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The house built on the rock: Our American identity restored

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As radical extremist factions peddle their versions of identity politics, now is a good time for Americans to ask: what is the American identity? The failure of the Conservative Movement to address this question is because Conservatism is just that: conservative. Conservatism is always relying on a stopgap, reactive approach: it reacts to the strongest pushes against tradition and culture, while ignoring the gentle nudges into moral decay and cultural rigor mortis. This may work in the short run, but over time as society strays further and further from its history and its roots, the question of what it is we are conserving becomes foggier and foggier. Tradition gives way to novelty, restraint recedes into indulgence, and civilization descends into barbarity. Conservatives are ever little Dutch boys plugging their fingers into breaches in the dyke; eventually they run out of fingers to stop the leaks, and opportunistic groups like the “alt-right” and Antifa slowly gain notoriety -in part because they are offering to fill a vacuum created by Progressives’ persistent onslaught against Conservatives’ mealy-mouthed defense.

If conservative Americans want to avoid being completely routed by the Left or subsumed by the “alt-right”, it will require a more proactive approach; we must define ourselves, not by what we stand against, but what we stand for. Americans must rebuild the house from the ground up, building on a firm foundation and establishing a sound framework for the future that can reach across gender, race, religion, or nationality. It requires new approaches to timeless and universal principles.

The most important aspect of any foundation is the cornerstone. If the foundation is solid, then any error that may creep in later can easily be remedied. For over 100 years Progressives have chipped away at our foundation, destroying or discrediting any American traditions and values that made us exceptional as a nation, in their effort to make us just another European clone. We must undo that damage and reset and restore the cornerstones of America: Natural Rights, and Natural law.

What are Natural Rights? They are those rights endowed to us by nature and nature’s God. They are inherent in our Creation. They cannot be transacted, bestowed or taken away…though they can be violated thru the transgressions and unrighteous dominion of men. Chief among these rights (and arguably the rights all other rights fall under) are life, liberty, and private property.

What is Natural Law? It is the natural duty each man owes to his neighbor; his moral responsibility to others as he pursues happiness as he sees it. The most fundamental of these duties are: first, one can never violate the Natural Rights of his neighbor except in self-defense or as punishment for a crime, and second, that he genuinely inquire after and reflect upon the nature of his obligations towards his fellow man, at all times and in all places -that he hunger and thirst to know & obey the Law of Heaven as it reveals itself to his conscience.

Natural Rights make Man free. Natural Law makes him civilized and just. Rights alone make us little better than feral animals; Law alone makes us petty tyrants cruelly enforcing our will on others. It is the balance between these two -rights and responsibilities- that have made America the most prosperous & blessed nation under God, and when we violate the one or neglect the other, we undermine the very foundation upon which this country was built and invite the wrath of nature and nature’s God to fall upon us.

Once the foundation has been laid, then we can finally discuss the framework: The Constitution of the United States, and The Declaration of Independence. We often hear conservatives talk about preserving the Constitution, but we rarely, if ever, hear from the Right about how the Constitution can always be amended in a way that goes against both the Declaration and a foundation of Natural Rights and Natural Law. It is not enough to enforce the checks and balances that Progressive regularly flout, we must ensure the Constitution aligns with the principles outlined in the Declaration, and that it is supported by a firm foundation of Natural Rights and Natural Law. If the Constitution is the arch built on the foundation, the Declaration is the keystone that holds that arch together. Take away the keystone or the foundation, and the arch crumbles and washes away under its own weight.

America is a nation of ideas. What makes us exceptional as a country is the fact that anyone can come here, and provided they adopt the foundation and the framework of America as their own, they become American. “Blood and soil” can never hold a candle to the power of ideas and the power of Truth. Which is what makes our reluctance to discuss powerful ideas -especially in the arenas of politics and religion- so unsettling. There is a tendency amongst most Americans to hold their tongue -particularly when it comes to sharing political and religious ideas- to avoid saying that which might offend, but if Americans want to take their country back from the barbarians, they need to “question with boldness” all that they truly believe, and then they need to open their mouths and speak without fear. We no longer live in a society where distasteful identity politics on either side can be shamed into silence; we must overpower their base philosophies with our own nobler ideas…ideas that can unite every man, woman, and child of every race, creed, and tongue. In America, diversity is a strength, because that diversity is bound together and united under the umbrella of American ideas as outlined in the Declaration. It is the common cause of liberty that unites us as a people, not skin tone. We mustn’t shy away from the battlefield of ideas out of fear of upsetting our friends, neighbors, or even family, because it is there and only there that Truth can win out, and the Truth is what makes us truly free.

There will always be tension. There will always be conflict. We will never agree on everything 100%. But let us agree on certain fundamentals: Natural Rights and Natural Law, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Let these be the foundation of the American Nation, our North star, our guiding light, the Cause to which we, like our forefathers before us, “mutually pledge…our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

Because a house built on anything else, will not stand the storm.

This post was submitted by Ornery Young Gunz (@orneryyg on Twitter).

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Democrats

2020 hopefuls lurching leftward to appeal to radical progressive base

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2020 hopefuls lurching leftward to appeal to radical progressive base

The great primary evolution is already starting. We saw it in 2016 as every Republican candidate tried to “evolve” their views to cater to the conservative base. No evolution was more striking than candidate Trump’s, who went from supporting gun bans and partial birth abortion as a younger man to being one of the most conservative candidates during the primaries.

We’re seeing it now with the Democratic candidates and potential candidates as they try to plant their ideological flags as far to the left as possible. Former Trump pollster John Mclaughlin gave his opinion on the leftward lurch of the field, focusing on Elizabeth Warren, Cory “Spartacus” Booker, and Kamala Harris. Each has attempted to paint themselves as the radical progressive the primary-voting base desires. All of them were much more moderate in the past. Warren was even a Republican in the 1990s.

The thing that makes this trend most disturbing is that the “far left” of the past is nothing compared to the radical progressivism of today’s Democratic base. By the time the primaries really heat up, most if not all will be full-blown socialists.


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Foreign Affairs

NY Times invokes Martin Luther King Jr. to attack Israel

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NY Times invokes Martin Luther King Jr to attack Israel

When a nation the size of New Jersey is surrounded by enemies and is the subject of incessant condemnation from the United Nations, it’s natural to assume thoughtful people will take a complete look at its circumstances before deciding which side of a contentious debate to support. This is why many Americans still choose to support the nation of Israel despite mainstream media’s efforts to frame it as evil.

Unfortunately, the debate is so complex, most Americans form their perspectives based on very limited data. Passions are so strong on both sides that it often comes down to which side’s message is loudest in the ears of those deciding who to support. The Israel-Palestine debate has been ongoing since the tiny nation was first formed and ramped up greatly following the attacks on Israel in 1967 that resulted in necessary expansion.

Today, the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Golan Heights are all considered “occupied” territories by a majority around the world, at least among those who are paying attention. Despite clear evidence that the very existence of Israel would be threatened if these lands were “returned” to the Palestinians, most of the world calls for the two-state solution as the path to peace.

On top of the disputed lands, the way that Israel maintains peace within its own lands is labeled as oppression against Palestinians living there. The core of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement’s message is that the Palestinian people are being persecuted. To support this premise, an activist at the NY Times is invoking Martin Luther King Jr and his opposition to the Vietnam War as the roadmap by which BDS activists should muster their own courage and build more support to fight the nation of Israel.

Time to Break the Silence on Palestine

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/19/opinion/sunday/martin-luther-king-palestine-israel.htmlReading King’s speech at Riverside more than 50 years later, I am left with little doubt that his teachings and message require us to speak out passionately against the human rights crisis in Israel-Palestine, despite the risks and despite the complexity of the issues. King argued, when speaking of Vietnam, that even “when the issues at hand seem as perplexing as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict,” we must not be mesmerized by uncertainty. “We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak.”

To be clear, King was opposed to a war that resulted in the deaths of 1,350,000 people, which is nearly the same amount of Arabs living in Israel currently. King was opposed to a war in which no Americans were attacked prior to us getting involved. Israel is attacked regularly from multiple groups in and out of the nation who support the Palestinian movement. King was opposed to a war that took focus and resources away from his cause.

As he said, “We were taking the black young men who had been crippled by our society and sending them eight thousand miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in southwest Georgia and East Harlem.”

To be fair, the author of the NY Times article, Michelle Alexander, was using his anti-war speech to demonstrate the courage King displayed as inspiration for the courage she feels BDS supporters need today. Had she left it there, then there wouldn’t be much of a need to respond. However, she continued in the article to speculate King may not have been happy with Israel back then. Worse, she implied that he could have been a supporter of the BDS movement today.

This opinion is beyond questionable. King’s motivations for not wanting to outwardly support Israel’s actions following the Six Day War were for the sake of his movement, not based on personal feelings on the matter. It made sense to not take a side in a debate in which many of his supporters of African or Middle Eastern descent may have objected.

It is becoming increasing common in the BDS movement to point solely towards the actions of the Israeli government while ignoring the reasons for these actions. They often talk about homes being bulldozed, but they ignore the fact that punitive demolitions are a result of terrorist attacks. I am not in favor of these demolitions, but I would never hide the facts to support my claims. The BDS movement realizes calling out Israel for bulldozing Palestinian homes is most effective if the reasons are never mentioned.

As pro-BDS articles go, this one was strikingly coherent. This is a bigger problem than the unhinged hate articles we often see from BDS supporters. It’s easy to see how this one-sided portrayal in a publication as strong as the NY Times that invokes an icon like Martin Luther King Jr can garner support for the movement from those who would otherwise never consider it. The article is very careful to cut off cries of antisemitism and is written for rational thinkers rather than emotional feelers.

But therein lies the problem. It invokes King and his famous speech knowing full well few will actually read it. If they take the time to read or hear it, they’ll wonder what any of that has to do with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The NY Times is betting on the easy odds that nobody’s going to take the time.

None of the seven reasons King gives for opposing the Vietnam War could be applied to Israel. Invoking the speech and insinuating he would have been a BDS supporter is a disingenuous attempt to equate his righteous activism to the BDS movement itself.


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Entertainment and Sports

Harden scores 48 points, Rockets beat Lakers 138-134 in OT

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Harden scores 48 points Rockets beat Lakers 138-134 in OT

HOUSTON (AP) — James Harden was the star for the Houston Rockets as usual on Saturday night, but he and the team got a big boost from Eric Gordon in his second game back after recovering from a bruised knee.

Harden scored 48 points, Gordon added 30 and the Rockets overcame a 21-point deficit to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 138-134 in overtime.

The Rockets trailed for most of the night and were down by 18 in the second-half. Gordon sent it to overtime with a 3-pointer, and made four free throws in the last seconds of the extra period.

“He’s playing unbelievable,” coach Mike D’Antoni said of Gordon.

Coming off 57- and 58-point games, Harden had his 19th straight game with at least 30 and he’s had 40 in 10 of the last 13. He was 14 of 30 from the field, going 8 of 19 on 3-pointers, and hit 12 of 15 free throws.

Harden was asked if Gordon being back after missing eight games before his return on Wednesday night eased the burden on him a little bit.

“A little bit? It takes a lot of burden off me,” Harden said. “He’s so offensively gifted and talented being able to shoot the basketball, being able to get to the rim, being able to make plays for others. You get a guy like that on the floor with you it makes it easier for not only myself but for everybody.”

Brandon Ingram missed a 3 for Los Angeles before Harden hit 1 of 2 free throws to make it 132-130 with less than a minute left. Ingram tied it with a basket, and Harden again made 1 of 2 free throws to make it 133-132.

Los Angeles missed a 3 before Gordon also made just 1 of 2 free throws to leave Houston up by two with 12.6 seconds left. Kyle Kuzma lost the ball and it went out of bounds to give Houston the ball back. Gordon added four free throws after that to secure the victory.

It was the second straight overtime game for both teams after Houston lost to Brooklyn on Wednesday night and Los Angeles beat Oklahoma City on Thursday night.

Kuzma had 32 points for Los Angeles and Ingram added 21 in a game where coach Luke Walton was ejected in the third quarter.

Already without LeBron James and Rajon Rondo, the Lakers have another injury concern after Lonzo Ball sprained his left ankle in the third quarter. Walton said his X-rays were negative but that he’d have an MRI and “we’ll see where we are after that.”

Four straight points by the Lakers stretched the lead to nine in the fourth quarter, but Harden and Gordon made consecutive 3-pointers cut it to 112-109 with about two minutes remaining.

Los Angeles made four free throws to make it 116-109 about a minute later, but Harden made two 3-pointers around a basket by Ivica Zubac to get Houston within three with about 30 seconds left.

Lance Stephenson missed a 3-pointer and Harden made two free throws to cut the lead to 118-117 with 5.7 seconds left.

Zubac made two more free throws before Gordon’s off-balance 3-pointer with 2 seconds left sent it to OT.

“I saw Kentavious Caldwell-Pope running out to me and I thought he was going to fly right by me, but he stood right there,” Gordon said. “So I had to try to shoot it with confidence and I’m glad it went in.”

The Lakers built a huge lead early and were up 64-46 at halftime, with Kuzma scoring 24 points.

They were ahead by 17 with about eight minutes left in the third quarter after scoring five straight points capped by a basket from Kuzma before Houston scored the next 15 points to cut it to 74-72 three minutes later. James Ennis had five points in that stretch and P.J. Tucker capped it with a 3-pointer.

Ball was injured just before Houston’s run began. He remained on the court for a couple of minutes talking with trainer’s before he was helped to his feet where he hopped on his right foot for a few steps before being carried off the court and to the locker room by Stephenson and Michael Beasley.

Walton was ejected a couple of minutes after that when he got two technical fouls after yelling at officials during a timeout.

Ingram pointed to losing Ball as when things started to get away from the Lakers.

“Right when Lonzo went out,” he said. “That’s exactly when it went away. We lost momentum a little bit.”

TIP-INS

Lakers: James was out for the 13th straight game with a strained left groin and did not make the trip. … Stephenson finished with 16 points.

Rockets: Harden also had eight rebounds, six assists and four steals. … Ennis returned after missing Wednesday’s game after cutting his left leg in a fall at his house. … Chris Paul missed his 14th game in a row with a strained left hamstring … Clint Capela had surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb and is expected to be out 4-6 weeks.

THEY SAID IT

D’Antoni on Houston’s comeback: “Words don’t do it. That was just our guys showing a lot of heart.”

UP NEXT

Lakers: Host Golden State on Monday night.

Rockets: Visit Philadelphia on Monday night.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports


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