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A Teacher’s Search for Gold in Los Angeles, California: A Memoir

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“Los Angeles gives one the feeling of the future more strongly than any city I know of.  A bad future, too, like something out of Fritz Lang’s feeble imagination.”  —Henry Miller

“I wrote Fahrenheit 451 not to predict the future, but to prevent it.”  —Ray Bradbury

California Gold: 150 Years Later

In 1998, I decided to move to the West, in search of California gold—a win at the time, since I gained a large pay raise and easy participation in healthy outdoor activities in so doing.  I remained in Los Angeles and its environs until 2016, before moving back to Texas for good.  The first half of my time in L.A. could be symbolized by nine fat cows, although the proper token for the last half of my time there would have to be nine skinny cows devouring the first nine.

Trending: Calif. Gov. Newsom Bans Singing in Church Over Coronavirus Hysteria

Living in Los Angeles

One of the more interesting personal experiences that came about, as a result of my move to Los Angeles, was making the acquaintance of one of my free-speech heroes, Ray Bradbury, who turned out to be quite an accessible person—and one who had a soft spot for teachers.  Mr. Bradbury proved eager to meet with and talk to students, as well as to correspond with an educator who shared his deep and abiding concerns regarding the freedom of expression.

Interacting with Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury took an interest in helping special-needs students improve their story writing.  After receiving their short stories in the mail, Mr. Bradbury not only wrote the students back with encouraging comments, but he even met personally with them, subsequent to his regular book-signing routine, after having reserved them front-row seats for his library appearance in West Covina.  Mr. Bradbury listened to the students and praised them for their goodness and their thoughtfulness, while signing their books.

 

Bradbury, the author of Fahrenheit 451 , had this to say to the students: “Always write for yourself, first and foremost, because if you don’t like it, how is anyone else going to like it?  And always fight for the right to express yourself, for that is who you are; and if you can’t be yourself, who else is going to express those ideas that are uniquely yours to express?  Who else is going to be you?  And who do you get to be, if not yourself?”

 

Upon learning the students had heard Fahrenheit 451 read aloud, Mr. Bradbury told the students that, when he wrote it in 1953, he was not attempting to predict the future, but to prevent it.  I asked Mr. Bradbury if he thought there might ever be book-burnings in America.  “There is no need to burn any books,” he replied, “If you want to prevent people from learning what’s in the books, you just have to get people to stop reading them.”  I told Mr. Bradbury that, on several occasions, I had asked fellow teachers, in L.A., if they had seen a particular report on Fox News, only to have them reply that they would “never watch Fox News!”  Mr. Bradbury responded by saying, “Well, there you have it, then.  That’s what I’m talking about.  Self-censorship.”

 

Fahrenheit 451 & Self-Censorship in Today’s Dystopian California

What sets Fahrenheit 451 apart from other dystopian literature is that it is primarily about self-censorship.  The future Bradbury imagined, back in 1953, was one in which technology-addicted people are lulled into complacency by the technology-driven entertainments with which they constantly interact.  The result is people cocooned in safe spaces, unable to face, with any degree of tolerance, the harsh truths of reality without being triggered into full-blown meltdowns.

 

When Montag (whose job has been to burn books for a living) discovers, and tries to share, book-learned truths which threaten people’s feelings of safety—due to a lack of political correctness—he ends up provoking his wife into turning him in.  As a result, Montag’s books—indeed his entire house and all his belongings—are burned.  And Montag becomes a hunted thought criminal.

 

It is Professor Faber, Montag’s bookish mentor, who enlightens: “So now do you see why books are hated and feared?  They show the pores in the face of life.  The comfortable people want only wax moon faces, poreless, hairless, expressionless.”  This disheartening willingness of Bradbury’s politically-correct characters towards self-censorship for the sake of comfort puts a chilling effect into play.  Entire areas of discussion are rendered off-limits.  And if a safe space is violated, the free-thinker who committed the violation becomes targeted for annihilation—which is not unlike California today, where speculative art meets real life, as the Berkeley-indoctrinated enemies of free speech violently attack free-thinkers, such as Milo Yiannopoulos and his supporters.

