Mob rule reigns, but everyone just wants to virtue signal

I had seriously considered going to Unite the Right (UtR). So, for many weeks I’ve been following the unfolding event, the speakers, the infighting, the city hysteria, and all the legalities very closely.

An orgy of virtue-signaling

I’m not Monday-morning-quarterbacking, like so many other people out there who just yesterday realized there was even anything of interest happening in Charlottesville. Apparently, it just takes five minutes of cable-news viewing and HuffPo reading to turn one into an “alt-right” expert.

Nor am I participating in the shallow and self-serving virtue-signaling against “racism” that the masses are advertising to the world. So brave. Or the “we are one” rhetoric that conservatives habitually utter before placing a flag overlay on their pics and then going back to sleep. Nor am I going to #StandWithCharlottesville because this social-justice city not only created Saturday’s chaos, but its citizens, leaders, and police purposefully made it as painful as possible to teach dissenters and nonconformists a lesson. In other words, it was a set-up and statists at every level have blood on their hands.

Nor am I dismissing both the alt-right and Antifa and Black Lives Matter (BLM) activists as horrible abominations, like some libertarians are doing. Or broad-brush condemning the UtR, as every opportunist Republican is doing. I am indeed taking a side, which may lose me some friends. But at this stage of my dissidence, I’m sadly used to that sort of thing.

I was almost there

So, let me tell you why I was entertaining the idea of attending. First, I was going to put my journalism skills to work in order to witness first-hand and then report from the ground what actually unfolded. Seems that only myself and about five other people I know grasp this concept of gathering facts before making impassioned proclamations. As we smart skeptics understand, the mainstream media is chillingly effective at ignoring evidence and twisting it for its own ends. So, I thought this rally might be an opportune exercise in real truth-seeking.

As an observer, I would’ve interviewed the varied types attendees, from Southern traditionalists, who want to combat the cleansing and revisionism of Confederate history, and traditionalists, who aim to foster old-school family values, modesty, and virtue; to ethno-nationalists and white identitarians; to First-Amendment proponents and Constitutionalists; to a smattering of national socialists (a.k.a. Nazis … you know, the guys with swastikas).

But I think a large portion of the attendees were really just folks who’ve grown disaffected with libertarian and conservative philosophizing about the dangers of progressivism. They saw the rally as a tangible way to put words into action and to stand up against the unholy doctrine of cultural Marxism, especially anti-whiteness.

Jason Kessler, the event organizer and Charlottesville native, doesn’t even consider himself a white nationalist. In fact, he told CNN that the event was about “preserving history against … censorship,” “being allowed to advocate for your interests as a white person, just like other groups are allowed to advocate for their interests politically,” and “free speech.”

Hey hey, ho ho, political correctness has got to go

All in all, it was supposed to be a day of opposition to political correctness, and that’s why there were so many shades of “the right” present. After all, non-leftism is a pretty huge tent and social-justice warriors have done a bang-up job of pissing off a lot of different kinds of people. There’s some diversity for ya.

I figured I wouldn’t have been able to interview Antifa or BLM protesters out of fear for my own safety. Truly, they are violent nihilists who would just as easily punch or mob-attack me while decrying “supremacy” or the “patriarchy” or “hate” as they would get an abortion or give their kid hormones to transition to the opposite gender. But at least I could witness what exactly it was they were chanting, hurling, and spraying.

Second, although I am not a national socialist by any stretch of the imagination – heck, I’m an anti-state libertarian who believes in secession, subsidiarity, and decentralization – I saw this rally as one possible impediment to the scourge of “social justice.” It was pissing off all the right people, from the city’s New Yorker mayor, Mike Signer, and anti-white vice mayor, Wes Bellamy, to the he-she Twitter activist and creator of #DefendCville, Emily Gorcenski, and Virginia governor and Clinton lackey, Terry McAuliffe. After all, triggering leftists is one of the few silver linings of living in a perverted post-modern world.

We’re all identitarians in some way

Third, Lee Park was supposed to be where the rally took place. Recently rebranded “Emancipation Park” by the social democrats who have invaded Charlottesville – just one among the casualties of Southern cities that have morphed into a toxic blend of carpet-bagging transplants and guilt-ridden Southern quislings – I considered it quite fitting for an unReconstructed rebel like myself to show up to resist to city’s plans to remove the park’s monument honoring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Fourth, I firmly believe (and now have been proven correct) that there is a pervading anti-white sentiment sweeping our culture. It’s not only socially and institutionally acceptable to say and do racist things towards white people, but it’s become a prerequisite for “polite” conversation. Hell, it’s becoming law! There is a different set of rules and expectations for white folks, and this has awakened a broad contingent of people who are repelling that harmful and hateful agenda. It’s objective truth, y’all, so don’t go and get all “social sciences” or “social justice” on me. Just open your damn eyes.

They’re asking why can every other “person of color” tout his pride, except whites? Why can every other ethnicity, race, and sexual “preference” practice in-group preference, except for straight white American-born men? Why can every other ideological faction define itself by identity politics, but if you’re a white identitarian, you’re a white supremacist?

Honestly, we are all “identitarians” in some way: Christian, parent, libertarian, husband, wife, Austrian economist, anarcho-capitalist, etc. People categorize and sort as a way to make sense of the world. And being tribal isn’t necessarily bad. God created all the tribes of the earth, so it’s been the organic state for most of human history. But it’s when you want your identity worshiped and subsidized and forced upon others that it becomes problematic.

Being white’s not a sin, neither is being Southern

As a white chick (well, technically, a 3/4 mix of Scottish, Irish, and Welsh + 1/4 Lebanese) who’s married to a white man and has three white sons, the assault against whiteness has made me say that, yes, I suppose I am pro-white. So freakin’ what? To be anything else would be stupid, self-loathing, not self-evident, and insincere. Otherwise, I’d be anti-white, right?

Moreover, I’m a person who never really thought in those terms till recently. I truly do believe in live and let live. I love Jesus, I voted for Ron Paul, and I believe in the nonaggression principle. I’m more naturally meritocractic in my worldview, but I refuse to be trampled under foot by cultural Marxism, so I’ve been forced to take a self-defensive posture. I am pro-life and pro-liberty, and my kith and kin are not excluded from those ethics just because they’re white.

Also, why can every other in-group spit on Southerners, but when they defend their home and history, they’re pegged as racists? Why is treating the South as the perpetual whipping boy for all the evils of Western civilization not only fashionable, but so status quo? And why do Southerners never get any credit for their accomplishments and contributions, of which many have either been co-opted or stolen.

Why is it okay for pastors to preach sermons about unity, “racial reconciliation,” and how bigotry is anti-Christian, yet these are rarely standards applied to nonwhites. Silent are the proclamations against progressivism and all of its sinister manifestations.

These platitudes ring hollow when what’s touted is that “White people got work to do,” while every “aggrieved minority” (and there sure are a ton of ’em) is given a pass. Perhaps they’re saying that white people’s sin is soooo much worse than everyone else’s, or maybe they’re too scared to rock the leftist boat. Who knows. But how is that brotherhood? How can that foster divine godliness within the Church? Double standards and hypocrisy breed division and inauthenticity.

Complicity: Charlottesville & the media

Before the event even occurred, the rules for “Other” were already on display in Charlottesville. For instance, Kessler applied for and got a permit to have the rally at Lee Park, only to have the city revoke said permit days before the scheduled event. He obtained the legal help of the ACLU shockingly, and a federal judge overturned the unconstitutional act.

Some restaurants denied service to UtR attendees, and Air BnB canceled some people’s reservations, proving that freedom of association is only applicable for leftists, otherwise, “Bake the cake, Nazi!” Could you imagine if a conservative refused service to a BLM activist? We’d all have to undergo some kind of mass mandatory sensitivity training. Obviously, there are some segments of the population who aren’t allowed at the lunch counter. Next stop, to the back of the bus, whitey.

Even if the protesters were all “neo-Nazis,” as the dinosaur media called UtR, Marxists are still worse. Echoing the astute judgement of libertarian economist Walter Block, I’d rather live under national socialism than communism, and under fascism than national socialism. Sure, they’re all varying degrees of tyranny but commies – some of whom were smugly flying their Soviet hammer-and-sickle flags yesterday – have caused more human suffering in the name of their ideology than has true Nazism in its short-lived heyday.

To me, the “counter-protesters” and “peaceful protesters,” which is how mainstream news outlets described the savage thugs, are for more dangerous than are a bunch of “far-right extremists” who simply wanted to exercise their rights to free expression, peaceful assembly, and self-defense, if necessary. Charlottesville’s Daily Progress reported that UtR “storms” the city, pushing the pre-conceived narrative that alt-righters blitzed into town, raping and pillaging, taking no prisoners.

Fortunately, for those of us who care to do our homework and find out the facts, many attendees took video footage and released live streams, detailing and capturing many of the controversial happenings as they occurred. Just google it, people. Stop being such a dupe. Here’s what a Facebook friend had to say about it.

Uncivilized brutes & Marxist patsies

The Marxists sprayed rally-goers with bleach, acid, and CO2-propelled bear pepper-spray, pummeled them with bricks, bottles of urine, and feces, and beat them with steel batons. Alt-righters fought back. Period.

The college, city, and state police who were supposed to protect speakers, keep peace in surrounding areas, and help the actual event run as orderly as possible, reneged on their duties. Some cops laughed as UtR were doused with bodily fluids. They made attendees fight their way through blocks and blocks of belligerent provocateurs and didn’t provide the multiple venue entrances that had been promised to Kessler.

After having survived this onslaught, event speakers were told to disperse and disband. So, if you don’t fall on the victim pyramid, “unlawful” now means “following the letter of the law but still being shut down.” Cops left citizens, who were depending on them for safety, trapped and surrounded by aggressive hordes, and then allowed Antifa and BLM take over the streets for a victory lap once the alt-righters were gone. Meanwhile, UtR are the bad guys, and leftist agitators are victims and saints. Madness.

In addition to not knowing for sure if I’d even have any allies at the rally, I did know that I’d be on unfair footing strategically, which helped me decide that attending would be unwise. Would white nationalists have my back? Would the cops do their jobs? And why put myself in a life-and-death situation only to be called the instigator, if I were to use force to defend my body?

Even though I was proven correct in my calculations that the media and police cover for the left, it’s really shocking the extent to which the corruption, cover-ups, complicity, and conformity has gone. And it’s still going.

