Thursday, June 15, 2017

Hate Trumps Love from the Left

I recall several years ago how Sarah Palin was castigated by many on the Left and in the mainstream media (but then I repeat myself) for having the temerity to release a map that "targeted" certain congressional districts for which Republicans could concentrate.  The word "targeting" was labeled as hateful and inciting violence to shoot Democrats, as it was released shortly after the shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords by a mentally deranged man.  It was patently ludicrous and nothing but faux outrage.

Fast forward to today and we have the unhinged, out-of-power Left waxing eloquently, or not so eloquently, with their far more explicit hate speech towards President Trump and the Right.

Although I am not a fan and do not listen to him, I have come across this list that Sean Hannity's staff has put together of recent hate speech spewed from some of our Leftist brothers and sisters who purportedly wanted to make "love trump hate".  I'd say they were off to a very bad start, wouldn't you?

* Hollywood Actor Mark Ruffalo calls on NBC News to "cease hiring white conservatives."

* "Knights for Socialism" group at a Florida University teaches students how to "fight the fascists."

* Anti-Trump "resistance" leaders say they want to "Make America Ungovernable," call for "direct action" tactics against Republicans.

* Kathy Griffin's photoshoot depicting President Trump's severed head.

* Charlie Sheen wishes death on Donald Trump, tweeting, “Dear God; Trump next, please! Trump     next, please!" following the death of actress Carrie Fisher.

* President Trump murdered in musician Marilyn Manson's music video.

* Katie Tur insinuates Donald Trump will begin killing journalists on MSNBC, saying “Donald Trump has made no secret about going after journalists"

* Unhinged NYU professor calls on students to attack conservative speaker Gavin McInnes, calls his supporters "Nazis."

* Rachel Maddow says Donald Trump wants to murder journalists.

* Comedian Jim Carrey supports Kathy Griffin's photoshoot, says he dreams of killing President Trump.

* Madonna says she wants to "blow up the White House" during a speech.

* Black Lives Matter say they want to "fry cops like bacon" during a rally in Minnesota.

* President Obama urges liberal activists to, "Get in their faces."

* Actor Mickey Rourke goes on anti-Trump rant, says "F*** him, F*** the horse he rode in on, his   wife's one of the biggest gold-diggers I know."

* Rapper Big Sean raps about murdering Donald Trump with an icepick.

* Late-Night host Stephen Colbert goes on anti-Trump tirade, calls him "Vladimir Putin's c***-holster."

* Comedian Bill Maher jokes about Trump family incest.

* Rapper Snoop Dogg stages phony execution of 'clown' Donald Trump.

* NBC and New York Times contributor Malcolm Nance calls on ISIS to suicide-bomb Trump-owned properties.

* NYC Theater group stages performance of 'Julius Caesar,' showing the savage stabbing-death of  'Donald Trump.'

* Protesters in Philadelphia chant "Kill Trump - Kill Pence" during May Day demonstrations. "

And sadly, this doesn't even come close to listing all of the over-the-top hateful and violent rhetoric coming from some on the Left.  Yes, I know the Right has been guilty of going over the line in the past too, but nothing like this, especially considering the actions following some of this hateful speech.  Hateful and violent speech like this is never acceptable from anyone, regardless of party affiliation.  We should ALL stand together and condemn it accordingly!

But, it seems that we are indeed a nation sorely divided and returning to civil discourse, let alone reuniting as fellow Americans appears to be a lost cause.  In the words of Rodney King, "Can't we all just get along?"  Sadly, the answer from the Left appears to be a resounding " HELL NO!"

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Pope, Presidents, Prime Ministers, Princes, and Their Pictures

I have seen several leftist websites and mainstream media sources (but then I repeat myself) promulgate the notion that Pope Francis was not happy when he met with President Trump recently as was reflected in their group photo.

Even my good friend Burr Deming at Fair and Unbalanced picked up on this new trendy left-wing meme on his site.

The problem is that not everything is as our brothers and sisters on the left would seem to want it to be.  Yes, a picture can say a thousand words, but when we look at all of the pictures, they also can tell a completely different story if we only take the time to truly look.

Here is a typical version of what the anti-Trump Left is posting.  They will first show a picture of President Obama standing next to a smiling Pope Francis and then contrast that picture with a dour looking Pope standing next to President Trump.  Of course the implication is that Pope Francis adores President Obama and is not pleased with President Trump.

But as Paul Harvey would say, here is the rest of the story.  It isn't hard to also find a picture of a seemingly displeased Pope standing next to many of the world's leaders, regardless of their political ideology.  

