Culture, Politics, Religion

Imagine if Donald Trump read Francis de Sales: Man deported 5 times admits to Kate Steinle murder

Francisco SanchezOnly days after Donald Trump essentially painted the vast majority of Mexican illegal immigrants as rapists and murderers, Kate Steinle, 32, was gunned down by one in broad daylight. The federal government had deported the man five times. San Francisco is a sanctuary city and refused to hand over the suspect when it had the chance.

Kate SteinleReporter Cornell Barnard was able to interview apprehended suspect Francisco Sanchez on Sunday.

A local ABC Affiliate reported:

[Francisco Sanchez] says he was wandering on Pier 14 after taking sleeping pills he found in a dumpster.

He claims he kicked the gun into the San Francisco Bay, lit up a cigarette, and walked off, not knowing he shot someone until he was arrested by police hours later. Sanchez reportedly first told police he was shooting at sea lions.

He appeared frail and nervous when he talked about returning to the U.S. after being deported back to his native Mexico five times.

Barnard: “Why did you keep coming back to the U.S., why did you come back to San Francisco?”
Sanchez: “Because I was looking for jobs in the restaurant or roofing, landscaping, or construction.”

Sanchez said he knew San Francisco was a sanctuary city where he would not be pursued by immigration officials.

Mr. Trump was one of only a few high-profile individuals to bring attention to this story when he tweeted it Friday night. Sadly, it doesn’t matter how much truth there is to a man’s message if his delivery convinces others that he is a bad person.

Trump TWTConsider what Francis de Sales said in “Treatise on the Love of God”:

“We dislike imitating those we hate even in their good qualities. The Lacedaemonians would not follow the good counsel of an evil man unless some good man stated it after him.

On the contrary, we cannot help conforming ourselves to those we love. It is in this sense, I think, that the great apostle says that ‘the law is not made for the just.’ In fact, the just man is not just unless he has holy love. If he has love, there is no need to urge him on with the rigor of the law, since love is a more cogent teacher and solicitor to persuade a heart possessing it to obey the will and intentions of its beloved. Love is a magistrate who exercises his authority without noise, without bailiffs or sergeants-at-arms, but merely by that mutual complacence whereby, just as we find pleasure in God, so also we reciprocally desire to please Him.” — Francis de Sales.

Yes, it is possible to learn a thing or two from men who lived in the late 1500s and early 1600s.

If you have an important message to deliver to a skeptical audience, then it is crucial that the vehicle for that message not come across as a bully, a jerk, a racist or an evil man.

I am not saying that Mr. Trump is any of those things, but the way he carries himself in front of a microphone makes it incredibly easy for his detractors to make such a case.

Large scale illegal immigration brings with it a whole host of (often deadly) problems. When you have “sanctuary cities,” criminals will gladly take politicians up on the offer. Innocent people pay the price for officials who do not take the rule of law seriously. That is why we need serious and articulate men and women to explain what is going on to the American people.

It is not good enough to simply be correct when speaking on public policy issues like illegal immigration; one must also be able to show empathy. Sadly, too many people who are right on the issue seem to have little to zero empathy for the millions who are trying to flee dysfunctional and oppressive hell holes.

People will often vote for a man with horrendous public policy ideas if he seems like he cares about his constituents. People will often not vote for the man with great public policy ideas if he seems cold, detached or weird. Wouldn’t it be nice if the Republican Party could run a candidate who actually had good ideas and he or she exuded the kind of empathy skills that could win over Independents and Democrats?

Perhaps if Donald Trump read the works of Saint Francis de Sales years ago, then he could have been that man.

Culture

Judge Mindy Glazer meets childhood friend in her courtroom; accused burglar and race-baiters cry

Miami Judge S GlazerIs America a country where a men and women are the authors of their own destiny, or is it a country where the odds are stacked against certain groups to essentially guarantee failure? Let us consider the case of Miami-Dade County Judge Mindy Glazer, who ran into accused burglar Arthur Booth in her courtroom. The two have a very telling history together — the were childhood friends. The exchange between them brought one man (and the country’s many race-baiters) to tears.

