What Is Liberty?

The week before California’s recall election I had the privilege of meeting the world’s greatest athlete from 1976.  That title was traditionally bestowed on the winner of the decathlon, and at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal Bruce Jenner won the gold medal for the United States while setting a new world record.  In 2015 Bruce Jenner shocked the world in an interview with Diane Sawyer in which he told Sawyer that he was now a she.  (Disclaimer:  So as not to be a science denier I am using the scientifically correct gender pronouns in this article.  That is not the focus of the article.)  Jenner, who now goes by the name Caitlyn, ran in the California recall election as a Republican to replace the inept Governor Gavin Newsom.  The Friday before election day Caitlyn Jenner was the guest speaker at a discussion group that I have been attending for the last couple of months.

Caitlyn’s talk was impressive.  He was personable, friendly, and funny.  Jenner said that after the Sawyer interview there was more criticism for coming out as a Republican than there was for coming out as transgender.  Jenner also told a funny story about being in the weight room at the Olympics when a female East German athlete came in and started lifting heavier weights than him, ironically causing him to leave because he felt emasculated.  Jenner genuinely cares about California and wants it returned to the greatness it once had.  I did not expect much talk about actual policy positions, but Jenner has a pretty solid grasp of many of the problems Gavin Newsom and years of Democrat control have caused, including sky-high tax rates and backbreaking regulations.  A lot of ideas that Jenner had to fix some of these problems were good, including a sunset provision which would require regulations to be reevaluated by the legislature every ten years or else they would fall off the books. 

There was, however, one major point that Jenner made that stood out to me because it was based on a flawed premise.  Jenner said that he decided to run because of his belief that California needs a moderate Republican to fix the state.  Specifically, he said that people should vote for him because he is conservative on economic issues and more liberal on social issues.  Jenner also said that the candidate that I endorsed, Larry Elder, is “far-right.”  The premise of that argument ignores the fact that conservatism comes with a built-in solution to people disagreeing on social issues:  liberty.

Jenner’s reasoning assumes that the choice you have is between voting for a left-wing government controlling your life or a right-wing government controlling your life.  In actuality, the choice is between a left-wing government controlling your life or you controlling your life. 

For example, as a conservative Republican, I believe that the country would be much better off if every single American attended church weekly.  I would agree with Jenner if a governor who is “far-right” was going to mandate church attendance.  As much as I think we would all be better off if everyone went to church, I only believe that to be true if it was done voluntarily instead of under coercion.  If the Right operated like Democrats this might be something to worry about.  Imagine, the government forcing all businesses with over 100 employees to require proof of church attendance to be employed there.  Jenner’s argument only works if the Right did that kind of thing.  Instead, the Right wants people to be free to choose, even if we disagree.  That is what liberty is. 

Conservatives, especially Christian conservatives, are often accused of telling people what to do on moral issues.  The truth is, we do care about your moral decisions and we want you to choose what God wants for you.  Notice, however, that I said: “choose.”  Except on the issue of abortion, where the choice directly harms another person, we do not want to take the decision away from you.  The difference is huge.  Conservatives may try to persuade you to do certain things, but that is not the same as using tyrannical power to force those things.  This is what Caitlyn Jenner was missing.  The further to the left a politician gets, the more parts of your life they want to control.  Being a moderate Republican still means they want to have more control over you than a “far right” candidate does.  That is not a good selling point. 

Jenner was asked if he would run for office again if he lost this election and answered that he wasn’t sure about running again, but he would definitely work with the Republican Party to become more of a big tent party that is more inclusive.  I hope that he does, but it needs to be done by explaining clearly that the way to do it is to push for a return to limited government and personal liberty.  We can agree to disagree.  You are welcome in the Republican Party even if you want to use your God-given liberty to do things we may not agree with.  I certainly do not agree with many of Caitlyn Jenner’s lifestyle choices, but I also do not want the government to force him to do what I would prefer.  The Right has no interest in taking away your liberty.

Let’s Make a Deal to Save Lives

America is divided and we all know it.  Many people talk about us coming together and finding common ground, but in general, I don’t think that is possible because we no longer share the same values.  There is, however, something that both the left and the right claim to want right now that makes for a great compromise.  Both sides say that they want to save lives. 

Now, a fair compromise gives both sides something that they want.  We should all agree that saving lives is a worthy cause, even if we do not agree on how to do it.  If both sides are sincere about their desire to save lives, they will agree that this is a compromise worth agreeing to.  If not, they never really cared about saving lives and just wanted power and control.

So, how does the left say we can save lives?  They want everybody to get vaccinated from Covid.  For full disclosure, let me explain my position on the vaccinations.  I am not vaccinated.  I am not an anti-vaxxer.  I believe that each individual should have the freedom to choose whether they get vaccinated without having to disclose their vaccination status to anybody.  Some people on my side might not agree with this, but I do not think the vaccine is likely to kill you.  We have to be honest about that.  It likely kills some people, but the odds of that are pretty slim.  If we say that the media should stop exaggerating the dangers of Covid, we should not turn around and exaggerate the dangers of the vaccine. 

That being said, there are two main reasons why I have not partaken.  First, it is a solution in search of a problem.  There is literally a 0.0% chance that Covid will kill me.  You have to go another decimal point for it to even register as a cause of death, and that is using the inflated numbers from the government.  The risk of me dying in a car accident on the way to get the shot is likely higher than the odds of me dying of Covid.  I do not want to take an experimental vaccine if I am fine without it.  Second, it is far too much fun listening to angry leftists flip out because there are people who won’t fall in line and do what they command us to do. 

My thoughts aside, the left says that they want everybody vaccinated because it will save countless lives.  Whether it will or not, they are pulling out all the stops.  They are trying to guilt-trip people into compliance. They are vilifying and shaming people who choose not to get vaccinated.  They are bribing people to get the shot with cash and contest entries.  They want vaccine passports so that they can shun and banish unvaccinated people from society.  They would like vaccinations to be mandated for all Americans.

Here is where my compromise comes in.  Conservatives also claim that they want to save lives.  While the net number of people saved or lost by the Covid vaccines is debatable, conservatives can document how many lives their tradeoff would save.  The number is approximately 62 million lives in the past 48 years.  In fact, since the left supposedly cares about black lives, this compromise would end the leading cause of death among blacks in America.  My proposal is this:  I would gladly volunteer to get the vaccine, and even support mandatory Covid vaccines in exchange for the immediate and irreversible ban of abortions in the United States. 

When you think about it, it’s the perfect compromise.  Both sides claim that the problem they would be solving is a major, existential crisis.  Both sides are even giving up what they perceive to be the same thing; choice in a healthcare decision.  If they truly believe that what they are fighting for will save myriad lives, this would be an easy and heroic deal to make.  If they will not make this tradeoff, they must not really believe that their respective cause will actually save many lives. 

We are not likely to agree on which action actually works, but whether you are on the left or the right, you can be sure that this deal will save lives one way or another.  My sleeve is rolled up and ready.  If you honestly believe that lives will be saved, agree to the compromise.  Otherwise, you know it’s not that important to you.

Why Romans 13 Is Inapplicable to What Is Happening Now

In the Best Picture winning film from 1965, The Sound of Music, the von Trapp family lives in Austria when it is annexed by Germany during World War II.  The main conflict arises when the father, Captain von Trapp, is ordered to accept a commission in the German Navy.  Did he quietly comply because the powers that be gave him a command?  Should he have?  No!  He concocted a plan to disobey the rulers and flee the country.  What a different film it would have been if he had done what so many of our churches have done and obeyed his orders.

Ever since the California government terminated our liberty last year, I have been disappointed that so many churches quietly complied.  This past week I received an email from a local church, once again saying that they were going to keep their doors shut until we are endowed by our government with some liberty.  (That sounds wrong, doesn’t it?)  The reason given has been inappropriately used since the beginning of the lockdowns to justify compliance with tyrannical edicts… Romans 13: 1-7.  It says this:

1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. 5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.

Let me be clear.  I believe the Bible completely, from Genesis to Revelation, including Romans 13.  In fact, I talk about the importance of Romans 13 multiple times in my book, The God Bet.  There is, however, a big problem with hiding behind these verses to justify weakly complying during this fight between good and evil.  While we are not supposed to “resist the authority,” our government DOES NOT HAVE the authority to do what it is doing.  There are two main reasons for this.  The first is found in our founding documents.  The Declaration of Independence acknowledges that liberty is endowed not by the government, but by our Creator, and is unalienable.  That means that the government does not have the authority to take away our freedom on a whim. 

I know.  Some of you are saying, “Wait a minute.  The government does have the authority to take away our liberty in certain situations, like when they put a thief in prison.”  You are absolutely correct.  There are instances where the government can take away our freedom.  That leads us to the second reason this is not one of those instances.  Romans 13 not only tells us that we are subject to the governing authorities, but it also tells us what those authorities are authorized to do.  Verse 3 specifically tells us that “rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil.”  Verse 4 explains that “he (the ruler) is God’s minister to you for good.  But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.”  As you can clearly see, the rulers have the authority to punish you or take away your liberty if you do evil, but NOT for doing good works.  Stealing is evil; thus, the government is authorized to execute wrath on that thief.  Opening the doors of your church, on the other hand, is a good work.  If a church quietly closes its doors and cites the government as the reason, they are implying that a father who wants to take his family to church and sit inside is doing evil.  Any thinking person can see that the rulers who are putting these crazy dictates on churches are being a terror to good works and Romans 13 does not authorize them to do that. 

Why does it matter since California Governor Gavin Newsom is going to allow churches to open on the magical date of June 15?  It matters because these lockdowns and regulations were just the first major battle in the fight to remain a free country.  It was a test to see how many of us would stand up for each other’s liberty.  Unfortunately, the answer was, “not enough.” 

To those of you who are on the side of good, you may be tempted to write off the churches and Christians who sat on the sidelines during this battle and say, “you’re dead to us.”  I urge you not to do that.  We must be forgiving of churches or individuals who were complicit in our loss of rights when they realize what their complacency is leading to.  It is better that they are late to the party than miss it altogether.  Things will get worse and we need more churches to see the light and speak up before it is too late.  We need to pray for these churches to come around, and when they do, we need to welcome them to the fight with open arms.  They need to loudly declare that they will never again remain silent when the government acts as a terror against good works, which is against what Romans 13 says.  Never again will they close the doors of our churches, or limit who or how people can attend.  Our founding documents do not allow it, and the Bible does not allow it.  

An Open Letter to Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred

Commissioner Manfred,

I love baseball.  Between playing, coaching, and watching baseball I have probably spent more time at a ballfield than anywhere else in the world.  Unfortunately, today I am distraught.  I love my country, too, but it is in danger. 

Our founding fathers understood that people are better off when they are free to decide how to live their lives without government interference.  Therefore, they had the brilliant idea of setting up a system where the power comes from the people up to the government, not the other way around.  We do that by voting for people to represent us.  As you know, we just had a contentious, disputed election where many states accepted ballots without knowing who or where they came from.  This is not a baseless claim.  Most states did not verify who cast the ballots that were counted.  This is a fact.  Whether you agree or disagree with the results, there is now a large portion of Americans who distrust our election results, and for good reason.  Check out this funny video I made that shows why we need safeguards to secure our voting.

The state of Georgia is trying to restore faith in our elections by simply asking that we verify who is casting the ballots.  Your decision to take away the All-Star Game that was supposed to be held this summer in Atlanta is punishing the state of Georgia for trying to protect our ability to choose our government officials at the ballot box and trust the results.  Not only is it unfair, but you justified your decision by falsely claiming that the new law was meant to suppress voting.  The people who make this claim say that requiring voters to show identification somehow prevents black people from voting.  I don’t lightly throw around the term “racist” like many now do, but to say that black people are too dumb to show ID is definitely racist.  If you truly want to honor the memory of “Home Run King” Hank Aaron, you need to turn away from the idea that blacks are inferior to whites, not embrace it like you are by furthering this lie about ID. 

To be perfectly honest, when I hear that somebody is against voters showing ID to cast their ballot, I assume that the person just wants their side to be able to cheat and assure a political victory.  It really makes me question your judgment when the best excuse you can come up with is in essence that no, you don’t want to cheat.  You just think that only white people are smart enough to get an ID.

The part that really has me upset is that I don’t know what to do.  Baseball is the greatest game ever invented.  Many of the landmark moments in my life can be connected to what was going on in baseball at the time.  Since you, the Commissioner of Baseball, have decided that cheating in elections is not something to prevent, many people are boycotting the game.  Either you are for cheating, which is certainly possible considering the slap on the wrist that the Astros got, or you are a racist who thinks blacks are inferior. 

Whichever it is, I have to decide what to do, and here is how I am going to rationalize watching baseball this season.  The game on the field is still great.  The people around it may not be, but it has been that way before.  You may think that black people are not intelligent enough to show identification to vote, but until Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947, blacks were not even allowed to play in the majors, so you are not the first racist to be involved with baseball.  If the game survived them, it can survive you.

Now, I want to give you the opportunity to defend yourself against charges of racism, but the only other possibility is just as bad.  If you do think blacks are fully capable of getting an ID and are still against requiring ID to vote, then you just don’t want us to know where ballots are coming from in our elections so that cheating is easier.  There is, fortunately, an easy way to tell which you actually believe.  If you really think asking for ID discriminates against blacks, you will tell all of the ballparks in Major League Baseball that they are no longer allowed to ask for ID at beer stands.  After all, if it’s racist to require ID to vote, it is racist to require ID to buy beer. 

This tells me that you likely are just using race as an excuse for looking the other way when cheating happens.  The Democrats and the Astros thank you.

Sincerely,

Steven Connally

Give Us the Same Courtesy That We Gave You

The first paragraph of this article is here for a very specific reason. To promote the article on social media I had to make sure that there was no political speech in the first couple of lines so that it wouldn’t be censored. The original started here:

Democrats now control the White House and both chambers of Congress.  They are calling for unity, but what they mean by that is, “Now everybody needs to agree with us.”  That is not going to happen.  I am not saying that in an obstinate way.  I’m just being realistic and honest.  People disagree and that is alright.  Republicans were in charge for the last four years and many people disagreed with them, and I expected that as well because that is how life works. 

This leads me to my one request to Democrats.  Now that you’re in charge please give us the same courtesy that we gave to you when we were.  That courtesy is this:  When people disagree with you, don’t force them to do what you want. 

This may surprise some of you after being told by the media for four years that President Trump was a fascist dictator, but I cannot think of anything that he forced us to do during his term.  If you disagreed with President Trump and the Republicans, they did not make you do anything against your will.  Republicans let people agree to disagree.  

