Anyone who is a fan of the classic British science fiction show Doctor Who knows that it injects more than a little bit of the absurd into its story lines and dialogues. Fans also know that the Eleventh Doctor, played by Matt Smith, was a rather eccentric, oft-times clownish character prone to grandiose statements and plans that go awry (though since he is a fictional hero, everything generally turns out right by the end of the episode).
This morning I encountered this quote over at Hogewash.
No, I have a thing. It’s like a plan, but with more greatness. —The 11th Doctor
As I read it, a thought struck me – this sounds ever so much like our current president.
Unfortunately, Barack Obama doesn’t have the superior intellect, advanced technology, or dumb luck that make a fictional character like the Doctor so successful and beloved. And that is what makes him so incredibly dangerous to America and the world. After all, after six years as president, Obama still doesn't have a plan -- he has a thing, and he believes that thing is so much better for everyone. Unfortunately, his ongoing campaign of failure and destruction proves that is not so.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is set to sign into law a measure that allows businesses to turn away gay and lesbian customers in the name of "religious freedom."
The move comes as Pence considers a bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination -- and just a year after Pence and socially conservative lawmakers lost their first policy battle against gay Hoosiers. In 2014 they had sought to amend Indiana's constitution to ban same-sex marriages -- but were beaten back by a highly-organized coalition of Democrats, traditionally right-leaning business organizations and fiscally focused supporters of Pence's predecessor, former GOP Gov. Mitch Daniels.
This year, though, the Republican-dominated state House and Senate both approved the "religious freedom" bill, and Pence plans to sign it into law in a private ceremony Thursday, his spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday afternoon.
Now the big concern is that some small number of business owners might choose to not bake a wedding cake for a gay wedding or might refuse to print shirts for a gay pride festival because doing so would be sinful according to their religious beliefs. What no one talks about is that this law is also a tool for allowing folks whose religious beliefs are different to do follow their beliefs. For example, why should a person who believes that God loves everyone regardless of sexual orientation be required to produce “God Hates Fags” signs for Westboro Baptist Church if they roll into town for a protest? Why should someone whose religion accepts gay marriage be required to do business with a church that does not bless such unions if they believe that doing so promotes sinful beliefs? And why should a floral wholesaler be required to provide flowers for a florist who refuses to do arrangements for gay weddings?
That’s the thing about religious freedom, you see – either everyone has it or no one does.
H/T Gay Patriot
Per our tipster, Norton performed the sub-par squeeze-in around the same time the rest of her colleagues were crowding into the House chamber to hear the joint address by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
At around the 40-second mark, an oblivious U.S. Capitol Police officer appears to zoom by on a motorcycle, right past the textbook parking offense.
Once the aide seen assisting Norton from outside the slow-moving vehicle finishes waving her into clearly disastrous position, Norton emerges from the car, clicks her remote locking device (better safe than sorry) and starts to walk away.
Then, all of the sudden, she doubles back.
Has her conscience gotten the best of her? Is she going to slide a quickly composed apology onto the now-stuck truck’s windshield? Or perhaps a business card?
Norton simply retrieves some forgotten item from inside the car and then heads on her merry way.
Our spy estimates the entire head-scratching episode lasted about half an hour, including the painful insertion process and her 20-minute jaunt into Cannon.
Once done with her business, the tipster said Norton backed out of the space and rolled out onto the unsuspecting District streets.
“She hit the car next to her and did not leave a note, though I couldn’t see any damage,” was our spy’s takeaway from the mid-day drama.
Frankly, I find the article above a microaggression due to its utte obliviousness to the blow for racial equality that non-voting representative from the District of Columbia struck during this episode.
You see, Eleanor Holmes Norton was striking a blow against the white privilege asserted by the lines which sought to define the proper manner of parking on the black pavement upon which those lines had been painted. Her actions were an effort to check the privilege of those white lines by parking in a manner more authentic to the experience of the pavement of color. Those who mock rather than applaud her actions have clearly bought into the racist paradigm of American society exemplified by the unconscious acceptance of the heretofore unchallenged practice of subjugating black streets and parking lots to the dominance of white paint.
Then again, maybe the old bat simply can't park worth a damn.
