Friday, August 18, 2017

School Program Teaches, Demands Tolerance : ''The Challenge Day'' Nightmare Agenda

And the progressive socialist liberals march forward, brain washing the young so when they grow up they will be easily molded into a force to reap the rewards of a ''fundamentally transformed America''.

It will so easy to live in the breve new world where the slogan of it's leaders will be, ''From each according to one's abilities, and to each according to one needs''.

I wonder what the 'new world order' will actually look like and who will be the losers? Not everyone can be a winner, right? Someone has to take the fall so others can be given a ''fair'' chance. Somehow, somewhere, someone will have to pay the tab.

Not everyone gets to ride free.

This Nationwide Program Is Teaching Millions of Students to Become Leftist Snowflakes
Grant Strobl / /

Parents beware: A program called Challenge Day that applauds a culture of victimhood is planting the leftist agenda into young minds under the guise of anti-bullying education. The program uses the power of peer pressure and groupthink to impress upon high school students the idea that everyone is a victim.

Challenge Day is no small initiative. According to the program’s website, it has been held at more than 2,200 high schools nationwide and reached millions of students. Challenge Day purports to teach tolerance and acceptance, yet nearly every member of its board of directors and Global Leadership Council is politically left of center.

Of the 17 members of Challenge Day’s board of directors, 15 openly support leftist leaders and causes, and two have an unknown affiliation, according to Federal Election Commission records and personal social media accounts. Of their 22-person Global Leadership Council, 17 of the members support leftist leaders and causes. This is an organization that preaches diversity but is not politically diverse itself.

The most concerning member of Challenge Day’s global governing board? The former “green-jobs czar” under President Barack Obama, Van Jones. While Jones was in jail after a mass arrest, according to the East Bay Express, he said, “I met all these young radical people of color—I mean really radical, communists and anarchists. And it was, like, ‘This is what I need to be a part of.’”

When in high school, I myself participated in Challenge Day. At 16 years old, I was a junior at Grosse Pointe North High School, a public school outside Detroit. I was asked to step forward if I were ever called a bad kid, tried to run away, isolated myself, was made fun of by someone I trusted, or felt as if I were treated differently because of my skin color.

Approximately 100 of my peers joined me in this exercise. During this session, I felt pressured to cry, and if I didn’t cry I was made to feel heartless. Whenever someone burst out in tears, we were asked to raise our hands in unity with our hands in a “love gesture.” In truth, it felt like an initiation ceremony for a cult.

Everyone was asked to confess their challenges. At that age, I learned to move on from my struggles and show strength when faced with adversity. Yet, I felt compelled to come up with something to say with a tear in my eye. It felt “cool” to be a victim and to cry during public “apologies.” During the exercise, I finally came up with an experience that fit the program’s conception of victimhood. On Election Day in 2012, I wore a “Mitt Romney for President” T-shirt to school. In a discussion about the election, one of the students sitting next to me in class opined that those who refused to support Obama were racist.

So, at Challenge Day when asked to step forward if I had been treated differently because of my skin color, I did. Yet, students did not display the “love gesture.” Instead, I was met with blank stares.
Perhaps I would have been better off apologizing for my sex or my skin color.''

Although schools often ask for the permission of parents before students participate, the program largely leaves parents out of the equation and often unaware of the curriculum of the program, or what their children say that day. Organizers do not apprise parents of any identified problems and, as a result, parents may not know if their children need actual professional help.

Recently, Challenge Day’s leftist indoctrination became even more apparent. After the election of President Donald Trump, the organization released a statement on its website implying that Trump is a bully, noting, “Since the election, reports have arisen of young people on campuses all over the United States who do not feel safe on campus due to acts of violence, bullying, racism and intimidation.”

Challenge Day conveniently left out the fact that the president has encouraged no such behavior and that many of these reports have been proven false. Furthermore, the organization forgets the countless reports of violence against conservative students, including the violent riots at the University of California, Berkeley when conservatives attempted to speak there, the left-driven riots and arson during Trump’s inauguration, and the anti-Trump May Day demonstrations in Portland, Oregon.

In the same statement, Challenge Day’s endorsement of the politics of privilege becomes more apparent. It said: “We stand in solidarity with all of our communities; from the marginalized to those who have privilege and are committed as allies.” Challenge Day even released a “Post-Election Kindness Grant.” The grant goes to schools that “have experienced post-election bullying” and want to participate in Challenge Day programs.

It must think the general public is na├»ve when it says that the grant is not driven by a leftist agenda. From my research, Challenge Day’s “post-election” statement and grant were not issued after previous elections. If a school doesn’t receive a “Post-Election Kindness Grant,” it can always rely on the taxpayer. According to Challenge Day’s website, schools “have used a variety of federal, state, and foundation grants to pay for Challenge Day programs.”

According to its website, “Common grants include School Climate Transformation Grants, GEAR UP, TRIO programs including Upward Bound, i3 Grants, School Improvement Grants, and Title 1 funding, among others.”

Yes, the taxpayer is footing the bill for additional leftist indoctrination programs in high schools.
No longer are young people taught to find the good in people and society, to be optimistic, to be self-reliant, to be hopeful, and to have good relationships with their families. Programs like Challenge Day teach students to find divisions constantly: Everyone and everything is racist, poses a direct threat to their safety, or is the product of some form of social privilege.

Instead of teaching resilience, respect, and independence, students are taught to break down and cry, discuss their feelings, and check their social “privilege.” Want to end bullying? Teach the golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Or, teach the great commandment: “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” That’s all you need.

The kind of victimhood culture that Challenge Day promotes has devastating consequences for our society. This is particularly the case when students become adults who are unable to recognize the importance of free speech and individual responsibility.

If Challenge Day is coming to your child’s school, hold the school’s leadership accountable. Ask how the program is funded or if a comparable program promoting individual responsibility and traditional values is offered. Also, the Department of Education should ensure that federal funds no longer finance programs with such fractious ideological agendas.

Until students, parents, educators, and public policy leaders take action against snowflake-producing programs such as Challenge Day, our society will continue down this perilous path of political correctness and national division.

Google's Gender Diversity Program Attacked : Women Forced Into Engineering?

To say the least I am 'shocked' by what Walter has stated here and even though it seems he is spoofing us, it still appears this is a logical step to gender diversity in the engineering and medial professions though force of regulations and law. This makes me very nervous.

This doesn't make any sense what so ever coming from Walter E Williams, usually the patriarch of common sense and logic. Goodness. I certainly hope he was just pulling our collective chains here.

