“You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.”

– Aaron Tippin

“How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg?
Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.”

– Abraham Lincoln

Well, it finally happened. After more than 100 years of standing on the principles of teaching boys and young men to do their duty to God and our country, and to keep themselves “morally straight,” in just four short years, the Boy Scouts of America has completely betrayed those principles and caved to the ridiculous demands of homosexual and transgender minorities. After fighting all the way to the Supreme Court in the 2000 BSA v. Dale case to affirm their right to exclude homosexuals from their membership, and reaffirming that policy as recently as 2012, the BSA decided in 2013 to allow homosexual boys to join. And when one of those boys became an adult, the BSA, as predicted, in 2015 decided to allow homosexual adults to be troop leaders. Now, the BSA has decided to let girls join the Boy Scouts.

The Boy Scouts used to be a special organization to me. My son started as a Tiger Cub in first grade and considered quitting after that first year because he didn’t like the Den Leader. Having been a Scout myself, I knew the positive influence Scouting could have for my son, so I asked if he would continue if I were to be the Den Leader. And so began an 11-year journey through Scouting that my son and I were able to share together. We shared a lot of memories on weekend campouts, Summer camp and High Adventure trips together, and his journey to Eagle Scout and Senior Patrol Leader helped him to become an outstanding leader and a man of principle. But the moments I really treasure were being able to see him interact with his peers in unguarded moments and see him grow into a young man who is self-confident, compassionate and fun to be around. Through Scouting, my son learned many things about how to handle different situations, how to lead, and yes, how to be masculine – more than I could have taught him on my own. We both know that he would not be the man he is today without his experience as a Boy Scout.

And I am so glad he made it through the program before all this lunacy began.

To think that a girl can be a Boy Scout is just insane. With all due respect to the BSA leadership, anyone who thinks this is a good idea simply has no idea what it’s like to be a Boy Scout.

These boys spend a huge amount of time together and, even with adult leaders around, spend much of that time by themselves. And there are many situations where the boys bond in a way that would simply not be possible with girls around. And yes, there are times when the boys get changed or shower in front of each other. On our trip to the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico a few years ago, the communal shower after summitting Mt. Baldy was an endless source of laughter for the boys. It was a classic “boys will be boys” moment and one that simply cannot be shared by a girl no matter what gender she claims to be. There are countless other situations where a boy simply cannot let his guard down like that in front of a girl, even if he accepts that she thinks she’s a boy. And to ask boys to sacrifice that innocence to accommodate someone’s delusion is selfish and a betrayal of some of the best parts of the Scouting experience.

My son and I will always treasure our time in the Boy Scouts. But if I am blessed with grandsons, I’m going to suggest that they join Trail Life USA instead.

Gondorff: There ain’t a fix in the world gonna cool him out if he blows on ya.

Hooker: I’ll take him anyway.

Gondorff: Why?

Hooker: ‘Cause I don’t know enough about killin’ to kill him.

Paul Newman and Robert Redford in The Sting

“Sincerity? I could fake that.”

Alan Alda as Hawkeye Pierce, M*A*S*H,
“Foreign Affairs” Season 11, Episode 3

Christopher Harper did a great job of explaining liberalism in a recent post. I’d like to share a slightly different perspective.

I have long subscribed to Charles Krauthammer’s rule fundamental law of American politics that conservatives think liberals are stupid while liberals think conservatives are evil. Let’s face it, some of the policies that liberals promote are pretty stupid. But to ascribe many of the things liberals do to simple stupidity requires an underlying concession that they are good-hearted souls trying to do what they think is best for the country but, as Ronald Reagan said, “they know so much that isn’t so.”

However, seeing the behavior of the democrats since losing the election in November, and considering their behavior going back to Teddy Kennedy’s original “borking” of Judge Robert Bork in 1987, and his original immigration reform back in 1965, it’s obvious that, like in The Sting, they have been playing the “big con” for more than 50 years. In the space of a few hours, an entire party and their stenographers in the Press went from being “horrified” at the “direct threat to our democracy” that anyone might not accept the results of an election to not accepting the results of an election because John Podesta was too stupid to sniff out a phishing scam (hmmm… more evidence to support Dr. Krauthammer?). Even on what should be a decorous occasion for the “peaceful transfer of power” in the House of Representatives last week, Nancy Pelosi was ungracious enough to allege, with no evidence, that the election was “subverted by the dark operations of a foreign regime.” Everything they’ve done for the last two months has been to deligitimize the new administration, and for one very good reason. They are scared to death that Trump might actually Make America Great Again.

