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Friday, May 24, 2019

The Rage Less Traveled


On December 18, 2010, two female friends – one Christian and the other Jewish - were hiking together in the hills of Jerusalem when they were accosted by a pair of members from a Palestinian terror cell. Both women were bound and hacked with machetes until the Christian, Kristine Luken, was dead and the other seemingly so.
But in an incredible display of a bottomless will to live, Kay Wilson – with thirteen machete wounds, a crushed sternum, multiple rib fractures, bone splinters in her lungs, a dislocated shoulder and broken shoulder blade – got up and walked over a mile barefoot, bound, and bleeding until she reached help. She survived to testify against her assailants in court. The reason the pair was caught was that Wilson had managed to stab one in the groin with a penknife during the assault, and investigators linked him to the DNA in his blood on her clothing. The two monsters, who were convicted of other crimes as well, including stabbing another Jewish woman to death earlier that same year, were imprisoned for life.
The Rage Less Traveled: A Memoir of Surviving a Machete Attack is Kay Wilson’s relentlessly gripping, intensely personal story. You can find it on Amazon here (and here on audiobook) where the book has racked up dozens of exclusively 5-star reviews. Simultaneously raw and poetic, transcendent and unsentimental, The Rage Less Traveled is not a predictable book about learning to forgive your attackers or seeking interfaith dialogue with members of a Jew-hating ideology. The book acknowledges that evil exists and that there can be no coexistence with it. It is a story about the tortuous road through survival into the light. As Wilson said in her 2019 AIPAC address, “My story is Israel’s story.”
Ms. Wilson kindly agreed to answer some questions about the book and her shocking experience.
Mark Tapson:           You wrote that the media’s initial explanation for the attack on you and your friend Kristine Luken was that it was in retaliation for Israel’s assassination of a Hamas commander. But what was the real reason?

Friday, May 17, 2019

And a Little Child Shall Lead Them


In this recent video clip from a news channel’s interview with 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg, it is clear that the young girl has no special insight to offer, only canned platitudes (“If everyone does something, huge changes can happen”). And yet the older male interviewer fawns over his teenage subject as if she is a credible, informed expert and a wise Cassandra whose dire warning we ignore at our peril. He does so not in spite of her youth, but precisely because of it. Why? Because the leftist media, and the left generally, love propping up gullible, politically indoctrinated children as authoritative mouthpieces to promote their agendas.
Swedish schoolgirl Thunberg attracted worldwide media attention at age 15 for her activism against weather, and is now the deadly serious face of the left’s climate change hysteria. Recently nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, Thunberg is following in the carbon footprints of environmental activist Xiuhtezcatl Roske-Martinez who, at the age of 15, entreated the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 to take action against purportedly human-caused climate change.
After the Parkland school shooting in Florida on Valentine’s Day, 2018, student activists David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez (pictured above), 17 and 18 respectively at the time, were ubiquitous in the media coverage about the atrocity – not because their thoughts on the incident were any more insightful than those of any of their fellow students, but because of their forceful calls for stricter gun control and their eagerness to demonize the hated National Rifle Association. Parkland students who didn’t take a strong anti-gun stance quickly found themselves ignored by the news media. Hogg, whose bumper-sticker mentality proved to be no barrier to getting into Harvard, shot to prominence overnight as the face of the gun confiscation movement in America.
Jazz Jennings, born male in 2000, was only six years old when he began making television appearances – including an interview with Barbara Walters – to discuss his gender dysphoria. He went on to become the media darling of transgender activism, with his own reality TV show about transgender teen drama and his gender reassignment surgery. Similarly disturbing, child drag performer Desmond is Amazing has been the young, garishly made-up face of LGBTQ activism for years, celebrated as a trailblazer on national talk shows and in gay pride parades. He is only eleven.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The American President