Is Google Right About Gender?
Walter E. Williams /

Google fired software engineer James Damore for writing a 10-page memo critical of the company’s diversity policy. The memo violated the company’s code of conduct by “advancing harmful gender stereotypes” by suggesting that biological factors were part of the cause for the male/female gap in the tech industry. I shall make the case that Google’s actions were totally justified. Other than differences in certain physical attributes such as genitalia, capacity to give birth, and the presence of functional mammary glands, males and females are identical in every other respect.

Any remaining male/female differences are a direct result of oppression, discrimination, and victimization by the larger society. To examine just one aspect of female victimization, let’s examine the majors of female college students compared to their male counterparts. According to a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, there are significant sex differences in college majors. For example, though women and men are equally represented in the population at large, women make up only 17 percent of engineering degrees conferred compared to 83 percent conferred to men.
How can such a gross disparity be explained?

I recommend an investigation to discover whether colleges are steering women away from higher-paying fields such as engineering and into lower-paying fields such as education and social sciences. Seventy-seven percent of education majors are women and so are 64 percent of social sciences majors.

One wonders how such a disparity among equals can exist. I have personally visited George Mason University’s Volgenau School of Engineering. There are no signs forbidding women from becoming an engineering major. But just because there are no visible prohibitions doesn’t mean there is no evil plot against women.

A number of years ago, I took a tour of UC Berkeley College of Engineering. Not only did I observe a paucity of women but also, because of the racial appearances of the students in some of the classes, I could have easily been in Asia.

Colleges have the power to ensure that there are just as many female as male engineering majors. They can mandate that fewer female freshmen major in social sciences and education and instead major in engineering. To balance this all out they can disallow large numbers of men from majoring in engineering and instead force them to major in education or the social sciences.

Although Damore’s memo was seen by Google as “advancing harmful gender stereotypes,” at least he didn’t make any suggestion of male/female IQ differences. Doing so would have led not only to his firing but being ordered to leave the state of California.

A number of studies show that male IQ has greater variance than female IQ. In other words, female IQs show less variance and cluster toward the middle. Male IQs have more variance and therefore occupy the extreme high and low ends on the intelligence scale. That boils down to the fact that there are more male than female geniuses.

But on the down side there are more male than female morons. Since men run the IQ tests and probably rig it against women, the claim that there are more male geniuses could be bogus.
Kay S. Hymowitz’s City Journal (summer 2011) article, “Why the Gender Gap Won’t Go Away. Ever,” shows that female doctors earn only 64 percent of what male doctors earn. But it turns out that only 16 percent of surgeons are women, whereas 50 percent of pediatricians are women.

Even though surgeons have put in many more years of education and training than pediatricians and earn higher pay, should their salaries be equalized? Alternatively, medical schools might force more female medical students to become surgeons and force male students to become pediatricians to promote wage equality.

You say, “Are you serious, Williams? Or are you making light of the Google firing of James Damore?” My vision is that Damore has the right to say whatever he wishes about the company’s racist and sexist diversity policy, and Google has the right to fire him for saying it.

Progressives Argue Violence Justified : Words Are Hurtful

How often to we have to discuss this concept of progressive socialist liberalism? The answer is of course as often as it takes to demonstrate freedom to speak is fundamental to our civil society and guaranteed by our Constitution. 

With these rights being demanded as our founders knew they must, makes the case for Reagan's America as a ''Shinning City on the hill'' for all others to see and covet. Without the freedom to speak, all that would remain would be chaos like Charlottesville, Berkeley and most university's campuses. And it's only the beginning.

This is Barack's religious jihad for his ''fundamental change'' that he promised.

The 3-Step Argument the Left Makes to Justify Violence Against Conservative Speakers
Ben Shapiro / /    

Free speech is under assault because of a three-step argument made by the advocates and justifiers of violence.

The first step is they say that the validity or invalidity of an argument can be judged solely by the ethnic, sexual, racial, or cultural identity of the person making the argument. The second step is that they claim those who say otherwise are engaging in what they call “verbal violence,” and the final step is they conclude that physical violence is sometimes justified in order to stop such verbal violence

Watch the video :  Ben Shapiro delivered the remarks below during a hearing July 27 on the issue of free speech on college campuses. 

So let’s examine each of these three steps in turn. First, the philosophy of intersectionality. This philosophy now dominates college campuses as well as a large segment, unfortunately, of today’s Democratic Party and suggests that straight, white Americans are inherently the beneficiaries of white privilege and therefore cannot speak on certain policies, since they have not experienced what it’s like to be black or Hispanic or gay or transgender or a woman. This philosophy ranks the value of a view, not based on the logic or merit of the view, but on the level of victimization in American society experienced by the person espousing the view. Therefore, if you’re an LGBT black woman, your view of American society is automatically more valuable than that of a straight, white male.

The next step in the logic is obvious. If a straight, white male, or anybody else who ranks lower on the victimhood scale, says something contrary to the viewpoint of the higher-ranking, intersectionality identity, that person has engaged in a microaggression. As NYU social psychologist Jonathan Haidt writes, “Microaggressions are small actions or word choices that seem on their face to have no malicious intent, but that are thought of as a kind of violence nonetheless.”

You don’t have to actively say anything insulting to microaggress. Somebody merely needs to take offense. If, for example, you say that society ought to be colorblind, you’re microaggressing certain identity groups who have been victimized by a noncolorblind society.

Note: Microaggressions, as the name suggests, are not merely insults. They are aggressions. They are the equivalent of physical violence.

Just two weeks ago, psychologist Lisa Feldman Barrett of Northeastern University published an essay in The New York Times suggesting that words should be seen as physical violence because they can cause stress and stress causes physical harm. Thus, Feldman suggested, it is reasonable, scientifically speaking, to ban or restrict speech you do not like at your school. This is both inane and dangerous. That’s because it leads to the final logical step: Words you don’t like deserve to be fought physically.

When I spoke to California State University at LA, one professor threatened students who sponsored me by offering to fight them. He then posted a slogan on the door of his office stating, “The best response to microaggression is macroaggression.”

As Haidt writes, “This is why the idea that speech is violence is so dangerous. It tells the members of a generation already beset by anxiety and depression that the world is a far more violent and threatening place than it really is. It tells them that words, ideas, speakers can literally kill them. Even worse: At a time of rapidly rising political polarization in the United States, it helps a small subset of that generation to justify political violence.”

