Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Yeonmi Park: My Terrifying Escape from North Korea

Please watch this 12-minute video from Prager U.   It is extremely eye-opening.

Yeonmi Park: My Terrifying Escape from North Korea


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Monday, October 3, 2022

The Rise of Wokeness in the Military

Credit Line: "Reprinted by permission from Imprimis, a publication of Hillsdale College." 

This article is from the June/July 2022 issue of Imprimis. Get your FREE print subscription to Imprimis now! (click link to go to the Imprimis subscription webpage).


The Rise of Wokeness in the Military 

Thomas Spoehr 
Director, Center for National Defense at the Heritage Foundation

The following is adapted from a talk delivered on July 20, 2022, at the Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship on Hillsdale’s Washington, D.C. campus, as part of the AWC Family Foundation Lecture Series. 

Complaints by veteran soldiers about younger generations who lack discipline and traditional values are as old as war itself. Grizzled veterans in the Greek phalanx, Roman legions, and Napoleon’s elite corps all believed that the failings of the young would be the ruin of their armies. This is not the chief worry of grizzled American veterans today. The largest threat they see by far to our current military is the weakening of its fabric by radical progressive (or “woke”) policies being imposed, not by a rising generation of slackers, but by the very leaders charged with ensuring their readiness.

Wokeness in the military is being imposed by elected and appointed leaders in the White House, Congress, and the Pentagon who have little understanding of the purpose, character, traditions, and requirements of the institution they are trying to change. The push for it didn’t begin in the last two years under the Biden administration—nor will it automatically end if a non-woke administration is elected in 2024. Wokeness in the military has become ingrained. And unless the policies that flow from it are illegal or directly jeopardize readiness, senior military leaders have little alternative but to comply. 

Woke ideology undermines military readiness in various ways. It undermines cohesiveness by emphasizing differences based on race, ethnicity, and sex. It undermines leadership authority by introducing questions about whether promotion is based on merit or quota requirements. It leads to military personnel serving in specialties and areas for which they are not qualified or ready. And it takes time and resources away from training activities and weapons development that contribute to readiness.

Wokeness in the military also affects relations between the military and society at large. It acts as a disincentive for many young Americans in terms of enlistment. And it undermines wholehearted support for the military by a significant portion of the American public at a time when it is needed the most.

***

Let me give some examples of what I mean by wokeness.  

In 2015, then Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus rejected out-of-hand a Marine Corps study concluding that gender-integrated combat formations did not move as quickly or shoot as accurately, and that women were twice as likely as men to suffer combat injuries. He rejected it because it did not comport with the Obama administration’s political agenda.

That same year the Department of Defense opened all combat jobs in the U.S. military to women, and Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter committed to “gender-neutral standards” to ensure that female servicemembers could meet the demanding rigors involved in qualifying for combat. Since then, the Army has been working for a decade to put in place the gender-neutral test promised by Carter. But after finding that women were not scoring as highly as men, and under fierce pressure from advocacy groups, the Army threw out the test. Now there is no test to determine whether any soldier can meet the fitness requirements for combat specialties.

In 2015, near the end of his second term, President Obama initiated a change to the Pentagon’s longstanding policy on transgender individuals in the military. Before that change could take effect, the incoming Trump administration put it on hold awaiting future study. Subsequent evidence presented to Secretary of Defense James Mattis—including the fact that transgender individuals suffering from gender dysphoria attempt suicide and experience severe anxiety at nine times the rate of the general population—raised legitimate concerns about their fitness for military service. 

This led the Trump administration to impose reasonable restrictions on military service by those suffering gender dysphoria. But only hours after his inauguration in January 2021, President Biden signed an executive order that did away with these restrictions and opened military service to all transgender individuals. Since then, the Biden administration has decreed that active members of the military can take time off from their duties to obtain sex-change surgeries and all related hormones and drugs at taxpayer expense.

Along similar lines, the Biden administration has recently ended support for a longstanding policy prohibiting individuals infected with HIV from serving in combat zones. The policy had been based on sound science tied to the need for HIV medications and the danger of cross-infection through shared blood.

Physical fitness has long been a hallmark of the U.S. military. But in recent years, fitness standards have been progressively watered down in pursuit of the woke goal of “leveling the playing field.” The Army, for instance, recently lowered its minimum passing standards for pushups to an unimpressive total of ten and increased its minimum two-mile run time from 19 to 23 minutes. The new Space Force is considering doing away with periodic fitness testing altogether.

Back in 2016, Navy Secretary Mabus decreed that Navy sailors would no longer be known by traditional job titles such as “corpsman,” adopting instead new gender-neutral titles such as “medical technician.” The resulting blowback was so severe from enlisted sailors who cherished those historic titles that the Navy was forced to reverse the changes. But wokeness has a way of coming back, and last year the Navy released a training video to help sailors understand the proper way of using personal pronouns—a skill Americans have traditionally mastered in grade school. The video instructs servicemembers that they need to create a “safe space for everybody” by using “inclusive language”—for instance, saying “hey everybody” instead of “hey guys.” Can the return of gender-neutral job titles be far behind? 