In a campaign rally in South Carolina recently, presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg became the latest in a growing number of Democrat leaders who feel that disparaging America is necessary to inspire their base and prove their ideological bona fides. Taking issue with President Donald Trump’s triggering slogan “Make America Great Again,” Buttigieg declared that the America Trump “wants to return us to was never as great as advertised.” Something about the notion of American exceptionalism simply infuriates the left. Trump was savvy enough to realize his MAGA slogan would expose that anti-Americanism and would rally patriotic Americans to his side. One of the principal reasons Trump is sitting in the White House is “that he re-instilled in the common man that sacred presumption that the United States was, and still remains, an exceptional nation blessed by God.”
That quote is from New York Times #1 bestselling author Larry Schweikart’s brand new book, a biography of an American icon – Ronald Reagan, and actually refers to the book’s subject, not Trump. But like Trump, Reagan swept into the presidency in the wake of one of America’s worst presidents by appealing to a yearning to make this country great again.
At nearly 550 pages (including endnotes), Reagan: The American President, from Post Hill Press, is a weighty tome but a page-turning read about the beloved leader whose administration wasn’t perfect, but whose “magnificent, world-changing successes” included “defeating the Soviet Union, putting communist ideology on the road to extinction, and reviving a moribund American economy.”
The prolific historian Schweikart’s previous works include 48 Liberal Lies About American History and A Patriot’s History of the United States (co-written with Michael Allen), the best antidote to the radical Howard Zinn’s corrosive, anti-American work The People’s History of the United States, which has infiltrated virtually every schoolroom in America. Dr. Schweikart kindly agreed to answer a few questions about his new biography of the man many conservatives consider the great American president of the 20th century, and some the greatest of all time.
Mark Tapson:           What did you want to say about Ronald Reagan that sets your book apart from his many other biographies?

Monday, April 29, 2019

Hollywood Begins Eating its Own


For decades Hollywood, along with academia, has been one of the two prime movers of cultural Marxism in America: promoting leftist causes and narratives, undermining traditional morality and social structures, and rewriting history. Increasingly, showbiz is now being choked by its own wokeness – just as our universities are – as the social justice whiners have inevitably begun to turn on their own.
Hollywood is floundering. This past Easter weekend at the box office was the worst in more than a decade. The big studios with their mega-budget franchises (where would Hollywood be today without Marvel Comics?) increasingly have to resort to overseas profits to keep afloat. Showbiz awards shows, which have degenerated into self-congratulatory displays of anti-Trump virtue-signaling, have been failing spectacularly, posting record low ratings year after year. Trump Derangement Syndrome has caused celebs to publicly double down on their contempt for all those unwoke Americans in the flyover states, pushing audiences farther away than ever before. Meanwhile, independent flicks like Gosnell and Unplanned aimed at underserved conservative audiences are succeeding despite media blackouts and social media subversion.
Instead of engaging in some serious self-examination and concentrating on projects that might win back the American heartland moviegoer, establishment Hollywood is now preoccupied with proving its commitment to identity-politics ideology. Enforcing diversity of gender and skin color (but not of worldview) in all the “above-the-line” fields (acting, directing, producing, showrunning, etc.) has become the dominant consideration in the entertainment realm now. Actress Brie Larson, for example, says playing superheroine Captain Marvel is “my form of activism”; she has has spent almost every minute of her movie promotions slamming “white male critics” and speechifying about gender equality. “Oscars are so not white this year,CNN announced after a record number of non-white actors won awards in the 2019 ceremony. Deadline declared ecstatically that “Diversity was one of the biggest winners.”
Like all totalitarian environments, Hollywood is also purging itself internally of anyone deemed insufficiently woke. Likeable, nonpartisan comedian Kevin Hart, for example, was pushed out of hosting this year’s Academy Awards show because of a ten-year-old “homophobic” tweet. Actress Roseanne Barr was famously removed from her own show and denounced as a racist for joking that Iranian-born, Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett resembled a character from Planet of the Apes. And the industry which never tires of making movies condemning the Communist-era blacklist has taken up a blacklist in support of the search-and-destroy #MeToo movement. Showbiz hypocrites who slandered Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as a rapist yet who knowingly covered for, if not engaged in, decades of systemic sexual predation are now demonstrating they #BelieveAllWomen by shunning the suspects among them, even over unconfirmed accusations.

Apocali Now!


