Islamic flags, cultural symbols, and why the swastika will never be brought back to its “peaceful” meaning Monday, Aug 18 2014 

Kevin Boyd:

Great piece on the New Jersey ISIS flag and reappropriating derogatory cultural symbols.

Originally posted on The Molly Bohmer Blog:

Earlier this week someone tweeted out a picture of what appeared to be a the “Black Standard” Islamic flag being displayed in a New Jersey neighborhood. Conservatives freaked out: “Islamic terrorism is here on our shores“!

Turns out the man is not an ISIS supporter, but is (from everything we can tell) a law-abiding American who loves the San Diego Chargers and happens to be Muslim. Marc Leibowitz, the man who tweeted out the picture, apologized profusely for bringing unwarranted negative attention to Mark Dunaway, the owner of the flag, who clarified it was his Ramadan tradition. He claimed he didn’t know ISIS was using the flag in their brutal campaign across the Middle East and would be happy to take it down so as not to cause offense.

Yay! A heartwarming story about tolerance and conflict resolution through very basic yet incredibly meaningful interactions.

But this…

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Police Militarization Sunday, Aug 17 2014 

Kevin Boyd:

Great piece on police militarization that you need to read.

Originally posted on D'ANCONIAS DAILY:

This past week the nation has watched on television the events unfolding in Ferguson, Missouri involving the shooting of an African-American teenager by a white police officer. Following this event has been the resultant “days of rage” outbursts by protestors who have demanded justice for the slain black teen. While it is not my intent to go into the details involving the investigation of that incident (That is a separate issue), relevant sub-plots have emerged from this event, among which has been the concept of “Police Militarization.”

Police Militarization is not a new concept. Police forces have long had links with the military that no other civil service can boast of. Among these similarities are: A hierarchical structural ranking system (i.e., Chain of Command), uniforms, and the legal mandate to use coercive force as a means of enforcing laws. Indeed, there are similarities between the two, however there are also…

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This nutshells the danger of rubber bullet-confusing journo’s reporting in Ferguson Sunday, Aug 17 2014 

Kevin Boyd:

We really need reporters who actually know what the hell they’re talking about.

Originally posted on Twitchy:

What ups the confidence factor in our oh-so-esteemed journalists? Well, as Twitchy reported, HuffPo journo Ryan Reilly confused rubber bullets with ear plugs. No, for serious.

This tweet summed it all up:

Precisely.

Heh.

On the bright side …

Godspeed, journalism.

Related:

‘Science much?’ Is THIS the reason HuffPo dweeb journo confused rubber bullets with earplugs?

#CanAnyoneConfirm? Rubber bullets, ear plugs; same diff! Help confused Huffpo journo ‘confirm’ more[photos]

‘Speechless!’ You won’t believe what Huffpo journo arrested in Ferguson…

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‘Rock bottom': Deputy chair of Minnesota GOP politicizes Robin Williams’ death Monday, Aug 11 2014 

Kevin Boyd:

What an ass

Originally posted on Twitchy:

How soon is too soon to politicize the death of actor and comedian Robin Williams? Tonight was definitely not the night, a lesson apparently not learned by Republican Party of Minnesota state secretary Chris Fields. Bluestem Prairie explains how Williams’ death led to a political Twitter war between Fields and Ellen C. Anderson, social media director of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.

Anderson tweeted a tribute to Robin Williams from her personal account.

Innocent enough, right?

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Robin Williams Lived Monday, Aug 11 2014 

Kevin Boyd:

Great piece about mental illness and how we can help those who suffer from depression.

Originally posted on Sarah Griffith Lund:

Robin Williams lived a life that brought laughter and joy to millions through his comedy and acting.

He died at his home from suicide on Monday, August 11, 2014, at the age 63. He battled a brain disease that included severe depression. Even with treatment, support from loved ones, and a successful career, mental illness still can be a deadly disease.

I remember when I first learned that Robin Williams had a mental illness and I was encouraged by his openness. I loved his work in Good Will Hunting, The Fisher King, Mrs. Doubtfire, Good Morning Vietnam, and his role as Mork from Mork and Mindy. My favorite work of his was stand-up comedy.