Having painted Trump and his cabinet nominees as hateful-corrupt-xenophobic-racist-homophobic-bigots who will be dedicated to accommodating their Russian masters to whom they owe their positions, the democrats have taken the only possible path out of the corner into which they’ve painted themselves. If Trump crashes and burns, they can say “we told you so” and if he succeeds, their only option is to try to claim credit for having chastened or otherwise boxed him in to prevent what would surely have been a disaster had it not been for their courageous stand against all they’re pretending he claimed to stand for.

How can anyone take seriously this group who, after painting Mitt Romney (Mitt Romney!) as the second coming of Satan four years ago, then urged the republicans to save themselves from the Trumpacolypse by screwing the rules and nominating Romney? Just like Hawkeye in MAS*H, they have become very good at faking sincerity, and I continue to be stunned how so much of our country can be so uninformed as not to notice. I submit that rather than thinking liberals are stupid, we conservatives would do better to recognize that liberals are power-craving weasels who will do anything to accumulate power for themselves regardless of whether it is good for the country as a whole or for the people in it. It will make it even more enjoyable to watch Trump’s cabinet get approved with a simple majority in the Senate after the Reid-weasels abolished the filibuster.

“..For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth, peace and goodwill towards men.’
“That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”

– Linus in “A Charlie Brown Christmas” 1965

The secular answer is that it’s a federal holiday, having been established as such (along with New Year’s Day and Independence Day) by an act of Congress in 1870 “to correspond with similar laws of … every State of the Union.” Ironically, the holiday that seems every year to cause such politically-correct angst amongst our friends on the left was originally enacted in part as an act of post-Civil-War unification. While it wasn’t always so, by the mid 1800’s celebrating Christmas was pretty much universal throughout the country. And since the First Amendment is exactly the same now as it was then, how can anyone seriously think that celebrating Christmas, even on public property, could be a problem?

Let’s be clear. As much as the secular, commercial view of Christmas as a Santa Claus-fueled gift-giving frenzy has become the norm, there is still an underlying reason for the season, even if not everyone remembers or is willing to admit it. As Linus so beautifully pointed out, on Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus. Yes, the celebration of this Holy day has taken on additional secular attributes over the years and as a national holiday it can, and should be, celebrated by believers and nonbelievers alike. There is nothing wrong with that. But Jesus’ birth is still the central point of the day.

When my children were little, like most of you we went along with the whole Santa Claus story, leaving cookies and milk out for Santa, and carrots for the reindeer. We even left “Santa’s hat” in the fireplace one year and had a friend call to ask our children to hold onto it so he could pick it up the following year. But our children always understood what we were really celebrating, right down to the baby Jesus appearing in the Nativity scene on Christmas morning. When they got older and we finally told them the truth about Santa Claus, they took it really well. In fact, my daughter said that she felt sorry for people who don’t understand the true meaning of Christmas because, once they find out about Santa Claus, they have nothing left. As a Catholic, I pray that everyone will eventually come to learn the Truth.

As we prepare to celebrate Christmas, I’d like to remind everyone of the message at the end of that passage that Linus quotes: “on Earth, peace and goodwill towards men.” Wouldn’t it be great if we could all, regardless of religious, political, or any other affiliation, embrace those words?

Merry Christmas to ALL!

Wow. Just, Wow.

I have to admit that I was much more anti-Hillary than pro-Trump in this election, but as a Catholic and a Constitutionalist, I was pleased with Donald Trump’s victory on several levels. As a Catholic, this was an election about Life. There was simply no way I could support a radically pro-abortion candidate like Clinton. Abortion is one of the non-negotiable issues that Catholics can never support for any reason. To listen to Hillary in the debate suggest that a woman has the right to kill a child in the womb just before birth made my stomach churn. I am still not completely confident that Trump is a pro-life as he tried to portray himself during the campaign, but I am sure about Mike Pence and I am confident that, with a Republican in the White House, Congress will finally have the backbone to defund Planned Parenthood, and I fully expect them to hold Trump to his promise of appointing pro-life Constitutionalist judges to the Supreme Court.

