Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Morales and the Socialist

A Modern Retelling of a Narrative Poem by Lewis Carroll
Morales and the Socialist
Were walking side by side,
They wept like anything to see
The planet slowly die.
"We must try to fix this mess;
The risk we run is high."

"If capitalism, a year from now,
simply went away?
Do you suppose," Morales said,
"that we could save the day?"
"I'm certain," said the Socialist,
and so they planned their play.

"O People, come and walk with us!"
Morales plainly said,
"A pleasant chat, and you'll find that,
There's a new path ahead.
One where greedy industry
Won't leave our Mom for dead."

The wisest Person heard them,
But just sat silent by:
How would he look, after all,
To support what makes Mom die?
So there he sits, as the two
Propagate a lie.

But most young People hurried up,
All eager to take part:
Their minds all green, ready to place
the horse behind the cart.
And this was odd, because, you know,
They're supposed to be so smart.

Four other People followed them,
and yet another four;
Thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more--
All clinging to the mindset
That they came to adore.

Morales and the Socialist,
Had led them on this road,
And then they held a meeting,
Which would dictate where they'd go.
And so the People waited,
All desperate to know.

"The time has come," Morales said,
"To talk of many things:
Of rocks--and bugs-- and carbon-tax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And human rights for things.

"But wait a bit," the People cried,
"Before we get to that;
We're all wrapped up in other things,
that make us nice and fat!"
"No! Hurry!" said that Socialist.
"We have no time for that."

"The power to rule," Morales said,
"Is what we chiefly lack:
The means to drive corporations down,
Will make Earth's clocks roll back.
Now if you're ready, People of Earth,
We can begin the tax."

"But not on us!" the People cried,
Now a little blue.
"After such promises, that would be,
A dismal thing to do!"
"What'd you think?" Morales said,
"That we wouldn't punish you?"

"It was kind of you to hitch a ride
to our political star."
The Socialist said nothing but
"What fine comrades you are!
Now open up your pocketbooks,
And buy this new green car!"

"It seems a shame," Morales said,
"To play them such a trick.
After they trusted us to rule with care,
and make the Earth less sick!"
The Socialist said nothing but
"The wealth's still spread too thick!"

"O People," said the Socialist,
"You've had a pleasant run!
Shall you pay us for this service still?"
But money came there none--
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd swindled everyone.

--William Sullivan

Friday, April 15, 2011

To New York: Consider the Shuttle a Gift. Sincerely, Texas

Anyone with half a brain knows that the first two places ever considered for retired NASA shuttles should be Houston, TX and Cape Canaverel, FL. No two cities are more identified with or have done more for space exploration.

But New York, known more for pizza and rude inhabitants than space travel, will now be home to a retired shuttle, while Houston got snubbed. Texans are understandably confused, so Chuck Schumer said in response:

"When people from Paris, Beijing, Tokyo and Amsterdam start saying they want to go to Houston, maybe then they'll get a shuttle," Schumer told the Daily News. "I'd say to Texas, don't mess with New York."

Sorry, Chuck. No one's buying that you're a tough guy. And thanks for confirming that "arrogant New Yorker" stereotype.

I'd go on, but I think AlamoZ in the comment section of the linked article pretty much sums up what is likely every Texan's feelings on the matter:

That's okay Schumer, New York can keep the shuttle. In fact, California can keep theirs too. Texas will just keep on taking all of your tax-burdened corporations as well as your productive members of society.

Now that just could not be said any better.

William Sullivan

Thursday, April 14, 2011

School Days, Gruel Days

If you've ever wondered why private schools and online distance learning programs are becoming more and more attractive for parents and students everywhere, here's one more reason.

At Little Village Academy in Chicago, children are prohibited from bringing their lunches from home, and are required to eat the school offering. This is a progressive move to join Chicagoans Barack and Michelle Obama in their crusade to combat childhood obesity, so try to imagine that horrible lunch food you remember as a child made exponentially worse by trying to make it “healthy.”

