Saturday, December 26, 2020

Friday Must-Reads

 Welcome back to another edition of Friday Must-Reads:

"Where Did the New Mad Left Come From?" - Victor Davis Hanson

"The Origins of Sexual Totalitarianism" - Carlo Lancellotti at First Things

"Old White Lives Don't Matter" - Rod Dreher at The American Conservative

"Peter Navarro vs. the Slavery of Lies" - Auguste Meyrat at Crisis Magazine

 "The Real Stakes of the War on Christmas" from my brilliant friend Bruce Thornton at FrontPage Magazine

"The University as the Woke Mission Field: A Dissident Women’s Studies Ph.D. Speaks Out" - Samantha Jones at New Discourses

Friday, December 18, 2020

Friday Must-Reads


On a couple of occasions in the past I made tentative attempts to post a weekly handful of articles I highly recommend about aspects of culture, politics, and history that personally appeal to me, but I didn't stick with it. I've decided to give it another go, starting with the links below, which are in no particular order:


Prayer, Beauty, and Civilization - from The Imaginative Conservative

The 'Dictatorship of Relativism' Has Arrived - from Crisis Magazine

Mask Mandates Are a Means of Social Control Through Social Isolation - from Stella Morabito. Everything Ms. Morabito writes is a must-read.

Are the Democrats Waking the Sleeping Giant? - from The Bookworm Room. My friend Andrea is one of the most thoughtful, interesting political bloggers you'll ever come across, so I recommend reading her at The Bookworm Room regularly.

The Tragedy of Transhood - from First Things

The Coming Tsunami of Hate Speech Legislation - from Crisis Magazine

The Scars of 2020 - from American Greatness. Anything by Victor Davis Hanson, of course, is brilliant and enlightening.

Check back for more next Friday. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

The War on 'Manly Men'

Amid all the election mayhem and politicized coronavirus hysteria of the past several months, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that the cultural realm, not the political arena, is where the deeper threat to our freedoms and civilization lies, because the culture is where hearts and minds are won or lost. The Left has always known this, but the Right tends to obsess over the political and scorn the cultural as trivial and unserious. If we never grasp how critical it is to engage the Left on that front, we will lose the Long Game. Let’s look at a couple of recent examples of one aspect of the Marxist assault on our culture in which the Left is gaining ground – their agenda to subvert our traditional norms of masculinity.

After what was widely touted in the media as a “history-making” appearance, Vanderbilt University female soccer player-turned-football kicker Sarah Fuller was recently named Special Teams Player of the Week by the Southeastern college football conference (SEC), along with Florida University player Kadarius Toney.

What did Fuller do to earn this honor? She “[t]ook the opening kickoff of the second half against the Tigers, as her perfectly-executed kick sailed 30 yards and was downed at the Missouri 35-yard line,” the SEC crowed in explanation.

That’s it. She was on the field for one play – not for a high-pressure, game-clinching field goal, but for a low, line drive of a kickoff that “sailed” a mere 30 yards. In all fairness, this kick was intended to be short in order to prevent a runback, but apparently, as a soccer goalie, longer kicks aren’t her strong suit: “[The short kickoff] was designed for her because that’s what she’s used to striking,” the head coach later tried to explain to reporters. And “perfectly-executed”? Perfectly-executed is the standard, not the exception, with kickoffs. One perfectly-executed kickoff is not an award-winning achievement – unless the kicker is a woman.

What would have happened if Vanderbilt’s opponents had returned the kick? “Football is not a contact sport,” the late Michigan State coach Duffy Daugherty is credited with quipping. “It is a collision sport.” At 6’2”, Fuller isn’t petite (it’s unclear what her weight is; she is the only player on the Vanderbilt roster whose weight is not listed), but it’s a fair bet that if one of the male Missouri blockers hurtling downfield at full speed after Fuller’s kickoff had targeted her, or if she had tried to tackle the ball carrier, the question of whether women can compete on a truly equal footing with men in a collision sport would have been settled in one single collision. To avoid that very possibility, Fuller jogged to the sidelines immediately after her kick.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Thought Criminal

The most compelling science fiction is that in which the core of the story is not the threat of hostile aliens or Death Stars, but the dangers posed by our own humanity. Think of the tales of Philip K. Dick, for example, or those of Theodore Sturgeon, or of course, Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. Such is the case with the just-released new novel Thought Criminal by author Michael Rectenwald, former New York University professor-turned-champion for academic freedom, and an expert on the intellectual history of the social justice movement.

In January of 2018 I interviewed Rectenwald for FrontPage Mag here about being outed as “the Deplorable Prof,” the man behind an anonymous Twitter account which he used to criticize the social justice ideology of his (at the time) fellow leftist academics. Rectenwald went on to publish a book about the shunning and harassment directed at him by his colleagues and the NYU administration, titled Springtime for Snowflakes: Social Justice and its Postmodern Parentage from New English Review Press, which also published his subsequent books, Google Archipelago: The Digital Gulag and the Simulation of Freedom and Beyond Woke. All are must-reads for understanding the totalitarian ideological currents of today’s Cancel Culture.

Rectenwald’s new novel is set in a near-future dystopia where personal robots keep constant surveillance and report any conversations or actions that reflect dissident thinking; where Smart Cities track your every move; where a massive, centralized database known as Collective Mind “has outmoded traditional higher education and made knowledge acquisition a matter of instant package downloads.” The Collective Mind also threatens to regulate all thinking and obliterate individual identity.