Below is a picture of a Canada's very leftist Prime Minister Trudeau smiling beside a seemingly grumpy Pope Francis.

Or how about this one where Israel's right-wing Benjamin Netanyahu is posing with a surly Pope Francis. 

Perhaps the apolitical (left-wing) Prince Charles would cheer up the Pope... or not.

Is it perhaps possible that Pope Francis simply doesn't typically smile for staged photographs?  There are myriads (more than two) of candid pictures of him smiling and laughing with numerous world leaders that are easily found on the inter-webs, but for the staged photographs, he presents a more stoic countenance that can be taken for a disapproving or grumpy attitude towards the official with whom he is being photographed.  

For those that attempt to make political points by pulling merely two pictures out of thousands in order to justify a talking point, they come off as being naive and self-deluding or perhaps even intentionally dishonest in their presentation of the facts.  I know beyond all doubt that it is not the latter but far more likely the former in the case with my friend Burr Deming.

I guess we sometimes need to stop and ask ourselves a question.  Is it possible that sometimes we only search long enough to see just what we wish to see and nothing more?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A World of 6.5 Billion Truths

Right or wrong.

There is a distinct and discernible difference between the two.   

This increasingly morally relativistic world would like us to think that it is comprised of 6.5 billion shades of gray, but honestly there are far more issues in the world that come down to a truly black or white decision than what we may believe; that come down to a choice between a falsehood or truth.  There is a right answer and a wrong answer.  There is the correct path and the path that leads to desolation.

I know— I know—

How presumptuous of me!  After all, I haven’t walked in your shoes so I don’t know what issues you have had to face. 

And that is true.  I haven’t walked in your shoes.  Perhaps I have been in similar circumstances and faced adversaries or dilemmas that were very much like the ones you have faced, but that doesn’t mean they are exactly the same.

But, that doesn’t mean that truth changes because circumstances are slightly different for you either.

I have often heard in recent years some version of “it’s her truth” or “that is the truth as he sees it”.  Well folks, that may or may not be THE truth.  Rather, that is their perspective. 

Truth is not subjective.  It simply is.  It is factual and unwavering, no matter how much one hopes to color it in deeper shades of gray with one’s own individual circumstances.  It does not change based on one’s gender, color, sexual orientation, political ideology, shoe size, or for which NBA team one cheers. 

God is Truth.

“Gasp!  Well what if I don’t believe in God?  What then?”

What then, indeed?  That is actually a very good question.  If my statement is correct that God is truth, and you don’t believe in God, then how do you define or determine what truth is?

When the Jewish priests handed Christ over to Pontius Pilate, they did so because Jesus challenged “their truth”. 
So Pilate said to him, "Then you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."
Pilate said to him, "What is truth?" When he had said this, he again went out to the Jews and said to them, "I find no guilt in him.”   ~John 18: 37-38
You can almost hear Pilate spit out his response, “What is truth?”  The irony is that The Truth was standing right before Pilate and was crucified because He contradicted the Romans’ and the Jews’ version of the truth.

But back to our original question.  If you don’t believe in Christ –in God- then how do you define and determine what is the truth?

Is our government the arbiter of truth?  As American’s we’d like for them to be, but honestly if you assume that simply because the government says it is so and therefore the truth, you will be sadly mistaken more often than not.

Do we look to teachers, professors, family, or friends to determine what is right and wrong ...what  is the truth?  Sometimes.  Sometimes we are met with wise counsel from these good people too.  But they are still human and therefore subject to the same foibles and failings that you and I are.  They can make mistakes, even when discerning what the truth is.  The wisest and most holy man or woman on earth can still be mistaken and lead one away from the truth.

“Exactly! So if I cannot count on anyone else to lead me to the truth and I don’t believe in God, then I guess I just have to count on myself to define my own truth.”

Easy there, Skippy! 

Do you really think you are going to be any less prone to errors in choosing between right and wrong and finding the truth than the wisest and most holy among us?  That is rather arrogant if one is searching for THE truth, instead of just a version that fits your specific wants, desires, and perceptions.

But if God is a myth and you cannot necessarily depend on others, then the only person you have to answer to is yourself, right?   This journey of yours is singular. It is a lonely walk that you must take by yourself. No one can guide you, direct you, or tell you which way to go. You alone must chart your course because you alone know your circumstances –your truth.  You get to decide what is right and true for you, even if it conflicts with what your parents, teachers, or society says is right and true.  After all, they aren’t living “your truth” in your circumstances, right?

It is in defining these alternate individual “truths” that we each come to justify our own immoral actions.  Shacking up with our girlfriend/boyfriend, living a homosexual lifestyle, promoting or procuring an abortion, lying, cheating, polluting our planet, or ignoring the least among us in need all become permissible if the ultimate arbiter of truth is ourselves – if we are the ones that determine what is true.

There are two faculties or powers of the immortal soul that are given to us by God.  They are reason and free will. Using our reason, we can think about things such as the morality of a proposed action as defined by God defined by the Truth. Using our free will, we can decide whether to do it. Faculties that we share with animals are senses and emotions. Our emotions are more varied and complex than those of animals, though there is no denying that my dog can be happy with his tail wagging at a frenzied pace as we play fetch or scared when he sees the car approaching the dreaded veterinarian’s office.

We call reason and free will higher faculties; emotions and senses are our lower faculties. It is a serious mistake, though one that is common in our culture, to allow the lower faculties to govern our actions. This leads us to believe that a proposed action must be good if it is pleasurable to our senses or if it makes us feel happy. I have heard individuals justify immoral acts by saying, “God wants me to be happy.” This is true, but there are acts that will give us momentary pleasure but not long-term happiness. God wants us to live in eternal happiness, and to use reason rather than emotion and sensual pleasure to guide us there.  Drugs, alcohol, or promiscuous sex may give us momentary pleasure, but in the long run will only lead us to more sorrow and misery.

All of us sinners have, to one degree or another, bought into the lie. At the heart of the lie—and we can see it in the Genesis account—is the deification of the ego. I become the center of the universe, I with my needs and my fears and my demands.  And when the puny “I” is the center of the cosmos, the tie that binds all things to one another is lost. The basic reality now becomes rivalry, competition, violence, and mistrust.  And The Truth is subjugated in the world to “my truth” and the varying “truths” of billions of other people whom fail to seek, acknowledge, and live by The Truth that is God.

In such a world, right and wrong are always relative.  In such a world there is no singular transcending all-encompassing Truth.

As for me and my family, we will always strive to serve the Lord ...and The Truth.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Michael Smith: Separate and Equal (but Special)

Michael Smith wrote a very interesting piece on Facebook a few days ago.  I thought it was worthy of being shared here.  Enjoy!

The Supreme Court ended the doctrine of “Separate but Equal” when it handed down the landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, overturning the decision on Plessey v. Ferguson on May 18, 1896 that affirmed Louisiana state law mandating “equal but separate”. Homer Adolph Plessy bought a ticket on the East Louisiana Railroad, from New Orleans to Covington, La. Mr. Plessy , seven-eighths white and one-eighth Negro, took a seat in the coach designated for whites on the segregated train. When challenged, he refused to move, he was taken off and jailed.
Reflecting the social and legal environment of the times, the Plessy decision was not even close - the decision was handed down by a vote of 7 to 1 with the majority opinion written by Justice Henry Billings Brown and the dissent written by Justice John Marshall Harlan. This decision established legal segregation by race as the law of the land and it stood for 58 years until society changed and recognized that separate but equal is anything but equal.
Brown v. Board of Education has now been law for 5 years longer than was Plessy (63 years vs. 58). Proving that certain segments of mankind never learn anything from history, the SJW’s (social justice warriors) of contemporary times seek to return to the days of Plessy (with a twist) by working with government to be separate and equal (but special). Blacks are calling for “black only” instruction in college and black only police and government in majority black areas. Muslims are demanding Muslim only public accommodations – the same is true with the LGBT community. Feminists want to be free of the “heteronormative patriarchy” by removing men from their roles in society. The entire “safe space” idea is not just to provide protection for thin-skinned progressive adult children and academics (but I repeat myself) but to exclude people who hold opposing ideas and prevent them from being heard. These folks say they want to be treated as equal but demand to be separated from others and in doing so, they also expect special protection and treatment.
Affirmative action programs were created to “cure” the discrimination created by the “separate but equal” doctrine. These programs created the first classes of people who were separate and equal (but special). The idea was to carve out special privileges for blacks that would eventually help a class of citizens overcome historical inequality. Looking at black America today, it is obviously possible to make the case that black individuals have benefited – but as a socio-economic class, affirmative action can hardly be considered a success - and yet it continues apace.
In 2003’s Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003), SCOTUS upheld the affirmative action admissions policy of the University of Michigan Law School by defining the very quota system found unconstitutional in 1978’s Regents of the University of California v. Bakke as “not a quota system” (a lot like how John Roberts redefined Obamacare’s tax as not a tax and a tax at the same time in order to find Obamacare constitutional). Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, writing for the majority in a 5-4 decision and joined by Justices Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer, ruled that the University of Michigan Law School had a “compelling interest in promoting class diversity.” Never mind that the Constitution says nothing about “diversity” and everything about equality, the important aspect is that Grutter v. Bollinger affirmed the same “separate but equal” doctrine as did Plessy v. Ferguson (with the special twist of approving reverse discrimination).
Progressivism is riddled with self-contradictory ideas and affirmative action is no exception – it seeks to create equality by creating inequality (i.e. lowering standards, mandating quotas, grading on the curve, etc.), proving that Brown v. Board of Education was demonstrably correct – separate is not equal, especially when discrimination is thought to be cured by more discrimination against an out of favor class. Progressivism is built on building protected classes and “curing” their ills by disadvantaging another class. Proving that progressives are the least self-aware class on the face of the American political landscape, this is the basis for the Plessy decision in 1896 making the modern SJW’s little better than the post-Civil War segregationists.
Separate but equal is not equal. Equal but special is not the same as being equal. Separate but equal was wrong in 1896 and progressivism’s doctrine of separate and equal (but special) is just as wrong today.
Mr. Smith makes some very interesting and accurate points, in my opinion.  I was always of the opinion that there was indeed a time when affirmative action programs were necessary to balance out the systemic racism that would not allow people of color to even have a chance to get a foot in the door of some colleges or businesses.  I also feel that time is past and affirmative action is no longer necessary.

