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The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Archive for December 18th, 2009

New York Leftists Spent Till They Ran Out of Other Peoples Money: Now Facing “Doomsday” Cuts as Consequences – UPDATE! Chicago Too!

Posted by iusbvision on December 18, 2009


New York Reels Over MTA Cuts, Buses, Subways, Student MetroCards Affected

Published : Wednesday, 16 Dec 2009, 12:00 PM EST


MYFOXNY.COM – The MTA board has approved its 2010 doomsday budget. It includes service cuts and could leave New York City children without free rides to their public schools if it is implemented.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the nation’s largest transportation agency, is facing a $383 million budget shortfall.

“Because the MTA’s transit system matters so much to New Yorkers, when $400 million is taken from the budget practically overnight you have to make the kinds of changes that have an enormous impact on people,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Jay Walder.


The new budget would have students start paying half fares in September 2010 and full fares in September 2011.

The MTA was recently socked with an extra $100 million in expenses after a New York State Court judge sided with the Transport Workers Union that guaranteed TWU workers 11 percent wage increases over the next three years.

The MTA plans to cut salaries for non-union employees by 10 percent.

Hearings will be scheduled In the coming weeks before a final vote on the cuts.

The Straphangers Campaign, an advocacy group, issued a statement saying, “Like the MTA hearings on service cuts last winter, we expect the hearings will be packed and vociferous, with parents, educators and students adding their concerns.  There are alternatives to propose.”

The MTA also plans to:

  • Discontinue W and Z subway routes; terminate G subway route at Court Street
  • Increase subway headways on weekends and early mornings; increase off-peak subway load guidelines
  • Adjust express bus service to reflect demand and eliminate low performing weekend express bus service
  • Discontinue and restructure local bus service on low-performing routes
  • Eliminate Rockaway-resident Cross Bay toll-rebate program
  • Reduce car consists and increase load standards
  • Reduce service on commuter railroads
  • Reduce Access-A-Ride service to meet ADA minimum standards.


CHICAGO (CBS) ― The City of Chicago will be shutting down early for the Christmas holiday, as part of Mayor Daley’s plan to save the cash-strapped city money.

City Hall, public libraries, health clinics and most other city offices will be closed on Christmas Eve as those city workers are being forced to take the day off without pay.

Posted in Chuck Norton, Corporatism, Economics 101, Government Gone Wild, Other Links | Leave a Comment »

British National Health Service maternity services in meltdown: understaffed wards are sinking into chaos

Posted by iusbvision on December 18, 2009

UK Daily Mail:

By Verena Burns

Clutching her husband’s hand and with agony and exhaustion etched on her face, a young woman struggled into a room in the maternity unit where I worked.

She was in the early stages of labour with her first baby, she was terrified, in excruciating pain and desperate for any crumb of support.

Helpless beside her, her overnight bag in his hand, her poor husband looked equally traumatised.

My heart went out to them. But I knew there was little I could do. With five other pregnant women to care for at the same time, all with hugely different and complex problems, I was rushed off my feet and didn’t have the time to look after her properly, to allay her fears or to hear about how she wanted the birth to unfold.

I longed to sit with this poor young woman, calm her and remind her gently to breathe deeply through each contraction.

Just half an hour of my time could have made all the difference. Instead, I put on my cheeriest smile and followed hospital procedure. ‘Would you like a painkiller?’ I asked.

Ten hours later, after she had been drugged to the eyeballs to dull the pain, I heard she’d given birth.

Her baby was healthy, but I knew I’d let her down.

As I watched her being wheeled into the ward, I felt eaten up with guilt. She’d effectively been ignored from the moment she turned up until the moment she gave birth.

Plonked on an antenatal ward until her time came, with no one to reassure her during what was most likely the most terrifying moment of her life.

No woman should have to give birth in these conditions  –  let alone in a modern hospital with professional staff at hand. 


During a typical 12-hour shift, I could be the sole midwife in charge of six women in the antenatal ward  –  some in early labour  –  or one of two qualified midwives running a postnatal ward with up to 32 women.

If I was in the delivery unit, I would assist in the births of up to three babies a shift.

