Saturday, September 28, 2013

Obamacare Skewered in Song

First of all, we would like to apologize for the hiatus in uploading content to the blog.  These last months have been busy, but we will be looking to remedy this.  And also, a big thank you to all readers, we are now poised to cross the threshold of 100,000 hits for this site.  Very thankful to have our readership.

I once heard comedian Steven Crowder explain Houston talk radio czar Michael Berry why he does what he does, creating humorous videos with a conservative political bent.  He said that Thomas Sowell could be in a debate with Jon Stewart, and while Sowell is an intellectual mountain to Stewart's molehill, young people will think Stewart wins the debate because he makes them laugh.

It's extraordinarily sad, but true.  It's hard to keep young people's attention, probably now more than ever, what with these fancy new "smartphones" and "social media" and whatnot.  (Granted, I wasn't exactly whittling wood in my day, but having just turned 33, my crotchety geezer talk just got a little more cred)  And now, more than ever, we need young people to understand that this government is looking to spend their future today.  We need them to know that they are going to finance healthcare for everyone older than them, that it will be more difficult to find full-time employment, and that they will be the ones our government relies upon while chasing the dragon of its spending addiction.

Our collective future as a free nation is dependent upon young people seeing through the lies and whitewash surrounding the Obamacare rhetoric.  And to those ends, videos like this one below are essential to our liberty.  When such creative people are able to blend their talents with political ideals, especially in a manner that is so relatable, condensed, and undeniably true, we should applaud it and share.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Bill Whittle Discusses the Lynching of George Zimmerman

This excellent video explores the facts of the Trayvon Martin shooting, set in comparison to the narrative presented by the media -- one that in spite of Zimmerman's exoneration in a court of law, seems to yet pervade the social consciousness of millions of Americans.

Whether these Americans are only passively interested or ideologically bound to the accepted media narrative does not matter.  There is no excuse for such ignorance and complicit support of the unjust desires of a mob. As John Adams said to the jury while making his unpopular defense of the British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre:

Facts are stubborn things, and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence: nor is the law less stable than the facts; if an assault was made to endanger their lives, they had a right to kill in their own defense.

John Adams made this defense not because he loved the British, but because it was right.  He later looked back at this moment as one of his proudest, saying that judgment of death against these soldiers who acted in self-defense would be "as foul a stain upon this Country as the Execution of Quakers and Witches, anciently."

Thankfully, the law has been upheld, and George Zimmerman found innocent.  But regrettably, the mob calling for his lynching still holds sway, thanks to racial arsonists like Al Sharpton, the dishonest journalism of ABC, and none other than the president of the United States.

This video only touches the tip of the iceberg.  But it's a good place to start for any reasonable person who craves truth.

William Sullivan can be followed on Twitter.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Texas Heralds the Inevitable Abolition of Late-Term Abortion

This article first appeared at Red Pill Report, found here.

Abortion advocates and their various political arms like Planned Parenthood sent troops from all around the country to the frontlines in Austin, Texas, where Wendy Davis rallied the pro-abortion base to once again defend their sacred institution. 

To say the least, the protesters didn’t exactly paint the pro-abortion crowd in an appealing light.  Honestly, just how many Americans are you endearing to your cause by having young girls hold signs saying “If I wanted the government in my womb, I’d f*** a Senator,” or chanting “Hail Satan!” over a group of people singing Amazing Grace?  Even the UK Church of Satan took offense to the latter, denouncing invocations of their Dark Lord’s name for such “diabolical” purposes. 

These protesters did, however, serve the intended purpose-- for a brief moment.

Their attendance outwardly presented widespread opposition to restrictive abortion laws for the news cameras, but more importantly, the spectacle deterred focus from what abortion advocates were actually arguing to preserve in Texas.  Keeping the argument vaguely about “choice” or “women’s rights” is a necessity, because the orchestrators of the pro-abortion agenda know what would happen if broad swathes of Americans choose to focus on what the debate is really about -- what to do with the life inside a mother’s womb at 20-weeks’ gestation and beyond. 

These pro-abortion advocates’ ethically inarguable position is that such a life can, and should be, legally ended on a mother’s whim.

Not-so-questionable humanity

At 20 weeks, a fetus can hardly be described as an inanimate lump of tissue.
“Ready for your big 20-week ultrasound?” asks writer Sarah Cohen in her piece for women’s website She Knows, titled “Say Hello to Baby.”  “Ultrasound technology has improved a lot since its advent,” she goes on.  “If Baby cooperates, you can see fingers, toes, a spine, and even a little face!  Also, you may be able to see the baby’s anatomy.”

