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Jeffrey Epstein’s girlfriend might spend the rest of her life in prison. Here’s why.

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Grooming? Woke Schools Brainwash Kids Using the Same Tactics Deployed by Pedophiles

Quick Bit: Progressive educators attempting to indoctrinate children use many of the same tactics deployed by pedophiles.

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Most kids don’t grow up thinking that boys can be girls and girls can be boys.

These ideas are taught; they are programmed into children at a young age by woke parents and progressive public educators.

Children are groomed into believing they themselves are transgender and that gender theory is a legitimate concept.

As it turns out, the very same tactics used by public schools to indoctrinate students into gender theory are used by pedophiles as they groom their underage victims.

In an August article for Psychology Today, Kelli Palfy, Ph.D. — a trained trauma therapist and expert on male sexual abuse — wrote about how sex offenders groom their victims for abuse.

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“Grooming techniques are the deliberate, carefully orchestrated acts and gestures offenders engage in. The acts are all legal and not harmful in themselves but later recognized as offenders’ preparation process, designed to win the affection, trust, and loyalty of potential victim and their parents,” Palfy wrote.

Indeed, this description of pedophile grooming equally describes how corrupt public educators are corrupting American children.

Exposing Children to Child Porn

Perhaps the most egregious example of schools using these sorts of tactics was seen over the past few months when numerous reports from across the country revealed that books containing child pornography had been made available in various school libraries.

Should parents be told if their children begin identifying as transgender at school?

Two of the books in question — “Gender Queer: A Memoir” by Maia Kobabe and “Lawn Boy” by Jonathon Evison — were disseminated to schools across the country on the recommendation of two prominent national school library associations — the School Library Journal and the Young Adult Library Services Association.

Both books contain various cartoon-style depictions of pornography, some of which involve children performing sex acts on one another.

Parents across the country were predictably outraged and quickly pressured schools to remove the books from circulation. As of Wednesday, however, schools in Fairfax, County, Virginia began reintroducing “Gender Queer” in the name of diversity.

Underage children should not be exposed to pornography. They especially should not be exposed to child pornography (depictions of children having sex).

Why? Because this makes them believe having sex is normal for kids their age.

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According to Palfy, pedophiles often introduce pornography to young children for exactly this purpose.

“Offenders may inquire about their target’s present knowledge of sex and/or introduce them to pornography, often leaving it around for easy detection,” Palfy said.

“The pornography may depict other children engaged in sexual acts and is designed to establish interest and provoke arousal, while lessening resistance toward engaging in such acts themselves.”

Gaining Parents’ Trust and Then Secretly Undermining Their Authority 

Another grooming tactic used by both woke educators and pedophiles is the deception of parents.

“They often befriend the parents and are deceivingly transparent about their intentions to befriend their children, hoping to mislead the parent into feeling at ease,” Palfy said of pedophile groomers.

These predators make parents feel at ease before manipulating their children behind their backs.

Many schools across the country are doing the exact same thing. In fact, some have even instituted policies requiring staff to not inform parents if their child has socially transitioned (begun identifying as transgender) at school.

On Oct. 22 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, school administrators sent a letter to parents announcing the school would no longer ask for parental consent if their child changed his or her gender pronouns or name in the classroom.

“The District recently changed a section of administrative guideline 2260E that required parental consent in order for district staff to use a student’s preferred name or gender pronouns if they differed from the student’s biological sex assigned at birth,” read the letter.

“District staff members are no longer required to seek parental consent prior to honoring student requests to be called by their preferred name and/or pronouns.”

“While we understand that there are varying perspectives related to gender identity, we know that in order to put students first we must acknowledge and support each student’s unique needs,” the letter continued.

Months earlier in Iowa, a bill was introduced to the state legislature that would require school districts to “provide written notification of such action to the parent or guardian of the student at least one week before such action occurs.”

In turn, LGBT advocates in the state argued that such a bill was “a disgusting attempt at undermining the safe spaces in Iowa schools.” In the view of these LGBT activists and public school officials, children need to be liberated and rescued from their parents, especially if those parents happen to be religious conservatives.

