If you want to know why some teachers fear how virtual learning allows parents to witness their instruction, you don’t have to look further than an “English” lesson in Tennessee. In fact, one outraged father in the Metro Nashville Public School District is now pulling his seven-year-old daughter out of school because she was being taught that, as he put it, “white people are bad, mean & racist against African-Americans & Mexicans.”
The father wasn’t exaggerating, either, as his series of tweets below this article shows.
If you can’t read the text in the upper left-hand image, know that it reads:
“Sylvia had on her black shoes. They were shiny-new. Her hair was perfectly parted in two long trenzas. It was her first day at Westminster school. The halls were crowded with students. She was looking for her locker when a young white boy pointed at her and yelled, ‘Go back to the Mexican school! You don’t belong here!’”
Interestingly, Twitter hides the above school lesson image and the two below, instead presenting the warning, “The following media includes potentially sensitive content” and requiring you to click “View” to see them. So, ironically, while the Tennessee parents have to register approval to witness the images themselves on Twitter, their approval was never sought before their preteen children could view them in school.
The last two lesson images posted by the father, T. Grant Benson, are:
Unfortunately, the above isn’t uncommon in today’s schools, especially the government variety, as I pointed out in my 2018 essay “Craziness in Kids’ Classes.” Consider this excerpt, a quotation from the Weekly Standard:
The Edina [Minnesota] school district’s All for All plan mandated that henceforth “all teaching and learning experiences” would be viewed through the “lens of racial equity,” and that only “racially conscious” teachers and administrators should be hired. District leaders assured parents this would reduce Edina’s racial achievement gap, which they attributed to “barriers rooted in racial constructs and cultural misunderstandings.”
As a result, the school system’s obsession with “white privilege” now begins in kindergarten. At Edina’s Highlands Elementary School, for example, K-2 students participate in the Melanin Project. The children trace their hands, color them to reflect their skin tone, and place the cut-outs on a poster reading, “Stop thinking your skin color is better than anyone elses [sic]! — Everyone is special!”
I also related that one “teacher’s students at Rockingham Middle School in North Carolina last year  were expected to issue [an apology] — standing in front of the class — for being white and Christian and having the ‘privilege’ that supposedly bestows.”
Then there’s “Verenice Gutierrez, principal of Harvey Scott K-8 School in Portland, Oregon, [who] warned in 2012 that offering an immigrant student a peanut butter and jelly sandwich could be ‘racist.’”
But I recommend you read the entire essay — it’s a real eye-opener.
It also well illustrates why “teachers in Tennessee’s Rutherford County School District (that’s Murfreesboro, which has a huge Sunni Islam population), are insisting that parents sign an agreement that, with their students doing distance learning from home, they will not monitor their children’s classes,” related commentator Andrea Widburg.
“When challenged, the school district claimed that this rule was to protect students’ academic privacy,” Widburg continued, “but we already know that the real purpose in public schools around the country is so that teachers can preach leftism.”
Yet this “type of debate is not just happening in Tennessee,” PJ Media’s Stacey Lennox writes. She continues:
A founding teacher at the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia also took to Twitter to express concern over parent observation of virtual classes. His laments about parents, especially conservative parents, had been retweeted over 1,000 times before he locked his account. Retweeting means other people were sharing his concerns with their own followers.
Matthew Kay put this up for other teachers to respond to:
“So, this fall, virtual class discussions will have many potential spectators — parents, siblings, etc. — in the same room. We’ll never be quite sure who is overhearing the discourse. What does this do for our equity/inclusion work?”
If you need clarity of what equity and inclusion work means, you can see the pictures in the previous tweets. Matthew concluded his thread with:
“While conversations about race are in my wheelhouse, and remain a concern in this no-walls environment — I am most intrigued by the damage that ‘helicopter/snowplow’ parents can do in honest conversations about gender/sexuality,” he added. “And while ‘conservative’ parents are my chief concern — I know that the damage can come from the left too. If we are engaged in the messy work of destabilizing a kids [sic] racism or homophobia or transphobia — how much do we want their classmates’ parents piling on?”
Unfortunately, this also is nothing new. For example, school activists already recommended back in the ’90s dealing with indoctrination opposition by keeping parents in the dark and moving forward “independently.” As Imani Matthews, a teacher at the private Riverdale Country School in New York, put it circa 1998, “There isn’t a loving presenter of the other side.”
If some guy wanted to take your child somewhere, behind closed doors, but didn’t want you to know what he’d be doing with your kid, would you consent? Well, this is essentially the situation with many of today’s public school teachers, who, though also sometimes committing sexual abuse (click here), specialize in mind molestation — and have millions of victims.
So, ironically, Americans have been complaining about schools being closed due to something posing virtually no risk to a healthy child, COVID-19. But the real threat appears when public schools and even some private schools (they are not all the same) are in session. It’s then that children are infected with a moral and spiritual disease that can remain symptomatic for life and doesn’t just attack the body, but rots the soul.
Black Lives Matter is a Marxist revolutionary movement aimed at transforming the United States into a communist dystopia. BLM states that it wants to abolish the nuclear family, police, prisons and capitalism. BLM leaders have threatened to “burn down the system” if their demands are not met. They are also training militias.
“Cutting the LAPD budget means longer responses to 911 emergency calls, officers calling for backup won’t get it, and rape, murder and assault investigations won’t occur or will take forever to initiate, let alone complete.” — Los Angeles Police Protective League, the city’s police union.
“White people are so confused in America…. If there is systematic racism today it is a racism against white people, in the sense that white people are told that they are responsible for all the evils in the world….” — Dr. Carol M. Swain, university professor and advisory board member of Black Voices for Trump.
“We are all human beings in God’s image. Black Lives Matter and Antifa and organizations like that will not help us transcend racism and classism and the ‘isms’ that they are concerned with. There are things that can be done in the black community, but the most important thing is helping people realize to how important their own attitudes are…” — Dr. Carol M. Swain.
A recent survey by the Pew Research Center found that more than two-thirds of Americans support the Black Lives Matter movement. The high level of backing raises the question of how much the public knows about BLM.On the surface, BLM presents itself as a grassroots movement dedicated to the noble tasks of fighting racism and police brutality. A deeper dive shows that BLM is a Marxist revolutionary movement aimed at transforming the United States — and the entire world — into a communist dystopia.
This is the first of a two-part series, which reveals:
BLM’s founders openly admit to being Marxist ideologues. Their self-confessed mentors include former members of the Weather Underground, a radical “leftwing” terrorist group that sought to bring a communist revolution to the United States in the 1960s and 1970s. BLM is friendly with Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro, whose socialist policies have brought economic collapse and untold misery to millions of people there.
BLM states that it wants to abolish: the nuclear family; police and prisons; heteronormativity; and capitalism. BLM and groups associated with it are demanding a moratorium on rent, mortgages and utilities, and reparations for a long list of grievances. BLM leaders have threatened to “burn down the system” if their demands are not met. They are also training militias based on the militant Black Panther movement of the 1960s.
BLM, which is not registered as a non-profit organization for tax purposes, has raised tens of millions of dollars in donations. BLM’s finances are opaque. BLM’s donations are collected by ActBlue, a fundraising platform linked to the Democratic Party and causes associated with it. Indeed, BLM leaders have confirmed that their immediate goal is to remove U.S. President Donald J. Trump from office.
