Life Matters

bw_cookieI was not born a poor black child.  I have always been a white male, who uses gender specific language to describe himself.  My parents, my family and most of my friends have always been white.  By most, I mean not all, and I have met, known and become friends with members of other races.  For the most part, race has simply not been an issue.

On the other hand, I do know what it’s like to be judged by my race, verbally demeaned for being white and to then, in turn, stereotype a group due to skin color.  But, my individualistic sensibilities have always taken over and I know that people are just that, individuals.  That’s the thing about radical capitalism, much to the chagrin of its detractors, in life, as in the wild, a being is only as good as the soul inside.

I also know what it’s like to be confronted by hostile law enforcement officers riding the high of a power trip.  I know what it’s like to have a gun pointed at me, with the knowledge that the man holding it has been trained to use it.  I know what it’s like to be guilty of a crime and to be caught in the act.  I know the fear-based desire to excuse my actions and turn an issue into the fault of those in power, blaming authority for my own destructive behavior.  I have since learned to accept responsibility, to balance my perception of justice and to live my life based upon the merits I deserve, as a white, heterosexual American male.

But my life does not matter.

Because to the progressive ideologues, blinded by willful frustration, I am the problem.

There is a movement rampaging through the country that seeks to divide our nation in the name of justice, peace and race.  Any good that was born out of the Black Lives Matter movement has become shrouded in sadness and vile aggression.  This vulgar display of power can be seen (here) at an event where none other than the avowed socialist Bernie Sanders was invited to speak.  He was pushed out of the way to allow a woman to take the stage and declare, among all else, that the Democratic supporters in the audience are white racists… simply because they are white.

This group invokes the in vogue “I Am…” to be completed with the name of whatever purported victim has been claimed by the racist white culture.  This personal identification seeks to take charge of a tragedy and let it be known that justice will not rest.  As this writer, a gender and Africana studies professor claims, when writing about the recent death of Sandra Bland, “in Sandra I see myself.”  This writer goes on to add that just as she “is” the victim in this truly horrific case, we white people cannot be anything but the cause of Ms. Bland’s tragic death:

“White people resist seeing themselves in the face of the oppressor. That mirror reflection is almost too much to bear. I get it. So then they resent the person that holds up the mirror. But let me just say as directly as I can: White people must begin to see themselves in the faces of the mostly white police officers who keep committing these atrocities against Black and Brown people. This will not stop until you recognize that you are them. These officers are your brothers and sisters and aunts and cousins, and sons and daughters and nieces and nephews, and friends, and church members. You are them. And they are you.”

-Side Bar: notice the use of “mostly white police officers?”

The progressive political machine saw a valuable ally in this movement.  They saw a group that was willing to take aggressive action and claim the status of perpetual victim, as promoted by the “I Am…” monicker.  And they will now reap what they sow.  The Republicans are already damned as far as this group goes, therefore, hostilities must exude towards the most liberal politician, in one of the most liberal cities in America.  And they get away with it there.  But the greater audience, the one who recognizes this charade of victimhood, will not be defined by a woman with a microphone and a penchant for unwarranted public outburst.

I am more than my race, and so are you.

I am not a racist white police officer and no metaphorical mirror will get me to see that I am.  I do not hate because of skin color and I don’t engage in willful discrimination against any group because of its race.  I do find generalities easy to communicate and I do fall back on stereotypes.  But I recognize these mental constructs for what they are and deal with individuals based upon their own merits, their own actions and their own hearts.

Unlike the “leaders” of Black Lives Matter movement, I will not be made a victim of my race.  I will not allow these saints of victimhood to create my own self-identification and then tell me that I had better work on eliminating my inner racist because “black lives matter.”  They do matter.  And as much as it may hurt to hear, so do white lives.  And Asian lives, Latinos, Eskimos, feline and canine, to say nothing about the lives of the unborn (too far?).

It’s a tragic day in the United States when a politician, a Democrat no less, cannot say openly that “all lives matter” without apologizing for it after the fact.  By singling out black lives, the movement seeks to segregate as means to annihilate any peaceful existence we might enjoy.  They will invoke the name of Martin Luther King Jr. as a permission slip to disparage other groups and cause all matter of civil unrest.

