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Stay in your lanes

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An old joke about the Irish goes like this. The Irish once tried to convert to right-side driving, but it didn’t work. They wanted to ease into it, so they drove on the right every Thursday, but only for trucks.

A lot can be said for staying in your lane.

Jonah Goldberg made this point vividly clear last Friday in his normally meandering (but particularly covfefe) “news”letter.

Still, even as a generalist, there are some topics that aren’t a natural fit for me. I rarely write about sports. I can’t remember the last time I weighed-in on relations between Peru and Singapore or why I might spare One Direction’s lives if I were czar. I don’t review video games, miniature-horse rodeos, or Canadian pornography. But I will confess that, if I wanted to, I could. And, if someone out there wants to pay me to share my musings I will be happy to discuss terms. 

Money is fungible—it is mutually interchangeable for any purpose in any viable denomination. If you want to pay someone to wash your car, or fix your roof, or to sit on your porch and do nothing, nobody will stop you.

Yet not all activities, goods, services, or purposes for which money can be exchanged are fungible. Life works best when people stay in their lanes.

Government and society in America was purposely, thoughtfully, and creatively constructed with lanes. We have three co-equal but separate branches of government. We have a free press. We have a basic law preventing government from intruding into religion or spiritual questions.

We have a right, as individuals, to assemble, present our grievances to government, and to vote for representation in that government.

In America, we even have rights that, if they were legal in driving, would result in chaos, injury or death. We have the right to get out of our lanes.

Our government is badly out of its lanes. We have given the judiciary power to drive against traffic in the executive and legislative lanes. We have given the executive power to bulldoze practically every lane, and we have created traffic jams in the legislative lanes to the point of complete stoppage.

Worse, we’ve given government power over our personal lanes, and allowed personal lanes to intrude into proper governance.

When late-night comedians and talk show hosts influence political opinion more than professional news organizations, they are out of their lane. When news organizations—the First Amendment-protected press—take partisan positions at the expense of truth, they are out of their lane. When politicians play for pay with lobbyists as a rule, to keep themselves elected, they are way out of their lane.

When the President of the United States slams the mayor of a foreign capital for his reaction to an attack on his own city, he’s out of his lane. When a former president acted to try to influence a foreign election because he personally hated its prime minister, he was way out of his lane.

When illegal aliens stand up in the Texas legislature and proudly admit they are here and not leaving, and legislators nearly come to physical blows to protect them from being potentially deported, they are out of their lane. When American servicemen are murdered on U.S. soil (on Army bases and in recruiting centers) by men shouting “God is great!” in Arabic, and the sitting president wouldn’t acknowledge the attackers’ motivation, we’re out of our lanes.

When Americans have to take sides over Russia’s proven and documented efforts to improperly influence our elections using propaganda, lies, and cyber-warfare, we are out of our lanes.

When “nuclear family” has become a forbidden phrase, and “gender roles” are a matter of making statements against biological facts, our society has totally abandoned lanes.

This country was planned and can only be maintained if, in general, people stay in their lanes. The federal government should be small and unobtrusive. State governments should have the power to regulate activities of citizens, not because we derive our rights from the government, but because our rights are innate and must be protected.

Other countries should stay in their lanes and manage their own affairs. When there is conflict or war, we should use our power with purpose and determination.

It has never been America’s purpose to spread “Americanism” around the world, or to defend the whole world from others who wish to spread their own –isms. That’s not to say we are isolationists—we have real friends, allies and national interests to protect. But we should stay in our lane as a nation.

Countries ruled by dictators have no lanes—the dictator speaks and all other voices are equal in their irrelevance. Countries like the U.K. with all-powerful parliaments have fewer lanes than America. America has political, governmental, and social lanes which were created to allow a pluralistic, immigrant society to exist in relative harmony without destroying itself.

Lanes are the “how to” behind our national motto “e pluribus unum”—from many, one. But we’ve all moved out of our lanes, into everyone else’s, which is why we see so much chaos, violence, and hate today.

It’s possible for us to return to our lanes, little by little. We have to start with a return to a federal republican form of government (small “r”). If we remove the enormous power of the administrative state, restore the proper venue and jurisdictions of the federal courts, and re-empower states to govern their constituents, we will then see how much better things function.

When we, beginning with our government, return to our natural lanes, and recognize that not everything is fungible, we will be a happier and more prosperous nation. That was the way the founders designed it.

Managing Editor of NOQ Report. Serial entrepreneur. Faith, family, federal republic. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Doug Olson

    June 7, 2017 at 8:09 am

    Outstanding. Underlying all lanes are the concepts of “respect” and restraint. If you do not respect others, it is far too easy to stray over to other lanes. If you do not practice restraint, you will soon be out of your league. Pay attention Swamp… get out of my lane!