Most importantly, the main premise of BLM is based on a lie — namely that the United States is “at war” with African Americans. Blacks are not being systematically targeted by whites. Fifty years after the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, more than three in four Americans, including most whites and blacks, agreed that real progress has been made in getting rid of racial discrimination. Scholars have noted that BLM’s inability to produce solid empirical evidence of systemic racism explains why its leaders continue to “broaden and deepen” the indictment to include the entire American social and political order.
BLM in its Own Words
“We actually do have an ideological frame. Myself and Alicia [Garza] in particular, we’re trained organizers. We are trained Marxists. We are super versed on ideological theories.” — BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors, July 22, 2015.
“If this country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it. All right? And I could be speaking figuratively. I could be speaking literally. It’s a matter of interpretation…. I just want black liberation and black sovereignty, by any means necessary.” — BLM activist Hank Newsome, June 25, 2020.
“Stay in the streets! The system is throwing every diversionary and de-mobilizing tactic at us. We are fighting to end policing and prisons as a system which necessitates fighting white supremacist capitalist heteropatriarchal imperialism. Vet your comrades and stay focused.” — BLM Chicago, Twitter, June 16, 2020.
“There’s no such thing as ‘blue lives.’ There is no hue of a blue life. Being a police officer is an occupation. It’s a job. ‘All lives matter’— it’s like saying the sky is blue. I haven’t heard how police are on the right side of history.” — BLM co-founder Alicia Garza, ktvu.com, March 30, 2018.
“It’s hundreds of years of generational oppression and trauma and infrastructural racism that impacts our bodies and makes our bodies more vulnerable to something like a COVID-19.” — BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors, Hollywood Reporter, June 2, 2020.
“We say #DefundThePolice and #DefundDepOfCorrections because they work in tandem. The rise of mass incarceration occurred alongside the rise of militarized and mass policing. They must be abolished as a system.” — BLM Chicago, June 13, 2020.
“We are anti-capitalist. We believe and understand that Black people will never achieve liberation under the current global racialized capitalist system.” — Movement for Black Lives (M4BL), of which BLM is a part, June 5, 2020.
“‘All Lives Matter,’ is little more than a racist dog whistle that attempts to both delegitimize centuries of claims of global anti-Black oppression and position those who exhibit tremendous pride in their Blackness as enemies of the state. Well, we are enemies of any racist, sexist, classist, xenophobic state that sanctions brutality and murder against marginalized people who deserve to live as free people.” — Feminista Jones, BLM activist.
“We stand with Palestinian civil society in calling for targeted sanctions in line with international law against Israel’s colonial, apartheid regime.” — BLM UK, June 28, 2020.
“We are an ABOLITIONIST movement. We do not believe in reforming the police, the state or the prison industrial complex.” — BLM UK, June 21, 2020.
“Yes, I think the statues of the white European they claim is Jesus should also come down. They are a form of white supremacy. Always have been. In the Bible, when the family of Jesus wanted to hide, and blend in, guess where they went? EGYPT! Not Denmark. Tear them down.” — BLM leader Shaun King, June 22, 2020.
“We are living in political moment where for the first time in a long time we are talking about alternatives to capitalism.” — Alicia Garza, BLM co-founder, March 2015.
“Anti-racism is anti-capitalist, and vice versa. There are no two ways around it. To be an anti-racist must demand a complete rejection of business as usual. An end to racism demands transformation of the global political-economic setup.” — Joshua Virasami, BLM UK, June 8, 2020.
Black Lives Matter began in July 2013, when George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old neighborhood watch coordinator of Hispanic-German descent, was acquitted of homicide charges in the 2012 fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old black high school student, in Sanford, Florida.
Alicia Garza, a black woman from Oakland, California, posted to Facebook what she described as a “love letter to black folks.” She wrote: “I continue to be surprised at how little black lives matter. Black people. I love you. I love us. Our lives matter.” Patrisse Cullors, a black woman from Los Angeles, California, then put Garza’s Facebook post on Twitter, with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. After seeing the hashtag, Opal Tometi, a first-generation Nigerian American woman from Phoenix, Arizona, partnered with Garza and Cullors to establish an internet presence. Tometi purchased the domain name and built BLM’s digital platform, including social media accounts, where they encouraged people to tell their stories.
The hashtag #BlackLivesMatter gained national attention in August 2014, after the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, by Darren Wilson, a white police officer. The hashtag was ubiquitous during riots in November 2014, when a grand jury decided not to indict Wilson. By 2018, the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter had been tweeted over 30 million times.
Since its beginnings seven years ago, Black Lives Matter has grown into a movement with nearly 40 chapters and thousands of activists in the United States, Canada and Great Britain. What began as an effort to seek justice for black people has become far more expansive — and more radical — in its demands.
What’s the Agenda?
BLM’s worldview is based on a mix of far-left theoretical frameworks, including critical race theory and intersectional theory. Critical race theory posits that racism is systemic, based on a system of white supremacy and therefore a permanent feature of American life. Intersectional theory asserts that people are often disadvantaged by multiple sources of oppression: their race, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, and other identity markers.
Black Lives Matter and other purveyors of critical race theory and intersectional theory reject individual accountability for behavior, criminal or otherwise, because, according to them, blacks are systemic and permanent victims of racism. Such racism, according to BLM, can only be defeated by completely dismantling the American economic, political and social system and rebuilding it from scratch — according to Marxist principles.
Black Lives Matter seeks to replace the foundational cornerstones of American society: 1) abolish the Judeo-Christian concept of the traditional nuclear family, the basic social unit in America; 2) abolish the police and dismantle the prison system; 3) mainstream transgenderism and delegitimize so-called heteronormativity (the belief that heterosexuality is the norm); and 4) abolish capitalism (a free economy) and replace it with communism (a government-controlled economy).
Abolish the Traditional Nuclear Family
In its policy agenda, Black Lives Matter states that it is committed to abolishing the traditional nuclear family:
“We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.”
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels rejected the traditional family because, according to them, the nuclear family, as an economic unit, sustains the capitalist system. Engels wrote: “The care and education of the children becomes a public affair; society looks after all children alike, whether they are legitimate or not.”
Many experts have noted that African Americans need stronger, not weaker, families. In March 1965, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, then an Assistant Secretary of Labor under U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, wrote a groundbreaking report, which focused on the roots of black poverty in the United States. The report linked the many problems plaguing African Americans — crime, joblessness, school failure, out-of-wedlock births — to the breakdown of the traditional nuclear family.
When the Moynihan Report was written in 1965, 25% of black children in the United States were born out of wedlock. Fifty years later, in 2015, more than 75% of black children were born out of wedlock, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
Twenty years after the Moynihan Report, Glenn Loury, the first black economist to earn tenure at Harvard University, lauded Moynihan as a prophet:
“The bottom stratum of the black community has compelling problems which can no longer be blamed solely on white racism, and which force us to confront fundamental failures in black society. The societal disorganization among poor blacks, the lagging academic performance of black students, the disturbingly high rate of black-on-black crime, and the alarming increase in early unwed pregnancies among blacks now loom as the primary obstacles to black progress.”
Thomas Sowell, an African American economist and social theorist opined that the Moynihan Report of 1965 “may have been the last honest government report on race.” By contrast, African American civil rights activists criticized Moynihan for “blaming the victim.”
Abolish Police and Prisons
BLM states that it wants to “defund” and ultimately “abolish” police and prisons in the United States. Police officers would be replaced by educators, social workers, mental health experts and religious leaders, who, according to BLM, would bring down the levels of crime.
In an interview with Newsweek, BLM co-founder Cullors said:
“The freedom of mostly white affluent people is predicated on the unfreedom of black people. So, law enforcement is not actually used to keep black people safe. They’re used to patrol, occupy, harass, abuse, often hunt and mostly, what we’ve seen is kill our communities.