Never mind Islamic terrorism, illegals flooding our border, the rise of MS-13, and the opioid crisis – all the Democrat presidential candidates agree that “climate change” is the most imminent, terrifying threat facing America and the world. As their Party’s rising star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez put it recently, the world will end in twelve years if we don't address it.
Well, Evan Sayet has addressed it in a new book and his conclusion is that the Chicken Littles of the left have been whipping up one environmental hysteria after another for over 50 years (none of the dire predictions of which has ever come to pass) and they're at it again. The openly-conservative comedian and philosopher Sayet is perhaps best-known as the author of the enlightening and entertaining must-read titled The KinderGarden of Eden: How the Modern Liberal Thinks, expanded from a must-watch 2007 Heritage Foundation speech that has garnered over 770,000 views on YouTube as of this writing.
Sayet’s newest work is Apocali Now!, a faux children’s book illustrated by nationally syndicated editorial cartoonist A.F. Branco. The book humorously skewers the left’s perpetual fear-mongering about environmental apocalypses, but also manages to touch on their science denial, hypocrisy, totalitarianism – even the mainstream media’s “fake news.”
I asked my friend Evan some questions about the book and more.
Mark Tapson:    Let’s begin with your choice of medium. Why did you decide to take on the left’s “sky is falling” frenzies in a cartoon format?
Evan Sayet:     It was quite by accident. I was writing my next book, tentatively titled Countering Culture: The Left’s War Against All That Is Human, and I began to address all of the fake environmental disasters the Leftist media and others have employed through the years that not only failed to be the catastrophe that they, with their “authority,” swore they would be, but, in fact, barely materialized at all, and suddenly I found it all so ludicrous I was singing it to myself.
MT:        How did you hook up with A.F. Branco as your illustrator?
ES:         Well “hook up” has a whole different meaning these days so I want to make it clear that I have never hooked up with Tony. But, obviously, if this was going to look like a children’s book, I needed an illustrator and, if one needs an illustrator, one of the very first phone calls one makes is to A.F. Branco.
The fact that he instantly signed on meant two things to me. One, that I’d have someone who would make all of my pointed jokes only that much stronger and, two, given how in-demand he is, the fact that he committed to this project without hesitation made it undeniable to me that I wasn’t alone in seeing how important a project Apocali Now! is.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Why Calling America ‘Great’ Triggers the Left


When then-presidential candidate Donald Trump seized upon the campaign slogan “Make America Great Again,” he could not have more shrewdly marked the battle line where the election and the next four years of his term would be fought. Resonating with Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign slogan “Let's make America great again,” “MAGA” was perfectly calculated to galvanize Americans on the right who were fed up with eight years of predecessor Barack Obama apologizing for our country, denying American exceptionalism, alienating our allies, and empowering our enemies. It also was the perfect phrase with which to expose the seething hatred leftists feel for this country and its supporters. Trump won the election, no matter what the sore losers of both left and right insist, and two and a half years after he was swept into the White House by heartland patriots (which is exactly why the coastal elites want to eliminate the electoral college), his slogan continues to trigger the rage and animosity of America-haters.

For example: last week in an interview with MSNBC, a question about American greatness prompted a rant from Obama-era attorney general Eric Holder. "I hear these things about 'Let’s make America great again' and I think to myself, ‘Exactly when did you think America was great’?” he said on the network. “It certainly wasn’t when people were enslaved. It certainly wasn’t when women didn’t have the right to vote. It certainly wasn’t when the LGBT community was denied the rights to which it was entitled…

“You know, America has done superb things,” Holder continued. “It has done great things. And it has been a leader in you know, a whole range of things. But we are always a work in process and… looking back, ‘Make America Great Again’ is inconsistent with who we are as Americans at our best where we look at the uncertain future, embrace it and make it our own.”

The rant was a direct shot at Trump, his MAGA slogan, and American citizens who believe in this country’s exceptionalism. It highlighted the fundamental divide between the leftists who are determined to override human nature in pursuit of their utopian vision of human perfectibility, and conservatives who understand that people are fallen beings who can be both flawed and great. For the left, on the other hand, Americans cannot be great because we aren’t yet perfect; not only that, we aren’t merely imperfect but evil because we came by our unparalleled power and prosperity through the exploitation and oppression of others. Thus, we will never be truly great until we atone for those sins by diminishing our greatness.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Free Brigitte Bardot!


