Friday, December 14, 2007

All the news that it is fit to distort

Post below excerpted from Taranto. See the original for links. The sheer ignorance of the NYT writers is amazing.

We had missed last Friday's New York Times editorial on Mitt Romney's religion speech until a reader called it to our attention last night, but it's such a shoddy piece of work that we thought it worth some attention even at this late date:
Mr. Romney filled his speech with the first myth -- that the nation's founders, rather than seeking to protect all faiths, sought to imbue the United States with Christian orthodoxy. He cited the Declaration of Independence's reference to "the creator" endowing all men with unalienable rights and the founders' proclaiming not just their belief in God, but their belief that God's hand guided the American revolutionaries.

Mr. Romney dragged out the old chestnuts about "In God We Trust" on the nation's currency, and the inclusion of "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance--conveniently omitting that those weren't the founders' handiwork, but were adopted in the 1950s at the height of McCarthyism. . . .

The other myth permeating the debate over religion is that it is a dispute between those who believe religion has a place in public life and those who advocate, as Mr. Romney put it, "the elimination of religion from the public square." That same nonsense is trotted out every time a court rules that the Ten Commandments may not be displayed in a government building.

We believe democracy cannot exist without separation of church and state, not that public displays of faith are anathema. We believe, as did the founding fathers, that no specific religion should be elevated above all others by the government.

Let's start with the historical inaccuracies. As the U.S. Treasury Web site notes, "In God we trust" first appeared on U.S. coins in 1864, not in the 1950s. It is true that the motto's first appearance on paper money was not until the 1950s, but it was in 1957, the year Joseph McCarthy died, not at "the height of McCarthyism."

Similarly, while "under God" was added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954, this too was after McCarthyism's height. President Eisenhower signed the legislation changing the pledge on June 14 of that year; five days earlier, during the Army-McCarthy hearings, Joseph Welch famously confronted the senator from Wisconsin. Less than six months later the Senate censured McCarthy.

The Times Web site itself has the text of Romney's speech, and it makes clear that the paper's editorialists grievously misrepresent what the candidate actually said. His references to the Declaration of Independence's acknowledgment of the Creator are not in the context of calling for official "Christian orthodoxy"--quite the opposite:
The founders proscribed the establishment of a state religion, but they did not countenance the elimination of religion from the public square. We are a nation "Under God" and in God, we do indeed trust. We should acknowledge the Creator as did the Founders--in ceremony and word. He should remain on our currency, in our pledge, in the teaching of our history, and during the holiday season, nativity scenes and menorahs should be welcome in our public places. . . .

It was in Philadelphia that our founding fathers defined a revolutionary vision of liberty, grounded on self evident truths about the equality of all, and the inalienable rights with which each is endowed by his Creator. We cherish these sacred rights, and secure them in our Constitutional order. Foremost do we protect religious liberty, not as a matter of policy but as a matter of right. There will be no established church, and we are guaranteed the free exercise of our religion.

Finally, let's ponder the Times's statement that "we believe democracy cannot exist without separation of church and state." What an utterly mindless statement. Yes, separation of church and state is central to the American constitutional order. But to believe that democracy cannot exist without it is to believe that Britain is not a democracy


What a difference a year makes

The world looks safer, friendlier, more hopeful than it did as we approached Christmastime last year. Then, we were on the defensive, perhaps on the verge of defeat, in Iraq. The Europeans' attempts to persuade Iran to renounce nuclear weapons seemed to have failed. Hugo Chavez was using his near-dictatorial powers and the oil wealth of Venezuela to secure the election of opponents of the American "empire" in Latin America.

Today, things look different. And they suggest, to me at least, that the policies of the Bush administration, pilloried as bankrupt by the Democrats after their victory in congressional elections in November, have served American interests better than most Americans then thought.

Start with Iraq. The surge strategy, opposed by almost all Democrats in Congress and the party's presidential candidates, has clearly worked. Violence has sharply decreased; Iraqi Sunnis have turned against al-Qaida and toward the Shiite-dominated government; bottom-up reconciliation has gone forward in apparently all areas of the country. Polls show that despite minimal coverage in the mainstream media for many months, most Americans are coming to understand that the surge is working.




A chicken Democrat above

There were some VERY favourable responses to Fred Thompson's performance in the Iowa Republican debates the other night. See here for a summary.

Quote of the Day: "Mohammad Elmasry, President of the Canadian Islamic Congress (the same group trying to get Mark Steyn censored for "Islamophobia") sets us straight about the Islamist father who strangled his daughter for refusing to wear a head scarf: "I don't want the public to think that this is really an Islamic issue or an immigrant issue, It is a teenager issue.". Note that even if he were to deflect the blame away from Islam's barbarous ideas about men owning women, he could at least say this is a "psychopath issue," at least fixing the blame on the murderous father. He doesn't. He says "This is a teenager issue" as if teenagers are the ones we have the problem with"

Economists choose the GOP: "Asked which presidential candidate would be best for the economy, only half responded but most threw their support behind Republicans. Thirty-five percent said Rudy Giuliani would be best, while 19% chose John McCain and 15% picked Mitt Romney. Hillary Clinton got the support of 8%, while John Edwards was the only other Democrat to register with 4% of the vote."

More British bureaucratic brilliance: ""More than 8,200 homes rented by the Ministry of Defence for use by military families in England and Wales are unoccupied, the BBC has learned. Figures show 20% of married quarters are empty, but cost taxpayers 28.78 million pounds a year in rent paid to a housing company."

Flip burgers proudly: "Our economy has evolved, yes. Sometimes painfully. But Americans are still very well off, still enjoy many opportunities. And plenty of cheap hamburgers. Who flips them? Sometimes retirees looking to supplement income. Usually kids. I go to McDonald's, I see kids behind the counter. Is this a bad thing? That they're starting out behind a counter instead of as CEO of General Motors? You can bring diligence, honesty, pride in your work to any job."


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here and here.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party".


No comments: