Archive

Archive for the ‘Free Speech’ Category

A Comment From the Wasteland

June 16, 2014 Leave a comment

On a day off, I found myself following a Tony Katz posted link on Facebook, leading to a certain forwardprogressives.com post. There, a writer posts “10 Questions Every Liberal Should Ask Every Republican”, with an all too typical George W. Bush-making-a-stupified-face photo. That article is not the focus of this post.

This post is about the left’s drive-by commenters. The people with a tenuous grasp on the English language, and atrocious spelling ability. Those same people who love to employ a straw man just as quickly as they would shout “RACIST” at someone who they have never met before. The disgusting, rotten, red herring flinging bigots, who seem to troll certain conservatives and libertarians so easily.

These special flowers have few rhetorical tools in their repertoire, and they have the most depressing, failing, president ever to defend. So, sadly, and painfully, they rely on red-hot personal attacks and mis-representation. If nothing else, here’s to hoping this post gets a few readers who are frequently trolled by these commenters to pause, and begin immediately to fire a salvo of well-timed and well-placed calls of “bull!”

The commenter in the example represents the typical consensus building leftist troll. Screenshots of their comments are below, and my rebuttal, along with rhetorical errors or fallacies follow.leftwing troll

c. Do you understand the supremacy of local officials and how they have MUCH more impact on how cities work? You offer a straw man argument, trying to point your finger at governors of your own cherry-picked states. It’s a bogus argument. And, to answer your question – who cares? We are talking about cities. Don’t re-frame things when you dislike the conclusions.

d. The California Legislature slashed the state budget. Increasing taxes on many things was also the government’s choice to alleviate budget shortfalls. How did this occur? Hint: it was not your “COMMIE democrat governor” as you put it; it was primarily the result of ballot issues that voters passed.

e. Which federal policies are you referring to? You actually want a laundry list? Do your own homework.

f. While Clinton bolstered your numbers (Obama’s been abysmal on job creation), you should remember that Clinton inherited, and left GWB, an anemic economy. Clinton also had a Republican congress for much of his presidency.

g. 40 years seems like an awfully arbitrary figure to use – why is that? Another straw man for you to defeat? Perhaps there were more during Republican presidencies because, despite the stereotype that they are hawks, they actually want to commit enough troops to fight and win, and not keep forces needlessly tied up in a quagmire (like Vietnam-L.B.J. and Afghanistan-Obama). There are more military deaths in Afghanistan under Obama than Bush. I would remind you as well that “Bush’s Iraq War” had bi-partisan support in Congress as well. As to the last 40 years, LBJ’s last year in office saw over 16,000 soldiers die. More died under democrats’ administrations.

h. You seem to have a framing issue with this claim – 74% of food stamps go to young children and the elderly – but I would greatly argue they are still left underfed. There is a massive child obesity problem in this country – do you think it is because they are not eating enough? The race of the food stamp recipient is neither here nor there, but just another red herring.

i. Your anti-religious colors really show here. It is a cheap dig, but then. You manage to stereotype at the same time you denigrate. Your bigotry is astounding.

j. I have no idea. The party is trying to change the way that the party spends outrageously, like the left. The republican establishment does have a spending problem. When everyone thinks that they are entitled to something, it gets expensive, eh?

So, there is my thinking processes when I find myself tortuously reading what I fear is typical left wing commentary. Commenters like the above serve no purpose other than to inflame the right, and tie otherwise productive and thoughtful people up, with face palms and disgruntled sighs. Predictably, many right wing readers will react, and respond, with the same sort of enraged, short-on-thinking, long-on-payback, response – which frequently serves the left as “proof” of an unhinged, unsafely-armed right…

(Logical errors can be studied and easily revealed by using the following site: https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/home)

Advertisements

Faith In…Nothing?

April 5, 2013 6 comments

As it has become well-known in the past 20 or better years, there are certain groups who take it upon themselves to “protect” our rights. It sounds like a noble cause – a brave group of lawyers, preventing things like civil rights violations and ensuring alleged criminals receive counsel. However, that is the assumption of those groups, but not necessarily their actions.

In Jackson, Ohio, a portrait that had hung in a school since 1947 was recently removed, after the (Freedom From Religion Foundation) FFRF and (American Civil Liberties Union) ACLU filed lawsuits. The groups would have us believe that the portrait was heinous, and portrayed the sort of thing that should never be seen in schools. The expected backlash was so bad, the people who were supposed to have reported the portrait are still referred to as John Doe-plaintiffs by the groups. Nothing like invoking your rights while you cower, eh?