The left has seen but a glimpse of the antagonism of this mentality.  Much like the criminals in Gotham, they came to a “point of desperation. And in their desperation they turned to a [group] they didn’t fully understand.”  The Black Lives Matter movement will not be controlled because it has justice, God and Martin Luther King Jr. on its side.  And when white society does not immediately capitulate, these activists will riot, they will torch and they will blame me for their actions.

Unlike the civil rights movement, where MLK spoke of inclusiveness and the importance of white people and black people working together to secure the goals of equality and peace, this group has no tangible goal.  Society is lost in its eyes.  What remains, is pure rage.  There is no end, there can be no peace, there is no legislation that will suffice to right any perceived wrong.  What they want, is a reckoning.

“They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some… just want to watch the world burn.”

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Murder in the Sanctuary City

Golden-gate-bridge-sunsetHow many times have you heard it said “the law is the law” as a justification for or against a particular action?

As members of a relatively free society we are able to pursue the life, liberty and happiness that our founding principles afford us.  But only activities within the established legal confines are deemed acceptable while certain proscribed actions result in a variety of consequences and punishments.  The vast majority accept the law and live accordingly everyday.

But a disturbing trend continues where designated officials, the very authorities in charge of enforcing our laws, shirk the legal constraints of society.  And in so doing they leave law-biding citizens vulnerable to the elements that the law is meant to protect against.

The recent shooting of Kathryn Steinle at Pier 14 in San Francisco is a tragedy rooted in the dereliction of duty of the city’s leaders.  San Francisco prides itself on being a so-called “sanctuary city” where immigration status is a non-issue, despite federal laws to the contrary.  The result of this “compassion” led to an inevitable consequence, the murder of a young woman.

The shooter, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, had been deported on five separate occasions yet successfully returned each time to the United States, finally landing in San Francisco.  And in San Francisco, legal immigration is not worth supporting and illegal immigration is not worth pursuing.  “San Francisco and SFSD policy is to deny ICE detainer requests, barring special circumstances, such as a warrant for a suspected violent offender. The ICE detainer request was denied, and on April 15, 2015 Lopez-Sanchez was released. Two and a half months later Kate Steinle was killed.”

The same story notes that “Sanchez said he knew San Francisco was a sanctuary city where he would not be pursued by immigration officials.”

The hubris of the San Francisco policy is that it upholds its own relative standard, dismissing the  objective legal one, and does so at the expense of other values that such progressive ideology purports to extoll:

The man was on drugs, not busy at a job that Americans don’t want to do, as the justification for allowing illegal immigrants to remain so goes.

He somehow has access to a gun (he claims he found it) which would suggest that gun control measures are also lacking, not in substance but in practical application.  In other words, they exist but don’t work.

The cries for such control that follow tragedies like mass shootings, along with the regulations on smoking and trans fats, stem from the benevolent desire of the state to protect us from ourselves.  But keeping this guy out of the country, where he would not have been able to shoot Kathryn Steinle, is not a compassionate enough reason to enforce the laws regulating immigration.

Here is a guy who shoots a woman, thus conducting his own private, literal, War on Woman.

And for the animal rights folks, “Sanchez had initially told police he had shot the gun at sea lions, ABC 7 reported.”

But even an event as exposing as this will not sway the feeling-based, subjective reasoning that is a direct and tragic insult to the rule of law.  The mayor of San Francisco stated, “Let me be clear (a subconscious nod to the president I’m sure): [the policy] protects residents regardless of immigration status and is not intended to protect repeat, serious and violent felons,” he said.

He reveals the necessity of law by refusing to support the law.  Of course it is “not intended to protect repeat, serious and violent felons.”  That’s the very definition of an Unintended Consequence.  They occur without intention but nevertheless result from the flawed policy of his sanctuary city.

But do you know what the Intended Consequence is of immigration laws that deport, incarcerate or otherwise eliminate people like Lopez-Sanchez from our society?  That’s right! It prevents them from being on drugs at Pier 14 with a gun at the same time as Kathryn Steinle.  That law helps promote a sanctuary city for the legal citizens who reside there.

