The Trees

In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in the books of Ayn Rand. After escaping from the Soviet Union in the 1920s, Rand became a famous American playwright, philosopher, and novelist. She has written many books – three of which I would urge everyone to read. The first, Anthem, is a lot like Orwell’s 1984. The second, The Fountainhead, is a longer novel expounding on her philosophy, which is known as objectivism. The third, Atlas Shrugged, is her most famous work and includes the most complete explanation of her views on economics and morality.

As a Christian, I reject a good bit of what Ayn Rand has to say. She defends capitalism eloquently but fails to understand exactly why it works better than socialism or communism. That reason, of course, is rooted in the Judeo-Christian idea of man as a fallen being. Man, by nature, is desirous of competition. He must try to best his neighbor and, therefore, cannot function in a system based on the idea of taking from each according to his ability and giving to each according to his need.

Nonetheless, atheist Rand comes to many correct conclusions without fully understanding the reasons why she is correct. That is why I am not at all uncomfortable recommending her books. There is much to be learned by studying the works of those with whom you disagree – and much to be missed by ignoring them.

For those interested in Rand, I also recommend a song that was inspired by a rock musician who reads her work. His name is Neil Peart – a member of the band “Rush.” Neil is the greatest rock and roll drummer who ever lived. He is also one of the greatest songwriters who ever lived.

When I was a teenager in the 1970s, Peart wrote “The Trees,” which fast became one of my favorite songs. I didn’t know at the time that the song was a stinging indictment of socialism and communism inspired by Neil’s reading of Ayn Rand novels. I’ve reprinted the verses below with some brief comments in between most verses.

There is unrest in the forest,
there is trouble with the trees,
for the maples want more sunlight
and the oaks ignore their pleas.

When I look back on it, I am somewhat embarrassed that it took me so long to figure out the symbolism behind the oak versus maple contrast. This is a classic Marxist over-simplification, which is intentional on Peart’s behalf. There were only two classes of people according to Marx – the “haves” and the “have nots” or, as he called them, the “bourgeoisie” and the “proletariat.” Here, the oaks are the “haves” or the “bourgeoisie” and the maples are the “have nots” or the “proletariat.”

The trouble with the maples,
(And they’re quite convinced they’re right) they say the oaks are just too lofty
and they grab up all the light.

This verse is interesting because it raises the issue of absolute versus relative poverty. When the maples claim that the oak trees grab up all the light they are exaggerating – actually, the author of the song, Neil Peart, is exaggerating for effect. Oaks are big trees, to be sure. In my own yard, there is an oak that is 100 feet tall that will eventually grow to be about 125 feet tall. But maples are big trees, too. I have a maple that is about 60 feet tall that will eventually grow to be about 80 feet tall.

Peart, quite ingeniously, shows that the “have nots” would be more accurately characterized as simply “having less than others.” Their problem is not that they do not have enough to get by. The problem is that, in their view, the oaks are just “too lofty.”

In other words, others have too much. That is the key phrase in this paragraph because it reveals that covetousness, rather than true need, is what motivates the maples. In reality, that is always the motive of the collectivist.

But the oaks can’t help their feelings if they like the way they’re made. And they wonder why the maples can’t be happy in their shade.

It is funny to me that the lyrics to this song were written just a few years before Ronald Reagan became President of the United States. After he took office, there was no small amount of controversy about his ideas concerning “trickle down” economics. Here, the oaks seem to reference the idea that their loftiness benefits others, too – this time, in the form of shade. This is a classic “trickle down” economic argument.

There is trouble in the forest,
And the creatures all have fled,
as the maples scream “Oppression!” And the oaks just shake their heads.
So the maples formed a union and demanded equal rights.
“The oaks are just too greedy; we will make them give us light.”

This is classic Ayn Rand. She focuses on unjustly taking from someone that which he has earned – noting that this always involves a violent struggle. The maples begin by screaming, and then they start demanding. Finally, they settle upon force, not reason, in order to obtain what they want. The results are always predictable.

Now there’s no more oak oppression, for they passed a noble law,
and the trees are all kept equal
by hatchet, axe, and saw.

This last verse is chilling because it reveals two truths about progressivism:

1) Progressivism is not progressive. Oppression is ended and equality is achieved not by advancing anyone but by retarding the achievements of some.

2) Social justice is punitive, not restorative. No one is restored under a progressive system, but people are often punished in order to guarantee equal outcome. That is another reason why Rand prefers to use the term “collectivism” rather than “progressivism.”

Ayn Rand was not a Christian. Nor was she one who professed belief in the Ten Commandments. Nonetheless, she understood that what is often packaged as compassion is really covetousness in disguise. We would do well to familiarize ourselves with her work in an age of “collective” historical amnesia. Screams of oppression and cries for revolution are never more than a generation away.

How The GOP Beat Campus Censors

Back in January of 2016, I sent a letter to UNC-Wilmington President Jose Sartarelli, which was copied to all sixteen members of the Board of Trustees. I later published the same letter on TownHall.com. In my letter, I accused the university of having at least two policies that clearly violated the First Amendment. I then asked the administration to work with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) to do an audit of our policies and then revise them towards the goal of attaining a coveted green light rating from FIRE. For those not familiar with the FIRE rating system, a green light simply signifies that a school has no policies that threaten free speech.