Many such schools believe they have saved children from their bigoted parents. In doing so, these people are using the same strategy used by pedophiles — leading parents to believe they can be trusted when, in reality, they are secretly grooming their children behind their backs.

Stalking and Targeting Vulnerable Children

Perhaps the most disgusting tactic used by pedophiles is the stalking and targeting of vulnerable children.

“Offenders are thought to have a radar for children in disadvantaged situations,” Palfy wrote. “Vulnerable children include those who haven’t yet learned that some people can’t be trusted, those with low self-esteem, and those in need of friends.”

According to an investigation conducted by journalist and author Abigail Shrier, the California Teachers Association (CTA) held a conference in October “advising teachers on best practices for subverting parents, conservative communities and school principals on issues of gender identity and sexual orientation.”

According to Shrier, speakers at the conference went so far as to “tout their surveillance of students’ Google searches, internet activity, and hallway conversations” in order to root out children most confused and curious about LGBT issues.

In other words, they’re stalking and targeting vulnerable kids, just as a pedophile would do.

One teacher who spoke at the conference, Lori Caldeira — a Buena Vista Middle School teacher and LGBTQ-club leader — admitted she wanted to help confused middle school students looking to define themselves “as a separate entity from their parents.”

“So the kids come, they have something on their mind they want to talk about it and then we have some structures in place for how to have those kind of complicated conversations. And you know, they include those group norms about respect: What happens in this room, stays in this room,” Caldeira said.

Certainly, many teachers across the country are against the teaching of such concepts but, as a whole, the public education system at large appears to be heading in that direction — towards teaching gender theory, critical race theory and other problematic progressive concepts.

The introduction of gender theory into children’s education has left many young girls and boys confused. Those who feel out of place, who don’t quite know how to define themselves, are left looking for answers. Teachers like Caldeira are waiting in the wings to take advantage of that situation in much the same way pedophiles attempt to take advantage of vulnerable children.

These teachers and educators may not be pedophiles, but there’s no denying they’re predators looking to indoctrinate young boys and girls.

In much the same way pedophiles do, these people are grooming your children.

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China’s deadly chess game as Biden puts America at risk of checkmate

Tales from the Mark Side: The Conservative Voice in Manatee County

China’s deadly chess game as Biden puts America at risk of checkmate

By Mark Young

mark.young@manateeherald.com

Most people don’t know that Gen. Alexander Haig, who served as President Nixon’s Chief of Staff was heavily involved in the original making of “Red Dawn.”

I was in the Army when that movie came out and immediately recognized the reality within the fiction of Haig’s knowledge of outside threats and his historical understanding of post-invasion life under a brutal foreign regime.

While the movie centered around a group of high school students forming a resistance to the invasion, Haig’s story within the story is what most moviegoers just looking for some action entertainment failed to recognize.

Haig brilliantly, but subtly laid out the vulnerability of how easy it really is for an invading force to overtake much of the country before true patriots could rally to fight back. Unfortunately, a lot of damage would be done before that could happen.

America’s nuclear deterrent isn’t always a guaranteed safety net and 1984 didn’t even take into account today’s precision strike capability and how devastating a surprise first strike would be in crippling America’s power supply and military infrastructure.

It could most certainly happen, but so many live in their bubbles and think we are invincible. Look at what happened on 911 with a dozen or so terrorists and a handful of hijacked airplanes.

Imagine the damage that could be done if that planned attack was done on a much larger scale with precision military strikes in combination with thousands of terrorist cells acting at once, and followed by a full scale invasion by a larger military force with a scorched earth mandate behind them.

Haig knew how vulnerable we really are, and in fleeting admissions since the Afghanistan withdrawal debacle combined with China’s massive military expansion and technological advancements that are surpassing our own, today’s military leaders know it too.

And now we are finding out more and more about just how much influence our premier enemy in China has over this current president.

