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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Timing and Bill Cosby: A Case for Suspicion

He said/she said disputes are always nerve-wracking for me, especially when they involve someone I admire personally. As a youngster, I loved Michael Jackson's Thriller album; I played the cassette so much it became warped and stopped playing. When the accusations came out, I was disappointed. However, when the plaintiffs settled out of court and won the litigation lottery, I felt vindicated in my belief in Jackson's innocence. After all, as a parent, I would have gone directly for criminal charges.

Now Bill Cosby is under the gun. He is accused of being a serial rapist. While I am not suggesting the man has a flawless record of personal behavior, my instinct in this case is that he is most likely innocent. I intend here to make my case; let me know what you think. My reasons are as follow:

1. Gloria Allred is involved. This individual is a camera-hogging ambulance chaser of the worst sort. She takes cases generally for the publicity and celebrity she may garnish. Though she presents herself as a champion for women's rights, she displays her true colors as a champion of the almighty dollar with every case she takes. I wonder if she is going to make public what her cut might be of any settlement in this case?

 2. The statute of limitations has run out on at least two of the cases. This makes me wonder, "Why now?" Why would you wait so long to address the issue, and then do so in such a public way? If an undeserved shame kept you from speaking out, one would assume that you'd stay away from the spotlight as much as possible. Since this is not happening, I suspect that another motive is at work here. As for the woman who claims to have been assaulted as a minor, if she is telling the truth she deserves both justice and sympathy; moreover, her case will not be affected by a statute of limitations. However, Gloria Allred is doing her a disservice by bringing all three cases up at the same time. This implies that her motives are the same as the other claimants--in other words, economic.

3. Bill Cosby is well-known as one of the few socially conservative voices among African-American celebrities. He often speaks out on issues of personal responsibility, the negative impact of "gangsta" culture on Blacks everywhere, and other things that make the Left cringe. Given the current crop of events in Ferguson and New York City, America desperately needs someone of Bill Cosby's notoriety to talk some sense into people. With these accusations, he has been effectively silenced. Indeed, due to the nature of these accusations his reputation will be forever tarnished. Those who would profit, both economically and politically, from his silence are well-served by this turn of events.

Why are these accusations happening right now? I suggest they have been timed precisely to silence one of "ghetto" culture's most ardent critics. Bill Cosby has always portrayed African-American life as one full of possibility. He portrays upper-middle-class homes of responsible parents and professionals. He does not glorify "ghetto" culture or behavior, and he does so in a way that is both charming and entertaining. His stories counter the dogma that the authentic African-American culture is that of vulgarity and crime.

 Well, you have silenced a great voice of common sense in America, Ms. Allred. Congratulations.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Teachers need the benefit of the doubt!

This subject is one of my pet peeves. You see, as a teacher I have sometimes been interpreted as making inappropriate comments. Much of it comes from the subject matter; the course standards for Spanish include a good amount of cultural analysis and comparison. This can lead to discussions of complex topics about which some people are quite sensitive.

As any reader may attest, I don't consider someone's race a very important factor in who that person is. Having lived in South America for years, my perspective on questions of nationality is similar.  Moreover, I find it useful sometimes to "illustrate absurdity by being absurd;" that is, point out cultural stereotypes in order to display their inaccuracy. Sometimes the only part of the discussion that makes its way home is the stereotype rather than the fact that it was subsequently analyzed and disproved. This is a shame. How am I to defeat cultural misconceptions if I must fear misrepresentation and reprisals for doing so?

Perhaps I should just ignore these issues. I should simply state, "Let's not talk about that" and allow the teachable moment to slide by. Certainly my life would be easier if I took that avenue, but that's not why I decided to be a teacher. Analyzing complex topics is what breeds human intelligence, and I went into this business to do just that.