It’s pretty obvious that the kids don’t like it. When reporters visited the school, seventh grader Fernando Dominguez, like a modern-day Samuel Gompers, bilingually incited his classmates to the unison chant, “We should bring our own lunch!” Most parents are understandably upset by this, too, because many children choose to eat nothing at all rather than choking down the horrible lunch food the school offers. Sure, eating nothing won’t make them fat, but we can’t exactly say that’s healthy, either.

But in spite of the obvious popular opinion of the student body or the ire of their parents, Principal Elsa Carmona feels strongly that making the children eat the disgusting food that she wants them to eat is a good thing. And as little sense as that makes, she even has a few parents carrying water for her. Parent Miguel Medina, for example, thinks the no-home-lunch policy is good, because “when they bring the food from home, there is no control over the food."

But he’s wrong. There is control. Just not the control he and the principal want.

Most parents understand and embrace the opportunity to provide an element of control in their child’s life. They use that opportunity to nurture their child’s exceptionalism and potential as an individual in a society of other individuals. Mr. Medina, it seems, would defer this opportunity to the “experts” of society, because parents (including him, I presume) just aren’t smart enough to know what is good for their kids.

We need to understand that this is not “about nutrition and the excellent quality of food they are able to serve in the lunchroom.” It’s not about a concerned principal “encouraging healthier choices.” This has nothing to do with your kids’ weight or health.

It is simply another blow to the rights of the American family. It is part of a revolutionary movement to control the most intimate choices we make in raising our children. Parents have been stripped of the right to choose what their child will eat. And not least of all, parents are forced to buy a bad product that they and their children do not want.

And nothing about any of that is American.

William Sullivan

Monday, April 11, 2011

Jimmy Carter Lays Blame For Women's Rights Infractions

Jimmy Carter believes that religion is to blame for the injustices women endure around the world. Well, not the religions themselves, but the leaders of those religions. According to a recent AP report, “Carter said such teachings by “leaders of Christianity, Islam, and other religions” allow men to beat their wives and deny women their fundamental rights as human beings.”

It’s certainly shocking that he breaks accepted liberal protocol by speaking negatively of Muslims, but it is both unjust and irritating that he chooses to directly juxtapose the crimes of Christianity to the crimes of fundamental Islam as far as women’s rights are concerned.

Despite having existed about two-thirds the life of Christianity, Islam is, both in scope and severity, exponentially more culpable for the subjugation and heinous mistreatment of women.

Are Christians around the world frequently stifling women’s freedom of expression by demanding that they cover all skin apart from their face? Are Christians practicing genital mutilation of young women to smother their sexual desires? Are Christians bartering, selling, and marrying off their daughters at ages as young as nine? Are Christians slaughtering their daughters for tainting the family honor? Are Christians denying women the right to legal defense and, when unjustly condemned, taking them in bondage to village squares so that blood-frenzied townspeople can bludgeon them to death with a bunch of big rocks? And are Christians worldwide raping those condemned women prior to execution in order to eliminate any outside chance of divine salvation?

Are Christians around the world doing these horrible things while claiming the word of God as their sole motivation?

Even Jimmy Carter, whose ineptitude has allowed history to unanimously disgrace him, should know that the answer to all of these questions is an emphatic “no.” But here’s an interesting question for the bumbling ex-president. Have all of these things happened in the Iranian regime that he helped to establish by clearing the lane for Ayatollah Khomeini?

The answer to that question is an unequivocal “yes.” So Christianity is not to blame for such heinous and contemporary abuses of women. Jimmy Carter, on the other hand, sort of is.

Jimmy Carter criticizing others for their role in brutal violations against women's rights is the irony of all ironies. I’d ask him to descend from the pulpit of women’s rights considering that he has no right to be there, but his prattling helps to expose the stupidity of his progressive, PC ilk.

