Saturday, May 21, 2016

I am not making this up: "Canadian man leaves family to be transgender six-year-old girl"

There used to be a time when the psychological profession was devoted to helping people feel "comfortable in their skins."  If your self perception didn't agree with your biological sex, they would help you adjust to become comfortable in the body with which you were born.  Today, the psychological and medical professions will help you chemically and surgically mutilate your body to fit your self perception. 

But this story from the Daily Mail illustrates just how absurd things have become:

'I've gone back to being a child': Husband and father-of-seven, 52, leaves his wife and kids to live as a transgender SIX-YEAR-OLD GIRL named Stefonknee

  • Stefonknee Wolscht, 52, lived as Paul until she realized she was trans at age 46 and was not accepted by her family
  • After two suicide attempts and a bout of homelessness, she found hope in the transgender community in Toronto  
  • She now resides with an adoptive 'mommy and daddy' and spends her time playing with dolls and the couple's young grandchildren
Read the rest of the story where there are more photos, some, like the one above, from Stefoknee's own Twitter account.  (How many "six-year-olds" do you know with Twitter accounts?)

I am not sure who is crazier, this man or the adoptive "mommy and daddy" who took him in.  Someone should have helped this man before he became suicidal and homeless (after all, he is not the first person to become depressed in middle age).  But they should have helped him play the hand he was dealt, instead of shredding the whole card deck into confetti.

In a few years, this "six-year-old girl" is going to be eligible for retirement and most likely have heart issues, prostate issues, and arthritis.  You can pretend all you want, but reality has a way of catching up with you.  It would be nice if this man got some real help before it does.
Oh, and as a further illustration of how absurd things have become:  If I lived in Canada, I would probably be hauled before the Ontario Human Rights Commission and punished for even writing this post.  Thank God for the United States of America and the First Amendment!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Target Suing Man Who Saved Teen Girl from Stabbing in Its Store

First the bathroom scandal; now this.  It seems like, no matter what the issue, Target cannot make a sane decision.  The company needs a housecleaning, starting at the top.  And until they select a corporate management team more in line with real American values, they aren't going to see one cent of my money.
In 2013, everyone agreed that Michael Turner saved the life of a teenaged girl who was attacked in a Pennsylvania Target store. Now, Target is suing him.
When she was sixteen, Allison Meadows was shopping in an East Liberty, Pennsylvania, Target store when Leon Walls rushed into the outlet and stabbed her.
With the assistance of surveillance video, Walls was convicted of attempted homicide for his attack on the girl.
The only reason the girl did not suffer more injuries is because Michael Turner interceded and, along with several other men, confronted Walls. Turner himself chased Walls out the store with a baseball bat.
Unsurprisingly, Meadows was extremely thankful for Turner’s efforts.
“I thank him,” Meadows has said. “I thank him every time I see him.”
But Meadows launched a lawsuit against Target, saying the store’s lack of security put all shoppers, not just her, in danger.
Target, however, is less grateful for Mr. Turner’s heroics. And now the retailer is suing him for “endangering” the store’s customers.
According to the company’s filing, Target says Turner and several others chased the suspect toward the store’s entrance after the attack on the girl. The store insists Turner put other shoppers at risk with his actions.
The victim of the stabbing and her family are furious with the retail chain and say Target is just trying to shift the blame away from its own security failures.
“Suing Michael Turner is just Target’s way of trying to blame someone else for what happened under their own roof,” the Meadows family attorney said. “The family certainly doesn’t blame Mr. Turner and they are thankful he was there that day.”
Target is already getting negative publicity; the chain is the subject of a major boycott effort due to its announcement that it is allowing men to use women’s bathrooms and changing rooms.
Despite the uproar over its decision–not to mention the loss of up to $6 billion in stock valuesTarget doubled down on its policy.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

I'm Just asking...

Recently we have seen celebrities and businesses, and now state and local governments refuse to do business with North Carolina because the state passed a law regarding bathroom privacy.  Now the Los Angeles City Council has banned the city government from doing business with North Carolina, alleging that the law creates a "climate of violence."

Yes, I understand that increasingly our culture is buying the idea that gender is a human construct.  However (apart from a few, very rare cases of chromosomal abnormalities), biological sex is undeniably binary.   

So how is having a law saying that a person should go to the restroom that corresponds to that person's biological sex creating a climate of violence?

I mean, isn't this the way it has been for as long as there have been public restrooms?

It seems like we didn't need laws about this--and no one was a victim of any violence--until this insane confusion over "gender" began gripping our nation.

Let's be clear: the law has noting to do with being "anti-LGBT" and doesn't incite violence against anyone.  As long as you go to the restroom that corresponds to your biological sex (the way it has been for, you know, like forever), no one has to know or care whether you are LGBT, WXYZ, or have a long-hidden fetish for Bactrian Camels.  NOBODY CARES!!!

But we do care when someone goes into whatever restroom a person claims to identify with and starts sexually molesting others--including children.  Yes, we care A WHOLE LOT about that!

So this is a public safety issue.  And it is not the law that is inciting violence.  But when perverts start abusing children in California and other states that refuse to pass laws protecting children and insuring bathroom privacy, you will see violence from outraged parents.  Plenty of it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

I really should have majored in English.  Despite scoring in the 99th percentile in every subject on every intelligence test I ever took, and despite doing well enough in math to represent my high school at Math Field Day while still a sophomore, it is language that I truly love--and particularly the English language, the finest, most expressive language known to man since ancient Greek.

Instead I earned a degree in Music and worked as a symphony clarinetist until--as I often remark in sharing my call to ministry--I realized that a lot of well-entertained people were going to hell.  So I earned another degree in Psychology before I realized that a lot of well-adjusted people were also going to hell.

Along the way I took courses in everything from political science to engineering and indulged my wide-ranging interests in earning graduate degrees in everything from Theology and Philosophy, to Psychology, to Computer and Information Science.  But I never took the step of indulging my love of English language and literature--afraid, I guess, that a degree in English would not be good for anything but teaching English (as though Music, Psychology, and Ministry were all that lucrative!)

Consequently, I find myself, now much older, still marveling at what can be accomplished with mere words.  And when I read a poem like this one from Wendell Barry (whose life illustrates my fear about a degree in English only being good for teaching English), I nevertheless get wistful over the road not taken and sit in awe at all the beauty and meaning that language can convey.

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay.  Want more
of everything ready-made.  Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.

And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more.  Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.

When they want you to buy something
they will call you.  When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something
that won't compute.  Love the Lord.
Love the world.  Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.

Denounce the government and embrace
the flag.  Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand.  Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium.  Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit.  Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.

Listen to carrion — put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.

Laughter is immeasurable.  Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.

Ask yourself:  Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade.  Rest your head
in her lap.  Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.

As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it.  Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn't go.

Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Poet, essayist, farmer, and novelist Wendell Berry was born on August 5, 1934, in New Castle, Kentucky. He attended the University of Kentucky at Lexington where he received a BA in English in 1956 and an MA in 1957.

Berry is the author of more than thirty books of poetry, essays, and novels. His collections of poetry include: Given (Shoemaker Hoard, 2005), A Timbered Choir: The Sabbath Poems 1979-1997 (Counterpoint, 1997), Entries: Poems (1994), Traveling at Home (1989), The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry (1988), Collected Poems 1957-1982 (1985), Clearing (1977), There Is Singing Around Me (1976), and The Broken Ground (1964).

His novels include A World Lost (1996), Remembering (1988), and The Memory of Old Jack. Berry is also the author of prose collections including The Unsettling of America: Culture & Agriculture (Counterpoint, 2004), Another Turn of the Crank (1995), Sex, Economy, Freedom, & Community (1993), Standing on Earth: Selected Essays (1991), and A Continuous Harmony: Essays Cultural and Agricultural (1972).