Not simply “a system of control imposed by an independent entity,” Collective Mind is a system that is “only possible when a collective became complicit in its own subjection and when the subjects imposed subjugation upon each other.” Think on this in the context of the current state of America today, in which a disturbing number of the population eagerly complies with useless, authoritarian mask mandates, and angrily shames those who do not comply.

As Thought Criminal opens, Cayce Varin, 48, has lost his prestigious position as professor of the Theory of Mind and AI-Neuroscience at Transhuman University in Santa Cruz, Region of California, over an affair with a graduate assistant. This very human transgression has also earned him a registration as a Thought Deviationist and Vaccine Resistor, and thus he is hauled in by robot law enforcement agents to the Essential Data complex, which houses the most important processors of Collective Mind.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Unmasking Antifa

The other day on Facebook a friend posted something critical of the domestic terror group known as Antifa, and someone came to its defense by echoing Clueless Joe Biden’s recent, bizarre declaration that Antifa is not an organization but “an idea.”

It is true that Antifa is not an organization in the strict sense, but Biden’s vague description is either stunningly uninformed or a weak attempt to deflect criticism from its masked militant members. I’m betting on the latter, because Democrat leaders have been curiously reluctant to condemn Antifa’s strategy of violence and intimidation toward the purportedly “fascist” supporters of President Trump.

To educate the Facebook commenter and Biden supporter who believes Antifa actually opposes fascism, I recommended the new book Unmasking Antifa: Five Perspectives on a Growing Threat, edited by the Center for Security Policy and featuring FrontPage Mag contributor Matthew Vadum, because there is no better dissection of the origins, nature, tactics, and aims of this anarchic “idea” and its dangerous adherents than this compact exposé.

As the subtitle suggests, Unmasking Antifa consists of five essays from a variety of experts about the movement that the book’s editor Kyle Shideler calls “a growing threat to the fabric of the American way of life and the inalienable rights of all citizens enshrined in our Constitution.”

First up is Shideler himself, whose testimony before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on the Constitution lays out Antifa’s history and ideology, organization and structure, and network of material support before answering the question, is Antifa a terrorist organization? Shideler concludes that it most certainly is, that “Antifa’s violent attacks against demonstrators, political rally participants, and journalists with the explicit purpose of intimidating and coercing them are clearly terrorism.” He states that the movement’s single-minded purpose is to use violence to “terrorize the general public into silence and inaction” politically. As former professor Mark Bray writes approvingly in Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook, “We may not always be able to change someone’s beliefs, but we sure as hell can make it politically, socially, economically, and sometimes physically costly to articulate them.”

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The Disunited States of America

Now that the Democratic Party and its media enablers have unilaterally and pre-emptively declared their empty-suit candidate Joe Biden to be the President-elect, and are eager to move forward with their fundamental transformation of the United States, the obligatory calls for unity have begun.

Biden himself presumed to deliver an election “victory” speech in which he made a plea so hypocritical that it would be comical if it weren’t so outrageous. “Now let’s give each other a chance,” he stated. “It's time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature.” Maybe that means he will stop referring to Trump supporters as “chumps” and will denounce Antifa violence against them as more than just “an idea.”

Biden went on to unintentionally acknowledge that his supporters have spent the last four years smearing us as fascist, violent, white supremacist deplorables: “And to make progress, we have to stop treating our opponents as our enemies,” he urged. “They are not our enemies. They're Americans.” This statement would seem much more sincere and meaningful if he had declared it at some point in all the time that conservatives were being harassed in public spaces and assaulted in the streets in the lead-up to the election.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama, too, took to Twitter recently to urge Democrats to reach out to Trump voters. This is how she phrased it: “Let’s remember that tens of millions of people voted for the status quo, even when it meant supporting lies, hate, chaos, and division. We’ve got a lot of work to do to reach out to these folks in the years ahead and connect with them on what unites us.” Even when calling for reconciliation the left demonizes conservatives as hate-mongers on the wrong side of history who need re-education camps to get their heads straight.

(To clarify: I use the terms “Democrats” and “the left” interchangeably, because the Democratic Party is not “liberal”; it is controlled by totalitarian radicals like the young members of “the Squad” in the House of Representatives. Conservatives are the classical liberals now. The only “liberals” remaining among the Democrats are waking up and #WalkingAway from their own Party’s illiberal radicalism.)

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Why History Matters

“The teaching of history is continuing to be transformed into indoctrination by illiberal, leftist propaganda,” writes historian Bruce Thornton in his new booklet Why History Matters from the David Horowitz Freedom Center. The result, he notes, is that “the abandonment of belief in objective historical truth makes possible a politicized history that legitimizes tyrannical power.” George Orwell dramatized this in his novel 1984, a fictional scenario that, Thornton warns, “has traveled a long way to becoming fact” in America today.

Bruce Thornton is a Shillman Fellow at the Freedom Center and professor of Classics and Humanities at California State University in Fresno. He is also the author of nine wide-ranging histories on classical culture and its influence on Western civilization, including The Wages of Appeasement and Democracy’s Dangers & Discontents.

Covering more ground in forty pages than some books do in several times that number, Why History Matters reaches back to the origins of historiography in Herodotus and Thucydides, and brings the reader forward to the current, dangerous trend of ideological history found in Howard Zinn’s ubiquitous, subversive work A People’s History of the United States and, more recently, The New York Times’ discredited but influential “1619 Project,” which falsely posits that America was founded “to ensure slavery would continue.” This sort of historiography “that villainizes our country,” Thornton argues, is a suicidal fashion that “insidiously erodes” our love of country, emboldening our enemies “to see us as weak and primed for a fall.”  

Bruce Thornton’s Why History Matters is a must-read for understanding how modernity has eroded our grounding in “the tragic truth about human nature,” and why we need a common history that gives us a context for understanding ourselves. “Without that perspective,” he writes, “the past becomes a Cubist painting, everything flattened on the canvas of the present… and judged in terms of present ideologies and political aims and interests.”

Don’t miss it. Get your copy of Why History Matters here.

From FrontPage Mag, 11/22/20

Sunday, November 8, 2020

The Left Goes Full-Fascist With an Enemies List

Even as last week’s election results are being contested and the Democrats’ massive voter fraud is being exposed, the supporters of empty-suit candidate Joe Biden are already claiming victory and chafing at the bit to implement their radical agenda.
And in contrast to his hypocritical call to “put away the harsh rhetoric” and unify Americans after the purported divisiveness of Donald Trump, Biden’s supporters have already begun threatening their political opponents with vicious retribution for supporting their #MAGA nemesis.

True to their totalitarian nature, newly-reelected New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other high-profile Democrats tweeted Friday that Trump supporters essentially should be blacklisted for their role in advancing his unacceptable agenda to make America great again. “Is anyone archiving these Trump sycophants for when they try to downplay or deny their complicity in the future?” the socialist Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “I foresee decent probability of many deleted Tweets, writings, photos in the future.

“Lol at the ‘party of personal responsibility’ being upset at the idea of being responsible for their behavior over last four years,” she added later. It takes enormous chutzpah to accuse Republicans of misbehavior in our current, thuggish “cancel culture” marked by rampant leftist violence.

“Complicity” is a loaded word, which she no doubt chose intentionally. It means participation in criminal or wrongful activity. The implication, of course, is that both President Trump and his supporters are not simply political opponents but are legally guilty of wrongdoing and must be punished.

In a democratic political system, one party “punishes” the other by beating it in elections. Losing the election – being denied the opportunity to implement your agenda – is the punishment. The opposing parties then move forward together in an often uneasy or even contentious coexistence until the next election. But totalitarians by definition reject coexistence; after seizing power they punish their opponents literally and brutally, out of pure vindictiveness and with the intent to eradicate any opposition once and for all.

Friday, November 6, 2020

ObamaGate: the Movie

As the Democrat Party moves from one duplicitous, often illegal anti-Trump operation to another without pause (such as presidential impeachment and massive, nationwide voter fraud), their earlier scandals – even recent ones – get pushed into the background of our memory. As an example: the Deep State sabotage of the 2016 Trump campaign and presidency known as “ObamaGate,” which President Trump described as “the biggest political crime in American history, by far.” Charles Lipson at Real Clear Politics wrote that ObamaGate’s abuses of power “represent some of the gravest violations of constitutional norms and legal protections in American history… The entrenched elites behind these scandals are the Swamp at its most sulfurous. They spied illegally on Americans and used powerful tools of government to damage the party-out-of-power, its outsider candidate, and then his new presidency.”

This would be great fodder for a gripping Hollywood drama – except that Hollywood doesn’t dramatize Democrat abuses of power. So it fell to conservative filmmakers, award-winning journalists, and bestselling authors Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer to capture the essence of the scandal on film for posterity.

Co-produced by the Unreported Story Society and Tom Fitton’s Judicial Watch, ObamaGate: The Movie, available to watch for free here on YouTube, exposes the Deep State plot to subvert the Trump candidacy and presidency, and lays bare the lies behind the Russian collusion hoax relentlessly perpetuated by the Democrats and their abettors in the mainstream news media. Filmed in Los Angeles on the Comedy Central stage at the Hudson Theater, it stars openly-conservative actor Dean Cain, best-known as TV’s Superman, and Kristy Swanson, star of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie, as “FBI lovebird” agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. It also features familiar face John James from the Dynasty TV series as Obama administration FBI Director James Comey.

McElhinney and McAleer founded The Unreported Story Society in 2017 “with a mission to tell the stories that the mainstream media ignores through art and modern media,” as the website states. The Unreported Story Society has created successful plays like FBI Lovebirds: Undercovers and has produced several podcasts such as The Ann & Phelim Scoop. McElhinney and McAleer are best known for their films Fracknation and Gosnell, which I reviewed here, based on their compelling book of the same name (which I also reviewed, here).

Friday, October 30, 2020

Cultural Marxism for Kids: The Left’s Subversive Weapon of Mass Instruction

My friend, filmmaker Gloria Z. Greenfield​, started a blog last month called "Deep Dives into Critical Issues" at her Doc Emet Productions website. This month I'm honored to be the contributor. Check it out below, and check out her site while you're there. Most of all, check out her important documentaries like 'Fight of Our Lives.'

* * *

In a revealing 2013 network promo, then-host Melissa Harris-Perry of MSNBC caused a stir by declaring, in the context of children’s education, “We’ve always had kind of a private notion of children: ‘Your kid is yours, and totally your responsibility.’ We haven’t had a very collective notion that these are our children… We have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to whole communities.”

