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  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>GENDER: November 15, 2019</p>\n<p>Andrea Long Chu is a writer who has thrown the world of homosexual and transgender activism into disarray with her 2018 essays in n+1 and The New York Times, and now in her new book, &ldquo;Females,&rdquo; in which she argues that gender is not who one is but what one wants. Chu is a biological male who identifies as female and has undergone sex reassignment surgery. Chu has outraged feminists (this goes double for lesbian feminists) by embracing so many of the &ldquo;traditional&rdquo; (which is to say &ldquo;stereotypical&rdquo;) notions of femininity that feminists of all stripes have decried for decades as artificial constructs imposed by the desires of men. In particular, Chu has invited the ire of TERFs (&ldquo;trans-exclusionary radical feminists&rdquo;) for suggesting (as a New Republic interview with her is titled), &ldquo;We are all female now.&rdquo;</p>\n<p> TO READ Chu&rsquo;s essays &mdash; as well as those of her critics &mdash; is to find oneself immersed in a maelstrom of philosophical and political debates about women, women, women. But what&rsquo;s left unspoken is what all of this obsession with sexual identity and transition says about our society&rsquo;s view of men.<br />\n I am tempted to make a sweeping denunciation of our society&rsquo;s pathological need to eradicate men and masculinity. Oh, there is definitely a movement afoot to do just that. But in fact, it isn&rsquo;t &ldquo;society&rdquo; as a whole pushing this agenda. It is a small, brittle crust of malcontents who cast themselves as the cultural elite, and who develop theories and spearhead movements as a way of making themselves feel important &mdash; or at least validated.<br />\n If this were the extent of their impact, they would only warrant our pity. But they have hundreds and thousands of enablers and water carriers throughout academia and the media who refuse to challenge their patent absurdities, who promote and praise the nonsense in order to themselves be thought intellectual and avant-garde.<br />\n In academia and literary circles especially, bizarre, counterintuitive, unproven and completely unscientific &ldquo;theories&rdquo; like those espoused by Chu and many others enjoy broad acclaim. And it is a much larger problem than just sexual identity politics, as scholars and authors Peter Boghossian, James Lindsay and Helen Pluckrose revealed in the expose they published in Areo magazine last year.<br />\n The three authors submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals a series of deliberately absurd, counterfactual, wholly unresearched articles worded in gobbledygook academe-speak. A shocking number of them were accepted for publication.<br />\n Why does this matter?<br />\n &ldquo;(T)here is a problem in our universities, and ... it&rsquo;s spreading rapidly into culture,&rdquo; say Boghossian, Lindsay and Pluckrose. &ldquo;Radical constructivism is ... a dangerous idea that ... we must, on moral grounds, largely reject the belief that access to objective truth exists.&rdquo;</p>\n<p> THEY CONTINUE: &ldquo;Any scholarship that proceeds from radically skeptical assumptions about objective truth by definition does not and cannot find objective truth. Instead it promotes prejudices and opinions and calls them &lsquo;truths.&rsquo;&rdquo;<br />\n The Areo expose should have been a category 8 earthquake. But it wasn&rsquo;t. Other than some perfunctory criticism in places like the Chronicle of Higher Education, Vox and The Atlantic, the Areo revelations barely registered on the media&rsquo;s Richter scale. They quietly faded away because they were an embarrassment. And because they are true.<br />\n Boghossian, Lindsay and Pluckrose give a number of examples of academic nonsense that have made their way into popular culture as gospel, such as &ldquo;white fragility.&rdquo; But the most recent cause celebre is the popular attack on men and maleness. We can see it in the media and entertainment industry&rsquo;s rush to celebrate men who wish to be women and promote works like that of Andrea Long Chu, which display evident self-loathing and vulgar criticism of maleness in general. (In one interview, Chu discusses her relationship with her girlfriend. &ldquo;Heterosexuality,&rdquo; Chu asserts, &ldquo;is so much better when there aren&rsquo;t any men in the equation.&rdquo;)<br />\n This is in addition to longer-running drumbeats of anti-male criticism like &ldquo;Male privilege!&rdquo; &ldquo;Rape culture!&rdquo; and &ldquo;Deadbeat dads!&rdquo;<br />\n Men in the United States are suffering under this pervasive attack. They are told by the loudest voices in our society: &ldquo;You are a predator, an incipient rapist, potentially violent. Your views are oppressive. Your voice doesn&rsquo;t matter. You would be better if you were female.&rdquo;<br />\n This is not just balderdash; it is cultural rot.