Inauguration Day

Today the nation watches as Donald J. Trump takes the oath of office and assumes the office of President.  This is a day that I, personally, have been hoping for since January 20, 2009.  We look forward to a new direction from the 8 years of Obama and hope that our elected representatives set aside their partisan differences and work together to improve the lives of all United States citizens.

Already we have hints that the Democrats are going to continue their post election petulant tailspin as 66 Democrats are refusing to attend the inauguration in protest.  Instead of reconciliation and hope we have sad publicity stunts and stalling tactics.  It is becoming consistently more clear why the Democrats are losing in many states.  Outside of their liberal bastions in New York and California and other deep blue states, Democrats have lost ground across the nation.

The embrace of radical left wing tactics may score points on CNN or in the offices of the Washington Post, it seems the rest of the nation is not so convinced.  Celebrities are collectively losing their minds over the incoming Trump administration.  I am quite sure that the precious snowflakes in Hollywood will survive well enough in the lap of luxury.

In the final moments of the Obama years the left-wing-beast he helped to foster has loosed itself on the streets of DC smashing windows and attempting to disrupt this important day.  The fervently anti capitalist and pro-communist “DisruptJ20” protest seem to be only a minor bump in the road as we march towards the swearing in of Donald J. Trump.

As a nation we need to end the divisive and racially charged age of Obama and work to Make America Great Again.  Within the coming days we will surely hope to see the replacement of Obamacare and the end of numerous overreaching executive orders.  We hope for lower taxes, more money in our pockets and better jobs.  We look forward to working with our adversaries such as Russia in a spirit of cooperation and mutual benefit.  In just a matter of moments we will move into a new era and I, for one, am excited to turn the page.

In Defense of General James Mattis

The following is an essay I wrote recently for my AP English class. We were told to write about one of Donald Trump’s cabinet picks and justify whether or not that person should be confirmed by the Senate. Please enjoy and feel free to give honest, constructive feedback.

After the acclamation of Donald J. Trump to the presidency in the 58th quadrennial American presidential election, there was a flurry in the media and in mainstream politics over his prospective cabinet appointees which took place. Many establishment pundits and orators expressed concern over who he might choose, and worried that those nominees may be too inexperienced or outlandish. When President-elect Trump actually began announcing some of his picks for key cabinet positions, these fears were realized in some cases. However, one specific nomination of Trump’s was a genuinely wise choice; General James “Mad Dog” Mattis for Defense Secretary. As a decorated military hero and veteran, the story of General Mattis is one of duty, heroism, and experience. For these reasons, as well as for his distinguished leadership in high-ranking governmental roles, General Mattis should be confirmed for the position of Secretary of Defense for the United States of America.
The United States Defense Secretary should ideally be someone who has had substantive experience in not only military service, but successful and notable military service. As the Department of Defense deals with military service and overseeing military combat, the leader should obviously be someone who has served the United States in wars. Few people who have had the privilege to serve in the United States Armed Forces have had such a long-lasting, accomplished, and distinguished career as General Mattis. Over the course of forty-one years, General Mattis has served in some capacity in the military. According to one biographer for Encyclopedia Britannica, “As one of the lead assault elements of the 1st Marine Division’s Regimental Combat Team 7, Mattis’s battalion was one of the first into Kuwait. Mattis was awarded a Bronze Star for valour… During the planning stages of the Afghanistan War, he was chosen to lead Task Force 58… Mattis led the 1st Marine Division during the early stages of the Iraq War, overseeing the longest sustained overland advance in Marine Corps history” (Ray 1). Few men or women are more uniquely poised to adequately serve as Defense Secretary than someone who has not only served in three separate wars, but has also achieved awards for their outstanding valor in those wars. Therefore, in the area of military experience, General Mattis is more qualified than even most of his fellow veterans to serve in the responsibility-latent position of Defense Secretary.
Though seasoned military experience is integral to the résumé of anyone aspiring to the role of Defense Secretary, it is not the only defining factor of a quality candidate for the position. A deserving candidate should also have experience in government, as well. The functions of the Department of Defense are much closer to how the Department of Education works in their mechanisms than those of a military battalion. Fortunately, in this respect, General Mattis is in no way lacking. Following the resignation of General David Petraeus, who was serving as the Director of the Central Command at the time, General Mattis was tapped to succeed him in the role by the Obama Administration. Serving in the role from 2010 to 2013, General Mattis was, according to one journalist, “responsible for [overseeing] the arc of crisis stretching from Egypt to Afghanistan” (Thompson 1). During this perilous and uncertain time, many Middle Eastern countries were experiencing violent uprisings against their dictatorial governments, known as the Arab Spring. It was General Mattis who led the Central Command during this turbulent time, an essential role for ensuring the stability of American military presence in foreign nations. During his time in a government role, General Mattis proved that he has the steady hand and level head that it takes to run a Department, especially one that is as riddled with turmoil as the Department of Defense — which deals with overseeing the dealings of the American military — is.
Since Donald Trump began naming his choices for the variety of cabinet positions which need to be filled, many political commentators and experts have espoused discontent at some of the names on his list. While this dissatisfaction is justified for some of President-elect Trump’s more bold and radical nominees, the same cannot be said of his choice of General James Mattis for Defense Secretary. General Mattis fills all of the essential criteria of someone which would commonly be considered an ideal candidate for the position. Over the course of his forty-one-year-long career, General Mattis served with great distinction in three wars and was correspondingly ordained with many awards and recognitions for his outstanding valor and courage in combat. Additionally, Mattis has the experience of leading in a governmental context as well as in a militarial context, serving as the Director of Central Command for three years. These unique and outstanding leadership qualities are those of a man who would undoubtedly serve with great poise and level-headedness as Defense Secretary. It is therefore the case that General Mattis should be confirmed for the position of Defense Secretary.

