Sunday, December 27, 2015
I've had a bad year. Actually, I've had a bad 15 months or so. I could go into the litany of lost jobs, car wrecks, illnesses, family emergencies, and so forth. I won’t, because specifics aren’t important here. Several times over the last few weeks, I've mentioned that I can't wait for 2015 to be over, because it's been a bad year, and hoping that 2016 would be better. If I can just make it to the end of the year, I tell myself, everything will get better next year.
Then the realist (some would call it the 'cynic') in me speaks up. "You can't know what's going to happen next year," it says. "You thought this year was bad? It can get worse."
I'm forced to admit that my realistic side is correct. It can certainly get worse. I've had enough stuff go on just in the last few weeks that brought that sharply into focus. It can always get worse.
Then, a week or two ago, while listening to our preacher give his lesson, something struck me. It pierced me to the core.
I have spent the last 15 months of my life resenting things that happened to me. Oh, I've put on a happy face, and certainly not everything that has happened in those months has been bad, but I have been letting the bad set the tone of my life. Everything seemed to come back to the bad things.
I have been using those bad things as a shield against personal responsibility. I'll pause for some of you to digest the irony of that statement; I'm a huge fan of personal responsibility. As it turns out, I'm not quite as huge a fan of it as I thought.
Not that I've been irresponsible in any of my temporal or social duties. I go to work, I hang out with friends, I try to be a good husband and father. My bills get paid, dishes get washed, and my house at least does not look like a disaster area. Usually.
But I have not taken personal responsibility for my eternal duties. Work is important for a variety of reasons. Being a good friend, husband and father are incredibly important. Being a humble, joyful, and above all *thankful* follower of Christ is much more important. I have failed in all of those.
I can wax eloquent on how God never gives us a command to "feel," but then when it comes time to choose, I never seem to. So today - now - I will choose joy. I will choose humility. I will choose thankfulness.
I will not resent the jobs lost (one for me, and one for my wife). I will thank God for the opportunities presented – a new job at better pay with better hours for me, and the chance to be a stay-at-home mom for my wife. I will not resent the car wrecks; I will thank God that no one was seriously injured, and that our insurance has handled things relatively smoothly. I will not resent the illnesses; I will thank God for our health, and that none of those illnesses turned critical (and they could have).
Here I can only repeat the prayer in the parable, and hope like the character I too “go away justified.”
“Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
Monday, December 14, 2015
Second, go read this from Larry Kudlow, and then go read this from Ace.
I tend to be on Ace’s side here. The Republican Establishment has been too open borders for too long, despite the grass roots’ very specific objections that our border situation was a National Security concern. Either they are way too stupid to be in charge (for not realizing what us rubes in fly-over land, free-market Jesus paradise have realized for the last couple of decades), or they are simply trying to co-opt a position they don’t actually believe to make us rubes in fly-over land, free-market Jesus paradise a little less angry at them.
For over 14 years the Minute Men have been on the border between the US and Mexico attempting (voluntarily) to help US Border Patrol. They understood (as did many of the rest of us) the danger posed by an open border way back then. So is really that another terror attack on US soil finally got Larry’s attention, or is he trying to sound tough so that the grass roots will start trusting the Establishment again?
However, with all that said, I think Kudlow is an idiot even in his new hawkish opinion. He reminds me rather of C-3PO telling R2D2 not to shut down “all the trash compactors on the detention level” but rather, “No! Shut them all down!”
We don’t have a problem with immigrants or visitors from England, France, or Sweden. Not by and large, at any rate, and certainly not a recognizable terrorism problem from those countries. Why should we prevent them from coming here and, potentially, even further alienate our allies? Larry wants to pretend that this is not “about religion.” To do so, he has to pretend it’s about “immigration” more generally, and so the only option is complete embargo.
Note to Larry Kudlow and the rest of the GOP Establishment: It’s the Mohammedanism, stupid.
What is the common denominator among Iraq, Syria, Libya, Israel’s West Bank, and the rest of the Middle East? Mohammedanism. Who are the euphemistic “warlords” in Africa? Mostly Mohammedans. Who is throwing gays off of buildings, beheading Christians, and slaughtering innocents? Mohammedans. Who shot up a Christmas Party in San Bernadino, detonated a bomb at the Boston Marathon, and flew 3 planes into US landmarks? Mohammedans.
