Sunday, November 08, 2009
Politically-correct double standard spawned mass murder at Fort Hood by Muslim soldier
A Muslim soldier shot dead 11 soldiers and two civilians at Fort Hood yesterday, shouting the Muslim expression "Allahu Akbar." But in an absurd display of political correctness, media reports barely mentioned the religion angle, choosing instead to highlight the fact that he was an "army psychiatrist" or the false claim that he was a veteran with PTSD (which he wasn't: he never even served overseas). Oh, those violent psychologists!
Now, we read that he had previously said that Muslims should rise up against the military, "repeatedly expressed sympathy for suicide bombers," and engaged in hate-speech against non-Muslims, publicly calling for the beheading or burning of non-Muslims, and talking "about how if you’re a nonbeliever the Koran says you should have your head cut off, you should have oil poured down your throat, you should be set on fire." But nothing was done to remove him from a position where he could harm others.
The military is not like the outside world. In the civilian world, hate speech, and often even incitement to commit violence, are protected speech under the First Amendment (under Supreme Court decisions like R.A.V. v. St. Paul, Brandenburg v. Ohio, and Forsyth County v. Nationalist Movement, and appeals court decisions like Dambrot v. Central Michigan University).
But in the military, soldiers get punished for bigotry all the time -- except for this guy. The courts have held that hate-speech or speech that "discriminatorily harasses" others can generally be criminally punished in the military, unlike in the outside world, and accordingly, white supremacists get disciplined for their views. (So, too, do soliders who express disloyalty to their country or even to the Commander in Chief.) But not this soldier, who was more dangerous than your typical white supremacist.
In court cases like Goldman v. Weinberger and Brown v. Glines, the Supreme Court has said that soldiers have less free speech rights, and less freedom of religion, than in the civilian world. The military cites this all the time when it wants to punish soldiers for bigotry, like the soldier who was convicted for uttering a sexist insult about liberal Congresswoman Pat Schroeder (D-Colo.) in the aftermath of the Tailhook Scandal. (The Air Force Court of Appeals did overturn one military "harassment" regulation as too vague, in an unpublished ruling, but it held that such bigoted speech could be banned under a clearer regulation, and most such regulations have been upheld).
But the military was too chicken to apply its standard policy against hate-speech and bigotry to this soldier, presumably because political correctness exempts Muslims from the rules that members of other religions have to follow, in the eyes of the liberal Obama Administration officials and lawmakers to whom the military is accountable.
Even if his hate-speech and anti-American views had been protected speech in the sense of not being punishable, the speech would still be circumstantial evidence of unfitness for his position counseling injured American veterans, warranting his departure from the military for a more appropriate line of work.
Obama could barely bring himself to mention the incident, much less express sympathy for the victims, in his remarks today, in which he buried any expression of sympathy in the middle of a speech filled with "wildly disconnected" ramblings about Native Americans. (If he had wanted to talk about Native Americans, he should expressed gratitude for the role Navajo code talkers played in the U.S. victory in the Pacific in World War II).
I am not arguing for a ban on Muslims in the military. The military has a critical shortage of, and need for, translators who speak languages like Pashto (spoken in Afghanistan), Urdu (spoken in Pakistan) and Arabic. These translators are often Muslim, and they should be welcome in the military. But neither should the military exempt Muslims from the rules of conduct imposed on soldiers of other religions. That is an insult to the principle of equality under the law.
Journalism and the Left
There has always been concern among fiscal conservatives that their common sense approach to government expenditures never receives a fair representation in the mainstream media. Even when their ideas are enacted and prove to be very successful, they are derided by the news media. The policies enacted by the Reagan Administration produced a decade of economic growth and ended many years of uncontrolled inflation, yet those policies were labeled as “trickle down economics” by the left and the news media.
The left tries to invoke egalitarianism when discussing their policies, however in the words of Winston Churchill, “The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries”. This may explain the reasons for media bias better than any thoughts of egalitarianism.
The left has been described as a “coalition of competing parasites”. For trial lawyers, labor unions and investment banking firms, the close association of their groups with a left leaning government means that they can circumvent the invisible hand of free enterprise to obtain greater financial rewards for their members.
For others in the left, it is the fact that they spend many years in academia that makes them arrogant enough to believe that the average citizen should be allowed to make decisions that affect his or her future. They believe that the enlightened few, not “we the people” should make policy decisions for the country. The fact that the enlightened few will enjoy elevated social status and financial rewards also motivates to this group.
For the news media, the situation is slightly different. The members of the news media have spent years in college generally far removed from quantitative subjects such as math, science and economics. In the words of one reporter discussing perceived media bias, “if we enjoyed math, we would have gone to school for engineering not for journalism”.
Of the competing parasites that comprise the left, journalists share many of the ideas from the enlightened few, however they can not translate their promotion and support for a leftist government into financial gain the way that labor unions, investment banks and trial lawyers can. The media still needs to sell advertising to pay the employees of newspapers, magazines and television networks.
Thus for many in the news media, the support for the left is based upon envy not egalitarianism. Journalism is a demanding profession with long hours, oppressive deadlines and relatively low pay. Those that did study math and science in college go into professions where the starting pay may exceed the median earnings for an experienced journalist.
Just as the college professors in FDR’s cabinet resented that the economic growth of the 1920’s allowed industrials to earn far more than their years of education afforded them, the real issue of many on the left is just envy that society values the products and services of others more than the particular skills that they possess.
Congress may stifle recovery before it grows
By: Irwin M. Stelzer
There are times when the economic data point in one direction, and businessmen in the privacy of their boardrooms point in another. A case in point is the recent report that the recession is over: The housing and manufacturing sectors are recovering, and retailers have sheathed the hara-kiri knives they sharpened in anticipation of a gloomy holiday season as major categories of goods sell at the most robust pace in a year.
"I'll believe it when I see it on my top line," seems to be the attitude of most businessmen, who are hoarding cash in record amounts. The Wall Street Journal estimates that corporate cash hoards now total over $1 trillion, or about 11 percent of assets, compared with $846 billion, or less than 8 percent of assets not much more than a year ago.
Show us the demand, not statistics about the demand, corporate executives seem to be saying, and we will dip into our ample treasuries and begin investing and hiring.
Which might in the end be very good news indeed, and add to other bits of evidence about the durability and speed of the recovery that seems to be under way.
The pieces seem to be in place for a rapid recovery. The pile of cash on which corporations are sitting is available for investment and hiring at the first signs of a durable recovery in consumer demand.
Inventories are low enough to encourage restocking. The dollar is weak and weakening, which should encourage exports and discourage imports, meaning more jobs for American workers.
The Federal Reserve Board's monetary policy gurus met earlier this week and the inflation doves routed the inflation hawks, meaning that interest rates will remain low for the foreseeable future. Good news for housing and other interest-rate sensitive industries.
All of that should add up to a decent recovery -- unless. ... There is a nagging fear among those who closely watch not only the economy but government policy that these nascent economic forces might be murdered in their crib by the current administration.
Small-business men I met with this week tell me they are in a state of paralysis as they watch the debate over the health care "reform" bill wending its way through Congress. Lurking in its 1,502 pages (the Senate version) are provisions that will markedly raise their costs, and their personal taxes. So even as business gets better, they won't take on more staff because they can't figure out what it will cost them to do so.
Then there is the turmoil over all aspects of the financial services industries. The bonus brawl is the most widely publicized, with bankers somehow stunned that the public should resent their record takings after being bailed out by the government and, in cases such as Goldman Sachs, continuing to benefit from government guarantees of their debt.
More important, indecision on how to reform the financial sector continues to weigh on growth, as banks develop ever more stringent restrictions on credit availability while they wait to see who wins the battle between the Obama White House, which wants to give more power to the Fed, and the Congress, which wants to give the Treasury Department authority to close down any financial institution it deems unfit.
This is no small matter, as the at-least partly nonpolitical Fed is less likely than the completely political Treasury to move against an institution for purely partisan political reasons.
Then there is that old bogey taxes. Economists who have the administration's ear just do not believe that higher marginal tax rates will slow economic growth.
They are flirting with such things as an effective 60 percent rate on the incremental income of very high earners or, in the case of congressmen searching desperately for a way to fund the president's $1 trillion health care plan, a "millionaire's tax" on the order of a 5 percent surcharge on the taxes of anyone earning that sum.
They are convinced that markets don't work the way that traditional economists believe, that money incentives do not drive risk taking and hard work, and that therefore appropriating a larger portion of national income for the state will not affect the growth rate.
So when deciding whether you believe we are headed for a rapid recovery, or a tepid one, or none at all, weigh the positive signals from the economy against what some, myself included, believe to be the effect of the policy errors that are in store for us.
Democratic civil war: MoveOn raises $3.6 million to attack party moderates
A few days ago, the left-wing activist group MoveOn.org began sending out emails seeking contributions to fund primary challenges against any Democratic senator who does not fully support "health care reform with a public option." Now there's an update: MoveOn executive director Justin Ruben says the group has raised $3,578,117 for the project and is thinking of new ways to punish errant Democratic lawmakers.
"It's a huge sum, and the clearest signal yet that any Democrat who helps Republicans filibuster health care reform will face an enormous backlash from the grassroots," writes Ruben. And now, working in conjunction with Howard Dean's old organization Democracy for America, MoveOn is starting a drive to take away the committee chairmanships of any Democrat who fails to live up to MoveOn's progressive standards. "Many of these senators hold coveted committee chairmanships that give them significant power within the Senate," Ruben writes. "Our friends at Democracy for America have launched an open letter urging Senate Democrats to strip committee chairmanships from any Democrat who filibusters health care." Ruben says that more than 66,000 MoveOn and Democracy for America members have pledged to contribute.
"Chairing a committee is a privilege, not a right," Ruben continues. "So if a member of the Democratic Congress joins with Republicans in the most important vote in a generation, then they certainly don't deserve a position of power controlled by Democrats."
The latest statements from MoveOn and Democracy for America come amid continued media analysis of divisions in the Republican party. MoveOn's threats -- backed by millions of dollars and tens of thousands of progressive activists -- have received far less attention.
Heartburn for Obama
On Tuesday evening, the disparity between Fox News' ratings and those of its cable news competitors was remarkable: More people watched Fox News than all of its cable news competitors combined, and CNN came in a dismal fourth. CNN's ratings have been in a tailspin. Shockingly, CNN finished October out of the list of the top 30 cable channels. Fox News, meanwhile, was the third highest-rated cable channel in prime time, after USA and ESPN.
Some might argue that Tuesday's ratings were skewed because it was mostly Republicans who were fired up about that day's elections. True enough, as the election results showed. But lots of Democrats watch Fox too--in fact, around 30 percent of Fox's audience are Democrats. A couple of nights ago we were watching Bill O'Reilly's show, and he pointed out that more Democrats watch Fox News than CNN and MSNBC combined, even though those networks cater almost exclusively to the left--one more reason why the Obama administration's attacks on Fox are painfully stupid.
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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" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)
Posted by JR at 1:37 AM