Category: Eileen F. Toplansky

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Bring Back Shame


James B. Twitchell in his 1997 book For Shame: The Loss of Common Decency in American Culture asserts that “we are living in shameless times,” as compared to when he was growing up in the 1950s, when “public drunkenness, filing for bankruptcy  … drug addiction, hitting a woman, looting stores, using vulgar language in public, being on the public dole [and] getting a divorce” were considered shameful, and “most of these reflected concerns about limiting individual behavior within a group.”

What once was considered a private matter now results in haphazard public defecations.  San Francisco currently boasts a “poop map” as the city reports a 140% rise in feces.  Taboos that used to entail modesty have disappeared.

Instead, according to Twitchell, shame has been “redirected to trivial concerns,” and Americans have lost their “receptiveness to shame.”  Promoting unwed teenage mothers and not hectoring their “reprobate companions” barely raise eyebrows.  Twitchell asks, “Why do we not excoriate the unwed teenage mother?”  Instead, we are privy to a television show titled Teen Mom.

When Hollywood folk have children out of wedlock, they are praised, but “all hell would break loose” if someone were caught wearing mink or baby seal.  Our priorities have been turned inside-out.

In the Jewish Press of July 20, 2018, author John Rosemond explains how psychologists have long accepted the idea that a child’s bad behavior is nothing more than a symptom of some emotional tension and that punishment would only make matters worse.  Thus, by “pseudo-intellectual alchemy, a misbehaving child was transformed from a perpetrator into a victim deserving, not discipline, but great understanding and sympathy.”  Such beliefs “absolved ill-behaved children of responsibility for their various anti-social outbursts[.]”  Shame is not an obstacle to self-esteem, as many would assert; instead, “shamelessness becomes a cultural toxin.”

Daniel Patrick Moynihan coined the term “Defining Deviancy Down” to describe how we legitimize behavior previously regarded as antisocial or criminal.”  When dysfunctional becomes the norm, the functional turns abnormal.  Consequently, there is nothing unseemly about a so-called comedian holding up the decapitated head of a president, and there is nothing improper about inviting someone to a dinner only to bash her publicly and expect her to sit and smile.  Obama created a scenario where minority students would be held less accountable concerning school disruptions, therefore delinquency and school violence increased.

In just the first year after Obama in January 2014 issued his new discipline guidelines – which came with threats of federal investigations and defunding – schools saw more than 160,000 ‘physical attacks’ on teachers across the country.

Pointing this out results in being called a racist.  The R-word is used so frequently that it has lost its actual meaning.

In order to distract from behavior that hurts the community, language is constantly corrupted with such “psychobabble as ‘codependency'” and “edubabble as ‘invitational education,'” resulting in the destruction of any real meaning in language.

In Moynihan’s Summer 1993 article in The Public Interest, titled “Toward a New Intolerance,” he emphasizes that “most importantly, and absolutely essential is the decline of family.”  Thus, in 1943, the illegitimacy rate in new York City was three percent.  In 1992, it was 45 percent.  Two thousand ten statistics indicate the following:







Racial or ethnic group

Percent of births considered “non-marital”

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

17 percent

Non-Hispanic whites

29 percent

Hispanics

53 percent

American Indian and Native Alaskans

66 percent

Non-Hispanic blacks

73 percent

Moynihan cites correspondence he had with Justice Edwin Torres, who had been raised in the barrio on 108th Street in New York City.  Torres emphasizes that “a society that loses its sense of outrage is doomed to extinction.”

Yet, broad scale social regression appears to have taken center stage in this country. 

Shelby Steele points out in Shame: How America’s Past Sins have Polarized Our Country how black conservatives are viewed as “opportunistic or, worse, self-hating, and sycophantic” rather than as voices that may hold a different point of view.  Shame is not used to create cohesion; it is used to divide America into balkanized political camps and to denigrate black Americans by smothering their individual voices. 

It is, however, not viewed as shameful that anti-Semitic, American-hating individuals run for political office.  In addition, criminal behavior is excused.  In the past, Marion Barry, former videotaped crack-smoker, was re-elected as mayor of Washington.  Clinton, a serial rapist, is welcomed to McCain’s funeral, as is his wife, who as a “manifest felon” is the epitome of every unscrupulous behavior and trickery she can get away with by committing fraud, harming American lives, and lying to the American public.

Farrakhan, who hates whites and Jews with a vengeance sits comfortably in the front of the McCain ceremony and no one bothers to comment about his odious deeds.  Michelle Malkin eloquently describes the crass and despicable behavior that characterized the John McCain and Aretha Franklin funeral services.

Twitchell speaks about “intellectual shame.”  Grades that were meant to be a catalyst for improvement become meaningless in a world where any interpretation of a subject is no better than another.  Then grades are eliminated; standardized tests are no longer mandatory, or scores are manipulated depending upon the ethnicity of the test-taker.

More recently, the University of Houston, Texas’s third largest university, has been stonewalling allegations that a school superintendent plagiarized the doctoral dissertation he submitted as a student at the university’s College of Education.

Rutgers athletics football program was rocked when law enforcement announced that six active players were among ten people charged with a string of crimes around campus including home invasions and aggravated assaults.

At all levels of education, standards have precipitously dropped, academic expectations are lowered and campus groupthink reigns supreme as “institutions once devoted to the pursuit of truth and the free exchange of ideas now engage in the infantilisation of students.”  The “crucial ceremonies of adult decency” are lost.

In 1974 Eric Hoffer penned a piece titled “Long Live Shame!” wherein he asserted that “there is one dangerous threat that no society can escape: namely, the recurrent threat of disruption by juveniles as a young generation passes from boyhood to manhood.”  In his cogent piece, he writes:

Shame, far more than guilt, involves an awareness by the individual of being watched and judged by the group. It is to be expected, therefore, that the more compact the group, the more pronounced the sense of shame.  The member of a compact group carries the group within him, and never feels alone.

Yet Woody Allen saw “no moral dilemma whatsoever” in having an affair with the 20-year-old adopted daughter of Mia Farrow, with whom he’d raised a family. 

Then there is the disgusting display of Harvey Weinstein, who seemingly can never control himself.

Powerful people continue to be duplicitous and get away with it.  We are still awaiting the truth about Benghazi, Fast and Furious, and Huma Abedin’s Muslim Brotherhood connections. 

Then there are the social media moguls.  According to a report in The New York Times, Facebook began granting inappropriate access to personal information of its users to third parties around ten years ago, yet in front of Congress, Zuckerberg fudged this information.  This graphic puts a lie to Zuckerberg’s mealy-mouthed assertions.

Should we be surprised that young people have little respect for any societal rules?  The fact that nothing is sacred, that all taboos are to be dismissively diminished has created a scenario where young people have no support net to fall back upon.

If America returned to a time wherein bad manners and crude and lewd behavior were considered verboten instead of being applauded and protected, perhaps a #MeToo Movement would not have been needed.

Forty-five years since Hoffer wrote “Long Live Shame” his words are quite prescient.

In this country at present the inability of adults to socialize their young has made it possible for juveniles to follow their bents, act on their impulses, and materialize their fantasies and the ‘result has been a youth culture flauntingly shameless.’

Consider the vicious attacks on people and property that are countenanced, certainly rarely stopped as Antifa, and Black Lives Matters and their ilk run roughshod in the country.  This is not an assertion of civil liberties.  It is pure violence, plain and simple.  College administrators watch while their universities are trampled upon. 

This confirms another Hoffer assertion: “[t]he disconcerting thing is that loss of shame is not confined to juveniles.”

Shame properly used is “how a sense of decency is developed.”  It protects the group from the dangers of individual excesses.  It is a balancing tool that keeps people accountable.

In classical Greek mythology, Aidos was the “goddess of modesty, shame, reverence and respect.  She was a companion of the goddess Nemesis.  As a quality Aidos was the feeling of shame which restrains men from doing wrong, while Nemesis was righteous indignation aroused by the sight of wicked men receiving undeserved good fortune.”

Eileen can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com.

Now that the eulogy – I mean grotesque political self-aggrandizing McCain funeral service – is over, featuring some of the most egotistical, self-serving, and corrupt individuals, Candace Owens succinctly states that “[t]his new trend of using funerals and eulogies to deliver political messages is really quite disgusting.  Everyone involved should be ashamed[.]”

Consider how America has lost an awareness of the value of shame.  As defined, shame is a “painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.”

James B. Twitchell in his 1997 book For Shame: The Loss of Common Decency in American Culture asserts that “we are living in shameless times,” as compared to when he was growing up in the 1950s, when “public drunkenness, filing for bankruptcy  … drug addiction, hitting a woman, looting stores, using vulgar language in public, being on the public dole [and] getting a divorce” were considered shameful, and “most of these reflected concerns about limiting individual behavior within a group.”

What once was considered a private matter now results in haphazard public defecations.  San Francisco currently boasts a “poop map” as the city reports a 140% rise in feces.  Taboos that used to entail modesty have disappeared.

Instead, according to Twitchell, shame has been “redirected to trivial concerns,” and Americans have lost their “receptiveness to shame.”  Promoting unwed teenage mothers and not hectoring their “reprobate companions” barely raise eyebrows.  Twitchell asks, “Why do we not excoriate the unwed teenage mother?”  Instead, we are privy to a television show titled Teen Mom.

When Hollywood folk have children out of wedlock, they are praised, but “all hell would break loose” if someone were caught wearing mink or baby seal.  Our priorities have been turned inside-out.

In the Jewish Press of July 20, 2018, author John Rosemond explains how psychologists have long accepted the idea that a child’s bad behavior is nothing more than a symptom of some emotional tension and that punishment would only make matters worse.  Thus, by “pseudo-intellectual alchemy, a misbehaving child was transformed from a perpetrator into a victim deserving, not discipline, but great understanding and sympathy.”  Such beliefs “absolved ill-behaved children of responsibility for their various anti-social outbursts[.]”  Shame is not an obstacle to self-esteem, as many would assert; instead, “shamelessness becomes a cultural toxin.”

Daniel Patrick Moynihan coined the term “Defining Deviancy Down” to describe how we legitimize behavior previously regarded as antisocial or criminal.”  When dysfunctional becomes the norm, the functional turns abnormal.  Consequently, there is nothing unseemly about a so-called comedian holding up the decapitated head of a president, and there is nothing improper about inviting someone to a dinner only to bash her publicly and expect her to sit and smile.  Obama created a scenario where minority students would be held less accountable concerning school disruptions, therefore delinquency and school violence increased.

In just the first year after Obama in January 2014 issued his new discipline guidelines – which came with threats of federal investigations and defunding – schools saw more than 160,000 ‘physical attacks’ on teachers across the country.

Pointing this out results in being called a racist.  The R-word is used so frequently that it has lost its actual meaning.

In order to distract from behavior that hurts the community, language is constantly corrupted with such “psychobabble as ‘codependency'” and “edubabble as ‘invitational education,'” resulting in the destruction of any real meaning in language.

In Moynihan’s Summer 1993 article in The Public Interest, titled “Toward a New Intolerance,” he emphasizes that “most importantly, and absolutely essential is the decline of family.”  Thus, in 1943, the illegitimacy rate in new York City was three percent.  In 1992, it was 45 percent.  Two thousand ten statistics indicate the following:







Racial or ethnic group

Percent of births considered “non-marital”

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

17 percent

Non-Hispanic whites

29 percent

Hispanics

53 percent

American Indian and Native Alaskans

66 percent

Non-Hispanic blacks

73 percent

Moynihan cites correspondence he had with Justice Edwin Torres, who had been raised in the barrio on 108th Street in New York City.  Torres emphasizes that “a society that loses its sense of outrage is doomed to extinction.”

Yet, broad scale social regression appears to have taken center stage in this country. 

Shelby Steele points out in Shame: How America’s Past Sins have Polarized Our Country how black conservatives are viewed as “opportunistic or, worse, self-hating, and sycophantic” rather than as voices that may hold a different point of view.  Shame is not used to create cohesion; it is used to divide America into balkanized political camps and to denigrate black Americans by smothering their individual voices. 

It is, however, not viewed as shameful that anti-Semitic, American-hating individuals run for political office.  In addition, criminal behavior is excused.  In the past, Marion Barry, former videotaped crack-smoker, was re-elected as mayor of Washington.  Clinton, a serial rapist, is welcomed to McCain’s funeral, as is his wife, who as a “manifest felon” is the epitome of every unscrupulous behavior and trickery she can get away with by committing fraud, harming American lives, and lying to the American public.

Farrakhan, who hates whites and Jews with a vengeance sits comfortably in the front of the McCain ceremony and no one bothers to comment about his odious deeds.  Michelle Malkin eloquently describes the crass and despicable behavior that characterized the John McCain and Aretha Franklin funeral services.

Twitchell speaks about “intellectual shame.”  Grades that were meant to be a catalyst for improvement become meaningless in a world where any interpretation of a subject is no better than another.  Then grades are eliminated; standardized tests are no longer mandatory, or scores are manipulated depending upon the ethnicity of the test-taker.

More recently, the University of Houston, Texas’s third largest university, has been stonewalling allegations that a school superintendent plagiarized the doctoral dissertation he submitted as a student at the university’s College of Education.

Rutgers athletics football program was rocked when law enforcement announced that six active players were among ten people charged with a string of crimes around campus including home invasions and aggravated assaults.

At all levels of education, standards have precipitously dropped, academic expectations are lowered and campus groupthink reigns supreme as “institutions once devoted to the pursuit of truth and the free exchange of ideas now engage in the infantilisation of students.”  The “crucial ceremonies of adult decency” are lost.

In 1974 Eric Hoffer penned a piece titled “Long Live Shame!” wherein he asserted that “there is one dangerous threat that no society can escape: namely, the recurrent threat of disruption by juveniles as a young generation passes from boyhood to manhood.”  In his cogent piece, he writes:

Shame, far more than guilt, involves an awareness by the individual of being watched and judged by the group. It is to be expected, therefore, that the more compact the group, the more pronounced the sense of shame.  The member of a compact group carries the group within him, and never feels alone.

Yet Woody Allen saw “no moral dilemma whatsoever” in having an affair with the 20-year-old adopted daughter of Mia Farrow, with whom he’d raised a family. 

Then there is the disgusting display of Harvey Weinstein, who seemingly can never control himself.

Powerful people continue to be duplicitous and get away with it.  We are still awaiting the truth about Benghazi, Fast and Furious, and Huma Abedin’s Muslim Brotherhood connections. 

Then there are the social media moguls.  According to a report in The New York Times, Facebook began granting inappropriate access to personal information of its users to third parties around ten years ago, yet in front of Congress, Zuckerberg fudged this information.  This graphic puts a lie to Zuckerberg’s mealy-mouthed assertions.

Should we be surprised that young people have little respect for any societal rules?  The fact that nothing is sacred, that all taboos are to be dismissively diminished has created a scenario where young people have no support net to fall back upon.

If America returned to a time wherein bad manners and crude and lewd behavior were considered verboten instead of being applauded and protected, perhaps a #MeToo Movement would not have been needed.

Forty-five years since Hoffer wrote “Long Live Shame” his words are quite prescient.