“Policing and incarceration are part of a continuum. The policing is the first response and then incarceration is the last response. And these two systems rely on each other very, very deeply. We have to be working on getting rid of both systems.”
In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Cullors explained that she is not merely an activist but a modern-day abolitionist:
“An abolitionist believes in a world where police and prisons are no longer weaponized as a tool for public safety.”
BLM co-founder Opal Tometi, in an interview with The New Yorker, claimed that policing in America has its roots in managing slavery and therefore is systemically racist. She explained:
“We have been fighting and advocating to stop a war on black lives. And that is how we see it — this is a war on black life. And people understand that this system is filled with all sorts of inequality and injustice, and that implicit bias and just outright racism is embedded in the way that policing is done in this nation — and when you think about it historically, it was founded as a slave patrol. The evolution of policing was rooted in that….”
Washington, D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham has warned that underfunding police departments could cause an increase in excess force by police officers:
“The number one thing that contributes to excessive force in any police agency is when you underfund it. If you underfund a police agency, it impacts training, it impacts hiring, it impacts your ability to develop good leaders.”
The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the city’s police union, said that budget cuts would be “extremely irresponsible”:
“Cutting the LAPD budget means longer responses to 911 emergency calls, officers calling for backup won’t get it, and rape, murder and assault investigations won’t occur or will take forever to initiate, let alone complete.”
Polls show that most Americans — including most blacks — do not share BLM’s views on abolishing the police. A recent Rasmussen’s report found that 63% of American adults “regard being a police officer as one of the most important jobs in our country today.” Furthermore, 64% are concerned that the current anti-police sentiment will lead to fewer people willing to become police officers, and that it will “reduce public safety in the community where they live.” Importantly, according to the Rasmussen report, “Blacks (67%) are the most concerned about public safety where they live, compared to 63% of whites and 65% of other minority Americans.”
“We are self-reflexive and do the work required to dismantle cisgender [a term for people whose gender identity matches their sex assigned at birth] privilege and uplift Black trans folk, especially Black trans women who continue to be disproportionately impacted by trans-antagonistic violence….
An academic study titled, “The ‘Queering’ of Black Lives Matter,” describes in great detail how issues of sexual identity and gender orientation have taken priority over BLM’s original focus on police brutality. The heavy focus on sexuality has led to accusations that BLM is “a gay movement masquerading as a black one.”
Two of the three founders of BLM describe themselves as “black queer females.” One, Alicia Garza, is married to a biracial transgender male. Patrice Cullors describes herself as “polyamorous.” In interview after interview, Garza and Cullors raise the issue of “black trans and gender nonconforming people,” often to the exclusion of police brutality.
In an interview with The New Yorker, Garza said that she is not interested in the American tradition of live and let live: “We want to make sure that people are not saying, ‘Well, whatever you are, I don’t care.’ No, I want you to care. I want you to see all of me.”
Abolish Capitalism and the “Patriarchal” System
BLM equates capitalism with racism in the same way that its Antifa cousins equate capitalism with fascism. BLM’s views on capitalism are based on the concept of “racial capitalism,” a term created by the late Cedric Robinson, who posited that capitalism and racism are two sides of the same coin: both are, according to Robinson, dependent on slavery, violence, imperialism, and genocide.
The British wing of Black Lives Matter UK states: “We’re guided by a commitment to dismantle imperialism, capitalism, white-supremacy, patriarchy and the state structures that disproportionately harm black people in Britain and around the world.”
The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL), an “ecosystem” of over 170 Black-led organizations, including BLM, states:
“We are anti-capitalist: We believe and understand that Black people will never achieve liberation under the current global racialized capitalist system.”
M4BL demands “a reconstruction of the economy to ensure Black communities have collective ownership” and “a progressive restructuring of tax codes at the local, state, and federal levels to ensure a radical and sustainable redistribution of wealth.”
M4BL also demands reparations for past and continuing harms:
“The government, responsible corporations and other institutions that have profited off of the harm they have inflicted on Black people — from colonialism to slavery through food and housing redlining, mass incarceration, and surveillance — must repair the harm done. This includes:
“Full and free access for all Black people (including undocumented and currently and formerly incarcerated people) to lifetime education; a guaranteed minimum livable income for all Black people; reparations for the wealth extracted from our communities through environmental racism, slavery, food apartheid, housing discrimination and racialized capitalism.”
The demands of BLM and M4BL are similar to those found in the Communist Manifesto, which include:
“Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes; A heavy progressive or graduated income tax; Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.”
BLM’s Immediate Demand
BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors recently confirmed that the immediate goal is to remove U.S. President Donald J. Trump from office:
“Trump not only needs to not be in office in November, but he should resign now. Trump needs to be out of office. He is not fit for office. And so, what we are going to push for is a move to get Trump out. While we’re also going to continue to push and pressure Joe Biden around his policies and relationship to policing and criminalization. That’s going to be important. But our goal is to get Trump out.”
Evaluations of BLM’s Agenda
In an interview with Chanel Rion of One America News Network, Dr. Carol M. Swain, a university professor, public intellectual, and advisory board member of Black Voices for Trump, said:
“It’s very clear to me that the Black Lives Matter organization is about something much bigger than black people, that it really is pushing a socialist, Marxist agenda.
“White people are so confused in America. I hate to say it like that but I don’t know any other way to say it: They want to signal to black people that they care and the only way they feel like they can do that is to agree with the slogan, which is a true statement, that black lives matter in the same way that all lives matter. White lives matter, brown lives matter, but they can’t separate the slogan, which is a true statement, from an organization that has a goal that I believe is ultimately destructive to America.
“There is something very wrong when they argue that racism is permanent. If it’s permanent, then there is nothing you can do about it. That white skin is property that means that people who just happen to have been born white they have property that gives them advantages over blacks.
“If there is systematic racism today it is a racism against white people, in the sense that white people are told that they are responsible for all the evils in the world, that racism is permanent, and the only way they can redeem themselves is by divesting themselves of their whiteness. It involves a shaming of young white people, if you have white skin you’re supposed to have all these white privileges. I contend that there is black privilege, brown privilege, that it’s really about social class. The sooner we get away from defining everything, even the police brutality, as racism, the sooner we can bring everyone together as Americans.
“We are all human beings in God’s image. Black Lives Matter and Antifa and organizations like that will not help us transcend racism and classism and the isms that they are concerned with. There are things that can be done in the black community, but the most important thing is helping people realize to how important their own attitudes are. I would argue that a person’s attitudes are more important than race, gender, social class in determining whether or not they are going to be successful.”
Columnist Josh Hammer wrote that the American system of governance and way of life is under existential threat by groups such as BLM and Antifa:
“The modern left, in thrall to the anarchists of Antifa and the Marxists of Black Lives Matter, has positioned itself as a political movement that stands athwart the American regime. At an institutional level, Democratic Party leadership is increasingly a dog wagged by the tail that is Antifa and Black Lives Matter. And that tail, as is openly conceded in moments of candor, is resolutely opposed to the idea of America itself. There is no alternative way to comprehend the ardent desire of those insurrectionists who, channeling the very worst of Mao’s Cultural Revolution, would deface and demolish societal tributes to the man who wrote the Declaration of Independence (Jefferson) and the man who brought to fruition its ideals (Lincoln). Could we ask for a more clarion demonstration of the dripping disdain with which the left views the entire American project?
