Because I Always Expect A PRIVATE Institution to Accomodate My Different Faith When I Voluntarily Attend It…

Because it would be totally reasonable for me to attend a PRIVATE Islamic university and expect them to provide a chapel on the grounds for me, right? Right?

New charges have recently been filed against the [Catholic] University [of America] on counts of illegal discrimination against its Muslim and female students. The allegations are being reviewed by the District of Colombia Office of Human Rights (OHR), which has the strictest discrimination laws in the country. President John H. Garvey and the University is being urged to respond to the charges.

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The official allegations claim that CUA, “does not provide space – as other universities do – for the many daily prayers Muslim students must make, forcing them instead to find temporarily empty classrooms where they are often surrounded by Catholic symbols which are incongruous to their religion,” according to a press release on PRLOG.com.

If I were the University Board of Regents, and the Provost, I think I’d come to the conclusion that perhaps there is no need for these students to return next semester. But maybe that’s because I know there would be no reciprocity at an Islamic University.

From the University’s Newspaper, The Tower.

Linked by The Anchoress, thanks!

Charles Martel Called. He Said “Enjoy Dhimitude.”

“The risks of release outweigh the benefits,” he said. “Conspiracy theorists around the world will just claim the photos are doctored anyway, and there is a real risk that releasing the photos will only serve to inflame public opinion in the Middle East.”

Ummmm, Hello?

The only way this premise even comes close to being credible is if you believed that we were dealing with reasonable people in the first place.

Reasonable people don’t fly jetliners into skyscrapers. Reasonable people do not celebrate the deaths of 3000 whose only crime was being American and going to work that morning. Reasonable people do not demand that everyone always defers to their “unique” sensibilities, and utter about the peace of their world view. while raping and beheading those who don’t share it and issuing religious death warrants for those who criticise it.

In short, why do we fear enraging the perpetually enraged? Are they going to be more enraged? Will that make them more dangerous than they already are? This is more political correctness run amuck. It is the same kind of thinking that says the concept of a “hate crime” is a sound one…the idea that a crime is somehow more criminal based on the identity of a victim.

We scored a victory on Sunday. We showed that when you attack us and murder thousands of our citizens in an unprovoked attack, we will reach out and touch you, and time and subterfuge will not weaken our resolve. And this decision renders that moment of triumph to ash, because if we choose timidity when the moment calls for a clear deterrent, then these turds in the world’s punchbowl have won. It shows they have more committment than our leadership does when our leaders chose to defer to the bad guys’ sensibilities rather than treating them like the bad actors they are.  It is a surrender to fear and lets the enemy know that they have control of the message.

Cross-posted at Taxes, Stupidity and Death.

Linked by Michelle Malkin in Buzzworthy, thanks!

“Excessive Political Correctness” Prevents EU From Issuing Statement Condemning Attacks Against Christians

Baroness Ashton

This may be the worst case of political correctness I’ve ever seen. The EU’s Foreign Minister, Baroness Ashton, is under fire because she refuses to name the specific religious group, “Christians”,  who have been under attack in the Islamic world in a statement condemning the attacks, presumably in deference to Muslim sensibilities.

The UK Telegraph reports:

Italy accused Lady Ashton, the EU’s foreign minister, of ‘excessive’ political correctness. A meeting of EU foreign ministers failed to agree on a condemnation of sectarian attacks over the Christmas period that targeted Christians in Egypt and Iraq.

Talks ended angrily when Italy accused Lady Ashton, the EU’s foreign minister, of “excessive” political correctness because she refused to name any specific religious group as a victim of attacks.

Franco Frattini, the Italian foreign minister, demanded an EU response on the persecution of Christians after a New Year suicide bombing at a Coptic church in northern Egypt in which 23 people were killed.

The Egyptian bombing followed attacks in Baghdad and fears, expressed by the Vatican, of persecution leading to a Christian exodus from the Middle East.

Mr Frattini, backed by France, said it [is] pointless to issue statements defending religious tolerance without any references to the specific minority, Christians, that was under attack.

“This position is an excess of secularism, which is damaging the credibility of Europe,” he said on Monday night. “The final text didn’t include any mention of Christians, as if we were talking of something else, so I asked the text to be withdrawn.”

***

“Those who thought the creation of a high representative would lead to a more unified and coherent EU foreign policy have been very disappointed with Ashton,” said a diplomat. “She cannot even finesse a statement from Christian Europe condemning attacks on Christians.”

Shameful.

