Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Finding Hope Amid Global Persecution

In a recent FrontPage Mag article, Shillman Fellow Raymond Ibrahim noted that a new study found that more than half (54%) of the Americans surveyed believe religious freedom is eroding in the United States, and an even larger number (59%) believe that the treatment of Christians and intolerance for their beliefs are getting worse. This echoes the warnings of journalist Rod Dreher, author of Live Not By Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents, who insists that the “soft totalitarianism” already here in America will inevitably lead to increasingly harsh persecution of the Christian community. That community, Dreher urges, needs to prepare itself accordingly, even for the possibility of martyrdom.

Unfortunately, many Christians in America suffer from an “it couldn’t happen here” naiveté and the sort of complacency that generally afflicts the affluent, free West. Too many of us are unaware – because the overwhelmingly secular mainstream media largely ignores this crisis – that Christianity is the most-persecuted religion worldwide. The shocking reality for Christians in regions where the powers-that-be are violently hostile to them should not only galvanize us into taking action to help those victims, but also wake us up to the growing threat here at home. It must be stressed that this is an issue that impacts all of us who value the right of religious freedom, not just Christian believers.

To gain an eye-opening understanding of the dire circumstances for Christians around the world, the Family Research Council has released a necessary new book by my friend Lela Gilbert, Arielle Del Turco, and retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin titled Heroic Faith: Hope Amid Global Persecution.

Lela Gilbert is a prolific and award-winning writer who has authored or co-authored more than sixty books, including the critically-acclaimed Saturday People, Sunday People: Israel through the Eyes of a Christian Sojourner, which was listed as one of the 20 best non-fiction Jewish books of 2012, and more recently, Baroness Cox, Eyewitness to a Broken World, released in November 2021. She serves as Senior Fellow for International Religious Freedom at Family Research Council and as a Fellow at the Hudson Institute, working with the Center for Religious Freedom. She writes for Newsweek, Jerusalem Post, Fox News, and elsewhere.

I posed some questions to Lela about the new book.

Inside the Horror of Islamic Sex Slavery - and the Real War on Women

Last week marked the seventh annual commemoration of the Yazidi genocide, though you wouldn’t know it from watching establishment media. Nor would you know that there is an ongoing genocide of Christians taking place in Nigeria, nor that throughout the Islamic world countless women and girls are enduring kidnapping, forced marriages, forced conversions of Christians to Islam, genocidal rape, and/or widespread sex trafficking even in countries that are supposedly our allies in the War on Terror.

To keep abreast of these crises, one needs to seek out the work of such concerned journalists as the Freedom Center’s own Raymond Ibrahim or Dutch journalist Sonja Dahlmans, who work desperately to bring international attention to the plight of the victims of an actual war on women.

I recently interviewed Ms. Dahlmans about these issues. She currently writes (in Dutch only) for the conservative political news site PAL NWS, and is studying Islam at the Melbourne School of Theology, where she will be starting her thesis.

For those readers who would like to help make a change - and to participate in the effort to protecting and liberating the victims of Islamic Jihad, sex slavery and rape, please contact Sonja on her Twitter at: @SonjaDahlmans.

Mark Tapson: Sonja, please tell us what the focus of your journalistic work has been in recent years, and why you’re passionate about it.

Sonja Dahlmans: I focus mainly on Christian persecution, but I have also written about persecution of the Yazidis in Iraq and Syria and of Hindu girls in Pakistan. Women and girls from these groups are often targeted in Islamic countries or regions. The abduction, rape, forced marriage and forced conversion (to Islam) of non-Muslim women and girls is a widespread problem. This is the subject I write about the most, because I am afraid it is still underestimated, although lately there has been more attention to it. Unfortunately not often in the mainstream media, the subject is almost only discussed on Christian (or other religious minority) pages or reports.

MT: This past week was another annual commemoration of the Yazidi genocide, but it’s not over, is it? Western media give this little attention, but there are still literally thousands of women and girls missing today, aren’t there?

SD: No, it is not over at all. First of all, ISIS is still active in Iraq and Syria as we have seen for example in Syria (last February) when they helped jihadists within al-Sina prison to escape. There are so called sleeper cells too and they still carry out attacks. With regard to the Yazidi women and girls that they took captive, there are still around 2.700 of them in the hands of ISIS, or at least they are missing and we don't know where they are. This is devastating for them and their families, as you can imagine. While there is only a little attention to this, the Yazidi women and girls that are probably still in the hands of ISIS, let's not forget that there are also Christian women and girls who were taken by ISIS and are still missing. That is a subject you hardly hear anything about, but it does not mean it doesn't exist. 

