I often tell myself that President Trump should stop picking meaningless fights, like his feud with the Democratic party’s new ‘Indian Princess’, and focus on bigger issues . . . but that self-dialogue is always abruptly halted by my deeply-held belief that Donald Trump always knows what he’s doing. His rants against his political foes, while they may seem petty and unimportant to me, are plays to attract votes from the voters who prefer political confrontation to polite dialogue. Trump appreciates those people because he is one of them and they are the majority of Americans who keep this country real and keep it free from ‘overgovernment.’
Yes, SOME OF President Trump’s tweets are somewhat annoying and certainly, as the news media on both sides have pointed out, they are, at least at times, interfering with his own objective: to address the American people directly. I emphasize “SOME” of his tweets because, obviously, in this booming age of social media, tweets are an excellent way to deliver his thoughts and his appeals directly to the American people. The annoying part is when he gets into a social media war with members of the extreme Left-Wing of the American Press, e.g., “Morning Joe” Scarborough and his wife and broadcast partner Mika Brzezinski.
From my point of view, MSNBC, CNN and the others in the extreme Left-Wing media are simply on a HATE campaign against Trump, not only because he beat the Left-Wing darling Hillary Clinton out of the presidency last year but also because he is a different kind of president than they (and us) have ever seen before. The Left-Wing will condemn everything he does and says and lie about him at the drop of a hat. It is because of this, the Left-Wing press has lost credibility with most Americans. Don’t take my word for it, here are the current cable news ratings published at “TV By The Numbers” they show that: “For the third straight week, FOX News Channel topped basic cable as the #1 network in primetime total viewers, averaging 1.9 million total viewers. This is the 5th time in the past six weeks FNC has topped all of basic cable in primetime viewers.”
Why Fox News? Not because they are more Conservative than the others but because they deal in real journalism. They report the facts, even when the facts do not favor President Trump, and they criticize his tweets on a daily basis, not because he is tweeting, because the Fox News management feels (as we all do) that some of his tweets need criticism.
Forget the media for a moment and analyze the situation. We have a president who is highly intelligent, an extremely savvy negotiator and who has proven to be an excellent communicator; but yet SOME of his daily communication to the American people, through Twitter, appears to be mean, controversial and otherwise inappropriate.
The answer to this riddle is obvious: Donald Trump not only dislikes it when someone insults him or lies about him (as the Left-Wing media does on a daily basis), he refuses to tolerate it. As Melania Trump has publically stated: “He’s a great leader, he’s fair, (but) as you may know by now, when you attack him, he will punch back 10 times harder.” Does this make him a bad president? I say no! I say it makes him a strong president who will once again (since before President Obama was elected) cause America to be feared by some and respected by all.
I don’t speak so loudly for President Trump because I’m a Conservative, I’m NOT. I’m much more of a Libertarian. I don’t support everything that Conservatives stand for. Their opposition to abortion is clearly religiously motivated and punishes people for making personal decisions that have little or nothing to do with their neighbors, their state government of the Federal Government. Ditto for Conservative opposition to gay marriage and their interference with small business’ who only want to choose who they serve. (For the record, I must say that I Do agree with Conservatives on the Transgender “bathroom bill”. The transgender issue is not a matter of sexual preference, it is a serious psychological disorder.)
I seriously doubt that Donald Trump in his heart supports all “Conservative” positions but he’s a man stuck in a political situation and if he wants to get ANYTHING done in Washington, he has to play the Washington game. Disgusting, I know, but that can also be said of politics in general.
From it’s Inception, the American ‘Stool’ Only Needed Three Legs
1) The ‘small, unobtrusive government’ leg to allow citizens to be truly free from unwanted, unneeded political influences in their lives.
2) The ‘strong national defense’ leg to keep citizens safe from enemies who either envy or hate us for being free and strong.
3) The ‘free enterprise’ leg to maintain the American traditions of invention and industry that create an atmosphere amenable to personal wealth building and charitable giving.
To maintain order, this stool sits on a platform of laws that are devised to protect citizens from the greed, jealousy and arrogance that lives within all of us . . . and controls some of us..