The Importance of Term Limits

Throughout the more than two hundred years of politics in the United States, various campaigns for a slew of different governmental and societal reforms have swept the political discourse. Often, these campaigns have central ideas that are integral to the lives of those running them, which is their primary motivation for taking up the campaign in the first place. Another common feature of these movements is that they will spring up as if out of nowhere, quickly gain momentum over a few short years, achieve their goals and then fizzle out. This is true of the women’s suffrage movement, the pro-integration movement of the 1960’s, the social movement for women’s rights in the 1970’s and 1980’s, and the marriage equality campaign of the 2010’s. However, the particular push for reform I am prepared to discuss has had its followers and advocates dating back to the foundation of the nation. Up to 80% of the public supports the measure, and only in present times has an organized campaign been launched to actually accomplish it. This reform, of course, is term limits on members of Congress.

Despite the fact that this particular issue does not receive the attention of some of the other modern calls for reform — probably because it does not revolve around bashing and shaming white people or men on the basis of their skin color or genitalia — it is nevertheless a necessity that this reform of our governmental system takes place. In a nation whose government purports to be of the people, by the people and for the people, it is essential that the citizenry can rely on their leaders to conduct the business of governing in a moral and wholesome manner. However, over the past hundred years or so, and as a result of this lack of term limits, a certain type of person has evolved in Congress; the career politician. The career politician is, in a few words, someone who will remain in office for decades while achieving next to nothing. The distinguishing feature of a career politician from a regular politician is that while a regular politician will do what they feel is morally right, a career politician will do what will get him donation money or votes. The career politician abuses the privileges that come with being a high-ranking elected official while losing sight of the purpose of being an elected official to begin with. Rarely is the career politician present when meetings of his chamber are in session, but often can he be caught dining or fraternizing with Washington, DC’s upper crust, celebrity backers and business elites. Only when his reelection or salary depend on it can he be compelled enough to show up to vote on legislation. He is a menace to his district and the bane of the existence of anyone who believes in a decent governmental procedure and clean players.

As previously stated, over the past century, Congress has become increasingly riddled with these leeches on the republic. They have been nothing more than a drain on effective policy, often setting aside or pushing against legislation that would set positive changes at the behest of rich lobbyists. This relationship between lobbyists and career politicians is nothing short of a match made in heaven, an almost symbiotic relationship; the career politician offers voting power for the lobbyist’s agenda, and the lobbyist offers handsome monetary rewards to be spent on reelection campaigns. This system of career politicians being controlled by rich lobbyists through money has caused a series of crooked dealings in Washington. Much of the legislation which is today voted into ratification by Congress has been concocted to forward the oft-unwholesome agendas of these affluent lobbying groups. The language of these bills is often overcomplicated and elaborate, so as to confuse the citizenry. Is this the purpose of a government run of, by and for the people? To produce legislation that favors a few rich lobbyists and their cronies, and is so complicated in its phrasing that that same population is unlikely to understand it?

While it would be easy to get bogged down in the specifics of the situation, it is important to recognize that this complex set of issues all stem from the same root; a lack of term limits on members of Congress. If there is simply action taken which sets term limits on elected members of Congress, the career politician will become a dying breed. They will no longer be allowed to indefinitely represent their district with an incompetent fist. They will, instead, have limited time to do actual work for their citizens. This measure would therefore have the effect of not only exterminating career politicians from Washington, but would also make the time of congressmen more valuable. Future Senators and Representatives would have to get right to setting to work, for they would only have four or six or ten or twelve years to make waves, so to speak.

In summation, this is the case for term limits for members of Congress. In a turbulent and divisive political time such as this, it is never more necessary than now to have a good, clean government. Therefore, it is never more necessary than now to hold congressmen accountable for their positions as elected officials, and to put people in Congress who actually want to get things done for their constituents.

The Benefits of a Russo-American Friendship

Throughout the eighteen-month-long 2016 election cycle, Russia and how it should be dealt with was a major talking point during debates and town halls. Whether it be Russia’s alleged yet unsubstantiated involvement in the hacking of Hillary Clinton’s private email server, or the question of whether it should be Russia or the United States who takes the lead in repairing the unstable and ever-fracturing Middle East, the national political dialogue seemed to revolve around Russia. Seeming to hark back to the Cold War, many candidates for President — including Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie, Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Rick Santorum, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, to name a few — took positions of harsh unfriendliness toward Russia. Some candidates even suggested being prepared to “use force” against the nation if necessary, a true throwback to the rhetoric of politicians such as Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Dan Quayle of the 1980’s. There is an understandable element of this anti-Russian sentiment, especially in the area of Middle Eastern foreign policy; as politicians running to become the President of the United States, it makes perfect sense that they would prefer that it is the United States who retains the most influential role in that area. However, in terms of the general discontent toward President Vladimir Putin expressed by most of these candidates, it is wholly illogical to be so repudiating. The fear of President Putin is based in whole or in part on unfounded rumors and assumptions about alleged censorship taking place within Russia perpetrated by the Putin administration. Though these are only rumors, they have been allowed to take control of how many Americans — including American politicians — perceive Russia. It can lead us nowhere good to have such baseless fears.

Following the election of now President-elect Donald Trump and the simultaneous defeat of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, these attacks on Russia in the realm of American politics have reached a fever pitch. This is mainly due to the accusation that President Putin had an indirect hand in hacking the previously mentioned private email server of Clinton and feeding those emails to Wikileaks, an international non-profit organization. This, despite the founder and owner of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, repeatedly denying these claims and instead citing an anonymous and unaffiliated person as the source of the 30,000 deleted emails that were published by Wikileaks. Nevertheless, these allegations have unearthed old stereotypes of Russian politicians as being authoritarian demagogues and sparked much debate about whether Russia deliberately influenced the American presidential election. The cohorts of the defeated Clinton in the mainstream media and the United States government have been quick to condemn President Putin for his supposed hand in assuring Trump’s victory through passing the emails to Wikileaks — again, despite there being no proof of this. However, it is admittedly easy to brand President Putin as guilty of purposely disrupting the election in such a way that the outcome would be skewed in favor of Trump, given how Putin has been prone to praise Trump and vice versa.