Obviously, if there was a crisis during a woman’s labour  –  such as a sudden need for an emergency Caesarean  –  there was always a surgical team on call, and there would be an anaesthetist available to administer epidurals and so on.

But in terms of the normal care through labour, that was all down to the midwives.

Although we were under huge stress even back in 1995, current cutbacks mean fewer and fewer midwives are caring for more and more women.

No wonder new mothers are encouraged to leave hospital just hours after giving birth.

When I started in the mid-Nineties, there were 35,000 midwives working in Britain. A year or two ago, that number had fallen to 25,000, more than half of whom were part-time.

So, how bad did it get? Take one typical day I remember a few years ago. I found myself with up to six patients to look after at once and no back-up.

From the moment I stepped into the admissions ward, the area was crammed with women clamouring for attention.

Two women were in early labour. I longed to reassure them. But my stress levels rocketed when I saw the dramas that lay ahead.

Read more:

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Government Gone Wild, Health Law | 1 Comment »

Colorado Springs Crime Lab inflated the blood alcohol scores in 82 alleged drunk driving cases.

Posted by iusbvision on December 18, 2009

It’s not about safety, it’s about getting your money


At least eighty-two motorists in Colorado Springs, Colorado may have been falsely accused of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) based on unreliable blood test results. After double-checking its own work, the city’s Metro Crime Lab on Friday admitted that out of 1000 tests conducted since January, no fewer than eighty-two results were inflated above the driver’s true blood alcohol content. More incorrect readings could be discovered as re-testing continues.

“All of these samples are being re-analyzed by a senior forensic chemist and the Metro Crime Lab is issuing amended lab reports with the corrected results to the involved criminal justice entities,” a city press release explained. “The Metro Crime Lab has initiated a formal corrective action plan, and continues to investigate the root cause and full scope of the problem. To date, the lab has a method for identifying affected cases, and has already implemented new policies and procedures to prevent the problem occurring in the future.”

The Colorado Bureau of Investigations is performing its own independent investigation of the lab to identify the source of the erroneous readings. Agilent Technologies, manufacturer of the blood testing machines, insisted its equipment was working properly. The city prosecutor’s office and Colorado Department of Revenue are looking to see whether the amended test results will affect any drivers convicted of DUI. If so, driver’s licenses could be reinstated, criminal charges dropped and fines refunded.

“These agencies are fully supportive that corrective actions are being implemented,” the release explained.

The city claims that the errors were uncovered during a routine quality assurance check and that none of the lab’s other services have been affected. California DUI attorney Lawrence Taylor believes the errors are inherent in DUI cases that rely so heavily on readouts from fallible machines.

“Yes, tests do lie… more often than the public is aware,” Taylor explained. “The only thing unique in this story is that the inaccuracies were discovered — and published.”

Taylor cited as one example that improperly preserved blood can ferment and create alcohol where none existed before.

// //

Posted in Camera Fraud, Chuck Norton | Leave a Comment »

More Camera Ticket Fraud in Texas

Posted by iusbvision on December 18, 2009

Analysis: Short Yellows Boost Revenue for Texas Cities


Red light cameraA number of Texas cities are exploiting short yellow timing at intersections, generating significant additional revenue, according to a review of Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) data by TheNewspaper. The citation issuance rate at the nine intersections with the shortest yellow timing in the state was four times greater than the ticket issuance rate at locations that offered yellow times exceeding statewide averages.

For example, among photo enforced intersections in Texas with a posted speed limit of 55 MPH, the average yellow time was 4.9 seconds. The city of El Paso, however, allowed an Australian company to set up a traffic camera at the intersection of Gateway North Boulevard and Woodrow Bean where the yellow was shorter by 0.4 seconds. This seemingly minor difference resulted in a 132 percent increase in the number of citations issued for every 10,000 vehicles entering into the intersection compared to the locations with longer yellow durations.

Posted in Camera Fraud, Chuck Norton, Government Gone Wild | 5 Comments »

Indianapolis Threatens $2500 Fines for Challenging Traffic Tickets

Posted by iusbvision on December 18, 2009

It’s just tyranny folks…..

Lawyer sues traffic and parking courts in Indianapolis, Indiana over threatened $2500 penalty for contesting a ticket in court.

Motorists who receive minor parking or traffic tickets in Indianapolis, Indiana are being threatened with fines of up to $2500 if they attempt to take the ticket to court. A local attorney with the firm Roberts and Bishop was so outraged by what he saw in Marion County traffic court that he filed a class action suit yesterday seeking to have the practice banned as unconstitutional.

“The deck is stacked against the motorist,” lawyer Paul K. Ogden wrote. “To penalize that person for seeking justice seems wrong. I know it is done for the purpose of discouraging baseless challenges to tickets and clogging the docket, but in the process you are also penalizing people who have a legitimate defense and want a chance to present it to the court.”

The city made explicit the threat of additional fines for challenging parking tickets in a November 30 press release announcing a deal between Indianapolis and a private firm, T2 Systems, to hand over operations of a parking ticket court to increase municipal income.

“Using Six Sigma process improvement strategies, it is estimated that under this program the city may collect an additional $352,000 to $520,000 in parking citation revenue over the next 12 months,” the city press release stated. “If citations are not paid prior to their scheduled hearing, the city may request a fine of up to $2500 per citation. Upon receiving a judgment for an unpaid citation, individuals responsible could be subject to collections actions or having their vehicle registration suspended.”

In traffic court, Judge William Young has been making good on the threats by routinely siding with police officers in disputes and imposing fines of up to $500 on anyone who challenges a moving violation ticket, no matter how minor, and loses. Those who pay without going to court do not face this extra fine.

“Unfortunately what you have happen a lot of times is that judges aren’t particularly worried about whether what they’re doing may be violating the law as the odds of someone ever appealing a $400 traffic ticket is remote,” Ogden wrote. “I see it all the time. Trial judges flouting the law knowing they are unlikely to ever be challenged on an appeal because the litigants can’t afford it.”

Ogden is specifically representing three motorists affected by court policies. Toshinao Ishii received a ticket for driving 63 MPH in a 55 zone in February. Had he paid the ticket without challenge, the fine would have been $150. After Judge Young sided with the police officer in court, Ishii was fined $550. Motorist Matthew Stone was told by his doctors not to wear a seatbelt over his chest as it could damage his cardiac pacemaker. He received a $25 ticket for wearing his seatbelt “improperly.” After reading that he would face a $500 fine, Stone gave up his intention of challenging the citation. Adam Lenkowsky, who did not receive a ticket, attempted to attend a traffic court proceeding on September 23, 2009. He was barred from the court, despite the state constitutional requirement that court proceedings be open.

Ogden argues the court’s practices in the first two cases violate the excessive fines clause of the state constitution as well as the clause requiring that “all penalties shall be proportioned to the nature of the offense.”

Posted in Camera Fraud, Chuck Norton, Government Gone Wild | 1 Comment »

Coal Comapany Cuts 500 Jobs Citing Endless Environmentalist Legal Harassment

Posted by iusbvision on December 18, 2009

Indiana’s own Amanda Carpenter in The Washington Times:

A Pittsburgh-based coal company, CONSOL Energy, will lay off nearly 500 of its West Virginia workers next year and its CEO blames environmentalists dead-set against mountaintop mining who have waged “nuisance” lawsuits for the job loss.

But CONSOL Energy’s political problems are not unique to the mining industry, which has suffered under the Obama Administration. The Environmental Protection Agency is already holding 79 surface mining permits in West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee. The EPA says these permits could violate the Clean Water Act and warrant “enhanced” review. And, agency went even further in October, announcing plans to revoke a permit for the Spruce No. 1 Mine in West Virginia.

The latest setback for the coal industry was announced on Tuesday when CONSOL Energy said close to 500 workers would lose jobs at their Fola Operations location near Bickmore, West Virginia in February 2010.

CEO Nicholas J. DeIuliis said the poor economy compounded by legal challenges by environmental activists forced CONSOL to slash jobs.

“It is challenging enough to operate our coal and gas assets in the current economic downturn without having to contend with a constant stream of activism in rehashing and reinterpreting permit applications that have already been approved or in the inequitable oversight of our operations,” he said in a statement. “Customers will grow reluctant to deal with energy producers they perceive are unable to guarantee a reliable supply due to regulatory uncertainty. It inhibits the ability to remain competitive.”

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Economics 101, Government Gone Wild, Leftist Hate in Action, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | Leave a Comment »

Communist Education Journal Used to Radicalize Teachers and Students

Posted by iusbvision on December 18, 2009

National Association of Scholars:

Guided by a Red Star: Ed Schools Bring Frankincense to the Cradle of Marxism

December 15, 2009 By Ashley Thorne

Nicholas Shudak, a professor of education in South Dakota, recently notified us of a Marxist journal influencing schools of education. The Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies (JCEPS) is published by the UK-based Institute for Education Policy Studies (IEPS), “an independent Radical Left/Socialist/Marxist institute for developing policy analysis and development of education policy.” 

Why is it that the field of education is drawn to Marxism and critical pedagogy? Paulo Freire’s fingerprints are all over the La Raza studies programs in Arizona elementary schools. U Mass Amherst’s interdisciplinary program in Social Thought and Political Economy (whose logo is a red star) seeks to instill a revolutionary fervor against the “modern/colonial capitalist-patriarchal system.” And the University of California at Santa Barbara has a new department called critical globalization studies that adopts the Marxist distaste for nation-states in favor of “a new world-system.”  

Critical pedagogy is the concept developed by Brazilian radical Paulo Freire that teaches a narrative of oppression and aims to equip students with a “liberated consciousness” so that they can fully understand the meaning of oppression. Math, science, literature, and history are taught through this politicized narrative of group identity. Sandra Stotsky has described critical pedagogy’s effect on K-12 schools:  

To implement [Freire’s] ideas, teachers seek to develop their students’ political understandings and attitudes—hostility or resentment in students belonging to social groups to be considered “non-dominant,” and guilt in students who are to be perceived as members of the “dominant” groups. 

One reason why educators are attracted by this pedagogical theory is that it makes such handy excuses for unmotivated students and incompetent teachers. The core idea, as Stotsky puts it, is that “the relatively lower academic achievement and social status of these non-dominant groups may be traced to a lack of motivation for, or resistance to, the cultural content and pedagogy of a curriculum that was not originally designed for them—thereby an alien and oppressive curriculum.” 

Of course, when the radical left does design a curriculum that it thinks matches the needs of the oppressed, the resulting courses are often a clownish caricature of real instruction.  For example, Eric Gutstein, an eighth grade math teacher in a Chicago public school, teaches his Latino students that all the maps they are used to looking at are propaganda on behalf of Western colonialism.  He manages to stir up some eighth-grader indignation, which he reported on earlier this year in an article in the Teachers College Record, and which we wrote about here. Gutstein, who is also a colleague of Bill Ayers at the University of Illinois-Chicago College of Education, has been an avid promoter of Freiran Marxist pedagogy.   

Another reason educators are drawn to this pedagogical foolery is that it invites intellectual vanity.  The participants are flattered into believing that they serve a higher calling, even as they deprive students of real learning. A reviewer from the Nation wrote, “Wherever education is explicitly involved in struggles for equity and justice, Freire’s ideas and his books, especially Pedagogy of the Oppressed, will live on.” But should education be explicitly involved in struggles for equity and justice?  

The Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies thinks most definitely so. The journal “addresses issues of social class, ‘race’, gender, sexual orientation, disability and capital/ism; critical pedagogies; new public managerialism and academic/non-academic labour, and empowerment/disempowerment.” It publishes articles that “report on, analyse and develop Socialist/Marxist transformative policy for schooling and education from a number of Radical Left perspectives.” 

A prominent author is Peter McLaren, a Marxist activist who worships at the altars of Freire, Raya Dunayevskaya, and Che Guevara (McLaren’s personal website opens with a picture of Guevara and a flashing message: “Che lives! His spirit will never die! Join the revolution!”). Professor Shudak, who told us about JCEPS, said that “while earning my Ph.D. [at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill] such articles, many by McLaren, were required reading.” 

Last month Katherine Kirsten broke a story about the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development, which will vote in January on whether to make race, class, and gender politics the “overarching framework” for teacher education. The University’s Race, Culture, Class, and Gender Task Group has issued a report with guidelines for teaching “cultural competence.” Future teachers, it says, must be able to define their worldview in terms of “white privilege, hegemonic masculinity, heteronormativity, and internalized oppression.” They must understand that they are either “privileged” or “marginalized.” High on the task group’s reading list is the anti-America textbook A People’s History of the United States by Marxist historian Howard Zinn, whose celebrity-bejeweled documentary aired Sunday on the History Channel. 

When the news got out about U Minnesota’s plans, it sounded almost too extreme to be true. Likewise, when we at NAS first scanned the contents of the Marxist journal, we wondered whether they were composed in satire. It’s not often you encounter titles such as “A Radical Redistribution of Capital,” “Critical Teacher Education for Economic, Environmental and Social Justice: an Ecosocialist Manifesto,” and “The time for action is now! Anarchist theory, critical pedagogy, and radical possibilities.” 

The JCEPS editorial advisory board has members from thirty-three universities in the United States, as well as members representing England, Australia, India, Israel, Ireland, Canada, Mexico, Turkey, Brazil, Sweden, Slovenia, France, Malta, Scotland, Taiwan, Malaysia, and South Africa. It’s possible that education students at each of the institutions represented are, like our South Dakota professor, trained in JCEPS articles. 

While it is appropriate to study the now discredited but historically important ideas of Marxism in political science, philosophy, and economics courses, education schools have no need for radical ideology. Ed schools should be preparing teachers to train the minds of the next generation, not to arm them with socialist politics. To do so cheats both future teachers and their future students out of the sound, unbiased education they deserve. 

The Journal of Critical Education Policy Studies targets extremists, but it appears to have a substantial presence at universities around the world. To the extent that it and publications like it influence schools of education, it will not be long before teachers cannot distinguish between classrooms and class struggle.

Posted in Campus Freedom, Indoctrination & Censorship, Chuck Norton, Culture War | 1 Comment »

Anne D. Neal: Colleges aren’t preparing students for jobs

Posted by iusbvision on December 18, 2009

Washington Examiner:

We know that whatever they may be, these jobs, like those of today, will demand certain basic aptitudes. These include writing a coherent paragraph, making sense of a written document and performing basic mathematical operations.

We also know, and have known for quite some time now, that universities are not doing their part in this regard. A staggering number of college graduates lack these basic skills: According to the latest National Assessment of Adult Literacy, merely 31 percent of college graduates can read and understand a complex book. Sixty-nine percent can’t compute and compare the per-ounce cost of different food items.

If our college graduates can’t find their way around a supermarket, how are they to compete in the globalized economy?

And if this is to be another American century, we don’t just need excellent workers. We also need an educated body of citizens.

Here, too, our universities are failing us. According to one recent survey, more than a third of our college graduates cannot name the three branches of government, and barely half can identify the underlying principle of free-market economies.

The truth is, we shouldn’t be surprised that our college graduates know so little. At our leading universities, students can graduate without having taken a single class in such crucial subjects as mathematics, American government or economics. As a recent report by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni showed, less than 5 percent of our top colleges require economics, only 11 percent require U.S. government or history, and nearly half allow students to graduate without having taken college-level mathematics.

Classes in these key subjects are of course still taught, but so are classes in countless other subjects. Economics 101 and English composition should not simply be one more option among “Global Martial Arts, Film and Literature” (Cornell), “History of Food and Cuisine” (Yale) and “Punk Cinema and Media” (UCLA).

By: Anne D. Neal
Examiner Staff Writer
December 14, 2009

Read the rest HERE.

Posted in Campus Freedom, Indoctrination & Censorship, Chuck Norton, Culture War | Leave a Comment »

Are We Stuck with the Politically Correct University?

Posted by iusbvision on December 18, 2009

Pope Center for Higher Education Policy:

An excellent new book explores the problem and suggests reforms.

By George Leef

December 15, 2009

Does “political correctness” predominate in American higher education? If so, is that a bad thing? And if it’s a bad thing, can anything be done about it?

A new collection of sixteen essays, The Politically Correct University, digs deeply into those questions. The editors (Robert Maranto of the University of Arkansas, Frederick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute, and Richard Redding of Chapman University School of Law) conclude that there is a serious shortage of conservative, libertarian, and neoliberal thinkers in the academy, leading to an education that for many students has gaping holes in some places and ridiculous over-emphasis in others.