I still hear and read that women and girls are being bought back, sometimes for a lot of money, and brought back to their families. This is really gruesome; these men, jihadists, have already earned money by trading these women, sexually exploiting them, and now earn money by selling them back to their own communities. There should be a lot more media coverage on this; it is not over, not by far for these victims and their families. 

Defenders of the West

Historiography has been dominated in recent decades almost exclusively by leftists determined to take a wrecking ball to the glorious edifice of Western civilization in the name of social justice and multiculturalism. New York Times propagandist Nikole Hannah-Jones of the widely-debunked but nonetheless influential 1619 Project comes to mind. The coordinated mission of such activists has been to pervert and subvert the grand narrative of our culture into a sordid tale of oppression, exploitation, and white supremacy, and to brand all our flawed heroes as racists and knock them off their pedestals, both figuratively and literally.

This is one reason why the new book Defenders of the West: The Christian Heroes Who Stood Against Islam, by historian Raymond Ibrahim, a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute, is such a refreshing, even thrilling read. As if the title alone weren’t guaranteed to inflame Progressive sensibilities, the book is unabashedly dedicated to “all the Past, Present, and Future Defenders of that which is Good, Right, and True.” Standing up for the Good, the Right, and the True (capitalized, no less) in our postmodern, post-Christian era? That’s a bold, increasingly rare position for any historian and publisher (Bombardier Books, in this case) to take today.

Defenders is a sort of follow-up to Ibrahim’s essential 2018 book Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West. That book centered on decisive battles in the clash of civilizations, while the newer one zeroes in on the profiles of eight decisive men in that ongoing conflict, between the 11th and 15th centuries, from Spain’s El Cid and England’s Richard Lionheart to lesser-known but no less heroic figures such as France’s Saint Louis and the “Albanian Braveheart” Skanderbeg.

As in Sword and Scimitar, the foreword to Defenders was written by renowned historian Victor Davis Hanson, who actually served as Ibrahim’s Master’s thesis advisor in the late ‘90s. Hanson says of the men in Ibrahim’s latest, “In what now may seem an archaic sensibility, they were fighting for a unique way of life—or often a restoration of it—against a rising challenge completely foreign to everything in their experience, from the aspirations voiced on the Sermon of the Mount to Classical traditions of individual liberty.” Ibrahim himself explains that the book is about “eight men who, driven by something greater than themselves, devoted much of their lives and went to great lengths… to make a militant if not desperate stand against Islamic aggression.”

Guns and Masculinity

In opening comments Wednesday for the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on so-called “assault weapons,” Democrat Senator and gun-confiscation enthusiast Dick Durbin threatened that it is “time to name and shame” the makers of AR-15s, the rifle Democrats have demonized as “weapons of war.” Gun manufacturers aren’t the trigger-pullers behind mass shootings, but they are a much easier and more politically useful scapegoat to target than the criminally insane minds of the actual shooters. Democrats aren’t interested in ending gun violence anyway; if they were, they would be holding hearings on the shootings perpetrated by gang members in Democrat-run inner cities, by terrorists, and by the criminally insane. What they want to end is not gun violence but gun ownership.

Sitting with posters of AR-15 advertisements placed prominently behind him, Durbin claimed hyperbolically that there have been “309 mass shootings” in the United States so far in 2022. “Why are these killing machines flying off the shelves after they were banned for a decade, until 2004?” he asked rhetorically. "Maybe it’s the ads that market the ‘assault weapons.’ Symbols of independence, freedom, or the promise that owning an AR-15-style-gun will make you more of a man. Or could it be the enticing prospect of toting around the same style of weapon that soldiers and Marines use to defend our country in combat?"

Let’s break down this sneering statement, because it is very revealing of the Left’s perspective on guns and masculinity, both of which the Left would like to eradicate.

First of all, there is the obvious propaganda of the loaded (pardon the pun) terminology like “killing machines” and “assault weapons” to refer to tools that are more often used to stop or prevent killing and assaults. Second, what's wrong with an advertisement and a product that appeal to one’s desire for independence, freedom, and the capability to defend one’s home and community? Nothing to the average American patriot, but they run against the grain of the average leftist’s totalitarian impulse for control.

As for owning an AR-15 making you “more of a man,” Durbin meant it as a taunt to suggest that male gun owners are insecure about their masculinity. But in fact – and this assertion will cause the heads of feminists and proud non-binary types to explode – owning a firearm actually does make one more of a man. One of the universal duties of manhood is to fulfill the role of protector. Having the capability (such as a firearm), the training, and the will to stand up and protect your life, your loved ones, your property, and your community is a clear marker of moral masculinity. Not in the swaggering way of someone looking to pick a fight, but in the quiet strength and confidence of a man who understands, respects, and is capable of wielding the power of righteous force. In that sense, owning a firearm and being trained and ready to use it when necessary does indeed make you more of a man than someone who willfully abdicates that responsibility.  

Lockdown: The Socialist Plan to Take Away Your Freedom

When COVID-19 first reared its ugly head a mere couple of years ago (seems like much longer, doesn’t it?), the Trump-hating Left recognized that here was a crisis too good to waste, to paraphrase Obama’s former Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel. As Cheryl Chumley observes in her new book Lockdown: The Socialist Plan to Take Away Your Freedom, “Democrats, progressives, globalists, collectivists, socialists, and Marxists saw opportunity to reshape an entire world.” Lockdown, from Humanix Books, is her damning overview of how the power-lusting Left manipulated and exploited the pandemic to kickstart their Great Socialist Reset.

Chumley is the online opinion editor for The Washington Times, an Army vet, a journalist, and author – most previously (2020) of Socialists Don’t Sleep: Christians Must Rise or America Will Fall. If you are unfamiliar with her writing, Ms. Chumley pulls no punches in her takedowns of the Left, and makes no apologies for her Christian perspective on political events. She is not reticent about identifying as “evil” the forces wreaking ruin in the world today; nor is she vague about their aim: leftists “want total and complete lockdowns of individual freedoms, individual rights, individually held liberties so they can stage their reset and reshape a new America, a new world, more in line with their collectivist and elitist beliefs. It’s called destroy, then rebuild. What they’re destroying is the Constitution; what they’re trying to rebuild is cultural Marxism and communist control.”

Along those lines, she bluntly states that, in the COVID pandemic, “Democrats saw opportunity to control. To expand power. To rule. To crush. To subjugate. To usher in political reforms, economic changes, and societal shifts of such magnitude that even a Trump term two couldn’t undo.” This agenda, Chumley correctly writes, is “shameless, despicable, and outright evil.”

After that forceful opening, Chumley goes on to break down the Left’s pandemic strategy in chapters devoted to: the media-driven fear-mongering that herded Americans into lockdowns and mask mandates; the targeting of children to mold collectivist thinking in impressionable young minds; the narrative that true patriotism means conformity to government command; the takeover of the health care field; the push to expand climate change legislation and a “green” economy; and more. Along the way she slams billionaire globalist technocrats like subversive philanthropist Bill Gates and evil mastermind Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum, men who are funding the collectivist reshaping of every aspect of our society.

A Conservative Professor Fights UCLA's Bias - and Wins

It is a given today that our so-called institutions of higher learning are hostile to political conservatives, not only students but the minority of professors who openly lean Right. Even Progressive academics can find themselves targeted by Cancel Culture for minor or accidental transgressions against woke dogma. The punishment can range from “mere” ostracization, to a hopelessly smeared reputation, to the loss of one’s job – usually a combination thereof. It’s ugly and totalitarian, which is why any moral victory against the Left’s ideological intolerance is a blow for freedom of speech and political balance in the classroom.

Keith Fink – a successful attorney, legal commentator, academic, and author –was a Communications Studies lecturer at the University of California Los Angeles from 2008 until his forced departure in June 2017. His courses on “Race, Sex & Politics: Free Speech on Campus;” “Free Speech in the Workplace;” “Entertainment Law;” and “Arguing Contemporary Social Issues” were among the students’ most popular ones at UCLA. But Fink is politically conservative and an ardent, fair-minded advocate for truth, so a confrontation with the school’s Progressive administrators was inevitable.

In early 2017, Professor Fink found, for the first time in his experience, that his Department of Communication Studies was beginning to deny his PTEs (“permission-to-enroll” forms for students whose attendance in a class, for a variety of reasons, requires a professor’s approval). And it was clear he was being singled out. Even the school paper The Daily Bruin acknowledged that other professors in the department had no difficulties getting their PTEs approved. Fink, his TAs (teaching assistants), and even some students suspected the source of the problem was the reportedly leftist new Chair of the Department of Communication Studies, Kerri Johnson, who also arbitrarily decided to cap the size of the conservative Fink’s overflowing classes.

