Lord Dampnut vs The Free West

california-outline-and-flag-solidTrump thinks he can bully states into submission by threatening to take away their federal support. One problem: the states most likely to cross him are ones that receive less federal support than they pay in taxes. Cutting off California would be biting the hand that feeds his voting base in poor red states across the midwest and south. If the federal government stops sending money to California, then California may stop sending money to the federal government, and would suddenly have enough to replace all of that federal money and eliminate their debt in a year or two (ignoring other factors). Trump must be clueless about where his “federal money” comes from, or he simply doesn’t care about the people who voted for him.

This is why “alternative facts” are so dangerous. Trump’s loyal supporters are repeating his false claims that California sucks resources from the rest of the country in the form of welfare. This isn’t just false, it’s the complete opposite of reality. And since California intends to stand up to Trump’s bullying, he’s just perpetuating a social division that, taken to an extreme, could result in the west coast breaking off from the rest of the country. This stupidity and belligerence of Trump and his clueless supporters is the sort of thing that can fuel major geopolitical changes, and I don’t think they would like the outcome of this one. Chances are good that nobody would.

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How to be pro-choice and pro-life at the same time

seven-week-embryoI don’t weigh in much on the issue of abortion. I’m not sure why, but I did write a pro-life paper in college before I came to my senses. You could call me pro-life still, I suppose, but it means something much different. I am literally in favor of life; I think it’s a cool thing that should be protected from needless harm.

But not all living things are equal. It’s helpful to distinguish between different meanings of the word before we attempt to have an argument. When we talk about life, are we including plants? Insects? Or are we talking about something else?

I have to ask conservative pro-life people what they mean when they refer to a human life, the ending of which would be morally wrong. What sort of criteria can we use to distinguish between a human life and a sample of living human tissue? Or in other words, how do we distinguish dead people from living people? Obviously a severed foot, even if it’s fresh enough that the cells are still mostly alive, is not a human life, though it’s both human and alive. But what about a complete human body? What can we test to see if it’s alive or not?

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A Two-Dimensional Political Spectrum

politicsWhen discussing politics in America, there’s a lot of talk about left vs. right, liberal vs. conservative, and so on. Most of these distinctions have some meaning but fail to accurately represent reality. Some people have mapped political views along two separate scales in a sort of Cartesian graph, which makes a lot of sense (one source is the Political Compass). I’m going to explain such a graph in my own words, with a few tweaks to hopefully make it more clear what the graph means to me, who I oppose, and why.

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Christianity and Sexual Crimes

6244e8ca9f2025d54ad8ba98367dd37dWhen I first heard about the child molesting committed by Josh Duggar when he was a teenager, I wasn’t surprised. It’s a sadly familiar story, especially to me. Josh’s story is almost exactly the same as the story of one of my cousins. The difference, though, is that my cousin is in prison right now. Not because his crimes were handled correctly by his family; when he returned to America years later, he didn’t expect there to be an arrest warrant and police officers waiting for him because he didn’t know that charges were filed in his absence.

It isn’t a surprising story because we’ve heard it so many times already; I wrote generally about child abuse among Christians several months ago. It isn’t even surprising that the police officer to whom the Duggars “reported” the incidents is now serving a lengthy prison sentence for a repeat offence of child pornography. After all, the former leader of the Duggar’s cult, Bill Gothard, was finally forced to resign recently after dozens of accusations of sexual abuse piled up and prompted an investigation. Sexual crime is no stranger to fundamentalist Christianity, on both the Catholic and the Protestant sides.

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Attack of the Evil Liberal Genitalia

"I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it." - John Stuart Mill

“I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it.” – John Stuart Mill (Well I can’t really put a picture of liberal genitalia in this article, can I?)

In his new capacity as Chief Conservative Ranter on the nasty ad-ridden site The Blaze, Matt Walsh continues to occasionally say true things while still being very wrong. I’m not even sure what’s more annoying, his words, or the ads that plague the website like internet herpes.

Just like when he wrote about a lesbian couple who sued Christians, he looks at the actions of a few liberals and then somehow reaches the conclusion that they perfectly represent all of them. He could just as easily apply his fallacy of composition to pop singers instead of liberals, but since he already has what seems like a compulsive fear and hatred of liberals, he jumps at a chance to attack them all at once.

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Conservative Delusions, Propaganda, and Bad Journalism

chickFilASince a great majority of my friends are conservative religious folks, and somehow strangely gullible, I witness the sharing and applauding of a lot of inaccurate and even satirical articles as truth. I try to let them down gently by providing actual sources with the truth of things. Then occasionally there’s an article that is factually correct but heaps a bunch of opinionated claims on top of it in order to turn it into an attack on their opponents.

The Conservative Tribune, a highly unreliable source of “news” that cites itself as the source in most cases where it actually links to something else, published this article two days ago…about an event that happened almost a year ago. They don’t actually publish news, they just write about anything they can that will give them a foundation from which to attack liberals.

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