Ryan: Andrew Yang at a winery

Photo by Sean Ryan

Jasper Winery was all glass and concrete and metal, so every sound made an echo. But the room was too narrow to accommodate light rigs and spotlights, and it had air conditioning, at least.

A crimson velvet rope divided the stage from the audience, a matching red carpet lined the puny little stage, and an expressionless man pushed the knobs of a soundboard, five feet from the microphone, ambushed by foliage behind the curtain-wall glass window.

Photo by Sean Ryan

As soon as Andrew Yang arrived, he was out among the people. A Saturday in Des Moines.

Earlier that day, in the press room at the Presidential Gun Sense Forum, he shrugged off the usual questions and had fun, even made himself laugh several times as he ragged on Donald Trump.

It was silly, the way he did it. Playful. Innocent.

At one point he struck a pose, said "I'd challenge Donald Trump to any physical or mental feat under the sun," with a mischievous grin. "I mean, gosh, what could that guy beat me at, being a slob?"

You can just picture Yang's staff, trying to lock eyes with him, giving hand signals, lipping "That's enough, Andrew." Yang didn't care. He did not care. He was having fun with it.

"Like, something that involved trying to keep something on the ground and having really large body mass? Like, if there was a hot-air balloon that was rising and you needed to try and keep it on the ground, he would be better than me at that," he paused in thought. "Because he is so fat."

A few outlets labeled it fat-shaming. And the Atlantic saw it as another example of Yang's novelty pessimism.

But in Iowa and online, people kept saying "Yang has a good heart." That, in person, he just lets off a calmative energy, a kindness.

He does.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Twenty minutes before his "Trump is fat" comments, Yang gave a speech about gun control as part of the Presidential Gun Sense Forum, and during the Q&A, a woman told him about her 4-year-old daughter. How she was struck by a stray bullet. Died two days later. The girl's twin brother saw it happen.

The whole time the woman talked, Yang limply covered his face.

"Can I give you a hug," Yang asked. "Would that be appropriate?"He jogged over to the woman, hugged her, said a few quiet words.

His face kept a sunken look, all brutal devastation. He needed to burst into tears.

"I have a 6- and 3-year-old boy," said Yang, then he made a tiny whimper and sank his face into his cupped hand, struggling for composure. Then he let go for a few moments and cried. It was the quick sob of someone who has been too busy to deal with too many things.

"I was imagining it was one of them that got shot and the other saw it," he said. "I'm so sorry."

Yang broke into tears again. Covered his eyes with his hand. The audience clapped. Yang shuffled himself onto the stage. He bristled himself back, as much as he could, looked out at the crowd, and gave his translation. His why not?

"The biggest downside of running for President, for me, is that I don't get to see my family very much," he said. "So I get pictures. I FaceTime, I see pictures of my boys and, just that scene that she described, I'm sorry, it's just very, very affecting."
Then he straightened his posture, focused his stare, and answered the woman's question.

*

Yang occasionally hugs with his head leaning right. Among yoga therapists, this is called a heart-to-heart hug, or a connecting hug. It opens the heart chakra, the spiritual energy center that contains love and compassion.

Research on hugging says otherwise. A study in the International Journal of Psychophysiology determined that most of the time we prefer right-side hugs, and that left-sided hugs are in fact the signals of true emotion.

Researchers in Germany found that "When people hug, emotional and motor networks in the brain interact and cause a stronger drift to the left in emotional contexts."

They found that people in emotionally neutral situations hugged right 92 percent of the time, while people in emotionally charged situations hugged right 83 percent of the time.

Body language expert Dr. Lillian Glass disagrees with the implied conclusion. "When you hug someone, there's a great deal of various emotions that are involved. Most people are statistically right-handed, so you're going to go to the right side."

*

At Jasper Winery, Yang stood near the back of the crowd. People seated at tables draped with violet cloth and people standing or leaning against the tall wide windows along the slink building.

Photo by Sean Ryan

To their right, crowded in a narrow line that blocked the bathrooms, journalists trained their eyes and cameras on Kamala Harris as she appeared from a backroom at the side of the stage then fiddled the microphone loose.

The event was hosted by the Asian & Latino Coalition, the same organization that had held the Biden speech at the plumbers union, when he compared "poor kids" to "white kids."

Photo by Sean Ryan

Harris' bus was just outside the door next to the stage. The winery had giant windows along all the walls, so no matter where you were in the room, you could see the back of Harris' bus, "TEXT IOWA TO 70785."

"My mother always told me, 'Be the first to do many things. But don't be the last.'"

People clapped, and Harris noted their applause. The line worked. Again. As always. In part because Harris has lived it out. The first but never the last. Nearly every office she has been elected to, she's the first black woman. She's the second black woman elected to the Senate, but the first of South Asian descent.

Photo by Sean Ryan

She wore the same white shirt and tan pants as at the two appearances we'd been to earlier that day, and matching tan heels.