So keep on talking, Jimmy. And while you’re at it, endorse Obama in 2012; he could use your support.

William Sullivan

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Brendan O'Neill Shreds Liberal Stupidity About the Quran Burning

Yes, Pastor Jones' Quran burning should probably not have taken place. It is far too broad a condemnation, absolutely insensitive, and little more than a rudimentary form of protest that should be beneath sensible Christians or Americans. It is an act that brought those who participated closer to the lower levels of humanity populated by the Muslim fanatics they wanted to denounce.

But ultimately, it was an act of free speech, protected by the United States Constitution, and the calls to blame him for acts of violence overseas are ridiculous.

This is an utterly brilliant analogy conveying that very point. Enjoy.


Pastor Terry Jones is no more to blame for the Afghan violence than Martin Scorsese was for the shooting of Ronald Reagan

The American pastor Terry Jones might be a bit of a weirdo with an unhealthy obsession with the Koran, but he’s right about one thing: he is not responsible for the fatal rioting in Afghanistan. His burning of the Koran can no more be blamed for those acts of violence than Martin Scorsese can be blamed for the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan in 1981. (Reagan’s wannabe assassin, John Hinckley Jnr, claimed to have been inspired by Taxi Driver.) The feverish attempts to pin the blame for the Afghan instability on Pastor Jones demonises freedom of speech as something terrifying, even murderous, and it treats Muslims as brainless, wide-eyed automatons who can’t be held responsible for their actions.

Jones’s burning of the Koran was daft. But it did not directly cause “the tragic, deadly violence” in Afghanistan, as one Pentagon spokesman claimed. To suggest that it did, to argue that Jones has “blood on his hands”, as the New York Daily News put it, is to overlook the fact that there is an important bridge between words and actions. That bridge is us, people, the audience, the public, who are possessed of free will and thought and who must make a decision about whether, and how, to act on the words we hear. The idea that words lead directly to action, that the image of a burning Koran in the US leads inevitably to violence in Afghanistan, is to cut out these middle men and present speech as an all-powerful force that dictates world events.

Such an outlook is dangerous for two reasons. First because there would be no limits to the curbing and policing of speech if we all bought into the mad notion that it can directly cause other people’s deaths. If words really are so dangerous, then surely they should be treated as just another weapon, like gun and knives, whose usage must be tightly controlled by the cops and powers-that-be? Already, post-Koran controversy, some Democratic politicians in the US are hinting that the First Amendment, which guarantees free expression, might need to be rethought, since certain forms of speech “endanger the lives of a lot of innocent people”. The consequence of calling into question the free will of people who hear or read certain words is to generate an Orwellian rush to clamp down on anything judged to be “problematic speech”.

And the second problem with the “blame Jones” brigade is that it lets rioting Afghans off the hook. It says they’re not really responsible for the bloodshed they unleashed; Jones is. There’s a great irony here, because many of the commentators who make this argument do so in order to express their apparently enlightened and cosmopolitan sympathy with beleaguered Muslims in Afghanistan, yet in the process they patronisingly depict Afghans as overgrown children, as attack dogs almost, who hear a command or see an offensive image and act on it, robot-like. Modern-day liberal pity for Muslims would seem to be a comfortable bedfellow of the old-world colonial outlook: in both instances Third World people are treated as hapless, helpless creatures who must have their eyes and ears shielded from dodgy ideas.

The consequences of taking this approach to the Koran controversy are potentially dire. Just as in the Muhammad cartoons controversy, Western liberal politicians and thinkers are giving Muslims a licence to feel offended, a licence to go crazy; they are effectively legitimising violent responses to offensive images by saying: “It’s understandable. This is what happens when we fail to respect their culture.” Given a green light by self-flagellating Western observers, who will be surprised if groups of Muslims behave in a similar fashion next time someone pulps a Koran or depicts Muhammad as a goat?

Original article may be found at: