Trumpism’s straw man war against “political correctness”

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Skittles. It had to be Skittles.

In his 18-month quest to ruin everything that is good and laudible about America, Donald Trump’s campaign has finally come for my favorite fruit-flavored candy. And not even the apocryphal pastel ones.

Yesterday Donald Trump Jr tweeted an analogy comparing Syrian refugees to Skittles.

It’s not a new analogy, but it’s also not even close to proportionally correct either. In order to accurately compare the threat of Syrian refugees to the total US population, you’d need more than 3 billion Skittles in a swimming pool. And now I’m hungry.

There’s a more fundamental problem with Trump’s argument, though. A “politically correct agenda” is not what drives our refugee program. We accept refugees from war-torn countries because we are a good and moral people, and it is the right thing to do. Especially when we’ve been meddling in those wars and making them worse.

Justice reform bills face crucial hurdles in the House

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Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Jason Pye of FreedomWorks discuss justice reform proposals.

Justice reform is a rare cross-partisan issue that unites conservatives, libertarians, and progressives, Republicans and Democrats, in agreement. But as with anything that comes before Congress, except perhaps naming post offices, it takes blood, sweat, and tears, sometimes literally, to get these vital policies passed.

Several justice reform bills are in the midst of that process in the House right now, possibly moving to final floor votes this month.

The Sentencing Reform Act was introduced last year and is currently in the House Judiciary Committee awaiting a final vote to move to the floor. This bill, HR3713, would allow local criminal courts to reduce federally mandated minimum sentences for nonviolent charges and also reduces the mandatory minimum sentences for other crimes, especially those committed while in possession of a firearm. Why should people get punished more harshly for exercising but not abusing their Second Amendment rights?

The CBO has calculated that the Sentencing Reform Act alone would save almost $800 million from the federal budget.

No Country for Old (White) Men

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At least within the ranks of the Democrat Party, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream is officially dead.

On August 28, 1963, during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, civil rights icon Martin Luther King declared “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

Today, the absolute last thing liberal Democrats want is for anyone to be judged by the content of their character, instead demanding everyone be judged by the color of their skin.

Then again, that is not entirely true. To the modern Democrat Party, the color of your skin must also be aligned with political ideology. That is why conservative blacks and Hispanics are not considered “authentic” blacks and Hispanics; because they are not also liberal/progressive, meaning they are open game for the most vicious, slanderous attacks.

A recent example of this comes in the form of the nomination by Obama of the milquetoast, boring old white guy, Garland Merrick, to the U.S. Supreme Court to fill the vacancy left by the passing of revered originalist Justice Antonin Scalia.

A taco truck on every corner: Threat or promise?

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After Donald Trump’s hysterical, radical, authoritarian immigration speech this week, it was going to be a challenge for his supporters to defend him in the press. So when the founder of Latinos for Trump went on MSNBC he probably should have avoided calling his culture “imposing” and threatening there would be taco trucks on every corner of America if it weren’t stopped.

Promise?

taco1

If you’re going to fearmonger to try to get American voters on your side, try something other than tacos. Tacos are delicious. They’re quickly becoming America’s favorite food. Salsa has already eclipsed ketchup as the most popular condiment in the country. The main dish can’t be far behind.

Nor should it be.

taco2

But maybe that means this Trumpkin is right! Maybe tacos are so popular because Hispanic culture is “imposing” its will (and spectacular food) on us.

There’s a simpler explanation - tacos are delicious. They’re like a sandwich, but with less nonsense and more fun. The lower carb option of a tortilla instead of bread is hard to pass up, as the post-sandwich wrap phenomenon of the last couple decades has shown.

Time to End Early Voting and the Lame Duck Congress

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“Vote: The instrument and symbol of a free man’s power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.” ~ American author Ambrose Bierce

There are two dynamics in the modern American political landscape that have combined to act as a steady eroding current on the foundational rock of liberty. One is the lame duck session of Congress that occurs every two years, and the other is the relatively new push for early voting.

With the lame duck session, politicians who are retiring or have been voted out of office have one last chance to stick it to the voters, knowing they won’t face another election where they will have to answer to their constituents. Really, really bad legislation has a habit of getting passed during the lame duck session.

In 2010, following the political earthquake that was the TEA Party revolution, which saw Democrats demolished at the polls in a historic fashion after passing the so-called “stimulus” bill, ObamaCare, and other items on the leftist wish list, outgoing Democrats (with the aid of a few dependably undependable Republicans) took one final shot at their countrymen, extending unemployment benefits up to nearly two years, repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (the prohibition against open homosexuals in the military established under Bill Clinton, the repeal of which changed the focus of our military from being the world’s finest fighting force to a social experiment in the normalization of sexual deviancy and mental illness), and the passage of the New START treaty, which in practice forced the U.S. to reduce the size of our nuclear arsenal while allowing Russia to keep, and even expand, its own.

This one small debate rule change could upend the two party system…which is why it won’t happen

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Ever since it became clear that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump would be the Democratic and Republican nominees for president, clamor has increased to allow other candidates into the fall debates. Clinton and Trump are the two least popular nominees in modern history, so people are thirsty for alternatives.

