamic jihadism (or in his words, “global terror”), President Obama rarely mentions Christian victims. But he takes great care to offer accommodation to the sensibilities of Muslims. (Refer to “The Beginning of Wisdom is to Call Things by Their Right Names, Mr. President”.) In our brave new multicultural world, religions other than Christianity and Judaism are given special preference. One atheist’s contrived injury is sufficient to prevent a town hall Christmas Nativity display, while Muslims are increasingly accorded special public privileges, from prayer rooms to halal meals.

Proponents of embracing Muslim immigrants and refugees argue it is un-American—even unconstitutional—to oppose it (“That’s not who we are”—Obama, Hillary, Merkel, any progressive leader, take your pick). Their claim rests on one of the Left’s tenets of political correctness: the “commitment to diversity.”  But freedom of religion under the First Amendment, freedom from discriminatory treatment due to one’s religion, is guaranteed to U.S. citizens. Not Syrian or Somali refugees.  Edward Erler, political science professor at CSU San Bernadino, handily destroys these spurious arguments:

Rights and liberties exist only in separate and independent nations; they are the exclusive preserve of the nation-state. Constitutional government only succeeds in the nation-state, where the just powers of government are derived from the consent of the governed.
With respect to the commitment to diversity, the tolerance of those who are willing to tolerate you does not earn you much credit—it doesn’t require much of a commitment or sacrifice. If, however, you are willing to tolerate those who are pledged to kill you and destroy your way of life, tolerance represents a genuine commitment. Only such a deadly commitment confirms that tolerance is the highest value in a universe of otherwise equal values. Only such a deadly commitment signals a nation’s single-minded devotion to tolerance as the highest value by its willingness to sacrifice its sovereignty as proof of its commitment.

The common-sense citizen is forgiven for thinking this train of thought insane. But what other explanation could there be for the insistence of so many of our political leaders on risking the nation’s security—in light of what we see in Europe, one might even say their willingness to commit national suicide—by admitting refugees without regard to their hostility to our way of life and their wish to destroy us as a nation? [26]

I have often said that the West’s embrace of Islam is the crowning achievement of political correctness. We reject Christianity, a religion that certainly has its share of historical atrocities, but has evolved over the centuries along with secular humanism to the point where its good vastly outweighs any remaining defects. Gone are the days of the Inquisition, the burning of witches, the slaughter of infidels. The last Crusade ended in 1350. There are no Christian “Holy Wars.” No western nation imposes Christianity on its people. The sole Christian theocracy is a tiny vestige of the Holy Roman Empire, Vatican City in Rome, 0.17 sq. miles with a population of 840.

Yet the leftists that dominate the marketplace of social politics in the West have no problem embracing a religion that is the very antithesis of their own moral relativist cultural norms, one that promotes rules and punishments that are literally medieval. How is it possible for someone to champion her daughter’s lesbian marriage, endorse a campaign to destroy a business because its Christian owners won’t bake a cake for a gay wedding, yet passionately defends the “religion of peace” that, today, enacts the death penalty for homosexuality, among other atrocities too numerous and ghastly to mention?

In 2011 Robin Wright waxed effusively over the Arab Spring in the pages of The Smithsonian:[27]

For Muslims, that history now includes not only Facebook and Twitter, but also political playwrights, stand-up comics, televangelist sheiks, feminists and hip-hop musicians …
The youth-inspired upheavals of the euphoric Arab Spring have stunned Al Qaeda as much as the autocrats who were ousted. In Egypt and Tunisia, peaceful protests achieved in days what extremists failed to do in more than a decade.
“Today, Al Qaeda is as significant to the Islamic world as the Ku Klux Klan is to the Americans—not much at all,” Ghada Shahbender, an Egyptian poet and activist, told me recently. “They’re violent, ugly, operate underground and are unacceptable to the majority of Muslims. They exist, but they’re freaks.”
“Do I look at the Ku Klux Klan and draw conclusions about America from their behavior? Of course not,” she went on. “The KKK hasn’t been a story for many years for Americans. Al Qaeda is still a story, but it is headed in the same direction as the Klan.”

Not if ISIS has anything to say about it.