A local ABC affiliate reported June 30:

The suspect in front of the bench was Arthur Booth, a classmate of Glazer’s at Nautilus Middle School.

Glazer asked if Booth, who is facing numerous charges including burglary and grand theft, had attended the school.

“Oh, my goodness! Oh, my goodness!” exclaimed Booth before beginning to cry.

Glazer said that Booth was the nicest and best kid in school.

“I used to play football with him, all the kids, and look what has happened,” Glazer said. “I’m so sorry to see this.”

Follow the link and watch the video. It is well worth your time. You can almost see the moment where Mr. Booth’s brain registers just how different his life could have been if he made better choices along the way.

Two American minorities go to the same high school. They’re both intelligent kids. They play the same games, have the same teachers and the same friends, and yet at some point a string of bad decisions sends Mr. Booth’s life into the ditch. He treated his life like a pro golfer who inexplicably decides to swing his club with reckless abandon, and then wonders why his partner winds up with the a large trophy room.

Every day we dip our hands into an endless stream of consciousness, pull out decisions, and then act. We inherently know that the sheer volume of choices that rest squarely on our shoulders means that most trials and tribulations can be overcome. When it comes to discussing racial issues, however, those truths are suddenly denied or turned upside down.

The next time you hear about “white privilege,” I suggest thinking about the race that you’ve run in the ultimate marathon that is life. Think about the mind-bending number of decisions that you have made over the years to get to where you are today. Think about the times you have fallen short of your full potential. Think about your faults. Think about the hard work you put in over the years to recover from your personal and professional mistakes. Then ask if episodic instances of racism or bigotry in the United States has the power to keep anyone from attaining the vast majority of their hopes and dreams.

Hopefully Mr. Booth realizes what Judge Mindy Glazer’s comments highlight: there is no reason why the nicest kid in school should wind up a middle-aged adult with a criminal record unless he long ago decided to walk down a dangerous dead-end road.

Comics

Dan Slott’s paranoia hits new high: ASM screenshots now invalid if used on feared Douglas Ernst blog

Marvel’s Dan Slott has taken his fear of this very blog to a whole new level. Criticism of The Amazing Spider-Man is now illegitimate if screenshots taken from this blog accompany said feedback. A reader pointed me to recent Comic Book Resources discussion where the writer expertly used his favorite red herring and “poison the well” fallacies.

A user commented:

What are people going to remember about “the best selling comic in 2012, 2013, or 2014″?

– Will it be SlOtto shooting an unarmed man in the face, while his peers and allies stood around drooling on themselves like idiots? (Because, you know, Spider-man always fought crime with guns and a lust for criminal execution like the Punisher, except for the 50 years of stories where didn’t, and there’s nothing weird about that).

– Will it be Peter running around in his web-diaper, in a literal on-panel representation of the painfully regressed man-child he’s become in the dumbed-down, lowest common denominator, post-One More Day comic continuity?

– Will it be Peter claiming “wow Sanjani is so right and I’m wrong” as (SlOtto’s) his company crumbles, and he has to be saved from a villian by the likes of Anna Maria and Clash (a character we’re supposed to care about since he was shoehorned into yet another unneeded reinterpreting of Spider-man’s origin)?

– Will it be this glorious, gag-inducing panel?

Silk SpiderMan SpiderVerseDan Slott’s response:

HA! Look at that link! You pulled that image from “dougernst.files.wordpress.com” Wow! You went all the way to crazy town for that one. You chew over your Spidey-bile with Mr. I-Think-Spider-Man-Should-Kill-North-Koreans? Seriously… wow. Your posts make SO much more sense now.

I thought I was talking to a potentially reasonable person… but if that’s where you dredge up your “intellectual ammo” …you’re a lost cause. Sorry. But good day, sir.