"Who are we?" she asked.

"We are fighters," she answered.

Fighting. A theme in her life and her speeches.

That night's word was "aspirational."

At the end of her speech, the room tore into a cascade of applause, and Harris smiled like politicians do, like fishermen when they hook a monster.

*

As the crowd settled, the Asian & Latino Coalition president took the stage beside Harris. After some jocular banter, he handed her an envelope, donations of some kind, or maybe a letter — the guy was hard to understand — and would she symbolically place it in this wicker basket?

"I can't give nobody a closed envelope," she said, laughing. Then, for good measure, forcing more laughter, "Momma didn't raise no fool."

Photo by Sean Ryan

Yang chuckled. He stayed in the crowd for Harris' entire speech. Anytime someone came up to him, he whispered, nodded, then re-trained his focus to Harris onstage. At this point, there was mutual respect. A month later, in Houston, in the Spin Room of the Third Democratic Debate, Harris and Yang would completely ignore one another. And how many times would the following events cross their minds at night?

*

Harris lowered into a seat near the front, and waited, with her legs uncrossed and her hands clasped by her knees. It was a Michael Jordan pose. A Frank Sinatra posture. Yang was next. People kept slouching over to Harris, whispering because the ALC President was introducing Yang. Harris watched. She listened. She nodded. She smiled, when it was called for. Laughed, when it was called for. Clapped. Nodded.

Photo by Sean Ryan

The ALC President made some kind of in-joke with Yang, and Yang pointed back like he was the coolest kid at the party, and he's about to do a keg stand, smirking with his lips pursed. Because Yang has the body posture and mannerisms of a savvy New York rapper.

Like everyone else, the ALC President had only praise for Yang. The ALC President, God bless him, was near impossible to understand. He spoke quick, with a bobbing cadence.

"All time I see him, he ask, 'How your son doing?' We share in common, me and Andrew, that my son has autism, he is 16 years old, and I know your son does too. We share a lot about that pain. And," pointing to Yang, "there's a good heart there."

*

Slowing down for a moment, he said, "Life is not easy," then something else, then commended Yang's plan for universal basic income, $1,000 a month for free, no questions asked.

Because it won't be long before automation has left us jobless in a Blade Runner dystopia.

Yang smiled and nodded, the head bob of someone listening to Wu-Tang Clan on massive headphones as they slouch on the subway, careening toward nowhere, young in Manhattan.

"He is a serious candidate," said the ALC President, to applause and a few hoots. Elon Musk had endorsed Yang earlier that day. Elon Musk. The guy who — cosmically speaking — makes up for just about every worthless jackass you know. The guy who shot a Tesla — cars of the future, by the company he created — into space as a symbol of his growing accomplishments. Elon Musk.

"So without further ado…"

Yang wove through the narrow room and took the stage like it was a familiar blanket. Right away, he addressed Harris. She leapt up from her seat, they hugged. Harris initiated, head to the left. She often closes her eyes when she hugs. Yang, too. This time Harris kept her eyes open.

*

"Kamala," said Yang, gripping the microphone with three fingers on his left hand, "it is so much better to speak before you than after you."

Photo by Sean Ryan

Two minutes into Yang's speech, Harris left.

Jasper Winery has 3 exits. She chose the one next to the sound guy, so everybody who followed her had to walk in front of the stage.

And she took half the place with her. More, maybe. Half of the audience. And since most of the media were there for her speech, most of them followed. Loudly. They were breaking down camera rigs and shuffling, all as Andrew Yang spoke.

Photo by Sean Ryan

And every time someone opened the door, all you could hear was the "BRRRRRRRKKKKKKRRRRRKKKKPOPKK" of the KAMALA bus's engine.

There were so many people leaving that someone just propped the door open, and nobody bothered to close it, so someone else eventually shuffled over and yanked it hard shut.

Yang kept talking, in his Maya blue button-up and navy blue suit with an American flag on the left lapel, without a tie, as usual. Chairs squeaked, tables shifted, people spoke to one another, shuffling in line out the door.

Photo by Sean Ryan

"I'm running to solve what I believe is the biggest problem of our time," he paused for a moment and stared at passers. "Enjoy the bus." The people who were listening laughed.

"And the problem is, how did Donald Trump win Iowa by 9 points in 2016? How did he win in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin? Now if you turn on cable news, you might get a series of explanations. What are the factors they're giving? Russia, racism, Facebook, the FBI, Hillary Clinton. Those are probably the factors that get cited. But I've done the numbers and found an explanation that I believe drives more of the election outcome than we talk about ever, and it's the fact that we gave away four million manufacturing jobs in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and 40,000 right here in Iowa."

He stared forward in his rubber-soul black shoes.

Photo by Sean Ryan

He loved to get a show of hands, but he often went on with his point before people had a chance to lift them. Maybe the greater point was, "I already know the answer."