Indeed, protesters all too often engage in physically violent disruption when they believe their identity group is under verbal attack by someone, usually conservative, but not always.
Not only do some administrators look the other way at Middlebury College, Cal State LA, Berkeley, Evergreen,—actual crimes were committed and almost nobody has been arrested. But they actively forbid events for moving forward, creating a heckler’s veto, the notion that if you are physically violent enough, you can get administrators to kowtow to you, to bow before you, by canceling an event you disagree with altogether.

All of this destroys free speech, but just as importantly, it turns students into snowflakes, craven and pathetic, looking for an excuse to be offended so they can earn points in the intersectionality Olympics and then use those points as a club with which to beat opponents. A healthy nation requires an emotionally and intellectually vigorous population ready to engage in open debate at all times.
Shielding college students from opposing viewpoints makes them simultaneously weaker and more dangerous.

We must fight that process at every step. And that begins by acknowledging that whatever we think about America and where we stand, we must agree on this fundamental principle: All of our views should be judged on their merits, not on the color, or the sex, or the sexual orientation of the speaker, and those views should never be banned on the grounds that they offend someone.
Thanks so much.

Charlottesville's Progressive Liberals Bring Chaos and Conflict : It Is ''Transformation''

The controlling motto of the progressive socialist liberal collective, formerly the democrat party, lives and breaths it's words and meaning for taking power for itself from the people, 'we will take power ''by any means necessary'' to gain control of events and outcomes'.

There are no limits. There are no laws to stand in the way of the violence and destruction to gain control. No one has to take responsibility for the chaos, only the results are important.

What happened in Charlottesville and Durham has nothing to do with slavery or those that benefited by it, this is all about people and organizations from behind the scenes, moving willing surrogates and disciples to ''transform'' America by attacking it's history and it's legacy of individual freedom brought on by our Constitution.

Ever wonder why the progressive liberal want to rewrite the Constitution? The progressive socialists hate individual freedom. Progressive socialism cannot succeed as long as our Constitution guarantees individuals the right to one's own density.

As Barack mentioned on many occasions and the democrats were all gettie about his words, if elected he would ''change America'', transforming this country into a more equal and diverse society that we all can live with. 

Remember, Barack's jihad was billed as he is ''the one we have been waiting for'' and ''change we can live with''. It had nothing to do with America and it's people, only about America's civil society as founded, and it's place in the world as a leader of the free world and how Barack would be the one to make the changes.

Little wonder Barack is still with us given his recent reappearance in the media making statements on the events in Charlottesville as the chaos and violence is running rampant in our streets and he has no intention of slowing it down. Never forget, this is his game and he is a major player.

This is 'transformation' that Barack promised and it is real. 

Mob Rule Prevails in Toppling of Confederate Statue
Jarrett Stepman / /    

Following the ugly incident that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, this past weekend, an unruly mob took out its anger on a century-old statue in North Carolina. It is a perfect example of how tribal and identity politics are raging out of control in America, and how radicals will continue to ratchet up their tactics to match one another.

While the media spent its time connecting riots to the political right, the hard left continued to step up its tactics to promote social discord, as it has been doing for years. On Monday afternoon, a crowd of people in an “Emergency Durham Protest” marched down Durham’s Main Street, then made its way to the Durham County Courthouse.
Mob preforms domestic terror as protest. No one is fooled.

The Herald Sun reported that organizations like the “Triangle People’s Assembly, Workers World Party, Industrial Workers of the World, Democratic Socialists of America, and the Antifa movement” were at the rally. One of the participants, Eva Panjwani of the Workers World Party Durham, said in an interview:
This is really an opportunity, this moment of Charlottesville, to see what side of history we are choosing to side with. This is not a call to make someone to feel guilty or ashamed. This is a call to say this is an ask from people of color to say which side are you on.
“We need to shun passive, white liberalism,” Panjwani said.
The larger group was comprised of people demonstrating with various left-wing slogans such as a “No Trump, No KKK, No Racist USA” banner, pro-socialist Che Guevara shirts, and numerous odes to abolishing capitalism. One individual held a sign that said, “Cops and clan go hand in hand,” as the group marched past police officers.

The crowd gathered in front of the courthouse and decided to target a statue that was created in memoriam to “the boys who wore the gray.” That is, the North Carolina soldiers who fought for the Confederate Army in the Civil War.

I Went to Charlottesville During the Protests. Here’s What I Saw.
What followed was a scene reminiscent of the French Revolution or the war in Iraq.
The rage-filled protesters tore down the statue and proceeded to kick and desecrate it. The surging mass of people hooted and hollered as individuals took turns spitting on and flipping off the generic visage of a young Southern soldier.

Targeting this statue was seemingly an odd choice. It portrayed no individual specifically and was erected as a tribute in 1924 to the young boys, by that time old men, who had donned the uniform of the failed Confederate rebellion.

However, the attack was fitting as a mirror to the “alt-right” march that had taken place at the foot of a Gen. Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville. The individuals portrayed by the monuments were simply irrelevant.

Why Cities Shouldn’t Take Down Confederate Statues
This isn’t a battle over ideas or the Confederacy’s place in American history, it’s sheer and mindless identity politics. American towns and cities are now increasingly being besieged by agitators who flaunt the law, direct their hate toward fellow citizens, and openly attack the crucial principles at the heart of the American way of life.

The resounding message that these events send is that in 2017, it’s impossible for this country to accept people of different creeds and points of views. You are either on the “right side of history,” as President Barack Obama said, or you are on the wrong side. The narrative is increasingly join us, or be crushed.

Perhaps the protesters should pay more attention to what happened in our Civil War, which claimed more lives than all of our other wars combined. Perhaps they should study the leaders who, however imperfectly, tried to bind regions and people together to move on from a civil feud that pitted brother against brother and American against American. And perhaps they should have studied the people, like Lee and President Abraham Lincoln, who tried to piece the shattered puzzle of American nationhood back together.

Alas, those concepts were lost in a sordid trampling of an old, barely noticed statue. Unless leaders pay increased devotion to denouncing and taking action against these lawless demonstrations, mob rule is here to stay.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Ronald Reagan Explains Liberalism : It's Fascism (Video)

Ronald Reagan  - 'If fascism comes to America it will come as liberalism''. Well Ronald, it's here and in the form of progressive socialist democrat politicians and nearly the entire main stream media. No section of the entertainment or news world is not effected by the mental disease that is liberalism.

A pathological sickness so invasive that once logical people now stand proudly, proclaiming to all the world that will listen that they are neurological impaired, clinically insane.

The average person is totally bewildered and shocked at the level of debasement that has affected so many and in stead of debate or a logical discussion of the issues, they have been reduced to incoherent psychobabble.

Thank God Ronnie your not here to see this destructive nightmare that is infesting in our civil society. It's contemptuous, sinister, unscrupulous, immoral, and a vicious debauchery of the American dream, your shining city on the hill.

The progressives have made the working people of this country enemies of the state.

Watch the video :

IRS Corruption Continues Unabated : Koskinen Still In Charge!

Where does one begin to try and understand how our government got so far out of control? It's depressing and frustrating to see what is happening in the face of known corruption and yet the corruption continues unabated.

Worse of course is where the hell are the gate keepers? The Republicans! Oh, yeah, they're hiding under their desks, wringing their collective hands saying. 'oh woo is me, if I do something to clean up the government from progressive corruption, people and the media will think I like Trump. That has to be a nonstarter if I want to be reelected'. 

But know this, we aren't fooled by your hiding under your desk. We know who you are and where you live. 2018 will be here sooner then you think!

IRS Rehires 213 Employees Ousted for Falsifying Documents, Avoiding Taxes, Other Offenses
Fred Lucas / /    

The Internal Revenue Service rehired 213 employees who ducked taxes, falsified documents, were convicted of theft, or made unauthorized use of taxpayer data, an inspector general’s report says.
The Office of Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, which also first discovered the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups in 2013, examined the agency’s hiring from January 2015 through March 2016. For these 15 months, the IRS official in charge was Commissioner John Koskinen, an appointee of President Barack Obama.

House Republicans for months sought to impeach Koskinen for obstructing a congressional probe into the agency’s targeting of the applications for tax-exempt status made by nonprofit tea party and conservative groups. “Given the substantial threat of identity theft and the magnitude of sensitive information that the IRS holds, hiring employees of high integrity is essential to maintaining public trust in tax administration and safeguarding taxpayer information,” the inspector general’s report says, adding:
Four of the more than 200 employees had been terminated or resigned for willful failure to properly file their federal tax returns; four separated [from the agency] while under investigation for unauthorized accesses to taxpayer information; and 86 separated while under investigation for absences and leave, workplace disruption, or failure to follow instructions. This includes positions with access to sensitive taxpayer information, such as contact representatives.
As a political appointee in the executive branch, Koskinen doesn’t have the civil service protections that career government employees do. President Donald Trump could order his firing at will.
The inspector general released the report July 24. Asked about it Thursday, an IRS spokesman referred The Daily Signal to a letter to the inspector general from E. Faith Bell, the agency’s acting human capital officer.

“To the extent possible by law,” Bell wrote in the June 28 letter, “the IRS will take all steps allowable to prevent the rehiring of former employees with conduct and performance issues.” Bell added that she had commissioned a team to implement corrective actions. “This team will ensure existing hiring practices and policies are updated to reflect our use of IRS employment data, specifically any misconduct and performance prior to making a tentative offer [of new employment] to a former IRS employee,” Bell wrote.

The wealth of protections for federal employees under the civil service and union agreements “makes my head hurt,” Grover Norquist, president Americans for Tax Reform, told The Daily Signal.
 Related: Obama’s Influence Could Continue Through Political Appointees

“The average American is not happy with the way the IRS behaves on a good day,” Norquist said. “It’s disappointing that they are rehiring people who were fired for very bad behavior.” Koskinen should go, Norquist said, and the sooner the better to avoid another political controversy similar to Trump’s ousting of James Comey as FBI director. “All Koskinen would have to do is say something publicly about Trump’s taxes, and then Trump can’t fire him,” Norquist said. “Given the outrageous way he has behaved, why not move much sooner?”

Obama named Koskinen to the job in 2013, directing him to clean up the targeting scandal. But Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said he obstructed their probe and should be impeached.
Related: Obama IRS Chief Who Dodged Impeachment Continues Under Trump

“I don’t know why President Trump hasn’t fired John Koskinen since there is more evidence the agency is mismanaged,” said Peter Flaherty, president of the National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative government watchdog group. “Koskinen is a very typical Washington creature and is very at home in the swamp,” Flaherty said in an interview with The Daily Signal. “It’s a puzzle to me why Trump hasn’t acted.” The IRS already had one of the worst reputations and the most power of any federal agency, Flaherty argues.

“Against the backdrop of fear that the IRS has been used for political purposes, now you may have people who can’t be trusted with sensitive personal information,” he said.
The White House twice referred comment on Koskinen to the Treasury Department, which did not respond to a request for comment.

The IRS rehired 2,000 former employees from 2015 through early 2016, the inspector general’s report says. Many were seasonal employees, and about 10 percent were problematic. IRS officials who make hiring decisions don’t have access to the applicant’s employment history with the agency and 27 failed to disclose on paperwork that they had been terminated, the report found. Instances of such nondisclosure are supposed to be referred to the independent Office of Personnel Management, which the report says the IRS didn’t do.

The inspector general issued a report in December 2014 that found 824 questionable rehires from 2010 through 2013. Of those 824, a total of 60 seasonable employees were rehired in 2015 despite substantiated prior conduct and performance issues, the new report says.

Fascist Roots of The American Left : Dinesh D'Souza

D'Souza is spot on here, identifying and explaining the destructive agenda and ideology of the progressive socialist liberal left, where they come from and how they operate to take power.

To silence the opposition is the 'new norm' for progressive socialist liberal politicians that rampage in the streets of our country. It is about control of events and outcomes. Nothing more. And it is a deep hate of course, for people that oppose them and who believe they  have a right under our Constitution to do so, that drives the progressives to demand tolerance from everyone to accept their view of how society must come to terms with their progressive world view.

And if you decide to oppose their views openly, you will be destroyed. To the progressive socialist liberals, this is true tolerance. Violence, driven by hate is the order of the day for progressives.

There cannot be any opposition to the new world order.

The Fascist Roots of the American Left
Dinesh D'Souza / /    

In 1925 the Jewish philosopher Theodor Lessing spoke out against the repressive political climate of Weimar Germany. Although Lessing’s explicit target was the cravenness of the Weimar regime of Paul von Hindenburg, his real target was the emerging power of Nazism, and he blamed the government for yielding to it.

The Nazis recognized immediately the threat posed by Lessing. Adolf Hitler youth at Lessing’s University of Hanover formed a “committee against Lessing.” They encouraged students to boycott his lectures.

