by Jeremy Griffith Creator of the American Millennium Online
Recently I sent a letter to my local legislators asking about the status of the Benghazi investigation. Only Sen. Al Franken-D Minnesota responded and while I believe his answer to my questions is inadequate, I am pleased that he at least agrees that there should be more security for our Ambassadors and State Department employees overseas. His response does not address the fundamental question as to why there was such lax protection for Chris Stevens and his staff and why the President of the United States blocked a rescue effort by the military. That question has not been answered to my satisfaction.
Conservative Political Strategist Grover Norquist spoke recently at the Taxpayer Rally in St. Paul Saturday, 27 April, 2013. Above is an audio recording of his comments. The Rally is an annual event. Other speakers at the event included Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and the Godfather of the annual rally, America’s Mr. Right, Jason Lewis. The event was hosted by The Late Debate’s Jack and Ben of Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130.
(Jason Lewis addresses Taxpayer Rally at Minnesota’s State Capitol in St. Paul Saturday, April 27, 2013. -video by Jeremy Griffith, The American Millennium.)
(Michele Bachmann, congresswoman from Minnesota, addresses a taxpayers rally in the State Capitol Saturday, 27 April, 2013. -Video by Jeremy Griffith, The American Millennium.)
By Jeremy Griffith Creator of The American Millennium
She didn’t get the colorful introduction she received in 2009 when she was introduced by radio personality Chris Baker, but she was greeted with rousing applause and praise as taxpayer champion and traditional values hero Michele Bachmann took to the stage at the Taxpayer rally at St. Paul Saturday.
Bachmann headlined the successful, and peaceful rally that took place on the capitol steps, and happily, no “moonbat” liberals were there to greet her with glitter. (There was also no gunfire at the rally either, unlike the cannabis rally atDenver last week.) The beleaguered congresswoman is under constant assault from the left because of her views on traditional marriage and conservative values and faces an uphill battle in the next election. She is also the target of an ethics complaint many believe to be an unfounded attack aimed at discrediting her.
In her comments, Bachmann made mention of the horrible attacks on the marathon-goers in Boston, calling for prayers for the victims. She called for increased scrutiny in the Benghazi scandal in which several Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens and several former Navy Seals were killed. And, she tried to bolster conservatives to continue the fight to keep conservative voices in the House of Representatives and block any efforts of the present administration.
A pivotal moment in the speech came as Bachmann made a moving tribute to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher who passed away earlier this month, reading from a quote from the late conservative politician. Of Maggie, Bachmann called her a branch of the conservative trifecta consisting also of President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II that brought down communism and the Iron Curtain.
“She was the most influential female politician of the last 100 years!” Bachmann reflected. See her full comments in the video above.
There was a Washingtonesque moment when Bachmann exchanged her sunglasses for reading glasses in order to read the Thatcher quote.
Paraphrasing Washington she said, “I’m passed my prime, I’ve grown frail in the service of my country!”
Popular syndicated radio personality Jason Lewis was the final speaker of the day and brought his legendary wit and more importantly his undisputed grasp of the facts to the rally Saturday. He explained in depth why the conservatives must win future elections for the health of the country. He made fun of himself as well as Governor Mark Dayton, Former Vice President Al Gore and Senator Al Franken.
“Anyone who listens to me knows I trend toward the libertarian side just a bit. But while I’m not one of those William Buckley Radicals, who want legalize drugs tomorrow, I have to wonder at the success of the war on drugs.
“After all, if we are winning the war on drugs, how do you explain Mark Dayton?!” Lewis joked. See Lewis’s full comments above.
Thousands gathered at the annual rally MC’d by TwinCitiesNewsTalk radio personalities Jack Tomczac and Benjamin Kruse of the Late Debate, who did a fine job of introducing the speaking guests. As with other rallies involving the Tea Party and other conservative groups, when the rally ended, the participants left the mall in better shape than when they found it. The Late Debateairs weeknights from 8-10 p.m. on Twin Cities News Talk, AM 1130.
(Bureau of Prisons Correctional Officer Jason L. Griffith demonstrates basic rifle marksmanship at a range near his home near Canon City Colorado. -video by Jeremy Griffith, Creator of the American Millennium Online.)
Mike Arieta MSW, LICSW, LMSW Special to the American Millennium Online
Mike Arieta, LICSW-MN, Proprietor of New Path Counseling
April 8, 2013 was the 17th annual Social Work Day At The Capitol hosted by the Minnesota chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. This was a sold out event for the NASW-MN chapter as there were over 750 Social Work students, faculty and practionares in attendance. This is an event that brings social workers from all over the state of Minnesota to the capitol to draw legislators attention to the needs and challenges faced by the people social workers serve on a daily basis.
Break out sessions were held on legislation that directly impacts child welfare, mental health, health care and homelessness, as well as, a presentation on the current budget and tax bills for the state. This is also a day for the individual social worker to meet with his or her legislator and discuss issues that are important to them and the clients they serve.
Health care was one topic that was of major importance and a session on the Affordable Care Act was well attended. This session did not discuss the components of the Affordable Care Act, but rather went over the pros and cons of the act as a whole.
