Today the U.S. Supreme Court will meet for more than two hours to hear oral arguments about same-sex marriage.
So why does this matter? Sarah Torre, a policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation, explains what you need to know about the case.
The post Why Today’s Supreme Court Case on Same-Sex Marriage Matters appeared first on The Daily Signal.
My latest Townhall column is called, Rioters And Looters Belong In Jail, In The Morgue Or On The Business End Of A Nightstick. Here’s an excerpt from the column. Since Obama
We all make mistakes and some of us learn from them. What is even better is to learn from other people’s mistakes, where they pay for those mistakes while we
Whenever I have received a call from a listener to my radio show challenging Israel’s legitimacy, I have asked these people if they ever called a radio show to challenge
In January, Robert F. McDonnell, 71st governor of Virginia, was sentenced to two years in prison followed by two years of supervised release after his conviction on 11 counts of
When future historians analyze the decline of America they need look no further than the trivialities increasingly occupying our time and concerns instead of substantive matters seriously threatening our existence.
Like spring, bipartisanship is busting out all over. Even more so maybe: Washington in a time of alleged global warming is suffering through a chilly, wet springtime, but bipartisanship is
Planned economy, one industry at a time.
Next up in the Inter-nyet policy? Amazon delivery innovation.
You would think Democrats would have better hills to die on than knowingly advertising child prostitution.
Patent reform is a complicated mess and the rhetoric is going to heat up crazily by the end.
As I write this, the Governor of Maryland has called out the National Guard, parts of Baltimore are on fire, the rubble grows, and violence is sweeping the city.
I think there are partisan points to make, but I prefer not to make them here. I think there are political points to make, but I prefer in this not to make them. My heart just breaks for those people — for the people who feel the need to riot, for those who would cheer them on, and for the actual victims whose property and, in some cases, lives are destroyed. My heart breaks for the loss of trust, the loss of life, the loss of property, and the loss of community. My heart breaks knowing that in some cases there never was trust or life or community.
People are going to offer political solutions. People are going to offer partisan solutions. Campaign 2016 is upon us, the former Governor of Maryland is a contender. What is happening in Baltimore could potentially be just another useful tool in a partisan cog for a political machine somewhere. Regardless, checks will be written. Large sums of money will be paid. And the fact of the matter is that nothing will really improve. People will talk about improving things. Some people will even try to improve things. But I don’t think things will really, actually improve much.
There are partisan points and there are political points. But ultimately this is an issue of culture. Culture is an issue politics does not shape. Culture, instead, shapes politics. Culture flows downstream and, like a river, carves and erodes. Our culture continues to erode things and we now have politicians and activists who surf the rapids of that cultural river as it courses through politics and they seek to make names for themselves over the eroded society.
Further downstream we are just left with mud and silt. That mud and silt can be fertile ground for seeds. And there is one seed that can be planted that no storm or flood or drought or fire can uproot or destroy. That seed’s name is Jesus. And His blood is the only thing that can save Baltimore from itself and us from ourselves.
Politicians will come and go and profit and lose. The Church should make the many Baltimores of this world its mission field.
When we reach the point of death and destruction and riots in our streets, we have moved beyond the political. No political salve can ever fully calm or heal. Politicians will talk and promise and blame, but they fall short. They, like you and I, are sinners. Baltimore needs more than another bunch of sinners talking promises.
To quote Dr. King:
You may not be able to define God in philosophical terms. Men through the ages have tried to talk about him. Plato said that he was the Architectonic Good. Aristotle called him the Unmoved Mover. Hegel called him the Absolute Whole. Then there was a man named Paul Tillich who called him Being-Itself. We don’t need to know all of these high-sounding terms. Maybe we have to know him and discover him another way.
One day you ought to rise up and say, “I know him because he’s a lily of the valley.” He’s a bright and morning star. He’s a rose of Sharon. He’s a battle-axe in the time of Babylon. And then somewhere you ought to just reach out and say, “He’s my everything. He’s my mother and my father. He’s my sister and my brother. He’s a friend to the friendless.” This is the God of the universe. And if you believe in him and worship him, something will happen in your life. You will smile when others around you are crying. This is the power of God.
