What’s in a Name: 3 Pieces of Legislation with Misleading Titles

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Upon winning independence, our founding fathers were wary of centralized power. They understood the corrupting nature of power, and set about creating a system meant to balance power, and reduce greed and corruption. 

Our system of “checks and balances” is supposed to ensure that the government doesn’t violate the constitution, and they were successful.. for a while.

Arguably the first erosion to this system came in 1913, when the 62nd Congress voted to pass the 17th amendment. Prior to 1913; the general population would directly elect members of their community to represent their interests in the House of Representatives, while state legislatures would pick 2 citizens of the state to serve the interests of the state at the federal level. When state legislatures picked Senators to represent their state, the Senator holds no power, if you’re not living up to your obligations, than the legislature would replace you.  Counteracting the members of the house who would stay in power by using charm to win re-election. The general population lives in an echo-chamber. If you’re a liberal, you watch MSNBC and read Slate on your phone while driving the kids to school.  If you’re a republican you watch “The Five” on Fox News and listen to Rush Limbaugh on your lunch break. When you think about it, it’s incredibly easy to trigger Democrats,Republicans, and Libertarians.

For example most Democrats LOVE giving their takes on these topics:

 

  • Income inequality
  • Healthcare
  • Identity politics 
  • Environmental concerns
  • Abortion
  • Guns
  • Taxes not being high enough

 

While Republicans will lose their mind for:

 

  • Illegal immigration
  • Military spending
  • Police
  • Guns
  • Taxes
  • Christianity
  • Muslims
  • Abortion

Libertarians? We will lose our mind for just about anything, but if you want to get us going discuss:

  • Roads
  • Military
  • Public Education
  • Free Markets/Regulations
  • Entitlement Programs
  • Ron Paul
  • Government spending

 

We’re all hypocrites. Democrats care about identity politics, unless you’re a person of color who may disagree with you politically.  They want government mandated equality for every gender and race, except white guys. Republicans think we spend too much. Specifically on regulations, bureaucracy, and entitlement programs; but balk at cutting military spending, despite finding $125 billion in administrative waste, or any government spending that helps them remain in power; you’re a conservative farmer who wants to cut food stamps? Alright, how about after we cut corn subsidies? Last month I wrote about how Social Security is destroying our country and Republicans went ballistic. Libertarians are the most annoying people on the planet, nobody’s a “real” libertarian, we have a portion of the party that wants free markets, but is anti-immigration and “America first.” We have a county chair in Michigan who supports Antifa, and our Vice Presidential candidate appeared to be actively supporting Hillary. Literally no consistency.

Our general stupidity, and tendency towards hypocrisy has allowed the career politician to thrive. Knowing we react to buzz words and topics that sound sexy, they use psychology to garner support. Just look at the title of the bills they write .

The Patriot Act

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Sixteen years ago next month, on 10/26/01,  George W. Bush signed the “USA Patriot Act” into law. Passed in the aftermath of September 11th by a vote of 98-1 in the Senate, and 357-66 (it is worth mentioning that the only Republicans to vote against this bill were Robert Ney, Butch Otter, and Ron Paul) in the House, in an attempt to curb terrorism.  

To put it simply, the legislation was passed in a panic with very little debate. Former Wisconsin Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner introduced H.R. 3162 on October 23, 2001, the House passed it the next day, and within 72 hours we had passed legislation that massively expanded the scope of the federal government.

There is nothing “patriotic” about the “Patriot Act.”  The indefinite detention of immigrants? That violates the sixth amendment. “Enhanced surveillance?” That’s led to NSA wiretapping, a clear violation of the fourth amendment. A lot can be said about some of the shady things in our Constitution, but the most important political document in American history isn’t the Constitution, or the Declaration of Independence; it’s the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers. Both collections of essays helped develop this country; while the Federalist Papers defended the Constitution, the Anti-Federalists demanded there be a Bill of Rights to protect the people from the government.

The point is, the first ten amendments to the constitution are so important that it almost tore apart this country.  And in a moment of panic, we passed laws that violate the bill of rights.

The reason the Patriot Act keeps getting extended (last extended by Obama in 2011), is that no politician wants to appear weak on national security, and being against the Patriot Act means you support terrorism, so politicians continue to support it. Even though it doesn’t  work and often ruins lives.

Affordable Healthcare for America Act

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The “Affordable Healthcare for America Act,” commonly referred to as “Obamacare” was President Obama’s landmark legislative achievement. FDR had “The New Deal,” Johnson had his “Great Society,” Barack Obama has “Obamacare.”

Signed into law by the 111th Congress in March of 2010, with a single Republican voting for the legislation (Joseph Cao, Louisiana). 39 Democrats voted against the bill, bringing the final tally to 220 for, and 215 against.