On the bright side, at least some of the ministers are rejecting Ashton’s craven stance.

UPDATE:

This story reminded Gabe at AoSHQ of something:

I bring this up only because it echoes President Obama’s statement, wherein he had to make up fictitious Muslim victims because he couldn’t just admit that the New Years attacks were against Christians.

As I wrote then, it doesn’t fit within the warped worldview of leftists to admit that Christians are being murdered by members of the Religion of PeaceTM.

Good call.

Linked by Michelle Malkin, thanks!

Hat tip: Weasel Zippers

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Talking With The Left: A Basic Lesson

One of my prized possessions is my dictionary.

It isn’t just any dictionary.  It is Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language.  It is just shy of 3 1/2” thick.  It contains detailed definitions, pronunciations, and diagrams.  I bought it for $14.oo at the Horrocks’ Store in West Lansing.  It was a trusty companion through three years of law school earning a Juris Doctor, and was an aid in the year earning an LL.M.  It has illuminated the meanings of many words encountered in my various sojourns into literature and technical reading, as well as the writings of the Founders and Framers of this country.  And I need to get a new one, because this one has failed me completely.

Allow me to explain.  This dictionary is superb.  I couldn’t ask for a better guide to the English Language.  It is a book that has done for my vocabulary what my Bible has done for my soul.  It is invaluable when explaining various aspects of thought and the world around us.  There are few tools finer for understanding all that is.  And that’s the problem.  It is not a helpful lexicon for trying to talk to liberals, progressives, or Leftists, because they spend so much time in the elaborate constructs of whatever the approved outlook and nomenclature is this week. 

Whether it is out of a concern that a word might offend, or the motive that will always be tied to the use of a word, or the need to reject the plain meaning of a word and replace it with something different, conversations with any member of the above-named group can seem like a Twilight Zone experience until you realize that you only think that you are speaking the same language as the other speaker.

Because I like to help peoples’ understanding, I thought that in the midst of yet another “controversy” where laying blame, finding ways to vilify specific people, and increase government control over more areas of our lives is an apparent goal, it might be helpful if I recap what I have learned of the Left’s familiar, yet completely alien lexicon in order to reduce what would otherwise be an inevitable frustration.

Marriage:  A term that gays and lesbians in monogamous relationships simply must have applied to their relationships, despite centuries of the word specifically describing a formal, often meretricious relationship between a man and woman, which gave children legitimacy and a stable home life, as well as for the man and the woman themselves, thus providing the bedrock upon which society was built.

Hate Speech:  Speech of conservatives that leftists consider to be offensive.  [While this sounds like a reasonable standard, keep in mind that for most leftists, merely questioning, let alone opposing what they propose, is offensive, and it only goes downhill from there.]  Despite the protests and alleged evidence of such speech from the Left, this is indeed a myth, as everyone knows that only conservatives can use hate speech.

Violent, Vitriolic Rhetoric/Political Speech/Political Discourse (or a similar variation thereof):  Spirited Political Speech and/or Expression engaged in by Conservatives.  It may evoke physical imagery, perhaps violent, perhaps hyperbolic, but purely a means of expression by Conservatives.  It is considered dangerous, and a “threat to democracy”, because of the well-documented and catalogued propensity to violence in people of conservative leaning, and the equally well-documented and catalogued inability of conservatives who hear such speech to restrain themselves from acting on the violent imagery presented in such speech.  Because of these remarkable phenomena, conservative icons must be held to the highest standard, and whenever a high-profile violent act is committed, all such icons are expected to apologize for their guilt, which is the result of having engaged in such an exercise of what they mistakenly believe to be a fundamental right of citizenship.  Despite the protests and alleged evidence of such rhetoric from the Left, there simply is no corollary.

Tolerance:  The idea that no matter what belief a conservative might hold based on their faith, their experience, or history, they cannot oppose an idea they do not like, and must entertain the practices, observations, speech, and conduct that may offend them, because they do not have the right to offend others.  Tolerance may also require conservatives to suppress their own ideas, practices, observations, speech, and conduct, out of deference to that of others, simply because to do otherwise is deemed intolerant.

Inclusive:  Not just allowing, but celebrating beliefs, practices, attitudes, and behaviors of anyone but conservatives.

Diversity:  The concept that all cultures and viewpoints have exactly the same weight and social value, and therefore, maintaining a “diverse” balance in the public sector, in various professions, in higher education, and virtually everywhere that it can be enforced by government (outside of the media, of course) is higher social imperative than merit and hard work.

