Friday, August 31, 2012

"Who's more repulsive than Todd Akin"

Jeff Shallit, one of the duller knives in the lefty-atheist drawer, asks "Who's more repulsive than Todd Akin?"

As you might guess, Shallit picked a Christian apologist-- William Lane Craig-- who has come to Akin's defense about the Republican Senate candidate's statement about the likelihood of pregnancy from rape.

In case you forget the details of Akin's statement, I posted on it here

So to answer Dr. Shallit's rhetorical question, here are two people who are more repulsive than Todd Akin:


Actually sexually assaulted women and then slandered them in court and in the press; used a 22-year-old White House intern as Presidential blow-up doll and then dragged her reputation through the mud and then lied about it under oath and had his law license stripped by the Arkansas Supreme Court; has been credibly accused of the rape of  Juanita Broaddrick. Elected President by liberal Democrats twice. 

Actually killed a young woman by getting drunk, driving his car off a bridge, and leaving the woman trapped in the car for hours to drown while he sobered up and called his lawyers and political advisors in order to save his political career. Re-elected Senator by liberal Democrats for decades.  

Actually, there's a third person who's considerably more repulsive than Todd Akin:

Jeffrey O. Shallit

Dr. Shallit is a outspoken liberal who likely has posters of Clinton and Kennedy adorning his room in his mother's basement.

What's more, Dr. Shallit, who finds Mr. Akin-- a staunch defender of innocent life-- repulsive, has himself written favorably about eugenic abortion of handicapped children.

Dr. Shallit:
"... why are decisions [labeled] as "eugenic" necessarily bad? Why, exactly, would the world be better off with more Down's syndrome children?" 
So who is more repulsive than Todd Akin? Here's the answer to Dr. Shallit's question:

1) Men-- even liberal icons-- who actually sexually assault women.

2) Men-- even liberal icons-- who actually kill women.

3) Dimwit hypocrite liberal bloggers who ignore actual sexual assault by their political idols and ignore actual killing of women by their political idols and who publicly champion eugenic abortion of handicapped children. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Democrats announce opposition to gun-ID laws



(Dissociated Press) The Democratic National Committee today announced that it will include strong opposition to "Gun-ID" laws in the Democratic Party Platform for 2012.

Democratic Chairman Don Duck met this afternoon with reporters to emphasize Democrats' opposition to restrictive laws that require that handgun purchasers to present valid ID and submit to a background check. All states require ID to purchase handguns, which Homes pointed out is a blatant effort at "gun-suppression" by Republicans.

"We point out that it is a constitutional right to keep and bear arms, and requiring poor and minority and prospective gun-owners to show valid ID and submit to verification of their identity suppresses gun ownership among those oppressed groups" noted Mr. Duck. 
"There is a long history of gun-ownership suppression in this country. We should encourage unidentified individuals to exercise their Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Requiring photo ID to purchase handguns is a violation of the Civil Rights Act. It's like requiring photo ID to vote. It's obvious purpose is a racist attempt by Republicans to keep the poor and minorities from exercising their gun-rights".

In reply to Republican critics who point out that requiring proof of ID to purchase handguns simply allows a prudent check on the identity of the purchaser and on the legality of the purchase, Duck asserted that such requirements for ID are unduly burdensome for many poor and minority prospective gun owners.

"Many of our Democrat gun owners receive their government benefits anonymously and vote anonymously. Why can't they buy guns anonymously?" Duck noted, pointedly.
"We don't know who they are when they vote or when they pick up their benefit checks. Why should we know who they are when they buy guns?" 

Chairman Duck compared the efforts to require ID checks for gun purchases to Republican efforts to require voter ID.
"The only fair system is to have people walk into gun shops and give the clerk a name. Then the clerk gives them a gun".
"There must be no ID requirement for gun ownership, just as there must be no ID requirement for voting."
Mr. Duck fingered the Democrat National Committee ID badge on his lapel.
"To ask for ID is racist". 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"Tissue" talks



Melissa Ohden appears in this Susan B. Anthony List ad in Missouri telling her story as a survivor of abortion. She was aborted and discarded-- discarded-- until a nurse heard her cry, and resuscitated her.

Barack Obama spearheaded the opposition to "Born Alive Infant Protection" laws when he was a state senator in Illinois. He succeeded in blocking laws that were designed to ensure that children like Ms. Ohden who survive abortion are given medical treatment.

Ms. Ohden is a rare survivor of America's holocaust. There are 50 million Americans who did not survive, and who are not here to speak.

It's worth noting that the Born Alive Infant Protection Act that Illinois state senator Barack Obama voted against was supported by the militantly pro-abortion group NARAL. From National Review Online:


Even NARAL didn’t oppose [the Born Alive Infant Protection Act]. At the time of the vote, CNN reported that NARAL’s spokesman said the following:
We, in fact, did not oppose the bill. There is a clear legal difference between a fetus in utero versus a child that’s born. And when a child is born, they deserve every protection that the country can provide...
The logical import of Obama’s vote against BAIPA is that he disagrees, i.e., once a baby has been targeted for abortion it thereafter has no inherent right to the food, comfort, and medical care provided to other babies born alive. Indeed, during Illinois state senate deliberations on BAIPA, Obama stated that one of his objections was that the bill was “designed to burden the original decision of the woman and the physician to induce labor and perform an abortion.” Apparently, once the decision to abort has been made, a child is doomed even if born alive.
Does President Obama maintain that, but for BAIPA, an abortion provider continues to retain dominion over babies he fails to abort for some unspecified time after birth? Would Obama permit the abandonment of any other class of babies, e.g., those born with abnormalities? Precisely where does he draw the line?
... it’s tough to get to the left of NARAL on matters described as “reproductive rights.”

And yet Democrats have the gall to call pro-life advocates "extremists".


May God have mercy on our country. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A suggestion for George R. R. Martin on his anti-voter-ID rant



Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin has this post on his blog:

"Show Us Your Papers"
I am way too busy these days for long political rants. 
But I would be remiss if I do not at least make passing mention of how depressed, disgusted, and, yes, angry I've become as I watch the ongoing attempts at voter suppression in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Iowa, and other states where Republicans and their Teabagger allies control key seats of power. 
It is one thing to attempt to win elections. But trying to do so by denying the most basic and important right of any American citizen to hundreds and thousands of people, on entirely spurious grounds... that goes beyond reprehensible. That is despicable. 
It would really be nice if there were still some Republicans of conscience out there who would stand up and loudly denounce these efforts, a few men of honor and integrity for whom "win the election" does not "win the election at any cost." There were once many Republicans I admired, even I disagreed with them: men like Everett Dirksen, Clifford Case, Henry Cabot Lodge, William Scranton... yes, even Barry Goldwater, conservative as he is. I do not believe for a moment that Goldwater would have approved of this, any more than Robert A. Heinlein would have. They were conservatives, but they were not bigots, nor racists, nor corrupt. The Vote Suppressors have far more in common with Lester Maddox, George Wallace, John Stennis, and their ilk than they do with their distinguished GOP forebears. 
The people behind these efforts at disenfranchising large groups of voters (the young, the old, the black, the brown) are not Republicans, since clearly they have scant regard for our republic or its values. They are oligarchs and racists clad in the skins of dead elephants. 
And don't tell me they are libertarians either. No true libertarians would ever support a culture where citizens must "show their papers" to vote or travel. That's a hallmark of a police state, not a free country.