As a result of these understandable yet unreasonable fears and worries concerning Russia, it can be hard for some people to imagine what good can come of an improved relationship with Russia. In reality, Russia is an economic and political powerhouse with virtues of representation of the people and tradition ingrained into the society. In these ways, Russia and the United States are very much alike; many of the American people view traditional values such as liberty, freedom of speech, cultural maintenance, and the free market as vital to the upkeep of the society in which they live, and so do many Russian people. These similarities, as well as the parallels which can be made between the political power of Russia and the United States, present a massively overlooked opportunity for the mutual propserity of these two nations. A Russo-American friendship would make leaps and bounds in every possible facet. For instance, the combined forces of the United States and Russia backing Assad’s regime in Syria would quickly put an end to the Syrian Civil War that has been raging on for years. Terrorist organizations in the region such as ISIL and Al-Qaeda would be invariably brought to their knees with the joined might of both American and Russian intelligence forces. Israel would receive much stabler protection as a result, as no longer would there be power struggles between Russia and America as to who should be the greater influence on the Middle Eastern region. This sentiment is echoed by the recent maturation of relations between Russia’s President Putin and Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu; for the second time in a week, the two officials have met for what were both later described as effective and amicable talks.

In summation, the prospects of amicable relations between Russia and the United States are tremendous. The benefits are evident in the might and efficiency that such a relationship would bring. It would be an almost symbiotic relationship that would be beneficial for both partners. As such, President Putin and his nation should be welcomed by the American people, not rejected, and the fears and stereotypes of Russians in American society should be laid to rest, not restored to the former pedestal they enjoyed during the Cold War. Though it is true that the USSR was an authoritarian, regressive regime, the same cannot be said of the now-republican Russian Federation. Those who reject Russia’s newfound friendliness on the grounds of utterly unverified accusations, such as Russia meddling in the American presidential election, are — with all due respect to those people — fools without the gifts of neither realism nor opportunism.

Obama’s Abandonment of Israel

For much of the history of the state of Israel, it has dealt with challenges to its existence. Two wars have been waged by several Arabian Islamic nations, including Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen, to do away with the Jewish republic once and for all. Fortunately, both attempts failed catastrophically, and out of the ashes rose a stronger, fairer, and more efficient Israel. The threats that have been posed to the continuation of the prosperity of Israel have, in more contemporary times, stepped outside the realm of warfare and into the realm of politics. From 2006 to 2013 alone, there were 45 condemnations of Israel made by the United Nations Human Rights Council. This, despite there being absolutely no substantiations of the allegations made against the Jewish state in any circumstance in which a condemnation was made. Additionally, the United Nations has seen it fit to attempt to curb Israel at every possible turn, whether it be the discouragement of raids against violent Palestinian protestors by the IDF, or the encouragement of the recongition of the terrorist state of Palestine through accepting it into the General Assembly as an observer nation. The denouncement of Israel as an aggressor state or as an apartheid state only serve to strengthen the calls for these condemnations against Israel and foments contempt for Israel and Jews in general.

Until recently, one of the most trusted allies of Israel was the United States of America. As a member of “The Big Five” of the UN Security Council, and as a global superpower with much prestige and a large sphere of influence, the United States has had the ability to shield Israel from much of the assaults to its existence made by other nations. The United States has vetoed over 80 resolutions that would have condemned Israel through its veto power as one of “The Big Five”. I say “until recently,” because over the past few weeks, the Obama administration has moved to begin neglecting our friendly ties to Israel. For seemingly no reason other than to destroy as much of the American diplomatic integrity as possible before leaving office, Obama’s Department of State has decided to turn its back on Israel in the UN and in the public eye. Instead of using the aforementioned veto power that comes with being one of “The Big Five” in the Security Council, the United States’s Ambassador to the UN acted on orders to abstain from voting on a resolution that condemned the existence of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Simultaneously, the outgoing Secretary of State, John Kerry, gave a speech in which he was quoted as saying, “If the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or democratic — it cannot be both.”

This blatant anti-Semitism is a huge veer away from the orthodox position of America, which is to affirm and encourage the existence of Israel as a Jewish state. The reality is that Israel IS both a Jewish state and a democratic state, and it is tangibly hateful towards Jewish people to suggest that a Jewish state is inherently an anti-democratic state. If it is true that a state cannot be both Jewish and democratic, is it also true that the Islamic nations who have recently become allies of the outgoing Obama administration are exempt from being democratic societies? Must an entire nation be completely devoid of religion before it can be considered democratic? If the answer is yes, that this principle goes for all religions, then it is clearly an indirect affront to the moral boundaries created in western societies by Christianity. If the answer is no, that this principle is exclusive to Judaism and Jewish states, then it is indicative of a bias against Jews and what the cultural and religious traditions that come with Judaism stand for. Either way, this statement was a heavy-handed condemnation of one of our most trustworthy, respectable friends on the geopolitical landscape.

By damaging diplomatic ties with Israel in the waning days of his administration, President Obama has shown to a greater extent his lack of maturity and ethicality. He is pursuing a policy of scorched earth in an effort to make it as hard as possible for the incoming President, Donald Trump, to do his job adequately. It is no less than an attack on intrinsically American values to conduct oneself in the way that President Obama has been conducting himself since his preferred candidate, Hillary Clinton, was defeated on the electoral battlefield by Republican Trump. These recent radical turns at the United Nations are only one example of the many destructive actions that President Obama has been pursuing in the last month of his presidency. However, these actions against Israel are much more damning and cut much deeper. They are even more of a severe damage because of our historical affinity for Israel due to our love of Judeo-Christian values in this country. As such, the shock caused in the western world by our diplomatic turn against Israel will reverberate for much longer than some of Obama’s other recent rash decisions, such as his easily-reversible sanctions against Russia. However, the worst part of these actions is not the long-term damage to our relationship with Israel, but the emboldening of the enemies of Israel which it will cause. These, the same barbaric enemies who tried to extinguish the flame of the Jewish state as it was beginning nearly 70 years ago.

The Russian Hacking Fraud

In the waning days of his administration President Obama is throwing an epic tantrum on the world stage.  Not only did he send his stooge, Secretary of State John Kerry on a quest to snub Israel in the UN this week (grab a glass of water next time) he has also decided to lash out at the Russians – again.  Since his failed and embarrassing Russian Reset through the current situation in Syria, US relations with Russia have suffered significantly due to the ham-fisted diplomacy of the Obama administration.

President Obama’s immaturity through his recent decision to expel 35 Russian diplomats and shut down several Russian entities within the United States illustrates his arrogance towards the voting population of this country, voters that voted for change in 2016. He excused these rash actions with the accusation that Russia had an indirect hand in hacking the private email server of one Secretary Hillary Clinton. In reality, his ambitions in these recent moves are far more sinister. He is on a mission of scorched earth, and his actions are comparable to those of a petulant child that did not get his way and so is breaking all the toys. While most former United States Presidents have worked with their incoming successors and stayed relatively quiet during transitions, Obama sees fit to make waves and leave the new administration with some large issues to solve. This, on top of the damaged international relations and domestic policy that he was already set to leave behind.

Obama’s allies in the mainstream media echo these claims of Russian interference. They drone the same message in repetition, as if repetition can afix truth to their lies. The report itself, published by the Department of Homeland Security at the behest of Obama personally, begins with a disclaimer that immediately diminishes the credibility of the report.  The document goes on to make indirect references to the email of John Podesta and the Democratic National Committee.

These claims are made despite months of rumors and statements that the DNC emails were leaked, not hacked, by insiders that were disgusted by the party’s treatment of Bernie Sanders. Some DNC documents were hacked and published by a hacker calling himself Guccifer 2.0. Although his identity and motivations still remain unclear, he himself has claimed that he is not a Russian agent.

As for creepy John Podesta, his egregious and irresponsible handling of technology seems to have been taught to him by his then boss, Secretary Clinton herself.  He lost his cell phone getting out of a cab, sent his password in unencrypted emails and was stupid enough to fall for a spear phishing attack. It is abundantly clear that the responsibility for the emails being hacked should be lain at the feet of those from whom the emails were taken, and not scapegoats such as the Russian government.

Opposing views to the Russian hacking hoax are not given much press by those who generate narratives at the mainstream media. Notable cybersecurity pioneer John McAfee, for instance, makes the case that we may never be able to determine who is responsible for hacking the DNC or John Podesta. McAfee was quoted as saying, “I would use Russian techniques of breaking into organizations so there is simply no way to assign a source for any attack – this is a fallacy.” and that this report is a part of a ploy to “manipulate our opinions.”

There has been little to no proof made available by the Obama administration concerning these allegations against Russia. Though the CIA sees it fit to broadcast to the public that Russia may have been involved in hacking the emails of certain election officials, they do not see it fit to substantiate these serious accusations to the same public. There seems to be a concerted partisan effort afoot to sully the results of the election in the eyes of the public, in a repeat of the way the Democratic Party acted in the 2000 election.  The Russians certainly did not hack voting totals nor the electoral college results.  In fact, the only state that has proven to be a victim of hacking is the attempted hacking of State of Georgia, and that was traced to the Department of Homeland Security.

There is a sort of irony however, in all this talk of hacking and cyber security given the over two-year-long effort by the White House, State Department and Media Gatekeepers to ignore and downplay Hillary Clinton’s risky handling of sensitive and classified information with her unique interpretation of cyber security.

While Trump and his transition team work towards his inauguration, we here at The Duff Column wonder what else the outgoing Obama may have in store for us in the final days of his unaccomplished, uninspiring administration.

The Idiocy of The Young Turks

Before I became a member of the rightwing, I was a young, naive, indecisive centrist. With my exposure to the political side of the Internet, I found myself floating amongst a massive ocean of ideologically diverse opinions in every form. From the most progressive, leftwing Twitter feeds and YouTube channels to the most ultra-conservative blogospheres and alternative media organizations, I found it easy to immerse myself in geopolitical affairs and to be engaged in complex political discourse. This is a sentiment that is felt by most of those who partake in the political portion of the vast World Wide Web (politicosphere?). Even if someone does not happen to be one for browsing political blogs or channels, politics still permeates the overwhelming majority of casual social media and news feeds. One might readily assume that most if not all of these online political groups or feeds have something that is at least mildly intelligent to say. Personally, I was taught this as a general rule by my family; everyone has something worthwile to espouse. I attempted to carry this belief with me throughout my political discussions, and managed to do so, until I was exposed to a news organization known as The Young Turks.

The Young Turks, suspiciously named after the autocratic regime that carried out the Armenian Genocide, is a leftwing alternative news media channel. Incidentally, it is headed by a former Armenian Genocide denier, Cenk Uygur, who identifies as a member of the progressive left. Some of his cohorts include Ana Kasparian (an Armenian, ironically enough), John Iadarola, Jimmy Dore, Ben Mankiewicz, and Michael Shure. After consuming hours of their media through their YouTube channel, I am convinced that this smug, biased, uninformative news organization and its faces have nothing of value to say. In lieu of unbiased political commentary, The Young Turks would rather take part in smearing and demeaning their political opponents, or more generally those who disagree with them in any way. For instance, on Election Day alone, there were two instances of outright slander in their live broadcast; first, when Kasparian called all female supporters of Donald Trump “fucking dumb,” and second, when Mankiewicz denounced the Founding Fathers as “white, old slaveowners who died in their forties… not such geniuses.” Such other examples of their petulant libel include a six minute long video making fun of Donald Trump for allegedly liking his steak well-done, accusing the President-elect of choosing his cabinet based on looks, attempting to connect Trump winning the election with a racist official being re-hired by her employer (when the two were in no way correlated), and childishly jeering at former Representative Michele Bachmann for praising God because Trump had been elected President.