Then he shifted into one of his biggest ideas. Automation. He was the only candidate talking about it. Which was terrifying. They ought to all have a plan.

Photo by Sean Ryan

He filed to run for president a solid year-and-a-half before any of the other Democrats, on November 6, 2017. But still after Trump, who filed on his first day in office.

*

The day before, Yang had walked around the Iowa State Fair with a turkey leg and a giant grin like he didn't give a damn. By all accounts he did not, does not.

"How many of you have noticed stores closing around where you live, here in Iowa?" Many of the people in the audience raised their hands. He asked them did they know why.

In unison, they said, "Amazon."

"That's right," he replied. "Amazon's like a blackhole sucking 20 billion dollars in business every single year. It's closing 30 percent of your stores and malls."

He paused.

"How much is Amazon paying in taxes," he asked.

They said, "zero" in unison like they were at an early Mass.

"Zero," he said. "That is the math, Iowa."

"How many of you have visited Iowa 80, the country's largest truck stop in Davenport?"

Nearly every hand in the room snaked up, toward the exposed rafters.

"They proudly say that 5,000 people stop there every single day. My friends in California are working on trucks that can drive themselves. They're working on those self-driving trucks because of all the money involved. $168 billion a year in savings if they can succeed in automating away truck drivers. How many people will stop at Iowa 80 when the trucks have robot drivers that don't need to stop for a meal? What's that going to mean here in Iowa, where truck driving is the most common job in the state? And not just here in Iowa, but 28 other states."

"We're in the midst of the greatest economic transformation in the history of our country," he said, and the room got quiet. The fourth industrial revolution. Of the other candidates, only Biden had discussed it, and with a cursory grasp.

"This is no longer science fiction," Yang said. "This is reality in 2019. This is why Donald Trump is our president today." The Kamala tour bus chugged and belched just outside the door.

"The reason why I am here is because you hold the future of the country in your hands, here in Iowa," he said. "You're a bit spoiled, Kamala just left and I am here, Amy [Klobuchar] is coming in, and there's this constant parade of presidential candidates, and why? Because we know that you control the fate of the country."

Harris was rounding the corner outside, her entourage barking out questions behind her, but everyone in the room trained their eyes on Yang.

"Do you know how many Californians each Iowan is worth? One thousand! You look around this room and there may be 160 people in this room. I see a group of 160,000 Californians."

Oh now the audience loved that. They clapped and cheered for a solid 15 seconds.

"It's a good thing Kamala just left because she probably wouldn't like that," to which they laughed, as Yang gave off a charming smile.

The Harris gaggle crawled forward then stopped right outside the giant windows at the middle of the audience. Another couple journalists folded out of the room. Another handful of onlookers followed. Harris faced Yang without looking at Yang, as if she were reminding everyone that she, her entourage, the media, and all those other devoted people were the real star. It felt like a lion stalking a lone zebra at the watering hole.

But Yang didn't care, waiting for the ice cream truck on a mild summer day.

*Yang repudiated claims that his $1,000-a-month stance on Universal Basic Income was a mere gimmick. He called it a deeply American idea that's been with us since our founding.

"Martin Luther King Jr. championed it on the very day he was assassinated."

He asked a question and they answered.

Asked another question, they answered.

Another, answered.

"That's right," he said. "Thank you, Iowa."

Somebody whooped at the teamwork.

He told them that his wife was at home with their boys. "What is her work included at, in GDP every year?"

One woman, "zero."

"What is the market value of her work at?" Nobody answered, not quickly enough, so Yang said, "Zero. And we know that that's nonsense. We know that her work is some of the most challenging and vital that anyone is doing. How many of you are parents, raise your hands?"

Most of the room.

"When I'm at home with my kids for a day or two and my wife leaves, you know what I say? I say, 'Get me back to running for president as soon as possible.' Because being a parent is the hardest work there is."

*"BRRRRRRRKKKKKKRRRRRKKKKPOP" of the KAMALA bus engine.

"Thanks to you in Iowa I just qualified for the fall debates," he said.

And for a moment, their applause was the loudest noise in the area.

He did something none of the other candidates had even hinted at trying. He appealed to Trump supporters.

"I am only one of two candidates that ten percent or more of Trump voters said they would vote for. I am a younger, fresher, more modern, more Asian version of Bernie."

Laughter and applause.

"BRRRRRRRKKKKKKRRRRRKKKKPOP."

"The Democratic party talks about empowering women," he said. "I'm talking about actually recognizing what women are doing right now."

"Woot!" and applause.

"BRRRRRRRKKKKKKRRRRRKKKKPOP."

"The opposite of Donald Trump is an Asian man who likes math."

"BRRRRRRRKKKKKKRRRRRKKKKPOP."

*

Meanwhile, Harris pressed closer to the glass outside, and everyone inside was prey in an incubator.