Much of the emphasis of wokeness today is on promoting the idea that America is fatally flawed by systemic racism and white privilege. Our fighting men and women are required to sit through indoctrination programs, often with roots in the Marxist tenets of critical race theory, either by Pentagon diktat or through carelessness by senior leaders who delegate their command responsibilities to private Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion instructors.

These indoctrination programs differentiate servicemembers along racial and gender lines, which runs completely counter to the military imperative to build cohesiveness based on common loyalties, training, and standards. Traditional training and education programs used to combat racial and sex discrimination have been supplanted by programs that promote discrimination by replacing the American ideal of equality with the progressive ideal of equity—which in practice means unequal treatment based on group identity.

The Biden administration’s Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Michael Gilday, decided last year to add Ibram X. Kendi’s book, How to Be an Antiracist—one of the leading sourcebooks on critical race theory—to his list of recommended readings. To give an idea of how radical Kendi’s book is, one of its famous (or infamous) arguments is that “Capitalism is essentially racist,” and that “to truly be antiracist, you also have to be truly anticapitalist.”
 
Last year, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told the House Armed Services Committee, “We do not teach critical race theory, we don’t embrace critical race theory, and I think that’s a spurious conversation.” Despite repeated denials by Austin and others in the Pentagon that critical race theory is being taught in the military, there is no shortage of evidence to the contrary. 

Indeed, last year a senior officer in the U.S. Space Force, Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier, was removed from command for publicly describing the role of critical race theory in indoctrinating servicemembers at his installation. And just this summer, multiple media outlets reported on training materials on the problems of “whiteness” obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. One training slide read: “In order to understand racial inequality and slavery, it is first necessary to address whiteness.”

Congressmen have obtained curricular materials from West Point showing lectures titled “Understanding Whiteness and White Rage” and classroom slides labeled “White Power at West Point.” When challenged about this, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley became defensive: “I wanna understand white rage, and I’m white,” he said. “I’ve read Mao Zedong. I’ve read Karl Marx. I’ve read Lenin. That doesn’t make me a communist.”

The rationale for reading communist writings in the service academies in the past has been that by doing so, we learned about our Soviet enemies at the time and how they thought. How is that analogous to reading Leftist tracts accusing white people (including servicemembers)—just by virtue of their being white—of racism?

Last year, Secretary Austin alarmingly called for a one-day military-wide stand-down to address the so-called problem of “extremism” in the ranks, despite the fact that there has been no evidence presented—including in testimony by senior officials—that there is a problem of extremism in the military. Commanding officers were required to discuss the topic using a PowerPoint presentation that included Ted Talks asking the question, “What is up with us white people?”

Since 2008, the Air Force has created at least eight “Barrier Analysis Working Groups” to “create an inclusive culture regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, orientation, religion, or disabilities.” These groups include the “Indigenous Nations Equality Team” and the “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, or Questioning Initiatives Team.” President Biden signed an executive order in 2021 requiring all organizations in the military—as well as in the rest of the federal government—to create Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) offices, to produce strategic DEI plans, and to create bureaucratic structures to report on progress towards DEI goals. The overall goal, Biden said, was “advancing equity for all”—again using the Left’s euphemism for achieving desired outcomes through discriminatory policies. 

Wokeness also comes in the form of conflating the mission of the military with environmental ideology. A year ago, President Biden told a group of overseas Air Force airmen that the Joint Chiefs of Staff had determined that the greatest threat facing America was global warming—a claim the Joint Chiefs had to walk back. In the same vein, Biden signed an executive order imposing a massive regime of environmental goals and requirements for the Department of Defense. These goals included transitioning to all electric non-tactical vehicles by 2035, carbon-free electricity for military installations by that same year, and net zero emissions from those installations by 2050. As a result, the Pentagon recently announced it will devote over $3 billion of its already stretched-thin military budget to climate-related initiatives in 2023 alone. 

***

Although direct “cause and effect” studies on the impact of woke policies such as these do not exist, common sense suggests that the consequences for military readiness are dramatic. Spending billions on woke programs while the Chinese are outpacing us on hypersonic weapons, quantum computing, and other important military technologies is one piece of evidence. Recent reports showing the military’s dismal failure to gain new recruits in adequate numbers is another. Is anyone surprised that potential recruits—many of whom come from rural or poor areas of the country—don’t want to spend their time being lectured about white privilege?

These ideological policies move the military in a divergent direction from the American mainstream. In a recent poll of voters, for instance, 69 percent oppose the teaching of critical race theory in schools. Relatedly, Americans are increasingly losing confidence in the military. Between 2021 and 2022, the percentage of Americans who report a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the military decreased five percentage points, from 69 to 64. In 2012, this confidence level stood at 75 percent. 

The bottom line is that precious time and money are being poured into woke programs and projects that would be better applied towards making the military more capable. The billions of dollars that will be spent on Pentagon climate change programs, the time and money spent in creating DEI structures and hiring DEI commissars, and the time spent indoctrinating servicemembers in critical race theory and addressing an imaginary crisis of extremism in the ranks—all this detracts from the purpose of our military: preserving the security and freedom of the American people and nation. 