It should go without saying that when I sent my letter to the administration there was no guarantee they would respond. Thus, I was pleasantly surprised when UNCW Board of Trustee Dennis Burgard responded within just a few hours. Burgard, who is a registered Republican, urged the administration to take my letter seriously and contact FIRE for an audit of our policies. Without his support, my letter would have gone nowhere.

Within the following weeks and months a constructive dialogue took place between FIRE and UNCW’s Office of General Counsel. During that dialogue, it was revealed that I had misstated the number of unconstitutional policies at my university. There were more than just a couple. There were nine. Working together with FIRE, my university abolished eight of them before the beginning of the fall semester of 2016.

Later on, negotiations apparently stalled. During an unexpected yet cordial encounter with UNCW’s lead counsel I was told that the exchange with FIRE had been “enjoyable” but that there were “disagreements.” Arguably, to the extent that UNCW had “disagreements” with FIRE, the university should have deferred to their judgment. After all, FIRE is the leading defender of campus free speech in America. In contrast, UNCW lost a costly federal First Amendment case just two years before they agreed to the audit by FIRE. I was simply trying to save the university from further embarrassment. Unfortunately, there was no progress for the better part of a year until another Republican got involved.

Enter Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest.

In the fall of 2016, Forest’s office decided to advocate for a modified version of a model free speech bill proposed by the Goldwater Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. The bill was not perfect but it had many elements essential to free speech reform in the UNC system. For example, it virtually eliminated speech zones and speech codes. It also prevented universities from adopting official positions on controversial issues and then forcing faculty and students to espouse those positions. It also made universities educate students on free speech principles during freshman orientation. For students who wished to ignore those principles and disrupt speech, new sanctions were created – but they were accompanied by guarantees of due process for accused disrupters.

I was pleased to work with the bill’s sponsor, Representative Chris Millis, as modifications were made to the Goldwater proposal in order to address concerns raised by UNC administrators. As usual, the administration misled us and suggested they would support the bill under the condition that we made a few modifications. When they were made, the administration still opposed the bill.

But there was no denying the inevitable. When the bill got to the higher education committee all the GOP had to do was show up and outvote the Democrat opponents. The same was true for the vote in the house and in the Senate. Predictably, all of the opposition to the free speech bill came from Democrats.

Keep in mind that two prominent features of the bill were 1) That it banned speech codes that regulate the content of speech, and 2) That it banned speech zones that regulate the location of speech. Unbelievably, Democrat Representative Verla Insko was quoted as saying “My main objection is it’s regulating free speech.” Thus, Democrats characterized our deregulations as regulations in order to preserve campus censorship.

When the bill finally hit Governor Roy Cooper’s desk, he knew he could not sign it. To come out in favor of free speech would anger his leftist constituents and compromise his re-election. They would never forgive him for helping to break the stranglehold on the marketplace of ideas in the UNC system. Without campus censorship and young uninformed voters the Democratic Party would cease to exist. But Cooper could not officially vote against free speech, either. So he just let the bill become law.

Just one day before HB527 became the first law based on the Goldwater model, my university was given a green light by FIRE. It was the seventh campus in the UNC system to become a green light school. That makes North Carolina the state with the most green light colleges and universities – eight overall and seven in the UNC system.

Note that before Dan Forest got to work on what would become HB527, there was only one school in the UNC system with a green light. In the roughly six months that it took to move the bill through the House and the Senate and on to Roy Cooper’s desk six UNC schools got a green light.

After holding on to unconstitutional speech code and speech zone policies for a quarter of a century, these UNC schools suddenly gained an appreciation for free speech, right? Better think again. These schools, including UNCW, which got the green light 24 hours before HB527 became law, simply sensed the inevitable. They knew their policies were about to be struck down by law so they abandoned them at the last minute in a hypocritical effort to steal political credit from the GOP.

But let the record reflect that the DNC system, which owns the UNC system, was the enemy of free speech throughout the entire process. Remember that when they call begging for donations.

Why I Left the GOP

Over the last fifteen months, I have received numerous requests to speak at GOP events. In response, I have had to write numerous polite notes to my would-be hosts explaining that I must decline, as I am no longer a member of the Republican Party. Rewriting variations of the same note has become so tedious that I have decided to write a column I can forward to Republicans explaining why I can no longer speak at their events. But, first, let me say some positive things about why I joined the party in the first place.

My status as a left wing Democrat began to become a bit shaky in December of 1992. That was when a fraternity brother of mine was abducted and murdered along with his girlfriend who was also sexually assaulted before she was shot at point blank range in the head. Both were unarmed. I immediately abandoned my previous support for a federal ban on handguns.

In 1993, a family friend educated me concerning the scientific facts about abortion; namely, that abortion intentionally kills a distinct, living, and whole human being. After hearing her cogent argument, I abandoned my anti-science fundamentalism, which previously led me to accept the lie that the unborn was merely a “clump of tissue.”

In 1994, I sat in on my first faculty hiring committee meeting at UNC-Wilmington. After hearing the head of the committee reject an applicant because he was “a little too white male” I rejected race-based affirmative action. I realized it was just another form of racism advanced by illiberal leftists masquerading as enlightened liberals.

Eventually, enough was enough. I grew weary of rejecting the individual planks in the Democratic Party platform one by one. So I finally joined the GOP in 1999. That was also the year I joined the NRA.

