The death of parody and satire, Part II

One of the best things the mainstream media could do to improve the political climate is to grow a sense of humor. We saw a great deal of consternation about “manipulated media” last week when Donald Trump shared a video of Joe Biden dancing to the rap song “F*** Tha Police,” prompting Facebook and Twitter to “fact check” the video and warn it is “manipulated media.” .

No, the video is not “manipulated.” It is parody. It is satire. Parody and satire are not “lies” and are not meant to deceive the reader. If that were the case, we would have to fact check every Saturday Night Live skit going back to 1975. There is no need to issue a “warning” about the video and provide “context” of Biden listening to a different song. Everyone knows it is a joke.

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Donald Trump, bloody hands and the pro-life vote

When David French argued that one could be pro-life and not vote for Donald Trump, he answered the wrong question. It actually does matter a lot who sits in the Oval Office, as this editorial explains over at Medium. The question is not whether one can be pro-life and vote against Trump, or whether someone who does not vote for Trump has “blood on his hands.”

Every major party nominee for President, incumbent or not, has people in his own party that will not vote for him. What is different about Trump is that, while the vast majority of Republican voters were on board in 2016 and are on board in 2020, there is a significant portion of the conservative intelligentsia who continue to oppose him. French is one of those, though he has been more reasonable in his criticisms compared to some of the remaining “never Trump” crowd that seem to be only motivated by personal animus.

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Roll call votes are public information, Part II

There is simply no honest way to make the “argument” that Republicans secretly support gun control and have been lying about it for decades, as a letter to the editor in the Herald-Times did earlier this month. Following up on my previous post, it is useful to include a couple key sentences from a letter to the editor that falsely accused Republicans of misrepresenting their opposition to gun control:

Republican politicians lie. A prime example — gun rights, where they bank NRA money, then double-cross their donors.

And…

Why have “red” leaders lied to Second Amendment supporters for 48 years?

These two statements are very clearly an indictment of all Republicans as gun control supporters. The author backs up this argument with the highly misleading and dishonest claim that “Republicans” joined Democrats to pass the Brady Law and the Assault Weapons Ban. As I documented previously, a large majority of Republicans in the House and Senate voted against both laws.

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Dog beds and cat beds

Back in 2013, we took care of a little 12 pound dog for 6 months. I went to get Pico a dog bed, and I had a difficult time finding a dog bed his size. So, I got a cat bed instead.

I did find a dog bed a few minutes later, but the cat bed was already in the cart so I just bought that one. What I found fascinating was that the dog bed was significantly more expensive than the cat bed despite the fact that they were exactly the same: Same size, same material, same style and shape, and same amount of padding.

Why is that? Why would the price be so different for the same item? Are dog owners just willing to pay more than cat owners?

Even better, my 35 pound Beagle / Rat Terrier mix decided he really liked the cat bed and would sleep on it long after the little dog went away. Nano was quite a bit taller than Pico, so he was falling off the side of the dog bed when he slept on it. I never did understand why Nano wanted to sleep in what must be a very uncomfortable position when there are multiple other places to sleep.

Treating COVID-19 seriously, without panic

It has now been a month since the Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton limited in-person gatherings to 15 people, in reaction to anger by some in the community over a large house party attended by Indiana University students on August 19. There is no end in sight to this order.

Should we take COVID-19 seriously? Yes. But the panic and outrage following this party exaggerated the danger of the novel coronavirus. Indiana University claimed that the partying students put the entire student body in serious danger. Statistically speaking, that is simply not true. Healthy people in their 20’s are at extremely low risk of getting seriously ill or dying from this virus.

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Roll call votes are public information

When a letter to the editor accused Republicans of “lying” about gun control, two claims stuck out to me: That Republicans supported both the Brady Law and the assault weapons ban. Since I have been paying attention to politics since high school, I knew the claims were false right away. Here is the truth:

  • Republicans in the House voted 116 to 56 against the Brady law.
  • Republicans in the Senate voted 28 to 16 against the Brady law.
  • Republicans in the House voted 137 to 38 against the Assault Weapons Ban.
  • Republicans in the Senate voted 24 to 10 against the Assault Weapons Ban.

See the roll call votes here and here and here and here.

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There is no such thing as a Flight 93 election

The title of this post feels like it belongs in 2016, which is why I scrapped my earlier mental draft of it. But I keep seeing the same sorts of arguments I saw four years ago, with the volume turned up. And that is why this needs to be said, by me and by sensible people who have a much bigger audience than I do.

First, I will stipulate the following: Joe Biden is worse than Hillary Clinton, and Kamala Harris (who is the Democrats’ real nominee) is far worse than that. The radicals in the Democrats’ base are more militant and more willing to be violent than they were four years ago. It is perfectly reasonable to see Donald Trump as a bulwark against them and the culture war targeting Christians and conservatives.

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Party loyalty vs. marital fidelity

We hear every election that a candidate who loses a primary should endorse the winner, especially if that candidate has pledged to endorse the party’s nominee. This exists at every level, but is especially intense in the race for President. I have said in the past and I continue to maintain that is not and should not be an ironclad promise that cannot be broken. Christians, especially, should never treat it like this.

The easiest comparison is to marriage. We know from Malachi 2:16 that God hates divorce, and when a man and a woman take a marriage vows they are not to dissolve them. But the Lord Jesus Christ said that it is possible to divorce a spouse in the case of adultery.

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Nancy Pelosi thinks the rules are for the little people

From the beginning of the shutdown of all but “essential” businesses in states across the nation, many Americans chafed at the restrictions. One of the chief objections was that the restrictions were about control instead of public health, and the hypocrisy of elected officials was a chief talking point.

Enter Nancy Pelosi, not wearing a mask at a salon that is forced to have limited hours due to California’s lockdown rules. Now, in the past, someone who was caught violating the standards he or she has been promoting would quickly apologize and move on. Pelosi could have done that, and the controversy would have subsided more quickly. Instead, Pelosi claimed she had been “set up” by the salon.

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