Liar:  Someone who tells the truth, especially if it is contrary to the narrative or meme the leftist wants to discuss.

General Welfare:  Government entitlements and benefits for some paid for by the few who actually pay taxes.  These run the gammut from Social Security to mohair subsidies to grants to study the flow rates of different kinds of ketchup to midnight basket ball for innercity youth who should be at home sleeping so they can get up bright and early the next morning and go out and look for a job.  In otherwords, whatever the leftist politician says it is.

Taxes:  The duty imposed upon those in society who take the risks and become successful to provide for those who lacked the courage to do the same or the initiaive to at least get a job and tend to their own needs and wants themselves.

American Exceptionalism:  Myth of American achievement based on merit, an unreasonable work ethic, ingenuity, and the economic system that provided the incentive for individuals to aspire and labor toward it.

Terrorist:  Any government or individual that is willing to use force against ideologies bent on kidnapping, maiming, or killing Americans. 

George W. Bush:  Hitler/Terrorist.

Dick Cheney:  Hitler + Eichman/Terrorist.

Al Qaeda:  Freedom fighters.

Rush Limbaugh:  detestable reich wing ideologue and head of the Republican Party.

Glenn Beck:  A crying charlatan and threat to liberty (and no, you can’t have any further explanation).

Sarah Palin:  Threat to reproductive freedom and embodiment of all that is vile, wrong, and disgusting about conservatism.  Namely, belief in God, using and bearing firearms, loving animals because they taste good, especially grilled to medium rare, having children instead of aborting them, staying married to the same person longer than a few weeks, and putting a family before a career, and still managing to be successful.   Also notable because her political speech is the reason why schizophenics snap and try to assassinate politicians that they have been stalking for years.

The Rich:  People who make more than $200,000.00 a year. They must be vilified because they don’t pay enough taxes.

Capitalism:  Economic system that makes all good, honest, hardworking people poor as church mice while “The Man” enjoys every conceivable excess that the labor of those hard-working people can afford to buy.

Corporations:  Evil capitalist constructs forced into existence in the 1950’s whose sole purpose is to rape Mother Gaia, take advantage of the working man, poison the bodies and souls of the average person, completely crowd out all political speech that is not their own, and make their rich fat cat executives even richer, fatter, and cattier.

Private Property:  Everything earned by the labor of the poor that the evil rich keep them from having.

Communism/Socialism:  Everyone gets what they need, and everyone pays what they can…except for our leaders, who deserve more than everyone else, but they’ll make it work this time, really, they will.

Judaism:  A made-up ridiculous religion of evil Zionists who control the currency and have designs on controlling the world.

Christianity:  A made-up religion of fundamentalist zealots, which threatens important societal institutions like abortion, promiscuity, homosexuality, the hypersexualization of children, and the exploiting of them through these means by opposing them, and saying so out loud.  It is undeserving of Constitutional protection, and no effort should be spared in stamping out any public expression of it.

Islam:  A peaceful religion that is harmless to western society, in contrast with those evil, disgusting, and vile Christians and Jews.

Political Correctness:  The unwritten moral code by which the above-defined is enforced in society.  For those who refuse to self-censor in accordance with its parameters, there are many who will enforce it, despite the fact that no one asked them to, and despite the fact that some may truly resent their meddling and insistence that we abandon all we hold dear to “do it their way”.

In addition to these definitions, you should also keep in mind that the various types and applications of double-standards, and changing defintions of goals when conversing with a Leftist.  These will most often be manifested in conjunction with a presentation of facts and evidence to demonstrate whatever point you are trying to make.  Instead of becoming frustrated with a technique that they would never left you use with them, think of it instead as an opportunity to gauge just how far removed from reality they really are.  If a calm rebuttal and recitation of a few easily provable facts is met with shouts of “CHIMPYMCBUSHCHENEYHALIBURTON!!!!”  or “HATEYMCHATEYHATER!!!!!111!!!” or a quick change in the direction of the conversation or the end goal of whatever is being discussed, reasonable dialogue is probably not going to be the end result of your foray into their world.  In that case, you can choose to seek assistance from someone else, or continue to gauge your own tolerance for useless endeavors.

There are certainly more defintions that could be added, and I welcome your submissions to this lexicon, as it may end up being invaluable in trying to communicate and have a dialogue with these people than we share a continent, but no longer a common culture with.  Some day, we might even help some of them to rejoin reality.

Freedom In the Crosshairs

It’s bad enough when someone is shot.