“We are now in the midst of a cold civil war between Americanists, proud defenders and preservers of the American regime and way of life, and the civilizational arsonists who seek to burn that regime and way of life into the ether. Yes, we are in a fight for America’s soul — but we are also in a fight for America itself.”
Part II of this series will examine BLM’s ideological influences, its activities and its sources of funding.
TRUMP: DEMOCRATS REMOVED ‘GOD’ FROM PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE ‘ON PURPOSE’ DURING DNC
“Remember Evangelical Christians, and ALL, this is where they are coming from — it’s done,’ says president
Source: Infowars.com – AUGUST 22, 2020
President Trump tore into Democrats on Saturday for removing “Under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance during the Democratic National Convention (DNC) this week.
“The Democrats took the word GOD out of the Pledge of Allegiance at the Democrat National Convention. At first I thought they made a mistake, but it wasn’t. It was done on purpose,” Trump tweeted.
The Democrats took the word GOD out of the Pledge of Allegiance at the Democrat National Convention. At first I thought they made a mistake, but it wasn’t. It was done on purpose. Remember Evangelical Christians, and ALL, this is where they are coming from-it’s done. Vote Nov 3!
“Remember Evangelical Christians, and ALL, this is where they are coming from-it’s done. Vote Nov 3!”
Trump was referring to the moderator leading the Muslim Delegates Assembly meeting on the second day of the DNC skipping “under God” as he recited the Pledge of Allegiance before the virtual meeting. Notably, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-M.D) on Capitol Hill earlier this week also conspicuously left out “under God” while reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
Here is another example of the Democrats removing the word God from the Pledge of Allegiance below.
When you build your multimillion-dollar organization upon sentiment, relationships and romance, expect some complications. Especially when you fall in line with those who want to redefine sentiment, relationships and romance.
After the Hallmark Channel pulled an ad for zola.com showing lesbians kissing at a same-sex wedding ceremony, then flip-flopped and reinstated the ad after activist pressure, then announced a partnership with LGBTQ organizations that were critical of Hallmark, conservative women’s group One Million Moms struck back.
“One Million Moms has just launched an official boycott of Hallmark, and we’re asking our supporters and your listeners to go to OneMillionMoms.com to sign the boycott Hallmark pledge,” One Million Moms Director Monica Cole said on The Todd Starnes Show. “Simply put, we’re asking Hallmark to reconsider airing commercials with same-sex relationships.”
The same goes for Hallmark movies with same-sex relationships that you might not want in your living room.
“As long as they are airing controversial topics and content that is no longer family friendly, we have no choice but to change the channel and to boycott the Hallmark channel,” said Cole.
Cole believes it should be left to parents to decide when and how to bring up the subjects of same sex marriage and homosexuality to children. The ad for Zola.com forces the issue.
“We have seen this play out over the past decade from the Boy Scouts to what happened with Chick-fil-A and Salvation Army,” said Todd Starnes. “Here we are facing the Hallmark Channel backing down in the face of this horrible bullying at the hands of the LGBT movement.”
“We don’t boycott often, so, we’re extremely serious about this,” Cole explained. “Hallmark is one of the very few family-friendly networks still available for family entertainment.”
When One Million Moms caught wind of the ad from Zola.com, Cole said her organization contacted Hallmark and was thanked for bringing it to the network’s attention.
“They know many of their viewers are traditional, conservative families,” said Cole. “We gave them an opportunity to do the right thing, and the pledge to boycott the channel is the result of their change of heart over the weekend.”
Michigan State University informed student employees to refrain from using terms like “I apologize” and “no problem” and addressing customers with gender-specific “sir or ma’am,” in a mandatory August training.
MSU Service Center employees witnessed an hour-long “Inclusive & Culturally Sensitive Service to Residents & Guests” presentation during their mandatory fall training, covering everything from identity wheels and utilizing pronouns to misgendering.
“If I’m saying ‘no problem,’ that’s leading a customer to believe that they could be a problem…”
MSU Facilities Manager Sheena Ballbach claimed during her presentation that saying “no problem” could be a trigger.
“Raise your hand if you’ve ever said ‘no problem,’” Ballbach told the employees. “Did you ever think that was a trigger? I say this all the time and never thought that this could be a trigger word. But if I’m saying ‘no problem,’ that’s leading a customer to believe that they could be a problem or they could be an inconvenience to you and we’re just assuring them that they’re not.”
“I don’t know” and “you should have done this” were also examples of triggers. Ballbach displayed a list of triggers, paired with “calmers,” or statements MSU employees should say instead.
Another trigger in the workplace is misgendering customers, according to Ballbach. She then asked students, “‘how many of you were ever raised to say ‘yes sir’ or ‘yes ma’am?’” A fair number of hands went up and she admitted she was also raised that way.
“Not everybody identifies like ‘sir’ or ‘ma’am,’” the facilities manager informed employees.
“I would like to start seeing a culture around MSU where we say… “they”, not “his” or “hers.”’ In addition, asking for a customer’s name is appropriate according to a presentation slide.
Eduardo Olivo, assistant director of diversity, equity, and inclusion at MSU, also stressed not misgendering people.
“We live in a [sex and gender] binary world…we all know that’s just a social construction,” he stated. Olivo had begun the diversity discussion with an identity wheel. The circle diagram is divided into parts of one’s identity such as “age,” “first language,” and “sexual orientation.”
This wheel signifies how people identify and their memberships to social groups.
According to Olivo, bias incidents have spiked in the past two years based on data from the MSU Residence Housing Association (RHA).
RHA is the student government of students who are housed within campus dormitories. Its microaggression campaign states “college campuses serve many purposes, including the creation and maintenance of multicultural and brave spaces for action and dialogue around social justice.” In addition, RHA spent $6,000 on a “Love and Unity Banquet” months ago.
Olivo tied this data to the notion that “students on our campus from minoritized communities are feeling…powerless, not heard, not included, and victims of oppression systems.”
The MSU presentation also included slides depicting a black student holding a sign reading “why is my skin color considered a threat?” a Muslim student grasping a sign claiming “I can cover my body & still be a feminist,” and a female student bearing a sign saying “select your gender,” followed by “male” and “female” options and, further down, “why is my gender not an option?”
MSU political science senior James Stosio, who has previously attended the diversity segment, told Campus Reform that he “usually feel[s] a little uncomfortable with all of it honestly, but… I do think it is valuable.”
Campus Reform reached out to both administrators and other students but did not receive any more comments in time for publication.
It was not immediately clear if he meant the state capitol building in Nashville, or the city in general.
Nathan Semans, 38, of Waverly, Tenn., allegedly sent an email to WKRN-TV, NEWS 2 on Wednesday, threatening to “blow someone’s brain out” at the “state capital” over his stated displeasure with President Donald Trump, police reported.
WKRN passed the email on to law enforcement.
“We have always valued and appreciated our partnership with the media. Thanks to an alert and forward thinking employee at News 2, we were able to investigate this threat and make our community and state safer,” said Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Jeff Long in a release Thursday.
The email sent to WKRN read, with misspellings preserved:
“Look if you don’t run story I’m going to state capital to blow someone’s brain out. I don’t look good at the moment cause the tyranny of what trump did, the nature of this call is secret. You think I’m kidding trump belongs in the dumpster from a cool kid. Knock it off I’m human. I’ll immediately leave this country on a double once my passport clears, I’m sick of this nonsense and bologna hanging around that trumps the perfect American, hallelujah against trump I recommend you forward to the table of the news room or I join ISIS to seek revenge.”
Semans was transported to Humphreys County Jail on a $1,000,000 bond on Wednesday evening after his arrest.
