He’s a long shot for SC gov, but GOP firebrand Kevin Bryant says he defined the race

For years, he made waves for his filibusters of tax hikes and his unflinching support of pro-life legislation, gun rights and traditional marriage. But in a crowded field running in the 2018 GOP primary race, Bryant has struggled to stand out. The fiscal …

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He Told His Parents To Put A Blindfold On Before Showing Them His Gift For Years Of Hard Work

If your kid came and told you he was going to become a Youtuber a few years ago, you’d probably roll your eyes. If they did it a few years before that, you’d be really confused because Youtube didn’t exist. But these days, some Youtubers are making a pretty decent living for themselves and it’s a totally different world. One Youtuber was able to pay his family back for their support – and then some!

LeJuan James has been on Youtube since Aug 12, 2013. In the years since he has amassed a fairly large audience of 143,000 subscribers. He’s also branched out into other social media platforms and is clearly making a decent living for himself.

Once he started making some real money with his Youtube antics, LeJuan decided to pay it forward to his parents for raising him and supporting him all of those years. So he started putting some money away and talking to real estate agents.

His plan was to buy his parents a house and then surprise them with it. But he knew how picky his parents are, so he wanted to make sure it was the perfect place.

It took months of searching but finally, LeJuan was able to buy a perfectly-sized house for his parents with the money he put aside. Not too many people can say Youtube fame has allowed them to be this kind and generous!

His parents were going through some financial hardship at the time, as his grandmother became sick with brain cancer. The family struggled to afford her treatments, like so many others dealing with the same issue. For some reason, in America we have decided that it’s okay to bankrupt families just to treat cancer and stay alive and it doesn’t seem like that is going to change any time soon.

“You don’t really understand until you’re a little older, then you understand the concept of money and how hard it is to get it and how easy it is to spend it,” LeJuan said in an interview with E! News. “I remember that at the end of the year in 2016, one of my new year resolutions was to do that for them.”

Regardless, LeJuan knew that they needed some help and he had the means to help them. So he came up with this brilliant surprise and the rest is history!

Soon, the big day was coming up and LeJuan was working overtime to ensure that the place was perfect for his parents. They had no idea this was going on and he somehow managed to keep the secret right up until the blindfolds came off!

The house is beautiful and his parents were absolutely stunned with the big reveal! Happy tears were falling down their faces as LeJuan finally gave them his big surprise.

“I want to thank you guys for allowing me to do this for them,” he told his fans in an emotional reveal video. “This means the world to me. They deserve it. They’re great parents and God is good, yo. God is good – always. I love you guys.”

He dedicated the video to the memory of Carlita Ortiz, his grandmother. You can see it below and share if this story touched your heart as well.

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No Man Is Illegal

I was one of five men who had spent weeks cleaning up a long-abandoned city building cluttered with trash and debris from collapsing infrastructure. Our project to open a soup kitchen to help support the local community of illiterate migrants and mentally ill homeless people was nearing completion.

While loading chunks of broken concrete from a pile of rubble into my hauling bucket, I noticed a strange luminescent lamp laying on its side. The lamp seemed sturdy and I rubbed off its grime to reveal a golden surface embossed with intricate designs. It rumbled violently and large blue genie burst out before me and began levitating.

With a booming voice he told me that my unselfish actions had freed him from centuries of systemic oppression and now he would reward me with three wishes.

Most people wish for love or world peace but with my first wish I asked to be made immensely wealthy — not for my own purposes of course, as I don’t care much for money, but so I could buy my mom a house and ostentatiously donate to food shelters and asinine social causes that make me feel superior to the hopelessly impoverished.

The genie nodded that he understood my brave wish, closed his eyes, hummed loudly, and a few seconds later many billions were now mine to use for any purpose I deemed ethical. Looking around, it seemed nothing much had changed with the world. Some numbers in a bank account were different and I had stacks of paper and gold sitting somewhere, but everything else seemed normal. I took a deep breath and kept going.

For my second wish, I looked the genie deep in his vacant eyes and told him I wished that no man was illegal. He snickered derisively at me before clearing his throat and looking down to regain his composure. He then continued with the customary gesture of waving his hands magically and acknowledged my command had been fulfilled.

