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Monday, 6 February 2012
The Price of Surrender
Topic: Decline of the West

 

How to explain Barack Obama’s decision to pick a fight with the Catholic Church by trying to force it to fund health insurance plans covering contraception, sterilization and morning-after abortion drugs?

 

Perhaps the President and his people are trying rally the Democratic Party base ahead of this year’s election. It’s no secret that progressives have become somewhat disenchanted by Obama’s failure to check every box on their wish list. Here was an opportunity to curry favor with the base by attacking an organization for which progressives harbor a dislike bordering on hatred.

 

Then again, perhaps the President simply believes that he’s doing the right thing. Unlikely as this may seem in the eyes of Obama’s conservative detractors, it’s possible that he’s taking a stand on the principle that universal access to health care means universal participation with no exceptions, not even partial ones, on grounds of religious belief.

 

Actually it’s likely that both politics and principle influenced Obama’s decision. But I think that an additional, long-range, consideration led to this seeming quixotic decision. The Catholic Church is the single most powerful voice on the pro-life side of the abortion debate. What would it be worth to progressives if that voice could be silenced? And what better way to undermine the Church’s pro-life credentials than by forcing it to compromise with the government over contraception, sterilization and morning-after abortion drugs? “Practice what you preach” may be a cliché—but if you say one thing while doing the opposite, you have no credibility.

 

The American Catholic bishops surely understand that if they knuckle under to Obama’s health insurance mandate, the Church’s credibility as a pro-life organization will go up in smoke. No doubt Barack Obama and his cabal understand this as well. Those are the stakes.


Posted by tmg110 at 10:41 AM EST
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Sunday, 5 February 2012
How Unlike the Fascist Tea Party!
Topic: Liberal Fascism

 

And speaking of the “peaceful” Occupy movement:

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Authorities say 11 people have been arrested in Washington's McPherson Square since Park Police began clearing away tents from one of the nation's last remaining Occupy sites.

 

David Schlosser, who is a spokesman for the U.S. Park Police, said Sunday that one of those arrested was charged with felony assault on a police officer and assault with a deadly weapon. That person is accused of hitting an officer in the face with a brick Saturday evening. The officer was treated at a hospital.

 

Three others were charged with assault on a police officer.

 

Tomorrow evening on The Five: Bob Beckel explains how it was the cop’s fault that he had his face smashed by a brick. If only the 1% would forgive all those beastly college loans, such violence would be totally unnecessary.


Posted by tmg110 at 4:29 PM EST
Updated: Monday, 6 February 2012 10:14 AM EST
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Afflicting the Ideologically Comfortable
Topic: Liberal Fascism

 

One more reason to applaud Governor Mitch Daniels and the Indiana legislature for passing right to work legislation: the Occupy movement hates it. Here’s some reaction from the self-appointed champions of the 99%, courtesy of Nation of Change:

 

Very tricky phrase [right to work]. Let’s just put the hammer on the nail. It’s untrue. This bill has nothing to do with a right to work. If folks in Indiana and that great legislation—and they want to pass a bill that really is something called "Right to Work", have a constitutional amendment that guarantees every citizen a right to a job. That is a right to work. What this is, instead, is a right to enforce and to ensure that ordinary working people can’t get together as a team, can’t organize, can’t stand together, and can’t fight or negotiate with management on an even playing field.

 

This demonstrates the weirdness of the alternate reality that progressives have constructed for themselves. In their view, if the state forces workers to join a union and pay union dues as a condition of employment, that’s democracy in action. But if the state recognizes the right of individual citizens to work without being required to join a union, that’s fascism!

 

It is of course untrue that Indiana’s new right to work law is designed “to enforce and to ensure that ordinary working people can’t get together as a team, can’t organize, can’t stand together, and can’t fight or negotiate with management on an even playing field.” The law doesn’t ban unions or collective bargaining. It merely states that individual workers are free to join a union or not, as they prefer. Among other things, this ensures that workers who disagree with a union’s political activities, e.g. support for the Democratic Party and its candidates, are not forced to subsidize them by paying union dues.

 

That they’re unwilling to support the right of individual workers to make up their own minds about the benefits of union membership suggests to me that progressives have a problem with the concept of individual rights—or to put it another way, that they’re hopeless enamored of the concept of the collective. Either way you prefer to put it, that’s evidence of a totalitarian mind-set.


Posted by tmg110 at 4:18 PM EST
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Saturday, 4 February 2012
Barry to Catholics: Drop Dead
Topic: Liberal Fascism

 

Hard to argue with this: “Obama plays his Catholic allies for fools.”

 

It’s the title of Michael Gerson’s January 30 op-ed piece in the Washington Post, on the Obama Administration’s attempt to force Catholic organizations— universities, hospitals charities, etc.—to provide employee health insurance that covers sterilization, contraceptives and morning-after abortion drugs.

 

I had the same reaction when I heard the news. In 2007-08, many vehicles in the parking lot of St. Joseph Catholic Parish in South Bend, Indiana, were sporting Obama for Prez bumper stickers. Every Sunday when I saw them I reflected that it was a prime example of the turkeys voting for Thanksgiving. And so it has proved.

 

Of course, no one should be surprised to see Obama & Co. trampling on religious liberty. Three years of experience has demonstrated is the President’s contempt for the Constitution of the United States. No doubt he and his White House cabal have calculared that, after some whining and hand wringing, the US Catholic bishops will cave. And that might be an accurate calculation. As the Koman debacle just demonstrated, moral courage is somewhat lacking in twenty-first century America. But so far the bishops have voiced defiance. Besides, they’re are not exactly free agents, and you have to wonder what would happen if an order from the Vatican forbade them from rendering this unjust due to Ceasar.

 

You also have to wonder why Obama would pick a fight with American Catholics in an election year. He scored 54% of the Catholic vote in 2008 and needs most of those voters to stick with him as he seeks reelection. Probably he figures that rank-and-file Catholics won’t stand with the hierarchy in opposition to his odious mandate. We’ll see how many vehicles in the St. Joe parking lot sport Obama for Prez bumper stickers this year.


Posted by tmg110 at 10:03 AM EST
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Friday, 3 February 2012
Kudos to Indiana
Topic: Decline of the West

 

It’s nice to live in a state that can boast one of the best governors in the United States. Elected in 2004 and reelected in 2008 by a whopping eighteen-point margin, Mitch Daniels has done an outstanding job in tough times for the people of Indiana. To cite just one example, on his first day in office, Daniels issued an executive order that decertified all government employee unions, quashing the requirement that state employees pay union dues. Free to choose, state employees deserted the unions in droves: Dues-paying union membership plunged 90%.

 

Now Governor Daniels has done it again, signing a law eliminating the closed shop and making Indiana a right-to-work state. No longer will private-sector employees be required by the state to pay dues to labor unions. He and the Republican majorities in the state House of Representatives and Senate pushed the law through despite the usual union intimidation tactics and obstruction by the Democratic minority. (Democratic representatives and senators fled Indianapolis, the state capital, in 2011 to prevent the assembly of the quorum needed to pass bills.)

 

Indiana is the first—though one hopes not the last—state in the so-called Rust Belt to adopt a right-to-work law. And that nervous throat clearing you hear in the background? That’s Governor Pat Quinn of neighboring Illinois, a true-blue Big Labor lackey who’s now wondering just how many businesses will bolt across the state line to the greener pastures of the Hoosier State.


Posted by tmg110 at 4:11 PM EST
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Unconditional Surrender to the Culture of Death
Topic: Decline of the West

 

Oops. Looks like I must take back what I posted yesterday in praise of the decision by Susan G. Komen for the Cure, America’s leading breast cancer charity, to end its relationship with Planned Parenthood. After a predictable outcry from the usual pro-abortion zealots, e.g. Senator Barbara Boxer, the charity caved. And Komen CEO Nancy G. Brinker’s capitulation statement was nothing short of pathetic: She virtually fell to her knees in a plea for absolution. All in all, this was an unedifying spectacle. How naïve of me to expect a display of moral courage from a privileged member of the Establishment!


Posted by tmg110 at 12:06 PM EST
Updated: Friday, 3 February 2012 12:09 PM EST
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Remake Alert: Death Wish
Topic: The Box Office

 

Director Joe Carnahan recently announced via Twitter that he’s working on a remake of Death Wish. Maybe I’m psychic: My last post for “The Box Office” was a review of that 1974 Charles Bronson classic.

 

Writing for NRO, Anthony Paletta predicts that the critics are likely to hate the new Death Wish, just as a previous generation of critics reviled the original. And their hatred is likely to derive from the same source: a leftie ideology that romanticizes crime and demonizes the forces of law and order. He points out, for example, that whereas Pauline Kael condemned Dirty Harry for “fascist medievalism” and called it a “single-minded attack against liberal values,” she adored Bonnie and Clyde.

 

But who knows? The Death Wish remake may turn the original story on its head, transforming Paul Kersey into a right-wing Tea Party thug and the criminals he hunts into downtrodden representatives of the 99%. I hope not, for a remake more or less true to original would cause every progressive critic in America to toss a blood clot—and that would be fun to watch. But it’s all too easy to imagine a politically correct Death Wish 2012 that coddles the criminal element while crapping on middle-class values.


Posted by tmg110 at 11:47 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 3 February 2012 4:17 PM EST
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Thursday, 2 February 2012
Our Very Own Clinton
Topic: Decline of the West

 

The estimable R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., editor-in-chief of the American Spectator, pounds a few nails into the coffin of Gingrich for President:

 

The unreported aspect of last week's story of the conservative writers and politicos turning on Gingrich was the role played by the Episodic Apologists. They are the media types who have been covering for the Clintons for years. They have high hopes for the Clintons' talents. Then they are crestfallen by one of the Clintons' scandals: the pilfering of the White House, the last-minute pardons, Monica Lewinsky. Then their high hopes rekindle anew. They were loath to report my attack on Newt as being the Republican's Bill Clinton, but they jumped at the "conservative Establishment's" attacks on his veracity and his other wayward traits.

 

Yet, Newt's failure is part of a larger failure, the infantilism of the 1960s generation. In his narcissism, impulsiveness, and deviancy he is at one with the Clintons. Mitt [Romney], and for that matter [Rick] Santorum, are just the opposite. They are straight arrows and duty-bound. They would not be a riot of scandals in the White House, but is it not about time that we leave the scandals to Hollywood?

 

Indeed, Tyrrell has a point. One of the most compelling arguments in favor of Mitt Romney is that he’s not a celebrity. One can easily imagine Newt (and for that matter, Obama) on the cover of People. But Mitt? Not so much…


Posted by tmg110 at 11:29 AM EST
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Where There's Life, There's Hope
Topic: Decline of the West

 

Despite all attempts by the pro-choice crowd to pin a smile button on the abortion industry, public opinion is becoming more and more adverse to abortion on demand. While not favoring an outright abortion ban, a clear majority of Americans would support tighter restrictions, e.g. outlawing partial birth abortion. This should surprise no one. Despite decades of propaganda and Newspeak (for “fetus” read “undifferentiated tissue mass”) most people persist in believing the obvious: that human life begins at conception. Abortion remains legal, but it’s no longer quite respectable.

 

Susan G. Komen for the Cure is America’s leading breast cancer charity, and it has just decided to end its longstanding partnership with Planned Parenthood, America’s leading abortion provider. This decision was probably the result of many factors, including the adverse publicity that Planned Parenthood has received recently. But on a deeper level, I believe that it reflects a growing realization that respect for life is not really compatible with unlimited access to abortion.


Posted by tmg110 at 10:50 AM EST
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Wednesday, 1 February 2012
No to Newt
Topic: Decline of the West

 

For better or for worse—on balance I'd say it's for the best—yesterday's Florida primary ended Newt Gingrich's hopes of becoming the Republican presidential nominee. The demographics of Mitt Romney's big win in the Sunshine State indicate that Gingrich would probably not be able to defeat Barack Obama in the general election. He’s simply too divisive a figure with too much baggage, and in Florida he displayed in his attacks on Romney a disregard for the facts that is troubling to say the least.

 

Like Gingrich, I have my doubts about Mitt Romney’s conservative credentials. But more important than the ideological purity of the GOP nominee is the urgent necessity of removing Barack Obama from office before he inflicts more damage on the political, economic, social and moral fabric of the nation. For that mission, Newt is not the man.


Posted by tmg110 at 11:16 AM EST
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