Categories
Immigration Truth

The Ideological Litmus Test for Immigrants

By Rod Thomson

There has been considerable and legitimate debate over the rightness and efficacy of profiling criminals. Where is the proper balance between good, proactive policing and infringing on Americans’ civil liberties?

But can the same two-sided case be made for profiling visitors and potential immigrants to our country? Not at all. Certainly no case can be made with the same arguments, starting with the fact that they are not American citizens.

Here’s why an ideological test is legitimate and responsible for immigrants and visitors.

  1. It is well accepted that nations have the right and responsibility to control their borders and control who comes and who goes.
  2. Two reasons they have a responsibility to do so are to ensure that people do not enter who want to foment insurrection and topple the legitimate government, or who are known criminals and pose a threat to the population. No one argues that latter, few would argue with the former.
  3. In the case of insurrection, that means that an ideological component must be at work for a nation protecting itself and citizenry. If a person is known to want to create a rebellion against the United States of America, for instance, there will be some sort of ideology driving that desire. And the government has not only a right, but a duty, to keep that person out of the country.
  4. Any ideology that seeks to replace the United States Constitution and its enumerated rights for citizens is by definition an ideology seeking to wholly replace the government of the United States that is derived from that Constitution, and is therefore an ideology of insurrection and subversion.
  5. Sharia law, just as a for instance, is a religious form of government. The Arabic term sharīʿah means a body of religious law derived from prophecy — as opposed to human legislation derived through democracy. Sharia law is set through religion and is governed by religious leaders. As such, it is antithetical to nearly every portion and amendment in the United State’s Constitution — the structure on which the legitimate government of the United States is built. Sharia law is therefore ideologically incompatible with the country and believes in the eventual overthrow of the government by some means.
  6. Therefore anyone who believes in Sharia law for the United States should not be allowed entrance to the country as a visitor or an immigrant.

The same reasoning can be applied to other ideological positions, such as being an anarchist or Mexican “Reconquistas” who believe that the entire Southwest United States should be conquered in some fashion by Hispanics.

This does not mean that if you disagree with an amendment of the U.S. Constitution or oppose with laws and policies you cannot come in — unless your ideology would lead you to criminally oppose them. And it would not apply to heads of state. But if any known or stated ideological belief leads to the overthrow of the United States government, then the government actually has a mandate to keep out people who hold those ideologies.

It is not bigotry. It is not a question of freedom of religion. It is not an affront to freedom of speech. And such ideological profiling does not apply to American citizens. But it is totally defensible as a required filter for visitors and potential immigrants for the sake of American citizens and visitors.

(NOTE: The picture with this post is from Dearborn, Michigan.)

Categories
Culture Politics Truth

Why Negative Campaigning? Freedoms and the Mirror

A recent Republican primary for the Florida state Senate race in a Republican district offered the perfect storm for why people get so frustrated with political campaigns — including local ones. But it was also revealing about who we are and why such yuck campaigns are a constant in a close race.

There were five candidates, four of which were already office-holders and had good reputations in the community. It was a very strong field. Among the favorites in the conservative district, there were really only marginal position differences when looked at from the view of the broad electorate.

Because my family and I are what is known as “super voters” — we vote in all elections — we are targeted with the most mailers. The curse of the responsible citizen. We got up to 12 mailers in a day, with the majority being from this one race. The majority of those were negative. Flipping through on any given day, conservative Candidate A was variously a gray-pictured corrupt mugger of the public trust or a colorfully pictured, trusted family man and veteran. Candidate B was variously a gray-pictured opposer of freedoms who was going to take all our guns away or a colorfully pictured watchdog protecting your rights. Etc. Day after day after day.

Ugh, right?

Oh yes.

The reason? Get ready

But here’s the rub. This is what free speech looks like. It’s glorious and soaring and it’s messy and disagreeable and some people have a bigger megaphone than others. It is the opposite of college campuses with their speech codes and safe zones — a terrifying look at our future. It is true freedom and that is rare in the world. If your first thought reading this is “We should outlaw or ban or restrict XYZ,” you are saying you want to reduce our freedoms. That is not a good impulse.

Always err on the side of freedom. Giving it away is easy. Getting it back is a mountain.

