Thursday, August 21, 2014

How should we solve the problem of refugee children? (Answer: Sell them to the highest bidder.)


The photo and background on the refugee crisis can be found here.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that as many as ten of the children the United States deported back to Honduras have been killed by the very people they were escaping from. They were sent back because American activists pressured them to do so, and given my horror and grief at the news, I wanted to find a way to persuade opponents to change their minds and welcome refugee children. I think the answer can be found in the Evangelical Christian community.

It has become very popular amongst some Evangelicals to adopt children from Eastern European countries. Special needs children appear to be the preference, in part because the orphanages are terrible and any child who needs extra care faces a horrendous and lonely life. But the children can only be adopted if the prospective parents pay huge amounts of money to foreign agencies, sometimes more than $30,000. Often, the adoptive parents are folks who have committed to living debt free, so they raise money at their churches and from friends, have bake sales, and work tirelessly to gather their pennies. Even so, despite their promise to avoid debt, many will take mortgages to get the fee. When the children do arrive in America, they become a kind of status symbol in the community, a way of publicizing the parents’ commitment to love and care for those in need.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Are we morally obligated to accept the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge?


(Video has NSFW language.)


As anyone on social networks knows, the Internet is full of videos of people dumping buckets of ice water on their heads to support the ALS Association, an organization that advocate for issues related to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease). As part of the Challenge, the participants nominate the next water dumpers who then get to nominate the ones after that. The question I want to ask is whether or not someone is morally obligated to accept the Challenge, or whether they can reject it and still be considered a good person.

The Ice Bucket campaign has been curious to watch because it started as a choice: people were challenged to either donate money or dump water on their heads. Getting doused was supposed to be a punishment for being selfish. But now, presumably, people are doing both and drenching themselves to show that they donated. Being frozen has become a reward for doing something charitable.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Is civil disobedience not a "nice" thing to do?


 
This is the monologue for the latest episode of Why? Radio. The topic was “Saying 'No' Through Civil Disobedience” You can hear the whole episode online here.


Today’s episode is about not getting along with people who are committing what our guest will call moral crimes. We’re going to talk about a variety of topics, all of which are familiar to us in political debate. It will be easy to see them as purely hypothetical, so for the sake of our discussion, I wanted to provide a concrete example that can’t be theorized away: a neighborhood father is a registered sex offender.

The man in question abused a young girl for many years. He served time in prison and is now married with two kids of his own. His children are great. They are well-behaved, friendly, easy going, and the girl is friends with my daughter, so she spends a fair amount of time at our house. My daughter, however, is not allowed to reciprocate. She’s forbidden from going to their house or playing in their backyard. We have never had the parents over for coffee and we won’t, but we are cordial to the mom, and cool but polite on the rare occasions we see the dad. The other neighbors seem to treat them similarly, especially those with kids.

Listen to the Jack Russell Weinstein/Alan Colmes Interview on open-carry gun activists and on whether gun owners are a protected class.


 



Last night, I was interviewed by Alan Colmes on Fox News Radio. The subject, not surprisingly, was open-carry laws, but he was particularly interested in my comments that gun owners are not a protected class. That last issue has been picked up by the NRA, Opposing Views, Campus Reform and others.


Frankly, I'm a little surprised by the attention this innocuous comment got, since protected classes are clearly defined by the courts. But, if things remained simple, I wouldn't have a job, and I'm happy my remarks were layered enough to bring out the philosophical issues underpinning my earlier blog post.

Anyhow, here is the link to the interview on Fox News Radio's website.




Please submit your comments below. Since all of this started on PQED, it would be nice for my readers to have a say, as well.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Why? Radio and Fox News, together?!?! Why?'s Host Jack Russell Weinstein to appear on Alan Colmes show, tonight at 6 p.m. central


A special event:

Tonight, Wednesday, August 13, at 6 p.m. central (7:00 Eastern)
 

Jack Russell Weinstein, host of Why? Radio,
interviewed by
Alan Colmes on Fox News Radio.


 
Inspired by the recent viral PQED blog post and video, Jack and Allan will be discussing gun ownership and why Jack believes that gun owners are not a protected class under the U.S. Constitution.

Alan Colme’s show is syndicated nationally and can be heard on your local Fox News Radio station, as well as online at: http://radio.foxnews.com/listen/