Notable Quotable

In response to the San Francisco nude in:
Most things that people do that are stupid and destructive and disgusting, I have some impulse to do those things. But taking off my clothes in public; this is nothing I've ever wanted to do.
~ Michael Medved


Notable Quotable

Lord, Make me chaste, but not yet.
St. Augustine
Sounds like those who are against reducing spending and marching further down the road of Keynesian indebtedness.


The Left No Longer Doth Protest Too Much, Methinks

Where are Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan, Al Sharpton, Martin Sheen, Code Pink, Whoopi Goldberg, the novels about assassinating the president , the movies about the assassinating the president and MoveOn.org? (more)

We are still in Iraq and Afghanistan. We had another war in Libya. Renditions, preventive detention and tribunals still continue. Guantanamo is still open. Predator assassinations are quintupled over what the evil George W. Bush and Darth Vader Cheney had done. Troops have increased in Afghanastan. Foreign policy is very similar as when Bush was in office. And none of this was undone, overturned or rejected – as was advocated during the election – when the Democrats controlled Congress and the White House from 2009-2011.

And yet, no protests. No name calling. No hand wringing about the moral condition of our leaders.

Where are the howls of protest against an indecent and immoral war that is trading blood for oil?

Where are the anti-war protest marches in Hollywood, San Francisco and other less ideologically myopic and insular cloisters?

Where are the accusations of foreign adventurism, racism, imperialism, colonialism, corporatism and globalization?

Where are the movies depicting our soldiers and intelligence officers as rapists, murderers and torturers? (You can be sure there will be a patriotic, glowing, military love-fest of a flicker show depicting the bin Laden assassination released, oh, somewhere around October of 2012. Curious timing, that.)

Where are the accusations of crony politics and paybacks for no-bid contracts to continue this bully war?

Where are the fist-pumping, rule-of-law types demanding constitutional and moral justification for circumventing habeas corpus, civilian court trials, tribunals, appeals, or any other protection that might be offered to an enemy combatant? Where is the outrage for just brazenly acting as judge, jury and executioner by killing suspects with Predator drones? Or for being judge, jury and executioner for bin Laden when so much to-do was made over giving KSM a civilian trial?

Where is the outrage about the collateral damage that results from a 'more rubble, less trouble' brand of warfare that indiscriminately launches hellfire missiles into a compound to execute suspected terrorists, incinerating innumerable innocents in the process? Where is the criticism for this blood-lust?

Where is the ruckus from the civil liberties crowd in opposition to the Patriot Act?

Where are the daily body counts and stirring videos of the caskets coming home?

Where are the moving personal interest stories about the wives left behind and the heightened alcoholism, suicides and murders committed by returning soldiers resulting from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder?

Why are these things now considered excessively divisive? Were these concerns ever sincerely held? Is the opposition dropped because it does not suit the protesters politically? Were these sycophants merely creating a partisan atmosphere of "Bush lied, people died" for the purpose of getting their guy elected? Why aren't those on the political right using these items as targets of opportunity, criticizing the policies and demonizing members of the administration beyond caricature (think Cheney)?

Can this be chalked up to cynicism? Hypocrisy?

Are we to believe that just repackaging the Bush policies as "overseas contingency operations" and "man-caused disasters" and banning the use of the words jihadist, terrorist and Islamacist somehow transforms the policies? Are those protesters on the left so easily tricked that they don't recognize the renamed policies? Is their ability to tease out nuance completely disarmed by the hope and change mantra?

Is this a case of "behind every apparent double standard is an unconfessed single standard"? That is, if somebody is in office and is a conservative or Republican, then assume that the motives are all evil, nefarious and inhumane and attack every action, but when the officeholder is a liberal or Democrat then pas d'ennemis à gauche?

Has it all been a political ruse similar to previous political posturing on a different issue that has been acknowledged by President Obama and Harry Reid?

Victor Davis Hanson's observation seems to suggest that maybe all of the pre-election hoopla was just that:
In his first year in the White House, Barack Obama, a war critic and foe of the Bush-Cheney protocols, embraced or expanded almost all of the measures that he and the liberal wing of the Democratic Party had long derided—apparently because what had seemed superfluous to a candidate proved essential to a president with responsibility for the safety of 300 million people.
This analysis is strikingly similar to Obama's own admission about how he handled the debt crisis prior to the 2008 election:
I think that it's important to understand the vantage point of a Senator versus the vantage point of a...President.