Further, the reason for the unrelenting negativity in campaigning is that it works. And that’s completely on the collective person in the mirror. The electorate — which is not always the other person — can be so relatively uninformed, that perceptions are easy to shape through these simple mailers. It’s why yard signs with just a candidate’s name are so ubiquitous during elections season. Name recognition alone translates to votes. That also is on the collective person in the mirror.

So, the formula is to tear down the main threat to your election through negative ads, send out mom and apple pie pieties about yourself and plant hundreds of yard signs. It’s superficial, it’s tried and it truly works.

So remember next time you get into a gripe fest over negative campaigning; they are done because they work. They can be nauseating and effective. But we allow them as an option because we cherish freedom over government-enforced niceties and agreement. Attempts to clean up negative campaigning through restricting money or any types of speech must result in curtailing some of those freedoms.

Let freedom reign, including its ugliness. It is the best option.

 

(NOTE: I chose ads from the Obama-Romney campaign because neither are running this year and both are demonstrably more decent individuals than this year’s options. Yet both suffered withering negative attacks for the reasons stated above.)

Categories
Culture Media Politics Truth

Rigged Elections? Yes. Think Broadly.

by Rod Thomson

There has been much hot-air hissing over Donald Trump’s continual charge that the election is rigged against him. The gaseous releases come from Trump’s Democrat opponents, naturally enough, the media, also naturally enough, but also many Republicans.

This is an ongoing revelation in this election cycle. The elites (oh for a better word) in the media and the two-party structure separated from the heartlands of America cannot grasp how the ground has shifted under their Guccis.

The shift explains Trump’s appeal, Bernie Sanders’ appeal, even the appeal of the Libertarian and Green Party candidates plus third-party independents such as Evan McMullin, who has a very real chance of winning Utah in the presidential election. There is an almost bottomless pit of frustration with the country, both the direction it is going and the way it is getting there.

The frustration is appropriate. “Rigging” in the common, original sense refers to the system of ropes, cables or chains used to support a ship’s masts. These become part of the mechanism that controls the direction of the vessel. Think in those terms.

It’s almost like everything is rigged against every traditional thought and impulse of Americans, directing the ship of the nation and politics in a different direction. But the yawning chasm between elites (urgh…) in the three culture-moving centers of the nation — Hollywood, D.C., New York — and the rest of the country keeps each group from even understanding what the other is saying.

Let’s see if we can…rig up a bridge.

Before the ground shifted, a rigged election was understood to mean gross tampering with the actual vote. People voting illegally multiple times, ghost ballots sent in and ballots “lost” and “found” (think Minnesota and the 2008 election of Al Franken, where ballots kept mysteriously materializing over months until he had enough votes to flip from loss to win.)

When the elites (culture centers?) hear the charge of the election being rigged, that is what they are thinking. And in that respect, a nationwide rigging does sound far-fetched. Although to be fair, the Democrats and some in the media made that exact charge about the 2000 election where Bush beat Gore after the Florida recounts and appeals up to the U.S. Supreme Court. Selective memory.

But when others say rigged, including perhaps Trump, they are meaning the entire process is rigged. So for Trump — or any Republican — this means that the entirety of the formidable culture-moving apparatus is arrayed against him during the election.

The traditional mainstream media coverage from the alphabet soup of TV networks to the major and minor newspapers, all provide deeply biased coverage — often not even recognizing it. In this election, it is overt. But there is also Hollywood, which pillories Republicans on sitcoms, in movies and on late night shows. The music culture also throws in against the Republican, loving on Gore, Kerry, really on Obama, and Clinton. All these cultural stars have mammoth social media followings and often take to them on behalf of partisan politics. This mammoth assemblage of idea-moving firepower is almost impossible to fight against.

The same dynamic was in effect against Mitt Romney — perhaps the most opposite man from Trump that you can get. Yet this exceedingly decent man was also demonized (as was John McCain and George W. Bush) by the cultural centers.

And finally there is the university system where Democrat professors outnumber Republican up to 11 to 1, according to a study published in Econ Journal Watch. That system churns out millions of indoctrinated students voting Democratic at a rate of about 4 to 1.

So, in this broad sense, yes, the entire election process is rigged and rigged heavily against the Republican. That Republicans actually win sometimes approaches the miraculous.