About his work, a reviewer for the Christian Science Monitor wrote: “Berry’s poems shine with the gentle wisdom of a craftsman who has thought deeply about the paradoxical strangeness and wonder of life.”

He has taught at New York University and at the University of Kentucky. Among his honors and awards are fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, a Lannan Foundation Award, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Wendell Berry lives on a farm in Port Royal, Kentucky.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Ted Cruz: Why?

I am proud to be a supporter of Senator Ted Cruz for President of the United States, and I ask you to join me.  Here is why:

Barack Obama entered the White House espousing the philosophy which says that the nations cannot/should not be led by the United States.  So Obama adopted a position which he described as "leading from behind."  Never mind that this philosophy didn't stop him from instituting his own kind of "regime change" in the form of the Arab Spring which made the Middle East and North Africa a more violent and dangerous place.  The result of Obama's foreign policy for the past seven years is that our allies (Great Britain, France, the other NATO countries, and Israel) don't trust us; and our enemies (Iran, North Korea and other state sponsors of terrorism) along with Russia and China think we are fools. 

Despite the fact that the world is a more dangerous place than it was seven years ago, our military capability has been greatly diminished by this administration.  The branches of our armed services are being treated as laboratories for social engineering experiments rather than efficient fighting forces designed to keep our country (and the world) safe.  The Veterans Administrations is a scandal, and our veterans have been treated shamefully. 

The nation is more divided than it was seven years ago.  The candidate who promised to unite America has instead become the Great Divider; and the nation now stands divided along lines of race, class, age in ways not seen in generations--possibly not in its entire history.  Obama could have been a president who encouraged respect for law enforcement in a way that would have been an example for the African American community; but instead he has repeatedly undermined our law enforcement agencies, and respect for the police among African Americans is at an all time low. 

Instead of supporting our system of legal immigration that admits more legal immigrants each year than any country in the world, Obama has encouraged open borders with the result that several million undocumented migrants have swarmed our borders--an influx that threatens to overwhelm our social safety net and is already increasing crime in many parts of the country.

Every program with "Affordable" in its name (The Affordable Housing Act, the Affordable Care Act) has only made those things less affordable.  That's not hard to understand: When you make loans for housing more easily available, despite the creditworthiness (or lack thereof) of the recipient, it inflates the price of housing.  When you saddle the healthcare industry with extra regulations and suddenly add millions of people to the system, it makes healthcare more expensive.  Using the IRS to fine people for not buying health insurance is not the same as providing them with healthcare. 

Another effect of Obamacare, with its requirement of insurance for anyone working 30 hours per week or more, has been that employers have reduced their workforces, both in numbers and in hours, and the result is that we have a higher number of chronically unemployed than any time in modern history.  Government figures on unemployment don't take into account those who have quit looking for work.  Nearly half of the American public is on food stamps.  Employers are exporting jobs overseas where the economic and regulatory climates are more favorable.  Many college graduates cannot find jobs, and this generation has been predicted to be the first American generation to do less well than their parents.

The United States cannot continue in this direction and survive.  The corrupt Hillary Clinton and the Socialist Bernie Sanders cannot fix problems that the very positions they espouse have brought into being.  They are "doubling down" on Obamacare and promising to give "free everything" to voters; and when it doesn't happen, they will simply blame the Republicans.  But as Margaret Thatcher once observed, "the problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."  With a national debt that has doubled under Obama--in fact, he has added more to the national debt than all previous presidents combined--no one can pay for all the things the Democrats say they want to give people.

And, so, I am proud to be a Republican who supports Ted Cruz for President.  He is the kind of principled conservative who would fix our economy and our national defense the way Reagan did after Carter.  He is a bright, courageous, articulate leader, who has none of the negatives I see in Donald Trump.  Ted Cruz is truly the Ronald Reagan of this current generation, and the Republican Establishment needs to get behind him.  Indeed, the future of the Republican Party may depend on it.  

The danger I see in Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, or anyone on the Democrat side is that while their kind of liberalism talks about equality, it does not raise people up, it only levels them down through redistribution of wealth, endless regulations, and mindless political correctness.  I see a nation that follows this path as doomed.  It will soon come to resemble the kind of societies depicted in George Orwell's Animal Farm and 1984.

So I see it as imperative that we take steps to fix this country.  But I am worried--the only thing that disturbs me more than the past seven years of the Obama presidency is the kind of electorate that would give us a president like Barack Obama--twice.  So I have extra reasons to pray these days.

God help us!  And God bless America!

Robert Stevenson Munday

(I use my full name only to mention that I am a nephew/cousin of the Adlai Stevensons (I, II, and III) from Illinois, who made a choice in 1975, while on staff for Representative (later Senator) Paul Simon to walk the road less traveled (at least in my family) and become a proud conservative Republican.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Dear GOP: Unite behind Ted Cruz or Deserve Your Fate

I really don't like discussing Presidential politics in a blog I started more than a decade ago for the purpose of advancing Christian theology and world missions.  But the political environment in which we live can have a profound impact on religious liberty and the advance of Christianity.  (I won't go so far as to say the survival of Christianity, since Jesus promised that the Church will still be around until his return.  But the freedom and well-being of Christian believers can depend to a great extent on the system of government under which they live—as those who have lived under totalitarian systems such as Communism and Naziism can attest.)

So, through the years, I have found myself getting involved in politics, believing that the party and the candidates who most support religious liberty and Christian morality, along with strong national security and economic prosperity should be supported.

After growing up in a Democratic family, being related to the Adlai Stevensons (I, II, and III) in Illinois, and serving briefly on staff for Congressman (later Senator) Paul Simon in his first term in the House of Representatives, I converted to become a conservative Republican in 1975 and supported Ronald Reagan in his primary challenge to incumbent Gerald Ford for the Republican nomination for President.  Incumbents are always hard to beat.  Ford won the nomination, lost the 1976 election to Jimmy Carter, and the US was subjected to four years of the misery index of double-digit inflation, interest rates, and unemployment.  In 1980, the country elected Reagan in a landslide, and the nation went from four years of misery to eight years of remarkable prosperity.

Electorates are fickle; they run after promises of hope and change, and they notoriously fail at learning the lessons of history.  In the past seven years, we have experienced the slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression and remain saddled with policies, regulations, and programs that would keep us in recession indefinitely.  Despite the fact that the stock market has done well (largely through being pumped up by the Federal Reserve's easy money policy), real unemployment is unacceptably high, record numbers of people are receiving Food Stamps, and record numbers of recent college graduates are having trouble finding jobs.

According to U.S. News, the country's labor force participation rate – which measures the share of Americans at least 16 years old who are either employed or actively looking for work – dipped last month to a 38-year low, clocking in at an underwhelming 62.6 percent.  And the number of unemployed, together with those who have given up trying to find a job, now stands at nearly 94 million people.  

As the father of one of those recent college graduates who cannot find a job, I recognize all too well that this generation may be the first generation (and the first of many if we aren't careful) to do less well economically than their parents.

So, just as I supported Ronald Reagan in 1976, 1980, and 1984, I am supporting the kind of Constitutional conservative who can undo the damage of the past eight years: Senator Ted Cruz.

I realize that Donald Trump hysteria is sweeping the nation.  I do not believe that is a good thing if we want the kind of principled conservative changes that we need and that only Ted Cruz can deliver.  So what I would say, especially to the Republican establishment, is best summarized in the following excerpt from National Review:
After 24 contests, the pattern is emerging.  Cruz battles Trump for first, while Rubio and Kasich tend to battle each other for last.  This is true in the South, the West, the Northeast, and the Midwest.  Can conservatives finally get serious?  Can we finally unify, now, before Trump starts sweeping winner-take-all states with 35 percent of the vote?  If not, then a foolish GOP will richly deserve its fate.
Read the rest

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Quotes of the Day

From Ace of Spades, where there is more...
Quote of the Day I
The United States within nearly a century of its founding became the wealthiest nation in the history of mankind.  It accomplished this without an income tax, free university tuition, universal health care, or even Social Security.  In Bernie Sanders' lifetime, he witnessed the fall of National Socialists, Soviet Socialists, and more benign iterations of the collectivist ideology.  But he imagines the command economy, rather than the free market, as our savior.