As President, you start realizing, "You know what? We-- we can't play around with this stuff. This is the full faith in credit of the United States." And so that was just a example of a new Senator, you know, making what is a political vote as opposed to doing what was important for the country.
Either the Republican allegations about Sen. Obama's lack of experience were right, Sen. Obama was woefully ignorant or Sen. Obama demagogued the issue for political gain. No matter what the reason, he now admits that his actions were dangerous and irresponsible. How is it that the "Presi-dunce" George W. Bush was able to see and understand what the 'articulate , bright, clean, nice-looking' Obama was unable to see? And is that same slandering-the-policy-before-adopting-the-policy dynamic used by Sen. Obama with regard to raising the debt limit at play with the wars and foreign policy? Is Pres. Obama willing to admit that this demagogic election cycle deny-it-before-you-buy-it tactic just as dangerous and irresponsible in the case of war and foreign policy? Has this voting for something before voting against methodology ever been used before?

Pres. Obama seems to be quite comfortable with perpetuating policies that he previously identified as absurd. Let's call it ex codice absurdum.  Law eminating from absurdity is not new and is not the exclusive province of one party or the other. Normally the practitioner believes the absurdity for which the law is crafted - at least making the policy well intended (SF Happy Meal Ban, SF circumcision ban). Or a new law might be the reaction to some other half-baked absurdity (SF nudity problem). But usually one does not so brazenly rail against a policy in advance of supporting said policy. At least not without an open apology or an admission of a change of heart. This sort of two-faced approach to policy is demagoguery, chutzpah and subterfuge on stilts. A kind of adultery done on a national scale where the populice is cheated on by law makers.  Hypocricy with the addition of intent to deceive.

Ex codice absurdum, where law makers no longer merely rely on absurdity to guide policy, but where they embrace what they previously identified as absurd, immoral or evil policy.

Where is the gatekeeper to call out this level of hypocrisy?

Maybe all this civility toward the sitting president has come about because of a change of heart on the part of the media. Or maybe because Oprah called for more civility to be shown to President Obama when she said "Even if you're not in support of his policies, there needs to be a certain level of respect." Who can know?

But one wonders if the country will drive deep into the character assassination swamp of yesteryear if a Republican is back in the White House.

John Stossel, FBN


Notable Quotable

The right thinks evil is real. The left thinks evil Israel.

Notable Quotable

The question, "What did Ameriaca do to deserve 9/11?" was a big question on the left. "What did we do to make people hate us so much?" There is no difference between that question and "What did the Jews do to make Germans hate them?" or "What did blacks do to make those that lynched them hate them?" Maybe a better question is to ask what did the culture that raised the 19 hijackers do to create such monsters.
~Dennis Prager


Heated Rhetoric

After the Gabrielle Giffords shooting in January, President Obama encouraged everyone to be nice.
But at a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized – at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do – it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.
This came on the heels of many lectures about the consequences of actions such as the use of crosshairs to identify districts targeted by the Tea Party for the elections. This use of crosshairs and statements made by the Palin campaign - as well as the general tone and rhetoric of the Tea party - were, if not directly, implied as the motivating cause of the violence against Ms. Giffords.

A lot of hand wringing occurred because of the potential for violence that might take place as a result of the rhetoric on the right. We were told that it was time to finally engage in a long overdue conversation about the violent rhetoric and imagery polluting national political discourse. Even Pima County Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik weighed in with some heated rhetoric about the heated rhetoric. There was a lot of rhetoric back then.
I'd just like to say that when you look at unbalanced people, how they are - how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths, about tearing down the government, the anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous.
Time asked, "Is Violent Rhetoric Behind the Attack on Giffords?"

The Salt Lake Tribune condemned "violent rhetoric that crosses all lines of decency and adds nothing to political debates," and that "The words and deeds of Sarah Palin... are examples of this trend."

Joe Scarborough commented that
Just because the dots between violent rhetoric and violent actions don't connect in this case doesn't mean you can afford to ignore the possibility -- or, as many fear, the inevitability -- that someone else will soon draw the line between them." "Despite what we eventually learned about the shooter in Tucson, should the right have really been so shocked that many feared a political connection between the heated rhetoric of 2010 and the shooting of Giffords?
Rachael Maddow took Scarborough's query to the next level with her twist on the "Have you stopped beating your wife?" line of reasoning:
As several commenters have noted, there's no indication that the alleged shooter was politically motivated. Even if the perpetrator turns out to have been seriously involved in political causes, which again there's no evidence of, his actions will likely remain senseless. What we can say is that today's shooting, whatever its motivation, comes after an election season that was marked by the language of violence...
One expects Maddow to ask her readers to "disregard the statement" after ringing the bell with the statement above. But statements such as this were commonplace across the media landscape at the time.

Only a small child would equate crosshairs on a district map signifying political battlegrounds as a mandate to commit violence against the current office holder. Apparently metaphors are beyond the pale if they include any references to battles, fighting or contentiousness and politics should never escalate further than a pillow fight.

