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June 12, 2018

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Weekly Forum: Is Trump Improving Race Relations?

Every Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question: Is Trump Improving Race Relations?

Doug Hagin: Frankly, race relations have been improving steadily. Of course President Obama did his best to reverse that course, and the left makes every effort to divide people along every possible demographic. I find President Trump to be a person who is reversing a lot of he damage his predecessor did.

At their heart, people are people, regardless of skin tone. Our president understands this, as most of us, of all colors do.

Puma By Design: Now that Barack Obama is out of office, race relations is improving.

I have noticed the change in conversation from neighbors, family members, my son’s friends and friends of my nieces. Many folks who throughout the 2016 presidential campaign season and Obama’s reign of terror fell for the Trump is racist and Trump supporters are racist, too storylines are now viewing the President through a not so tainted lens.

Of course, the race baiters, pundits, NeverTrumper, Communist media complex, deep state, their globalist masters and the Mueller investigation helped. The 24/7 anti-Trump derangement is annoying and causing people to question the agenda which leads them to re-visit their original views of President Trump.

Enter Kanye West, the pardons of Jack Johnso and Alice Marie Johnson, the tax cuts, jobs, an improved economy, the President’s stand against illegal immigration which is detrimental to the nation and devastating to the Black community. Obama offered none of this.

As a matter of fact, Obama, while hiding behind identity politics, in particular, the race card proceeded to set Black America back decades.

I am often reminded of my travels throughout Brooklyn, New York during George W. Bush’s final two years in office. Black communities that were destroyed in the late 60’s to mid-70’s had returned to what they once were. While not perfect, they had become thriving communities dotted with small businesses everywhere. The businesses, many of them were owned by Blacks who were finally living the American dream.

In 2008, these same communities and businesses elected Barack Obama. By January 2010, these same businesses were now fighting to keep their heads above water and by the spring of 2012, all that was left of most of the businesses were the awnings and shuttered gates.

In two years under Obama, Black communities across the country had regressed to pre-2005 status or much earlier.

So yes, those paying attention realize that President Trump is not the monster that ideologues make him out to be.

As for the ideologues, expect them not to stand down. Out of touch, they are in their own zone as are many of the useful idiots who question nothing. They are whom Kanye West has referred to as physically free but mentally enslaved.

Ignorant to the horrors of Communism and that their disdain for President Trump is beyond all rationale, they welcome Communism with open arms.

Those who are the real racists will always choose to believe that President Trump is racist and dividing the nation because Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and queen, Don Lemon, tells them so.

My son’s mother-in-law (yes, her again) hates non-Blacks. I believe that she, an immigrant from Jamaica, also hates Americans but she hides her bias because there is a grandchild involved (that and the fact that I make no secret about my love for country which has led me to suggest once or twice that she could always return to Jamaica).

Moving on…This woman hangs on to every word from Al Sharpton, Joy Reid, Don Lemon and her hero, Barack Obama.

She sees every attack against President Trump by the usual suspects as vindication of her belief that the President is evil.

Then there are those who live in poor Black communities who have spent their lives in poverty because they have convinced themselves that all whites (and Trump supporters) are prejudiced and responsible for their plight even though most have never lifted a finger on their own behalf to “upgrade.”

While these individuals despise the President, they worship Obama whose legacy to them and their neighbors is several Obamaphones and a food stamp card. As it turns out, many of these same people despise working Blacks, especially those who refuse to live on the Democratic plantation. Such Black are viewed as “uppity,” “stupid” and deserving to be abused or worse, used as a bank account for freeloaders.

When challenged on their bias, they cannot explain it and/or produce facts to back up their argument or lack thereof. It is at this point that many become hostile.

Below is a video that I ran across a few days ago on YouTube. Conservative activist and pastor, Jesse Lee Peterson took to the streets of Los Angeles where he questioned Black folks, most of whom are mentally enslaved.

Even though I have long distanced myself from the mentally enslaved, the video was painful to watch.

For the record, I made it a little more than half-way through. These are the people that I warned my son and nieces about when they were children.

Warning: Raw language, really bad vibes, ignorance on full display.

https://youtu.be/RVd0kWmEAwM

Rob Miller: My answer is it depends who you ask.

I don’t think President Trump is actually trying at this point to target race relations per se, especially when it comes to blacks. He did try that in the beginning, and it worked somewhat (remember ‘a New Deal for the black community’) but black voters stayed home or mostly voted Democrat like always. More on that particular group later.

Asians are a very diverse community, which includes East Asians as well as Indians and Pakistanis as well as Southeast Asians like Thais and Vietnamese. My personal observation is that most of the Koreans and Chinese I run into seem to appreciate Trump because they are very into business and feel his efforts and policies are improving the economy. Like most East Asians, they also respect age, so Trump is a natural. Indian Hindus tend to like Trump, Indian and Pakistani Muslims not nearly so much.

An additional factor is that Asians are realizing that traditional values they have always held dear like diligence in education, studying hard and reaping the benefits mean nothing to today’s Democratic Party and its minions. Even East Asians who vote Democratic now understand that they’ve been sold out.

Hispanics are another diverse group. Again, there was no ‘beautiful brown wave’ in 2016 like the media assured us there would be. Many Hispanics stayed home, others voted Democrat and a surprising number, especially in certain communities voted for Trump because they realized how the surge of illegal migrants was affecting jobs, housing and thew schools their kids go to. Now that Hispanic unemployment is at record lows, they might not vote Trump but they aren’t going to vote Democrat either. Peer pressure in their communities will ensure that Trump voters will keep it to themselves.

Much of the politicized class of Hispanics in the universities and various companies like Telemundo or who were heavily involved in the amnesty movement of course voted for Hillary. So did a lot of the illegal migrants in places like Nevada and California. California in particular is voter fraud heaven. These Hispanics still hate Trump and always will.

Some of what I said about Hispanics applies to blacks. I don’t think relations have gotten better for several reasons.

During the Obama administration, blacks were encouraged to think of themselves as victims and as entitled because of various antiquated grievances both real and exaggerated, or just because. As I explained here, Kanye West was more correct than he realized when he said that “400 years of slavery? That sounds like a choice.”

While some blacks are finally waking up, many still cling to that choice and can’t let go. To do so would mean abandoning the slave mentality and embracing self reliance, discipline and meritocracy. This kid of mindset, by the way, is quite prevalent among blacks in America who came originally from the West Indies and some of the former British colonies in Africa. They grew up with the British school system and came largely from married, two parent families who prized education as the way up. Many if them voted for Trump because they understood his message. So did blacks (very quietly) who understood what illegal migration was doing to their communities.

For many blacks, to abandon the eternal grievance attitude would mean losing a powerful political weapon, one very useful at election time when it comes to certain black demographics. With time, and given the jobs Trump has already created, that attitude may fade, but it will never disappear as long as it remains useful.

Laura Rambeau Lee: We are hearing and seeing less racial tensions erupting around the country since President Trump took office. He refuses to engage in the politics of race, genuinely wanting everyone to realize their dreams. People are feeling better about the economy. I believe he has improved race relations by enacting policies that are allowing the economy to grow and reducing unemployment, particularly in the black and Hispanic communities where unemployment numbers are at historic lows. Gainful employment improves self-confidence and reduces the feelings of victimhood. Working people do not have the time to be manipulated by the social justice warrior instigators. As the proverb says: Idle hands are the devil’s tools.


Patrick O’Hannigan
: I think President Trump is improving race relations for two reasons: First, in contrast to his immediate predecessor, he does not seem to see himself as a teacher or mentor for his fellow citizens, and does not therefore give speeches steeped in the idea that “real” Americans should share his own attitudes. Trump seems to have an “executive ego” rather than a “professorial ego.” Secondly, POTUS is notable for being what his enemies call uncouth and his friends call refreshingly honest. His straight talk can trigger arguments, but its singular virtue is honesty, which in the end will do more to improve race relations than “sensitivity training” in its various forms. Activists who try to paint Trump as racist do so because they have ideological differences with him, and that’s obvious to anyone who looks his Cabinet picks or business record.

Well, there it is!

Make sure to drop by every Monday for the WoW! Magazine Forum. And enjoy WoW! Magazine 24-7 with some of the best stuff written in the ‘net. Take from me, you won’t want to miss it.

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June 5, 2018

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Weekly Forum: What Are The Most Influential Books In Your Life?

Every Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question: What Are The Most Influential Books In Your Life? Why?

Don Surber:The Bible. Of course. I’ve never read the whole thing. Most people don’t. But religion tames men and gives us hope and shows how utterly insignificant and irreplaceable we are.

The Little Red Hen was very valuable in showing that you must work to eat. My late mother lived that life, planting the seed, harvesting the crop, etc. to feed five kids.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf taught me the lesson of telling false tales. I avoid it and avoid people who lie.
Chicken Little taught me the danger of following the crowd. In retrospect, Foxy Loxy gave them the ending they deserved.

Fahrenheit 451 deserves a mention. I mean, how can you love books and not admire those who memorized them to keep the books alive? But it did not shape me as much as those simple childhood books. And the Bible on which our civilization is based.

Mainly the Bible. Hope.

Doug Hagin:First the Bible, for very obvious reasons.

Next Animal Farm, what a great book. I opened my eyes to the evils of Marxism. I read it at 12, The line …but some animals are more equal that others is etched in my mind.

The third book was called Democracy vs Communism. Animal Farm kind of led me to this one. It detailed the horrific thing done under Lenin, Stalin, and under Communism in other nations.

Fourth, was a three volume set by Douglas Southall Freeman. Lee’s Lieutenants. What a great work looking at Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. I have re-read it a few times. It gives great insight into how an army worked at that time, and into the generalship of Lee, and his generals

Last, I would say, The Federalist Papers.Anyone wishing to grasp America, Federalism, why we are NOT a democracy, etc must read this.

Bookworm Room: Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends and Influence People, which taught me that respect is a powerful motivator.

Neville Shute’s A Town Like Alice, which taught me that even bad life experiences can lead to good things.

Max Dimont’s Jews, God & History, which helped me understand how important Jewish ideas have been in the West.

Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, which taught me that it’s not always easy to do the right thing, but that you still have to try to do the right thing.

Giovannino Guareschi’s Don Camillo books, which gracefully explained how horrible communism is.

Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism, a brilliant book about Leftist totalitarianism, and a book that leaves me confused about Goldberg’s intransigent NeverTrumpism.

John McWhorter’s Losing the Race, the first book that made me aware of the way in which the modern welfare state devastated American blacks.

R.F. Delderfield’s To Serve Them All My Days, which introduced me to the notion of “Few rules, but unbreakable,” which I’ve applied to child rearing and think should be applied to government.

Keith Richburg’s Out Of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa, which makes the argument that, although slavery in America was a deep moral failing, those blacks whose ancestors were brought here should be grateful, because it’s no fun being a black in Africa.

Jane Austen’s books, all of them, which remind us that ethical dignity, with a dose of acerbic humor, is a good way to go through life (not that I’ve ever met Jane Austen’s standards)

Leo Rosten’s The Joy of Yiddish, which is allegedly a lousy book when it comes to Yiddish purity, but is a wonderful book about Jewish American culture in the early 20th century.

And most recently, Dennis Prager’s The Rational Bible : Exodus, which is a book everyone should read to grasp core moral principles that lead to a free, functioning, highly successful society wherever they are applied.

I have to amend my list, because Doug reminded me about 1984. Second, I have to boast a little: I have read the whole Bible. I can’t imagine any school in America offering it anymore (including a Divinity school), but at Cal I took a class called “The Bible as Literature.” We read the whole thing, both Old and New Testaments. The teacher was boring, but the book, except for the begats and the rules in Leviticus was fascinating. Looking back, I suspect that laid the groundwork for me to become a conservative one day.

I’d better stop now or I’ll never stop. I keep thinking of more books.


Dave Schuler
: Max Dimont was a family friend. Shortly after the first edition of Jews, God, and History was published my parents invited him over for dinner. Nearly 60 years later I can still remember the evening vividly.

Patrick O’Hannigan:Fun question!

Hard to narrow my list of influential books.

I’ll put the Bible on that list because it has influenced me, but unlike some of my illustrious colleagues, I haven’t read it all the way through!

The Court-Martial of George Armstrong Custer
, by Douglas C. Jones, is the book that showed me how interesting and thought-provoking “alternate history” could be.

Red Sky at Morning, by Richard Bradford, is still the wisest and funniest “coming of age” tale I’ve ever read.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy introduced wild new vistas to my imagination, and convinced me of the perennial worth of heroism and persistence.

Last but not least, the WW2 prisoner-of-war memoir Give Us This Day, by Sidney Stewart was memorable not simply because Stewart survived not just the Bataan Death March and a long stint in a Japanese concentration camp, but also because my dad read it aloud to my brother and I over a summer when we were teenagers. He meant that as a character-building exercise, and although I was initially embarrassed that our neighbors could see these sessions (at a public table in front of our townhome), I realized later that my dad was right.


The Razor
: All of these books are on a nearby shelf. There are many more but I chose some that others likely did not.

PJ O’Rourke, Holidays in Hell. How I discovered the conservative satirist – while I was a flaming liberal no less. I still remember what he said about Korean democracy when he was asked about it after attending a rally where he was tear gassed: “Tastes terrible.” This book made me want to see the world. I carried it with me to Japan and Africa.

Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. This book helped me weather the storms of young adulthood and later helped again when I had to quit drinking. To me it’s an American classic, a psychological On the Road.

Dietrich Dorner, The Logic of Failure. This book traces the path towards failure in complex systems and explains how individuals and groups create failure. As our world gets increasingly complex the lessons of this book are critical. I’ve written the author and begged him to update it or write a sequel but was ignored.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Black Swan. One of my co-workers begged me to read this for months. Finally just to shut him up I read it – and found one of my top 5 books. It explains everything from why only a few writers and musicians are able make a living while most scrape by, and why economists are the modern equivalent of the ancient augurs who sacrificed animals then poked around their innards to divine the future.

Philip K. Dick, Ubik. His best work in my opinion and one deserving of a movie. Explores the nature of reality in ways that are only now being discussed. Dick was a true visionary and prophet and one of the 20th century’s great writers, and I have never forgotten that my mind is locked in a dark case with only a few limited sensory inputs into it.

Laura Rambeau Lee: There are so many books that have influenced my life, but I will narrow it down to the following six:

As a precocious youth searching for meaning and truth I discovered and read A Pillar of Iron by Taylor Caldwell and was introduced to Cicero. It is a historical fiction about his life during the time of Julius Caesar and the Roman Empire and many of his writings are scattered throughout the book. Since then I’ve read pretty much everything Cicero has written as his observations on philosophy, life, and politics rang true in his time and are sustained throughout the existence of humankind.

Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand convey the importance of the individual and our inviolable right to self determination and to fully enjoy the rewards of our labor. Her works are a warning to us about the evil that exists in the world in the form of communism/socialism/Marxism and those who attempt to strip us of these rights.

When I attended college in the mid 1970s I took many classes with a particular German professor because I was interested in hearing him speak about his experiences growing up in Germany. Many years later Professor Rainulf A. Stelzmann wrote his memoir titled Thinking of Germany at Night: A Personal View of the Years 1927 to 1956. His book is a must read for anyone who has wondered what it was like for an average family living in Germany during the rise and fall of the Third Reich.

Imagining Argentina by Lawrence Thornton is a fictional story surrounding the disappearances of over thirty thousand people into the general’s prisons and torture chambers in the late 1970s and early 1980s in Argentina. The main character is a man who has visions of the fates of those who have disappeared and people come to him eager to know what happened to their loved ones, although when his wife, a journalist, disappears he is unable to “imagine” what happened to her. It is a powerful story of the human need for closure no matter how horrific the details may be, and also how uncertainty and randomness are the ultimate tools of evil. Uncertainty causes paralysis and inability to act allowing evil to grow and take hold. We can and must have certainty and control within our personal lives in order to deal effectively with the chaos and evil around us.

The Bible tops my list of influential books, for it conveys through its stories and parables the moral codes and immutable natural laws that guide us all. What it teaches us is that all human beings have the capacity for both good and evil within them and that no matter how difficult and challenging even when we fail we can be redeemed.

Rob Miller: I love books. I always have.

A fascinating topic, n’est pah? As I think about books that influenced my thinking, it seems they can be categorized to a degree. So I’m going to try to work that in.

The first book I recall as a major influence was Gibbon’s Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire. I read it at 16. I got it out of my high school library and the last time anyone had checked it out was 9 years ago. I devoured it and it gave me a fascination with history that still lasts. Some of Gibbon’s research is now antiquated, but his delightful use of language and his clarity in communicating how freedom and morality can disappear and degenerate over time is unchanged. With that and an assist from Shakespeare (who got a lot of his plots from him) I managed to get hold of Plutarch’s Lives and other chroniclers of those times like Livy, the Plinys and Thucydides. Other history I’ve  particularly enjoyed? Churchill’s history of WWI, The World Crisis, his six volume history of WWII, Shirer’s two great histories The Rise and Fall Of The Third Reich and The Fall of France, which more Americans should read because of certain similarities to our own politics  in the last quarter century. I’ve also enjoyed Barbara Tuchman’s books, in particular A Distant Mirror, her history of the 14th century, The First Salute, about our  Revolution and  The March of Folly, which discusses how great nations screw up. Two other books I particularly like are The Discovery And Conquest of Mexico by Bernal Diaz del Castillo, who was there with Cortez and William Prescott’s The Conquest of Peru, which will give you an account of the only society where socialism ever worked, and why it failed. Castillo’s book will tell you exactly why Cortez was able to conquer Mexico and why the myth of ‘Atzlan’ popular in some circles is total nonsense when you look at who the Aztecs were and the vicious tyranny which characterized how they ruled.

Looking at the shelves, I also seem to have a weakness for biographies and first person accounts,especially of people I admire…or really don’t admire at all!

Fiction? Favorite Authors include Taylor Caldwell (Favorite book, Dialogues With the Devil which maybe Laura has read) Homer, Virgil, Somerset Maugham, Aeschylus, Herman Melville, Arthur Conan Doyle (all the Sherlock Holmes stories), Victor Hugo, Jack Kerouac, and JRR Tolkien. I have pretty much everything he wrote,  including the marvelous Silmarillion.  The message of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy is of course quite relevant to our own times. We too must drop appeasement and those who practice it as we destroy evil. I seem to have a weakness for tales of heroism and standing up for basic  principles even when it is costly and even dangerous. Gotta include Brave New WorldLord of the Flies and A Clockwork Orange on this list

Political stuff? David Horowitz’s Radical Son which shows exactly how the commies attacked America with Gramscion warfare to penetrate our culture and institutions. Tammy Bruce’s The New Thought Police. Most of  Ann Coulter (selectively) and Rush Limbaugh’s books. And Machiavelli’s The Prince, an amazing primer on politics and leadership.

OK  now we get to the real meat, religious, occult  and metaphysical stuff.  At any rate, I had an experience in my early teens that convinced me beyond any doubt  that there is a world outside that which we see and process.Growing up in a very secular home, it opened me up to a lot of inquiry about what I’d experienced.

The occult stuff  included what’s known as the Apocrypha, which is scripture that didn’t make it into the Bible like the Book of Noah, which details what really happened during the Flood and why. Another key book was Sir James Frazer’s The Golden Bough which is essentially an examination and compendium of various forms of occult practice, shamanism and what’s known as ceremonial magic. It’a fascinating read, and led  me to other sources on the subject that were valuable and definitely influential as far as teaching me certain values, self control and mental concentration. Caveat:   I would NOT recommend anyone getting into this stuff unless you really know what you’re doing, have the proper goals and attitude in mind  and are mentally prepared to handle it.

Religious literature? I’ve read the Bible at least 3 times, including not just the Torah but the whole shebang including the prophets and the writings. Ecclesiastes (Kohelas to the Tribe) is a compelling account of what is truly important in life, written by King Solomon, obviously one of the wisest men who has ever lived.   I’ve also read certain commentaries like the ones by Rashi and a fascinating Torah copy with translations of  commentaries by the Lubavitcher Rebbe  ..what an amazing  mind that man had! As one of my favorite Ravs once ribbed me during a little debate we had, “The Bible’s a great book! You oughta read it sometime!”

Ah, Brooklyn! Gotta love it.

One book I think a lot of people might find interesting and clarifying is Biblical Literacy, written by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, another incredible mind. It goes over the text and explains it in very accessible and I dare say entertaining  language.

I first read the New Testament in junior high, thanks to an amazing teacher who befriended m,e a Evangelical Christian named Bert Ortrum. I read  the Qur’an (Pickthall translation), Sunnah and a gob of the Hadiths after 9/11, not satisfied with what President Bush was trying to feed us. I also have a copy of the Book of Mormon, given to me by a close friend. I found it interesting both in terms of understanding the LDS faith, why so many of the Mormons I meet (lots of them around my neighborhood)  are such admirable people and why we get along so well. Of course, I never met Harry Reid so…

Well, there it is!