Online jail records show he is charged with one count of commission of an act of terrorism.
It was not clear if he had retained legal representation by Friday.
Waverly is approximately 75 miles west of Nashville in Humphreys County
Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers made contact with Semans on Wednesday afternoon, when police say he admitted to making the threat and to claiming he planned to join ISIS.
Semans said he does not own any guns, was apologetic and had called WKRN back to say he was “just kidding,” according to a THP news release. When officers searched his home, no weapons were found, THP confirmed.
THP searches involved taking a phone and tablet from Semans’ home for further analysis. He was charged with commission of act of terrorism, which is a Class A felony in Tennessee.
The United States Secret Service has also been involved in the investigation,along with the Humphreys County Sheriff’s Office.
“When we work together for the common good of our community, we are all safer,” said Tennessee Highway Patrol Col. Dereck R. Stewart. “I am so proud of the process, the teamwork and partnerships that worked together seamlessly to prevent a possible very serious situation. I am thankful that WKRN-TV contacted our department, for if we had not received this notification, then it is very possible that the narrative of this release could have been tragically worse.”
It may not be wise to parse exactly what kind of crazy a mass shooter is, but in the wake of the absolute torrent of condemnations of “white supremacy” after the horrific Walmart shooting in El Paso, Texas, it seems right to set the record straight. You see, the man who murdered 22 people and injured 26 others — and who is still living — isn’t exactly a white supremacist, at least not according to his manifesto. Instead, his attack was motivated by hatred of immigrants, hatred of corporations, and radical environmentalism. (So long as his manifesto is more than just a “troll.”)
The American lifestyle affords our citizens an incredible quality of life. However, our lifestyle is destroying the environment of our country. The decimation of the environment is creating a massive burden for future generations. Corporations are heading the destruction of our environment by shamelessly overharvesting resources. This has been a problem for decades. For example, this phenomenon is brilliantly portrayed in the decades old classic “The Lorax”. Water sheds around the country, especially in agricultural areas, are being depleted. Fresh water is being polluted from farming and oil drilling operations. Consumer culture is creating thousands of tons of unnecessary plastic waste and electronic waste, and recycling to help slow this down is almost non-existent. Urban sprawl creates inefficient cities which unnecessarily destroys millions of acres of land….
The government is unwilling to tackle these issues beyond empty promises since they are owned by corporations. Corporations that also like immigration because more people means a bigger market for their products. I just want to say that I love the people in this country, but god damn most of y’all re just too stubborn to change your lifestyle. So the next logical step is to decrease the number of people in America using resources. If we can get rid of enough people, then our way of life can become more sustainable.
“If we can get rid of enough people, then our way of life can become more sustainable,” the terrorist writes. That’s Thanos’ thinking. The Avengers villain wipes out half of all living things in the name of sustainability. Even Hollywood understands that’s evil.
Throughout his manifesto, the El Paso shooter demonizes Hispanic immigrants. He refers to them as an “invasion,” echoing President Donald Trump. [Technically, an invasion is a co-ordinated attack from a foreign power, and mass immigration doesn’t fit that bill, even though it can be dangerous.] Yet he insists that his views predate Trump. He in fact predicts that the media will wrongly blame Trump’s rhetoric for his manifesto.
My opinions on automation, immigration, and the rest predate Trump and his campaign for president. I am putting this here because some people will blame the President or certain presidential candidates for the attack. This is not the case. I know that the media will probably call me a white supremacist and blame Trump’s rhetoric. The media is infamous for fake news. Their reaction to this attack will likely just confirm that.
This horrific anti-immigrant radical environmentalist terrorist may have a point on that one issue.
The “white supremacy” angle seems overblown. Yes, the shooter did open the manifesto by agreeing with the white supremacist terrorist in Christchurch, New Zealand, but his ideal scenario is not white supremacy but different governments determined by race.
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a “white supremacist” as “a person who believes that the white race is inherently superior to other races and that white people should have control over people of other races.” This vile ideology cannot be condemned enough, but besides his reference to Christchurch, the El Paso shooter does not seem to advocate it.
The horrific racist declares, “I am against race mixing,” which he denounces as “unnecessary and selfish.” Interestingly, however, he does not advocate a white government ruling over other races.
But the idea of deporting or murdering all non-white Americans is horrific. Many have been here at least as long as the whites, and have done as much to build our country. The best solution to this for now would be to divide America into a confederacy of territories with at least 1 territory for each race. This physical separation would nearly eliminate race mixing and improve social unity by granting each race self-determination within their respective territory(s).
The El Paso shooter and his manifesto cannot be condemned enough. This man is a cold-blooded murderer inspired by hatred. But let’s be clear about what his manifesto actually advocates. He is an anti-immigrant, anti-corporation, radical environmentalist racist. Based on his words, the media is wrong to blame Trump, who rushed to condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy on Monday. Even the “white supremacy” language may be inaccurate.
One thing is for certain: among other things, the El Paso shooter is a radical environmentalist, an eco-terrorist. If the media blames Trump for a manifesto that echoes his words, why are they not blaming the Sierra Club and other environmentalist groups? “If we can get rid of enough people, then our way of life can become more sustainable.” That’s chilling.
An ‘Inconvenient Truth’: El Paso Shooter Was Eco-Extremist, Loved ‘Lorax’
Following the murder of 20 people by a racist terrorist in El Paso, Texas, the liberal media cherry-picked portions of his alleged manifesto to connect him to the right. But some ignored portions that cited The Lorax as an inspiration for his views — a book and movie the liberal media used to love to promote because of its environmental agenda.
The alleged manifesto was headlined “The Inconvenient Truth,” similar to Davis Guggenheim’s 2006 documentary on Al Gore, and included eco-extremist rantings about destroying the environment, The Lorax, plastic waste and more.
CNN and some other media conveniently ignored other portions of the four-page manifesto (believed to have been written by shooting suspect Patrick Crusius) that would reflect badly on the left — like the shooter’s environmental sentiments.
On page two it read, “Our lifestyle is destroying the environment of our country. The decimation of the environment is creating a massive burden for future generations. Corporations are heading the destruction of our environment by shamelessly overharvesting resources.” [emphasis added]
It cited the Dr. Seuss’ fable writing, “This phenomenon is brilliantly portrayed in the decades-old classic ‘The Lorax.’ Watersheds around the country, especially in agricultural areas, are being depleted. Fresh water is being polluted from farming and oil-drilling operations.” He attacked “consumer culture” for plastic and e-waste, complained about urban sprawl, the use of paper towels and the unwillingness of people to change their lifestyles.”
Many of those environmental attitudes are promoted by the liberal media. In 2012, it fawned over the updated Lorax when a movie adaptation was released. NBC’s Today, CBS New York, Huffington Post and others celebrated its environmental messaging.
NBC Today co-host Matt Lauer was stunned that Fox News host Lou Dobbs had criticized the movie for trying to indoctrinate children with an environmentalist agenda. He told Lorax actor Ed Helms “believe it or not, Dr. Seuss has sparked controversy with this movie.”
CBS New York reported on April 9, 2012, that “Seuss personifies industry as a whole with the Once-ler, to draw interest and attention to unchecked corporate greed as a threat to nature.”
“The Lorax sounds the warning siren, but is ignored, as environmental groups often are, until it’s too late. But industry isn’t the sole culprit in this cautionary tale. Industry will only produce what it thinks consumers will buy. So on a certain level, we’re all responsible for the fate of the environment,” it continued.
