Demonizing normalcy

Portions of the left-wing media are buzzing about how 16-year-old Deja Foxx lit into Senator Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) at a recent town hall meeting in Mesa, Arizona. Foxx was upset about his vote for federal legislation that allows states to not provide Planned Parenthood funds for family planning services.

While the video of the exchange between Foxx and Flake is below, I want to focus on how Foxx framed her question to him:

“I just want to state some facts,” Foxx began. “I’m a young woman; you’re a middle-aged man. I’m a person of color, and you’re white. I come from a background of poverty, and I didn’t always have parents to guide me through life; you come from privilege.”

She went on, “I’m wondering, as a Planned Parenthood patient and someone who relies on Title X, who you are clearly not, why is it your right to take away my right?”

Refinery29 reports that in an earlier roundtable, Foxx explained “why Planned Parenthood is so important to her.”

“I am a ‘youth on their own’ — meaning I don’t live with my parents or have a permanent home,” she said in a transcript provided by Planned Parenthood. “So when I needed birth control and reproductive health care, I didn’t have anyone to help me navigate the health care system.” Because she didn’t have access to her state insurance card, her care was completely covered by Title X funds, she said.

(By the way, isn’t it odd that at a time when alternative media is looking into the hideous nature of pedophilia, Planned Parenthood is asking a 16-year-old girl without a permanent home to speak about her concern about possibly losing access to birth control? )

Both the framing and substance of Foxx’s question is loaded with fallacies, facts that ought to be irrelevant, and demonization tactics.

When Foxx says she wants Title X family planning funding to continue as before, she basically wants the federal government to pay for her birth control. She is arguing she has a positive right to that, meaning someone else pays for something to which she’s entitled. However, the problem with positive rights is that other people pay for something for which they receive nothing in return. Under normal circumstances, that is called theft. True rights are negative rights, in which people have a right to not be harmed by other people.

Regarding whether Flake’s vote for the legislation was a good idea, the “facts” she cites are irrelevant. Or at least they ought to be. Who cares if she’s a woman person of color, and he’s a middle-aged man? Why should it matter that he had a stable family life, and she doesn’t? And what does it even mean to say one person is “privileged” and another person isn’t?

However, these facts matter when asking a far different question: why are you, a middle-aged white man, trying to keep a woman (girl?) of color like me down? Because that’s essentially the question Foxx asked Flake.

Once we recognize that Foxx is fighting over maintaining her positive right to birth control, the ridiculousness behind her question becomes abundantly clear. However, to maintain that “right”, another moral context needs to be created within which her ability to receive birth control makes sense. Hence, it’s bad enough that Foxx’s free birth control (to her, at least) may be taken away, but the one voting for that is everything she isn’t.


Apparently, her free goodies are far more important than living in a stable and loving family, and maintaining healthy relationships.

While it’s easy for me to criticize Foxx for her unwarranted attack on Flake, in many ways I feel sorry for her. She should have a sense of security that comes from living within a stable, loving family, but she doesn’t. Unfortunately, given her need for birth control, at sixteen, she attacks a decent man for being decent.

I cannot imagine the pain she must have incurred in her life for her to come to that position.

While she is clearly wrong in what she says, I hope that she has the chance of getting what she clearly needs and wants.


CalExit leader leaves movement with bizarre statement

Scott Shackford of Reason reports that current California succession efforts have been suspended because one of its key proponents has decided to live permanently…in Russia.

One notably bizarre, disorganized push to turn California into its own country is dead—at least for now. Its leader, Louis J. Marinelli, announced that he is canceling the petition and pulling up stakes. While he said he believed in the struggle for California’s independence “from the United States so we could build the kind of country that reflects our progressive values,” he has decided on a new path.

He’s decided he’d rather live in Russia, which is not exactly famous for its progressiveness.

In a missive released yesterday afternoon he said that life in Russia would offer him “a future detached from the partisan divisions and animosity that has thus far engulfed [his] entire life.”

Marinelli’s statement is particularly telling not only about why he wanted California to secede, but the progressive mindset in general.

Marinelli claims that a key motivation for being involved with the CalExit movement was the US government’s handling of the immigration status of his wife.

