I grew up in a small town in Kentucky, the son of — at that time — McGovern Democrats. My dad was a math professor at the local college, my mom was a public-school teacher, and neither one of them had voted for a Republican in their lives — and had no intention to.
Me? As soon as I started learning about politics, I turned towards conservatism — dramatically — and started hectoring my parents. (Just after she pulled the lever for Mondale in 1984, I remember telling my mother that the moment she voted I'd felt a disturbance in the Force akin to that felt by Obi-Wan Kenobi at the destruction of Alderaan. She was not amused.) The change had nothing to do with youthful rebellion — after all, if it was standard for professors' kids to tack right, then Cambridge Massachusetts would be practically overrun with young Ted Cruz supporters — but rather two realities that were intruding upon my young mind.
The first, of course, was the Cold War and the Soviet threat. Without going into too many details, I thought détente was simply another word for appeasement, and found it incredible that some people actually argued that the right response to an expansionist totalitarian power was timidity and disarmament. more >>
The national LGBT advocacy group Human Rights Campaign is voicing its support for a Mormon Church-backed non-discrimination bill that was signed into Utah law last week, which is being touted by some as legislation that could be used as a "toolkit" for finding the middle ground between gay rights and freedom of religion in the workplace.
Last Wednesday, Utah lawmakers passed Senate Bill 296, which was inspired by a negotiated settlement between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Utah gay rights advocates. The law prohibits discrimination against LGBT persons in housing markets and in the workplace, while providing exemptions for religiously affiliated housing.
The law also protects people from being fired for any religious or political expression, or speech outside the workplace, and gives parity to religious or political expression inside the workplace. more >>
It seems so early, but eager candidates are already lining up to become the Republican nominee for president in the important race of 2016. There has already been one showcasing in Iowa, and candidates are seeking opportunities to strut their stuff and show why they are different from and better than the others.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush realizes that he is on the wrong side of the hottest issue at the grassroots, Common Core, so he is stressing his "backbone" in continuing to support an unpopular issue, calling it one of his "core beliefs." Gov. Bobby Jindal, on the other hand, demonstrated his leadership by reversing his original support of Common Core after his own kid came home with the stupid incoherent math homework assigned by the Common Core curriculum.
Maureen Dowd has already predicted who Democratic-Republican nominees will be: "Brace yourself for Hillary and Jeb." The New York Times made its choice by citing Jeb as "a top-banner intellect" who maintains 25 books on his Kindle and takes vacations called "think tanks." more >>
The recently displaced archbishop of Mosul, Iraq was speaking with particular candor when I met him last fall in the Middle East.
He said, "People in the West say 'they don't know.' How can you not know? You either support ISIS or you must have turned off all the satellites. I am sorry to say this, but my pain is big."
Like so many Christians in Iraq and Syria who watched ISIS kidnap their leaders, burn their churches, sell their children, and threaten all others with conversion or beheading; the archbishop wonders how it is that these maniacs so easily took his home city this summer? more >>
By constantly projecting Western standards on Islamic jihadist, CIA head John Brennan has come to epitomize the U.S. intelligence community's intellectual failures concerning the true sources of the jihad.
Last Friday, March 13, Brennan insisted that Islamic State (IS) members are not Islamic. Instead, "They are terrorists, they're criminals. Most—many—of them are psychopathic thugs, murderers who use a religious concept and masquerade and mask themselves in that religious construct."
Note his usage of terms familiar to Western people ("terrorists," "criminals," etc.). Islamic State jihadist may be all those things—including "psychopathic thugs"—from a Western paradigm, but the fact left out by Brennan is that, according to Islamic law and history, savage and psychopathic behavior is permissible, especially in the context of the jihad. more >>
Gong Hay Fat Choy! [Happy New Year!] The Chinese Year of the Sheep is upon us. Sheep are known for trying to make people happy and being loyal followers. Too many of our elected "leaders" have lived their careers in the Year of the Sheep.
This is also the year where potential presidential candidates surface. The candidates range from the anointed one, establishment insiders, and those pretending not to be insiders, to those on the fringe. All we now know is what the potential candidates have told us about themselves or what the media want us to know about them.
We have learned the hard way that policies are more than a catchy bumper sticker. Remember "Hope and Change"? more >>