Recently, people have pumped tens of thousands of dollars into GoFundMe accounts to help the sleazy likes of Peter Strzok or Michael Cohen. To be fair, some donors reportedly woke up with a hangover and asked that their donations to the hilariously-named “Michael Cohen Truth Fund” be returned.
On the other hand, there is a man who has been financially devastated by investigations by people who can’t get over Hillary losing. He’s an American military hero who was pressured to plead guilty to lying to FBI agents, even though the agents themselves said they didn’t believe he was lying. The partisan legal warfare aimed at him has cost him his job, his life savings, and his house.
His name is Lt. Gen. (Retired) Michael Flynn, and if you’d like to read about the wringer he’s been put through for the unconscionable crime of helping Donald Trump and accepting a position in his White House, then you can learn more at this link. The fact that it’s a fundraising page to help pay his legal expenses is entirely coincidental.
We’re used to Democrats these days trying to get elected by appealing to identity politics. But what if the candidate’s identity is a complete sham? Does that mean she’s pioneering a new liberal electoral strategy: “Secret identity politics”? Or is she the first entrant in a whole new victim identity class: “Identity Fluid-Americans”? I don't know, but maybe we need to expand Voter ID laws to make the candidates show an ID before we vote for them.
California's legislature is out to lunch
The California Senate just passed a bill to ban as fraudulent business practices any services that purport to help people change their sexual orientation or gender identity. Naturally, this is aimed at faith-based “conversion therapy” organizations that help people who want to overcome homosexual feelings.
But while California politicians are pandering to the LGBTQ lobby, it seems to have escaped their notice that they're opening a huge, unconstitutional can of worms that could be twisted to cover everything from banning consensual psychological counseling for children or adults to banning books (Snopes.com claims that’s false, but only if you believe what the bill’s sponsor says about it and think leftists never stretch the meaning of laws beyond what's written). And what if someone professional help transitioning to a gay sexual identity? Would that be illegal, too? The bill’s sponsors say this ban is necessary to stop barbaric practices, such as trying to force people to stop being gay through shock treatments – even though they can’t seem to cite a single example of that actually happening, Christian counselors already condemn those practices, and there are laws and professional regulations on the books now to prevent it.
At the link is a lengthy list of problems with this law, including how it might actually backfire on those who counsel children who want to become “transgender.” It notes that the “Q” in “LGBTQ” stands for “Questioning,” and the bill would criminalize helping someone answer questions about their sexual identity. The list of objections and unintended consequences is long, but maybe if a few leftist California legislators would read it, they’d realize that micromanaging every aspect of people’s lives is more complicated than they thought. Perhaps it will persuade them to consider pursuits more fitting to their abilities. I’d suggest whittling, but it involves handling sharp objects.
Horrifying story out of Brazil, where the 200-year-old National Museum in Rio caught fire last night, destroying many of its 20 million irreplaceable artifacts. Looking at the destruction that wiped out so much of the record of the nation’s history and culture in one night, I couldn’t help wondering how many leftists in America wish they could wipe out all records of our history and culture that quickly and efficiently.
The crassness of Trump's critics
I’ll admit there are times when I wish President Trump would go take a long, hot bath before hitting “Send” on his Twitter tweets. But I would contend that the accusation that he, personally, is responsible for the coarsening of political discourse conveniently overlooks an awful lot of nasty rhetoric that was flying long before he ever came down the escalator at Trump Tower, descending, appropriately enough, into the world of politics.
We got an ugly reminder of the crassness of Trump’s critics, and the political world in general last week, when funerals for Sen. John McCain and Aretha Franklin were marred by anti-Trump political slams during what were supposed to be eulogies, and the media used their fulsome praise for McCain as a thinly-veiled excuse to make negative references to Trump. This was especially rich considering they were the very same media outlets that attacked and slandered McCain back in 2008, when it was necessary to help elect Obama.
It’s no secret that there was bad blood between Trump and McCain, but where I come from, when someone dies, you put aside the squabbles of this world, comport yourself like an adult, and focus on more important things. Even though Trump is constantly attacked for being vulgar, pugnacious, inappropriate or unpresidential, last week, he came across like a cross between Winston Churchill and Emily Post compared to his critics.
While the anti-Trump brigades were politicizing the funerals, disrespectfully using them as excuses to bash Trump, Trump issued dignified condolence messages to both families. When he was attacked because the half-staff flag for McCain was raised in accordance with the policy for all deceased Senators (something Trump had nothing to do with), he ordered that it remain at half-staff until after the memorial service. He even arranged for military transportation and escorts and the use of Air Force Two to transport McCain’s body for burial.
And after he was assailed in subtle and not-so-subtle ways in the funeral speeches, instead of punching back point-by-point, he simply tweeted, “Make America Great Again!”
John Nolte at Breitbart had a similar take that’s well worth reading. He notes that the McCain and Franklin funerals should have been unifying events, moments in which we set our differences aside and, to quote Meghan McCain, gather to “mourn the passing of American greatness.” Instead, Nolte writes, “we watched those who piously lecture the rest of us about decency, decorum, and civility” drop their pants and spew divisive, partisan rhetoric at “the most inappropriate venue imaginable: a funeral.”
Trump didn’t force them to act like that. He actually looked like the restrained, well-mannered adult compared to them. To those speaking at the funerals and the reporters covering them, I have to ask this old Southern question: Didn’t your mamas raise you better than that?
So proud of my daughter Sarah! It isn’t every dad who gets to brag that his daughter is now Col. Sanders of Kentucky. I guess she knows this means that from now on, she has to bring fried chicken every time she visits me.
