We have reached the point in nanny-state laws that we are legislating manners instead of public safety. This was a theme when the city council voted to ban the use of electronic cigarettes in "public places." These "public places" are actually private property. The city is deciding for property owners whether they will allow customers to use a legal product on their property.
One councilor suggested businesses are not currently prohibiting e-cigarettes. That is simply not true. Some places in Bloomington do that already. They did not need permission or a mandate from city government to do that. There is no real confusion about what is allowed.
E-cigarettes are not tobacco products and are far less harmful than smoked tobacco. The "harmful chemicals" are detected in trace amounts. Some on the council do not care about that, saying this law is about "common courtesy." So now we're legislating manners?
Does the sparse crowd, especially compared to 2003, indicate people do not trust the council to listen to them?
Will the council vote to ban someone with a bad cold from public places?
The county commissioners defeated a similar ban earlier this year. The city council should have followed that example.
Do you ever wonder why many college students today are pathetic snowflakes who are totally incapable of dealing with opposing ideas? Do you wonder why many college students today must run to a "safe space" to literally cuddle with stuffed animals and play with coloring books when someone is on campus with an idea they disagree with? Most of all, do you wonder why many college students feel "unsafe" when opposing ideas are present? Here is a perfect example of how this mentality is created.
Is it strange for a grown man to be handing business cards to children to direct them to a website to help them learn to reduce their tax burden? Sure. It would be smarter to hand the cards to their parents. None of these kids will remember this in a decade or so when they are in the workforce.
But to involve the police as if this man is some sort of threat is absurd. The proper response, if any, is to roll your eyes and move on, not calling the cops. This creates unnecessary paranoia and divides our society. It creates a fear of the "other" that feeds the mentality that we have to empower government to run our lives for us, severely restricting due process and trampling on our civil liberties.
Worse yet, this is how you instill a "safe space" mentality into a child, so they become hypersensitive crybabies as adults. We fabricate danger everywhere, making children terrified all the time. Eventually, they will learn from our fears. When they are rioting and burning down buildings because they are so outraged that someone would dare disagree with them, we can trace it back to helicopter parenting. These sheltered children were never given the coping skills to deal with life as it comes, to deal with unexpected changes that mess up their plans, or the problem-solving skills to deal with things that Mommy and Daddy always handled for them.
Stop ruining your children. Stop hovering. Stop doing everything for them. Stop being overprotective. Stop seeing danger everywhere. Teach your children the skills they need to cope with life, solve problems and handle things they find offensive. When they are adults, they will thank you for it.
The protest against "Bell Curve" author Charles Murray was mostly encouraging, though that was due almost entirely to the wisdom of the Indiana University Police Department and other allied law enforcement agencies. I have been consistently impressed with the professionalism and commitment of the IUPD. The IU police did a great job maintaining order and preventing the kind of violence, rioting and terrorist actions we have seen from Leftist extremists at other campuses.
Before I move on, a personal note: "The Bell Curve" was released in 1994 when I was a sophomore in college. This means that very few people at the protest were even born when the book was released. So, yes, I am once again reminded that I am an old man. Now get off my lawn.
Now, we need to be clear about something. Charles Murray is not a "white supremacist." He has argued that Asians are smarter than whites and that Jews are smarter than everyone else. This is not something that a white supremacist would say or an argument that a white supremacist would make. One could argue about whether or not he is racist, but he is not a white supremacist. People making that argument discredit themselves.
Leftists knew they would not be permitted to prevent Murray from speaking at all, so they adopted a new tactic: Since only people with tickets could get in, they tried to monopolize the tickets and then destroyed them in an effort to keep other people from attending. This is incredibly childish, and prevents others from the opportunity to hear the researcher's views. They are therefore infringing on the free speech and academic freedom of other students who are not allowed to attend. If Murray's views are as abhorrent as Leftists claim, then more people should hear them and realize why he is wrong.
Leftists claimed that they wanted to make Murray irrelevant, but with their fraudulent ticket hoarding scheme and loud, angry protests outside of the speech they actually made him much more relevant than he would have actually been otherwise. It was a counterproductive move, especially when you have people acting like idiots and blocking traffic.
Overall, though, Indiana University managed to avoid the humiliation that Leftists have heaped on other universities with their hysterical antics. This is not due to civility or restraint from the Left, but due to smart, prudent and wise planning by university administrators and a show of force by law enforcement making it clear that while free speech will be protected, rioting and terrorist acts will not be tolerated. I have a great deal of respect for the way the university handled this.
So a while back, my son was playing with his Duplo blocks and he asks me: "Can I build a house?"
My response: "Do you have the proper permissions from the Planning Department, and will your house meet the appropriate setback requirements? Is your house in a development that meets the guidelines established in the Growth Policies Plan? Will your house contribute to Urban Sprawl?"
I have to wonder what it says about me that those are the first things that pop into my mind when my son wants to build a pretend house from plastic blocks.
If it pleases the crown, may my son have permission to play with his toys?