The “American Stool” I have attempted to describe above represents a basic Libertarian vision of America; a vision of free men and woman making their own decisions and acting on them with the only restriction being respect for the property and privacy of others. America grew from a fledgling nation to a world power based on the three principles that support that Libertarian vision.
Some will try to make you believe that the ideals of small government, a strong national defense and free enterprise are Conservative ideals, that’s not quite true! If you trade in your ‘Libertarian stool’ for a ‘Conservative stool’, you are likely to get a stool with the same three strong legs, but also a fourth leg that does not quite reach the ground: the Judeo-Christian leg.
Enter the Christian Right
Greed, jealousy and arrogance unleashed, in the hands of those who set aside America’s Constitution and tried to replace it with a Christian Bible began the destruction of the American political system in the late 1970s, when an unsubstantial fourth leg was added to the American Stool; the Judeo-Christian leg (aka the Moral Majority leg). This leg was weaker than the other three legs because it was fashioned out of ephemeral hope and wishes and fueled by a greed for power as well as the arrogance of organized religion, i.e., spiritual desires are served rather than human needs.
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision the self-important Christian Right jumped on the decision and eventually, successfully managed to corrupt the Constitution’s clearly implied desire to keep religion and government separate; they did this by inserting Christian ethics into, what was intended by the founders, to be a system insulated from and superior to religious belief.
Remember that first leg of the American stool, the ‘small, unobtrusive government’ leg, intended to allow citizens to be truly free from unwanted, unneeded political influences in their lives? Thanks to the corruption of the American political system caused by the Christian Conservative faction in the government, that leg has deteriorated to the point where, among other things: the logical right of a woman to control or terminate her own pregnancy is being challenged by politicians instead of by pediatricians; and where government officials attempted, and almost succeeded, to preempt the right of two adults to get married unless the match was approved by the state.
It needs to be made perfectly clear to politicians and government agencies that an American with strong religious beliefs is NOT ‘superior’ in any way to an American who does not share those beliefs. We are a nation of laws, not moral edicts.
I do not in any way claim that a set of personal religious beliefs is a bad thing, but Christian Evangelists need to be reminded: that we are a nation of laws that have ascended from centuries of tradition and experience; Christian ethics that harm or diminish personal freedoms and rights must be condemned.
I firmly believe, and have long retained this belief, that the United States needs to stop interfering in other country’s internal affairs, including civil wars, and especially in the Middle East. I believe that to keep United States citizens safe we should make the United States as invincible as possible and make sure that we are feared and respected by those countries who refuse to be our allies and by countries, individuals and groups who wish us harm. We should support our allies and encourage others who have similar value systems to become our allies.
That said, I know that the United States is about to “strike” Syria and I think we all know the reason. Our President put his foot in the all of our mouths by promising action if Chemical weapons were used in Syria and now that the “red line” has been crossed it’s put the United States in a position where our ‘reputation’ is on the line.
Reputation (or “face” as it’s called in some parts of the world) is a concept that is only used by the weak and insecure. The United States should never have to worry about how others see us, we are, by every measure, the “elephant in the room.” If any country thinks it can strike a fatal blow against the United States, it’s leaders are deluding themselves and putting their population in a very dangerous place.
According to a USA Today article/ from Tuesday: “The expected U.S. missile strike against Syria will be aimed at forces linked to chemical weapons as well as broader military targets”. If we have to go into Syria, that seems to be the best way to do it. We are apparently not going to attempt to effect a regime change in Syria, to do that would be a dangerous gamble because the next regime could be worse than the current one (like what happened when we forced Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi off the Peacock Throne in 1979). Nor are we planning on putting “boots on the ground” in Syria. Let countries handle their own regime changes and let those local warriors who remain alive, live with any unintended consequences.
U.S. military “assets” are already in place and whatever we do we will do it soon!
Some of the media are making a big deal about President Obama not asking for consent from the Congress before the attack on Syria. According to the Constitution, the U.S. cannot “declare war” without the consent of Congress but this is not a declaration of war, this action is intended as a public “spanking” of Syrian President Assad. Threats have been made of retaliation against Israel if the U.S. attacks Syria. If that happens Israel will quickly retaliate and they won’t be nice about it; Israel will of course expect U.S. support if attacked and the U.S. is committed to defending it’s ally against a military attack from another Middle Eastern country or even from a certain “Bear” in eastern Europe.
