Filling the Leadership Gap

Some are saying that House Speaker Paul Ryan is getting ready to endorse Donald Trump despite his previous … reluctance, shall we say. But this new video from Ryan’s office doesn’t suggest that.

What it does suggest is that Ryan sees a leadership gap in our country, a possibility where we may end up with a president that a majority really wants (even more than the current one). Perhaps leadership doesn’t need to come from the White House. Maybe if we have a buffoon Republican in the Oval Office, we can have real leadership from the Speaker’s rostrum in the House. It’s a nice idea.

It will be interesting to follow this #ConfidentAmerica initiative to see where it goes.

The New Foundation of Society

From Rod Dreher today on Obama’s transgender bathroom policy:

Think about it: we already expect so much of our public schools, and now … this? Is it really so important to force schools to let boys play on girl teams, and vice versa, and so forth? Progress, I guess. …

Whenever liberals accuse conservatives of waging culture war, I think of things like this and wonder what kind of world they live in inside their heads. Was this a pressing need right now? Did the federal government have to nationalize bathroom, locker room, and athletic team policy, to enforce a highly controversial point of view onto a diverse nation that was never consulted?

This tracks with so much else of the liberal SJW agenda. Schools have been tasked with so much more than teaching reading, writing, math, social studies. Now they must “teach ‘life skills,’ nutrition and a school-board approved simulacrum of morality while simultaneously functioning as essentially medium-security prisons for fear of threats both internal and external,” according to an article by Chris Stirewalt, linked by Rod.

The school has become the preferred institution of Big Government to replace the family and the church as the foundations of society. Obviously, it’s because the schools are controlled by the bureaucrats, sometimes directly, but often indirectly through massive federal and state funding that all comes with strings attached. They strip parents of their right and duty to raise and form their children according to their own principles and values and they do so because parents won’t raise their children according to the new SJW ideologies. And churches must be pre-empted as well because the pesky constitution puts them outside the control of those same bureaucrats and because they stand for those values that the SJWs don’t want parents instilling in their kids.

Obama and his allies know that imposing Gay/Straight Alliances and transgender bathroom policies on children in schools is important because they know the way to change American to their warped thinking is through indoctrination of children. You don’t have to believe me. They say it themselves.

Yet another reason we homeschool our children. I wonder how long before that becomes illegal.

Breitbart’s Catholic school problem

I don’t think I’ve read a more pedantic and deeply flawed piece of reasoning in a non-liberal publication in some time. Breitbart writer Julia Hahn takes House Speaker Paul Ryan to task for his comments that restricting Muslim immigration is un-American by calling him a hypocrite for sending his kids to a Catholic parochial school. What?!

For some context, it’s important to note that Breitbart has become a shill for the Donald Trump campaign and Ryan has withheld his endorsement of Trump. And Ryan’s comments on Muslim immigration can be seen as a rebuke to Trump’s inane comments (is there any other kind) on the subject.

So Hahn’s thesis is that because Paul Ryan sends his kids to a parish-connected Catholic school, and because the school asks “perspective” (sic) students about their religious background, and because the school gives a tuition discount to parishioners, and because parishioners are therefore Catholic and not Muslim, and because charging higher tuition must be the same as refusing them admittance to the United States, then Paul Ryan is a hypocrite on Muslim immigration.

Yeah, it doesn’t make any sense to me either. And you can be sure Julia Hahn doesn’t believe the crap she’s peddling either. Instead, it’s just a ham-fisted attempt to attack Paul Ryan for failing to pay obeisance before The Donald.

In other words, we can expect the same irrational fawning we saw from Slate and HuffPost and MSNBC for Barack Obama over the past eight years from Breitbart and Sean Hannity and other Trump water-carriers over hypothetical presidency.

Oh joy.

The Restroom Problem: I’m Coming In, Too

https://youtu.be/cgL0c4B3gr8

When I’m out with my two oldest daughters, 10 and 8, but without Melanie, when it comes time for them to use the bathroom, I let them go into the ladies’ room alone (unless there’s a family/single-use restroom available). What else can I do? They’re too old for me to take into the men’s room and I can’t go into the ladies’ room with them.

Until now, I guess. As the guy in the video shows, Target’s new restroom policy means any man–no matter how he’s dressed or whether he’s surgically mutilated himself–can now use the ladies’ room.

In the past, I thought my girls would be safe in there with other women. But now that any pervert has access, I’m not so sure anymore. So now, ladies, I’ll be exercising my new right to enter your bathroom and stand guard over my daughters’ bathroom stall while they use it. And you’re welcome to come into the men’s room to do the same for your boys.