Nevertheless, I am sometimes called upon to defend my honor, so to speak, as the result of concerns expressed directly to an administrator rather than to me. I cannot emphasize enough that all teachers hate this! We expect to be given at least the opportunity to clarify or explain the true circumstances in any given misunderstanding before having to explain ourselves before an administrator. Children are not exactly the best message-carriers. If you don't believe me, try having one of your children deliver a message for you after only hearing it once and waiting a few hours before repeating it. I rest my case.

Parents, please talk to the teacher before contacting anyone else! Nothing eats away at a good relationship between parents and teachers more than distrust, and so much of that could be very easily resolved through a simple phone call or email to the teacher. Nothing so annoys a good teacher than to be misrepresented negatively in front of the administration.

Let's think logically. What incentive does the teacher have to be purposefully offensive, to punish your child for no reason, or to otherwise create conflict? I have news for you--the teacher has none. Logic would therefore dictate that most second-hand information that seems to be questionable might be related in an inaccurate way. At the very least, let the teacher have the opportunity to defend himself. (I'll use the generic masculine here, which some might find offensive in and of itself. Oh well!)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

False Equivalency

I have noted that the news media, especially left-wing outlets. like to make comparisons that don't quite fit. For a long time, I've lamented the fact that the media equate the Gay Rights movement to the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. Race and sexual proclivity have nothing in common.

Race is an innate quality, and to discriminate against someone based solely on that criterion is illogical. In the modern era, most Americans cannot claim descent from solely one race, so such a bias is increasingly ridiculous. I am a blend of mostly European stock and a smaller percentage of Cherokee blood. Three of my children are 3/4 Mexican and 1/4 Pomo Indian, and the Mexican side is an unknown concentration of Amerindian, Spanish, and possibly African blood. Most Black Americans are, in fact, of mixed African and European descent. However, all of these lineages have one thing in common--they are inherent characteristics that came with birth.

Sexual preference is not. Period. All reputable studies confirm that homosexuality emerges as the result of key life experiences, often traumatic ones. Three studies have been used by proponents of garriage (my term for the contradiction in terms "gay marriage") to suggest that homosexuality is innate, however all three fail to pass the rigors of proper science. The most famous of these was done by Simon LeVay, who suggested that a certain area in the brain was larger for gay men and females in cadavers he had studied. However, the size range for both groups was equal, with some individuals in all groups having similar brain sizes in this area,  and it is unknown how he confirmed which cadavers were and were not homosexual. Moreover, the study was not blind, and the groups studied were not large enough to be statistically sound. In addition, no researcher has been able to reproduce his findings.

Science also confirms that there is a difference between the relationship that comprises a marriage and the relationship between a gay couple. For starters, biology itself has dictated that men and women are to procreate. It is the means of procreation for not only our species, but also most other complex animal species. The benefits of such an arrangement are myriad, but all lead to the production of hardier individuals and the survival of the species. Marriage simply formalizes what biology has already determined. Indeed, government did not create the concept of marriage, but simply recognizes it and authorizes people to perform recognized ceremonies.

However, the news and entertainment media insist that both relationships are the same, while simple logic and human anatomy would make the opposite case. Proponents make an argumentum ad ignorantiam, basically saying, "Why not?" However, this logical fallacy is neither unanswerable nor sufficient to make sweeping changes in the way we legislate.

Aside from that issue, we also see the media asserting a false equivalency between Hamas and Israel. Hamas is a terrorist group that attacks specifically non-military targets. Moreover, it fires its missiles from crowded residential areas to maximize civilian casualties when retaliatory strikes occur. It has dishonored truce after truce, and will accept nothing less than the utter annihilation of the Israeli state. It victimizes its own people purposefully, murdering in cold blood any Palestinian who voices dissent or refuses to cooperate.

Israel, meanwhile, uses its missiles to target the areas from which Hamas has fired its rockets. It takes extraordinary measures to minimize civilian casualties, even making phone calls to the places it intends to strike to warn civilians to clear out. It has negotiated truce after truce, and would stop its military actions the moment Hamas actually honored its bargains. Israel fires missiles away from its civilian population. Some have argued that Hamas cannot do so because all of Gaza consists of crowded urban sprawl, but a quick look at Google Maps will confirm that such is not the case.