The legislation is exceptionally long, and provided healthcare to 24 million uninsured Americans (at the threat of a tax for non-compliance). After surviving the Supreme Court, Obamacare premiums have continued to soar. As the “New York Times” points out;

“While fewer than 20 million Americans buy their own insurance, the tribulations of the individual market have captured most of the public’s attention. The average cost of a benchmark plan in the individual market rose 20 percent this year, according to Kaiser, as insurers tried to stem their losses. “

Although they later go on to defend the Affordable Care Act, the fact is that using the the term “affordable” is a misnomer. Being forced to pay for insurance you don’t want, that rises at a rate of 20% annually, under threat of punishment is the exact opposite of “affordable.”

The Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984

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Unlike some other pieces of legislation, “The Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984,” enacted by President Reagan in October of 1984, doesn’t have a flashy nickname. The name itself is straightforward and to the point. An idiot could conceive what this legislation was meant to do. When enacted it became the first comprehensive revision of the United States criminal code since 1900. Like the Patriot Act for Bush, and “Obamacare” for Obama, “Comprehensive Crime Control” was meant to be, and is, a cornerstone of Reagan’s legacy.

The name itself is brilliant. Nobody likes crime, crime is bad. We need to get rid of crime.

But what is crime?

We all have our own moral code, our own sense of right and wrong. We all define crime differently. A soccer mom from Kansas is going to have a different vision of right and wrong than a poor kid from LA.

The benign nature of the name meant most people wouldn’t pay any attention to it. The goal was if you were against crime, than the average American wouldn’t give it a second glance.

Problem is the legislation was not benign. This country was founded on a set of principles that valued the individual over the community, the community over the state, and the state over the federal government. When it came to legal affairs the founding fathers preferred to leave the punishment of citizens to locals. A soccer mom in Kansas and a poor kid in LA have different experiences, values, and ways of life, it only makes sense that there would be minimal federal oversight on criminal affairs. That was true until small government conservatives created the United States Sentencing Commission, and put them in charge of normalizing prison sentencing.  Their recommendations became the “Armed Career Criminal Act,” creating mandatory minimums. Mandatory minimums have had a jarring effect on society. Disproportionately affecting people of color, and lower economic status, hurting multiple generations. Mandatory minimums created career criminals, comprehensive crime reform just created more crime.

The legislation also reinstated the federal death penalty, increased penalties for marijuana possession and cultivation, and created the despicable act of civil asset forfeiture .

All of this was able to get through because the name was self-explanatory and boring.
How a lawmaker labels their legislation matters. These pieces of legislation affect hundreds of millions of lives. What they pass matters. Using clever, or boring names and nicknames to either attract or repel attention is manipulation that pays off in votes. We need to demand better.

 

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What is Antifa?

Anti Fascist Action

Since Donald Trump announced his candidacy for President a few years back, those on the left have held his rhetoric responsible for the rise of the “alt-right” and the normalization of white supremacist organizations in America.  It’s hard to argue with that fact; two years ago I couldn’t name anyone associated with the white supremacist movement. Sitting here today, names like “Richard Spencer,” “Augustus Invictus,” “Chris Cantwell,” and asian television personality – “Tila Tequila” all come to mind when I think of modern white supremacists. While not everyone associated with the alt-right is a racist, it seems as though many members of the movement are comfortable moving within those social circles, which doesn’t help their public perception.  

While the “alt-right” has been emboldened by the Trump Administration, so have those on the far-left end of the spectrum.The actions, and perception, of the Trump Administration have led to a steady rise in Antifa. The purpose of the far-left organization is to rid the world of “fascists” be any means necessary, even violence. In the mainstream media, “Antifa” are often referred to as “protesters.”

Militant leftists didn’t greet white supremacists in Charlottesville, “protesters” did.

Far left extremists didn’t protest Ann Coulter’s appearance at Cal-Berkeley; “protesters” did.

Radicals didn’t stop Republicans from marching at a Portland parade under threat of violence; “a group of protesters” did.

Their historical aim is to fight fascism, but recently the group defines fascism as anyone they disagree with. Actual fascism if much worse.

What is Fascism?

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Fascism is a political ideology that dominated many parts of central, eastern, and southern Europe in the early to mid 1900’s.  Generally, fascism is a  radical form of authoritarian-nationalism, characterized by a dictator and suppression of opposition. Historian Mark Bray defines Fascism as:

“a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.”

The most famous name in Fascism is former best friend of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini.

In 1922 Mussolini was named Prime Minister of Italy.  Two years later, in 1924, he named himself dictator.

Fascist Italian Propoganda One

Fascist propaganda under Mussolini



Millions of fellow citizens meanwhile concluded that, if not the man to finish what the great work of national unification had begun, Mussolini was at least a lesser evil.

In 1924, there was a near-meltdown when Fascists murdered Giacomo Matteotti, a Socialist parliamentarian. Bosworth surmises that he was about to blow the whistle on hanky-panky with a U.S. oil company.

Mussolini rode out the crisis by declaring himself dictator. He then kept regular office hours and maintained an ostentatiously clean desk. By the 1930s, membership in the party approached 5 million, and membership in one or another Fascist affiliate extended to nearly half the population.”

Eventually Mussolini was so loathed the Italians ended up executing him in April of 1945, then dragged his body, along with the bodies of other fascists, to the “Piazzale Loreto” for public display.