While some folks may want to praise crashing a meeting and preventing others from exercising their First Amendment rights because they disagree with the message, I don't. Instead I'll condemn the folks whose views on immigration I agree with and side with the left-winger whose beliefs I despise. After all, for most of my life we have complained about progressives who engage in disruptive activity to silence conservative speakers. Principle requires that we not adopt those repugnant tactics in order to silence those with whom we disagree. After all, we have truth and right on our side, and can only discredit our side by doing so.
And if I end up calling out friends for having given approval to such despicable tactics when they our used by our side, so be it.
The U.S. military has charged Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl with one count each of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, officials announced Wednesday afternoon.
Bergdahl left his post in Afghanistan before being captured and held captive for five years. For that, he faces charges that carry a maximum penalty of life in a military prison, and he could also have to forfeit pay and be stripped for his rank, Army Col. Daniel King said as he announced the charges.
Bergdahl now faces a military procedure similar to a grand jury deciding whether charges are appropriate, King said. Then, he could face court martial proceedings.
The decision comes nearly a year after Bergdahl returned to the United States as part of a prisoner exchange and since the Army began a formal investigation into his disappearance from his unit in eastern Afghanistan in June 2009.
Obama made trading terrorists for this traitorous deserter a priority, and repeatedly made it clear that he cared more about Bergdahl than the troops who died as a result of his desertion or those who would be endangered or killed when the released terrorists make their way back to the field of battle. But then what does one expect when you have a president who is more supportive of the terrorists (of which Bergdahl is definitely one) than the troops? And let's not forget that Obama is typical of his party in that regard.
Last summer, I wrote a draft proposal of a reformed platform for the Republican Party of Texas. There has been a lot of vocal discontent surrounding both the current platform and the process by which it has been created, and I thought I would take a shot at writing something that was shorter, clearer, and still reflective of the core values of Texas Republicans without being cluttered with some of the many planks that have been included over the years without being fully considered by the delegates to the State Convention.
Given that our new chairman has appointed a committee to review the process by which the platform has been written in recent years, I thought it might also be a good time to circulate my proposal from last summer, somewhat revised, to some 400 members of the State Republican Executive Committee, County Chairmen, Auxiliary leaders, and other party leaders around the state and in Harris County. My goal was not to hijack the process and get any body other than the 2016 RPT Convention to adopt a new platform in place of the one adopted in 2016. Rather, it is an effort to start a conversation about what a leaner platform that spoke to core principles might look like.
Here is the text of the email I sent.
My Fellow Republicans:
Constitutional Convention - We strongly oppose any constitutional convention to rewrite the United States Constitution. We encourage the Texas Legislature to rescind its 1977 call for such a convention. We call upon other states to rescind their votes for such a convention.Article V Convention - Under no circumstances shall the Bill of Rights, the first 10 constitutional amendments, be changed in any manner. We urge the Texas State Legislators to take the lead in calling for an Article V Amending Convention of States, for the specific purpose of reigning in the power of the federal government. Any proposed amendments must be ratified by ¾ of the states to take effect.
Selection of Primary Candidates - The SREC should study the Utah model for selecting primary candidates.