In 1994, Harris started dating then-Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, a married man 30 years her senior. Brown was 60, four years older than Harris' father. The relationship has proven to be a thorn in Harris' side. Now she's happily married to Doug Emhoff, an entertainment lawyer, but that doesn't stop the accusations of career-motivated dalliances.

Brown was politically connected, so Harris became politically connected.

He appointed Harris to positions that paid well, about $100,000 a year. He gave her a BMW. Then he was elected Mayor of San Francisco. Harris celebrated his win, but ended the relationship before Brown was inaugurated.

She turned on him.

In an interview, Harris described Brown as an "albatross hanging around my neck," adding, "I have no doubt that I am independent of him –– and that he would probably right now express some fright about the fact that he cannot control me. His career is over; I will be alive and kicking for the next 40 years. I do not owe him a thing."

In January 2019, Brown, who was known for his lavish outfits and extramarital gamesmanship and who had a minor role in The Godfather: Part III, penned a letter for the San Francisco Chronicle, "Sure, I dated Kamala Harris. So what?"

Brown concluded the letter, "Yes, I may have influenced her career by appointing her to two state commissions when I was Assembly speaker. And I certainly helped with her first race for district attorney in San Francisco. I have also helped the careers of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Gov. Gavin Newsom, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and a host of other politicians. The difference is that Harris is the only one who, after I helped her, sent word that I would be indicted if I 'so much as jaywalked' while she was D.A. That's politics for ya."

In a recent profile by the Atlantic, Yang said, "If you're a politician, your incentives are to make with the happy talk and then get elected — and then solving the problems is secondary, because you have to raise money to try and get reelected, but no one ever back-checks you. The incentives are to say, 'We can do this; we can do that. We can do the other thing.' And then, meanwhile, society falls apart."

*

After his speech, Yang clobber-stepped off the front of the stage, unconcerned with the protocol of stairs and formal exits. People had surrounded him by the time he'd taken a few steps.

Photo by Sean Ryan

He leaned in to hear a man in an American-flag short-sleeve button up. The shadow of the man's "Vietnam Veteran" hat covered his eyes, and maybe he was crying a little as he told his story. He had the most impressive handlebar mustache I had ever seen. I will likely never see a mustache of its promontory.

Yang listened with an unforced calm.

Everyone drew closer. Yang had suction energy like Biden, Harris, and Sanders, but in a much different way. His was inviting. Something you could share.

On his left, a man in a beige flat cap and a t-shirt with the globe on it and the words "No pipeline! Keep our fields green and water clean."

Photo by Sean Ryan

Harris passed by the giant windows one more time. You could hear the journalists shouting questions as they walked sideways or backward, whatever got them as close as possible. Twenty journalists crabbing around her. Thirty, maybe. People with questions. They looked like a bunch of ants carrying an orange slice back to the colony, because, yes, the queen would be proud.

Harris had to nudge to get to her tour bus. Something about it, like she enjoyed the nudging, never nudged hard enough to leave in a hurry. As if she could only take a few small steps at a time, like a climber near the summit of Everest.

Her staff herded the giant knot of people and cameras, all with a concerned look to their faces as they guided Harris onto the KAMALA bus.

Amy Klobuchar was about to take the stage. Nobody seemed to notice or care.

A dozen or so people lingered at the side of the bus. Two older men slumped into folding chairs that were comically out-of-place, mere feet from a dumpster. One of the men, the bigger sloucher in his dirty grey shirt and ropey sandals, held his right hand up toward the bus's tinted window as the bus nudged forward.

Photo by Sean Ryan

One of the organizers from the Asian and Latino Coalition smiled at the bus, then turned to me, the only media around. At first she asked if I could get her onto the bus. I shook my head "No" with a confused look on my face.

"Well then will you be here Monday night, for the endorsement?" she asked. "That's when we're going to announce who we're going to endorse for president."

She added that, sure, it was a bit early to endorse a candidate, but that's what made the Asian and Latino Coalition so valuable.Take a guess who won the endorsement?

The same person who treated Iowa like a chessboard. The same person who wore jeans and Converse All-Stars instead of slacks and heels. The same person who had that unstoppable look in her eyes, like she would never lose a fight, never stifle a tear, never quit charging.

The bus chugged off into the lamplit evening, and the crowd of gawkers mostly dispersed.

But the slouching man in the grey shirt still had his hand up, jutting into the air. I'd forgotten about that guy. For a moment I was afraid he'd entered some catatonic state.

His hand pointed up like a flag pole that hadn't held a flag in years.

Eventually he lowered his arm and went back to staring at the empty field across the street.

With the bus gone, a sudden quiet overtook the air. You could hear all the tiny noises that had been drowned out by the shaking chug of the engine. Over our heads, some birds sang and danced like they knew gymnastics. Locusts, wherever they were, chaffed their own asses.