Dan Slott SpiderVerseThe commenter handled Mr. Slott like a true professional.

No idea what you’re on about here, man, unless you’re trying to get this thread flagged by the NSA. But way to dodge. YOU wrote the panel, so you must find nothing icky / silly / ridiculous about Peter and Silk addressing each other and lolling around together like an old married couple. But it’s all just another day in the silly Slott-Verse for us and Spidey.

See, I’m discussing content, where you keep dissembling and trying to spin off the topic, so much so that Mets could freely thread drift your posts.

Dan. Slott. Nailed. To. The. Wall.

Let us speak of intellectual ammunition, shall we? Dan Slott was blasted away by this young man with an intellectual .50 Caliber Machine Gun. As bits and pieces of Dan’s fragile ego exploded off his psyche, he looked for anything that might save him and found some cover just in time — a link to douglasernstblog.com. Dan Slott’s go-to survival technique when faced with punishing critiques is to bring up this blog and then distort things I said — in 2012.

Here is where it gets fun. Consider Dan Slott’s retort to this young man: “If that’s where you dredge up your ‘intellectual ammo’ …you’re a lost cause.”

Let us pretend this individual did get his intellectual ammunition here. If that is the case, then it is obvious that he is using the kind of nuclear weapons from 2012 that are still reverberating in Dan Slott’s mind three years after detonation. The shock waves from what I’ve said continue to bounce around in Slott’s skull for years, and yet he still strangely attempts to convince others that my reviews of his work are without merit.

I wrote a post in 2012 where I said it was ridiculous that Dan Slott’s Peter Parker would be faced with a possible extinction-level event and — when every single second could mean the death of six billion people — he thought it was a wise decision to berate his teammates about the sanctity of North Korea’s gulag overseers. While billions of lives hung in the balance and time was of the essence, Dan Slott’s Peter Parker decided to harangue Black Widow over how she navigated an army of North Korean torturers. Kudos!

Years later, Marvel’s ASM scribe is still so emotionally scarred by the drubbing he gets here that he has to frame the debate as if I want Peter Parker to snap the necks of emaciated North Korean women living in rural villages outside Pyongyang. Perhaps if Dan Slott actually read comics like Guy Delisle’s “Pyongyang,” (It’s a good bet that he probably isn’t going to make time for books like “Escape from Camp 14″), then he’d know just how foolish he comes across on CBR message boards.

Exit question: If I showed up to defend myself over at CBR and I did so tactfully, then how long would it take before Dan Slott’s moderator buddies banned me anyway?

Activism, Politics

George Takei sets phaser to ‘angry jerk,’ shoots himself and makes ‘blackface’ comment

George TakeiOne would think that activist and former Star Trek actor George Takei would be happy. The Supreme Court ruled last week that same-sex marriage must be allowed in all 50 States. Obergefell v. Hodges went down in the history books exactly as Mr. Takei wanted. Instead of basking in the light of a new day, he used the legislative victory to a.) call Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas a “clown in blackface” while b.) demonstrating that he has serious reading comprehension problems.

News Busters posted the part of Justice Thomas’ commentary that made the actor explode during a recent interview:

“Human dignity has long been understood in this country to be innate. When the Framers proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal” and “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” they referred to a vision of mankind in which all humans are created in the image of God and therefore of inherent worth. That vision is the foundation upon which
this Nation was built.

The corollary of that principle is that human dignity cannot be taken away by the government. Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because the government allowed them to be enslaved. Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them. And those denied governmental benefits certainly do not lose their dignity because the government denies them those benefits. The government cannot bestow dignity, and it cannot take it away.” — Clarence Thomas.

This seems pretty straightforward for anyone who doesn’t have partisan goggles strapped on so tight that blood flow to the brain is constricted. In short, dignity is something that all men have because they were created in God’s image. For whatever strange reason, Angry George doesn’t get it.