It turned out this time there were a few side effects I hadn’t considered. For example, I had failed to consider that a nation’s only lasting wealth is its people and that capabilities for civilization among populations differ greatly, so borders have historically acted as a bank vault storing the wealth of nations by securing their population. Also, being accustomed to first world standards, I had assumed these were normal and natural throughout the world, which turned out not to be the case at all.

With no man illegal, nations were rendered borderless and those with civilization were immediately flooded by low-IQ high time preference third worlders trying to get to where people had built something good. It was quite a shock to find out 90% of the world is a disaster of poor people with low intelligence barely able to figure out food, clothing, and shelter, and almost entirely unable to plan or organize.

During a sober moment, they looked around at their countrymen, realized they would never develop civilization, and decided the best course of action was to flee their homelands to get away from the mass of people possessing the same traits as themselves, which in the aggregate had created their national conditions of colossal failure.

The previously successful nations that were now borderless quickly lost their unity and shared notion of common sense in the frenzied greed of peasant fantasies where each took as much as they could while shirking responsibilities and accountability. It was looting in slow motion.

This worldwide revolution made history obsolete by removing divisions between the people who developed nations and those who wanted to enjoy what was beyond their station. Developments that took hardy people many centuries to achieve found their nourishing populations replaced by millions of incapables unable to keep civilization afloat. Worst of all, because they knew they were intruding squatters unable to achieve basic standards, the migrants hated the natives for their abilities and openly wished for their downfall.

Wealthy nations became poor overnight and the work of good people was diverted to trying to fix problems created by the imported population. Some natives tried to build a nation within a nation in an effort to preserve their culture and its essential aspects that now struggled under the weight of chaotic disunity. Infrastructure and institutions could no longer manage clean up on the messes of outsiders, and even after sacrificing the possibility of keeping a high level of culture, there was not enough wealth and energy to hold things together. A free fall to a sustainable third world standard ensued.

With my third wish, I asked the genie to restore lawful borders. He snickered again and this time I felt silly from the realization that I needed an appointment at the laser removal clinic to take care of that embarrassing leftist slogan tattoo that seemed so edgy when I was a teenager.

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Dog Takes 4 Bullets To Save Boy From Robbers, But The Family Didn’t Have The Money For Its Surgery

They say dogs are a man’s best friend, but few have lived up to that claim as much as Rex. He’s a two-year-old German Shepherd that also happens to be an incredible hero! Rex belongs to the Mercado family in Des Moines, Iowa and was recently left home alone with 16-year-old Javier. The night was still and calm until Rex’s ears perked up and Javier knew something was wrong.

Burglars broke into the apartment moments later and Javier did the smart thing: he hid. He tried to encourage Rex to join him in the closet, but Rex heroically decided to save the day.

“Rex’s instinct to protect his home and his best friend took him downstairs and he attacked the burglars,” Javier’s aunt wrote on a GoFundMe page for Rex.

These robbers proved to be more dedicated than most and they managed to fend off the aggressive dog’s first wave of attack. But he would have the last word in the end!

“Both of the burglars struggled and beat him up with whatever they could,” she continued. “Rex stormed back to the upstairs floor all beat up and bloody from the beating to check on his master who was still hiding in the closet.”

The burglars didn’t stop with the downstairs and swiftly got closer and closer to the closet where Javier was hiding. Rex bolted out of the closet and began another attack, this time dealing some serious damage to these home invaders.

They managed to get off four gunshots with a pistol produced from one of their waistbands and every single one found the mark. Poor Rex was struck and bleeding profusely – without proper medical attention, this heroic pup had no chance of making it out alive. Unfortunately, the family didn’t have the funds to pay for the dog’s life-saving surgery.

Instead, the family setup a GoFundMe account on Rex’s behalf and were able to raise $62,000 for the surgery. Now Rex is healthy once more.

However, according to an update on GoFundMe, not all is well with the poor pup after the traumatic experience he went through. Apparently, he is suffering from PTSD and needs treatment from a vet psychologist. The family should have more than enough money from GoFundMe, but there is a catch.

“The family has not had any access yet to the funded money,” they wrote in the update. “We will continue to update you on this story.”

That was about 3 months ago, and there haven’t been any updates to the story since. We can only hope that Rex is happy and doing well now with the proper treatment, and that GoFundMe did indeed give the money that people donated to the family to them.

If platforms like GoFundMe have taught us anything, it’s that people have generosity in their hearts – especially if they feel an emotional connection with someone’s story. Rex here really needed the help and the internet came through in a huge way. Who knows what could have happened if he didn’t get that emergency medical attention.

Share Rex’s story now if you love this beautiful pup too!

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Tim Cook replied with a ‘thank you’ to an email from Indian Apple Watch customer, apparently

Pune-based civil lawyer Arati Joglekar was facing a crisis at work. She was stressed because one of her colleagues had not gotten a signature for an important proceeding. Of course, she lost her temper as she struggled to find a solution and that is when …

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The Urban-Rural Divide More Pronounced Than Ever

America is increasingly polarized.

That isn’t news to anyone who’s been following the social research of the past couple years. After the 2016 presidential election, David Wasserman of FiveThirtyEight wrote that “America’s political fabric, geographically, is tearing apart,” and suggested this should be seen as a “flashing danger sign.” In Yuval Levin’s Fractured Republic, which came out in May 2016, he wrote of a hollowed-out society in which mediating institutions and social capital had all but disappeared from American life, leaving in their wake a jaded individualism and growing political rancor.

But a new Pew Research Poll suggests that this polarization—across geographic, cultural, and political lines—is growing even more pronounced with time. Our political differences are strengthening, with an increasing number of urban Americans moving further left and more than half of rural voters (54 percent) declaring their allegiance to the GOP. What’s more, most urban and rural Americans see themselves as judged and misunderstood by each other, with a majority from both groups saying those who don’t live in their types of communities have a negative view of those who do.

Urban and rural divides are not new, as University of Wisconsin political scientist Kathy Cramer told the New York Times. What’s unique about our moment, however, is that “cultural divides overlap with political divides, which overlap with geography,” creating a maelstrom of suspicion and disconnect.

This remarkable growth in polarization leads the Times to ask an important question: are we sorting ourselves, increasingly moving to fit in with those in our “camp”? If not, how and why are the numbers becoming so extreme?

Cramer, for her part, suggests that place-based resentment is becoming a sort of identity marker, especially as politicians employ “us versus them” rhetoric. Shopping at Whole Foods or going to the gun range have increasingly become political acts, talismans of personality and place with markedly partisan affiliations. Our sorting seems to have more to do with an increased tendency to tie cultural and social acts (as well as geographic identity) to politics than it does with a marked shift in our habits or moving patterns.

Alongside these differences, however, the Pew poll also shows remarkable (and somewhat alarming) similarities between urban and rural communities. Both groups are about equally worried over the impact of the opioid epidemic on their neighborhoods. Both are worried about job availability. Young people from both are more mobile and restless—although “Roughly a third (32%) of young adults in rural areas say they are very or mostly dissatisfied with life in their community; this is significantly higher than the share of young adults in suburban areas who say the same (21%).”

About four in 10 Americans across geographic divides say they don’t feel attached to their current communities. While knowing one’s neighbors, owning one’s house, and living in one place for a long period of time all increase the chances of community involvement and satisfaction, only three in 10 Americans say they know most or all of their neighbors—and a third say they would move away if they could. While a greater percentage of rural folks say they know their neighbors, that doesn’t mean they interact more often. Indeed, according to Pew, community involvement doesn’t vary much by community type: “Among those who know at least some of their neighbors, rural Americans are no more likely than their urban and suburban counterparts to say they interact with them on a regular basis.”

Obviously, these figures could be worse. Most Americans say they still know at least some of their neighbors; large numbers in urban, suburban, and rural communities say they remain close to—or have moved back towards—their families. But there’s still a marked sense of alienation, suspicion, and discontent displayed in this poll. Not only do disparate American communities suspect each other of unkindness and disrespect, many have retreated from neighborliness and association within their own circles.

These findings reminded me of the suggestion in Patrick Deneen’s recently released Why Liberalism Failed that the political ideology of liberalism drives us apart, making us more lonely and polarized than ever. As Christine Emba writes in her Washington Post review of Deneen’s book:

As liberalism has progressed, it has done so by ever more efficiently liberating each individual from “particular places, relationships, memberships, and even identities—unless they have been chosen, are worn lightly, and can be revised or abandoned at will.” In the process, it has scoured anything that could hold stable meaning and connection from our modern landscape—culture has been disintegrated, family bonds devalued, connections to the past cut off, an understanding of the common good all but disappeared.

That latter loss—of a common understanding of the good—seems particularly applicable to the Pew poll’s findings regarding polarization. Although our country has always struggled with an urban-rural divide, it could be that our lack of a common conception of the good has made it even worse. Left and Right subscribe to different liberal tenets that tear at association and community: on the Right, “classical liberalism celebrated the free market, which facilitated the radical expansion of choice,” while the Left’s liberalism “celebrated the civil right to personal choice and self-definition, along with the state that secured this right by enforcing the law.” As Emba notes, both forms of liberalism foster “a headlong and depersonalized pursuit of individual freedom and security that demands no concern for the wants and needs of others, or for society as a whole.”

Thus we disconnect in terms both broad and intimate, struggling to equate our political autonomy and self-definition with the demands of empathy, neighborliness, and service. The fact that our urban and rural communities are so suspicious of each other suggests a degree of navel-gazing and self-consciousness that is deeply detrimental, if not tempered by a proper degree of rationality and generosity.

Fixing these problems will require more than a distrust of our political leaders’ schismatic rhetoric, instrumental in entrenching our divide though that rhetoric has been. Turning to the state for answers or blame is one of the reasons we’re in trouble in the first place. A healthy effort to “plug in”—to connect at the local level, to dialogue with our political “enemies,” and to engage in civic and philanthropic efforts—may be the best way to cut back on some of this rancor and polarization.

In the conclusion of Why Liberalism Failed, Deneen suggests that we need to foster local “counter-anticultures”: bastions of community, civic engagement, philanthropy, and religion to counteract our cultural and social vacuum. Levin recommends something similar in Fractured Republic, turning to Edmund Burke’s “little platoons” and the reinvigoration of associational life as a balm for widespread fragmentation.

This newest Pew poll suggests that the more deeply we know each other—and the more time we spend together—the less lonely and restless we will feel. That isn’t a shocking revelation, but it’s an important one nonetheless. Those who feel nourished and cared for by their communities will feel less cheated by the state and more empowered to confront the changes and dilemmas in their neighborhoods. It may be that by itself this can’t bridge our deep urban-rural divide, considering how widespread our resentment and political differences are. But I do think a community that feels self-sufficient and nourished is less likely to harbor feelings of resentment and suspicion toward those outside its borders: there’s less temptation towards discontent, and often a deeper awareness of the issues we share in common. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Elizabethville, Pennsylvania, need the same things: committed citizens, generous philanthropists, passionate civic leaders, savvy planners and political leaders, strong local institutions, and vigorous community involvement. They often struggle with the same things, too: loneliness, despair, unemployment, fragmented families, weak civic and educational institutions, a lack of funds, poor urban planning, and so on.

While our national discourse champions rancorous politics, local associations and news celebrate self-empowerment, service, and communal ties. They emphasize every community’s desire to become the best version of itself. The more we can focus on these things, the better.

Gracy Olmstead is a writer and journalist located outside Washington, D.C. She’s written for The American ConservativeThe WeekNational Review, The Federalist, and The Washington Times, among others.

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Ex-Israeli PM Ehud Barak discusses Gaza, the two state solution and why Benjamin Netanyahu is ‘wrong’

He is also the last leader of Israel’s Labour Party to have led the country. He defeated Benjamin Netanyahu in 1999. Since then, the left has struggled consistently in elections but, speaking to the JC this week, Mr Barak believes they can succeed again.

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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.

The post Video: Mississippi Officer Turns Table On Attackers, Shoots One appeared first on Bearing Arms.

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Guitar-Maker Gibson Brands Files for Bankruptcy

Storied guitar-maker Gibson Brands Inc., whose customers have included B.B. King, Chuck Berry and Jimmy Page, filed for bankruptcy protection Tuesday with a deal to hand control of the company, which has struggled with its debt load after a series of …

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