It was pointed out that the ACA does provide increased funding for community based clinics with the idea that a person could be seen by a primary care doctor in the community without having to go to the emergency room which is more expensive. The ACA also prevents insurance abuses such as restraints on pre-existing conditions and lifetime caps on coverage. It also expands Medicaid to those who work, but do not have insurance through their employer. Some of the draw backs of the ACA as pointed out in the session were that due to co-pays and some premiums people may still not be able to afford the care and the act does not provide for a cap on prices.
Another issue that was raised was that the act expands the same fragmented insurance system that exists now. The problem with the system is that people are limited to staying within a health provider network and may not be able to move outside of that network to seek care when needed. Also, the amount of money being spent on health care administration is still large because people are stuck within networks that are fragmented and care not be streamlined.
The discussion turned to the chance each state has to offer their own health care exchange and improve on some of the drawbacks of the ACA as a whole. Minnesota has a chance with health care reform to offer a system that is less fragmented and more streamlined to offer better care for all. The overall conclusion of the session was that the ACA is not the most ideal plan, but it is a good first step toward providing health care for all and that Minnesota can lead the way in shaping how health care is delivered to all.
Jeremy Griffith Creator of American Millennium Online
Local residents had a chance to watch a dynamic display of Tae Kwon Do skill at John Marshall High School in Rochester Saturday. Martial artists of all ages came from the tri-state area to participate in the tournament that included forms display, breaking techniques and sparring matches. Grand Master Kun Yoo Park of Park Institute in Rochester hosted the event in which clubs from all over came to participate.
From Jeremy Griffith Creator of The American Millennium Online
Hey gang. Jeremy Griffith here. Creator of American Millennium Online. I have a few comments on Governor Mark Dayton’s town hall meeting here in Rochester at Rochester Community and Technical College’s Heintz Center.
You know I’ve had a couple of opportunities to view this governor in action and I believe he is sincere about wanting to help Minnesotans. But like most garden variety liberals or progressives, they just don’t understand economics. Dayton comes from the Dayton Store wealth and I understand that he wants to give back, but there is no end to the kind of tax and spend policies these politicians dish out. What they can’t get in their budgets, they get in taxes and bonding issues over and above what they’ve already budgeted. And still people want more.
There was no one at this meeting to really challenge the Governor on anything he said. It was all like, “Governor, thanks for coming. We love you. My issue is blah blah blah.” And everyone’s issue involved some kind of monetary handout from the government.
If it wasn’t more funds for education, it was deregulation of certain industries, such as adult day care. One lady complained that the so called green energy initiative is creating a health crisis because of all the wind mills? Really, where was that study done? On Mars? Who is being harmed by windmills. I mean yes, if you mean it’s hurting our pocket book because none of these windmills produce enough energy or revenue to make a difference were it not for government funding, but come on. Health risks. These are the same people who complain they’ve been abducted by aliens.
Then there’s the anti-fracking people. We’re looking for ways to boost the economy and meanwhile we’re literally sitting on a gold mine of oil and gas that we can use to fuel the economy and create jobs. And the nut jobs on the left want all that to go away because, “it’ll hurt the Earth”. We know there’s no evidence of that, but that doesn’t stop the libs. I don’t know what’s wrong with these people, they’re all so mental.
I’ll give it to the governor, he’s personable. But you give him a blank check and he’ll write anything into it he can get away with. At least he passed a budget, which is more than congress or the president has done in the last five years.
The State of Minnesota passed a $39 billion dollar balanced budget last year, the largest in history, and till this governor wanted to spend more. There is no end to how much the libs will tax and spend, and whatever they tax, they’ll spend more than they’ll take in.
The Republicans and especially conservatives are so awful at getting out their message about good old conservative fiscal and social values that these F’tards are crushing them on the political arena. Our friend Kira Davis is right, we have to work on getting our story told and doing it in such a way that we don’t look like a we’re not compassionate. The gay marriage fight is just a smoke screen. The real battle is about economic and personal freedom against the nanny state. The libs will continue to buy votes with cash we don’t have. We have to “Buy” votes with common sense fiscally conservative principles that will preserve our Republic for our children and not break the bank. If we want to save our country as we know it, we can’t just sit on the sidelines and let these people have their way, otherwise, we’ll have nothing to pass on to our children except a mountain of debt they can’t pay and chaos.
by Jeremy Griffith Creator of American Millennium Online
Glenn Beck and Company have been talking at length recently about the dangerous takeover of our education system by Progressive educators, specifically through the programs C-Scope and Common Core. But the Progressives have been slowly taking over the education system for years and their main weapon in this takeover has always been to teach their brand of Progressive science and get our children to disregard the Bible as a quaint, outdated myth.
Andrew Breitbart, the famous Blogger and media personality and visionary, God Bless his soul, said that politics is downstream from culture. He is absolutely right and that is why we are losing today’s youth at the ballot box. The Progressives are effectively using media, entertainment and education to shape the minds of our kids which is why when they get to be the age to vote, they make the wrong choices, choosing goofy liberals like Barack Obama over sane alternatives. Those politicians are depicted as hip and with it, while in the meantime, conservatives are thought of and projected as backwards, Bible believing throwbacks.
The problem with this picture the youth has of our world is that it is based on a lie, and a clever one, taught to them at a very young age, in our Progressive public schools. The main weapon of this indoctrination has always been, the theory of Evolution. Only when we delve into the details of this flawed theory and method of education can we expose the problems and outright lies being taught. If we don’t confront our education system with this systemic lie, we will never reclaim our kids or our future.