Austin Kaidi, a UCLA alumnus who has served as Fink’s TA, noted at the time that the room in which Fink taught “Communications Studies 167” held 292 seats, yet only 200 of the 241 students who attempted to join the class that year were able to enroll. Kaidi told The College Fix, “For the past five years, Professor Fink has been able to educate large numbers of students without any problems. However one quarter after the Communication Studies appoints a chairwoman with incredibly left-leaning ideals, Professor Fink, the only outspoken conservative in the department, is singled out, his PTE’s are revoked, and his future classes are limited.”

The 20 Dumbest Hollywood Hatemongers - The Top Five (written with David Horowitz)

 Top Tier: 5-1

“He’s a punk, he’s a dog, he’s a pig, he’s a con, he’s a bullshit artist, a mutt who doesn’t know what he’s talking about, doesn’t do his homework, doesn’t care, thinks he’s gaming society, doesn’t pay his taxes. He’s an embarrassment to this country.”

5. Jim Carrey

Rubber-faced comedic actor Jim Carrey, 60, has been a star ever since the early ‘90s, going from the sketch comedy TV series In Living Color to starring roles in films such as Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Liar Liar, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. But as his career peaked and waned, he remained relevant, as many other actors have, by becoming a virtuoso of self-righteous venom aimed at Republicans who disagree with him.

In November 2017 he tweeted, “The GOP and WH have become sinister conclaves of souless traitors, liars and thieves – a gangrene we must remove so democracy can live.”[1] A few months later he tweeted about President Trump, “If we allow this one-man Gomorrah and his corrupt Republican congress to continue alienating the world we are headed for suffering beyond all imagination.”[2]

In a November 2018 interview he declared about the Trump administration, “These are not people you can deal with. You cannot be bipartisan with a criminal. A rapist needs to be removed, not negotiated with. These people are raping our system, they’re destroying it right in front of us. These people have to be removed from our system because they’re bad for us.”[3] Bye-bye, two-party democracy. Hello, one-party state.

Carrey took his anti-GOP derangement to a whole other level by painting garish, crude images demonizing Trump and other conservative figures, and posting them to Twitter. He painted Melania Trump as a brainwashed robot,[4] Senator Ted Cruz as a vampire,[5] Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh forcing himself on a woman,[6] Trump sons Eric and Donald Jr. gruesomely gored by elephant tusks,[7] and psychotic portraits of Vice President Mike Pence[8] and Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.[9]

But Trump, of course, was the primary target of Carrey’s demented visions. In 2017 he scrawled a lewd drawing of Trump kissing Putin’s bare butt.[10] He tweeted another infantile cartoon drawing of Trump with bloodied fangs, writing that the President would “EAT A BABY” onstage at an upcoming rally “to the delight of his zombie base.”[11]

In June 2018 he depicted Trump as an angry Roman soldier crucifying Jesus Christ.[12] In August he painted Trump being burned at the stake as a witch.[13] He also painted Trump dangling from a flagpole over a bustling cityscape, trussed in a straightjacket, his ankles tied to the pole with an American flag. Caption: “Can the Great Spewdini spew enough lies to escape the straight-jacket of his un-Presidented criminality?”[14] Funny you should mention a straightjacket, Jim.

The 20 Dumbest Hollywood Hatemongers Part III (written with David Horowitz)

Tier 2: 10-6

10. Michael Moore

“This is a nation founded on genocide
and built on the backs of slaves!”

Cinema propagandist Michael Moore, 68, is arguably one of the Left’s loudest and angriest voices of anti-American bile and anti-white racism. He is best-known for his 2002 anti-gun documentary Bowling for Columbine which depicted America as a violent, gun-crazed culture. It won the 2003 Academy Award for Documentary Feature. He is also known for Fahrenheit 9/11, which won the top award at Cannes and became the highest-grossing documentary of all time. Both are packed with what charitably described as “deceptive half-truths and carefully phrased insinuations.”[1]

Typical of Moore’s work, Bowling for Columbine was found to be “replete with staged, concocted, or deceptively edited content,” as the Freedom Center’s John Perazzo puts it.[2] That includes, for example, a scene in which Moore walked out of a bank with a rifle he claimed to have received as a reward for opening a new account – a staged event that involved a six-week clearance process for real customers.

A wealthy sycophant of communist dictators (he once characterized himself as a “fanboy” of the late Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez,[3] for example, and has tweeted about his great admiration for Karl Marx[4]). Moore never tires of smearing America as a nation of gun-happy racists (“This is a nation founded on genocide and built on the backs of slaves!”[5]). He even complained that the SEAL team killing of Osama bin Laden was an “execution”[6] – as though the mass-murdering terrorist deserved a mere fine and probation.

