Hillary’s Fabricated Controversy Regarding Sanders’ Gun Control Vote

You have probably heard, or maybe you will soon, attacks from Hillary on a specific Sanders’ gun control vote. Let me clear the air for you so you can explain it to others and understand for yourself.

In 2005, Sanders voted for a bill that granted nearly complete immunity (aka protection from liability) to gun manufacturers and dealers. He explained that he voted for it because he felt the alternative was that manufacturers and retailers (especially small ones) would be unfairly held liable if a crime was committed with a gun they made or sold. That’s an example of Sanders being independent, bipartisan and choosing not to support silly, unreasonable gun control.

Confederate Symbolism Sends the Message, “Black Lives Do Not Matter.”

On June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof murdered nine Black people in a historically Black church in Charleston, South Carolina.  Shortly thereafter, it was discovered the shooter obsessed over Confederate symbols, and since then a debate has raged over the presence of such symbols in U.S. culture. Since this is the U.S., there was no cogent discussion about gun violence, but that is a separate rant.

What took the spotlight alongside the horrific and disturbingly sadistic nature of the crime was the reverence Roof had for the Confederate States of America, namely its flag[i]. The abundance of Confederate memorials and symbolism in South Carolina and around the nation, including a Confederate Flag flown at the South Carolina Statehouse, immediately came under harsh criticism after the shooting, and such criticism was met with feverish opposition.

Around this time, the #BlackLivesMatter movement was picking up steam as a national uprising and simmering racial tensions in the U.S. had been ripped wide open yet again, as they continued to be every few weeks through the present day. Certain groups of people, bonded by ideology, defend the presence of Confederate Flags and memorials as being historical symbols of heritage while simultaneously skewering the #BlackLivesMatter movement as being anti-White racism, with some even calling it a terrorist group[ii].

Initial Thoughts on the October 13 DNC Debate

A lot of people have asked me what I think about last night’s debate, specifically Bernie Sanders’ performance.  I am not nearly an expert on anything, but I rant about stuff a lot so I guess some people wanted to know what I think.  Here it is:

Presidential debates in the U.S. are dog and pony shows.  What wins a debate in a presidential campaign is not a candidate’s ideals, voting record, or aptitude for presidential responsibilities, but rather the appearance of those things over the course of the debate.  Perceptions of these things by viewers can be affected by the things the candidates say, their demeanor, their body language, and by things asserted by their opponents.

Overall, Sanders won the debate.  He did not “crush it” like many people are saying.  While most public polling shows him winning the debate by a massive margin, this simply means that a lot of people think he won.  It doesn’t mean people think he won by a lot.

Christian Hypocrisy and the Wacky Laws of Leviticus

Christian Brothers High School, an all-male Catholic high school in Memphis, Tennessee, stole the limelight from Kim Davis yesterday when news broke that it had denied a gay, male senior’s request to bring a male date from another school to the CBHS’s homecoming dance.  The male student accused the school of anti-gay discrimination, while the school claimed it’s simply following policy and that previous allowances for the student and his male date were in violation of the rules.

What Conservatives are Getting Wrong about Ahmed’s Clock

Among the hot-button issues in today’s political sphere, Islamophobia and overall race/ethnic relations rank quite high, especially in regard to the treatment given to certain races, religions, and ethnic groups from governmental authorities, such as the police.  When 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed was arrested after he brought a homemade alarm clock to school and it went off in class, each side of the political spectrum leapt into action.  For those on the left, this was clearly a case of Islamophobia representative of the larger struggle of Muslims in the U.S.  For conservatives, the incident itself was “precaution” on the school’s part, and accusations of Islamophobia were political correctness and race baiting run amuck.

Let’s take a moment to analyze the situation.

Why Arguments Against Allowing Gay Leaders in Boy Scouts of America Fall Apart

“…if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.”  –Karl Popper, in An Open Society and its Enemies, Vol. 1

I read the news of the Boy Scouts of America’s imminent lifting of their ban on openly gay leaders as I sat in a coffee shop while wearing my Class-A Boy Scout uniform. I was on my way to work. As a staff member at a large metropolitan council of the BSA, I was proud to see forward progress within the organization that I’d now come to work for more than five years after achieving Eagle Scout. But change is never without its critics. Gay Rights can be a polarizing topic, and in an organization known for its conservative values and ties to religion, critics of the decision were swift and merciless in their condemnation of the move toward inclusion.

Boy Scouts of America is the largest private youth organization in the U.S., and as a private organization it is entitled to cultivate its leadership as it pleases. The BSA is not required to do anything regarding gay leaders, but that’s not to say that there aren’t things that it should do. If the organization wishes to remain relevant in our ever-progressing culture, it will modernize appropriately, lest it be the hand of its own demise.