The “professional” media particularly will tut-tut about using the word “rigged.” Trump is truly incautious with word choice. But a lot of Americans know what he is talking about. And it is that very elitist tut-tutting that makes them so distant and betrays their insularity. Out of touch does not do it justice.

There are deep dynamics running beneath our nation like fault lines. Use of the word “rigged” is just a little tectonic friction along those fault lines.

Categories
Abortion Truth

Why Abortion is Not a Woman’s Choice

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court truncated the democratic process of dealing with abortion from state to state in 1972, the issue has been defended as being a “woman’s choice.”

Apologies for bluntness, but this is an immoral position.

There is really only one question in this debate: Is that which is within a woman’s womb a person, or is it a blob of protoplasm that might one day be a person? Secondarily, if it is the latter, at what point does the transformation take place? From these answers will flow rational and moral clarity on the question of abortion.

In 1972, you could at least rely on scientific ignorance to claim the fetus was equivalent to a tumor. Although even then, the medical profession knew because of what came out of a late term abortion or miscarriage. That’s probably why so few doctors ever have performed abortions. It was not particularly rational, considering women feeling the punch of an elbow or kick of a heel — person parts. But the general public could squint its eyes real hard and blur to the idea that it was not a baby until birth.

Technology clarifier

But now, with the advance of technology, we can see clearly the baby in the womb. We can measure brain waves, heart beats and most heart-rending, we can watch the baby’s response to threat and pain. Planned Parenthood harvested human organs from “aborted fetuses” and then sold them. Human organs. That’s a pretty compelling case for that being a person in the womb.

The world understands that carrying a baby to term and giving birth and then having a child to raise is an enormous undertaking. That’s why it is supposed to be done in families, in which a mother and a father are committed to each other for life. It is meant to be a shared undertaking and a thing of beauty — not something to be destroyed when inconvenient or accidental.

The magnitude of the task notwithstanding, however, the science is overwhelming now on the morality of ending a pregnancy.

Considering what we know today about the fetus in the womb, it is morally indefensible to any longer consider that fetus anything other than a person. The obviousness of this point — made by Planned Parenthood, no less, selling human body parts — is a primary reason why every attempt at debate on the issue is deflected. It is a woman’s choice. It is between a woman and her doctor. It is about women’s health. It is reproductive health care and so on. Staying on the point of this being the purposeful death of a baby is a losing position, so it must be shifted from that.

Now, it is no longer simply squinting to make abortion acceptable, it is eyes tightly closed while repeating “woman’s choice” and “women’s health” arguments. In this one area, defenders of a “woman’s choice” are arguing that it is okay to kill a baby. There is no way around it. It is obfuscation at the highest level, for the lowest purpose.

Is early on OK?

Now perhaps you can see this when the baby in the womb is developed, but not so clearly at the earliest moments of conception. After all, even science does not suggest brain waves or heart beats in the first days.

Those two measurements of whether a person has died or is a live still show up at three weeks for the heart pumping blood and six weeks for brain waves to be measured. The problem immediately encountered here is exactly when should we say, with life-and-death certainty, that the non-human fetus becomes a human. Any point along the line is going to be arbitrary, meaning that we will be assigning death sentences based on an arbitrary line. That does not really hold moral water, either.

Remember, pro-choice activists and leaders support a woman’s right to kill her baby up until it exits the birth canal. That is the position of Hillary Clinton, the Democrat Party and some in the Republican Party. Sometimes they chant woman’s choice, sometimes they make the viability argument. It is not a human with rights until it is viable outside the woman, by which they mean the umbilical cord has been cut and it can survive on its own. But this also holds no intellectual water as the baby is still totally dependent on the mother’s, someone else’s, care for many years.

In the end, the “woman’s choice” defense of aborting unborn babies is morally and intellectually indefensible.

baby-premy

Pro-choice says a woman has a right to kill this if she so chooses, through several subterfuge arguments. Let your own eyes decide if that is moral or immoral.

 

Categories
Economy Markets Minimum wage Truth

Does Raising the Minimum Wage Help the Low-Wage Earner?

