Liberal Archives

The (Cultural) Freedom of Speech

(This is part of the script of the latest episode of my podcast, “Consider This!”)

What is it that they say about conservatives? They’re haters, they’re whatever-phobes, they’re intolerant of people who are different than they are. Then what to make of this story.

Over 5 years ago, some guy – we’ll call him Bubba – gave $1000 to a political cause. He gave his personal money, not on behalf of anyone else. A bit of free political speech in action.

Fast forward to today, and Bubba was the target of a campaign to push him out of his job because someone found out about this contribution. Bubba gave in to the pressure, and resigned.

If Bubba had given money to the Sierra Club to save the whales, or to Planned Parenthood to provide free abortions, and this had happened to him, the Left in this country would be outraged. But because Bubba, whose real name is Brendan Eich, former CEO of Mozilla, gave to California’s Proposition 8, the effort to keep marriage between one man and one woman, the otherwise First-Amendment-loving Left are mum, as well as being the ones who did the pushing.

I have said it a number of times before, and I need to say it again. The Progressive element in this country is all about Constitutional rights, right up to the point when those rights are used against their pet political causes. Then the hate, intolerance, and phobias that they accuse others of come quickly to the surface. A clearer case of projection – accusing others of what you yourself harbor – is not easily found.

And consider this. At the time of his donation, Brendan felt the same way about the issue as President Obama, Vice President Biden, and, as it turned out, 60% of California voters. Five short years later, he’s being punished for it by the real Thought Police. There are no allegations that he mistreated, maligned, or otherwise caused harm to any homosexuals in his company. One’s views on this topic have no connection whatsoever with the business of Mozilla; most notably the Firefox web browser. This is completely, 100% a “thought crime”.

It’s the progressive Left that likes to proclaim that it is more tolerant, that is more free-thinking, right up to the point where you disagree with them. Beyond that point, they want to dictate what you can and can’t think, culturally if not legally, and sometimes even legally; just ask Hobby Lobby, or proprietors that don’t wish to participate in same-sex weddings. No, you must toe the line of the tolerant, free-thinkers. Is anyone noticing the irony here, where “mutual respect” only works one way?

“If you like your beliefs, you can keep your beliefs. To yourself. If you don’t, you can’t keep your job.”

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    Hollywood "Tea Partiers" (Sort of)

    “A conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged by reality”, so the cliché goes. Well, if only it were that easy. Usually, they stay liberal.

    Take Hollywood, please. This bastion of liberalism is now trying to get lower taxes to bring business back to California. Turns out that high tax rates have been pushing filmmakers out of the Golden State, into other states that don’t take as much of your gold.

    The result is job loss there, and gains in states like Louisiana and North Carolina, with more business-friendly policies. The group Film Works has started a petition to have taxes cut on the filmmaking industry to bring back those jobs and economic development.

    Now let’s see; high taxes push out business, and the solution is to cut taxes in order to jump start the economy and bring jobs back. If I didn’t know better, I’d say these folks were prime candidates for inclusion in the Tea Party. But of course, I do know better. One would hope that, seeing this economic reality mugging them, these Hollywood liberals would realize that this works for other industries, or the state as a whole. One would hope.

    But hold not thy breath.

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      Next Step: Accepting "Open Marriage"

      Now that same-sex marriage has been accepted by some states, it’s no longer a draw for the evening news, so ABC News in America has decided to move on to the next big thing; open marriage. These are marriages where fidelity is more of a suggestion than anything else. It’s not polygamy, which at least formally acknowledges, in one manner or another, a lasting relationship with more than one spouse. Instead, open marriage, or polyamory, means two people are legally married while continuing to see other people.

      So ABC News decided to present a generally positive quote-unquote “news” piece about those for whom commitment is something only for mentally disturbed people. The most critical thing said in the whole segment was that reporter Nick Watt thought it just wasn’t his thing, and that his wife wouldn’t like it. But the rest of the segment, including questions to a psychologist, was generally positive. Not a hint of an opposing viewpoint.

      This is what passes for “news” in the 21st century; one-sided advocacy journalism. Even if Watt isn’t personally in favor of it, showing one side only, on a controversial topic, on a news show, is advocacy.

      Do other news organizations do it? Yes, on both sides of the aisle. But while Fox News and the Wall Street Journal get lambasted anytime they don’t play it down the middle, so many liberal news watchers have such a blind spot when something like this airs. Conservative media bias is outrageous. Liberal media bias is…hey look, a unicorn!

      The other issue, of course, is that those who said that same-sex marriage would lead to a slippery slope have been, yet again, proved absolutely on target. We aren’t falling for it, but the news media is pushing.

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        Another City Spending Its Way to Bankruptcy

        I’ve written before about the problems big cities are facing when it comes to Cadillac pensions. San Bernadino, California and Detroit, Michigan declared bankruptcy largely due to this. And now comes word that another California city may follow in their footsteps.

        Desert Hot Springs , a resort town of 26,000 warned that it will run out of money by March due to burdensome salary and pension costs. That would make it the third California city along with San Bernardino and Stockton to succumb to that. Amy Aguer, the interim director of finance, said nearly 70 percent of the city’s budget was consumed by police costs, most of which were spent on salaries and pension payments.

        Now, part of this problems is the California public employees’ pension program, Calpers. The cost charged for participating keeps going up. Karol Denniston, a bankruptcy attorney in San Francisco said, "Calpers keeps increasing costs and many of these cities have cut costs down to where there is nothing else left to cut." And I’m sure that contributes to the problem, but I really don’t think it accounts for 70% of Desert Hot Springs’ budget.

        But the main thing is, if they do go under, who gets paid? Do the pensions get cut in order to pay off creditors? That’s a difficult question to answer. It’s a case of competing promises. The root causes of all of this, though, are those initial promises. Russell Betts, a council member, stated the obvious when he sad, "It’s obvious we can’t continue with salaries and pensions that are in the stratosphere, no matter how much love there is for our police department.” Sure, it’s obvious now, when the problems arise. But if you’d said anything like that years ago, you’d have been labeled as someone who “hates” the police, or public workers in general. “We should be paying our police more than our football players!”, some might shout, even though I’m sure that Desert Hot Springs doesn’t have a national football team. But anyway…

        That’s a nice sentiment until you have no money left. I’m not suggesting what Desert Hot Springs should be paying its cops, nor suggesting that such pensions aren’t deserved. It’s just that when you overpromise, sooner or later someone’s got to pay the piper. And even if it’s shared pain between pensioners and creditors, promises get broken.

        The solution is to state the obvious before having to break those promises. The problem is that there are too many voters and council members who think that government money is limitless, which is only true until it isn’t. Sure, stating the obvious – that we should live within our means – may get you called ‘heartless’, among other choice adjectives, but it must be said.

        That’s kind of like how those of us who were against this huge set of promises we often call ObamaCare were treated. We’re stating the obvious, but we’re being called ‘heartless’, all because we don’t want to go bankrupt. We’re already going bankrupt, that much is for sure, but we’re rather not hang another boulder around our neck while trying to stay above water. As I’ve mentioned before, federal pensions and existing entitlements alone cost more than we take in in taxes. Among the many promises that ObamaCare will not fulfill is that it will reduce the deficit. We can’t afford that.

        I feel like I’m council member Cassandra sometimes, warning of danger that is obvious to anyone who would see, but not being believed, in spite of so much evidence surrounding us. Website glitches are sideshows. Economic realities will bury us.

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          Liberal Magazine Proves Conservatives’ Point

          The magazine The Nation is a liberal-leaning publication; that much is certain. What’s not so certain is whether or not they really understand the topics they cover.

          Here’s a case in point. It recently asked it readers to sign an open letter to Wal-Mart demanding that they pay workers at least $12 an hour. However, another web site, ProPublica, reported, as good news, that, this fall, interns at the Nation Institute, who put out the magazine, will be paid minimum wage for the first time in the history of the 30-year-old program. Up until now they’d been paid at less than minimum wage, when all the while they railed against those who did just that.

          But anyway, that’s good news, right? Those overworked interns will now get the federal minimum wage and have more to spend in our economy. Well, consider this. In a statement to ProPublica on the report, The Nation said that, “We are not yet certain how this will work out long term, but for the fall we are anticipating hiring ten interns rather than twelve.”

          So they’re raising the pay, but hiring fewer workers in response. Wow, now who could have anticipated that?

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            Study Shows the Sun Rose Today

            (This is one of the segments of the most recent episode of my podcast, "Consider This!")

            The NY Times recently reported on a study that, I imagine, came as a shock to most of the Times’ readership. “News organizations are far more likely to present a supportive view of same-sex marriage than an antagonistic view, according to a content study by the Pew Research Center to be released on Monday.” The Pew study also noted that the views of the public at large, contrary to the news reporting, are evenly divided.