Corruption carries on

Even today, Kessler tried to hold a press conference. Police led him up to the podium, and then abandoned him … again. Mob rule is now the new “normal,” y’all. Either submit to it or be castigated as a Nazi. Denounce “white supremacy,” or have your faith called into question or be fired from your job. Hitler would be oh so proud of the government’s authoritarian tactics and the leftist storm troopers and useful idiots who embolden the mission. It’s a sham, political theater at its most disgusting, and most everyone is falling for it.

Where does this leave folks who don’t want to bend over and take it? I mean, take the Southern man, for instance. He tried to peacefully secede, but was forced back into an inequitable “union” at the point of a gun and then “reconstructed” by bayonet.

He built statues as not to forget the Confederate past, but his heroes are being razed and his ancestral culture erased. In 2016, he used the political process to pass a bill through the Virginia legislature to protect all historic monuments, only to have McAuliffe veto the bill.

He’s pegged a racist simply for existing. His kids are taught to despise their heritage, and all on his dime. His ancestors are mocked and called traitors. Yet when he resists, the full force of the institutions which his forebears built and the principles they established are misused against him.

Kessler went to great lengths to hold a peaceful and legal rally in his hometown, but statists instead sacrificed him on the altar of social justice. Now he’s being blamed. UtR attendees are being blamed and portrayed as the perpetrators, not the victims. (If anything, I think they showed great restraint under such trying and scary circumstance. I, for one, would’ve surely lost my cool.) And the monuments are being blamed for inciting hate and murder, and will most likely come down quickly to “honor the dead” that the city of Charlottesville and their leftist lynch mob helped kill.

Truth to power

People who simply wanted to speak out about what they see as a caste system in which they are the untouchables were taught a lesson French Revolution-style. Just work, pay your taxes, self-flagellate, and shut up, cracker, or off with your head. Crazy thing is, this rally proved these alleged Nazis 100% correct in their claims, yet most don’t recognize the irony.

Mob rule is at its zenith. But we can tear it down from its peak. Free speech and equal justice are dead for white non-leftists, but we can enliven it. But if you ain’t ready for battle, get out of the way because the civil war is upon us, whether we like it or not. And if you want to virtue signal about your anti-racist street cred, don’t be shocked when you find that a mob-ocracy has a sinister way of always eating its own.

The Confederate dead who are memorialized across Dixie were made of sterner stuff than their statues. They were resilient. Risk takers. People willing to sacrifice for their hearth and home. And they’re there to remind us that some things are worth fighting for. And tearing down this diseased “indivisible” union is the rightful remedy to securing peace.

Source: Dissident Mama – Mob rule reigns, but everyone just wants to virtue signal

Puritans, part 1: Coming to America

Recently, Business Insider editor, MSNBC contributor, and public-radio personality Josh Barro called the left’s war on American culture “annoying.” He explained that “Liberals have supplanted conservatives as moralizing busybodies.” New York Magazine‘s Jonathan Chait “even tweeted support of Barro’s “sensible thoughts,” calling out the Democrats’ supposedly new-found misadventure of “liberal sanctimony.”

Funny that in all his talk condemning such “moralizing,” neo-liberal Barro went on to further pontificate about the Dems suffering “from a cultural disconnect from non-college-educated voters who have abandoned the party in droves.” But not to worry, the left’s “substantial inroads with upscale suburban voters have been more than offset by the loss of voters down the income spectrum, most of whom did not finish college.”

Translation: If I pepper my blue-blood insults with enough of an overall empathic tone, I can probably admit that “following all the [politically correct] rules has become exhausting,” while also simultaneously telling the poor and stupid masses how poor and stupid they are. Bless his heart, this New England son really tried, but unfortunately, moralizing is all this atheist, gay, Russell-Moore-loving, Harvard “educated,” media elite really has to offer.

In fact, moralizing is and always has been the left’s religion. It’s the “puritanical progressives,” as I refer to them, who are constantly intruding into our lives through never-ending regulations, laws, educational indoctrination, corporate edicts, hive-mind social pressures, and media proselytizing. It’s a devilish scheme in which the pietistic purveyors of “social justice” have concocted a scenario that leaves no room for discussion, logic, or science.

And if you disagree with their flawless emotional creeds and ever-changing but always-correct edicts, well, you’re either an idiot, a hateful troublemaker, or you must just want people to die. That’s why these self-proclaimed Solomons feel no compunction in silencing, discrediting, maligning, bullying, punching, pepper-spraying, or perhaps even killing dissenters.

It’s this diabolical concoction of socialist politics mixed with religious fervor that has become the dominant “cultural power” and is even “more motivating than public policy,” to borrow Barro’s own words. It’s my contention that this holier-than-thou mindset is borne of New England Puritanism and has been a thorn in the side of liberty and self-determination ever since the Pilgrims came to America. So, let’s take a gander at history, shall we?

The Church of England, also called the Anglican Church, was established when King Henry VIII broke with the Catholic Church in 1534 in order to divorce his wife on grounds that she didn’t give him a male heir. Henry’s defiance of the Pope, who had denied him a divorce request, and break with Rome made this new state-run Church of England Protestant by definition, yet it still shared many liturgical practices with Catholicism. Thus, Anglicanism was (and still is) considered “high church.”

Enter in lawyer-turned-theologian John Calvin. His seminal writing – “Institutes of the Christian Religion” (first published in 1536) – challenged Catholic Church government and promoted divergent dogma, such as justification by faith alone and Sola Scriptura, and an abandonment of Church sacraments, rituals, and traditions.

By the late 1500s and early 1600s, there was a growing faction of Anglicans who had become disillusioned with the state ecclesiastical system. Influenced greatly by Calvin’s Protestant teachings, these Christians pushed for simplified Church worship, challenged what they deemed as apostasy of Anglican hierarchy, and wanted to shed themselves of liturgy they considered an impediment to practicing a more “pure” spiritual life – hence, the name Puritans.

Calvinism continued to spread, although there were varied belief systems and splinter groups within the movement at large, some more Puritan than others, but all united in opposition to Anglicanism. For instance, Congregationalists championed self-governing congregations independent from the Church. Presbyterians, who had a strong hold in Scotland, wanted a national church headed by pastors and elders. And Separatists severed all ties from the Church in order to create their own communities.

Kings Henry and then James harassed and mistreated all sects of non-Anglican Protestants, whom they considered rabble-rousing religionists. Persecution ranged from fines for missing Sunday services and Holy days, imprisonment for holding “illegal” meetings, loss of employment, and even execution in some instances.

In 1608, a group of Separatists fled England for Holland. Even though the Dutch were highly tolerant of these immigrants and their perceived unconventional religious practices, the Puritans worried about the loss of their English identity, as well as the corrupting effect morally lax Dutch culture was having on their children.

In order to protect their religious community and raise their families void of outside influence, the Separatists obtained a land grant in the New World. Under authority of the Virginia Company, they acquired a charter and set off in September 1620 to settle lands north of Jamestown.

Stormy winds and rough waters blew the Mayflower ship off course, and after two grueling months at sea, these Pilgrims landed in Cape Cod in what would eventually become Plymouth Colony. Since they found themselves outside the jurisdiction of the Virginia charter, the colonists in this vastly strange and unsettled territory drafted and signed the Mayflower Compact, which set up a majority-rule system of self-government under the divine authority of King James I.

England’s next monarch, Charles I, wanted to extend English territories along Massachusetts Bay. Consequently, more Puritans were able to obtain charters. In 1628, a small fleet journeyed across the Atlantic and settled in Salem, while another much larger company sailed to the emerging Puritan colony in 1630 and went on to establish Boston.

One of the greatest fallacies of American history is that the Virginia and Massachusetts colonies were monolithic, all endeavoring for freedom, all practicing the same religion, all bringing with them the same beliefs, cultures, and social norms. In truth, it wasn’t just geography and 13 years that separated Jamestown and Plymouth.

The people who settled Virginia were Anglicans who came from the South of England. They were comprised of gentry and indentured servants who sought economic opportunity, land, laissez-faire trade, and self-determination. They labored hard, but also desired down time.

The Puritans who settled Massachusetts hailed from East Anglia. Their faith-based colony consisted of strict personal regulations, collectivism, and “progress” through works.

“Thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced by His hand that made all things of nothing, and gives being to all things that are,” said William Bradford, signer of the Mayflower Compact and governor of Plymouth Colony, “and as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shown unto many, yea, in some sort, to our whole Nation.”

“Lastly and chiefly the way to prosper and achieve good success is to make yourselves all of one mind for the good of your country and your own,” stated the charter of the Virginia Company, “and to serve and fear God the giver of all goodness, for every plantation which our father hath not planted shall be rooted out.”

You can see here (emphases are mine) a few nuanced differences in their language. Whereas Bradford spoke in divine terms about the glories of production and spreading the Gospel through the Puritan collective, the Jamestown principles, although devotional in word, were more about the land and spreading community prosperity through individualism.

Another widespread misbelief is that the Pilgrims were seeking religious tolerance. But what these Puritans were really working toward was not freedom of religion, but rather, freedom from other religions.

Their aim was to rebuild humanity, “purify” civilization, and create Heaven on earth through their revamped interpretation and redesign of the Church. In short, the Puritans were activists. They had escaped what they regarded as the dead-and-gone confessionalism and formalism of the traditional Church, so these Pilgrims were finally unchained to plant and manifest God’s “right religion.”

As an Orthodox, we proudly claim to be the “one, holy, catholic (meaning: universal), and apostolic Church,” so I don’t slight the Pilgrims their passion. Admittedly, belief that your faith is “the one true Church of Christ” is a pretty consistent belief among most serious Christians then and now.

But what is troubling to me as a libertarian is that the Pilgrims pushed strict adherence to their constantly unfolding Protestant doctrines in such a coercive and majoritarian way. In preaching that only Puritanism could save mankind, any deviation was considered heresy and was boldly and often violently denounced. The Plymouth Colony was a religious monopoly built upon forced piety and corporate compliance, rather than salvation of the individual.

“Communities, and even families, were tightly controlled by the governing authorities … constables were assigned a group of around 12 families to ‘look in on’ and make sure they were functioning according to community standards,” explains independent historian Carl Jones in his analysis of David Hackett Fischer’s formative work, Albion’s Seed. “Submission to authority was the desired end in all aspects of Puritan society.”

In contrast, within the hierarchical structure of Virginia, free will was acknowledged by these Anglican Protestants, but self-control was instructed and encouraged via manners, familial expectations, community standards for social conduct, and the practice of a serious but quiet faith. For example, youth were expected to respect their elders, but elders were expected to exhibit grace, strength, and wisdom.

