Sunday, August 30, 2015

The saddest thing about Donald Trump

...Is that he has no Christian doppelganger.

When everyone was outraged that a law in Indiana would protect Christians who didn't want to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding, what public representative of Christianity stood up and said 'Fuck these corporations, this law is necessary and we should stand by it'? Instead we had people either going completely radio silent, or fretting about how they were being misrepresented.

Prominent Christian leaders of the past decade have been absolutely obsessed with appearing open-minded, civil and unwilling to cause offense to anyone except Christians. They apologize for everything, beg for forgiveness, and heap praise on people - even ideologies - that want to destroy them.

Regardless of how Trump's candidacy shakes out, I hope he imparts a lesson to at least some Christians that meekly seeking 'dialogue' with people who seek your ruin, and apologizing constantly for any effect the faith has had on the world, is not some master strategy that shows the world how humble you are and glorifies God with your meekness. It's merely pathetic.

Pope says he wanted to enter US through Mexican border

So sayeth EWTN.

I will straightforwardly admit that when it comes to immigration issues, the Church's performance as a whole has been utterly hypocritical and dishonest. And if the Pope wants to pit American Catholics against illegal immigrant Catholics, he deserves to end up with what would likely happen - Trump PR-torpedoing him in public over his disdain for a sizable portion of the Church.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Weekend at Bernie's

Oil corporations are a sassy black figurehead away from making this man a laissez-faire capitalist.
I wanted to like Bernie Sanders.

That's going to come as a shock, since I know I come off - with good reason - as Crude the Right Wing Capitalist. And I do vastly prefer true capitalism to socialism, whether of the welfare-state or corporate-welfare variety.

But the fact is, I'm willing to make compromises. More specifically, I don't consider 'protecting the pocketbooks of millionaires and billionaires' to be a position I am unable to compromise on - just as those corporations seem quite willing to not just compromise on, but out and out fuck me and others over on various issues I find important (see: the Indiana Religious Law debacle.)

So I was looking at Sanders with interest. He was being talked up as this kind of strange, 'nationalist' socialist. Sure, a lefty, but one of the old school. Putting America first - American jobs and so on. A social lefty, but not one who was supercharged by that. No stated interest in hounded the religious out of the public sphere or into tax status for the high crime of opposing same-sex marriage. Sure, his economic policies would probably be disastrous, but really, whose aren't? At least he was bold enough to run against Her Majesty the Inevitable. (One would have thought that 2008 would have dashed all that 'inevitable' talk.)

And then the above happened.

It happened to O'Malley too: the #blacklivesmatters protesters show up, storm the stage and proceed to white-shame the jackass off the stage. One look at Bernie's expression in this picture says it all - he just yielded the floor and meandered off, making sure to appoint a black woman to a communications position the next day, expressly to show everyone how much he cares and how sorry he is, no doubt, for provoking these interruptions to begin with.

Just like that, my interest in this guy's candidacy was back in the toilet.

Oh, I think I'd prefer him over Hillary. Sanders, if nothing else, promises to take the 'Let It Burn' attitude of American conservatives to new heights if he wins - and the prospect of an Obama v Clinton grudge match (which would almost certainly erupt if Obama sics the Justice Department on Clinton) would be too entertaining to miss.

But that's all. I have no faith in this guy. None. All it would have taken to rivet my interest, and even make me willing to give him a chance (in a world where anyone but Trump or Cruz catches the GOP nomination) was him saying 'Get the fuck off my stage, you thugs.'

It was not to be.

And to anyone else who's seriously thinking that Sanders may actually fight for their interests, I simply reference the above image. This man doesn't even have the guts to stand up for himself when his own stage is charged by activists. That level of penny-ante shit and he tucked tail and ran, quickly surrendering to the activists and whining about how he's been 'active in the civil rights movement'.

But you think he's going to fight for your interests, against forces that can do a lot more than merely scream at him while being black?

Prepare for disappointment.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Be suspicious of any political party...

...That more and more emphasizes the importance of defeating the other party, than in actually passing legislation or governing in a way you find desirable.

And no, saying 'In order to pass X/do Y, we need to defeat the other party!' doesn't circumvent this.