Make the victim a political figure, and the chatterati and the self-righteous get bent completely out of shape, and start to consider how depriving some people of their rights is a good thing.

I think it is horrible that a pathetic loser nutjob decided to reach out and touch fame by going to a Tuscon Safeway where Representative Gabrielle “Gabby” Giffords was meeting with constituents.

I think it is reprehensible that a partisan eagerness to assign blame started before she entered surgery.

The Palin-Derangment Syndrome sufferers couldn’t wait to lay this at her doorstep, recalling her Facebook page on which she had “picked her targets” in the last campaign, of which Representative Giffords was one.  The denouncements rang out loud and numerous, connecting the two.  And then reminders that Sarah Palin, a Republican wasn’t the only one to use such a practice, but then, some reminders that the Democratic Leadership Committee had used the practice in 2004, and that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, under the leadership of Chris Van Holland had posted a similar map earlier in the same year as Palin’s map.  And the denunciatory tweets slowed.

Then, we found out about the shooter’s channel on youtube, on which he posted rambling, incoherent texts about “conscious dreaming” general hatred of the government, and lists among his favorite books Mein Kampf and The Communist Manifesto.  Now the usual suspects started to get quiet.  Maybe it was because it was hard to denounce the eeeeevvvvviillll Reich Wingers for their hate-filled vitriolic speech when you’re busy scrubbing your website and pushing things down the memory hole that are so obviously hypocritical that even your regular readers would have a hard time not seeing how foolish you look.  And the wave of snarky tweets slowed, and the raised hands pointing fingers were slowly and quietly lowered.

But the slow rumble continued.  Discussion of “motives” and “filters” and “vitriolic speech” continued.

And when Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik finally held his presser later in the day, it was a public relations consultant’s nightmare.  He was rambling, repetitive, and dismissive of those who shared the podium with him, but despite it being an ongoing investigation, one in which he claims the shooter did not act alone, the Sheriff chose not to miss an opportunity to wave the bloody shirt, and vilify those who say things he doesn’t like:

In case you missed it, here is the money shot:

“But again I’d just like to say that when you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain people’s mouths about tearing down the government, the anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous. And, unfortunately, Arizona I believe has become sort of the capital. We have become the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry.”

Never let a friend’s tragedy go to waste.  Politicize everything.

Not surprisingly, the Sheriff is…wait for it…a Democrat.   And not just any Democrat, he is one who announced that he would not enforce a law duly passed by his state’s legislature.  When those charged with enforcing the law announce that they will not, the result is lawlessness.  I’m not surprised he’s upset about anger toward the government.  His determination that his judgement superseded that of the legislature is exactly the kind of usurpation that many Americans are fed up with.  But his tactless and ill-timed rant only joins a larger chorus repeated by the chatterati and the sanctimonious hand-wringing self-appointed cognoscenti about how speech that opposes certain government policies and those who advance them is “hate speech“, and the speakers must be held accountable for what those who hear them might do.

The problem is that these people don’t stop in illustrating what they don’t like.  They frequently skip past a meaningful analysis, and happily skip into the fields of their ownhate, which they frequently turn around and heap in great piles at the feet of the objects of their own scorn and derision.  And in succumbing to their impulses to point fingers and delude themselves about their own innate goodness, they forget very important things.

Speech is an expression of thought.  It can be saintly and inspiring.  It can be venomous and painful.  It can comfort.  It can edify.  It can cause laughter.  It can educate.  It can repulse.  But unfortunately, our society continues to grow in the belief that among our many blessed freedoms is a freedom not to be offended, and like most pernicious lies that make some of us feel better, we not only believe in this freedom not to be offended, we believe that it trumps other freedoms.

This freedom to not be offended has been the starting point for state-sanctioned discrimination against those who exercise their freedom to perform actions consistent with their Christian faith.   But the progressives, who want to believe that they really can make everyone else conform to what they believe is “better behavior” have not been happy with this application of a non-existent right.  And that’s why attacking speech they don’t like is so important.  They have to paint it as “hate speech”, usually in hateful terms of their own.  They have to portray it as pejoratively as possible, and do their own fear mongering about the potential ill-effects, creating the mental image of grisly murders of government officials at the hands of stooge-like listeners to talk radio and viewers of FOX news, because if some weak-willed person was programmed by these “hate merchants” and did just that, then it would only highlight the need step forward, and shut down these voices of dissent, if only for the preservation of the republic.  This is of course, antithetical to the very concept of personal responsibility, another concept that they dislike, and attack on many fronts with specious arguments, and meddling certainty and entitlement.  But in working so hard to create at “nightmare scenario” that hasn’t yet happened, they overlook something very fundamental:

We were intended to have the right to criticize government.  We were intended to have the right express discontent, anger, and yes, even rage at those who ran afoul of us while serving in our names.  This right is fundamental to a free society, because a society that would criminalize speech would criminalize thought in the same act.  And criminalizing thought that opposes the current government, its officials, or its policy is to kill the genius of America, because all freedoms would be forfeit to whomever was strong enough, or powerful enough to determine what thoughts and what words are criminal.  Progressives cannot make better men through the enacting of laws that determine what speech, and by inevitable extension, what thoughts are correct, no more than such laws will make people more “civil”.  You might force these things to be the only expression allowed, but to do so will be to foment resentment, and only lead to a boiling ugliness seeking an outlet.

People’s thoughts are the only things that they will ever be able to truly call their own.  You may not like them when they are expressed in words, but they aren’t yours to restrain, chain, squelch, or suppress.  If they have merit, then they will find an audience that values them.  If they do not, then their value to society will be low, and they will be treated accordingly.

Tragedies often move people to action.  Remember that you are dealing with people who never let a crisis go to waste and who are sensitive to all hate but their own.  There is no reason to surrender freedom for security when it comes to speech, especially since one will not lead to the other.  There are valid reasons why people are “anti-government’, or more accurately “anti-the-current-government” these days, and your birthright and the sanctity of your thoughts are not subject to their tender sensitivities.

 

 UPDATE:  Another voice of reason from an unexpected quarter…if they keep this up, then there might be hope for the American Left yet…Richard Roper helps with some sorely needed perspective:

http://www.suntimes.com/3229156-417/palin-christina-hope-responsible-rhetoric.html

UPDATE the SECOND:  Congress Critter Proposes Law Curtailing Freedom of Speech He Doesn’t Like:

http://threesurethingsoflife.wordpress.com/2011/01/09/and-so-it-begins/

Previously:

The Tucson Shooting and The Political Aftermath

By Hook or Crook…

their agenda will become your agenda, because the given inches always yield to the taken miles, as this story from Yahoo news so helpfully foreshadows:

After years of contentious debate, the Senate on Saturday voted to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that blocked gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.

While critics, including Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain, said the repeal would cause a deadly distraction on the battlefield at a time of war, the lawmakers backing repeal equated the vote to other historic moments including the end of racial segregation among troops in the 1950s and the decision to allow women to attend military service academies in the 1970s.

Which isn’t an accident.  If they can paint it in the same light as real civil rights legislation, then it makes it much easier to maintain and forcefully assert the fiction in the federal lawsuits against state law that are to come.  And make no mistake, they will come.

“It is time to close this chapter in our history,” President Obama said in a statement hailing the vote’s passage. “It is time to recognize that sacrifice, valor and integrity are no more defined by sexual orientation than they are by race or gender, religion or creed.”

But sacrifice, valor, and even integrity can find a home in the deeds of the worst of the worst when the circumstances are right.  That was the whole point of films like The Dirty Dozen, and The Devil’s Brigade, wasn’t it?  Taking convicted criminals, some of whom were under sentence of death, and siccing them on the enemy, demonstrating that such characteristics were not reserved for the law-abiding and the basically “good”?   Still, branches of the military do not generally make a habit out of integrating criminals and other people with “evil” habits and tendencies, that have manifested themselves in the choices that they have made, into military units as a matter of policy.   And yet, because of a near-constant erosion in the basis of our law, this is exactly what the Senate has decided to do.  What makes it an act of far-reaching consequence is that it will not stop there.  The will of a small vocal minority, and a larger minority that has installed itself as the “Decider” and arbiter of what is and is not good for society will not let it. 

Yet the repeal is far more than just a single policy shift. The overturning of “don’t ask, don’t tell” is likely to create a ripple effect in addressing other gay-rights issues, as many states continue to debate issues including same-sex marriage and the right of gay partners to share benefits the same way legally married couples do. With gay service members serving openly, it will become difficult for policy makers to justify, say, withholding visitation rights or survivor benefits to the same-sex spouse of a wounded or fallen soldier. [Emphasis Added.]

