A Bold Suggestion

That didn’t take long. No sooner was the ink dry on the new national right to gay marriage, than certain folks then began demanding that churches have their tax-exempt status removed if they don’t fall in line and start performing gay marriage services (and with a smile too!). Religion-schmeligion, they crow.

That the destruction of some portion of religious life in the United States was one target of the pro-gay marriage movement was always suspected by some. It seems pretty clear that was true, though one suspects that proponents will deny it until they are blue in the face. The sudden and eagerness to put churches out of business if they don’t toe the line would seem to reveal that is a falsehood.

With that in mind I propose to go even further. How about eliminating the whole 501(c)(3) and other nonprofit, tax-exempt designation?

It makes sense in the wake of the Supreme Court’s extra-expansive reading of the 14th Amendment (Hey, look what we found buried here that no one had ever seen before — a national right to gay marriage!). Some people have countered that since we are using an expansionary view of the “equal protection clause” these days, why not go all the way and take down the progressive tax system? After all, it’s discriminatory against high-earners and gives non-taxpayers an “unfair” advantage vis a vis taxes. So let’s take it to its logical conclusion – everybody pay taxes at the same rate (maybe even same amount?).

Admittedly, relieving them of their tax advantages would doom a lot of religious institutions, especially historically black churches and small rural congregations. They’d need to develop a new business model. Also, the whole private school/college/university complex would take a huge hit. Art and other education foundations would be annihilated, with only the fittest surviving. And a lot of good conservative social and political groups would take it on the chin, never to rise again.

I know this sounds rough but this is only “fair” to the rest of us in the tax-paying private sector. It now gives us “equal protection.” Yes, tax-exempt was meant for certain good societal purposes but what the hey, so was traditional man-woman marriage and we see where that went.

Besides all that loot that will flow into government coffers there will also be secondary benefits. Most of the schools to be hammered are liberal, run by liberals for the indoctrination of youth along with promotion of liberal values. How many of them will survive? And this move will hamper all those arrogant, self-appointed  liberal political, women’s, racial, health, consumer and environmental groups. Labor unions too! The left has long used these as shelters and marshaling yards, all the while clucking that such groups were too good to pay taxes. They’ve used them like the communist North Vietnamese used the shelter of Cambodia to launch attacks into South Vietnam.

Seriously. The 501(c)(3) world has become dominated by the left. Massive foundations founded by conservative industrialists have been co-opted by liberals slowly over the years and decades. Other pleasant-sounding groups such as the Campfire Girls or any number of women’s groups are taken over by left-leaning activists who push conservatives out. The Invasion of the Body Snatchers-like takeovers are the purest distillation of O’Sullivan’s Law – any group not specifically conservative will become liberal over time.

The tax-exempt foundation/group world has become the left’s playground, its training ground. It uses these groups as soldiers to attack conservatives, traditionalists, businesses, pretty much anyone it doesn’t like. It uses it to indoctrinate through “education” and destroy through “lawfare” and agitation. You can be treated to the ultimate folly of tax-exempt lefty groups demanding that everyone else’s taxes be raised. The sooner the swamp is drained, the better for America.

These people want everyone one to be treated the same in every microscopic detail. Then let’s get to it. Get a job in the real world. Pay real taxes. Suffer under the same regulations that the rest of us do. No 501(c)(3) tax-exempt waivers.

“Caitlyn” Roberts

I’m as puzzled as anyone concerning the behavior of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, lately his bizarre reasoning in Burwell.

But I have two theories.

One is that he really hates his job and wants to be fired or removed. How else to explain his reasoning that, yes, the law offers clear specifics that demand a ruling against the administration, BUT, I am going “depart” from the text of the law and side with good intentions of the administration. It is this type of specious emotional antireasoning that the court was created to overstep in the first place. So maybe Roberts is thinking that if he gets really wacky, someone will notice and he’ll be impeached. “Springtime for the Supreme Court,” produced by John Roberts Bialystok.

Two, he only pretended to be a conservative but now “identifies” as a liberal. He’s the judiciary version of Bruce Jenner.

Neither is particularly appealing.

