If you visit TeenVogue.com today, you’ll see a tab called “Politics.”
Recent headlines include “What does Donald Trump’s Indictment Actually Mean?” and a slew of articles on “trans kids,” including bathroom bans and “How to Be an Advocate for Trans Student Athletes.”
A deep dive into old Teen Vogue magazines reveals no such headlines, which begs the question — why has Teen Vogue moved from puff pieces about spring style to endorsements of communism? Does the shift matter?
I read Teen Vogue in the late 2000s and early 2010s, along with many of my middle school peers. I remember articles about “Bieber Fever” and full-page spreads of neon fashion trends. The most political commentary that I can remember was at least tangentially related to beauty and fashion — indictments of eating disorders and plastic surgery.
Many of the articles published on the Teen Vogue website today cannot claim any connection to fashion, beauty, or anything else expected from a magazine that caters to teenage girls.
Teen Vogue Goes Political
As someone who has only recently aged out of my teenage years (I’m now 21), Teen Vogue’s transformation is reminiscent of society’s shift throughout my high school years.
Every generation has faced issues that feel existential; for my parents, it was the Cold War and the very real possibility of nuclear annihilation. I’ve talked to my grandfather about what it was like to grow up during the Second World War, with food rations and friends and family going off to fight and die on foreign soil. For my generation, the two issues that I would describe as the most pressing are gun violence and climate change.
I am deeply concerned about both issues, and many others, ranging from human rights violations to elected public officials acting against their constituents’ interests.
The difference between my generation’s issues and previous problems is that teenagers today cannot escape the litany of issues, and Teen Vogue is only continuing that trend. If you open Instagram or TikTok or attend a public high school, you are constantly bombarded with news and commentary on social issues. For 24 hours a day, seven days a week, teens are inundated with information. Over the last few years, the pressure on teenagers to constantly be “in the know,” to be hardcore activists, and to express all the right opinions on complex political matters has become crushing.
Teen Vogue has become another outlet exerting this pressure. Teens do not get the opportunity to escape, even when they open a magazine that has been ubiquitous with fashion and makeup. Teen Vogue was meant to be relaxing because we already have hard-hitting journalism. The New York Times, Washington Post, and Politico already exist, so we are perfectly capable of reading about Donald Trump’s indictment if we so choose.
What we can no longer find is an outlet in which teenage girls can be just that: teenage girls. Where can teen girls go to worry about fashion, makeup, and boy band members without being subjected to op-eds about the 2024 election?
Teenagers deserve refuge from political rhetoric and pressure to advocate for policy changes in their schools. Teen Vogue primarily targets girls ages 12–17, whose main concerns should be puppy love and eye makeup.
Teen Vogue is instead telling them that they should focus on issues like criminal justice reform and Supreme Court corruption, neither of which have much to do with the average suburban high school student. Moreover, Teen Vogue promotes only political ideology, which can be dangerous for impressionable teenagers who are still developing their critical thinking skills and worldviews.
For many parents and authority figures like teachers and coaches, Teen Vogue’s political coverage is also insidious because it is not expected. If parents see their teen reading the Washington Post or Politico, they have an idea of what they are reading. However, most parents would think that Teen Vogue is a source of fashion tips rather than Marxist ideology, thereby allowing Teen Vogue to influence teen’s opinions with little to no oversight.
Let teenagers learn and grow and have fun—there will be lots of time for political advocacy after they get to college. There is a time and place for youth activism, and that place is not Teen Vogue.
https://thepricklypear.org/wp-content/uploads/iStock-459392445-scaled.jpg17032560Kate Haberlhttps://thepricklypear.org/wp-content/uploads/logo_website_2022_v3_400x61.pngKate Haberl2023-06-02 00:26:432023-06-01 15:03:59Teen Vogue: More Politics Than Fashion
The insidious World Economic Forum (WEF) of the “Great Reset” is now pushing cities, countries, and companies around the world to adopt a new “scorecard” to encourage the expansion of supposedly “green” energy and public transportation, and fewer private cars. You will own nothing, you will ride public transport, and you have no say in the matter. You’re welcome.
WEF’s May 2023 briefing paper, “The Urban Mobility Scorecard Tool: Benchmarking the Transition to Sustainable Urban Mobility,” produced in collaboration with Visa, specifically states the goal to “reduce the number of vehicles on the road.” Why? People dependent on public transport are also dependent on those who control public transport. It’s all about reducing independence and freedom and increasing top-down control.
Recall that WEF is also working with at least two governments to roll out a digital ID required to do or buy anything. In China, the way a similar digital ID works is, if you say or do something the government doesn’t like, you are not able to travel anywhere or do anything. That’s exactly what WEF has planned for your future.
Indeed, public transport and a total absence of private cars for ordinary citizens are essential parts of WEF’s plan for how it wants the world to be in 2030. “It made no sense for us to own cars anymore, because we could call a driverless vehicle or a flying car for longer journeys within minutes. We started transporting ourselves in a much more organized and coordinated way when public transport became easier, quicker and more convenient than the car,” WEF wrote. Ah, paradise, where a single tweet critiquing the government leaves you transportation-less! In that same piece, WEF let the cat out of the bag about the stark reality of this supposed future utopia:
“Once in a while I get annoyed about the fact that I have no real privacy. Nowhere I can go and not be registered. I know that, somewhere, everything I do, think and dream of is recorded. I just hope that nobody will use it against me.”
Meanwhile, in its recent briefing paper, WEF says, “By 2050, almost 70% of people will live in urban areas.” The globalist push to make the vast majority of people live in cities, particularly “15 minute cities,” is all part of the vision I just quoted from above where everything is owned by the government. Control is easier in a city. In fact, WEF specifically demanded “more compact cities” in the briefing paper. Yes! 15-minute cities with an insane amount of surveillance and complete dictatorial control! All to save the planet, of course.