In America we are accustomed to celebrities publicly virtue-signaling their conformist Progressive contempt for flyover Americans and spewing their profane hatred of President Trump in interviews and social media. They have every right to do this, and without fear of government suppression, because the United States is (for now) blessed with a degree of freedom of speech found nowhere else in the world. Meanwhile in Europe, one of the most celebrated entertainment icons in France’s history has been criminalized and fined repeatedly for speaking her mind.
Breitbart News reports that Brigitte Bardot, former sizzling sex symbol and current fierce animal rights activist, is being charged – yet again – with hate speech and incitement to racial hatred, this time after condemning the religious practices of some inhabitants of the French-ruled island of Réunion near Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.
Réunion is largely Christian, but a Hindu minority still carries on certain rituals involving the gruesome sacrifice of goats, dogs, and cats. Animal rights groups have long condemned abuses there. The 84-year-old Bardot, who in 1986 created an organization dedicated to animal protection called The Brigitte Bardot Foundation, bluntly expressed her displeasure in a letter to the authorities of the island, in which she declared the practices to be “demonic” and sadistic, and labeled those responsible as “aboriginals who have kept the genes of savages.”

Unsurprisingly, the prefect of Réunion did not take this criticism kindly and called on the courts to indict Bardot for inciting racial hatred. Equally unsurprisingly, Bardot was unapologetic and declared that she fully intended to keep speaking out against the abuse of animals everywhere.

Scholar Blames Christchurch Massacre on – What Else? – Western Civilization


In the wake of the recent mosque massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand, Nick Riemer, a senior lecturer in English and linguistics at the University of Sydney, offered up a suggestion for preventing more such atrocities by presumed white supremacists: stop universities from promoting Western civilization.

In a Sydney Morning Herald opinion piece titled, “After Christchurch universities have a responsibility: abandon Ramsay,” Riemer argues that if “Australian universities really want to combat Islamophobia after Christchurch, only one course is possible: abandon Ramsay immediately.” He’s referring to the controversial Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation located in the University of Sydney. The Centre, funded by Australian philanthropist Paul Ramsey with the biggest education bequest in the country’s history, is controversial because it dares “to foster and promote an interest in and awareness of Western civilization,” according to its mission statement. As former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, a board member at the Centre, put it in an article at Quadrant, “The key to understanding the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation is that it’s not merely about Western civilisation but in favour of it.”

And for Riemer and the left in general, that, of course, is the problem with the Ramsey Centre. There is no community in the First World less in favor of Western civilization than leftist academics, the vast majority of whom are cultural and/or economic Marxists, multiculturalists, radical feminists, identity politics ideologues, or any combination thereof. All are committed to the deconstruction of the incomparable values, traditions, institutions, and unrivaled achievements of the West. For decades they have worked tirelessly to subvert our civilizational pride by equating the capitalist West with colonialist exploitation, the oppressive “othering” of nonwhite peoples, and the environmental degradation of the planet, among other evils. Any perspective that runs counter to their perverse viewpoint is simply demonized as white supremacism.

Riemer is alarmed that “despite all its claims of non-partisanship, Ramsay’s 2019 public lecture series overwhelmingly showcases the right.” Among his examples of right-leaning speakers are The American Conservative’s Rod Dreher – hardly an alt-right firebrand – and medievalist Rachel Fulton Brown, whom he decries as “notorious for her celebration of ‘white’ culture.” (The provocative article Riemer specifically references is one in which Brown sought “to push back against the negative image of the Western tradition that has become so prevalent in our national culture, particularly the way in which people have been talking for decades about ‘white men’ as if they were the source of everything repressive and intolerant.” For this, Riemer implies that she is a white supremacist.) It doesn’t seem to occur to Riemer that the reason a pro-West academic program might be showcasing right-leaning thinkers is that left-leaning thinkers like himself are almost uniformly anti-West, often rabidly so. Riemer himself, a member of a social justice pro-refugee organization which seeks permanent residency and full rights for refugees, has written that political neutrality in the classroom is “a fiction” and that teachers should not be “pressure[d] into hiding their convictions” – unless they are conservative, that is; that kind of thinking must be delegitimized, as he says of the Ramsay Centre. 