Here are a couple of lies and myths that are being taught in school as fact.
“Science shows that life began through purely natural means, without the help of a mythical, all powerful being.”
This is a lie, science has shown no such thing and when you delve into the facts, you find there are more problems with the evolutionary theory than there is with a Biblical view of Creation.
Here is one way that evolutionists like to demonstrate their theory as fact.
“The geological column and the paleontological record shows that life evolved on this planet over billions of years.”
That claim is false. The geological column is a model that shows the rock layers of the Earth from the deepest to the shallowest in the order of what they are thought to appear. These layers of Earth also have dates associated with them showing the best guess of scientists when these rock layers were formed from an evolutionary standpoint. The paleontological record is the record of fossils of extinct species in these rock layers that further validates the dating methods of evolutionary scientists. It shows the natural progression from simple life forms at the beginning, to more complex forms higher up.
The problem with this model is that it appears nowhere in nature. In actual fact, these rock layers are often found in much different order based on geographic location and indeed are folded together with rock layers that should have been formed billions of years later.
The fossil record to is a problem too. Often you find very simple life forms that are supposedly billions of years old at the same depth or higher than more recent fossils. My favorite fossil is a set of very human looking foot prints in the same soil as set of ancient dinosaur prints.
Scientists teach our students that the Earth has no special place in the universe and that life that created itself from nothing and started here, could very easily start very easily elsewhere. This is called the Copernicus Principle and it is the basis of much of what is taught in science instruction today. The problem with this principle is that it is mischaracterized and misconstrued to the point that the original meaning of this principle has been lost.
Nicolas Copernicus was an early scientist living in the 16th century that claimed that the Earth is not central in our solar system, that it in fact orbits the sun along with the other planets. This of course is correct and the common view of today. But the theory has been twisted beyond its original intent to say that there is nothing special about Earth and its location, that if evolution is true there should be thousands maybe millions of Earthlike planets out there, and they’re cropping up all the time as the universe evolves. This theory has been espoused by many great scientists, chief among them the late great Carl Sagan.
But when we observe the universe with our own eyes we see the opposite is true. The Earth occupies a habitability zone that is perfect and critically important to create and sustain life. It is so unique indeed that we have never found anything like it after all our years looking through the telescope. The universe is so vast that even if there were other inhabitable worlds, we could never reach them even if we achieved light speed. So the fact is the Earth IS unique and special, just like the Bible says it is.
Evolutionists have gone far out of their way to prove their theory as fact that they have even committed fraud to do so. So called ape-man links have repeatedly been exposed to be outright frauds; and sketches of the fetuses of different lifeforms when compared to humans have been doctored to show a relationship that doesn’t actually exist. Movies like Inherit The Wind are created to falsely show the victory of this brand of science over religion changes the facts so grossly as to lie about the actual outcome of the famous Scopes monkey trial and all of the important details of the case. (Watch this humorous and short video on a fictional debate between an evolutionist and creationist on the movie Inherit The Wind. )
The left’s position in schools when it comes to science instruction is so shaky that school boards won’t tolerate even the mention of creation science theory for fear that they will lose the near perfect strangle hold on our kids, and they are right. If the children are presented an idea that differs from what they are being instructed, they might, horror of horrors, start thinking for themselves and questioning things they are taught. That’s too dangerous for a Progressive to tolerate, so they bombard school districts with lawsuit after lawsuit until they get their way.
If we are going to win back the culture, we can’t cede this battle to the Progressives. Science is fun and important but it doesn’t answer any of the really interesting questions, who are we and where do we come from? Where are we going, is there life after death? Are we more important than the animals or are we just animals ourselves with no real purpose? These are the questions our children are struggling with, whether they are equipped in our schools to handle them or not. The outcome is obvious. A child trained that he is accountable for his very soul to an Almighty God who created him and everything else is far less likely to shoot up a classroom of sixth graders than a boy who is taught he is an animal and there is no real purpose to this life. This is the real battle we are facing, not gay marriage or gun control, but the purpose for life and higher meaning. Can we really just let it slide and let the Progressives win? I think not.
Either the Bible is true or it isn’t. I think the next generation, with proper instruction on how to think for themselves, are smart enough to figure that out for themselves. What harm can there be in teaching the Christian axiom, “do onto others as you would have done to you?” There is danger in the other worldview, we’ve seen it at places like Sandy Hook.
Watch The Privileged Planet on DVD for more information on the special place your world has in our solar system.
Check out this interesting article on the age of the sun at Creation.com
102mm Mortar pulled by a Prius – The American Millennium
By Jason Griffith Special to the American Millennium
Revolutions are Dangerous things and we don’t always know the outcome. The only real successfull War of Independance was the American Revolution. It inspired a people to create their own government For the People, By the People.
The Americans used muskets and what canons they could find. The weapon that was most powerful though was their Faith. If you really read into the Founding Fathers like, John Adams, George Washington, Benjamin Rush, read their letters and so on they called upon Almighty GOD to help free themselves from the Biggest most well armed Empire in the World.
Great Britain was like the Empire in the Star Wars Movies. Huge-awe-inspiring Navies and the most well trained soldiers and Hired mercenaries like the German Hessian soldiers in the world. The American Cause seemed hopeless.
Now Does the Syrian Revolution stand a chance? Despite these pictures I’ve attached, I think their cause is doomed. Home made weapons are very impressive, no doubt. But what they don’t have is the inspiration of American Freedom and democracy. Muslim Brotherhood will simply enslave a new generation of Syrians, they will not liberate a Nation or inspire a positive change in the region.
Look at recent events. Chemical weapons have been used in Syria. The problem is we don’t know who used them, the Syrian Government or the rebels. If the Syrian army had fired SCUDS with chemical warheads, wouldn’t the U.S. National Satellites have detected the launch? I suspect so. So where did these aweful weapons come from? I don’t have any concrete proof, but my sinking suspicion is that Muslim Brotherhood has chemical arms just like they have SA-7s surface to air missiles obtained when Libyan Pres. Qadaffi’s evil regime fell to the Brotherhood.
Very alarming news indeed.
Home-made Rocket Launcher – The American Millennium
Home-made mortar – The American Millennium
Home Made Kartushia Missiles 107mm – The American Millennium
Major Jason Griffith
From time to time The American Millennium invites a special contributor to add his or her two cents worth to the web page. Today we are proud to have Jason Griffith, a seasoned warrior leader with extensive knowledge of the Middle East, to the pages of our blog. Major Griffith is a Space Operations Officer in the Colorado National Guard. His last tour of duty was as the leader of a Space Team stationed in Afghanistan. He has four combat tours of duty under his belt dispersed through a 20-year military career. He is the twin brother of Jeremy Griffith, creator of The American Millennium.
Native Peoples Agree -infographic created by The American Millennium
Native Americans Agree – infographic created by The American Millennium
by Jeremy Griffith
Creator of The American Millennium Online
Gun Control Advocates are in a frenzy to get control of your guns, using the tragedy of Sandy Hook and others to do it. It’s unlawful and unconstitutional to separate law abiding gun owners from their weapons!
The American Millennium is launching a campaign to stave off this gun grab, for as long as possible. In the age of soundbites, visuals are all we have to get the message to the viewer, short and sweat. The low information voter just doesn’t have the time to do the research. That’s why I’m creating informational graphics like the ones above to provide a tool to educate people about this issue.
It is important to remember that in US History, the government has victimized citizens and disarmed them, people like the Native American Tribes who were kicked off their own land and then forced onto reservations; to the African Americans who were kidnapped from their homes and forced into slavery on this continent. Others like Japanese Americans were victimized in World War Two and forced to live in communal camps. The common thread is that the government was allowed to do this because they were first allowed to disarm the populace, removing any chance that citizens would defend themselves against this illegal suspension of their constitutional rights.
Sandy Hook is a tragedy. But it’s not guns that are to blame. Gun free zones only create victimhood. Firearms in the hands of responsible citizens can curb the violence and save lives.
Join us in this campaign to educate the low information voter. Share these graphics when you see them and do your own homework.
(A conversation with EJ Haust, blogger for conservativedailynews.com, regarding her experience with voter ID, poll watching, and absentee balloting. -interview by Jeremy Griffith)
By Jeremy Griffith
EJ Haust has been living in the Minnesota in the Twin Cities Metro area for over five years. Before that she lived in Florida, where she went to college, Alabama and other places. Despite not living in Florida for over a decade, she still receives voter registration letters from her old district. Again and again she contacts that old district attempting to remove her name from the voter rolls, and every time she gets the same answer, ‘yes of course we will’.
But then, as is the case every election year, despite her protests, she receives a notification form the Florida board of elections. This time she had a conversation with a poll worker and floated the question, would it be possible to get an absentee ballot. The poll station worker agreed it was possible. She thanked him and once again asked that her name be removed from the list. The poll worker agreed and hung up.
This election season, following that conversation, Haust received an absentee ballot, without even asking for it. Asking if it were possible to get one, apparently meant that the state of Florida was obligated to send one.
We contacted Haust to ask her to tell her story. The interview is included above. In the interview, Haust explains her story, what she saw as a poll worker this election season, and expressed her feelings on the failed voter ID constitutional amendment and its aftermath.
In addition to this interview, Haust’s columns on Voter ID issues, early voting, absentee ballots, and potential voter fraud can be found at consevativedailynews.com here.
(The Senate Elections Committee heard testimony Wednesday in regards to a bill proposed to expand early voting and absentee balloting in Minnesota elections. -Video from TheUptake.org)
Minnesota Senate Committee members heard testimony Wednesday debating whether or not it would be constitutional to expand early voting and absentee balloting, making it easier and convenient to cast a ballot in all primary and general elections.
Proponents of the bill, such as the Chairman of the Committee Sen. Katie Siebens who introduced the bill, says it is a myth that Minnesotans have early voting rights now and she says this bill will expand early voting and be more convenient for the voter.
Opponents say the bill may be unconstitutional and argue that it will make it easier to cheat in elections and harder to detect and prevent voter fraud. Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer and Minnesota Majority’s Dan McGrath both testified at the hearing in opposition of the new bill.
“(This bill) is extraordinarily dangerous for the integrity of our election system,” said McGrath. “We can simply not have every election convenience to make voting easier and at the same time have none of the features that other states employ to make cheating harder, unless our objective of course is to be governed by the candidates and parties who cheat the best.”
