Archive for November, 2016

The world is upside down.

Tammy Bruce: The liberal romance with Fidel Castro — “The left shows sympathy for brutal Cuban dictator and a would-be mass murderer at Ohio State.”

Who knew that Mr. Trump would say the things that the pope should have said? Finally, someone is speaking the truth, providing proof to the decent people of the world that, no, they’re not going insane because they think terrorists and tyrants deserve to be dead and relegated to the dustbin of history.

But sympathy for the devil is nothing new for the left, as liberal theory itself is rooted in the notion that humanity is bad and must be controlled. This lauding of evildoers while simultaneously demanding “safe spaces” from any perceived offense of insult highlights the psychopathology driving today’s liberal agenda.

If anyone is still wondering why the world is rejecting liberals and the left worldwide, your answer can be found in praise for a murderous tyrant like Fidel Castro and sympathy for a man who plots mass murder on a campus.

Interesting that the Castro death and the Trump victory and the Left’s tantrums (like the pipeline riots) are all in front of the news right now. It’s like a psych lab – but the psychiatrists happen to be subjects rather than observers. As Bruce points out, it is Trump who condemns the tyrant, not the Pope. The world is upside down.

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VDH describes Newspeak (wikipedia) as it is being promulgated today by those he calls Enemies of Language.

Throughout history, revolutionaries of all stripes have warped the meaning of words to subvert reality.

And now here we go again, with another effort — spearheaded by the media and universities — to use any linguistic means necessary to achieve political ends.

To prevent this endless cycle of corrupting words, members of the media and academia should act as our linguistic guardians. Instead, for short-term political gain, they have abandoned their professional responsibilities to become our worst subverters of language.

re wikipedia: “According to Orwell, “the purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of IngSoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible.”

The problem might be that George Orwell is one of those dead white males and 1984 [was] considered classic western culture literature. That rather condemns his work as a proper subject of study in modern academic studies. “The left-wing manifestos of Eldridge Cleaver or Malcolm X seem to have priorities for teaching these days. The actual reality of the human condition seems to be the last thing to worry about.

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Hero of the left down: Castro at 90

Paul Mirengoff observes the fall-out from the death of Fidel Castro at 90. Castro is a long time hero of the anti-American left as typified by recent hagiographic remarks from the NFL poster boy for the movement.

It will be fascinating to read and view the mainstream media’s treatment of the dead dictator. I wonder to what extent the MSM, which wants to resist “normalizing” Donald Trump, will normalize the Cuban tyrant and his regime, as President Obama has done to some extent. I expect we will see at least a few stories in the “he did some good things; he did some bad things, but what a giant he was” mode.

Washington Post reporters Kevin Sullivan and J.Y. Smith don’t go that far. … This is clever. The dubious positives are presented as assertions by his admirers; the undeniable negatives are presented as facts. Even the suggestion that Castro was a humanitarian is offensive, but the Post’s treatment is probably the best we can expect from the mainstream media.

It’s better, for example, than the New York Times’ account by Anthony DePalma. … Some might call this account balanced. I call it sickening.

The truth is that Fidel Castro was a monster. That his crimes didn’t rise to the level of Stalin’s or Mao’s is in large part due to the small size of the country he lorded over and the failure of his efforts at conquest in South America and Africa.

It becomes the mystery of our time how so many, like the $20m+ quarterback or the U.S. President much less most of the academic elite, can be so enamored of tyrants and dictators who have caused so much human misery, suffering, and death. And that’s only half of it. The same folks are full of contempt for the culture and governance that has done more for lifting humanity out of poverty and enriching the human existence than any other in world history. 

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Republican surrender monkeys

Sundance puts the Green party burden on Wisconsin in context: Green Party Fleeces Sheeple and Files for Recount in Wisconsin….

The difference between the Democrat and Republican party has always been the distinction between one side who will do anything, say anything, manipulate anything, and fight to the death to get their way – and the other party being polite Republican surrender monkeys.

The goal is not to change the election outcome, that possibility is beyond absurd, the goal is Alinsky opposition: create mayhem, cause angst, create disruption, seed doubt, undermine, isolate, marginalize the opponent. These moonbat behaviors are simply the antagonistic leftists fulfilling the nature of their ideology.

Wisconsin TeacherThe professional left even acknowledges that fundraising to advance these challenges is essentially a scam. However, it’s a scam that has benefits even in its futility.

