Stop ‘trump’ing up the threat of Islamic terror

ISIS

ISIS soldiers march in Raqqa, Syria, the terrorist organization’s de facto capital.

Radicalized Islamic terrorists have become the focal point of national security concerns and much of the 2016 presidential election. Not without good reason – groups like ISIS, al-Nusra Front, Boko Haram, al-Qaeda and others are among the most barbaric gangs of cold-blooded killers, kidnappers, torturers, rapists, sex traffickers and drug dealers ever. But treating them as an existential threat superseding the Nazis, as some have done, is granting them way too much legitimacy. Continue reading

Advertisements

Bernie Sanders vs. the DNC and the bubbling of new American political parties

sandersclinton

Sanders’s refusal to attack his fellow candidates lead to an iconic moment in the first debate, seen as a win for Clinton, when Sanders said the country was tired of hearing about her “damn emails.”

If you aren’t following the 2016 presidential election closely, you could be forgiven for thinking there’s only one party in the race. With dozens of candidates and at least half a dozen potential frontrunners – including Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina – Republicans have dominated mainstream media headlines and defined the national political conversation.

Not that anyone would notice, but there are still three Democrats vying for their party’s nomination. Unfortunately, the Democratic National Committee has opted for a policy of hiding them from public view. Not every Democratic candidate agrees with this policy – least of all Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who has repeatedly called for more debates and whose insurgent candidacy desperately needs mainstream exposure to pose a serious challenge to Hillary Clinton.

If the country winds up with President Trump or President Cruz in 2017, much of the blame can be put on the shoulders of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the DNC. Continue reading

The good, the bad, and the ugly of PC

homerphobia

Homer covers Bart’s eyes at a gay steel mill in “Homer’s Phobia,” a classic and controversial Season 8 episode.

According to a new Pew Research poll, 40 percent of millennials think the government should censor speech that’s offensive to minorities. Millennials, roughly defined as people born between Ronald Reagan’s second term and Bill Clinton’s first, are soon to overtake Baby Boomers and Generation X as the largest percentage of the American population, making their politically correct attitudes highly influential. Not surprisingly, this has caused some controversy.

Comedians in particular have been having a rough time adjusting to millennial PC culture. Jerry Seinfeld has criticized college audiences for being overly sensitive, complaining that millennials are offended by a joke comparing swiping on a cell phone to the mannerisms of a “gay French king.” Bill Maher has been covering college students’ alleged inability to take a joke for years. South Park’s most recent season – their best in years – was dedicated largely to the issue of political correctness. Continue reading

Republicans rule the country

United_States_Governors_map.svg

Map showing the distribution of governor’s mansions by party. Via Wikipedia.

There’s a popular phrase that’s become a meme. Generally it’s sarcastic. It can be used when the price of gas goes up, when it goes down, when a football team loses, or when terrorists strike: “Thanks, Obama.” But the truth is for all the power of the Democratic presidency, the United States is an overwhelmingly Republican-run country.

Not counting any non-state US territories, Republicans control 35 state senates, 32 state houses, 31 state legislatures in their entirety, and 31 governor’s mansions. In the 114th Congress, there are 54 Republican senators to 44 Democrats and in the House of Representatives 246 Republicans to 188 Democrats. Twenty-three US states have Republican governors and legislatures compared to seven states under total Democratic control. Continue reading

How the gun debate and the War on Terror are connected

AP_San_Bernardino_shooting_suspects_151205_DC_4x3_992

San Bernardino shooting suspects, Tashfeen Malik and Syed Farook.

Right-wing extremism received heavy scrutiny for a few days following the Planned Parenthood attacks. Commentators and left-wing politicians criticized the venomous rhetoric the right uses to denounce its opponents, one of which – the red herring cry of “baby parts” – was used by the Planned Parenthood shooter himself. Since the San Bernardino shooting, committed by Muslims a few days later, white terror has largely fallen off the radar. It shouldn’t.

What hasn’t fallen off the radar is the gun debate. It’s being waged as aggressively now as it’s been in years, with President Obama calling for restricted access to assault weapons and other mild reforms. Conservatives, as expected, reacted with total apoplexy. There has been a strange development, though, as the gun debate has become part of the discussion on Islamic terror. Continue reading

Gun debate’s most important question: where do they come from?

San_Bernardino_2

The San Bernardino shooters were killed in a standoff with police after claiming 14 innocent lives and wounding another 21.

In their coverage of the San Bernardino shooting, the BBC introduced the story with the phrase, “Just another day in the United States of America; another day of gunfire, panic and fear.” As The Washington Post’s Ishaan Tharoor aptly tweeted, “It only makes sense that the BBC treat a mass shooting in America like a carbombing in Baghdad.” Continue reading