Russia! Russia! Russia!

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Arguing with Clintonites is exhausting!  And if you’re tired of going in circles with them actually trying to make eloquent arguments against their ad nauseum Russiagate conspiracies, just use this meme instead.  They just aren’t worth the effort.

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Trump Creepin’ on Clinton? Gimme a break!

Ermagerd!  He’s so creepy!

To my fellow travelers on the Trump Train, here’s how we should deal with this absurd claim that Trump was creeping on Hillary in that second debate.

Donald Trump is married to the beautiful, intelligent, exotic Melania Trump.

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Yeah, Hillary Clinton’s got nothin’ he wants!  Boom!  I’m out!

 

Who is really giving a megaphone to “deplorables”?

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Who is really giving a megaphone to “Deplorables”?

Throughout the last several decades, white supremacist groups have been in their rightful place – the margins of society and the butt of several jokes.  The most attention that the KKK could hope for was a slot on the Jerry Springer show, somewhere between the lesbian cousin lovers and the “kung fu hillbilly”.  In the late 1910s to early 1920s, however, the Klan enjoyed a brief period of being part of the American mainstream.  The Klan of today sometimes tries to make itself palatable to the American mainstream, and desperately seeks attention, but they can’t achieve this if nobody even bothers to notice them.

The “Deplorables”

According to Hillary Clinton, there’s always been a paranoid fringe in our politics, steeped in racial resentment. But it’s never had the nominee of a major party stoking it, encouraging it, and giving it a national megaphone. Until now.”

Frequently we hear stories of some Klansman, or former Klansman, who decided to support Donald Trump.  White supremacists in this country are very anti-immigration, and Trump’s desire to build a wall and deport 11 million illegals certainly appeals to them.  But one need not be a white supremacist to support enforcing immigration laws.  And these white supremacists would likely disagree with Trump’s support for LEGAL immigration.  

Of course, Trump has also received kind words from the Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.  Farrakhan, an avid anti-Semite, likes that Trump is the only member who has stood in front of the Jewish community and said ‘I don’t want your money.”

There’s plenty of reasons that radicals, and “deplorables” might support Clinton or Trump, but acknowledging these groups only gives them a megaphone.  No such megaphone has been given by the Trump campaign to the USA Communist Party, which has endorsed Hillary Clinton, nor should there be.

Who is really granting them a megaphone?

Remember David Duke?  Most Americans, especially young Americans, probably didn’t even know the name until it came out that Duke was endorsing Trump.  Those who did know the name were probably more than happy to let him fall into anachronistic obscurity right along with the KKK of which he was once a member.  But David Duke cleverly breathed new life into his infamy by giving the mainstream media the opportunity to tarnish Trump’s campaign by drawing attention to David Duke’s half-hearted endorsement.  Trump made the mistake of individually disavowing him, thereby giving him the attention he sought.  Fortunately, Trump has been careful not to repeat that mistake.

In truth, Clinton and her supporters do more to help groups like the KKK, or the less extreme white nationalist “alt-right” movement by constantly denouncing them and Trump for having their tacit support.  There are plenty of Klansman nobodies, trying to become somebody by saying, “Hey, I’m wearing a white sheet with a swastika on my arm and I’m voting for Trump”.  Every now and then, someone from the Klan will get clever and endorse Clinton instead.  Oooopsss!  Didn’t see that one coming!  

If Trump goes through each of his deplorable endorsements, calling them out by name and disavowing them individually, all he will accomplish is recognizing that these people are even worth noticing.  Trump has collectively disavowed all white supremacists, and that’s all he should do.  Anything more just gives them the attention they crave, which it seems Hillary Clinton and her supporters are happy to do.

Best Kos article ever…but it still sucks!

I just got taken for a ride by a very clever article about discrimination in the Daily Kos.  While I have some conservative sentiments, I’ve never cared for the “take back America” mantra.  Last I checked, America was never taken from us, so I’m not sure from whom we’re supposed to take it back.

This Kos article, by someone named Steven D, initially addressed that mantra, which caught my eye.  The first half of it was an interesting account of young Steven’s life in N. Carolina towards the end of the “Jim Crow” era, as a white northerner.  It was very courteous of him to note that these kinds of segregationist norms were uncommon in S. Dakota “probably because there were so few black people living in the Northern Plains states.”  I’ve never appreciated how white northerners criticize the south for all of our history of racial strife, when they up north so rarely had to deal with it, so I’m glad Steven D notes that very important difference in circumstances.  Well, even though I’m about to rip into this article, I’d still encourage you to read it, because the first half really is an excellent primary history source of segregation in 1950s North Carolina.