The Puritans were more concerned with literal Biblical interpretation and moral behavior, while Virginians were more interested in property rights and fulfilling English common law in a godly way. As the New England Historical Society states, Puritan “people were less likely to be punished for larceny than to be punished for blasphemy, idolatry, drunkenness, lewdness, fornication, cursing or smoking.”

In their early days, both colonies struggled with starvation, disease, drought, harsh winters, maintaining order, infighting, and Indians, yet each slowly but surely overcame hardship in ways unique to her people. But with triumph come intruders, hangers-on, and co-opters. And in 1655, the first non-native agitators to meddle with the Massachusetts Bay Colony’s success were the Quakers – a people on fire for spreading the beliefs of their Society of Friends.

Puritans were merciless in protecting their faith, smashing competing theologies, and keeping out dissenters, so Quakers were systematically shunned and persecuted. They eventually fled to other more religiously tolerant emerging colonies, like Rhode Island Plantation, which was founded in 1636 by Massachusetts-banished Puritan Roger Williams as a haven based in freedom of conscience, and became the site for the literal first Baptist church in America; and the Province of Pennsylvania, which was established as a refuge for oppressed Quakers by William Penn in 1681.

I must say, as a libertarian, I don’t have problem with the English Puritans seceding from institutions and governance they saw as counter to their own freedoms, beliefs, and pursuits. Nor do I have a problem with the early American Puritans trying to maintain their principles through community standards and by kicking out trespassers.

Yet, it was these very same New Englanders who would become the intruders and invaders of the Southern colonies. It was these Puritan-steeped navel-gazers of the North who campaigned and crusaded beyond their own borders, conquering the “impure” Dixie rebels via political, economic, and military force, gathered the spoils, and then reconstructed their lessers, all in the name of God.

In part 2 of this series, I’ll try to unpack how the Puritans actually perpetuated their theology/ideology throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, and why the Southern people considered it so pernicious a foreign influence that they were willing to secede from it and then take a stand against it for four bloody years … and beyond. Stay tuned, y’all.

Source: Dissident Mama – Puritans, part 1: Coming to America

A patriotic perspective against the Pledge

“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
— “The Pledge of Allegiance,” September 9, 1892

With Independence Day just a week ago and all the statist fervor that’s displayed annually around the holiday, I’m reminded of why I don’t say “The Pledge of Allegiance.” Let’s begin with the sordid inception of this American ritual.

The Pledge was written by Francis Bellamy, a 19th-century Christian socialist and member of the Boston-born movement known as the Nationalist Club. The organization urged for the nationalization of private property and exponential growth in social services, especially public education.

So, what we’re talking about here is not the kind of nationalism that seeks political independence for a regional people who share a distinct culture, language, and religion. Rather, this was more about “economic democracy.” In other words, socialism.

Enter Francis’ cousin, Edward Bellamy, a then-famous author of socialist-utopian novels. Edward’s “Looking Backward” was the third best-selling book of the day and greatly influenced none other than progressive public-school advocate, John Dewey. The book also inspired the proliferation of more Nationalist Clubs, where Bellamyites would gather to study Marxism and disseminate anti-capitalist ideas.

The blue-blood’s brand of nationalism coursed its way through the veins of America’s body politic and into many cities beyond Boston. The movement found common cause with reformers of the era, such as the People’s Party, the Social Labor Party, and the Social Democratic Party. And at the club’s height, there were chapters as far away as Washington, D.C., Chicago, Canada, California, and New Zealand.

Back to Francis: in the late 1880s, he was fired from his New England pastoral job for incessantly preaching that Jesus was a socialist. But he went on to become the founding vice president of the Society of Christian Socialists and a frequent contributor to its circular, “The Dawn.”

Francis was then hired by “The Youth’s Companion” (YC), a leading children’s publication that also featured works by Americana greats, like Jack London, Mark Twain, and Booker T. Washington. As content creators in the magazine’s premium department, Francis and James B. Upham began a promotion in 1888 that solicited subscriptions from public schools with the bonus of receiving a U.S. flag.

Up until this point, flying the stars and stripes wasn’t a common custom most anywhere. Remember, this was prior to the country’s ascent into foreign-adventurism during the Spanish-American War and subsequent role as global-policeman via propaganda pushed during both world wars.

But despite 20-plus years of Reconstruction, people still largely identified with their community, state, or region at this time. It’s not that folks weren’t proud of their home, it’s just that their home wasn’t the “nation.”

Plus, Unionism wasn’t (and I would argue, still isn’t among loud and proud Dixie natives) the instinct of most homegrown Americans, so shows of patriotism weren’t really necessary. Hell, Congress didn’t proclaim the 4th of July an official holiday until 1870, and Southern cities, like battle-worn Vicksburg, Miss., didn’t even celebrate it till the early 1900s.

But in just a few short years of YC’s promotion, approximately 26,000 flags had moved into public schools through this ingenious marketing concept. As with most business strategies, though, demand began to stagnate. So in 1892, Upham had another grand idea: increase magazine sales and the numbers of flags into schools by couching the promotion as a way to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus coming to the Americas.

A new flag pledge was published in the September 8 issue of YC. Students were encouraged to memorize and recite it, as well as participate in a novel flag-raising ceremony to observe the upcoming Columbus Day in October.

Francis spoke at a national meeting of school superintendents in support of the gimmick, er, I mean, patriotic program. Of course, the educrats were seduced by the campaign and happily obliged at utilizing government education to work the Pledge into the consciousness of the masses.

“Our public school system is what makes this Nation superior to all other Nations,” Sherman Hoar, U.S. Congressman from Massachusetts, told Francis in support of the pledge campaign. Pompous populism was at a fever pitch.

The National Education Association became a sponsor, and U.S. Congress and President Benjamin Harrison also participated in the excitement, making a national proclamation about the Columbus Day pledge-and-flag event. And so was born a new American covenant.

Interestingly, the pledge was originally recited while raising a stiff right hand upward. Due to its similarities to the Nazi salute, this practice was discontinued during WWII and replaced with placing right hand over heart. At the urging of the Knights of Columbus, “Under God” was added by Congress and President Dwight Eisenhower in 1954 as a stance against the threat of atheist communism. Oh the irony.

So, controversies over the Pledge’s words have become an all-encompassing straw man: while leftists fight to have the Pledge taken out of schools (even though they’re the ones who put it there), godly limited-government folks think they’re being both patriotic and faithful in promoting the Pledge’s public prominence (even though it’s a socialist screed). The discombobulation is baffling.

The terminology of the now-lionized Pledge echoed the sentiments that was – and still is – the vanguard of New England meddlesomeness, which spread like wildfire throughout the Progressive Era. It ramped up in the late 1800s and hammered home the wrath of Reconstruction, planting the creeping seeds of post-modern socialism that slowly but surely befell 20th-century America and is today in despondent, dark bloom.

“Republic … is the concise political word for the Nation – the One Nation which the Civil War was fought to prove,” Francis explained of the terms he used in crafting the Pledge. “To make that One Nation idea clear, we must specify that it is indivisible, as [Daniel] Webster and [Abraham] Lincoln used to repeat in their great speeches.”

He also wanted the political vow to be “an intensive communing with salient points of our national history … [including] the meaning of the Civil War” and viewed his Pledge as an “inoculation” against radicalism. And as a puritanical populist who once ran for New York governor on the Prohibition Party ticket, you know the “virus” of subversion to which he was referring was states’ rights.

There’s a reason “Happy Secession Day” was trending on social media this 4th of July: many people are coming to realize that Revolutionary colonists fought to break from the British by severing their relationship with the crown. In other words, These United States were born of divisibility.

Secession, not oneness, is our heritage, no matter what progressive pundits or public-school propagandists say. Questioning “the republic” and “the flag for which it stands” is as American as apple pie; it is truly in line with our founding as a people of freedom and faith. Our legacy is not that of soulless automatons and empire worshippers.

“I believe a man is happier, and happy in a richer way, if he has ‘the freeborn mind,’” C.S. Lewis said. “For independence allows an education not controlled by Government; and in adult life it is the man who needs and asks nothing of Government who can criticize its acts and snap his fingers at its ideology.”

Now I know Lewis is a Brit, but I think it’s important to have a strong Christian counterpoint to Francis’ social-gospel message. Lewis may have been a mutton-and-turnip-eating Irishman, but he surely had his Anglican finger on the pulse of what it means to be faithful and free-thinking – an often difficult task for some Christians to accomplish, much less one who adheres to the tenets of socialism and its imperial aims.

Government that’s smaller and closer to home is always better for liberty, and Dixie has been living under an antithetical system for way too long a time. As an unReconstructed Southerner, I see the Pledge’s “one nation” and “indivisibility” mantras as simply reinforcing the central authoritarianism which my Confederate ancestors fought against.

Take the experience of Francis Key Howard, grandson of Francis Scott Key, author of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Key composed what came to be the lyrics of America’s national anthem when witnessing the U.S. flag waving in Baltimore harbor after the British bombardment of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812.

Fast forward not even 50 years to the War of North Aggression, when Howard was arrested without warrant in accordance with the federal government’s policy of jailing dissenters of Lincoln’s wartime policies. Howard’s crime? He had written an editorial condemning Lincoln’s suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, implementation of martial law in Baltimore, and imprisonment of the city’s mayor, its police commissioners, the entire city council, and a sitting U.S. Congressman – all without charge.

By imprisoning so many of his political enemies, Lincoln prevented Marylanders from ever having a vote on secession. After all, people can’t challenge the unrestrained power of the nation-state and its usurpation of authority, if their leaders are all locked away.

Howard was originally held at at Fort McHenry, precisely where Key had experienced his pivotal patriotic moment and penned the reverent words honoring the flag and fortitude of his young, struggling country. Obviously, Howard wasn’t feeling the same warm-and-fuzzy sentiments as did his grandfather.

“The flag which then he [Key] so proudly hailed, I saw waving at the same place over the victims as vulgar and brutal a despotism as modern times have witnessed.”
— Francis Key Howard, 1861

To me, the Pledge is either a socially sanctioned habit that few question at best, or a forced loyalty oath of subordination at worst. Why vow allegiance to something hell bent on crushing self-determination, promoting tyranny, and propping up oligarchs who pay for their socialist schemes on my dime just because it’s the status quo? It’s all just a bit too totalitarian for this rebel.

But I’m not a barbarian, for goodness sake. I respect my family and friends who do participate in the Pledge. After all, I know they see it as a simple act of publicly displaying love of country. But I also see my small resistance as patriotic.

There’s a line in an old Ani DiFranco song that goes, “I am a patriot. I have been fighting the good fight.” I, too, am fighting the good fight for a homeland where “liberty and justice for all” (not special rights for some) and a republic that embraces (not crushes) divisibility can again take root, and against the reconstructed socialism that has foisted ruination and colonization upon my nation: the South.

