Friday, April 27, 2012

Rave Reviews 7!

It's been a while since I've done one of these, but better late than never, right? Here's another delightful roundup of my more disagreeable readers' greatest hits. Accusations of stupidity, evil, and mental disorders from faceless commenters and prominent bloggers alike, you'll find it all here! Let's get started:

…all the political credibility of a geranium, a not very bright geranium. - Tbone

Discussion is impossible with you. Scott Feldstein

That's the dumbest analogy I've ever heard. - Jaynie59

No bumper sticker pasting here young boy .. just an old guy that is pissed off at your  "holier  than thou attitude".... like you know more about a woman's body  than she does... what kind of up bringing  did you have? - Walldodger

God you pro-Life people are really annoying me. - Alex

I think you may be a bit slow. - MiketheMarine

I was a Democrat until 2003, Calvin Freeburger. You want to be more careful about the sneers that you throw around. - Moe Lane

Pretty stupid…This whole story is salted with idiocy. - streiff

The important thing is you've found a way to pretend to be superior to women to choose to abort their pregnancies. - Jfabiani

Calvin is an inveterate and pathetic troll. He posts crap here that is poorly, if at all, researched, can’t assemble a cogent argument and puts up “defenses” like the one you just responded to. The guy is a simple minded fool or a raving idiot. Pick one. You’re wasting your time attempting to actually engage him. - mbecker908

Calvin, what a load of unmitigated crap…Too bad your understanding of the Constitution is so bad. - retire05

Maybe it is time to realize you live in a democracy where everybody of every conviction has a voice and a vote. - BizarreEntity

Maybe when you grow up a bit we can have an adult conversation. Until then, I'll pray for you. - proALLlife

You sound like my rapist.  Cope with it, or change your attitude towards women. - Sorites Paradox

What about Calvin Freiburger's own twisting and ignoring the Constitution when it's convenient? - britney12

I'm ashamed to know that you are from Fond du Lac, where I live. You've written a lot of wacko crap before this, and I'm sure you'll continue to do so, but you're a joke. - Hhhhhh

This is what happens when neocon miscreants comment on what they appreciate least, namely the desired morality of the civil society. - NJ_Patriot

Now, the author of the article is not a conservative, he is a Neocon. Neocons are warmongers, more specifically warmongers for Israel, at the cost of bankrupting the United States. - edw987

this is the most poorly written editorial I've ever read. My God…Oh, the person who wrote this article is a man. No wonder he has no clue what he is talking about. - Guest

You will never be half man or do half the things in defense of Liberty as has Dr. Paul. Don’t embarrass yourself and blog about Ron Paul. You are too naive, young and stupid. - Illuminoti

…trash… - acat

Why don't you "Man Up" and grow up while you're at it and realize that we are only here for a while and then it's over : Do you really want to spend your life being a hater and a bitter bigot? Get over yourself, why don't you? - USAgloria

…ignorant pride and a false moral superiority… - Robyn

Calvin, Buddy, I know you hate being challenged on issues and I know it's hard to process information that goes against your deeply-held worldview. - George

Apparantly Mr. Frieberger is either a shill for the globalist or he bought into the left/right falacy. - andrewhiu

Your a stupid, nazi idiot, you know nothing about politics and your lucky i dont take a big fat dump on your mothers chest. Shes a stupid skank and so are you thoughts, i would be ashamed if i were you, you scumbag american rat. You smell shit and you look like an asshole with out a vagina, […] stupid nigger fuck - Unknown

Come out and say you're a liberal already. - Anonymous

By the look of you...you will never have sex with anyone much less a woman so why do you care? As a woman I can have an opinion...you...you are just a douche bag dork trying to make friends through all of this. So sad. Go get um acne boy!!! - Anonymous

You’re not pro-life. You might be anti-abortion but you’re not pro-life, you don’t care about the life or the culture. You care about getting retweeted and being stroked by other shut-ins than you do about the culture of death America has produced. - Rob Taylor

Is this serious? You're an embarrassment to Fond du Lac, this country, and whatever college decided to give you a political science degree. - Apparently anyone can get a political science degree

you sir are a fool. You do not have to vite for every office listed on on a ballot Stay in School... It's gonna take a while to learn the Stupid out of you. - Anonymous

Does your mommy also beg you to go out and find a girl? Or has she just accepted the fact that with a face like yours, your obvious lack of man'esque type personality, and your constant crying that her son will soon join his true group, GoPride? - Still in anonymous world

sometimes your hurtful comments towards others just makes me cringe. - Jdjdjeeeeerrrryyy

You really don’t get the private property thing, do you? I’m not surprised. - NightTwister

