Wolves in Sheep's Clothing

Muslim politicians in the Western world come in two general varieties: those rare ones who are candid about their desire to transform the West in accordance with the dictates of their faith, and those, far greater in number, who prefer to disguise that ambition. The first category includes people like Abdirizak Waberi, a Swedish MP turned Islamic school principal who has actually admitted he believes in “banning music and dancing, prohibiting boys and girls from socializing, and allowing men to beat their four wives with sticks when they became disobedient,” and Brussels city councilman Redouane Ahrouch, who openly advocates for sharia government and recently called for a separation of the sexes on that city’s public transport.

In the second category are Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, who while striving to pose as a progressive allows his mask to slip now and then (recently, he told an interviewer that “every Muslim is a bit of a salafist”), and London mayor Sadiq Khan, another faux liberal who has, in fact, ordered police to put less emphasis on monitoring potential terrorists and more emphasis on harassing Islam critics. And let’s not forget Minnesota’s (and the DNC’s) own Keith Ellison, who poses as a standard-issue Democrat but belonged for a decade to the Nation of Islam, speaks at CAIR events, and has ties to several pro-terrorist, anti-Semitic groups.

Also belonging to the latter category is Somali-born Bashe Musse, a Norwegian Labor Party politician who has been a member of the Oslo City Council since 2011. During the last couple of weeks he’s been making headlines because of a Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) report on “dumping.” What’s dumping? Like honor killing and female genital mutilation, it’s a common practice in Europe’s Muslims communities. Instead of sending their kids to regular neighborhood schools, many Muslim parents in Europe send their children off to madrasses – Koran schools – in the countries from which they, the parents, emigrated. The children stay in these schools for years at a time, memorizing the Islamic holy book while their agemates back in Europe learn math, science, and literature.

“Dumping” is eyebrow-raising for more than one reason. Many of these kids’ parents were allowed into Europe in the first place because they professed to be refugees from oppression in their homelands. The fact that they’re shipping their kids off to schools in those same countries gives the lie to those claims. The parents also often maintain that they’re proud to be French, Swedish, or whatever, and that they’re striving to assimilate into their adopted nations. But the whole point of sending these kids to madrasses in the Muslim world is to shield them from what the parents consider the baleful influence of Western civilization.

Last year, NRK produced, as noted, a report on Somali madrasses in which children from Norway have been enrolled. Many viewers considered the revelations eye-popping. In fact it was old news. In a 2004 study, Out of Sight, Out of Mind, Norway’s Human Rights Service (HRS) documented, in extraordinary and devastating detail, the grim reality of daily life in these institutions, where the conditions are almost always primitive and where the atmosphere is less that of a First World school than of a Third World prison. NRK’s report, which contained interviews with children living in Norway who had attended the Somali madrasses, confirmed HRS’s findings: at those “schools,” the children had been tied up, whipped, beaten, and subjected to other sorts of brutal treatment that would ordinarily be considered torture.

Which brings us to Bashe Musse, who in addition to being an Oslo city councilman is also the official chief spokesperson for Norway’s Somali community, the largest non-Western immigrant group in the country. After NRK’s report aired last year, he claimed to be shocked by its contents. But on May 29 of this year, NRK reported that in an interview aired on Somali TV, Musse had dismissed the children’s testimony about the madrasses and regretted that such lies, as he called them, had been “sold to the Norwegian people” by the Norwegian media, which he characterized as “one-sided.”

When confronted by NRK with a transcript of his comments to Somali TV, Musse insisted that the person who had translated his words from Somali into Norwegian had fouled up, entirely misrepresenting his views. NRK thereupon engaged the services of another translator, whose product was essentially identical to that of the first translator. It then presented the transcript to various government officials. Frode Jacobsen, head of the Oslo Labor Party, said he was “surprised and shocked” by Musse’s “double communication,” which he described as “very unfortunate.” Norway’s Minister of Integration, Jan Tore Sanner, also expressed concern, but did not call for any action against Musse. The Progress Party’s immigration spokesman, Jon Helgheim, went quite a bit further, scorning Musse as “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” and urging that the Labour Party discipline him in some way. But as far as I have been able to determine, no one in a position of power has demanded Musse’s resignation or removal from the City Council.