As author Edward Abbey once wrote: “A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.” I am that kind of patriot. Deo vindice.

Source: Dissident Mama – A patriotic perspective against the Pledge

White souls aren’t worth much these days

Remember last summer when the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) banned the Confederate Battle Flag? Because, you know, of all the things going on, scapegoating an indigenous people-group and attacking their cultural and ancestral symbols is way up there with being the hands and feet of Jesus.

Apparently, last year’s charade of an “apology that was needed” wasn’t penance enough for white Southern Baptists who allege they simply want to purge themselves of their denomination’s roots in using the Bible to defend slavery. And I guess virtue-signaling against all proud Southerners wasn’t enough of a “racial reconciliation” endorsement for the race hustlers in their organization.

No, last week, the SBC decided to denounce “every form of racism.” Okay, fair enough. Not that I think racism is the ultimate worst sin on the scale of human evil, but hey, I suppose I can understand why some evangelicals thought it might be an expedient thing to do in such racially charged times. Protestants are about being “relevant,” you know.

But in a final re-drafted resolution, which passed by unanimous vote, the SBC ratcheted up the politically correct rhetoric, citing specifically the “alt-right” in their repudiations of “white supremacy.” Shamelessly absent was even a mention of the scourge of anti-whiteness pervading our culture, the conspiracy theory of “white privilege” that’s used to bludgeon anyone who’s not a “person of color,” or the glaringly obvious racism of Black Lives Matter and Antifa.

Yep, no mention of those Marxist social movements, which are much more prevalent, have a sickening level of media and institutional cover, and are inherently prone to violence. Nah, the SBC has to go after the “alt-right” and even went so far as to equate the maligned stereotype with “white nationalism.”

This is really shocking considering that the nebulous label is a huge tent that, in reality, is really comprised of anyone who’s not a leftist. Hence, the biased language and juvenile claims of the resolution are truly deceitful and dangerous. I mean, bearing false witness is a pretty big deal.

For instance, I’m a Christian who’s definitely not a leftist, so by default, I’m on the right as far as parlance and principles go. Yet, I’m anathema to political nationalism and national socialism. But the SBC have perpetuated a false dichotomy: either side with our social-justice aims or you’ll be pegged a Nazi.

Like Vanderbilt’s Dr. Carol M. Swain posted on Facebook, “Jesus and the Gospel had nothing to do with the [the resolution]. Black supremacy and extortion was what was on display.”

Rev. Dwight McKissic, the pastor who wrote the original draft of the resolution, which was reported to have used even more “incendiary language,” claimed that politics wasn’t his drive. “It was motivated by this movement growing, the violence of the movement … The white people took up the fight; I sat back and prayed. They forced this issue.” Ah, sweet, sweet Christian unity.

From what I can gather, it is Antifa and BLM who are the barbarians. They and their leftist colluders are the Philistines. In contrast, I see the small but loud white-nationalism faction within this vast “alt-right” as a non-violent and mostly esoteric subcategory.

And the last time I checked, intellectual pronouncements, no matter how repugnant you think they may be, aren’t violence. But punching, pepper-spraying, spitting, kicking, bludgeoning with bike locks and flag poles, throwing M-80 explosives, setting people on fire, blocking roadways, and killing are.

“Southern Baptists were right to speak clearly and definitely that ‘alt-right’ white nationalism is not just a sociological movement, but a work of the devil,” said the SBC’s Rev. Russell Moore, who also happens to be a former Democrat staffer and current envangeleftist activist.

Funny that Moore used the phrase “sociological movement” to decry the alt-right, yet that is exactly what the SBC has become: a movement that blends social justice, the Social Gospel, and Black Liberation Theology, protects the real racists, and co-opts something beautiful and life-affirming for its own selfish ends. That is truly the “work of the devil,” not some boogeyman of white supremacy, where there’s a white-hooded racist hiding behind every corner.

As Reformed bigwig Tim Keller once said, “Love without truth is sentimentality; it supports and affirms us, but keeps us in denial about our flaws.” But this resolution wasn’t some act of love gone wrong, where pastors had every good intention, but missed the mark in execution.

In pragmatic terms, perhaps it was a political stunt to get #SBC17 trending on Twitter. Maybe Baptist leaders see their dwindling membership numbers and are selling out white souls for the “vibrancy” of America’s changing demographics.

“As white male evangelists, we have no problem admitting that the future does not lie with us,” editorialized progressive pastor and sociologist Tony Campolo in the New York Times. “We are not confident that evangelicalism is a community in which younger, nonwhite voices can flourish.”

“… We cannot continue to allow sisters and brothers who are leading God’s movement to be considered ‘other,’” he added, of course, begging the question: So then, is it okay to allow the withering of white voices and for your white brethren to be considered “Other”? Must white Christians really go to the back of the bus in order to achieve salvation?

With progressives firmly ensconced in the shadow government, SBC churches might view this politically correct resolution as merely a way to safeguard their 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. After all, mimicking the world is a great way to avoid setting off the alarm of government bureaucrats.

Or maybe, just maybe, they see castigating the mythical rampancy of white supremacy as an easy way to deflect attention away from the increasingly endemic anti-whiteness in our culture, and it’s all-too-frequent parroting in mainline Protestantism. It’s almost as if in some quarters, white souls don’t matter much these days.

“But why does this even matter to you, Dissident Mama?” my readers may be asking. “You’re not even a Protestant, so why pick on evangelicals so much?”

Well, I used to be a Protestant of the Southern-Baptist variety when the 2016 flag brouhaha became the final straw for me. I went to a quite conservative church back then, but even there, I began to see the social-justice seeds being sown little by little, sermon by sermon, community group by community group, till church culture started to feel more and more like secular culture.

Honestly, I almost gave up on church altogether. I wasn’t angry at Jesus or anything, but I was beginning understand what Ghandi meant when he said, “I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians.” What a horrible place for a person of faith to be.

And I had come to the sinking realization that much of American evangelicalism isn’t very welcoming to white people who refuse to accept the false doctrines of white guilt and white privilege. I understood that white folks are constantly asked to empathize with others, yet nonwhites can have as much in-group preference as they like.

I saw that white Christians are rarely given equal import when wanting to open up about their trials and struggles. “C’mon, we know all about you’re ‘privileged’ white middle-class story. How hard can things really be for you?”

Just “become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some,” as Paul said in 1 Corinthians. Of course, that’s a standard to which only white folks are expected to meet.

White evangelicals are increasingly treated like they possess a deficiency, require a greater penance than anyone else, and have a moral responsibility to apologize for existing or being Southern or voting for Trump or liking a flag or not being a leftist or whatever is the cultural whim of the moment. Not very nice things for a Jesus people to do.

I felt as if church – a place that’s supposed to be about healing, fellowship, and true freedom – was more like a progressive caste system in which the Southern white man must wear the yoke of burden of every “aggrieved minority.” It’s tight around his neck, but the Bible-toting dictators will loosen it, only if he behaves.

Well, I decided I didn’t want to behave, and thankfully, I’ve found Orthodoxy. But I care about all souls, Protestant and Orthodox, black and white, male and female. And when shepherds are leading the good-natured, guilt-ridden, and gullible within their flocks astray, as well as encouraging the genuine dividers, I see this as a real injustice, not the “social” kind that cares only about certain folks.

It’s spiritual abuse for all Christians, white and nonwhite alike. God doesn’t want any people to self-flagellate due to their racial or regional identity.

Rather, He is pleased by the authentic diversity of mankind, not the forced progressive kind. Even the SBC resolution concluded that “through the light of the Gospel … the Kingdom of God … is established from every nation, tribe, people, and language.”

Yep, God sent His Son for all tribes, not just black folks, Rev. McKissic. Indeed, all lives matter to Christ. Amen to that.

Source: Dissident Mama – White souls aren’t worth much these days

“It is history that teaches us to hope”

Malcom X wrote that “History is a weapon.” He was right, and no topic encompasses this truth more than the War of Northern Aggression. And the most practical way we rebels can advance in this post-modern war being waged against the South is simply education. Sounds cliche, right?

But how can we expect anyone who doesn’t have a clue about our past, its people and their divergent ancestry, cultural practices, and faiths to grasp the complicated conflict and the confluence of events that led to it? Armed with such faulty illogic, it’s no wonder they rigidly reject intellectual inquiry, embrace myths, and push for malicious deeds.

We must barrage this real “lost cause” with facts. After all, as Robert E. Lee said, “It is history that teaches us to hope.”

We must teach ourselves true history, and then spread that message to our children, friends, and foes. “Be bold, but loving” is my mantra when taking on the tidal wave of ignorance and outright lies about “the Civil War.” We must defeat the “idiots” among the “useful idiots” who permeate our culture and wield the “useful” to our own advantage.

Let’s smash that PC lens through which the Yankee provincialists, Southern self-loathers, mainstream statists, and Marxist agitators distort the past, co-opt the present, and disseminate their vile messages in pursuit of a soulless future. We may not make headway with the most ardent of ideologues, but it never takes a majority opinion to create change.

It’s all in a name

Context is imperative for genuine historical knowledge to flourish. Without it, you’re robbed of the unraveling of the human experience, clouded judgement takes hold, and pretty soon, you’re colluding in a cultural genocide.

It’s like people who take one sliver of the Bible and twist it into something nefarious. They’ll misuse one thread of the tapestry and spin it into a web of their own or someone else’s selfish ends. These benighted folks willfully ignore that for a comprehensive understanding of Christianity, one must read the full story from Genesis through Revelation, as well as constantly consider set, scene, background, and players.

Similarly, defining the South and all of its rich history within a four-year period is not only dishonest, it’s dangerous. Let’s begin the disarmament process by diffusing a few of these few historical heresies.

In a recent blog, I explained why using the misnomer “the Civil War” is technically inaccurate. It’s just words, you might say. But words are important and carry with them information and presumptions. They can enlighten or confuse.

This prevalent mislabeling of the war isn’t innocuous. It’s used purposefully to muddy the waters and immediately frame the culminating event in terms of good-versus-evil, laying a basis for the anti-Southern/pro-central-authority narrative. It’s the cornerstone upon which the progressive house of cards it built.

Bunch of Benedict Arnolds

We must challenge the name of the conflict and get on the offensive. See, if this war was about the rebellion of fellow countrymen and “saving the Union,” it’s a much easier sell to make out Confederates as “traitors.”