 

From Winning to Losing

Bradbury had seen the trend lines up close, so he tried to protect the California culture he loved—the L.A. of creative freedom that nurtured his writing career throughout his life.  Bradbury made it his duty to warn his readers, to attempt to prevent people from being made into mindless creatures so ready to accept anything they hear or read, uncritically, as being factual.

 

Were Bradbury, who died in 2012, alive today, he would be heartbroken by the extent to which free speech is being prohibited.  Victimization of the individual by agents of government oppression has been an ongoing theme throughout Bradbury’s work, from his short stories “The Pedestrian” and “Usher II” to Fahrenheit 451 and beyond.  Freedom of expression is now verboten on most of California’s university campuses, and violence threatens all who oppose the ban, now that Californians find themselves increasingly in favor of speech codes and safe spaces.

 

A Bright Spot, Amid California’s Growing Darkness: Writing to Enlighten

I had always desired to write, and, of course, Ray Bradbury egged me on—just as he had the students.  “Write,” he had said.  “Just be sure that you are being true to yourself.  Listen to, and obey, your Muse.”  So, I started blogging, and, eventually, on August 5, 2014, I saw my first article published by Eagle Rising.   I was encouraged to submit my article about a pro-Israel rally in L.A., since the Democrat-aligned media had ignored the event.  My editor, Onan Coca, chose to name the article “Evil Anti-Semites Attack in Los Angeles!”

 

One day, Onan contacted me with a sense of urgency, advising me to turn on Fox News.  I did so and was astonished to find that Larry Kudlow was discussing a piece I had posted on July 28, 2015, entitled “Is President Kennedy Now a Conservative Republican?”.  The article became immensely popular and was reposted on countless web sites, its main idea often being referred to as “Dowling’s Dilemma.”  (My editor, Onan Coca, saw fit to repost the article on April 11, 2016, after over 40,000 shares of the original posting onto social media.)

Taxes & the War on Business in California

I remember having conversations with colleagues in the L.A. schools, in which I suggested that, for teachers to receive a sustainable pay raise, the state should cut taxes to stimulate economic growth, in order to spur an increase in tax collections.  Most California educators with whom I spoke, however, were clueless when it came to economics and the need for tax cuts.  In California, a bigger and more expensive tax-and-spend government is always the solution, and no problem-solving-with-the-most-freedom-possible is ever proposed anymore—economically or otherwise.

 

After nine years of working for the L.A. schools without a pay increase, the teachers’ union finally negotiated one, to be phased in during the 2015-2016 school year—the same year I would ultimately decide to return to Texas.  While there were multiple reasons for leaving California, some personal and others professional, it did not help that taxes continued to rise far beyond the help being offered by an 8% pay increase.

 

On April Fools Day of 2015, gasoline prices went up by a dollar per gallon—overnight!  Of course, the Democrat-aligned media blamed the oil companies, knowing most Californians would gladly believe whatever socialist propaganda was fed them.  The Myth of the Evil, Capitalist Oil Company is popular among the people of California, who refuse to see corporations and the people who work for them as complex, caring, and human.

 

The real reason for the spike in gas prices was SB 1156, a California tax law to spur into action the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.  The wording of the tax bill reads like this: “Effective January 1, 2015, a carbon tax of ____ dollars ($____) per ton of carbon-dioxide-equivalent emissions shall be levied in this state. The tax shall be imposed on suppliers of fossil fuels.”  Alarmingly, the law does not set an exact dollar amount, leaving it for money-hungry bureaucrats at the State Air Resources Board, ultimately, to determine.  It took only a few months, before the impact on pricing showed up at the pump.  But anyone who pointed out the facts of what had actually transpired was shouted down.  Even my fellow teachers would engage in judgmental and prejudicial commentary, whenever the facts were brought up, saying things like “That’s not true” or “What are you, some right-wing nut job?”

 

Bigoted and unenlightened teachers would just refuse to hear or read the truth, even if the source was a California government web site.  Many educated teachers do exist in California, but, since it is often dangerous to speak up for the truth, most enlightened individuals choose to keep quiet.  The threat is that one’s car might be keyed, one’s reputation might be impugned, or one’s person might be violated.  I was starting to feel the way Guy Montag must have felt—at odds with coworkers, whose pleasure it was to censor others.  Unlike Montag, I had never actually been a “book burner” myself; yet, in L.A. schools, I was beginning to feel that I was surrounded by them.

 

The Final Tipping Point: California’s Overweening Empowerment of Criminals

Learning of California’s un-Constitutional plan to expand gun confiscations demonstrated the need for a timely escape from L.A., due to safety concerns with regard to protecting innocent life at home.  It became apparent, due to the reporting of AWR Hawkins at Breitbart News , just before the start of 2016, that the right to self-defense would become increasingly imperiled in California.  This would be bad, even for non-gun-owners who normally experienced a Free Rider Effect by living in neighborhoods where gun ownership was common.  Those neighborhoods, customarily shunned by lawbreakers in order to avoid the risk of being shot, were about to suffer increases in home invasions, as gun owners began to flee California.  Life was about to become more precarious, for gun owner and non-gun owner alike.

 

L.A. Police Chief Beck enthusiastically embraced the new California Gun Confiscation Guidelines, and, by March, the City of Angels was reporting that the murder rate had already risen 27.5% in 2016, compared to the same time period one year earlier.  Although other personal reasons had come into play for moving, the debasement of the Second Amendment, followed by the predictable rise in crime, left no question that it was time to make a graceful exit from the state, ultimately and irrevocably tipping the balance in favor of that outcome.

 

Just being a Constitutional Conservative, who believes in freedom and individual rights, makes it a dangerous proposition to teach in a state that continues to slide towards totalitarianism.  The more out of step a teacher becomes with his peers, the harder it becomes for him to hide his beliefs and biases.  California, collectively speaking, is no longer a freedom-loving state.  The mob rules, and the political dissenter must hush or risk violence, at work or at home.

 

The Tea Party

By the end of 2012, the aforementioned tipping point was well within sight, since the State of California had taken in 35.4% of all the nation’s welfare recipients, according to CNS News.  With the immense amount of debt the state has taken on, the overtaxation of businesses (which is driving many of them out of the state altogether, taking with them the tax base for teacher pay), presents a huge economic risk.  The State of California is less like a House of Cards and more like a game of Jenga.  A skilled player of Jenga can prolong the inevitable collapse of a structure by slowly and skillfully removing pieces and adding those pieces to the top of the selfsame structure, to build it higher.  (To see how Jenga is played, click here)

Seeing how California’s economy resembled a game of Jenga, and believing the state’s solution of overtaxation to be immoral in the burdens it unfairly imposes, one of the actions I took while living in L.A. was to join the local Tea Party, an educational group devoted to these core principles: 1) Constitutionally-Limited Government, 2) Free Markets, and 3) Fiscal Responsibility.  Eventually, I would speak for the Colorado River Tea Party Patriots in Bullhead City, Arizona, as well as for my local group in the San Fernando Valley.  The leader of the San Fernando Valley Patriots, Karen Kenney—now nationally known for her testimony before Congress concerning the IRS’s targeting of Tea Party groups was gracious enough to schedule me to speak on several occasions, on the topic of the founding principles upon which the Constitution was based.  Dr. Kenney’s leadership is important in keeping the ideals of the American founding alive in Southern California.

 

The Rise of Islamo-Fascism & Anti-Semitism

Also worth mentioning is the fact that anti-Semitism is on the increase in California, driven by the huge influx of doctrinaire Muslims into the population there.  According to their Koran and Hadith, Muslims are commanded to harm and to murder Jews and Christians.  Muslims differ in their level of observance, of course, and thus are not all dangerous, but the fact remains that a net increase in the Muslim population has the effect of also increasing the number of Jihadists.  Texas, on the other hand, provides a more secure setting in which to live Jewishly.  The Sharia Muslims and anti-religionists in California demonstrate a level of bigotry seldom seen in Texas, where people exercise more tolerance.

 

The Golden Rule, which is the basis of Judeo-Christian civilization, is rarely invoked in California nowadays.  Rather than seeking to create a level playing field, California chooses to nurture a politics of division that pits people against one another.  In California, a political world has been created where the truth no longer matters, and an increasing element of danger is on the rise for those who utilize their free speech rights.  California’s Secretary of State was Kamala Harris at the time I moved back to Texas.  Harris was actually threatening to jail “climate deniers”—accusing them of “fraud” in a clear abrogation of free speech rights.  Can you imagine living in a place where you might be arrested for stating your opinion on the weather?  Those running the government in California do not believe in freedom anymore, and, sadly, more disempowerment of the individual still awaits those living in the state.

 

Muslim student groups are persecuting Jews on campuses from UC San Diego to UC Davis, disrupting Jewish activities Brown-Shirt-style, and, in some cases, physically hurting them.  And other anti-Semitic activities are occurring.  For example, Kate Steinle’s picture has been taken down and trashed repeatedly across campuses, even at UC Berkeley.  Or should we be surprised by Berkeley’s current Brown-Shirt culture, in light of the recent riots against free speech there.

Voting with My Feet

In the end, I voted with my feet for more academic freedom, a more ethical worldview, and an appreciation of truth, rather than the indoctrination and mendacity which was—and is—so prevalent among California educators.  Gone is the culture of bullying and the potential for violence I was so often faced with in California, only because I did not agree with a majority that no longer supports individual rights.  And, although there were many good people and positive experiences I was blessed with, while living in L.A., I shall never forget the bitter lessons I learned there, nor the fool’s gold I discovered.

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Report: Schiff’s Staff Knew In February About Russian Bounties On American Soldiers

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House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff saw reports back in February that Russia was purportedly paying Taliban operatives to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan but took no action.

The Federalist reported that “multiple intelligence sources” told the publication that some members of Schiff’s staff “were briefed in February on intelligence about Russia offering the Taliban bounties in Afghanistan,” but that Schiff “took no action in response to the briefing.”

TDW:

A new report alleges that top committee staff for Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), were briefed in February about Russia offering the Taliban bounties to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan, but Schiff remained inactive vis-à-vis the issue. According to The Federalist’s Sean Davis and Mollie Hemingway, “multiple intelligence sources familiar with the briefing” said it occurred when a congressional delegation made a trip to Afghanistan in February.

Davis and Hemingway note that Schiff was asked on Tuesday if he knew about the Russia story before it was printed by The New York Times report, and Schiff answered, “I can’t comment on specifics.” They point out, “As chairman of the intelligence committee, Schiff had the authority to immediately brief the full committee and convene hearings on the matter. Schiff, however, did nothing. He did not brief his committee on the matter, nor did he brief the gang of 8, which consists of top congressional leadership in both chambers.”

Schiff has implied that President Trump did not have access to the full intelligence, saying, “You don’t deprive the President of the United States of information he needs to keep the troops safe because you don’t have it signed, sealed, and delivered… If the intelligence community had intel along the lines that is publicly reported … this is information I think would be negligent to keep from him.” More

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff needs to be removed from his position on the intelligence committee. The congressional trip that was not recorded into the record needs to be thoroughly investigated. Schiff is most likely the source to The New York Times and he needs to be held accountable.

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Culture

Rapper Blasts Black Lives Matter: ‘Not Our Movement,’ ‘Given To Us By George Soros’

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Rapper Blasts Black Lives Matter: ‘Not Our Movement,’ ‘Given To Us By George Soros’

Rapper Lord Jamar sparked controversy when he renounced the Black Lives Matter organization over its Marxist origins, alleging it was created by far-left philanthropist billionaire George Soros and saying it is robbing Black Americans of their own “organic movement.”

In a viral video, Lord Jamar said that he is not a “Black Lives Matter” supporter, saying the organization’s radical views that fall outside its original mission statement.

“I’m not a Black Lives Matter supporter,” Jamar said in an interview on SCUM.

“You’re not?” the interviewer asked in surprise.

“No, absolutely not,” responded Jamar. “Because it’s not our movement. This is a movement that was given to us by, you know, George Soros and his f***ing boys. Because they saw how things were going and they didn’t want to go back to the 60s to where we started having our own organic movements. That was a big f***ing problem for them. So let’s give the people a movement that we can control. We’ll provide them the leaders and all this type of s**t. That’s what black lives matter is.”

“Look at the leaders of Black Lives Matter,” he said. “These lesbian women who are trying to incorporate, you know, LG whatever the f*** the letters are, incorporate their concerns into black people’s concerns. Go to the website. Look it up.”

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Culture

Here We Go: Mass. County Allows Employees to Get Insurance for ‘Polyamorous’ Relationships

Somerville, Mass., will allow city employees to get taxpayer funded insurance if they are in a “polyamorous domestic partnership.”

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Last week, the city council of Somerville, Massachusetts, changed its rules to allow city employees to get taxpayer funded insurance even if they are in a “polyamorous domestic partnership.”

It appears that the June 29 ruling made Somerville the first government body to legitimize sexual couplings of three or more people.

The new rule altered the existing language in Somerville law covering marriages, eliminating the part referring to partnerships as “entities formed by two persons” to “entities formed by people,” according to the Somerville Journal.

According to the paper:

Ward 6 Councilor Lance Davis, who chairs the Legislative Matters committee that reviewed the ordinance, said this began by just wanting to draft an ordinance recognizing domestic partnerships. Somerville didn’t have one, and a constituent request moved the council to work with the city on an ordinance.

“During our initial conversations, a couple things jumped out,” said Davis. “The first draft required domestic partners to notify the city of any change of address, which struck me as not in line with what married folks have to do, and required that they reside together, which again struck me as something I’m not required to do as a married person, so we got rid of those provisions.”

Davis added that fellow councilor J. T. Scott reached out and said, “‘Why is this two?’ And I said, ‘I don’t have a good answer.’ I tripped over my words a bit, and played devil’s advocate, but I had no good reason. So, I pulled it out, went through quickly making whatever word changes necessary to make it not gendered or limited to two people.”
Davis piously added:

“I’ve consistently felt that when society and government tries to define what is or is not a family, we’ve historically done a very poor job of doing so,” said Davis. “It hasn’t gone well, and it’s not a business that government should be in, so that guided my thinking on this.”

In the U.S., “Coupling” and marriage was always about growing and stabilizing society.

Gay “marriage,” and “Polyamorous” groups do not do that. They do just the opposite.

This is just more evidence of the faster deterioration of the country.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

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BLM Protesters Heckle Cops As Working Class Illiterate Rubes – Calls Black Officer “Black Judas”

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BLM Protesters Heckle Cops As Working Class Illiterate Rubes – Calls Black Officer “Black Judas”

Black Lives Matter protesters at the NY CHAZ brag about their college educations and mock the police for being uneducated, working-class, illiterate rubes. They also call a black cop “black Judas” or race traitor.

Are these brainless idiots bragging about their college degrees? Now, that’s hilarious! Welders, plumbers, electricians are the smart ones. They have jobs and will make tons more money than these french fry chefs. Plus they don’t have to worry about their jobs being sent overseas.

These activists clearly exhibit a form of ‘group narcissism’ similar to racism. They think they are better than others of a different class. As long as fools keep electing Democrats they will suffer the consequences.

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Culture

California Schools No Longer Allowed To Suspend Elementary, Middle School Students For Disruptive Behavior

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California Schools No Longer Allowed To Suspend Elementary, Middle School Students For Disruptive Behavior

California schools can no longer suspend elementary, middle school students for their disruptive behavior.

“We want the teacher to be able to teach their class and not have disruptive students, but we also want to minimize these suspensions,” said the author of Senate Bill 419, Sen. Nancy Skinner, a Democrat from Berkeley. “The more a child is suspended, the more likely they are to do bad in school and just do bad overall.”