Moore called Trump an “evil genius”[7] and “mass killer”[8] on the scale of Bin Laden for allegedly causing every COVID-19 death, and smeared Trump supporters as “legal terrorists.”[9] He even devoted a documentary to Trump’s political ascendance, Fahrenheit 11/9 (the title is a wordplay on both his earlier 9/11 documentary and the date Trump was elected to office). In it he made the predictable mindless comparison of Trump to Hitler.

Among his innumerable grotesque lies about America, the author of Stupid White Men has condemned our electoral system for being rooted in “racism,” “white supremacy,” and a desire to “stop black and brown people from voting.”[10] A more accurate name for his book would have been Stupid White Man. Naturally Moore sees no hypocrisy in his desire to keep his political opponents from voting. “Fuck the Republicans,” he stated after Joe Biden won the Presidency in 2020 amid accusations of widespread voter fraud. “Stop listening to them. They have nothing to do with what the majority of this country wants... We are the majority. We are the majority.”[11] False – more Americans identify as conservative than as liberals, or more to the point, pro-Castro leftists.

The 20 Dumbest Hollywood Hatemongers Part II (written with David Horowitz)

Tier 3: #15-11

15. Alyssa Milano

“The red MAGA hat is the new white hood.”

Alyssa Milano, 49, has gone from child star in Who’s the Boss? to TV roles in Melrose Place and Charmed, to tireless activism on issues such as AIDS, health care, gun violence, abortion, and of course, the #MeToo movement, which she helped launch. A supporter of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Joe Biden, Milano revealed in 2019 that she had had two abortions when she was young, and she didn’t regret them because otherwise “I would not have my career.”[1]

She campaigned against the Supreme Court confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, dressing up as an oppressed Handmaid’s Tale character and urging her followers to “bang down” their senators’ doors in protest. She warned that Kavanaugh would “affect everything we know to be true as American citizens.”[2] Later she told CNN she was “filled with rage” that conservatives like Trump and Kavanaugh were “institutionalizing sexual abuse.”[3] (Perhaps she confused them with the gender-fluidity crowd in America’s K-12 school administrations.)

Milano proclaimed at an October 2021 abortion rally in Los Angeles, “I cannot believe how fucked up America is right now. I can’t believe how a handful of men are successfully taking 50 years of rights away from women, and how a Supreme Court packed with abusers [sic] is just going to sit by and let it all fucking happen.” She called on men to “use your privilege to destroy your own privilege.”[4]

Claiming that this is the most dangerous time women have ever faced, she told attendees at a January 2019 rally in Washington, D.C., “I do not have equal rights in the Constitution. That’s right, because I have a vagina I do not have equality and justice.”[5] Of course, the Constitution does not contain the words “male” and “female” – precisely because its equal rights are afforded to all citizens, not genders. She also later lamented that giving birth was “very reminiscent of being sexually assaulted.”[6] A woman who equates rape with giving life is what you might call a perfect spokesperson for the crowd that wants to abort the unborn up to the moment of birth.

In early 2019 she sparked controversy for tweeting that “The red MAGA hat is the new white hood. Without white boys being able to empathize with other people, humanity will continue to destroy itself.”[7] After drawing backlash for this racist assault she doubled down:

I am sorry. I’m sorry for the decades and decades of oppression and abuses people of color have faced in this country. I’m sorry that as part of a privileged white majority we did not stop this Administration from happening. I’m sorry to those who have suffered at the hands of the Red Hats and the policies their leadership implements. See, I’m not apologizing to the Red Hats. I’m apologizing for them.[8]

Even though Milano wrestled in February 2021 with the dawning realization that hate crime hoaxer Jussie Smollett was not the victim of MAGA Trumpers but faked the attack on himself,[9] she tweeted: “Police exist to uphold white supremacy and have been empowered by laws and the courts to inject themselves into Black life for any reason…”[10] A brazen lie – and not a white one.

The 20 Dumbest Hollywood Hatemongers (written with David Horowitz)

On March 27, 2022, during a live television broadcast of the 94th Academy Awards, popular actor Will Smith hijacked the ceremony by storming onstage to slap comedian Chris Rock for a tame joke about Smith’s actress wife, Jada Pinkett. Then Smith returned to his seat and, in an epic explosion of Hollywood narcissism, spewed profane threats at Rock, which were broadcast around the world, sucking all the air out of an event designed to showcase the achievements of his fellow artists. Some speculated that Smith’s meltdown stemmed not from a chivalrous defense of his wife’s honor, but from the pent-up humiliation of being wedded to a woman who publicly insisted on having an “open marriage.”[1]

Instead of being ejected from the event and arrested for the assault, Smith was given the Best Actor Oscar moments later and received a standing ovation from the celebrity colleagues whose showcase he had just hijacked and trashed. As composer Oscar Levant once quipped in regard to Hollywood’s moral spinelessness: “Beneath the Tinsel of Tinseltown is … tinsel.”