Nazi youth then showed up and disrupted Lessing’s classes. Lessing was forced to give up his academic chair the following year. In his account of what happened, Lessing later wrote that he could do nothing to prevent being “shouted down, threatened and denigrated” by student activists.

He was helpless, he said, “against the murderous bellowing of youngsters who accept no individual responsibilities but pose as spokesman for a group or an impersonal ideal, always talking in the royal ‘we’ while hurling personal insults … and claiming that everything is happening in the name of what’s true, good and beautiful.”

This was fascism, German style, in the 1920s.

In March 2017, the eminent political scientist Charles Murray showed up to give a lecture on class divisions in American society at a progressive bastion, Middlebury College in Vermont.
Hundreds of protesters who deemed themselves “anti-fascists” gathered outside McCullough Student Center where Murray was scheduled to speak and engage in dialog with Middlebury political scientist Allison Stanger.

Murray is a libertarian who leans Republican, although he’s no fan of President Donald Trump. Unlike Lessing, who taught at the university where he was harassed, Murray doesn’t teach at Middlebury, which is virtually devoid of conservative faculty. (Stanger is a moderate Democrat affiliated with the New America Foundation.)

In any event, the discussion promised to be a scholarly and illuminating one, giving students a perspective that they never get. But the Middlebury protesters were having none of it. The activists confronted Murray and Stanger, and at one point they struck Stanger. Inside Wilson Hall, protesters turned their backs to Murray and began to boo and shout epithets like “racist” and “Nazi.”
Murray found he simply could not be heard. College officials escorted Murray and Stanger to another location where their conversation had, for safety reasons, to be shown on closed-circuit television.

After the event, according to Middlebury spokesman Bill Burger, Murray and Stanger were “physically and violently confronted by a group of protesters.” The protesters were masked in the standard Antifa style. Murray and Stanger ducked into an administrator’s car, but the protesters attacked the car, pounding on it rocking it, and seeking to prevent it from leaving.
“At one point,” Burger said, “a large traffic sign was thrown in front of the car. Public safety officers were able, finally, to clear the way to allow the vehicle to leave campus.”

According to Burger, “During the confrontation outside McCullough, one of the demonstrators pulled Stanger’s hair and twisted her neck. She was attended to at Porter Hospital later and is wearing a neck brace.” Murray praised campus security officers for the protection they provided but described what he experienced as “scary, violent mob action.”

This is so-called progressive anti-fascism, American style, circa 2017.

Why does this purported anti-fascism on the part of progressives so closely resemble the fascism that it claims to be opposing? More profoundly, what is “anti-fascism” as the term is now used on the American left?

To answer these questions, we turn to the founders of the so-called anti-fascist movement on the progressive left, the sociologist Herbert Marcuse of the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Much has been written about the Frankfurt School and its leading intellectuals, Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, and most of all Marcuse.

These mostly-lionized accounts stress that the Frankfurt group was made up of refugees from Nazi Germany, Jews fleeing the prospect of Holocaust. Consequently, the credibility of these men in formulating an anti-fascist doctrine has gone largely unquestioned.

In reality, the Frankfurt School’s relationship to Nazism is much more complicated. Marcuse, for instance, was a student and devotee of the philosopher Martin Heidegger, and Heidegger was a lifelong anti-Semite and member of the Nazi Party who championed Hitler’s rise to power.
Heidegger viewed his entire philosophy as laying the foundation for the “blood and soil” doctrines of Nazism. Even after the war, Heidegger refused to condemn Nazi atrocities.

Herbert Marcuse emigrated to the United States in 1934
Marcuse did break with Heidegger and flee Germany, but the break was entirely over the issue of anti-Semitism and the personal danger that Hitler’s policies posed for Jews in general and Marcuse in particular.

Marcuse never repudiated Heidegger’s philosophy, and a good deal of his own early work has been described as attempting a reconciliation between Heidegger’s thought and that of Marx. Heidegger viewed Marx as the pioneer leftist of the 19th century and Heidegger as the pioneer leftist of the 20th century.

Arriving in America, Marcuse taught at Columbia and Brandeis and also worked in Washington, D.C., for the Office of War Information and the Office of Strategic Services, forerunner to the CIA. There Marcuse helped formulate anti-fascist educational strategies to combat Nazism and later to shape anti-fascist education in postwar Germany. Subsequently, Marcuse moved west to the University of California in San Diego where, during the 1960s, he became a guru of the New Left.

Here I want to focus on the idea that Marcuse is probably best remembered for, one that could not be more pertinent today. This idea was unveiled in a famous essay he wrote called “Repressive Tolerance.” This essay was published along with several others in a book published in 1970 called “A Critique of Pure Tolerance.”

Let’s follow the argument of the essay because it provides the basis for the vicious intolerance that the left currently unleashes against all forms of dissent in our culture. The bullying and terrorizing of conservatives on campus, the shaming of Republicans in the media, the defilement of the American flag, the disruption of Trump rallies—all of this behavior receives its moral justification in Marcuse’s famous—or infamous—essay.
Purchase Dinesh D’Souza’s new book “The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left

Marcuse begins by admitting that all other things being equal, classical liberal virtues like tolerance and free speech are desirable. But, he says, given the class structure of society in which ruling groups have most of the power, and disenfranchised groups have very little, “the conditions of tolerance are loaded.” To extend tolerance to intolerant groups, Marcuse argues, “actually protects the already established machinery of discrimination.” Therefore, Marcuse argues that a general principle of liberal tolerance—tolerance toward all viewpoints—should be abandoned.

“Tolerance cannot be indiscriminate and equal with respect to the contents of the expression, neither in word nor in deed; it cannot protect false words and wrong deeds which demonstrate that they contradict and counteract the possibilities of liberation.” In society, Marcuse insisted, “Certain things cannot be said, certain ideas cannot be expressed, certain policies cannot be proposed, certain behavior cannot be permitted without making tolerance an instrument for the continuation of servitude.” Marcuse was nothing if not blunt about what he advocated: “the systematic withdrawal of tolerance toward regressive and repressive opinions.”

What specifically did Marcuse seek to repress? He cited “the withdrawal of toleration of speech and assembly from groups and movements which promote aggressive policies, armament, chauvinism, discrimination on the grounds of race and religion, or which oppose the extension of public services, Social Security, medical care, etc.”