"You think she saw me?" asked the slouching man.

"I don't know," said the other, "those windows were pretty well tinted."

New installments of this series come out every Monday and Thursday morning. Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@mercurystudios.com

Tapping the brakes on transgenderism in 2023

Hunter Martin / Contributor | Getty Images

2022 was the year of the emperor’s new clothes—where we were supposed to pretend that someone like Lia Thomas is a woman, legitimately beating actual women in swimming competitions. This carpet-bombing of common sense won’t be letting up anytime soon. Just before the New Year, the World Boxing Council announced that it’s going to create a separate category for transgender boxers. The WBC president said:

we are doing this because of safety and inclusion. We have been the leaders in rules for women’s boxing—so the dangers of a man fighting a woman will never happen because of what we are going to put in place.

After all the insanity you’ve been told to accept about transgender athletes in recent years, his statement is remarkable. He’s admitting what common sense people have been saying all along—that trans athletes identifying as women still carry natural physical advantages (from the fact that they’re actually male), and that those natural advantages could endanger biological women.

Trans athletes identifying as women still carry natural physical advantages.

The WBC president went on to say:

In boxing, a man fighting a woman must never be accepted regardless of gender change. There should be no gray area around this, and we want to go into it with transparency and the correct decisions. Woman to man or man to woman transgender change will never be allowed to fight a different gender by birth.

Maybe the WBC is on to something here. Maybe the only way to solve the stupidity of letting biological males play female sports is to create a separate transgender category in every sport. That would make competition fair again. However, the trans agenda will never accept this because it doesn’t validate their transition—in fact, it admits that these are not authentically female athletes.

There is some rare, good news on this front. In late December, the Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted to uphold a Florida school-board policy that requires transgender students to use the bathroom of their biological sex. Of course, the Left won’t accept this, so this case will probably go to the Supreme Court sooner than later. You’re supposed to always believe the science, except when it comes to your own body parts.

You’re supposed to always believe the science, except when it comes to your own body parts.

And by the way, if the Left truly cared about unbiased science as it pertains to transgenderism, they’d listen to their favorite European country, Sweden. Sweden’s national board of health recently updated its guidelines on treating children with gender dysphoria. Unlike the Biden administration and the U.S. medical establishment right now, Sweden’s new emphasis is caution:

the scientific data is INSUFFICIENT to assess the effects of puberty-inhibiting and gender-sensitive hormone therapy of children and young people.

The Swedish guidelines also mention the prevalence of de-transition cases as another reason for tapping the brakes on sex-change surgeries for children.

Common sense apparently does still exist, even in places like Sweden. If only America would listen.

Glenn wants to dive deep into different philosophical topics this year. As CRT and woke curricula are demonizing the "western tradition," it is vitally important that we preserve the tradition that gave birth our nation and gives context to the culture we live in today. Here are the top 11 books to give you a crash course in the western philosophic tradition. If you don't have the time to read them, you can find an overview to each of the books below!

1. Plato's Republic

The first titan of Greek philosophy, Plato articulated the set of questions that would drive the future western philosophical tradition. The pre-eminent question among Greek philosophers was "what is the thing that explains everything." In philosophical lingo, this question is framed as "what is the logos or the good." Plato argued that reality could be explained in terms of the "forms." For example, when you see multiple examples of a "courageous" act, then, Plato would argue, there is such a thing as "courage." The form of "the good" is the form that gives meaning to all of reality. Humans use their rational minds to contemplate what is good and then align their desires to "the good" in order to pursue it.

2. Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics

The second titan of Greek philosophy was none other than Aristotle, who was a student of Plato. Aristotle deviated from his teacher's claims about "forms" and instead argued that every single thing has a purpose, a telos. For example, the telos of a chair is to provide a place for someone to sit. In the same way that a chair's purpose is to provide a place for someone to sit, Aristotle argues that the telos of human beings is to pursue happiness.

In the first page of the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle claims that every action is done for the sake of pursuing happiness, although, all too often, our actions are misplaced. We often pursue things we believe will make us happy when, in reality, they are fleeting, momentary pleasures that result in despair, heartbreak, or pain. Rather than conforming the world around us to fit our momentary desires, Aristotle argues that we achieve happiness by understanding the nature of the world around us and how we fit into it by actively cultivating virtues in order to make our soul "fit to be happy." Work and action, therefore, are not mere moral "to-do lists," but rather bring us fulfillment.

3. Augustine's City of God

If Plato is the first titan of ancient philosophy, then Augustine is the first titan of medieval philosophy. Medieval philosophy begins with the re-discovery of ancient philosophical texts that had been lost throughout the Roman Empire. As Christianity had taken root and spread across the western world, medieval philosophy integrated these newly-discovered texts into Christian theology. Augustine is the pre-eminent medieval Neo-platonic philosopher, incorporating Plato's philosophy into Christian theology.

Augustine claimed that God himself is the ultimate "form" or "the good" from which all of reality derives its meaning and existence. A thing is "good" insofar as it coalesces with the way God intended it to be. When a thing stays away from God's intention, it is "not good." From this, we get the Augustinian definition of "evil" as a "privation" or "absence of goodness," which ultimately corresponds to God's nature and character.

4. Aquinas' Summa Theologica

Just as Augustine incorporated Plato's philosophy into Christian theology, the second medieval titan, Thomas Aquinas, incorporated Aristotelian philosophy into Christian theology. Building from Aristotle, Aquinas argues that Christ is our happiness, the longing of every human heart and the object of every human action. Though we may think we are pursuing happiness outside of Christ, our this pursuit is misplaced and will result in fleeting pleasure and pain. True happiness and fulfillment, Aquinas argues, is found in Christ himself and the pursuit of his nature.

**Note: Aquinas' Summa is one of the largest works ever written and contains arguments about many different subjects--there are concise versions that will save you a lot of time!

5. Francis Bacon's Novem Organum

If medieval philosophy is defined by the incorporation of ancient philosophy into orthodox Christian theology, then the Enlightenment is defined as the rejection of both. English philosopher Francis Bacon kicked off the Enlightenment with a total rejection of the Aristotelian view of reality. The title of his book, the Novum Organum, or "the new order," is a deliberate tease of Aristotle's Organon, or "the order of things." Bacon's "new order" purports that, contrary to Aristotle, there is no inherent "nature" or "purpose" in reality. Rather, reality is something that we can conquer by means of knowledge and force, dissecting nature to its fundamental parts and reconstructing it into what we want. Bacon is considered the father of the scientific method, creating a testable means through which we can understand, break down and re-construct nature.

6. Descartes' Discourse on Method

Descartes is best known for his famous assertion, cogito ergo sum, or "I think, therefore, I am." In Discourse on Method, Descartes embarks on a rigorous endeavor to doubt anything that can be doubted. He postulates that all of reality can be doubted; however, the one thing that cannot be doubted, he concludes, is that there must be someonewho is doubting. Though we may think that we are in the matrix, we are thinking, therefore, we must exist.

Descartes's rigorous skepticism introduced a brand-new burden of truth. In order for something to be true, it must be beyond all reasonable doubt. Many continue to use Descartes' skepticism as a way to challenge religious belief. According to these modern-day skeptics, unless you can prove that God exists beyond any reasonable doubt, there is no way to actually know whether he exists. The severing of knowledge and faith is often attributed to Descartes.

7. David Hume's Treatise on Human Nature

Scottish philosopher David Hume took aim at both Plato and Aristotle. One of his most famous and consequential claims about human nature is, "reason is and always ought to be slave of the passions." This took direct aim at Plato's view of human nature. Plato argued that our reason or "rationality" should always rule our passions so that we will desire what is good. Hume flips this on its head, claiming that our reason is helplessly enslaved to our passions and will inevitably justify what we will already want. From this, Hume introduced a new articulation of moral relativism, claiming that humans are not able to choose between what is good and what is evil, but rather will choose what they want over what they don't.

8. Kant's Contemplation on the Metaphysics of Morals

Hume's moral relativism sparked panic within German philosopher Immanuel Kant. If we will inevitably do what we desire, how can we ever choose to do something good and moral for its own sake? We must, according to Kant, separate morality completely from the passions if it's to be saved. Kant, therefore, argues that duty is the highest good that man can aspire to. We do the right thing, not because we want to--on the contrary, we do the "right thing" because it's our duty to do so, especially when we don't want to. This breaks away from the Aristotelian notion that our happiness is inextricably intertwined with the pursuit of "the good."

9. Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil

Nietzsche wasn't convinced by either Hume or Kant's efforts to retain some semblance of civility or relativistic moral standard. According to Nietzsche, if there is no such thing as transcendent morality, then "moral maxims" are reduced to meaningless words purported by the people in power. Morality, therefore, becomes a game of persuasion at best, coercion and force at worst. People are reduced to winners and losers, opressors and victims, and whoever comes out on top gets to impose their desired view of the world on the losers. Therefore, the goal of the individual is to cultivate the "will to power," to become the powerful "ubermensch" or "superhuman," or else you will be reduced to a victim susceptible to other people's coercion and oppression.

10. C.S. Lewis's The Abolition of Man

After the Enlightenment ends in a grand, destructive finale with Nietzsche, Christian philosophers in the 20th century attempt to pick up the pieces and resurrect the ancient and medieval philosophies that had been cast to the side. In The Abolition of Man, C.S. Lewis famously laments that mankind has become "men without chests." This is a direct reference to Plato's view of human nature--there is nothing linking our mind to our heart. Intellectually, we have dissected all of reality into its individual bits, stripping it of its holistic beauty, while also succumbing to our whims and passions with no notion of a transcendent moral law. Lewis calls for the re-marriage of our minds and our hearts, so that we will not only pursue what is good, but moreover, we will desire to do so.