These costs come at a time when the current administration is not even proposing to fund the Department of Defense to keep up with the rate of inflation—and a time when serious threats from China and other adversaries have never been greater. 

Last month, Ramstein Air Base in Germany scheduled a drag queen story hour at its base library, where drag queen Stacey Teed was scheduled to read to children. When lawmakers back home got wind of the event and wrote to the Secretary of the Air Force, the event was cancelled. This suggests that pushback can be effective against the tide of wokeness plaguing our military. But there needs to be a lot more pushback.

Legislation introduced this year in Congress would stop the teaching of critical race theory in the military, the creation of the multitudes of diversity offices and officials, and the rolling back of physical fitness requirements. While the ultimate success of these proposals in the legislative process is uncertain, they are a start at least.

The American military remains a faithful and loyal servant of the republic. Most Americans are still proud and trusting of our military. But this trust and support cannot be taken for granted. If Americans perceive that the military is being exploited for political purposes or being used for experiments in woke social policies, that support will evaporate, and the consequences will be dire. 

My hope and my prayer are that we figure this out before it is too late. 


Credit Line: "Reprinted by permission from Imprimis, a publication of Hillsdale College."
 
This article is from the June/July 2022 issue of Imprimis. Get your FREE print subscription to Imprimis now! (click link to go to the Imprimis subscription webpage).


Sunday, October 2, 2022

Huge Scandal: Scientific Publisher Retracts Over 500 Articles

10-2-2022  By Tim Gamble

Hindawi, a publisher of over 200 peer-reviewed scientific and medical journals, announced that they are retracting a total of 511 papers published over the last two years. The publisher cited "unethical" activities and other "irregularities" that occurred in the peer-review process. 

Liz Ferguson, senior vice president for John Wiley & Sons, Hindawi’s parent company, released a statement on September 28 that read in part: "we identified that these irregularities in the peer review process were the result of suspicious and unethical activities."

Richard Bennett, vice president of researcher and publishing services for Hindawi, stated that their investigation uncovered "coordinated peer review rings" used to guide suspicious and faulty papers through the peer-review process. 

According to Ferguson, "These efforts, and the individuals who participate in them, impede scientific discovery, and impact the validity of scholarly research, and will not be tolerated."  In addition to retracting the papers, certain authors and editors will be banned from Hindawi's publications.

The scandal at Hindawi will likely deepen as their internal investigation continues. Hindawi is also now working with other scientific and medical publishers, and the scandal is expected to widen beyond just Hindawi. 

The scandal occurred during a time that the public was repeatedly and emphatically told by the media, government officials and other authorities "we must not question the science" and that the peer-review process was above reproach. Additionally, during this time Big Tech and social media openly censored many people, including some scientists and doctors, for questioning supposedly "established" science. 

In point of fact, the scientific peer-review process now stands exposed for massive corruption and bias. It appears that, as a group, scientists are no more trustworthy than politicians. 

Related Article: Question Authority - Don't Blindly Trust Experts

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Friday, September 30, 2022

Want to resist the Elite? Become more self-reliant.

9-30-2022  By Tim Gamble

Here is something to think about: The more self-reliant we are as individuals, families, and communities, the less need we will have for government, and the less power the Elites will have over our lives. This fact is is obvious to the Elites, which is why they have focused so much effort on attacking the concept of self-reliance, labeling it as too hard, unrealistic, unfair, and selfish, among other things. The Elites want us as dependent on government, and therefore on them, as possible.

This desire to control the people through dependence is why the Elites have dumbed-down our educational system, attacked Biblical Christianity, destroyed the traditional family structure, pushed the concept of victimhood, and promoted the welfare state. And it is why the survivalist mindset is so important.

Survivalism and preparedness isn't about heading for the hills, hiding from world. Instead, survival is about developing self-reliance as individuals, families & communities, so that we don't need government or the Elites. Not needing government takes away most of the power and influence of both elected politicians and unelected bureaucrats, as well as the lobbyists of the corporate world.
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Thursday, September 29, 2022

Where I've Been, and When I'm Coming Back...

 Apologies for my absence in recent months., but I've been dealing with some medical issues. The good news is I am improving and will be posting more going forward. Here is a brief video explaining more of where I've been, and when I'm coming back:


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Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Top FDA Officials Concerned About Vaccine Booster Timelines That “Make No Sense”

FDA documents confirm a politicized approval process for Covid-19 vaccine boosters

07-27-2022 (Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced yesterday it received 112 pages from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that show top officials being pressured by “companies and, for that matter the Administration, who try to impose timelines that make no sense.”

The records were produced to Judicial Watch in response to a February 2022 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) that was filed after HHS failed to respond to a September 3, 2021, FOIA request for records of Dr. Marion Gruber and Dr. Philip Krauses.

Drs. Gruber and Krause reportedly resigned during the White House’s push to approve the COVID-19 vaccine “booster shots.”