Go out this morning. Love yourself, and that means rational and healthy self-interest. You are commanded to do that. That’s the length of life. Then follow that: Love your neighbor as you love yourself. You are commanded to do that. That’s the breadth of life. And I’m going to take my seat now by letting you know that there’s a first and even greater commandment: “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy strength.” I think the psychologist would just say with all thy personality. And when you do that, you’ve got the breadth of life.
And when you get all three of these together, you can walk and never get weary. You can look up and see the morning stars singing together, and the sons of God shouting for joy. When you get all of these working together in your very life, judgement will roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.
When you get all the three of these together, the lamb will lie down with the lion.
When you get all three of these together, you look up and every valley will be exalted, and every hill and mountain will be made low; the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places straight; and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh will see it together.
When you get all three of these working together, you will do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.
When you get all three of these together, you will recognize that out of one blood God made all men to dwell upon the face of the earth.
I agree with Robby Soave that non-defensive violence is not a good solution, both for moral and tactical reasons. But I nonetheless find myself filled with empathy for the people—rioters? protesters?— who have been engaging in acts of violence against police property, corporate property, and police themselves this afternoon and evening in Baltimore. That's not to say I condone their acts, but I find them understandable. Resistance isn't always rational, nor necessarily kind. Or, to say it another way, desperate people do desperate things. And it is very clear that there are a lot of people in this country in a state of desperation over our unaccountable, ever-encroaching, fee-mongering, violence-first police force and its myriad biases.
I was never a police hater or even much of a police skeptic, you guys. Sure, I believed in bad apples and bad laws—especially concentrated on/around bad policy, like the drug war—but I still believed the vast majority of individual cops and law enforcement agents were basically good. And they still may be, but it doesn't really matter in the face of a system that's so thoroughly stacked, at all levels, against the vulnerable and disenfranchised, as well as toward the perpetuation of its own power and unaccountability. Covering "criminal justice" in various ways for the past year and a half at Reason—from the crafting of legislation aimed at cracking down on criminals of various sorts and the swelling/moral squalor of America's jails and prisons to individual instances of police abuse and the "general warrants" that are vice laws … I don't necessarily think most cops or prosecutors are bad people, but they're fucked (as are we all) by a sweeping, self-perpetuating schemata that knows but one problem and one solution: bad guys and more (thorough) more (prisons) more (funds) more (fear) more (MORE) law enforcement.
Meanwhile, a lot of people still want everyone to pass the perfect victim and perfect rationality test in order to gain at least a shred of sympathy. Last week I wrote about a woman, Suzanne Guzman, who saw her son kidnapped out of her driveway (dad had put him, sleeping, in the family car and then went back inside for a moment) and called the police, a situation that resulted in mom being thrown down, handcuffed, and arrested along with her husband while friends helped locate their son and car. The trouble started when the woman refused to let police into her house until her husband, who was out searching for their son, returned; her initial reason was that she had two big, unfriendly dogs he needed to corral.
Police insisted it was policy to first check the house—maybe the boy went back inside (or maybe she was a murderer). Yes, you and I can see, reading about this dispassionately from the Internet, that this is not an entirely unreasonable request and the whole process would probably have gone a lot smoother if she had just wrangled the dogs herself and let the cops in. In any event, her shouting at them and getting immediately defense didn't help. But neither did the cops' utter lack of warmth, patience, or empathy.
It's not too hard to put yourself in this woman's place, isn't it? Her son is missing; there's 911 audio of her in hysterics. She's desperate—and here police are seeming to not believe her version of events and not putting their best efforts into what she believes will help actually find her son. She has difficult dogs—cops have been known to shoot those. Maybe she is breaking some sort of unrelated law—maybe there's an eighth of weed, a friend's painkiller prescription, or an unregistered weapon inside. Some might say all these pale in comparison to helping cops find one's child, but there was (and she knew this) already an Amber Alert and a cadre of cops out looking for him. Perhaps Guzman judged that nothing was to be gained by letting cops in immediately to search for a son whom she knew wasn't inside; in fact, it could make things worse. If now-agitated officers discovered some infraction in the midst of their search, they may charge the parents or even try to take their children away.
