The horror at Beslan should be an eternal reminder of the evil power of corrupted minds

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It was Sept. 1st, the "Day of Knowledge", a national holiday, at School Number One in Beslan, Russia. It was a moderately cloudy day, with the darker parts hanging low over the town.

A town of just over 36,000, and there were nearly 900 students in the school, 1st through 11th grades.

Parents had gathered to accompany their children for the first day of school. The children carried elaborate bouquets of roses as they walked along in a procession. The festivity was charming, uplifting, joyful. The children were dressed in fanciful outfits. The girls wore red scarves and black-and-white dresses. The parents waved tiny flags and sang traditional songs.

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Meanwhile, 30 men and two women hid in the woods outside Beslan, 30 miles from Chechnya. Islamic militants, mostly Chechen. They had murder in them, and something darker, an unbridled malevolence.

At 9:20 AM, as the parents finished the celebratory songs and entered the building, the terrorists guided a large truck, full of guns and grenades and bombs, toward the school.

One group of terrorists herded shrieking children and parents into the front entrance, and killed two school security guards, the first victims of the attack. The first of many victims. A second group of terrorists flanked the backside of the school and rounded up parents and children, shoving them through the wooden plank doors and along a recently-cleaned hallway. The terrorist fired their guns in all directions, a red madness to their eyes, a deathly insanity, like drugged tyrants enamored of their power.

"We came here to die," they told the children, "and you will die with us."

Most of the older children had escaped when the terrorists arrived, so the hostages were mostly parents and young children, unable to run away. Imagine the children who had never been to school in their lives before that day. They must've wondered: Is this what school is? Why would we celebrate something as awful as this? And where are they taking us? And what will happen next? Are we going to die? Are we going to die?

The male terrorists wore green camouflage balaclavas, the women wore black hijabs, holes for their eyes, the searing black emptiness of their eyes, flared with something red, something deep and unhinged. Their faces were covered, but their cowardice was apparent.

Terrorist snipers took position in the school, and, as word spread through the town and armed citizens and police plotted storming the building, they fired at anyone who approached.

The terrorist swung their AK-47s at people to herd the parents and children into the gymnasium, where everyone crowded together, climbing over one another. It was unbearably hot, and within hours many of the children grew dizzy. The terrorists wired a grid of makeshift bombs around the gymnasium. Improvised explosives dangled above the huddled hostages, makeshift bombs slung together from basketball hoops like string lights. The explosives were rigged to a pedal on the floor, which one of the terrorists clamped down with his foot. The message was clear: If he lifted his foot, the bombs would explode, and people would die.

As a crowd formed outside, the terrorists began fortifying the school. They pulled all of the men from the gymnasium, and as one man tried to reassure everyone, the terrorists shot him in the back of the head. They yanked the man down along the hallway, and staged one man in front of every window, like decoys, like mannequins, like targets.

And each man was told to rip the doors from their hinges and shove them against the windows as barricades, shields. The terrorists warned that, if any of the barricades broke, the man who built it would be shot. The terrorists shot a few of the men anyway, after they'd built the barricades, of course.

The terrorists released a demand: "If anyone of us is killed, we'll shoot 50 people. If anyone of us is wounded, we'll kill 20 people. If 5 of us are killed, we'll blow up everything. If the light or communications are cut off for a minute, we'll shoot 10 people."

The two female terrorists were unaware that the target would be a school. They were uncomfortable with holding children as hostages. Both had suicide vests strapped to their waists. One day in, the belts exploded. It's unclear if the women had had enough and killed themselves, or if their male counterparts had grown sick of the women's dissent and murdered them. Parts of the women's bodies liquified throughout the gym. One of their heads rolled around next to a group of screaming children.

Starved and thirsty, cramped into the airless gym, the children ate the flowers they'd brought as part of the holiday, sharing so that everyone had something to eat. The terrorists wouldn't allow them to leave to use the bathroom.

Over the course of three days in September the 1,110 hostages remained cramped in the building.

Over the course of three days in September the 1,110 hostages remained cramped in the building.

