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Poll: 71% of Americans Say Political Correctness Has Silenced Discussions Society Needs to Have, 58% Have Political Views They’re Afraid to Share

Emily Ekins reports: The Cato 2017 Free Speech and Tolerance Survey, a new national poll of 2,300 U.S. adults, finds that 71% Americans believe that political correctness has silenced important discussions our society needs to have. The consequences are personal—58%

of Americans believe the political climate prevents them from sharing their own political beliefs.

Democrats are unique, however, in that a slim majority (53%) do not feel the need to self-censor. Conversely, strong majorities of Republicans (73%) and independents (58%) say they keep some political beliefs to themselves.

[Full survey results and report found here.]

It follows that a solid majority (59%) of Americans think people should be allowed to express unpopular opinions in public, even those deeply offensive to others.

 [Also see – Free Speech in the Good War]

On the other hand, 40% think government should prevent hate speech. Despite this, the survey also found Americans willing to censor, regulate, or punish a wide variety of speech and expression they personally find offensive:

  • 51% of staunch liberals say it’s “morally acceptable” to punch Nazis.
  • 53% of Republicans favor stripping U.S. citizenship from people who burn the American flag.
  • 51% of Democrats support a law that requires Americans use transgender people’s preferred gender pronouns.
  • 65% of Republicans say NFL players should be fired if they refuse to stand for the anthem.
  • 58% of Democrats say employers should punish employees for offensive Facebook posts.
  • 47% of Republicans favor bans on building new mosques.

Americans also can’t agree what speech is hateful, offensive, or simply a political opinion:

  • 59% of liberals say it’s hate speech to say transgender people have a mental disorder; only 17% of conservatives agree.
  • 39% of conservatives believe it’s hate speech to say the police are racist; only 17% of liberals agree.
  • 80% of liberals say it’s hateful or offensive to say illegal immigrants should be deported; only 36% of conservatives agree.
  • 87% of liberals say it’s hateful or offensive to say women shouldn’t fight in military combat roles, while 47% of conservatives agree.
  • 90% of liberals say it’s hateful or offensive to say homosexuality is a sin, while 47% of conservatives agree.

Americans Oppose Hate Speech Bans, But Say Hate Speech is Morally Unacceptable

Although Americans oppose (59%) outright bans on public hate speech, that doesn’t mean they think hate speech is acceptable. Read the rest of this entry »

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[VIDEO] David ‘Niño’ Rodriguez

Streamed live on Mar 28, 2017

We’re live with heavyweight boxing champ David “Niño” Rodriguez! Talking life in the ring, surviving a brutal attack outside the ring, and his decision to come out of the closet as a conservative.

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Liberal Fascism Author Jonah Goldberg: ‘UC-Berkeley Should Be Ashamed of Itself’

“I wrote a book called ‘Liberal Fascism’ about a decade ago, and even then the best working definition of a Fascist in America is ‘a conservative who’s winning an argument’. The way the Left operates, they just try to shout down anyone who disagrees with them, these campuses are little, sort of soft-Totalitarian states where disagreements is actually a heresy.”

A protester runs back after smashing windows during a protest against right-wing troll Milo Yiannopoulos who was scheduled to speak at UC Berkeley on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. (Doig Duran/Bay Area News Group)

“By all means, Milo has a right to speak, he has free speech rights, they should have let him speak, the far smarter strategy would be to ignore these things, but the clampdown on free speech that’s more troubling is when they block people like Condoleeza Rice from being able to give a speech. The whole point to protecting outrageous speech is that it keeps the zone of speech for reasonable important speech safer, the way they do this kind of stuff is so counterproductive, it feeds into the worse impulses on both the right and the left, and Berkeley, and the administration of Berkeley should be ashamed of itself.”


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[Order Jonah Goldberg’s book “Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning”  from Amazon]

[And Jonah’s other popular bookThe Tyranny of Cliches, also available at Amazon]

[NEW – Berkeley’s Shame – NR Editors]

[Also see – [VIDEO] Jonah Goldberg with Bill Kristol: Trump’s Candidacy, Conservative Exile, and ‘Liberal Fascism’ Revisited]

[More – Charles Murray: The Trouble Isn’t Liberals. It’s Progressives]

[More – Populism Is Not Fascism]



John Tierney: The Real War on Science 

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The Left has done far more than the Right to set back progress.

John Tierney writes: My liberal friends sometimes ask me why I don’t devote more of my science journalism to the sins of the Right. It’s fine to expose pseudoscience on the left, they say, but why aren’t you an equal-opportunity debunker? Why not write about conservatives’ threat to science?

“Democrats outnumber Republicans at least 12 to 1 (perhaps 40 to 1) in social psychology.”

