Saturday, August 8, 2015
I rarely touch on the subject of political correctness as a focus in my writings, partially because the entire issue is so awash in pundits on either side that the scrambling clatter of voices tends to drown out the liberty movement perspective. Also, I don’t really see PC cultism as separate from the problems I am always battling against: collectivism and the erasure of the individual in the name of pleasing society. Political correctness is nothing more than a tool that collectivists and statists exploit in order to better achieve their endgame, which is conning the masses into believing that the group mind is real and that the individual mind is fiction.
Last year, I covered the PC issue in my article “The Twisted Motives Behind Political Correctness.” I believe I analyzed the bulk of the issue extensively. However, the times are changing at a pace that boggles the mind; and this is by design. So, it may be necessary to square off against this monstrosity once again.
In order to better examine the true insanity of what many people now term “social justice warriors,” I must study a few aspects of that strange movement separately. First, let’s take a brief look at the mindset of your average social justice circus clown so that we might better understand what makes him/her/it tick.
Rebel Without A Legitimate Cause
I spent several years (up until 2004, when I woke up from the false paradigm madness) as a Democrat. And before anyone judges that particular decision, I would suggest they keep in mind the outright fascist brothel for the military-industrial complex the Republican Party had become at that point and remains to this day. Almost every stepping stone that Barack Obama is using today to eradicate the Constitution was set in place by the Bush dynasty, including the Authorization Of Military Force, which was the foundation for the National Defence Authorization Act and the legal precedence for indefinite detention without trial of ANY person (including an American citizen) accused of terrorism by the president of the U.S., as well as the use of assassination by executive order and the implementation of mass electronic surveillance without warrant.
But, hell, these are real issues — issues that many of my fellow Democrats at the time claimed they actually cared about. Today, though, liberal concerns about unconstitutional actions by the federal government have all but vanished. Today, the left fights the good fight against flags on the hoods of cars from long-canceled television shows and battles tooth and nail for the “right” of boys wearing wigs and skirts to use the girl’s bathroom. Today, the left even fights to remove the words “boy” and “girl” from our vocabulary. Yes, such noble pursuits as these will surely be remembered as a pinnacle in the annals of societal reform.
Maybe I realize the ideological goals of the social justice machine are meaningless on a surface level; and maybe you realize this, too. But these people live in their own little universe, which doesn’t extend far beyond the borders of their college campuses, the various Web forums they have hijacked and a trendy Marxist wine-and-swinger party here and there in New York or Hollywood. They actually think that they are on some great social crusade on par with the civil rights movements of the mid-1900s. They think they are the next Martin Luther King Jr. or the next Gandhi. The underlying banality and pointlessness of their cause completely escapes them. The PC cult is, in many respects, the antithesis of the liberty movement. We fight legitimate threats against legitimate freedoms; they fight mostly imaginary threats and seek to eradicate freedoms.
Don’t get me wrong; sometimes our concerns do align. For instance, liberty proponents fight back against the militarization of police just as avidly as leftists do, if not more so. But our movements handle the problem in very different ways. Look at Ferguson, Missouri, where anyone with any sense should be able to admit that the government response to protests was absolutely a step toward tyranny, ignoring violent looters while attacking peaceful activists. Leftists and PC cultists decided to follow the Saul Alinsky/communist playbook, busing in provocateurs from Chicago to further loot and burn down businesses even if they belonged to ethnic minorities. In the meantime, the liberty movement and Oath Keepers sent armed and trained men to defend those businesses REGARDLESS of who owned them and defied police and federal agents who tried to stop them.
The left gave the police and government a rationale for being draconian, while we removed the need for police and government entirely by providing security for the neighborhood (killing two birds with one stone). Either their methods are purely ignorant and do not work, or their methods are meant to achieve the opposite of their claims. In the end, the PC movement only serves establishment goals toward a fully collectivist and centralized society. Their publicly stated intentions are otherwise pointless.
Your average PC drone does not understand the grander plan at work, nor does he want to. All he cares about is that he has found a “purpose” — a fabricated purpose as a useful idiot for power brokers, but a purpose nonetheless.
People Must Be Forced To Bake Gay Cakes
I personally do not care if two people of the same gender want to be in a relationship, but I do find the issue of gay marriage (and marriage in general) a rather odd conflict that misses the whole point. Marriage has been and always will be a religious institution, not federal; and I find government involvement in this institution to be rather despicable. When the Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage came down, I felt a little sorry for all the joyfully hopping homosexuals on the marbled steps of the hallowed building, primarily because they essentially were fighting for the state to provide recognition and legitimacy for their relationships. Frankly, who gives a rip what the state has to say in terms of your relationships or mine? The state is an arbitrary edifice, a facade wielding illusory power. If a relationship is based on true and enduring connection, then that is all that matters, whether the Supreme Court dignifies it or not.
The only advantage to solidifying gay marriage in the eyes of the state is the advantage of being able to then use the state as an attack dog in order to force religious institutions to accept the status of gays in the same way the government does. And unfortunately, this is exactly what the PC cult is doing. What they do not seem to understand is that recognition by the state does not necessarily translate to recognition by religious organizations, nor should it.
Should an individual, organization or business be allowed to refuse service to anyone for any reason? Should the state be allowed to force people into servitude to one group or another even if it is against their core values?
PC champions desperately try to make these questions a matter of “discrimination” alone. But they are more about personal rights and personal property and less about “hate speech.” Under natural law, as well as under the constitution, an individual has every right to refuse association with any other person for ANY reason. If I do not like you, the government does not have the authority to force me to be around you or to work for you. But this line has been consistently blurred over the years through legal chicanery. As I’m sure most readers are familiar, the issue of gay cakes seems to arise over and over, as in cases in Colorado and Oregon in which religiously oriented business owners were punished for refusing to provide service for gay customers. Keep in mind, these businesses did not refuse outright service to gays. What they did refuse, was to make gay wedding cakes. To do so would have been in outright conflict with their religious principles.
Punishments have included crippling fines designed to put store owners out of business and have even included gag orders restricting the freedom of businesses to continue speaking out against the orientation of customers they have refused to do business with.
In order to validate such actions, leftists will invariably bring up segregation as a backdrop for the gay cake debate. “What if the customers were black,” they ask. “Is it OK for a business to be whites only?”
My response? Yes, according the dictates of individual liberty, yes it is okay.
First, to be clear, I am talking specifically about private individuals and businesses, not public institutions as in the argument explored during Brown v. Board of Education. Private and public spaces are different issues with different nuances. I personally believe it is ignorant to judge someone solely on the color of his skin, and sexual orientation is not necessarily an issue to me. But it is equally ignorant for someone to think that the state exists to protect his feelings from being hurt. I’m sorry, but discrimination is a fact of life and always will be as long as individualism exists. The PC cultists don’t just want government recognition of their status; they want to homogenize individualism, erase it, and force the rest of us to vehemently approve of that status without question. This is unacceptable.
Your feelings do not matter. They are not superior in importance to the fundamental freedom of each individual to choose his associations.
If a business refuses to serve blacks, or gays, or Tibetans, then, hey, it probably just lost a lot of potential profit. But that should absolutely be the business’s choice and not up to the government to dictate. And in the case of “gay discrimination,” I think it is clear that the PC crowd is using the newfound legal victim group status of gays as a weapon to attack religiously based organizations. Make no mistake, this will not end with gay cakes. It is only a matter of time before pressure is brought to bear against churches as well for “discrimination.” And at the very least, I foresee many churches abandoning their 501(c)(3) tax exempt status. Again, marriage has been and always will be a religious institution. The PC crowd will not be happy with government recognition alone. They want to force recognition from everyone.
If a group wants fair treatment in this world, that is one thing. I believe a gay person has every right to open HIS OWN bakery and bake gay marriage cakes to his little heart’s content. I believe a black person has every right to dislike white people, as some do, and refuse to associate with them or or do business with them if that’s what he/she wants. I also believe that under natural and constitutional law, a religious business owner is an independent and free individual with the right to choose who he will work for or accept money from. If he finds a customer’s behavior to be against his principles, he should not be forced to serve that person, their feelings be damned.