Keep in mind that these are the people who have been going to the wall to prevent any effort at voter ID or other measures to combat voter fraud under the pretense that it doesn’t happen.

The take a look at Charles Sauer on the Forest Service trying to seize private land from Montana ranchers — “Nope, the bully never stops. The Forest Service, by fiat, claimed an easement through the ranch.”

Daniel Payne picks up another on how Paul Krugman Illustrates The Damaged Political Psyches Of The Left — “The election damaged the political psyche of liberals in ways that it will probably take a while for us to understand.”

But here’s the real majesty of this whole debacle, the rather astonishing aspect of it all: there is no real indication that the education of Paul Krugman is going to stick.

Got that? When a Republican challenges the results of an election, it’s a “coup.” When the loser is a Democrat, however, such a challenge is absolutely necessary, “just in case.” The next four years are not going to be kind to Paul Krugman and to people like him: they are going to discredit themselves even more thoroughly than they already have, all under the auspices of an insufferable, smarmy intellectual superiority.

We are not in an age of reason and intellectual integrity. Phase I is acknowledgement and it might be, just maybe, that we are getting to that step. Maybe.

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Another victim of the left: Family

John Hinderaker takes note of a poster prepared to push the propaganda over the dinner table.

Those Democrats sure know how to have a good time. While the rest of us are looking forward to family reunions and delicious turkey dinners, the Democratic Party is coaching its faithful on how to win political arguments. This is from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, a “Guide to Thanksgiving With Your Republican Relatives.”

Now you can go through the poster and pick apart the talking points; John provides one example. The key thing here, though, is what kind of people are so obsessed with proving a point over the dinner table that they’d go to this length of effort? Value in family appears to have been pushed rather far down the list of priorities for those on the left. 

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Picked apart, analyzed, and discussed – we can hope

George Neumyar has a Special Report, The Borking Bullies of the Left — “They are a “throwback to a shameful era.” The topic is the resurrection of the (pre-)Borking of Sessions thirty years ago. It is a reminder that Reid had a predecessor (mentor?) in Kennedy along with just how far the Democratic Party is willing to take reality.

“Everything is true except the facts” — the description once given to the British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge about Stalin’s show trials — applied just as much to the Kennedy-dominated proceedings. Whatever Sessions said in a moment of gallows humor was laughably minor, compared to the comments made by Teddy’s brothers, President John F. Kennedy and Sen. Robert Kennedy, about Martin Luther King Jr. Yet Teddy faked up shock at the tendentious testimony against Sessions and declared on the basis of it that he was a “throwback to a shameful era” in America.

The Pravda-like editorial in the New York Times the other day about Sessions is Exhibit A of how the left builds on its own lies.

It is this outrageous demagoguery that the American people rejected at the ballot box. They have grown tired of scaremongering as a substitute for solving problems, and they recognize that it is the self-appointed champions of “victims” who behave like bullies, subjecting mild-mannered figures such as Pence and Sessions to diatribes about decency. The “shameful era” to which they didn’t want to return turned out to be the one in which the Ted Kennedys treated mere conservatism as a career-ending crime.

Who is going to pick up on the Kennedy Reid tradition? The bench is rather empty and no disciple is readily apparent. This time, the transparency has improved. The deceit and dishonesty is on the table. It is being picked apart, analyzed, and discussed. What was under the table is no longer so easy to pretend doesn’t exist.

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Look for the modifiers

This is from just one column at the New Yorker: “demagogic” – “obsessive” – “rants” – “railed+ – “The President-elect does not care who knows how unforgiving or vain or distracted he is.” – “He is the same kind of blustering, bluffing blowhard as he was during the campaign.” – “not seem entirely rational”

You think maybe the problem here isn’t Trump? That maybe, if you do think these judgments and opinions are valid, that maybe you should take them back to the source and do a bit of introspection about what was actually said in a proper context, the tone of expression, and your own feelings?

Stop to consider how these sorts of modifiers of questionable source grow and become FUD mongering fodder. Consider how that grows to riots – and worse. It’s imaginations gone wild and fantasies gone berserk … and it isn’t Trump. He’s just the latest in a long string of Alinsky described targets.

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emoluments and presumed conflicts of interest

Betsy’s had a problem with Trump that has tainted her commentary in the past. Today she highlights some red meat that the left is going to be flaying for ever.

Trump’s global business interests also make him vulnerable to legal risks, including a passage in the Constitution, known as the emoluments clause, that forbids government officials from receiving gifts from a foreign government.