Of course, we could just avoid patronizing Target, which we might do. But once this policy spreads to every business–as is the Social Justice Warriors’ intent–that won’t be a real option. So get used to men like me in your bathrooms, ladies. You can thank the tiny handful of trans-activists and their SJW allies for that. Sorry.

Spoken Like a Man Who Doesn’t Own a Smartphone

‘It’s fetishizing our phones above every other value’

So said President Obama in an interview at South by Southwest today when asked about our ability to encrypt our smartphones in such a way that national security and law enforcement agencies may be unable to decrypt them. And it’s the sort of thing a man who doesn’t own a smartphone would say. I mean, the man’s the president of the United States, of course he doesn’t.

But those of who do know what it’s like to have a smartphone know that it’s more than just a gadget or tool. It often contains our most personal information, our financial information, health and medical information, personal journals, and more. It’s become an extension of our own brains. Having the encryption that safeguards them from the prying eyes of criminals, of foreign nations, of our own government isn’t mere fetishization. It’s the very heart of privacy.

This isn’t a Democrat/Republican issue nor is it a conservative/liberal issue.

Obama said, “The question we now have to ask is if technologically it is possible to make an impenetrable device or system where the encryption is so strong there’s no key, there’s no door at all, then how do we apprehend the child pornographer? How do we disrupt a terrorist plot?”

With police work. With good intelligence. With hard work. Because not once, ever, has everything depended on something inside the locked box. Because every sicko porn freak and every hell-bent terrorist has been a human being working with other human beings and they don’t work exclusively through digital encryption, but also through human interaction and that’s where the police work comes in. Sure, it’d be easier to hack the phones, but at what price?

Should we compromise the liberty of every American to capture hypothetical terrorists? Should we give up our liberty and privacy for the sake of some hypothetical security? Because if we do, we’ll just end up with neither.

Understanding The Man in the High Castle: How to Resist Ideology with Myth

Understanding The Man in the High Castle: How to Resist Ideology with Myth | Intercollegiate Review:

“The USSR consisted of a massive framework of interconnected groups and individuals that, by consciously or unconsciously acquiescing to the ideology, gave it power. Havel pointed to the greengrocer who quietly put a sign ‘Workers of the World, Unite!’ in his window every morning. It seemed like a small thing, but whether or not he meant it, his acquiescence empowered the state. The ideology of the regime was embedded into civil society to the degree than every individual who did not actively resist it, tacitly strengthened and became its instrument.”

It’s an interesting idea and not one I necessarily agree with yet. I need to think about it more because it has some serious implications. If true, it means that people like me can’t just look at the decline of our nation, the utter destruction of the foundations of civilization, and the loss of a sense of the dignity of the human person and say I will just hunker down and wait it out. I get the sense that this Man in the High Castle notion is opposite of the Benedict Option, nurturing the flame of civilization and all that is good in our hearts while the barbarians rage outside.

I’m almost done with the first season of “Man in the High Castle“, a very good Amazon Prime streaming series based on a Philip K. Dick novel that posits a look at 1962 if Nazi Germany and Japan had won World War II and divided the United States between them. It’s not pretty, but it’s a sobering look at fascism and is even pro-life and pro-faith, in its way, mostly by showing the consequences of anti-life and anti-faith ideologies taking over.

We’ve had a massive decline in gun violence in the United States. Here’s why.


We’ve had a massive decline in gun violence in the United States. Here’s why. – The Washington Post:

“In 1993, there were seven homicides by firearm for every 100,000 Americans, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By 2013, that figure had fallen by nearly half, to 3.6 — a total of 11,208 firearm homicides. “

The article goes on to say that there’s some evidence that gun violence in prior decades was even worse, but the actual data is incomplete. And yet every time there’s a high-profile shooting the immediate call is for gun control when there’s no evidence that gun control laws have anything to do with the decline. But the reason the first response is gun control is because there’s no other place to look to assign blame for most of these politicians and left-wing pundits. When we’ve rejected man’s fallen nature and capacity for sin and need for a Savior, then all we can do is shrug and blame the tool used to commit the crime. If man is essentially immutable, then it makes no sense to focus any efforts of understanding or change in that direction.

Meanwhile, the New York Times published an article by an editor at that noted right-wing rag Mother Jones that shows that the current media narrative of 355 mass shootings in the US in 2015 is a bunch of baloney and that the real number, if you use the real definition is 4. Why make the distinction if they both involve guns?

While all the victims are important, conflating those many other crimes with indiscriminate slaughter in public venues obscures our understanding of this complicated and growing problem. Everyone is desperate to know why these attacks happen and how we might stop them — and we can’t know, unless we collect and focus on useful data that filter out the noise.

Plus, I’d rather accept my definition and count of violent crimes from the FBI and not some Reddit vigilantes with an axe to grind.

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p style=”font-style: italic;font-size: 8px;”>Photo: Brandon Anderson/Flickr. CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0

Iraqi nun looks at Syria refugee battle through lens of own past

Gelzinis: Iraqi nun looks at Syria refugee battle through lens of own past | Boston Herald:

“‘To react to ISIS, to the horror they have caused,’ Mother Olga said, ‘is to close the door on all the people whose lives have already been shattered, who’ve lost parents and children and everything they have in this world.

‘While I understand why people would want to react this way out of fear for what they have seen,’ she said, ‘but by closing our doors to all the victims of ISIS, we are only giving ISIS even more power. In a very real sense, they have succeeded in terrorizing us.

‘Beyond making them stronger, this reaction removes the hope of those refugees who’ve been trapped by this poison, this evil, and are desperately seeking a way to sustain their lives.’”

Mother Olga speaks with moral authority because she’s been there. She was a refugee like the Syrian refugees of today.

Photo: George Martell/BCDS CC-BY-ND-2.0

High-deductible health plans make Affordable Care Act ‘unaffordable,’ critics say

High-deductible health plans make Affordable Care Act ‘unaffordable,’ critics say:

“‘We can’t afford the Affordable Care Act, quite honestly,’ said Cassaundra Anderson, whose family canvassed for Obama in their neighborhood, a Republican stronghold outside Cincinnati. ‘The intention is great, but there is so much wrong…. I’m mad.’

The Andersons’ experience echoes that of hundreds of thousands of newly insured Americans facing sticker shock over out-of-pocket costs.”

There’s a little conspiracy theorist voice in me that says that this was the plan all along. Obama and his cronies knew they’d never get full-on taxpayer-funded socialized healthcare passed so instead they pass this incremental law that requires people to buy into the system, but then whacks them with high deductibles and ridiculous costs so that they could later say, “Well gosh, this isn’t working at all. We need to go just a little bit further and everything will finally be just right.”

Texas judge sees “no legitimate reason” to uphold marriage

1024px-Flag-map_of_Texas.svg

And so judicial fiat continues to overturn and overrule the will of the people as expressed through direct referendum and legislative action. A federal judge in Texas has struck down the state’s law that upheld the traditional definition of marriage. His reasoning was especially specious, as he claimed that “Texas’ current
marriage laws deny homosexual couples the right to marry, and in doing so, demean their dignity
for no legitimate reason.”

No legitimate reason. How about the reason that marriage is by definition between one man and one woman? And that if the state has any interest in legally recognizing marriage that it has a compelling interest in upholding its traditional definition as an underpinning of society for the procreation and upbringing of children, not to recognize the love between people or to uphold dignity or advance some cause.

Judge Garcia takes cover from the Supreme Court’s United States v Windsor decision which held that restricting the defintion of marriage and spouse to mean actual marriage and actual husband and wife as opposed to anything we damn well want to define them as is an unconstitutional violation of the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. However, even Garcia notes that “Regulation of marriage has traditionally been the province of the states and remains so today.” Yet, he doesn’t let that stand in his way.

In fact, Garcia claims that Texas’ constitutional amendment is “without a rational relationship to a legitimate governmental purpose” because the state’s lawyers failed to show how same-sex marriage affects real marriages. What it affects is children who are deprived of a mother and father. What it does is continue to codify the idea that marriage isn’t necessarily about creating stable families. (We can thank legalized divorce for starting that trend.)

What his little phrase reminds me of is what Justice Antonin Scalia calls “the sweet mystery of life” clause in the Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision that defeated our best chance in a generation to overturn Roe v. Wade in 1992: “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”

Once you open that door, you allow anything. If I can define my own concept of existence, then any old thing we want to do becomes justified, consequences, history, biology, and law be damned. Be very afraid of where this trend will take in the next couple of decades because we’re becoming a country that my grandparents, never mind the Founding Fathers, would no longer recognize.

My half-joking reaction is to say that I hope Texas secedes before they’re successful in completely turning it into a carbon copy of all the rest of the states that are being turned into socially engineered liberal wastelands.

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