This is fair.
What is not fair is the use of government by some groups to gain an advantage over others based on the legal illusion of victim group status. PC cultists want us to think that choice of association is immoral and damaging to the group. I have to say I find them to be far more intolerant and dangerous than the people they claim to be fighting against, and this attitude is quickly devolving into full bore tyranny under the guise of “humanitarianism.”
Weekly Republican Address :Corker upcoming Senate debate on president's Iran deal Saturday August 8, 2015
Rather than 'end' Iran's nuclear program, this deal allows them to industrialize it over time -- with our approval. Instead of the once promised 'anytime, anywhere' inspections, this agreement gives Iran nearly a month of advanced notice to hide any evidence of developing a nuclear weapon. And this deal won't allow a single U.S. inspector on the ground, relying on an arm of the UN to conduct those inspections. Even worse, there are two secret side deals -- we can't ever see -- that appear to restrict inspectors' access to key sites. And after only nine months, all major sanctions will be relieved. At that point, the leverage shifts from us to Iran.
ONE LESS STORE TO SHOP AT.
Target announced plans Friday to start phasing out gender-based signs in its department stores.
The retailer said it’s responding to questions customers have raised about signs that offer product suggestions based on gender.
“In some cases, like apparel, where there are fit and sizing differences, it makes sense,” the company said in a news release on its website. “In others, it may not.”
Signs in the kids’ bedding area, for example, will no longer feature suggestions for boys or girls, just kids. In the Toy aisles, Target said it plans to remove the pink, blue, yellow and green paper on the back walls of store shelves that's now used to reference gender.
“You’ll see these changes start to happen over the next few months,” the company said.
The news from Target comes as transgender people appear to be gaining ground in the fight for equality.
In July, the Defense Department said it’s beginning the process to lift the ban on open service for transgender troops and introduced legislation to add gender identity and sexual orientation to federal statutes, which now only prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
Obama Weekly Address: Reaffirming Our Commitment to Protecting the Right to Vote Saturday August 8, 2015
In this week's address, the President celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act by underscoring the importance of one of the most fundamental rights of our democracy – that all of us are created equal and that each of us deserves a voice. The enactment of the Voting Rights Act wasn’t easy – it was the product of sacrifice from countless men and women who risked so much to protect every person’s right to vote.
The President reminded us about their struggle and that while our country is a better place because of it, there is still work to be done. He promised to continue to push Congress for new legislation to protect everyone’s right to the polls, and asked that all Americans, regardless of party, use every opportunity possible to exercise the fundamental right to vote.
Under Obama, all job gains among women have gone to foreign-born females. AP Photo
All of the employment gains among women since the recession hit in December 2007 have been taken by foreigners, even at a time when the numbers of U.S.-born women surged more than 600,000, according to new federal statistics.
The jobs data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed gains in the "employment level" among "foreign born women" and losses among "native born women."
The charts show that 9.041 million foreign-born women held jobs in December of 2007 compared to 10.028 million today – or a gain of roughly 1 million jobs.
In contrast, 59.322 million U.S.-born women held jobs in December of 2007 compared to 59.258 million today – or a loss of nearly 64,000 jobs.
Overall, nearly 25 million foreign workers, men and women, hold jobs inside the United States, according to a Senate immigration expert.
The shocking female jobs statistic comes as the U.S. provides some 1 million green cards to new permanent immigrants, along with 700,000 foreign workers visas, and accepts 70,000 refugees and asylum-seekers, and half a million foreign students.
And according to Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., if changes to green card allotments are not changed and lowered, the U.S. will issue more green cards to new permanent immigrants over the next decade than the combined populations of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
Defense says prosecutor steered police away from evidence Freddie Gray had history of 'crash for cash' schemes
The police detectives who investigated the death of Freddie Gray were told that he had a history of participating in "crash-for-cash" schemes — injuring himself in law enforcement settings to collect settlements — but were advised by a state prosecutor not to pursue the information, according to defense attorneys for the six officers charged in Gray's arrest and death.