Sunday, March 24, 2019

The War to Destroy Christian America


Today, the free exercise of religion has ceased to be a guaranteed right in America. Instead, it has become a battlefield. – David Horowitz
For years, Morris County in New Jersey had been giving historic churches money to make repairs under an historic preservation program. In 2015, the State Supreme Court ruled that taxpayer funds should not be used to repair places of worship. A challenge to this ruling recently went before the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to hear the case, but Justice Brett Kavanaugh pointed out that “[b]arring religious organizations because they are religious from a general historic-preservation grants program is pure discrimination against religion.” This “would raise serious questions under this Court’s precedents and the Constitution’s fundamental guarantee of equality.”
This seems like a relatively minor, local issue but it is yet another instance of the fierce conflict referred to in Horowitz’s quote above. As the Freedom Center’s founder notes in his brand new book Dark Agenda: The War to Destroy Christian America, we are engaged in “a war against this nation and its founding principles: the equality of individuals and individual freedom. For these principles are indisputably Christian in origin. They are under siege because they are insurmountable obstacles to radicals’ totalitarian ambition to create a new world in their image.”
Those totalitarian radicals are today’s progressives. “Since its birth in the fires of the French Revolution,” Horowitz writes, “the political left has been at war with religion, and with the Christian religion in particular.” He knows this from personal experience. As a “red-diaper baby,” he learned early on that his parents and their leftist friends were true believers in a faith, but not one concerned with the fate of souls. The label “progressivism” masked their true religion, which was Communism, and their “cause was the salvation of mankind” – but “they thought of themselves as the redeemers, not God.”
As Horowitz demonstrates in his slim but compelling and disturbing new volume, the left’s ruthless antagonism toward Christianity stems from its own arrogant determination to shape the world according to atheist Karl Marx’s utopian vision of perfect equality and social justice (with Edenic environmental harmony thrown in for good measure). “Those who believe they are changing the world, or saving the planet, or transforming the human race,” Horowitz writes, “are intoxicated with self-aggrandizing pride.” Those afflicted with this arrogance, such as the so-called New Atheists like political comedian Bill Maher, condemn the violence and bigotry spread in the name of religion (especially Christianity; Islam is usually off-limits to condemnation partly because it shares an anti-Western animosity with the left, and partly because open criticism of Islam tends to get the critic targeted for death). But they “are blind to all the positive influences religion has had on human behavior, and they ignore all the atheist-inspired genocides of the last 250 years,” Horowitz writes. He rightly points out that the danger lies not in religion but in human nature; it is our flawed humanity that sometimes poisons religion, not the other way around.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Jussie Smollett’s Hate Crime


On October 25, 1994, a frantic young South Carolina mother named Susan Smith told police that her car had been carjacked by a black man who drove away with her two boys, aged three years old and 14 months. For nine days, with a nationwide search underway, she made tearful pleas on television for their safe return. “I wanna say to my babies,” she sobbed with her distraught husband by her side, “your mama loves you so much.” Finally her story unraveled and she confessed to intentionally sending her Mazda into a nearby lake with her two young sons strapped inside.
Apart from the unconscionable drowning of her own helpless children, Susan Smith’s story contained a racial dimension that tore at the nation’s social fabric: her false accusation that a black man had victimized a young white mother and murdered her innocent babies. It was an ugly but shrewd lie that exploited bigotry for sympathy in order to conceal her own evil.
On January 29, 2019, Jussie Smollett, a 36-year-old, gay black actor on the Fox drama series Empire, told police he had been assaulted outside his apartment building at 2 a.m. on a snowy Chicago night by two men in ski masks who identified him as the Empire actor, hurled racial and anti-gay slurs at him, draped a makeshift noose around his neck, and tossed some bleach on him before disappearing. TMZ reported that sources claimed the attackers had boasted to Smollett, “This is MAGA country”; he confirmed this in a follow-up interview with the police.
The story instantly made big news, but anyone not consumed by hatred for President Trump and his supporters immediately suspected a hoax because Smollett’s narrative lacked any credibility whatsoever. A pair of Trump supporters were walking the icy streets of Chicago at 2 a.m. with a noose and bleach (which inexplicably did not freeze in the literally sub-zero weather) when they recognized a little-known (to anyone but Empire fans) actor from a cable show that no white supremacist would watch, assaulted him without causing any more physical damage than a scratch on his cheek but managed to get a noose around his neck, and then made sure to announce that “This is MAGA country”? Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago is “Make America Great Again” country? Who knew?