Recent polls have found huge majorities of voters want third party candidates to be included in the debates, regardless of who they are. But the current rules created last year, before the Clintrump circus was ordained, make that almost impossible.

Candidates have to be on the ballots of enough states to win an electoral college majority, but they also have to have an average of 15% in five national polls selected by the Commission on Presidential Debates. It’s this last requirement that will keep third parties out of the game, but it doesn’t have to be.

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The five national polls selected by the Commission are among the highest in which Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson polls, but they are also the ones that do 4-person polling most often. That means some of his potential support gets split with Green nominee Jill Stein. If those polls only asked Clinton-Trump-Johnson and Clinton-Trump-Stein instead of Clinton-Trump-Johnson-Stein, both third party candidates would probably find more support and increase their chances of making the all-important 15% threshold.

Kaepernick’s Offense Lack of Patriotism AND Ignorance

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Ending the interminably long silence in our national discussion of racial issues (insert tongue firmly in cheek here), none other than the San Francisco 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick, the 2nd or 3rd string quarterback behind Blaine Gabbert (who?…exactly!) has reignited the racial firestorm. After his refusal to stand for the national anthem during a recent game, Kaepernick defended his position by saying he is “not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color…There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

Boy, oh boy.

Kaepernick’s comments have stoked fierce responses from all points of the ideological spectrum, from those excoriating him as an ungrateful brat, to those arguing that his actions are themselves a form of patriotism. Those who are outraged at his comments are outraged for understandable reasons; they feel his actions and comments are an insult to the millions of Americans who have served in our military and fought and died to defend the freedoms he enjoys; they are outraged by his claims of oppression (he never knew his black father and was given up by his white mother at six weeks, to a white couple who, by all accounts, gave him nothing but love and support on his journey to becoming an NFL quarterback making $19 million a year while riding the bench); and they are outraged at his distorted view of America.

The danger of crying wolf on religious liberty

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For the past few years religious liberty has been a litmus test issue for conservatives, helping them decide who they can support politically and who they can’t. As a fundamental First Amendment freedom, they’re right to make it that important to their politics. But the religious liberty that’s been legislated across the country since 2013 is all too often a smokescreen for something else, and that threatens the protection of actual freedom of religion when it’s needed.

Last week a Clemson University administrator ordered a man, pictured above, to stop praying on campus. Clemson and many other universities across the country have implemented “free speech zones” that non-students are required to use for protests or other First Amendment activities. Apparently that includes prayer.

This is an actual and egregious restriction of religious freedom. Congress, and by extension taxpayer-subsidized universities, cannot restrict the free exercise of religion. Clemson can’t tell students or non-students when or where they may pray on campus. I doubt almost anyone would disagree.

“Born This Way”? New Study Debunks LGBT Claims

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Among the political left, it is an accepted fact (“settled science”, you might say) that homosexuals and transgendered people are “born that way”, that their sexual attractions or gender identities are not the product of choice, but a matter of genetics. A new report, instantly controversial, torpedoes that understanding of homosexuality and gender dysphoria (the medical term for transgenderism).

The report, entitled “Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences” is co-authored by two of the most well respected experts on mental health and human sexuality; Dr. Paul McHugh, described as “arguably the most important American psychiatrist of the last half century”, is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the prestigious Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and served for 25 years as Psychiatrist-in-Chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital; and Dr. Lawrence Mayer, Psychiatry Department scholar-in-residence at Johns Hopkins University, is a professor of statistics and biostatistics at Arizona State University.

While, not surprisingly, many on the Left and in the LGBT community immediately raged against the report as anti-LGBT, it should be noted that Johns Hopkins University was the first medical facility in the U.S. to perform sex reassignment surgery, and did so for a period spanning decades until a growing body of peer-reviewed studies, including an analysis of how Hopkins’ own transgendered patients fared over time, led the hospital to end those types of surgeries. Furthermore, McHugh is no far right-wing ideologue or Bible-thumper, he is a self-described “politically liberal” Democrat.

Forced Labor Camps Are the Fruit of Venezuelan Socialism

Vcrisis“Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.” ~ former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill

Writing in his book “The Life of Reason”, Spanish philosopher George Santayana declared “Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

That axiom may be nowhere more true that in the portion of humanity that endlessly embraces authoritarian government despite its inglorious record of failure. The failure, according to the Left, arises not in the flawed philosophy itself, but in the improper application of it. Many of the greatest atrocities in human history occurred in the last century at the hands of leftist, totalitarian regimes around the world, yet like a dog to its vomit, the Left ignores the fetid stench of death and oppression and comes back for more.

Venezuela is just the latest example of this phenomenon.

Three years ago, in the left-leaning Salon.com, writer David Sirota praised the brilliance and virtues of corrupt Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, effusively extolling the “indisputably positive results” of Chavez’s brand of socialism, while minimizing or dismissing his human rights abuses and strong-armed tactics in the pursuit of power, arguing he was not as bad as his predecessor. He gushed that Chavez, who had stolen private property on a mass scale in the process of nationalizing the nation’s oil industry, had “racked up an economic record that a legacy-obsessed American president could only dream of achieving.”


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