The law is the law because it was created following the rule of law.  If laws need to be changed, updated, amended or discarded there is a process that allows for such legal evolution.  But until they do change, we are subject to those laws and the corresponding penalties should we break them.  I sometimes speed, jaywalk and used to smoke in public in the city of Burbank (similar restrictions exist in Boulder). But I don’t get to absolve myself from consequence because I view those laws as mean, discriminatory or otherwise not worthy of my adherence.  No, I get a fine because I am subject to such laws and must follow them.  All of them.

This mayor, the president, all executive government officials of every city, state and the federal government are tasked to enforce existing laws, as well as follow them.  When they start choosing which ones they will enforce, people die, literally.  When they choose feelings and ideology over legal doctrine, they become rulers, not public servants.

Kathryn Steinle is dead because a man shot her in a drastically misnomered sanctuary city.  That man was subject to the law, and its punishments, on numerous occasions.  But because relative, subjective compassion rules in the not-so-sanctuary city of San Francisco, the law has become a suggestion, more what you call guidelines than actual rules.  This tragedy could have been prevented by the rule of law.  But those in power decided that “the law is only the law if I agree with it.”

The “Right” to Marriage

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Marriage is not a fundamental right.  For anyone.

Marriage is a human construct, some say inspired by God, that has historically existed to ironically limit the rights of one or both parties.  Today, arranged marriages are still arranged and women in their pre-teen years are sworn to men without any say in the issue.  In other contexts, marriage is a mutual agreement based on love and respect that will last a lifetime.  This idea of a marriage based in love is a rather new and welcome concept on the journey of humankind.

Regardless, no one has a fundamental right to the institution of marriage because it is an agreement of more than one party.

Rights exist because we exist, because people are born and have a fundamental right to their own lives.  To use their efforts, mind and body to create happiness for themselves on this Earth.  Anything less subjugates humanity to a state of slavery and extinction of either the mind or body.  This contrary position would doom us all (and has come close to doing so).

Subsequent conditions, whether marriage, employment or the ownership of property, require the actions of another and no one has a right to compel another to act.  This is the concept that separates a right from a so-called privilege.  Marriage is a condition that people can engage in but does not exist as a precondition for existence and requires no state sanction for its execution.  Semantic arguments notwithstanding, and again stated, one can never hold a right to another’s person, mind or body.  For if I have a right to marriage, as I have a right to breath, then who do I have I right to be married to?  Can I take a person for my marriage and forbid any divorce?  After all, it is my right.  But this ludicrous position would then violate the right to life that is held by another, the basis for all free human existence.

In order to be married I need a consenting partner and a consenting PRIVATE institution that will perform the ceremony.  In my personal view, this is enough, regardless of gender.  The issue that has been present in the United States is one of equality which has led to the demand for rights, and this is a fault of the over-bearing government entity of which I so often protest.  And ultimately, the fault lies with us.

The arguments of late in favor of same-sex marriage essentially state that because heterosexual couples can be married, so can homosexual couples, and it is only because the state has an involvement in marriage that this argument can be made.  The same-sex marriage advocates are tragically asking for permission of the government to live their lives because the government has been allowed to dictate such terms to the people. In this sense, the people are now beholden to the sovereign for the status of their very lives.  Not to protect those lives mind you, but to live them freely.  Heterosexual couples have been subjecting themselves to these conditions since before the republic.

The error made in the recent ruling was not a moral one based in gender but in the morality concerning the role of government in our lives.  These justices possess such authority that they can determine the status of this precious relationship that exists between two people.  And they do so on a whim because no law exists concerning this “right.”  Marriage does not appear in the Constitution.

The invocation of the 14th amendment serves to add oil to the water and further obscure the issue.  This is the amendment requiring equal protection under the law and was used to justify the ruling, essentially stating that people all deserve the same right to marriage as one another.  The application of this reasoning states that what was illegal yesterday is legal today under the same set of laws that existed yesterday.  Today we (the Court) now view those laws in a different context and have the power to impose our will.  Here is the ruling opinion from Justice Kennedy:

“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. THE CONSTITUTION GRANTS THEM THAT RIGHT.” (emphasis added)

This, while nicely stated, subtly reflects the grim reality in which we live for there is no possible way to know what the law truly holds.  Yesterday this was illegal and today, with a reinvention, and not the passage of an actual law, the Court can say “oh wait, you CAN do that.  We’ve had it wrong this whole time.  Let us GIVE you your right back”  And therein lies the rub.  The Court no longer interprets but changes the law to fit a personal belief and that is not in its job description.  All current circumstances considered, the issue would have been better left to the states because states can pass amendments that determine the behavior of its residents and those residents have a direct say in the creation of the law (except in California where people voted against Proposition 8 and the courts just overruled them).  A free people cannot be free without the stability of law.  But the unity of people requires no law at all, only the consent of those involved in the union.