Fascism, at its core, values the good of the nation over the good of the individual. It is an ideology that is directly incompatible with liberty. In general, there are 14 characteristics of Fascism, including:

  • Powerful and continuing nationalism
  • Disdain for Human Rights
  • Identification of enemies/Using Scapegoats
  • Strong military

When you read through the characteristics it’s easy to see the overlap between beliefs held by Mussolini and Hitler. You can also see some shared characteristics between white supremacy groups and fascism, and if you, like Antifa, believe that Trump is supporting white supremacy than it is easy to understand why Antifa is calling Trump and his supporters “fascists.”

 

So What is Antifa?

 

Antifa

““Of course we’ll have it (fascism). We’ll have it under the guise of anti-fascism.” – Huey Long

In short, Antifa is a far-left militant group dedicated to fighting “fascism” in the United States and abroad. According to historian, and antifa expert Mark Bray, activists believe that “fascists” lose their first amendment rights when they use violence and intimidation to repress people.

This belief means that individuals must take any and all action necessary to stop their enemies; even if it means using violence and intimidation to repress people.

History of Fighting Fascism:

Antifa is hardly a new idea. As long as there has been fascism, there have been people resisting the idea, most groups do so peacefully. The idea of violent resistance to fascism is hardly new, however.  It seems likely that the violent version of modern Antifa protesters has it’s roots in a protest from 1936. After Francisco Franco became Spain’s fascist dictator; people in London protested the British Union of Fascists in the “Battle of Cable Street.” The “Battle of Cable Street” provided a blueprint for future antifascists; a strong, unified front willing to fight can defeat anyone.

The modern term “Antifa” has it’s roots in the “Anti-Fascist Action,” a German anti-fascist movement most popular in Europe during the 1930’s, but saw a spike in popularity again in the 1980’s. The movement gained some momentum with punk rock bands in the 80’s and 90’s, however, the leaders of the movement determined that most American’s weren’t familiar enough with Fascism to take a stand.  For this reason the American counterpart to the “Anti-Fascist Action” that was popular in Europe, went by “Anti-Racist Action.” After all, almost everyone is against racism.

The movement received its most media attention, prior to this year in 2002. During a meeting of white supremacists belonging to “World Church of the Creator” in Pennsylvania, “Anti-Racist Action” protesters showed up. 25 people ended up getting  arrested in the fighting that followed.

How Are They Organized? And What Do They Believe?

What makes Antifa so difficult to understand, and so easy to discredit, is the fact that there is no nationally organized Antifa. Antifa exists as a network of regional affiliates. While they all aim to fight racism, the loose affiliations mean that there is never any official statement. This also means that people (myself included) often fall for fake antifa accounts.  

Antifa free speech

Antifa protester showing his opposition to the first amendment.

Antifa members are anti-racist, anti-homophobic, anti-Nazi, and anti-capitalism. The Washington Post describes them as a far-left group dedicated to fighting the alt-right. The majority view themselves as communists and socialists (or the seemingly contradictory “anarcho-communist”). Emboldened by the “Battle of Cable Street,” modern Antifa groups relish the opportunity to violently resist anyone they deem as a “fascist,” often resorting to violence while dressed in bandana’s and glasses as a way to conceal their identity.

 

What Have They Done?

The growing problem with Antifa is their inability to distinguish between dissenting idea’s, and fascism. On pro-Antifa website “refusefascism.org,” as part of their “Call To Action!” the author (without including any examples of the Trump/Pence administration of repressing anyone), wrote:

The Trump/Pence regime will repeatedly launch new highly repressive measures, eventually clamping down on all resistance and remaking the law… IF THEY ARE NOT DRIVEN FROM POWER.”

The irony of this sentiment is that Antifa fully supports repressing rights. Remember, according to historian, and antifa expert Mark Bray; activists believe that “fascists” lose their first amendment rights when they use violence and intimidation to repress people. Because of this belief, Antifa can justify being against just about anyone. Hell last week Boston Antifa groups hung up posters around the city that would help people identify “fascists.” The symbols included a thin blue line (in support of cops) and anyone with an “Infowars” symbol near them. 

Boston Antifa Hate Symbols.jpg

Hate symbols, according to Boston Antifa

With all that being said, it’s not as though Antifa has been acting with any subtlety. In Portland, Antifa used slingshots to fling human waste at police officers. Last weekend Antifa confronted free speech protesters in Boston, leading to 33 arrests.  And in Charlottesville earlier this month, Antifa confronted white supremacists, resulting in violence and the death of a woman.

Earlier this year they rallied against free speech in Berkeley, CA, when Ann Coulter was scheduled to speak, leading to violence and at least 6 arrests. Protesters claimed they were protesting “bigots trying to normalize hate.” While ignoring the fact that in doing so they were spreading hate and suppressing dissenting points of view (a key element of fascism).

Antifa is the reason Politico called Portland “America’s Most Politically Violent City.”  Antifa sent threatening emails to parade organizers in Portland telling them the parade would end in violence if the Multnomah County Republicans were allowed to have a float in the annual “Avenue of the Roses” parade. In the emails Antifa made it clear that they considered anyone who supported Trump to be a fascist. The parade was then cancelled because of the threat.