The Economist now dismisses the grass roots rebellions in Europe against Muslim immigration as “refugee-phobia.”[28] One wonders, how many thousands of YouTube videos of random Muslim violence on the streets of Europe can these people avoid?
*  *  *  *  *

In the U.S. the rebellion against political correctness first found expression with the Tea Party, and now Trumpism. The Trump partisans make no bones about what they hope for: they want Donald Trump to destroy establishment politics and with it the Republican Party, and replace the latter with something more aligned with the commonsense values of “Flyover America’s” working men and women. But owing to the Demo-publican duopoly’s vise-grip on electoral politics, it will take a force of nature for one, let alone two, new political parties to emerge. This is not the case in the European democracies and the UK, where their parliamentary systems accord greater flexibility.

Demographics is history. And history has no conscience. As a direct result of the Muslim inundation of Europe, nationalist populist parties have emerged to challenge the various social democrat-type parties that have dominated since WW II.  The political landscapes in Britain, France, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Austria, Italy, the Netherlands, and Sweden are all undergoing seismic changes. Establishment parties now compete, and even collude, to determine which will emerge to challenge the insurgent populist-nationalist candidate in the final election. There is no ambiguity whatsoever as to the cause: their governments have systematically ignored the realities of (1) the martial nature of political Islam as underscored by global Islamic jihadist terrorism, and (2) the disastrous effects of the influx of Muslims who make no attempt to hide their antipathy to the liberal western values of their host countries nor to restraining themselves from flaunting their opposition, up to and including violently, as well as sexually, assaulting native citizens. (On top of that, European governments have imposed a new, alien set of moral values conjured by feminists and sexual deviants, but I repeat myself.)

This willful blindness to what is happening in the streets of their cities has made the rise of populist-nationalist alternative parties inevitable. From the perspective of the self-flagellating European “progressives,” the logical, and karmic end to their misery would be their eventual submission to Islam. Here in the U.S. we have bought a little more time with the election of Donald Trump.
*  *  *  *  *

In the US we have pop star Moby, who hopes for a future child to be homosexual (though he himself is not)[29]. In Hamburg, Germany, a City Council member demanding more Muslim immigration predicts that her city, and country, will be non-German in “20, 30 years,” and proclaims “This is a good thing!”[30] The first is an unconscious wish for self-extermination—to rid the planet of this human pestilence once and for all. The other a semi-conscious, half-baked desire for cultural suicide.

If political correctness is an unconscious expression of societal suicide, such a thought contagion most closely resembles a religion—perhaps a death cult. Adherence to rigid thought control. Intolerance for heretic, anti-PC viewpoints. “Othering” of non-believers.

Our colleges and universities are the temples of political correctness. From them, the poison spreads into every corner of the polity. They are ideologically closed systems where the high priests and priestesses that inculcated the progressive “virtues” into their student vessels are now being excommunicated themselves for being insufficiently devout[31]. Like Robespierre, they are learning too late that the ever-spinning “moral” compass of social justice and identity politics takes no prisoners.

*   *   *




[1]  LGBT for Hillary Gala,  Cipriani Club,  New York City,  9 September 2016.
[2]  Meet The Press,  ABC,  Hosted by Chuck Todd, panelists included Tom Brokaw, David Brooks, Audie Cornish, and Stephanie Cutter,  11 September 2016.

[3]  Remarks by the President in closing of the summit on “Countering Violent Extremism,”  The White House, Office of the Press Secretary,  18 February 2015, <https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/02/18/remarks-president-closing-summit-countering-violent-extremism>.