I have always been bewildered by Biden’s lack of strength overall. After all, he was the only person in the room that didn’t want to kill Osama Bin Laden. It has been particularly curious as to his kowtowing to China, but we are learning why.

We are also learning why Biden is pushing electric vehicles now that China owns the majority of the kobalt mines on the planet thanks to a massive deal orchestrated by Hunter Biden while his father was still vice president.

Kobalt is the primary mineral that makes electric vehicle batteries operate and China controls the market. We learned from the New York Times of all places, that Hunter was paid $30 million and pocketed a huge diamond gift from the Chinese to get the mines out of American hands.

ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC have had zero coverage of this story even though it came from their print ally. It’s another dangerous example proving what side the media is on, and it’s not ours.

Trump was right when he called the media the “enemy of the people,” because their constant misinformation campaigns and outright ignoring a story like this one can be construed as treason against the American people.

So we already knew from the laptop that Hunter Biden is corrupt and made a fortune on his father’s name, and we know that his father not only knew more than what he told Americans, but that he has been involved all along.

It’s become painfully clear that the Chinese have a lot of dirt on Biden, which is why Biden is doing their bidding by pushing what amounts to be an electric vehicle mandate. It’s also why Biden refuses to even bring up the discussion of COVID origins with the Chinese even though the entire rest of the world knows exactly what the Chinese did.

We can argue the whys of what China did, and as you can imagine, I certainly have my theories. For one, Trump had China on the ropes and was forcing them into a balanced trade deal after ripping us off for decades.

It was no coincidence that Trump dropped the Mother of All Bombs in Afganistan while the Chinese president was visiting the White House. China feared everything about Trump and for the first time an American president was one move away from having China in checkmate.

That’s why they freaked out and thought Trump was going to nuke them in his final days of office. Trump had them on their heels and they were filled with fear and paranoia.

So what did the Chinese do as their final and desperate move to avoid total defeat on the world stage? They released a virus that would kill just enough people to cause global panic and economic ruin. The Chinese know what drives American elections and their strategy to cause chaos in the west and change the course of an American election worked perfectly.

So perfect that they got the unexpected bonus of having their very own puppet in the White House that they have full control over and who will do their bidding.

Now China is one move away from checkmate as they plan their Taiwan invasion after next year’s Olympics knowing Biden won’t lift a finger in living up to America’s military commitment to Taiwan.

It’s the same reason Russia is massing forces on the border of Ukraine and why Putin told Biden to go eff himself when Biden asked Russia to step up production on an oil pipeline that wouldn’t have existed without Biden’s approval in the first place.

The facts are there for everyone to see. The left-wing media ignores them because they can’t dispute them. If they could, you know they would. It’s easier to just not report an inconvenient truth that disrupts their agenda because they aren’t journalists. They are the enemy of the people.

Hunter Biden has been a Chinese pawn for years. They played him perfectly. And now China has let our president know that his pawn son can be sacrificed at any time to expose the true father-son corruption and what they’ve been doing to sell out America.

In 2022 we’ll be able to do a lot to stop Biden’s insane domestic policies, but as Russia, China and North Korea get friendlier and friendlier, it will be a dangerous three years on the foreign policy front.

Those three nations, combined with Biden helping Iran to get a nuclear weapon, could perhaps create the perfect scenario that was the basis of Red Dawn.

And like Red Dawn, spoiled and pampered Americans will have a rude awakening when confronted with the realities of war at their doorstep with foreign nations who have no problems with mass executions if you don’t bend to their will.

And sadly, a lot of so-called Americans will not only bend to save their own skins, but will collaborate with the enemy to advance their own cowardly chances to survive.

Those are the facts, as well. History tells that story time and again and there are those among us who think they won’t do it, but they will. And as we are seeing, there also are those among us who would betray us willingly.

Stay vigilant patriots. May God guide us and I pray such scenarios will never play out, but to pretend it isn’t possible is naive, and I use that word as a nice alternative.

I hope, as Americans, we will never be put in a situation where we have to choose sides, but as Americans, we should always be prepared to act against all enemies, foreign and domestic.