Yes, it can happen here. That should be the lesson of the massacre in Waco, Texas, 24 years ago today. It seems unreal that we are almost at a quarter century since the Clinton Administration sent tanks and other military equipment to attack American citizens on American soil. Waco reminds us to never forget that we are only a couple steps away from an authoritarian, oppressive totalitarian government.
The Waco story actually started a couple months earlier, with a paramilitary raid on the Branch Davidian cultists' compound. It was a classic example of excessive force, and was incredibly foolish given that the raid was on a doomsday cult that expected the federal government would eventually come for them. The Clinton administration only managed to confirm this paranoia and make it into a reality. As was pointed out many times over the last quarter century, federal law enforcement could have picked up David Koresh without the need for a paramilitary raid.
The worst, though, would come 24 years ago today. I cannot emphasize enough how shocking it should have been for the federal government to send tanks after our own citizens. If this was a one-off event, that would be disturbing enough, but law enforcement has become increasingly militarized over the last few decades, to the point that even regulatory agencies have SWAT teams. Even the Bloomington Police Department tried to get a mine resistant ambush protected military vehicle more suited for Iraq or Afghanistan than Kirkwood Avenue - something I protested when I was running for city council in 2015.
It is highly unlikely that we will become a dictatorship in one fell swoop from a military coup. However, we have been sliding more and more into a police state mentality through the combination of the War on Drugs and the War on Terror. Too many people are willing to make little compromises here and there in the name of "safety." But when the government becomes all-powerful, how much safety will we really have? Remember, the worst human rights abuses in history have not come from terrorists or criminals, but from governments.
It blows my mind that anyone would think that it is ever appropriate to stop in the middle of the street to let someone out, blocking traffic behind you. It is a reckless and dangerous thing to do, because no one is expecting you to stop in the middle of the street to allow someone to exit your vehicle. It is also incredibly selfish, because you are putting your personal convenience above ever other person on the road.
This is not difficult, people. If you need to drop someone off, then find a driveway, parking lot, or parking space to safely pull into and allow your passenger to exit the vehicle. If your passenger has to walk an extra few yards, then so be it. The public street is just that, not your personal parking lot. You are not to block the flow of traffic because you are too lazy or stupid to find a safe space to park. People who do this need to get a ticket and a hefty fine.
There is some knowledge I do not want. I do not want to understand why people would think this sort of reckless and selfish behavior is OK, because if I ever acquired this knowledge I would lose 95% of my intelligence. Therefore, I will remain proudly ignorant. I do not need to understand why anyone would think this is OK. I just need people to have just a little bit of common courtesy and realize that a public street is not your personal driveway. Get out of the way, or get off the road.
Is United Airlines trying to go out of business? From their actions and the brutal physical abuse of passengers, one would think that is their goal. I am not sure what they were thinking or how they think thuggery helps their public image.
All of this makes me wonder if Walsh actually watched the video he was Tweeting about. The passenger only started screaming when United Airlines' thugs grabbed him and forcibly dragged him off the plane. To say that he was acting like a toddler, because he screamed while being assaulted, is either incredibly myopic or shamefully dishonest.
I agree that, as much as the situation is unfair, the man should have got up and left the plane willingly and peacefully. Sometimes these things happen, and it stinks. I would be furious if I was told I had to leave a flight after I had paid for my plane ticket. And even if I initially refused to leave, my reaction upon seeing the police arrive would be "yes, sir."
However, it is a perfectly normal reaction to scream in panic when United Airlines sends thugs attack you and physically drag you away. And let's be brutally honest here: The police behaved like thugs. There was no reason to forcibly drag him from the seat, and drag the bloodied man off the airplane. That was ridiculous excessive force.
This situation could have been handled better by both sides. The customer could have been more cooperative. The bulk of the blame, though, is with United Airlines, who sent thugs to bloody and then physically drag a paying customer from a seat he had paid for and was peacefully refusing to leave. There needs to be criminal prosecution for this excessive force.
But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn. -- 1 Corinthians 7:9
Marriage is a gift from God, and that gift is the foundation of a stable society. People in their twenties are largely abandoning marriage, and some of them have really weak excuses for doing so. This article in Indiana University's student newspaper is an example of that.
First, the "statistic" that fifty percent of marriages end in divorce is a myth. Even if it was true, the statistic is meaningless for specific couples if both husband and wife are committed to making it work. If half of all people who owned a Nintendo 64 in the 1990's smoked crack, that would not make me more at risk to use it.
The author complains that weddings are expensive. No, they are not. They certainly can be expensive, but there is no requirement that a couple must have a huge wedding. An expensive dress, expensive floral arrangements and a huge reception are not mandatory. I know a number of couples who got married on a budget, and some couples who have even gotten married during a Sunday morning church service.
There is no need to delay marriage in order to establish oneself in a career. In many ways, being married can help that process, as one's spouse can be a valuable source of support and advice while building a career. Many people have been greatly helped in building their career by a supportive husband or wife.