[4]  “The model minority is losing patience,”  The Economist,  3 October 2015.
[5]  Jacques Derrida,  Of Grammatology,  (Original) Paris: Les Éditions de Minuit, 1967,  (English translation)  Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak,  Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976.
[6]  Jessica Bennett,  “ She? Ze? They? What’s in a Gender Pronoun.”  New York Times,  30 January 2016,  <http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/31/fashion/pronoun-confusion-sexual-fluidity.html>.
[7]  Patrick Goodenough,  “1,037 Syrian Refugees Admitted in May: Two Christians, 1,035 Muslims,”  CNCNews.com,  1 June  2016, <http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/patrick-goodenough/1037-syrian-refugees-admitted-may-two-christians-1035-muslims>.
[8]  “The Process of ‘Othering’,” Anthropology & the Human Condition, WikiFoundry <http://sc2218.wikifoundry.com/page/The+Process+of+'Othering'>.
[9] Dykes to Watch Out For: The Blog,  16 August, 2005,  <http://alisonbechdel.blogspot.com/2005/08/rule.html>, &
“The Bechdel Test for Women in Movies,”  Feminist Frequency ,  7 December 2009,  <
https://feministfrequency.com/video/the-bechdel-test-for-women-in-movies/>.
[10]  Heather MacDonald,  “The Myth of the Racist Cop,”  Wall Street Journal,  24 October 2016,  <http://www.wsj.com/articles/themythoftheracistcop1477261025>.
[11]  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,  “The truth about police violence—and the heroes and villains are among all of us,”  Time,  25 July 2016.
[12]  U.S. Census Bureau , AmericanFactFinder,  <https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_15_5YR_DP05&src=pt>
[13]  U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Criminal Justice Information Services Division (CJIS),  Expanded Homicide Data Table 6,  2015 FBI crime data,
<https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2015/crime-in-the-u.s.-2015/tables/expanded_homicide_data_table_6_murder_race_and_sex_of_vicitm_by_race_and_sex_of_offender_2015.xls>.
[15]  Louis Jacobson, Politifact.com,  29 July 2013, <http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2013/jul/29/don-lemon/cnns-don-lemon-says-more-72-percent-african-americ/>.
[16]  Race, Ethnicity, and the Criminal Justice System,  American Sociological Association - Department of Research and Development,  September 2007, <http://www.asanet.org/sites/default/files/savvy/images/press/docs/pdf/ASARaceCrime.pdf>.
[17]  “Criminal Justice Fact Sheet,”  National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, <http://www.naacp.org/criminal-justice-fact-sheet/>.
[18]  Paul Street, “History is a Weapon – Race, Prison, and Povery,” <http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/streeracpripov.html>.
[19] Josh Levs, AnneClaire Stapleton and Steve Almasy, “Baltimore mom who smacked son at riot: I don’t play,” CNN.com, 29 April 2015,  <http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/28/us/baltimore-riot-mom-smacks-son/>.
[20]  YouTube videos,  Award: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=du_01sqzsck>,  Performance: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OB1tqACl9Rg&list=RDOB1tqACl9Rg#t=103(18>  (November  2016).
[21]  Jeremy Beaman,  “Cal State LA offers segregated housing for black students,”   thecollegefix.com,  6 September 2016,  <http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/28906/>.
[22]  “Oregon bakery in gay wedding cake case closes,” The Register-Guard (Associated Press),  7 October 2016,  <http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/34872958-75/oregon-bakery-in-gay-wedding-cake-case-closes.html.csp>.
[23]  Amy Contrada,  “Massachusetts ‘weeding out’ foster & adoptive parents who won't support children's LGBT identities,”  29 July  2013, <http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/contrada/130729>.
[24]  “Russia’s Putin signs anti-U.S. adoption bill” CNN Staff, CNN.com, 28 December 2012,  <http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/28/world/europe/russia-us-adoptions/#>.
[25]  Judith Reisman,  “Is Pedophelia the Next Sexual perversion to be Normalized?”  lifeissues.net,  Winter, 2011, <http://www.lifeissues.net/writers/reis/reis_49pedophilianormal.html>.
[26]  Edward J. Erler,  Imprimus, October 2016,  <https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/who-we-are-as-a-people-the-syrian-refugee-question/>.
[27]  Robin Wright,  “The Struggle Within Islam – Terrorists get the headlines, but most Muslims want to reclaim their religion from extremists,”  The Smithsonian,  September 2011,  <http://www.smithsonianmag.com/people-places/the-struggle-within-islam-49960526/?no-ist>.
[28]  “State of disunion – Cheerleading for Europe has become an almost impossible job,”  Charlemagne (featured columnist),  Economist,  17 September  2016, <http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21707217-cheerleading-europe-has-become-almost-impossible-job-state-disunion>.
[29]  Brandon Voss,  Advocate,  “Big Gay Following: Moby,”  26 March 2008. From the interview: “… if and when I ever have children, I want gay children.” 
[30]  On Nov. 11, 2015 in Hamburg, Germany, Green Party councilwoman Stefanie von Berg addressed the city council on an issue regarding immigration and said: “Our society will change. Our city will change radically. I hold that in 20, 30 years there will no longer be (German) majorities in our city ...We will live in a city that thrives on having many different ethnicities; that we have plenty of people and live in a supercultural society. This is what we will have in the future. And I want to make it very clear, especially towards those right-wingers: This is a good thing!”,   YouTube video: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMDWAaxFnCA>. 
[31] Edward Schlosser, “I’m a liberal professor, and my liberal students terrify me,”     Vox.com,  3 June 2015,  <http://www.vox.com/2015/6/3/8706323/college-professor-afraid>.