Marriage is a beautiful, hopefully joyous institution that today joins people in love.  It is not a gift from government and it is not a right held by anyone over anyone else.  It is an agreement that ought to be independent of the state.  Marriage has had a specific definition in society but those definitions on permissible behavior do change and that is a fact that opponents of same-sex marriage will have to accept.  However, private citizens living private lives can change them in the realm of private society and do not require governmental action.  Laws are meant to exist to protect our very lives and to limit such action, not to guide personal relationships.  Laws that do so are a direct infringement on the fundamental right to life that we all do hold.  This action by the court should serve as a warning:  We can tell you what is right for you in your personal life.  We can grant such rights, and we can take them away.

It has been said that the law is what the Supreme Court says it is.  I suppose we should all thank the Court for the permission to live our lives.

Thank you sirs and madams, may we have another?

The Climate Sermon on the Mount of Fallibility

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There is something to be said about a proactive pontiff (which I’d written briefly about after the Super Bowl) in this secular day and floundering religious age.  As noted recently in a new poll conducted by Gallup, the church in general has “been losing its footing as a pillar of moral leadership in the nation’s culture.”  Controversy, most specifically pedophiliac priests (terms which should never collide in the same sentence) and a devotion to the technological achievements of man, have left many people feeling as though the church is an antiquated institution that can provide little in the way of spiritual nourishment.  That’s what yoga, ‘’The View’’ and social media are for in the present day.

In the immortal words of Garth, “Live in the now.”

So, having a representative of the church that puts himself front and center to declare his beliefs should be a move in the right direction.  If only it were so.  The naive, or dare I say ignorant, approach to economics and global environmental with a dash of social affairs will only inflame the issues that are driven by that same secular faith in man and his ability to destroy and then fix the planet.  In this case, the pope will be used by the folks who declare the infallible righteousness of a separation of church and state and that the science is settled (when it suits them) yet keep his views out of the doctrinaire classrooms of public education.

In a previous blog I’d written, “to help the environment, encourage charity and clean living are noble and righteous acts in which the pope is almost obligated to engage.  But to express naivety towards free market economics, denigrating a system that has created more wealth for the world and the church than any other, is dangerous sophistry.”  And now he has doubled down on those efforts, using platitudinous morality to denigrate the nations (or really nation as it seems that his words are directed at the United States.  Maybe I’m just sensitive.  Probably not.) who have lifted this world from the darkness of the night with a lightbulb, the dangers of disease with penicillin (and I know Fleming was Scottish) and the chaos and destruction that was a Second World War.

Pope Francis writes in his ‘’Laudato Si’’ (Praise Be) that “this vision of ‘might is right’ has engendered immense inequality, injustice and acts of violence against the majority of humanity, since resources end up in the hands of the first comer or the most powerful: the winner takes all.”  He then adds, “completely at odds with this model are the ideals of harmony, justice, fraternity and peace as proposed by Jesus.”

The problem with this vision is that it directly clashes with millennia upon millennia of power struggles reflective of human nature.  We are not Jesus Christ and we never will be.  He is a model for the way that human beings can and should live.  An ideal that the world does not fully embrace and ironically, in the United States, shirks when his name is invoked in the public sector.  Except when it furthers the agenda of an already rabid environmentalism, unconstrained by economic, or any other, form of reality.

To decry the economic giants of the world for a fault they do not deserve is sadly, and conveniently for the ideology, dangerous folly.  For this perspective offers only a prediction based on the same human nature that it does not recognize in its prescription: do what we say or things will get worse.  They will then point to every instance of poverty, war, flood, drought and ‘’Deadwood’’ cancellation, as a sign that man is killing the planet and that he hates his neighbor.  But when crafting a view of what the world should be, man has always fallen well short of the ideal ‘’model’’ of behavior.

