Summary of Book “Faced My Fears In Portland”

                                   Summary

When I hear about a murder on TV, I frequently feel frustrated at how the news handles crime or violence. I wish the public could hear about crime with all its ramifications and not in snippets. We need references to crime based on reality, not shock value, sentiment, or political rhetoric in times of tragedy. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to share my and Marc’s story. I wanted to capture the multiple facets of human and community involvement in a homicide case.  I wanted to make human tragedy come off these pages and visit with you for a moment.

Whoever you are, I hope I’ve shared in this book that individual relationships are the sustaining hope we have in life, not tribes or politics. I simply wanted readers to know there’s more to a brief news story than meets the eye. Human lives are being affected in enormous ways, and it’s the strength of strong relationships that will get people through a personal crisis.  

I’ll never forget in the couple months after Marc’s murder, even when I was having PTSD and crying a lot, I could write in my blog and recall all the love I shared with Marc. I simply basked in the perfect knowledge that God allowed me to know and love this precious young man. That bubble of “love” we shared carried me for weeks. It sustained me with a deep, secret understanding of what real life was about. I felt free to talk about love in my blog, while others were mute and barely able to share what people meant to them.

The genuine tragedy in life is to go through it without ever having loved. It’s a sad fact that in this modern age many people are never touched by the miracle of love. It’s in every soul to desire the love of another. We think of God’s love as perfect too, but we need other humans. So, in this book I wanted to share not a tragic personal experience, but the triumph of love, for without that bond with Marc, there’d be no blog, book, or life for me.

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I like to give snippets of what’s in my book. I hope it helps you grasp what’s at the core of the story.  Will share more soon. Thank you for your continued support!

Preface to my book, “Faced My Fears In Portland”

Summer reading is here!

It’s not usual to write a book on a homicide, but this book is one such attempt. Publishing is moving along. After the book is published, I’ll be asking you to buy a copy, read it and send a review. Details will follow!

                                        “Faced My Fears in Portland”

                                                        Preface

This book’s been written with you in mind. I believe you’re the kind of person who’s always trying to sort through the tough issues of life. Many people would be turned off by a book centering on a homicide, but coming off a pandemic has prepared you for almost any topic.

This book is an extension of my blog  marcsjustice.com  which I started soon after my son Marc was murdered in Portland, OR in October 2014. I originally wanted to write about the case to keep family and friends informed on its progress, but the writing ritual soon became a much-needed conduit that helped me deal with life and death issues of my own. I emerged from my son’s tragic death stronger than I’d ever been, and free from several deep fears I thought were just part of my makeup.

In these pages I’m seeking to dialog with you about human tragedy, because we’re all coming off some kind of pain due to the pandemic or some other matter. I’m writing so that those of you who are worried about our families and our nation can know there’s still much good in this world.  God is not out of the picture!

I’m hoping you’re a reader who’s open to looking at life in real terms, and you’re tired of hearing stories through rose colored glasses; and tired of hearing info that scares you out of your wits every day. My readers know we are in a state of flux in this nation and that a genuinely personal story is appreciated in times of crises. You don’t need to be part of any religion or political party to “get” the message in this book. This book will strike a chord in many of you!

 

 

 

*New – Intro to book, “Faced My Fears In Portland”

Are you tired of the confusion and frustration from a year of Covid? How have Americans dealt with national trauma in the past? Read this snippet and think for yourself.

Following is Part 1 of the Introduction to my new book, Faced My Fears In Portland.

 Introduction – Part 1

On November 22nd, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was riding in a limo along with the governor of Texas and their wives. As they wove along Dealy Plaza highway, waving to the public lining the street’s edge, President Kennedy was shot twice …. once in the neck, once in the head …. before slumping over towards his wife Jacqueline in the back seat.

The President was transported to Dallas’ Parkland Memorial Hospital Trauma Room 1, where reporters got fragmented bits of information on his condition. In stillness the public waited for some indication of how serious his injuries were. We went through a multitude of emotions, thoughts and reactions together as a people …. all because we honored our President and were deeply affected by the attack he suffered.