Since joining the GOP in 1999, I can safely say that they have failed to nominate a single conservative over the span of five presidential election cycles. Three of those nominees have been particularly problematic with the last finally driving me over the edge and making me re-register as an independent. I will deal with each disappointment in chronological order.

George W. Bush. Candidate Bush had his finest moment of the campaign in debate #2 when he lectured Al Gore on the dangers of nation building. As President Bush, his view on nation building was close to the exact opposite of that of Candidate Bush. But long before our entanglement in Iraq, he began to display his big government utopian tendencies. In his first year in office, Bush worked with Ted Kennedy to expand the federal Department of Education’s stranglehold on public education. In addition to increasing the power of federal agencies that should never have existed he added more, such as the Department of Homeland Security.

By the end of his second term, the TARP fiasco revealed that our last two term Republican president had strong socialist tendencies. In a few short years, he had doubled the record for the highest budget deficit in American history. It was a record he had previous set with the help of a Republican congress.

Mitt Romney. I am deeply ashamed of the fact that I pulled the lever for Mitt back in 2012. If there is anyone who can watch the video of Mitt explaining to Bill O’Reilly how he was “always pro life” and believe it then I can probably convince you that Madonna is a virgin. Candidate Romney was a liar and a bad one at that. Clearly, Mitt’s support for socialized medicine with $50 copay abortions should have been enough to keep him from gaining the nomination of any truly pro-life party.

After the nomination it only got worse when Romney started to praise Medicare as a “great program.” He also insisted that he supported a federal requirement that corporations track and report data to the feds on the racial breakdown of job applicants and interviewees. That kind of federal government control of the private sector mixed with identity politics is a dangerous combination. If this fits within your definition of conservatism then you simply don’t know the meaning of the word. To be blunt, Romney was just another big government northeastern liberal. The fact that he campaigned the way he did and still got the nomination shows that the party was simply no longer conservative in any sense of the word by 2012.

Donald Trump. I don’t even know where to begin with this embarrassment. I guess he just couldn’t convince me to vote for him with his assurances that he had a bigger penis than Marco Rubio. After a few debates, I realized that the Republicans were finally going to do the inevitable and actually nominate a Democrat for president. That’s when I finally jumped ship and left the party.

After the Trump nomination, many Republicans justified voting for him on a “lesser of two evils” theory. That is entirely reasonable. Indeed, the Gorsuch pick alone confirmed the reasonableness of this view. What was not reasonable was that hordes of Republicans were praising him as an affirmative good – some going so far as to characterize him as the reincarnation of Reagan. Please.

In the months following the Trump inauguration, the GOP showed us all that with control of the House, the Senate, and the White House they could neither dismantle Obama Care nor defund Planned Parenthood. Thus, it should go without saying that they are no longer merely a useless appendage in the body politic. They are more like a cancerous organ that needs to be removed.

While I will occasionally vote for Republican candidates I simply cannot speak at their events or lend my name to their fundraising efforts. The GOP is now driving rather than reining in big government. That is why I no longer call them my people.

Some Animals Are More Stable Than Others

My university probably doesn’t realize it but they just accidentally micro aggressed the entire progressive population here at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW). And that is no laughing matter since about 99% of our “diverse” faculty see themselves as progressive in their political leanings. For those not aware, a progressive is someone who denies the humanity of the unborn, denies that there are biological differences between men and women, and characterizes political conservatives as “science deniers.” Regardless, it’s a good thing we have armies of mental health professionals on hand here at the university because we’re going to need them once they realize just how badly they have been victimized.

I began to notice the micro aggression of campus progressives the day after the election. That was when an email was sent to the entire university population acknowledging that some people were having trouble coping with the results of the election. But the email went further than that. It reminded people that the counseling center was there for people having emotional trouble in the wake of the election. In other words, it recognized that some progressives were too emotionally unstable to endure the consequences of living in a democracy where things don’t always go your way.

Of course, the email was not inaccurate. In fact, one of my colleagues was so emotionally devastated that she refused to teach any of her classes for two weeks. She was mourning the fact that voters rejected her bumper sticker, which clearly expressed her worldview assumption that “love trumps hate.” So if the email wasn’t inaccurate then what is the problem? And why am I writing a column about it?

The problem is that when Obama defeated Romney in 2012 there was no similar email to conservatives reminding them that counseling was available for those who were disappointed with the results of the election. The university administration just assumed that conservatives are emotionally capable of enduring the consequences of living in a democracy where things don’t always go your way. In other words, they assumed that conservatives are more emotionally stable than progressives. And anyone who has been through freshman orientation knows that is a micro-aggression!

Those checking their email last week at UNCW should now be painfully aware that this is part of a pattern of micro-aggression here at our little university. Just days ago, we all got an email about Charlottesville that stated, “If you think you may need to talk to someone about recent events, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our counseling center.” But why wasn’t there a similar email sent after five police officers were gunned down in Dallas, Texas in the summer of 2016?

The answer is very simple. The university responds to the actions of the new white supremacists (but not the new black panthers) because they have very different effects on the emotional climate here at UNC by the Sea. The very fact that white supremacists still exist reminds progressives of their failure to establish a secular utopia here on earth. It is also testifies to their failure to grasp the realities of human nature. Both of these things are deeply emotionally devastating to the so-called progressive.