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Boy Who Believes He’s a Walrus: Matt Walsh Takes on Trans Agenda with Surprise New Children’s Book

Quick Bit: Matt Walsh of The Daily Wire announced the release of his new book on Monday, a children’s book about the ridiculousness of gender theory.

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In the past decade or so, child abuse has become quite fashionable. Nowadays, it is seen as virtuous to allow your children to undergo irreversible hormone therapy, merely because they momentarily identify as the opposite sex.

Of course, kids often play pretend and let their imaginations run wild. Some kids pretend they are dinosaurs, others superheroes. If left alone, most of these fantasies will fade away, including the desire to become the opposite sex. According to the World Professional Association for Transgender Help, roughly 94 percent of children with gender dysphoria will revert to identifying as their biological sex.

And yet, many parents, doctors and LGBT activists believe these children should be given the choice to permanently alter their bodies through hormone therapy. Of course, children do not have the ability to consent to this any more than they can consent to having sex. They cannot possibly comprehend the long-term, life-altering implications of such a decision.

Well, The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh has had enough of this nonsense. Deciding to fight back, Walsh announced on Monday night that he has written a children’s board book highlighting the utter absurdity of the left’s transgender craze. As perhaps The Daily Wire’s most outspoken podcast host (which is saying something), Walsh doesn’t hold back. He tells it as he sees it, and when it comes to the gender transitioning of children, Walsh sees gender-affirming care for the utter absurdity that it is.

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Walsh’s book — “Johnny the Walrus” — follows a young boy named Johnny. Johnny has a wild imagination — he loves to play pretend. One day, when Johnny pretends to be a walrus, his mother is pressured by activists and doctors to raise him as one. She’s told to pretend he’s a walrus, feed him like a walrus and even take him to the doctor to have surgery to make him look more like a walrus.

It’s a perfect metaphor for the child abuse that is providing gender-affirming care to confused children.

“I don’t think it’s at all unfair or hyperbole to draw a comparison between a boy pretending to be a walrus — which is my story — and a boy, a four-year-old boy or five-year-old boy, saying ‘I’m a girl,’” Walsh told The Western Journal. “It’s exactly the same kind of thing.”

Should gender-affirming care be considered child abuse?

“I chose walruses because I was trying to think of the most … ridiculous-looking animal I could think of, just to make it all more absurd.”

“Little kids are imaginative and they also exist in a world where the line between fantasy and reality is not at all clear.”

As a father of four, Walsh knows very well that — in 2021 — it is hard to find a good children’s book devoid of left-wing political indoctrination. Unless you are going to a Christian book store, finding a good book for your child is “kind of a crapshoot.”

And, while a lot of that propaganda is “racial stuff” — books like Ibram X. Kendi’s “Antiracist Baby” — Walsh has noticed that most books he finds promote “gender ideologies being foist on kids of a very young age, telling little boys that if they put on a dress, they’ll be a girl, or those sorts of things.”

In writing his own children’s book, Walsh didn’t aim to merely write a response to those books. He said he “didn’t want it do be defensive, but more going on the offensive” in a way that is funny and can “engage kids on one level” and adults on another.

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Walsh hopes that parents will understand the deeper points he’s trying to make and that children who have read the book — upon being introduced to the concept of gender transitioning — will understand exactly what’s going on.

“I’m hoping that … later on, after they’ve been read this book, when they are introduced to those concepts, they’ll kind of understand the framework in which these things should be understood,” Walsh told The Western Journal.

“They’ll say … ‘so, that boy is identifying as a girl? That’s just like identifying as a walrus.’”

“I want them to make that connection because that is, in fact, … exactly that sort of thing. And so, I guess in a way, this is my attempt at a little bit of an inoculation against gender theory before they are introduced to it.”

