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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.

Special Report

Constitutional Rights for Transgender Prisoners: Kulturkampf or Coup D’état?

By 5.6.15

Cultural attitudes can change rapidly in this digital age, at least on some issues, among some demographic segments. For example, Millennials (born after 1980) tethered to their smart phones mimic the latest trends in music, fashion, and lifestyle displayed by their peers on blogs or social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube), or streamed by opinion outlets such as Reddit, Huffington Post, and BuzzFeed. (Few young people read traditional newspapers or subscription periodicals.) Comedy Central’s The Daily Show has largely replaced cable or network news for coverage of current events, to the extent that twenty-somethings pay attention at all. Thus, it is not surprising that Millennials’ opinions on many subjects—influenced by a generally secular and nihilistic worldview—diverge significantly from those of their parents. A 2014 Pew Research Center poll found that 68 percent of Millennials (age 18-34) supported same-sex marriage, compared to 48 percent for the Baby Boomer generation (born from 1946-1964).

The Tax and Spend Spectator

The Rich Pay More Than Their Fair Share

By 5.6.15

From President Obama to Hillary Clinton to Elizabeth Warren, on down, the entire Democratic Party is invested in a false narrative about the relative burden of federal income taxes, and about freedom and opportunity in the American economy.

“The rich don’t pay their fair share,” “the deck is stacked against you,” and “the middle class is being squeezed,” they tell the nation they have been leading. But the truth is just the opposite. The latest, official, U.S. government data for 2014 shows that “the rich” pay far more than their fair share of federal income taxes. That is most recently demonstrated in a report from the Tax Policy Center, which is a project of two liberal organizations, the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution.

In Memoriam

A Tribute to Seymour Tabin, 1918-2015

By 5.5.15

My grandfather was born in a dangerous world.

It was 1918, the First World War was raging, and the Spanish flu pandemic was claiming lives by the tens of millions. But he was armed with his keen intelligence and the values instilled by his hard-working immigrant parents. He excelled academically and went to college. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Chicago, where he went on to law school and Law Review. He fell in love and married, and just as his legal career was beginning and he was ready to start a family, his country was drawn into another world war.

A few months after Pearl Harbor, figuring there would be a draft, he decided that he’d like to be a naval officer. As he told the story to me, the recruitment officer, perhaps in denial about the manpower the Navy would need for the undertaking ahead, was lukewarm about accepting him at first, and was struck by his persistence. He didn’t know he’d been accepted until he got an envelope in the mail addressed to Ensign Seymour Tabin.

Special Report

Watch Us Peacefully Riot!

By 5.5.15

Imagine a Tea Party rally that ended in violence, with wrenches being thrown at police officers and widespread vandalism. Actually, you don't have to imagine. The liberal media and the social left do that for you. Recall their wild concern over Sarah Palin's use of political “cross-hairs” despite the fact that such imagery has been commonplace in politics forever and no more inspires violence than any number of references to “targeted districts” by countless political consultants. Or reminisce about ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross finding out that someone who shared the name of the suspect in the Aurora Theater shooting was linked to the Tea Party and could therefore be the killer. Or think back to when a deranged man flew a plane into an IRS building in Texas and was initially thought to be proof of the dangerous mentality infecting the conservative movement until his suicide note was discovered and featured a line from the Communist Manifesto.

Free Market Accountability Project

Congress Should Pass Trade Promotion Authority

By 5.5.15

Too frequently politics trumps sound policy. Fast track trade negotiating authority, also known as trade promotion authority (TPA), presents an opportunity for our lawmakers and the executive branch to illustrate that good policy can still prevail.

If re-authorized, TPA, which was first passed in the Trade Act of 1974, would give the Obama administration credibility with our trading partners as negotiators try to successfully conclude the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).

Under a TPA, Congress would maintain a powerful voice over whether the U.S. would enter into the TPP agreement. However, Congress would only have the ability to conduct an up or down vote on the deal; it would not have the ability to amend the trade deal.

Such a commitment is important. It is unlikely that our trading partners will approve a free trade agreement with the U.S. knowing that the terms of that agreement could, and likely would, be endlessly changed or bottled up in Congressional committees due to amendments from any one of the 535 Members of Congress.

The Nation's Pulse

New Republic Admits: Liberal Racism Caused Baltimore Riots

By 5.5.15

Now we’re getting somewhere.

Over at the New Republic — which backs itself up with a link to the Atlantic — liberals are finally admitting that their addiction to racism was responsible for the Baltimore riots.

The one caveat? They didn’t even recognize what they were saying. Here’s the story, with a hat tip to NewsBusters’ Tom Johnson who found it.

The episode was launched with this editorial from the Wall Street Journal titled: “The Blue-City Model Baltimore shows how progressivism has failed urban America.”

New Republic writer Rebecca Leber’s story was headlined: “Liberal Policies Didn’t Fail Baltimore. Here’s What Did.”

Main Street U.S.A.

The Silence of the Lambs

By 5.5.15

Here’s how it stands with Western civilization — what’s left of it, I mean — insofar as various Westerners are concerned.

You keep your lip buttoned whenever foes, internal as well as external, jump up and down on you, kick you around, make known their fondest wish is to do you in, ideals and all. You hope for the best while doing nothing.

You follow, that is to say, the counsel of “Jacques,” who posted Monday on the New York Times’ website, disburdening himself as follows concerning the Sunday shootings at the Mohammed poster contest in Garland, Texas:

The Far Right is using “freedom” as a stick to beat and provoke Muslims. Cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed do not advance the cause of freedom one iota. It is provocation pure and simple.

Maybe not so “pure,” maybe not so “simple,” Jacques. The Jacques line of thought is heavily represented in commentary on the shootings of the two men whose apparent goal was to disrupt, with hot lead, a lightly attended event of which I had been previously unaware: just 19 miles from my home.

Political Hay

With Conservatives Like These…

By 5.5.15

Much of the discussion about Jeb Bush nowadays — on paper, over the air, and down to various watering holes at happy hour — seems to be a search for a tell-all label. Is he a conservative? Is he a moderate? Is he a liberal? The answer to every one of these questions is yes. He’s all of the above. But this doesn’t tell you much. With Jeb, who hopes to be Bush III, those wishing to take his political measure need to drill deeper into specifics than with most candidates.

Before conservative audiences, Bush, and those whooping him up, can justifiably point to Bush’s two terms as Florida’s governor where he cut taxes, cut the number of state employees, reined in affirmative action in state matters, and pushed for more accountability in the state’s bloated education industry. Then and now he’s been consistently pro-life and pro-Second Amendment. He says he admires Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and considers Antonin Scalia the most interesting of the court’s opinion writers.

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?