Saturday, June 11, 2016

Move the goal posts? How about erasing them altogether!?

Decius at the Journal of American Greatness writes about Speaker Paul Ryan and his plans for a new GOP initiative on poverty...
But the Trump campaign is vastly superior to Ryan in its core understanding of the core issues most urgent right now. Every new President can focus on three, at most four, such issues. Trump seems to have three: secure borders, economic nationalism, and interests-based foreign policy. We can have a debate about whether those are the most urgent issues just now. Indeed, the whole campaign may be said to be such a debate. We’ll see who wins. 

Obviously, we at JAG think these are the most urgent issues just now. Maybe you agree, maybe you don’t. But does anyone—other than Paul Ryan—believe that developing a new poverty policy is the most urgent issue right now? Perhaps Jack Kemp’s ghost?
The "why" of Ryan's priority has little to do with compassion for the poor. It has everything to do with compassion for his own political career.

The three Trump policy priorities Decius lists above have one thing in common: They can be measured for success or failure. Ryan's cannot. There is no metric by which you can judge an anti-poverty campaign. You can, however, determine whether or not a border is truly secure. You can judge whether or not an economic policy is helping or hurting the economy. You can decide whether or not our foreign policy is advancing or hindering our national interests.

Trump, unlike Paul Ryan or the entire Democrat Party, is putting his political capital where his mouth is. He's advancing policy priorities that can be used to judge his performance. Judging Ryan's performance with regard to the efficacy of his poverty program would be like nailing Jell-O to a tree. Since you can't say that he succeeded, you can't say that he failed.

There's an old Klingon proverb: bItuHlaHbe'chugh bIquvlaHbe'. "If you cannot be shamed, you cannot be honored." Paul Ryan turns that on its ear to become "If you cannot be honored, you cannot be shamed."

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

It's been a while

I just have to laugh at the GOP establishment (GOPe).

They've spent months battling The Donald. They've been expecting his implosion. They've been expecting the rise of an anointed candidate; preferable one who's the son of a former president and who's name rhymes with "Bush". They've been waiting for those other awful candidates like Cruz and Paul to go away. Everything was supposed to go their way again. They were supposed to get their milquetoast candidate, lose another election, and return to a comfortable life of complaining about the ruling Democrats.

But, none of that happened.

Bush tanked. Rubio tanked. Kasich tanked. Graham tanked. And now their last hope of stopping The Donald is Ted Cruz! The one guy they hate possibly more than they hate Trump is now their last hope.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

I'm still here

Hi! This is a post. It doesn't tell you anything beyond that.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Google Chrome fun

I had this happen after the latest update from Google for Chrome: The "newtab" page stopped working. I have "chrome://newtab/" as my start page. This was getting redirected to "chrome-internal://newtab/" which went nowhere. After some digging, I found that bad (or, I suppose, out of date) extensions can cause this. Open "chrome://extensions/" and turn off all of your extensions. Then, one by one, turn them back on and try newtab. Then just leave the problem child disabled.

I'm posting this here in the hope that the next person who has this happen won't have to search quite so long.

Monday, July 22, 2013

So where should Christians be in the immigration debate?

I got to thinking about this earlier today while tweeting about House Speaker John Boehner and whether or not he would cave in to the Senate's demands for amnesty and a "path to citizenship". I stopped before clicking "Tweet" to consider whether or not I was just being foul tempered and snarky; or if I was being consistent with the Word of God. What should Christians think about this issue?

I had been reading in the Old Testament recently and these verses from Zechariah Ch 7 came to mind:
And the word of the Lord came again to Zechariah: “This is what the Lord Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice;show mercy and compassion to one another. 10 Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor.Do not plot evil against each other.’
There are references throughout the Old Testament about the treatment of foreigners. God reminds the children of Israel that they too were foreigners in Egypt and thus must not mistreat foreigners in their midst.

In Zechariah, the word translated as "foreigner" is the Hebrew word "ger" (גֵּ֥ר). This word is often translated as sojourner or stranger. It implies a gentile living among the Israelites and obeying some basic rules (namely the laws given to Noah) and accepting the authority of the rabbinical court. This is as opposed to the more generic "goy" (גּוֹי) where no such adherence to the law or rabbinical authority exists. In fact, we see throughout the Old Testament that the goyim are so often the enemies of Israel; not only fighting against them and oppressing them, but also introducing them to idolatry and leading them away from God..

So for us, this tells us that there are foreigners and then there are foreigners. Those who come here and obey our laws and customs ought to be welcomed among us. Those who break our laws and ignore our customs... not so much.

So where does justice lie?

There are two options only for amnesty: Grant it or deny it. It's a binary decision. If we deny it, then there are once again, only two options open to us: Ignore those here illegally, which is de facto amnesty, or forcibly remove them from the country. The latter I believe to be unjust.

There are "officially" 10-12 million illegal aliens living in the US. Some estimates put that number at closer to 20 million. There is simply no way to move upwards of 20 million people in a forced migration without killing thousands in the process. History shows many instances of mass deportations being used as a mechanism for genocide. Why? Because it works for those bent upon killing the target population. Even when genocide isn't the intent, deaths occur whenever mass deportation is used by a government. During the "ethnic cleansing" of Kosovo, the Serbs meant only to remove the Albanian population from Kosovo. Their intent wasn't genocide. However, many displaced Kosovars died anyway. Even with the resources of the United States at our disposal, I do not see how we could safely move so many people. I may not want these people here, but I don't want them dead either!

So if we're forced to grant amnesty, what about a "path to citizenship"? That, I believe, would also be unjust. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) points out that this would be ”profoundly unfair to the millions of legal immigrants who followed the rules.” It would also be unfair to the American people. A "path to citizenship" would suddenly inject millions of people into the voting public who do not share our values or our culture. This would be like opening our elections to the rest of the world. How would it be fair to the American people have their government chosen by people who do not share American values? Or worse, who may despise American values?

So if we are to seek justice and mercy, we need to value both the lives of those living among us and the liberty of the American people. We cannot force millions to move and we cannot force millions of others to accept what would amount to foreign rule.

Thursday, April 25, 2013