How to separate out an unconstitutional gift from just a generous deal that a foreign country might make with Trump?

Much of this concern falls into the ‘anticipatory’ category. i.e. FUD Mongering. It highlights up a modern idiom and obsession that has only received little comment so far. This is the post-60’s taint-of-money idea. Have money? You’re evil! — follow the money, that’s all that matters – you can buy anything and anybody.

Trump has shown that there is more than money in elections. His cost per vote was well below that of his competition. Now he is into the stage where the politician’s assets all get sold off and moved into a blind trust. That runs square into a problem in that much of the value of Trump’s assets is his brand on them. Politicians all over the world are faced with premiere hotels branded with the Trump name.

The quote indicates a part of the problem. There is the presumption that there will be a “generous deal” to worry about. That is a worry about future business, not current business. Any pending deals or plans can be easier to set aside than an existing and established brand.

There is also the interesting aspect seen from how Trump is dealing with the President’s salary and the White House. It is quite likely that Trump will host foreign leaders on his property if he visits other countries. In other words, he would be giving and not receiving. That alone should strike greed and envy chords in the current crown that is taking prestige from the office rather than giving it. There is a long history of foreign dignitaries visiting the personal estates of Presidents and it will be interesting to see how this works out with Trump.

One thing we can count on is the antagonism, the nitpicking, the innuendo, the allegations, and general hateful and spiteful opposition. It might even surpass that seen after the Iraq war implications sank in after 2004. What might be a bit new is that there is now a reference for comparison, the Clinton Pay for Play scandal. That, and Trump’s penchant not to lie down, will make things interesting.

UPDATE: Ned Barnett discusses the real issues behind Trump and the ‘Blind Trust’. “focused on the faux issue of the difficulties and challenges and, of course, Trump’s moral failings — over his plan for putting his wealth in a “blind trust” to be managed by his children. There seem to be two conflicting positions — and most pundits and rhetorical question-askers seem to embrace both of them.” 

Oh! Here’s another one: Jonathan H. Adler on The Emoluments Clause — is Donald Trump violating its letter or spirit? He concludes “In other words, if there are concerns about how President Trump handles his various investments, the only remedies will be political.”

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Oh, the arrogance: judgment or opinion

Gary J. Schmitt posts Donald Trump: Tweeter-in-Chief and falls into the trap of confusing opinion with judgment. In doing so, he misses reality.

Trump’s own response to the Hamilton cast’s bloviating was anything but adult-like. Nor was his response to the Saturday Night Live skit making fun of his transition. The fact that Trump finds it necessary it seems to respond to every slight is disconcerting to say the least. Does he really intend, when president, to waste time and energy for the most transitory of matters? His constitutional duty will be to “faithfully execute the office of the President”—not participate in tweet warfare.

Bloviating on Twitter? Isn’t that an oxymoron? 

The comparison and contrast here is in the reports about the meeting with major media top brass. The history Schmitt missing goes back to Reagan as a communicator going directly to the people and around the press. A primary task of leadership is communications and, in this election it was made very clear that Trump’s advantage was in his communications with the people. Whatever he is doing is worth studying for those who want to learn from success. 

If you try to support the denigration of Trump’s tweets with what was actually said, you not only make a fool of yourself trying to make your point honest but you also miss what is happening. By using social media, Trump communicates directly with the public. The people can see that what he is saying – if they actually read what is said as a ‘normally reasonable’ person would – and they can speak themselves. By labeling the actor’s antics as “rude” Trump went no farther than anyone could plainly see. In calling for an apology to that rudeness he was being reasonable and ‘adult’ – the “adult-like” commentary needs to be pasted on those who were rude, out of place, arrogant, bigoted, and not showing those ‘adult’ behaviors Schmitt professes to admire.

If you want to get into “adult-like” behaviors in regard to Trump, a proper reference would be the current President. Then toss in GWB and the Clintons and you’d have a lot of material for compare and contrast. What the people have said in recent elections is that they are doing this comparison and the Schmitt point of view is missing the point.

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Trying to come to grips with reality: one half at a time

Damon Linker calls it The demagogic genius of Donald J. Trump. In doing so, he falls for a meme that is questionable and inaccurate but demonstrative.

In the two weeks since Donald Trump’s shocking victory, the press has devoted a substantial chunk of its coverage to enumerating the president-elect’s many faults. He’s temperamentally unfit to serve as president. He’s ignorant of policy. He’s corrupt. His early choices to serve in his administration are racist, anti-Semitic, extremist, unhinged. And of course the whole thing is frightening, terrifying, horrifying.