If, for example, you disagreed with the tax cuts that were passed, Republicans did not force you to go along with it.  They implemented no penalties for people who wanted to keep paying the higher tax rates voluntarily.  Yes, you can do that.  Surprisingly, wealthy Democrats who complain that rich people don’t pay their fair share do not opt to pay more themselves when given that choice.  Alright, maybe not so surprisingly.

Ultimately, this is the main thing that Republicans want:  to be left alone.  We want to control our own lives and let others control theirs.  Another example; we may understand that homosexuality is immoral, but we do not block people from the practice.  In fact, the Trump administration started a global effort to end the criminalization of homosexuality.  (In contrast, Democrats kowtow to countries like Iran who put homosexuals to death.)  Republicans also disagree with divisive groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter, yet do not want them prevented from speaking or kicked off of social media.  Another Republican belief is that God is central to the American way of life and necessary for our success, but we do not want to require church attendance.  In other words, Republicans would like everybody to act in particular ways but think that people should be free to choose for themselves.

This approach is not a new one.  It is actually one of the principles that our country was established on.  Our Founding Fathers were wise men who understood that people would not always agree as to what should be done.  They also knew that throughout history, when the powerful forced those who disagreed with them to conform to their will it sowed contempt, division and conflict.  Their solution was liberty.  If one group wants to do “A” and another group wants to do “B,” the answer is not to have the group in power force the other group to do what they command.  Instead, the first group can do “A” and the second group can do “B.”  They can try to use persuasion to win the other side over but they should not use coercion.

If Joe Biden really wants unity this is what he should do.  Refrain from taking away our liberty.  Allow people to have free will and do what they think is best for themselves.  He can disagree with our choices but he should not overrule them.  Here are ten great suggestions that the Democrats can do to respect the liberty of Americans:

  1. If you decide to raise taxes, make it optional to pay the old rate like the Republicans did for you. 
  2. If you want people to wear masks, make it optional like the Republicans did.
  3. Let scared restaurant owners who want to shut down do so, and let the ones who want to remain open choose to do that.  If patrons want to show up they can but if they are afraid they should also be free to stay home.
  4. Let churches decide whether to remain open or close down.  If congregants do not want to attend they should not be forced to, but those who do should be allowed in.
  5. President Trump stopped enforcement of the Johnson Amendment, which threatens to take away tax-exempt status from churches if the pastor endorses a political candidate.  Continue with that policy and allow pastors to decide for themselves what to say from the pulpit without threat of retaliation from the government.
  6. If somebody wants health insurance that covers pregnancy and drug rehabilitation they should be allowed to purchase it.  If another person wants less expensive insurance that does not cover those things they should be allowed to choose that.  If someone else prefers to pay out of pocket for medical care instead of buying insurance they should be able to do that.
  7. Do not force law abiding citizens to buy guns.  Likewise, do not prohibit them from buying guns.
  8. If someone wants to do a job for $8 per hour, do not prohibit them from doing so and force them out of a job.  Let people decide for themselves what wage to accept.
  9. Do not force people who are against murdering babies to pay for the murder of babies.  Do not use taxpayer money for Planned Parenthood.
  10. Refrain from banning or restricting us from using certain products like incandescent light bulbs, straws, grocery bags, soda, and shower heads with good water pressure.

These are all things that Democrats have tried to dictate in the past.  If they truly want unity this list would be a solid first step.  Instead of using tyrannical power to control those of us who disagree with them, try going back to our founding vision of liberty.  It’s the least they can do after Republicans did it for them the last four years. 

Why the Cleveland Indians Name Change Makes Sense for a Leftist

Last week the Cleveland Indians decided to change their name.  Since it was announced, the far left sports media has been heaping praise on the organization for being so forward thinking and proactive.  My initial reaction was annoyance and disappointment, but then I thought, “I should really look at it from their perspective.”  No, I don’t mean from the perspective of Indians, because as even Washington Post polling from just a few years ago shows, most Native Americans were not offended by the Washington Redskins football team name, much less the Indians.  I mean from the perspective of a leftist.

Think about it.  A great sports team name is tough, powerful, and formidable.  There are Panthers, Giants, Vikings, Pirates, Diamondbacks, Braves, Titans, Lions and Tigers and Bears.  Oh my!  Some might say that the nickname for the team closest to me, the Angels, sounds pretty harmless, but as we know from A Charlie Brown Christmas, when an angel appeared to the shepherds to announce the birth of our Savior they were “sore afraid.”  An angel is probably very intimidating.  If you are not on the left you might think Indians are also tough, but remember, we are putting ourselves in the shoes of a leftist.  The left doesn’t see Indians as powerful.  They see them as whiny, overly sensitive, easily offended wussies.  Who would want their home team represented as that?  You might as well call them the Cleveland Flower Girls.  It makes perfect sense that you would not want your team to have such a pathetic, weak name.  

About now some of you are shocked.  “I can’t believe he just said Indians are whiny, overly sensitive, easily offended wussies!  That is racist!”  Except I don’t think that.  I think Indians is a great team name.  I know that the team was actually nicknamed for Louis Sockalexis, the first Native American player in Major League Baseball.  I think that Native Americans can be tough and formidable.  It is the left that thinks Indians are fragile wimps that need protection from being seen as anything other than victims.  Apparently even leftists who want to give out trophies to everybody are too competitive to name their team after people they consider helpless victims.