As a Constitutionalist, I agree wholeheartedly with Charles C. W. Cooke that we finally have a chance to get back to our constitutional system of separation of powers and checks-and-balances. I think that Trump’s campaign was sufficiently independent – and adversarial – that the Republican Congress will have the unique opportunity to oppose him if he “goes rogue.” We know the Democrats will oppose him out of habit or spite, the same way the reflexively supported Obama in whatever he wanted to do, so Congress finally has a chance to reassert itself in our Constitutional system. It’s been a long time coming.

So suppose President Trump decides to nominate his sister or some other liberal judge not on his announced list of Supreme Court candidates. I fully expect, and would demand, that the Senate would reject the candidate both because he/she is unqualified but also to show the president that he doesn’t have carte blanche as Obama did. Also, once again, I expect the vice president to have some say in the process as well. Seeing the list of qualified people that the president-elect has chosen (Rudy for AG!), I’m less worried than I was a few months ago that he’ll do anything stupid.

And finally, I choose to believe that someone who would go through the last 18 months as Mr. Trump has, must have some idea of the magnitude of what he’s gotten himself into. I may be giving him more credit than he deserves, but I think he’s finally run into something bigger than he is. I’m sure he’s confident to believe he can handle it, and I hope he can, but I hope that the first time he steps into the Oval Office, he experiences a sense of humility befitting the job. And I’ll continue to pray for him and for our country. I ask you to do the same.

“I only know this is wrong.”

– Guinan
Star Trek: The Next Generation
“Yesterday’s Enterprise”

I’m a sucker for time-travel stories. Whether it’s Harry Potter, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Back to the Future, Stephen King’s 11/22/63 or anything else, a good story about the hero traveling back in time and affecting (or restoring) “the timeline” is one of my favorite diversions. If the plot is clever and resolves itself well, I’m even willing to put up with hokey dialog and two-dimensional characters. I just love it when a story, which can easily open itself to paradox, cliché and deus ex machina anti-climax, manages to apply self-consistent logic and arrive at an exciting, thought-provoking and satisfying ending.

Of course, we know that time travel is impossible. You can’t go back in time and murder your grandfather, there are no alternate universes and there is no grand government conspiracy hiding an actual time travel device so we just think it’s impossible. But that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to change the past, at least not if you’re a progressive, or whatever term the left chooses to apply to itself. The only hard part is getting yourself into a position to do it, such as becoming a Supreme Court Justice.

If you’re like me, and believe that words have meanings and expect that logical self-consistency is essential for any set of laws to make sense, then you would agree that once a law is passed it’s meaning should remain constant until such time as the legislature chooses to amend or repeal the law. That’s a pretty basic feature of any “government of laws, not of men.” The problem, as the left sees it, is that our Constitution was set up to make it hard to change the law, but we conservatives see this as a feature, not a bug.

The way the Constitution says you change a law is to advocate for the change and convince the legislature to pass the amendment, get it approved by the other house and have the president sign it into law. But that can be difficult since (ideally) each legislator is beholden to a constituency (those pesky “we the people” again), so they have to convince them that it’s a good idea too. If they can’t, then they may get voted out in the next election. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. What if there were an easier way?

Let’s suppose that time travel were actually possible. Our legislative crusader could go back in time, maybe to the Constitutional Convention, and actually advocate to change the Constitution. Maybe convince James Madison that the first amendment should include that phrase “Congress shall make no law limiting the ability of a mother to kill her unborn child at any time during her pregnancy.” Then the Supreme Court never would have had to wrestle with the abortion question in Roe v. Wade.

Instead, the left has discovered that Legislative Time Travel is much easier. All they have to do is decide what policy they want to enact and then declare that the meaning of the appropriate legislation is actually different from what everyone thought it was originally, and – surprise! – it actually means just what it needs to mean to enact whatever policy they want. They did it with abortion, they did it with gay “marriage” and now they’re doing it with “transgenderism.” Instead of going back in time and convincing Madison, all they have to say is “Madison really meant whatever I wish he’d meant.”

And the Obama administration doesn’t even have to go back that far. By reinterpreting Title IX to include the nebulous term “gender identity” they have the chutzpah to tell legislators, many of whom are still around, that the law they passed to prohibit discrimination based on sex now means something completely different.

