Townhall Review – February 15, 2020Read More »
The recent drama in the Iowa caucuses ought to remind us of a broader concern with the reliability of our vote totals and thus the integrity of our democratic process.
Of course, we’ve had questions about vote totals going back to the Florida fiasco in 2000, with a dramatic reminder from the Russian interference in our 2016 vote.
But recent laws are raising new questions and increasing our vulnerabilities.
California—my long-time home until 2016 and the most populous state in the nation—has an approach to voter registration that opens the door to manipulation, in part because that system assumes everyone will play by the rules. In the 2018 cycle, the Golden State legalized a tactic known as “vote harvesting” that ought to have raised the eyebrows of any honest observer.
The danger to democracy is real. Voter data is all over the deep web.
The question is looming: Can America?—or is America willing to genuinely safeguard the vote?Read More »
The news coming out of Switzerland should have our attention—where 63 percent of voters decided to criminalize public homophobia.
What are we looking at is a species of hate speech legislation—a law criminalizing certain speech. In an intellectually dishonest move, the Swiss government authorities assured voters that even though this is a curtailment of the freedom of speech, it is not actually a curtailment of free speech.
Yes: It’s a contradictory argument, but it also points to the very heart of the problem with hate speech legislation.
In fact: On the other side of this vast sexual and moral revolution, a traditional defense of biblical Christianity could well now be defined as a criminal act in Switzerland.
Any exemptions we see will not long last because of the logic of this legislation—and that is to declare that anything short of the total public comprehensive embrace of the LGBTQ movement—is a form of hatred.Read More »
Seth Leibsohn and Pete Peterson, Dean of the Pepperdine School of Public Policy, discuss the role of religion in politics and the role of politics in religion. For more information on the conference that took place on February 6, including a link to watch the entire conference, visit Pepperdine.Read More »
Big winners in the 2020 Academy Awards illustrated a possible reaction by Oscar voters to widespread criticism of white-male domination of the nominations. In the end, the most prestigious non-acting awards left white males shut out. “Parasite,” a brutal dark comedy from Korea with no whites in the cast, swept Best Picture, Best International Film, Best Original Screenplay and Best Director.
In another surprise, Best Adapted Screenplay went to “Jojo Rabbit” and Taika Waititi, who identifies as Maori, the indigenous people of New Zealand.
Finally, Best Film Score went, for the first time, to a woman: Icelandic composer Hildur Gudnadottir for the dreary, demented “Joker.”
Such choices may silence angry accusations of lack of diversity, while the “Parasite” sweep illustrates an odd tendency to honor films with modest domestic box office receipts—as with “Birdman” or “Hurt Locker” in recent years.
Hollywood elites seem determined to show they’re neither racist nor mercenary—even at the expense of slighting more worthy artistic achievements.Read More »
Can you change your identity?
We hear that sort of argument a lot today … that we can or that we need to change ourselves to fit our true identity. In Michigan recently, Joseph Gobrick was hauled into court for child pornography—as he was in possession of numerous images of child porn on his computer.
His argument fits our age: he contended in court that though he is a 45-year-old man, he is actually an 8-year-old girl. He feels like he is a little girl, so he must be.
Thankfully, Gobrick’s defense failed. He was found guilty for child pornography and sentenced to prison. But we should take note: though the line held here, this line is a precarious one. Postmodernity is not stable.
This court case calls us to say, in public: your feelings don’t determine your identity.
45-year-old men are not 8-year-old girls, and never will be.Read More »