"Older generations" are not encouraging Millennials to get married because that is the way it has always been done. They are encouraging marriage because it is a stabilizing force in society, especially for men. Statistically, the most important factor in predicting economic outcomes for adults and the children they produce is a stable marriage. Today's twenty-somethings do not have it figured it in a way that people across thousands of years of history have not. That is the typical arrogance of every generation that scorns the wisdom of the past.
In case you have not noticed, we are in April of 2017. That means the 2016 presidential election is over. Donald Trump is now the President of these United States, and it is foolhardy to continue to litigate the 2016 election - especially the continued whining about #NeverTrump voters from Trump supporters.
There were divisions in the Republican Party in 2016. Most Republicans fell in line and supported the nominee, but a few rebels (me included) refused to vote for Donald Trump. I am not going to re-litigate why I made that decision. I had my reasons for being #NeverTrump and I do not regret my decision.
But with that said, many Republicans who had serious reservations about Trump - including #NeverTrump voters like me - have been very pleased with his performance as President. I did not trust Trump (and I still do not) but it is clear that he mostly knows who his friends are and who his enemies are. He has been very good on policy, and I have been impressed. As it stands right now, I will probably vote for Trump in 2020. If he was up for re-election as I write this post, I would definitely vote for him in the general election. But if people like Dennis Prager want to drive former #NeverTrump voters away (including those who now support the President) then continually whining about 2016 is the perfect way to do it.
Here is the bottom line: You need to get over it and move on. I understand why many Republicans were opposed to and even angry with the #NeverTrump movement. But the #NeverTrump movement is dead. Maybe it will come back in 2020, but I doubt that will happen. It is long past time for bitter winners in the Trump camp to stop fighting last year's battles and focus your fire on Democrats. Continuing to fight with #NeverTrump Republicans (who have mostly abandoned their #NeverTrump status) will only continue to divide the Republican Party and the conservative movement and make it easier for Democrats to win.
Why do we have the Fourth Amendment? Why do we have civil rights at all? Those laws only serve to stop the police and prosecutors from doing their job and protecting us from the riffraff of society. If I am suspected of a crime, the police should be allowed to enter my home and make sure I am not up to no good. I should submit my smartphone and computer to the civil magistrate to search on command, and I should be happy to do so as I have nothing to hide. Do you object to this? Well, it's easy to talk about rights of privacy and illegal searches when it's not your loved ones who suffered. Have you no compassion?
For those who do not get it (and it is unfortunate that I have to be so explicit) the above paragraph is sarcasm. The italicized portion above is a direct quote from a comment on my letter to the editor a few weeks ago. When it was posted, it was written without a hint of sarcasm.
Sex offenses fill us with a unique form of revulsion, and justifiably so. When someone is sexually violated, it is an especially heinous and evil form of victimization. Therefore, we have (again justifiably) sought special penalties in the law to fight against these crimes and to catch and punish the perpetrators and protect society from them. Many of these protections are problematic, but I want to focus on one specific bad proposal: The mandate that every single person arrested for a felony submit a DNA sample. The DNA would be checked against DNA found at unsolved crimes and then could solve them and bring the perpetrator to justice.
The problem here is mandatory collection of bodily fluids is an especially invasive and personal search, and it is almost certain that the framers of our Constitution would have been appalled at the idea of collecting it from everyone. One not need to expect that we will turn into a science fiction dystopia like the movie Gattaca to recognize why this is wrong.
Furthermore, this legislation casts a much bigger net than simply catching sex offenders or perpetrators of other violent crimes. For example, check deception can be a felony in the state of Indiana. Do we really need to collect a DNA sample on someone who wrote a bad check? Will collecting DNA from someone who embezzled money from his employer be likely to bring forth evidence that will solve a rape or murder? Should this raise red flags? Do we really need to ask these questions?
The answer is obvious. If the police believe that someone's DNA could lead to solving a crime, they can ask for a search warrant to get a sample. There is no need for additional legislation and no need to violate the privacy rights of every single person arrested for a felony. Remember, not everyone arrested is convicted or even charged with a crime! We should not listen to appeals to emotion about loved ones suffering, and instead protect our liberty from an intrusive state government.
Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured. -- Proverbs 13:18
I am naturally a very defensive person. I do not like to be attacked and I especially do not like to be rebuked by people who love me. But part of being a man is being willing to admit where you are wrong and see your own faults, so it is important that we are all willing to listen to rebuke and take it seriously.
In our self-absorbed age, we always want to retort with this question: What if the person rebuking us is mistaken or has made a poor judgment? If the rebuke is wrong, then eventually that will come out. But there is absolutely no harm with respectfully listening and hearing what the other person has to say. This is even more important if the person rebuking you is older than you are. They have been around the block a few more times and know things you do not, so shut up and listen. If they are wrong, then that will be resolved.
That is a rare case though, which is why we should listen respectfully. If we are being rebuked by someone who loves us, most of the time that rebuke will be correct. This is because those who love us want what is best for us, and therefore they want us to not engage in behavior or have an attitude that is destructive to us. They do not want us to neglect doing things that will benefit us mentally, emotionally, spiritually or physically.
We can benefit a great deal if we open our ears and close our mouths.