You obviously lack comprehension skills. - Bill S

You’ve repeatedly been warned to follow directions. You clearly can’t. I’ve had it. - Neil Stevens

This one looks like a serial killer - jakeofalltrades

We bash Muslims for their treatment of women but you have shown yourself to not be much better Calvin. - Letscook1

So you get an D for effort. - Oran Switzer

Calvin I wish you a good night as you crawl back in your tent at what ever OWS protest you are at. - izoneguy

Suggestion, instead of a worthless hit piece, post a diary of the good points of your preferred candidate. Oh, wait, I don’t think it would go over to good if you posted a diary promoting Obama. - gekster

…total and complete hypocritical piece of garbage - Scope

So, while you have been pontificating from your ivory tower of intellectualism….I have been looking at this from a “reality” prospective. - carolynr

I’m beginning to suspect that he may suffer from Asberger’s  or some other syndrome that prevents him from picking up on higher order social clues.  Poor Calvin. - Sparky

You are a repulsive scumbag. - Wade Felty

New on Live Action - Kathleen Sebelius Admits She Didn't Bother to Ensure Contraception Mandate Was Constitutional

My latest Live Action post:
Courtesy of PJ Media, here’s a revelation that’s somehow nowhere near as shocking as it ought to be. Yesterday on Capitol Hill, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius admitted that she didn’t bother to check the Constitution or judicial precedent before going ahead with the Obama Administration’s contraception mandate.

Asked by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) what tests of legal interpretation she used to determine that the mandate struck the right balance with religious liberty, Sebelius answered:
Congressman, I’m not a lawyer and I don’t pretend to understand the nuances of the constitutional balancing tests […] I am not going to wade into constitutional law, I’m talking about the fact that we are implementing a law that was passed by the Congress, signed by the President, which directed our department to develop a package of preventive health services for women. We have done just that with the advice of the Institute of Medicine, and promulgated that rule.
Note well that the combination of congressional votes, presidential signatures, and the opinion of the Institute of Medicine amount to somewhere between nada and zilch when it comes to constitutional law.
Read the rest at Live Action.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

New on Live Action - Rethinking the Intersection of Church, State, and the Right to Life

My latest Live Action post:
When pro-aborts can’t win the argument with biological shell games and character assassination, they usually resort to disqualifying pro-life opinions from consideration by labeling them violations of America’s separation of church and state. So it’s worth spending some time on a broader look at the way abortion politics intertwine with religion.

Contrary to the insistence of abortion defenders, the case against abortion is not exclusively theological. It has two core factors: the empirical observation that individual human life begins at fertilization, and the moral/philosophical proposition that all human beings have an equal claim to live.

Clearly, the former point has nothing to do with religion. Admitting that zygotes, embryos, and fetuses are live human beings is simple biology. If protecting the right to life after birth isn’t “imposing religion,” then neither is concluding that such shared humanity entitles the pre-born to be included in that same protection. Indeed, pro-lifers are just advocating for a broader, more consistent application of the general right-to-life principle the rest of society already accepts, albeit selectively.
Read the rest at Live Action.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New at Live Action - Bogus Church-State Ruling Defunds Bishops' Aid to Sex-Trafficking Victims

My latest Live Action post:
As if we didn’t have enough on our plate with the battle over forced contraception coverage, the Obama administration is currently embroiled in another religious fight, this time with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops over federal aid money for sex-trafficking victims.

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act provides money to fund medical and mental health services for victims of sex trafficking, and since 2006, the bishops have been allowed to limit the money they receive to contractors who are uninvolved in abortion. But in its infinite wisdom and compassion, the current administration has decided to revoke the bishops’ grant money entirely rather than keep funding their charitable work. Now a federal judge has ruled against the bishops:
Although the nation’s Catholic bishops said the ACLU lawsuit is “without merit and an affront to religious liberty,” U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns ruled on March 23 that the government’s accommodation of the decision not to make abortion referrals is unconstitutional. Stearns, a Massachusetts judge, said the government violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment “insofar as they delegated authority to a religious organization to impose religiously based restrictions on the expenditure of taxpayer funds, and thereby impliedly endorsed the religious beliefs of the USCCB and the Catholic Church.”
Stearns also said is not about forcing the bishops to violate their pro-life views but about “the limits of the government’s ability to delegate to a religious institution the right to use taxpayer money to impose its beliefs on others (who may or may not share them).”
As a matter of policy, HHS’s decision is indefensible. It’s disgusting enough when the government funds abortion directly, but to throw out all of an organization’s charitable work, which is achieving the stated goal of helping sex-trafficking victims, simply because that organization’s members don’t want to be complicit in abortion?
Read the rest at Live Action.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

New at Live Action - "I Don't Want This Child": NY Times Columnist Unintentionally Reveals the Cultural Corruption of Abortion

My latest Live Action post:
Abortion does more than kill; it corrupts. It’s impossible to participate in or support the practice without its twisted morality rubbing off.