It would be really nice if Mohammedanism really was “a religion of peace,” as its apologists claim. It simply isn’t. Mohammedanism, is an evil death cult. Mohammed preached (and practiced) conversion by the sword, conquest, rape, and pillage. Today, a majority of Mohammedans world-wide believe that violent jihad is a valid form of Mohammedanism. A majority of US Mohammedans believe that Sharia Law, which has been called “completely incompatible with American Values, should be the law of the land.
Trump is certainly bombastic. He’s a carnival barker, a narcissist, and a whole host of other unsavory things. But between him and Larry Kudlow? Trump is the one who is right.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
If you’ve been living under a rock, you might not have heard about Donald Trump's “racist” (more on that in a moment) comment saying we should stop allowing Mohammedans into America “until our Representatives figure out what’s going on.” The reaction was predictable, and pathetic.
Most Republicans couldn’t distance themselves fast enough. Democrats pointed with glee at the “racist” comments and said it “disqualified” Trump from being President (this from the party of the KKK, the Black Panther party, and the Westboro Baptist Church, among others). Everyone reacted as if there was nothing of substance said.
Yes, Trump is circus clown. Yes, he’s a carnival barker. In many ways that’s what makes him so appealing to many. However, he’s not actually stupid. So let’s take a serious look at the facts behind the carnival barking.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Because f*ck Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, and Jeb Bush, that’s why.
Oh. You wanted the expanded version. I guess I can do that.
So, I’ve seen a lot on these here inter-tubez talking about “Trump supporters” this and “Trumpkins” that. Most of it is completely missing the point, so I’m going to try one more time. This is going to be incredibly cynical and self-serving. Also: long. I hope you’re ready.
First, a little history.
President George Herbert Walker Bush enacted a tax increase not very long after promising “Read my lips: no new taxes.” That betrayal of his word cost him the presidency far more than anything Ross Perot did. Here’s a hint: if you don’t want challenges from the Right, don’t move quite so far to the left. But remember those words and that tax law, we’ll get back to them later.
President Clinton was a slimy b-tard of a president, and actually pretty leftist. At least one self-described feminist offered him oral sex simply for “keeping abortion legal,” which says a great deal both about “feminism” and abortion – none of it good. Nevertheless he did sign a balanced budget and welfare reform. Sure, it was under duress, but he did so. Remember those bills, too, we’ll get back to them as well.
President George Walker Bush ran for the presidency in 2000 on “compassionate conservatism,” which, as far as I can tell, is Progressive Liberalism, but with more praying and less sex. Less beer, too, probably. He signed a number of bills with which he did not agree including at least one budget after the Democrats took control of Congress in 2007. Bills he did agree with – indeed: fought for, included a Medicaid expansion, Medicare Part D, and No Child Left Behind. He also famously “destroyed capitalism to save it.” Oh, and inflicted Karl Rove on the Republican Party for, apparently, the rest of eternity.
Enter Barack Obama. Barack Obama (notorious stuttering clusterf*ck of a malignant traitor) took office in 2009 with a Democrat controlled congress including 60 Democrats in the Senate (okay, that came shortly *after* inauguration, but not long). He rapidly passed a “stimulus” package which was nothing more than pay-day to his cronies, ignored written bankruptcy law to give GM to the UAW, and generally made a menace of himself. The entire time this was happening, the Republican Leadership of Mitch McConnell (hereafter: Yertle) and John Boehner (hereafter: Agent Orange) in the Senate and House respectively made excuses for their failure even to slow very much of this down. Given the headaches Democrats caused Republicans in 2001 – 2006, those excuses were a little limp, but I guess they’re all they had.
Then came Obamacare. Now, I want to be clear here, Obamacare was passed by Republicans as much as by Democrats. Sure, no Republican vote was needed for final passage of the Orwellian Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, but Republicans had plenty of chances to stop, or at least slow, its passage. Had they done so, then Scott Brown of Massachusetts would have been installed in his Senator’s seat in time to help a procedural filibuster kill the bill dead. Instead, they opted for comity and show votes. The bill was over 900 pages when it was first introduced. A simple refusal to grant unanimous consent to waive the reading of the bill would likely have stopped the thing cold. But Yertle and Agent Orange wanted to get home for Christmas.
Shortly after the passage of Obamacare, Republican voters swept the Republicans into office on a platform of “We’ll oppose Obama and repeal every word of Obamacare.” The echoes of their collective recitations of their oaths of office had not faded before Agent Orange started making excuses. The House was just “one half of one third of government.” I guess we were supposed to ignore the part where the House controls spending.