In contrast, conservatives better understand the events in Dallas because they understand that we live in a fallen world. They are upset by such a tragedy but they still rise from their beds the following day to do the things they have to do. And the university realizes they will persevere even in the absence of a mass email reminding them of the availability of on-campus counseling services.

The condescending view that progressives are less stable than conservatives would be unbearable if it were not so accurate. But there will be hell to pay when progressives finally realize they are being micro-aggressed by their own university. The bad news is that some bureaucrat is going to have to craft a mass email informing them of this ongoing victimization.

At least it will give job security to other bureaucrats who provide emotional support for those unable to cope with reality. That is the point of college, right?

My Resignation from UNC-Wilmington

On August 12, 2017, I will get in my car and make my annual cross-country trip from my summer home in Colorado to my other home in North Carolina. After I arrive in the Tar Heel State and get settled I will sit down at my computer and do something the leftists at my university have been wanting me to do for years: I will pen my letter of resignation to the Board of Trustees at UNC-Wilmington.

However, before I submit that letter, I thought it would be a good idea to write a brief letter of explanation to all of the supporters who have stood by me in the UNC free speech and cultural wars in which I have been engaged over the last fifteen years. That is the purpose of today’s column.

In a nutshell, as of last week, I have now accomplished the five main objectives I have set out to accomplish since the administration started to aggressively fight against the free speech and due process rights of professors and students in the UNC system. Having accomplished all of those goals, I have decided that it is time to start enjoying life instead of fighting against my employers in federal courtrooms and state legislative halls. For those unaware of the struggles that have consumed my time in recent years, here are some of the highlights:

April 2011. Under the leadership of Tom Ross, the UNC administration tried to argue that professors who write columns and give speeches are protected by the First Amendment unless they later mention their protected speech in their annual productivity reports or promotion applications, which would then strip them of protection and allow the university to punish the authors for their viewpoints. With the help of the ADF and ACLJ, we defeated this effort in front of the 4th Circuit in Richmond and won a unanimous ruling. The leftist UNC faculty remained neutral in the case knowing full well that they would never have to fear retaliation from administrators who share their beliefs. A conservative (yours truly) was the lone dissenter and plaintiff.

August 2013. After it passed the house by a vote of 112-1, Governor McCrory signed into law the first right to counsel legislation for college students in America. The bill ended the practice of UNC schools expelling students and student groups in kangaroo court proceedings where they were forced to face university counsel after being denied their own representation. I was pleased to be a part of this effort from the beginning – and proud to have former student John Bell sponsor the successful legislation. While this was a due process issue, it also has implications for free speech – given that many expulsion hearings involve campus speech code and speech zone violations. When we ensure greater fairness in expulsion hearings, universities are less likely to convene them.

March 2014. With the help of my ADF and ACLJ attorneys, we won a major free speech trial in front of a federal jury made up mostly of Democrats. I have written about this elsewhere so I will not rehash the details here. Suffice it to say that the proceeds from the legal judgment were spent on extremely expensive guitars that now adorn the walls of my living room. Out of affection, I named each one of the guitars after a defendant in the case. I’m sentimental that way.

July 2014. Thanks to the leadership of my friend and personal hero Thom Goolsby, we now have the best religious liberty statute protecting university student groups in all of America. Robert Shibley of FIRE first brought the bill, which originated in Ohio, to my attention. I then took it to Goolsby who was then the head of the N.C. Senate judiciary committee. The bill got buried in committee the first year but it eventually became law when Governor McCrory signed it at the end of the next summer. The bill never would have made it without the support of FIRE, the N.C. Family Policy Council, and the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy (now the Martin Center for Academic Renewal).

August 2017. Finally, as of last week, North Carolina became the first state to pass a model free speech reform bill advanced by the Goldwater Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. In addition to effectively doing away with all campus speech codes and speech zones, it forces universities to educate students about the new pro free speech policies during freshman orientation, which was previously a place where students were introduced to anti-free speech concepts like “micro-aggression.” The best part of the bill is that it cracks down on students who attempt to disrupt the free speech rights of others. For example, the campus lunatics who tried to shut down a pro life display on my campus by surrounding the pro-lifers with a “human chain” so they could not speak to or share literature with passers by are now much more likely to face expulsion. We had to fight very hard to get this bill passed in light of public resistance by leftist anti-free speech newspapers like The Charlotte Observer – and relentless lobbying by UNC President Margaret Spellings. We will know it was worth the effort once we start to see heads exploding during the first freshman orientation.

I’ve been a busy guy with all of this so I am indeed looking forward to slowing down and enjoying my new life. For me, that will be spending the rest of my days ridiculing academic hypocrites. As for my letter of resignation, I will decide on my ride home to North Carolina exactly when it will take effect. I promise it will be no later than August 1, 2050.

In the meantime leftists, feel free to start another of your annual petitions to fire me. If you ever do succeed, it will mean more time on my hands to write the things that make you angry and keep sane people entertained.

I’m just a lesbian … trapped in a man’s body

Author’s Note: I have a new favorite standup comedian. His name is Maheep Singh. He’s from India. It seems that for several months he was doing a comedy routine in which he joked that he was a lesbian trapped inside a man’s body. After doing the routine for a while, a friend of Maheep’s informed him that there was a columnist named Mike Adams who had previously written a column about being a man trapped in a lesbian’s body. Concerned that he would be seen as plagiarizing my work, Maheep wrote me all the way from India to assure me it was just an accident. Two great lesbian minds think alike! We became fast friends after I told him that I thought I stole it from another trapped lesbian named Rush Limbaugh. It brought back old memories. Accordingly, I have reposted this old column in Maheep’s honor.