The first thing to understand about the minimum wage is that it is a classic case of understandable emotionalism and frustration versus concrete data and economic reality. So the clearest explanation is a pros-and-cons listing.

On the pros side of increasing the minimum wage, people who are making it and who keep their jobs will make more money. Their increased earnings improve their purchasing power.

The cons side is a little lengthier.

Sharp increases in the minimum wage reduces the number of entry-level jobs

This, in turn, reduces the opportunity for unskilled workers to start getting experience. This is common sense. You cannot climb a ladder without stepping on the first rung. Minimum wage increases eliminates that first-rung opportunity for a certain number of mostly young or unskilled workers by making automation more affordable. It falls under the law of unintended consequences. The more a company must pay an unskilled worker, the more automation technology that was previously too expensive to make sense becomes affordable. Nine out of ten companies will go with the automation every time to remain competitive.

Minimum wage hikes raise prices for everyone

This naturally tends to hurt the people in the economic strata that the increase is most aimed at helping. WalMart’s everyday low prices will be higher if they have to pay every $10-per-hour employee $15 per hour. But it goes further. There were employees either doing better work or with more experience who were making maybe $14 or $17 per hour. They will demand, and deserve, higher wages. So this pushes wages higher up the ladder. Some will emotionally think this is win-win! But it’s closer to lose-lose. Every item from bread and milk and toilet paper to shirts, basketballs and trikes will cost more. McDonald’s value meals will be less of a value and gas prices will be higher than they otherwise would be. This will be true even when automation replaces some of those employees because remember, the increased employee costs are what made automation more affordable — but still more expensive than the previous cost for the employee.

This is not just theoretical

Seattle recently raised its minimum wage from $11 per hour to $15 per hour. In the first month after it was implemented, economists reported that 1,000 restaurant workers — just restaurant workers — lost their jobs. That was the largest one month job decline since the Great Recession while the overall economy was strong. But around the state of Washington, restaurant jobs increased 3.2%. Market forces are never trumped by government decree. And in some cases, a community can be so economically hot that it can absorb it — for awhile. But the out-of-balance market pricing will catch up eventually. This is market inevitability. So in a sense, dramatic minimum wage hikes create mini recessions among the low-wage workers even while increasing the costs of living for those same folks and everyone else.

Finally, the emotional tug is a bit of a false set up

Only a tiny percentage of people earning the minimum wage are trying to put food on the table. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 2.5% of all workers are on minimum wage. Of that, one-third are teens and more than half are under 25. So it is probably affecting only about 1% of the country’s workers over 25, and only a percentage of those actually have families. About two-thirds of all workers on minimum wage are second and third incomes in a family. So when the media does its inevitable story on some pitiable mother working two minimum wage jobs to try to make ends meet for her children, they are finding the needle in the haystack to stoke the emotional appeal that will actually hurt more of those same types of people.

The minimum wage’s positive impact on individuals is really quite minimal. As an aside, but so often the case, there is a political benefit to politicians who push the issue, playing to emotions over economic reality. But the reality of its negative impact on the broader economy, on all low-income workers and on companies competing globally is much larger — and fewer people are working and getting the opportunity to climb the ladder.

Categories
Christianity History Truth

Was Jesus a Socialist?

Several years ago, I was at a large luncheon function sitting next to the long-time editorial page editor at the paper where I worked as a special projects reporter. Right before the speaker arose, this editor turned to me and said, “I don’t understand how you can be a conservative and a Christian. Seems like by what Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount, you should be a liberal Democrat.”

Setting aside that this man was himself an atheist, and the Biblically clear moral issues surrounding abortion and homosexuality, did he have a point? It’s relevant because that train has traversed so far down the tracks that a recent trending topic on social media was that Jesus would be a Socialist or a Communist.

Now it’s great to see people reading the Bible. It’s less great to see people cherry-picking the Bible to support preconceived positions — which unfortunately all of us do too much.

Where the idea comes from?

So first let’s stipulate that Jesus certainly taught Christians to love one another, even to love our enemies. He taught us to feed the poor and clothe the naked. The New Testament letters expand on those teachings with caring for orphans and widows and the elderly. All of these things sound like a fit for socialism or communism.

