Lamenting that no cities of Bihar was included in the National Clean Air Programme , state Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Sunday said he would raise the issue at the environment ministers’ conference. The government has formulated the NCAP as a medium term national level strategy to tackle the increasing air pollution problem across the country.
Last week, Virginia’s general assembly voted to expand Medicaid under the auspices of Obamacare. The commonwealth’s legislators had wisely resisted doing so for years, but four GOP state senators broke ranks to vote for this bill in exchange for a provision stipulating an anemic work requirement. The “news” media have, of course, touted this betrayal as a victory for the poor. It is however, precisely the reverse. Expansion will consign thousands of truly poor and disabled Virginians to purgatorial Medicaid waiting lists while advancing able-bodied adults with incomes above the federal poverty level (FPL) to the front of the line.
Why would Virginia pursue such an obviously unjust policy? Like all Democratic programs, it’s about power and money. Obamacare incentivizes expansion states to shift Medicaid’s focus to able-bodied adults by paying over 90 percent of their coverage costs, while the federal share of costs for traditional Medicaid patients remains below 60 percent. This does not mean, however, that doctors and hospitals will receive more money. Providers will continue to be paid less by Medicaid than the cost of treatment whether the patients are expansion or traditional enrollees. The extra money will go to political slush funds and insurance companies.
Medicaid expansion doesn’t work like the original program, which was administered by the states as a safety net for poor children, pregnant women, the disabled, and the elderly. Management of Obamacare’s corrupted version of the program is farmed out to insurance companies. A typical example is Wellcare, which accrued over $10.6 billion in 2017 from its coverage of able-bodied adults. The company plans to reinvest $2.5 billion of that revenue in the acquisition of Meridian Health Plans of Illinois and Michigan, which will increase its Medicaid portfolio by 37 percent. Meanwhile, truly poor patients die on waiting lists.
This is not conjecture. A recent study, conducted by the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA), revealed that at least 21,904 Americans have withered away and died on Medicaid waiting lists in the states that expanded the program under Obamacare. Even worse, the 21,904 figure reported in the study almost certainly understates the true death toll. A number of expansion states were somehow “unable” to provide FGA with death totals, while others implausibly claimed that there were none to report. It is nonetheless clear that Medicaid waiting lists in expansion states constitute a kind of death row for the genuinely poor.
The worst carnage has occurred just north of the Beltway. Maryland is easily the deadliest state for traditional Medicaid applicants, chalking up no fewer than 8,495 deaths among individuals languishing on its waiting list. During the same time period, even as these patients were left to die, the bureaucrats of the Old Line State enrolled very nearly 300,000 able-bodied adults under the aegis of Obamacare. Louisiana took second place in killing its traditional Medicaid patients. The Pelican State reported 5,534 deaths among the unfortunates who wound up on its waiting list, while 451,000 able-bodied adults were enrolled under Obamacare’s expansion.
Additional states whose Medicaid waiting lists have killed a thousand or more people include New Mexico, where 2,031 poor and disabled patients died while the state signed up 259,537 enrollees under Obamacare’s expansion scheme. Michigan left 1,970 of its residents to die while enrolling 665,057 in its new and improved Medicaid program. West Virginia allowed 1,093 patients to die on its waiting list while signing up 181,105 able-bodied enrollees. The remaining expansion states are mere also-rans with death tolls ranging from Iowa’s paltry 989 down to Minnesota, which managed to leave only 15 of its poor and disabled citizens for dead.
This is the august company Virginia’s General Assembly chose to join last week. The Old Dominion will become the 33rd state to take Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion bait, demonstrating that the commonwealth’s politicians have learned little or nothing from the deadly experiences of the previous states that were gaffed by their own greed. Those Medicaid expansion states still have nearly 250,000 poor, disabled, and elderly individuals wasting away on waiting lists. Yet Obamacare advocates in Utah, Idaho, and Nebraska — blissfully unaware of the death tolls quoted above — are working to pass expansion in November via referenda.
Maine activists have already tricked the voters of the Pine Tree State into passing a referendum approving expansion, but the program hasn’t been implemented because Governor Paul Lepage has refused to go forward: “My administration will not implement Medicaid expansion until it has been fully funded by the Legislature at the levels DHHS has calculated, and I will not support increasing taxes on Maine families.” This speaks to one of expansion’s most profound ironies. Even if Washington continues footing most of the bill, herding the able-bodied into Medicaid is a budget buster for the states. It nearly broke Maine the last time they tried it.
Medicaid expansion under Obamacare privileges able-bodied adults with incomes above FPL, states can’t pay for it in the long haul, and it causes the genuinely poor to be dumped onto waiting lists where they quietly die in their thousands. Yet the Old Dominion’s newly-minted Governor, Ralph Northam, will gleefully sign an expansion bill into law this week as the leaders of his party and the media beam benevolently from on high. His name may even be uttered by the Great Mentioner as potential presidential material. For any Democrat, that’s certainly well worth a little inequity, the occasional budget deficit, and a few thousand human sacrifices.
The post Yes, Virginia, Medicaid Expansion Will Harm the Poor appeared first on The American Spectator.
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.
Edward Conard is a former Managing Director of Bain Capital and bestselling author. In this Conversation, Conard shares his perspective on why innovation is the key to America’s long-term economic vitality and how we can go about fostering it. To address what he describes as a shortage of properly-trained talent and risk-bearing capital, Conard calls for increasing high-skilled immigration and other public policies that match talent with opportunities. Conard and Kristol also reflect on the inequalities that are inherent in a technology-driven economy and consider what can be done now to benefit lower-skilled workers in the years to come.
The increasing popularity of electric vehicles may create a crunch for supplies of cobalt in the early-to-mid 2020s, miners and analysts say, adding that small operators trying to start up mines outside Africa could play a bigger role over time in satisfying demand for the metal used in rechargeable batteries. FILE PHOTO: A man prepares to drive a Totem-Mobi electric car-sharing vehicle parked at a charging station in Marseille, France March 6, 2018.
Atlanta, GA —-(Ammoland.com)- With American consumers spending $887 billion annually on outdoor recreation, the industry is a formidable force in the U.S. economy. However, due to the continuing decline in reach and effectiveness of traditional outdoor broadcast and print media, and with the shift to online fueling increased fragmentation, consumers are harder than ever to reach. Media Lodge solves those issues for brands, media buyers, and agencies through their arsenal of digital properties. As the premier content creation studio, digital distribution platform, and sales representation company dedicated to outdoor enthusiasts, Media Lodge engages the loyal, consumer audience with authentic content and tactical precision.
Media Lodge offers a targeted, authentic audience at scale, delivering the industry’s most engaged outdoor enthusiasts across a digital landscape delivering more than 40 million unique monthly web visitors across 300+ exclusive websites, and over 250 million monthly impressions across their expansive social media and email platforms.
To reach these hunting, shooting sports, camping, fishing, motorsports, and related active outdoor audience segments, Media Lodge works closely with brand partners to create authentic content and custom marketing programs that support their brand campaigns and accomplish strategic goals. The resulting partnerships create 1-to-1 consumer brand engagement through Media Lodge’s social media, email, video, display, and sponsored content offerings.
In addition to authoritative content from its Emmy Award-winning content creators, Media Lodge possesses unparalleled expertise in commerce and affinity marketing. Access to terabytes of consumer transactional data in the outdoors markets ensures Media Lodge reaches these enthusiasts at all stages of the purchase funnel, from awareness through purchase and brand loyalty.
Jeff Siegel, CEO of Media Lodge, knows that reaching the outdoors recreation audience can often be frustrating and wasteful, but it can’t be ignored. “Brands can harness the power of Media Lodge’s expertise in speaking to this high-spending segment in an authentic voice to capture these difficult-to- reach, but highly sought-after consumers,” he said.
“Cord cutting is accelerating. Many niche outdoor television channels are unrated by Nielsen. The time-buy-centric model creates shows that resemble infomercials, and are barely indistinguishable from one another,” lamented Siegel. “On the print side, magazine circulations and revenues continue to freefall, while some companies are ceasing operations altogether. The line between editorial and advertising is so blurred that readers’ trust in the content is gone. Consumers now flock to digital outlets for their content although lack of quality, subject restrictions, and penalties on some outdoor content from Facebook, Google, and YouTube, plus overall fragmentation still exist. A simple, indisputable fact is that people consume content differently now,” he said.
According to Siegel, “Media buyers consistently tell us that this audience, the classic Middle America, country music fan, outdoor enthusiast, and motorsports fan is extremely difficult to reach, and no one is doing it well, until now. Media Lodge offers a turnkey solution to marketing directors, media buyers, and strategic planners.”
Investment in digital content rose to unprecedented levels in 2016, as, for the first time, digital ad revenue ($72.5 billion) surpassed TV ad revenue ($71.3 billion) domestically. This marked a 22 percent surge in digital ad revenue, and although it marks eight consecutive record-breaking years, it’s the first time mobile has overtaken desktop spending, and the first time digital as a whole has surpassed television advertising spending.
Additionally, according to the same IAB report, digital video hit a record $9.1 billion in 2016 (a 53 percent year-over-year increase). On mobile, video revenue jumped to $4.2 billion (a 145 percent YoY increase). Desktop video is the only segment seeing growth on desktop, increasing 16 percent to $4.9 billion from 2015. In 2018, mobile video ad spending is expected to grow to nearly $18 billion.
“This is what consumers demand, so brands must adapt and evolve,” says Siegel. Digital video is central in the consumer entertainment and commerce experience: 92 percent of potential prospects consume online video; 4 billion videos are watched on YouTube every day; 1/3 of shoppers purchase products after viewing video ads; 52 percent of people say watching a video makes them more confident in online purchases, and online video is nearly 60 percent of all internet traffic.
“Media Lodge’s data-driven approach to content creation and distribution allows delivery to millions of targeted views across video and interactive content while providing detailed metrics that provide consistent delivery of more viewers than many cable networks,” says Siegel. Original shows such as Petco and Brett Favre’s 4Outdoors Present: Dogs2DogTags, The Good Fight, American Nomads, Finding Fearless, Ruger’s American New Shooter Academy, Ruger Range Drills, New Gear and Guns, Influencer interview Series, and Realtree’s Not Seen on TV Fishing Show are leading the charge.
For further details on how Media Lodge can increase your brand’s visibility, enhance customer engagement, and drive revenues, please visit www.medialodge.com.
About Media Lodge:
Media Lodge has assembled a unique set of assets to engage with over 17 million unique monthly Outdoor enthusiasts in authentic and powerful ways. In addition to fishing, camping and powersports, Media Lodge has become the largest firearms and hunting media platform, helping brands engage with enthusiasts across the best websites and exclusive, leading commerce engines. Additionally, Media Lodge has invested heavily to insure partners understand their customers, research their competitors and realize manufacturing efficiencies.
For me information please visit www.medialodge.com.
The post Target and Engage Hard-to-Reach Outdoor Enthusiasts With Media Lodge appeared first on AmmoLand.com.
The Senate easily approved extensive reforms to the Department of Veterans Affairs on Wednesday, extending benefits to more veteran caregivers, averting a funding crisis and increasing veterans’ access to private-sector health care. After contentious negotiations that spanned more than a year, senators voted 92-5 to pass the VA Mission Act – a $52 billion deal struck between Republicans and Democrats to boost funding for VA programs, as well as the agency’s use of private doctors.
Conservatives aren’t the only ones with reasonable gripes about the news that Barack and Michelle Obama have signed a multiyear production deal with Netflix. Forget the increasing politicization of entertainment for a moment.
“Indeed, the existence of class, of social hierarchy, is as old as man himself. It prevails in the jungle where strength determines hierarchy; among men, it has also been savagely the same; whereby rulers vested with power through personal combat; or through lineal heritage as in the case of royalty; ravage their subjects.” —Sionil Jose, Contemporary Philippine English Author
Never have so many been so enamored by an irrational fantasy, spoon fed to us by a news media hungry to appeal to the raw emotions of their “subjects” ….. for ratings. It was TV saturation of Harry and Meghan, channel, after channel, after channel. If the world were coming to an end, we’d still be seeing Harry and Meghan on our flat screens.
By the time you read this, the pomp, circumstance and pageantry “wedding of the century“, under the British Crown, will finally be over and the “little” people can go back to their daily drab lives while they dream of prince and princesses.
Hopefully, it is obvious to some that Prince Harry and American Princess Meghan Markle are flesh and blood people, as are all royals. They eat and drink, they sleep, they eliminate, they get sick, they make love, they have kids and like every other human being on this planet, they bleed and they eventually die. Their brain and their body parts are the same as yours. They are not elevated to some superior status just because of a birthright. It is a fantasy, a fiction and a contradiction of and conflict with human freedom. At the risk of offending a whole lot of people, you are being conned ….. unfortunately willingly.
What hogwash. For God’s sake people, we fought a revolution to be free of Kings, Queens, royalty, the elite and the bankers. Now we glorify them?
We are WE THE PEOPLE, not subjects of the Crown, or the Democrats, or the Republicans, or the executive branch, or the legislative branch, or the judicial branch, or the deep state, or the central bankers. We’re not British subjects any more and haven’t been for over two centuries. We are free Americans and at great cost and sacrifice. But oh how quickly we abdicate our individual sovereignty to those who wield political power over us without so much as a whimper or a nod. We have sullied and trashed the memory of every man, woman, or child that gave their lives for freedom. In 242 years we have plundered our freedom and gave it up for a false sense of security and a free handout from government, along with millions of strangling laws, rules and regulations.
Look what has happened to the original thirteen colonies, those Confederation of states that gave birth to American freedom, the Declaration of Independence and the U. S. Constitution during and after the American Revolution? At least eleven of those colonial states have morphed into socialist strongholds where Democrat/socialists control the legislative, judicial and executive branches of government, as well as the bureaucracy.
Massachusetts is a far cry from the days of yesteryear and the battles of Concord, Lexington and Bunker Hill. Massachusetts spawned the flawed and corrupt Kennedy Dynasty and the likes of Senator Elizabeth (Pocahontas) Warren. Vermont gave birth to that socialist wonder, U. S. Senator Bernie Sanders. What is even more alarming is that millions of millennials flocked to Bernie’s coattails when he ran for President in 2016.
The Royal Connecticut legislature, gun control nuts all, just passed the National Popular Vote Compact. The Compact, by Democrat controlled states, are blatantly designed to circumvent the Electoral College and return America to the popular vote. They may just succeed.
From an article in the Daily Signal they describe Connecticut’s conspiratorial end run around the Constitution.
“Most Americans have never heard of the National Popular Vote compact, but it is shockingly close to causing a major political and legal firestorm. It is a clever scheme to change how we elect the president without the bother of having to pass a constitutional amendment.”
“States that approve this legislation enter a simple compact with one another. Each participating state agrees to allocate its electors to the winner of the national popular vote regardless of how its own citizens voted. The compact goes into effect when states holding 270 electoral votes (enough to win the presidency) have agreed to the plan.”
“With Connecticut’s vote, 11 states and the District of Columbia have now approved the measure, giving the compact a total of 172 electors. It needs only 98 more to reach the 270 mark.”
And look what has happened to the Democrat-controlled States of California, Oregon and Washington. California might just as well be its own separate socialist Central American Spanish-speaking country and secede from the Union. Oregon and Washington, that is the Western parts, have succumbed to the rallying cry of not only socialism but radical environmentalism, while taxing their citizens to death by the billions for the worldwide con game of climate change, salmon habitat restoration for Indians and paying for the homeless. The more money they throw at the homeless and the Indians, the more the homeless and the Indians demand. Duh!
Meanwhile, Americans get all goo-goo eyed over a wedding of two mortals, who just happened to be the offspring of do-nothing royals in a country that can’t seem to divest itself of its royal King and Queen past.
But it’s not just the British royals and family dynasties we abhor. Government, the elite, the establishment, the deep state, central bankers and the Socialist Democrats are on our list as well.
Everywhere you turn, or own royal government is in our face. Laws, regulations, permits, taxes and higher costs due to government negligence, corruption and fiscal insanity, dominate your life. We might just as well live under a King or Queen.
You can’t turn sideways without breaking a law. You live in a police state but you don’t know it, or don’t care. You tell yourself, “well that’s OK, at least they haven’t come into my house.” And how long will it be before they start walking into your house without a warrant, or come on your property and poke around looking for violations for which they can fine you, or send you to jail? Wake up! American “royals” are already doing it, for a fair-the-well. So you say, “well that’s OK, at least they haven’t come into my bedroom.” Think again! They are already looking into your bedroom and checking out the sex behavior of the American culture for use in designing further controlling policies. College and universities spit out these over-educated psychological “experts” like cordwood and guess where they go to work? That’s right, government, public education and academia.
Government royals collect the most intimate details about each of us and all that information is stored on massive computers. Cameras are everywhere. Electronic surveillance is ever present. The FBI and DOJ have gone rogue. Government, under Obama Care, requires that all of your medical records be electronically stored in a national database. Doctor – patient privacy will be non-existent, if it isn’t already.
Got a sex problem? The government will know. Not paying your bills? The government will know. Got guns in your house? The government will know. Got speeding tickets? The government will know. Had an argument with your spouse? The government will know. Spanked your kids? The government will know. Using too much electricity or water? Government will know.
Have you heard of the government Fusion Centers or the NSA? Look them up. It will make your blood boil. They have taken spying on Americans down to a veritable science and the leading edge of technology.
They even have a machine now that can drive by your house or your car and see and hear everything that is going on inside there, in lurid detail.
Then there are the local public schools that your royal government has stuck their hand in through the U. S. Department of Education. We wrote about this issue recently in our article entitled, “Well Johnny What Did You Learn At School Today?” By setting the national curriculum, they are brainwashing, that’s right, we said brainwashing, your kids. You say, “well what’s the brainwashing?” The brainwashing is a curriculum that is the antithesis of the American foundation of individual rights, freedom, liberty, and sovereignty. They teach psychologically washed multi-culturalism, collectivism, socialism, radical environmentalism and political correctness. They teach that America is evil, a gross polluter of the environment and a flagrant consumer of the Earth’s resources. They teach that America is imperialistic and wants to dominate the world with its military power, without telling them that our military power and American blood have saved over a billion people from the brutality of dictators.
They tell impressionable kids that America must be reined in. We must conserve. We must apologize to the world. They teach the kids to challenge their parents with this garbage. They teach that the family must be broken down and separated. They teach people how to rat on their neighbors. They teach that government is all wise and all knowing and parents aren’t too smart. Through this brainwashing, they (the royals of America) are dividing us, while conquering us at the same time.
And what of this ideology of radical environmentalism, coming to you from the most corrupt body on the planet, the United Nations and codified into American law without a treaty being debated and ratified? It’s just another ruse for the “royals” to control you even more than you were before. These planners and other educated idiots want to force you into ever-increasing densities in large cities. Why? No, it’s not only for environmental reasons. The fact is, government can control people better when they are densely packed into urban areas.
Government controls your roads, buses and rapid transit (transportation). They control your water, your sewer, your telephones, your electricity and your health care. What good is a house in the city without roads, water, sewer and electricity, everything that government controls? No good at all and government can withhold those services to force you to comply with their demands. You will willingly capitulate when the “royals” shut off your water.
Sure, they tell us that all of their actions are for our own good and our own safety. “That’s the price you pay for being secure and educated“, they say. But do you call this freedom?
Ladies and gentlemen, when are you going to quit bowing to a “royal” birthright or government, a government that has lost all allegiance to the principles of liberty and instead adheres to the policy that government knows best, whether the people like it or not?
There are a few courageous ones that are challenging government in isolated spots around the country, but they are paying a terrible price for their audacity and having little effect. Many lose everything in the process. Some pay huge fines. Many go broke. Some even land in jail. Some even get killed. Very few win. If there is not an avalanche of this type of resistance, America, as a free and sovereign nation, will be no more. If not enough Americans get off their dead butts and resist this onslaught of tyranny, history will record this 100-year event as the greatest conquest of mankind since the dawn of human civilization ….. without a shot being fired!
That’s right! You have been bowing down to “royal” government every day of your life and if you will look in the mirror and tell yourself the truth, you know it to be a fact. That’s disgusting and demeaning and not worthy of free men and women. Sadly, you are not a sovereign any more. You are just a happy slave. How can living under a King or Queen be any different?
While Americans get enraptured in the illusion of royal fairy tales from England, Rome is burning and deranged shooters, wanting to commit suicide or “get even”, are shooting up innocent kids in our schools. Peasants from poor countries are pouring across our borders by the millions and getting on welfare. Healthcare costs are going through the roof. Meanwhile, our “royal” governors, legislators, the elites, the establishment, the deep state and the central bankers are winning, or doing nothing ….. and freedom is losing.