Just what was this awful, heinous, picture? What could cause so much outrage and belly aching? What could possibly be so inflammatory? Why this bust of Jesus Christ, which hung so long in the school:

The Head of Christ

The Head of Christ, by Warner Sallman

Created in 1941 by a Chicago painter named Warner Sallman, the painting grew in popularity to become one of the most popular depictions of Christ of all time. The calming gaze was apparently too much for some though.

The painting was removed, even though the school was not ordered to take the work down, because the school’s insurance company refused to cover legal costs to argue the case in the courts. The superintendent then said the school could not afford the costs on their own, and ordered the picture to be taken down.

The painting actually was not owned by the school district itself. The painting belonged to a group who attended the high school, and was a Christian service group, the Hi-Y Club. The ACLU and FFRF claim the club gave the picture to the school district, but the district denied any such arrangement was ever made, and said that the painting still belonged to the group.

The main issue seems to be another attack on religion in general (Christ was a Jew, he was the basis for Catholicism and Christianity, and he is considered a prophet in Islam). There is no one religion being targeted. So, under the guise of protecting civil rights, and ensuring the continued separation of church and state (which is always a specious claim at best), the ACLU and FFRF have forced, through legal intimidation, the painting’s removal. To preserve free speech, they must quash…free speech.

Read more on the case via the Montreal Gazette.

The Administration Of Death

September 16, 2012 4 comments
Barack Obama

Barack Obama

While I recognize that the title seems hyperbolic, I aim to make the case that the Obama administration runs the most anti-life, and pro-death, government that the United States has ever had. I think the government’s last three-plus years, have given rise to the most lackadaisical support of life, we have ever seen. Many times, over and over again, we have seen the president and his sycophants either endorse death, or attempt to excuse away the death of others, both innocents and people who have lost their lives as a direct result of the administration’s policies.

One of the most flagrant disregards for the ultimate sacrifice of others, was the slap in the face delivered to some fallen soldiers’ families. As Commander-in-Chief, and the person who has the ultimate say on military matters, one might think that having a soldier under your command lose their life, one of the very least things you could do would be sign a condolence letter to the soldiers’ families. Not Obama. He has repeatedly been shown to use an auto-pen for form letters of condolence to soldiers’ families.

Obama has also authorized, and carried out, the assassination of an American citizen by drone. Granted, the assassinated had aided and abetted terrorists, but he was still an American citizen, with the supposed rights of a trial by his peers, and due process. Whether or not Obama actually felt bound by these rights, seemed not to matter – he sent the drones anyway, and gave the go ahead to kill, without trial. A step, with which even Salon, taken aback, actually said was a “…step beyond where even George Bush would go”.

Should I bring up the “Fast & Furious” scandal, which the administration is still hoping will somehow, just, go away? Giving his testimony before Congress, Attorney General Eric Holder, bluntly refused to apologize to or to even acknowledge, slain border agent, Brian Terry’s family. As he sat before the House Judiciary Committee, wriggling and struggling for words that would somehow allow him to tell the truth, and avoid any blame, Holder was given an opportunity to provide documents and evidence to the Committee, which it had requested for months, and he repeatedly offered nothing. Even though memos and other documents implicated Holder and his lieutenants in the scandal, instead of finally taking responsibility for the thousands of Mexican deaths and the death of  Brian Terry – Holder merely offered excuses.
Sidenote: Holder’s testimony was in the late Spring of 2012, and as of late Summer 2012, there still has not been an apology or acknowledgment of responsibility over the failed gun running operation.

We were witness to one of the most recent, and telling examples of this seeming pre-occupation with death,  at the Democratic National Convention. A party platform that relished the thought and promise of widespread, and easy, on-demand abortion was center-stage. While some pundits tried to defend this with the thought that, “Well, the democrats have no record to run on, and the economy is atrocious – let the Democrats turn to social issues…” And so, from all the social issues that the Democrats could have turned to, and supported – from the poor, the homeless, bettering care for returning veterans – the Democrats turned to the snuffing out of lives to build their platform. A spokeswoman from NARAL (Nancy Keenan), Planned Parenthood, and the infamous Sandra Fluke, were only a few of the participants at the DNC, proud to trot out the “right to” abortion, masquerading as a human-right. Maybe we should have expected this when a president who supported infanticide won the last election?