ThinkProgress quipped on March 9, 2012, that it was “safe to say that anyone shocked that the movie has a strong environmental message has never read the book. The Lorax speaks for the trees.” That left-wing site perceived the moral of the story to be “it’s up to us to stop unsustainable industries: ‘UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.’’
The Huffington Post lectured parents, telling them to talk with their children about the film’s messages and “act on them,” on March 8, 2012. CNN even noted on March 13, 2012, that The Lorax movie adaptation was criticized for allowing commercial tie-ins with IHOP and Mazda to taint the Lorax’s “green message.” As recently as 2018, NPR reported that a federal court judge quoted the Lorax in a decision cancelling a gas pipeline permit.
YOUNGER DAYS: Beto O’Rourke, left, in a photo of his band, Foss. Texas Republicans also tweeted out what appears to be a police mug shot of the Texas Democrat. Handout via Texas GOP Twitter
_ _ _ _
[ x x ] cDc communications [ x x ]
\ / presents... \ /
(` ') (` ')
A Feature on MONEY - Today's Monster
by Psychedelic Warlord
>>> A CULT Publication......1987 <<<
-cDc- CULT OF THE DEAD COW -cDc-
Money has been a part of your life since the day you were born. It
has been in everyone's life for thousands of years. In fact, you have to go
back to the ancient Chinese and Greeks to find the origins of money. Since
it has been a part of your life for so long, you probably never thought about
life with out it. Well, here's your chance. Think, a free society with no
high, middle, or low classification of it's people. Think, no more money
related murders, suicides, divorces, or theft. Think, no more families living
below a set poverty line or children starving to death because of a lack of
money. You're probably telling yourself, "sure, this sounds great, but how
would we ever accomplish this?" Well, in this short file, I will explain for
you the virtues of a money-less society and the paths we must take to
To achieve a money-less society (or have a society where money is
heavily de-emphasized) a lot of things would have to change, including
government as we know it. This is where the anti-money group and the disciples
of Anarchy meet. Anarchists profess that under Anarchy (or limited Anarchy),
free trade would be established, with no governing body to interfere. Free
trade to me, means that we would no longer use a system of money, but I fear we
will always have a system of government, one way or another, so we would have
to use other means other than totally toppling the government (I don't think
the masses would support such a radical move at this time).
We (as a people) would have to do it more or less non-violently, for if
we use violence, we would never have the support of the masses of people that
make up our society. Some ways of doing this, would be to slowly take the
United States off the world market, and then slowly phase out our own money
markets (including Wall Street). This would slowly bring the upper and middle
classes of people in America together. By the time money is de-emphasized
enough that it is used only for trading with foreign nations, almost all the
classes of people in America would be (for all intended purposes) even.
Of course this would be extremely hard to accomplish, and it will
probably never happen in our lifetime, or in our far-off descendents life time
unless we do something about it ourselves, while we still can. At least we
could get the movement started and keep it going in future generations.
If you're interested in the idea of a money-free society, and would
like to participate in active conversations on the subject, call:
The New Society / 915-532-3226 / New User Pass:JELLO
Remember, we are the next generation, and will soon rule the world.
(c)1987 cDc communications by Psychedelic Warlord 12/0/87-31
All Rights Worth Shit - and duefully so.
_ _ _ _
[ x x ] cDc communications [ x x ]
\ / presents... \ /
(` ') (` ')
Visions From The Last Crusade
by Psychedelic Warlord
>>> A CULT Publication......1988 <<<
-cDc- CULT OF THE DEAD COW -cDc-
The catacombs of my head produce the most wonderful dreams and visions.
I feel that I am one with my intellect and my soul. It was during these
dreams and visions that I concocted a notion. It started as something
small at first, but after every dream it grew stronger, until the urge
had become too great. No longer could this strong desire in my mind be
suppressed. Recognizing this fact, my one and only goal in life became
the termination of everything that was free and loving. Only I could
realize the true value of loving and expression. Only in my dreams.
This feeling pervaded everything in my life, yet the first few months
after realizing my goal, I had done nothing. Then one day, as I was
driving home from work, I noticed two children crossing the street. They
were happy, happy to be free from their troubles. I knew, however, that
this happiness and sense of freedom were much too overwhelming for them.
This happiness was mine by right. I had earned it in my dreams. As I
neared the young ones, I put all my weight on my right foot, keeping
the accelerator pedal on the floor until I heard the crashing of the
two children on the hood, and then the sharp cry of pain from one of
the two. I was so fascinated for a moment, that when after I had stopped
my vehicle, I just sat in a daze, sweet visions filling my head. My
dream was abruptly ended when I heard a loud banging on the front
window. It was an old man, who was using his cane to awaken me. He might
have been a witness to my act of love. I was not sure, nor did I care.
It was simply ecstasy. As I drove home, I envisioned myself committing
more of these "acts of love", and after a while, I had no trouble carrying
The more people I killed, the longer my dreams were. I soon quit my job,
and stayed at my house in an almost comatose state. My dreams grew longer
and more vivid. They kept me alive and proved to be the only thing
to live for. I had killed nearly 38 people by the time of my twenty-third
birthday, and each one was more fulfilling than the last.
I was never really surprised at how I evaded the police. My dreams
had taken over my life, and they guided me through the right path, and
I never had need for fear of police. Or anything, for that matter.
(c)opy-write 1988 cDc communications by Psychedelic Warlord 8/28/88-73
All Rights, Of Course, Are Shit In Their Worth
As the Texas Democrat enters the race for president, members of a group famous for “hactivism” come forward for the first time to claim him as one of their own. There may be no better time to be an American politician rebelling against business as usual. But is the United States ready for O’Rourke’s teenage exploits?
(This article is adapted from a forthcoming book, “Cult of the Dead Cow: How the Original Hacking Supergroup Might Just Save the World”)
> Some things you might know about Beto O’Rourke, the former Texas congressman who just entered the race for president:
• The Democratic contender raised a record amount for a U.S. Senate race in 2018 and almost beat the incumbent in a Republican stronghold, without hiding his support for gun control and Black Lives Matter protests on the football field.
• When he was younger, he was arrested on drunk-driving charges and played in a punk band. Now 46, he still skateboards.
• The charismatic politician with the Kennedy smile is liberal on some issues and libertarian on others, which could allow him to cross the country’s political divide.
One thing you didn’t know: While a teenager, O’Rourke acknowledged in an exclusive interview, he belonged to the oldest group of computer hackers in U.S. history.
The hugely influential Cult of the Dead Cow, jokingly named after an abandoned Texas slaughterhouse, is notorious for releasing tools that allowed ordinary people to hack computers running Microsoft’s Windows. It’s also known for inventing the word “hacktivism” to describe human-rights-driven security work.
Members of the group have protected O’Rourke’s secret for decades, reluctant to compromise his political viability. Now, in a series of interviews, CDC members have acknowledged O’Rourke as one of their own. In all, more than a dozen members of the group agreed to be named for the first time in a book about the hacking group by this reporter that is scheduled to be published in June by Public Affairs. O’Rourke was interviewed early in his run for the Senate.
There is no indication that O’Rourke ever engaged in the edgiest sorts of hacking activity, such as breaking into computers or writing code that enabled others to do so. But his membership in the group could explain his approach to politics better than anything on his resume. His background in hacking circles has repeatedly informed his strategy as he explored and subverted established procedures in technology, the media and government.“There’s just this profound value in being able to be apart from the system and look at it critically and have fun while you’re doing it,” O’Rourke said. “I think of the Cult of the Dead Cow as a great example of that.”
