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Saturday, February 18, 2017

News Weakly - 2/18/2017

You Keep Using That Word ...
"Fighting for their family," the article begins. How heroic! "Stop prosecuting consenting adults," he begged. Sounds reasonable, right? It's actually a protest in Utah against an unfair law that would keep polygamy illegal in that state. Polygamy is illegal in all 50 states, but apparently Utah is the important one. It is classified as a third-degree felony. So when Kody Brown, the Sister Wives husband who admits on national television to violating this nationwide law, declares, "I'm a father, a husband, and a lover, not a felon", he does so thanks to today's standard of redefining words. Just as a person who comes into this country against the law would be classified as an "illegal alien", a polygamist would have to be classified as a felon. But thanks to our modern language where "I get to define the words you use" (like "human", "murder", "marriage", "illegal"), Brown is not a felon. And thanks to the ardent efforts of anti-marriage forces intent on redefining marriage to mean something ... else ... there is no basis for defense against polygamy, polyamory, or anyone who might wish to marry their pet or their fence. On the other hand, the law has not, of late, been known to be rational, so I can't predict where this will end up.

Trump's Travel Ban
I was not aware of a travel ban by President Trump, but apparently it's real. A school district in Canada (Windsor, Canada, is just south of Detroit, believe it or not) has canceled all field trips to the U.S. because of "President Trump's travel ban." Now, the only "travel ban" I can imagine they're referring to is the one that temporarily blocked people from seven Middle East countries from coming in until they could fix the vetting process ... the one that was overturned by the court. So that one doesn't block anyone from Canada, doesn't effect Canada, and doesn't exist.

This is the product of "fake news" ... what we call "mainstream media".

By Whose Definition?
Republicans voted to block a regulation from Obama's administration that would prevent people with mental disorders from buying guns. Now, on the face of it, we might be ready to ask, "What??!! How can you favor selling guns to mental cases?" It's not that simple. First, "The regulation was crafted as part of President Barack Obama's efforts to strengthen the federal background check system in the wake of the 2012 massacre of 20 young students and six staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut." Contrary to popular belief, a rule like this would have made not one difference in the Sandy Hook shooting. That atrocity was perpetrated by a guy with mental problems who illegally procured the weapons from the mother he killed to do so. Second, Republicans were concerned about the vagueness of the law, not fitting into "the federal mentally defective standard."

I'm not sure what I conclude on it. On one hand, passing a gun law that doesn't address the problem it is intended to fix is foolish. On the other hand, preventing people with mental problems from buying weapons makes sense. On the other hand, using terms like "assault weapons" and "mental disorders" sound like clear-cut terms, but they're not in the least. And since we've demonstrated a clear lack of interest in defining and maintaining the definitions of terms, I'm not sure it makes sense to ban "assault weapons" and purchases by people with "mental disorders" when they can mean "any weapon that can be used to assault someone" and "people who don't agree with me." Nail down some real definitions, and I'll be better able to come up with an opinion. When the Left can assure me that it cannot mean, "We don't allow Republicans to buy baseball bats" I'll reconsider.

A Day Without Immigrants
Thursday was "celebrated" as the National Day Without Immigrants where immigrants everywhere stayed home from work to show how important immigrants are to the American economy. The story said it was "aimed squarely at President Trump's efforts to step up deportations, build a wall at the Mexican border and close the nation's doors to many travelers." Because any attempt at protecting this nation or protecting borders from illegal crossings is an attempt at eliminating immigrants everywhere.

Come on, America, you can think better than this, can't you? Can't you? What concerns me is that the correct answer is "No" and this is the best we're going to get. Saying the, "The Bible says that homosexual behavior is a sin" is not saying, "I hate gays." Saying that "Marriage throughout human history has been the union of a man and a woman" is not saying, "I would like to outlaw homosexuals everywhere." Pointing out that there are two genders, male and female, is not the equivalent of hating transsexuals. And wishing to keep our borders secure from illegal entry like every other nation does is not "anti-immigrant."

Comparing Evils
Good news: Michael Flynn, going in as National Security Adviser, has resigned after having been outed as lying about his conversations with Russia. We don't need or want a lying National Security Adviser in Washington. Bad News: It was accomplished by "anonymous intelligence community bureaucrats" committing "political assassination." It was accomplished by monitoring phone calls from Flynn and then leaking them. It was accomplished by illegal means.

President Trump's policies and actions have, to many, been unwise and unfair, but they have not been classified as illegal. His opponents, on the other hand, are leaking secret government data to the public. So on one hand we have "unwise and unfair" and on the other "illegal". You'll have to decide which is worse. You might not want to wait to decide that until after they've illegally tapped your phone and released your private conversations.

Say No to Religious Freedom
It should not come as a surprise, but Barronelle Stutzman, the 72-year-old grandmother who had no problem providing flowers to gays but refused to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding lost her case in the Washington State Supreme Court case. The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is planning to take it to the Supreme Court. The ACLU is expecting Stutzman to surrender all of her business and personal assets except for her home. The conclusion at this point is that the First Amendment is subjugated to "civil rights" where yours don't count as much if you're a Christian.

Our Anti-Immigrant President
It had to happen. Based on Trump's widespread distrust of all things alien, He has deported the Statue of Liberty. Must be true; I read it in the Internet.


Marshall Art said...

Comparing Evils

I don't think Flynn "lied". That is, purposely sought to deceive. I think it is far more problematic that this highly decorated man was not backed by his superiors in this matter. I haven't seen the transcripts yet (don't know that I ever will at this point---kinda moot anyway), but the mere mention of sanctions is not the same as discussing them. For example, "how about those sanctions you guys imposed upon us?" "We'll look into that later and see what's what". Hardly a breach of the Logan Act. Indeed, not even as bad as someone telling Medvedyed, "We'll have more room to move after the election" or words to that effect. Trump and Pence should have defended this guy over a non-issue, not made out like he wasn't trustworthy. I score that a mark against Trump, not his initial hiring of Flynn.

Say No to Religious Freedom

I thought this article spelled out the problem with this situation quite well. The ruling against Stutzman is a most heinous bastardization of justice and totally ignorant of her rights under the 1st Amendment. As said in the linked piece, there is no right to religion if one is denied the ability to live by it. It's also a complete corruption of the public accommodation law, which itself is less than Constitutional as it infringes on the liberties of private business.

Our Anti-Immigrant President

It's about time someone did something about that Frenchy in the harbor.

Danny Wright said...

In protest of a fake travel ban they institute a real one. That sounds about right.

Stan said...

Marshall Art,

The State told Stutzman that her refusal to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding was discrimination against gays. 1) "Gay" is not a protected constitutional right. The free exercise of religion is. 2) Stutzman already demonstrated her willingness to provide flowers for the same people on multiple occasions, demonstrating that it was not discrimination against "those people." The court had to ignore the facts in order to conclude this lie. Good article. Thanks.

I think the truth is that the Frenchy in the harbor surrendered and ran.

Stan said...

Good one, Danny. Hadn't thought of it that way, but you're exactly right.

Stan said...

We live in a crazy society where nude dancing is a protected form of free speech, but refusing to bake a cake in support of something that violates one's religious conscience is not either free speech or the free exercise of religion. I'm telling you, folks, sin rots the brain, and America is swimming in it.