I must admit, when looking at this through the eyes of a leftist I caught myself a couple of times using logic instead.  One of the first things that popped into my head was Abbott explaining to Costello that there’s only one Feller on the Cleveland Indians.  It was very hard for me to put aside my assumption that Abbott and Costello were trying to do a hilarious bit about legendary Indians pitcher Bob Feller, and instead think that they were trying to make Native Americans cry.  Then I thought about Willie Mays Hayes, Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn, and Harry Doyle chiming “juuuuust a bit outside” in the classic baseball comedy about the Indians, Major League, and realized that a leftist cannot in good conscience watch that because the film caused irreparable damage to the lives of our indigenous population.  Please don’t ask me what damage it caused because I’m new to thinking like a leftist and I have no idea.  I think I’m supposed to avoid your question by calling you a racist for even asking it.

The name change actually does make logical sense if you think so little of Indians.  People on the left will deny that this is what they are saying about Native Americans when they object to using the name Indians, but they can’t have it both ways.  Don’t let them fool you.  That is what they are saying.  If they didn’t think indigenous people are overly sensitive wimps who would be offended by hearing a sportscaster say that the Indians beat the Tigers 8-3, then why the push to change the name?  The only other option is that leftists are delusional enough to think that the sportscaster actually did mean to attack Indians by including the team in his report.  If that is the case it seems like the least successful offense against Indians since the Little Bighorn.

Don’t Be Offended Unless Offense is Intended

In the iconic television series Star Trek, Captain Kirk, Spock, and the rest of the Enterprise crew would travel to new planets, beam down to the surface, and learn about their societies.  Spock was from the planet Vulcan, and most of us know the Vulcan greeting that he often used, “Live long and prosper.”  We as Americans should consider what saying space visitors would associate with us if they beamed down to the United States today.  Our national motto is technically “In God We Trust,” but unfortunately there is another statement that seems far more common in our country today.  “I am offended.”

The list of things that people in America find offensive is endless.  I don’t even think our alien visitors would enjoy being here because of the eggshells we have to walk on to avoid public shaming or worse.  Even using the word “alien” is now considered offensive by some.  This constant state of feeling offended not only makes that person unbearable to be around, but it makes them less happy.  Imagine how much joy it would take out of life if you went to a comedy show and instead of finding the jokes funny you found them offensive.

I have good news for you, though.  There is a solution to being offended all the time.  Simply choose not to be offended.  Yes, you heard me right.  Being offended is a choice.  I have even come up with a saying to help me decide whether or not I should feel offended.  Don’t be offended unless offense is intended. 

Notice I did not say that you should never be offended.  There are certainly times when you should be.  If somebody purposely impugns your character, their intent was to offend you.  If somebody calls you a loser then you should take offense.  My little proverb is meant to keep you from wasting your time, energy, and likeability on complaining about jokes, harmless comments, or even things that you disagree about.  People should be able to disagree with each other and not feel offended. 

The problem today is that people go around looking for things to find offensive.  There are women who feel offended if a man opens a door for her.  There are people who are offended by the Mark Twain classic Huckleberry Finn.  There are even people who are offended by a new television show on ABC about girls getting kidnapped on a highwaybecause the girls who get kidnapped are not Indians.  Using my rule none of those examples should be offensive because an offense was not intended. 

There is now a term for these types of offenses.  They call them microaggressions.  The psychologist who popularized the term, Dr. Derald Wing Sue, even explained in a video that “Microaggressions occur because they are outside the level of conscious awareness of the perpetrator.”   That means that not only does the perpetrator not intend to offend you, but that you would have to explain to them why you’re offended.  If you often find yourself having to explain why you are offended that probably means your pain is self-inflicted. 

Let’s put my advice into practice and try some examples to test if we should be offended by them. 

Example #1:  Somebody says “Merry Christmas” to you.  You are not a Christian.

Response:  Do not be offended.  Their intention was to be nice.

Example #2:  Somebody asks you for help on a math problem.  You are Asian.

Response:  Do not be offended.  Maybe they weren’t thinking about your race.  Maybe they were.  It doesn’t matter.  The intent was to get a math problem right.

Example #3:  Your friend Fred sits next to you at a blackjack table.  The dealer calls him “sir” without learning his gender identity first.

Response:  Do not be offended.  The intent was to politely address him.  Oops.  I just said “him” without realizing it.

Example #4:  Somebody says that “All lives matter.”

Response:  Do not be offended.  I doubt that their intention was to say that anybody’s life doesn’t matter.  Thus the word all.

Example #5:  Somebody says that you can be put into a basket of deplorables.

Response:  You can be offended because calling somebody deplorable is certainly intended to impugn their character.