There are parts of the world where might IS right, where force is the rule of law and it is solely the defensive, and at times offensive, capabilities of these United States that keep those dark forces from truly destroying the planet.  Not with cars and air conditioners but with the machete, chemical weapons and fires at the stake.  This dream of harmony, justice, fraternity and peace is only possible if one side capitulates to the demands of the other, resulting in the inevitable subjugation of one society over another.  The Pope’s view is just that, an ideal, but not applicable as a panacea for the world in which we live.  People have always acted in ways that enhance one side at the expense of another.  It is the way it is, has been and forever will be.  After all, Christ needed to be crucified by the world to save the world from itself.  And this was pre-Prius.  But never has there been a more benevolent power than the United States to promote the ideals of Christ throughout the world.  We do fall short.  But this is the best hope that there has ever been.  To criticize that as not good enough, and to blame this humanistic achievement that has saved lives as the cause of discontent, is an arrogant message  unworthy of any church.

And then there’s climate change.

The science isn’t settled, humans are not destroying the planet and the automobile is not degrading the societies of the third world.  Humans undoubtedly contribute to the environmental integrity of the planet, as does the magnificent power of the sun and yes, cleaner living is good and yes renewable resources would be spectacular replacements for fossil fuels.  But they are not a reality.

“The simple reality is that energy is the essential building block of the modern world,” said Thomas Pyle of the Institute of Energy Research.  “Application of affordable energy makes everything we do — food production, manufacturing, health care, transportation, heating and air conditioning — better.”

The world needs energy and right now its up to oil, coal and natural gas.  Solar and wind are not economically viable just yet and to promote the idea as though they are is demagoguery at its finest.  Moreover, it is not the evil oil companies keeping this technology from us.  If any private entity could develop such power in an affordable way, those same energy companies would invest in the technology in order to send this power to the world, and yes, make money.  Then they would become the evil solar companies.

“Nobody is suggesting a return to the Stone Age, but we do need to slow down and look at reality in a different way, to appropriate the positive and sustainable progress which has been made, but also to recover the values and the great goals swept away by our unrestrained delusions of grandeur,” Francis writes.

Unrestrained delusions of grandeur are permitted in the United States and they can live side-by-side with the values and great goals that such delusions have created for the world.  How many more people can dream all the more wildly because they have an iPhone or access to the internet and a highway.  These consequences of a (relatively) free market have flooded the world with jobs and broadened the horizons from Kenya to California.  Slowing down and looking at reality in a different way is not an action requiring any other action on behalf of any civilization.  It is a bromide creating a false dilemma wherein we are to be made to feel guilty for the sins of the world.  And if not the Stone Age, then just how far back should we go?  1900 or 1600?

The fact is that people have been losing faith in church, its leaders and its teachings for reasons beknownst to individuals alone.  But speculate we can.  When the church defends or hides from its own indiscretions, when success and achievement are accused of creating an “immense pile of filth”  and when rabid environmentalism is allowed to taint the traditional message of love, people will tune out.

Jesus Christ was the embodiment of God on Earth and taught that love of one another was THE way of life.  This is the model for us to live: corporations, politicians, clergy and laymen alike.  This message is not served by the delusions of a politicized science that is so vague in its explanations as to explain everything that ever was and will be for all time… except of course what the weather will be like tomorrow.

The Phony Factor: Why Hillary Will Lose

FILE PHOTO:  In Profile: 100 Years Of US Presidential Races

In the entertainment industry, of which politics is undoubtedly a part and shares some eerie similarities to the glitzy cult of personalities, there is that intangible quality that has been said to make a star. That thing. It. Pizazz.  Or quite commonly, the X-Factor.  Sort of a conglomeration of likability, charisma and talent, the X-Factor can separate good from great, memorable from mundane, pleasant from ghastly.  Think Kennedy vs. Nixon, 1960.

