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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "american"

University Recommends Avoiding Words Like “America”

Colorado State University has an “Inclusive Communications Task Force,” and they have put together an Inclusive Language Guide to avoid hurt feelings on campus. Not only does it police language by telling readers what words and phrases to avoid, it suggests replacements so that “communicators practice inclusive language and [help] everyone on [its] campus feel welcomed, respected, and valued.”

Campus Reform reports:

CSU lists both “American” and “America” as non-inclusive words “to avoid,” due to the fact that America encompasses more than just the U.S. By referring to the U.S. as America, the guide claims that one “erases other cultures and depicts the United States as the dominant American country.” The school suggests using “U.S. citizen” or “person from the U.S.” as substitutes.

The university additionally lists many gendered words and phrases to avoid. These include “male,” “female,” “ladies and gentlemen,” and “Mr./Mrs./Ms.”

“Male and female refers to biological sex and not gender,” says the guide. “In terms of communication methods (articles, social media, etc.), we very rarely need to identify or know a person’s biological sex and more often are referring to gender.”

“Straight” is another word to avoid, according to CSU. The guide explained that “when used to describe heterosexuals, the term straight implies that anyone LGBT is ‘crooked’ or not normal,” and says to use the word “heterosexual” instead.

I agree with this next one, but because it’s grammatically incorrect, not because of their nonsense.

According to the list, the phrase “handicap parking” should also not be used because it can “minimize personhood” and offend disabled people. The guide recommends “accessible parking” as an alternative.

Now, take a look at these:

“War,” “cake walk,” “eenie meenie miney moe,” “Eskimo,” “freshman,” “hip hip hooray!”, “hold down the fort,” “starving,” and “policeman” were among other words and phrases deemed non-inclusive by CSU.

I can only understand the problem with “eskimo” (the proper term is “Inuit”) and “policeman” (it should be the gender-neutral “law enforcement officer” or “police officer,” I guess). I suppose “starving” is offensive in its hyperbole. But why is “eenie meenie miney moe” problematic? Or the word “war” in and of itself?

Nicole Neily, president of Speech First, told Campus Reform that “even though these guidelines are suggested and not mandatory, they place students in the uncomfortable position of reciting politically correct talking points that they may not agree with. Words like ‘American,’ ‘male,’ and ‘female’ are used every day by billions of people around the world. When these students graduate, they’re in for a rude awakening!”

But don’t worry. It notes that “language is always evolving so this document will be updated periodically.” One hopes that they will decide in future iterations that these words are no longer offensive, but I don’t hold out much hope.

It costs around $10,000- $30,000 per year to attend Colorado State (depending on whether or not you’re an in-state student). How much of that tuition money goes towards paying people to suggest limitations on your rights like they do on this task force?

The post University Recommends Avoiding Words Like “America” appeared first on RedState.

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Gallup: Pride in being an American reaches modern low — thanks to rock-bottom numbers from Democrats

Westlake Legal Group t-1 Gallup: Pride in being an American reaches modern low — thanks to rock-bottom numbers from Democrats Trump The Blog pride independence happy gallup democrats day american

In 2001, before the 9/11 attacks, the share of Americans who said they were “extremely” or “very” proud of their country was 87 percent. That number held relatively steady for the next 15 years, through 9/11, the Iraq war, Katrina, and the duration of the Obama presidency, never dropping below 80 percent.

Then, in 2017, it fell to 75 percent.

And now, in 2019, it’s fallen to 70 percent, with the share who describe themselves as “extremely” proud at 45 percent — the first time that number’s been less than a majority during this century.

Wha’ happened in 2016?

Perhaps … this graph might enlighten us?

Westlake Legal Group g Gallup: Pride in being an American reaches modern low — thanks to rock-bottom numbers from Democrats Trump The Blog pride independence happy gallup democrats day american

Note that that’s not a reflection of how many people claimed *some* pride in being an American, just those who claimed they’re “extremely” proud. But even so, it’s revealing:

1. Until the rise of Trump, Democrats and independents tracked very closely. Only in the last two years have they diverged, with indies maintaining a somewhat smaller share of “extreme” pride than they did during the Obama years and Dems falling off a farking cliff.