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Books, child abuse, children, Conservatism, conservatism and conservatives, conservatives, education, family, parenting, transgender, US news


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The Political and the Holy

Discontent in American public life has struck a resounding cord across the political spectrum. Speaking to the American crisis, Yoni Appelbaum has pinpointed a significant feature of the problem for the Atlantic: We have not only lost trust in our democratic institutions. We seem to have given up the habit and practice of democracy itself.

While we will be quick to point to a set of proximate occurrences as the cause of this bipartisan gloom, there is a more remote feature of our present condition that is often neglected. We need to pay closer attention to an overarching narrative, a story that American citizens have been taught to believe, and which in its own incoherence provides a more coherent explanation for our current discontent.

Liberalism does not simply entail a set of philosophical and political principles that can be drawn to their logical conclusions. Rather, liberalism is a tale that helps democratic citizens understand themselves and their place in this world. When we better grasp some of the essential features of this story, we can perhaps catch a glimpse of what is happening today in American social and political life.

The first principle of the liberal narrative, the one in crisis, is this: Liberalism inaugurated the necessary division between the religious and political spheres, which is the cause of universal flourishing and societal peace. The powerful influence of this tale can be seen by looking at two particular instantiations of its telling.

One comes from Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker. Pinker argued in his recent work, Enlightenment Now, that the world has improved in almost every measurable area of human life for the past three centuries, and that said progress is only continuing. The central argument that Pinker presents is meant to push against a resurgent narrative of decline in American social and political thought, spanning both the left and right. This story contends that the state of the world is not only in a condition of angst, but experiencing a serious existential and social crisis stemming from tenets of liberalism itself.

The progress that Pinker sees throughout the world–the astounding decline of poverty, war, disease, and famine, and the vast increase of wealth, equality, and democracy across the globe–is said to owe its success to the ideas laid down by Enlightenment thinkers. For Pinker, “our ancestors replaced dogma, tradition and authority with reason, debate and institutions of truth-seeking. They replaced superstition and magic with science. And they shifted their values from the glory of the tribe, nation, race, class, or faith toward universal human flourishing.”

The attempted substitution of religious authority with science and universal human flourishing constitutes a revolutionary paradigm shift. In his book The Stillborn God: Religion, Politics, and the Modern West, Columbia professor Mark Lilla elucidates a second component of this narrative feature, which concerns the novelty of modern thought. According to Lilla,

The first modern philosophers hoped to change the practices of Christian politics…By attacking Christian political theology and denying its legitimacy, the new philosophy simultaneously challenged the basic principles on which authority had been justified in most societies in history…The ambition of the new philosophy was to develop habits of thinking and talking about politics exclusively in human terms, without appeal to divine revelation or cosmological speculation.

We must admit the claim that liberalism brought about a needed division between the religious and political spheres has some truth to it. And yet, at a deeper level this narrative of liberalism neglects the fact that political theology is still alive today, albeit in a distorted and rather crippling manner. Whether we are speaking of climate change, racism, or economic justice, our political thinking has ultimately become a dialectic between the “innocent” and the “stained.” A new public theology has emerged, wherein one must constantly display an appearance of being a victim. Those that are not able to play a victim, then, are made akin to Covid-19, a disease needing to be eradicated at all costs.

The shift that is identity politics is not merely a new form of religion. This common contention usurps its own self-understanding. Identity politics is not only a set of doctrines but is patently liturgical. The pseudo-liturgical activity of identity politics reveals its connection to the new condition of modern man. Its worship is made visible in public denunciations of illiberalism, racism, xenophobia, hatred, privilege. Worship is nourished by its nominal telos whereby humanity become witness to the final overcoming of all forms of discrimination and oppression. The vitality and tenacity of identity politics becomes intelligible by seeing it within this deracinated liturgical context.

In other words, there is an aspect in which liberalism has ushered in its own sacramental vision, where religion and politics have again become joined together. Liberalism, then, is manifest precisely as a theology. Some would argue it always was.

So how is it that we might respond to the union of religion and politics? As part of a broader approach, a first step would seem to entail the actual desacralization of the political. In Christianity, the salvific message of Jesus Christ transcends the political; salvation is not dependent upon the condition of one’s political society. The fullest meaning of the Christian faith ensures that the spread of its healing doctrine not be tied to any one political regime. To be a citizen of a particular political order does not make or break one’s eternal beatitude.