I love writing columns on the subject of political correctness. Even more than writing the columns, I enjoy reading the email responses I get from readers all around the world. But there are some emails I get tired of answering. The most annoying are the ones warning me that I will lose my job as a university professor if I continue to criticize the campus diversity movement. The people issuing these warnings seem to know that college administrators are usually intolerant of dissent, despite their emphasis on diversity. But there is one thing they don’t know. I have an ace up my sleeve.

Many years ago, I attended a “trans-law” seminar here at the university. The purpose of the seminar was to talk about the unique legal difficulties facing trans-gendered persons in the workplace. Several students attended the seminar in order to earn extra credit for their sociology classes. I attended just for fun.

While I was at the seminar, a former law enforcement officer, who was dressed as a woman, explained, “sex is between the legs, while gender is between the ears.” She further explained that she felt like a woman on some days and that he felt like a man on others. In other words, he felt that she could become a member of a protected class whenever he wanted. That day he felt like a she.

That evening, I went home and did some research on the issue of sexual orientation. Specifically, I was curious as to the proper classification of someone who has a sex change (from man to woman) and then decides to continue to date women. Is such a person homosexual or heterosexual? I also wanted to know if I could ever become a member of a protected class because of what is “between my ears” as opposed to “between my legs.”

In order to answer these lofty intellectual questions, I logged on to the “project B-GLAD” portion of our university website. Specifically, I looked at the “trans-gender” section of the recommended reading list. The “trans-gender” section is right below the “spirituality” section and just above the “youth” section. (The link can also be used to access one of the sources Justice Kennedy used to write his opinion in Lawrence v. Texas. I never realized Kennedy was so cerebral).

While I was doing my research something strange happened. I guess you could say I had an epiphany. After all these years of thinking I was just a white male heterosexual Protestant Republican, I realized I was wrong. I’m really a lesbian trapped inside a man’s body.

Naturally, I was concerned that when I revealed this to my girlfriend, she would be alarmed. I even thought it might end our relationship. But that wasn’t so. When I told her about my condition, she came back with this stunning revelation: She’s really a gay man trapped inside a woman’s body. It seems we really were meant for each other!

So now you know my secret. If the university tries to fire me for my conservative views, I will reveal my Lesbian In a Man’s Body Orientation (LIMBO). Then I will argue that my conservative views are caused by my gender identity confusion. If they happen to be oblivious to the status of LIMBOs, I will just go ahead and get a sex change along with my girlfriend (I hope cosmetic surgeons offer “two for one” specials). Certainly, they will decide to keep me if I actually become trans-gendered. And if I don’t feel like being a woman anymore, I will simply change back to being a man. Hopefully, trans-trans- gendered persons will have the respect they deserve by the time I have my second surgery.

I hope these new revelations do not overwhelm my readers. I also hope that I haven’t used any politically incorrect terminology in explaining my dilemma. If I find out that have, I will enroll in the new “Queer Theory” course (no, I am not making this up) being offered next semester in the Sociology Department.

And maybe the new course in “Queer Theory” will help me answer some other questions. For example, when did it become politically correct to use the term “queer?” And why do we need “queer theories” if sexual orientation is genetically determined? Finally, does anyone in the class want to be seen as an individual?

Inherit the Windfall

Bryan College is rapidly becoming Christian in name only. In fact, it is arguably the most corrupt institution of higher learning in America. Because the financial corruption of the administration has now reached unprecedented proportions, I must take a break from addressing the moral rot on our nation’s secular campuses to address the situation. To do otherwise would be an act of complicity in the spineless hypocrisy that has transformed Bryan into a ghastly caricature of its former self.

The present crisis dates back to 2009 when one of the founders of the National Association of Christian Athletes (NACA) was accused of sexual molestation. A proposal was made to sell a property owned by NACA, which is known as the Fort Bluff Camp, for an amount of $2.5 million. This would have covered NACA’s debt at the time, which was $900,000. Thus, it would have left them $1.6 million in the black. This is where Bryan College President Stephen Livesay gets involved. This is also where the gross financial misconduct begins.

Livesay managed to defeat the proposal to sell the land with an alternate proposal to get rid of the then-existing 13-member NACA Board. Livesay proposed a new 15-member NACA Board be put in its place. Elevating audacity to a Zen art form, Livesay suggested the following composition for the new NACA Board: Nine new members from the Bryan College Board and six members from the existing NACA Board. Unbelievably, Livesay proposed that he would be the one to choose all 15 members.

The proposal was accepted and Livesay was elected Chairman of the Board. It was a political move that even a third world dictator or a mafia boss would envy. In other words, it was the kind of move that no decent Christian man would even attempt. Worse, the rigged 15-member Board would ultimately dwindle to just seven members. The reasons for that will be obvious as the story unfolds.

By 2016, the NACA Board had been reduced to nothing more than a hand puppet of the Bryan College president. By June 27, they had adopted a resolution to transfer the Fort Bluff property from NACA to none other than Bryan College. Five of the seven remaining members of the NACA Board were staff or Trustees of Bryan when the property was transferred to the college. It was a bulletproof plan with only one opponent. That is a nice way of saying that only one member of the NACA Board exercised an ounce of Christian discernment in the situation. (He has since resigned leaving both NACA and Bryan leadership without anything resembling a Christian moral foundation).

Because President Livesay defeated the 2009 sale of Fort Bluff, NACA had already lost $1.6 million. Bryan College, on the other hand, received the property in 2016 with an appraisal of $6.9 million – with the lone drawback that they had assumed the $900,000 debt of NACA. In other words, the thwarted deal of 2009 that cost NACA $1.6 million set up a deal for Bryan that would net $6 million. It was pure genius by Livesay.

To make matters worse for NACA, the Bryan leadership set up a one-year lease of its newly acquired property to NACA. Now, they pay $120,000 per year to Bryan to rent property they used to own. The warden in Shawshank Redemption could not have cut a better deal.

Just eight days before the land deal came through Livesay was confronted about his conflict of interest, which he denied. Instead, he asserted that he had been asked by the previous owners of the property (Michael and Naomi Crain) to give the property to Bryan College. By the time the deal occurred, Michael Crain was in prison for sexual battery. But Naomi Crain was doing fine. She was getting a $4,000 monthly check from Bryan College as a “consultant.” Her “consulting” actually drew more money than the director of the camp. The line was hidden in Bryan’s 2015 budget under “interest and fees.”

For giving President Livesay cover for the land deal, Naomi Crain got a nice retirement pension from Bryan College. In return, Bryan College got a nice property with a big mansion sitting on top of it. It would be the perfect retirement home for an educator who has spent his whole life serving Christ above all.

Fortunately, all NACA Board members have to sign IRS Form 990, which is used to disclose actual or potential conflicts of interest – and to prevent organizations from abusing their tax-exempt status. In fact, the Board signed Conflict of Interest Statements on June 10, 2016 – just one day after Livesay was confronted about his obvious conflict of interest, which he denied.

To be fair, it is true that Livesay finally acknowledged his conflict and resigned from the NACA Board. But that did not occur until after the land deal was completed. In fact, he left NACA the very next day after the land transaction was approved.

NACA financial statements were released six months after Livesay abandoned the organization with their property secured for his college. The statement revealed a NACA deficit of $1.64 million. In contrast, Bryan College finished their fiscal year with a positive increase in assets of $5 million. But for the property transfer, they would have been $1 million in debt.

As of this writing, Naomi Crain continues to get her monthly “consulting” fee. President Livesay continues to get glowing reviews from his fine Christian Board. But there are not enough desperate wives of convicted sex offenders to save Bryan College from impending financial ruin.

Three Kinds of People

When I was growing up my father used to say there were two kinds of people in this world. When I would ask him “What time is it?” he would say “There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who ask what time it is and those who wear watches.” He had so many variations on the theme that I eventually decided there really were two kinds of people in this world: Those who dichotomize and those who do not.

But, later, with the help of Lt. Col. David Grossman, I decided there are three kinds of people in this world: Sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs.

The sheep form the largest segment of our society. According to Grossman, these are the people who are living in a constant state of denial. They are generally incapable of doing violence to another person and largely unaware of the existence of evil in this world – the true evil which is, thankfully, confined to a minority of the population.

The classic sheep mentality was demonstrated to me on September 12, 2001, which was, of course, the day after the worst terrorist attack in this country’s history – though certainly not the worst we will see in the coming years.

This sheep – unsurprisingly one with a PhD in the so-called “social sciences” – approached me with a request: “Hey, Mike, is there any chance you have a spare gun I could borrow for awhile?” To understand the significance of this quote one has to know something about the sheep that uttered it; namely, that he was adamantly anti-military and anti-gun on September 10, 2001.

However, in the first few hours (maybe few dozen hours) after 911 the sheep panicked. He was worried that the transportation system and banking system would be shut down indefinitely. And he knew there were crack and heroin addicts living in the vicinity of his neighborhood.

But when order was restored in this country – admittedly, faster than both he and I expected – he calmed back down. He hasn’t put a hand on a weapon in the nearly sixteen years since our conversation. He is back in a state of denial where he feels most comfortable.

But there are others among us who are fully aware of the existence of another class of persons we will call the “wolves.” These people are sociopaths who prey upon the sheep and wish to do them evil. My awareness of the existence of these people led to another noteworthy conversation on the evening of August 31st, 2001.

Shortly after purchasing a new car, I stopped by Wal-Mart to get some cleaning accessories and, as usual, picked up a few hundred rounds of ammunition. My girlfriend was waiting for me at the condo and spoke to me as I stored the ammo in my gun safe – the only one I had at the time. That was the first time she got a glimpse at my numerous weapons and the thousands of rounds of ammunition that accompany them.

“How many guns do you have?” she asked. I told her. “And how many thousands of rounds of ammunition do you have?” she then asked. I told her that, too – although you may rest assured that I wouldn’t tell the reader or the ATF, which, in my opinion, should be a convenience store and not a federal agency.

My girlfriend was so alarmed that later at dinner with her parents she mentioned our conversation. I don’t know whether she told them about how I warned her of the existence of the Islamic wolves who would some day release an atomic device in our country in the name of Islam. Nor do I know whether she told them about the domestic wolves I also warned her about. These are the folks whose withdrawal from addictive drugs in the wake of the chaos following a nuclear explosion would lead them to prey upon the sheep not prepared with gun safes that look a lot like mine.