Republican voters gave them a pass, and in 2012, despite Obama’s reelection, Yertle became Senate Majority Leader. Surely now, we thought, with the full legislature under Republican control, we would get some things done. Hearings were called (remember Lois Lerner? Remember Hillary!’s “what difference, at this point, does it make? Remember Fast and Furious?). Much hot air was released. And. Nothing. Happened. No spending was cut. When it looked like spending *might* be cut, Republicans panicked and passed more spending. No, a budget “balanced” in out years does not cut, and a cut in rate of growth is not “a spending cut.” When a few Republican malcontents (Ted Cruz among them, but there were others) succeeded in forcing a meager and very partial shutdown, Yertle and Agent Orange couldn’t throw them under the bus fast enough, and quickly moved to authorize MOAR SPENDING!!!
All along the way we’ve had excuses. “We don’t have a filibuster proof majority in the Senate.” “Obama will just veto it.” Remember those passed and signed bills I mentioned earlier? Funny how not having filibuster proof majorities in the Senate or veto-proof majorities in Congress did not stop Congress from getting Presidents to sign bills in the past. I guess there must be a new rule that says “If we’re not assured of success, we may as well not try.” I guess I missed that memo.
That doesn’t even begin to get to amnesty and illegal immigration failures and betrayals we’ve seen since the 1980s.
All of this is to say: “Burn it down. Scatter the stones. Salt the earth where it stood.” We have not had a two party system since at least 2006, and possibly as far back as 2001. There is no significant difference in outcome between having Democrats and Republicans in office. I mean, really, what’s going to happen if Republicans aren’t in office? Will Planned Parenthood be revealed as priests of Moloch selling the parts of babies butchered in (and sometimes just out-of) the womb for fun and profit and Congress won’t do anything? Will the Supreme Court overstep its bounds (again) and declare a constitutional right for homosexual partnerships to call themselves “marriage” while forcing those opposed to participate? Will the EPA dump great quantities of pollutants into a river in Colorado and face no consequences? Will the President make an unconstitutional Treaty with Iran virtually guaranteeing that they will gain nuclear weapons capabilities while ALSO promising to provide them protection from Israel?
When it comes down to actual outcomes, and not rhetoric, there is no significant difference between Republicans and Democrats. Just notice how fast Republicans pull out the race card themselves when confronted over their desire for amnesty. But our system cannot survive under one party. There must be an opposition – a real opposition acting against the majority. It is the only way to curb the excesses of the majority against the minority, and the only way to ensure that the Federal Government only uses its powers in ways guided by the Constitution for the purpose of protecting Liberty.
Therefore it is time for a third party. However, the game is rigged. Democrats and Republicans get on ballots automatically. Simply have the nomination of your party, and you show up on the ballot. How nice. Third parties have to have petition drives and hope they get enough signatures. Democrats and Republicans have advertising advantages and a national structure enshrined in law (or nearly so). Third parties must scrimp and scrape for every scrap of exposure they can get. A third party, in short, is denied access with the two establishment parties.
So we’re faced with a conundrum. Republican recalcitrance to be an opposition party means we need a new party. The party establishments have basically enshrined the two party system, so a third party is not a viable solution. What to do?
Destroy the party. Destroy its leadership. Destroy its ability to operate. And then conservatives might, possibly, maybe have a shot (but it would be a long one) at seizing control of the new power structures and returning the Republican Party – no longer controlled by the establishment and their Donor Class allies/masters.
But who can do such a thing? Not the seizing control part – conservatives will have to do that after the destruction part, and there’s no guarantee we’ll be able to do so. The best we can hope for is a chance. No, who can do the destruction part?
Answer – only someone not beholden to that current power structure. But how can we avoid that? How can one not be beholden to the current power structure. Well, first, he’d need to be self-funding, because he’s not going to get the big power donors like the Chambers of Commerce. And he’d need to have a lot of name recognition, because that power structure isn’t going to want his message to get out – so he’d need a way to get it out anyway. And he’d need to have some shred of credential to say “see, I’m a success” so that people can be convinced that he’d be a successful president.
Sound like anyone you know?
Now, if it looks like this defense of Trump has been short on what Trump will do or why I support him, it’s because it’s not a defense of Trump. I’m virtually certain Trump will be a terrible president (assuming he’s elected). I’m virtually certain he’s only in it for him, and is only conservative insofar as being conservative is a path to the White House. I’m pretty sure he’s saying what sells, and not really what he believes.
So be it. I’m not supporting Donald Trump. If there were someone else in the field who was self funded, had huge (or is that “yuuuge!”) name recognition, and the ability to sell himself as a success at something people respect, I would vote for that person instead. Donald Trump is a means to an end, and that end is already being achieved.
The Republican Party and its enablers in Conservative Media are busy telling everyone who is mad at the Republican Party that we’re idiots. We’re racists. We’re fools. And in so doing they are ensuring that many conservatives never vote for any Republican on the national level again.
Burn it down? Yertle, Agent Orange, Rove, Jeb, and all are doing that.
Scatter the stones? That will depend on the burn it down phase, but I’m pretty sure I can trust the hissy fit they’ll throw when they lose (and they will lose, one way or another).
Salt the earth where it stood? We’ll have to work on that.
No, I don’t support Donald Trump. But Donald Trump winning the Republican Party will suit my goals far better than if anyone else does.
Monday, July 13, 2015
I am the Committee Chair of a Cub Scout Pack. I knew this was coming. Nevertheless I find myself saddened not only by the decision, but by the fact that the decision was made public before it was disseminated to local Scout Leadership. Whether this lack of communication is a failure at the National Council or my local council I do not know, but I do know that it is a failure.
The bigger failure, however, is the decision itself.
On my Honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country, to obey the scout law, to help other people at all times, to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.
A Scout Is: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.
Whatever you believe about homosexuality, it is clear that homosexual behavior (separated by act of free will from homosexual urges or proclivities) is sin. Indeed, being “openly gay,” is an active choice to live in sin – to engage in that homosexual behavior.
Whatever you believe about homosexuality, you cannot be doing your duty to God, you cannot be morally straight, and you cannot be reverent if you are choosing to engage in homosexual behavior.
Whatever you believe about homosexuality, those three things: duty to God, morality, and reverence are part of being a Scout. It is one thing to allow openly homosexual children. I believe it is sick on many levels to assume that children of 12 or 13 can *be* homosexual in any meaningful way, but allowances can and should be made for Scouts. They are, after all, still learning about that duty to God. Leadership, however, must be held to the strictest standards.
The Scouts do not allow consumption of alcoholic beverages at scout functions. Why? Is it because alcohol is morally wrong? Is it because duty to God or Country requires one to abstain from drinking? Certainly not. The Scouts do not allow consumption of alcoholic beverages because it is unwise.
Openly homosexual leadership is beyond unwise. It is undermining the very Oath and Law we expect these boys to uphold. It is proving to them, in a way words will never be able to overcome, that the Oath and Law are “just words,” and have no meaning. It is proving to them that morality is based on convenience, and duty to God ends at doors of the church building.
What is worse about this decision is this: the homosexual lobby will not stop with this success. We already have proof of this. It will not be enough that religious charter organizations can decide about their own leadership. Ask Sweet Cakes in Oregon. Ask Memories Pizza. Ask any of dozens of photographers, bakers, and caterers who have been forced by the homosexual lobby with the assistance of the government to act in ways contrary to their consciences. Ask the homosexual lobby itself- the lobby already calling for the end of tax-exempt status for churches which do not support homosexual unions.
The Boy Scouts of America had won in court many times – as a private organization, they were under no requirement to accept homosexual leadership. Now they have thrown that away. Obviously the Boy Scouts of America no longer find it necessary to their charter to restrict homosexual parents to non-leadership roles. How much defense will local charter organizations and local packs have when the homosexual lobby comes again demanding acceptance?
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
So, a high school dropout racist loser shoots 9 people, and the country collectively loses it sh!t. Seriously?
I’m not even going to bother with the racism disclaimer. Assume it here.
The battle flag of the army of Northern Virginia did not cause this. The civil war did not cause this. Southern culture did not cause this. What caused this was a high school dropout racist loser deciding to vent his loser frustrations on the innocent. Since he’s a f*cking racist, he decided those innocents should be Black. But the cause was his racist loserdom, not any other external factor.
So just stop it already.
No, the Confederate Battle Flag does not need to be removed from the State House grounds in South Carolina or any other government building. Men fought and died honorably for a cause that is honorable – the right of self-determination, among other things. Yes, that also means they were defending the right of the States to continue slavery, and that’s bad, but Real Life is messy, and by current standards (the ones to which we’re suddenly holding the Confederate warriors) one of the most celebrated Union generals – William Tecumseh Sherman – was a war criminal. I won’t call him a war criminal (out loud) if you will similarly shut up about your belief that the CBF is somehow a “symbol of racism.”