In other words, the baby at 20-weeks’ gestation looks a lot like a human, right down to gender identity.  
According to noted abortion champion Michelle Goldberg, this can be “problematic” for the pro-abortion cause because “once a fetus has gestated to five or six months, most people, whatever their politics, can see its inherent human value.”  And for some crazy reason, “most people, whatever their politics,” have an innate aversion to killing living things with “inherent human value.”

The problem, which she recognizes, is that the argument that this “human value” should be legally snuffed out by a woman’s “choice” offers pretty thin gruel for most Americans. 

“No pain? No problem!”

As the argument goes: “Fetuses don’t feel pain” at 20 weeks, and therefore the moral issue is overstated, because the fetus can’t feel its termination or the forceful extraction from its mother’s womb.
It’s important that this argument be understood in the proper context.  Admittedly, this argument has recently been a response to Republicans having cited studies, in the wake of the Gosnell case, showing that fetuses do feel pain at 22 weeks, which led to consideration of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in the House, for example.  Pro-abortion advocates suggest that these studies are false, and that fetuses don’t feel pain until later in pregnancy. 

Studies exist to suggest that both arguments could be scientifically correct. (Here and here, for example.)  But the more pressing question is, what is each argument’s end? 

The pro-life argument is that if fetuses at 20-weeks’ gestation may feel pain, it is morally reprehensible to subject them to such pain as would be involved in the abortion process.  (Morally reprehensible beyond stopping its heart and forcibly extracting it, that is.)  This is a sound argument, and indeed, it is understandably so in nearly any estimation. 

The pro-abortion argument, however, is that if a fetus cannot feel pain, it is worthy of legal termination if a woman so “chooses,” for whatever reason.  For this to be true, we would have to assume that feeling pain is the singular metric that signifies a life worthy of existence, which is a wholly false assertion by any reasonable estimation.  Sensory receptors required for touch and pain are no more required for a person to be deemed worthy of life than the sense of smell, taste, sight, or hearing.

And indeed, if elements of sensory perception are convincing metrics suggesting human life, fetuses at 20 weeks are hardly devoid of such elements. His or her brain is rapidly developing the nerve centers dedicated to the senses by this point, responding to a pronounced changes in lighting, the sounds in the environment, and even the taste of amniotic fluid.

Too few to matter

So we can determine that most Americans would recognize that babies at 20 weeks’ gestation are small humans -- if they were to focus on what, exactly, is inside a mother’s womb by that point of a pregnancy.  And we’ve established that whether or not a fetus feels pain should be rather inconsequential, unless you’re making an unreasonable rebuttal to a silence a reasonable argument.  Why, then, do abortion advocates argue that late-term abortions should be legal? 

They just don’t happen that often -- only 1.5% of abortions are late-term, abortion advocates often claim. 
It sounds so casual to say “only 1.5%,” but it is worth noting, again and again, that with over one million abortions per annum in America, this is more than 15,000 babies that will never exist on this Earth because abortionists brutally confiscated their bodies from a mother’s natural sanctuary.  Again, if it can be reasonably assumed that a fetus at 20 weeks has “inherent human value,” destroying that value is tantamount to murder.  And for context, consider that this small percentage alone is roughly on par with annual murder levels in America in recent years. 

This “1.5%” is hardly insignificant by practical measures.

The protections of Roe v. Wade

For years, Roe v. Wade has been thought to protect the institution of abortion, the legal refuge of its supporters.  But in an interesting twist of fate, Roe v. Wade now serves as protection for states like Texas in curtailing abortion.

Without question, in my opinion, Roe v. Wade was an example (if not the example) of unconstitutional judicial activism, which I argue in detail here, and my opinion aligns closely with that of Justice White who wrote the dissenting opinion: “The Court simply fashion[ed] and announce[d] a new Constitutional right for pregnant women.”   But the decision does leave considerable power with the states to do precisely what Texas is now doing in terms of late-term abortion.  After the first trimester, states can reasonably define a point of assumed “viability” and protect the “potential life” in the womb by “proscribing abortion,” so long as the proscription does not directly endanger the life of the mother.

Far too few Americans are aware of these limitations in Roe v. Wade, and the most glaringly ignorant are pro-abortion zealots. Whether or not the courts will decide to honor the ruling and precedent if any Texas’ legislation comes under judicial review, however, is yet to be seen.

