Archives for February 2012

Medieval Middle East Thinking Gets Applied to U.S. Law

I just read one of the most unbelievably alarming things that I’ve read in a long time. A U.S. judge let off the hook someone who assaulted an atheist for mocking Mohammed, because “in many Arabic-speaking countries something like this (mocking Mohammed) is definitely against the law there. In their society in fact it can be punishable by death and it frequently is in their society.”

When I first cursorily read it I thought it was the assaulter saying that, and I was ready to tell him, “Dude, you’re not in the Middle East anymore, where they do those things. You’re living in America now. Let me tell you a thing or two about how things work here. We have freedom of speech. People are allowed to mock religions. Being able to do that without fear of physical punishment is one of the things that make our country so great. If you don’t like it, then go somewhere else.”

But then I read it again. I had to do a double take, and catch my breath, when I saw that it was the American judge who said that!

Yes, Mechanicsburg, Penn. District Judge Mark Martin said that. I’m still reeling over it.

So Judge Martin, let me tell you a thing or two about how things work in America. This isn’t the Middle East, where they do those things and where the standard of living and quality of life are substantially lower than here, largely because they do those things. You’re living in America now. We have freedom of speech. People are allowed to mock religions. Being able to do that without fear of physical punishment is one of the things that make ours such a great country. If you don’t like it, then move to another country. Or at least resign from your judgeship.

Let us hope that there are not more people of authority out there who think along the same lines as Judge Martin. If there are more and more like him, then say goodbye to America as we know it.

OWS Hits Freddie Mac. Only 10 Show Up.

Good news and bad news for Occupy Wall Streeters.

The good news is that they’re still hangin’ on. Today they protested in front of Freddie Mac. The bad news is that, according to my source, only about ten of them showed up.

But there were a couple of police cars there and that made it seem like it was a bigger thing than it really was, says my source.

Apart from that, I’m kinda surprised it was OWS that made noises outside of Freddie Mac, and not their counterparts on the other side of the political spectrum, the Tea Partiers. Freddie Mac seems a much more appropriate target for Tea Partiers than OWSers. I guess the latter’s beef is the envy factor, over bonuses. The Tea Partiers should have been there protesting more legitimate issues, like these.

Santorum Channelling Twain?

GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum correctly said, “Satan has his sights on the United States of America.”

Were he alive today, Mark Twain probably would have a thing or two to say about that. This is what he said over a hundred years ago about ol’e Satan himself:

“We can at least respect his talents. A person who has for untold centuries maintained the imposing position of spiritual head of four fifths of the human race, and political head of the whole of it, must be granted the possession of executive abilities of the loftiest order.”

The Food Stamp President? No, The Welfare President.

The Food Stamp President? Nah – that doesn’t nearly go far enough.

The Welfare President.

And we’re not talking about welfare for the poor. We’re talking about welfare for the middle class and rich. Welfare means free money the people get from the government, money that’s coerced out of the pockets of people who earned it.

Fully two-thirds of welfare goes to the middle class and rich. That’s a tragedy. Obama and especially Obamacare are boosting that proportion even higher.

Yes, the welfare president is a much more accurate description of the man.

For details, click here.

It’s Harder to Kill When You Can See Your Victim

It’s a lot easier to kill people from a bomber aircraft 30,000 feet up, where you can’t see the victims, than it is for a soldier on the ground to kill someone at point-blank range. In the former situation, the victim isn’t humanized. In the latter, he or she is.

In the same way, it’s a lot easier to kill a baby when it’s inside the womb, where you can’t see it, than it is to kill a baby outside of the womb, where you can see it.

That’s the nature of abortion. You can’t see the victim, so he or she isn’t humanized in the minds of the those desirous of the killing. So abortion has been legalized and condoned by the state.

Whether it’s the the victim of a bomb dropped from 30,000 feet or the victim of a bullet shot from 30 feet, both victims are as human as human can be.

The same is true with babies within the womb and babies outside of the womb. Both are 100 percent human.

A Virginia senate bill seeks to humanize unborn babies in the eyes of their mothers by requiring women seeking abortions to get an ultrasound, and give them a chance to view the image while the baby is still alive. An Illinois bill seeks to do the same thing.

It is an attempt to make the mother less like a bomber pilot, who can’t see the victim, and more like a soldier on the ground, who can.

It just might make some of those mothers a little more hesitant to pull the trigger.

When a Liberal Meets the Paleoliberals

Great article by Eric Bell, a filmmaker and writer who started a project to document the events surrounding the building of an Islamic center in Murfreesboro, Tenn., with the aim of portraying the proponents of the center in a positive light and the opponents of the center in a negative light – not necessarily to be intentionally biased but because that’s what he genuinely believed. He got funding and support from Hollywood bigwigs to bring the film to fruition.

But then he started learning some truths about militant Islam – truths that would make any genuine liberal shudder. The Arab spring had turned into a winter, where non-Muslims started fearing for their lives. He informed the funders that he wanted to mention some of these issues in his film. “I wanted to show what happens to countries when they gain a Muslim majority, how women are treated, that homosexuals were executed, that free speech did not exist, that the forced Islamic Law was not consistent with Democratic Values – anything and everything I could think of.”

But he soon learned that he was dealing with a lot of paleoliberals. They didn’t want to hear any of those ugly truths. “Eric you are starting to sound like an Islamophobe,” they told him. “We don’t want to make a movie that promotes fear. Let’s just stick with the existing plan, okay?”

Bringing up those realities about militant Islam constituted  “hate speech” and “propaganda designed to spread fear”. There’s a site called “Loonwatch” where people – such as Bell – who criticize radical and violent Islam are called a “loon”, in the pejorative sense. (That’s ironic, because the loon is one of the most beautiful species of waterfowl. Its call is also one of the most beautiful sounds of nature.)

Unwilling to stick with the original script, Bell had to give the money back. He also got banned from writing for the Daily Kos, for revealing his liberal (as opposed to paleoliberal) tendencies. He suffered plenty of other blowback as well.

“Given the incredible density of the popular Liberal mind, …the readers of my articles were unable to see how the beliefs of Islam were in direct conflict with human rights, gay rights, women’s rights and basic Democratic Values.”

Those people are what you call paleoliberals. And unfortunately, they greatly outnumber the liberals.

Tribute to Claude-Michel Schönberg

Yes, even though their leadership and the content of many of their shows are politically biased, PBS does carry many good programs. PBS Kids, nature shows, and fundraising specials like the 25th Anniversary production of Les Miserables, and Celtic Thunder, are among them. So even though one already helps fund PBS through one’s tax money, one nevertheless feels compelled to respond positively when they’re soliciting for donations.

Two comments about Les Miz, one negative and one positive.

The 25th Anniversary Special of Les Miz was great, except for the questionable attire of the full choir in the back. Les Miz t-shirts? Give me a break. Talk about a spoiler. It was painful to watch when they’d cut to shots of the choir. Hey, why not Les Miz bathing suits? They definitely should have been dressed in more formal attire.

The other comment is to marvel at the super-human talents of Claude-Michel Schönberg. He wrote the music to all of the songs. Usually out of, say, 10 songs in a given album or production, maybe just one or two of them are good. It amazes me that Schönberg could write one amazing song after another.

Lyrics are great too. And the singing. And the story. But writing the music required the most talent by far.

You know how they say that if an inventor, like Thomas Edison or Alexander Graham Bell, wouldn’t have been around to invent what they did, then someone else would have?

The same can’t be said of Claude-Michel Schönberg. If he hadn’t have been around to write the music of Les Miserables, then that production never would have existed. And the world would have been worse off.