How The Left Uses ‘Racism’ And ‘Sexism’ To Silence The Right

Ever since the junior senator from Illinois announced his candidacy for the presidency eight years ago, those who have criticized his politics and his ideology have been pummeled with a charge of “racism.” It’s been the perfunctory, knee-jerk response – devoid of intellectual integrity or factual relevance – to avoid the substantive issues, while attempting to simultaneously stifle dissent and silence critics. And it’s clear from early indications, with regard to the 2016 presidential race, that the same modus operandi will be employed against those critical of Hillary Clinton. Only this time, it will be gender based – the charge of sexism.

During the Obama tenure, the charge of “racist” has been unavoidable to any who were critical of the president. Whether it was criticism of Obamacare, lack of transparency, fiscal profligacy, inscrutable foreign policy, class-envy fomentation, and anti-capitalist policies, it didn’t matter. Regardless of the logic, data, facts, or strength of argument, if you opposed the administration’s policies and initiatives, you were a racist. At least according to the sycophants, who were either oblivious to logic, data, or facts, and had an empty logical quiver from which to fire back with anything except blanks.

And what’s pathetic, from a free speech, open discourse, and cogent political discourse perspective, is that it worked. The millions of Americans who flocked to Tea Party rallies, Glenn Beck confabs, and other conservative functions were successfully labeled “racists” because of their opposition to the liberal, destructive policies of the administration. It didn’t matter what color, race, creed, or socio-economic status they hailed from; they were all racists.

For some reason, the fact that the policies propounded and foisted on the nation the past six years are not race-based seems lost on the vapid purveyors of the “racist” tactic. Big government, massive debt, onerous regulations, expansive government control, and the concomitant loss of personal liberty are naturally opposed not because they might be advanced by someone of a certain color, ethnic background, or native language. They’re opposed because they’re antithetical to the founding principles of our republic! It matters not who is foisting the destructive policies and ideology on the nation; it matters that they’re distinctly anti-American. Conservative Ben Carson’s current lead in the crowded GOP primary race underscores that fact.

What’s brilliant about the tactic is that you don’t have to worry about any facts, data, or common sense to employ it. Just by hurling the accusation, several things have been accomplished with one fell swoop. 1) The argument has been misdirected, so it’s no longer about the policies or the substance of the disagreement; it’s now whether the dissenter is truly racist or not. 2) It neutralizes and diminishes the objections of the dissenter; for now, the greater issue is whether he is in fact racist, or not. And 3) it successfully stifles dissent, since no one, probably even real racists, likes to be called one; so why go out on a limb and face the probability of such an accusation?

And now it appears that Hillary Clinton supporters will use the same tactic. Just last month, a pro-Hillary group, self-dubbed the HRC Super Volunteers, warned journalists that they were going to be watching vigilantly how the media reports on Hillary’s campaign. Group member and co-founder John West was thoughtful enough to serve as an early warning system on the words that cannot, I repeat, cannot be used to describe the probable Democrat candidate for president. According to West, “polarizing,” “calculating,” “disingenuous,” “insincere,” “ambitious,” “inevitable,” “entitled,” “over-confident,” “secretive,” “will do anything to win,” “represents the past,” and “out of touch,” are all apparently sexist code-words that the media are not to use when describing the candidate.

According to West, “Already we have seen the coded language of sexism and innuendo used by major news outlets and we are not happy.” As a student of language and etymology, I have to admit I was unaware those words and phrases were definitionally sexist.

But alas, I shouldn’t let myself fall into their misdirection and accusatory trap. It’s not that those words are sexist, it’s just that they’re so accurately descriptive of the presumptive Democrat nominee that using the terms will earn the consternation of Hillary devotees, hence justifying accusations of sexism. By couching those terms in a sexist context, they can as easily avert factual criticism of Hillary as they did in protecting Obama. Just like the accusations of “racism,” it has nothing to do with what is true or what is factual; it has everything to do with ensuring electoral success and neutralizing the opposition by attempting to shape and control the language.

Those of us who are bitter clingers to our freedom, our liberties, and the principles the nation was founded on shouldn’t allow ourselves to be rebuffed or silenced by the non-thinking Alynski devotees who utilize these nefarious and polarizing tactics. And remember, if that’s their primary tool to fight back with, you know that logically you’ve already won because their only defense is casting aspersions ad hominem.