Picture I took of downtown Portland overlooking the Willamette River –

The tragedy stunned everyone in America and beyond! It never mattered most of us were from different political parties, races or religions. In 1963 Americans in general valued life too much to speak harshly of leaders and their wives who’d been attacked in broad daylight while the public watched. As we all kept our ears focused to the TV coverage we were “one people” with a common bond, we valued our leaders life and our national security! And, back then, unlike now, we trusted the somber, hushed tones of TV reporters and the few facts they could scrape together in their quest for accurate updates on our President.

On a flight to Portland, taking off from Sacramento, CA –

Do we have a populace now that’s as cohesive as that of 1963? Are we bound by a common respect for life and death like the majority were in 1963? Even a space alien would tell you ‘NO’.

Things have changed in a few decades. We’re living in a time where murder, and sadly mass murder or violence, is more commonplace in the news. As I write this in 2021, people from all races or beliefs are finding themselves befuddled and outraged by anarchist or Left leaning groups rioting and destroying central city businesses and neighborhoods when they want. Our national rhetoric is being steered in another direction away from the morals that upheld our nation for centuries.

Part 2 – Introduction, to follow –

Faced My Fears In Portland, to be published soon –

Preface For My Book

As my book nears completion and publication, will be sharing more info with you.  Here’s the PREFACE which tells prospective readers how the book came about and why they should buy it ~

                                 “Faced My Fears in Portland”                                                                                                     Preface

This book’s been written with you in mind. I believe you’re the kind of person who’s always trying to sort through the tough issues of life. Most people aren’t curious about a homicide, but you’re reading these pages, so you’re different.

I’ve wanted to have this conversation with you about crime because I believe America is at a crossroads and needs more discussion on the topic of violence. This book may help you evaluate what’s going on in our current cultural flux. We have traditionalists saying life has precious value and some on Twitter saying “cancel culture, write new norms”. This paradigm change needs to be resisted and met with a definitive reply!

There’s a dialogue going on inside you about crime, violence.  A few years back it used to be everyone had nightmares about being attacked by ‘Jaws’. Then our culture went through a period where people wondered how they’d deal with the threat of a mass shooter.  In this era of civil strife in some sectors, many of us are becoming immobilized by fears of riots, arson or worse in nearby neighborhoods.

I wrote this book to expand the story in my blog  marcsjustice.com, which I started soon after my son Marc was murdered in Portland, OR in October 2014. I originally wanted to write about the case to keep family and friends informed on the progress, but the ritual soon became a much-needed conduit that helped me deal with life and death issues of my own.  I’ve shared what I went through that made my life more authentic than ever. I emerged from my son’s tragedy free from several deep fears I carried all my life.

Another reason I felt the need to share this story is that I felt it was urgent to show that the love between family members will remain the most important ones God gives in this world, and love will prevail even over violence and death.  I also wanted to share the kind of life that goes on behind the face of violence, so those who are worried about our families and our nation can know there’s much good in our families and cities.

Terry Schrunk Plaza, Downtown Portland. 2 blks from where I stay, spot where antifa gather often.

I’m hoping you’re a reader who’s looking for sanity for yourself, and our nation. You don’t need to be part of any religion or political party to “get” the message in this book. This story, I believe, resonates with anyone who has a conscience, and value for life ~

~   Diane M. De Han

Update on MJ Blog and Book

Update on my book and Marc’s Justice Blog!

I miss writing here! It’s always been my first love, but something had to give so I could finish the book.-

When I started Marc’s Justice  blog few years back, I was 2 months removed from the murder of my youngest son. I wrote to share the progress in his case. I understood a homicide wasn’t on everyone’s list of most desired topics to read but I just followed my hunch that enough people cared about what was going on with the case!

At first I sent out regular updates on the case, and more recently I’ve been writing on MJ Blog about cultural issues that concern me and others on Twitter. During the pandemic I set aside the book at times as I was disturbed by the riots, anti police activity, etc and wanted to write here on those topics. During my work closure I also took on a couple other projects that will coincide with the release of my book. They seemed to come together all at once so naturally.

To be frank, as a first time author, I was a bit naive in tackling a book. I didn’t know it would be so depressing to continually go back and rehash what happened to Marc, and go over my pitiful state. Also, when writing a book like mine there’s a time line to be researched again, and much “fact checking”.