The casual observer might simply take this as an inspired bit of wishcasting, but anyone who has been paying attention sees it as another in a series of careful plays intended to bring about a specific result.  The fact is that we have no rational basis for treating this policy shift as a victory for civil rights, and those who today enjoy the great strides made in the area of civil rights should be insulted that the implication that “discrimination” on the basis of what can only be conclusively proven to be a choice is the same as discrimination on the basis of an immutable condition, such as race or gender, or of specifically protected behaviors like religion or creed.   The Left does not see it in this light, because their elation at sticking their fingers in the eyes of those they brand as “extremists” or “fundamentalists” has specifically blinded them to the reality of what they have done.   That realization will be for a later day, if indeed they are still capable of drawing any lines between things that are acceptable for a society and things that are not when that day comes.  The over/under on that being the case is about even at this time, and it has occurred to me more than once that once it is no longer socially acceptable to call evil what it is, then drastic changes to the definition of good cannot be too far behind.   We have already started down this road, and while we are not in danger of putting our imprimatur on things like obvious theft and murder as society, there is already a groundswell under way that supports it in less obvious forms, and have already made compromises between it and our formerly better understanding of such things.  The more obvious manifestations will be the last to come, not because they are obvious, but because the only thing that purveyors of the new, who reject the old philosophy and understanding, hold sacred is the self, and that once their own possessions are forfeit through proceedings that commonplace avoid process, or consist only of a perfunctory circuit through the motions, and they cry foul, will the most perceptive among them realize that they long ago removed the rationale allowing them to hold these last vestiges of an old order by any rational legal means.

The truth is that this policy will not benefit the military or society at large.  We are not made stronger when one of the things we must prepare for are policies and procedures to deal with new claims of discrimination, with merit, and perhaps more importantly, those without, and the way to add finality to such determination without completely removing it from those closest to enforcement in the attempt to give it the appearance of legitimacy.  All of what this entails will unquestionably bring more cost, more complication, and more distraction to a profession already arguably more weighed down in the issues of diversity, fairness, and equality than it is in the idea of merit, which benefits the service, and actually training to achieve and maintain physical and technical superiority over our nation’s enemies.

By casting it as a victory for Civil Rights, the Deciders and those they would empower delegitimize Christianity, when it was Christian churches which have been major players in the Civil Rights movement, a move that somehow does not appear to them to be a logical disconnect in any fashion, or call their previous victories into question.   This makes them either hypocrites or opportunists.  Given their support of self-proclaimed “christian leaders”, who tell them exactly what they want to hear on this subject, (a position that can only be reached by picking and choosing what portions of scripture support their conclusions) I’m coming down hard on the side of opportunist.   However you choose to define it, it brings us to the same place:  When we start redefining evil, first by accepting it, then by legitimizing it, a creeping redefinition of what we place value on as being good must also follow.  And it has.  This is the elephant in the room that these modern-day crusaders for the Religion of Self™ refuse to recognize.   If we decide that choice is the basis of a civil right to behavior largely unthinkable 20 years from now, there is no basis for denying a civil right on the basis of choice for things that are still largely unthinkable now.  These crusaders scoff at such notions, all the while failing to recognize that there are already those who are laying the same kind of groundwork that they themselves have put down to get us here.  If you look hard, you can see the future, and what it holds isn’t pretty.   Everything will be permissible, except for believing that some things should not be.  And the worst part is that the trap is already springing.  Those who claim that these things aren’t related are blind to the steel teeth closing about them already.   They have already made such things possible, and arguing that they will never be acceptable to society ignores the fact that they already are.

Meet The Parents

The most unpardonable sin in society is independence of thought. – Emma Goldman

Having already been raised by parents, I am increasingly resentful of a government that continues to substitute its judgment for my own, justifies its temerity in doing so by deigning to tell me it is for my own good, and then charging me exorbitantly for it.  And it happens at all levels of government, from the overreaching leviathan in the District of Columbia, to the irresponsible spendthrifts in Olympia, to the bold petty tyrants here in my own county.

What’s that?  I’m being ridiculous?  I don’t think so.  Let’s start with this example from the Tacoma News Tribune:

The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department this morning released a press statement saying that El Gaucho Tacoma has agreed to a permanent injunction that bans smoking in its facility.

Agreed to?  More like got tired spending the money to try to be able to enforce their property rights.
 

“We see this as an important step for the health of Washington State residents, most of whom don’t smoke, and who overwhelmingly voted to approve Washington’s Smoking in Public Places Act,” stated Anthony Chen, department director. 

I see this as an abuse of power, of the kind that bureaucrats in county public health systems, and other local agencies and bureaus love to engage in…for our own good, of course.