Moreover, Marcuse added, his approach “may necessitate new and rigid restrictions on teaching,” including the suppression of certain types of “scientific research.” Marcuse bluntly calls for “intolerance against movements from the right, and toleration of movements from the left.” He admits his goal is one of “shifting the balance between left and right by restraining the liberty of the right,” and in this way “strengthening the oppressed against the oppressors.”

Marcuse’s argument has been summed up in the phrase: No toleration of the intolerant. In the 1960s, Marcuse acolytes used a similar chant, “No free speech for fascists.” At first glance, “no free speech for fascists” sounds like an unobjectionable idea. But upon reflection, it becomes problematic.
Don’t all citizens under the Constitution have equal rights, and if so don’t they have the same rights to free speech, free assembly, and so on? If so, then fascists have those rights too. So on what basis can fascists in America be denied rights?

Since Marcuse intends this, he obviously does not believe in equal rights for all citizens, and neither, apparently, do his modern-day followers. Moreover, not once does Marcuse demonstrate that the groups he intends to repress are in fact fascist. Marcuse’s targets are not Nazis but rather patriots, Republicans, conservatives, and Christians.

The real meaning of Marcuse’s essay is: No free speech for patriots and conservatives. No toleration for capitalists and Christians. Of course, the fascists and Nazis themselves sought to undermine the institutions of liberal democracy, such as free speech and tolerance, in precisely the way Marcuse recommends.

To fight fascism with intolerance is one thing. But to fight classical liberalism and modern American conservatism with intolerance is, well, fascist.

This excerpt was taken with permission from Dinesh D’Souza’s new book “The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left” (Regnery Publishing, 2017).

Venezuela Run By Criminals : America Escaped The Same Fate?

In Venezuela politicians with criminal records run the country? I wonder if they were actually talking about the last 8 years in America? Is there a moral equivalence for what Barack and the progressive socialist liberals  and media did and are doing to this country?

For what has transpired over the last several months coming from the progressive politicians, both progressive democrat and Republican and the obsessed progressive media, it is clear the separation  between them and us is total.

Venezuela is the poster child for progressive socialist liberalism in this country. Only by the grace of God we have escaped the fate of people that are now suffering the total destruction of the socialist nightmare that was planed for us by Barack. 

But also know this, Barack is still with us and as he stated just recently, he and his Operation for Action will not stop his religious jihad for transformation. Understand, the election in November didn't end the crisis for individual freedom being lost, the fight to save the country has only begun.

Underreported: Meet 2 Political Prisoners From Socialist Venezuela
Kelsey Harkness / /

In recent months, Venezuela has spiraled into a full-blown humanitarian and political crisis. Politicians with criminal backgrounds run the country, employing violence and arresting peaceful, anti-government protesters.

In The Daily Signal’s feature series, “Underreported,” we interview Francisco Marquez, an ex-political prisoner who now lives in the United States, and Wuilly Arteaga, who recently was thrown into jail after peacefully playing his violin on the streets.

Hear and see their stories in the video below.

Watch the video :

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Charlottesville Riot Deeper Then Just Charlottesville : It's Transformation

Interesting take on the violence in Charlottesville. The author has compressed down to two warring groups that want to have the power to accomplish their personal goals at the expense of the others goals. But it's not that simple. There were many agenda at play.

What happened is the result of the much bigger agenda that has be been festering behind the scenes for years, especially the last 8 years, but only now the frustration and anger of a powerless feeling of have no way to stop the progressive socialist liberal agenda and ideology of ''transforming'' our country something like a European socialist ideological theocracy, has given way to groups that have decided at some point the destruction of our country has to stop, and the pulling down of that statue apparently was the last straw for some.

That all sides, and there seemed to be several, in the conflict were armed and ready and willing to do harm to each other is alarming. That is, have the ruling individuals, groups and organizations that influenced this chaos, are more advanced in their efforts to bring down the county are further along then were previously thought?

Know this, the conflict was not a one-off event. This was designed and organized by powers behind the scenes to bring chaos into the streets.

It was unfortunate in the extreme the push-back against the progressives' agenda, and specifically Barack's religious jihad for his promised 'changing of America' and vigorously pursued, had to come to such violence in the streets, but the pent-frustration and anger of years of progressive socialist liberal demands on civil society for a progressive change of life in this county has begun to spill into the streets.

And who is the winner here, only the perpetrators of hate for America. And the losers, everyone that has any common sense or love for the country and it Constitution.

I Went to Charlottesville During the Protests. Here’s What I Saw.
Jarrett Stepman / /    

I picked quite a time to go on a weekend trip to Charlottesville. What was supposed to be a nice getaway with my wife turned into a journey through the eye of a national media storm.

On Saturday, clashes between “Unite the Right” protestors and “anti-fascist” counterprotesters at the foot of a Gen. Robert E. Lee statue—which the City Council had voted to remove from a local park—turned violent. One woman was killed when an Ohio man allegedly associated with the white nationalist marchers rammed his car through a wave of people. He has been charged with second-degree murder.

The clash between Nazis and leftists in the streets was an ugly and surreal scene one would associate with 1930s Germany, not a sleepy American town in the heart of central Virginia.

A City, and Country, in Shock
The attitude of people around Charlottesville—the silent majority—deserves to be noted. They were almost universally upset, blindsided, and resentful that these groups showed up in their community to drag down its reputation and fight their ideological proxy wars.

Albemarle County, which includes Charlottesville and a few other small towns, is deeply blue in its most populated centers around the University of Virginia and dark red on the outskirts. It’s politically purple. Yet everywhere I went, the attitude toward the protests was similar. As a thunderstorm rolled in on Saturday evening, a waitress at a restaurant I ate at said, “Let’s hope this washes the day away.”
A local gas station attendant told my wife: “These people from out of town, Nazis, [Black Lives Matter], they’re all hate groups to me.”

In the aftermath of the events, most townsfolk walking in the Charlottesville downtown area appeared stunned and shaken. The overall feeling in the area was resentment—certainly not sympathy for any of the groups involved.

It would be a mistake to blow the events in Charlottesville too far out of proportion by linking either side to a mainstream political movement. In the grand scheme of things, it was a small-scale clash between groups who clearly represent an extreme minority in this country. Even calling the gathering of a couple hundred people a “movement” would be a stretch. The overwhelming media attention given to these fascist, racist groups even before violence took place served as a conduit for the views of this handful of people. The media’s role in blowing this event out of proportion is lamentable and predictable, but it doesn’t excuse what took place.

What the event does demonstrate is the looming danger of identity politics run amok. This is what is in store if we are consumed by the tribal politics that have destroyed so many other countries. In June, I wrote about why I think politically incorrect historical monuments—even Confederate ones like the Lee statue in Charlottesville—should stay.

 Why Cities Shouldn’t Take Down Confederate Statues
At the time I wrote:
In our iconoclastic efforts to erase the past, we rob ourselves of knowing the men who forged our national identity, and the events that made us who we are. This nation, of almost incomprehensible wealth, power, and prosperity, was created by the decisions of men like Lincoln—and Lee, too.
The zealous march to obliterate America’s past, even parts we dislike, will leave us a diminished civilization. Though many have now jumped to conclude that the events in Charlottesville show the need to give in to the desire of people to tear down statues, this will only serve to strengthen and embolden the radicals—on both sides—to step up their efforts to plunge the nation into constant social unrest and civil war.

Identity Over Individuals
In a sense, the “alt-right” and leftist agitators want the same thing. They both seek to redefine the battle over American history in racial and tribal terms in direct opposition to the most basic ideas of our national existence. Such was the case in the unsightly scene in front of Charlottesville’s Lee statue. The real individuals whom these statues represent simply ceased to matter.

It was telling that a counterprotest erupted in Washington, D.C., in front of the Albert Pike memorial. Pike had been a Confederate general, but the memorial itself was simply dedicated to his work as a freemason and not his military career. That fact was irrelevant. Only the war over identity mattered. Pike must be plucked out and purged.

In a country of 320 million people of stunningly diverse ethnic backgrounds and philosophies, this is a fire bell in the night for complete cultural disintegration. The end result will be uglier than the already sickening events that took place this weekend.

The Federalist’s publisher, Ben Domenech, rightly noted what this means for the direction of the country: “[I]t is the open conflict of a nation at war with itself over its own character. This war will end badly, no matter how it plays out. And the way this story ends is in demolishing [Thomas Jefferson’s] Monticello brick by brick.”

There is no arc of history bending perpetually on its own toward justice. History is instead a series of twists and turns, influenced by cultural and social forces as well as individuals and communities.
America has never been a perfect nation. It has benefitted from great ideas advanced by imperfect men, and almost miraculously formed a great and good national community out of widely disparate elements.

This history is worth remembering and even celebrating. It shouldn’t be buried because a few evil men have twisted it to serve their causes. Nor should it be used to attack and haunt the living.
As the late 19th-century poet Henry Van Dyke wrote:
I know that Europe’s wonderful, yet something seems to lack:
The Past is too much with her, and the people looking back.
But the glory of the present is to make our future free —
We love our land for what she is and what she is to be.
This is the spirit of our country, and it won’t change because a few thugs wish to turn our most fundamental principles on their head. We have a duty to repudiate them through a stronger dedication to the founding principles that have made this country great.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The War In Ukraine Is Real : Understanding The Truth

As the movie script goes in ''A Few Good Men'', Jack Nicolson shouts, ''You can't handle the truth!'' to prosecutor Tom Cruise. I believe works for the United States that doesn't want to know the truth about what's happening in Ukraine as it conflicts with the fantasy they want to believe, which is from the agenda of last 8 years where all conflicts that had the potential of disrupting the accepted narrative of 'leading from behind' and therefore must be defended.

Little wonder the world is a mess of death and destruction as a result of America allowing the bad actors around the world taking control of events. Thanks solely to Barack's religious jihad for transformation, America and most of the free world is in chaos.

The Truth About the War in Ukraine
Nolan Peterson / /    

In September 2014, I watched a tank battle from a hilltop in Mariupol, Ukraine.
I toured that battlefield, the day the first cease-fire was signed, on Sept. 5, 2014. I witnessed a wasteland of charred, destroyed tanks, and armored personnel carriers. And scores of dead soldiers who reminded me of the plaster molds of the dead in Pompeii, the way they seemed to be frozen in the moment and the motion of their deaths.

The conflict was then, and it remains today, a real war.

Editor’s note:  This article is a transcript of remarks by Nolan Peterson, The Daily Signal’s foreign correspondent, to the United States-Ukraine Working Group Yearly Summit in Washington, D.C. The June 15 event was sponsored by the American Foreign Policy Council, the Center for U.S.-Ukrainian Relations, and the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America. 

In the early months of the war, with Ukraine’s regular army on its heels, everyday Ukrainians filled the ranks of a partisan army that stopped an offensive by combined Russian-separatist forces, which was, at that time, leapfrogging across the Donbas. It was a grassroots war effort—an example of a society that didn’t need to be coaxed into a war by propaganda, but by a spontaneous, organic realization that the homeland was at risk. Ukrainian society, not its armies, repelled Russia’s 2014 invasion of the Donbas.

And now, three years after the war began, and more than two years after the Minsk II cease-fire went into effect, Ukrainian soldiers are still out there in the trenches, weathering daily artillery attacks, mortars, snipers, tank shots, and rockets, in a static war that feels like it has no end. The war is mainly fought from trenches and fortified positions along about 250 miles of front lines in the Donbas. It’s a long-range battle, in which soldiers hardly ever see whom they’re shooting at. It’s a terrifying type of combat, which I had never experienced during my career as an Air Force special operations pilot in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The February 2015 cease-fire, known as Minsk II, is a farce. The war is still going on, and soldiers and civilians, on both sides, are still dying and being wounded almost every day. Yet, the war has hardened Ukraine, both its citizens and its soldiers, and proven that the country is ready and willing to fight for its freedom. During my years of reporting on the war, Ukraine’s military evolution has been nothing short of remarkable.

In 2014, the Ukrainian army was a rudderless force, which had been gutted in equipment and personnel by 25 years of purposeful neglect and dismantling by successive, corrupt governments that were beholden to Moscow. In the past three years, and while fighting a war, Ukraine has rebuilt its military into the second-largest in Europe, comprising about 250,000 active-duty troops and 80,000 reservists. On the Continent, only Russia’s military is bigger. “It’s like building a boat while you’re already out at sea,” Luke Coffey, director of The Heritage Foundation’s Foreign Policy Center, told me.

Additionally, Ukraine increased its military budget by 23 percent the year after the war began. Ukraine’s current defense budget of about $6 billion represents roughly 6 percent of the country’s [gross domestic product]. And military spending is set to increase by about 10 percent annually.
Ukraine now operates more than 2,800 tanks—compared with 423 in France, 407 in the U.K., and 408 in Germany. Similarly, Ukraine’s arsenal comprises 625 multiple launch rocket systems—compared with 44 in France, 42 in the U.K., and Germany’s 50.