Most of that is true, and it’s perfectly appropriate that we focus on the considerable dangers the nation now confronts. Yet it’s also the case that our appreciation for the distinct character of the threat Trump poses to the country’s political order would be enhanced if we devoted a little more time to acknowledging that the risks are at least as much a product of Trump’s talents as they are of his many faults.

The ominous fact is that Trump is undeniably one of the greatest intuitive political geniuses in history.

Trump’s unorthodox actions, regularly ridiculed by pundits, revealed just how institutionally conservative the gatekeepers are. They strive to uphold norms, propriety, habits — and Trump shredded them over and over again.

Describing Trump as “demogogic,” “reckless,” “wrong thing,” “putulantly,” “umbrage,” … and then citing the “normal rules of politics” ??

Has he been listening to Harry Reid, considered how Sessions pre-dated Borking, looked at the ruckus about “fake news” and “fact checking,” listened to the current President excoriating Republicans on a regular basis, actually listened to (and read) what Trump actually said?

Panties in a wad‘ is perhaps the best description but the psychologists should be having a field day with the dissonance on display. But then, they are too often buried neck deep in the academic swamp so it is up to the people to separate the hooey from the reality and set the path.

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The war on the poor and a note about collateral damage

An AP story: Cities passing more laws to make homelessness a crime, says report. The report is by a homeless advocacy group by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty.

The report, which was based on a review of policies enacted by 187 cities over a decade, said bans on living in vehicles increased by 143 percent. Those laws can be particularly devastating because they often lead to vehicle impoundment, and people can lose all of their belongings, disrupting their ability to work or attend school, Foscarinis said.

The report called several such policies unconstitutional. The group said panhandling is protected by free-speech rights and preventing sleeping in public could be considered cruel and unusual punishment.

In Reno, the ‘camping’ along the river, especially in winter, is an ongoing problem due both to the concern for those out in the weather but also for what they leave behind and the mess they make.

Collateral damage shows up a bit higher in the food chain. YouTube is full of channels by people engaged in stealth camping or otherwise using their vehicles as their domicile. There are also the more typical RVer’s who encounter shunning by laws that prohibit parking at certain times, in certain places, or for anything more than a few hours. The rest areas in many states are also off limits for RVer’s who want to rest more than an hour or two. Nevada is a contrast as it allows 18 hour stops at its rest areas and many of them have dump stations for RV waste.

Nomadic Fanatic is a channel by a class C RV enthusiast (with a cat). He recently described his unpleasant experience Northeast RVing and the things he learned. He often found motels had lower rates than RV parks. RV’s were often prohibited on public lands. RV oriented facilities were scarce.

Even in much of the wide open west, the NFS and BLM are increasing restrictions that squeeze the ‘retiree’ in an old RV trying to find a place to stay that doesn’t drain his pension.

These are reasons by private parking lots, like Walmart, are popular for overnight parking and why the BLM long term visitor’s areas near Quartzite in Arizona are popular over winter.

These are the modern Gypsies – of course, in this era, the traditional Roma Gypsy has the ‘persecuted minority‘ thing going but the real story is about an invasion of the neighborhood by people who have not committed to belonging to it, whether homeless, RVer, or Gypsy. Rver’s are generally more easier rounded up for placement in their reservations (a.k.a. commercial, regulated, and taxed campgrounds). The homeless and the transients present another challenge as they tend to resent being rounded up and installed in approved shelters or whatnot. It is the social dilemma: just what can you do, should you do, for those who don’t want your help?

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Instapundit isn’t fair

A bunch of observations at Instapundit worthy of note today:


Citing BRENDAN O’NEILL: Best Thing About Trump’s Win? America Called Bullshit on the Cult of Clinton. “By the Cult of Hillary Clinton, I don’t mean the nearly 62 million Americans who voted for her. I have not one doubt that they are as mixed and normal a bag of people as the Trumpites are. No, I mean the Hillary machine—the celebs and activists and hacks who were so devoted to getting her elected and who have spent the past week sobbing and moaning over her loss. These people exhibit cult-like behavior far more than any Trump cheerer I’ve come across. . . . It’s all incredibly revealing. [emphasis added]

Citing SUSAN GOLDBERG: ‘Hamilton’ Star’s Plea to Pence Highlights Liberals’ Screwy Notion of Presidency.