Finding the best editor to work with was one of the best things that’s happened this year. It’s been a monumental learning curve as she’s required me to work hard at cleaning up my bad writing habits, but she’s so gracious.

Couple final things:

  • I’m in the middle of the editing process. Publishing should be in Jan/Feb ’21.
  • The tentative title is now, “Faced My Fears in Portland”.  While editing the book I had to break it down in themes, and realized it centers on facing fears, overcoming tragedy, more than on the case.
  • Thanks for the feedback on titles, I may use some of your words/terms on the cover.
  • Another reminder: Writing a blog is different from authoring a book. The tone, scope of each is unique to the platform. In this blog I take liberties and just write with my spelling, grammar shortcuts. I’m usually writing under stress, with a deadline and don’t want the hassle of long posts. I’m not caring to impress anybody. WordPress publishers is a little crazy sometimes too, doesn’t keep some settings, and reverts back to my former edits, which is frustrating. But, I’m not worrying about that now. This MJ site will be upgraded once the book is done.

Even though I began writing blogs about serious cultural issues like free speech, political deception or censorship these last few years, I’m still the same person I always was. I haven’t stopped remembering Marc and the legacy I’m left with.

Again, thank you all for staying with me on various platforms these years. Your love and support have meant more than more than you know –

A Daughter Lost, Starting Over After A Child Dies

Jayson Greene ( @Jayson_Greene ), authored a book on his family tragedy.  He and his wife lost their young daughter in a freak accident near their home in New York City. “Once More We Saw Stars” is one of those books you can’t put down. 

(Not Greta but a friends child, photo used w/ permission)

The excerpt below echoes the type of trauma I went thru as a parent who lost a child. Our stories differ at the onset but weave a similar narrative. The story in his book goes beyond tragedy and brings candor and grace to a tough topic. I welcome people who can talk of death frankly. I think you’ll like it.
                                      *    *    *    *    *    *    *

My daughter, Greta, was 2 years old when she died — or rather, when she was killed. A piece of masonry fell eight stories from an improperly maintained building and struck her in the head while she sat on a bench on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her grandmother. No single agent set it on its path: It wasn’t knocked off scaffolding by the poorly placed heel of a construction worker, or fumbled from careless hands. Negligence, coupled with a series of bureaucratic failures, led it to simply sigh loose, a piece of impersonal calamity sent to rearrange the structure and meaning of our universe.

