Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

A Republic, If You Can Keep It

October 30, 2010

 

“Now more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature … If the next centennial does not find us a great nation … it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.”

–James Garfield, the twentieth president of the United States, 1877

James Garfield

James Garfield was not one of our more distinguished presidents.  But then he didn’t have time to be: he was assassinated by a deranged individual in 1881, after serving only 200 days in office.  It would seem, however, that Garfield at least had a clear understanding of what was required of the nation if it were to continue to exist as a constitutional republic.

With that in mind, and with this all important mid-term election finally upon us, I thought it might be worth looking at some of the devious (not to say illegal) things our opponents have been up to lately.  And for those of you who might be first time readers to this blog, our opponents are the Democrats, the Liberals, the Progressives, or whatever the hell they choose to call themselves these days.  Let’s take a look at some key races.

In Nevada’s hotly contested Senate race, where Republican challenger Sharron Angle currently holds onto a slim lead over Democratic incumbent Harry Reid, otherwise known as the Progressive Prig of the Senate, the following chicanery has occurred:

  • Reid’s supporters have propped up a fake Tea Party candidate, Scott Ashjian, to siphon off votes that would otherwise go to Angle.  Of course Harry Reid himself denies all knowledge of any such thing. 1
  • Reid’s union thugs and other supporters are giving away free food and gift cards at early voting rallies, despite the fact that Nevada law expressly forbids such bribery.
  • The polls of at least one county in Nevada are controlled by Reid’s union supporters—the SEIU (Service Employees International Union)—and, not surprisingly, voters there have discovered that Reid’s name was automatically checked off on their ballots when they went to vote.  3

In Pennsylvania, where Republican Pat Toomey and Democrat Joe Sestak are locked in a close Senate race, Democratic officials in the City of Philadelphia are literally handing out cash, otherwise known as “walking around money” or “street money” in order to buy votes.  Oh but don’t worry, it is a time-honored practice with roots in the corrupt politics of the nation’s inner-cities and involves campaigns actually making cash payouts to local political hacks and “community organizers” who then spread that money around to anyone who is willing to knock on doors and ratchet up voter turnout for Democratic candidates. 4

Turning to Arizona, the left-wing Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has just ruled against the state, striking down its law requiring proof of citizenship identification when residents are registering to vote thus making it much easier for illegal aliens, felons and others to fraudulently register and vote as though they were Arizona citizens. 5

Finally in Maryland, a state currently run by some of the most disgusting politicians in the country, Democratic officials are actually considering appealing a federal judge’s ruling that would extend the deadline for allowing absentee ballots for military personnel, currently serving on active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, to be counted—a situation that was created by that state’s failure to timely comply with the law in the first place. 6

Now call me a rube, but it would seem to me that safeguarding the right to vote should be among the most basic, if not sacred, of duties for any who would involve themselves in the politics of this nation.  Without the integrity of that process—one so fundamental to any political system that purports to abide by democratic principles—the entire foundation upon which government rests must ultimately fragment and fall apart.

This country’s founders, like President James Garfield after them, understood that the nation they had formed would last only if its people were morally good and decent, and if those same qualities were reflected in the individuals the people chose to represent them.  As John Adams, considering the fragility of the newly created government, once wrote: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”  Perhaps even more to the point was Benjamin Franklin.  Upon leaving the Constitutional Convention, a woman asked him what kind of government they had given the country.  Without hesitation, Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

Can we indeed.

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Notes:

Fn. 1: http://gatewaypundit.firstthings.com/2010/10/sharron-angle-builds-lead-on-harry-reid-in-nevada-race/

Fn. 2: http://www.rightpundits.com/?p=7539

Fn. 3: http://biggovernment.com/publius/2010/10/26/the-seiu-harry-reid-and-voting-problems/

Fn. 4: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/10/28/walking-money-alive-election/

Fn. 5: http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/arizona-looses-9th-circuit-court-voter-identification-requirement

Fn. 6: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/10/29/maryland-weighs-appeal-military-voters-win-extension-absentee-ballots/

_____________________

Related Posts:

https://culturecrusader.wordpress.com/2010/11/02/decision-time/

https://culturecrusader.wordpress.com/2010/07/04/to-be-american/

https://culturecrusader.wordpress.com/2010/06/11/coming-undone/

https://culturecrusader.wordpress.com/2010/03/20/why-you-don%e2%80%99t-have-a-right-to-healthcare/

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Riddle: How Many CNN Reporters Does It Take to Write a One-Page Article On Morality? Answer: Two.