This simple-minded skullduggery on its own would simply be indicative of The Young Turks fitting right in with the majority of online news sites; a flashy creator of clickbait with enticing video titles and precious little actual information. What seems to set The Young Turks apart from other clickholes masquerading as news outlets, however, is its Islam apologism. A large plurality of the videos produced by The Young Turks have something to do with Islam, and most all of them have something to do with defending Islam from reasonable attacks. In the wake of both the November 2015 Paris attacks and the Berlin truck attack earlier this month, this news outlet released videos playing down Islam as an ideology’s role in the motivations of the attackers, going so far as to brand the perpetrator of the Berlin attack as being of Polish descent before actual information on his nationality was ascertained. In actuality, the man was a Muslim migrant of Tunisian background; yet this did not stop Uygur — who was making the report — from jumping to conclusions which precluded the terrorist from possibly being a Muslim. Another example of The Young Turks‘s shameless defense of the regressive ideology of Islam is a video entitled “Suicide Bombings Have NOTHING to Do with Islam”. This, despite the fact that, according to the INSS’s annual report on suicide bombings, 450 of the 452 suicide bombings committed in the year 2015 were committed by Muslims. It is doubtful that an ideology whose members are responsible for 99.6% of the suicide bombings in a given year has nothing to do with suicide bombings. While Uygur, who manages content production for The Young Turks, is fine with his organization and its main commentators promoting discrimination against Christians through their opposition to religious freedom laws (which would protect business owners’ rights to refuse service to people on the basis of their religion), he visibly recoils at any and all criticism of Islam. Islam’s inherent flaws and its connection to barbaric terrorist organizations notwithstanding, Uygur will excuse Islam for the behaviors of Muslims who commit acts such as rape, shooting, beheading, suicide bombing, or plowing a truck through a crowd of innocent civilians. He will act as though Islam does not promote attacking nonbelievers, even though it does so in over 100 passages.

In summation, The Young Turks is easily one of the most low-quality, egregious, blatantly biased political organizations one can come across. It is a sad reflection on the ever-growing, largely-rational alternative media when a news organization whose commentators say things such as “Poor white people deserve what they get,” and “I have no respect for women who voted for Trump… I think you’re fucking dumb,” is allowed to be a part of the moniker. However, the most scary thing about this website is neither what its correspondents believe, nor the misleading nonsense that it publishes. No, the most horrific part of this blight on the online political discourse is its massive and growing following of nearly 3.2 million subscribers. To relate why the fact that this bilge factory has so many followers is so bad, I will end this piece with a quote from fictional Star Wars character, Ben Kenobi: “Who is more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him?”

Dreaming of a Coup

Tomorrow, December 19th, the Electors in our Electoral College will cast their votes and make official the election of Donald J. Trump as the next president of the United States. Since the election, the Democratic Party and their cohorts in the mainstream media have fostered a series of ill-fated schemes to pervert the results of the election in such a way that Hillary Clinton is made the President instead.

First, the recounts. Jill Stein’s quixotic quest raised more money to fund recount efforts than did her entire presidential campaign.  Wisconsin being the only state where an actual recount was triggered actually ended up strengthening Trump’s victory in the state while her PA and Michigan recount efforts were doomed to fail from the start. The strategic selection of those three states was part of an overall scheme to target Trump’s electoral college victory.

When the recounts failed the left began another maneuver.  Target the electors themselves.  Across the nation reports of harassment and threats against electors have been glossed over by most of the main stream media puppets.   This strategy too seems to have been a failure having only exposed one elector from Texas (Christopher Suprun) who will not be voting for Trump.  Petitions and pleas from Hollywood windbags don’t seem to have amounted to much more than what we usually see from the left; impotent, ineffective idiocy.

The Case for “Merry Christmas”

During the winter months, there are a host of different holidays that come and pass in rapid-fire succession. From religious holidays such as Chanukah, Saint Lucy’s Day and Diwali, to cultural holidays such as Kwanzaa, the months of October through January are packed with distinct celebration after celebration. However, for the purposes of this column and its aims, I will endeavor to focus my attention on the most commonly celebrated — and in recent times, the most controversial — of these numerous festivities; Christmas.

Christmas, the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, takes place on December 25th annually. Adhered to ritualistically by 2.2 billion Christians across the planet, Christmas is a time for reverence, celebration, mildness and cheer. As 70.6% of Americans are of the Christian faith, one might expect the number of Americans who recognize the birth of Christ to be a similar amount. In reality, however, the percentage of Americans who celebrate Christmas is a whopping 92% — that is, if Pew Research is to be believed. That sort of homogeny in regard to celebration of a holiday is nearly unheard of in the modern western world, and is indicative of an ultimate conclusion; Christmas is not just a Christian holiday, it is a uniquely American holiday. It is imprinted into the fabric of American society to the extent that nearly one-fifth more Americans celebrate it than are actually Christian.