A proviso: this "Tea-bagger"(yours truly, that is) is a Martin fan. I'm just finishing Game of Thrones, and I marvel at Martin's skill as a writer. He is a joy to read. His work is beautiful and engaging.

His politics seem to be otherwise. I am dumbfounded by celebrity elites who argue against voter ID laws. Goodness gracious, our entire society depends on intricate systems of identification in order to obtain access, and rich famous folks like Martin use these ID systems more than most. Do you think that you can get onto Martin's estate/property without ID? Just show up at his front gate, he'll let you in, no questions asked, right? Can you walk out of a bookstore with one of his fine epics without presenting a valid credit card to pay for it? How about walking into his office and demanding a nice face-to-face meeting with the famous author, without providing any sort of identification?

Voting is the most most important political act we do in our democracy. If we must "show our papers" (our credit card) in order to buy Martin's books on credit or show some sort of ID to walk into Martin's home, surely we ought to show that we are legally entitled to vote in order to walk into a voting booth.

Verifying that people are voting legally isn't voter 'suppression'. It's just integrity. All of us-- Martin no less than each of us-- insist on ID in all sorts of transactions. We should ask no less when voting.

So George believes that asking people to show ID is a hallmark of a police state? How about this, George: let people walk into stores and take your books on credit, without showing credit cards or ID or anything. Trust them to pay on credit, without identifying themselves. Just like they were walking into a polling place without the need to identify themselves.

Do the same thing with your money that you demand we do with our democracy.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Paul Ryan's bishop weighs in on economic policy and Catholic teaching

Bishop Robert C. Morlino, Bishop of the Diocese of Madison and Paul Ryan's bishop, has a superb essay in the Diocese of Madison's Catholic Herald. In the Catholic Church, bishops have the primary responsibility for teaching Catholic doctrine involving the faithful in their diocese.

I'll reproduce Bishop Morlino's essay in its entirety:

Subsidiarity, solidarity, and the lay mission
Bishop's Column 
Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012  
Dear friends, 
It was no shock at all for me to learn that our diocesan native son, Paul Ryan, had been chosen to be a candidate for the Vice Presidency of the United States. I am proud of his accomplishments as a native son, and a brother in the faith, and my prayers go with him and especially with his family as they endure the unbelievable demands of a presidential campaign here in the United States. It is not for the bishop or priests to endorse particular candidates or political parties. Any efforts on the part of any bishop or priest to do so should be set aside. And you can be assured that no priest who promotes a partisan agenda is acting in union with me or with the Universal Church. 
It is the role of bishops and priests to teach principles of our faith, such that those who seek elected offices, if they are Catholics, are to form their consciences according to these principles about particular policy issues. 
However, the formation of conscience regarding particular policy issues is different depending on how fundamental to the ecology of human nature or the Catholic faith a particular issue is. Some of the most fundamental issues for the formation of a Catholic conscience are as follows: sacredness of human life from conception to natural death, marriage, religious freedom and freedom of conscience, and a right to private property. 
Violations of the above involve intrinsic evil — that is, an evil which cannot be justified by any circumstances whatsoever. These evils are examples of direct pollution of the ecology of human nature and can be discerned as such by human reason alone. Thus, all people of good will who wish to follow human reason should deplore any and all violations in the above areas, without exception. The violations would be: abortion, euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, same-sex marriage, government-coerced secularism, and socialism.
Where intrinsic evil is not involved
In these most fundamental matters, a well-formed Catholic conscience, or the well-formed conscience of a person of good will, simply follows the conclusions demanded by the ecology of human nature and the reasoning process. A Catholic conscience can never take exception to the prohibition of actions which are intrinsically evil. Nor may a conscience well-formed by reason or the Catholic faith ever choose to vote for someone who clearly, consistently, persistently promotes that which is intrinsically evil.
However, a conscience well-formed according to reason or the Catholic faith, must also make choices where intrinsic evil is not involved. How best to care for the poor is probably the finest current example of this, though another would be how best to create jobs at a time when so many are suffering from the ravages of unemployment. In matters such as these, where intrinsic evil is not involved, the rational principles of solidarity and subsidiarity come into play. The principle of solidarity, simply stated, means that every human being on the face of the earth is my brother and my sister, my “neighbor” in the biblical sense. At the same time, the time-tested best way for assisting our neighbors throughout the world should follow the principle of subsidiarity. That means the problem at hand should be addressed at the lowest level possible — that is, the level closest to the people in need. That again, is simply the law of human reason.
We can disagree on application
As one looks at issues such as the two mentioned above and seeks to apply the principles of solidarity and subsidiarity, Catholics and others of good will can arrive at different conclusions. These are conclusions about the best means to promote the preferential option for the poor, or the best means to reach a lower percentage of unemployment throughout our country. No one is contesting here anyone’s right to the basic needs of food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, etc. Nor is anyone contesting someone’s right to work and so provide for self and family. However there can be difference according to how best to follow the principles which the Church offers.
Making decisions as to the best political strategies, the best policy means, to achieve a goal, is the mission of lay people, not bishops or priests. As Pope Benedict himself has said, a just society and a just state is the achievement of politics, not the Church. And therefore Catholic laymen and women who are familiar with the principles dictated by human reason and the ecology of human nature, or non-Catholics who are also bound by these same principles, are in a position to arrive at differing conclusions as to what the best means are for the implementation of these principles — that is, “lay mission” for Catholics.
Thus, it is not up to me or any bishop or priest to approve of Congressman Ryan’s specific budget prescription to address the best means we spoke of. Where intrinsic evils are not involved, specific policy choices and political strategies are the province of Catholic lay mission. But, as I’ve said, Vice Presidential Candidate Ryan is aware of Catholic Social Teaching and is very careful to fashion and form his conclusions in accord with the principles mentioned above. Of that I have no doubt. (I mention this matter in obedience to Church Law regarding one’s right to a good reputation.)

Peace and reconciliation in coming months
I obviously didn’t choose the date for the announcement of Paul Ryan’s Vice Presidential Candidacy and as I express my pride in him and in what he has accomplished, I thought it best to move to discussion of the above matters sooner rather than later. No doubt it will be necessary to comment again on these principles in the days ahead for the sake of further clarification, and be assured that I will be eager to do so.
Above all, let us beg the Lord that divisions in our electorate will not be deepened so as to have a negative impact on pre-existing divisions within the Church during this electoral season. Let there be the peace and reconciliation that flow from charity on the part of all. Thank you for reading this. God Bless each one of you! Praised be Jesus Christ!

Bishop Morlino provides an eloquent synopsis of classical Catholic social teaching. The grounds for such teaching are the principles of solidarity and subsidiarity. Solidarity is respect for all men as brothers-- the Golden Rule-- and subsidiarity is the principle that good should be done on a scale as close to those in need as possible. Both are essential Catholic social doctrine.  

In matters involving intrinsic evil (abortion, eugenics, euthanasia, etc), there is no room for disagreement among faithful Catholics. Evil is to be opposed, always and everywhere. 

In matters that do not involve intrinsic evil-- such as the question as to how to best provide assistance to the poor-- the Church recognizes the need for prudential judgement. As long as the intention is to help the poor, there is great room for differences in approach to helping. In politics, the Church does not prescribe means. It prescribes ends, and, within ethical bounds, leaves the means to the prudential judgement of those charged with making such decisions. 