Times change! Meanings of word also change but how the B.S.A. can call itself a “Christian” organization by teaching intolerance and exclusion is well beyond my understanding.
Ryan Andresen (pictured above) was a good boy scout for about 10 years! Ryan had his heart set on becoming an Eagle Scout and worked tirelessly to accumulate all the necessary badges and complete all the required projects; he had only one problem! When he got into high school he realized that he was gay — he was still a good citizen and still a good scout, still a good person and still the same Ryan Andresen as the one who had been in scouting for all those years, but he was suddenly a pariah!
When the Boy Scouts of America (B.S.A.) learned of Ryan’s sexual orientation, he was allowed (for some reason) to remain a scout and stranger yet, allowed to continue working toward his goal of Eagle Scout but then, after completing all the qualifications, he was denied the Eagle Scout rank based solely on his sexual orientation.
The B.S.A. organization, apparently ‘proudly,’ teaches their scouts that homosexuality is valid grounds for the effective expulsion from descent society and a valid reason to ignore any good a person has done.
In Ryan’s case the leadership turned their back while the “good” scouts, i.e., the ones who were not gay, harassed Ryan, called him names and even, at one point, held him down and wrote the word “FAG” on his chest. These, the supposed ‘children of God,’ rejected and humiliated a fellow scout based on who he was — not on the basis of bad, indecent or criminal behavior — just solely on who he was.
We all realize that the B.S.A. is a private organization and, as the Supreme Court has decided, they do not HAVE to accept gay members or leaders but what they are doing is worse than not accepting gays into their membership — they are teaching the children they do allow into their organization to be bigoted and homophobic. Just based on those teachings THEY, the B.S.A. organization, should be the pariahs of society and every descent citizen should loudly protest their policies.
Parents who allows their children to be infected by the homophobic policies of the B.S.A. need to be made aware of the harm that they are doing to their children’s growth as responsible citizens.
As descent American citizens we should all reject any organization, private or public, that discriminates based on race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. That rejection should be very public and very loud. Discrimination is not, or at least should not be, what America is about. As Christians, you should seriously reevaluate your definition of Christianity.
The RNC Convention left me feeling great about our country’s future, IF Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are successful in November . . . but, at the same time, the frequent heavily Social Conservative messages I heard leave me feeling less than great about OUR personal futures.
Social engineering ‘in the name of God’ is still social engineering and when the prospective leaders of our country are the ones engaging in that social engineering, OUR personal futures are worrisome. The primary role of government is (or at least should be) to protect the rights of American citizens’ — those basic inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Those right were not granted by the Constitution (they are “inalienable,” i.e., natural and inherently legal) and cannot be taken away by the government. Yet Social Conservatives have taken biblical moral imperatives and are attempting to fraudulently insert them into the Constitution.
My problem with Social Conservatism really has nothing to do with being an atheist (I am) — it has to do with the Social Conservative’s lack of respect for people who believe that their personal lives should be insulated from our government’s interference — interference by any level of government — as long as they are obeying existing laws. This level of ‘insulation’ is not a whim or even a personal belief; it’s specified in the Constitution.
The first ten amendments to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, were written to protect the freedoms and liberties OF the people FROM government overreach. Yet Social Conservatives try to use part of the Fifth Amendment (“No person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”) as a legal justification for outlawing a woman’s freedom of choose to terminate a pregnancy. Properly stated, this phrase in the Fifth Amendment should read: ‘The government shall not deny it’s citizens the right to life, liberty or property ownership without due process of law.’ By trying to deny a woman’s freedom of choice in matters of abortion they are, in fact, denying that woman’s “liberty.”
Back To Religion
Social Conservatives are not only try to subvert the Constitution by denying the real purpose of the Bill of Rights (to protect YOU from THEM), they whitewash their real motivation to try and remove a woman’s freedom of choice; the real (and only) motivation they have is their personal and religious belief that abortion is ‘sinful.’
They might be right that every abortion is a ‘sin against God’ but that (fact or not) has absolutely no relevance to our laws — laws that clearly recognize every citizen’s right to manage his or her own body and it’s functions — law that, by their absence, do not make “sins against God” illegal.
