The road to tyranny is paved with good intentions

Here is where a well intended law goes off the rails: A law to reduce urban blight and hold people accountable for allowing criminal activity in their home or business is being abused (naturally) to unfairly and illegally evict people from their homes or harass, intimidate and blackmail business owners.

Now, let’s not be too cynical here. There were probably very rational arguments for this law made in good faith back in the crime-plagued 1970’s, to reduce blight and give police more tools to fight crime. This is especially true in New York City. But here is the problem: When you give government dramatically expanded power, it will be abused. It is not that this power might or could be abused. It will be abused every single time.

This is because the men and women who run government (including the police!) are just like everyone else who has ever lived on this planet: They are totally depraved sinners, in bondage to their sin. This is why many Christians are conservatives or libertarians, because people who understand Scripture also understand sin nature and the inevitability that unrestrained power will be abused.

This nation’s founding fathers understood our sin nature, which is obvious with the restrictions they put on government in the Constitution of these United States. The founders knew that when people have power, it will never be enough. They will always want more.

Well intended or not, this was always bad law because it allows people to lose their homes or business without due process. This should not be winding its way through the judicial system. Instead, it should be repealed. Defending a bad law is a waste of time and money.

You missed someone

From Netflix’s description of Ghostbusters II:

  • Director Ivan Reitman’s engaging sequel finds the fearless ghostbusting trio reuniting to bail out the Big Apple by saving the city from a massive slime attack and a flood of malevolent spirits on a fateful New Year’s Eve.

Um…. Trio? So Winston does not exist?

Sometimes I wonder if people who write the descriptions know anything about the movie they describe.

Let’s not be pollyannaish about Rand Paul in 2020

Would the Republican Party be headed toward victory if we had nominated Rand Paul? I contend that any of the other Republicans would be crushing Hillary Clinton right now, but a case can be made for Paul. While it is true that Paul had a unique opportunity to expand the Republican voter base, we should not be unrealistically optimistic about Paul’s chances, either what they would have been this year or what they will be in 2020.

First, there are a number of Republicans turned off by libertarianism. There are the more old-school Republicans, of course, but many Christians of all ages are wary of the social stances libertarianism takes – specifically on drug decriminalization. Paul would have had some problems unifying the GOP base had he won the nomination, and if he is the nominee in 2020 he will face that same problem.

The biggest problem for Paul would be interventionists within the party, because of his skepticism of U.S. military adventures around the world. That is the biggest complaint I hear from even libertarian-leaning Republicans who believe we as a nation have a moral obligation to project power in order to defend and promote our values around the world. When John McCain said back in 2013 that he would consider voting for Hillary Clinton over Paul, the fact that Clinton is much more willing than Paul to commit military forces was one of the main reasons behind that statement.

Paul is also going to have trouble convincing “law and order” types in the Republican base to vote for him in order to win a primary or to get them motivated in a general election. Republicans are very wary of candidates who are perceived as “soft on crime,” and that label has been applied to Paul. He will need to convince Republican voters that he will be tough on crime while also making the case that overcriminalizing everything, unduly harsh punishments and restrictions on due process are actually anti-conservative positions that are unfair and give government too much power.

I would have voted for Paul in a femtosecond, and I will vote for him if he is the 2020 nominee, but he does face some challenges. Paul will need to overcome these challenges if he is going to be a serious contender for President of these United States in four years. Republicans who would love to see a President Paul cannot ignore or brush aside these challenges. If they want him to win (either the nomination or the Presidency) they must be realistic and not allow themselves to be blindsided by those challenges. Now is the time to start addressing them.

The dangerous, fanatical cult of Donald Trump

The extremes we are seeing from Donald Trump cultists this election, while far from unique and not new in any way, nonetheless represent a very disturbing development in modern politics. Threatening to blow up the Arizona Republic, threatening to murder newspaper employees or even going to the fanatical extreme of spitting on children who are delivering newspapers shows that many Trump cultists are no different than the Muslim terrorists who rioted over cartoons of Mohammad.

This is not about politics. This is not about Republicans and Democrats. This is about basic human decency. This is about violence and threats of violence. This is about criminal acts. Much more important in the eternal scheme of things, this is about idolatry.

Tens of millions of people support Trump and will vote for him. Whether you agree with them or not, that is a valid position. It is completely valid for Trump supporters to argue against those who oppose him, criticize him or support one of his opponents. What is not valid is to be such a fanatic for your chosen candidate that you cease to be a supporter and become a cultist. What is not valid is to view Donald Trump the same way the Branch Davidians viewed David Koresh. What is not valid is to treat those you disagree with politically as if they are heretics to your cult.