-- Daniel J. Flynn in Socialism, The Nightmare That Never Dies
Quote of the Day II
I'm enjoying the irony of American Sanders supporters lecturing me, a former Soviet citizen, on the glories of Socialism and what it really means!  Socialism sounds great in speech soundbites and on Facebook, but please keep it there.  In practice, it corrodes not only the economy but the human spirit itself, and the ambition and achievement that made modern capitalism possible and brought billions of people out of poverty.  Talking about Socialism is a huge luxury, a luxury that was paid for by the successes of capitalism.  Income inequality is a huge problem, absolutely.  But the idea that the solution is more government, more regulation, more debt, and less risk is dangerously absurd.

-- Garry Kasparov [Russian (formerly Soviet) chess Grandmaster, former World Chess Champion, writer, and political activist]
Quote of the Day III
Arabs have no more creative force.  Islam does not contribute to intellectual life, it suggests no discussion.  It is no longer thought.  It produces no thinking, no art, no science, no vision that could change the world.  This repetition is the sign of its end.  The Arabs will continue to exist, but they will not make the world better.

-- Arabic poet Adunis Asbar
Read the rest.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Possibly the Only Thing Bill Maher Ever Said That I Agree With

Col. Allen West wrote recently:
The only aspect of Obama’s presidency we can consider “strong” and “effective” is in paving a path for Donald Trump’s meteoric rise.  Trump’s popularity is seen by many as a direct rebuke to the past seven years and a reflection of widespread anger.

One of the few issues Bill Maher has been right on, going against his fellow liberals, is his criticism of radical Islam.  The regressive left refuses to criticize Islam under any circumstances, and that’s why Bill Maher believes Donald Trump is going to take the presidency this November.
Col. West then went on to quote Bill Maher, who said,
Forty countries in the world have some version of Sharia law.  I just don’t understand how liberals who fought the battle for civil rights in the ’60s, fought against apartheid in the ’80s, can then just simply ignore Sharia law in 40 countries.  Apartheid was only in one.  I am not anti-Muslim and never have been: I am anti-bad ideas.  Killing cartoonists and apostates, these are terrible ideas and practices, and it would be lovely to think that they were confined only to terrorists.  They unfortunately are not.

Not to be an “I told ya so,” but when the Syrian refugee crisis happened, I said, “Certainly our hearts go out to these refugees, but the answer can’t be to empty Syria and every other country in the Middle East where people live under repressive conditions and bring them all to Europe.”  Now Sweden is sending 80,000 refugees back and German Chancellor Angela Merkel is saying, “Hey, when we said you could come here, we didn’t mean permanently.”

Rather than letting them settle in Germany, these millions of young Muslim men, how about let’s train them to go back and fight for their own country?  That’s another one of my issues — the soft bigotry of low expectations.  How come Saudi Arabia didn’t take in any Syrian refugees?  I would think they’d fit in there a little more than in Cologne.  Why don’t they fight their own battles?  Why are Muslim armies so useless against ISIS?  ISIS isn’t 10 feet tall.  There are 20,000 or 30,000 of them.  The countries surrounding ISIS have armies totaling 5 million people.  So why do we have to be the ones leading the fight?  Or be in the fight at all?