September 17, 2010

Yesterday, two children who go by the strange and possibly made up names of Yaron Brook and Onkar Ghate spent their whole summer vacation coming up with a one-page article entitled: “Our Moral Code is Out of Date.”  They submitted it to their fourth grade teacher who immediately emailed it to CNN and it was of course summarily published on the CNN website.  By the way, for any of you public high school teachers who would like to use this CNN primer as a short-cut to actually doing your job, you may find the article here:

 //edition.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/09/16/brook.moral.code.outdated/index.html

(Just do me a favor and don’t tell anyone I sent ya.)

Anyway, I, for one, was very interested and excited to learn just how our morality–being around for two thousand years or so–had suddenly gotten out of date and was in need of an extreme makeover.  I mean, since CNN has been a premier (tee-hee) news agency for about two or three decades, you would have thought they might have jumped on this story earlier.

Anyway, if I understand what these two kids are saying, our morality is out of date because Christianity (there ya go, blame those damn Christians again!) screwed up.  By failing to predict the advent of the industrial revolution and the benevolent greed of the robber barons and their modern-day P.C. equivalent (e.g. Bill Gates), the Bible and other similar undisclosed texts have basically become obsolete, and hence let us down. Until, in the words of the authors, “science, freedom and the pursuit of personal profit” are embraced, our morals cannot truly be caught up with the morality of September, 2010. Now, what the shifting standards of moral relativism will be like in October, 2010 is anyone’s guess, so I suppose we’ll just have to wait for CNN to find two more smart fourth graders to explain it to us.

Oh, by the way, there is just one little thing in the article written by these kids that should be pointed out: They assume that “giving money away to strangers” is not a morally significant act inasmuch as morality is only about pursuing one’s own happiness.  Assuming, for the moment, that their definition of individual morality  is the correct one, since when does the personal decision to give one’s own money away fail to meet the definition of the pursuit of happiness?

Mosque Mania!

September 14, 2010

Yesterday, the Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf called on “moderate” Muslims (and others of the moderate persuasion) to take control of the debate swirling around the controversial proposed Ground Zero mosque, known as Cordoba House.  1

Speaking before the Council on Foreign Relations 2 —a self-described research center that dedicates itself to understanding the world “by better comprehending global trends,” Imam Rauf said that America has let “extremists hijack the agenda.” 3

The Iman (who for some reason reminds me of a Bond villain) had some other things to say.  First, that he is a devout Muslim and that he prays at least five times a day as required by Muslim law.  But that he’s also just a regular American, that he pays his taxes, pledges allegiance to the flag, and that he’s even a Giants fan don’t-cha know!  (Personally, I would rather he’d said he was a Jets fan, but that’s just me.)

In light of all the controversy surrounding the Cordoba project, when asked about whether it was necessary to build a mosque at Ground Zero, this regular, reasonable American said that his answer is still “a categorical yes.”

Now, I actually agree with the silver-tongued Imam that the voices of reason should attempt to regain control of the discourse regarding the mosque, but for those of you who are just joining the story now, let’s examine some items of recent history:

Item One:

When asked last month by the Governor of New York, David Paterson, to meet in order to discuss the possibility of moving the mosque to another location, the Imam and the developer behind the project categorically refused to meet and rejected any offer on the part of the Governor to help them find a different site.

Item Two:

When Donald Trump, in an attempt to end the controversy, made an offer to purchase the proposed mosque site for 25 percent over and above the value of the property, the lawyer representing the Imam and the project developer rejected the offer calling it a cheap publicity stunt.