Specifically, Maranto, Hess, and Redding identify four social costs to the fact that most college and university faculties are overwhelmingly leftist in their political and philosophical orientation. That leftist (i.e. politically correct) orientation:

•limits the phenomena studied and questions asked when you have a faculty that is ideologically non-diverse.

•delegitimizes academic expertise because many Americans now see the professoriate as biased.

•hinders colleges and universities in their goal of producing capable, thoughtful citizens.

•dulls the intellectual vibrancy of the academy because the monoculture of acceptable opinion at many schools repels some bright people who would have otherwise found the academic world congenial.

A substantial portion of the book is devoted to demonstrating that the problem of imbalance and politicization is not merely a “right-wing myth” as some people allege, but is a reality. Some on the far-left dismiss it as a “Manufactured Controversy,” while others take a more nuanced position, as in the book “Closed Minds?” which I reviewed here. After reading The Politically Correct University, it would be hard for any objective individual to believe that there is no problem of ideological imbalance in our higher education system.

Several of the chapters the editors have included to make their case are rather familiar material—for example the data that voter registration shows a preponderance of leftist party affiliation ranging from substantial to infinite depending on the school and academic department.

I’m certainly not suggesting that such information isn’t enlightening, but I’ll concentrate on two chapters written by professors who blow the whistle on their own disciplines.

University of Virginia English professor Paul Cantor writes about the unfortunate effects of political correctness in college English departments. Today, under the influence of the diversity crusade, English departments teach a far wider array of works than they did 50 years ago. Unfortunately, Cantor maintains, they tend to teach everything the same way.

Cantor writes, “But unfortunately the broadening of what is taught has often been accompanied by a narrowing of how it is taught….[L]iterature on our campuses today is predominantly analyzed in terms of the categories of race, class, and gender. Authors are viewed as participating in the exploitation of various minorities and subordinate groups, or rebelling against it. Works of literature are generally not read as expressions of genuine insights, but as reflections of the racial, social, and sexual preferences of their authors….”

When Cantor was a student, he observes, English departments were known for lively infighting over the best analytical approach to take. Scholars used to struggle to extract new insights from a familiar canon of works, then argue why their interpretation of, say, King Lear should be accepted. Now they pretty much say “the same old thing” about a kaleidoscope of new works. The obsession with identity politics and victimization may be satisfying to professors who want their students to ape their political views, but it saps courses of intellectual vitality.

Folks, Race, Gender and Class politics is THE marxist polemic. America did well because we have a unique American culture. Marxists like keeping people fighting in groups because it is an easy way to manipulate and control them, thus it makes it easier to strip them of their freedom in the name of “equality”. Many of my classes at tiny IUSB were taught with the same polemic. It is a one trick pony that requires no real thought or critical thinking. It serves to generate hate, resentment and envy. It certainly does not spread grattitude.

Equally revealing is a chapter by John McWhorter, who began his career as a professor of linguistics. (He’s now a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.) His contribution shows how political correctness—specifically the notion that “black English” must be connected with African languages—has absurd and damaging results. McWhorter explains that this politically correct idea leads academics to suppose that black students are in a sense “bilingual” and “in need of special assistance in learning to read the foreign tongue they encounter in school.”

Therefore, instead of recommending reading instruction methods that work well, such as the phonics-based system developed by Professor Siegfried Engelmann, the black education establishment wastes time on nonsensical ideas like starting black children off with “black English” materials and later transitioning them into standard English.

McWhorter puts his finger on the essence of the problem, namely that many black academics feel that to be “authentic” they must be oppositional. That mindset has adverse consequences in college classrooms and beyond.

The book’s case that political correctness is a malignancy doing serious damage to our higher education system will, I believe, persuade almost anyone that this is a real problem. But what can be done? The last section of the book deals with possible remedies.

Professors feel that they MUST be oppositional, that is at the heart of one of the chapters of my upcoming book explaining that public university education is so marxist centric that it has become subversive.

To see some of those proposed solutions read on at the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

Posted in Campus Freedom, Indoctrination & Censorship, Chuck Norton, Culture War | Leave a Comment »