But I do know that she apologized the following month. When the second tower fell, she knew who was responsible. She knew I was not just crying “wolf.” More importantly, she realized that I was a member of the third class of people: the sheepdogs.

Sheepdogs, unlike sheep, are fully prepared to kill other human beings. But, unlike the wolves, they do so in order to protect those whom they love – who, for the most part, are unable to fend for themselves. Their willingness to kill is a function of their love for their fellow citizens.

There are many people who find it odd that I shoot firearms on an almost daily basis with other sheepdogs including my good friend and occasional bodyguard. They would certainly find it odd that we compare notes over who fired the most shots through the same hole in the head of an Osama Bin Laden target. And, needless to say, they would certainly not understand why I kill literally hundreds of live animals per year (usually small varmints) in order to perfect my skills in hitting targets that actually move.

But the wolves are still out there and we do not know when they will attack. But they will. And, for most of you, the sheepdog is your best and only hope.

The Intellectual Poverty Law Center

Author’s Note: I made a prediction in this 2014 column, which just came true this week. SPLC has now called ADF a “hate group.”

When I was a graduate student, I had great admiration for the Southern Poverty Law Center. In 1989, I took a graduate seminar in race relations and learned all about how the SPLC helped shut down the KKK in the South – thus expediting the end of the practice of lynching. Because of their hard work, the targeted murder of blacks is currently confined to abortion clinics funded by leftist organizations yet to be defined as “hate groups.”

Sadly, the once-great SPLC has abandoned its focus on fighting groups that terrorize the black community. Otherwise, they would be doing something about Planned Parenthood. Instead, the SPLC has turned its efforts towards promoting intellectual terrorism against all opponents of the American Left. Now, virtually everyone who disagrees with SPLC politics is branded a hate group and lumped together with groups like the KKK.

Recently, I learned that the now out of control SPLC has characterized the Alliance Defending Freedom as an anti-gay group, which means they are gearing up to attack and label them a full blown hate group. They already call them an “anti-gay” group.

Their reason for the characterization was simply that the ADF opposes efforts of the LGBT community to impose its agenda on those who disagree with them for religious reasons. Some examples of ADF activism in this area follow:

Representing Bakers. The ADF has represented bakers who have refused to bake cakes for homosexual “wedding” ceremonies. The SPLC has a problem with this – suggesting that siding with the bakers constitutes anti-gay bigotry. In fact, they liken it to the mid-20th Century practice of denying blacks seats at counters in segregated cafes. This is a poor analogy, indeed. In fact, the SPLC position is morally consistent with saying that a black baker should be forced to bake cakes for a fundraising dinner for a white supremacist group. Of course, the moral inconsistency is a reflection of the fact that SPLC is dedicated to identity politics, not to principles of freedom of association and freedom of conscience.

Representing Photographers. ADF has also defended photographers who refuse to photograph homosexual “weddings.” This was also seen as hateful by the SPLC. Imagine what the SPLC would do if a black photographer had been forced to take pictures at a Klan rally. Would the SPLC defend the photographer or the Klansmen?

Representing Christian Student Organizations. You don’t really have to rely on a Klan hypothetical when trying to expose SPLC hypocrisy on the issue of freedom of association. Back in the 1950s, Klansmen really did try to join the NAACP in order to destroy them by changing their statements of belief.

Now, homosexual activists have stolen the old Klan tactic and used it on campus Christian organizations. And the SPLC is right there cheering them on!

Now that some of the Christian groups have gone to the ADF for protection against these Klan- inspired tactics, the SPLC has come out against the ADF – even characterizing their efforts to defend Christian group autonomy as part of a “sharp record of anti-gay bigotry.” Switching back to hypothetical mode, imagine that the ADF decided to defend the NAACP from Klansmen seeking to invade the group and change their belief structure. Would ADF be guilty of establishing a “sharp record of anti-Klan bigotry”?

Indeed, highlighting SPLC hypocrisy is like shooting fish in a barrel because the organization has no consistent set of moral principles. That is, unless you characterize defending Leftists no matter what they do as a “moral principal.”

Truth be told, the SPLC has become much less of a defensive organization in recent years. These days, they seem to remain on the offensive with this tired business of stigmatizing groups that hold fairly mainstream views as “hate groups.” Examples include the American Family Association (AFA), the Family Research Council (FRC), and World Net Daily

It is worth asking what Martin Luther King would think about the AFA or FRC if he were alive today. Would he brazenly lump them together with the KKK and the Aryan Nation? Of course he wouldn’t. In fact, King would probably be among their financial supporters.

It takes real moral bankruptcy to fail to grasp the offensiveness of such brazen moral equivalence. One could only hope that the moral bankruptcy of the SPLC will lead to actual bankruptcy as donors wake up and turn away from the practice of subsidizing their blatant hypocrisy. Or maybe members of the ADF could invade the group and reorganize the SPLCs core beliefs, thus making them consistent.

The core problem with the SPLC is that they simply don’t understand the definition of hate speech – the thing they so enthusiastically claim to be eradicating. In reality, hate speech is simply speech that liberals hate because they lack the intelligence required to offer a rebuttal.