My friends don’t like my answer: because there isn’t much to write about. Conservatives just don’t have that much impact on science. I know that sounds strange to Democrats who decry Republican creationists and call themselves the “party of science.” But I’ve done my homework. I’ve read the Left’s indictments, including Chris Mooney’s bestseller, The Republican War on Science. I finished it with the same question about this war that I had at the outset: Where are the casualties?

“The narrative that Republicans are antiscience has been fed by well-publicized studies reporting that conservatives are more close-minded and dogmatic than liberals are. But these conclusions have been based on questions asking people how strongly they cling to traditional morality and religion—dogmas that matter a lot more to conservatives than to liberals.”

Where are the scientists who lost their jobs or their funding? What vital research has been corrupted or suppressed? What scientific debate has been silenced? Yes, the book reveals that Republican creationists exist, but they don’t affect the biologists or anthropologists studying evolution. Yes, George W. Bush refused federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, but that hardly put a stop to it (and not much changed after Barack Obama reversed the policy). Mooney rails at scientists and politicians who oppose government policies favored by progressives like himself, but if you’re looking for serious damage to the enterprise of science, he offers only three examples.

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“A few other studies—not well-publicized—have shown that liberals can be just as close-minded when their own beliefs, such as their feelings about the environment or Barack Obama, are challenged.”

All three are in his first chapter, during Mooney’s brief acknowledgment that leftists “here and there” have been guilty of “science abuse.” First, there’s the Left’s opposition to genetically modified foods, which stifled research into what could have been a second Green Revolution to feed Africa. Second, there’s the campaign by animal-rights activists against medical researchers, whose work has already been hampered and would be devastated if the activists succeeded in banning animal experimentation.

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Third, there’s the resistance in academia to studying the genetic underpinnings of human behavior, which has cut off many social scientists from the recent revolutions in genetics and neuroscience. Each of these abuses is far more significant than anything done by conservatives, and there are plenty of others. The only successful war on science is the one waged by the Left.

[Read the full story here at City Journal]

The danger from the Left does not arise from stupidity or dishonesty; those failings are bipartisan. Some surveys show that Republicans, particularly libertarians, are more scientifically literate than Democrats, but there’s plenty of ignorance all around. Both sides cherry-pick research and misrepresent evidence to support their agendas. Whoever’s in power, the White House plays politics in appointing advisory commissions and editing the executive summaries of their reports. Scientists of all ideologies exaggerate the importance of their own research and seek results that will bring them more attention and funding.

But two huge threats to science are peculiar to the Left—and they’re getting worse. Read the rest of this entry »


James Rosen: Bill Buckley and the Death of Trans-Ideological Friendships

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As we survey the toxic environment in which we are soon to elect the forty-fifth president of the United States, many of us wonder: Why? Why is it this way?

 writes: As we survey the toxic environment in which we are soon to elect the forty-fifth president of the United States, many of us wonder: Why? Why is it this way?

The partisan among us will cite one of the two major-party nominees and blame him, or her, for overtaxing the system with his, or her, singularly odious baggage.

Economists and political scientists, less interested in the specific than the general, will point, perhaps more accurately, to a confluence of developments over time – the corrosion of public trust after Vietnam and Watergate, Supreme Court rulings on election laws, the twin apocalypti of globalization and the digital revolution – as the decisive factors shaping our modern political culture, with its unbearably heavy traffic of nasty primary challenges, leadership upheavals, scandals, hacks, leaks, attacks, and – gridlock.

To these explanations, I propose adding another, imparted to me by an unlikely source: Secretary of State John Kerry.

“Making conversation at one point, I asked Kerry if he had ever met one of my literary heroes. ‘Mr. Secretary, did you know William F. Buckley?’ The answer – and its forcefulness – surprised me: ‘I loved Bill Buckley.'”

We were on his first foreign trip as America’s top diplomat, in February 2013, with the traveling press corps enjoying an off-the-record wine-and-cheese event with the secretary in Cairo (to disclose this story on-the-record, I later sought and received permission from the State Department). Making conversation at one point, I 1477403983115asked Kerry if he had ever met one of my literary heroes. “Mr. Secretary, did you know William F. Buckley?”

[Order James Rosen’s book “A Torch Kept Lit: Great Lives of the Twentieth Century” from Amazon.com ]

The answer – and its forcefulness – surprised me: “I loved Bill Buckley.” Who knew that for the founder of National Review, the godfather of the modern conservative movement, a legendary liberal from Massachusetts harbored “love”? Why was that? I asked. Kerry resorted to Socratic Method. “Do you know who his best friend was?”

Now for those well versed in the Buckley canon, in whose ranks Kerry seemed to count himself, this amounts to a trick question.

The Buckley family and some outside observers – including this one – would cite Evan (“Van”) Galbraith, Buckley’s Yale classmate, sailing crewmate, and longest-standing friend.