McGrath supported a controversial voter ID constitutional Amendment authored by Kiffmeyer that failed in the General Election last fall. He has championed Voter Integrity measures and uncovered instances of voter fraud sometimes leading in felony convictions for some.
In her testimony, Kiffmeyer called into question the legality of early voting and absentee balloting measures saying they conflicted with the single day general election as set forth in the constitution. She also called for a second look at current election law in regards to absentee balloting.
Language of the bills debated Wednesday are included here at S0498.0 and S0332.0 respectively.
Supporters and detractors of new gun control legislation showed up in great numbers Tuesday for the first of three days of hearings on the topic at the State Office Building in St. Paul, Minnesota, opposite the capitol.
The hearings began at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, with testimony scheduled throughout the day, Wednesday and Thursday. The halls were packed with supporters on both sides of the issue. The auditorium was overcrowded, making it necessary to open three more rooms to the public, where those gathered watched the testimony on TV. Those who could not fit in the viewing rooms or the auditorium gathered in the halls and debated with one another, or were swarmed by local media.
The hearings are being conducted by the House Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee. The committee consists of 11 DFL House Members and Seven Republicans. The committee chairman is DFL Rep. Michael Paymar.
Rep. Tony Cornish -R, House district 23B. -Photo by Minnesota House of Representatives
Rep. Tony Cornish-R, who is the Republican Lead for the committee, commented on the nature of the hearings when we reached out to him on information about these hearings.
“I don’t plan on giving an inch in the upcoming battle to take away our constitutional rights.” -Rep. Tony Cornish-R
In his reply e-mail, Cornish wrote,” Dear Friend, I am a life member of the NRA and sponsor or co-sponsor of every major gun rights bill in the last 10 years.”
“I don’t plan on giving an inch in the upcoming battle to take away our constitutional rights. I believe this is a huge smoke screen coming up where the anti-gun people will throw everything but the kitchen sink at us in the way of gun control bills and then try to give a fake compromise solution to then go after the alleged “gun show” loophole, which really takes away our right to sell or trade guns privately to friends or family members without background checks and registration…
“We need to fight against this and you can bet I will. Stay strong and come to the hearings, Feb 5th, 6th, and 7th at 10 am in the State Office Building in St. Paul.”
A couple of years ago I conducted this interview with KTLK Radio Talent Chris Baker before his move to Texas. This is the first time on the Internet. Great interview if I do say so myself. Chris is moving again to Omaha Nebraska’s 1110 KFAB starting Feb. 11.
Note from the Jeremy Griffith, Creator of The American Millennium Online
The issues of gun control, mental health, mass shootings and violence are complicated ones in our society. These issues can not be solved by the sweep of a pen or any quick fix. A debate must happen so that all the angles can be heard and common sense solutions can be put forward. We’ve asked our friend Michael Arieta, a licensed clinical social worker in Minnesota, to give us some perspective in this very important debate. This article has been cross-posted from his website at NewPathCounseling.net.
by Mike Arieta, L.C.S.W-MN
Mike Arieta, LICSW-MN, Proprietor of New Path Counseling
The issue of gun control has been an on-going situation over the years, but has gained increased attention due to recent events. Over the past few weeks there has been much attention given to tougher laws, increased mental health screenings and increased security. I want to take time to address this complicated issue of gun control from one social workers perspective and take the discussion on this issue in perhaps a different direction then where it has been going so far.
I want to point out a myth that this debate has brought out. A myth that has come out is that mass murders are committed by seriously mentally ill people. In an article by Michael B. Friedman that appeared in the January 17, 2013 edition of the Huffington Post. Friedman points out that people with mental illness are not likely to be violent and that acts of mass murder are carried out by some who are mentally ill, but these types of acts are also likely to be carried out by those who are not mentally ill. This is an important point to make because there have been calls for increased attention to those with mental illness. Does this mean that people who have identified themselves as having issues with mental health have limited rights? I am not talking about the right for a person with mental health issues to own a gun, but rather are persons with mental health issues going to be labeled violent and have their access limited to the community at large? This is a question that remains to be addressed in the debate.
Aside from the issue of mental health and gun use, I want to bring out a deeper discussion of why people may choose to use violence to deal with some situations. I have pondered this for some time and have wondered how much the role of shame has played in a person’s choice to use violence over other options. First I need to define a key difference between shame and guilt. The word shame is defined per the Social Work Dictionary 5th edition (Baker 2003) as:
A painful feeling of having disgraced or dishonored oneself or those one cares about because of an intentional act, involuntary behavior or circumstance.
Guilt is defined per the Social Work Dictionary 5th edition (Baker 2003) as:
An emotional reaction to the perceptions of having done something wrong, having failed to do something or violating important social norms.
When you look at these two definitions there is an important difference between the two states. Guilt is an emotional reaction to violating social norms and to put it simply says “I did something bad.” Shame on the other hand is a much deeper feeling in which a person internalizes feelings of negative self worth. Basically, shame says “I am a bad person.”
When I look at the incidents of mass violence and violence in general I have wondered if the person or persons committing the violence have experienced shame in some way. My point is that if shame is left unattended and not dealt with that a person may choose to use violence to deal with the feeling of being wronged or slighted by others. This choice may not be used for a few incidents, but over time if a person experiences many incidents of being wronged either by others, systems or even by themselves they may feel the only way around these intense feelings is to hurt others to feel vindicated. The other issue that is related to shame is power or the lack of it. When a person lacks the power to make changes to deal with the shame they have experienced they may choose violence as a way to achieve power.