Now you have a guideline to go by, so the next time you see a George Washington statue, you should be able to fight the urge to cry and tear it down.  You know that the intent of the statue was not to brag that he owned slaves.  Choose not to be offended.  Hopefully, this advice will help the United States become a more pleasant place for our visitors from space.  If instead, you choose to remain constantly offended, Mr. Spock will probably find you highly illogical.

Intolerant Democrats Get Jewish Man’s Yarmulke Shop on Etsy Shut Down

This story starts a couple of years back when my mother started getting into family genealogy.  She mapped out what we already knew, but then had a few family members spit into a tube to send to 23andMe and Ancestry.com to find out more information.  We expected most of the interesting stuff to come from my mom’s side.  How involved was the Italian part of our family in the mob way back when?  Were we even Italian, or were we more Albanian as one of the tests showed?  Was my aunt really the mailman’s daughter as they joked with my grandparents? 

Interestingly enough, the most surprising thing we found out was on my dad’s side.  The test came back and said that he is half Jewish.  We had no idea that we had any Jewish in our DNA at all, much less 50%.  If you know my dad, his reaction was exactly as you would expect.  He took me to the Katella Deli and ate corned beef, latkes, matzah ball soup, babka, gefilte fish, knishes, challah bread, and blintzes.  I love my dad.

Fast forward to Christmas, 2019.  I wanted to get my dad something imaginative that he wouldn’t expect and would also give him a laugh.  Then an idea hit me.  I looked online for a “Make America Great Again” yarmulke.  It was perfect!  I found one on Etsy, a website where people can make crafty products and set up their own “shop” to sell their wares on.  The gift was a hit. 

Fast forward again, this time to August 27 of this year.  In my email I find a message from the guy who I bought the yarmulke from.  It began like this:

Dear Valued Customer,

Please forgive us for sending you this unexpected email, you are receiving this because you purchased a “Trump Make America Great” Kippah or Yarmulke from our Etsy store during the past two years.  First, I want to thank you for the purchase, you should know that this store was a labor of love to help my kids pay for their Bar and Bat Mitzvah’s, my family is ever grateful to you for being part of that. 

We really need you to know the recent sad events that have transpired at our Etsy shop, Etsy who sides in many leftist causes came under pressure from the social media mob and have succumbed and permanently suspended our shop where we sold these MAGA kippahs.  It appears a customer showed off their wares on TicTok and got a tsunami of leftist outrage.  We were used to getting nasty messages on Etsy but this time Etsy sided with this outrage mob and has shut us down. 

My jaw dropped.  It isn’t surprising that leftist bullies would go on the attack.  Democrats do not tolerate disagreement.  The astonishing part was that Etsy had let them get their way and actually closed down this man’s shop.  I responded to the email and asked if I could speak to him about what happened and he agreed.

We spoke on the phone last week and he asked that I don’t use his name out of concern for his kids.  He told me that his son is a supporter of the president and has been harassed at school and has even been called out on what was described as a “mean girls” kind of webpage meant to “cancel” people.  For that reason I will call him Daniel in this article.

Daniel is an interesting man with some insightful perspective on how the left is using Marxist tactics to silence anybody who disagrees with them.  You see, Daniel is a Russian Jew who fled here in 1979 at the age of 9.  He has seen the left in action in the Soviet Union and is alarmed at the similarities he sees with the Democrats in the United States today.  He fears that Democrat policies and tactics will lead to the communism that his family fled from in the Soviet Union.  He sees how the left is promoting division and pitting everybody against each other by pushing a victim mentality on people; rich vs. poor, black vs. white, gay vs. straight, male vs. female.  He sees the left trying to silence people for having different opinions. 

Daniel mentioned another tactic that is being used here in the United States and compared it to something I had never heard of before and had to look into, Josef Stalin’s “Doctor’s Plot.”  In it, Stalin falsely accused Jewish doctors of plotting to kill Soviet leaders.  Jews were denounced as poisoners and Daniel’s grandmother, who was a doctor with many patients, was reduced to seeing just a handful of patients in secret.  Daniel sees Democrats doing the same thing by spreading horrible propaganda against people and vilifying them for political purposes.  Just look at the slander the left has perpetrated against the police in our country and you can see the obvious comparison.

I told Daniel that it mystifies me that some Jews in America could ever vote for Democrats after seeing the rising antisemitism in that party.  Between Representative Ilhan Omar’s openly anti-Semitic comments, Democrat’s support of the Iran Nuclear Deal that freed up $150 billion for a country that shouts “Death to Israel,” Democrats walking out on a speech by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Obama turning his back on Israel in the United Nations, some Democrats supporting the “BDS” movement, and the Democratic Convention booing an amendment to their platform that mentioned God and supported recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, it seems unfathomable that any Jew could support Democrats.  Daniel told me that many secular Jews have forgotten their roots.  He said that “Democrats have been letting Jews down for 80 years.” 

I asked Daniel what he thinks us as Americans can do.  He said that we need to focus on bringing the culture back.  He said, “The left has won the culture war.”  When we have major commercial websites shutting down shops for selling items that show support for our president, I fear he is right.  This is just the tip of the iceberg of what kind of censorship and persecution we can expect if Democrats win next week. 