On September 13, 2021, Gruber and Krause were among a group of resigning doctors who agreed that, “Available evidence doesn’t yet indicate a need for COVID-19 vaccine booster shots among the general population …”

The records obtained by Judicial Watch include a series of email exchanges expressing concerns that the FDA was being pressured by pharmaceutical companies and the Biden administration to push forward Covid vaccine boosters without proper testing or review. In addition, Dr. Gruber expressed "serious concerns" about the test data they did have. 

“These FDA documents confirm a politicized approval process for the controversial Covid-19 vaccine booster shots,” says Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “It is a scandal that it took months and a federal lawsuit to these troubling facts about this unprecedented and seemingly never-ending vaccine operation.”

Through FOIA requests and lawsuits, Judicial Watch has uncovered a substantial amount of information about COVID-19 issues:
  • Recently, NIH records revealed an FBI “inquiry” into the NIH’s controversial bat coronavirus grant tied to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The records also show National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) officials were concerned about “gain-of-function” research in China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2016. The Fauci agency was also concerned about EcoHealth Alliance’s lack of compliance with reporting rules and use of gain-of-function research in the NIH-funded research involving bat coronaviruses in Wuhan, China.
  • HHS records revealed that from 2014 to 2019, $826,277 was given to the Wuhan Institute of Virology for bat coronavirus research by the NIAID.
  • NIAID records showed that it gave nine China-related grants to EcoHealth Alliance to research coronavirus emergence in bats and was the NIH’s top issuer of grants to the Wuhan lab itself. The records also included an email from the vice director of the Wuhan Lab asking an NIH official for help finding disinfectants for decontamination of airtight suits and indoor surfaces.
  • HHS records included an “urgent for Dr. Fauci ” email chain, citing ties between the Wuhan lab and the taxpayer-funded EcoHealth Alliance. The government emails also reported that the foundation of U.S. billionaire Bill Gates worked closely with the Chinese government to pave the way for Chinese-produced medications to be sold outside China and help “raise China’s voice of governance by placing representatives from China on important international counsels as high level commitment from China.”
  • HHS records included a grant application for research involving the coronavirus that appears to describe “gain-of-function” research involving RNA extractions from bats, experiments on viruses, attempts to develop a chimeric virus and efforts to genetically manipulate the full-length bat SARSr-CoV WIV1 strain molecular clone.
  • HHS records showed the State Department and NIAID knew immediately in January 2020 that China was withholding COVID data, which was hindering risk assessment and response by public health officials.
  • University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) records show the former director of the Galveston National Laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), Dr. James W. Le Duc warned Chinese researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology of potential investigations into the COVID issue by Congress.
  • HHS records regarding biodistribution studies and related data for the COVID-19 vaccines show a key component of the vaccines developed by Pfizer/BioNTech, lipid nanoparticles (LNPs), were found outside the injection site, mainly the liver, adrenal glands, spleen and ovaries of test animals, eight to 48 hours after injection.
  • Records from the Federal Select Agent Program (FSAP) reveal safety lapses and violations at U.S. biosafety laboratories that conduct research on dangerous agents and toxins.
  • HHS records include emails between National Institutes of Health (NIH) then-Director Francis Collins and Anthony Fauci, the director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), about hydroxychloroquine and COVID-19.
  • HHS records show that NIH officials tailored confidentiality forms to China’s terms and that the World Health Organization (WHO) conducted an unreleased, “strictly confidential” COVID-19 epidemiological analysis in January 2020.
  • Fauci emails include his approval of a press release supportive of China’s response to the 2019 novel coronavirus.
***This article is based on a press release from Judicial Watch dated July 26, 2022.

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Friday, July 22, 2022

Iran: House Churches Targeted

The following is an unedited press release from International Christian Concern (ICC). Please check out their website at www.persecution.org for more on the persecution and genocide of Christians around the world. 

Iran Cracks Down on House Churches

07/20/2022 Iran (International Christian Concern) – In the Muslim-dominated state of Iran, courts have recently targeted four more Christians for house-church activities. One Christian victim is Rahmat Rostamipour. Authorities arrested him in April. During his initial arrest, government agents seized his family’s phones, ID cards, tablets used for school, and other personal belongings. They also interrogated his wife for hours the next day. Two months ago in May, the courts sentenced him to five years of deprivation of social rights and a fine of 6 million tomans for “engaging in educational activities contrary to the holy religion of Islam by establishing house-churches.” This punishment is relatively light but still labels Rahmat with a criminal record and deprives him of a month’s worth of wages via the fine.

In another, even more proximate case, three Christian house-church members are standing trial today, on July 19, for a crime that they have already been convicted of. In their previous trial, the three men, Ahmad Sarparast, Morteza Mashoodkari, and Ayoob Poor-Rezazadeh, were sentenced to five years in prison. The crime in both their previous and present trials and for which they face significant jail time is “engaging in propaganda and education of deviant beliefs contrary to the holy Sharia.” The three men argued in a July 5 hearing that they “reserve the right to have a place for prayer and collective worship.