Peak Leftism

In Nov. 2014 Republicans, esp. conservative Republicans, stormed to victory on election night. Increasing House majorities to levels unseen in most of our lifetimes, they racked up greater numbers of state legislatures and governorships while even recapturing the U.S. Senate, which had thought to be a longshot. The Democrats were depressed as U.S. county-by-county and Congressional district maps displayed a sea of red (Republican) lightly pockmarked by a handful of coastal fringe and borderland blue redoubts.

So how on earth did we end up with what just happened this week (culminating a bad few months actually)? Everywhere one looks, the left is on the warpath, getting its angry way opposition like Genghis Khan’s Mongol hordes.

Bill Kristol does a good job responding to Kevin Williamson’s great “Peak Leftism” article.

Using the election of Barack Obama in 2008 as a starting point, is this just a final desperate offensive similar to the German offensive that led to the Battle of the Bulge or Japanese kamikazes? Is it a movement entering its final, aggressive, vicious Jacobin phase like the French Revolution? Or is it an actual resurgence of the longer running leftist outbreaks like the 1930s and 1960s?

I honestly don’t know. It strikes me as odd that these seemingly resounding victories require the complete dismissal of 1/3 to 1/2 of the population — conservatives/conservative-leaning moderates. But then the Baby Boomers easily cast aside whole generations that were older than them, including hardcore Rooseveltian commies, to jump ahead in line to install themselves as the arbiters of everything that is good.

It is strange, as someone noted, that what was perfectly fine and acceptable on Monday became beyond the Pale and unacceptable in polite company on Tuesday. That falling in line with human behavior over millennia or even noting simple historical facts more than 100 years old had suddenly become prima facie evidence of bigotry and historical events must be expunged from memory and conversation. But here we are.

Much of this activity does involve, in reality, only a handful of high-profile actors demanding complete obeisance from everyone. The sudden demand that Confederate flags be banished from public site could easily have been fended off had Gov. Nikki Haley and others not so eagerly succumbed to the puny pressure from professional activists who will never be placated by anything. I won’t call her and her fellow “confederates” Quislings, though they imitate Vidkun Quisling in their aid to an enemy that seeks our subjugation. They thought they were doing something right, and maybe it was time for the flag to be removed from most state locations (though not Confederate memorials). They, in good faith, gave an inch and reached out in friendship. That a mile was taken and the hand bitten is now a given (and should have been anticipated). Whether the governor, and those like her who thought the Confederate flag was the problem, now understand this and won’t make that mistake again is yet to be determined. I suspect it’s Lucy and Charlie Brown with the football.

Swift submission by merchants such as Walmart, Sears and Amazon, along with groups such as NASCAR, when the activists said “boo!” compounds matters. I don’t think that “Confederate merchandise” was a big seller, especially outside certain locales, but their eagerness to curry favor was disturbing. Especially currying favor with activists that are often antibusiness to begin with and certainly anti-Walmart. They would have been wiser to have kept their mouths shut.

Kent Brockman’s pusillanimous welcoming, “And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords,” comes to mind.

But, honestly, many businesses are now filled with highly educated elite school-degreed executives (MBAs!) in their corporate suites. These people are liberals to the bone. They give huge amounts of money to Democrats, despite the party’s hostility to business in both increased taxation and regulation. They support liberal cause and have often co-opted their companies to do the same, even though the vast number of shareholders might disagree. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network is a perfect example of large corporations keeping alive a hostile and corrupt organization.There are hundreds of other similar examples ranging from environmental groups to racial groups — all hostile to business and often America itself — flourishing because select businesses think they can buy favor or, at the very least, be consumed last by these tax-exempt alligators.

These people read the New York Times, The Nation and Huffington Post, watch CNN, CBS and PBS, listen to NPR for their cues on “what people think” or more subversively “what people are to think.” The ability to create a stampede in those precincts has an amplifying factor. It’s just Pauline Kael’s famous confessional plea, “I don’t know anyone who voted for Nixon,” writ large. That the statement, and similar iterations, was a demonstration of gross ignorance of the greater world she lived in is ignored.

This topic is far too large to be consumed in one sitting so I will be returning to it.

Good King Barry

There’s a sweet, satisfying feeling one gets when one sees Barack Obama heckled by liberal activists for not being liberal enough for their taste.