At 1:06 PM on the third day, an explosion shook the ground. The townspeople gathered outside recoiled in fear, many broke into tears. An eerie pause hung over them. Some of the hostages had escaped, sobbing and blood-soaked and delirious.

Inside the gymnasium, the explosion had scattered the hostages against the walls, flung them onto bodies. Most of the survivors described the blast as subsuming them with enormous heat which overtook the air, an endlessly gasping heat. A gun battle erupted between the terrorists and the Russian special forces who were moving in on the building. Some of the townspeople had joined the military, firing their machine guns in shorts and flip-flops.

It was difficult for parents or family to tell who was who. In the smoke and ash, dehydrated and gaunt, stripped to their underwear because of the unbearable heat of the gymnasium, all the children looked the same.

The terrorists herded the survivors who hadn't escaped into the cafeteria, and used the women and children as human shields, firing at Russian troops from behind them, as the women and children screamed, "Don't shoot me, don't shoot me."

Another explosion in the gymnasium. A fire ravaged through the building. The firefight lasted 10 hours.

People drove wounded children in their cars because there weren't enough ambulances. Bodies lined the grass outside, only some covered by blankets. Tiny faces disfigured yet peaceful. In total, 330 people died. 18 Russian soldiers. 186 children. 200 had burns, 100 of them were burned alive.

Today, the building is a ghost of a building, derelict and gutted. A reminder that corrupted minds and poisonous ideas can lash into the real world in the worst imaginable ways.

In June, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips after he had refused to make a custom cake for a same-sex wedding. So, the Left is after him again.

Phillips says that on the same day of the Supreme Court decision, he received a call from an attorney asking him to make a cake that fades from blue to pink to celebrate his gender transition. Phillips again refused. He has also been harassed by the same attorney with multiple requests for cakes celebrating everything from drug use to Satanism. Naturally, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission is going after Phillips for discrimination. Again.

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Well, Phillips has understandably had enough. This week he filed a lawsuit against the state of Colorado. In the lawsuit, Phillips says his family lost 40 percent of its income due to the harassment he has received. He also says he and his employees were forced to complete a "reeducation program" about not exercising his faith at work.

In the Declaration of Independence, just before the list of specific grievances against King George III, Thomas Jefferson wrote:

"To prove this [talking about the king's tyranny], let Facts be submitted to a candid world."

The Left isn't interested in liberty and justice for all.

I wonder, do candid citizens in the U.S. notice that the tyranny against personal liberty, and religious liberty is not coming from the Right? Really, you would think that the Left would be all about the anything goes, to each his own kind of philosophy. "You do you," that's the typical Leftist philosophy, isn't it? It's certainly the spirit of postmodernism.

But the Left isn't interested in liberty and justice for all. They're interested in liberty and justice only for their vetted list of oppressed groups.

The Left is also pretty confident in its ownership of the "bigot" label to slap on whomever it deems necessary. But let's just go ahead and say it since no one else will – the Left is bigoted toward Christianity. This has nothing to do with the state of Colorado defending LGBT rights, and everything to do with their contempt for Jack Phillips' religious beliefs.

You know you're in for trouble any time an article begins with the following words: "These have been challenging times to be white in America."

Oh. I see where this is going:

People who aren't white may find this surprising. After all, it has been decades since white people could feel so free about loving their whiteness, or so openly celebrate whiteness, or talk about how much they relish being white and doing white activities.

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Those are the opening lines of a recent NBC News op-ed- titled "Are 'white people' jokes racist? Let a fellow white person explain." I mean, it would make for incredible satire. I mean, if it were mocking the outrageous postmodern mental gymnastics of the modern Left, this article would be awe-inducing in its satirical prowess. Alas, it is not. It's real. The author, somehow, means what he's writing.

You know the routine: Racism against white people isn't a real thing. It's a clever mechanism which allows that racism against white people is purely linguistic, based on the idea that power determines who can say what.

You know the routine: Racism against white people isn't a real thing.

The idea is embodied by the entire article, but one sentence in particular smacks of it: "one of the great things about being white is that you'll never have to know what racism feels like (on the receiving end anyway)."

I think I know what it feels like. It feels like someone is judging based entirely on my skin color. Kinda like this entire article about how white people cannot be judged based entirely on their skin color. How does that not make sense?

The great censorship jihad continue'ith. And maybe one of the most bizarre developments in this war is how members of the media have formed a Caliphate to wage this jihad. There are actually beat reporters from the mainstream media, hanging on every word Alex Jones says with the hopes of catching him violating social media terms of service rules.

If these mainstream media jihadis catch Jones in the act of saying anything haram - or forbidden - they instantly charge the battlefield and pummel companies like Twitter with examples of how their rules are being infringed upon. Their strategy bared more fruit yesterday. Twitter, one of the last platforms Alex Jones still had, slapped him with a seven-day ban.

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I just can't understand where the Media Caliphate is coming from here. When you're in the business of and count on, the free flow of information, is it not counter-productive to your business model to advocate for censorship? Do you not see the slippery slope you're on? Look, I get it. You think Alex Jones is looney tunes and maybe even dangerous, but silencing ideas and information should never be the answer.

Countering crazy and dangerous speech with rational and sane speech should be your mission… not censorship. You're helping Jones get silenced and cheering it on, but what will you do when someone comes to censor you? Because that's where this is headed.

But while the call for jihad was raised for Alex Jones, and silence now falls on his Twitter account, these accounts still have full access. The Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan, Beverly Hills Antifa, Antifa Philadelphia… there are more Antifa twitter accounts than I have time to mention.

The radical Left is so well represented on Twitter, you'd think they have their own private office at Twitter headquarters right next to Jack. The Revolutionary Communist Party of America is but one still posting and calling for things like - you know - just the violent takeover of the U.S. government.

I hope the advocates for censorship enjoy these early victories because it won't be long before the monster they're unleashing turns on the master.

But the Media Caliphate isn't calling for their social media heads. They just want people like Alex Jones and Gavin McGinnis to shut up. I sure it doesn't have anything to do with - no it couldn't be - this is crazy talk, but both Jones and McGinnis work for rival media outlets and deliver rival narratives to the mainstream media.

I'm sure that has nothing to do with it. If smaller outlets like CRTV and Infowars are cutting into their viewership and stealing their YouTube and Social Media clicks, would it benefit the Caliphate to come at them full bore on a digital battlefield where they're currently getting their butts kicked? You bet it would, but that's just crazy talk.

I hope the advocates for censorship enjoy these early victories because it won't be long before the monster they're unleashing turns on the master.

How could you say no to that face?

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Do you trust your own ability to unplug from technology? Some people born before the 1990s are wearing it as a badge of honor now – that they quit Facebook, or they do a regular technology fast.

We like to think we're not overly dependent on technology, while posting on social media about how old-school we are. That's all well and good until the technology starts giving you puppy dog eyes and producing digital crocodile tears. What if your robot begs you not to turn it off? Will you still do it?

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This isn't science fiction anymore. It's right around the corner. And if you're skeptical whether humans will treat robots like a family member, a new study might alter your view.

Researchers in Germany set up an experiment to examine how people treat robots when the robots act like humans. Each human participant was asked to work with a robot named Nao to create a weekly schedule and answer a series of questions.

What the participants didn't know was that completing the tasks was just a way for the researchers to find out what they were really interested in – how the participant's interaction with Nao would affect their ability to shut down the robot when asked.

Half of the participants were asked to shut down Nao without the robot protesting. But the other half of the participants heard Nao plead with them, saying: "No! Please do not switch me off! I am scared that it will not brighten up again!"

Of the 43 people who heard Nao's plea, 13 chose not to turn him off. Some said they felt sorry for him, others that they didn't want to act against his will.

The other 30 people did turn him off, but they took twice as long on average to do so than the group that did not hear the robot's plea.

Our 2018 problems will suddenly seem very quaint.

The experiment confirms previous research demonstrating that humans are prone to treat technology, especially robots with human-like traits, as living beings.

Now, take this human tendency, and fast-forward a few years in the future when robots will look, sound, and act human, and know everything about us. Our 2018 problems will suddenly seem very quaint.