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Killing The Living Document

I ran across an article on Breitbart, and I think I need someone to explain this to me, because it just doesn’t make any sense.

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Here is the headline:

ACLU: ‘WE CAN NO LONGER SUPPORT FEDERAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM LAW’

The article explains that the deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union wrote an op-ed in the Washington Times, wherein he explained that in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage, the ACLU can no longer defend anyone under America’s RFRA laws.

You see, RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act) laws, both at the federal and state levels, are designed to protect Americans’ 1st Amendment religious rights.

According to the ACLU’s website:

“For almost 100 years, the ACLU has worked to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States.”

The First Amendment guarantees religious liberty, but the Constitution says nothing about marriage…so when it comes to protecting Americans’ rights, wouldn’t it make more sense to protect the rights that are codified in America’s highest law, rather than something that was tacked on after the fact?  After all, the federally-required recognition of gay marriage is still contingent on one minor factor: the government recognizing marriage, which not required of any state in the Union.

But, as usual, the ACLU is choosing ideology over liberty.  It doesn’t make sense, but no one should be surprised.  With the Left, the Constitution isn’t worth the parchment it’s printed on.

For A Free Country

My latest column is up at AND Magazine.

Here is an excerpt:

It seems that with every election, America’s entrenched political class becomes even more entrenched, and it’s easier then ever to let a feeling of futility sink in. Is there anything we can do to stop the out-of-control train of abuse and corruption that is our federal (and in too many cases, our state and local) government? In our representative democracy, we like to think that we have power – government of, by, and for the people – yet more and more it seems that we just suffer under an illusion of power. We vote, but our vote doesn’t really count.

For too many, the way out of this conundrum is the easy slide: just stay home on Election Day. Every day, people ask, what can I do? My vote doesn’t matter, so why vote at all?

But there is a much more productive option:

Just say NO!

Continue reading here.

Now Perception Really Is Reality!

“Perception Is Reality” has been an adage of modern politics for many years – to sum it up, it basically means that when SHTF in the political arena, the truth doesn’t matter nearly as much as what the public thinks is the truth.

But now, it seems that perception truly is reality.

First, the media spent weeks obsessing over Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner’s surgical malformation.  Bruce Jenner felt that he was a woman, so he underwent hormone therapy and surgical transformation to make himself look more like a woman.  Of course, at a basic biological level, Bruce Jenner will always be a man, but in today’s society, if a man feels like a woman, then he’s a woman – biology be damned.  Ironic coming from the group that condemns conservatives as anti-science, but apparently, biology is only science when we want it to be.

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And just as Caitlyn Jenner was fading from the news, Rachel Dolezal entered the national media scene.  This white woman, born to white parents, decided that she felt like she was black, so she styled her hair, got a tan, and applied for a job with the NAACP, where she served as the president of the Seattle chapter.  She stepped down yesterday, after her parents revealed that she was actually white…but even though she resigned from her position, she is still sticking with her narrative that because she feels like she is black, she truly is black.  Not because of her skin color, mind you, but because of her feelings and perceived cultural experiences.  “Well, I definitely am not white. Nothing about being white describes who I am.”

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The truth is that most people these days don’t care about race, at least as it applies to skin color.  That’s why Rachel Dolezal seems so important to some on the Left – we can move past looking at skin color, and define race by culture…so when you denounce those rioters in Baltimore as thugs, or avoid black people dressed as gangbangers, you really are being racist, because you are looking down on the culture that defines what it is to be black.  Does it matter if you would do the same for thugs and gangbangers of any race?  Not anymore, because now they’re black, too.

I guess this means that we should take another look at the Brian Williams scandal, as well.  After all, if he truly felt that he was on the helicopter that took the RPG hit, who are the rest of us to judge his feelings?

Is The Government Putting Our Cars At Risk?

A couple of weeks ago, I came across this story on Gizmodo about the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) plan to accelerate (get it?) their requirements for vehicle to vehicle networking.

The whole scheme really revolves around self-driving cars, or at the least, cars that can take control from the driver to turn or brake to avoid accidents.  Government speculation (or research, or whatever) is that V2V could prevent as much as 80 percent of accidents.

But as they’re planning all of this, the government’s primary concern seems to revolve around radio frequency interference – after all, Wi-Fi is everywhere (even in a lot of new vehicles), terrestrial radio is still around, and cell networks are all over the place.

This likely means that the FCC will be getting involved at some point, which will undoubtedly add to the bureaucracy.  But while the government seems primarily concerned with finding that sweet bandwidth spot where V2V won’t interfere with all of our other various forms of wireless communication, there are some other pretty big considerations that haven’t even been mentioned.