In this country at present the inability of adults to socialize their young has made it possible for juveniles to follow their bents, act on their impulses, and materialize their fantasies and the ‘result has been a youth culture flauntingly shameless.’

Consider the vicious attacks on people and property that are countenanced, certainly rarely stopped as Antifa, and Black Lives Matters and their ilk run roughshod in the country.  This is not an assertion of civil liberties.  It is pure violence, plain and simple.  College administrators watch while their universities are trampled upon. 

This confirms another Hoffer assertion: “[t]he disconcerting thing is that loss of shame is not confined to juveniles.”

Shame properly used is “how a sense of decency is developed.”  It protects the group from the dangers of individual excesses.  It is a balancing tool that keeps people accountable.

In classical Greek mythology, Aidos was the “goddess of modesty, shame, reverence and respect.  She was a companion of the goddess Nemesis.  As a quality Aidos was the feeling of shame which restrains men from doing wrong, while Nemesis was righteous indignation aroused by the sight of wicked men receiving undeserved good fortune.”

Eileen can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com.



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Are Feminists Aiding Muslim Domination?


“What do you think about … creating an awesome festival where only non-men are welcome until ALL men learn how to behave?”  This comes from the article titled “Women Cheer as Sweden’s Man-Free Music Festival Kicks Off.”  Initiated as a response to the wave of sexual assaults at Swedish festivals in recent years, only female bands are performing, and “neither male security guards nor journalists are allowed to enter.”  However, “transgender women [sic] born as men are allowed to attend.  Only men who identify with the sex they were born with, also called cis men, are banned.”

Such a radical view balkanizes and scapegoats men while applauding transgender behavior.

In fact, the misandry has led the Swedish Equality Ombudsman, a government agency that promotes equal rights, to “examine whether the festival is compatible with discrimination laws.”

It appears that the left-wing feminist movement has become the perpetrator of man-hatred, all in the name of protecting women.  Yet overlooked by the advocates of the man-free festival is that it was a plethora of Muslim migrants who perpetrated the dreadful assaults and rapes.  These migrants come from societies where this is considered an acceptable way to treat women.  In fact, “no issue is taken with toxic Islamic masculinity.  This thinly-veiled excuse-making may be considered an attempt at dispelling anti-Islamic bigotry.  Yet, holding woefully low standards for men based on their background is an equally poor form of bigotry.” 

Thus, the elephant in the room is being deliberately ignored.  Accusations of bigotry must be avoided at all costs.  It is easier to inflict collective blame than to deal with the actual guilty parties.

By scapegoating all men, ignored is the fact that Sweden is not providing the proper security to protect its women from sexual assaults.  At the same time, the country is spending vast sums of money to support more migrants from the Muslim world.  They bring their culture and religion to bear, and it is decidedly anti-female.

No one in authority dares question why there has been an increase in sexual assaults.  No one dares wonder why the Islamic world does nothing to assist its own brethren while the West is expected to pick up the tab.

Reason and logic are vanquished as all men are targeted as sexual predators.  Instead of connecting the increase of sexual assaults that has occurred since the mostly Muslim migrants were invited into the country, left-wing ideology takes hold, and innocent men are denigrated, sexes are separated, and biology is ignored.

Some background: “FKP Scorpio, organizers for Sweden’s Bråvalla Festival officially announced the end of the country’s largest and most popular music festival.  Following last year’s event, organizers said the festival would be canceled for 2018 after an excess of sexual assaults.”

First question: Why now?  What accounts for the sudden increase of sexual assaults since this festival first began in 2013?  It is true that rapes had been reported at Swedish music festivals at Arvika in 2006 and 2010. 

But “after the nation’s parliament decided to transform Sweden with mass immigration into a multicultural society, violent crime has increased by 300 per cent and rapes by 1,472 per cent.  Now, Sweden has the worst rates of physical and sexual violence committed against women in the European Union (EU), according to a survey by the EU’s rights agency.”

Swedish authorities have been repeatedly slammed for their inaction.  In an effort to look proactive they handed out wristbands with ‘don’t grope’ written on them at the Bråvalla festival.  Several girls who were assaulted were wearing the wristband, which did not offer them much protection.


Last month, an official report by Swedish police into the migrant sex attack phenomenon blamed ‘Nordic alcohol culture’ and the ‘non-traditional gender roles’ of European women for the growing problem.


Migrants, the police said, might not be able to ‘handle the alcohol’, simply feel ‘horny’, have ‘ignorance of the consequences for the girls’, ‘have misplaced feelings’, be ‘expressing anger in this way’, or be acting due to ‘peer pressure’.

Meanwhile, “Sweden has a critical shortage of police officers, which means that it is easy to commit crimes and get away with them.  If one would, against all expectations, get caught, the punishment in Sweden is not harsh.  If someone is convicted of rape, he would be incarcerated from two to six years.  In 2015, the proportion of rapes where the police actually found the suspect was 14%.  This means that in 86% of the rapes, the rapist got away.  The police could simply not do their job because of lack of resources and poor leadership.”

Many might say that it is racist to associate migrants with sexual crimes.  The Swedish police published a report in June 2016 which gave a status report of sexual abuse.  In the report, one can read the following quote: ‘In cases where the crimes were carried out by offenders in a larger group in public places and in public swimming pools the perpetrators have been mainly youngsters who have applied for or have recently received asylum in Sweden.’

In February 2016, “mass immigration continued to claim victims in Sweden.  Murder, assaults and rape have become everyday occurrences in this small country, with a population just short of ten million, which in 2015 opened its doors to almost 163,000 immigrants.  The latest victim is 22-year-old Alexandra Mezher.  She was stabbed to death last week by a so-called unaccompanied refugee child at the asylum house where she worked.”

Moreover, “[m]igrant sex attacks at music festivals are not limited to Sweden.  Breitbart London reported in June on a similar attack at the Schlossgrabenfest music festival in Darmstadt, Germany, which was likened to the Cologne attacks in which over 1,000 men and women were assaulted and robbed.”

It is important to factor in the Islamic belief that if a woman is uncovered, it is acceptable to assault her.  This idea can be directly linked to “a senior Muslim cleric in Australia, Shek Taj Aldin al-Hilali who compares women who do not wear a headscarf to ‘uncovered meat’, implying that they invited sexual assault.”

In addition, the British Abduljalil Sajid, a senior figure in the Muslim Council of Britain,  offered support for Sheikh Taj Din al-Hilali’s views, saying “loose women like prostitutes encourage men to be immoral.”

Moreover, the Karbala in Iraq imposes its version of modest dress on female visitors. Thus, “the council agreed not to allow visitors to enter without the hijab.  [It also took] the decision to ban music in the holy city, as well as dancing and tight clothes, with God’s permission.  And women will not be able to go out without an abaya or whilst wearing makeup.”

There is an undeniable truth that two diametrically opposed societies are on a major collision course, and the accommodating group is being destroyed because of its consideration and respect, which is being met with violence and destruction.  There is also the insertion of radical feminism in the mix, which basically promotes its own agenda and uses the opportunity to co-opt impressionable young women.

That all this is being ignored and replaced with men-free spaces is an invitation to disregard the real problem.  Until immigrants are properly assimilated into Western culture and taught genuine respect of women, the violence will not be curtailed. 

In many cases, male-only and female-only venues have served people well – that is, until radical left-wing militant ideology is promoted.  Boy Scouts are no longer just for boys.  It is important to question the underlying reason for the left’s advocating such events.  Is it to scapegoat or to safeguard?  Does such expression of discrimination against all men aid and abet the Muslim agenda of destroying the Western civilization from within?  Are left-wing radicals and the Muslim world helping each other’s causes while promoting their own?

Instead of Swedish officials dealing realistically with the issue, they offer an opening to what I call ideological abuse – now these young women accept that all men are sexual predators except those men who claim they are women.

Confusing and dangerous at best.  

The jihadist world repeatedly claims that it will infiltrate the West to destroy it.  Extremist feminists have publicly acknowledged that the traditional family structure is to be utterly restructured.  What clever deception by the red-green axis as they exploit these young impressionable girls who do not understand how they are being used and who do not have the information or critical thinking skills to refute these destructive ideas.

Perhaps the worst culprits are the Western countries who allow it to happen.  A country is supposed to protect its young.  When it fails that, it has doomed itself.  If a country stops honoring the inviolable promise to protect its children, it will surely lose them in the long run to one ideology or another.

Eileen can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com.

“What do you think about … creating an awesome festival where only non-men are welcome until ALL men learn how to behave?”  This comes from the article titled “Women Cheer as Sweden’s Man-Free Music Festival Kicks Off.”  Initiated as a response to the wave of sexual assaults at Swedish festivals in recent years, only female bands are performing, and “neither male security guards nor journalists are allowed to enter.”  However, “transgender women [sic] born as men are allowed to attend.  Only men who identify with the sex they were born with, also called cis men, are banned.”

Such a radical view balkanizes and scapegoats men while applauding transgender behavior.

In fact, the misandry has led the Swedish Equality Ombudsman, a government agency that promotes equal rights, to “examine whether the festival is compatible with discrimination laws.”

It appears that the left-wing feminist movement has become the perpetrator of man-hatred, all in the name of protecting women.  Yet overlooked by the advocates of the man-free festival is that it was a plethora of Muslim migrants who perpetrated the dreadful assaults and rapes.  These migrants come from societies where this is considered an acceptable way to treat women.  In fact, “no issue is taken with toxic Islamic masculinity.  This thinly-veiled excuse-making may be considered an attempt at dispelling anti-Islamic bigotry.  Yet, holding woefully low standards for men based on their background is an equally poor form of bigotry.” 

Thus, the elephant in the room is being deliberately ignored.  Accusations of bigotry must be avoided at all costs.  It is easier to inflict collective blame than to deal with the actual guilty parties.

By scapegoating all men, ignored is the fact that Sweden is not providing the proper security to protect its women from sexual assaults.  At the same time, the country is spending vast sums of money to support more migrants from the Muslim world.  They bring their culture and religion to bear, and it is decidedly anti-female.

No one in authority dares question why there has been an increase in sexual assaults.  No one dares wonder why the Islamic world does nothing to assist its own brethren while the West is expected to pick up the tab.

Reason and logic are vanquished as all men are targeted as sexual predators.  Instead of connecting the increase of sexual assaults that has occurred since the mostly Muslim migrants were invited into the country, left-wing ideology takes hold, and innocent men are denigrated, sexes are separated, and biology is ignored.

Some background: “FKP Scorpio, organizers for Sweden’s Bråvalla Festival officially announced the end of the country’s largest and most popular music festival.  Following last year’s event, organizers said the festival would be canceled for 2018 after an excess of sexual assaults.”

First question: Why now?  What accounts for the sudden increase of sexual assaults since this festival first began in 2013?  It is true that rapes had been reported at Swedish music festivals at Arvika in 2006 and 2010. 

But “after the nation’s parliament decided to transform Sweden with mass immigration into a multicultural society, violent crime has increased by 300 per cent and rapes by 1,472 per cent.  Now, Sweden has the worst rates of physical and sexual violence committed against women in the European Union (EU), according to a survey by the EU’s rights agency.”

Swedish authorities have been repeatedly slammed for their inaction.  In an effort to look proactive they handed out wristbands with ‘don’t grope’ written on them at the Bråvalla festival.  Several girls who were assaulted were wearing the wristband, which did not offer them much protection.


Last month, an official report by Swedish police into the migrant sex attack phenomenon blamed ‘Nordic alcohol culture’ and the ‘non-traditional gender roles’ of European women for the growing problem.


Migrants, the police said, might not be able to ‘handle the alcohol’, simply feel ‘horny’, have ‘ignorance of the consequences for the girls’, ‘have misplaced feelings’, be ‘expressing anger in this way’, or be acting due to ‘peer pressure’.

Meanwhile, “Sweden has a critical shortage of police officers, which means that it is easy to commit crimes and get away with them.  If one would, against all expectations, get caught, the punishment in Sweden is not harsh.  If someone is convicted of rape, he would be incarcerated from two to six years.  In 2015, the proportion of rapes where the police actually found the suspect was 14%.  This means that in 86% of the rapes, the rapist got away.  The police could simply not do their job because of lack of resources and poor leadership.”

Many might say that it is racist to associate migrants with sexual crimes.  The Swedish police published a report in June 2016 which gave a status report of sexual abuse.  In the report, one can read the following quote: ‘In cases where the crimes were carried out by offenders in a larger group in public places and in public swimming pools the perpetrators have been mainly youngsters who have applied for or have recently received asylum in Sweden.’

In February 2016, “mass immigration continued to claim victims in Sweden.  Murder, assaults and rape have become everyday occurrences in this small country, with a population just short of ten million, which in 2015 opened its doors to almost 163,000 immigrants.  The latest victim is 22-year-old Alexandra Mezher.  She was stabbed to death last week by a so-called unaccompanied refugee child at the asylum house where she worked.”

Moreover, “[m]igrant sex attacks at music festivals are not limited to Sweden.  Breitbart London reported in June on a similar attack at the Schlossgrabenfest music festival in Darmstadt, Germany, which was likened to the Cologne attacks in which over 1,000 men and women were assaulted and robbed.”

It is important to factor in the Islamic belief that if a woman is uncovered, it is acceptable to assault her.  This idea can be directly linked to “a senior Muslim cleric in Australia, Shek Taj Aldin al-Hilali who compares women who do not wear a headscarf to ‘uncovered meat’, implying that they invited sexual assault.”

In addition, the British Abduljalil Sajid, a senior figure in the Muslim Council of Britain,  offered support for Sheikh Taj Din al-Hilali’s views, saying “loose women like prostitutes encourage men to be immoral.”

Moreover, the Karbala in Iraq imposes its version of modest dress on female visitors. Thus, “the council agreed not to allow visitors to enter without the hijab.  [It also took] the decision to ban music in the holy city, as well as dancing and tight clothes, with God’s permission.  And women will not be able to go out without an abaya or whilst wearing makeup.”

There is an undeniable truth that two diametrically opposed societies are on a major collision course, and the accommodating group is being destroyed because of its consideration and respect, which is being met with violence and destruction.  There is also the insertion of radical feminism in the mix, which basically promotes its own agenda and uses the opportunity to co-opt impressionable young women.

That all this is being ignored and replaced with men-free spaces is an invitation to disregard the real problem.  Until immigrants are properly assimilated into Western culture and taught genuine respect of women, the violence will not be curtailed. 

In many cases, male-only and female-only venues have served people well – that is, until radical left-wing militant ideology is promoted.  Boy Scouts are no longer just for boys.  It is important to question the underlying reason for the left’s advocating such events.  Is it to scapegoat or to safeguard?  Does such expression of discrimination against all men aid and abet the Muslim agenda of destroying the Western civilization from within?  Are left-wing radicals and the Muslim world helping each other’s causes while promoting their own?

Instead of Swedish officials dealing realistically with the issue, they offer an opening to what I call ideological abuse – now these young women accept that all men are sexual predators except those men who claim they are women.

Confusing and dangerous at best.  