Police haven't been above arresting crime victims for low-level offenses in the midst of investigating their cases. When I highlight a case like this it's not necessarily to say, what terrible people these individual cops involved are!, but because I think all these individual instances add up to something. I'm not sure anyone knows what exactly that is yet—there's racism involved, sure, but also poverty, and power, militarization, pay-for-play officers, petty fines, police unions, and a whole lot of cops shooting the mentally ill. There is no simple answer, but some things, or many, are clearly and desperately amiss.
Beyond the harm caused to individual victims and their loved ones, or the outbursts that capture national attention as in Baltimore right now, each of these stories, from the relatively minor to life altering to the fatal—each Suzanne Guzman and Danielle Meitiv and Shona Banda, each Freddie Gray, Eric Harris, and Walter Scott—breeds more of a stealthily toxic dynamic between police and those they're supposed to be protecting. People in certain communities have long preached the axiom "never call the police" (i.e., they'll only make things worse). It's getting to the point where that advice seems wise for a wider and wider swath of people.
Perhaps our perfect victims will never have to worry. But most of us are not perfect victims. And some could never be no matter how rule-abiding their lives. We shouldn't be asking people to be perfect before they deserve respect, constitutional protections, equal treatment under the law, and a modicum of understanding.
I'm a pretty mild-mannered and non-confrontational person, but I've raised my voice at overzealous traffic cops and excessively bureaucratic customer-service reps. Dealing with a seemingly needless level of surveillance and inflexible-authority can be frustrating. Imagine if that was your only or ongoing experience with law enforcement. Imagine if those traffic cops had a robust record of randomly shooting people who looked like you.
Those rioting and perpetuating violence against Baltimore cops weren't being imminently threatened. It's easy to point fingers at them. It's warranted on one level. But we all know that, right? We also know that in some cases, history forgives non-directly defensive violence. It's a hyperbolic comparison, sure, but those boats full of British tea weren't directly threatening anyone's life or liberty.
All I'm really trying to say is there's a binary in blame that's both all too prevalent and all too unproductive. We needn't endorse the means of desperate people to acknowledge their ends are worth fighting for, nor must imperfect acts of resistance prove the roots of this resistance unworthy. Condemning the counter-productiveness of such acts is fine, but it shouldn't ignore the context these imperfect acts take place in. Sometimes people take to the streets not with well-planned political agendas or thoughts to how it will play out on Twitter but with a raw, terrified, excitable, and justified anger at an unjust state.
From the Fox News live feed.
Goodness gracious, but we in Maryland dodged a bullet there.
The post And here’s your Image of the Night with regard to Baltimore. appeared first on RedState.
President Obama meets with Attorney General Loretta Lynch on the situation in Baltimore: http://t.co/hzTFrWd3lo pic.twitter.com/Yg5KVytiDf
-- The White House (@WhiteHouse) April 28, 2015
Via the NY Post:
“It seems like the Clinton Foundation operates as a slush fund for the Clintons,” said Bill Allison, a senior fellow at the Sunlight Foundation, a government watchdog group where progressive Democrat and Fordham Law professor Zephyr Teachout was once an organizing director.
In fact, the finances are so bad that one major charity rating group, Charity Navigator, refuses to give the Clinton Foundation a rating:
The Clinton family’s mega-charity took in more than $140 million in grants and pledges in 2013 but spent just $9 million on direct aid.
The group spent the bulk of its windfall on administration, travel, and salaries and bonuses, with the fattest payouts going to family friends.
Charity Navigator, which rates nonprofits, recently refused to rate the Clinton Foundation because its “atypical business model . . . doesn’t meet our criteria.”
Charity Navigator put the foundation on its “watch list,” which warns potential donors about investing in problematic charities. The 23 charities on the list include the Rev. Al Sharpton’s troubled National Action Network, which is cited for failing to pay payroll taxes for several years.
Last year, former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell drew 2 years in prison. He was accused of accepting golf outings, free travel, and loans from a political donor well under $200,000 in value. What this shows is that if you have the right politics during the time a Democrat is president that you are bulletproof. Where GOP administrations will hound even allies from office with malicious prosecutions (see Stevens, Ted and Libby, Scooter), the Obama administration relentlessly protects those with the correct politics. Otherwise, Eric Holder and Lois Lerner would have paid attention to this nest of corruption.
The post Clinton Foundation called a slush fund by charity monitor appeared first on RedState.