Make sure to drop by every Monday for the WoW! Magazine Forum. And enjoy WoW! Magazine 24-7 with some of the best stuff written in the ‘net. Take from me, you won’t want to miss it.

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May 29, 2018

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Weekly Forum: Is There A Solution For Censorship Of Views On The Right By Social Media?

Every Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question: Is There A Solution for Censorship Of Views On The Right By Social Media?

The Razor: Yes my solution is to stop using them completely. I deleted my Facebook page years ago and don’t regret it. Twitter is moronic and masturbatory. All the others have limited utility.

If conservatives publicly left these platforms they would turn into boring echo chambers for the Left – and that’s pretty much what they are today.

So why even bother?

I’ve been playing around with technology since I was a kid. I once thought there wasn’t such a thing as too much technology, but then I tried buying a book on my Kindle and was told that I had already purchased it. Not only had I bought it, I had evidently read it – and I had almost no recall of it whatsoever. That’s when I switched back to buying books. I learned that we have reached a point where technology is like everything else: 95% of anything is crap. We now have to make some conscious choices how we use it, not just stare at our phones and walk blindly into traffic.

At heart I am still a technophile – but there are clear limits. I’ve learned that social media is neither: it’s anti-social and it’s not really media either.

I just got back from Costa Rica, a family vacation at an all-inclusive resort (not the way I usually travel).

The restaurants were filled with people taking pictures of their food and posting them on their FB pages or Instagram feeds.

People were also posting pictures of themselves on the beach or at the pool – likely to their friends and families back home with tags like “Wish you were here.”

It’s a form of bragging – some call it “humble-bragging” – and like all bragging ill mannered.

As a kid growing up in the 1970s I remember how painful it was sitting through the slide shows and 8mm movies taken by friends of the parents.

It was painful then – and it’s still painful now.

We need to stop living in an alternate reality where we are the center of the universe and we think people care what we ate on vacation.

They don’t and we need to stop thinking they do. What this superficial liking and thumbing-up or what-have-you is doing is superficializing our relationships. Instead of meeting our friends face to face and having them ask us about our vacation, we send them pics on Facebook which they “like” for politeness or in the hope that you will do the same to their vacation stills on their next vacation. It’s eroding our communication – and fundamentally our trust, the very foundations of our human relationships.

So there are better reasons to bail on the social media than left-wing bias. If we value our relationships it’s time we put down the damn phones and meet our friends for dinner, or visit the sister we haven’t seen in a few years. That physical interaction is priceless whereas what we have today with social media is about as worth as much as a million likes: absolutely nothing.

Rob Miller: I’ve never used social media for much more than building my traffic and always gave sites like Twitter and Facebook the bare minimum of info they required. I’ve never been the sort of person who wants my entire life online. Lately of course, those particular channels are far less effective, and I spent a bit of time messaging my followers on both channels advising them to directly follow my site, which many of them were doing anyway.

While I’ve discovered other channels and methods to boost traffic, the fact remains that there are very popular web portals that lean Left and promote those views while censoring views on the Right. Even Spotify linked up with the infamous Southern Policy Law Center to target artists with conservative views and vet content for political correctness, although they later reversed themselves, it seems, after serious backlash from subscribers.

Andrew Breitbart (Z”L) famously said that politics is downstream from the culture. As with many other things, he was completely right. While we can boycott platforms that censor views on the Right and who promote Leftist ones, that’s only half the battle. Like it or not social media is an important part of the culture, and one that can’t just be ignored in the battle of ideas. The real trick is to go on offense and beat the Left at their own game. That’s exactly how Breitbart,FOX News and talk radio carved out niches for themselves. There’s no reason the same thing can’t be done with social media, where victory means building better more interesting platforms where free speech is encouraged to compete. One site that is doing exactly that is Gab, a Twitter competitor that allows 140 characters and freedom of speech. They’re relatively new but growing by leaps and bounds as Twitter fades slowly but surely. There’s no reason the Right can’t create their own social media. Gab is doing it.

Dave Schuler: I suppose making assault or battery perpetrated against Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin misdemeanors punishable by a $5 fine is out of the question?

Not using Facebook, Google, etc. is the obvious answer but, sadly, it’s insufficient. It wouldn’t be effective. Starting their own Facebook, Google, etc. is another obvious but inadequate response.

The only thing I can come up with is to make their business model unworkable. “Personally identifiable information” means data that could be used to identify an individual. Make PII the property of the individual whom it’s about. Make it illegal for someone other than the PII’s owner to sell it without the explicit, personalized assent of the owner on a per-incident basis.

