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Ready For Hillary

My latest column is up at AND Magazine.

Here is an excerpt:

Over the weekend, Hillary Clinton officially announced her presidential campaign in one of the lamest campaign commercials of all time.

Personally, I can understand why millions of Americans are ready for Hillary?to go away. But I’m confused as to why anyone would want Hillary Rodham Clinton to be President of the United States. Heck, the only real reason anyone has thrown out for why Hillary should run for President is because after her stinging defeat in 2012, “it’s her turn.”

As a conservative, I find it comforting that the only legitimate reason anyone can seem to find for supporting Hillary is the same reason they had for Romney in 2012.
hillary-clinton
Although, to be fair, Hillary does have a long and storied history Washington politics. Prior to her marriage to Bill Clinton, she had no great claim to fame other than doing some work on the Watergate investigation?and rumor has it that she may have been fired for unethical behavior. She rode Bill’s coattails all the way to the White House. Along the way, she became embroiled in a few scandals…Whitewater, Travelgate, Filegate, the “suicide” of Vince Foster,missing Rose Law Firm documents, and so on. In fact, her most notable accomplishment as First Lady was her talent for reciting the words “I don’t recall” when questioned about her various scandals.

Continue reading here.

Anti-Indiana Insanity

The debate over Indiana’s RFRA law amounts to little more than a headache-inducing cacophony of meaningless noise.  As soon as the law was passed, the liberal media exploded with speculation over how this law would lead to widespread discrimination against homosexuals…even though there is no evidence to support that assertion.

Consider this:

  • There is no substantive difference between Indiana’s RFRA law and the federal RFRA law, which was signed by Bill Clinton back in 1993.
  • In the 22 years that the federal RFRA law has been on the books, there has not been a single example of that law being used to discriminate against homosexuals.  Ever.
  • 19 other states have existing RFRA laws.  None of them have been used to discriminate against homosexuals.

Because of all of the rumors and speculation surrounding the law, it’s getting to be difficult to understand just which end is up.

Why is the law necessary?

In reality, we shouldn’t need anything like the RFRA in America – we have the First Amendment, after all, which is supposed to prevent the government from trampling all over Americans’ religious rights.  But as government got bigger and bigger, it increasingly began to interfere in religious matters, which is why RFRA laws were created.  There is nothing in these laws that legally allows discrimination; all they do is provide definition around what the government can and cannot do when they come up against a citizen’s religious beliefs.

With the recent spate of cases involving state governments forcing Christian business owners to provide services for gay weddings, RFRA laws have become relevant again.

All the law does is provide criteria for the courts to use in discrimination cases – so that if someone is sued for discriminating against anyone, the courts have a legal framework to refer to.

Why all the shouting?

The debate has reached insane proportions, with a pizzeria in Indiana being forced to close its doors – perhaps even permanently – due to threats over an out-of-context quote.  When asked, the owner of the pizzeria stated that they wouldn’t provide pizzas (if they were ever asked) for a gay wedding.  They never actually refused to provide service to anyone – all that happened was that a reporter asked for an opinion.  This was blown into the pizzeria refusing to serve homosexuals, and now the family that owns the pizzeria is afraid to go out in public due to the threats of violence unleashed on them by the forces of “tolerance.”

Truth be told, if this Indiana pizzeria were systematically refusing service to all homosexuals, they would be on the wrong side of the law, with or without the RFRA.  Throughout this debate, no one has been talking about giving anyone the right to discriminate against homosexuals.  The only thing at issue is whether the government can force people to violate their own religious beliefs by facilitating gay weddings.

Where is this headed?

We’ve already seen, in several states, law suits brought against Christian small business owners who refused to provide services for same-sex weddings have resulted in the courts forcing business owners to either provide services in violation of their religious beliefs, or face fines that would put them out of business.  So far, it’s happened to a family-owned bakery in Oregon, a photographer in Colorado, a family-owned farm in New York (that served as a wedding/reception venue), and a few others.  In these cases, the businesses were sued for violating the state’s anti-discrimination laws, and the courts basically said “provide services, or go out of business.”  In response to these rulings, the businesses that were sued no longer provide any services for any weddings, lest the government continue to force them to violate their religious beliefs.

Indiana’s proposed “fix” would pretty much render the law meaningless, and while it still has to pass through Indiana’s legislature to be “on the books,” with the amount of national attention focused on Indiana, that could go either way.

But one thing is clear: the focus of the ‘gay agenda’ is not on equal rights.  Gay marriage was a starting point, not the endgame.  Now that gay marriage is legal in several states, the focus has turned to forcing Christian business owners and churches to facilitate those weddings.  The generally-accepted assumption seems to be that if you disagree with homosexuality in any way, you hate all homosexuals, and any amount of shunning, threatening, and shaming is permissible.  Frankly, it wouldn’t surprise me to find out that the businesses that have been sued thus far were targeted by activists, rather than just some random gay couples looking for services for their weddings.

And these days, you don’t even have to disagree with the agenda to be a target!

With the NCAA basketball championship game scheduled to be held in Indianapolis in just a few days, a CNN reporter asked the coach from Duke University for his opinion on the Indiana law.  He chose not to respond, stating that he was there to talk about the Duke basketball team and the Final Four, not about social issues – which is completely reasonable for a basketball coach…and to hear the responses to his silence, you would think that he had called for the lynching of all homosexuals, rather than refusing to offer an opinion.

This is where it’s headed: it’s not enough to try and stay un-involved.  The people pushing the agenda won’t let you.  This fight isn’t about equal rights – this fight is about forcing people to accept and endorse homosexuality.

For anyone still confused about just what the RFRA laws actually do, this should help:

RFRA-Infographic

Threatened Freedoms

My latest column is live at AND Magazine.

Here is an excerpt:

Here’s a question for all of the faithful AND Magazine readers out there: What, in your opinion, is the greatest threat to our freedoms?
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There are many, and they seem to be increasing almost daily, but I believe that if President Obama has taught our nation anything throughout his six years in office, it is this: an unchecked Executive Branch is the greatest threat to freedom that our nation has seen in its short existence.

Over the course of the last several years, we have seen the unprecedented expansion of the power of the federal government, and while some of it came to us through legislation such as the Affordable Care Act, much of it has come from a single branch of government. Over the course of decades, Congress has ceded power to various Executive departments, in violation of the Constitution’s definitions of the responsibility of our government’s various branches. This self-emasculation by the Legislative Branch has been affirmed by a misguided Judiciary, so that the combined efforts of our tricameral government have led to the creation of a massive unconstitutional administrative state.

Consider what has taken place only very recently. After the passage of the Affordable Care Act, a 2,000+ page monstrosity of a law that was written in such a way that no single human being could possibly understand it in its entirety, the Department of Health and Human Services created another 20,000 pages of regulations. Due to the broad authority given to HHS by the ACA, the federal bureaucracy was able to draft its own laws regulating our nation’s health care and insurance industries, many times more massive than what had been voted on by Congress, so that by now, Obamacare has morphed into an entirely different law than what Congress actually voted on…and all of this in spite of the fact that the Constitution gives no authority to any Executive Branch department to create new laws.

Continue reading here.

What’s The Deal?

Despite the fact that the Obama administration has been working on a deal with Iran for some time now, all anyone outside of the administration seems to know about the deal is that it isn’t shaping up to end well for the U.S. or the rest of the Western World.

About all we have to go by are rumors, speculation, and the administration’s word that the negotiations are going well.  And the really sad thing is that they all lead to the same conclusion, when you think it through.

It’s really quite confusing why the administration would demand such secrecy, until you look at their extreme penchant for secrecy in all things, big or small.