2. The current Democratic numbers are less than half what they were during the darkest days of the Iraq war. I blogged during that period and, let me tell you, I never dreamed that Democratic animosity towards a Republican president would be worse than it was then. Not only is it worse under Trump, his ascendance has colored perceptions of the country itself in ways Bush’s tenure didn’t. Which maybe makes sense: To some Iraq is more a colossal error in judgment than a symptom of some deep character flaw in the country. (Anti-war activists would counter that nothing reflects a deep character flaw so much as a major misbegotten war.) But no doubt there are some rank-and-file Dems who viewed Bush as incompetent yet his hope for liberal democracy in the Middle East as at least well intentioned. That same benefit of the doubt on good intentions — on pretty much any subject — is out the window for them with Trump, which helps explain why “electability” looms so large in this year’s primaries. When the current president has made you lose faith in the country itself, all you want to do is get him out.

3. The *highest* level of “extreme” pride claimed by Democrats since 2001 is less than the *lowest* level claimed by Republicans. For all the hype about how much righties loathed O and his vision for the country, “extreme” pride never dipped below 68 percent among Republicans towards the tail end of his presidency. And for all the hype about how loyal GOPers are to Trump, they have yet to reach the level of “extreme” pride during his tenure that they did towards the end of Dubya’s, when his job approval overall was deep in the toilet.

4. Aside from one small blip after Obama won reelection, it’s been a long time since a majority of Democrats were “extremely” proud to be American. You might have expected the election of the first black president to have perked up their numbers in 2009, but nope. “America isn’t great” has been a core Dem conviction since the Iraq war which not even Obama’s tenure could correct.

In lieu of an exit question, here’s a Trump-sized dook that was dropped on the NYT op-ed page yesterday because, I guess, there’s only one mood a right-thinking liberal newspaper can properly have when Independence Day rolls around. Actual title of this piece: “Please Stop Telling Me America Is Great.” It’d make a terrific Democratic slogan in 2020.

The post Gallup: Pride in being an American reaches modern low — thanks to rock-bottom numbers from Democrats appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group t-1-300x153 Gallup: Pride in being an American reaches modern low — thanks to rock-bottom numbers from Democrats Trump The Blog pride independence happy gallup democrats day american   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

New Mexico gov to Nike: If Arizona doesn’t want your business because you canceled the American flag sneakers, we’ll take it

Westlake Legal Group n New Mexico gov to Nike: If Arizona doesn’t want your business because you canceled the American flag sneakers, we’ll take it The Blog subsidies stelnicki Sports nike New Mexico lujan grisham incentives flag ducey colonial Betsy Ross Arizona american

Isn’t there some compromise that can be reached here in lieu of Nike canceling the sneakers?

What if they go ahead and manufacture the Betsy Ross edition for righties but also make a woke version for liberals with the 13 stars replaced by a swastika or whatever?

Eh, that’s too obvious. I’m sure Nike’s creative team can come up with a more inventive way to signal contempt for the country. They’re being advised by Colin Kaepernick, after all.

Not a big fan of this move by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, I have to say:

I don’t like government holding a business’s politics against it, I’m not thrilled with a Republican governor dangling subsidies for any reason, and I can only sympathize with the Arizonans who are going to lose out on jobs because Ducey decided to get a jump on the 2024 Republican primary. People can and should boycott Nike to punish them for caving to Kaepernick’s moronic grievance about the colonial flag but there’s no need for governors to get involved. I’ll say this for him, though: Like Josh Hawley with his bad Big Tech regulation bill, Ducey understands that lib-punching is waaaaaay more important to righties in the Trump era than government restraint. If you’re not fighting the culture war with every weapon to hand, even when the flashpoint of the moment involves … sneakers (ugly sneakers, too), you’re just getting in the way.

Hawley, whose 2024 campaign is already in full swing, won’t be outdone on this by Ducey or anyone else:

That’s a fine nationalist take — but note that not even Hawley’s willing to go as far as Ducey in encouraging Nike to take its business out of his state.

Now then. Is Arizona’s loss New Mexico’s gain? New Mexico pols are hoping:

Grisham’s serious about it, her spokesman emphasized. If you wipe your ass with the American flag, of course this very blue state will be happy to do business with you:

Tripp Stelnicki, director of communications for the governor, confirms that the administration has reached out to explore a potential fit.

“We want those jobs,” said Stelnicki. “It’s wild that anyone would jeopardize viable employment for potentially hundreds of state residents because of some political virtue-signaling.”

It is kind of wild, to be honest. It’s what AOC did by chasing Amazon out of NYC, no? Local officials in Goodyear, where Nike’s Arizona facilities were to be built, have been “hunkered down” all day trying to figure out a way forward here. Imagine preparing for hundreds of new jobs to come to your community, with all the economic benefits that would entail, and waking up to find the governor on a Twitter tear before dawn telling Nike to kiss his ass because he’s trying to build a national brand with Republican voters.

Eh, Arizona should have expected this from Nike. Seems like all leftists from Portland are trash. Here’s your exit quotation from yet another guy who’s thinking ahead to 2024:

The post New Mexico gov to Nike: If Arizona doesn’t want your business because you canceled the American flag sneakers, we’ll take it appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group n-300x153 New Mexico gov to Nike: If Arizona doesn’t want your business because you canceled the American flag sneakers, we’ll take it The Blog subsidies stelnicki Sports nike New Mexico lujan grisham incentives flag ducey colonial Betsy Ross Arizona american   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Knock on Wood taps into the heart of patriotism in downtown Manassas

Westlake Legal Group All-American-Store-Feature Knock on Wood taps into the heart of patriotism in downtown Manassas supporting local businesses Patriotic manassas local business Home & Design Downtown Manassas american
Photo by Aaron Spicer

Manassas is what some may call an all-American town: It has the history, the farms, the quaint downtown, the friendly next-door neighbors.

Knock on Wood, a home goods store in downtown Manassas that opened last year, has a similar ambiance to it. Walking in, you half expect the owners, husband-and-wife duo Dennis (who goes by Denny) and Kathleen Vorbau, to already know your name. And if they don’t, they shortly will after the door’s bell rings.

“We have people come in all the time, who just want to look around and chat,” says Denny, “And that’s what we want it to be. We want it to be a place where people are comfortable and feel like they can come in and don’t have to buy anything.”

But once customers do look around, it’s hard for them to walk away without a purchase. The store focuses on a wide range of laser-printed items, handmade wood products, furniture, decor and other artwork.

The Vorbaus’ work with a set of 14 (and counting) local artisans to fill the store with customizable goods—“The small batches give our items more of a home feeling,” says Kathleen—including engraved drinkware, repurposed furniture, handmade pens, photography of Northern Virginia, birdhouses, wine racks, stringed nail art and so much more.

Kathleen does the furniture refurbishing, and Denny the laser engraving and etching, as well as some of the woodwork. “We both were first responders; retired after 28 years,” says Denny, a former police officer. “We had always had an interest in, and dabbled in, arts and crafts, woodworking. We did the crafts show circuit for a while, but always had this dream of opening up a store like this in a quaint, little, historic area.”

Before retirement, Kathleen served as a firefighter in Fairfax County, where Denny worked for the police department, as well. So, it’s not surprising that the store actively celebrates police officers, firefighters, the military and all others that serve to protect the country.

Westlake Legal Group All-American-Store-Owners Knock on Wood taps into the heart of patriotism in downtown Manassas supporting local businesses Patriotic manassas local business Home & Design Downtown Manassas american
Owners Denny and Kathleen Vorbau (Photo by Aaron Spicer)

The couple also donates several items from the store to fundraisers and nonprofits for service men and women, and also donates to Making Everything Good (M.E.G.), a Haymarket-based nonprofit assisting and supporting the needs of individuals, families and organizations associated with public safety, the military and veterans. “We’re very big supporters of first responders and military,” says Kathleen. “Police officers are in here frequently,” adds Denny, “A lot of our business comes from first responders and military.”

From taking a look around the store, and by talking to the Vorbaus, it’s clear that, for them, Knock on Wood is about much more than being a home goods store. It’s a place for them to be a part of the community, to invest in the community and to support their neighbors. And really, what’s more all-American than that? // 9082 Center St., Manassas

The Red, White and Blue

Ring in Independence Day with four Knock on Wood products sure to keep you in the patriotic spirit year-round.

Westlake Legal Group All-American-Store-3 Knock on Wood taps into the heart of patriotism in downtown Manassas supporting local businesses Patriotic manassas local business Home & Design Downtown Manassas american
Photo by Aaron Spicer

Protect and Serve
All string art at Knock on Wood is customizable, and many displayed in the shop pay homage to police officers, firefighters and the military. Sports team memorabilia, hometown pride, the American flag and other designs are available, too. // Creative String Art; $25-$85

Westlake Legal Group All-American-Store-2 Knock on Wood taps into the heart of patriotism in downtown Manassas supporting local businesses Patriotic manassas local business Home & Design Downtown Manassas american
Photo by Aaron Spicer

Write it Down
Feel like a Founding Father every time you write a note with this pen, laser printed by Denny, featuring the flag and a noble eagle. // Hand Inlay Custom Pen; $85

Westlake Legal Group All-American-Store-4 Knock on Wood taps into the heart of patriotism in downtown Manassas supporting local businesses Patriotic manassas local business Home & Design Downtown Manassas american
Photo by Aaron Spicer

Drinko Plinko
Any design you want can be printed on Knock on Wood’s Plinko boards, which also serve as bottle openers. When used, the bottle cap falls on an action phrase (take a shot, dance around, etc.) to help take your party to the next level. // Drinko Plinko; $89

Westlake Legal Group All-American-Store-1 Knock on Wood taps into the heart of patriotism in downtown Manassas supporting local businesses Patriotic manassas local business Home & Design Downtown Manassas american
Photo by Aaron Spicer

Keepin’ it Cool
Upgrade your cooler game with this handcrafted, weather-protected container that holds a cooler inside of it with plenty of room for beer, sodas, water and all other sips. // Custom Rustic Cooler; $199-$249

This post originally appeared in our July 2019 issue. For more home and shopping content, subscribe to our newsletters.

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Ilhan Omar: Blame America for Venezuela’s devastation

Westlake Legal Group io Ilhan Omar: Blame America for Venezuela’s devastation Venezuela The Blog Sanctions policies maduro Ilhan Omar guaido bullying american

If, like me, you’re far too young to have experienced American leftists reflexively apologizing for the USSR during Stalin’s reign, watching Ilhan Omar shill for Nicolas Maduro on Democracy Now is probably as close as we’ll get to the magic.

This isn’t her first public comment as a member of Congress on Venezuela. Here’s one from late January describing socialist opposition leader Juan Guaido as “far right,” a claim so glaringly false that it practically comes with a neon “propaganda” sign attached.

Omar’s been known to retweet anti-Trump musings from a host on Venezuela’s state-run TeleSur network. She’s not just producing her own handmade Maduro propaganda, in other words, she’s selling the genuine article. A person inclined to question Americans’ loyalty to the United States based on their support for a foreign state’s policies might wonder at this point how she prioritizes her own national loyalties.

One of the amusing things about Omar and other progressives like Bernie Sanders looking for ways not to criticize Maduro is that the left normally bristles when the right cites Venezuela as the logical end result of socialism. We’re not socialists like Maduro’s a socialist, many will say, we’re socialists like the Swedes are socialist. One easy way for them to hammer that point to voters would be to turn harshly against Maduro rhetorically — not to the point of endorsing U.S. intervention, necessarily, but certainly to the point of not sounding like you’re reading from a regime script on Democracy Now. (Bernie at least is willing to concede that Maduro’s is a “failed regime.”) But many can’t bring themselves to do it. Whether that’s because they’ve invested too much emotionally in Chavismo over the years to abandon it now or because “socialism” carries a talismanic appeal to them even in a case as malignant as Caracas, I don’t know. Whatever the explanation, this clip is more helpful to the right than the left.

Here’s where I remind you of a few things you already know. It wasn’t the U.S. who named Guaido as the rightful interim president of Venezuela, it was the country’s own legislature reacting to electoral fraud by Maduro. He’s been recognized as the lawful president by dozens of nations, not just the United States. Venezuela *is* being subjected to a military invasion as we speak, although not by forces allied with the U.S.: Russia has hundreds of troops there and Cuba has thousands, all over the objections of the lawful president. And Ilhan Omar has zero problem with sanctions in principle despite her handwringing about it here. She supports the BDS movement against Israel, after all. Like Stalin’s apologists, she’s not against getting tough with “the enemy,” she just has very different ideas about who the enemy is.

She’s saying this, by the way, ostensibly as an advocate of human rights on a network ostensibly dedicated to human rights a day after forces loyal to Maduro ran down protesters in the streets on international television. It’s perfection.

The post Ilhan Omar: Blame America for Venezuela’s devastation appeared first on Hot Air.

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Gallup: Number of Americans who are members of a church is in steep decline, at 80-year low

Westlake Legal Group gallup-number-of-americans-who-are-members-of-a-church-is-in-steep-decline-at-80-year-low Gallup: Number of Americans who are members of a church is in steep decline, at 80-year low unaffiliated The Blog religious member gallup Church christian catholic american

Westlake Legal Group hh Gallup: Number of Americans who are members of a church is in steep decline, at 80-year low unaffiliated The Blog religious member gallup Church christian catholic american

It’s an 80-year low only because that’s when the subject first began being polled. In reality today’s percentage of church members is almost certainly the lowest in American history.

This may help explain why a Catholic priest’s mention of “the body of Christ” this week somehow ended up being translated by the New York Times into “a statue of Jesus.” They probably had no frame of reference.

Westlake Legal Group g Gallup: Number of Americans who are members of a church is in steep decline, at 80-year low unaffiliated The Blog religious member gallup Church christian catholic american

That’s some graph. Normally with data related to matters of religious belief you’d expect to see a gradual slope downward, possibly starting in the 1960s. Not here. Church membership is cruising along steadily for 60 years — and then, in 1998 or so, something happens. Twenty years later, the share of church members across the population is down 20 points. At that rate you’d expect Americans to have completely given up membership in churches by 2070 or so.

Causation is complicated, Gallup notes: “A sharp increase in the proportion of the population with no religious affiliation, a decline in church membership among those who do have a religious preference, and low levels of church membership among millennials are all contributing to the accelerating trend.” Churches are losing members in part because religions are losing members — but even people who do belong to a particular faith are less likely to belong to a particular church. What gives?

My theory for any ominous social trend that began in the late 1990s is that it must be the farking Internet, which seems goofy at first blush here but less so upon reflection. The Internet may have no direct bearing on religious devotion but it does bear directly on people’s ability to replace real-world communities with virtual ones. If you’re satisfying your need to belong by participating in some online group, you may feel less need to join civic organizations, starting with your local church. Civic groups have also been experiencing membership decline for years, most dramatically and probably not coincidentally among younger adults — the sort of people more likely to spend longer hours on the Internet.

That is, it’s not necessarily a decline in religious belief that’s driving the decline in church membership, although no doubt that’s contributing. It’s the decline in real-world community of all sorts. How much of a coincidence can it be that loneliness in teenagers rose 50 percent between 2012 and 2017 as smartphones proliferated and social media became even more ubiquitous? Online communities don’t provide the same sense of meaningful companionship as real ones do, but they’re much easier to join and participate in. The bad supplants the good.

One potential flaw in my theory is that America’s “social capital” began dropping long before 1998. Robert Putnam famously diagnosed the problem in 1995 in “Bowling Alone.” Per Gallup’s numbers, churches were surprisingly resilient in retaining members even as other civic groups were apparently hemorrhaging them. But the flaw isn’t irreconcilable with the Internet theory of causation: It may be that Americans who had already severed ties with more secular groups like Kiwanis required a stronger cultural jolt to sever a bond as thick as religious community. The Internet ended up providing it. And now church membership is catching up to declining membership everywhere else.

Some demographic data for you. The first column shows the percentage of church members in each group from 1998-2000 and the second column shows the percentage from 2016-18. The third column shows the change between the two:

Westlake Legal Group g-1 Gallup: Number of Americans who are members of a church is in steep decline, at 80-year low unaffiliated The Blog religious member gallup Church christian catholic american

Obviously the Internet doesn’t explain everything. If it did, there wouldn’t be a single-digit decline among Republicans versus a 23-point decline(!) among Democrats, to the point where church members are now a minority of the party. Religiosity matters here.

Speaking of which, although men and women have each seen double-digit declines in church membership, the effect is more severe among men. Just 47 percent now count themselves as church members, i.e. a clear majority of an entire gender no longer belongs to a local religious community. And men are more likely to be Republican than women are, remember. If being right-wing were more closely tied to religious faith, we shouldn’t see numbers like these. What we’re getting here is a hint of a Trumpier, less Christian GOP. It makes sense that the president, at least at the time of his candidacy in 2015, wasn’t a member of a church either.

The post Gallup: Number of Americans who are members of a church is in steep decline, at 80-year low appeared first on Hot Air.

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