I Support Marco Rubio Because, Not in Spite, of His Immigration Stance

MeredithAncret:

Great great post on the issues with Trump’s immigration plan and debunking the myth’s about Rubio’s supposed support for “amnesty”.

Originally posted on The Collision Blog:

marco

So, I’ve been rough on Donald Trump lately, and while I don’t regret my views, it’s time for a positive post. However, it is on immigration, so in the process of explaining the issues or giving comparisons, there might be some negativity directed at Trump. Just know, that as of right now – three sentences in – my plan is to keep my dislike of Trump as in control as possible.

Mentioning immigration is a very quick way to spark a heated debate, as I have learned in recent days. If you speak poorly of Donald Trump AND his immigration plan, you might as well change your Twitter handle and get your blocking finger ready; hell prepareth to raineth down upon thee. Such is life. As the old saying goes, stand up for what is right, even if it means you stand alone. Thankfully I have found that I do not stand alone…

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Taylor Swift is No Longer My Bae, Here’s Why

I’ve written a lot about Taylor Swift on this blog (and on Elementary Politics) in the last couple of years. At first it was mostly complimentary as I defended her from angry feminists who despised her and rocked out to her music, but my thoughts of her of late have not been those of a worshipful fan.

I mean as a person in general she’s still very nice. She calls little girls with cancer and sends gifts to her fans with lovely personalized messages and gives to charity, but she’s made some especially stupid comments in the last few years and I have finally reached the point where I can’t ignore them anymore.

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Even If God Doesn’t Make Mistakes, Sometimes Our Genes Do

geneti3Every time a well known transgendered person comes out of the proverbial closet and publicly transitions from one gender to the other the “social conservatives”, or, as I call them, Progressives for Jesus start in with the phrase “god doesn’t make mistakes” to justify why they don’t believe that being transgendered is a real thing.

But here’s the thing, God may not make mistakes, but clearly somewhere along the line our DNA strands get a little tangled.

Read the rest at Elementary Politics.

Grow The F*ck Up: The Valdosta Flag Scuffle Shuffle

keep-calm-and-grow-the-fuck-up-35It’s been a really long time since I added to this particular series of articles. In case you have forgotten my previous articles, please check out Grow The F*ck Up, Grow The F*ck Up: The UCLA Remixand Grow The F*ck Up: The Professor Probation Alternative

Usually these articles take a swipe at childish liberals who need to learn to play nice with people they don’t agree with, but today, as the title says, we are shuffling things up a bit.

Michelle Manhart, an Air Force veteran, was handcuffed and led away from protesters at Valdosta State University in Georgia. 

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No One Has A Pizza Party Themed Wedding: Memories Pizza is the Ultimate Troll

Jonah Goldberg at National Review called the media/liberals/etc. “trawling trolls” over the outrage about Memories Pizza refusing to cater gay weddings and, while I generally have no compunctions against calling the media/liberals/etc. trolls, I have to say that Memories Pizza is the real troll in this situation.

For those that are unaware of the definition of “trolling”, it’s a term of the internet age that means “make a deliberately offensive or provocative online posting with the aim of upsetting someone or eliciting an angry response from them.”

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Conservatives, Stop Answering Irrelevant Questions About Gay People.

choiceIs homosexuality a choice?

Well as a lesbian let me tell you, it’s not. I’m not going to get into the ‘TMI’ part of explaining how I know that for certain, but suffice to say I shopped and bought on both sides of the store and only one side had any outfits that worked.

But I’m not here to bash you over the head with that. I’m used to the fact that not everyone is going to agree with me all the time and I don’t care whether you think I was born this way or chose it.

What I am here to say is that, for real conservatives, that question should be the most irrelevant question in the world.

When I talk about conservative beliefs I mean beliefs that center around small government and freedom, just like our Founding Fathers would have wanted. Now our Founding Fathers did come from a time where being gay was not socially acceptable, but they also didn’t build our government or our constitution around their particular views of morality on specific issues.

They did this for a reason.

No matter what the societal expectations may be, the government should not be created to enforce those views.

The Founding Fathers valued freedom, so did all the other people who fought to create this country. They wanted a government that interfered as little as possible in the lives of the people it governed.

“Give me liberty or give me death” ring any bells?

So here’s the thing. I don’t care if you think being gay is a choice or an immutable genetic fact or just a “phase” because the only answer that should cross your lips when asked “do you believe being gay is a choice?” should be:

 I believe in freedom and the rights of the individual to live as they wish as long as they aren’t harming anyone else. Whether it’s choice or not, they should have that freedom.

That’s it.

That’s the answer.

And if you can’t answer it that way, you aren’t really a conservative and I certainly don’t need you in government if you aren’t capable of putting the individual liberty of the people ahead of your own personal views on a topic.

Is homosexuality a choice? Who cares, because I’m free to choose if it is. It shouldn’t change anything for conservatives, because freedom (even for those we disagree with) is the entire reason we fight.

School Choice: The Benefits of Competitive Schools

School-Choice-700x466One of the greatest benefits that school choice gives to education is that it creates a field of competition and innovation that should, theoretically, raise the standard of education in every school, public, private, and charter.

Competition has been the motor that has driven innovation in this country for its entire existence. In the last two decades we’ve moved from cell phones the size of bricks to smart phones with more computing power than the first NASA space shuttle, because each company involved in that type of technology was constantly trying to find a way to outsell the others product. Without competition between companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Google we might have reached this level of technology eventually, but it’s more likely that it would have been our grandchildren, rather than us, enjoying the technology.

Why should our schools do any less?

While in the last two decades we’ve moved from desktop computers that hardly anyone could afford to the tablets and laptops that almost every college student has in their backpack. Unfortunately our field of education has not had that same surge forward, except, perhaps unsurprisingly, in the geographic areas where competition through school choice has taken root.

One of the reasons for the success of charter schools is certain that, while public schools are generally kept open long after they have failed to improve themselve, charter schools can and have been shut down for underperforming. According to The Center for Education Reform, between the years of 1992 and 2011 around 1,036 charters were shut down. Charter schools have to provide a decent education to survive, insuring quality competition between them and the public schools in their area.

Now we aren’t talking about astronomical gains across the board (though many charter schools, like BASIS schools in Arizona, can claim remarkable results) but there is an upward trend being seen in a field where the trend has mostly been stagnation.

Franklin Center recently invited me to attend a conference on school choice in my state of Arizona. We learned a lot about the programs available in my state, but one thing that struck me was a teacher who had founded a charter school in a failing school district. The school has worked hard to prepare students for graduation through a variety of innovations that this school founder has seen spread to other area schools, increasing success at those schools as well.

This anecdote isn’t a fluke or a coincidence. This sort of competition between charter schools and public schools has already been shown to benefit the students.

There have been a multitude of studies that have looked at the correlation between school choice and the quality of public schools in the same districts. Many of the early studies show an increase in productivity, but they also show increased quality of teachers, and an increase in achievement for the students that are still in public school.

In Texas more recent studies (from 2007 and 2014) showed that the creation of charter schools had a positive impact on the traditional public schools in the area and, even more telling, that injecting the best practices of charter schools into the public school setting also showed increases in achievement for students in those schools.

Charter schools were never meant to be the death of traditional public schools, instead they may very well be their rebirth.