So no, Donald Trump is not right — but he will win the election if the American people have to choose between his demagoguery and a party that won’t even say the words “Islamic terrorism.”  I think the Democrats could lose on that issue alone, especially if there’s another attack.
Of course, we all hope and pray there is not another terrorist attack.  But Maher is right about the anger of the American people: anger at Democrats who have responded to the threat of terrorism with an astounding inability to speak clearly and frankly about its source.  

But there is a second anger that is propelling Trump's candidacy: anger of the American people at the Republicans who have failed to present an effective challenge in Congress to the Democrats' lemming-like support for Obama's radical agenda.

Monday, February 15, 2016

My Dog, the Democrat?

If it weren't so cold outside, my dog would be in the doghouse.  I caught Cricket staring at the television this morning.  It seems she has found a candidate who speaks her language:


But who pays for Cricket's "free" food, housing, education, and healthcare?  Take a guess.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Bernie Sanders: The Bum Who Wants Your Money

Personally, I take a dim view of people who want to redistribute other people's money because, despite a good education, they were never industrious enough to earn any of their own.

2016: Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders said Monday his parents would never have thought their son would end up in the Senate and running for president. No kidding. He was a ne’er-do-well into his late 30s.

“It’s certainly something that I don’t think they ever believed would’ve happened,” the unabashed socialist remarked during CNN’s Democratic town hall forum, as polls show him taking the lead in Iowa and New Hampshire.

He explained his family couldn’t imagine his “success,” because “my brother and I and Mom and Dad grew up in a three-and-a-half-room rent-controlled apartment in Brooklyn, and we never had a whole lot of money.”

It wasn’t as bad as he says. His family managed to send him to the University of Chicago. Despite a prestigious degree, however, Sanders failed to earn a living, even as an adult. It took him 40 years to collect his first steady paycheck — and it was a government check.

“I never had any money my entire life,” Sanders told Vermont public TV in 1985, after settling into his first real job as mayor of Burlington.

Sanders spent most of his life as an angry radical and agitator who never accomplished much of anything. And yet now he thinks he deserves the power to run your life and your finances — “We will raise taxes;” he confirmed Monday, “yes, we will.”

One of his first jobs was registering people for food stamps, and it was all downhill from there.
Sanders took his first bride to live in a maple sugar shack with a dirt floor, and she soon left him. Penniless, he went on unemployment. Then he had a child out of wedlock. Desperate, he tried carpentry but could barely sink a nail. “He was a shi**y carpenter,” a friend told Politico Magazine. “His carpentry was not going to support him, and didn’t.”

Then he tried his hand freelancing for leftist rags, writing about “masturbation and rape” and other crudities for $50 a story. He drove around in a rusted-out, Bondo-covered VW bug with no working windshield wipers. Friends said he was “always poor” and his “electricity was turned off a lot.” They described him as a slob who kept a messy apartment — and this is what his friends had to say about him.

The only thing he was good at was talking … non-stop … about socialism and how the rich were ripping everybody off. “The whole quality of life in America is based on greed,” the bitter layabout said. “I believe in the redistribution of wealth in this nation.”

So he tried politics, starting his own socialist party. Four times he ran for Vermont public office, and four times he lost — badly. He never attracted more than single-digit support — even in the People’s Republic of Vermont. In his 1971 bid for U.S. Senate, the local press said the 30-year-old “Sanders describes himself as a carpenter who has worked with ‘disturbed children.’ ” In other words, a real winner.

He finally wormed his way into the Senate in 2006, where he still ranks as one of the poorest members of Congress. Save for a municipal pension, Sanders lists no assets in his name. All the assets provided in his financial disclosure form are his second wife’s. He does, however, have as much as $65,000 in credit-card debt.

Sure, Sanders may not be a hypocrite, but this is nothing to brag about. His worthless background contrasts sharply with the successful careers of other “outsiders” in the race for the White House, including a billionaire developer, a world-renowned neurosurgeon and a Fortune 500 CEO.

The choice in this election is shaping up to be a very clear one. It will likely boil down to a battle between those who create and produce wealth, and those who take it and redistribute it.