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Special Report

We Can Handle the Truth

By 12.9.14

What do the recent University of Virginia gang-rape charges made in Rolling Stone magazine, rape implications against an Oberlin College “campus conservative” by talented-but-annoying darling-of-the-left Lena Dunham, and the unending “Hands up, don’t shoot!” and “die-in” pantomimes of murder-by-racist-cop regarding the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, have in common?

The obvious answer is that all three stories are unsupported by actual evidence. While something tragic certainly happened in Ferguson and something bad may have happened to a young woman in Virginia, the aspects of the stories that made them national sensations were fabrications.

(Given Lena Dunham’s admissions that she was drunk and high on both illegal and prescription drugs, and that she willingly had sex with someone even after he had done something exceptionally inappropriate to her in public, no part of her insinuation of rape seems credible… and further scrutiny demolishes it entirely.)

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A Further Perspective

Is Law Optional?

By 12.9.14

The fiasco of Rolling Stone magazine’s apology for an unsubstantiated claim of gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity house — and the instant rush to judgment of the university administration in shutting down all fraternities, when those charges were made — should warn us about the dangers of having serious legal issues dealt with by institutions with no qualifications for that role.

Rape is a crime. It belongs in a criminal justice courtroom. And those found guilty belong behind bars for a long time.

What could possibly have led anyone to believe that college professors or campus administrators should be the ones making decisions about charges of criminal acts that can ruin the lives of the accuser or the accused?

Many years ago, the late William F. Buckley said that he would rather be ruled by people with the first hundred names in the Boston phone book than by a hundred Harvard professors. Having spent more than half a century on academic campuses across the country, I would likewise rather have my fate decided by a hundred Americans chosen at random than by a hundred academics.

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Political Hay

Mayor de Blasio Plays the Race Card

By 12.9.14

There is no other way to say it. The mayor of New York judges others by skin color, making of him just one more leftist politician for whom this kind of attitude is a long and despicable tradition. Yes, yes, Mayor Bill de Blasio is married to a black woman. And so what? The key component is judging by skin color — and anyone of any color can play the game. The mayor — like Attorney General Eric Holder and, sad to say, President Obama himself — is all in.

Says de Blasio when discussing New York City's finest: “Our police keep us safe, and yet there's been, as I said, not just decades of problems, a history of centuries of racism that under gird this reality.”

A history of centuries of racism? And who, pray tell, might be responsible for that? What Mayor de Blasio won’t say is that it was his political ancestors. It comes so naturally and obsessively to leftists that they play the race card with the ease of drawing a breath. 

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Politics

Mary Landrieu Lost Because Racism, Obviously

By 12.8.14

In the end, Mary Landrieu actually did a little better than expected. With polls showing her down as many as 26 points to Bill Cassidy less than a week prior to Election Day, the final 56-44 result in Cassidy’s favor almost reads as a moral victory on her part.

But U.S. Senate seats are not won on moral victories, and thus Saturday marks the end of Landrieu’s eighteen-year stint representing Louisiana on Capitol Hill. Many wags are calling it the end of an era—namely, that of the Southern Democrat as a mainstream political entity. With Landrieu’s loss, there is no longer a viable Democratic Party anywhere in the Deep South with the apparent capability to win a statewide race of any major importance or capture a majority of a state legislative body. Of former Confederate states, Democrats now hold Senate seats only in Virginia and Florida.

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The Right Prescription

Who Moved My Media?

By 12.8.14

For years, the Washington press corps has been telling us that our medical delivery system was antiquated and unable to meet the needs of its 21st century customers. The journalists of the legacy media frequently suggested that opposition to a government-imposed solution to this very real problem was rooted in ignorance, irrational fear of change, or venality. Over the past several days, we have had the opportunity to observe some of these people react to a similar upheaval in their own industry, and the response has been instructive. Oddly enough, they have exhibited a surprising affinity for the status quo.

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Loose Canons

Republicans Reject Their Mandate

By 12.8.14

Mary Landrieu’s defeat in Louisiana on Saturday should have put paid to Obama’s statism. But it didn’t because Republicans evidently have dedicated themselves to throwing away the mandate to end Obamaism that voters gave them in November. Some used to call the Republicans the “stupid party,” but what is going on now goes much farther than mere stupidity can account for.

How else can you view the responses to Obama’s unconstitutional — and hence, illegal — immigration amnesty declaration? The problem extends far beyond that, but the immigration amnesty is the most apt example because it is the most current.

Last Wednesday, House Rules Committee Chairman Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) — certainly not to be confused with anti-amnesty stalwart Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) — made a startling statement. Pete Sessions said that Republican leaders intend to push an amnesty bill through in January that would subject only the most dangerous illegal alien criminals to deportation.

Let me say that again: the Republican leaders of the House want to endorse Obama’s action by passing a law to embrace it and call it their own.

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The Environmental Spectator

The Missing Hurricanes

By 12.8.14

As the telephone rang, the screen said it was Henny-Penny calling. I hadn’t heard from her since she resigned as Founder and Recording Secretary of The Holy Order of the Sky is Falling and became a global warming skeptic. 

Me: “What’s new?”

H-P: “Hurricanes.”

Me: “But we don’t have hurricanes in California.”

H-P: “I’m talking about the big picture. An official report has just been released. Not one hurricane has made landfall in Florida for nine consecutive years. That’s a modern record.”

Me: “Good news, alright, but bad for Al Gore the erstwhile Pontiff of the Holy Order of the Sky is Falling. It was about nine years ago he predicted a series of hurricanes that would devastate Florida and the East Coast. He said it would all be due to global warming caused by greedy humans enjoying a good standard of living by using electricity and driving SUVs.”

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The Nation's Pulse

America’s ‘Other’ Inequality

By 12.8.14

There is a highly unequal distribution of common decency between most Americans and those who abuse the welfare state. But amid the ongoing hubbub about income and wealth inequality, this disparity of propriety gets short shrift. Forget the monetary cost. It’s the social price tag—and its polarization of politics—that’s killing us.

Let’s be clear, I do not mean to single out Mitt Romney’s infamous “47 percent” of the U.S. population that receives some form of government benefit. Rather, I mean to focus upon those who abuse Uncle Sam’s generosity.

Although waste, fraud, and abuse isn’t breaking the bank, it’s no small line item. According to the U.S. government’s own estimates, 5.2 percent ($98.7 billion) of its social program payments are “improper”—meaning that the payment went to the wrong person, the payment amount was incorrect, there was no documentation justifying a payment, or the beneficiary used the payment on something for which it wasn’t intended.

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Special Report

Mad Sounding Meds: Is This Any Way to Treat a Condition?

By 12.8.14

My friend said he was stunned by the headline in the Wall Street Journal, “ACTIVIS, ALLERGAN NEAR DEAL.” He said the article went on to talk about a flirtation with Zoetis, while Salix waited in the wings. I had no clue what he was talking about. 

The story was all about a corporate drama unfolding in what is known as Big Pharma. Problem is, no one except those familiar with the industry would know any of the players. In Big Pharma the corporate names are as bizarre and confusing as the names of their products, all of which need FDA approval.

For example, just imagine ingesting yohimbine or phentermine. Those sound like something that a medicine man might have prescribed for a skin rash or chronic gastric distress. No thanks, I’ll leave those to the aliens for whom those exotic names are familiar. 

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Another Perspective

In Defense of Religious Mediocrity

By 12.8.14

Rob Bell was a nationally renowned popular Evangelical Michigan megachurch founder and pastor (one of Time’s100 most influential people!) until his 2011 book Love Wins questioned traditional Christian understandings about salvation and damnation. He was following the trajectory of other post-Evangelicals towards liberal Protestantism and well beyond. Bell lost his pastorate and much of his Evangelical following, a fall meriting a New York Times feature.

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