From Time:

The DoT proposal would require all car manufacturers to install v2v communications in cars and other light vehicles. The systems typically feature transponders able to communicate a car’s location, direction and speed at up to 10 times per second to other cars surrounding it, using a dedicated radio spectrum similar to WiFi. The vehicle would then alert its driver to a potential collision. Some systems could automatically slow the car down to avoid an accident.

This is the government, so when they say that “Some systems could automatically slow down the car to avoid an accident,” it’s only reasonable to assume that sooner or later, that will mean “all systems.”  After all, the government can’t abide anything it can’t regulate…and God knows we all need the government controlling our cars.

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But the elephant in the room that no one seems to be talking about is security.  We have plenty of holes in our critical infrastructure as it is; now imagine someone like China or Anonymous or North Korea planting a virus.  V2V is supposed to broadcast location, direction, and speed to surrounding cars.  All it would take is to confuse those transmissions, or even stop people’s cars altogether, spreading from car to car in the process, and it could shut down major sectors of US transportation.

It used to be that we only needed to run antivirus software on our computers.  These days, we need it on our phones, as well, and it won’t be long before we’ll need it on our TVs…and thanks to interference by the government, pretty soon we’ll need it for our cars, as well.

The government will go out of its way to try to mandate every minute aspect of our lives, but it’s pretty obvious that they don’t really have our best interests at heart…and judging by how well they did with Obamacare, even if they are considering the security implications of this mandate, you can rest assured knowing that the government has no idea how to keep V2V secure.

Dems Working To Stop Ammo Purchases

From The Blaze:

Thirty-one House Democrats have proposed legislation that would prevent people from buying ammunition online, and would instead require all purchases to be made in person — a change they admit is aimed at preventing people from buying “unlimited” ammunition over the Internet.

The Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act, from freshman Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), would also require all ammo dealers to be licensed by the government, and require bulk ammo purchases to be reported to the government.

Coleman said in a Facebook post that the bill would “better track and regulate the unlimited market for ammunition currently available on the Internet.”

One of the bill’s cosponsors, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), said in his own Facebook post that limiting ammunition is one of the best ways to curb gun violence.

“Far too many times, we have seen the shocking images of unspeakable gun violence that could have been prevented,” he wrote. “Our bill to limit the online sale of ammunition is a long-overdue common sense reform that I am hopeful will spark Congress to put aside party difference and come together to help prevent such senseless tragedies.”

“Reforming the unregulated online ammo market could prevent next gun tragedy,” he said.

Like any other issue, Democrats see something that they haven’t regulated out of existence, and their first instinct is to regulate it out of existence.

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Personally, I love buying ammo on the Internet – if the ammunition I’m looking for isn’t available at Wal-Mart or one of the local gun/sporting goods stores where I like to shop, I can probably find it online.  If the price jumps because the government starts buying up all of the ammo, I can go online and comparison-shop, so I can make sure I’m getting a good price.

The big question about just how “common sense” this measure is: who will a law like this effect?

Chances are that gangbangers and other criminal elements aren’t jumping online to buy bulk ammunition with a credit card (unless they’re incredibly stupid).  They’re going to be making cash purchases in brick-and-mortar stores…and if they know ammo purchases above a certain threshold will require reporting to the federal government, they’ll start purchasing just enough to get around that requirement – a criminal gang will be able to send several people to buy ammo, thereby dodging the reporting requirement.

The two groups most likely to be effected are, firstly, legal gun owners who will no longer be able to find good deals on ammo on the Internet, and secondly, lawful competition shooters who purchase large amounts of ammunition as a matter of course, for both practice and events, and under this law could very well be facing investigation by the Department of Homeland Security because the government feels they purchased too much ammunition.

What’s more, requiring businesses to register in order to sell ammunition will drive ammo prices up, placing an even greater burden on lawful gun owners.

Yet again, the Democrats are proposing a measure that is practically tailor-made to punish the law abiding, while doing nothing to stop crime.

Feminazism Avenged

UPDATE (5/13): I watched Age of Ultron last weekend, and after seeing the movie for myself, the feminists’ complaints about it seem even more ridiculous than they did before I’d seen it.


**Spoiler Alert: I haven’t watched Age of Ultron yet, so I can’t spoil much, but there are a couple of minor spoilers here & at some of the links.

In the world of science fiction, Joss Whedon is practically a god – even when one of his shows flops, it’s still a hit, as evidenced by Firefly, arguably the best short-lived show in the history of television (Browncoats unite!).

Whedon has seen huge success as director of Marvel’s Avengers movies, but the latest installment, Age of Ultron, has not been without controversy.

