A Further Perspective

A Further Perspective

Protest Brutality in Bosom of Social Justice

By 5.6.15

“Peaceful protest turns violent,” read the San Francisco Chronicle headline about the May 1 protest in Oakland that ended badly. Police arrested about a dozen people after activists trashed new cars and smashed bank windows. I love that headline. It makes it seem as if it’s an anomaly when an Oakland protest ends with errant sparks and glass shards — even though a social-justice demonstration in Oakland has a better chance of ending with vandalism than a Hollywood marriage has in ending in divorce.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf had warned that violence would not be tolerated, but to no effect. On Saturday morning, she and police Chief Sean Whent had to admit that they had failed to anticipate — and thus prevent — the violence. “A very small group of people with rocks in their pockets and malice in their hearts disturbed what was otherwise a positive day in Oakland,” said Schaaf.

If Schaaf wants a different outcome, she should tell the protest community this: When the sun goes down, go home. Make it easier for police to curb what I would call “protest brutality.”

A Further Perspective

Voltaire’s Children

By 5.6.15

Artists and intellectuals who lash out at Christianity as “oppressive” and “dangerous” receive places of honor at liberalism’s celebrations. Their provocations are extolled as important moments of brave truth-telling, essential to the spread of enlightenment in the modern world. But liberalism’s pride in the value of robust free speech and artistic independence vanishes once critics of Islam appear on the scene.

Liberals have gone from quoting Voltaire’s line, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it,” to practicing censorship. Champions of offensive avant-garde art can be heard these days browbeating cartoonists for insufficient sensitivity to the feelings of jihadists.

A Further Perspective

Race, Politics, and Lies

By 5.5.15

Among the many painful ironies in the current racial turmoil is that communities scattered across the country were disrupted by riots and looting because of the demonstrable lie that Michael Brown was shot in the back by a white policeman in Missouri — but there was not nearly as much turmoil created by the demonstrable fact that a fleeing black man was shot dead by a white policeman in South Carolina.

Totally ignored was the fact that a black policeman in Alabama fatally shot an unarmed white teenager, and was cleared of any charges, at about the same time that a white policeman was cleared of charges in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.

In a world where the truth means so little, and headstrong preconceptions seem to be all that matter, what hope is there for rational words or rational behavior, much less mutual understanding across racial lines?

A Further Perspective

Killing the Unborn Is Never a Good Option

By 4.30.15

Even as social conservatives find themselves in retreat on many issues, such as gay marriage, public opposition to abortion remains high. Americans are conflicted, but recognize that the procedure involves more than just hurting oneself. There’s another life involved. Abortion can never be a simple case of personal “choice.”

In fact, most abortion advocates nervously proclaim themselves to be pro-choice, not pro-abortion. Leading “pro-choice” politicians even argue that the procedure should be rare. Most supporters want to focus on the mother, whether her right to make decisions about herself or the difficult circumstances facing her, while downplaying the consequence of a dead baby.

A Further Perspective

The Right Lessons From a Tragic Drone Error

By 4.30.15

In the wake of revelations that a January 2015 drone strike targeting two senior al Qaeda operatives in Pakistan also tragically resulted in the deaths of two hostages — U.S. citizen Warren Weinstein, and Italian national Giovanni Lo Porto, both aid workers — the Obama administration is apparently preparing to review its rules governing drone strikes. While it is imperative to understand what went wrong in this particular incident, it is also imperative that it not be used as a means to further constrain the drone program, which has proven an important tool and rare bright spot in what has been an otherwise poor track record for this administration when it comes to defending our national security interests.

A Further Perspective

Solar Amendment Goes to Court

By 4.28.15

A proposed amendment to the Florida state constitution which would oblige the state to promote the use of solar energy is going to the Florida Supreme Court to see if its wording is proper.

Here’s how this one starts out: “It shall be the policy of the state to encourage and promote local small-scale solar-generated electricity production and to enhance the availability of solar power to customers.”

Wow. That’s enough to make hearts around Solyndra go pitty-pat. Oops. I guess it can’t. Because Solyndra is gone, as is the more than half a billion taxpayers’ dollars sunk into this ill-fated project. But with an open-ended mandate that would be created by the meat-axe language above, Florida could have its own Solyndras.

The group pushing the amendment, Floridians for Solar Choice, claims more than 85,000 certified signatures on their petition, enough to send it to the Supreme Court to determine if its language is clear and treats only a single subject. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has approved the amendment’s trip to Tallahassee.

A Further Perspective

Clinton Greed

By 4.27.15

(Editor’s Note: Debra J. Saunders is off. The following column is by Linda Chavez.)

The Clintons have always had an uneasy relationship with money. Bill never had any. And although Hillary had a comfortable upbringing, she didn’t take the path to riches that her Yale Law degree might have provided, choosing instead to do public interest law right out of law school and marry a man with great political ambition.

But, clearly, both Bill and Hillary wanted the good life — and the money it takes to provide it. Nothing wrong with that, but the means by which they’ve enriched themselves have been unsavory at best. And all this makes suspicious the recent revelations that Bill and Hillary have become fabulously rich through the former president’s speeches paid by individuals, corporate interests and governments who stood to benefit from their relationship with a former president married to a U.S. senator who then became secretary of state.

A Further Perspective

It Won’t Be Hillary

By 4.24.15

Honestly, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign won’t go any further than — if it even gets as far as — her ill-fated 2008 attempt at returning to the White House. After all, Clinton isn’t a more attractive candidate now than she was then, and after two terms of a failed Democrat president one would think it would require a candidate with real political skill to keep a Democrat installed at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Clinton, unlike her glib husband, has no such talent. Last week’s amateurish and clumsy “rollout” to her presidential bid showed she has no more aptitude for retail politics than she has for messaging. Want proof? This woman, who touched off guffaws nationwide by claiming she and Bill were “dead broke” upon leaving the White House (with silverware in tow) in 2001, decided to offer herself as a champion of the little people as the key theme of her campaign.

A Further Perspective

Plus-Sized Paris

By 4.22.15

You’ve heard by now, haven’t you, of the new French law banning women with an unhealthy body mass index (BMI) from modeling?

The legislation, backed by the country’s Socialist Party, also makes it illegal to promote anorexia online, or even manipulate a photo to render a woman ultra-thin unless the photoshopping effort is made public. The move is meant to curb “excessive thinness,” which can result in “risk of mortality or damage to health.” Reuters reports on the measure which was earlier adopted by Israel:

The measure is part of a campaign against anorexia by President François Hollande’s government.

Models would have to present a medical certificate showing a BMI of at least 18, about 55 kg (121 lb) for a height of 1.75 meters (5.7 feet), before being hired for a job and for a few weeks afterwards.

A Further Perspective

Chaos in the Primaries

By 4.21.15

Painful as it is to realize that both the Democrats and the Republicans will still be holding their primaries a year from now, that is one of the high prices we pay for democracy.

Seldom does the initial “front-runner” in either party’s primaries end up being the actual candidate when election day rolls around. However, even if we cannot predict the outcomes of the primaries this far in advance, we can at least start trying to understand the candidates, the almost candidates and the people who are running just for the publicity.

One of the curious things this early in the process is that, while the Republicans’ three freshmen Senators — Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul — have all had interviews on various television talk shows, veteran politician Hillary Clinton has been hiding out from real interviews by hard news reporters, as if she is afraid to be cross-examined.