Now for the ripping. 

While I agree with some of the points that followed, in particular that our criminal justice system continues to discriminate against blacks; in typical Kos fashion the article goes on to make ridiculous hasty generalizations against conservatives, and a series of other fallacious arguments I will explain.  For one thing, Steven D seems to be suggesting that conservatives who say “I want my country back” want to go back to Jim Crow.  I will admit that most such conservatives (who are more anachronistic than conservative by the way), most of them cherry pick the past.  They probably want the prosperity and patriotism of the 1950s, and chose not to remember the segregation, much less the very high tax rates of the era.  But while their memories may be selective, they are not racists, they are not closet racists, and furthermore, it is indeed possible to look to the past, maybe try to re-implement parts of the past you like while leaving behind the parts that you don’t.  I for example would love to make America a manufacturing power house again, like we were in the 1950s.  We don’t need segregated schools to have manufacturing jobs, and it would be absurd to tell me “you can’t cherry-pick, if you want to go back to the 50s, you have to have segregation too.”

What bothered me most about this article is that it engaged in the all too familiar leftist victim group umbrella tactic.  That is, after deeply discussing racial discrimination in the past and present, it jumped into LGBT issues, feminism, Latinos, and any other “victim group” that the monolithic left seeks to homogenize into their narrow-minded political movement.  The article made a clearly false claim about feminism – “Feminism as a movement did not exist until the late 60s and early 70s.”  What about the women’s suffrage movement of the 19th and early 20th centuries?  What about great classic feminists like Mary Wollstonecraft, who encouraged equality in education, reason and modesty?

Religious Freedom is a Problem?

The article then begins to attack religious freedom itself as a mere excuse for discrimination.  So, if a cake decorator is religiously opposed to same-sex marriage, and therefore refuses to make a wedding cake for a gay wedding, that is to be called “discrimination” and the cake decorator punished?  So, you’re entitled to your religious beliefs, but if they offend the left, you have to violate those very beliefs in public…because they’re offensive?  As so often with the cleverly bigoted left, this is compared to the 1950s when blacks were refused service at restaurants.

Here are three reasons why that comparison is absurd.  1.  In the 50s, the discrimination was widespread, and blacks were being denied very basic necessities such as hotels when they were on the road, food when they were hungry, etc.  This greatly diminished their quality of life.  One religious cake decorator refusing to make a cake will not diminish the quality of a gay couple’s life.  There are plenty of cake decorators who don’t care, and would make them a cake.  To compare one entitled gay couple who still had their wedding to a poor black family in the 50s who slept in their car because the hotel “doesn’t serve coloreds” – that is an insult!  2.  Gay is not black.  A black man walks in, you know he’s black.  When racial discrimination is allowed, it’s far too easy to do so and degrade blacks in every way.  The same would be true of any other skin color.  A gay man walks in, do you know he’s gay?  Some gay people don’t “act gay”.  Some straight people are “metrosexual” (I’ve been known to set off a few gaydars myself).  3.  There is a difference between refusing service simply because someone is gay, and refusing to be involved in a same sex wedding ceremony.  While I am not against same-sex marriage myself, as an American, I will defend the right of fellow Americans to practice their religion as they see fit.  This is not “discrimination”, it is freedom.  To punish a cake decorator who refuses to make a wedding cake for a gay wedding is not ANTI-discrimination, it IS discrimination.  This leftist tactic of comparing everything they hate to Jim Crow racism is a clear poisoning the well fallacy.  Well, I don’t want to be racist, so I guess I’ll have to make a cake of a same-sex wedding ceremony.

This next part isn’t even good enough to be absurd

Of course, this is the Kos, and if you think what I’ve discussed above is the worst in this article…just read on.  The article also made a beyond absurd argument that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in Indiana will somehow effectively discriminate against, well, any group the Kos wants to appeal to.  Here are Steven D’s words – “Their efforts encompass attempts to limit the rights of a far wider range of people, from the poor, young people and students, women, Latinos, immigrants, the disabled and, of course, blacks.  Anyone who thinks otherwise is frankly delusional.”  WHAT?!  I’m sorry, but due to my religious beliefs, I can’t serve poor people…that’s what Jesus would do.  HUH?!  Sorry, but I can’t serve coffee to you students who are cramming for an exam because, religion.  REALLY?!  Where did Steven D come up with this nonsense?