He had a brilliant brain. And he had a brain with a disease. He richly blessed us with his life.

May all of us find ways today to reach out and offer hope to one another…

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Robin Williams And How Depression Affects Us Creatives Monday, Aug 11 2014 

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Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams was found today in his California home. He was aged 63. It appears likely he committed suicide.

As I learned the news and did the story on the death for IJ Review, I found that the story was having a deep emotional impact on me. I found it odd because although I realized that Robin Williams is a very talented comedian and a very good actor, he wasn’t a favorite actor of mine. Then I realized when I the likely suicide of Robin Williams hit home, because it reminds me so much of my own struggles with depression.

For those of us who are creative, we tend to feel emotions far more intensely than most normal people do. When we’re happy, we’re very happy and when we’re sad, we’re very sad. We can make others laugh and we can be there for them, but the sad irony is that we can’t help ourselves and pull back the dark veil that is depression. Although we have many fans, we feel all alone in the world.

I have been to the point where I prayed that I didn’t wake the next morning. I have been to the point where I was seriously contemplating to take my own life. Sometimes, the feelings of hopelessness, deep sadness, and the deep emotional loneliness just become overwhelming and all the reassurance in the world just won’t make it better. Some of us just become better at wearing the mask of happiness, or at the very least contentment, in public.

What I found was contributing to my depression was the fact that I was trapped in a dead end occupation and once I was fired from that and began writing full-time and professionally, things began to turn around emotionally. The only thing I worry about is that these good times can come crashing down in an instant. If those of us who were given the gift of creativity are not using to entertain others and make the world a better place, it hurts. In the case of Robin Williams, even being a successful actor and comedian was not enough to soothe the pain and fill the emptiness.

As for Robin Williams, I hope God will realize that he was a sick man and that He will provide him with eternal comfort and love. I also pray that his family finds some measure of peace.

As for those of you who are reading and maybe suffering from depression, please get help. Find someone to talk to, you are not alone. Talk to a trusted friend or a family member and let them help you find help. You are loved and never forget that.

 

Elizabeth Warren’s Declaration Of Dependence And How To Combat It Saturday, Jul 19 2014 

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Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren delivered a speech to the Netroots Nation, which is a gathering for progressive bloggers and activists. In her speech, the crony captialist outlined her “11 Commandments Of Progressivism”, because apparently she thought she can do one better than God.

Here they are:

-“We believe that Wall Street needs stronger rules and tougher enforcement, and we’re willing to fight for it.”

 

- “We believe in science, and that means that we have a responsibility to protect this Earth.”

 

- “We believe that the Internet shouldn’t be rigged to benefit big corporations, and that means real net neutrality.”

 

- “We believe that no one should work full-time and still live in poverty, and that means raising the minimum wage.”

 

- “We believe that fast-food workers deserve a livable wage, and that means that when they take to the picket line, we are proud to fight alongside them.”

 

- “We believe that students are entitled to get an education without being crushed by debt.”

 

- “We believe that after a lifetime of work, people are entitled to retire with dignity, and that means protecting Social Security, Medicare, and pensions.”

 

- “We believe—I can’t believe I have to say this in 2014—we believe in equal pay for equal work.”

 

- “We believe that equal means equal, and that’s true in marriage, it’s true in the workplace, it’s true in all of America.”

 

- “We believe that immigration has made this country strong and vibrant, and that means reform.”

 

- “And we believe that corporations are not people, that women have a right to their bodies. We will overturn Hobby Lobby and we will fight for it. We will fight for it!

Lots of things about equality and government doing things for people, but nothing about freedom and responsibility. What these are a bunch of easily refuted talking points and ultimately, a declaration of dependence. Just give the government more control over your life and it will give you things.

What we on the center-right need to do is develop our own alternative version to this. We need to remind people that free markets are what create prosperity. We need to stop the left from falsely calling themselves the “party of science” and expose their quackery on GMOs, nuclear power, and vaccinations in addition to their alarmism on climate change. We need to address the real problem of student loan debt with free market solutions such as allowing student loans to be discharged in bankruptcy and allowing banks to include a student’s major in assessing risk. We also need to remind the American people that Social Security is need of reform or it won’t be there for future generations. Finally, we need to promote a culture of responsibility and push back against the mentality of “my body, my choice, your wallet”.

We cannot allow the left to define the narrative any longer. We must push back with our message of freedom, hope, and prosperity. More importantly, we need to develop real world solutions to the problems facing the American people and we need to communicate it effectively.

We need to quit allowing the left to put us in a position where we can be defined. In other words, people on the center-right need to stop saying stupid things (looking at you Todd Akin and Chris McDaniel).

I’m glad Elizabeth Warren has laid out the battlelines and now it is up to us be up for the challenge and crush her and the left’s statist agenda.

What To Do About Iraq? Sunday, Jun 22 2014 

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Eleven years after the capture of Baghdad by U.S. Forces and two years after the last American troops withdrew from that country, Iraq is burning. Militants from ISIS, which is an offshoot of al-Qaeda, are marching towards Baghdad and the Iraqi Army, which the U.S. has spent billions of dollars to help train and equip, has all but disintegrated. The country is on the verge of collapse.

There are increasing calls for the United States to get involved in this conflict. After all, the United States did contribute to the instability by the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003. Indeed, the U.S. appears to be laying the groundwork for an air campaign against the ISIS militants. However, this would be a mistake because here’s an opportunity to get America’s enemies at work killing each other instead of focusing on the Great Satan.

The thing to know about Iraq is that it’s not so much a country, but a collection of various tribes who have nothing in common who were thrown together by Western leaders after WWI. You cannot build a nation where there is nothing in common and when the various constituent groups are more interested in their own selves and not in the greater good. The best solution in the long-term for the entity known as Iraq is a three partition with an Shiite Arab state in the south, a Sunni Arab state in the north, and a Kurdish state on the Turkish border. Any attempt to prop the failed entity known as Iraq will wind up being a wasted investment.

The Mahdi Army, responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American troops and our new allies in Iraq

The Mahdi Army, responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American troops and our new allies in Iraq

Now Iraq’s misfortune can be America’s opportunity. America’s enemies are gathering their forces for the new battle of Iraq. The Iranians and their Syrian allies are already intervening on behalf of the Shiite led government of Iraq. With the Sunni jihadists growing stronger and pulling forces in from Syria, here’s an opportunity for both sides to fight a long stalemate and hopefully sap each other’s strength. There are downsides, the first of which is that one side is going to ultimately prevail. Another downside is that this war will create a humanitarian catastrophe and will result in many civilians being dead and displaced. Finally, such an unstable, war-torn environment may wind up spawning an Osama bin Laden type such as the war-torn Afghanistan did.

Our new Iranian allies

Our new Iranian allies

While the U.S. must be ready to act if these guys threaten American interests or plot attacks against the homeland, getting involved in Iraq would be a major mistake. There is no upside to American intervention where would be flying combat air support for Iranian troops. Why give America’s Islamist enemies, whether Sunni or Shia, a new focus for their attacks when they’re fighting each other? 

America’s role in Iraq should be limited to supporting an independent Kurdish state, where Americans are welcomed and are generally liked, because of our role in securing their de facto independence in 1991 with the “no fly zone” imposed on Saddam’s Iraq after the first Gulf War. Plus, the Kurds have oil.

Speaking of oil, maybe it’s time we started developing our own energy reserves domestically and stop relying on places that hate us for our energy needs.

Chris McDaniel And The Buckley Rule Monday, Jun 9 2014 

This election, I have generally supported candidates that can be best described as GOP establishment. In Texas, I supported Senator John Cornyn’s re-election. I also supported Senator Mitch McConnell’s reelection in Kentucky. In North Carolina, I wound up supporting House Speaker Thom Tillis’s nomination for the Senate over Greg Brannon. However, in Mississippi I have supported Chris McDaniel’s primary challenge to Senator Thad Cochran from the beginning. You’re probably asking what the difference is and it’s simple, the people I opposed earlier in the year I don’t believe could’ve won in November against the Democrat and Chris McDaniel can. It does not do the cause of liberty any good to nominate a liberty-minded candidate who will lose in November versus a guy who can be pressured to support us depending on the cause.