Socialism is not Catholic social doctrine, notwithstanding the spin of the Catholic left. In fact, socialism, as a violation of subsidiarity, is specifically denounced (#15) in Catholic social teaching. 

For those acting in good conscience, the debate on Medicare and other government programs to help those in need is about prudence, not good and evil. If specific policies were pursued for political ends, rather than for the purpose of helping those in need, that would be evil. 

What would be evidence of evil intent in this debate? Gross intentional misrepresentation of the views of others for political gain would seem to be such evidence. 

The debate hinges on this: which side of this debate-- conservative or liberal-- has the best prudential judgement? What steps are necessary to ensure the solvency of the social safety net? How can the poor and needy be cared for best-- by statist solutions or by market-based solutions? How will insolvency of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid affect the people dependent on the programs? Is it ethical for the government to spend each year a trillion dollars more than it collects in revenue? Is it ethical to leave tens of trillions of dollars in debt for our children to pay? 

As the liberals' misrepresentation of Ryan's views demonstrates, liberals will do anything to avoid debating these economic issues on their merits.

Ryan's conservative economic views are well within the bounds of Catholic social teaching, as are the honest (non-socialist) views of those who favor more liberal policies. I would propose that Ryan's view-- his prudential judgement-- is more in keeping with the basic Catholic principles of subsidiarity and solidarity than the statist views of his liberal opponents.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sex-selective abortion and being "broken by grace"

Timothy Dalrymple has an astonishing essay on sex-selective abortion.

Excerpt:
So you learned the baby you helped to conceive is a girl and not a boy. Already frightened by the idea of fatherhood, already concerned about all the hardships and sacrifices parenting entails, already disoriented by the potential radical change this requires in the way you envision your future, you feel now — even if only slightly — more inclined to want your partner to abort. 
Perhaps it’s natural. You know how to relate to a boy. With a boy, all you have to do is wrestle on the floor, make some ripe fart sounds and squish a potato bug between your fingers — and you are a legend. You could take a boy to the Boston Celtics, but cannot abide the thought of taking a girl to the Boston ballet. You wanted to show your kid how to play Diablo III (or whatever version is out by then), not Dora Saves the Crystal Kingdom. You understood the hit you would be taking to your wallet and your social life, not to mention your sex life, but you balanced the ledger against baseball games and taking pictures of your little gangsta and busting out the old Transformers collection. Now, you’re supposed to stick around and help take care of a girl, a girl who will probably show an absolutely irrational preference for the color pink, a girl who will be fascinated with faerie princesses and Hello Kitty and (God forbid) Barbie, a girl who will probably prefer your wife and conspire with her against you. 
So now you’re fantasizing about an abortion again...
This was not a problem envisioned by early advocates of legalized abortion. It emerged as new technologies like ultrasound imaging made it common for expectant parents to know the sex of the baby in the womb. Economic pressures are only one factor. Sex-selective abortion is as big a problem in wealthy Korea as it is in rural China, and all but unknown in some of the poorest nations in the world in sub-Saharan Africa or Latin America. Sex-selective abortion is most common where (1) ultrasound imaging is easily available and (2) the prevailing culture is patriarchal and places a greater value on men for their earning potential, their capacity to help with physical labor, their responsibility to care for parents in their old age, and their ability to acquire a dowry with a bride. Many of the same cultures where infanticide was common, but now outlawed, have simply found in sex-selective abortion another form of exterminating unwanted females. A Population Council study of 301 induced abortions in China found that fully one-third of the abortions were undertaken specifically because the unborn child was female. The problem is also severe in India and other parts of South and East Asia, and in the former Soviet bloc nations, where few girls, especially when their parents already have a girl, survive the abortionist’s needle.
As many besides me have noted, it’s one of the most tragic ironies of the modern political world that this supposedly great “victory” for women’s rights has led to a cheap replacement for female infanticide. And the social pathologies that arise when the male-female ratio is out of whack are also terrible for women, especially (since there are too few women for every man to have a wife) the dramatic increase in prostitution and sex-slavery and human trafficking... [emphasis mine]

Dalrymple tells the story of his own daughter:

I had told myself that I just wanted a healthy baby, boy or girl. But when I first learned that the child growing within my wife’s womb was a girl, I felt a pang of disappointment. I had always looked forward to the father-son relationship. This will sound egotistical — and it is precisely that — but I had also wanted to see what a boy with my genetic inheritance, but with the opportunities and direction I could give him, could accomplish.

My firstborn is a total daddy’s girl, a free and brilliant spirit with boundless energy and courage and curiosity, a pseudo-tomboy who likes the Little Mermaid but loves to play in the mud on the riverbank. Although she won’t (yet) squish bugs between her fingers, she loves to wrestle and she thinks fart noises are the height of comic genius. I would have enjoyed watching my son beat the other boys in sports, but I’m really going to enjoy watching my daughter beat the boys at sports. Even if they were not athletic or high-spirited, however, both my girls (like their beautiful mother) have me charmed me body and soul. 
By the time I got back home, however, I had dissolved into an utter emotional wreck. I had a daughter. A daughter. She was not even born yet, but she was already there enfolded in my wife’s body, and the love I felt like a Leviathan within me was surging out of the depths and it was mysterious and primal and uncontrollable and immense. I have never recovered. After years of scarcely feeling anything, suddenly I found myself broken by grace, shattered with gratitude into a thousand happy pieces. I would dissolve with emotion at random times throughout the day; the mere thought of holding my daughter, protecting and providing for her, making sure she knew that she was loved through and through, left me undone. And every time that gratefulness shatters my heart, it pieces back together into something bigger and better, stronger and yet more tender. Even now I cannot write about this without a lump in my throat and the sting of salt in my eyes... 
Every man should have a daughter, if only for his own sanctification. If a daughter comes your way, know the truth that she will love you with all her heart if you let her. Cherish her, and she will be a daddy’s girl. Love her, and your heart will expand to encompass the immensity of her soul. Sacrifice yourself for her, and soon you will discover that you will do just about anything to make her happy. Even if it requires you to grow up a little.

This is my own experience, in Dalrymple's beautiful words:

I have never recovered. After years of scarcely feeling anything, suddenly I found myself broken by grace...

I was, and remain, broken by grace. I have two astonishing and loving daughters, and two wonderful and loving sons. They are funny and clever and reverent and irreverent and much wiser than I am. They (and their mom) are my treasures. They have been my sanctification, and I have never recovered.

Around the world, and even in our own country, people are aborting their daughters merely because they are not sons. And they are aborting their sons and their daughters merely because they are not wanted.

May God have mercy on us. We are dying for want of humility. We need to welcome God's gifts, and be broken by His grace.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

At least he doesn't try to sell chicken sandwiches...




Saudi cleric Salman Al-Ouda, "a well-known scholar revered by millions globally", gave an interview recently in which he spoke of Jews and their "role... to wreak destruction, to wage war, and to practice deception and extortion."

