“Seductive as it might be, there is little within the facts to recommend this approach. As Gallup confirmed just this week, the NRA is not a fringe organization that has managed somehow to impose a greatly undeserved octopus’s grip, but a mainstream plank of American civil society with approval ratings of which the vast majority of national politicians could only dream. ‘Despite a year of blistering criticism,’ the polling firm notes, ‘58% in the U.S. have a favorable opinion” of the NRA — a number that “includes the highest recording of ‘very favorable’ opinions (26%) since Gallup began asking this question in 1989.’ That trend line is moving upwards.”
— Charles C.W. Cooke
Source: National Review Online
In ‘The Self-Fulfilling Prophet Drawing Competition’, David Francis and Elias Grol join the chorus of elite journalists siding with the the gunmen and blaming the victims.
In describing Geert Wilders and Pamela Geller, David Francis and Elias Groll do get one thing right. They accurately describe the look of Geert Wilders’ hair.
“He’s a silver-haired politician who warns about the threat of what he calls totalitarian Islam to Europe.”
David Francis and Elias Groll have apparently paid little attention to the murderous Christian and Jew-hating supremacist ideology that’s flourishing, quite comfortably, under the flag of official Islam, and yes, spoken in prayers every single day, all over the globe.
More loaded adjectives to describe Pamela Geller. (though they neglected to discuss her hair)
“She’s a preening ideologue who thinks Muslims use their daily prayers to curse Jews and Christians.”
FP Writers David Francis and Elias Groll are really upset and offended by the free speech provocations of figures like Geert Wilders and Pamela Geller. That is a very good thing.
Labeling Geert Wilders and Pamela Geller the “odd couple of the global ‘anti-Islam’ movement“:
“They are provocateurs trading in explosive, often racist anti-Muslim rhetoric, and they are now on the front lines of a roiling debate about whether Western notions of free speech ought to take into consideration Muslim sensitivities about images of the Prophet Mohammed.”
“Ought to take into consideration Muslim sensitivities”? Really?
On the popular habit of using the Southern Poverty Law Center as a ‘credible’ source:
“She is also the president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, a group that the Southern Poverty Law Center lists as a ‘hate group.'”
Note: The Southern Poverty Law Center thinks any organization that doesn’t conform to contemporary left-wing orthodoxy is a “hate group”. The Southern Poverty Law Center would label a ham sandwich and a bag of potato chips a “hate group”. Is Foreign Policy magazine a “hate group”? (Sure, why not?)
Geller has the good sense to ignore the
smear merchants “journalists” at Foreign Policy, and accurately reveals the magazine’s ideological bias, calling it a “citadel of leftist power and influence”.
“Geller did not answer a list of questions emailed to her by Foreign Policy. In the past she has referred to FP as a ‘citadel of leftist power and influence’.”
Former State Department counterterrorism director Daniel Benjamin weighs in:
“If you wanted to conduct a science experiment to show you could elicit jihadist violence, this was the perfect setup. Extremists have shown they are eager to avenge any perception of blasphemy.”
And western apologists continue to appease them, and endeavor to not offend them.
Why does Foreign Policy have this peculiar, almost erotic obsession with Geert Wilders hair?
“Unmistakable with his mane of silver hair, Wilders has tried to cloak his intense dislike of Islam behind a veil of advocating on behalf of liberal values.”
The authors promote a fiction that there’s a “line” between free speech and “hate speech” that must be observed, and “balanced”. It’s a false distinction, often used by those who misunderstand (or want to “raise questions” about) the first amendment. The constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech recognizes no such distinction. In fact, the only kind of speech that the the first amendment was designed to protect is offensive, hateful speech. What protection does inoffensive speech need?
When somebody tells you there’s a “line” that “must be balanced”, they are lying. They are advocating censorship.
The ‘Social Value’ Argument
“Benjamin, the former State Department official who is now a scholar at Dartmouth, said the United States must now balance the right to free speech with speech like the kind used by Wilders and Geller in their advocacy against Islam.”
If Daniel Benjamin is advocating self-restraint, then this is a legitimate expression of concern, aimed preserving nonviolence in a pluralistic society. If, however, he is advocating limiting free expression in order to achieve that goal, he should drop the ambiguous diplomatic double-talk and say what he means. Read the rest of this entry »
Watch this representative from gun-control group “Everytown for Gun Safety” explain on C-SPAN why he won’t debate anybody who disagrees with him:
Here’s transcript of the relevant part of his answer:
Everytown is committed to an evidence-based approach. We speak with criminologists, legislators across the country and we welcome debate. In fact, we’re thrilled that there is an increased amount of research in this area, and an increased amount of conversation about what laws are effective to keeping guns out of the hands of felons and domestic abusers. So, when there’s a credible scientist — somebody who wants to have a real constructive conversation about this — we’re going to be there. But folks who seek to minimize the grave issue of gun violence in this country – or to draw attention away from the real issues to themselves – that’s not a conversation I think it’s productive to be a part of.