Laura Rambeau Lee: The Left considers any conservative viewpoint to be hate speech that must be silenced. They have managed to shut down discussion of any opposing views on our college and university campuses. Students become hysterical and protest anyone who attempts to speak about conservative beliefs and principles. Those working at companies such as Facebook have come out of this collegial environment and fervently believe in the right of free speech – unless they disagree with what the speaker has to say. Progressives have been working for decades within our education system indoctrinating our youth and it is not going to be easy to turn it around. They have all but destroyed our Western cultural traditions and beliefs. They mock family, faith and patriotism. Those of us who are students of history are seeing a repeat of what has happened over and over again, particularly in the last century, as this evil ideology takes hold in our own country. Is there even a possibility for a middle ground where we can work together? I would like to believe so, but the left seems to have taken hold of the Democratic Party and platform. It also appears to have infiltrated the Republican Party as there are very few true fiscal and social conservatives in the party. In addition the unelected bureaucratic elites in government are extremely progressive in their beliefs for the most part and are working towards a more socialist government and egalitarian society. The fact that a majority of our youth today believe socialism is a good thing should scare us all. We are on the verge of losing this battle to the left.

For one thing, we must get involved in our public education system and insist our school curriculum presents unbiased materials. We must insist on teaching civics and classes such as Americanism vs. Communism that many of us were taught in high school. Many public schools today teach American history only from the Civil War forward. We should be teaching our history from the very beginning of our founding, particularly the concepts outlined in the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution.

As far as social media, it will require a lot of pressure from conservatives to change their policies. There does seem to be a growing backlash against political correctness from more people every day as the left is more out in the open and outrageous in their hysteria (which I believe comes from fear of hearing the truth) against opposing viewpoints. We should not tolerate the bullying going on in the name of free speech and expose it when we see it. We must keep talking and writing and sharing our values and viewpoints so that others will hear and hopefully come to understand the dangers of the left as much as we do. We have to utilize these social media sites to our advantage as much and as best as we can. It is up to us to expose evil whenever and wherever we see it.

Well, there it is!

Make sure to drop by every Monday for the WoW! Magazine Forum. And enjoy WoW! Magazine 24-7 with some of the best stuff written in the ‘net. Take from me, you won’t want to miss it.

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May 22, 2018

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Weekly Forum: Does Faith In G-d Bring Common Sense?

Every Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question: Does Faith In G-d Bring Common Sense?

Doug Hagin:Maybe it takes a healthy amount of common sense to have faith in God? Common sense often requires not over-thinking things, and accepting simple truths. many Atheists have that problem it seems. So, does faith bring common sense? Or is it required before faith? Hmmmmm

Patrick O’Hannigan:I do think that faith in G-d brings common sense, and although I haven’t heard Dennis Prager’s argument for that, he’s a man who does his homework. The question reminded me of an old book by Catholic apologist Frank Sheed. After 50 years of streetcorner preaching (among other endeavors), he wrote “Theology and Sanity,” which was first published in 1946, and is luckily still in print. If I remember his thesis correctly, Sheed said that it took sanity (for our purposes here, common sense) to recognize a higher power.

Mainline Christian theology teaches that the Holy Spirit is one of three divine persons in the trinity that is G-d, and ascribes to that generous personage (often described as “the love between the Father and the Son”) seven gifts. Those gifts (wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord) read like common sense writ large.

Rob Miller: I have to say, I like Laura’s approach a great deal as always. Before you can say whether faith in G-d brings common sense, you need to define what common sense is, n’est pah? Her definition of it as rational thought or right reason is excellent but it seems it works only so far. After all, look at what passed for common sense even a short time ago and how that has changed 180 degrees now to the point that many of us might find it ludicrous. How many times have you heard people of a certain political persuasion use the words ‘everybody knows’ as a serious argument or a means of ridiculing or demeaning others they disagree with? As someone whose name I can’t recall once said(Cal Coolidge? Will Rogers?) the thing about common sense is that’s it’s very uncommon. My point is that common sense is a loaded term that means different things to different people. Just as everybody imagines they have a sense of humor, they also imagine they have common sense, no matter how inane their opinions and actions are. Bookworm’s erudite example of ‘Gaia Worship’ in our universities is a fine example of how ‘common sense’ ain’t what it’s cracked up to be.

So in trying to peel this particular orange, my first thought is that belief in G-d can give you a kind of common sense, but that depends on how you approach it. Some hideous things have been done and continue to be done in the name of faith. The adherents of belief systems that that tolerate and even promote such behavior as showing ‘faith’ certainly consider what they’re doing to be common sense. The proof that it isn’t common sense can be seen in the retribution and end results of such behavior. There are numerous examples.

On the other hand, if you have faith in G-d and it means that you adopt a moral code that you demands you respect and attempt to act with decency towards all people and even the animals G-d created, not just the members of your particular denomination, that is very different. If you also acquire a desire to live in accordance with His Divine Plan and do so to the best of your ability out of respect and gratitude for His blessings, then I’d say you’re truly on the way to…yes,right reason and common sense! But the moral code I spoke of is imperative. It gives us a roadmap towards successful and happy living, which of course, is the ultimate in common sense, yeah?

Bookworm Room:What an interesting question. I’ll try to avoid simply repeating Dennis Prager, whose marvelous exegesis of Exodus I just read.

The Bible spells out an ordered world, with a single ordered intelligence behind it. This differs radically from all other faiths (at least the ones of which I’m aware), which are predicated on chaos. Think of the Greek, Roman, Druid, Mesopotamian, and Egyptian pantheons, all of which have irascible, child-like, selfish, divine beings randomly creating and destroying their way across the universe. Likewise, all animist faiths are predicated upon assigning little chunks of meaning to everything and, again, endowing their many divinities with some of humanity’s worst traits, including a striking lack of logic.

The same lack of logic applies to the Gaia worship that now controls so much of the Left. At its worst, it’s simply animism and paganism all over again, with an angry Mother Nature continuously punishing humans. In that vein, while I though Disney’s Moana was a visually gorgeous movie and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s music lovely, it too preached the most primitive, unscientific Gaiaism to children.

Even when Gaia worship purports to be scientifically based, it lacks any common sense or logic. The fact that the whole climate change theory functions only by falsifying data bothers no one, because the data is merely a prop for the faith, in much the same way chicken or goat entrails would be for the pagan seer. Understanding that also explains why, no matter how often the data is proven false, the faithful are undeterred. “Global warming” doesn’t work? Then “climate change” will? With that kind of divinity in charge, every thing — heat, cold, wet, dry, etc. — proves that the climate change divinity is firmly in control. That kind of thinking is downright hostile to common sense.

Today’s hard science also defies logic, at least when it comes to our universe. I believe in evolution and the Big Bang to the extent that hard facts, and intelligent inferences, indicate that they are reasonable theories. I don’t believe in them as matters of faith. And most importantly, I don’t believe that the Big Bang is truly the beginning, because common sense says that something had to precede the Big Bang. For a long time, though, science insisted, against all common sense, that nothing preceded the Big Bang.

That lack of common sense has become too painful, however, so scientists are now positing all sorts of things such as endlessly repeating universes, black holes reborn, etc. Occam’s Razor says that the simplest answer is the best and, ironically enough, common sense seems to say that, given the vastness and complexity of the universe, and given that humans are hardwired for God, may God is the answer.

I’ve sort of wandered around here, but I do believe that a book (that is, the Bible) with a completely coherent vision about the universe, about man’s place in the universe, and about man’s relationship to God and to other men, is a necessary foundation for logical thinking — and common sense, after all, is nothing more than baseline logic. All other theories of the world are predicated upon the random and the magical, both of which are the antithesis of common sense.

David Schuler: G. K. Chesterton said that the first effect of not believing in God is to lose your common sense but I’m not sure that’s quite right. He also called tradition “the democracy of the dead”. We are not the only people to have lived, indeed, our little lifespans are only a tiny slice of the entirety of human experience. When you don’t believe in God you cut yourself off from the vast trove of traditional wisdom, the distillation of that experience.

Laura Rambeau Lee:Let’s define common sense as rational thought; or right reason. Humankind existed thousands of years before the written word allowed us to communicate with one another beyond our families or tribes. If one believes in the Biblical tale of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, they lived in a paradise where everything was provided for them. They wanted for nothing. But they did the one thing G-d told them not to do. Eve was tempted by the serpent (Satan) and she ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Becoming fully aware and conscious she convinced Adam to partake of the fruit so he too would become aware. This consciousness is the spark of divinity we have all been endowed with by our Creator. This was the true beginning of mankind’s relationship with G-d. Whether one believes in the story or not, at some point we became sentient beings. And so in our conscious state we innately understand right from wrong and good from evil. Over time and out of trial and error and experience arose common sense. By the time G-d gave his commandments to Moses and his people they were already understood even if they were not commonly practiced. Common sense is right reason and is how we bring order out of chaos. It is how we structure our lives and our societies. But taking the next step, if we know right from wrong and good from evil, we have to question what makes us choose to be a moral and honest person and live our lives seeking a path of virtue, honesty, and goodness. Of what benefit is it to us? The answer is G-d. Our better selves strive to please our Creator. Perhaps the question should be does common sense bring faith in G-d? I believe it does.

Well, there it is!

Make sure to drop by every Monday for the WoW! Magazine Forum. And enjoy WoW! Magazine 24-7 with some of the best stuff written in the ‘net. Take from me, you won’t want to miss it

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May 17, 2018

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Weekly Forum: Have You Ever Had A Dream Come True?

Every Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question: Have You Ever Had A Dream Come True?

Doug Hagin: I have been in love and, well am still single, so that sums up how those dreams turned out. I would add, however, that my niece has been a blessing which is unmatched. So, no complaints.

Puma By Design: Have I ever had a dream come true?

Let’s see here. Where do I begin?

My response is likely not in the sense that the question may have been posed but yes, I have had dreams come true, a few of which I wished would not have.

There was a time that I would rather not see what’s coming until I accepted the fact that God has a way of preparing us in advance for what is heading our way, good or bad. Acceptance, faith and prayer diminished the dread and may have even played a role in how events later transpired.

Since today is Mother’s Day, what continues to come to mind is a dream that I had nearly 40 years ago.

While sleeping, imagine suddenly finding oneself sitting up in bed in a room surrounded by light and clouds (no I wasn’t drinking). A door opens, two strangers enter each holding a child swathed in white cloth. In the background, one hears the melody, “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”

It is at this point that one of the strangers turning toward me hands me a baby bundled up in a light blue blanket with the shape of a lion made of blue satin sewn into the blanket. I recall thinking to myself, “A baby boy. This is my son.”

The following morning, I told my husband about the dream and that we were going to have a baby. This would be our first. Several months later, that dream would become a reality. Cool right? Except God forgot to warn me about the 5 ½ months of morning sickness. Ugh!

I told everyone for nine months that I was having a boy. People thought I was nuts or assumed I had a sonogram. I did not and when I looked upon my son for the first time, I recognized him as the baby in my dream.