Item Three:

Last week, the Imam appeared on CNN and said that if the mosque is moved at this stage it would mean violent attacks against the United States and that “if we don’t handle this crisis correctly it could become something which could really become very, very, very dangerous indeed.” 4  (Now, I’m no expert on criminal law, but that sounds a lot like extortion to me.)

Item Four:

During the same CNN interview, wherein he fielded a battery of tough, investigative questions by fourteen-year-old Soledad Obrien, he said that he would provide complete information that would make transparent all the murky details behind the syndicate of backers on the mosque project, including whether any of them are affiliated with terrorist organizations. (We are still waiting on that, by the way.)

Item Five:

The Imam has made statements in the past about: America being an accessory to 9-11, about America having more blood on its hands than Al Qaeda, about having America become compliant to Islamic Sharia law, and about how Hamas is not really what he would call a terrorist organization. But let’s not dwell on the past.

So where was I?  Ah, yes – moderate Muslims.  Well, as I said, I agree with the smooth-talking Imam that moderate Muslims should control the discourse. But what I am wondering about now is whether the Imam actually knows of any.

___________

THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN BROUGHT TO YOU BY OUR PROUD SPONSOR:

www.mosquebusters.com

___________

Notes:

Fn. 1:  The proposed name for the planned Ground Zero mosque—Cordoba House—refers to Cordoba, Spain where Muslims built a great mosque as a symbol of their conquest of Spain during the Islamic invasion of the 8th century.  The building of mosques on conquered ground is standard practice in the Muslim world: a kind of triumphalism or a planting of a flag of victory. 

Fn. 2: This august body is apparently populated by great world thinkers such as movie actress Angelina Jolie and T.V. anchorman Brian Williams.  See: http://www.cfr.org/about/

Fn. 3:

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/US/09/13/new.york.imam/index.html?hpt=T2

Fn. 4:

 http://archives.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1009/08/lkl.01.html

News Media Reports: Times Square Bomber’s Motive “Shrouded in Mystery”

May 9, 2010

CBS News reports that Faisal Shahzad (you know, he’s that guy who tried to blow up Times Square about a week ago) is somewhat of a mystery man.  An enigma of sorts, one might say.  His motive is “shrouded in mystery,” report those hard-hitting news folks over at CBS. 1

Now I’m thinking, well, if the smart-as-a-whip guys and gals over at CBS News can’t figure him out, then how the heck am I, your typical Joe Six-Pack, going to be able to do it?  Well, I guess I’ll just have to give it the old college try.  So here are some of my theories:

Theory Number One: Shahzad is a Tea Partier.

I think NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg hit the nail right on the head when, before they had even arrested anybody, he speculated to Katie Couric of CBS News (there’s that CBS news again!) that it was probably somebody “home-grown, maybe a mentally deranged person or somebody with a political agenda that doesn’t like the healthcare bill or something.” 2  Katie’s journalism instincts immediately kicked into high gear, and she responded with a knowing look.  So Bloomy nailed it: it’s those damn government-hating Tea Partiers!  I think that makes a lot of sense.  Double-plus good, Mike!  I mean, anyone who’s crazy and racist enough not to want free healthcare must be so mentally deranged they’d want to blow up Times Square and kill innocent people right?  Also, if Shahzad was willing to blow himself up too, then he obviously wouldn’t have had any need for healthcare because he’d be dead!  But he didn’t blow himself up.  Okay, maybe this theory isn’t so great after all.  That’s too bad.  I was really hoping I could blame this on those damn tea baggers! 

Theory Number Two:  Shahzad Suffers From Post-Home-Foreclosure-Derangement-Syndrome.