Conservative critics such as Glenn Beck pounced on this eyebrow-raising statement as evidence that the left is hostile to the sanctity of the nuclear family and has ideologically predatory designs on our children. Harris-Perry tried to backtrack, dismissing these concerns as overreactions and claiming she merely meant that we should all take responsibility for ensuring that our kids grow up in safe neighborhoods and good schools.

Had she phrased it that way in the promo, no one would have objected; who doesn’t want our kids to have safe neighborhoods and good schools? But she didn’t. She clearly, explicitly stated that our children and society are better served if we break the private bonds of the traditional family model, and instead adopt the collectivist view that kids should be shared by the entire community. In other words, as then-First Lady Hillary Clinton put it in a 1996 book title, “It Takes a Village” to raise our children.

Harris-Perry, who has a Ph.D. from Duke University and taught political science at Princeton, is no dummy. You don’t get to host your own political talk show on a major cable TV network unless you are skilled at articulating your messaging. And this was undoubtedly a carefully-scripted and -vetted network promo, not an off-the-cuff remark. It is difficult to believe that both she and MSNBC were clueless or careless about the content of its message. On the contrary – Harris-Perry’s disingenuous reassurances notwithstanding – this promo was crafted to signal to MSNBC’s Progressive audience that she and the network represent their forward-looking vision, as opposed to the hidebound worldview of the capitalist oppressors at Fox News.

Today’s Progressivism is simply rebranded communism, a central strategy of which was what Karl Marx openly labeled “the abolition of the family.” For Marx, the bourgeois family structure was inextricably linked to “private gain,” both of which must “vanish” to liberate humanity from its serfdom. “The family deprives the worker of revolutionary consciousness,” wrote Marxist theorist Aleksandra Kollontai, and therefore must be discarded. Marx’s co-author Friedrich Engels wrote that when the proletariat revolts and transfers the means of production to common ownership, “the single family ceases to be the economic unit of society. Private housekeeping is transformed into a social industry. The care and education of the children becomes a public affair; society looks after all children alike, whether they are legitimate or not” [emphasis added]. This is the utopian ideal Melissa Harris-Perry was hinting at in her promo (the tagline for which was “Lean Forward”).

Communists single out the family for elimination because, as the fundamental bond of humanity, it is the most formidable line of defense against totalitarian state control, which is the inevitable end of any attempt to fashion a collectivist utopia. To destroy the family, the American left has undertaken a decades-long campaign to denigrate marriage and motherhood, to obliterate gender distinctions, to delegitimize traditional masculinity – and perhaps most importantly, to indoctrinate younger generations into a new, “woke” worldview that is at irreconcilable odds with the capitalist, Judeo-Christian value system of their parents and grandparents.

Friday, October 23, 2020

20 Days to Save the USA

I'm honored to be one of the speakers at this ongoing event, 20 Days to Save the USA, which includes people like Dinesh D'Souza, Franklin Graham, Movieguide's Ted Baehr, Sheriff David Clarke, Kevin Jackson, Jihad Watch's Robert Spencer, Gen. Jerry Boykin, and lots more.

I'm scheduled for a 15 min. pre-recorded talk on cultural Marxism this Friday evening 10/23 at 7:34 p.m. Find out more at this link.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Trump Card

Perhaps the most overarching choice facing American voters in the upcoming presidential election is, which vision of the future do we want to embrace for our country: capitalism or socialism? The choice is just that stark and polarized. In defense of the capitalist worldview, author and documentary filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza recently released his latest film, Trump Card, “to make the moral case for capitalism and show that its rewards are just. We need to show that socialism – even democratic socialism – inevitably leads to misery and tyranny.”

D'Souza, of course, is the New York Times bestselling author of such books as The End of Racism, What’s So Great About America?, and The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the Democratic Left. He is also the filmmaker behind a few of the biggest-selling documentaries of all time, including 2016: Obama’s America, America: Imagine the World Without Her, and Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party. An immigrant from largely socialist India, D’Souza is a passionate speaker in defense of the American Dream and American exceptionalism, two concepts the left has worked hard to discredit. In Trump Card, he comes to their defense again, in the process discrediting the left’s push for the illusory dream of so-called “democratic socialism.”  

The documentary includes some animated sequences and dramatic reenactments (of Abraham Lincoln, of the brainwashing of Winston Smith from Orwell’s 1984, and even of D’Souza himself receiving a call from President Trump to pardon D’Souza for his 2014 conviction of making an illegal campaign contribution). It also includes news footage of everything from Antifa violence to Stormy Daniels interviews, and socialist pronouncements from the likes of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders. But the most compelling segments feature D’Souza interviewing a wide range of speakers, many of whom the left would consider unlikely conservatives – gay men, blacks, and women – about their war stories of conflict with so-called “liberals” in Hollywood, the media, and the Deep State.

Among those interviewed are gay journalist Andy Ngo, who has literally risked his life to expose Antifa violence while mainstream media figures like CNN blowhard Chris Cuomo defend them; outspoken black conservative actor Isaiah Washington, who stands by his convictions despite Hollywood ostracism; investigative journalist Peter Schweizer, who has done more to expose political corruption than entire mainstream networks; Second Amendment activist Andrew Pollack, whose daughter was murdered in the Parkland mass shooting; and black comedian Terence K. Williams, who left the Democrat plantation because he doesn’t embrace victimhood.

Monday, October 19, 2020

What Killed Michael Brown?