<br />\n We cannot be surprised that men in the United States are being diagnosed with mental illness and committing suicide in record numbers. And it isn&rsquo;t just grown men who are suffering. Male children are also victims. Much of the social media universe was enraged by the recent story of James Younger, whose mother (a pediatrician, no less) insisted that he is really a girl because he likes the movie &ldquo;Frozen&rdquo; and asked for a girl&rsquo;s toy Happy Meal at McDonald&rsquo;s when he was 3. Younger&rsquo;s father has been fighting to keep the child&rsquo;s mother from putting the little boy on puberty blockers.</p>\n<p> THE WAR on men and maleness may have its origin among academics and hoity-toity social commentators. But it has spread out into the general population. And we must fight back.</p>\n', created = 1574424183, expire = 1574510583, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:ff02f471887979e79277c8a92dd83f9a' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>HOMELESSNESS: October 3, 2019</p>\n<p>In 2010, Panera Bread launched a nonprofit called Panera Cares, a set of stores around the U.S. operated on a &ldquo;pay-what-you-can basis.&rdquo; The underlying assumption was that customers of means would pay more to support customers with less &mdash; or even no &mdash; money. The company opened five Panera Cares stores in St. Louis; Portland; Chicago; Dearborn, Michigan; and Boston. All had closed by February of this year.</p>\n<p> SEVERAL ARTICLES and at least one business case have been published on the Panera Cares initiative, and different authors draw different conclusions. In Fast Company, for example, author Adele Peters characterizes the failure of Panera Cares as &ldquo;a blow to the idea of conscious capitalism.&rdquo; Vox&rsquo;s assessment was more concrete: Patrons complained about the smell of unbathed homeless people in the stores, and employees were not qualified to handle behavioral problems and drug use in the bathrooms.<br />\n In the Journal of Business Ethics, business case writers Giana Eckhardt and Susan Dobscha mischaracterize customers&rsquo; complaints but note that both &ldquo;food secure&rdquo; and &ldquo;food insecure&rdquo; patrons were unhappy with the Panera Cares experience. Some customers felt pressured to pay more than they felt they could. Others felt taken advantage of by &ldquo;free riders.&rdquo; Those in need of free food felt profiled and singled out. And yet the authors claim that this was &ldquo;not a managerial story of misguided execution.&rdquo;<br />\n To the contrary, that&rsquo;s exactly what it was.<br />\n Those of us who teach entrepreneurship could have seen this coming &mdash; a textbook case of a business model based upon untested assumptions and &ldquo;expert-centric&rdquo; versus &ldquo;user-centric&rdquo; thinking. Panera CEO Robert Shaich launched Panera Cares based upon what he thought people would do. Had Shaich opened one&shy; Panera Cares store, tested his assumptions and adapted the venture on the basis of what he learned, he could have avoided multiplying those same issues in every Panera Cares store around the country and potentially even ended up with a successful venture. As it is, the entire venture failed; Shaich is disillusioned; and those studying the experiment are drawing false conclusions about humanity and capitalism.<br />\n Panera Cares was run by a private company, so after losing enough money, all of the stores were forced to close. But what goes awry in the private sector often goes awry in public sector as well. The critical difference is that public sector failures are almost inevitably attributed to a lack of money. &ldquo;We just need to raise taxes!&rdquo; the response goes.<br />\n That is a horrific error. Public policies constructed on failing assumptions will collapse just as surely as private companies will. Much more money will have been thrown away, and &mdash; perhaps most distressing &mdash; the underlying problem will not have been solved.<br />\n Homelessness in California is a perfect example.<br />\n Michael Shellenberger, an energy and environmental writer for Forbes, published a brutally honest and frankly shocking article just three weeks ago. According to Shellenberger, progressives (and he counts himself among them) bear much of the blame. &ldquo;What happened in California isn&rsquo;t the first time that we progressives let our idealism get the better of us,&rdquo; he says.<br />\n He continues: &ldquo;How did things get so bad in California? The state has long prided itself on being humanistic and innovative. It is home to some of the world&rsquo;s largest public health philanthropies, best hospitals, and most progressive policies on mental health and drug addiction. The Democrats have a supermajority. What went wrong?<br />\n &ldquo;California made homelessness worse by making perfect housing the enemy of good housing, by liberalizing drug laws, and by opposing mandatory treatment for mental illness and drug addiction.