Second Man speaks out
Neil Armstrong’s sons are defending the upcoming movie “First Man” against criticism over the director’s decision not to show Armstrong planting the American flag on the moon because, according to star Ryan Gosling, they wanted to convey that it wasn’t so much something America did as a “human achievement.” (Interesting side note: to this day, that US flag is the only flag on the moon because no humans from anywhere other than America ever made it there.)
Rick and Mark Armstrong issued a statement praising the film and seeking to calm the controversy. It reads, “This story is human and it is universal. Of course, it celebrates an American achievement. It also celebrates an achievement ‘for all mankind’, as it says on the plaque Neil and Buzz left on the moon.”
Say, speaking of Buzz Aldrin, who was actually there at the time, what does the “Second Man” to set foot on the moon have to say about this? He tweeted one picture that’s worth a thousand words.
"Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan"
In case you think that it’s an exaggeration to say that “Progressives,” “Social Justice Warriors” and the like are actively hunting 24/7 for something, anything, to be offended over, then take a look at their latest OUTRAGE target.
Vanity Fair printed a review of the new Amazon Prime TV series, “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” titled “Jack Ryan Is A Patriotic Nightmare.” Writer Sonia Saraiya boils over in rage at the spy character’s “masculine American heroism” and “white male entitlement,” and writes that “both its protagonist and its plot are based on the foundational, unquestioned notion that American-military might — the best-funded killing infrastructure in human history — is helping to save the world”…it assumes “that we — Americans, and America — are doing a good job. Talk about a fantasy.” She further huffs that “watching this show feels like falling down a Fox News rabbit hole.”
Okay, that does it! I’m adding this show to my “Watch” list! As for poor Sonia Saraiya, who thinks American military might hasn’t helped save the world, I couldn’t help noticing that she doesn’t write her drivel in German. I will do her a favor, however, and suggest that she never watch a James Bond movie. That might actually make her head explode.
In-N-Out boycott flops
After last week’s ridiculous temper tantrum by California Democratic Party head Eric Bauman, calling for a boycott of In-N-Out Burger because he found out the chain donated $25,000 to the state GOP (they say they make equal donations to PACs from both parties that support California businesses), reaction was swift, but not what Bauman hoped. Twitter respondents blasted Bauman for being childish, and fellow Democrats quickly distanced themselves, leaving him to munch his locally-sourced organic tofu and sprouts all alone.
It also appears that calling for boycotts against popular fast food chains is the only way “Progressives” have ever found to boost the economy, since there were anecdotal reports of lines out the door at In-N-Out locations, a la Chic-fil-A Day. Other reactions to Bauman’s burger boycott were equally negative for the Democrats. California Republican candidate for Governor John Cox (possibly the only thing standing between the state and fiscal Armageddon in the form of Gavin Newsom) challenged his rival to a debate from in front of an In-N-Out drive-thru window. One Republican State Senator showed his knowledge of red meat politics by posting a photos of an In-N-Out burger and fries feast for GOP legislators in his capitol office. And some Republicans overreacted a tad by calling for a boycott of the entire state of California.
Personally, I’m not a fan of boycotting businesses whose products I like just because I don’t like the politics of the people who run it. That mostly harms the lower level workers, and it would deprive me of things I really like, like Apple products or Starbucks coffee. However, if the people in charge are actually crazy-partisan enough to throw paying customers out of their restaurant just because they disagree with their politics, then boycott away.
Oh, one more thing: In-N-Out is now getting invitations from red states to come open restaurants there. While they have no plans to open in Alabama, they are currently looking at Colorado. Maybe they figure Colorado Democrats will prioritize their munchies over their politics.
Texas cheerleaders get a decision
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is an atheist group that scours the nation, looking for people who exercise their First Amendment right to freely express their religious beliefs in public, usually in ways that are inoffensive and that the FFRF would never have even known about if they hadn’t gone hunting with binoculars for something to be offended by. Then they claim that these tiny actions from places a thousand miles away are causing them grievous pain and suffering, and file or threaten to file expensive lawsuits, abusing the court system to silence free religious expression. Sadly, this often works because the institutions threatened, such as schools or city councils, would rather save the cost of fighting the lawsuits than defend their people’s religious rights.
But the FFRF (doesn’t that just sound like someone blowing a raspberry? How appropriate) didn’t know what they were getting into when they tangled with some Texas high school cheerleaders. The cheerleaders in the Kountze school district would decorate paper banners, sometimes with Bible verses such as, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” They’d then burst through the banners during pre-game pep rallies.
Well, naturally, this is the sort of deadly serious offense the FFRF couldn’t just ignore (imagine the suffering of any atheists in the stands who might have to read those phrases before the cheerleaders popped through them), so they sent the usual legal threat and the school district folded, ordering the cheerleaders to stop it. But those girls apparently really were strengthened by Christ, and they refused. The district sued them to force them to stop. They stood strong, and the First Liberty Institute took up their case.
Now, after six long years (!) of wasteful, expensive litigation – and long after the cheerleaders graduated and stopped popping through anything -- the Texas Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of the cheerleaders. A First Liberty Institute spokesman told Fox News’ Todd Starnes that this should end the scorched-Earth litigation tactics (although knowing the FFRF, it probably won’t.) He said the Court agreed it was private speech that can’t be regulated, not government speech, and the cheerleaders had a religious freedom right to write anything they wanted on banners they created with paper and paint they bought themselves. His message to the meddlers at the FFRF who started this money sink of a lawsuit: “Stop harassing cheerleaders and accept that they are free to have religious speech on their run-through banners.” They'll probably just move on some other microscopically picayune “offense” to get outraged about, like suing bakeries because hot-cross buns have crosses on them (not to give them any ideas.)