Whedon recently deleted his Twitter account after being relentlessly henpecked by a bunch of feminists who, apparently, are upset over the lack of female leads in the Marvel Universe, and more than that are upset because the franchise’s strong female characters aren’t treated exactly how the feminazis think they should be treated.

Anti-Marvel sentiment among the feminist crowd has been raging for a while now, but with Ultron, I guess it really started with this promotional video from Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner:

It’s blindingly obvious that they’re joking here, but what they failed to realize is that you can’t make this kind of joke with our society’s obsession with victimhood.

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Frankly, targeting Joss Whedon doesn’t make sense to me.  Whedon’s career has been packed with strong female characters.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer was one of the biggest shows on TV in its day, with half of the lead characters strong females, including and especially the title character.  Firefly included Zoe Washburn, the “warrior woman,” as well as a few other strong female characters in leading roles.  But apparently, reforming the genre from the inside isn’t enough…if his strong female roles aren’t everything the feminazis think they should be, then it’s perfectly okay to make him an object of ridicule.  From what I could gather, the biggest problem with Age of Ultron is that Black Widow got upset because she can’t have kids.  Outside of the sphere of rabid feminism, that isn’t such a strange thing.  It isn’t anti-woman – to just about any woman who would like to have kids some day, it’s a natural reaction.

Personally, I applaud Joss Whedon for deleting his Twitter account and thereby getting away from the hopeless negativity that is the modern feminist movement.  There has been a push for strong female characters in science fiction and comics for a while now, and Joss Whedon has done a lot for that cause.  It’s too bad that for the feminists, it will never be enough.

The True Value Of Consensus

It seems that every day, politicians, pundits, and activists find a dozen or so new phenomena to blame on “climate change.”  Everyone from MSNBC commentators to the President of the United States has gotten in on the climate change act, and climate change non-believers are deemed Neanderthalic simpletons, incapable of understanding a basic truth.

“Scientific consensus” is the line that is routinely thrown out to justify any manner of policies based on climate change, and this begs the question: just how valuable is “consensus” when it comes to science?

  • For decades, there was a “scientific consensus” that Pluto was a planet.  For decades, children were taught in school that Pluto was the tenth planet in our solar system…and yet, in 2006 it was decided that Pluto didn’t meet the definition of a “planet” after all.
  • For decades, there was a “scientific consensus” that our universe was born out of a “Big Bang.”  It was taught in our schools, and even spawned a major TV sitcom.  And yet, just earlier this year, physicists were able to prove that the Big Bang never happened.
  • The longstanding “scientific consensus” about vitamins used to be “more is better,” yet recent studies have shown that taking too many vitamin supplements can increase the risk of cancer.

That’s the thing about science: even the truest of scientific truths are open to tests and questioning.  Science is evaluated by evidence, not assumptions.

And the problem for Climate Change alarmists is that the evidence increasingly doesn’t fit their narrative.

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In fact, not only does the evidence not fit the narrative, but proponents of the man-caused climate change hypothesis have been caught multiple times committing scientific fraud – changing the data to fit their presuppositions.  There was the East Anglia scandal, where hacked emails revealed that researchers were changing data when it didn’t fit with their models.  Recently, several reports were found to have included revisions of past data, basically re-writing history to support a global warming narrative.  Recently, headlines proclaimed that “2014 was the hottest year on record,” yet it only took a quick look at the evidence to see how this had been spun – they only took data from terrestrial sensors, which had largely been replaced by more reliable data collected by satellites.

This is the crowd that calls those who disagree “deniers.”  “Climate change denier” is meant to invoke thoughts of Holocaust deniers – though if you look at how the Left tends to treat the leadership of Iran, who truly are Holocaust deniers, you will see that they favor Holocaust deniers over those who don’t believe in man-made climate change.

They also call us “anti-science,” even as they take a stance that is itself anti-science.  Science involves forming conclusions based on evidence, yet no matter how much evidence you show them, they will refuse to budge from their dogma.  Point out that multiple weather events directly contradict their position, and you’ll hear all about how “weather is not climate.”  But the minute there’s a freak storm, or any other extraordinary weather event, and it’s the fault of “climate change.”

But perhaps the most notable indicator of just how much Climate Change’s scientific consensus is really worth is this: whether they’re arguing that we’ll all die from Global Cooling, Global Warming, or some nebulous definition of “Climate Change,” there is one thing that never changes: the big-government socialist agenda, wherein the masses are subjugated to a life without electricity, or cars, or any other modern convenience, while the elite get to live it up because their hearts are in the right place.

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Because in the end, that’s what Climate Change is all about. It isn’t about science, it isn’t about health, it isn’t even about climate.  It is all about control.

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