This feeds into the conventional belief of Yankees as benevolent patriots (not foreign invaders who were trying to compel through violence a sovereign to their dictates) and Southerners as subhuman scum (not people seeking self-determination and defending their homes). As referenced in my last blog, this was a Northern war of conquest, so I say pop that bubble right out of the gate.

Of course, this theme is buttressed by the deleterious notion that secessionists were betrayers to a “Nation.” But a gleaning of true American history tells us that most Southerners considered their state their country, thus, there was no “treason.”

“All I am and all I have is at the service of my country.”
— Stonewall Jackson, 1861

Hell, most Yankees felt the same, hence, the reason Northerners were the first to bring up secession in 1787, and then again throughout the 1800s in response to a variety of political grievances against their “brothers” below the Mason-Dixon Line.

Really, this isn’t rocket science: if you must accede to something – like joining These United States or ratifying the U.S. Constitution – you can certainly secede from it. Just reference the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, which fully explain the federated system of the republic.

The Union is ‘Murica

Secession is being true to the voluntary-compact nature of federalism. If people can’t grasp these facts immediately, just be content by planting a seed of doubt in their miseducated minds.

“Before the war, it was said ‘the United States are’ – grammatically, it was spoken that way and thought of as a collection of independent states,” remarked historian Shelby Foote. “And after the war it was always ‘the United States is,’ as we say today … and that sums up what the war accomplished. It made us an ‘is.’”

The “one country indivisible” view is a result, and the Lincoln cultists in all their varied totalitarian stripes happily spin the tale. Thus, a defense of states’ rights is deemed apostasy, since it strikes at the heart of what people think it means to be American, so get ready to be castigated anything from “unpatriotic” to “racist.” Just shake it off, rebel.

The statists fly the U.S. flag above the Christian flag at their churches and above their state flag at businesses, yet hate an overbearing executive when their guy isn’t in the Oval Office. Huh? Be plucky and out these inconsistencies and the events that led us down this road to serfdom. Then bless their hearts and keep on whistling “Dixie.”

Myopia mania

Some intellectuals will even admit that secession is legal, but in the case of those dirty-bastard Confederates, it wasn’t moral because … all together now  … “The war was all about slavery.” Yawn.

It’s this oversimplified and infantile claim that has bamboozled the most people. I could write an entire blog on this fallacy, but the sheer scale of this stupidity really dawned on me a few weeks back, when we visited the Valley Heritage Museum near Massanutten, Virginia.

There, you can watch a presentation on Stonewall Jackson’s famous Valley Campaign of 1862. Jackson’s tactics are still studied in military colleges because his 17,000 soldiers marched an exhausting and often wet and muddy 646 miles in 48 days, but still pulled out winning battles against the Union’s 52,000 men, eventually staving off Union reinforcement against Richmond.

At this stage of the war, Confederate regiments were all-volunteer and most Shenandoah Valley families had nothing to do with slavery. You’re telling me that these men risked life and limb and under the most physically straining of circumstances all because of their hatred of black folks?

“We are not fighting for slavery. We are fighting for independence.”
— Jefferson Davis, 1864

Less than 25% of Southerners had slaves, “with half of these holding fewer than five and fewer than 1% owning more than 100.” We’re supposed to believe that Confederate troops – a third of whom perished and another third wounded – abandoned their homes, left their families vulnerable to the wickedness of invasion, and suffered the hell of war, all to protect some rich guy’s property?

Seriously, it’s ludicrous when you actually stop and think about it. Call out the perpetrators of this myopic historical interpretation as the intellectual nincompoops that they are, take the contemptible claims of being a “white supremacist” in stride, and suit up for another battle.

Also from the front lines

As a libertarian, I’ve had to take on a few purist anarcho-capitalists who accuse me of worshipping the state, since the Confederacy was a government. But as F.A. Hayek stated, the smaller a political territory, the more liberty thrives. And since the CSA was smaller and more highly decentralized than the draconian and protectionist Union, moving closer to freedom and away from tyranny was an obvious improvement.

As a Christian, some say I’m stirring “disunity” within the Church. If you’re “authentic,” they say, you must get on the racial-reconciliation bandwagon by denouncing the Battle Flag and the monuments.

I would counter that it’s the evangeleftists who are creating division by putting “people of color” on a pedestal and asking that white folks bow down at the altar. Sheesh, talk about idolatry. If you dare not conform to the self-flagellation standards, you might be called a “Nazi” or scolded as “unsaved,” but thems the goods when dealing with ahistorical mainline Protestantism.

Other Christians have accused me of worshipping men, instead of Jesus. But as an Orthodox, I see it as similar to venerating the saints. No, I don’t deify my Confederate ancestors and Southern heroes; I’ll leave that kind of heresy to masses and Lincoln-mania, as well as their use of the transcendental and twisted “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

But I do see past Southerners as fallible creatures who took great risks and denied self for a cause they deemed worthy. Sure, they’re not my intercessors to God, but we can learn from their story, their mistakes and triumphs, and appreciate the humanness and occasional gallantry brought on in such trying times.

“A change in perspective is worth 80 IQ points.”
— Alan Kay, computer scientist

Ask people to try to put themselves in the shoes of a Confederate. This should be an easy thing for folks born and bred in Dixie, but sadly, progressive indoctrination has even gained ground here and weaponized white-guilt has sliced its way into the hearts and minds of many in the homeland.

The poison of presentism

This inability of self-reflection and the penchant for “reducing the drama of human experience to abstract, supposedly universal theory,” as Clyde Wilson explains it, is what’s known as “presentism.” It’s a person’s religious-like belief that he’s so moral, pious, and altruistic in the here-and-now that he lacks the empathy necessary to honestly study past events.

You know the pompous, puritanical type. To him, history began in 2017 and everyone before – well, mostly just white folks of European descent, especially those who live(d) in the South – is deemed an oppressor of the Old World. And if he had existed back then, by God, he would’ve undoubtedly been on “the right side of history.”

As historian David McCullough explained, “The study of history is an antidote to the hubris of the present – the idea that everything we have, everything we do, and everything we think is the ultimate, the best.”

The presentist is sure that even though abolitionists at their height only accounted for single-digit percentages of the population, he would’ve been a crusader for the Negro’s “equality.” Even though abolitionists wanted to free the slaves, many sure as hell didn’t want to live among black folks and have them dirtying up their lily-white New England cities. So yeah, maybe he would’ve been an abolitionist after all.

Your average 1860s Southerner (black and white alike) had more virtue and honor in his little finger than do any of these presentists in their whole shameful, hypocritical bodies. Don’t be afraid to go for the jugular when deconstructing these self-serving opportunists and their adherence to this haughty scam.

Personal secession

Just like the Orthodox grandmothers, who kept the traditions and symbols of Orthodox Christianity alive during Bolshevism and throughout the Soviet’s long and grueling persecution of the Eastern Church, the home is the most effective place to subvert the insidious power of cultural genocide.

The revisionist history peddled in government schools and reinforced in the popular culture is one of the main reasons we homeschool, which I call “personal secession.” It’s through home education that we learn about and preserve our customs and heritage, as well as raise up ambassadors in Southern apologetics.

My sons study Southern heroes, do cursive copywork of Lee and Jackson quotes, read biographies, and discuss what total war and invasion must’ve been like. We dig into our ancestry and recognize the contributions Southerners made to the building and bettering of America.

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”
― Mark Twain

We visit battlegrounds, museums, and cemeteries, admire monuments, and sing “Bonnie Blue Flag.” We discuss slavery, economics, court cases, and Reconstruction. We understand that the tyrannical madness unfolding before our eyes today can all be traced back to the 1860s of yesterday.

We ponder why a “union” that had always been more like a hostile marriage wasn’t allowed to amicably divorce. We contemplate why so many people think coerced unification and 700,000 dead was preferable to peaceful separation. And we ask, “If you Yankees hate us so much, why didn’t you leave us be?”

You don’t have to be a homeschooler to secede. Just keep on digging into true history and questioning the status quo.

Read historians like Don Livingston, Tom Woods, Kirkpatrick Sale, Clyde Wilson, M.E. Bradford, Brion McClanahan, Marshall DeRosa, Thomas DiLorenzo, and others. Follow the Abbeville Institute. And avoid like the plague “scholars” like communist Eric Foner and liar extraordinaire Doris Kearns Goodwin.

And wonder: just how worth saving is this Southern culture and its people? The answer: very. The war is on, so let’s de-weaponize the propaganda.

Source: Dissident Mama – “It is history that teaches us to hope”

Dixie-cide: Reconstruction by the godless puritans

Modern progressives are just as evil in their bloodlust against the South as were William Tecumseh Sherman and Philip Sheridan. Today’s leftists may not yet be waging the shock-and-awe total warfare that the Union generals inflicted upon Southern civilians (whites and blacks alike) and their dwellings, businesses, churches, infrastructure, and food supply, but their aim is still the same: to have the Southern tradition and her people “annihilated and destroyed.”

“The government of the U.S. has any and all rights which they choose to enforce in war – to take their lives, their homes, their land, their everything,” Sherman wrote in 1864. “War is simply power unrestrained by the Constitution or compact … to the petulant and persistent secessionists, why, death is mercy, and the quicker he or she is disposed of the better.”

So far, progressives aren’t marching to the sea, raping and burning whole cities, but they are vandalizing, spreading Confederaphobia, and encouraging a kill-whitey message.  These hubristic pillagers have been taught that Southerners aren’t a self-determined people with a unique identity and culture. They see Dixie as a scourge and the purging of it as their self-righteous calling. They’re godless puritans to the core.

Sherman said that his motive was the “extermination, not of soldiers alone … but of the people” of the South. “And [that] he wanted to ‘repopulate’ the state with fine New England stock such as himself, the son of a New England lawyer of Puritan descent,” explained Thomas DiLorenzo of Sherman’s Georgia campaign.

Similarly, Sheridan wrought total devastation on the Shenandoah Valley and all of her people, in what’s become known as “The Burning.” High casualties among civilians were of no worry to this unholy crusader, and his vicious military exploits were allowed to again play out during the Indian Wars of the West.

It’s Sheridan who notoriously remarked, “The only good Indian is a dead Indian,” and “If a village is attacked and women and children killed, the responsibility is not with the soldiers, but with the people whose crimes necessitated the attack.” Such are the ways of the boys in blue.

“Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!” Daniel Webster famously said in 1830. Thank goodness for the unionists and their ceaseless push for central authority through subjugation. Glory, glory, hallelujah! Sheesh, divisibility never sounded so good.