[Read the full text here, at Fox News]

A graduate, also, of Harvard Law School, Galbraith would go on to serve as a Wall Street banker, chairman of the National Review board of trustees, President Reagan’s ambassador to France, and president of Moët & Chandon.

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“Buckley’s maintenance of “trans-ideological friendships” in his life reflected what some have called a genius for friendship.”

The last eulogy ever published by WFB, a supremely talented eulogist, was for Van, his friend of sixty years. Indeed, when WFB marked his eighty-second, and final, birthday, Van was one of two friends on hand, having just completed his thirtieth radiation treatment for cancer, with only months left for both men to live.

[Read the full story here, at Fox News]

In the public imagination, however, the distinction is usually reserved for John Kenneth Galbraith (no relation), the Keynesian Harvard economist who served as President Kennedy’s ambassador to India, and who coined some enduring terms in the American political lexicon (e.g., “the affluent society,” “conventional wisdom”).

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“WFB and Galbraith had met on an elevator ride in New York’s Plaza Hotel, escorting their wives to Truman Capote’s famous masked ball, the ‘Party of the Century,’ in November 1966. Buckley confronted Galbraith, right there in the elevator, about why he had tried to discourage a Harvard colleague from writing for National Review. ‘I regret that’ said Galbraith.”

This Galbraith, a skiing buddy of Buckley’s during annual retreats with their wives to winter homes in Gstaad, Switzerland, conducted the more public friendship with the era’s leading conservative. With unmatched wit and erudition, and equal instinct for the rhetorical jugular, they debated on college campuses, on the set of NBC’s “Today Show,” and of course on Buckley’s own show “Firing Line,” where Galbraith made eleven lively appearances. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Convention Arena Erupts in Boos After Cruz Declines to Endorse Trump in Speech 

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[VIDEO] David French on CNN Regarding Decision to Not Run for President

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[VIDEO] The Hidden World of Campus Conservatives

It’s a lot more tolerant than the critics say it is, argues Claremont McKenna Prof. Jon Shields. Conservatives have to hide in the closet, “until they get tenure”. Then they can come out of the closet, and it’s all okay. This demonstrates, according to Shields, how tolerant the climate is on college campuses today.

 


Heterodox Academy Combats Academic Uniformity, Leftist Bias

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Fed Up with Peers’ Blind Devotion to Leftist Tenets, Freethinking Professors Launch their Own Website.

Kate Hardiman writes: In January, a mere five months after the launch of Heterodox Academy, the scholarly blog was cited by professor and columnist Paul Krugman in the New York Times as an example of educators who are “conservative” and “outraged” at “what they see as a sharp leftward movement in the academy.”

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“Krugman is wrong—we are neither conservative nor outraged. We are concerned about the loss of viewpoint diversity in the academy because it means that we lose ‘institutionalized disconfirmation.’”

— Jonathan Haidt

But Krugman – like so many of his left-leaning peers – appeared blind to the truth.

“The quality of research produced by politically orthodox disciplines deteriorates. We are working within the academy to try to improve it.”

“Krugman is wrong—we are neither conservative nor outraged,” responded Jonathan Haidt, a professor of business ethics at New York University and co-founder of the website. “We are concerned about the loss of viewpoint diversity in the academy because it means that we lose ‘institutionalized disconfirmation.’”

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…speakers and writers are often vilified for presenting contrary opinions to the common narrative. Here’s some of what can get scholars in trouble:

Suggest some or many aspects of modern feminism are misguided.”

“Claim that affirmative action is dysfunctional.”

“Argue that some psychological and behavioral differences between some groups might have derived from the different evolutionary adaptation pressures on different continents.

“Present evidence that many stereotypes are accurate.”

“Present evidence that children of gay or lesbian parents are not necessarily as psychologically well adjusted as parents of heterosexual parents.”

“Criticize Islam, as a religion and/or set of cultural values and/or political ideology.”

“The quality of research produced by politically orthodox disciplines deteriorates. We are working within the academy to try to improve it.”

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[Read the full story here, at The College Fix]

Heterodox Academy was founded in September 2015 by eleven professors of liberal, conservative, libertarian and centrist bents who hail from various disciplines and universities and who have taken up the mission to combat the lack of “viewpoint diversity” in academia, with a special focus on the social sciences. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Friends of Abe’ Goes Dark: Secretive Group of Hollywood Conservatives Suddenly Dissolves

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The Friends of Abe has acted as a clandestine club for Hollywood conservatives for more than a decade, hosting secret events where they could vent rightwing views and hear speeches from visiting Tea Party luminaries.

But on Thursday the organisation – which counts Jon Voight, Jerry Bruckheimer and Kelsey Grammer among its 1,500 members – made an abrupt announcement: it was dissolving.