From here the case against Social Conservatives naturally turns to their other pet “sin,” gay marriage. There are, no doubt, many bible verses that can be used to show that religions are justified when they call gay marriage an abomination — but there is not one phrase, in a fair reading of the Constitution, that outlaws it.
Could it be that Social Conservatives have edited their copies of the Constitution to include biblical admonitions?
The concept of separation of church and state may not be written into the Constitution per se but the spirit of that concept is very clearly embodied in that document.
The fact that Tony Perkins organization, the Family Research Center (FRC), is (as the Southern Poverty Law Center states) clearly a ‘hate group,’ does not excuse the actions of 28 y/o Floyd Lee Corkins II.
When Corkins brought a gun into the offices of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., stating that he didn’t like their policies, then shooting the building manager in the arm, he was committing a terrorist act. Hopefully he, and other nuts like him, will be put away for many years and prevented from ever again legally owing a firearm.
Tony Perkins is spreading the blame for this act between the shooter and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Quoting Perkins:
“Let me be clear that Floyd Corkins was responsible for firing the shots yesterday that wounded one of our colleagues … but Corkins was given a license to shoot an unarmed man by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center that have been reckless in labeling organizations ‘hate groups’ because they disagree with them on public policy.”
Bloomberg today, as this Bloomberg article indicates, disagrees: “Unfortunately for Perkins, it’s pretty clear that a fair portion of FRC’s business is hate.”
What else would you call a group who has arbitrarily set itself up as the ‘moral compass’ for America and who regularly (and absurdly) accuses gays of being pedophiles:
“While activists like to claim that pedophilia is a completely distinct orientation from homosexuality, evidence shows a disproportionate overlap between the two. It is a homosexual problem.” (FRC President Tony Perkins, on the FRC website, 2010)
When you consider how reviled pedophiles are (as they should be), every gay person must certainly consider that to be incendiary hate speech?
The organization People for the American Way (motto: Speak out against intolerance — that’s the American way) has published a “Profile of the Family Research Council”. Here, from that profile, is a statement of the “FRC’s Principal Issues”:
“Since the early 1990’s, FRC has emerged as a leading conservative think-tank championing “traditional family values” by lobbying for state-sponsored prayer in public schools, private school “vouchers,” abstinence-only programs, filtering software on public library computers, the right to discriminate against gay men and lesbians.
“FRC’s objective is to establish a conservative Christian standard of morality in all of America’s domestic and foreign policy.
“FRC has dedicated itself to working against reproductive freedom, sex education, equal rights for gays and lesbians and their families, funding of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. FRC supports a school prayer amendment and would like to ‘disestablish’ the Department of Education.”
This is a description of a group that is opposed to legally expressed individual freedom and that puts them in direct opposition to freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States.
Thanks to that same Constitution, however, the FRC is guaranteed the right to preach their anti-gay message (even if it consists of lies) and spread their anti-freedom (anti-American) message . . . but aren’t they being hypocritical when they complain about honest negative evaluations of their organization’s efforts?
The Libertarian sage (and I use that term seriously) Neal Boortz makes a point in a current column that points out the danger in the ideology of the far-far Left — where the Obamas reside.
When Michelle Obama spoke at the commencement ceremonies at UC Merced over the weekend she made the following statement:
“You will face tough times. You will certainly have doubts, and let me tell you because I know I did when I was your age … Remember that you are blessed.”
This wasn’t Boortz’s main point, but the assumption that graduating from a university is a “blessing” strikes me as being a bit over the top — at least the way Ms. Obama means it. Each graduate in that auditorium worked hard and studied long to obtain his or her degree; if they are blessed it is because they were born with fully functioning brains, they developed lots of will power and dedication to the task at hand and, in most cases, they were indeed blessed by hard-working, devoted parents who helped them get to this stage of their life. They were also blessed by living in the United States. But acknowledging that they were blessed by nature or blessed to have great parents or blessed to live in a great nation was not where Ms. Obama was going with that statement.