So now we find ourselves in an alternate reality where laws are no longer logically self-consistent, since “gender identity” is completely subjective and this made-up interpretation of plainly written law is now in direct contradiction of the First Amendment in forcing churches and religious organizations and employers to go against the practice of their faith (i.e. the free exercise of their religion) to accommodate what the American College of Pediatricians has classified as a psychological disorder.

Since we don’t believe in Legislative Time Travel, we need representatives who will follow the Constitution and not just make things up as they go along. Since Clinton has pledged to be Obama’s third term, we can expect more of the same if she is elected. It says a lot about how far left Clinton and the democrats have become that Donald Trump is actually the candidate who is more likely to restore our timeline to one that make sense.

As a Knight of Columbus [that’s where my nom de plume comes from], I was particularly pleased to see the recent op-ed column by Supreme Knight Carl Anderson (whom I’ve had the pleasure to meet) in which he called for Catholic politicians either to stop supporting abortion “rights” or to resign their office. I could not agree with him more.  As Pope Benedict XVI said in Sacramentum Caritatis, the question of Catholic politicans supporting abortion is “not negotiable.” So a pro-abortion Catholic politician can only be one of two things:

  1. Misinformed on the Catholic teaching on abortion, such that he thinks his pro-abortion stance is somehow consistent with his Catholicism and thus with his conscience, or
  2. So craven in his desire for political power that he is willing to violate his conscience to acquire it.

Option 1 is addressable by knowledgeable Catholics engaging the candidate. Option 2 can only be addressed by the candidate himself, and I would argue that any politician who can be shown to be in this category should be automatically disqualified from receiving your vote (or anyone’s for that matter). [Note that I am not calling for a “religious test” for the candidate, but rather that voters disqualify him by not supporting the candidate. There’s a huge difference.] Moreover, if a sincere effort has been taken to inform the candidate to address the first problem and the candidate persists in his support for abortion, then the only conclusion to be drawn is that he is now in the second category and undeserving of your support. As a Knight, I find particularly galling the attitude of pro-abortion politicians who not only make an issue of their Catholicism, but also publicize their membership in the Knights of Columbus to enhance their credentials.

Indeed, I was involved a few years ago in an effort to have the Knights adopt a policy whereby they would kick out any member who, as a politician, could be shown to support legislation or policy that contradicted Catholic teaching on abortion, marriage or the family. We made considerable progress, but ultimately the motion was defeated at the Knights’ convention. The reasoning was that it was not the Knights’ job to determine who was a Catholic in good standing, which is the only qualification for becoming a Knight of Columbus in the first place. They felt that that decision lay with the bishops. I can’t help but feel that a certain amount of political reticense (dare I say “cowardice”) also played a part in the decision because the Knights are – quite rightly – protective of their tax-exempt status as a world-wide philanthopic and insurance agency.

Unfortunately, while the Knights could enforce such a policy in a non-partisan manner (Lord knows there are many Catholic Republicans who support abortion), it is undeniable that it would have a disparate impact on Democrat politicians due to that party’s extreme pro-abortion platform. And given Democrats’ penchant for forcing the Little Sisters of the Poor and other religious groups and individuals to violate their consciences to support abortion, it is a safe bet that such a policy would put the Knights firmly in the Democrats’ cross-hairs to remove the tax exemption that enables the Knights to do so much good work throughout the world.

But if our Supreme Knight recognizes that pro-abortion Catholic politicians are in serious-enough error to call for their resignation, surely if they persist in their error, Mr. Anderson should call for their resignation from the Knights. Allowing them to continue as Knights brings scandal and undermines the Knights’ position as the pre-eminent private Catholic charitable institution in the world. While I applaud his call that Catholics must not vote for such politicians (including Tim Kaine), I challenge him to extend this policy to its logical conclusion.