Throughout this campaign, I have been primarily motivated by a personal struggle I have had with the United States government since 2012. That personal struggle revolved around the immigration status of my wife, a foreign national who I brought to the United States to live believing at the time that it was the best country in the world. For years, our marriage suffered as politicians in Washington argued and bickered about immigration reform while the American people expressed their anti-immigrant xenophobia.

For years, our family, like so many other families in California, suffered without the relief of comprehensive immigration reform. Unable to work, study, or travel internationally, and forced to live each day with the possibility of deportation, my wife was forced to live in the shadows. At times, it was difficult for me to even look at her, ashamed for what I had done, putting her in that situation, simply by bringing her to this country.

These paragraphs raise a fundamental question: what was it about Marinelli’s marriage with a non-American that made it so difficult for him to get his wife a green card? After all, the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services appears to provide clear instructions on what Americans can do to bring their spouses into the country as permanent residents.

While USCIS’s process for evaluating such applications are designed to evaluate whether a marriage is genuine, Marinelli doesn’t bring that up as an impediment. Rather, he’s bleating about Washington’s supposed failure to bring about “immigration reform” and the supposed xenophobia of Americans. However, neither the lack of immigration reform nor American xenophobia should have prevented his wife from getting a green card. The premise that his wife “was forced to live in the shadows” is simply ridiculous.

What makes his cries against xenophobia that much more ridiculous is that in 2015, Marinelli opened a “California embassy” in Russia, all while trying to get a green card for his wife. However, that doesn’t stop Marinelli from comparing American xenophobia to the love that can’t help but pour out of the hearts of progressive Californians.

While Washington refused to act and the Americans continued to spew their hatred towards immigrants, Sacramento actively worked to protect our immigrants. And the people of California embraced our immigrants with open arms and with love and with respect.

It’s really easy for California politicians to proclaim the love of immigrants when national and state taxpayers pay for the welfare state at both levels. But I digress.

It was this contrast between Washington and Sacramento and between the American people and Californian people which shifted my allegiance from the United States to California. It was this contrast which motivated me to start this campaign for independence.

And so, thirty-six months ago, I started the Calexit campaign in order to establish a country where my wife would not need to live in the shadows and where my family would feel welcome. And I wanted a country to be proud of again… and California, unlike the United States, is a great source of pride for me. But three weeks ago, my wife finally received her green card and now my personal struggle against the United States government has ended.

He can’t pretend that he’s fighting the evil U.S. government anymore. The pretext is gone.

However, once a drama queen, always a drama queen.

His sense of victimhood does not prevent him leaving the movement with flair, stage left.

As I have stated in the past, I do not wish to live under the American flag. I do not wish to live under the American political system or within the American economic system. Regardless, I had long planned to eventually return to occupied California [if you only knew, buddy. Mr. Fool] and struggle for her independence from the United States so we could build the kind of country that reflects our progressive values. However, while my frustration, disappointment and disillusionment with the United States remains, these feelings now point me in a different direction. I have found in Russia a new happiness, a life without the albatross of frustration and resentment towards ones’ homeland, and a future detached from the partisan divisions and animosity that has thus far engulfed my entire adult life.

Consequently, if the people of Russia would be so kind as to welcome me here on a permanent basis, I intend to make Russia my new home.

Let’s follow the bouncing ball of Marinelli’s decision-making process, shall we?

The dude marries a Russian. She files for a green card, which takes a while for her to receive. Marinelli conflates American bureaucracy with xenophobia. He uses California’s cheap love of immigrants as a pretext for CalExit. Meanwhile, he opens a “California embassy” to Russia, where his wife is from. Once she gets her green card, he not only announces that he’s leaving the CalExit movement, but proclaims his desire to live in the progressive utopia of Russia for the rest of his life.

This is your mind on progressivism. Any questions?

A discussion about personal sovereignty, federalism, and yes, secession in the United States is long overdue. However, the CalExit movement will most likely die on the vine because of its feckless leaders.

Perhaps truer federalist and secession efforts will arise in its place?

Only time will tell.



MSM is fake news, no matter what Trump says

Now that the half-life of any positive media Trump may have received from his actions relating to Syria, MOAB, and North Korea has passed, he has gone back to slamming the media as “fake news”.

While this blog has ditifully chronicled how the media has been unfair to Trump, now would be a good opportunity to provide more current examples of fake news.

Unfortunately for the Orange Outrage Machine, otherwise known as the President, those examples relate to his recent foreign policy tantrums.

Justin Raimondo explains it much better than I can:

[H]ere is a group of people – journalists, politicians, and other Very Serious Persons – who have hated our new President from the get-go. He’s Hitler, he’s Mussolini, he’s Pepe the frog! He’s this, he’s that, he’s Our National Nightmare! And yet the minute he starts bombing foreigners he’s suddenly not so bad after all. Over at the Washington Post, David Ignatius, the CIA’s journalistic front man, says he’s “becoming a credible foreign policy leader.” Ruth Marcus opines that we’re witnessing “the normalization of Donald Trump.” Finally, she enthuses, “rationality is dawning” on the forty-fifth President! Among the liberal elite, the hosannas were well nigh universal. As Ann Coulter noted:

“Cable news hosts gushed, ‘Trump became president of the United States tonight!’ On MSNBC, Brian Williams called the bombing ‘beautiful’ three times in less than a minute. Sen. Lindsey Graham (one of the ‘women of the Senate,’ according to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg) compared Trump to Reagan. The New York Times headlined an article, ‘On Syria Attack, Trump’s Heart Came First.’”

Fareed Zakaria’s joy over the bombing seemed to indicate that, for him, it was practically an erotic experience. And this weird bloodlust wasn’t limited to the liberal precincts of the commentariat – far from it. When we dropped the MOAB on Afghanistan, Kimberly Guilfoyle  practically had an orgasm over at Fox News. Sitting there in her low cut red dress, her breasts heaving with passion, her lips parted, and an ecstatic smile plastered on her heavily made-up face, she hailed the bombing as if it were the climax – so to speak – of a pornographic movie: “America is back!” Oh, yeeeesssss!!!!

In short, if Trump doesn’t toe the liberal/neocon line to the T, the media portrays him as wanting to put liberals, feminists, and gays in concentration camps. But when he drops bombs in hell-holes on the other side of the planet, the media is aroused into sexual ecstasy.

This isn’t news reporting. This is a cry for help.

Meanwhile, after the foreign policy chaos he has unleashed over the past two weeks, Trump’s cries of fake news are nothing more than crocodile tears. Granted, the MSM are still lying sacks of incapable of reporting without a liberal slant while pretending to be “objective”. However, if Trump can’t remember what he told voters while campaigning, he’s just another politician.

And therefore part of the problem.



What does “Blessed are the poor in spirit” mean?

If there has been any passage in Jesus’s Beautitudes that I have struggled with the most, it is this:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 5:3

The phrase “poor in spirit” has simply boggled my mind. I simply couldn’t understand what that phrase means.

Fortunately, Fulton Sheen explains in his small yet powerful book The Cross and the Beatitudes his interpretation of this critical passage:

Our Blessed Lord came into the world to destroy this acquisitiveness and this subservience of moral to economic ends by breaching the blessedness of the poor in Spirit. It is worth noting immediately that “the poor in spirit” does not necessarily mean the indigent or those in straitened circumstances of life. “Poor in spirit” means interior detachment, and as such includes even some who are rich in the world’s goods, for detachment can be practiced by the rich just as avarice can practiced by the poor.

The poor in Spirit are those who are so detached from wealth, from social position, and from earthly knowledge that, at the moment the Kingdom of God demands a sacrifice, they are prepared to surrender all.

The Beatitude means then: Blessed are those who are not possessed by their possessions; blessed are they who whether or not they are poor in fact are poor in their inmost spirit. – pp. 49-50

Finally, that phrase makes a lot of sense!


Demonizing opponents isn’t for Democrats anymore

Now that any sense of narrative about Trump making America GREAT AGAIN has fallen apart with each new explosion in the greater Middle East, Trump supporters are trying to do something, anything to support the twilight of his administration first 100 days.

To wit, Trump Cheerleader Captain Bill Mitchell is simultaneously exploding with delight over Trump’s MOAB attack

while attempting to demonize the part of Trump’s base that won’t mindlessly believe his every word, especially with regard to Syria.

