Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Brooklyn Tea Party

I have great hopes for the Brooklyn Tea Party. On April 15th, New York City had a very large Tea Party protest in Manhattan. I got there early to participate as a Marshall. The police had provided us two large block-long rectangular cages in which we were allowed to protest. And, the front cage was only about 1/3rd full when the Staten Island Tea Party showed up.

Before teaching at Staten Island University I never realized how difficult transportation to Staten Island is. And so the Staten Island group had rented their own buses. And, they came, and they came, and they came in droves. Overcoming the great distance from Staten Island to Manhattan, they filled the rest of the cage I was stationed in and a third of the other. For the longest time my organizing plea fell short, “Are you from Brooklyn? Take a flier, help form the Brooklyn Tea Party.” “No.” they’d say proudly, ‘Staten Island!”

My reaction to my rejection was elation. Staten Island had organized legions. In trying to organize the Brooklyn Tea Party, I had spoken to their President. Frank Stantarpia, on the phone. He told me that organizing the party was not so hard. A website that could capture email addresses did most of the work. They have 1200 members, they send out email announcements, and many subsequently come to meetings. Give people a place, time and date, Frank Told me, and they will come.

Furthermore, Frank confirmed that he had had success doing what I was hoping the Brooklyn Tea Party would do. They had held politicians accountable. In local New York politics machines take voters for granted. And, perhaps as a result, not that many people vote. Being able to mobilize forty patriots on the weekend during the election cycle gets you a lot of play. Politicians came to his group for endorsements and help and did not get either without good records and promises of better ones. They had made great strides in taking the party back from the machine.

And, by sheer numbers, pounding keys, pounding pavement, and attending meetings, the Brooklyn Tea Party can and will influence politicians in Brooklyn. We can give the Democratic majority a run for their money. We can make them compromise with us for a change. We can hold Republican’s feet to the fire. And we, the people, can steal seats. Frank told me his group had greatly changed the voting records and tone in Staten Island and that this had reverberated in State politics and above. As I saw the relentless flow of Staten Island Tea Party members roll off the bus it confirmed that we can get our borough and nation back on track. And so, dear reader, can you.

Dr. John Kenneth Press is the President of the Brooklyn Tea Party and the author of Culturism: A Word, A Value, Our Future. has more information about culturism. Search for the Brooklyn Tea Party on facebook. Join today!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Culturist Policies are Needed to Keep England Alive and Well

Today the British Department of Health announced that it would loosen hygiene rules for Muslim and Sikh doctors and nurses. From now on Muslim female staff will not need to wash their hands before procedures as it compromises their modesty. Instead they will have the admittedly less sanitary option of wearing disposable plastic over-sleeves.

Acknowledging the danger of microbes and death, a Department of Health spokesman said, "The guidance is intended to . . . balance infection control measures with cultural beliefs." But, believe it or not, from a culturist perspective, the death of some patients is not the main cause for concern that this policy elicits.

The most dangerous problem is that this policy encodes multiculturalism not culturism. Whereas culturism acknowledges that England has a majority culture to protect and promote, this multiculturalist policy implicitly says that England has no core culture. It says that the nation can be whatever pressure groups decide it is. It, therefore, officially ends the dominance of English culture in England. This is very dangerous.

If you think this hyperbole, consider its potential impact on schools. If we are going to implement policies that recognize and give legal standing to balkanize our culture, we must think it through. This legal precedent may require us to set up schools in which Islamic teachings are taught. If that seems extreme, keep in mind that multiculturalism has currently made it nearly a firing offense to criticize Islam in our schools.

When we encode multiculturalist school policy, we have a recursive loop of disaster. When we cannot criticize Islam, we cannot teach that much of western history has been about fighting Islam. We must erase the concept that our defending Europe against Islamic invasion was a boon for the West that led the way to the Enlightenment and, ultimately, our political freedoms. And when our school children are taught not to value our western culture, they will not feel any sense of pride, have reasons for the civic virtues that make England strong, or a desire to protect their homeland.

Islam has been at war with the West nearly continuously since its inception. Wherever it takes over it imposes a ruthless theocracy that smothers the freedoms we hold dear. We cannot protect the West with policies that say Islam is just as great and English as Christianity and rights. Culture is not metaphysical. It exists in space and people. Everywhere Islam has legal standing and is practiced is a space where English culture does not exist and is not practiced. It means the territory defending western values has shrunk and that believing in Islamic values has grown. The hospitals are now becoming Islamic.

England has a culture. To survive England must set up culturist policy that affirms that this is English land with western practices. We must tell people that our schools will teach the glories of the European defense against Islam and the contribution philosophers such as John Locke made to creating the western concept of rights. Our streets must not become areas where women must conform to Muslim customs. Just as Saudi Arabia has an Islamic culture and protects it, England has a culture and a right to protect it. To survive, England must enact culturist policies, not multiculturalist policies.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Conservatism is the New Progressivism

The first chapter of Mr. Ted Honderich’s 2005 book Conservatism: Burke, Nozick, Bush, Blair? floats several meanings of the term ‘conservatism.’ He proposes each tentatively and then shoots them down. Charmingly conveying his argument in the form of an honest inquiry, Honderich problematizes the concept of conservatism in order that we might become surer of its meaning. This article will use the same method to clarify culturism’s position within the conservative world. And, in doing so it will show that Honderich fails to note convervatism’s being oriented towards the future.

In his very thoughtful inquiry Honderich questions what the mission to conserve traditions implied in the word conservatism entails. One problem concerns how far back the proposed time period conservation seeks to maintain lays. Does conservativism require we reinstall the West’s old distinction between nobles and commoners? Then again, after how long does a feature become a tradition? Fifty years after the implementation of Obama’s health care legislation will it become a tradition conservatives will seek to preserve? Honderich casts about for a method of distinguishing the nature of values beyond their age.

Honderich’s inquiry reviews Edmund Burke’s foundational book Reflections on the Revolution in France. Written while the French revolution was underway, Burke contrasted change and reform. In the age of Obama, it was refreshing to remember Burke’s attack on change. The agenda of change, in Burke’s usage, sweeps away too much of the past in the name of the new, whereas reform conserves much of the past as it improves society. As Burke predicted the French Revolution became a nightmare because it tore up all of the relationships that helped stabilize society.

But the author then honestly interrogates Burke’s concept of reform. He asks if some self-proclaimed fiscal conservatives’ efforts to get rid of government programs constitute change? Casting out programs such as welfare would mean a radical disjunction with present policies. Both Reagan and Thatcher brought on great changes. And, if this, again, constitutes a return to the 1900s, do we not want to acknowledge some progress, some change that has happened since then that is worth adopting? Thus Honderich finds the facile definition of conservative as one who wants to conserve traditions to be inadequate. The culturist answer to his problem would come from noting the future orientation of our past.

The West, ironically, has a long- standing, even ancient, tradition of being progressive. That is our past has traditionally aimed at creating a better tomorrow. Our very history shows a struggle towards ever more progressive values. We have struggled against the odds to reignite Athens’s view that men can self-govern. The West has vindicated the right of men to dissent. We have embraced the goal of women’s rights and the separation of church and state. To support our civilization, to guard it by conserving its cultural and economic foundations, is to protect progressivism in the world. It is to conserve the past in the name of passing “the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”

Being appreciative and protective of our progressive culture requires that we once again adopt the traditional Western civilization narrative wherein America stands as a light unto nations. We must look back with pride upon our progressive history. Conservatives have not fought the textbook wars in order to bring us back to a repressive golden age. They have done so to sustain the only progressive civilization on earth. In a world full of Jihadis, preserving America means preserving progressive values such as the separation of church and state. In a world where China is ascendant, protecting America means allowing freedom in a non-racist state that believes in freedom of speech and individual rights to survive.

Those who recognize that liberty is always under attack know that conservatism is the new progressivism. Multiculturalists look upon the Old World and tradition worshipping cultures with rose-colored glasses. They dream of a world where tradition locks men into their station within a stagnant community. But, worshipping the past blindly, looking with favor on nations that are not increasingly exulting the capacities of individuals, falls outside of our traditions. Western culturists affirm western culture. And they seek to distinguish liberty from license as the Greeks, Romans, Puritans, and Founding Fathers did. But that celebration of the heroic duty-bound past gets embraced with a view to securing our liberties. The West likes the new and improved. We locate our hopes in the future.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Rally for Nigerian Christians in NYC – April 7th, 2010

On March 8th, Muslims in Nigeria killed 500 Christians near the city of Jos and no arrests were made. On April 7th, approximately 50 of us gathered in NYC to pressure President Obama to bring attention to the worldwide attacks on Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and Infidels by Muslims in general, and the attacks in Nigeria in particular.

Bill Donahue of the Catholic League explained that the killings in Nigeria started when a woman walked past a mosque on a Friday when men were praying. The North of Nigeria is ruled by Muslims. The South has a largely Christian population. Jos, where the attacks happened, lays in the middle. The woman’s crime was the trigger, but JIhadi’s desire for Islamic dominance was the fuel.

A Nigerian woman from Jos at the demonstration privately validated this story to me. She said that the Muslims came in the area and were welcomed as they seemed to be just another group. After their numbers were significant the bullying of the Christian population began. She herself had been beaten for crossing the path of prayers. She wouldn’t speak to the crowd because the Muslims in would kill her family back in Nigeria. In the program, the Nigerian Reverend John Okur Okan noted that Catholics do not kill those who disrupt their prayers.

The most obvious characteristic of this gathering was its international make up. The first speaker I saw was Narain Kataria of the Indian American Intellectuals Forum. He told of being hounded out of his part of India when it became Pakistan. Ashraf Ramdah told how the Copts in Egypt were given the choice of paying special taxes, converting or dying. He warned that if we were not rich, we would be in big trouble. A white woman told of how post-911 the Jihad has been infiltrating America. The variety pointed to the fact that the Nigerians were not engaged in an isolated case of sectarian clashes, but part of a 1400 year long jihad against infidels of all stripes.

The crowd’s two chants were “Help Them Now” and “Stop Sharia, Stop it now.” The rally took place in front of the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations. The idea being to get the U.N. to spend as much attention on Nigeria as it does on Israel. Another hope was that Obama would pressure the Nigerian President to prosecute just one person involved with the massacre and provide protection to Nigeria’s Christians. The crowd wanted America to wake up. That would require that we recognize the global nature of Jihad that this rally represented so well. That would require that we all shine the spot light on massacres such as the one that claimed 500 lives in Jos Nigeria.