Well, maybe not so fast with that pillow talk. Jimmy Hoffa fomented the "army" of "working people" who "like a good fight" who are "ready to march" because they "got a war" with the Tea Party and that there will "only be one winner" because "we're gonna win that war." And to the cheering approval of the crowd, with his fist raised, he said "And, let's take these son of a bitches out..."

SIDEBAR: Why are union members the only people deserving of the moniker "working people"? Do non-union people work? Is everybody else lazily sitting at home on their hands?

Hoffa made these introductory remarks prior to President Obama's Labor Day address. And the response?

Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz couldn't find it in herself to condemn the toxic language.

Press Secretary Jay Carney said "Can we move on?"

CNN's John King couldn't seem to squeeze a question about the heated rhetoric into his six minute interview with Hoffa.

Apparently Rep. Andre Carson and Hoffa are of like mind on matters of civility. And is this the civility we are to embrace?

Or is it as Krauthammer said, "Civil discourse is a one-way street if you’re a Democrat."

Jay Carney also noted:
I understand that there is a ritual in Washington that, you know, somebody says something, and you link the associations, and then everybody who has an association with him or her has to avow or disavow. The President wasn’t there, he wasn’t on the stage, he didn’t speak for another twenty minutes, he didn’t hear it. I really don’t have any comment beyond that.
There is a striking similarity here to the William Ayers distance policy. One of the responses given to distance candidate Obama from his recent associations with Ayers was:
Senator Obama strongly condemns the violent actions of the Weathermen group, as he does all acts of violence. But he was an eight-year-old child when Ayers and the Weathermen were active, and any attempt to connect Obama with events of almost forty years ago is ridiculous.
It may be true that Senator Obama condemns violence and the acts of Bill Ayers. But why argue that because something occurred 40 years ago that it is irrelevant or that therefore no connection is possible? The Holocaust happened some 50+ years ago, but there are still those - even some who may have only been eight years old at the time - who feel it was appropriate to gas Jews. Distance isn't the issue. Condemnation and separation from those who performed and condone the acts is.

In Obama's defense, one cannot be held accountable for the actions of every acquaintance one has. And an idea is not responsible for the people who believe in it. So to make Obama responsible for the foibles of every fellow sojourner on the left is a bit silly. But terrorism and Hoffa's behavior at a presidential speaking engagement - although widely separated by degree - rise above a mere foible.

But it is the time element used to dismiss any association that is disturbing. And the recent kerfuffle over Hoffa's statements re-exposed this oddity. Carney offered the argument that the President wasn't there and that Hoffa's comments occurred twenty minutes prior to his arrival as though it somehow relieves the President of his moral obligation to chastise Hoffa for the offensive comments.

The comments occurred. The President spoke from the stage where the comments were made. However tenuous, that puts him at the scene of the crime. Whether they occurred twenty minutes - or forty years - prior, once he is aware that they were made, should he not forcefully condemn them? Why not simply state
Although I am a supporter of unions, Mr. Hoffa's comments were vulgar and inappropriate. I hope that he will temper his remarks in the future and use language that elevates, rather than debases, even when he has strong disagreements with those on the other side of the aisle. His language, in that setting, not only denigrates those he disagrees with, it sullies and disgraces the gathering, the participants, his office, his movement and the office of the Presidency. We should seek to elevate the participants and the discourse in political debate. Attacking the dignity of those we disagree with is not up to the standard of character that we should all strive for. We should do better than personal attacks. Mr. Hoffa should have done better. And I am confident that in the future he will.
Something similar could have been said regarding the boorish behavior of many during the Wisconsin budget battle. (Examples here, here, and here.)

Or is this a case of pas d'ennemis à gauche?


Infant Mortality

One would think that with all the tools at their disposal, the media types could so some of the complicated analysis to understand the numbers.

On the August 31 NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams introduced a story along with his guest Dr. Nancy Snyderman about the dismal state of affairs with regard to infant mortality in the United States. Dr. Snyderman said that "the numbers are not very pretty." That "Cuba, Malaysia, Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland, they are ahead of the United States, which now ranks 41st in infant mortality." And that "no matter how you massage those numbers, we were ranked 29th five years ago." She summed it up by saying "this is dismal and, frankly, appalling."

In spite of Dr. Snyderman's implication that any other conclusion would come as the result of "massaging", one wishes that some massaging, or at least light touching, of the numbers would have occurred to find out what is really behind them.

As pointed out here , much of this dismal and appalling ranking is due to comparing apples and oranges. Since the US apparantly the only country that counts infant mortality with rigor, of course other countries can and do rank higher.

Many countries try to exclude certain categories from their statistics. For example, Switzerland doesn't include babies shorter than 30cm.

And how can the US favorably compare to countries where "babies who are born at less than 28 weeks, weighing less than 1,000 grams or measuring less than 35 centimeters are not counted as live births if they die within seven days?"

In fact, America's low ranking may really be a function of the superior care offered.

