Quiet week coming

Unless I get really fired up about something and want to comment right away, there won’t be any new blog posts this week.

Normally all posts in any given week were written and scheduled for publication the previous week. Last week I had no motivation to write anything, as I was wiped out by a particularly nasty virus.

Blogging should return to normal next week.

Good ends and questionable means

I have been a critic of land-use policy in local government for over two decades, back to when I was a college student. I have long believed that it is too restrictive and should be relaxed, so part of me is happy to see “YIMBY” legislation pushed by Senator Todd Young and Representative Trey Hollingsworth. Young lived in Bloomington for years, and only recently moved to Indianapolis, so he has seen first hand how local government can be overly intrusive. One overlooked aspect of the housing shortage and homeless problem is how local government’s regulations prevent the construction of necessary housing infrastructure.

But is federal legislation really the best solution?

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A few thoughts on Donald Trump and Ukraine

Take politics out of this for a minute: Of course the sitting President should encourage Ukraine to investigate a former Vice President if there is evidence of criminal activity. If Joe Biden abused his authority to halt an investigation into his son by sacking a prosecutor investigating his son, that is a serious problem and the American people deserve answers. Joe Biden is not above the law, and he is not immune to prosecution just because it might politically benefit Republicans.

Remember all of the calls for criminal prosecution of George W. Bush after Barack Obama took office? Many of the same people who are furious with Trump for wanting to look into Joe Biden were calling for Obama to do the same to Bush. If it is bad for the President to use his authority to go after political rivals, it is just as bad for Obama to do it as it is for Trump. The partisan hypocrisy never ends, which makes it impossible to believe these arguments about Trump’s alleged corruption are being made in good faith.

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An overapplication of the “initiation of force” principle

I was listening to a libertarian podcast last week where one person was arguing that no one signed a consent form for the police to pull you over for a broken tail light, so police should not be allowed to do that. That is certainly an… interesting position to take.

But actually, you did sign a contract, and agreed to obey the law, when you got a drivers license. When basic safety features on your car do not work, you are in violation of that agreement. If you do not want to abide by that agreement, then do not drive on public streets. For Christians, the obligation to obey the law (unless we are ordered to sin) is made clear in Romans 13, because all authority is established by God.

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We must protect human rights of prisoners

Printed in the Herald-Times, September 29, 2019

To the Editor:

The death of Jeffrey Epstein has led to innumerable conspiracy theory posts on social media, with many arguing that it is not plausible that he killed himself. It is actually not nearly as implausible as people would like to think. This is one more example of a broader national scandal. The way we treat people in our prisons and jails is abominable.

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Stop mutilating the law for political ends

If you want to argue for protections for homosexual and transgender employees from discrimination as a matter of policy, fine, make that case. But to argue that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes such discrimination illegal is patently absurd.

First: The law was passed in 1964, and you have to take the original intent into account. There is no way Congress intended to make discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) illegal in 1964. Sodomy was a criminal offense in every state in the nation, with Illinois the only exception.

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Proven wrong, Leftists double down on lies

“This is how you got Trump.” That is a lesson the radical Left needs to learn, because the lies they spew about conservatives are what pushed so many Republicans to pick the nastiest guy in the 2016 field. That radical Leftists are waging a culture war is what pushed millions to pick a culture warrior who will not hesitate to fight back, even when he is punching way below his weight class.

I addressed assuming bad motives and rank dishonesty by radical Leftists last week, but the topic deserves to be revisited as I refute another flagrant lie that has been spread about me. In response to my comment on gun death statistics, one particularly nasty Leftist screeched in Herald-Times comments that I “couldn’t care less about life and death just births.”

Yes, that’s why I never write about life and death issues other than abortion. Oh, wait. That is not true at all, which you can see by my many letters in the Herald-Times on criminal justice reform, prisoner rights, police brutality and due process. See here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here. Of course, she knows all of this. She is just a brazen liar. Naturally, she doubled down on her lies even after she was proven wrong beyond a shadow of a doubt.

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“Cancel Culture” and MAD

I am not excusing the Right embracing “cancel culture” to take out enemies on the Left (as we have seen with conservatives digging up old tweets by journalists who have been critical of President Trump) but human nature is what it is. You cannot expect the Right to not use the Left’s tactics against them. When you raise the black flag, the other side tends to do the same. As Ben Shapiro explained, Truth Revolt was just such a campaign.

The best option is for everyone to chill out. Stop digging up decades-old tweets, blog comments and so forth to bash people over the head with now, and ruin their careers. However, that is not going to happen, and everyone knows it. So the only way forward is for everyone else (especially big corporations) to stop giving in to the outrage mob. Every time a corporation, school district, non-profit organization or whatever else gives the mob what they want and sacks someone for something that happened decades ago, it only encourages the mob to attack more.

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This is why we can’t have nice things

I was recently called a “hypocrit” (sic) in Herald-Times comments for pointing out that citing the total number of gun deaths is misleading, since the debate is about preventing bad people from harming others and most gun deaths are the result of suicide. (This does not mean we should not work to reduce suicides, of course.) Furthermore,the focus of gun control right now is so-called “assault weapons,” but so-called “assault rifles” make up a tiny percentage of all gun homicide. More people are killed with knives than rifles.

It is worth a response here because it is worth pointing out the fallacies that too often litter our political discourse. Other portions of the comment:

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