Case in point: on April 14, New York Times columnist Susan Heath wrote about an allegedly better time in American history, when she was able to get an abortion without fear of bombings, excessive regulation of “constitutionally protected procedures,” or slut-shaming.

For the record, she’s wrong on each point – anti-abortion violence is practiced only by an infinitesimal sliver of abortion opponents and overwhelmingly condemned by the rest; abortion is judicially protected but not protected by the actual text of the Constitution; and regrettable though it was that Rush Limbaugh called contraception activist Sandra Fluke a “slut” (which he apologized for), it had nothing to do with abortion, but rather Fluke’s testimony implying that college students were having so much sex they were going broke, which she demanded be alleviated through government intervention.

She goes on to describe why in 1978, after becoming pregnant with her fifth child, she decided she simply didn’t want another – “I’ve got other things to do, and I don’t have it in me to be a good enough mother to a fifth child” – and how nice it was to get an abortion without the torment of “pickets shouting at me” or counselors “showing me pictures of fetuses.” No muss, no fuss, no “judgment.”

Good for her. Too bad her son or daughter wasn’t so lucky.
Read the rest at Live Action.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The "Great One" Has a Problem

For me, one of the biggest casualties of this election season is the respect I once held for Mark Levin. Before, I saw him as the smart, fiercely-principled (if a little temperamental) conservative responsible for one of the most valuable books on my shelves, Men in Black. But as the GOP primary battle has worn out its welcome, so has Levin. Through a series of radio outbursts, mistreated callers, and snide Facebook comments in which he exaggerates Mitt Romney's flaws, understates the competitors' flaws, and viciously attacks anyone who shows the slightest sympathy for him, Levin has shown himself to be dishonest, obnoxious, and afflicted with a serious anger management problem.

Last night, while looking around to see if anyone else on the Right had noticed this, I came across two very interesting Weekly Standard posts from 2010. In the first one, John McCormack reveals how Levin attacked his reporting on Christine O'Donnell's gender discrimination lawsuit against the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, and after a few emails asking for elaboration, Levin simply replied, "Lol. I think you're an ass. You can quote me." In the second one, Stephen Hayes responds to Levin's false claim that he or the Standard was in the tank for Mike Castle, and Levin's petty whining that Hayes didn't mention that Levin endorsed Rubio early. Read them both in full; they're quite illuminating.

The Great One? More like the Fake One. This is not somebody conservatives should be indulging or looking up to.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

New at Live Action - Why "Viability" Is a Meaningless Standard for Human Rights

My latest Live Action post:
Viability. For those trying to justify abortion, it almost seems like a magic word, the quality that singlehandedly determines whether or not a baby has any rights. If a baby can’t survive outside his or her mother’s womb, they say, it doesn’t count as a real person; it’s just a part of the mother’s body.

But like all magic, the viability standard is a mere trick, a rhetorical sleight-of-hand directing the audience’s attention away from the truly relevant facts about a baby’s humanity. In truth, “viability” has no real ethical relevance.

How could it? Surely the protection of the womb and the nourishment of the umbilical cord can’t be morally significant, since these needs – shelter, nutrients, oxygen – are not at all different from the needs of adults; only the delivery method is different. None of us are “viable” without external aid of some sort.
Read the rest at Live Action.

Monday, April 16, 2012

New at Live Action - Bachmann-Bashing ThinkProgress Fails Biology 101

My latest Live Action post:
If you write for the Health section of a prominent website, shouldn’t you have a working knowledge of basic human biology? Apparently not if that website is ThinkProgress, where Rebecca Leber claims to have caught pro-life Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann in an inconsistency about women’s health.

Discussing health care on MSNBC, Bachmann said:
What we want is women to be able to make their own choices [...] We want women to make their own choices in healthcare. You see that’s the lie that happens under Obamacare. The President of the United States effectively becomes a health care dictator. Women don’t need anyone to tell them what to do on health care. We want women to have their own choices, their own money, that way they can make their own choices for the future of their own bodies. [Emphasis in original.]
Leber questions the “irony” of Bachmann’s answer, given the “GOP war on women targeting Planned Parenthood, abortion services, and contraception coverage”:
Bachmann doesn’t believe a women’s right to choose applies in all cases, though, promising on the presidential campaign trail that in addition to supporting an abortion ban, she wouldn’t allow exceptions for rape or for the woman’s health.
It seems pro-aborts have been misusing terminology so long that they can no longer recognize its proper use.
Read the rest at Live Action.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Oh, Great: Disgruntled Anti-Romney Holdouts Think 1 Branch of Government Is Enough to Save America

At least two grassroots conservative leaders are still lukewarm about Mitt Romney:
“The tea party is not going to coalesce around Romney,” Judson Phillips told The Daily Caller on Thursday. “Most of us will vote for Romney, but we will not be out there with signs for him or in his campaign.”