An unwinnable argument

Late-term abortion advocates are losing, and will continue to lose this debate.  The ramparts from which they mount their moral and scientific defense of the practice are easily reduced to rubble in honest debate, which is why they typically avoid honest debate like the plague.  Any legal defense of a state ban on late-term abortion is equally untenable.  So they resort to their time-honored tactic of broadly invoking “choice” to justify late-term abortion, a tactic which Kate Pickert of Time magazine calls “a stance that seems tone-deaf to current reality.”

Late-term abortion lobbyists like Wendy Davis, with her theatrics and her circus troupe in tow, could offer only a temporary distraction from the truth about the unquestionably abhorrent nature of late-term abortion.  Technology and a persistent morality have allowed the terrible truth about late-term abortion to seep into our social conscience, and rightfully, millions of Americans are addressing it at the state level in efforts to end the practice.

Sideshows like the one in Austin, and other such desperate attempts to avert the inevitable, won't do anything to change that.  

William Sullivan can be followed on Twitter.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

It Starts With the Money, and Ends in a Prison State

Descending into the rabbit-hole of the government’s apparent war on liberty and privacy, it’s easy to get lost.  It’s dirty, deep, and as each new leak provides some illumination, the motives and actions of this government become ever darker.  Whether it’s the IRS’s selectively targeting the administration’s political enemies, or the Department of Justice’s spying on major news networks, or the National Security Administration’s securing secret court orders to track and store the everyday phone conversations of innocent Americans, there can be no question -- America today is a dystopian visage of its former self. 

If the scandals themselves do not evidence our predicament well enough, consider the unprecedented crackdown on whistleblowers during Obama’s administration. 

Tim Shorrock of The Nation offers, in this piece from April 15, 2013:
In the annals of national security, the Obama administration will long be remembered for its crackdown on whistleblowers.  Since 2009, it has employed the WWI-era Espionage Act a record six times to prosecute officials suspected of leaking classified information.
By using the NSA to spy on Americans, [NSA whistleblower] Binney told me, the United States has created a police state with few parallels in history: “It’s better than anything that the KGB, the Stasi, or the Gestapo and SS ever had.”  He compared the situation to the Weimar Republic, a brief period of liberal democracy that preceded the Nazi takeover of Germany.  “We’re just waiting to turn the key,” he said.
Appraising why and how this bleak scenario came to pass is a quagmire complicated not only by partisanship, but by the sheer scope of it all.  If you consider each scandal individually, it’s simply too much for an ordinary person to process.  After all, if we were to join Obama’s lemmings in their leap of faith, we’d believe that the intricacies of bloated government bureaucracy left even Obama in the dark about some of this, despite it being his business to stay on top of such things in his administration.

So how could we average Americans have any in-depth understanding of all this?  However much we might like the notion of individual liberty and despise the government’s suppression of it, we’re too busy with our menial jobs trying to produce wealth for ourselves, the government, and our neighbor that lives on the government dole, all the while fighting big government expansionists at every turn in efforts to make our progeny self-sufficient producers, in hopes that future generations might become something more substantial than a gaggle of Julia’s, feeding for a lifetime at a communal trough.

Is it any wonder that the flood of insidious details about these scandals drives the average American to indifference?  I can think of no other reason that, according to Pew, 56% of Americans find nothing wrong with the NSA’s tracking and storing everyday phone conversations without reasonable cause.  If asked whether they agree with the principles of the Fourth Amendment, I’d wager that a vast majority of Americans would answer in the affirmative.  So what else but numbness could cause the majority of Americans to believe that the government has a right to willfully and blatantly violate it?

It is the natural tendency of government to manipulate the will and finances of the people to serve its own ends.  This incontrovertible truth caused Thomas Paine to observe that “Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one.”  And thwarting this natural tendency of government is the very reason that our Constitution, providing a rigid framework of limited central government, was penned.

When government overreaches its Constitutional boundaries, it becomes ever more “intolerable,” and individual liberties disappear.  Given the Constitution’s explicit prohibitions, the government can’t simply set the Constitution alight and rebrand overnight without public outcry.  Rather, it strikes liberties incrementally, under the guise of crisis management and benevolence, until one day -- a day like today -- the Constitution and its Amendments like the Fourth no longer have any meaning, and the people can’t even seem to remember why the Amendment was there in the first place.

