Tuesday, February 18, 2014
5 Virtues That Liberals Take To The Extreme: Taking things to extremes is what they do
"If one oversteps the bounds of moderation, the greatest pleasures cease to please." -- Epictetus
"The world is full of people who will help you manufacture tornados in order to blow out a match." -- Shaun Hick
There are few things on the planet more necessary than water. In fact, roughly 60% of the human body is water. Yet, water isn't ALWAYS a good thing as Noah could tell you. Virtues can be like this as well. In moderation, they're good for you, but taken to extremes, they become destructive.
1) Tolerance: A little tolerance is a good thing, but too much tolerance makes people blind, dumb and stupid. It's just fine for people and societies to set boundaries instead of giving the thumbs up to wallowing in a human pig pen. Yes, the Bible does say, "Judge not, that ye be not judged." However, it doesn't say there's no difference between the Bible and the Koran, right and wrong, or good and evil. We've taken tolerance to such an extreme that many Americans think it's better to abandon their morals, common sense, and history lessons rather than come across as "being judgmental."
2) Compassion: Compassion and $2.00 will get you a cup of overpriced coffee at Starbucks. At best, compassion doesn't mean much and at worst it has become an act of destructive self-congratulation. America is packed with angry, spiteful, nasty people who never give a dime to charity or personally help a soul; yet they consider themselves to be deeply compassionate for supporting harmful government programs with pleasant-sounding names. If you get into trouble, pray you'll be spared what passes for "compassion" in America today in favor of actually getting some real help.
3) Being nice: Sure, nice beats mean, but it's not an end unto itself. "Nice” is vanilla. "Nice" is generic. If all you bring to the table is "nice," you don't have much to offer. Furthermore, wanting to be "nice" keeps people from saying what needs to be said. It's the "nice" parent who has brats bothering everyone in the store because she won't discipline them. It's the "nice" relative who enables an alcoholic rather than encouraging him to go to rehab. It's the "nice" politicians who don't want to say "no" to anyone no matter how bad his lifestyle choices turn out to be. Meanwhile, our society seems to be getting ruder, stupider and more degenerate by the day, mainly because there are so many "nice" people who aren't willing to stand up and do something about bad behavior. Unfortunately at the end of the day, the nicest dog in the dung heap is still living in a dung heap.
4) Self-Esteem: We may be the first society in history to completely divorce self-esteem from actual accomplishment and self-worth. So, what happens when little Johnny, who coasted through school being told how "special" he was gets into the real world and starts getting his teeth kicked in on a regular basis because he brings nothing of value to the table? Next thing you know, he's marching at an Occupy protest, demanding government handouts and trolling the comment sections on conservative websites because he doesn't understand why he can't do anything productive with his life despite the fact he's been told that he's gifted. Instead of building a kid's self-esteem, we should be teaching him how to be good at things. Then he'll be of use to himself, his family and his society while building REAL self-esteem in the process.
5) Diversity: Diversity is a strength? Tell that to Afghanistan or Iraq. Both nations are so diverse they want to murder each other. That's not to say there isn't some value to diversity of thought, but we've taken it to such an extreme that we've started embracing tribalism. We tell immigrants to forget about the melting pot and embrace their old culture. We treat illegal immigrants who waltzed across the border two months ago as if they're indistinguishable from Americans. We sneer at patriotism and encourage Americans to fragment off from each other by race, gender, age, and sexual orientation. Then we're shocked that Americans have become so alienated from each other. Anyone emphasizing diversity should be aware that diverse groups of people generally don't get along particularly well. Conservatives and liberals? Northerners and Southerners? Muslims and Jews? Jocks and nerds? If these groups don't tend to see eye to eye, why should we expect other equally diverse groups of people to be best buddies while we're celebrating how different they are from each other?
Palestinian Authority Human Rights Violations Ignored by Media, West
Evidently, most Western governments, journalists and human rights organizations have chosen to endorse the Palestinian Authority's stance that the only evil-doers are the Israelis. And that is precisely why the ICHR report on the anarchy, lawlessness and human rights violations by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas will be completely ignored in the West.
A report issued by the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) this week criticized the Palestinian Authority [PA] and Hamas for assaults on human rights and freedoms in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The report, which has been ignored by mainstream media and human rights organizations in the West, reveals that 10 Palestinians died in January 2014 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as a result of anarchy, lawlessness and misuse of weapons.
The report also lists cases of torture and mistreatment in PA and Hamas prisons. ICHR pointed to an increase in the number of torture cases in prisons belonging to the PA's much-feared Preventive Security Service in the West Bank.
During January, ICHR wrote that it received 56 complaints about torture and mistreatment in Palestinian prisons: 36 in the Gaza Strip and 19 in the West Bank. In addition, the human rights organization received innumerable complaints about arbitrary and unlawful arrests of Palestinians by the PA and Hamas.
A Palestinian Authority policeman attacks protestors. (Image source: "Palestinians for Dignity" Facebook Page)
ICHR wrote that it also received complaints from Palestinians who accused the Palestinian Authority security forces in the West Bank of unlawfully seizing their money.
The organization also received complaints about assaults on freedom of expression and the media, as well as on peaceful protests and academic freedoms.
Of the 10 Palestinians who died during January, the report found that half of them died as a result of violent disputes between clans. One Palestinian was killed while working in a smuggling tunnel along the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. Three Palestinians died in what the organization describes as cases of "security anarchy and misuse of weapons." In the Gaza Strip, the report said, a 13-year-old girl named Wisam Ashour committed suicide by hanging herself in her family home.
With regards to torture, the organization stated that it received complaints from Palestinians who said they had been tortured while in detention in Palestinian Authority and Hamas prisons.
ICHR related that it received 85 complaints during January concerning unlawful and arbitrary arrests by the two Palestinian governments. Many detainees said they were taken into custody for "politically-motivated" offenses.
As for assaults on freedom of expression and peaceful protests, the human rights organization pointed out that on January 12, 2014, PA policemen used force to break up a protest by Palestinian youths north of Ramallah. Between 60-70 protesters, the report continued, were wounded in the head and legs after policemen attacked them with clubs and stun grenades.
On January 28, 2014, Palestinian Authority policemen used live ammunition to disperse stone-throwers in the center of Ramallah, according to the report. It also stated that there was no reason for the use of live ammunition during the incident. Four protesters were wounded, the report documented, when policemen attacked them with clubs.
During the last week of January, the report noted, Hamas security forces raided two university campuses in the Gaza Strip and used excessive force to disperse student protests against high tuition.
In the West Bank, the Preventive Security Service summoned for interrogation a number of students suspected of involvement in political activities, and, the report revealed, a University in Jericho expelled a student on suspicion that his brother and cousin belonged to Hamas.
Referring to anarchy and lawlessness in the West Bank, the human rights organization pointed to an incident that took place near Hebron on January 18. On that day, more than 100 men attacked the building of the Yatta Municipality, using a bulldozer to force their way inside.
Mayor Musa Makhamarah said the assailants were relatives and friends of a municipal council who had been dismissed from his job. The mayor complained that although he had warned the Palestinian Authority police in advance about the possibility of such an attack, no police reinforcements were dispatched to the scene.
The report found that the Palestinian Authority was continuing to ignore court rulings. The Preventive Security Service and the General Intelligence Force regularly ignore orders issued by various courts to release Palestinian detainees, it pointed out, listing seven cases that occurred last month.
Earlier last week, representatives of ICHR met with PA Interior Minister Said Abu Ali and discussed with him cases of torture and human rights violations in the West Bank. They also discussed the continued security crackdown on Palestinian students at Bir Zeit University in the West Bank. Many students have complained that they were being targeted for "political reasons" by various branches of the Palestinian security establishment.
The report's findings once again show that neither the Palestinian Authority nor Hamas respect human rights and freedom of expression in the territories under their control.
That Hamas is responsible for human rights violations and assaults on freedom of expression should not come as a surprise to anyone.
But what is surprising is that the Palestinian Authority leadership, which often boasts that Palestinians living under its jurisdiction enjoy freedom of expression and democracy, is continuing to lie not only to its constituents, but also to the Western media and international donors about its human rights record.
The PA has been successful in diverting attention from these problems by putting all the blame on Israel. As far as the PA is concerned, Israel alone is responsible for human rights violations and assaults on freedom of expression and the media.
Evidently, most Western journalists, governments and human rights groups have chosen to endorse the Palestinian Authority's stance that the only evil-doers are the Israelis. And that is precisely why the ICHR report about the anarchy, lawlessness and human rights violations by the PA and Hamas will be completely ignored in the West.
Using the IRS to Suppress Free Speech
The latest round of the IRS scandal, in which Tea Party and conservative groups have been selectively targeted for harassment by our tax collection agency, is now unfolding.
This comes in the form of proposed new rules from the IRS regarding the operation of organizations falling under the 501c4 provision of the tax code.
These are organizations whose purpose is to promote "social welfare" and therefore their income is tax-free.
Because promoting a cause or agenda in our free and democratic country cannot be isolated from political activity associated with that agenda, such activity is permitted by 501c4 organizations, as long as politics does not become its main purpose.
These are the rules of the game that have existed since 1959. But now the IRS wants to change the game.
The new rules they propose expand the definition of "candidate related activity" so broadly - to include voter education campaigns and grass roots lobbying campaigns - and to forbid even the mention of a candidate in any context 30 days before a primary or 60 days before a general election - that it will make it impossible for these organizations to function.
The IRS would like us to believe they are just trying to clear up some rules that are too vague regarding how these organizations are permitted to operate.
But can it be an accident that these new rules come in the midst of the current scandal in which an IRS official, Lois Lerner, admitted that Tea Party groups were being targeted for harassment?
It was revealed this week at a House committee hearing, at which new IRS commissioner John Koskinen testified, that an email was found from an IRS official indicating intent to scrutinize 501c4 organizations.
How much of this was generated by inappropriate politicized activity within the IRS and to what extent it relates to the IRS taking guidance from higher authority -- like the White House -- remains to be seen.
It does defy common sense to conclude that the White House has not been involved in this.
IRS activity in pursuit of non-profit organizations escalated in 2010.
It so happens that early 2010 the Supreme Court ruled, in the case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, that the ban on independent political expenditures by corporations violated the free speech provisions in the first amendment of the constitution.
And it so happens funding escalated into 501c4 organizations after the Supreme Court lifted this ban. And it so happens a good deal of this activity has been Tea Party related activity.
After the Citizens United decision, the president himself weighed in, expressing his outrage about the decision, indicating his intent to "develop a forceful response to this decision."
To the dismay of our president and those with political agendas at the IRS, our constitution permits free speech and allows corporations to use funds to express a political viewpoint. So the IRS is now trying to render inoperative the vehicles that often receive and use those funds -- 501c4 organizations.
It is not an accident that if we look around the world, the one thing that uniformly characterizes un-free nations is lack of free speech.
Those that love political power hate those who want to question their power and who want to inform citizens and provide a different point of view.
This is what the current IRS scandal is about. IRS officials, whose job it is to collect taxes, have abused their power to harass those whose politics they do not like. And this is what the current attempt to shut down 501c4 organizations by rewriting long standing rules by which they operate is about.
Free flow of information and free speech is the oxygen of a free society. Every freedom loving American should vigorously push back against this abuse of power by the IRS to stifle free speech.
There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc
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Posted by JR at 1:40 AM