How much federal involvement should we permit and how much involvement should we require in the lives of American children? The quick answer is “as little as possible” but I think there should be an exception for healthcare.Continue Reading
I found myself reflecting on the 2002 Hillsong lryic: I will bless the Lord forever, and I will trust Him at all times. He has delivered me from all fear… I will not be moved, and I’ll say of the Lord… You are my shield, my strength, my portion, deliverer, my shelter, strong tower, my very present help in time of need…
While largely a paraphrase of the 34th Psalm, it really boils it down to a kernel.Continue Reading
Scottish police officers simulated a riot at the Jackton training center in Glasgow, Scotland, where police leaders from throughout the United States gathered to discuss department tactics.
Paul wrote to Timothy that “in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves [… h]aving a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof; […e]ver learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Tim 3 KJV)Continue Reading
Though it offers nothing not already contained in the research and publications of Univ. of Utah law professor Terry Kogan, Time magazine’s Why Do We Have Men’s and Women’s Bathrooms? is still a good, medium-length read.
A number of people, quite understandably, have not taken fondly to my vocal fortress-of-fear / fortress-of-faith position. We shall now see whether that position is summarily disproven should I test positive. Of course, testing negative does not affirm my position, but a positive result would presumptively invalidate it. But when it is all said and done, I elected to self-isolate because, should I test positive, others should not suffer the consequences of my inadequate faith. To be absolutely clear, though, nothing I have stated, past or present, should be construed to suggest that those who contract corona are somehow lacking in faith. In this life, misfortunes do strike undeserving people. This does not mean that God intends for anyone to suffer or that God wishes to instruct us by way of suffering. While commendable for a suffering soul to be able to glean something positive from tragedy, God must be viewed as benevolent. God no more causes one to die of corona than God would cause one to die from an earthquake. There simply are natural forces at work that were long ago set in motion and which play themselves out. Earthquakes happen, hurricanes happen, mental illness happens, All of these can result in considerable tragedy and losses of life. Pure evil also happens (Pearl Harbor, 9/11, JFK).Continue Reading
Cristen Conger explains everything.
The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries. Winston Churchill
For the record, yes, I am a card-carrying member of the ACLU, but the more important question is “Why aren’t you, Bob?” Now this is an organization whose sole purpose is to defend the Bill of Rights, so it naturally begs the question, why would a senator, his party’s most powerful spokesman and a candidate for President, choose to reject upholding the constitution? Now if you can answer that question, folks, then you’re smarter than I am, because I didn’t understand it until a few hours ago.Continue Reading
Men do not casually call women cunts. Yes, men might casually refer to them as bitch or ho, but cunt is neither casually bantered nor indiscriminately hurled. Indeed, cunt is reserved for extraordinary cases and when it is used, it is (probably) well deserved (either on general principle or for specific conduct demonstrated at or near the moment of invocation). But why is cunt so horrifying? Perhaps it is that cunt is the ultimate reductive objectification . . . meaning that the denigrated female has absolutely no value apart from her vagina *or* that she so lacks social and intellectual value that she is equal to a whore or prostitute. Yes, in this light cunt would seem unbelievably harsh, but as far as reductive objectifications go, why is cunt so taboo while dickhead, prick, and asshole are not?
USA Today reports that Target does not stand alone in its respect for non-cisgender persons. Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, and Hudson Bay (Sacks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor) all condone customer election of the facility that matches that customer’s gender identity. Sears (as well as its Kmart subsidiary) is not as outspoken, but condemns all forms of discrimination. Read the full print article here
And there is evidence that other companies agree. CBS affiliate KTVT reports that Ross Dress-For-Less and TJX (TJ Maxx, Marshall’s) also endorse facility election based on that customer’s gender identity. The station also reports that Walmart has no specific gender policy one way or the other. Read the full story here.
there have been times throughout American history where what is right is not the same as what is legal. Sometimes to do the right thing you have to break a law. Edward Snowden
President Trump is making an issue of saying “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays.”
So here’s the thing: when I was an adolescent, I too made an issue of saying “Merry Christmas” and that begs a comparison to President Trump’s petulant soapbox (i.e. is he playing a political angle or just acting immaturely?).Continue Reading
I am not saying that face coverings should be worn nor am I saying that face coverings should not be worn; I am saying that governments must not compel it. You see, while I am a stalwart libertarian, I am also a pentecostal Christian. I contend that such mandates go against my sincere religious beliefs.Continue Reading
Sobering confirmation of decade-old TV plotlines. NPR’s Terry Gross interviews Craig Timberg of the Washington Post
The same First Amendment which guarantees freedom of expression and freedom of speech, also puts a qualifier on it as “the right of the people peaceably to assemble”. At first blush those words are taken to mean that citizens have the right to congregate, whether that be to exercise the First-Amendment freedoms or to seek government redress of grievances; however, those words could just as easily be read to condition all First-Amendment freedoms upon a righteous purpose Continue Reading
Two days ago a man asked me why I was carrying so many papers with me. My response was not as articulate as I would have liked it to have been, so this is what I wish I had said: We are a nation built on words and the ideas which those words express, a nation that considers words the ultimate weapon. Of all the constitutional amendments, the very first one sets out to protect speech above all else. It is no accident that it is the first of all amendments nor that it is immediately followed by the protection of arms and a militia. We must speak first and fight second.
Back in May 2016 in the wake of citizen killings by cops and the black lives matter movement, I had the idea to think up a new Constitutional amendment:
No executive agent of a State or of the United States acting under color of domestic law shall purposefully, capriciously, wantonly, negligently, or indifferently perpetrate or permit an abrogation of due process or substantial miscarriage of justice upon any person during a time and place of peace, natural calm, and civil order, and any executive agent who conscientiously refuses an order which would violate such protection shall be equally protected.
My idea was to reflect and protect civil rights. It could potentially open the door for 28 USC 2254 habeas relief on a freestanding actual innocence claim. And while conceived as miscarriage of criminal law, it remains open to allow federal courts to decide what other substantial miscarriages might exist such as employment, welfare, healthcare, or voting rights. It opens the door for international application as well on matters like extraordinary rendition.
Americans might be more willing to accept goon/anno restrictions if it were applied equally to the militarization-thirsty (and qualifiedly-immune) police. The second amendment is substantively a repudiation and protection from the one law for me, another law for thee conduct of state actors. Let them lead by example by demilitarizing themselves before they ask citizens to demilitarize. Then there would truly be no need for such gear.
George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin BOTH used bad judgment, but why is it that only Zimmerman’s judgment is scrutinized? The “girlfriend” testified that Martin was the one who initiated verbal contact. Recently someone tried to tell me that Martin was within his First Amendment rights to say whatever he wanted to. But by that same logic, Zimmerman was within his First Amendment rights to assemble where he wished. But it was Martin who created the confrontation between them. And Martin could have chosen to explain that he was visiting a resident and that would have diffused the situation. Let’s not forget about Trayvon Martin’s poor judgment.
It is ridiculous and incredible that as a popularly-styled “Christian Nation” American society requires laws compelling compassion and fairness (by way of example, Colorado’s and Washington State’s laws on public accommodations). While the government should not dictate the conscientious objections of private enterprise, neither should private enterprise be allowed to hatefully mistreat a class of people. Continue Reading
I would love to meet President Clinton whom along with President Reagan and Margaret Thatcher I have long regarded as the best post-WWII world leaders.
I would love to meet Richard Gere whose method acting has made him my man-crush for at least a decade.
I would love to meet Rod Stewart because of his clear passion to entertain others and the joy he finds in bringing joy to others.
I would love to meet Phil Collins because of his astounding talents and his ability to (re)invent himsel, his life, and his career.
I would love to meet Sarah Michelle Gellar and David Boreanaz because they were so perfect for their character roles. I also want to meet Charisma Carpenter because she was just super hot!
I would love to meet Madonna to better understand her life and professional evolution.
In February 1999, four plain-clothes New York City cops shot and killed 23 year-old African immigrant Amadou Diallo more than 40 times in the doorway of his own home. Diallo was unarmed. The cops were acquitted of second degree murder.Continue Reading
2 Timothy 1:7 declares that “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”Continue Reading
Right-wing Christians grandstand on potentiating “unborn” lives with no apparent thought to the quality of those lives. I am this moment reminded of John 10:10 where Jesus said “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” How exactly can one be pro-life without also being pro-healthcare? Conservatives have (as should all) a distrust of government overreach and tyranny, but to be pro-life must necessarily also mean being pro-abundant-life. What use is it to have life without quality of life? And life cannot be narrowly classified as birth but as all those who have been born but not yet died. To be pro-life must mean (as the Catholic church teaches) opposing capital punishment. It must also mean making healthcare available to all—not just the wealthy, not just ‘the least of these’—but to all and to those between. And it probably also means dispensing the same quality and access to healthcare just as it means the equal right to live.