What is absolutely not valid is to threaten to murder innocent people because a newspaper’s editorial board did not endorse your candidate. If these fanatics/cultists carried out their threats, actually waged jihad for Trump and committed acts of terrorism against the newspaper, how do they know that the people they are murdering are not actually Trump supporters? It is very likely, after all, that there are employees who do not agree with the editorial board’s position – though significantly less so when cultists are waging jihad against them.

This wickedness is not the behavior of rational political actors who genuinely want what is best for these United States. This is the behavior of a dangerous, fanatical cult acting against what they see as “witches” and heretics. This is fanaticism and this is idolatry. But be warned: Almighty God will judge and punish that idolatry. The idolaters who made these threats need to get down on their knees and repent of this wickedness and pray for His mercy, lest they face eternal damnation in the Lake of Fire.

More shady and unethical behavior by Shelli Yoder

Note: I recently submitted this letter to the editor to newspapers around the Ninth District.

Can Shelli Yoder’s schemes to give your tax money to Planned Parenthood become any more shady and unethical?

In August 2015, Yoder and her cohorts on the Monroe County Council fast-tracked a vote to give Planned Parenthood a handout to hide it from the voters.

This year, the county council was going to vote on funding Planned Parenthood in late August. The vote was suddenly dropped, and would be rescheduled. The new vote will be November 9, the day after Yoder faces the voters of Indiana’s Ninth Congressional District.

Obviously, Yoder does not want this vote taking place before voters decide on whether to send her to Congress, because the Ninth District is a very conservative district. Therefore, the Democratic supermajority on the council is doing her a big favor by postponing the vote until the day after the election. The county council normally meets on Tuesdays.

We have enough people in Washington who oppose transparency and open government. We have enough people in Congress who play political games with our tax dollars to hide the way they vote from the public. The last thing we need is just another unethical politician in Congress. Vote against Shelli Yoder.

Vote like a human resources manager

Bloomington Herald-Times, October 24, 2016

To the editor:

We must professionalize county government. The best way to do that is to elect Ann Boehm as county Auditor and Ann Collins as county Treasurer.

It has been expected for decades that a new elected official can bring in her own staff when elected, as well as keeping some employees. This raises some obvious questions. Why? Does this serve the taxpayers? Does this serve dedicated county employees who have served well for years?

Boehm and Collins have promised this will end if they are elected. They will implement basic “best practices” in the Auditor and Treasurer offices. They will not terminate someone without cause or for political reasons. This is something that has been needed for a very long time, because the practice of “cleaning house” in favor of nepotism, patronage and cronyism has resulted in financial mess after financial mess.

Boehm and Collins will not make policy. They will be financial managers. The question is not who you agree with politically. The question is who has the skills, the experience and (most importantly) the ethics needed to run those offices. You need to vote like you are a Human Resources manager, and the only option is Boehm and Collins.

A little advice on how Facebook works

Some folks just do not understand how Facebook works. I recently posted a photo on Facebook, and one of the “friends” of one of the people tagged commented on it. This is someone I do not want to deal with on my personal Facebook profile, so I deleted his comment and blocked him so he could not comment again. In response, he posted on another website, ranting about me and calling me the following names:

  • religious wacko
  • fascist fuck
  • neo nazi in the making.
  • just another rightwing religious shitbag
  • a fucking joke of a person

Had the identical comment been I posted the photo on the fan page for the blog, I would not have deleted it. However, I reserve the right to limit who I interact with on my personal Facebook page – just as everyone else on Facebook does. No one is harmed by that. Note that I said “personal,” not “private.” Nothing posted to social media is truly “private,” no matter how tightly a user locks down available privacy settings.

See, here is what many people do not understand: There is no such thing as “free speech” on social media, especially on a personal profile or fan page not managed by the person posting. Even things posted to one’s own profile must be within Facebook’s terms of Service. Obviously the government may not censor what someone says, with very limited and narrowly defined exceptions, but we are all guests on those services.

Basically, everyone needs to chill out. I have had a number of comments deleted, and I have seen several entire discussions zapped where I had written quite a bit. Yes, it is frustrating and I have often disagreed with the deletions. But the deleted comments were not on my profile and not on my fan pages. I do not have the right to expect that every comment I make will stick. Respect others’ cyber-property and behave like you are a guest in someone’s home or business. Your Constitutional rights are not violated when comments are deleted.

Typical modern ignorance and arrogance

Over at CNN, Martha Pease writes: “Unlike older generations, young men today have a keener sense of justice when it comes to women and their right to physical security.”

This is absurd. It is typical modern ignorance and arrogance to assume we are so much better than our fathers and grandfathers. I mean, really… No one loved their wives, mothers, sisters and daughters until five minutes ago? Come on, now. Does she really believe this? This is utter nonsense, driven by self-love and pride.