KTVU:

California’s elementary and middle schools will have to find an alternative to suspension when it comes to dealing with unruly students due to a new law that took effect Wednesday.

Beginning July 1, 2020, it will be illegal for public and charter school officials to suspend students for “willful defiance,” a broad category that includes disrupting class or willfully defying teachers.

California banned these types of suspensions for students up to third grade beginning in 2015. The law Newsom signed permanently bans these suspensions for grades four and five and temporarily restricts them for grades six through eight until 2025. More

Seeing as how many of the teachers in California are hardcore left-wing moonbats it’s nice to see that they’ll get to endure the direct results of some of their own liberal policies.

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DHS Deploys Special Federal Unit To Protect Monuments Over July 4 Weekend

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DHS Deploys Special Federal Unit To Protect Monuments Over July 4 Weekend

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is deploying special federal unit to protect monuments over July 4 weekend amid fears of vandalism.

“As we approach the July 4th holiday, I have directed the deployment and pre-positioning of Rapid Deployment Teams (RDT) across the country to respond to potential threats to facilities and property,” said DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf. “While the Department respects every American’s right to protest peacefully, violence and civil unrest will not be tolerated.”

Fox News:

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is deploying a special federal unit across the country for the July 4 weekend in order to protect federal monuments and statues from a possible fresh wave of vandalism.

“The upcoming July 4th holiday weekend has the potential for increased disruptive activity at specific locations across the country that could threaten our personnel and the Federal facilities and property they protect,” a soon-to-be-released memo penned by acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf, and obtained by Fox News, says. “DHS will be forward leaning in preparing to protect federal facilities and property.”

Rapid Deployment Teams (RDTs) from the Protecting American Communities Task Force (PACT), and consisting of law enforcement officers specially trained in areas such as crowd control and riot control, will be dispatched to Portland, Seattle and Washington D.C.

Additional RDTs will be dispatched regionally so that they can be flown into any other area within a few hours should unrest spark up in other cities across the U.S. More

It’s a shame that we are forced to protect our national monuments from mobs of thugs who only want to smash and destroy stuff. It’s worth noting, though, that every one of them is a Democrat.

If you want a long term cure for all of this liberal madness and insanity just vote for Donald Trump in November!

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Culture

Actor Terry Crews Has Had Enough of Black Lives Matter– It Should Become ‘Black Lives are Better’

Actor Terry Crews is catching flak again from the radical left for his desire to say every life matters.

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Actor Terry Crews is catching flak again from the radical left for his desire to say every life matters and his fear that blacks will suddenly starting thinking they are better than everyone else.

Several weeks ago, Crews got crosswise with the radical left when he said all lives matter and slammed the “gatekeepers” in black America that thought they had the right to say who is allowed to be black.

Early in June Crews tweeted, “Defeating White supremacy without White people creates Black supremacy. Equality is the truth. Like it or not, we are all in this together.”

He was calling for unity against racism. But that is not how the hatemongers and Black Lives Matter terrorists saw it. To them, Crews was saying just the opposite of what he was clearly saying.

A week later, he was still standing up for what he believes and reusing to bend a knee to the attackers.

Now, it looks like he’s gotten the radical left upset all over again.

On Tuesday, Crews tweeted, “If you are a child of God, you are my brother and sister,” he wrote. “I have family of every race, creed and ideology. We must ensure #blacklivesmatter doesn’t morph into #blacklivesbetter.”

As you can expect, Crews became a target once again.

Some of the attackers were prosaic but brutal:

  • It’s truly embarrassing how you keep displaying your poor reading comprehension and lack of critical thinking
  • Okay Terry just say you’re Candace Owens and go. Our lives “mattering” is the least we can demand and you’re always looking to make that a debate. You need help.
  • Coon
  • Licking massa’s balls can’t taste THAT good.
  • You and JK Rowling would make some pretty ignorant children.
  • You truly are worthless to us. White people can have you, especially since you love doing their work for them

Liberals are universally bad people.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

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