Can you feel the Censorship tonight?

Please reblog from Ask the Bigot (aka Katy Faust) if you believe same-sex marriage is not the rosy picture as whitewashed by media, think industrial surrogacy takes us into a “Brave New World” of chattel slavery, find political correctness in the service of censorship abhorrent and just know in your bones that the truth sets us free, helps us flourish and sustains Western civilization as we know and love it.

“I aim to misbehave.” ~ Malcolm Reynolds.


On Monday my friend Paddy Manning, a gay man in Ireland, published “The Airbrushed Portrait of the Perfect Marriage” at Mercatornet. The article critiqued the narrative that Elton John and David Furnish have “one of the most blissfully happy marriages” in show-business. Paddy points out that such a picture of the couple is only possible because, in the name of protecting their children, there is a legal injunction saddling the British press/internet which forbids publishing details of their extra-marital escapades. 

rectangleSo, in other words, the nature of these two men’s behavior and it’s inevitable impact on the children is not a problem.  But reporting it is. The solution is not to stop the escapades, but to censor the reporting of them.

Because Mercatornet isn’t based in the UK, they published Paddy’s article. However, Mercatornet then informed Paddy that Elton John’s lawyers “issued an injunction of some sort to the hosting company…

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I hate “people of color”

The phrase, folks! The phrase “people of color” is the subject of my ire not black, brown, red, yellow, purple and plaid people. Title came out a little wrong, admittedly, but c’mon guys—don’t be obtuse! There is something called the use-mention distinction, so why don’t you educate yourselves before you goin’ trippin’ on yous own legs and gettin’ ’em egg yolks on y’all faces ‘gin, you putzes.

Anywho, “people of color” (or “people of colour” if you’re British and thereby a git) is one of those politically correct terms that suddenly materialized out of the academic ethnic studies ether, and well, now everyone uses it: politicians, professors, journalists, college students, celebrities. You know, all our moral betters who selflessly serve as our benevolent overlords who are “in-the-know” about these kind of things. Their effete use of “people of color” proves it.

So one reason for my internet rage, all beet-faced with spittle, is the groupthink behind the recent mass adoption of this phrase into people’s lexicons. All the who’s who, people of influence, talk the same way is upsetting in a I-just-woke-up-in-a-George-Orwell-novel sort of way.

Then there’s the pretentiousness of it all. “Colored people” nowadays is considered dated and insensitive, but “people of color” has a ring to it, a nobility to behold. It bespeaks a mannered, enlightened, Tolkienesque syntax that is wielded by a cultured, progressive mind. So then ostensibly being “of color” confers a type of fantastical, legendary moral stature like “the Riders of Rohan,” “the White Tree of Gondor,” or “of House Lannister.” Ugh. The self-importance of it all induces the gag reflex.

And did I mention that all that who’s anyone repeats the insipid phrase, especially journalists. As I have a background in journalism, needless to say but I’ll do it anyway, this vexes me. This topic deserves a post in its own right, but basically when the fourth estate quickly digests politically correct jargon and uses it as the standard for appropriate style in praxis, ruh roh! And as everyone knows, the free press is naughty…

…so too then are we screwed,

Modus Pownens

Update on the University of Misery (Missouri)

Alas, my alma mater continues to be an embarrassing eyesore. My former thesis committee member has become an unjustified yet unsurprisingly divisive figure in Mizzou’s campus uprising. Perhaps you’ve heard of her — Melissa Click. She was caught assaulting and calling for “muscle” to expel student Mark Schierbecker (around 07:10) for violating the protesters’ “safe space” by filming their revolt on the south end of the Francis Quadrangle, i.e. public property. Well, despite such illicit behavior, she survived and retains — for the moment — a salary funded on the tax-payer dime, no less. Now, new footage from a Columbia police officer’s body cam reveals further conduct unbecoming of a university professor.


She’s been suspended and banned from campus, and there have been calls for due process for her. Fair enough. Unfortunately, in the same story, there’s too many apologists who say Click’s been unfairly hung in the court of public opinion, thusly tainting said due process, and others who insist she’s done nothing wrong that merits investigation.

At least former dean of the journalism school, Brian Brooks, has his head on straight:

…I would expect a professor of communication to understand the First Amendment, which, after all, is the bedrock principle upon which all public communication in the United States is based. That brings us to Dr. Click, an assistant professor of communication. She has agreed with the prosecutor that her actions constituted assault against one of those students and agreed to perform 20 hours of community service as punishment.

In my view, she got off light. She could have been charged with battery for grabbing the student’s camera lens and trying to force it away. Her actions also constituted a violation of the students’ civil rights because they had every right to be filming in a public place. That is a well-established right in U.S. case law, which uses the U.S. Constitution as its basis.

It also should be noted that the law provides no special protection for the press. These rights are accorded to all citizens, and when someone interferes with a civil right, that is an affront to all citizens, not just the press.


So, Dr. Click is fortunate she has not yet been charged with a federal violation of the Civil Rights Act. There is clearly a basis to do so.


That…is why the School of Journalism faculty acted with alarm in the aftermath of Nov. 9. Journalists understand the First Amendment, which you apparently do not. So the “huge outcry” of the journalism faculty that you describe was fully warranted and justified.

Dr. Click’s actions in interfering with police officers doing their jobs, and the language she used while doing so, were deplorable. She easily could have been charged with interfering with police officers acting in the line of duty. Dr. Click seems to have a tendency in high-stress situations to react by committing crimes.


Is that the type of individual we want teaching students at the University of Missouri? I think not, and I am appalled that so many faculty members, most of them in the College of Arts and Science, appear to be supporting Dr. Click after her deplorable behavior on two separate occasions.

Dr. Click has made the University of Missouri the laughingstock of the entire country. She also has severely hurt the cause of the students she sought to support. By acting in a shrill and inappropriate manner, she caused many outsiders to cast a critical eye at the very protesters she was “protecting.”