PREAMBLEWe, the Republican Party of Texas, affirm our belief in nature's God and declare our support for government based upon a moral and spiritual foundation. We affirm freedom for every individual as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and protected by the Constitution. We believe that citizens' needs are best met through free enterprise, private initiative, and volunteerism. We support the “Rule of Law” and believe in upholding the law of the land.THE PROPER ROLE OF GOVERNMENTWe believe government exists by the consent of the governed and that it must be restrained from intruding into the freedoms of its citizens. The function of government is not to grant rights, but to protect the unalienable, God-given rights of life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness.REAFFIRMATION OF THE PRINCIPLE OF FEDERALISMThe 13 original Sovereign States in Constitutional Convention created the Constitution of the United States of America and subsequently ratified that document creating a Federal Government and granting to that Government limited and enumerated powers. The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States defines Federal powers as those enumerated in the Constitution and reserves all other powers to the States and to the People. We oppose congressional, judicial, and executive abrogation of the principle that the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. We oppose unreasonable and intrusive federal mandates.PRIVATE PROPERTYWe recognize the rights of the individual to own property. We resist any effort by government to take private property without an overwhelming need for public use. We strongly oppose civil forfeiture of private property absent the conviction of its owners for a crime involving its acquisition or use.ETHICS AND STANDARDSWe demand honesty, integrity, morality, and accountability of our public officials. We will work to expose and stop corruption. We reject the buying and selling of endorsements in all elections.NATIONAL SECURITY AND PUBLIC PROTECTIONWe support a military force of sufficient strength and readiness to deter any threat to our national sovereignty or to the safety and freedom of our citizens. We support the Constitutional mandate to protect and secure our national borders. We oppose placement of United States troops under any foreign command, including the United Nations. We support lawful efforts of local law enforcement agencies to protect citizens in their homes and in their communities. We urge reform of the legal system to accomplish a swift and balanced administration of justice, including consideration of rights of the victim. We support capital punishment when appropriate.SELF DEFENSEWe support the individual constitutionally protected natural right of the people to keep and bear arms for security and defense of self, family, others, property, or the state, as well as for other lawful purposes. We encourage personal responsibility for the care and use of these firearms. We support the Castle Doctrine and the right of individuals to stand their ground when confronted with criminal violence, and reject the notion that law-abiding citizens have a duty to retreat rather than defend themselves from criminals.FREEDOM OF RELIGIONWe claim freedom of religion for every citizen and expect the protection of government in securing to us this unalienable right. We affirm the right to religious expression, including prayer, in both private and public. We support the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.FAMILY VALUESWe recognize the traditional family as the fundamental unit of society. We affirm that parents have the fundamental right and primary responsibility to direct the upbringing of their children and to provide nurturing care, discipline and training in moral values.RIGHT TO LIFEWe believe all human life is sacred regardless of age or infirmity, and therefore we oppose abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, and the public funding of any of these abhorrent practices. We reject government efforts to force employers to pay for these practices directly or indirectly under the guise of "health care benefits".HUMAN SERVICESWe believe that the primary responsibility for meeting basic human needs rests with the individual, the family, and the voluntary charitable organizations. We recognize, however, that there are special social needs that must be addressed through state human service programs. We support requiring welfare recipients to work towards self-sufficiency. We reject the notion that the federal government may mandate the purchase of any insurance product or penalize the failure to do so, as well as federal regulation of insurance products offered for sale.HERITAGEWe recognize the contributions made to our quality of life through ethnic diversity. We reject efforts to sanitize history because it offends some based upon race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.EQUAL RIGHTSWe believe that no individual is entitled to rights that exceed or supersede the natural rights of others guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Texas. There shall be no discrimination by government in favor of or against any individual due to race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.EDUCATIONWe believe that all children should have access to quality education. Parents have the primary right and responsibility to educate their children, and we support their right to choose public, private, or home education. We support incentives to promote competitive excellence. We encourage cooperative initiatives to help all Texans become literate in English. We support the distribution of educational funds in a manner that they follow the student to any school, whether public private, or home school. We reject federal imposition of educational standards and the tying of federal education funding to adopting federally mandated standards. We reject zero tolerance policies that mindlessly impose punishments that lack a rational relationship to the supposed offense.TAXATIONWe accept the necessity for limited taxation in order for government to perform and administer those services that meet essential public needs. However, we recognize that the power to tax is also the power to control, and believe that the best way to control government is to strictly control the amount of taxes imposed on the people. We encourage further simplification of tax systems, the elimination of the estate tax, and broad-based rate reduction where possible. We reject the imposition of a state income tax and support a meaningful cap on increasing property taxes so that homeowners need not fear being taxed out of their homes.REGULATIONWe recognize that government regulation can be a major impediment to productivity and to competition. We must rely more on market forces and less on government. Regulatory power now exercised by the federal government must be eliminated or returned to state and local governments to the degree that it is practical to do so.ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTWe believe that a strong, diversified economy based on a positive work ethic, a well-trained and well-educated work force, a business-friendly environment, and safe work place will help Texas compete in a world market place. We believe that developing our human resources is essential to the future of Texas. We support the Texas Right to Work Law.THE ENVIRONMENTWe appreciate the quality of our environment. Our air, water, and land are at the heart of our existence and must be protected through balanced management. We support reasonable laws and volunteer efforts to improve air and water quality. We continue to seek responsible solutions to controversies surrounding uses of our wilderness. We seek to preserve the environment while serving the best interests of our Texas citizens. We oppose as unconstitutional the declaration by any President without approval from Congress of any large tract of land as a national monument. We call on the State of Texas to use the resources at its disposal to challenge any such declaration in the courts of the United States.JURYThe jury is a fundamental institution of liberty, because it is the only anchor yet imagined by man by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution. The jury has the right and the authority to acquit if jurors feel justice will be served.IMMIGRATIONAmerica is a stronger and better nation because of the hard work and entrepreneurial spirit of legal immigrants, and the Republican Party honors them. We believe that control of our borders is critical to both national security and national sovereignty.We oppose illegal immigration and all forms of amnesty for illegal immigrants. We oppose granting government benefits to those illegally present in the US. We believe that current laws against employing illegal immigrants should be vigorously enforced, particularly to stem the now too common crime of identity theft in obtaining employment. We support the imposition of civil and criminal penalties for employers that knowingly employ illegal aliens. We support the mandatory use of E-Verify so that employers can determine whether job applicants are legally entitled to employment in the United States.OUR MISSIONThe Republican Party is a party by the people and for the people. We appreciate the productivity of our citizens, affirm the infinite worth of all individuals, and seek the best possible quality of life for all. We invite all citizens to join us in working together for a better Texas.
Let's just say that I was amazed by the response to this email. Some individuals have been quite supportive of my draft, while others have viewed it negatively. Others have been taken a position somewhere in between, offering their support for the concept of creating a document that is more helpful to the grassroots, party officials, and elected officials while not necessarily endorsing the version I proposed. Some have agreed to share my proposal with others Republicans for purposes of discussion, while others have respectfully declined. The key thing is that it appears to have jump-started some discussion on the future of the RPT platform -- which was my goal when I began to circulate it this past weekend. I offer my sincere thanks and utmost respect to all who responded, whether positively or negatively -- the passion and insights expressed demonstrates that even when we disagree we are all animated by sincere belief and support for for the principles that make the GOP great.
I post this text here now in the hope of expanding the conversation beyond those I contacted over the weekend. Please feel free to offer your critique of the ideas here, and to make suggestions regarding other ways we might improve the platform and the process by which it is created. Most importantly, please feel free to share this with others, and encourage them to do the same. If you like what I have here, please feel free to submit it at your precinct conventions next March after primary voting concludes, or offer it at your County or Senatorial District convention. But most importantly, please keep the conversation going, because the RPT (and the GOP as a whole) can only be strengthened by the full, free, and open exchange of ideas at all levels of the party.
Because, you know, the New York Times Company (a New York corporation trading on the New York Stock Exchange as NYT) is troubled that the new corporate beneficiaries tend to be conservative in their outlook and the decisions by courts have a libertarian philosophy that keeps government from silencing speech that the big media corporation opposes.
Liberals used to love the First Amendment. But that was in an era when courts used it mostly to protect powerless people like civil rights activists and war protesters.
These days, a provocative new study says, there has been a “corporate takeover of the First Amendment.” The assertion is backed by data, and it comes from an unlikely source: John C. Coates IV, who teaches business law at Harvard and used to be a partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, the prominent corporate law firm.
“Corporations have begun to displace individuals as the direct beneficiaries of the First Amendment,” Professor Coates wrote. The trend, he added, is “recent but accelerating.”
Oh, the horror of it all -- corporations asserting rights that ought only belong to the poor and downtrodden, and being treated impartially by a blindfolded Lady Justice who is not peeking in order to know when to put her thumb on the scales of justice!
The problem, this article seems to indicate, dates back to decisions that were made in the mid-1970s. Before that, the courts used to only protect the First Amendment rights of downtrodden individuals -- and corporations like the New York Times Company (a New York corporation trading on the New York Stock Exchange as NYT)
How recent a phenomenon is this shocking corporate takeover of the First Amendment? The Times does not provide a precise start date, but surely it must be at least as old as the year 1964. Why? Because that was the year when a wealthy and powerful corporation prevailed in the landmark First Amendment case known as New York Times Co. v. Sullivan. In that decision, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the for-profit corporate entity (otherwise known as The New York Times) by rejecting a libel suit filed by a Jim Crow official from Alabama who objected when the paper published a letter critical of his local government's mistreatment of black Americans. If the corporation lost, the Court observed, "would-be critics of official conduct may be deterred from voicing their criticism," thus diminishing the scope of the First Amendment.
