Friday, January 28, 2011

New on NewsReal - Maybe America Could Use a Muslim Sitcom After All

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

Remember Katie Couric’s insipid suggestion that Americans needed a Muslim version of The Cosby Show to help us get over our seething Islamophobia? It earned derision in the blogosphere for its condescending view of the country as a hive of bigotry and its refusal to give the Islamic world any share of the blame for Islamic image problems, but PopEater reports that the idea is picking up steam among Muslims in the television industry:
“We want to see a typical Arab-American family that is just like every other family in America,” said Arab-American comedian Dean Obeidallah, who has developed a pilot for Comedy Central. “Television has had the ability to demonize Muslims and Arabs, but we realize that it also has the ability to humanize us.”

Couric’s suggestion might not be as radical or as far off as her critics decried. In fact, Muslim-American writers say that broadcast and cable networks are starting to be more receptive to scripts prominently featuring both Arabs and practitioners of Islam. A decade-removed from the September 11th terrorist attacks, television may finally be ready to portray Muslim-Americans as more than terrorists and taxi cab drivers.
Hollywood would definitely embrace a Muslim ‘Cosby Show’ with one caveat: It would have to be really good. It’s the one factor that has linked shows about minorities like the ‘Cosby Show’ or even ‘Will & Grace.’ Currently, I believe Americans are open to any minority as long as the show speaks to universal human truths and makes them laugh,” said Muslim-American Hollywood television and movie producer Tariq Jalil, the executive producer of the comedy ‘Marmaduke.’ [Emphasis added.]
That’s true—as we discussed on January 3, neither the words nor the deeds of the American people indicate hostility toward American Muslims—and it’s nice to hear Jalil acknowledge what Couric didn’t, but that also undermines the alleged need for more Muslim programming in the first place.

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

New on NewsReal - "View" Lefties Can't See Why Child Porn for Teens on MTV Might Be a Problem

My latest NewsRealBlog Post:

The smug certainty with which leftists insist that they’re better people than conservatives has always been an interesting phenomenon. We’re asked to believe that our opponents are more moral, more responsible, more enlightened, and more sensitive than we are one minute…and one of our betters turns around and asks what the big deal is about some outrageous case of moral degeneracy the next.

Such is the case of the latest pontifications from The View co-host Joy Behar. In a discussion of Skins, the new MTV show which might have broken child pornography laws by filming actors as young as 15 performing explicit simulated sexual acts, Behar suggested that the only reason people are getting worked up is because of the channel it’s on:
“I think it’s because it’s MTV, because on HBO as you pointed out, I believe ‘Oz’ was on there and they’re all doing some crazy stuff … and ‘Sex in the City’ was on HBO,” Behar said. “What’s the difference if you’re watching all these grown-ups talking about all of these — anal sex, etc., or young people? What’s the difference?”
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure laws against producing child pornography don’t say, “nobody can do this except for HBO.”
Whoopi Goldberg dismissed concern as a mere construct of America’s more Puritan sensibilities:
[T]he English have a whole different relationship to how young people are dealt with. I mean, that’s just the way it is. It is a different thing and sex does not have the same bizarre-ness that it carries in the U.S.
America must be weird for having a problem with this; English standards couldn’t possibly be wrong! Gotta love cultural relativism.

Barbara Walters, however, managed to explain the difference to her colleague:
“There’s two differences,” Walters said. “One – it’s targeting kids. It’s a huge difference. And the other is that they’re also saying is it is underage kids that are doing this.”
Walters is right as far as she goes, but she doesn’t go nearly far enough. The main answer is that the controversy isn’t merely about minors “talking about” sex. It’s about minors performing suggested sex acts on screen. Does Behar have any conception of why child pornography is illegal? (I’d do more research into whether or not she’s opined on the issue in the past, but the prospect of Googling a combination of the terms “joy behar” and “porn” is too terrifying to contemplate.)

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Link Thanks

First, The Week recognizes my January 12 NewsReal post on Archie meeting Obama and Palin as one of their "Best Opinion" reactions. I'm grateful, though the quote they choose kinda makes it sound like I disagree with Jon Goldwater and was criticizing the comic. Which was the exact opposite of what I said.

Next, radio host Peter Heck links my January 24 American Thinker piece about how Kermit Gosnell's abortion clinic isn't as different from the "respectable" death mills as polite society tells itself.  Thanks!

Monday, January 24, 2011

New on NewsReal - She Who Governs Best Governs Most?

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

Feminist identity-politics arguments for increasing the number of women in public office usually rest on the premise that females have unique insight or sensitivity regarding issues like abortion, pay inequality, and education, without which disproportionately-male government cannot be trusted make sound, tolerant policy. But at the Daily Beast, Tony Dokoupil floats a new, more pragmatic argument, that according to a new American Journal of Political Science study, women simply get more stuff done:
The research is the first to compare the performance of male and female politicians nationally, and it finds that female members of the House rout their male counterparts in both pulling pork and shaping policy. Between 1984 and 2004, women won their home districts an average of $49 million more per year than their male counterparts (a finding that held regardless of party, geography, committee position, tenure in office, or margin of victory). The spending jump was found within districts, too, when women moved into seats previously occupied by men, and the cash was for projects across the spectrum, not just “women’s issues.”

A similar performance gap showed up in policy: Women sponsored more bills (an average of three more per Congress), co-sponsored more bills (an average of 26 more per Congress), and attracted a greater number of co-sponsors than their colleagues who use the other restroom. These new laws driven by women were not only enacted—they were popular. In a pair of additional working papers, led by Ohio State political scientists Craig Volden and Alan Wiseman, researchers tracked every bill introduced between 1981 and 2009, and found that those sponsored by women survived deeper into the legislative process, garnered more press attention, and were more likely to be deemed “important” overall. All of which leads the authors of the AJPS paper, University of Chicago Public Policy Professor Christopher Berry and his student and Stanford doctoral candidate Sarah Anzia, to conclude that it’s the women themselves—specifically, their skills at “logrolling, agenda-setting, coalition building, and other deal-making activities”— that are responsible for the gender-performance divide.
After a century of American political thought all-but dominated by progressive assumptions about the nature and role of government, this is likely to strike many Americans as intuitively compelling. But conservatives should instantly recognize the problem here: success and effectiveness are measured by sheer number of new laws made and amount of money funneled back home, without regard for the merit or constitutionality of any of it. Dokoupil simply assumes as a given that “more” equals “better.”

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.

What a Surprise

On December 31, I wrote:
At this point, GOProud's trustworthiness is in doubt. Their true intention seems to be to drive the Right socially leftward. Here's another simple test that would reveal a great deal about their real values and priorities. GOProud is in favor of repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell. So they should answer this question: do you believe Congress gave sufficient consideration to the judgment of American servicemen and military leaders prior to repeal?
On January 12, I decided to pose that question to GOProud. I both emailed and left in the comments of their (then) most recent relevant post the following:
Hello,

I am interested in GOProud’s position on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Center for Security Policy President Frank Gaffney has written that “nearly 1200 retired flag and general officers” have “written their own open letter opposing repeal of the ban on homosexuals in the military.” (BigPeace.com, Dec. 17) Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, made the following observations from the survey website:

“[T]he Working Group conceded, ‘Our sense is that the majority of views expressed were against repeal.’’ (p. 49) Not only were these opinions disrespected, Adm. Mike Mullen has already stated more than once that anyone who disagrees with the LGBT law no longer will be welcome to serve.

“In addition to involuntary personnel losses due to Adm. Mullen’s ‘zero tolerance’ of dissent, cross-tabbed data displayed on the 2010 DADT Survey website indicate that among Army combat arms personnel, 21.4% would leave sooner than planned, and 14.6% would think about leaving–a total potential loss of more than a third (36%) of those valuable troops. (DADT Survey Appendix J, p. 53)

“Marine combat arms would be weakened even more, with 32% of Marines saying they would leave sooner than planned, and 16.2% considering an early end to their careers, totaling almost half. (DADT Survey Appendix L, p. 47) The gradual loss of so many combat troops and what the report described as ‘only 12%’ of families likely to decline re-enlistment could put remaining troops in greater danger, and break the All-Volunteer Force. (CRWG Report, p. 4)”

(BigPeace.com, Dec. 19)

That said, my question is: Does GOProud believe Congress gave sufficient consideration to the judgment of American servicemen, military leaders, and defense experts prior to enacting repeal?
Answer? Crickets. Just be careful whether or not you dare mention it - Andrew Breitbart might get "offended."

New on American Thinker - Pro-Abortion Columnist Says Philadelphia's Dr. Death Thrived Because Abortions Aren't Available Enough

My latest commentary, posted at American Thinker:

Finding a pro-choice spin to the horrific charges against abortionist Kermit Gosnell -- "eight counts of murder in the deaths of a patient and seven babies who were born alive and then killed with scissors" -- seems like an awfully tall order, but left-wing author Michelle Goldberg is going to give it a try anyway.

Her latest Daily Beast column opens by declaring that if Gosnell "is guilty of even a fraction of the carnage he's been charged with, he should spend the rest of his life in prison," but goes on to argue that not only is his office not representative of the average abortion clinic, but that his crimes actually demonstrate why abortion needs to be more widely available, more respected, and even subsidized:
"[T]he difference between this gruesome killing machine and a ‘safe' clinic is aesthetics, really," wrote Lori Ziganto in RedState.com. "There is no denying the horror of what was found in this ‘doctor's' office. But it happens in every abortion clinic across the land."

She's completely wrong. Gosnell's clinic was in no way representative of most abortion facilities, which is why the country's largest organization of abortion providers, the National Abortion Federation, refused him membership and testified against him to the grand jury.
That's nice. But it misses the point, which would have been clear if Goldberg had quoted Ziganto's next few sentences:
Sticking a scalpel in a baby's neck in utero has the same result as sticking it in the neck with scissors outside the womb: Death.

In this case, people can visualize the actual babies, as they were horrifically kept in jars and bottles. In "safe" clinics, they are hidden away in haz-mat disposals or chopped up into tiny pieces before being sucked out of their mother's womb and disposed of like trash. Hidden away, allowing people to blind themselves to what is actually happening. It is easier to remain blissfully ignorant and ignore the fact that a baby is a baby, in utero or out.
The "blood on the floor," the "stench of urine fill[ing] the air," the "cat feces on the stairs," and the "[s]emi-conscious women" waiting "on dirty recliners covered with blood-stained blankets" may be unique horrors, but the other things that make Gosnell's death den seem worse than a "nice, clean" abortion clinic are morally insignificant. If you're stabbing a baby's spinal cord, it doesn't matter where the baby's body is located. It doesn't matter how you store or dispose of the remains. You still killed a child.

(Indeed, back in Illinois, President Barack Obama didn't see the difference-he thought full-term babies should be equally killable before and after delivery...and if it was after, then their death-starvation-was guaranteed to be even slower.)
 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

New on NewsReal - The Top 7 Violent Left-Wingers You're Not Supposed to Remember

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

Even by the Left’s usual standards, the shamelessness and dishonesty of their reaction to psychopath Jared Loughner’s shooting spree in Tucson, Arizona—blaming his actions on the allegedly violent and inflammatory rhetoric of conservatives—is almost without peer. It became clear fairly early on that Loughner had serious mental issues and bizarre, apolitical reasons for hating Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. That did not prevent leftist politicians, journalists, commentators, and celebrities from smearing their political foes as accomplices to murder, however. To date, only one notable left-of-center figure—Kirsten Powers—has had the integrity to condemn this smear campaign.

This isn’t new—leftists have a history of blaming conservatives for apolitical crimes (sometimes they even blame conservatives for leftist crimes). In reality, the Left doesn’t care in the slightest about elevating our political discourse. The clearest indicator of their insincerity is that they never hold their own to these standards. The Left’s record of hate and vitriol is the stuff of legend, and while the media likes to forget about it, leftists commit acts of violence, too. Let’s remind them.

In September 2008, Crowder was busted outside of the Republican National Convention for possession of a Molotov cocktail. It turns out his planned good old-fashioned rioting was a group outing—he came to the convention from Austin, Texas, along with a radical organization called the Austin Affinity Group:
The group brought a rental trailer with them that contained 35 riot shields, made from stolen traffic barrels. The intended use of the shields was to help demonstrators block streets near the Xcel Energy Center in order to prevent convention delegates from safely reaching the convention. St. Paul Police seized these shields on Aug. 31.

According to trial testimony, McKay and Crowder, angered by the loss of the shields, purchased supplies for constructing Molotov cocktails at a St. Paul Wal-Mart on Aug. 31, including a gas can, motor oil and tampons. They also purchased gasoline at a gas station. They then manufactured the eight Molotov cocktails at an apartment on Dayton Avenue where they were staying.

During a FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force investigation, authorities learned through an informant that McKay and Crowder had manufactured the Molotov cocktails. Crowder was arrested on Sept. 1 for disorderly conduct during an RNC demonstration.

During a conversation overheard by law enforcement through electronic surveillance on Sept. 2, McKay told an informant that he intended to throw the Molotov cocktails at police vehicles parked in a lot near the Dayton Avenue apartment. The parking lot was used as a checkpoint area for vehicles entering the security perimeter around the convention site. It was visibly patrolled by the U.S. Secret Service, various police agencies and the military.
Now, I wonder what could have made Crowder and friends hate Republicans that much? I mean, it’s not as if anybody was calling Republicans racists or war criminals or anything…

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New on NewsReal - GLAAD Condemns "The Dilemma's" Gay Joke: Justified Offense or Political Correctness Run Amok?

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

Carl Kozlowski at Big Hollywood hails Ron Howard’s new film The Dilemma as “an instant classic for the conservative comedy lover,” so it’s fitting that some leftists don’t think it’s so funny. Rob Shuter reports that the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation is blaming the movie’s less than stellar opening weekend on a joke about electric cars being gay:
“Although there are a million reasons why a film can fail, we hope that Ron Howard and Universal will recognize from this that alienating audiences isn’t a recipe for success,” said Herndon Graddick, deputy director of programs at GLAAD, who oversees GLAAD’s work with TV networks and film studios.

Back in October, CNN’s Anderson Cooper started a firestorm when he said he was offended by a movie trailer he had seen wherein an actor repeatedly used the word “gay” in a derogatory way.

“I was shocked that not only they put it in the movie, but that they thought that it was OK to put that in a preview for the movie to get people to go and see it,” he told Ellen DeGeneres without naming the movie. “I just find those words, those terms, we’ve got to do something to make those words unacceptable cause those words are hurting kids.”
Both Howard (not exactly a right-winger) and star Vince Vaughn (a Republican) have defended the joke, with Howard noting that his movie is “a comedy for grown-ups, not kids” and that if “storytellers, comedians, actors and artists are strong armed into making creative changes, it will endanger comedy as both entertainment and a provoker of thought.” Vaughn says that “joking about our differences breaks tension and brings us together,” but “[d]rawing divided lines over what we can and cannot joke about does exactly that; it divides us.”

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New on NewsReal - Abortion Apologists Worried About Artists Who Rock to a Pro-Life Beat

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

With all the slimy morals and leftist propagandizing in our popular culture, it’s easy to overlook entertainment’s more positive influences. On January 10, pro-abortion activist Eleanor Bader wrote a blog post for RH Reality Check that shouldn’t go unnoticed, both for bringing several examples to our attention and for illustrating the radical response.

Bader highlights the following Christian and pro-life celebrity activists: Bella star Eduardo Verastegui, Christian band Barlow Girl, Skillet lead singer John Cooper, and Josh Wilson of Christian band Silverline. None of these names are as big as, say, Bono or Miley Cyrus, but they’re all successful and influential, and they do everything from participate in Washington, DC’s annual March for Life to writing songs about remorse for making the wrong “choice.”

Many Christian and conservative parents would take comfort in the presence of any counterbalance to the secular, permissive ethos and exploits of America’s most prominent stars, but according to Bader, they’re preying upon impressionable children’s inability to grasp complexity:
[P]sychologists remind us that there’s another reason the music gets rave reviews from teenagers: Adolescents are typically drawn to simplified, black-and-white ideas. Gestalt psychotherapist Shelley Orren-King explains that it is only when people reach their twenties that “they can begin to see shades of gray.”

“The nuances come with life experience.  With time and emotional development human reasoning usually shifts,” she wrote in an email.

No matter the question, the answer is always the same to leftists: people take conservative positions because they’re simple-minded. That life has complexities and nuances doesn’t mean there are no black and white answers to serious issues; it simply means more effort and care is required to find them. For our part, pro-lifers don’t obscure or shy away from the circumstances that tempt women to abortion.

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.

What's Missing From This Picture?

I can't quite seem to put my finger on it...

Around the Web

Chris Christie's won the hearts of many conservatives for standing up to charlatans in the public education establishment, but does even he have a dark side? Maybe - Jonathan Tobin has the scoop on Christie's recent judicial appointment of Sohail Mohammed, who has represented radical Islamists in the past. Consider this a shining example of why I say we shouldn't be too quick to anoint standard-bearers.

"An unprecedented study that followed several thousand undergraduates through four years of college found that large numbers didn't learn the critical thinking, complex reasoning and written communication skills that are widely assumed to be at the core of a college education." Surprised? Me neither.

My NRB colleague Walter Hudson explains how Twilight star Kristin Stewart's plan to set up a halfway house network to help women escape prostitution is only possible because we let people get rich in this country. Love Twilight or hate it (I've neither read the books nor seen the movies), you've gotta give Stewart credit for this.

Also on NewsReal, Joseph Klein takes issue with Bill O'Reilly going easy on Bill Maher for bashing the Tea Party. It never ceases to amaze me that O'Reilly has a reputation as some right-wing fire breather, considering that he gives passes to abominable liberals all the time, and his definition of "stand-up guy" is basically "anyone willing to come on my show."

Rep. Steve King wants to get to the bottom of whether or not your federal tax dollars are paying for Planned Parenthood's telehealth services.

Monday, January 17, 2011

New on NewsReal - Bill Maher Rewrites and Ignores History to Pit the Founding Fathers Against the Tea Party

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

Left-wing satirist Bill Maher is taking his hatred of the Tea Party movement to the next level. Evidently epithets like crazy, stupid, and racist no longer satisfy him, and he’s decided it’s time to hit “teabaggers” where it really hurts: by mocking their reverence for America’s Founding Fathers, suggesting the Founders’ values aren’t their own:
“[T]he Founding Fathers would have hated your guts…and what’s more, you would have hated them. They were everything you despise. They studied science, read Plato, hung out in Paris, and thought the Bible was mostly bullshit.”

Maher got a crack in at the Founders as well, saying they had a moral code, but it didn’t come from the Bible…”except for the part about, ‘it’s cool to own slaves.’”

Here, Maher is repackaging the ridiculous straw man that conservatism is not only incompatible with reason and science, but that right-wingers actually pride themselves on disregarding the insights of modern intellectuals in favor of gut instinct and unchanging tradition. But this is a complete distortion of conservative arguments.

We have no problem with true intellectualism or reevaluating our positions in light of new evidence; what we object to is the arrogance of societal elites who look down upon the decision-making abilities of the average American, especially in decisions concerning the individual’s personal affairs. We object to “expertise” being taken as a license to make policy outside of the democratic process.

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Hugh Hewitt Doesn't Get It

I have great respect for the man's passion and intellect, but how he can read Joe Scarborough's column jumping on the defamation bandwagon and conclude that the man is "well-meaning" - especially since Hewitt himself says that Scarborough, acting in his capacity as a major, professional publication's "chief conservative columnist," made the argument "a week after it had been discredited" - is beyond me.

So, "well-meaning" people can make defamatory arguments they know not to be true? Really?

Like far too many people, Hewitt talks as though politics is just a game or a sport, not a matter of basic right and wrong with the American people's liberties and well-being in the balance. Rather than condemning Scarborough's actions as dishonest, unethical, immoral, and dishonorable, Hewitt gently chides him as if he's merely been caught traveling in basketball.

If we finally want to get serious about defeating the Left and their unconscionable tactics, this simply won't do. It's high time our elected officials and commentators alike get the message.

When Victims Are Guilty (Updated)

Aside from being contemptible for its sheer dishonesty, the Left's blood libel campaign blaming conservatives for the shooting spree carried out by (anti-war, Christianity-hating) psychopath Jared Loughner is also a clear example/vindication of Ann Coulter's most recent book, Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America, which targets (if you'll pardon the expression) the cherished leftist propaganda tactic of using real and perceived victims as props with which to browbeat critics of their policies into silence.

One of Loughner's victims, Eric Fuller, has disgraced himself by blaming Republicans for his injury:
“It looks like Palin, Beck, Sharron Angle and the rest got their first target,” Eric Fuller said in an interview with Democracy NOW.

“Their wish for Second Amendment activism has been fulfilled — senseless hatred leading to murder, lunatic fringe anarchism, subscribed to by John Boehner, mainstream rebels with vengeance for all — even 9-year-old girls,” he added, referring to the death of Christina Taylor Green.

Fuller, a 63-year-old veteran, had campaigned for Giffords during her reelection and was at the supermarket for her Congress on Your Corner event.

“I would put Sarah Palin in first place there. I think, really, she should be incarcerated for treason for advocating assassinating public officials,” Fuller said in an interview with Media Matters. “That map I saw that she published on the Internet had crosshairs on it and one of them was meant for Gabrielle Giffords.”
Fuller's status as both a shooting victim and a veteran will probably scare many away from discussing this honestly, but it shouldn't. The simple fact is, nothing justifies telling vicious lies to, or about, your countrymen.

In an ironic twist of fate, Fuller has made a toxic contribution of his own to the public discourse:

When Tucson Tea Party founder Trent Humphries rose to suggest that any conversation about gun control should be put off until after the funerals for all the victims, witnesses say Fuller became agitated.  Two told KGUN9 News that finally, Fuller took a picture of Humphries, and said, "You're dead."

When State Rep. Terri Proud (R-Tucson) rose to explain and clarify current and proposed gun legislation in the state, several people groaned or booed her.  One of those booing, according to several witnesses, was Fuller.   Witnesses sitting near Fuller told KGUN9 News that Fuller was making them feel very uncomfortable.

The event wrapped up a short time later.  Deputies then escorted Fuller from the room.  As he was being led off, Fuller shouted loudly to the room at large.  Several witnesses said that what they thought they heard him shout was, "You're all whores!"

A Pima County Sheriff's spokesman told KGUN9 News that they charged Fuller with one count of threats and intimidation, and said they plan to charge him with at least one count of disorderly conduct.  Humphries told KGUN9 News that he does plan to press those charges.
Of course, because Eric Fuller's hate is directed at the Right, there's probably a root cause for it the rest of us to understand. There always is.

UPDATE: The Mental Recession has more - apparently it's not really his fault; PTSD made him do it. Of course.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

New on NewsReal - The Left's Attack On Palin's Response to the Tucson Tragedy Is All About Appeasement, Not Gun Imagery

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

In the wake of this weekend’s shooting in Arizona, the opportunists of the Left barely waited for the bodies to cool or for confirmation of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ fate before pouncing on what simply had to be the atrocity’s root cause: Sarah Palin. Even though indications of culprit Jared Loughner’s true mindset started appearing on the very day of the shooting, agenda-driven vultures proceeded to lecture Palin on everything from what she needed to say to the proper level of remorse she needed to display.

On Wednesday, the former governor responded, in a stirring statement that mourns for the victims, defies her persecutors, and affirms the strength of American democracy:
If you don’t like a person’s vision for the country, you’re free to debate that vision. If you don’t like their ideas, you’re free to propose better ideas. But, especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.

There are those who claim political rhetoric is to blame for the despicable act of this deranged, apparently apolitical criminal. And they claim political debate has somehow gotten more heated just recently. But when was it less heated? Back in those “calm days” when political figures literally settled their differences with dueling pistols? In an ideal world all discourse would be civil and all disagreements cordial. But our Founding Fathers knew they weren’t designing a system for perfect men and women. If men and women were angels, there would be no need for government. Our Founders’ genius was to design a system that helped settle the inevitable conflicts caused by our imperfect passions in civil ways. So, we must condemn violence if our Republic is to endure.

As I said while campaigning for others last March in Arizona during a very heated primary race, “We know violence isn’t the answer. When we ‘take up our arms’, we’re talking about our vote.” Yes, our debates are full of passion, but we settle our political differences respectfully at the ballot box – as we did just two months ago, and as our Republic enables us to do again in the next election, and the next. That’s who we are as Americans and how we were meant to be. Public discourse and debate isn’t a sign of crisis, but of our enduring strength. It is part of why America is exceptional.
Of course, being Sarah Palin, she’s damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t, and so the Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz (who admits the initial attacks against her were “unfair”) has panned the speech as not presidential enough:
Blood libel, for those who are not familiar, describes a false accusation that minorities—usually Jews—murder children to use their blood in religious rituals, and has been a historical theme in the persecution of the Jewish people.

Had Palin scoured a thesaurus, she could not have come up with a more inflammatory phrase.
Yes, because when you’ve been defamed as an instigator of multiple homicide by people who know better, the important thing to do is ensure you don’t rub anyone the wrong way.

Read the rest at NewsRealBlog.

One Liberal Who Retains Some Semblance of a Conscience

Give credit where credit's due - Kirsten Powers isn't having any of her side's sick exploitation of the Tucson massacre:

He did add to his prepared remarks that incivility did not cause this tragedy, but he stopped short of a full rebuke of the complete irresponsibility of those who have been stoking anger at conservatives who—as far as we know—had nothing to do with this.

When the president did lay blame, it was on Americans in general. Among the many odd assertions he made: suggesting that “what a tragedy like this requires” is that “we align our values with our actions.” We were told to “expand our moral imaginations.”

Huh?

A mentally ill gunman opened fire at a Safeway. A lack of “aligning” or “imagination” really wasn’t the problem. Obama chided Americans to “be better,” as if we somehow caused this shooting to happen. He said, “We may not be able to stop all evil in the world, but I know that how we treat one another is entirely up to us.”

Now if Obama isn’t talking about political discourse here, I don’t know what he’s talking about. Certainly he can’t be suggesting that how you treat the mailman or your mother is at issue.

Let’s be clear: How we “treat each other” also is not what caused this shooting. Mental illness combined with a gun and a 33-round high-capacity magazine collided to produce a tragedy. This may not have been the venue to discuss this in such pointed terms, but it also should not have been used as an opportunity to push further into the media bloodstream the lie that hostile rhetoric or incivility even played a role in this, let alone caused it.

Multiple polls have shown that Americans reject the assertion that political speech incited the shooter. Nothing has come up in the investigation to suggest it played a role. In fact, it’s been reported that a friend of gunman Jared Lee Loughner flatly rejected heated rhetoric as an issue, telling Good Morning America, “He did not watch TV. He disliked the news. He didn’t listen to political radio. He didn’t take sides. He wasn’t on the left. He wasn’t on the right.”

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Liberal Lies About Political Violence - Another Needed Reminder

Hat tip to Eternity Matters for this post at Verum Serum, which reminds us that the Left's evil, libelous exploitation of death is nothing new:

  • They couldn’t deny that Joe Stack (who flew his plane into an IRS bldg.) quoted the Communist manifesto favorably and disliked George Bush, but labeled him the “Tea Party terrorist” anyway.
  • They couldn’t deny that Richard Poplawski’s only connection to Glenn Beck was that he was disappointed in Beck’s debunking of a conspiracy theory he believed in. They continue to suggest Poplawski was a fan.
  • They couldn’t deny that Pentagon shooter J. Patrick Bedell was a registered Democrat and a 9/11 Truther who disliked Bush, but they wanted him to be a Tea Partier as well.
  • They couldn’t deny that Clay Duke was a leftist inspired by a left-wing movie produced during the Bush years, so they mostly said nothing at all.
I’m leaving out a bunch more. The census worker’s death who was blamed on the right, but which turned out to be suicide. The “right-wing” shooter at the Holocaust museum who turned out to hate Christianity and Fox News. And now the latest on the Giffords shooting is that Loughner may have been anti-Semitic and targeting her because she is Jewish. Generally speaking which party is more supportive of the Jews and Israel and which one is regularly accused of being beholden to Jewish interests? The group Loughner is believed to have been part of also supports SB1070, but Giffords was known to be tough on border control, so how would shooting her advance that agenda? Once again, we’re not supposed to look that closely or ask if any of it makes sense. We’re just supposed to feel outrage at the right targets.

With every new incident the left launches into a fresh public fury and then when the facts come in they never step back or apologize, they just move on to the next “fake but accurate” story. The meme they are pushing survives by leap-frogging from lie to lie, often stealing unearned outrage from cases that could more easily be called left-wing violence. I appreciate the calm voices on the right that want to avoid politicizing this or any tragedy, but frankly I don’t know how they do it in the face of this sort of endless propaganda effort by the left.

Around the Web

The New Hampshire GOP says "screw marriage."

What's the worst lie Ann Coulter has ever seen in the New York Times? It's a doozy.

My NRB colleague Paul Cooper has a cool list of pro-life heroes.

How many "memorial services" can you think of with their own official logos and t-shirts?

Wisconsin Republicans plan to push voter ID. Now there's change I can believe in!

In the wake of Tucson, Sarah Palin's getting an "unprecedented" amount of death threats. But don't hold the scumbags to their own standard and blame Paul Krugman, James Clyburn, or Chris Matthews, No sir.

Joe Carter contemplates atheist anger toward God. Why vent at someone you don't think is there?

And check out the case against cutting defense spending.

Herman Cain for President?

The popular, charismatic conservative businessman and radio host announced today that he's forming an exploratory committee to assess his electoral prospects. At RedState, he's a hit:
In 1977, at age 29 he had a MS in Computer Science. He joined Pillsbury, and within 5 years became VP of Corporate Systems and Services. He quit that post after 2 years, and joined Pillsbury’s Burger King division, learning from the ground up as a burger flipper. Nine months later, he was in charge of 400 stores in Pennsylvania, BK’s worst performing region. in three years, it was the company’s best.

THAT is when Pillsbury sent him to the rescue of their failing Godfathers Pizza chain in 1986. In fourteen months it was profitable and in another year he led his executive team to a buyout of Godfathers from Pillsbury. It gets better but I’ll stop there. You get an idea of the kind of man we are talking about [...]

“How’s all that political experience working out for you?” Seriously, name me a government system that is not bloated, broke, or broken. The entitlement system? No? OK, how about those bureaus. Are you pleased with the EPA, FEC, FCC, FDA? How about the Education Department. State Department? Anyone? Anyone? Beuller?

Call it a stretch, but maybe Washington DC crammed full of career politicians and bureacrats is not made of pure awesome. Maybe bold, hard-nosed, results-oriented, problem-solving business sense is the kind of thing you want at the top.

Imagine a president with the grit, the tenacity, the pragmatic, practical, no-nonsense, clear-thinking approach that Cain took with Burger King, Godfathers Pizza, and cancer. Then imagine the same guy is a movement conservative. Then imagine the guy actually ran for president.
What I know about his views on the issues is all promising. And Cain certainly interests/excites me more than the rest of the assumed 2012 field (well, with one exception). But I'm not endorsing him yet. Why? It's simply too early.

As I've discussed extensively before (see here, here, here, and here), the Right has an annoying, counterproductive tendency toward anointing heroes prematurely, and getting burned and making fools out of ourselves when the reality falls short of our high expectations.

We've got about two years 'till the next election; can we at least wait until after a debate or two before issuing endorsements for anyone? Instead of latching onto someone right away and making him the standard-bearer for all our hopes and dreams, let's discuss the qualities and principles our next president should ideally have, and then strive to impartially compare all of our choices (including how they campaign and what they promise) to our ideals, to each other, and then make a commitment.

The Educator's Oath - How Times Have Changed

I just came across the "The Educator's Oath," written by Robert L. DeBruyn. Passages of special relevance have been emphasized:
I solemnly pledge to dedicate my life to the science of teaching.
I will give to those who are or have been my teachers the respect and gratitude which is their due.
I will practice my profession with conscience and dignity; the well-being of my students will be my primary concern always.
I will honor the position of parents and uphold public trust.
I will maintain by all the means in my power the honor of my profession. I will respect the privacy of students;
I will teach toward meeting the individual needs and abilities of students.
I will accept all engaged in education and regard all as my colleagues;
I will not permit considerations of religion, nationality, race, party politics, social standing, or the monetary rewards received from my labors to intervene between my duty and my students.
I will maintain utmost respect for human dignity and human values, and I will hold human caring and consideration as the fundamental value in the student-teacher relationship.
I make this promise solemnly, freely, and upon my oath for as long as I am engaged in education.
Lovely sentiments. It's a shame the public education establishment no longer believes in them.

New on NewsReal - "Archie" Brings Obama and Palin Together, Does More Uniting Than the Real Uniter We Elected

My latest NewsRealBlog post:


Considering how often left-wing propaganda infiltrates our popular culture, it’s only fair that we acknowledge entertainment media that opts to remain above the fray. You may have heard about one such example: the current Archie story arc in which the comic-book world’s most beloved teenagers cross paths with Barack Obama and Sarah Palin. ComicsAlliance has a new preview of the latest issue’s first five pages, which cast the political powerhouses in some of the least partisan light they’ve ever been under.

The story so far: Archie and Reggie are competing for student council, and their respective supporters decide some star power is in order to boost their chances. Veronica arranges for Archie to be photographed with the visiting President of the United States, while Trula gets a snapshot of Reggie with the former Governor of Alaska. Unfortunately, neither politician knows he/she’s being used as an endorsement…

It’s possible that the final issue might contain subtle jabs at their guest stars, but the previewed pages suggest we’re in for a lighthearted tale that genuinely portrays Obama and Palin as spirited, good-natured patriots. Indeed, this playful imagery seems to be about as confrontational as things get:

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Tucson Shooting and the True State of American Political Discourse (Updated)



This is but a partial list of politicians, journalists, bloggers, and celebrities who have chosen to use the horrific shooting in Tucson – which left six people dead, including a little girl, and a Congresswoman fighting for her life – as an opportunity to condemn conservatives and Republicans for allegedly inflammatory rhetoric. Some explicitly claim figures such as Rush Limbaugh or Sarah Palin are culpable for Jared Loughner's actions, while others insinuate they are dangerously cultivating the sort of hatred and fear that could trigger similar acts in the future. *

Never mind that the perpetrator’s mentally-disturbed, violent tendencies are unrelated to politics. Never mind that the political indicators in his record, if anything, suggest hostility to God and an affinity for radical leftism.  Never mind that his hatred of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords had nothing to do with her or her party's policies.