Daniel had sold over 7,000 Trump yarmulkes before his shop was shut down.  Whenever he tried to contact Etsy they told him that his complaint would be sent up the ladder but he never got anywhere with them.  I reached out to Etsy and have not received a response.  I also looked on Etsy at what other yarmulkes are allowed to be sold and found many, including “Biden/Harris” and “Black Lives Matter” versions.

Daniel has moved his business over to Ebay, and although he does not want me to confirm his identity, if you would like to support him just search on Ebay for “Trump kippahs” and many of the results will be from his shop.  Just pick your favorite design and it is likely coming from him.

Mad Libs: Write Your Own Joe Biden Speech

Have any of you ever wanted to be a political speechwriter?  This year could be your chance!  Our media is so biased that they are pushing a candidate who has trouble remembering where he is, much less stringing two sentences together, just because he is the Democrat.  We have already seen him talking about kids rubbing his hairy legs, roaches, and kids jumping on his lap.  He has told us that, “poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.”  He recently gave a speech that was completely unintelligible where he rambled about Covid taking 100 years.  Just last Friday he actually read “end of quote” straight from the teleprompter during a speech.  Joe Biden needs your help!

It’s actually easier than you think to help out Joe.  It was sitting right under my nose the whole time.  On my bookshelf there is still an old Mad Libs book from when I was a kid.  You may remember them.  They would ask you for random words and then you would fill those words into a story to make it your own zany version, just like Joe does with his speeches.  To make our own Joe Biden speech, all we have to do is take a section from a recent speech, take out some words, have a friend pick some replacement words without looking, and fill in the blanks.  Let’s try it with the section right before his rambling Covid quote, which starts at the 11:07 mark in this link.  First, I will give you the template to write an extremely realistic Joe Biden speech of your own!  Then, I will show you an example Joe Biden speech using the template. 

First, ask your friends for corresponding words to the list below without looking ahead at the speech.  Then fill in the blanks with the words they gave you.  Then use it in your portfolio to apply for a job with the Biden campaign!

  1. VERB (PAST TENSE): ________________________________
  2. ADJECTIVE: _______________________________________
  3. ADJECTIVE: _______________________________________
  4. PLURAL NOUN: ____________________________________
  5. NOUN: ___________________________________________
  6. A PROFESSION: ____________________________________
  7. A PROFESSION: ____________________________________
  8. PLURAL NOUN: ____________________________________
  9. ADJECTIVE: _______________________________________
  10. NOUN: __________________________________________
  11. VERB: ___________________________________________
  12. A FAMOUS PERSON: _______________________________
  13. A PROFESSION: ___________________________________
  14. PLURAL NOUN: ___________________________________
  15. NOUN: __________________________________________
  16. A NUMBER: ______________________________________
  17. NOUN: __________________________________________
  18. NOUN: __________________________________________

Now read the speech with your words to fill in the blanks.

I’ve ____(1)____ with police in this country for many years. I know most cops are __(2)__, __(3)__ people. I know how they risk their ___(4)___ every time they put that shield on and go out the door. I’m confident I can bring the police to the ___(5)___ as well. I’d make sure every ___(6)___ and ___(7)___ had the support they needed from the federal government. But I wouldn’t be looking to use the United States military against our own ___(8)___. If I were president, my language would be less ___(9)___, I’d be looking to lower the ___(10)___ in this country, not raise it. I’d be looking to ___(11)___ the nation. But look, if ____(12)____ wants to ask the question, “Who will keep you safer as ___(13)___?” Let’s answer that question. First, some simple ___(14)___. When I was vice president, violent ___(15)___ fell _(16)_% in this country. We did it without ___(17)___ and ___(18)___.

Finally, as I promised, here is an example Joe Biden speech by speechwriters Uncle Mark and my friend Nikki.

I’ve farted with police in this country for many years. I know most cops are ugly, questionable people. I know how they risk their testicles every time they put that shield on and go out the door. I’m confident I can bring the police to the beer as well. I’d make sure every insurance agent and sex therapist had the support they needed from the federal government. But I wouldn’t be looking to use the United States military against our own baseball players. If I were president, my language would be less stupid, I’d be looking to lower the woman in this country, not raise it. I’d be looking to eat the nation. But look, if George Clooney wants to ask the question, “Who will keep you safer as mechanic?” Let’s answer that question. First, some simple puppies. When I was vice president, violent birds fell 69% in this country. We did it without pizza and speakers.

There you have it!  Had I not told you how it was made you probably would have thought it was straight from the campaign trail of the best Democrat the party could come up with.

How did yours turn out?  Leave it in the comment section and let us be inspired!

Wait. Who is Divisive?

In my new book The God Bet, I talk a lot about recognizing false frames that the media sets up to trick and confuse people.  There is even a bonus section at the end of the book with an index of false frames that the left and the media use to define issues in dishonest ways to attack Republicans.  This week a friend posted a video that was going around social media that uses so many false frames in such a short video that it would be a great opportunity to help you filter them out and “unspin” issues that the left is trying to manipulate you with because they think you’re gullible.  Let’s prove to them that we aren’t.

The video can be seen here and starts with a portion of the Republican Convention speech by Kimberly Guilfoyle on Monday night.  The caption said that it was full of lies so I was interested to hear why she would lie when all the truth is already on our side.  In it, they edit to show parts of the speech where she is being emphatic and raising her voice, as well as parts where she is legitimately criticizing what Democrats will do if they win in November.  The lies were not in there.  

Then the podcaster who made the video pops on the screen and I figured out where the lies begin.  He starts with a supposed joke that her speech is in the style of North Korean propaganda and that her speechwriter was Mussolini.  Then he gets to the false frames.  He claims that “the modern GOP is predicated on divisiveness and hate and bigotry.”  What does he use as his proof?  He continues, “Trump’s campaign was launched on the promise of banning Muslims and banning Mexicans from this country.”  A half-truth and a boldface lie.  With regards to Muslims he never suggested ejecting law abiding Muslim citizens from the United States.  He did propose a temporary travel ban on countries where a large percentage of the population supports terrorism or sharia law, not because of bigotry or hate, but for national defense purposes.  With regards to our Mexican immigrants, he does not want to ban your neighbor who legally immigrated here.  He does want to stop people who break our laws from crossing our borders.  To say that that is a ban on Mexicans is like saying if Disneyland banned me from sneaking in without paying it was a ban on white people from the park.

Later in his diatribe he has some better jokes than late night comedians have told in years, but that isn’t hard.  He says that “optimism does not compute for this party (Republicans),” and jokes that, “you’d have more luck going into Home Depot for lasagna than expecting uplift from the GOP.”  He says that Republicans are fearmongering and “are only capable of governing by fear.”  He wasn’t even intending to be funny, but honestly, how hilarious are his claims?  Republicans are divisive, pessimistic, and govern by fear?  Let’s compare and see which party is more divisive, pessimistic, and fearmongering?

Democrats

Poor people are victims of the evil rich.  Gay people are the victims of intolerant Christians.  Women are the victims of sexist men.  Immigrants are victims of xenophobic white people.  Black people are the victims of racist white people.  The police are bigots who go to work each day trying to murder black people.  You should vote for us to protect you from all these divisive, fearmongering monsters.  Also, if you don’t vote for us you’re going to die from coronavirus if the world doesn’t end from global warming first. 

Republicans

America is a land of opportunity!  If you work hard you can succeed no matter where you started.  We are one nation, under God, and everyone should be free to worship as they please and live by those values.  America is a great melting pot and immigrants are welcomed as equals on the day they take the oath of citizenship.  Skin color is irrelevant.  Black people are just as capable as white people.  The police are heroes who try to keep law abiding citizens safe.  If you vote for us we want you to enjoy your freedom and not have to worry about the government getting in your way. 

Which party seems more divisive?  Which one wants to scare you into voting for them? 

But wait.  It got better.  After making the Bizzaro World claim that Republicans are the divisive ones, he defends the Democrats by denying reality.  He says:

“What was par for the course was the fearmongering about Democrats; the threats about open borders and closed schools and sending jobs back to China and installing socialism and the police sending your calls to voicemail and controlling what you do and say… the thing is, none of that is true.”

The real thing is, he’s lying.  That stuff is true.  He claims that, “Zero Democrats are running on open borders.”  They may not call it open borders but they fought against funding the wall and against any kind of real enforcement.  Many of them have even voiced support for sanctuary policies and for abolishing ICE.  Most Democrats do want schools closed and he even admits it later in the video.  Democrats do want to put in place socialist policies and some, like Bernie Sanders, even call themselves socialists.  This guy apparently hasn’t heard all of the talk about defunding police.  I promise you that’s not coming from Republicans.  As for controlling what you do and say, how can he deny it?  Don’t Democrats want to control what you do with more of your money by taking it for the government?  Don’t Democrats want to control where you can eat or whether you can go to a concert, sporting event, movie or church?  Don’t Democrats want to control who bakers have to bake wedding cakes for?  We could go on and on.

He says Republicans should run on real policy but then if we point out what Democrats actually stand for he calls it lies, straw man arguments, and fearmongering.  Besides that, President Trump is running on policy.  The Republican Convention this week was full of his policy accomplishments, because they are many.  On the other hand, the only policy talk from Joe Biden at last week’s convention was that he would make the next four years smile free and faceless by requiring masks.  Apparently that doesn’t count as controlling what you do. 

This video is a great example of how the media tries to deceive you and it is not unusual.  I watched President Trump’s inspirational, accomplishment filled acceptance speech Thursday night and then flipped around the news channels to hear what they were saying.  The entire mainstream media really is like the Bizzaro World, where everything is opposite of reality.  They told me his optimistic speech about American greatness, faith in God, and freedom was really about anger and divisiveness.  It was perplexing, but I expected it.  I always understand that the mainstream media is trying to manipulate us.  You should too.