If our founding fathers, so lovingly portrayed in the Broadway musical, were to hear such a plea spoken to a newly elected member of the executive branch, they’d most likely do a double-take and wonder if they were still in America. The presidency was never supposed to be an absolute monarchy ruled by a leader from which the people beg benevolence. In fact, precisely because of our ugly relationship to England’s monarch, the founders established a government that would grant the least amount of power possible to one single person.

And a miss (Reynolds needs to keep an eye on The Reference Frame): reactionless thrusters and space warp

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Actions have consequences

One of the problems in ‘modern’ debate is that of confusing correlation and causation. Trying to determine the consequences of actions can be difficult when it comes to expression of values, multiple contributing factors, and indirect paths of causation. The assault on cops provides a study. It correlates with the left’s obsession with racism over the last few years, the construction of outrages based on false narratives such as police racism, and the equality in criminality fantasies.

John Hinderaker takes up the situation in describing how The War on Cops Comes to San Antonio.

San Antonio police officer Benjamin Marconi was writing a traffic ticket outside police headquarters earlier today when a motorist pulled up behind him, got out of his car, approached Marconi and shot him twice in the head. The murderer got back into his car and drove away.

A law enforcement officer here in Minnesota sent me a link to an article in Police magazine titled “Why So Many Police Are Being Murdered.” The author, Dr. Ron Martinelli, describes the recent killings of police officers in Lancaster and Palm Springs, California. He recounts the perpetrators’ lengthy criminal records; as usual, the first question is why these men were not in prison.

The American educational system no longer teaches civics in school. Students no longer learn about our justice system and its components. They know nothing about what their civil rights are and, more importantly, are not. They have no knowledge of the important role of police in our society and therefore have not been taught proper behavior and respect for police authority during police encounters. This allows subversive groups such as Black Lives Matter to spew the false narratives of hate and to perpetuate the lie that police are the “bad guys” and armed recidivist offenders are somehow the “good guys.” This circumstance breeds resistance and exacerbates violent, armed and deadly encounters with police.

Martinelli identifies broader societal trends that underlie the War On Cops:

While a new administration in Washington won’t solve the problem overnight, Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions will not contribute to the undermining of law enforcement, as Barack Obama and Eric Holder have done. This may prove to be one of the greatest virtues of the Trump administration.

Even now, those who riot are not being condemned. Those who abuse their positions in the name of “free speech” are being lauded and not shamed. There continues to be stories about teachers making lesson plans for subversion and ideological propaganda that belie true history. These actions have consequences. Police assassinations are one but only a link in a chain. Baltimore and other leftist run cities face the conundrum of their support of an anti-police ethos and it is a downhill slide.

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monolithic echo chamber

Larry O’Conner And this is why I was a closeted conservative when I worked on Broadway. Trump said an apology for being rude was needed but the ACLU called on Trump to apologize because he expressed an opinion. This is how it works. Consider all the charges of racism and KKK affiliation and worse. Completely backwards yet this is how it works. O’Conner saw ‘how it works’ and changed career to get away from the dishonesty.

When the cast of Hamilton chose to thrust their play (and the professional theatre industry) into the national political conversation Friday night, it was inevitable that I would write the post you are about to read. Because for over 15 years I worked in the theatre business and know first hand what it’s like to hold conservative views while surrounded by liberal activists bent on using their profile and platform to push their ideas and shame those who might disagree.

Oh, the actors might rush to say that “Republicans are all welcome” to their play. But creative people in a medium as visual and impactful as theatre know very well the net results of this political grandstanding.

“If you don’t agree with us on politics, you’re going to be lectured to and publicly shamed,” is the message conservatives, Republicans and anyone who wasn’t #WithHer received from this little episode, whether that was the actors’ intent or not.

Indeed I can tell you from first hand experience that in the theatre industry diversity is only skin-deep and genital-high. It’s the superficial and irrelevant differences of race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality that the members of the theatre community obsess over, not the more important and challenging intellectual diversity of opinions that they reject and ignore.

My former colleagues in the theatre industry claim they want to foster discussion and they hope for a dialogue about these issues, but they are being disingenuous, at best. They don’t want a dialogue, they want a monologue.

That’s what we saw on Friday night from the stage on 47th street. A monologue. A speech. A lecture. It was patronizing and it was condescending and there was no room for rebuttal.