An ex-hacker running for national office would have been unimaginable just a few years ago. But that was before two national elections sent people from other nontraditional backgrounds to the White House and Congress, many of them vowing to blow up the status quo.
Arguably, there has been no better time to be an American politician rebelling against business as usual. Still, it’s unclear whether the United States is ready for a presidential contender who, as a teenager, stole long-distance phone service for his dial-up modem, wrote a murder fantasy in which the narrator drives over children on the street, and mused about a society without money.
Footloose’ for the hacker set
O’Rourke was a misfit teen in El Paso, Texas, in the 1980s when he decided to seek out bulletin board systems – the online discussion forums that at the time were the best electronic means for connecting people outside the local school, church and neighborhood.
“When Dad bought an Apple IIe and a 300-baud modem and I started to get on boards, it was the Facebook of its day,” he said. “You just wanted to be part of a community.”
O’Rourke soon started his own board, TacoLand, which was freewheeling and largely about punk music. “This was the counterculture: Maximum Rock & Roll [magazine], buying records by catalog you couldn’t find at record stores,” he said.
He then connected with another young hacker in the more conservative Texas city of Lubbock who ran a bulletin board called Demon Roach Underground. Known online as Swamp Rat, Kevin Wheeler had recently moved from a university town in Ohio and was having problems adjusting to life in Texas.
Like O’Rourke, Wheeler said, he was hunting for video games that had been “cracked,” or stripped from digital rights protections, so that he could play them for free on his Apple. Also like O’Rourke, Wheeler wanted to find other teens who enjoyed the same things, and to write and share funny and profane stories that their parents and conservative neighbors wouldn’t appreciate. It was good-natured resistance to the repressive humdrum around them, a sort of “Footloose” for those just discovering the new world of computers.
Wheeler and a friend named the Cult of the Dead Cow after an eerie hangout, a shut-down Lubbock slaughterhouse – the unappealing hind part of Texas’ iconic cattle industry. Most CDC members kept control of their own bulletin boards while referring visitors to one another’s and distributing the CDC’s own branded essays, called text files or t-files.
At the time, people connected to bulletin boards by dialing in to the phone lines through a modem. Heavy use of long-distance modem calls could add up to hundreds of dollars a month. Savvy teens learned techniques for getting around the charges, such as using other people’s phone-company credit card numbers and five-digit calling codes to place free calls.
O’Rourke didn’t say what techniques he used. Like thousands of others, though, he said he pilfered long-distance service “so I wouldn’t run up the phone bill.”
Under Texas law, stealing long-distance service worth less than $1,500 is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine. More than that is a felony, and could result in jail time. It is unclear whether O’Rourke topped that threshold. In any event, the state bars prosecution of the offense for those under 17, as O’Rourke was for most of his active time in the group, and the statute of limitations is five years. Two Cult of the Dead Cow contemporaries in Texas who were caught misusing calling cards as minors got off with warnings.
O’Rourke handed off control of his own board when he moved east for boarding school, and he said he stopped participating on the hidden CDC board after he enrolled at Columbia University at age 18.
Hana Callaghan, a government specialist at Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, said that voters might want to consider both the gravity of any candidate’s offenses and the person’s age at the time.
Among the questions voters should ask, she said: “What was the violation? Was it egregious? What does it say about their character – do they believe the rules don’t apply to them?” If substantial time has passed, she added, voters should decide whether the person “learned the error of their ways and no longer engages in those kind of behavior.”
“When Dad bought an Apple IIe and a 300-baud modem and I started to get on boards, it was the Facebook of its day. You just wanted to be part of a community.”BETO O’ROURKE
When he was a teen, O’Rourke also frequented sites that offered cracked software. The bulletin boards were “a great way to get cracked games,” O’Rourke said, adding that he later realized his habit wasn’t morally defensible and stopped.
Using pirated software violates copyright laws, attorneys say, but in practice, software companies have rarely sued young people over it. When they do go after someone, it is typically an employer with workers using multiple unlicensed copies. Software providers are more interested in those who break the protections and spread their wares.
CDC wasn’t of that ilk. Although some CDC essays gave programming and hacking instructions, in the late 1980s, the group was more about writing than it was about breaking into computer systems.
But its focus on creative expression didn’t mean there were no grounds for controversy. Like many an underground newspaper, the Cult of the Dead Cow avidly pursued it.
A CDC member who joined in the early 1990s had previously used real instructions for making a pipe bomb to joke about shedding pounds by losing limbs. Three teenagers in Montreal found the file, and one lost two fingers after he tried to follow the formula, prompting outrage.
Rather than remove similar posts and hide the group’s history, the CDC warned readers not to take the files literally and added a disclaimer that survives on its current web page: “Warning: This site may contain explicit descriptions of or advocate one or more of the following: adultery, murder, morbid violence, bad grammar, deviant sexual conduct in violent contexts, or the consumption of alcohol and illegal drugs.”
Grabbing media attention
O’Rourke and his old friends say his stint as a fledgling hacker fed into his subsequent work in El Paso as a software entrepreneur and alternative press publisher, which led in turn to successful long-shot runs at the city council and then Congress, where he unseated an incumbent Democrat.
Politically, O’Rourke has taken some conventional liberal positions, supporting abortion rights and opposing a wall on the Mexican border. But he takes a libertarian view on other issues, faulting excessive regulation and siding with businesses in congressional votes on financial industry oversight and taxes.
His more conservative positions have drawn fire from Democrats who see him as too friendly with Republicans and corporations. His more progressive votes and punk-rock past helped his recent opponent, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, portray O’Rourke as too radical for socially conservative Texas.
But the political balance allows him to appeal to both main strands of political thought in Silicon Valley – a key source of campaign money and cultural influence.
O’Rourke credits the Cult of the Dead Cow with developing his thinking in a number of ways. Not least, he fought to restore net neutrality, the principle which prevented internet providers from favoring some content over others.
Enthusiastically supported by large tech companies and consumer groups, net neutrality was formally adopted by the Federal Communications Commission in 2015. The major telecommunications companies argued that it limited their ability to offer new services to content providers, and under the Trump Administration, the FCC overturned the policy in 2017. An attempt to legislate its reinstatement failed last year, although tech trade groups are still trying in court.
Hackers generally support net neutrality as part of a broader worldview that the free flow of information is necessary and good.
“I understand the democratizing power of the internet, and how transformative it was for me personally, and how it leveraged the extraordinary intelligence of these people all over the country who were sharing ideas and techniques,” O’Rourke said.
“We weren’t deliberately looking for hacking chops. It was very much about personality and writing, really.”KEVIN WHEELER, CULT OF THE DEAD COW FOUNDER
“When you compromise the ability to treat all that equally, it runs counter to the ethics of the groups we were part of. And factually, you can just see that it will harm small-business development and growth. It hampers the ability to share what you are creating, whether it is an essay, a song, a piece of art.”
O’Rourke’s generation of hackers, and the Cult of the Dead Cow in particular, also thought deeply about how to grab media and public attention for a cause or a laugh. Group members, for instance, tossed raw meat from a Las Vegas stage, distributed an essay called “Sex with Satan” and falsely claimed the ability to hack satellites.
That media sense echoes in O’Rourke’s political life.
As a congressman in 2016, while he and others were holding a sit-in at the House of Representatives to force a floor debate on gun control, the Republican Speaker, Paul Ryan, called a recess. That invoked the congressional rule that C-SPAN can’t broadcast from its House cameras when the chamber isn’t in session.
Reporter Joseph Menn talks about how he got the story of O’Rourke and the Cult of the Dead Cow.