How is Antifa Viewed?

In years past, the mainstream left has, condemned the violent actions of those on the fringe left who would be willing to use violence on enemies. While some on the left reject the idea that Antifa is anything other than an organizing strategy, other’s on the left have fully fed into the hyperbole that Trump is a fascist.

Over at “The Nation,” Frida Berrigan exclaims we’re living in a fascist society under Trump, explaining that with Trump in the White House, the end of life in America is upon us.  Osita Nwanevu, at “Slate,”  posted a video praising protesters who took violent action against the despicable white supremacist Richard Spencer.  While this week over at CNN, Sara Ganim and Chris Welch profiled antifa with the original headline “Unmasking the leftist Antifa movement: Activists Seek Peace Through Violence.” After a few hours of bad press, the headline was changed.

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This is why it’s hard to take CNN seriously.

This week opponents of Antifa received the necessary number of signatures needed on a petition to trigger a mandatory response from the White House. The petition called on the Trump Administration to label Antifa as a terrorist organization. While Noam Chomsky, one of the most cited academics in history, and a massive liberal, called Antifa a “major gift to the right.”

 

The Impact of Antifa?

 

It’s difficult to comprehend what, if any, impact “Antifa” will have on American society moving forward.  Even though membership and notoriety has soared in response to Trump, “Antifa” still makes up an exceptionally small percentage of the left.  With that said, 18 months ago we would have said the same thing in regards to the alt-right.

Overall Antifa is a loose network of regional affiliates who fight a political ideology that calls for suppression, by attempting to suppress those that they feel are trying to suppress others. The danger presented by Antifa is their casual acceptance of violence, and willingness to suppress individual rights.

 

Five Forgotten Founding Fathers: John Jay

 

John Jay was not among the 56 delegates to sign the Declaration of Independence. At that point in time his duties as a New York Congressman prevented him from voting on, or signing the Declaration.  Despite not being at Independence Hall on August 2nd, 1776 to sign the document, few men had as great an impact on American History as John Jay.

Unlike Samuel Adams and John Hancock, whose legacies have been honored by beer and financial services companies, the name “John Jay” was most recently in the news earlier this week after a fight broke out at his namesake high school, resulting in 2 people being stabbed, and one being bitten in the chest. The first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court deserves better.

Early Life

Born to a prominent, wealthy family in New York, John Jay was rather unique among the Founding Fathers in the sense that he had no British ancestry. His father’s family descended from France, while his mother’s family was Dutch.

In 1685 John’s grandfather, Augustus Jay, moved to New York from France to escape religious persecution.  Once in New York, Augustus became a successful merchant, passing his business on to his son, Peter.  The success of the Jay family allowed Peter the opportunity to marry Mary Van Cortland, whose father Jacobus twice served as mayor of New York City.  

John’s childhood was rather bland. Spending most of his time studying, Jay would go on to receive his law degree from what is now Columbia University.

Politics and Revolution

As a successful young lawyer, Jay fought for property rights, and preserving the rule of law. His beliefs got him selected as a delegate to the First, and Second Continental Congresses where he was a member of the conservative faction that tirelessly resisted infringement by the British on American rights.

Although Jay initially sough reconciliation, John Jay had no ties to Britain, he had no qualms in speaking out against the crown, he saw himself as an American, not as a British subject.  

Although his duties to the state of New York prevented him from voting on the Declaration of Independence, Jay did his part, serving on the congressional committee that would monitor British actions within the state.

In 1777, as the American Revolution was going on around him, Jay drafted the New York State Constitution, which more effectively limited government than charters in other states.  Also in 1777, Jay was selected to serve as the Chief Justice of the New York Supreme Court, experience which would help prepare him to become our nations first Chief Justice.

John Jay: Diplomat

In the fall of 1779 John Jay was named the American minister to Spain with the goal of convincing the Spaniards to give us a loan. The Spanish were not overly receptive of Jay, refusing to recognize American independence for fear that recognition would spark revolution in their own colonies. Jay did, however, convince the Spanish to loan us $170,000.

In 1782 John Jay met up with Ben Franklin and John Adams to help negotiate the Treaty of Paris, which formally ended the American Revolution securing American independence. Jay negotiated one hell of a deal, from Britannica:

By the terms of the U.S.-Britain treaty, Britain recognized the independence of the United States with generous boundaries to the Mississippi River but retained Canada. Access to the Newfoundland fisheries was guaranteed to Americans, and navigation of the Mississippi was to be open to both Great Britain and the United States. Creditors of neither country were to be impeded in the collection of their debts, and Congress was to recommend to the states that American loyalists be treated fairly and their confiscated property restored. (Some of these provisions were to cause later difficulties and disputes.)

Federalist Papers

Jay joined Alexander Hamilton and James Madison in writing 85 essays under the pseudonym  “Publius” in support of ratifying the Constitution.  John Jay’s support of the Constitution was based on the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation, pointing out to the people of New York:

The Congress under the Articles of Confederation may make war, but are not empowered to raise men or money to carry it on—they may make peace, but without power to see the terms of it observed—they may form alliances, but without ability to comply with the stipulations on their part—they may enter into treaties of commerce, but without power to [e]nforce them at home or abroad…—In short, they may consult, and deliberate, and recommend, and make requisitions, and they who please may regard them.

Although the Federalist Papers consist of 85 essays, Jay only wrote 5 of them (2-5, and 64). In these papers, Jay lays out his reasoning for supporting a unified government.

The Jay Court

The Supreme Court is laid out in Article III of the Constitution, although the Federal Court System wasn’t laid out until the Judiciary Act of 1789. Under this act, 13 district courts, 3 circuit courts, and the Supreme Court were all officially created.  From 1789 till 1795 John Jay served as the first Chief Justice of that court, during that 6 year period, the court only heard four cases.

The 1793 case Chisholm v. Georgia was the first major Supreme Court case. During the war, Georgia had seized land from those loyal to the crown. After the war, they had refused to return the land.  The Jay Court ruled that states could be sued in federal court.

During his time as Chief Justice, John Jay traveled to Britain to negotiate what has become known as the “Jay Treaty.” The treaty helped prevent a second war between America and Britain, and resolved 3 key issues:

Tensions between the United States and Britain remained high after the Revolutionary War as a result of three key issues. British exports flooded U.S. markets, while American exports were blocked by British trade restrictions and tariffs. The British occupation of northern forts that the British Government had agreed to vacate in the Treaty of Paris (1783) as well as recurrent Native American attacks in these areas also frustrated Americans. Finally, Britain’s impressments of American sailors and seizure of naval and military supplies bound to enemy ports on neutral ships brought the two nations to the brink of war in the late 1700s.

While he may not be the most well known founding father, the role he played in the birth of America is undeniable. This Tuesday, make a toast to John Jay: America’s utility knife.

4 Things to Remind Liberals Of As They Whitewash History

 

It seems as though the latest fad in the progressive movement is for city leaders across the country to prove how “progressive” they are by campaigning to remove any “offensive” statue, renaming any building that may have ties to slavery, and essentially eliminating any reference to  American history that may be uncomfortable.  Anything that alludes to the Confederate States of America is under protest by progressives. The city of New Orleans, for example recently spent $2.1 million dollars on removing four civil war era landmarks.

I wish more people would think like Condoleezza Rice, who told Fox and Friends; 

“I want us to have to look at the names and recognize what they did; and be able to tell our kids what they did and for them to have a sense of their own history.”

In times like these, I think it’s important to remind people that most of the historical figures we admire had some shitty qualities.

Abraham Lincoln Believed in Racial Superiority

 

Abe Lincoln is often portrayed as a good man who fought for the freedom of millions of slaves. That was hardly the case; his wife’s family, owned slaves, afterall. What Lincoln really cared about was maintaining the Union, once writing;

“My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or destroy slavery.”

But it was his quotes on racial superiority that show that Abe Lincoln, more than anything, pitied African Americans. The “Historical Review’s” Robert Morgan notes that on August 14th, 1862 Lincoln invited free black ministers to the White House, where during the conversation, Lincoln stated:

“You and we are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races. Whether it is right or wrong I need not discuss, but this physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both, as I think your race suffers very greatly, many of them, by living among us, while ours suffers from your presence. In a word, we suffer on each side. If this is admitted, it affords a reason at least why we should be separated.”

And during the Lincoln-Douglas Debates in 1858, Abraham Lincoln once said;

“And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”

People seem to forget that young Abraham Lincoln grew up in a log cabin in southern Illinois, where he used to shepherd people across the Ohio river into Kentucky.  Maybe it’s not fair to stereotype, but it’s hard to imagine growing up where he did made him the most tolerant person.

Gandhi Hates “Kaffirs”

Mahatma Gandhi was a civil rights leader that helped lead India to independence from the British.  He’s seen as one of the world’s greatest civil rights leaders, a paragon for equality and pacifism.

Unless, of course, you’re black

 Using the South African term “Kaffir” as a racial slur, there are multiple instances where Gandhi lets his prejudice shine through.

For example, Gandhi proclaimed that Europeans want to make Indians out to be lazy.. Like the kaffirs:

“Ours is one continual struggle against a degradation sought to be inflicted upon us by the Europeans, who desire to degrade us to the level of the raw Kaffir whose occupation is hunting, and whose sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with and, then, pass his life in indolence and nakedness.”

“There is a bye-law in Durban which requires registration of coloured servants. This rule may be, and perhaps is, necessary for the Kaffirs who would not work, but absolutely useless with regard to the Indians. But the policy is to class the Indian with the Kaffir whenever possible.”

Not all brown skin is created equal:

“The £3 tax is merely a penalty for wearing the brown skin and it would appear that, whereas Kaffirs are taxed because they do not work at all or sufficiently, we are to be taxed evidently because we work too much, the only thing in common between the two being the absence of the white skin.”

What Gandhi really was, was a racial supremacist.

 

MLK Was a Sexist

 

Martin Luther King Jr. once said;

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

And he really meant the “men” part.  

From 1957 until December of 1958 MLK wrote an advice column for “Ebony” magazine.

 He had some interesting advice for women.

When asked by a woman how he should handle her cheating husband, King responded;

“In the meantime, since the other person is so near you might study her and see what she does for your husband that you might not be doing. Do you spend too much time with the children and the house and not pay attention to him? Are you careful with your grooming? Do you nag?”

He also suggested to an abused wife that she may be at fault for the abuse, and chided a single woman for unknowingly tempting her boyfriend into losing his virginity pre-marriage.

Mother Teresa Didn’t Care About the Poor

Mother Teresa is seen as a modern day saint. During her incredible life she set up schools and soup kitchens, doing missionary work across the globe.  Revered for her work with the poor, she’s seen as this loving and compassionate figure. Whether or not the praise is deserved is up for debate; forcing homosexual conversion, and being friendly with dictators will do that.

One thing that can’t be questioned, is that she didn’t really care about the poor. Telling Christopher Hitchens;

“I think it is very beautiful for the poor to accept their lot, to share it with the passion of Christ. I think the world is being much helped by the suffering of the poor people.”

In fact, the University of Ottawa conducted a study that outlined how fraudulent her entire career was, they conclude her image is the result of a relentless media campaign.

 

Whitewashing history to play to the sensitivity of individuals has gotten a little out of control. Society would be better off facing its history head on, even if it’s painful.

Evergreen State College: A National Embarrassment

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For years conservatives have been deriding the increased liberalization of America’s college campuses; mocking recent trends like “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings” has recently led to some of those same groups purposefully trying to “trigger” their liberal counterparts.  2017 has seen several examples of this campus liberalization, and until last month, Cal Berkeley was the center of these protests.  That all changed in late May, when the world was introduced to “Evergreen State College” in Olympia, Washington.

The small liberal arts school of about 4500 students was founded as a “non-traditional” college back in 1967 as a way to even out the distribution of “higher learning” opportunities for students, at the time, students from that part of the state didn’t have many college options, so Evergreen State College was born.  The college quickly earned a reputation as being one of the most liberal colleges in America, and in 1970 the school started sanctioning “A Day of Absence.”

“A Day of Absence” traditionally takes place in the Spring, and until this year was a day in which people of color were urged to avoid campus, and instead attend a number of off-campus events meant to promote diversity.  “A Day of Absence” was traditionally followed by “A Day of Presence” in which minorities would return to campus the next day, joining their white friends in a series of on-campus lectures and activities.  

This year, however, the tables were turned.  Rashida Love, Director of the  “First Peoples Multicultural Advising Services” office at the “school,”  pushed an event in which white people were told they had to leave campus for 2017’s “Day of Absence.” Chloe Marina Manchester, writing for the school newspaper, explained this year’s changes:

This year, however, it was decided that on Day of Absence, white students, staff and faculty will be invited to leave the campus for the day’s activities. This decision was reached through discussion with POC Greeners who voiced concern over feeling as if they are unwelcome on campus, following the 2016 election.”

While the paragraph is frustrating to some, it isn’t the worst thing in the world, after all, white students and staff were only invited to stay off campus. It’s not like they were forced out by a shouting mob.

Just Kidding, That’s Exactly What Happened

On May 23rd, a group of 50 students surrounded Biology Professor Bret Weinstein, calling him a “white supremacist” and other insults for refusing to participate in this years “Day of Absence.”

 

Professor Weinstein isn’t some far-right radical, either.  Weinstein describes himself as “extremely progressive” and actively supported the candidacy of Bernie Sanders.  In the past he was extremely vocal in his support of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement and seems to be a perfect fit for such a liberal school.  However, he did take issue with this years event; particularly how there was no discussion surrounding the validity of the event, and in an email to Rashida Love he expressed how he feels that this year’s day of absence was an act of oppression and force.

Email sent by Bret Weinstein to Rashida Love

After  these protesters surrounded and threatened Weinstein, the protesters barricaded themselves in the “Trans & Queer Unity Lounge” before issuing a set of demands to school President George Bridges.

 

Bridges proceeded to meekly defend the protesters, caving to the students demands which included “cultural competency” training for all faculty and staff.

Protests Continue

The weak response from Bridges, as well as other faculty and staff, have led the situation to go on for far too long.  Culminating in duel protests last Thursday that ended in violence. Riot police had to break up the protests, and one person was arrested.  

The protests were held by “Patriot Prayer,” a Portland based conservative group. And “Antifa,” the violent, left wing, “anti-fascist” group.  Antifa was there protesting, what they called, a “white supremacist group.” In response to those claims, “Patriot Prayer” organizer Joey Gibson said:


“I love all people, because they’re human. It doesn’t matter what the color of their skin is. Ok? And I’m sick of hearing about that,” Gibson said. “If we’re white supremacists, why do we have more people of color rolling with us than they do? That’s what I want to understand. All those people dressed in all black, they’re the most whitest (sic) people I’ve ever met in my life.”