  2. Suni Leinart

    June 8, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    Great article, G!! ?

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Media

Jim Acosta is building his own celebrity, not seeking the truth

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Jim Acosta is building his own celebrity not seeking the truth

The press shouldn’t be part of the news. It happens from time to time based upon proximity; because they have to be close to situations, they occasionally get drawn in. What a good journalist should never do is intentionally insert himself into the news, but that seems to be exactly what CNN’s Jim Acosta is doing.

He doesn’t care about reporting. It’s as if he now enjoys being the news. That’s the only logical conclusion one can come up with when viewing his actions over the past several months. Once an obscure media figure during the Obama era, Acosta has found true celebrity status by going after the President and his staff.

He tasted blood and he liked it. Now, it seems he’s addicted to it.

The latest “outburst” against him came from the President himself. It happened during an event with the President of Kazakhstan in which Acosta asked an unrelated question:

‘OUT!’ Trump orders CNN star Jim Acosta to leave Oval Office after reporter’s newest outburst

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2018/01/16/out-trump-orders-cnn-star-jim-acosta-to-leave-oval-office-after-reporter-s-newest-outburst.html“Did you say that you want more people to come in from Norway? Did you say that you wanted more people from Norway? Is that true Mr. President?” Acosta frantically shouted.

“I want them to come in from everywhere… everywhere. Thank you very much everybody,” Trump responded as Acosta continued to bark questions.

That’s all acceptable, albeit slightly inappropriate considering the reason for the event. Acosta took it up several notches with his followup question:

“Just Caucasian or white countries, sir? Or do you want people to come in from other parts of the world… people of color.”

This was intended to insert himself into the news once again. It’s a ridiculous question to ask and embarrassed the President and the nation on an international stage. “Journalists” like Acosta are willing to harm the country and its people as long as they can harm the President at the same time.

I’ve treated the President fairly since he was elected. When he pushes a big-government agenda, I voice my concerns. When he does well, I give praise. I would never attempt to shame him (and the nation as a result) with petulant outbursts of absurd questions. Jim Acosta apparently doesn’t hold such standards.

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Culture and Religion

The strange tale of the Turpin family

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The strange tale of the Turpin family

Abuse of children is one of the most horrible things anyone can do. Rarely do I even read stories about abuse. I know it exists. I’m against it. I don’t want reminders of how evil some people really are. The story of the Turpin family drew me in and made me weep for a world that allows such things to happen.

Here’s the story, followed by my brief thoughts:

California family: Parents charged after children found shackled

http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/16/us/california-turpin-13-siblings-held-captive/index.htmlDavid, 57, and Louise, 49, are accused of holding their children captive in their Perris, California, home in filthy conditions, some of them shackled to beds with chains and padlocks. The 13 siblings range in age from 2 to 29.

The parents are charged with torture and child endangerment, and scheduled for a court hearing Thursday. Bail was set at $9 million each. It was not immediately clear if the suspects had attorneys or whether they had entered a plea.

On Sunday, one of their daughters, a 17-year-old, managed to escape from their home by climbing out a window and called 911 from a deactivated cell phone she found in the house, police said. She told officers her parents were holding her 12 siblings captive inside the home, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said.

My Take

There’s a danger here. We have to be mindful of children who are being abused. Unfortunately, that also means there will be times when the state must intervene. Any time that happens, I get worried. I want as little intervention as possible and only when absolutely necessary. The story of the Turpin family is an example of it being necessary.

The problem is that this evil was allowed to continue for decades. How can that happen? How do we respect the rights of parents and embrace a non-interfering government when there are people like the Turpins in the world? It’s a slippery slope and I have no answers.

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Culture and Religion

Is the Republican Party racist?

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Is the Republican Party racist

Racism isn’t broken down by party lines. There are racists in every political party in America. Some are more public than others, but generally speaking it’s clear there are racists everywhere. Thankfully, there are fewer of them today than in the past. A good part of the reason for this is cultural, but politically it’s been the Republican Party, not the Democratic Party, that has championed the cause of equal rights.

Unfortunately, there are two things that are changing the way history is perceived by many Americans. The first is a false narrative created by both mainstream media and liberal activists who paint the GOP as racists. The second is the reality of conservative values. While the fight for smaller government and more freedom is a righteous one, it’s also a fight that is more appealing to racists than the liberal ideologies of more government and less freedom.

Historically, the evidence is clearly on the side of the GOP, as this PragerU video demonstrates.

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