American advances in medical treatment now make it possible to save babies who would surely have died only a few decades ago. Until recently, very-low-birth-weight babies, those weighing less than 3 pounds, almost always died. Now some of these babies survive with the help of breathing assistance and other recent inventions.

While such vulnerable babies may live with advanced medical assistance and technology, low-birth-weight babies (weighing less than 5.5 pounds) recently had an infant mortality rate 20 times higher than heavier babies, according to the WHO. And these deaths count as infant deaths even though most would have been counted as stillbirths if they hadn't received the gift of life, however transitory.

Ironically, American doctors' ability to save babies' lives causes higher infant mortality numbers here than would be the case with less advanced medical treatment.

Good Morning America on ABC, the Today show on NBC, Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News and CNN may agree with the State of the World's Mothers report that states:

The United States has more neonatologists and neonatal intensive care beds per person than Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, but its newborn [death rate] rate is higher than any of those countries.

But their agreement does not make the statement true. They should take a deeper look into the statistical causes for the disparities. But since they haven't, in the end, Dr. Snyderman may be right. This is dismal and, frankly, appalling.


Racism on the Left

This is the effort that we are seeing of Jim Crow. Some of these folks in Congress right now would love to see us as second class citizens. Some of them in Congress right now with this Tea Party movement would love to see you and me… hanging on a tree.
Politico article, ABC News article

Rep. Andre Carson is clearly a person that cannot simply disagree. Those he disagrees with have to have hidden agendas and must be degenerate, immoral, evil racists. Could it be that those he disagrees with simply have a different vision about the size and scope of government?

And this from a man who arguably belongs to one of the few overtly, objectively and definitionally racist organizations in America today, the Congressional Black Caucus. Why purely racist? Because membership is solely a function of skin color. Even though he was ideologically aligned with the CBC, Stephen Cohen was not allowed to join because he was not the correct race. One of the co-founders noted that "it was "critical" that the group remain "exclusively African-American.""

What does Mr. Carson make of blacks who show up at the Tea Party rallies? Have they missed the motivation of this secret society that Mr. Carson sees so clearly? Or are they too using the ruse of smaller government to cover their blood lust to hang blacks in the town square?

And how is it that Mr. Carson so clearly knows the motives of those in the Tea Party? Couldn't it just as easily be said that the members of the CBC wanted to participate in the black flash mobs in Wisconsin that targeted and assaulted white people? Or that owing to disagreements on foreign policy, there are some in Congress, right now with this CBC movement, who would love to gas Jews? Why couldn't somebody on the right just as easily divine the motives of the CBC as Mr. Carson has done? But only a child, or a manipulative demagogue, could turn disagreement into the most ugly and odious action of lynching. Is it really possible that Mr. Carson thinks that some of his fellow elected compatriots want to see blacks lynched based solely on the flimsy evidence that they - gasp - disagree with him on certain policy issues?

Why are blacks in general and Mr. Carson in particular excused from the normal moral rules of society? Had a white person - even a white liberal - said that the Tea Party wants to see blacks hanging from trees, would the opprobrium of his peers be appropriate? And if you think the answer is yes, then you must ask why you would hold a black man to a lower standard. Contempt? Racism?

And then there's the contempt that Mr. Carson must have for his constituents. That he is willing to race-bait in order to secure support for his side is appalling. But then again, maybe the same quiet voices that informed former President Jimmy Carter's view that an "overwhelming proportion" of the vocal opposition to Obama stems from the "inherent feeling" that "an African-American should not be president," are are informing Mr. Carson. Neither of these men are burdened by providing proof. They merely assert and walk on. If anyone's motives are ripe for questioning, it would be these two men and others like them for presenting the "when did you stop beating your wife" argument.

We can test whether the motivations of those in the Tea Party are rooted in the swamp of racism. Who would be happier if blacks in America woke up tomorrow and said, "I am no longer angry at America. Thank God I live in a wonderful, free country where I can lift myself out of bad circumstances, overcome past injustices and where the vast majority of my fellow Americans of every race, creed and color wish me well."? Tea Partiers or the CBC? Without grievance, the CBC - and for that matter the Democratic Party - lose much of their reason to exist.

This was a reprehensible and stupid comment by Mr. Carson. He should resign for this obscenity. If sexting is sufficient cause to ask a member of Congress to resign - and it is - then this level of slander and hate speech should be cause for resignation as well.

Examples of race baiting from the left:
Maureen Dowd
Jimmy Carter
Ed Schultz
Chris Matthews
Tavis Smiley
Paul Krugman
Janeane Garofalo (Accusing a black Republican of black racism. WTF?)
Bob Schieffer

Possible actual racism on the left?
Joe Biden

Klavan: The Racism of the Left

Notable Quotable

People will either feel accountable to an all powerful God who will judge them, or to a state that will arrest them.