If Only People Truly KNEW How Badly They Were Being Manipulated

Just one excerpt from an extremely thought-provoking article:

Propaganda doesn’t have to change your mind to be effective– all it has to do is disable your critical thinking by blinding you with rage, misdirecting your attention, generating an “Other” that acts as a target for projected frustration, creating either-or thinking, splinter the working / middle classes into divisive “tribes” supported by echo-chamber social media and addict you to constant drips of carefully tailored emotional derangement.

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By Doug Newman – email me here.
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The American Dream is alive in North Korea. They have taken everything that so many Americans at least say that they want to the extreme.

  • Total gun control.
  • Single-payer healthcare.
  • No restrictions on police and prosecutors.
  • Total national security.
  • YUGE, YUGE, YUUUUUUUGE military parades.
  • Absolutely zero criticism of The Leader.
  • Accusations from the proper people equate to guilt.
  • Defendants are presumed guilty.
  • Mandatory participation in patriotic events.
  • Total political correctness.
  • Universal military conscription.
  • The military in domestic law enforcement.
  • Very strict limits on foreign trade.
  • Total economic self-reliance.
  • The most fortified borders on earth.

If you’ll give up some of your liberty in order to have a better society, why not give up all of your liberty in order to have a perfect society? Why not just push every government activity that you like to the absolute limit?

You know, like North Korea does.

Wanna live there?korea at night wikimedia

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Lies, Damned Lies and American Gun Control Statistics

By Doug Newman – email me here.
Here I am on Facebook.
If you would like to post this elsewhere – who knows why? – please just link to this URL. Thanks!

In the aftermath of tragedies such as the recent school massacre in Parkland, Florida, it is oh so tempting to think that tougher gun laws are The Answer. If we just make it harder to get guns, they tell us, fewer people will buy guns and we will reduce the murder rate.

To be sure, America has more guns as well as guns per capita than any other nation on earth. To hear it from the anti-gun crowd, this and this alone is enough to explain America’s murder and overall crime rates. To paraphrase Mark Twain, there are lies, damned lies and gun control statistics, with the third being the most deceptive of all. More guns do not mean more murders and fewer guns do not mean fewer murders.

In 2012, in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook massacre, I did some research that revealed zero correlation whatsoever between gun ownership rates and murder rates in various countries around the world. While America leads the world in gun ownership, we rank ninety-second in homicide rate. El Salvador leads the world in homicide and has a rate of gun ownership similar to that of Great Britain. Moreover, America has more guns than ever and murder rates have dropped dramatically since the early 1990s.

homicide rate

This is also the case when we look at various American states. I am not a professional statistician. However, some very basic research yielded some interesting results about the relationship between strictness of gun laws, gun ownership and murder rates. My sources include the Giffords Law Center’s Annual Gun Law Scorecard ranking states as per the strength of their gun laws, and a summary of the FBI Uniform Crime Reports on gun ownership and murder rates.

  • New Hampshire had the nation’s lowest murder rate and one of the lowest rates of gun ownership despite having very weak gun laws. Neighboring Maine and Vermont also had very weak gun laws and some of the lowest murder rates.
  • The District of Columbia ranked 39th in gun ownership, but had the nation’s highest murder rate by a very wide margin.
  • Alaska ranked first in gun ownership, but had a gun murder rate slightly lower than Delaware, which ranked 51st in gun ownership.
  • Louisiana ranked second in gun murder rate, even though it had a rate of gun ownership similar to Hawaii, which ranked 51st in gun murder rate.
  • Maryland ranked fourth in murder rate, but 42nd in gun ownership.
  • Kansas had the third weakest gun laws, but ranked 25th in murder rate.
  • Georgia had four times the gun murder rate as Utah, despite having a slightly lower rate of gun ownership.
  • My home state of New Jersey had the fourth lowest gun ownership rate, but the 22nd lowest murder rate.
  • Colorado, where I live now, ranked 22nd in gun ownership and 35th in murder rate.

Do you detect any patterns here? If not, don’t feel bad, because neither do I.

The principle applies domestically as well as internationally: there is simply no correlation between gun ownership, gun laws and murder rates.

okc bombing memeAnd also note that the Giffords study only talks about gun murders, and not all murders. Tim McVeigh killed 168 people in Oklahoma City without a gun. The 9/11 hijackers didn’t use any guns. And the largest school massacre in American history was in Bath, Michigan, in 1927, where 44 were killed and 58 were injured. The perp did not use guns, but rather explosives. And this was at a time when you could buy all sorts of guns in the Sears Catalog.

On a personal note, I lost a long-time friend in the 2012 Aurora theater shooting. If you’ll remember, the killer, James Holmes, also rigged his apartment building with explosives. He could have killed 12 people just as dead and injured 60 more people without ever picking up a gun.

aurora theater cnn

RIP, Gordon. Credit: CNN

Also, Columbine killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold had planted bombs in the school’s cafeteria which ultimately failed to detonate. Just like James Holmes, they could have wrought massive bloodshed without picking up a gun.

While I was researching this, I read of a study from Cohen Children’s Hospital in New Hyde Park, New York, stating that 3000 teenagers die each year as a result of texting and driving. Contrast this with the 12 or so students who die in an average year from firearms on school campuses.

Where is the outrage about texting and driving? Where are all the marches, walkouts and demands for reform? Are there any “spokespersons” anywhere decrying these deaths from texting as an “epidemic” or “holocaust”? Are these deaths by texting any less tragic than those from firearms? Does God value the souls of those who died from texting any less than He values souls of those who perished from school shootings?

There are over 50 million students in K-12 education in America. In an average year about 12 perish as a result of firearms on campus. The chances of dying from a school shooting are less than 1 in 4 million. Even with the myriad problems facing American schools, they are very safe places.

And just like “gun-free” schools haven’t stopped any of the massacres we have seen in recent decades, “hardening” schools with a stronger police presence will not make them any safer either.

In the 1978-79 academic year, when I was a high school senior somewhere in the swamps of Jersey, there were 3 school shooting deaths all year out of tens of millions of students nationally. Schools were not “gun-free” and you never saw cops on campus.


So why all the uproar about school shootings and the demands to enact stricter gun control? It is because an armed citizenry is the last true line of defense against full frontal tyranny coming to America. And if you don’t think that this is happening as you read this, you need to take a harder look at what has transpired in America over the last few decades.

None of this is to minimize the grief of those who have been affected by these tragedies. By all means mourn the dead and pray for all affected. But don’t succumb to the deluge of media-induced panic and fearmongering.

Ultimately, the problems are cultural and cannot be fixed by laws. It is not a gun problem, but rather a people problem with no quick-fix “solution”. To paraphrase Cassius in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, the fault is not in our guns but in ourselves.

msdouglas hs crosses today

In most respectful memory of all who perished at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Credit: today.com

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Do We HAVE to Have a President?

By Doug Newman – email me here.
Here I am on Facebook.
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Monday is President’s Day. Why do we celebrate it? And do we even have to have a president?

The most boring topic of conversation imaginable is whoever warms the chair in the Oval Office. The second most boring topic is whoever that person vanquished in the last election. The third most boring topic is the previous chair warmer-in-chief. The most boring people imaginable are those who absolutely cannot just shut up about the occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Call it Presidential Derangement Syndrome.

trump mockingThe presidency, as ordained by the U.S. Constitution, is an insignificant office. The president is the chief executive officer of a branch of government whose activity is severely limited. These powers are spelled out in 329 words in Sections 2 and 3 of Article II and restrained by the Tenth Amendment. The only power the president can exercise unilaterally over people is the power to grant pardons and reprieves. He cannot make laws and he cannot rule by executive order.

He only presides over the executive branch of the federal government. His vetoes can be overridden by the senate and his actions can be overruled by the courts. So if you are not in the military or an employee of some other segment of the executive branch, you don’t have a president.

I stopped having a president on April 1, 2001, when my Naval Reserve retirement became effective. The occupant of that office does not preside over me in any manner that I acknowledge. He doesn’t preside over you either. And, no, you don’t have to “do what he says”.

Presidents going back to George Washington, who led federal troops to the Pittsburgh area to collect whiskey taxes, have overstepped their bounds. The federal government, especially since the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, has grown into such a monstrosity that it still doesn’t matter who is its CEO. I found it slightly amusing after Hurricane Harvey when Trump said he would visit Houston when it would not cause disruption. Wherever the president goes nowadays, he causes is massive disruption, with roads blocked and traffic redirected everywhere.

Is this merely security theater or do that many people seriously want to kill the president? If, God forbid, the latter, it ought to serve as some sort of reality check. Perhaps there is a reason that whoever holds the office president, whoever that may be, is so widely hated.

When the president order any of us incarcerated indefinitely without any semblance of due process as well as rain bombs all over the planet, whoever holds that office needs to be hated and hated widely for no other reason that they sought that office more aggressively than anyone else.

And, no, I don’t have to “respect the office” of president any more than I have to “respect the office” of Mine Shaft Inspector. Tyrants deserve contempt, not respect.

I also found it amusing when conservatives complained that Obama – aka King Putt – played too much golf and ignored his presidential duties. Did they want himhim?MAObama? – doing more of everything they claimed to hate so much?

trump elway

Is it just me, or does he look like NFL legend John Elway?

So let the president play golf, or buy the first box of Girl Scout cookies, or throw out the first pitch on  Opening Day. And, yes, let him visit disaster areas as long as he doesn’t use these disasters as reasons to spend more stolen, i.e. taxpayer, money or expand federal police powers. Let him spend as much time as possible away from the levers of power.

As Lew Rockwell wrote in the mid-1990s: “The presidency must be destroyed. It is the primary evil we face, and the cause of nearly all our woes. It squanders the national wealth and starts unjust wars against foreign peoples that have never done us any harm. It wrecks our families, tramples on our rights, invades our communities, and spies on our bank accounts. It skews the culture towards decadence and trash. It tells lie after lie. Teachers used to tell schools kids that anyone can be president. This is like saying anyone can go to Hell. It’s not an inspiration; it’s a threat.”

While constitutional government such as that promoted by Ron Paul would be an immeasurable improvement over anything anyone reading this has ever experienced, I really think it was a mistake to depart from our original governing document: the Articles of Confederation. The anti-federalists warned us repeatedly that the proposed constitution would consolidate more power at the federal level and would eventually devolve into tyranny. They were right.

obama-mental-floss freerepublicJust a few of the benefits of the Articles of Confederation were that it neither granted any federal taxing power nor created a federal court system. Moreover, the president presided over the congress and had no assigned duties. And the president was elected by the congress. John Hancock was elected president for 1785 and never showed up to take the job. Hence, he was the greatest president.

At this time, America was in a struggle against the world’s pre-eminent military power. And, yet, the Continental Army, Navy and Marine Corps prevailed without a president as commander-in-chief.

This arrangement reminds me of my high school class president, a fellow WordPress blogger and all-around cool guy. He exercised no power over us, just like the president under the Articles of Confederation. (And we were quite the libertine bunch.)

I frequently cite I Samuel 8:4-20 as being parallel to contemporary America. The children of Israel clamored for a secular political king. God said, in effect: “I’ll let you have the king you say you want. But you’ll be sorry you asked.” Later, in Hosea 13:11, God says that He did this out of “anger”. A political chief executive was a curse, not a blessing.

Thomas Jefferson once remarked that “Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.” Demanding a tyrant is rebellion against God.

bush our enemiesWe recently endured the annual State of the Union orgy. Actually, many of you endured it as I have made it a point not to watch it ever since the late 1990s when Bill Clinton proclaimed that “the era of big government is over”. It is interesting to note that, in 1801, Jefferson delivered the address in writing as he considered giving a speech too monarchical. This practice continued until – no surprise here – Woodrow Wilson gave a speech in 1913.

Just like everything else in Washington, even the discharge of the least of the president’s constitutional duties grows biglyer and uglier all the time. That so many millions of people give it such an undue amount of emphasis bodes ill for what people keep telling me is a free country.

clinton stupid imgflipIndeed, Kevin Williamson writing in National Review in 2014, described the State of the Union as “a hideous, dispiriting, ugly, monotonous, un-American, un-republican, anti-democratic, dreary, backward, monarchical, retch-inducing, depressing, shameful, crypto-imperial display of official self-aggrandizement and piteous toadying, a black Mass during which every unholy order of teacup totalitarian and cringing courtier gathers under the towering dome of a faux-Roman temple to listen to a speech with no content given by a man with no content, to rise and to be seated as is called for by the order of worship”.

Mobutu Sese Seko was the unspeakably brutal dictator of the Congo from 1965 until shortly before his death in 1997. This was not his given name, but an alias. It was short for Mobutu Sese Seko Nkuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga. This translates as “The all-powerful warrior who, because of his endurance and inflexible will to win, goes from conquest to conquest, leaving fire in his wake.”

Sometimes, I think this is what the American people desire in a president. The real problem, as always, lies not in the presidency, but among the people. Someday, we, like the children of ancient Israel, will also be sorry we asked.

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Did God Help the Eagles Win the Super Bowl?

Did the Eagles win because several of them are such outspoken Christians? Or does God orchestrate certain outcomes for His purposes and glory?

I definitely say yes to the latter. Either way, this is a very thought-provoking article from Pastor Greg Dixon of in Indianapolis.

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Blue Lives Matter, But No More Than Anyone Else’s

By Doug Newman – email me here.
Here I am on Facebook.
If you would like to post this elsewhere – who knows why? – please just link to this URL. Thanks!

When police properly arrest violent criminals, I am the first to applaud them. When police perform good deeds, like directing traffic at ballgames and accident scenes, I am the first to thank them.

This does not, however, elevate them above the rest of us.

Before I go any further, I want to extend my thoughts, prayers and condolences to the widow, children and friends of Zackari Parrish, the Douglas County sheriff’s deputy who was shot and killed when responding to a domestic violence call in south suburban Denver on December 31, 2017.

Parrish’s death, while undeniably tragic, was no more tragic than any other death. As a Christian, I believe that God is “no respecter of persons” – Acts 10:34 – and does not value the souls of police officers any more than any other souls.

Why, then, is the death of a police officer and the memorial service given so much attention? His funeral procession was no ordinary one. Indeed, an 18-mile stretch of road between Castle Rock, Colorado, and Cherry Hills Community Church in nearby Highlands Ranch was closed for over 3 hours. Much of this was along Interstate 25, the most important traffic artery connecting Denver with points south.

And, according to the Denver Post: “The sanctuary that holds 5,000 at Cherry Hills Community Church in Highlands Ranch was filled. More watched from an overflow room across the street at Valor Christian High School. For more than an hour beforehand, a motorcade of several hundred law officers weaved through the streets following a hearse with Parrish’s remains. People who never met him lined University Boulevard and Wildcat Reserve Parkway, where the evergreen trees were tied with blue ribbon, holding American flags and handmade signs.”

Funeral procession for slain Douglas County deputy Zackari Parrish

I-25 in Douglas County, Colorado. Credit: Denver Post

Contrast this with my friend and business colleague – let’s call him Bill – who died very suddenly while working out at the end of May 2016. Cherry Hills held the memorial service, where a few hundred people showed up. Was Bill’s passing any less tragic? Was the grief of his family and friends any less? Did God value Bill’s soul any less? Did Bill’s life somehow matter less?

May God have mercy on your soul if you answered “yes” to any of these questions.

Most troubling is that a large segment of society has elevated the police into some sort of what the late great William Grigg called a “punitive priesthood”. The fact that their job is riskier than most jobs has caused many millions to heap huge amounts of undue praise upon them.

When you become a cop, you know that you will come in somewhat frequent contact with some of the more undesirable elements of humanity and that you are taking more than a few risks. However, cops do not have the most dangerous job. In fact, cops don’t even rank in the top 10 for on-the-job fatality rate. Moreover, on-the-job cop fatalities are at almost a 50-year low. In fact, more cops died in traffic accidents in 2017 than from being shot. There simply is no “war on cops”.

Then why do police occupy such an exalted place in the minds of so many? Perhaps, this is because they are part of the government. Governments and their toadies in the media – both left and right – lie profusely and endlessly.

zach parrish top local now

Funeral for Zackari Parrish at Cherry Hills Community Church in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Credit: Toplocalnow.com

America has an absolutely massive problem with police violence, which is made even worse by the refusal of so many to acknowledge it. Almost 1200 Americans were killed by cops in 2017. Contrast this with the 19 killed by Islamic terrorists. You are over 60 times more likely to be killed by a cop than by an Islamic terrorist.

Google “police brutality”. The list of examples is endless. And do likewise on YouTube. And look here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here for countless other examples. Indeed, American cops kill more people in each week than cops in other countries kill in years.

In all fairness, some of these killings were probably justified by some cops’ lives being in imminent danger. Cops are not always wrong. However, to casually assume that every such killing was justified, and to nonchalantly presume their victims “had to have done something to deserve it” isn’t just stupid. It’s also dangerous. To assume that the cops are always right and to always give them the unconditional benefit of the doubt is likewise not just abjectly stupid. It’s also abjectly dangerous.

To make matters worse, cops who abuse and kill almost always get away with their crimes. And no, rocking a badge and a blue uni does not excuse criminality. Crimes by cops are crimes nonetheless. When cops commit crimes, “good cops” never show up and arrest them. And police are far more militarized than they were a decade ago.

boston lockdown atlantic

Boston Lockdown 2013. Credit: The Atlantic

Throughout history, the most murderous organizations have always been governments. And it is the police or their equivalent who get the dirt under their fingernails carrying out their crimes. And whereas private sector criminals have two hands, governments have millions of hands. And they also employ very effective propaganda techniques to lull their subjects into blindly supporting them. Remind yourself of that whenever you hear someone say “blue lives matter”.

Indeed, blue lives do matter. But no more than anyone else’s.

Rick Ferguson was the senior pastor of Riverside Baptist Church in northwest Denver until his untimely passing in a car accident in 2002. I once heard him say that he always insisted on being called by his first name, even by his congregation. This was because, while he had greater responsibilities around the church, he was no more significant than anyone else in the eyes of God. If a very influential senior pastor whose duty is to preach and proclaim the Word of God is no more significant than anyone else, then nobody is more significant than anyone else in the eyes of God.

Apprehending violent offenders and bringing them to justice is likewise a solemn responsibility. But it does not make one’s life matter more than anyone else’s. And no one’s life, no matter how lowly their circumstances, matters any less than anyone else’s either.

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Why I Didn’t Support Trump

I didn’t support Trump because I thought his presidency would be a disaster, destroy conservatism, cause many conservatives to defend the indefensible, legitimize every negative stereotype about us, and lead to years of hard left rule. So far, I have not been proven wrong.

~ Matt Walsh on Twitter

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