For the record, it’s not that Brooks doesn’t believe in second chances. When he was dean, I’ve met the man to explain why I failed to turn in an electronic assignment that prevented me from passing a prerequisite class. His understanding, lenience and executive autograph permitted me to continue my journalism education. I remain grateful.

Digression aside, it’s paramount to note the progressive double standard here too. Tim Wolfe was chased out of town for being too “privileged” and therefore racially insensitive to the feelings of minority students. The only substantiation of his culpability in this regard was just the mere assertions from ideologue activists. On the other hand, we have two incidents of criminality and gross professional wrongdoing in fact clearly captured on camera that have been immortalized online. Yet, it’s Click who has defenders and allies. Where were the rationalizations and faculty intercession for due process on Wolfe’s behalf during last semester? There wasn’t even crickets but a mob intent on taking his head.

Anyway, the Mizzou circus goes on.

So must I,

Modus Pownens

Talking Sirius Bizinus: The “intimate relations” of slippery slopes, redefining marriage and the Left

I accidentally published an incomplete draft of this post earlier this month — WordPress is screwy sometimes. While published, that article had already attracted some attention, so I apologize for the mix-up and confusion.

Over at Amusing Nonsense, Sirius Bizinus is periodically providing his analysis of Hodges v. Obergefell, which is in front the Supreme Court. He has allowed me to comment on his posts here. So, when time permits, I’ll try to critique his arguments. My first rejoinder concerns procreation and marriage. In this case, it pertains to slippery slope arguments and redefining marriage.

To be honest, if I had one word to describe my reaction to Sirius’ response here to Justice Alito’s questions about why not recognize other types of relationships such as polyamorous or incestuous ones if same-sex marriage is ratified, it would be naive. Two words: hopelessly naive. And if I was allowed three or more, hopelessly naive and ignorant. This isn’t to claim that Sirius is unintelligent because clearly the opposite is true, as he has earned a graduate degree in law from some university in the Deep South — I can never remember which. But when matters extend beyond his legal pedigree or require more than a lawyer’s take on it, he stumbles. The more I read his blog, the more I become convinced he is oblivious to political and social theory, especially the ones that underlie today’s conservatism and “liberalism,” and how it has influenced past events and movements. I know I’m being a tad harsh, but I can’t help but find his post hastily uncritical and indicative of a self-imposed blind spot. Hence, it beckons for stark exposure, ripped limb from limb, so to speak, as it’s put me in a dismembering sort of mood, but all in good time, dear reader. All in good time.

First, let’s talk about slippery slopes, which are injected regularly into many discussions of same-sex marriage and gay rights. According to definition, a slippery slope argument is reasoning that “asserts that some event must inevitably follow from another without any rational argument or demonstrable mechanism for the inevitability of the event in question. A slippery slope argument states that a relatively small first step leads to a chain of related events culminating in some significant effect”. For instance, I’m sure you’ve seen these infuriatingly fallacious commercials:

Critically, these style of arguments are always invalid, but this does not mean what you probably think it does. Validity refers to argument structure in logic and philosophy; more specifically, for an argument to be valid, if the premisses are true, so must be the conclusion. Validity does not guarantee soundness, however, as the premisses could be false. To better illustrate my point, behold these rudimentary syllogisms:

  1. Socrates is a man
  2. All men are mortal
    Conclusion: Socrates is mortal


  1. Socrates is a woman
  2. All women are mortal
    Conclusion: Socrates is mortal

The first argument is sound: It’s valid because the conclusion must follow if the premisses are true, which they are. Moreover, the conclusion is also true. On the contrary, the second argument is unsound: It’s also valid because the conclusion must follow if the premisses are true, but premiss 1 is false; Socrates is not a woman. It’s pivotal to note that the argument still fails even thought the conclusion is true. Furthermore, it’s significant to identify these examples as deductive arguments, which strive to be valid with their conclusions being inexorable as mandated by logical certitude. They’re what’s known as proofs.

Yet, we actually prove very little — colloquially asking for it way too liberally for my tastes. Most of the reasoning people do is inductive in nature, with the submitted conclusions intended as probably true. Of course, these arguments are invalid, but that does not make them poor. Rather, they live or die on how well the conclusion is warranted as likely. As a fallacy, slippery slopes  are either presented as valid or the premisses don’t adequately support the conclusion as plausible.

Now, returning to the question of redefining marriage to include same-sex couples, claiming that if we recognize genderless marriage, then we’ll also legally acknowledge bestiality, polygamy, pederasty, necrophilia, etc. is indeed guilty of “slippery” thinking and overall an incredibly feeble argument. But at the very least, proponents of same-sex marriage are not being charitable if not outright dismissing based on mere caricature the challenge to “marriage equality,” as betrayed by this same slogan. For Justice Alito was not claiming that this “parade of horrors” would occur but on what objective basis would prevent it: Not would but why, as in theoretically or “by what principle,” as Robert P. George seems to like to phrase it.

As such, this is no longer an invalid slippery slope argument. There is no direct attempt at establishing a metaphysical causal chain between states of affairs, as in A will unavoidably lead to G. Rather, in this case, this claim belies deductive, valid reasoning. It’s reductio ad absurdum, which is pretentious Latin for basically taking your interlocutor’s logic to its idiotic conclusion and then thrusting it back against your opponent.

See, although “marriage equality” advocates find it irrelevant that there is a categorical difference between opposite-sex and same-sex couples — the former are innately procreative, while the latter are innately infertile — it means a commonality between the two must be given for them both to be marriage material. Remember, “equality” is what they’re all about. On this account, intense romantic feelings are proffered, but this is as vague as believing in “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. Love, after all, is as amorphous in meaning as in the multitude of shapes it comes in. Limiting the institution to two people surely seems as arbitrary as maintaining it as husband and wife.