In the wake of the violent worldwide protests that followed the death in police custody of black Minneapolis resident George Floyd, it is easy to forget that what created the conditions for all that racial chaos was the 2014 shooting of black Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. Yes, the Black Lives Matter movement began before that, after George Zimmerman’s acquittal for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. But BLM didn’t pick up steam and acquire national recognition until after Brown. And Zimmerman wasn’t a cop; it was Michael Brown’s death that really galvanized what author Heather Mac Donald called “the war on cops” and created the mythic slogan, “Hands up, don’t shoot,” which the leftist news media promoted in spite of an absence of evidence or witnesses that Brown ever said it.

The brilliant scholar Shelby Steele has now revisited that complex tragedy in a new documentary called What Killed Michael Brown?, written and narrated by Steele, and beautifully directed and filmed by his award-winning filmmaker son Eli. Steele père, you will remember, is the black conservative author of The Content of Our Character and White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era. His film seeks to answer what Steele calls “a daring question, one that a group like Black Lives Matter would forbid: is Michael Brown in any way responsible for his own death?”

What Killed Michael Brown? is grounded by Steele’s calm, thoughtful presence and his almost poetic narration, delivered in a measured, mellifluent voice and backed by a moody, jazz trumpet soundtrack. The film features him strolling down the streets of Ferguson, in his childhood home in Chicago, and in neighborhoods of the black underclass in both cities as he muses about the nature of race, power, and character in America. This is woven in with footage of riots and press conferences, and interviews with white Ferguson residents, local black leaders, and even race hustler Al Sharpton, whom Steele depicts as a self-aggrandizing agitator exploiting black anger.

Steele begins by noting that he has learned one overriding truth in his lifetime of thinking about race: “We human beings never use race except as a means to power. Race is never an end. It is always a means… America’s original sin was not slavery. It was the use of race as a means to power.”

The Ferguson shooting perfectly exemplifies that ugly truth. Steele states that Brown’s body lying in the street ignited a wildfire that swept across black America before a single fact was known about how he came to be there: “If you’re black and you see Brown’s body, there is already a framework of meaning in place. You don’t think so much as step into that meaning, and at that moment, before any evidence or witness testimony, all you can see is a victim of American racism.”

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Leading America


As the revelations of international influence-peddling and multimillion-dollar corruption on the part of Joe Biden and his disgrace of a son go utterly ignored by the Democrat media, and suppressed on social media by Big Tech overlords Twitter and Facebook, it couldn’t be more obvious that the crisis in American journalism has peaked. That makes Sean Spicer’s new book, Leading America: President Trump’s Commitment to People, Patriotism, and Capitalism, all the more relevant and essential.

Former White House Press Secretary and Communications Director Spicer, also the author of the compelling account of his time in the White House titled The Briefing: Politics, the Press, and the President, has written another page-turning, eyewitness account of the volatile intersection of journalism and politics in America today. In ten highly readable, easily digestible chapters, each devoted to an aspect of left’s tightening grip on the culture, the normally calm and collected Spicer absolutely savages the Progressive activists in academia, the news media, and Hollywood. He also argues that re-electing President Trump is America’s only hope to win this “battle for the soul of this great nation.”

David Horowitz, founder of the Freedom Center and bestselling author, most recently, of Blitz: Trump Will Smash the Left and Win, sums it up in his jacket blurb for Leading America:

Sean Spicer has written an indispensable book about the destruction of American journalism by the American left. As an insider who was press secretary to President Trump, is now an anchor on Newsmax TV, and in between was a quarter-finalist among celebrity leftists on Dancing With the Stars, Spicer has written an irresistible insider’s book about the wars that are engulfing us as a nation and threatening our future.

Spicer begins the book setting up the state of the union in 2020 (“Welcome to the current state of American society, one in which all politics is personal and all persons are forced to be political”), and laying out what the stakes are in this critical, upcoming election. What are those stakes? The very principles of our nation, and the Constitution itself, which are threatened by today’s radical Democratic Party: “They will stop at nothing in their attempt to turn capitalism into socialism, patriotism into globalism, and American values into progressive values. They’re willing to run small businesses into economic ruin, turn academic institutions into harmful social experiment centers, use children as political pawns, and ruin America’s favorite pastimes with political polarization – and they’re leaving a nearly unrecognizable country in their wake.”

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Growing Patriots


In my previous article, a review of Rating America’s Presidents by the Freedom Center’s own Robert Spencer, I lamented the fact that American public schools no longer give students a solid foundation in what should be a critical subject: civics. There is a surfeit of indoctrination in social justice activism, Howard Zinn-fueled anti-Americanism, and programs promoting the New York Times’ debunked 1619 Project, which posits that America’s origin was rooted in slavery, not freedom; but there is less and less instruction about how our country truly was formed, what makes it exceptional, how our system of government works, and what our God-given freedoms are.

This is a difficult learning environment in which to raise children to be patriotic citizens. Indeed, patriotism is now viewed as the last refuge of white supremacist nationalists. Especially in this time of pandemic lockdowns and school closures, America-loving parents who suddenly find themselves homeschooling their younger children and/or overseeing their "remote learning" need all the help they can get finding educational resources about our country that aren’t tainted by Progressive propaganda, that will inspire children to be proud of and more informed about our history, and that will help shape a future “educated electorate,” as Thomas Jefferson put it, upon which rests “the cornerstone of democracy.”