I realize now that the “theatrical community” is nothing more than a monolithic echo chamber that tries to fool itself into thinking they are open-minded and encouraging of all people from every walk of life.

The consider the President’s comments oversees that he won’t comment about the incoming administration unless it threatens American values. Why did this get notice? Perhaps the arrogant patronizing and hubris are beginning wear a bit thin. Perhaps the hunger for intellectual integrity is becoming more prominent. Perhaps.

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Blowback: enough already. The ‘other’ side is gaining its voice.

There’s blowback. Whether it’s objection to lecturing by the cast of a Broadway play, to disputing the presumptions in news interviews, to cataloging misbehaviors, there is a fresh breeze in the public square. Feldman provides one example in the previous post. Here are two more.

Jazz Shaw reports that The time has come for the “Suck it up, Buttercup” bill

We’ve long since grown used to stories coming from the nation’s college campuses where “safe spaces” are set up for everything from Halloween costumes to the results of the presidential election. But some universities have taken it a step further, setting up special counseling sessions for “grieving” students and additional classes, much of it on the taxpayer dime. The Ivy League schools have gone so far as to consider making themselves miniature “sanctuary cities” to protect illegal immigrants on campus from anticipated increases in law enforcement efforts.

One GOP member of the Iowa state legislature decided earlier this week that the madness needs to stop and has introduced a bill being very appropriately nicknamed the Suck It Up, Buttercup Act.

There’s more to this legislation than meets the eye. The top line item is the obvious one, providing for cuts to funding for schools which could add up to double what they spend on all of this safe space and hand wringing activity.

But a second feature of this bill will, I’m guessing, garner a lot more popular support. It proposes to impose additional criminal penalties on people who intentionally block the highways as part of their “protests and free speech.”

David Rosenthal A New Defense for Religious Liberty: Going on Offense against Bad Laws

It is no secret that religious liberty is under attack. The wedding photographer, florist, and cake baker are no longer able to practice their faith at work without fear of retribution for refusing to fall in line with the new government orthodoxy.

One way to preserve the American conscience is for individuals to pre-emptively put unjust laws on trial by way of pre-enforcement challenges.

Pre-enforcement challenges have a long pedigree in free speech cases, which carries over into the religious liberty context.

ith the principle in mind, ADF recently launched a pre-enforcement challenge in support of religious liberty on behalf of clients in Arizona.

The culture war will rage on, but pre-enforcement challenges have the potential to provide refuge for conscientious objectors who want to live out their faith in the marketplace without fear of prosecution for doing so. It is time to put bad laws on trial before bad laws are able to do worse to conscientious objectors.

To date, it’s been the riots, the over-riding of individual liberties, the libel and slander, and the destruction of culture that has dominated the news. It is about time that the opposition to such efforts stands up for its day in the ‘debate.’

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A good summary: tactics, behavior, and expectations

Clarice Feldman says Let’s Talk Turkey: Free Speech in an Autocratic Era. The column is a dense summary of the post election trauma from “The Euro version of the “Trump needs guidance” meme” to VDH’s observation that “The nexus of attack will not be a dramatic scandalous revelation — it will be intended to induce bleeding from a thousand tiny nicks and cuts, all designed to reduce his moral authority and thus his ability to ratchet back the progressive decade.”

NPR appears not to have appreciated the blowback to their Bannon slime job so reports are that they will avoid any further interviews with conservatives. Another ‘commentator’ observes that ‘the Democrats haven’t been this upset since we freed their slaves.’ On the one side are those like the cast of Hamilton who fear for their lives and on the other are those who say ‘enough already’.

The delusion is palpable and is being examined for what it really is. Feldman provides a very dense summary from a very rich field of observations.

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George Will: Higher education is awash with hysteria. That might have helped elect Trump.

Institutions of supposedly higher education are awash with hysteria, authoritarianism, obscurantism, philistinism and charlatanry. Which must have something to do with the tone and substance of the presidential election, which took the nation’s temperature.

This is, perhaps, why there is a need about How to survive a post-election meltdown Thanksgiving.

Many Americans, afraid of almost everything these days — so afraid of being afraid that they’re easily herded like political livestock — will look to Thanksgiving with just one thing on their minds:


It’s true and you know it. You’re afraid somebody will say something. And you’re afraid that you’ll respond, and you will.

Now, you might get lucky and have a Thanksgiving gathering of people who don’t give two figs for politics. But that means you have a house full of 7-year-olds and all they’ll want is mac and cheese, so good luck with that.