Without going into the differences in the two — and the extraordinary miseries that have been brought to bear on hundreds of millions of people through those philosophies — let’s take socialism in its most pristine form on paper. Karl Marx, the primary promulgator of socialism in the 19th century,  popularized the phrase “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”

Well that sounds just lovely. Alas, among the myriad flaws in socialism has always been its inability to account for human nature. People simply won’t work hard just to have it taken and given to someone who is not working hard. Simple truth. The apparently lovely concept always runs aground on the rocks of reality, spiraling into worse and worse living conditions for everyone except those at the very top. Every time. And the ensuing corruption!

The audience is key to understanding

But philosophically, would Jesus be a socialist? Here’s the rub, and the answer I sent to that editor in a note to which he never responded. Jesus was addressing his followers, future Christians. He was not talking to the entire world. And he most certainly was not talking about a role for government. The only thing he ever says regarding government is to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s but unto God that which is God’s. In the context of the attempted trick question by the Pharisees, it means: Pay your taxes.

It is the Christian’s responsibility, and by extension the church’s responsibility, to help those in need. And that is a major reason why there are so many orphanages, and soup kitchens and relief organizations that are Christian. Actually, an awful lot of Christians really do these things. We are to give sacrificially to those in need. We are not to use the force of government to take from one we deem has too much and give to another we deem has too little. There is no evidence — zero — that Jesus wanted his followers involved in any such earthly schemes. Jesus was always after the heart of man, not the policies of government.

Jesus’ disinterest in worldly governments makes clear that if he were alive today, he would not endorse any candidate, party or policy. His purpose for coming to earth as man was to save those who would believe in him.

We rate this claim about Jesus being a socialist as “Pants on fire!”

Categories
Economy Government Truth

4 Reasons the Government Cannot Run the Economy

We continually see the relative failure of government actions to manipulate the economy to function at just the right, optimal level. There is a reason. Even if government was peopled by actual experts with a deep and wise understanding of economics, such actions would remain doomed to failure.

It’s not that an economy as powerful as the United States’ cannot endure government meddling for some period. But the meddling inevitably is harmful and hamstrings the economy. Conversely, it does allow politicians and government officials to posture for voters, which, mixed with well-intentioned ignorance, is the point of the action.

Here are four reasons why such interventions are doomed to fail.

1) Top down is not how economies operate

The government approaches the economy from the top down, considering it a contained engine that just needs to cool off, heat up, be stimulated, etc. This totally misunderstands an economy anywhere, but particularly in a quasi free-market economy. In this type of economy, but in all economies to a degree, decisions are made by millions of people. In the interconnected global economy, by billions of people.

Millions of people making individual decisions in unpredictable ways is not how an engine works. Engines are defined and explained. Millions of individual decisions are like micro organisms that result in the creation of ever changing markets and economies.

2) The inevitability of cycles

Economies will always cycle. Allowing self-correction is what would happen if it was understood that millions of people are making decisions and politicians were primarily interested in what is best for the most. Alas, self-correction is verboten!

Instead we get constant interference from centralized planning agencies in Washington, D.C., or Brussels, Belgium. Rather than the free market elevating what people want and dumping what people do not want so resources are allocated accordingly and efficiently — a process called “creative destruction” — government involves itself and makes the situation worse.

3) Bubbles and troubles

Bubbles are good and natural. Well, the natural ones are good. Bubbles happen organically in industries where there is creative destruction going on. New technology spawns a lot of competing companies, but only the best survive and thrive and the weaker are dumped. This is determined by millions of consumers’ decisions, not by government. Computers and smartphones are examples of how this worked fairly naturally, and the economy’s resources went to Apple and Samsung and away from Nokia and Motorola.

Some bubbles are government created. The real estate bubble that popped in 2007 happened when the government created laws requiring banks to lend to people who could not afford a mortgage so they would have the opportunity own a house. Great politics. Terrible policy. Naturally this generated a huge bubble in housing prices because of all the increased demand. When the economy cycled down, many of those people who should not have received a mortgage in the first place defaulted and we saw a downward spiral effect in which nearly everyone was hurt.