&rdquo;</p>\n<p> THE TRAJECTORY Shellenberger describes is discouragingly familiar. Social reformers decided in the 1960s that mental illness is a social construct, not a biological reality. Zealous and strident, lacking scientific evidence but holding the upper hand in the court of public opinion, they pushed governments to close mental hospitals without alternatives, casting thousands upon thousands of mentally ill people onto the street. More radical reformers insisted that the problem of serious mental health could be cured with that progressive panacea, wealth redistribution. Community clinics popped up but failed utterly to treat the most seriously ill, despite being sinkholes of federal funds.<br />\n In California, the results have been catastrophic. According to the Los Angeles Times, the number of homeless people in greater Los Angeles is approaching 60,000 &mdash; having surged 75% between 2012 and 2018. Human feces and urine are creating environmental and health hazards. Typhus and cholera are present, and experts fear the return of bubonic plague and even leprosy. One volunteer interviewed extensively by Shellenberger, Rev. Andy Bales of the Union Mission church, lost part of his leg to flesh-eating bacteria contracted while working among the Los Angeles homeless population on Skid Row.<br />\n Shellenberger notes that many progressives still refuse to see that homelessness is not an issue of poverty but overwhelmingly an issue of mental health and drug addiction. And despite increasing violence, California refuses to embrace nonvoluntary measures &mdash; like incarceration or involuntary hospitalization &mdash; that other states have successfully adopted. (Although that assumes that the needed hospitals and beds exist.)<br />\n Tax initiatives to provide housing have also languished. The state raised $1.2 billion in 2016, the funds earmarked to build 10,000 housing units. That aspiration collapsed when progressive activists demanded that the state pay between $500,000 and $750,000 per apartment &mdash; complete with granite countertops.<br />\n That&rsquo;s what happens when people play with seemingly limitless public dollars.</p>\n<p> THE FAILURE of Panera Cares and the human tragedy of homelessness in California have their roots in the same causes: a misguided sense of &ldquo;compassion,&rdquo; complete lack of understanding of human nature, and money to throw at untested assumptions.<br />\n It&rsquo;s time we measure success by results, not intentions. We&rsquo;ve failed enough times to have learned our lesson. And those we profess to care about deserve better.</p>\n', created = 1574424184, expire = 1574510584, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:6d3d4b6d6eb3197723ed5327f44c884d' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>THE LEFT: September 26, 2019</p>\n<p>A little more than two years ago, I wrote a column titled &ldquo;What Margarine Can Teach Us About Climate Change.&rdquo; Inspired by a book excerpt in National Geographic, that column summarized just one example (the U.S. government&rsquo;s promotion of margarine and synthetic oils over actual dairy products to reduce heart disease) of how politicizing science can have devastating results.</p>\n<p> AS THE &ldquo;climate crisis&rdquo; wunderkind have been &ldquo;striking&rdquo; all over the world, led by grumpy guru Greta Thunberg, I couldn&rsquo;t help but think of that column and the many other &ldquo;crises&rdquo; we&rsquo;ve been warned about over the years that never panned out.<br />\n Take Paul Ehrlich, for example. Ehrlich wrote &ldquo;The Population Bomb.&rdquo; Published in 1969, it made shocking and foreboding pronouncements like, &ldquo;The battle to feed all of humanity is over,&rdquo; and &ldquo;(H)undreds of millions of people are going to starve to death.&rdquo; While researching Ehrlich, I came across a 2018 article in Smithsonian Magazine that was sharply critical of Ehrlich and his book, which Smithsonian describes as having &ldquo;fueled an anti-population-growth crusade that led to human rights abuses around the world.&rdquo;<br />\n I remember that Ehrlich&rsquo;s predictions were absurdly, insanely wrong. What I didn&rsquo;t know was how much damage they actually did. Ehrlich may have given &ldquo;a huge jolt to the nascent environmental movement&rdquo; in the United States. But outside the U.S., people paid a horrible price for his irresponsible jeremiads. Smithsonian described in detail the global impact of Ehrlich&rsquo;s half-cocked hysteria: &ldquo;The International Planned Parenthood Federation, the Population Council, the World Bank, the United Nations Population Fund, the Hugh Moore-backed Association for Voluntary Sterilization and other organizations promoted and funded programs to reduce fertility in poor places. &lsquo;The results were horrific,&rsquo; says Betsy Hartmann, author of &lsquo;Reproductive Rights and Wrongs,&rsquo; a classic 1987 expos&eacute; of the anti-population crusade. ... Millions of people were sterilized, often coercively, sometimes illegally, frequently in unsafe conditions, in Mexico, Bolivia, Peru, Indonesia and Bangladesh. ...