Open Thread

The Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) case in Michigan is on the rocks:

A federal judge Tuesday dismissed female genital mutilation charges against several doctors in the first criminal case of its kind nationwide, ruling the law is unconstitutional.

And the judge is probably right. It is a religious practice and while we might find it wrong, that doesn’t mean we get to tell people they are wrong for doing it. The only standing I think might have on the matter is whether or not a minor child is sufficiently under parental control as to have no say in whether the operation is performed. Can a minor child refuse parental instruction to have it done? That is something we might be able to test in court…but, even here, I worry that a ruling against the parents means that some liberal, somewhere down the line, will argue that a Catholic teaching her child that homosexual sex is inherently disordered is a violation of the child’s rights. Remember, the Constitution is very blunt here: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. There’s no carve out for outlandish religious practices we find disgusting. And, really, it has to be this way – it is the only way to ensure our ability to exercise our religion freely.

So, what do we do? I think we have to say: nothing. Unless we want to amend the Constitution making certain religious practices unconstitutional…and I doubt any of us want to go down that road.

President Trump is refusing to be stampeded into anti-Saudi actions – and, I think, he is right. As you all know, I have no real use for Saudi Arabia…at least, as it has been these last 40 years or so. There are some winds of change blowing there, though, and they might make Saudi Arabia a decent place in the by and by. But, be that as it may, right now it isn’t all that great…but it is the least-bad place in the area and as it stands athwart Iranian ambitions, it is useful for us to have good relations with Saudi Arabia. My personal view is that Khashoggi was killed in a Mafia-like hit ordered by the Saudi government and the pro-Iran echo chamber in the United States is using Khashoggi’s murder to try to help Iran out of the box Trump has placed them in.

A couple guys once wrote a book claiming that Obama is the Worst President we’ve ever had – now, he’s trying to make himself the worst ex-President we’ve ever had.

I’m figuring Kasich will announce he’s a Democrat any day, now. One of the best things about the Trump Era is how all our squishes and backstabbers are leaving.

Today’s TDS outrage is a claim that Trump was warned off of having Justice look into his political rivals. I doubt he was – but, if he was, then whomever suggested it was wrong. The bottom line – the reason we’re in this mess – is that no one ever looks into the actions of their predecessors. I’m completely in favor of it. And, no, I don’t worry about that spotlight being turned on Trump and his people in future years. They should be afraid of that spotlight. Every official of government should live in permanent terror that someone will comb over their actions in office.

10 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. Cluster November 21, 2018 / 9:46 am

    There’s no carve out for outlandish religious practices we find disgusting. And, really, it has to be this way – it is the only way to ensure our ability to exercise our religion freely.

    I disagree. Any religious practice that physically harms another person should never be allowed. Period. It’s barbaric and has nothing to do with Faith in my opinion. It’s simply the interpretation of flawed men and that doesn’t make it right.

    • Retired Spook November 21, 2018 / 1:34 pm

      A slippery slope for sure. We’ve been mutilating male genitalia shortly after birth for centuries. A more interesting court case would be the young girl who stabs her father in the neck with a pair of scissors while he’s attempting to mutilate her genitals. I’d vote to acquit her.

    • M. Noonan November 21, 2018 / 8:19 pm

      I understand where you’re coming from – but Spook has a good point, and there are viciously anti-Semitic groups out there calling for a ban on circumcision. Its, too me, just too slippery a slope to get on. I don’t like the practice at all – it is inhumane and barbaric. But it is also a religious practice.

      • Amazona November 24, 2018 / 8:53 am

        It might be relevant to point out that the purpose of female genital mutilation is to ensure that the female cannot experience pleasurable sexual sensations. It is not for health reasons, often given for circumcision, but for social control of women. So while it hides behind the disguise of a religious practice, in fact it is a social construct for the specific purpose of limiting the life experiences of women.

        I’m getting a little tired of Islam using “but it’s our RELIGION !!!” to excuse brutality and oppression. Islam is a bizarre hybrid of political system and religion, and I think we need to figure out a way to separate the two, so the political can’t keep hiding behind the excuse of religious belief.

  2. jdge1 November 22, 2018 / 5:24 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

  3. Amazona November 25, 2018 / 11:32 am

    As you may have figured out by now, I am always on the lookout for semantic infiltration—that is, the introduction of a belief into other statements as if it is true. Here is an example from a response to an article in the Daily Signal: Just to speed things up, I will highlight the semantic infiltration.

    Hans von Spakovsky writes: “The fact that any alien in the U.S. is subject to our territorial jurisdiction, and can therefore be prosecuted for breaking our laws, does not make them subject to the complete, political jurisdiction of the U.S. They owe no allegiance to the U.S. government.”

    The conflict between those who think the president can change the 14th Amendment and those who disagree resolves around the statement above.

    If one thinks that a partial subjection equates to full citizenship, then one most likely thinks the president does not have the capability to change the amendment by fiat. If you think a partial subjection does not equate to full citizenship, then one most likely thinks the president does have the capability to change the amendment by fiat.—Bill Lommey

    Bill might be innocently ignorant of the facts, but I think he is purposely trying to inject and advance the idea that the president’s opinion is an effort to “change” the 14th Amendment. He tries to sound erudite by using the term “by fiat” but his entire argument, though crafted to appear as a reasoned examination of the situation based on how one feels about the statement he quotes, is really an effort to convey and reinforce the perception that the president’s intention or goal is to “change the amendment by fiat”.

    This is typical of the mechanism by which the Left slyly injects falsehoods into the narrative. In this case, the effort is to make people think they are evaluating how they feel about von Spakovsky’s comment, while the insidious repetition of “the president changing the amendment by fiat” slips in unnnoticed and can become part of an accepted belief about what is really happening. In this construction, there is no question that the president is trying to “change the amendment by fiat”—that is a given, according to the author. But that is really the lie. The quote is just window dressing, there to provide a platform for repeating the lie. The choice offered to the reader is not whether the president really wants to, or intends to, try to “change the amendment by fiat” but whether the reader agrees with von Spakovsky’s statement while assuming the accuracy of the statement about the intent of the president.

    This slyness, this slipperiness, is a hallmark of Leftist propaganda, and it goes unnoticed by most and wholly uncorrected by the Right. But it is effective at inserting falsehoods into our national consciousness, falsehoods which are then never examined or corrected as they have become part of what we “know”.

  4. Amazona November 25, 2018 / 11:44 am

    We should start a list of things we know that are not true. One example is that so many “know” that the president bragged about grabbing women by the genitals. A recent example put forth in a blog discussion is that we “know” that the president INSTRUCTED the Russians to commit an illegal act—presumably to then hack into the email account of Hillary Clinton.

    Something that came to mind the other day when I drove through Laramie, Wyoming, is that so many people “know” that Matthew Shepard was just a shy, confused man/boy trying to deal with his homosexuality, who clumsily made advances on a couple of redneck homophobes who then took out him and beat him up and left him to die. Yet the truth is that he was an experienced street hustler prostitute drug dealer who was killed by people he had partied with and worked the drug trade with and worked the streets with, who were ticked off because he had taken off with about $10,000 in drugs and never paid for them.

    My wish list would be a half hour weekly TV show with a name like “What We Think We Know” that addresses these kinds of falsehoods, in a funny and entertaining manner when appropriate, and debunks them.

  5. Retired Spook November 26, 2018 / 10:31 am

    It’s good to know that this is the future of the Democrt Party.

    “People are going to die if we don’t start addressing climate change ASAP,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted last week. “It’s not enough to think it’s ‘important.’ We must make it urgent. That’s why we need a Select Committee on a Green New Deal, & why fossil fuel-funded officials shouldn’t be writing climate change policy.”

    That’s right, unless the United States and other industrialized nations (but really, just the United States) gives up the modern technology that has allowed us to expand the average lifespan by decades over the last century, people are going to die.

    • Cluster November 26, 2018 / 3:35 pm

      I think it’s adorable when millennials think they’re smart …….

  6. Retired Spook November 26, 2018 / 12:43 pm

    I regularly bookmark articles, essays and scientific studies that I think may contain something useful down the road, and then periodically review them, purging ones that no longer apply. I came across this American Thinker article from last spring. I don’t recall having read it before, but the author absolutely nails what Liberalism is all about.

    At its core, liberalism can be defined in gnostic terms as the human mind’s idolizing of itself. In this sense, Obama’s famous aphorism is spot on. The liberal mind really is what the liberal mind has been waiting for.

    What it seeks is not, however, goodness, or security, or higher living standards, or even better health care. What it seeks is the celebration of its own brilliance. “Smug” is a small word that perfectly captures the nature of the progressive mind.

    This gnostic trait is the source of all of the damage liberalism has wrought for more than 300 years. From the French Revolution to the Third Reich, from Stalinism to North Korea, liberalism has brought with it repression of liberty, death camps, and executions on a mass scale. What’s often not well understood is the fact that violence and repression are inevitable because liberalism seeks to change what does not wish to change – and it does so not for the purpose of making things better, but as an attempt to confirm the superiority of the liberal mind and its ability to manage society. (emphasis – mine)

    Most Americans find this conception of existence repulsive. They follow the true path of love, marriage, childbirth, hard work, and faith in God and country. Liberals actively seek to destroy this conception of existence because it rejects their mission of transforming society. It’s either the true path or liberalism. Both cannot be true.

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