A note to readers: It’s getting down to “crunch time” for Da Magnificent Prospects, so I’d really appreciate it if you could share this article and my others with your social media friends. My other articles are:

Hamilton and Marriage
Trump, the Church and Immigration
The “Final Five” Show Us How It’s Done
The Left is Wrong About Rights
Ends, Means and Democrats
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My teenage daughter is obsessed with Hamilton, the musical that has taken Broadway by storm. Not being a fan of rap music, I was not particularly interested in listening to the soundtrack, but seeing my daughter’s reaction to it made me more than a little curious. We recently had occasion to spend quite a bit of commuting time in the car together and, since she had the music on her phone, the show’s soundtrack became the soundtrack of our drives. It’s easy to see why the show has become so popular, and a show that can save Alexander Hamilton’s place on the $10 bill and increase the appreciation people have for our Founding Fathers can’t be a bad thing, no matter how much rap it contains (and fortunately there is plenty of other styles of music that I found quite compelling). I was equally impressed with my daughter’s ability to sing along with the cast (sometimes mixing multiple parts, which was amazing) with her inserted commentary about the political and military background of the events depicted, even pointing out the historical inaccuracies in the script! Clearly she’s been learning more than just the lyrics. But there was one lesson in particular I wanted her to learn from the show, and it is one that Hamilton and his wife, Eliza, learned the hard way. CAUTION: Mild Spoilers ahead.

When my wife and I were engaged, we went through a multi-week Marriage Preparation program with our pastor, whom I’ll call “Father N.” One part of the program called for us each to fill out a questionnaire to determine if we had similar attitudes about different aspecs of marriage, from Faith to finances, family and even fidelity. One question in particular stood out: “Are there any circumstances under which you might choose to get a divorce?”

My bride and I had actually spoken about this in advance and both made it clear that infidelity would be a dealbreaker, so we both answered “yes” to the question. When evaluating our results, Father N pointed to that as the only problem with our answers. He said that in answering “yes” to that question, we were giving ourselves an “out,” which contradicts the Catholic view of marriage. Even though we had only one serious condition in mind, the idea that there could be one thing that would end our marriage could lead us to consider other lesser offenses to somehow rise to that level. In giving ourselves an out, we would have been entering our marriage without understanding what we were really doing. Unfortunately, too many couples in our society today lack that understanding and think that it’s OK to abandon their marriage for far more trivial reasons.

That was not true in Hamilton’s time, and the musical shows us this. Whether through faith or through fear of scandal, even when Hamilton’s infidelity comes to light, he and Eliza stay married, as difficult as that is. In “Burn,” Eliza makes her feelings clear:

You forfeit all rights to my heart
You forfeit the place in our bed
You sleep in your office instead

Recognizing that he is at fault, Hamilton refuses to give up. In “It’s Quiet Uptown,” he rekindles his Faith and does his best to win Eliza’s heart again:

I take the children to church on Sunday
A sign of the cross at the door
And I pray
That never used to happen before

It is his steadfastness, especially in facing the death of their son Philip, that they eventually experience “a grace too powerful to name” and she eventually forgives him:

Alexander by Eliza’s side
She takes his hand

After his untimely death, Eliza rededicates her life to continuing his legacy as best she can:

The Lord, in his kindness
He gives me what you always wanted
He gives me more / Time

She raises money for the Washington Monument, speaks out against slavery and, most telling, establishes the first private orphanage in New York City and helps raise hundreds of children, saying “In their eyes, I see you, Alexander.” Finally, she expresses her belief that she will see him again, in time.

Maybe in addition to learning about our nation’s founding, fans of Hamilton will also learn the true spirit of commitment, love and forgiveness inherent in marriage. Wouldn’t that be something?

A note to readers: It’s getting down to “crunch time” for Da Magnificent Prospects, so I’d really appreciate it if you could share this article and my others with your social media friends. My other articles are:
Trump, the Church and Immigration
The “Final Five” Show Us How It’s Done
The Left is Wrong About Rights
Ends, Means and Democrats
Don’t forget to hit DaTipJar, and thanks for your support!


A note from DaTechGuy: I hope you enjoyed Tech Knight’s piece. Remember we will be judging the entries in Da Magnificent tryouts by hits both to their post and to DaTipJar. So if you like Tech Knight’s work, please consider sharing this post, and if you hit DaTipjar because of it don’t forget to mention Tech Knight’s post as the reason you did so.

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Donald Trump delivered a rather compelling speech on Monday about terrorism and protecting our country from those who would do us harm. As usual, the media, who praised Trump during the primary as an iconoclast who refused to play by the traditional rules, are now casting him as a lunatic who refuses to play by the traditional rules. So, typically, they have ignored the substance of the speech, which is that Hillary Clinton and President Obama have objectively made our country less safe by their mishandling of international relations, especially in the Middle East, and tried to make Trump sound at the very least unhinged when he spoke about establishing criteria to decide who gets to immigrate here.
Here’s what he said:

We should only admit into this country those who share our values and respect our people. Those who do not believe in our Constitution, or who support bigotry and hatred, will not be admitted for immigration into the country. Only those who we expect to flourish in our country – and to embrace a tolerant American society – should be issued visas. (via politico)

In other words, the government’s purpose for “establish[ing] a uniform Rule of Naturalization” (the Constitution, Article I, Section 8) is to improve the safety, security and general welfare of its citizens. Let’s be clear: non-citizens do not have a right to become U.S. citizens, nor do they even have a right to enter our country unless we decide to let them.
As I mentioned in my first article, I am a Catholic and a Constitutionalist. I try my best to be a good Catholic and try to make sure that my Constitutionalist instincts fit within that framework. Fortunately, in the case of immigration, this is not that difficult. The Catholic position is described in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (clause 2241):

Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.

Thus, according to the Church, the government has the right to establish conditions “for the sake of the common good” under which someone may immigrate. Of course, the immigrant also has the duty to “respect the heritage” of the U.S. when they come here. (One could argue that the reason we now have to press 1 for English is that immigrants since the passing of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act have failed to live up to this obligation, but that’s a separate discussion.) In short, they should be coming here to become American. So what’s the problem with vetting people who want to come here from regions of the world where Islamic terrorism is rampant and excluding those found unacceptable?
Putting aside for the moment the practicality and logistics of such an effort, is there really a problem with establishing an immigration policy like what Trump described? It is certainly Constitutional, and it appears to be Catholic as well. There’s just one little wrinkle. The first part of the clause I quoted from the Catechism states:

The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin.

Thus, the Catholic position would be that a blanket ban on immigration from certain countries or regions would be unacceptable because we must allow the truly persecuted refugee to come to our shores out of compassion. So where do we draw the line? All I can say is that by calling for “extreme vetting” – which would allow for admitting the truly persecuted – and temporary holds, Trump appears to be closer to the Catholic position than Clinton who seems to be ignoring her Catholic responsibility of focusing on the common good of American citizens, by whom she is hoping to be elected.

A note to readers: It’s getting down to “crunch time” for Da Magnificent Prospects, so I’d really appreciate it if you could share this article and my others with your social media friends. My other articles are:
The “Final Five” Show Us How It’s Done
The Left is Wrong About Rights
Ends, Means and Democrats
Don’t forget to hit DaTipJar, and thanks for your support!


A note from DaTechGuy: I hope you enjoyed Tech Knight’s piece. Remember we will be judging the entries in Da Magnificent tryouts by hits both to their post and to DaTipJar. So if you like Tech Knight’s work, please consider sharing this post, and if you hit DaTipjar because of it don’t forget to mention Tech Knight’s post as the reason you did so.

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Fortunately we have another quadrennial event to distract us from the utterly depressing presidential election this summer. I must admit that I wasn’t really that interested in the Summer Olympics leading up to it, but I’ve gotten pulled into the whole experience, mostly from watching the swimming and gymnastics events over the first few days. The swimming was exciting, watching Michael Phelps add to his stash of gold medals and especially seeing Lilly King defeat the drug-cheating Russian in the 100m breaststroke. But for sheer awe-inspiring domination, nothing beats the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team (literally!).

U.S. Women's Gymnastics TeamThe “Final Five,” as they’ve named themselves, put on a performance in the qualifying round and the team finals unlike anything ever seen before. But aside from the outstanding individual performances we witnessed, they won the gold medal as a team in a sport where they were each judged individually and in many cases were also competing against each other. To watch Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Laurie Hernandez, Gabby Douglas and Madison Kocian was something special.

Rather than recap the results, which had the US team winning by 8 points in a sport where differences are often measured in tenths, there were a few other things that struck me about these young women. The first is how they were each focused on trying to help the team. During the qualifying round, three of the women, Biles, Raisman, and Douglas, were competing among themselves to qualify for the all-around final, since only two gymnasts per team could qualify. Laurie Hernandez, in her first international meet, was not eligible for the all-around since she was left out of the parallel bars exercise in favor of Douglas, whom she beat in each of the other three events. But whatever disappointment she felt was invisible behind her radiant smile and electric personality as she competed in the other events. And parallel bars expert Kocian, who was selected for the team just to participate in this event, received the highest score in both qualifying and in the finals (where she tied). Douglas, too, came back with the third-highest parallel bars score in the finals, which was the only event in which she competed. They each did their best in their own performances but also to encourage each other to reach their team goal, which was to win the gold medal as a tribute to their team coach, who is retiring.

As amazing as it was to watch this team of women compete, it was when I found out how much they each value their faith in God that I became even more impressed. I think maybe the gold medal isn’t the most important thing to them. Perhaps we could all take a lesson from that.

Oh, and there’s another thing to like about this team. With all the racial polarization in our society today, I for one found it extraordinarily refreshing that no one, least of all them, made any kind of issue about what race any of them was. It was their performance and their camaraderie in the pursuit of a common goal that mattered. Another lesson our society could learn from them.

Please be sure to check out my previous articles:

The Left is Wrong About Rights

Ends, Means and Democrats


A note from DaTechGuy: I hope you enjoyed Tech Knight’s piece. Remember we will be judging the entries in Da Magnificent tryouts by hits both to their post and to DaTipJar. So if you like Tech Knight’s work, please consider sharing this post, and if you hit DaTipjar because of it don’t forget to mention Tech Knight’s post as the reason you did so.

Normally i’d link to his previous pieces but he’s already taken care of that.




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“God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed the conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?”

Thomas Jefferson
Engraved on the wall of the Jefferson Memorial

“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Thomas Jefferson
The Declaration of Independence

There are two important things to note about the rights guaranteed us by the Constitution. The first is that the Constitution doesn’t “grant” us any rights. Instead, it speaks of rights already in existence (unalienable and endowed by our creator, according to the Declaration of Independence) and explicitly prohibits the government from infringing on those rights. The second is that each of the rights explicitly spelled out in the Constitution is personal.

Liberals tend to talk about rights in terms of what others must give you: a “living wage,” health care, housing, or even an abortion. These liberal “rights” get things exactly backwards. The only way one person can have a right to something that someone else must provide is for the provider to be forced to provide it, regardless of his consent.

The liberals on the Supreme Court, in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt, recently struck down the eminently-sensible Texas law that ensured safe conditions for women seeking abortions. Their “reasoning” was that the law unreasonably restricted women’s access to abortions. Let’s think about that logically for a moment. The Supreme Court, citing a “right” that is not mentioned anywhere in the Constitution, has said that it is unconstitutional to restrict a woman’s access to abortion.

Let’s do a thought experiment. Suppose that all the abortionists in the country suddenly decided to move to Australia. Or, in an unfortunately less-likely scenario, let’s suppose that every abortionist suddenly developed a conscience and realized that they had been murdering innocent children and repented, refusing to perform any more abortions. Could anything restrict a woman’s access to abortion more than that? What then of this supposed “right” for a woman to get an abortion? Is it really possible that the Supreme Court, or Congress, or even a State Legislature could somehow prohibit this mass-exodus of abortionists? I can just see Anthony Kennedy and Elena Kagan at JFK airport looking for that last abortionist and tackling him before he can board that last flight out. The logical conclusion is that the supposed “right” to abortion is no right at all.

Is there a “right” to housing? How can that possibly be when someone must build the house? And who decides what kind of house? Do you have the right to three bedrooms or only two? A cape in the suburbs or a brownstone in the city? If you have the right to a “living wage,” who decides what that is? How hard do you have to work to receive it? How good do you have to be at your job? Does a “living wage” include cable TV and a cell phone?

It simply cannot be that anyone can have a right to something that someone else must provide. The truth is that liberals are not interested in rights as our founders understood them. They invent “rights” for one of two reasons. Either they are trying to force people to behave a certain way or they are trying to buy votes from people who care more about what government can give them than protecting themselves against what government can do to them. Anyone who supports this approach cannot claim to “support and defend the Constitution.”


A note from DaTechGuy: I hope you enjoyed Tech Knight’s piece. Remember we will be judging the entries in Da Magnificent tryouts by hits both to their post and to DaTipJar. So if you like Tech Knight’s work, please consider sharing this post, and if you hit DaTipjar because of it don’t forget to mention Tech Knight’s post as the reason you did so. If you missed his last piece, it’s here




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