            For conservatives, this is like a study showing that the sun rose this morning, or the Pope is actually Catholic. But this paranoia about news coverage does, in fact, prove the adage that it’s not paranoia because, if you have the unapproved viewpoint, they really are out to get you.

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              Jim Wallis "Evolves". Again.

              Just as our President supposedly "evolved" on the issue of same-sex marriage, Rev. Jim Wallis, head of the liberal Sojourners group, has done the same thing. After saying that marriage shouldn’t be redefined, now that the culture apparently want to change it, now he’s fine with it.

              Michael Brown, author and radio talk-show host, wrote an article for Charisma News that calls Wallis on the carpet for this change. (Emphasis his.)

              Rev. Wallis, you told us in 2008 that “the sacrament of marriage” should not be changed and that “marriage is all through the Bible, and it’s not gender-neutral.” Now, in 2013, you want to redefine marriage and make it gender-neutral. In doing so, you have betrayed the Word of God and the people of God.

              To be candid, sir, I’m not surprised by your theological flip-flop—just pained and distressed by it, since your name is still associated with evangelical Christianity in America and you are a prominent church leader.

              This is not just an issue of going against what Brown (and I) believes the Bible says, but it’s yet another case of Wallis saying one thing and doing another. Brown offers up many examples.

              In the past, you raised some valid criticisms about the “religious right” and its deep solidarity with the Republican Party, but then you joined yourself to the religious left and the Democratic Party, even campaigning for Democratic candidates. So much for taking a kingdom-of-God position that transcends partisan politics and challenges the political establishment.

              To be sure, you have rightly challenged us to consider the poor and the oppressed, pointing to the hundreds of Scriptures that call us to “social justice.” But then you have turned around and applauded Communist dictatorships that championed oppression and tyranny.

              When it comes to Christian integrity, you disappointed us when you received funding from pro-abortion, pro-atheism billionaire George Soros and when you allowed the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the world’s largest gay activist organization, to take out paid advertising in your Sojourners magazine, even though the HRC would love to silence all religious opposition to homosexual practice.

              It is true that in 2008, you expressed having “mixed feelings” about the HRC ads, stating that you “probably wouldn’t do it again.” But today, the HRC celebrates your defection from biblical values, announcing in headline news, “Leading Evangelical Christian Voice Announces Support For Marriage Equality.”

              Rev. Wallis, you have brought reproach to the name of Jesus, to the Word of God and to evangelical Christianity.

              But the height of the hypocrisy is that Wallis seems to be making his moral decisions based on the culture, not based on Christ.

              Worst of all, you have reversed your earlier position on what the Bible clearly says about marriage based largely on where “the country is going.”

              What? Jim Wallis, the critic of the religious establishment; Jim Wallis, the counter-cultural revolutionary; Jim Wallis, the advocate of a Jesus who changes the world rather than conforms to it. You, sir, are now willing to redefine one of the most foundational and sacred human institutions, the institution of marriage, based on where the country is going? Isn’t that the path to spiritual and moral suicide?

              Read the whole thing. (Hey, you’ve read most of it already.)

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                An Inconvenient Truth, Ignored

                There’s a murder trial going on in Pennsylvania. A doctor was arrested in 2011 for killing 8 people, and the trial has been going on since March 18th. Accusations of beheadings, special treatment for whites, severed feet in jars, 15-year-olds administering anesthesia, unsanitary clinic conditions that spread STDs to unsuspecting women, and multiple state agencies made aware of this but who chose to ignore what was going on.

                “What?”, you may be asking. “Why isn’t this front-page news?” Indeed, the fact that it isn’t strains credulity. It’s so unbelievable that the popular Snopes website that debunks (or in some cases, “bunks”) urban legends, felt compelled to let its readers know that, yes, that story you see being passed around in e-mail or on Facebook is, indeed, true, and not some made-up legend.

                Kirsten Powers wrote an opinion piece asking the obvious question of why this isn’t front-page news. The answer, I think, is because all this happened at an abortion clinic. Kermit Gosnell, who has been performing the cheapest and fastest abortions he could possibly perform for over 30 years, finally was arrested, but not after so much damage had already been done.

                And where is the media in all this? Well, they say they covered the arrest in 2011, so at this point it’s just a local crime issue. Right, like Aurora, and Sandy Hook, and Littleton. As the facts come out, there’s no need to cover that. Rather, let’s talk about a basketball coach behaving badly. Hey look! Rush Limbaugh said something shocking! That doesn’t happen often, right, it must be news!

                Let’s not talk about babies born alive and having their spinal cords quote-unquote “snipped”. Let’s not talk about deliveries in toilets. Let’s not talk about this little abortion shop of horrors.

