Good riddance to a so-called “judge”

I am overjoyed that so-called “judge” Aaron Persky has been fired from his job. As you may recall, after a rich white man named Brock Turner violently raped a woman behind a dumpster, fellow rich white man Aaron Persky sentenced him to a pathetically short stint in jail. The backlash was immediate, and a campaign began to get the voters to recall Persky.

Advocates of criminal justice reform immediately worried about the precedent this would set, and they have a good point. Judges who fear voter backlash may “throw the book” at criminal defendants, imposing much harsher punishments than is merited by the facts of the case or history of the criminal’s life. There will be times when mercy is warranted but judges will look at this case and be too frightened to show mercy. Persky’s many enemies are short-sighted and foolish to dismiss this reality, and especially the fact that a new “tough on crime” attitude will harm black and brown people much more than rich, privileged white men.

But while recognizing that the recall of “judge” Persky can give other judges bad incentives and frustrate efforts to implement criminal justice reform, removing this corrupt man from office was still the right thing to do. Turner has absolutely no remorse for his crime, backed up by his so-called “father,” who dismissed a violent rape as “twenty minutes of action.” Releasing Turner back onto the streets puts more innocent women in danger of being violently raped by this sexual predator. The reason God gave the sword to the civil magistrate is to protect the innocent from the guilty.

We can hold corrupt “judges” accountable while also working toward meaningful reform. Pursuing the latter goal does not mean we need to abandon accountability.

A draconian anti-speech policy challenged

“The most important indication of bias is your own feelings.” That is the message of the “university” of Michigan, which was recently sued by the Trump administration over the school’s speech code. As the pressure ramped up, U of M ratcheted back some of the most controversial aspects of the code, but it is still important that the administration hold the “university” accountable and make sure administrators understand that they may not be allowed to trample students’ First Amendment rights. This is the modern version of George Wallace standing in the schoolhouse door.

So why do I use scare quotes around “university” of Michigan? Because when the feelings of someone who claimed “harassment” is a critical factor in determining administrative action, a “university” has abandoned objective, rational analysis, much less the actual facts of a case. This is a betrayal of everything academia is supposed to stand for, especially higher education. This is a disrespect that is richly deserved and earned. The fact that someone “feels” harassed does not mean they were harassed, and the fact that someone “feels” unsafe does not mean there is any actual threat to his physical safety.

For the “university” of Michigan to claim this is an “anti-bullying” policy is dishonest. For the New York Times to repeat that uncritically is irresponsible journalism. This has nothing to do with bullying. This is about a speech code that “university” administrators are trying to dress up as something else.

I said throughout the 2016 campaign that Donald Trump is not a conservative, and I still stand by that. What Trump actually is may be what we need right now: He is an anti-Leftist. After decades of conservatives who were too timid to stand up to the Left’s culture war, we have someone in the White House who will not only push back, but take the fight to the Left. Decades of culture war tactics – which have only become more severe and obscene since Trump was elected – has people fed up and ready to support someone who will finally fight back. That the Left has decided to double down on the culture war is why Trump will be re-elected in 2020.

Refuting lies about the “strong families” language

In a shamefully dishonest post on Twitter, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg claimed that delegates to the Indiana Republican Party state convention voted “against marriage equality.” This is a lie, of course. The platform does no such thing, and Buttigieg knows it. The platform does not propose that same-sex marriages be “broken up” or “stripped of legal protection.” This sort of shameful dishonesty should not be practiced by the mayor of a city. Can the citizens of South Bend ever trust their dishonest mayor?

Here is the truth: The platform as approved by the delegates says that a family based on a marriage of a man and a woman is the foundation for a healthy society – a statement that is self-evidently true. The Republican platform also explicitly expresses support for blended families, grandparents, guardians, single parents and loving adults who are raising children. I think we all know what “loving adults” means: It is a way to support same-sex couples. There is not even a single punctuation mark in that plank that opposes same-sex marriage.

Conservatives did not by any means win the day on June 9. We managed to avoid an attempt by country club Republicans to further water down the platform, which is already wishy-washy and weak in its support of traditional marriage. As a delegate, I would have preferred stronger language but I did not get my wish.

If anything, the lies spread by the likes of Buttigieg demonstrate that the Republican Party will never be good enough for hyperpartisan deceivers. Even when Republicans support extremely inclusive language that supports all Hoosier families, we will be attacked, demonized and lied about. Bipartisanship is a fraud and a hoax, and Republicans must reject it.