What has been absolutely beautiful about Trump’s base is that, while it has its share of syncophants like Mitchell, it includes many people who think for themselves.

Of course, I couldn’t help but comment.

I really need to find a new hobby.


BREAKING: US drops largest non-nuclear bomb in Afghanistan

According to The Independent:

The US has dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb in the country’s arsenal on an area of eastern Afghanistan known to be populated by Islamic State militants.

The Pentagon said the strike was the first time the 21,000lb weapon had been used in combat operations.

A spokesperson for the US Department of Defence confirmed to The Independent that a MC-130 aircraft dropped a GBU-43 bomb at 7pm local time.

The weapon is known in the US Air Force by its nickname MOAB, or “mother of all bombs”. MOAB stands for massive ordinance air blast.

The Independent understands Donald Trump authorised the use of the bomb but commander of the US forces in Afghanistan General John Nicholson signed off the order.

The President and Pentagon officials were aware of the mission ahead of time.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the US had used a “large, powerful and accurately-delivered weapon” to disrupt the movements of Isis in the country.

Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump said the bomb was dropped on a cave complex believed to be used by Isis fighters in the Achin district of Nangarhar, close to the border with Pakistan.

The Pentagon said the mission had been in the planning stages for months. However, they “did not have the information” on whether the mission was being planned during the previous Obama administration.

Little Boy, which was dropped on Hiroshima at the end of the Second World War, had 15 kilo-tonnes of TNT. The GBU-43 has 11.

Aside from “Dear God, may You have mercy on our souls”, I don’t have many coherent reactions to this. However, I do have the following thoughts:

  • The last time someone said “mother of all” anything, that regime fell.
  • This action shows the US military’s intellectual bankruptcy in dealing with its adversaries in the greater Middle East.
  • I wonder if the bomb’s name, MOAB, has any ironic reference to the city of Moab that existed during Biblical times.
  • Even with the magnitude of the bomb’s destructive capacity, I really wonder how much this reduces ISIS’s control in eastern Afghanistan. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if their support in the area increases.

I’m sure there will be more to come on this story.


Has Trump unraveled the administrative state?

Yesterday on, Sean Moran breathlessly proclaimed that President Trump unraveled the administrative state, to “reduce regulations and unleash American jobs”, in 20 ways.

The 20 measures are:

  1. In January, Trump signed an executive order that would cut two regulations for every new regulation proposed. Trump stated, “If there’s a new regulation, we have to knock out two.”

Ok, let’s stop there. It should be clear to everyone, including a Trump propagandist like Moran, that this move by Trump is simply a gimmick. Even if administrative agencies follow this order, which I doubt they will, what would stop them from deleting two tiny rules with one monstrous one?

As far as I can tell, nothing.

2. President Trump signed an executive order advancing construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines, previously blocked by the Obama administration. Subsequently, the Trump administration approved the construction of both pipelines.

Ok, Trump signed off on some pipelines. Great! But I’m not aware of Trump proposing to drastically reduce the environmental review process. All he did was sign off on pipelines that went through a laborious approval process. The process itself hasn’t been touched.

3. Trump signed an executive order in February known as “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda.” The order will create regulatory watchdogs that will find new onerous regulations to eliminate. Trump said that “every regulation should have to pass a simple test: Does it make life better or safer for American workers or consumers? If the answer is no, we will be getting rid of it and getting rid of it quickly.

The whole premise behind regulations is that regulators believe such rules make life better or safer for American workers or consumers. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have written, let alone passed, the damn rules! And if lawyers for regulatory agencies are good at anything, it’s providing arguments that provide sufficient justification for rules that, in the end, reduce choice for, and increase costs to, consumers.

4. Trump signed a bill that rescinds the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) broadband privacy rule that many scholars argue are duplicitous and onerous. Critics of the rule, including FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, argue that the Federal Trade Commission would be better suited to protect consumer privacy than the FCC. Katie McAuliffe, executive director for Digital Liberty, said this broadband rule “was a power grab under the guise of privacy.”