They wrote Obamacare to be intentionally confusing in an effort to hoodwink as many people as possible into thinking it was a good idea.  Since they started implementing the law, each and every promise made about the Affordable Care Act has proven untrue.

They used the IRS to discriminate against conservative groups, then attempted to destroy evidence.  To date, there has been no serious investigation into the possibility of criminal behavior at the IRS.

They have changed how they count they numbers of illegal alien apprehensions to make it seem like they’re doing more to secure the border than they actually are.

They kept the FCC’s “Net Neutrality” rules secret until after they had been voted on, while giving a constant stream of propaganda about how great the new regulations would be.

They continue to hide the facts about what really went on the night of the 9/11 Benghazi attack.

Chamberlain-Peace-in-our-Time-1938

So when the Obama administration tells us we can trust them to do the right thing, it’s pretty much guaranteed that they aren’t doing the right thing.

The administration – including both President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry – came down hard on Congress for inviting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make a speech before a joint session earlier this month.  The White House voiced their concern that Republicans were trying to influence Israel’s elections (even as Obama campaign operatives were working behind the scenes in Israel in an attempt to sway the election the other way).  And even after the Prime Minister delivered a speech urging President Obama to take a tougher stance with Iran, not only for the future of Israel, but for the entire West, they insisted that it was all about the election.

They have been extremely critical of a group of 47 U.S. Senators who published an open letter to Iran stating that any agreement would have to be approved by the Senate in order to be legally binding in the U.S.  This was in reaction to President Obama’s earlier statements about how he would be pursuing an agreement without Senate approval – a move that a little thing called the Constitution would basically render meaningless as soon as President Obama leaves office.

According to the President, the Secretary of State, and various other Democrats, these 47 Republican Senators were seeking “common cause” with Iran’s hard-liners…though the only way that makes any sense is if the president was planning on making a non-legally binding agreement with Iran, but was planning to pull the rug out from under them later.

But by all appearances, the Democrats are going for more of a “peace in our time” strategy.  It looks like they are already making some big concessions – Iran and Hezbollah (one of many terrorist groups Iran supports) have been removed from the 2015 report on national security threats, despite the fact that Iran remains one of the world’s leading sponsors of terrorism.

This deal with Iran is shaping up to be all too similar to our previous deals with North Korea, which ultimately resulted in an insane, tyrannical regime getting nuclear weapons.  The last thing we need is for another Democrat president to allow yet another crazy tyrannical regime to get nuclear weapons – this one with ties to all sorts of terror groups.

Keeping Hillary Straight

My latest column is up at AND Magazine.

Here is an excerpt:

Another day, another Clinton scandal. It is questionable whether the slimiest couple in American politics can ever be trusted to do anything honestly, and Hillary’s email scandal is no exception.

It isn’t really a shock that Hillary used her own email server to conduct official State Department business. It’s also no surprise that, asseveral news outlets have reported, some of Hillary’s top aides used the private email server, as well. What is surprising is that anyone in the Clinton camp thought that America would buy Hillary’s excuse that she used a home-baked email server simply as a matter of “convenience.”

This is what Hillary claimed in her press conference, where she laid on the big spin:

“First, when I got to work as secretary of state, I opted for convenience to use my personal email account, which was allowed by the State Department, because I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two. Looking back, it would’ve been better if I’d simply used a second email account and carried a second phone, but at the time, this didn’t seem like an issue.”

Now, there are thousands – perhaps even millions – of Americans who carry two phones with them every day – one for work, and another for personal use. Sometimes it’s for security reasons, other times it’s simply because companies provide a phone for business use. In the government, it’s mostly for security. Government employees are typically issued Blackberry devices meant to make calls and send emails over encrypted connections. The technology isn’t always perfect, but it’s much, much better than BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), which would allow sensitive government data to be transmitted over any number of non-secure networks.