Jared Loughner thinks in gibberish, processes what he sees and hears in gibberish, and acts on gibberish. Yet we’re asked to hang our heads in shame about an alleged cause-effect relationship that leads from Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin straight to Loughner’s trigger finger?

Bull. I get the intent behind respectfully critiquing this line of attack as Allahpundit does, but doing so misses the point. The point is: this record has already been played time and time again. It’s broken. The people using this to smear conservatives know better. Some of the more shameless ones, like Frum and Feldstein, admit as much—they acknowledge Loughner’s real motives yet proceed to say we should use the opportunity to bash the Right’s “dangerous, irresponsible rhetoric” anyway.

None of this is sincere. We know because these leftist lies about conservatives are nothing new. When a Communist circulated Obama-as-Hitler posters, conservatives were blamed. MSNBC ran selective footage of a black man with a gun, to characterize him as a potentially trigger-happy white supremacist. Leftists have publicly advocated impersonating Tea Partiers. The media misrepresents polls to defame Tea Partiers. Phony quotes attributed to prominent conservatives are disseminated without hesitation.

We know because we have a decade's worth of hatred, terrorism, anger, bigotry, dishonesty, and violence-inciting from scores of left-wing activists, celebrities, journalists, and public officials on the record. We have violence committed by leftists against conservatives, and violence committed by radical Islamists, for which leftists have a different standard. The online savagery of leftist commenters is the stuff of legend.

If any of these lying, two-faced, murder-exploiting bastards were even remotely concerned about the “tone” of American politics, they would have piped up when it was their side—their fellow travelers, their elected leaders, their favored media personalities—doing the “coarsening.” But with rare exception, they either ignore it outright, make excuses for it, or tell bald-faced lies about their side’s filth coming from “marginalized, unimportant people whose voices don’t carry too far.”

Sure. “Marginalized, unimportant people” like prominent MSNBC commentators Schultz and Olbermann. Like Rep. Alan Grayson, who Obama has showered with praise. Like the current Senate Majority Leader. Like Sen. Dick Durbin. Like Sen. Robert Byrd. Like Rep. Keith Ellison. Like the late Ted Kennedy. Like former DNC chair Terry McAuliffe and numerous other Democrat officeholders. Like former President Jimmy Carter. Like current President Barack Obama. Nah, those “voices don’t carry too far” at all…

You want to know why America's got problems? Why our political discourse seems so degraded, so futile? Re-read the names comprising the first paragraph, and you’ll have one of the biggest answers. The answer isn’t that we don't scrupulously follow arbitrary rules of decorum. The answer is that the conduct of bad people in government, in the media, and in the blogosphere has gone unchallenged for far too long. We criticize their misconduct one day, yet we smile at them and act as if it never happened the next. We’re so eager to demonstrate our reasonableness, our maturity that we keep reaching out to the other side, no matter what they do. It never seems to occur to us that they might be giving us a glimpse at their souls.

But these cretins—so consumed by hatred and bias, so devoid of morality, that they’ll exploit murder to hurt their political enemies—bring shame upon their professions and upon our country. Treating these smears like they’re sincere concerns legitimizes them, and guarantees that we’ll see more of this defamation in the future.

Enough. It’s time to stop pretending the participants of this smear campaign are decent people who’re simply misguided. It’s time to stop extending olive branches. To stop pretending it’s respectable to cast votes for them.  To stop giving their blogs and publications our attention and business.

And given the topic, let me be perfectly clear, to preempt anyone who would consider twisting my words against me: this is not a call to violence. The only just response to even evil speech is to exercise your own freedoms of speech and free association. To respond with physical force would be a failure of our human capacity for self-control, a violation of our foes’ God-given, unalienable rights, a betrayal of our respect for the rule of law as citizens in a free society, and a vote of no confidence in our ability to solve our problems through the public discourse and the democratic process.

This much is true: American political discourse is sick. How we react to the murder-exploiters among us will reveal whether or not we’re finally serious about healing it.

* UPDATE: The second paragraph has been modified from its original version to more accurately reflect the caveats made by some of those named. In the comments, Scott Feldstein requests that I remove his name entirely. That's not going to happen, but his complaint did convince me that this change was in order, because I value truth and accuracy regardless of which political agendas they advance or hinder.

Monday, January 10, 2011

New on NewsReal - Race Police Turn on Roger Ebert Over Politically-Incorrect Tweets

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

The announced revisions of Mark Twain’s classic The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn—“replac[ing] the ‘N’ word with slave, ‘injun’ with Indian, and ‘half-breed’ with half blood”—have demonstrated that leftists don’t always practice what they preach when it comes to respecting artist’ creative work or sheltering children from controversial subject matter. Other leftists, however, will respond more consistently—and, if the controversy over Roger Ebert’s contribution to the debate is anything to go by, they’ll get pilloried by their own for doing so:
Ebert responded to the ‘Huck Finn’ announcement on Wednesday by tweeting to his 300,000-plus followers, “I’d rather be called a N***** than a Slave.”

The tweet set off a storm of heated feedback toward the influential critic, describing him as “disrespectful” and “ignorant.”

“Fair point, from some1 who’s likely to be called neither,” @urbanbohemian said.

Others accused Ebert of believing he’s allowed to take liberties with the word because his wife, Charlie “Chaz” Hammel-Smith, is black.
“R U OUT OF UR freakin head? jus cos ya wife is black dont give u the right to throw tht word around like its nothing. A*******” @iamichelle said.
Ebert retracted his statement Thursday by conceding that, as people like @urbanbohemian pointed out, he would never be called either word.
Ebert’s offense, I take it, is minimizing a slur whose full implications he as a white man can’t fully understand. True, Ebert doesn’t know what it’s like to endure such bigotry at all, much less have such experiences be a recurring part of daily life. But the observation that racial epithets can’t compare to actually being enslaved hardly implies that the word is “nothing”; indeed, the point seems so obviously true that no unique racial or cultural experience is necessary to understand it. Substitute the n-word for any number of racial, ethnic, cultural, or religious slurs—are any of them worse than being a slave?

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Rave Reviews 6!


Colorful complaints, lousy aims, illiterate corrections, nasty insinuations, blind rage, character assassination, toxic blends of arrogance and stupidity…you’ll find it all in the latest installment of Rave Reviews!

I’m not too impressed with Calvin Cheeseburger’s ability to analyze this situation. If this is what passes for a Hillsdale College intellect I am doubly disappointed. Please Horowitz, I know you are trying to help reform our crappy universities but why do you have a lot of these Jr. Jim Bobs writing this juvenile crap on your website? - iopscusa

All your response has done is prove that you are nothing more than an angry and horribly brainwashed blogger who makes false accusations and assumptions of anyone who would dare to question your indoctrination. - Aaron

You’re full of crap Calvin. -  Newsman

The people I wish to sway will not be convinced by prim chiding from doe-eyed innocents like Calvin Freiburger — however well-mannered they may be. If I am to be credible and effective, I must have something far more substantive to give them. -  Lori Heine

What astounds me is your ignorance, Really, really ignorant. But maybe I am wrong, perhaps you are one of the 821 people in america that have a passport, and quite worthy of opinion. - Anonymous

That's just stupid. I would think that Mr. Freiburger would know better than to make such a silly statement. - LucasMcCain  

And behold a person who is willing to give up liberty for safety and deserves neither.Joseph Veca

I read the exchange you had with him and you didn't lay a glove on him. You obsession with Ron Paul and trying to prove he's a bigot is laughable. This entire episode is about endless war for Israel. Israel Israel Israel. Our great ally Israel. - WilliamRD

All you're references do is force me to go through pages of biased writing to click on links that lead to another bias website for 'proof'. I understand if you're opinions aren't swayed but how can you not admit that you are wrong on his opinions. If you don't like his policy that's youre choice but you basically walk around spreading lies/half truths about Paul. - AlwaysTurning

…young Mr. Freiburger has become unhinged…what else would you expect from somebody who proudly displays Dr. Laura on his blogroll?  - conimbricenses

Did you actually write a smear article against a 75-year-old grandfather who's done nothing more than stick to his principles for 30 years in Congress? …Have you ever met the guy? You'd be embarrassed by your words. You've never met less of a "demagoge" in your life. Ron Paul never asked to be a leader. For 28 years of his career (after being an OB/GYN for most of his life) he's preached and practiced with humility and humbleness the same philosophy of liberty in a sea of corrupt statists... all without a fan club, all without the Tea Party. Calvin, where will YOU be when you're 75? Fighting tooth and nail to restore liberty to Americans? Or will you just be sniping from your wheelchair on a war glorifying blog? - pimpfresh

By telling such blatant lies over and over again (and expanding them in some cases), you are actually smearing yourself. - deleted4026005

You're just a Big-Government Republican; the level of taxation doesn't seem to be an issue with you: rather, who gets to divvy up the stolen dough. - efffrem

I am just commenting on your in ability to understand his clear comments about issues previously discussed, which appears from some of your past comments to be a common theme. -  kwg1

More excuses for you personal attacks is another sign of a immature person. - aspacia

This is becoming too heartbreaking to read. - Jenn Q. Public

I don't think you yourself was being level-headed and rational - but rather immune to sound argument. You never got it. Sorry. - Skandinav

You know you’re not allowed near any of my female friends or relatives now, right? -  Rob Taylor

Stop pretending that you are anything but a Christian Talibanist. Liberty offends you…You may think that you have me dead (I'm quite sure that the words "to rights" was an after thought) but all you have done is shown yourself repeatedly to despise liberty. - Reason_For_Life

So... why are you afraid of a group whose conservative street cred has been proven time and again, participating in a conservative event? Why do you fixate on the "gay" part of the phrase "gay conservatives"? - Jesse Hathaway

…a college kid in desperate search for a sinecure at some think tank in an attempt to prove his bonafides… - bvw

…totally deranged, neoconservative moonbattery…Calvin Freiburger and people like him are very confused, and very misinformed. - Wesley Messamore

People like Calvin are hacks and very far from anything intellectual. The most in depth literature he has probably ever read was probably something by Bill O'Reilly or Ann Coulture. - David Hazi  

The author is a complete fool.  I'm not just saying that because I disagree with him.  It's because that's what people who know Calvin on a personal level have told me. - Mike Phillips

…mean-spirited bozo… - Hec Jervae

Calvin - you're a hack! Get a fuckin' real job - join the Marines and head to Afgahnistan's Kandahar Province for an 18 month tour. Calvin - are you buying gold/silver yet? Calvin - are you learning Chinese? - wailtd

You can feel his intensity and anger just reading his words. He's pathetic. A waste of time. -  theCL

Hey Calvin why dont you go pop your mouth back on dick cheneys tit, stop pretending people read your crummy blog and get over it. not all of us get a raging hard on when thinking about pre-emptive nuking 3rd world countries. - calvin=idiot

pussy. - Frank

You would do well to mind your own hypocrisy before you begin to critique others'…Mr. Freiburger, to state this gently, you come across as a bully. - Dustin

In short, he reads like a liberal troll with a conservative ideology. I cannot imagine a worse combination of intellectual bankruptcy. - Lloyd

…overall it's hopeless to try an make any type of point to this man… -  Kyle

Calvin Freiburger Online: Shouldn’t you be reading?
The views expressed on this weblog are strictly my own, and do not necessarily reflect those of any other websites, blogs, campaigns, publications, or organizations where I have been employed and/or my work has been featured, nor do they necessarily reflect the views of any individuals employed by or otherwise affiliated with such groups.