Ok, now we’re getting ridiculous. Rather than arguing that broadband providers should best determine how to provide their services to customers, the argument is which agency should regulate broadband providers. This is arranging deckchairs on the Titanic stuff.

5. Trump signed J.Res. 58, which overturns the Education Department’s rule that relates to how teacher training programs are assessed. The Washington Post explained the rule’s unpopularity: “Teachers unions said the regulations wrongly tied ratings of teacher-training programs to the performance of teachers’ students on standardized tests; colleges and states argued that the rules were onerous and expensive, and many Republicans argued that Obama’s Education Department had overstepped the bounds of executive authority.”

While it is good that this rule has been rescinded, all Trump did was sign legislation Congress passed. Meanwhile, the Department of Education, which Republicans have promised to eliminate since its creation in 1977, still exists.

I could go on to address the other 15 steps, but hopefully readers will get the picture.

While these steps aren’t harmful, they are nowhere near addressing, let alone unraveling, the administrative state, which suffocates businesses and consumers alike.

So far, Trump’s actions towards the administrative state has been underwhelming. There’s just not much there there.

Syncophants publishing pablum that attempt to say the opposite doesn’t change that.


Coptic priest to ISIS: Thank you

Because ISIS’s two bombings of Coptic churches on Palm Sunday in Egypt is strengthening the Church in countless ways.

First of all, such attacks send the souls of those killed to Jesus that much more quickly. To die the same death as Christ did is the highest honor a Christian could receive.

Such attacks also bring to church people who would otherwise not go. They realize life can be short, and should turn to God for His grace.

Finally, even though radical Islamists may have attacked Christians, true Christians not only love them, but they are praying for them as well.

In many ways, this has been a very difficult Lent for me. Throughout this period, the anger within me has been almost persistent as I have observed (and in far too many cases, reacted to the) injustices around me.

However, here is a priest of a church that was just brutally attacked commanding that Christians not only love their attackers, but to pray for them.

This is a message I very much needed to hear.

See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. – Matthew 10:16


My lack of innocence is preventing me from gaining true wisdom. However, I can’t obtain such innocence by myself. I must rely on God’s grace to do that.

Saint Francis, pray for me.

h/t Eve Tushnet


ZeroHedge, as always, has the scoop, who picked up the story from the Courier-Journal:

A man was violently dragged off of a United Airlines flight Sunday evening after it was apparently overbooked, according to passengers who were on the plane.

Passengers were told at the gate that the flight was overbooked and United, offering $400 and a hotel stay, was looking for one volunteer to take another flight to Louisville at 3 p.m. Monday. Passengers were allowed to board the flight, [passenger Augrey D.] Bridges said, and once the flight was filled those on the plane were told that four people needed to give up their seats to stand-by United employees that needed to be in Louisville on Monday for a flight. Passengers were told that the flight would not take off until the United crew had seats, Bridges said, and the offer was increased to $800, but no one volunteered.

Then, she said, a manager came aboard the plane and said a computer would select four people to be taken off the flight. One couple was selected first and left the airplane, she said, before the man in the video was confronted.

Bridges said the man became “very upset” and said that he was a doctor who needed to see patients at a hospital in the morning. The manager told him that security would be called if he did not leave willingly, Bridges said, and the man said he was calling his lawyer. One security official came and spoke with him, and then another security officer came when he still refused. Then, she said, a third security official came on the plane and threw the passenger against the armrest before dragging him out of the plane.

“Everyone was shocked and appalled,” Bridges said. “There were several children on the flight as well that were very upset.”

The whole premise behind the Trump presidency is action. If there’s a problem, you do something, anything, to solve it. Rather than coming up with a more attractive offer to get one passenger off of the plane, consequences will occur if people aren’t compliant with one’s policies.

Et voila.

Here is the problem with “tough guys” making taking these type of actions. People don’t resent them, they hate them. They become furious. The “tough guy”‘s actions become the very template for the responses they receive.

Meanwhile, the response has been swift.

At least there’s a slight chance United will respond to this nightmare of public relations nightmares. I don’t know if the same can be said about Trump, who appears to sleep with a molotov cocktail and a box of matches on his nightstand. I’ll get to that clown later.

Welcome to Trumperica!