Alongside this theological principle, as Augustine argues in the City of God, is the realist recognition that all earthly regimes will fall short of justice. This is why Augustine drew such a sharp distinction between the City of God and the City of Man. The City of God was not the earthly church, but a transpolitical reality, something to which human beings are ordered as their ultimate end. Following in the footsteps of Plato and the classical tradition of political philosophy, Augustine believed that it was necessary to ask what the best regime would be, or is under eternity. Yet, he also agreed with Plato that such a perfect regime is impossible to create in this life, and that attempting to bring it about would destroy actual regimes.

In conjunction with Augustine, talk of a Christian regime should be approached with great prudence and a deep caution. The temptation to guard against is a sort of “re-enchanted” nationalism, even under the guise of Christianity. The City of God is not an attempt to undermine the need for the embodied realities of home and political life. Rather, the nuance or caveat is to say that the City of God offered by Christ as witnessed in the Gospel is ultimate. The desire and orientation towards this Ultimate Home can become eclipsed even in the attempt to recover the goodness of home and attachment in this world.

We need to recover an account of divine revelation that can counter the worst tendencies of sacralizing political life. As part of the larger narrative of revelation, politics has an opportunity to be put in its rightful place, one where the political cannot become a metaphysics or a pseudo-religion. For the Christian, salvation is not a political project. Our life is meant to be an incarnation of the God who became man. This is always the Christian vocation, no matter in which regime we may find ourselves.

Brian Jones is a Ph.D. candidate in philosophy in the Center for Thomistic Studies at the University of St. Thomas.

Originally found on American Conservative. Read More




The Disunited States of America

Two years ago, I walked into a cafe in Florence and said “Can I get an espresso?” The waitress replied, “No, no, here we say buongiorno first. We smile. And only then we order. Try it, it is nice.” That is a civil place. It was not America. America has become an uncivil place.

Almost all of us are convinced this is a broken place; the problem is we differ violently over what is broken, never mind how to fix it. A lot of us are sure our schools are broken. This is a very fundamental thing for a society, as schools teach kids how to live with each other (“values.”) Fundamental things being broken is bad.

But we can’t even come close to agreeing which books to read in English class, never mind whether the whole education system is simply an expression of systemic racism, baked into everything from whose history to tell, to the role of demanding precision in math, to which historical figure’s name is on the school building. These are very big, very fundamental unresolved societal problems. I don’t know of other countries with such problems. I don’t know of any place so unhappy with itself it resorts to intellectual incest as a palliative.

The result is schooling by ideology. The wealthy now choose among private schools tailored to their needs. Middle class families buy their homes based on the public school that comes with them. In urban areas, public education now means warehousing poor kids of color, the school more a place to pass on food and used clothes than knowledge. American children get very different content in their educations, never mind qualities of education. All very separate and very unequal, an idea once rejected by a more civil society. I really thought we had that one beat.

One thing schools used to universally try to do was teach “citizenship,” the role an individual plays in a democracy. The concept must have failed, because few of us believe our elections have much to do with democracy. Too many people have simply given up to the point where if more than half of eligible voters show up for a presidential election it is newsworthy. The election outcome is only fair when our person wins.

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The system for choosing a winner has become so complex few of us fully understand it, from registering to vote to redistricting to the Electoral College. The result is a large number seeking ways to manipulate the rules (some justifying modern manipulations because of past manipulations they find unjust), and a large number giving up and voting based simply on social media propaganda. That describes a dying democratic system.

People claiming to want to fix democracy, by using direct election, packing the Supreme Court, or ending the filibuster, are simply whores in a nice dress trying to sell something as progress that will aid only their candidates. The con doesn’t matter, because we no longer expect the truth. Nobody is troubled when the president lies about how many Americans are abandoned in Afghanistan, or asks when the two weeks to flatten the curve will end, or how they can be a valued customer when a company leaves them on hold for 45 minutes.