She was rushed to the hospital, where she underwent emergency brain surgery, but she never regained consciousness. She was declared brain-dead, and my wife and I donated her organs. She was our only child.
The incident was freakish enough to be newsworthy. Requests for interviews flooded our email while we still were at our daughter’s bedside; television trucks trawled Manhattan looking for us. When we left the hospital, I caught my daughter waving at me from the corner of my eye. A picture of her from my wife’s Facebook page was on the cover of The Daily News.
Over the next year, we became another local story about the quiddities of fate, the heartless absurdity of life in the big city. “Oh, you’re that couple,” a father said gravely when we introduced ourselves at a support group for bereaved parents. The attention was both bewildering and gratifying. We met couples whose children had died at home, in private, with only their shattered family to help them cope. There was succor to be drawn from all this awe and care, and I found myself leaning into it as often as I pushed it away.
Seven weeks ago, our second child was born; a son, Greta’s younger brother. They would have been exactly three and a half years apart. With his birth, I have become a father to a living child and a spirit — one child on this side of the curtain, and another whispering from beneath it. The confusion is constant, and in my moments of strength I succumb to it. I had a child die, and I chose to become a father again. There can be no greater definition of stupidity or bravery; insanity or clarity; hubris or grace.
Lying on the floor, talking to my son in soothing tones and jingling bright, interesting-looking things in front of his eyes, as I did with his sister, I yearn for him to feel his sister’s touch. Then I remember with a start: We were never going to have him. We always said Greta was enough — why have another kid? I gaze in awe. He wouldn’t exist if his sister had not died. I have two children. Where is the other one?
Becoming a parent is already a terrifying process. After a child’s violent death, the calculations are murkier. What does my trauma mean for this happy, uncomplicated being in my care? Will it affect the choices I make on his behalf? Am I going to give a smaller, more fearful world to him than I gave to Greta? Is he doomed to live under the shadow of what happened to his sister?
After Greta was born, my wife, Stacy, and I had a habit of checking to make sure she was still breathing. During that time, we ran into a fellow parent, a mother of two children, and Stacy made a nervous joke about it. The woman smiled. “They’re always breathing,” she said.
I imagine it’s the same for all parents. You begin to adjust to the reality of your child’s continuing existence. Their future begins to take shape in your mind. They’re always breathing, you tell yourself.
Life remains precarious, full of illnesses that swoop in and level the whole family like a field of salted crops; there are beds to tumble from, chairs to run into, chemicals and small chokeable toys to mind. But you do not see death at every corner, merely challenges. The part of you that used to keep calculating the odds of your child’s existence has mostly fallen dormant. It is no longer useful to you; it was never useful to the child; and there is so much in front of you to do.
At 2, your child is a person — she has opinions and fixed beliefs, preferences and tendencies, a group of friends and favorite foods.
What happens when that child is swiftly killed by a runaway piece of everyday environment, at the exact moment you had given up thinking that something could take all of this away from you?
When I am on the playground years from now, watching my son take a fall from the monkey bars, I might not panic. But some part of me will remember: A heartbeat can stop. Hearing a heartbeat for the first time during the ultrasound, and then watching doctors shine light on unresponsive pupils two years later, you stop thinking of a heartbeat as a constant, and more as a favorable weather condition. Now I am a reminder of the most unwelcome message in human history. Children — yours, mine — they don’t necessarily live.
When I realized Greta would not live, I wanted to die so purely, and so simply. I could feel my heart gazing up at me quizzically, asking me in between beats: “Are you sure you want me to keep doing this?” But I found I could not give the order.
Since my son was born, I’ve caught myself making concrete plans for my suicide if he were to die. I will draft a letter to my parents, or even tell them face-to-face. “I’m going to meet my children,” I will say. If the world takes this one, I am not meant to be here. It is a frightening thought because it is so logical. How would anyone argue me out of it? Who would even try?
I do not believe anything bad will happen to him in his infancy. It makes a sort of sense: Nothing bad happened to Greta as an infant. I do not wake up in the middle of the night to check on him. I do not even flinch when I hand him to others and watch them grapple awkwardly with his floppy neck.
Jayson Greene (@Jayson_Greene) is a senior editor at Pitchfork magazin

 

What Really Happened at Auschwitz

“THE STUPIDITY OF MAN IS BEYOND COMPREHENSION OF HIS OWN IGNORANCE”

What really died at Auschwitz? Here’s an interesting viewpoint. The following is a copy of an article written by Spanish writer Sebastian Vilar Rodriguez and published in a Spanish newspaper. It doesn’t take much imagination to extrapolate the message to the rest of Europe – and possibly to the rest of the world.

*      *      *       *

(My only Jewish photo)

I walked down the streets in Barcelona and suddenly discovered a terrible truth – Europe died in Auschwitz . . .
We killed six million Jews and replaced them with 20 million Muslims. In Auschwitz we burned a culture, thought, creativity, talent. We destroyed the chosen people, truly chosen, because they produced great and wonderful people who changed the world.

The contribution of these people is felt in all areas of life: science, art, international trade, and above all, as the conscience of the world. These are the people we burned.

And under the pretense of tolerance, and because we wanted to prove to ourselves that we were cured of the disease of racism, we opened our gates to 20 million Muslims, who brought us stupidity and ignorance, religious extremism and lack of tolerance, crime and poverty, due to an unwillingness to work and support their families with pride.

They have blown up our trains and turned our beautiful Spanish cities into the third world, drowning in filth and crime. Shut up in the apartments they receive free from the government, they plan the murder and destruction of their naive hosts.

And thus, in our misery, we have exchanged culture for fanatical hatred, creative skill for destructive skill, intelligence for backwardness and superstition. We have exchanged the pursuit of peace of the Jews of Europe and their talent for a better future for their children, their determined clinging to life because life is holy, for those who pursue death, for people consumed by the desire for death for themselves and others, for our children and theirs.

What a terrible mistake was made by miserable Europe .

Recently, the UK debated whether to remove The Holocaust from its school curriculum because it ‘offends’ the Muslim population which claims it never occurred. It is not removed as yet. However, this is a frightening portent of the fear that is gripping the world and how easily each country is giving in to it.

It is now approximately seventy years after the Second World War in Europe ended. This is being sent as a memorial chain, in memory of the six million Jews, twenty million Russians, ten million Christians, and nineteen-hundred Catholic priests who were ‘murdered, raped, burned, starved, beaten, experimented on and humiliated. Now, more than ever, with Iran, among others, claiming the Holocaust to be ‘a myth,’ it is imperative to make sure the world never forgets.

This is intended to reach 400 million people. Be a link in the memorial chain and help distribute this around the world.

How many years will it be before the attack on the World Trade Center ‘NEVER HAPPENED’ because it offends some Muslim in the United States? If our Judeo-Christian heritage is offensive to Muslims, they should pack up and move to Iran , Iraq or some other Muslim country.

It will take only a minute to pass this along. We must wake up America before it’s too late.

(Note:  Article from 10/16)

My Experience With Antifa

I’m sure you’ve heard the word “antifa” in the news! Antifa, or anti-fascists, have claimed responsibility for hundreds of protests in the last few years, especially this summer. They’ve marched, harassed, vandalized, or set on fire Federal buildings, white/black businesses, & state/federal statues. I follow several ‘streamers’ in Portland, OR and other cities, who post real life videos, so I’m up to date.

Antifa should be separated from BLM, the black identity group. Some in BLM have legitimate complaints like police reform, but the leaders of BLM have posted an online statement that is a broad political agenda based on Marxist, anti-god principles. The group has often used physical violence and members have called for the end to ‘white supremacy’ by any means possible.

Antifa, however, are a growing conglomeration of independent or organized cells of mostly youth who are either anti-Federal Govt, anti-Trump, anti-Ice or anti-police …. or all the above. They might be a group of university students, socialists, anarchists, criminals or street people often struggling with sexual identity. I’ve tweeted with dozens of them, I read their bio’s & how they describe themselves. Their existence is no secret, but their true identities are. They basically refuse to be open with their beliefs or have direct dialog with anyone.

They’ve racked up millions upon millions of dollars in damage over-time. They’ve caused some city governments considerable grief and havoc. There’s great debate over who’s funding them, as many are constantly being arrested at the scenes of destructive protests with out of state I.D.’s. Someone has to be paying for their flights, hotels, car rentals, etc. What person or group wants to create such chaos and destruction to America by funding it incognito?

My introduction to antifa was several years ago when a Hispanic guy on Facebook shared his trips to Berkley, CA with friends to stand up for the ‘flag’. I guess I thought the UCB students were young & didn’t like the political Right speaking at their university. A Right speaker had recently been ejected from speaking there. The Hispanic guy shared on FB videos of a group in yelling matches with what I thought were vicious sounding radical college students.

This was at the beginning of the period where Left leaning students were angry and outraged about anyone who had patriotic views, (before Trump). I don’t know if protesters thought the speakers would incite violence, or if they simply disagreed with their views, but the people on the Right were often shouted down, or simply denied the right to speak on campus. Antifa wasn’t physically violent much yet.

I remember a couple years ago Chuck Todd hesitantly interviewing Mark Bray, a Dartmouth lecturer, on Face the Nation. Chuck said he was not really interested in giving ‘violence’ a voice, but in the interest of ‘fairness’ he’d interview Mr. Bray. I was sick to my stomach listening to them. Antifa, according to Mr. B’s book & interview, “have the right to use clubs to beat down the Alt Right”. He was straight faced and unapologetic in stating the use of violence was an essential part of beating back any foe.

Since no mainstream news site has reported organized alt-right hate groups much at all, we can only surmise that the Left’s fear of conservatives speaking at universities is unfounded! There are small isolated groups of white militia but I’ve not read of any KKK groups, skinheads organizing to topple American federal buildings, statues, businesses, police stations or protesting against blacks ….. or the MSM would be all over it! TV media in different cities many times reports when antifa groups are protesting. We know there’s destruction going on in our cities, but we don’t hear of white supremacy groups burning, looting, or plotting overthrow of the govt.