Sadly, in many cases, this characteristic can be of greater significance than either achievement or practical ability to do the job at hand.  But people like to see people succeed whom they like to like.  And they watch, and elect, those individuals who come across as sincere, personable, likable and genuine.  The kind of people that, no matter how far fetched this scenario might be, would come over for a beer and brat, or hummus and wine if you prefer.

On the other foot, people hate feeling duped and cannot abide being lied to. (again see Nixon, 1974)  We despise those who are disingenuous and, the majority of the time, the majority will turn away from those ineffectual leaders towards the ones that make us smile. This introduces, while perhaps not a polar opposite, a counter to the X-Factor:

The Phony Factor.

Think back on previous presidents and the opposing, inevitably losing candidate of the other party:

Barack Obama vs. John McCain- one was fresh, new, black, hip and ostensibly intelligent and completely devoted to his desire to transform the United States.  The other was John McCain.

-Mitt Romney fared little better as he never quite seemed to embrace, or at least find peace with the charge before him.  I think he wanted to be president, and for the right reasons, but the environment in which he had to operate was simply outside of his capability.

W. vs. Gore- the election was a coin toss and at the time, either one was X or Phony at any given time.  As the years have gone on, W. has become much more likable (any doubters can watch this) but as of the election, both were rather “meh.”

John Kerry vs. W.- Good old lurch barely looks comfortable in his suits, let alone his own skin, and couldn’t get much more than the anti-Bush crowd, which just wasn’t enough.

Bill Clinton vs. Bob Dole- need I say more.

Bush 41 had exposed Michael Dukakis as a bleeding heart that endangered the public to secure his first term but for the second he had to combat both a charismatic Clinton and his own “read my lips” faux pas.  Too much to handle for the father.

And then there’s Ronald Reagan.  Mr. X-Factor who took all but Minnesota (his opponent Walter Mondale’s home state) to win his second term.  Morning in America was ubiquitous.

Which brings us to the epitome of the phony factor:

Hillary Rodham Clinton

I will go out on a limb here, so far out from the election, and say, with no equivocation:

Hillary Clinton will NOT be President of the United States.

She is simply too phony.  She stereotypically lives a life of public service which has amassed her family hundreds of millions of dollars.  She has been the First Lady, a Senator, the Secretary of State and yet clings to a message that she will reform Washington.  Why would she?  It made her who she is, with her style of success only possible in such a back-scratching, tit-for-tat, $200,000-500,000 per speaking engagement environment.

Her disconnect from reality is mystifying and yet entirely expected in the cynical realm of politics today.  Joel Gehrke at National Review writes,  “Clinton noted that small business creation has “stalled out,” to her chagrin. “I was very surprised to see that when I began to dig into it,” she said while campaigning in New Hampshire. “Because people were telling me this as I traveled around the country the last two years, but I didn’t know what they were saying and it turns out that we are not producing as many small businesses as we use to.”

Again, First Lady, Senator, Sec. of State… and she didn’t know???  And this is just a smidgeon of the say anything mentality that will drive this election cycle.  She has such contempt for the “regular” beneath her, and she isn’t even aware of it.  That’s what Rumsfeld would call an “Unknown, unknown.”

Just take the test, which I will admit is less objective and more mystical that I generally purport to be, but ask yourself: Phony or Real?  Genuine or Fake?  Deep down, we know it to be true.  Hillary is a big faker, who was born in the 40s and claimed for years that she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary who climbed Everest in 1953.  Why?  Because she will say anything and doesn’t believe that we the people, and especially the Democratic Party, will see through it.

But we, of all political bents, don’t like fakers in the White House.

The Cover of the Rolling Stone

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“We take all kinds of pills that give us all kind of thrills, but the thrill we’ve never known,

Is the thrill that’ll getcha when you get your picture on the cover of the Rollin’ Stone.”

– Dr. Hook, “Cover of the Rolling Stone”

The absence of principled conviction, as reflected in moral relativism, will inevitably lead to the dissemination of ideas that conflict with one another.  And in so doing, the unconfessed single standard hiding behind the supposed double standard will emerge…

It was never a difficult task to dissect the motivations behind the Rolling Stone story about a girl from the University of Virginia who had been gang-raped at a frat party.  This fed into the narrative of an ideology that knows that women are treated as a lesser species by the neanderthal caucasian men who are the source of all of society’s ills.  They hate for breakfast and rape for dinner.