Just How ugly will Democrats get in smearing Jeff Sessions?

as a US attorney, Sessions desegregated schools and successfully prosecuted the head of the state Ku Klux Klan for murder — then, as the state’s attorney general, saw the killer executed. That prosecution set the stage for a $7 million civil judgment that broke the Alabama Klan.

Sessions’ votes and ideology are fair game for confirmation hearings. Democrats have every right to conduct a tough and spirited grilling — provided it’s a fair one, and not another in a long line of liberal smears.

But, alas, the party of the KKK has its true colors on display: Trump Cabinet Picks Incite Liberal Backlash — “Democrats, civil liberties groups sound alarm on choices of top advisers.”

“There is a growing and alarming trend among the individuals President-elect Trump is naming to key positions in his administration,” New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker said in a statement. “Some have degraded and demeaned Americans. Others actively promote dangerous fringe ideologies. Still more have threatened Americans’ rights, and attacked the privileges of citizenship.”

“This nomination is deeply troubling to Americans who care about equal protection under the law,” said Wade Henderson, president of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

To see just how far this civility bragged about on the left goes, consider Pat Saperstein’s column Mike Pence Booed at ‘Hamilton’ Performance.

Vice-president elect Mike Pence went to see the hip-hop musical “Hamilton” on Broadway Friday night, and the performance was disrupted when the audience wouldn’t stop booing him.

At the end of the show, the cast addressed his presence, with Brandon Victor Dixon saying “Vice President Elect Pence, welcome. Thank you for joining us at Hamilton-An American Musical. We are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights. We hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values, and work on behalf of ALL of us.”

Notice the presumption. With absolutely nothing to support it you have a belief that the ‘other side’ is not going to uphold American values or work on behalf of everyone. That is the true evil and why there is fear at even a family Thanksgiving dinner. It is a fear driven by schools offering propaganda rather than education. It is a fear as a reaction to intolerance and bigotry based on fantasy that just assumes, with religious fervor, that those not in step are evil incarnate. That fear is a realistic fear because the derangement that is on display is extraordinarily costly to resolve on many fronts. One only has to look at the damage and harm being caused by the rioters on the fringe of this phenomena to see that. 

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Free Range Kids so why not Free Market Medical?

The idea has been under attack much like Uber and Lyft but good ideas are hard to keep down. Taylor Millard provides his take on Changing the medical equation — “An Oklahoma doctor brings the market back to medicine.”

“We thought, ‘let’s just open our own place and get away from these lunatics and not deal with the federal government,’” Dr. Smith said, as he recounted the discussions prior to the center’s opening. “We decided we were going to be honest and fair with our pricing and not deal with the feds. And that was our mission.”

“Dealing with them was the easiest thing in the world,” patient Michelle Ray said. “I called to verify that the price listed on the website was inclusive and accurate. I made an appointment and they told me everything I would need before, during, and after surgery.”

In 2014 he helped launch the Free Market Medical Association, which hooks up patients with like-minded doctors. FMMA holds conferences to show doctors how to make a cash-only system work.

Let the market work!

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Where did that come from?

Jon Evans has some advice: So you think you elected an autocrat. He seems to be a bit confused. One of the first things to do in a circumstance like he poses is to check one’s perceptions. Where did the idea come from? Is it accurate? Unless and until you have an accurate picture of the situation any effort to deal with it is likely to be as flawed as the perception itself.

In America, for instance, it seems reasonable to expect life to get measurably worse over the next four years for visible minorities, LGBTQ people, women who seek autonomy over their own bodies, etc.

Why is this reasonable? From the point of view of many, this ‘reasonable to expect’ describes what has happened — history — over the last eight years and that history was the reason to create a change in order to put in place a corrective course.

…but maybe the most important thing is to include them in your communities, both online and off. Social media gets a lot of flak around elections, much of it justified, but it is also a crucially important substrate that people can use to band together and support each other when times get tough.

This is no time to get all People’s Front of Judea, or to write off anyone and everyone who disagrees with you as a monster. Note that the same people who say “everyone who voted for the other side is racist and cannot ever be associated with under any circumstances” also often say “everyone’s racist, it’s just a matter of degree, it’s implicit in the system in which we live.” Be very careful who you call an enemy. More us-and-them polarization is exactly what the autocrat wants.