Though Iran’s constitution does recognize Christianity as a minority faith in the country, authorities do not recognize the Christianity of converts. These converts are not allowed to attend the churches of established Christian communities, such as Armenian and Assyrian Christians, leaving them with nowhere to gather for communal worship and prayer other than house-churches. But the unsanctioned nature of these house churches makes them vulnerable to government persecution, labeling them as offensive to Islam and a threat to national security. We pray that Christian house churches in Iran would find relief from the harsh persecution that they presently face and that members of house churches threatened with legal repercussions would find justice.

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China: Underground Catholic Church Demolished in Hebei Province

The following is an unedited press release from International Christian Concern (ICC). Please check out their website at www.persecution.org for more on the persecution and genocide of Christians around the world. 

Underground Catholic Church Demolished in China’s Hebei

07/20/2022 China (International Christian Concern) – A Catholic church in China’s Hebei province that is not sanctioned by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was demolished at the end of June.

On June 27, the authorities in Shijiazhuang city demolished the tent structure of underground Loyalty church, when its Bishop Dong Baolu was hospitalized for a medical checkup. He told Radio Free Asia“After I was admitted to the hospital, on Monday (June 27) they removed [it]. It has been more than ten days.”

ICC has reported earlier that Bishop Dong’s church faced demolition after local authorities had visited him and learned that he does not plan to join the official church. In his diocese, Zhengding, all the priests have been asked to join the state-vetted Catholic Church.

“Most of the [priests] in Zhengding diocese have received [preaching] certificates and signed the agreement. I am the only one left. Do you think they’d let me pass? I am the remaining one among more than 100 priests, certainly they will not spare me,” he told RFA.

His parishioners were concerned that he might be taken away, so they arranged for him to be away before the alleged demolition took place. As Bishop Dong foresaw, the demolition did take place during his absence. The parishioners did not resist the demolition that was done by workers hired by the government.

He thinks the reason behind the church’s current situation is related to the Sino-Vatican deal signed in 2018. “The Sino-Vatican agreement supports the official church, not underground church. This policy is as if when someone is sleepy, you hand him a pillow, perfect! Vatican has given [China] the opportunity to deal with underground church, now the government would be a fool if it does not handle [the underground church],” he added.

The Holy See signed a provisional deal with China on the appointment of bishops in fall 2018. The agreement permits the Chinese government to appoint its own bishops without pontifical mandate, although the latter would have to agree with the nomination.

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Comments Section No Longer Moderated

 7-22-2022

Ongoing problems with the comments section of my websites have caused me to make several changes and improvements. Most of the changes are "behind the scenes" and do not impact my readers. However, one change does impact readers: The comments sections are no longer moderated. 

This means anyone can post anything they want to post, and that post will appear almost instantly. If you don't see a post you just made, give it a minute and then refresh the page, and your post should appear. 

"Comments are posted without moderation. Use caution when following links, and beware of SPAM and fake links. Please keep discussions civil and on-topic."

Please note that links in the comments sections will not be checked, so always use caution. I personally recommend you NOT follow links posted by others in the comments section, out of an abundance of caution. Instead, use a search engine to look up the article, video, or website for yourself. 

I maintain the right to remove any comment or link for any reason, or to close down the comments sections entirely.

Thank you for your understanding,

Tim Gamble

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Friday, July 1, 2022

Attacks on Pro-Life Organizations Include Violence, Vandalism, and Threats

The following is an unedited press release from International Christian Concern (ICC). Please check out their website at www.persecution.org for more on the persecution and genocide of Christians around the world. 

Increased Hostilities against Churches and Pro-Life Groups, following Supreme Court Leak and Ruling

06/30/2022 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – On May 2, Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion, revealing the potential outcome of the ongoing Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health was leaked from the Supreme Court, alluding to the potential revocation of the Roe v. Wade decision allowing abortion for parts of the country. 

In the wake of the leak, many pro-choice Americans took to the streets, seeking to express disdain for the potential outcome. While rallies and protests were expected since Americans are guaranteed the right to express their opinions, a wave of hostility started against Catholics, who are doctrinally pro-life, and pro-life-leaning pregnancy resources centers. 

Rallying demonstrators initially threatened to disrupt Catholic Masses on Mother’s Day and to burn the Eucharist, as an attempt to punish Catholics for their convictions. Following through on their word, demonstrations outside Catholic churches took place, including outside the iconic St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan. 

The threats and protests were only the tips of the iceberg, as the intimidation continued to escalate. The first attack occurred in Southeast Portland, when a pro-life pregnancy crisis center was vandalized, leaving behind graffiti and smashed windows. Within days, two more were targeted: one in New York and another in a Portland suburb—both were allegedly firebombed. As of today, it is estimated that some 30 centers and churches around the U.S. have been targeted. 

On June 17, after being pressured by concerned lawmakers and several threatening communiques began to proliferate online from a left-wing domestic terror collective, the FBI announced that it would launch an investigation into this series of attacks and threats against pregnancy centers and several faith-based organizations. The group, calling themselves Jane’s Revenge, called for increased violence and a “night of rage” on the night of the Court’s final ruling. 