<br />\n &ldquo;In the 1970s and &lsquo;80s, India, led by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her son Sanjay, embraced policies that in many states required sterilization for men and women to obtain water, electricity, ration cards, medical care and pay raises. Teachers could expel students from school if their parents weren&rsquo;t sterilized. More than eight million men and women were sterilized in 1975 alone. ... For its part, China adopted a &lsquo;one-child&rsquo; policy that led to huge numbers &mdash; possibly 100 million &mdash; of coerced abortions, often in poor conditions contributing to infection, sterility and even death. Millions of forced sterilizations occurred.&rdquo;<br />\n What the Smithsonian article does not address &mdash; but a 2010 cover story in the Economist did &mdash; is that the overwhelming majority of those victims of abortion and infanticide were girls. The subhead of that article, titled &ldquo;Gendercide,&rdquo; is shocking: &ldquo;Killed, aborted or neglected, at least 100 million girls have disappeared &mdash; and the number is rising.&rdquo;</p>\n<p> HOW MANY times do we have to learn this lesson? (Maybe that&rsquo;s why today&rsquo;s hysterics have teenagers leading the charge. It&rsquo;s much easier to persuade people that the sky is falling when they aren&rsquo;t old enough to remember other such failed predictions.)<br />\n As it happens, National Review&rsquo;s Kevin Williamson also touched on Paul Ehrlich this week. In his article &ldquo;China&rsquo;s Population Problem,&rdquo; Williamson calls Ehrlich &ldquo;the wrongest man in the history of modern American thought&rdquo; when he recounts that China&rsquo;s workforce has declined by 25 million people in just eight years. This poses a serious problem for the country&rsquo;s productivity, not to mention the social safety net the community government promises. Williamson&rsquo;s assessment is blunt: &ldquo;&rsquo;(P)opulation control&rsquo; ... isn&rsquo;t about population: It is about&nbsp; control. The same is true of gun control. ... In the progressive imagination, the perfection of society &mdash; and the perfection of man &mdash; is only a matter of control, and choosing the right controllers.&rdquo;<br />\n Ronald Reagan once said, &ldquo;(T)he trouble with our liberal friends is not that they&rsquo;re ignorant. It&rsquo;s just that they know so much that isn&rsquo;t so.&rdquo; Reagan was addressing the point in his inimitable, humorous style. But the underlying principle is quite serious.<br />\n You&rsquo;d think, given their history of failed predictions, progressives would have a little more humility and a lot less hubris. Not so. In that vein, another quote from Williamson&rsquo;s essay is particularly salient: &ldquo;The main reason the modern United States has not, for all its errors and failures, pursued something as destructive as China&rsquo;s one-child policy is that no one actually has the power to do so. Those dusty old terms from the long-forgotten civics textbooks &mdash; separation of powers, federalism, unalienable rights &mdash; have saved us many times from the worst kinds of tyranny. And, as our founders knew, the worst forms of tyranny very much include majoritarian tyranny.&rdquo;</p>\n<p> IN OTHER words, the very things that most infuriate our own aspiring central planners (not to mention grievance-peddling Swedish teens) are those principles of limited government that protect us from zealots and the excesses brought about in pursuit of their inevitable errors.</p>\n', created = 1574424184, expire = 1574510584, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:177a717abe63cb72ccf70861ccf4905a' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>THE LEFT: September 19, 2019</p>\n<p>It&rsquo;s September 2019, and here&rsquo;s where we are: The political left in this country is completely insane.<br />\n Elected Democrats are demonstrably incompetent. Democrats running for president warn constantly that President Trump is teetering on the verge of totalitarian fascism, all the while promising all the unconstitutional laws they will impose upon the country by executive fiat if elected. And our press (yes, they&rsquo;re overwhelmingly on the left) has lost all semblance of journalistic integrity.</p>\n<p> A FEW MONTHS ago, I wrote, &ldquo;It&rsquo;s time to abolish Congress.&rdquo; I was half joking when I started that piece but had myself pretty well convinced by the time it was completed. Things have only gotten worse since. This past week, we&rsquo;ve been treated to the latest congressional theater of the absurd, as House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler attempted to hold hearings on the possibility of impeaching President Trump. But the committee&rsquo;s first witness, Corey Lewandowski, Trump&rsquo;s former campaign manager, wouldn&rsquo;t play along. Lewandowski used his opening statement to call out Democrats&rsquo; &ldquo;false narrative&rdquo; and accuse them of lying to the American public &ldquo;with the purpose of undermining the legitimacy of the 2016 election results.