Just like the puritanical progressives called the American Indians “savages,” they too demean the South, insisting it’s comprised of “seditious states” and “backwards-ass crackers,” who must be retaken and continually remade to fit their ever-malleable whims. They see themselves as perpetuating God’s will, yet they’re pagan totalitarians who worship idols like Mr. Lincoln.

“The cause of ‘human rights’ is precisely the critical argument by which, in retrospect, Abraham Lincoln’s War of Northern Aggression against the South is justified and even glorified,” wrote economist Murray Rothbard. “The ‘humanitarian’ goes forth and rights the wrong of slavery, doing so through mass murder, the destruction of institutions and property, and the wreaking of havoc which has still not disappeared.”

In 2017, it’s indeed a policy of scorched-earth proportions, but one carried out in dribs and drabs. “One step forward, two steps back,” as Vladimir Lenin penned. Communists may be evil, but you’ve got to give ’em credit for their staunch dedication to strategy.

Today, it’s removing Confederate symbols in New Orleans, changing the name of Jefferson Davis Highway in Arlington, or attempting to relocate the remains of Nathan Bedford Forrest from a Memphis park once named after the Confederate general. Rename the public spaces and streets. Begone with those “pillars of shame.” Let’s erase this “dark history,” cheer the Lincoln cultists.

And tomorrow, it’s what, banning “ma’am” and “sir”? Suppressing Dixieland jazz and bluegrass? Castigating collard greens and grits as racist? Burning the books of William Faulkner and Douglas Southall Freeman? Tearing down Monticello and Mount Vernon?

If there’s no resistance, maybe soon it’ll be carting off “neo-Confederates” to Southern Poverty Law Center camps. Trust us, they’ll say, it’s just a little light labor and a dabbling of forced re-education.

This “is no big deal and Southerners are emotional and deluded to resent it,” historian Clyde Wilson explained, referring to apologists for Sherman and his sacking of Columbia after the city had peacefully capitulated to Union forces. “This only works if you start with the assumption that Southerners are inferior beings and have no right to resent anything their betters do to them.”

As I said in my last blog, I firmly believe this Jacobin thuggery is a “cultural genocide.” Let me elucidate.

In 1944, lawyer Raphael Lemkin coined the term “genocide” by combining the the Greek word “geno” (tribe) with the Latin word “cide” (killing). He also specified a distinct cultural component to the eradication of a people group. Hence, “cultural genocide” speaks to the elimination of the heritage and history of said tribe.

“When cultural heritage is under attack, it is also the people and their fundamental human rights that are under attack,” explained Karima Bennoune, United Nations expert on international law. This includes “the destruction of heritage such as monuments, historic sites, and sacred places.”

The International Criminal Court agrees. In fact, according to its Rome Statute of 1998, “The destruction of cultural heritage can be prosecuted as a war crime.”

“Deliberate attacks on cultural property have become actual weapons of war,” said prosecutor Fatou Bensouda during the ICC’s first-ever proceedings against wreckage of artifacts by a Muslim who razed mausoleums and other historic structures in Timbuktu, Mali.

In 1994, a UN draft defined cultural genocide as “Any action which has the aim or effect of depriving [a people group] of their integrity as distinct peoples, or of their cultural values or ethnic identities.” The UN even used the word “ethnocide” in this draft.

“Genocide kills people,” stated human-rights attorney Bartolomé Clavero, “while ethnocide kills social cultures through the killing of individual souls.” Alas, the UN scrapped the terms “ethnocide” and “cultural genocide” from the final draft adopted by the General Assembly, but it retained some pertinent points from the previous drafts, such as addressing “the right [of natives] not to be subject to forced assimilation.”

Genocide is a constant unfolding, a concerted effort that is always testing and moving forward the goal posts for what is deemed acceptable for the day. Adolph Hitler, whose favorite U.S. president was Lincoln, didn’t call his plan to eradicate European Jewry “the final solution” for nothing; he understood it was a process.

Hitler looked at history to guide him. In Mein Kampf, he wrote of his desire to squash the “mischief of individual federated states” and to increase political centralization. It worked for Lincoln, so why not him?

Hitler also saw the tolerance for mass-killing atrocities and used it to gauge just how far he could push the genocidal envelope. In fact, Hitler didn’t think that anyone would be all that troubled about a cleansing of German Jews.

“Who today still speaks of the massacre of the Armenians?” he asked. He was sure that because of the deafening silence heard regarding the extermination of 1.5 million Armenians, his efforts would barely furrow a brow. He saw that no one seemed to care, just as few seemed troubled by the ruination of the South, and the killing of her people and culture.

Unlike Hitler and his followers, today’s anti-Southern zealots don’t share a Germanic culture. They instead define themselves by their political community. But similar to the Nazis, they possess a cult-like belief that they’re fighting for “good, since its object is the betterment of all.” They are superior in purpose, so conquest by any means necessary.

They may have just-sounding names like Black Lives Matter, Antifa, the SPLC, or the NAACP, but what they really are is communists who want to force their ideology on the masses through a “general will” philosophy. Control the culture, control the people.

They’re the mob who seek to answer the “Southern question.” Under the guise of “racial reconciliation,” they silence speech, crush critical thinking, and rewrite history. They scream “social justice,” yet seek revenge through continued Reconstruction.

They screech about “healing wounds,” yet create lesions while incessantly pouring salt into the cuts. They are the “reactionaries” who are battling for the “lost cause” of collectivism, multiculturalism, and empire, but today they don black masks instead of brown shirts.

Now, I’m not a fan of global organizations like the UN or the ICC. But we should use all the tools at our disposal. Why should people be incensed when the Taliban or ISIS destroys statues thousands of miles away, but not be enraged (at all, equally, or more so) when it’s happening right here at home. Let’s call this attack on the South a cultural genocide and act accordingly.

We must call out the enemy and understand their motives and tactics. We Southern traditionalists must not be intimidated by being pegged a “racist.” After all, ignoring the erroneous and overused accusation takes power away from the true haters. Seriously, if you’re not being called a racist these days, you’re doing something wrong.

We must be dedicated in actively having an offensive posture against this Dixie-cide. Let’s no longer sit by idly and assimilate to the PC status quo.

“We cannot change the hearts of those people of the South,” Sherman told Grant, “but we can make war so terrible… [and] make them so sick of war that generations will pass away before they would again appeal to it.” I say we stop feeling defeated and appeal to it.

We mustn’t give an inch, not our monuments, our flags, our history, our dialect, our drawl, our food, our customs, our music, or our ancestry. And we sure as hell ain’t fixin’ to get on that train. Southern lives matter, y’all.

This is the second blog in a series about the war on Southern tradition. Be sure to check out my forthcoming post, which will explore practical and effective ways we rebels can fight against Dixie-cide.

Source: Dissident Mama – Dixie-cide: Reconstruction by the godless puritans

Rebel with a cause

I was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, the capital of the Confederate States of America (CSA) from April 1861 to April 1865. Pictured above is the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on the city’s famous Monument Avenue.

The grand cobblestone street is also adorned with statues of generals J.E.B. Stuart and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, and Confederate president Jefferson Davis. But Richmond isn’t a blip in antebellum history or a relic of “Lost Cause” mythology; hers is a rich, complex, and illustrious history from the earliest days. One we should know and study. Not shun or shame.

Under the guidance of Captain Christopher Newport, New World colonialists traveled to Richmond from Jamestown, living and settling among the Powhatan in the 1600s. It was the home of Pocahontas and one of America’s earliest successful white-European communities.

It was in Richmond’s St. John’s Church that Patrick Henry gave his “Give me liberty, or give me death!” speech. It was here, in the heart of the Old Dominion, that Thomas Jefferson passed his Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. Famous past residents include Chief Justice John Marshal, poet Edgar Allan Poe, and tennis great Arthur Ashe.

Virginia’s Capitol was designed by Jefferson, making Richmond home to the oldest legislature continuously operating in the Western Hemisphere. And it was in this very building that on April 23, 1862, Robert E. Lee stood when he accepted command of the military forces of his beloved Virginia during the “Civil War.”

Like so many native Richmonders and Southerners beyond the shores of the mighty James River, we call this bloody conflict that took the lives of an estimated 700,000 people anything but “civil.” In fact, the true definition of “civil war” is “a war between citizens of the same country.”

Yet, the South had already seceded before war broke out. By doing so, those states set up their own independent confederation – an alliance comprised of 11 strong sovereigns guided by the principles of a newly written Confederate Constitution. Continue reading “Rebel with a cause”

This outrageous world can drive a person bonkers!

The old leftist mantra “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention” seems to have never been more apt. Even for news junkies like me, there are enough outrageous things happening by the nanosecond in our upside-down world that the weight of it all can start to crush your spirit.

In reality, people throughout the ages have always thought theirs was the worst of times. Honestly, it’s as if mankind lives in a perpetual Babylon, a constant loop of tragedy. And that can start to wear on a person, even an old veteran political and cultural critic like me.

The ceaseless negativity has a way of sneaking into the cracks of your human veneer, tearing at your soul, if you’re not careful. The depravity of man can overwhelm your senses and sometimes even steal from you blessings that lay right before you, if you’re not properly armed.

I’ve always been pretty tough, yet optimistic – a stubbornly content realist, some might say. But recently, all the hate, illogic, and dystopian madness had begun to eat away at me and thieve my happiness and typical godly perspective, and during the Easter season no less.

As a 10-year Protestant now transitioning to Orthodox Christianity, I was undertaking a first-time minimal Lenten fast with my family as a doable way to humble myself before God. This rite was supposed to be a time of heart-felt communion with Jesus and Christian fellowship, just a simple way to soften my heart for Holy Week and ready myself to fully thank Christ for His sacrifice, and the forgiveness, love, and ever-lasting life He offers to believers.

But instead, I was a train wreck this Pascha. I was allowing this fallen world to rule over me, and it started affecting my responsibilities as wife, mom, and home educator. I mean, how can I concentrate on all that when there are so many stupid people running amok? How can I focus on my home when the planet’s brimming with insane evil-doers who want to do my family harm?

I even got even angry with God. How could He allow that bastard Satan to rule so pervasively over so much of humanity? How could He permit the celebration and perpetuation of such abounding wickedness?

How could He let so many people fall prey to the Evil One and his dark schemes, and ignore all the good, beauty, and joy that surrounds us? Funny, I was doing that exact thing. I was embracing fear. I was succumbing to outrage. And I was letting the devil win.

I’m not really sure how it started. The hysterical misandric feminists, anti-white social justice warriors, and blood-thirsty Antifa commies are just enough to make a mama wanna eat her bonbons (well, in my case, drink a pale ale and smoke a cigar), watch funny cat videos, take a nap in the hammock, and be done with all this nonsense. But I’ve never before been scared away from such battles.

Then, just during the first week of April, there was the Muslim lunatic who plowed through the streets of Stockholm, targeting kids specifically, killing four people and injuring 15, and the ISIS bombings at two Christian churches in Egypt that took the lives of 47 on Palm Sunday. Lord have mercy, as the Orthodox like to say.

Around this same time, my husband, who is constantly digging into and researching Orthodoxy, discovered that our beloved new faith tradition is not immune to the left’s ceaseless infiltration into the Church. Now, we do understand that anything comprised of human beings isn’t going to be perfect. We get it.

But one of the reasons we fled Protestantism was because it’s so man-centric and worldly, so presentist and “relevant,” so always caving to ever-changing cultural whims and fluid definitions of sin, so American in its puritanical zeal, contextualized history, and lacking traditions. We saw Orthodoxy and its ancient customs and typically unchanging ways as a counter to at least some of that foolishness.

But being that progressivism is the status quo for most institutions, I shouldn’t have been surprised that cultural Marxism taints Orthodoxy in some quarters, from its global-governmental “charity” initiatives and affiliation with the uber-liberal National Council of Churches, or that leftist interlopers are bound to be within, stirring the pot with their post-modern mania. For the love of all things Holy, is there no refuge from the evils of leftism?

And then when Trump launched missile attacks on Syria, that sent me further into my deep abyss of negativity. As a person who voted for Trump specifically because of his noninterventionist leanings, his bucking of the bipartisan war machine, his penchant for negotiations, and his amicable attitude toward Russia and Syria, I was totally demoralized when I saw this guy, who I thought had a higher probability of keeping us out of WWIII than did Killary, was now pounding the war drum.

And all over some crummy pictures and videos. Over some uninvestigated sarin-gas attack, an alleged pro-war silver bullet to pull at the heart strings of useful idiots, a false flag used to avenge the fate of the “beautiful babies,” a con to manipulate us all into another horrid unending conflict and, of course, kill more babies and create more refugees and terrorists in the process. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

I knew Trump would probably eventually sellout to the neocons, but my God, so soon? This is the dude who beat the Clintons and the Bushes, told the mainstream media to go to hell, called NATO “obsolete,” and could’ve cared less about McCain, Graham, and Ryan, yet he completely folds in less than three months?

Is the Washington establishment really that dominant a force? Does the deep state and its entrenched allies in the military-industrial complex and intelligence agencies truly wield that kind of power? Can the imperialists really not be stopped or even slowed down one iota, ever? I felt like a fool for thinking that anyone could be a bulwark against such centralized totalitarianism. Ugh, the futility of it all!

I thought, maybe there is something to the Spirit Cooking after all, for it seems the political psychosis is irresistible once you dwell within the Satanic cesspool of the Beltway, even for a mere 76 days. The realization that Washington is a cult, an unstoppable evil force, indeed a swamp that will never be drained didn’t really surprise me. I suppose it was just the speed at which it devoured Trump on one of his few noteworthy and consistent campaign promises. Pathetic.

Another depressing fact was that the strikes happened to fall on the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entering WWI – “the primal event” kicking off the 20th century’s status as the bloodiest hundred years in history, and marked America’s ascent to super-power status and subsequent descent to hubristic border reshaper, constant foreign meddler, regime changer, and globalist trouble maker. Just like Woodrow Wilson reneged on his populist assurances of peace and neutrality, so did Trump. So much for “America first.” Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

And to rub even more salt in the wound, the political establishment and media fawning over Trump as somehow instantaneously becoming more “respectable” and “presidential” simply by virtue of bombing a foreign country (and without a declaration of war from Congress to boot) was enough to make this liberty-loving lady lose her lunch. God save us all from Washington war lust, especially neocons who quote the Bible. Gag!

Thankfully, my emotional tailspin eventually began to decelerate. The first thing that brought me some solace was the right’s reaction to Trump’s illegal and immoral acts of war – just stunning in its dramatic divergence from what the left would have done if Killary were in charge under these conditions. We all know there would have either been total silence or mass excuses.

Some notable naysayers were NJ State Senator Mike Doherty, political pundit Ann Coulter, popular YouTuber Paul Joseph Watson, radio talk-show host Michael Savage, alt-media journalist Michael Cernovich, and Brexit-fame politician Nigel Farage. It was refreshingly bold for these folks, all of whom were previously staunch Trump supporters and allies, to be so immediate and loud in their stand against foreign interventionism.

After all this mess, I decided to take a respite from social media and the news for most of Holy Week, as well a hiatus from blogging. I used the opportunity to concentrate my time and energy on the eternal and take a much-needed break from life beyond my home and church. I also centered myself on the gift of a heavenly home, not only because it’s a manifestation of Jesus’ love and grace, but also because it’s an absolutely necessary tool to navigating the lunacy of life on this messed-up planet. I had forgotten that Christ is my refuge.

I can now see that during my struggles, I was surrendering to the Great Deceiver’s lie that defeat is inevitable, that fighting the good fight just isn’t worth it. But it is. And sometimes it takes a person falling on her knees to finally see that we don’t have to carry the unbearable weight of the world.

“Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” — Ephesians 6:11-12

Christ will carry our burdens and fears, if we let Him. And it is only then that we can focus our heads and hearts on the blessings that surround us and maintain our strength to fight for truth and battle against the mob. Jesus isn’t called the “the Rock of Ages” for nothin’.

This also frees us to aptly handle the things over which we may actually have a modicum of control, like raising up our kids right, being a loving spouse and a kind neighbor, building upon our own physical and spiritual well-being, and increasing our mental health by giving the rest of it up to God. “Prioritize,” as my husband likes to say.

Frederick Douglass once wrote, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” So too must we build ourselves through prayer and by utilizing our talents and fulfilling our callings to the best of our abilities, and this will increase the joy in our homes, communities, and beyond.

So, I’m not going to let this outrageous world drive me bonkers anymore. I’m sure I’ll have my moments, as we all do. But I’ve got on my armor nice and tight, have my eyes keenly refocused on the big picture, and revel in the freedom that no haters can ever take way. Satan can kiss my ass.

Source: Dissident Mama

Fake news, part 2: Dinosaurs & dissenters

In John Ford’s classic film, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, a reporter comments, “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” Like this surprisingly honest newsman, smart media consumers have figured out the dirty little secret that the mainstream press isn’t their watchdog, but rather, it is often the lapdog for the establishment.

It was a long and arduous road getting here (see “Fake News, part 1: The Myth of Objectivity“), but we have finally disabused ourselves of the notion that reporters are somehow impervious to bias or that they magically have a monopoly on truth, simply because they dwell behind the ivory-tower walls of the fourth estate.

The dinosaur media has lost its cachet, not only among cynical “retired journalists” like me, or enclaves of people who fall outside of the predictable Democrat-vs.-Republican paradigm, or folks who are naturally inquisitive and like to do their own homework, but also among 2/3 of Americans as a whole – an all-time low.

This Gallup data is even more intriguing because it notes a drop in the confidence of even Boomers, who are typically more apt to trust the traditional press. I mean, these folks were reared during the advent of TV and the glory days of print media, yet they too are seeking out other alternative sources of information.

And establishment journalists absolutely abhor this competition, not only because it threatens their fiefdom, but because they’re lazy. They don’t want to do the heavy lifting of seriously researching a story, digging into the details, questioning assumptions, looking beyond a news hook, connecting the dots, and seeking information beyond “official sources.”

They’d rather wait for the news of the day to make it across the wire and simply regurgitate whatever are the talking points. It’s more like PR than heavy-hitting journalism.

And the mass media sees that it’s losing influence and power. But instead of using this opportunity for self-reflection, they’re running scared. Instead of contemplating how it can do a better job or have more rigorous standards or evolve in the marketplace of ideas, the dinosaur press is lashing out with the “fake news” subterfuge.

It’s akin to the Hearst-Pulitzer wars. But this time, instead of newspaper vs. newspaper, it’s the dying old-guard institution pitting itself against the disparate, diverse, and dogged new media.

“If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” — Malcolm X

A prime example of this desperation is the extensive catalog that Melissa Zimdars compiled of what she considers to be “fake news.” On the Merrimack College professor’s blacklist are many of my favorites, including TomWoods.com, LewRockwell.com, TheRebel.media, RonPaulInstititue.org, and TenthAmendmentCenter.com. What a nice feather in your cap.

To make the holier-than-thou directory even more insulting is that Zimdar suggests ultra-leftwing outfits, like Snopes and PolitiFact, as trusted sources for debunking what she in all of her infinite wisdom determines is bogus. Plus, universities like Harvard are promoting it to students as a way to avert their gaze from any source deemed an establishment dissenter, pointing them back toward the conformity machine of the statist dinosaurs.

Time editor Nancy Gibbs recently ranted about Trump as fake-news-maker in-chief. Now if that ain’t the pot calling the kettle black (uh, not sure if I’m even “allowed” to utter such an expression in our racially charged times, but there ya go).

“Social scientists have shown that repetition of a false statement, even in the course of disputing it, often increases the number of people who believe it,” she writes. The implication, of course, is that anyone who challenges the mainstream media is either unwittingly misleading or outright lying.

And because of Trump’s former fierce pushback against the press, Time was claiming that now, all of a sudden, the delicate trust between the executive and the people is being broken. You didn’t have to be a MAGA proponent to have found it satisfying that the president was bypassing the mainstream media by personally tweeting to the people.

Trump wasn’t playing by the old media rules and they loathed him for it. Well, that was until Thursday’s Syrian missile strikes; seems the mainstream press can’t get enough of Trump now that he “became president” and “restored the credibility of American power” in that moment of illegality, immorality, and Neocon boot-licking. The predictable praise is sickening. Trump’s warmongering ways have made him “the legend.”

And isn’t it interesting that it’s these very same people in the dinosaur press who often don’t even subscribe to the notion of objective truth. I mean, they are the ones who rewrite history, push for grammatical madness, support statism at all costs, repel science, detest logic, loathe Christians, and reinvent language, like calling a militaristic president “serious,” Middle Easterners “Asians,” a violent mob “protesters,” black folks nothing (since that’d be racist), and me a “domestic terrorist.”

“The idea that ‘truth’ is situational and changing, always best described in quote marks, has emerged in many areas of contemporary thought,” writes Quentin Hardy of the New York Times. “Postmodern philosophy and literary theory also questions the idea of objective reality, in favor of knowledge based on things like political background or sexual orientation.”