William F. Buckley is one my political heroes. I have always enjoyed his work and I’m a firm believer in the Buckley Rule. Those of us who are interested in seeing liberty advance have an obligation to not only support a liberty candidate but more importantly, to support the most viable liberty candidate on the ballot. A liberty candidate’s viability should not be confined to whether or not they can win a Republican primary but whether or not they can win a general election as well. All too often, many liberty activists forget about the general election and are too focused on defeating the “establishment” and all too often over look the obvious flaws in a candidate just because they’re “pro-liberty” or “anti-establishment”.

I opposed Steve Stockman, Dwayne Stovall, Greg Brannon, and Matt Bevin because I did not think either of those four men could prevail against their Democrat general election opponents and their nominations would be ultimately a net loss for liberty just as the nominations of Sharron Angle, Ken Buck, and Christine O’Donnell were. It does no good to defeat the establishment GOP candidate, who can be persuaded on a case by case basis to support our issues and people, if we cannot win in November.

Whereas I opposed Stockman, Stovall, Brannon, and Bevin because they were sure losers in November, I strongly support Chris McDaniel and have since the beginning of his candidacy because he is the most viable liberty candidate who can not only defeat Thad Cochran but also he can hold the seat in November.

Thad Cochran’s record (which I point out in my earlier linked piece) is one of the most abysmal for a Republican in the Senate. Higher spending, social authoritarianism, undermining civil liberties, and a too interventionist foreign policy; Thad Cochran has consistently voted for all this. Thad Cochran has demonstrated both through his Senate record and the way he has conducted his campaign that he is beyond repair. He must go.

We have an opportunity for a serious upgrade in Chris McDaniel on many of those issues.

While we should challenge candidates in the primary, we have an obligation to back candidates who can win in November. Some of our candidates won’t survive the vetting of a primary and that’s fine. We learn our lessons and move on while supporting the most liberty-friendly and viable candidate in the general election.

Meanwhile, encourage your friends in Mississippi to vote for Chris McDaniel on June 24th.

HGTV Hosts Fired For Being Conservative Christians And Why That’s Wrong Monday, May 12 2014 

Twin brothers David and Jason Benham were set to host a flipping show on HGTV called “Flip It Forward”, however today HGTV has decided to not go forward with the show. The decision was made after a liberal website, Right Wing Watch, accused the two brothers of being right-wing extremists because they opposed abortion, gay marriage, and divorce.

The Daily Caller reports that the two brothers have issued a statement.

In a statement, David and Jason Benham said: “With all of the grotesque things that can be seen and heard on television today you would think there would be room for two twin brothers who are faithful to our families, committed to biblical principles, and dedicated professionals. If our faith costs us a television show then so be it.”

………..

In their statement Thursday, David and Jason Benham said they are “saddened to hear HGTV’s decision.”

“The first and last thought on our minds as we begin and end each day is; have we shined Christ’s light today?” the statement read. “Our faith is the fundamental calling in our lives, and the centerpiece of who we are. As Christians we are called to love our fellow man.”

They added: “Anyone who suggests that we hate homosexuals or people of other faiths is either misinformed or lying.”

“Over the last decade, we’ve sold thousands of homes with the guiding principle of producing value and breathing life into each family that has crossed our path, and we do not, nor will we ever discriminate against people who do not share our views,” the Benhams said.
This comes on the heels of the forced resignation of Brendan Eich from Mozilla after it was revealed he donated money to California’s Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage and the calls for a boycott of Chick Fil-A for its owners’ opposition to gay marriage in 2012 and 2013.
Liberals tend to only support tolerance and diversity when it is beliefs that they agree with. This needs to stop. As a society, we need to be accepting of our disagreements and not go after people’s jobs and livelihoods when someone dares to express an opinion that is unpopular and that we may disagree with. A society where people cannot work and live along side people they strongly disagree with on moral and political issues is a closed society and eventually becomes an unfree society. The true measure of diversity is diversity of thought, not just of skin color.

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