It seems The One had some gay activists over to the White House the other day for a victory lap, fresh from making the country turn on a dime and proclaim that homosexual marriage is a grand and glorious thing and always was. Everyone knows that… except the worst bigots that ever lived, that is.

Dear Leader stood on the podium to remind all of his heroic exploits, breaching the defenses, slaying the dragon, rescuing the princesses and whatnot. He beamed waiting for the applause and cries of adulation that is typical of the usual Obama White House gathering.

But, instead of the angelic choirs singing “Gloria in excelsis,” someone started heckling him. Apparently the activists weren’t too happy that some homosexuals were being deported for a variety of reasons (some involving actual criminality). The lead heckler was a “transgendered” illegal alien (I’m not making that up). How he or she (it’s unclear what gender it was aiming at) got through security is unclear.

Becoming flustered, Glorious Leader clucked, “Shame, shame,” (one more and he would have earned a Gomer Pyle instead of his usual Steaming Pile). Shaming people is a bad thing if you are a Republican — it’s judgmental. Just ask Jeb Bush about that. Just a few weeks ago the liberals and their media flying monkeys were all over Bush for writing way back in the 1980s that single motherhood was not a good idea and that young, single ladies might want to keep their legs together lest they end up in a heap o’ trouble. That was then, this is now.

But shaming is an acceptable thing if you are a Democrat being heckled.

At being shamed, the crowd then began to boo the modern Robespierre. The mob he had unleashed had turned on him.

“Aht, aht, aht, we don’t do that!” he actually lectured them as if they were children. “Yes, Miss Obama,” they should have responded in unison. I wonder if he was wagging his finger when he said it?

Of course what he really meant is that they aren’t supposed to do that to each other. It’s fine if you’re doing it to a Republican, conservative, Christian or some other enemy of the state.

Then the Royal O complained that the ungrateful wretches had come to his house and eaten his food and drank his wine  and then had the gall to boo him rather than adore him, swear fealty to him and thank him for his enlightened munificence. You don’t get much more King John than that.

Et tu, Walmart, NASCAR, et al?

I don’t understand what Walmart thinks it is doing by rushing to kowtow to the cultural fascists of the left wing by purging Confederate-themed merchandise from its shelves.

Did someone ask them to do it?

They folded even before some lefty Astroturf group could gin-up a bot-powered Twitter social media campaign of pseudo-outrage. They preemptively surrendered. The French Army has showed more spine.

What’s really strange about the Walmart debacle is that the company was built on serving the very type of people — lower-income, rural and semi-rural Southerners — that are most likely to look favorably on the Confederacy. And that group is still far and away its largest customer group and the people most likely to support Walmart, while urban sophisticatoes sneer at (and deny) Walmart’s efforts to move into larger urban markets that they inhabit.

So who did Walmart think they were ingratiating themselves with in this abject submission? Who is Walmart trying to impress by kicking their most loyal customers to the curb? It’s like some guy publicly smacking his loyal wife around in an attempt to start an affair with the cute triple-divorcee that just moved into the apartment complex.

Admittedly, Walmart has been shifting over the last decade as Sam Walton’s people retire and are pushed out and replaced by MBAs and other professional (and edumacated!) business types from the more enlightened environs of the coasts. The company has to apologize to prospective executives for its headquarters location in rural northwest Arkansas. It backed Obamacare and has developed a love-hate relationship with minimum wage laws and other employee compensation. Like a spurned girl, it endlessly does the laundry for the one it wants.

And like that girl, Walmart is too besot to realize that those people will never be placated by your pathetic, cloying submission.

If Walmart’s executives think that by trashing their customer base to curry favor with Manhattanites, San Franciscans, Bostonians, Chicagoans, Los Angelenos, etc., they will be able to get a store in Times Square, on Lake Shore Drive, next to Harvard Yard or on the Embarcadero to be visited by the Target/Macy’s/Nordstrom’s demo, they are utterly deranged. You, Walmart, are the fat, ugly, hard-working, factory girl in their eyes. Uh, miss, the baby puked all over the bed, clean that up; and don’t bruise the sheets this time.