So why bother to question other sources aside from the victim?  Why question the responses of her friends that could be called nothing short of in-credible (as in, NOT credible)? And when it was discovered that one of “rapists” was not even at the party, then…?

Doesn’t matter.  The cause is what matters, that’s what’s just and that’s what’s important.  During the games of the Final Four (as well as throughout the entire NFL season) we saw athletes talking directly to camera about how WE need to end sexual assault.  As though it is somehow OUR fault and WE need to assume some collective guilt over what is already considered to be a horrendous crime.  And that’s the point.  Get the story out there to spread a message so that even when the facts are not entirely clear, the narrative is what sticks.

Because when the truth isn’t good enough, make it up.

Sexual assault is a plague in frat houses and across college campuses, don’t you know? Even if these particular frat boys didn’t sexually assault on THAT particular night they were going to soon, so it is for the common good that the house was closed and their reputations trashed.  And if we have to “enhance” the definition of sexual assault, then so be it.

 “The Department of Health and Human Services identifies sexual assault as “verbal, visual, or anything that forces a person to join in unwanted sexual contact or attention.” Under that definition, forced kissing can certainly constitute as a form of sexual assault.”  Not that forced kissing should be tolerated at all but when it conflates with gang-rape we have an ethical dilemma due to an ideological agenda.

But there’s a conservative war on women, don’t you know?  They want women (and men by the way) to pay for their own contraceptives.  Jerks!!!

So, if real assault, faux assault, kiss assault and contraceptive assault can merge into a stew of hostility that’s then fed to the masses from the spoon of Rolling Stone, maybe the “crimes” will stick, even when the acts didn’t occur.  No one thinks of kissing when the words “sexual assault” come into play and the folks at DHHS and Rolling Stone know this.  Its the classic bait-and-switch.  Billy Flynn, & The Old Razzle-Dazzle.

Because when the truth isn’t good enough, make it up.

Women and men have horrible, traumatic events occur in their lives through no fault of their own.  No one ever deserves to be raped or “brings it on themselves.”  That is why the penalties for sexual assault are very severe.  They are horrible acts that society has deemed worthy of drastic punishments in the worst cases.  And while women have had to struggle for equal treatment in professional areas and with regards to civil rights, those aren’t current bouts against the mainstream.  Everyone believes in the equal treatment of women.  (I’ll shamelessly refer you to the bogus 77 cents on the dollar claim in a previous post.)

When a woman comes forward to report an attack, what is the existing stigma that is so feared?  Rolling Stone just showed that a woman with no evidence at all could dupe one of the biggest magazine’s in the country into believing her.  There was also the alleged rape of a woman by the Duke lacrosse team that never occurred, but people believed it. (Sharpton even showed up, of course he did)  But the story sticks and schools hyper-react so that they cannot find themselves in a position where they are accused of not caring about rape victims.  And what about the system? The cops, the judges and the DA want nothing more than to lock up rapists.  Their problem is that they want ACTUAL rapists.

But men and women lie.  They lie when accused and lie in the accusation.  It is the job of campuses, the police and the attorneys to find the truth.  Leave the ends that suit any ideology at the door and FIND THE TRUTH.  It would have taken any one of numerous “journalists” at Rolling Stone five seconds to sort this out. (They all get to keep their jobs too in spite of this debacle.  Isn’t that special??)  But they knew the truth before this girl from UVA even walked in the door.  So substantiating facts became a secondary matter and they went with the narrative that must be true, according to their own beliefs.

Rolling Stone has betrayed the very cause they sought to push forth.  While I don’t believe that women will now be viewed as liars first who must prove their accusations or go home, the magazine has undermined the essence of credibility and in cases of sexual assault, credibility is key.  When accusations are all there are, how else can the truth come out but through investigation and tests of credibility?

The truth is the end worth pursuing.  Not the phony war on whomever it is there is a conservative war on this week.  Not the inequality that may or may not exist.  Find the truth!

True leaders, honest public servants and daring journalists park their ideological baggage at the door and leap into the unknown, grasping for the facts.  They search out and expose criminals along with nefarious actors because they do in fact exist, but not in this case.