Seven years later, that same wealthy and powerful corporate entity prevailed in yet another landmark First Amendment case, a decision known as New York Times Co. v. United States. Here the Supreme Court invalidated the federal government's attempt to suppress publication of the so-called Pentagon Papers. According to Justice Hugo Black, the corporation had to win this dispute, otherwise the outcome "would make a shambles of the First Amendment."
So you see, the New York Times Company (a New York corporation trading on the New York Stock Exchange as NYT) used to be a supporter of expanding corporate First Amendment rights -- back when it was the rights of the New York Times Company (a New York corporation trading on the New York Stock Exchange as NYT) that were being protected and expanded.
Conceding that the pressure was exerted upon the Department of Homeland Security, but when long-time members of the Secretary of State's inner circle begin pressuring officials to give favorable decisions to certain applicants, it certainly has an effect.
The No. 2 official at the Homeland Security Department meddled in three high-profile immigration cases, giving special treatment to applications from wealthy and well-connected immigrants after calls from major Democrats despite the objections of career employees, the department’s inspector general concluded in a report Tuesday.
Alejandro Mayorkas, who was elevated from head of the department’s legal immigration agency to be deputy secretary while the investigation was ongoing, also angered many of his colleagues by getting involved in the cases, and “created an appearance of favoritism and special access” for the wealthy immigrants, the inspector general concluded.
Inspector General John Roth said the cases involved major Democrats: former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, Sen. Harry Reid, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Anthony Rodham, brother of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
In each case, pressure from those individuals helped earn favorable treatment, Mr. Roth said.
Looks to me like we need to have another investigation into Hillary Clinton and the corrupt Obama Administration.
The Justice Department is ordering bank employees to consider calling the cops on customers who withdraw $5,000 dollars or more, a chilling example of how the war on cash is intensifying.
Banks are already required to file ‘suspicious activity reports’ on their customers, with threats of fines and even jail time for directors if financial institutions don’t meet quotas.
But as investor and financial blogger Simon Black points out, last week, “A senior official from the Justice Department spoke to a group of bankers about the need for them to rat out their customers to the police.”
Assistant attorney general Leslie Caldwell gave a speech in which he urged banks to “alert law enforcement authorities about the problem” so that police can “seize the funds” or at least “initiate an investigation”.
As Black highlights, according to the handbook for the Federal Financial Institution Examination Council, such suspicious activity includes, “Transactions conducted or attempted by, at, or through the bank (or an affiliate) and aggregating $5,000 or more…”
The thing is, there is no legal requirement for the reporting of cash transactions of less than $10,000, though in many cases banks will make reports if there is a cash transaction of as little as $8,000. Now the Justice Department is demanding information on transactions of only half the legally required amount so that they can investigate why one wants that much cash – and perhaps even seize it.
Stuff like this leads me to wonder at what point are We the People going to rise up and overthrow the fascist regime operated by Barack Obama.
I know that rape happens – I’ve had too many women close to me who have been victims. And I know that too often the victims of rape have not been believed – one of those women I mentioned earlier told me the awful tale of having been violently assaulted by an acquaintance only to have the police tell her that they believed she just regretted having consented to rough sex with someone other than her boyfriend. I’m therefore quite sympathetic to calls to “believe the victim” even though I am also a firm believer in due process for those accused of sexual assault. But at a certain point, the weight of evidence requires that one concede that a claim of sexual assault is not simply unsubstantiated, but is actually a lie.
Unfortunately, the politically correct orthodoxy of the current day leads even those charged with investigating claims of sexual assault to bend themselves into pretzel-like shapes to avoid declaring a claim to be unambiguously false.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. — Police here say they have found no evidence to support claims in a Rolling Stone article that a University of Virginia student was gang raped at a campus fraternity in September 2012, noting that months of investigation led detectives to discredit several claims about the alleged assault.
Police Chief Timothy J. Longo on Monday afternoon said the police department had multiple meetings with “Jackie” — the woman who claimed she was gang raped at a fraternity party — and that she declined to speak about the alleged incident or provide any information about it. Numerous lines of inquiry yielded evidence that the fraternity did not have a party the night of the alleged attack, and police were unable to find anyone matching the description of the alleged attacker.
“We’re not able to conclude to any substantive degree that an incident occurred at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house or any other fraternity house, for that matter,” Longo said at a news conference. “That doesn’t mean something terrible didn’t happen to Jackie … we’re just not able to gather sufficient facts to determine what that is.”
In other words, there is not a single scrap of evidence that shows that any of the claims made by the putative victim of this alleged assault contains even a grain of truth – but nobody in authority is prepared to say that the myriad false claims made lead inexorably to the conclusion that the alleged victim is a confirmed liar. Would that somebody, anybody, in a position of authority would mockingly denounce the liar and her supporters with the infamous old line “I deny the allegations and I defy the alligators.”
UPDATE(Via Hot Air): It gets worse -- now the supporters of Jackie the Liar are demanding that people not blame her for lying and instead affirm her for having had the courage to lie so boldly.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who is pushing for stronger laws against rapes on college campuses, today warned against people criticizing the woman at the center of a University of Virginia sexual assault case.
But Gillibrand said the ire over the case shouldn't shift blame onto victims, who already have a hard time coming forward to authorities.
"Victim blaming or shining the spotlight on her for coming forward is not the right approach," Gillibrand said on "The Capitol Pressroom," a public radio show in Albany. "In fact, what we have to focus on is how do we keep these campuses safe? How do we have better trained personnel on campuses so they can tell a survivor what her options are and so they can have all the facts?"
Not only that, Senator Gillibrand rejects the notion that the false accuser should face criminal charges for violating laws against making false police reports.
Gillibrand said it would be wrong for some to call on the female student in the UVA scandal to face criminal charges.
"I think it's inappropriate," she said. "One of the challenges with survivors of sexual trauma and rape is that they often don’t want to actually participate with law enforcement because they don’t think justice is possible. They don't think they will be believed; they think they’ll be blamed."
So never mind that there is not a scrap of evidence supporting the report that she made or the stories that she has told. Never mind the damage she has done to those who she falsely branded as rapists and accessories to rape. Never mind the damage that she has done to ACTUAL VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT by perpetrating this fraud upon the public by making up a patently false story out of whole cloth. It is a bad thing to hold her accountable like we would those who filed false reports about other crimes because she lied about being raped and if we punish women who lie about rape it might discourage those who have actually been sexually assaulted from reporting those crimes.
Ace of Spades has it right. These are not advocates for victims -- they are Cultists who demand that no one examine or criticize their false religion.
I like my state’s junior senator – I really do. But I’m not backing him for the nomination. I don’t think he is ready for the presidency – and don’t think that is the best place for him to use his gifts. Instead, I would like to see President Scott Walker appoint Ted Cruz to the first available opening on the US Supreme Court – preferably replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg. That would make for a good four decades of a constitutional conservative on the High Court.
But on to the announcement itself.
First, the speech was masterful. But then again, when doesn’t Ted Cruz show himself to be a master of the art of political rhetoric? In that he is very much in the mold of Ronald Reagan. The vision he laid out is a conservative one that I think many, if not most, Americans believe in. Unfortunately, he is not the man to bring it to fruition, just as Barry Goldwater was fated to be the prophet of conservative governance rather than the one who brought it into effect. I embrace the vision Ted Cruz presented yesterday – a vision that a generation ago was firmly and undeniably in the American mainstream even if the left-wing opinion elite declare it to be dangerously extreme today – and I believe that most Americans embrace it today.
But I have to admit that I was put off by the choice of Liberty University as the site for the Cruz announcement. It wasn’t just that Cruz chose not to make the announcement here in Houston, the city he calls home in the state he represents in the Senate. It wasn’t just that Liberty University is inextricably tied to its late founder, Rev. Jerry Falwell, and the social conservative movement. It was that the audience itself was composed of students made into involuntary props because the speech was a part of a mandatory student assembly (indeed, students would have been fined by the university for nonattendance). Ted Cruz could have drawn an adoring and enthusiastic audience of supporters any number of places – but he didn’t try to do so. I believe that was a mistake in terms of optics, and an insult to those who would have gladly turned out to voluntarily support Cruz.