There are two things even more disturbing than a group attempting to regulate political speech. One, that the liberal-biased media may well comply, and play their game; and two, that for a large segment of our unenlightened and uninformed electorate, their “sexist” tactic will work.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Baltimore Decimated By Decades Of Liberal Policies

Culpability for the events in Baltimore over the past couple of weeks has perhaps inappropriately been directed exclusively at the police department. In all likelihood, the charges against the police involved in the tragic death of Freddie Gray are only symptomatic of the greater underlying problems of the once-booming city. The greater tragedy is the destructive policies of over fifty years of liberal governance, which created the environment of despair, poverty, and victimhood.

The city has been hemorrhaging jobs at an alarming rate for decades. And the most hard-hit have been the city’s black youth. Over 37% of 20-25 year-old black males are unemployed, versus 10% for white males of the same age. Black household median income is nearly half what it is for white households, at $33,610 and $60,550, respectively.

City policies have shrunk the population of the city by heavily penalizing the productive and earning households. Steve Hanke and Stephen Walters of Johns Hopkins University wrote in the Wall Street Journal last week: “Officials raised property taxes 21 times between 1950 and 1985, channeling the proceeds to favored voting blocs and causing many homeowners and entrepreneurs — disproportionately Republicans — to flee. It was brilliant politics, as Democrats now enjoy an eight-to-one voter registration advantage.”

The result is a declining population, declining business enterprise, declining jobs, and severe blighting of the infrastructure. The city now has an estimated 16,000 vacant buildings and over 14,000 vacant lots. In the area of Sandtown-Winchester and Harlem Park, where Freddie Gray lived, more than 25% of the buildings are now vacant.

More than 40,000 residents have fled from the high tax, low job-opportunity confines of Baltimore, to the more favorable economic climate of Virginia. According to the Washington Times, they took a whopping $2.17 billion with them. No wonder Gallup found last year that 47% of the residents of the state said they would leave if they could. Interestingly, the only two states that registered higher in their 2014 poll were the states of Illinois and Connecticut, two more bastions of liberal tax and anti-enterprise policy.

Hanke and Walters explain that in order to counterbalance the high taxes that have driven so many jobs out of town, the city has been attempting to lure “developers with subsidies, and the developers, in turn, contribute to politicians to stay in their good graces. This makes for fertile ground for the city’s corruption.” The city’s ruling elite for decades has been pumping literally billions of dollars into development projects that were to mysteriously “trickle down” to the impoverished sections of town.

One example is the highly anticipated Inner Harbor project. As Todd Krainin wrote in Reason magazine, “Instead of revitalizing the city’s fortunes, the rise of the waterfront has paralleled the decline of basic functions. Violent crime remains high, public schools underperform, and the cityscape is blighted by the presence of tens of thousands of vacant buildings.”

Yet the visionary liberals ruling the city are pinning their hopes on yet another big-ticket project. They’ve committed $400 million in public subsidies to Harbor Point, the latest boondoggle of the city fathers.

Meanwhile, city residents have been losing their homes at an alarming rate. Especially hard-hit are those most involved in the looting and rioting after Freddie’s death. Baltimore County Public Schools reveal that they’ve seen a 28% increase in homeless student enrollment over the past three years. According to Labor Department Data, 61% of Baltimore’s children live in poverty.

President Obama was surprisingly accurate in his assessment of the underlying issues which fostered the failures in Baltimore. He suggested that “the police alone can’t solve the problems of communities where there are no fathers who can provide guidance to young men; communities where there’s no investment, and manufacturing has been stripped away; and drugs have flooded the community.”

But then his liberalism kicked in. “I’m under no illusion that out of this Congress we’re going to get massive investments in urban communities,” he said. “And so we’ll try to find areas where we can make a difference around school reform and around job training, and around some investments in infrastructure in these communities trying to attract new businesses.”

The ideology which has governed Baltimore, Detroit, Illinois, California, and the nation for the past several years has always been to create a new policy or social program, or additional taxes and spending (aka “investments”) to address our socio-economic ailments. It’s not “school reform,” “job training,” or “investments in infrastructure” that elevate and strengthen communities; it’s a thriving economy. And nothing douses entrepreneurism and economic growth like the massive taxing and regulatory burdens the leftist ideology is so totally invested in.

Perhaps none have addressed the issue as frankly as former Congressman Allen West has. He said last week: “Yes, the dirty little secret that no one wants to admit is that Baltimore, and so many other urban areas and inner city communities in America, are a reflection of the abject failure of liberal progressive socialist policies as advanced by the Democrat party. The truth is that it is a culture of dependency … that has created what we’re seeing play out in Baltimore.”

The policies that have shrunk Baltimore’s economy, stymied the job market, and blighted the cityscape are liberal policies. The policies that have created a lack of trust with law enforcement are liberal policies. It is highly improbable that city officials would ever fess up to their ownership. It’s much more convenient to cast blame wherever they can make it stick, in an obvious obfuscatory misdirection to avoid culpability. Exactly like the president did blaming congress for his own failures in broaching those issues on a national level.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Redefining Marriage – Supreme Court Justices React To Arguments

The oral arguments before the Supreme Court last week stimulated vigorous legal discourse not just between the counsel for the represented parties, but amongst the justices themselves. The questions posed to counsel cannot reliably serve as tealeaves, prognosticating the court’s ultimate ruling; but they did indicate some of the struggles the court faces when they rule on same-sex marriage.

At issue is whether several states’ referenda or state statutes defining marriage as between one man and one woman shall stand. Based on public opinion trends on the issue, the ruling may be a moot point; but the legal arguments before the court clearly indicate why the rush toward a redefinition of marriage will have a significant impact on our society and the republic.

Justice Anthony Kennedy pointed out that thinking marriage is the union of a man and a woman “has been with us for millennia. And it—it’s very difficult for the Court to say, oh, well, we—we know better.” He went on to observe that even the concept of same-sex marriage has “only been around for 10 years”; and compared with human history, he conjectured, “I don’t even know how to count the decimals when we talk about millennia.”

Chief Justice John Roberts echoed that observation, by stating that “Every definition that I looked up, prior to about a dozen years ago, defined marriage as unity between a man and a woman as husband and wife.” He then correctly observed: “You’re not seeking to join the institution, you’re seeking to change what the institution is. The fundamental core of the institution is the opposite-sex relationship and you want to introduce into it a same-sex relationship.”

Making the case that the definition of marriage really has nothing to do with “discrimination,” Justice Stephen Breyer observed that the male/female definition “has been the law everywhere for thousands of years among people who were not discriminating even against gay people, and suddenly you want nine people outside the ballot box to require states that don’t want to do it to change … what marriage is.”

Justice Samuel Alito made the same observation when he declared that “There have been cultures that did not frown on homosexuality. … Ancient Greece is an example. It was well accepted within certain bounds. People like Plato wrote in favor of that.” And yet, ancient Greece and people like Plato never thought a same-sex relationship was a marriage. Alito concluded: “So their limiting marriage to couples of the opposite sex was not based on prejudice against gay people, was it?”

Justice Roberts clarified another significant issue as well, when he alleged that what the petitioners are arguing for in this case is not freedom from government, but government affirmation. Roberts explained that in a previous Supreme Court case, “the whole argument is the State cannot intrude on that personal relationship. Now people are suing saying ‘the State must sanction. It must approve that relationship.’ They’re two different questions.”

John Bursch, the lawyer defending the traditional marriage laws in Michigan, echoed this point. Based on precedence, he noted that while “the government cannot interfere in private, intimate conduct, the Court cannot as a constitutional matter … force the State into these relationships by forcing them to recognize and give benefits to anyone.”

Bursch made another critical point in his oral arguments. He said: “the marriage institution did not develop to deny dignity or to give second-class status to anyone. It developed to serve purposes that, by their nature, arise from biology.” He pointed out that the same-sex marriage argument is significantly different. “Now, the marriage view on the other side here is that marriage is all about love and commitment. And as a society, we can agree that that’s important, but the State doesn’t have any interest in that.”

He continued by illustrating that redefining marriage to say that it’s primarily about emotional commitment would have consequences. “When you change the definition of marriage to delink the idea that we’re binding children with their biological mom and dad, that has consequences. The consequences of redefining marriage won’t happen overnight, but the law will have an impact. We’re talking about something that’s going to change the meaning of the institution over generations.”

Chief Justice Roberts tendered perhaps the most significant indicator on how the court may rule. He noted that a court-imposed 50-state solution would not lead to civil peace, but to anger and resentment. “If the Court unilaterally redefined marriage, there will be no more debate. Closing of debate can close minds, and it will have a consequence on how this new institution is accepted. People feel very differently about something if they have a chance to vote on it than if it’s imposed on them by the courts.”

The premise of the same-sex marriage argument is that adults have the “right” to marry whomever they choose to, regardless of gender. But there is no such premise inherent in the institution of marriage. It is, rather, based in natural law, lex naturalis, which is the system of law that is determined by nature and is thus universal. Same-sex marriage is therefore, logically, preternatural. It has no logical basis in nature; nor can a presumed right can be extrapolated constitutionally, based on equal protection.

