Your entertainment choices are not that important

When a 27 year old woman who works as a political pundit makes a joke demeaning Star Wars and fans of the franchise, she is inundated with death threats and rape threats. While it may be true that the language of the Internet is hyperbole, I have to ask a serious question: What is wrong with you people?

As a geek myself, I say this to geek culture: Some of you take this stuff entirely too seriously. The sarcastic response to nerd rage is an obvious, “there there, did the mean person hurt your pwecious widdle feeeeeeeeeelings?” But this merits a serious response also.

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Indiana must not pass a law against “hate crimes”

You may remember the so-called “hate crime” in Brown County in 2016, when a swastika was painted on a church. After months of hand-wringing about possible extremist elements in Indiana, it turns out that the church’s organist vandalized his own church. We should be thankful that no harm was done beyond the property damage, because if an innocent person had been so much as arrested for the crime his life would be ruined, even if he was exonerated. The false flag was truly a damnable lie.

This was treated as an example of why we need laws against “hate crimes,” but passing a law based on an emotional response to fraud is the worst way to legislate.

Hate crimes are already illegal, of course. If someone commits arson, murder, rape, assault or any other crime for any reason at all, they are subject to the penalties of the law. Those who claim that we need a “hate crime” law to protect minorities are being dishonest, because they know full well that minorities are already protected by our criminal justice system.

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Omarosa and the President’s ego

Rush Limbaugh said this last week, regarding Omarosa Manigault:

Like I say, the staffing decisions, some of them, have just puzzled me amazingly.

There is no reason to be puzzled. President Trump explained it on Twitter:

This is really simple. If you stroke the President’s ego by praising him, he thinks you are a great person. If not, you are a bad person.

Worrisome

The President of these United States is threatening federal action against social media:

This is very worrisome. This is not conservative.

Missing the point on free speech

If I have not made myself 100% perfectly clear: Alex Jones is an evil man. Alex Jones is a liar. He is not crazy. Alex Jones is a perfectly rational person who knowingly and intentionally lies and defames innocent people (including the families of murder victims) for monetary gain. Alex Jones worships a demon named Mammon. Christians should not support this evil man.

With that said, Christine Emba misses the point regarding free speech. Legally, Apple, Google and Facebook have the right to ban Jones or anyone else, and Jones’ rights under the First Amendment are not violated. But the concept of free speech is bigger than just the First Amendment and what government is and is not allowed to do in response to speech the government dislikes.

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Our culture needs Biblical Masculinity

One commercial I saw online caught my eye: Tillamook cheese. A big block of cheese is smashed by a sledge hammer, an axe cuts through a stack of cheese slices, and a grilled cheese is on a pitchfork. The commercial was a cascade of masculine images, and the fact that appealing to masculinity is an effective marketing strategery is an indication of where our culture is and where our culture is going.

Masculinity has been under attack for generations, since before I was ever born. Traditional “gender roles” are disparaged. Women are doing much better economically while men – especially working-class white men – have fallen behind. Girls do much better in schools designed in such a way that suits female strengths. Men are lost and looking for a way to have purpose, and regain what was lost. There is a reason why speakers who urge teenage boys to “clean your room” are resonating with those boys.

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Wise advice

Andrew Klavan had some very wise advice for aspiring writers on his podcast last week. Get a job to pay the bills, then write as much as you can (freelance, part time, whatever) until you can make enough money writing that you can leave your day job. I have seen many content creators follow this exact plan, and are now very successful.

This is not the path I am following, of course, but being a professional writer is not my goal. This is my hobby. 🙂

Can we all stop panicking over everything?

Here is a hidden truth about the Trump Administration, which has been evident since January 2017: Trump’s policies have been pretty standard, boilerplate Republican policies. There have been a few hiccups here and there, but on policy Trump has not been much different than Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush would have been. The big difference with Trump is that he is an entertainer and is used to being able to shoot his mouth off whenever he wants.

In other words, we are not facing a radically new situation that will result in the destruction of these United States. Freaking out every time Trump does something does not help his opponents. It may galvanize the Democratic Party base, but it does not convince moderates and certainly will not convert any Trump supporters. In reality, things are going pretty well. We have a great health care system, the economy is growing, and we have lived in relative peace for 70 years.

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What is township government?

There are many times that I talk to voters and they have no idea that township government even exists, confusing it with city council or county council. This is one of the reasons I am running, to increase visibility of township government, make sure voters know what the township is doing and how the township is spending our tax money.

Monroe County has 11 townships. Imagine the county is sliced into twelve segments – three townships east-west and four townships north-south. (One of the townships is the geographical size of two townships, which is why we have 11 instead of 12.) Each township has four elected officials – a township trustee who acts as administrator, and a township advisory board that approves the budget and advises the trustee.

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Ownership of Twitter accounts

Should a former employee be forced to relinquish his personal Twitter account when he leaves his employer, if he used that account for work purposes? Generally, I would say no, but this HuffPo article makes an important point:

The paper says Bitter signed a company handbook acknowledging social media accounts “are the property of BH Media.”

If this is true, this should be an open-and-shut case.

It also seems like the Roanoke Times should have had procedures in place to gain control of an account when an employee leaves. That is not difficult to do. This is as much a story about lack of forethought as a conflict between an employer and a former employee.