But at the same time, I want to point to something very interesting that happened at the speech – something that I believe shows a greater openness to diversity of opinion at Liberty University than one would have found at most public colleges of liberal-dominated private universities.
Yeah, that’s right – a band of Liberty University students wearing shirts supporting Rand Paul placed themselves in the right spot to be in many shots of the Cruz speech. University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. commented on it this way when asked about it by the media.
"The fact that some students attended the service wearing t-shirts supporting another potential candidate shows that our students are not indoctrinated; they are free—and encouraged—to form their own opinions about what they hear in Convocation and to express it," Falwell said.
Considering that any number of institutions of higher education and political campaigns (notably the Obama campaign in both 2008 and 2012) have banned the expression of dissenting political speech during appearances by presidential candidates and their surrogates at campus speeches and rallies, the fact that Liberty University and the Cruz campaign made no such effort to suppress the speech of students who support other candidates shows a level of support for freedom of thought and freedom of expression not generally found on campuses today. I commend both the school and the campaign for modeling truly American values that are too often neglected by the self-proclaimed voices of tolerance on campuses today – and note that the fact that Falwell had to explain to the media why freedom of speech was permitted on campus tells us a great deal about the degree to which suppression of student liberties is expected and accepted at most institutions of higher education today.
It has been an interesting couple of weeks – and a silent couple of weeks as well.
Two weeks ago tonight, I came home from school feeling tired and headachey – but looking forward to a night at the rodeo, followed by a concert by Tim McGraw. I told my wife that I was going to lay down for 30 minutes or so – only to instead sleep for about the next 300 when she decided that I was clearly too sick for a night out. By morning I could barely talk or breathe, and spent the next couple of days fighting a sinus infection. Thanks to my students for cooperating with me as I gutted out the rest of the week leading up to Spring Break – they are the best.
But as the weekend began, my illness got passed on to my darling wife – and settled into her lungs. It wasn’t the worst case of bronchitis she has ever had, and we caught it before it tipped over into pneumonia – but that put our rodeo plans on hold for most of break as we coughed, sneezed and sniffled our way through what was planned to be an active vacation. We did make it to the rodeo a during the latter part of the week – only to get caught out in a major thunderstorm that sent Paula into a relapse .
Needless to say, I just haven’t felt like writing for the last couple of weeks – both because I needed to recover and I needed to help her recover. But it is just as well – the rest I’ve gotten has been a big help and I started back to school yesterday feeling better and on an emotionally higher not than I would have if I had forced myself to keep up with the news as closely as I usually do so that I can blog the way I usually do.
But I’m back. And I hope that the rest turns out to be as good for my writing as it has been for other areas of my life.
The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match up.
“”You see, it’s been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn’t we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?” – Adolf Hitler
“I studied the Qu’ran a great deal. I came away from that study with the conviction that by and large there have been few religions in the world as deadly to men as that of Muhammad. As far as I can see, it is the principal cause of the decadence so visible today in the Muslim world and, though less absurd than the polytheism of old, its social and political tendencies are in my opinion more to be feared, and I therefore regard it as a form of decadence rather than a form of progress in relation to paganism itself” – Alexis de Tocqueville
“All this talk of people who burn the Koran and nothing about the people who reacted in such a stupid way. We are always blaming the victim and not holding them — not most Muslims, but at least a large part of Muslim culture that doesn’t condemn their people… There is one religion in the world that kills you when you disagree with them and they say ‘look, we are a religion of peace and if you disagree we’ll f**king cut your head off, and nobody calls them on it — there are very few people that will call them on it. It’s like if Dad is a violent drunk and beats his kids, you don’t blame the kid because he set Dad off. You blame Dad because he’s a violent drunk” - Bill Maher
This week’s winning essay, Joshuapundit’s The Chicken Or The Egg? looks at some elements of Islamic culture and asks: is it Islam that promotes the extreme violence and misogyny associated with Muslim societies? Or is that just [art of a tribal society that persists in spite of Islam? Here’s a slice:
Unless you’re in a coma, you’ve probably noticed that a great many of the violent and barbaric acts in our modern world can be attributed to followers of Islam.
In the Islamic world today, aside from homicide bombings, jihad and terrorism directed against dar harb ( the part of the world not ruled by Islam), honor killings, female genital circumcision and other forms of violence against women are commonplace, and homosexuals are routinely brutalized and murdered. Non-Muslims are treated as barely human in much of the Islamic world, if they’re allowed to exist at all. Warfare carried out by Muslims is done with modern tools of the trade provided by the despised infidels, but is a relic of the good ol’ primitive and tribal days. Hostages, beheadings and the deliberate killing of civilians are all fair game, and the language of jihad is essentially the same heady stuff used back in the 7th century against the infidel. And through it all, there remains the miasma of seething violent rage at things like the Danish cartoons that simply doesn’t exist in other religious groups.
The question nobody wants to ask keeps floating to the surface: Is Islam to blame? Or, to put it another way, are the perpetrators simply bad Muslims or are they actually good ones who are simply more in tune with Mohammed’s message than the majority? Does Islam itself promote violence? Or are the acts simply a product of primitive tribal society that persists in spite of Islam?
Actually, this is a trick question. I personally believe that Islam and the primitive tribal culture combined back in the day to sustain each other and can’t be separated by their very nature…even though some valiant attempts have been made in the past, and are being made today.
Let’s look at honor killings, for example. Probably the oldest recorded one is in Genesis 34, when Jacob’s daughter Dinah was seduced (or raped, depending on how you interpret the text) by a man from the town of Shechem( modern day Nablus). Afterwards, Jacob’s sons Simeon and Levi instigated the killing of the town’s men in revenge. But the Torah also tells us how Jacob denounced the killings and actually took the time to bad mouth his sons for the deed from his deathbed. Not only that, but you’ll notice a profound difference from the Islamic way of handling this – the onus of punishment fell on the male, not the female.
his isn’t the only honor killing mentioned in the Bible, but they were never condoned or part of Jewish law, just merely reported.
Islam, on the other hand, not only sanctions honor killings but is quite clear about its position in the matter. Killing or flogging an adulteress or a female that has relations with a non-Muslim male are part of sharia ( Qu’ran: 4:15, for example) – provided an Islamic court orders the punishment rather than an individual male family member going off on his own.
Even at that, Islamic courts today in the Muslim world frequently view male family members taking the law into their own hands fairly leniently. In Jordan, for example, many brutal honor killings have been punished by as little as a three month sentence under Jordanian Public Law 340. Moreover, in the context of Islamic society such murderers are often celebrated and held up as role models. Just as homicide bombers and terrorists who kill infidel civilians often are.
But what if a Muslim feels himself disrespected and lives in say, Britain or New Jersey? If no Islamic courts are available, is it permissible to take the law into one’s own hands? Probably. There’s not much in the way of Islamic rulings or commentary on that particular subject, but the near silence of most Muslim clergy in the West when it comes to denouncing honor killings speaks volumes…one of those little inconvenient truths Western apologists for multiculturalism and Islam constantly run up against when a number of Muslim clerics themselves insist that honor killing, female genital mutilation, and stoning of adulterers are mandated by Islam. And, as you’ve probably guessed by now , that’s one of the unspoken reasons behind the push among many Muslims in the West for sharia courts to handle those messy domestic problems that come up with uppity females from time to time.
Violent death penalties for women caught in adultery is fairly typical of a primitive society, but only Islam continues the practice into the present day. No Christian court has ever condemned a woman to death for adultery. And although the death penalty for adultery is found in the Book of Leviticus, there is no record of such a sentence ever carried out by any Jewish court. The same is true of homosexuality; while both Christianity and Judaism consider it ‘a sin and an abomination’ only Islam clearly mandates the death penalty for such activities and carries it out in our present day.
So why does Islamic society persist in these practices ?
Much more at the link.
In our non-Council category, the winner was Daniel Greenfield’s–Obama’s Treason Is The New Patriotism submitted by The Noisy Room. Daniel has some very hard hitting things to say about President Obama and a number of his questionable actions..and the tendency by the usual suspects to name anyone whom disagrees with the Regime a ‘traitor.’
Here are this week’s full results. GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD and Rhymes With Right were unable to vote this week, but were not subject to the usual 2/3 vote penalty for not voting:
See you next week!
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