Not long after Smith’s shocking performance, the world tuned-in to the pathetic spectacle of actor Johnny Depp’s anti-defamation lawsuit against his abusive ex-wife, actress Amber Heard. Trial testimony included such sordid revelations as: rampant drug and alcohol abuse (Heard reportedly drank two $500 bottles of wine a night, while Depp himself regularly spent as much as $30,000 a month on wine); mutual accusations of physical abuse; and the allegation that Heard defecated on Depp’s side of the bed when he tried to break up with her.

These are just two of the most recent examples of the moral bankruptcy of the Hollywood elites. For all their glamorous parading on red carpets, and their self-righteous posturing about social justice, Tinseltown is teeming with permanently damaged children and spoiled brats.

These are the same poseurs who powered the #MeToo movement but still defended and even honored the depraved director Roman Polanski, who drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl in 1977[2] – prefiguring the exploits of “America’s Dad,” comedian and TV star Bill Cosby.[3] They turned a blind eye to disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assaults[4] while he was making them stars until the avalanche of accusations rendered him unable to boost their careers anymore. At the same time they were engaged in moral preening, they were fighting tooth-and-nail to deny one of Hollywood’s greatest directors, Elia Kazan (On the Waterfront, East of Eden), an honorary Oscar because he was anti-Communist and they weren’t.[5]

Drawing the Thin Blue Line

Writing last month in the New York Post, Manhattan Institute Fellow Heather Mac Donald noted that even the Biden Justice Department has finally acknowledged there is a war on cops underway in America.  FBI Director Christopher Wray declared on CBS’s 60 Minutes that in 2021 there was a 59% increase in cop murders – nearly one every five days – driven by what Mac Donald calls “a national rhetoric of cop hatred and racial animosity.”

In this hostile environment, comic book writer and artist Mike Baron (The Flash, Nexus, Star Wars, and The Punisher), winner of two Eisner Awards (the comic industry equivalent of the Oscars) teamed up with active-duty police officer Joseph Arnold (on pencils and layouts) and illustrator Jeff Slemons to create Thin Blue Line, a police-positive graphic novel which follows officer Valeria Baca and her partner Bob Mack as they fight for their community and their own survival amid rioting in the streets.

“It’s not polemic, and definitely isn’t a cop recruitment book,” Baron noted. "It’s just a thrilling action drama, similar in many ways to elements my fans may recall from the five years I wrote The Punisher, which were grittier and more realistic than most mainstream superhero comics.”

I wrote previously for FrontPage Mag, last November, how Baron chose to crowdfund the project after the concept was rejected by major publishers, who were repulsed by a story line that presented cops as heroes rather than villains. Since then, the response on its Indiegogo page was tremendous. Thin Blue Line earned nearly three times its goal.

“I was shocked at how easily we beat our modest crowdfunding goal,” editor Chris Braly says. “Mike's fans, as well as the law enforcement community, came out in a big way on Indiegogo. We’re at the printer now and expect to ship in mid-June. Latecomers still have a chance to own a first printing of 'Thin Blue Line' by visiting and grabbing a copy of what’s destined to be a VERY rare comic.”

Hong Kong Without a Net

Before the news media focused everyone’s attention on Ukraine as the world’s flashpoint of democracy in peril, that flashpoint was rightfully centered on Hong Kong, where a courageous pro-democracy movement rebelled against the oppressive, communist Chinese regime. That rebellion is still ongoing, and still being suppressed. Just this week, Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, retired Cardinal Bishop of Hong Kong and one of the world’s leading human rights activists, was arrested in Hong Kong with three others as trustees of an organization that helps local democracy activists pay their legal fees. The trustees’ crime was “collusion with foreign forces,” part of a new security law implemented last year by Beijing to crush the protests in the former British colony, which has been under Chinese control since 1997. 