&rdquo;<br />\n Lewandowski&rsquo;s combative approach scored points with viewers. Millions of Americans who voted for Trump see these latest ruses and political machinations for what they are.<br />\n First, we were told that the Trump campaign &ldquo;colluded&rdquo; with Russia. Unfortunately, the Mueller investigation that the left so dearly hoped would prove its specious allegations only served to show the American public that within the FBI and the Justice Department were individuals (Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Bruce Ohr) whose loathing for Trump was so all-encompassing that they were willing to compromise proper investigative procedures if it meant undoing the 2016 election.<br />\n Then we heard accusations of obstruction of justice. Those accusations didn&rsquo;t pan out either.<br />\n Now the same representative who decried the impeachment of then-President Bill Clinton for perjury 21 years ago wants to impeach President Trump because &mdash; why? Well, it&rsquo;s not entirely clear. Because he tweets bombastic statements that Nadler doesn&rsquo;t like? Wants to enforce immigration law?<br />\n It isn&rsquo;t just elected Democrats at the national level. Cities like Chicago, Baltimore, Los Angeles and San Francisco &mdash; run by Democratic mayors and city councils &mdash; have high rates of crime and homelessness. San Francisco and Los Angeles have growing cases of typhoid fever, tuberculosis and other diseases borne by fleas and human feces, piles of which coat the streets. California&rsquo;s legislature has not been able to solve those grave problems. But it has banned plastic straws in restaurants.<br />\n The Democratic candidates for president seem to be spending their time on the campaign trail outdoing each other&rsquo;s absurd grandiosity. Bernie Sanders wants to federalize health care. Elizabeth Warren wants a federal wealth tax, and her proposed Accountable Capitalism Act would require all corporations with a market cap of $1 billion or more to be governed under the regulations of a new federal bureaucracy. Beto O&rsquo;Rourke said during the last debate, &ldquo;H--l, yes, we&rsquo;re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.&rdquo; (In a beautiful bit of irony, President Trump chided O&rsquo;Rourke for his &ldquo;dummy&rdquo; statement, stating that O&rsquo;Rourke&rsquo;s comments are making it&nbsp; harder to get federal legislation on gun safety measures passed.) Kamala Harris says she&rsquo;ll give Congress 100 days to pass gun control legislation, and if it doesn&rsquo;t, she&rsquo;ll just write it herself by executive order.</p>\n<p> THESE PEOPLE think they should have the power to take over the U.S. economy? God help us. Most of them have never run even a small business or made a payroll. If we give these incompetent buffoons control of our country,&nbsp; we&nbsp; are the idiots.<br />\n And then there is the news media. This week, two New York Times reporters, Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, launched their new book, &ldquo;The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation.&rdquo; The Times published an essay promoting the book. The public was promised &ldquo;new bombshells.&rdquo; What they got was a warmed-over accusation that has been denied by the very woman someone&nbsp; else&nbsp; (Max Stier, who just happens to be a former aide to President Bill Clinton) claims was assaulted. The woman herself refused to be interviewed and has told friends she has no memory of any such incident.<br />\n There was widespread shock at the Times&rsquo; apparent deception and manipulation. (National Review writer John McCormack called the story &ldquo;one of the worst cases of journalistic malpractice in recent memory.&rdquo;) And how does The Times defend itself? Deputy editorial page Editor James Dao describes Pogrebin and Kelly&rsquo;s book as a &ldquo;nuanced&rdquo; exploration of &ldquo;the social and cultural forces that shaped Justice Kavanaugh.&rdquo; He justifies the Times essay about the book (and its convenient omissions) saying, &ldquo;The essay included new information that illuminated the authors&rsquo; broader narrative and bolstered their conclusion that, even though Senate investigators concluded her account lacked corroboration, Ramirez&rsquo;s claims were in fact credible.&rdquo; (Deborah Ramirez was an earlier Brett Kavanaugh accuser.)<br />\n Amazing! Did you catch that? During the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, Ramirez admitted that her memory was faulty. The new woman these authors claim was assaulted similarly 30-plus years ago says she can&rsquo;t recall such a thing ever happening. But it was the&nbsp; authors&rsquo; &ldquo;broader narrative&rdquo; and the&nbsp; authors&rsquo; &ldquo;conclusion&rdquo; that mattered &mdash; not the truth.