Therefore, all those sophistic platitudes for same-sex marriage now can be sallied against the post-gay marriage, two-person status quo of the institution as unfairly discriminatory: Who’s to say single-partnered love is superior to multiple-partner love? Isn’t it “as good as you”? What about the romantic sentiment shared between siblings? Isn’t denying them “marriage equality” not just institutionalized incestophobia? What about the amorous desire a secluded rancher has for his stallion? If inmates can marry, surely a hardworking society-contributing person like he should have the right to marry the object of his affections. Can you say that these the listed hypothetical individuals in these cases are not “born this way”? If we now have multitudes of genders, and Facebook has 56 options, why don’t we have more than two or three sexual orientations? Isn’t it entirely possible that “familials,” “beasties” or some other Orwellian obscurities can be coined and applied to each group as they are shepherded under the LGBT alphabet soup umbrella for political capital, while a concentrated public image campaign via TV, cinema and news is conducted to normalize what was considered abnormal and abhorrent as “just another thing”? I mean, It worked for homosexuality and now transgenderism. Or what about the phenomenon known as singlism? They’re tax-paying individuals whom the state discriminates against by recognizing marriage at all. Truly, the equitable thing would be to abolish the institution. Summarily, there’s just a lot of holes in theory within “marriage equality” that makes it a highly spurious for public policy making.

In short, if marriage has no basis in rigid objective reality, say human sexual complementarity, as it had been grounded in for millennia, then it and its natural fulfillment, family, is purely an expression of subjective whim and preference that’s subject to anyone’s inner proclivities. If you loosen the bonds that define marriage in the spirit of “tolerance,” you must recognize everything and distinguish nothing. If there is one thing both sides agree on, it’s that marriage is distinguished. Why else are we fighting about it? Digression aside, this is just simple deduction and logical entailment. It’s also the sturdiest of justifications for a premiss in an argument becoming less slippery but more sure-handed in its descent to the “parade of horrors” and marriage’s eventual resting place six feet underground. Hence, Sirius cannot be more mistaken, utterly inconsistent and self-contradictory to his greater cause when he asserts, “The bottom line here is that recognizing same-sex unions does not by itself require recognizing other unions, just as recognizing heterosexual unions did not require recognizing all other unions.”

To his merit, though, he does seem to anticipate the strength of the above reasoning after breaking the dam, so to speak, and tries to pragmatically posit an objective bulwark to suppress it until the rush of social consensus, of course, becomes irresistible. He writes:

One could point to trends of excessive force, unequal social status, and other points of reference to show why polygamy should not be recognized (at least as of right now). Furthermore, one can point to all sorts of psychological damage should siblings and other family get married.

One also could point to trends of excessive force (here, here, here), unequal social status — as in an estimated 700,000 same-sex households out of 115,227,000 American households ( ~ 0.6%) that apparently justifies gutting humanity’s first institution as essentially nonprocreative and blood ties between child and parent as optional in the view of the state — and other points of reference (here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here) to show why same-sex relationships should not be recognized (at least as of never). Furthermore, one can point to all sorts of psychological damage children suffer with surrogacy and divorce among other related and correlated factors involved in nontraditional households (here, here, here, here, here).

Ah, but this all is rank bigotry on the level of notorious Bull Connor because, well, HRC, GLAAD and all those well-dressed, good-looking, likeable, eloquent demagogues on the news and in TV and movies and such shout it really, really loudly — so, it must be true! I feel like those who are taken with this rhetoric have an arbitrary double standard here. After all, Sirius’ listed reasons not to acknowledge polygamy and incest would and are outright condemned as prejudicial by his side — including himself, I bet — if nearly exactly applied to same-sex relationships as done above.

I also “feel like I’m taking crazy pills here!” because Sirius and other well-intentioned LGBT allies are also seemingly unaware what other advocates for “marriage equality” pretty candidly admit about this embroiled front in the culture wars, among other related trends. For instance, Jillian Keenan writing for Slate shamelessly transposes the above “bigoted” reasoning as the next step in “marriage equality”:

The definition of marriage is plastic. Just like heterosexual marriage is no better or worse than homosexual marriage, marriage between two consenting adults is not inherently more or less “correct” than marriage among three (or four, or six) consenting adults. Though polygamists are a minority—a tiny minority, in fact—freedom has no value unless it extends to even the smallest and most marginalized groups among us. So let’s fight for marriage equality until it extends to every same-sex couple in the United States—and then let’s keep fighting. We’re not done yet.

Or as George, Ryan T. Anderson and Sherif Girgis cite and observe in their defense of marriage, the Orwellian re-education has already begun with terms like “throuple,” “wedleases” and “monogamish” starting to make their rounds, thereby impugning the conventions of monogamy, exclusivity and permanence within marriage. Dan Savage is a big proponent of “monogamish”ness and resorting to profanity such as “suck my cock!” to those who disagree with him. Yet, for some reason, CNN features him to debate for the LGBT side of things as if he is a knowledgeable, qualified source and is conducive to civil discourse, though his regular polemics show him instead as a detriment to it. New York Magazine has run this Q & A with a man in a monogamous relationship with a mare. Wikipedia actually has an article documenting the cases of “human-animal marriage.”

Note also the sources for these stories come from well-known organizations and not just some lilliputian rag. New York Magazine and the New York Post also frame their subjects sympathetically or at least with a hint of curious optimism. The fact others consider it at all newsworthy, publishable and worthwhile to inject into the marketplace of ideas for the readership to consider, especially coming from allegedly reputable news sources like The Washington Post and CNN, suggest what we conservative conspiracy theorists have always been harping on about: The press at large are heavily predisposed for the Left, and as such, are corrupt and irresponsible when feigning objectivity and moderacy — whether they realize it or not. Likewise, this litany of examples also points that the alleged regression into depravity won’t occur ex post facto of same-sex marriage recognition but that we are well on our way sliding.

Some would contend that this moral decline has been going on for decades, centuries even. Perhaps Nietzsche or more accurately Dostoevsky was right: “If there is no God, everything is permitted.” Assuredly though, if the mainstream press are flirting with these notions that not only sex and gender are irrelevant for marriage or for general courtship but also norms pertaining to exclusivity, permanence, monogamy and keeping it in the species can be discarded, then these ideas must certainly not be too far removed from the public consciousness either. So, it would appear the “bigots” are not merely fear-mongering but are actually being reasonably observant.

The even more observant also notice the disparity between what image media perpetuates about gay rights and what lesser publicized voices and queer theory have to say. They take it straight from the gay activist’s mouth. For starters, the 1989 manifesto After the Ball lays out an extensive game plan to persuade America “to conquer its fear and hatred of gays” via “propaganda” — authors Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen’s word, not mine. Apart from opining that marriage is a patriarchal, sexist institution that ought not exist but suits their designs, here are some highlights:

You can forget about trying right up front to persuade folks that homosexuality is a good thing.  But if you can get them to think it is just another thing–meriting no more than a shrug of the shoulders–then your battle for legal and social rights is virtually won (p. 161).


Constant talk builds the impression that public opinion is at least divided on the subject and that a sizable bloc — the most modern up-to-date citizens — accept or even practice homosexuality. …. The main thing is to talk about gayness until the issue becomes thoroughly tiresome (pp. 177-178).


[G]ays can undermine the moral authority of homohating churches over less fervent adherents by portraying such institutions as antiquated backwaters badly out of step with the times and with the latest findings of psychology… [This] has already worked well in America against churches on such topics as divorce and abortion.  With enough open talk about the prevalence and acceptability of homosexuality, that alliance can work for gays. Where we talk is critical . . . In the average American household the TV screen radiates it’s embracing bluish glow for more than 50 hours every week…. These hours are a gateway into the private world of straights, through which a Trojan horse might be passed (p. 179).


In any campaign to win over the public gays must be portrayed as victims in need of protection so that straights will be inclined by reflex to adopt the role of protector…First the public should be persuaded the gays are victims of circumstance, that they no more chose their sexual orientation than they did say their height, skin color, talents or limitations.  (We argue that, for all practical purposes, gays should be considered to have been born gay– even though sexual orientation, for most humans, seems to be the product of a complex interaction between innate predispositions and environmental factors during childhood and early adolescence.) . . . And since no choice is involved, gayness can be no more blameworthy than straightness.
In order to make a Gay Victim sympathetic to straights, you have to portray him as Everyman.  But an additional theme of the campaign will be more aggressive and upbeat.  To confound bigoted stereotypes and hasten the conversion of straights, strongly favorable images of gays must be set before the public.  The campaign should paint gay men and lesbians as superior — veritable pillars of society (p. 183).
Our primary objective regarding diehard homohaters is to cow and silence them as far as possible (p. 179).

Moreover, listen to Marsha Gassen in 2012:

Anderson further provides several examples here, but I’ll give you some of my favorites:

Anti-equality right-wingers have long insisted that allowing gays to marry will destroy the sanctity of “traditional marriage,” and, of course, the logical, liberal party-line response has long been “No, it won’t.” But what if—for once—the sanctimonious crazies are right? Could the gay male tradition of open relationships actually alter marriage as we know it? And would that be such a bad thing?

We often protest when homophobes insist that same sex marriage will change marriage for straight people too. But in some ways, they’re right (The Advocate).

Michael Signorile strongly advises gay couples to “demand the right to marry not as a way of adhering to society’s moral codes but rather to debunk a myth and radically alter an archaic institution.” They should “fight for same-sex marriage and its benefits and then, once granted, redefine the institution of marriage completely, because the most subversive action lesbians and gay men can undertake…is to transform the notion of ‘family’ entirely.” According to Professor Ellen Willis, “conferring the legitimacy of marriage on homosexual relations will introduce an implicit revolt against the institution into its very heart.” Surely, all this casts doubt on and contradicts the highly publicized and seemingly innocuous meme of “how will allowing gay couples to marry affect you or your marriage?”. They also strongly indicate that HRC, GLAAD and others, whose campaign and tactics uncannily resemble those prescribed in After the Ball, have been far less than truthful to the American people surrounding this issue.

And then again for the Left, truth and civility — those pesky things that help keep a free society free — are not virtues, and altering and doing away with marriage and the family has traditionally been one of its long-held ambitions. Let’s just say, same-sex marriage aligns with or is and has been very much in bed with Marx. According to Paul Kengor, the cranky German mused frequently about “abolishing the family” and how his workers’ revolution would be “the most radical rupture with traditional ideas.” Likewise, Marx’s successors were the academic pioneers to scrutinize and radically challenge Judeo-Christian ideals on sexuality, gender and identity at large. They never conceived of same-sex marriage, but its legal and social affirmation would see them overjoyed. And this all makes sense. After all, under communism, your first loyalty is to the state, the community. The church and the traditional family are competition in this regard and overall impediments to utopia. Why else would the Soviet Union praised Pavlik Morozov as a state hero for betraying his family to the secret police and thus rendered as exemplary for all adolescents? Out with everything that upheld the old order, for the new world, a future free of inequality, awaits.

Additionally, if you look at other well-known authoritarian regimes, you’ll see they have a tendency to blur this distinction between the domestic and the state. We’ve already met Pavlik. Hitler had his infamous youth program. To this day, China’s government limits the number of children couples are permitted to have. In all these cases, the state does not recognize the family as a separate entity, and as such, has and uses the authority to extend its control where we don’t want it: our private home life. Same-sex marriage necessitates that the boundary between family and state is a function of malleable subjective preference and personal whim instead of something fashioned from the timbre of objective reality like biology. In other words, why should government heed me at all when I object to sexual education that explains BDSM to my ninth grader if my relationship to my child is ultimately just another social construct devoid of actual meaning and clear demarcation when there’s “the common good,” as defined by faceless bureaucrats? Why would I endorse public policy that undermines my claim to my kids and their inherent rights to me?

I’ll let you chew on that one for awhile, so let’s once again return to Marx. He also put a lot of stock and faith in change qua change as both a unequivocal and unilateral force for good: “The philosophers have variously interpreted the world; the point, however, is to change it.” And so did Lenin: “What is to be done?”; and so did Trotsky; and so did every good Bolshevik, Stalinist, Maoist, etc., possess unflinching confidence in the future they were deceiving and or murdering to build. The ends justify the means.

So, it’s much to my chagrin when Sirius expresses the following:

What we are looking at is the residual process of trying to normalize marriage across the nation. As people clamor for marriage equality, the uniformity is upset. We must either be okay with having different marriages in different states, or we must come to a new consensus.

That new consensus does not necessarily include people who want to limit marriage to man and wife. Young people overwhelmingly support marriage equality. Even when balancing things out with other voters, in the U.S. support for marriage equality has reached an all time high. As older people give way to newer sensibilities, the consensus will go against people who oppose marriage equality.

At the least, then, both sides need to be careful for what they ask for.
With any social change, there are always going to be arguments that claim the change will go too far. That in and of itself is no surprise, especially in this case. But really nobody is advocating for drastic changes to marriage law. Instead, they’re asking for states to recognize marriages granted in other states. While it raises concerns, the U.S. hasn’t imploded any other time it enacted social change.

Now, of course, he isn’t a communist as in like “Comrade Sirius,” but he does naively echo the Marxist fatalistic and blind adherence for change with little concern for the costs. He’s so self-assured in the righteousness and inevitability of “marriage equality” as a cause that he tends to overlook the harm to American civil health its supporters are doing in service to it. The defamation and slander the gay rights movement have repeatedly used to get to this point is seemingly fine. Sirius also alludes to federalism and an inexorable “new consensus” but is not only ok with unelected judicial fiat overturning the current official and recent consensuses, as established in state constitutional amendments, he seems to welcome it coming sooner rather than arriving later by its alleged natural course. As this sets precedent in judicial activism, it weakens those “laboratories of democracy” of the states in favor of further centralization of power.

In addition, Sirius expresses no qualms over but approval for the zealotry to put First Amendment-inspired negative freedoms of religion, association, speech and conscience in a collision with public accommodation law. I’m referring to Christian wedding bakers, florists and the like. Never mind civil rights and civil liberties are in tension with one another, and each needs to limit the other to some degree to ensure balance. According to Sirius, “Freedom of religion does not trump basic human rights,” which broadly is right. But by “basic human rights,” he means nondiscrimination rights to equal treatment based in statutory law, and that these measures take precedent, in principle, over freedoms of religion, conscience, association and such, as enshrined in the Constitution. This view seems radically backwards, as constitutional rights are more fundamental than ones found in the nondiscrimination statutes for employment and service as enacted by legislatures. What he’s espousing sees the scale tipped heavily against the Bill of Rights. It’s no longer the supreme law of the land but a vassal to progressives’ “tolerant” convictions and “more enlightened” modern anti-discrimination laws. This is hegemony, not equality. Moreover, he’s running contrary here to the driving spirit of many of the first Europeans who immigrated to these shores. Groups like the pilgrims fled the Old World so they could have the liberty to live by their principles in the new one without reproach from the state. Summarily, what good is having my mind if I can’t speak it or act upon its precepts?

Additionally, I feel obligated to point out his faith in the steady march of progress and social change is gravely misplaced. I bet Lenin and the Bolsheviks were equally assured of their impending “new consensus” and the paradise they were forging, except it resulted in miseries for 70 years like gulags, abject poverty and Lubyanka killings. Western Europe faced centuries of disunity and stagnation after Rome was sacked by Alaric and the Goths, and it did not perhaps completely recover until the Carolingians. The French Revolution was done for “liberty, equality, fraternity” but led to Robespierre, the guillotine and eventually Napoleon. The Nazis gave rise to Hitler, the Holocaust and World War II. China’s Cultural Revolution slaughtered an estimated 30 million over a course of a decade. Sure, “the U.S. hasn’t imploded any other time it enacted social change.” It was just torn asunder by the bloodiest conflict in our history due to the growing influence of the abolitionist movement against slavery and the election of Abraham Lincoln. It also wasn’t too long ago that the intelligentsia were fawning about abortion as a foregone conclusion. Roe v. Wade was supposed to be the formal resolution to the issue, period. Yet, now some would contend it’s Sirius and his pro-choice leanings that are on “the wrong side of history.” History, she’s hard to pin down.

Anyway, the frightening thing is that sharp individuals like Sirius fight for “social justice,” a euphemism to mask Leftist objectives, and believe such ends to be somehow latent within or mandated by the Constitution. In fact, what they are advancing is born of an ideology that rejects the classical liberalism of the Founding Fathers. They’re all about equality — cultural, material, social or otherwise — but have little to no appreciation of liberty in any form. You know contemporary American “liberalism” is way askew when they start to have more in common with Marx than Thomas Jefferson, the progenitor of the Democrat party. His belief in freedom of conscience, like not coercing someone to participate in something they deem as sinful, would be and is considered cover for homophobia nowadays. We conservatives, on the other hand, are comfortable with good ole TJ.

We also like our Alexis de Tocqueville and his exultation of American mediating institutions, those lesser forms of human association that act as a barrier “between the individual in his private life and the large institutions of public life.” These include the family, as emboldened by marriage, churches and Christian schools and charities, among many other nonreligious “associations.” “Marriage equality” crusaders and their reliance on the courts to seek government to redefine and exert greater control over the sort of things that are supposed to keep it at bay. They instinctually presuppose the state ought to and is in the business to define and regulate mediating institutions. This is evidenced disconcertingly by fact social justice warriors clamor for its interference or edicts and shout “hallelujah!” at Ireland’s same-sex marriage referendum because it more than anything bestowed social affirmation and dignity. Apparently, validation is not to be had in who we voluntarily associate with, and integrity isn’t implicit within our natures; both are found in Big Brotherly benevolence and or if something gets carved into legal stone. That’s what is really of import. The licit gains, although nice, were ostensibly a smokescreen. Contrarily, the first Americans escaped Europe to be rid of the overbearing hand of big government; a multitude of contemporary ones now search for its embrace and then its fist to punish those who don’t want to be held so tightly. Truly, Thomas Sowell is right, as we don’t see eye to eye. There is a “conflict of visions.”

Enough analysis, though. Let’s finally get a grip on this slippery slope situation. Given that in theory, redefining marriage means making it a union grounded in the vagueness of intense emotional attachment, this entails that other forms of “love” ought to be recognized, lest we keep affairs unequal. Many people on the Left, including plenty of gay activists, not only realize where the logic leads and recognize gay marriage as a revolutionary overhauling of family, they openly crave it. Therefore, I don’t know how it isn’t unadulterated inanity for Sirius to assert, “But really nobody is advocating for drastic changes to marriage law.” Same-sex marriage is a challenging to our very understanding of family and parenthood as they are conceptualized and forged into current law. The legal framework involving divorce, adoption and alternative reproductive technologies will all demand to be amended to accommodate such upheaval.

Moreover, acknowledging same-sex couples as marriage plays a perfect complement to other Leftist goals. There are feminists scholars who argue marriage is an oppressive patriarchal institution that needs to be diminished if not utterly vitiated for women to truly achieve cultural, legal and material parity with men. Or then there is this professor’s ideas about how parents reading bedtime stories and put them into private school is unfair and contributes to inequality. Speaking of family, all these modern ideologies draw much from their Marxist and neo-Marxist parent philosophies, whose innovators again wanted to subvert the natal bonds between mother-father and child, among other traditional values, according to their writings. They’re all monsters descended from the same Marxist Echidna, and all of them are intent on devouring the individual by isolating him or her from the familial associations he or she is naturally born with. After same-sex marriage, destigmatizing polygamy and company can be conceivably applied to further this end. As severe strains of egalitarianism, these worldviews are innately totalitarian, not liberal. It’s not in their progressive nature to desist and be content.

So, yes, there is plenty of theoretical concern for “the parade of horrors,” but beyond pontificating in the abstract, the actual behavior of nonacademic agents suggest that these fears have basis in the real world too. Journalists and other people in mainstream media are beginning again to popularize and normalize what was considered unthinkable for polite society in the same manner they elevated the once taboo notions of homosexuality and transgenderism. Moreover, the mainstream gay rights movement, at large, has shown itself to spew lies that both deny and disguise its readily apparent insatiability, especially of late — “If you like your morality and civil liberties, you can keep your morality and civil liberties.” Right Christian bakers, florists and photographers? And then there’s the body politic of the movement, the social justice warriors, who are more Marxist and therefore totalitarian in their tendencies and views on equality, liberty and the state than liberal in any robust sense. Domesticity and human worth is grounded in the state are a couple telling examples of their mindset. Moreover, they are the lifeblood of this cause, and they really believe it to be their own and the next front in the inexhaustible war for civil rights. They won’t stop and will swarm the enemy (the social conservative) like killer bees, the good drones that they are, cued by collaborative media for whatever becomes the next stop for the social justice parade.

Consequentially, there is ample evidence and warning that this saga is far from over. It is not at all unreasonable to predict a coming lapse into that ugly (polygamy, incest, etc.) and horrible (further marginalization from those with traditional values from polite public society) parade, though it’s nigh impossible to know how long it will take. The hive is just too frenzied and preoccupied to notice, believe or care about what’s been briskly detailed above. When it comes to “marriage equality,” most of its members only smell blood and pheromones.

Blood and pheromones,

Modus Pownens

Journalists and Ferguson: An American failure, tragedy and nightmare

I’ve kept quiet about Ferguson, but now it’s time for my silence to come to an end. If you haven’t already heard the grand jury’s decision, Darren Wilson, the white officer who shot the unarmed black 18-year-old Michael Brown, has not been indicted. Rightfully so, I emphatically add. With the conflicting and changing witness accounts and the evidence for his innocence — the facial contusion he received in the altercation, Brown’s DNA found on Wilson’s clothes, gun and car, and the autopsy’s findings — there is no rational case against him.

There certainly is an irrational case out for his blood. Too many feel that Brown, being black and unarmed, and Wilson, being white and a police officer, must mean the Brown’s death was a racially fueled slaying and endemic of a prejudiced criminal justice system. Who helped peddle and perpetuate this falsehood and make race-baiters like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson possible? We ought to hold those responsible, especially because, well, Ferguson has burst into flames again. It’s those oh, so trusted journalists.

And who am I to make such an indictment? Just a member of their despicable ranks, though I’m no longer of a kindred spirit. I haven’t been for some time thanks in large part to travesties like Ferguson that the industry seems to promulgate faster than vermin breeding.

In this post, I will put my experience from reporting, editing and designing news and my soon-to-be degrees (finishing my master’s thesis) from the oldest and best journalism school in the country to some good, patriotic use worthy of the American people. In the old days, they called that journalism. With that expertise, I will comment and lay bare the sins of news media in their coverage of the calamity as best as I’ve observed. I’m not alone in my chastisement of mainstream media either in this regard.

Before I start, I want to make something undoubtedly clear: I don’t deny that racism doesn’t exist or that blacks don’t experience racism or that there are no racist cops. Although all the available evidence shows otherwise, if Wilson had murdered Brown or any law enforcement officer guns down a defenseless black teen, then yes, that person should be prosecuted and face the consequences for such an action. What I do contest, however, is this notion that we are still living in Selma, Alabama, circa 1960, and white racism is so fervent and entrenched in society that it’s the bane of black existence and the reason for their impoverishment.

With that disclaimer out there, it was my mother who informed me that she heard Brown had previously been involved in a robbery on the day of the shooting. We also noticed and discussed that this claim, which turned out to be credible, was not mentioned as the story began to break nationally. Moreover, it wasn’t until about a week later that many news media outlets began to acknowledge the robbery because of the infamous strong-arm surveillance video. Therefore, news media had what was relevant information that newsrooms chose to withhold. It was pertinent enough that it would have provided an alternative reason as to why Wilson had interacted with Brown instead of racist motivations, which were clearly implied in initial coverage. As for verifiability at that point, I see no issue as long as journalists were transparent, i.e., “There are unconfirmed reports that Brown was a suspect in the robbery of a local convenience store earlier today. We are currently following up on any leads to determine what happened in Ferguson, Mo. We’ll let you know when we know more.” It is certainly less speculative than merely reporting that a white cop shot an unarmed, allegedly submissive black teen and licking your lips for the ensuing pandemonium.

Then there’s also the sole use of the words teen or teenager to describe Brown. Not only does this stir up bias against Wilson, it is professionally incorrect. Journalists conform to what’s known as Associated Press style in their presentations of news. They refer to a handbook the AP publishes every year that dictates which words, phrases, names and spellings to use in writing. And according to AP style, anyone 18 and older is supposed to be referred to as a man or woman. And I quote from my 2010 edition Associated Press Stylebook: “youth Applicable to boys and girls from age 13 until 18th birthday. Use man or woman for individuals 18 and older.” Moreover, this rule is not an obscure reference like the entry on what are the Anglicized spellings of specific Chinese cities. It’s well known among professional journalists, as they report the ages of the people they interview for stories all the time. I’ve both taken and graded stylebook quizzes that have tested students on this principle of style. With the epitaph of the “gentle giant” that was about to start college and the running of an outdated photo of a much younger-looking Brown, news media were obviously framing the story as a one-sided narrative of a malicious shooting of a good kid by a white policemen for the crime of being black with little to no verifiable facts about the fatal encounter.

I’ve been taught in school that journalists are supposed to avoid this two-valued orientation, either-or paradigm in their stories. The truth, at least in a journalistic sense, tends to be more complicated than solely reporting he said-she said and parroting back what often are the only two-sided talking points of politicians. Often, there are more than two perspectives on any given issue, and when the investigation and story demands it, these other voices need to be brought into focus. To not do so perpetuates division and tribalism. And with Ferguson, I wonder why we clearly have two distinct, opposing camps with many in one party pledging and executing destructive retribution against all those who they perceive as not an active member of their cause.

With voyeuristic interest, mainstream media watches the riotous fulfillment of this promise in Ferguson, the ones they facilitated with their inaccurate, biased coverage. After all, violence sells. They appear drunk off the Molotov cocktails and high from the smoldering ruins of police cars and buildings, playing-up the devastation while downplaying the sheer lawlessness of the ordeal for days. It really appears that in their minds that this abhorrent behavior is somehow excusable because the underlying sentiment behind it is justified. The innocent Ferguson business owners and employees are victims — those other voices I’ve been talking about — that are having their livelihoods decimated because of the wanton, unruly looting of opportunistic villains more invested in pilfering hair extensions than “justice” for the Brown family and the greater black community. But this is all acceptable for journalists. Hardly containing their approval and glee, all that matters for journalists is the black versus white civil rights narrative, the defiant minority fighting the oppressive criminal justice system that regularly gets away with killing them with impunity. It’s here I must conclude leftist journalists have not only lost their minds but also their souls.

Intellectually speaking, the most prevalent killer of young black men in this country is young black men. Nationally, 94 percent of black homicides are committed by other blacks. Writing for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in 2012, George Mason economics professor Walter Williams notes:

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, between 1976 and 2011, there were 279,384 black murder victims. Using the 94-percent figure means that 262,621 were murdered by other blacks.

Though blacks are 13 percent of the nation’s population, they account for more than 50 percent of homicide victims. Nationally, the black homicide victimization rate is six times that of whites, and in some cities, it’s 22 times that of whites.

Coupled with being most of the nation’s homicide victims, blacks are most of the victims of violent personal crimes, such as assault and robbery.

The magnitude of this tragic mayhem can be viewed in another light. According to a Tuskegee Institute study, between 1882 and 1968, 3,446 blacks were lynched at the hands of whites. Black fatalities during the Korean War (3,075), Vietnam War (7,243) and all wars since 1980 (8,197) come to 18,515, a number that pales in comparison with black loss of life at home.

It’s a tragic commentary to be able to say that young black males have a greater chance of reaching maturity on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan than on the streets of Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Oakland, Newark and other cities.

A much larger issue is how might we interpret the deafening silence about the day-to-day murder in black communities compared with the national uproar over the killing(s) of Trayvon Martin (and Michael Brown).

According to Edward Flynn, Milwaukee’s police chief, “Eighty percent of my homicide victims every year are African-American. Eighty percent of our aggravated assault are African-American. Eighty percent of our shooting victims who survive their shooting are African-American.” In his rant, Flynn cuts to heart of the matter with moral precision. If black lives matter — and they definitely do! — then why is there no publicized outrage for these tragedies, which are far more common occurrences than the stereotypical cop shooting a black teen?

Of course, detractors like Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson in his recent debate with former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani retort:

First of all, most black people who commit crimes against other black people go to jail. Number two, they are not sworn by the police department as an agent of the state to uphold the law. So in both cases, that’s a false equivalency that the mayor has drawn, which has exacerbated tensions that are deeply imbedded in American culture.

…Black people who kill black people go to jail. White people who are policemen who kill black people do not go to jail.

Firstly, the claim that blacks are incarcerated for these violent crimes is untrue. According to Chicago magazine, only 132 of the city’s 507 gang-related murders have been solved. Similar problems persist apparently in the country’s other large cities such as New York and Los Angeles. In other words, the goons who are perpetrating these acts are likely not getting caught. In regard to “number two,” it’s Dyson who is drawing the false equivalency. The life of a civilian isn’t supposed to involve violence, while the nature of police work is dangerous. Part of the job description is to confront and detail evil doers who will try to resist and kill the officers. Therefore, at times, lethal force to uphold the law is necessary and justified.

Additionally, as a demographic, blacks are culpable for large swaths of crime. Take this excerpt from Jason L. Riley’s book Please Stop Helping Us in The Washington Times:

Today blacks are about 13 percent of the population and continue to be responsible for an inordinate amount of crime. Between 1976 and 2005 blacks com­mitted more than half of all murders in the United States. The black arrest rate for most offenses — including robbery, aggravated assault and property crimes — is still typically two to three times their representation in the population.