Nevertheless, we’re not buying this up-side-down “royal” manure. We consider ourselves to be individually sovereign and we bow to no man, royalty ….. or government. Which are you?
But then, as a lonely, humble voice in the wilderness, what do we know?
© 2018 Ron Ewart – All Rights Reserved
E-Mail Ron Ewart: [email protected]
“Was there a part of you that was like, this isn’t real, this would not happen in my school?” A ghoulish ABC television reporter asked a Santa Fe High School student this, expecting a stock answer that would fit the conventional wisdom.
“No there wasn’t,” she replied coolly. “It’s been happening everywhere. I’ve always kind of felt like eventually it was going to happen here too. So, I don’t know. I wasn’t surprised. I was just scared.”
Against our will, we are getting used to the carnage. This time, a spurned fatty given to black Goth-ish clothing and video games fatally shot 10 students and teachers and injured 13 others near Houston. “Surprise!” he shouted, as he jumped from the closet into a classroom, mowing down classmates and a would-be girlfriend.
On national television last weekend, National Rifle Association president-elect Oliver North tried to move public soul-searching towards prescribed drugs and the “culture of violence,” spinning what happened at Santa Fe away from mounting pressure for more gun restrictions. But what does this inadequate phrase even mean? Does North understand what he’s talking about?
“We are getting used to a lot of behavior that is not good for us,” said Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a Harvard professor of education and sociology and then U.S. senator, in his celebrated 1993 American Scholar essay “Defining Deviancy Down.” The nation had been “redefining deviancy so as to exempt much conduct previously stigmatized, and also quietly raising the ‘normal’ level in categories where behavior is now abnormal by any earlier standard,” Moynihan wrote.
Altruism was one broad public response to deepening social pathology, marked by denial, kindness, pity, or guilt, he noted, using as an example the closing of mental hospitals and rise of the homeless. Opportunism, he continued, was a second response, anticipating the advancement of government programs and vast, often lucrative social service, therapy, and diversity franchises, all of which would be “jeopardized if any serious effort were made to reduce the deviancy in question.”
This self-interest led to “assorted strategies for redefining the behavior in question as not all that deviant, really,” and to a third response, normalization, adapting to crime and violence, getting used to widespread coarseness and nihilism.
Moynihan wrote his essay 25 years ago. The insane and wayward—increasingly freed from stigma and shame—today terrify functional America even more so than in his time, on account of their shamelessness as well as increasing prevalence.
Homicidal gun violence is to a large degree a ghetto affair. Illegal and unlicensed handguns are the nation’s major killing machine. School menace is embodied in the angry lout in the suburban high school parking lot and seething introvert in the darkened bedroom. His ear buds are on, and his smartphone is turned up full-blast to hate rap.
Music is a leading indicator of the “culture of violence.” Primer 55’s Introduction to Mayhem, for example, produced in 2000, is a heavy metal classic from the Island Def Jam Music Group, standard teenage boy fare. The cuts include “Dose,” “The Big Fuck You,” “Violence,” “Hate,” “Tripinthehead,” “Loose,” “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” “Supa Freak Love,” “Chaos,” “Pigs,” “Stain,” and “Revolution.”
The “culture of violence” is box office. And if Island Def Jam has been selling socio-cultural poison like this for two decades, isn’t legendary record producer and Malibu guru Rick Rubin, 55, who is worth an estimated $250 million, worthy of at least disgrace, not Hollywood and public adulation?
Violent music, video games, and depraved entertainment are cash machines. Electronic tools provide America’s youth—and their parents—with easy, possibly irresistible portals to the dark side. The weakening of families and religion-based communities contribute to the void. So do social media and porn. Unstable adolescents, if they are identified and treated, get medicated on the chance that anti-depressants or uppers will do their mood magic. Drugs—legal and illegal and everything in between—are palliatives for Americans of all ages.
Sometimes there’s official neglect or bad local policy, as with Parkland student Nicholas Cruz. But most educators are doing their best. The really damaged kids, the heartbreakers and the throwaways, the deranged and the dangerous, are given over to social workers, foster parents, or the police, but under the circumstances no one expects much to come from the interventions.
I wasn’t surprised, the Santa Fe High School student said. I was just scared. And, really, shouldn’t we all be feeling the same way?