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton doesn’t get it. Obama administration Labor Secretary Thomas Perez doesn’t get it. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio doesn’t seem to get it, either, as he only reluctantly reversed a bad decision on the matter.
In fact, generally, in a somewhat surprising reversal, many so-called Democratic “progressives” want to protect the old ways. But there are exceptions, like Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who worked with Uber to create a legal framework in his state; Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who says that hailing a cab has provided some of his most humiliating moments; and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), a Brooklynite who during Uber’s recent showdown with de Blasio said, in essence, “What’s wrong with a little competition?”
On the other hand, Republicans, who are accused occasionally of supporting “crony capitalism,” have embraced the new way and have been eager to let in new businesses to compete. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a Republican presidential hopeful, gets it. One of the chapters in his recent book is titled, “Making America Safe for Uber.”
The new way is the “sharing” or “gig” economy of Uber, Lyft, Airbnb and others. Republican politicians seem more open to embracing these new businesses and new jobs, and the freedom of citizens to contract with each other.
Spurred by unions, powerful bureaucracies, a lack of personal experience, and perhaps a more favorable view of regulation, many Democrats want to ban, restrict, and tax these services.
A politician’s position on Uber is a proxy for how in touch they are with their community. De Blasio obviously had no idea how people move around his city. And Clinton likely hasn’t driven a car in decades. What all politicians should start seeing is why it is both bad policy and bad politics to jump in aggressively and try to ban or heavily burden these services.
It’s bad policy because the transportation services are not just for upper-class urban dwellers. In fact, as a college president recently discovered while moonlighting as an Uber driver, these services are an important alternative for the working poor with limited public transportation options. They also don’t discriminate against minorities, the way many taxi drivers do.
Meanwhile, the home-sharing phenomenon created by Airbnb brings needed cash (and sometimes a cure for loneliness) for homeowners while allowing locales to attract additional visitors.
All this economic activity adds to reportable income and benefits both the public coffers and the economy.
My personal experiences with these services are almost all positive. My brother makes his mortgage payments on his Hawaii home only thanks to Airbnb. (He pays the same local taxes as a hotel.) My family is visiting Manhattan for a few days in August, and by using Airbnb we can have a reasonably priced separate room for the kids. (Try finding a Manhattan two-bedroom hotel room for less than $1,000 a day.)
I travel a lot for business and rely on Uber. I find ride hailing service drivers better. They have clean, smoke-free cars; they don't talk on the phone while driving; and our rating of each other after the drive ensures we both are courteous and safe. It is simply better than the typical cab experience. Plus, it is great competition.
In July, I took an Uber from Denver to Aspen for $240, less than half the cost of any timely alternative. It was scenic and fun, and I connected with the driver. Compare that to my United Airlines experience for that reverse route months earlier, when I paid double what I paid Uber, plus got hit with $250 in excess-baggage fees and was told a two-day-old policy barred me from checking my bags to another airline. (Thus, I missed my connecting Delta flight.) Yes, Uber was a great substitute for United.
It’s bad politics to oppose these services as they delight millions of average Americans. Moreover, they contribute to the financial well-being of tens of thousands of Americans who rely on them for supplemental income. For 84 percent of Lyft drivers, it’s not a full-time job. Uber likely has similar numbers.
Some “progressives” are uncomfortable and argue that these drivers and homeowners are somehow worse off without government intervention. They want regulation going beyond safety, background screening, and insurance. They want union-like regulation for home-sharing and employee-related regulations and benefits for Uber and Lyft drivers.
Talk about imposing the nanny state on consenting adults. Having taken scores of Uber or Lyft rides, I have yet to meet a driver who says they want the government determining their employment status.
So, if Democratic politicians want to dig in their heels in fealty to unions and unnecessarily burden these services, Republicans can make inroads on many traditional Democratic constituencies. I can't wait to see the platforms of both parties leading up to their conventions. I predict that Republicans will embrace the sharing economy and that Democrats will try to, but add a lot of ifs, ands, or buts.
Via: American Spectator
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