“Effective immediately, we are going to begin to wind down the 501 c3 organization, bring the Sustaining Membership dues to an end, and do away with the costly infrastructure and the abespal.com website,” the executive director, Jeremy Boreing, told members in an email, a copy of which the Guardian has seen.

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“Today, because we have been successful in creating a community that extends far beyond our events, people just don’t feel as much of a need to show up for every speaker or bar night, and fewer people pay the dues that help us maintain that large infrastructure.”

The announcement caught members by surprise and fueled speculation that infighting over Donald Trump’s candidacy, among other factors, had drained commitment. Others said the group had been losing steam for years.

Instead of electrifying the organisation, California’s 7 June primary, a final and potentially decisive showdown between Trump and his GOP rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich, appeared to frazzle it.

Lionel Chetwynd, a producer and screenwriter and co-founder of the FOA, recently spoke of the primary campaign causing a “civil war in slow motion”, which fractured friendships and shredded solidarity.

Boreing, a director and producer, put a positive gloss on the announcement, saying the initial hunger for fellowship had prompted the group to build an expensive website, rent offices and hire staff, including lawyers and accountants.

“It’s time to change how we do it. As our group has grown in size and success, many of the structures that helped us grow have become less useful … It means an end to the standing organization, but not an end to the mission or the fellowship.”

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Boreing vowed to maintain the mailing list and stage events, but without the infrastructure, staff or budget requirements.

“We will still get together for drinks and speakers, but we may reassess how we approach those events logistically. In short, FOA will return to its roots. It will be a passion project, like it was in the beginning … We’ll still be a private organization that protects the names of our members at all costs.”

Boreing did not immediately respond to interview requests.

Members expressed surprise and dismay at the weakening, and perhaps loss, of a refuge from what they see as Hollywood’s bullying liberal ethos.

It was the one place where many of its members – actors, producers, writers and technicians – felt safe from liberal sneers and potential retribution. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] REWIND 1977: Ronald Reagan’s Speech at the 4th Annual CPAC Convention

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I’m happy to be back with you in this annual event after missing last year’s meeting. I had some business in New Hampshire that wouldn’t wait.

Three weeks ago here in our nation’s capital I told a group of conservative scholars that we are currently in the midst of a re-ordering of the political realities that have shaped our time. We know today that the principles and values that lie at the heart of conservatism are shared by the majority.

Despite what some in the press may say, we who are proud to call ourselves “conservative” are not a minority of a minority party; we are part of the great majority of Americans of both major parties and of most of the independents as well.

A Harris poll released September 7, l975 showed 18 percent identifying themselves as liberal and 31 per- cent as conservative, with 41 percent as middle of the road; a few months later, on January 5, 1976, by a 43-19 plurality those polled by Harris said they would “prefer to see the country move in a more conservative direction than a liberal one.”

Last October 24th, the Gallup organization released the result of a poll taken right in the midst of the presidential campaign.

Respondents were asked to state where they would place themselves on a scale ranging from “right-of-center” (which was defined as “conservative”) to left-of-center (which was defined as “liberal”).

  • Thirty-seven percent viewed themselves as left-of-center or liberal
  • Twelve percent placed themselves in the middle
  • Fifty-one percent said they were right-of-center, that is, conservative.

What I find interesting about this particular poll is that it offered those polled a range of choices on a left-right continuum. This seems to me to be a more realistic approach than dividing the world into strict left and rights. Most of us, I guess, like to think of ourselves as avoiding both extremes, and the fact that a majority of Americans chose one or the other position on the right end of the spectrum is really impressive.

Those polls confirm that most Americans are basically conservative in their outlook. But once we have said this, we conservatives have not solved our problems, we have merely stated them clearly. Yes, conservatism can and does mean different things to those who call themselves conservatives.

You know, as I do, that most commentators make a distinction between they call “social” conservatism and “economic” conservatism. The so-called social issues—law and order, abortion, busing, quota systems—are usually associated with blue-collar, ethnic and religious groups themselves traditionally associated with the Democratic Party. The economic issues—inflation, deficit spending and big government—are usually associated with Republican Party members and independents who concentrate their attention on economic matters.

Now I am willing to accept this view of two major kinds of conservatism—or, better still, two different conservative constituencies. But at the same time let me say that the old lines that once clearly divided these two kinds of conservatism are disappearing.

In fact, the time has come to see if it is possible to present a program of action based on political principle that can attract those interested in the so-called “social” issues and those interested in “economic” issues. In short, isn’t it possible to combine the two major segments of contemporary American conservatism into one politically effective whole?

I believe the answer is: Yes, it is possible to create a political entity that will reflect the views of the great, hitherto, conservative majority. We went a long way toward doing it in California. We can do it in America. This is not a dream, a wistful hope. It is and has been a reality. I have seen the conservative future and it works.