The weight of this case pushed these demonstrators to be bolder, as they sought to intimidate Protestants and Catholics alike and sway the future verdict. Their key message: “if abortions aren’t safe, then neither are you.” However, the fervor of many Christians remains steadfast in their convictions. 

This ruling was finally announced on June 24, confirming the leaked opinion. On the day of the decision, several Catholic churches and dioceses were reportedly notified by the Department of Homeland Security in an urgent memo, warning them of the “night of rage” threatened by the pro-choice demonstrators. While the night of the ruling came and went without catastrophe, many pregnancy centers and catholic groups remain wary of the months to come. 

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Thursday, June 30, 2022

RIP - Bunny Hop Gamble

 My dog died Monday. She was 11 years old - a half-Scottie, half-Yorkie mix. Having been around dogs my whole life, both indoor dogs and hunting dogs, I can say with certainty that Bunny was the smartest, sweetest dog I have ever known, with more personality than many people I know. She will be missed. 

Bunny Hop Gamble  Feb. 2011 - June 27, 2022

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Critical Race Theory (CRT) Propaganda at West Point

Training Slide Depicts Black Americans in State of ‘MODERN-DAY SLAVERY IN THE USA’

6-21-2022 (Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced yesterday it received 518 pages and 135 pages of records revealing critical race theory (CRT) instruction at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point. One training slide contains a graphic titled “MODERN-DAY SLAVERY IN THE USA.”

The records were obtained through two Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits against the U.S. Department of Defense, which were filed after it failed to respond to requests for records concerning critical race theory training at West Point and emails of LTG Darryl A. Williams, Superintendent, United States Military Academy, BG Mark C. Quander, Commandant, U.S. Corps of Cadets, U.S. Military Academy, and CSM Michael J. Coffee, former U.S. Military Academy senior enlisted leader.

The records include material about “whiteness:”

In order to understand racial inequality and slavery, it is first necessary to address whiteness
  • “White people and people of color live racially different structured lives” – Frankenberg 
  • 1) Is a location of structural advantage, of race privilege. 
  • 2) A standpoint or place from which white people look at themselves and the rest of society 
  • 3) Refers to a set of cultural practices that are usually unmarked and unnamed: 
          Take-for-grantedness of whiteness 
       * Privilege  lies in this

A slide in the materials is titled “By the Numbers” and has a graphic titled “MODERN DAY SLAVERY IN THE USA.” [Emphasis in original] It lists:

Blacks are more likely than whites to:

     Live below the poverty line

     Be victims of homicide (6:1)

     Be incarcerated (8:1)

Blacks are less likely than whites to:

     Have a college education

     Receive recommended medical screening tests

     Receive bank approval for a housing mortgage

     Own their own homes

     Receive a job promotion

Students are instructed that critical race theory, “Grows out of the field of law and studies the way that racism is built into and reproduced through the institutions that organize everyday life.”

Another presentation is titled “Education and Work Inequality,” in which one slide has a text box: “‘Race and the Invisible Hand’ How White Networks Exclude Black Men from Blue-Collar Jobs.”

Another slide in the presentation titled “Affirmative Action,” asks cadets:

Do you think Affirmative Action creates and [sic] environment for “reverse discrimination?” Use CRT to support your answer.

An additional PowerPoint presentation, includes a slide titled “Critical Race Theory and Policy” which describes critical race theory as having the following attributes:

  • Racism is ordinary.
  • Race is socially constructed.
  • White Americans have primarily benefited from civil rights legislation.

Another slide in the presentation is titled “Queer Theory and Policy,” under the general heading “Queer Theory.”

In the syllabus for a 3-credit Social Sciences Department class titled “The Politics of Race, Gender, and Sexuality,” an assigned reading text is “Critical Race Theory: An Introduction” by Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic. In the course description, the syllabus notes: “[T]he class will serve as an introduction to the theoretical concepts of post-modernism. This will include a focus on feminist theory, critical race theory, and queer theory.”

According to Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton “Our military is under attack – from within. These documents show racist, anti-American CRT propaganda is being used to try to radicalize our rising generation of Army leadership at West Point.

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Monday, June 20, 2022

A Siege Strategy To Take Back Our Institutions From Radical Ideologies

Credit Line: "Reprinted by permission from Imprimis, a publication of Hillsdale College." 

This article is from the April/May 2022 issue of Imprimis. Get your FREE print subscription to Imprimis now! (click link to go to the Imprimis subscription webpage).

Laying Siege to the Institutions 

Christopher F. Rufo 
Founder and Director, Battlefront

The following is adapted from a speech delivered at Hillsdale College on April 5, 2022, during a two-week teaching residency at Hillsdale as a Pulliam Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Journalism.

Why do I say that we need to lay siege to our institutions? Because of what has happened to our institutions since the 1960s.

The 1960s saw the rise of new and radical ideologies in America that now seem commonplace—ideologies based on ideas like identity politics and cultural revolution. There is a direct line between those ideas born in the ’60s and the public policies being adopted today in leftist-run cities like Seattle, San Francisco, and Chicago. 