Our government has done precisely this.  And the primary method of its malevolence, to this point, has been  to assume ever more control of your money and property via tax legislation, federal spending, and regulation.  But that's not were it ends.  

As Mark Steyn points out in a driving theme in After America: Get Ready for Armageddon: “It starts with the money. For dominant powers in decline, it always does.”

“It starts with the money,” he says, “but it never stops there.”

Steyn gives us an idea about where he believes it ends:

Conservatives often talk about small government, which in a sense, is framing the issue in leftist terms.  They’re for big government, and when you’re arguing for the small alternative, it’s easy to sound pinched and mean and grudging.  But small government gives you big freedoms. And big government leaves you with very little freedom. 
The opposite of big government is not small government, but big liberty.  The bailout, and the stimulus, and the budget, and the trillion dollar deficits are not merely massive transfers from the most dynamic of the productive sector to the least dynamic and productive.  When governments annex a huge chunk of the economy, they also annex a huge chunk of individual liberty.  You fundamentally change the relationship between the citizen and the state into something closer to that of junkie and pusher.  And you make it very difficult ever to change back.
In the end, it’s not about money, but about something more fundamental.  Yes, you can tax people to the hilt, and give them free healthcare, and free homes, and free food, but in doing so you turn them into, if not yet slaves, then pets.  And that’s the nub of it.  Big government leads to small liberty and small men.
Liberty is profoundly tied to capitalism, free markets, and the eschewing of increased government control of wealth -- and while not the sole ingredients for liberty, they are necessary ones.  Steyn has not been the first to notice this correlation.  Milton Friedman said as much to an audience member in a taped appearance at Cornell University.  At about 8:25 of this video, we see a gentleman in army fatigues ask:

I see society as more and more tending to the usurping of my individual rights and freedoms as time goes by.  What do you see as the ultimate end of this, i.e., either in democracy or socialism, and why do you think the individuals within this society are letting this happen to them?
What is “the ultimate end of this,” in Friedman’s eyes?  He isn’t one to mince words, and he implies that finding the end is the easier part of his question to answer.  And like Steyn, he traces the roots of liberty’s erosion to government appropriation of wealth.

If we continue along the road we’ve been going on, of usurping more and more power to government officials to control our lives, I see only one end.  And that’s the loss of anything that has any meaning as democracy, a loss of human freedoms, and a prison state.  That’s the end.
Why are they letting this happen to them? That’s a much more difficult question to answer.  I think that is largely because of ignorance about where they are going.  A lack of recognition.  I don’t believe they want to go this road.  But I believe they are unwittingly letting themselves go down this road, because on each issue that comes up, people look at their separate special interest instead of the broader interest in governmental activity.  Everyone wants to cut down government, provided that those things he has an interest in are maintained.
The solution is for people like you and me to talk.  To ourselves, and to our fellows, and to try to persuade our fellow free men to be of like mind.  To change the climate of opinion in these respects, to try to correct the political structure … I’ve been recently working on one particular proposal along those lines, which is to have a Constitutional Amendment setting a maximum limit on the amount that the government may spend.  I won’t go into the details, but I think fundamentally, we are getting what the public at large has been asking for. And the public is asking for it, I believe, because they do not understand where it’s going to lead them.
It has led us to where we are today, an environment in which we have no idea which individual liberties the government will choose to recognize or ignore.  We just know that this choice seems to be at the government’s discretion.  And we are clearly not done traversing the path Friedman describes. 

We never got that Amendment setting a spending limit for government.  As a result, government has never been bigger than today, and liberty has never been smaller than today.  After nearly a century of amassed government control of Americans’ wealth, we are but a turn of the key from a prison state, if NSA whistleblowers in the know are to be believed.
In the last century we have witnessed the reimplementation of a progressive income tax that supplanted tariffs as the chief revenue source of the federal government, the legislation of the redistributive Titanics called Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and the establishment and perpetual expansion of the welfare state, mimicking Euro-democracies that are now collapsing under that gargantuan yoke.  In the last decade alone, government expansion has gone into hyper-drive, acting as broker for the taxpayers in buying billions in worthless assets for banks’ benefit, investing billions more taxpayer dollars in a stimulus package that did little to stimulate, and the government has procured administrative control of the healthcare industry, a significant driver of American GDP.  Even as we speak, the government is seeking to legislate even more control over the American economy by granting amnesty to illegal aliens and granting previously legislated federal benefits to them as reward for their having broken our laws, increasing the liability of the productive class and ensuring the need for more aggressive redistributive measures in the future.

