The End of the First Amendment?

132 Views

If you felt a great disturbance in the Force as if millions of voices cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced, that was my fault. I had burritos for lunch.

If you felt a great disturbance in the First Amendment as if millions of voices cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced, you must have been following Twitter feeds regarding Gawker filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. For those of you unfamiliar with Gawker, count your blessings. Put simply, if the Internet had a birdcage, the bird would refuse to crap on Gawker.

The Leftist media are lamenting the fact a billionaire, Peter Thiel, was able to back a lawsuit against Gawker for defying a court order and publishing a sex tape involving former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan. They even tried to justify their actions on Gawker. And this position lead to…losing the lawsuit to a guy allowed to wear a bandana in court to the tune of $140 million. And I thought there were a lot of zeroes working for Gawker…

After the courts laid the judiciary smackdown on Gawker, they had financial difficulties leading to today’s announcement. Now, every so-called journalist seems to be lining up to fret about freedom of the press. After all, if Gawker could be taken down by a billionaire, what’s to stop others from doing the same?

Well, they could start by…oh, I don’t know…not breaking the law?

The Left’s concern about freedom of the press is admirable, but misplaced in this situation. It’s not like a billionaire has targeted the New York Times and bankrupted it. (Well, unless you count Carlos Slim, that is.) But aside from the obvious lack of comparability, journalism is not taking a hit by Gawker filing bankruptcy. If anything, it should be a wake-up call for journalists to act carefully when it comes to matters of personal privacy and the law. And if you find yourself on the wrong side of the law, you need to find your way back to the right side as quickly as you can. Don’t double down on stupid like Gawker did!

When it comes down to it, the First Amendment is healthier than the Left believes or wants it to be, Gawker or no Gawker. And if I had my wish, it would definitely be without Gawker.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

141 Views

The recent sentencing of former Stanford swimmer and all around scumbag Brock Turner has outraged many, confused others, and generally made people shake their heads. (For more information on the case, feel free to check out my previous blog post on the subject. We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog already in progress.)

On the Left, Turner’s sentence, which was lighter than an albino at a Salon management meeting, was proof of “rape culture.” What is rape culture? I’m glad you asked!

rape culture

What the Left believes it means: a society that tolerates or encourages men to rape women

What it really means: a catch-all excuse where men are sexual deviants and women are divine, perfect creatures

If you are a woman, you are in extreme danger. You are living in a culture where 1 out of 5 college age women are raped…no, make it 1 out of 4…no, make it 1 out of 3…wait, what week is it?

Listening to the Left talking about rape culture is like listening to Joe Biden after a few NyQuil margaritas: you don’t know what is going to be said, but you know it’s bound to be entertaining, yet completely dumb. The concept of rape culture revolves around the idea women, who are powerful and able to make decisions for themselves, are completely inept when it comes to preventing rape. No, it’s up to men to stop rapes!

This is one reason I don’t turn on my Irony Meter when writing these pieces. Those things are pretty expensive to replace.

Maybe the Left didn’t get the memo, or maybe they’re just overlooking reality to create a narrative. Of the two, I’m betting on the latter. I know. I’m just as shocked as you are thinking the Left would willingly ignore reality just to advance a lie, but it’s true.

And in other news, water is wet, fire is hot, and Justin Bieber is annoying.

Seriously, though, it’s easy to be convinced of a rape culture when the people who claim it’s there bring up statistics like the 1 in 5 I referenced earlier. But once you dig into the numbers themselves, you find the statistics are based on different definitions of what rape is. Some even include sexual intercourse when one or more of the partners are drunk.

In other words, if you had sex with Ted Kennedy, some researchers think you’ve been raped.

Putting aside the statistics, there is another really great way to figure out whether we have a rape culture. It’s called “Opening Your Eyes.” Unless I’m missing something, rape is still seen as a bad thing in America, and it’s a pretty widespread notion. Sure, there are plenty of exceptions to the rule, but by comparison, the good guy to bad guy ratio is still pretty heavily weighted in favor of the good guys.