No, monuments to various Confederate figures, including Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and others, do not need to be taken down. They were honorable men who fought against (as they saw it) an invasion. Go read some history, even if you don’t agree with them, at least try to understand why many Southerners still call it “The War of Northern Aggression.”
No, the CBF does not need to be removed from Civil War historical sites, museums, or stores. Even if I accept that it “represents racism,” which I don’t, that doesn’t change the fact that in America people have the right to be racist. You may not like it – I certainly don’t like it – but it’s the truth. And what the CBF does represent is a commitment to fight for Freedom from an oppressive central government. There may be a time when we want such symbols.
No, things that happen to incorporate the CBF do not need to be removed or forgotten. Not video games, not TV shows, not books, not anything. That is part of my culture you’re trying to consign to the flames.
Do you really want to have a “conversation about race?” Okay, let’s have a conversation about race.
Black on black crime is much higher, per capita, than any other demographic. Black on white crime is higher than white on black crime. White on white crime is higher than black on white crime. These are actual facts.
Do you really believe “Black Lives Matter?” I do. So how about we stop young black men from killing each other. That seems to be a much bigger danger to them than some high school dropout loser racist.
Do you really believe “Black Lives Matter?” I do. So how about we stop enabling a culture which encourages young black women to have sex and then have their babies murdered? Black women, even controlling for income and social factors, are much more likely than whites to have an abortion.
Stop trying to blame history for today’s bad choices. Stop trying to pretend that history doesn’t exist. Stop trying to minimize it and put into some box labeled “Racism.” Stop lashing out.
And start addressing the real problems.
Saturday, June 27, 2015
“If you call a dog’s tail a leg, how many legs does it have?” – Abraham Lincoln (attrib)
So the Supreme Court decided that it could wave its hand and redefine marriage. Beyond the horrific precedent this sets, this is so flawed on its own (lack of) merits, that I find myself stunned in spite of the fact this is the exact outcome I was expecting. All over my FB timeline and in my personal life people I thought were sane are celebrating as though Christmas came early. I can’t call them “F*cking Idiots” to their faces, but perhaps I can explain, here, why this is so bad.
First we have to settle a question: is marriage something created by Man which could have been created however we want, or is it something that exists on its own whether we like it or not? Is it, in fact, mere custom, or is it a natural Law on the order of 2 + 2 = 4?
Let us see what we can discover.
Biologically, men and women are different. This is important, because it takes both a man and a woman to bear children. Further, for the time she is pregnant, the woman is especially in need of protection and care – protection and care which she cannot provide for herself. Once the child is born, the child also needs exceptional protection and care until he or she is old enough to care for him- or herself. If men impregnated women and then left them unprotected, child birth and survival rates would be low enough to jeopardize survival of the species. Since every species is compelled to ensure its survival, it seems likely that ours would adapt accordingly, and that men would have an urge related to the urge to procreate which would cause them to care for and protect, to some degree at least, the woman who bears their children, and those children.
Sociologically, it is true that every society of which we have any inkling of their practices has embraced the same, or at least very similar, definition of marriage- it is a union between a man and a woman. Without getting into the intricacies of polygamous societies, none of them have accepted or condoned homosexual relationships. Few have even accepted or condoned heterosexual relationships between adults and adolescents. This virtually universal definition of marriage served to protect women – protect them from violence, from poverty, and from abuse – and children, while providing the best chance for young single males to have a chance to procreate (and, thus, continue the species).
So it seems that there is good evidence that marriage is just a word we use to describe a natural phenomenon – the coming together of men and women to bear and rear children and thus propagate the species. If there is evidence that we “just made it up,” I am unaware of it.
Now, if it is true that marriage is something that exists in nature, then the following is a true statement: It cannot be redefined. You cannot redefine marriage any more than you can redefine gravity or 2 + 2. You can warp the language. You can ignore the truth. You can claim to believe a lie. But you cannot change what marriage is.
So for all of those who are going to rush to get “married” to their homosexual partner: You still won’t be married. You will never be married. You can call your relationship whatever you want. You can refer to your partner as your “husband” or “wife” or “potato.” I won’t matter. I am married. You are not. You cannot change that, no matter how much you wish it.