Hence, it isn’t unexpected, nevertheless unfortunate, for a cop to occasionally shoot a suspect who happens to be black. Whether or not the officer exerted sound judgment needs to be determined case-by-case. What is surprising for most Americans, again unfortunately, is how infrequent this type of incident is, about as common as the “knockout game,” which never garners national media attention. Bill Whittle argues the following:

According to the FBI, there were 408,217 robberies in 2009. That’s about 1100 a day, or in round numbers, about once a minute, 24 hours a day. That means a thousand times a day the police are called, a thousand times a day arrests are made and in general terms the events leading up to the shots being fired in Ferguson Missouri happen about one thousand times per day.

So if there’s this epidemic of white policemen executing innocent black males, why do we only hear about a case like this every few years? And why do most of those cases – like this one – seem to end up with extenuating circumstances? And why do the few cases that don’t have extenuating circumstances end up with the offending officers in jail? If this is an epidemic – where’s the epidemic? 30,000 commercial flights land safely each day in America. They don’t make the news either.

As Whittle implies, it’s because the likes of MSNBC and CNN would have us to believe that there is a racial outbreak of white cops killing black teens. Statistically, that proposition hardly seems the case. Summarily, “Some identifiable groups . . . commit crime at a rate that is higher than the national rate. Blacks are such a group. That is simply a fact,” wrote former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy in 2005, and many blacks find themselves the victims of such acts.

Too many journalists ignore all of what I have laid out here, and this negligence is unacceptable. In journalism ethics scholarship, there is something called the social responsibility theory of the press, which is rooted in the 1940s Hutchins Commission. This group formulated five principles by which the press ought to operate, two of which are:

  • a truthful, comprehensive account of the day’s events in a context which gives them meaning
  • projection of a representative picture of the constituent groups in the society

Scholars tend to agree that the commission failed to affect change in the industry and disagree about how well the theory translates to news media. However, studies show journalists and journalism students concur with the ethical content of the principles even when they are expressed in the commission’s language. As I will attest with my educational experience, discussion of journalism ethics are framed in the terms of social responsibility.

So, journalists know better, yet both of the above requirements are being defiled by mainstream news media by blowing out of proportion the killings of Trayvon Martin and Brown as evidence of a prejudiced society out to get blacks. The considerable contrary details and facts surrounding their deaths are obscured without a reference to hard crime data, while partisan speculation takes center stage to prove the overarching narrative. Take this drivel, which thoroughly lacks credibility because there is no attribution and transparency in its presentation. There is no account of who made the video, how CNN got it, no names for the witnessing construction workers (the paper I worked had a strict no anonymous source policy outside of exceptional cases like sexual assault victims), no cross-reference between the streets depicted and where Brown died, no verifiable way in the footage itself to show where it was taken outside of CNN’s assertion it’s in Ferguson and the overall poor visual and audio quality of the footage. As I’ve been taught, I would never feel comfortable running such an incendiary and controversial story without these type of things to back me up.

Furthermore, take for example this misrepresentation of the prosecuting attorney’s Robert McCulloch’s explanation to not indict Wilson as merely a lack of sufficient evidence opposed to his articulation of the positive physical and forensic counter-evidence that supported Wilson’s account in the text underneath the photo gallery. How about NBC’s Brian Williams saying on-air the grand jury “failed” to produce an indictment, as if it was their responsibility. The tactic these last few days has been to question McCulloch’s objectivity and the grand jury as a legal procedure — as if their convened kangaroo court of public opinion that is ready to draw and quarter Wilson is any better — while disregarding all the scientifically collected and verified evidence from the scene. Again, all these distortions and misdirections perpetuates the myth that the criminal justice system is unequivocally against blacks. It is absolutely sickening and impossible to shrug off these mistakes institutionally as honest lapses in human judgment. They are far too many and too concentrated for such graceful appraisal.

Why has journalism become so blatantly unethical, biased and dishonorable? I have no studies to support me here, so the following is all me. Apart from incentive for profit, the majority of journalists tend to be liberals, and the industry is ideologically homogenous. Newsrooms have become ivory tower echo-chambers with only one voice resounding, which is bound to tacitly promote one way of thinking and thereby influence journalistic practice. Many journalists I have worked with are decent, intelligent people but are products of modern liberalism, which conditions people with appeals to emotion. I also have noticed both the lack and expressed depreciation of the abstract critical thinking skills needed to overcome their subjective opinions and biases to not become unwitting cogs in the Left’s propaganda machine. For the most part, I think their errors are not in harmful intent, but I do have suspicions that the media elite, so convinced of their righteousness, knowingly manipulate coverage because they ultimately think they know what’s best for the electorate. To quote a translation of Karl Marx, “The philosophers have only variously interpreted the world; the point, however, is to change it.”

Conspiracy theories aside, Ferguson is a dark snapshot in history of America showing its absolute worst, as created and captured by journalists. In this time, a man is presumed guilty only based on the color of his skin, legal processes and civil servants are repudiated in favor of mob justice and a community cannibalizes itself perhaps to the point of no recovery. Only the truly depraved can dismiss the senseless and gratuitous destruction of private property and utter rejection of civilized law as not only irrelevant to some imaginary injustice but also extol such disorder as progress while still making money off of it. Journalists moreover have aided the civil rights movement’s transformation into a disgusting parody of itself. That isn’t to say there aren’t racist cops out there, and police brutality against blacks shouldn’t be appropriately and expediently dealt with. But in Ferguson and other places, all that matters to civil rights leaders and their acolytes, journalist or not, is that Wilson is white and Brown was black; indisputable and related facts like petty theft and assault of a police officer have no bearing in their calculations to condemn a man of murder. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. claimed to have a dream that one day people will not be “judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Oh, how we have pissed on his wise words and his venerable grave.

Behold the good reverend’s nightmare:

Modus Pownens

*No sequential or causal order is meant to be applied for video and photos.