For me the issue of gun control is more than banning guns or not, it is more about looking at why people choose to use violence in the first place. I believe that when the underlying issues of violence are addressed, you may see a reduction in all violence in general. I also believe that when a person is given the chance to be heard and they are able to get their story out, it goes a long way to reducing the feelings of shame and guilt that if left unchecked can lead to violence.
Brené Brown Ph.D. has done some excellent work on vulnerability and work on shame. I have included a link to her work on shame. She addresses the issue of how shame impacts our lives. She has focused her work on listening to people’s stories and learning about what pain they have been through as well as what people have done to deal with these intense feelings. When you get to the site, please click on the “listening to shame” video.
I have stated this in a previous post on new path notes that I believe it is very important for people of all ages to have a safe place and a safe person in which to share their hurts. I believe if a person is truly heard the feelings of shame and hurt can be reduced. I am speaking of all violence types not just those involving guns. When people start to deal with the feelings that are behind the violence, violence can be reduced. When people are given the chance to be heard they begin to heal.
(Video: a historical update of the Voter ID Amendment debate thus far. -video by Jeremy Griffith)
On Nov. 6, Minnesotans rejected a constitutional amendment to require photo ID at the polls at future elections. Polling for the favorability of the measure was high towards the middle of the election year, but waned gradually as the election approached due to the vigorous campaigning of Democratic political campaigns and the bipartisan OurVoteOurFuture.org.
Principal architect of the measure, Minnesota Majority President Dan McGrath, voiced his disappointment to the St. Paul Pioneer Press when the votes began to be tallied.
“It started to look like an insurmountable lead for the opposition on this, ” McGrath said.
But the outcome could not have been predicted six months prior when favorability for the bill appeared to be high. The Secretary of State’s office statistics as reported by the Pioneer Press show that only 46.3 percent of Minnesotans voting favored the measure with just shy of 99 percent of the precincts tallied. In May we reported polling data from the Minneapolis Star Tribune, showing that the majority was in favor of the ballot initiative. A later poll in September showed that support was beginning to wane, but was still on the side of the amendment. You can see the results of that poll in a graphic visualization below.
The fight for initiating a voter photo ID law started following the election of Senator Al Franken over incumbent Norm Coleman back in 2008. Many on the right believed that Franken’s razor thin victory following a recount effort was fueled by fraud and deception and groups gained prominence in efforts to clean up the Minnesota election process.
McGrath founded the ProtectOurVote.com group and began investigating election irregularities, many of which resulted in charges of felony fraud on the part of a few. A full history of the efforts of these groups can be found at their respective websites at ProtectMyVote.com and MinnesotaMajority.org.
In 2011, the legislature passed a measure requiring voter ID at the polls by a vast majority, but the measure was vetoed by Governor Mark Dayton. Unable to overcome the governor’s veto, the legislature began looking at other ways to pass voter ID laws, and came up with the constitutional amendment idea, a measure that did not require the governor’s signature. The legislature voted April 4, 2012 to include the measure as a ballot initiative for the November general election.
Two of southern Minnesota’s prominent state legislators supported the bill, Rep. Mike Benson and Sen. Carla Nelson, both republicans.
“I think this is an issue that has been building,” Benson said. “This time around with both houses of the legislature in the (Republican) majority hands we thought it was the right time to go ahead with having hearings on this.”
According to Benson, the voter ID law if passed would not have eliminated same day voting; would provide for provisional balloting for those who do not have ID on election day; and would provide photo ID for those who can’t afford it.
(Video: Minnesota State Senator Carla Nelson comments on the proposed Voter Photo ID Constitutional Amendment. -video by Jeremy Griffith)
State Senator Carla Nelson spoke about the problems with the practice of voter vouching and how the situation would have been fixed had the new amendment passed.
“In the past we allowed an eligible voter to vouch for up to 15 others,” Nelson said. “I don’t think I know 15 people in my district who don’t have IDs. This amendment would eliminate the practice of vouching.”
Minnesota was one of only two states to have provisions for vouching and the only state to allow an eligible voter to vouch for multiple undocumented voters. Below you will find a visual graphic depicting the current status of states and their respective voter ID laws, with data provided by the National Conference for State Legislatures.
“This is America! “Fund told supporters. “We can make it easy to vote and hard to cheat. We can do both at the same time.”
“This is America! We can make it easy to vote and hard to cheat. We can do both at the same time!” -John Fund, WSJ
As support for the Voter ID Amendment began to gather steam, opposition also stiffened. Over 80 organizations voiced their opposition for the measure, including the League of Women Voters and the Minnesota ACLU. Another group emerged from this coalition and formed the bipartisan group OurVoteOurFuture.org. The most prominent supporters of the group include former Governor Arne Carlson and Rep. Tim Penny.
The first evidence of the waning of support and the growing opposition appeared during a debate at Metro State University in St. Paul last October. Dan McGrath represented ProtectMyVote.com and Doran Shrantz of OurVoteOurFuture squared off in a 90-minute televised debate over this issue. Many of the audience members carried signs showing opposition to the amendment initiative.
