Matthew DesOrmeaux

Recent Posts From Matthew DesOrmeaux

Here’s Why We Should Take More Syrian Refugees after Paris, Not Fewer

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As of this writing, nine fourteen twenty 27 state governors have issued executive orders or unilaterally proclaimed that their state will no longer accept refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war and Daesh terrorism there. Nevermind that states don’t really have a say in the matter, since accepting refugees is an immigration and foreign policy power exclusively granted to the federal government. The sudden protectionism in the wake of the coordinated attacks on fun in Paris isn’t surprising, but it is exactly the wrong response.

As a timely post at the libertarian Niskanen Center makes crystal clear, there are several good reasons that the US should continue accepting refugees and not abandon desperate, hopeless people because of fear.

1. The Paris attackers were not refugees. [ed: additional link added]

Red Starbucks Cups: A Story of Viral Outrage Marketing

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Everything on the internet is a lie, especially anything you hear about a “movement” or “boycott” or “outrage”. This is one of those.

On November 5, Josh Feuerstein, an Arizona preacher, Facebook vertical video ranter, and Fred Durst-style backwards cap-wearer, basically a Christian version of Howard Stern, posted a 1-minute 18-second video about a red-hued mass-produced beverage receptible. You see, he went to Starbucks to get his morning cup of coffee and was handed a simple red cup. He immediately felt triggered by this holiday-colored but not holiday-decorated design, so he retreated to his safe space of portrait-oriented internet video and expressed this offense to the world.

And horrifically, the world listened. As of this writing Feuerstein’s video has 12,247,900 views, 153,895 likes, 447,838 shares, and 36,094 comments. Normally I don’t recommend reading comments on internet posts, but in this case it’s illuminating.

The first three comments on Feuerstein’s post are from Feuerstein himself. First, he urges his viewers to use a specific hashtag when discussing the issue on social media. That helps people discussing it connect to each other and helps the topic trend if enough people use it.

The second comment is Feuerstein linking to his own blog post at theradicals.com about the topic. That gets people to his own advertising-supported website, putting money in his pocket with each hysterical pearl-clutching click. The third comment is Feuerstein tagging at least thirteen other mostly Christian conservative outrage-mongers like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Breitbart in an effort to get their social media managers to talk about the post and link to his website (*click*click*ka-ching*ka-ching*).

GOP in Chaos? Have you seen the Democrats lately?

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One of the media and their Democratic allies’ favorite narratives is the ubiquitous GOP civil war. Every election, every intra-party disagreement, every primary, it’s all they can talk about.

Republicans are in chaos because there isn’t a consensus House Speaker choice. They’re in chaos because there isn’t a consensus presidential nominee. They’re in chaos because there are significant policy disagreements within the ranks. (So weird that “liberals” expect conformity and unanimity…) You’d think the leftist media’s ideological (and, really, partisan) survival would depend on painting the other side as dysfunctional. There are even entire sections devoted to it at PoliticoSalon, and Huffington Post. But every year of the “GOP civil war”, Republicans control more state legislatures and pickup more House and Senate seats. And have you seen the Democrats lately?

Here’s What Would Be Happening if President Romney Had Bombed a Hospital in Afghanistan

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The news out of the Perpetual War on Terror is pretty grim these days. The US military knowingly but “accidentally” bombed a hospital in Afghanistan, killing 22 doctors and patients. Just days later, the president decided not to draw down troops in the country as previously planned, but will instead keep nearly 6,000 of our sons and daughters in the country until at least 2017 when his term ends. At the same time, the inner workings of the president’s drone war, including questionable intel, lax target timeframes, and horrifying collateral damage ratios, have been brought to light by a whistleblower.

But you’d be forgiven for not noticing any of this. While it has been reported in the news media, there has been almost no secondary public reaction. I think that’s entirely because of one factor: Barack Obama won the last election, not Mitt Romney. If Romney had been elected in 2012 and in the year before his reelection campaign had bombed a hospital, decided to keep troops in Afghanistan, and had details of his robot assassin program leaked, things would probably look a little different today.

#DemDebate, or How They Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Being Democratic Socialists

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Democrats have been complaining for years that Republicans have moved so far right that they’re not compatible with American democracy anymore. Republicans were fine before, they say, but not anymore! Weak-kneed Republicans who lose primary elections then decide to become media stars by switching to Independents (and eventually Democrats) and claiming “I didn’t leave the party, the party left me”.

[cue thunderous lemming applause]

But no one ever asks how far the Democrats have moved left. In their first primary debate of the 2016 contest Tuesday night, we may finally have gotten the answer. They’re all Democratic Socialists now, and proud of it (with the possible exception of Jim Webb).