Few Western conservatives can write as intimately and knowledgeably about Hong Kong and its people as the late writer Bruce Herschensohn, whose final book has just been published by Beaufort Books*. A Profile of Hong Kong, subtitled “During Times Past, Times Current, and its Quest of a Future Maintaining Hong Kong’s Liberty,” is composed of Bruce’s personal reflections upon, and historical analysis of, one of the most highly-developed, densely-populated cities in the world, one in which the people yearn for freedom from the communist yoke and look to America as their inspiration (you will recall that the protesters in 2019-2020 waved the Stars and Stripes and sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” together). His insights stem from 37 trips to Hong Kong made annually from 1960 through the British handover of the city in 1997, and they include his thoughts on what he calls “the frightening days and nights” when thousands of protesters were arrested and many brutalized by excessive police force.

The extraordinarily accomplished Herschensohn had a long and distinguished career in political analysis as a senior fellow at Pepperdine University School of Public Policy, former Distinguished Fellow at the Claremont Institute, Fellow at the Nixon Center for Peace and Freedom, and former Fellow at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy Institute of Politics. He received the Distinguished Service Medal, served as Deputy Special Assistant to President Nixon, was selected as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men in the Federal Government, traveled to over ninety countries, and even worked with Nobel Prize-winning Soviet dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. He authored such books as An American Amnesia: How the US Congress Forced the Surrenders of South Vietnam and Cambodia; Above Empyrean: A Novel of the Final Days of the War on Islamic Terrorism; and the 2012 book Obama’s Globe: A President’s Abandonment of US Allies Around the World, a concise and hard-hitting indictment of former President Barack Obama’s disastrous foreign policy (which I reviewed for FrontPage Mag here).

CNN Frets That Children Are Being Brainwashed – by Conservatives

Hundreds of righteously concerned parents gathered recently outside the Walt Disney Company’s Burbank, California, headquarters to protest the corporation’s woke stance on gender ideology. The following weekend, Moms For America hosted a rally at Florida’s Disney World for the same reason. Now a mainstream media outlet has finally chimed in to warn its readers about the insidious political indoctrination of children – by conservatives.

CNN’s website recently featured an opinion piece by Nicole Hemmer titled, “The right-wing children’s entertainment complex is upon us,” which attempts to discredit conservative efforts to counter the leftist brainwashing of children that is widespread throughout America’s schools and the entertainment industry. Hemmer, an associate research scholar at Columbia University with the Obama Presidency Oral History Project and the author of Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics, paints such efforts as paranoid, cynical, exploitative, insular, and bigoted, while pretending the culture war being waged on impressionable young minds by the left is nothing more than a right-wing fantasy.

The essay is couched in phrasing which suggests that conservatives are “hand-wringing” about nothing (“conservatives claim”; “what the right sees as liberal indoctrination”; “supposed liberal indoctrination,” etc.). She never acknowledges that parents have legitimate concerns about identity politics being inculcated in schoolrooms and through children’s entertainment programming. Instead, she implies that the rise of conservative alternatives to such cultural Marxism stems from paranoia and greed.

As an example, she cites the successful Tuttle Twins series of libertarian children’s books which, according to its website, “teach students the values of a free society—ideas that support your family values” [emphasis in original] and which “help children develop critical thinking skills about real-world concepts” like the free market. That sounds like a breath of fresh air compared to America’s current scholastic environment, where devout social justice activists masquerading as educators sow racial division and gender confusion among schoolkids as young as kindergartners.

Hemmer goes on to mention the "Heroes of Liberty" series for middle-schoolers (biographies of conservative icons like Margaret Thatcher), the Brave Books series authored by prominent conservatives like Dana Loesch, history-for-kids books by the late Rush Limbaugh, and what Hemmer calls “an array of anti-trans books.” (They are not “anti-trans,” but if you oppose the current leftist push to encourage gender confusion in vulnerable young minds and even assist children in mutilating their bodies against parental opposition, you obviously must be a transphobic bigot.)

Deep State Slayers

What is the difference between a conspiracy theory and the truth? About six months.

Vindicated conservatives have been circulating that meme on the internet in the wake of being proven correct about every single thing the Left has denied over the last couple of years as nutty, right-wing conspiracy theories: from the Wuhan lab origins of the coronavirus, to Critical Race Theory being taught in schools, to the existence of a shadow government known as the Deep State (the Wikipedia entry for the Deep State insists four times in the first four sentences that this notion is a debunked conspiracy theory).

The Deep State, or “Swamp,” not only exists, but has roots reaching much farther back than just the presidency of Donald Trump, whose outsider status and populist appeal posed an unprecedented threat to the many-tentacled shadow government. That is the subject of the must-read new book Dragonslayers: Six Presidents and Their War With the Swamp, by the prolific historian Larry Schweikart. Dr. Schweikart’s previous works include, among others, Reagan: The American President (about which I previously interviewed him here), 48 Liberal Lies About American History, and A Patriot’s History of the United States (co-written with Michael Allen).

(That last title, by the way, is a much-needed antidote to the radical propagandist Howard Zinn’s poisonous, subversive People’s History of the United States, which has infected nearly every schoolroom in America for the last four decades. If only Schweikart’s book had been taught as widely since its publication in 2004, then perhaps we wouldn’t be reeling from the violent anti-Americanism of a couple of generations of youth brainwashed to despise our country, its values, and its Constitution.)

In addition to his numerous books, you can read Dr. Schweikart’s current political commentary at his Substack account here, and check out his Wild World of History site as well – an invaluable resource for teaching the truth about history.

Dragonslayers, released today, examines the struggles of half a dozen American Presidents who confronted their particular iterations of the entrenched Deep State. Those six are Abraham Lincoln, Grover Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and of course, Trump, who had campaigned on the promise to “drain the Swamp,” by which he originally meant lobbyists. But the Swamp ran layers deeper within the government than he had anticipated.

Campus Jew Hatred Rising

In a free new ebook from the David Horowitz Freedom Center, author and regular FrontPage Mag contributor Richard L. Cravatts Ph.D., a Shillman Fellow at the Center, counters the lies and misrepresentations of the pro-Palestinian movement on American campuses, exposing its roots in the ancient animus of Jew hatred and the genocidal threat of Islamic supremacism.

Jew Hatred Rising: The perversities of the campus war against Israel and the Jews can be downloaded as a PDF document or read in full at this link. In it, Dr. Cravatts deconstructs, with forceful eloquence, the arguments of pro-Palestinian activists who declare Israel to be illegitimate while championing the nonexistent nation of “Palestine.” He also describes the hostile campus climate that BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) activists have created for Jewish students, who are smeared as racists for supporting a Jewish state and denied equal participation in student affairs.

“The notion of ‘two states living sides by side in peace,’ as the oft-repeated refrain goes, is, and always has been, of complete irrelevance to the Arabs,” Cravatts writes of the rising “new antisemitism.” “The creation of a new Arab state is not the sought-after goal; what is the actual goal is the extirpation of the Jewish one.”

I posed some questions to Dr. Cravatts about his new book.

Mark Tapson: Richard, thanks for this timely, important ebook. What is the “new” antisemitism and why is it surging so alarmingly?

Richard Cravatts: Thanks for inviting me, Mark.

Anti-Semitism, which scholar Robert Wistrich called “the longest hatred,” has been with us for millennia and has manifested itself as hatred of Jews for their perceived defects and characteristics. While classic forms of anti-Semitism—those evident in right-wing fringe groups such as neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan, and other white supremacists—still exist and sometimes, such as in the case of the 2017 Charlottesville rally, expose their dark bigotry, on university campuses, at least, this type of Jew-hatred is largely invisible. Instead, something that you accurately referred to as the “new anti-Semitism” has evolved, a form of Jew-hatred that deflects its true nature by focusing animus not on the Jew as an individual but on the Jew of nations, Israel.

Mendaciously disguised as mere “criticism of Israel and Zionism,” the new anti-Semitism emerges in ways that have been outlined, for instance, in the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism, and particularly the section of the IHRA definition that suggests that “Applying double standards by requiring of [Israel] a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation” is anti-Semitic.

As you are aware, on university campuses now there is an obsession with race and intersectionality, the shared oppression of minority groups. So, the slander that Zionism is racism and that Israel is an apartheid, colonial regime of “white” Jews that oppresses an indigenous “brown” people is a repeating trope we witness on campuses and one that has spread widely as progressives try to position Israel as a racist, illegal entity.

It may be comforting for virtue-signaling student radicals to show their overriding concern for the Palestinian self-determination, but on American campuses, this demand regularly, and relentlessly, manifests itself in toxic, anti-Israel, anti-Zionist, often anti-Semitic activism in which the Jewish state and the Jews who support it are vilified as racists, colonialists, occupiers, and militaristic reincarnations of the Third Reich who brutally trample and oppress the indigenous Palestinians and subjugate them in a system of apartheid.

This is not, as Jew-haters claim, simply criticism of Israel. It is a targeted, unrelenting campaign to demonize, slander, and weaken the Jewish state, and, by the IHRA definition at least, often manifests itself in what is clearly anti-Semitic expression and behavior.

MT: How do you counter the kneejerk leftist argument that criticism of Israel is not to be conflated with antisemitism?