We don’t have time to be ignorant anymore about where we are headed, or the manner in which we’ve been cobbling the path to get there.  It starts with the money -- it will end in a prison state, and the latter isn’t going to manifest itself decades hence, but at any moment.  All it takes is the right crisis, real or manufactured. 
It’s not enough that we wait around for 2014 in hopes to get the right people in office to support “big liberty” instead of “big government.”  As Milton Friedman said in 1975, which he alludes to in the above-linked video and which Steyn cites in After America:

I do not believe that the solution to our problem is to simply elect the right people.  The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing.  Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or if they try, they will shortly be out of office.
This is why it is important that we work to change the direction of our public discourse.  We must demand that our representatives recognize that the purpose of our government is not to provide Americans with collectivized benefits.  The purpose of our government is to preserve Americans’ individual liberty.  And increased government spending at this dire breakpoint, in any capacity, wholly subverts liberty. 

And if the American people cannot be made to see that, well… our end is loosely written for us.

William Sullivan

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Where Do We Go from Gosnell?

Abortion advocates have made considerable efforts create daylight between the issue of abortion and the trial of Kermit Gosnell, the notorious abortionist who has now been found guilty first-degree murder for the termination of babies which survived abortion attempts, including "hundreds of lesser charges ranging from infanticide to running a corrupt organization." 

The ethical slipperiness of the media in covering the case was astounding.  New York Times editor Andrew Rosenthal, for example, asked, “What does the trial of a Philadelphia doctor who is accused of performing illegal late-term abortions by inducing labor and then killing viable fetuses have to do with the debate over legal abortion?”

It is an interesting choice to refer to a live baby extracted from the womb as a “viable fetus.”  This verbiage obfuscates not only the distinction between a fetus and a baby, but also the understanding of viability versus unviability, which is, of course, the crux of the abortion debate in general.

It is ironic, therefore, for Rosenthal to suggest that the case has nothing to do with abortion by raising the very question upon which the Gosnell crimes are measured and the entire abortion debate hinges: at what point does a fetus become viable, and at what point does a fetus’ life warrant legal protection?

Gosnell understandably elicits an ethical question about late-term abortion in the minds of Americans, and other abortion advocates choose to lament this truth rather than deny it.  Michelle Goldberg of the Daily Beast, for example, admits that “late-term abortion can be problematic” because “once a fetus has gestated to five or six months, most people, whatever their politics, can see its inherent human value.” Referring to a 3D ultrasound of her son at twenty weeks gestation, she recalls, “At that stage a fetus appears quite human.  Not that I referred to him as a fetus.  I am very pro-choice, but I already referred to him as my baby.”

Even Goldberg, a staunch abortion advocate, recognized this child in her womb at twenty weeks to be just that -- a child.  And if that is true, it might stand to reason that other children in other women’s wombs at twenty weeks, wanted or unwanted, are also children worthy of protection by the law.  Nonetheless, she cannot condemn “problematic” late-term abortion outright, because the “anti-abortion movement” does not have the “solution.”  Better to continue having these children die, she offers, than bring any added attention to Gosnell or videos exposing practices at other late-term abortion clinics.

Such efforts are about protecting the institution of abortion.  The protection of children, which again, she understands exist within a mother’s womb at the very least at twenty weeks and beyond, is a secondary concern to that, especially when such a trivial number of abortions take place after twenty weeks gestation -- only 1.5%, she says.
But with abortion levels in the United States estimated at or above one million per annum, this trivial 1.5% accounts for 15,000 or more late-term abortions per year.  That is more than 15,000 children last year, now dead, at the hands of abortionists like Gosnell.  This number greatly exceeds recent annual murder levels.  Only a fraction of those murders are actually due to guns, and only a fraction of those murdered by guns are children.  Yet there couldn’t have been more scrutiny on the tragedy of those children in Newtown dying at the hands of an evil gunman to illustrate the moral imperative of gun control legislation.  How can it possibly be defended that the tragedy of those dead children at the hands of evil Gosnell is not scrutinized with the same fervor?
The Roe v. Wade decision set precedent that viability can be reasonably assumed at some undefined point of gestation after the first trimester, and that state legislation can define at what point this occurs and protect the child within the mother’s womb.  So a discussion on the matter of the legality and limits of late-term abortion is not a direct subversion of the practice of abortion, but entirely reasonable within the scope of Roe v. Wade.