Ms. Obama continues:
“Remember that in exchange for those blessings, you must give something back. You must reach back and pull someone up. You must bend down and let someone else stand on your shoulders so that they can see a brighter future.”
She was not asking the students to “give back” to those professors who did their best to give them a good education! She was not suggesting that they give back to their parents who helped them get to where they are. She was not even suggesting that they give back to America — the land where their real blessings lie — by giving their service to their country. She was stating that they now owe a debt to ‘society’; that they MUST help those who are not in their situations.
We should all, of course, be good citizens and help those who WE FEEL need our help and give to charities that WE CHOOSE but that is not repayment of a debt to society, it is simply good citizenship. And in this great free country we can, of course, choose to be miserly — or at least very selective about who we help.
Neal Boortz’s point, in his own words was:
“Michelle Obama, and every other looter who has an eye on the wealth you produce, and who uses this “give back” line, will be completely negating every amount of effort you have put into your livelihood. Remember, they’re not asking you to “give,” they’re telling you to “give back.” The very premise of that phrase is that your wealth was a gift, not earned. Since your wealth was given to you, when you make some sort of a donation to a charity you are not “giving,” you are “giving back.”
It may seem to some like nitpicking over a phrase but it goes much deeper than the first lady’s words at a commencement ceremony (or oddly similar words used by her husband days later at Notre Dame); this idea was present in every one of President Obama’s speeches when he was running for office and has been a consistent theme since he won the office.
Just days after President Obama became President-elect Obama, I wrote this in a blog post, refering to a YouTube speech:
“So President-elect Obama gave a speech about the American Dream and assigned it the characteristics of the American Spirit: one being a personal set of goals and ambitions and the other a national spirit that kicks in when our country is in peril. Was this just a poor choice of words; a simple confusion of terminology? I sincerely doubt it.
What I take away from what the president-elect is saying is that he wants us on the road to a collective American Dream in which we give up our personal dreams and ambitions for “the greater good.” That has been the president-elect’s theme since he started running for the presidency: the greater good! Every American should have heard him say it and, since they elected him, we must assume that the majority of Americans are OK with that!
The purpose of this post is to say loudly and clearly that THIS American is NOT OK with that! The president-elect wants us to adopt this “for the greater good” attitude, he wants us to “sacrifice” (another favorite word in Obama’s dictionary) our aspirations so that those with fewer aspirations (or ambition) can have a richer life.
Are you ready for that America? Are you really going to go along quietly into Obama’s dark night?”
Barack, Michelle and, it seems, the majority in Congress are working hard to turn our country into a collective (The doctrine that land and capital should be owned by society collectively or as a whole; i.e., communism.) — we cannot allow that; we cannot allow that yoke to be placed around our necks!
Associated Press: Michelle Obama urges graduates to give back
Tradition of Excellence: Michelle Obama tells California graduates to remember who helped them
California’s Prop 8 is nothing new. Other states have essentially banned gay marriage by “defining” marriage as a union between a man and woman. The question is: who gave them the right?
I fully understand that most religious organizations and other organizations consider homosexual relations to be immoral. That’s their prerogative! No one has to approve of (or engage in) homosexual relations unless they want to! Somewhere along the line, however, governments got involved. Now stop and think about that for a minute! We are in a society where the governments are into the business of who can marry who. I don’t know about you, but to me that seems like something a government should keep at arms length.
I’m a pragmatist, however, and understand that that’s the way it is — and the way it has been for literally hundreds of years: you need government permission (state, county, city — whatever) to get married. Some say there are good reasons for government involvement in marriage: to track who’s married to who — for income tax purposes being the chief one of those reasons. OK, I guess I can buy that . . . even though the reason the income tax code needs to differentiate between married people and unmarried people is very fuzzy.
What’s not fuzzy is the fact that our governments (states as well as Federal) are fully invested in the business of bringing religion into the marriage licensing process; and I say that because the main reason those who are opposed to gay marriage are so opposed is because they say homosexuality is “immoral”! Where do you suppose they got that idea? Could it have been from mainstream religions? The other argument against gay marriage is that it “redefines” marriage . . . well I guess that depends on whos definition you are using.