The leftist dream of a working-class rebellion in America fizzled after the ’60s. By the mid-1970s, radical groups like the Black Liberation Army and the Weather Underground had faded from prominence. But the leftist dreamers didn’t give up. Abandoning hope of a Russian-style revolution, they settled on a more sophisticated strategy—waging a revolution not of the proletariat, but of the elites, and specifically of the knowledge elites. It would proceed not by taking over the means of production, but by taking control of education and culture—a strategy that German Marxist Rudi Dutschke, a student activist in the 1960s, called “the long march through the institutions.” 

This idea is traceable to Italian communist Antonio Gramsci, who wrote in the 1930s of “capturing the culture via infiltration of schools, universities, churches, and the media by transforming the consciousness of society.”

This march through our institutions, begun a half-century ago, has now proved largely successful. Over the past two years, I’ve looked at the federal bureaucracy, the universities, K-12 schools, and big corporations. And what I’ve found is that the revolutionary ideas of the ’60s have been repackaged, repurposed, and injected into American life at the institutional level.

Most Americans are shocked to discover this. We’ve all seen the outrage of parents over the past two years as they learned that their young children were being divided according to their skin color and deemed oppressed or oppressors in public school classrooms. Parents began expressing their outrage against critical race theory not only in school board meetings, but at the polls. This made big news in last year’s gubernatorial election in Virginia, and the demographic of the now-widespread voter rebellion shows that it crosses party lines. 

The Case of the Disney Company

There has been a similar response following the more recent revelations about the Walt Disney Company—a company founded 99 years ago and associated in the public mind with wholesome family entertainment. 

I’ve been reporting on Disney for more than a year, and I have good sources inside the company. I broke a story last year about Disney forcing employees to engage in a critical race theory training program that denounced America as fundamentally racist, had its white employees complete a “white privilege checklist,” and included exercises on “decolonizing” bookshelves.

Disney’s first reaction was to deflect. In response to accusations of racism, the company issued a press release denying the charge. Incredibly, it offered as proof the fact that it had produced the movie Black Panther—a kind of corporate variation on “I’m not racist, some of my best friends are black.” This ridiculous response suggests that Disney executives were caught totally off guard. The elites who run our institutions, after all, are not accustomed to being challenged.

Disney eventually deleted information on the controversial training program from its internal website. But all things remaining the same, the program will resurface. This wasn’t, after all, a case of well-intentioned people making a mistake. Leftist ideologies are now baked into the structures of these institutions.

A much bigger controversy began when the Disney Company waded into a political fight with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. DeSantis had signed a bill, passed by the state legislature, that prohibited teaching about gender ideology, sexual orientation, and sexuality in kindergarten, first grade, second grade, and third grade classrooms. Despite the fact that its opponents gave this bill an intentionally misleading name—the “Don’t Say Gay” bill—it is supported, depending on the questions used by pollsters, by between 60 and 80 percent of Floridians. 

Acting against its own apparent business interest, Disney—the most famous children’s entertainment corporation in history—came out publicly in opposition to this bill banning discussions of gender identity in elementary classrooms prior to the fourth grade. In an official statement, it declared that the company’s goal was “for this law to be repealed . . . or struck down in the courts.” 

Shortly thereafter, my sources at Disney leaked a video to me of an hour-and-40-minute company-wide meeting about the controversy. And what did the video reveal? In a series of unedited clips that I released on social media, an executive producer at Disney said that she had been inserting what she called a “not-so-secret gay agenda” into children’s programming, targeting kids as young as two years old, and had experienced no pushback. A production coordinator said that he had created a tracking program to make sure that the company was including enough transgender, non-binary, and asexual characters. The president of Disney’s general entertainment content referenced a Disney initiative declaring that “50 percent of regular and recurring characters across Disney General Entertainment will come from underrepresented groups.” And a diversity and inclusion manager talked about the company’s new policy of doing away with the terms “ladies and gentlemen” and “boys and girls” at Disney theme parks.

These discussions weren’t taking place in an Ivy League faculty lounge, but among high-level executives at Walt Disney. Americans were shocked, and rightfully so. The unmistakable gist of the video was that Disney was secretly trying to change, in a fundamental way, how children think about sexuality by engineering a narrative based on gender ideology.

Disney executives had marched into this controversy beating their chests, talking trash to Governor DeSantis, and committing the company to the overthrow of the bill protecting young children. But the leaked videos quickly generated over 100 million media impressions, and with public opinion heavily on the other side—not only in Florida, but nationwide—Disney was pummeled. People started canceling their subscriptions to Disney’s streaming service, canceling planned trips to Disney theme parks, canceling Disney cruises, and thinking twice about letting their children watch Disney movies. 

Elected officials noticed, too. The Florida legislature and Governor DeSantis have already revoked the special governance and tax status Disney has enjoyed since the 1960s. Disney’s stock value plummeted nearly $50 billion in less than two months. And now Members of Congress are asking why Disney deserves automatic copyright extensions on things like Mickey Mouse—copyrights that customarily have a 28-year limit. If Congress lets Disney’s various copyrights expire next year, it will cost Disney additional multiple billions of dollars.