But there was a predictable compounding effect as government interfered further to fix what it had broke. After the housing bust, politicians such as George W. Bush and on a greater scale, Barack Obama, instituted more and more policies that made things worse and worse. Each step laid the groundwork for less market freedom, meaning less individual freedom, and consequently more government interference and control. The result was a historically long recession now called the Great Recession — mimicking in name, dynamics and causation the Great Depression.

4) Mixing in conflicting goals

Government works at odds with itself when trying to keep the economy humming — another engine metaphor. It is constantly issuing hundreds and thousands of new rules that businesses must learn and live under. These usually use up some resources that could be better deployed, and the actions ends up dampening the economy. They also consistently collide with the law of unintended consequences.

Minimum wage laws are an example of hurting those people they are intended to help. The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is another example as costs have skyrocketed and the system is crumbling. And bringing this around, the Dodd-Frank financial reform act that was aimed at avoiding the financial fall-out of another real estate bubble and bailing out banks has had the perverse effect of creating even larger banks — banks too big to fail.

Government cannot run an economy because no one can. The economy that most prospers everyone is one in which individuals have maximum freedom in their consumer choices and in starting and running businesses. The economy the government runs most benefits those in government.

Categories
Race relations Truth

Black Lives DO Matter! Therefore Promote Faith, Family

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It’s impossible to get away from the decimation going on in black communities in major American cities. The rioting and looting, the astonishing and unabashed lawlessness, the bitter racist hatred by some, and the overall lack of hope in the American dream.

The natural question is: Why? What in the world has happened?

The ugly legacy of slavery is often cited, followed by the Jim Crow laws in the South. There may well be remnants of those injustices, but American blacks were moving further away from those remnants until about 50 years ago. Walter Williams, an esteemed black economist at George Mason University, points to something much more recent, with compelling statistics and his life story.

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He was brought up in the projects in Philadelphia in the 1940s and 1950s, a time when racism was certainly more rampant and Jim Crow laws enmeshed in the South. But he writes the projects that were all black were so safe that people left windows open and often went to bed with doors unlocked. He never saw a cop inside his schools the whole time. Within two generations, doors were locked and bolted and windows were barred in the very same project, and 400 police officers now patrol the hallways of Philadelphia schools. Crime stats similarly reflect this nose dive in the black community.

The wrong turns

Williams and many others point the finger of culpability at the disintegration of the black family and waning influence of the church. When faith and family fall apart, society falls apart. The advent of federal programs that take the place and responsibility of fathers through welfare combined with a societal revolution against Judeo-Christian moral norms to wreak havoc.

Since the heavy advent of both of those dynamics, the black family has gone from solid and strong to an endangered species. Illegitimacy in 1938 was 11 percent for blacks and 3 percent for whites. Today it has soared to 73 percent for blacks and 30 percent for whites. This epidemic alone creates catastrophic forces, not the least of which is young black men with no male role model, no example of what it is to be a responsible man, and just enough money from the government to keep them from having to work — stealing their purpose and hope. This toxic brew is everywhere, but shows up most in the depressing crime and prison stats for young black men.

And while the percentage of people saying they regularly attend church in the black community remains high, the church itself has become such a politicized institution that the media seek out black pastors to speak on political issues, while political candidates always make the rounds to those churches during election season. This dynamic of political involvement is true in white churches (alas, that they are thusly separated) but like the illegitimacy rate, at a lower level. Such politicization undermines the spiritual authority and power of the Christian church.

Williams is far from alone. Similar stories are told by many older, successful blacks such as Thomas Sowell, a black economist at Stanford University who grew up in poverty in rural North Carolina; Dr. Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins who grew up in of poverty in Detroit’s inner city; Clarence Thomas, U.S. Supreme Court justice who grew up in poverty in rural southern Georgia; Condoleeza Rice, former U.S. Secretary of State who grew up in segregated Birmingham, Alabama; Herman Cain, former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza who grew up in poverty in Atlanta; Larry Elder, lawyer, author and radio host, who grew up in poverty in South Central L.A., and many others.

Enter human nature

But we humans are loath to blame ourselves for our circumstances. It’s a universal truth. We all look for someone else to self-righteously blame. The rich. The boss. Bad schools. Terrible parents. And so on. And there are those who will seek to take advantage of this human nature and provide avenues for blame outside ourselves. In the case of the plight of inner city blacks, the blame has most recently fallen to cops — interestingly, including black cops. This has benefitted politicians and movement leaders while actually enabling the poor behavior. But even though there are a few bad cops, it is irrelevant to the root causes.

This explains how a city like Chicago can have 500 murders in a year, almost entirely black on black, with nary a peep from the black-supported politicians and black leaders — including the nation’s first black president. And yet Milwaukee up the road will spiral out of control with riots and violence when a black police officer shoots an armed black man trying to get away. It makes no sense — except through the lens explained above.

It also makes the solutions to the problems blacks face radiantly obvious — but politically punishing.

However, the price of doing nothing is not the occasional black man killed by police, it is the thousands of blacks killed by other blacks, a gut-wrenching number of them children. It is the absence of avenues to better lives. It is the loss of hope among so many inner-city blacks — perhaps the greatest loss to the human soul.

If Black Lives Matter and politicians will not address these root causes, then others need to.

(The cover picture of Tyshawn Lee, a young boy murdered in gang violence, represents the true, massive violence against blacks: That done by other blacks, including to children.)

 

 

 

Categories
Truth

BONUS: Questions for a Moderator from a Different Worldview

Tonight’s debate is being moderated by ABC News’ Martha Raddatz and CNN anchor Anderson Cooper. So there is no real hope of fairness and objectivity as both have a history of listing politically leftward in their journalism — like practically every other journalist. There will be gotcha questions for Donald Trump (Lester Holt asked four) and none for Hillary Clinton (Holt asked zero.)

So in the spirit of providing a little help for the liberal side, The Revolutionary Act is offering some questions that could help the moderators balance their debate performance. These are suggested from a former journalist who covered presidential campaigns, but who lists politically rightward.

We know the first question will be based on the latest brouhaha — the video of Donald Trump using vulgar language in talking about women 11 years ago. Fair enough. It is dominating the news and social media. But this actually offers the opportunity to ask Hillary Clinton a similar question. The moderators need no help in asking tough questions of Trump, so this list is just for Clinton.

Here we go:

  • Secretary Clinton, Continuing on the question of character and sexual misconduct, the mistreatment of women has become an issue in this campaign. You are a strong defender of women’s rights. But your husband, former President Bill Clinton, has admitted to having sexual affairs and is alleged to have sexually abused women in the 80s and the 90s. In a recent, powerful interview, Juanita Broderick details what she calls your husband’s rape of her. Kathleen Willey recently reiterated that your husband sexually assaulted her. Many other women came forward over the years. While he is not running for office, it has been widely reported that you were part of what was called the “Bimbo Eruption” unit engaged in discrediting and intimidating these alleged victims into silence. Can you explain this, and how it lines up with your defense of women and stance that women should always be believed when reporting sexual abuse?
  • Secretary Clinton, Wikileaks has released a new batch of emails it alleges you sent that include speeches you gave to Wall Street firms for large payments. They allege that you dream of a day when there is “open trade and open borders.” Do you believe the United States should have open borders and open trade.
  • Secretary Clinton, Would you support requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales and what will you do to protect American’s Second Amendment right? And does protecting the Second Amendment play into who you would appoint to the Supreme Court?
  • Secretary Clinton, Criticisms of the criminal justice system stem from your husband’s time in office — including the expansion of the proactive “broken windows” policing nationwide and the passage of mandatory minimum sentencing laws. We now have the highest incarceration rates ever. You have apologized for using the word “superpredator” to describe gang members in the 1990s. Why did you change your mind and what reforms from the 1990s would you reform now?
  • Secretary Clinton, The Associated Press reported that Clinton Foundation’s donors made up more than half of your meetings as secretary of state. Can you explain that? And can you also explain for the average American voter why you had a separate, unsecured email server, multiple Blackberries and then wiped the server clean and had the Blackberries destroyed with a hammer before FBI investigators would examine? Was there any relationship to the Clinton Foundation?
  • You are proposing seven weeks of government-mandated paid family leave for parents, expanding Social Security, expanding early childhood education and so on. Each of these programs expand the size and the scope of government involvement that many Americans already say is too large. Do you believe that the federal government is not big enough now? Are there any areas of government you would cut back on or eliminate, or are all your proposals to expand government
  • You ask that the rich pay their fair share and you propose increasing the tax rates on the nation’s wealthiest individuals. The Congressional Budget Office recently reported that the top 20 percent of income earners pay an average of $57,700 in federal taxes; the next 20 percent pay $2,600 and the 60 percent rest of Americans receive net transfer of payments to them of between $8,000 and $12,000. Are you saying that the wealthy are not paying their fair share? And if so, what is the ideal amount more for them to pay to be fair?
  • You want to make college debt-free? But several studies have shown that one of the primary drivers of college tuition and fee increases has been the guaranteed payments of the federal government through loans and grants. Would your proposal make college even more expensive and be burdensome to taxpayers?
  • Like most political leaders, you oppose banks being too big to fail. But the Dodd-Frank bill reforming the banking system seems to have created even fewer, larger banks, potentially meaning that the risk is greater now than before the financial collapse. Do you support Dodd-Frank?