Lying to infidels, of course, has a name in Arabic – taqiyya – and it is one of the chief weapons of Islam in its eternal conflict with non-believers. Among its more celebrated practitioners is “Euro-Islam” proponent, Oxford professor, accused serial rapist, and current jailbird Tariq Ramadan, who is known to routinely say one thing to Western audiences in French or English and another to Muslim audiences n Arabic. Indeed, Caroline Fourest’s book about him is entitled Brother Tariq: The Doublespeak of Tariq Ramadan. To employ taqiyya, as Musse appears to have done, is to demonstrate definitively that one is not on the side of the West but that one is a double agent – a partisan, a person whose true loyalty lies, shall we say, elsewhere.

Within a few hours of being caught dead to rights on NRK as a practitioner of doublespeak, Musse made an announcement. Did he resign? Of course not. He declared that NRK had represented him to the Norwegian public as a liar and, what’s more, had painted an unflattering picture of Somalia.  Accordingly, he had contacted a lawyer, Arild Humlen, to ascertain what legal rights he had in the matter. 

What makes this story important, needless to say, is that Musse is not an outlier. Far from it. Increasingly, all over the West, Muslims hold elected positions, some of them at a very high level. It is considered to be racist, or at the very least to be in terribly bad taste, to question whether they can be loyal at once to their totalizing, all-encompassing religion and to their officially secular country and its (still) mostly non-Muslim inhabitants. Once those poiticians are caught engaging in taqiyya, of course, there is no further reason for doubt on this score.

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Near scene of suspect’s arrest, Patton Oswalt tells of his wife’s drive to catch Golden State Killer

The men who helped publish the late Michelle McNamara’s book “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” talked about the role she played in investigating the decades-old Golden State Killer case during a Q&A session at the Citrus Heights, Calif., Barnes & Noble on Wednesday night. Comedian and actor Patton Oswalt, McNamara’s husband and the person who worked to get the book published after her death in 2016, attended the event, along with roughly 450 true crime fans and Sacramento-area residents who packed into the bookstore.

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Public School Sex-Ed’s Descent Into Madness

On June 14, the school board of Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), the tenth largest school division in the United States, will convene and likely approve a number of changes to its sex-ed program, including replacing the term “biological sex” with “sex assigned at birth,” teaching that children aren’t born male or female, minimizing the role of abstinence, and excising clergy from a list of “trusted adults.” Although I am a product of FCPS, as was my mother and a long list of aunts, uncles, and cousins on both sides of my family, my children will not be attending their local elementary school. The radical sexual pedagogy promoted by FCPS, coupled with its well-publicized laxity in confronting illegal sexual behavior by its staff, has convinced me that my eldest daughter, who will enter kindergarten this fall, would be safer in a private school.

The latest recommendation by the county’s Family Life Education Curriculum Advisory Committee builds upon other sex-ed trends in FCPS, where “oral sex” is introduced to kids as young as 12. Thirteen-year-olds, meanwhile, are told about “anal sex” 18 separate times in one year’s worth of lessons. I understand why: the proliferation of pornography accessible to our youth has made sexting and increasingly aggressive sexual activity ubiquitous problems for FCPS and school districts across the country. Studies have shown that a majority of pornography depicts violence against women. As the adage goes, “monkey see, monkey do.”

Still, the committee’s recommendation to remove clergy from the list of “trusted adults” is ridiculous, given that FCPS has been dogged by illegal sexual activity by its employees for years. In March, a Sandburg Middle School teacher was charged with possession of child pornography. Last year, a former girls’ basketball coach at Lake Braddock Secondary School was accused of sexually harassing players—the school administration kept him on staff for months after the allegation was raised. A 2016 investigation by the local News4 I-Team discovered that the response of FCPS to multiple teachers accused of sexual misconduct—with students, no less—had allowed those educators to keep their teaching licenses for years after the offenses. A Bailey’s Elementary School teacher was arrested in 2015 and charged with sexually assaulting a teenage boy between 2004 and 2010.

FCPS has repeatedly demonstrated its lack of responsibility with our children, maintaining a policy towards sex offenders more relaxed than my local Catholic diocesan schools, while introducing children to sexual practices fraught with health dangers. Why should I trust a school system that perpetuates the demonstrably false narrative that public school educators are more trustworthy than priests, pastors, or rabbis? It’s bad enough that one day my children may attend colleges that permit, if not encourage, the kinds of risky sexual behavior depicted in Jon Krakauer’s 2015 best-selling book Missoula. Without a proper education, they’ll lack the maturity to navigate these treacherous waters as 12- and 13-year-olds, let alone as college freshman. As Cicero warned, “the enemy is within the gates; it is with our own luxury, our own folly, our own criminality that we have to contend.”

I suppose I’m not terribly surprised by the increased abasement of the school district that educated me. When I was in tenth grade, a ninth grader at my school attended a party where she got drunk and was persuaded into a compromising position by upperclassmen. Those boys (who to my knowledge were never punished) took pictures and sent them to a popular local radio host, “Elliot in the Morning,” who spoke about them on-air. The girl was, of course, humiliated and ended up transferring schools. I think she even changed her name. (As an aside, how has that DC101 disc jockey avoided legal scrutiny? He spoke publicly about viewing what amounts to child pornography!) We’ve certainly come a long way since 1999. With handheld, Internet-accessible phones now ubiquitous among our children, how could things not descend into even more alarming harassment, abuse, and misogyny?

FCPS still boasts an impressive educational pedigree. As their website notes, the class of 2018 has 223 National Merit Semifinalists, and Fairfax County high schools are recognized annually by the Washington Post as some of the most challenging in the United States. Yet as C.S. Lewis warned, “education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.” Teaching kids just entering puberty about how to “properly” use contraception and engage in safe anal sex can only be classified as a first-rate education in delinquency. Most American public schools have lost sight of Aristotle’s important maxim: “The happy life is regarded as a life in conformity with virtue…not spent in [sexual] amusement.”

Excluding my children from a public education is a hard decision for me, as I would think it is for many families—these are the institutions that have inculcated American ideas and ideals for generations of our citizens. I spent every year of grade school except kindergarten in the same public school district, which had an indelible impact on my socialization into our culture as well as on how I think and view the world. Public school districts also continue to employ huge numbers of our citizens: FCPS is the third largest employer in the state of Virginia. My mother spent more than 30 years in the system as an occupational therapist, from which she herself graduated in 1972. I was so inspired by my public education experience that I worked as a substitute and then a full-time high school history teacher, as well as a high school tennis coach.

Though I am a product of public schools and still take pride in my education, I won’t send my kids there—not as long as I can afford to send them elsewhere. Given the Catholic Church’s robust security policies in the wake of the early 2000s sex scandal, my kids are safer in my parish’s elementary school. My decision will stand until our public school systems—enduring what has become a nationwide sexual crisis—adopt policies that resist, rather than capitulate to, the worrying trends wreaking havoc on our families and our children.

Casey Chalk is a student at the Notre Dame Graduate School of Theology at Christendom College.

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Paris conference seeks political roadmap for lawless Libya

A top adviser to the head of Libya’s U.N.-recognized government based in Tripoli has tweeted that the country’s rival leaders reached consensus on Tuesday at a Paris meeting to hold both parliamentary and presidential elections in battered Libya on Dec. 10. Taher El-Sonni, a senior political adviser to Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj, tweeted about the agreed-on date ahead of the closing of the brief international conference in Paris. Final decisions agreed to by four leading Libyan officials who symbolize the divisions in the North African country will be announced at the close of the conference, attended by representatives of some 20 countries and the U.N. special envoy for Libya.

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Normandy Visit: Saluting The Greatest Generation

The week of May 8 to 15 closed a chapter in my life whose first pages were written in France before I made my 1947 debut, in New York City. My father’s first cousin, William Friedman, authored those pages by deed. Bill enlisted in the Army in 1938 and made the first of his three first-day World War II landings Nov. 8, 1942, in Oran, Algeria, with the First Division, whose storied nickname was the Big Red One. The North African campaign cost Bill the top joint on the middle finger of his right hand. On July 1, 1943 Bill and his comrades landed in Sicily. Bill was transferred to the Tenth Mountain Division for the winter of 1944, and then returned to the Big Red One, to prepare for the invasion of Normandy.

Like most veterans Bill rarely spoke of his war days. He opened up to me a few times, once showing me letters he had written from France in 1944; then 27, he wrote that he did not expect to see 28. Bill first told his D-Day story to me around the time he attended the 40thanniversary commemoration at which President Reagan gave his legendary speech (14:25) about the men of Pointe du Hoc, the 225 Army Rangers who scaled the 300-foot high sheer cliff overlooking Omaha Beach in search of German artillery pieces. Starting with 250 in the boats, the Rangers ended the ferocious battle with 90 able to fight. But they did get the guns — not on the cliff summit, where none but dummy guns stood, but half a mile inland; the Rangers used thermite grenades to melt the barrel interiors and then smashed the gun-sights with the butt of their rifles. Mission accomplished.

But it was ten years later, when Bill co-represented the Big Red One at the 50thanniversary celebration, and greeted President Clinton, that he told more of his story. Bill recalled the interminable voyage across the stormy English Channel; he stood in the third row of his landing craft. As they approached the drop-off point in heavy seas the soldiers could hear the clatter of machine-gun bullets slamming into the prow of the ship. His regiment (the 16th) landed at Easy Red sector, the most heavily defended area, along with the neighboring Dog Green sector, of the beach that was to become known as “Bloody Omaha.” The First was chosen for this location because it was America’s most battle-hardened division.

Bill was interviewed for several TV specials. And then he sat down for interviews with soldier-author Tim Kilvert-Jones, writing the foreword for TK-J’s 1999 book, Omaha Beach: V Corps’ Battle for the Normandy Beachhead.

I am standing on Omaha Beach, May 14, 2018, holding open the Kilvert-Jones book, showing Bill’s Foreword to my fellow tourists. The photo at left is of Captain Friedman, 1943. The photo at right shows Colonel Friedman (USA, ret.) greeting President Clinton at 1994’s 50thanniversary D-Day celebration. Bill is second from right.

Bill described his first 24 hours at Normandy. Nearing the beach, 0810 hours, he saw chaos:

Landing craft on their sides, turned the wrong way.… I had gone off the ramp into deep water. It was up to my chest. As we moved forward I must have been on a ridge of sand because the men around me began to go under and I had to help them stay above the waves. After going about 6 to 8 feet, I felt firm ground beneath me… I then moved quickly to the shingle and just lay down and joined that great big pile of men on the shale. We were totally immobilized. I did not know what to do, or where to go. I remember looking at the sea and the water was red, there were bodies and equipment just rolling in the surf….

Along the line of men on the shingle I saw men jerking as they were hit with the impact of bullets and shrapnel. Somehow it didn’t count. I was reassured because I was shoulder to shoulder with other men. There was something reassuring about having warm, familiar human bodies next to you… even if they were dead…you were not alone… they provided comfort and sometimes even cover from the bullets… At one point I was still lying down and shouting in the ear of the Regimental S4. He was a major. My mouth was next to his ear; it was so noisy that he could not hear me otherwise. While I was trying to make myself heard above the din, a bullet struck him dead. It had hit him in the centre [sic] of his helmet… our faces were inches away when it happened… it could have been me.

Shortly after Bill landed, the commander of his group, Colonel George Taylor landed. Taylor took one look at the carnage and said, “Two kinds of people are staying on this beach, the dead and those who are going to die… now let’s get the Hell out of here!

Taylor’s men had found a hidden defile, somehow not known to the Germans, who poured withering fire down exits E1 and E3, the visible paths up from the beach, on either side of the defile.

Bill picked up his story after his unit reached the top of the bluffs:

Colonel Taylor sent me to find General Huebner.… I found the General and I said “Colonel Taylor sends his respects, and presented my report.” The general [sic] had tears in his eyes and all he could say was “you did it… you did it!” He was deeply moved by the all too-evident sacrifice. Later that night I fell asleep in a farmyard around Colleville. I recall a sense of being purged.

I had been frightened in battle before D-Day and again many times afterwards. But that day I was not frightened. I was simply convinced that we had absolutely no influence or control over our fate. No action we could take would have stopped a bullet. It was surreal.

When I was awakened next morning it was by French women who gave me some Camembert cheese to eat and Calvados to drink. I had survived D-Day.

Bill fought with the Big Red One until the fall of Aachen, inside the Siegfried Line, on October 21. He was recalled because his mother, widowed in 1943, was seriously ill. (Rose Friedman, a concert pianist, recovered and lived another 23 years.) Bill stayed in the Army, and was sent to Korea in the fall of 1950. He was at the Yalu River when the Chinese counterattack was launched. In all, Bill saw four years of combat. In addition to the Purple Heart, Bill was awarded two Silver Stars, four Bronze Stars, the Combat Infantryman’s Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, and the highest decorations given by the governments of France and the Republic of Korea. A captain on D-Day, he left the Army in 1961 a full colonel. Bill passed away in 2002, age 85; on his last trip he took me and his wife to what then was the D-Day Museum in New Orleans; it later became the National World War II Museum. Bill was laid to rest at Arlington, with full military honors.

Our group visits all five of the D-Day beach landings, which line up, west to east, on the Normandy peninsula: Utah and Omaha (Americans), Gold (British), Juno (Canadian), and Sword (British). Pointe du Hoc, offering a panoramic view of the peninsula, sits between Utah and Omaha beaches.

My Normandy visit, needless to say, was considerably less suspenseful. I wanted to make the trip so that I could stand at the waterline of Easy Red sector and see the landscape (minus the hell of war) my cousin saw. At low tide it is several hundred yards to the bluffs; at high tide, perhaps one hundred. Looking down from the top, where the Normandy American Cemetery (2:54) holds the graves of 9,387 Americans, one can see how high up the German defenders were. The bluffs at their highest are about 50 meters — 165 feet high; this is more than half the height of the Ponte du Hoccliff, and the slope is steeper than it appears to the naked eye, covered as it is with foliage. We see the American Cemetery Memorial (4:30) with its glorious chapel.

Our ace French guide, Pierre-Samuel Natanson, dispensed fascinating details of the many critical battles during the two-month Normandy campaign. I learned more in five days than I could in five months of reading about the battle. Seeing the battlefields leaves one with visuals that are worth the proverbial one thousand words.

Our visit to Utah Beach includes Saint-Mère-église (2:11), the church immortalized for filmgoers in The Longest Day (1962). The parachute from which an unlucky parachutist famously dangled was actually on the back side of the church; and there were two stranded paratroopers. Alas, Hollywood history favors cool pictures. The Battle of Frière Bridge (2:28) saw airborne troops knock out five enemy tanks, thus taking control of the bridge and providing an exit for troops on Utah Beach. We visit the Airborne Museum (2:04) honoring the 82ndand 101stairborne divisions. Finally we see Chateau Bernaville, where Gen. Erwin Rommel was once hosted. Rommel, in charge of defending Normandy, overseer of the Atlantic Wall fortifications the Germans built that ran from Norway to the France-Spain border, had predicted that the primary landing would be there. He wanted his fabled Panzer armored divisions stationed just behind the shore guns. He said that if the Allies escaped the beaches they would win. Fortunately, Hitler rejected his counsel. For the Big Red One, Normandy was revenge for the defeat Rommel’s Afrika Corps inflicted in Feb. 1943 on the Americans at Kasserine Pass.

We do a driving tour of Gold, Juno, and Sword beaches. We begin at Pegasus Bridge (depicted: the modern, restored bridge), site of a spectacular three-glider landing, with pinpoint accuracy by superb pilots, landing without benefit of powered flight. The Battle of Pegasus Bridge seized for the Allies a key crossing point. We visit the Pegasus Bridge Museum, and see a Horsa glider, workhorse for the British during the War. We visit the Grand Bunker Museum (1:08) at Ouisterham. The Cinéma Circulaire at the Normandy World War II Museum shows a film of the battle on nine huge panels at once. The day ends with a stop at Longues-Sur-Merto see a fortified German artillery piece. Our final touring day covers the many sites of the Falaise Pocket (Falaise is French for cliff), where in late August 1944 the Allies ended the Battle of Normandy in a furious multi-day battle, one of the most sanguinary of the two month campaign. Atop Hill 262 (named for its actual height in meters — about 859 feet) we get a panoramic view of the sites involved in the complex serial engagements, virtually impossible to visualize without seeing the big picture. We see the Falaise Castle, located in the town that was birthplace for William The Conqueror, whose triumph at the Battle of Hastings (1066) brought Norman culture to Saxon England.

But for me the highlight of our group’s visit comes at a farm named Brécourt Manor, near the town of Sainte Marie du Mont. It was the setting for a key American battle after breaking out from Utah Beach, the other American landing site on June 6. The battle, depicted in Episode 2 of the popular Band of Brothers TV series, saw Americans destroy four German howitzers.

The rest of the story, told to us by the current owner, who was a boy back then, turned ugly when a soldier made a grievous error upon entering the farmhouse. He accidentally shot and seriously wounded the father. Fortunately, prompt medical attention, and nearly a year’s stay in a London hospital, enabled the man to recover. He returned home, and in 1949 was elected town mayor. In 1962 he presided over a ceremony honoring the liberation of the town. I told the farmer that I had two reasons for visiting Normandy. First was to honor my cousin, whose extraordinary service enabled me to live a freer, better life than would otherwise have been the case. Second, I wanted to thank the locals for the care their ancestors gave my cousin and his comrades.

Next year will mark the 75thanniversary of D-Day. It will be the last major celebration of the largest naval invasion force in history, one that succeeded against overwhelming odds.

Normandy has many charms that complement the war sites and memorials. The lovely countryside has recovered from the ghastly destruction of 1944. The magnificent cathedral of Mont-San-Michel (1:42) towers over the countryside. Blending medieval, Gothic, and Baroque architectures accumulated over a millennium, it towers over its tidal basin — to see the view you must ascend 350 stone steps. At various times a fort and prison as well as a cathedral, it has survived the second highest tides on the planet. Caen’s abbeys were less fortunate; they survive as fragments — the Normandy battle saw 70 percent of the town destroyed. Bayeux Cathedral has its charms, but the highlight of our visit to Bayeux is the famous Bayeux Tapestry (22:40). My favorite panel is 38, depicting what looks to my gimlet eye like four medieval go-go dancers.

Churches, chateaux and country houses glow in the afternoon sun. Perhaps best of all, we lucked out on the weather, mostly sunny, rare for the region in May (or anytime). The people were charming and hospitable to Americans, not the case in myriad places around the planet. And then there is la cuisine Normande.

Bill was quite the gustatory gourmet. I too, enjoyed Camembert — Normandy’s signature cheese — and Calvados. Thanks to Bill.

John C. Wohlstetter is author of Sleepwalking With the Bomb (2d Ed. 2014).

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Top School Shooter Mental Health Expert Joins Elite ‘School…

After appearing on 240+ media and major TV news segments, school shooter mental health expert Lori Vann, has been named Chief Mental Health Evaluator for the elite “School Marshals” unit http://www.schoolmarshals.net , and has also been appointed to the select Medical Advisory Board for the U.S. Patent-pending “We The People Healthcare” system https://brucenathan2018.com/wtphc invented by military veteran and medical practitioner Bruce Nathan, one of the three candidates for Florida Governor formally introduced at the Florida Republican Party dinner on May 18, and attended by keynote speaker Governor Rick Scott.

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It Didn’t Use to Be This Way

One telling detail keeps escaping the men and women of words who would end school shootings by one expedient or another: gun control, better security, the arming of teachers, more careful vetting of potential gunmen and so forth.

The detail of which I speak: We didn’t use to endure this horror. It didn’t happen.

The urgent question that flows from this detail: Why not?

Well, to start with, because things were different, prior to the shooting fests, which break so many hearts and generate so much despair.

Right, yes — but different in what way?

I will take a crack at this: Our culture (as we have come to call the circumstances of daily life) was cooler, calmer, less emotional, more orderly than it has become since then — which is not the same as saying pre-massacre culture (what a term) was cool, calm, and unemotional. It was not. Those personally familiar with that culture know better, I hope, than to indulge in nose-honkings over the joys of the past.

Still, massacres, explosions of personal rage, were rare and generally connected with mental disorder, such as the case of Howard Unruh, the World War II vet who went wild in New Jersey in 1949, gunning down people on and off the street, including a barber and his 6-year-old customer. There were guns enough out there, no doubt; nevertheless, few thought of using them in today’s ghastly, almost customary, way.

We didn’t use to endure this horror. It didn’t happen (or, save for Howard Unruh, hardly ever).

I am still taking a crack at this thing, with no more deleterious effect, I hope, than would flow from an attack on the Second Amendment. I submit that the factor at which we should look for explanation is social control: its widespread presence in pre-massacre time and its absence in the present day.

I do not mean that the secret police ran life back then. I mean institutions did, more or less, and with a touch far lighter and more helpful, in most cases, than today’s advocates of liberation would admit under coaxing from a liberally applied cat o’ nine tails. Whee, we’re free! So goes the general apologia for the removal of rules and guidelines of all kinds.

Free we are, or there wouldn’t have been much point to America. Yet Americans, according to the manner of their (generally) British culture, acknowledged not just opportunities but obligations. Institutions took these obligations, and their (normally) gentle enforcement, with great seriousness and sense of duty.

Mothers and fathers were supposed to impart to children a sense of… well, plain old decent behavior would likely cover it. Churches posited their own senses of duty and right belief — often overlapping the teachings of parents. Schools, as virtually anybody who attended one in the pre-massacre era can testify, necessarily exerted forms of control. If they hadn’t, no teaching would have taken place.

Was it all done perfectly? Who’d make such a ridiculous claim as that? Of course it wasn’t done perfectly. Sometimes it was done wretchedly.

But we didn’t use to endure the horror of mass massacres. People didn’t fear taking their children to school. Now they do.

The real horror of the matter is the hand-waving futility the massacre debate engenders. No one can believe, with any depth of conviction, that tighter gun control laws would make life as safe as a public library story hour.

The rebuilding and refitting of our weakened institutions, public and private, is the only path toward peace. But how to bring that about? Through change in beliefs and commitments: which is where the heavy lifting begins, as old formulas for human flourishing (e.g., the indispensability of the two-parent family) are reinserted into the common life. Or, through human folly, not reinserted.

The fact is that too few acknowledge the unmatched power of benevolent institutions to shape character, maintain the general peace, and impart dignity to human life — as well as keep it safe and free. But they do. Or rather, they did: here, there — yes, and in Santa Fe, Texas.

William Murchison is writing a book on moral restoration.

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Liberal professor boosts women’s grades to help them ‘compete’ with men

Do women need an academic mulligan, of sorts, in order to excel in the traditionally male field of science? A professor of information systems at The University of Akron in Ohio apparently thinks so, as he recently announced to his class via email that all of his female students would be receiving an automatic grade or two increase simply because they have XX chromosomes. Professor Liping Liu seems to have bought into the feminist narrative that women need to invade every single field where men currently dominate in order to achieve societal “equality.” And seeing that not as many females choose information science as their college major compared to men, Prof. Liu decided that he would artificially inflate their grades as an incentive, doing his part to help “balance the scales” of gender in the field of science. According to reports, Prof. Liu apparently told his class that females would be receiving an arbitrary grade boost after he had already submitted these inflated grades to the university’s registrar. He further explained that females were getting preferential treatment over men as part of “a national movement to encourage female students to go to [sic] information sciences.” Other students were also given grade boosts that they didn’t deserve, including students who had earned scores on exams that demonstrated higher performance than their calculated ones, as well as students who attended class but somehow missed getting on the attendance log. But it was Prof. Liu’s decision to issue grades using overtly sexist criteria that got everyone’s attention.

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