11. Alasdair McIntyre's After Virtue

The latter part of the 20th century saw the resurgence of Aristotelian ethics after being largely dismissed over the past 400 years during the Enlightenment. Scottish Catholic philosopher Alasdair McIntyre was and continues to be one of the foremost leaders of this movement. In his magnum opus, After Virtue, McIntyre takes aim at the entire Enlightenment project itself and shows how it ultimately fails by its own standards. If reality is a mere power dynamic, as Nietzsche argues, and if morality is an act of persuasion and passion, as Hume purports, then we have no reason to take their views seriously. If all of reality is relative, then the statement "reality is relative" is itself relative. It becomes victim of the self-refutation of its own standards. Transcendent morality, he argues, must exist, because there must be some standard by which we judge reality and can say with determination, "this is good" and "this is evil."

The Biden Admin EXPANDED abortion access because they DON'T believe in the Constitution

Joshua Lott / Stringer, JOSEPH PREZIOSO / Contributor | Getty Images

This month has already produced an extreme example of why we need a functional and more conservative Congress in order for America to have a chance at moving forward—because the Left does not believe in the Constitution.

Sure, if you confronted a Democrat in Congress, they would probably claim some sort of allegiance to the Constitution—but as a practical matter, they do not believe in it.

Instead, the Left has put all of their eggs in the basket of the executive branch. Why? Because it has the furthest reach through all the various departments, and it can move the fastest—in short, because it’s the most dictatorial. It only takes a department head to write a new memo, or even better, the President to sign a new executive order to carry the force of law.

The Left has put all of their eggs in the basket of the executive branch.

Do you recall any of the Left’s favorite Supreme Court decisions over the years—something like gay marriage for example—and how Republicans immediately tried to subvert it, using the executive branch to try to nullify the decision? Yeah, that never happened. But that is exactly what Democrats have done in recent weeks to expand abortion access.

Democrats only consider the Supreme Court legitimate when they approve of the decisions. When the miraculous overturning of Roe v. Wade happened last summer, President Biden called it “a realization of an extreme ideology and a tragic error by the Supreme Court.”

Democrats only consider the Supreme Court legitimate when they approve of the decisions.

Recently the FDA approved local pharmacies to issue abortion pills. For the first 20 years after these pills were developed, they were not treated like typical prescription drugs. They had to be dispensed in-person by a doctor. That in-person requirement is now gone.

Keep in mind that the Left’s go-to line is that abortion is always about the health and safety of women, yet a 2021 peer-reviewed study found that chemical abortions have a complication rate four times greater than surgical abortions. Between 2002 and 2015, the rate of abortion-related ER visits following use of the abortion pills increased by 507 percent.

Chemical abortions have a complication rate four times greater than surgical abortions.

And now the Biden administration is making these less-safe abortions much more accessible. Thanks to the FDA’s rule change, Walgreens and CVS have already agreed to dispense abortion pills in states where abortion is legal—effectively turning these stores into new abortion clinics.

As for states that have abortion bans, "Team Biden" announced a new way around those too. Three weeks ago, the Justice Department issued a legal opinion that the U.S. Postal Service is allowed to deliver abortion pills anywhere, even in places where abortion is illegal. What’s their rationale? That the sender cannot know for sure whether the recipient will use the pills illegally or not. So it’s totally okay.

The U.S. Postal Service is allowed to deliver abortion pills anywhere, even in places where abortion is illegal.

Georgetown Law professor Lawrence Gostin told the Washington Post that this Justice Department opinion is “a major expansion of abortion access in the United States.”

So, to recap—the Biden administration has used the FDA, the Justice Department, and the Post Office, which all fall under the executive branch, to provide an end-run around the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson decision.

Expanding abortion was easy—simple policy tweaks and declarations that carry the force of law without an ounce of input from actual lawmakers in Congress—all because it comes from the grotesque, bloated, apparently pro-death executive branch.

Glenn is one of the most outspoken critics of the World Economic Forum and their vision to use crises to reconstruct the world order known as The Great Reset. The recent WEF summit in Davos confirms what Glenn has long warned about: globalist elites seek to upend our democracy, freedoms, and way of life to achieve their utopian climate goals. Here are 15 quotes from the 2023 Davos Summit, revealing their true intentions in their own words:

1. Saving the planet

When you hear the word, "Davos," the first thought that should pop into your mind is an elite group getting together to save the world from imminent climate disaster... at least they think of themselves that way. According to John Kerry:

I mean, it's so almost extraterrestrial to think about saving the planet.

2. Private jets

What most people think when they hear the word "Davos" is a group of global elites flying in on private jets to talk about climate change... and yes, John Kerry does own a private jet, no matter how many times he denies it:

I fly commercial [...] Exclusively.

3. Global Collaboration Village

You always hear some weird, dystopian projects coming out of WEF, like "The Global Collaboration Village," a new metaverse community aimed at strengthening "global cooperation." It sounds like the next installment of Brave New World. According to Klaus Schwab, Founder and President of the WEF:

The Global Collaboration Village is the pioneering effort to use the metaverse for public good, to create global cooperation and to strengthen global cooperation in the metaverse or using metaverse technologies. For me, it's a dream coming true because the village allows the Forum to create a more larger and open platform where everybody can participate.

4. Climate revolution

However, the core theme throughout WEF summits is the immediate need for a climate revolution and how businesses are selfishly blocking the revolution because they want to make an extra buck. Here's how John Kerry summed up the sentiment:

How do we get there? The lesson I have learned in the last years [...] is money, money, money, money, money, money, money.

5. Do or die

This often turns into alarmist language, like having to choose between wealth and our planet's survival... Joyeeta Gupta, Professor of Environment and Development in the Global South at University of Amsterdam, said it eloquently:

If we do the minimum at this pivotable moment in our history, then we and our children – even if we are rich – will live in the danger zone. But if we – business people, governments, citizens, cities – take action today, then we and our children will have a future worth looking forward to.

6. Colossal risks

Potsdam Institute's director Johan Rockström, used similar language, claiming we are "taking colossal risks with the future of civilization":

We are taking colossal risks with the future of civilization on Earth, we are degrading the life support systems that we all depend on, we are actually pushing the entire Earth system to a point of destabilization, pushing Earth outside of the state that has supported civilization since we left the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago.

7. Rain bombs

"Colossal risks" like... rain bombs? We didn't make that up. Ask Al Gore:

That’s what’s boiling the oceans, creating these atmospheric rivers, and the rain bombs.

Courtesy of the World Economic Forum

8. Survival comes down to this

How do we secure our survival? According to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, we have to "end our addiction to fossil fuels." This entails wiping out our entire energy industry, displacing millions of workers, and relying on global governments to usher in a new green industry. In his words:

So, we need to act together to close the emissions gap, and that means to phase out progressively coal and supercharge the renewable revolution, to end the addiction to fossil fuels, and to stop our self-defeating war on nature.

9. Complete transformation

It isn't hyperbolic to argue that the globalist climate goals will completely transform the world economy. Even EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen admitted:

The net-zero transformation is already causing huge industrial, economic and geopolitical shifts – by far the quickest and the most pronounced in our lifetime. It is changing the nature of work and the shape of our industry.

10. Scientific necessity

Of course, to bring about this "net-zero" transformation, we will have to override small, "political expediencies" like democracy to do what is "scientifically necessary." According to Zurich Insurance Group’s head of sustainability risk John Scott:

We’re living in a world right now where what’s scientifically necessary, and what is politically expedient don’t match.

11. Illegal hate speech

Doing away with "political expediencies" would also require the censorship of dissent, which would likely manifest in hate-speech laws. When asked by Brian Stelter how the discussion of disinformation relates to everything else happening today in Davos, European Commission VP Věra Jourová shared this prediction:

Illegal hate speech, which you will have soon also in the U.S. I think that we have a strong reason why we have this in the criminal law.

12. Climate first

We will also have to forego national interests on the international stage. America won't be able to advocate for policies and interests that benefit Americans. Instead, we will sacrifice national interests for the sake of global climate interests. French economy minister Bruno Le Maire said:

The key question is not China First, US First, Europe First. The key question for all of us is Climate First.

13. The role of war

We can also expect globalist leaders to use crises, like the war in Ukraine, to expedite the "net-zero transformation." Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz said:

Ultimately, our goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2045 has been given an additional boost by Putin’s war. Now we have even more cause to move away from fossil fuels.

14. Blame game

Globalist leaders will continue to blame ALL of the crises in our society on climate change to justify the "net-zero transition," from the energy shortage to "mistrust, selfishness [and] xenophobia." Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez said:

Our present struggle is not only against Putin or the energy shortage. It is also against fear, mistrust, selfishness, xenophobia, and environmental disaster. And its outcome will define life in the West and beyond for decades to come.

15. Sacrifice for the greater good

While we sacrifice our national interests for the sake of the "greater global good," we can expect our foreign enemies, like China, to benefit. Suisse Chairman Axel Lehmann said:

The growth forecasts now for China is 4.5%. I would not personally be surprised when that would be topped.

Conclusion

Glenn has been clear about the distinction between wanting to transition to green practices on your own accord and being forced into that transition by globalist, unelected elites. Leaders at Davos will continue to use alarmist language to justify their crackdown on democracy and freedom to bring about their leftist utopia. We have to cut through the alarmist language and in order to protect our freedoms.