So I Appeared on Al Jazeera Today

And this was after I cut the beard back a lot.

Anyway, I was going to appear on their social media-based show The Stream, but it didn’t work out quite the way it was supposed to. Anyway, I was able to send in a video clip of my opinion on #AllLivesMatter/#BlackLivesMatter and it aired on the show, which is cool.

They even tweeted out the crux of the point I was making, which was nice.

They post their episodes on YouTube, and I’ll link over to that whenever it’s uploaded.

A Few Thoughts On A Crappy Week

For the most part, I’ve stayed quiet on the shootings in Baton Rouge, St. Paul, and Dallas. I may have posted a thing on social media here or there, but I didn’t want to get dragged into the inevitable Cops vs. Blacks argument, because I would have been dragged into it on both sides.

The deaths of the two black men deserve to be highly scrutinized. If it is as bad as it looks, the officers involved should be dismissed and not allowed back into law enforcement at any point. Theirs was an abuse of power and, as is often the case, one against a certain subset of American citizen.

The deaths of the police officers in Dallas, meanwhile, are just as heinous. All information points to a planned attack on law enforcement with clearly the intent to do more had he survived. The nutjob is thankfully no longer among the living.

Since the Dallas shooting, more cases of ambushing cops have arisen across the country. This is not new – we saw cases of this the last time we had high-profile lethal force incidents. What is new is the degree of polarization, one that – with everything we’ve been through as a country – we shouldn’t have.

But we do. The reason for this polarization is the same reason we have Donald Trump. It’s the same reason Bernie Sanders did so well against the inevitable Hillary Clinton.  It’s because people don’t talk to each other anymore. They talk at each other. They scream and shout and don’t try to work out differences or negotiate their way to some common ground. We spend our lives now as advocates for something or other.

And because of this, we begin to see each other not as beings with things in common, but as people who, if they disagree with us, are the enemy. Or even outright evil.

2016 is a terrible year and it is only going to get worse at this rate. Pray.

Politicized Education

Just a brief observation here:

On Twitter earlier today, I followed a guy named Steve Weber (@curriculumblog) and added him to a list of Twitter users called “Education Resources.” I use this list as a means to read some of the updated information on teaching practices, etc., since it is my career field and I want to learn as much as I can.

So, this Steve Weber guy, who I’ve read a little bit about, follows me back, according to my notifications. I open up Twitter, and see that he not only unfollowed me immediately, but also blocked me from viewing his account. No explanation whatsoever.

Strange.

Now, to be fair, my bio mentions nothing about being a teacher. What’s curious is that it does mention I write at RedState. I have no way of proving that’s why I was blocked, but it’s curious to me that I was blocked at all, given that I had not said a single thing to the guy.

I’m not bitter about this, but I am confused. What was it that made this man think I wasn’t worth having as a follower, or even worth having as someone who could see his timeline? I’ll likely never know, but if it was based on politics, I’d like to know why my beliefs would disqualify me from hearing or reading what he has to say.

Actually, It’s About Ethics In Journalism

There is a lot of talk today about Gawker, the journalism website that operated like a cavalier gossip rag run by Internet Vigilantes. Sure, at times it provided solid news, but it was incredibly unethical about many things it did, which included outing gay men.

Peter Thiel was one of Gawker’s victims, and he successfully funded a large-scale assault on Gawker, resulting in a $140 million judgment against them. That $140 million is supposed to go to Hulk Hogan, because Gawker obtained and leaked portions of the geriatric wrestler’s sex tape.

Many of the more traditional media, as well as new media juggernauts, constantly criticized Gawker over what they did, but are now crying about how the freedom of the press is being silenced.

Now, I know journalism. I know journalism school. I know that you are taught two really important things in journalism school: freedom of the press and ethics. Gawker’s judgment was not a violation of the former, and they clearly know nothing of the latter. You see, the First Amendment prevents the government from shutting down or silencing any journalistic enterprise on a whim, and several cases that have gone before the Supreme Court have helped define the limits of the freedom of the press. As of now, there is no protection for anyone who leaks a private sex tape under the guise of journalism.

Gawker plays the Internet vigilante. They come across a “scoop” where someone has acted inappropriately, and they don’t just report on it – they go out and try to utterly humiliate the person for it. Shame them out of the public eye forever.

That violates the very ideals of journalism, which is rooted in informing the public of a story without becoming part of the story. Gawker has routinely and without remorse gone well beyond even the dubious advocacy a lot of modern media takes part in, into the realm of playing judge, jury, and social executioner. There is absolutely nothing ethical about what they constantly try to get away with.

99% of what they do goes unchallenged. But one time, just one damn time, they found themselves getting punished for their poor attempts at journalism. And they deserved it.

Any media outlet that acts as Gawker does will find itself eventually facing a lawsuit of this caliber. That’s why they don’t do it. Gawker is now being bankrupt and being sold off in order to pay for its mistakes. Hopefully, they’ll learn from it. But, I doubt it.

My Reasons For Opposing Donald Trump Are Not Solely About Donald Trump

At this point, it is fairly well established that Donald Trump is the Republican Party Nominee for President of these United States of America. Go us. If it turns out we aren’t, in fact, being Punk’d, then this is a reality a lot of people are going to have to come to terms with. I have previously laid out the case that this is the exact opposite time to leave the Republican Party, because I believe that when the dust settles, there are going to be so few capable people left that those of us with the right state of mind can actually begin the process of leading it properly. It may be a pipe dream, but it’s my pipe dream, damn it.

Donald Trump may very well end up being a half-decent president. He may not totally fail. He may, in fact, do some good. Hell, for all I know, Donald Trump is going to actually say or do something that I find persuasive enough to cast that vote for him… except, that I have vowed not to, even knowing that there may be some good in choosing him over Hillary.

No, my objection to Trump is more an objection to what Trump has already done and not an objection to what he will do. Donald Trump has taken a movement with all the potential to break the status quo of Washington D.C.  and forever changed it. It is no longer a controlled burning of the establishment. It is now a raging fire I fear we cannot put out.

Conservative activism, over the past eight years in particular has been about targeting the right guys and taking them out, one by one, until the status quo, the things that will never change so long as these guys are in any sort of power, is gone. That ideal is what gave us Ted Cruz. It gave us Marco Rubio. It gave us Mike Lee. It gave us Ben Sasse. All of these are good men. Even liberals who outright hate these men and their politics will admit that these guys are honest in their intentions.

But Donald Trump is not honest in his intentions. My side has, time and again, pointed out that he has donated to Democrats at every level. He has faltered in condemning white supremacists who support him. He has not only endorsed, but even participated in trashing not the people we have been hoping to take out to break the status quo, but the very men we have elected for the job. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio were two of the best we had, and Donald Trump turned the very movement that elected them into a movement that tore them down.

He has corrupted the conservative movement for his own purpose, and that is unforgivable. Even if he is a decent president, which I simply cannot believe will be the case, he has tainted everyone he has touched in the process of getting there. Talk radio, the most powerful tool we had to combat the Left-leaning media, has fallen completely under his sway. Fox News, the one media outlet we had, has openly pushed Trump and pushed back against any idea that he is unfit for the job. The conservative movement, a movement I have been proud to be a part of, has been hijacked and twisted, and all the work we’ve done has been totally reversed.

Two Unrelated Stories. One Terrible Reality.

America is dead, and there are two stories out now that pretty much prove that we haven’t realized it yet. The first comes to us from Politico, and it bodes ill for pretty much everyone.

The selfie-loving, emoji-using, “Broad City”-watching millennial generation is now the largest living age cohort in the country, according to new 2015 figures from the U.S. Census Bureau analyzed by Pew Research.

The roughly 75.4 million millennials, defined as those ages18 to 35 in 2015, have dethroned the 74.9 million baby boomers, those ages 51 to 69 in 2015, who were previously the nation’s largest generation.

Millennials are terrible. I have apologized for them over at RedState before, and I pretty much say it out loud to older generations whenever I’m out. A group of hipsters walk by your store front? I walk over and shake your hand. A bunch of college students protesting microaggressions on your campus? I give you a hug. Kids in trilbies sitting in your coffee shop, with Macbooks as far as the eye can see? I bring you holy water.

They are awful and they should be stopped. But we don’t do anything, because we’re listening to really bad science on the subject of spanking kids.

The second story that at first appears unrelated concerns Disney and one of their all-time classics:

Emily Blunt is in talks to star in Disney’s sequel to “Mary Poppins” with Rob Marshall set to direct.

John DeLuca and Marc Platt will serve as producers on the pic. Sources say Blunt has always been the favorite since all four worked together on “Into the Woods.” With Disney looking to get the film into production soon, the studio recently met with the actress to discuss the idea of playing the magical nanny.

The deal is not yet set in stone due to scheduling. News recently broke that Blunt is expecting her second child, and that may play into her decision.

Insiders confirm the new film will take place in Depression-era London 20 years after the first film and will take story lines from P.L. Travers’ children books focusing on Poppins’ continued adventures with the Banks family.

Unrelated? I don’t think so. Millennials, who can’t be bothered to read a book or watch a classic every now and then have absolutely no clue what makes Mary Poppins so goddamn magical. If there aren’t special effects that seem lifelike, they aren’t interested.

And that’s terrible, because it means Disney is going to hire Emily Blunt – Emily goddamn Blunt – to star in the movie. And I swear to you if she plays Poppins herself, I will fling myself from the highest heights.

Fucking millennials, man. Fuck.