Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. One of those things that doesn't make a lick of sense to me.
I started blogging in October, 2008 when Proposition 102 came up for a vote in Arizona. Prop 102 was Arizona's version of a constitutional marriage amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman. At that time, I started campaigning on behalf of the proposition and found...anger, hatred, bigotry, intolerance, name-calling, threats, lies, stealing, cheating, vandalism, vitriolic anti-religion, loud demonstrations and in general, a dark fog of hatred directed at marriage proponents and at me just because I dared to support what I consider a fundamental institution of society. I immediately realized the hypocrisy of the people who campaigned against Prop 102 in the name of tolerence and love, yet having none for anyone who disagreed with them.
The lack of civility among those opposed to marriage surprised me. Subsequently, I got annoyed with the opposition. When I got annoyed, I also got determined to continue to support that most basic of social institutions, marriage and the core family. Since then, I've broadened my scope from protecting marriage to include taking a stand on behalf of conservatism and on behalf of the foundational principles of the United States.
I started studying modern liberalism and gay activism. I took a good look at the statist agenda and the reconstruction of society in the state's image. I read liberals and conservatives. And I put clearer thoughts to the alarming academic trends I had experienced for more than 20 years. In sum, the more I studied, the more connections I found between modern liberalism and the inconsistencies of modern statist ideologies.
It is these inconsistencies that stick in my brain - how people can believe something wholesale yet not any connection with common sense. In defining the modern problem, some observers point to disappearing morals and values. Some point to liberal indoctrination through the school systems. Some to lack of good parenting. Others to cultural or moral relativism. Whatever the reason, I thought I'd write about some of these inconsistencies in a new feature that I call:
It Doesn't Make a Lick of Sense
Here are a bunch of random observations about modern ideals that I've gathered over the past year. None of them make a lick of sense.
I don't tolerate plagiarism on assignments from my students. I make my policy clear - I don't give any credit for plagiarized work. I use an online plagiarism-identifying application to filter out assignments as I receive them. (The application is quite sophisticated.)
Despite my policy, every semester I receive a half-dozen essays or research projects that have copied sections from sources on the internet (usually from the bastion of all "correct" information - Wikipedia). Last semester I received two assignments with plagiarism scores above 90%, meaning that 90% of each assignment was copied verbatim from online sources. Per my policy, I didn't give any credit for those assignments and one student failed the class because of it.
This is not a story about plagiarism. It is rather a story about student responses to getting caught in the act of plagiarism.
One student in particular sticks out in my mind. She turned in an essay exam that was completely plagiarized from Wikipedia. (The article itself was mostly wrong.) I gave her no credit for the exam and cautioned her about her remaining work. Even so, she turned in a second plagiarized exam. Even before running it through the plagiarism-identifying application, when I opened the essay in my word processor, it still contained the hypertext links from Wikipedia embedded in it
. Once again, I gave her no credit and, to her surprise, she failed my class.
What did she do after getting caught cheating twice? She called me at my office and accused me of being unfair. She insisted that she had not plagiarized her essays. She asked people she knew if they had ever heard about plagiarism-identifying software. They had not, so she refused to believe that I used such a thing or that it could actually identify plagiarism. She called me names. She complained to my department chair. She complained to the school counseling office.
When she found that I wouldn't give in to her harassment and give her a passing grade, she defamed me and my class to everyone she knew. (I suppose she was trying to hurt my future enrollment numbers.)
Here was a student who grew up in the liberalized, feel-good, touchy-feely, no child left behind school system. (She is, unfortunately, not a unique example.) Even when faced with the raw facts of her plagiarism, she could not accept that she was at fault in any way since schools and many families no longer teach anything like personal responsibility. Because I was the object in the way of her grades, she demonized me instead of taking responsibility for her own failures.
Her accusations and inability to face responsibility don't make a lick of sense.
You all know that last year the US Congress passed a law requiring minimum standards of efficiency in light bulbs, which incandescent bulbs will not be able to meet. This legislative mandate requires light bulb manufacturers to eventually switch to making CFL bulbs, the only type that so far fits the energy saving mandate. This is supposed to help us "go green" by saving vast amounts of energy that our regular light bulbs apparently consume. (Obama is currently trying to push for the same sort of industry-destroying mandates on the automobile industry.)
Yet China is the largest CLF manufacturer in the world, is the fastest growing industrial nation in the world and also happens to be the largest polluting nation in the world. Also, as we've all been informed, CFLs contain toxic murcury vapor. (You are not supposed to throw CFLs away but instead need to take them to a hazardous waste disposal facility. If you break a bulb in your home, you are supposed to vacate the room for 15 minutes to allow the murcury to settle.)
This is the mainstream ideology of environmentalists, creating feel-good legislation that saves a little energy here to produce huge amounts of energy waste and pollution over there. To me, it doesn't make a lick of sense.
They Hate Us
A great deal of people in the US lay the blame of terrorism at the feet of George W. Bush. They do this because the mainstream media has told Americans that "news" nearly every day for the past seven years. Of course if the media says it enough, it must be true, especially if it isn't.
When a foreign country's government comes along and says it hates the US, the first response of modern liberals is, "What have we done to make them hate us?" Yet when a person hates liberals for what they are doing to our country they conclude that person is a bigot, ignorant or evil.
Why do modern liberals think they can sit down and talk reasonably with the governments of North Korea, Iran, Venezuela or Cuba, yet cannot come to any reasonable compromise with conservatives or even Republicans?
To me, the split personality doesn't make a lick of sense.
I've come to expect that every gay activist, every same sex marriage advocate and every secularist will personally attack me for my belief that marriage should remain an instition between a man and a woman. I understand that they will call be a bigot, that I have personally kept gays from every last fundamental right as human beings and that I am, in short, the Great Evil Oppressor.
Yet these people are the ones who continue to spew epithets, filthy language and indecencies at me, all in the name of tolerence and love. Those are not the definitions of tolerence and love that I was taught growing up.
I am reminded of the scene in The Princess Bride
after the character Vezzini keeps uttering the word "inconceivable" time and again as the masked man chases after him to rescue Princess Buttercup. Finally, one of Vezzini's henchmen, Inigo Montoya says: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
Gay activists: You keep using that word tolerence. I do not think it means what you think it means and what you think it means doesn't make a lick of sense.
Choice Uber Alles
You may have heard of the song, made infamous because of Nazi Germany, entitled Deutschland Uber Alles
. Roughly translated, the first line says: "Germany, Germany above all, above all in the world.
I would never suggest that liberals' clinging to the ideal of women's choice and abortion was in any way related to Nazi Germany. Far be it from me to even hint at such a thing. But anti-life liberals cling to the ideal of reproductive choice with a zeal and enthusiasm that somehow reminds me of the song.
Deutschland, Deutschland uber alles....
I find it strange that the same people who support aborting children for the sake of reproductive choice are also the same people who zealously oppose the death penalty or who zealously impose legislation that protects animal rights above those of human rights.
Abortion rights above all else doesn't make a lick of sense.
Freedom Versus Liberty
Statists have taken over the government, nearly at all levels. Statists grab government power in order to fix all human problems, to right all wrongs, to balance all imbalances, or to protect the underpriviledged only to make them dependents on the state for all welfare. In the name of freedom from social or physical ills, statists take power and at the same time destroy liberty.
Here are a few examples that also relate to modern liberalism: I've participated in many discussion boards and comment areas on a variety of topics and on a variety of internet forums. If I express any beliefs in favor of marriage between a man and a woman, my comments universally get voted off the discussion or buried with negative votes. Why is that? My only conclusion has to be that freedom of speech only applies to certain individuals who agree with the modern statist position. This, of course, is not freedom of speech but suppression of any and all opposing opinion.
Marriage bloggers watched as the National Organization for Marriage videos got spammed off of the YouTube site or buried under an avalanch of negative comments. The NOM website has been spammed by thousands upon thousands of negative comments. Gay activists subscribe to NOM's email newsletter with the sole purpose of attempting to shut down the mailings entirely.
Here's a little note written to the directors of NOM:
I've had hundreds of my gay-friends subscribe to your newsletter, only so that we can mark it as Spam once it shows up in our In-Box. Now, on Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, and Aol, your mailings automatically go into the Bulk or Spam folders of everyone across the USA.
We will continue to support our efforts to destroy your mailings.
I suppose the little smiley face makes it all right. It's not harmful. It's just a little joke.
What would be the result of suppressing opposing opinions? Anyone who's read and understood
such novels as Orwell's 1984
, or Burgess' A Clockwork Orange
, or Bradbury's Farenheit 451
, can immediately see the danger.
Ironically, I've had people comment to me along these lines: "I don't agree with your views but I would die to defend your right to say them." This usually precedes the part where my comments get flagged as "inappropriate" and deleted from the discussion. I doubt anyone yet has died from defending my right to free speech.
I and several other marriage bloggers have recently had our Facebook profiles systematically deleted from Facebook. Why? Ostensibly because I posted under a pseudonym, yet others, using real names were deleted as well. I can conclude that someone was desperately trying to silence our voices, to remove our liberties by exercising their freedoms.
We've also read about the FCC "Fairness Doctrine" that has as its design the supression of conservative speech on the radio. (Liberals aren't satisfied with dominating the news media, television and movies. They want so much more than that.)
The act of protecting free speech while at the same time supressing it doesn't make a lick of sense.
Nancy Pelosi just doesn't make a lick of sense.
Liberal, statist and gay activist ideals don't make a lick of sense. Conservatives need to stand up for America's foundational principles. Teachers need to teach them in the classroom. Conservatives need to speak up in the media and especially make our voices heard in the new media. Liberalism needs to be questioned and yes, even ridiculed when it crosses the boundaries of common sense and moral sensibilities. We must carry the conservative message and be unafraid to voice our opinions. And when those opinions are suppressed, we must stand up again and again to be heard. Let us take back the liberties that are so freely destroyed before "we the people" becomes "I the government."