And here’s the sad part:

Somewhere, maybe on a college campus, last night a woman was attacked and raped.

How is she supposed to report this today knowing what occurred at UVA when the truth wasn’t good enough?

To Iran It May Concern

imagesIf I thought you weren’t my friend…I just don’t think I could bare it.

– Val Kilmer as Doc Holiday, ‘’Tombstone’’

So, the GOP don’t wanna play with Tehran and President Obama?  (In other news, the sun was out, my dog ran in circles and my cats took naps.  Long naps.  Then ate kibble.)

U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) led the charge in drafting an informative letter to Iran, which was subsequently signed by most of the GOP members of the senate.  On the surface, this letter (which can be found in its original PDF form here) serves to inform the Islamic Leaders of Iran about the Constitution of the United States and, more specifically, the process behind treaties, term years and limits.  Also included is the not so veiled threat that any agreement made with the current administration that excludes the current congress, will be deemed temporary and set to expire upon the long awaited departure of the current president.

While not in any way treason, as stated here, here and here.  Or mutiny (here and here), the antiquated correspondence does have the nice warm stench of political rebellion, grandstanding and gamesmanship.  But it also demonstrated a bit of gumption.  While it is overtly (lower-case ‘O’) condescending, Cotton and his brethren took this minimal action (being that it is just a letter, after all) in a situation where the sitting president had once again dismissed the congress and acted unilaterally in his “I do what I want” manner.  I figure, it beats just complaining about it.

What the presidential loyalists have been missing, or simply dismissing, lo these many years, is that the great ideological divide in this country does not feed on rampant, superficial hate.  It may snack on it from time to time.  Double dip the chip of personal attack, so to speak.  But the true sustenance of any conflict of visions is the genuine loathing of dangerous ideology.

When one group is in power it will predictably seek to enact public policy that aligns with said group’s ideology.  On the other hand, those members of the minority party will seek to prevent such action as it directly contradicts the principles for which they, in the minority party, were elected.  This second group is known as the loyal opposition.

Tens of millions of people voted for Mitt Romney and John McCain.  They lost in their respective elections.  Nevertheless, those voters are not resigned to a defeatist fate.  There are still officials who did win elected office and are obliged to serve those interests that may conflict with the agenda of the majority party.

Congressional republicans have served during the presidency of a man who fundamentally opposes their principles, and vice versa.  It is not through blind rage or poor-sportsmanship that they act.  It is their duty.  Hence this letter, signed by 47 republican members of the senate, the loyal opposition.

The letter is an action of a group of frustrated politicians who feel they must “do something.”  Look bold in the face of Iran and the estranged president.  Is it hostile? Could be.  Threatening? I’d say so.  Intimidating? you betchya!  And it is meant to be.

Opiners opining over this ostensibly ostentatious occurrence and its treasonous or mutinous nature are acting out as well.  We have a Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.  He is the ultimate head of the military and disobedience by those in uniform is not tolerated. But, these senators are not in the military and are sworn to uphold the Constitution, not Barack Obama’s personally problematic naive foreign policy agenda.  (See free speech rights, loyal opposition, ideological divide, etc., etc.)

Inasmuch as the president views his cause and election as a mandate for his policies, his opposition feels the same warm and fuzzy support for its agenda.  Any election comes with a mandate to do something.  That’s why elections are held.  Get elected, then govern.  Here we have two groups, two agendas, two approaches to governing.  One conflict of visions.  The frustratingly beautiful two-party system at work.

***This story has given the public a dynamic look at the modern media system.  Below are some stories from both perspectives of this issue.  Regardless of ideology, you can see the stretch to make this story more than it is.  On both sides.

The Inconvenient Truth (good piece recognizing that no one is doubting the accuracy of the letter)

From Rolling Stone (makes some good points but overall, snide, sarcastic and demonstrates the manner in which the left attempts to discredit: make cartoonish claims of your opponents in order to make them sound crazy.  This magazine has lost me entirely over the past couple years.  Kinda sad.  Sniff…sniff)

The Letter Wasn’t Actually Sent vs. The Letter Wasn’t Actually Sent

Four Reasons The Left Loathes the Letter vs. Why Republicans Love the Letter

Unconstitutional!