[Check out Charles C. W. Cooke‘s new book: “The Conservatarian Manifesto: Libertarians, Conservatives, and the Fight for the Right’s Future” at Amazon.com]
Obviously, the speaker is doing little more than begging the question. “Sure we’ll talk to people who disagree” he appears to be saying, “but only if they agree. Because to disagree with the claims that we are making is to take attention away from the claims that we are making, which are true by virtue of their having been made.”
Oddly enough, this is also exactly how critics of, say, Christina Hoff Sommerstend to explain away their unwillingness to engage. Read the rest of this entry »
Charles C.W. Cooke: ‘Sad to See the Right-Wing New York Times Editorial Board Hyping this Clinton Story for the Koch Brothers’Posted: April 23, 2015
Sad to see the right-wing New York Times editorial board hyping this Clinton story for the Koch Brothers. http://t.co/xaMYcWKktI
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) April 24, 2015
When people tell you the Clinton money machine stories are a right-wing smear campaign, refer them to this: http://t.co/uDQSDsIedo
— Brit Hume (@brithume) April 24, 2015
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) April 10, 2015
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) April 10, 2015
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) April 10, 2015
Seventy-thousand people are expected to attend the National Rifle Association’s convention opening on Friday in Tennessee, and not one of them will be allowed to come armed with guns that can actually shoot. After all the N.R.A. propaganda about how “good guys with guns” are needed to be on guard across American life, from elementary schools to workplaces, the weekend’s gathering of disarmed conventioneers seems the ultimate in hypocrisy.
There will be plenty of weapons in evidence at the hundreds of display booths, but for convention security the firing pins must be removed…(read more)
The National Rifle Association and the Music City Center have confirmed that gun owners with the proper carry permits can bring their guns with them into the center during the association’s convention, which will be held there this weekend….(read more)
…Music City Center spokeswoman Mary Brette Clippard confirmed to The Tennessean on Tuesday afternoon that the NRA had no problem with gun owners with the proper gun permits bringing their weapons inside. Read the rest of this entry »
Once we take Hillary out of the equation, the game looks rather different. As potent as it might be on paper, the Democratic party’s present edge within the Electoral College is by no means infinite, and it does not obtain in a personality vacuum…
Charles C.W.Cooke writes: I’ll say it, happily: Democrats should be worried about Hillary Clinton, and moderately panicked about the immediate future of both their party and their cause.
This is not, of course, because Hillary’s latest scandale du jour is in any practical way going to “disqualify” her; and nor is it because leftward-leaning voters are likely to recall anything more from this rather awkward period in time than that the Clintons are as perennially sleazy as they ever were. Rather, it is because the last few days have underscored just how tenuous the Left’s grip on power and influence truly is in the waning days of the once-buoyant Obama era.
“The Democratic base that isn’t wedded to her is nervous about it. It makes her more vulnerable. What is this anointed candidate getting us?”
At present, Republicans control the House of Representatives, they lead the Senate, and they enjoy pole position within a vast majority of the states. The Democratic party, by contrast, has been all but wiped out, its great historical hope having relegated himself by his obstinacy to the role of MVP on a team of just a few. For the next couple of years, Obama will dig in where he can, blocking here, usurping there, and seeking to provide for the Left a source of energy and of authority. But then . . . what?
[preorder Charles C.W. Cooke’s new book “The Conservatarian Manifesto: Libertarians, Conservatives, and the Fight for the Right’s Future” from Amazon]
After last year’s midterm elections, New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait contended grimly that the sheer scale of the Republican wave had rendered Hillary Clinton “the only thing standing between a Republican Party even more radical than George W. Bush’s version and unfettered control of American government.” The customary rhetorical hysterics to one side, this estimation appears to be sound.
On the surface, the knowledge that Clinton is ready to consolidate the gains of the Obama project should be a matter of considerable comfort to progressivism and its champions. Indeed, as it stands today, I’d still bet that Hillary will eventually make a somewhat formidable candidate, and that, despite her many, many flaws, she retains a better than 50 percent chance of winning the presidency in 2016.
“…A much more flawed candidate than we thought. And Republicans now have material they never thought they would have.”
— Deborah Arnie Arnesen, a progressive radio host in Concord, New Hampshire
In part, this is because she is a woman, yes, and because she will play ad nauseam upon this fact between now and November of next year; in part this is because she has been distressingly effective at selling herself as a moderate, and because her husband is remembered as a solid caretaker and remains popular across partisan lines; in part this is because the Democratic party is currently benefitting from a number of structural advantages that Republicans will struggle to overcome, whomever they choose to be their standard bearer; and in part this is because the economy will almost certainly be doing well enough by next year that the “Obama saved us all” narratives will seem plausible to a good number of voters. Read the rest of this entry »
Freedom of Satire: Who’s Pro-Freedom, Who’s Pro-Censorship? Majority of Republicans Think Media Should Publish Mockery of Religion, Democrats, Not So MuchPosted: January 12, 2015
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) January 12, 2015
Charles C. W. Cooke reports:
This morning, pretty much the entire editorial staff of the New Republic resigned, in protest at the direction in which the magazine was being taken. Courtesy of Ryan Lizza, here the list of those who have left:
— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) December 5, 2014
It would have been easier to say who is still there.