Add to that the false equivalencies of the Occupy protests and the Tea Party, social conservatives and Nazis (who were anything but), et al ad infinitum. Those who fail to pay close attention fall victim to these tactics. They were used often by Goebbels, who made false equivalencies between Jews, communists and anarchists. The concept of the Big Lie is nothing new. It is shameful how readily we fall prey to it as Americans who should know better.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Boko Haram Obama

Okay, I realize that the title of this piece may be a tad inflammatory, unless you're a Low Information Voter, in which case you're scratching your armpits and wondering how you found this website when you were searching for cat videos.

For those of you who pay attention to world events, the people of Nigeria are quite upset at an Islamofascist terrorist group by the name of Boko Haram. This group kidnapped over 250 girls from the Chibok school, forcing some to marry their captors. Many of the girls are ill and suffering from other forms of abuse. A worldwide Twitter campaign has tried to draw attention to the situation, but nothing tangible and effective has been done. (You can Twitter in one hand and crap in the other and see which gets full first.)

We face a similar situation in this country, but from the reverse perspective. We have engaged in policy-making that resulted in busload after busload of unaccompanied children streaming into our country. Our government ought to be making efforts to reunify these children with their families in their native lands. Instead, they are being relocated across the country with strangers.

It is not mercy to steal a generation of children from impoverished nations. Yes, many of the countries from which these children come are terrible places to live. Many are nations in which there is an ever-present danger of violence. As many have commented before me, we have such areas in our own country. There are neighborhoods in Chicago with the same dangers.

The parents of these children are lacking the same commitment and attachment to their offspring that the parents in Nigeria have. To send a child off all alone with known criminals is a crime of the deepest neglect. Every American feels instant empathy for these children, but to keep them here is abduction. The president, in approving the dispersal across the country of these children, is making the statement that he intends the separation to be permanent.

While this may seem to the less family-oriented out there as the right thing to do, we must always judge an idea or policy by the results it gets and not by the intentions of those who came up with it. That's called living in reality, something liberals don't do very often. So, what is the reality of our policy towards these children?

Children are living in cramped quarters, housed in close proximity to children sent because of disease and contagious illness. Can anyone honestly say that this is a better life than the one they left behind?

I recommend a few simple policy changes to help these (and future) children while simultaneously stemming the tide of illegal immigration into the country. Here is my plan:

1. The children who have already arrived will be treated, fed, and sent home with new shoes and clean clothing.

2. The immigration loophole the parents are abusing will be closed.

3. The U.S. Border Patrol will be granted the status it deserves as a branch of the U.S. Armed Forces. After all, its function closely parallels that of the Coast Guard.

4. A twenty-foot wall will be built along the border in every area in which it is geologically feasible. I'm tired of people saying this can't be done; we've got thousands of miles of this along our freeways just so people can sleep without hearing traffic noise. A stronger wall using a similar construction style could be built within a few months if multiple contracts were awarded at intervals along the border.

5. Congress will pass a law clarifying the Constitution to make it clear that only children of citizens acquire automatic citizenship by birth. This law will contain a clause exempting it from the jurisdiction of any of the federal courts, including the Supreme Court. (Congress has the authority to define the limits of the federal courts' jurisdiction.)

6. An law will be passed stating that only spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens will be granted immigration preferences. Siblings, parents, adult children, and extended family will no longer receive exceptions.

7. A law will be passed mandating every employer to use the E-Verify system to ensure that they are hiring workers legally. This will remove much of the incentive for illegal entry into the U.S.

8. Economic advisors will be sent to these children's home countries to guide them with regard to economic policy. These advisors will be chosen from the business schools of U.S. universities.

Will this be kindness? Yes, if we take the long view of things. Too often we seek only immediate relief and forget that leaving the illness untreated is worse than momentary pain. For too long our nation's borders have served as a pressure-release valve for the corrupt and despotic, a way to rid themselves of those who would otherwise seek reform. We are doing the people of these nations no favor by obliging.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Hitler-Hamas Connection

The Palestinians launch terror attacks on Israel. Israel retaliates. Terrorists hide behind their women and children. A few women and children die in the retaliation. The world condemns Israel. World leaders urge both sides to “come to terms,” which involves Israel giving up land for peace. Land is given. Peace lasts a few months to a year. Palestinians commit acts of terror and hide behind their women and children. Rinse and repeat.

Is everyone in the community of nations brain-dead? Now we see Vladimir Putin using the same tactics to seize the Crimean region and, if he gets his way, Ukraine. Yet Putin is being condemned. One has to wonder why. After all, he is funding separatists, just as Iran funds Hamas within Israel, for ostensibly the same reason--to supplant the nation in which they reside and seize power. Why are the Russian separatists seen as bad guys, and the Palestinians portrayed as the good guys?

 Let’s indulge in a brief history lesson. Muhammad Amin al-Husayni, the Grand Mufti (religious authority) in Palestine in the early Twentieth Century, was a zealous Jew hater. You can see him in the top photo, advising Hitler on how to handle the Jews. He fanned the flames of Anti-Semitism and recommended what became known as the Final Solution.

Having gained favor with Hitler, al-Husayni is exiled from Palestine for inciting a rebellion from the British. He flees to Bosnia, where he encourages a union with Hitler. 100,000 Bosnian Muslims join with the Nazis. They also begin a campaign of ethnic cleansing, killing 200,000 Christian Serbs, 22,000 Jewish Bosnians, and over 40,000 Gypsies.
Flag of the Bosnian Muslim division of the Third Reich Army

 The Grand Mufti’s anti-Western, anti-Jewish philosophy remains intact after his death through a group of his acolytes known as the Muslim Brotherhood. They carried over his desire to kill the Jews and carry out a Jihad on the West. They also subscribe to essentially the same perspective as Adolf Hitler, that all the world’s troubles can be traced to Jewish influence. The Muslim Brotherhood inspires other groups, including Al Qaida, Hamas, Fatah, and others. All of these groups carry Hitler’s torch of Anti-Judaism.
It is therefore highly ironic to hear the spokesmen for Hamas compare Israelis to Nazis. The Jews learned from the Holocaust. Their motto: “Never again.” And yet President Obama and the rest of the world’s leaders encourage Israel to bargain away territory for peace, suffering death by a thousand cuts. Gaza becomes a staging area for missiles targeting Israeli civilians, and we have the audacity to ask Israel for more concessions.

There is but one path to peace, a path the gutless leaders of the Western world would deny to Israel just as they refuse to follow it themselves. No lasting peace has been achieved without an unconditional surrender by one party in a war, which follows a victory so decisive as to make a treaty a mere formality. Treaties that come without decisive victory may as well be written on toilet paper. Israel has signed treaty after treaty and granted concession after concession, all to no avail. Why? We have held them on a tight leash and kept them from achieving a decisive victory.
Hamas rules the Palestinian Authority right now. Israel knows where the leadership meets. One well-placed missile and a sudden surge would be enough to put Hamas on the defensive. Eject them and any sympathizers from Israeli territory, including any gained after the Six Day War. Retake all concessions; the terms were never honored, so Israel has no obligation to honor its part in the bargain either. Let those who supposedly sympathize with and support the Palestinians host them as refugees. This will let the world know just how much sympathy they really have. (Jordan kicked them out for rabble-rousing soon after the Six Day War.)

It is my hope that our leaders here in the U.S. would have the testicular fortitude to defend us against attack without worrying about world opinion. I would expect them to seek a decisive and unquestionable victory, and demand an unconditional surrender and end to the conflict. And, I would expect them to greet any breach of that agreement with extreme prejudice. I expect no less from Israel. We are hypocrites to require of them what we would never accept ourselves.
For a more detailed history of the link between modern anti-Israeli terrorism and the Nazis, view the video on the following link: Hitler's Mufti

If you’ve been brainwashed by a selective interpretation of history, being taught only what anti-Israeli Liberals want you to know, much of this may seem shocking to you. However, it is all factual. We will never be able to improve reality until we know what it actually is.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Edmund Burke and America 2014

I've been re-reading Edmund Burke's commentary on the French Revolution and I'm astounded at his prescience. He and Alexis de Toqueville were very prophetic in their view of things to come. Burke's tone is both comical and erudite; he pokes fun at the sacred cows of his day, political booster clubs that made grand pronouncements on world affairs as if they spoke for the nation instead of a handful of nutjobs. America is full of those, and now they have the Internet as a tool for spreading their doctrines.

Just a few quotes from Burke will show how right-on he is even when it comes to today's political situation:

"...I cannot stand forward, and give praise or blame to anything which relates to human actions, and human concerns, on a simple view of the object, as it stands stripped of every relation, in all the nakedness and solitude of metaphysical abstraction. Circumstances (which with some gentlemen pass for nothing) give in reality to every political principle its distinguishing colour and discriminating effect. The circumstances are what render every civil and political scheme beneficial or noxious to mankind." (In other words, it's only a good idea if it actually works out in the real world.)

"I should therefore suspend my congratulations on the new liberty of France, until I was informed how it had been combined with government; with public force; with the discipline and obedience of armies; with the collection of an effective and well-distributed revenue; with morality and religion; with the solidity of property; with peace and order; with civil and social manners. All these (in their way) are good things too; and, without them, liberty is not a benefit whilst it lasts, and it is not likely to continue long." (This is a list of priorities that determine if a policy is good for society or not.)

"A state without the means of some change is without the means of its conservation. Without such means it might even risk the loss of that part of the constitution which it wished the most religiously to preserve." (This relates directly to the Convention of States project to amend the Constitution using Article V of the Constitution, which would allow state legislatures to fix problem with federal overreach without having the federal government itself, which is guilty of the overreach, vote on how it is done.)

"A spirit of innovation is generally the result of a selfish temper, and confined views." (As good a description of Progressivism as I've ever heard.)

"Compute your gains: see what is got by those extravagant and presumptuous speculations which have taught your leaders to despise all their predecessors, and all their contemporaries, and even to despise themselves, until the moment in which they become truly despicable. [...] This was unnatural. The rest is in order. They have found their punishment in their success. Laws overturned; tribunals subverted; industry without vigor; commerce expiring; the revenue unpaid, yet the people impoverished; a church pillaged, and a state not relieved; civil and military anarchy made the constitution of the kingdom; everything human and divine sacrificed to the idol of the public credit, and national bankruptcy the consequence; and, to crown all, the paper securities of new, precarious, tottering power, the discredited paper securities of impoverished fraud and beggared rapine, held out as a currency for support of an empire..."

That last quote is uncanny, especially when you compare it to the current state of affairs in the United States. We are being led by ideologues who despise their own country and its traditions. The Progressives want to tax churches. We borrow spend trillions on "economic stimulus" and yet our middle class is drying up. We are printing a paper currency based on nothing, using a fancy term like "quantitative easing" to justify it as a good instead of a means of devaluing the dollar. In other words, we are doing everything the French revolutionaries did wrong. Can we really expect a different outcome?

Edmund Burke's central thesis, that traditions exist because they accomplished a good for society and should not be tossed aside lightly, is the core of Conservatism. The Neo Con revolution has subverted true Conservatism in our country. Radicalism under the guise of Free Market Capitalism and the Bush Doctrine have replaced the wisdom of our Founders. If even our so-called Conservatives are radicals, we're really in trouble.

Anyone who calls himself a Conservative should read Reflections on the Revolution in France. Those of you who think that the current Republican policy positions represent Conservatism will be in for a shock.