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Let me say again what I said to our conservative friends from the academic world: What I envision is not simply a melding together of the two branches of American conservatism into a temporary uneasy alliance, but the creation of a new, lasting majority.

This will mean compromise. But not a compromise of basic principle. What will emerge will be something new: something open and vital and dynamic, something the great conservative majority will recognize as its own, because at the heart of this undertaking is principled politics.

I have always been puzzled by the inability of some political and media types to understand exactly what is meant by adherence to political principle. All too often in the press and the television evening news it is treated as a call for “ideological purity.” Whatever ideology may mean—and it seems to mean a variety of things, depending upon who is using it—it always conjures up in my mind a picture of a rigid, irrational clinging to abstract theory in the face of reality. We have to recognize that in this country “ideology” is a scare word. And for good reason. Marxist-Leninism is, to give but one example, an ideology. All the facts of the real world have to be fitted to the Procrustean bed of Marx and Lenin. If the facts don’t happen to fit the ideology, the facts are chopped off and discarded.

I consider this to be the complete opposite to principled conservatism. If there is any political viewpoint in this world which is free for slavish adherence to abstraction, it is American conservatism.

When a conservative states that the free market is the best mechanism ever devised by the mind of man to meet material needs, he is merely stating what a careful examination of the real world has told him is the truth.

When a conservative says that totalitarian Communism is an absolute enemy of human freedom he is not theorizing—he is reporting the ugly reality captured so unforgettably in the writings of Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

When a conservative says it is bad for the government to spend more than it takes in, he is simply showing the same common sense that tells him to come in out of the rain.

When a conservative says that busing does not work, he is not appealing to some theory of education—he is merely reporting what he has seen down at the local school.

When a conservative quotes Jefferson that government that is closest to the people is best, it is because he knows that Jefferson risked his life, his fortune and his sacred honor to make certain that what he and his fellow patriots learned from experience was not crushed by an ideology of empire.

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Conservatism is the antithesis of the kind of ideological fanatacism that has brought so much horror and destruction to the world. The common sense and common decency of ordinary men and women, working out their own lives in their own way—this is the heart of American conservatism today. Conservative wisdom and principles are derived from willingness to learn, not just from what is going on now, but from what has happened before.

The principles of conservatism are sound because they are based on what men and women have discovered through experience in not just one generation or a dozen, but in all the combined experience of mankind. When we conservatives say that we know something about political affairs, and that we know can be stated as principles, we are saying that the principles we hold dear are those that have been found, through experience, to be ultimately beneficial for individuals, for families, for communities and for nations—found through the often bitter testing of pain, or sacrifice and sorrow.

One thing that must be made clear in post-Watergate is this: The American new conservative majority we represent is not based on abstract theorizing of the kind that turns off the American people, but on common sense, intelligence, reason, hard work, faith in God, and the guts to say: “Yes, there are things we do strongly believe in, that we are willing to live for, and yes, if necessary, to die for.” That is not “ideological purity.” It is simply what built this country and kept it great.

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Let us lay to rest, once and for all, the myth of a small group of ideological purists trying to capture a majority. Replace it with the reality of a majority trying to assert its rights against the tyranny of powerful academics, fashionable left-revolutionaries, some economic illiterates who happen to hold elective office and the social engineers who dominate the dialogue and set the format in political and social affairs. If there is any ideological fanaticism in American political life, it is to be found among the enemies of freedom on the left or right—those who would sacrifice principle to theory, those who worship only the god of political, social and economic abstractions, ignoring the realities of everyday life. They are not conservatives.

Our first job is to get this message across to those who share most of our principles. If we allow ourselves to be portrayed as ideological shock troops without correcting this error we are doing ourselves and our cause a disservice. Wherever and whenever we can, we should gently but firmly correct our political and media friends who have been perpetuating the myth of conservatism as a narrow ideology. Whatever the word may have meant in the past, today conservatism means principles evolving from experience and a belief in change when necessary, but not just for the sake of change.

Once we have established this, the next question is: What will be the political vehicle by which the majority can assert its rights?

I have to say I cannot agree with some of my friends—perhaps including some of you here tonight—who have answered that question by saying this nation needs a new political party. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Rich Lowry on ‘The Kelly File’


The 10 Most Liberal and Conservative Cities in the U.S. – as Judged by Campaign Donors 

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Via Twitter


LIBERAL HEADS EXPLODE: Kentucky’s New Lieutenant Governor Jenean Hampton

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John Fund continues:

…Both Bevin and Hampton are Tea Party activists who have never held elective office. Hampton’s path certainly represents triumph over adversity. Born in Detroit, the 57-year-old Hampton and her three sisters were raised by a single mom who lacked a high school education and couldn’t afford a television or a car.

