Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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A topic that we keep talking about but rarely see in today’s society is ethics. For example, Leftists (and some NeverTrumpers for that matter) have their panties in a bunch over allegations Kellyanne Conway violated the Hatch Act. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it (mainly because you have more of a life than your humble commentator), the Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from engaging in political activities. Originally, it was meant to curtail the likelihood of bribery and corruption, but as we’ve seen in the past few decades, the Hatch Act is like training wheels on a Slip N Slide.

Of course, the Trump Administration is pushing back by defending Conway’s right to free speech, which made Leftists lose their shit and start talking about ethics.

Yes, folks, my irony meter broke just typing that sentence.

While I wait for a repairman to fix my irony meter, let’s talk about ethics, shall we?

ethics

What the Left thinks it means – a set of guiding principles that everyone else should follow

What it really means – a set of guiding principles that people today make up as they go along

Cynicism, thy name is Thomas. In my defense, though, I have seen a lot of ethical lapses in my nearly 50 years of schlepping around on this water-covered rock, from Watergate to Washington State and more stops in between than I can shake a stick at. That is, if I even have a stick to shake. Politicians, athletes, celebrities, and even Joe Average have all been getting looser with their ethical standards.

Remember the 1990s, where sex scandals would pop up like the men in said sex scandals? Granted, it was the 90s, the decade that gave us Crystal Pepsi, but at least we had some standards. Nowadays, sex scandals are more resume enhancers than career enders.

And it’s not just in the sexual arena, either. In general, we are allowing more and more stuff we used to decry not even 10 years ago. Recent surveys just within the past 2-3 years have shown college students are okay with plagiarism, cheating, and lying. Even adults are starting to throw their hands up in the air and give in to unethical behavior. (See Congress for proof of this.)

Neither major political party has clean hands when it comes to ethics, unfortunately. For every Democrat calling out Republican corruption, there is a Democrat doing the same thing, and vice versa. The problem is few people are willing to call out members of their own “team” when they are in the wrong. A big part of the problem is the entire “team” concept. In every political case where ethics are looser than Bernie Sanders’ grasp of Econ 101, you will find people lining up behind someone as scummy as they come in order to defend these scumbags against “partisan attacks.” There is a bevy of great reasons the Founding Fathers didn’t like political parties, and this is as good of a reason as any.

Outside of the political arena, I think people have decided to give up trying to do the right thing because it requires them to think of other people as fellow human beings instead of inconveniences interrupting your self-worship. We’ve gotten so used to taking shortcuts that we’re not even trying to find the road anymore. Besides, doing the right thing means you actually have to do something other than  sending #somebodydosomething to your Twitter peeps. On top of that, we’re always looking for self-gratification, which defeats the purpose of ethical behavior by taking the emphasis off the ethics and puts it onto ourselves.

Yes, I realize not everyone shares the same ethical background, so calling out a lack of ethics in any situation is bound to make people mad, upset, or just downright offended. Maybe your ethical framework makes it okay to cut corners or take a few pennies here and there from the till at work. Maybe you’re trans-ethical and self-identify as an ethical person. Regardless of where you stand on the topic, there is always going to be points of conflict. What might be right for you may not be right for some, so we may try to soften our stances to allow others to feel good about their behavior.

That’s why we’re in this ethical quagmire in the first place. By trying to be understanding of other people’s differences in ethics, we soften up our own ethics to the point even the most reasonable expectation of your fellow men and women becomes milquetoast so we don’t get in trouble. In social situations, that may not be a bad move, but it’s a terrible way to live a life. Everybody has standards, but we shouldn’t surrender ours because a transgendered woman with rainbow hair and more piercings than Julius Caesar outside the Forum wants you to accept his/her demand to breast feed. If you’re not okay with that, you shouldn’t force yourself to be okay with it. Holding your tongue in a situation where your ethics are challenged is surrendering without a shot being fired.

Look. I get we’re supposed to be tolerant of other viewpoints, but that tolerance needs to be two-way. I’ve made it a point in recent years to live by a simple code: do what’s right for everyone involved including yourself. And, yes, that means calling out ethical problems regardless of who might be hurt by it. One cannot be ethical without being honest, and brutally so at times.

So, let me be one voice in a chorus of people who think Kellyanne Conway should submit to whatever legal punishment awaits her should she be charged with violating the Hatch Act. Ethical standards shouldn’t be upheld in some cases and ignored in others just because of who violated them. We should hold all of our elected officials to the same ethical standard: don’t break, bend, or skirt the law, period. If a politician can’t hack that, he or she isn’t fit for the job and should be given a pink slip at your earliest convenience.