Of course, we’re not focusing on men acting civilized because it’s to be expected. Wait a second…if men acting civilized is the norm, how is that a  rape culture? Wouldn’t a rape culture be, you know, more rapey?

Why, yes. Yes it would.

The fact our society still doesn’t condone rape by and large is proof of a lack of rape culture, not proof of the existence of one. So, technically, we have a non-rape culture. Or a rape-is-bad culture. Or a Leftists-couldn’t-find-culture-in-a-full-yogurt-container culture.

Regardless of what you call the rape-deficient rape culture, the point is the idea is sexist on its face. Not only do you have to believe the worst about men, but you have to believe ideas that would be considered misogynistic and wrong if a man said them. But since it’s the Left, and feminists in particular, expressing them…they’re still misogynistic and wrong.

Why So Serious?

83 Views

If you’re a frequent reader of my pieces, thank you, first of all. It’s always good to know your ramblings have a following. Also, could I borrow $10? You know, just until I get paid?

You might have also noticed I’ve been pretty serious recently. Part of that is because the issues I’ve found recently have been more serious, and as a result, I held back on the wisecracks for the most part. (I can’t stop being a smartass. It’s like breathing to me.) So, I went looking for something a little lighter, and boy did I find it!

The University of Canterbury in New Zealand released a study…about LEGOs. If I knew I could do academic research on children’s toys, I would have gone for my Doctorate! Anyway, the study showed LEGO sets are getting more violent because there are more weapons in more recent sets and there are more angry faces showing up in said sets.

Oh, crap! I should have given you a trigger warning before you beat your heads against the wall. Oh, no! I said “trigger”! That proves how dangerous LEGO sets have become! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Wait a minute…maybe the reason LEGO sets have more weapons and angry faces is because…the company is putting out sets based on popular movies…with weapons and angry people in them! Granted, they haven’t released the LEGO Natural Born Killers set (yet), but they have released sets based on Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, and superhero movies. Why? Because that’s what kids want! And a university decided to spend grant money on a study that I was able to improve upon in a blog post? Because I would totally be okay if some university would pay me to do that sort of thing. Just sayin’.

This is getting ridiculous, folks. People are spending time and money to bring serious meaning to things that aren’t serious. But enough about the Bernie Sanders campaign. What’s next? Is there some university working on a study about the dangers of Nerf weaponry? What about the hidden messages hidden within the entire Barbie line? And why doesn’t Ken have a working block and tackle? These are the questions that got me kicked out of many a Starbucks. Well, it was either that or my “Can I get coffee with my overpriced steamed milk?” t-shirt.

In either case, adults are finding new ways to take the fun out of childhood. It’s almost like some people are trying to turn kids into adults washed in hot water and dried on high for, oh, 14 months straight. But that’s not what kids are supposed to be doing. There is plenty of time to learn how to be adults and it’s called…adulthood. (It used to be called college, but that was before every student needed more safe spaces than a softball tournament.) Until then, let children play with LEGOs, Barbies, Nerf weapons, or whatever they want to play with because they only have a limited time when they will be young.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a Batman action figure calling my name.

A Tale of Two Cases

159 Views

Recently, a former Stanford swimmer named Brock Turner was sentenced to six months in jail after he was found guilty of raping an unconscious female student in 2015. When you consider Turner could have gotten up to 10 years in prison, he got off with a light reprimand.

And people are furious!

Now, I’m not going to defend Turner in any way, shape, or form. What he did was not only legally and morally wrong, but will ruin his life (and deservedly so). Rape is a serious matter and should not be taken lightly.

Across our northern border, another man was acquitted of similar charges earlier this year. His name is Jian Ghomeshi, and he was a former star of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) until he was accused of sexually assaulting a former girlfriend. Prior to the charges being verified, Ghomeshi lost his job and was found guilty in the court of public opinion. Upon further scrutiny of the legal case, however, the prosecution’s case fell apart after it was determined the three people bringing suit weren’t credible due in large part to inconsistencies in their testimony and outright deception on their parts.

And people were…not paying attention. There must have been a game on or something.

People are already coming out of the woodwork saying the Turner verdict is proof of “rape culture.” The problem is the verdict is the exception and not the rule. For there to be a rape culture, Turner should not have been punished in the first place. You may not like the fact his sentence was lighter than deserved, but he is being punished both in the short term and for the rest of his life because he will now have to register as a sex offender. (Still not enough for me, but I can live with it.)

In Ghomeshi’s case, however, he was punished before the case even went to trial, solely because of the nature of the charges. Again, if there is a rape culture, there wouldn’t have been a case filed against Ghomeshi, he wouldn’t have lost his job, and he might have even been held up as a hero. Instead, he has had his reputation sullied, and there will always be people who will overlook his acquittal and believe he’s a sex offender.

There is room for righteous anger in both cases, the former because of the light sentence, the latter because the punishment does not fit the lack of a crime. The problem is only the Turner case will get days and column inches of coverage.

Rape is serious business, and we owe it to the victims of sexual assault to treat it as such. However, that does not require us to treat every accusation as true and the alleged perpetrator as guilty. Instead, it requires a thorough vetting of the facts and mature consideration of them. A false rape allegation can be just as damaging as a proven allegation. We cannot afford to shoot first and ask questions later in these cases for that very reason.

Your Scientific Papers, Please

103 Views

Sometimes, it takes me a while to find news stories to share with you faithful readers. Other times, the blogs and jokes write themselves.

From our good friends in the California Senate comes Senate Bill 1161, known as the California Climate Science Truth and Accountability Act of 2016. What would this bill do exactly? Considering it’s from the land of fruits, nuts, and flakes, nothing good.

But let me let the California State Senate Rules Committee provide further details.

This bill explicitly authorizes district attorneys and the Attorney General to pursue UCL (Unfair Competition Law) claims alleging that a business or organization has directly or indirectly engaged in unfair competition with respect to scientific evidence regarding the existence, extent, or current or future impacts of anthropogenic induced climate change.
To put it in non-Legalese, the bill gives attorneys the ability to go after companies and organizations they believe attempt to muddy the waters of the “settled science” of man-made global climate change.

Let that sink in for a moment. This bill would essentially make it illegal to dissent with the Left’s version of science.

The good news is the bill has been withdrawn after groups from both sides of the political spectrum attacked it as being too extreme. The bad news is the bill can be reintroduced later (like, say, when the Left gets rid of these  nutjobs who believe in this wacky idea they call “freedom of speech”). For now, though, climate change realists can continue to tell the truth about how little impact humans have on global temperatures.

And that’s why the Left feels they need to silence those of us who think they’re full of crap because, well, we understand science. The Left wants to use science as a sword when they think it proves their points. Let’s not forget the Left has been saying man-made global warming has been “settled science” for years and anyone who disagrees with the science is like Holocaust deniers.

Except when the science proves them wrong. Then, they ignore the actual science in favor of their “settled science” or try to discredit it in any way they can. With the California Climate Science Truth and Accountability Act of 2016, the Left attempted to give their “science” a legal cudgel to beat their opponents into submission.

All because they can’t debate the topic honestly.

When It Rains…

129 Views

If you thought the recent blunder by the Obama Administration defending wait times at the Veterans Administration by comparing it to lines at Disneyland was bad, be prepared to pick your jaws up off the floor. It seems the VA has trouble distinguishing between live vets and dead ones.

Now, for the sake of argument, let’s assume it’s one or two veterans. That could be chalked up to a bureaucratic snafu, an oversight that isn’t indicative of the efficiency of the VA as a whole. Surely it can’t be much more than that, could it?