WEF went on, “electrifying private vehicles is not enough to achieve the emissions reduction targets agreed in the Paris Agreement on climate.” Of course, climate change alarmists have been wildly and consistently wrong in their predictions for 50 years now, but we should definitely trust them this time, right? I have noted many times how supposedly “green” energy is actually worse for the environment, and how it is impossible to produce enough electricity for modern societies using green energy, which involves destructive and toxic sources like windmills, solar panels, and toxic batteries. Yet WEF pontificated:
“Electrification needs to be accelerated in sync with a powerful push towards more efficient, accessible and connected public transport, improved infrastructure and priority for cycling and walking…It is only with a combination of these solutions that we can cut emissions to address the urgent climate emergency, reduce the number of vehicles on the road to make our streets safer and more accessible, all while transporting a growing urban population.”
That section was written by Visa’s “Chief Sustainability Officer” and WEF’s “Head of Urban Transformation.”
To ensure this utopian future happens, WEF is pushing a “user-friendly scorecard tool, trialled with cities and backed by the private sector, to help cities track progress towards shared, electric and connected mobility.”
Don’t be fooled—the climate alarmist movement is merely the tool for achieving a one world dictatorship, with your housing, transportation, everything dependent on the whims of the elites. That’s all WEF’s “scorecard” is about.
https://thepricklypear.org/wp-content/uploads/iStock-1306138593-1-scaled.jpg18362560Catherine Salgadohttps://thepricklypear.org/wp-content/uploads/logo_website_2022_v3_400x61.pngCatherine Salgado2023-06-01 00:29:502023-05-30 06:29:48Great Reset: WEF Demands Fewer Private Cars, Increase in Public Transport
The Dodgers’ capitulation to the LGBT lobby demonstrates yet again that Christians have lost the culture war.
As goes baseball, so goes the country. America’s pastime may be much diminished from its golden age, but in a culturally fractured moment nostalgia makes it all the more important as a symbol. So it is worth noting, suggesting something of catacombs, when the Los Angeles Dodgers would rather offend Christians and sitting U.S. senators than risk the wrath of the homosexual lobby.
The team announced last Wednesday that it would no longer honor the drag fraternity “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” with a Community Hero Award at its LGBT etc. celebration on June 16. Senator Marco Rubio had written to Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred questioning whether honoring a group dedicated to obscenity and the mockery of religious devotion would be “inclusive and welcoming to Christians.” But on Monday, the Dodgers backtracked, with agroveling apologyto the gay clowns, re-inviting them to the team’s tenth annual Pride Night.
A decade, then, at least for one professional baseball organization, is how long it takes for pro-gay to become anti-Christian. This is baseball, recall; the team needn’t really have ever taken a public position on the sexual revolution, let alone prostrate, but here it is, and it says much more about American culture as a whole than about the Dodgers in particular. There was a culture war, once, and you lost.
The right response to all this—the spectacle of degenerates mocking women, nuns, and God in one costume; the dust-eating pardon-begging by the Dodgers, “we will continue to work with our LGBTQ+ partners to better educate ourselves”—is simple disgust.
Some things are disgusting, and we should cherish and protect our capacity for disgust. The global homogenization that characterizes our time seeks to erase all distinction—between men and women, better and worse, adults and children—and to have its revenge for the distinctions that persist despite those efforts. To bring forth a beige world of polymorphous perversity, slaves to modernity like these perpetually indulgent work to erase your instinct for reality, the individual spark of human spirit that aspires to the high and is revolted by the low. They want to desensitize you to disgust.
In his modern fairy-tale for grownups, That Hideous Strength,C.S. Lewis describes “the Objective Room.” It is a place for bludgeoning the soul. In a pivotal scene, the not-very-heroic protagonist, Mark, is brought to the Objective Room and asked to trample “a large crucifix, almost life size, a work of art in the Spanish tradition, ghastly and realistic.” He is not a Christian, yet he finds the demand too much. The room has been the arena for a contest in Mark’s mind between “the Crooked,” everything subtly wrong, twisted, and distorted, and “the Straight or Normal or Wholesome.” But this icon is something new:
“this image, though not itself an image of the Straight or Normal, was yet in opposition to crooked Belbury. It was a picture of what happened when the Straight met the Crooked, a picture of what the Crooked did to the Straight — what it would do to him if he remained straight. It was, in a more emphatic sense than he had yet understood, a cross.”
It is the final test.
The men who seek to condition Mark by exposure to the Crooked—to make him believe that “objectively” there is no difference between it and the Straight—must in the end resort to blasphemy. It is not enough to celebrate the diseased and belittle the normal; eventually a stronger statement is needed. And this is the significance of the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence”: Eventually not even drag is enough. (Indeed, the group has hosted “hunky Jesus” contests.) And now the Dodgers, desensitized by a decade of celebration, reject the concerns of Christians and again extend their invitation to degraded mockeries of holiness. The ratchet of progress turns only one way.
You live in the Objective Room, reader.Toleration comes from a position of strength, and, good Christian, you are not doing the tolerating—nor even being tolerated. As the evangelical writer Aaron Renn has argued, since about 2014, which marks the cultural victory of the Alphabet People over a normal that had forgotten why normal mattered—remember, Obergefell was 2015—you have lived in a Negative World. While once Christianity was celebrated, and then at least accepted as part of an American public square, in a Negative World, “being known as a Christian is a social negative, particularly in the elite domains of society. Christian morality is expressly repudiated and seen as a threat to the public good and the new public moral order.”
For those in comfortable suburban enclaves, Renn’s thesis may sound histrionic. But think for a moment about what has happened here. A large-market baseball team—an avatar of American culture and big business—was pressured by religious groups and a sitting U.S. senator to maintain a recently expected standard of public decorum. They did not protest a Pride Night and the Dodgers’ celebration of sexual expressivism, only an obviously anti-Catholic and even anti-Christian demonstration. This was a request for toleration from a position of weakness. And now there is no hesitation to trample.
https://thepricklypear.org/wp-content/uploads/drag-4684936__340.webp340510Micah Meadowcrofthttps://thepricklypear.org/wp-content/uploads/logo_website_2022_v3_400x61.pngMicah Meadowcroft2023-06-01 00:28:252023-05-30 05:52:58Welcome to the Objective Room
Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes is saying that the state will not enforce a resolution that has been passed in the state legislature banning electronic voting machines.
Arizona Sen. Anthony Kern introduced the resolution to ensure that “no voting system or component or subcomponent of a voting system or component… may be used or purchased as the primary method for casting, recording and tabulating ballots used in any election held in this state for federal office” unless certain transparency measures were introduced.
The measure was approved by the Arizona House and Senate, much to the approval of patriotic Arizona Sen. Wendy Rogers, who touted the resolution on many different conservative radio shows and podcasts on Monday.
However, Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes issued a statement claiming that the government would not enforce the resolution and continue business as usual for elections in years to come.
“Senate Concurrent Resolution 1037, which expresses a desire to restrict the use of certain electronic voting machines, is non-binding and does not have the force of law. Election equipment must be certified by the federal and state government by specific requirements outlined in federal and state law,” Fontes said in his statement.
“That certification process is being followed in Arizona and all applicable election equipment being used in Arizona is certified. If those requirements or certification process were to be changed, it would require a regular bill to be passed by the legislature and signed by the governor—which is not the case for this non-binding resolution. We defer to the Attorney General’s office on all other legal questions,” he added.
Big League Politicshas reported on how a majority of Arizona voters believe that fraud occurred affected the results of the 2022 midterm elections:…..
https://thepricklypear.org/wp-content/uploads/Adrian-Fontes.jpg6301200Shane Trejohttps://thepricklypear.org/wp-content/uploads/logo_website_2022_v3_400x61.pngShane Trejo2023-06-01 00:26:182023-05-30 08:05:56Arizona Secretary of State Says Resolution Banning the Use of Voting Machines Will Not Be Enforced
Recently we felt it necessary (Trump Is Out of Line) to slap down President Trump for his attacks on Ron DeSantis in relation to Medicare and Social Security. We contended that no serious effort at controlling the deficit can be undertaken with the reform of “entitlement” programs. The reason: that is where the overwhelming bulk of the money is spent and these systems are demographically flawed. If you truly want to deal with deficit spending, entitlement reform must be discussed.
Now we must slap him once again over his attack ads about DeSantis voting for the “Fair Tax”, while a member of Congress. The Fair Tax is a plan to replace the income tax and the IRS with a fairly simple national sales tax.
For some reason, Trump has decided to run to the Left of Governor DeSantis on key issues. We see this with entitlement reform, Covid lockdown and vaccinations, Disney and corporate “wokism”, abortion, and now tax reform.
The TV ad that you can view below is misleading to the point of lying, which is beneath the former President. It mentions the expected 23% sales tax and fails to mention it replaces the income tax. No Conservative is going to vote for a national consumption tax without eliminating the income tax. Trump makes it sound as if DeSantis wants both at the same time, a flat-out lie.
The Fair Tax idea has been floating in Conservative political circles since at least the mid-1980s. It was advocated by Bill Archer, a Congressman from Texas who became head of the House Ways and Means Committee in the mid-1990s. Archer was an advocate of what at the time was called “starve the beast”, a theory that we could only stop the rise of the leviathan government by eliminating the income tax and thus restricting the flow of money.
So, Trump’s attack on DeSantis not only is unfair to his chief rival (why do you think he singles DeSantis out for abuse and not others) but he does a grave injustice to the idea of the Fair Tax.
There are several iterations of the Fair Tax but rather than get into the technical weeds, let’s look at the broad outlines of its appeal.
First of all, the income tax has always been a product of the Left. Plank two of the 1848 Communist Manifesto calls for “a heavy progressive or graduated income tax”, and that idea has been a mainstay of socialist thought since. The idea was to use the mechanism of the state police power to redistribute income to create income equality. Morally, the Maxists said the more a man rises above the level of subsistence, the less claim he has on his output. Why is that? Because Marx said so.
Forcible redistribution of wealth is not something Conservatives or Libertarians should accept. Why does Trump support a plank out of the Communist Manifesto?
The purpose of the tax system should be to raise revenue for the government efficiently and grow the economy while protecting the individual rights of its citizens. The tax system should not be used as a tool to impose one particular view of mankind by force and compulsion.
If you don’t think the government is force, just try not paying your income taxes. Try running a business without withholding taxes on employees.
The US largely ran for many years on excise and consumption taxes, revenues from land sales, and tariffs. In those years, we had a smaller government and it was not in the business of income redistribution.
It is doubtful the Administrative State could have arisen without the compulsory aspects of the progressive income tax and that is why it came as part of the Progressive package under Woodrow Wilson, which also included the Federal Reserve and the direct election of Senators.
The Fair Tax repeals the 16th Amendment and eliminates the IRS as we know it.
Some Conservatives have supported a Flat Tax, basically a flat income tax. There is much good in that idea too but since it leaves the IRS and the Income Tax both in the statutes and as an Amendment to the Constitution, there is nothing to say a progressive tax won’t simply grow back. We have seen a version of that over the years with 5 tax brackets, then 3 brackets, taxes as high as 90%, the Alternative Minimum tax, and so forth. The income tax is always morphing and is always a tool for politicians and the special interests that fund them. The same can be said for the corporate income tax.
The only way to kill the Income Tax is to totally replace it, which the national consumption tax would do. That also eliminates the estate tax and capital gains taxes, the alternative minimum tax, the corporate income tax, taxes on dividends, and interest. The government would instead be funded by a simple tax collected at the final point of consumption by a consumer.
An important feature of consumption taxes is that they are self-regulating while income taxes are not. Right now, the level we all pay in taxes is in the hands of politicians, special interests, and government administrators.
Writing in the Federalist Papers,Alexander Hamilton noted: “It is the signal advantage of taxes on articles of consumption that they contain in their own nature a security against excess. They prescribe their own limit, which cannot be exceeded without defeating the end proposed, that is an extension of the revenue…this forms a complete barrier against any material oppression of the citizens by taxes of this call, and is itself a natural limitation of the power of imposing them.”
So, Mr. Trump, are you for the tax system of Karl Marx or Alexander Hamilton? Are you for self-limited taxation (limited by the consumer or citizen) or limited by politicians and bureaucrats?
Look at how abusive politically speaking the IRS has become. Whether it be trying to ruin Conservative organizations under Lois Lerner or recently invading the privacy of journalist Matt Taibbi, the IRS has been used from its inception to attack political enemies. Lyndon Johnson used the IRS against enemies and so did Richard Nixon. It is not a matter of partisan abuse alone, it is a violation of the rule of law.
And why, as Open the Books has found, does the IRS need millions of rounds of ammunition and over 2,000 agents trained in the use of deadly force?
Would not it be a net plus for liberty to eliminate the system that gave rise to this abusive organization?
And then there is the cost. Estimates vary, but the burden on the economy to comply with income taxes goes well beyond the bloated budget of the IRS. Think of what you have paid over the years for accountants and CPAs. How much time do you spend keeping records and shuffling paper? That is the real cost of the current system.
And how about simplicity and the time spent to understand the code? Really, should we have to consult a priesthood of lawyers and accountants just to pay our taxes?
The IRS code runs more than 70,000 pages, and the most recent Fair Tax legislation, about 130 pages. Not only must we deal with the IRS code, but there are many more pages of court cases and administrative rulings.
And then there is the cost on business to comply, which is simply passed on to the consumer in the end. Complying is simply a cost of doing business and will be embedded in all costs and those costs cascade or get added to each other much like railroad cars in a train wreck. Commodity producer A pays taxes and regulatory costs, to provide a product to processor B who pays taxes and regulatory costs, who move the product to manufacturer C who pays taxes, who then delivers to transport company D which pays taxes, then delivers to retailer E, who pays taxes, to sell to you, who pay for sales taxes on the end product, and income taxes on the money you use for the purchase. Perhaps worse it is hidden and you are not even aware of it.
Everywhere along the chain, there are compliance costs and taxes paid that get surreptitiously added to the cost of products we all buy. In fact, estimates are it costs about $1 in compliance costs for about every $4 collected in revenue.
But even that does not come close to the actual cost, which is hard to know because much of the cost is never recorded. It is the cost of actions NOT taken or actions taken that are not productive. For example, if you decide not to sell an investment because you will pay capital gains tax, you may be making a decision that has nothing to do with the best and highest use of your capital, but simply to avoid taxes. Contrarily, if you purchase municipal bonds to avoid taxation on income, that may not be the highest and best use of the capital either for your family or the economy. How much do such decisions cost productivity because the tax tail is wagging the entire dog of the economy?
Productivity is what drives our standard of living. You reduce productivity and you reduce our standard of living and nobody knows by how much or why. What a system!
The only people who benefit from such economic and capital distortions are politicians and tax lawyers. The rest of us don’t.
And finally, there is the politics of the thing and civic education. Do you think for a moment the voters would buy into “the rich are not paying their fair share” if they really had any idea of who pays taxes in this country and what their true level and administrative costs really are?
One really nice feature of the Fair Tax is it eliminates all the web of hidden taxes, withholding taxes, excise taxes, and other gimmicks used to obscure the true cost of government and makes it simple and upfront. When all these taxes and compliance costs are cascading through the cycle of production and consumption, how could you possibly know what you really are paying in taxes?
With the fair tax, it is on the receipt for the purchase of final consumption.
If citizens really knew how much they were paying to the government, would they feel the same way about the government? Would they be so casual about the immense waste?
And we would further submit, no one getting benefits from the government should not know the cost and be free from some of the cost. If people don’t feel the sting of the cost of some of the things they want from the government, they will make endless demands. Why not if you can get benefits that are paid for by someone else? No, everyone needs to pay something and every citizen needs to know the true cost of government. That is indeed the true meaning of “fair share.”
In short, our current tax system needs to be fundamentally reformed. We need a tax system that removes Marxist philosophy from the process, is efficient and simple, and allows the ultimate level of taxation to be determined by consumers. Getting rid of an abusive agency and a tax code that is longer than the Bible is an added benefit.
Imagine a world without the IRS, where there are no taxes on investments and savings. April 15th would be just another day. No year-long effort to keep records. Imagine the capital accumulation and increase in productivity. Imagine a smaller, less intrusive government. Imagine a higher standard of living.
The ultimate point of our criticism of Mr. Trump and his PAC is that they have reduced quite a serious problem for the economy and liberty, to a tacky song and misleading attack ad on a political opponent.
The Fair Tax has its problems and its critics. But, like its sister the Flat Tax, at least it is a serious attempt to mend a broken, expensive, uneconomic, and abusive system. It is exactly the type of thing that should be debated among candidates.
In this argument, we think those that wish to reform the progressive income tax and the IRS, have the upper hand.
https://thepricklypear.org/wp-content/uploads/audit.jpg339508Neland Nobelhttps://thepricklypear.org/wp-content/uploads/logo_website_2022_v3_400x61.pngNeland Nobel2023-05-31 00:31:492023-05-30 05:53:49Trump and His Allies Attack Tax Reform
Bud Light enlists a trans ladyface minstrel to sell beer. Targethires a trans Satanist to design LGBT clothes for kids and starts selling “binding” and “tucking” swimwear. North Face launches a marketing campaign featuring a creepy drag performer hocking LGBT gear to children ages 2 to 7.The Los Angeles Dodgers gives an award to a demonic hate group whose sole purpose is to blaspheme and profane the Catholic faith.
All this, and June “pride month” hasn’t even begun.
What’s happening? Why did so many major corporate brands decide to go all-in on promoting an aggressive, radical LGBT agenda that just a few years ago would have been considered totally unacceptable in civil society? Is this a psy-op? Is it real? What happens next?
The short answer to these questions is that we’ve entered a new phase of the culture war, and in some ways have transcended “the culture war” completely. What we’re in now is better described as a religious war — one that’s been launched by corporate America against all of us, and therefore demands we all choose sides.
Choosing sides in a religious war means you have to choose your religion. And in this particular religious war, there are only two sides. On one side is what C.S. Lewis called the Tao, which was his ecumenical shorthand for objective moral truth. “The Tao, which others may call Natural Law or Traditional Morality or the First Principles of Practical Reason or the First Platitudes, is not one among a series of possible systems of value,” Lewis wrote in The Abolition of Man. “It is the sole source of all value judgments. If it is rejected, all value is rejected. If any value is retained, it is retained.”
In America and in the West generally, the side of the Tao is the side of faithful Christians and Jews, as well as those atheists who, for practical reasons, cling to Judeo-Christian morality as the survivors of a shipwreck might cling to a lifeboat. It is the side that sees Target’s transing of kids as an intolerable moral evil, affirms the givenness of our nature and the created order, and recognizes not only that man isn’t God, but that man’s destiny is communion with God in a redeemed creation.
On the other side is what the writer Paul Kingsnorth, among others,has called the Machine, which at its root is a Nietzschean rebellion against God that turns out also to be “a rebellion against everything: roots, culture, community, families, biology itself.” Like the Tao, the religion of the Machine, of progress and technology and will to power, has a very long pedigree. It goes back to the Garden of Eden, where the serpent assured Eve, “You will not surely die,” that if she ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, she would become like God.
That was the first rebellion; we have been reenacting it ever since. It is perhaps easier to see in our own time how every rebellion against God, from the Garden to now, is also an attempt to overthrow Him, to become like God. Indeed, the desire to play God is the dark heart of both transgenderism and its close cousin, transhumanism. Like other evils of our age — abortion and euthanasia, to name the obvious ones — these are, at their roots, extremely candid manifestations of pride, the source of all sin.
The Machine is a religion that makes a claim over and against reality and the created order, which are denied and disfigured in man’s attempt to arrogate the power to recreate himself according to his own desires. In our day, he seeks to do so using new technologies, but that he would desire to do so is merely the latest iteration of the rebellion that began in the Garden. This is what J.R.R. Tolkien meant when he said “all stories are ultimately about the fall.” Tolkien also referred to the Machine at times when discussing his legendarium, often describing it as the urge to amass power and dominate, “bulldozing the real world, or coercing other wills” — a tyranny exercised over creation with the object of overcoming mortality.
This is just what we see in the twin trans movements: a desire to overcome sex and a desire to overcome death. The transhumanists are as explicit about their desire to cheat death and attain godlike immortality as transgenders are about their desire to become the opposite sex. The latter appear to believe, like rebellious pagans of past ages, that children have an important role to play in the achievement of this desire. The Machine devoured children by fire on the altars of Moloch and Baal; it devours them now in the black mirrors of the internet and social media.
The temptation here is to dismiss this reading of our situation as hyperbole. Surely it isn’t as bad as all that, we want to say. But it really is. What’s happening now isn’t about corporate brands embracing “pride month,” as The New York Times recently framed it, or even about promoting tolerance in a diverse society. If Target were just selling T-shirts that said “fabulous” in rainbow letters no one would care. This is about transing kids. Everyone knows it, but no one wants to say so out loud. Corporations are the tip of the spear, pushing this stuff out and then letting the media turn around and accuse the right of being violent bigots for objecting.
We err, too, in thinking of all this as just a really bad case of “the culture war” that breaks along the familiar lines of left and right, blue and red. It’s partly that, butat its deepest level it’s a religious war, a spiritual struggle between light and darkness, good and evil, the Tao and the Machine.
All of which is to say that as this war develops, we should try not to get too caught up in how much Target stocks plummet or how low the price of Bud Light gets ($0, as of this writing). “Go woke, go broke” is — pardon the rhyme — a cope. That’s not to say we shouldn’t boycott these companies, even if it means financial hardship or inconvenience. Boycotting them is part of what we have to do in this religious war, but it’s not sufficient.
Corporate America is not going to stop, even if some corporations do go broke. What will be required of those who resist them is a deep religious commitment, a radical new way of living in the modern, digital age. If you’re a Jew, be deeply serious about your Judaism. If you’re a Christian, make the practice of your faith the central organizing fact of your life, not just something you do on Sundays. If you’re an atheist, pray that God gives you faith.
For adherents of the Tao, fighting this religious war is going to mean not just boycotting corporate brands but reorganizing your personal and professional life. It might mean quitting your job, or moving, or giving up certain things. It will require sacrifice. Perhaps great sacrifice.
And rest assured that every person in America is going to have to pick a side. If you don’t pick a side then your side will by default be that of the Machine, which dominates the heights of our post-Christian culture and economy. Whatever your opinion of transgenderism or identity politics, the Machine will suck you in and ensnare you unless you make a conscious choice to stand against it. So choose, and choose wisely. Your country — and, more importantly, your soul — depends on it.
https://thepricklypear.org/wp-content/uploads/iStock-1445333214-scaled.jpg19202560John Daniel Davidsonhttps://thepricklypear.org/wp-content/uploads/logo_website_2022_v3_400x61.pngJohn Daniel Davidson2023-05-31 00:30:252023-05-28 07:41:56Corporate America Has Launched A Religious War. It’s Time To Choose Your Side
“Oh, and by the way, your background check says there’s a warrant out for your arrest.”
This is not, mind you, the kind of thing one expects to hear updating teaching credentials in a very staid University bureaucracy. Nevertheless, there it was.
“Oh?,” I retorted, a bit stunned. “Anything indicating why?”
“It says something about a zoning infraction?” the all-too-chipper HR Department lady replied.
“I’m sure it will be fine—it’s no issue for us, but we thought you might like to know.”
Why yes, yes I would.
It turns out that my little experiment in entrepreneurial civics had gone horribly wrong, and I was one short step away from spending time in the clink. I had, you see, committed the jailable offense of putting up a tent. On my own land. Without permission from the State. I won’t rehash the details but feel free to get the skinny here.
The long and short of it is this: our county sent us a nastygram some time back informing us that our AirBnB platform tent was strictly verboten without first going through the labyrinthian protocols of special use exemptions, business licensing, and building permits. We dutifully took the listing down and began the unconscionably dumb process of doing it the “right” way — Site Plan Reviews, public meetings, fights with a water district that wanted us to buy a water meter for a tent with no plumbing, the whole deal.
That all was bad enough, but somewhere along the line, a local county zoning official acting on the basis of an “anonymous tip” referred our case to the prosecutor’s office because she had been “told” we were still operating in contravention to guidelines.
I called her up.
“Can you confirm that there is an open arrest warrant in my name, on the basis of a zoning violation?”
“That is correct sir.”
“Are you telling me that I could be stopped at any moment and incarcerated, that I would be arraigned for a tent infraction?”
“Yes, sir, we have policies which you have not conformed to.”
“But didn’t I tell your office personally that we have taken the listing down, and haven’t we been working diligently with your own staff to get this thing resolved? Aren’t you even now reviewing the oodles of forms, maps, and requests we sent you?”
“Yes sir, but we were told you were still operating the tent as a rental, which means you are still in noncompliance.”
“Told by whom?”
“I can’t relay that information, sir.”
Ah. I see.
I’m not writing this from a Platte County prison cell. It turns out that petty official X just needed to hear me say that I wasn’t breaking their rules, and she would call the prosecutor’s office and have the warrant rescinded based on “proof of compliance” or some such.
Everything, just as University Human Relations predicted, is “fine.”
Except that it isn’t.
There are two issues at stake here. The first, of course, is a flagrant yet ultimately trivial matter of basic professionalism and due process — Platte County clearly has some deep house cleaning to do. But it is tangential to the much larger matter, which is that the bureaucratic indiscretions on display here can only occur in an administrative system that weaponizes regulations to consolidate power. This overregulation, in turn, is the inevitable outcome of our collective giveaway of rights to the forces of “planning,” “safety,” and “zoning.”
We have a real crisis on our hands in the form of basic property rights arrogation. In an age of “epic crisis,” it’s difficult to know which looming threats are real and which are hyped fantasy, but this one surely tops the list, if for no other reason than that it is so subtly devious: zoning rules have been quietly adopted nationwide and have led inexorably to administrative despotism and bureaucratic sclerosis. This isn’t just irritating red tape, it is a reflection of basic freedom lost.
Ludwig von Mises properly noted that economic freedom undergirds the rest of them:
Government means always coercion and compulsion and is by necessity the opposite of liberty. Government is a guarantor of liberty and is compatible with liberty only if its range is adequately restricted to the preservation of what is called economic freedom. Where there is no market economy, the best-intentioned provisions of constitutions and laws remain a dead letter.
And indeed, economic freedom has been dragged into the deep end by the dead hand of zoning restrictions. For a citizen to be forbidden from such a simple economic act as offering a tent for rent on his own land means that state administration has metastasized into an all-encompassing prohibition on economic activity more generally. Forbidding entrepreneurial ventures that have not been granted prior approval and design review by unelected officials is, practically speaking, state ownership of the means of production. This has enormous implications not only for the economic outlook of our nation, but for the broader freedoms it prides itself on.
The United States is on a precipitous plunge into the inky waters of a command economy. We have fallen from the top-tier of economic freedom indexes to 25th in just a few short years and the trend is getting worse. To fix this, it is high time to repeal vast swaths of local zoning laws and recover our rich heritage of Life, Liberty, and Property.
This article was published by AIER, American Institute for Economic Research and is reproduced with permission.
https://thepricklypear.org/wp-content/uploads/tent.webp508800Paul Schwennesenhttps://thepricklypear.org/wp-content/uploads/logo_website_2022_v3_400x61.pngPaul Schwennesen2023-05-31 00:28:262023-05-29 06:15:32Without Economic Freedom, None of the Others Matter
The progressive and now radical left has tightened its control over the political life of America, especially since the highly suspicious elections of 2020 and 2022. The most astute conservative thinkers, however, have long recognized that theleft’s conquest of culture came before its political conquest, best represented in Breitbart’s phrase “Politics is downstream of culture.”
Academia, Hollywood, the corporate media, the judiciary, and now the military are firmly in the grip of leftists and their repugnant anti-American ideology. Chronologically, higher education was the first to fall. Since the 1960s, colleges and universities have been turning out batch after batch of indoctrinated young adults, who then scatter into various professions and infect them with the pathology now called ‘wokism’.
In response to this, some conservatives seem to advocate an abandonment approach: don’t send your children to college, don’t let them watch Hollywood movies, don’t shop in stores owned by woke corporations. As a temporary strategy, this is just fine. I support people not attending progressive and far leftist colleges or watching stupid movies, most of which have no aesthetic or cultural merit anyway, or using the services of wacky-woke corporations. But this is not a long-term strategy.
The progressive and radical left have been playing their game of cultural conquest since the 1930s. Their strategy is paying off royally. Regarding academia, this is what Antonio Gramsci called “the long march of the Intellectuals”. The left seemed to understand, way before Andrew Breitbart came along, that if you control culture, you’ll inevitably come to control politics. That said, it must be acknowledged that in some cases our institutions may not be reclaimable. The 2024 election will show us whether political institutions are a lost cause or not.
The point here is this: Conservatives cannot simply extract themselves from cultural institutions in the hope of remaining healthy and unaffected by the godless and un-American woke culture. The reason is simple: if the left controls our cultural institutions, it creates and distributes culture.
In some cases, I believe the strategy must be a wholesale replacement of cultural institutions. For example, citizen journalism replacing corporate media. Simply stop watching and reading any form of corporate media and engaging progressive social media platforms. Seek and consume honest and ethical citizen journalism of which there is much to choose from. This, at the moment at least, seems to be working pretty well.
A majority of Americans are repulsed by the obvious ideological agenda of the mainstream media and are turning to other, less dishonest sources.
Other institutions, like Hollywood or higher education, are more difficult. Conservatives cannot, for purely practical reasons, create an alternative to Hollywood or higher education which will be equally as viable as honest citizen journalism competing with and displacing corporate media. Interestingly, though, crowd funding the series The Chosen and the movie The Jesus Revolution has been spectacularly successful and indicates a broad-based appetite for cultural renewal among many Americans and in other countries. Similarly, the huge movement away from public school (and teacher union) indoctrination of America’s children by every socioeconomic parental cohort speaks volumes of how culture can be reformed and recaptured in the American tradition.
So, what are we to do for long term victory in the battle for the soul of America? Strangely, I think the answer lies in a reversal of Breitbart’s formula: culture is (now) downstream of politics. It’s the classic formula of every totalitarian regime – and yes, that’s where we are headed. Take control of government by strong political victory, especially the federal executive branch and its administrative leviathan.
If you control government as the radical left now does, you control funding for education and many other cultural institutions. That translates to increased funding for woke curricula, clubs, and activism in both American universities and international universities (such as $787 million American dollars for gender studies at Kabul University). If you control government, you can weaponize the Justice Department to go after your political opponents and prosecute certain causes (such as the pro-life movement and parents against the sexualization of their children in public schools under Biden).
The left has unquestionably made culture a form of politics. No longer is culture or its creations a space to reflect on, study, or experience the sources of both our shared humanity and our shared citizenship. Nor will it ever be with a massive, censorship-driven, radical leftist government at the center of society. Culture is now an authoritarian tool for promoting woke politics aiming for tyrannical control over this nation’s citizens.
Winning the 2024 presidential election (and the United States Congress) is the only formula for taking back the culture.If the left wins in 2024, it will continue to make all forms of culture simply a form of politics using an increasingly weaponized administrative state under its control. Of course, I’m not advocating that we take back the White House and Congress to conduct a sort of reverse-conquest of cultural institutions. I don’t believe we need to, since the majority of Americans reject this obscene woke ideology and retain the American values that founded the Republic.
The work of the next conservative government, possibly under the leadership of Trump, will be to cleanse the government of corruption and remove the government from where it ought not to be: people’s homes, schools, churches, and social media platforms. Imagine, for example, what parents might do in reforming their school systems without a weaponized Justice Department labeling them “domestic terrorists” and threatening to pursue legal action against them. Take our government back, reign in the corruption, and letthe American people pour into our cultural institutions and reform them without fear of a weaponized ruling class now threatening our God-given rights and Constitutional system.
https://thepricklypear.org/wp-content/uploads/administration-1846270_1280.jpg9601280Conlan Salgadohttps://thepricklypear.org/wp-content/uploads/logo_website_2022_v3_400x61.pngConlan Salgado2023-05-30 00:30:212023-05-29 06:17:25Why Politics is More Important than Culture Right Now
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“He who controls the children, controls the future.”
Whose quote is that? It’s mine. It formulated in my mind over the past several months as I’ve been adding more and more parental rights issues into my speeches. Why do I keep adding more and more? Because the attack on parental rights is gaining momentum. Actually, here in New York, it’s hitting us like a freight train!
One of the great things about the work I do is that I get to travel around our State, and increasingly to other states, where I meet amazing people, many of whom share their personal stories with me. Though 99 percent of the stories they share are centered around atrocities that are usually a direct result of the government’s unconstitutional, pandemic-related dictates, I nonetheless enjoy hearing people’s stories. It’s part of my work… it’s research.
Whether it is a room full of 30 people, or a hall brimming with 1,000+ people, the stories people share with me after I give a speech or presentation are priceless. I gain great insight into what is going on in various communities, and I can draw similarities, make inferences, formulate an analysis, and then share the information. Knowledge is power!
Lately, I’ve been noticing a sharp increase in the stories I hear regarding direct attacks (or outright revocation), of parents’ rights. Those attacks are oftentimes coming from government entities, or pseudo-government entities (not officially run by the government, but so tied to their purse strings, they may as well be). So I began to connect the dots. There weren’t too many to connect with until I realized, they are coming after our children! Openly. Unabashedly. Intentionally.
And with a fervor, I’ve not seen before. But do you know who has seen it before? Who points it out to me and helps me see it clearly? My friends who were raised in communist countries,or their parents/grandparents were. THAT is who is tuned in to what is going on in our country right now.
I grew up as a competitive figure skater in the 1980s, a sport dominated for decades by the Soviet Union. Some of my close friends in the skating world were Soviet. Their parents would shock me when they relayed stories about the hours-long bread lines they used to have to wait on, or their family members who just up and “disappeared” in the middle of the night, or their freezing cold apartments that found them sleeping in their winter coats and shoes to try to stay warm. (By the way, their apartments weren’t frigid because they were too poor to buy heating fuel… it was because of the government-controlled everything!)
Within our skating world, everyone knew how the Soviets came to dominate our sport so solidly, and for so many decades, especially in the Pairs and Ice Dance disciplines. Nobody could touch them. By the way, they were absolutely amazing skaters – powerful, stoic, yet graceful. Their command of the ice was unmatched.
To make myself better, I studied them. We all did. If I was at a rink other than my own, whether for a competition or a training session, I could pick out the Soviets on the ice in a heartbeat. Not a word needed to be said between us. Just how their blades touched the ice was enough to know. So, what was their “secret” to world domination of figure skating? They took the children at a very young age and put them in training camps for the sport they thought that child would be good at. The children ate, slept and drank their sport.
Month after month. Year after year. Decade after decade. There was no choice. Neither you nor your parents had the right to tell the government, “No.” You served your country in whatever manner they told you to! No questions asked. No excuses allowed. And for those athletes who succeeded (like World or Olympic gold medalists), your family was “rewarded” with some “extras” – but do not dare ask to see your child skate in person, or watch them compete at the Olympic Games… that was unheard of. The parents got to watch their child compete on a small, old, TV in their living room! Those are the stories they told me.
Here in the US, the “government creep” that happens into your life is gradual. It oozes its way into your liberties, at first slowly, as they inch their way in, bit by bit. Then you awaken one day, and suddenly your rights are gone. This is what I’ve been hearing and seeing happen for years now, but especially the past three+ years of the COVID-19 mania.
So, of course, I did some digging regarding this hypothesis that was taking shape in my mind, of the government wanting to sever the sacred parent/child bond and take control of our children. I literally typed my above quote into a search engine, and an eerily similar quote surfaced. It was eerie because it was attributed to Adolf Hitler in 1935! Here is the quote:
“He alone who owns the youth gains the future.”
And so, here we are.
Time for a real-life example. You know I always try to work those in. Quite powerful I think. So, as far as a parental rights attack story, I shared one such story in a recent Substack, if you want, that article is HERE. Basically, the stories run the gamut, from parents of grade-schoolers not being allowed to schedule their child’s health appointments, to parents of college students not being allowed to access their report cards, despite paying all the bills!
Although there are many states that are now passing laws to help protect parents’ rights, the exact OPPOSITE is happening here in New York state. I’ve written numerous articles about vile proposed laws, like the one that would require “comprehensive sexuality education” in all schools, starting in KINDERGARTEN and running straight through high school. Or the one that would allow children of any age to make their own medical decisions, even over parental objections (yes, that does include sex changes).
But there’s a new repugnant bill that’s on the move, so to speak. It’s not actually “new,” as it has been proposed for years, but it is “moving” now, meaning it has [had] been placed on the Assembly Health Committee’s agenda for a vote on Tuesday, May 16th. For a bill to become a law, it needs to pass in each of our two houses (Senate and Assembly). To get to the house floor, it has to first pass out of committee. So on May 16th, step one will happen… the Democrat-controlled Health Committee will vote on it.
The bill is A276b (last week it was A276a, but they tweaked it, and now it’s “b”). It would allow drugs and vaccines that are claimed to prevent sexually-transmitted diseases to be given to minor children without parental knowledge or consent! So, this bill eliminates the existing right of parents to know and have a choice over the drugs and vaccines our children get!
The bill reads in part:
A LICENSED PHYSICIAN, OR IN A HOSPITAL, A STAFF PHYSICIAN, OR A
PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT, NURSE PRACTITIONER, OR LICENSED MIDWIFE ACTING
WITHIN THEIR LAWFUL SCOPE OF PRACTICE, MAY PROVIDE HEALTH CARE RELATED
TO THE PREVENTION OF A SEXUALLY TRANSMISSIBLE DISEASE, INCLUDING ADMIN-
ISTERING VACCINES, TO A PERSON UNDER THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN YEARS WITHOUT
THE CONSENT OR KNOWLEDGE OF THE PARENTS OR GUARDIANS OF SUCH PERSON,
PROVIDED THAT THE PERSON HAS CAPACITY TO CONSENT TO THE CARE, WITHOUT
REGARD TO THE PERSON'S AGE, AND THE PERSON CONSENTS.
You can read the bill in full HERE, but some important notes are:
There are no age restrictions in this bill. So an 8-year-old could go get an STD shot without their parents knowing!
The bill would obviously promote underage sex.
It could protect pedophiles by subverting New York’s “Mandated Reporter” law that requires licensed professionals to report suspected sexual abuse of children to law enforcement. Would any lucid adult think it normal for a grade-school student, to (behind their parents’ back) request a shot that supposedly prevents a sexually-transmitted disease?
It says the child can get one of the shots, “PROVIDED THAT THE PERSON HAS CAPACITY TO CONSENT TO THE CARE.” So, that means the person administering the shots (who, by the way, most likely has a financial incentive to give the shot), will now have the power to decide whether or not your child has the “capacity” to consent!
It endangers the well-being of a child. Children don’t know enough about their medical history to provide informed consent. Will they know if they had earlier adverse reactions to vaccines in the past, whether they have allergies or sensitivities to vaccine ingredients, or if there is a family medical history that would contra-indicate that particular vaccine? And what about the parent or first responder who is trying to help the child if they are having a bad reaction to the shot once they get back home… they won’t even know the child got the vaccine in the first place!
The bill violates federal law, which is unconstitutional. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, (a horrific law from 1986 that removed legal liability from vaccine manufacturers and those who administer vaccines), requires that a healthcare professional provide a copy of the current vaccine information sheet to a child’s parent/legal representative before vaccinating a child with a list of shots that include some STD’s like hepatitis B and human papillomavirus (HPV).
Who is [was] pushing for this despicable law? Here’s the list of odious, anti-parents’ rights dolts who are sponsoring/co-sponsoring this bill. The ones with a * next to their name are also co-sponsoring one or both of the above-mentioned anti-parental rights bills that I wrote about in prior Substacks:
*Amy Paulin – D
*Catalina Cruz – D
*Jeffrey Dinowitz -D
*Linda Rosenthal -D
*Phil Steck -D
*Harry B. Bronson -D
*Patricia Fahy – D
*Harvey Epstein – D
*Andrew Hevesi – D
*Jonathan Jacobson – D
Chantel Jackson – D
*Rebecca Seawright – D
*Anna Kelles – D
*Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas – D
*Jo Anne Simon – D
Hey, so does anyone notice anything that every single one of these deplorables have in common?
Bobbie Anne Flower Cox has been a practicing attorney for 25 years.
https://thepricklypear.org/wp-content/uploads/iStock-1341094534-scaled.jpg17072560Bobbie Anne Flower Coxhttps://thepricklypear.org/wp-content/uploads/logo_website_2022_v3_400x61.pngBobbie Anne Flower Cox2023-05-30 00:26:382023-05-28 09:44:55And Just Like That, Your Rights are Gone
Here are some interesting links for you! Enjoy your stay :)