Just this once, why can we not set politics aside?  The vast majority of Americans are not after the repeal of Roe v. Wade, and they do not seek to end all legal abortion practice in the United States.  The vast majority (roughly 80%) of Americans do, however, disagree with late-term abortions, and only fringe extremists support the practice of infanticide, a category to which, sadly, our president has clearly belonged

Abortion in early fetal development, emergency contraceptives, Sandra Fluke’s mean insurance company that won’t pay for her birth control -- we can continue our discussion about all of that, separate of this issue.  But can we not do the one thing that we all know that we should do, and ban the practice of any and all frivolous late-term abortions? 

It is only natural that such a horrific revelation as the Gosnell case should jolt America’s social conscience to reevaluate how we view the practice of late-term abortion in America.  If it does not, then it evidences that protecting the political golden calves of the status quo is more important than protecting that which we know to be right.

William Sullivan

Friday, May 10, 2013

The New Monument at Ground Zero, A Decade Late

Ground Zero has a new monument to replace the ones that Islamic jihadists destroyed on that clear Tuesday morning of September 11, 2001, and a spire has just been hoisted to signify the building's final height. CNN reports:

The spire brings the iconic building to a height of 1,776 feet -- an allusion to the year the United States declared its independence. It also makes the building the tallest in the Western Hemisphere and the third-tallest in the world.

The company developing the building in partnership with the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey confirmed the installation.

While the building still has significant construction before its scheduled 2014 opening, the installation brought cheers from New Yorkers, and from people around the country.

"NYC is back ... America is back!" Twitter userTheJeffSullivan posted to the social networking site.

Twitter user mattnewby04 called it a "very powerful moment to see the figurative rebuilding of NYC."

Only eleven and a half years later, eh? While I love the idea of an edifice taller than the World Trade Towers and appreciate the effort to imbue its height with American symbolism, you'll have to forgive me for not finding this a marvelous achievement.  It's not necessarily that the building itself is underwhelming, it's more a matter of the timing.  As Mark Steyn writes in After America:

The most eloquent statement about America in the 21st century is Ground Zero in the years after. 9/11 was something our enemies did to us. The hole in the ground a decade later is something we did to ourselves.


The Empire State Building, then the tallest in the world, was put up in 18 months during a depression – because the head of General Motors wanted to show the head of Chrysler that he could build something that went higher than the Chrysler Building. Three-quarters of a century later, the biggest thing either man's successor had created was a mountain of unsustainable losses – and both GM and Chrysler were now owned and controlled by government and unions.


In the decade after 9/11, China (which America still thinks of as a cheap assembly plant for your local KrappiMart) built the Three Gorges Dam, the largest electricity-generating plant in the world. Dubai, a mere sub-jurisdiction of the United Arab Emirates, put up the world's tallest building and built a Busby Berkeley geometric kaleidoscope of offshore artificial islands. Brazil, an emerging economic power, began diverting the Sao Francisco river to create some 400 miles of canals to irrigate its parched north-east. But the hyperpower can't put up a building.

Thirteen years after the towers fell, a new building will take its place. Even with all the symbolism meant by this construction and the pride Americans now seem to take in it, I fear that it's just too little, too late for it to mean a damn thing to the rest of the world which recognizes how far we've fallen from the zenith of American greatness.

William Sullivan

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Egyptian Salafi Cleric Weighs in on the Boston Bombing

Cleric Murgan Salem has some pretty dire revelations for America, seen in the video below.

There is much in this chilling clip that is revealing, and first and foremost is the obvious reminder that, even if the attack in Boston was not an act of Islamic jihad, jihadists see such attacks as a victory.  Clearly, he sees the attack as too "amateurish" to have been the work of al-Qaeda and posits that it could have likely been an American who is dissatisfied with American policy, but nonetheless, the bombing sends a message that we Americans can be attacked anywhere, anytime, and by anyone.

Second, we notice that his appraisal of jihad runs in clear conflict with the standard leftist mantra about armed jihad being a fringe phenomenon, only embraced by those who follow the twisted perversion of Islam practiced by the late Osama bin Laden, for example.  He assures the world that it is not bin Laden or al-Zawahiri that gave the world the notion that violent jihad is a religious imperative -- that honor belongs with Allah and the Quran.  While many Muslims, particularly in the West, have evolved a more progressive view of jihad, the more archaic brand of jihad still courses in the veins of Islamic fundamentalism, pumped by various hearts like al Qaeda.  Hence, Islamic fundamentalism remains a global scourge, not a fairy tale made up by right-wing conservatives.