As for the Democrats and NeverTrumpers complaining about Conway, clean up your own houses first. Ditto for the Trump supporters backing Conway. A bad person with questionable ethics isn’t going to change as long as there’s no incentive to change. That means we’re going to have to stick firm to what we believe to be right, dig in our heels a bit, and be ready to defend said beliefs. It won’t be easy or always rewarding, but ethics are worth it every time.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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This past week, there was a great disturbance in the conservative Force, as though millions of voices cried out in anger and were silenced. Turns out YouTube just demonetized Steven Crowder’s videos after a Vox reporter got mad at some of the “harassment” he received from Crowder’s fans. That Vox reporter, Carlos Meza, refers to himself as queer and, surprise surprise, got upset when Crowder called him one! (Granted, there were other statements made to deride Meza, but the point is still the same.)

After YouTube initially said Crowder didn’t violate their Terms of Service, they reversed field like an NFL running back and demonetized his videos, meaning they wouldn’t be promoted and he wouldn’t receive ad revenue from them. Had it not been for Meza’s complaining to YouTube about their allowing Crowder a platform, we might not have the chance to analyze this relatively new Leftist tactic to shut down conservative speech: deplatforming.

deplatforming

What the Left thinks it means – not allowing hateful or potentially dangerous speech an audience

What it really means – a Leftist tactic to discourage discourse they don’t like

There is a key concept central to understanding deplatforming: this isn’t directly a free speech issue. Our right to speak doesn’t guarantee an audience. This principle is backed up by the fact so many talk shows get cancelled after the first season. Complicating matters in Crowder’s case is the fact YouTube is a private company and can set its own rules for use.

That is as long as those rules are enforced equally. And in YouTube’s case, they make Barney Fife look like Sherlock Holmes. Put simply, YouTube’s enforcement is all over the board, with conservatives and those perceived as conservatives (i.e. hateful according to Leftists) bearing the brunt of the punishment. Channels that promote racism, homophobia, and general hatred are struck down while those that promote racism, heterophobia, and general hatred go untouched.

And it’s not just on YouTube. Leftists on college campuses (or would it be campusi?) have found ways to prevent people from Ben Shapiro to Milo Yiannopoulos from speaking on campus through the use of procedural roadblocks, false security issues, and general overall whining, while they allow more radical left-leaning speakers a free pass in spite of outrage at what these speakers have said and done in the past.

As a side note, I’ve created a pretty reliable test for parents and students to determine the best schools. It’s called the Mumia Test. If the college your son or daughter wants to attend has had or would consider infamous cop-killer and Leftist icon Mumia Abu Jamal speak via telephone or other communication method, don’t send him or her there because it’s too far gone.

Anyway, the Left is able to have its cake and eat it too through deplatforming. They can still portray themselves as champions of free speech (that they approve of) while making a case that not all speech is worth hearing. And it’s consistent with the letter of the First Amendment, but not the spirit. Back in the Founding Fathers’ day, their remedy for bad speech was good speech. They didn’t run to George Washington whenever something bad was said about them (and, believe me, a lot was said about Thomas Jefferson that would make TMZ look like the New York Times before Leftists took it over and turned it into, well, the print version of TMZ.

The reason Leftists rely on deplatforming conservatives whenever they can is simple: they can’t hang in the marketplace of ideas. Leftist ideology is all about control: what you see, what you hear, what you do, what you think. If they eliminate the competition, they have more control over all of that. Part and parcel of that approach is they don’t have an answer for what conservative rhetoric outside of name-calling and forcing platforms to abide by its own rules, even when it would require using situational and biased decision making.

This is why YouTube demonetizing Steven Crowder (and many others who are being caught up erroneously by YouTube’s algorithms) is such a big deal. Crowder’s comments/insults were crude and over the line, but others who have said far worse have been given a lighter punishment…if they’ve been punished at all. And if you think this is “whataboutism” to defend Crowder, check out fellow YouTuber Gazi Kodzo, whose nickname in some parts of the Interwebs is “Black Hitler.” He has been just has hateful as Crowder (if not moreso, given his open hatred for whites and straights), but there does not appear to be any attempt to demonetize him on YouTube.

Yes, I know the tech giants went to Capitol Hill and swore up and down they were enforcing the rules right down the middle, but that’s as believable as Joe Biden writing his own material. The truth is YouTube, Google, Facebook, et al, lean left and apply the rules with that in mind. Hence, Crowder gets deplatformed and Kodzo gets ad revenue. Unfortunately, those tech giants are pretty much the only games in town if you want an online presence.

That’s why it’s important to fight back within the rules, and that starts with your mindset. If you express any opinion to the right of Che Guevara, no matter how reasonable it may be, Leftists will attack you, often personally as a means to get an emotional reaction out of you. As someone who’s been at the receiving end of such vitriol, it’s hard not to fight fire with fire, but I’ve learned to fight fire with sugar water. Don’t sink to their level, address the meat of their concerns (provided they have any meat), and let them keep escalating. In time, they will either get frustrated you aren’t taking the bait or will act in a way that even the Leftist gatekeepers can’t ignore the bad behavior of their online allies and drop the hammer. Most of the time, it will be a Nerf hammer, but the goal isn’t to get them deplatformed because you complained. It’s to protect yourselves and let the haters deplatform themselves.