In contrast a few Democrats are actually espousing hatred for “whites”, conservatives, and Law Enforcement. They aren’t just old time Democrats or progressives but are entrenched in black militancy, or Leftist jargon. And these leaders are afraid of or blind to the threat from anarchists like antifa.

I’ve watched resistance movements grow since the 2012 Occupy Wall Street movement in Portland, OR, a city I’ve visited many times. There’s always some new catchy phrase describing their ‘moral’ objective, but their means is always to create a violent setting to destroy American values, laws. They profess to be victims, but choose to victimize their opponents. They prefer to work underground like criminals, and instruct their members thru propaganda on social media. Their violent tactics go beyond the streets and include stalking of leaders, phone or online harassment, bombing, threats to family members and jobs..

This is the type of issue that police and strong leaders are dealing with, and the more informed we are of antifa, the better. They attack billionaires, political leaders, ordinary people, no one is immune.

We need to vote for those who are aware of anarchist groups, so we protect our nation. We need to help people remove the blinders so they aren’t fearful of street violence and protect themselves!

Our Cultural Suicide – V. D. Hanson

Since our culture is going thru dramatic shifts this article may help to clarify issues like the recent protests, the weakening of morals due to progressive strategies, tribal identities, immolation of many team sports, and our university crack-ups.
We have been letting our guard down too long, and we are paying for it –

Cultural Suicide Is Painless

The story of all Dark Ages is that when civilizations finally prefer suicide, they do it easily, and the remnants flock to the countryside to preserve what they can—allowing the cities go on with their ritual self-destruction.

By Victor Davis Hanson August 30, 2020

In February, New York was the world’s most dynamic metropolis. By August, the city was more like the ruins of Ephesus. It is not all that hard to blow up a culture. You can do it in a summer if you haven’t much worry about others.

When you loot and burn a Target in an hour, it takes months to realize there are no more neighborhood Target-stocked groceries, toilet paper, and Advil to buy this winter.

Yours truly in modern urban gear –

You can in a night assault the police, spit at them, hope to infect them with the coronavirus, and even burn them alive. But when you call 911 in a few weeks after your car is vandalized, your wallet is stolen, and your spouse is violent, and no one comes, only then do you sense that you earlier were voting for a pre-civilized wilderness.

You can burn down a Burger King in half an hour. But it will take years to find anyone at Burger King, Inc., who would ever be dumb enough to rebuild atop the charred ruins—to prepare for the next round of arson in 2021 or 2023.

Today’s looter carrying off sneakers and smartphones in 10 years will be tomorrow’s urban activist, understandably but in vain demanding stores return to a charred no man’s land, to do their fair share, and to help restore the downtown, neighborhood, inner-city, or the “community.”

Old Liberal Ideas Are Being Destroyed

We are living in the most racially polarized climate since the 1960s. America’s past, present, and future are in the process of being recalibrated entirely through the lens of one’s skin color. Columbus is reduced to nothing more than another racist white Italian sailor of a half-millennium past. Grant might as well have fought for slavery in the mind of today’s campus ignoramus. Apparently, the Antifa thug thinks he could just as easily have written the Gettysburg Address or sculpted a statue of Frederick Douglass.

The old liberal ideas of assimilation, integration, and intermarriage are being destroyed by the Left under the specious doctrines of cultural appropriation, or “acting white” or “how we look is who we are.”

A new fuzzy Jim Crow returns with racially segregated campus safe spaces and theme houses or the race-based reeducation and training sessions in the workplace—all predicated to stop racism! Somehow selecting strangers on the basis of their race to bully in a restaurant, or targeting old anonymous men and women to beat up in the street by their race, or singling out suburbanites by their race for racial taunts and profanity is redefined as reparatory justice or overdue payback—on the assumption that no one would dare say that the arson, looting, and rhetoric are descending into ever more hate-filled nihilism.

Looking out on downtown Portland one morning –

Our collective future of nationalized tribalism will become what always results when citizens identify by superficial appearance or shared religion. Just go to Lebanon, the Balkans, or Iraq to see what is in store first hand.