Third, and I thought most interesting (considering the above mentioned items are not necessarily news to me, but reminders), we notice that he believes America to be finished.  What is his reasoning, beyond the fact that Islamic fundamentalists will be emboldened and increasingly take the jihad to America's back yard?  He cites America's bloated debt and Americans' increased dependence on welfare.  In America, millions of the usefully dim refuse to see this as a problem, believing our unfathomable debt to be sustainable, and steadily increasing welfare dependence to be a good thing.  In the Islamic world, fundamentalists cheer at our willingness to commit to economic self-atrophy, thereby assisting the jihadists who long for America's demise.

Barack Obama sought to improve relations with the Islamic world through dialogue, insisting that with the right leadership, the Islamic world would respect and accept a relationship peaceful relationship with America.  But it appears that our president's candor and domestic policies have done little more than assure the Islamic world that we are weaker than ever, and ripe for destruction.

William Sullivan

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

How Public Educators Subvert Education

In a chilling video (apparently sponsored by MSNBC), Melissa Harris-Perry suggests that your children do not belong to you, but to the collective.  And the sooner we realize that and relegate ourselves to dumping more money into public education, she says, the better off we'll all be. 

I provided some commentary for the American Thinker blog regarding the reasons Americans should find this video frightening.  Suffice it to say, her ignorant mindset, however well-intentioned, is universally the framework of ruthless socialistic and fascistic dictatorship.  See: History.

Harris-Perry isn't about driving success, any more than education unions are about academic success, or "No Child Left Behind" is about academic success.  It seems, rather, that the goal of our current education system is to hamstring any who get further ahead of the pack because they might be differently advantaged. 

It's the equivalent of requiring a Kenyan marathon runner to carry weights, because thin Kenyans seem to be just too damn good at marathons and it's making the other, slower marathon runners feel bad.

That's just not how success is driven, and it's an absolute travesty that there is a need to explain that.  This, like many of the problems we face today, is a result of American ignorance of the fact that collectivism does not nurture progress, but regression. 

Here's an example to explain why, courtesy of the recently deceased Margaret Thatcher.  In her last appearance in Britain's House of Commons in 1990, she was confronted by a socialist who laments that, sure, Britain thrived for the most part during her tenure as Prime Minister, but the gap between the richest 10% and the poorest 10% increased during that time.  Thatcher reminded him that even the poor had it better in 1990 than they did in 1979, and by focusing on the discrepancy rather than the more important result -- prosperity -- the member was admitting that "he would rather that the poor get poorer, provided that the rich become less rich."  That's it.  In a nutshell.  Why socialism fails.  Watch this, it really is thing of beauty:

And we see it in our education system.  In Wisconsin (patient zero for the corrupt unionism disease), Racine Unified superintendent Dr. Ann Laing had this to say:
I think Milwaukee is a good example of what will happen on a smaller scale here. In Milwaukee, it’s pretty much been white families who’ve taken advantage of private schools, with a few African-American families. The African-American families are the ones who are most prone to enroll their kids in the fly-by-night schools that cropped up after vouchers existed.

They don’t know how to make good choices for their children. They really don’t. They didn’t have parents who made good choices for them or help them learn how to make good choices, so they don’t know how to do that.

First of all, the racism is in-your-face.  For her to sit there and suggest that black people are just bad parents in such broad terms should be shocking.  If anyone without union protection, who is not toeing the line for the progressive agenda, were to make such a comment, he or she would be tarred and feathered by the media.  But no, this flies undert the radar for the most part, because it advances the narrative of collectivism.

Mikel Holt exposed these comments in the Milwaukee Community Journal, and in response, Laing said the comments were "taken out of context."  "Many parents," she says, "don't have access to the information or tools" necessary to make good decisions. 

Funny.  It doesn't seem like she was taken out of context at all, because her later comments-- that a lack of resources is the problem, not a lack of ability-- sound nothing the previous statements -- that black people just don't know how to make good decisions because black people's parents didn't make good decisions.

If it were really about "information or tools" to help people make good decisions, wouldn't the school district try to provide "information and tools" to people, so parents and children can make good decisions?

That's precisely what the school district would do if it were about grooming successful academics.  But no, the point is to demonize those parents who have worked to have the means to pay for a better investment in their children's education.  Additionally, she is trying to eliminate competition to the public school option by delegitimizing the "fly-by-night" schools that some parents are exercising via the voucher system, which is the bane of public education unions.