So some really creative psychologists have come up with this new disease for the new economy we’re in: post-home-foreclosure-derangement-syndrome.  Or at least I think that’s what it’s called.  Anyway, the idea is that people who are about to lose their homes go out and do wacky stuff like blow people up in Times Square.  Well, it just so happens that the mortgage on Shahzad’s Connecticut home was in foreclosure.  Or about to be foreclosed or something like that.  Hey, times are tough!  You know, it’s that lousy Bush economy we’re still mired in.  I know, I know, it’s been almost two years since Bush has been out of office, but according to the media, Bush put us in such a hole that… Oh, wait, that’s right, now we’re supposed to be in a recovery.  Isn’t that what Obama said?  The “jobless recovery.”  So is it Bush’s recovery or Obama’s recovery?  Maybe the jobless part is Bush’s and the recovery part is Obama’s?  I’m so confused!  All right, let’s move on to another theory, shall we?

Theory Number Three:  Shahzad is a Right-wing Republican and Talk-Radio Listener.

Okay, try to stay with me on this one.  There are reports (probably also from CBS News) that the radio in Shahzad’s SUV was tuned to an AM station!  Now, follow this logic.  Who is on AM radio?  Rush Limbaugh!  That right-wing extremist and rabble rouser.  See what I’m sayin here?  Shahzad is a right-wing Republican and AM radio listener.  As for why that would make him want to blow up Times Square, I uh… well I refer you back to Theory Number One.

Theory Number Four: Shahzad is Anti-Disney or Anti-Lion King, or Maybe Just Anti-Lion.

Did you know that Shahzad’s SUV was supposedly parked right near the theater that shows the Broadway musical “The Lion King?”  Coincidence?  I don’t think so.  You know, it is Disney’s The Lion King.  So maybe Shahzad was anti-Disney. Or maybe he just saw a performance of The Lion King and really (I mean really) hated it.  Or maybe he just hates lions!  Hey, we need to cover all the possibilities here.  After all, Big Sis Janet Napolitano—our beloved Homeland Security apparatchik—reassured us all that Shahzad probably acted as just a “one-off.”  So maybe his “one-off” thing is that he’s anti-lion!  It’s possible!  Okay, maybe this one is a little thin.  Next!

Theory Number Five: Shahzad is a Violent Islamic Extremist and Terrorist

Now, I realize I’m going way out on a limb here, but maybe, just maybe, Shahzad is an Islamic terrorist.  I know, it’s that tired old canard again, and I can find hardly anyone in the news media to back it up, but I guess it should kind of be considered, no?  Ok, I’ll back off.  Sorry for sounding so politically incorrect and racist and all that.  I mean I really am so in agreement with MSNBC’s news anchor Contessa Brewer on this one.  Speaking on the liberal Stephanie Miller’s radio show, Contessa offered up this trenchant analysis:

“I get frustrated… There was part of me that was hoping this was not going to be anybody with ties to any kind of Islamic country… There are a lot of people who want to use terrorist intent to justify writing off people who believe in a certain way or come from certain countries or whose skin color is a certain way. I mean they use it as justification for really outdated bigotry.”  (Emphasis added.) 3

Contessa is just so right.  I much prefer her form of trendy, up-to-date bigotry instead.

 ———————–

 Footnotes:

 Fn. 1: See the full CBS News article on Times Square Bomber’s Motive here:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/05/05/national/main6462351.shtml

Fn. 2:  Excerpt of Bloomberg interview with Couric:

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/brent-baker/2010/05/03/cbs-features-ny-mayor-bloomberg-speculating-bomber-was-mad-about-obamac

Fn. 3: For the Contessa Brewer quote:

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/scott-whitlock/2010/05/04/msnbcs-contessa-brewer-frustrated-times-square-bomber-muslim-0

Why I Love Ann Coulter

April 5, 2010

“Thousands of years ago the first man discovered how to make fire.  He was probably burned at the stake he had taught his brothers to light.  But he left them a gift they had not conceived, and he lifted darkness off the earth.  Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision. The great creators, the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors, stood alone against the men of their time. Every new thought was opposed. Every new invention was denounced. But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered, and they paid – but they won.   No creator was prompted by a desire to please his brothers. His brothers hated the gift he offered. His truth was his only motive.”