Fighting terrorism is not a violation of “free speech”

The headline of the New York Times’ June 14 article, “states crack down on campus protests,” was shockingly dishonest. No one is seeking to silence protests against conservative speakers. Cracking down on violence does not restrict anyone’s free speech rights. Violence is not and will never be “free speech.”

This is not new. Leftist students pulled the fire alarm several times when a sitting Congressman was speaking on the Indiana University campus in the 1990’s. This creates a dangerous situation and drains resources from the city fire department.

It is worse now. What happened at Berkeley in 2017 was not a protest; it was a full-scale riot by Leftist terrorists. They were burning cars and smashing windows. The same year in Berkeley, Leftist terrorists were violently attacking and beating people perceived to be Donald Trump supporters, including some who were not but were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Neo-Communist terrorist groups like Antifa must not be allowed to violently suppress free speech with riots, beatings, and other violent criminal behavior. The state legislatures are absolutely right to be cracking down on this nonsense and disciplining the so-called “students” who are so terrified of hearing an opinion they disagree with that they engage in terrorism to stop it. Neo-Communist terrorists are not much different than Muslim terrorists rioting over cartoons they dislike.

“AmyMek” and irresponsible vendettas

I’ve often been critical of anonymity, but the vicious deranged vendetta by the Huffington Post against Twitter user @AmyMek is disturbing. (I say “semi-anonymous” because her username is includes part of her name, and she posted a photo of herself.) The collateral damage HuffPo inflicted is inexcusable. This is not “journalism.” This is an open attempt to destroy someone’s life, and the life of her family. If Fox News did this to a prominent semi-anonymous Leftist on Twitter, everyone on the Left would be shrieking bloody murder. (Note: This isn’t an endorsement of Mek’s tweets. I don’t follow her and I haven’t combed through her feed.)

First, HuffPo outed Mek’s real name, but that was not enough. They ambushed a deli owned by Mek’s relatives, who barely have any contact with her and do not agree with her Twitter posts. The deli has been flooded with harassment and fraudulent negative “reviews” on Yelp by people who have never stepped foot in the place. An innocent person’s livelihood has been irreparably damaged because of a psychotic so-called “journalist” acting more like a Mafia enforcer than a reporter.

That was not enough. HuffPo went after Mek’s husband, who works for World Wrestling Entertainment. A company with a long history of racist and misogynistic characters and storylines immediately fired Mek’s husband without so much as asking if he even agreed with her tweets. Mek claims on Twitter that many of his views are actually different from hers, so was he fired because his wife said something that he does not agree with. This is corporate cowardice and hypocrisy in the extreme.

This is wrong. Worse, it has set off a round of retaliation. I have no sympathy for the so-called “journalist” at HuffPo who is now being doxxed and threatened, but the ones doxxing him are themselves being doxxed. And around and around we go, with a needless escalation of the culture war and a vendetta over – let’s be brutally honest – something that does not matter. Who cares what a semi-anonymous Twitter user is posting? So she may have said some offensive things. Lots of people say offensive things – On Twitter, on Facebook, and in private conversation. Do her posts really merit an all-out effort to ruin her life and the lives of her family members who rarely see her and disagree with her?

The Huffington Post, if it had any integrity or basic human decency, would terminate the employment of the so-called “reporter” who doxxed AmyMek and will apologize to her. The damage is already done, so the only thing left to do is learn a simple lesson: Stop being a vindictive, hate-filled troll and stop trying to ruin people’s lives over stupid, meaningless Twitter flame wars. Grow up and get a life.

A real lack of maturity

Whatever you think of the President posting on Twitter, it is sad to see the replies under every single post he makes just filled with obscenity and vulgarity.

F this, F that, MF this, F you, Go F yourself, F-ing MF the other thing.

This is the President of these United States. You may not like President Trump personally, you need to respect the office of the President, and the authority he holds. Plus, it is just low-class and displays a real lack of maturity.

And yes, it was just as wrong when conservatives reacted the same way to President Obama.

Pardon power as a liberty preserving safety valve

Back in 2006, an exotic dancer and convicted murderer fabricated an allegation of “rape” against the lacrosse team at Duke “university.” The rape never happened, but had the accused been poor and black, they most likely would have went to prison. Because they were wealthy, they had the resources to fight a corrupt system and exposed the criminal behavior of the prosecutor.

On his podcast, Ben Shapiro has been criticizing the power of the President to pardon people. Among other things, Shapiro said “Either you believe the criminal justice system works or you believe it doesn’t.” That is a false choice. It is possible to have a good system that occasionally fails, especially in a nation of 350 million flawed human beings. Sometimes people make innocent mistakes. Sometimes people are overzealous. And, yes, sometimes law enforcement will outright frame an innocent person for a crime that never even happened.

(Obviously, the President does not have the authority to pardon state level crimes. governors do, so the arguments here apply to them.)

Pardon power is a safety valve against these abuses and errors. Sometimes, mercy is warranted and sometimes the punishment is excessive compared to the crime. Over the last few generations, pardon power has become even more important. As government grows bigger and legislatures pass more laws, the pardon power becomes more important. In fact, it is estimated that most people have committed a felony at some point without realizing it – and that can include unintentionally making a false statement to a federal official.

Yes, pardon power has its roots in the tradition of monarchy. That does not mean we should abandon a power that can serve as a check on an overzealous state persecuting innocents or punishing lawbreakers far out of proportion to their crimes. Given how often prosecutorial power is weaponized for political grudges, it is critical that this authority be maintained.

Post tags

With eight years of this version of the blog, I have done a terrible job of adding tags to my posts… meaning I haven’t done it at all. It would be very time consuming to add post tags, which is why I have been reluctant to even start the process. But the more I put it off the more work it will be. The search functionality is pretty good though.

A Biblical case against racism

I am seeing an increasing pull for racism, and it concerns me. Thanks to social media, openly racist people are more open than they have been in generations. Some of them even claim to be “christians,” but they need to read their Bible and submit themselves to the authority of a Bible believing church.

First, let’s define terms: Racism is bigotry or hatred against someone for specific inborn genetic traits. Criticizing certain cultures or religions is not racist. Culture is not race, and neither is religion. We need to be very careful when we talk about racism that we actually are criticizing racism. We do not want to be “the boy who cried wolf,” nor should we want to bear false witness by crying “racism” where it does not exist.

Moving to the topic, let’s start with Genesis 1:27. Man is made in the image of Almighty God. When we demean others because of their race, we demean the very image of our Creator. Part of loving God means loving those made in His image, and racism denies the image of God in the pinnacle of His creation. We cannot fulfill the second greatest commandment if we harbor racist sentiment.

This teaching is expanded in the New Testament. The Apostle Paul writes in Galatians 3:28 and Romans 10:12 that we are all equal in Jesus Christ. We have all sinned, and God sent His son to shed His blood that we might be saved. We are all equal at the foot of the cross – sinners condemned to eternal damnation in Hell Fire for our rebellion against the only true God who created us. We granted grace and mercy that we do not deserve through His blood, shed to atone for our sin.

Racism is a wicked sin against God. All races can be racist, because we are all equally vulnerable to sin. Race-baiting (trading on society’s general dislike for racism for personal gain) is also wicked and shameful. We need to move beyond this sin. If we do not love our neighbors of all races, we cannot love God. If we say we love God and hate our neighbor, we are liars and we will face His wrath. Repent!

More thoughts on the “strong families” plank

I am convinced that “moderate” malcontents (country club Republicans) will not be satisfied until they push social conservatism out of the Republican Party. We saw evidence of this in the floor debate over the proposed changes to the “strong families” language in the Indiana Republican Party platform.

We are already seeing people bitterly complain about “divisive” and “antiquated” language in the party platform. But how is it divisive? The 2016 language explicitly states the Republican Party supports “blended families, grandparents, guardians and loving adults who successfully raise and nurture children to reach their full potential every day,” and also added language supporting single parents.

The delegate who spoke in favor of the 2018 language said that unless the Republican party moves forward and recognizes the reality on the ground, we will have this floor fight over and over. In other words, the country club Republicans will continue to attempt to erase explicit support for marriage from the party platform and have promised to continue to provoke floor fights at the convention. It is not the social conservatives who are being divisive. It is the “moderate” country club Republicans who are being divisive.

The delegate also dishonestly claimed that the original proposed 2018 platform supported traditional marriage between one man and one woman. But if that is the case, why erase language that explicitly names a marriage between a man and a woman from the Indiana Republican Party platform? The social conservatives were right to be concerned that this language was removed and what that means for the future of the party.

The platform does not even call for the government to roll back recognition of same sex marriage. In fact, the platform implies support for same-sex couples. I think we all know what “loving adults” means. So what exactly are the “moderate” country club Republicans whining about?

Let’s be honest here. Approving the amended 2016 language over the 2018 language was in no way a win for social conservatives. Nothing was gained here. We avoided further watering down a plank that was already wishy-washy and weak. It would be better to not have a “strong families” plank at all than keep the wimpy language we have now. We should strengthen the platform, and hopefully that will happen in 2020.