A former community organizer from Chicago, the president entered the Oval Office five-plus years ago, amid high hopes and promises of transparency. Critics warned not to expect anything of the kind, and to expect a velvet glove treatment if you were not counted among Obama’s close friends. Named the “Chicago Way” for a reason, operating only in a city, there is a reason it is not called, the “Way of the World”.
Where Obama and others erred, was that they thought themselves to be above the fray.
Read the entire article at Conservative Daily News.
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:
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.
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.
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:
and here, with video:
The most recent gun-related tragedy in Aurora, Colorado has led to new calls for gun control laws and measures. The likes of Diane Feinstein, Sally Kohn, and Michael Bloomberg, have all claimed that extending prohibitions on firearms would necessarily curb the violence associated with them. It seems like a simple claim, with a self-evident conclusion: artificially the lower supply of something, and there is a lower supply available, right? It sounds like such a black and white issue. Cut off the supply of something, and the available supply begins to dwindle, and it eventually runs out. Then the product is gone, and so is the problem.
But there is a problem with that logic – firearms are not consumable items. Firearms are not used and thrown away, or expended. They are, like other tools, used over and over. While an artificial control would dry up the expansion of supplies, it still would not eliminate the supplies that the left would claim are causing all the problems. Despite the protestations that the sheer number of guns are the problems, some statistics have been pointing toward falling violent crime rates over the past few years.
The main issue I take with the progressive thought processes on gun control, is their insistence that guns would only be safe in the hands of trained, certified, fully capable professionals. Again, on its face, this seems like a decent notion – practice makes perfect, right? It seems to follow, that hours of safely handling and operating a firearm should make a nearly accident-proof firearm user, right? Then, these ultra-safe, and responsible firearms carrying professionals, would somehow protect the citizens, who would have had their own firearms seized.
The only problem with this thought, is that despite all the training in the world, and acclamation with firearms, police and soldiers still are not completely safe with them. There are miles long lists of firearms accidents and friendly fire mishaps among professionals. There have never been more methods of tracking and making weapons safe, and yet – even amidst these professionals, accidents still occur.
Among the best trained civilian police forces and SWAT teams, there are numerous stories of trigger-happy members killing civilians who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
- In Lima, Ohio, in a drug bust turned bad, police shot and killed a new mother, Tarika Wilson, after an officer opened fired on her – her one year old child, who she was holding suffered injuries as well (he was shot in the shoulder, and the baby also lost a finger). It was later discovered that police had even expected the presence of children, but went forward with a raid anyway.
- In Fairfield, Virginia, a 17-year police force veteran, investigating an illegal sports gambling operation, accidentally discharged his .45 caliber pistol, and killed an optometrist with no prior record. A firearm trainer later offered two reasons Salvatore Culosi Jr. was shot by the officer – “ignorance and carelessness”. He added, the Heckler & Koch gun was “very reliable” and did not have “a hair-trigger”.
- In one of the most egregious accidents of highly trained professionals’ neglecting safety and training protocols, in Pima County, Arizona, a SWAT team broke into a home, where they proceeded to shoot a Marine who served and survived two tours in Iraq. Pima County SWAT officers killed Jose Guerena while Guerena attempted to defend his family with his AR15, because he thought intruders were kicking his door down (as he lived in a high crime area). The police department has offered numerous stories and revised events several times, in trying to explain how they killed a man who never fired a shot at them, while they hit him over 60 times.
(The Cato Institute has compiled a long list (and map) of bungled SWAT actions by police. The map makes it plain to see that the deaths of both officers and innocent civilians are not limited to any particular geographic region. )
These three examples are by no means an indictment of any police force or SWAT teams either – I have the utmost respect for the people who risk their own lives daily, in an attempt to make the country a safer place. The examples illustrate the faulty reasoning in progressive logic that by only allowing “professionals” to carry firearms, will not eliminate firearms accidents. All things being equal, we must realize that police and soldiers are human beings too, and are therefore subject to the same accidents and irrationality as anyone else. There are far more examples of law enforcement officers being provoked or attacked by angry mobs, only to hold their fire, arrest the leaders of the violence, and defuse the situation.
Can practice and familiarity make people safer with their firearms? Of course it can. But then, if people are proficient in their use, and respect firearms as they should – then we would not have any reasons to take them away, would we?
(Picture credits: Tarika Wilson – Reason.com, Salvatore Culosi Jr. – washingtoncitypaper.com, and Jose Guerena – expertwitnessradio.org)