I never discussed the blanket or the melody in my dream but when we arrived home from the hospital, my sister gave us a musical baby lamb that she had purchased from Hallmark. When wound up, the musical lamb, as it slowly moved its head from left to right and back again, played a soft melody of “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”

A few weeks later, my husband’s aunt gave us a beautiful baby blanket. It was blue and had a lion made of blue satin sown into the blanket.

I gave the lamb to my sister some years later when she had her first child. As for the blanket, my son brought my grandson home from the hospital 12 years ago wrapped in the blue blanket.

I can’t end this without saying that my son was the first male born on my side of the family in 28 years and the first male born on my husband’s side of the family in 32.

Today is Mother’s Day, one of those holidays during which I reflect on such moments.

David Schuler: No. My dreams have all fallen flat.

Despite so many ordeals, my advanced age and the nobility of my soul make me conclude that all is well.

Rob Miller: Yes, definitely. Although sometimes not exactly the way I expected! Case in point…my dream from the first time I picked up a guitar (I was maybe 10 years old) and heard that lovely sound was to be a musician, and given the times, that progressed to the dream of being a real rockn’roll star.

Well, that one came true, sorta. I learned to play pretty well, was able to make a decent living playing, got to tour and to experience that life style and indulge in some of the usual fantasies guys have about that sort of thing to a certain degree. I also met a number of wonderful people as well as some real jerks, and like that old country song says, I’ve got my stories to tell. But the catch was that I had to put up with playing music I didn’t particularly care for the majority of the time. I was, in effect, a hired hand which was not exactly what I had dreamed of. Eventually it got pretty stale.

I also dreamed of having a true love, a woman who would love me for myself and be my life’s partner. That one happened, although not in the way I expected and certainly not at a time when I was looking for it. I’m still married to my beloved today, and she also gave me wonderful children, another dream I had that came true.

My dream of having my own business and being independent came true as well. After I got sick and tired of playing on commercials for used car lots, supermarkets and such, I went through a series of jobs and experienced what a lot of people do, that feeling of being tied down and under someone’s thumb without making the money I wanted to. After getting fired from the last of these, I befriended an Israeli contractor who was working on my house and got him a couple of jobs. He referred me to another Israeli friend of his who had a mortgage business and told me it was commission only, but maybe I could make some money. Real Estate and mortgages was the last thing I planned on doing, but after I closed my first deal and got that first commission check, I realized that I could make a living at it and that Israeli broker became one of my mentors, teaching me the business.After 3 years with him I realized it was time to take my shot, got my broker’s license and set up my own RE business. As nervous as I was in the beginning, it worked out quite well.

Were there dreams I had that didn’t come true? You betcha. But overall, the Almighty has blessed me and given me what I really needed and seen to it that I didn’t obtain the stuff I thought I wanted that wouldn’t have been so good for me at all. I’d be embarrassed to tell you what some of that was! And He also blessed me by having me work for what I wanted.

Bookworm Room: I have never had a dream come true but, as I get older, I’ve learned to view the blessings in my life as if they were dreams come true — which is pretty much the same thing, isn’t it?

Laura Rambeau Lee:Interesting question since as far back as I can remember I’ve not been much of a dreamer. To be honest I never had much time to dream. Becoming a divorced single mom of a two year old daughter at the age of twenty-five, I set my sights on raising my daughter and improving our lives setting one goal at a time, meeting that goal, and setting the next. I had attained a modicum of success in my career, my daughter had graduated high school and was attending college, and I had resigned myself to the possibility of remaining single for the rest of my life. Then I met my future husband, who had been widowed at the age of forty-two. We are truly soul mates and I feel blessed to have found such a good man to spend the rest of my life with. Our life together is a dream come true of a dream I never dared to dream.

Well, there it is!

Make sure to drop by every Monday for the WoW! Magazine Forum. And enjoy WoW! Magazine 24-7 with some of the best stuff written in the ‘net. Take from me, you won’t want to miss it

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May 13, 2018

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Dr. Jordan B. Peterson speaks with Ben Shapiro

Fascinating conversation between Dr. Jordan B. Peterson and Ben Shapiro on his book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, and the concepts of good versus evil, right and wrong, right reason and absolute truth.

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May 8, 2018

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Weekly Forum: Was Kanye West Correct In Saying 400 Years of Slavery Sounds Like A Choice?

Every Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question:Was Kanye West Correct In Saying 400 years of Slavery Sounds Like a Choice? Don Surber:Hahaha. No. Rob Miller: For once, I and the […]

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May 1, 2018

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Weekly Forum: Should the AG Prosecute Clapper, Comey and Brennan?

Every Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question: Should The AG Prosecute Clapper, Comey and Brenner? Patrick O’Hannigan:Yes! Rule of law should mean something, and even from what is public knowledge, […]

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April 25, 2018

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Weekly Forum: Is It Time To Forget About The Holocaust?

Every Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question: Is It Time To Forget about the Holocaust? Bookworm Room: Holocaust Memorial Day is a perfect example of the O’Sullivan principle: ” Any […]

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April 10, 2018

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Weekly Forum: Trump Vs. Mexico…Who Wins?

Every Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question:Trump Vs. Mexico…Who Wins? Don Surber: Never bet against Donald John Trump. OK? How many times must I tell people this? The Trump Effect […]

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