Given that the SPLC hates an increasing amount of main stream speech, it is hard to avoid characterizing them as a hate group. Their battle against hate groups would best be advanced by closing their own doors and throwing a giant going out of business party. If they ever do, I will be there to take pictures and bake them a cake.

Please, don’t laugh. Queerer things have happened before.

Vigilante Rape As Social Justice

A group of self-proclaimed feminist scholars have published a collection of essays exploring themes of violence and retribution in Stieg Larsson’s millennium trilogy (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest). The essays, edited by UNCW Professor Donna King and Professor Carrie Smith, appear under the title Men Who Hate Women: And Women Who Kick Their Asses. A more accurate title might have been Feminists Who Promote Vigilante Anal Rape: And Leftist Universities that Promote Them.

It is difficult to imagine a more unusual subject for a set of scholarly essays. Those familiar with the plot of the Larsson Trilogy know that it centers on Lisbeth Salander, a feminist heroine who is sexually harassed by Bjurman, a lawyer and social worker. Early in the first movie, he makes her perform oral sex on him in exchange for a welfare check, which she needs desperately. Later, she hatches a plan for revenge against Bjurman. Things go downhill rapidly.

In the original revenge plot, Salander burglarizes Bjurman’s home in order to plant a hidden camera. She returns to perform oral sex on him again in exchange for another welfare check – only this time on hidden camera. This is done for the purpose of blackmailing him. But, predictably, the plan backfires. In fact, Bjurman binds and brutally rapes her in front of the hidden security camera. It is among the most graphic scenes of violence in the trilogy. But it isn’t the only one.

Later, Salander goes back to his home – again seeking extralegal revenge. This time, she handcuffs Bjurman. While he is handcuffed, she brutally sodomizes him with inanimate objects. Next, she tattoos “I am a sadistic pig and rapist” on his chest. Before leaving, she blackmails him with threats of putting the video of his rape of her online.

Before proceeding further, does anyone think we need an entire book exploring the question of whether such sadistic violence is empowering for women? Apparently, Vanderbilt University Press thought so. And editors Donna King and Carrie Smith seem to have been unable (or unwilling) to find a single scholar to condemn this brutal vigilantism as being immoral – or at least potentially bad for women.

In fairness, some of the feminist contributors to Men Who Hate Women seem ambivalent toward the movie’s vigilantism. But Professor Kristine De Welde endorses it wholeheartedly. That is to say, she deems the violence both legally and morally permissible. De Welde’s essay, “Kick ass feminism” actually reads more like the script of a reality TV show than a work of scholarship. For example, when De Welde discusses the reaction of one of Salander’s assault victims she notes that he “nearly shits himself.” When I found out De Welde had tenure, I had a similar reaction.

It is important to note that De Welde characterizes what happened to Bjurman as a rape. Jurisdictions are split on this matter. Some refer to forcible sodomy and/or sexual assault with inanimate objects as “felony sexual assault” and handle their prosecution under separate statutes. It is irrelevant here in North Carolina where the aggravating factors and punishment schemes are identical for both offenses. Nonetheless, as soon as De Welde admits it was a rape, she claims it was also an “act of self-defense.”

In her essay, De Welde also discusses another vigilante scene wherein Salander tried to kill her dad with an axe – first with a blow to the leg, then with a blow to the head. He survived the attack. That’s too bad, according to De Welde. She says it was merely self-defense. (By the way, her dad did not rape her. She just tried to kill him because he was abusive toward her mother when Lisbeth was a child.).

It is important to understand that De Welde is not saying that these acts ought to be self-defense. She’s saying they are self-defense. That is simply wrong for three reasons:

1. In order to have a valid claim of self-defense, she must experience reasonable fear at the time she engages in the act for which she is claiming self-defense. Lisbeth isn’t in fear when she rapes, tortures, and brands Bjurman. She is experiencing orgiastic ecstasy.

2. In addition to proving that she is experiencing fear, she must show that the outcome feared is imminent. As stated above, she fears nothing – certainly not the rape that already occurred.

3. Those claiming self-defense must show that the act of defense was proportionate to the attack. Although she rapes Bjurman in response to her rape of him, it is irrelevant. She’s already lost her claim of self-defense for the above stated reasons.

Turning to the attack on her father, which De Welde also calls self-defense, amplifies the incompetence of De Welde’s legal analysis. Salander tried to murder him in response to anger at generalized abuse toward another individual. It is simply bizarre that De Welde would attempt to stretch the law to excuse such a disproportionate and belated response.

De Welde finishes her essay attempting to sanitize her position on gender-based vigilantism: “I argue here that feminism can benefit from more fully incorporating women’s physical aggression as a way of challenging men’s domination and women can benefit from seeing physical resistance as a possibility.”

Actually, De Welde doesn’t argue that position. In fact, she doesn’t argue any position. She asserts a position. The difference between an assertion and an argument is evidence. And that is what she is lacking. Although she is a tenured sociology professor, she provides no social data in her essay. Vigilantism does not work in fiction. And there is no evidence that it works in reality.

Donna King and Carrie Smith should be ashamed of themselves for presenting De Welde’s sickening anti-male screed as an example of “feminist scholarship.” In the process, they lend endorsement to anal rape as a form of social justice. They also brand themselves as sadistic pigs in the process.