Below are three legitimate issue questions Lester Holt could have asked in the first presidential debate based on Hillary Clinton’s “experience,” but could be asked tonight. Any one of these would suffice.

  • As Secretary of State, you chose to put a diplomatic mission in Benghazi when it was a known hotspot for Al Qaeda terrorist. And then it was given minimal security. Why was Ambassador Stevens operating there and not in the security Embassy in Tripoli? A great tragedy resulted. Does this bring into question your judgment on foreign policy?
  • Now that we see that the Syrian War has turned into a genocide, created a spawning ground for ISIS, given Russia a strong toehold in the Middle East, and resulted in the displacement of millions of refugees to surrounding countries, Europe and the United States, did you and the Obama Administration make the right decision to do nothing early on in support of the rebels against President Assad? And does this bring into question your judgment on foreign policy?
  • As Secretary, you were the architect for the Russian reset to improve U.S.-Russian relations. Yet by any measurement, our relations with Russia are at their worst since the Cold War, with part of the Crimea gone and troops in Syria. Given the apparent failure of this policy, does this bring into question your judgment on foreign policy?

 

Categories
History Truth

Why The Revolutionary Act? To Tell the Truth

Do you sometimes feel like we live in an upside down world, where right is wrong, good is bad, bad is good and truth is this illusory shadow we can longer grab hold of?

You’re not alone. Truth today is avoided like the black plague. That brings grave consequences and most Americans innately sense this. It why a paltry 29% of Americans think we are headed in the right direction.

As J.R.R. Tolkien’s character, Galadriel, said in the prologue to Lord of the Rings: “Some things that should not have been forgotten were lost. History became legend. Legend became myth.” Tolkien was one of many who saw the cost of deceit in the real world, and fictionalized it.

Without truth, our lives are a meaningless series of lungings from deception to deception. But truth is driven underground as an array of cultural forces combine to suppress it and promote deception.

It’s just the way it is.

But it’s not the way it must be.

As George Orwell said: “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

It should not be revolutionary to speak the truth. But today it is.

As we are not alone today in realizing the enormity of disinformation being sown and fertilized throughout our culture, so we are not alone historically.

Throughout history, there have been voices calling in the wilderness, pushing back against the rushing tide of falsehoods. From Pythagoras to John the Baptist to Augustine to Martin Luther to Thomas Jefferson to Dietrich Bonhoeffer to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn to George Orwell to Martin Luther King, millions have pushed back peacefully, intellectually and invariably with words of truth against the prevailing myths and deceptions of their times.

Today, falsehood is easily spread through mass media in all of its technological iterations. These fictions are more easily disseminated and absorbed as truths than ever before. They can be countered with truths through the same mass mediums.

But as Orwell said, we need to start the revolutionary act of standing up and speaking out truth. It can cost, as any revolutionary act does. But the cost of not doing so is far greater, for us and for our offspring.

Hence, TheRevolutionaryAct.com.

The truths are known. They have not been totally forgotten as Galadriel recorded. This means we also live in times that call for telling the truth — foundational, well-defended, grounded truth that has been a part of America’s greatness, and is remembered still.

These truths are not always red, white and blue, but they are always firmly established.

We’re glad you are joining us here to help push back against the sea of falsities and fabrication.

For more background on The Revolutionary Act, go here.