</p>\n<p> IN THE FACE of these extremists, we&rsquo;re supposed to be worried about a president who tans and tweets too much? Sorry. It&rsquo;s not even close.</p>\n', created = 1574424184, expire = 1574510584, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:9add4cdcc9b1d22d50435715cab7250e' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>EDUCATION: September 5, 2019</p>\n<p>The principal of Riley High School in South Bend, Indiana, is a gentleman named Shawn Henderson. Henderson has been Riley&rsquo;s principal for two years, and his affection for and dedication to the school has endeared him to the students and their families. It is evident in everything he says and does. In addition to his own administrative responsibilities, Henderson attends as many athletic and club events, school competitions and student performances as any given 24-hour day will allow (and his Twitter feed is proof).</p>\n<p> HENDERSON IS a physically imposing man, tall and muscular, but has an affable demeanor and a contagious grin. In every conversation with him about Riley, he exhibits that quality that excellent educators strive for: a commitment to high standards fueled by love of the students and belief in their capabilities.<br />\n Last week, Henderson released a brief but powerful video on YouTube that offers an even deeper glimpse into the strength of his character.<br />\n In one of what he calls his &ldquo;Fireside Chat Conversation With Mr. Henderson&rdquo; &mdash; this one recorded on a street corner in South Bend &mdash; he tells the story of how he almost killed his best friend 25 years earlier, at that very location.<br />\n In the video, Henderson explains that hatred, gang violence and even murder were common in his neighborhood, and it affected his view of himself. &ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t know what &lsquo;being the best you&rsquo; meant. So I wanted to be everything that everyone else was,&rdquo; he says. Henderson and his friend were standing out on that street corner that August evening in 1994 and saw a guy walk by who they knew carried a weapon. Henderson called out to him, &ldquo;Hey, man. Let me see your gun.&rdquo;<br />\n The man removed the clip and gave the gun to Henderson, who, thinking that there were no bullets in the gun, jokingly held it to his best friend&rsquo;s head, more than once.<br />\n Henderson relates that they were all laughing and cutting up. &ldquo;I was going to pull the trigger. Because I thought it was the cool thing to do.&rdquo;<br />\n But he hesitated. &ldquo;I kept hearing this voice say, &lsquo;Cock it back.&rsquo; ... When I cocked the gun back and put it up to my friend&rsquo;s head again, a bullet fell out of it. There was one in the chamber.&rdquo;<br />\n Henderson pauses at this point in the video, and the realization of what almost happened resonates just as strongly in his voice today as it must have when he was a high school freshman. He is blunt when he acknowledges how close he came to destroying a life and a family, all because of teenage bravado and poor choice of role models. &ldquo;(I was) mimicking things that I&rsquo;d seen on TV, mimicking things that I&rsquo;d heard in music videos,&rdquo; he said.</p>\n<p> THE STORY is dramatic, but the lesson, Henderson feels, is a simple one: He did not know what being his best self was. So he closes the video with this admonition for his students: &ldquo;(M)y words today is to tell you to &lsquo;Be the best you.&rsquo; There&rsquo;s gonna be temptations out there. There&rsquo;s gonna be obstacles that you&rsquo;re gonna face. There&rsquo;s gonna be a lot of challenges and different things that you may not want to do, and you may feel like quitting, but don&rsquo;t quit.&rdquo;<br />\n I spoke with Henderson a few days after the video was released, and he stated that although he had shared the story with individual students in the past, this was the first time he had made a public statement about it. The timing was right, he says, because students today face even more challenges than he did.<br />\n &ldquo;Sure, we had movies and music videos,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;But students today have the internet, smartphones and social media. They&rsquo;re exposed to everything, and it&rsquo;s 24/7.&rdquo;<br />\n That pervasive culture is hard to counter, Henderson says. He also expressed concern that so many of Riley&rsquo;s students face pressure not to achieve. &ldquo;They want to fit in, like we all did,&rdquo; he explains. &ldquo;But being their best selves is not accepted by some of their peers.&rdquo;<br />\n In that climate, Henderson believes that the best approach is openness and honesty. &ldquo;The faculty and I want to focus on building relationships,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m open with the students. I don&rsquo;t lie to them.&rdquo;<br />\n Henderson made the video because he wants his students to understand that he faced many of the same challenges they do &mdash; and that he overcame them. So when he tells them, &ldquo;I believe in your potential,&rdquo; they believe him.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<br />\n Shawn Henderson has been surprised by the positive reaction he has received to his video. He shouldn&rsquo;t be. He may have intended his video for Riley High School students, but his message has a much broader audience. No matter what their circumstances, young people can find themselves teetering on the precipice of decisions that have tragic, permanent consequences.</p>\n<p> IT TAKES courage to admit one&rsquo;s own failings, especially in a leadership position. But the power of example is more persuasive than perhaps any other lesson can be. Shawn Henderson is that kind of exemplary educator.</p>\n', created = 1574424184, expire = 1574510584, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:4bd65496f814aca58765c80c355bfeef' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>This week&#39;s conservative focus . . . The Left</p>\n<p>Campaign season brings out so many utterly ignorant statements.<br />\n These seem to be New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez&rsquo;s stock in trade. Her most recent was a fallacy-filled Instagram tirade about the racism inherent in the Electoral College. (AOC should read the works of the superb scholar and author Tara Ross.)</p>\n<p> OCASIO-CORTEZ is not alone in fomenting public ire with false statements. On Aug. 9, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren &mdash; currently considered a frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination &mdash; tweeted the following statement: &ldquo;5 years ago Michael Brown was murdered by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.&rdquo;<br />\n This is an outright lie, and Warren &mdash; an attorney and law professor &mdash; knows it. Brown, a young black man, was shot and killed by a white police officer. But &ldquo;homicide&rdquo; is not synonymous with &ldquo;murder,&rdquo; which requires deliberate intent to kill without provocation (and often premeditation). Not only did a grand jury refuse to indict the police officer in question; President Obama&rsquo;s Justice Department interviewed dozens of eyewitnesses and released a lengthy report that concluded, &ldquo;there is no credible evidence that Wilson willfully shot Brown as he was attempting to surrender or was otherwise not posing a threat.&rdquo;<br />\n Another Democratic senator and presidential contender, Kamala Harris, breezily announced earlier this year that her preference would be to &ldquo;eliminate&rdquo; private insurance, in favor of &ldquo;Medicare for All.&rdquo; Such a move would likely shutter nearly 1,000 companies and put 2.7 million people out of work. (Leftists&rsquo; ignorant comments about business generally would fill a large number of books.)<br />\n Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders &mdash; another Democratic favorite for president &mdash; praised China this week for making &ldquo;more progress in addressing extreme poverty than any country in the history of civilization.&rdquo; Sanders has a sad history of overlooking the methods of dictatorial regimes, so his support for China&rsquo;s &ldquo;successes,&rdquo; notwithstanding its history of egregious human rights abuses, isn&rsquo;t out of character for him.<br />\n I could go on &mdash; and on &mdash; but you get the idea.<br />\n There are a lot of ignorant people in the world, and they pose very little threat in a general sense. But ignorant people with power pose a very serious threat indeed. Our founders knew it, and most Americans seem oblivious to it now.<br />\n It should concern us all that those clamoring for political power and economic control &mdash; in ever-larger amounts &mdash; display shocking ignorance about history, business, basic economics and American government.<br />\n It should also concern us that the institutions most responsible for the dissemination of information &mdash; news media, academia and tech mega-corporations &mdash; are determined to shut down voices that are sources of accurate information &mdash; particularly when those voices are conservative.<br />\n Our power grabbers are not only ignorant themselves; they want to make sure that the public is ignorant. Leftists in positions of power silence everyone they can, and they use every shred of what I call &ldquo;propaganda&rdquo; &mdash; &ldquo;fake news,&rdquo; &ldquo;white privilege,&rdquo; &ldquo;institutional racism,&rdquo; &ldquo;hate speech&rdquo; &mdash; to shame or discredit those they cannot silence.<br />\n You would think Democrats would get this by now, but they don&rsquo;t. They loved it when President Obama used his pen and phone to do by executive fiat what Congress would not. But when President Trump does it, they&rsquo;re apoplectic. They loved getting rid of the filibuster for judicial nominees &mdash; until Republicans got control of the Senate and used it to confirm conservative judges. They loved it when five Supreme Court justices foisted their view of the law on the entire country &mdash; until those five were conservatives, as the scorched-earth campaign against Justice Kavanaugh&rsquo;s confirmation showed.<br />\n And they loved the Electoral College, too &mdash; until they didn&rsquo;t.</p>\n<p> IT USED to be that even the most ignorant among us understood that the rules protect everyone. But now every famous ignoramus is howling that we have to change the rules.<br />\n What progressive Democrats want is raw political power, unfettered by any semblance of constitutional limitations. Too many Americans shrug their shoulders and think this has nothing to do with them.<br />\n Bunk. It has everything to do with you.<br />\n Those who think they should have the power to declare entire industries illegal, shutter thousands of companies and put millions of people out of work won&rsquo;t stop when it comes to your industry, your company or your job. The same people who say, &ldquo;I do think at a certain point that you&rsquo;ve made enough money&rdquo; won&rsquo;t blink if given the chance to declare that it&rsquo;s unfair there are homeless while you have a two-story home; meanwhile, they purchase their third multimillion-dollar home and beachfront estate.<br />\n They won&rsquo;t bat an eye at pronouncing your pickup truck an impermissible contribution to global warming while they gallivant around the globe in private jets.<br />\n Perhaps we should worry that those who admire China&rsquo;s approach to the elimination of &ldquo;extreme poverty&rdquo; also curry favor with the abortion lobby. What will stop them from promoting policies that would limit your family size or punish you for having more children than they think prudent?<br />\n If you think these predictions can&rsquo;t possibly happen, or that today&rsquo;s successful power grabs won&rsquo;t fuel ambitions for even more control over every aspect of our lives, you are not paying attention.<br />\n Ignorance rewarded is ignorance expanded.</p>\n<p> WE HAVE very little hope of educating anyone who thinks she&rsquo;s smarter than the founders who risked life and liberty to create this nation. Our strongest and best hope is to maintain the constitutional structure that limits the power of every political office, no matter who inhabits it. Playing the game by the left&rsquo;s rules &mdash; which is to say, acceding to unconstitutional power grabs and then hoping to retain control of the House, the Senate, the Supreme Court and the presidency &mdash; is only participating in the destruction of the country.&nbsp;</p>\n<p>&nbsp;</p>\n<p>August 29, 2019</p>\n', created = 1574424184, expire = 1574510584, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:36bd5765aab08b61dfe5b39c4147089c' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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Laura Hollis

11/18/2019 - 6:31pm
GENDER: November 15, 2019 Andrea Long Chu is a writer who has thrown the world of homosexual and transgender activism into disarray with her 2018 essays in n+1 and The New York Times, and now in her new book, “Females,” in which she argues that gender is not who one is but what one wants. Chu is a biological male who identifies as female and has undergone sex reassignment surgery. Chu...
10/07/2019 - 5:26pm
HOMELESSNESS: October 3, 2019 In 2010, Panera Bread launched a nonprofit called Panera Cares, a set of stores around the U.S. operated on a “pay-what-you-can basis.” The underlying assumption was that customers of means would pay more to support customers with less — or even no — money. The company opened five Panera Cares...
09/28/2019 - 6:54pm
THE LEFT: September 26, 2019 A little more than two years ago, I wrote a column titled “What Margarine Can Teach Us About Climate Change.” Inspired by a book excerpt in National Geographic, that column summarized just one example (the U.S. government’s promotion of margarine and synthetic oils over actual dairy products to reduce...
09/22/2019 - 10:40pm
THE LEFT: September 19, 2019 It’s September 2019, and here’s where we are: The political left in this country is completely insane. Elected Democrats are demonstrably incompetent. Democrats running for president warn constantly that President Trump is teetering on the verge of totalitarian fascism, all the while promising all the...
09/08/2019 - 8:25pm
EDUCATION: September 5, 2019 The principal of Riley High School in South Bend, Indiana, is a gentleman named Shawn Henderson. Henderson has been Riley’s principal for two years, and his affection for and dedication to the school has endeared him to the students and their families. It is evident in everything he says and does. In addition to...
09/04/2019 - 1:11pm
This week's conservative focus . . . The Left Campaign season brings out so many utterly ignorant statements. These seem to be New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s stock in trade. Her most recent was a fallacy-filled Instagram tirade about the racism inherent in the Electoral College. (AOC should read the works of the...
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