I found the ending to be the most offensive and insulting of all.  Again, Steven D’s words – “I certainly don’t want a country where anyone can discriminate against anyone else of whom they do disapprove and escape liability for that immoral and otherwise unlawful act under any pretext, be it freedom of religionracial superiority or traditional values.”  In the name of white supremacy, the Reverend Clementa Pickney and eight worshippers were murdered at an AME Church in Charleston S. Carolina – while exercising their freedom of religion!  There’s a long a tragic history of black worshippers being murdered by white supremacists, and their churches being burned down.  To equate white supremacy to freedom of religion is an insult to the memories of every black worshipper who was murdered.

Why this article still sucks

I’m not frustrated by this article because it comes “from the left”.  There’s plenty of respectable leftist sources, such as The Nation and….The Nation…. I’m not even frustrated by all the ridiculous points I’ve now refuted, as I expect nothing less from the Kos.  I’m frustrated because this article actually had potential.  I’m not saying Steven D couldn’t make these points effectively.  With some basic critical thinking skills he could have made a plausible argument for why gay is the new black, or that it is wrong to refuse service for a gay wedding.  I’d disagree, but I’d at least consider it a respectable article.  But instead, what starts out as a very interesting first hand history lesson quickly degenerates into the kind of left-winged bigotry for which the Kos is notorious.  It is the worst kind of bigotry, as it is often in the name of anti-discrimination.  But discrimination in the name of anti-discrimination, is still discrimination.  If I as a Christian call for religious freedom, then argue that, say, Muslims do not believe in religious freedom*; and therefore Muslims must not be allowed to practice their religion because they are a threat to religious freedom, I would be a hypocritical bigot – no better than the ones at the Daily Kos.

I, too, “want a better country”.  But part of that depends on maintaining those aspects of our country that do work well.  The first amendment, amongst other things guaranteeing freedom of religion, has always served us well.  I’m not prepared to sacrifice that freedom in the name of anti-discrimination.  I’d rather use my first amendment rights to persuade my fellow Americans, than deny their first amendment rights in order to force their actions, which will never change what is in their hearts.

Note(s)

*For the record, I acknowledge that Islam, like Christianity, could be cherry-picked to justify suppressing religious freedom.  But like Christians, the average Muslim especially in America simply wants to practice his/her faith and has no desire deprive others of the same freedom.  If anything Islam has a better history of religious freedom, considering that they at least acknowledge some other faiths as “people of the book” and that during the Crusading era of the Middle Ages, Christians and Jews did have religious freedom for the most part in the Islamic world while the same courtesy was clearly not extended in the Christian world.

My Piece on the Charleston Massacre

I don’t care if gays marry, and neither should the government

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I’m not going to pretend to be a socially progressive gay right’s activist.  As a Christian, I was once a staunch opponent of same sex marriage because I felt that my religion compelled me.  I started supported the idea of gay civil partnerships when I concluded that such did not conflict with my religious beliefs (this was my position until around 2012).  After listening to several libertarians, including Julie Borowski, I came around to the libertarian position on marriage.  People should be free to marry whoever they wish and the government role in marriage should be severed.  This didn’t make sense to me the first time I heard it from Ron Paul.  When he said, “get the government out of marriage”, I just thought Oh Ron Paul, that’s your answer to everything.  Then I learned more about the history of government involvement in marriage, and learned that states started licensing marriage in the 19th Century in order to stop interracial marriage.  I remember a quote from Jesus,

16“You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?17“So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18“A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.…” – St. Matthew 7:17-18

No good has come from government marriage, as it was originally designed to oppress black people.  I see no reason why government should remain in marriage.  If the left has their way on this, “Marriage Equality” will be their Trojan horse for their true agenda – further centralization and expansion of government at the expense of religious freedom.  If the state only grants civil partnerships, as a contract, and marriage is seen legally as a separate issue to be handled privately, then everyone wins (at least, all people of good will).  Gays a free to marry, straights are free to marry, and churches and businesses are free to participate or not participate in marriage ceremonies based on their conscience.  As we have already seen, as government pushes marriage equality, rather than merely getting out of the way, it punishes cake decorators and whoever else opposes the leftist agenda.

The authoritarian left knows that marriage equality is happening.  State by state, individual by individual, and eventually church by church, it is happening.  If the left stands back and lets it happen, they lose an opportunity, just like they would have in the 1960s at the height of the Civil Rights movement.  Like Civil Rights, the left will not let progress happen without jumping on the opportunity to pass new laws eroding states’ rights, eroding religious freedom, as well as pushing the US Supreme Court to engage in further judicial activism.  For the left, this is no more about marriage equality than it was about racial equality in the 1960s.  It’s about big government, identity politics, pseudo-intellectual bigotries, and judicial activism.  Furthermore, if they have their way, marriage equality will be a wedge issue for decades to come, and gay people will pay the price.  Consider the Civil Rights movement.  As controversial civil rights legislation was passed and the US Constitution eroded, black progress came to a screeching halt!  They came so far in the 1950s and 60s.  Schools were starting to integrate, blacks were starting to get elected, and others were starting successful businesses.  But then it stopped.  Whites were coming around to integration and equality in concept, but affirmative action caused deep resentment.  It also allowed the right to find new ways of race-bating, such as the references to “welfare queens” in order to convince low income whites to vote against their own interests.