Tribalism Rising

To survive, all groups will self-identify, at first quietly, but eventually unapologetically. Some will form alliances of self-preservation, others will war with each other. Tribal gangs, as they already do now in our streets of fire and looting, will assume they are exempt from consequences; and so will their antitheses of vigilantes who band together to guard their stores in the absence of a defunded police.

Liberal elite whites themselves are now uneasy, since the abstract doctrines they so nihilistically advocated, from defunding the police to recalibrating looting as “redistribution,” are now becoming reified and closer to home. They see that when BLM protestors jam a restaurant to demand fealty or lecture on “white privilege” or march into a suburb to wake up the commuter to apprise him of his immorality, the racialists will not qualify their agendas with “except for woke whites.”

When tribalism is distilled to its innate and terrifying essence, there are never exemptions for individuals: you are reduced to what you appear superficially as to strangers. The white felon is no different than the white Harvard president, the black shoplifter is the same as the black physicist. We are all condensed to a sort of collective nothingness, or rather a racial “allness.”

The Self-Immolation of Pro Sports

Professional sports, once an integral part of American life, appears to be nearly in ruins. Professional baseball, basketball, and football might have survived the virus, the lockdown, and the recession—and then maybe they might not have. After all, millions of the bored more quickly than expected got acculturated to the idea of soon not listening to a boring rant from LeBron James or the sad confessionals of Drew Brees.

But what the NBA and NFL, and perhaps MLB won’t survive is cultural suicide as players fragment into causes. The NBA existed on the premise that billionaires were willing to pay multimillionaires to lose billions as a prestige lark—as a franchise became a sort of a huge, showy Louis Vuitton bag. But even billionaires have limits. Snobbery and appearing cool do not always trump losing the equivalent of a Ferrari every hour or a Gulfstream each week.

The NBA, we are told, is a woke industry.

But it’s also the strangest, most nondiverse, right-wing, money-obsessed woke institution in America. More than three-quarters of the multimillionaire players are African-American. Over 90 percent of the billionaire team owners are white.

Yet the entire industry—players, coaches, owners, staff—lecture Americans ad nauseam about their supposed sins. The monotonous sermons have become transparent medieval redemptions—given the mortal sin that the NBA sold its very soul to a racist, genocidal, and totalitarian China—to recover billions abroad for the billions lost in viewership and attendance at home.

Nondiverse multimillionaires, working for even less diverse billionaires, finger-pointing at middle-class Americans on the evils of privilege, in the pay of the Chinese Communist Party, is not a way to win back fans.

Institutional Crack-Ups

Universities are in for hard times. The federal government eventually will get out of the $1.5 trillion student loan subsidy business, and force spendthrift colleges to accept their own self-created moral hazards. Charging $30,000-40,000 for tuition over Zoom is a bad business model in a recession. And the alphabet soups after the names of professors and deans will not make a bit of difference.

Thousands of college-educated protesters and rioters are not especially good advertisements for the building of lifelong character on woke university campuses. Once undergraduate institutions decided to make students socially conscious rather than educated, and once their graduates seem to be neither, then who really finds their mentors essential?

Our major cities, emerging from lockdown, and on the edge of nightly violence, remind us of what Procopius, the Byzantine historian, saw of Rome in AD 538, once the cultural and political megalopolis of the world: a mostly deserted shell of weeds, deserted streets, collapsed stone, choked fountains, and fortified villas where lawlessness reigned and feuding tribes were what was left of a government that once had enshrined habeas corpus.

No city gets a pass from history, not Athens, not Rome, not Alexandria—not Detroit, Baltimore, or Chicago.

After all, there is no rule that just because Bill Gates and Amazon headquartered in Seattle that its mayor, city council, and state governor will not abandon its signature downtown. What once made Portland great can be undone in a few weeks.

Wall Street may run the world, but it certainly does not run the New York City government. Electronic capital really does still have human legs and when the proverbial suited investor thinks he will be infected, short of toilet paper, or assaulted on the street, he leaves, taking his laptop with him. Bill de Blasio is left to govern, like a horned and bearded Visigoth, over an increasing shell of former grandeur.

To venture into San Francisco is to return in a time machine to 1855, a boomtown based on silicon chips, not gold dust, but one likewise lawless, fetid, and safe only for those with private security guards. To the casual visitor, it appears a lunatic place now recalibrated for the homeless, the looter, the assaulter—and the very rich. Crimes like public defecation and drug use, or shattering the windows of a parked car window to steal its contents are not crimes unless the targets are the well-connected.

The story of all Dark Ages is that when civilizations finally prefer suicide, they do it easily, and the remnants flock to the countryside to preserve what they can—allowing the cities to go on with their ritual self-destruction.

So it has begun to seem this endless summer.

*Note:  Dr. Hanson works at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA

Repost from last Fall –

What We Need In Politics

What do we need in a President, a Party, our Congress? What I’m looking for is people who’ve got their eyes wide open about the strengths in our country as well as the dangers we’re facing!

Many voters are aware of how our leaders have increasingly been running for office to serve their own career prospects! They don’t have a true understanding of government or know what public service in America should be about. They see how others are taking power and they want it too, they have no intention of working for the public’s benefit. This is how many live anyway in this world, so why expect a politician to be honest, right?

Well, there ARE many in all levels of government who honor our government and listen to the peaceful voices from the public. Some leaders in Congress write books on the ills in our nation, or the good things we have going for us. They are involved in making our nation safe, strong and prosperous. Their office isn’t a platform for ‘self’.

What’s important to you in a candidate? Party? Here are some issues that are important to me as we go into this 2020 Election period. (On the list below, keep in mind the position of the candidates party as well).

How strongly would Pres. Trump or V.P. Biden deal with the following issues:

  • ‘Out of control’ mob violence in some cities.
  • Economic recovery plan from the Covid-19 slow-down
  • Increased anti-police sentiment
  • The creeping socialism in many urban city governments where there’s disrespect for leaders, police, public, businesses, govt. buildings, streets.
  • The huge drop in honest, varied info on news sources. Increased control of what we can read on internet, social media.
  • Chinese threat in way of theft of intellectual property thru spies, university positions, online hacking, trade/currency manipulation.
  • National and State debt. Cutting back on funds given to countries who threaten harm to us or our allies.
  • Increased social media censorship of individuals who wish to speak freely. Death threats and job loss for speaking one word.
  • Huge drug epidemic fueled by Chinese/Mex shipments of fentanyl that have been decimating many families, towns across America.
  • Serious human/sex trafficking, abortion numbers in U.S.
  • International peace, and vigilance against our enemies
  • Education reform to bring back humanities, allow parents/kids more choice.
  • Prison reform.
  • Human rights abuses in China, N. Korea, Middle East where organs are being harvested, forced labor, torture, imprisonment.
  • Safer energy.

Everyone should know enough about both major parties by now. The Conventions will be helpful. Most know something of Pres Trump’s record on many issues, but V.P. Biden isn’t known for much outside being the sidekick of Obama, loving his family alot and touching little kids too intimately in public.

The speech Biden gave at the DNC Convention gave me the impression he was more a softie in the political arena, a lover of family and passionate hater of Covid-19, (tho he hasn’t been tested for it yet). I didn’t get any idea from him, Sen. Harris or the other speakers about their views on many of the above topics. I’ve never got the feeling  Democrats have the nerve to stand up against the socialists in their party, and that is my biggest fear, worry about that party.

I don’t understand the attraction to socialism by larger numbers in this country. One thing I know, there’s never a lack of people wanting to destroy or control ANY society, their desire for power is never masked for long, it never fails to show it’s face.

My main concern is that there’s many in the U.S., even people of faith, who’re ignorant of the threats to our country, or are afraid to speak up out of ignorance of the issues or fear of being threatened.

This is one main reason I write, I don’t write for myself, but to share with family and friends who’re stuck in their time-worn dreams of an America that is no more. The good things are still there, and they should be emphasized more, not hidden! We should not fear their loss, but we need to be extremely vigilant in the future and stand up to socialist threats in whatever form.

Will Mr. Biden stand up to the socialists in his party, or Trump do a better job? I believe the President and Republicans have a better understanding of what’s at stake in the U.S. You have to search within and decide how you will vote.

May we all become informed and stand up for this country! It’s easier than you think!