The situation has gotten so bad that students attending Friday’s graduation had to go through metal detectors.

In the wake of these protests, the “college” has announced that they still plan on going forward with their re-vamped “Masters in Teaching” programming which emphasizes training teachers to indoctrinate students in left-wing ideology. Program director J. Patrick Naughton wrote in the programs catalog that:

 

“Our schools are called upon to help children and youth develop physically, emotionally, and cognitively in order to create meaningful lives for themselves and to participate collaboratively and creatively in public life. In our increasingly diverse and complex society, public education must play a key role in nurturing and educating citizens who care about equity and justice for all beings. We focus on preparing teachers ready and willing to take on these responsibilities every day. “

This emphasis on social justice is mandatory, even for teachers who are training to teach subjects like math or science, in the program students will;  

“examine and consciously act on differences such as ethnicity, race, class, gender, gender expression, culture, religion, language, ability, and sexual identities.”

Schools are supposed to be a place of higher learning, yet more frequently publicly funded schools are being used to push a political agenda.  With luck, Evergreen State College will lose the $24 million dollars in public money currently allocated to them for next year.

Tyranny in Michigan

I took a little vacation last week, driving the 8 hours to my family’s lake home in western Michigan is always a lot of fun; long days on the boat, bonfires,  and watching the dogs swim after tennis balls, are always great ways to relax. Being back in my home state also gave me a chance to catch up on some local issues. That’s where I came across the “jury tampering” case of Keith Wood, a former pastor who was convicted of jury tampering earlier this month.  

 

The case, is pretty straightforward; Mr. Wood was arrested in front of the 77th District Court in Big Rapids Michigan in November of 2015 for handing out pamphlets in front of the court

house entitled “What rights do you have as a juror that the judge won’t tell you about?” Mecosta County prosecutors stated that the pamphlets “misrepresented the legal system” and could “lead to a lawless society.” The defense, on the other hand,  argued that since the pamphlets weren’t giving out specific advice on a specific case, that no tampering occurred.

 

What Mr. Wood was informing jurors about was the right jury’s have to vote in favor of Jury Nullification.  Jury Nullification occurs when a jury returns a verdict of “not guilty” against a defendant, based on the fact that either the law, or the punishment for violating said law, was either wrongly applied, or the punishment for violating said law would be excessive. Once nullification occurs, the defendant is protected by double jeopardy.

Double Jeopardy

although 90 minutes of this violates the eighth amendment.

 

Opponents of nullification state that nullification can lead to discrimination in the courtroom.  They point to historical evidence for support.  In the Jim Crow era, southern jurors would often use the concept of nullification to find white men innocent of racial crimes.  Their argument, essentially, is that defendant A gets let off for a crime, but defendant B, charged with the same crime, is convicted; creating an unfair standard.  

 

Legal scholar Glenn Reynolds argues against this line of thinking, stating:

 

“Of course, prosecutors have essentially the same power, since they’re under no obligation to bring charges against even an obviously guilty defendant. But while the power of juries to let guilty people go free in the name of justice is treated as suspect and called “jury nullification,” the power of prosecutors to do the exact same thing is called “prosecutorial discretion,” and is treated not as a bug, but as a feature in our justice system. But there’s no obvious reason why one is better than the other. Yes, prosecutors are professionals — but they’re also politicians, which means that their discretion may be employed politically. And they’re repeat players in the justice system, which makes them targets for corruption in a way that juries — laypeople who come together for a single case — aren’t.”

 

And he’s not wrong. Prosecutorial  Discretion is essentially the prosecutor’s version of “jury nullification.”  This discretion allows prosecutors to decide what charges are brought against a defendant, and is essential to plea bargaining.  The practice is so ingrained into the American justice system that many defense attorneys assume that it will come into play at some point in time during every case.

 

Mr. Wood’s defense team argues that his handing out pamphlets were a free-speech issue, and didn’t constitute “jury tampering” charges.  UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh agrees:

 

“such speech is constitutionally protected, and that the indictment therefore violates the First Amendment. One can debate whether jury nullification is good or bad for the legal system, but it’s clear that it’s not a crime for jurors to refuse to convict even when the jury instructions seem to call for a guilty verdict. So Heicklen is encouraging a jury to engage in legal — even if, in the view of some, harmful — conduct.”

 

Judge Kimba Wood, a federal district judge based out of Manhattan, agreed with Mr. Wood’s, and Volokh’s assessment in 2012 when he wrote, in his opinion ruling in favor of nullification advocate Julian Heicklen, he stated that “jury tampering” could only occur when an advocate is petitioning jurors on behalf of a specific case.  

 

Former New Hampshire Governor John Lynch was the first Governor to protect the jury’s right to nullification.

Judges across the country tend to agree with Judge Woods; in 2015 a Denver judge dismissed charges against Mark Iannicelli and Eric Brandt, who were charged with jury tampering after handing out similar pamphlets; while New Hampshire Governor John Lynch recently signed a bill into law that protects a juror’s right to be informed about jury nullification.