Well…it’s not just one or two veterans. We’re talking more than 4000 veterans who have been mistakenly declared dead by the VA. And when you consider the implications of such a mistake includes removing benefits these veterans have earned with their sweat, blood, tears, and even their bodies, the little snafu has become a major controversy.

For the record, I’m not a Johnny-Come-Lately when it comes to a desire to cut government waste. At this point, I have little confidence that the VA will be able to improve conditions across the board, and no number of E Tickets to VA Land is going to change that. What will change that is something that will be controversial to some, a long time coming to others, and a total mystery to many.

It’s time to do a cost-benefit analysis of the VA to determine whether it’s still viable, and if/when it’s not, dismantle it from top to bottom.

To some, that sounds like I’m turning my back on the veterans who have fought for my right to rant online, but nothing could be further from the truth. What I want is for veterans to get the care they need in a timely fashion. Government cannot and maybe will not do that. If government sees a problem, their first instinct is to try to make money off it.

Put another way, government is not in the problem-solving business. It’s one of my Irrefutable Facts of Life, and it’s being proven by the VA right now. If the VA were serious about helping veterans, they would close up shop right now, take the money they’re getting from taxpayers, and give it directly to veterans. Of course, that won’t happen, but one can dream…

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

97 Views

Memorial Day is almost upon us, and with it we are encouraged to remember those who have given their lives to preserve the freedoms we far too often take for granted. These folks are heroes to most people.

People…except for Leftists.

In fact, Leftists have a completely different viewpoint on what constitutes a hero, which makes for a perfect entry in the Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week.

hero

What the Left believes it means: a person who fights injustice, intolerance, and other societal problems

What it really means: a person worthy of respect

When it comes to Leftist heroes, the bar is set lower than a snake’s appendix scar. Whether it’s someone well-known as Ted “I Let a Woman Die in My Car and All I Got Was a Lousy Senate Seat” Kennedy or someone like a leader for Black Lives Matter, the Left seems to hand out hero labels like they hand out participation trophies.

Yet, they’re reticent to recognize people who have actually done something to warrant the label. Police officers? Nope! They’re part of the controlling power structure! Some Internet hack who focused on portrayal of women in video games? Totes heroic! And why? She received unconfirmed death threats! That’s completely more heroic than men and women who risk their lives on a daily basis to protect us and receive actual death threats!

If this seems weird to you, it’s not just you. It’s because it is weird. The Left has double standards galore, and this is just another one. What makes this one different from the other double standards is the fact you don’t actually have to do anything to earn a hero label from the Left (unless, of course, you’re to the right of Fidel Castro). With today’s communication technology, you don’t even need to leave your Mom’s basement to be considered a hero. Just write a blog, upload a video to YouTube, or send out a Tweet the Left agrees with and you’ll punch a ticket to Leftist Hero Land.

Here’s a great case in point. The Left went head over heels when Bruce Jenner said he wanted to get a sex change and be called Caitlyn. (On a side note, Kanye West may want to be very careful around the Kardashians given what happened with Bruce.) He/she was so brave for coming out and owning his new gender.

Then, he came out as a Republican. You would have thought he/she ran over someone with his/her car…oh, wait. Too soon?

Seriously, when Caitlyn Jenner identified as a Republican, the Left turned on him/her. Now, Jenner isn’t a “real transgender” because he/she didn’t adopt the Left’s mindset. And you thought the Left lionizing Robert Byrd while telling blacks they were the only ones who truly represent blacks was insane.

Granted, not every police officer, firefighter, military person, and other traditional heroes are worthy of the hero title. Just like with any group of people, the law of averages says there is bound to be a scumbag in their midst. Yet, we cannot let the bad outshine the good. If anything, it should inspire us to work harder to find and lionize those who deserve to be called heroes.