We Should Defund Planned Parenthood, But Not Over Abortion

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In case the headline wasn’t clear enough, this post is not about abortion. That sentence may be the only time I use the word at all. But this is definitely about Planned Parenthood and why it should not be federally funded, regardless of what goods or evils it may provide.

Planned Parenthood Federation for America, Inc. is a 501c3 tax-exempt non-profit corporation, so it doesn’t pay any income tax on its revenue or profits like most other private health care providers do. It received a total of 1.3 billion in revenue in the most recently reported year, 2013. Just under half of that was from government funding, $528 million.

So not only is Planned Parenthood not paying any taxes, they’re also receiving almost half their total income from your tax dollars. There’s a term for this (and no, it still has nothing to do with the “A” word). It’s corporate welfare.

Boehner Resigns, Unifies Right and Left in Celebration more than Pope Francis

Something has happened this morning that we have not seen in a long age - conservatives and liberals are united. No, they’re not all celebrating Pope Francis’ message of unity and equality, though there’s some of that, and the papal visit is related. No, what has brought both sides together is the announcement that Speaker John Boehner will resign both his leadership position and House seat at the end of this October.

Apparently speaking to the Pope yesterday moved Boehner so much that he has decided to step down. And who can blame him? Since his ascendancy after Republicans took back the House in 2010, there have been constant calls for his replacement. He’s been called a RINO, a sell-out, a stand-in for the real Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and worse. Conservatives never supported him strongly enough (though most kept reelecting him to the position), and Democrats opposed him on nearly everything.

Boehner was also constantly mocked for his emotional rawness. But again, who can blame him? He’s in awe of his country, his government, despite its flaws, and his position within it. I well up every time I hear the Star-Spangled Banner at a sporting event. I can’t imagine being elected to a government position by your fellow citizens and feeling the overwhelming responsibility and trust that entails.

Out of Control College Political Correctness Gets a Surprising New Critic: President Obama

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The last few years have been rough for truth-tellers, especially on college campuses. The new fad of “trigger warnings” before hearing speech that might offend our precious snowflakes has reached farcical levels. Colleges have had to create “safe spaces” outside of speaking events for students that are so traumatized that they have to physically flee ideas with which they disagree.

But this week such insane political correctness found a surprising new critic - in the White House.

“I’ve heard of some college campuses where they don’t want to have a guest speaker who is too conservative, or they don’t want to read a book if it had language that is offensive to African Americans or somehow sends a demeaning signal towards women,” Obama said Monday while speaking at a town hall meeting at North High School in Des Moines. “I’ve got to tell you, I don’t agree with that either — that you when you become students at colleges, you have to be coddled and protected from different points of view. Anybody who comes to speak to you and you disagree with, you should have an argument with them, but you shouldn’t silence them by saying you can’t come because I’m too sensitive to hear what you have to say.

Kanye for President? At this point, why not?

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At Sunday’s Video Music Awards on MTV, rapper Kanye West accepted the Video Vanguard Award, the attention span-limited network’s version of a lifetime achievement award. Deserved or not, West took the opportunity, as he often does at award shows, to make more news for himself. This time he decided to announce his intention to run for president in 2020. Unclear if the Federal Election Commission will now begin monitoring his finances.

Most took the opportunity to laugh at the clown. Kanye is notoriously divisive when he engages politically. He’s also a gaffe-prone loose cannon unsuited to winning hearts and minds in our carefully choreographed campaign climate. And while a certain amount of narcissism is necessary to think you are capable of presiding over the world’s preeminent superpower, West’s level of self-worship may leave him overqualified.

Then again, I’m judging him on a normal election cycle. Given the Twilight Zone-like events of the 2016 cycle so far, Yeezy, as the kids call him, may well be the perfect presidential candidate for 2020.

Inverted Federalism: How Washington bribes and shackles your state with your own tax dollars

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Conservatives and libertarians complain about the perversion of American federalism over the last 75-100 years. Everything has become a national issue, and federal tax dollars support even the smallest local projects, either directly through grants or indirectly by subsidizing some projects, which frees up local funds for others. Since the source is far removed from the recipient, often this funding is wasteful, not really needed, or dubiously requested. We don’t usually get to see this problem up close, but I did today.

This morning my wife and I brought my eldest child to school for the first time for testing and registration. There were a stack of forms to fill out about the handbook, riding the bus, behavior, school lunches, and residency. The last two were the focus of the registrant’s particular attention. We explained to her that while we are selling our house and planning to build a new one we are living with relatives temporarily. “Oh!”, she said. In that case, we should apply for a federal homeless student program “because it will bring in more federal money.”

Oh?

We’re not actually homeless, though. Not even close. We live in a very nice home while its owners are out of town on business most of the time and until we build our own. But when confronted with this situation, a public school official’s first instinct was to turn it into a hardship case to take advantage of federal largesse.

Matthew DesOrmeaux

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married, father of two, atheist, libertarian, introvert.

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