The jihadist world repeatedly claims that it will infiltrate the West to destroy it.  Extremist feminists have publicly acknowledged that the traditional family structure is to be utterly restructured.  What clever deception by the red-green axis as they exploit these young impressionable girls who do not understand how they are being used and who do not have the information or critical thinking skills to refute these destructive ideas.

Perhaps the worst culprits are the Western countries who allow it to happen.  A country is supposed to protect its young.  When it fails that, it has doomed itself.  If a country stops honoring the inviolable promise to protect its children, it will surely lose them in the long run to one ideology or another.

Eileen can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com.



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The Permeation of Propaganda in the College Student Brain


In 1937, an editorial in The New York Times declared that “what is truly vicious is not propaganda but a monopoly of it.”  Thus begins an article titled “Propaganda Techniques of German Fascism,” written by Clyde R. Miller and reprinted in the fifth edition of Modern English Readings (1946).  This text was used by college students.  There is nothing dealing with gender, white privilege, social justice, the religion of peace, or alleged microaggressions.

When pundits discuss the culture wars, it is essential to see how so many present-day textbooks have contributed to generations of young people who have, for the most part, never been exposed to how America’s ideals have shaped the country.  Instead, students are indoctrinated by public school teachers with connections to Antifa.  More chilling is that these same teachers publicly acknowledge they would not protect the rights of students who disagree with them.

Thus, the article by Miller is quite apropos at a time when the education establishment, as well as the hi-tech companies’ “monoculture,” seeks to monopolize the information highway.  As Jeremy Carl writes:

The evidence of Silicon Valley’s hostility to the Right is everywhere.  Prominent conservatives from Michelle Malkin to William Jacobson to Dennis Prager … – and an even greater proportion of those whose politics lean farther to the right, many of whom do not have access to mainstream media and rely on social media to fund their work – have seen themselves banned from major Internet platforms or had their content censored or demonetized.  In most cases they are not even given grounds for their punishment or means of appealing it.  While some more ‘mainstream’ conservatives may not feel excessively troubled by the banning of more provocative voices farther to the right, in taking this attitude they make a tactical, strategic, and moral mistake.  They do not understand how the left operates.  When voices farther to the right are removed, mainstream conservatives become the new ‘far-right extremists’ – and they will be banned with equal alacrity.

Then there is Project War Path, a clothing company owned by Navy SEALs and Army Special Forces combat veterans, which “has been permanently suspended from Facebook’s Instagram platform for ‘hate speech’ after criticizing NFL players who kneel during the national anthem.”

In fact, as Miller asserts, “the extent to which the propaganda machinery of a country has been brought under the control of one organization or a group of related organizations is a useful measure of the degree to which absolutism dominates it, of the extent to which democracy has been eliminated.”

But “when … this monopoly aspect of propaganda is held in check by rivalries between competing organizations, then political, economic, educational, and religious spokesmen are able to and actually do disseminate rival propagandas.  This gives those at whom the rival propagandas are directed some freedom of choice among the alternatives offered them.”

That is why to any freedom-loving American, the spectacle of censoring speakers such as Candace Owens, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, David Horowitz, and others is so terrifying.  Yet, “on Feb. 1, 2017, the University of California, Berkeley erupted into violence.  Former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos was set to speak and an estimated 1,500 people showed up to protest, some with the goal of shutting down the speech ‘by any means necessary.’  Protesters set fires, hurled Molotov cocktails, and allegedly assaulted other members of the crowd.  Their efforts were successful.  The speech was canceled.  There was $100,000 worth of damage.  In an essay for the Berkeley student newspaper, one student wrote, ‘Behind those bandanas and black T-shirts were the faces of your fellow UC Berkeley and Berkeley City College students[.]'”

These students ignore the words of Zechariah Chafee, Jr., who wrote in 1941, “freedom of speech creates the happiest kind of country.  It is the best way to make men and women love their country.”

The “power of propaganda increases as its control becomes more centralized, as the trend to monopoly increases.”  Moreover, “this process is stimulated by the centralization of the control of the economic structure of a country.”  This is the real reason why the Democrat/Socialist Party decries the economic success of Trump and the American people – “the ability of individuals and organizations in democracies to enter their special viewpoints into the rivalry of propagandas is restricted chiefly by economic considerations.  Professional propagandists, public relations counselors and individuals and groups with large financial resources have an advantage over those with small resources.”  It is why George Soros’s fingerprints are all over any progressive message.

But when the little guy gets a chance at capturing the brass ring, this infuriates the progressive socialist leanings of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Andrew Gillum, both supported by Bernie Sanders.  They and others who espouse centralized control pose an economic existential threat to America.  As Miller asserts:

Fascism is the outcome of economic and political instability.  It is an undemocratic means for dealing with the mass unemployment of city workers, the economic distress of the middle classes, the impoverishment of farmers and the efforts of those groups for economic reforms.

Thus, we are privy to Pelosi trying to convince Americans that more jobs is a bad thing for the country and a booming economy is something to scoff at. 

Miller writes that fascist Germany “helped convince the people of the efficiency of the national Socialist solution for the country’s political and economic problems.”  It was also “reinforced by an army of storm troops that weakened opposition through terrorism.”

Antifa, Black Lives Matter, La Raza all seek to harm America through any means possible.  They are the latter-day storm troops.

The term “economics precedes politics” is often quoted, but in Nazi Germany and, I daresay, any dictatorial environment, it seems to work the other way around.  Miller contends (emphasis mine) that under Nazism, “political control dominated economic control and capitalism as free enterprise became a Glittering Generality [a device by which the propagandist identifies his program with virtue words such as love, generosity and brotherhood].”  When one considers the suicidal path of socialist/communist countries, e.g., Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, it is clear that people grievously suffer.  Constantly publicized as a means to assist the common man, socialism always fails to improve the general welfare as the government conceives it.”

During Hitler’s reign, American newspaper correspondents would point out (emphasis mine) that “Hitler’s addresses [were] often unintelligible [yet] large numbers of his listeners apparently listen[ed] with their emotions.  When their tension [became] high, they intercept[ed] the speech by emotional outbursts[.]  Here we see the force of language with or without meaning as a molder of public opinion.  Only intelligent citizens skilled in analysis of propaganda and immunized against the wiles of the orator were unaffected by Hitler.” 

A “master propagandist to be effective, must be keyed to the desires, hopes, hatreds, loves, fears, and prejudices of the people.”  He knows “that most human beings crave a scapegoat to take the blame of disaster and to bolster their own pride.”  In Nazi Germany, it was the Jews; in Communist China, it was the intellectuals.  In America, it is the one percent or the people who cling to their guns and Bibles.  Thus, it is imperative that impressionable people learn about the dire results of socialism.

It was Ronald Reagan in 1975 who warned that “if Fascism ever comes to America, it will be in the name of Liberalism.”  You can add the terms “socialism,” “progressivism,” and “democratic socialism” to the brew.  They all add up to the same ultimate misery.

Eileen can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com.

In 1937, an editorial in The New York Times declared that “what is truly vicious is not propaganda but a monopoly of it.”  Thus begins an article titled “Propaganda Techniques of German Fascism,” written by Clyde R. Miller and reprinted in the fifth edition of Modern English Readings (1946).  This text was used by college students.  There is nothing dealing with gender, white privilege, social justice, the religion of peace, or alleged microaggressions.

When pundits discuss the culture wars, it is essential to see how so many present-day textbooks have contributed to generations of young people who have, for the most part, never been exposed to how America’s ideals have shaped the country.  Instead, students are indoctrinated by public school teachers with connections to Antifa.  More chilling is that these same teachers publicly acknowledge they would not protect the rights of students who disagree with them.

Thus, the article by Miller is quite apropos at a time when the education establishment, as well as the hi-tech companies’ “monoculture,” seeks to monopolize the information highway.  As Jeremy Carl writes:

The evidence of Silicon Valley’s hostility to the Right is everywhere.  Prominent conservatives from Michelle Malkin to William Jacobson to Dennis Prager … – and an even greater proportion of those whose politics lean farther to the right, many of whom do not have access to mainstream media and rely on social media to fund their work – have seen themselves banned from major Internet platforms or had their content censored or demonetized.  In most cases they are not even given grounds for their punishment or means of appealing it.  While some more ‘mainstream’ conservatives may not feel excessively troubled by the banning of more provocative voices farther to the right, in taking this attitude they make a tactical, strategic, and moral mistake.  They do not understand how the left operates.  When voices farther to the right are removed, mainstream conservatives become the new ‘far-right extremists’ – and they will be banned with equal alacrity.

Then there is Project War Path, a clothing company owned by Navy SEALs and Army Special Forces combat veterans, which “has been permanently suspended from Facebook’s Instagram platform for ‘hate speech’ after criticizing NFL players who kneel during the national anthem.”

In fact, as Miller asserts, “the extent to which the propaganda machinery of a country has been brought under the control of one organization or a group of related organizations is a useful measure of the degree to which absolutism dominates it, of the extent to which democracy has been eliminated.”

But “when … this monopoly aspect of propaganda is held in check by rivalries between competing organizations, then political, economic, educational, and religious spokesmen are able to and actually do disseminate rival propagandas.  This gives those at whom the rival propagandas are directed some freedom of choice among the alternatives offered them.”

That is why to any freedom-loving American, the spectacle of censoring speakers such as Candace Owens, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, David Horowitz, and others is so terrifying.  Yet, “on Feb. 1, 2017, the University of California, Berkeley erupted into violence.  Former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos was set to speak and an estimated 1,500 people showed up to protest, some with the goal of shutting down the speech ‘by any means necessary.’  Protesters set fires, hurled Molotov cocktails, and allegedly assaulted other members of the crowd.  Their efforts were successful.  The speech was canceled.  There was $100,000 worth of damage.  In an essay for the Berkeley student newspaper, one student wrote, ‘Behind those bandanas and black T-shirts were the faces of your fellow UC Berkeley and Berkeley City College students[.]'”

These students ignore the words of Zechariah Chafee, Jr., who wrote in 1941, “freedom of speech creates the happiest kind of country.  It is the best way to make men and women love their country.”

The “power of propaganda increases as its control becomes more centralized, as the trend to monopoly increases.”  Moreover, “this process is stimulated by the centralization of the control of the economic structure of a country.”  This is the real reason why the Democrat/Socialist Party decries the economic success of Trump and the American people – “the ability of individuals and organizations in democracies to enter their special viewpoints into the rivalry of propagandas is restricted chiefly by economic considerations.  Professional propagandists, public relations counselors and individuals and groups with large financial resources have an advantage over those with small resources.”  It is why George Soros’s fingerprints are all over any progressive message.

But when the little guy gets a chance at capturing the brass ring, this infuriates the progressive socialist leanings of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Andrew Gillum, both supported by Bernie Sanders.  They and others who espouse centralized control pose an economic existential threat to America.  As Miller asserts:

Fascism is the outcome of economic and political instability.  It is an undemocratic means for dealing with the mass unemployment of city workers, the economic distress of the middle classes, the impoverishment of farmers and the efforts of those groups for economic reforms.

Thus, we are privy to Pelosi trying to convince Americans that more jobs is a bad thing for the country and a booming economy is something to scoff at. 

Miller writes that fascist Germany “helped convince the people of the efficiency of the national Socialist solution for the country’s political and economic problems.”  It was also “reinforced by an army of storm troops that weakened opposition through terrorism.”

Antifa, Black Lives Matter, La Raza all seek to harm America through any means possible.  They are the latter-day storm troops.

The term “economics precedes politics” is often quoted, but in Nazi Germany and, I daresay, any dictatorial environment, it seems to work the other way around.  Miller contends (emphasis mine) that under Nazism, “political control dominated economic control and capitalism as free enterprise became a Glittering Generality [a device by which the propagandist identifies his program with virtue words such as love, generosity and brotherhood].”  When one considers the suicidal path of socialist/communist countries, e.g., Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, it is clear that people grievously suffer.  Constantly publicized as a means to assist the common man, socialism always fails to improve the general welfare as the government conceives it.”

During Hitler’s reign, American newspaper correspondents would point out (emphasis mine) that “Hitler’s addresses [were] often unintelligible [yet] large numbers of his listeners apparently listen[ed] with their emotions.  When their tension [became] high, they intercept[ed] the speech by emotional outbursts[.]  Here we see the force of language with or without meaning as a molder of public opinion.  Only intelligent citizens skilled in analysis of propaganda and immunized against the wiles of the orator were unaffected by Hitler.” 

A “master propagandist to be effective, must be keyed to the desires, hopes, hatreds, loves, fears, and prejudices of the people.”  He knows “that most human beings crave a scapegoat to take the blame of disaster and to bolster their own pride.”  In Nazi Germany, it was the Jews; in Communist China, it was the intellectuals.  In America, it is the one percent or the people who cling to their guns and Bibles.  Thus, it is imperative that impressionable people learn about the dire results of socialism.

It was Ronald Reagan in 1975 who warned that “if Fascism ever comes to America, it will be in the name of Liberalism.”  You can add the terms “socialism,” “progressivism,” and “democratic socialism” to the brew.  They all add up to the same ultimate misery.

Eileen can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com.



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Toxic Antibiotics


Urinary tract infections affect millions of women, and often they are prescribed Ciprofloxacin (Cipro), Gemifoxacin (Factive), Levofloxacin (Levaquin), Moxifloxacin (Avelox), Norfloxacin (Noroxin), or Ofloxacin (Floxin).  These are fluoroquinolones, antibiotics, and have been on the market for more than 30 years.  They are also routinely prescribed for a range of infections – sinusitis, cystitis, prostatitis, bronchitis, and skin infections.

For some people, what is supposed to be a helpful medicine has turned into a medical nightmare, and many are still unaware of the dangers posed by these antibiotics.

Fluroquinolones, when used as tablets, capsules, or injectables, are associated with disabling and potentially permanent serious side-effects that can occur together.

The concerns about the antibiotic fluoroquinolone drugs are not new.  In fact:

The FDA first added a Boxed Warning to fluoroquinolones in July 2008 for the increased risk of tendinitis and tendon rupture.  In February 2011, the risk of worsening symptoms for those with myasthenia gravis was added to the Boxed Warning.  In August 2013, the agency required updates to the labeling to describe the potential for irreversible peripheral neuropathy or serious nerve damage.

Then, on May 12, 2016, the FDA warned that fluoroquinolone antibiotics (emphasis added):

… are associated with disabling and potentially permanent side effects of the tendons, muscles, joints, nerves, and central nervous system that can occur together in the same patient. …


[F]luoroquinolones should be reserved for use in patients who have no other treatment options for acute bacterial sinusitis, (ABS), acute bacterial exacerbation of chronic bronchitis (ABECB), and uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTI) because the risk of these serious side effects generally outweighs the benefits in these patients.  For some serious bacterial infections the benefits of fluoroquinolones outweigh the risks, and it is appropriate for them to remain available as a therapeutic option.


Some signs and symptoms of serious side effects include unusual joint or tendon pain, muscle weakness, a ‘pins and needles’ tingling or pricking sensation, numbness in the arms or legs, confusion, and hallucinations. (see List of Serious Side Effects from Fluoroquinolones).

