Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Contradiction: Feminists Fight for Abortion but Enable Islam

This was going to be a long, detailed argument for liberals to explore with links to examples of horrendous treatment, sexual assault, and relegation of women at the hands of Islamic men as they spread around the world. For the sake of my blood pressure, I stopped researching after around a dozen links. The crimes were saddening. The willful ignorance and outright enabling by liberals across the globe and especially in western societies infuriated me, so the research portion is up to you.

Women are inferior within Islamic societies. In western societies such as Europe where they are getting a foothold, women are objectified in ways should never be tolerated. In America, the news is being hushed in an effort to placate the sensibilities of the left. After all, American liberals have plenty of babies to kill; why would they want a distraction such as the existential threat of Islam?

Ayaan Hirsi Ali of Harvard University and the folks at Prager University did a nice job of highlighting these issues. Here’s the transcript followed by their video.

Culture matters. It ‘s the primary source of social progress or regression. Nowhere do we see this more clearly than in the status of women. The Judeo-Christian culture —and perhaps a more apt word is civilization—has produced over time the law codes, language and material prosperity that have greatly elevated women’s status.

But this progress is not shared everywhere.

There are still hundreds of millions of people that live in a culture—the Islamic, for instance—that takes female inferiority for granted. Until recently, these cultures—the Western and the Islamic—were, for the most part, separated. But that is changing. Dramatically so.

Large numbers of immigrant men from the Middle East, South Asia and various parts of Africa have brought a different set of values to the West, specifically Europe.  More than a million arrived in 2015 alone. More are on the way.

As a result, crimes against girls and women—groping, harassments, assaults and rape—have risen sharply. These crimes illustrate the stark difference between the Western culture of the victims and that of the perpetrators.

Let me be clear: not all immigrant men, or even most, indulge in sex attacks or approve of such attacks, but it’s a grave mistake to deny that the value system of the attackers is radically different from the value system of the West. In the West women are emancipated and sexually autonomous. Religiosity and sexual behavior or sexual restraint is determined by women’s individual wishes. The other value system is one in which women are viewed as either commodities (that is, their worth depends on their virginity), or on the level of a prostitute if they are guilty of public “immodesty” (wearing a short skirt for example).

I do not believe these value systems can coexist. The question is which value system will prevail. Unfortunately, this remains an open question.

The current situation in Europe is deeply troubling: not only are Muslim women within Europe subject to considerable oppression in many ways, such norms now risk spreading to non-Muslim women who face harassment from Muslim men.

One would think that Western feminists in the United States and Europe would be very disturbed by this obvious misogyny.  But sadly, with few exceptions, this does not appear to be the case.

Common among many Western feminists is a type of moral confusion, in which women are said to be oppressed everywhere and that this oppression, in feminist Eve Ensler’s words, is “exactly the same” around the world; in the West just as in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

To me, this suggests too much moral relativism and an inadequate understanding of Sharia law. It is true that the situation for women in the West is not perfect, but can anyone truly deny that women enjoy greater freedom and opportunities in the United States, France and Finland than they do in Iran, Pakistan or Saudi Arabia?

Other feminists have also argued that non-Western women do not need “saving” and that any suggestion that they “need” help from Western feminists is insulting and condescending to non-Western women.

My perspective is a practical one: any efforts that help Muslim women—whether they live in the West or under Islamic governments should be encouraged. Every effort to pressure these governments to change unjust laws should be supported.

Western feminists and female Western leaders have a simple choice to make: either excuse the inexcusable, or demand reform in cultures and religious doctrines that continue to oppress women.

Nothing illustrates this better than what happened in Cologne, Germany on New Years Eve, 2015. That night, during the city’s traditional celebrations, numerous German women (467 at the last count) reported being sexually harassed or assaulted by men of North African and Arab origin. Within two months, 73 suspects had been identified, most of them from North Africa; 12 of them have been linked to sexual crimes. Yet, in response to the attacks, Cologne’s feminist Mayor Henriette Reker issued an “arm’s length” guideline to women. Just “keep at an arm’s length” distance between you and a mob of Arab men, she advised Cologne’s female population, and you will be fine.

Mayor Reker’s comments underline the seriousness of the problem: a culture clash is upon us. The first step in resolving it is to unapologetically defend the values that have allowed women to flourish. Feminists with their organizations, networks and lobbying power need to be on the front lines on this battle. Their relevance depends on it. And so does the well being of countless women, Western and non-Western.

I’m Ayaan Hirsi Ali of Harvard University for Prager University.



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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Benghazi Must Not Be Brushed Aside

Hillary Clinton should have been removed from office within a month after Benghazi. Then, she should have been thoroughly investigated along with anyone in the State Department, CIA, and U.S. military who allowed it to happen as it did.

I’m saying these words from a perspective of limited information. We only know what we’re allowed to know and the rabbit hole goes deeper than any of us likely imagine. Someone is being protected (other than Hillary) and there is an active cover-up in play as we speak. The fact that the Benghazi report reveals tidbits of wrongdoing is just a ploy by the government to make us believe that their investigation was comprehensive.

There won’t be a slap on the wrist. One of the primary perpetrators of the acts that led to the death of four Americans is likely going to become President of the United States unless Donald Trump can be removed from the nomination. The President will brush it aside as an unfortunate footnote that could have derailed his reelection campaign. The media will tell us that the issue is dead. Politicians on both sides of the aisle will use it to prop up their pulpits for a day or two before letting it fade into the footnotes of some Wikipedia pages.

This cannot be allowed to stand. The American are being sold a story that hides the real corruption behind this incident. It should never have happened. I’m not just talking about the attack itself. I’m not talking about the lack of a response that allowed it to continue. I’m talking about the actual events that led to the incident. Why were defenses in one of the hotbeds of hatred towards Americans so insufficient? No, it wasn’t carelessness by the administration or lack of funding by the Republicans in Congress. This was deeper. There’s a conspiracy here and we’re never going to be told about it, not for several decades at least.

At this point, the powerlessness of a people that is subservient to our public servants will prevent any further information from coming out. Conspiracy theory sites will continue spreading rumors. Judicial oversight groups will request more information. At the end of the day, nothing more of substance will come of it. It’s up to American patriots to keep up the pressure and keep the story alive. We cannot let the government brush this aside in our minds. By the time you’re reading this, it’s probably old news. We’re told to move along to the latest news. In this particular situation, the news must remain fresh even when others would have it stagnate.

Keep asking questions. Do not accept the report as an answer. We deserve to know what was really going on. Incompetence and poor judgment are in play with nearly every government action, yet people usually don’t die as a result. In this case, there is more to the story. Don’t let it get buried with the bodies of those four men who served a country that wants to forget them.



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The Left Promotes ‘Undue Burden’ in Texas. What About the Undue Burden on the Unborn?

The argument that the left is making as the Supreme Court prepares to release their ruling on the Texas health safety law regarding abortion clinics is one that we should all have been able to predict. They say that there’s an undue burden on those who seek to have an abortion.

This would be an acceptable argument if there was nobody else involved. For any American to have to jump through hoops to receive the type of medical care they require is truly an undue burden, but there’s a catch, here. There’s another life at stake. There’s another human who is being affected by their desire to remove the undue burden. That life is the person who is getting murdered.

It’s very likely that the court will rule to strike down the law. Unless Anthony Kennedy can be persuaded to shift his view, it’s going to be a 5-3 loss which means that Antonin Scalia would not have been able to make a difference in this case. The argument is going to focus on undue burden. Nobody will be speaking for the undue burden on the unborn.

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Politicians React to SCOTUS Abortion Ruling, Though One was Notably Silent

Donald Trump isn’t very good at gender politics. He never has been and often confuses himself on his own changing stances. Today, he’s pro-life with exceptions and that should have been enough to get him to release a statement, make a comment, or at least send out a Tweet on the issue. As the new day dawns, Trump and his campaign have said nothing about the devastating blow the Supreme Court laid on the pro-life movement.

His main competitor had some words on her website and Twitter…

Most of his former GOP competitors had something to say about it…

What was Trump’s big Tweet of the day? It wasn’t about the setback in the fight to protect millions of American lives. It was about Donald J. Trump being treated unfairly. The broken record of Trump playing the victim is unrelenting.

Most in conservative media were active in their attacks on the decision, but very few made note that the leader they helped to choose for their party was notably silent. We have to look to liberal rag Slate for a possible reason for Trump’s silence.

“The obvious answer is that Trump is either unwilling or unable to quickly sum up his thoughts on a topic that he has expressed so many conflicting views on in the past and that has caused him so many problems in the present….”

Unfortunately, this might actually be the truth. Is Trump simply so bad at the whole abortion, gay marriage, and gender identity grouping of issues that he’s better off saying nothing? For someone who is so vocal on just about everything, the fact that he said nothing is telling. Some might even go so far as to say that his lack of an opinion betrays his true motives which are to do absolutely nothing for social conservatism if he’s elected President.

Trump won’t be able to stay silent for long on this issue. We expect to see something from him or his campaign very soon, but on the day when the controversy raged and conservatives looked for leadership, he was nowhere to be found.

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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Republicans Running for Office: It’s Easier to Jump on the Trump Train Late than to Jump Off

To every Republican running in any election in 2016, it’s imperative that you think about the current political atmosphere through a lens of discernment and logic. Attachment to Donald Trump will have no positive effects on your own campaign by endorsing him or even giving him lukewarm support now. On the other hand, the potential negatives to your campaign are clearly present and there’s a good chance that it will get even worse between now and election day.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a straight-ticket GOP true believer who bleeds Republican red no matter what or if you’re one who takes every issue at face value. From now until very close to the election, you must keep your distance from Trump. I’ll go over the many logical reasons for doing so, but let’s first look at the potential negatives of showing even the mildest form of support.

If Trump Doesn’t Implode, You’re Not Safe

One would be hard-pressed to find a major Presidential candidate who’s had as much potential for disaster as either Trump or Hillary Clinton. Clinton’s disasters are tied to her past crimes and in many ways it’s out of her hands whether or not she suffers an implosion-by-indictment. Trump is different. Throughout the campaign, he’s done and said things that will be used against him until November. One does not have to go back to his history to find damning statements; he’s been able to accumulate ammunition for Democrats to use against him and those who support him.

If you’re a Republican candidate for any office, imagine your competitor running an ad that shows Trump making fun of POWs, mocking a disabled reporter, insulting Mexicans, insulting women, questioning the integrity of a judge over his heritage… you get the point. Now, imagine the ad ending with a sound bite of you supporting or even endorsing him. At that point, it wouldn’t matter what your policy proposals were. It wouldn’t matter how many things you’d accomplished or how often you’d helped your constituents. Your opinions will no longer matter. Your opinions would now be associated with Trump’s opinions and there’s nothing you could do to diffuse it. What’s worse is that your future would not be tied to Trump’s because outside of battleground states, many Trump-supporting Republican candidates will lose by association regardless of how Trump does in the state.

Many believe that Trump will continue to accumulate negatives. He seems to get bored every time he acts “more Presidential” and inevitably reverts back to his modus operandi. Let’s say for the sake of argument that he turns over a new leaf and acts like an adult rather than a petulant child for the remainder of the campaign. The negatives are still there. The sound bites will still be used against you.

If Trump Implodes, You’re Toast

What if Trump goes too far as he’s almost done on several occasions. What if a scandal rears its ugly head shortly before November; there are stories that are likely being held by liberal mainstream media that won’t be released until it’s too late for the Republicans to recover. What if Trump’s tax returns get leaked? What if he’s made to sound like a fool during debates? What if…

There are so many potential disasters that could be lurking around the corner. If any of them out, candidates in tight who have supported or endorsed him might as well hang up their political ambitions now. The sad part is that if Clinton is indicted and the country has to choose between her scandal and Trump’s scandal, he could still end up winning. However, those who supported him will be irrecoverably damaged.

The Pragmatic Road

Utah Congresswoman Mia Love is taking the pragmatic approach. She’s not speaking ill of Trump any more (even though she voted for Ted Cruz in the primary), but she’s giving up her delegate slot and not going to the GOP convention.

“I don’t see any upsides to it,” Love said Friday. “I don’t see how this benefits the state.”

It isn’t about benefiting the state. It’s about avoiding the questions that will come at the convention where she will be cornered into endorsing Trump. Rather than risk it, she’d rather sacrifice the potential national spotlight in favor of not attaching her name to Trump’s. It’s the smart move for someone in her position as a rising star who is locked in a tight battle for reelection. It’s the type of move that every GOP candidate should consider based upon their current race. If they’re going to be cornered at the convention, don’t go. If the question about Trump pops up elsewhere, prepare a good answer. That’s the first stage of the pragmatic approach. We’ll get to the next stage shortly, but first let’s look at some of the reasons that it makes sense to NOT endorse, support, or attach to the Trump campaign in any way… for now:

  • The anti-Hillary vote is not necessarily anti-Democrat: There are currently a large block of Trump “supporters” who are claiming that Trump might not be perfect but at least he’s not Hillary. This is a righteous perspective for a voter, but it’s dangerous for a candidate. Even lukewarm support for Trump is support for Trump that can and will be used against candidates. Hillary-hating Independents or moderates might vote for Trump out of fear, but they won’t necessarily vote for those who supported him.
  • The anti-Trump vote WILL BE an anti-Republican vote: The reverse of the previous bullet is not true. Those who oppose Trump will not only oppose him but will also oppose those who support him. There is a real fear that’s associated with Trump, so candidates who give him even the slightest level of support will be associated with being in his camp. Many of the anti-Trump voters will try to completely obliterate his political existence. That existence extends down-ticket.
  • Your endorsement will not help Trump: Presidential candidates do not need endorsements from those running down-ticket. It doesn’t help them unless it’s a cross-party endorsement, while a lack of those endorsements doesn’t hurt them. Endorsements and support from down-ticket candidates is for the sake of the down-ticket candidate. It’s about riding on the coattails of the Presidential candidate’s support.
  • Trump will likely not reward you for your endorsement: Unless you’re Jeff Sessions, Chris Christie, Newt Gingrich, or any of a handful of supporters who have a spot waiting for them in Trump’s administration, you’re not going to get anything from Trump for your support. He won’t be helping you win. He won’t remember you if he wins. If you’re a big-enough name, you’ll get a press release and a mention during a speech. If you’re not, well, you won’t.
  • By focusing strictly on your constituents, you’re own campaign can shine: The moment that a candidate supports Trump in any way, their opinions no longer matter as much. They will get asked to react to this thing that Trump did or that faux pas that Trump made. Their entire candidacy gets framed by their attachment to Trump. By withholding support, they retain their independence.

The Biggest Reason to Withhold Support

Which has more impact: supporting Trump today, in July, or even in September, or throwing your support his way in the week or two prior to election day? Think hard before you answer that question, though the answer should be obvious. Let’s look at the scenarios…

If you withhold your support and Trump implodes, you’ll be seen as the type of candidate that makes smart decisions, that follows your conscience rather than the mandates of the party, and that puts your constituents ahead of the national narrative.

If you withhold your support and Trump doesn’t implode, you can make a big announcement just prior to election day that you now feel comfortable supporting him for President. Here’s the thing about support: in this society of short attention spans, the impact of support for any candidate, in particular one like Trump, will be strongest in the one or two weeks following the endorsement. His supporters will instantly embrace you for seeing the error of your ways. In fact, they might embrace you even more fervently than if you’d been a Trump supporter from the beginning.

Withhold Properly

I’ve heard dozens of attempts to not support Trump. Almost all of them are poor. First and foremost, not supporting Trump will be seen as supporting Hillary if it’s not worded properly. You have to get that out of the way immediately. Second, you have to give a reason for not supporting Trump at this time that doesn’t sound like you’re scared of attachment to him. Finally, you have to leave the door open in a way that puts the onus on Trump to earn your support. No matter what, you cannot appear to be indecisive.

Here’s a quick example of an answer to the question, “Do you support Trump for the Presidency?”

I am opposed to Hillary Clinton, the liberal agenda, and most importantly to [insert Democratic candidate’s name]. Trump is our party’s nominee but I am going to do what’s best for the people I hope to represent. I agree with some of what Trump is saying and I disagree with others. From now until the election I will be watching him very closely to see if his ideas and his ability to deliver on them are aligned with what’s best for the people of [insert city, district, or state].

The follow up question will be something like, “So you won’t vote for Clinton and you might not vote for Trump unless he changes his ways?”

At this point none of the candidates have demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt that they will be a great President. I’m hopeful that Trump will demonstrate the ability to become a great President but as of today he still needs to put out a platform that he sticks to and that he can deliver on for the most part.

The “gotcha” question where they’ll try to paint you into a corner will be, “If the vote were today, who would you vote for?”

Thankfully I live in a world where election day is in November and hypotheticals are resigned to the journalists and Democrats, but if the vote were today there’s not enough information to make a decision. It wouldn’t be Hillary. Trump’s positions haven’t been locked in yet, so in the fantasy world you envision I likely wouldn’t vote for the Presidency.

Once a candidate decides to hop on the Trump train, they’ll get all of the negatives associated without the benefit of any positives. If they withhold their support properly and use it to leverage Trump towards a more conservative perspective, more Republicans will win their elections regardless of what happens to the Presidency.

Image Credit: Trump Train USA



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Friday, June 24, 2016

FYI: David Cameron Didn’t Necessarily Resign

Following the “Brexit” vote to leave the European Union, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced that he would be stepping down following a transition period of a few months. He expects to have a new leader announced in October before the Conservative party’s conference. Whether he intends to step down or not, the Brexit loss meant that he would have to announce his resignation.

For most Americans who don’t know a ton about the way a parliamentary Democracy works, his resignation sounded definitive. The reality is that this is a purely political move to buy himself time. If he didn’t announce his resignation, he would have media outlets, UK citizens, and members of his own party urging him to do so. By resigning, he puts all of those criticisms and political embarrassments behind him. Now, he’ll have to deal with the repercussions of being on the wrong side of the vote, but at least he’ll be doing so as an alleged lame duck.

This gives him the freedom to position himself properly regardless of how the exit from the European Union plays out for Great Britain over the next few months. If the transition simply suffers a short-term economic hit on the country but allows them to recover over the next few months, he’ll be able to say that he beat expectations and stabilized the country following its most important political move in decades. If things go south, he’ll be able to say, “I tried to warn you.”

In both scenarios, he’ll be able to declare why it’s no longer in the best interests of the country for him to step down. If things are going well, he’ll be able to say that achieving success in spite of the break from the EU means that he shouldn’t rock the boat by resigning. If things go poorly, he’ll say that the nation is ill-equipped to handle self-inflicted wounds from the vote; in such a scenario, he’ll be the guy who was right all along as well as being the stability that the country needs. If things go badly, he’ll say that now is not the time for him to step down because the challenges caused by the results of the referendum requires a steady, consistent hand to fix it.

While I don’t know for sure that he won’t resign, I do know that nothing is set in stone until he actually steps down. That’s how Cameron works. Whatever his intentions are, announcing his resignation was the natural next step following his Brexit failure. It’s not a true resignation. It allows him to test the winds and follow the results.

He may or may not step down in the near future, but he definitely didn’t step down the day after Brexit. Calling it a “resignation” doesn’t mean that he’ll follow through with his promise. Saying one thing and doing another is part of Cameron’s nature.



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The tables here are charming, artsy. #LunchDate


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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Woah.


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Woah.


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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Texas Poll Shows Ousting Trump at the Convention Might Be a Good Idea

My initial assessment of the calls by many prominent #FreeTheDelegates supporters to oust Donald Trump at the GOP convention may have been mistaken. I’ve been saying that it would be a mistake because the party is rallying behind Trump. I had assumed that the majority, which is comprised of the same go-along-to-get-along folks that gave us John McCain and Mitt Romney, would fall in line with Trump regardless of how bombastic or liberal he became. A new poll shows that there may be much more passion against Trump than I realized.

When one thinks Republican, they think Texas. This election will likely mark four decades since the state has voted for a Democrat. With Trump’s position on immigration, Texas should be one of the first states to go all-in for him as the nominee. Instead, only 36.8% want him. That’s great compared to 29.7% wanting Hillary Clinton and 2.6% wanting Gary Johnson, but the scary part for Trump is that 31.0% are unsure or want “someone else.”

To put that into perspective, Mitt Romney was at 57% in 2012.

Establishment tool Karl Rove may have had an explanation back in 2013 when he said that 40% of the Latino vote in Texas goes to Republicans. That’s not going to happen with Trump regardless of how many times he says, “The Mexicans love me.”

On the other hand, it could be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Since many are saying that Trump should be ousted, others are jumping on that bandwagon rather than accept the liberal policies of Trump. Another explanation could be the voting motivation. In the poll, the most important issue for undecided voters was “honest and integrity” at 34.0% following by “the economy and jobs” at 24.6%. With choices like Trump and Clinton, it’s easy to see why undecided voters are so skeptical.

My preference would be for Trump to implode and a universally accepted coup (or an outright withdraw by Trump) takes place within the current rules. In such a situation, Ted Cruz would be the nominee. My second option until seeing the recent trends and this poll was for a third-party conservative to run with a very specific 7-state plan to victory. As things continue to get worse for Trump and nearly half of Republicans would vote for someone other than him, I’m more comfortable with a coup. A third-party conservative would need to emerge in the next week to be viable.

The fourth option, if the Republican party cannot be saved, is to start a new party. I’m not looking forward to those prospects because it would mean that either Trump or Hillary Clinton are occupying the White House for the next four years, but if that’s what it has to be, we’re ready.

At the end of the day, it’s still Trump’s race to lose. All he has to do is not mess up and he should sale through the convention relatively unscathed with a reluctantly united party behind him.  Unfortunately, the likely outcome of that scenario is a Clinton Presidency.

Photo by Gage Skidmore



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