Based on logic and strength of arguments, and the types of questions the justices posed during oral arguments, it would seem the court may be inclined to defer such matters to the states respectively. If they do so, given the Roberts Court’s tendency to enjoin the legislative branch, they’ll likely encourage making provision for universal recognition of same-sex couples rights by states which uphold traditional marriage. But that’s logic, which can merely be presumed from the Court, based on precedence.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Worshiping Gaia On Her Holy Day

Every year at this time, schools at all levels and all across the nation violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment of the Constitution. That’s the clause that proscribes state-sponsored institutions from advancing any religious organization or movement, and is usually cited (though incorrectly) as the “separation of church and state.” Not only does academia fully embrace religion the week of Earth Day observance, but it actively works, knowingly or not, to indoctrinate a whole new generation of adherents to a pantheist green religion.

The notion that we are stewards of our planet, and that we must nurture and protect it as we utilize the resources she provides us, is both logical and moral, and should be universally embraced. But Earth Day, and the environmental movement behind its evangelism, has advanced far beyond the logical and moral. It is now a full-fledged religion, a worship of Mother Earth, or Gaia.

As one Earth Day source proclaims, “Our Earth, as known in Greek mythology is Gaia. The Greeks were considering Earth acknowledgment years before we started our Earth Day Affair. The first Greek god was actually a goddess. She is Gaia, or Mother Earth, who created herself out of primordial chaos. From her fertile womb all life sprang, and unto Mother Earth all living things must return after their allotted span of life is over. Gaia, as Mother Nature, personifies the entire ecosystem of Planet Earth. Mother Nature is always working to achieve and maintain harmony, wholeness and balance within the environment. Mother Nature heals, nurtures and supports all life on this planet, and ultimately all life and health depend on Her. In time, Nature heals all ills.”

In 1979, a NASA employee, James Lovelock, formulated the Gaia hypothesis. It states that “all life, and all living things on this planet, are part of a single, all-encompassing global entity or consciousness,” which he named Gaia. “It is this global consciousness, Mother Gaia, that makes our planet the mother of life.”

Many in the movement have elucidated the mystical relationship of man to Mother Earth. The British writer, William Golding, said: “We are the children of that great blue white jewel [Mother Earth]. Through our mother we are part of the solar system and part through that of the whole universe.”

The eco-theologian Thomas Berry has been perhaps most explicit in defining the divine-feminine relationship of Gaia to man. “What does the Earth Desire? I will put it in just a few short sentences… To be admired in her loveliness, To be tasted in her delicious fruits, To be listened to in her teaching, To be endured in the severity of her discipline, To be cared for as a maternal source from whence we come, a destiny to which we return. It’s very simple…As humans we are born of the Earth, nourished by the Earth, healed by the Earth.”

Clearly, Mother Earth, or Gaia, is ascribed theological properties, with teleological implications, including creation, veneration (worship), and a maternal relationship with earth’s inhabitants, her children.

This relationship is even codified in the resolutions of the United Nations, a full listing of which can be found on the UN website under the title “Mother Earth Day.” These resolutions form the religious equivalent to a catechism on deference toward Mother Earth on a secular philosophical basis.

Another revelatory document from the UN even identifies the natural enemies or apostates to the green religion. In a document that was mandated by the UN-sponsored Convention on Biological Diversity, the Global Biodiversity Assessment, Christianity is explicitly identified as heterodox to Gaia. The document blames Christianity for subverting some indigenous people’s sense of “affinity with the natural world,” leading to destructive practices deemed crucial to saving the planet.

Christianity, to the UN, is therefore antithetical, and constitutes the ideological “root of ecological evil.” The document goes on to praise Buddhism and Hinduism as they “did not depart as drastically from the perspective of humans as members of a community of beings including other living and non-living elements.”

This should not be a surprise to any who are paying attention to the political correctness trends, which make Christianity and Christians acceptable targets as dregs of society and banes to civilization. That’s why it’s the only religion that is acceptable to be criticized, be the brunt of jokes, and even faddishly ridiculed by bigots and secularists.

The Mother Earth religion has its prophets, like Al Gore, James Hansen, Gaylord Nelson, Michael Mann, Kenneth Watt, and Paul Ehrlich. And the EPA appears to serve as the High Council to enforce and regulate all human activities to ensure fealty to Gaia, employing pseudo-science and half-truths as justification.

Unlike organized ecclesiastical organizations, however, Gaia’s followers, and supporting industries and academics, don’t just get a tax break from Uncle Sam. They actually do one better: they are on the receiving end of tax-free loans, seemingly endless tax-credits, and grants for “research” and industries that support the faith.