When states, prosecutors, like those in Mecosta County, purposefully withhold information from the jury, that’s how democracy begins to erode, that’s tyranny.

The War on Natural Rights

“He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”

— Friedrich NietzscheBeyond Good and Evil

 

Ben Franklin once said:

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” 

With this quote, Ben Franklin was arguing that a free society, built on the premise of natural rights; including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, cannot sacrifice its principals in the name of security, lest it become an un-free society.  Democratic governments are historically quite fragile.  Shocks, either exogenous or endogenous, can lead to drastic actions that either undermine or usurp a democratically elected government.  The curtailing of rights is usually the first step.  Therefore, it is unethical to curtail rights in times of war, lest we lose our ever tentative grasp on liberal democracy.

Hitler, and his government, were democratically elected.

Traumatic and extraordinary times, such as war, create situations where it may seem necessary to sacrifice these rights.  Free speech could be curtailed so as not to “spread enemy propaganda.”  Rights to privacy and unreasonable searches could be sacrificed so as to “aid in the search for enemy spies or agents.”   “Emergency Powers” may be “temporarily” given to the government for the “duration of the crisis.”  Elections can be suspended due to the “necessity of war.”  All of these things have traditionally been the steps through which an authoritarian or totalitarian regime usurps control from a democratic government.  Indeed, during the 1930s Weimer Republic, the Nazi party under Hitler did all of these things in the name of “security.”  It cannot be stressed enough that Hitler and the Nazis were democratically elected by the people of Germany.  By playing to the German peoples’ anger, fears, and uncertainties, Hitler and the Nazis were able to dissolve the Weimer Republic and usher in the Third Reich.

 

The citizens of Egypt demand the end of oppression.

The above example is but one of hundreds of examples throughout history.  Even today, authoritarian and totalitarian dictatorships justify their sweeping powers through the need for security, arguing that their methods are necessary to safeguard the nation.  Famously, for instance, the government of Egypt under Sadat and Mubarak declared a “State of Emergency” in 1967 during the Arab-Israeli War.  Which granted the government sweeping powers of arrest, censorship, and curtailment of human rights.  This “State of Emergency” lasted until 2012 when it was rescinded in the wake of the Arab Spring.  During this time, the Egyptian government enjoyed a monopoly of power at the expense of its citizenry’s right to free speech, expression, assembly, privacy, and other basic rights.

 

Recep Erdogan has been consolidating power since a failed coup attempt in 2016.

History has shown that freedom and liberty are fragile things.  The world that we appreciate and depend on today hangs on a knife’s edge.  Turning our attention to today’s world, we can see the same pattern in current governments.  Russia, where Putin’s United Russia party has held power since the fall of the Soviet Union, is constantly beset by “threats” and “dangers” from all sides, according to the Russian media.  In France, following the terrorist attacks in Paris, the Far Right “National Front” party experienced a brief surge in the polls culminating in the candidacy of Le Pen.  In Turkey, Erdogan declared a state of emergency, following the 2016 coup attempt which allowed him to silence critical elements of the press and conduct purges in the name of protecting against “those who work against the state.”  To date, the purge has extended beyond those directly involved in the coup to include anyone critical of his administration.  Even in the United States, the fear of terrorism has catapulted candidates like Trump to the Presidency, who actively campaigned on curtailing people’s rights.

 

This is not because people wish to be ruled by dictators.  People are simply just scared…terrified even.  In their fear they turn to bullies to protect them because the bully presents strength and security.  To use a more visceral analogy: Imagine being on a schoolyard playground and being bullied by a group of kids.  Another kid offers to protect you from the bullies.  In return, however, he asks you to do his homework.  You agree, and the kid proceeds to beat up the group that was bullying you.  He then comes back and says that he got in trouble with the teacher.  He demands that you take the blame for him, as he helped you out.  You agree to that too.  After all, he did protect you from the bullies, right?  As time goes on, your protector grows more and more demanding of you, eventually becoming like the bullies that he promised to protect you from to begin with.  This is, essentially, what the curtailment of rights and authoritarianism is on a mass scale.

 

People that are scared will agree to things that they never thought they’d agree to, accept compromises that before would have seemed inconceivable.  In doing so, they accept the curtailment of their rights, one by one, until there are no longer any rights.  But by then, the government is there to soothe them with propaganda.  Those that have curtailed those rights assure the people that all is well and safe…that security and prosperity are well within reach so long as the leaders are allowed to work their changes.  But as Charlie Chaplin said in his movie, “The Great Dictator;”

“By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power, but they lie, they do not fulfill their promise, they never will.”

 

Indeed, all of these things are lies told by the authoritarian to keep the people from realizing the awful truth: that their freedom has been stolen and their spirits have been shackled.

 

The curtailment of rights is a slippery slope.  A right curtailed here, a new emergency power there, and if one is not careful, one can find oneself in chains.  Therefore, it is unethical to curtail rights, even in times of war.  When fighting monsters, one must take care not to become a monster…or allow the monster through the door.