— Excerpt from Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead (Howard Roark’s closing statement in his own defense.) 1

First, let me say that this is not a defense of Ann Coulter.  As far as I’m concerned, she needs no defending.  And if she ever did, she’d be able to acquit herself quite well.  On the other hand, if you are looking for any semblance of objectivity here, stop reading.  I freely admit my bias.  This is instead a kind of open love letter to Ann: an offering of homage to someone whom, for reasons I expand upon below, I hold in very high regard.  I can only hope she reads it!

Now, I could gush all day about Ann’s charming ebullience, her rapier wit, her gifted erudition, her unapologetic boldness, her sexy blonde mane, or the immense joy I get at seeing how she afflicts liberals with apoplectic fear and rage.  But I find that this unique woman possesses one quality above all others for which I truly admire her.  That quality is her love of the truth.  You see Ann, believe it or not, is a moral person.  She lives by a moral code — her own principles and sense of right and wrong as rooted in her Christian values — to which she steadfastly adheres no matter what the consequences.  And among the tenets of that moral code, she champions speaking the truth above all.  In other words, I believe that her truth is her only motive.

Ann speaks the truth openly and unreservedly and, yes, sometimes even offensively.  I am not going to recount here all of the controversial statements made by Ann Coulter.  (Remember, I’m biased.)  Besides, they are widely known.  And if you are not aware of them, a ten second Google search will satisfy your curiosity (the liberal blogosphere is all agog about even her most casual remarks.)  Regarding these controversial statements, most people simply dismiss them or relegate them to hyperbole, satire, or just bad jokes.  A few of us view these comments in their context and see the larger point being made.  The rest are liberals.  These comments are Ann’s signature rhetorical devices and, while sometimes they are indeed over the top, one cannot say they are unoriginal, and they almost always make a big impression.  As General George S. Patton once said when asked why he used profanity while addressing his troops: “When I want my men to remember something important, to really make it stick, I give it to them double dirty.  It may not sound nice to some bunch of little old ladies at an afternoon tea party, but it helps my soldiers to remember.” 2

Of course, it has reached the point now where no matter what Ann says she gets herself in trouble with liberals and progressives.  In fact, she doesn’t even have to say anything anymore.  The mere prospect of her speaking is enough to make them all aflutter.  The most recent incident was the “welcome” she received by the students and administration at that world renowned institution of higher learning, the University of Ottawa.  To make a long story short, Ann was prevented from speaking at the school after the school’s provost sent an email warning her to watch what she says as certain speech may run afoul of Canadian “hate speech” laws.  The obvious innuendo being that Ann is incapable of opening her mouth without potentially saying something tantamount to a crime!  Needless to say, this touched off a firestorm and an on campus student protest ensued (a protest against Ann, not the provost) which created a dangerous environment and caused Ann’s security detail (yes, she needs that now) to call the whole thing off.  For the full story, click here:

https://culturecrusader.wordpress.com/2010/03/23/gem-of-the-week-oh-canada-what-a-houles-you-are/

The attitude among liberal and progressive opponents to Ann Coulter’s right to speak is best summed up in their own words.  When interviewed, University of Ottawa student protest organizer Mike Fancie stated he was pleased that they kept Ann from speaking.  “What Ann Coulter is practicing is not free speech, its hate speech,” he said. “She’s targeted the Jews, she’s targeted the Muslims, she’s targeted Canadians, homosexuals, women, almost everybody you could imagine.” (Source: The Boston Herald)  Well, if according to this genius “she’s targeted … everybody,” including groups on either side of a particular debate, then she can’t really be said to be targeting anyone, can she?  It is this kind of aggressive stupidity that Ann comes up against almost every time she speaks in public.  But worse than that, it is political correctness run amuck.  It is liberal-progressive oversensitivity codified into absurd laws and rules and enforced by academicians and apparatchiks like the University of Ottawa administrator. The sick irony, though, is that they do so in the name of tolerance.  Only in their Orwellian world could suppressing freedom of speech and expression be viewed as “tolerant.”

The face of liberal tolerance: A University of Ottawa student protester

Liberal rules regarding hate speech and free speech raise all kinds of subjective questions: Precisely what is hate speech?  What is appropriate speech?  When is speech offensive?  When is it not?  Which groups can you offend and which can you not?  Is no group or individual at any time ever deserving of offensive speech?  What about child rapists and murderers?  What about terrorists? What about racists, adulterers and sleazy politicians?  What about liars in general?  Are all of these exempt from being the target of offensive speech as well?  And if not all, then which are and which aren’t?  What about the bogeymen of liberals: conservative speakers and commentators?  Is there also a prohibition on speaking offensively to or about them?  It would appear that there is not!  I guess targeting conservatives, like Ann, is a-okay with liberals and progressives because they level their hate-filled rants and offensive slurs against her all the time.  Apparently when Ann is the object, it is open season on hate. All of this points out the absurdity and insidious evil of liberal and progressive “rules” when it comes to what can and cannot be speech. Lies and corruption are the tools of the collective: they are the means by which it pushes around the individual and stifles any free thought or expression that does not fit into their agenda of political correctness.  The status quo of political correctness and moral relativism are phenomena that have become entrenched in modern American culture, much to our great misfortune. Ann attacks and roots out this liberal hypocrisy wherever she finds it: whether it be in academia, the mainstream media, the Democratic Party, or Hollywood.  She tears away at the façade of their lies and reveals the faulty edifice underneath.  With a truth as hard as steel, she exposes their hypocrisy for what it is, and they hate her for it.  Speaking truth to power, I think is what it is called, and it has become, in a way, her mission.

But one needs to ask, why does Ann even bother with all this?  What is her motivation? Liberals assign a variety of motives: she is vile and malicious and can’t help herself; she is pure evil; she is a natural-born hater; she is only doing this to boost her book sales; etc. They lean on these rationalizations because they refuse to accept that anybody of her obvious intelligence would actually believe the outrageous things she says.  They are so arrogant (or perhaps insecure) in their belief that they are right, that they are convinced there must be some ulterior motive.

Howard Roark

Ann has only one motivation: she actually believes what she says.  And she says what she believes, no matter how offensive.  The truth trumps polite conversation.  Of course, Ann pays for this truth in the frightful extreme.  She endures insults, scorn, contempt, even threats, and like Howard Roark, Ayn Rand’s hero in The Fountainhead, outright hatred for causing the entire foundation of their corrupted structure to shake.  As in Rand’s novel, they would destroy her.  They would burn her at the stake with the very fire she’s introduced, if they could.  But therein lies the beauty of speaking the truth, it will always triumph over falsehood.  Some might say her enemies always fall into her trap, but really it is not a trap at all, it is the truth: the logic of truth which will always unmask a lie.  In the end, the status quo of the corrupt liberal collective is beaten.  The individual of vision wins.

But if indeed this is Ann’s motive and mission, is truth-telling really necessary even when it offends to the point of provoking hatred and fear?  I don’t think anyone would openly admit that it is better not to know the truth (though it would seem that for many, willful ignorance is truly bliss.)  But what about the truth that offends?  Is that really necessary?

It is truth, in all its forms and expressions that advances the human condition.  Truth in speech, art, music, poetry, literature, truth in invention and truth in creation of any kind has been the foundation stone upon which all else: cultures, societies, economies, governments and entire civilizations are built.  This is also the case when truth offends.  The truth is always opposed when it confronts men and women, governments and institutions, whose “principles” are warped and corrupted by lies and hypocrisy.  In these circumstances, truth is essential to the advancement of the human condition – not just when it offends, but because it offends.