If the “convenience” excuse wouldn’t work for some mid-level bureaucrat, who would be fired for much, much less than what Hillary did, how much worse is it that it was the cabinet-level Secretary of State doing all of this? And if running two devices is too arduous a task for Hillary Clinton, why would anyone think she would be qualified to run the United States government? If she was too lazy to take her role as Secretary of State seriously, then why even take the job?

Continue reading here.

America: A 4-Letter Word

My latest column is up at AND Magazine.

Here is an excerpt:

A couple of weeks ago, the student government at the University of California, Irvine voted to ban the display of the American flag – and the flag of any other nation – in the lobby of the Associate Student main lobby, which they refer to as an “inclusive space.”

While the measure ultimately applied to all flags, great pains were taken to single out the American flag as a symbol of “colonialism and imperialism,” which they apparently felt would mar the space’s “inclusivity.”

The resolution was inherently ridiculous and self-contradictory, and in many ways represents a mindset that is becoming all too common in modern America: if someone, somewhere, might at some time find something to be insensitive or offensive, then that thing, in all of its forms, must be banned. The measure even, towards the end, refers to Freedom of Speech as “a valued right,” but then in the next statement says that “Whereas freedom of speech, in a space that aims to be as inclusive as possible can be interpreted as hate speech, Let it be resolved that ASUCI make every effort to make the Associated Students main lobby space as inclusive as possible.” In other words, freedom of speech is a valued right, but it will not exist in the Associated Students main lobby space at UC Irvine.

After the resolution was passed, it didn’t take long for it to gain national attention, and in the face of overwhelming public outcry, the student government’s executive cabinet met and vetoed the measure.

While the resolution went on at length about the symbolism of flags and how different people will have differing interpretations of that symbolism, the resolution itself is a symbol of how our education system is failing our nation. After all, America didn’t start a system of government-funded compulsory schooling solely to teach children how to read, write, and do math (which themselves are done too poorly at too many American schools), but schools were also to teach children how to be good citizens. There is an element of ideological indoctrination in any government-run school system, and it seems that all too often these days, the ideology pushed in our schools is meant to benefit the government itself, and not the people that government is supposed to be of, by, and for.

Continue reading here.

The Not-So-Neutral Net

My latest column is up at AND Magazine.

Here is an excerpt:

In a matter of hours, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be voting to implement unprecedented regulatory authority over the Internet. What started out as a debate over a simple law that would prevent Internet Service Providers from requiring fees from content providers in order to get the bandwidth necessary to get their content to end users has morphed into a massive government power grab, with the FCC pushing to regulate the Internet as a public utility. All we know so far is that there are over 300 pages of proposed regulations. Very few (if anyone) outside of the FCC and the White House knows just what those regulations will entail.

Mozilla, makers of the Firefox browser, have been pushing a petition encouraging the FCC to pass its new regulatory measures. The petition talks about how “the Web is a global engine of innovation and entrepreneurship – a level playing field from which we can learn, connect and create.” It speaks out against “restricting freedom of choice online” and further states that “there should be no blocking and discrimination of content online.”

But the FCC’s regulations were built in the dark. While we might know at a theoretical level what we want from Net Neutrality, we have no idea what we’ll actually be getting…and if the FCC takes action to regulate the Internet as a public utility, we have no way of knowing what shape that will take in the future. With their petition, Mozilla shows an alarming naivete, blindly assuming that regulations they’ve never seen will do exactly what they want, and won’t morph into something even worse as time goes on. Didn’t we learn this same lesson from Obamacare? Nancy Pelosi told us we had to pass the bill so we could find out what was in it. They passed that bill, and millions of people found out (too late) that they don’t like it. Back then, President Obama told us “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” Now he’s saying “If you like your Internet, you can keep your Internet.” We don’t need to fall for the same BS twice.

If you believe that “there should be no blocking and discrimination of content online,” then you should want to keep the government as far away from Internet regulation as possible.

Continue reading here.

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