It’s harder to do the same on college campuses than it is online, but it’s not impossible. Demand to hear other speakers from all sides of the ideological spectrum. If the colleges and universities can’t or won’t fulfill that need, find ways around it. Nothing says a college conservative club can’t have an off-campus event with a famous or semi-famous figure in conservative circles. Plus, the added bonus is if there are any threats of violence from Leftists or actual violence and property damage from Leftists, the police can get involved, thus bypassing campus security altogether. And I’ll bet there would be more than a few members packing heat (check local CCW/open carry laws before attempting), so security shouldn’t be an issue. Just serve cake and punch and you’re set!

Although deplatforming isn’t against free speech, it’s certainly a corrosive force that undermines it. With a little intellectual judo, though, it can be overcome while maintaining a true appreciation and love of free speech.

Plus, there could be punch and cake involved, so that’s a win-win!

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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If you’ve noticed more rainbows recently, you might think it’s due to all the rain in the Midwest or people protesting the opening of a new Chick fil A. June is Gay Pride Month, so members of the LGBTQABCEASYAS123 community will be out and about letting their Pride flags fly.

And along with that, a Leftist agenda.

Not every LBGTQ person is a Leftist, but the idea has been hijacked by the Left, which makes it a great addition to the Lexicon.

gay pride

What the Left thinks it means – a celebration of gay people and a force to bring equality for them

What it really means – a sense of pride stemming from trying to separate people

Leftists look at everyone in terms of labels: what color you are, what gender you are, what color of wine you drink when insulting Trump supporters, and so on. That helps them make decisions about who they’re dealing with quickly and without much effort. And once they label a person, it gives them a sense they control the person or people being labeled. Combine that with the Left’s natural tendency to believe they know what’s best for everyone, and you have a recipe for intellectual domination.

This is especially true of the gay rights movement. Leftists think they know what’s best for gays and at least try to appear to support them, including appearing at Pride rallies. They support legislative remedies to what they see are “gay problems,” support judicial remedies, and back candidates who are friendly to the gay rights movement or are gay themselves. And who is on record in support of gay pride? You guessed it. Canadians. Oh, and Leftists, too.

Where problems arise is when you look at the source of pride itself. The popular line of thought today is that being gay is genetic, meaning it’s out of our control, which means gay pride is taking pride at something you didn’t and couldn’t plan on. Like…oh, I don’t know…having brown hair because it runs in your family. Yet, I don’t see any Brunette Pride rallies being formed because it’s no big deal ultimately. The Left wants to treat gay people as though they’re Fabrige unicorns, rare and delicate, which makes it harder for people to see gays as anything but and helps Leftists make the argument that they’re oppressed and need protection.

In other words, creating oppression out of little for fun, profit, and, oh yes, votes.

To hear Leftists talk, gays of all backgrounds are in danger because of the mean ole GOP who wants to take extreme measures to prevent them from existing. Just listen to how they treat Vice President Mike Pence based on well-spun narratives with little to no basis in fact. Yet, in spite of the barbed rhetoric to the contrary, Vice President Pence has been cordial to gay people he’s encountered. Whatever he believes doesn’t prevent him from treating gay people as, well, people.

This is where the separation part comes into play. By creating imaginary oppression and casting anyone outside of Leftist circles as the enemy, Leftists have forced gays to choose between the Leftist hivemind and being ostracized like Pence. And when the Left offers gays the illusion of happiness, it’s hard to say no. It’s even harder when they see how Leftists treat non-Leftist gays. Let’s just say marching in every Pride parade from now until the end of the world (or 12 years, whichever comes first) won’t absolve the Left’s homophobia where conservatives gays are concerned.

This alone should be enough to make gay people question how deep the Left’s commitment to gay pride is. Passing legislation or getting favorable judicial rulings on same sex marriages don’t mean much if the people behind them don’t respect gays as people. And, from where I sit, the Left doesn’t give one-tenth of one shit about gays as people. They see you as tokens to move around a game board as they see fit. Meanwhile, outside of a handful of hateful religious types like the Westboro Baptist Church, most people don’t care if you’re gay. They just want you to be good people. That’s it.

And, let me just say you’re not doing any favors with some of the antics at and after Pride parades. Assless chaps may make you feel empowered, but they’re scaring the normal folks into creating a negative stereotype of all gays, lesbians, trans people, and so on. The biggest enemy of gay pride is the gay pride movement itself. Most groups have swallowed the Leftist Kool Aid like it was their last drink before hiking through Death Valley, so they will advance agendas that have little to nothing to do with actually being gay while letting the outliers be the only thing people see.

My approach to gay pride is simple: I don’t care. If you’re proud of being gay, then be proud and proclaim it any way you see fit. However, when you do that, remember what you say and do will get amplified by people who oppose you or wish to use you as a means to an end. Put simply, one can be proud of who and what you are without turning it into a Robert Mapplethorpe LARP.

The great irony in gay pride, or any pride for that matter, is in how public some people feel it needs to be in order to be respected. To me, pride is like being a badass: if you have to advertise it, you’re not one. Using gay pride to build bridges between the heterosexual and homosexual worlds is a great place to start. Not everyone will be thrilled, but most people will accept you as you are as long as you’re willing to do the same. That’s what the Left doesn’t want the gay pride movement to know, and it’s obvious why. As long as gay people feel ashamed or scared, the Left can always swoop in and be a white knight, and once they do, they will hold that over your heads for the rest of your lives.

It really doesn’t matter to me if you’re gay, straight, bi, trans, queer, pansexual, potsexual, polysexual, asexual, or just there. Just be a decent human being and I’ll respect you and try to be and do the same to you. From personal observation, that seems to be what most people want, no matter what gender you like to have sex with.

So, to the gay pride supporters out there, I hope you have a great month and I wish you the best. Now, I have to get ready for my Brunette Pride rally next month.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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Hello! I was forced to take a bit of a vacation last week due to Internet issues, but I’m back and I have a humdinger of a Lexicon entry this week.

Abortion has become a hot button issue in the past few weeks, almost as if…there’s an election coming up soon….With state laws in Georgia, Alabama, and Ohio limiting abortion options and political officials in New York State and Virginia seemingly saying abortion can be done up to and even after birth, both sides of the abortion debate are on edge more than people in a crack house next door to a police station. But I ran across a new term the Left is trying to use to promote their pro-baby-death position: reproductive freedom.

Put on your biohazard suits and have a barf bucket ready because this one is a doozy…

reproductive freedom

What the Left thinks it means – a woman’s right to do what she wants with her body, especially when it comes to terminating a pregnancy

What it really means – a new way to get people on board with the idea killing babies is freedom

Someone in the Leftist PR department must have seen recent polling data showing more and more young people are deciding not to bump uglies and have abortions after the fact. The word “freedom” has a lot of power and emotional heft because we like the concept so much. Whether it’s people shooting off firecrackers on Independence Day (or several weeks before it, depending on where you live) or women fighting for what they consider to be a fundamental right, freedom comes in all shapes and sizes.

When paired with “reproductive,” we have a phrase that evokes the love we have as well as the desire to leave the room whenever abortion comes up in conversation. And, yes, this is by design. The Left loves to combine words to create a name that hits you in the heart while not giving you much to hang your brain on. All they want you to do is feel the way they want you to feel.

Of course, that only exercises part of your brain, but it’s the more important part. Whenever we discuss reproductive freedom, we need to think as well as feel. And when that happens, the Left can’t operate as effectively because it allows us to see behind the curtain.

Let’s deal with one important fact about the Left and reproductive freedom: the Left needs abortion to control women. You read that right, kids. The Left gets a lot of money and political power through promoting reproductive freedom, and they wield that power without considering any other possible position on the subject. If you are against reproductive women, it’s because you hate women.

That’s going to come as a big shock to the pro-life women out there.

And that’s not the only fact The Handsmaid’s Tale cosplayers ignore in their desire to obtain what they claim the want. If you really look at it, reproductive freedom is primarily slanted in favor of women. They claim it’s because old white religious men keep making laws that restrict their right to terminate a pregnancy. At the same time, they rely on old white semi-religious men and women to give them the upper hand in the sexual arena. Yet, it takes a man and a woman to create life. How exactly is that fair to men and women? Spoiler Alert: it isn’t. Reproductive freedom is designed to give women every benefit at the expense of men.

This is not to say men’s hands are clean when it comes to reproductive freedom issues. There are untold number of guys who fuck and run, leaving a woman to deal with the consequences of having intercourse before she was ready. Then, there are rape and incest victims to consider. Put simply, for every position on reproductive freedom, there is a position not considered, or at least not considered in full.

What isn’t so muddy is the fact reproductive freedom when practiced as the Left wants all but guarantees a bad result. Look at Planned Parenthood’s latest advertising blitz saying “Abortion Is Health Care.” That may be true, but it’s health care that guarantees at least one of the patients dies in the process. You wouldn’t go to a tire place where two of the tires will blow out while you’re driving, so why go to Planned Parenthood at all?

That’s where things get a little tricky. If you take Planned Parenthood at their word here, how can it be “healthcare” when Planned Parenthood officials are on video saying they sell baby parts after abortions? On the other side, if we accept the pro-life stance, how can we exclude cases of rape and incest as valid reasons to have an abortion, which is part of some of the legislation being proposed and/or signed into state law?

This is why we need to have a long, hard discussion about reproductive freedom so we can find common ground. The extremes don’t want an answer, but I’m willing to bet most of the country does if for no other reason than to have both extremes shut up for a change. And, no, dressing up like a vagina and holding a sign calling a fetus a parasite or yelling at young women that they’re going to Hell if they get an abortion isn’t helping. Instead, let’s do a bit of thinking.

Abortion rates have been declining for the better part of a decade. This means Planned Parenthood and the Left are losing power and influence, which means they have to do something to keep both. What better way than to rile up both sides to react in a way that will guarantee reproductive freedom gets front and center? Put another way, this whole push for reproductive freedom right now is all an act, and as long as we continue to take the bait the act will continue.

The only way that act will have its curtain call is if we talk, not as enemies, but as people with different perspectives. Once that happens, reproductive freedom loses its power and we can get to a better place on this subject.

10 years without you

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Ten years ago I had a 3rd tragedy in as many years. On May 22nd of 2009 I lost a dear friend and so much more. I was beginning to recover from the losses that plagued me in 2007 and 2008. The loss of my mom to cancer was the first and the loss of my marriage was the second. And love had left me behind.

But of course when you don’t go looking for something you always find it. And I found love. I found that I could open my heart again to another. Friends become closer and other talks begin. That is what happened between myself and Susie. She called herself Susan to most of our mutual friends and people we both knew. But she used Susie with another group of friends. I liked either name. They both enabled me to smile.

We talked endlessly across the distance. I was in Des Moines and she was in Chicago. We both had our pasts and present. We talked to on another almost daily. The sound of her voice even today makes me smile. As we talked and chatted about everything. We discovered our mutual attraction. And we talked about the future. And our future.

Even though she suffered from asthma, she was planning on running in a race for the cure event over the Memorial Day weekend. I was thinking about making a weekend trip to Chicago so I could watch the run and was checking out hotels in the area. I didn’t make it to Chicago the way I planned over that weekend.

Susan passed away suddenly on May 22nd in 2009. I couldn’t eat, had trouble sleeping. I was depressed and struck with a terrible loss. The loss of my friend, the loss of a possible future, and the past 2 year losses all came tumbling back on me.

I did go to Chicago after Memorial Day that year. My aunt Alice paid for a hotel room so I wouldn’t have to attempt to drive back home the same night. But I went to Susie’s wake and memorial service. I had to go, I needed to go. To say good-bye. It was a very tearful day for me. And now 10 years later, I am still saddened by the loss.

Rest in Peace my sweet Susie, Zipper Sister and Mistress of Complications of the Deryni fandom.

The contenders

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The 2020 Election is fast approaching and this time the Democratic Party has a lot to gain. This go-around in American politics they currently have 23 announced candidates for the Office of President. The largest group in more than 40 years. And there are yet others thinking about getting into the race as well.

So looking at the demographics of the Democratic field we have the youngest candidate just 37 years of age and the oldest is 77 years of age. There is about a 3 to 1 male to female ratio. In hard numbers that is 16 males and 5 females running for the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party.

There are 7 current sitting US Senators. Four current sitting US House members. And 2 former US House members. There are 2 candidates that are former Obama Administration officials.

One former state governor with 2 current sitting state governors in the race. And at lastly there are 3 current sitting mayors. All of these vying for the Democratic ticket.

Although these candidates have a wide set of skills and experiences, some not helpful at all as President of the United States. They all have somethings in common with one another.

They all promote Leftist ideals of Socialism that have never worked in practice. These ideals are contrary to the founding principles of the United States as clearly written in the US Constitution and writings of the Founding Fathers.

They all promote so-called solutions to both real and imagined issues facing the nation and the world by spending money. This money must come from taxes or tariffs as the government is not a producer of any goods. Thus they are promoting increased taxation on everyone even if they deny it.

They are all against everything that President Donald Trump has done, which is a good number of things. President Trump has fulfilled campaign promises of his own and those promises that past Presidents have failed to accomplish.

Our taxes are lowered. Strangling regulations have been removed. Our economy is booming. Our allies and friends have our respect again. Israel, our only true ally in the middle-east, has it’s capital of Jerusalem recognized by the placement of our embassy.

And our enemies know that it is not business as usual anymore. America has awoken from its long slumber and is taking back what belongs to her. So even our enemies fearfully respect the US once again. And world peace is at its strongest point in many decades.

What do any of the Democratic candidates offer in exchange for your vote? Nothing but the end of American Exceptionalism, the end of our great Republic and wanting to replace it with a flawed democracy or socialist state.

Despite having 23 candidates the answer is already crystal clear for November 2020. The Trump Train isn’t stopping and everyone will need to be onboard.

Tlaib’s latest anti-Semitic invective continues bad trend – Guest Contributor Ari Kaufman

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On the heels of Rep. Ilhan Omar’s multiple anti-Semitic smears I’ve written about, a fellow freshman congresswoman in the Midwest continues the bad habit. 

An old rule of debate is the first person to use a Holocaust analogy loses. Perhaps Democrat Rep. Rashida Tlaib (MI) never learned this rule.

Less than a week after Holocaust Remembrance Day, she commented, among other things during a fawning left-leaning Yahoo podcast entitled “From Rashida With Love,” that thinking about the Holocaust gives her a “calming feeling.”

A BDS supporter, Tlaib went on to say that her Palestinian ancestors were impacted by the Holocaust’s aftermath, all while defending the one-state solution to theoretically resolve tensions between Palestinians and Israelis.
{It should be noted that the “one state solution” is an absurd, deadly policy supported only by extremists like Hamas terrorists. It effectively means the eradication of Israel, the first and only home of world Jewry after thousands of years of persecution. That is a genocidal policy supported by a U.S. politician.}
After her horrific rhetoric Tlaib, like Omar, conveniently played the victim and predictably engaged in straw man attacks, writing in part on Twitter: “Policing my words, twisting & turning them to ignite vile attacks on me will not work. All of you who are trying to silence me will fail miserably…it was my ancestors — Palestinians — who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence in many ways…”
Rashida Tlaib is a public figure, and like any politician, we will carefully listen to and closely analyze her words. No one wants to silence her. She knows this and her feckless comments do her a disservice. 
As to the substance, her claims are simply inaccurate. Palestinians did not “lose” anything after World War II. 
Once liberated concentration camp survivors left the nightmare of war-ravaged Europe, many of these Jews journeyed to their Biblical homeland of Israel to reunite with long-lost family and friends. Rather than greeting them, as Tlaib’s revisionism would have us believe, Arabs quickly rioted and convinced the compliant British to halt Jewish immigration. 
As soon as Israel finally and legally became a state in 1948, Arab countries quickly declared war on the new nation. They fought, and Israel miraculously prevailed. Since then, Palestinians could’ve had their own state many times, yet their belligerent leaders always refused, since the ultimate goal is the destruction of Israel, not peace. 
Jews were also in the Holy Land at least a thousand years before Arabs existed and constituted the majority in sparsely-populated Jerusalem since the early 19th century, as well as a clear majority along the Mediterranean coast since the 1910s. Arabs were a very small group in an area basically destroyed by the Romans 2,000 years before. 
And were regional Arab leaders three generations ago philo-Semitic, as Tlaib may have us believe? No, the precise opposite is true.
Haj Amin al-Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem (Muslim leader of Palestine during the Second World War), infamously met with Adolf Hitler late in 1941, where he thanked the Fuhrer for the “great honor he had bestowed” by receiving him. He also conveyed thanks, sympathy and “admiration from the entire Arab world” for support Hitler had shown in public speeches for the Arab and “especially the Palestinian cause.”
Indeed the Mufti sought a “Final Solution of the Jewish Question” just as much as the Nazis did.
Whether in America or Europe, open season for Jew hatred seemingly continues. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrat leadership inexplicably missed an easy opportunity in March for a resolution specifically condemning anti Semitism after Omar’s dangerous bigotry. 
Until repercussions for repugnant, hurtful comments by left-wing politicians occurs, we are unfortunately likely to see more of this disgraceful, vile rhetoric, including violence like last month at the San Diego synagogue.

A California native, former school teacher and military historian, Ari Kaufman has worked as a journalist for various publications around the country since 2004. He lives with his wife in Minnesota.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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Happy Mothers Day to all the mothers out there! Now, for a bit of bad news. We’re in the midst of a Constitutional crisis! And if we don’t address it, our country will be irrevocably damaged, the Presidency will be forever tarnished, Tyler Perry will make another Medea movie, and untold other horrible things. (At least, that’s what the Left keeps telling us this week.)

With all of the problems (real and imagined) we have to deal with, the Left’s drumbeat of “Constitutional crisis” may either be worrisome or tiring to the point where we just accept it in the hopes it will go away. Well, as a Mothers Day gift to you, I’m going to do my best to take away that fear and misery so you can have a good day. (And I didn’t save the receipt, so you can’t return it.)

Constitutional crisis

What the Left believes it means – a matter that threatens the very fabric of our country and system of government

What it really means – a matter where the Left tries to use the Constitution to hide the real crises

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: The Left loves to control the language as a means to control how people think about an issue, and the use of Constitutional crisis is no exception. Even when we don’t think about it, we still have a deep respect for the Constitution because it’s the cornerstone of our country. So, when paired with “crisis,” we tend to take it more seriously because of this respect for the Constitution.

This leads us to the question of whether we have a Constitutional crisis right now because of President Donald Trump and his Administration. To hear the Left talk about it, we’re either not in one and heading towards one 0r are in one and we need to act now. To someone like you and me, the answer isn’t so clear cut, but the phrasing makes it sound and feel like we are, and that’s what the Left is going for here: emotions over logic. Once you let your emotions run the show, the Left has their hooks in you and they won’t stop exploiting your emotions to make a point

The danger of that approach, though, lies in repetition. When such an emotionally charged phrase like “Constitutional crisis” gets used repeated or used in situations where it doesn’t really fit, it loses its power and people start to question its use across the board. It’s the “Boy Who Cried Wolf” phenomenon, or in this case, the Party That Cried Collusion. Once we’ve reached that stage, even real Constitutional crises get painted with the same broad brush and general apathy sets in.

Spoiler Alert, kids. We’re getting there.

After 2+ years of pounding the collusion drum like a John Bonham solo, the Mueller Report was a disappointment to the Left because it wasn’t the slam dunk the Left thought (i.e. prayed) it would be. Now, because it didn’t pan out, the Left needs to drive home the Constitutional crisis point to make up for the collusion point being ineffective. And, to make matters worse, they are using the same playbook now that they did when Russian collusion was the hot topic on the Left.

Which brings us to the next logical question: are we in a Constitutional crisis because of the Trump Administration? The answer is…well, complicated. To be fair, there are some actions and decisions Trump made that trouble me as a Constitutionalist. In his favor (and to my general dismay), he’s continuing a long line of Presidents who have treated the Constitution as a paper napkin at a barbecue joint. The continued use and abuse of the PATRIOT Act, eminent domain abuse, the bullying and blackballing of conservative voices in the public square, and many others I can list rise to the level of Constitutional crisis.

Trump winning an election and exercising power permitted by the Constitution? Not so much.

Even the most recent “example” the Left trotting it out may be in the kiddie pool of Constitutional crises, that being Attorney General William Barr declining to give additional testimony before Congress about the Mueller investigation after being subpoenaed by the House Judiciary Committee. On the one hand, it makes it look like Barr, Trump, and the whole Administration has something to hide which gives emotional heft to the Left’s argument. On the other hand, what good would it do? Barr testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee and gave answers to questions the House Judiciary Committee would probably repeat, so it’s a waste of time.

But there’s another, more sinister reason House Democrats want Barr to testify again: to try to catch him in a lie and, thus, try to discredit his previous testimony and keep both the Constitutional crisis and Russia collusion narratives going. If you doubt this, consider the fact Leftists are demanding we see the unredacted Mueller report in direct defiance of a law Democrats put into place following Kenneth Starr’s investigation into Whitewater prohibiting the release of grand jury testimony in the circumstance we find ourselves in today. And the cherry on top of this collusion sundae is the fact no Congressional Democrats with the authority to see the mostly unredacted report have done so.

This is the point where many people jump off the bandwagon and start asking questions. Are Leftists really as concerned about the Constitution as they say they are now, or are they just using it as a shield against earned criticism from the Russia collusion narrative going belly up? Let me consult my Magic 8 Ball here…there we go…yep, Signs Point To They’re Making Shit Up.

To be fair, neither major party has a good working relationship with the Constitution in decades. But one party has consistently used it as both a bludgeon and a shield to justify their actions and beliefs, and it’s not the Republicans. Ever since Trump won in 2016, the Left has tied itself into knots trying to either undo the election or make it so Trump and his supporters pay for their “wrongthink” whenever possible. The great irony here is neither of those options are in line with what the Constitution actually says. And the matter is worsened by the fact most of what the Left wants to hold Trump accountable for occurred before he was elected President, thus creating a new Constitutional question they haven’t considered in their rush to bring down the President. I wouldn’t call that a Constitutional crisis just yet, but it could become one if the Left doesn’t think about it soon.

Oh, who am I kidding? They won’t even think about it for a microsecond because the answer may doom the Trump Russia narrative.

From where I sit (in my living room, by the way), the Left’s use of “Constitutional crisis” is a political ploy to keep beating a dead horse to the point PETA is organizing protest marches against it. The best advice I can give you is to dig into some of the real Constitutional crises out there (like the ones I mentioned above) and compare them to the Left’s caterwauling over a situation that boils down to not wanting to accept the 2016 election results.

Wait, didn’t someone say not accepting the results of an election was bad? It was someone famous…a woman I think. Wonder what happened to her…

My 2019 Commencement Address

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Although you may not be able to tell from the weather outside, Spring is finally here again, as is graduation season. Appropriately enough, it’s also the time when I wait patiently for invitations to speak at graduation ceremonies that never come. Maybe it has something to do with a) not being famous enough, b) not being a rich enough alumnus to justify it, or c) they’ve read my past commencement addresses and said “Hard Pass.”

Regardless of those, I want to present to you the speech I would give (and am still willing to give) to this year’s graduating classes.

Hello, students, faculty, and family of the Class of 2019! If you are seeing and/or hearing this, we have survived yet another doomsday scenario dreamed up by people who claim to have all the answers. As a commencement speaker, it’s assumed I have all or at least most of the answers to what lies ahead. And you’d be right…and wrong.

You ever have that dream where you arrive to school on the last day for a final and realize you haven’t studied, the test has already been distributed, and you’re wearing nothing but a pair of pink Victoria Secret panties with matching bra and a pair of Crocs? Okay, maybe that’s just me, but the point is you’re scared, vulnerable, and don’t know what to do next. Welcome to Adulthood 2019, kids!

Instead of telling you to put on a brave face and go out and pursue your dreams, I’m going to level with you. It’s okay to be all of those things. Half the battle of being an adult these days is dealing with the anxiety that comes from being an adult these days. The other half of the battle? Knowing.

GI JOOOOOOOOOOOE!

Okay, bad 80s reference there.

The point is it’s okay to be uncertain in uncertain times, and we’ve hit the jackpot on the Slot Machine of Uncertainty lately. Whether it’s global climate change, the economy, tensions around the world, or where to get a good cup of coffee, there are always going to be problems that are too big for any of us to solve. And, yes, I know you think you have all the answers because I was once in that same position when I was your age. But all it takes is one person or situation to change all of that.

For me, it was the professor of my very first class at the University of Northern Iowa, Dr. John Eiklor. I walked into the auditorium for my first lecture thinking I was so brilliant and above it all, and 45 minutes later, I walked out realizing I needed to get my ego checked and my brain engaged. And since then, I have devoted myself to two causes. First, learning as much as I can to become more well-rounded, and second, never walking into an auditorium ever again. Well, that last one didn’t turn out so well due to having 6 more years of college to go at that part of my life, but the first one is still going strong.

Even though my desire for knowledge has continued, there are still some things where I’m just as clueless as ever. Like the Man Bun. No matter what, it rarely looks good on anyone unless you’re a samurai, and even then there is room for doubt.

Just like in life.

Soon, you will be faced with making adult decisions and you will make mistakes, just like I have. But it’s in the lessons we learn from those mistakes that make us who we are as adults. If it hadn’t been for Dr. Eiklor giving my ego a hard check into the sideboards, I don’t know if I would have been smart and brave enough to know that I didn’t know. Okay, that sounded better in my head, but the point is to always leave room for doubt in your lives because it’s in those gray areas where we find ourselves, both figuratively and literally, and maybe have some fun along the way. Instead of being bi-curious, be try-curious and try whatever suits your fancy. You will emerge from the experience richer than when you started it.

Just a word of warning, though. There are two consistencies in life. One is inconsistency. The other is there will always be bad movies coming out of Hollywood. We can’t overcome the latter, but we can overcome the former by keeping an open mind. Just because something worked for you now doesn’t mean it will always work. The worst thing you can do in your lives is to self-restrict your field of vision.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t some hard truths that can’t be swayed, however. I wanted to be a great basketball player in my teens, and I would be if I didn’t have the physical attributes of a three-toed sloth with narcolepsy. I still love to play, but I know I won’t be the next LeBron James and most likely neither will you. Welcome to the club!

Wait a second…did I just stumble across a nugget of wisdom here? Yes, yes I did. When all else fails, find common ground with people. So much of the stress we face in life comes down to us focusing on our differences instead of the really important stuff like what unites us. So, what should we be doing? Binge watching Netflix, of course! Well, either that or figuring out we’re different, just like everyone else!

Confusing, isn’t it? Well, that’s what awaits you once you walk out of here and into the next stages of your lives. Life isn’t supposed to make sense, folks. It’s supposed to be lived.

And that’s the best answer I can give you as far as what to expect out there in the Real World. You won’t have all the answers either, but at least you’ll know you won’t and that it’s okay not to have them. Just do right by yourself and others and you’ll be fine.

Thank you for listening and not throwing sharp and/or heavy objects at me. Congratulations, Class of 2019!

Game Publishing Dilemma

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I’ve been a table-top gamer for many decades now. During that time, I have played and GMed in a lot of game sessions using a vast number of rule sets or systems.

But when I look back only three of those rule sets are my favorite to play in or run. This doesn’t mean I don’t like the others by any means. It just means that three of them are my favorites.

Those three rule sets are:
1) The d6 system by West End Games
2) FUDGE by Grey Ghost Games
3) TinyD6 by Gallant Knight Games

These are just my top three favorites. I do enjoy others as well.

I have used many rule sets over the almost 40 years since my homebrew campaign started up with friends back in high school. From running whole story arcs with one rule set and switching to another for a single-shot adventure or two. And then changing again for the next major story arc.

So here I stand again at the crossroads of my great campaign setting. And I’ve debating with myself to create a published rule set for it. That of course brings me back to my top three favorite systems again.

I have private notes detailing the campaign setting into each of the three systems. None of them are 100% complete and they all get tweaked from time to time as I learn about other ways of using those rule sets and incorporate that information into my campaign of six-guns, sorcery, and psionics. Even with the incomplete notes, I could easily run an adventure using any of those systems around a gaming table.

So here is the point that has been driving me a bit crazy. Which one do I concentrate on?

Due to current licensing and other legal restrictions I am not able to publish my TinyD6 details. They are fine to use around the gaming table with friends but nothing more. Perhaps in the future this option will be available but at this time I must scratch it off the list.

The other two systems are open and very available to use in publishing material on my own setting with my own rule adaptations. And I already love both of those systems. I would like to spread the popularity of both FUDGE and the D6 system so this too has created a dilemma.

How do I choose one over the other?

Then I remembered. In the back appendix of the Fate 2 Fudge Edition book is a section on how to use Fate, which is derivative of FUDGE, with D6’s. I could do the same for FUDGE itself.

With that revelation I would be combining two of my favorite rule sets together. It was the perfect answer to the dilemma I was facing. I don’t have to choose. I can use both.

Thus I will work on the combination of FUDGE that uses d6’s like the D6 system. And the resulting hybrid will be FUDGE D6 for the Teara Adan campaign setting.