Years ago, Amelia Hamilton found herself faced with a similar problem. Having trouble finding a patriotic book for a friend’s small child that would teach him about America and spark his interest in American history, Hamilton decided to write one herself. That was ultimately the origin of her website Growing Patriots, which features a podcast, growing in popularity, aimed at a young audience. She hosts experts on topics about early America who answer real questions posed by real children on the broadcast. “Every patriot needs a place to start,” the site declares, “and that’s why Growing Patriots is here.”

The podcast includes dozens of episodes of just the right length and tone for kids to digest, on such topics as Paul Revere’s midnight ride, the creation of the American military, revolutionary Thanksgiving, colonial clothing and music, the Boston Tea Party, the Pilgrims, and more.

Hamilton, a writer and American patriot with a master’s degree in both English and 18th century history, spoke to me about the site and her podcast.

Mark Tapson:           Amelia, what made you feel that a project like Growing Patriots was necessary, and why did you decide to be the one to launch it?

Amelia Hamilton:  I wrote my first children’s book One Nation Under God as a gift for a friend's son when he was learning to count. I just printed it out and stapled it together – certainly nothing fancy! I started hearing from other parents that they wanted copies, too, because even their "big kids" weren't learning these things in school – and this is extremely basic civics. Things like "there are three branches of government." That's when I realized there was a lot more to this project. Kids aren't learning about civics and they aren't learning about how America works, how it was founded or why. To touch on those latter two, I wrote the second book 10 Steps to Freedom: A Growing Patriot's Guide to the American Revolution.  

I launched the podcast so that I could really walk kids through why people came to America, why they fought for freedom, how the new country was set up, and why. It's easy to take things for granted if you assume everyone has them or that we've always had them. It's easy to forget how special and rare the American experiment is if your teachers are always telling you that it's inherently bad. If I can teach kids some basic facts about how America was founded and how it works, it puts them light-years ahead of the general population in terms of understanding what we have here – and why it's worth protecting.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Rating America's Presidents

My wife and I homeschool our very young children, and as part of their education we have introduced them to a topic that has tragically diminished in importance in today’s public schools: civics. We’ve taught them a bit about various American presidents (my seven- and ten-year-olds have even memorized all of them in order; I’m lucky to get as far as Andrew Jackson), and occasionally one of the kids will ask about a particular president, “Was he a good president, or a bad one?”

I can easily answer about the most notable ones from my own lifetime like Reagan or Carter offhand, but Zachary Taylor? James Buchanan? William Taft? The answers don’t come so easily. It occurred to me that to keep one step ahead of my kids as time goes on, I must either dive deeper into knowing all the presidents and/or find a handy reference resource about them that I can trust will not reek of Progressive propaganda.

Lo and behold, along comes Robert Spencer’s new book, Rating America’s Presidents, published by Bombardier Books. An unofficial subtitle on the front cover sums up the book’s theme: “An America-first look at who is best, who is overrated, and who was an absolute disaster” – those categories accompanied by photos of Donald Trump, Barack Obama, and Jimmy Carter, respectively. The back cover explicitly assures the reader that this book

rates the presidents not on the basis of criteria developed by socialist internationalist historians, but on their fidelity to the United States Constitution and to the powers, and limits to those powers, of the president as delineated by the Founding Fathers. America’s presidents are rated on the extent to which they put America First – not in the sense of narrow isolationism, but whether they really advanced the interests of the American people.

In short, Rating America’s Presidents “offers what should be the only criteria for rating the occupants of the White House: were they good for America?” After all, as Spencer puts it in his short introduction, “The president’s primary job is clear from the oath of office that every president recites in order to assume office, and it isn’t to provide health care for illegal aliens, or to make sure that Somalia isn’t riven by civil war, or to make sure America is ‘diverse.’” It is to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Spencer also points out that while the cry “America first” has become unfairly associated with xenophobia and white supremacy today, “the Founding Fathers and every president up until Woodrow Wilson took it for granted that the president of the United States should put his nation first and would have thought it strange in the extreme that this idea should even be controversial.”

Spencer adds that “[t]his criterion upends much of the conventional wisdom” of historians’ surveys of the presidents, recent ones of which have put Donald Trump at or near the bottom of the heap and Barack Obama at or near the top, reflecting the priorities and preferences of academics who skew politically left. By the refreshing measure of Rating America’s Presidents, however, Trump ranks “as one of the greatest Presidents the United States has ever had, if not the very best,” even though his first term has not ended yet. Conversely, Obama “is actually the most damaging and disastrous president this nation has ever had.”

Robert Spencer is, of course, well-known to FrontPage Mag readers as the director of the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s Jihad Watch website and the author of a whopping nineteen other books, almost entirely on the topic of Islam. So it might be counterintuitive to think Spencer is qualified to assess all fifty presidents’ accomplishments and shortcomings. But as he notes in the book’s acknowledgements, this “is a topic with which I’ve been fascinated for no less than five decades now.” Additionally, Spencer is a peerless researcher, a clear, compelling writer, and a lover of history and America (the book is dedicated “with love and respect to all Americans who are grateful to live in this extraordinary land”). So while some patriot readers may argue with Spencer’s takes on the presidents, they can at least be confident that they won’t be sucker-punched by the kinds of misinformation or subversive disinformation one too often finds in the judgements of left-leaning historians.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

How Socialism Will Trash Your Life

Socialism is all the rage among young Americans these days. Not the kind of socialism that has never worked anywhere in history. Not the kind that drove Venezuela from South America’s most prosperous economy into a failed state in a mere two decades. Not the kind that wreaked essentially the same havoc upon once-thriving Cuba. Not those real-world examples, but the new-and-improved, democratic socialism, which, as MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle recently assured viewers, is “a lot different” from those other forms of socialism.

Those young Americans who are enamored of such icons of democratic socialism as lifelong communist Sen. Bernie Sanders and economics-challenged, radical Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez desperately need to read Paul H. Rubin’s short but vital book A Student’s Guide to Socialism: How It Will Trash Your Lives, a joint publication of the David Horowitz Freedom Center and Bombardier Books, an imprint of Post Hill Press.

As the title indicates, the book is aimed at young readers and is thus a quick, easy read, tailored to their tragically short attention spans and tenuous grasp of economics. Its purpose is not simply to rehash abstract, theoretical points of contrast between socialism and capitalism, but to explain to those uninformed (or misinformed) young people exactly how socialism would impact them and affect their future if it were actually to be adopted here in the United States, as polls indicate an alarming percentage of young people would prefer. Put simply, it answers the question, “What will my life be like if I live under socialism?”

Mr. Rubin is Emeritus Dobbs Professor of Economics at Emory University and a former economic advisor in D.C., including for the Reagan administration as Senior Economist at the Council of Economic Advisers. The author of a dozen books and dozens of Wall St. Journal op-eds, Rubin not only knows whereof he speaks but knows how to communicate economic ideas in clear, jargon-free, unbiased language – a skill that eludes most academics and economists. In A Student’s Guide to Socialism, Rubin shrewdly chose not to speak down to, or talk over the heads of, the audience who most needs to absorb his message that life under socialism will not be the egalitarian utopia its adherents fantasize. On the contrary, as the book’s own subtitle bluntly tells readers, “it will trash your lives.”

‘The Election Heist’


The presidential election in November is shaping up to be potentially the most contentious ever, thanks to the stakes involved, the disruptive element of the coronavirus pandemic, the threat of violence from the radical left, and the Democrat Party’s desperate push for voting-by-mail to facilitate the voter fraud they need to win. Just in time for this chaos, investigative journalist, author, and frequent FrontPage Mag contributor Kenneth Timmerman has published a fast-paced novel titled The Election Heist, from Post Hill Press, that could not be more relevant and prescient.

This page-turner of a political thriller centers on election tampering in a fictional race in Maryland pitting the incumbent Democrat Rep. Hugh McKenzie against first-time challenger Nelson Aguilar, an Hispanic Republican. In a classic case of art imitating life, the Democrats realize their only hope of winning this November is to cheat. A wild ride ensues.

In addition to serving as the Executive Director of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran, Ken Timmerman is the Nobel Prize-nominated author of such must-reads as: Dark Forces: The Truth About What Happened in Benghazi; Shadow Warriors: The Untold Story of Traitors, Saboteurs, and the Party of Surrender; and Shakedown: Exposing the Real Jesse Jackson, in addition to novels such as ISIS Begins and Honor Killing. He kindly agreed to respond to a few questions about his new fact-driven novel.

Mark Tapson:           Ken, you’ve written fiction before, but you’re known primarily for journalism. Why did you choose to address this contentious election issue in a novel instead of nonfiction?

Ken Timmerman:   Thanks, Mark, for this opportunity. For most of my adult professional life, I have considered myself an investigative reporter – at least, for as long as that was a reputable profession. Today, the national news media has dragged the professional into such ill-repute that journalists have a lower favorability rating than do members of Congress. Just look at the despicable performance of Chris Wallace at the first Trump-Biden debate. I used to be a guest on Chris Wallace’s shows – and on 60 Minutes with his father – when I was a critic of a Republican president (Bush 41). No longer. It tells you something.

There have been a number of nonfiction books looking at election fraud in recent years, most notably by my good friend John Fund, formerly of the Wall Street Journal. None of them have been taken seriously. Groups such as Judicial Watch and the Public Interest Legal Foundation have been warning for years about “dirty” voter rolls, and the threat of millions of illegitimate votes “cast” by the dead or by people who have moved to other states.

Most recently, Project Veritas documented a ballot harvesting scheme in Minnesota that appears to have been organized by activists close to Rep. Ilhan Omar. But what has been the response to all of these revelations by the media or the Democrats? “There is no such thing as voter fraud.”

So I felt it would be salutary to demonstrate, from the inside, on a human level, exactly how partisan operatives could plan and executive a massive diabolical scheme to steal an election, and how difficult it would be for law enforcement and election authorities to discover it, let alone prosecute those responsible. By writing a novel, I allow readers to suspend their disbelief and follow my characters as they plot and scheme, while others play catch up, knowing that everything they are attempting to do is possible, if not inevitable.

What if I had written an investigative column in the summer of 2016, based on unnamed sources within the FBI, that Hillary Clinton had instructed her staff to manufacture a phony scandal tying Donald Trump to Russia, in order to divert public attention from her use of a private email server for classified government communications? It would have been dismissed as “fake news,” if not worse. Quite likely, my career as a journalist would have been over.

But if I had written that scheme – which turned out to be 100% true – as a novel, I would have been called a prophet, another Joel Rosenburg.