Bobby Ellis/bellis@state-journal.com Lt. Gov. Candidate Jenean Hampton shakes hands with Jenny Goins during the ceremony to celebrate the Class of 2015 Veteran's Hall of Fame inductees.

Lt. Gov. Candidate Jenean Hampton shakes hands with Jenny Goins during the ceremony to celebrate the Class of 2015 Veteran’s Hall of Fame inductees.

But Hampton was determined to better herself. She graduated with a degree in industrial engineering and worked for five years in the automobile industry to pay off her college loans. She then joined the Air Force, retiring as a Captain.

[UPDATE – How Kentucky’s New Black Lieutenant Governor Became a Conservative – John Fund]

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She earned an MBA from the University of Rochester, moved to Kentucky and became a plant manager in a corrugated packaging plant….(read more)

Source: National Review Online


[VIDEO] Thomas Sowell: The Difference Between Liberal and Conservative

Three Questions that Destroy Most Liberal Ideas

1) Compared to what?

2) At what cost?

3) What hard evidence do you have?


[VIDEO] Andrew Breitbart on Donald Trump: ‘Of Course He’s Not a Conservative’

Gutfeld’s Scorecard

Read more….

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Modern Villain, Modern Hero

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How a radical third party took over NYC

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Gotham’s mutant prince

John Fund writes:  As recently as 1998, New York State’s Republican party controlled the governorship, a United States Senate seat, and the mayor’s office in Manhattan. Today, it is greatly diminished, with its sole beachhead of influence in the state senate, where it shares a majority with four independent Democrats.

In contrast, the Working Families party (WFP), a 15-year-old left-wing, union-fueled group with just 20,000 members, now holds the whip hand over much of the dominant Democratic party in New York — and is already spreading its wings to other states. The WFP not only was a major force behind Bill de Blasio’s victory for mayor last November; it dominated the rest of the election, too. “They propelled all three citywide officials in New York City into office, and have a huge chunk of the city council allied with them,” says Hank Sheinkopf, a leading Democratic consultant who has worked for Hillary Clinton. “They are a real force.”

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World

I heard a portion of an interview with Hannan on the radio yesterday, it was compelling, made me want to hear more. Maybe I’ll get the ebook edition.

Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World [Kindle Edition] [Hardcover Edition]

Daniel Hannan writes: How many countries fought for liberty in both World Wars and the Cold War?

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We are still experiencing the after-effects of an astonishing event. The inhabitants of a damp island at the western tip of the Eurasian landmass stumbled upon the idea that the government ought to be subject to the law, not the other way around. The rule of law created security of property and contract, which in turn led to industrialisation and modern capitalism. For the first time in the history of the species, a system grew up that, on the whole, rewarded production better than predation.

Why did it happen? Why, after thousands of years of oligarchy and tyranny, did a system evolve that lifted the individual above the tribe rather than the reverse? How did that system see off rival models that elevated collective endeavour, martial glory, faith and sacrifice over liberty and property? How did the world come to speak our language?

I set out to answer these questions in my book, published in North America as Inventing Freedom and in the rest of the Anglosphere as How we Invented Freedom. (It’s reviewed here by Charles Moore.) I trace the lineage of liberty back through its great landmarks – the war against slavery, the American Revolution, the Glorious Revolution, the English Civil War, Magna Carta –  to its origins in the folkright of Anglo-Saxon common law. Read the rest of this entry »


The Return of the Queue

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It’s been the death knell of every progressive effort

Charles C. W. Cooke writes:  The American writer Bill Bryson once wrote that it was a shame that the “important experiment” of Communism had been left to the Russians when the British would have “managed it so much better.” Prepared by their reserved and ordered culture for the deprivations that come inevitably with government control, he proposed, the Brits would have accepted their fate with alacrity. Keep Calm and Carry On, and all that.

pic_main_120313_SM_The-Return-of-the-Queue-LineIn some sense, they already had. During the stagnation and decline of the 1970s, the people of Bryson’s adopted home demonstrated an uncommon readiness to “queue patiently for indefinite periods” and to “wait uncomplainingly for years for an operation or the delivery of a household appliance.” Surely, the reasoning went, this could be pushed ad infinitum? Surely, there was no line so long that an Englishman wouldn’t join it?

As a piece of social commentary, the basic thrust of Bryson’s claim is correct: Traditionally, the British are rather patient. Nevertheless, the notion that even a patient people will queue indefinitely is so much romantic fluff. They won’t. And for a government to ask them to do so is for that government to open itself up to defeat.

