When They Said They Would Be Clogging, We Didn’t Know What To Think. Then The Music Started

If you don’t know what clogging is, you’re in for a treat. But if you do, you might be surprised to learn that eight clogging dancers were able to share moves that went viral on the internet. Viral videos come in all shapes and sizes. But often they revolve around cute animals or babies or they are clips of extreme situations that stun.

Clips showcasing talent can also be popular.

But for them to capture the attention of millions of people online (people are just a click away from the latest, greatest cat video), the performers need to be world-class – like make Simon Cowell burst into tears world class. And when you tune into this video, you’ll see why the dancers at the Tap This! dance group has attracted attention from all over the globe. Tune in and prepare to be clogged!

The award-winning dance group shows off the potential of clogging as they bang out their dance moves to Andy Grammar’s “Honey I’m Good.” And when you watch their moves, you’ll be impressed.

Because clogging is not a highly popular dance, Tap This! has given hope to young people everywhere. They have proven that if you dedicate yourself to your craft, you can rise to world-class status.

According to their online page, “Tap This! is a four-time national championship clogging team from Lincoln, Nebraska. The blending of different dance forms and percussive footwork gives a high energy performance that leaves audiences on their feet and wanting more.”

If that doesn’t make you want to go on a clogging video binge, then I don’t know what could!

The clip below gives you a taste of what these dancers are able to create. You can imagine how much more powerful their footwork would be if you were watching them in person. The video only captures part of the experience. And clogging is so much more than how they look on stage. Their choreography is spot on, and they’re full of energy and passion for the art of clogging.

While we’ve gone on a bit of a rant about clogging, you might not yet know what it is. But it is a type of dance performance that has a rich history that spans years. These dancers participated in the Clogging Champions of America. And on their website, the CCA describes more about the history of clogging and how it became a championship sport.

“Clogging Champions of America was formed in 1997 to generate more activity and interest in clogging and competition, to promote a spirit of fun and fellowship, and to make sure the beginner clogger will get to enjoy competing as much as the clogger who has been in it for years.”

The CCA also aims “to create an atmosphere of spirited and sportsmanlike competition, and to provide more opportunities for cloggers within the competitive and entertainment realms.”

Clogging can be a great activity and way for people to get exercise, meet like-minded people and have fun.

If you’re interested in cloggers, check out the video below and see how the champions do it!

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Hundreds take part in rally against gun violence after school shootings

NEW YORK –In the wake of several recent school shootings — including 10 killed in Santa Fe, Texas, and 17 killed in Parkland, Florida– hundreds of young people hit the streets Saturday to demand change, CBS New York reports. They’re calling on lawmakers …

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American Values Prove Stubbornly Resistant to Gun Control Opportunism

American Gun Quilt Flag
American Values Prove Stubbornly Resistant to Gun Control Opportunism

Fairfax, VA – -(Ammoland.com)- Social justice busybodies obsessed with how other people live their lives often portray the success of their causes as a matter of destiny.

“The young people will win,” insists one youthful gun control advocate, falsely portraying his personal crusade as a generational mandate. Yet recent events have demonstrated that bedrock American values – including support for the Second Amendment – tend to outlast moments of high emotion that are increasingly relied upon by political opportunists to advance their agenda.

Given the chance to collect their thoughts, most Americans instinctively revert to freedom.

We recently commented on this point with reference to poll numbers that show a familiar pattern of gun control support spiking in the immediate aftermath of an infamous firearm-related crime, only to taper off as the punditry aims its fury in another direction or overplays its hand and is forced to regroup.

Since then, additional evidence has arisen to complicate the media’s breathless narrative that “the ground is shifting on gun control.”

First, more recent poll numbers underscore the fact that Americans, including young Americans, recognize that the country has far more pressing problems than rushing to enact unproven gun control measures.

The Associated Press and MTV, for example, teamed up this year to measure the “Youth Political Pulse,” with surveys conducted from late February to early March (when the news cycle was focused on the terrible crime at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School) and again from late April to early May. Between the survey periods, the percentage of respondents aged 15 to 34 who identified firearm-related issues as their highest concern for the country fell 15 points, from 21% to 6%. During the earlier survey period, the gun issue was the highest concern. In the latter period, it was tied for the sixth most common response, behind the economy, social inequality, and even threat of nuclear war.

Moreover, a week after a similar crime in Santa Fe, Texas on May 18, support for gun control in the Lone Star State had actually dropped 6% since April, as measured by Quinnipiac University polling. Support for stricter gun laws was also lower in the May sample among those aged 18 to 34 than among those 65 or older, another inversion of the conventional wisdom that youth are destined to change the national debate on this question.

A Quinnipiac analyst opined: “The tragedy at the Santa Fe school south of Houston changed few opinions among Texas voters about gun control. Support for gun control in general is down slightly, while support for background checks for all gun buyers is virtually unchanged.”

Adding to the gun control advocates’ woes were the release of data and studies that contradicted their claims of a rising epidemic of school shootings fueled by easy access to so-called “assault weapons.”

The website The74Million.org, which describes itself as a “non-profit, non-partisan news site covering education in America,” published a lengthy interview in May with Criminologist Nadine Connell of the University of Texas at Dallas, who’s compiling a database of every school shooting since 1990. The piece underscored Connell’s findings that “school shootings are extremely rare” and that allowing them to drive policy isn’t “always the most productive” way to keep students safe.

Connell indicated that “from the perspective of policymaking,” the media’s current reporting on school shootings can be misleading.

“[A]s of now,” she said, “we don’t think there is an increase in the number of incidents as much as there is an increase in the attention to the incidents.” She also stressed that “the number of rampage-like incidents remains extremely low, and they are a relatively small subsection of the shootings we are analyzing.” Schools, Connell said, “are the safest they’ve ever been.”

While Connell indicated in the interview that she is not a fan of arming teachers, she also declined to put gun control at the center of the debate. When asked what would be the “most effective method to stop the lion’s share of the problem,” she emphasized “whole-school-centered approaches to improve climate, clarify expectations, and support teachers and administrators in creating a community of trust and support.” She also noted that the “environmental design” of schools can play an important role in keeping kids safe without making them feel like they are under siege.

Can Mass Shootings be Stopped?

Perhaps more even more ironic was a May 22 report from the Rockefeller Institute that was funded by a multi-state “Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium” representing a who’s-who of Northeastern antigun jurisdictions. Entitled “Can Mass Shootings be Stopped?” the report broadly focuses on mass shootings in general, rather than on school-specific events.

Like Connell, however, the authors mentioned media distortion as an impediment to understanding the true nature of the problem.

“Mass shootings, and those that are particularly lethal, are amplified by the news cycle, making them appear more commonplace when they are, in fact, statistically rare,” they stated. They also characterized the media’s coverage of the events as “unbalanced,” potentially leading the public to “hold disproportional attitudes about the events themselves.”

The report made the points that mass shootings are not limited to the U.S. but “occur in countries worldwide,” are nearly three times more likely to be perpetrated with handguns than with “assault weapons,” and occur more frequently in workplaces than in schools. Also likely to displease its funders is the report’s observation that gun control laws, whether passed in the immediate wake of a mass shooting or kept on the books for decades “often are not enforced, leading them to be ineffective at preventing the next mass shooting.” But perhaps most damning of all was the authors’ admonition that “[k]nee-jerk reactions rooted in emotion will not solve the problem.”

Mass Shooting School Gun Laws Bans
But perhaps most damning of all was the authors’ admonition that “[k]nee-jerk reactions rooted in emotion will not solve the problem.”

Yet that is exactly how gun control advocates operate and what they offer. Whatever can be said about the youthful gun control activists who have captured so much of the media’s attention lately, they are among the prime purveyors of emotionalism and hyperbole. And far from bringing innovative new thinking to the issue, their main “solution” is the tired notion of banning guns that are underrepresented in rampage gun crimes and remain highly popular among the law-abiding. Instead of treating every word out of their mouths as some new game-changing revelation, their gun control seniors should remind them that “assault weapon” bans had until recently been de-emphasized as an embarrassment to the movement and too obvious of its prohibitory intent.

Unlike the latest gun control hashtag or self-congratulatory Hollywood vanity project, the National Rifle Association has been around since 1871. We’ve seen movements come, and we’ve seen movements go. And while we never doubt the sincerity of our opposition in their desire to eradicate the right to keep and bear arms, we’re not about to change our values or objectives just because some media talking heads or youth-obsessed celebrities begin making demands or throwing around half-baked claims.

Fortunately, the American commitment to freedom also remains strong and resilient. And freedom-loving Americans know they have an ally in the NRA.

National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)

About:
Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit: www.nra.org

The post American Values Prove Stubbornly Resistant to Gun Control Opportunism appeared first on AmmoLand.com.

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The History of Third-Party Candidates in the United States

From profiling the young people running and why to what is the DNC and the RNC and how to vote, we take on every aspect of political engagement as it pertains to you. The two political parties that we know in America today – Democrats and Republicans – have largely dominated the landscape of United States politics for 165 years, since But even prior to the system that we recognize in modern times, there was a two-party system in the earliest days of the republic.

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Capitalism vs. Socialism

<p>Several recent polls, plus the popularity of Sen. Bernie Sanders, demonstrate that young people prefer socialism to free market capitalism. That, I believe, is a result of their ignorance and indoctrination during their school years, from kindergarten through college. For the most part, neither they nor many of their teachers and professors know what free market capitalism is.</p>

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We All Looked On In Shock When Her Husband Stood Up And Grabbed The Brush From The Hairdresser

Marriage is a commitment. It is supposed to last a lifetime. No wonder it terrifies many young people. But marriage is a beautiful thing. When two people are matched right, they can unite their lives, their strengths, and build a family that is stronger than it could ever be if they went it alone. A married couple has the power to cover each other’s weaknesses and amplify each other’s strengths. It requires humility and compromise and the commitment to stand by your partner’s side through it all, sickness and in health.

One man’s wife became too ill for her to do the one thing she loved most – to style her own hair. It was part of her identity, and she did it every morning. Because her husband loved her, he wanted her to look the way she liked and not lose that despite her illness. That’s why the footage below has gone viral. In it, you’ll watch as the husband takes a lesson from a hairstylist so he can learn how to do his wife’s hair through her sickness.

While most men would never do something like this for their wives, especially since it takes so much time out of their days, this husband brought his wife to the fancy hair salon so he could learn from the best.

Because the hairstylist was so impressed that this senior husband was willing to learn, with humility, how to style his wife’s hair, she asked her coworker to film the heartwarming lesson. And we are glad it was caught on camera because it shows just how much this man loves his wife.

The hairstylist later shared the video and a message on the Love What Matters Facebook page where it quickly gained the attention of thousands across the country.

The stylist wrote, “Proof that true love really exists. She can no longer style her hair herself, and her husband insisted on learning how to do it for her step by step. From products to the way you hold the brush and dryer.”

Because the husband was woefully ignorant about the hair styling process, he needed to learn everything about the tricks of the trade. He didn’t even know how to operate a hairdryer properly. He was starting from zero. But usually, those types of people learn the best. They have beginner’s mind and don’t approach the situation with preconceived notions.

“Truly one of the best things I have been able to witness in my life. Brought tears to my eyes. What an amazing man and what a lucky woman. Bless them.”

For hours, the man held the hairstyling tools and learned how to do it right. While it was a struggle for him to learn how to do it from scratch, he figured it out eventually, especially with the help of the professional walking him through the process.

We never know what life is going to throw into our gears next. But when we have a committed partner there along for the ride, we can navigate life’s bumps more joyfully.

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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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The Right-Wing Millennial Machine

Conservatives are building an army of fired-up young people. How? By offering them salaries.

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Letter: Taking steps on behalf of Dreamers

While Texas officials are seeking an end to DACA – or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — very few states have moved to protect these young members of our communities. As the name states, the policy allows young people who’ve been here for …

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