And you always will be.

But now you’ve tossed off the lumpen, not-particularly-exciting factory worker that was sweet on you. Hope you enjoy those romance novels and bon-bons because those are your new best friends. You’ll be growing old together.

If Walmart had been smart, it would have quietly stopped restocking Confederate-themed merchandise. If anyone asked, it would say that the merchandise just wasn’t selling like it used to. It’s a free country and Walmart can stock what it wants to. No one would have known the better and it could have kept its core shoppers. But instead it jumped out in front of a nonexistent Jacobin mob. It actually drew attention to its panicked, craven behavior. The very definition of foolish business behavior.

Sears has a different history than Walmart though their markets have quietly come to resemble each other. Sears has always had a different geographical footprint and Walmart has long been better-run and more profitable than the department store pioneer. In deep financial trouble, Sears can ill afford to start fights with chunks of its core customer base, yet that’s exactly what it did when it joined the purge of Confederate merchandise. Now, it’s likely that there wasn’t a lot of Confederate merchandise in the Sears catalog to begin with, but it’s the thought that counts.

Some people have tried to explain these bizarre moves by saying that modern business are “risk-averse” so they naturally kowtow to activists. But that doesn’t really make sense. There weren’t many activists making demands of either retailer. And the danger of irritating large segments of the core base should have set off alarms.

Seriously, was there anyone not going to Sears (or Walmart for that matter) because it sold “Confederate merchandise”? How did this move solve any problem? It only created a problem.

The few activists that might be placated in the execs’ eyes are the very same people usually working against businesses, Walmart especially. Now they’ve been encouraged. They will make greater demands in the future.

Both companies could have easily sat this out.

I have been shopping at Sears occasionally — to try to help them out. I live in Arlington, Virginia, a proudly Walmart-free liberal county. I won’t be shopping at Sears, no doubt hastening its demise, and I certainly won’t be making my way to a Walmart anytime soon. Nor will I waste intellectual energy defending Walmart when it comes under attack from antibusiness liberals.

Much the same goes for NASCAR. Over the last couple of years, after its peak of popularity in the “W” years, NASCAR has made uncomfortable moves to get away from its base audience of Walmart and Sears shoppers (Craftsman tools!). After eagerly saying it welcomed homosexual marriage (in the pits?), it too has jumped on the bash-the-Confederacy bandwagon.

NASCAR has been under a guilt-bombing by liberals who wouldn’t be caught dead within 50 miles of a NASCAR race over the sport’s “lack of diversity;” as if every sport is supposed to match the racial makeup of the U.S.

Does NASCAR possibly think it will find a new, bigger, more loyal audience in urban environments and people offended by the Confederate flag? Well, good luck on that one. I won’t be watching any longer.

I’ll write eventually on the increasing politicization of sports. Suffice to say, I abandoned the NFL over the Limbaugh snub many years ago. I cut back my NBA watching this year because it has become hyperpoliticized (more than just the Jason Collins thing). Major League Baseball is usually okay though it’s fetishization of Jackie Robinson is approaching need-a-restraining order time. So, I’ve learned a lot about hockey this year. The NHL is growing on me – and I watch a lot of smaller conference college sports. I watch a lot of sports. I have a Washington Nationals-Atlanta Braves rerun going on the TV right now as I write this. I love knowing the Nats are going to win.

This Is a Joke, Right?

I think the headline pretty much says it all — “Rawlings-Blake to head U.S. Conference of Mayors.”

Just in case you have been blissfully unaware for the last few months, Stephanie Blake-Rawlings, a hyphenated-American, is the mayor of Baltimore, a city that, under her enlightened guidance, has become known as “The New Detroit.” So she gets rewarded with the captaincy of the U.S. mayoral fleet? That’s like putting the captain of the Titanic… I’ll stop there… what’s the point? If some group wants to ram their ships into icebergs, let ’em. If their people are dumb enough to elect them, then they deserve it. Full speed ahead!

Oh, in case you can’t guess, she’s a Democrat. Oh, and she actually wasn’t elected. She was appointed mayor when her running buddy then Mayor Sheila Dixon was caught up in an embezzlement scheme. Great system ya’ got there, Ballmer…