With all of this in mind, there remains one question; why, then, does the political left insist on doing away with Christmas in the daily lives of Americans?

It was in the middle of a holiday party for a club I am involved in at my high school that I first encountered this perplexing truth. As the festivities were wrapping up, I was preparing to make for the afternoon bus along with several other club members. As I walked toward the door to leave, however, my ears perked up at the voice of the club president chanting behind those of us who were leaving: “Drive safe, guys! Happy holidays!” In a blind moment of admitted naïveté, I turned to the president and said “Merry Christmas!” I was shocked to see not a smile in reaction to my extension of good faith, but instead a nasty sneer spread across the club president’s face.

I am sure most if not all of my fellow Christmas lovers have encountered such a predicament. Nationwide, there is a growing shift in terms of how some Americans feel about Christmas. Specifically, those on the left seem to have a snowballing contempt for Christmas. Why that is could be due to its connection to Christianity, or its connection to American traditionalism. In any event, there is a clear disdain for Christmas and its domination over the American holiday season. As such, many leftward figures and members of the populace have sought to do away with any and all presence of Christmas wherever possible. In the school system, Christmas breaks are being replaced by “winter breaks”; in the workplace, Christmas parties are being cast aside in favor of “holiday parties”; when Christmas is allowed to be mentioned, the religious aspect of it is often heavily censored. Most troubling of all is the fact that many work protocols now advise employees to say “Happy holidays,” instead of “Merry Christmas”.

This attack on all things Christmassy is a tragic, despicable affront against American society and, in a broader sense, on western values. By bleaching the holiday season of dominance of any one holiday, the left may feel it is doing society a favor by equalizing the different celebrations. In reality, however, all that liberals are doing is wiping America clean of a beloved holiday followed by all but 8% of the population. By taking Christmas away from school, from work, and from language, youths such as the aforementioned president of my club are created; young people who have no attachment to tradition or culture, and therefore no attachment to America. The 92% of Americans deserve nothing less than to have their holiday valued by the institutions of bureaucracy in this country and retained in its current position in American society; an irreplaceable hallmark of our nation’s most beautiful virtues.

The Mainstream Media is Dead

In the run-up to the United States Presidential election this year, we have witnessed a number of signs that the mainstream media is no longer the dominant voice in the American political discussion. This has been the election year they have gotten it all wrong and have fallen out-of-touch with the average American voter’s concerns.  What’s more is they are yet to realize their need to make serious and substantive changes before facing complete and utter extinction.

From early on, the press fawned over the Democratic nominee, Hillary Rodham Clinton, with glowing coverage. That is no metaphor, by the way; a CBS broadcast literally aired a shot of Clinton glowing a golden hue following her nomination for President. They provided excuses for her email server situation. Personally, I had always suspected that the mainstream media’s cozy relationship influenced their coverage of conservative/right leaning candidates. That suspicion was confirmed courtesy of emails that were leaked to WikiLeaks. These emails provided voters with an insight into the rather comfortable relationship between Democrats and so-called journalists at networks such as CNN and MSNBC as well as paper-based publications such as the New York Times and Washington Post.

Hungry for truth and empowered by social media, voters began a great migration from television to alternative sources of media and independent journalists on Twitter and Breitbart. Without independent journalism, it is highly doubtful that the story of Hillary Clinton physically collapsing would have made any headlines on CNN.

The mainstream media has shown such frightful irresponsibility to truth by attacking these alternative sources as ‘fake news.’  The attempt to label these sources as Russian propaganda seems like a desperate move, but it is perhaps one of the first indications that these media tycoons are becoming aware of their ever-growing irrelevance in the face of social media.

Back in October, President Obama floated the idea of a ‘truthiness test‘ for news. Just this week Facebook has made available a plugin that identifies ‘fake‘ news stories.  This puts the definition of truth into question and at the center of the discussion.  Who will decide what is truly news and what is ‘fake news’. How could such an ambiguous, subjective concept be manipulated?  These are questions we need to begin to ask before we allow the power of truth to be usurped.