Finally, in the newest flirtation in the left’s macabre and twisted relationship with death, awareness was given to the administration of a threat against embassies and consulates in the Middle East. Approaching the anniversary of September 11th, and with warning of Muslim backlash against a movie about their Prophet – despite as long as a 48-hour window of warning – the Obama Administration did nothing. Rumors of unarmed and massively under-gunned security at the American facilities fell on deaf ears, and  led to the deaths of an ambassador (and his body’s subsequent desecration) and deaths of numerous other personnel. Despite the raising of an Arabic-language flag, espousing the aims of the Muslim Brotherhood, over an American embassy in Egypt, and the taking down, ripping apart, and burning of the Stars and Stripes, the administration still insists on continued billions of dollars in aid to the Egyptian government. Obama has issued an apology to anyone upset by Americans exercising their right to free speech, and the American media, still in love with the Obama administration, sought to excoriate Mitt Romney for issuing a presidential statement that Obama would not, or could not, bring himself to issue. A muted response has been the administration’s reaction to spreading violence and breeches at other embassies and consulates. In Libya, the post where murdered ambassador Chris Stevens lost his life, Obama has dispatched the Marines – 50 of them…This, as news sources report an angry crowd of hundreds threatening the American embassy in Yemen, and as warnings go out to other embassies to remain on guard.

So, what should we make of all this? Ordering an executive “hit” on an American citizen, an attempt to excuse away a federal agent’s death without taking any responsibility, a platform leaning heavily on abortion for support, and a very weak response to deaths of State Department personnel – it all points, to this author, to an administration that simply does not value life. This administration seems to use, squelch, or squander lives for whatever purpose, then toss them aside with their roles fulfilled. Life is nothing more than a means to achieve any number of ends. Use it for political gain, use it for votes, use it to send a message to our friends (or our enemies) – it does not really matter what the aim is, because there will always be more life to continuously throw at the problems. It is all so macabre and counter to everything we as Americans value, isn’t it? History books and our teachers tell us American men and women fought noble wars, and freed people from oppressive regimes, so that they could follow their own destinies and achieve what they could. Freed people from oppressive regimes, would no longer would have to worry that their lives would be used up or wasted by regimes who wanted the oppressed people’s’ blood and sweat for their own greedy and destructive purposes. Risking American lives, and losing so many, was ultimately worth it, so that others might enjoy the sanctity of life and personal freedoms that we Americans held in such high esteem. Now, it seems like such a sad day to see so much blood and destruction being wastefully used, for so little to show for it.

In Defense of Bob Beckel

August 15, 2012 3 comments

Wow. I would have never, in a thousand years thought, that I would ever feel the need to defend anything Bob Beckel has done, or anything that he has said. However, when the story of his newest verbal faux pas hit the internet today, the commentors and other people calling for his ouster from the show, “The Five”, were too many I think.

Bob Beckel

Bob Beckel: “(&*#$%^&”

I take issue, with even a handful of people, gnashing their teeth, and bemoaning Beckel’s poor choice of words. While I understand the shock that hearing an “f-bomb” on television might create, there is no reason to stick with that feeling, and use it to demand a man’s job. While what Beckel said was crass and probably not the wisest thing he could have said (already having said the word once before this year on the same program), he is an American, and as such can say it – his reaction is his right, and as was the case today, he can use whatever response he feels is necessary. It is not like the man used hate-speech, he did not yell “fire” in a crowded movie theater, and he apologized immediately after having uttered the word. I would add too, that the cause of Beckel’s outburst was a sharp jab from fellow panelist, Eric Bolling.

While Beckel’s language today was saltier than usual, his “forbidden word” is no worse than you could expect at any mall or junior high school. Young teens walking down sidewalks are very likely to drop an f-bomb of their own, and yet, no one turns agoraphobic because of the language that they may encounter in public. While some people do not care for swear words, they have no right to either judge people’s choice of words, or do they have the right to restrict that innocent speech.

I would say to the greatly offended viewers who are calling for Beckel’s head: You know, as well as everybody else that you tuned into the program of your own volition. No one forced you to do so. You, the viewers, are free to turn off the program at any time. The program is famous for heated discussions among the five panelists, and they are no different from today’s event, but for one word. I would offer that many viewers, both on the right, and on the left, tune in just to see Beckel rail against the tide of the other panelists. He is a wonderful antagonist in his role.

To hear a single word, then react as some people did, calling for Beckel’s firing, was nothing more than seeing a typical left-wing tactic used by our own side. This sort of seizing opportunities of victimless accidents like this by my fellow conservatives and republicans, is at least, disheartening, and at worst, disgusting. In the recent years, we have seen things like NDAA and the Patriot Act erode our rights, and now, just to make an example of a prickly political opponent, we would do it to ourselves? That is madness. Either we stand for the right of free speech, and we take the bad with the good, or we slowly begin to hammer at another right we will willingly throw away. Our rights are under enough stress by a power-hungry administration, and they do not need the added stress of your own sanctimony and self-important moralizing.