Phillips said that surveys conducted on the Tea Party Nation website have shown that about 25 percent of tea party activists say they won’t vote for Romney in the general election [...] 

“While that number will change as we get closer to the election, Romney has a huge problem with the conservative base of the GOP,” Phillips said. “He had better do something about that ASAP or he won’t have to worry about that moving to the middle nonsense. Without the GOP base, he is a lost cause.”

“Most of us,” he added, “are focusing on Senate and House races now.”

Another conservative leader, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, struck a similar note after former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum dropped out of the presidential race this week.

“It’s difficult for us to back a candidate our constituents don’t believe in and aren’t excited about,” Perkins told CNN, suggesting that social conservatives will instead focus their efforts on helping Republicans win control of the U.S. Senate in 2012.
I would like to remind Mr. Phillips and Mr. Perkins of something called the veto. It lets presidents kill legislation they don't like, even if a majority of Congress voted yes. Super-majorities of both the House and Senate are required to overcome a veto. I hope as much as anyone that Republicans keep the House and retake the Senate, but it's far from guaranteed, with GOP super-majorities in both chambers even less so.

I would like to remind Mr. Phillips and Mr. Perkins that the president has much more autonomy in foreign policy and national defense than in domestic policy. While Congress has a certain degree of oversight, it can't force him to act against Iran if necessary. It can't force him to pursue missile defense. It can't force him to rebuild the military. It can't force him to secure the border.

I would like to remind Mr. Phillips and Mr. Perkins that there still exists in America a massive regulatory and administrative apparatus through which the president can sidestep Congress entirely and implement much of his policy vision.

I would like to remind Mr. Phillips and Mr. Perkins that a Republican Senate can't confirm good judges if a Republican president isn't there to nominate them.

Of course Romney needs to work to reassure conservatives. But last time I checked, you two are leaders, too. Where's your responsibility to remind your members of Romney's positives, Obama's negatives, and the stakes of this election? What's the purpose of conservative grassroots organizations: to defeat the Left's vision for America, or to indulge temper tantrums that some of their members didn't get their way?

Hillsdale's Wenzel vs. Schlueter on Conservatism: My 2 Cents

Whenever two Hillsdale College professors get into an argument, everybody wins. At the Public Discourse, economics professor Nikolai Wenzel makes the case that “conservatism is misguided, arbitrary, inconsistent, and ultimately inimical to liberty and human flourishing; in response, philosophy professor Nathan Schlueter argues that Wenzel mischaracterizes conservatism and misunderstands its conception of liberty.

I didn’t have much interaction with Dr. Schlueter during my time at Hillsdale, but by all accounts he’s a marvelous professor. I did take Dr. Wenzel’s introductory course on Political Economy, and can personally attest that it was equal parts informative and intellectually challenging. Were I to undertake the difficult task of ranking Hillsdale’s professors, Dr. Wenzel would unquestionably make my top five.

I say this to make clear that the libertarian-conservative debate couldn’t ask for more formidable combatants, and there is precious little I could possibly add to the philosophical side of the exchange. However, in defending conservative philosophy, Dr. Schlueter’s response didn’t cover my main objection to Dr. Wenzel’s argument: whether his characterization of conservatism matches what we see in practice.

His chief objection seems to be that, rather than being truly committed to liberty, conservatism is all too comfortable with the “enlightened few” using government to impose “private preferences” on the individual. But Dr. Wenzel doesn’t elaborate on how that translates to anti-liberty policies. I’d like to explore just how illiberal conservatism’s non-libertarian causes actually are.

Abortion—It never ceases to amaze me that libertarians and pro-lifers quarrel as much as they do. The rationale for legally protecting unborn life is exactly the same as the rationale for protecting adult life: that life is one of the individual rights that justice demands government protect. Both groups have the exact same conception of liberty; it is a separate question—are the unborn people?—which leads conservatives to look at the evidence and conclude that fetuses deserve to be grouped with the individuals government already protects. Libertarians should either concede that abortion is a liberty issue and join forces with us, or explain why the unborn don’t have the same individual rights as everyone else.