Going beyond Proposition 8: such a proposition should not have been necessary because the original court ruling, allowing gays to marry, should not have been necessary; because the basic definition of marriage is simply two people falling in love and vowing to spend their lives together. That arrangement, regardless of who the two people are, should automatically be accepted by every government! Rejecting that arrangement should not, in fact, be a government option.
Essentially, state governments by adopting rules against gay marriages are adopting religious teachings and beliefs and codifying them within their state Constitutions. That represents everything that the Founding Fathers, the framers of our constitution, did NOT want to happen. Freedom of religion means just what it says and if a religious organization wants to bless a marriage between two men or two women the government should not only stand back and not interfere, the government should remain completely uninterested.
Keith Oberman, the MSNBC news commentator, presented a beautifully logical, yet impassioned dialogue berating those who had the nerve to vote FOR Proposition 8; that dialogue has been captured on YouTube — I strongly urge everyone on either side of the issue to click this link and watch it.
International Herald Tribune: After Calif. loss, gays get right to wed in Conn.
San Jose Mercury News: California may vote on gay marriage again in 2010
Sweat Tears or the Sea: Traditional Family DOES NOT Equal Homophobia
Instant Pride: Proposition 8 protests planned across the US
When Justice H. Walter Croskey ruled that “California courts have held that … parents do not have a constitutional right to homeschool their children,” he set off a firestorm of protests from homeschooling parents and organizations, not only throughout the state but throughout the country — and rightly so.
What right has any court or government to reach inside of a home and determine how, when or where the children will be educated? They should have have no legal right to do that as long as a child is not being physically or emotionally abused or is not being denied a descent education.
The irony of this situation that has suddenly and almost totally banned homeschooling is that it started because some of the children in this particular case that was under review alleged that they were indeed being physically and emotionally abused.
Read the “Background of the Case” from the February 28th decision issued by the California Court of Appeal:
A Welfare and Institutions Code section 300 petition was filed on behalf of three minor children after the eldest of them reported physical and emotional mistreatment by the children’s father.
The Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services investigated the situation and discovered, among other things, that all eight of the children in the family had been home schooled by the mother rather than educated in a public or private school. The attorney representing the younger two children asked the juvenile court to
order that the children be enrolled in a public or private school. The dependency court
declined to make such an order despite the court’s opinion that the home schooling the
children were receiving was ‘lousy,’ ‘meager,’ and ‘bad,’ and despite the court’s
opinion that keeping the children at home deprived them of situations where (1) they
could interact with people outside the family, (2) there are people who could provide
help if something is amiss in the children’s lives, and (3) they could develop
emotionally in a broader world than the parents’ “cloistered” setting.
As noted above, the court ruled that the parents have a constitutional right to home school the children. From that ruling the attorney for the younger children seeks extraordinary writ relief.”
It appears that in this particular situation the intrusion of the court into the homeschooling situation may have been warranted — because of the allegations of abuse. It appears that this situation may have had parents holding their children captives from society for their own purposes.
This ‘throws some water’ on some of the outrage that has resulted from this decision — but the decision as a whole, which states that: “California courts have held that … parents do not have a constitutional right to homeschool their children,” is an outrage.
Had the original court that heard this case acted responsibly and had forced this one family to recify what was apparently an unacceptable homeschooling situation there most likely would have been no appeal and no chance for the Court of Appeal to make this decision that now effects ALL homeschoolers in the state.
Relief, however, may be on the way. Last week the 2nd District Court of Appeal put their decision on hold and granted a rehearing, some time in April after briefs have been filed. This gives homeschooling parents and organizations a chance to have their voices heard.
It may turn out in the end that California law does, indeed, ban homeschooling except by credentialled teachers; to quote the Charles Dicken’s character Mr. Bumble: “If the law supposes that, then the law is an ass.” Laws can, and in this case probably will be, changed. The state certainly has a responsibility to protect children from irresponsible parents, but they certainly have no right to assume that all parents are irresponsible.
Philidelphia Evening Bulletin: California Rules Homeschooling Now A Crime
San Jose Mercury News: Court to reconsider home-school ruling
Digital Diatribes of a Random Idiot: An Update on the Goings-on in the California Home School Controversy of 2008
Just Enough and Nothing More: CA Homeschool Joint Press Release and More