On July 10, 2018, another FDA caution about serious fluoroquinolone side-effects was issued.  It stated:

The labels will be amended to caution about disturbances in attention, disorientation, agitation, nervousness, memory impairment and delirium.  In addition, the FDA is concerned about the potential for hypoglycemic coma.  This occurs when blood sugar levels drop precipitously.  Hypoglycemic coma is a potentially life-threatening complication.

Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon have long written about dangerous medical interactions.  Their article “Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics and Life-Threatening Aortic Aneurysm” poses concerns about this possible connection.

In the March 21, 2018 Nature article “When antibiotics turn toxic,” author Jo Marchant describes how:

… [i]n 2014, Miriam van Staveren went on holiday to the Canary Islands and caught an infection.  Her ear and sinuses throbbed, so she went to see the resort doctor, who prescribed a six-day course of the popular antibiotic levofloxacin.  Three weeks later, after she had returned home to Amsterdam, her Achilles tendons started to hurt, then her knees and shoulders.  She developed shooting pains in her legs and feet, as well as fatigue and depression.  ‘I got sicker and sicker,’ she says.  ‘I was in pain all day.’  Previously an active tennis player and hiker, the 61-year-old physician could barely walk, and had to climb the stairs on all fours.


She’s not alone.  Levofloxacin is one of a class of drugs called fluoroquinolones, some of the world’s most commonly prescribed antibiotics.  In the United States in 2015, doctors doled out 32 million prescriptions for the drugs, making them the country’s fourth-most popular class of antibiotic.  But for a small percentage of people, fluoroquinolones have developed a bad reputation. … [T]housands of people who have fallen ill after fluoroquinolone treatment gather to share experiences.  Many of them describe a devastating and progressive condition, encompassing symptoms ranging from psychiatric and sensory disturbances to problems with muscles, tendons and nerves that continue after people have stopped taking the drugs.  They call it being ‘floxed’.

It was only after persistent campaigning by patient groups that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the first of what would finally be a series of strong alerts about the side-effects of fluoroquinolone drugs.

From the 1980s to the end of 2015, the FDA received reports from more than 60,000 patients detailing hundreds of thousands of ‘serious adverse events’ associated with the five fluoroquinolones still on the market (most commonly tendon rupture, as well as neurological and psychiatric symptoms), including 6,575 reports of deaths.  The FDA says that the reports of adverse events it receives – sent in by drug manufacturers, by doctors and directly by consumers – cannot be used to reach conclusions about the severity of problems associated with drugs.  Still, the fluoroquinolones have attracted more complaints than other more widely used antibiotics.

Furthermore, most reactions occur quickly, sometimes with just a few doses of the fluoroquinolone antibiotic.

There is a distinct disconnect among FDA warnings, patient awareness, and a reduction in prescribing these medications.  The FDA’s warnings on drug labels have been slow to produce results.  Prescriptions for the drugs did not fall between 2011 and 2015, according to the CDC.  Thus, the alerts were not having the desired effect.  Finally, in 2016 and 2017, prescriptions for these antibiotics did drop.

Pharmacologist David Kroll has long been studying the effects of fluoroquinolone antibiotics.  In 2016, he wrote in Forbes that he first learned of the unexpected side-effects of fluoroquinolones when he read Stephen Fried’s book, Bitter Pills: Inside the Hazardous World of Legal Drugs.  Fried’s wife, Diane, suffered an infrequent side-effect of mental confusion and delirium from ofloxacin (Floxin), samples of which were given to her by a gynecologist for a urinary tract infection.

In fact, this book “helped to trigger a wave of reports on websites such as the Quinolone Antibiotics Adverse Reaction Forum.”

Afflicted people report anxiety, nervousness, horrible nightmares, and hallucinations, as well as nausea and vomiting.  Others maintain that “[f]luoroquinolone toxicity has been like an atomic bomb exploding in their bodies damaging their muscles and scrambling their DNA to the point many are too sick to work, too weak to walk.”

Kroll also cites a 2012 piece with almost 150,000 reviews where Melanie Haiken writes about the deadly side-effects of Cipro.  Accumulating evidence suggests that fluoroquinolones are damaging mitochondria, which can affect every cell in the body.  In a 2013 study, researchers reported that such damage to the mitochondria “inhibits their function across a range of mammalian cells with the largest effects seen in the quinolones.”

While life-saving in many instances, quinolone antibiotics have a dark side, which must become more highly publicized. 

Eileen can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com.

Urinary tract infections affect millions of women, and often they are prescribed Ciprofloxacin (Cipro), Gemifoxacin (Factive), Levofloxacin (Levaquin), Moxifloxacin (Avelox), Norfloxacin (Noroxin), or Ofloxacin (Floxin).  These are fluoroquinolones, antibiotics, and have been on the market for more than 30 years.  They are also routinely prescribed for a range of infections – sinusitis, cystitis, prostatitis, bronchitis, and skin infections.

For some people, what is supposed to be a helpful medicine has turned into a medical nightmare, and many are still unaware of the dangers posed by these antibiotics.

Fluroquinolones, when used as tablets, capsules, or injectables, are associated with disabling and potentially permanent serious side-effects that can occur together.

The concerns about the antibiotic fluoroquinolone drugs are not new.  In fact:

The FDA first added a Boxed Warning to fluoroquinolones in July 2008 for the increased risk of tendinitis and tendon rupture.  In February 2011, the risk of worsening symptoms for those with myasthenia gravis was added to the Boxed Warning.  In August 2013, the agency required updates to the labeling to describe the potential for irreversible peripheral neuropathy or serious nerve damage.

Then, on May 12, 2016, the FDA warned that fluoroquinolone antibiotics (emphasis added):

… are associated with disabling and potentially permanent side effects of the tendons, muscles, joints, nerves, and central nervous system that can occur together in the same patient. …


[F]luoroquinolones should be reserved for use in patients who have no other treatment options for acute bacterial sinusitis, (ABS), acute bacterial exacerbation of chronic bronchitis (ABECB), and uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTI) because the risk of these serious side effects generally outweighs the benefits in these patients.  For some serious bacterial infections the benefits of fluoroquinolones outweigh the risks, and it is appropriate for them to remain available as a therapeutic option.


Some signs and symptoms of serious side effects include unusual joint or tendon pain, muscle weakness, a ‘pins and needles’ tingling or pricking sensation, numbness in the arms or legs, confusion, and hallucinations. (see List of Serious Side Effects from Fluoroquinolones).

On July 10, 2018, another FDA caution about serious fluoroquinolone side-effects was issued.  It stated:

The labels will be amended to caution about disturbances in attention, disorientation, agitation, nervousness, memory impairment and delirium.  In addition, the FDA is concerned about the potential for hypoglycemic coma.  This occurs when blood sugar levels drop precipitously.  Hypoglycemic coma is a potentially life-threatening complication.

Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon have long written about dangerous medical interactions.  Their article “Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics and Life-Threatening Aortic Aneurysm” poses concerns about this possible connection.

In the March 21, 2018 Nature article “When antibiotics turn toxic,” author Jo Marchant describes how:

… [i]n 2014, Miriam van Staveren went on holiday to the Canary Islands and caught an infection.  Her ear and sinuses throbbed, so she went to see the resort doctor, who prescribed a six-day course of the popular antibiotic levofloxacin.  Three weeks later, after she had returned home to Amsterdam, her Achilles tendons started to hurt, then her knees and shoulders.  She developed shooting pains in her legs and feet, as well as fatigue and depression.  ‘I got sicker and sicker,’ she says.  ‘I was in pain all day.’  Previously an active tennis player and hiker, the 61-year-old physician could barely walk, and had to climb the stairs on all fours.


She’s not alone.  Levofloxacin is one of a class of drugs called fluoroquinolones, some of the world’s most commonly prescribed antibiotics.  In the United States in 2015, doctors doled out 32 million prescriptions for the drugs, making them the country’s fourth-most popular class of antibiotic.  But for a small percentage of people, fluoroquinolones have developed a bad reputation. … [T]housands of people who have fallen ill after fluoroquinolone treatment gather to share experiences.  Many of them describe a devastating and progressive condition, encompassing symptoms ranging from psychiatric and sensory disturbances to problems with muscles, tendons and nerves that continue after people have stopped taking the drugs.  They call it being ‘floxed’.

It was only after persistent campaigning by patient groups that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the first of what would finally be a series of strong alerts about the side-effects of fluoroquinolone drugs.

From the 1980s to the end of 2015, the FDA received reports from more than 60,000 patients detailing hundreds of thousands of ‘serious adverse events’ associated with the five fluoroquinolones still on the market (most commonly tendon rupture, as well as neurological and psychiatric symptoms), including 6,575 reports of deaths.  The FDA says that the reports of adverse events it receives – sent in by drug manufacturers, by doctors and directly by consumers – cannot be used to reach conclusions about the severity of problems associated with drugs.  Still, the fluoroquinolones have attracted more complaints than other more widely used antibiotics.

Furthermore, most reactions occur quickly, sometimes with just a few doses of the fluoroquinolone antibiotic.

There is a distinct disconnect among FDA warnings, patient awareness, and a reduction in prescribing these medications.  The FDA’s warnings on drug labels have been slow to produce results.  Prescriptions for the drugs did not fall between 2011 and 2015, according to the CDC.  Thus, the alerts were not having the desired effect.  Finally, in 2016 and 2017, prescriptions for these antibiotics did drop.

Pharmacologist David Kroll has long been studying the effects of fluoroquinolone antibiotics.  In 2016, he wrote in Forbes that he first learned of the unexpected side-effects of fluoroquinolones when he read Stephen Fried’s book, Bitter Pills: Inside the Hazardous World of Legal Drugs.  Fried’s wife, Diane, suffered an infrequent side-effect of mental confusion and delirium from ofloxacin (Floxin), samples of which were given to her by a gynecologist for a urinary tract infection.

In fact, this book “helped to trigger a wave of reports on websites such as the Quinolone Antibiotics Adverse Reaction Forum.”

Afflicted people report anxiety, nervousness, horrible nightmares, and hallucinations, as well as nausea and vomiting.  Others maintain that “[f]luoroquinolone toxicity has been like an atomic bomb exploding in their bodies damaging their muscles and scrambling their DNA to the point many are too sick to work, too weak to walk.”

Kroll also cites a 2012 piece with almost 150,000 reviews where Melanie Haiken writes about the deadly side-effects of Cipro.  Accumulating evidence suggests that fluoroquinolones are damaging mitochondria, which can affect every cell in the body.  In a 2013 study, researchers reported that such damage to the mitochondria “inhibits their function across a range of mammalian cells with the largest effects seen in the quinolones.”

While life-saving in many instances, quinolone antibiotics have a dark side, which must become more highly publicized. 

Eileen can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com.



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A Teacher's Lament, Then and Now


In his 1962 essay titled “A Dog in Brooklyn, a Girl in Detroit: A Life among the Humanities,” from The Age of Happy Problems, Herbert Gold recounts how “neither glory nor pleasure nor power, and certainly not wisdom, provided the goal of [the] students” he attempted to instruct.

Attempting to teach a college-level humanities course, Gold “could classify [his] students in three general groups, intelligent, mediocre, and stupid, allowing for the confusions of three general factors – background, capacity, and interest.”

Reminiscing about his attempt to motivate young people, Gold admits that he “often failed at inspiring [his] students to do the assigned reading.  Many of them had part-time jobs in the automobile industry or its annexes.”  Thus, the plaintive “I couldn’t read the book this week, I have to work” reverberated in the classroom with “its implied reproach for a scholar’s leisure.”  Continuing to describe the paradoxes of teaching in a university, Gold finds little common ground between himself and his students.

When he attempted to explain Seurat’s “La Grande Jatte” and the “importance of … pointillism to students who only wanted to see life clear and true, see it comfortably,” he encountered students who asserted that “this kind of painting hurt [their] eyes.”  In addition, students clamored that “there was too much reading for one course – ‘piling it on.  This isn’t the only course we take.'”  

Then, in the middle of his essay, Gold details how, in front of the school building, a skidding truck sideswiped a taxi, and the cab “was smashed like a cruller.”  From the door of his cab, the driver emerged, stumbling holding his head.  There was blood on his head and hands.  He was in confusion and in shock – “[d]rivers turned their heads upon him … but did not get involved.” 

Gold ran out to lead the cab-driver into the building and told a student to call for an ambulance.  Before the ambulance arrived, the police were there – but they did not seem to be alarmed by the injuries of the cabbie.  Instead, they wanted to see his driver’s license and then his chauffeur’s license.  They were not concerned with Gold’s anxiety for the bleeding man.  They had “their business” to attend to – i.e., going through the cab-driver’s pockets looking for possible weapons.

Meanwhile, the students were getting restless, and the ambulance had not yet arrived.  So Gold gave one of his students a dime to make the call again.  By now the cab driver was fading away.  Finally, a “puffing ambulance intern rushed into the room.”

And then, the dénouement – against the backdrop of a winter storm, a bleeding cab-driver, self-important police officers doing their jobs, and a classroom of indifferent students, Gold has to face off with one of his students who, enraged, cries out in the middle of all this that “[she doesn’t] think [she] deserved a D on that quiz.  ‘I answered all the questions.  I can’t get my credit for Philo of Ed without I get a B off you.'” 

The improbable juxtaposition of this was just too much for Gold.

I must have looked at her with pure stupidity on my face.  There is a Haitian proverb: stupidity won’t kill you, but it’ll make you sweat a lot.  She took the opportunity to make me sweat, took my silence for guilt, took my open-mouthed gaze for weakness.

And then she said “If I was a white girl, you’d grade me easier.”

Guilt, a hundred years, a thousand years of it; pity for the disaster of ignorance and fear, pity for ambition rising out of ignorance[.]  I looked at her with mixed feelings.  


She was talking and I was yelling in a whisper about the sick man.  She was blaming me for all her troubles, all the troubles she had seen, and I was blaming her for not seeing what lay before her.

The next day Gold tried to explain to this student that there were two questions at issue: “her exam grade and her choice of occasion to dispute it.”  He tried to explain to this female student “why putting the two events together had disturbed” him.

To no avail.

As a teacher, Gold realized that he caught his students too late “and only at the top of their heads, at the raw point of pride and ambition, and [he] had not enough love and pressure as a teacher to open the way through their intentions to the common humanity which remains locked within.”

As another school year begins anew, the eternal quest to give intellectual, moral, and social instruction to young people remains elusive.

We “must find a way to teach better and to learn.”  The need is greater than ever.

Eileen can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com.

In his 1962 essay titled “A Dog in Brooklyn, a Girl in Detroit: A Life among the Humanities,” from The Age of Happy Problems, Herbert Gold recounts how “neither glory nor pleasure nor power, and certainly not wisdom, provided the goal of [the] students” he attempted to instruct.

Attempting to teach a college-level humanities course, Gold “could classify [his] students in three general groups, intelligent, mediocre, and stupid, allowing for the confusions of three general factors – background, capacity, and interest.”