Marriage—As Jennifer Roback Morse argues, civil marriage is “society’s institutional structure for protecting these legitimate rights and interests of children.” Through incentives and obligations, it binds couples together to give their offspring a stable home with a mother and a father. The rationale for limiting this union to man-woman couples is that men and women bring unique sets of characteristics to parenthood, and children need both sets for an ideal upbringing.  Further, there’s nothing coercive about it—obligations are only placed on those who voluntarily agree to them by marrying, and no gay Americans are denied their rights to form relationships, live together, have sex, hold marriage ceremonies, consider themselves married, share property, visit one another in hospitals, make medical decisions for one another, or receive domestic partner benefits from employers who wish to offer them. Current law could easily be revised to extend the incidents of marriage (hospital visitation, bereavement leave, etc.) to gay couples without redefining marriage.

Religion—In controversies over religion in public, conservatives are almost exclusively on defense, warding off legal assaults on benign religious expression in public schools and benign religious monuments on public property. They are pushing against coercion, not trying to impose it. Granted, conservatives also take pains to remind people of America’s Judeo-Christian heritage, but they do so out of Washington’s belief that liberty cannot survive without the “indispensable support” of religion. Further, this doesn’t translate into coercive policies, either; merely affirmation of America’s religious roots through symbolism, ceremony, and discussion.

Drugs—While some conservatives may base their opposition to drug legalization in health concerns or antipathy for drug culture, the more overriding rationale is that drugs warp one’s mind and dull one’s senses to the point where he becomes a threat to the rights of others. If government is essentially the collective exercise of the individual right to self-defense, then people are well within their rights to protect themselves from drug-related crimes and accidents via drug prohibition. It’s worth remembering that John Locke himself believed man’s power over his own body was not absolute, that liberty didn’t cover the right to enslave or destroy one’s self:
[…] a man, not having the power of his own life, cannot, by compact, or his own consent, enslave himself to any one, nor put himself under the absolute, arbitrary power of another, to take away his life, when he pleases […] though man in that state have an uncontroulable liberty to dispose of his person or possessions, yet he has not liberty to destroy himself […]
Other—Dr. Schlueter’s reply notes that there are individual-harm components to pornography and prostitution, as well. Here, though, let’s ask a different question: how many conservatives—even devout social conservatives—rank these among their chief concerns? How many are really politically active because of porn or prostitution? To judge conservatism based on a few conservatives’ fixation on these issues is just as silly as judging libertarianism based on a few libertarians’ fixation on copyright laws.

Surely there are some conservatives out there to whom Dr. Wenzel’s critique applies, but are they really numerous enough to warrant the attention he’s given them? There’s no conservative push to turn the reins of government and society over to an “enlightened few” dispensing virtue edicts.

By and large, conservatives are every bit as live-and-let-live as libertarians, their understanding of the cutoff between private preference and public concern every bit as healthy. In standing for life, marriage, and traditional culture, conservatives can be trusted to leave liberty every bit as secure—indeed, even more so—than they found it.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pro-Life Hero Jill Stanek Endorses Mitt Romney

It's been a good day for Mitt Romney, as he won the pro-life seal of approval from the National Right to Life Committee and the Susan B. Anthony List, but for my money the biggest get is Jill Stanek's endorsement. In a great post, Stanek stresses the importance of embracing pro-life converts and reminds people that a Romney presidency holds much more pro-life promise than the naysayers suggest:
There are also many intangibles a pro-life president brings to the table. Just imagine a president whose Justice Department allows states to defund Planned Parenthood without suing, for instance?

But as to the most consequential duty of our next president, choosing 2-3 Supreme Court justices, Romney has already started down the path he promised. In August 2011 Romney formed a Judicial Advisory Committee, with two of the best pro-life minds agreeing to serve as chairpersons: Judge Robert Bork and Professor Mary Ann Glendon, former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See.

As for lingering pro-life complaints against Romney, Glendon was part of a group of pro-life leaders from Massachusetts, which also included Kris Mineau, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Family Institute, and Ray Ruddy, President of the Gerard Health Foundation (which biannually awards Life Prizes), who corrected the record in a statement in January, posted on LifeNews.com:
Governor Romney vetoed bills to provide access to the so-called “morning-after pill,” which is an abortifacient, as well as a bill providing for expansive, embryo-destroying stem cell research.  He vetoed the latter bill in 2005 because he could not “in good conscience allow this bill to become law.”
We do not agree with the claims that Gov. Romney is responsible for tax payer funded abortion under the Massachusetts health care system. That blame lies solely on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court who ruled in 1981 that the Massachusetts Constitution required payment for abortions for Medicaid-eligible women. In 1997, the Court reaffirmed its position that a state-subsidized plan must offer “medically necessary abortions.”
In 2006, under Governor Romney’s leadership, Massachusetts’ public schools began to offer a classroom program on abstinence from the faith-based Boston group Healthy Futures to middle school students.  Promoting the program, Governor Romney stated, “I’ve never had anyone complain to me that their kids are not learning enough about sex in school. However, a number of people have asked me why it is that we do not speak more about abstinence as a safe and preventative health practice.”
We are aware of the 1994 comments of Senate candidate Romney, which have been the subject of much recent discussion.  While they are, taken by themselves, obviously worrisome to social conservatives including ourselves, they do not dovetail with the actions of Governor Romney from 2003 until now – and those actions have positively and demonstrably impacted the social climate of Massachusetts.
Since well before 2003, we have been laboring in the trenches of Massachusetts, fighting for the family values you and we share.  It is difficult work indeed – not for the faint of heart.  In this challenging environment, Governor Romney has proven that he shares our values, as well as our determination to protect them.
I agree with the sentiments express by Eric Scheidler, who wrote in an email (as a private citizen and not as Executive Director of Pro-Life Action League):
Now that Santorum is out, it’s this man’s opinion we all need to cowboy up and help Romney beat Obama.

And that starts, now, with avoiding all disparaging remarks about “holding one’s nose” and the like, which I’ve been seeing on Facebook these last few hours. From now on, I’m nothing but thrilled I’ve got a good man to rally behind, and I’ll leave it to Team Obama to make Romney look like anything less.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

ALERT: RedState Alters Diarists' Posts? UPDATE: Fixed UPDATE 2: Second Offense

UPDATE (4/12/12): This morning, I emailed Erick Erickson about this. I just heard back from him. He says he doesn't know how it happened, but it seems to be traceable back to someone with the same IP address. Most importantly, the post has been changed to its original form. Thanks to Erick for a quick response & resolution.

UPDATE 2 (4/22/12): A second post, another illicitly-added link to Erickson's Perry-boosting. Hmmmm:
GOProud’s stated support for marriage federalism is highly misleading.
ORIGINAL POST: While working on another article, I looked up this post on drug legalization I posted on July 28, 2011, in my now-defunct RedState diary, and noticed something odd in this sentence:
The far-left ex-president is in rare agreement with National Review, which on June 27 called the bill “an excellent first step” toward ending a war that has “curtailed personal freedom.”
The "National Review" hyperlink goes to a post by Erick Erickson, where passes along Ben Domenech's complaint that NR was biased toward Mitt Romney and had lost sight of conservative principles.

I didn't put it there.

That post is dated December 15, 2011. I had been banned on November 27.

Apparently somebody at RedState went back and snuck the link in. Was it a petty attempt to get back at me by putting something I disagreed with in my own writing? Or have they been doing this on a wider scale, spreading their material wherever they can without the diarists' knowledge or consent?

I have no idea, but it's certainly disturbing to see that RedState is no longer content with misleading writing and purging critics, and seems to have crossed the ethical line into manipulating the writing of others. Has anyone else - other bloggers, Eagle Publishing, anyone - picked up on what's been going on at RedState?

New at Live Action - What "Pro-Life" Does - and Doesn't - Mean

My latest Live Action post:
“If you’re so pro-life, where are you for people after they’re born?”

It’s a challenge pro-aborts routinely pose to pro-lifers, the implication being that our concern for the unborn must be insincere because we don’t support this or that government program allegedly meant to help the poor, sick, or otherwise disadvantaged.

That theory is currently on display in Nebraska, as Republican senators are sharply divided on a bill “that would fund prenatal care for babies whose mothers may be in the country illegally.” Pro-life Republican Gov. Dave Heineman has pledged to veto the legislation, while pro-life Republican Sen. Mike Flood supports it “because it’s pro-life.”
And that raises the question of what pro-life means.
Is it just pro-birth?
Does it extend to life after birth?
If you’re pro-life, can other issues rise to the level of a higher concern?
Needless to say, what our country should do about illegal immigration is far beyond the scope of a pro-life website, but clearing up whether there’s a pro-life component to this particular bill is simple enough.

“Pro-life” simply means “supporting legal protection for every human being’s right to life, regardless of one’s stage of development.” Whether we should allow people who’ve entered this country illegally to stay and whether we should tax some people to pay for the health care of others are important questions, but they rest upon separate principles and circumstances, such as the rule of law and cost to taxpayers. Answering “no” to either question may be correct or incorrect, but in no way does it violate the right to life of anyone who stood to gain from a “yes” decision. There is no pro-life conflict or inconsistency to be resolved.
Read the rest at Live Action.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Wisconsin Schools Are Doing Great. GOP Messaging? Not So Much

Today, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker released the following graph, based on data that the kind souls at the Wisconsin Education Association Council tried to hide from the public, on the condition of our state's public schools:
Reforms Working.png
In all four categories - teacher layoffs, class size, retention of extracurricular activities, and retention of fine arts and vocational programs - the teachers union's own data shows that a higher percentage of school districts are doing well (in two cases, a drastically higher percentage) under Walker's much-demonized collective bargaining reforms than not only the average for the previous decade, but for that category's best year in the previous decade.

Add that to what we've known for over a year about the benefits teachers will still enjoy under Act 10, not to mention the recent revelation that Wisconsin taxpayers still pay them more than do taxpayers of the surrounding states, and the whole point of the recall collapses. But a narrow majority of voters still say they'd vote Walker out of office.

How can that be? Simple: because the Republicans are doing a lousy job of informing the people. The Left is relentlessly pushing Big Union's lies through the schools, through the press, and through thuggery, and what advertising the Walker Campaign and the GOP have done in response barely even begins to compensate for the dishonesty.

Why isn't the above chart in full-page newspaper ads across the state? Why aren't the success stories from around the state on television every night? Why aren't graphic comparisons of public and private-sector benefits on billboards throughout Wisconsin? I fear our party leaders are putting far too much faith in talk radio and social media to do the educational heavy lifting for them, content that they can get away with simply fundraising, rallying the faithful, and preaching to the choir.

That's a recipe for disaster. The people we need to reach, the people who will make the difference come Election Day, aren't listening to Charlie Sykes or Mark Belling. They don't have Twitter feeds for conservative reports to show up in. They aren't glued to the blogosphere. The only way Republicans can get the truth to them is by taking it to where they're going to be: the commercial breaks of American Idol, the pages of their local paper, the airwaves of their favorite music stations, the billboards along the highways they take to work.

Comforting though it might be for conservatives to think otherwise, talk radio is not equal time. The blogosphere hasn't created a fundamentally more informed populace. And Scott Walker's personal goodness will not be enough to save his job in independent voters' eyes. If we lose this thing, Wisconsin's Republican elite will have nobody to blame but themselves.

Friday, April 6, 2012

New at Live Action - Is the WI Pro-Life Community to Blame for Planned Parenthood Arsonist?

My latest Live Action post:
Francis Grady, the 50-year-old Wisconsin man who set fire to a Planned Parenthood clinic in Grand Chute, Wisconsin, is pleading guilty to his crime, bringing the mystery that began Sunday night to a relatively quick close:
The criminal complaint indicates police say Grady used a hammer to break a window, and poured gasoline from a plastic bottle to start the fire.
After being arrested, the complaint states Grady admitted to officers, “I lit up the clinic.”
His motive for what he did? He said “because they’re killing babies there.”
Talking Points Memo reports that authorities are now investigating whether Grady had any prior involvement with the Wisconsin pro-life movement:
Grand Chute Police Chief Greg Peterson said investigators in the case learned that Grady may have been involved in past protests at the office. The information was so far unconfirmed, Peterson said, but it is being looked at closely by the team of local and federal investigators handling the case.
“There was some indication that surfaced at some point that he has been involved in some of the demonstrations,” Peterson told TPM. But the chief described the information as coming from “someone who didn’t have direct knowledge,” so there was still more work to be done.
If Grady was passionate enough about abortion to attempt arson at an abortion clinic, then I’d be more surprised if he didn’t attend a pro-life demonstration or two. But the significance of that would be what, exactly? Whenever you attend any decent-sized rally or protest, odds are you’ll have in-depth interaction with only a few people.
Read the rest at Live Action.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

So What's This About Muskets and the Commerce Clause?

In their desperation to make ObamaCare's individual mandate not seem blatantly illegal, liberals have taken to citing a 1792 law requiring Americans to purchase muskets as proof that they're not stretching the Commerce Clause beyond the Founders' intent. Too bad for them that Randy Barnett at Volokh nuked that argument over a month ago:
5. At the hearing, Professor Dellinger mentioned that Congress had once passed a law requiring individual male citizens to provide themselves with muskets, gear and uniforms of a certain specification. I believe Professor Dellinger was referring to the Militia Act of 1792, which required all able-bodied male citizens, 18 years of age or older, to be enrolled in a militia and provide themselves with certain supplies for that service. 

a. Do you believe Congress most likely relied on its Commerce Clause powers in passing that statute?

Congress was relying on its Article I, section 8 power “To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States . . . ” The militia power, and the duty of a citizen to serve, pre-existed the formation of national government.

b. Do you believe the Militia Act of 1792 would have been a permissible exercise of Congress’ authority if it were based solely on Congress’ Commerce Clause powers?

It would not.

c. In your testimony, you alluded to jury duty, selective service registration and several other actions the federal government requires of each individual citizen. You described these as traditionally-recognized requirements that were necessary for the continued function of the government itself. In 1792, the United States did not have a permanent standing army. Do you think service in the militia was among those traditionally-recognized requirements necessary for the continued function of government? 

Without question, it was considered a fundamental duty of citizenship. Congress is now seeking to add an new and unprecedented duty of citizenship to those which have traditionally been recognized: the duty to engage in economic activity when Congress deems it convenient to its regulation of interstate commerce. And the rationales offered to date for such a duty would extend as well to the performance of any action, whether economic or not, when Congress deems it convenient to the exercise of its power over interstate commerce. The recognition of so sweeping a duty would fundamentally alter the relationship of American citizens to the government of the United States.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New at Live Action - States Burn Through Cash Defending Pro-Life Laws from Sore Losers with Lawyers

My latest Live Action post:
Though the moral cost of abortion is rightly the primary focus of pro-life activists, it’s also worth noting that the “right to choose” and its various penumbras impose a more literal cost on society as well. The Kansas City Star reports that the state of Kansas has paid almost $597,000 this year to defend pro-life laws against legal assault:
The office says it paid nearly $317,000 to Foulston Siefken, a Wichita firm helping defend a budget provision denying federal family planning dollars for non-abortion services to Planned Parenthood. The group has a federal lawsuit against the measure.
The attorney general’s office paid almost $177,000 to Thompson, Ramsdell & Qualseth, of Lawrence, to help defend health and safety regulations for abortion providers. Two Kansas City-area physicians challenged the rules first in federal court and then in state court.
The same law firm also received nearly $104,000 for work in a federal lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union against a law restricting private insurance coverage for elective abortions.
This is insane. There is no reason why states should be legally compelled to accept federal taxpayer money for abortion providers. There is no reason why states shouldn’t be able to prefer to contract with medical service providers who aren’t involved with abortion. And especially considering how many government regulations we tolerate without litigation in everyand I do mean every – other aspect of our lives, there is no reason abortion clinics or insurance coverage regulations should stand out as grounds for legal conflict.
Read the rest at Live Action.

I Voted For.......

.....Mitt Romney. It was a close call - I didn't make up my mind until after getting in the car to head down to my polling place - but ultimately, one consideration outweighed the others: I want this primary over. I want conservatives and Republicans to stop fighting amongst themselves and start focusing on Barack Obama. The wounds from this fight run too deep, and what advantages Rick Santorum might have over Romney as the nominee aren't, in my view, drastic enough to justify prolonging the struggle any longer. Defeating Obama is going to be tough enough; let's cut the infighting and get to work on it.

Monday, April 2, 2012

New at Live Action: Partial-Birth Abortion Defender Claims Phone-Calling Protestors Are More Offensive Than Killing Babies

My latest Live Action post:
The abortion crowd has so much invested in the narrative that pro-lifers are bullies that finding an actual example of pro-life misbehavior to exploit must feel like an early Christmas present. Washington Post columnist Petula Dvorak tells the tale of Todd Stave, the landlord of a Maryland abortion clinic where partial-birth abortions were performed by the notorious LeRoy Carhart, who’s had enough of the harassment anti-abortion protestors have allegedly subjected him to:
[H]is tormentors crossed the line last fall when a big group showed up at his daughter’s middle school on the first day of classes and again at back-to-school night. They had signs displaying his name and contact information as well as those gory images of the fetuses.
‘What parent wants to have that conversation with an 11-year-old on the first day of school?’ he fumed.
Soon after that, the harassing calls started coming to his home. By the dozens, at all hours.
Stave, however, didn’t take this lying down:
He began to take down the names and phone numbers of people who made unwanted calls. And he gave the information to his friends and asked them to call these folks back.
‘In a very calm, very respectful voice, they said that the Stave family thanks you for your prayers,’ he said. ‘They cannot terminate the lease, and they do not want to. They support women’s rights.’
This started with a dozen or so friends, and then it grew. Soon, more than a thousand volunteers were dialing.
If they could find the information, Stave’s supporters would ask during the callbacks how the children in the family were doing and mention their names and the names of their schools. ‘And then,’ Stave said, ‘we’d tell them that we bless their home on such and such street,’ giving the address.
The family of a protester who called Stave’s home could get up to 5,000 calls in return.
Obviously, harassing a man’s children crosses the decency line, no matter the cause. And if a call to his home was truly threatening, I’m not about to get worked up over Stave turning the tables on that caller.

But looking up their children's names and schools?
Read the rest at Live Action.
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