This is why I would encourage marriage equality advocates to push for this state by state, preferably by referendum.  They won’t win every time, but there’s always another election cycle.  This should not be federally mandated, nor pushed by an unelected panel of 9 judges.  I’d especially encourage marriage equality activists to oppose punishments for private individuals, businesses, or religious groups who disagree.  You don’t legitimize your cause by engaging in the same kinds of bigotry you seek to end.

People are coming around to marriage equality, and more will be persuaded simply because it’s the right thing to do.  The arguments against gay marriage are actually rather weak.  As a Christian, I can tell you that I am not persuaded by Old Testament bans on homosexual sex.  That same Old Testament bans pork, and I had sausage with my breakfast.  Those Old Testament laws were given by Moses to the ancient Jews in the context of about 1500 BC.  Homosexuality was banned, along with all other kinds of sex that was not reproductive.  This is because in ancient times, it was absolutely crucial to the health of a nation for people to have as many children as possible.  This is also why they practiced polygamy.  We don’t practice polygamy now (well, most of us).  In an overpopulated world, who are homosexuals hurting?

Link(s):

Now what this man is doing is most commendable!

http://www.christianpost.com/news/gay-advocate-raises-money-to-help-christian-bakers-pay-150k-fine-for-refusing-to-bake-cake-for-lesbian-wedding-128479/

Rick Santorum and the Democratic Party – Strange Bedfellows

 

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What do establishment Democrats and neocon Republicans have in common?  They are both powerful, incompetent, and think they speak for America!  As Rand Paul has wisely advocated a very consistent defense based foreign policy, the establishments of the left and right are blasting Paul for “blaming America”.  The left/right establishment from Hillary Clinton to Rick Santorum, and to a lesser extent President Obama, have advocated arming “the rebels” in Syria, while at the same time fighting against ISIS.  Never mind that ISIS actually came from those very “rebels” in Syria that the establishment helped.  Never mind that ISIS actually has many of those very weapons that the left/right establishment sent them.  To the left/right establishment, this arm your enemies, and blow ‘em up later approach to foreign policy makes perfect sense.  To anyone whose head is located atop the shoulders, instead of between to big hairy cheeks, this makes no sense at all.

I just read probably the worst article ever published in the Huffington, puffington Post.  Rand Paul wisely opposed arming “the rebels” in Syria, and now blames the political establishment, left and right, for having done so and inadvertently aided ISIS.  Instead of admitting their mistakes, “both sides” claim that Rand Paul is “blaming America”.  Well, I’m an American.  Ted Cruz is American.  Bernie Sanders – American.  Pat Buchanan – well you get the idea.  I’ve never heard Rand Paul blame any of us for ISIS.  You who read this, has Rand Paul blamed you?  Are you American?  Rand Paul blames particular political leaders who have made foolish policies that helped ISIS.  Is it blaming America anytime any American blames a politician for their mistakes?  Who would have thought that Rick Santorum, John McCain, and Lindsey Graham would find themselves on the same side as the Democratic National Committee?  Some of my hardcore paleocon/libertarian friends will call them RINOs.  I just call them insane.  Hey, here’s a brilliant idea.  Next time there’s a forest fire – don’t put it out right away.  Pour gasoline on it first, then when it gets really bad, we can start putting it out.  That makes about as much sense as arming the rebels in Syria.

Now, let me be serious.  In conclusion, ISIS must be stopped.  If that means bombs, then let’s drop bombs.  If it means arming Kurds, let’s arm the Kurds.  If it means allying with forces we don’t normally like very much, like Iran or Syria…so be it.  But the greatest threat to our safety comes not from those who hate us from abroad, but our incompetent political leaders and their self-destructive policies that are based more on Cold War prejudices and silly globalist ideologies than America’s best interests.  As Dave Mustaine said, “Yesterday’s answers have nothing to do with today’s questions”.  For America to move forward, we must remove the neocons and the interventionist “liberals” from power at the ballot box.  Is it 2016 yet?

P.S. and No, Dave Mustaine never endorsed Santorum.  He merely complemented Santorum for his devotion to his family.