Some may scoff at the notion of this hallowed international holy day as representative of pantheistic dogma and a veritable religion. But as averred by the inductive-reasoning “Duck Theory,” if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it probably is one. Educators and the government in general certainly should encourage responsible citizenship as it relates to the environment. But it’s gone far beyond that. The Mother Earth pantheism, the essence of a state-sponsored religion, really should be treated no differently than any other religion.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Is America Still The ‘Land Of The Free?’

Is America really the “land of the free?” We may have been initially founded and constructed as such; but each year, the land of the free becomes increasingly the land of the regulated, oppressed, disparaged, and dependent.

Gallup regularly conducts global polls to assess citizens’ perception of their levels of freedom around the world. In 2006, 91% of US residents were satisfied with their “level of freedom,” which was among the highest in the world. Last year’s iteration of the survey indicated only 79% of Americans are satisfied with their level of freedom. Such a precipitous drop in a few short years dropped the US to 36th place among the 120 nations sampled. Cambodia, Uzbekistan, Paraguay, and Rwanda are among the 35 nations more satisfied with their levels of freedom.

This seems to be confirmed by the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom, which has seen the U.S. slip to number 12 this year. Countries with greater economic freedom, based on ten criteria from personal property rights to personal financial freedom, include Chile, Estonia, and Mauritius, none of which could be considered bastions of liberty, as the U.S. historically has been.

America was founded differently than any other nation in human history, which is what we refer to as American exceptionalism. Our founding documents guaranteed rights of free exercise of religion, free speech, free association, freedom from government oppression and illegal searches and seizures, among others. These rights and freedoms, our founding documents asserted, were “inalienable rights” derived from God, not granted by government–that “all men are created equal,” and that among those precious rights were “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (property).”

Every year, those liberties are assaulted afresh by an ever-expanding governmental reach into our personal lives. Even those fundamental rights that are codified by constitutional amendment as our Bill of Rights are under assault. Freedoms of religious expression, speech, assembly, arms, illegal search and seizure, and due process are eroded with every congressional, legislative, and council bill, act, and statute–and are increasingly rarely upheld through judicial review.

In short, it seems that the machinations of government, politicians, and the courts are arrayed broadly against the interests of individual liberty, personal accountability, and private freedoms. Our nation can only loosely be identified as a republic, where the enumerated powers of government are narrow and defined, with all non-enumerated powers residing in the states and the citizens, as the Tenth Amendment declares. The nation has morphed, and can be categorically and definitionally identified as a statist system, concentrating “extensive economic, political, and related controls in the state at the cost of individual liberty.”

This devolution of the republic and our individual liberties has only accelerated over the past several years, since the despicable attacks of 9/11. It was deemed necessary to relinquish some individual liberty for the defense of the realm, as the Patriot Act and other anti-terrorism measures sliced away at individual liberties for security purposes. In spite of the sunset provisions incorporated into that measure, they were extended in 2011, and have been expanded by NSA surveillance, more expansive monitoring of financial transactions, and even more circumvention of the 4th Amendment with the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012. Sections 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA essentially classify the entire country as a battlefield, allowing extraordinary rendition, indefinite detention, and enhanced interrogation against U.S. citizens here on American soil.

The omnipotence of government today certainly contrasts sharply with what our founding fathers envisioned for this “land of the free.” As Thomas Jefferson said, “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have.” Or, in the context of abrogation of 4th Amendment rights, any government that is powerful enough to do everything we allow it certainly is powerful enough to get away with everything it does.

This also brings to mind Ben Franklin’s astute observation, “Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.” Clearly, the more ground we cede collectively as a citizenry to security, the less freedom and liberty there is. And that applies not just to issues of national security, but also to domestic fiscal policies as well.

Patrick Henry famously mirrored that sentiment, when he said, “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” I’m sure the good governor would be aghast at the sacrifice of liberty for thralldom to government that has ensued these past several years.

Every election from here on out is a referendum on the future of our republic. Will we choose to elect those who embrace our founding principles based on liberty and freedom, or will we continue to cede our liberty for “security” provided by a statist government that is increasingly less attune to the concerns and interests of the individual citizen?

For those of us who are lovers of liberty, there has never been a more critical time to reassert our founding principles and the constitutional limitations of governmental power than today. If we want to have anything even remotely resembling the American republic surviving for future generations, it’s time to quit being a doormat to the politically correct progressive and statist agenda, and to proactively engage in the political process. Most of the statist “accomplishments” can be unwoven, but we need the electoral majorities to do it. Passivity and acquiescence are no longer options for those who would concur with Patrick Henry, “…give me liberty, or give me death!”

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth