Chris Baker Talks About What Makes a Broadcaster Successful

by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium Online

Jeremy Griffith at Mount Vernon

Jeremy Griffith at Mount Vernon

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.

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Gun Control: A Social Worker’s Perspective

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

Guest Columnist

Mike Arieta, LICSW-MN, Proprietor of New Path Counseling

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.

© 2013 Mike Arieta MSW, LICSW, LMSW

http://www.brenebrown.com/videos/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-friedman-lmsw/mental-health-care_b_2491109.html

 

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Obama’s Gun Control Vision a Recipe for Disaster

Obama’s Gun Control Strategy a Recipe for Disaster

Reasons why millions should oppose the comprehensive gun control measures and associated executive orders pursued by the President.

Storified by Jeremy Griffith· Wed, Jan 16 2013 20:06:00

The  President’s comprehensive strategy of legislation and executive orders to ban or control guns is a recipe for disaster that does nothing to cut down violent crime, but actually encourages it, and leaves Americans in danger not only from criminals, but by out of control local, state and federal government agencies. 

Mr. Obama wants to ban certain types of guns, namely those that have more than one military feature, ban magazines with a capacity over ten rounds, universal background checks for all gun buyers including private sales, and requirements for doctors to report on the mental status of their patients and the presence of guns in their homes. All of these items do nothing to curb violence in this country but will serve only to increase it as millions of Americans are deprived of their weapons of choice and their fundamental rights to self defense, will violate their confidentiality rights with their individual physicians, and limit peoples’ freedom everywhere. 
Obama’s 23 Executive Orders On Gun Control Are Mostly FluffPresident Obama signed 23 executive orders on gun control, sending directives to many Federal agencies. Some of these orders are good ste…
In fact, all of this President’s public actions have been to limit the freedom of Americans while it increases his own safety and comfort. For example, the congress has passed legislation signed into law by this President that ensures this and all former living presidents will have guaranteed Secret Service protection for life. 
Obama Signs Law Giving Himself Armed Guards for LifePresident Obama has signed a law that will give himself and all presidents Secret Service protection for life, reversing a law passed dur…
Does everyone not see the hypocrisy here? Obama wants armed guards around him 24/7 year round, armed with not semi, but fully automatic weapons, but will deny you and me access to semi-auto versions of these weapons for the purpose of our own self defense. This alone should be reason enough to oppose this president and what he is doing! 

With these executive orders and with future planned gun control legislation he will make every law abiding gun owner an enemy of the state and the target of every law enforcement agency at every level. He decided this was best without regard to the third order of effects of what it would mean at the local level. For example, if gun laws like what the President favors are enacted by congress, what will be the result? Will county sheriff’s and city police be required to confiscate such guns when they find them? Will they be ordered to do round ups of guns, going door to door to find them and take them from previously law abiding citizens? Will drones fly over head to monitor the homes of registered gun owners? 
And what will be the reaction of those millions of legal gun owners when the sheriffs and officers come for their guns? Will they be arrested, or will they resist? What will be the fallout of such confiscation?
In the American Revolution and in the Civil War, thousands suffered death and serious injury when the simple musket was the only weapon available. Imagine the tragedy of that time as thousands of young men fought and died in those horrible wars right here on our own soil?
Civil-war
Old-picture
Cosmicamerica
So much damage was done by a simple ball and powder weapon. Now fast forward to the present where many millions in this country own multiple round capacity semi-auto handguns and rifles. What sheriff in his right mind would want to approach a home and ask the home owner to turn over his guns? It would be one in love with suicide! Why would the president put so many law enforcement officials and private citizens at risk like this? Is he stupid? Is there an agenda? 

Fortunately many sheriff’s are already coming out against confiscation legislation and for good reason. 
Some sheriffs vow not to enforce Obama’s gun plan; anti-violence groups praise measuresDenny Peyman didn’t watch President Barack Obama’s gun-control announcement Wednesday. But the Jackson County, Ky., sheriff said he alrea…
Gun manufacturers and sellers like Mills Fleet Farm have publicly voiced their objection to the proposed laws. Good for them! 
Duck Hunting Shotgun Proven To Be more Dangerous Than A Huldra AR-15huldraarms
Thousands flock to get their guns and ammunition before new laws are enacted preventing them from having them. 
CA gun show draws 10,000 people ‘getting ready for the next revolution’ | The Raw StoryWhat drew an estimated 10,000 people to a Northern California gun show? Simple. According to one attendee, they’re scared. "Obama wants t…
The President has said that new gun laws won’t be enacted unless the people demand them. When was that an issue? The people didn’t want Obamacare, the Affordable Health Care Act, and yet this President rammed it down the Nation’s throat. 
President Barack Obama Gun Control Speech Unveiling Gun Control Agenda at White House Signs Ordersinsanemrbrain
Who believes this President and his Vice President have any credibility when it comes to gun control and violence, especially after the failed gun tracking program Fast and Furious that resulted in the death of thousands of Mexicans and one American Border Agent, Brian Terry?
Brian Terry, Fast And Furious' Unknown Man: Border Agent's Death …Jun 23, 2012 … Brian Terry, Fast And Furious' Unknown Man: Border Agent's Death …… guns are the residue caused by the Bus…
Msn
Washingtonpost
Who believes this President, and the Vice President, Joe the Human Gaffe Machine Biden have Americans’ safety interest at heart? After all they allowed their own friends in the State Department die in Libya as they watched in real time, even though our military had the power to help them They didn’t even allow our ambassador to have an armed contingent of Marines to help him. If the President won’t protect his friends, how can we expect him to protect us?
BBC News – US confirms its Libya ambassador killed in BenghaziSep 12, 2012 … The US ambassador to Libya dies after militiamen attack the consulate in Benghazi in protest at a US-made film said to…
Nation
The President gave arms to Libyan insurgents, facilitating the overthrow of dictator Muammar Qaddafi. When the fight was over, Obama sent his friends to retrieve those weapons. The people said no and Ambassador Chris Stevens and three of his employees paid the ultimate price, unable to defend themselves. A Navy Seal hero was also killed as he tried to protect the State Department staffers. He called his higher command for help, expecting to get it, but it never came. 
Former Navy SEAL ID’d as consulate attack victim(CBS/AP) BOSTON – A former Navy SEAL from a Boston suburb was one of four Americans who died in the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya…
A man who allows his friends to die cannot be called upon to defend his enemies. It is obvious to me that he has made himself the enemy of millions of law abiding Americans. Don’t tell yourself it can’t happen here, after all, gun confiscation is a part of American history, both in the near and distant past. The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, my three favorite things, tried to seize guns from a remote rancher in Ruby Ridge Idaho, a former Green Beret and a quite man. Randy Weaver, who was harming no one, lost his wife, young son and dog in an unprovoked attack by the ATF. 
The F.B.I. and Ruby Ridge – New York TimesF.B.I. Director Louis Freeh has moved quickly to correct the egregious error he made earlier this year when, trusting his longtime friend…
The ATF also attacked the communal home of the Branch Davidians in Waco Texas. The siege there caused the death of 80 people, many of them innocent children. While the religious practices of this group might be considered strange, to date they had been hurting no one. It was never proven in court that they did anything wrong. It was alleged that they had illegal guns and gun parts, but who is to say now, after the horrendous fire burned all the evidence? The charismatic leader David Koresh seemed a bit odd, and indeed may have been guilty of a crime, but he never had his day in court. How can we expect fair treatment from a government who views us all as Bible thumping bitter clingers?
Waco – A New Revelationbliu2548
Radio host and media personality Glenn Beck posted a brilliant and sanguine analysis of the gun control debate this week on his network The Blaze. He said we should all act like Gandhi, Jesus Christ, and Martin Luther King, Jr. choosing peaceful activism over confrontational violence. It is well that we should fear such a confrontation as it could shatter the nation. Glenn Beck is right, but what happens when the visit at your door isn’t a polite knock, but an armed assault like the ones that happened in Ruby Ridge and Waco? Must we engage in violent action then in order to defend our lives? I fear that this government will give us no choice, and that is a tragedy.
Glenn Beck Predicts How the Obama Admin. Will Go About Gun …1 day ago … During his Monday evening broadcast, Glenn Beck predicted how he thinks the Obama administration will go about imposing s…
We agree with Beck that we should all let cooler heads prevail in the debate coming about gun control in light of the horrible tragedy in Newtown CT and in gun related violence elsewhere. The issues of gun accessibility and mental health are important, but we should not rush into legislation that is proven to have no affect on the problem. It should be remembered that in states that have shall issue gun permitting laws, gun violence is drastically down, while in states like Illinois and New York, gun violence is skyrocketing. 

In the end, the fate of our country rests with us. We are all torn by the tragedies of gun violence, but is that an excuse to exclude certain types of firearms from public consumption? Hold your representatives to account and demand that they protect the Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms. Citizens robbed of their gun rights suffered horrible tragedies in this century and centuries past and we should learn from their example: from the Native Americans, to the blacks bonded in slavery, those denied the right to bear arms suffered as no other under the brutality of their own government.  The history of gun control is a history of genocide. 
Gun Control not crazed Madmen most responsible for Genocide in …Dec 29, 2012 … Here is a very important documentary produced by the Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. In the wake of t…

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Minnesota Voters Struggle over Fate of Voter ID Constitutional Amendment

by Jeremy Griffith

State Rep. Mike Benson-R and State Sen. Carla Nelson meet with constituents at a town hall event in Rochester, MN. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

State Rep. Mike Benson-R and State Sen. Carla Nelson-R meet with constituents at a town hall event in Rochester, MN. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

Voter ID Historical Review from Jeremy Griffith on Vimeo.

(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.

Rep. Benson on Voter ID Amendment from Jeremy Griffith on Vimeo.

(Video: Minnesota State Rep. Mike Benson explains the history of the Voter Photo ID Constitutional amendment. -Video by Jeremy Griffith)

Carla Nelson Interview from Jeremy Griffith on Vimeo.

(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.

Wall Street Journal writer and Fox News contributor John Fund lent his support for the Minnesota ballot initiative, visiting the state several times to rally supporters. He spoke to a group in St. Paul and participated in a televised debate with the Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman. Fund is the author of the book, “Who’s Counting? How Fraudsters and Bureaucrat’s Put Your Vote at Risk”. 

“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.”

A full video of the Metro State debate is available from Uptake.org’s You Tube Channel.

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.

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The Triumphant Conservative Vision of Joss Whedon’s ‘Firefly’

by Jeremy Griffith

Firefly's indefatigable Captain Malcolm Reynolds, played by Nathan Fillion.

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.

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.

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The Humanism of Star Trek Revealed!

monk_Q

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.

250px-Captain_Picard_Chair

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.

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.

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