It does beg the question... if the public school option is so wonderful for these children, why are so many exercising the voucher system?

Dr. Laing suggests that it's because they're incapable of making good decisions because they're black, or they had  bad parents, what have you.  But I think the truth is that parents who care are seeking other options for their children, because they know well enough that many public schools are dangerous, and that their children are not getting a good result from public education.

So public schools are so bad that everyone is seeking alternatives.  But advocates of expanding public education, like Harris-Perry, like Dr. Laing, think that we should increase federal funding to public education and that these alternatives should be limited to the public, because the state knows better than parents what is good for their children.

Essentially, the suggestion is that when free-market principles are applied to education and there is competition with public education, there is discrepancy between those who go to good schools (often alternatives to public schools) and those who go to bad schools (often public schools).  So since we've more than doubled the investment in public education since 1970 and the results have been regressive (ie, kids are less educated today than in 1970), we should eliminate those alternatives and just have everyone go to public schools to eliminate the discrepancy.

In other words, these social engineers would rather the dumb become dumber, provided the educated become less educated.  Just another example of why collectivism fails.

William Sullivan

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Big News? NFL Player to Come Out of the Closet

"Some believe atmosphere is safe for a gay NFL player to come out."  That is the headline of this CBS article linked on Drudge today. From the article:
Based on interviews over the past several weeks with current and former players, I'm told that a current gay NFL player is strongly considering coming out publicly within the next few months -- and after doing so, the player would attempt to continue his career.
I'm told this player feels the time is now for someone to take this step -- despite homophobic remarks from San Francisco 49ers defensive back Chris Culliver and the controversy arising recently at the Indianapolis Scouting combine, when prospects were asked questions about their sexuality.

This player's true concern, I'm told, is not the reaction inside an NFL locker room but outside of it. The player fears he will suffer serious harm from homophobic fans, and that is the only thing preventing him from coming out. My sources will not say who this alleged player is.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear oral arguments on California's Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage. Opponents of the proposition say it discriminates against gay men and women.

To Fujita and others, this is an important case that could have ramifications in the NFL. If the Supreme Court overturns Proposition 8, it would send yet another signal to closeted gay NFL players that the environment is changing for the better.

To be sure, this would probably not be as big of a news item, if not for the hubbub surrounding the Supreme Court review of two gay rights cases, one of which is a review of California's Prop 8 vote where Californians voted in the majority to ban gay marriage in the state.  Implied in the above mentioned article, if the Court strikes down Prop 8, it will signal an environment in which it might be "safe" for NFL players to be openly gay.

It amuses me that there is such an effort to tie the fate of gay NFL players to a decision in favor of gay marriage.  After all, the right to be openly gay in the NFL has little if anything to do with the ability to be married in a state-recognized ceremony.  The implication is that if gay marriage isn't given a federal legal allowance, it will signify that America is still just a bigoted nation of homophobes, and a homosexual football player might be threatened with violence daily for his life choice.  But if nine lawyers in the Court reimagine current law and overrule California's popular vote, then it will signal that America has somehow changed enough to warrant a gay NFL player safely coming out.  It's hard to imagine such a silly presumption being taken seriously by anyone -- but here we are, discussing an article by an author who does.

The funniest thing about all of this, though, is that the author suggests that he hopes, when this gay player comes out, that it will be a non-issue.  The truth is, it is already a non-issue to the vast majority of Americans.  It is the author, and the pro-gay marriage lobby that he represents, that is making an NFL player being openly gay an issue by tying his coming out to a legitimate and polarizing legal issue.

I'm an avid NFL fan, and when this gay player and others come out, I'll simply do what most Americans will do.  I'll say, "Good for him," and go on about my day.  Ironically, the people that will undoubtedly make the biggest deal of it are the same ideologues who are invested in the issue of gay marriage -- which, again, is somewhat silly, considering that being openly gay in the NFL has nothing to do with gay marriage as a social or legal issue.

The truth of the matter is that the choice to be gay is broadly accepted in America today, even if the issue of gay marriage is a polarizing cultural matter, and NFL players can, and should be able to be openly gay in the NFL without fear of hatred or violent acts against them.  But a state should also not have to forfeit its constitutional right to govern in the manner that its people demand, so long as it's within legal limitations. 

A gay NFL player's ability to be openly gay should not be dependent on a state's forfeiture of sovereignty, no matter how attractive it might be for gay marriage advocates to lump the issues together. 

William Sullivan