Reigniting The Meaning Of Citizenship Through National Service

It’s been a long time since a common rite of passage among our nation’s men was to put on a uniform and defend your nation, community, and family. Yet at a time of increasing hyperpolarization in our country, as well as the deteriorating state of our nation’s youth in mind, body, and soul, national military service may be an idea worth considering once again.

National service has been ever-present in our country’s history. From militias in the Revolutionary War era to the wartime drafts in the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, to peacetime drafts through various parts of our nation’s past.

The legacy from those eras of conscription still remain in the form of the Selective Service system, which many of us remember being notified that we needed to register for upon reaching age 18.

The Selective Service system also has been the subject of debate in recent years, as many persons have considered whether women should register for it as well – such as during the 2016 Presidential election when Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton called for such.

Among other republics and democracies in the world national service is relatively common, from the nations of Europe to Africa, from the Middle East to Asia to South America. Conscription began falling out of favor since the end of the Cold War, as the general state of worry over military conflict faded.

Yet in recent years conscription has made a comeback. French President Macron has been trying to reintroduce military conscription in order to “foster patriotism and heal social divisions.” Norway recently expanded its military conscription in 2016 to include women, as Sweden has now re-introduced conscription as well.

Perhaps the most noted military conscription program is that of Israel, which requires all men and women to serve about two years in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), with few exceptions. While brought about by military necessity, it has also cultivated an Israeli citizenry that has the character, grit, and sense of duty to keep their nation thriving.

It used to be that way in America, as serving in the military was a relatively common experience. In 1980, veterans totaled 18% of adults in the United States. In contrast, by 2016 that number had fallen to 7%.

At a time when our nation is reeling from divisions along seemingly every line possible, it is worth considering a common and shared experience as national service to reconnect our country together. The benefits are very clear in other nations, as despite often no overt military conflict conscription still provides a variety of security and social benefits to the country.

Undoubtedly the implementation of a conscription program, not seen in our nation for almost half a century, would be difficult initially. Not only have the times and culture changed, but so has the very nature of our armed forces.

Our military nowadays is an extremely high-tech organization and finding how to best utilize the massive manpower from our almost 330 million person nation would require careful delineation.

Furthermore, many of our nation’s youth, estimated currently at 71% of those between the ages of 17 and 24, are grossly unfit for military service. Creating a new conscript category and integrating them usefully into the nation’s military would be challenging, but given how seemingly every other nation is able to do it effectively we undoubtedly can find a way to as well.

The idea of national service would undoubtedly require a significant period of pilot programs and testing. The idea has been proposed frequently in the national discourse throughout the years and particularly during the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. It is a big, nation-changing policy that certainly, if it gets further traction and consideration, would be a serious national debate.

National service is a very realistic program that could do a lot in solving many of our nation’s otherwise seemingly unsolvable problems, as well as reigniting reflection on the meaning of citizenry in a republic.

I think it is worth considering at our present time, as, although it seems a big change, nonetheless could revive our American spirit and heal our nation in an extraordinary way.

 

The post Reigniting The Meaning Of Citizenship Through National Service appeared first on The American Spectator.

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Ben Shapiro: The Suicide of Europe

On Friday, the British police arrested Tommy Robinson, founder and former leader of the English Defence League, a far-right anti-Islam group. Robinson is a controversial character, to be sure, a sort of Milo Yiannopoulos lite. His chief focus is on the threat of radical Islam, which he believes threatens the integrity of the British system.

You don’t have to like Robinson. But whatever you think of him, his arrest is absurd by any measure. You see, Robinson was arrested for standing outside a court building and reporting on a trial involving the alleged grooming of young girls for sexual assault by radical Muslims.

Now, what would be illegal about that, you ask? It turns out that Robinson was given a suspended sentence last year for filming outside another court building, where a trial for alleged gang rape by radical Muslims was taking place. He wasn’t inside the courtroom. Nonetheless, the judge believed he was somehow biasing the jurors. According to the judge, Robinson was sentenced thanks to “pejorative language which prejudges the case, and it is language and reporting … that could have had the effect of substantially derailing the trial.”