I stumbled upon a politician’s Facebook meme yesterday that employed at least a hundred words to restate a very succinct bumper sticker of the 1980 : “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” This truth—that laws only regulate the law-abiding—is not true only of guns.Continue Reading
I guess I should warn you, if I turn out to be particularly clear, you’ve probably misunderstood what I’ve said. Alan GreenspanI know you think you understand what you thought I said but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. Alan Greenspan
He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.Thomas Paine (1795)
For a couple of years now I have come to believe that the death penalty should not be enforced. By this, I am not saying that the death penalty should not exist or that the death penalty should be abolished. On the contrary, there are acts that are so heinous that justice demands a sentence of death! However, once pronounced, humanity must step in and commute death to life imprisonment…unless the offender consents.Continue Reading
Earlier this year there was an AP story about an Idahoan Lt. Gov candidate who, as part of his stumping, asserted that women who undergo elective abortions should be prosecuted if Roe v. Wade is ever reversed. OK, without actually attacking his statement, let’s just examine the underlying stupidity that should disqualify him from public office. Continue Reading
Georgia Senator Joshua McKoon has proposed a state constitutional amendment to require that all government business be conducted in English and it makes no good sense. As a citizen with one foot still in Georgia (and the other foot looking for better soil to trod), this moronic initiative bothered me when I first heard of it, but it has really stuck in my craw and I must now speak out.Continue Reading
Haven’t read or listened fully, but it holds out some measure of wisdom (albeit vain). https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/05/police-discretion-enforcing-mala-prohibita-crime-law.html
So I was just pondering the statement that “straight” people don’t choose to be straight. Of course, the über-religious will say that’s because it’s the natural order of things…the way we’re created. But if someone is physiochemically wired a certain way, doesn’t that imply that God either makes mistakes or that God is a watchmaker rather than a timepiece? To avoid that theological quagmire, they equate homosexuality with sin and since sin necessarily depends on choice, sexual orientation must therefore be a choice as well. It seems to me that the blindly religious are spending way more energy trying to avoid the theological heavy lifting than it would take to just sit patiently and meditatively for understanding to come. Theophilosophy shouldn’t weaken one’s faith; it should strengthen and deepen it. As an axiom, a sovereign deity cannot err and all people must have the same free will. So shouldn’t it be the case that if heteros don’t choose to be hetero, homos don’t choose to be homo?
Does anyone remember the WWJD wristbands from the 1990s? Jesus opposed all that the pharisees stood for, yet he welcomed them into his gatherings. If they were not among the attendees, how were they have been there to pose questions to him? They tried to compel his speech about paying taxes to Caesar (Mt 22:17, Mk 12:14, Lk 20:22). But what did Jesus do? He got creative and avoided the very words that the Pharisees expected put in his mouth. Whether it is baking a cake or designing a wedding website, can we not love these neighbors as ourselves? Should a Christian refuse to love her neighbors by withholding alms from homeless lesbians? Should the Christian who pulls off the road to assist stranded motorists drive away when he adduces them to be homosexually-wedded men? Not every Christian is sufficiently spiritually mature to implement what I propose here, but why can’t Christians design a wedding website or cake while engaging in genuine loving prayer for the customer-celebrants? And shouldn’t a Christian do that for every such customer, even the heterosexual ones? Indeed, can the designer not imprint a resonant verse like “God Is Love”? (1 John 4:8,16) Does that not avoid the issue, love our neighbor, and plant a highly memorable seed that the Holy Spirit can cultivate over time? Tragically, high profile battles like Creative, LLC, and Masterpiece Cake Shop only injure Christianity’s message. I’m relieved that SCOTUS preserved free speech protections, but I wish this case had never been brought.
Appeasement only makes the aggressor more aggressive. Henry Strozier as Dean Rusk, Thirteen Days
It occurs to me today that Americans do have a Constitutional right to be “weird” by virtue of the First Amendment’s freedom of expression.Continue Reading
The further back you can look, the further forward you can see. unknownN.B. Often attributed to Winston Churchill, but never confirmed.
ME: I abstain from expressing opinions on abortion, but I live in [state] and [state] has no respect for the rule of law. That leaves it to orgs like ACLU to keep the asshats in check.Continue Reading
I just finished watching The Ted Bundy Tapes on Netflix and I am conflicted more than ever by the death penalty. How does homocide remedy homicide? To what degree is the death penalty entrenched in antiquated Judeo-Christian religiosity? And what do the evolved states of those religions say about the preciousness of life? Does the Talmud not teach that to save one life is to save the whole world? Did Christ not teach that even the most wretched life is still worth sparing? And to what degree is pronouncing the death penalty our attempt to vangloriously exalt ourselves to equality with God to decide who should live and who should die? I think that as a society the death penalty must exist as the ultimate repudiation and condemnation of intolerable crime. But as a civilization, should we not then immediately commute that death sentence to exile (which is to say, prison)? We euthanize animals in the name of compassion, but we refuse that same compassion to those agonizing in the throes of slow natural death. Yet we force death upon those we condemn in the name of justice for the victims. Is that just a reverse–and a perverse–euthanasia? Using death in the name of compassion, not for the one dying, but for the one already dead? More death does not reverse the finality of the a priori death. And no, I haven’t been the victim of anyone like Ted Bundy, but I can say that the natural death of the alcoholic who terrorized my childhood brought me neither pleasure nor displeasure. His death closed the cover of an open book, but it did not erase the contents of the chapters.
It would seem that there are three types of people: cowards who run from risk, fools who ignore risk, and agents who accept risk. Vox
Net neutrality is a good thing, but its demise won’t be the apocalyptic threshold that many “Chicken Littles” prognosticate. There are just too many money-grubbing attorneys chomping at the bit for a juicy class-action suit. Then too, there is also the US Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Consumer Protections Bureau on deck to intervene if the existing laws and court rulings are violated.
Around 100 years ago, the Mann-Elkins Act of 1910 legislatively declared telecommunication networks to be common carriers subject to Congress’ authority to regulate interstate commerce. In 1974, MCI sued AT&T in federal court for violating Mann-Elkins after Illinois Bell (at the time a wholly-owned subsidiary of AT&T) severed all of MCI’s network interconnections. MCI won a $1.8 billion judgement (which was upheld, though reduced, in 1983 by the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals). But ever since the 1970s, telecommunication providers cannot (lawfully) deny network access to a party that is willing and able to pay for the service nor can telecommunication providers charge dissimilar access rates to competitors. In fact, MCI’s initial 1974 victory over AT&T was the very thing that led to the federal government’s antitrust action that resulted in AT&T’s unprecedented breakup.Continue Reading
Separate areas with sofas, vanities, and even writing tables used to put the “rest” in women’s restrooms. Why were these spaces built, and why did they vanish? Read City Lab’s story titled The Glamorous, Sexist History of the Women’s Restroom Lounge
Scripture speaks of a time when the government “causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads. And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark.” (Rev 13:16-17 KJV). I have been vocal about the threat that corona-hysteria government overreach poses to religious liberty, but I now also see a grave eschatological danger.Continue Reading
It has been said that the government which governs least also governs best. And as a libertarian, I think the government’s interference with those things which can be handled locally should be avoided. I have often remarked that the federal government should not be involved with school lunches. But the recent spate of teacher strikes makes me wonder where this nonsense will end.Continue Reading
In my gut, I don’t want to see Brett Kavanaugh confirmed—and not just because Donald Trump wants him on the Supreme Court—that was just the first strike. Listening to the compelling testimony against him was the final nail in the coffin. But my gut was not without its heartburn for feeling that way. I disliked myself for judging a matured man for the offenses of his youth. Even so, his declaration (“I am innocent of this charge”) sounded too much like the famous “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” line. Continue Reading
I just stumbled upon a 1970s or 1980s Billy Graham crusade. He said: “here in this stadium when you have a football game, if you’re really for Texas Tech you’re really gonna shout loud when they make a touchdown and the man who loves his neighbor the most will fight all that hurts and deprives and oppresses his neighbor. Paul said, ‘who is offended and I burn not?'”Continue Reading
To be clear, this post is not about abortion but rather a sociocultural contradiction and hypocrisy revealed by the political lens of abortion. A few weeks ago I was struck by the irony that those who advocate “pro-choice” regarding women’s bodies fail to extend that philosophy to men’s bodies.Continue Reading