And that starts with all of you reading this piece. Set those standards you refused to compromise and find those who exceed those standards. If they are as good as you believe they are and inspire you to be better yourself, then you’ve found a hero.

And that’s what the Left doesn’t understand. You cannot slap a label on someone who hasn’t done anything and suddenly make that label a fact, no matter how much you want to believe it to be so. You may think Joe Biden is a smart man, but at the end of the day, there are still people hired to spin whatever he says to make it sound less Bidenesque.

The Unhappiest Place on Earth

138 Views

To put it mildly, 2016 has been a pretty weird year so far. From Donald Trump being the last Republican standing to the federal government going after fellow Leftists at Apple, it’s getting hard to believe there aren’t monkeys with typewriters pounding out Shakespeare as we speak.

But even typing monkeys aren’t as absurd as the current situation with the Veterans’ Administration. It started with wait times at VA hospitals being measured in ice ages. Instead of fixing the problem, the VA has done what government agencies with problems have done for decades: pretended the problem didn’t exist while getting more money to prop up the failing system.

But wait! It gets dumber!

Enter current VA Secretary Robert McDonald. Earlier this week, he responded to criticism of wait times at the VA by comparing them to wait times…at Disneyland. In the interest of fairness, let’s compare the two by the numbers.

Number of deaths attributable to delays in VA care: over 307,000 according to a report by the Department of Veterans Affairs released in 2015

Number of deaths attributable to waiting in line at Disneyland: 0, according to Wikipedia

Granted, Wikipedia is usually as reliable as Joe Biden, so I dug a bit deeper. Upon further review, I found…no deaths attributable to waiting in line at Disneyland.

But they’re totally the same, people! Especially if you use Common Core math!

Since McDonald’s fateful and, well, stupid comments, he has taken so much heat, Satan is suing him for infringing on the copyright of Hell. He has since tried to apologize, but it’s the kind of apology you’d expect from a politician trying to explain away an embarrassing situation. In other words, it’s the kind of apology you’d get from Hillary Clinton.

Put simply, McDonald’s career in the VA is probably going to be coming to a close very soon as a result of the Disneyland comparison, but it won’t be soon enough for me. The fact any veteran has to wait for a week let alone several months to get even basic care is inexcusable, and McDonald’s comments and subsequent attempt to walk them back isn’t going to do him any favors.

Of course, he might still have a great spot with the US Postal Service waiting for him, so he’s got that going for him.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

135 Views

Since 2013 or so, there has been a new creature lurking in the darker corners of the Internet, one that doesn’t seem threatening at first, but is ultimately a menace to society. I’m speaking, of course, of Grumpy Cat.

Actually, I’m speaking of Social Justice Warriors, or SJWs for short. Since they are going to be around for a little while, I figured it might be a good idea to define the term.

Social Justice Warrior (SJW)
What the Left says it means: people committed to equality for all, especially those who have been oppressed by society

What it really means: people who should be committed, period

I first became aware of Social Justice Warriors in 2014 due to GamerGate. Without going into too much detail, GamerGate started out as a criticism of video game journalism ethics (or lack thereof) and grew into a movement where gamers of all stripes attempted to defend their source of fun.

And as we’ve seen, the Left hates fun in any form. Enter the Social Justice Warriors, who took it upon themselves to uphold ethical standards in video games. Just kidding. These buzzkills wanted to force game companies to adjust their behaviors and practices to better match the SJW mindset because sexism…or something.

Fortunately, we’ve taken care of all of the sexism in the world except for those darn video games! Good thing there aren’t any countries where women are being put to death for…oh, I don’t know…wanting to be treated like human beings. Women being stoned in the Middle East? Nothing compared to pixelated women in video games! That’s where the real oppression lies!

For the SJWs reading this, that was sarcasm.

At the root of the SJW movement is the concept of social justice. To the SJWs, social justice can only occur when the current social, political, cultural, and power structures are torn down and replaced with social, political, cultural, and power structures of their preference. Of course, they don’t typically go into detail into what those structures look like, but I’m sure they’ll let us know just as soon as they’ve taken care of the whole women in video games thing.

This is where things get muddier than Pig Pen taking a dip in the Mississippi River. Without letting us know why the current structures are horrible and what they propose to replace them, SJWs can’t really compete in the free marketplace of ideas. So, they do what any good Leftists in their shoes do.

They retreat to Tumblr and create echo chambers…I mean safe spaces where everyone is brilliant and moral and right, and anyone who disagrees with them is a racist, misogynist, homophobic, transphobic, cisgendered doodiehead. Or whatever the Insult of the Month is on Tumblr.

Here’s the thing, though. SJWs aren’t interested in justice, social or otherwise. What they want and have gotten in a lot of cases is power and control. Just look at the situation with Target right now. Women and girls can’t take a gun into the store, but they can be exposed to men who self-identify as women in restrooms. And what’s happened? Target’s first quarter earnings have tanked worse than Mike Dukakis.

And it’s all because they’ve surrendered to SJWs. Congratulations, Target. Oh, by the way, K-Mart called. They want to know when you’re moving in to their condo in Failureville.

Target isn’t the first company to kowtow to SJWs, and they won’t be the last. Here’s the thing, though. SJWs only have the power you give them. If you are afraid of being called a sexist, you’re going to cave in. A lot. And, spoiler alert, it will never be enough. They will always demand more from you under threat of being called a bad name.

Really? You’re that scared of being called a name by a bunch of people with less power than a 2 watt light bulb? They’re like a chihuahua with a megaphone. They’re loud and will get a lot of attention, but they’re not much to handle. Oh, and they’re shrill and annoying, but I’m thinking you got that part already.

As GamerGate showed us, SJWs really hate it when you challenge them and don’t really care what you’re called. As it went on, public opinion solidified behind those who called out the SJWs, and they won because they had better ideas and better means to communicate them. Of course, it didn’t hurt that SJWs were as popular as VD in a brothel. That has changed, though.

Now, VD is more popular than SJWs and much less painful to deal with.

Strange Bedfellows

147 Views

To put it mildly, I’m not a Donald Trump fan. However, the New York Times has put me into a situation I never thought I’d ever encounter.

I’m forced to defend Donald Trump.

It starts with a Times story that paints the Donald as a sexist monster that makes Bill Clinton look like Mitt Romney. Normally, a story like this would be right up the #NeverTrump movement’s alley…at least until you do a bit more digging into the story. One of the article’s primary sources came out on “Fox and Friends” this morning and said she never had any inappropriate sexual encounters with Trump.

Oops.

To say journalistic standards have declined in recent decades is like saying Al Gore needs to work on his personality. It’s accurate, but it’s an understatement of epic proportions. And leading the pack as newspapers swirl down the drain is the Gray Lady. Although they’ve had their problems in recent years, taking on Donald Trump, especially with a story that seems flimsier than a toilet paper teddy, is not a smart move.

And if you thought Trump was bad before, Gray Lady, he’s only going to get worse. You’ve given him not just legal and political ammo, you’ve turned him into a sympathetic figure (or as much of one as can be made of him). Not to mention, you’ve given the Right yet another example of Leftist media bias that you can’t begin to deny without looking like buffoons. And considering you guys were the geniuses who hired Jayson Blair, that seems to be pretty easy to do.

But let’s say you’re right. Let’s say you have hard evidence Donald Trump is a misogynist and have no problem releasing it. That would be a major story, one that you could use to compare Trump…to the husband of a current Presidential candidate, former President, and documented rapist. Now, I can’t speak to Trump’s sexual history, but I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say he hasn’t actually raped anyone, unlike the aforementioned candidate’s husband.

But please, tell me more how Trump is bad for women. Oh, and while you do, make sure you give equal treatment to the Left. Wouldn’t want you to look like a partisan rag, right?