 
Earlier this year the department sued to close the smoking lounge, which had recently opened after renovations that owner Paul Mackay said he believed satisfied restrictions in the state’s 2005 non-smoking law.

A smoking lounge.  Not a lounge where they simply permitted smoking.  A lounge designed specifically for smoking.  [While this squib doesn't have all the details, the lounge was completely separate from the rest of the restaurant, had state-of-the-art ventilation systems, and even a separate entrance.]  This wasn’t about a restaurant that some whiney non-smokers could not frequent because of owners who couldn’t manage to offer a non-smoking alternative, because the restaurant is non-smoking, and as I said, separate from the smoking lounge. 

“When the owners failed to comply with several requests, and a letter of compliance from the Health Department, they were served with an injunction to stop allowing smoking in the lounge. On April 23, 2010 a Pierce County Superior Court issued a preliminary injunction against El Gaucho Tacoma and the VIP Lounge,” the department said.

To translate from the power-grubbing bureaucratese “This uppity property owner had the nerve to try to allow patrons to engage in a legal activity in a way that would not disturb those who frequented his establishment, but did not smoke, but he didn’t come, hat in hand, to ask our permission first, and that had to be dealt with.”

I would have liked to see Mackay do an end run and open a private club in the location occupied by the smoking lounge…the kind where anyone can be issued a membership card at the door for a nominal fee.  A private club is not a public place, and therefore the county health department nannycrats can get bent.  But knowing how one little birdie can make a phone call to another little birdie, and the next thing you know, converting the liquor license from a restaurant to a private club can end up being fraught with all sorts of …difficulties, especially with things like the approvals from the local authorities.  I imagine that this was the better business decision for Mr. Mackay.

As for the over-reaching in Olympia, I have the following agenda items in Governor Gregoire’s State of the State address from this past January:

“For all of us who are called to public service, now is the time for leadership. Now is the most important time to serve,” Gregoire said. “For as difficult and challenging as the decisions that lie ahead of us will be, now is the time to be decisive, and now is the time for compassion. It’s the time to make a real difference for people. It’s the time to truly shape the future of Washington state.”

———————————————————————————

*High-quality health care: Gregoire asked the Legislature to consider restoring funding for the state’s Basic Health Plan, hospice services and maternity care for at-risk mothers.

———————————————————————————

“The December budget I presented was balanced, and it certainly sets new, and admittedly untenable, policy directions,” Gregoire said. “But the balanced budget also would force us to abandon the values that define this state — fairness and compassion. It would be unjust, unwise and unfair to abandon our friends and neighbors when they need us most.”

Now, leadership is not continuing to fund entitlements when you are having trouble doing the things that you’re actually supposed to be doing.  Since this speech, our budget hole in this state has increased more than $5 Billion.  The response was to issue a whole lot of new taxes in a down economy, so Nanny Government could continue to make decisions for and offer entitlements to its dependents, rather than focusing on the things that really are its job:  law enforcement, funding schools, fixing the roads, and other basic government functions.  And when she starts whining about not meeting “basic Washington values” because I’m not reducing the quality of health care I provide for my family because they aren’t compelling me to pay for it for someone else, it takes all that I have not to start shouting “THERE IS NO FAIRNESS IN TAKING WHAT I WORK FOR IN ORDER TO PROVIDE FOR MYSELF AND MY FAMILY SO YOU CAN GIVE IT TO SOMEONE ELSE!  MAKING PEOPLE DEPENDENT UPON GOVERNMENT IS NOT “COMPASSIONATE”!  QUIT CONFUSING YOUR ABILITY TO BUY VOTES WITH MY MONEY WITH BEING “COMPASSIONATE’!!!”

When some of the new taxes the legislature tried to impose to continue being generous with my earnings ended up on the initiative ballots in November, and going down in flames, it was like Christmas came early.  The problem is, the politicians in this state continually have a problem understanding that when the voters say “No!” to their taxes, we really mean it.  Just ask anyone in Pierce, King, or Snohomish county about their thirty dollar license tabs for their car.  My last one only cost me $120, because I get to “give” generously to subsidize public transit that no one rides.  However, I am very pleased that there are bus drivers who make in excess of $100,000.00 a year when I have the equivalent of a masters and a doctorate in a real discipline, and make less.  To borrow a line from our Dear President, these employees of ours should be thanking me.  Especially when they can expect raises this year, even though I haven’t seen one in a few years now.  It is rumored that the governor will recall the legislature to a special session, which, if it like the prior special sessions, means that the Democrats will leave Republicans out of the meetings, decide that they cannot possibly make any cuts to entitlements, and instead, will pass legislation that will raise taxes instead.  I think you can probably make book on it.

And then there is the Federal Government’s assumption of authority it does not have, by which it substitutes its judgment for your own.  Case in point?  FCC Commissioner Michael Copps:

“I think American media has a bad case of substance abuse right now. We are not producing the body of news and information that democracy needs to conduct its civic dialogue. We aren’t producing as much news as we did 5 years, 10 years, 15 years ago. We have to reverse that trend or I think we are going to be pretty close to be denying our citizens the essential news and information that they need to have in order to make intelligent decisions about the future direction of their country.”

Not to press a point too finely, but who the Hell appointed him to judge the quality of the news being reported?  No, really.  Last I looked, the federal government didn’t have a “Ministry of Information” to decide what is, and what is not news, or even good reporting.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s our job, and I don’t recall any ceremonies where the American people formally surrendered this right to some stinkfaced bureaucrat who doesn’t like what he hears on CNN or FOX.  In fact, since the retirement of the so-called Fairness Doctrine back when we still had more than a handful of sensible people in the government, I thought that the whole point was to let the people decide with their viewership, their listening, and what news outlets they chose to spend their money on.  That is why the Old Grey Lady is in the tank; once people had a chance to decide for themselves, the outlets that only told the stories they wanted you to read/hear/see, and in the manner that they wanted you to ingest simply could no longer compete.  The approved lies, mischaracterizations, and spin were no longer palatable.  And yet this kaikocracy is intent on squelching any message it doesn’t approve of.  That is why The Chicago Messiah™ and his flunkies, toadies, and watercarriers are constantly contributing to the ambient noise level with their insistence that FOX is “bad for the republic”.

“Nowadays, when stations are so often owned by mega companies and absentee owners hundreds or even thousands of miles away — frequently by private equity firms totally unschooled in public interest media — we no longer ask licensees to take the public pulse. Diversity of programming suffers, minorities are ignored, and local self-expression becomes the exception.”

Diversity?  The opinion of a few numb-skulled Supreme Court Justices aside, the federal government, or any government  for that matter, has absolutely no interest, compelling or otherwise, in diversity.  Diversity did not enrich the lives of the people of the Balkans.  It did not make their lives better.  It did not provide a rich society, and preserve basic human dignities and rights of its citizens.  Instead, it brought strife, war, death, misery, and chaos.

“Diversity” as it is currently embraced by too many in government, is destructive to society.  It substitutes identity for merit.  It purposely divides, and keeps divided the people of a nation.   It doesn’t reward and encourage exceptionalism for its own sake (and the blessings to society as a whole that come from such a strategy).  It discourages a national identity, character, and vision, and fosters tribalism and territorial battles in culture, the allocation of resources, and in the defining of goals.  Its final end will be devolution in to discord and violence, rather than achievement and excellence.

Last I looked, local self-expression wasn’t really an issue.  Public television has local outlets, many of which carry locally produced and broadcast programs.  Radio stations report local news, and many carry locally produced programs.  Cable television has public access shows.  And the internet makes anyone with something to say and the ability to find any of several free blog hosts, a one-person publisher.

Let’s not kid ourselves.  Increasingly, we are met in all walks of life by government in all its varied forms that refuses to remain within the strict confines we have set forth for it.  Its appetite for control is rapacious, and unquenchable.  We yield every day, in venues where the government simply has no business being in our business.  Mandates to ban incandescent lightbulbs.  Telling business owners that they cannot cater exclusively to smoking patrons.  Refusing to stop buying votes from its dependents with our money, and ignoring us when we tell them that they cannot have more of what we earn.  Forcing societal schemes upon us that will not, and by their very nature, cannot benefit society.  Fiats that turn social values on their heads by unelected jurists and bureaucrats, when the people have very clearly refused such measures sought to be undertaken by elected officials, and the craven collaboration between the cowardly elected officials and the unelected functionaries who in the absence of any mechanism of accountability to “We the People”, eagerly dictate to us that which we have already refused…for our own good, of course.

What I’d like to know is if I, at age 39, 21 years free of the authority of my parents, and having earned a high school diploma, a B.A., a J.D., and an LL.M., and having been a parent myself for over 11 years still haven’t earned the right, and am not smart enough to make my own decisions, what makes those busybody bureaucrats, many of them the same age or younger, and some less educated, empowered and intelligent enough to make them for me?

ENOUGH.

It’s time to push back.  Hard. 

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