Multiculturalism Is Splintering the West

Multiculturalism is leading to the “partition,” the separation of European societies.

Source: Multiculturalism Is Splintering the West

Anyone who claims to be surprised by this is either lying, or has had their head in the sand for years. As I have commented more than once, in this and other fora, a proper multiculturalism is a recognition of the rights of diverse peoples to pursue their own destinies within their respective historical, cultural, and geographic spheres, both honouring and preserving the distinctiveness of cultures (while allowing for trade and legitimate cultural exchange). “Multiculturalism” defined as the enforced mingling of cultures cannot be anything but divisive and damaging, especially to the “host” (imposed-upon) cultures.

In the field of ecology, one often speaks of invasive aliens: plants and animals that move (or are brought) into an area to which they are not native, and in which they often choke out the indigenous flora and fauna, ultimately leading to a decrease of diversity in the ecosystem – even though their presence may have appeared, temporarily, to increase its diversity. Examples abound, and include multiflora rose, autumn olive, Japanese stiltgrass, water hyacinth, and the infamous kudzu in the plant kingdom, and starlings, European sparrows, nutria, mute swans, and Asian carp in the animal kingdom.

Why are we not able to comprehend that this principle applies equally to human ecosystems?

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Following National Anthem Protests, the NFL is No Longer the Most Popular Sport in America | Tribunist

As the controversy surrounding the national anthem protests continues to divide football fans, the NFL now has a new challenge it must come to grips with: not being country’s favorite sport. A recent poll showed that the number of people who view the league positively has dropped significantly and that shift has allowed baseball to claim the top spot.

Source: Following National Anthem Protests, the NFL is No Longer the Most Popular Sport in America | Tribunist

I have avoided dwelling on the “taking a knee” protests at American football games, with the exception of this post on October the 1st, but I thought it would be worth mentioning that these protests are indeed having an effect – just not the one intended!

As reported by the Daily Mail, a Winston Group survey [shows] that the favorable ratings for the NFL have fallen from 57 percent at the end of August to 44 percent at the end of September, marking a 13 percent shift in just one month.

The unfavorable rating for the NFL is now the highest among all of the mainstream professional leagues, coming in at 40 percent. At the end of September, baseball’s favorable rating was 65 percent.

The survey also showed that the NFL’s core fans, typically considered to be men aged 34 to 54, have started to turn on the sport, with favorable ratings dropping from 73 to 42 [a drop of nearly 30%] and unfavorable ratings rising from 19 to 47 between August and September.

This turn may reflect a number of factors, ranging from a (well-founded) distrust of the premises of these protests, to a feeling that athletes being paid millions to play a game don’t have any standing to be complaining about discrimination, to the belief that professional sports were a place to get away from politics for a while, and now that refuge has been eliminated, to the point – underscored by the picture, above – that NFL players are protesting “on the clock,” while they’re supposed to be doing their jobs.

There is, in my opinion, justification for all of these; and I suspect that for most former National Football League fans (of whose ranks I was never a member, so I can hardly be said to be “boycotting” a sport I rarely watched anyway), there are elements of all of the above playing into the dynamic.

Whatever the source, however, the effect is clear: (former) NFL fans are “voting with their feet” – and their wallets. Some teams are beginning to realize that their actions have backfired, and are beginning to backpedal. It remains to be seen if others will follow suit… and even if they do, whether NFL fans will be quick to forgive or forget.

George Washington’s wisdom

Just created this a little bit ago. It seemed apt, in light of the Las Vegas massacre, among many other things…

George Washington - Believe me now?

The words are from then-President George Washington’s “Farewell Address” (1796). By “religion and morality” is meant Christian religion and morality, or at any rate the Judeo-Christian religious and moral tradition which has formed one of the major underpinnings of Western civilization for the last 1500+ years.

We have, as a culture (if one can use the term, currently…) and society, been abandoning this “great pillar of human happiness” – along with other pillars of our civilization, such as the Greco-Roman political and philosophical tradition, and the courage, passion, and physical prowess of our Celtic and Germanic forebears – at an alarming rate over the last 50 to 75 years, and I think it is not coincidental that we have also seen our civilization in steep and accelerating decline over the same period.

A tree cut off from its roots does not grow, blossom, and bear fruit: it withers. The same is also true of a culture.

What Does Sir Walter Scott Say About Love of Country?  | Crisis Magazine

There is part of a poem by Sir Walter Scott often titled “My Native Land.” Back when poetry was appreciated and even memorized, its first lines were well known. It went:

Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,

Who never to himself hath said,

‘This is my own, my native land!’

Source: What Does Sir Walter Scott Say About Love of Country?  – Crisis Magazine

While written from a Roman Catholic perspective, one need certainly not be of the Roman observance to find much in this article by John Horvat II, blogging for Crisis magazine, to be of value. He notes, inter alia, that

Love of country is not imposed. It comes naturally as a projection of the love of parents and family. According to the Catholic Church’s teachings, love of country rests on the demands of nature and religion. Both require the proper behavior of children toward parents to whom they owe their existence.

Indeed it is true that love of country, like love for one’s own ethno-cultural heritage, is neither more nor less than love for family writ large. Horvat continues,

Similarly, both impose obligations on citizens toward their nation…

The most fundamental requirement is that the citizen exhibit reasonable esteem and love of country. Back when civics was taught in schools, people learned to display this appreciation by showing interest in the nation’s history and institutions, and respect for its symbols. People learned how to participate in civic activities such as the Pledge of Allegiance, the playing and singing of the national anthem, and the proper lowering and folding of the flag.

However, it continues, genuine patriotism “calls upon citizens to disregard their self-interest and sacrifice for the common good in times of disaster and war,” up to and including “that sacred duty to sacrifice one’s life for the nation so that others might freely live in peace.” In return, it “requires from the living that they remember and respect those who made that ultimate sacrifice.” But there is more:

“Patriotism’s second aspect is less structured. It involves a great sensitivity to a particular place inside the nation. Sir Walter Scott understood well how people normally come to develop natural preferences for the setting where they were born or raised. They savor its panorama, land, climate, or foods. Even rugged, bleak or inhospitable places can take on special meaning for people. They prefer their own nation in general and their own region in particular, even when other places are better endowed by God.

Thus, true patriotism grows out of, evokes, and requires attachment both to the people of a country, and to its land – what some have referred to as “blood and soil.” It is these things which make love of country tangible and personal, not merely theoretical and abstract. Without them, it is merely an intellectual allegiance, which can be changed, like one’s style of dress, if one has a change of heart, dislikes the current political leadership, or simply on a whim.

It is, as the old saying goes, “a mile wide (although it may actually be a good deal narrower) and an inch deep”:

“This intimate connection with one’s native land is weakened by a culture that belittles nations, regions, and their God-embedded treasures. Postmodern individuals are told to pursue their own happiness wherever and whenever it appears. In a globalized world, the perception of place is reduced to a mere portal from which one might access goods and services.”

“Ask not,” the secular corporate globalist exhorts the jaded postmodernist hipster – brought up since birth to the drumbeat of a twisted form of “multiculturalism” that refuses to respect cultures as distinct and unique to the historic and geographic context that shaped them, and valuable precisely because of that distinctiveness, but rather insists upon lumping them together in a mish-mash of supposed “diversity” that is really all about sameness, and thus dishonours the integrity of each of them – “ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what your country can do for you!” John F. Kennedy would not, I think, approve.

Horvat then applies his premise to a situation that is very much in the news today:

“The erosion of what undergirds patriotism is the tragedy of the present controversy over the national anthem. So many of the natural influences that foster a love of one’s native land—religion, community and family—are no longer strong. Few unifying rituals, like the national anthem, remain to bind individuals together as a people.”

I have long said – and indeed, have commented in this blog – that there are only so many common, binding factors that, like the structural pillars of a building, support and hold a society together.

Besides the obvious unified government and legal structure, these include common ethnicity (until 1965 and its changes in immigration law, people of non-European heritage never – even during the height of slavery – made up more than 10% of the population of the United States, and the real demographic changes did not kick in until the dawn of the 21st century), common language, common religious understanding (which need not mean a single Established Church, but does require a common basic adherence to, for instance, the Judeo-Christian moral and religious tradition), and respect for common institutions, history, and cultural traditions.

A society can survive without each and every one of these being strong, but like the aforementioned pillars, with every one that is weakened or kicked over, the stability and integrity of the overall structure is weakened, as well. And each and every one of these is under varying forms of attack in today’s America, and indeed throughout the Western world. This should be a matter of grave concern to anyone who believes that there is anything of value in Western civilization in general, or the United States of America in particular.

But perhaps the kneeling controversy in professional football – in which many NFL players have chosen to “take a knee” during the National Anthem, as referenced above – has had a positive and salutary effect in the larger cultural struggle, unlikely as that may seem: perhaps, just perhaps, it has given ordinary Americans, who have long been vaguely troubled at the direction our country seems to have taken in recent years and decades, something to sink their teeth into… a place to take a stand. As Horvat notes,

“That is what is so surprising about the healthy backlash against the football theatrics. Despite the weakening of patriotism everywhere, those reacting have taken its vestiges and rekindled in their hearts a fiery defense of the nation.

“They have taken as their focus patriotism’s most sublime aspect: the sacrifice of those who died for the country [by reminding us that disrespect for the flag also disrespects those who have died for it, and for us]. They have made it a point of honor that the country and its symbols be respected.

“These are Americans who… see that no other place can offer what America has given them. This is not a stupid nationalism, which despises other nations and peoples. Rather, it is patriotism. It is that deep and natural love for ‘my own, my native land!’

“Thus, an unlikely skirmish on the gridiron has turned into something beyond that of a simple football game. It is now a battle that touches on the core of what America is and should be—a people called to self-sacrifice, ‘sacred duty’ and the practice of the virtue of piety.”

And this – if we are not, as a culture, lulled back to sleep by the next round of “bread and circuses” – may be a very good thing: a sign of the pendulum swinging back toward sanity, the first real stirrings of a national (re)awakening. Or so we may hope and pray!

Pro Deo et Patria.

(“For God and Country.”)

The Danger of the “Black Lives Matter” Movement | Imprimis

However inexcusable every act of police brutality is, there is a larger reality behind the issue of policing, crime, and race that remains a taboo topic.

Source: The Danger of the “Black Lives Matter” Movement – Imprimis

We are in the midst of a swirling controversy, here in the United States, around the growing trend for professional athletes – particularly, but not exclusively, football players – and others to “take a knee” (kneel) during the National Anthem, as a protest against alleged police violence against “people of color,” particularly African-Americans.

Unsurprisingly, a lot of Americans see this as a mark of disrespect, if not flat-out assault, against the the anthem, the flag, and by extension, the “Republic for which it stands” (in the words of the Pledge of Allegiance). I am inclined to agree, although I take a somewhat more nuanced stance than some in that I can see that some of the protesters are well-meaning, and behaving with a reasonable degree of respect despite kneeling.

Nonetheless, I have some real issues with this practice, on at least two levels. First, the flag is or should be a non-political sign of the nation itself, our ideals and values at their best, as well as our history and heritage – which, while not without fault, has been by and large a positive one for our people, and for the world. We do not have a monarch, to serve as a supra-political unifying figure; for us in the United States, our flag – and other forms of iconography related to it, including the Anthem – serves that role.

Protesting the flag, including the National Anthem, is a de facto protest against our nation as a whole, not just political views, leaders, or perspectives on social issues with which one may legitimately disagree. And the very fact that one cannot be arrested and imprisoned, or worse, for disrespecting the flag or other national icons seems, to me, to be a very good reason to treat them with even greater respect!

But secondly, it’s not just that disrespecting our flag, and by extension our nation, is intrinsically wrong-headed – it’s that the premise behind it is wrong, too. This is, perhaps, the real issue, and it is one which is rarely discussed… the 900-lb gorilla in the room, as it were. And the fact is, there is not a war against blacks by the police, as those protesting imply (or sometimes flat-out state); in fact, quite the contrary is true.

As this article points out,

“Twelve percent of all white and Hispanic homicide victims are killed by police officers, compared to four percent of all black homicide victims. If we’re going to have a “Lives Matter” anti-police movement, it would be more appropriately named ‘White and Hispanic Lives Matter.’”

In contrast,

“Every year, approximately 6,000 blacks are murdered. This is a number greater than white and Hispanic homicide victims combined, even though blacks are only 13 percent of the national population. Blacks are killed at six times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined. In Los Angeles, blacks between the ages of 20 and 24 die at a rate 20 to 30 times the national mean.

“Who is killing them? Not the police, and not white civilians, but other blacks. The astronomical black death-by-homicide rate is a function of the black crime rate. Black males between the ages of 14 and 17 commit homicide at ten times the rate of white and Hispanic male teens combined. Blacks of all ages commit homicide at eight times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined, and at eleven times the rate of whites alone.

“The police could end all lethal uses of force tomorrow and it would have at most a trivial effect on the black death-by-homicide rate.”

The folks “taking a knee” to protest the killing of blacks by police officers should instead be protesting the astronomically high rate of black-on-black violence, and more broadly, the disproportionately high rate of violent crimes committed by blacks. As this article also points out, police respond aggressively, not out of racism, but to protect law-abiding citizens in high-crime areas:

“The geographic disparities are also huge. In Brownsville, Brooklyn, the per capita shooting rate is 81 times higher than in nearby Bay Ridge, Brooklyn—the first neighborhood predominantly black, the second neighborhood predominantly white and Asian.

“As a result, police presence and use of proactive tactics are much higher in Brownsville than in Bay Ridge. Every time there is a shooting, the police will flood the area looking to make stops in order to avert a retaliatory shooting. They are in Brownsville not because of racism, but because they want to provide protection to its many law-abiding residents who deserve safety.”

The whole article is excellent – well-written, and well-researched. It makes clear that those “taking a knee” – although many may be well-meaning, I will grant them that – are deeply misguided in their assumptions, as well as their approach.

The Death of Eros by Mark Regnerus | Articles | First Things

Something strange is going on in America’s bedrooms… The trend is most pronounced among the young. Controlling for age and time period, people born in the 1930s had the most sex, whereas those born in the 1990s are reporting the least. Fifty years on from the advent of the sexual revolution, we are witnessing the demise of eros.

Source: The Death of Eros by Mark Regnerus | Articles | First Things

Interesting! Not everyone will agree with this, of course, but it’s based on academic social science research (so it can’t be simply dismissed as the ravings of those “deplorable” religious types…) and at the least, raises some issues that are worth pondering. Among them:

Despite all the talk of the “hookup culture,” the vast majority of sex happens within long-term, well-defined relationships. Yet Americans are having more trouble forming these relationships than ever before. Want to understand the decline of sex? Look to the decline in marriage…

A decline in commitment isn’t the only reason for the sexual recession. Today one in eight adult Americans is taking antidepressant medication, one of the common side effects of which is reduced libido. Social media use also seems to play a part. The ping of an incoming text message or new Facebook post delivers a bit of a dopamine hit—a smaller one than sex delivers, to be sure, but without all the difficulties of managing a relationship…

If these were the only causes, the solution would be straightforward: a little more commitment, a little less screen time, a few more dates over dinner, more time with a therapist, and voilà. But if we follow the data, we will find that the problem goes much deeper, down to one of the foundational tenets of enlightened opinion: the idea that men and women must be equal in every domain.

Social science cannot tell us if this is true, but it can tell us what happens if we act as though it is. Today, the results are in. Equality between the sexes is leading to the demise of sex.

Follow the link for more details. As I say, this idea won’t be popular, or even acceptable, with many people. I would modify it to say that identicality, rather than “equality” per se, is the real issue: the idea that men and women are basically interchangeable, rather than being different but complementary, and excelling in different roles. But however you want to parse it, it’s at least worth considering, rather than merely dismissing.

The 14th Amendment – or, when is a State not a State? … with reflections on secession

14th Amendment

Text of the XIV (14th) Amendment to the United States Constitution:

No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws…

(Section 1: full text is found here.)

As a review of the full text makes clear, the 14th Amendment was intended to a) penalize the States which had seceded in 1861 and defended that decision by force of arms for the next four years, and b) make it clear that any further acts of secession would not be tolerated, either. But as a friend of mine accurately points out:

Before the 14th was “passed,” the South was under martial law (itself unconstitutional). Southern states were told to “pass” this amendment if they wanted to rejoin the union.

A. If the South was not part of the union, how could it vote on a federal issue??

B. If it was part of the union, then there was no need for the jackboot methods used to control the South or martial law or provisions to become a federal state by “passing” an amendment.

C. The feds are just as sneaky today.

This is a very good point. If the states of the (surrendered) Confederacy were not in fact considered States of the Federal Union (*), how then could they vote on an amendment to the Federal Constitution? They would have no legal standing to do so. And if they were, why would they need to vote on this in order to “rejoin” the Union, of which they were already a part? You can’t have it both ways, logically; yet both ways is exactly how the Union – having crushed the Southern Confederacy in an un-Constitutional (see below) war, now further humiliated them upon its conclusion.

(* Leaving aside the moral issues involved with “We’re going to beat the crap out of you for leaving the Union, force you back in, then make you jump through all sorts of hoops and hurdles in order to get back in!” Anyone who thinks that is fair and just has a rather skewed view of fairness and justice, in my opinion.)

With respect to secession itself, another friend comments,

This Virginia’s ratification act of the US Constitution, [dated] 9/17/1787, which was accepted by the federal government. Read it carefully. The great Virginian and American generals Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and JEB Stuart certainly did. I’ll bet your high school history teacher didn’t, and I’m very sure your local neighborhood Antifa hooligans haven’t either.

We the delegates of the people of Virginia, duly elected in pursuance of a recommendation from the general assembly, and now met in convention, having fully and freely investigated and discussed the proceedings of the Federal Convention, and being prepared as well as the most mature deliberation hath enabled us, to decide thereon, Do, in the name and in behalf of the people of Virginia, declare and make known, that the powers granted under the constitution, being derived from the people of the United States, may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression, and that every power not granted thereby, remains with them and at their will; and therefore no right, of any denomination, can be cancelled, abridged, restrained or modified by the congress, by the senate or house of representatives acting in any capacity, by the president or any department, or officer of the United States, except in those instances in which power is given by the constitution for those purposes; and that among other essential rights, the liberty of conscience and of the press cannot be cancelled, abridged, restrained or modified by any authority of the United States.

With these impressions, with a solemn appeal to the Searcher of Hearts for the purity of our intentions, and under the conviction that whatsoever imperfections may exist in the constitution ought rather to be examined in the mode prescribed therein, than to bring the Union into danger by delay, with a hope of obtaining amendments, previous to the ratification: We the said delegates, in the name and in behalf of the people of Virginia, do by these presents assent to and ratify the constitution recommended on the 17th day of September, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, by the Federal Convention, for the government of the United States; hereby announcing to all those whom it may concern, that the said constitution is binding upon the said people, according to an authentic copy hereto annexed.

It seems pretty clear from the text above that Virginia specifically retained, in its ratification documents, a stipulation that the Commonwealth (of Virginia, often called “the Old Dominion” due to its status as the first English settlement / colony in North America) retained the right to secede from the Federal Union should the latter cease to act in the best interests of the said Commonwealth: “the powers granted under the constitution, being derived from the people of the United States, may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression.”

And by implication, not just the Commonwealth, but everyone in the United States: “being derived from the people of the United States, may be resumed by them.” It’s rather hard to read this in any other way, without a perversion of language, logic, or both! And the fact that this ratification document was in fact accepted by the US Government seems to indicate pretty clearly that the entire document was accepted, including the reservation in favor of secession. Again, as I pointed out above, you can’t logically have it both ways; yet both ways is exactly how the Federal government has insisted on having it, since 1861!

Interestingly, the South was not alone in invoking secession; New England nearly seceded over the War of 1812, and there were secessionist rumblings in that region again during the Mexican War and the acquisitions of land in the Southwest that followed. One wonders whether Federal troops would have been sent North rather than South, had history taken a different turn! But at any rate, it is clear that secession as a remedy for out-of-control Federal assumption of power is not and was not unique to the South, and indeed was considered pretty generally to be a valid remedy, prior to 1865.

When is a State not a State? And does might, in fact, make right? These are questions which are as much worth pondering in the 21st century as they were in the 19th.