Doing further research into Disney’s track record regarding children and sexual predators, by the way, I discovered that the company has a notorious pattern, going back over a decade, of having a significant number of its employees arrested for child sex crimes such as child pornography, child exploitation, and child rape. And although a company can’t be held responsible for everything its employees do on their own time, I was able to find two cases of Disney complicity. In the first, Disney authorities allegedly told a Disney security guard to keep her mouth shut when she discovered that a Disney employee was molesting a young boy on a Disney cruise ship. This allowed the employee to evade arrest, after which Disney flew him back home to India so he couldn’t be held accountable. In the other case, I found that the cruise trade association of which Disney is a member had opposed and then helped water down legislation that would have required Disney and other cruise lines to report sexual abuse on their cruise ships in a timely manner.

In summary, Disney’s record on the issue of children and sexuality casts doubt on its claim to moral authority.

***

The lesson I’ve drawn from reporting on institutions that promote ideologies such as critical race theory and radical gender theory is that they have been captured at the structural level and can’t be reformed from within. So the solution is not a long counter-march through the institutions. You can’t replace bad directors of diversity, equity, and inclusion with good ones. The ideology is baked in. That’s why I call for a siege strategy.

This means, first, that you have to be aggressive. You have to fight on terms that you define. In responding to opponents of the Florida bill, for instance, don’t argue against “teaching diversity and inclusion,” but against sexualizing young children. And don’t pull your punches. We will never win if we play by the rules set by the elites who are undermining our country. We can be polite and lose every battle or we can be impolite and actually deliver results for the great majority of Americans who are fighting for their small businesses, fighting for their jobs, fighting for their families.

Second, you have to mobilize popular support. This requires ripping the veil off of what our institutions are doing through real investigation and reporting so that Americans can make informed choices. We live in an information society, and if we don’t get the truth out, we will never gain traction against the narratives being constantly refashioned and pushed by the Left. 

Less than two years ago, an infinitesimal number of Americans knew about critical race theory. Through investigation and reporting, we’ve brought that number up to 75 percent. The public now opposes critical race theory by a two-to-one margin, and it is being hounded out of schools and other places. This kind of action is a model for dealing with every ideology and institution that is undermining the public good and America’s future.

Remember that institutions don’t choose these ideologies democratically—they don’t ask people or employees to vote for them. They impose them by fiat, through bureaucratic, not democratic rule. So it isn’t surprising that the institutions lose big when we force their agendas into the political arena. What politician or campaign manager in their right mind would ignore an issue that is supported by a two-to-one margin? So-called conservative politicians who do ignore such issues—or who oppose bringing them up out of a false sense of decorum—aren’t on the people’s and the country’s side. 

With public institutions like K-12 education, another crucial step is to decentralize them. It is centralization and bureaucratization that makes it possible for a minority of activists to take control and impose their ideologies. Decentralizing means reducing federal and state controls in favor of local control—and it ultimately means something like universal school choice, placing power in parents’ hands. Too many parents today have no escape mechanism from substandard schools controlled by leftist ideologues. Universal school choice—meaning that public education funding goes directly to parents rather than schools—would fix that.

Conservatives have for too long been resistant to attacking the credibility of our institutions. Trust in institutions is a natural conservative tendency. But conservatives need to stop focusing on abstract concepts and open their eyes. Our institutions are dragging our country in a disastrous direction, actively undermining all that makes America great.

To some extent, the institutions are now destroying their own credibility. Look at the public health bureaucracy and teachers’ unions, which acted in concert to shut down schools and keep children needlessly masked—and for far too long. As a result, there has been an explosion in homeschooling, as well as in the number of alternative K-12 schools such as the ones Hillsdale College is helping to launch around the country. What is needed is to build alternative or parallel institutions and businesses in all areas. There is no reason, for example, why plenty of high production value children’s entertainment can’t be produced outside the ideological confines of the Walt Disney Company.

In conclusion, we make a mistake in thinking about politics simply in terms of a Left versus Right dynamic. That dynamic is significant, but where the opportunity really lies today is focusing on a top versus bottom dynamic. An elite class, representing a small number of people with influence in the knowledge-based institutions, are acting in their own interest and against the interest of the vast majority of the American people—those who are still attached to the idea that America is a force for good and who think, to take just one example, that young children should be protected from the imposition of radical gender ideology.

In terms of the top versus bottom dynamic, the choice today is between the American Revolution of 1776 and the leftist revolution of the 1960s. The first offers a continued unfolding of America’s founding principles of freedom and equality. The second ends up in nihilism and demoralization, just as the Weather Underground ended up in a bombed-out basement in Greenwich Village in the 1970s. 

Even those of us who are temperamentally predisposed to defense must recognize that offense—laying siege to the institutions—is what is now demanded.


Credit Line: "Reprinted by permission from Imprimis, a publication of Hillsdale College."