                Why not? Well, as James Taranto wrote, that just might make people think hard about their stance on abortion. They might start to change their minds, two examples of which Taranto mentioned. Oh, let’s make sure they think hard about their stance on guns, or immigration, or whatever else they need to hear about to come to the liberal way of thinking. But the realities of abortion? Doesn’t fit the narrative, so the media ignore it. That’s advocacy, not just in how something’s reported, but whether it’s reported at all.

                If Kermit Gosnell had killed those women and babies with an AR-15 rifle, you know it would be national news. Or if he were a Christian. Or if he had killed abortion doctor George Tiller. Instead he was performing what the law has contorted into a Constitutional right that the Left enshrines in their political platforms. When what used to be called back-alley abortions are being done right in an alleged clinic, both the government and the media turn a blind eye to it.

                It doesn’t fit the narrative, and it might (well, it is) changing some minds on this liberal sacrament of abortion. I am of the firm belief that the politics of the issue is directly affecting its coverage. Oh, oh, that liberal media.

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                  The Boston Blame Game

                  The smoke from the bombing at the Boston Marathon on April 15th had hardly had a chance to clear when the media began speculating about right-wing extremists. Folks, please, let’s take care of the wounded and bury our dead before breaking out the knee-jerk reactions, OK? It seems like after every single act like this, the media just has to have a race to see who can blame conservatives first.

                  After the Aurora shooting, for example, Brian Ross apparently did a Google search for the shooter’s name, Jim Holmes, and may have hit the “I’m feeling lucky” button, before reporting that he was a Tea Party member. Turned out, of course, that some guy with the same name did belong to the Tea Party, but he wasn’t the shooter. Still, it was too good to check, it fit the narrative, and Ross reported it.

                  But did they learn their lesson? Why, of course not.

                  • Esquire’s Charles Pierce suggested conservatives when he wrote, “Obviously, nobody knows anything yet, but I would caution folks jumping to conclusions about foreign terrorism to remember that this is the official Patriots Day holiday in Massachusetts, celebrating the Battles at Lexington and Concord, and that the actual date (April 19) was of some significance to, among other people, Tim McVeigh, because he fancied himself a waterer of the tree of liberty and the like.”
                  • MSNBC’s “journalist” Chris Matthews got in on the disgraceful speculation and claimed, “Normally domestic terrorists, people, tend to be on the far right.”
                  • CNN National Security Analyst Peter Bergen told host Jake Tapper shortly after the bombings that they could be the work of “right-wing extremists” just as easily as they could be the work of Al Qaeda.

                  Yeah, just like the Unabomber, Gabby Gifford’s shooter, the aforementioned Jim Holmes, and Adam Lanza. Not that they’re all far Left, mind you, but they certainly aren’t or weren’t far Right.

                  To try to make it seem like this sort of unhelpful speculation was happening equally on both sides, the left-wing FreakOutNation website posted that a Fox News contributor was immediately blaming Muslims. See? Exactly the same thing, right?

                  Well, except that Erik Rush has contributed to CNN as well as Fox. No mention of that. Oh, and that his was an ugly, but personal, tweet, rather than being broadcast nationally by, well, anyone. Oh yeah, exactly the same thing.

                  Yes, both sides have their nuts. However, when it comes to jerking their knees around, the left-wing, mainstream media have the blame game down to a science, and they make sure you heard it here first.

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                    When the Shooter is a Liberal, the Media Gets Quiet

                    When a nut shot Gabby Giffords, the Left blamed it on the Tea Party and thought Sarah Palin should apologize or reach out. LA shooter Chris Dorner idolizes the Left, and suddenly the media is a model of restraint.

                    Alleged Los Angeles shooter Christopher Jordan Dorner, influenced by left-leaning media coverage of gun crime in the wake of the Newtown shootings, has virtually paralyzed the City of Angels. Floyd Lee Corkins, a gunman incensed by anti-gay marriage bias after reading articles by the liberal advocacy group Southern Poverty Law Center, took a firearm into the Family Research Council’s headquarters with the intention of killing “as many as possible.” He hoped to smash Chick-fil-A sandwiches in the faces of as many corpses as he could. These shooters were clearly moved by left-wing media, and we should thank every benevolent force in the universe that they were. Had either shooter possessed even a tenuous link to a conservative group, a media-driven hysteria about the malevolent influence of right-wing broadcasters and commentators would be gripping the nation today. Fortunately, when a crazed shooter’s ideology is explicitly and demonstrably left-wing, the media displays admirable restraint about linking a gunman’s politics to their acts of violence.