This time, Robinson was again arrested for prejudicing a case, only he wasn’t inside the court building. He was outside. And the media were originally banned from reporting on his arrest so that his trial wouldn’t be biased. In other words, Britain has now effectively banned reporting that actually mentions the Islamic nature of criminal defendants for fear of stirring up bigotry — and has banned reporting on reporting on such defendants. It’s an infinite regress of suicidal political correctness.

But at least the Europeans have their priorities straight: While it’s perfectly legal to lock up a provocateur covering a trial involving Muslims, the European Union is now considering a ban on products like cotton buds, straws and other plastics for fear of marine litter. And just as importantly, it’s now perfectly legal to kill unborn children again in Ireland, where voters — with the help of a cheering press — decided to lift the ban on abortions until the 20th week, condemning thousands of children to death.

This is how the West dies: with a tut-tut, not with a bang. The same civilization that sees it as a fundamental right to kill a child in the womb thinks it is utterly out of bounds to film outside a trial involving the abuse of children, so long as the defendants are radical Muslims. The Europeans have elevated the right to not be offended above the right to life; they’ve elevated the right to not be offended above the right to free speech, all in the name of some utopian vision of a society without standards.

Discarding those standards was supposed to make Europeans more free; it was supposed to allow Europeans to feel more comfortable. But the sad truth is that no society exists without certain standards and Europe has a new standard: enforcement of its “tolerance” via jail sentence, combined with tolerance of multiculturalism that sees tolerance itself as a Trojan horse. The notion of individual rights sprang from European soil. Now they’re beginning to die there.

PHOTO: Ben Shapiro speaking at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Photo by Gage Skidmore. Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Pizza Place Employee Defends Himself From Mask Wearing Attacker

A lot of businesses have policies against their employees being armed. Yes, I know there are a lot of reasons for these policies, but the reality is that they don’t do much except disarm those employees and prevent them from defending themselves.

As a result, a lot of employees ignore those laws. They figure their life is more important than their job, an argument I wouldn’t be able to disagree with even if I were so inclined, which I’m not.

I’m not sure whether the Little Caesars in Holly Hill, Florida has such a policy, but at least one employee was glad he was armed.

The Little Caesars employee was closing up shop when a man in a bloody demon mask approached and attacked him. The masked man repeatedly hit the employee with a large piece of wood, knocked him to ground, and attempted to stab him. During the assault, the employee managed to draw his legally concealed firearm shoot the masked man.

The employee then called police and requested medical assistance for himself and his attacker.

“Please help me,” the employee told a 911 dispatcher. “He tried to stab me with a pair of scissors. He hit me in the face with a big piece of wood. I’m bleeding all over the place.”

Police arrived a few minutes later and rushed the masked man to Halifax Health Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. Holly Hill police Chief Steve Aldrich praised the employee for being able to effectively defend himself.

“As soon as he exited the building, he was immediately attacked by an individual that was wearing a scary clown mask and brandishing a wooden stick,” Aldrich told WFTV. “Even though he’s being attacked he’s able to pull out a concealed firearm he has and fires multiple rounds at the suspect. I’m glad that he was able to defend himself and that he’s OK. It’s just unfortunate that this whole episode occurred.”

There are no charges pending against the employee, thankfully, and the bad guy is dead as a doornail.

However, it appears they still don’t know who the attacker is or what exactly his motivation for the attack was. There’s no indication that robbery was the motive, nor does it appear to have been someone the victim knew. It’s just kind of a bizarre, brutal attack that was cut short by a citizen carrying a firearm.

Funny how that shakes out, isn’t it?

There has been no mention of the employee being fired over carrying a gun, so that’s a bit of good news. I get angry when businesses fire people who defend their own lives in spite of a store policy that would have gotten them killed. Again, I understand the reasons many of those businesses have those policies, but that doesn’t make them any less stupid.

Cases like this illustrate just why they’re dumb. Here is a man who would have been murdered in a brutal attack had he been disarmed by store policy. Instead, he’s alive and recovering from the attack while his attacker…well, not so much.