You know, I used to love TNR. Until about 2003-2004, it was a great read even if I didn’t agree. Then it went Full Metal Bushitler.
— Thomas H. Crown (@ThomasHCrown) December 5, 2014
In the immediate term, the exodus was sparked by the firing of editor, Franklin Foer, which, per the Daily Beast, was not done kindly:
According to informed sources, Hughes and Vidra didn’t bother to inform Foer that he was out of a job. Instead, the editor was placed in the humiliating position of having to phone Hughes to get confirmation after Gawker.com posted an item at 2:35 p.m. reporting the rumor that Bloomberg Media editor Gabriel Snyder, himself a onetime Gawker editor, had been hired as Foer’s replacement. Yes, it’s true, Hughes sheepishly admitted, notwithstanding that he and Vidra had given Foer repeated assurances that his job was safe. (Hughes and Vidra didn’t respond to voicemail messages seeking comment.)
Still, as has been made clear by a number of media-watchers, the rot is much, much deeper than that. Contrary the reports of some outlets, this does not seem to have been a battle between modernizers and traditionalists, but rather a fight to the death between those who wished to work for a storied magazine and those who wished to be led by a myopic bunch of clowns who are incapable of speaking in anything other than moronic platitudes….(read more)
Hello, old friend. pic.twitter.com/d2d38Yx2wj
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) November 19, 2014
The New York Times, Charles C.W. Cooke, and Nicholas Johnson: The Black Tradition of Arms and Historical IlliteracyPosted: October 26, 2014
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) October 27, 2014
Nicholas J. Johnson is Professor of Law, Fordham University School of Law is the author of Negroes and the Gun: The Black Tradition of Arms. He is the lead editor of Firearms Law and the Second Amendment: Cases and Materials (Aspen Press, 2012).
In a January 17 speech to students at Texas A&M University, Danny Glover, the actor from Lethal Weapon etc., attempted to disparage the constitutional right to arms with the critique that “The Second Amendment comes from the right to protect themselves from slave revolts, and from uprisings by Native Americans.”
This is abundantly wrong and I hope the students will not consider Mr. Glover a definitive source on the question. But I will give him credit for the try. He attempted to engage the issue by at least skimming one piece of the voluminous scholarship in this area.
His comment seems based on a cursory reading of a 1998 law review article by Professor Carl Bogus. First, it warms the academic’s heart that a Hollywood actor would sit down and read a law review article, although I acknowledge the possibility that someone just told him about it.
Either way, his education is incomplete (as is true for all of us). Mr. Glover’s mistake is to have taken one dubious thing and run with it. That is almost always a mistake and especially so in the gun debate. But Danny Glover’s mistake is also a teaching tool that illuminates the broader conversation. Read the rest of this entry »
They’re a mighty tool—for enabling Groupthink
For National Review, Charles C. W. Cooke writes: About a decade or so ago, the perennially grumpy British comedian, Jack Dee, started to complain about the fawning language that was being used to describe the Internet. They call it “the Information superhighway,” Dee griped. “They call it ‘surfing’ the net. It’s not surfing. It’s typing in your bedroom.”
“…we are obsessed with how many people are talking about a particular topic, and where the swarm is trending. But we are less interested, it seems, in what they are saying.”
This was a thoroughly well deserved putdown — the “they” in Dee’s sentence referring to an industry that was becoming almost impossibly self-important, and that has only got worse since. I say this as a techie who hates techies and as a lover of computers and the Internet who is invariably appalled by what the promise of new services does to the brains of otherwise sensible human beings. Spend a few hours in San Francisco or Austin and you will meet a host of caricatures who appear to have had all everyday words surgically removed from their brains, a greasy marketing dictionary being installed in their place. These are the annoyingly earnest types who have taken the language of the operating system and applied it to their daily lives — the people who work not in industries but in “spaces.” You don’t chat with them, you “interface.” You don’t go out for lunch, you “aggregate,” and, if the lunch plans go “viral,” you hope that the restaurant is “scalable.” In discussions, you don’t agree with one another, but “express yourself together,” “find a common voice,” and “converge.” Each and every idea is the product of a “paradigm” or a “framework.” It’s tiring. Have a photograph you’d like to share with your parents? That’s an “exciting new possibility for customization.” Here, nothing is just okay; everything is revolutionary. A phrase you don’t hear too often in Silicon Valley: “Sure, that’s useful I guess.” Read the rest of this entry »