Reminiscing about his attempt to motivate young people, Gold admits that he “often failed at inspiring [his] students to do the assigned reading.  Many of them had part-time jobs in the automobile industry or its annexes.”  Thus, the plaintive “I couldn’t read the book this week, I have to work” reverberated in the classroom with “its implied reproach for a scholar’s leisure.”  Continuing to describe the paradoxes of teaching in a university, Gold finds little common ground between himself and his students.

When he attempted to explain Seurat’s “La Grande Jatte” and the “importance of … pointillism to students who only wanted to see life clear and true, see it comfortably,” he encountered students who asserted that “this kind of painting hurt [their] eyes.”  In addition, students clamored that “there was too much reading for one course – ‘piling it on.  This isn’t the only course we take.'”  

Then, in the middle of his essay, Gold details how, in front of the school building, a skidding truck sideswiped a taxi, and the cab “was smashed like a cruller.”  From the door of his cab, the driver emerged, stumbling holding his head.  There was blood on his head and hands.  He was in confusion and in shock – “[d]rivers turned their heads upon him … but did not get involved.” 

Gold ran out to lead the cab-driver into the building and told a student to call for an ambulance.  Before the ambulance arrived, the police were there – but they did not seem to be alarmed by the injuries of the cabbie.  Instead, they wanted to see his driver’s license and then his chauffeur’s license.  They were not concerned with Gold’s anxiety for the bleeding man.  They had “their business” to attend to – i.e., going through the cab-driver’s pockets looking for possible weapons.

Meanwhile, the students were getting restless, and the ambulance had not yet arrived.  So Gold gave one of his students a dime to make the call again.  By now the cab driver was fading away.  Finally, a “puffing ambulance intern rushed into the room.”

And then, the dénouement – against the backdrop of a winter storm, a bleeding cab-driver, self-important police officers doing their jobs, and a classroom of indifferent students, Gold has to face off with one of his students who, enraged, cries out in the middle of all this that “[she doesn’t] think [she] deserved a D on that quiz.  ‘I answered all the questions.  I can’t get my credit for Philo of Ed without I get a B off you.'” 

The improbable juxtaposition of this was just too much for Gold.

I must have looked at her with pure stupidity on my face.  There is a Haitian proverb: stupidity won’t kill you, but it’ll make you sweat a lot.  She took the opportunity to make me sweat, took my silence for guilt, took my open-mouthed gaze for weakness.

And then she said “If I was a white girl, you’d grade me easier.”

Guilt, a hundred years, a thousand years of it; pity for the disaster of ignorance and fear, pity for ambition rising out of ignorance[.]  I looked at her with mixed feelings.  


She was talking and I was yelling in a whisper about the sick man.  She was blaming me for all her troubles, all the troubles she had seen, and I was blaming her for not seeing what lay before her.

The next day Gold tried to explain to this student that there were two questions at issue: “her exam grade and her choice of occasion to dispute it.”  He tried to explain to this female student “why putting the two events together had disturbed” him.

To no avail.

As a teacher, Gold realized that he caught his students too late “and only at the top of their heads, at the raw point of pride and ambition, and [he] had not enough love and pressure as a teacher to open the way through their intentions to the common humanity which remains locked within.”

As another school year begins anew, the eternal quest to give intellectual, moral, and social instruction to young people remains elusive.

We “must find a way to teach better and to learn.”  The need is greater than ever.

Eileen can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com.



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The Surreal World of Teaching


College continues to get more interesting.  One young man who missed 15 out of 28 days of school explains that he and “his ex-girlfriend just had a baby.”  When asked who would take care of the baby, the boy (also a product of a single-mother household) said his mother and the girl’s mother needed to work this out.  Although he admitted that his girlfriend had used birth control for two years, by the “third year, it didn’t seem that necessary.”  While he was happy about the baby, the young man also explained that he wasn’t even sure the baby is his, so he was scheduled to have a DNA test soon.

Nothing like common sense, fidelity, and future planning!

But did you know that in the inverted world of education today, if a student has a baby, then more financial aid is available?  Indeed!  Consequently, students are being told by their college advisers that they should get pregnant.  Even some of the students are appalled at this suggestion.  But then there are those who proclaim that “the money comes from the government,” implying that it is not really problematic.  Deliberately unschooled in how things actually work, and already the recipients of financial assistance, these students see government as the ultimate security blanket.  There is no connection to the idea that government comprises taxpayers.

What a wonderful idea – to have a money tree somewhere pumping out financial aid ad infinitum!

Should we be surprised, given what has been documented in the booklet titled “Leftist Indoctrination in Our K-12 Public Schools” by Sara Dogan and Peter Collier?  In Edina, Minnesota, the Highlands Elementary School students write poems that link “the anti-police and racially divisive Black Lives Matter movement with peace.”  The principal reproduced Black Lives Matter’s own website, which states that its members “are committed to disrupting the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and villages.”

Then there is the book titled A is for Activist, which features “C is for Creative Counter to Corporate Vultures, E is for environmental justice, T is for Trans.  X is for Malcolm.  As in Malcolm X.”  It is billed as an “ABC board book written and illustrated for the next generation of progressives[.]”

In Ithaca, New York, the Beverly J. Martin Elementary School students sat through a presentation featuring Bassem Tamimi, who videos his own children sharing a message that “we [Palestinians] don’t like that Israel kill [sic] us, kill Gaza, kill Palestinian[.]”  Actual facts be damned.

Moreover, “beginning in kindergarten, students will be taught about the many ways to express gender.  Gender expression education will include information about the manifestations of traits that are typically associated with one gender.  Fourth graders will be expected to ‘define sexual orientation’ and taught that they can choose their own.”

Reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic that used to produce coherence and clarity – not so much.

Cell phones are now the bane of any instructor.  Even when an instructor politely asks, “John, are you checking a word in the phone’s dictionary?” hoping the student will be ashamed at being caught texting and might, therefore, put the phone away, it makes no difference.  But rest assured when they do poorly, they beg for extra credit and trot out an unfounded “racist” charge in order to intimidate a teacher.

Instructors who believe that education is about teaching students how to think, not what to think, are bewildered, dismayed, and disheartened.  They are bombarded with surveys about student engagement and performance as well as mid-semester grading reports.  Is it not absurd that progress reports are issued to college students?  Can’t they figure out their own averages without it being documented on a computer program?

What a silly question – we need to infantilize the college student as much as possible.  Businesses complain that their biggest issue with the workforce is that they cannot find people who have the job skills necessary to do the work – oh, you mean like being responsible, coming on time, taking the initiative, asking appropriate questions, and following guidelines and rules?

Many of these young people are actually quite pleasant, but individual responsibility and future planning are not high on their list of critical attributes.  While they do work an excessive number of hours at jobs in order to pay for school and books, they do not actually have a sense of where they are going.  Many of them are exceptionally thin-skinned and take offense at the slightest thing – either misunderstanding what is taught, because they have never learned or cannot fathom the art of nuance or inference – or they are just plain mad at the world.  Directions are repeatedly ignored, and when this is pointed out, a frustrated and angry student asserts, “If I come out of character, you are not going to like it” to a college instructor.

Furthermore, students simply cannot comprehend what plagiarism entails.  But why should they?  They have never been taught to understand that articles come from journals or magazines, not the cell phone.  They do not know where to find the New York Times magazine section because they have never actually held a print copy of a newspaper.

They do not know what “ISBN” stands for.  They cannot decipher what a volume or issue number refers to.  They don’t understand what publishers do or what an anthology is.  So explaining that a Works Cited page needs to be accompanied by parenthetical citations within the text is actually a foreign concept, no matter how many times it is taught.  But white privilege – and Islamophobia are what they are being force-fed.

On the one hand, we have the articulate but misguided David Hoggs of the world.  On the other hand, we have the less fortunate in the acquisition-of-ideas department who sit in a classroom dazed and frustrated and who assert that “for any child and even adults, school is a burden, a death sentence which we want to avoid as much as possible.  Though college is guaranteeing me a better future, I hate it more than anything.”

Happily, people like Mike Rowe offer alternatives to college, and it would best serve those decent young people to go the vocational route, but only if they are “ready to work smart and hard.”

And charter schools, while understandably offering an alternative, are not the panacea.  It should be remembered that some of the greatest minds of the last century were educated in New York City public schools.  Success was evident because educators had not yet become the tool by which leftists could literally dumb down young minds.

It is child abuse, and it is totally preventable.  Get the left-wing indoctrination irrevocably removed.  Go back to phonics.  Eliminate such useless ideas as “whole language” and “flip teaching” where homework is done in school and vice versa.  Teach grammar so that one does not have to wade through alleged sentences such as “On their own, people would be forced to live based merely on their own subjective perspectives leaving them bound to repeat mistakes they have overlooked and never develop into the best versions of the [sic] themselfs [sic] as a result.”

It will be a disservice to the young people, to the educators who truly want to bring out the best in their students, and to the country at large if a major sea change does not occur in the field of education.  And it cannot take another generation to get started.  By then, it will be much too late.  We are already at the precipice.

Eileen can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com.

College continues to get more interesting.  One young man who missed 15 out of 28 days of school explains that he and “his ex-girlfriend just had a baby.”  When asked who would take care of the baby, the boy (also a product of a single-mother household) said his mother and the girl’s mother needed to work this out.  Although he admitted that his girlfriend had used birth control for two years, by the “third year, it didn’t seem that necessary.”  While he was happy about the baby, the young man also explained that he wasn’t even sure the baby is his, so he was scheduled to have a DNA test soon.

Nothing like common sense, fidelity, and future planning!

But did you know that in the inverted world of education today, if a student has a baby, then more financial aid is available?  Indeed!  Consequently, students are being told by their college advisers that they should get pregnant.  Even some of the students are appalled at this suggestion.  But then there are those who proclaim that “the money comes from the government,” implying that it is not really problematic.  Deliberately unschooled in how things actually work, and already the recipients of financial assistance, these students see government as the ultimate security blanket.  There is no connection to the idea that government comprises taxpayers.

What a wonderful idea – to have a money tree somewhere pumping out financial aid ad infinitum!

Should we be surprised, given what has been documented in the booklet titled “Leftist Indoctrination in Our K-12 Public Schools” by Sara Dogan and Peter Collier?  In Edina, Minnesota, the Highlands Elementary School students write poems that link “the anti-police and racially divisive Black Lives Matter movement with peace.”  The principal reproduced Black Lives Matter’s own website, which states that its members “are committed to disrupting the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and villages.”

Then there is the book titled A is for Activist, which features “C is for Creative Counter to Corporate Vultures, E is for environmental justice, T is for Trans.  X is for Malcolm.  As in Malcolm X.”  It is billed as an “ABC board book written and illustrated for the next generation of progressives[.]”

In Ithaca, New York, the Beverly J. Martin Elementary School students sat through a presentation featuring Bassem Tamimi, who videos his own children sharing a message that “we [Palestinians] don’t like that Israel kill [sic] us, kill Gaza, kill Palestinian[.]”  Actual facts be damned.

Moreover, “beginning in kindergarten, students will be taught about the many ways to express gender.  Gender expression education will include information about the manifestations of traits that are typically associated with one gender.  Fourth graders will be expected to ‘define sexual orientation’ and taught that they can choose their own.”

Reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic that used to produce coherence and clarity – not so much.

Cell phones are now the bane of any instructor.  Even when an instructor politely asks, “John, are you checking a word in the phone’s dictionary?” hoping the student will be ashamed at being caught texting and might, therefore, put the phone away, it makes no difference.  But rest assured when they do poorly, they beg for extra credit and trot out an unfounded “racist” charge in order to intimidate a teacher.

Instructors who believe that education is about teaching students how to think, not what to think, are bewildered, dismayed, and disheartened.  They are bombarded with surveys about student engagement and performance as well as mid-semester grading reports.  Is it not absurd that progress reports are issued to college students?  Can’t they figure out their own averages without it being documented on a computer program?

What a silly question – we need to infantilize the college student as much as possible.  Businesses complain that their biggest issue with the workforce is that they cannot find people who have the job skills necessary to do the work – oh, you mean like being responsible, coming on time, taking the initiative, asking appropriate questions, and following guidelines and rules?

Many of these young people are actually quite pleasant, but individual responsibility and future planning are not high on their list of critical attributes.  While they do work an excessive number of hours at jobs in order to pay for school and books, they do not actually have a sense of where they are going.  Many of them are exceptionally thin-skinned and take offense at the slightest thing – either misunderstanding what is taught, because they have never learned or cannot fathom the art of nuance or inference – or they are just plain mad at the world.  Directions are repeatedly ignored, and when this is pointed out, a frustrated and angry student asserts, “If I come out of character, you are not going to like it” to a college instructor.

Furthermore, students simply cannot comprehend what plagiarism entails.  But why should they?  They have never been taught to understand that articles come from journals or magazines, not the cell phone.  They do not know where to find the New York Times magazine section because they have never actually held a print copy of a newspaper.

They do not know what “ISBN” stands for.  They cannot decipher what a volume or issue number refers to.  They don’t understand what publishers do or what an anthology is.  So explaining that a Works Cited page needs to be accompanied by parenthetical citations within the text is actually a foreign concept, no matter how many times it is taught.  But white privilege – and Islamophobia are what they are being force-fed.

On the one hand, we have the articulate but misguided David Hoggs of the world.  On the other hand, we have the less fortunate in the acquisition-of-ideas department who sit in a classroom dazed and frustrated and who assert that “for any child and even adults, school is a burden, a death sentence which we want to avoid as much as possible.  Though college is guaranteeing me a better future, I hate it more than anything.”

Happily, people like Mike Rowe offer alternatives to college, and it would best serve those decent young people to go the vocational route, but only if they are “ready to work smart and hard.”

And charter schools, while understandably offering an alternative, are not the panacea.  It should be remembered that some of the greatest minds of the last century were educated in New York City public schools.  Success was evident because educators had not yet become the tool by which leftists could literally dumb down young minds.

It is child abuse, and it is totally preventable.  Get the left-wing indoctrination irrevocably removed.  Go back to phonics.  Eliminate such useless ideas as “whole language” and “flip teaching” where homework is done in school and vice versa.  Teach grammar so that one does not have to wade through alleged sentences such as “On their own, people would be forced to live based merely on their own subjective perspectives leaving them bound to repeat mistakes they have overlooked and never develop into the best versions of the [sic] themselfs [sic] as a result.”

It will be a disservice to the young people, to the educators who truly want to bring out the best in their students, and to the country at large if a major sea change does not occur in the field of education.  And it cannot take another generation to get started.  By then, it will be much too late.  We are already at the precipice.

Eileen can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com.



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Stop Diminishing the Men



Feminists who constantly denounce manhood won't like what they're cooking up.  Neither will the rest of us.



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The Ongoing Plight of Christians


In the CQ Researcher issue titled “Religious Persecution,” dated November 21, 1997, Kenneth Jost highlighted the “well-documented cases of churches being bulldozed or burned down, clergy and lay leaders [being] arrested and imprisoned and clergymen being murdered by [Sudanese] government troops.”  In the 21 years since this article was printed, global Christian persecution has increased exponentially.  The following is a small sampling of what Christians are facing, and the sad truth is that no one seems to be stopping the oppressors and punishing them.