This, the polls suggest, is precisely what the Obama administration has been busy doing over the past few months. Before October of this year, conservatives trying to make the case that state intrusion led inexorably to queuing and to inefficiency were forced to rely on local failures to illustrate their point. “Do you really want your healthcare run by the DMV?” was a common refrain. “How about the Post Office?” Nowadays, there is no need for hypotheticals. Critics can just say “Obamacare.” In December of 2013, dissenters can point to the long lines, to the shoddy service, and to the reports of frustrated users waiting for hours to get onto the site — and they can say, “I told you so!” It’s been two months since the website was launched, and swathes of people remain unable even to browse plans. Isn’t this exactly what we were warned about? Read the rest of this entry »


6 Things to Say About the New Corvette Stingray to Impress Your Man

It's got that V-8 engine thing inside, and it goes Vroom Vroom

It’s got that V-8 engine thing inside, and it goes Vroom Vroom

While contributing Editor Dr. Strangelove (a long time ‘vette-head) is deeply involved in Hong Kong Law concerns, I’ll publicly admit what he’s jazzed me about privately for as long as I can remember:  my ignorance about cars. Not only am I a complete moron when it comes to the automotive world (even though I myself own a popular sports car) I’d go further, and say that I know less about cars than Jenny.  I’ll let Jenny take the wheel from here.

Women readers: is your husband or boyfriend a Vette enthusiast? From the Love & Sex department at The Stir, Conservative chick Jenny Erikson shares this handy guide to impress your due:

phnmtuxako1bc72Let me preface this by saying I know very, very little about cars other than that I like shiny ones that go fast. But I do know how to flirt, and sometimes the best flirting is to have a little bit of knowledge about something boys find interesting. Like fast cars. See? In the Venn diagram of things boys and girls both like, fast cars exist in that middle overlapped section.

So I thought I’d learn a little more about the new 2014 Corvette Stingray, because apparently it’s the best sports car America has ever built. Read the rest of this entry »


Red Monday

What conservatives know but seldom say is that labor is no longer a class — it is a racket

What conservatives know but seldom say is that labor is no longer a class — it is a racket

We don’t need this quasi-Canadian, crypto-Communist holiday

Note: I’m currently reading Kevin D. Williamson’s book, and it truly is awesome.

–The Butcher

By Kevin D. Williamson

There isn’t much good to say about Labor Day, except maybe that it could be worse — it could be on May 1, which would make it a full-on Communist holiday instead of a merely crypto-Communist one. For that we can thank Grover Cleveland, the last pretty-good Democrat (seriously: gold standard, anti-tariff, vetoed twice as many bills as all of his predecessors combined — Rand Paul is a fan), who pushed for the creation of a labor festival in September as cultural competition to the international workers’ celebration in May, sort of the reverse of the strategy of the early Church fathers’ choosing the dates of heathen festivals for the new Christian holidays.

So, from the two out of three working-age Americans who are gainfully employed, a round of applause for President Cleveland.

But crypto-Communist holidays are not so great, either.

Read the rest of this entry »


The Rancid, Self-Destructive Perversity of Rich Lowry’s Bizarre Libertarian-Hating Smear

dumbhate

The foul stench of deep personal anti-Libertarian HATRED, combined with a twisted, rage-filled anti-Conservative bigotry, threatens to poison the already questionable reputation of Lincoln biographer Rich Lowry.


Improperly Targeted? It Works Both Ways

andrewkletzien writes:

“Can you name ONE  of the conservative groups that were “improperly targeted” which ACTUALLY fits the description for 501(C)4 status?”

Observers like andrewkletzien are in the unfortunate position of defending the IRS. Pretending the IRS was acting correctly and honorably. Why?

Because they’re abusing power in ways they approve of, against groups they disapprove of.

Convenient, isn’t it?

For the uninitiated, what’s being suggesting is this:

The IRS was simply doing its job. Because these Conservative groups, boy, their motives are questionable. Or outright illegitimate. Better set them aside for special scrutiny. Put the screws to them. They’re gaming the system. Better flag them. Surely they’re up to something sinister.

The sheer stupidity of this is extremely revealing. Note: for 27 months, leading up to the 1012 election, all of the Conservative and Tea Party groups were blocked from approval. Not just some of them. Or half of them. Or most of them. All of them.

But hey, it could be just a coincidence. Due diligence, on the part of IRS. Hey, they’re just doing their job, right? Up until recently, the taxpaying American public didn’t fully understand what the IRS’s real job is. The folks at the IRS had no illusions, they understood. And they carried out their mission. Being called upon to explain it to Congress–who they hold in contempt—is a mere inconvenience, not worthy of picking out matching socks, much less preparing an honest  presentation. This is business as usual. They still have bonus checks they probably haven’t cashed. This isn’t grounds for punishment, they’re rewarded for this. For doing their real job. 

For the record, concerned citizens on any side of the ideological spectrum, if they’re honest, are equally concerned, if any group is targeted and harassed for political reasons. Conservatives would object–perhaps not as vocally, but they’d recognize the implications, and voice objections– if Liberal and Progressive groups were harassed and denied, while Conservative applications were mysteriously approved. It’s chilling. It’s a texbook intimidation tactic. More characteristic of second-rate tin-horn Military Dictatorships, not Constitutional Democratic Republics.

The overwhelming majority of fair-minded Liberals are alarmed by the pattern of harassment against Conservative groups, and object vigorously in their defenseandrewkletzien is not among them, apparently.

If a Republican were in the White House, and the IRS was targeting and harassing Liberal groups, they’d be screaming bloody murder. Charging that it’s unfair, calling it what it is: an Enemies List.

And they’d be right. 

Why the double standard?

Applicants with Liberal or Progressive or green-sounding names were passed through, given approval. According to the current ruling class, progressive-sounding applicants are the “good guys”, with pure motives. And given less scrutiny.

As the investigation unfolds, I wouldn’t be surprised if Progressive applicants weren’t just approved, but given privileged status. Herded into the fast-lane on the seal-of-approval conveyor belt, given a merit badge, and an ice cream cone. 

The best example of this double standard: in one case, a Conservative group’s application got the customary pointless runaround, endless delays, and failed to get approval. Its founder got tired of waiting. Then reapplied, after adopting an intentionally-misleading, but more favorable-sounding name “Greenhouse”. Viola! — quick approval. The group’s politics were unchanged. Only the name.

The IRS’s dishonesty is self-evident. The pattern of abuse is transparent. 

No group should be targeted based on politics, obviously, it’s wrong either way. The process has to be neutral. Otherwise the IRS is breaking the law, abusing its power, and violating the rights of citizens. Period.

But—if you can be seduced into directly or indirectly supporting of that kind of systematic abuse, because it suits your political agenda—well, good luck when you get screwed.

The irony is: in America, even your opponents would come to your defense, object to the abuse, and support your equal rights. Which is more than can be said andrewkletzien.

Statists love big powerful government agencies. Especially when they abuse power and wield authority in ways that’s favorable for them, but criminally abusive inconvenient for their enemies. But when it goes the other way, and their rights are abused? If their special political causes are targeted for harassment, oh, that’s a different story. Now they’re victims.

Next to being a proud supporter of a Federal Agency with the power to harass and abuse political enemies, the most precious status symbol a big-government advocate can have is being an oppressed victim. 

–The Butcher


Justifiable Cause: The Obama administration is making the case for conservatism better than Mitt Romney ever did

By 

The Obama administration is doing a far better job making the case for conservatism than Mitt Romney, Mitch McConnell, or John Boehner ever did. Showing is always better than telling, and when the government overreaches in so many ways it gives support to the conservative argument about the inherently rapacious nature of government.

First let’s get our terms straight. Conservatives are not the same as Republicans. The former believe in a philosophy which stays roughly fixed and the latter belong to a party that occasionally embraces the philosophy but deviates when necessary to win elections, pass legislation, and follow the selfish aims of those who are in office and want to remain there. Conservatives argue against the expansion of government, whereas Republicans sometimes enlarge it to please their constituents or themselves. Republicans also sometimes botch foreign policy operations and spin themselves silly in their aftermath, which is why the Benghazi revelations are left out of this grand unification theory.

Though some of these scandals will allow Republicans to score points in the daily tally of who is ahead and who is behind, there is a larger benefit to conservatives that goes beyond the fall in the president’s approval ratings or the boost Republican Senate candidates may get in 2014. Those outcomes rely on further adjudication of these issues. It may turn out that President Obama had nothing to do with any of them. It could simply be rogues in various agencies. Or, maybe President Obama orchestrated the whole kaleidoscope of wrongdoing on the White House whiteboard. You don’t have to embrace either of those theories to see that it’s much easier to agree with the conservative notion that government is a mess. We have enough evidence of that already.

Conservatives argue that the more government you have, the more opportunities you will have for it to grow out of control. That is why my frequent correspondent Charles Flemming cheers every story I write about Washington gridlock. He wants less government, so he’s fine if it does nothing.

Another conservative correspondent points to economist James Buchanan, who won the Nobel Prize in 1986 for his work studying economic incentives in government. His argument was that politicians are not benevolent agents of the common good but humans acting in their own self-interest or for a special interest. “If there is value to be gained through politics,” Buchanan wrote, “persons will invest resources in efforts to capture this value.” Since Democrats and Republicans alike are sinful, each side will find ways to work that is self-interested, rapacious, and boundary breaking. Keep the government small to limit the damage.

Whether these scandals are the result of base motives or a desire to act for the greater good, the eventual result is the destruction of individual liberties. Your IRS comes down on you because you have the wrong ideology or, in the name of protecting the citizenry, the Justice Department starts listening to your phone calls.

Read the rest of this entry »