The Establishment currently seems bewildered, and a bit scared, that the mere defeat of the opposing party is no longer enough of a prospect to motivate their would-be supporters. It turns out these voters want some action. And not just failed, half-hearted attempts, but victories.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Christians and Enemies

Some Christians get antsy at the prospect of complaining about persecution, or regarding others as their enemies. The persecution usually gets explained away by saying that it can always be one-upped somewhere else in the world*, but it's the latter which I find interesting. There's this modern Christian attitude that regarding anyone as your enemy is itself wrong. The categories of 'misguided' or 'misinformed' or even 'mentally ill' are supposed to be large enough to contain every problematic person, while "enemy" covers no one.

One problem being that 'love your enemy' becomes a pointless teaching, then. Apparently Christ wasn't commanding we love anyone at all with those words.

(* 'Oh, you're upset Christian bakers are sued into oblivion for not making a same-sex wedding cake? Well, in China their churches get shut down!' I suppose in China, the reply is, 'So we shut down your church. Big deal. You know they behead you guys in the Middle East?' And in the Middle East... well, there's not many Christians left complaining.)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Game and Catholicism

What I wouldn't give to see Ed Feser talk about the infamous Return of Kings site explicitly endorsing and talking up the traditional Catholic view of sex. Seriously, the storm this would create - at least among some of the regulars - would be a sight to behold.

Monday, July 27, 2015

What Trump offers

So, as if this writing, Trump's made a few moves of interest.

First, there was his initial observation that - shocking as it may seem to some - not every illegal alien is an out of work devout Christian physicist who just wants a better life for his intact home and law-abiding family. In fact, there's a good number of gang members, criminals, murderers, rapists, drug dealers and other lowlifes. Everyone knows this, including illegal immigrants and the latino community themselves, but this was supposed to be something that no one could ever frankly talk about on pain of public shaming and worse. Trump, being in a unique situation as a billionaire who apparently doesn't give a shit about such things, stuck to his guns even while getting savaged left and right.

The result? Lost business contracts, but a whole lot of fame and admiration, along with surging poll numbers. This, despite most of the GOP immediately trying to attack and bury him, since they're on Team SJW when it comes to this kind of thing.

Shortly thereafter, Trump cracked that McCain wasn't exactly a war hero, since his main claim to fame was being shot down and held as a POW for years. Ouch. So again, the attacks came, this time intensified because - really - veterans are one thing the media and GOP both assume every mook out there is hyper defensive about, and attacking 'war hero' McCain was surely Trump's death knell. And once again, Trump doubled down, said McCain had been screwing over veterans for years and also lost to Obama when he should have won.

The result? McCain limped away bitterly, and Trump somehow moved even further ahead in the polls.

Since then, Trump's done everything from call out an MSNBC reporter as dishonest, then tell him to get lost instead of letting him submit a question to Trump, to attacking the other GOP candidates and otherwise. He's the man of the news hour, and at this rate may well end up showing up at the debates. Despite attempts by big GOP donors to get Jeb and Rubio to boycott the debates if Trump shows up.

There's also been a tremendous amount of complaining from the GOP - both the elected officials, and the bloggers. Lots of hand-wringing about how Trump was damaging the GOP. How he was making it harder to attract latino votes, which are so desperately needed (and everyone else, apparently, doesn't matter.) How the people who supported Trump were idiots, how Trump isn't really conservative, how he's flip-flopped on everything from immigration to abortion.

A bit like Romney, but shh, don't bring that up.

That said, there's truth to the criticisms. Do I think Trump really intends to stop illegal immigration, in the longshot (but not unthinkable) scenario where he gets elected? Not really. Do I think he's sincere in his Christianity, or his switch to a pro-life outlook? Not so much, no. Hell, do I think he even wants or expects to be president? At most, I think he regards the prospect as kind of amusing. A nice brass ring to shoot for.

But despite all this, Trump's offering something important - so important, that I find myself supporting him and fighting his detractors.

He has talked frankly and honestly about immigration, in a way that's honestly unheard of in this era, despite being sorely needed. He's refused to back down from the content of his comments, even at personal expense to him - whatever expense one can tax a billionaire with, anyway - and he's done so with bombast and grace. He's openly defied the reigning elite culture, refusing to grovel at their command. And he's inspiring others to do the same.

That is golden, frankly. It doesn't matter if he is, at the end of the day, dishonest. If Trump can successfully convince people - particularly conservatives - that they don't deserve to be pariahs because of their beliefs, and that there's something admirable in their stating their views and fighting against a hostile culture, refusing to apologize or back down, then he'll have been a net boon. Which is more than I can say about just about any politician or public figure as of late.