From the Free Beacon:

Al-Odeh ranted about the use of human blood in Jewish religious rituals, a notorious anti-Semitic smear commonly referred to as a “blood libel.” 
“It is well known that the Jews celebrate several holidays, one of which is the Passover, or the matzos holiday,” he said. 
“I read once about a doctor who was working in a laboratory. This doctor lived with a Jewish family. One day, they said to him: ‘We want blood. Get us some human blood,’” Al-Odeh explained. 
“He was confused. He didn’t know what this was all about,” Al-Odeh says as the interviewer nods along. “He found that they were making matzos with human blood. They eat it, believing that this brings them close to their false god, Yahweh.” 
Jewish people “would lure a child in order to sacrifice him in the religious rite that they perform during that holiday,” Al-Odeh adds. 
The prominent Saudi Cleric also believes that the Holocaust “has been turned into a myth of tremendous proportions.”

Al-Ouda is a fringe nut, right? From his Wikipedia page:

Al-Ouda is a member of the International Union for Muslim Scholars and on its Board of Trustees.[1] He is a director of the Arabic edition of the website Islam Today and appears on a number of TV shows and authors newspaper articles.[2]


He received his Masters degree in the Sunnah and its sciences from the faculty of `Usûl al-Dîn (Principles of Religion). HisMasters thesis was entitled “The Strangeness of Islam and its Legal Rulings in the Light of the Prophetic Sunnah.”
He also received his Phd degree in 2003. His Phd was in the Sunnah.
Education: Imam Muhammad bin Sa’ud University, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Islamic jurisprudence

Well, he obviously isn't one of the Muslim scholars who preaches peaceful co-existence among religions. Oh... from his Wikipedia page:

Al-Ouda has stated that he is currently supporting peace and coexistence with other religions. He announced that this was a result of deeper understanding of Islamic teachings.
Dr. al-Ouda is in charge of the popular website Islam Today, which offers a wide variety of subject matter and material. He gives classes and lectures over the Internet and by phone to a wide range of listeners.[6]
He works daily in answering the questions that people send to him in addition to compiling and preparing a number of his writings for publication. He used to have a show on MBC TV.[7]
His fame had become sufficiently widespread by 2006 to draw a crowd of around 20,000 young British Muslims in London's East End whom he addressed in a speech. "Dr. al-Ouda is well known by all the youth. It's almost a celebrity culture out there," according to one British Imam. Sheikh Salman has over 4,000 Facebook friends and over One million fans through the site.[8]
So he 'supports peace and coexistence with other religions' and is a celebrity among Muslim youth in London.

And he believes that Jews use the blood of children to make matzo.

*sigh*


These guys can build mosques in lefty cities like Boston and Chicago, and the lefty mayors chip in a few million bucks of public money to help them out.

But a Christian who believes that marriage is between a man and a woman tries to open a chicken restaurant and he is threatened by public officials with banishment and with immolation of his Constitutional right to freedom of speech.

The left is an odd crew. They group-hug 21st century Nazis, and strain at Christian gnats.

When folks do inconsistent things like this, it's because they have an unspoken agenda.

In this case, the agenda is obvious. The left hates Christianity, no less than Muslim cleric Salman Al-Ouda hates Jews. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Why I haven't posted on the Family Research Council shooting

Some of my astute readers (you're all astute!) may have wondered why I haven't posted incessantly about the Family Research Council shooting a week ago in Washington. The shooter expressed clear political motives for the attack. He supports the gay rights agenda, and he had a bag full of Chick-Fil-A sandwiches when he walked into the building.

Many commentators have questioned whether the Southern Poverty Law Center's bizarre designation of the FRC as a "hate group" may have inspired the shooter. In addition, many commentators have noted the mainstream media's kid-gloves handling of the shooting and reticence to report the motives of the gunman.

All of which are fair points, but it's a circus in which I prefer not to participate.

Crazy people hurt other people for all sorts of reasons. But it is execrable to try to silence debate because of what crazy people do. The SPLC's designation of the FRC as a "hate group" is obnoxious, but to link it to attempted murder is a bit much. Attempts to use government pressure to silence the owner of Chick-Fil-A are execrable and illegal, but the attempt to link criticism of Chick-Fil-A to attempted murder is too much as well.

Classifying the FRC as a hate group and despising the opinions of the owner of Chick-Fil-A are legitimate opinions, however much I may disagree. They are not incitements to violence. The goal of allegations that they are incitements to violence is to silence debate.

While criticism of the media for their egregious double standard in assigning political motives to violence acts is certainly justified, we conservatives should have no part in attempts to link the expression of legitimate political opinions of our opponents to violence by lone nuts.

The attempt to link the acts of crazy people (on the left or right) to legitimate expressions of opinion is a smarmy form of censorship.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Goodbye Mr. Akin

Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin from Missouri is a pro-life stalwart. But he said this incredibly dumb thing while discussing the morality of abortion. Of conception as a result of rape, he said:

“It seems to be, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, it’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.”

Huh? I think that Akin was trying to make some batshit claim that the woman's cooperation with her assailant alters the likelihood of conception, and that women who are violently raped are less likely to conceive than women who have consensual intercourse.

I'm unaware of any medical basis for this bizarre assertion, and it's a really offensive, stupid thing to say, not in the least because it implies that if a rape victim did become pregnant (many do), then she must have been cooperating in some way.

Akin is a jerk, on that matter.

Akin is not a jerk on pro-life issues and on the issue of abortion after rape. He defends innocent life with vigor, and is to be lauded for it. I oppose abortion on all grounds, including after rape. Killing the child exacerbates, rather than mitigates, the crime. I understand the horror that the mother must endure, but committing another evil-- abortion-- doesn't lessen the horror. It magnifies it. It's not the child's fault, and all human beings, even kids conceived by rape, have a right to life.

For holding to the view that even children of rape have a right to life, Akin is to be applauded. For asserting that the likelihood of conception in rape is related to the woman's cooperation with the rape, Akin is to be excoriated.

We need intelligent eloquent defenders of innocent life in our legislatures. Akin will face Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill in the November election. The pro-life movement would be badly harmed by the re-election of Senator McCaskill. Although McCaskill is a Catholic, she ignores her Church's teachings on life issues and has shown substantial support for anti-life agendas, including votes to fund population control schemes and votes to facilitate abortions and the availability of contraceptives. It is very important that she be defeated in November. Akin is not the man to do it.

Akin should quit the Senate race, and make room for a candidate who defends innocent life with intelligent arguments. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Richard Epstein on gun control

Richard Epstein of the Hoover Institute has a thoughtful essay on gun control.

Excerpt:


Today, upwards of 200 million firearms of all descriptions are available for general use in the United States. Amnesty programs have made only a tiny dent in that number. The imposition of a tough registration program will lead to a substantial reduction in the number of guns in circulation. But even tough gun laws may have had little impact on people like James Holmes. Holmes showed no danger signs, except perhaps that he was a bit of a loner, not an uncommon trait. He had cleared all background checks when he purchased his weapon. If Colorado banned guns, would he have acquired the same weapons out of state or in the illegal market? No one knows.
The situation is even more complex when the focus shifts to the impact of gun laws more generally. Here, the key insight is that reducing the total number of guns is not the only likely effect of the law. The prohibitions in question will also shift the ratio of guns held in lawful and unlawful hands to favor the latter. To take the extreme case, suppose that a gun control law can eliminate 99.9 percent of the guns now in circulation and that all of the remaining 200,000 guns are in the hands of hardened criminals. We can confidently predict that crime will go up unless and until there is a vast expansion of the public police force.
Less dramatic shifts in that critical ratio should produce less dramatic results, but ones that cut in the same direction. Potential criminals, knowing that they are less likely to meet armed resistance will, on average, be more likely to commit various kinds offenses. The empirical data suggests that this grim logic might even apply to mass killers intent on suicide, who do not like the prospect of being gunned down by strangers before they can kill their desired targets.
Indeed, at least one serious academic paper by the economists John Lott and William Landes finds a positive connection between tough gun laws and an increase in mass killings. That data could easily be disputed. But what cannot be denied is the intelligible economic theory that undergirds its conclusions. The basic point here is that in any gun-free environment (such as that of Virginia Tech), the assailant knows that he will not meet with any immediate armed resistance, and this puts innocent people at risk.
So what then to do? It may well be that the best strategy is a combination of both carrots and sticks. A ban on the sale and possession of assault weapons makes sense on the ground if it is true that there are few lawful uses of guns and many dangerous ones. One does not have to lurch to Mayor Bloomberg’s intemperate Wild-West scenario to think that it may well be wise to increase the use of concealed firearms by off-duty police officers, military people, and private security guards who normally carry these weapons as part of their jobs. The task of preventing violence requires a difficult balancing act that is inconsistent with both a fierce defense and a fierce denunciation of all gun control measures.

I agree with Epstein that it is not at all clear that stricter gun control would reduce massacres and gun crime in general,  and in fact it might make things worse. Strict control would primarily have the effect of disarming the citizenry, leaving criminals with more gun-free zones in which to use their illegally-obtained guns with impunity.

Crime control is always a balance. We can reduce crime via totalitarian measures, of course, but then the criminals are the government, and crime is not really reduced at all. Freedom always means the freedom to do evil, and there may not be anything decisive we can do about it.

That said, I do believe that the violence in our media is bad. It is wrong to blame the producers of the Batman movie for the massacre, but it is not entirely a surprise that one deranged man might act out violently in response to a wildly popular and seductively violent film. The only way I see to help reduce the likelihood of such real violence is to bring more civility and simple decency to our public square. Why not make more movies that portray a humane way of life?

Not likely to happen anytime soon. We are addicted to vicarious violence, and we may just have to accept that once in a while some madman will make real the violent fantasies we crave and pay so much to enjoy.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Vice-President from party that put people in chains accuses presidential candidate of party that took people out of chains of wanting to put people in chains.



Erick Erickson has a fine post on Joe Biden's batshit claim that Romney wants to put black people back in chains.

Except:
In fairness to Vice President Biden, I supposed I should have a full post for our collective crazy uncle in the attic turned Vice President. The man from Delaware claimed that Republicans want to put people back in chains. Considering there is only one group of people ever put in chains in this country, it is clear he was race baiting...
Inciting racial animosity for political gain has been the Democratic playbook since the Democrats were, well, not to put too fine a point on it, putting black people in chains.
'Inciting racial animosity' is a fine synopsis of Democrat Party politics, from the antebellum South through today. I think it is a mistake to think that all pro-slavery pro-KKK pro-Jim Crow pro-lynching Democrat pols personally hated blacks. Many did, undoubtedly, but personal hatred presupposes a modicum of conviction, however heinous.

But the Democrat party has never been, and is not now, a party of conviction. It is a party of opportunism, embracing slave owners and Grand Kleagles and lynch mobs and Black Panthers and Jesse Jackson with open arms.

The Democratic Party is the party of race-baiting. It is the thread that runs from Preston Brooks through  Nathan Bedford Forrest to George Wallace to Al Sharpton to Joe Biden. What unites Democrats through the past two centuries is the use of race hate and fear for political gain. It is race-baiting, not the particular race bated, that really matters to Democrats.

Democrats are equal opportunity opportunists. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Hauser's Law

An interesting observation by W. Kurt Hauser, an investment economist who 15 years ago pointed out a surprising fact: the federal revenue from taxes in the U.S. has been remarkably constant at 19.5%-- give or take a couple percent-- of GDP each year since 1950. This is despite substantial increases and decreases in the top tax rates, which ranged from 91% to 35%.


When the top marginal tax rate is 90%, the government takes in 19.5% of GDP. When the top marginal tax rate is 28%, the government takes in 19.5% of GDP.

What Hauser's law means is that raising or lowering taxes at the federal level has no impact on federal tax revenue. When taxes are raised, people find ways to not pay taxes. When taxes are lowered, people pay more taxes. In the end, it's a wash.

What does influence federal tax revenue is the GDP. Nineteen-point-five percent of a bigger pie is more federal revenue. A vibrant economy brings in more tax revenue.

The government does better when, and only when, the people who work do better. What a surprise.

So how do we increase GDP? Of course, the most effective way to increase economic activity is to cut taxes, which, as Hauser points out with actual data (not just theory), does not alter the percent of GDP the government collects in tax revenues. Increasing economic production by lowering tax rates brings more money into the federal coffers.

In case you missed it:

Increasing economic production by lowering tax rates brings more money into the federal coffers.

You might ask: why isn't this simple fact-- tax rates don't change the percent of GDP that the government collects in taxes-- widely known? Thank the lefty mainstream media for burying this inconvenient truth. But a recent political event may change just what the MSM can shove down the memory hole.

With Romney's nomination of Paul Ryan, expect Hauser's law fact, and a host of other simple facts, to be at the center of the presidential campaign this year.

This election will be about facts.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Are "suppressed" voters without ID receiving government money-- without ID?



Democrats are howling that laws to ensure that votes are legally cast are "voter suppression". They insist that there are large numbers of voters-- poor people mainly-- who don't have ID and who will not exercise their right to vote if they are required to show ID.

Which raises this question:

Do these mostly poor ID-less voters receive government benefits? Housing assistance, welfare checks, food stamps, and any of hundreds of government benefits intended to help the needy? It's a safe bet that most of the potentially "suppressed" ID-less voters do receive some kind of government assistance for some things.

If some poor people who get government services lack ID to vote, it means that they get government money despite lack of ID. If you lack ID to vote, you lack ID to get government services. Do they just walk into a government office and demand and get cash, without reliable documentation of their identity? Are Democrats admitting that we don't know who they are when we give them money?

Is this really how we dispense taxpayer money to the poor? Anonymously?


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The reason why the media will turn off Paul Ryan's microphone

Take a trip down memory lane, and watch Paul Ryan hand President Obama his head in a panel discussion at the White House Healthcare Summit in the run-up to Obamacare.



"Hiding spending does not reduce spending".

Ryan is a very smart and eloquent man. He gets it, and he knows how to explain it. If he did any more damage to Obama at this roundtable, the Secret Service would have jumped him. He's a serious threat to the socialist hacks running Washington.

The mainstream media has a big job on its hands. It will have to demonize Ryan (he kills kids, starves old ladies, enjoys the suffering of the poor, vivisects puppies... ) while at the same time not letting people hear exactly what he says.

They'll need to do two things:

1) They will minimize unfettered exposure of Ryan to the public. They will try very hard not to let him speak unimpeded.

2) When they can't silence him, they will edit his speech. They will use snippets carefully edited to misrepresent his proposals. The media has had plenty of practice lately with fraudulent editing-- altering the Zimmerman 911 tape in order to purposefully stir up race hate is a fine example-- so slandering Ryan and sabotaging our national discussion on the relationship between our government and our people shouldn't be too hard.

Ryan is a serious threat to the elites in media and government. They will stop at nothing to stop him.

Should be interesting. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

"... the lethal stupidity of its pseudopods."

Jerry Bower observes how Americans are rebelling against the Big Government leviathan.

Excerpt:

It’s not civil disobedience that I’m talking about. It’s the opposite: Civil disobedience is meant to be noticed. It is a price paid in the hope of creating social change. What I’m talking about is not based on hope; in fact, it has given up much hope on social change. It thinks the government is a colossal amoeba twitching mindlessly in response to tiny pinpricks of pain from an endless army of micro-brained interest groups. The point is not to teach the amoeba nor to guide it, but simply to stay away from the lethal stupidity of its pseudopods. 
The amoeba does not get smarter but it does get hungrier and bigger. On the other hand, we get smarter. More and more of our life takes place outside of the amoeba’s reach: in the privacy of our own homes, or in capital accounts in other nations, or in the fastest growing amoeba avoidance zone ever created, cyberspace. We revolt decision by decision, transaction by transaction, because we believe deep down that most of what government tells us to do is at bottom illegitimate.

The harvest of  the mindless colossal amoeba-- socialism-- is underway in Greece and Spain and the collapsing economies and civic cultures of Europe.

From the standpoint of the socialists, the chaos that socialism causes is a feature, not a bug. Poverty and chaos and hate are the oxygen of the left.

The left feeds on poverty and envy and violent contagion, on the "lethal stupidity of it's pseudopods". 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Paul Ryan




Walter Russell Mead has a fine essay on Mitt Romney's choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate for vice-president.

Excerpt:

With Governor Romney’s selection of Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate, the vague contours of the presidential race have suddenly become sharper. Up until now, partly because Romney’s image has been so fuzzy, we were looking at a referendum on President Obama rather than a clear-cut contest between political philosophies. Now, given Ryan’s prominence as a budget hawk and entitlement reformer, the public has a choice to make...
2012 looks like an election between two united parties who will both be enthusiastic and both be convinced that the fate of the nation hangs on the November result. That’s a good thing, on the whole, for the country. Whatever else can be said about our electoral politics, nobody can argue that they are inconsequential or that real issues have disappeared. This is a serious election about important affairs and the two sides will both be offering a coherent vision of American values that allows voters to make a clear choice.
But if both parties are offering a clear vision of their values, I’m not yet sure that either party has what the voters want most. From the Democrats, they want some idea about how the entitlement state and the blue social model more broadly can actually be preserved. The fiscal trajectory does not look good; how exactly do Democrats plan to pay for all the programs they want to protect and extend?
From the GOP, they want something else. How is this new economy going to work? How will middle class Americans benefit from all these tax and spending cuts? What will the GOP put in place of Obamacare and the current entitlement program? Appeals to capitalist ideology and American exceptionalism are all very well and they will likely hold the GOP base together and deliver high turnout, but to win over swing voters, Romney and Ryan will likely have to come up with a little bit more in the way of showing how Americans can still get the benefits they most want and need from a shrinking and fiscally sustainable federal government.
Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan may or may not help him in the Electoral College. But the selection has made this a better election, clarifying the issues and giving the country something more consequential than attack ads and gaffes to think about. We will have to wait and see whether Governor Romney helped himself with this choice; he has, however, helped the country and that seems like a good start.

I really like Ryan. He's a brilliant honest conservative with guts. He's also a devout pro-life Catholic-- what's not to like? He insists that we confront and solve our nation's fiscal problems-- problems that threaten to destroy our democracy and our freedoms if they are allowed to grow unchecked. Unlike so many politicians, Ryan is a man of courage and integrity.

The Democrats will savage him. He has a very clear long public record, and the left will use every weapon it can imagine to destroy the man. There will be commercials of an actor who looks like Ryan pushing grandma off a cliff, poor people starving while an actor who looks like Ryan laughs, etc. The politics will be filthy. They have already run an ad accusing Romney of killing a woman because of his work at Bain. They will try to eviscerate Ryan. And the mainstream media, in the thrall of a 24-7 Obama-orgasm, will offer their free services in the ad campaign. It will be ugly.

But Romney's courageous choice means that this will be a consequential election. The choice is stark. It speaks well of Romney that he has the insight and the guts to nominate Ryan.

The election will be a war, but highly educational and fascinating. Expect all the ugliness the left can muster to be on full display. But there will be some delightful entertainment.

can't wait

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Christian winter

William Dalrymple has an insightful essay on the increasing repression of Christians in the Middle East.
 
Excerpt:

Wherever you go in the Middle East today, you see the Arab Spring rapidly turning into the Christian winter. 
The past few years have been catastrophic for the region's beleaguered 14-million strong Christian minority. 
In Egypt, the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood has been accompanied by anti-Coptic riots and intermittent bouts of church-burning. On the West Bank and in Gaza, the Christians are emigrating fast as they find themselves caught between Benjamin Netanyahu's pro-settler government and their increasingly radicalised and pro-Hamas Sunni Muslim neighbours. Most catastrophically, in Iraq, two thirds of the Christians have fled the country since the fall of Saddam. 
It was Syria that took in many of the 250,000 Christians driven out of Iraq. Anyone who visited Damascus in recent years could see lounging in every park and sitting in every teahouse the unshaven Iraqi Christian refugees driven from their homes by the sectarian mayhem that followed the end of the Baathist state. They were bank managers and engineers, pharmacists and businessmen - all living with their extended families in one-room flats on what remained of their savings and assisted by the charity of the different churches.

"Before the war there was no separation between Christian and Muslim," I was told on a recent visit by Shamun Daawd, a liquor-store owner who fled Baghdad after he received Islamist death threats. I met him at the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate in Damascus, where he had come to collect the rent money the Patriarchate provided for the refugees. "Under Saddam no one asked you your religion and we used to attend each other's religious services," he said. "Now at least 75 per cent of my Christian friends have fled."

Whatever leeway Christians in the Middle East had under the boot of the Religion of Peace is slipping away. The Islamist revolutions are drawing the curtain of Islamic totalitarianism over beleaguered religious minorities. Jews are already nothing but targets as far as Islamists are concerned, and Christians are heading into that category.

I think that our invasion of Iraq was a serious mistake, although I supported it at the time. We tipped that balance of power to the radical Islamists-- as evil as Saddam was, he was no Islamist. I believe that the "Arab Spring" is just a ridiculous idiot liberal phrase for an Islamic totalitarian awakening.

Islam is not the threat to mankind that Communism was, but it is a threat, and it must be confronted. I don't believe that military confrontation is generally the best choice, although Islamic military prowess is a joke. They are no match for the West in military conflict, and have not been since Vienna and Lepanto.

Islam, in conjunction with the boot-licking secular left, is an enormous cultural, political and demographic threat to the West.  I believe that a full-throated political, economic, and cultural confrontation of Islam by Christians is needed.

Christian culture is far superior in every way to secular and Islamic culture, and we need to say so unabashedly. And we need to fight for Christian culture with every peaceful means at our disposal.

Please pray for our Christian (and Jewish) brethren in the Middle East, in this time of great peril. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Urban dictionary defines "Harry Reid" as a sexual position



Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has been immortalized in the Urban Dictionary.

Under Reid's leadership, the Democrat-controlled Senate has failed to pass a budget for the past four consecutive years.

The Urban Dictionary defines "Harry Reid" as "a sexual position where you climb on top and then do absolutely nothing."

Friday, August 10, 2012

If everything came from nothing, and God is nothing, then...

"Nothing" Himself, as in "everything came from..."


There's nothing funnier than an atheist scientist dipping his toe in metaphysics.

Recently atheist physicist Lawerence Krauss got pwned by... Stephen Colbert. Krauss has argued emphatically that science has proven that the universe came from "nothing".

From Philip Clayton:

The perfect example of this debate was played out in a Colbert interview with Lawrence Krauss recently; it's worth re-watching in the wake of the Higgs. Krauss, the New Atheist, touts his new book, "A Universe from Nothing." There are three kinds of nothing, he insists, and according to the laws of quantum mechanics, each one left to itself will produce the something that we see around us. "It sounds like the ultimate free lunch," Krauss admits, but there you have it; it's just science. "The universe is more remarkable than the fairy tales that were talked about by Bronze Age illiterate peasants."


"Why does it have to be an attack on my God?" Colbert asks. "There's just no evidence for God," replies Krauss, "All I've said is that you don't need Him." Colbert, as always, gets the last word, however. Suppose that something always comes from nothing. "If there is no God, no 'thing' called God, if He is nothing," concludes Colbert, then by your own theory "can't something come from Him?"
If everything came from nothing, and God is nothing, then...

I love this stuff. We Christians should pay atheists to publicly debate metaphysics. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

"Let me see you adopt one of those ugly black babies"

A Charlotte North Carolina abortionist lets it all hang out in this confrontation with pro-life demonstrators.



More at Hot Air.

Excerpt:

Charlotte abortionist Ashutosh Ron Virmani was caught on camera telling pro-lifers to “adopt one of those ugly black babies.” … 
Virmani defended his practice of abortion as an effort to save taxpayers money and prevent crime. “I as a taxpayer do not wish to pay for those babies to be born and brought up; and kill those people in Colorado,” he said in reference to the Colorado theatre killer. 
Notably, the Colorado killer who killed 13 and injured 58 moviegoers was a physically healthy white male born to a middle-class couple.

The abortion movement is a eugenic/racist project, with a thin patina of "women's rights, etc". Non-white babies in the U.S. are aborted at three times the rate of white children. Planned Parenthood clinics  have always been heavily sited in minority neighborhoods.

The abortion movement is so vile that it's other motive-- massive profits-- actually makes it look good, compared with its transparently eugenic and racist motives.

A cesspool, paid for by you and me via public funding of Planned Parenthood. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

We need a giant cultural condom

From Sunny Hundal at the New Statesman:


The left cannot remain silent over "honour killings"

We have become complicit in this epidemic of abuse and violence by not doing more to challenge it.

The murder of the teenager Shafilea Ahmed is likely to stand out in British history as a particularly gruesome example of what we now refer to as "honour killings". Shafilea had warned that her parents were trying to marry her off to Pakistan; others knew she had sustained injuries from beatings by her parents; she had even tried to commit suicide in Pakistan. But right until the end, her own life was fated to be out of her control - she went missing in 2003 and her dismembered body was found a year later.
Shafilea's case wasn't a one-off. It took eight years for the murderers of the Sikh woman Surjit Athwal - her own husband and mother-in-law - to be brought to justice in 2007. It took ten years for Mehmet Goren to be jailed, in 2009, for murdering his daughter Tulay, because she fell in love with an older man of a different Muslim sect. Last year Gurmeet Singh Ubhi was found guilty of murdering his 24 year old daughter Amrit because the Sikh girl was dating a white man. There are others too - Heshu Yones, Banaz Mahmod, Nuziat Khan - the list of women murdered in the UK over their "honour" is depressingly long. 
Any decent person would be angry and sad when presented with these names. But it isn't enough to be sad: we have become complicit in this epidemic of abuse and violence by not doing more to challenge it. This should be a left-wing cause célèbre but instead there is an embarrassed silence. Left-wing activists robustly challenge racism and homophobia - so why isn't more being done to stand up to this social evil?...

There is a patronising attitude at work here, too: well-meaning liberals have been known to assume forced marriages and such abuse are an inherent part of Asian culture and therefore must be left alone. A few months ago, activist Jasvinder Sanghera's charity Karma Nirvana convinced a teacher in East London to put up posters at the school that said: "Forced Marriage is Abuse Not Cultural". But the posters were taken down and the charity was told the head was concerned they would upset Muslim parents.

Honor killings are the penultimate war on women (femicide by abortion and female infanticide is the ultimate war).

Note that both both honor killings and femicide are treated by the left with virtual silence, and in fact in important ways are abetted by the left. China's totalitarian One-Child Policy-- which, along with communism, is the most egregious crime against humanity since the Holocaust-- has been championed by the left, and much of the rationale for it was advanced in the 1970's by prominent scientists and population-control fanatics. John Holdren, President Obama's senior science advisor, is the most powerful scientist in the United States, and has in extensive writings in the past advocated forced abortions and mass involuntary sterilizations.

Although Holdren now claims to not support coercive population control measures, he has been virtually silent on the abuse of science to justify totalitarian population-control schemes. In fact, leftist scientists like Holdren have been instrumental in laying the theoretical groundwork that is used to justify such policies. The Catholic News Service notes:

Coercive population control measures, including forced sterilizations and abortions, have been used in China’s one-child policy. In Peru in the 1990s, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the United Nations Population Fund provided support for what became an involuntary sterilization program which victimized an estimated 300,000 women.
On honor-killings, the left has been notably unwilling to criticize the religious and cultural practices of the primary cause of honor killings in the West-- Islam.  When was the last time you heard a leftist refer to honor killings as a "war on women"? When was the last time you heard a leftie mayor at a ground-breaking ceremony for a government-funded mosque excoriate Muslims for their degradation and violence against women? Against gays?

Birds chirping.

The double-standard of the left regarding Islam and Christianity is breath-taking. As I have noted before, Islam represents a very serious threat to the West. It has a very poor record on human rights.

The left is an even more serious threat. It has not a shred of genuine morality. It is the ideology of power, abetted by relativism. Leftism (and its metaphysical correlate-- atheism) is like AIDS, inflicted on a society. It stirs racial hate for naked political reasons, and it is largely responsible for the disintegration of the family in many parts of our society. The left is almost wholly responsible for gun violence in the United States. Nearly all gun violence in the U.S. is committed by people in leftist-Democrat municipalities-- violence committed by leftist Democrats against leftist Democrats in municipalities governed by leftist Democrats.

The left kills by weakening a culture's resistance to diseases like violence and family disintegration.

We need a giant cultural condom to protect us from the left.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Mouthpiece for huge politically influential corporate oligarchy complains about huge politically influential corporate oligarchies

New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow has an essay decrying voter I.D. laws and the political influence of huge corporations.

Blow:

First, there’s the specter of the oligarchy lingering over this election, which disproportionately benefits Republicans. According to a report by Senator Bernard Sanders of Vermont, “So far this year, 26 billionaires have donated more than $61 million to super PACs, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. And that’s only what has been publicly disclosed.” That didn’t include “about $100 million that Sheldon Adelson has said that he is willing to spend to defeat President Obama; or the $400 million that the Koch brothers have pledged to spend during the 2012 election season.” 
During a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on Tuesday, Sanders put it this way: “What the Supreme Court did in Citizens United is to say to these same billionaires and the corporations they control: ‘You own and control the economy; you own Wall Street; you own the coal companies; you own the oil companies. Now, for a very small percentage of your wealth, we’re going to give you the opportunity to own the United States government.’ ”

It's not true that Mr. Blow lent his name to coin the word 'bloviate', but the belief is understandable.

Mr. Blow writes for the New York Times Corporation, a 150 year-old media empire ("oligarchy" wouldn't do it justice) with total assets of $3.286 billion and annual revenues of $2.393 billion.

Here is a list of the assets the Times owns:

Newspapers and radio 

New York Times Media Group
New York Times' marquee newspapers.
International Herald Tribune of Paris, FranceThe New York Times of New York City[edit]New England Media Group
Two of the three largest-circulation newspapers in Massachusetts, purchased in 1993 (Boston) and 1999 (Worcester). This group also includes boston.com.
The Boston Globe of Boston, MassachusettsTelegram & Gazette of Worcester, Massachusetts[edit]Former assets
[edit]Regional Media Group
Thirteen dailies and one weekly newspaper primarily in the Southern United States, including titles in Alabama, California, Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina and South Carolina.
The Gadsden Times of Gadsden, AlabamaThe Tuscaloosa News of Tuscaloosa, AlabamaPetaluma Argus-Courier of Petaluma, California (weekly)
The Press Democrat of Santa Rosa, CaliforniaThe Gainesville Sun of Gainesville, FloridaThe Ledger of Lakeland, FloridaSarasota Herald-Tribune of Sarasota, FloridaStar-Banner of Ocala, FloridaThe Courier of Houma, LouisianaThe Daily Comet of Thibodaux, LouisianaThe Dispatch of Lexington, North CarolinaTimes-News of Hendersonville, North CarolinaThe Star-News of Wilmington, North CarolinaSpartanburg Herald-Journal of Spartanburg, South Carolina[edit]Joint ventures
Fenway Sports Group (7%)
Boston Red SoxFenway ParkLiverpool Football ClubFenway Sports ManagementNew England Sports Network (NESN) (80%)
Roush Fenway Racing (50%)
Donohue Malbaie, Inc. (49%) with Abitibi-ConsolidatedMadison Paper Industries (40%) in Madison, Maine

The New York Times is without question the most politically influential media conglomerate in the world, rivaled only by the BBC.

So to what exactly does Mr. Blow object? Huge rich conglomerates getting involved in politics? It seems he finds it unacceptable that other huge politically influential corporations participate in the political process, especially it seems if the interlopers support Republican causes (something never even mentioned at New York Times' soirees, unless the servants passing the hors d'oeuvres bring it up indiscreetly.)

It seems that a few evil conservative billionaires are exercising their constitutional rights, and Mr. Blow believes that participation in the public sphere is not for the nouveau riche.

Blow scolds 26 billionaires and Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers for their Republican political activism. The left is decidedly disadvantaged, funded only via Democrat public relations firms like ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and MSNBC, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and the overwhelming majority of print media, Hollywood, all public and private unions, and by poor folks like George Soros, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and tiny organizations like the Tides Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Sierra Club, the Environmental Defense Fund, and on and on.

Blow is not merely angry with political involvement by corporations who don't share his views. He's really steamed at Republican legislatures (with my commentary):

Then, of course, there’s the widespread voter suppression mostly enacted by Republican-led legislatures. 
Actually, we voter suppressors call them 'Voter ID laws'.
According to the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, at least 180 restrictive voting bills were introduced since the beginning of 2011 in 41 states, and “16 states have passed restrictive voting laws that have the potential to impact the 2012 election” because they “account for 214 electoral votes, or nearly 79 percent of the total needed to win the presidency.” 
Democrats complaining about voter ID laws are like burglars complaining about home alarm systems. Audacious, but understandable.
A provision most likely to disenfranchise voters is a requirement that people show photo identification to vote. 
We need photo ID to do many things, including fly on a plane and enter the headquarters of the New York Times, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and MSNBC, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, etc., etc. (you get the point).

The Democratic National Convention this year will also require photo-ids.

Why shouldn't voting-- the most important process in our democracy-- require photo id?

Millions of Americans don’t have these forms of ID, and many can’t easily obtain them, even when states say they’ll offer them free, because getting the documentation to obtain the “free” ID takes time and money. 
Some voters won't get ID even if it's free and the state passes them out?

Surely most of these poor people are getting some form of government check for something. That's free and the state passes it out.

And we don't even ask them for ID?
This is a solution in search of a problem. The in-person voter ID requirements only prevent someone from impersonating another voter at the polls, an occurrence that the Brennan Center points out is “more rare than being struck by lightning.” 
"A solution in search of a problem"? Here's a problem. Oh, here too. And here.
The voting rights advocates I’ve talked to don’t resist all ID requirements (though they don’t say they are all necessary, either). They simply say that multiple forms of identification like student ID and Social Security cards should also be accepted, and that alternate ways for people without IDs to vote should be included. Many of these laws don’t allow for such flexibility. 
So change the laws to allow flexibility. But it's outrageous to allow someone to vote if we don't even know who they are.
Make no mistake about it, these requirements are not about the integrity of the vote but rather the disenfranchisement of voters. This is about tilting the table so that more of the marbles roll to the Republican corner. 
We're trying to disenfranchise the dead, people who've already voted 1,937 times today, and Disney characters, mainly.

Asking people for ID is not disenfranchisement of voters. Allowing people to vote illegally, and thus nullify the votes of legal voters, is disenfranchisement of voters.
Look at it this way: We have been moving toward wider voter participation for a century. States began to issue driver’s licenses more than a century ago and began to include photos on those licenses decades ago. Yet, as the Brennan Center points out, “prior to the 2006 election, no state required its voters to show government-issued photo ID at the polls (or elsewhere) in order to vote.” 
And there's been an epidemic of fraud.
Furthermore, most voter laws have emerged in the last two years. What is the difference between previous decades and today?
We found out about the fraud. We're fighting back.
The election of Barack Obama.
Oh. We're racists. Sorry.
It is no coincidence that some of the people least likely to have proper IDs to vote are the ones that generally vote Democratic and were strong supporters of Obama last election: young people, the poor and minorities. 
And the dead and Disney characters, who form the fourth and fifth legs of the Democrat base.
Republicans are leveraging the deep pockets of anti-Obama billionaires and sinister voter suppression tactics that harken back to Jim Crow to wrest power from the hands of docile Democrats. 
Blow is confused. Jim Crow laws didn't "wrest power from docile Democrats".

Democrats-- the party of slavery, the KKK, segregation, and black voter suppression-- wrote the Jim Crow laws, to protect Democrat hegemony. Jim Crow the legal structure enforced by the Democrat party (Mr. Blow's party) in the only part of the country that was solid Democrat (the South) for a century.

Most blacks in the Jim Crow South were Republicans.

Now Democrats are opposing voter ID laws, implicitly advocating the suppression of legal voters, to protect Democrat hegemony and steal elections from Republicans

Just like before.

The Democratic Party has a strong sense of tradition.

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