Yet, while Ukraine maintains a numerical advantage over other European nations in terms of troops and conventional weapons, its military needs to modernize. Much of its arsenal dates from the Cold War. Many of the Kalashnikovs the Ukrainian troops use have serial numbers from the 1970s, some from the 1960s or older. Yet, in a complete about-face from the Cold War, Ukraine’s strategic military doctrine now identifies Russia as the country’s top security threat. Resultantly, Kyiv is rebuilding its military with the specific objective of defending against a Russian invasion and adopting NATO standards by the year 2020. To modernize, Ukraine is revamping its military-industrial complex.

In 2015, Ukraine was the world’s ninth-largest weapons exporting nation. In 2016, Ukraine’s arms exports contracts jumped by 25 percent from 2015 levels, totaling about $750 million.
Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine’s president, has called for Ukraine to rank among the world’s Top 5 weapons exporting countries by 2020. Yet, in my opinion, the revamp of Ukraine’s military-industrial complex has been misguided.

Ukraine’s nationalized defense production conglomerate, Ukroboronprom, has focused on building showcase items like tanks, sophisticated rocket systems, and armored personnel carriers. Thereby siphoning limited funds from dealing with practical battlefield needs.

For example, after more than two years of a static conflict, there are still no [mobile army surgical hospital] units off the front lines to provide initial medical care for wounded troops. If wounded, Ukrainian troops travel across potholed roads, often in the back of civilian vehicles, to get to the nearest hospital for treatment. Ukrainian troops are still mostly dependent on [nongovernmental organizations] and civilian volunteers for things like combat medical training, individual first aid kits, body armor, uniforms, food, and water.

At most places, Ukrainian soldiers still used Soviet-era paper maps of the battlefield. Although some enterprising university students have created apps for tablets, which can be used for targeting artillery on a digital map of the war zone. But the soldiers still have to buy the tablets on their own.

In the front-line town of Marinka, Ukrainian troops have to steal electricity from the local power grid because—after three years of war—the government hasn’t yet given them generators. Even something as simple and inexpensive as modifying off-the-shelf drones for reconnaissance and targeting mortars is still being done by civilian volunteers. Many of whom are patriotic university students.

The bottom line: Ukraine’s military-industrial complex is being undermined by corruption. Altogether, it’s more committed to building weapons for export than meeting the needs of Ukraine’s troops in the field. The Ukrainian government allocated 13.5 billion hryvnias (about $500 million) in 2016 to repair, modernize, and produce new weapons for its armed forces. Ukroboronprom, however, said it received only one-third of this amount from the government, and is operating at less than half its production capacity. Yet, despite its materiel shortfalls, Ukraine now has a battle-hardened military that has been fighting a type of conflict, with which virtually no active-duty U.S. troops have combat experience.

I’ve had the chance to observe the U.S. Army’s training operation at Yavoriv, in western Ukraine. And the overall impression I had was that the Ukrainian soldiers had more to teach the Americans than vice versa.

Trench warfare, tank battles, artillery and rocket barrages—Ukraine’s army has years of experience fighting a conventional war with no air support, scant possibility of air medevac, and limited supplies. They’re used to being on the weak side of a fight. That’s not a familiar place for most U.S. troops to be. Ukrainians also have years of experience defending against Russian hybrid warfare, including cyberattacks and targeted propaganda. In short, Ukraine has a lot of experience, which the U.S. military and its allies, if they are wise, should study to understand what a war with Russia would look like. The war in Ukraine is a case study in Russian hybrid warfare. And Ukrainian troops, with limited means available, have improvised a successful defense against it.

After three years of war, in which more than 10,000 Ukrainians have died, morale remains good among the Ukrainian troops. Although they’re weary after three years of war under difficult conditions.

Each time I visit the front lines, I ask the Ukrainian soldiers what they’re fighting for. Throughout three years of unending combat, their answers have not changed. They say they’re fighting for their country’s freedom. They believe that if they laid down their arms, left their positions, and went home, Russia would simply invade behind them.

Underscoring this existential threat to the homeland, Ukrainian society has militarized due to the war.
Across the country, civilians regularly meet on the weekends for military training. They comprise a network of partisan forces called territorial defense battalions, which can be rapidly mobilized to defend against a Russian invasion. This grassroots defense mindset—which saved Ukraine from disaster in 2014—promises a protracted guerrilla conflict should Russia ever again launch a major offensive in Ukraine.
Ukrainians have the will to fight. They’ve proven that by fighting and dying for their freedom, singlehandedly, against the world’s second-strongest military for more than three years. But they need help.

The U.S. has, to date, provided Ukraine with some technology, which has proven useful on the battlefield. I’ve observed Ukrainian troops using the U.S. Raven drone on the front lines outside the town of Marinka, to target their mortars on enemy positions and vehicles. The U.S. has also equipped Ukraine’s military with counter-battery radars, which are now deployed to protect some military positions. They are not being used, however, to defend civilian areas, like the towns of Marinka and Avdiivka, which frequently come under rocket and artillery attacks.

A Ukrainian military official told me: “These units, although nonlethal, are still considered to be weapons, therefore we do not place them in residential areas or cities in order to not attract enemy fire and jeopardize the safety of civilians who live there.”

The perennial question here in Washington is whether the U.S. should send Ukraine lethal, defensive weapons. Based on what I’ve seen, and from conversations with Ukrainian officials, U.S. lethal weapons would, at this point, be a largely symbolic gesture. But it would send a strong message to Moscow about U.S. resolve to defend Ukraine from more aggression.

It would also be an affirmation for the right of any people, no matter whose sphere of influence within which they find themselves, to choose their own destiny. Yet, to truly make a difference on the battlefield, as it exists today, Ukrainian troops still need the basics like body armor, night vision goggles, encrypted radios, and first aid kits.

One last, quick aside before I close. While I was embedded with the Ukrainian army in Pisky in June 2015, I made friends with an impressive 19-year-old soldier named Daniel Kasyanenko. He was afraid that the war was ruining his soul, he told me, and that he had seen too many horrible things to ever be happy again. Two months after I met him, a mortar killed Daniel while he was fighting in the trenches in eastern Ukraine.

Yesterday, I emailed Daniel’s mother, Marina, and told her I was here in Washington to tell people about the war, and what her son had died fighting for. She replied to me: “Thank you. The whole world must learn the truth about the war in Ukraine. You do what you can to prevent our boys from dying.”