I have long believed fiction precedes reality – not so much that a novelist can predict the future, but that he or she can project the big picture, how it will feel, what it will mean. That’s what I’ve tried to do in The Election Heist.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Beyond Woke

Like many other linguistic irritants the left has introduced into our cultural lexicon, “woke” has become a household term seemingly overnight. It is generally understood to refer to some kind of Progressive state of self-righteous enlightenment, but what is its origin? How and why does one become woke, and what, if anything, lies beyond this condition? What are the philosophical underpinnings of this social justice religion? If you want to truly understand it and not simply dismiss it with an eyeroll, you can hardly do better than to look to writer, philosopher, poet, and former New York University professor Michael Rectenwald. Few if any contemporary scholars have researched the left’s totalitarian mindset more deeply, and elucidated it so thoroughly, as he.

In January of 2018 I interviewed Michael Rectenwald for FrontPage Mag here about being outed as “the Deplorable Prof,” the man behind an anonymous Twitter account which he used to criticize the “anti-education and anti-intellectual” social justice ideology of his (at the time) fellow leftist academics. The subsequent shunning and harassment he endured from his colleagues and the NYU administration drove Rectenwald to declare himself officially done with the left. He later published a book about it titled Springtime for Snowflakes: Social Justice and its Postmodern Parentage (which I reviewed for FrontPage Mag here) from the fine people at New English Review Press. The book is a must-read for understanding how identity politics has, as Rectenwald put it, eroded academic integrity and intellectual rigor in the American university.

Rectenwald quickly went on to publish another short but vital work, Google Archipelago: The Digital Gulag and the Simulation of Freedom (I interviewed him about that one, which you can read here). In this book he argues successfully that the “Big Digital” technologies and their principals like Google represent a new form of corporate state power and leftist authoritarianism.

Now the prolific Deplorable Ex-Prof has produced yet another intellectual exploration of this postmodern religion that has seeped out of our institutions of higher indoctrination and infected corporate culture: Beyond Woke, again from New English Review (as was Google Archipelago). As with the Freedom Center’s own David Horowitz, Rectenwald’s former leftism gives him incisive insights into that ideology that cannot be matched by lifelong conservatives. Former University of Ottawa professor Janice “the Anti-Feminist” Fiamengo says correctly of his new book that Rectenwald “writes about woke mania with clarity and with a former insider’s deep knowledge of its intellectual roots, ideological assumptions, and corporate methods.”

The book consists of twenty-two short but deeply-considered essays published between September 2016 to February 2020, with titles such as “On the Origins and Character of Social Justice,” “Trigger Warnings, Safe Spaces, Bias Reporting: The New Micro-techniques of Surveillance and Control,” “Why Political Correctness is Incorrect,” “’Grievance Studies’ Fields Encourage ‘Marginalized’ Students and Faculty to Become Jacks of All Grievances, Masters of Nothing,” “The Gender Jackpot,” “and “This is the Big Reason Corporate America Has Gone Woke (plus 4 more).”

Friday, September 18, 2020

'Infidel': Prisoner, Believer, Fighter

It is increasingly difficult these days for conservatives to enjoy anything from mainstream Hollywood, which has made its contempt for all those white supremacist Trump supporters in the flyover states very clear. Conservative viewers have had enough of movies and TV series that denigrate, ridicule, and demonize their faith and values. They’re done with being bludgeoned by social justice messaging from hypocritical, elitist actors and filmmakers. They’ve cancelled their cable TV and their Netflix subscriptions over increasingly vile, nihilistic content. The only entertainment refuge those viewers are left with, however, is bland “faith-based” programming aimed squarely at conservatives, that too often suffers from low budgets, amateurish quality, and heavy-handed messaging of its own.

So when a movie comes along that merges the best of both mainstream and faith-based filmmaking (but doesn’t fit neatly into either category), that unites strong storytelling and a respect for conservative belief and values, and that doesn’t sucker-punch us with a message of moral equivalence, we need to throw our support behind it and spread the word. Infidel, which opens nationwide today, September 18, is one of those rarities.

Executive produced by Dinesh D’Souza’s media company, and written and directed by Cyrus Nowrasteh, whose 2006 ABC miniseries The Path to 9/11 sparked front-page controversy and sent Bill Clinton and his former administration cronies into paroxysms of anger, the R-rated Infidel is a Middle East thriller starring Jim Caviezel as an American prisoner of the Iranian regime, falsely accused of spying for the CIA. His only way out is to sign a confession – and publicly renounce his faith and convert to Islam.

Jim Caviezel (best-known, of course, from Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ) plays Doug Rawlins, a prominent Christian blogger who accepts an invitation to a televised speaking engagement in Cairo. His wife Liz (played by Australian actress Claudia Karvan), a State Department official, tries unsuccessfully to dissuade him – she is concerned that he won’t be able to resist proselytizing in the Muslim country and sparking controversy. And indeed, although Rawlins does his best to find common interfaith ground with the congenial Muslim host of a TV talk show, he finds himself compelled to testify a truth of his faith that directly contradicts Islam, as shocking as that is to the show’s studio audience and viewers. A clip from the show swiftly goes viral on the internet and Rawlins finds himself at the center of a budding international incident. He is subsequently kidnapped, brutalized in a secret location, and accused of spying by agents of the Iranian regime who, unlike too many in the West, are perfectly comfortable acknowledging that we are in a Clash of Civilizations. “We’re going to win,” his Muslim captor promises him, “because we’re not afraid to die.”