Here is what the actor told a Fox affiliate in Phoenix:

“He is a clown in blackface sitting on the Supreme Court. He gets me that angry. He doesn’t belong there. And for him to say, slaves have dignity. I mean, doesn’t he know that slaves were in chains? That they were whipped on the back. If he saw the movie 12 Years a Slave, you know, they were raped. And he says they had dignity as slaves or — My parents lost everything that they worked for, in the middle of their lives, in their 30s. His business, my father’s business, our home, our freedom and we’re supposed to call that dignified? Marched out of our homes at gun point. I mean, this man does not belong on the Supreme Court. He is an embarrassment. He is a disgrace to America.”

It seems self-evident that telling a black man who grew up the South prior to the Civil Rights movement that he should watch “12 Years a Slave” is a pretty dumb move, so I’ll ignore that one. Instead, we’ll talk about World War II.

Author Laura Hillenbrand summed up Louis Zamperini thoughts on dignity in her bestselling book “Unbroken.” For those who are unfamiliar with Olympian and World War II hero Mr. Zamperini, I high suggest reading the book. Ms. Hillenbrand’s retelling of the veteran’s fight for survival at sea and in multiple Japanese P.O.W. camps will change the way you see the world.

“Few societies treasured dignity, and feared humiliation, as did the Japanese, for whom loss of honor could merit suicide. This is likely one of the reasons why Japanese soldiers in World War II debased their prisoners with such zeal, seeking to take from them that which was most painful and destructive to lose. On Kwajalein, Louie and Phil learned a dark truth known to the doomed in Hitler’s death camps, the slaves of the American South, and a hundred other generations of betrayed people. Dignity is as essential to human life as water, food, and oxygen. The stubborn retention of it, even in the face of extreme physical hardship, can hold a man’s soul in his body long past the point at which the body should have surrendered it. The loss of it can carry a man off as surely as thirst, hunger, exposure, and asphyxiation, and with greater cruelty. In places like Kwajalein, degradation could be as lethal as a bullet.” (Hillenbrand, Laura. Unbroken. Random House, Inc., 2004. 183)

That late Mr. Zamperini and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas both demonstrated a deep understanding of human dignity. Given Mr. Takei’s politics, it is no surprise that he would mistake the crystal clear message — all men are born with dignity because they were given life by our Creator — for an insult.

To Mr. Takei, dignity is bestowed upon men when nine judges in black robes essentially invent rights or the federal government doles out benefits to ‘Person A’ paid for by ‘Person B’ (usually without B’s consent). It is no wonder that the Star Trek actor is  such an angry man — he’s been waiting his entire life for someone to give him a certain kind of dignity that he always possessed.

Just under the surface of all those Facebook jokes and silly memes is man whose blood boils with red-hot rage. It’s unfortunate, because during a time when he should have just sat back and smiled, Mr. Takei decided to show the world that he — and not Clarence Thomas — is the real clown. A very sad clown.

Culture, Politics

‘Dukes of Hazzard’ pulled by TV Land in ‘Twilight Zone’ fashion

Dukes of HazzardThere were those who thought the political correctness police would be satiated after getting Amazon to stop selling Confederate flag merchandise and Apple to pull Civil War video games. They were wrong. Very wrong. Sure, Warner Bros. stopped selling things like “The Dukes of Hazzard” model cars and lunchboxes, but even that wasn’t enough. In pure Twilight Zone fashion, TV Land has decided to stop airing episodes of “The Dukes of Hazzard.”

The New York Post reported Wednesday:

The latest victim of the growing controversy over the Confederate flag is the 1980s TV series “The Dukes of Hazzard.”

A TV Land spokesperson confirmed Tuesday that the network has pulled reruns of the series from its schedule, which had been airing twice a day.

The network declined to comment on why the episodes were removed, but the South-set show has come under fire recently for its use of the Confederate flag, which is emblazoned on the roof of the Duke Boys’ signature 1969 orange Dodge Charger.

Not only did the network cave into political correctness, but then it added insult to injury by going with the cowardly “no comment” route. Maybe Turner Classic Movies can ban now the movie “American History X” because Edward Norton’s character was initially a neo-Nazi…

As I mentioned when Apple began pulling Civil War games that feature the Confederate flag, all of this started because a lone racist killed nine Americans in a South Carolina church. The reaction to America’s totalitarian mob of lemmings, however, has been quite interesting. Peruse any number of left-leaning political websites and you will see an acknowledgement that what is happening is absurd, but a complete refusal to pin any culpability on the preferred ideology of Social Justice Weenies (I refuse to call them “warriors”).

Take Mediaite’s comments section, for instance. When faced with the poison fruit of the SJW’s ideology, the reaction is to blame “maybe one or two” individuals or to essentially say, “Don’t blame me!”

Dukes of Hazzard ban reactionThis is just like the time that Chris Rock said he no longer liked to perform on college campuses because the political correctness is a sign of how “conservative” kids have become. The liberal kids listening to liberal musicians while reading liberal books assigned to them by liberal professors are “conservative.”

Chris Rock’s total immersion into Orwellian doublethink is, on some strange level, worthy of admiration. Likewise, the ability to advocate for a warped ideology on a daily basis and then absolve oneself of any culpability when it bears bad fruit is fascinating. It would be like yours truly talking about how awesome Mike Huckabee was for years on end, and then when people started to buy into the “let’s just ignore Supreme Court rulings we don’t like” mentality, suddenly saying, “Where did this madness come from? Don’t blame me.”

The “Dukes of Hazzard” story may seem silly, but anyone who is concerned about the future of the country should be able to rattle off a handful of similar incidents at a moment’s notice. American culture has influential men and women who are simultaneously erasing U.S. history they don’t like while ascribing their own totalitarian behavior to the very people trying to stand up for individual liberty.

If you do not define yourself, then powerful people (like politically correct network executives with deep pockets) will do it for you. The U.S. is being culturally bled out by the “death by a 10,000 paper cuts” method, and while its consciousness begins to wane its murderers are looking for ways to frame the innocent.

Comics

Dan Slott: Peter Parker should be like Tony Stark or Bruce Wayne — and perhaps boink Shanghai women

ASM Parker IndustriesMarvel has a “new” idea for Peter Parker: Make him sort of like Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne — and have him stuck in love triangles because Dan Slott liked that as a kid.

MTV reported Tuesday:

Move over, Stark Industries: Spider-Man is in charge this time.

“Peter Parker has stepped up,” Slott told MTV News over the phone. “He’s grown. He’s become the Peter Parker we’ve always hoped he was going to be. This company, with Peter’s inventions and Peter’s gumption has gone to new heights.” …

“He’s operating with Parker industries in not just New York, but also Shanghai and San Francisco and London,” Slott said. “He’s going to be a far more global Spider-Man, and with that is going to come all new global threats. Things that will really test Spider-Man like never before. …

“One of the things I always loved was there was always a triangle,” Slott said. “There’s all these characters who are vying for Pete’s attention and I think you’re going to get back to that. You’re going to see all kinds of different characters we know and care about.”

Take a look at Marvel’s promotional material for its upcoming relaunch of The Amazing Spider-Man (yes, fans get another Slottian relaunch): Nothing says “Peter Parker” than James Bond-ish attire and two casino-bimbo wannabes latched onto his arms. Spider-Man even gets his own Nolan-inspired Bat-Spider Mobile…

If Peter Parker has grown up, then why is he still stuck in endless love triangles? Did he grow up into the “Peter Parker we’ve always hoped” he would be, or did he merely pupate into some weird version of himself consistent with Dan Slott’s childhood fantasies?

Here are the different versions of Peter Parker given to fans by Mr. Slott over the years:

  • Dumbed-down Peter Parker, who acts like a novice superhero when he’s had years of experience.
  • Dead Peter Parker.
  • Ghost Peter Parker, whose impotence is only forgotten with time because Doctor Octopus randomly gave the hero his life back.
  • Where’s Waldo Peter Parker, who became lost in a sea of spider-men during Spider-Verse.
  • Peter Stark-Wayne-Parker, who perhaps gets to boink women in Shanghai love triangles.

Was Peter Parker always destined to be a jet-setting CEO who flies from New York to London to Shanghai, or was he more likely to lead a life of quiet research conducted by men like Reed Richards? Was Peter Parker always destined for expensive love-triangle tribulations of the world’s billionaire elites, or was he more likely to settle down with a good woman by his side like, again, Reed Richards?

If Dan Slott were a violinist, he would be a third-string musician who weirdly wormed himself into a first chair. His “ear” for ASM indicates that while he understands the “harmonies” and “melodies” that make Spider-Man a winning character, his handling of Peter Parker is almost always off pitch.

The next volume of The Amazing Spider-Man already sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

Culture, Video Games

Apple pulls Civil War games with Confederate flag; Americans ironically slaves to the past

Civil WarIt only took the U.S. one week to move from the horrific actions of a lone racist who killed nine churchgoers in South Carolina to companies banning “Dukes of Hazzard” collectibles and Civil War games. Millions of Americans are, ironically, slaves to the past. They are slaves to an inanimate object. They cower in fear of a flag, even though common sense tells them that symbols can only be infused with meanings we permit.

Kotaku reported June 25:

Today, Apple decided to start yanking games that use the Confederate flag in any way (via TouchArcade). For example, you can now no longer buy the strategy iOS games Civil War: 1862, Civil War: 1863, Civil War: 1864, and Civil War: Gettysburg, which, as you might guess, use the Confederate flag because they’re video games about the Civil War.

Andrew Mulholland, director of these Civil War games, told me this morning that Apple pulled them today without any warning.

“It seems disappointing that they would remove it as they weren’t being used in an offensive way, being that they were historical war games and hence it was the flag used at the time,” Mulholland said in an e-mail. “At the moment we’re reworking the games to replace the flags that are deemed offensive. We’re going to use the Confederate flag from 1861 and 1862 as the one that’s considered offensive wasn’t introduced until late 1862.”

The note Apple sent, according to Mulholland: “We are writing to notify you that your app has been removed from the App Store because it includes images of the Confederate flag used in offensive and mean-spirited ways.”

What is happening here is only a few steps removed from book burning. It is the second cousin of book burning. We have found ourselves in a place where it is permissible to use a tragedy to target goods and services totally unrelated to the event. In an attempt to expunge certain elements of the past from our collective cultural consciousness, Civil War games are now deemed “mean spirited” merely for being about the Civil War.

This behavior indicates that the United States is culturally insane or a slave to its past. Businesses are beholden to the bottom line, and right now the bottom line is that prudence and reason are dangerously unprofitable. When a company looks out at its potential customers and it preemptively engages in absolute lunacy to please them, then red (not Confederate) flags should go up.

The nation would be wise to consider the words of Saint Francis de Sales, who said:

“‘Know thyself’ — that saying so celebrated among the ancients — may be understood as applying to the knowledge of the greatness and excellence of the soul (so that it may not be debased or profaned by things unworthy of its nobility); but it also may be taken to refer to the knowledge of our unworthiness, imperfection, and misery.” — Saint Francis de Sales, The Art of Loving God.

“Know thyself” is not high on America’s priority list these days. To the extent it is, Americans only want to think about their “greatness and excellence.”

Only sad people avoid confrontation with the worst parts of their nature, and only sick and twisted souls seek to live in complete denial of sins past. No matter how you slice it, America is in a pathetic place in 2015 — and it has nothing to do with slavery.