  • In Sweden, Muslim migrants often persecute Christian migrants, or immigrants who convert to Christianity.  Thus, “Open Doors Deutschland documented 743 attacks on Christians in Germany in 2016, and German police documented another 100 in 2017.  Similar violence plagues Christian refugees in Sweden, but the Scandinavian country has yet to issue an investigation.  A survey published by Open Doors Sweden last year found that … one hundred and twenty-three Christian asylum-seekers reported religiously motivated persecution, and 512 separate incidents.  Christian refugees suffered 65 violent assaults, 55 death threats, 7 cases of sexual assault, along with instances of social exclusion, insults, contempt, and threats.  More than half, 53 percent, said they had been violently attacked at least once.  Almost half, 45 percent, reported receiving at least one death threat.  More than three-quarters of those who faced such persecution were converts to Christianity, and almost all of the perpetrators were Muslim.”

Open Door’s top countries where Christians face the most persecution are:

  • North Korea (94 points) – Christians and Christian missionaries are routinely imprisoned in labor camps.
  • Afghanistan (93 points) – The government of this Muslim country does not recognize any of its citizens as Christian.
  • Somalia (91 points) – The Catholic bishop of Mogadishu has described it as “not possible” to be a Christian in Somalia.
  • Sudan (87 points) – The Muslim government has slated Christian churches for demolition.
  • Pakistan (86 points) – Christians and other non-Muslims sit on death row, facing charges of blasphemy.
  • Eritrea (86 points) – Only four religions are officially recognized (Sunni Islam and the Eritrean Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Evangelical Lutheran churches).  Those belonging to other faiths are persecuted, and those of recognized faiths are routinely harassed by the government.
  • Libya (86 points) – The government is reportedly training militants to attack Coptic Christians.
  • Iraq (86 points) – Iraqi Christians have yet to return to their homelands after expulsion by ISIS.
  • Yemen (85 points) – The ongoing political and humanitarian crisis has further squeezed Christians and other religious minorities, who already faced severe restrictions on practicing their faiths.

Jeff Simino at the National Review writes about minority religious groups who suffer in Iran.  Thus, “the Iranian government continues to persecute religious minorities, including groups supposedly given special recognition by the country’s constitution: Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians.”

Raymond Ibrahim, chronicler of the status of Christians, assiduously documents what is happening to them.  In fact, “[t]he Islamic world has the lion’s share of Christian persecution; 38 of the 50 worst nations are Muslim-majority.  In short, the overwhelming majority of persecution that these 215 million Christians experience around the world – especially the worst forms, such as rape and murder – occurs at the hands of Muslims.”

Moreover, “[u]nlike the persecution of Christians in Communist nations, rooted to a particular regime, Muslim persecution of Christians is perennial, existential, and far transcends any ruler or regime.  It unfortunately seems part and parcel of the history, doctrines, and socio-political makeup of Islam – hence its tenacity and ubiquity.  It is a ‘tradition.'”  Ibrahim asserts that “those persecuting Christians come from a wide variety of racial, linguistic, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds – from African, Arab, Asian, and Caucasian nations – and share little in common with one another, except for Islam,” thus underscoring the source of the hatred.

On January 31, 2018, Jack Kerwick wrote, “[T]here was more violence against Christians recorded in Pakistan than anywhere else.”  As Islamists expand in the Philippines, Bangladesh, and Indonesia as well as Egypt, Nigeria, and Somalia, Christian oppression increases.  In Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan, “with a grassroots revival of Islam” has come an increase in anti-Christian persecution.

Notwithstanding the entrenched Islamic hatred of Christians, “India and Nepal are two prominent illustrations of intense, anti-Christian Hindu nationalism.  But, notably, in Myanmar and Sri Lanka, Buddhist nationalism is being used as an instrument of anti-Christian oppression as well.” 

Nathan Johnson documents that in February 2018 in Nigeria, Muslims continue attacks on Christians.  In fact, “International Christian Concern (ICC) documented at least 32 attacks by Fulani militants on Christians, which killed over 95 people and destroyed dozens of villages.  These attacks spanned 11 different states and killed nearly 100 Christians.”  With more than twice as many Christians killed this year than last year, there “is a clear uptick in attacks.  Between January and February 2018, there have already been more than 270 Christians slaughtered by invading Fulani” (who share many beliefs with other West African Muslims).

Furthermore, “[t]his continued violence demonstrates either incompetence or complicity by the Nigerian military in these attacks.  Villages that have been attacked are often within sight of military outposts or checkpoints.  Despite this, the military has almost never successfully intervened and stopped an attack from causing overwhelming devastation.”

Less obvious than the outright violence is the fact that “Islamists around the world are furthering their agenda through diplomatic and political action, as well as grassroots social efforts.”  Consequently, “sharia law has been ‘peaceably’ enacted into law” and with it the desire to expunge any faith of the infidel.

Thus, Ibrahim explains the draconian hardships imposed for centuries upon Copts and other religious groups by Muslim rulers prompted many to convert to Islam.  Therefore, “nations such as Egypt which were about 95 percent Christian in the 7th century are today only about 10 percent.”  Acquiescing to dhimmi status and accepting life with few rights, they eventually converted to Islam “to find relief.”  Fifteenth-century anecdotes describe Muslims burning churches, slaughtering Christians, and enslaving their women and children.  Besides being “physically purged, they were spiritually murdered – a slow-motion genocide,” if you will.  Negative conditions of life of coercion coupled with “social bondage and financial bondage” pressured many to convert to Islam.

And it continues to the present day.

In 2016, at the Hoover Institution, Ralph Peters wrote:

The genocide against Middle-Eastern Christians approaches its endgame, while Western leaders look away as resolutely as they ignored the Holocaust when it was happening.  In time, there will be crocodile tears and, perhaps, a museum designed by an in-demand architect.  For now, though, the presidents and prime ministers who romanticize Islam and explain away its excesses all but condone the extermination of a 2,000-year-old religious civilization.

H.R. 565 – Save Christians from Genocide Act was sponsored by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.-48) and introduced on January 13, 2017.  As of this date, it has been referred to the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security.  It is intended to “recognize that Christians and Yazidis in Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Iran, and Libya are targets of genocide, and to provide for the expedited processing of immigrant and refugee visas for such individuals, and for other purposes.”

With Easter soon upon the world, it behooves people, no matter their religious persuasion, to acknowledge that while John the Baptist announced to the crowd in John 1:29  “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” it is up to individuals with a conscience to demand protection for those who accept Christianity.  There have been far too many Christian martyrs.

Eileen can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com.

In the CQ Researcher issue titled “Religious Persecution,” dated November 21, 1997, Kenneth Jost highlighted the “well-documented cases of churches being bulldozed or burned down, clergy and lay leaders [being] arrested and imprisoned and clergymen being murdered by [Sudanese] government troops.”  In the 21 years since this article was printed, global Christian persecution has increased exponentially.  The following is a small sampling of what Christians are facing, and the sad truth is that no one seems to be stopping the oppressors and punishing them.

  • In Sweden, Muslim migrants often persecute Christian migrants, or immigrants who convert to Christianity.  Thus, “Open Doors Deutschland documented 743 attacks on Christians in Germany in 2016, and German police documented another 100 in 2017.  Similar violence plagues Christian refugees in Sweden, but the Scandinavian country has yet to issue an investigation.  A survey published by Open Doors Sweden last year found that … one hundred and twenty-three Christian asylum-seekers reported religiously motivated persecution, and 512 separate incidents.  Christian refugees suffered 65 violent assaults, 55 death threats, 7 cases of sexual assault, along with instances of social exclusion, insults, contempt, and threats.  More than half, 53 percent, said they had been violently attacked at least once.  Almost half, 45 percent, reported receiving at least one death threat.  More than three-quarters of those who faced such persecution were converts to Christianity, and almost all of the perpetrators were Muslim.”

Open Door’s top countries where Christians face the most persecution are:

  • North Korea (94 points) – Christians and Christian missionaries are routinely imprisoned in labor camps.
  • Afghanistan (93 points) – The government of this Muslim country does not recognize any of its citizens as Christian.
  • Somalia (91 points) – The Catholic bishop of Mogadishu has described it as “not possible” to be a Christian in Somalia.
  • Sudan (87 points) – The Muslim government has slated Christian churches for demolition.
  • Pakistan (86 points) – Christians and other non-Muslims sit on death row, facing charges of blasphemy.
  • Eritrea (86 points) – Only four religions are officially recognized (Sunni Islam and the Eritrean Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Evangelical Lutheran churches).  Those belonging to other faiths are persecuted, and those of recognized faiths are routinely harassed by the government.
  • Libya (86 points) – The government is reportedly training militants to attack Coptic Christians.
  • Iraq (86 points) – Iraqi Christians have yet to return to their homelands after expulsion by ISIS.
  • Yemen (85 points) – The ongoing political and humanitarian crisis has further squeezed Christians and other religious minorities, who already faced severe restrictions on practicing their faiths.

Jeff Simino at the National Review writes about minority religious groups who suffer in Iran.  Thus, “the Iranian government continues to persecute religious minorities, including groups supposedly given special recognition by the country’s constitution: Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians.”

Raymond Ibrahim, chronicler of the status of Christians, assiduously documents what is happening to them.  In fact, “[t]he Islamic world has the lion’s share of Christian persecution; 38 of the 50 worst nations are Muslim-majority.  In short, the overwhelming majority of persecution that these 215 million Christians experience around the world – especially the worst forms, such as rape and murder – occurs at the hands of Muslims.”

Moreover, “[u]nlike the persecution of Christians in Communist nations, rooted to a particular regime, Muslim persecution of Christians is perennial, existential, and far transcends any ruler or regime.  It unfortunately seems part and parcel of the history, doctrines, and socio-political makeup of Islam – hence its tenacity and ubiquity.  It is a ‘tradition.'”  Ibrahim asserts that “those persecuting Christians come from a wide variety of racial, linguistic, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds – from African, Arab, Asian, and Caucasian nations – and share little in common with one another, except for Islam,” thus underscoring the source of the hatred.

On January 31, 2018, Jack Kerwick wrote, “[T]here was more violence against Christians recorded in Pakistan than anywhere else.”  As Islamists expand in the Philippines, Bangladesh, and Indonesia as well as Egypt, Nigeria, and Somalia, Christian oppression increases.  In Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan, “with a grassroots revival of Islam” has come an increase in anti-Christian persecution.

Notwithstanding the entrenched Islamic hatred of Christians, “India and Nepal are two prominent illustrations of intense, anti-Christian Hindu nationalism.  But, notably, in Myanmar and Sri Lanka, Buddhist nationalism is being used as an instrument of anti-Christian oppression as well.” 

Nathan Johnson documents that in February 2018 in Nigeria, Muslims continue attacks on Christians.  In fact, “International Christian Concern (ICC) documented at least 32 attacks by Fulani militants on Christians, which killed over 95 people and destroyed dozens of villages.  These attacks spanned 11 different states and killed nearly 100 Christians.”  With more than twice as many Christians killed this year than last year, there “is a clear uptick in attacks.  Between January and February 2018, there have already been more than 270 Christians slaughtered by invading Fulani” (who share many beliefs with other West African Muslims).

Furthermore, “[t]his continued violence demonstrates either incompetence or complicity by the Nigerian military in these attacks.  Villages that have been attacked are often within sight of military outposts or checkpoints.  Despite this, the military has almost never successfully intervened and stopped an attack from causing overwhelming devastation.”

Less obvious than the outright violence is the fact that “Islamists around the world are furthering their agenda through diplomatic and political action, as well as grassroots social efforts.”  Consequently, “sharia law has been ‘peaceably’ enacted into law” and with it the desire to expunge any faith of the infidel.

Thus, Ibrahim explains the draconian hardships imposed for centuries upon Copts and other religious groups by Muslim rulers prompted many to convert to Islam.  Therefore, “nations such as Egypt which were about 95 percent Christian in the 7th century are today only about 10 percent.”  Acquiescing to dhimmi status and accepting life with few rights, they eventually converted to Islam “to find relief.”  Fifteenth-century anecdotes describe Muslims burning churches, slaughtering Christians, and enslaving their women and children.  Besides being “physically purged, they were spiritually murdered – a slow-motion genocide,” if you will.  Negative conditions of life of coercion coupled with “social bondage and financial bondage” pressured many to convert to Islam.

And it continues to the present day.

In 2016, at the Hoover Institution, Ralph Peters wrote:

The genocide against Middle-Eastern Christians approaches its endgame, while Western leaders look away as resolutely as they ignored the Holocaust when it was happening.  In time, there will be crocodile tears and, perhaps, a museum designed by an in-demand architect.  For now, though, the presidents and prime ministers who romanticize Islam and explain away its excesses all but condone the extermination of a 2,000-year-old religious civilization.

H.R. 565 – Save Christians from Genocide Act was sponsored by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.-48) and introduced on January 13, 2017.  As of this date, it has been referred to the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security.  It is intended to “recognize that Christians and Yazidis in Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Iran, and Libya are targets of genocide, and to provide for the expedited processing of immigrant and refugee visas for such individuals, and for other purposes.”

With Easter soon upon the world, it behooves people, no matter their religious persuasion, to acknowledge that while John the Baptist announced to the crowd in John 1:29  “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” it is up to individuals with a conscience to demand protection for those who accept Christianity.  There have been far too many Christian martyrs.

Eileen can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com.



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American Rhythms


In Mitch Albom’s magical book titled The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto, “narrated by the voice of Music itself,” there is a singular line that describes what is sorely lacking in our world today.  Many people speak of the cultural changes – perhaps even the cultural rot – demoralizing far too many Americans.  Instead, we need, as Albom asserts, an understanding that “the secret is not to make your music louder but to make the world quieter.”  Given the cacophony of brutal words spewed online via Twitter or by so many in show business and politics, we need a return to quiet introspection.  It is imperative that we approach subjects with reason and logic rather than capitulate to the empty barrels that make the most noise.

In the world of education, it is long overdue to expect – in fact, demand – not perfection, but surely excellence.  The soft bigotry of low expectations is producing a crop of young people who are functionally illiterate, historically ignorant, and frighteningly incoherent.  For starters, the teaching of phonics must begin in kindergarten.  I have college students who cannot sound out words or names because they were never taught how to  use phonics.  Moreover, students do not know what an anthology is because books are now replaced with readings on the internet.  They have no clue about biblical or mythological allusions.  There is a constant level of superficiality despite the plethora of information available to them.  Few have learned the skills of separating the wheat from the chaff.

The so-called adults in the room are abdicating their responsibilities to mold and lead young people to make in-depth and thoughtful decisions.  Instead, the focus is on who can scream the loudest and who can virtually blackmail higher authority.  Facts are forsaken while censoring ideas is accepted, even applauded.  This is not a good silence.

We need to return to ideas and language that evoke the sublime, not the gutter talk that pollutes so much conversation these days.  We need to instill a return to the days of the “magic words” such as “please” and “thank you.”  I cringe every time a person says “no problem” when I say “thank you.”  It implies that being polite is a hardship in the first place.