The world as we know it today didn’t just come about over night.  Down through the ages, the broadening of views, ideas and perspectives and the shifting of paradigms in the religious, political, economic, scientific, social and cultural spheres all took place only because someone said something or did something or created something that offended the status quo.  In this country alone, the improvement of the human condition for blacks, women and other minority groups would never have happened unless someone ticked off somebody else.  Indeed, the country itself would never have come to exist unless a courageous few spoke certain truths that were an affront to a mighty many.  In all these instances, the offensive nature of truth was not just coincidental, it was essential. 3

At the end of Ayn Rand’s novel, the architect hero Howard Roark prevails.  He stands atop the steel framework of his creation, admired by the woman who has finally come to see the true meaning of his spirit.  His truth — the truth of one individual’s vision — wins out over the hypocrisy of the collective.  Whether or not Ann Coulter shall ultimately prevail, only time will tell.  But one thing is for sure: that quality of unabashed truth-telling is a rare and wonderful thing in this world, and it is why I love Ann.  You see, I am a recovering idealist who wakes up every day looking for an honest man.  Unlike Diogenes the Cynic, I do believe that at long last I have found one; only she’s a woman.

Diogenes Sitting in His Tub, by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1860)

________________________

Footnotes:

Fn. 1: See the Comments section to this post for a video clip of the entire Howard Roark speech from the film, The Fountainhead.

Fn. 2: For a fuller version of the Patton quote: “When I want my men to remember something important, to really make it stick, I give it to them double dirty. It may not sound nice to some bunch of little old ladies at an afternoon tea party, but it helps my soldiers to remember. You can’t run an army without profanity; and it has to be eloquent profanity. An army without profanity couldn’t fight its way out of a piss-soaked paper bag … As for the types of comments I make, sometimes I just, By God, get carried away with my own eloquence.”

Fn. 3: Of course, none of this is to suggest that all truthful speech need be offensive or that just because speech is offensive it is truthful.  On the contrary, there is plenty of offensive speech that is just plain offensive.

Gem of the Week: Porn Exchange

March 6, 2010

As a publicity stunt, it seems a cabal of Godless young enterprisers at the University of Texas at San Antonio are offering their fellow students porn in exchange for their bibles.  According to the student atheist group, pornography is no worse than the text of the Bible, so why not do a fair exchange?  Well, not to get too technical, but the standard dictionary definition of pornography is: “films, magazines, writings, photographs, or other materials that are sexually explicit and intended to cause sexual arousal.” (Emphasis added.)  While there appear to be arguments out there (way out there) that the Bible contains some passages that could be interpreted as slightly suggestive (eg., The Old Testament’s Song of Solomon), one can hardly seriously argue that these rise to the level of sexual explicitness intending to cause arousal.  Or to put it another way, if you’re reaching for the Bible to get your jollies, you’re pretty pathetic.

At any rate, there is nothing novel about yet another group of self-important college students employing sophomoric shock tactics to seek attention.  However, what is news is the school’s reaction to the event.  When asked for comment, school officials mildly replied that the atheist group is perfectly within its legal rights to conduct the swap.  According to University Spokesman David Gabler: “As long as students are not violating laws or violating the Constitution, they have the freedom of speech and assembly.”  He elaborated, “We are a marketplace of free ideas here at UTSA, and our students have all constitutional rights afforded to all individuals in the United States.”

Well isn’t that nice.  Apparently, the school is not the least bit scandalized by any of this.    At a time when colleges seem to think of every reason under the sun why a conservative group cannot have this or that speaker appear on campus, how refreshing it is to see the open-minded University of Texas officials suddenly standing up for free speech and assembly in the marketplace of ideas.  Given this new laissez-faire approach, one wonders if they would be quite so accommodating of other groups employing similarly obscene tactics.  Suppose a Christian student group decided to do a Bible for Quran exchange?  What if a white supremacist student group offered an exchange of Hitler’s Mein Kampf for copies of the Torah?  Or an even greater sacrilege: an exchange of Mein Kampf for Barrack Obama’s The Audacity of Hope.  Would the liberal thinking administrators of the University of Texas still be so tepidly neutral?

Our rights are guaranteed under the Constitution and are there for our protection, not for our abuse.  On the spectrum of bad examples the school could set for its students, the only thing worse than condoning the abuse of a right (in this case free speech), is the picking and choosing of when and for whom a right applies, and when and for whom it does not.  And that is nothing short of obscene.

For a related post, link to:

https://culturecrusader.wordpress.com/2010/03/23/gem-of-the-week-oh-canada-what-a-houles-you-are/