Are Words More Harmful Than Actions? A Contrarian’s View

Are Words More Harmful Than Actions? A Contrarian’s View

With all the talk of violent rhetoric inspiring real bloodshed, the recent manslaughter conviction of Michelle Carter in Massachusetts just adds fuel to the controversy. Granted, the case of Carter, now twenty, who urged her boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, to take his own life, is not the same as violent political speech, but the question remains: can words kill? Most conservatives don’t think so, including Rush Limbaugh in a recent rant. But one can also make the case that words do kill, and those whose language is hateful and lethal should be held accountable. Limbaugh adamantly opposed the verdict and hoped that it would be overturned. This sets a dangerous precedent, he said, given that Carter was miles away, urging Roy on via texts. The young man was responsible for his own death. Her behavior was reprehensible, according to Limbaugh, but he went on to lampoon the idea that according to liberals, Roy was a victim. Limbaugh has always been a vocal proponent of the idea that individuals should be held accountable for their actions, and not blame them on the words or persuasion of others. That is, indeed, a hallmark of conservative thought. On the other hand, a hallmark of civilized thought, accepted by everyone but the occasional grenade-thrower, is that you can’t yell ‘Fire’ in a crowded theater. In other words, say pretty much what you want, but not if your words cause immediate, foreseeable harm. Some will argue that the ‘crowded theater’ analogy doesn’t work well here since Carter was not urging a mob to mass violence. True, but to the extent that the analogy does...
Tough Truths: The Case of Philando Castile

Tough Truths: The Case of Philando Castile

The video is heartbreaking. Moments after she live-streamed the death of her boyfriend at the hands of a police officer, a woman cries as she sits in the back of a squad; her young daughter comforting her, saying “it’s ok, Mommy, I’m right here with you!” The little girl herself begins to cry moments later. That was July of 2016 in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota, following the officer-involved shooting of Philando Castile. Fast forward nearly a year. After a jury trial deliberation, St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez was found not guilty of manslaughter. Should people—particularly African Americans—be afraid after this verdict? If you’re on social media, if you watch virtually any mainstream commentary program, blog or show—heck yeah, you should be. As the story goes, a black guy got shot point blank in his car by an over-eager cop after simply reaching for his license, right? But just give me a minute. People, we have to be willing to look at facts, not emotion. We, just as the twelve-person jury (including two people of color) did in a court of law, must look at all the facts; not the simply the ones we think we see, or want to see. If we want a society where we ALL can live freely and fearlessly, we must resist the urge to pass convict via public opinion, and we must be willing to examine tough truths. Let’s dig in. But he was just reaching for his license! That’s where Diamond Reynolds’ Castile’s girlfriend) Facebook livestream starts. And that’s where the court of public opinion kicked in. I’ll be honest:...
Waiting on the World to Change

Waiting on the World to Change

Yesterday at work, I was listening to some old music and stumbled upon perhaps my least favorite song in the entire world. No offense to John Mayer, because this is honestly the only song of his I’ve ever heard and detested. His song, Waiting On the World to Change, bothers me for so many reasons, not the least of which is the chord progression. Every time I hear it, I sing, “I’m waiting (waiting!) waiting on the chords to change!” In all seriousness, though, the song is a wake-up call. Maybe that’s John’s point—who knows. He speaks of the lack of action in his generation, not for complacency, but for the feeling that the system is rigged, and there’s no action that can generate change. I get that. I know you get it, too. We’ve all felt that in our personal lives, haven’t we? Maybe you’ve had a medical diagnosis that feels like a death knell. Maybe you’ve lost a job and felt paralyzed by the struggle to find a new means of income. Maybe you desperately long to finish college but cannot afford it and yet somehow you make too much money to be eligible for financial aid. Maybe you have clinical anxiety and each day you fight what feels like a losing battle. There are a million possible maybes, and they are specifically tailored to each of us in our lives. Related: 10-earthlike-planets-found Many times we feel stuck in our circumstances, and the truth is, we just don’t know how to keep going. It hurts; we feel both helpless and alienated. But, it’s not true. Don’t believe it. The...
Women are Nothing But Second Class Citizens

Women are Nothing But Second Class Citizens

By Erma O’Bryan Clearly, it’s time that women learned their place. We’re told daily that it’s “our body, our choice–” as long as it involves killing unborn children, that is.  However, if a woman says that she doesn’t want to undress in front of a man in a locker room, or use the bathroom with someone who is “gender fluid,” or compete against a man in women’s athletics, we’re told that we’re ridiculous; we’re called bigots, homophobes, or transphobic. It doesn’t matter how many women object, if a single “trans-woman” demands her social justice, we are told to sit down and shut up.  We just need to know our place. Let me give those of you who are scientifically-challenged a quick biology tutorial.  If you have a penis, then you are a male.   It doesn’t matter if you tuck it, or tape it, or if you wear satiny girl panties, a bra, heels, grow your hair long, wear make-up, or even get breast implants.  You are still a biological MALE.  What this means for trans-athletes: Men have broader shoulders and develop more muscle mass and women more fat. Men have larger feet and hands. This could be useful to an athlete depending on the sport. Testosterone allows for greater muscle mass. It does not only affect muscle, but bones, ligaments, and tendons.  Testosterone also produces more red blood cells. Males have a greater amount of fast twitch muscles fibers. These types of muscle fibers allow for greater bursts of physical output.  Men have greater bone mass, as well, which allows them to withstand more trauma. Women have smaller lungs and hearts,...
Lesson One: Building a Fire

Lesson One: Building a Fire

Could you start a fire without a lighter or matches?  A firestarter kit is a must have for your bug out bag.  Heck, if Survivorman can start a fire in under 30 seconds, surely, we can do it too!  Only, it’s much harder than you might think. If you start striking the flint rod, you may get a lot of bright sparks everywhere but no fire. In the face of an emergency, or off-grid situation, it will be easy to panic, and you may become easily frustrated. I am going to teach you so that with a little practice you’ll be able to start a fire without any help from “man-made” objects, such as a lighter. Fire not only gives you warmth, but it can be used to cook food and boil water for drinking, light to see in the dark, security from animals, and it can give you comfort during a hard time. Three things are needed to start a fire: fuel, heat, and oxygen.   The fuel is what your fire is going to burn. Wood is a great source of fuel and can be collected with ease. Next is heat. An ignition source is needed like flint and steel. Last is oxygen, and that is everywhere, no need to supply that, just make sure your fire can get plenty of airflow to get the flames going. In the video below, I’ll show you three different ways to build a fire. The first is what I call the prepare method. This is where you have made fire starters before there’s an emergency or an off-grid situation. You will need...
Dear American Left Part II: It’s Time to Get Serious About Your Rhetoric

Dear American Left Part II: It’s Time to Get Serious About Your Rhetoric

As tensions heat up between North Korea and the rest of the world, we’re reminded once again of how the tiny despotic regime operates. Among many other disturbing practices, the North Korean starts the anti-American propaganda young. In kindergarten, the children learn to hate the “American b*******.” The principal of the kindergarten “pulls out a dummy of an American soldier with a beaked nose and straw-colored hair and explains that the students beat him with batons or pelt him with stones.” They teach them to fear and eternally hate the Americans. In kindergartens, “U.S. soldiers are depicted as cruel, ghoulish barbarians with big noses and fiendish eyes. Teeth bared, they brand prisoners with hot irons, set wild dogs on women and wrench out a girl’s teeth with pliers. One drawing shows an American soldier crushing a girl with his boot, blood pouring from her mouth, her eyes wild with fear and pain.” Sick, yes—but the dark little nation illustrates a great point: if the story is strong enough, vividly illustrated enough, persists for long enough, and told by enough people, it becomes fact to its audience—and people behave accordingly. I wrote a piece two weeks back about we’re handing down a societal tradition of monstrous, unethical, disingenuous, and dishonest behavior to our children, and that it is largely traceable to the far Left—thanks to the media, entertainment, and political class’s purposeful distortions of the truth. Again, we on the Right don’t run the engines of influence. The far Left does. But we’ll get back to that. Yesterday, with the shooting of Congressman Steve Scalise among others, that conversation just...