Folks, it can’t be said any clearer: guns save lives.

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Belgian Terrorist Kills Two Police Officers, Teacher With Officers’ Guns

Europe is known for having much tighter gun control laws than the United States. This is an established fact. It’s also one that the media loves to hold up to try and paint us as backward hicks clinging to our guns and whatever else they want to blast this week.

However, as we’ve pointed out, laws will not stop bad people from doing bad things. A recent example comes to us from Belgium where a terrorist released from prison just hours earlier where he was radicalized, murdered two police officers with their own guns.

This is the moment Belgian special forces took down a gunman who shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ as he shot and killed two policewomen and a 22-year-old trainee teacher.

After carrying out three brutal murders this morning, the attacker took a female cleaner hostage in a nearby high school.

The footage shows him running out of the school with two guns blazing before he was shot dead in the street. Several officers were injured in the gun battle.

The man, who is understood to have been on a day release from a nearby prison, had approached the female officers at around 10.30am, slashed their throats and stabbed them several times from behind, before disarming them.

He has been named as 36-year-old Benjamin Herman. His victims have been named as police officers Lucile Garcia, 45, and Soraya Belkacemi, 53, and 22-year-old Cyril Vangriecken, who was shot dead sitting in a parked car with his mother.

Tonight Liège police paid tribute to their two fallen colleagues on Facebook, calling them ‘wonderful’ mothers and officers.

A lawmaker revealed Belgian national Herman was on an anti-terror police watchlist after being radicalised in jail. He appeared indirectly in security reports on radicalised people and was a multiple repeat offender incarcerated since 2003 who was on day release when he attacked.

And, of course, no one could have helped these officers because the entire population is effectively disarmed.

However, let’s think for a moment. The killer murdered the two officers and got their guns, but what if he’d just disappeared only to pop up in some crowd where he could have reeked havoc. People are lucky this only claimed three lives, truth be told.

Yet through that, we see once again the reality that bad people will do everything they can to get their hands on guns so they can do bad things. This terrorist sure as hell did, and you’re an idiot if you don’t think someone else is watching this and thinking, “That’s how I’ll get a gun.”

Gun laws will never stop this kind of person. Laws mean nothing to these people, so going around them to get a gun means nothing to them. They’ll kill to get guns, after all. If they’ll do that, what else will they do?

Instead, all that happens is that regular folks who might be willing to step in and try and stop such an attack are disarmed. They’re prevented from acting to help their fellow man or woman because the law wants to treat them like criminals.

It’s a shame. It really is.

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SCOTUS abortion order celebrated by Ark. Baptists

The U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal today (May 29) to hear Planned Parenthood’s challenge of an Arkansas abortion law could allow the Natural State to become the first state to effectively outlaw medication-induced abortions.<br>

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Why America needs a new approach to school desegregation

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Getty/recep-bg

This article was originally published on The Conversation.

Despite all the time and effort invested desegregating the nation’s schools over the past half century, the reality is America’s schools are more segregated now than they were in 1968.

Keep that statistic in mind as the nation marks the 64th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education – the 1954 Supreme Court decision that famously mandated the desegregation of U.S. public schools.

If the vision of educational fairness expressed in the Brown decision is to be achieved, the nation must deal with the underlying driver of racial segregation in schools: the inclination of white citizens to hoard educational resources.

I make these arguments as one who has studied school segregation up close for over a decade.

Racial segregation has proved resilient over the last half century. It circumvented court orders and reappeared in housing patterns shaped by school zoning policies. It adapted by moving down to the classroom level to take the form of tracking students into gifted and talented programs or Advanced Placement classes. It has become alloyed with economic segregation so that low-income students and students of color end up concentrated in the same schools. The consequences have been predictably dire for students relegated to these increasingly underfunded and racially isolated schools.

Why school segregation persists

The historical record shows that the desire for predominantly white educational spaces has undermined desegregation orders from 1954 to the present. For example, willfully resistant interpretations of the charge to desegregate “with all deliberate speed” in Brown v. Board delayed substantive action on school segregation for over a decade.

This resistance has only increased in sophistication and effectiveness over time. Carefully choreographed legal and political strategies slowed desegregation of schools. The 1992 Freeman v. Pitts Supreme Court decision made it easier to lift desegregation orders and opened the way for a national swing back toward racial segregation in schools.

This new segregation is not directly enforced by law, but indirectly through school zoning, housing patterns, and recently by neighborhood secessionist movements.

All of this permits affluent white families to continue to monopolize premium educational resources.

Charter schools have not been able to slow this resurgence of school segregation. Neither did the federal No Child Left Behind law. In fact, there are reasons to believe both have made segregation worse.

Corrosive effects of segregation

Students of color in racially isolated schools experience lower academic outcomes. Their dropout rates increase.

My own research has shown how school segregation communicates corrosive messages to students of color. My colleagues and I spent 10 years interviewing students in an Alabama school district that had its federal desegregation order lifted. These children watched as the district’s predominantly white leadership moved immediately to rezone and resegregate their schools.

Students assigned to the district’s underresourced all-black high school reported concluding that they were regarded as “bad kids,” “garbage people,” or “violent or something,” and therefore not worthy of investment.

Perhaps worse, the black students in the newly resegregated school read the harm being done to them as intentional and often saw no hope of redress. One student remarked: “I feel like this is an injustice, the way we were brought here to fail. And now it is becoming a reality. I think five or 10 years more down the line it’s going to be horrible. Seriously, it’s going to be horrible.”

Where schools have been desegregated, the negative academic effects are significantly reduced. Rucker Johnson, associate professor in the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, has found that desegregation raises income levels and wealth accumulation across generations, and even improves health outcomes across students’ lifespans.

The psychological effects of desegregation, however, are more complicated. Desegregating schools provides more balanced access to resources, but puts students of color in schools staffed primarily by white educators who still often harbor implicitly and explicitly racist attitudes. Children of color pay a price for this.

For white students, school desegregation has no measurable negative effects on academic performance and graduation rates. Meanwhile, school desegregation provides many positive social effects for all students, including reduction of racial prejudice and generally becoming more comfortable around people of different backgrounds.

Possible remedies

So, what lessons have been learned from America’s failed efforts to desegregate its public schools?

The first is that the desire for racially segregated schooling evolves in response to efforts to promote racial equity in schools. This implies that lawmakers should not presume integration of schools will help communities “outgrow racism.” Desegregation orders, where needed, need to be permanent.

Second, geography has always been used as a proxy to preserve school segregation. Communities need housing policies that effectively inhibit the creation of racially and economically segregated neighborhoods.

Third, adequate and equitable funding is needed across school districts. There is nothing magically educational about sitting next to a white person in school. The primary problem is the way resources disproportionately follow white bodies.

Finally, the teaching profession must be fully diversified. Fifty-one percent of students entering public schools are persons of color, but more than 80 percent of teachers are white. Placing children of color in predominantly white schools and counting on color-blind professionalism to protect them is not an adequate plan. Research conducted by my colleagues and I reveals how this approach misunderstands the way racism operates and leaves children of color exposed to psychological and pedagogical harm.

America’s school systems need to recruit, support and retain teachers who identify with the experiences of the students they serve. Additionally, all teachers must be educated to recognize the constantly evolving forms of segregation in the nation’s school systems, to protect students from its worst effects and to join the struggle to build a better system.

Jerry Rosiek, Professor of Education Studies, University of Oregon

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Video: Mississippi Officer Turns Table On Attackers, Shoots One

I’ve said before that police have a tough job. Everything they do, they’re probably going to make someone mad. If they arrest someone or write them a ticket, they’ve made someone mad. If they just take a report, they’re making someone mad because all they can do is take a report. I mean, it’s like the poor folks can’t win for losing.

To top it off, there are people openly advocating for the murder of police officers in this country just because they’re police officers.

Recently, a couple of guys in Jackson, MS apparently tried their hand at killing a cop. It didn’t work out well for them.

The Maven provides some context:

The incident occurred just after 1 a.m. at a Valero gas station, when a Jackson police officer pulled over a white SUV for a traffic violation, WAPT reported.

The officer made contact with the driver, 30-year-old Elliot Reed. Reed’s brother, 26-year-old Chauncey Reed, was riding in the front passenger seat.

The officer was seen speaking with Elliot, while standing inside the open door of Elliot’s vehicle, surveillance footage showed.

Elliot then stepped out of the SUV, and a struggle ensued between him and the officer.

The officer grabbed Elliot around his legs at one point, and the men fell against the open door and a nearby vehicle.

Chauncey jumped out of the passenger side of the vehicle, and made his way towards the altercation.

The men struggled with the officer, and forced him backwards through a small space between the open SUV door and a nearby vehicle.

Elliot grabbed the officer, while Chauncey reached back inside the SUV.

He then drew out a weapon, and began shooting at the officer, The Kansas City Star reported.

It seems clear to me that the Reed brothers didn’t intend to let the officer walk away from the altercation. At one point, you see one of the men had gotten something resembling a firearm–an AK-pattern pistol from the looks of it–out of the SUV.

In other words, it sure looks from here like the officer’s life was in danger.

Luckily for the officer, he’s a policeman in the United States where we believe good guys should be armed. As such, he had an equalizer that allowed him to take on two large men effectively.

The results are clear. Good guys 1, Bad Guys 0.

I’ll take that score any day.

Now, unsurprisingly, there are those who think the officer was out of line by using his weapon. They’re convinced the Reed brothers were good boys who “didn’t do nothing” wrong. Damn the video showing Chauncey Reed exiting the vehicle and clearly attacking the officer. That alone condemns him. Regardless of what else was taking place, you just don’t do that.

If the officer was out of line for either the stop or trying to arrest Elliot Reed, you don’t get to jump him as he struggles with your brother. The moment you do, you now make it two-on-one.

Those who think the Reed boys didn’t do anything to harm the officer are lying to themselves. If the roles had been reversed, if two cops had done that to one of the Reed boys, what would they have thought? I think we all know the problem would be police brutality in their minds. The Reed brothers are getting a pass because they’re friends and family, not because they were necessarily right.

Which is why the family’s opinions of “good boys” is completely meaningless to anyone.

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Alyssa Milano says NRA member who asked about her gun-toting guards was ‘sent’ to ‘intimidate’ her

Actress and anti-gun activist Alyssa Milano says that a National Rifle Association member was “sent” to an #NoRA rally in Dallas over the weekend to “intimidate” her.

Milano appeared at the rally with her own gun-toting guards in tow, which smacked of hypocrisy to some, considering her anti-gun stance.

What’s the background?

An NRA member approached the liberal actress, who was speaking Saturday at an anti-gun rally in Dallas. The NRA simultaneously held its annual convention in Dallas over the weekend.

Conservative writer Ben Howe caught the exchange on video.

The incident featured a conversation between the unnamed NRA member and one of Milano’s bodyguards (a second video features Milano herself).

The NRA member can be heard asking if Milano’s guards were armed.

They were.

Despite the NRA member’s ease in carrying on a civil conversation, one of Milano’s bodyguards eventually maneuvered the NRA member away from the area in which the actress was speaking, effectively ending any dialogue.

What’s happening now?

Howe shared the second video on Monday, which featured the NRA member’s verbal exchange with Milano.

On Wednesday, Milano retweeted the video and wrote, “My conversation with an NRA member sent to the #NoRA Rally to intimidate me.”

Along with her tweet, the actress-turned-activist shared video featuring the discussion between her and the NRA member.

Despite the conversation between the NRA member and Milano being what appeared to be quite civil, Milano still insisted that the man was sent to “intimidate” her.

One person having none of it was NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch, who responded to Milano’s tweet on Tuesday.

Loesch wrote, “No one ‘sent’ anyone anywhere to ‘intimidate’ you. The man was walking with his young sons and when he politely asked question (on video) your hired gun pushed him from the public park, in front of his kids. The law-abiding NRA member deescalated the situation your guard caused.”

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