So O’Rourke began broadcasting the protest from his phone over Facebook, and the network aired that instead. The stunt drew attention to the majority party’s refusal to deliberate on the issue, and it showed O’Rourke’s willingness to upend convention.
During last year’s Senate campaign, O’Rourke’s staff took videos of him interacting with voters all over the state, editing several that went viral on social media. That helped O’Rourke raise more money than any Senate candidate in history despite refusing donations from political action committees. While losing his race by less than three percentage points, he drew in new voters and helped flip House seats and other races down the ticket.
While considering a presidential run, O’Rourke has gone on a multistate road trip and posted videos of everyday activities, even including a dental visit.
“Part of my success was being exposed to people who thought differently and explored how things work,” O’Rourke said in the interview. “There are alternate paths to service and success, and it’s important to be mindful of that.”
A murder fantasy and an end to money
O’Rourke, too, thought differently. His CDC writing from nearly three decades ago, under the handle “Psychedelic Warlord,” remains online.
One article he wrote as a teen mused how the world would work without money. After changing the system, including the government, O’Rourke foresaw the end of starvation and class distinctions.
“To achieve a money-less society (or have a society where money is heavily de-emphasized) a lot of things would have to change, including government as we know it. This is where the anti-money group and the disciples of Anarchy meet,” O’Rourke wrote under his pseudonym. “I fear we will always have a system of government, one way or another, so we would have to use other means other than totally toppling the government (I don’t think the masses would support such a radical move at this time).”
Another t-file from O’Rourke, written when he was 15, is a short and disturbing piece of fiction. “One day, as I was driving home from work, I noticed two children crossing the street. They were happy, happy to be free from their troubles…. This happiness was mine by right. I had earned it in my dreams.
TEENAGE WRITER: O’Rourke’s CDC writing from nearly three decades ago, under the online handle “Psychedelic Warlord,” remains online.
“As I neared the young ones, I put all my weight on my right foot, keeping the accelerator pedal on the floor until I heard the crashing of the two children on the hood, and then the sharp cry of pain from one of the two. I was so fascinated for a moment, that when after I had stopped my vehicle, I just sat in a daze, sweet visions filling my head.”
In another piece, he took on a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi who maintained that Hitler was misunderstood and didn’t personally want Jews killed. O’Rourke and a Jewish friend questioned the man about his theories and let him ramble about Jews and African Americans, an attempt to let him hang himself with his own words.
“We were trying to see what made him think the horrible things that he did,” he wrote in the file.
O’Rourke added that if readers wanted to learn more about the subject’s Aryan church, they could write to the man’s post office box in El Paso.
“Surely,” O’Rourke wrote, “they’d appreciate some ‘fan’ mail.”
A rare woman in the hacker world
In addition to critiquing racism, O’Rourke tried to do something about sexism in the male-dominated world of hacking.
O’Rourke befriended a 16-year-old California girl who was a regular on TacoLand, and he put her up for membership in the CDC. With Wheeler’s approval, she got in, making the CDC one of a very few hacker groups of the time that weren’t all-male.
“I joined happily, honored, and proceeded to write crappy, horrific, 16-year-old bloody t-files,” Carrie Campbell wrote to friends in the group 20 years later. “I loved the community of smart people (and their girlfriends) to converse with and bounce ideas off of. The acceptance of my female gender is extremely rare in the hacker scene and I appreciate it…Somehow I ended up purely by accident as the only girl in the world’s most notorious hacker group.”
OLD FRIENDS: During the weekend of the 1997 Hackers on Planet Earth conference in New York, O’Rourke reconnected with old friend Carrie Campbell. REUTERS/Photo courtesy of Danny Dulai.
Its writing moved to web pages that were hosted for years by a famed Boston hacking collective called the L0pht, with which the CDC shared four members, including Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, future head of the cyber security mission at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. DARPA is the Pentagon skunk works created after Sputnik to create “strategic surprise” in international conflict, and it had launched the forerunner to today’s internet.
Wheeler kept the Cult of the Dead Cow small, with no more than 20 active members at a time and about 50 over the group’s life. It continues today. The vast majority have remained anonymous, though most of the core participants agreed to identify themselves for the forthcoming book, called “Cult of the Dead Cow: How the Original Hacking Supergroup Might Just Save the World.” Campbell and Wheeler were two of those who agreed to be identified as CDC members for the first time.
During O’Rourke’s active period, “we weren’t deliberately looking for hacking chops,” Wheeler said. “It was very much about personality and writing, really. For a long time, the ‘test,’ or evaluation, was to write t-files. Everyone was expected to write things. If we were stoked to have more hacker-oriented people, it was because we’d be excited to have a broader range in our t-files.”
O’Rourke wrote a few more essays before entering Columbia in 1991. The introduction of internet service providers and Web browsers in the mid-1990s wiped out most bulletin boards, but the CDC lived on.
O’Rourke saw other members socially until at least 1997, just as the Cult of the Dead Cow was ramping up a run of five or six years as the most famous group of its kind.
“I was really at the margins, but I very much wanted to be as cool as these people, as sophisticated and technologically proficient and aware and smart as they were,” he said in the interview. “I never was, but it meant so much just being able to be a part of something with them…understanding how the world worked – literally how it worked, how the phone system worked and how we were all connected to each other.”
At the hacker conference Def Con in 1998 and 1999, donning costumes and rapping to a light show, the CDC released two tools to hack into computers running Windows. Back Orifice and its sequel Back Orifice 2000 were condemned as reckless by some. But the idea was to cause enough chaos and scrutiny to force Microsoft to work harder to secure its products, and the stunts worked, company veterans and outside security experts said.
Like O’Rourke, not everyone in the CDC pursued careers in the computer industry. Wheeler ran music venues in Texas and produced records in New York before turning to currency trading. Campbell is a freelance researcher near Seattle.
When Campbell left the email group for CDC members in 2006, she asked everyone to keep O’Rourke’s identity secret, because he had just been elected to the El Paso city council.
They did so, and a few stepped up in late 2017 and early 2018 to hold some of O’Rourke’s earliest out-of-state fundraisers for the Senate race. The first in San Francisco was co-hosted by CDC member Adam O’Donnell, an entrepreneur and a security engineer at Cisco Systems, and Alex Stamos, then the chief security officer at Facebook, who had worked under CDC members at a security provider in the previous decade.
SHARED BACKGROUND: From left, CDC member Adam O’Donnell, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke and Alex Stamos, then the chief security officer at Facebook. REUTERS/Joseph Menn
“It’s really exciting,” Stamos said. “I have to support this guy, someone who has been active in this world since he was a teenager.”Both said that technology was playing an increasingly fundamental role in national and personal security, the economy and everyday life, and that O’Rourke’s background in the industry, no matter how unconventional, would be a huge advantage in office.
Chris Wysopal, a L0pht veteran who founded tech company Veracode with a friend from the CDC, said he had been happily surprised to hear last year of O’Rourke’s history.
“We need people at his level who come from the hacking community and get it,” Wysopal said. “But it’s rare to see someone from that background have the leadership and communications skills. It’s hard to believe that we might even see a hacker run for president.”
Back during one of his college summers, O’Rourke crashed at Carrie Campbell’s house when his punk band toured her area. She saw him in 1997, too, when he was working at a New York internet provider and the CDC came to the Hackers on Planet Earth conference.
The next time was two decades later, at a Seattle fundraiser for the Senate race. O’Rourke singled her out in the crowd and told everyone she was a great person who didn’t complain that his band once had eaten all her cereal. But there was one thing he didn’t mention: how they met.