The comments that inspired this post can be found here:
http://twitchy.com/2012/08/14/bob-beckel-drops-f-bomb-on-air-again/
and here, with video:
http://www.therightscoop.com/the-five-bob-beckel-drops-the-f-bomb-on-air-again/

“Free” Speech

August 6, 2012 Leave a comment

This past week has shown both the best of America, and certainly some of the worst of America. After a company’s owner, declared his support of traditional marriage (a statement in the affirmative), he saw his words twisted and warped into some sort of negative, hate-tinged rant, against homosexuals. Dan Cathy, owner of Chick-Fil-A restaurants, then faced the possibility of boycotts of his restaurants, vandalism, and a staged “kiss-in” demonstration by disgruntled proponents of gay marriage. What Cathy got, however, was massive support by champions of free speech, who giving his statement a moment’s reading, determined correctly, that it was completely innocent, and devoid of any sort of hatred.

Free Speech

Free speech isn’t necessarily free…

Opponents of free speech, many times would see it restricted, to promote and spread their own spun narratives. The danger in this, is that both the restriction and the flagrant misuse of free speech, has heavy consequence. In the age of citizen press on the Internet, credibility can be scarce, and trust in a source can be mistakenly given. Herein lies the little understood and often-ignored fact that “free” speech, is not free at all. There are at least two main ways that free speech can be paid for:

  • Credibility
  • Capital (both monetary and political)

Concerning credibility, the most glaring example at the moment is the mainstream media. As the Internet’s citizen media grew, and on site sources for events began to coordinate and corroborate events that differed from the media’s accounts, it confirmed suspected media biases. The old media’s reports of Tea Party and right-wing violence, black Congressmen being spat on and called epithets, and reporters’ attempts to educate guests on issues like Critical Race Theory, all had the eroding effect on what little credibility the networks may have still had. As if numerous mayors of cities, like Boston and San Francisco, had not eroded what little credibility that they had left, last week said that they were fine with banning certain restaurants from their cities, based solely on the owner’s personal views. Let’s be clear on this point: when Dan Cathy talked about supporting traditional marriage, he was speaking for Dan Cathy, not Chick-Fil-A restaurants. So the mayors’ knee-jerk reactions are to prevent restaurants (and all the associated jobs and benefits) from building in their cities – this, with an economy in terrible shape.

With capital being the method a person pays for their baseless rhetoric, people like Barack Obama and Harry Reid have consistently spent what political capital they have built up. Obama had a huge groundswell, and a maniacally energized party after the 2008 presidential election, and he has spent his entire term thus far, spending that political capital – by forcing healthcare bills that had less than 1/2 of the public’s support, by touting his “success” at turning the economy around, and by beginning to make good on his promise to bankrupt the American coal power industry. Obama also lost a fair amount of face, when he engaged in the speculation of what happened in the case of mistaken identity of Henry Louis Gates and Cambridge Police (They “acted stupidly” as you may recall…)

Harry Reid

He ‘heard it from a nameless guy somewhere…’

Until last week, there was no story or rumors of Harry Reid and children. Until he claimed he had a source that said Mitt Romney had not paid taxes in ten years – then, to illustrate the absurdity of the “I heard it from a guy, whose name I can not say” Reid engaged in, there grew a hash-tag and rumors about his “illicit acts” – the sources for the acts, of course, also being “a guy who people had heard it from”. Mitt Romney, for his part seemed very diplomatic about it (daring Reid to “put up or shut up”). So far, a rumor designed to make Mitt Romney look bad, has actually had an opposite effect, and with his retort, it showed him as passionate and strong, while Reid looks like a gossipy rumor-monger.

In another case of a person’s mouth leading to their ruin, a customer visiting a Chick-Fil-A restaurant in Arizona, filmed the entire event. Adam Smith thought he would visit the restaurant, take one of their free waters, then berate a drive-through window employee. The next step he took was apparently to post the smarmy event on Youtube, and receive praise for acting as he did. However, condemnation for his brusque manner, and targeting a minimum wage worker, was swift. It was learned that in short order, Smith had been fired from his CFO job at Vante and may lose his adjunct position at a college he teaches at.

In Reid’s and Obama’s cases, the speech that they have chosen to use, has directly led to the lowest ratings of Congress and poor presidential approval ratings. The point of these many examples should be obvious by now – there is no such thing as “free” speech. Everything a person says is carefully interpreted and digested by people around us. If there happen to be cameras around to catch the exact words, they can either be a tremendous savior, or a terrible sentence for the speaker.