Seven Good Things That Happened in 2019
2019 is almost over. There were plenty of bad things that happened (continuing war, hurricanes, dumb congressional investigations, etc) but I would like to note some good things. I note seven really good things that happened this year. Here they are:
7. The Hong Kong protests/elections
China is in many ways a vision of the West's Christmas future if we don't change our path. If we continue down the path of giving the government more and more power. If we keep giving the government more and more data (via social media, cell phones, etc). If we accept the idea of trading freedom for security...If we do these things, we are China. And I feel like we have been going down that path for so long that it seems we might be passed the point of no return.
And it is for this reason that it was great to see Hong Kong stand up and say no more. Hong Kong was long part of the British Empire but in the 1980s a treaty was formed for Hong Kong to go back under Chinese control in 1997. China, however, agreed to not change anything in the government until 2047. Not surprisingly, as soon China got control, they started to assert control. They wanted to be able to bring criminal suspects to the Chinese mainland - scary - without trial first. Between this and other issues, the people of Hong Kong got understandably freaked out. They exercised the most amazing set of rallies and protests over the next few months. This culminated in a new election of government officials that completely adopted a pro-protest platform.
I don't know if any of this will be enough. China is a monster and a Leviathan. But sometimes just standing up is beautiful.... even if it ultimately fails in purpose. I was inspired and encouraged by the stand that Hong Kong made this year.
8. Brexit Progress
Brexit is not done yet but it finally appears that it is going to happen. Why do I view this as one of the top events of the year? For similar reasons to the Hong Kong protests. I think that a global government would be a terrible thing. In fact, I feel like the USA is too big and probably should be broken into 3 or 4 countries (if not 50). As Thomas Jefferson pointed out, the more local the government, the better it can serve the people. A central government in Washington, for example, doesn't serve the people of Nebraska or Iowa as well as they serve the people of Washington. When government is local, you can hold them accountable. When it is serving 300 million people, there is no way that any group of people can hold them accountable.
Europe appeared to be moving toward a single EU government that would oversee its member states in a similar way that the US government oversees our states. This would be bad for each nation, bad for freedom, and it would destroy many of the things that make each individual nation unique and wonderful. Being an Englishmen by heritage and an Anglophile by choice, I particularly cared about England becoming part of a Borg-like EU. In 2016, when the people of the UK voted to leave (Brexit) the EU, I was encouraged. But since then, I started to think that they were not serious about leaving. PM Theresa May tried a couple times to negotiate "soft" Brexits (leaving in name only) and failed. Brexit kept getting delayed and pushed out. It seemed like it was never going to happen.
But then, pro-Brexit Boris Johson replaced May (who resigned in disgrace) in July of 2019. Johnson, unlike May, wanted UK to leave the EU very badly and ran on this. This was the champion that pro-Brexiters wanted but did not have in May. But even after his election, there was some question whether he had the votes to get it done. So, he called for a general election.... and the pro-Brexit forces won big. It now appears that Johnson has the votes and the political mandate to get Brexit done soon. I won't fully celebrate until it is finalized but I consider these developments some of the best things to happen in 2019.
5. Mueller finally finished his report....
Since before Trump was sworn in, we were told that he was a Russian asset. For the poor soul getting his news from CNN, it was just a matter of days before Trump was found out to be a tool of the Russians. Why a celebrity billionaire from New York City who all of us grew up with would suddenly become a stooge for Russia was uncertain. We were told it had something to do with prostitutes peeing on Barack Obama's bed while Trump was in Russia. But that did not matter. He was a Russian asset CNNABCMSNBC told us.
And thank goodness we had Robert Mueller to sort the whole thing out. Mueller was appointed in May 2017... just 4 months after Trump was sworn in and he proceeded to spend the next two years Mueller investigated. Very few things leaked but those that did sounded damning... at least according to CNN. We were told over and over that the 'walls were closing in' on Trump. Flynn was arrested. Manafort was arrested. Michael Cohen, Trump's lawyer, had his office searched. Trump may have paid off porn star, Stormy Daniels. None of this added up exactly to collusion with Putin but it all looked bad. Maybe Trump was going down?
And then the Mueller Report was released.... and waa waaa. Nothing. No evidence of collusion was found. Two wasted years. Millions of dollars. No collusion. Mueller left the door open that maybe Trump obstructed the effort to convict him of something he didn't do... But no collusion with Russia.
The democrats were overjoyed to find out that their president had not colluded with Russians to destroy the US elections. Wait... no. They were bummed. Apparently, it was very important to them that Trump did. They didn't accept Mueller's report. They brought Mueller in to testify to congress. And... it turns out that Mueller is everyone's slightly senile grandfather. Confused. Agitated. Hard of hearing. And unable to help the democrats prop up their hopes that the president is a traitor.
So... a good thing that happened this year was Mueller's effort coming to an end.We as a country were able to move on. To Ukraine. Another eastern European country that apparently our New York Billionaire president colluded with. But that is another story. I am glad that Mueller finished his thing.
4- Lots of conservative judges appointed
If there is one danger to the freedom of our nation it is judges that make up laws. Discovering that the founding fathers really did think that two dudes humping was a civil right. Discovering that the right to kill your baby was in the constitution. Discovering that the founding fathers wanted dudes to be able to marry. This is the sort of genius legal ruling by unelected judges that is slowly destroying our nation. And thankfully, this is something that has taken a big hit over the past few years. Thanks to our republican Senate and Trump's great picks, the courts are being filled at record pace by conservative judicial appointees. These judges are committed to the insane idea that the will of the people should not be overturned by elite judges. This is good for everyone.
3. No new wars (not Syria, not Iran, not Turkey, not North Korea)
Well... if we listened to the experts, we would now be at war in Syria (due to their alleged use of chemical weapons). We would also be at war with Iran. And maybe also with Turkey. In each case, Trump was being dumb, naive, and was betraying our allies in favor of our enemies. Trump was ignoring generals and foreign policy experts. He was setting us up for war and setting our allies up for destruction and massacre.
Except none of that happened. Everything is relatively the same as it was before. All that changed was that we didn't get into a bunch of wars like every recent president has done. Trump is the only president in recent years not to start any new wars. It sounds insane writing that.
But can we all agree that is a good thing?
2. Science Magazine showed you are not born that way....
Christians are hateful bigots because they say that homosexual sex is immoral but we all know that gay people are born that way and therefore criticizing gay sex or gay marriage is like the bigots in the old days that criticized interracial marriage.
Gays are born that way. Lady Gaga sang that to us and I believed her..... because Lady Gaga is always right... right? Right?????
Uh... no. It turns out everyone's favorite meat dress wearing pop star from 10 years ago was wrong. Gays are not born that way. Scientists have been looking for a 'gay gene' for 50 years without avail and in 2019, the largest study ever was conducted. The DNA of almost 500,000 people was reviewed. A large team of scientists poured over their genetic material and formed the conclusion that they published in Science Magazine. Despite the fact that they allowed gay activists to review and modify language before publishing.... the conclusion was clear:
From the Science article's abstract [emphasis mine]:
"In aggregate, all tested genetic variants accounted for 8 to 25% of variation in same-sex sexual behavior, only partially overlapped between males and females, and do not allow meaningful prediction of an individual’s sexual behavior..." And this is from a study of 493,001 individuals! After pouring through the genetics of almost a half a million people, they report that genetics play a small role and they acknowledge that social and environmental influences matter. From the abstract, "[Many] uncertainties remain to be explored, including how sociocultural influences on sexual preference might interact with genetic influences." It goes on to say, "These aggregate genetic influences partly overlapped with those on a variety of other traits, including externalizing behaviors such as smoking, cannabis use, risk-taking, and the personality trait “openness to experience.”
That is a lot to read but basically, the study said that the genes provide about the same amount of gayness as they do smoker-ness. You are born gay like you are born a smoker.
I wrote a whole article on this... check it out here. But this is good news! All the people like Pete Buttigeig who said that he would have cut the gayness out of him if he could (seriously) have hope! If smokers can change, so can you. The broader press buried the story of course but you cannot beat truth. Can we stop the social engineering now? Can my pastor teach the bible without getting harassed for being racist?
1- Heartbeat Bills (Georgia, Alabama)
Roe v Wage was an example of judges making up laws. The constitution obviously says nothing about abortion. No founding father would have known what this was about. But our unelected judges "discovered" that women had a constitutional right to murder their babies back in 1973. Pro-abortion judges have ruled the Supreme Court ever since. Until (possibly) now. With the nomination last year of Brett Kavanaugh, there is hope that maybe some sanity will return and we will "discover" that the constitution says nothing of the sort. But... the conservative movement is mostly not conservative anymore. Few are willing to fight against the gay craziness (even in light of the Science Mag study) and it appeared that few were willing to fight the baby murder craziness. That is until Georgia and Alabama stepped up this year and passed bills that made abortion illegal in almost all circumstances (once the heartbeat of the baby started).
This is being challenged of course but it restores some hope in me that maybe the holocaust of the innocents that has taken place since 1973 (50 million dead) is nearing the end. We will see but these developments are good news!