McGrath made a strong argument for the amendment, but his rhetoric was not enough to overcome the opposition laid out by Schrantz.
“All of what you hear about the amendment tonight is wild speculation at best,” said McGrath. “If it’s not in the bill, it’s not going to happen.”
“This amendment will vastly change our election law in this state,” said Schrantz. “Many including the old, the poor and minorities, our servicemen overseas will be disenfranchised by this stark rewriting of our election law.”
While voter ID laws are gaining ground in the nation, it is unclear whether new efforts to adopt such legislation here in the state of Minnesota, especially since both houses of the legislature and the office of the Governor are now under DFL control once again.
(Minneapolis Star Tribune Poll on Voter ID favoribility just prior to the election Nov. 6. -visualization by Jeremy Griffith.)
(States with Voter ID Laws on the books. Source Data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. -Visualization by Jeremy Griffith.
Firefly’s indefatigable Captain Malcolm Reynolds, played by Nathan Fillion.
Joss Whedon is probably one of the biggest leftists in Hollywood, but he knows how to sell a good story. One of his best and enduring stories is the one contained in his short-lived fan favorite TV series Firefly and the follow-up movie Serenity.
The story of Firefly happens sometime in the future where space travel is possible. There was a civil war between an all-powerful tyrannical government and a minority class of interplanetary colonists known as the Brown coats. (Not to be mistaken with the brown shirts.) The browncoats lose and ever after are subjugated to whim of the all powerful state.
Nathan Fillion’s character Malcolm Reynolds was a sergeant in that war on the side of the browncoats. After the war he seeks his fortune as a sort of interstellar pirate, moving cargo from planet to planet for hire, a sort of space truck driver. He and his crew keep their heads above water barely outpacing the government that would shut them down. The act of transporting cargo without government sanction is forbidden as is stripping derelict space vessels for scrap. An infraction of intergalactic law could land Sergeant turned Captain Reynolds and his crew in jail and cost him his precious ship, the Serenity, a Firefly class star ship.
All of the themes in this gem of a cult classic turn towards a conservative futuristic world view. The beloved leftist utopia of the future enslaves people with its overbearing regulation and rules and common folk eek out their living with illegal black market capitalistic trading. It’s a marvelous story and a lesson for our times.
This exciting series only aired a dozen or so episodes before cancelation and I’m scratching my head as to why. Likely the lefty loon executives in Hollywood didn’t get the story and failed to understand how it would be popular with their audience. They were wrong of course and the series has sold many copies on DVD and Blu-Ray and resulted in a major motion picture. Loyal fans like me are still talking about it.
Unlike the progressive humanism of Star Trek and the pseudo paganism of Star Wars, the Firefly series stands apart. This is a story that conservatives and libertarian viewers could glom onto and enjoy, without being offended by leftist preachiness. The story is a realistic telling of what is possible if overbearing progressive governments take over, which is probably why modern day progressives killed it so fast.
Whedon is known for making some outlandish liberally wrong-headed comments and can upset his fan base when he speaks, but he is a talented story writer and director. Look at the amazing job he did on the recent box office smash, The Avengers. That movie had good old fashion conservative themes that many in the boring square flyover states enjoy and which the lefty loons just can’t stand. That is why it was so successful. It’s too bad the Hollywood progressives so often go against what works and try social engineering with projects their audiences just don’t like or relate too.
It’s probably too late to bring back my beloved Firefly, but the DVDs live in a place of honor on my shelf and the story dwells forever in my heart.
Malcolm Reynold’s ship Serenity, a Firefly class star ship.
Favorite lines from Joss Whedon’s Firefly.
“Does it happen often, Captain Reynolds,”asks the young doctor Simon Tam. “The government commandeering your ship?”
“That’s what governments do,” replies Reynolds, taking another bite of his dinner. “They get in a man’s way!”
Simon Tam: “I’m trying to put this as gently as I can. How do I know you won’t just kill me in my sleep?”
Malcom Reynolds: “You don’t know me son, so I’ll explain this to you once. If I ever kill you, you’ll be facing me and you’ll be armed!”
Malcom Reynolds: “Do you see the man in the star ship with the big shiny gun? He’s looking to kill some folk!”
Crew of Firefly together: What does that make us? Big Damn Heroes!
Zoe Washburne: “Captain, I think you might have a problem with your brain being missing!”
“Someone always has an advantage over use,” says Reynolds. “That’s what makes us special.”
“I don’t want to alarm anyone,” says Serenity pilot Wash,” but I think we’re being followed.”
Do you have favorite lines from the Firefly series? Share them in your comments.
See Joss Whedon’s amusing but insulting anti-Romney political ad below.
John de Lancie as the godlike “Q” character, mocking God and the Catholic Church in this monk’s habit as he visits the Enterprise Crew on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
by Jeremy Griffith
I’m a big geek, I’ll admit it, as evidenced by my love of sci fi, especially Gene Roddenbury’s Star Trek, or
George Lucas’s Star Wars. But watching old re-runs of the series and movies, I’ve noticed a trend of secular humanism that runs through them both, and it bothers me.
Star Trek is great in that it explores the human condition as the crew search the cosmos for new life and new civilizations. They continually get into scrapes with alien species as they explore their strange customs and ways. They adhere to an inflexible law called the Prime Directive which prevents them from interfering with other cultures, but they manage to break that inflexible rule in every episode, causing moral conundrums and conflict that fuels the drama. It is not if Jean-Luc Picard or James Kirk will violate the Directive, it is when and how.
I’ve noticed something especially with my favorite Star Trek Series, The Next Generation that was not as evident as the original series. The writers seem to like to mock God or religion every chance they get, and they adhere to a kind of secular humanism and collectivism that borders on socialism. The Federation of Planets is an idealized big government structure that is “highly evolved”. They don’t use money, nobody gets paid but everyone works for the benefit of everyone else. There is as hierarchical rank structure in the crew of Star Fleet but there is a lot of familiarity amongst the crew. The captain is in charge but everyone is working for one goal.
While it’s nice to see in something as entertaining as a show, it is frustrating to comprehend how a structure could work. The institutions of the Federation and its allied planets are much like the real life United Nations, or the European Union, which always touts their beneficence. In theory, the UN is a great idea. But in reality, it is a barely functioning body infected with socialism and communism, systems proven not to work.
It is clear after watching a few episodes of the first season how preachy the authors are in pushing the idea of collectivism while rejecting religion and the institution of capitalism. In one episode in the first season, the crew of the Enterprise encounter the Ferengi, a strange race they describe as “Yankee Traders”, the worst sort of capitalists. (As if there is any other kind, in their view.)
You can see the mocking of religion and a higher power in the first season of TNG too. Several times an all-powerful god figure called “Q” comes to harass the crew of the Enterprise crew and amaze and scare them with his power. In the pilot episode Q, played expertly by John de Lancie, (one of my favorite characters by the way) messes with the crew, calling them a backwards dangerous child race. He accuses them of past atrocities and puts them on trial to test to see if they (the human race) are still as savage as they once were. The crew lead by Captain Jean-Luc Picard passes the test laid out for them by The Q, who grudgingly leaves them to continue their journey. But alas, he comes back time and again to harass them with more tests. In one episode he gives Picard’s first officer power akin to godhood and offers him a place in the Q Continuum. Commander William Riker almost takes the offer, and upon departing, offers gifts of love to his fellow mortal companions. But the crew confounds the Q by refusing their gifts and so Q is defeated again and Riker recognizes the error of his ways.
Secularists think that if they follow a certain code and evolve, they may one day become like gods. This is foolish of course, but many modern thinkers, atheists and agnostics in particular, believe this with all their hearts. This is nonsense of course too but that doesn’t mean they won’t continue to perfect their themselves with their endless social engineering.
Patrick Stewart as Captain Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
The Humanistic Utopian view doesn’t work on this planet as evidenced over and over through the history of the 20th Century. Utopians have striven for a gun free, crime free, socialistic world and every time it is tried if falls down in failure, and worse, genocide. Communist, socialist and atheist regimes always end up taking away the rights, and guns, away from certain groups of people and ends up slaughtering them wholesale. The rights of the individual mean nothing when compared to the “good” of the collective, which really only means the “good” of the dictator in power.
One only has to look at the well known cases of genocide committed in the last century by the secular humanists. The names of are familiar: Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Lenin, Stalin, Chairman Mao, Hitler, the Rawandan and Yugoslavian massacres, the Khmer Rouge and others. They all attempted to achieve a utopia in their lifetimes and always ended up killing thousands and even millions of their own people. The common factor in all of them was the removal of guns and private property, freedom from the people.
The humanistic model doesn’t even work in TNG. Gun control for example, is a great idea, except that every Star Fleet officer has a mini-phaser weapon hidden in an invisible pocket inside their skin tight uniforms. Each of these looks like a garage opener but has the power to cut through steel bulkheads or incinerate a life form. How does that fit with the model of the gun control lobbying left? It doesn’t.
The crew themselves are paradoxical with the humanist view and more closely resemble the Yankee Traders they supposedly abhor. They sail out on the great ocean of space looking for commerce, but it’s not goods and services they are seeking, although that’s what they get in the end, it is knowledge of other cultures, a noble goal.
Jonathan Frakes as Cmdr William Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Looking back on the TNG series I find it over sexualized, over idealized and filled with socialistic, humanistic references implanted there on purpose by the Hollywood left. If you learn to recognize the rhetoric, you can appreciate it and ignore it. I still like the Star Trek and Star Wars series. There are many themes I still admire, the teamwork of individuals, the moral conflicts and object lessons provided by every episode. And the special effects are awesome. But it’s clear even then how the leftist progressives owned the culture buy providing us entertainment, while using it to preach to the masses their wrongheaded worldview.
Andrew Brietbart, God rest his soul, was right when he said that, “Politics is downstream from culture.” That culture comes to us as children through the television and our games. We wonder why our society is collapsing into chaos, well here is the reason why. We are indoctrinated as children through our media and we grow up thinking that this impossible dream of collectivism is real. We give up the things that are proven to work: capitalism, individual achievement and self reliance, freedom. Instead we replace them with a dependence on an all powerful state, and that stifles our achievement and stunts our growth.
Until we own the culture and take hold of our media, conservative thinkers will never really own the narrative, and leftist progressives in our respective governments will keep driving us towards the civilization cliff.
Author’s note: In a later article I hope to discuss the psuedo-religion and humanism of George Lucas’s Star Wars.