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Tuesday, 21 February 2012
Legit? Whatever...
Topic: Decline of the West


The push to legalize same-sex marriage is presented by its proponents as a major civil rights issue. But in fact, it’s no more than a sad symptom of the demise of marriage itself. Gay marriage is thinkable today precisely because so many people no longer think much of marriage.


The New York Times published a story over the weekend that described out-of-wedlock births as “the new normal.” The Times noted that more than half of all births to American women under the age of 30 occur outside of marriage. Among all American women of childbearing age, only 59% of births occur within marriage. Despite ample evidence of the harm done to children by illegitimacy—higher rates of  poverty, criminality and emotional problems—few people are willing to stand up and say that bringing a child into this world outside of marriage is wrong. We mustn’t be judgmental, you know!


Those who defend the plague of illegitimacy typically rely on the language of “rights”: reproductive rights, marriage rights, civil rights, etc. But inevitably, all such defenses lead back to the denigration of marriage. For if there’s nothing wrong with unwed motherhood, then there’s no reason to give special consideration to the sacrament of matrimony. Indeed, to do so would constitute a tacit criticism of all those single moms. And we can’t have that!


So if gays think that the legalization of same-sex marriage will do anything to legitimize their relationships, they’re simply deceiving themselves. Legitimacy? That concept went out the window a long time ago.

Posted by tmg110 at 11:28 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 21 February 2012 11:31 AM EST
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Monday, 20 February 2012
Eugene Hearts Despotism
Topic: Liberal Fascism


Here we go again! Another progressive pundit sings the praises of that paragon of rational government, the Chinese Communist regime. This time it’s Eugene Robinson, who can’t contain his admiration for China’s despotic master class. Vice President Xi Jinping, widely expected to become China’s next leader, was in Washington the other day, and Robinson attended a luncheon in his honor. The columnist could hardly contain his hero worship. After reciting some details of Xi’s bio, he went on to say:


I recount this history because it helps me understand why the men—and a few women—now running China are the way they are: impatient to make up for lost time, pathologically wary of the slightest instability, tough, resourceful, adaptable, coldly unsentimental and, as [former Secretary of State Henry] Kissinger generalized in his introduction, convinced “that every solution is the beginning of a new set of problems.”


Uh-huh. And of course, this unsentimental pragmatism is in sharp contrast to the fecklessness of America’s political leaders: “What we’re not hearing [in this election year] is a serious debate about farsighted reforms that are needed to keep the United States from falling behind.”


Robinson’s subtext isn’t hard to discern: one-party authoritarian China good; messy democratic America bad. And the assumption underlying his lament: the more-than-dubious proposition that a bunch of politicians and bureaucrats—Chinese or American—possess the requisite knowledge and wisdom to summon the future.


I have no doubt that if Barack Obama were to propose a Five-Year Plan, Eugene Robinson would simply swoon.

Posted by tmg110 at 8:59 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 20 February 2012 11:34 AM EST
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Sunday, 19 February 2012
The Lunch Nazis
Topic: Liberal Fascism


Ha! This story from North Carolina is so typical of the state of affairs in Obama’s America:


North Carolina officials have said there was a misunderstanding when a preschooler’s homemade lunch was sent home for not meeting certain nutritional requirements, but now a second mother from the same school has come forward exclusively to The Blaze to say the same thing happened to her daughter.


Oh, there was a misunderstanding, all right: Some officious nosebleed from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Child Development and Early Education felt entitled to usurp the authority of parents who’d taken the time and trouble to provide their kids with lunch. And since when have the contents of little David or Suzie’s brown lunch bag been any business of the government’s? Since January 20, 2009, that’s when…

Posted by tmg110 at 2:39 PM EST
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Let's Not Annoy the Ayatollahs!
Topic: Decline of the West


After piously citing concern for innocent civilian lives as a justification for intervention in the Libyan civil war, Barack Obama finds himself confronted with a very similar—arguably worse—situation in Syria. And what’s he doing about it? Nothing.


The popular uprising against Syria’s despotic government seems on its face to present the United States with a veritable smorgasbord of golden opportunities. Supporting the armed Syrian opposition would not only remove one of the region’s most murderous governments but also strike a blow at the Syrian dictatorship’s chief ally, Iran. Together with Bashar al-Assad’s unsavory regime, Iran sponsors Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based terrorist group through which the Islamic Republic projects power and influence. The demise of Assad means, therefore the weakening of Hezbollah and hence of Iran.


But where Iran is concerned, Obama can always be relied upon to display the backbone of a chocolate éclair. He knows that effective action on Syria would annoy the ayatollahs. So instead of strident calls for intervention to prevent the all-too-real slaughter of innocents, the President opines that the conflict in Syria can be resolved without military intervention. He says this despite the fact that Russia and China vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that backed an Arab League plan to pressure Assad to accept a peaceful transition of power. (So much, incidentally, for Secretary of State Clinton’s much-ballyhooed “reset” of relations with Putin’s Russia!)


The UN fiasco left Obama with no viable policy on Syria—so I guess all those endangered innocents are just out of luck. And when we do go to war against Iran—an ever-more-likely possibility in my opinion—it will be without the many advantages of the indirect approach. What a doofus.

Posted by tmg110 at 2:21 PM EST
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Saturday, 18 February 2012
High Gas Prices? Don't Blame Barry!
Topic: Decline of the West


Remember how Democrats and the media used to blame George W. Bush and his sinister cabal of neocon puppet masters for high gas prices? Well, now that Barack Obama is president, Dems and reporters have suddenly discovered that the causes of high gas prices are mysterious and quite complex! Take this story from the February 28, 2011Washington Post and this one from the February 17, 2012 Los Angeles Times, neither of which mention the Obama Administration at all.


It’s true, of course, that a complex of factors—Middle East unrest, rising demand, even the weather—is driving prices higher. This is as true today as it was when Dems and the media were squawking at the Bush Administration. But it’s also true that the anti-petroleum decisions of the Obama Administration are helping to keep prices high. North America is sitting on vast untapped oil and natural gas reserves that could have a significant effect on prices—if they were being exploited. (And, incidentally, exploiting those resources would create jobs.) But instead Barry and his minions hand out subsidies and loan guarantees to insolvent solar panel manufacturers, electric cars that no one wants to buy and useless high-speed rail projects.


When gas reaches a price of $5 per gallon for regular unleaded, remember that.

Posted by tmg110 at 9:10 AM EST
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Friday, 17 February 2012
Shrum? Dumb!
Topic: Liberal Fascism


That leading indicator of political trends, Bob Shrum, has opined on the dispute between the Obama Administration and the Catholic Church:


[I]n this pluralistic society, the prelates of one denomination are attempting to impose their strictures on everyone of every faith and none. This echoes the failed efforts of the Catholic hierarchy to prevent the legalization of divorce in Italy—and worldwide, their graceless enmity toward civil marriage for same-sex couples. It's hard to escape the sense that if they could get away with it, they would remake America in their own dogmatic image and likeness. Where logically do you draw the line? If the remarriage of those who are divorced is morally wrong—a lapse into "living in sin"—why not outlaw it?


Now there’s no doubt that Shrum’s crude and offensive diatribe echoes the views of the secular progressives who constitute the Democratic Party’s base. Despite the fact that most Catholic social teaching betrays a decidedly liberal bias, the Church gets no credit for this from the Shrums of the world. Unless and until the Catholic Church abandons its pro-life teachings and embraces that secular sacrament, abortion, it will always be reviled on the Left.


Shrum’s words well reflect the hatred with which the Church is viewed by secular progressives, e.g. his false and lying claim that the Catholic bishops “are attempting to impose their strictures on everyone of every faith and none.” In fact, the Church has neither the power nor the inclination to prevent people from obtaining contraception or even abortions. Its pro-life campaign relies on moral suasion, not coercion—in sharp contrast, incidentally, to the policies of the Obama Administration.


Shrum’s attack on the Catholic Church demonstrates the essential fraudulence of the progressive claim that universal access to free contraception is a civil rights issue. Once again, he has come through for us: Just listen to what Bob has to say and you can be sure that the converse is the case.

Posted by tmg110 at 11:37 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 18 February 2012 10:21 AM EST
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Troubled Waters
Topic: Liberal Fascism


Maybe Rep. Maxine Waters isn’t simply a shrill, offensive shrew with the soul of a Bolshevik apparatchik. It could be that the poor woman is messed up in the head. Her recent tirade against House Republicans, in the course of which she characterized Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor as “demons,” certainly calls her emotional and mental stability into question.


Why her own party permits her to get away with this is an easy question to answer. Waters is (a) black, (b) a woman and (c) a progressive. So no matter how crazily she talks, Maxine gets a pass from the Dems and their pals in the media. Can you imagine the uproar that would follow a comment from, say, Newt Gingrich, to the effect that Barack Obama is the spawn of Satan…?

Posted by tmg110 at 10:48 AM EST
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Thursday, 16 February 2012
Don't Blame Fame
Topic: Decline of the West


I hate to disagree with a nice girl like Kathleen Parker, but she’s dead wrong about Whitney Huston in this column. "There is sufficient history of the talented who met similar ends to comfortably conclude that fame is a risk factor for substance abuse," Parker writes. "Fans may pay the bills, but they also siphon the spirit of the adored. It isn’t just lonely at the top. It can be deadly."


In other words, Whitney Huston was cursed—and eventually killed—by fame. It’s a beguiling hypothesis in the Lifetime Movie for Television vein, but I’m not buying. Whitney Huston killed Whitney Huston, and there’s no particular reason to think that obscurity would have saved her. It’s true, as Parker notes, that other celebrities have destroyed themselves in a similar manner. But so have countless people that she and I have never heard of: average men and women who for one reason or another found their continued existence unbearable.


Whitney Huston’s death was remarkable only in this sense: Millions of people—her fans, her family, her friends, the media—stood around and watched while she reduced her life and career to a shambles. And though its no more credible than Parker’s contention that “fame” killed her, I can’t help but think that in some dark corner of the collective unconscious, all those people willed Whitney Huston’s death. When a celebrity dies like that, it’s the greatest show on earth…

Posted by tmg110 at 9:38 AM EST
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Tuesday, 14 February 2012
More Rights = Less Liberty
Topic: Liberal Fascism


One reason why progressives are so enamored of postmodern constitutions like that of South Africa is obvious when you think about it: Wide-ranging constitutional guarantees of universal human rights confer enormous power on government. Consider, for example, this provision in the SA Constitution’s Bill of Rights:


24. Environment

Everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being; and to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that ­prevent pollution and ecological degradation; promote conservation; and secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.


In the name of this “right,” the government is given enormous power to manipulate the economy “through reasonable legislative and other measures.” Al Gore can only dream of such an amendment to the US Constitution!


Now of course the SA Constitution also embodies civil liberties of the traditional kind: freedom of speech, association, religion, etc.—albeit spelled out in much greater detail than our own Framers thought necessary. Perhaps that’s another reason why it’s so dear to the hearts of verbose lefties like Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. But deep in their gnarled little hearts, what progressives really like about such laundry lists of rights—to food, to housing, to education, to social security, to fairness, to happiness—is the excuse they provide for an ever-increasing concentration of power in government bureaucracies and elite institutions. And if in the pursuit of such “rights” individual liberties are trampled, well, that’s a small price to pay. Isn’t it?

Posted by tmg110 at 3:44 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 14 February 2012 3:49 PM EST
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Monday, 13 February 2012
Talent's Not Toxic
Topic: Decline of the West


The sordid death of Whitney Huston got me thinking along the obvious line: Why does there seem to be such a close correlation between great talent and self-destructive insanity?


I realize, of course, that most highly talented people have no death wish. But the minority who are self-destructive grab the headlines by being found dead in a hotel bathtub, etc. And we always assume that the burden of their extraordinary talent in some way killed them. It’s an assumption that can lend a phony air of tragedy to even the most untidy exit.


But what such incidents really show is that talent signifies nothing but itself. If you have a defective personality, great musical or literary talent won’t make up the deficiency. And if you possess a well-balanced personality, talent can’t destroy you. After all, there are plenty of self-destructive people who have no talent at all. What’s their excuse for polishing themselves off with a drug overdose, a noose or a leap from the roof?

Posted by tmg110 at 3:11 PM EST
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