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                      The "Consider This!" Podcast, Episode 28

                      Maybe this is why I’ve not been blogging much. Well, it’s certainly a contributing factor.

                      The latest episode covers the fight of North Carolina pro-choicers against a license plate that advocates a choice, and a rundown of how well the Washington, DC gun ban reduced homicides (hint: it didn’t).

                      Click here for the show notes, links to articles mentioned, and ways to get your voice heard on the podcast. You can also listen to the show right on the page, or subscribe in iTunes, Stitcher or the Blubrry network.

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                        Media Ignore "March for Life"

                        Tens of thousands marched in a huge anti-abortion protest in Washington, DC. You’re forgiven if you didn’t know about it. ABC and CBS couldn’t be bothered to mention it at all. NBC gave all of it 15 seconds. But for less than 1,000 protestors who came out for more gun control, CBS managed to find time for them.

                        In print, the NY Times has ignored the march for the past 5 years, but this year, while it finally realized that something was happening, they managed to frame it just the way they wanted.

                        This year, the 40th anniversary of the March, the Times broke its streak with a so-so 815-word story by Ashley Parker that made the bottom of the front of the paper’s National section, on page 9.

                        What made the top of page 9? Here the Times showed some nerve, as religion reporter Laurie Goodstein’s used some liberal Catholic activists to chide pro-lifers supporters for not also being anti-gun It’s almost as if the paper acknowledged the march so as to be able to criticize it.

                        Oh, that liberal media.

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                          Some Thoughts on Gun Control

                          Lots of silliness has ensued in the weeks following the shooting in Newton, CT. Gun advocates suggest putting TSA-like agents in every school (as if schools aren’t expensive enough), gun control advocates suggest restricting “assault weapons” (a fictional category for semi-automatic rifles) and “high capacity magazines” (as if the 1-2 seconds to swap magazines would really make a difference) and basically making it far harder to obtain guns (against for example, peer reviewed academic studies showing that the elasticity to gun availability is .1 to .3 out of the 50-60 gun related deaths per 10k people per year.  As much posturing as we have on this matter, if the time the President and his Renfieldian co-conspirator Biden have wasted giving speeches on gun control more children have died in auto accidents than did in the incident they pretend is motivating their interest in gun control. But do they go after drivers and car safety? Nope. Read the rest of this entry

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                            And will likely pay with his life.

                            Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez is dying of cancer in Havana, in a live demonstration of Cuba’s vaunted socialized medical care. He went there instead of Brazil because he wanted to make a political statement. What irony.

                            As party cronies hover at his bedside, Cuban officials bark orders to the government in Caracas, and red-shirted Chavistas hold vigils, all signs are pointing to an imminent exit for the Venezuelan leader who controls a huge part of the world’s oil.

                            He’s going out exactly as he wouldn’t have liked — helpless and at the mercy of doctors, a far cry from the blaze of heroic socialist glory he might have preferred.

                            Most galling for him: It didn’t have to happen this way.

                            His expected demise will be entirely due to his gullibility to leftist propaganda and bad choices that came of it.

                            Remember, this is the Michael-Moore-acclaimed Cuban health care system covered in his movie "Sicko".

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                              Be wary of those who rag on that the Republican Party is primarily made up of old, rich, racist white men. Be wary because when faced with the prospect of a young Hispanic Republican, as in Marco Rubio, the media seems to think that a question of priority for said Republican is to ask him how old he thinks the Earth is. Let’s disregard how other issues were skipped over in lieu of that high priority age of the Earth question. Issues such as: immigration, the economy, healthcare, gun running into Mexico, a U.S. Ambassador being killed in a coordinated attack at a U.S. Embassy and, maybe, the current conflict between Israel and Hamas, you know – low priority issues like that. Oh, and let’s also disregard the fact that Rubio probably-most-likely-maybe thinks that the laws of aerodynamics work consistently enough so that he believes that when he boards a jetliner it will actually fly through the air (as designed); or that he thinks that the laws of chemistry work consistently enough so that when he takes medication it will interact with his body the way it is supposed to; or that he thinks most of that – you know – “science stuff” really works.

                              Yes, since they can’t accuse him of being an old, rich, racist white man, they simply disregard all of the real issues and paint him out to be some sort of buffoon by asking him how old the Earth is because, when all is said and done, they’re not interested in tolerating a Hispanic Republican.

                              Be wary.

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