Dizzy Gillespie once said, “It’s taken me all my life to learn what not to play.”  In fact, “[s]ilence enhances music” just as pauses offer think time.  But there are few rests in life anymore.  It is a constant din.

Art Linkletter used to bring youngsters onto his show, Kids Say the Darndest Things, and the audience heard them attempt to say the Pledge of Allegiance.  The mangled recitations would bring indulgent smiles to the viewers, but there was never any doubt that these same children would eventually learn to recite the pledge properly – and, more importantly, understand what they were reciting.    

It is neither charming nor cute to hear a youngster today recite the pledge by stating, “I pledge allegiance to the government of the United States, the government of Barack Obama, the government…”  So should I have been surprised when a college student who was giving the history of the pledge explained that Bellamy’s original pledge read, “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republican [sic] for what it stands, one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all”?  At first, I thought she had simply misread the words, but later in her presentation, she asked, “Why do we say ‘Republicans’ and not ‘Republicans and Democrats’ in the pledge?”

I have sat through far too many instances of incredible ignorance coming from my students, but this was beyond stunning.  She actually did not know that the word “republic” referred to the fact that the United States is a constitutional republic.  But she did manage to repeat at least three times that saying the pledge is not mandatory in school.

To add insult to injury, she went on to say, “What is America?  After all, we are a multicultural nation” – thus displaying that she and so many of her peers have never been taught to understand what Walt Whitman meant when he wrote “America.”

Centre of equal daughters, equal sons,

All, all alike endear’d, grown, ungrown, young or old,

Strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich,

Perennial with the Earth, with Freedom, Law and Love,

A grand, sane, towering, seated Mother,

Chair’d in the adamant of Time.

Instead, this modern daughter of America echoes the idea that we are a balkanized country based on identity politics and not the grand idea of America, with its aspiration of freedom based on the liberties for which that so many have given their full measure of devotion. 

These young people do not understand that the “United States is indeed a unique animal.  Not only is it a country, but it’s also an idea.  People around the world don’t just dream of coming to America, they dream of becoming Americans.  Many have and continue to risk their lives to do so.  It’s one thing to risk your life escaping the Soviet Union, Communist China or even Communist Cuba.  Those people were or are running from something, trying to go anywhere else.  It’s another thing altogether to risk one’s life to come to a place[.] … And that place is more often than not, America.”  Sadly, this young woman has never learned the song of America:

… [a] unique combination of freedom and opportunity that makes the country great.  The United States may be filled with mortal men, but the expectation for 200 plus years is that those mortal men can achieve the impossible … that anything is possible.  That sense of can do spirit, of American Exceptionalism has a long history going back to the pilgrims who carved out a place to call home and the rag tagged [sic] army that defeated the most powerful empire in the world.  There is so much more with explorers, inventors and innovators.  From McCormick feeding the world to Edison lighting it to Rockefeller revolutionizing energy and medicine.  There’s also flight, winning two world wars, putting a man on the moon and the micro processor.  There are even more mundane things like vulcanized rubber, the elevator, air conditioning and the Slinky.

As Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. wrote in The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society (1991) “America increasingly sees itself as preservative of old identities.  Instead of a nation composed of individuals making their own free choices, America increasingly sees itself as composed of groups more or less indelible in their ethnic character.  The national idea had once been e pluribus unum.  Are we now to belittle unum and glorify pluribus?  Will the center hold? or will the melting pot yield to the tower of Babel?”

Clearly, his words have not been heeded as the dissonance in the country grows.  The left, through deliberate mis-education, and the media, through intentional fabrication, are diluting the American identity, and too many in power are just fine with this.  After all, Obama and his ilk on the left “think the United States is synonymous with Uncle Sam … the federal government.  They think America began to be great when the progressive agenda began to fall into place.  They think of America as a place where the government makes people equal, where the government provides or guarantees everyone healthcare, welfare, education and income.  America is great because the government protects the little guy against the modern robber barons.  In essence, America is great because Uncle Sam is there to look out for everyone.” 

In a well honed orchestra, each instrument has a distinct and unique sound.  If the orchestra does not unite and play as one unit, the grandeur of the music is lost.  As the conductor uses a score to guide the players, we need to return our young people to the stirring words, values, and deeds attesting to what America means so they can comfortably refute the progressive agenda.

In January 2017, the National Association of Scholars published a report: “Making Citizens: How American Universities Teach Civics.”  The results were dismal.  In fact, civics was “one of the subjects that was swept away as a general education requirement and as a stepping stone to more advanced courses.”  By 2010, Western civilization survey courses had disappeared.  Instead, what used to be the bedrock of a liberal arts education was now replaced by “New Civics with its comprehensive dream of turning all students into progressives.”  New Civics promulgates the idea that “students are better served by being made to ‘do’ things than they are by teaching them with books and ideas, and that the only truly legitimate purpose of education is about seizing power in society, and the place nearest at hand is the university itself.” 

So we have either an apathetic, ill informed student body or one hell-bent on disruption, not distinction in studies.  The left hates the harmonies and melodies and rhythms that created America.  But we, the people, must insist that “our schools and colleges have a responsibility to teach history for its own sake – as part of the intellectual equipment of civilized persons – and not to degrade history by allowing its contents to be dictated by pressure groups, whether political, economic, religious, or ethnic.  The past may sometimes give offense to one or another minority; that is no reason for rewriting history” – and, may I add, the destruction of statues and symbols of times bygone.

Properly taught, history stresses the “importance of critical analysis and dispassionate judgment in every area of life.”  History gives a sense of national identity, and “our values are not matters of whim and happenstance.”  Anything else is a betrayal of “the great unifying Western ideas of individual freedom, political democracy and human rights.” 

A good start would be to ensure that every American student pass the citizenship test in order to graduate from high school.  Serious history education must return to books that do not whitewash America’s missteps but do not portray America as the axis of evil, either. 

Eileen can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com.

In Mitch Albom’s magical book titled The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto, “narrated by the voice of Music itself,” there is a singular line that describes what is sorely lacking in our world today.  Many people speak of the cultural changes – perhaps even the cultural rot – demoralizing far too many Americans.  Instead, we need, as Albom asserts, an understanding that “the secret is not to make your music louder but to make the world quieter.”  Given the cacophony of brutal words spewed online via Twitter or by so many in show business and politics, we need a return to quiet introspection.  It is imperative that we approach subjects with reason and logic rather than capitulate to the empty barrels that make the most noise.

In the world of education, it is long overdue to expect – in fact, demand – not perfection, but surely excellence.  The soft bigotry of low expectations is producing a crop of young people who are functionally illiterate, historically ignorant, and frighteningly incoherent.  For starters, the teaching of phonics must begin in kindergarten.  I have college students who cannot sound out words or names because they were never taught how to  use phonics.  Moreover, students do not know what an anthology is because books are now replaced with readings on the internet.  They have no clue about biblical or mythological allusions.  There is a constant level of superficiality despite the plethora of information available to them.  Few have learned the skills of separating the wheat from the chaff.

The so-called adults in the room are abdicating their responsibilities to mold and lead young people to make in-depth and thoughtful decisions.  Instead, the focus is on who can scream the loudest and who can virtually blackmail higher authority.  Facts are forsaken while censoring ideas is accepted, even applauded.  This is not a good silence.

We need to return to ideas and language that evoke the sublime, not the gutter talk that pollutes so much conversation these days.  We need to instill a return to the days of the “magic words” such as “please” and “thank you.”  I cringe every time a person says “no problem” when I say “thank you.”  It implies that being polite is a hardship in the first place.

Dizzy Gillespie once said, “It’s taken me all my life to learn what not to play.”  In fact, “[s]ilence enhances music” just as pauses offer think time.  But there are few rests in life anymore.  It is a constant din.

Art Linkletter used to bring youngsters onto his show, Kids Say the Darndest Things, and the audience heard them attempt to say the Pledge of Allegiance.  The mangled recitations would bring indulgent smiles to the viewers, but there was never any doubt that these same children would eventually learn to recite the pledge properly – and, more importantly, understand what they were reciting.    

It is neither charming nor cute to hear a youngster today recite the pledge by stating, “I pledge allegiance to the government of the United States, the government of Barack Obama, the government…”  So should I have been surprised when a college student who was giving the history of the pledge explained that Bellamy’s original pledge read, “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republican [sic] for what it stands, one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all”?  At first, I thought she had simply misread the words, but later in her presentation, she asked, “Why do we say ‘Republicans’ and not ‘Republicans and Democrats’ in the pledge?”

I have sat through far too many instances of incredible ignorance coming from my students, but this was beyond stunning.  She actually did not know that the word “republic” referred to the fact that the United States is a constitutional republic.  But she did manage to repeat at least three times that saying the pledge is not mandatory in school.

To add insult to injury, she went on to say, “What is America?  After all, we are a multicultural nation” – thus displaying that she and so many of her peers have never been taught to understand what Walt Whitman meant when he wrote “America.”

Centre of equal daughters, equal sons,

All, all alike endear’d, grown, ungrown, young or old,

Strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich,

Perennial with the Earth, with Freedom, Law and Love,

A grand, sane, towering, seated Mother,

Chair’d in the adamant of Time.

Instead, this modern daughter of America echoes the idea that we are a balkanized country based on identity politics and not the grand idea of America, with its aspiration of freedom based on the liberties for which that so many have given their full measure of devotion. 

These young people do not understand that the “United States is indeed a unique animal.  Not only is it a country, but it’s also an idea.  People around the world don’t just dream of coming to America, they dream of becoming Americans.  Many have and continue to risk their lives to do so.  It’s one thing to risk your life escaping the Soviet Union, Communist China or even Communist Cuba.  Those people were or are running from something, trying to go anywhere else.  It’s another thing altogether to risk one’s life to come to a place[.] … And that place is more often than not, America.”  Sadly, this young woman has never learned the song of America:

… [a] unique combination of freedom and opportunity that makes the country great.  The United States may be filled with mortal men, but the expectation for 200 plus years is that those mortal men can achieve the impossible … that anything is possible.  That sense of can do spirit, of American Exceptionalism has a long history going back to the pilgrims who carved out a place to call home and the rag tagged [sic] army that defeated the most powerful empire in the world.  There is so much more with explorers, inventors and innovators.  From McCormick feeding the world to Edison lighting it to Rockefeller revolutionizing energy and medicine.  There’s also flight, winning two world wars, putting a man on the moon and the micro processor.  There are even more mundane things like vulcanized rubber, the elevator, air conditioning and the Slinky.

As Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. wrote in The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society (1991) “America increasingly sees itself as preservative of old identities.  Instead of a nation composed of individuals making their own free choices, America increasingly sees itself as composed of groups more or less indelible in their ethnic character.  The national idea had once been e pluribus unum.  Are we now to belittle unum and glorify pluribus?  Will the center hold? or will the melting pot yield to the tower of Babel?”

Clearly, his words have not been heeded as the dissonance in the country grows.  The left, through deliberate mis-education, and the media, through intentional fabrication, are diluting the American identity, and too many in power are just fine with this.  After all, Obama and his ilk on the left “think the United States is synonymous with Uncle Sam … the federal government.  They think America began to be great when the progressive agenda began to fall into place.  They think of America as a place where the government makes people equal, where the government provides or guarantees everyone healthcare, welfare, education and income.  America is great because the government protects the little guy against the modern robber barons.  In essence, America is great because Uncle Sam is there to look out for everyone.” 

In a well honed orchestra, each instrument has a distinct and unique sound.  If the orchestra does not unite and play as one unit, the grandeur of the music is lost.  As the conductor uses a score to guide the players, we need to return our young people to the stirring words, values, and deeds attesting to what America means so they can comfortably refute the progressive agenda.

In January 2017, the National Association of Scholars published a report: “Making Citizens: How American Universities Teach Civics.”  The results were dismal.  In fact, civics was “one of the subjects that was swept away as a general education requirement and as a stepping stone to more advanced courses.”  By 2010, Western civilization survey courses had disappeared.  Instead, what used to be the bedrock of a liberal arts education was now replaced by “New Civics with its comprehensive dream of turning all students into progressives.”  New Civics promulgates the idea that “students are better served by being made to ‘do’ things than they are by teaching them with books and ideas, and that the only truly legitimate purpose of education is about seizing power in society, and the place nearest at hand is the university itself.” 

So we have either an apathetic, ill informed student body or one hell-bent on disruption, not distinction in studies.  The left hates the harmonies and melodies and rhythms that created America.  But we, the people, must insist that “our schools and colleges have a responsibility to teach history for its own sake – as part of the intellectual equipment of civilized persons – and not to degrade history by allowing its contents to be dictated by pressure groups, whether political, economic, religious, or ethnic.  The past may sometimes give offense to one or another minority; that is no reason for rewriting history” – and, may I add, the destruction of statues and symbols of times bygone.

Properly taught, history stresses the “importance of critical analysis and dispassionate judgment in every area of life.”  History gives a sense of national identity, and “our values are not matters of whim and happenstance.”  Anything else is a betrayal of “the great unifying Western ideas of individual freedom, political democracy and human rights.” 

A good start would be to ensure that every American student pass the citizenship test in order to graduate from high school.  Serious history education must return to books that do not whitewash America’s missteps but do not portray America as the axis of evil, either. 

Eileen can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com.



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Foolish and Dangerous Jews


In Eastern European folklore, “the city of Chelm functions as an imaginary city of fools, similar to that of the Greek Abdera, the English Gotham, and the German Schilda.”  In fact, the “Chelm tales describe outlandish naiveté and futility.”  Ruth von Bermuth argues that “Chelm … functioned for more than three centuries as an ironic model of Jewish society, both utopia and dystopia, an imaginary place onto which changing questions about Jewish identity, community, and history repeatedly have been projected.”

When reading these stories, one is amazed at the characters who seem so unaware of their folly.  The tales showcase how common sense is often absent as so-called wise men cite unusual solutions that never work.  They are stubbornly foolish and show contempt for logical problem-solving.

It is important to note that these stories reveal a backdrop of the centuries-old pariah status of Jews in a majority of countries.  They could not endure if they lacked two essential survival mechanisms.  The first is the necessity of always looking over one’s shoulder anticipating the Cossack, the inquisitor, the Nazi, or any of the diabolical characters whose aim was to demean or destroy the Jews.  The second factor was black humor, which sustained Jews through the pogroms, the concentration camps, and the Gulag.  These were necessary because one of the “[d]efining characteristics of Jewish culture and identity is the awareness of historical and modern anti-Semitism.”  Jews could never become too comfortable.

Despite the fact that safety is a Jewish religious concern, there are currently far too many liberal rabbis in America who seem content to ignore the avowed enemies of the Jewish people.  Consequently, “on July 25, 2017, in what appeared to be an unprecedented event in American Jewish history, a group that came into existence as a front for a terrorist organization that murders Jews was invited to solicit donations at a synagogue.”

“Rabbi Howard Jaffe of Temple Isaiah in Lexington, Mass., hosted three Muslim leaders, whom he presented to his congregation as friends of the Jewish community.  It was billed as an interfaith bridge-building affair.”  In actuality, it was “a political rally where Islamist extremists pretending to be moderates sought to enlist Jews in their campaign to undermine U.S. government counter-terrorism efforts, while raising funds for a Hamas-connected group – all in the name of ‘social justice’ and interfaith harmony.”

The “Muslim guests were Nadeem Mazen, New England director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)[;] Stephanie Marzouk, founder of the Muslim Justice League (MJL)[;] and Samer Naseredden, director of youth programming at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC), which is New England’s largest mosque.”

This occurred despite the fact that “CAIR promotes a radical Islamic vision, as … its co-founder Omar Ahmad asserted that ‘Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant.  The Koran … should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.’  In a similar spirit, co-founder Ibrahim Hooper told a reporter in 1993: ‘I wouldn’t want to create the impression that I wouldn’t like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future.’  In 2003 Hooper stated that ‘if Muslims ever become a majority in the United States, they will likely seek to replace the U.S. Constitution with Islamic law, which they deem superior to man-made law.’  In the late 1980s, Ihsan Bagby, who would later become a CAIR [b]oard member, stated that Muslims ‘can never be full citizens of this country,’ referring to the United States, ‘because there is no way we can be fully committed to the institutions and ideologies of this country.'”

In addition, “a coalition led by the Muslim Justice League, the ACLU of Massachusetts, the Council on American-Islamic Relations Massachusetts, Digital Fourth, the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, and Jewish Voice for Peace,” demanded that the Boston Police Department “end [its] participation in countering violent extremism programs … and cease collaboration with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force[.]”

Likewise, “[t]he Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) was established in 1981 in Cambridge, Massachusetts by Abdurahman Alamoudi, a supporter of Hamas and Hezb[‘a]llah who is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence on terrorism charges. One of ISB’s original trustees … was Yusuf al-Qaradawi, spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.  ISB’s Cambridge mosque is operated by the Muslim American Society, which federal prosecutors have identified as a U.S. front for the Muslim Brotherhood.  In 2009, ISB members founded a sister mosque, known as the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC) [emphasis added], in Boston’s Roxbury section.  Saudi funding sources supplied more than half of the $15.5 million that was used to create the new facility.”

Yet, Rabbi Jaffe “presented his guests as people who are allied with the progressive values of his congregation.  His congregants did not, however, learn that … the ISBCC and its sister mosque in Cambridge, [Mass.], where Nadeem Mazen is a prominent member, have been home to at least 13 convicted, killed[,] or fugitive terrorists, including the Boston Marathon bombers.”

Many of these terrorists are still considered heroes by a significant fraction of the ISBCC’s membership.  A few years ago, the ISBCC held a pep rally in support of almost two[] dozen convicted terrorists from around the country.  During the rally, an ISBCC imam called America “the land of the coward, the home of the slave” and threatened that “this nation, by God, will be brought to its knees.”

It is reasonable to ask if Rabbi Jaffe was cognizant of the above.  Indubitably, he was.  Dr. Charles Jacobs, research director of Americans for Peace and Tolerance as well as the president of the American Anti-Slavery Group, and Ilya Feoktistov assert that Jaffe cannot claim ignorance about the nefarious nature of these groups.

Rabbi Jaffe cannot claim he didn’t know about it because we had previously shared the information with him.

Finally, “as the program came to a close, the Islamists asked the Lexington Jews for money.  ‘My project this year is … to raise a million dollars,’ Mazen announced.  ‘Don’t send clothes[;] send money.  I’m not afraid to say it anymore.'” 

“Go out and donate to any Muslim organization, ISBCC, CAIR, Jetpac, Muslim Justice League, come on, donate to us,” urged Marzouk.

Is this blindness an anomaly within the Jewish community?  Consider the following:

  • In November 2016, the American Jewish Committee chose the Islamic Society of North American (ISNA) to launch a “Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council.”  ISNA has longstanding ties to Islamic terrorists and has never disavowed calls for jihad.
  • Rabbi Eric Yoffie, a Reform clergyman, spoke at an ISNA convention and claimed the Torah causes terrorism.  Yoffie denounced Dennis Prager for criticizing the Koran.
  • Isi Liebler writes that “[l]iberal-inclined Diaspora Jews – especially those lacking an authentic Jewish education – … consider that the well-being of the world and politically correct standards of social values must be their priority – with disregard to the harm this inflicts on them as a community.”
  • Many national Jewish advocacy groups like the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the Jewish Federation, and many campus Hillel chapters remain mute in the face of pro-Palestinian groups like Students for Justice in Palestine and the Muslim Student Association.  These Jewish groups “would rather stand with their Muslim ‘allies’ … than acknowledge that Jew[-]hatred is deeply ingrained in the teachings and the texts of Islam.”
  • The once mainstream Jewish group the National Council of Jewish Women has no qualms about backing Linda Sarsour, a staunch supporter of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction (BDS) movement.
  • In the past, the ADL pointed out that the Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) was the largest and most influential Jewish anti-Zionist group in the United States and a supporter of the BDS movement.  But under the direction of its new head, Jonathan Greenblatt, the ADL comes to the defense of Linda Sarsour.

As James Kirchick explains, “the twisted, anti-Semitic logic of the new left is that to be a good progressive, one must stand against Jewish self-assertion and national aspirations.”

It appears that, having broken through the literal ghetto, far too many Jews have embraced the liberal ghetto.

In 1993, Don Feder wrote a paper for the Heritage Foundation attempting to make sense of Jewish liberalism.  Twenty-five years later, his assessments are still potent.  Despite the fact that the “politics of Jewish liberalism undermine the manifest self-interest of American Jewry, there seems to be no diminution of the Jewish community marching in liberal lockstep.”  Feder wrote that “[i]ndeed, American Jews are fervent proselytizers for every ‘ism’ – feminism, environmentalism, pacifism, redistributionism – save Judaism.”

Ironically, unlike the Jews of Chelm, American Jews have found a relative paradise on American shores – a “land where they were not pariahs, where opportunity was limitless.”  But “liberalism has become the ersatz religion of secular, assimilated Jews.”  Thus, it would appear that the elimination of religious freedom, clearly an aim of the Muslim groups cited above, does not raise a scintilla of concern for these liberal Jews.

As Charles Jacobs asserts, “solidarity with terror and its enablers isn’t social justice.”  Is Jewish identity so weak that Jews can no longer stand up for themselves and, instead, foolishly support those who despise Jewish aspirations and the Jewish people?

To rationalize terror or ignore it completely rather than highlight and confront it is beyond foolishness.  It is suicidal, and it is time to call these myopic people out.  Clearly, they have forgotten the true meaning of Hillel’s dictum.  “If I am not for me, who will be for me?  And when I am for myself alone, what am I?  And if not now, then when?” (Ethics of the Fathers 1:14).

Eileen can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com.

In Eastern European folklore, “the city of Chelm functions as an imaginary city of fools, similar to that of the Greek Abdera, the English Gotham, and the German Schilda.”  In fact, the “Chelm tales describe outlandish naiveté and futility.”  Ruth von Bermuth argues that “Chelm … functioned for more than three centuries as an ironic model of Jewish society, both utopia and dystopia, an imaginary place onto which changing questions about Jewish identity, community, and history repeatedly have been projected.”

When reading these stories, one is amazed at the characters who seem so unaware of their folly.  The tales showcase how common sense is often absent as so-called wise men cite unusual solutions that never work.  They are stubbornly foolish and show contempt for logical problem-solving.

It is important to note that these stories reveal a backdrop of the centuries-old pariah status of Jews in a majority of countries.  They could not endure if they lacked two essential survival mechanisms.  The first is the necessity of always looking over one’s shoulder anticipating the Cossack, the inquisitor, the Nazi, or any of the diabolical characters whose aim was to demean or destroy the Jews.  The second factor was black humor, which sustained Jews through the pogroms, the concentration camps, and the Gulag.  These were necessary because one of the “[d]efining characteristics of Jewish culture and identity is the awareness of historical and modern anti-Semitism.”  Jews could never become too comfortable.

Despite the fact that safety is a Jewish religious concern, there are currently far too many liberal rabbis in America who seem content to ignore the avowed enemies of the Jewish people.  Consequently, “on July 25, 2017, in what appeared to be an unprecedented event in American Jewish history, a group that came into existence as a front for a terrorist organization that murders Jews was invited to solicit donations at a synagogue.”

“Rabbi Howard Jaffe of Temple Isaiah in Lexington, Mass., hosted three Muslim leaders, whom he presented to his congregation as friends of the Jewish community.  It was billed as an interfaith bridge-building affair.”  In actuality, it was “a political rally where Islamist extremists pretending to be moderates sought to enlist Jews in their campaign to undermine U.S. government counter-terrorism efforts, while raising funds for a Hamas-connected group – all in the name of ‘social justice’ and interfaith harmony.”

The “Muslim guests were Nadeem Mazen, New England director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)[;] Stephanie Marzouk, founder of the Muslim Justice League (MJL)[;] and Samer Naseredden, director of youth programming at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC), which is New England’s largest mosque.”

This occurred despite the fact that “CAIR promotes a radical Islamic vision, as … its co-founder Omar Ahmad asserted that ‘Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant.  The Koran … should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.’  In a similar spirit, co-founder Ibrahim Hooper told a reporter in 1993: ‘I wouldn’t want to create the impression that I wouldn’t like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future.’  In 2003 Hooper stated that ‘if Muslims ever become a majority in the United States, they will likely seek to replace the U.S. Constitution with Islamic law, which they deem superior to man-made law.’  In the late 1980s, Ihsan Bagby, who would later become a CAIR [b]oard member, stated that Muslims ‘can never be full citizens of this country,’ referring to the United States, ‘because there is no way we can be fully committed to the institutions and ideologies of this country.'”

In addition, “a coalition led by the Muslim Justice League, the ACLU of Massachusetts, the Council on American-Islamic Relations Massachusetts, Digital Fourth, the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, and Jewish Voice for Peace,” demanded that the Boston Police Department “end [its] participation in countering violent extremism programs … and cease collaboration with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force[.]”

Likewise, “[t]he Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) was established in 1981 in Cambridge, Massachusetts by Abdurahman Alamoudi, a supporter of Hamas and Hezb[‘a]llah who is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence on terrorism charges. One of ISB’s original trustees … was Yusuf al-Qaradawi, spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.  ISB’s Cambridge mosque is operated by the Muslim American Society, which federal prosecutors have identified as a U.S. front for the Muslim Brotherhood.  In 2009, ISB members founded a sister mosque, known as the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC) [emphasis added], in Boston’s Roxbury section.  Saudi funding sources supplied more than half of the $15.5 million that was used to create the new facility.”

Yet, Rabbi Jaffe “presented his guests as people who are allied with the progressive values of his congregation.  His congregants did not, however, learn that … the ISBCC and its sister mosque in Cambridge, [Mass.], where Nadeem Mazen is a prominent member, have been home to at least 13 convicted, killed[,] or fugitive terrorists, including the Boston Marathon bombers.”

Many of these terrorists are still considered heroes by a significant fraction of the ISBCC’s membership.  A few years ago, the ISBCC held a pep rally in support of almost two[] dozen convicted terrorists from around the country.  During the rally, an ISBCC imam called America “the land of the coward, the home of the slave” and threatened that “this nation, by God, will be brought to its knees.”

It is reasonable to ask if Rabbi Jaffe was cognizant of the above.  Indubitably, he was.  Dr. Charles Jacobs, research director of Americans for Peace and Tolerance as well as the president of the American Anti-Slavery Group, and Ilya Feoktistov assert that Jaffe cannot claim ignorance about the nefarious nature of these groups.

Rabbi Jaffe cannot claim he didn’t know about it because we had previously shared the information with him.

Finally, “as the program came to a close, the Islamists asked the Lexington Jews for money.  ‘My project this year is … to raise a million dollars,’ Mazen announced.  ‘Don’t send clothes[;] send money.  I’m not afraid to say it anymore.'” 

“Go out and donate to any Muslim organization, ISBCC, CAIR, Jetpac, Muslim Justice League, come on, donate to us,” urged Marzouk.

Is this blindness an anomaly within the Jewish community?  Consider the following:

  • In November 2016, the American Jewish Committee chose the Islamic Society of North American (ISNA) to launch a “Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council.”  ISNA has longstanding ties to Islamic terrorists and has never disavowed calls for jihad.
  • Rabbi Eric Yoffie, a Reform clergyman, spoke at an ISNA convention and claimed the Torah causes terrorism.  Yoffie denounced Dennis Prager for criticizing the Koran.
  • Isi Liebler writes that “[l]iberal-inclined Diaspora Jews – especially those lacking an authentic Jewish education – … consider that the well-being of the world and politically correct standards of social values must be their priority – with disregard to the harm this inflicts on them as a community.”
  • Many national Jewish advocacy groups like the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the Jewish Federation, and many campus Hillel chapters remain mute in the face of pro-Palestinian groups like Students for Justice in Palestine and the Muslim Student Association.  These Jewish groups “would rather stand with their Muslim ‘allies’ … than acknowledge that Jew[-]hatred is deeply ingrained in the teachings and the texts of Islam.”
  • The once mainstream Jewish group the National Council of Jewish Women has no qualms about backing Linda Sarsour, a staunch supporter of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction (BDS) movement.
  • In the past, the ADL pointed out that the Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) was the largest and most influential Jewish anti-Zionist group in the United States and a supporter of the BDS movement.  But under the direction of its new head, Jonathan Greenblatt, the ADL comes to the defense of Linda Sarsour.

As James Kirchick explains, “the twisted, anti-Semitic logic of the new left is that to be a good progressive, one must stand against Jewish self-assertion and national aspirations.”

It appears that, having broken through the literal ghetto, far too many Jews have embraced the liberal ghetto.

In 1993, Don Feder wrote a paper for the Heritage Foundation attempting to make sense of Jewish liberalism.  Twenty-five years later, his assessments are still potent.  Despite the fact that the “politics of Jewish liberalism undermine the manifest self-interest of American Jewry, there seems to be no diminution of the Jewish community marching in liberal lockstep.”  Feder wrote that “[i]ndeed, American Jews are fervent proselytizers for every ‘ism’ – feminism, environmentalism, pacifism, redistributionism – save Judaism.”

Ironically, unlike the Jews of Chelm, American Jews have found a relative paradise on American shores – a “land where they were not pariahs, where opportunity was limitless.”  But “liberalism has become the ersatz religion of secular, assimilated Jews.”  Thus, it would appear that the elimination of religious freedom, clearly an aim of the Muslim groups cited above, does not raise a scintilla of concern for these liberal Jews.

As Charles Jacobs asserts, “solidarity with terror and its enablers isn’t social justice.”  Is Jewish identity so weak that Jews can no longer stand up for themselves and, instead, foolishly support those who despise Jewish aspirations and the Jewish people?

To rationalize terror or ignore it completely rather than highlight and confront it is beyond foolishness.  It is suicidal, and it is time to call these myopic people out.  Clearly, they have forgotten the true meaning of Hillel’s dictum.  “If I am not for me, who will be for me?  And when I am for myself alone, what am I?  And if not now, then when?” (Ethics of the Fathers 1:14).

Eileen can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com.



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