This begs the question of who it is that is excluding others, who it is that is trying to “write off” the opposition, who it is that is branding people by affiliation without basis and who is citing specific behaviors. We can see this in the last campaign where one side was crying “unfit” based on created extrapolations while the other was citing specific breaches of national security. It can be seen after the election when the ‘unfit’ side is trying to deny the results with riots, false allegations and other acting out, and paid rioters who did not even vote.

I’ve been arguing for some time now that the whole concept of a world partitioned into nation-states makes less and less sense. 
That means making a point of extending community and governance projects across borders. That means getting into Bitcoin and the other major cryptocurrencies, as the only true world currencies. That means doing your best to defend Internet (and other) freedoms around the world, where they are under concerted attack, by building decentralized systems that exist orthogonally to nation-states.

Unfortunately the tech industry has been more focused on delivery apps for privileged hipsters than systems and networks that strengthen communities and create new tribes.

Which is it? Is the community a local tribe or a trans-national aggregate? The global community idea needs to carefully inspect the history of the League of Nations and its complicity in WW II. The federalist ideas in the U.S. government need to be compared to the common technology advice to build complex systems out of small redundant parts. How can “strengthen communities and create new tribes” fit into this idea of a global community? Much of the strife we ever see is when the concept of tribe and locality become sufficiently strong to overwhelm a proper consideration for the broader community. This is visible everywhere from inner city gang violence to the Muslim radicalism. The U.S. immigration history has shown how this conflict can be eased in the dual accommodation of assimilation coupled with respect and honor of heritage. Many ‘tribes’ have become a part of the U.S. while still celebrating their roots. Some ‘tribes’ – notably blacks and Muslims – have not.

The conflicts between individual, tribal, national, and global identities are not solved by imposing homogeneity much as they are not solved by fostering exaggerated identity. Individuals need to be able to choose to which tribe they belong. They need to be able to choose their associates. They need to have their rights protected as much as they must respect the rights of others. In this regard, the U.S. also shows how it can be done. Capitalism and federalism are both based on these concepts of individual freedom of expression and participation within the constraints of the greater society. Much of the strife visible now is about whether to minimize or maximize those ‘constraints’ of the greater society. Do we trust the individual in aggregate or a government in isolation? Where should the balance be?

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Urban Apologetics

Ernest Cleo Grant II describes The Challenge of Defending the Faith in the Inner City — “Traditional apologetics has struggled to address the theological issues of my urban community.” He recites a ‘discussion’ from an evangelical effort to the ‘Heroin Highway’ near his church.

What I needed—likely along with many other inner-city pastors—was a course on urban apologetics. That is, a branch of apologetics that addresses matters of faith within the larger context of race, inequality, economics, justice, and religious pluralism. Many urban cults thrive because they provide a sense of communal identity by addressing the pressing issues of the urban dweller.

today’s apologetics has done a weak job in addressing the theological issues within the under-resourced inner city. The discipline rarely anticipates that the crisis of faith of a poor person may look entirely different than that of a wealthy one and that the heresies one may be enticed by may have little in common.

Should Christian academic institutions begin creating resources to address the inner city church, they would likely discover that their work would benefit the entire church. Many of the these heresies exist due to the maltreatment of people of color by their countrymen, white Christians. Consequently, white Christian communities seeking to defend their faith in the inner cities would do well to confront their past actions and beliefs.

In 2016, the answer to this question will not exist in a textbook or within the confines of the classroom. Will support be defined as additional essays and books? Probably, but it will also look like reading about the complicated history of American Christianity, advocating for justice for urban communities—even when if it comes at one’s personal cost—and learning alongside inner city evangelists. Maybe that interaction starts on Heroin Highway with an Italian ice.

He cites the stimulus as a resident accosting him with his hubris. Grant misses this need described in Matthew 7:3 about the mote and beam and also the caution about false witness. Is it really true that those infested by drugs and prostitution are suffering “maltreatment of people of color by their countrymen?” Is the inner city really “under-resourced” in terms of social investment?

There is a conflation of problem and solution here. This isn’t a matter of understanding the context and social environment in order to teach but rather of confronting a Sodom and Gomorrah situation. The salvation of Christ starts with acceptance as a sinner. It does not start with the presumption as a victim of some devil.

The urban evangelist is confronted by sin. It is the sin that results in broken families and in broken communities. The solution is in the members of that community accepting Christ by first accepting their own culpability for their state. From there, they can build families, communities, and a God fearing populace that uses faith as the basis for health and welfare rather than dependency on government.

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