But I see the Zimdar list, the Gibbs commentary, and the dinosaurs’ lauding of Trump’s bombing as heartening. The media’s fake-news spin is nothing but the last gasps of a dying beast. The mainstream press no longer has a stranglehold on the dissemination of information, but this fight for freedom of information and liberty of expression will not be easy one.

“Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.” — Napoleon Bonaparte

The “issue nowadays is to some extent the need for good filters, pushing away information after centuries of seeking it,” technologist David Weinberger said of the perils of the internet. And some of the new institutional “stewards” of knowledge are putting up roadblocks on the already bumpy road toward seeking truth.

Bigwigs like Google, YouTube, and Facebook are doing much of the heavy lifting for their friends in the establishment. Google even just today launched its “fact check” feature, which conveniently shows up in your search results. Ugh, enough already.

“We’re very good at detecting what’s the most relevant and what’s the least relevant,” commented Google chairman Eric Schmidt. “It should be possible for computers to detect malicious, misleading and incorrect information and essentially have you not see it. We’re not arguing for censorship, we’re arguing just take it off the page … make it harder to find.” Sounds like censorship to me.

And just like how journalism is a field that attracts progressives, so too does the tech industry. Even though many claim to seek a free and open internet, they’re constantly asking for government meddling and net neutrality and all sorts of intrusion into an otherwise organic market. And the federal government is happy to oblige, constantly erecting surveillance and anti-privacy impediments and needless telecommunications regulations.

Despite all that mess, the internet is the media’s new frontier and the genie will no go back in the bottle. Today’s bloggers and vloggers are like the pamphleteers of colonial times. They are the citizen journalists the institutional media wishes they were.

It took dinosaur-labeled “conspiracy theorist” Michael Cernovich to scoop the Susan Rice unmasking story earlier this month, just as it took online news-aggregator Matt Drudge to break the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky sex scandal some 19 years ago. The mainstreamers tried vigorously to cover up these stories.

But truth-seekers had a new friend in the internet in 1998 just as they have an ally in it today. The new media is a powerful tool in harnessing “sunlight” as “the best of disinfectants” and “publicity … as a remedy for social and industrial diseases,” as Louis D. Brandeis once said. (I know Brandeis was a progressive, but I just love the image of truth as a cleanser or antidote for ridding the world of media and government corruption.)

So, where do we go from here? The odds of getting to the bottom of issues, revealing facts, disseminating truth, holding those in power accountable, telling all sides of a story, uncovering the unwanted and untold stories, and countering the myths, lies, and agendas of the status quo sometimes seem insurmountable. But people have always felt this way and have somehow risen above.

“I became a journalist because I did not want to rely on newspapers for information.” ― Christopher Hitchens

You don’t trust Google? Use Bing or another search engine. You don’t want to be spied on online? Use a VPN. You want to write anonymously? Use the Tor browser. You don’t want to be doxed? Fess up to all those skeletons in your closet so malicious hackers wield little to no power over you. Hey, maybe get into podcasting, which is currently free from government regulation. Stay vigilant and creative, and keep knocking the establishment from atop their thrones.

As a news consumer, take advantage of the alternative media that is filling the void left by the dinosaurs. Don’t elevate “professionals” to a level that they typically don’t merit. Never accept the standard line without question. Don’t depend on any news outlet as a single source for information. Do your own homework. Use diverse sources. And think for yourself. Dissent.

Even Zimdars advised readers of her fake-news list to “read it closely, feel free to disagree, and, in the spirit of media literacy, do your own research.” This is both simple and revolutionary, because it gets us in touch with our radical roots and gets our head in the game in modern terms. True resistance has never been easier. And more importantly, it’s absolutely necessary.

Source: Dissident Mama

Fake news, part 1: The myth of objectivity

When I was working toward my journalism degree at UW-Madison back in the ‘90s, I was taught that although objectivity is a crucial goal for all serious reporters, it must be acknowledged that we also bring our own biases and experiences to each and every story. Humans have a personal lens through which we see the world, and it colors our work.

J-school students were instructed to utilize this recognition of reality when seeking out topics and sources, formulating interview questions, and honing information. The goal was to let the story unfold as naturally and honestly as possible without getting in the way. It’s what we called “community journalism” or “civic journalism.”

This methodology, of course, sometimes takes a writer to a place where he doesn’t want or intend to go. But this style of reporting would serve as a vehicle for discovering truth – our modern journalistic imperative.

This isn’t how it’s always been in the media. In fact, the quest for any type of objectivity is a relatively new phenomenon – a half-ass, half-hearted pursuit at best, or a total ruse at worst. I think the latter, but you can decide for yourself.

It was long common knowledge that the printing press was just a tool for conveying thought in all of its subjective glory. Benjamin Franklin, who created the first newspaper chain, used his publications for political satire and lessons on moral virtue. Disagreements between competing publishers propelled Thomas Paine’s widely printed and circulated pro-independence pamphlet, Common Sense, to best-selling status and subsequently fostered revolutionary fervor throughout the colonies.

Thomas Jefferson often utilized the frequent “pen for hire” practices, paying reporters to create hit pieces on his political enemies, most notably vilifying stories about President John Adams … while Jefferson was VP! Scandalmonger James Callender published hearsay about political powerhouses like George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, but is best known for his libelous breaking story on Thomas Jefferson’s alleged affair with slave Sally Hemings.

“A newspaper is a device for making the ignorant more ignorant and the crazy crazier.”
— H.L. Mencken

By the War Between the States, newspapers continued to be extremely editorialized. As the second Confederate capital, Richmond was the hub of Southern media and offered up four daily newspapers, which were circulated throughout the South. Some were more restrained in their partisanship than others, but none were objective by modern standards. Highly subjective journalism was the norm and was paralleled in the North, which is why Lincoln shut down Yankee publications he deemed too critical of his administration and its war policies.

American journalism was been built upon a pretty free foundation: citizens with the fortitude and a little cash could set up a press, and anyone with good networking skills and something to say could disseminate his opinions, whether under his real name or a pen name. So Americans, from the sensationalist to the sincerest of truth tellers, the stalwart statist to the revolutionary rabblerouser, were able to effectively communicate “all the news that’s fit to print.”

Back then, people understood that the press was biased, which is why cities typically had multiple papers whose pages brimmed mostly with opinion pieces. Want to be in the know? You’d either pick the publication that mirrored your perspective, or you’d buy a couple different ones to hear opposing angles on a topic.

By the late 19th century, “yellow journalism” was the fashion. Historian and journalist Frank Luther Mott described its main characteristics as “scare headlines in huge print, often of minor news … use of faked interviews, misleading headlines, pseudoscience, and a parade of false learning from so-called experts … (and) dramatic sympathy with the ‘underdog’ against the system.”

Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst made their names as powerful newspaper men who battled it out for circulation dominance, using any sordid means necessary to bury the competition. It was during their reign that William McKinley became the first president to allow reporters to work inside the White House, also setting the precedent of having his secretary hold daily briefings, all increasing the allure of a respectable press.

When McKinley was shot, though, many blamed Hearst, since two of his reporters had written columns suggesting McKinley’s assassination. But this was a minor hiccup in the mainstream press’ coronation as the kings and queens of truth-telling. Progressivism was all the rage, so the public was beginning to weaken in independent thought, buying more and more into the indolence of media manipulation and giving the increasingly established press credence that it usually didn’t deserve.

“If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re mis-informed.”
— Mark Twain

The “muckrakers” came about as a supposed counter to the trend of sensationalism steered by powerful media magnates. They’re considered to be America’s first investigative journalists, yet all were reform-minded progressives, who were hell-bent on smashing capitalism and spreading socialism. Funny how that’s so often the case.

This period also featured a watershed media moment: the first time the press lied the country into war. “The rebels were cast in the same mold as the patriots who fought for American independence,” PRI’s Christopher Woolf said of journalism during the lead up to the Spanish-American War. “Spanish atrocities were played up; rebel atrocities were ignored. The editorial line was that America should help.” Sound familiar?

Teddy Roosevelt began work with what we think of today as “the press corps” and promoted press secretary to a cabinet-level position. He comprehended the weight and influence of the muckrakers, who all worked for popular magazines. So, Roosevelt gave exclusive access to reporters, like Lincoln Steffens, in order to maneuver stories on his own terms. Political hacks proliferated throughout the press, yet they were often revered as honest journalists.

The “function of news is to signalize an event, the function of truth is to bring to light the hidden facts, to set them in relation with each other, and make a picture of reality on which men can act,” explained writer Walter Lippmann, who urged progressive-era reporters to use the scientific method in gathering information and crafting stories. He saw journalism as “intelligence work” in which newspaper men were the watchdogs of policymakers and advocates for the people.

Although Lippmann understood that a reporter’s rendering of truth was limited to his grasp on reality, his objective-oriented journalism took root and became the dominant media myth of the last century. It also launched the mainstream press even further to the undeserved status of an ethical and principled institution. Thus, for much of modern times, the press has been generally accepted as “the fourth estate”: a respectable and autonomous establishment that functions in a sphere beyond the clutches of government, business, and interest groups.

“The best fiction is far more true than any journalism.”
— William Faulkner

But why? Some of journalism’s finest were explicitly not truth tellers. New York Times’ Walter Duranty covered-up the Soviet famine and starvation in Ukraine, Herbert Matthews wrote deceptive articles and half-truths during the Cuban Revolution, Judith Miller reported false stories about WMD in Iraq, and Jayson Blair made-up and plagiarized entire pieces on a myriad of topics.

Pulitzer himself published Louis Seibold’s totally fabricated interview with Woodrow Wilson. Washington Post’s Janet Cooke invented the now infamous “Jimmy’s World” story out of whole cloth. And Rolling Stone’s Sabrina Erdely penned the now discredited UVA rape story, which turned out to be a complete hoax. Very telling, too, that many of these “legitimate” journalists won Pulitzer Prizes for their fantastical work.

And those reporters don’t even include the seemingly endless list of government coverups perpetuated by the mainstream press. My former UW professor, Robert W. McChesney, has written extensively on this and the conglomeration of media into the hands of a few. “The genius of newsroom professionalism is that it tends to make editors and reporters oblivious to the compromises with authority they routinely make,” he wrote in The Death and Life of American Journalism.

It’s clear to me that we’ve had a partisan press from the very beginning, but fear not. Citizen journalism is on the rise, friends. And like our revolutionary ancestors, savvy consumers of media may have to do a little heavy lifting, but unearthing truth is and always has been well worth the effort.

Be sure to check out “Fake news, part 2: Dinosaurs & dissenters,” which should be posted later this week. Stay tuned.

Source: Dissident Mama