Nowadays, affirmative action, in my opinion is just as Michael Smith intimated, a system of reverse racism.  Affirmative action tells our brothers and sisters of color that they cannot make it on their own merits today.  They must be propped up with quotas in order to be allowed entrance to universities and careers.  Today, such is NOT the case and is frankly demeaning to myriads of well qualified folks.  It is interesting when a program that was enacted to combat racism has outlasted its usefulness and has thereby become racist in itself.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Matt Walsh: I Didn't Fall in Love with My Wife

"It’s no surprise that we are so bad at marriage in this culture.

We’re bad at it because we don’t understand it, and we don’t understand it because we don’t understand love. You can’t forge a lasting marriage if all you know about love is what you learned from an Ed Sheeran song. It’s like trying to build a car when you think engines run on fairy dust. And that’s essentially how many of us approach marriage. We believe it’s fueled by some intense and mystical emotional force — a force we inaccurately call 'love' — and as soon as we run out of this mysterious cosmic gasoline all we can do is send it to the scrap yard and find a new model."

Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday: He Makes All Things New Again

As we enter into Good Friday and the most solemn day of the year for most Christians, I wanted to share this beautiful and haunting music video.  It is sung by two of my favorite artists, Brad Paisley and Sara Evans, and they do a masterful job.  The video itself contains excerpts mainly from the Passion of the Christ film.  Please be warned that the film and the clip can be difficult to watch in parts for many folks due to the realistic and graphic portrayal of the crucifixion of our Lord and Savior.

Nevertheless, as Blessed Pope John Paul II was reported as having said upon seeing a private screening of the film upon its release, "It is as it was."

My people, what have I done to you?  Or in what have I offended you?  Answer me.  What more should I have done, and did not do?  I led you out of the land of Egypt, and you prepared a cross for me.  I opened the Red Sea before you, and you opened my side with a lance.  I gave you a royal scepter, and you have given me a crown of thorns.  With great power I lifted you up, and you hung me upon a cross.  My people, what have I done to you, or in what have I offended you?  Answer me.    (~ From the Reproaches of Good Friday)

Blessed be God forever!  Amen!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Objective Media Myth

I am always amused by many of my progressive friends who insist that the media is not liberally biased, or at worst are products of corporate and not progressive bias.  The fact that so many of these well-meaning people don't even recognize the intrinsic liberal bias in the mainstream media based on what they report, how they report it, and what they choose NOT to report is quite telling.  

I saw a recent article that is further damning to the notion that the mainstream media is objective.  A few points of interest in particular are the following:

·        96 percent of the donations given by journalists in the 2016 presidential election as of August were to Hillary Clinton, according to the Center for Public Integrity.

·        7 percent of journalists identify as Republican, while 28 percent identify as Democrat, according to an Indiana University School of Journalism study conducted in 2013.

·        “Of the major newspapers that endorsed either Clinton or Trump, only 3 percent (2 of 59) endorsed Trump,” noted FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver.

Just some more evidence of the "objectivity" of our mainstream media -- but then us true conservatives already knew these truths.