All of this bleeds over into how we interact with each other. Never mind street fights over Black Lives Matter or scrums at school board meetings. We don’t know how to discuss things, never mind disagree, because we don’t just hate ideas, we have been taught to hate the people who hold those ideas. Commentary is just name calling and junior high-level mocking. Disagreements end with one word pronouncements–racist! fascist!–instead of better ideas put forward.

We’re alone together, loneliness our default state. We avoid physical contact or even proximity with each other, even loved ones, all made so much worse by the dystopian cures for Covid.

We don’t share things. We don’t speak to one another about small problems, we call the manager. When we run out of big issues we spelunk for microaggressions. The range of topics of conversation closes down more and more for fear of offending someone, facing a summons to human resources, or a lawsuit. We discard real world friends on “social” media over the smallest thing. The most common response to an invitation to coffee, or a job application, is ghosting.

We got rid of landlines because their primary purpose morphed into demanding we listen to ads at inconvenient times. Our cell call screening is spoofed so the phone’s primary purpose is to force us to listen to robo ads. Email is a struggle to use because much of it is forced advertising. We don’t check our voicemail because most of it is just forced advertising. We’re afraid to click on an article about insurance for fear our social media will be clogged for days with forced ads.

Our entertainment is mostly social justice memes childishly presented and force-fed to us. There is no way to opt out. We can no longer just ask to be left alone.

We work minimum wage retail jobs that require getting used to suburban women screaming at us because some item in the weekly ad wasn’t in stock. We join in classist gladiatorial sport, testing how businesses care so little about their employees they’ll fire them if one of us makes a scene.

We video everything in hopes of settling matters by embarrassing someone virally. People devote hours to digging through years of history to find something politically incorrect to destroy a life.

Complete strangers profanely yell at us because we aren’t wearing a mask, or have the wrong mask, or are wearing it improperly in their opinion. People we don’t know accuse us of wanting to kill their children with a virus we don’t have.

Others accuse us of hating them, or wanting them dead, if we make a bad word choice (even with the best of intentions, it seems purposefully hard to keep up) to describe their gender or race. Everyone not only thinks this behavior is OK, they believe it to be righteous. They assume ill intent on our side. No more of the sticks and stones rhyme, words are violence now.

Force us together and we bite. Road rage is our national sport. We refer endlessly to “communities” which are just anonymous associations of people online who claim to have been victims of something similar. Our discourse often begins with “As a…” to make clear the separateness of being one gender or another, or of having had the same disease. Our differences become the fuel of victimhood and we loathe solutions that make our victims feel less special. The most spoken sentence in America is now “You have no idea what it’s like to be me because I’m a…”

More often than not the conclusion is violence. In a typical year past, the FAA saw 150 cases of bad passenger behavior. But in 2021 so far the number has jumped to 1,300, ever more remarkable since the number of passengers remains below pre-pandemic levels. Cabin attendants have become less civil alongside their passengers. What they take in abuse they return in passive aggressiveness.

Lack of civility spills over into communal living settings, like condo associations, which come up with increasingly complex rules on how to interact with one another as a stand-in to civility. Boards, elected to handle simple community business like renewing landscape contracts, have turned into bitchy little Vaticans. They create pages of rules about masks and gym use. The answer always seems to try to quantify civility instead of asking for it. As the rules multiply, the residents divide into those with the vice principal’s voice (backed up by the condo’s jailhouse lawyers) versus those who stopped reading after page 49 and just don’t care.

I’ve always loved the line from the Simon and Garfunkel song “Mrs. Robinson” that asks, “Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio?” as the best example of what writers are supposed to do: show, not tell. The line summed up a feeling in America that a better time had passed. We are singing the same song today. Who wants to live like this? Judging by our actions, Americans. Ciao!

Peter Van Buren is the author of We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People, Hooper’s War: A Novel of WWII Japan, and Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the 99 Percent.

Originally found on American Conservative. Read More